In this wiki article it says Devdutta is his Brother in law but how?

  • Devadatta (Buddha's cousin ?): MN 29, MN 58, AN 8.7, Iti 89
    – user11235
    Dec 21, 2017 at 22:30
  • If Yasodhara and Devadatta were the children of Suppbuddha, they are brother and sister. Then, how could devadhatta fall in love with Yasodhara? There is some confusion here. Please explain.
    – david
    Nov 4, 2018 at 17:58

2 Answers 2


Marrying within the family was common in many parts of the ancient world, especially among royalty. The Buddha’s family was no exception.

Yasodharā (who married Siddhārtha who went on to become the Buddha) and Devadatta were children of Suppabuddha. Suppabuddha was Siddhārtha’s uncle, being the brother of the sisters Māya (Siddhartha’s birth mother) and Pajāpatī ( his stepmother who actually raised him after Māya died at childbirth ).

So Devadatta was the Buddha’s cousin, brother-in-law, playmate/rival while growing up, follower and ordained student after Siddhartha was enlightened, an important leader in the Sangha*, a causer of a schism in the Sangha, a would-be plotter of his death. A complex figure who has been caricatured and narrowed down in the eagerness to paint everybody as either hero or villain. A book that discusses this is Buddhist Saints of India by Reginald Ray 1994.

As an aside, it was said that Devadatta’s father, Suppabuddha also was pretty antagonistic towards the Buddha, first because of anger that he had abandoned his beloved daughter to go forth as a samaṇa and later also on account of tensions that his son had with the Buddha.

  • "praised by the Buddha as one of his “top ten” at one point" - When was this? Got any reference? Dec 22, 2017 at 8:11
  • @SankhaKulathantille Sorry, 11, not 10. Please see edits in the answer. Thanissaro Bhikkhu in his Udana translation notes that in the PTS list Ven. devadatta is at number 10 in this list and Ven. Ananda is at number 11. The Thai, Burmese and Sri Lankan rescensions have only 10 people approaching the Buddha, but they differ on who the 10th one is (Sri Lankan says Ananda, but the other two say Nanda). In any case, the point is not which one is the “true” version, but that that that character is less monochromatic in some readings than one might hear from the uniformly negative portrayal.
    – Gotamist
    Dec 22, 2017 at 11:29
  • Not sure where you got the list of 11 but Devadatta isn't even among the 80 great disciples: threegems.org/articles/sangha/historical/eighty-great/1 Dec 22, 2017 at 13:29
  • @SankhaKulathantille Well, I don’t know what it means where I got the list. I cited my source in the answer already. Here, I’m moving it to the comments section as it’s not central to the main answer.
    – Gotamist
    Dec 22, 2017 at 15:20
  • Footnote*-Devadatta is even counted among 11 disciples whom the Buddha terms “Brahmans” (translated in this context as saints) at one point according to the PTS version of Udāna 1.5. Please note that this differs between versions. The other versions drop Devadatta from the list.
    – Gotamist
    Dec 22, 2017 at 15:25

Prince Sidhdhaartha married princess Yasodhara . Devdaththa was the brother of Yasodhara. so prince Sidhdhaartha 's brother in law was him.

Basically before marriage Devadaththa was Sidhdhaartha's cousin. His mother was a blood relative for Sidhdhaartha's father

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