Photo caption: Devadatta is taken to hell (avici), alive, by Mother Earth after his three attempts to kill the Buddha had failed.
Buddhism teaches that everyone is responsible for his own good and bad deeds, and that each individual can mould his own destiny. Says the Buddha, "These evil deeds were only done by you, not by your parents, friends, or relatives; and you yourself will reap the painful results."
Buddhism is a gentle religion where equality, justice and peace reign supreme. To depend on others for salvation is negative, but to depend on oneself is positive. Dependence on others means surrendering one's intelligence and efforts.
In Buddhism, actions are merely termed as unskillful or unwholesome, not as sinful. Buddhists do not regard man as sinful by nature of 'in rebellion against god'. Every human being is a person of great worth who has within himself a vast store of good as well as evil habits. The good in a person is always waiting for a suitable opportunity to flower and to ripen. Remember the saying, 'There is so much that is good in the worst of us and so much that is bad in the best of us.'
By Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda