Thus has been heard by me. At one time the Bhagavā was staying near Rājagiri at the bamboo forest at Kalandakanivāpe. At that time the Venerable Ānanda, it being the day of Uposatha, dressed himself in the morning with the upper robe, took his bowl and went to Rājagiri for alms. Devadatta saw the Venerable Ānanda walking in Rājagiri for alms. Having seen the Venerable Ānanda he approached him. Having approached him he addressed the Venerable Ānanda thus:
‘Friend Ānanda, from today onwards irrespective of the Bhagavā and irrespective of the Order of the Bhagavā I will perform my own Uposatha and I will foster my own Order.’
Then the Venerable Ānanda having finished his alms round, took his meal and on returning from his alms round approached the Bhagavā. Having approached the Bhagavā he greeted him and sat down to one side. Having sat down at one side the Venerable Ānando addressed the Bhagavā thus:
‘Today, O’ Bhante, I dressed myself in the morning taking upper robe and bowl and went to Rājagiri for alms. Then, O’ Bhante, Devadatta saw me walking for alms in Rājagiri. Having seen me he approached me. Having approached me he spoke thus to me:
‘Friend Ānanda, from today onwards irrespective of the Bhagavā and irrespective of the Order of the Bhagavā I will perform my own Uposatha and I will foster my own Order. Today O’ Bhante, Devadatta will split the Order, will perform his own Uposatha and foster his own Order.
Then realizing its significance on that occasion the Bhagavā expressed this solemn utterance:
Easy for the good to do what is beneficial,
Difficult for the wicked to do what is good,
Easy for the wicked to do what is bad,
For the Noble it is difficult to do what is bad.