Being the devil isn’t easy

By Paulo Coelho

The devil said to Buddha:
‘Being the devil isn’t easy. I always have to speak in riddles so that people won’t notice that I’m tempting them. I always have to appear bright and intelligent to gain their admiration. I have to put a lot of energy into trying to persuade my disciples that Hell is more interesting than Heaven. I am old now and I would like to pass my students on to you.’
Buddha knew that this was a trap: if he accepted the proposal, he himself would become the devil, and the devil would become Buddha.
‘You think it’s fun being Buddha,’ he replied. ‘But as well as doing everything that you have to do, I also have to put up with the things my students do to me! They place words in my mouth that I never spoke, they earn money from my teachings and expect me to be wise all the time! You would never be able to stand such a life!’
This argument convinced the devil that changing roles really wasn’t such a good idea, and Buddha escaped temptation.

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  1. Susana says:

    Dear Agnieszka,

    Thank you so much. I have always looked with my heart, maybe so has my friend but drugs can so deter ourselves that it is overwhelming. My soul brought me to this situation for a reason and I just feel an instintc so I follow. Perhaps it is time to spread my wings and as Eve says, let it be.

    The personal legend is love and light, very true, I will keep my faith in mine and let others find their own.

    With love,


  2. EveinsearchofParadise says:


    Let it be, ask your universal guardians to brake you free of that commitment and look for your own happiness. that’s all that matters at the end. don’t get trapped yourself.

    best luck


  3. agnieszka says:

    Dear Susana
    I’m happy that you made it. Hopefully your friend will too.
    We don’t always have the answers to those questions,
    none of us.
    The only thing I can think of is that:
    if you really believe – it’ll save you – somehow, sooner or later – it will.
    Believe me, I know it can be hard, but I guess it’s part of life.
    You hope for the best, but unfortunately you should prepare for the worst.
    And always, always believe, even if you loosing your hope.
    The personal legend is not something you can say you are certain of.
    It’s something that you find out about every moment, when you look inside your soul.
    But you have to look with love, with your heart.
    If you don’t look close enough, you may actually never find it.
    No, personal legend cannot kill you, because it doesn’t have a power to kill, it has a power to love.

    It is the LIGHT that guide you to find God.

    – Your friend probably never realized what it is.

    love to you and your friend

  4. Susana says:

    Could it be your destiny to marry the devil? I was in love with an evil person once, a psychic strongly adviced me to forget him, that they were tring to destroy me. By a miracle I forgot him, but I see a friend who is entraped in a very similar situation. Maybe I became his friend because I can really understand since I lived the same, I feel some calling to help my dear friend, who is very weak person at the moment because is controlled by a drug. Why do we encounter these evil forces? Is it part of our paths to make us strong? It certainly made me very strong, but I almost don’t make it. I get worried about this person, what if get’s skinned alive and burns at the end? All bcs might be only way to survive since drugs prevented from other venues?¿ What do you think is wiser? He’s convinced that’s his personal legend, Paulo can a personal legend kill you? Could it be God’s plan to almost drawn you and see if you manage? Does life tests our very last cell to see if we are worthy of paradise?

    So many ifs, just I think there’s a point for me to be thinking about it since I was trapped like that for 11 yrs and almost committed suicide. It can get really ugly and you might get so lost and depressed all you want is to die. Love saved me, for myself, of my friends, of life. Do you think it’s just all part of a desing? Or is it the devil trying to make us fail?

    Someone any thoughts?



  5. Liany says:

    being devil isn’t easy?
    don’t think so!
    Being budha (being good) IS NOT easy! – that’s the reality.
    pretend to be good is also not easy.

    who would be disagree?


  6. Tania Chilby says:

    Buddha was more subtle than the Devil! ……Blessings Tania

  7. Fernando says:

    O que mais admiro em vocíª ní£o é o que vocíª escreve, ní£o é a sua voz, ní£o é seu corpo, ní£o sí£o suas idéias. O que mais me impressiona foi a sua Sabedoria diante da Mente Coletiva. Vocíª simplesmente ní£o quis saber do que é certo ou errado, qual paí­s líª ou ní£o, qual a chance de um brasileiro fazer sucesso ou ní£o… Vocíª foi na sua essíªncia. É para lá onde estou indo. E é uma coisa muito simples, ní£o há nada de grande. Talvez por isso seja linda. É lá onde tudo o que é rico vem. É lá onde se encontra, inclusive, Deus.

    Um abraí§o do companheiro brasileiro,

  8. aditya says:

    “expect me to be wise all the time!”

    Ok Paulo, for stories like this one, we allow that our expetation may be …

    what temptation did Buddha escape ??

    sometimes a joke like the one shared by you here helps to ligthen up the atmosphere !!

    u say a wol is never in a hurry !! sometimes, i am, juggling so manmy lives, apparently one remains a wol only till one remains consious of the fact, see that is why I was asking for your help in creating the wol helper, not that without your help it won’t get created, u could expedite it nonethless, but then for chaps who are not in a hurry! expediting is an oxymoron ! is it ! lol

    Charecteristics of devil

    1. speak in riddles

    2.always have to appear bright and intelligent

    Holy …. ! ( Zesus, Krishna, and all the other 84 million or is it billion gods that we hindus have, all togather save my soul ) hope zesus finally saves devil’s soul too,



  9. agnieszka says:

    Dear Paulo,
    Again, thank you – great story.
    Therefore I think that being devil is easy –
    it’s like advertisement agency.
    You follow just one path – to convince everybody to buy these lies.
    You show only the “good” staff – over and over again.
    It can even become a habit – doing something similar all the time.

    On the other hand, being Buddha, or any other religious leader who is trying to tell the word of God is much more difficult.
    Besides making an incredible effort of being wise and convincing that what he teaches is divine,
    he has take every possible insult, every possible lie about himself,
    and somehow make them believe that God always wins.
    And secondly you also have to convince the evil himself
    that his work is more pleasant.
    Doing that actually help you realize that the more you try,the biggest your obstacles you overcome,
    the wiser you become and closer and closer to God.

    As you want to be close to God, the evil would never want that, so you know again that by convincing you to switch the places, he lies again.