Saṃyutta Nikāya 1

Connected Discourses with Devatas

37. Concourse

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling among the Sakyans at Kapilavatthu in the Great Wood together with a great Saṅgha of bhikkhus, with five hundred bhikkhus all of whom were arahants. And the devatās from ten world systems had for the most part assembled in order to see the Blessed One and the Bhikkhu Saṅgha. Then the thought occurred to four devatās of the host from the Pure Abodes: “This Blessed One is dwelling among the Sakyans at Kapilavatthu in the Great Wood together with a great Saṅgha of bhikkhus, with five hundred bhikkhus all of whom are arahants. And the devatās from ten world systems have for the most part assembled in order to see the Blessed One and the Bhikkhu Saṅgha. Let us also approach the Blessed One and, in his presence, each speak our own verse.”

Then, just as quickly as a strong man might extend his drawn-in arm or draw in his extended arm, those devatās disappeared from among the devas of the Pure Abodes and reappeared before the Blessed One. Then those devatās paid homage to the Blessed One and stood to one side. Standing to one side, one devatā recited this verse in the presence of the Blessed One:

“A great concourse takes place in the woods,
The deva hosts have assembled.
We have come to this Dhamma concourse
To see the invincible Saṅgha.”

Then another devatā recited this verse in the presence of the Blessed One:

“The bhikkhus there are concentrated;
They have straightened their own minds.
Like a charioteer who holds the reins,
The wise ones guard their faculties.”

Then another devatā recited this verse in the presence of the Blessed One:

“Having cut through barrenness, cut the cross-bar,
Having uprooted Indra’s pillar, unstirred,
They wander about pure and stainless,
Young nagas well tamed by the One with Vision.”

Then another devatā recited this verse in the presence of the Blessed One:

“Those who have gone to the Buddha for refuge
Will not go to the plane of misery.
On discarding the human body,
They will fill the hosts of devas.”