Dhammapada Verse 181
Ye jhanapasuta dhira
devapi tesam pihayanti
Verse 181: The wise who practise jhana concentration and Insight Meditation
take delight in the peace of liberation from sensual pleasures and moral
defilements. Such wise and mindful ones, who truly comprehend the Four Noble
Truths (i.e., Arahats and Buddhas) are held dear also by the devas.
The Story of the Buddha's Return from the Tavatimsa Deva World
On return from the Tavatimsa deva world, the Buddha uttered Verse (181) of
this book at Sankassanagara, in reply to Thera Sariputta's words of welcome.
On one occasion, while at Savatthi, the Buddha performed the Miracle of the
Pairs in answer to the challenge of the ascetics of various sects. After this,
the Buddha went to the Tavatimsa deva world; his mother who had been reborn in
the Tusita deva world as a deva known as Santusita also came to the Tavatimsa
deva world. There the Buddha expounded the Abhidhamma to the devas and the
brahmas throughout the three months of the vassa. As a result, Santusita deva
attained Sotapatti Fruition; so did numerous other devas and brahmas.
During that period Thera Sariputta spent the vassa at Sankassanagara, thirty
yojanas away from Savatthi. During his stay there, as regularly instructed by
the Buddha, he taught the Abhidhamma to the five hundred bhikkhus staying with
him and covered the whole course by the end of the vassa.
Towards the end of the vassa, Thera Maha Moggalana went to the Tavatimsa deva
world to see the Buddha. Then, he was told that the Buddha would return to the
human world on the full moon day at the end of the vassa to the place where
Thera Sariputta was spending the vassa.
As promised, the Buddha came with the six coloured rays shining forth from
his body to the city-gate of Sankassanagara, on the night of the full moon day
of the month of Assayuja when the moon was shining brightly. He was accompanied
by a large following of devas on one side and a large following of brahmas on
the other. A large gathering headed by Thera Sariputta welcomed the Buddha back
to this world; and the whole town was lit up. Thera Sariputta was awed by the
grandeur and glory of the whole scene of the Buddha's return. He respectfully
approached the Buddha and said, "Venerable Sir! We have never seen or even
heard of such magnificent and resplendent glory. Indeed, Venerable Sir, you are
loved, respected and revered alike by devas, brahmas and men!" To him the
Buddha said, "My son Sariputta, the Buddhas who are endowed with unique
qualities are truly loved by men and devas alike."
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
|Verse 181: The wise who practise jhana concentration
and Insight Meditation take delight in the peace of liberation from
sensual pleasures and moral defilements. Such wise and mindful ones,
who truly comprehend the Four Noble Truths (i.e., Arahats and Buddhas)
are held dear also by the devas.
At the end of the discourse the five hundred bhikkhus who were the pupils of
Thera Sariputta attained arahatship and a great many from the congregation
attained Sotapatti Fruition.