I see this delightful and beautiful mansion, its surface of many a color, ablaze with crystal and roofed with silver and gold. A well-proportioned palace, possessing gateways, and strewn with golden sand.
As the thousand-rayed sun in the autumn shines in the sky in the ten directions, dispelling the dark, so does this your mansion glow, like a blazing smoke-crested fire in the darkness of the night.
It dazzles the eye like lightning, beautiful, suspended in space. Resounding with the music of lute, drum, and cymbals, this mansion of yours rivals Indra's city in glory.
White and red and blue lotuses, jasmine, and other flowers are there; blossoming sal trees and flowering asokas, and the air is filled with a variety of fragrances.
Sweet-scented trees, breadfruits, laden branches interlaced, with palm trees and hanging creepers in full bloom, glorious like jeweled nets; also a delightful lotus pool exists for you.
Whatever flowering plants there are that grow in water, and trees that are on land, those known in the human world and heavens, all exist in your abode.
Of what calming and self-restraint is this the result? By the fruit of what deed have you arisen here? How did this mansion come to be possessed by you? Tell it in full, O lady with thick eyelashes.
How it come to be possessed by me, this mansion with its flocks of herons, peacocks, and partridges; and frequented by heavenly water-fowl and royal geese; resounding with the cries of birds, of ducks and cuckoos;
containing divers varieties of creepers, flowers and trees; with trumpet-flower, rose-apple, and asoka trees now how this mansion came to be possessed by me, I will tell you. Listen, venerable sir.
In the eastern region of the excellent country of Magadha there is a village called Nalaka, venerable sir. There I lived formerly as a daughter-in-law and they knew me there as Sesavati.
Scattering flower-blossoms joyfully I honored him skilled in deeds and worshipped by gods and men, the great Upatissa who has attained the immeasurable quenching.
Having worshipped him gone to the ultimate bourn, the eminent seer bearing his last body, on leaving my human shape I came to (the heaven of) the thirty (-three) and inhabit this place.
Vim 3.7 Sesavati
http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... 7_Sesavati
(lit: the Radiant Ones; related to Lat. deus): heavenly beings, deities, celestials, are beings who live in happy worlds, and who, as a rule, are invisible to the human eye.
They are subject, however, just like all human and other beings, to ever-repeated rebirth, old age and death, and thus are not freed from the cycle of existence and from misery. There are many classes of heavenly beings.
I. The 6 classes of heavenly beings of the sensuous sphere (kāmāvacara or kāma-loka; s. avacara loka), are
Tusita (s. Bodhisatta),
Paranimmita-vasavatti. Cf. anussati. (6).
II. The heavenly beings of the fine-material sphere (rūpāvacara or rūpaloka) are:
Brahma-pārisajja, Brahma-purohita, Mahā-brahmāno (s. brahma-kāyika-deva). Amongst these 3 classes will be reborn those with a weak, medium or full experience of the 1st absorption (jhāna, q.v.).
Parittābha, Appamānābha, ābhassara. Here will be reborn those with experience of the 2nd absorption.
Paritta-subha, Appamāna-subha, Subha-kinna (or kinha). Here will be reborn those with experience of the 3rd absorption.
Vehapphala, Asañña-satta (q.v.), Suddhāvāsa (q.v.; further s. Anāgāmi). Amongst the first 2 classes will be reborn those with experience of the 4th absorption, but amongst the 3rd class only Anāgāmis (q.v.).
III. The 4 grades of heavenly beings of the immaterial sphere (arūpāvacara or arūpa-loka) are:
the heavenly beings of the sphere of unbounded space (ākāsānañcāyatanūpaga-devā),
of unbounded consciousness (viññānañcāyatanūpaga-deva),
of nothingness (ākiñcaññāyatanūpaga devā),
of neither-perception-nor- non-perception (nevasaññā-nāsaññāyatanūpaga-devā). Here will be reborn those with experience of the 4 immaterial spheres (arūpāyatana; s. jhāna 5-8).
See Gods and the Universe by Francis Story (WHEEL 180/181).
Also, I remember it being said that devas start to waver and flicker as they approach the end of their lifespans.
1) the celestial flowers begin to wilt; 2) the celestial apparel appears dingy; 3) perspiration begins to appear in the armpits; 4) the once glowing complexion turns dull; and 5) the feeling of pleasure turns to boredom.
II. The Burden of Dukkha in the Deva World
In the six abodes of devas also, the five groups of existence found in any devas will firstly burden
him by way of sankhata at the beginning, by way of santapa in the middle, and finally by way of
33. Sankhata dukkha:
here the burden by 'sankhata', may be explained as follows: It briefly means
alms-giving, restraint of bodily and verbal actions, and restraint of mental action. Only when one has
performed these wholesome deeds in this present life will he be able to arise in the deva-plane in his next
birth and attain the body of a deva. He will not be able to achieve such a state by developing his mental
groups only. By giving away his property to others in charity, a person who has wealth of a hundred kyats
or a thousand kyats may be reduced to poverty in a single day; morality means strict observance and
restraint. If one does not practise alms-giving and morality, he is bound to be reborn in the lower worlds
in his next birth. So it is necessary to perform these wholesome deeds to reach the deva world. Even
when they arise in the happy course of existence by virtue of their wholesome deeds done in the previous
existences, if they have offered on a small scale in their past existence, they will have to lead a base life
in their present existence. The more they practiced dana and sila, the better positions they will enjoy in
their present existence. So people have to practice alms-giving spending a lot of money and also observe
precepts with great self-control, because they fear that they may be low down in lower worlds in their
next existence. When they have to do this merely because it is essential for their future welfare, it is
Anything that is performed compulsorily is dukkha. If, without practising dana and sila, a
being were able to arise in the deva-plane after his death, or if he were able to arise in the
Brahma plane without prac- tising calm, who would care to perform such wholesome
deeds as dana, sila and bhavana.?
34. Santapa dukkha:
Once the beings obtain the bodies of devas in the deva-planes, great fire of
passion rise up from the body and burn that deva throughout his life, dosa, moha, soka, parideva, dukkha,
domanassa and upayasa, arise in his life in the fullness of time. This is how a deva is burdened by way of
35. Viparinama dukkha:
Again, while the devas are thus enjoying pleasures in the deva-plane, their
span of life expires, and just like a big fire suddenly put out by an external agency, these devas die
suddenly, and generally they arise in the lower worlds. In fact, their khandha cause them to arise in the
lower worlds. This is how the devas are burdened by way of viparinama finally.
Out of three ways of burdening at the beginning, in the middle and at the end, the burden
of sankhata is very heavy for Brahmas. Because they are able to bear the heavy burden of
sankhata, the santapa in the middle becomes a little lighter for them. The burden of
viparinama also comes after a long time. Their life-span is calculated in terms of kappa
In the case of devas in the six deva-worlds, the burden of sankhata is not heavy. The
practice of dana and sila is a thousand times easier than the practice of jhana and bhavana.
As the burden of sankhata is not heavy and as kilesa have not even faded, the burden of
santapa is very heavy when one becomes a deva. The fire of passion and sensous lust
arisen out of the six sense-doors burns those devas up to the end of their lives. The
remaining fire of defilements also burns when the time is ripe. The burden by way of
viparinama also comes very quickly. Their span of life is calculated in terms of years,
months and days. The life- span of the devas is like the wink of an eye when compared to
that of Brahmas. Though there is said to be pleasures and enjoyments in the whole of the
six deva-worlds, all these are fires of kama and raga that are burning them.
Thus the khandhas of six deva-worlds burden the devas in four ways and as the burden is
manifest it is clearly dukkha-sacca.
form "Manual of Buddhism by Venerable Mahathera Ledi Sayadaw
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