Translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi
Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapiṇḍika’s Park. There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Bhikkhus!”
“Venerable sir!” those bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:
“Once in the past, bhikkhus, a certain devata of the Tavatiṃsa host was revelling in Nandana Grove, < 11 > supplied and endowed with the five cords of celestial sensual pleasure, accompanied by a retinue of celestial nymphs. On that occasion he spoke this verse:
- “‘They do not know bliss
Who have not seen Nandana,
The abode of the glorious male devas
Belonging to the host of Thirty.’ 
- “‘Don’t you know, you fool,
That maxim of the arahants?
Impermanent are all formations;
Their nature is to arise and vanish.
Having arisen, they cease:
Their appeasement is blissful.’” 
 Tāvatiṃsa, “the realm of the thirty-three,” is the third sense-sphere heaven. It is so named because thirty-three youths, headed by the youth Magha, had been reborn here as a result of their meritorious deeds. Magha himself became Sakka, ruler of the devas. Nandana is the Garden of Delight in Tāvatiṃsa, so called because it gives delight and joy to anyone who enters it. According to Spk, this deva had just taken rebirth into this heaven and, while wandering through the Nandana Grove, he spoke the verse as a spontaneous paean of joy over his celestial glory. Spk glosses naradevānaṃ with devapurisānaṃ, “devamales”; it is clearly not a dvanda compound. Tidasa, “the Thirty” (lit. “triple ten”), is a poetic epithet for Tāvatiṃsa.
 Spk ascribes this rejoinder to a female deva who was a noble disciple (ariyasāvikā). Thinking, “This foolish deva imagines his glory to be permanent and unchanging, unaware that it is subject to cutting off, perishing, and dissolution,” she spoke her stanza in order to dispel his delusion. The “maxim of the arahants” is pronounced by the Buddha at 15:20 (II 193, also at DN II 199,6-7); the deva-king Sakka repeats it on the occasion of the Buddha’s parinibbāna (see v. 609). The first line usually reads aniccā vata saṅkhārā rather than, as here, aniccā sabbasaṅkhārā. An identical exchange of verses occurs below at 9:6, with the goddess Jālinı̄ and the Venerable Anuruddha as speakers. The feminine vocative bāle in pāda b implies that the latter dialogue was the original provenance of the verse, or in any case that the first devatā is female.
Spk: Formations here are all formations of the three planes of existence (sabbe tebhūmakasaṅkhārā), which are impermanent in the sense that they become nonexistent after having come to be (hutvā abhāvaṭṭhena aniccā). Their appeasement is blissful (tesaṃ vūpasamo sukho): Nibbāna itself, called the appeasement of those formations, is blissful.