Is there a Sangha in the deva realms?

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Is there a Sangha in the deva realms?

Postby puthujjana » Tue Dec 29, 2009 3:08 pm

The following was written by Ven. Nyanaponika in "The Life of Sariputta":

Nyanaponika wrote:Another of the Venerable Sariputta's discourses is the Sama-citta Sutta which was listened to by the "devas of tranquil mind." It is concerned with the first three stages of sanctitude, the stream-winner, the once-returner and the non-returner. Its purpose is to clarify the question of their residuum of rebirths, in the five-sense world or in the fine-material and non-material worlds, which depends upon their mode of practice and on the fetters of existence still remaining. It is a very short discourse, but had a singular impact on the huge assembly of devas who, according to tradition, assembled to hear it. It is said that a very large number of them attained Arahatship, and innumerable were those who reached stream-entry. This discourse of the Venerable Sariputta is, in fact, counted among the few which had unusually far-reaching results among beings of the higher worlds; and although it is a very brief text rather cryptic without the commentarial explanation, it had a high reputation in succeeding centuries. It is the sermon that was preached by the arahant Mahinda on the evening of his arrival in Ceylon, and the Mahavamsa (XIV, 34ff), Ceylon's famous chronicle, relates that on this occasion, also, numerous devas listened and achieved penetration of the Dhamma.
_________
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el090.html


As devas apparently can attain Arahantship, is there an ordained Sangha in the deva realms?
Do the commentaries give any explanation?

Thank you in advance.

with metta
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Re: Is there a Sangha in the deva realms?

Postby Kokoro » Tue Dec 29, 2009 7:37 pm

I have never considered that before, but now that you mention it I am very curious.

:anjali:
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Re: Is there a Sangha in the deva realms?

Postby poto » Tue Dec 29, 2009 7:56 pm

The following is just speculation on my part.

From what I have read, the beings in the deva realms live much longer than humans. So, maybe some of those devas that heard the Buddha's teachings are still alive today.
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Re: Is there a Sangha in the deva realms?

Postby cooran » Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:14 pm

Hello all,

It would be interesting to read the whole sutta ... if anyone has a translantion?

All I can find:

Samacitta(pariyáya) Sutta
A large number of Devas of Tranquil Mind (Samacittá) come to the Buddha at Jetavana and ask him if he will visit Sáriputta, who is preaching at the Migáramátupásáda on the person who is fettered both inwardly and outwardly. The Buddha agrees in silence and appears at the Migáramátupásáda. Sáriputta greets the Buddha and salutes him. The Buddha relates to him the visit of the Devas and tells him that a large number of them can stand in a space not greater than the point of a gimlet, and that, too, without crowding each other. This is because they have trained themselves to be tranquil in the senses and in the mind. Such tranquillity leads to tranquillity also of body, speech, and thought. Followers of other schools do not know this teaching (A.i.64f).
In the discourse of Sáriputta, (A.i.62f) referred to by the Devas, the Elder explains that the monk who keeps the Pátimokkha restraints is proficient in the practice of right conduct, seeing danger in the slightest faults such a one is reborn among the Devas and is therefore a "Returner." Thus he is fettered inwardly to the self. Others there are who are born in Deva worlds and there become anágámís. These are fettered outwardly. Yet others are proficient in revulsion, in the ending of sensuality, of any existence and become anágámís.
It is said (AA.i.320; cf. SNA., p.174; Mil. p.20) that at the conclusion of this sutta, as at the conclusion of the Mahásamaya, Mangala, and Cúla Ráhulováda Suttas, one hundred thousand crores attained arahantship.
The sutta was preached by Mahinda on the evening of his arrival in Ceylon. After his interview with Devánampiyatissa, Mahinda asked Sumana sámanera to announce the preaching of the Dhamma. This announcement was heard throughout the Island, and gradually the news of it spread to Brahmá's heaven. There was then an assembly of Devas, just as on the occasion of Sáriputta's preaching of the sutta. Mhv.xiv.34ff.
http://www.metta.lk/pali-utils/Pali-Pro ... _sutta.htm

metta
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Re: Is there a Sangha in the deva realms?

Postby pt1 » Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:03 am

Chris wrote:It would be interesting to read the whole sutta ... if anyone has a translantion?

Hi Chris, there's a translation (from agama and pali versions I think) and a long thread about it on Sariputta Dhamma yahoo group - this is the first post, you can check the rest of the thread from there if interested (expanding messages works the same as on DSG):
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Sariputta ... ?var=1&l=1

poto wrote:From what I have read, the beings in the deva realms live much longer than humans. So, maybe some of those devas that heard the Buddha's teachings are still alive today.

Yeah, I was wondering about that too. And whether they had something like deva internet where you could search for uploads from the time of the Buddha. In Deva time (depending on the realm), the Buddha lived and died something like yesterday. And apparently, there's one whole heavenly realm just for devas delighting in creation, so I'm just wondering what kind of a programming language they could have come up with for their version of the internet. Maybe I can skip on PHP and start learning that one instead.

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Re: Is there a Sangha in the deva realms?

Postby karuna_murti » Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:23 pm

There are Ariya Sangha on deva realms, but they are not ordained.
Ordination can only be given to human being. There is a reason why a person being ordinated called "naga" :)
On ordination, a person is asked if he/she is a human being.
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Re: Is there a Sangha in the deva realms?

Postby SamKR » Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:31 pm

karuna_murti wrote:On ordination, a person is asked if he/she is a human being.


Interesting!
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Re: Is there a Sangha in the deva realms?

Postby fabianfred » Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:20 am

This is one of the reasons why the human realm is the best. We have access to the Dhamma and the Sangha. Beings in the higher realms really only get to hear the Dhamma from the Buddha and some Arahants, so once they have attained to Parinirvana the devas get caught up in the pleasures of life and forget about practice.
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Re: Is there a Sangha in the deva realms?

Postby pelletboy » Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:36 pm

karuna_murti wrote:There are Ariya Sangha on deva realms, but they are not ordained.
Ordination can only be given to human being. There is a reason why a person being ordinated called "naga" :)
On ordination, a person is asked if he/she is a human being.


Where is it written that there are Ariya Sangha in deva realms?
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Re: Is there a Sangha in the deva realms?

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:02 pm

Dunno. But I sure hope there's a Starbucks. Image
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Re: Is there a Sangha in the deva realms?

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:26 pm

The Pure abodes are resided by anagamis and attain enlightenment there. They attained to the state of anagami as a deva or human in their previous life.

Metta-4 wrote:Dunno. But I sure hope there's a Starbucks. Image


6. Devas of the Four Great Kings (9 million years)
7. The 33 Gods (36 million years)
8. Yama devas (144 million years)
9. Contented devas (576 million years)
10. Devas delighting in creation (2.3 billion years)
11. Devas wielding power over others’ creations (9.2 billion years)

The 'lower' heavenly realms have sense pleasures, so maybe there is. After 9.2 billion years of drinking coffee, we might be ready to move on. :tongue:
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Re: Is there a Sangha in the deva realms?

Postby fabianfred » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:42 pm

puthujjana wrote:As devas apparently can attain Arahantship, is there an ordained Sangha in the deva realms?
Do the commentaries give any explanation?
:anjali:

This question is worded in such a manner that it appears that the questioner believes it is necessary to be ordained in order to be able to reach Arahantship.
There are many Buddhists nowadays who believe attaining to any of the four stages is only available to monastics....a view sometimes wrongly encouraged by some monastics. This wrong view discourages lay-people from practice, believing the goal is unattainable, and some encourage it to increase the standing of monastics in the eyes of the laity and therefore encourage more devotion ......and donations.
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Re: Is there a Sangha in the deva realms?

Postby DarwidHalim » Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:44 am

I think thinking only human beings have sangha would be like saying only earth has human beings.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Is there a Sangha in the deva realms?

Postby Pondera » Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:45 pm

It is easy to composite a natural sketch of the answer to this question. However, we must change the details a little slightly and introduce a few more concepts. The Deva's of tranquil mind must be understood to exist in the form of tranquil mind and nothing more. Their plane of existence must be allowed for whatever properties one might expect in a plane where Devas of tranquil mind exist. Which is to say nothing more other than the plane on which tranquil Devas exist is quite different in it's underlying structure than our own. Perhaps it would be more to the point to simply express the Being of such a plane as this one wherein tranquil Beings made of mind exist happily. Having lost track of the subject altogether on the question of the plane in which tranquil beings exist, we return to the question of the Deva's themselves. The nature of most Beings is to travel in packs. One may consider the entire venture of the Buddha and his life's accomplishments as an entirely unprecedented and successful conversion, or gathering, of many of the most closest people to him into a very powerful pack of strong minded men and women. These men and women under the guidance of their teacher purified and established their minds to a degree that enabled them to exist on the above mentioned plane of tranquility. Hence if you ever wonder where all the sangha went after death, the answer to the question is that they found themselves a very nice home on a very nice tranquil plane where they could be happy in the presence of their teacher. Now this congregation numbers over the tens of thousands and is quite patiently awaiting -who knows what? The Buddha would just have them remain patient and remain calm, to weather the storm. The point is that since we Beings travel in cohorts it stands to reason that in any higher realm there may be a sangha of sorts. The problematic question of where do these enlightened Beings go after death turns slightly into a bit of a fairy tale when you consider that perhaps they are all existing on a very nice and comfortable plane of Being. The nature of Being and time gives rise to separate datums of existence. For instance in the cold Autumn nights of October and November cohorts of ghostly figures roam the streets of this world in an existential pattern associative to their own world. The Being of this world has its associated "ghost-Being" which is like a third essence that belies the material essence in a manner of ways. For those ghosts existing in this other land of Being it is enough to occupy the homes that we have built, as our material existence has its own Being in time somewhere else where the existential fabric of the Datum is altogether unlike our own. In short the sangha of the existential plane which is associated with ours but has a far more immaterial Being than ours tends to seek out shelter in the Rainy Cold season. The meaning of having one's house haunted during these seasons is the task of those in the afterlife, who exist on a plane different than our own however altogether tangent to our own, to seek out the material houses we have built so that they can get out of the rain. But the conjunction of the planes of Being do not appear to each other plainly. Which is why it takes a keen sense of perception to notice these things. Or, in modern terms, for one to notice these things they would have to be absolutely whacked in the foremost part of their head -which is nothing more than what we call the "temporal lobe". Interestingly enough Being exists more near to the back of the skull on the left hand side which is why the most eminent of writers have indeed been able to philosophize on Being i.e. because they know exactly where to find it. In passing, one might consider that dreams are our preparation for the potential Being of one's next day. The actualization of that Being occurs after the dream has prepped the body for what its fate has to offer. It is mildly interesting to note that besides all the cosmological, ontological and theological questions that were asked of the Buddha, no one ever seemed to really give a damn about dreams accept for one poor fellow who had to ask if it was bad karma to kill a person in ones dream. The Buddha responded that the dream itself was not a source of bad karma, but if one were to wake up and later fulfill the essence produced by the dream, then you have bad karma. Seems simple on the surface but this answer reflects the relationship that exists between the nature of Being, time, and dreams. But nothing more is really said about dreams in the Buddhist canon, even though they have always been a mystery of sorts to people.
-Pondera
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