Devata, your beauty shines in all directions like the bright star named Osadhi.
What are the meritorious deeds that led to this happiness?
Tell me Devata, what kind of meritorious action did you do when you were in the human world to have gained this beauty that shines in all directions, and to have earned all these wonderful things?
That devata, delighted at being questioned by Arahant Moggallana, gladly explained what she had done that resulted in such great happiness.
Bhante, in the human world there is a city called Saketa. There I was a female lay follower of the Supreme Buddha. My name was Uposatha. I had unshakable faith in the Triple Gem. I practiced the precepts and delighted in giving and sharing. Furthermore, I had confidence in noble monks who had pure minds. I offered them robes, food, shelter, and lamps.
I was eager to observe the Eight Precepts four times a month on each of the four moon phases. I led a restrained life and was very generous.
I abstained from killing, stealing, lying, and taking intoxicants. I did not cheat on my husband. I was delighted to keep these Five Precepts every day. I was wise enough to realize the Four Noble Truths. That is how I became a dedicated follower of Gautama Supreme Buddha.
Because of those meritorious deeds, I have been born as a very beautiful devata and enjoy all the wonderful things that delight my heart.
Great Bhante, those were the meritorious deeds I did to have such a beautiful body that shines in all directions.
When I was in the human world, I often heard stories about the heavenly Nandana Park. I had a desire to be born there. As a result of directing my mind to that park, I have been born here in this Tavatimsa Heaven.
My great teacher, the Supreme Buddha, who was born in the Clan of the Sun, frequently advised his disciples to achieve the highest stage of enlightenment they can. But I did not follow my great teacher’s advice. Since I directed my mind to this inferior sensual realm, I was born in this heaven. I could have developed my mind further. Now I am sad and regret my decision.
Devata, how long will you live in this mansion? Can you tell me your lifespan?
Bhante, My lifespan here is three hundred million and sixty thousand years. After I pass away from here I will be reborn in the human world.
Why fear, Uposatha? The Supreme Buddha has already stated that you have attained the fruit of stream entry. You will never again be born in a bad world.
Read this translation of Vimānavatthu 2.7 Uposathā Sutta: Uposatha’s Mansion by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org.
You can find the entire translation of the Vimanavatthu: Stories of Heavenly Mansions available on SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.