“Tusitaburi” is appeared only in 2 cases from 302 cases of Dhammapada. I believe the term “Tusitaburi” which means the 4th level of six deva-worlds of the Kamadhatu is quite well known to those who are Dream in Dream Kindergarten students.
Out of 7 cases, there was only one case from the monk, 3 cases each from Buddhist laymen (Upasaka) and lay women (Upasika) respectively.
Surprisingly, even during The Lord Buddha’s time with so many Arahants (fully awakened ones). There were not many people who could accumulate adequate merit to reborn in Tusita and that’s why we should study these cases in order to design our lives during the hereafter and also our next lives.
May the light from The Lord Buddha’s Dharma appear in everyone’s mind.
Vesak Day, The full-moon night, the seventh Lunar Month,
Monday 1st June, 2558 B.E.
The Story of Veberable Tissa
While residing at the Jetavana Monastery the Buddha spoke this verse with reference to Venerable Tissa.
The story goes that a certain youth of respectable family, who lived at Savatthi, retired from the world, became a monk, and made his full profession, becoming known as Venerable Tissa.
Subsequently, while he was in residence at a monastery in the country, he received a coarse cloth eight cubits in length. Having completed residence, he celebrated the Terminal Festival, and taking his cloth with him, went home and placed it in the hands of his sister. Thought his sister, “This robe-cloth is not suited to my brother.” So with a sharp knife she cut it into strips, pounded them in a mortar, whipped and beat and cleaned the shoddy, and, spinning fine yam, had it woven into a robe-cloth.
The Venerable procured thread and needles, and assembling some young monks and novices who were skilled makers of robes, went to his sister and said, “Give me that cloth ; I will have a robe made out of it.” She took down a robe cloth nine cubits in length and placed it in the hands of her youngest brother. He took it, spread it out, and said,
“My robe cloth was a coarse one, eight cubits long, but this is a fine one, nine cubits long. This is not mine; it is yours. I don’t want it. Give me the same one I gave you.” “Venerable, this cloth is yours; take it.” He refused to do so.
Then his sister told him everything she had done and gave him the cloth again, saying, “Venerable, this one is yours; take it.”
Finally, he took it, went to the monastery and set the robe makers to work. His sister prepared rice-gruel, boiled rice, and other provisions for the robe-makers, and on the day when the cloak was finished, gave them an extra allowance. Tissa looked at the robe and took a liking to it. Said he, “Tomorrow I will wear this robe as an upper garment.” So he folded it and laid it on the bamboo rack. During the night, unable to digest the food he had eaten, he died, and was reborn as a louse in that very robe.
When the monks had performed the funeral rites over his body, they said, “Since there was no one to attend him in his sickness, this robe belongs to the congregation of monks; let us divide it among us.”
Thereupon that louse screamed, ‘These monks are plundering my property!” And thus screaming, he ran this way and that.
The Buddha, even as he sat in the Perfumed Chamber, heard that sound by Supernatural Audition, and said to Venerable Ananda, “Ananda, tell them to lay aside Tissa’s robe for seven days.” The Venerable caused this to be done.
At the end of seven days that louse died and was reborn in the Abode of the Tusita gods. On the eighth day the Buddha issued the following order, “Let the monks now divide Tissa’s robe and take their several portions.”
The monks did so and, amongst themselves, discussed as to why the Buddha had caused Tissa’s robes to be put aside for seven days.
When the Buddha was told of their discussion, he said, “Monks, Tissa was reborn as a louse in his own robe. When you set about to divide the robe among you, he screamed, ‘They are plundering my property.’ Had you take his robe, he would have cherished a grudge against you, and because of this sin would have been reborn in Hell. That is the reason why I directed that the robe should be laid aside. But now he has been reborn in the Abode of the Tusita gods, and for this reason, I have permitted you to take the robe and divide it among you.”
The Buddha continued, “Craving is, indeed, a grievous matter among living beings here in the world. Even as rust which springs from iron eats away the iron and corrodes it and renders it useless, so also this thing which is called craving, when it arises among living beings here in the world, causes these same living beings to be reborn in Hell and plunges them to ruin.”
Verse 1. One’s Evil Ruins One’s Own Self
As rust arisen out of iron itself that iron eats away, so kammas done beyond what’s wise lead to a state of woe.
Explanation: The rust springing from iron, consumes the iron itself.
In the same way, bad actions springing out of an individual, destroys the individual himself.
The Story of Dhammika Upasaka
While residing at the Jefavana Monastery in Savatthi, the Buddha spoke this verse, with reference to Dhammika, a lay disciple.
Once there lived in Savatthi, a lay disciple by the name of Dhammika, who was virtuous and very fond of giving charity. He generously offered food and other requisites to the monks regularly and also on special occasions. He was, in fact, The leader of five hundred virtuous lay disciples of the Buddha who lived in Savatthi.
Dhammika had seven sons and seven daughters and all of them, like their father, were virtuous and devoted to charity.
When Dhammika was very ill and was on his death-bed he made a request to the Sangha to come to his/ bedside and recite the sacred texts.
While the monks were reciting the Mahasatipatthana Sutta,
six decorated chariots from six celestial worlds arrived to invite him to their respective worlds.
Dhammika told them to wait for a while for fear of interrupting the recitation of the Sutta.
The monks, thinking that they were being asked to stop, stopped and left the place.
A little while later, Dhammika told his children about the six decorated chariots waiting for him.
Then and there he decided to choose the chariot from the Tusita world and asked one of his children to throw a garland on to it. Said Dhammika, “Do you see this wreath of flowers?” “Yes, we see it.”
“This wreath hangs suspended from the chariot which came from the World of the Tusita gods. I am going to the World of the Tusita gods; do not be disturbed.
lf you desire to be reborn with me, do works of merit even as I have done.”
Then he passed away and was reborn in the Tusita world. Thus, the virtuous man rejoices in this world as well as in the next.
When those monks reached the Monastery, the Buddha asked them, “Monks, did the lay disciple hear the Dhamma?”
“Yes, Venerable. But in the midst of the recitation he cried out, ‘Wait! Wait!’ and stopped us. Then his sons and daughters began to weep, whereupon we departed.”
“Monks, he was not talking to you. From the Six Worlds of the Gods six deities approached in six magnificently adorned chariots, and they summoned that lay disciple to go with them; but the lay disciple, unwilling that the Dhamma should be interrupted, spoke to them.”
“Is that true, Venerable?” “That is true, monks.”
“Venerable, where was he reborn just now?” “In the World of the Tusita gods, monks.”
“Venerable, but recently he lived here among his kinsfolk rejoicing, and just now he went again to a place of rejoicing and was there reborn.”
“Yes, monks. They that are heedful, be they laymen or monks, rejoice in both places equally.”
Verse 2. Good Deeds Bring Happiness
Here one joys, one joys hereafter, in both ways does the merit-maker joy; one joys and one rejoices, one’s own pure kammas seeing.
Explanation: A wise person does good deeds. Having done those good deeds he rejoices here in this world. He rejoices in the life after as well. Seeing the purity of his virtuous actions, he rejoices. He is thoroughly joyous seeing the goodness of his deeds
The Story of Tambadathika
While residing at the Jetavana Monastery, the Buddha spoke this verse, with reference to Tambadathika, the executioner of thieves.
Tambadathika served the king as an executioner of thieves for fifty-five years. In old age he could no longer cut off a man’s head with a single blow.
On the day he was retired from office, he gave orders that sweet milk-porridge should be cooked for him. And taking with him old clothes and jasmine flowers and perfumes, he went to the river and bathed. Having so done, he put on the old clothes, decked himself with garlands, anointed his limbs, and went home and sat down. They set before him sweet milk-porridge made with fresh ghee and water for rinsing the hands.
At that moment Venerable Sariputta showed himself at the door of the former executioner’s house.
When the man saw the Venerable, he paid obeisance to him. And escorting him into his house, he provided him with a seat, poured the sweet milk-porridge into his bowl, spread fresh ghee thereon, and standing beside him, began to fan him.
After the meal, the monk taught him the Dhamma, but Tambadathika could not pay attention, because he was so agitated as he recollected his past life as an executioner.
When the monk knew this, he decided to ask Tambadathika tactfully whether he killed the thieves because he wished to kill them or because he was ordered to do so. Tambadathika answered that he was ordered to kill them by the king and that he had no wish to kill. Then the monk asked, “If that is so, would you be guilty or not?”
Tambadathika then concluded that, as he was not responsible for the evil deeds, he was not guilty. He, therefore, calmed down, and requested the monk to continue his exposition.
As he listened to the Dhamma with proper attention, he came very close to attaining sotapatti magga and reached as faras anuloma nana (adaption-to-truth-knowledge).
After the discourse, Tambadathika accompanied venerabte Sariputta for some distance and then returned home. On his way home a cow (actually a demon in the guise of a cow) gored him to death.
When the Buddha came to the congregation of the monks in the evening, they informed him about the death of Tambadathika.
When asked where Tambadathika was reborn, the Buddha told them that although Tambadathika had committed evil deeds throughout his life, because he comprehended the Dhamma after hearing it from Venerable Sariputta and had already attained anuloma nana before he died, he was reborn in the Tusita deva world.
The monks wondered how such an evildoer could have such great benefit after listening to the Dhamma just once.
To them the Buddha said that the length of a discourse is of no consequence, for one single word of sense can produce much benefit.
Verse 3. One Pacifying Word Is Noble
Through a thousand speeches be composed of meaningless lines, better the single meaningful line one hears, then comes to calm.
Explanation: Expressions replete with thousands of words are of no value. One single meaningful word is more valuable, if hearing it one is pacified.
The Story of Mahadhana, a Merchant
While residing at the Jetavana Monastery, the Buddha spoke this verse with reference to Mahadhana, a merchant from Varanasi.
Once, a merchant from Varanasi came to a festival in Savatthi with many carts fully loaded with textiles and other merchandise. When he reached a river bank near Savatthi the river was in spate; so he could not cross the river. He was held up for seven days as it was raining hard and the water did not subside. By that time, he was already late for the festival, and there was no need for him to cross the river.
Since he had come from a long distance he did not want to return home with his full load of merchandise; So he decided to spend the rainy season, the cold season and the hot season in that place and said so to his assistants.
The Buddha while going on an alms-round knew the decision of the merchant and he smiled. Ananda asked the Buddha why he smiled and the Buddha replied, “Ananda, do you see that merchant?
He is thinking that he would stay here and sell his goods the whole year. He is not aware that he would die here in seven days’ time. What should be done should be done today. Who would know that one would die tomorrow? We have no date fixed with the king of death. For one who is mindful by day or by night, who is not disturbed by moral defilements and is energetic, to live for just one night is a wellspent life.
Then the Buddha sent Ananda to Mahadhana, the merchant. Ananda explained to Mahadhana that time was running out for him, and that he should practice mindfulness instead of being negligent. On learning about his impending death,
Mahadhana was alarmed and frightened. So, for seven days, he invited the Buddha and other monks for alms-food. On the seventh day, the Buddha expounded a discourse in appreciation (anumodana).
At the end of the discourse, Mahadhana the merchant attained sotapatti fruition.
He followed the Buddha for some distance and returned. On his return, he had a severe headache and passed away soon after. Mahadhana was reborn in the Tusita deva world
Verse 4. The Fear Of Death
Here shall I spend the Rains, here the Winter, here the Summer. Thus speculates the fool, the danger he knows not.
Explanation: In the four months during retreat, winter or summer in a chosen place, the ignorant plans unaware of the threat of death.
The Story of Sumanadevi
While residing at the Jetavana Monastery in Savatthi, the Buddha spoke this verse, with reference to Sumanadevl, the youngest daughter of Anathapidika.
Every day, two thousand monks took their meal in the house of Anathapidika at Savatthi, and a like number in the house of the eminent female lay disciple Visakha.
Anathapidika appointed his oldest daughter Maha Subhadda; the latter showed the monks the customary attentions, hearkened to the Law, and as a result obtained the Fruit of Conversion; afterwards she married and went to live with her husband’s family. Then he appointed Culla Subhadda, who followed her older sister’s example, obtaining the Fruit of Conversion, and afterwards marrying and going to live with the family of her husband. Finally he appointed his youngest daughter Sumana.
Sumana obtained the Fruit of the Second Path, but remained unmarried.
Anathapidika was in the refectory when he received his daughter’s message, but immediately went to her and said, “What is it, dear daughter Sumana?” Sumana said to him, “What say you, dear youngest brother?”
“You talk incoherently, dear daughter.”
“I am not talking incoherently, youngest brother.” “Are you afraid, dear daughter?”
“I am not afraid, youngest brother.”
She said no more, but died immediately.
Although the treasurer had obtained the Fruit of Conversion, he was unable to bear the grief that arose within him. Accordingly, when he had performed the funeral rites over his daughter’s body, he went weeping to the Buddha.
Said the Buddha, “Householder, how is it that you come to me sad and sorrowful, with tears in your eyes, weeping?”
“Venerable, my daughter Sumana is dead.”
“Well, why do you weep? Is not death certain for all?” I know that, Venerable. But my daughter was so modest and so conscientious. What grieves me so much is the thought that when she died, she was not in her right senses.”
“But what did your youngest daughter say, great treasurer?”
“Venerable, I addressed her as ‘dear Sumana,’ and she replied, ‘What say you, dear youngest brother?’ Then I said to her, ‘You talk incoherently, dear daughter.’ ‘I am not talking incoherently, youngest brother.’ ‘Are you afraid, dear daughter?’ ‘I am not afraid, youngest brother.’ She said no more, but died immediately.” Said the Exalted One to Anathapidika, “Great treasurer, your daughter did not talk incoherently.”
“But why did she speak thus?”
“Solely because you were her youngest brother. Householder, your daughter was old in the Paths and the Fruits, for while you have attained but the Fruit of Conversion, your daughter had attained Paths and the Fruits that she spoke thus.”
“Was that the reason, Venerable?”
“That was the reason, householder.”
“Where has she now been reborn, Venerable?”
“In the World of the Tusita gods, householder.”
“Venerable, while my daughter remained here among her kinsfolk, she went about rejoicing, and when she went hence, she was reborn in the Deva world.”
Then the Buddha said to him, “It is even so householder. They that are heedful, be they lay folk or religious, rejoice both in this world and in the world beyond.”
Verse 5. Virtuous Deeds Make One Rejoice
Here one’s glad, one’s glad hereafter, in both ways is the merit-maker glad; ‘Merit I’ve made’, serenely one is glad, and more one’s glad passed to blissful states.
Explanation: The person who has done good and virtuous deeds rejoices in this world.
Gone to a pleasant state of existence after death, he rejoices exceedingly. This way he rejoices here and in the next world. In both worlds he rejoices realizing that he has done virtuous deeds.
The Story of The Weaver’s Daughter
This instruction was given by the Teacher while he was in residence at Aggalava Shrine with reference to a certain weaver’s daughter.
For one day, when the Teacher came to Alavi, the residents of Alavi invited him to a meal and gave alms. At the end of the meal the Teach er spoke the words of thanksgiving, saying: “Practice meditation on death, saying to yourselves, ‘Uncertain is my life. Certain is my death. I shall surely die. Death will be the termination of my life. Life is unstable. Death is sure.’ For they that have not practiced meditation on death will tremble and fear when their last hour comes, and will die screaming screams of terror, even as a man without a stick, on seeing a snake, is stricken with fear. But those who have practiced meditation on death will have no fear when their last hour comes, but will be like a steadfast man who, seeing a snake even afar off, takes it up with his stick and tosses it away. Therefore practice meditation on death.”
With a single exception all those who heard this discourse remained absorbed in their worldly duties as before. Only a single weaver’s daughter, about sixteen years of age, said to herself, “Marvelous indeed is the speech of the Buddhas; it behooves me to practice meditation on death.” And she did nothing else but practice meditation on death day and night. The Teacher left Alavi and went to Jetavana. Then that maiden for three years developed just the meditation on death.
Now one day, as the Teacher surveyed the world at early dawn, he perceived that this maiden had entered the net of his knowledge. When he saw her, he considered within himself, ‘What will happen?’ And he became aware of the following, ‘From the day when this maiden heard my discourse on the Dhamma, she has practiced meditation on death for three years. I will now go to Alavi and ask this maiden four questions. On each of the four points she will answer me correctly, and I will congratulate her. I will then pronounce the stanza, This world is indeed blind. At the conclusion of the stanza she will be established in the fruit of stream-entry. By reason of her, my discourse will be profitable to the multitude besides.’ So the Teacher, with his retinue of five hundred monks, departed from Jetavana, and in due course arrived at the Aggalava monastery.
When the people of Alavi heard that the Teacher had come, they went to the monastery and invited him to be their guest. That maiden also heard that he had come, and her heart was filled with joy at the thought, ‘Here has come, so people say, one that is my father, my master, my teacher, one whose countenance is like the full moon, the mighty Gotama Buddha.’ And she reflected, ‘Now, for the first time in three years, I am to see the Teacher, the hue of whose body is as the hue of gold; now I am to be permitted to behold his body, whose hue is as the hue of gold, and to hear him preach the sublime Dhamma, containing within itself all sweetness.’
But her father, on his way to the workshop, said to her, “Daughter, a garment for a customer is on the loom, and a span of it is yet incomplete. I must finish it today. Quickly replenish the shuttle and bring it to me.” Thought the maiden, ‘It was my desire to hear the Teacher preach the Dhamma, but my father has thus addressed me. Shall I hear the Teacher preach the Dhamma, or replenish the shuttle and carry it to my father?’
Then this thought occurred to her, ‘If I should fail to bring my father the shuttle, he would strike me and beat me. Therefore I will first replenish the shuttle and give it to him, and wait until afterwards to hear the Dhamma.’ So she sat down on a stool and replenished the shuttle.
The people of Alavi waited upon the Teacher and provided him with food, and when the meal was over, took his bowl and stood waiting for him to speak the words of rejoicing (with the merits of the donors). Thought the Teacher, ‘I came here on a journey of thirty leagues for the sake of a certain maiden. As yet she finds no opportunity to be present. When she finds the opportunity to be present, I will speak the words of rejoicing.’ Having so said, he sat down and remained silent. Likewise his hearers also remained silent. (When the Teacher is silent, neither men nor gods dare utter a sound.)
When the maiden had replenished the shuttle, she put it in her basket and set out in the direction of her father’s workshop. On her way she stopped in the outer circle of the congregation and stood gazing at the Teacher. The Teacher also lifted up his head and gazed at her. By his manner of gazing at her she knew, ‘The Teacher, sitting in such a congregation, signifies by gazing at me that he desires me to come, that his sole desire is that I come into his very presence.’ So she set her shuttle-basket on the ground and went into the presence of the Teacher.
(But why did the Teacher gaze at her? The following thought, we are told, occurred to him, “If this maiden leaves, she will die as a world ling and her future state will be uncertain. But if she comes to me, she will depart established in the fruit of stream-entry, and her future state will be certain, for she will be reborn in the world of the Tusita gods.” We are told that there was no escape from death for her that day.)
At the mere hint of his look she approached the Teacher, and penetrating the rays of six-colored light that shone from his body, she paid obeisance to him and stood respectfully at one side.
No sooner had she paid obeisance to the Teacher and taken her stand beside him, seated in silence in the midst of the assemblage there gathered together, than he thus addressed her, “Maiden, from where do you come?”
“I do not know, reverend sir.” “Where are you going?”
“I do not know, reverend sir.” “Do you not know?”
“I know, reverend sir.” “Do you know?”
“I do not know, reverend sir.”
Thus the Teacher asked her four questions.
The multitude were offended and said, “Look, this 1daughter of a weaver talks as she pleases with the Supremely Enlightened One. When he asked her, ‘From where do you come?’ she should have answered, ‘From the weaver’s house.’ And when he asked her, ‘Where are you going?’ she should have answered, ‘To the weaver’s workshop.”‘
The Teacher put the multitude to silence and asked her, “Maiden, when I asked you, ‘From where do you come?’ why did you say, ‘I do not know?”‘ She answered, “Reverend sir, you yourself know that I came from the house of my father, a weaver. So when you asked me, ‘From where do you come?’ I knew very well that your meaning was, ‘From where did you come when you were reborn here?’ But as for me, from where I came when I was reborn here, that I do not know.”
Then the Teacher said to her, “Well said, well said, O maiden! You have answered correctly the question I asked you.”
Thus did the Teacher congratulate her, and having done so, he asked her yet another question, “When I asked you, ‘Where are you going?’ why did you say, ‘I do not know’?”
“Reverend sir, you yourself know that I was going to the weaver’s workshop with my shuttle-basket in hand. So when you asked me, ‘Where are you going?’ I knew very well that your meaning was, ‘When you pass away, where will you be reborn?’ But as for me, where I shall be reborn when I have passed from this present existence that I do not know.”
Then the Teacher said to her, “You have answered correctly the question I asked you.”
Thus did the Teacher congratulate her the second time, and having so done, asked her yet another question, “When I asked you, ‘Do you not know?’ why did you say, ‘I know’?”
“Reverend sir, this I know, that I shall surely die; and therefore I said so.” Then the Teacher said to her, “You have answered correctly the question I asked you.” Thus did the Teacher congratulate her the third time, and having done so, he asked her yet another question, “When I asked you, ‘Do you know?’ why did you say, ‘I do not know’?”
“This only do I know, reverend sir, that I shall surely die; but at what time I shall die, whether in the night or in the daytime, whether in the morning or at some other time, that I do not know; and therefore I said so.”
Thus did the Teacher congratulate her the fourth time, and having so done, addressed the assemblage as follows: “Those among you who failed to understand the words she spoke, you only were offended. For those who lack the eye of understanding, they only are blind; those who possess the eye of understanding, they only see.” So saying, he pronounced the following stanza:
Verse 6. Without Eye of Wisdom, This World Is Blind
This world is blind-become few are here who see within as few the birds break free from net so those who go to heavens.
Explanation: Most people in this world are unable to see. They cannot see reality properly. Of those, only a handful are capable of insight. Only they see well. A few, like a stray bird escaping the net, can reach heaven.
At the conclusion of the discourse that maiden was established in the fruit of stream-entry.
Then the maiden took her shuttle-basket and went to her father. He was asleep even as he sat at the loom. Not observing that he was asleep, she presented the shuttle-basket. As she did so, the basket hit the tip of the loom and fell with a clatter. Her father awoke, and accidentally, as a result of taking hold of the loom, gave it a pull, whereupon the tip of the loom swung around and struck the maiden in the breast. Then and there she died and was reborn in the world of the Tusita gods. Her father looked at her as she lay there, her whole body spotted with blood, and saw that she was dead. Straightaway there arose within him intense grief. Wailing, ‘There is none other that can extinguish my grief,’ he went to the Teacher and told him what had happened. “Reverend sir,” said he, “extinguish my grief.” The Teacher comforted him, saying, “Grieve not, disciple, for in the round of existences without conceivable beginning, you have even thus, over the death of your daughter, shed tears more abundant than the water contained in the four great oceans.” In this way the Teacher discoursed on the round of existences without conceivable beginning. The disciple’s grief was assuaged, and he requested the Teacher for the going forth. Afterwards he gained acceptance into the Order and in no long time attained arahantship.
The Story of Queen Mallika
While residing at the Jetavana Monastery, the Buddha spoke this verse, with reference to Mallika, queen of King Pasenadi of Kosala.
One day, Mallika went into the bathroom to wash her face, hands and feet. Her pet dog came in; as she was bending to wash her shins, the dog tried to have sex with her, and the queen appeared to be amused and somewhat pleased. The king saw this strange incident through the window from his bedroom. When the queen came in, he said angrily to the queen, “Oh, you wicked woman! What were you doing with that dog in the bathroom? Do not deny what I saw with my own eyes.”
The queen replied that she was only washing her face, her hands and her feet, and so was doing nothing wrong. Then she continued, “But, that room is very strange. If anyone went into that room, to one looking from this window there would appear to be as two. If you do not believe me, 0 king, please go into that room and I will look through this window.”
So, the king went into the bathroom. When he came out, Mallika asked the king why he misbehaved with a she-goat in that room. The king denied it, but the queen insisted that she saw them with her own eyes. The king was puzzled, but being dimwitted, he accepted the queen’s explanation, and concluded that the bathroom was, indeed very strange.
From that time, the queen was full of remorse for having lied to the king and for having brazenly accused him of misbehaving with a she-goat. Thus, even when she was approaching death, she forgot to think about the great, unrivalled charities she had shared with her husband and only remembered that she had been unfair to him. As a result of this, when she died she was reborn in Niraya (hell).
After her burial, the king intended to ask the Buddha where she was reborn. The Buddha wished to spare his feelings, and also did not want him to lose faith in the Dhamma. So he willed that this question should not be put to him and King Pasenadi forgot to ask the Buddha.
However, after seven days in niraya, the queen was reborn in the Tusita deva world.
On that day, the Buddha went to King Pasenadi’s palace for alms-food; he indicated that he wished to rest in the coach-shed where the royal carriages were kept.
After offering alms-food, the king asked the Buddha where queen Mallika was reborn and the Buddha replied, “Mallika has been reborn in the Tusita deva world.”
Hearing this, the king was very pleased, and said, “Where else could she have been reborn? She was always thinking of doing good deeds, always thinking what to offer to the Buddha on the next day.
Venerable! Now that she is gone, I, your humble disciple, hardly know what to do.” To him The Buddha said,
“Look at these carriages of your father and your grandfather; these are all worn down and lying useless; so also is your body, which is subject to death and decay. Only the Dhamma of the virtuous is not subject to decay.”
Verse 7. Buddha’s Teaching Never Decays
Even royal chariots rot, the body too does rot, decay, but undecaying’s Dhamma of the Good who to the good declare.
Explanation: Such beautiful and attractive objects as the carriages of kings also disintegrate.
The human body too decays. But, the experience of truth never decays. The calm ones experience this truth.
The Tusita Realm28
The Tusita Realm is the fourth celestial realm of the Sense Sphere belonging to the States of Happiness. Every aspect of this celestial realm such as physical appearance, position, sovereignty, sound, sight, and scent is more refined and elaborate than those in the first three celestial realms. This celestial realm is extraordinary in that it is the dwelling of a vast number of confirmed and unconfirmed Bodhisattas, who will one day in the far future become enlightened as a Buddha. It is also the dwelling of individuals that will in the far future become a Buddha’s Perfected Disciple. This celestial realm is highly interesting and its details are given in the Tripitaka.
28 The hereafter GL 102, Chapter 4 The Celestial Realm, P.114, Dhammakaya Open University, California, U.S.A.
The Meaning of ‘Tusita’
The word ‘Tusita’ means being devoid of anxiety, being filled with pleasure and cheerful joy. Therefore, the Tusita Realm means the dwelling of celestial beings that are devoid of anxiety and filled with pleasure and cheerful joy.
Location and Characteristics of the Tusita Realm
The Tusita Realm is very vast. It is governed by King Santusita, who has already attained the first stage of holiness as a Stream-Winner. This realm is the dwelling of a great number of Bodhisattas. It is located at a distance of about 670,000 kilometers above the Yama Realm. There is no sunlight or moonlight in this realm. Therefore, there is no shadow. There are no dark corners anywhere because of the radiances of all things that exist there as well as those of its inhabitants. Brightness comes from the radiances of celestial beings, celestial castles, gardens, parks, ponds, and the surroundings. It has no need for sunlight. The Tusita Realm is not a round sphere like the earth but it is more like a round disk.
Looking up from the Yama Realm, one can see a soothing brightness emanating from the realm.
Looking down from the Tusita Realm, one can see the Yama Realm.
Looking up from the Tusita Realm, one can also see a soothing brightness emanating from the Nimmanarati Realm. Looking down from the Tusita Realm, the Tavatimsa Realm appears very small by comparison, since the Tusita Realm is very vast.
The structure of the Tusita Realm. It has as its center the celestial castle of King Santusita, The realm is then divided into four circular domains as follows:
The first circular domain surrounds the center of the realm and is the dwelling of holy individuals such as the Stream-Winners, and the Once-Returners.
The second circular domain surrounds the first circular domain and forms a huge ring around it. It is the dwelling of the confirmed Bodhisattas. That is, they have been confirmed by a previous Buddha that they will one day far into the future definitely become enlightened as a Buddha.
The third circular domain forms a ring around the second domain. It is the dwelling of the unconfirmed Bodhisattas. That is, their future enlightenment as a Buddha has not yet been confirmed by a previous Buddha. They still have to pursue their perfections for countless more existences.
The fourth circular domain forms the outer ring of the Tusita Realm. It is the dwelling of individuals that have amassed a vast amount of merit during their human existence. Within these four vast circular domains there are numerous celestial communities. Each celestial community is made up of celestial estates owned by celestial beings of similar amount of merit.
a) Characteristics of Celestial Castles in the Tusita Realm
A human being’s home is used to shelter him from the heat, the rain, the sun, and the wind. Likewise, a celestial being’s home is the celestial estate, which contains the celestial castle. Celestial castles come in different sizes depending on the owner’s level of merit. There is mentioned in the Tripitaka celestial castles that are 480 kilometers high, 1,920 kilometers high, etc.
There are three main types of celestial castles in this celestial realm: crystal (diamond), silver, and gold. They are arranged around King Santusita’s castle in a beautiful and orderly fashion. They look like waves spreading from the center. Celestial castles that are the closest to the king’s castle will have extremely bright radiances and are the most magnificent.
In terms of the magnificence and grandeur of celestial castles, there are gradations in descending order based on the distances from the center such that the least bright and magnificent castles are at the outer perimeter.
All celestial possessions and position depend on the level of each celestial being’s accumulated merit. Celestial castles float in the air in loose clusters according to the merit level of the owners. Some clusters are large, some are small. The estates may look as though they adjoin one another but they actually are not. They are however separated by empty spaces. In the Celestial Realm there are no mountains, seas, and oceans that belong to the general public. There are only private estates. Within the estate, there are beautiful trees. Celestial trees are not as crude as the trees on earth. Mountains are made of gold or precious gems, and the ground is made of gold that feels soft to the touch and not slippery.
Each celestial estate is complete in itself like an entire city. Its owner is like its king or queen with complete sovereignty. That is, the owner is free to govern his her own castle as he/she pleases.
The master/mistress of the estate is waited on by his/her retinue of attendants. Each attendant has a specific duty. If the estate owner possesses a vast amount of merit, he will have a retinue of attendants numbering in the hundreds of thousands, one million, or ten millions. Each estate is like a personal statement that publicizes the owner’s social standing. It is also used for various social activities.
Celestial beings have different modes of transportation. They may travel by a celestial vehicle or by a celestial animal. They may travel on their own or with their attendants.
When a higher-ranking celestial being’s vehicle is passing by, vehicles of lower ranking celestial beings must yield to it. Celestial vehicles or celestial animals only travel through the spaces in between celestial estates and never directly above them. This is a display of common courtesy.
Besides the usual celestial activities of socializing, visiting the parks and other forms of entertainment, celestial beings of this celestial realm are engaged in the distinguished activities of conversing about and listening to the Dhamma. The reason is celestial beings of the Tusita Realm do not live their lives recklessly. They are all sages and look forward to their future accumulation of merit on earth. They are doing everything they can for the purpose of being able to eventually rid themselves of all defilements.
b) The Structure of Celestial Castles
Each castle arises and awaits the rebirth of its owner. The structure of each castle is a result of how merit has been amassed through such wholesome deeds as alms-giving, Precepts observing, and meditation practice. These deeds of merit provide the structure of each castle in three main parts as follows:
Part 1: This is the ground part and is formed by the merit of alms-giving. It does not consist of just one floor but it has many floors, one on top of another. The distance between floors is very great, and has a rectangular shape.
If the alms-giving involves contributions made toward he building of a consecrated assembly hall, a shrine hall, a preaching hall, or a Cetiya, this part will be huge.
Part 2: This is the middle part and is formed by the merit of Precepts observing. Its size is smaller than the first part. It is round and consists of many floors, one on top of another.
Part 3: This is the top part of the castle. It is formed by the merit of meditation practice. It is round and consists of many floors.
There is a wall surrounding the rectangular path that exists between the floors.
If the merit of alms-giving is great, the first- part will be huge. If the merit of Precepts observing is great, the second part will be huge. If the merit of meditation practice is great, the third part will be huge.
The structure and appearance of the castle depends on the types of merit accumulated during its owner’s human existence.
The Birth and Consumption of Sensual Pleasures of Celestial Beings in the Tusita Realm
Rebirth in the Tusita Realm occurs via the Oppapatika mode or Spontaneous Rising.
The new arrival assumes the form of a lady or gentleman celestial being instantly.
A gentleman celestial being will be between 18-20 years old and a lady celestial being will be between 16-18 years old. Celestial wealth in this realm is more refined and more elaborate than that in the Yama Realm. The new arrival will be welcomed by the celestial official in the district of his domicile as well as other celestial neighbors depending on the level of the new arrival’s accumulated merit.
The celestial official will greet the newcomer at his/her celestial castle. He will then inform him/her of all the celestial activities that he/she must attend. There is a meeting to listen to the Dhamma on Buddhist Holy Days, etc.
Celestial beings of this celestial realm have glorious good looks. They are all noble minded Buddhists. They have a very good understanding about merit and sin, and the Dhamma.
They are interested in keeping the company of the learned and the wise.
They are pleased to practice the Dhamma because they have been staunch merit makers. There are Bodhisattas that are well-versed in the Dhamma. They take turn giving a sermon to the masses. Although celestial beings in this realm enjoy celestial wealth that is far more refined and elaborate than that in the first three celestial realms, they do not live their lives recklessly. Everyday there are discourses on the Dhamma attended by many celestial beings. The reason is King Santusita is a very virtuous individual. He is learnt and well-versed in the Dhamma and enjoys listening to and preaching the Dhamma.
King Santusita regularly invites high-ranking celestial beings that possess great Dhamma wisdom to give a sermon at the assembly hall.
No sexual intercourse occurs in this celestial realm. Romantic partners are content to give each other warm embraces like those given between friends. The reason is celestial possessions in this realm are so refined and elaborate that they remove all interest in sexual intercourse from the inhabitants.
There is no pregnancy, no birth from the womb, no birth from the egg, and no birth from moisture in this celestial realm. There is only one birth mode, which is ‘Oppapatika’, just like it is in the Tavimsa and Varna Realms.
The Lifespan of Celestiial Beings in the Tusita Realm
The lifespan of celestial beings in this celestial realm is given in the ‘Vitathata Sutta’.
One day and night in this celestial realm is equal to 400 earth years. There are 30 celestial nights in one celestial month and there are 12 celestial months in one celestial year. The average lifespan of celestial beings in the Tusita Realm is 4,000 celestial years, which is equal to 576 million earth years. Their lifespan is eight times longer than that of celestial beings in the Catummaharajika Realm. Their lifespan is eight times longer than that of celestial beings in the Catummaharajika Realm.
The Reasons the Tusita Realm is the Center of Knowers
As mentioned earlier, the Tusita Realm is extraordinary compared to other celestial realms. What makes it extraordinary is the fact that it is the dwelling of the confirmed Bodhisattas that will become enlightened as a Buddha one day far in the future. It is also the dwelling of celestial beings that have been accumulating merit for the purpose of one day becoming the disciples of a Buddha. One may ask why these Bodhisattas and all the learned sages desire to be reborn in the Tusita Realm in spite of the fact that the level of their accumulated merit makes it possible for them to choose to be reborn in any celestial realm.
There are at least three reasons for their preference.
- The average lifespan in the Tusita Realm is neither too long nor too short.
It is just right. If it is too long, it will cause these wise individuals to have to wait too long to be reborn as a human being for the purpose of accumulating more merit.
- In this realm, the Bodhisattas can cease to be whenever they wish. In general, celestial beings cease to be for different reasons. It may be that their merit has been used up. It may be that it is the end of their lifespan. It may be caused by their anger. But the Bodhisattas can choose to cease to be from the Tusita Realm to be reborn in the Human Realm for the express purpose of accumulating more merit or to become enlightened as a Buddha. All they have to do is to go into a meditative state and wish for a rebirth. This special privilege is above the law of nature.
- It is the place where Dhamma discussions among the virtuous sages take place.
This celestial realm is populated with sages and the Bodhisattas. They are like-minded in that they have been working their ways toward enlightenment for countless lifetimes.
When they come together in a celestial assembly, Dhamma conversations bring them delight and pleasure.