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Itivuttaka

Itivuttaka 83 Pubbanimitta Sutta
Omens

The Buddha explains the signs before a god is about to pass away from heaven, and what other gods say to encourage him.

This discourse was taught by the Blessed One, taught by the Arahant, the fully enlightened Supreme Buddha. This is as I heard,

“Monks, when a god is about to pass away from the company of gods, five omens appear: his flower garlands wither, his clothes become soiled, sweat comes out of his armpits, his bodily radiance fades, and he no longer delights in his heavenly mansion.

Monks, the gods, knowing from these omens that ‘This god is about to pass away’, they encourage him with three sayings: ‘Go from here, friend, to the happy destination. Having gone to the happy destination, gain the best gain. Having gained the best gain, become firmly established in it.’”

When this was said, a certain monk asked the Blessed One: “Bhante, what is considered by the gods to be the happy destination? Bhante, what is considered by the gods to be the best gain? Bhante, what is considered by the gods to be firmly established in the best gain?”

“Monk, obtaining human rebirth is considered by the gods to be the happy destination. Having become a human being, when he places confidence in the Dhamma and the code of discipline taught by the Tathāgata, the Buddha, it is considered by the gods to gain the best gain. When that confidence is settled within him, firmly rooted, well-established and strong and it is impossible for any recluse or brāhmin, or god or Māra or Brahma or anyone else in the world to destroy his confidence, this is considered by the gods to be firmly established in the gain.”

This is the meaning of what the Blessed One said. So, with regard to this, it was said:

When a god passes away from the company of gods at the end of his life-span, other gods encourage him with three sayings:

“Go from here, friend, to the happy destination, to companionship with human beings. On becoming a human being, place unsurpassing confidence in the perfect Dhamma.

Become firmly rooted and settled in that confidence. When your confidence is well established in the well-taught perfect Dhamma, it cannot be destroyed by anyone as long as you live.

Abandon bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, mental misconduct, and whatever else is considered a fault.

Do much wholesome deeds by body and speech. Do an immeasurable amount of pure wholesome deeds by mind as well.

Collect much merit through generosity which results in future happiness. Establish other people in the Buddha’s Dhamma and the noble practice.

When the gods know a god is about to pass away, out of compassion they encourage him, ‘Come back, dear god, again and again.’”

This, too, is the meaning of what was said by the Blessed One. This is exactly as I heard.

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Itivuttaka 83 Pubbanimitta Sutta: Omens

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