Samyutta Nikaya
Brahma Saṁyutta

SN 6.3 Brahmadeva Sutta
Discourse on Brahmadeva Bhante

Do brahmās receive the gifts we offer? Who should we make offerings to?

This is how I heard. At one time the Blessed One was staying in the province of Sāvatthi, in Jeta’s garden, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Monastery. There, a certain brahmin lady had a son named Brahmadeva. Now on that occasion he gave up the home life and became a monk under the Blessed One. Then, living alone, giving top priority to the training, diligently and energetically striving hard, Brahmadeva Bhante attained the supreme goal of monkhood by himself for which faithful sons become monks having given up home life. He directly knew: “Rebirth has ended. The spiritual journey has been completed. What had to be done to end suffering has been done. There will be no rebirth.” And Brahmadeva Bhante became one of the liberated ones.

Then in the morning, Brahmadeva Bhante dressed and, taking his bowl and robe, entered the province of Sāvatthi for alms. Walking on continuous alms round in Sāvatthi, he came to his mother’s house. In those days the brahmin lady, Brahmadeva Bhante’s mother, constantly offered gifts to brahmā. Then it occurred to Brahmā Sahampati: “This brahmin lady, Brahmadeva Bhante’s mother, constantly offers gifts to brahmā. Let me go to her and convince her of her fault.”

Then just as quickly as a strong man extends his drawn-in arm or draws in his extended arm, Brahmā Sahampati disappeared from the brahmā world and reappeared in the house of Brahmadeva Bhante’s mother. Then, standing in the air, Brahmā Sahampati spoke these verses to the brahmin lady, Brahmadeva Bhante’s mother:

“Madam, now you constantly offer gifts to brahmā. But that brahmā world is very, very far away from humans. Brahmā doesn’t eat these types of food, lady. So why mumble mantras, not knowing the path to the brahmā world?

“But madam, now your son, this Brahmadeva Bhante, is someone who is without defilements, he has surpassed all gods, he is a fully liberated monk, and he doesn’t have anyone to support. Now he has come to your house for alms.

“This liberated Bhante is worthy of gifts. He has mastered the Dhamma, and is inwardly developed. He deserves offerings from humans and gods. Having expelled all evil, not dirtied with demerits, cool at heart, he only seeks for a little food just to survive.

“He doesn’t have any desire regarding the past or future. He is peaceful and has extinguished the smoke of hatred. He is freed from suffering and craving. He has stopped taking sticks and rods to harm any being that is subject to fear or freed from fears. Let him eat the best portion of your offering.

“He is freed from defilements, with a peaceful mind, like a well-tamed king elephant, devoid of craving, virtuous, and well liberated in mind. Let him eat the best portion of your offering.

“Oh madam, place confidence in him. Make it unshakable. Offer your gift to him, who deserves it. Having seen a sage who has crossed the flood of Saṁsāra, make merit leading to future happiness.”

She placed confidence in him and made it unshakable. She offered her gift to the bhante who deserved it. Having seen a sage who has crossed the flood of Saṁsāra, the lady made merit leading to future happiness.

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Saṁyutta Nikāya 6.3 Brahmadeva Sutta: Discourse on Brahmadeva Bhante

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