The Buddha goes to spend the rains retreat in the Tavatimsa heaven in order to teach his mother

After performing the twin miracle and trouncing the members of other sects who had challenged him, the Buddha reflected on the tradition upheld by Buddhas of the past: after performing a twin miracle, where did they spend their rains retreat? He realized through insight that they spent their following rains retreats in the Tavatimsa heaven realm.

The Pathamasambodhi collates the Buddha's rains retreats, putting the seventh (from the time of his enlightenment) as at Tavatimsa heaven.

According to the story, both from the Pathamasambodhi and other Buddhist writers writing after the Buddha's passing away, known as the Commentators (Atthakathacariya), the reason the Buddha went to spend the rains retreat in Tavatimsa was to teach his mother, Queen Mahamaya, who after passing away from this world had been reborn in the Dusita heaven realm.

The Buddha spent the rains retreat at the foot of a parichatta tree. Under the trees in the heaven realm there is earth covered with red carpet, known as pandukambalasila asana.

Indra, the Lord of Heaven, hearing that the Buddha had come to spend the rains retreat here, called a meeting of all the deities in the heaven realms to listen to the Buddha's teaching. The Pathamasambodhi states that the announcement made by Indra on that occasion could be heard throughout the heaven realms for a distance of 10,000 yojanas (about 160,000 kilometers), and when the devatas heard it they were filled with joy, and called out to each other for another 10,000 world systems.

Mahamaya, the Buddha's mother, who was living among the devas in the Dusita heaven, also came to listen to the Buddha's teaching, and the Buddha taught her the Abhidhamma for the whole of the rains retreat. Hearing the teaching, the Buddha's mother attained Stream Entry, while a great number of devas attained the Path and Fruit according to their dispositions.
 

Copyright 2002 Mahidol University All rights reserved.
Mahidol University Computing Center, Rama VI Road, Rajathewi, Bangkok 10400, THAILAND Tel. (662) 354-4333