生 天 三 法
XVII (4) The Story of the Question Raised by Thera Maha Moggallana
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (224) of this book, with reference to the question raised by Thera Maha Moggallana.
Once, Thera Maha Moggallana visited the deva world and found many devas living in luxurious mansions. He asked them for what good deed they were reborn in the deva world and they gave him different answers. One of them was reborn in the deva world not because he gave away much wealth in charity or because he had listened to the dhamma, but just because he always spoke the truth. The second one was a female deva who was reborn in the deva world because she did not get angry with her master and had no ill will towards him even though he often beat her and abused her. For keeping her temper and abandoning hatred she was reborn in the deva world. Then, there were others who were reborn in the deva world because they had offered little things like a stick of sugar cane, a fruit, or some vegetables to a bhikkhu or to someone else.
On his return from the deva world, Thera Maha Moggallana asked the Buddha whether it was possible to gain such great benefits by just speaking the truth, or by restraining one's actions, or by giving small amounts of such trifling things like fruits and vegetables. To him the Buddha answered, "My son, why do you ask? Have you not seen for yourself and heard what the devas said? You should not have any doubt. Little deeds of merit surely lead one to the world of the devas."
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows;