Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammāsambuddhassa

Introduction to 1.3.5
Maṇḍūkadevaputtavimānavatthu (The Frog Transforms into a Deva)


The Bhagava gave the following similies when he perceived these different kind of individuals: 1. Those who could be converted easily in a brief outline of Dhamma and then would bloom forth above the water that very day with the rising of the sun (ugghāṭitaññu puggala). 2. Those who would need more instructions including the exposition and would bloom forth only the next day by rising above the surface of the water (vipañcitaññu puggala). 3. Those who would only be able to apply Dhamma after repeated instructions over a long period and then finally would submerge from misery (ñeyya puggala). 4. And those who were not able to realise Dhamma in this very life and pass away without rising above the waters` surface but would gain the seeds for future existences by hearing the Dhamma (padaparama puggala).

Seyyathāpi nāma uppaliniyaṃ vā paduminiyaṃ vā puṇḍarīkiniyaṃ vā appekaccāni uppalāni vā padumāni vā puṇḍarīkāni vā udake jātāni udake saṃvaḍḍhāni udakānuggatāni anto nimuggaposīni, appekaccāni uppalāni vā padumāni vā puṇḍarīkāni udake jātāni udake saṃvaḍḍhāni samodakaṃ ṭhitāni, appekaccāni uppalāni padumāni vā puṇḍarīkāni vā udake jātāni udake saṃvaḍḍhāni udakaṃ accuggamma ṭhitāni anupalittāni udakena.

It is just as in a pond of lotus flowers or water roses or white lotus flowers, where some of these lotus flowers or water roses or white lotus flowers are born in the water, grow in the water, do not rise above the surface and remain nourished and immersed under surface, but some of these lotus flowers or water roses or white lotus flowers are born in the water, grow in the water and rise to the surface of the water, while some others of these lotus flowers or water roses or white lotus flowers are born in the water, grow in the water, rise above the surface and stand upright and untouched by the water.


These following verses introduce the Vimānavatthu, a selection of texts and stories of beings and their deeds who gain birth in higher fields. They are uttered by Maṇḍūkadevaputta show beautiful evidence of the powerful potential that the wish of coming into contact with Dhamma provides even for beings of the animal world. The complete translation of the title: Maṇḍūkadevaputtavimānavatthu would be, ‘The frog’s, the deva-son’s property in the vimāna’. A vimāna should be imagined as a luxurious dwelling ground, usually a palace that springs into existence according to the deeds of their future owners. Stories of beings and their deeds who gain birth in higher or lower worlds are collected in the Vimānavatthu or the Petavatthu. Four lower worlds (see footnote at 1.3.6 - Tamotamasutta) are found below the human world, itself a linking sphere, from where mankind can decide their own destiny by performing such kamma, that would lead one further below or above. All these higher spheres are related in the Dhammacakkappavattanasuttaṃ, to where the happy news spread after the Buddha’s setting in motion the wheel of Dhamma in the Isipatane-park. There are all together 31 spheres above the human world, five deva-worlds enjoying sense pleasures, 16 more deva-worlds with heavenly beings free from sense desires, and four spheres of the brahma-worlds, beings without any matter.

Pāli lesson (with audio) 1.3.5

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Last modified: Tuesday, 21 February 2017, 6:00 PM