7th year: Tâvatimsa (the Heaven of the Thirty-three). Here the Buddha preached the Abhidhamma or the Higher Doctrine to the deities (devâs ) headed by his mother Mahâmâyâ, who had passed away seven days after the birth of Prince Siddhartha, and was reborn as a deva in the Tâvatimsa.
This is the seventh level of the sensuous world: The Thirty-one Planes of Existence
The Chinese Saṃyukta-āgama (SĀ 506) has the Buddha spending a vassa in Trāyastriṃśa teaching his mother something, but doesn’t specify exactly what he was teaching her. The Pali SN parallel to this sūtra contains no mention of this. Nor does any other Pali canonical source earlier than the (very late) Niddesa of the Khuddaka Nikāya. Nonetheless, the SĀ’s story (or some other version of it) seems to have been widely accepted among Indian Buddhist schools, appearing in many late texts, as well as being depicted in rock engravings.
The claim that it was the Pali Abhidhamma that the Buddha was teaching his mother dates from a later period and is naturally found only in Theravada sources, of which the earliest extant is the introductory section of Buddhaghosa’s Dhammasaṅgaṇī Commentary. The story is widely (though not universally) believed to be historically factual in Asian Theravada countries, more so in Myanmar than in Thailand, more so in Thailand than in Sri Lanka. But not being strongly supported in the early Buddhist texts, this belief probably won’t be shared by many posters to this forum.
Welcome to the D&D forum! We hope you enjoy the various resources, FAQs, and previous threads. You can use the search function for topics and keywords you are interested in. Forum guidelines are here: Forum Guidelines. May some of these resources be of assistance along the path.
If you have any questions or need further clarification regarding anything, feel free to contact the moderators by including
@moderators in your post or a PM.
suaimhneas (on behalf of the moderators)