The Discourse about Bhaddiya - Devas are Unable to See He Who Is...?

In this discourse about Bhaddiya, the Buddha says this:

“For he who has no agitations inside the mind,
Who has thus completely transcended continuity of existence,
The devas are unable to see
He who is without fear, happy, and griefless.”

I believe this is alluding to the fact that devas can read thoughts. One who is free from mental fermentations, however, is one without such thoughts. I also remember hearing the story of an old master who, showed up to a temple once, and was surprised there was a feast prepared for him, even though he did not say he was coming. The temple said that a deva had informed them the master would come, and the master was embarrassed saying “Were my thoughts obvious that a deva could see?”

Perhaps someone can help my understanding, here.


I haven’t got a good handle on the EBTs yet, but is it maybe regarding the ‘continuity of existence’ mentioned in the second line of verse?

In (for example) MN36 we find:

When my mind had immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—I extended it toward knowledge of the death and rebirth of sentient beings. With clairvoyance that is purified and superhuman, I saw sentient beings passing away and being reborn—inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, in a good place or a bad place. I understood how sentient beings are reborn according to their deeds.

So if one is skilled enough one can trace the continuity of another’s existence. But if the other has ‘transcended continuity of existence’, then presumably no one can trace that ‘continuity of existence’ and thus they cannot be seen.


Does transcending continuity of existence imply bhava-nirodha?

I think it must. Bhava-nirodha is the cessation of existence, right?
However, I believe Bhaddiya was an anagami, and not a full arahant.

93. He whose cankers are destroyed and who is not attached to food, whose object is the Void, the Unconditioned Freedom — his path cannot be traced, like that of birds in the air. " —Dhp. VII, 93, ‘The Arahant’.

Nibbana is unconditioned and has no contact with the conditioned. It is important the practitioner establishes this distinction conceptually in their own practice.


Which statement was made to suggest Nibbana was in contact with the conditioned?

It’s also said Maha Brahma could not see the Buddha and he made himself invisible to him. This was considered a great ability. Maybe as the focal point of a self is dissolved all that remains is nature…