A large number of devas of Tranquil Mind (samacittā) come to the Buddha at Jetavana and ask him if he will visit Sāriputta, who is teaching at the Migārāmātupāsāda on the person who is fettered both inwardly and outwardly. The Buddha agrees in silence and appears at the Migārāmatupāsāda. Sāriputta greets the Buddha and salutes him. The Buddha relates to him the visit of the devas and tells him that a large number of them can stand in a space not greater than the point of a gimlet, and that, too, without crowding each other. This is because they have trained themselves to be tranquil in the senses and in the mind. Such tranquillity leads to tranquillity also of body, speech, and thought. Followers of other schools do not know this teaching (A.i.64 f).
In the discourse of Sāriputta, (A.i.62 f) referred to by the devas, the elder explains that the monk who keeps the Pāṭimokkha restraints is proficient in the practice of right conduct, seeing danger in the slightest faults such a one is reborn among the devas and is therefore a “Returner.” Thus he is fettered inwardly to the self. Others there are who are born in Deva worlds and there become Non-
The sutta was taught by Mahinda on the evening of his arrival in Sri Lanka. After his interview with Devānampiyatissa, Mahinda asked Sumana sāmaṇera to announce the teaching of the Dhamma. This announcement was heard throughout the Island, and gradually the news of it spread to Brahmā’s heaven. There was then an assembly of Devā, just as on the occasion of Sāriputta’s teaching of the sutta. Mhv.xiv.34 ﬀ.