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Satullapakāyikā

A class of devā. The Saṃyuttanikāya contains (S.i.16, 22) a whole group of suttas in which these devas are stated to have visited the Buddha, asking him several questions on different topics.

Buddhaghosa says (SA.i.43 f ) that, in a previous birth, they were a ship’s crew on a trading line. Their vessel was overwhelmed by stormy seas, and sank with all on board. During the storm, the terrified crew saw one of their number seated like a yogi, calm and self-possessed. On being asked what he thought of, he said he thought of the good deeds he had done before starting on the voyage. These would ensure him happy rebirth, so why should he worry? The others then implored his assistance and compassion. He divided them into seven groups of one hundred each, and shouted to them, above the tempest, the Five Precepts, assuring them that their morality (sīla) would bring them to a happy dawn. They took the precepts as the waters rose, and were reborn in Sakka’s heaven, in different groups, each with his own mansion (vimāna). Their teacher had a golden mansion of one hundred leagues in the middle of the others. As soon as born they realised the reason for their happiness, and visited the Buddha in order to praise their wonderful teacher. They were called Satullapā because they shouted the precepts while divided in groups of one hundred (sata ullapā).

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