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Suddhāvāsā

The “Pure Abodes”; a name given to a group of Brahma-worlds, the five highest realms of form (rūpa loka):

  1. Avihā — “Durable gods,”
  2. Atappā — “Untroubled gods,”
  3. Sudassā — “Beautiful gods,”
  4. Sudassī — “Clear-sighted gods,” and
  5. Akaniṭṭhā — “Peerless gods.” (e.g., D.iii.237).

Non-returners (anāgāmī) are born there, and there they attain Arahantship. They are divided into twenty-four classes (See, e.g., KhA.182 f; of. PSA. 319; Vism.710).

Bodhisattas are never born there (SNA.i.50; BuA.224).

The Suddhāvāsā are described as “Buddhānaṃ khandhāvā­ratthānasa­disā.” These realms remain empty for incalculable world-cycles when no Buddhas are born, (AA.ii.808; cf. MA.i.30).

The Buddha is mentioned as having visited the Suddhāvāsā (e.g., D.ii.50). When a Buddha is about to be born, the inhabitants of the Suddhāvāsā insert a knowledge of the signs of a Great Being in the Vedas and teach this among men in the guise of brahmins, calling such knowledge “buddhamanta.” Men learn it and are thus able to recognise a Great Being (MA.ii.761; SNA.ii.448). The inhabitants of the Suddhāvāsā know how many Buddhas will be born in any particular world-cycle by observing the number of lotuses that spring up on the site of the Seat of Enlightenment (Bodhipallaṅka) when the earth gradually emerges after the destruction of the world (DA.ii.411). It is the Suddhāvāsā Brahmā who provide the four omens that lead to a Bodhisatta’s renunciation in his last lay life. See, e.g., DA.ii.455 f.

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