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Gad
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SOTĀNUGATA SUTTA: DISCOURSE ON “FOLLOWED THE TEACHINGS BY EAR”

  • However, a certain deity teaches the Dhamma to an assembly of deities. The thought occurs to this deity: ‘I used to live my holy life under this teaching and training’. His memory is slow to arise, but he quickly reaches distinction. This, monks, is the third benefit to be expected when a monk has followed these teachings by ear, recited them verbally, examined them by the mind, and penetrated them well by view.”
  • However, another spontaneously born deity reminds this deity: ‘Do you remember my dear. Do you remember where we lived the holy life together?’ Then he says: ‘I remember my dear. I remember my dear.’ His memory is slow to arise, but he quickly reaches distinction.”

Summary : In this sutta, Lord Buddha explains the benefits of listening, practicing and memorizing the Dhamma. If a person dies, without any stage of magga phala, nothing is lost. He will be able to reach a stage of magga phala, in a deva world, with a memory of his past life or with the help of an ariya deva. Of course, this only works if a puthujuna has enough paramis to achieve magga phala.The second point shows another deva who was friends with this deva in a past life. He reminds him of the Dhamma and he realizes it.

There was a burmese bhikkhu who said that “in the heavens of kama loka, there are devas of great wisdom  who teach others the Dhamma. Thanks to their help many devas realize the dhamma. He said not to be discouraged if no result is visible. The meeting with these devas will be probable, with the help of our paramis. He said that to motivate his students who were not yet sotāpanna.

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