Suttas with gods and supernatural beings

There are many Suttas involved Devas, Asuras, mythical serpents, Brahmas, Yakkhas, so on …

Examples: Mangala sutta, Mahasamaya Sutta, Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, Janavasabha Sutta, Atanatiya Sutta, Sakkapanha Sutta, Brahmanimantanika sutta, Suriya paritta, Canda paritta, Devatasamyutta, Devaputtasamyutta, Yakkhasamyutta, Nagasamyutta, Supannasamyutta, etc.

Do you find it difficult to believe?

I imagine if people see these supernatural beings, they might thought Devas as advanced alien lifeforms… I remember there is a story in Atthakatha that there was a Bhikkhu in ancient Sri Lanka recited Mahasamaya Sutta, then a goddess nearby heard it to the end and rejoiced by saying “Sadhu!” The Bhikkhu was alerted and have conversation with the goddess, but then the Bhikkhu requested to see her. The goddess said she can only show her fingertip and then do so. Instantly the entire place was so bright as if under daylight. Further she said that if she appeared in full form, it may drives untrained human insane and madness for the divine beauty.

I forget the full details of the story… I try to search for it later…

It seems reasonable to me. Already on earth we see humans, insects and animals. Why not other types of beings that are born according to their kamma.

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I found it difficult to believe
that such a person is a Buddhist or at least kammavadin.

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I read this Wheel publication by Ashin Ottama a long time ago. It might give a logical explanation

Direct link to chapter heading… The Range of Human Experience

The Message in the Teachings of Kamma, Rebirth, & Saṃsāra

A Gateway to Deeper Understanding


Ashin Ottama

The best illustration for our situation can be found in physics: electromagnetic waves. For those unfamiliar with this subject, let me briefly sum up the subject. The various kinds of electromagnetic waves are very different, but they all have certain common features: they all travel at the speed of light, are susceptible to interference, etc. Starting with the lowest frequencies, the electromagnetic waves include AM-radio waves, TV waves, FM waves, radar, microwaves, infrared light, visible light, ultraviolet light, X-rays, gamma-radiation, and cosmic rays. The main quantum by which they are distinguished is wavelength, which can vary from over half a kilometre in the case of the longest radio amplitudes, to around 0.0005 millimetre for visible light (the middle range), down to 0.0000000000000001 millimetre for interstellar radiation. And how sensitive are human sense faculties to all these waves? We cannot perceive either radio or TV broadcasts, even though the voices, music, and pictures of a thousand shows literally penetrate our heads every second of our lives. Our senses register neither radar nor cosmic rays. We notice ultraviolet light only when we get a sunburn. We do not even feel the deadly doses of radiation or X-rays. Of the entire spectrum of electromagnetic waves, the only portion we can directly perceive is the extremely tiny range of visible light, with its wavelengths of 0.0004–0.0008 mm, and the neighbouring infra-red heat in the range of approximately 0.0008–0.3 mm. Isn’t that incredible?

I understand the different planes of saṃsāra as just different “frequencies” of reality. Like electromagnetic waves of certain invisible frequencies, other planes of existence pass right through us without even making us blink. According to the Buddhist texts, and the observations of those endowed with unusual sensitivity, we share this earth with many invisible beings from our saṃsāric vicinity: with ghosts and “earth-bound deities,” with goblins and demons. Children’s fairy tales and reports of UFOs are perhaps not so much fiction and fantasy as veridical records of saṃsāric diffusion. Our ancestors were probably much more open, receptive, and sensitive—but also more vulnerable—in this respect than we are. Today, even if these phenomena cross our senses, we rarely register them, and if we do take note of them we have no handy conceptual scheme for making sense of them. In this epoch our minds are too intensely and narrowly directed to the “earthy,” purely material frequencies of reality.

Remote Image: The top image shows that visible light is only a small fraction of wavelength frequencies. The bottom one is a zoomed in image of that small tiny line of visible light.

Visible and invisible light

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Yes, I like to think that too.

Western culture in the ancient times was always intertwined with supernatural beings too, like Angels, Archangels, demons, spirits, witches, dragons and ogres.

While Asian culture also associated with Gods, demons, giants, spirits, dragons, etc.

To others without divine eyes, these beings might be fairytales. But for those with Iddhi powers (like Lord Buddha, Arahant Moggallana, Arahant Anuruddha, Arahant Sivali, and many more in scriptures), those beings are just as real as we see another fellow human being standing in front of us.

It is very intriguing.

I think many “Buddhists” nowadays rarely believe or convinced by the existence of such supernatural beings.

Like those secular Buddhism in USA and Buddhadasa school in Thailand.

I think Buddha’s teachings can be practice without the belief of those supernatural beings, but it can never reach a deeper understanding of the core Dhamma teachings.

Without believing in Kamma-rebirth-opapatikabirth, there is no Buddhist practice at all. These are necessary requirements out of the 10 points of Sammaditthi for not only Buddhists but also for other Kammavadins.
I don’t believe those people are acceptable even to associate with, at least in other aspects of daily life.

The minimum requirement in order to become a Buddhist is Tisarana. Therefore even to becom an immoral Buddhist, one must believe Dhamma which includes kamma-rebirth-opapatika belief by definition.

It can never reach a primitive understanding of the Dhamma, at least.

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I dont find it hard to believe at all, just because you cant see it doesnt mean its not real. I’ve never seen pluto or planets outside our solar system, but I believe them to exist, due to the testimony of credible people with the tools to see them that I dont have.

I also find it difficult to believe that the cycle of rebirth would only be limited to what we can see. the idea that Hitler or Stalin would only be reborn as animals after all they did seems far fetched. And vice versa for saintly people.


Perhaps some of you had read my article on what it means to be a Buddhist.


Again, another good article by Bhante Subhuti. Thank you for sharing it.

Sadhu. Sadhu. Sadhu.