Hīnaṃ dhammaṃ na seveyya, pamādena na saṃvase Micchādiṭṭhiṃ na seveyya, na siyā lokavaḍḍhano
Do not follow ignoble ways, do not live in negligence, do not embrace wrong views, do not be the one to prolong samsara
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 167: Young Bhikkhu
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 167 with reference to a young bhikkhu.
Once, a young bhikkhu accompanied an older bhikkhu to the house of Visakha. After taking rice gruel, the elder bhikkhu left for another place, leaving the young bhikkhu behind at the house of Visakha. The granddaughter of Visakha was filtering some water for the young bhikkhu, and when she saw her own reflection in the big water pot she smiled. Seeing her thus smiling, the young bhikkhu looked at her and he also smiled.
When she saw the young bhikkhu looking at her and smiling at her, she lost her temper, and cried out angrily, "You, a shaven head! Why are you smiling at me ?" The young bhikkhu reported, "You are a shaven head yourself; your mother and your father are also shaven heads!" Thus they quarreled, and the young girl went weeping to her grandmother. Visakha came and said to the young bhikkhu, "Please do not get angry with my grand daughter. But, a bhikkhu does have his hair shaved, his finger nails and toe nails cut, and putting on a robe which is made up of cut pieces, he goes on alms-round with a bowl which is rimless. What this young girl said was, in a way, quite right, is it not?"
The young bhikkhu replied. "It is true but why should she abuse me on that account ?" At this point, the elder bhikkhu returned; but both Visakha and the old bhikkhu failed to appease the young bhikkhu and the young girl. Soon after this, the Buddha arrived and learned about the quarrel. The Buddha knew that time was ripe for the young bhikkhu to attain Sotapatti Fruition. Then, in order to make the young bhikkhu more responsive to his words, he seemingly sided with him and said to Visakha, "Visakha, what reason is there for your grand daughter to address my son as a shaven head just because he has his head shaven? After all, he had his head shaven to enter my Order, didn't he?"
Hearing these words, the young bhikkhu went down on his knees, paid obeisance to the Buddha, and said, "Venerable Sir! You alone understands me; neither my teacher nor the great donor of the monastery understands me." The Buddha knew that the bhikkhu was then in a receptive mood and so he said, "To smile with sensual desire is ignoble; it is not right and proper to have ignoble thoughts."
In other words, do not live heedlessly and do not harbor wrong views if not one will remain in samsara longer.
Dhammaṃ care sucaritaṃ, na naṃ duccaritaṃ care Dhammacārī sukhaṃ seti, asmiṃ loke paramhi ca.169
Do not neglect the duty of going on alms-round; Practice this righteous conduct well. One who practices rightly, lives happily in this world and the next.
Observe proper practice. Do not observe improper practice. He who observes this practice lives happily both in this world and in the next.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 168-169: King Suddhodana While residing at the Nigrodharama monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses 168 and 169 with reference to King Suddhodana, father of Gotama Buddha. When the Buddha revisited Kapilavatthu for the first time he stayed at the Nigrodharama monastery. There, he expounded the Dhamma to his relatives. King Suddhodana thought that Gotama Buddha, who was his own son, would go to no other place, but would surely come to his palace for alms-food the next day; but he did not specifically invite the Buddha to come for alms-food.
However, the next day, he prepared alms-food for twenty thousand bhikkhus. On that morning the Buddha went on his alms-round with a retinue of bhikkhus, as was the custom of all the Buddhas. Yasodhara, wife of Prince Siddhattha before he renounced the world, saw the Buddha going on an alms-round, from the palace window. She informed her father-in-law, King Suddhodana, and the King went in great haste to the Buddha.
The king told the Buddha that for a member of the royal Khattiya family, to go round begging for food from door to door was a disgrace. Whereupon the Buddha replied that it was the custom of all the Buddhas to go round for alms-food from house to house, and therefore it was right and proper for him to keep up the tradition. At the end of the discourse the father of Gotama Buddha attained Sotapatti Fruition.
In other words, observe proper practice and abandon improper practice. One who practices rightly will be happy.
Verse 170 (Observe the impermanence of Life) Yathā pubbuḷakaṃ passe, yathā passe marīcikaṃ Evaṃ lokaṃ avekkhantaṃ, maccurājā na passati
If a man looks at the world (i.e., the five khandhas) in the same way as one looks at a bubble or a mirage, the King of Death will not find him.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 170: 500 Bhikkhus
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 170 with reference to five hundred bhikkhus.
On one occasion, five hundred bhikkhus, after taking a subject of meditation from the Buddha, went into the forest to practice meditation. But they made very little progress; so they returned to the Buddha to ask for a more suitable subject of meditation. On their way to the Buddha, seeing a mirage they meditated on it.
As soon as they entered the compound of the monastery, a storm broke out; as big drops of rain fell, bubbles were formed on the ground and soon disappeared. Seeing those bubbles, the bhikkhus reflected "This body of ours is perishable like the bubbles", and perceived the impermanent nature of the aggregates (khandhas).
The Buddha saw them from his perfumed chamber and sent forth the radiance and appeared in their vision.Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows: "If a man looks at the world (i.e., the five khandhas) in the same way as one looks at a bubble or a mirage, the King of Death will not find him."At the end of the discourse, those five hundred bhikkhus attained arahantship.
In other words, if one can see the impermanence nature of the five aggregates which is like a bubble/mirage then one can escape samsara.
Verse 171 (The wise are not attached to the world)
This world is like an ornamented royal chariot. Fools flounder in it, but for the wise there is no attachment.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 171 : Prince Abhaya
While residing at the Veluvana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 171 with reference to Prince Abhaya (Abhayarajakumara).
On one occasion, Prince Abhaya triumphantly returned after suppressing a rebellion at the frontier. King Bimbisara was so pleased with him that for seven days, Abhaya was given the glory and honour of a ruler, together with a dancing girl to entertain him. On the last day, while the dancer was entertaining the prince and his company in the garden, she had a severe stroke; she collapsed and died on the spot.
The prince was shocked and very much distressed. Sorrowfully, he went to the Buddha to find solace. To him the Buddha said, "O prince, the tears you have shed all through the round of rebirths cannot be measured. This world of aggregates (i.e., khandhas) is the place where fools flounder."
In other words, the wise will not be attached to anything in this world.
Verse 172 (The Diligent Illumine The World) Yo ca pubbe pamajjitvā, pacchā so nappamajjati So imaṃ lokaṃ pabhāseti, abbhā mutto’va candimā
He who has been formerly unmindful, but is mindful later on, lights up the world like the moon freed from clouds.
Story related to dhammapada verse 172: Thera Sammajjana
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (172) of this book, with reference to Thera Sammajjana.
Thera Sammajjana spent most of his time sweeping the precincts of the monastery. At that time, Thera Revata was also staying at the monastery; unlike Sammajjana, Thera Revata spent most of his time in meditation.
Seeing Thera Revata's behaviour, Thera Sammajjana thought the other thera was just idling away his time. Thus, one day Sammajjana went to Thera Revata and said to him, "You are being very lazy, living on the food offered out of faith and generosity; don't you think you should sometimes sweep the floors or the compound or some other place?"
To him, Thera Revata replied, "Friend, a bhikkhu should not spend all his times sweeping. He should sweep early in the morning, then go out on the alms-round. After the meal, contemplating his body he should try to perceive the true nature of the aggregates, or else, recite the texts until nightfall. Then he can do the sweeping again if he so wishes."
Thera Sammajjana strictly followed the advice given by Thera Revata and soon attained arahatship. Other bhikkhus noticed some rubbish piling up in the compound and they asked Sammajjana why he was not sweeping as much as he used to, and he replied, "When I was not mindful, I was all the time sweeping; but now I am no longer unmindful."
When the bhikkhus heard his reply they were skeptical; so they went to the Buddha and said, "Venerable Sir! Thera Sammajjana falsely claims himself to be an arahant; he is telling lies." To them the Buddha said, "Sammajjana has indeed attained arahatship; he is telling the truth."
In other words, one who was previously heedless becomes mindful and he will progress n the path.
He who overwhelms with good the evil that he has done, lights up this world just like the moon freed from clouds.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 173: Thera Angulimala
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 173 with reference to Thera Angulimala.
Angulimala was the son of the Head Priest in the court of King Pasenadi of Kosala. His original name was Ahimsaka. When he was of age, he was sent to Taxila, a renowned university town. Ahimsaka was intelligent and was also obedient to his teacher. So he was liked by the teacher and his wife; as a result, other pupils were jealous of him. So they went to the teacher and falsely reported that Ahimsaka was having an affair with the teacher's wife.
At first, the teacher did not believe them, but after being told a number of times he believed them; and so he vowed to have revenge on the boy. To kill the boy would reflect badly on him; so he thought of a plan which was worse than murder. He told Ahimsaka to kill one thousand men or women and in return he promised to give the boy priceless knowledge. The boy wanted to have this knowledge, but was very reluctant to take life. However, he agreed to do as he was told.
Thus, he kept on killing people, and not to lose count, he threaded a finger each of everyone he killed and wore them like a garland round his neck. In this way, he was known as Angulimala, and became the terror of the countryside. The king himself heard about the exploits of Angulimala, and he made preparations to capture him. When Mantani, the mother of Angulimala, heard about the king's intention, out of love for her son, she went into the forest in a desperate bid to save her son. By this time, the chain round the neck of Angulimala had nine hundred and ninety-nine fingers in it, just one finger short of one thousand.
Early in the morning on that day, the Buddha saw Angulimala in his vision, and reflected that if he did not intervene, Angulimala who was on the look out for the last person to make up the one thousand would see his mother and might kill her. In that case, Angulimala would have to suffer in niraya (hell) endlessly. So out of compassion, the Buddha left for the forest where Angulimala was.
Angulimala, after many sleepless days and nights, was very tired and near exhaustion. At the same time, he was very anxious to kill the last person to make up his full quota of one thousand and so complete his task. He made up his mind to kill the first person he met. Suddenly, as he looked out he saw the Buddha and ran after him with his knife raised. But the Buddha could not be reached while he himself was completely exhausted.
Then, looking at the Buddha, he cried out, "O bhikkhu, stop! stop!" and the Buddha replied, "I have stopped, only you have not stopped." Angulimala did not get the significance of the words of the Buddha, so he asked, "O Bhikkhu! Why do you say that you have stopped and I have not stopped?" The Buddha then said to him, "I say that I have stopped, because I have given up killing all beings, I have given up ill-treating all beings, and because I have established myself in universal love, patience, and knowledge through reflection. But, you have not given up killing or ill-treating others and you are not yet established in universal love and patience. Hence, you are the one who has not stopped."
Upon hearing these words from the mouth of the Buddha, Angulimala reflected, "These are the words of a wise man. This bhikkhu is so very wise and so very brave ; he must be the ruler of the bhikkhus. Indeed, he must be the Buddha himself! He must have come here specially to make me see the light." So thinking, he threw away his weapon and asked the Buddha to admit him to the Order of the bhikkhus. Then and there, the Buddha made him a bhikkhu. Angulimala's mother looked for her son everywhere in the forest shouting out his name, but failing to find him she returned home. When the king and his men came to capture Angulimala, they found him at the monastery of the Buddha. Finding that Angulimala had given up his evil ways and had become a bhikkhu, the king and his men went home. During his stay at the monastery, Angulimala ardently and diligently practiced meditation, and within a short time he attained arahantship.
Then, one day, while he was on an alms-round, he came to a place where some people were quarreling among themselves. As they were throwing stones at one another, some stray stones hit Thera Angulimala on the head and he was seriously injured. Yet, he managed to come back to the Buddha, and the Buddha said to him, "My son Angulimala! You have done away with evil. Have patience. You are paying in this existence for the deeds you have done. These deeds would have made you suffer for innumerable years in niraya." Soon afterwards, Angulimala passed away peacefully; he had realized parinibbana.
Other bhikkhus asked the Buddha where Angulimala was reborn, and when the Buddha replied "My son has realized parinibbana", they could hardly believe it. So they asked him whether it was possible that a man who had killed so many people could have realized parinibbana. To this question, the Buddha replied, "Bhikkhus! Angulimala had done much evil because he did not have good friends. But later, he found good friends and through their help and good advice he had been steadfast and mindful in his practice of the dhamma. Therefore, his evil deeds have been overwhelmed by good (i e., Arahatta Magga).
In other words, evil can be overcome by doing good.
Verse 174 (Without Eye of Wisdom, This World Is Blind) Andhabhūto ayaṃ loko, tanuk’ettha vipassati Sakuṇo jālamutto’va, appo saggāya gacchati.
Blind are the people of this world: only a few in this world see clearly . As birds escape from a net, few go to a blissful state.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 174: Weaver-Girl
While residing at the monastery near Aggavala shrine in the country of Alavi, the Buddha uttered Verse 174 with reference to a young maiden, who was a weaver.
At the conclusion of an alms-giving ceremony in Alavi, the Buddha gave a discourse on the impermanence of the aggregates (khandhas). The main points the Buddha stressed on that day may be expressed as follows: "My life is impermanent; for me, death only is permanent. I must certainly die; my life ends in death. Life is not permanent; death is permanent."
The Buddha also exhorted the audience to be always mindful and to strive to perceive the true nature of the aggregate. He also said,"As one who is armed with a stick or a spear is prepared to meet an enemy (e.g. a poisonous snake), so also, one who is ever mindful of death will face death mindfully. He would then leave this world for a good destination (sugati)." Many people did not take the above exhortation seriously, but a young girl of sixteen who was a weaver clearly understood the message. After giving the discourse, the Buddha returned to the Jetavana monastery.
After three years, when the Buddha surveyed the world, he saw the young weaver in his vision, and knew that time was ripe for the girl to attain Sotapatti Fruition. So the Buddha came to the country of Alavi to expound the dhamma for the second time. When the girl heard that the Buddha had come again with 500 bhikkhus, she wanted to go and listen to the discourse which would be given by the Buddha. However, her father asked her to wind some thread spools which he needed urgently, so she promptly wound some spools and took them to her father. On the way to her father, she stopped for a moment at the outer fringe of the audience, who had come to listen to the Buddha.
Meanwhile, the Buddha knew that the young weaver would come to listen to his discourse; he also knew that the girl would die when she got to the weaving shed. Therefore, it was very important that she should listen to the Dhamma on her way to the weaving shed and not on her return. So, when the young weaver appeared on the fringe of the audience, the Buddha looked at her. When she saw him looking at her, she dropped her basket and respectfully approached the Buddha. Then, he put four questions to her and she answered all of them. The questions and answers are as given below.
Questions Answers (1) Where have you come from? (1) I do not know. (2) Where are you going? (2) I do not know. (3) Don't you know? (3) Yes, I do know. (4) Do you know? (4) I do not know, Venerable Sir.
Hearing her answers, the audience thought that the young weaver was being very disrespectful. Then, the Buddha asked her to explain what she meant by her answers, and she explained.
"Venerable Sir! Since you know that I have come from my house, I interpreted that, by your first question, you meant to ask me from what past existence I have come here. Hence my answer, 'I do not know.' The second question means, to what future existence I would be going from here; hence my answer, 'I do not know.' The third question means whether I do not know that I would die one day; hence my answer, 'yes, I do know.' The last question means whether I know when I would die; hence my answer, 'I do not know.
The Buddha was satisfied with her explanation and he said to the audience, "Most of you might not understand clearly the meaning of the answers given by the young weaver. Those who are ignorant are in darkness, they are just like the blind." In other words, most people are unable to see the reality as it is , only few can see it.
Verse 175: The Wise Escape From this World Haṃsādiccapathe yanti, ākāse yanti iddhiyā Nīyanti dhīrā lokamhā, jetvā māraṃ savāhiniṃ
Swans fly on the path of the sun. Those with supernormal powers travel through the air. The wise, having conquered Mara and his army, are led (away) from the world.
Story related to Dhamampada Verse 175: Thirty Bhikkhus While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 175 with reference to thirty bhikkhus.
Once, thirty bhikkhus came to pay homage to the Buddha. When they came in, the Venerable Ananda, who was then attending on the Buddha, left the room and waited outside. After some time, Thera Ananda went in, but he did not find any of the bhikkhus. So, he asked the Buddha where all those bhikkhus had gone. The Buddha then replied, "Ananda, all those bhikkhus, after hearing my discourse, had attained arahatship, and with their supernormal powers, they left travelling through space."
Verse 176 There is No Evil A Liar Cannot Do Ekaṃ dhammaṃ atītassa, musāvādissa jantuno Vitiṇṇaparalokassa, natthi pāpaṃ akāriyaṃ
A liar who has transgressed the one law, and is indifferent to the other world, there is no evil they cannot do.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 176: Cincamanavika
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 176 with reference to Cincamanavika.
As the Buddha went on teaching the Dhamma, more and more people came flocking to him, and the ascetics of other faiths found their following to be dwindling. So they made a plan that would harm the reputation of the Buddha. They called the very beautiful Cincamanavika, a devoted pupil of theirs, to them and said to her, "If you have our interests in your heart, please help us and put Samana Gotama to shame." Cincamanavika agreed to comply.
That same evening, she took some flowers and went in the direction of the Jetavana monastery. When people asked her where she was going, she replied, "What is the use of you knowing where I am going?" Then she would go to the place of other ascetics near the Jetavana monastery and would come back early in the morning to make it appear as if she had spent the night at the Jetavana monastery.
When asked, she would reply, "I spent the night with Samana Gotama at the Perfumed Chamber of the Jetavana monastery." After three or four months had passed, she wrapped up her stomach with some cloth to make herself look pregnant. Then, after eight or nine months, she wrapped up her stomach with a round piece of thin wooden plank; she also beat up her palms and feet to make them swollen, and pretended to be feeling tired and worn out. Thus, she assumed a perfect picture of a woman in an advanced stage of pregnancy. Then, in the evening, she went to the Jetavana monastery to confront the Buddha.
The Buddha was then expounding the Dhamma to a congregation of bhikkhus and laymen. Seeing him teaching on the platform, she accused the Buddha thus: "O you big Samana! You only preach to others. I am now pregnant by you, yet you do nothing for my confinement. You only know how to enjoy your self!" The Buddha stopped preaching for a while and said to her, "Sister, only you and I know whether you are speaking the truth or not," and Cincamanavika replied, "Yes, you are right, how can others know what only you and I know?"
At that instant, Sakka, king of the devas, became aware of the trouble being brewed at the Jetavana monastery, so he sent four of his devas in the form of young rats. The four rats got under the clothes of Cincamanavika and bit off the strings that fastened the wooden plank round her stomach. As the strings broke, the wooden plank dropped, cutting off the front part of her feet. Thus, the deception of Cincamanavika was uncovered, and many from the crowd cried out in anger, "Oh you wicked woman! A liar and a cheat! How dare you accuse our noble Teacher!" Some of them spat on her and drove her out. She ran as fast as she could, and when she had gone some distance the earth cracked and fissured and she was swallowed up. The next day, while the bhikkhus were talking about Cincamanavika, the Buddha came to them and said. "Bhikkhu;, one who is not afraid to tell lies, and who does not care what happens in the future existence, will not hesitate to do any evil."
In other words, there is no evil act that a liar would not do.
Verse 177 Misers are not happy
Na ve kadariyā devalokaṃ vajanti, bālā have nappasaṃsanti dānaṃ Dhīro ca dānaṃ anumodamāno, ten’eva so hoti sukhī paratha
Misers do not go to celestial realms. Fools do not praise generosity. The wise rejoice in giving and thus become happy.
Story related to Dhamampada Verse 177: Unrivalled Alms-Giving
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 177 with reference to the unrivalled alms-giving of King Pasenadi of Kosala. Once, the king offered alms to the Buddha and other bhikkhus on a grand scale. His subjects, in competition with him, organized another alms-giving ceremony on a grander scale than that of the king. Thus, the king and his subjects kept on competing in giving alms.
Finally, Queen Mallika thought of a plan; to implement this plan, she asked the king to have a grand pavilion built. Next, she asked for five hundred white umbrellas and five hundred tame elephants; those five hundred elephants were to hold the five hundred white umbrellas over the five hundred bhikkhus. In the middle of the pavilion, they kept ten boats which were filled with perfumes and incense.
There were also two hundred and fifty princesses, who kept fanning the five hundred bhikkhus. Since the subjects of the king had no princesses, nor white umbrellas, nor elephants, they could no longer compete with the king. When all preparations were made, alms-food was offered. After the meal, the king made an offering of all the things in the pavilion, which were worth fourteen crores.
At the time, two ministers of the king were present. Of those two, the minister named Junha was very pleased and praised the king for having offered alms so generously to the Buddha and his bhikkhus. He also reflected that such offerings could only be made by a king. He was very glad because the king would share the merit of his good deeds with all beings. In short, the minister Junha rejoiced with the king in his unrivalled charity. The minister Kala, on the other hand, thought that the king was only squandering, by giving away fourteen crores in a single day, and that the bhikkhus would just go back to the monastery and sleep.
After the meal, the Buddha looked over at the audience and knew how Kala the minister was feeling. Then, he thought that if he were to deliver a lengthy discourse of appreciation, Kala would get more dissatisfied, and in consequence would have to suffer more in his next existence. So, out of compassion for Kala, the Buddha delivered only a short discourse and returned to the Jetavana monastery.
The king had expected a lengthy discourse of appreciation, and so he was very sad because the Buddha had been so brief. The king wondered if he had failed to do something which should have been done, and so he went to the monastery.
On seeing the king, the Buddha said, "Great King! You should rejoice that you have succeeded in making the offering of the unrivalled charity (asadisadana). Such an opportunity comes very rarely; it comes only once during the appearance of each Buddha. But your minister Kala had felt that it was a waste, and was not at all appreciative. So, if I had given a lengthy discourse, he would get more and more dissatisfied and uncomfortable, and in consequence, he would suffer much more in the present existence as well as in the next. That was why I preached so briefly."
Then the Buddha added, "Great King! Fools do not rejoice in the charities given by others and go to the lower worlds. The wise rejoice in other people's charities and through appreciation, they share in the merit gained by others and go to the abode of the devas".
In other words, misers do not rejoice in generosity and charity thus they are not reborn as devas.
Verse 178 Stream-winning is Better Than Sovereignty
The Fruit of Stream Entry is better than sole sovereignty over the earth, better than going to heaven, better than lordship over all the worlds.
Story related to Dhammapada Verse 178 Kala, son of Anathapindika
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse 178 with reference to Kala, son of Anathapindika, the well renowned rich man of Savatthi. Kala, son of Anathapindika, always kept away whenever the Buddha and his company of bhikkhus came to their house. Anathapindika was afraid that if his son kept on behaving in this way, he would be reborn in one of the lower worlds (apayas). So, he enticed his son with the promise of money. He promised to give one hundred if the youth consented to go to the monastery and keep sabbath for one day.
So, the youth went to the monastery and returned home early the next day, without listening to any religious discourses. His father offered him rice gruel, but instead of taking his food, he first demanded to have the money. The next day, the father said to his son, "My son, if you learn a stanza of the Text from the Buddha I will give you one thousand on your return." So, Kala went to the monastery again, and told the Buddha that he wanted to learn something. The Buddha gave him a short stanza to learn by heart; at the same time he willed that the youth would not be able to memorize it.
Thus, the youth had to repeat a single stanza many times, but because he had to repeat it so many times, in the end, he came to perceive the full meaning of the Dhamma and attained Sotapatti Fruition.
The next morning, he followed the Buddha and the bhikkhus to his own house. But on that day, he was silently wishing, "I wish my father would not give me the one thousand in the presence of the Buddha. I do not wish the Buddha to know that I kept the sabbath just for the sake of money." His father offered rice gruel to the Buddha and the bhikkhus, and also to him.
Then, his father brought one thousand, and told Kala to take the money but surprisingly he refused. His father pressed him to take it, but he still refused. Then, Anathapindika said to the Buddha, "Venerable Sir, my son is quite changed; he now behaves in a very pleasant manner."
Then he related to the Buddha how he had enticed the youth with money to go to the monastery and keep sabbath and to learn some religious texts. To him the Buddha replied, "Anathapindika! Today, your son has attained Sotapatti Fruition, which is much better than the riches of the Universal Monarch or that of the devas or that of the brahmas."
In other words, the fruits of the first stage of enlightenment being a sotapanna is better than any wealth and status in the world.