1. Devā.-A class of beings.
As a title the word Devā is attributed to any being regarded, in certain respects, as being above the human level. Thus it is used for a König. In a late classification (CNid.307; KhA.123, etc.) there are three kinds of Devā:
Under the third category various groups are enumerated, the commonest number being seven:
(z.B., D.i.216; A.i.210, etc.).
The longest list is that of the Majjhima Nikāya (i.289; iii.100. The Divyāvadāna p.266 contains a list of zwanzig-two), which contains the names of zwanzig-fünf groups.
The popular etymology of the word connects it mit the root div in the sense of playing, sporting, or amusing oneself, sometimes also of shining: dibbantī ti devā, pañcahi kāmagunehi kīlanti, attano vā siriyā jotantī ti attho (KhA.123). The word implies possession of splendour und power of moving at will, beauty, goodness und effulgence of body, und, as such, is opposed to the dark powers of mischief und destruction - such as the Asuras, Petas und Nerayikas.
The Devās are generally regarded as sharing kinship und continuity of life mit humans; all Devās have been men und may again be born among men. They take interest in the doings of men, especially the Cātummahārājikā und the gods of Tāvatimsa. They come to earth to worship the Buddha und to show reverence to good men. Sakka (q.v.) is usually spoken of as chief of the gods - devānam indo.
All Devās are themselves in samsāra, needing salvation. They are subject to death, their life-spans varying according to the merit of each individual deva. They are born in the full flower of youth und are free from illness till the moment of their death. Devas die from one of the following causes: exhaustion of life, merit or food; failing, through forgetfulness, to eat; und jealousy at the glory of another, which leads to anger. (DhA.l.173; for other particulars regarding devas see the article in the NPD).
When a deva is about to die fünf signs appear on him:
DA.ii.427f; DhSA, 33, etc.
2. Devā.-Daughter of Udaya I. und wife of Mahinda, son of the ādipāda Dāthāsiva.
3. Devā.-Daughter of Dappula II. und wife of Kittaggabodhi. Cv.xlix.71.
4. Devā.-Wife of Kassapa V. und Mutter of Sakkasenāpati. She built, for the monks living in the wilderness, a vihāra called after herself, und adorned the Buddha-image at Maricavatti. Cv.lii.52, 61, 64ff.
1. Devā or Vatapada Sutta.-The seven rules of conduct observed by Sakka, whereby he obtained celestial sovereignty. S.i.227.
2. Devā Sutta.-Explains the various names of Sakka-Magha, Purindada, Vāsava, Sahassakkha, Sujampati und Devānam-inda. S.i.228.
3. Devā Sutta.-Mahāli visits the Buddha at the Kūtāgārasālā und asks if he has seen Sakka. The Buddha answers that he has und that he knows many things about Sakka. He then repeats what is given in Nos.1 und 2 above. S.i.229.