DN23.2.4. The Simile of the Gods of the Thirty-Three

Pāyāsi Sutta ("With Pāyāsi")

“Well then, chieftain, I’ll ask you about this in return, and you can answer as you like. A hundred human years are equivalent to one day and night for the gods of the Thirty-Three. Thirty such days make a month, and twelve months make a year. The gods of the Thirty Three have a lifespan of a thousand such years. Now, as to your friends who are reborn in the company of the gods of the Thirty-Three after doing good things. If they think, ‘First I’ll amuse myself for two or three days, supplied and provided with the five kinds of heavenly sensual stimulation. Then I’ll go back to Pāyāsi and tell him that there is an afterlife.’ Would they come back to tell you that there is an afterlife?”

“No, Master Kassapa. For I would be long dead by then. But Master Kassapa, who has told you that the gods of the Thirty-Three exist, or that they have such a long life span? I don’t believe you.”

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