MERIT WELCOMES THE DOERS OF GOOD
Cirappavasim purisam durato sot him agatam
Nati mitta suhajja ca abhinandanti sagatam.
Tath' eva kata punnam pi asma loka param gatam.
Punnani patiganhanti piyam natim' va agatam.[219-220]
A man long absent and returned safe from afar, his kinsmen, friends, and well-wishers welcome on his arrival.
Likewise, his good deeds will receive the well-doer who has gone from this world to the next, as kinsmen will receive a dear one on his return. [219-220]
Nandiya was a rich man from Benares. After listening to the Buddha's discourses on the benefits of building monasteries for bhikkhus, Nandiya built the Mahavihara monastery at Isipatana. The building was pinnacled and fully furnished. As soon as the monastery was offered to the Buddha, a mansion came up for Nandiya in the Tavatimsa deva world.
One day, when Venerable Moggallana visited the Tavatimsa deva world he saw the mansion which was meant for the donor of the Mahavihara monastery at Isipatana. On his return from the Tavatimsa deva world, Moggallana asked the Buddha. 'Venerable Sir! Are those who perform meritorious deeds able to receive the fruits of mansions and other riches in the deva world even while they are still living in this world?' The Buddha replied, 'Why do you ask this question? You yourself have seen the beautiful palace and riches waiting for Nandiya in the Tavatimsa deva world. The devas await the coming of the good and generous ones, as relatives await the return of one who is long absent. When the good ones die, they are welcomed joyously to the abode of thedevas.'*
*The Vimana Vatthu Commentary goes on to say that Nandiya, after a life devoted to almsgiving, died and was reborn in the Tavatimsadevaworld.