Thus have I heard. Once the Buddha was living in Pubba Monastery, in the mansion of Migara’s mother, in Savatthi. Then Sakka king of the devas [Sakka Devanam Indo] approached the Blessed One, saluted, respectfully stood to one side, and said:
"Venerable sir, how is the practitioner released by destroying craving in brief? How does one become perfect, come to the end of the bond, the consummation of the higher life, and become chief among devas and humans?
Herein [within this Dharma and Discipline], king of the devas, the practitioner becomes learned, knowing that everything is unsuitable to settle in. One becomes learned, learning all things thoroughly and correctly, recognizing all things. One feels all sensations -- pleasant, unpleasant, or neither pleasant nor unpleasant.
In those feelings one discerns impermanence, detaches the mind/heart from them, and seeing their cessation [their radical impermanence] gives them up.
Abiding seeing impermanence, detachment, cessation, and giving up of those feelings, one does not grasp at or seize anything in the world. Not seizing one does not worry. Not worrying one is internally cooled (extinguished). Birth is destroyed, done is what should be done, the higher life is lived, and one directly knows that there is nothing more to wish for.
O! king of the devas, with this much, the practitioner is perfected [enlightened and liberated from all further suffering], thoroughly come to the end of bonds, is released by the destruction of craving, and becomes chief among devas and humans.
Then the king of the devas, delighting and agreeing with the words of the Buddha saluted, respectfully circumambulated, and vanished.
At that time Ven. Maha Moggallana, foremost in psychic powers, was seated near the Buddha and it occurred to him, "Did this super-human really understand the words of the Blessed One and, delighted, vanish, or didn’t he? I should find out."
Sakka king of the devas, seeing Ven. Moggallana coming in the distance, dismissed the fivefold music assembly, approached, and said: Welcome, Ven. Moggallana! It is a long time since the Ven. Moggallana found an occasion to visit. Sit, sir. A seat is ready. Ven. Moggallana sat on the seat prepared for him. Sakka sat on a lower seat. And Ven. Moggallana said:
"Kosiya, how did the Blessed One explain to you the release through the destruction of craving in brief? We, too, would like to hear it."
"Good sir, we have much work to do, and much to do for the Devas of the Thirty-Three. Yet Ven. Moggallana, we heard it, grasped it well, thoroughly considered it, and bore it in mind, and then we vanished immediately.
"In the past there was a battle between the devas and the titans (asuras). We defeated them in battle. And on returning after our victory to celebrate, I created a mansion named Vejanta. This mansion has one hundred pinnacles; each pinnacle has seven hundred gables; each gable has seven nymphs; and each nymph has seven attendants. Ven. Moggallana, do you desire to see the splendor of Vejanta mansion?"
Ven. Moggallana consented by his silence. Then Sakka king of the devas and Vessavana one of the great sky kings approached Vejanta mansion following behind Ven. Moggallana.
Seeing him approaching in the distance, Sakka's attendants entered their rooms with remorse and shame, like daughters-in-law on seeing their mother-in-law.
Then Sakka king of the devas and Vessavana the great sky king wandering through Vejanta mansion said:
"Ven. Moggallana, look at the splendor of Vejanta mansion. This splendor is on account of venerable Kosiya having done merit in the past. Even as people seeing something good would say, 'It is splendid,' would say 'It is the work of the Devas of the Thirty-Three.' Venerable Kosiya lives in splendor owing to having accrued merit in the past."
Then the following occurred to Ven. Moggallana: "This foolish super-human lives in negligence. What if I arouse consternation in him?" Then Ven. Moggallana exercised his psychic powers by which he caused Vejanta mansion to shake and tremble simply by moving his toe.
Sakka king of the devas, Vessavana the great sky king, and the retinue of Devas of the Thirty-Three were amazed and surprised to think that a human monk could so violently shake a space mansion merely using his toe.
Then Ven. Moggallana, knowing that Sakka king of the devas was frightened with hairs standing on end, said:
"Kosiya, how did the Blessed One tell you about release through the destruction of craving in bried? We, too, would like to hear it."
"Ven. Moggallana, I approached the Blessed One, saluted, stood to one side, and said: 'Venerable sir, how is a practitioner released through the destruction of craving in brief? How is one perfected...? Ven. Moggallana, then the Blessed One said to me: 'Herein, king of the devas, a practitioner becomes learned...seeing impermanence, detachment, cessation, and giving up of those feelings, does not grasp at or seize anything in the world.... is released with the destruction of craving in brief....' Ven. Moggallana, the Blessed One explained release through the destruction of craving in brief."
Then Ven. Moggallana, delighting and agreeing with the words of Sakka king of the devas, vanished from the presence of the Devas of the Thirty-Three and appeared back in Pubba Monastery, the mansion of Migara’s mother as quickly as a strong person might stretch a bent arm or bend a stretched arm.
Soon after Ven. Moggallana had left, Sakka's attendant devas said to him: "Sir, is that the Blessed One, your teacher?"
"Sirs, he is not the Blessed One, our teacher. He is an associate [a brother in the Aryan Sangha, the noble set of those entered upon at least the first stage of enlightenment as Sakka was] of mine, the Venerable Maha Moggallana."
"It is a gain for you, sir, that your associate is so powerful! How much the more your teacher must be!"
Then Ven. Moggallana approached the Buddha, saluted, sat to one side, and said: "Venerable sir, does the Blessed One remember explaining the release through the destruction of craving in brief a certain super-human"
"Maha Moggallana, I remember. Here, Sakka king of the devas approached, saluted, stood to one side, and asked... When this was said, I said... I remember explaining the release through the destruction of craving in brief to Sakka king of the devas thus."
The Buddha explained, and Ven. Maha Moggallana delighted in the words of the Blessed One.