Pāyāsi.– A chieftain (rājañña) of Setabyā, who lived on a royal domain gifted by Pasenadi. He held the view that there was no world other than this, no fruit of actions and no rebirth. However, after a discussion with Kumāra-Kassapa, who was staying in the Siṃsapāvana nearby, he was convinced of the error of his views. Thereupon he instituted an almsgiving to all who sought his generosity. The gifts were, however, coarse and unpalatable. A young brahmin named Uttara, who came to the almsgiving and was passed over, spoke scornfully of the gifts. Hearing of this, Pāyāsi appointed him to supervise the distribution. After death, Pāyāsi was born among the Cātummahārājika gods while Uttara was born in Tāvatiṃsa.
Gavampati met Pāyāsi in the deva world, and Pāyāsi instructed him to teach men to give their gifts respectfully and with their own hands (D.ii.316 ﬀ; VvA.297 f., 331 f). Pāyāsi devaputta was also known as Serīsaka-devaputta because he lived in the Serīsaka vimāna. For details see Serissaka.
Pāyāsi Vagga.– The sixth chapter of the Vimānavatthu.
Pāyāsi Sutta.– The twenty-third sutta of the Dīghanikāya. It contains a discussion on kamma and rebirth between Pāyāsi and Kumāra-Kassapa in the Siṃsapāvana at Setabyā (D.ii.316 ﬀ).
The incidents mentioned in the sutta took place, according to Dhammapāla (VvA. p.297), after the Buddha’s death and the erection of thūpas over his relics.