A chieftain (rājañña) of Setavyā, 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. But after a discussion with Kūmara Kassapa, who was staying in the Simsapāvana near by, 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 god's while Uttara was born in Tāvatimsa.
Gavampati met Pāyāsi in the deva world, and Pāyāsi instructed him to teach men to give their gifts with thoroughness and with their own hands (D.ii.316ff.; VvA.297f., 331f). Pāyāsi devaputta was also known as Serīsakadevaputta because he lived in the Serīsaka vimāna. For details see Serīsaka devaputta.
The sixth chapter of the Vimāna Vatthu.
The twenty third sutta of the Dīgha Nikāya. It contains a discussion on rebirth and karma between Pāyāsi and Kumāra Kassapa in the Simsapāvana at Setavyā (D.ii.316ff).
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.