1. Subrahmā. A Devaputta. He visits the Buddha at Veluvana and tells him that his heart is full of dismay. The Buddha replies that the only path out of sorrow is by way of wisdom, renunciation and restraint (S.i.53).
According to the Commentary, (SA.i.88f.; DA.iii.750; MA.i.190f ), he was a devaputta of Tāvatimsa, and one day went to the Nandana Park with one thousand nymphs. Five hundred of them sat with him under the Pāricchattaka-tree, while the others climbed the tree, from which they threw garlands and sang songs. Suddenly all of them vanished and were born in Avīci. Subrahmā, discovering their destiny and investigating his own, finds that he has only seven days more to live. Full of grief, he seeks the Buddha for consolation. At the end of the Buddha's discourse he becomes a sotāpanna.
2. Subrahmā. A Pacceka Brahmā. He was a follower of the Buddha, and, after visiting him together with Suddhavāsa, he went on to another Brahmā, who was infatuated with his own importance. There, by a display of magic power, Subrahmā convinced him that he was far more powerful than the Brahmā, but declared that his own power was as nothing compared with that of the Buddha (S.i.146f).
On another occasion, Subrahmā visited the Buddha to declare the folly of Kokālika and of Katamoraka Tissa (S.i.148).
Subrahmā was present at the preaching of the Mahāsamaya Sutta. D.ii.261.
3. Subrahmā. A brahmin who will be the father of Metteyya Buddha. His wife will be Brahmavatī (DhSA.415; Vsm.434). He will be the chaplain of King Sankha (Anāgat.vs.96).
According to the Mahāvamsa (Mhv.xxxii.82) he is identical with Kākavannatissa.