I. Sagātha Vagga
The Book of the Kindred Sayings
I. Kindred Sayings with Verses
9. The Forest Suttas
Sambahulā (or Cārika) Suttaɱ
Many of Them
[4.1] THUS HAVE I HEARD: —
Many brethren were once staying among the Kosalese
in a certain forest-tract.
And at the close of the rains,
when the three months [of Lent] were over,
those brethren set out on tour.
One might question how this sutta was obtained for the collection as there is no connection to any member of the order or even to any human beings. Did the gods contribute to the collections? It is likely possible that an Arahant could know the thoughts of devas, — we have several cases of such mind-reading at a distance; The Buddha or Moggallāna becomeing aware of the deviant thoughts or even actions of some god. Perhaps all thoughts concerning Dhamma come to the awareness of Arahants.
Then the deva,
indigenous to that forest,
uttered in that hour the verse: —
"I see these many solitary seats,
By learned men of varied discourse used.
To-day regret and discontent are mine —
Where are those Gotama-disciples gone?"
When this had been said,
a certain deva addressed this verse to him: —
"They've gone to Magadha, to Kosala,
And some into the Vajjian land have gone.
As deer that roam untrapped at liberty,
Owning no home the almsmen pass their time."
 These were not solitary students, but a school collectively and systematically engaged, according to B., in teaching and learning by heart the doctrines, and asking and answering questions, marking the hours by a bell (gaṇḍi).