What is the tāvatiṃsā or gods of the Thirty-Three?

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DooDoot
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What is the tāvatiṃsā or gods of the Thirty-Three?

Post by DooDoot » Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:16 am

Dear DW forum

I was reading MN 90 and read the following:
General Viḍūḍabha... Have you heard of the gods of the Thirty-Three (sutā te devā tāvatiṃsā ti?)?

Yes, Venerable... Ananda... and so has the good King Pasenadi...

So the king said to the Buddha, “Sir, I asked you about omniscience, and you answered. I like and accept this, and am satisfied with it. I asked you about the four classes, about the gods, and about Brahmā, and you answered in each case. Whatever I asked the Buddha about, he answered. I like and accept this, and am satisfied with it. Well, now, sir, I must go. I have many duties, and much to do.” Then King Pasenadi approved and agreed with what the Buddha said. Then he got up from his seat, bowed, and respectfully circled the Buddha, keeping him on his right, before leaving.

https://suttacentral.net/mn90/en/sujato
My impression from MN 90 is King Pasenadi & his son General Viḍūḍabha did not know much about Buddhism. In fact, at the end of the sutta, it appears King Pasenadi did not even take Refuge in the Triple Gem. However, it appears when Venerable Ananda asked General Viḍūḍabha the question: "Have you heard of the gods of the Thirty-Three?"; this question was about the gods of the Thirty-Three found in the pre-existing Brahmanism.

Since I do not know what the gods of the Thirty-Three are, I googled it and found the following:
The Thirty-three deities (Sanskrit: trayastriṃśat) is a pantheon of Vedic deities, some of Vedic origin and some developed later. The 33 are:

Eight Vasus (deities of material elements) – Dyauṣ "Sky", Pṛthivī "Earth", Vāyu "Wind", Agni "Fire", Nakṣatra "Stars", Antarikṣa "Atmosphere" or "Space", Sūrya "Sun", Chandra "Moon"

Twelve Ādityas (personified deities) – Vishnu, Aryaman, Indra (Śakra), Tvāṣṭṛ, Varuṇa, Bhaga, Savitṛ, Vivasvat, Aṃśa, Mitra, Pūṣan, Dakṣa.

Eleven Rudras, consisting of: (i) Five abstractions – Ānanda "bliss", Vijñāna "knowledge", Manas "thought", Prāṇa "breath" or "life", Vāc "speech" (ii) Five names of Śiva – Īśāna "revealing grace", Tatpuruṣa "concealing grace", Aghora
dissolution/rejuvenationBhairava", Vāmadeva "preserving aspect", Sadyojāta "born at once"; (iii) Ātmā "self"

Other sources include the two Aśvins (or Nāsatyas), twin solar deities.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty-three_gods
Could someone kindly show me where is the Buddhist version or list of the gods of the Thirty-Three found in the suttas?

Thank you :smile:
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sentinel
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Re: What is the tāvatiṃsā or gods of the Thirty-Three?

Post by sentinel » Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:57 am

It seems that the gods of 33 realms ie Tativamsa is about Lord Sakka and another 32 gods companion if I am not mistaken .
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Re: What is the tāvatiṃsā or gods of the Thirty-Three?

Post by DooDoot » Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:10 am

Thanks but I hope, as asked, some sutta links would be posted.Regards
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Re: What is the tāvatiṃsā or gods of the Thirty-Three?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:04 am

See The Questions of Sakka

Sakka is the king of Tāvatiṃsa, and as a Stream-winner is regarded as the guardian of the religion. The Burmese New Year (Thingyan) celebrates Sakka's supposed descent to earth.

It is the second of the six Kāmavacara Celestial Realms.
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Re: What is the tāvatiṃsā or gods of the Thirty-Three?

Post by Zom » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:16 am

Vinaya, Culavagga 6.30:
Now the Likkhavis of Vesâlî heard that the Blessed One had arrived at Kotigâma. And the Likkhavis of Vesâlî ordered a number of magnificent vehicles to be made ready, mounted these vehicles, and left Vesâlî with their magnificent vehicles in order to visit the Blessed One. Some of the Likkhavis were dark, dark in colour, and wearing dark clothes and ornaments; some of them. were fair, fair in colour, and wearing light clothes and ornaments; some of them were red, ruddy in colour, and wearing red clothes and ornaments; some of them were white, pale in colour, and wearing white colours and ornaments.

.....
Then the Likkhavis went to the place where the Blessed One was. And the Blessed One saw the Likkhavis coming from afar; when he saw them, he addressed the Bhikkhus and said: 'O Bhikkhus, let those of the Bhikkhus who have never seen the Tâvatimsa gods, gaze upon this company of the Likkhavis, behold this company of the Likkhavis, compare this company of the Likkhavis, even as a company of Tâvatimsa gods!'
https://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/sbe17/sbe17044.htm 8-)

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Re: What is the tāvatiṃsā or gods of the Thirty-Three?

Post by DooDoot » Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:09 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:04 am
See The Questions of Sakka

It is the second of the six Kāmavacara Celestial Realms.
Zom wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:16 am
Vinaya, Culavagga 6.30:
https://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/sbe17/sbe17044.htm 8-)
Thank you. So the above answers give the impression the 33 gods are not listed in the Pali suttas.
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Re: What is the tāvatiṃsā or gods of the Thirty-Three?

Post by santa100 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 1:20 pm

DooDoot wrote:Could someone kindly show me where is the Buddhist version or list of the gods of the Thirty-Three found in the suttas?
General description of the Tavatimsa is in DN 18. The specific deities' names are in the Jataka. Further details are available at Pali name dictionary.
The gods of Tāvatimsa sometimes come to earth to take part in human festivities (J.iii.87). Thus Sakka, Vissakamma and Mātali are mentioned as having visited the earth on various occasions. Mention is also made of goddesses from Tāvatimsa coming to bathe in the Anotatta and then spending the rest of the day on the Manosilātala (J.v.392).

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Re: What is the tāvatiṃsā or gods of the Thirty-Three?

Post by DooDoot » Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:40 pm

santa100 wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 1:20 pm
General description of the Tavatimsa is in DN 18. The specific deities' names are in the Jataka. Further details are available at Pali name dictionary.
Thank you. Since I could not find a list of 33 names of 33 gods in DN 18, it appears my question on this topic is not answerable in an affirmative manner. It appears the 33 gods Ananda spoke to King Pasenadi & his son General Viḍūḍabha about were the 33 gods of the Vedas and not whatever 33 gods were later invented by later day Buddhism.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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