The Gods of the "Realm of the 33"

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My favourite part of the second diagram is that is says “not to scale”.

Is that bad to find that very amusing?




Thank you for pinting that out. It strikes me as very funny, also. But a good type of humor, an endearing and sympathetic sort of humor. :slight_smile: It raises a silliness which feels harmless and maybe even beneficial.


Thanks all for this thread. I’ve been hearing Gods of the Thirty-Three every time I listen to DN33 and it’s become vexing. The term that seems to evoke this translation is tāvatiṃsānaṃ devānaṃ, which does not appear previously in this thread. :thinking:

I’ve been sidestepping the recollection of the deities with the simple truth that I don’t know any to recollect:

2.2.115 the recollection of the Buddha, the teaching, the Saṅgha, ethics, generosity, and the deities.

Finally, vexed, today I did a search and found this thread. More specifically, I found AN8.36, which describes why they are important to the study of the suttas:

Next, someone has practiced a lot of giving and ethical conduct as grounds for making merit, but they haven’t got as far as meditation as a ground for making merit. When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in the company of the Gods of the Thirty Three. There, Sakka, lord of gods, has practiced giving and ethical conduct as grounds for making merit to a greater degree than the other gods. So he surpasses them in ten respects …

Briefly, being good, generous and ethical without practicing meditation lands one in the company of the 33. Interestingly, Sakka, the lord of the gods, consults with the Buddha on matters of morality. The implication is that ethics uninformed by Right Knowledge is insufficient and is simply paying homage to ethical rules as embodied and led by Sakka himself. In other words, any system of laws founded on ethics in incomplete as a guide without immersive insight. And I think that would also include the Vinaya, which can only be understood thoroughly and completely with deep insight.


see here:

footnote [3]: The rendering of the various gods’ names are based on the commentary to the Hadayavibhanga (in the Vibhanga, second book of the Abhidhamma: see The Book of Analysis, P.T.S. Translation Series).

there is one deva’s list appearing inside Chapter 6 of Vibhanga, the “Section Dealing With Productive Action and Age Limit”, in PTS edition translated by S.U.Thittila.

Not sure if that’s all.


I had one dog he believed I’m under pseudoscience because I’m unable to know when a friend is coming by the street 7 floors under my apartment.

Unfortunately he did not leave me a map of his universe. :frowning_face:


Thank you. I’m still trying to incorporate some working knowledge of the deities into my practice. It’s hard not having cultural context, but maybe that’s also good because it lends a sharper awareness and consideration.

For example, one of the gods of the 33 is Earth.

I have always thanked the mountain after I climbed. I have also scolded others for disparaging or hurting the mountain. It just seemed right. In that sense, Earth is real to me. Would a sailor feel the same about Water?


sure you knows the history of the Buddha’s Enligthenment, in where Mara told to the Buddha that nobody was there to know what happened. Then the Buddha requested to the Earth to be the witness of his success. The sense of the history is really deep, I think.

I have always thanked the mountain after I climbed. I have also scolded others for disparaging or hurting the mountain. It just seemed right. In that sense, Earth is real to me. Would a sailor feel the same about Water?

anyway what you do to your heart sounds fully right


Buddhist ‘gods’ are not for worshipping! :laughing:


But some of them may be petitioned for assistance if you’re ever attacked by a yakkha.

Āṭānāṭiya Sutta


Hmm Authenticity of Atanatiya sutta.


That is an excellent point.

When I bow to the mountain and thank it,
it is with the same feeling that …
I now bow to you and thank you.


(wait. why did the mountain just laugh?)


I wonder if calling them Buddhist gods is incorrect. God has certain connotations that devas don’t (unlike all the theistic religions). They are simply higher (?) beings on another plane of existence.


I sometimes thank my car after a long drive for bringing me safely back home. I can’t help it. I think it’s the guilt of shopping for materialistic things that make me do that. :rofl:


If one is attacked by a supernatural malady, why not have a supernatural cure?


The more I give thanks, the more I find to be thankful for.
At first I felt embarrassed to thank inanimate objects, yet now I feel embarrassed and apologetic if I heedlessly use some thing without a mindful and thankful heart.
:car: :heart: :pray:

(Siri just said, “You’re welcome”)


This works

(1) “One sleeps well; (2) one awakens happily; (3) one does not have bad dreams; (4) one is pleasing to human beings; (5) one is pleasing to spirits; (6) deities protect one; (7) fire, poison, and weapons do not injure one; and (8) if one does not penetrate further, one moves on to the brahmā world. AN11.16

At Sāvatthī. “Mendicants, suppose there was a sharp-pointed spear. And a man came along and thought: ‘With my hand or fist I’ll fold this sharp spear over, bend it back, and twist it around!’ What do you think, mendicants? Is that man capable of doing so?” “No, sir. Why not? Because it’s not easy to fold that sharp spear over, bend it back, and twist it around with the hand or fist. That man will eventually get weary and frustrated.”

“In the same way, suppose a mendicant has developed the heart’s release by love, has cultivated it, made it a vehicle and a basis, kept it up, consolidated it, and properly implemented it. Should any non-human think to overthrow their mind, they’ll eventually get weary and frustrated. So you should train like this: ‘We will develop the heart’s release by love. We’ll cultivate it, make it our vehicle and our basis, keep it up, consolidate it, and properly implement it.’ That’s how you should train.” SuttaCentral