the number ten; gen dasannaṃ (Dhp.137); instr. dasahi (Kp iii.) & dasabhi (Vin.i.38). In compounds (-˚) also as ḷasa (soḷasa 16) rasa (terasa 13; pannar˚ 15; aṭṭhār˚ 18).

I. Metaphorical meaning

  1. In the first place 10 is used for measurement (more recent & comprehensive than its base 5); it is the no. of a set or comprehensive unity, not in a vague (like 3 or 5), but in a definite sense.
  2. There inheres in it the idea of a fixed measure, with which that of an authoritative, solemn & auspicious importance is coupled. This applies to the unit as well as its decimal combinations (100, 1000) Ethically it denotes a circle, to fulfil all of which constitutes a high achievement or power.

II. Application

  1. (based on natural phenomena): dasa disā (10 points of the compass; see disā): Snp.719, Snp.1122; Pv-a.71, etc.; d. lokadhātuyo Pv.ii.9#61 (= 10 × 1000; Pv-a.138); d. māse (10 months as time of gestation kucchiyā pariharitvā Ja.i.52; Pv-a.43, Pv-a.82
  2. (fig.)
    1. a set:

      1. personal (cp. 10 people would have saved Sodom: Gen. 18, 32; the 10 virgins (2 × 5) Matt. 25, 1) divase divase dasa dasa putte vijāyitvā (giving birth to 10 sons day by day) Pv.i.6
      2. impersonal: 10 commandments (dasa sikkhāpadāni Vin.i.83), cp. Exod 34, 28; 10 attributes of perfection of a Tathāgata or an Arahant: Tathāgata-balāni; with ref. to the Buddha see Vin.i.38 & cp.; Vin. Texts i.141 sq.; dasah’ angehi samannāgato arahā ti vuccati (in memorizing of No. 10 Kp iii. dasahi asaddhammehi sam˚ kāko Ja.iii.127–Ja.iii.10 heavenly attributes (ṭhānāni): āyu etc. DN.iii.146; SN.v.275; Pv-a.9, opp. 10 afflictions as punishment (cp.10 plagues Exod. 7–11): dasannaṃ aññataraṃ ṭhānaṃ nigacchati Dhp.137 (= das. dukkha-kāraṇānaṃ, enumerated v. Dhp.138, Dhp.139) “afflicted with one of the 10 plagues” cp. Dhp-a.iii.70.
        ■ 10 good gifts to the bhikkhu (see deyyadhamma) Cnd.523; Pv-a.7; Pv-a.10 rules for the king Pv-a.161
        ■ dividing the Empire into 10 parts: Pv-a.111; etc. vassa-dasa a decade: das’ ev’ imā vassa-dasā Ja.iv.396 (enumerated under vassa); dasa-rāja-dhammā Ja.ii.367; das’ akkosa-vatthūni Dhp-a.i.212
        ■ See on similar sets AN.v.1–AN.v.310; DN.iii.266–DN.iii.271
    2. a larger unity, a crowd, a vast number (of time & space)

      1. personal, often meaning “all” (cp. 10 sons of Haman were slain Esth. 9, 10; 10 lepers cleansed at one time Luke 17, 12): dasa bhātaro Ja.i.307; dasa bhātikā Pv-a.111; dasa-kaññā-sahassa-parivārā Pv-a.210 etc.
      2. impersonal (cp. 10 × 10 = many times, S.B.E. 43, 3) dasa-yojanika consisting of a good many miles Dhp-a.iii.291. dasavassasahassāni dibbāni vatthāni paridahanto (“for ever and aye”) Pv-a.76, etc.
  • -kkhattuṃ [Sk. ˚kṛtvah] ten times Dhp-a.i.388;
  • -pada (nt.) a draught-board (with 10 squares on each side) a pre-Buddhistic game, played with men and dice, on such a board DN.i.6; Vin.ii.10 = Vin.iii.180 (˚e kīḷanti) DN-a.i.85.
  • -bala, [Sk. daśabala] endowed with 10 (supernormal) powers, epithet of the Buddhas, esp. of Kassapa Buddha Vin.i.38 = Ja.i.84; SN.ii.27; Vism.193, Vism.391; Dhp-a.i.14; Vv-a.148, Vv-a.206, etc.
  • -vidha tenfold Dhp-a.i.398.
  • -sata ten times a hundred Vin.i.38 (˚parivāro) Snp.179 (yakkhā); Dhs-a.198 (˚nayano).
  • -sahassa ten times a thousand (freq.); ˚ī in dasa-sahassi-lokadhātu Vin.i.12 (see lokadhātu).

Sk. daśa = Av. dasa, Gr. δέκα, Lat. decem, Goth. taíhun, Oir. deich, Ags. tīen, Ohg. zehan fr. *dekm̊, a cpd. of dv + km̊ = “two hands”


(-˚) seeing, to be seen, to be perceived or understood DN.i.18 (aññadatthu˚ sure-seeing all-perceiving = sabbaṃ passāmī ti attho DN-a.i.111); Snp.653 (paṭiccasamuppāda˚), Snp.733 (sammad˚) Ja.i.506 (yugamatta˚; variant reading dassa)
duddasa difficult to be seen or understood DN.i.12 (dhammā gambhīrā d. see gambhīra); MN.i.167, MN.i.487; Snp.938; Dhp.252; also as sududdasa Dhp.36.

■ dṛśa; cp. dassa