No. 33, only in compounds denoting the 33 gods, whose chief is Sakka, while the numeral 33 is always tettiṃsa. This number occurs already in the Vedas with ref. to the gods & is also found in Zend-Avesta (see Haug, Language & Writings etc., pp. 275, 276). The early Buddhists, though they took over the number 33, rejected the superstitious beliefs in the magical influence and mystic meaning of that & other simple numbers. And they altered the tradition. The king of the gods had been Indra, of disreputable character from the Buddhist point of view. Him they deposed, and invented a new god named Sakka, the opposite in every way to Indra (see for details; Dial. ii.294–⁠298). Good Buddhists, after death in this world, are reborn in heaven (sagga), by which is meant the realm of the Thirty-three (DN.ii.209). There they are welcomed by the Thirty-three with a song of triumph (DN.ii.209, DN.ii.211, DN.ii.221, DN.ii.227) The Thirty-three are represented as being quite good Buddhists. Sakka their new chief and Brahmā address them in discourses suitable only for followers of the new movement (DN.ii.213, DN.ii.221). See further Vin.i.12; MN.i.252; MN.ii.78; MN.iii.100; AN.iii.287; AN.iv.396 = Vv-a.18 (cpd with the people of Jambudīpa); Vv-a.59, Vv-a.331, Vism.225, etc
■ See also tidasa.

  • -devaloka the god-world of the 33; freq. e.g. Ja.i.202 Vism.399; Dhp-a.iii.8;
  • -bhavana the realm of the 33 gods Ja.i.202; Vism.207 sq., Vism.390, Vism.416, and passim.

tayo + tiṃsa. Cp. Vedic trayastriṃśat