Vissakamma, Vissukamma: 1 definition



Vissakamma means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Vissakamma in Theravada glossary
Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

A deva, inhabitant of Tavatimsa. He is the chief architect, designer and decorator among the devas, and Sakka asks for his services whenever necessary. Thus he was ordered to build the palace called Dhamma for Mahasudassana (D.ii.180) and another for Mahapanada (J.iv.323; DA.iii.856).

He also built the hermitages for the Bodhisatta in various births - e.g., as

Sumedha (J.i.7) Kuddalapandita (J.i.314) Hatthipala (J.iv.489) Ayoghara (J.iv.499) Jotipala (J.v.132) Sutasoma (J.v.190) Temiya (, 29) Vessantara (

Vissakamma also built the hermitage for Dukulaka and Parika (

On the day that the Buddha renounced the world, Sakka sent Vissakamma in the guise of a shampooer to bathe him and clothe him in his royal ornaments (J.i.60; DhA.i.70; BuA.232; he also constructed ponds in which the prince might bathe, AA.i.379); he also sent him to adorn Temiya on the day he left the kingdom (

Vissakamma erected the jewelled pavilion, twelve leagues in compass, under the Gandamba, where the Buddha performed the Twin Miracle and built the three stairways of jewels, silver and gold, used by the Buddha in his descent from Tavatimsa to Sankassa (J.iv.265f). He built, the pavilions in which the Buddha and five hundred arahants travelled to Uggapura, at the invitation of Culla Subhadda. (DhA.iii.470; and again for the journey to Sunapuranta, MA.ii.1017).

When Ajatasattu deposited his share of the Buddhas relics in a thupa, Sakka ordered Vissakamma to construct around the thupa a valasanghatayanta (revolving wheel?) to prevent anyone from approaching the relics. Later, when Dhammasoka (Piyadassi) wished to obtain these relics for his vihara, Vissakamma appeared before him in the guise of a village youth and, by shooting an arrow at the controlling screw of the machine, stopped its revolutions (DA.ii.613, 614).

He constructed the jewelled pavilion in which Sonuttara placed the relies he brought from the Naga world till the time came for them to be deposited in the Maha Thupa, (Mhv.xxxi.76) and on the day of their enshrinement, Vissakamma, acting on Sakkas orders, decorated the whole of Ceylon (Mhv.xxxi.34). He also provided the bricks used in the construction of the Maha Thupa (Mhv.xxviii.8). Sometimes he would enter into a workmans body and inspire him with ideas - e.g., in designing the form of the Maha Thupa ( He was also responsible for the construction of the golden vase in which the branch of the Bodhi tree was conveyed to Ceylon (Mhv.xviii.24).

As in the case of Matali and Sakka, Vissakamma is evidently the name of an office and not a personal name. Thus, in the Suruci Jataka (J.iv. 325), Vissakamma is mentioned as a previous birth of Ananda, while, according to the Dhammapada Commentary,

context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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