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

He also built the hermitages for the Bodhisatta in various births -  z.B., as

Vissakamma also built the hermitage for Dukūlaka und Pārikā (J.vi.72).

On the day that the Buddha renounced the world, Sakka sent Vissakamma in the guise of a shampooer to bathe him und 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 (J.vi.12).

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

When Ajātasattu deposited his share of the Buddha's relics in a thūpa, Sakka ordered Vissakamma to construct around the thūpa a vālasanghātayanta (revolving wheel?) to prevent anyone from approaching the relics. Later, when Dhammāsoka (Piyadassī) wished to obtain these relics for his vihāra, Vissakamma appeared before him in the guise of a village youth und, 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 Nāga world till the time came for them to be deposited in the Mahā Thūpa, (Mhv.xxxi.76) und on the day of their enshrinement, Vissakamma, acting on Sakka's orders, decorated the whole of Ceylon (Mhv.xxxi.34). He also provided the bricks used in the construction of the Mahā Thūpa (Mhv.xxviii.8). Sometimes he would enter into a workman's body und inspire him mit ideas -  z.B., in designing the form of the Mahā Thūpa (Mhv.xxx.11). 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 Mātalī und Sakka, Vissakamma is evidently the name of an office und not a personal name. Thus, in the Suruci Jātaka (J.iv. 325), Vissakamma is erwähnt as a previous birth of Ananda, while, according to the Dhammapada Commentary, the architect who helped Magha und his companions in their good works, was reborn as Vissakamma. DhA.i.272. The story given regarding Vissakamma in SNA.i.233, evidently refers to the Mahākanha Jātaka. The deva who accompanied Sakka in the guise of a dog in that Jātaka was Mātali und not Vissakamma.

See Visvakarma in Hopkins' Epic Mythology.

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