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Serissaka

1. Serissaka.– A yakkha chieftain to be invoked in time of need by followers of the Buddha. D.iii.205.

2. Serissaka, Serīsaka.– A mansion (vimāna) in the Cātummahārājika world, which was occupied by Pāyāsi during his life there. Gavampati, who used to go there for his siesta, met him and had a conversation with him, which he reported to the Buddha (D.ii.356 f). The deva of the vimāna was also called Serīsaka, and is evidently to be identified with the yakkha Serissaka.

Pāyāsi was born in the Serīsaka-vimāna, because, though he gave generously, he was careless about the manner of giving. Vessavaṇa therefore stationed him in a desert, devoid of shade or water, to protect travellers from the dangers which beset them at the hands of non-humans. He came across some merchants from Aṅga and Magadha who had lost their way while journeying to Sindhusovīra. He revealed to them his identity, and they offered to hold a festival in his honour when they reached safety. However, he suggested that gifts be given in his name to a pious man, named Sambhava, who was in their company. Later Sambhava joined the Order and became an Arahant (Vv.vii.10; VvA.331).

It is said (DA.iii.814; cf. ThagA.i.103) that the vimāna was called Serīsaka because there was, at its entrance, a large serīsa-tree, that bore fruit once in fifty years. Gavampati had earlier occupied the vimāna, when born as a devaputta. After his rebirth among humans, the vimāna was empty until occupied by Pāyāsi. However, Gavampati sometimes visited it even after becoming an Arahant.

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