35. The Twelve Heavenly Lordship
The Twelve Heavenly Lordship
All religious men in this world share the same heaven. However, heaven can be classified into different levels, zones, districts, and locals. When angels have a meeting or congregation, they will be seated, respected, and honored according to their ranks and virtues. The ranks in heaven can be distinguished into 12 major levels namely:
(1) ‘Dhamma’ or ‘Purity’ which is the title for angels who achieve sainthoods.
(2) ‘Deja’ or ‘Might’ which is the title for angels who dedicated so much effort and labor to assist the Lord Buddhas, disciple monks, charities, the public, as well as individuals like parents, siblings, relatives, and the underprivileged.
(3) ‘Prabha’ or ‘Radiance’ is the rank for angels who have much aura caused by their offering of light and lanterns to the Lord Buddha, Buddhist Saints, and Holy individuals when they were humans.
(4) ‘Bhastra’ or ‘garment’ is the rank for celestial angels who are adorned with beautiful clothes resulted by their offering of clothes and garments to the Lord Buddha, Buddhist Saints, and Holy individuals when they were humans.
(5) ‘Rattana’ or ‘Jeweled’ is the title for angels who are beautified with jewelry and gems caused by their karma from offering gems to decorate statues of the Lord Buddha, Buddhist Saints, Holy individuals, and Pagodas or Stupas.
(6) ‘Cariya’ or ‘Virtuous Conducts’ is the title for angels who are well-behaved and having exemplified moral disciplines either when they were humans or angels.
(7) ‘Vichitra’ or ‘Beauty’ is the rank of angels who have superior beauty due to their offering of flowers, ornaments, and gorgeous decorations to the Buddha, Buddhist Saints, Holy persons, and sacred places.
(8) ‘Sukanda’ or ‘Fragranced’ is for angels who are blessed with fragrances resulted by their karma from offering incenses and fragrances to the Lord Buddha, Buddhist Saints, Holy persons and places when they were humans.
(9) ‘Yodha’ or ‘Subordinated’ is the title for angels who have numerous subordinate-angels resulting from their effort in gathering or recruiting many people to do good deeds when they were humans.
(10) ‘Turiyanka’ or ‘Music’ is the rank for angels who enjoy much pleasure from musical bands playing due to their meritorious deeds from playing music to please the Lord Buddha, the Buddhist Saints, Holy individuals, and the public when they were humans.
(11) ‘Rangsi’ is the title for angels or celestial beings whose radiance is colorful as many as seven shades, ten shades, one hundred and eight shades or more. The karma that makes this possible is the merit from worshipping the Triple Gem with colorful flowers, colorful flags, and fire works during the celebration of Buddhist Holy days. The angels in this category is referred to as ‘Lord Rangsi.’
(12) ‘Bhimana’ is used with the angels or celestial beings whose celestial residence is gigantic. Normally, the celestial residences are available in three grades namely the silver residence, the golden residence, and the crystal residence. However, according to the greatness, they range from vimana, bhimana, deva-prasat (divine palace), deva-nakara (divine city), and prasat-nakara (palace city), and more. The Lords of Bhimana who possess these gigantic celestial residences are those who committed the karma of constructing buildings, halls, pavilions, monasteries, and temples for the Lord Buddha or disciple monks. But some of them may make less contribution which yield immense merit such as giving alms to the monks who recently retreat from deep meditation (nirodha-samapatti).
An angel may be titled one or more ranks of the above titles at the same time. The more titles, the more admiration, honor, and respect they earn from fellow angels. This is similar to humans who earn the title of Lordship, Knighthood, Professorship, Military Ranks, and Civilian Decorations.
Note: The twelve categories of the heavenly lords are not listed according to their importance, but they are listed randomly. For more information, please ask the meditation masters who dwell inside the crystal ball shown on the top of this page.
By Supporting Team of Pirajak (Pittaya Wong)
First electronic edition on 26 April 2018
Second electronic edition on 9 June 2020