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(Pāli, Sakka). The king or chief of the gods (deva). Śakra rules over the heaven of the 33 gods (Skt., trāyastriṃśa; Pāli, tāvatiṃsa) which is the lowest of the heavens and thus the closest to the human world. He makes frequent appearances in Buddhist literature and is regarded as a devotee of the Buddha and protector of the faith. He is regarded as noble, kindly, and just and a guardian of the moral law, but still subject to many frailties. The figure of Śakra bears some relation to the Vedic god Indra.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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