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Discourse on Jewels- Ratana Sutta

Having brought about self preservation by chanting Maha Mangala Sutta –Discourse on Blessings Ratana Sutta should be chanted for the good and well being of the people and also to avoid evil being caused by non-humans or evil spirits.

Once upon a time there was a severe feminine in the ancient city of Vesali. People started dying due to hunger. Dead bodies in large numbers were removed from the city. Some dead bodies remained in the city decaying. Due to the stench emanating from the dead bodies inhuman evil spirits entered the city. The evil spirits increased the number of deaths. This resulted in the spread of a pestilent disease called “Ahivathaka”- Snake venom in the ancient city. Thus the horror and terror caused to the people was three fold. They had to face the threats of famine, fear of evil beings and the danger of diseases. The people complained the matter to the rulers. The king assembled the people in the Council House and enquired from them whether they were responsible for the state of affairs. The people told the rulers that nothing wrong had been done by them.

After a lengthy discussion those assembled came to the conclusion that an invitation to the Tathagata, the Enlightened One was the best possible course of action that could be taken to combat the three fold danger devastating the city. With the consent of king Bimbisara, two Liccavi Kings approached the Blessed One and told Him that much benefit could be caused to regain health and bring happiness of the people by combating the three fold disaster.

The Blessed One contemplating that millions of millions of people in  the Sakwala or the system   of world would be protected by virtue of the Ratana Sutta and that it would help many people to Enlighten the  Dharma, accepted the invitation, proceeded to Visala Mahanuwara followed by a retinue of five hundred Bhikkhus and discoursed the Ratana sutta.

Instantly a mass of clouds darkened the whole world and rain came down in torrents.

After the torrential rain the dead bodies were washed away into river Ganga and floated down stream to the sea. The city was clean again. When the Buddha led by five hundred Bhikkhus arrived in the city very powerful and influential gods including Sakra also came down.  On the arrival of gods the inhuman or evil beings ran away being scared.

The Thathagatha chanted Ratana Sutta at the city gates. He instructed Venerable Ananda thera to go round the three ramparts chanting Ratana Sutta accompanied by Liccavi kings with offerings.   

Venerable Ananda Maha thera filled Buddha’s bowl with water purified by chanting Pirith and sprinkled the water everywhere in the city while chanting Pirith from Ratana Sutta. The evil spirits fled away from the city. The city was protected and the hazardous atmosphere was changed. The people were happy and contended.  A period for the comprehension of law and doctrines and for the accumulation of religious merit had been dawned.  Eighty four thousand people were benefitted. The Exalted One chanted Ratana Sutta on the second day and eighty four thousand persons were able to comprehend the doctrine. Pirith was chanted on seven days consequently.

01.  “May all non-human beings assembled here, on earth or in the space have   peace in mind.  Let all of them listen to my words attentively.

  1. Oh demi-gods, goblins and other spirits, listen to my words. Be kind and compassionate to human beings. Who so ever make offerings in cash and kind and offer merit deserve care and protection.  Therefore, protect them with diligence.
  2. Of all the treasures in the human world or in the infernal region or gems and jewels in the celestial world there is nothing comparable to the Tathagata, the Exalted One. For this reason Buddha is the precious gem. By virtue of this reason, May happiness and good fortune come to you.
  3. The Exalted One with concentrated thoughts elucidated the way for extinction of lust and craving and attained the deathless state of Nibbana. There is nothing comparable to that righteousness. Hence Nibbana is the excellent Jewel. By virtue of this truth, May happiness and good fortune come to you.
  4. The Exalted One expounded the Supreme way of meditation (the Noble Eight-fold path) which results with immediate effect. There is nothing comparable to meditation. This Noble way is the most valuable jewel. By virtue of this truth, May happiness and good fortune come to you.
  5. There are one hundred and eight noble persons who are extolled by virtuous persons. They are dignified in all ages. They are the disciples of the Blessed One and are worthy of receiving offerings.  Alms offered and offerings made to them are highly efficacious.  For this reason the disciples of the Buddha are valuable gems. By virtue of this truth, May happiness and good fortune come to you. 
  6. There are those who have developed wisdom by observing the whole body of morals and religious duties with determination and have destroyed all passions. They have attained Nirvana by the cessation of all desires and attained Saint Ship. For this reason too the disciples of the Buddha are noble gems. By virtue of this truth, May happiness and good fortune come to you.
  7. Mandara mountain planted deep in the earth cannot be shaken by the storm blown from all four sides in what so ever manner. The saint or the Noble person who has clearly understood the Truth and attained Sowan is similar to that Mandara Mountain. Therefore he is a Noble gem. By virtue of this truth, May happiness and good fortune come to you.
  8.  The saint who has attained Sowan having comprehended the profound doctrine taught by the Blessed One will end the transmigration after eight births. Therefore the priest-hood is a Noble gem. By virtue of this truth, May happiness and good fortune come to you.
  9.  No sooner than one attains Sowan he or she gains the insight and will be free from   egoism, skepticism and heathenism. He or she will never suffer in the hells or hellish states. He or she will not exist to commit the five great sins or get involved in false beliefs.  Because of this reason such a saint is a Noble Gem. By virtue of this truth, May happiness and good fortune come to you.
  10.  Anything done against the precepts by someone who has not attained Sowan by word, deed or mind cannot be concealed. The Enlightened One has indicated the need for such a lapse on the part of someone who had entered the path of Nibbana by attaining Sowan to be ineffective. For this reason Noble Sangha is a precious gem.  By virtue of this truth, May happiness and good fortune come to you.
  11.  In whatever manner the plants in the thicket start to sprout and blossom during the month of Bak, the first month of the summer, the Blessed One desiring the wellbeing of the people has expounded the sublime Dharma and opened the door to Nibbana. For this reason the Blessed One is the gem of all. By virtue of this truth, May happiness and good fortune come to you.
  12. Buddha, the unique one, who is the provider of Nirvana, being fully enlightened has preached an excellent doctrine. For this reason the Buddha is the most valuable gem. By virtue of this truth, May happiness and good fortune come to you.
  13.   Courageous Arahants, of whom the previous Karmas (merits or demerits) have become retributionless through qualities of sainthood achieved earlier, will not accumulate new karma, and will have no attachment or desire for successive existence or transmigration of the soul. They will attain Parinibbana when the mind ceases to be. For this reason arahants are gems of all. By virtue of this truth, May happiness and good fortune come to you.
  14.  Who so ever the non human who has assembled here on the earth or in the space he and I worship the Buddha who is worshipped by celestial and human beings. For this reason Buddha is the most valuable gem. By virtue of this truth, May happiness and good fortune come to you.
  15. Who so ever the non human who has assembled here on the earth or in the space he and I worship the Dharma which is worshipped by celestial and human beings. For this reason Dharma is the most valuable gem. By virtue of this truth, May happiness and good fortune come to you.
  16. Who so ever the non human who has assembled here on the earth or in the space he and I worship the Tathagata’s Sangha. For this reason Sangha is the most valuable gem. By virtue of this truth, May happiness and good fortune come to you.
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