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Â.Tânâ.Tiya-Sutta trans. Rev.by Daniel John Gogerly

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Thus I heard. Buddha resided on the mountain Gijjha-kuta (the Eagle-peak) near Râjagaha.

One night the four gods, regents of the four quarters, visited him, attended by a large retinue of demons, inferior gods and Nâgas, and arranged themselves on the four sides, illuminating the whole of the Eagle-rock with their splendour, and having worshipped him, sat down near him.

Some of the demons (Yakkhas) worshipped him and sat down; others sat down after having had pleasing conversation with Buddha; others merely bowed themselves with elevated clasped hands and sat down; some announced their names and race, and others sat down in silence.

When they were seated the great king Vessavana (chief of the demons) thus addressed Buddha:

There are, my Lord, some demons of great power who are opposed to Buddha and some who are attached to him; there are some demons of the middle class who are opposed to Buddha and some who are attached to him; there are some demons of the lowest order who are attached to Buddha and some who are opposed to him.

What is the reason, my Lord, that many demons are opposed to Buddha? Buddha, my Lord, has preached abstinence from destroying life, abstinence from theft, from lewdness, from lying, and from intoxicating drinks which cause irreligion, and they are dissatisfied and displeased with these doctrines.

My Lord, there are disciples of Buddha who reside in solitary p. 333 parts of forests, free from noise and tumult, in quiet and retirement, remote from men. In those retired places demons of great power reside who are opposed to the doctrines of Buddha.

Therefore, my Lord, to placate them, learn the Â.tânâ.tiya defence (or Paritta) by which the priests and priestesses, the male and female disciples (lay members) may be preserved, defended, kept free from harm, and live in peace. Buddha silently assented to his request.

Then the great king Vessavana perceiving that Buddha silently consented, spoke the Â.tânâ.tiya defence.

Adored be the all seeing and glorious Vipassi; adored be Sikhi, compassionate to all creatures1.
Adored be Vessabhû, the subjector and destroyer of the passions; adored be Kakusandha, the conqueror of the hosts of Mâra.
Adored be the pure and perfect Konâgama, adored be Kassapa, the perfectly free.
Adored be the glorious Buddha, the son of Sakya2, who teaches the doctrines destroying all sorrow.
Those in the world whose passions are extinguished perceive things as they really are; they, mild in speech, noble, and free from fear,
Worship Gotama, the benefactor of gods and men, who has attained to the paths of wisdom, who is noble and fearless.
Where the sun rises with its large resplendent orb, the night ceases.
When he arises it is called day. There is the deep, the abyss, the sea, the wide spread expanse of water.
It is known that there is the sea, the expanse of waters: this side is named by men the front (i.e. the East).
This quarter is guarded by the great and glorious king Dhatara.t.tha, chief of the Gandhabbas, attended by his Gandhabbas, and delighted by their songs and dances.
He has many sons, all as I have heard of one name; ninety one named Inda (a chieftain), of vast power.
They also perceiving Buddha, of the solar race, the great and the fearless, worship from afar.
Adoration to thee, first of men! adoration to thee, chief of the people! excellently thou beholdest all! The Amanussa (those who are not men, the demons), we have ever heard, worship thee!
Therefore let us say, Worship Gotama, the conqueror! We worship Gotama the conqueror; we worship Gotama the Buddha endued with all knowledge.
There is a place where they who are called Petâ (a kind of hobgoblin) reside; harsh in speech, contemptuous, murderous, fierce, thievish, deceitful.
Men name the place they occupy the right (i.e. the South).
The great and glorious king Virû.lha, the chief of the Kumbha.n.das (a class of demi-gods), is regent of that quarter, and resides there attended by them, and delighted with their songs and dances.
He also has many sons, all as I have heard of one name; ninety one named Inda, of vast power.
They also perceiving Buddha, Buddha of the solar race, the great and the fearless, worship from afar.
Adoration to thee, first of men! adoration to thee, chief of the people! excellently thou beholdest all. Those who are not men worship thee: this we have ever heard.
Therefore let us say, Worship Gotama the conqueror! We worship Gotama the conqueror; we worship Gotama, the Buddha endued with all knowledge.
Where the sun with its large resplendent orb sets, there the day ceases.
When he sets it becomes night: there is the depth, the sea, the expanse of waters;
There the sea, the expanse of waters is known to be. This is named by men the hinder part (i.e. the West).
The great and glorious king Virûpakkha, chief of the Nâgas p. 335 (cobra capello with superhuman powers, who can assume the human form and intermarry with the human race), is regent of that quarter, and resides there, attended by Nâgas, and delighted with their songs and dances.
He also has many sons, all as I have heard of one name; ninety one named Inda, of vast power.
They also perceiving Buddha, Buddha of the solar race, the great and the fearless, worship from afar.
Adoration to thee, first of men! adoration to thee, chief of the people! excellently thou beholdest all! Those who are not men worship thee: this we have ever heard.
Therefore let us say, Worship Gotama the conqueror! We worship Gotama the conqueror; we worship Gotama, the Buddha endued with all knowledge.
On one side are the delightful Uttara-kuru (the Northern continent), and the beautiful Mahâ Meru. There the inhabitants have all things in common and have no private rights.
They do not use the plough nor sow seed, but without the labours of husbandry eat the most delicious food, spontaneously produced.
The inhabitants travel from place to place on oxen, or on other quadrupeds, on men, women, youths and maidens, and the attendants on that king (Vessavana) mount these vehicles and travel in every direction.
The splendid king uses elephants, horses, celestial charriots, palaces and state palanquins.
He has cities well built in the sky, Â.tânâ.tâ, Kusinâ.tâ, Parakusinâ.tâ, Nâ.tapuriyâ, Parakusitanâ.tâ;
On the North, Kapivanta; on the West, Janogha, Navanavatiya, Ambara, Ambaravatiya, and the province of Â.lakamanda.
Happy one! the great king Kuvera possesses the province of Visânâ, therefore he is called Vessavana.
His attendants are known, Tatolâ, Tattalâ, Tatotalâ, Ojasi, Tejasi, Tatojasi, Sûro râja, Ari.t.tha, Nemi.
There is also the deep lake Dhara.nî, from which the clouds descend in scattered rain; and there is the hall Bhagalavati, p. 336 where the Yakkhas assemble. Fruit bearing trees are in constant verdure, among which multitudes of birds live and sing (the names of many are inserted), and there the lotus of Kuvera is ever seen.
This is called by men the upper side (i.e. the North).
The glorious king Kuvera, the chief of the Yakkhas (commonly called in English devils, but answering to the daimonia of the Greeks), is the regent of this quarter, and resides there attended by his demons, delighted with their songs and dances.
He also has many sons, all as I have heard of one name; ninety one named Inda, of vast power.
They also perceiving Buddha, Buddha of the solar race, the great and the fearless, worship from afar.
Adoration to thee, first of men! adoration to thee, chief of the people! excellently thou beholdest all! Those who are not men worship thee: this we have ever heard.
Therefore let us say, Worship Gotama the conqueror! We worship Gotama the conqueror; we worship Gotama, the Buddha endued with all knowledge.
This, Happy one! is the Â.tânâ.tiya defence, for the preserving in safety and peace, free from injury, priests and priestesses, male and female disciples.
If any priest or priestess, male or female disciple, fully and perfectly learn this, none of the Amanussa (not man), no male nor female Yakkha, no youth nor maiden of the Yakkha, no chief Yakkha, nor his attendants, nor his servants; no male nor female Gandhabba, no youth nor maiden of the Gandhabba, no chief of the Gandhabba; nor his attendants, nor his servants; no Kumbha.n.da, etc.; no Nâga, etc., will approach him with an evil design whether walking, standing, sitting, or reclining.
Happy one! should any of my amanussa act so (i.e. approach with an evil intent one who has used this Paritta), he will obtain neither hospitality nor respect in town nor in village; neither garden nor habitation in the province of Â.lakamanda, nor be allowed to join in the assemblies, and is neither worthy of being given or received in marriage, but be p. 337 an object of contempt and reproach, and compelled to hang down his head like a dried leaf, or have it split into seven pieces.
Happy one! there are some Amanussa who are fierce, cruel, contemptuous; they attend not to the four guardian gods, nor to their ministers, but are rebellious, even as in the kingdom of Magadha the thieves rebel against the king and his ministers. But, Happy one! if any such Yakkha, etc. (the classes are all named) should approach with an evil intent any priest, etc. (who has used this Paritta), whether walking, standing, sitting, or reclining, the chief commanders of the Yakkhas will command to have them apprehended and punished, saying, Seize that Yakkha, torment that Yakkha, etc.
Who are these chief commanders? Inda, Soma, Varuna, Bhâradvâja, Pajâpati, Candana, Kâmase.t.tha, Kinnugha.n.du, Niga.n.du, Panâda, Opamañña, Devasuta, Mâtali, Cittasena, Gandhabba, Nâla-râja, Janesabha, Sâtâgira, Hemavata, Pu.n.naka, Karatiya, Gu.la, Sivaka, Mucalinda, Vessâmitta, Yugandhara, Gopâla, Suppageda, Hiri, Netti, Mandiya, Pañcâlaca.n.da, Â.lavaka, Pajjunna, Sumana, Sumukha, Dadhimukha, Ma.ni, Mâ.nicara, Dîgha, Atha, Serissaka. These are the chiefs who will punish the disobedient demons.
This, Happy one! is the Â.tânâ.tiya defence for the priests, etc.
We now, Happy one! depart, for we have much to attend to.
Buddha replied: Great kings, attend to your occupations.
They then arose from their seats, worshipped Buddha and departed.
In the morning Buddha called his priests and related to them, word for word, what had been said by the four guardian gods, and commanded the priests to learn the Paritta.
Footnotes
p. 333
1 These are the names of former Buddhas.
2 Gotama, the present Buddha.

Source

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