Thus have I heard: On one occasion, the Blessed One was living in Sāvatthi at Jetavana at Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now when the night was far advanced, a certain deity, whose surpassing radiance illuminated the whole of Jetavana, approached the Blessed One, respectfully saluted him and stood to one side. Standing thus, he addressed the Blessed One in verse:
At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Then Princess Sumanā, escorted by five hundred chariots and five hundred royal maidens, went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to him:
“Sir, suppose there were two disciples equal in faith, ethics, and wisdom. One is a giver, one is not. When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in a good place, a heavenly realm. When they have become gods, would there be any distinction or difference between them?”
Evaṁ me sutaṁ. Ekaṁ Samayaṁ Bhagavā Ālaviyaṁ viharati Ālavakassa yakkhassa bhavane. Atha kho Ālavako yakkho yena Bhagavā tenupasaṅkami. Upasaṅkamitvā Bhagavāntaṁ etada’voca. Thus have I heard: On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Ālavi, in the abode of the demon Ālavaka. At that time, the demon Ālavaka approached the Blessed One, and on arrival, said to the Blessed One:
Nikkhama samaṇā’ti. Sādhā’vuso’ti Bhagavā nikkhami. “Get out, you recluse.” Saying, “Very well, friend,” the Blessed One went out.
Pavisa samaṇā’ti. Sādhā’vuso’ti Bhagavā pāvisi. “Come in, you recluse.” Saying, “Very well, friend,” the Blessed One went in.
“Mendicants, when a king’s frontier citadel is well provided with seven essentials and gets four kinds of sustenance when needed, without trouble or difficulty, it is then called a king’s frontier citadel that cannot be overrun by external foes and enemies.
With what seven essentials is a citadel well provided?
Firstly, a citadel has a pillar with deep foundations, firmly embedded, imperturbable and unshakable. This is the first essential with which a king’s frontier citadel is well provided, to defend those within and repel those outside.
The Buddha gave us a set of five recollections for everyone to practice. He teaches us the benefit that comes from this recollection, and he explains how it leads directly to Nibbana.
Reading Time: 6minutes
“Bhikkhus, there are these five themes that should often be reflected upon by a woman or a man, by a householder or one gone forth. What five? (1) A woman or a man, a householder or one gone forth, should often reflect thus: ‘I am subject to old age; I am not exempt from old age.’ (2) A woman or a man, a householder or one gone forth, should often reflect thus: ‘I am subject to illness; I am not exempt from illness.’ (3) A woman or a man, a householder or one gone forth, should often reflect thus: ‘I am subject to death; I am not exempt from death.’ (4) A woman or a man, a householder or one gone forth, should often reflect thus: ‘I must be parted and separated from everyone and everything dear and agreeable to me.’ (5) A woman or a man, a householder or one gone forth, should often reflect thus: ‘I am the owner of my kamma, the heir of my kamma; I have kamma as my origin, kamma as my relative, kamma as my resort; I will be the heir of whatever kamma, good or bad, that I do.’
Have you ever wondered why we see different kinds of people in the world? The Supreme Buddha understood exactly why this is.
Reading Time: 5minutes
So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery.
Then the brahmin student Subha, Todeyya’s son, approached the Buddha, and exchanged greetings with him. When the greetings and polite conversation were over, he sat down to one side and said to the Buddha:
“What is the cause, Master Gotama, what is the reason why even among those who are human beings some are seen to be inferior and superior? For people are seen who are short-lived and long-lived, sickly and healthy, ugly and beautiful, insignificant and illustrious, poor and rich, from low and eminent families, witless and wise. What is the reason why even among those who are human beings some are seen to be inferior and superior?”
Parittaṁ yaṁ bhaṇantassa – nisinnaṭṭhāna dhovanaṁ Udaka’mpi vināseti – sabbameva parissayaṁ Sotthinā gabbha vuṭṭhānaṁ – yañ ca sādheti taṁ khaṇe Therassaṅgulimālassa – lokanāthena bhāsitaṁ Kappaṭṭhāyiṁ mahātejaṁ – parittaṁ taṁ bhaṇāmahe Even the water that is used to wash / the seat which Arahant Aṅgulimāla sat on / and recited this paritta, / that water can end all sufferings. If a pregnant mother suffers from any pain, / she will be well and be strong enough / to stand instantly. Now we shall recite that very powerful paritta / taught by the Buddha, / to Arahant Aṅgulimāla / which will hold its power for an aeon.
Yato’haṁ bhagini, ariyāya jātiya jāto nā’bhijānāmi saṁcicca pāṇaṁ jīvitā voropetā, tena saccena sotthi te hotu, sotthi gabbhassā’ti. “Sister, from the day I was born / in the Noble Birth / which leads to supreme Nibbāna, / from that day on / I am not aware of myself / killing any living beings deliberately. By this truth / may you be well! / May the delivery of your child / be peaceful!”
Etena saccena suvatthi hotu! By this truth, may there be well-being!
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Translation from The Mahamevnawa Pali English Paritta Chanting Book.