Friday, November 8, 2019

Ratana Sutta -- My Recital Exercise



In the days of the Buddha, Lichchavi's, the inhabitants of the city of Vesali, were struck with three types of fear: famine, pestilence, and non-human beings. The Buddha was invited to bring forth blessings to overcome this situation. With lucid foresight of the benefit that this visit will bring forth to the affected Lichcavi community and the worldly beings at large, the Great Master accepted this invitation. Accompanied by 500 fully enlightened monks, he visited Vesali, which was home to many party-loving affluent folk. On his way towards the city limits of Vesali, as soon as the Buddha placed his right foot on the dry land, a series of seven heavy thunderstorms occurred; thus, putting an end to the terrible drought that had destroyed humans, animals and plant life.

Thereafter, the Buddha preached the Ratana Sutta, which was learned instantly by his attendant disciple, Ananda. The Great Master then handed his alms bowl filled with sanctified water to him and asked him to walk in the city of Vesali, covering its three ramparts and bestow blessings from Ratana Sutta. As this was done, the grasp of the evil spirits was freed and the pestilence subsided, bringing instant relief to the Lichchavi community, who had exhausted all remedies suggested by various other gurus— to no avail.

The Great Master awaited the return of the Bhikku Ananda in the public hall, where all noble folk of the Lichchavi community had gathered in joy, seeing the magical transformation of their parched city. Gathered also, from the ground level to the celestial spheres above were umpteen celestial beings of various divine lineages and denominations. On the first day of the utterance of Ratana Sutta 84,000 worldly beings became stream-entrants; thereby, reaching that state of exclusion from being born in a hellish realm, ever. As the Noble Ratana Sutta was uttered over seven days 84,000 fortunate beings on each day reached that Noble state of immunity from the torments of lowly births.

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