SN 2.9 Candima Sutta: The Moon Deity's Prayer for Protection

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SN 2.9 Candima Sutta: The Moon Deity's Prayer for Protection

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Sep 27, 2014 1:59 am

SN 2.9 PTS: S i 50 CDB i 144 Candima Sutta: The Moon Deity's Prayer for Protection
translated from the Pali by Piyadassi Thera


The Buddha intervenes on behalf of a deva caught in the grips of an evil demon. This sutta belongs to the group of paritta (protection) suttas that are chanted by monastics for devotional and ceremonial purposes.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .piya.html

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Savatthi, at Jetavana at Anathpindika's monastery. At that time Candima, the moon deity, was seized by Rahu, lord of Asura. Thereupon calling to mind the Blessed One, Candima, the moon deity, recited this stanza:

i. "O Buddha, the Hero, thou art wholly free from all evil. My adoration to thee. I have fallen into distress. Be thou my refuge."

Thereupon the Blessed One addressed a stanza to Rahu, Lord of Asuras, on behalf of Candima, thus:

ii. "O Rahu, Candima has gone for refuge to the Tathagata, the Consummate One. Release Candima. The Buddhas radiate compassion on the world (of beings)."

Thereupon Rahu, Lord of Asuras, released Candima, the deity, and immediately came to the presence of Vepacitta, Lord of Asuras, and stood beside him trembling with fear and with hair standing on end. Then Vepacitta addressed Rahu in this stanza.

iii. "Rahu. Why did you suddenly release Candima? Why have you come trembling, and why are you standing here terrified?"

"I have been spoken to by the Buddha in a stanza (requesting me to release Candima). If I had not released Candima my head would have split into seven pieces. While yet I live, I should have had no happiness. (Therefore I released Candima)."

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Re: SN 2.9 Candima Sutta: The Moon Deity's Prayer for Protec

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Sep 27, 2014 2:08 am

SN 2.10 PTS: S i 51 CDB i 145
Suriya Sutta: The Sun Deity's Prayer for Protection
translated from the Pali by Piyadassi Thera

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .piya.html

Is almost identical, but concerns the sun, not the moon, deity.
  • On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Savatthi at Jetavana at Anathapindika's monastery. At that time Suriya, the sun deity, was seized by Rahu, Lord of Asuras. Thereupon calling to mind the Blessed One, Suriya, the Sun deity, recited this stanza:
Note from Bhikkhu Bodhi:

Candimā is a deva dwelling in the mansion of the moon; the word itself usually simply means the moon. Obviously his seizure by Rāhu represents the lunar eclipse.

Although both Rāhu and Vepacitti are described as “lords of the asuras” (asurinda), it seems that Vepacitti is the overlord and Rāhu a subordinate. Vepacitti is the perennial antagonist of Sakka, lord of the devas, as seen at SN 11:4, 11:5, 11:23, and SN 35:248.

Suriya (usually meaning simply the sun) is the deva dwelling in the mansion of the sun. Here the solar eclipse is being represented.

Spk, after impressing us with Rāhu’s physical dimensions, offers some interesting insights into ancient Buddhist views about eclipses: When Rāhu sees the sun and moon shining brightly, he becomes jealous and enters their orbital paths, where he stands with mouth agape. It then seems as if the lunar and solar mansions have been plunged into the great hell, and the devas in those mansions all cry out simultaneously in terror. While Rāhu can cover the mansions with his hands, jaw, and tongue, and can even stuff his cheeks with them, he is unable to obstruct their motion. If he did make such an attempt they would split his head and come through the other side or pull him along and push him down [Spk-pṭ: because their motion is determined by the law of kamma and is extremely hard for anyone to stop directly].

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Re: SN 2.9 Candima Sutta: The Moon Deity's Prayer for Protec

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:53 am

The complete book of Paritta (Book of Protection), with some background, is given here:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ction.html
Piyadassi Thera's introduction to the Candima Sutta is:
In Indian cosmology the major planets are regarded as deities or gods. This view, at times, extends to the common parlance of today, e.g., "rain god," "sun god," etc. The Buddha was not disposed to comment on these views, and so he contented himself with merely expressing the message of the Dhamma through the medium of these views.
See also:
http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books9/Parit ... ection.htm
http://www.budsas.org/ebud/whatbudbeliev/205.htm
http://www.aimwell.org/paritta.html
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=9962

:anjali:
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Re: SN 2.9 Candima Sutta: The Moon Deity's Prayer for Protec

Post by SarathW » Sun Sep 28, 2014 1:16 am

Thanks Mike
So Buddha did not believe that the moon is not protected by a Deity.
What about the idea that Deity's protecting our world. (earth)
What about the recollection of Deity's.
:thinking:
===========

The Buddha further instructs the householder Mahanama on the importance of developing the six recollections, reminding him to develop these recollections in every posture, even "while you are busy at work, while you are resting in your home crowded with children."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: SN 2.9 Candima Sutta: The Moon Deity's Prayer for Protec

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Sep 29, 2014 6:27 pm

Hi Sarath,

I'm not sure it's helpful to put these things in such black and white terms as "the Buddha believed/didn't believe". I don't find it straightforward to work out exactly how to regard mythological suttas such as this one (or much of the first volume of the SN for that matter).

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Re: SN 2.9 Candima Sutta: The Moon Deity's Prayer for Protec

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:35 pm

It's interesting that the Buddha's request to Rahu is about compassion:
ii. "O Rahu, Candima has gone for refuge to the Tathagata, the Consummate One. Release Candima. The Buddhas radiate compassion on the world (of beings)."

But Rahu interprets it as being rather more forceful:
"I have been spoken to by the Buddha in a stanza (requesting me to release Candima). If I had not released Candima my head would have split into seven pieces. While yet I live, I should have had no happiness. (Therefore I released Candima)."
:anjali:
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