Categories
Digha Nikaya

Dīgha Nikāya
32 Āṭānāṭiya Sutta
Discourse on Ātānātiya

Verses of protection

Thus have I heard: On one occasion the Blessed One was staying in the city of Rājagaha on the Vulture’s Peak. Then the Four Great Kings, with a large army of yakkhas, a large army of gandhabbas, a large army of kumbhandas, and a large army of nāgas, having set up a guard, a defensive force, a watch over the four quarters, as night was drawing to a close, went to see the Blessed One, illuminating the entire Vulture’s Peak with their radiance, saluted the Blessed One and sat down to one side.

And some of the yakkhas saluted the Blessed One, and sat down to one side, some exchanged greetings with the Blessed One and sat down to one side, some saluted the Blessed one with joined palms, and sat down to one side some announced their name and clan, and sat down to one side and some sat down in silence.

Then the Great King Vessavaṇa who was seated on one side, said to the Blessed One:

Bhante, there are high ranking yakkhas who have no faith in the Blessed One, and others who have faith. There are yakkhas of middle rank who have no faith in the Blessed One, and others who have faith. There are yakkhas of low rank who have no faith in the Blessed One, and others who have faith.

But, Bhante, the majority of yakkhas have no faith in the Blessed One. What is the reason for this? The Blessed One teaches the Dhamma for abstaining from killing beings, from stealing, from sexual misconduct, from false speech, and from liquor that causes intoxication and negligence.

But, Bhante, the majority of yakkhas do not abstain from killing beings, do not abstain from stealing, do not abstain from sexual misconduct, do not abstain from false speech, and do not abstain from liquors that cause intoxication and negligence. To them such teaching is unpleasant and undesirable.

Now, Bhante, there are disciples of the Blessed One who dwell in forests, groves, and remote lodgings, where there is little noise or shouting, far from the maddening crowd, hidden from people, suitable for retreat. And there are prominent yakkhas living there who have no faith in the word of the Blessed One.

“Bhante, may the Blessed One learn the Āṭānāṭiya Protection so that the displeased yakkhas may be pleased, so that the monks and nuns, male lay followers and female lay followers, may be at ease, guarded, protected and unharmed.”

The Blessed One consented by silence. Then the Great King Vessavaṇa, knowing that the Blessed One consented, recited this Āṭānāṭiya Protection:

Homage to Vipassi the Buddha, possessed of the eye of Dhamma and glory. Homage to Sikhi the Buddha, compassionate towards all beings.

Homage to Vessabhu the Buddha, free from all defilements and possessed of great energy. Homage to Kakusandha the Buddha, the conqueror of the army of Māra.

Homage to Koṇāgamana the Buddha, who shed all defilements and completed the holy life. Homage to Kassapa the Buddha, who is fully freed from all defilements.

Homage to Angīrasa, the Buddha Gotama, son of the Sākyans, full of bright radiance and who proclaimed this Noble Dhamma that dispels all suffering.

These Supreme Buddhas attained the Bliss of Nibbāna and realized through insight things as they really are. They never speak divisively to anyone. They are mighty men who are free from fear of saṁsāra.

Gotama the Buddha acts for the welfare of gods and humans; is endowed with knowledge and virtue, mighty, and fearless.

Whatever direction, the resplendent sun, the great circle shines that direction shines brightly, while that sun is coming up, the darkness of night comes to an end.

After the sun has come up, it is said to be the daytime, there is a deep lake in that place, the great ocean where the waters have flown.

Thus in that place they know there is an ocean where the waters have flown. From here that is the eastern direction, so the people declare.

That direction is watched over by a glorious Great King, he is the master of the gandhabbās, Dhataraṭṭha, such is his name.

He delights in song and dance, he is honoured by gandhabbās, he also has a great many sons, all of one name, so I have heard.

They are eighty and ten and one, Inda by name, ones of great strength. They worship, having seen the Awakened One, the Buddha, kinsman of the sun.

From afar, they worship the Buddha, who is great and mighty: “Homage to you, excellent one! Homage to you, Supreme One!”

With the power of goodness look at the fact that even the non-human beings worship the Blessed One, we have heard this repeatedly, therefore we also should speak like this: “You should also worship the great victor, the Buddha Gotama. Let us worship the great victor, the Buddha Gotama, who has true knowledge and pure conduct. Let us worship the Buddha Gotama!”

There, they say, the departed, who speak maliciously, backbiters, killers of creatures, hunters, thieves, and fraudulent people.

From here that is the southern direction, so the people declare. That direction is watched over by a glorious Great King.

He is the master of the kumbhandhās, Virūlha, such is his name. He delights in song and dance, he is honoured by kumbhandhās.

He also has a great many sons, all of one name, so I have heard, they are eighty and ten and one, Inda by name, ones of great strength.

Having seen the Awakened One, the Buddha, kinsman of the sun, from afar, they worship the Buddha, who is great and mighty: “Homage to you, excellent one! Homage to you, Supreme One!”

With the power of goodness look at the fact that even the non-human beings worship the Blessed One, we have heard this repeatedly, therefore we also should speak like this: “You should also worship the great victor, the Buddha Gotama. Let us worship the great victor, the Buddha Gotama, who has true knowledge and pure conduct. Let us worship the Buddha Gotama!”

Whatever direction the resplendent sun, the great circle sets that direction shines brightly. While that sun is going down the light of day comes to an end.

After the sun has gone down, it is said to be night time, there is a deep lake in that place, the great ocean where the waters have flown.

Thus in that place they know there is the great ocean where the waters have flown. From here that is the western direction, so the people declare. That direction is watched over by a glorious Great King.

He is the master of the nāgās, Virūpakkha, such is his name. He delights in song and dance, he is honoured by nāgās.

He also has a great many sons, all of one name, so I have heard, they are eighty and ten and one, Inda by name, ones of great strength.

Having seen the Awakened One, the Buddha, kinsman of the sun, from afar, they worship the Buddha, who is great and mighty: “Homage to you, excellent one! Homage to you, Supreme One!

With the power of goodness look at the fact that even the non-human beings worship the Blessed One, we have heard this repeatedly, therefore we also should speak like this: “You should also worship the great victor, the Buddha Gotama. Let us worship the great victor, the Buddha Gotama, who has true knowledge and pure conduct. Let us worship the Buddha Gotama!”

Where delightful Uttarakuru is, and the beautiful Mount Meru, the men who are born in that place are unselfish, without possessions.

They have no need to sow seeds, they have no need to draw the plows; by itself the ripened crop presents itself for people to eat.

Free from powder and free from husk sweet smelling grains of the finest rice, having cooked it in golden pots, they then enjoy their food.

Having made their cows their vehicle they go about from place to place. Having made their bulls their vehicle they go about from place to place.

Having made women their vehicle they go about from place to place. Having made men their vehicle they go about from place to place.

Having made girls their vehicle they go about from place to place. Having made boys their vehicle they go about from place to place.

Having mounted their carriages, those beings and the messengers of that King go around in all directions.

There are palaces and mansions filled with elephants and horses, and perfect divine carriages. And for that Great and glorious king there are cities for him also, that are well created in the sky:

The names of the cities are Āṭānāṭā, Kusināṭā, Parakusināṭā, Nāṭapuriyā, Parakusitanāṭā. To the North is Kapīvanta, and on the other side is Janogha, Navanavatiya, Ambara-ambaravatiya, and the king’s capital named Alakamandā. The Great King Kuvera’s capital, dear Sir, is named Visānā, therefore is the Great King also called Vessavana. Each yakkha individually informes the King of their news: Tatolā, Tattalā, Tatotalā, Ojasi, Tejasi, Tatojasi, Sūra, Rājā, Ariṭṭha, Nemi. There is a lake in that place also, named Dharaṇi, and from there the clouds rain down, from there the rains spread. There also is the public hall named Bhagalavatī where the yakkhās assemble.

There the trees are always in fruit, and have a crowd of birds of diverse kinds, resounds with the calls of peacocks and herons, and the melodious songs of cuckoos are heard.

There the cry of birds called jīvañjīvaka and the otthavacittaka birds are heard. The jungle hens and golden hens and pokkharasātaka birds roam the woods.

There is the cry of the parrot, myna-birds, and dandamanavaka birds. Kuvera’s lotus pond is very attractive, throughout the year, during all of the seasons.

From here that is the northern direction, so the people declare. That direction is watched over by a glorious Great King.

He is the master of the yakkhas, Kuvera, such is his name. He delights in song and dance, he is honoured by yakkhas.

He also has a great many sons, all of one name, so I have heard, they are eighty and ten and one, Inda by name, ones of great strength.

Having seen the Awakened One, the Buddha, kinsman of the sun, from afar, they worship the Buddha, who is great and mighty: “Homage to you, excellent one! Homage to you, Supreme One!”

With the power of goodness look at the fact that even the non-human beings worship the Blessed One, we have heard this repeatedly, therefore we also should speak like this: “You should also worship the great victor, the Buddha Gotama. Let us worship the great victor, the Buddha Gotama, who has true knowledge and pure conduct. Let us worship the Buddha Gotama!”

This, dear Sir, is the Āṭānāṭiyā protection. This is for the monks’, nuns’, male lay followers’, and female lay followers’ guard, protection, freedom from harm, and comfortable living. Whoever, dear sir be they a monk or a nun or a male lay follower or a female lay follower with a mind of loving kindness learns this Āṭānāṭiyā Protection well, and will master it, then if a non-human being, be they male yakkha or female yakkha or yakkha boy or yakkha girl or yakkha minister or yakkha councillor or yakkha messenger or male gandhabba or female gandhabba or gandhabba boy or gandhabba girl or gandhabba minister or gandhabba councillor or gandhabba messenger or male kumbhaṇḍa or female kumbhaṇḍa or kumbhaṇḍa boy or kumbhaṇḍa girl or kumbhaṇḍa minister or kumbhaṇḍa councillor or kumbhaṇḍa messenger or male nāga or female nāga or nāga boy or nāga girl or nāga minister or nāga councillor or nāga messenger with a wicked mind comes near while a monk, a nun, male lay follower, or a female lay followeris going, or stand near while they are standing, or sit near while they are sitting, or lie near while they are lying,

then that non-human being, dear sir, would not receive in my villages and towns, honour or respect. That non-human being, dear sir, would not receive in my royal city Ālakamandāya, ground or dwelling. That non-human being, dear sir, would not be able to go to the gathering of the yakkhas.

Further, dear sir, other non-human beings would not give or take him in marriage. Further, dear sir, other non-human beings would abuse him with very personal abuse. Further, dear sir, other non-human beings would drop an empty bowl over his head. Further, dear sir, other non-human beings would split his head into seven pieces.

There are non-human beings, dear sir, who are fierce, cruel, and violent, they do not obey the Great Kings’ ministers, they do not obey the Great Kings’ ministers’ attendants, and those non-human beings, dear sir, are said to be in revolt against the Great Kings.

Just as, dear Sir, there are thieves in the king of Magadha’s realm, who do not obey the king of Magadha, who do not obey the king of Magadha’s ministers, who do not obey the king of Magadha’s ministers’ attendants, and those great thieves, dear Sir, are said to be in revolt against the king of Magadha.

Even so, dear Sir, there are non-human beings who are fierce, cruel, and violent, they do not obey the Great Kings, they do not obey the Great Kings’ ministers, they do not obey the Great Kings’ ministers’ attendants, and those non-human beings, dear Sir, are said to be in revolt against the Great Kings.

Now, dear Sir, whatever non-human being, be they male yakkha or female yakkha or yakkha boy or yakkha girl or yakkha minister or yakkha councillor or yakkha messenger or male gandhabba or female gandhabba or gandhabba boy or gandhabba girl or gandhabba minister or gandhabba councillor or gandhabba messenger or male kumbhanda or female kumbhanda or kumbhanda boy or kumbhanda girl or kumbhanda minister or kumbhanda councillor or kumbhanda messenger or male nāga or female nāga or nāga boy or nāga girl or nāga minister or nāga councillor or nāga messenger

with a wicked mind should come near a monk or a nun or a male lay follower or a female lay follower while they are going, or stand near while they are standing, or sit near while they are sitting, or lie near while they are lying, then to these yakkhas, great yakkhas, generals, great generals, one should call out, one should shout out, one should cry out:

“This yakkha has seized me, this yakkha has possessed me, this yakkha annoys me, this yakkha harasses me, this yakkha hurts me, this yakkha injures me, this yakkha will not release me.”

To which yakkhas, great yakkhas, generals, and great generals?

Inda, Soma, and Varuṇa, Bhāradvāja, Pajāpatī, Candana, and Kāmaseṭṭha, Kinnughaṇḍu, and Nighaṇḍu,

Panāda, and Opamañña, and the charioteer, god Mātalī. Cittasena and Gandhabba the kings Nala and Janesabha,

Sātāgira, Hemavata, Puṇṇaka, Karatiya, Guḷa, Sivaka, and Mucalinda, Vessāmitta, Yugandhara,

Gopāla, and Suppagedha, Hirinettī, and Mandiya Pañcālacaṇḍa, Ālavaka, Pajjuna, Sumana, Sumukha, Dadhīmukha, Maṇi Māṇī Cara Dīgha, together with Serissaka

Then to these yakkhas, great yakkhas, generals, and great generals, one should call out, one should shout out, one should cry out: “This yakkha has seized me, this yakkha has possessed me, this yakkha annoys me, this yakkha harasses me, this yakkha hurts me, this yakkha injures me, this yakkha will not release me.”

This, dear Sir, is the Āṭānāṭiyā protection. This is for the monks’, nuns’, male lay followers’, and female lay followers’ guard, protection, freedom from harm, and comfortable living. And now, dear Sir, we shall go, as we have many duties, and there is much which ought to be done.”

“Now is the time for whatever you, Great Kings, are thinking.” Then the Four Great Kings rose from their seats and after worshipping and circumambulating the Blessed One, vanished right there.

Then some yakkhas rose from their seats and after worshipping and circumambulating the Blessed One, vanished right there. Some exchanged greetings with the Blessed One, and after exchanging polite and courteous greetings, vanished right there. Some, after raising their hands in respectful salutation to the Blessed One, vanished right there. Some, after announcing their name and family vanished right there. And some, while keeping silent, vanished right there.

Then the Blessed One, when that night had passed, addressed the monks, saying: “Last night, monks, the Four Great Kings, with a large army of yakkhas, with a large army of gandhabbās, with a large army of kumbhandās, with a large army of nāgas, having set up a guard, a defensive force, a watch over the four quarters, as night was drawing to a close, approached me, lighting up the entire Vulture’s Peak with their radiance, saluted me and after worshipping me, they sat down to one side.

Then of those yakkhas, monks, some, after worshipping me, sat down on one side. Some exchanged greetings with me, and after exchanging polite and courteous greetings, sat down on one side. Some, after raising their hands in respectful salutation to me, sat down on one side. Some, after announcing their name and family, sat down on one side. Some, while keeping silent, sat down on one side. Then, while sitting on one side, monks, the Great King Vessavaṇa said this to me:

Bhante, there are high ranking yakkhas who have no faith in the Blessed One, and others who have faith. There are yakkhas of middle rank who have no faith in the Blessed One, and others who have faith. There are yakkhas of low rank who have no faith in the Blessed One, and others who have faith.

But, Bhante, the majority of yakkhas have no faith in the Blessed One. What is the reason for this? The Blessed One teaches the Dhamma for abstaining from killing beings, from stealing, from sexual misconduct, from false speech, and from liquor that causes intoxication and negligence.

But, Bhante, the majority of yakkhas do not abstain from killing beings, do not abstain from stealing, do not abstain from sexual misconduct, do not abstain from false speech, and do not abstain from liquors that cause intoxication and negligence. To them such teaching is unpleasant and undesirable.

Now, Bhante, there are disciples of the Blessed One who dwell in forests, groves, and remote lodgings, where there is little noise or shouting, far from the maddening crowd, hidden from people, suitable for retreat. And there are prominent yakkhas living there who have no faith in the word of the Blessed One.

“Bhante, may the Blessed One learn the Āṭānāṭiya Protection so that the displeased yakkhas may be pleased, so that the monks and nuns, male lay followers and female lay followers, may be at ease, guarded, protected and unharmed.”

And I, monks, by keeping silent, gave consent. Then the Great King Vessavaṇa, monks, having understood my consent on that occasion recited this Āṭānāṭiya protection:

Homage to Vipassi the Buddha, possessed of the eye of Dhamma and glory. Homage to Sikhi the Buddha, compassionate towards all beings.

Homage to Vessabhu the Buddha, free from all defilements and possessed of great energy. Homage to Kakusandha the Buddha, the conqueror of the army of Māra.

Homage to Koṇāgamana the Buddha, who shed all defilements and completed the holy life. Homage to Kassapa the Buddha, who is fully freed from all defilements.

Homage to Angīrasa, the Buddha Gotama, son of the Sākyans, full of bright radiance and who proclaimed this Noble Dhamma that dispels all suffering.

These Supreme Buddhas attained the Bliss of Nibbāna and realized through insight things as they really are. They never speak divisively to anyone. They are mighty men who are free from fear of saṁsāra.

Gotama the Buddha acts for the welfare of gods and humans; is endowed with knowledge and virtue, mighty, and fearless.

Whatever direction, the resplendent sun, the great circle shines that direction shines brightly, while that sun is coming up, the darkness of night comes to an end.

After the sun has come up, it is said to be the daytime, there is a deep lake in that place, the great ocean where the waters have flown.

Thus in that place they know there is an ocean where the waters have flown. From here that is the eastern direction, so the people declare.

That direction is watched over by a glorious Great King, he is the master of the gandhabbās, Dhataraṭṭha, such is his name.

He delights in song and dance, he is honoured by gandhabbās, he also has a great many sons, all of one name, so I have heard.

They are eighty and ten and one, Inda by name, ones of great strength. They worship, having seen the Awakened One, the Buddha, kinsman of the sun.

From afar, they worship the Buddha, who is great and mighty: “Homage to you, excellent one! Homage to you, Supreme One!”

With the power of goodness look at the fact that even the non-human beings worship the Blessed One, we have heard this repeatedly, therefore we also should speak like this: “You should also worship the great victor, the Buddha Gotama. Let us worship the great victor, the Buddha Gotama, who has true knowledge and pure conduct. Let us worship the Buddha Gotama!”

There, they say, the departed, who speak maliciously, backbiters, killers of creatures, hunters, thieves, and fraudulent people.

From here that is the southern direction, so the people declare. That direction is watched over by a glorious Great King.

He is the master of the kumbhandhās, Virūlha, such is his name. He delights in song and dance, he is honoured by kumbhandhās.

He also has a great many sons, all of one name, so I have heard, they are eighty and ten and one, Inda by name, ones of great strength.

Having seen the Awakened One, the Buddha, kinsman of the sun, from afar, they worship the Buddha, who is great and mighty: “Homage to you, excellent one! Homage to you, Supreme One!”

With the power of goodness look at the fact that even the non-human beings worship the Blessed One, we have heard this repeatedly, therefore we also should speak like this: “You should also worship the great victor, the Buddha Gotama. Let us worship the great victor, the Buddha Gotama, who has true knowledge and pure conduct. Let us worship the Buddha Gotama!”

Whatever direction the resplendent sun, the great circle sets that direction shines brightly. While that sun is going down the light of day comes to an end.

After the sun has gone down, it is said to be night time, there is a deep lake in that place, the great ocean where the waters have flown.

Thus in that place they know there is the great ocean where the waters have flown. From here that is the western direction, so the people declare. That direction is watched over by a glorious Great King.

He is the master of the nāgās, Virūpakkha, such is his name. He delights in song and dance, he is honoured by nāgās.

He also has a great many sons, all of one name, so I have heard, they are eighty and ten and one, Inda by name, ones of great strength.

Having seen the Awakened One, the Buddha, kinsman of the sun, from afar, they worship the Buddha, who is great and mighty: “Homage to you, excellent one! Homage to you, Supreme One!

With the power of goodness look at the fact that even the non-human beings worship the Blessed One, we have heard this repeatedly, therefore we also should speak like this: “You should also worship the great victor, the Buddha Gotama. Let us worship the great victor, the Buddha Gotama, who has true knowledge and pure conduct. Let us worship the Buddha Gotama!”

Where delightful Uttarakuru is, and the beautiful Mount Meru, the men who are born in that place are unselfish, without possessions.

They have no need to sow seeds, they have no need to draw the plows; by itself the ripened crop presents itself for people to eat.

Free from powder and free from husk sweet smelling grains of the finest rice, having cooked it in golden pots, they then enjoy their food.

Having made their cows their vehicle they go about from place to place. Having made their bulls their vehicle they go about from place to place.

Having made women their vehicle they go about from place to place. Having made men their vehicle they go about from place to place.

Having made girls their vehicle they go about from place to place. Having made boys their vehicle they go about from place to place.

Having mounted their carriages, those beings and the messengers of that King go around in all directions.

There are palaces and mansions filled with elephants and horses, and perfect divine carriages. And for that Great and glorious King there are cities for him also, that are well created in the sky:

The names of the cities are Āṭānāṭā, Kusināṭā, Parakusināṭā. Nāṭapuriyā, Parakusitanāṭā. To the North is Kapīvanta, and on the other side is Janogha, Navanavatiya, Ambara-ambaravatiya, and the king’s capital named Alakamandā. The Great King Kuvera’s capital, dear Sir, is named Visānā, therefore is the Great King also called Vessavana. Each yakkha individually informed the King of their news: Tatolā, Tattalā, Tatotalā, Ojasi, Tejasi, Tatojasi, Sūra, Rājā, Ariṭṭha, Nemi. There is a lake in that place also, named Dharaṇi, and from there the clouds rain down, from there the rains spread. There also is the public hall named Bhagalavatī where the yakkhās assemble.

There the trees are always in fruit, and have a crowd of birds of diverse kinds, resounds with the calls of peacocks and herons, and the melodious songs of cuckoos are heard.

There the cry of birds called jīvañjīvaka and the otthavacittaka birds are heard. The jungle hens and golden hens and pokkharasātaka birds roam the woods.

There is the cry of the parrot, myna-birds, and dandamanavaka birds. Kuvera’s lotus pond is very attractive, throughout the year, during all of the seasons.

From here that is the northern direction, so the people declare. That direction is watched over by a glorious Great King.

He is the master of the yakkhas, Kuvera, such is his name. He delights in song and dance, he is honoured by yakkhas.

He also has a great many sons, all of one name, so I have heard, they are eighty and ten and one, Inda by name, ones of great strength.

Having seen the Awakened One, the Buddha, kinsman of the sun, from afar, they worship the Buddha, who is great and mighty: “Homage to you, excellent one! Homage to you, Supreme One!”

With the power of goodness look at the fact that even the non-human beings worship the Blessed One, we have heard this repeatedly, therefore we also should speak like this: “You should also worship the great victor, the Buddha Gotama. Let us worship the great victor, the Buddha Gotama, who has true knowledge and pure conduct. Let us worship the Buddha Gotama!”

This, dear Sir, is the Āṭānāṭiyā protection. This is for the monks’, nuns’, male lay followers’, and female lay followers’ guard, protection, freedom from harm, and comfortable living. Whoever, dear Sir be they a monk or a nun or a male lay follower or a female lay follower with a mind of loving kindness learns this Āṭānāṭiyā Protection well, and will master it, then if a non-human being, be they male yakkha or female yakkha or yakkha boy or yakkha girl or yakkha minister or yakkha councillor or yakkha messenger or male gandhabba or female gandhabba or gandhabba boy or gandhabba girl or gandhabba minister or gandhabba councillor or gandhabba messenger or male kumbhanda or female kumbhanda or kumbhanda boy or kumbhanda girl or kumbhanda minister or kumbhanda councillor or kumbhanda messenger or male nāga or female nāga or nāga boy or nāga girl or nāga minister or nāga councillor or nāga messenger with a wicked mind comes near while a monk, a nun, male lay follower, or a female lay follower is going, or stand near while they are standing, or sit near while they are sitting, or lie near while they are lying,

then that non-human being, dear Sir, would not receive in my villages and towns, honour or respect. That non-human being, dear Sir, would not receive in my royal city Ālakamandāya, ground or dwelling. That non-human being, dear Sir, would not be able to go to the gathering of the yakkhas.

Further, dear Sir, other non-human beings would not give or take him in marriage. Further, dear Sir, other non-human beings would abuse him with very personal abuse. Further, dear Sir, other non-human beings would drop an empty bowl over his head. Further, dear Sir, other non-human beings would split his head into seven pieces.

There are non-human beings, dear Sir, who are fierce, cruel, and violent, they do not obey the Great Kings’ ministers, they do not obey the Great Kings’ ministers’ attendants, and those non-human beings, dear Sir, are said to be in revolt against the Great Kings.

Just as, dear Sir, there are thieves in the king of Magadha’s realm, who do not obey the king of Magadha, who do not obey the king of Magadha’s ministers, who do not obey the king of Magadha’s ministers’ attendants, and those great thieves, dear Sir, are said to be in revolt against the king of Magadha.

Even so, dear Sir, there are non-human beings who are fierce, cruel, and violent, they do not obey the Great Kings, they do not obey the Great Kings’ ministers, they do not obey the Great Kings’ ministers’ attendants, and those non-human beings, dear Sir, are said to be in revolt against the Great Kings.

Now, dear Sir, whatever non-human being, be they male yakkha or female yakkha or yakkha boy or yakkha girl or yakkha minister or yakkha councillor or yakkha messenger or male gandhabba or female gandhabba or gandhabba boy or gandhabba girl or gandhabba minister or gandhabba councillor or gandhabba messenger or male kumbhanda or female kumbhanda or kumbhanda boy or kumbhanda girl or kumbhanda minister or kumbhanda councillor or kumbhanda messenger or male nāga or female nāga or nāga boy or nāga girl or nāga minister or nāga councillor or nāga messenger

with a wicked mind should come near a monk or a nun or a male lay follower or a female lay follower while they are going, or stand near while they are standing, or sit near while they are sitting, or lie near while they are lying, then to these yakkhas, great yakkhas, generals, great generals, one should call out, one should shout out, one should cry out:

“This yakkha has seized me, this yakkha has possessed me, this yakkha annoys me, this yakkha harasses me, this yakkha hurts me, this yakkha injures me, this yakkha will not release me.”

To which yakkhas, great yakkhas, generals, and great generals?

Inda, Soma, and Varuṇa, Bhāradvāja, Pajāpatī, Candana, and Kāmaseṭṭha, Kinnughaṇḍu, and Nighaṇḍu,

Panāda, and Opamañña, and the charioteer, god Mātalī. Cittasena and Gandhabba the kings Nala and Janesabha,

Sātāgira, Hemavata, Puṇṇaka, Karatiya, Guḷa, Sivaka, and Mucalinda, Vessāmitta, Yugandhara,

Gopāla, and Suppagedha, Hirinettī, and Mandiya Pañcālacaṇḍa, Ālavaka, Pajjuna, Sumana, Sumukha, Dadhīmukha, Maṇi Māṇī Cara Dīgha, together with Serissaka

Then to these yakkhas, great yakkhas, generals, and great generals, one should call out, one should shout out, one should cry out: “This yakkha has seized me, this yakkha has possessed me, this yakkha annoys me, this yakkha harasses me, this yakkha hurts me, this yakkha injures me, this yakkha will not release me.”

This, dear Sir, is the Āṭānāṭiyā protection. This is for the monks’, nuns’, male lay followers’, and female lay followers’ guard, protection, freedom from harm, and comfortable living. And now, dear Sir, we shall go, as we have many duties, and there is much which ought to be done.”

“Now is the time for whatever you, Great Kings, are thinking.” Then monks, the Four Great Kings rose from their seats and after worshipping and circumambulating me, vanished right there.

Then some yakkhas rose from their seats and after worshipping and circumambulating me, vanished right there. Some exchanged greetings with me, and after exchanging polite and courteous greetings, vanished right there. Some, after raising their hands in respectful salutation to me, vanished right there. Some, after announcing their name and family vanished right there. And some, while keeping silent, vanished right there.

Learn the Āṭānāṭiya protection, monks, master the Āṭānāṭiya protection, monks, bear in mind the Āṭānāṭiya protection, monks. The Āṭānāṭiya protection, monks, is for your welfare and benefit. It is for the monks’, nuns’, male lay followers’, and female lay followers’ guard, protection, freedom from harm, and comfortable living.

The Blessed One taught this discourse. Those monks were delighted and rejoiced in the words of the Blessed One.

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Dīgha Nikāya 32 Āṭānāṭiya Sutta: Discourse on Ātānātiya

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