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Sunday, 5 May 2013





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The philosophy of Dhajagga Piritha

“Maha Pirith Potha” is recited in temples and houses to ward off evil and bring good luck. It is not a separate book in the Pali Canon. It is an anthology of Suttas, derived from the Five Nikayas. In Pali, it is known as Chatu–Bhanavara–Pali or “The text of the four recitals”.

In the Chatu-Bhanavara-Pali, there are 29 Suttas beginning from Sarangamana to Atanatiya. They are extracted from Khuddaka Nikaya, Anguttara Nikaya, Samyutta Nikaya, Majjhima Nikaya and Digha Nikaya. A noteworthy feature is that the only Sutta in Digha Nikaya is Atanatiya Sutta. Part I consists of 48 verses and part II consists of 60 verses, totalling 108 stanzas.

Today let us discuss one of the most important Sutta Dhajagga Paritta, which belongs to the Samyutta Nikaya. The other stanzas which belongs to Samyutta Nikaya are Candaparitta, Suriyaparitta, Mahakassapa Thera Bojjanga, Mahamoggallana Thera Bojjanga, Mahacundat Thera Bojjangha.

Looking up to flags

The Dhajjagga Pirith is somewhat extraordinary. It refers to a war between Suras (Gods) and Asuras (Demons). The Suras were advised to look upto the flags (Dhajagga means flags) of the various gods for their safety and fearlessness. The Blessed One says, “For your safety and fearlessness you have to look upto the Triple Gem of Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. They are superior to the flags of the gods.

There are 21 stanzas in Dhajjagga Pirith. The Buddha uttered these stanzas to the Bhikkhus while sojourning in Savatthi, at Jeta's Grove in Anathapindika's Park.

In the second verse of Dhajagga Sutta, the Buddha says that there was a war between the Devas (Gods) and Asuras (Demons). The Chief of the Devas, Sakka, uttered thus to the Devas of Tavatimsa heaven to keep their morals high.

Sace, Marisa, Devanam Sangamagtanam, Uppajjeya
Bhayam va Chambhittatam va, Lomahamso va Maneva
Tasmini Samaye Dhajaggan Ullokeyyatha’

(Happy Ones, a fear or stupefaction or the hairs of the body standing on end would arise to the Devas who have gone to war, at that time you should look for the top of my standard flag.)


“If you do not look for my flag, look for the top of the standard (flag) of Prajapati. Failing that look for the top of the standard of Varuna. If you fail the above two, look for top of the standard (flag) Isana.

They are the kings of Devas. Whatever fear or stupefaction or hairs of the body standing will vanish by seeing the top of the flags of these gods stated Sakka chief of Gods.

The flags (Dhajagga) mentioned are ceremonial flags, especially those belonging to the royalty. Even today, we witness various Sri Lanka Army detachments carrying flags of their unit, to boost the morale of the soldiers in the battle front.

The Buddha said, “Sakka, Prajapati, Varuna and Isana are not free from Raga (Passion), Dhosa (Anger) and Moha (Delusion). Due to this reason, they are afraid, full of fear and they run away. When you go to live in the forests, or an empty lonely places, if you face situations where you fear remember me.

“Itipso Bhagava Araham Samma Sambuddo

Vijjacarana Sampanno, Sugato, Lokavidu, Annuttaro, Purisadhammasarathi Sattha Devamanussanam, Buddho Bhagavati

(The Blessed One, Exalted One the Buddha, is worthy, completely and fully enlightened is possessed of knowledge and conduct, knower of the world, unsurpassed, charioteer of men, teacher of Devas, the enlightened the exalted.)

The Buddha said, “Falling to remember me, look upto my Dhamma which is Svakkhato, Bhagavato, Dhammo, Sandithiiko, Akaliko, Ehipassiko, Opanayiko, Pachatam, Veditabbo Vinnuhiti.

(The dhamma preached by the Buddha is visible. It has the equality of Ehipassiko” - open to all leads to Nibbana. It should be understood individually by wise men).

If you forget the Buddha and Dhamma, you should remember the Sangha - Order of the Bhikkhus – Supatipanno Bhagavota (Multitude of disciples on – Ahuneyyo, Pahuneyyo, Dhakkineyyo, Anjalikaraneiyo Anuttaran Punnakketam Lokassati.

The multitude of the Buddha.... Worthy of sacrifice, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings worthy of being worshipped with palms joined together. It is the unsurpassed field of merit of the world.

The Buddha said: Tam Kissa Hetu? (What is the reason?)
Thathagato Hi Bhikkave, Araham Samma
Sambuddho, Vitarango – Vitadoso, Abhiru
Acchambhi Anutrasi, Apalayati

(The Enlightened One is free from passion – anger and delusion not afraid, not tremulous, free from fear and does not run away.)

In the last four stanzas or verses in the Dhajagga Sutta, Buddha said if one remembers the Noble Triple Gem - the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha all the fears will vanish.


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