Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 23 November 2014





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Khanda Parittam for protection and good luck

The Piruvana Poth Vahanse (the great book of protection) is recited at temples and houses to ward off evil and bring fortune.

The reciting of Khanda Parittam results in the generation of loving kindness. It's like a medicine chanted with a divine incantation to all sorts of snakes which kill humans with their deadly venom.

There is an interesting story woven round the Sutta. A Bhikkhu bitten by a snake passed away. When they informed the Bhikkhu's death the Buddha said the unfortunate incident happened as he did not practise loving kindness towards the four groups of snakes.

There are various types of long legless crawling reptiles, some of which are poisonous.

The Buddha, said, “If the Bhikkhu had practised loving kindness towards venomous snakes he would not have been bitten by the snake”.

There are four important stanzas which describe the kind of snakes and their physical characteristics.

The four snakes are called Virupakkas, Erapathas, Chabyaputtas and Kanhagotamakas. Some of these snakes have no feet. Then there are snakes with two and four feet. Some have many feet.

In the first stanza:

Virupakkehi Me Mettam;

Mettam Erapathehi me;

Chabyaputtehi me mettam;

Mettam Kanhagotamakehi Ca;

My love is with Virupakkhas;

My love is with Erapathas;

My love is with Chabyaputtas;

My love is with the Kanhagotamahas;

The Khandha parritam begins with Evam me sutam Ekam Samayam Bhagaya Savatthiyan viharat, Jetavane Anathapindikassa Arame...

(Thus it was heard by me - once upon a time the Buddha was sojourning in Savatti at Jeta's grove, in the part of Anathapindike.)

The Buddha said the deceased Bhikkhu did not spread to even body including the four Royal class of snakes with a loving mind. If the Bhikkhu had permeated the four royal class - Virupakkha, Erapatha Chabyaputta and Kanhasotamaka with a loving mind, he would not have been bitten by a snake.

The Buddha in the fourth stanza of Khandha Parittam said:

Sabbe Satta – Sabbe Pana

(May all beings, all those with life)

Sabbe Bhuta La Kevala

(May all who have become, in their entirely)

Sabbe Bhadrani Passantu

(May all see what is good)

Ma Kanci Papam - a Gama

(May suffering should not come to anyone).

In “Virtues” the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha are limitless. The snakes, scorpions, centipedes, spiders, lizards and mice are of limit. Their safety has been done by me; their protection has been done by me. May these beings return to their abodes.

The Khandha pirita ends thus.

So'ham Namo Bhagavato Namo Sattanam


I, who have thus safeguarded and protected them worship of the Buddha, worship the seven fully enlightened ones.

The Sutta is supposed to be a protection against snakes. Why the Sutta is called Khandha Piritha is a difficult to answer. Skandha in Pali may be known as Khandha. It is a name of a surpent demon in Mahabaratha.

Khandha Sutta is recited to worship the Buddha, the seven fully Enlightened ones. It is clear from the last line which read this:

So’ ham Namo Bhagavato Namo

Sattannan Sammasambuddhanamti.

The Khandhaparitta is extracted from Anguttari Nikaya, the Pirith Suttas in the Anguttara Nikaya are paccavekkhane, Dasadhamma, Mettanisamsa and Girimanande Sutta's.

Loving Kindness is the theme of the Khandhaparitta.


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