Ratana Sutta

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The Ratana Sutta is a text from the Pali canon that extols the benefits of the Three Jewels (Skt. tri-ratna): the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha.

This text is included in the Book of Protection (Pirit Potha), a collection of texts that are recited for protection (paritta) against harmful influences.

In Theravada communities, this discourse is often recited as part of religious, public and private ceremonies for the purpose of blessing new endeavors and dispelling inauspicious forces.[1]


The Ratana Sutta is found in the Pali Canon's Sutta Nipata (Snp 2.1) and Khuddakapatha (Khp 7); with a parallel in the Mahavastu.

In the Pali it is seventeen verses in length, and in the Sanskrit version nineteen.[2]



In Theravada Buddhism, according to post-canonical Pali commentaries, the background story for the Ratana Sutta is that the town of Vesali was being plagued by disease, non-human beings and famine; in despair, the townspeople called upon the Buddha for aid; he had the Ven. Ananda go through town reciting this discourse leading to the dispersal of the town's woes.[3]


The Ratana Sutta upholds the Three Jewels as follows:

  • the Buddha as the unequalled Realized One (verse 3: na no samam atthi Tathagatena)
  • the Teaching (dhamma) of:
    • Nirvana (verse 4: khayam viragam amatam panitam), and
    • the unsurpassed concentration (verse 5: samadhim) leading to Nirvana
  • the noble Community (ariya sangha) for having:
    • attained Nirvana (verses 7: te pattipatta amatam vigayha),
    • realized the Four Noble Truths (verses 8-9: yo ariyasaccani avecca passati), and
    • abandoned the first three fetters (verse 10: tayas su dhamma jahita bhavanti) that bind us to samsara.[4]

See also


  1. See, e.g., Piyadassi (1999); and, Bodhi (2004).
  2. See Anandajoti Ratanasutta - A Comparative Edition
  3. See, e.g., Anandajoti (2004), p. 45, "Introductory Verses" to the Ratana Sutta; and, Bodhi (2004).
  4. For a transcription of the Pali along with a line-by-line English translation, see, e.g., Anandajoti (2004), pp. 45-52.