Moon Deity's Prayer for Protection
(Canda Paritta) (1)
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.)
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 Asuras. 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'.
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).'
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.
Why did you suddenly release Candima? Why have you come trembling,
and why are you standing here terrified?'
iv. '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).'