Ratana Sutta

The Ratana Sutta (Burmese: ရတနသုတ်) is a Buddhist discourse (Sanskrit sutra Pali, sutta) 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.[1] The Ratana Sutta extols the characteristics of the three ratana (Pali for "gem" or "jewel" or "treasure") in Buddhism: the Enlightened One (Buddha), the Teaching (Dhamma) and the noble community of disciples (ariya Sangha).

In Theravada Buddhism, according to post-canonical Pali commentaries, the background story for the Ratana Sutta is that the town of Vesali (or Visala) 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.[2]

In Theravada countries and institutions, this discourse is often recited as part of religious, public and private ceremonies for the purpose of blessing new endeavors and dispelling inauspicious forces.[4]