Upasika chanting to devas, who are (presumably) present nearby

Hi! Recently I had an idea that’s a bit unusual for me and I want to discuss it a bit. There’s a big forest near my apartment building and I often go there for a long walk. This forest is really beautiful, truly marvellous, it brings me so much piece and joy. And I’ve decided that I want to do something to the devas of this forest. If there are any devas or spirits there, which, I think, is quite possible.

Yes, I do believe in their existence in general. I believe their existence is conditioned and they suffer as we are. So, they need the Dhamma.

So, I thought that I can chant to them. Invite them to listen to Dhamma and chant some suttas.
And the question is: is it ok to laywoman to chant Ratana Sutta, or Jayamangalaatthagatha to the (presumably present) devas of the forest?..
And I’ve found a text - an invitation to the devas to come and listen to the Dhamma. (Pharitvāna mettaṃ sametta bhadantā, avikkhittacittā parittaṃ bhaṇantu… etc). And I’ve wondered: how is this text usually used?.. Do the bhikkhus and bhikkhunis chant it at some point during some ritual?.. Is it ok for me to chant it to invite devas to listen to Dhamma?..

…I understand it may sound stupid to some people, but my intentions are good, at least. :slight_smile:

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Nice idea, go for it! :slight_smile:
Just for some inspiration, Ajahn Achalo usually chants the invitation and the suttas mentioned with lay people at the beginning of a live stream.

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I think it’s a beautiful idea.

Wondering why you choose to do it in Pali- does it seem like it would be more comprehensible to devas?

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Hmmm. I think it’s better to chant in Pali because there’s less chance of distortion of meaning. And if there are any devas, they probably might understand all the human languages.
…but I probably should repeat it in my native language afterwards just in case. :grin:

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Overview of devas and teaching:

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/jootla/wheel414.html

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That is so sweet of you! Go for it, and enjoy.

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https://suttacentral.net/an7.53/en/sujato

So I have heard. At one time the venerables Sāriputta and Mahāmoggallāna were wandering in the Southern Hills together with a large Saṅgha of mendicants. Now at that time the laywoman Veḷukaṇṭakī, Nanda’s mother, rose at the crack of dawn and recited the verses of “The Way to the Far Shore”.

And at that time the great king Vessavaṇa was on his way from the north to the south on some business. He heard Nanda’s Mother reciting, and stood waiting for her to finish.

Then when her recital was over she fell silent. Then, knowing she had finished, Vessavaṇa applauded, saying, “Good, sister! Good, sister!”

“But who might you be, my dear?”

“Sister, I am your brother Vessavaṇa, the great king.”

“Good, my dear! Then may my recital of the teaching be my offering to you as my guest.”

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You may also consider the Maha-samaya Sutta. In the translator’s Introduction, Ajahn Thanissaro notes that “The Commentary reports the belief that the devas enjoy hearing this discourse chanted in Pali.”
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.20.0.than.html

Also in Ajahn Keng’s autobiography there are 2 instances where he mention having auspicious visions after chanting this sutta:

“I had many good experiences during this vassa. I did a lot of chanting, especially the Mahā Samaya Sutta, where many devas in white with white head covering came by the thousands, carrying white flags, surrounding my kuti and happily jumping around. That vision gave me good encouragement knowing there were these beings who rejoiced at my being there.”

“Prior to the vassa, I went on tudong at Palomar Mountain. Before heading out, I chanted the Mahāsamaya Sutta for seven days and transferred the merits to all earthbound devas and all the protective devas. I had a very good dream prior to my departure. In my dream, I had a vision of a Confederate American soldier wearing a sky-blue uniform with a round hat playing the trumpet. I was walking in the centre of an aisle runner and I saw a powerful King with a pair of piercing eyes. I was terrified when I looked at the King, and he knew how I felt. Immediately the piercing eyes changed to a pair of eyes with a lot of kindness and I was sucked towards the King. I ended up in his arms, and he was cradling me like a baby and tickling me with his long beard. From this dream, I knew I would be protected by the holy spirits and I was very confident my tudong would go well.”

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Thanks everyone for kind and very useful answers! :heart:

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