Buddhism although doesn't address the path of the gods for enlightment, it is seen that they are largely addressed for their existence. There are entities - dakinis, pisachinis, etc that are negative demons and are acknowledged.

In Hinduism, there are methods in tantra to invoke kavacchas (or shields) to protect the physical self and materialistic self from those negative entities. They largely require deities who take part in shields and project their fellow human being.

Are there any alternative practices in Buddhism too - to prevent or stop negative entities (if they exist) from being a burden on the spiritual journey of enlightenment? Like invoking shields in Hinduism or anything parallel?

2 Answers 2


There is no better shield than your uprightness. If you do not lie, if you not kill ,if you do not steal , if you do not take intoxications then nothing can harm you. If you have a heart full of compassion then you are harmless to others.


At least in the Theravada tradition there are some Paritta (protection) chants:

From the The Value of Paritta in the first book:

Mind not only makes sick, it also cures. An optimistic patient has more chance of getting well than a patient who is worried and unhappy. The recorded instances of faith healing includes cases in which even organic diseases were cured almost instantaneously.'

In this connection it is interesting to observe the prevalence, in Buddhist lands, of listening to the recital of the dhamma or the doctrine of the Buddha in order to avert illness or danger, to ward off the influence of malignant beings, to obtain protection and deliverance from evil, and to promote health, prosperity, welfare, and well-being. The selected discourses for recital are known as "paritta suttas," discourses for protection. But they are not "rakshana mantras" or protective incantations found in Brahmanic religion, nor are they magical rites. There is nothing mystical in them.

"Paritta" in Pali, "paritrana" in Sanskrit and "pirit" (pronounced pirith) in Sinhala mean principally protection. Paritta suttas describe certain suttas or discourses delivered by the Buddha and regarded as affording protection. This protection is to be obtained by reciting or listening to the paritta suttas. The practice of reciting or listening to the paritta suttas began very early in the history of Buddhism. The word paritta, in this context, was used by the Buddha, for the first time, in a discourse known as Khandha Paritta in the Culla Vagga of the Vinaya Pitaka (vol. ii, p. 109), and also in the Anguttara Nikaya under the title "Ahi (metta) Sutta" (vol. ii, p. 82). This discourse was recommended by the Buddha as guard or protection for the use of the members of the Order. The Buddha in this discourse exhorts the monks to cultivate metta or loving-kindness towards all beings.

It is certain that paritta recital produces mental well-being in those who listen to them with intelligence, and have confidence in the truth of the Buddha's words. Such mental well being can help those who are ill to recover, and can also help not only to induce the mental attitude that brings happiness but also to overcome its opposite. Originally, in India, those who listened to paritta sayings of the Buddha understood what was recited and the effect on them was correspondingly great. The Buddha himself had paritta recited to him, and he also requested others to recite paritta for his own disciples when they were ill. This practice is still in vogue in Buddhist lands.

The Buddha and the arahants (the Consummate Ones) can concentrate on the paritta suttas without the aid of another. However, when they are ill, it is easier for them to listen to what others recite, and thus focus their minds on the dhamma that the suttas contain, rather than think of the dhamma by themselves. There are occasions, as in the case of illness, which weaken the mind (in the case of worldlings), when hetero-suggestion has been found to be more effective than autosuggestion.

According to the teachings of the Buddha the mind is so closely linked with the body that mental states affect the body's health and well being. Some doctors even say there is no such thing as purely physical disease.

To show how this works, we can look at the following verse from Banner Protection (Dhajagga Paritta):

"Sakka, the Lord of gods, O monks, is not free from lust, not free from hate, not free from delusion, and is therefore liable to fear, terror, fright, and flight. I also say unto you O monks — if any fear, terror or hair standing on end should arise in you when you have gone to the forest or to the foot of a tree, or to an empty house (lonely place), then think only of me thus:

"'Such Indeed is the Blessed One, arahant (Consummate One), supremely enlightened, endowed with knowledge and virtue, welcome being, knower of worlds, the peerless trainer of persons, teacher of gods and men, the Buddha, the Blessed One.'

Monks, if you think of me, any fear, terror, or standing of hair on end, that may arise in you, will pass away.

It is not that when you call on the Buddha, he will come to protect you or you get mystically protected. Rather, you will lose your fear and gain courage and strength, when you think of him and feel inspired.

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