The Ratnaketu Dharani

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The Ratnaketu Dharani (Skt. Ratna-ketu-dhāraṇī; Tib. རིན་པོ་ཆེ་ཏོག་གི་གཟུངས།, Wyl. rin po che tog gi gzungs) presents the dramatic events in the life of the Buddha when Mara attempts to destroy the Buddha, break up the Sangha, and annihilate the Dharma, a struggle from which the Buddha eventually emerges victorious.

The text also exemplifies two distinctive sutra genres, “prophecies” (Skt. vyakarana) and “incantations” (Skt. dharani), as it includes, respectively, prophecies of the future attainment of enlightenment by some of the Buddha’s followers and the potent phrases that embody the Buddha’s teachings and are meant to ensure their survival and the thriving of its practitioners.[1]


The text of The Ratnaketu Dharani extant today is available in the original Sanskrit, which is incomplete, and in the Tibetan canonical translation.

Tibetan Translation

The Tibetan translation of this sutra can be found in the General Sutra section of the Tibetan Kangyur, Toh 138. The colophon to the Tibetan translation, which is found in all major recensions of the Kangyur, states that it was produced by the Indian preceptor Shilendrabodhi and the Tibetan translator Yeshé Dé.[2]


  1. 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.
  2. The catalog of the Narthang Kangyur records the tradition that The Ratnaketu Dharani was first translated into Tibetan by Thönmi Sambhota. See Narthang Catalog, folio 14.a.1, and Skilling 1997, p. 89.