My Dear Carole,
Thank you very much for your letter. I was happy to hear that you appreciate the Maitreya Project.
There's a prayer to recite when the baby is being born, for the birth to be successful. The prayer is from Angulimala, who killed 99 people, because he met an incorrect guru. He made a mala from the fingers of the dead people. The last was his mother's. Then he was subdued by Buddha and later became an arhat. He received the prayer from the Buddha.
When it is time for the baby to be born, it is beneficial to recite this prayer [see Protective Discourse to Angulimala below]. If you have a Tara statue or are able to borrow one, then offer a bath to the Tara and then drink the water. Then it will be easy for the baby to be born.
Regarding the Maitreya Project, we are planning one 500-foot Maitreya statue for Kushinagar, India, a much smaller Maitreya statue for Bodhgaya, and many others all over the world, including a 15-storey high Maitreya statue in Mongolia. Some will be more than one storey. I'm thinking of building more than 1000 statues.
With much love and prayers…
Protective Discourse to Angulimala (Angulimala Paritta)
The Venerable Angulimala, while on his rounds for alms in Savatthi, saw a woman in childbirth. After his meal he approached the Buddha and told him what he had seen. Thereupon the master taught him this paritta. He then went to the suffering sister, sat on a seat separated from her by a screen, and made this asseveration of the Truth. Instantly, she gave birth to the child with great ease. The efficacy of the Angulimala Paritta persists to this day.
This Sutta is not included in the “Book of Protection.” The words, uttered by the Buddha by way of protection, and learned by the Venerable Angulimala, are found in the Angulimala Sutta (Majjhima nikaya, sutta no. 86).
The next morning, Angulimala goes into town on his almsround, and sees a woman giving birth to a deformed child (an account in the Theragatha says only that it is a difficult birth).
Reporting this incident to the Buddha, he is instructed to return to the woman and say:
"Sister, since I was born, I cannot recall that I have ever intentionally deprived a living being of life. By this truth, may you be well and may your infant be well!"
Angulimala points out that for him to repeat this blessing of the Buddha's would be to tell a deliberate lie, and so the Buddha instructs him to amend the blessing:
"Sister, since I was born with the noble birth, I do not recall that I have intentionally deprived a living being of life. By this truth, may you be well, and may your infant be well!"
Upon receiving this blessing, the mother and child were both healed. To this day, this verse is chanted by monks as a blessing for pregnant women close to their time of delivery.
parittam yam bhanantassa,
Even the water that rinsed the seat of the Elder who recited this discourse of protection did eradicate all the dangerous difficulties.
(Other translation: “The very water that washed the seat of him who recited this Paritta has put an end to all danger. At that very moment this Paritta effected a safe delivery of the infant.”)
yanca sadheti tankhane;
parittam tam bhanama he.
That very paritta discourse has the power to accomplish the labour of childbirth healthily. This is the Paritta Sutta, which had been expounded by Lord of the Worlds to Venerable Angulimala, the great magical power of which may last long for the entire eon.
Oh thou! Let us recite this discourse of protection.
(Other translation: “Now we shall recite that very efficacious Paritta uttered by the Protector of the World (Buddha) which holds good for an eon.”)
yato' ham bhagini ariyaya jatiya jato,
nabhijanami sancicca panam jivita voropeta;
tena saccena sotthi te hotu sotthi gabbhassa.
"I, sister, in my awareness, have not intentionally deprived any living thing of life since I was born of the Aryan birth. By this truth may there be well-being for you, and well-being for the conceived fetus".
(Other translation: "Since I was born of Aryan birth, O sister, I am not aware of having intentionally deprived any living being of his life. By this asseveration of Truth may you be well! May thy unborn child be well!")
This is the short Pali Paritta:
yato aham sabbaññutabuddhassa ariyassa ariyâya jâtiyâ jâto