Buddhist Chanting – Introduction

Revised February 11, 2021

1. This section on Chanting helps cultivate saddhā (faith) in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Saṅgha. Which also helps calm the mind and grasp more profound concepts. For those who believe that there is no value in these “ritual-like” procedures, it may be a good idea to read the post, “Panca Indriya and Panca Bala- Five Faculties and Five Powers. “

  • If done with understanding, these are not rituals as in “sīlabbata parāmāsa.”
  • Therefore, as I keep adding items to this section, I will try to provide the deep meanings behind these “seemingly ritualistic” chantings.
  • In addition to the deeper meanings, there are subtle benefits in listening to chantings, especially those by Ariyā or Noble Persons. This is why I decided to add the sound recordings by the Venerable Thero.

2. The Buddha said that the mind takes precedence over everything else. Our thoughts control our speech and bodily actions. And these thoughts get their moral power from wisdom (paññā) and the joyful state (pīti or “preethi“) of the mind.

  • One can make a given meritorious deed much more powerful by doing it with joy and understanding. The most potent kusala citta is done with “joy and understanding” (a somanassa-sahagata, ñāṇa-sampayutta citta); see, “Javana of a Citta – Root of Mental Power.”
  • Recent scientific studies are beginning to illustrate the power of the focused mind. See, for example, “The Biology of Belief” by Bruce H. Lipton (2008) and “Biocentrism” by Robert Lanza (2009).
  • Thus chanting done with understanding can have benefits, especially for those who have a dominant “saddhā indriya” or have a high degree of faith in the Buddha or Buddha Dhamma.

3. However, one should not force anything on the mind. If chanting is not something that appeals to someone, then it should not be forced. Different people start with different tendencies (i.e., they have a dominant faculty or power, see, “Panca Indriya and Panca Bala- Five Faculties and Five Powers“). Out of sati, saddhā, viriya, samādhi, and paññā, the dominant one should be the focus. As one cultivates the Path, the other four will also grow.

  • This is also related to the concept of how one’s character (gati) and habits change as one follows the Path. Then one’s tendencies, associations, etc., will also gradually change; see, “The Law of Attraction, Habits, Character (Gati), and Cravings (Āsavas).”
  • Thus one may want to concentrate just on the topics on the site that are appealing to oneself. Once in a while, one can take a look at other sections and see whether their opinions on those sections have changed or not.
  • The main thing is to stay on the path of least resistance and the topics easily comprehended.

3. A useful resource isVandanā: The Album of Pāḷi Devotional Chanting & Hymns. “

Next, “Namaskaraya – Homage to the Buddha“, ……

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