Use of -ti in chants

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    • #25780

      Why do people usually pronounce -ti when chanting? For example in “etaṃ santaṃ.. etaṃ paṇītaṃ..” most audio versions I’ve heard would end the chant saying “…nibbānaṃ ti”? Is it a convention to include it in chants? Is it a way to recognize what’s chanted are words said by the Buddha?

    • #25782

      sumbodhi asked: “Is it a way to recognize what’s chanted are words said by the Buddha?”

      I think it is used to close out a statement made by anyone. I could be wrong. I guess we need to look at its occurrences in the Tipitaka to see whether that holds.

    • #25789

      Hi Lal,

      I actually know what ‘-ti’ is. It’s a sort of quotation marker. After all all the knowledge was initially transmitted orally. In English we could start a quote with saying “quote” and end with “end quote”. In Pali only one of these exists – “end quote”. It’s a way to differentiate quoted words from pure story. So after some words you would know it was quoting someone. Of course in the Tipitaka this most often is used to quote the words of the Buddha.

      So, I don’t, for now, understand why it’s used when chanting which is a special case of using Dhamma. It’s not like we’re transmitting it to someone else.

      My initial thought is that if this was done for centuries it must have had a reason. And I thought the reason is the following:
      – Whatever I chant/say contains immense wisdom
      – When I finish saying it I would say “-ti” to remind myself these are not just wise words but words said by the Buddha… or instructions by none other but the Buddha himself. For me personally reminding myself this would tremendously enhance the effect. It would make me even if for a second remember what a great being the Buddha was.

      Does this make sense? I’ve only encountered Buddhism 3 months ago, being a newbie I could be asking “strange” questions, but I think the question is still perfectly valid.

      I’m not sure why I was being attacked and accused of “bland” conversation in Cristian’s discourse chat yesterday asking the very same question with the very same point.

      It really discouraged me asking more questions, more so because it was the first time I would write something there. But mostly because such behavior didn’t match with my understanding of what people with “teaching” status should be like. It almost looked like a situation where a kid would ask a silly question and the parent would slap them on the head and call them ‘stupid’.

      Anyway, let me know if this kind of questions aren’t fine here. I got to the conclusion I better don’t ask, because it seems to agitate such people and hinder their progress.

    • #25790

      Here is what people who have studied Pali says about iti or ‘ti.

      ‘ti & iti clauses – Quotation, Speech & Thoughts

      Verbs of saying, telling, asking, naming and also knowing & thinking, are usually indicated with ‘iti’; which gets abbreviated just to: ‘ti. The particle ‘ti signifies that the word or phrase preceding it should be placed in quotation marks. Although the particle marks the end of the quotation, only context can tell you where the quotation starts!

      The quote phrase by no means is limited to words actually spoken! It may identify at attitude or thought and may represent a reason for something being done.

      The verb related to the speech or thought (eg. ‘he said’) can be placed either before or after the quoted phrase and sometime even omitted.

      It’s also important to note that particles such as ‘ti (and also ‘ca) are often merged to the end of nouns in which case they may affect the spelling of that word in two ways: an immediately preceding short vowel becomes lengthened (a->ā) and an ṃ changes to a nasal form of n, due to sandhi. So, when looking up words, these effects must be first reversed.

      Also, when iti or ti, is followed by a vowel, sandhi takes place regularly, eg.:
      evaṃ + ‘ti = evañti
      kvaci + iti = kvacīti
      iti + evaṃ = iccevaṃ;

    • #25791

      Thanks for the insights SengKiat!

      I am more interested in the particle ‘ti exactly as described by you and in particular why people include it in chants. Why do you think is that?

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