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LESSON 3580 Fri 29 Jan  202 Daily Chanting - books  of daily worship Kālāmā Sutta Awakened One with Awareness the Buddha’s Teachings:   “DO GOOD PURIFY MIND”To be Happy, Well and Secure!With Calm, Quiet, Alert, Attentive and Equanimity Mind withClear Understanding that Everything is Changing!And Attain Eternal Bliss as Final Goal! Kushinara Nibbana Bhumi Pagoda- Free Online Analytical Research and Practice University for “Discovery of Buddha the Awakened One with Awareness Universe” in 116 Classical Languages White Home, 668, 5A Main Road, 8th CrossHAL III Stage, Puniya Bhumi Bengaluru, Magadhi karnataka State, Prabuddha Bharat International.http://sarvajan.ambedkar.orgbuddhasaid2us@gmail.comjcs4ever@outlook.comjchandrasekharan@yahoo.com Daily Chanting a book of daily worship AN 3.66 - Kesamutti [aka Kālāmā] Sutta — To the Kālāmas of Kesamutti —in 9) Classical English,Roman, https://tenor.com/…/india-desh-bahkti-bjp-draphicon…Dr B.R.Ambedkar thundered “Main Bharat Baudhmay karunga.” (I will make Prabuddha Bharat Buddhist) Now All Aboriginal Awakened Societies Thunder ” Hum Prapanch Prabuddha Bharatmay karunge.” (We will make world Prabuddha Prapanch) People have started returning back to their original home Buddhism. The whole world will follow the teachings of the Awakened One with Awareness for their happiness, welfare and peace to enable them to attain Eternal Bliss as their Final Goal.
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LESSON 3580 Fri 29 Jan  202 Daily Chanting - books  of daily worship

Kālāmā Sutta
Awakened One with Awareness the Buddha’s Teachings:  

“DO GOOD PURIFY MIND”
To be Happy, Well and Secure!
With Calm, Quiet, Alert, Attentive and Equanimity Mind with
Clear Understanding that Everything is Changing!
And Attain Eternal Bliss as Final Goal!



Kushinara Nibbana Bhumi Pagoda- Free Online Analytical Research and Practice University

for
“Discovery of Buddha the Awakened One with Awareness Universe” in 116 Classical Languages
White Home,
668, 5A Main Road, 8th Cross
HAL III Stage,

Puniya Bhumi Bengaluru,

Magadhi karnataka State,

Prabuddha Bharat International.
Daily Chanting
a book of daily worship


AN 3.66 -

Kesamutti [aka Kālāmā] Sutta
— To the Kālāmas of Kesamutti —in

9) Classical English,Roman,




Dr
B.R.Ambedkar thundered “Main Bharat Baudhmay karunga.” (I will make
Prabuddha Bharat Buddhist) Now All Aboriginal Awakened Societies Thunder
” Hum Prapanch Prabuddha Bharatmay karunge.” (We will make world
Prabuddha Prapanch)
People have started returning back to their original home Buddhism.
The
whole world will follow the teachings of the Awakened One with
Awareness for their happiness, welfare and peace to enable them to
attain Eternal Bliss as their Final Goal.





Buddhism Songs - Greatest Buddha Music of All Time - Dharani - Mantra for Buddhist, Sound of Buddha


https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/Texts-and-Translations/Daily-Chanting/index.htm

short url: https://bit.ly/2wismuC

Texts and Translations Home Page

Daily Chanting
a book of daily worship

A Pāli and English line by line
(interlinear) version of this collection of chanting texts from the
Theravāda tradition meant for daily recital.

edited and translated by
Ānandajoti Bhikkhu

3rd Edition
(2014/2558)

eBooks

 

Editor’s Preface

This work gives a selection of verses that are recited when
worshipping the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Saṅgha; and a collection of
discourses that are popularly used as Safeguards.

Part of the chants found in this book are meant to be recited every day, and part rotate on a weekly basis.

The system for the chanting is as follows: first there is
Recollection of the Three Treasures and other objects of worship, this
is followed by Pūjā (which will depend on what is being offered).

Then the daily Parittaṁ section begins. After the Invitation to the Gods go to the chants for whatever day of the week it is.

At the end of the chants for the day there is meditation, and when finished you can proceed with the Conclusion.

In the Appendix are two other short pieces that can be recited in the indicated place when monastics are present.

Ānandajoti Bhikkhu
July 2014 - 2558

This book has been revised in April, 2014 to bring it into
line with the format that has been adopted in my larger chanting book Safeguard Recitals; and some small corrections and additions have been made at the same time.

Ānandajoti Bhikkhu
April 2014 - 2559

 


This book is dedicated with great respect to the memory of

Ven. Rerukane Chandavimala

former Mahānāyaka of the Swejin Mahānikāya

who worked so tirelessly on behalf of the Sāsana

 

last updated: April 2014




https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/Texts-and-Translations/Daily-Chanting/01-Monday.htm

Monday

Pūjā
Worship


https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/Audio/Daily-Chanting/01-Monday-Full.mp3


Namakkāraṁ
Reverence

Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa
Reverence to him, the Gracious One, the Worthy One, the Perfect Sambuddha

Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa
Reverence to him, the Gracious One, the Worthy One, the Perfect Sambuddha

Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa
Reverence to him, the Gracious One, the Worthy One, the Perfect Sambuddha

 


Buddhaguṇavandanā
Worshipping the Virtues of the Buddha

Iti pi so Bhagavā Arahaṁ Sammāsambuddho,
Such is he, the Gracious One, the Worthy One, the Perfect Sambuddha,

vijjācaraṇasampanno Sugato lokavidū,
the one endowed with understanding and good conduct, the Fortunate One, the one who understands the worlds,

anuttaro purisadammasārathī,
the unsurpassed guide for those people who need taming,

Satthā devamanussānaṁ Buddho Bhagavā ti.
the Teacher of gods and men, the Buddha, the Gracious One.

 

Buddhaṁ jīvitaṁ yāva Nibbānaṁ saraṇaṁ gacchāmi.
I go for life-long refuge to the Buddha right up until Nibbāna.

 

Ye ca Buddhā atītā ca, ye ca Buddhā anāgatā,
Those who were Buddhas in the past, those who will be Buddhas in the future,

paccuppannā ca ye Buddhā, ahaṁ vandāmi sabbadā!
and those who are Buddhas in the present, I worship them every day!

 

Natthi me saraṇaṁ aññaṁ, Buddho me saraṇaṁ varaṁ!
For me there is no other refuge, for me the Buddha is the best refuge!

Etena saccavajjena hotu te jayamaṅgalaṁ!
By this declaration of the truth may you have the blessing of success!

 

Uttamaṅgena vandehaṁ pādapaṁsu varuttamaṁ,
With my head I worship the most excellent dust of his feet,

Buddhe yo khalito doso Buddho khamatu taṁ mamaṁ!
for any fault or wrong against the Buddha may the Buddha forgive me for that!

 

Dhammaguṇavandanā
Worshipping the Virtues of the Dhamma

Svākkhāto Bhagavatā Dhammo,
The Dhamma has been well-proclaimed by the Gracious One,

sandiṭṭhiko, akāliko, ehipassiko, opanayiko,
it is visible, not subject to time, inviting inspection, onward leading,

paccattaṁ veditabbo viññūhī ti.
and can be understood by the wise for themselves.

 

Dhammaṁ jīvitaṁ yāva Nibbānaṁ saraṇaṁ gacchāmi.
I go for life-long refuge to the Dhamma right up until Nibbāna.

 

Ye ca Dhammā atītā ca, ye ca Dhammā anāgatā,
That which was Dhamma in the past, that which will be Dhamma in the future,

paccuppannā ca ye Dhammā, ahaṁ vandāmi sabbadā!
and that which is Dhamma in the present, I worship it every day!

 

Natthi me saraṇaṁ aññaṁ, Dhammo me saraṇaṁ varaṁ!
For me there is no other refuge, for me the Dhamma is the best refuge!

Etena saccavajjena hotu te jayamaṅgalaṁ!
By this declaration of the truth may you have the blessing of success!

 

Uttamaṅgena vandehaṁ Dhammaṁ ca tividhaṁ varaṁ,
With my head I worship the excellent threefold Dhamma,

Dhamme yo khalito doso Dhammo khamatu taṁ mamaṁ!
for any fault or wrong against the Dhamma may the Dhamma forgive me for that!

 

Saṅghaguṇavandanā
Worshipping the Virtues of the Saṅgha

Supaṭipanno Bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho,
The Gracious One’s Saṅgha of disciples are good in their practice,

ujupaṭipanno Bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho,
the Gracious One’s Saṅgha of disciples are straight in their practice,

ñāyapaṭipanno Bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho,
the Gracious One’s Saṅgha of disciples are systematic in their practice,

sāmīcipaṭipanno Bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho,
the Gracious One’s Saṅgha of disciples are correct in their practice,

yad-idaṁ cattāri purisayugāni aṭṭha purisapuggalā,
that is to say, the four pairs of persons, the eight individual persons,

esa Bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho,
this is the Gracious One’s Saṅgha of disciples,

āhuneyyo, pāhuneyyo, dakkhiṇeyyo, añjalikaranīyo,
they are worthy of offerings, of hospitality, of gifts, and of reverential salutation,

anuttaraṁ puññakkhettaṁ lokassā ti.
they are an unsurpassed field of merit for the world.

 

Saṅghaṁ jīvitaṁ yāva Nibbānaṁ saraṇaṁ gacchāmi.
I go for life-long refuge to the Sangha right up until Nibbāna.

 

Ye ca Saṅghā atītā ca, ye ca Saṅghā anāgatā,
Those who were the Sangha in the past, those who will be the Sangha in the future,

paccuppannā ca ye Saṅghā, ahaṁ vandāmi sabbadā!
and those who are the Sangha in the present, I worship them every day!

 

Natthi me saraṇaṁ aññaṁ, Saṅgho me saraṇaṁ varaṁ!
For me there is no other refuge, for me the Sangha is the best refuge!

Etena saccavajjena hotu te jayamaṅgalaṁ!
By this declaration of the truth may you have the blessing of success!

 

Uttamaṅgena vandehaṁ Saṅghaṁ ca tividhottamaṁ,
With my head I worship the Sangha who are supreme in three ways,

Saṅghe yo khalito doso Saṅgho khamatu taṁ mamaṁ!
for any fault or wrong against the Sangha may the Sangha forgive me for that!

 


Paṇāmagāthā
Verses on Obeisance

Buddhadhammā ca Paccekabuddhā Saṅghā ca sāmikā -
The Buddhas, Dhamma, Independent Buddhas, and the revered Sangha -

dāsoham-asmi me tesaṁ, guṇaṁ ṭhātu sire sadā!
I am their servant, may that good quality always be on my head!

 

Tisaraṇaṁ tilakkhaṇūpekkhaṁ Nibbānam-antimaṁ,
The three refuges, equanimity about the three signs, and final Nibbāna,

suvande sirasā niccaṁ labhāmi tividhā-m-ahaṁ.
I always worship these with my head and I receive threefold (return).

 

Tisaraṇaṁ ca sire ṭhātu, sire ṭhātu tilakkhaṇaṁ,
May the three refuges be placed on my head, may the three signs be placed on my head,

upekkhā ca sire ṭhātu, Nibbānaṁ ṭhātu me sire!
may equanimity be placed on my head, and may Nibbāna be placed on my head!

 

Buddhe sakaruṇe vande, Dhamme Paccekasambuddhe,
I worship the compassionate Buddhas, the Dhamma, the Independent Sambuddhas,

Saṅghe ca sirisā yeva, tidhā niccaṁ namāmyahaṁ.
and the Sangha with my head, I constantly bow down three times.

 

Namāmi Satthuno vādā appamādavacantimaṁ,
I bow down to the words of the Teacher, and the last words on heedfulness,

sabbe pi cetiye vande, upajjhāyācariye mamaṁ -
and also to all the shrines, to my preceptor and teacher -

mayhaṁ paṇāmatejena cittaṁ pāpehi muñcatan-ti!
by the power of this obeisance may my mind be free from evil!

 

Āmisapūjā
Material Offerings

(only chant verses for what you are offering)

(first worshipping the main objects of veneration)

Vandāmi cetiyaṁ sabbaṁ sabbaṭṭhānesu patiṭṭhitaṁ,
I worship all the shrines in all of the places that they stand,

sārīrikadhātu Mahā Bodhiṁ, Buddharūpaṁ sakalaṁ sadā!
the bodily relics, the Great Bodhi Tree, and all the Buddha images forever!

Iccevam-accantanamassaneyyaṁ namassamāno Ratanattayaṁ yaṁ,
In this way I can revere the Three Treasures without end, and while revering them,

puññābhisandhaṁ vipulaṁ alatthaṁ, tassānubhāvena hatantarāyo!
I have received an abundant overflow of merit, by that power may (any) obstacle be destroyed!

(lights)

Ghanasārappadittena dīpena tamadhaṁsinā,
With a lamp that burns intensely, destroying the darkness,

tilokadīpaṁ Sambuddhaṁ pūjayāmi tamonudaṁ.
I worship the Sambuddha, the light of the three worlds, the darkness-dispeller.

(incense)

Sugandhikāyavadanaṁ, anantaguṇagandhinaṁ,
o With this fragrance and perfume I worship the Realised One,

Sugandhināhaṁ gandhena pūjayāmi Tathāgataṁ.
who is fragrant in body and speech, and has fragrant endless virtues.

(water)

Sugandhaṁ sītalaṁ kappaṁ, pasannamadhuraṁ subhaṁ,
o Please accept this fragrant, cool, clear, sweet, and attractive drink

pānīyam-etaṁ Bhagavā, paṭiggaṇhātu-m-uttama!
that has been prepared, O Gracious One supreme!

(medicinal drink)

Bhesajjehi samāyuttaṁ gilānapaccayaṁ imaṁ,
o Please accept this medicine together with this herbal drink,

anukampaṁ upādāya, paṭiggaṇhātu-m-uttama!
having compassion on us, O Gracious One supreme!

(flowers)

Vaṇṇagandhaguṇopetaṁ, etaṁ kusumasantatiṁ,
o With these long lasting flowers, endowed with the qualities of beauty

pūjayāmi Munindassa siripādasaroruhe.
and fragrance, I worship the glorious lotus feet of the lord of Sages.

Pūjemi Buddhaṁ kusamenanena, puññena-m-etena labhāmi mokkhaṁ.
I worship the Awakened One with these flowers, may I gain release with (the help of) this merit.

Pupphaṁ milāyāti yathā idaṁ me, kāyo tathā yāti vināsabhāvaṁ.
Just as a flower withers and fades away, so too this my body will go to destruction.

(aspiration)

Imāya Buddhapūjāya katāya suddhacetasā,
By this worship of the Buddha, performed with a pure mind,

ciraṁ tiṭṭhatu Saddhammo, loko hotu sukhī sadā!
may the True Dhamma last a long time, and may the world be always happy!

 


Parittaṁ
Safeguards


Devārādhanā
The Invitation to the Gods


(Chanted by One Person)

Samantā cakkavāḷesu atrāgacchantu devatā
May the gods from all over the universe assemble here

saddhammaṁ Munirājassa suṇantu saggamokkhadaṁ:
and listen to the King of the Sage’s true Dhamma about heaven and release:

Parittassavaṇakālo ayaṁ bhadantā!
Reverend Sirs, this is the time for hearing the safeguard!

Parittassavaṇakālo ayaṁ bhadantā!
Reverend Sirs, this is the time for hearing the safeguard!

Dhammaparittassavaṇakālo ayaṁ bhadantā!
Reverend Sirs, this is the time for hearing the Dhamma safeguard!

 

Namakkāraṁ
Reverence

(Chanted by All Present)

Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa
Reverence to him, the Fortunate One, the Worthy One, the Perfect Sambuddha

Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa
Reverence to him, the Fortunate One, the Worthy One, the Perfect Sambuddha

Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa
Reverence to him, the Fortunate One, the Worthy One, the Perfect Sambuddha

 

(monastics can chant the Reflections found in the appendix here)


 


Āṇakkhettaparittaṁ (pt 1)
Safeguard in this Order’s Domain


Ye santā santacittā, tisaraṇasaraṇā, ettha lokantare vā,
Those (gods) who are peaceful, with peaceful minds, who have taken
refuge in the triple refuge, whether here, or above the worlds,

bhummā bhummā ca devā, guṇagaṇagahaṇā, byāvaṭā sabbakālaṁ,
the various earth gods, that group who have taken up, and are engaged in, virtuous deeds all of the time,

ete āyantu devā, varakanakamaye, Merurāje vasanto,
may these gods come, those who dwell on the majestic Mt. Meru, that excellent golden mountain,

santo santo sahetuṁ Munivaravacanaṁ sotumaggaṁ samaggaṁ.
peacefully, and with good reason, ( to hear) the Sage’s excellent word about entering the stream, and harmony.

 

Sabbesu cakkavāḷesu yakkhā devā ca brahmuno,
May all yakkhas, gods, and deities, from the whole universe,

yaṁ amhehi kataṁ puññaṁ sabbasampattisādhukaṁ

o after partaking of the merits, and of all the thoroughly good fortune

sabbe taṁ anumoditvā samaggā sāsane ratā,
we have acquired, being in harmony, and delighting in the teaching,

pamādarahitā hontu ārakkhāsu visesato.
be not heedless and grant us complete protection.

 

Sāsanassa ca lokassa vuḍḍhi bhavatu sabbadā,
May the teaching and the world be on the increase every day,

sāsanam-pi ca lokañ-ca devā rakkhantu sabbadā.
and may the gods every day protect the teaching and the world.

Saddhiṁ hontu sukhī sabbe parivārehi attano,

o May you, and all those who are around you, together with

anīghā sumanā hontu, saha sabbehi ñātibhi.
all your relatives, be untroubled, happy, and easy in mind.


 


Rājato vā, corato vā, manussato vā, amanussato vā,
(May you be protected) from the king, thieves, humans, and non-humans,


aggito vā, udakato vā, pisācato vā, khāṇukato vā, kaṇṭakato vā,
from fire and water, demons, stumps, and thorns,


nakkhattato vā, janapadarogato vā,
from unlucky stars, and epidemics,


asaddhammato vā, asandiṭṭhito vā, asappurisato vā,
from what is not the true dhamma, not right view, not a good person,


caṇḍahatthiassamigagoṇakukkura-ahivicchikamaṇisappa-
and from fierce elephants, horses, antelopes, bulls, dogs, snakes, scorpions, poisonous serpents,


dīpiacchataracchasukaramahisayakkharakkhasādihi
panthers, bears, hyenas, wild boars, buffaloes, yakkhas, rakkhasas, and so on,


nānā bhayato vā, nānā rogato vā, nānā upaddavato vā, ārakkhaṁ gaṇhantu!
from the manifold fears, the manifold diseases, the manifold calamities -
(from all of these troubles) may you receive protection!


 


Dasadhammasuttaṁ
The Discourse on the Ten Things


Evaṁ me sutaṁ:
Thus I have heard:


ekaṁ samayaṁ Bhagavā Sāvatthiyaṁ viharati
at one time the Fortunate One was dwelling near Sāvatthī


Jetavane Anāthapiṇḍikassa ārāme.
at Anāthapiṇḍika’s grounds in Jeta’s Wood.


Tatra kho Bhagavā bhikkhū āmantesi:
There it was that the Fortunate One addressed the monks, saying:


“Bhikkhavo!” ti, “Bhadante!” ti te bhikkhū Bhagavato paccassosuṁ,
“Monks!”, “Reverend Sir!” those monks replied to the Fortunate One,


Bhagavā etad-avoca:
and the Fortunate One said this:


“Dasa ime bhikkhave dhammā
“There are these ten things, monks,


pabbajitena abhiṇhaṁ paccavekkhitabbā.
that one who has gone forth should frequently reflect on.


Katame dasa?
What are the ten?


 


“Vevaṇṇiyamhi ajjhupagato” ti,
“I have become one who has no (distinctive) appearance”,


pabbajitena abhiṇhaṁ paccavekkhitabbaṁ. [01]
one who has gone forth should frequently reflect on this.


 


“Parapaṭibaddhā me jīvikā” ti,
“I am bound to others for my livelihood”,


pabbajitena abhiṇhaṁ paccavekkhitabbaṁ. [02]
one who has gone forth should frequently reflect on this.


 


“Añño me ākappo karaṇīyo” ti,
“I should comport myself differently”,


pabbajitena abhiṇhaṁ paccavekkhitabbaṁ. [03]
one who has gone forth should frequently reflect on this.


 


“Kacci nu kho me attā sīlato na upavadatī?” ti
“Can I myself find no fault with my virtue?”


pabbajitena abhiṇhaṁ paccavekkhitabbaṁ. [04]
one who has gone forth should frequently reflect on this.


 


“Kacci nu kho maṁ anuvicca viññū sabrahmacārī, sīlato na upavadantī?” ti
“Will my wise companions in the spiritual life, after testing me, find no fault with my virtue?”,


pabbajitena abhiṇhaṁ paccavekkhitabbaṁ. [05]
one who has gone forth should frequently reflect on this.


 


“Sabbehi me piyehi manāpehi nānābhāvo vinābhāvo” ti,
“There is alteration in, and separation from, all that is dear and appealing to me”,


pabbajitena abhiṇhaṁ paccavekkhitabbaṁ. [06]
one who has gone forth should frequently reflect on this.


 


“Kammassakomhi, kammadāyādo, kammayoni,
“It is actions that I own, it is actions that I am heir to, it is actions that I am born from,


kammabandhu, kammapaṭisaraṇo -
actions are my kinsfolk, actions are my refuge -


yaṁ kammaṁ karissāmi, kalyāṇaṁ vā pāpakaṁ vā,
whatever actions I perform, whether good or bad,


tassa dāyādo bhavissāmī” ti,
to that I will be the heir”,


pabbajitena abhiṇhaṁ paccavekkhitabbaṁ. [07]
one who has gone forth should frequently reflect on this.


 


“Kathaṁ bhūtassa me rattiṁdivā vītipatantī?” ti
“In what way do the nights and days pass for me?”


pabbajitena abhiṇhaṁ paccavekkhitabbaṁ. [08]
one who has gone forth should frequently reflect on this.


 


“Kacci nu khohaṁ suññāgāre abhiramāmī?” ti
“Do I delight in empty places?”


pabbajitena abhiṇhaṁ paccavekkhitabbaṁ. [09]
one who has gone forth should frequently reflect on this.


 


“Atthi nu kho me uttarimanussadhammā -
“Has a state beyond (ordinary) human beings -


alam-ariyañāṇadassanaviseso - adhigato?
the distinction of what is truly noble knowledge and seeing - been attained by me?


Soham pacchime kāle sabrahmacārīhi puṭṭho, na maṅku bhavissāmī?” ti

o Will I at the end, when questioned by my companions in the spiritual life, not
be embarrassed?”


pabbajitena abhiṇhaṁ paccavekkhitabbaṁ. [10]
one who has gone forth should frequently reflect on this.


 


Ime kho bhikkhave dasadhammā,
These are the ten things, monks,


pabbajitena abhiṇhaṁ paccavekkhitabbā” ti.
that one who has gone forth should frequently reflect on.


Idam-avoca Bhagavā,
The Fortunate One said this,


attamanā te bhikkhū Bhagavato bhāsitaṁ abhinandun-ti.
and those monks were uplifted and greatly rejoiced in the Fortunate One’s words.


 


Āsīvāda
Verse of Blessing


Etena saccavajjena sotthi te hotu sabbadā!
By this declaration of the truth may you be safe at all times!

Etena saccavajjena hotu te jayamaṅgalaṁ!
By this declaration of the truth may you have the blessing of success!

Etena saccavajjena sabbarogo vinassatu!
By this declaration of the truth may all disease be destroyed!

 

Meditation

Meditation…


 


Avasānaṁ
Conclusion

Dhammapadagāthā
Verses from the Dhammapada

Sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṁ, kusalassa upasampadā,
Not doing any bad deeds, undertaking wholesome deeds,

sacittapariyodapanaṁ - etaṁ Buddhāna’ sāsanaṁ. [183]
and purifying one’s mind - this is the teaching of the Buddhas.

 

Khantī paramaṁ tapo titikkhā, Nibbānaṁ paramaṁ vadanti Buddhā.
Forbearing patience is the supreme austerity, Nibbāna is supreme say the Buddhas.

Na hi pabbajito parūpaghāti, samaṇo hoti paraṁ viheṭhayanto. [184]
One gone forth does not hurt another, (nor does) an ascetic harass another.

 

Anūpavādo, anūpaghāto, pātimokkhe ca saṁvaro,
Not finding fault, not hurting, restraint in regard to the precepts,

mattaññutā ca bhattasmiṁ, pantañ-ca sayanāsanaṁ,
knowing the correct measure in food, (living in) a remote dwelling place,

adhicitte ca āyogo - etaṁ Buddhāna’ sāsanaṁ. [185]
being devoted to meditation - this is the teaching of the Buddhas.

 

Sabbe saṅkhārā aniccā ti, yadā paññāya passati,
All conditioned things are impermanent, when one sees this with wisdom,

atha nibbindati dukkhe, esa maggo visuddhiyā. [277]
then one grows tired of suffering, this is the path to purity.

 

Sabbe saṅkhārā dukkhā ti, yadā paññāya passati,
All conditioned things are suffering, when one sees this with wisdom,

atha nibbindati dukkhe, esa maggo visuddhiyā. [278]
then one grows tired of suffering, this is the path to purity.

 

Sabbe dhammā anattā ti, yadā paññāya passati,
All things are without a self, when one sees this with wisdom,

atha nibbindati dukkhe, esa maggo visuddhiyā. [279]
then one grows tired of suffering, this is the path to purity.

 



Bhavatu sabbamaṅgalaṁ, rakkhantu sabbadevatā,
May there be every blessing, and may all of the gods protect you,

sabbabuddhānubhāvena sadā sotthī bhavantu te!
by the power of all the Buddhas may you be safe forever!

 

Bhavatu sabbamaṅgalaṁ, rakkhantu sabbadevatā,
May there be every blessing, and may all of the gods protect you,

sabbadhammānubhāvena sadā sotthī bhavantu te!
by the power of all that is Dhamma may you be safe forever!

 

Bhavatu sabbamaṅgalaṁ, rakkhantu sabbadevatā,
May there be every blessing, and may all of the gods protect you,

sabbasaṅghānubhāvena sadā sotthī bhavantu te!
by the power of the whole Sangha may you be safe forever!

 



Ākāsaṭṭhā ca bhummaṭṭhā devā nāgā mahiddhikā,
May those powerful gods and nāgas stationed in the sky or on the earth,

puññaṁ taṁ anumoditvā ciraṁ rakkhantu sāsanaṁ!
having rejoiced in this merit protect the teaching for a long time!

 

Ākāsaṭṭhā ca bhummaṭṭhā devā nāgā mahiddhikā,
May those powerful gods and nāgas stationed in the sky or on the earth,

puññaṁ taṁ anumoditvā ciraṁ rakkhantu desanaṁ!
having rejoiced in this merit protect the preaching for a long time!

 

Ākāsaṭṭhā ca bhummaṭṭhā devā nāgā mahiddhikā,
May those powerful gods and nāgas stationed in the sky or on the earth,

puññaṁ taṁ anumoditvā ciraṁ rakkhantu maṁ paran!-ti
having rejoiced in this merit protect me and others for a long time!

 

Idaṁ me ñātīnaṁ hotu, sukhitā hontu ñātayo!
May this (merit) go to my relatives, may my relatives be happy!

Idaṁ me ñātīnaṁ hotu, sukhitā hontu ñātayo!
May this (merit) go to my relatives, may my relatives be happy!

Idaṁ me ñātīnaṁ hotu, sukhitā hontu ñātayo!
May this (merit) go to my relatives, may my relatives be happy!

 


Adhiṭṭhānagāthā
Verses of Determination

Iminā puññakammena upajjhāyā guṇuttarā,
By this meritorious deed may my highly virtuous preceptors,

ācariyūpakārā ca, mātā pitā piyā mamaṁ, [01]
teachers, and other helpers, my dear mother and father,

 

Suriyo Candimā rājā, guṇavantā narā pi ca,
the Sun and Moon kings, and also other virtuous beings,

brahmā mārā ca indrā ca, lokapālā ca devatā, [02]
brahmās, māras, and indras, and (all) world-protecting gods,

 

Yamo mittā manussā ca majjhaṭṭhā verikāpi ca -
Yama, friendly humans, neutral persons, and also foes -

sabbe sattā sukhī hontu puññāni pakatāni me. [03]
may all beings be happy with (all) the merits that I have made.

 

Sukhañ-ca tividhaṁ dentu khippaṁ pāpe yathā mataṁ,
o By these meritorious deeds, by this dedication, may bad deeds

iminā puññakammena iminā uddisena ca. [04]
be as though dead, and may (these merits) give the threefold happiness.

 

Khippāhaṁ sulabhe ceva taṇhupādānachedana,
May I quickly and easily (see the) cutting off of craving and attachment,

ye santāne hīnā dhammā yāva Nibbānato mamaṁ - [05]
and the whole succession of low things until I arrive at Nibbāna -

 

nassantu sabbadā yeva yattha jāto bhave bhave.
may (these things) be destroyed every day in whatever existence I am born.

Ujucitto satipañño, sallekho viriyavāminā, [06]
Upright mind, mindfulness, wisdom, austerity, and energy, by these (qualities),

 

mārā labhantu nokāsaṁ kātuñ-ca viriyesu me,
may the māras find no room to do (anything) about my energy,

Buddho dīpavaro nātho, Dhammo nātho varuttamo, [07]
The Buddha is an excellent light, a protector the Dhamma is the greatest, most excellent protector,

 

nātho Paccekasambuddho, Saṅgho nāthottaro mamaṁ,
the Independent Sambuddha is my protector, the Sangha is the greatest protector for me,

tejottamānubhāvena mārokāsaṁ labhantu mā. [08]
by this highly resplendent power may the māras find no room.

 


Ovādaṁ
Advice
(one person only)

Appamādena bhikkhave sampādetha:
Strive on, monks, with heedfulness:

Buddhuppādo dullabho lokasmiṁ,
the arising of a Buddha in this world is rare,

manussattā paṭilābho dullabho,
acquiring a human existence is rare,

dullabhā saddhā sampatti,
gaining confidence is rare,

pabbajitabhāvo dullabho,
being one gone forth is rare,

Saddhammasavanaṁ atidullabhaṁ.
hearing the True Dhamma is extremely rare.

Evaṁ divase divase ovādī:
So day in and day out he advised them thus (saying):

“Handa dāni bhikkhave āmantayāmi vo vayadhammā saṅkhārā,
“Come now, monks, for I tell you (all) conditioned things are subject to decay,

appamādena sampādetha!”
strive on with heedfulness!”

 


Vajjapakāsanaṁ
Confession of Faults

Kāyena vācā cittena pamādena mayā kataṁ,
o For any transgression I have committed through heedlessness, by way of body,

accayaṁ khama me bhante, bhūripañña Tathāgata.
speech, or mind, please forgive me, Venerable Sir, Realised One, O greatly wise.

 

Kāyena vācā cittena pamādena mayā kataṁ,
o For any transgression I have committed through heedlessness, by way of body,

accayaṁ khama me Dhamma sandiṭṭhika, akālika.
speech, or mind, please forgive me, O Dhamma, which leads on, not subject to time.

 

Kāyena vācā cittena pamādena mayā kataṁ,
o For any transgression I have committed through heedlessness, by way of body,

accayaṁ khama me Saṅgha, puññakkhetta anuttara.
speech, or mind, please forgive me, O Sangha unsurpassed field of merit.

 

(if a senior monk is present the
Asking for Forgiveness
found in the appendix can be recited here)

 

Vuddhipatthānaṁ
Benediction

Abhivādanasīlissa niccaṁ vaddhā pacāyino,
For one in the habit of constantly worshipping respectable elders,

cattāro dhammā vaḍḍhanti: āyu, vaṇṇo, sukhaṁ, balaṁ.
four things increase: length of life, beauty, happiness, and strength.

 

Āyurārogyasampatti saggasampatti-m-eva ca,
The attainment of long life and health, the attainment of heaven,

atho Nibbānasampatti iminā te samijjhatu!
and then the attainment of Nibbāna may you be successful in this!


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https://www.dhamma.ru/sadhu/75-chanting_-_songs

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An Introductory Reader and Grammar By Rune E. A. Johansson.

Pali is one of the Middle Indian idioms and the classical language of
Theravada Buddhism. It is therefore important both to linguists and
students of Buddhism. This introductory book centres on a collection of
original texts, each selected as an especially important and beautiful
formulation of a Buddhist idea. By means of a vocabulary, translation
and commentary, each text is explained so concretely that it can be read
with little preparation. Detailed explanations are provided for the
many technical terms, which have frustrated so many western explorers of
Buddhism. For reference, a grammar is provided. Sanskrit parallels to
many of the words are given, as well as a special chapter comparing the
two languages.

Delhi

The
Department of Buddhist Studies was established in 1957 as follow up to
the action initiated by the Government of India on the occasion of the
celebration of 2500 years of Buddhism on 24 May 1956. This department,
the first of its kind in India, was established with the primary
objective of conducting research at the advanced level in various
subjects related to Buddhist Studies. As part of this initiative, a
Chair of Buddhist Studies was created. Professor P.V. Bapat, a scholar
of international repute, was the first scholar to occupy this chair.

Offers courses:
-    Ph.D. Buddhist Studies
-    M.Phil. Buddhist Studies
-    M.A. Buddhist Studies
-    Diploma in Pali Language & Literature
-    Diploma in Tibetan Language & Literature
-    Certificate Course in Pali Language & Literature
-    Certificate Course in Tibetan Language & Literature

 

Dhamma Talks delivered by Late Ven. Amatha Gavesi Thera of Sri Lanka during meditation retreats in Singapore in 1992.

See also: http://www.oocities.com/venamathagavesi/talks.htm

 

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  • The course may also be Audited without personal teacher support.

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throughout Asia.

Classic text by Henry Steel Olcott updated for the modern reader.

This
site focuses on the richness of the Thai Wilderness Tradition of
Buddhism, with the aim of presenting some of the foundational influences
of the tradition, along with lesser known dimensions of the characters,
teachings, stories and lives of some of the greatest saints of modern
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Thai Forest Buddhism subreddit.

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Teachings, writings, talks and translations of Thanissaro Bhikkhu, and the teachings of Ajahn Geoff’s lineage teachers.

 






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Pali Chanting in Thai Script …
… in Romanized Pali and
with English Translation
Collecting and publishing the Theravada
Chantings as recited in Thailand is the
purpose of this blog.
best viewed with Mac and Firefox
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use the Font Lucida Grande
Much more information, Audio and pdf files :
Pali Sutta, Gatha and Paritta in Thai Script
pdf file of the Pali Chantings
Audio files, information etc
CONTENT:
The Pali Alphabet
The Vowels
The Consonants
Different Texts and Chantings
1_Abhaya Gaathaa Paritta / Abhaya Gāthā
2_ Tisarana / Namo Tassa
3_ The Three Refuges
4_ Attha Sila - The Eight Precepts
4.1_Panca Sila - The Five Precepts
Morning chanting
5_ Salutation to the Triple Gem - Ratanattaya Vandanaa
6_Bowing to the Triple Gem
7_Tisarana / Namo Tassa
8_Buddha Bhithuti - Praise to the Buddha
9_Dhamma Bhithuti / Praise to the Dhamma
10_Sangha Bhithuti - Praise to the Sangha
11_Ratanattayapanaamagaathaa - Salutation to the triple gem
……..and passages for dispassioneteness
12_Samvega Parikittanapaatha - Passages conducive to
…… dispassionateness
Evening Chanting
13_Buddha Nussati - Recollection on the Buddha
14_Buddha Bhigiiti - Hymn to the Buddha
15_Dhamma Nussati - Recollection on the Dhamma
16_Dhamma Bhigiiti - Hymn to the Dhamma
17_Sangha Nussati - Recollection on the Sangha
18_Sangha Bhigiiti - Hymn to the Sangha (end of evening chanting)
Other Texts
Contemplation of the Body - 31 Body Parts
Five Subjekts for Frequent Recollection - Abhinhapacca
… vekkhanāpātha
Phra Gāthā Ākāravattāsūtra - itipi so
….. bhagavā parts 1. + 17.
Pali Chanting Videos with subtitles
Please scroll down….
Ältere Posts Startseite
Abonnieren Posts (Atom)

paliinthaiscript.blogspot.com
Pali in Thai Script


https://buddho.nl/wp-content/uploads/ChantingBook.pdf


CHANTING BOOK

of

Wat Pradhtu
Sr
Chomtong Voravihra

Pli Passages with English Translation

Chanting Book of Wat Phra Dhtu SrChomtong Voravihra

Pli Passages with English Translation
Compiled, partly translated & edited
by

Phra Claus Pabhaïkaro (Dr. Claus Sandler)
Chomtong (Thailand),

1st edition, September 2003
2nd edition (Version 2.0), corrected & slightly expanded, October 2003
1
Version 2.1: Götzenhain (Germany), December 2003
Version 2.2 (slightly improved): G
tzenhain (Germany), February 2004


Table of Contents

The page numbers of the Thai Edition are given in brackets.

PREFACE 9

CHANTING 11
[1]
Paying Respect To Buddha’s Relic At Wat Phra Dhtu SrChomtong Voravihra 11
[1]
Paying Respect To Luang-Pho Phet Buddha Image 11

Morning Chanting

12

12
Preliminary Passage In Homage (To The Buddha) 13
Praise For Buddha 13
Praise For Buddha’s Teaching 14
Praise For The Saïgha 14
[4] Salutation to the Triple Gem & Passage Expressing A Sense Of Urgency 15

  1. [4]  Ratanattayappaõma-gthSalutation To The Triple Gem 15

  2. [5]  Saüvega-parikittana-pñha Passage Expressing A Sense Of Urgency 16

  3. [6]  Taï-khaõika-paccavekkhaõa-vidhReflection at the Moment (of Using the Requisites) 18

  1. [6]  Dhtu-pañikla-paccavekkhaõa-vidhReflection On The Elements And Loathsomeness 19

  2. [7]  Devat-pattidna-gthOffering Merit To The Devas 20

  3. [8]  KAAM GRUAT NAAM BÄP PÜN MÜANG Offering Merit (Northern Thai Style) 21

  4. [9]  Offering Merit By SOMDET PHRAPHUT AJAAN (AAJ AASABHA Mahthera) 22

[9] WAN DAA LUANG Asking For Forgiveness From The Triple Gems And All Devas 23
[10]
WAN DAA NOI Asking For Forgiveness From The Abbot 24

[2] Paying Respect To The Triple Gem
[2] Pubbabh
ga-Namakra-Pñha

[3] Buddhbhithutiü
[3] Dhamm
bhithutiü
[3] Saïgh
bhithutiü

3


Evening Chanting 24

[10] Paying Respect To The Triple Gem 24
[11] Pubbabh
ga-Namakra-Pñha Preliminary Passage In Homage (to the Buddha) 25

[11] Buddhnussati
[11] Buddh
bhigtiü
[12] Dhamm
nussati
[12] Dhamm
bhigtiü
[13] Saïgh
nussati A Guide To The Recollection Of The Saïgha 28
[13] Saïgh
bhigtiü Verses In Celebration Of The Saïgha 29
[14] At
ta-paccavekkhaõa-vidhReflection After Using (The Requisites) 30
[15] Uddisan
dhiññhna-gthOffering Merit 31
[16] Buddha-maïgala-g
thThe Auspicious Awakened Ones 32
[16] Dasa-Dhamma-Sutta
Ten (Recommended) Conducts (For Monks) 34

Special Chanting for Nuns & Laypeople at the Evening before the ’Buddhist Holy Day’ (WAN GOON) 35
[20] Ratana-ttaya-kra-pñha (Brief) Salutation Of The Triple Gem 35

A Guide To The Recollection Of The Buddha 25
Verses In Celebration Of The Buddha 26
A Guide To The Recollection Of The Dhamma 27

Verses In Celebration Of The Dhamma 27

[20] Pubbabhga-Namakra-Pñha
[18]
rdhan-tisaraõa-aññha-sla
[18] Pubbabh
ga-Namakra-Pñha
[18] Saraõa-Gamana-P
ñha Going to the Three Refuges 36
[19] Aññha-S
la Eight Precepts 37
[19]
rdhan-dhamma-desanInvitation To Teach Dhamma 38
[
] Asking Forgiveness To The Triple Gem 39

Preliminary Passage in Homage (to the Buddha) 35
Requesting the Three Refuges and the Eight Precepts 36
Preliminary Passage in Homage (to the Buddha) 36

Formal Requests 41

[18] rdhan-sla Requesting The (Five) Precepts 41
4


[19] rdhan-uposatha-sla Requesting The Precepts On Uposatha Days 43
[21]
rdhanParitta Requesting Blessings 43

44
(Samant
Cakkavëesu … From All Round The World-Systems) 44
46
[23] Namakra-siddhi-gthThe Verses On Success Through Homage 46
[24] Sambuddhe
The Buddhas 47
[24] Namo-k
ra-aññhaka The Homage Octet 47
[25] Maïgala-sutta
The Discourse on Good Fortune 48
[26]
BODKHAT-ratana-sutta 49
[27] Cha-ratana-paritta-g
thThe Six Protective Verses from the Discourse on Treasures 50
[29] Karaõ
ya-metta-sutta The Discourse on Lovingkindness 52
[30] Khandha-paritta-g
thThe Group Protection 54
[30] Vaññaka-paritta
The Baby Quail’s Protection 55
[31] Mora-paritta
The Peacock’s Protection 55
[32]
nñiya-paritta Homage to the Seven Past Buddhas 56
[32] Aïgulim
la-paritta (Venerable) Aïgulimla’s Protection 57
[33] Bojjhaïga-paritta
The Factor-of-Awakening Protection 57
[34] Abhaya-paritta
The Danger-free Protection 58
[34] “Sakkatv
buddha-ratanaü …” “Having revered the jewel of the Buddha …” 59
[35] Maha-maïgala-cakkav
ëa The Great Sphere Of Blessings 60
[36]
Nakkhattayakkha …Power Of Protection 62
[36] Dhajagga-paritta
The Top-of-the-Banner-Staff Protection 62
[37] Buddha-jaya-maïgala-g
thThe Verses Of The Buddha’s Auspicious Victories 63

[21] Invitation To The Devas 1

[22] Invitation To The Devas 2
Parittas Protective Blessings

5

[38] Jaya-paritta The Victory Protection 64
[39] Sumaïgala-g
thVerses Of Excellent Blessing 65

[39] Dhajagga-sutta The Discourse on the Crest of Banners 66
[42] Dhamma-cakka-ppavattana-sutta
The Discourse on Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion 69
[47] Anatta-lakkhaõa-sutta
The Discourse on the Not-self Characteristic 76
[50] Dhamma-niy
ma-sutta The Discourse on the Orderliness of the Dhamma 81

Gths etc. Verses (& Dependent Origination) 83

[51] Uõhassa vijaya-gthVerses On The Victory Over Heat 83
[51] “Bhesajjaü” …
Medicine83

[52] Pabbatopama-gth
[53] Ariya-dhana-gth
[53] Tilakkhaõdi-gth
[54] Pañicca-samuppda-pñha Dependent Origination 86

[54] Buddha-udna-gth

[55] Bhaddekaratta-gth

Abhidhamma

The Mountain 84
Noble Wealth 85
Compounded Things 85

The Buddha Inspired Verses 87
An Auspicious Day 88
89
[55] Dhammasaïgiõ-mtikMatrix of the Dhammasaïgaõ89
[57] Mah
paññhna-mtika-pñha Passage On The Matrix Of The Paññhna 91
[57] Dhammasaïgiõ
Enumeration Of Phenomena 91
[57] Vibhaïga
Classification (of Phenomena) 92
[58] Dh
tukathDiscussion of Elements 92
[58] Puggala-pa
ati Description Of Persons 93
[58] Kath
vatthu Points Of Controversy 93

6


[59] Yamaka (The Book Of) Pairs

[59] Paññhna (Matrix Of The Book On) Origination
Miscellaneous Verses I

[59] Dukkha-ppattdi-gthor Devat-uyyojana-gth
[60] Paüsuklatya (Compounded Things)
[60] Paüsukla-gthVerses (for Recitation while taking) Paüsukla (Robes) 96
[60] Tiro-kuóóa-kaõóha-pacchima-bh
ga (Adsi-me-di-gthVerses on ’He Gave to Me’, etc.) 96
[60] Aññhav
sati-buddha-paritta (”Namo me” …) The Protective Blessing Of The 28 Buddhas 97

Anumodanā − Thanksgiving & Transfering of Merit 98

[62] Anumodan-vidh(”Yathvrivahpr…”) Means Of Blessing 98
[62] Culla-maïgala-cakka-v
la The Lesser Sphere Of Blessings 98
[63] Ratana-ttay
nubhavdi-gthVerses on the Power of the Triple Gem 99
[63] Keõiy
numodana-gthVerses Of Benediction In The Keõysutta 100
[64] K
la-dna-sutta-gthVerses Of Benediction On Timely Offering 100
[64] Aggappas
da-sutta-gthThe Verses from the Discourse on the Supreme (Objects of) Faith 101
[64] Bhojana-d
nnumodana-gthVerses (of the Discourse) on Rejoicing in the Gift of Food 101
[65] Devat
dissa-dakkhiõnumodana-gthVerses for Sharing of Merit with Devas 102

[65] diya-sutta-gth

[65] Vihradna-gth

Miscellaneous Verses II

Verses on ‘Having Got Suffering and so on’ 95
96

Discourse on Edibles 102
Verses on the Gift of a Dwelling-place 103
104
Secure & Unsecure Refuge 104
105
[67] “Buddho maïgala-sambh
to” … “The Buddha has arisen due to good fortune” … 106
[67] Jaya-pa
jara-paõõarasa-gthThe Victor’s Cage 106

[66] Khemkhema-saraõa-gamana-paridpik-gth
[66] “Sukho” … ”Happy” …

7

[] PramThe (Ten) Perfections (Of The Buddha) 108
Paying Respect To The Buddha With A Flower Bouquet, Incents & Candles On Buddhist Holy Days (WAN PHRA) 108
[76] Paying Respect To The Buddha With Offerings 115
Special Chants for Monks 115
[87] Before Reciting the Pñimokkha 115
[
] After Reciting the Pñimokkha 116
[90] Vass
vsa Rains-Residence 118

Pronunciation Rules For Pli & Thai 120
Major Thai Buddhist Festivals 122
The Various Uses of Paritta 123
Index To The Beginning Of The Pali Chants 124
Abbreviations & Literature 126

http://www.aimwell.org/paritta.html


Paritta Suttas — Protection Discourses
Recited by Mingun Sayādaw U Vicittasāra
The
following is the full Pāḷi text as recited in Burma, with the
introductory verses to invite the deities to attend the Paritta Ceremony
and to protect the participants. The Mangala Sutta is preceded by the
introduction to the discourse beginning “Evaṃ me sutaṃ — Thus have I
heard” which is the response given by Venerable Ānanda when questioned
by Venerable Mahākassapa at the First Buddhist Council, three months
after the demise of the Buddha. In the Burmese edition, most of the
Parittas are preceded by a few introductory verses. They are not
numbered here to indicate that they are not part of the actual Pāḷi
text.
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Paritta Parikamma
Mangala Sutta
Ratana Sutta
Metta Sutta
Khandha Sutta
Mora Sutta
Vatta Sutta
Dhajagga Sutta
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Angulimala Sutta
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Jayamangala Gāthā

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Lay Buddhist Practice
The Shrine Room, Uposatha Day, Rains Residence
by
Bhikkhu Khantipalo



Preface  

In the following pages I have tried to write about those things that a
lay Buddhist can do even though his home is far away from Buddhist
lands, or even from Buddhist temples and societies. I have had to
consider the various daily and periodic events of the Buddhist calendar
and retain here only those items which can be practiced by lay Buddhists
without access to bhikkhus, monasteries, temples, stupas, and so on.
Out of the rich traditions found in Buddhist countries, only three
subjects have been dealt with: the daily service chanted in homage of
the Three Treasures with some recollections and meditation; the Uposatha
days with the Eight Precepts; and the Rains-residence of three months.
Most has been here about the first of these as it is very important to
have some regular daily Dhamma-practice.

Even where isolated Buddhists are fortunate enough to be near some
Buddhist center, they will still benefit from these Buddhist practices,
all of which are based on similar methods used in the East.


Bhikkhu Khantipalo
Sydney, Australia


Introduction  

These days there are many books on Buddhism, some reliable and more
speculative, so that a Buddhist living in a country where his religion
is quite newly introduced is likely to have some difficulty in
discerning what is really the teaching of the Buddha. However, this
difficulty can be overcome by the study of the original sources, the
Pali canon, and need not be a great hindrance. Of course, if the student
can gain the help of some well learned and practiced Buddhist he will
understand Dhamma more quickly and thoroughly.

He will also be able to practice more easily. For it is a great
difficulty, even if one has a good acquaintance with the Suttas (the
Discourses of the Buddha), to know how to practice their
teaching. This is more a problem for Buddhists who have to acquire all
their knowledge about the Dhamma from books. One hears people like this
say, “I am a Buddhist but what should I practice?” It is not enough to
answer this question with more or less abstract categories, saying for
instance, “Well, practice the Eightfold Path!” After all, it is not so
easy to practice the Dhamma in an alien environment where bhikkhus
(Buddhist monks), viharas (temple-monasteries) and stupas (monuments
containing relics, also called cetiyas, pagodas or dagobas) are not
found. In Buddhist lands where these and other signs of the Dhamma are
to be seen, the lay person has many aids to practice and is not without
help when difficulties arise. But elsewhere the layman must rely upon
books. Leaving aside those which are misleading (frequently written by
western people who have never thoroughly trained themselves in any
Buddhist tradition) and if even the most authentic sources alone are
studied, still the mind tends to be selective of the materials available
so that it is possible to get one-sided views. Now it can be a good
corrective to stay in a Buddhist country for some time and get to know
how things are done but not everyone has the opportunity to do this.
Here then I should like to touch upon a few common ways of Buddhist
practice. I shall try to be as general as possible in these matters so
that my descriptions are not peculiar to the Buddhist country that I
know best, Siam, but may be common to many Buddhist traditions.


Daily Practice  

The Shrine Room  

It is best to start with practices which are common to all Buddhist
traditions for every-day observance. It is usual, among the more wealthy
lay Buddhists, to have a small room set aside for their daily
devotions, or at least a curtained-off recess. A few might even have a
small separate building. Even poor people, with little space in their
houses, have a special shelf high on the wall on which a Buddha-image or
picture is placed together with the usual offerings (see below).
Nowhere in the Buddhist world are Buddha-images treated as ornaments for
a living room. And a Buddha image is always given the highest “seat” in
the room, that is, the Buddha-image is displayed in the place of honor.
In the shrine-room this will be on the highest part of a shrine. If on a
special shelf (often carved and decorated with color and gold), then
that shelf is usually high on the wall and has nothing above it. The
fact that one places the symbol of one’s Teacher in the highest place
shows one’s high regard for him. For this reason alone it is obvious
that Buddha-images should not be placed on mantelpieces and
miscellaneous furniture. Also, if the shrine occupies part of the room
used for sleeping (this would be contrary to some Buddhist traditions),
it should be near the head of the bed, not at its foot. This is because
that part of the body which houses most of the organs of sense and is
the physical base of much mental activity — that is, the head — the
topmost part of a person, should be directed to what one esteems as the
highest, in this case, the symbol of the Buddha. But feet, however
useful, are easily dirtied and become ill-smelling quickly and should
never be pointed at any person who is respected and certainly not at a
shrine, whether Buddha-image or stupa.

Perhaps some may object to such matters. One may be able to hear some
people growling, “Buddhism has nothing to do with such things!” But
this attitude ignores the fact that the Dhamma is relevant to all
circumstances, also that fine conduct was praised by the Buddha, not
ignored by him. So such things do matter if one is going to have objects
of reverence such as Buddha-images. Whenever we think that such matters
are not worth troubling over then we are just careless and unmindful. A
Buddha-image should be treated respectfully and it is a good way of
training oneself to treat the Buddha-image as one would Gotama the
Buddha himself. Reverence (apacayana) is a part of the Dhamma which
should not be neglected for it helps in the overcoming of conceit.
Buddhists of all traditions have shrines with images, paintings, stupas
and so on, just because reverence is an essential part of Buddhist
training. From practices based on reverence are born humility in oneself
and harmonious relationships with others and the Buddha tells us that
four qualities increase for those who are respectful and honor those who
are senior to them: “Long life and beauty, happiness and strength” (Dhp
109). Who does not want them?

To digress a little here on the objection raised above. This might be
made by a person of rational temperament who had been able to read some
translations from the Pali canon but who had never met with Buddhist
teachers or been to Buddhist countries. From his reading such a person
might get the impression that Theravada is coolly logical, in fact a
sort of eastern humanism. But this shows the selectiveness of the mind
since all through the Suttas there are examples of reverence and
devotion. It is true that the Buddha did not encourage his followers to
give full reign to their emotions with unrestrained outbursts (in
contrast to Hindu and other teachers who have emphasized that bhakti
(devotion to a god) is all). However, He did lay down three forms of
reverence for bhikkhus; wearing the robe with the right shoulder bared,
kneeling down, and holding the palms of the hands together in the
gesture of reverence. Prostration at the feet of the Buddha is also
mentioned many times in the Suttas. Lay people are free to show their
reverence in any suitable way and people of those times were recorded in
the Suttas as expressing their reverence variously:

So the Kalamas of Kesaputta approached the Lord. Having approached
him, some prostrated towards the Lord and sat down at one side; some
greeted the Lord politely, and having conversed in a friendly and
courteous way, sat down to one side; some raising their hands in añjali
to the Lord sat down to one side, some called out their names and those
of their clans and sat down to one side; while others saying nothing sat
down to one side.

— Kalama Sutta, Anguttara-nikaya iii 65 (PTS edition). See A Criterion of True Religion, Mahamakut Press, Bangkok, and The Kalama Sutta, Wheel No. 8, BPS, Kandy, Sri Lanka.

No doubt these expressions depended upon their confidence and
serenity (saddha-pasada). Down to the present time, Theravada tradition
in any Buddhist country is rich in the various forms of reverence
accorded to Buddha-images, stupas and to the Sangha. So a negative view
as the one mentioned is neither an advantage for practice nor in
agreement with tradition.

But other people too might have such ideas, for instance some who
have read about the iconoclastic attitude of some Zen masters, or of the
siddhas who were the last partly Buddhist teachers in India before the
extinction of Buddhism there. There are remarks and actions recorded of
some of the former teachers which might lead one to expect that whatever
else Zen is, surely reverence plays no part in it. Such people are
bound to be a little startled by the emphasis on reverence and the large
devotional element present in the daily training of anyone, monastic or
lay, who stays in a Zen training temple. The siddhas too spoke against
rituals but that was because they were faced with a great overgrowth of
Buddhist ritualistic devotion gradually accumulated through centuries of
Mahayana and Vajrayana. In matters of devotion, as in other things, one
should remember that the Buddha himself taught “Dhamma in the middle,”
with the rejection of extremes, Confidence (saddha) should be balanced
with wisdom (pañña), but one-sided practice will not lead to great
fruits.

Another sort of objection which has been raised is that the forms of
respect in Buddhist tradition are specially Asiatic and not suitable for
Buddhists in other countries. One hears of calls for a peculiarly
British or American Buddhism divested of “Asiatic trimmings.” Perhaps
the various non-Indian peoples to whom Buddhism has spread also raised
such objections when Buddhist tradition contrasted with their own
established cultures. However that may have been, the Dhamma requires
some time before it puts its roots down in any culture and before one
can even begin to imagine western forms of Buddhism, westerners who have
long trained in the Sangha, become learned and serene in their hearts
are necessary. The priority in Buddhism is on properly trained people,
not on arguments as to exterior forms.

Now, to return to the shrine room. Lay people will find it most
useful in the morning and evening, and perhaps on some days when more
time can be given to the cultivation of calm and insight. The usual
course of practice taught for lay people in Buddhist countries is that
they should practice giving (dana) according to their faith, and as far
as their circumstances allow make an effort to keep the precepts (sila)
pure, and as far as they are able so develop the mind in meditation
(bhavana). That is to say, those who are less interested in Dhamma
practice should at least make an effort to be generous. If they give
nothing, or very little when more could be given, they are making little
or no effort to go against the worldly stream of craving. Some who
cultivate generosity may not be very good at keeping some of the
Precepts but they are practicing a valuable part of Dhamma. And it is
reckoned much more practical to be open-handed and devoted to the Buddha
than it is merely to have a lot of unpracticed book-learning. Next will
come people who not only make an effort to give generously but also try
to keep the precepts. They try to conform their actions to what agrees
with the Five Precepts and perhaps on special occasions undertake Eight
Precepts as well, a subject to be discussed below. Finally, there are
those who are able to practice more than dana and sila and try to
cultivate their minds every day through meditation. Now the shrine-room
is the place where at least the last two of these Dhamma-practices may
be undertaken.

It should be a quiet place and one which is screened or curtained off
from the sight of people not interested in Dhamma. It is desirable to
have some such place apart from ordinary living rooms, devoted only to
Dhamma-practice and where the furnishings will remind one only of
Dhamma. Though these may be quite elaborate in Buddhist countries,
really nothing is needed which is difficult to obtain. Probably the most
difficult and perhaps expensive, is the Buddha-image. Failing to obtain
that, an inspiring picture of the Buddha may be used. Or if one cannot
be found then a good reproduction of some famous stupa could be one’s
focus. Whatever it is, with its beauty it should evoke harmony and
peace. If there is an image then one requires a low table to place it
on-so that the Buddha-image is just a little higher than one’s head when
kneeling down. So it will be an advantage if one can kneel down on a
soft mat on the floor and dispense with chairs. Once kneeling, it is
easy to seat oneself after offerings and recollections in meditation
posture. The table upon which the Buddha-image is placed could be
covered with a new cloth, perhaps something beautiful in color and
texture, for beauty used with restraint, is an aid to devotion. In front
of the Buddha-table another and lower one might be used for the
offerings, something like the sketch on the facing page.

The Offerings  

Apart from the Buddha-image in the place of honor, one may have other
Buddhist objects round or on the shrine, such as scroll-paintings,
Buddhist symbols such as the lotus-bud, wheel of Dhamma or the
Bodhi-leaf, or miniature stupas, and so on. But three things are
certainly needed on the shrine for making the usual offerings:
candlesticks (lamps for oil, etc., in some traditions), an incense
burner and vases or trays for flowers.

In Asian countries one may see many other things offered: food,
water, drinks, fruit, etc. The idea behind this kind of offering is
gratitude to the Teacher, and the consideration that one should not
partake of good things without first having offered something,
symbolically, to Lord Buddha. The word “offering” rather suggests that
one expects those things to be “accepted” but of course the Buddha
having attained Nibbana is beyond acceptance and rejection. The Pali
word for these things makes this matter clearer: sakkara is that which should be done properly and means firstly, honor and hospitality given to guests and so by extension, to a symbol of one’s Teacher.

Regarding the incense-burner, though various patterns are used in the
East, the cleanest method is to part fill an open-mouthed bowl with
clean sand and to place this on a saucer or other flat vessel. This
should collect most of the ash. Some Buddhist traditions do not use
vases but as in Sri Lanka arrange the flowers in patterns on trays or
platters. This method, of course, requires time, while the flowers
quickly demonstrated their impermanence.

People quite often ask why these three things in particular are
offered. The offering of flowers is a bridge to the contemplation of the
body’s impermanence. An ancient Sinhalese Pali composition may be
translated like this:

These flowers, bright and beautiful,
fragrant and good-smelling, handsome and well-formed —
soon indeed discolored, ill-smelling and ugly they become.
	
This very body, beautiful, fragrant and well-formed —
soon indeed
discolored, ill-smelling and ugly it becomes.
	
This body of mine too is of the same nature,
will become like this,
and has not escaped from this.

Candles or lights are lit to symbolize the light of Dhamma which one
should find in one’s own heart, driving out the darkness of the
defilements there. In the Dhammapada (verse 387) there is a suitable
verse for recitation while making this offering:

The sun is bright by day,
the moon lights up the night,
armored shines the warrior,
contemplative, the brahmana,
but all the day and night-time too
resplendent does the Buddha shine.

Incense having a good smell is lighted to remind one that the
Dhamma-light can only be found with the aid of good moral conduct (sila)
which has been so many times praised by the Buddha, as in these
Dhammapada verses (56, 54, 55):

Slight is this perfume
of tagara and sandalwood,
best the perfume of the virtuous
blowing even to the devas.
The perfume of flowers does not go against
	the wind,
neither that of sandalwood, jasmine, or tagara:
but the perfume of the virtuous does go
	against the wind.
The good man suffuses all directions,
Sandalwood or tagara,
lotus or the jasmine great —
of these perfumes various,
virtue’s perfume is unexcelled.

If these offerings are made with mindfulness of their meaning then they are not without good results.[1]
Also, they act as objects for focusing the mind, which in the morning
may still be sleepy, or in the evening may be distracted by the events
of the day. These offerings lead one to concentrate the mind when
reciting the Refuges and Precepts, the recollections and during
meditation. So we can see that these actions agree with that quality of
the Dhamma called “leading inward” (opanayiko). However, before we come
to these aspects of practice a few words should be said on the
traditional gestures of respect.

Gestures of Respect  

Dhamma is the way for training mind, speech and body. But the Buddha
dhamma is sometimes regarded in a way which is too intellectual and
theoretical so that there is a danger that it is not practiced as a way
of training. To help with the training of the body there are various
gestures which are expressions of one’s confidence in and reverence for
the three Treasures. These actions when performed with due mindfulness
are wholesome kamma made by way of the body. Repeated frequently they
become habitual bodily kamma and it is good to have the habit of
reverence as part of one’s character. The Buddha, soon after his
Enlightenment, thought that to live without reverence was not suitable,
so he looked around with the divine eye to find some teacher under whom
he could live, revering him and his teachings. But he found no teacher
superior to himself, nor any teaching superior to the Dhamma which he
had discovered. But out of reverence for that Dhamma he decided to make
the Dhamma his Teacher and to live revering Dhamma. We who are his
followers should follow in his footsteps and live with reverence for
those three aspects of Enlightenment: Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha.

The gestures used for this are mainly two: respectful salutation with the hands (añjalikamma),[2] and the five-limb prostration (pañc’anga-vandana).[3]

The first of these, which may be remembered as “añjali” as there is
no satisfactory English equivalent, is made by bringing the palms of the
hands together, and raising them to the region of the heart or higher,
according to circumstances. For instance, in the shrine room after
kneeling down in front of the Buddha image, one makes añjali before
offering flowers, lights and incense. And as the Teacher was the highest
in the world and one to go beyond the world, so one respects him by
placing one’s hand in añjali to the forehead. But while chanting, the
hands are held in añjali at heart level. This action and others
described here, should be done with mindfulness and therefore
gracefully. And one should be careful to see that exaggerated and
impetuous movements are avoided. As we remarked before, the Dhamma does
not encourage unrestrained expressions of emotion, rather with its aid
one endeavors to calm one’s heart.

After all these preliminary remarks, we have just got into our shrine
room, knelt down, made añjali and offered the three offerings. Now
there are flowers placed in their vases or upon some offering tray,
candles or lamps burning brightly and a blue column of incense smoke
rising to the ceiling. It is time to pay one’s respects with the whole
body to the Teacher. When afterwards one says “Namo tassa…” that word
“namo” (homage) comes from the root nam meaning “to bend.” So now
one bends oneself, one’s mind and body, down and acknowledges that the
Buddha was indeed the Perfectly Enlightened One that one’s own
understanding of Dhamma is insignificant. In the kneeling position,
one’s hand in añjali are raised to the forehead and then lowered to the
floor so that the whole forearm to the elbow is on the ground, the elbow
touching the knee. The hands, palm down, are four to six inches apart
with just enough room for the forehead to be brought to the ground
between them. Feet are still as for the kneeling position and the knees
are about a foot apart. This is called the prostration with the five
limbs, that is the forehead, the forearms, and the knees. This
prostration is made three times, the first time to the Buddha, the
second to the Dhamma, and the third to the Noble Sangha.

An ancient tradition from Thailand makes this more explicit as it
adds a Pali formula to be chanted before each of the prostrations.
Before the first one may chant:

Araham sammasambuddho bhagava
Buddham bhagavantam abhivademi.

The Arahant, the Buddha perfected by himself, the Exalted One
I bow low before the Exalted Buddha.

Before the second prostration:

Svakkhato bhagavata dhammo
Dhammam namassami.

The Dhamma well-expounded by the Exalted One
I bow low before the Dhamma.

And before the last one:

Supatipanno bhagavato savakasangho
sangham namami.

The Sangha of the Exalted One’s disciples who have practiced well
I bow low before the Sangha.

Some people feel that this prostration is “foreign” and not at all
important. They say that it may discourage people from the practice of
Dhamma if their first sight of it is so alien a custom. As there are a
few points to discuss here another digression must be made. Prostration
in this way, or similar ways which may be more complicated (as in
Chinese and Tibetan traditions) do not seem “foreign” at all when seen
in a Buddhist country. There they are just the traditional ways of
paying respect and western people, even some non-Buddhists, seldom have
any difficulties. In these days when there are so many Asian religious
and cultural movements in western countries, a practice of this sort
loses its strangeness. Certainly it is a practice which any able-bodied
Buddhist may do in the seclusion of his shrine room and not feel
embarrassed but at public meetings where non-Buddhists may be present it
is better perhaps to restrict one’s courtesies to the añjali and a
simple bow. It is well to consider whatever one’s beliefs about this
practice, that it is a long established way of showing respect in every
Buddhist tradition, both in the Sangha and among lay people. It is part
of the common inheritance of all Buddhists in Asia, while practices of
this sort may be expected to spread in time to new Buddhists in other
parts of the world with the increase in the number of Buddhist temples,
images, stupas, and above all, with the gradual establishment of the
Sangha in those countries.

The Preliminary Formula for Revering the Buddha  

Though most of one’s devotions are made in English (etc.), it may be
good to retain this short sentence (see below) in Pali. It is very
ancient and found several times in the Suttas. Here is one example of
its use:

Thus have I heard: At one time the Lord was staying near Savatthi in
the Jeta Grove at Anathapindika’s monastery. Now at that time the
brahman Janussoni was leaving Savatthi early in the day in an all-white
carriage (drawn by four white) mares. The brahman Janussoni saw the
wanderer Pilotika coming in the distance and seeing him he spoke thus to
the wanderer Pilotika: “Now where is the revered Vacchayana (Pilotika’s
clan-name) coming from so early in the day?”

“Sir, I am coming from the presence of the Samana Gotama.”

“What do you think about this, Vacchayana? Has the Samana Gotama lucidity of wisdom? Do you think him wise?”

“But who am I, sir, that I should know whether the Samana Gotama has
lucidity of wisdom? Surely only one like Him could know whether the
Samana Gotama has lucidity of wisdom.”

“Undoubtedly it is with lofty praise that the revered Vacchayana praises the Samana Gotama.”

“But who am I, sir, that I should praise the Samana Gotama? Praised
by the praised is the revered Gotama, chief among devas and men…”

When this had been said, Janussoni the brahman got down from his
all-white carriage (drawn by four white) mares, and having arranged his
upper cloth over one (his left) shoulder, having bowed down to the Lord
three times with his hands in añjali, he uttered these inspired words:
“Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Samma-sambuddhassa! Namo tassa Bhagavato
Arahato Samma-sambuddhassa! Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato
Samma-sambuddhassa!”

— translated by Dr. I.B. Horner in Middle Length Sayings (P.T.S.) Vol I, p 220, 222.

Evidently this sentence expressive of praise and devotion was quite
widely known, as several lay people, some Buddhists and others not, some
brahmans and at least one king, uttered these inspired words. So when
today we chant these words, it is a sound that rings back through the
ages to the Buddha-time. We may chant as the brahman did:

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma-sambuddhassa

three times in Pali while recollecting its meaning silently, or use
may be made of a method of chanting which translates this formula,
interspersing the Pali with English, like this:

Namo tassa bhagavato[4]

I (we) wish to revere with body, speech and mind that Lord apportioning Dhamma

arahato

that One far from defilements

samma-sambuddhassa

that One Perfectly Enlightened by himself.

(Repeat the Pali and English three times. This is according to an old
Thai method of chanting, frequently heard today in that country’s
schools.)

These three epithets of Gotama the Buddha express the three great
qualities of Enlightenment. BHAGAVATO shows the Great Compassion
(mahakaruna) of the Buddha and this we should recollect first as
loving-kindness and compassion is the necessary base for our own
practice of Dhamma. ARAHATO represents the Purity (visuddhi) of the
Buddha, a purity unforced and ever-spresent to be approached by us
through the practice of the Precepts. SAMMA-SAMBUDDHASSA stands for the
quality of Wisdom (pañña), the Unsurpassed Perfect Enlightenment
(anuttara samma-sambodhi) which distinguishes a Buddha from all other
men. Here, “Samma” means “perfect,” “sam” stands for “by himself,” and “Buddhassa” is “to the Enlightened” or “to the Awakened.”

The Three Refuges  

When people ask, “Who is really a Buddhist?” the answer will be, “One
who has accepted the Three Refuges” — Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, as his
shelter and guiding ideal.”[5]

So now that we have paid our respects to the Teacher, it is usual for
Buddhists to continue by affirming their Refuge in Enlightenment
(bodhi) in three aspects: the Buddha, the rediscoverer of Enlightenment;
the Dhamma, the way to that Enlightenment; and the Sangha, those who
are practicing that way have discovered Enlightenment for themselves.
That which has the nature of the Unsurpassed Perfect Enlightenment,
unconfused and brilliant with the qualities of Great Compassion, Purity
and Wisdom, that is a secure refuge. So we recite this sure refuge as a
reminder every day:[6]

To the Enlightened One I go for refuge.
To the Way to Enlightenment I go for refuge,
To the Enlightened Community I go for refuge.

For the second time to the Enlightened One I go for refuge.
For the second time to the Way to Enlightenment I go for refuge.
For the second time to the Enlightened Community I go for refuge.

For the third time to the Enlightened One I go for refuge.
For the third time to the Way to Enlightenment I go for refuge.
For the third tome to the Enlightened Community I go for refuge.

There is a reason for repeating each refuge three times. The mind is
often distracted and if words are spoken or chanted at that time then it
is as though they have not been spoken at all. There is no strong
intention behind them and one’s Going for Refuge will be like that of a
parrot. Repeating words three times is common in many Buddhist
ceremonies (such as ordination) and ensures that the mind is
concentrated during at least one repetition.

When one has gone for refuge and so affirmed that one is following
the way taught by the Buddha, then it is time to remind oneself of the
basic moral precepts for daily conduct.

The Five Precepts  

These are the words of the Buddha from the Dhammapada:

Whoever destroys living beings,
speaks false words, who in the world
takes that which is not given to him,
or goes too with another’s wife,
or takes distilled, fermented drinks —
whatever man indulges thus
extirpates the roots of himself
even here in this very world.

— Dhp. 246-7

So these actions are to be avoided if one wishes to be not only human
in body but also to have a human mind. And birth as a human being
depends to a great extent upon the practice of the Five Precepts which
are also called “the Dhamma for human beings” (manussa-dhamma). The
practice of these precepts makes this human world bearable, but when
such practice declines then it becomes a place of suffering and
distress.[7]

Therefore, it is a practice among Buddhists to bring to mind every
day the Five Precepts while sitting with hands in añjali in front of the
shrine. At that time one should resolve as strongly as possible to
practice them and not to depart from them. They may be recited in
translation as follows:[8]

I undertake the rule of training to refrain
	from killing living creatures.
	
I undertake the rule of training to refrain
	from taking what is not given.
	
I undertake the rule of training to refrain
	from wrong conduct in sexual pleasures.
	
I undertake the rule of training to refrain
	from false speech.
	
I undertake the rule of training to refrain
	from distilled and fermented intoxicants, which are the occasion for carelessness.

These precepts are the basic and minimal observance of moral conduct
by a Buddhist. They are designed to restrain him from making bad kamma
in speech and body and to serve as the basis for further growth in the
Dhamma. If a Buddhist wishes to meditate, for instance, he must be
trying to practice the Five Precepts. Meditation trains the mind away
from unwholesome states but how could this be done if body and speech
were uncontrolled? In connection with precepts and meditation, it may be
said again that all kinds of drugs should be given up before trying
meditation. They confuse the mind, or merely alter it temporarily — and
so fall under the fifth precept — while meditation is the step by step
purification of it.

Now that the Going-for-Refuge and the Five precepts have been
recited, it is time to recollect the virtues of the three things most
precious to a Buddhist in the world.

Recollections:  

Recollection of the Three Treasures  

The Treasures (ratana) of the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha are not
excelled by any other sort of treasure, for these treasures have the
nature of Enlightenment and are beyond the realm of arising and passing
away. So that we appreciate well the value of these Three Treasures,
this translation of the passages recollecting their virtues should be
recited every day.[9]

Recollection of the Virtues of the Buddha
Indeed the Exalted One is thus: The accomplished destroyer of
defilements, a Buddha perfected by himself, complete in clear knowledge
and compassionate conduct, supremely good in presence and in destiny,
the Knower of the worlds, incomparable Master of men to be tamed, the
Teacher of celestials and men, the Awakened and Awakener, and the Lord
by skill-in-means apportioning Dhamma.

Recollection of the Virtues of the Dhamma
The Dhamma of the Exalted One is well-expounded, to be seen here and
now, not delayed in time, inviting one to come and see, leading inwards,
and to be known each wise man for himself.

Recollection of the Virtues of the Sangha
The Sangha of the Exalted One’s disciples who have practiced well, the
Sangha of the Exalted One’s disciples who have practiced straightly, the
Sangha of the Exalted One’s disciples who have practiced rightly, the
Sangha of the Exalted One’s disciples who have practiced properly — that
is to say, the four pairs of men, the eight types of persons — that
is the Sangha of the Exalted One’s disciples, worthy of gifts, worthy
of hospitality, worthy of offerings, who should be respected, the
incomparable field of puñña for the world.

The advantage in making these recollections, even in a brief form
chanted once or twice a day, is a gradually increasing appreciation of
the Three Treasures. It is like a precious balm contained in an unglazed
vessel — gradually the whole of the vessel is pervaded by the sweetness
of its contents.

Affirmation of Refuge in the Three Treasures  

Before going on to chant other recollections these three traditional
verses from Sri Lanka can be chanted to make one’s mind firm in the
Refuges. It is easy for the distracted and weak mind to take refuge in
the impermanent and unstable things of this world while neglecting the
true Refuge which is like an incomparably brilliant diamond of
adamantine quality in one’s own practice of Dhamma. To put aside other
refuges, dogmatic and materialistic, one recites:[10]

For me there is no other refuge,
the Buddha truly is my Refuge —
by speaking of this truth
may I grow in the Master’s Way.
	
For me there is no other refuge,
the Dhamma truly is my Refuge —
by speaking of this truth
may I grow in the Master’s Way.
	
For me there is no other refuge.
the Sangha truly is my Refuge —
by the speaking of this truth
may I grow in the Master’s Way.

The mind which is established in the three Refuges does not suffer
from doubt and wavering; there are no thoughts as, “Was the Buddha
really enlightened?” and so on. When the mind has firm confidence in the
Three Treasures then it is not disturbed by skepticism (vicikiccha), a
hindrance to the experience of deep meditation.

The Five Subjects for Daily Recollection (”by woman or man, householder or monk”)  

There are other recollections which one can make and which help one
to appreciate the state of a human being. People tend to hide away from
decay, disease and death while greatly attached to sentient beings and
insentient objects. Some people try also to ignore moral responsibility
for their actions. The recollections below bring all these subjects out
into the light and make us face them squarely. Therefore, the Buddha has
said that they should be recollected by everyone daily.[11]

1. I am of the nature to decay.
I have not got beyond decay.
	
2. I am of the nature to be diseased.
I have not got beyond disease.
	
3. I am of the nature to die.
I have not got beyond death.
	
4. All that is mine, beloved and pleasing, will change and vanish.
	
5. I am the owner of my kamma,
heir to my kamma,
born of my kamma,
related to my kamma,
abide supported by my kamma.
Whatever kamma I shall do, whether good or evil, of that I shall be the heir.

This recollection is specially good for arousing mentally vigorous
states and for getting rid of laziness and drowsiness. Repeated every
day, these recollections make one value this life so that one makes the
best use of it.

The Development of Loving-Kindness  

Another practice which is beneficial, as it counteracts states of
mind rooted in aversion (dosa) is metta-bhavana, widely practiced by
people in Buddhist countries. The advantages are many, ranging from an
increase in personal happiness, through such social benefits as having
many good friends, to ease of meditation practice, dying unconfused and
at least gaining a good rebirth. So as part of one’s daily practice one
should recite this traditional passage used in all the Buddhist
countries of Southeast Asia.[12]

May I have no enmity
may I have no hurtfulness
may I have no troubles of mind and body
may I be able to protect my own happiness
Whatever beings there are —
	may they have no enmity
whatever beings there are —
	may they have no hurtfulness
whatever beings there are —
	may they have no troubles of mind and body
whatever beings there are —
	may they be able to protect their own happiness.

While chanting both these recollections one should not be too
hurried. Take time over them and pause for reflection after each phrase
has been chanted. In this way one prepares the mind for the next part of
one’s practice.

Meditation  

When the last reflection has been finished, one should change from
kneeling seated on the heels to a cross-legged posture, whichever one is
most suitable. Those who find it difficult to get their knees anywhere
near the floor may find it useful to sit in the way illustrated, with a
small hard cushion (or folded blanket) 3-6 inches thick under the
buttocks. One should also sit on a reasonably soft surface, and a square
of folded rug, soft carpet, etc., underneath one will make for the
greater comfort of the knees.

When seated ready to meditate, one’s body should be upright, and yet
relaxed. Carefully notice any physical strain and try to correct it.
Also one must ensure that the body is balanced and comfortable before
meditating — this can be done by moving the body around while seated —
for once started the body should not be moved. Clothes should be not
moved. Clothes should be loose and not constricting in any way.

Of all the sitting positions, the lotus posture is the best and
firmest. But not so many people are able to get their legs into this
position without a good deal of practice; so the half-lotus posture may
be tried as it also makes the body firm. Other people find the lion
posture better, or where none of these can be done, just sit in the
ordinary cross-legged way — but the back must be straight.[13]
If it is found difficult to keep the back straight (and drowsiness and
sleep are the results of sitting hunched up), then put a cushion in the
small-of the back and sit against a wall. This will help to straighten
the back while it gives support to anyone who has a weak back. When all
of these ways of sitting are impossible a chair may be used, although it
is difficult to feel really firm on a chair.

When the legs are stiff, it will be useful to try loosening the three
joints of ankle, knee and thigh with these exercises: While standing,
raise one leg keeping it straight, a foot off the floor. Support the
body by grasping hold of something firm with the hand on the other side
of the body. Revolve the foot from the ankle in the widest possible
circle while keeping the rest of the leg still. Turn the foot a number
of times both clockwise and anticlockwise. Then raise the top part of
the leg until it is parallel with the ground and swing the lower leg in
as wide a circle as possible from the knee. Do not move the upper leg.
Reverse direction of swing and repeat several times. Then straighten the
leg and swing it, keeping it straight, from the thigh in the largest
possible circle, in both directions. Repeat these three exercises from
the other leg. The whole procedure may be done two or three times a day
but do not overdo it to begin with — the result will be a lot of aching
joints! After a month or two, the joints will have become more flexible
and the leg muscles more relaxed. It should then be quite easy to adopt
one of these cross-legged postures for a long period of time. So much
for the body.

Having quietened the body and resolved not to move it while
meditating, what about the mind? Most people find that it moves much too
fast for their mindfulness to catch. Usually, what is called “mind”
means the present time consisting of:

 Eye-            Ear-       Nose-     Tongue-      Body (touch)-
consciousness   consc.      consc.     consc.        consc.
 |                |           |           |             |
 ——————————————————–
                              |
 Past(memory) — Mind-consciousness-element — (hopes,fears) Future
                              |
                         Mind-element
                              |
         Dhamma (mental-emotional experiences)-element
                              |
                              |
  ____________________________________________
 |                       |                    |
 Wholesome mental states | Neutral mental states
                         |
               Unwholesome mental states

So a “mind” may be concerned with any one of the five sense
consciousness, or it may be mind-consciousness-element having as object
something from the past, present or the future, or again it can be the
dhamma-element consisting of the three species of mental states. It will
not be mind-element, which is the passive state of mind operating in
deep sleep. Now a mind, or rather a mind operating in deep sleep. Now a
mind, or rather a succession of “minds,” which is concerned with such
highly differentiated data cannot become very concentrated. Even when
“minds” are not concerned with outer sensual stimulation and only with
inward reflection, they will still be discursive with words, concepts,
pictures and feelings, etc. In the state of meditation we try to cut out
even these inward disturbances by fixing the mind upon one subject
which is not discursive. This will conduce to our “minds” being only
wholesome states (kusaladhamma) which tend towards concentration and
peacefulness. The mental stream of “minds” concerned with many
unwholesome states (akusaladhamma — often fed by sense-stimulation),
defiled by being rooted in greed, aversion and delusion (lobha, dosa,
moha), are unconcentrated. Defilements lead to mental troubles, among
them distraction, dullness, boredom, drowsiness, lust, attachment and
aversion. But the absence of defilements means the growth of strong
wholesome states and hence of increases in clarity and concentration.

So when one has sat down already and made one’s body comfortable,
then reflect a little: This is not the time to think about the past or
the future. Even thoughts about the present must be put down now. This
is the time to quieten and concentrate the mind. To follow the Way of
Lord Buddha to make the mind firm and unshakable. Now I shall only
observe my meditation subject… Breathe in… out… in…

Two subjects in particular are suitable for a Buddhist who has no
direct contact with a meditation teacher. One is mindfulness of
breathing, the other the development of loving-kindness. There are many
other subjects but these two are the most widely used and can usually be
employed (given due care) without a meditation teacher’s guidance.
Here, each one will be treated briefly, as there are other books in
which they are dealt with in greater detail.

Mindfulness of breathing[14]
was, by tradition, the subject used by Gotama in his efforts to attain
Enlightenment. It is most suitable for promoting calm and concentrated
states and so for quelling the distracted mind. It is taught in a number
of different ways but in all of them the meditator must first find one
point in the breathing process where the breath can be watched.
Concentration upon the breath entering and leaving the nostrils, or upon
the upper lip, is good for encouraging clear and concentrated mental
states, except for people who experience some tension in the head, or
for those who find this subject too subtle. For both types of persons,
or for people when affected in these ways, to concentrate upon the
rising and falling of the diaphragm is beneficial. When one has sat down
and begun meditation it is advisable not to change one’s subject
(except in case of fear or some other strong defilement, see below) but
from time to time as the quality of meditation practice changes, for
better or worse according to circumstances, the point of concentration
or even the subject may be changed as it becomes necessary.

One should view the meditation subject as a medicine to cure the
diseases of the mind (distraction, drowsiness, and so on), and as the
symptoms of those diseases change, so the subject of one’s meditation
can be changed. For instance a person practicing with mindfulness of
breathing may find that he is being disturbed by angry thoughts: it may
become necessary then for the control of such thoughts to switch to the
meditation on loving-kindness. However, before changing the subject of
meditation, it is very helpful to get the advice of someone who is
well-established in meditation practice.

Having fixed upon one point for watching the breath, keep the mind
there. You can judge for yourself how successful you are by what happens
after this. If the mind is continuously just fixed on
“breathing-in-out” with no other sense-objects, not even of other parts
of the body, and no discursive thought, then one is doing well, for
meditation is fine and calm. If you do perceive other sense-objects, for
instance, loud or soft noises from outside, but your mind is not shaken
from the concentration, on breathing-in-out, merely having awareness of
them which returns immediately to the breathing when they cease,
without discursive thought, concentration is good. If the mind is mostly
fixed on breathing-in-out but also strays to body (touch) consciousness
elsewhere round the body but still without discursive thoughts, then it
is not so bad. But if one’s breathing-in-out-mind is frequently
disturbed by other mental states consisting of ideas, pictures, etc.,
then there is still a lot of work to do. Even if one’s meditation is up
to the first standard, there is no need for complacency as there is
plenty more to do. The more advanced aspects of meditation do require
guidance and one should make every effort to get in contact with a
reliable source of teaching.

The time that one gives to meditation must depend upon the individual
although less than 15-20 minutes is of little benefit unless the mind
is very well concentrated. Also, it is a good discipline to resolve to
practice every day and at the same time (in so far as
outside circumstances like work allow). One should not practice on some
days but not on others. This shows a wavering mind and cannot accomplish
much. And when one has determined to meditate every day one should also
resolve to practice for the same length of time each day, not
one day twenty and next only five minutes. If one’s practice is not
regular then this shows weakness of the mind and such a mind is good at
suggesting “Today it is too hot,” “Today I am too tired…” and a
thousand and one other excuses. The best time for meditation is early
morning when everything is quiet and while the mind and body are rested.
If one meditates once a day then this is the best time to do it. Some
people like to meditate twice and do some practice also in the evening.
However personal experience will soon make it clear that while hunger is
not conducive to meditation, neither is a full stomach. Tiredness may
also be a limiting factor in the evening.

The Development of Loving-kindness[15]
is another very valuable practice. It aims at the dissolution of angry,
averse states of mind and the increase of that kind of love which is
cool, capable of extension to all and non-possessive. A word here about
love. In English we have only this one word which has to describe a
great range of emotions, whereas in Pali there are several words
describing three levels.

The lowest is the one we share with the animals: lust, which is based
on powerful desires for pleasant feelings and is completely selfish.
This kind of love does not consider others at all and cares only for
self-gratification. In Pali its name is kama (a word which has
the wider, meaning also of the objective stimulants of the senses and
the defiled sensual stimulation in the heart). When there is no kama,
deliberate sexual intercourse is impossible (as for the arahants). Kama
causes sex to appear attractive and is strengthened when the senses are
not guarded. Hence the Buddha’s injunction for bhikkhus to restrain
their senses, to some extent (for instance, limiting the amount of
television that he watches, and other distracting amusements), and this
will help to limit the arising kama making for greater peace of heart.
Second is sneha, the viscous attachment which holds families
together. This love is not totally selfish but rather regards the
attachment as a bargain out of which oneself and others get something.
For instance, the husband gets home cooking while the wife obtains
security to rear a family. The terms of this bargain, of course, may
differ quite widely. But sneha is only capable of being extended to a few people who are involved in this bargain. By contrast, metta
or loving-kindness, is a love not hot with lust nor sticky with
attachment: it is cool and does not consider personal benefits. The
person who has metta is concerned with the happiness of others before he
thinks about himself. No human relationship can last long and be of
great benefit if it is not founded on metta, for only such love can be
extended to other beings generally and without limitation to some group.
Usually our relations with other people are made up of kama sometimes,
sneha frequently, with a sprinkling of metta now and again. From the
point of view of meditation practice, kama hinders it while metta helps
it.

Metta must be practiced first towards oneself. That is to say, one
cannot love others unless first one has established love in one’s own
heart. To try spreading metta to others before strengthening it in
oneself is like a poor man who proposes to give out money for others’
benefit. To have metta for oneself means a relative absence of conflicts
in oneself, to be at peace with oneself. So the first thing to do in
sitting meditation is to repeat over and over again: “May I be at
peace.” When the mind becomes calm and one can feel about one’s heart
the brightness of metta then it is possible to start practicing it
towards other people. Having cultured loving-kindness in one’s heart,
one may next picture any person whom one respects deeply and constantly
wish for that person “May he (or she) be happy!” Having developed
towards that person the same, or greater intensity of metta, then go on
to see in the mind a person with whom one is just friendly, and after
that a neutral person. Only then may one consider a person who is
disliked or even one who is hated. In each case, the emotional tone
accompanying the mental picture should be the same and only when it has
reached the same intensity should one move on to the next person to be
considered. It is useless to begin with those one dislikes as such
practice is merely the extension of what is already there — aversion —
rather than the development of something new — metta. To begin with the
disliked just wearies oneself and gets one nowhere. In this meditation,
thoughts of loving-kindness must be backed up by the emotional feeling
associated with loving-kindness, if they are to be really effective in
ridding oneself of aversion.

This power of metta is used to break down the “walls” which we erect
around ourselves, the walls of aversion and dislike, so that metta,
properly practiced, becomes by deep meditation not only widespread but
infinite in extent. One to whom each person and each living being are
equally dear, who wishes happiness for all sentient beings, visible and
invisible in every direction and state of existence, whose heart is
“endued with loving-kindness, abundant, exalted, measureless, free from
enmity and free from affliction” has truly succeeded with this practice.

But metta fails when it falls into either of two extremes. The first
of these is called “the near enemy,” that is, selfish physical desire or
kama. So one should not attempt to practice metta in meditation towards
a person for whom one has kama. The second is known as “the far enemy”
and means the opposite of metta — ill-will, anger and so on. So much for
the practice of metta as a meditation.

Besides mind, a human being has two other channels of communication —
speech and bodily action. Therefore, digressing again from what is done
in the shrine-room, one should make efforts to express loving-kindness
in these two ways as well. As far as speech is concerned, make an effort
to cut out sharp or harsh words when they are spoken in anger, while
trying to cultivate kindly speech. And as speech to be convincing has to
be backed up by bodily action, one’s body should express
loving-kindness too. See that it performs acts of helpfulness and
service. See that one is “clean-handed” — that is, that things which
could be given do not “stick” to one’s hands, for generosity is a
companion and supporter of loving-kindness. If one makes an effort like
this with one’s speech and body, it will be helpful to one’s meditation
on metta, while that in turn will ensure that one’s good actions are not
just an empty facade.

The subject of meditation is vast, as the mind with which it deals is
intricate and there are many different methods suited to different
minds with their defilements. In this brief section only two methods
have been mentioned and their development has only been outlined upon
the side of calm. The development of calm is very necessary before going
on to the development of insight, in which impermanence,
unsatisfactoriness and non-self are investigated, as the mind must be
strong and undistracted for insight to penetrate towards enlightenment.
The development of calm, cannot be dealt with here and no book, however
extensive, can replace the advice of a meditation master.

It is possible that if the mind becomes deeply concentrated and
states quite new to the meditator are suddenly experienced, that fear
may arise. Fear can also be troublesome if an object of mind comes up, a
mental picture, which is horrible to the meditator. If such fear should
arise then the meditator should leave that object and turn to the
Recollection of the Three Treasures, mentally repeating: “Indeed the
Exalted One is thus: The Accomplished destroyer of defilement…” If the
fear is banished by the first Recollection then one’s meditation can be
resumed, otherwise one should go on to recite “The Dhamma of the
Exalted One is well-expounded…” and “The Sangha of the Exalted One’s
disciples who have practiced well…” until all fear is cured in the
mind. This is sure to be dispelled as the Buddha has said, in the
Dhajagga Sutta (The Discourse on the Foremost Banner), because one is
recollecting the qualities of Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha which are “free
of greed, free of aversion and free of delusion” and are therefore free
from fear. This is where strong and sure Refuge in the three Treasures
is shown to be so valuable, for if strong confidence in them is present
fear has no chance. But the mind in which there are many doubts is
easily shaken and fear can get a hold there. Well-balanced Dhamma
practice should dispel the causes giving rise to fears, but if these
persist it is necessary to ask someone competent in meditation how they
should be treated.

At the conclusion of meditation, one should gently bring the mind
back to its usual state of engagement with the senses. During this time
the limbs should not be moved quickly but gently rubbed if they are cool
or have “gone to sleep.” when one is quite ready, then it is time to
chant the Anumodana.

Anumodana  

This is one of those words which it is very difficult to translate
into English. It means literally “rejoicing with or after” but implies
“asking beings to rejoice in the good kamma which one has made and so
benefit themselves.” It is often translated “blessing” but this gives
the wrong picture, as one is inviting other beings to rejoice at what
one has done; one is not invoking some blessing of another power upon
them.

The person who is inviting others to rejoice does not actually “share
his merits,” although this expression is often seen. How can merits (a
poor translation of puñña which means all kinds of actions which cleanse
and purify the mind of the doer) be shared indeed? As puñña is good
kamma, one should remember “I am the owner of my kamma, heir to my
kamma…” so how can it be “shared” with others? Good kamma or puñña is
not like a cake which can be cut up into pieces and handed round! What
one does is not “sharing” but dedicating one’s puñña to other beings
(either to particular beings who are suffering, such as parents,
relatives, friends, etc.; or generally to all beings (see below),
“infinite, immeasurable”). And these beings to whom one dedicates kamma
may be either living this life or else reborn in other states. In
dedicating it to them one asks them to rejoice (”By rejoicing in this
cause, this gift of puñña given by me…”) and when they do so they also
make good kamma which is the direct cause of their happiness (”a happy
life and free from hate… and their good wishes all succeed”). The
“Path Secure” mentioned in the verses below is the attainment of
stream-entry when a person has seen Nibbana for the first time, known
the Truth of Dhamma for himself and is no longer liable to fall into
low, subhuman births.

These verses are part of a longer Pali composition by King
Mahamongkut (Rama IV) of Siam, possibly written while he was still a
prince and bhikkhu holding the position of Abbot of Wat Bovoranives in
Bangkok.

May the puñña made by me,
now or at some other time,
be shared among all beings here —
infinite, immeasurable,
By rejoicing in this cause,
this gift of puñña given by me,
may beings all forever live
a happy life and free from hate,
and may they find the Path Secure
and their good wishes all succeed!

Having finished this recitation one should stay quiet with a heart
full of loving-kindness for all beings just for a short while. Then to
conclude the service one again makes the prostration with five limbs
three times.

Chanting  

In Theravada Buddhist countries, the traditional verses and passages,
as well as the Discourses of the Buddha, whether used in services or
for other occasions, are usually recited in Pali, the language spoken by
the Buddha. In each country there are somewhat different traditions of
chanting and pronunciation of Pali.[16]
(In other Buddhist lands also, traditions exist for the chanting of
Buddhist scriptures, usually in a special and now archaic form of the
vernaculars). Besides the established traditions of Pali chanting, there
are also, in countries like Thailand, ways of chanting in the language
of the people. Few lay people understand the grammar of Pali though many
may know a number of important phrases and terms in that language, so
we find that lay people (and sometimes bhikkhus as well) chant in Pali
following each phrase with a translation in the vernacular. This can
often be heard in Thailand where school children also chant verses
composed in Thai on the respect that should be given to the Buddha,
Dhamma, Sangha, parents and teachers (the Five Treasures).

In countries where Buddhism is either newly introduced or again
flourishing after a period of neglect, there may be very few who
understand Pali, while, on the other hand, many may wish for some
devotional and reflective practice for their daily lives. Hence the
short number of texts suggested here are all in English. Then comes the
question of how to chant in this language. Lay Buddhists can be guided
by the Buddha’s words when some bhikkhus began to sing the Dhamma:

Bhikkhus, there are these five dangers when Dhamma is chanted with a long, singing sound:

  1. He is pleased with himself regarding that sound, (= pride)
  2. others are pleased regarding that sound (they have regard for it but not for Dhamma)
  3. householders look down upon him (as music is for those who enjoy sense-pleasures)
  4. while trying for accuracy of sound his concentration is broken, (he neglects the meaning of what he is chanting)
  5. people coming after fall into views (by emulation) (”saying: Our
    teachers and preceptors sang it thus” [Commentary] — a source of both
    pride and quarreling among later generations of Buddhists).

— Vinaya Pitaka, ii. 108

From these five disadvantages we understand that it is disrespectful
for a bhikkhu to sing or intone the Dhamma in such a way that its
meaning is lost.[17]
This rule, of course, does not apply to lay people but in Buddhist
lands the latter, perhaps guided by the conduct of bhikkhus, have made
little or no use of music for religious purposes. After all what are we
trying to achieve by chanting the words relating to the Buddha and his
teaching? Is it not to gain calm through a mind concentrated on Dhamma?
Then music has rather an exciting effect on many people and so is
opposed to our aim. Again, compared with western religion, Buddhism has a
different aim. There, the object of chanting and singing is to make
sounds pleasing to the Creator’s ear, out of love or fear of him. But
Buddhists are not burdened with such an idea, for our aim and goal lies
within, to be attained by our own efforts, not by propitiation of an
external power. Lord Buddha was one who spoke in praise of silence and
restraint, so in preparing ourselves to be silent, restraint should be
used in our chanting.

The various passages which have been recommended here for this
purpose are embedded in much explanatory matter and people who wish to
use them and any other reflections which they have found stirring, could
copy them all out to form a chanting book.[18] Then only one thing remains to be done and that will come about through daily use: learn these texts by heart. Even if one is far from home one can then quietly repeat them to oneself and so not break one’s regular practice.

In the various Buddhist countries there is a great variety of chants
and recollections and even neighboring monasteries may have their own
traditions and not use all the same items. Those given here in English
translation are among the most popular and common to most traditions.
Others can be added according to individual preference and knowledge.
There is no such thing as a standard morning and evening service in the
Buddhist world and even between these two there may be differences of
items used. So much for daily practice in the shrine room.

The Laity’s Practice of Dhamma  

Then what about Dhamma-practice outside the shrine-room? This is
really a subject which goes beyond the scope of this book. All the
important aspects of a layman’s practice of the Dhamma have been written
about in other books. However, mention may be made of these things:

Dana (Giving)

The giving of material things (amisa-dana), for instance, to support
bhikkhus, to give to the poor, starving and so forth. There is no lack
of opportunity to practice this in our over-populated world. And
Buddhists who have enough of this world’s wealth, enough of clothes,
food, shelter and medicine which are the basic necessities for life
should practice dana bearing in mind that what is given away is truly
well preserved while what is kept is wasted. The practice, running
counter to the worldly way of craving and attachment, is very important
in the present materialistic civilization with its emphasis upon gain
and accumulation of possessions. Nothing much can be done in Dhamma
until one is prepared to open one’s heart and one’s hands to others.

The giving of Dhamma (Dhamma-dana) means the gift of some useful
teaching and advice for others. It is necessary to know what will
benefit them if one would give this gift in the right way. Dhamma is the
supreme gift in the world, as said by the Buddha:

All gifts the gift of Dhamma does excel,
all tastes the taste of dhamma does excel,
all joys the joy of Dhamma does excel —
the craving-ender overcomes all dukkha.

— Dhp. 354

All material things wear out with use but the Dhamma increases as we
practice it. And material things give benefit only in this life, while
the Dhamma benefits the practice now and in future lives as well.

The giving of non-fear (abhaya-dana). This means acting in such a way
that other beings do not have any cause to fear oneself. This is
another name for the practice of loving-kindness (metta) and is based
upon good moral conduct (sila).

Sila (Moral Conduct, Precepts)[19]

The Five Sila have been mentioned above. The Eight Sila will be dealt
with in connection with the Uposatha day (below). Besides these lists
of precepts which are guides to good conduct, one should study those
discourses of the Buddha, like the Singalovada (The Exhortation to
Singala — see Everyman’s Ethics,
Wheel 14) in which he has given the principles which will conduce to a
harmonious society. This must be founded upon wholesome mental states in
the individual and for this the following practices are essential:

Bhavana (Development or cultivation of the mind)

The four Divine Abidings: Loving-kindness, compassion,
joy-with-others, and equanimity, bring two blessings: harmony within and
peace with other people. Their importance in Buddhist practice cannot
be over-emphasized. They are the educators of the heart or emotions and
from a Buddhist point of view it will be better to be gentle and
non-aggressive though lacking intellectual knowledge of Dhamma. Such a
person shows that he has been tamed by the Dhamma of non-harming, but
mere knowledge of the Dhamma divorced from practice makes only for
conceit and an increase of views (ditthi).

Reading the Suttas in translation, especially the Anguttara-nikaya (see the anthology in two parts with this title from BPS, Kandy, and Gradual Sayings,
the complete translation in 5 vols. from the Pali Text Society London),
will bring to light many discourses containing valuable advice for lay
Buddhist practice. It would be useful to collect these together and then
read them through from time to time. A reading of such relevant suttas
might be introduced into the evening service every day, or else read
upon Uposatha days. This brings us to the subject of the second part of
this book.


Uposatha  

The word means “entering to stay,” in the Buddhist sense, in a vihara
or monastery. But it has a long history before Buddhist times as it was
the custom of the brahmans who performed the Vedic rites and sacrifices
to go to the sacred place away from their homes and families and purify
themselves by leading a secluded life for a day and night, returning
after the rites were finished. The days when they kept this seclusion
were determined by the phases of the moon, the most important being the
Full Moon and the New Moon days. Two other days, the quarter-moon days,
were also observed.

Here it may be helpful to say something about the lunar month. This
is a month (originally this word is cognate with “moon”) of 29 1/2 days.
Two months have 59 days, that is, one of thirty and one of twenty-nine.
Each month is divided into fortnights: of the waxing moon and of the
waning moon. Each half is therefore of 14 or 15 days and in each half
the days are numbered from the first of the waxing moon (the day after
new moon day) to the fourteenth (or fifteenth) of the waxing moon, and
then from the first of the waning moon to the fourteenth of the waning
moon. A new lunar month always begins (in Buddhist reckoning) with the
waxing half-month. The eighth day (usually) of both bright and dark
halves is the quartermoon day.

In the Buddha-time, various groups of ascetics and wanderers used the
traditional Full and New moon days for expounding their theories and
practices, while the Buddha allowed bhikkhus to assemble on these days
to listen to the recitation of the Patimokkha (the fundamental rules of a
bhikkhu) and to teach Dhamma to the lay people who came to their
monastery.

From that time down to the present, the Uposatha days have been
observed by Buddhists, both ordained and laity, in all Buddhist
countries. The practice of Buddhists, as known to the writer from Siam —
and there are many local variations — is along these lines: Early in
the morning lay people give almsfood to the bhikkhus who may be walking
on almsround,[20]
invited to a layman’s house, or the lay people may take the food to the
monastery. Usually lay people do not eat before serving their food to
the bhikkhus and they may eat only once that day, specially where the
bhikkhus practice eating a single meal. In any case, their food is
finished before noon. Before the meal the laity request the Eight
Precepts (see below), which they promise to undertake for a day and
night. It is usual for lay people to go to the local monastery and to
spend all day and night there. In different monasteries, of course, the
way they spend their time will not be the same and much depends on which
aspect of the Dhamma is stressed there: study or practice. Where there
is more study, they will hear as many as three or four discourses on
Dhamma delivered by senior bhikkhus and they will have books to read and
perhaps classes on Abhidhamma to attend. But they are quite free to
plan their own time with meditation, discussion of Dhamma with the
bhikkhus and so on. In a meditation monastery lay people will get less
instruction and that will be about the Practice of Dhamma, while
most of their time will be spent mindfully employed — walking and seated
meditation with some time given to helping the bhikkhus with their
daily duties. So the whole of this day and night (and enthusiastic lay
people restrict their sleep) is given over to Dhamma. The Bhikkhus on
these days have to meet (if they are four or more in number) and listen
to one bhikkhu recite by heart the 227 rules of training contained in
the Patimokkha. This meeting may take an hour or more and lay people
may, or may not, attend, according to the tradition of that monastery.
Apart from this regular observance, some bhikkhus may undertake an extra
austere practice, such as not lying down on the Uposatha night, which
means the effort to try and meditate in the three postures of walking,
standing, and sitting all night.

This is the practice in brief, of “entering to stay at” (uposatha) a
monastery in Asia. Obviously a Buddhist who has no facilities like these
in a non-buddhist country must spend his Uposatha differently. Perhaps
the first thing to consider is whether it is worth trying to keep the
Uposatha days. Why are they kept on the phases of the moon? The origin
of the Uposatha days in Buddhist teachings is found in the following
story:

The occasion was this: The Blessed One was living at Rajagaha on the
Vulture-Peak Rock, and at that time Wanderers of other sects were in the
habit of meeting together on the Half Moons of the Fourteenth and
Fifteenth and the Quarter Moon of the Eighth and preaching about Dhamma.
People went to hear about the Dhamma from them. They grew fond of the
Wanderers of other sects and believed in them. So the Wanderers gained
support.

Now while Seniya Bimbisara, king of Magadha was alone in retreat he
considered this, and he thought: “Why should the venerable ones not meet
together too, on these days?”

Then he went to the Blessed One and told him what he had thought,
adding: “Lord, it would be good if the venerable ones met together too,
on these days.”

The Blessed One instructed the king with a talk on the Dhamma; after
which the king departed. Then the Blessed One made this the occasion for
a discourse on the Dhamma and he addressed the bhikkhus thus:
“Bhikkhus, I allow meetings on the Half Moons of the Fourteenth and
Fifteenth and the Quarter Moon of the Eighth.”

So the bhikkhus met together on those days as allowed by the Blessed
One, but they sat in silence. People went to hear the Dhamma. They were
annoyed, and they murmured and protested: “How can the monks, the sons
of the Sakyans, meet together on these days and sit in silence dumb as
hogs? Ought not the Dhamma to be preached when they meet?”

Bhikkhus heard this. They went to the Blessed One and told him. He
made this the occasion for a discourse on the Dhamma, and he addressed
the bhikkhus thus: “Bhikkhus, when there is a meeting on the Half Moons
of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth and the Quarter Moon of the Eighth, I
allow preaching of the Dhamma.

The Life of the Buddha, trans. by the late Bhikkhu Ñanamoli, p. 157

We can see from this that the Uposatha day was already popular at
that time; in fact India had already a lunar calendar. The Buddha
sometimes allowed popular practices when he had investigated them to see
whether they were profitable. In this case he saw that there were
advantages for Dhamma-practice in the Uposatha days, so he allowed them.
But we should understand clearly that Dhamma in its various aspects was
not taught by him out of conformity with pre-Buddhist traditions. (How
often one sees statements like “The Buddha accepted and taught the Hindu
doctrine of karma and reincarnation”!) Dhamma was taught by him based
on Enlightenment — having seen everything as it truly is. So the
teaching — for instance, of kamma — was because he had seen the truth of
this for himself. Similarly with the Uposatha days, the importance of
which are underlined by a number of discourses on the subject in the
Anguttara-nikaya, the Book of the Eights (see the Appendix).

But if the timing of the Uposatha days in Buddhist tradition was
fixed merely to coincide with the existing lunar calendar and the
traditional observances connected with it, then today when most people
work in countries which do not follow a lunar calendar it would seem
sensible to have days for special Buddhist observance during the
weekends. Is there any other significance to the Uposatha days falling
on the phases of the moon? A fairly new branch of biology, called
chronobiology, studies the rhythmicity in nature and appears to support
the importance of the Uposatha days, particularly the full moon
observance. Dr. W. Menaker of New York, writing in the American Journal
of Obstetrics and Gynecology (77:905, 1959) has observed as the result
of an analysis of data on birth and conception that the coincidences
between the lunar month of 29.53 and the average duration of the
menstrual cycle of 29 1/2 days “constitutes a combination of
circumstances that points to the synodic lunar month as the time unit of
the human sexual reproductive cycle.” It seems as though the keeping of
the Uposatha days by large numbers of the Buddhist laypeople until
recent times will have helped to limit the growth of the population in
Buddhist countries. Some people have also observed that sexual desire
comes to a peak with the full moon. Those who understand that restraint
in this and other sensual appetites is good, will see that there is a
good cause for keeping at least the full moon as an Uposatha day.
Chronobiologists are now working on the assumption that as the oceans
are affected by the moon, so the water in the body is also affected —
“As our bodies are about two-thirds ’sea’ and one-third ‘land,’ we must
sustain ‘tidal’ effects.” (Dr. Menaker, op. cit.) This seems reasonable
looked at from the teaching given on the elements by the Buddha: ”
Whatever is internal liquid element and whatever is external liquid
element, just these are the liquid element” (see Maharahulovada Sutta,
M. 62) — though the context for this quotation is the development of
insight. At any rate, development in the Dhamma goes in the direction of
becoming less affected by desires concerning the body, for to have such
desires is to have a defiled mind.

The defilements and passions can best be controlled when they can be
seen — when they are strongest. It is impossible to restrain defilements
in oneself when they are not apparent, though they may operate
underground. For instance, the person who is well-provided with wealth
and comforts may not be able to see greed or aversion at work in
himself; these defilements have not surfaced since the sea of satisfied
desires, in which they swim, is deep enough. But place this person in a
bare little hut with poor food only once a day and a strict discipline
to control his actions and then see what happens! The monsters of the
deep all rise to the surface and clamor for more extensive waters in
which to sport. On the other hand, the attitude of good bhikkhus shows
the right way to deal with defilements. Some of the strongest —
sensuality and sloth — manifest themselves at night, so the night was
recommended by the Buddha as the time when they could be tackled most
effectively. An enemy that one has not seen and known cannot be
defeated, but an enemy well known and attacked with the weapons of Right
Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Collectedness, has no hope to win.

It is the same on Uposatha days. The defilements that show themselves
then can be restrained and limited with the aid of the Uposatha
discipline, which includes the Eight Precepts.

Let us consider it from another point of view. Renunciation is a
thread which runs through all Buddhist practice. If one practices Giving
then one renounces the pleasures that could be bought with that wealth.
When the Five Precepts are practiced then one renounces the actions
covered by them which may be pleasurable or thrilling to some and are,
in any case, unwholesome. And when effort is made to meditate, the
earnest practicer will soon find that certain pleasures and distractions
offered by this world just do not go with a calm and mindful mind, so
he renounces them.

The Eight Precepts to be discussed below are part of the same way of
practice, a discipline for a lay person’s temporary renunciation. In the
Sutta mentioned above the Buddha speaks of a noble disciple reflecting:
By undertaking the Uposatha with its eight precepts for a day and a
night I renounce the way of common men and live as the arahants do for
all their lives, compassionate, pure and wise. So the Right Precepts are
really a test of how far one can discipline oneself. That means really,
to what extent do wholesome states of mind consonant with
Dhamma-practice predominate in one’s character over unwholesome desires
built on greed, aversion and delusion? The practice of the Eight
Precepts gives one a chance to find out about this. And this is an
investigation which one can make four times a month if one wishes.

We have seen how lay people in Buddhist countries periodically
withdraw for twenty-four hours to a monastery for the practice for some
special Dhamma. But what is to be done where there is no monastery, no
bhikkhus, and no possibility of taking time off from work?

First, on these days, or on some of them, one could be a bit more in
the shrine room. This would include reciting the Eight Precepts instead
of the five and if one knows any special discourse of the Buddha, in
Pali or in English, they should be chanted or read through. A very
appropriate sutta to chant or read is the Discourse on the Eight-part Uposatha
and to this could be added such popular suttas as the Discourse on
Loving-kindness (Karaniya-metta Sutta) and the Discourse on the truly
Auspicious (Maha-mangala Sutta). Longer suttas such as the Discourse on
Treasures (Ratana Sutta) and the Discourse on Setting in motion the
Wheel of Dhamma (Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta) would be appropriate if
one has time.

Apart from precepts and discourses, more time should be given to
meditation on these days, so if one uses the shrine room only once on
ordinary days, it should be used twice upon these days, while making the
effort to sit rather longer. When the Eight Precepts are backed up by
the calm strong mind produced in meditation then they become easy to
keep.

The Dhamma that one can practice during the day at work must be
decided by each person, taking account of his own personality and of the
circumstances surrounding him. Of course, one tries to keep one’s
conduct within the bounds of the Eight Precepts and do only those things
which are consonant with the spirit of the precepts. One may find it
possible to practice Giving (dana) in some way on these days and some
short periods devoted to some of the recollections might be possible —
it depends on each person to find his own ways and means.

The Eight Precepts  

This brings us to the Eight Precepts and some remarks upon them. The precepts are as follows:[21]

1. I undertake the rule of training to refrain from
	killing living creatures.
	
2. I undertake the rule of training to refrain from
	taking what is not given.
	
3. I undertake the rule of training to refrain from
	unchaste conduct.
	
4. I undertake the rule of training to refrain from
	false speech.
	
5. I undertake the rule of training to refrain from
	distilled and fermented intoxicants which are the occasion for carelessness.
	
6. I undertake the rule of training to refrain from
	eating outside the time.
	
7. I undertake the rule of training to refrain from
	dancing, singing, music, going to see entertainments,
	wearing garlands, smartening with perfumes and beautifying
	with cosmetics.
	
8. I undertake the rule of training to refrain from
	a high or large sleeping-place.

It has always been understood by Buddhist lay people that if one
undertakes these Eight Precepts then great efforts should be made not to
break any of them. The Five Precepts represent a general measure for
ordinary life and in practice people have a flexible attitude towards
minor infringements of some of them. But the Eight Precepts are a more
serious commitment and should not be undertaken lightly. If one does
take them on, then one should feel reasonably certain, whatever one’s
interior and exterior circumstances, that none of the precepts will be
broken.

In the case of the first one, not only should one not kill any
living being but also one should not do the sort of work which might
involve one in killing unintentionally, where one has no choice in the
matter (work such as digging and cultivating). Even acts which are
harmful in any way to others should be avoided on an Uposatha day. Few
people have work which involves killing and fewer still of these people
will be Buddhists, as such work must be repugnant to sincere
Dhamma-practicers.

The second precept will need attention in such things as using
for one’s own purposes materials belonging to the firm (government,
etc.) that one works for, or taking extra or surplus materials for
oneself or others without permission to do so. Taking what is not given
would also include such practices as adulteration of materials for sale
and making others work without adequate remuneration.

The third precept is changed from the set of five. There
“wrong conduct” means all kinds of sex which results in harm to others —
breaking up for others’ marriages, rape and the seduction of minors,
for instance. But under this precept “unchaste conduct” means that all
kinds of sexual behavior are to be avoided whether they are wrong
conduct or are allowable in normal lay life, whether with others or by
self-stimulation. The Buddha has said:

Do not engage in heedlessness!
Do not come near to sexual joys!
The heedful and contemplative
attains abundant bliss.

— Dhp. 27

And when this abstinence is to be practiced only for one, two or four days a month there should be no great difficulty.

The fourth
precept requires a special watch on the runaway tongue. This means the
effort to practice Right Speech that is, speech which is true, brings harmony between people, is gentle and has meaning.
Dhamma has all these qualities and one’s speech should be in accordance
with it. One who has taken the Uposatha precepts should try not to
become involved in worldly chatter or arguments. And similarly with
words on paper: news-papers and magazines which just distract the mind
should be avoided for this day. If one wants to read then it should be a
book on Dhamma.

It should not be too hard to keep the fifth precept strictly
on these days. Under this precept one must include any kind of
intoxicant taken for pleasure and escape, so drugs soft and hard find a
place here as well as alcohol. At all times a Buddhist is trying to
increase in the quality of heedfulness —

Heedfulness — the path to Deathlessness,
heedlessness — the path to death:
the heedful ones do not die,
the heedless are like unto the dead.

— Dhp. 21

But intoxicants only increase unwholesome states of mind so that a person becomes more heedless (or careless as pamada has been translated in this precept).

The sixth precept also follows the practice of bhikkhus and
aims at cutting down the sloth which is experienced after a day’s work
and a substantial evening meal, while it ensures that the body is light
and fit for meditative practice. In the precept, the words “outside the
time” mean after twelve noon until dawn the following day. During this
time no food is eaten. However, some flexibility will be needed here
with people going out to work. For them it would mean no food after
their midday lunch until breakfast the next day. If one is troubled by
tiredness after work on a day when these precepts are undertaken then
tea or coffee are allowable as refreshing drinks. If hunger is the
trouble then cocoa (or even plain chocolate) should cure it. None of
these refreshments should contain milk, which is considered a food,
though sugar, honey and butter are allowed (to bhikkhus, and therefore
to lay people keeping the Eight Precepts), presumably because one can
take only a little of these things. Fruit juices which have been
strained (without fruit pulp) are other possible drinks.

The seventh precept is really a compound of two in the Ten
Precepts of a novice and therefore falls into two parts: the first on
“dancing… entertainments,” and the second concerned with “wearing
garlands… cosmetics.” The first half is aimed at keeping mind, speech
and body away from all kinds of amusements. Not of course that they are
“sinful,” but that they turn the mind out through the senses, arouse
defilements and cause conflicts where there might be peace. So these
days, under this precept must be put radio, television, theater, cinema
and sporting events. These are all ways of escape from being quiet. The
second half of the precept is directed against vanity and conceit
arising by way of the body. The tradition in the East is for Buddhists
who undertake these precepts to clothe themselves simply in white cloth
with no adornments. This will not be possible for the lay Buddhist who
goes out to work, but on such days jewelry could be left at home, scents
and lotions not used on the body, nor cosmetics on the face.

The last precept concerns sleep. Just as all the other
luxuries have been cut out, so the luxury of a large, soft bed should be
dispensed with for this night. In warm Buddhist countries a mat on the
floor is enough, but where the weather is colder a hard mattress or
folded blankets on the floor could be used. On a hard surface the body
actually relaxes more than on a soft one, also there is less desire to
sleep long. On these nights an effort should be made to restrict sleep
to the minimum. A “large bed” means one in which two people sleep. The
Buddhist who practices these precepts for a day and a night always
sleeps by himself.

This summarizes the practice of the Uposatha day. Some people may
think these precepts too difficult to carry out in the midst of an alien
society. Others may think them too easy to bother about. But before any
judgment is passed on them try practicing them for a few Uposathas and
then see what is the result. Effort made to practice Dhamma can never
bear bad fruits.

According to tradition, one may practice the Eight Precepts on the
Full Moon, New Moon and two Quarter-moon days. This is for someone who
is really making an effort and whose circumstances allow him to do so.
Others might undertake them on the two Uposatha days — the Full and New
Moon days. Or if they are to be undertaken one day a month this will
usually be on the Full Moon.

Where this had been found by experience to be quite impossible, then
the Uposatha could be kept on weekends. Better this than nothing at all!
But then married lay people may find that this will conflict with their
family responsibilities — perhaps to others in the family who are not
Buddhist. This is something for individual Buddhists to decide for
themselves.

This indeed is called the eight-part Uposatha
taught by the Buddha, gone to dukkha’s end.

(see the Discourse to Visakha, below)


The Rains Residence   [22]

This is a period of three months when bhikkhus must reside in one
place and cannot wander, though they may undertake all their usual
duties provided that they do not take them away from their monasteries
overnight. In special circumstances they may even be absent from the
monastery or residence where they have vowed to keep the Rains for as
long as seven days. As bhikkhus do not withdraw more than usual at this
time from involvement with lay people, unless they are devoting all
their time to meditation, it is better to translate vassavasa literally as “rains-residence” rather than “rains-retreat.”

The rains residence was instituted by the Buddha to prevent bhikkhus
traveling during the Rainy Season of India and S.E. Asia, and so
damaging the crops, and the living creatures which are abundant then. No
doubt he considered their health as well when he laid down that
bhikkhus must spend the rains with four walls round them and a roof over
their heads.

From the beginning this was a time when a bhikkhu could live near a
teacher, a senior bhikkhu who had specialized in meditation, in the
Discipline, or in the Discourses. He had the chance then to make
intensive efforts and learn whatever the teacher taught. After the
Rains, especially in the early days when bhikkhus mostly wandered and
had few monasteries, the teacher might receive an invitation to go
elsewhere and the settled association with pupils would be broken. And
then during the Rains there are fewer visitors to the quieter and more
secluded monasteries so that more intensive efforts are possible at this
time.

In Buddhist countries this is still the time for intensive activity:
the meditator meditates more and undertakes more of the austere
practices; the student of books makes more effort to master his studies;
the teacher-monk is more active in teaching Dhamma and the writer in
writing. In some countries this is the time when many laymen, mostly the
young, get temporary ordination as “Rains-bhikkhus” (fewer women also
become nuns for some time), usually for about four months, after which
they disrobe and return to the layman’s state. They are honored by
others with the name “pandit” (a learned man) for the learning and good
conduct that they have acquired in the monastery and benefit their
families and society in general by bringing this knowledge back with
them. This general intensification of activities in the Sangha leads lay
people to consider what they can do during this period.

Usually a lay person on the day of entering the Rains makes a vow or
vows to practice in a certain way during the three months of the
Rains-residence. This vow may be told to a senior bhikkhu or it may be
kept private but in any case it is made in front of a Buddhist shrine.
This is something which could be done by any one who wanted to tighten
up on practice for the duration of the Rains-residence. The content of
the vows vary with one’s character, country and circumstances. Below are
a number of typical vows made by lay people on Rains-entry day, some of
which could be practiced by isolated Buddhists:

  • During the Rains I shall give almsfood to bhikkhus every day.
  • I shall give up smoking while the Rains are on.
  • For the Rains, I shall chant morning and evening service every day.
  • I shall go to the monastery to hear Dhamma on every holy day (i.e., 4 days a month).
  • While the Rains are on I shall not take any intoxicants, or see or hear any form of entertainment.
  • During the Rains I shall undertake the Uposatha precepts on each Full Moon day.
  • For the whole Rains I shall practice meditation twice a day.
  • Each holy day during the Rains I shall keep the Eight Precepts and meditate twice, each time for an hour.

The vows must be practicable. It is no good making vows, perhaps
quite exalted ones, which are out of one’s range and only another
extension of one’s ego. A person who practices the Dhamma for a while
gets to know his strength and weaknesses and will know therefore what it
possible for him to undertake. At the end of the Rains, having
accomplished one’s vows without a break, one feels that something
worthwhile has been done. And sometimes these temporary practices have a
lasting effect — the smoker does not go back to tobacco, or the
meditator finds that his practice goes so much better that he continues
to sit twice a day, and so on.

During the Rains residence, some lay people in Buddhist countries
undertake one or two of the austere practices which were allowed by the
Buddha for bhikkhus.[23]
It is not possible for lay people to practice most of them but Acariya
Buddhaghosa in his “Path of Purification” (Visuddhimagga) has written
there (Ch. II para 92) that they can undertake the One-sessioner’s
practice and the bowl-food-eater’s practice. For an isolated Buddhist
who goes out to work, even these two could not be practiced.

The One-sessioner’s practice means eating one meal in one session a
day. Practiced strictly a person does not even drink foods (such as milk
and milk beverages) at other times but having sat down eats enough to
last for twenty-four hours.

The Bowl-food-eater’s practice is undertaken when a person does not
have many plates and dishes but puts all the food to be eaten on one
vessel — the sweet with the main part of the meal, though without
necessarily mixing them.

Both practices are good for limiting greed for food, for fine flavors
and desires for fine textures, etc. Food is taken by such lay people as
a medicine which is necessary to cure the disease of hunger. It is not
used for the satisfaction of sensual desires. Particularly for greed
characters (in which greed or desire is the strongest of the Roots of
Evil) such restraint can be valuable.

And if during the Rains one cannot do anything else, at least one
should at this time practice dana to the best of one’s ability and in
whatever personal ways it is possible to give. Impersonal giving, for
instance, having amounts stopped out of one’s wage packet, should be
avoided as there is little or no good kamma made in such ways. It may be
that giving time and sympathy with the effort to help others may be
more effective than giving money or goods. The Rains traditionally is
the time when lay people have the chance to increase their practice of
dana and even though one may not live near to the Sangha there are still
plenty of opportunities for giving.

The Purpose of These Practices  

This is simply to generate some zeal for Dhamma in oneself. To bring
the Dhamma to life in oneself. To get away from reading books on it and
into doing it. Not just to take a mild intellectual interest in it but
to make it the basis of one’s life. Not only to go to an occasional
lecture on the subject but to consider. “What can I DO?” Not to be
content to play with the ideas of “Buddhism” — making sure that these do
not touch one’s precious self, but to get into Dhamma so that what is
rotten in oneself is changed. Not to haggle about the finer points of atta and anatta
(self-and non-self) when one has not even got round to making effort
with the Five Precepts. Not to talk of the Void while one harbors hatred
in one’s heart. Not to be way up there with subtle ideas but to get
down to being loving and generous. Not to be swayed at every turn by the
world but to have a discipline based on Dhamma for one’s life.

A lay person in a non-Buddhist country is not only surrounded by a
culture which is opposed to the practice of many aspects of Dhamma but
he is often without the help which can be got from bhikkhus and
experienced lay teachers. If then he does make the effort to practice
along the lines suggested here, sooner or later he will be engulfed. His
mild interest in Dhamma fades away or gets lost in the jungle of
conflicting desires.

One cannot stand still in Dhamma. Either one makes effort and
cultivates oneself, or one slides away from Dhamma to deterioration.
Everything suggested here is on the side of Dhamma and leads one to grow
in Dhamma, so here is a chance to put into practice the Buddha’s words:

Make haste towards the good
and check your mind from evil.
Whoso is slow in making puñña
his mind delights in evil.
	
If a man should puñña make
let him do it again and again;
he should make a wish for that:
happy is the piling up of puñña.

— Dhp. 116, 118


The Discourse to Visakha on the Uposatha with the Eight Practices  

Uposatha-atthangika Sutta (Anguttara Nikaya IV.255-259)

Thus have I heard: At one time the Exalted One was staying near
Savatthi at the Eastern monastery in the mansion (given by) Migara’s
mother. Then Visakha,[24]
Migara’s mother, approached the Exalted One; having approached and
bowed down she sat down in a suitable place. When she was seated the
Exalted One spoke thus to Visakha, Migara’s Mother:

“Visakha, when the Uposatha undertaken with its eight component practices,[25]
is entered on, it is of great fruit, of great advantage, of great
splendor, of great range. And how, Visakha, is the Uposatha undertaken
with its eight component practices, entered on, is of great fruit, great
advantage, great splendor and great range?

“Here,[26] Visakha, a noble disciple considers thus:

“‘For all their lives the arahants dwell having abandoned killing
living beings, refrain from killing living beings, they have laid down
their staffs, laid down their weapons, they are conscientious,[27]
sympathetic, compassionate for the good of all living beings; so today I
dwell, for this night and day, having abandoned killing living beings,
refraining from killing living beings, I am one who has laid down my
staff, laid down my weapon, I am conscientious, sympathetic,
compassionate for the good of all living beings. By this practice,
following after the arahants, the Uposatha will be entered on by me.’

“It is undertaken by this first practice.

“(He considers:) ‘For all their lives the arahants dwell having
abandoned taking what is not given, refrain from taking what is not
given, they are takers of what is given, those who expect only what is
given, themselves become clean without thieving; so today I dwell, for
this night and day, having abandoned taking what is not given,
refraining from taking what is not given. I am a taker of what is given,
one who expects only what is given, by myself become clean without
thieving. By this practice, following after the arahants, the Uposatha
will be entered on by me.’

“It is undertaken by this second practice.

“(He considers:) ‘For all their lives the arahants dwell having
abandoned unchaste conduct, they are of chaste conduct, living aloof,
refrain from sex which is the way of common society; so today I dwell,
for this night and day, having abandoned unchaste conduct, I am of
chaste conduct, living aloof, refraining from sex which is the common
way of society. By this practice, following after the arahants, the
Uposatha will be entered on by me.’

“It is undertaken by this third practice.

“(He considers:) ‘For all their lives the arahants dwell having
abandoned false speech, refrain from false speech, they are speakers of
truth, joiners of truth,[28] firm-in-truth,[29] grounded-on-truth,[30]
not speakers of lies to the world; so today I dwell, for this night and
day, having abandoned false speech, refraining from false speech, a
speaker of truth, a joiner of truth, firm-in-truth, grounded-on-truth,
not a speaker of lies to the world. By this practice, following after
the arahants, the Uposatha will be entered on by me.’

“It is undertaken by this fourth practice.

“(He considers:) ‘For all their lives the arahants dwell having
abandoned distilled and fermented intoxicants which are the occasion for
carelessness and refrain from them; so today I dwell, for this night
and day, having abandoned distilled and fermented intoxicants which are
the occasion for carelessness, refraining from them. By this practice,
following after the arahants, the Uposatha will be entered on by me.’

“It is undertaken by this fifth practice.

“(He considers:) ‘For all their lives the arahants are one-mealers, refrain from eating outside the time, desisting at night,[31]
so today I am a one-mealer, refraining from eating outside the time,
desisting at night. By this practice, following after the arahants, the
Uposatha will be entered on by me.’

“It is undertaken by this sixth practice.

“(He considers:) ‘For all their lives the arahants refrain from
dancing, singing, music, going to see entertainments, wearing garments,
smartening with perfumes and beautifying with cosmetics; so today I
refrain from dancing, singing, music, going to see entertainments,
wearing ornaments, smartening with perfumes and beautifying with
cosmetics. By this practice, following after the arahants, the Uposatha
will be entered on by me.’

“It is undertaken by this seventh practice.

“(He considers:) ‘For all their lives the arahants having abandoned high beds[32] and large beds,[33]
refraining from high beds and large beds, they make use of a low
sleeping place, a (hard) bed or a strewing of grass; so today I have
abandoned high beds and large beds, refraining from high beds and large
beds, I make use of a low sleeping place, a (hard) bed or a strewing of
grass. By this practice, following after the arahants the Uposatha will
be entered on by me.’

“It is undertaken by this eighth practice.

“Thus indeed, Visakha, is the Uposatha entered on and undertaken with
its eight component practices, of great fruit, of great advantage, of
great splendor, of great range. “How great a fruit? How great an
advantage? How great a splendor? How great a range?

“Just as though, Visakha, one might have power, dominion and kingship[34] over sixteen great countries abounding in the seven treasures[35]
— that is to say, Anga, Magadha, Kasi, Kosala, Vajji, Malla, Ceti,
Vansa, Kure, Pañcala, Maccha, Surasena, Assaka, Avanti, Gandhara and
Kamboja, yet it is not worth a sixteenth part of the Uposatha undertaken
with its eight practices. For what reason? Miserable is kingship over men compared with heavenly bliss.

“That which among men is fifty years, Visakha, is one night and day
of the devas of the Four Great Kings, their month has thirty of those
days, their year twelve of those months; the lifespan of the devas of
the Four Great Kings is five hundred of those heavenly years. Now here a
certain woman or man, having entered on the Uposatha undertaken with
its eight practices, at the break up of the body, after death, may arise
to fellowship with the devas of the Four Great Kings — such a thing
indeed is known, Visakha. It was in connection with this that I have
said: Miserable is kingship over men compared with heavenly bliss.

“That which among men is a hundred years, Visakha, is one night and
day of the devas of the Thirty-three, their month has thirty of those
days, their year twelve of those months; the lifespan of the devas of
the Thirty-three is one thousand of those heavenly years.[36]
Now here a certain woman or man, having entered on the Uposatha
undertaken with the eight practices, at the break up of the body, after
death, may arise to fellowship with the devas of the Thirty-three — such
a thing indeed is known, Visakha. It was in connection with this that I
have said: Miserable is kingship over men compared with heavenly bliss.

“That which among men is two hundred years, Visakha, is one night and
day of the Yama devas, their month has thirty of those days, their year
twelve of those months; the lifespan of the Yama devas is two thousand
of those heavenly years. Now here a certain woman or man, having entered
on the Uposatha undertaken with the eight practices, at the break-up of
the body, after death, may arise to fellowship with the Yama devas —
such a thing indeed is known, Visakha. It was in connection with this
that I have said: Miserable is kingship over men compared with heavenly bliss.

“That which among men is four hundred years, Visakha, is one night
and day of the Tusita devas, their month has thirty of those days, their
year twelve of those months; the lifespan of the Tusita devas is four
thousand of those heavenly years. Now here a certain woman or man,
having entered on the Uposatha undertaken with the eight practices, at
the break up of the body, after death, may arise to fellowship with the
Tusita devas — such a thing indeed is known, Visakha. It was in
connection with this that I have said: Miserable is kingship over men compared with heavenly bliss.

“That which among men is eight hundred years, Visakha, is one night
and day of the Nimmanarati devas, their month has thirty of those days,
their year twelve of those months; the lifespan of the Nimmanarati devas
is eight thousand of those heavenly years. Now here a certain woman or
man, having entered on the Uposatha undertaken with the eight practices,
at the break up of the body, after death may arise to fellowship with
the Nimmanarati devas — such a thing indeed is known, Visakha. It was in
connection with this that I have said: Miserable is kingship over men compared with heavenly bliss.

“That which among men is sixteen hundred years, Visakha, is one night
and day of the Paranimmitavasavatti devas, their month has thirty of
those days, their year twelve of those months; the lifespan of the
Paranimmitavasavatti devas is sixteen thousand of those heavenly years.
Now here a certain woman or man, having entered on the Uposatha
undertaken with the eight practices, at the break up of the body, after
death, may arise to fellowship with the Paranimmitavasavatti devas —
such a thing indeed is known, Visakha. It was in connection with this
that I have said: Miserable is kingship over men compared with heavenly bliss.

“Kill no life, nor take what is not given, speak no lie, nor be an
alcoholic, refrain from sex and unchaste conduct, at night do not eat
out-of-time food, neither bear garlands nor indulge with perfume, and
make your bed a mat upon the ground: this indeed is called the
eight-part uposatha taught by the Buddha gone to dukkha’s end. The
radiance of the sun and moon, both beautiful to see, follow on from each
other, dispelling the darkness as they go through the heavens,
illumining the sky and brightening the quarters and the treasure found
between them: pearls and crystals and auspicious turquoises, gold
nuggets and the gold called “ore,” monetary gold with gold dust carried
down — compared with the eight-part uposatha, though they are enjoyed,
are not a sixteenth part — as the shining of the moon in all the groups
of stars. Hence indeed the woman and the man who are virtuous enter on
uposatha having eight parts and having made merits[37] bringing forth happiness blameless they obtain heavenly abodes.”

— Anguttara Nikaya, iv. 255-258

(The upasaka Vasettha, when he heard this discourse, after the Buddha had finished speaking the above verses, exclaimed:)

“Lord, if my dear kin and relatives were to enter on the uposatha
undertaken with its eight practices, it would be for their benefit and
happiness for many a day. Lord, if all the warrior-nobles, brahmans,
merchants and laborers were to enter on the uposatha undertaken with its
eight practices, it would be for their benefit and happiness for many a
day.”

“So it is, Vasettha. If all the warrior-nobles, brahmans, merchants
and laborers were to enter on the uposatha undertaken with its eight
practices, it would be for their benefit and happiness for many a day.
If this world with its devas, maras and brahmas, this generation with
its samanas and brahmans, together with its rulers and mankind were to
enter on the uposatha undertaken with its eight practices, it would be
for their benefit and happiness for many a day. Vasettha, if these great
sala trees were to enter on the uposatha undertaken with its eight
practices it would be for their benefit and happiness for many a day,
that is, if they were conscious, what to speak of mankind.”

— Anguttara Nikaya, iv. 259

The Precepts or Moral Conduct (sila) are:

A great crossbar preventing entrance into the four woeful states,
a tree of the gods fulfilling all wishes,
an autumnal sun dispelling the miserable darkness,
a seedbed in which wholesome dhammas grow,
an adamantine casket full of various sorts of gems,
a ladder ascending to the palaces of the heavenly worlds,
a bubbling source from which the waters of loving-kindness flow,
a ship to cross over the sea of all fears,
a great bridge to pass over the ocean of wandering-on,
a great cloud cooling the blaze of birth, decay and death,
the one vehicle for entering the City of Nibbana.

— From “The Adornment of the Buddhist Laity” (Upasaka janalamkara)




Appendix of Pali Passages  


Preliminary formula



Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma-sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma-sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma-sambuddhassa


Three Refuges



Buddham saranam gacchami
Dhammam saranam gacchami
Sangham saranam gacchami
	
Dutiyampi Buddham saranam gacchami
Dutiyampi Dhammam saranam gacchami
Dutiyampi Sangham saranam gacchami
	
Tatiyampi Buddham saranam gacchami
Tatiyampi Dhammam saranam gacchami
Tatiyampi Sangham saranam gacchami


Five Precepts



1. Panatipata
	veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
	
2. Adinnadana
	veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
	
3. Kamesu micchacara
	veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
	
4. Musavada
	veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
	
5. Sura-meraya-majja-pamadatthana
	veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami


Eight Precepts


1,2,4,5, are the same as the Five Precepts. The others are:



3. Abrahmacariya
	veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
	
6. Vikalabhojana
	veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
	
7. Nacca-gita-vadita-vissuka-dassana
	mala gandha-vilepana dharana-mandana-vibhusanatthana
	veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
	
8. Uccasayana-mahasayana
	veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami


Recollection of the Three Treasures



Iti pi so bhagava araham samma-sambuddho vijja-carana-sampanno sugato
lokavidu anuttaro purisa-dhamma-sarathi sattha-deva-manussanam buddho
bhagava’ti

Svakkhato bhagavata dhammo sanditthiko akaliko ehipassiko opanayiko paccattam veditabbo vinnuhi’ti

Supatipanno bhagavato savakasangho, ujupatipanno bhagavato
savakasangho, ñayapatipanno bhagavato savakasangho, samicipatipanno
bhagavato savakasangho yadidam cattari purisayugani attha purisapuggala,
esa bhagavato savakasangho, ahuneyyo pahuneyyo dakkhineyyo
añjalikaraniyo, anuttaram puññakkhettam lokassa’ti.


Affirmation of Refuge in the Three Treasures



Natthi me saranam aññam
Buddho me saranam varam
Etena saccavajjena
Vaddheyyam satthusasane
	
Natthi me saranam aññam
Dhammo me saranam varam
Etena saccavajjena
Vaddheyyam satthusasane
	
Natthi me saranam aññam
Sangho me saranam varam
Etena saccavajjena
Vaddheyyam satthusasane.


Five Subjects for Daily Recollection



1. Jaradhammomhi, jaram anatito

2. Byadhidhammomhi, byadhim anatito

3. Maranadhammomhi maranam anatito

4. Sabbehi me piyehi manapehi nanabhavo vinabhavo

5. Kammasakkomhi kammadayado kammayoni kammabandhu kammapatisarano,
yam kammam karissami kalyanam va papakam va tassa dayado bhavissami


The Development of Loving-kindness



Aham avero homi
Aham abyapajjho homi
Aham anigho homi
Aham sukhi attanam pariharami
Sabbe satta avera hontu
Sabbe satta abyapajjha hontu
Sabbe satta anigha hontu
Sabbe satta sukhi attanam pariharantu.


Anumodana




Puññassidani katassa
Yanaññani katani me
Tesañca bhagino hontu
Sattanantapamanaka
…
Maya dinnana puññanam
Anumodanahetuna
Sabbe satta sada hontu
Avera sukhajivino
Khemappadañca pappontu
Tesasa sijjhatam subha.


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