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Buddhist chants

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There are many different Theravada Buddhist chants, typically of key teachings from the Buddha and done in Pali and sometimes also in one's own native language. Chants are used to develop mindfulness, concentration, study, and to assist oneself or others in difficult times, including those who are sick or dying. Shown here are some of the most popular chants, mostly in Pali for quick reference.

Homage to the Buddha

  • Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammasambuddhassa
  • Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammasambuddhassa
  • Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammasambuddhassa

Homage to the Dhamma

Svakkhato Bhagavata dhammo sanditthiko akaliko ehipassiko opanayiko paccattam vedittabbo vinnuhiti.

Homage to the Sangha

Supatipanno Bhagavato savakasangho. Ujupatipanno Bhagavato savakasangho. Nayapatipanno Bhagavato savakasangho. Samicipatipanno Bhagavato savakasangho. Yadidam cattari purisayugani attha purisapuggala esa Bhagavato savakasangho. Ahuneyyo pahuneyyo dakkhineyyo anjalikaraniyo anuttaram punnakkhettam lokassa ti.

Triple Refuge

  • Buddham saranam gacchàmi
  • Dhammam saranam gacchàmi
  • Sangham saranam gacchàmi
  • Dutiyampi Buddham saranam gacchàmi
  • Dutiyampi Dhammam saranam gacchàmi
  • Dutiyampi Sangham saranam gacchàmi
  • Tatiyampi Buddham saranam gacchàmi
  • Tatiyampi Dhammam saranam gacchàmi
  • Tatiyampi Sangham saranam gacchàmi

Pañca-sila (5 precepts)

  1. Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
  2. Adinnadana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
  3. Kamesu micchacara veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
  4. Musavada veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
  5. Suramerayamajja pamadatthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

Metta Sutta

  • Karaniyamatthakusalena,
  • yantam santam padam abhisamecca;
  • Sakko uju ca suhuju ca,
  • suvaco cassa mudu anatimani.
  • Santussako ca subharo ca,
  • appakicco ca sallahukavutti;
  • Santindriyo ca nipako ca,
  • appagabbho kulesvananugiddho.
  • Na ca khuddamacare kiñci,
  • yena viññu pare upavadeyyum;
  • Sukhino va khemino hontu,
  • sabbasatta4 bhavantu sukhitatta.
  • Ye keci panabhutatthi,
  • tasa va thavara vanavasesa;
  • Digha va ye mahanta,
  • majjhima rassaka anukathula.
  • Dittha va ye va adittha,
  • ye ca dure vasanti avidure.
  • Bhuta va sambhavesi va,
  • sabbe satta bhavantu sukhitatta.
  • Na paro param nikubbetha,
  • natimaññetha katthaci na kañci.
  • Byarosana patighasañña,
  • naññamaññassa dukkhamiccheyya.
  • Mata yatha niyam puttam
  • ayusa ekaputtamanurakkhe;
  • Evampi sabbabhutesu,
  • manasam bhavaye aparimanam.
  • Mettañca sabbalokasmi,
  • manasam bhavaye aparimanam;
  • Uddham adho ca tiriyañca,
  • asambadham averamasapattam.
  • Tittham caram nisinno va,
  • sayano va yavatassa vitamiddho.
  • Etam satim adhittheyya,
  • brahmametam viharamidhamahu.
  • Ditthiñca anupaggamma silava
  • dassanena sampanno;
  • Kamesu vinaya gedham,
  • na hi jatuggabbhaseyyam punareti”ti.

The Four Foundations of Mindfulness

Outline shown here, full chant here: Satipatthana Sutta chant

  • 1. Body (Kaya)
  • Breathing (also see the Anapanasati Sutta)
  • Postures (Walking, Standing, Sitting, Laying Down)
  • Clear Comprehending
  • Reflections on Repulsiveness of the Body
  • Reflections on Material Elements
  • Cemetery Contemplations
  • 2. Sensations/Feelings (Vedana)
  • pleasant or unpleasant or neither-pleasant-nor-unpleasant (neutral) feelings
  • worldly or spiritual feelings
  • 3. Mind/Consciousness (Citta)
  • lust (saragam) or without lust (vitaragam)
  • hate (sadosam) or without hate (vitadosam)
  • delusion (samoham) or without delusion (vitamoham)
  • contracted (sankhittam) or scattered (vikkhittam)
  • lofty (mahaggatam) or not lofty (amahaggatam)
  • surpassable (sa-uttaram) or unsurpassed (anuttaram)
  • quieted (samahitam) or not quieted (asamahitam)
  • released (vimuttam) or not released (avimuttam)
  • 4. Mental Contents (Dhamma)
  • The 5 hindrances
  • The 5 aggregates of Clinging
  • The Sense-Bases and their Fetters
  • The 7 factors of enlightenment
  • The Four Noble Truths

Funeral verse

  • Anicca vata sankhara
  • Uppada vaya dhammino
  • Uuppajjitva nirujjhanti
  • Tesam vupasamo sukho
  • All things are impermanent.
  • They arise and pass away.
  • Having arisen they come to an end.
  • Their coming to peace is bliss.

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