Lo Weda Sangarawa – Towards a Better World

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Lo Weda Sangarawa is a 15th century text in Elu (or Pure) Sinhala by Vīdāgama Maitreya Mahāthera, and is one of the most influential Buddhist texts in Sri Lanka.

It used to be that all schoolchildren would learn the text by heart, and I have met older folk who can still recite all the 140 verses fluently.

Today I am including a recital of the text in six sections by Ven. Dickwelle Upatissa Mahathera. He is accompanied by a harmonium, which provides a very atmospheric backdrop to the verses.

Here is a translation of some of the verses by Bhikkhu K. Ñāṇandanda, who has translated the text under the title Towards a Better World:

That act of giving done with a thought pure in three respects without lazily ordering another to do it on one’s behalf, giving prominence to no other motive than that of doing merit, will provide one with a treasure wherever one is reborn.

With constant endeavour cut off the root of greed. Keep your virtue as pure as moon-beams and protecting it like the yak its tail, win to the Bliss of Release before long.

May all beings at all times be free from suffering! May they be immune form disease and be at ease! In amity and concord, may they attain Nibbāna proclaimed by the Buddha! Such meditation on Metta (universal love) is of greater merit.

Caring for and faithful attendance on, the Sangha – the sons-of-the-Buddha – and one’s parents, teachers, aged elders, the sick, and ascetics, will conduce to ones own health and heavenly bliss.

Greater than the merit one gets by offering a heap of seven kinds of gems covering the entire earth and a mansion built as high as the brahma-world with gem-set gateways flying golden flags, is the merit acquired by going to the refuge of the Buddha.

The transference of the merit one has done with a joyous mind, is a golden ladder to climb into the six heavens. It is the full moon risen to cool down the heat of the fear of hell. Therefore always give the merit you have done to whatever people you happen to meet.

If beings bear in mind the great qualities of the Buddha who is supreme in the world, and recollect them with pure wisdom, Samsaric suffering will never approach them. It will certainly be a blessing for their well-being.

May these verses justly composed by Maitreya Thera of Vīdāgama monastery and declared with thoughts of mettā and happiness, for the attainment of Nibbāna without hindrance, dwell in the minds of beings gladdening them for ever.

 

Verses 1-22

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Verses 23-46

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Verses 47-71

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Verses 72-100

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Verses 101-126

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Verses 127-140

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