When I ordained there was a chanting book in my ordination temple, but only in Sinhala letters, and then without a Sinhala translation, so one of the first books I worked on, back in the 90s, was a text and translation of that book in Roman letters and with my own translation into English. This has subsequently been published a number of times and gone through a number of editions, and is available now as Daily Chanting which is a chanting book on a weekly turnaround schedule.
Later I expanded that book considerably to include all the texts that were chanted overnight in a popular eight-hour recital in Sri Lanka. The work is known as මහා පිරිත් පොත් (Mahā Pirit Pot) or පිරුවාන පොත් වහන්සෙ (Piruvāna Pot Vahanse) in Sri Lanka, and contains not only the main recitals, but also many supplementary texts also. My version entitled Safeguard Recitals has the main text but only a selection of the supplementary texts.
These books are very useful, and contain in fact some of the best texts in the tradition, like Karaṇīyamettasutta, Ratanasutta, Mahāmaṅgalasutta, the first discourse and a number from the Suttanipāta. However, I always felt there was a need for a chanting book orientated more towards meditators, and many times thought of compiling one myself.
Then, around five years ago, I was approached by my good friend the American monk Ven Subhūti, asking if I would translate the book that is in use at the Pa-Auk Tawya in Myanmar, and looking at that book, although it was not exactly what I had in mind, it was close enough to agree to do the work. The work, besides all the normal paritta texts, includes a more-or-less complete recital of the Mahāsatipaṭṭhānasutta, and important supplementary texts from the Abhidhamma.
I already had about half the texts in translation anyway, and it was a few months work to get the rest in translation, and get them ready. And there they sat as we waited and waited, as the powers that be asked for this change (text must agree with Burmese texts), then that change (cover must be plain), and another change (no credits can be given), and then even longer on promises to publish, which never happened.
Eventually I decided to take things into my own hands and publish it not as an official publication for the Pa-Auk Tawya, but as a general book suitable for meditators everywhere, and only based on the original book. Even that has taken a couple of months to come to fruition as the book was checked against recordings of the chanting made in Myanmar.
The book has now been published on Ancient Buddhist Texts and is a major 200-page addition to the chanting texts now available. It has also been sent for hard copy publication with the Buddha Educational Foundation in Taiwan, who also published my earlier chanting books, and is now available from this page.
I have to thank Ven Subhūti for all his help in preparing this book, and making sure mistakes were removed before publication and that the book conforms in general to what is in use in Myanmar. He stayed with this project long after it was ready for the mortuary, and it is thanks to him that I revived interest in getting it published.
I need to note here, that the texts agree with the Burmese texts in readings, etc. but not in the way it is formatted, which follows the conventions used elsewhere on the Ancient Buddhist Texts website. Presentation is also line-by-line in the hope that the English can be followed along with the chanting text itself, which makes it more meaningful. I hope this will encourage more people to take up chanting, which is a very good way to familiarise oneself with the original teachings of the Buddha.
10 thoughts on “New Chanting Book for Meditators Published”
i will love to read the meditation guidelines
I want a Bengali translation of this treatise.
Can you let m know where to obtain a hard copy when it becomes available. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the Dhamma.
Thank you for the wonderful work . I noticed that these ar not like the chants used by the Forest Tradition of Thailand. Have. I missed something or they different sources?
How do I request new chanting book?
Do you still have copies of this book?
Hard copies can be ordered for free from here: http://www.budaedu.org/en/book/II-02main.php3
Bhante, is there a CD so we can follow the chanting in the book or some other option?
At this point I didn’t record the chanting. I may do later if I can get some time.
Mettañ-ca sabbalokasmi’ mānasaṁ bhāvaye aparimāṇaṁ
Towards the entire world he should develop the measureless thought of friendliness,
With all due respect, would it be better translated:
Towards the entire world he should let happen the measureless mind of a friend ?
Similarly in the Rahula Sutta…
Mettaṁ Rāhula bhāvanaṁ bhāvehi,
Let happen, Rāhula, the letting happen of a friend,
Karuṇaṁ Rāhula bhāvanaṁ bhāvehi,
Let happen, Rāhula, the kindly practice of letting happen,
Muditaṁ Rāhula bhāvanaṁ bhāvehi,
Let happen, Rāhula, the joyful practice of letting happen,
Paṭhavī-samaṁ Rāhula bhāvanaṁ bhāvehi,
Let happen like the earth, Rāhula, the practice of letting happen,
“Ānāpāna-satiṁ Rāhula bhāvanaṁ bhāvehi.
“Let happen, Rāhula, as practice of letting happen,
thinking in the activity of breathing in & out.
Translating metta-bhāvanaṁ as above, with the understanding that, before anything is developed or cultivated, bhāvanaṁ as practice of letting happen is inherently, from the beginning, a friendly practice (not involving any force, aggression, abusiveness et cetera), sheds a whole new light on what is called in Japan Zazen (sitting-meditation). When we understand that Chinese 坐禅 was the word used for Pali/Sanskrit bhāvanaṁ, which the Buddha described as mettam, “friendly” or “of a friend,” it is no longer possible to think of Zazen as primarily a transcendent, war-like Samurai kind of a practice. The way Zazen is generally taught in Japan requires a total rethink.
I hope this make some kind of sense.
With kind regards,