Recital of the Great Jataka in Thai

เทศน์ มหาชาติ

While I was in Ayutthaya I came across a book called Thet Mahā Chāt by Phya Anuman Rajadhon, which explained about the traditional recital of the Vessantara Jataka (Wetsandon Jataka) in Thai temples, which takes place once each year, though at different times in different regions.

I enquired about it with Phra Job (Phra Warat Gambhīrapañño Norasingha), the monk who was helping with my stay at Wat Kasattrathirat, and found out that they had made the recital at the end of the Rains Retreat in Ayutthaya, and that he had been one of the recitors. That was just a couple of weeks before I got to the temple.

I asked him if he would be able to recite the whole text for a recording, and he agreed to do so. The recital took us all day to record, and is nearly four hours in length in thirteen chapters, but Phra Job turned out to be a really excellent reader, and we never had to make a second recording because of a slip on his part.

At the end of the recital Phra Job told me that to even hear the Great Jataka in one day was considered enormously aupicious, and he had just had the chance to recite it in one day! We were both very happy about this.

We recorded the reading in a side Viharn at Wat Kasattrathirat and it was the first thing I published when I returned to Malaysia. The recital is available both in video format as here, and as mp3s on its own page in the Internet Archive. If you have Thai friends who might like to listen to it, please pass this on.





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