Paritta

Paritta (Pali), generally translated as "protection" or "safeguard,"[1] refers to the Buddhist practice of reciting certain verses and scriptures in order to ward off misfortune or danger, as well as to the specific verses and discourses recited as paritta texts. The practice of reciting or listening to the paritta suttas began very early in the history of Buddhism.[2]

Translations of
paritta
Englishprotection, safeguard
Paliparitta
Sanskritparitrana
Burmeseပရိတ်
(IPA: [pəjeiʔ])
Sinhalapiritපිරිත්
Thaiปริตร
RTGSpa rit
Glossary of Buddhism

Uses

In the Pali literature, these short verses are recommended by the Buddha as providing protection from certain afflictions. The belief in the effective power to heal, or protect, of the sacca-kiriya, or asseveration of something quite true is an aspect of the work ascribed to the paritta.[3]

It is also widely believed that all night recitations of paritta by monks bring safety, peace and well-being to a community. Such recitations will also occur on auspicious occasions, such as the inauguration of a new temple or home or to provide blessings upon those who hear. Conversely, paritta discourses are recited on inauspicious occasions as well, such as at a funeral or on the death anniversary of a loved one. They may also be recited to placate antagonistic spirits.[4][5]

Discourse types

There are several paritta verses that are identified as such within the Pali Canon.

Reverential

Most paritta involve offering praise to the Buddha or, more broadly, the Triple Gem (Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha). Of these paritta, one of the best known is the Ratana Sutta (Sn 2.1) where, for instance, it states in part:

Whatever treasure there be either here or in the world beyond, whatever precious jewel there be in the heavenly worlds, there is nought comparable to the Tathagata (the Perfect One). This precious jewel is the Buddha. By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.[6]

Aid seeking

A few paritta involve the asking directly for the aid of the Buddha. Examples of this type of paritta verse can be seen in the Candima Sutta (SN 2.9) and Suriya Sutta (SN 2.10) of the Samyutta Nikaya. In these two scriptures, the deities Canda and Surya protect themselves from the attack of the eclipse deity Rahu by reciting short verses praising the Buddha and pleading for his protection:

"O Buddha, the Hero, thou art wholly free from all evil. My adoration to thee. I have fallen into distress. Be thou my refuge."[7][8]

In these cases, the Buddha is shown as specifically hearing and responding to the paritta; he enjoins Rahu to release the captive deities rather than have his "head split into seven pieces".[7]

Blessing

Another type of paritta relies on the virtue of the individual who is ascribed as reciting the paritta in the Canon, rather than making reference to the virtues of the Buddha. This type of paritta can be seen in the Angulimala Sutta, the story of the murderer-turned-monk Angulimala. On passing a pregnant woman experiencing a difficult labor, Angulimala is moved to provide assistance. Asking the Buddha how he can help, the Buddha tells him to provide a sort of blessing to the woman by reciting a short verse proclaiming his own virtue:

Sister, since I was born in the noble birth, I do not recall intentionally killing a living being. Through this truth may there be wellbeing for you, wellbeing for your fetus.[9]

This verse is now used as a blessing for expectant mothers in the Theravada Buddhist tradition.[10]

Forms of expression

The Buddha and the arahants (the Consummate Ones) can concentrate on the paritta suttas without the aid of another. However, when they are ill, it is easier for them to listen to what others recite, and thus focus their minds on the dhamma that the suttas contain, rather than think of the dhamma by themselves. There are occasions, as in the case of illness, which weaken the mind (in the case of worldlings), when hetero-suggestion has been found to be more effective than autosuggestion.[2] In the Gilana Sutta, even the Buddha Himself had the Seven Factors of Enlightenment recited to him by another monk to recover from a grave illness.[11]

While paritta texts generally are recited aloud, other mediums are known as well. In Thailand, paritta texts are printed on small pieces of cloth containing images of the Buddha or famous monks. Similar text- often in the Khom script- is sometimes incorporated into tattoos believed to have protective powers, known as Sak Yant.

Collections

Paritta discourses are widely used and known, even if not necessarily understood, throughout the Theravada Buddhist world. Popular collections of paritta verses are among the most widely known Pali texts in many Theravada countries.

An example of such a collection is the Sinhala Pirit Potha ("The Book of Protection"), also known as Maha Pirit Potha and the Catubhanavarapali ("Text of the Four Recitals"). It has also been referred to as "The Buddhist Bible." This collection is typically given an important place in the Buddhist home, and is even treated with veneration. The book contains a collection of twenty-four or twenty-nine discourses (suttas)[note 1] almost all delivered by the Buddha, and found scattered in the five original collections (nikayas) in Pali, which form the Sutta Pitaka, the "Canonical Discourses."[2] Below, these discourses and related canonical sources are identified.[note 2]

1. Sarana-gama ("Going for Refuge") Khp 1
2. Dasa-sikkhapada ("Ten Training Precepts") Khp 2
3. Samanera-pañha ("Novice Questions") Khp 4
4. Dvattimsakara ("32 Body Parts") Khp 3
5. Paccavekkhana ("Reflections on Monastic Requisites") MN 2 (excerpt), passim
6. Dasa-dhamma Sutta ("Ten Dhamma Discourse") AN 10.48
7. Mahamangala Sutta ("Great Blessings Discourse") Khp 5, Sn 2.4
8. Ratana Sutta ("Three Treasures Discourse") Khp 6, Sn 2.1
9. Karaniya Metta Sutta ("Lovingkindness Discourse") Khp 9, Sn 1.8
10. Khandha-paritta ("Aggregates Protection") AN 4.67
11. Metta-anisamsa ("Lovingkindness Advantages Discourse") AN 11.16
12. Mitta-anisamsa ("Friendship Advantages Discourse") Ja 538
13. Mora-paritta ("The Peacock's Protection") Ja 159
14. Canda-paritta ("The Moon's Protection") SN 2.9
15. Suriya-paritta ("The Sun's Protection") SN 2.10
16. Dhajagga-paritta ("Banner Protection") SN 11.3
17. Mahakassapa Thera Bojjhanga ("Elder Maha Kassapa's Factors of Awakening") SN 46.14 (Gilana Sutta I)
18. Mahamoggallana Thera Bojjhanga ("Elder Maha Moggalana's Factors of Awakening") SN 46.15 (Gilana Sutta II)
19. Mahacunda Thera Bojjhanga ("Elder Maha Cunda's Factors of Awakening") SN 46.16 (Gilana Sutta III)
20. Girimananda Sutta ("To Girimananda Discourse") AN 10.60
21. Isigili Sutta ("About Isigili Discourse") MN 116
22. Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta ("Setting in Motion the Dhamma Wheel Discourse") SN 46.11
23. Maha-samaya Sutta ("The Great Assembly Discourse") DN 20
24. Alavaka Sutta ("Concerning Alavaka Discourse") SN 46.11
25. Kasi Bharadvaja Sutta ("Farmer Bharadvaja Discourse") Sn 1.4
26. Parabhava Sutta ("On Ruin Discourse") Sn 1.6
27. Vasala Sutta ("On Outcasts Discourse") Sn 1.7
28. Sacca-vibhanga Sutta ("Analysis of the Truth Discourse") MN 141
29. Atanatiya Sutta ("Atanatiya Discourse") DN 32

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Of the twenty-nine paritta texts listed below, Piyadassi (1999a) does not include the first five texts as part of the twenty-four discourses that he includes in the collection, although he identifies the first five texts as preliminary material. Anandajoti (2004) enumerates all twenty-nine texts as part of the paritta collection.
  2. ^ Table based on Anandajoti (2004), pp. ix-xi.

References

  1. ^ Rhys Davids & Stede (1921-25), p. 426, entry for "Paritta2" (retrieved 08-14-2008 from "U. Chicago" at http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philologic/getobject.pl?c.2:1:1923.pali) provides the following translations: "protection, safeguard; (protective) charm, palliative, amulet." Also see Piyadassi (1999a) who translates paritta as "protection," and Anandajoti (2004) who translates it as "safeguard."
  2. ^ a b c Piyadassi (1999a).
  3. ^ C.A.F. Rhys Davids, Dialogues of the Buddha, part 3, p. 186.
  4. ^ Anandajoti (2004), p. v.
  5. ^ The use of paritta to ward off menacing spirits can be found, for instance, in the Pali commentaries to both the Ratana Sutta and the Karaniya Metta Sutta.
  6. ^ Piyadassi (1999d).
  7. ^ a b Piyadassi (1999b).
  8. ^ Piyadassi (1999e).
  9. ^ Thanissaro (2003). Archived February 4, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Piyadassi (1999a), "Preface."
  11. ^ Piyadassi (1999c).

Sources

  • Anandajoti Bhikkhu (edition, trans.) (2004). Safeguard Recitals. Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society. ISBN 955-24-0255-7.
  • Piyadassi Thera (trans. only) (1999a). The Book of Protection: Paritta. Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society. Retrieved 08-14-2008 from "Access to Insight".
  • Piyadassi Thera (trans.) (1999b). Candima Sutta: The Moon Deity's Prayer for Protection (SN 2.9). Retrieved 08-14-2008 from "Access to Insight".
  • Piyadassi Thera (trans.) (1999c). Gilana Sutta: Ill (Factors of Enlightenment) (SN 46.16). Retrieved 08-14-2008 from "Access to Insight".
  • Piyadassi Thera (trans.) (1999d). Ratana Sutta: The Jewel Discourse (Sn 2.1). Retrieved 08-15-2008 from "Access to Insight".
  • Piyadassi Thera (trans.) (1999e). Suriya Sutta: The Sun Deity's Prayer for Protection (SN 2.10). Retrieved 08-14-2008 from "Access to Insight".
  • Rhys Davids, C.A.F., Dialogues of the Buddha, part 3.
  • Rhys Davids, T.W. & William Stede (eds.) (1921-5). The Pali Text Society’s Pali–English Dictionary. Chipstead: Pali Text Society. A general on-line search engine for the PED is available at http://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/pali/.
  • Thanissaro Bhikkhu (trans.) (2003). Angulimala Sutta: About Angulimala (MN 86). Retrieved 08-14-2008 from "Access to Insight".

External links

Abhidharmadīpa

The Abhidharmadīpa or Lamp of Abhidharma is an Abhidharma text thought to have been authored by Vasumitra as a response to Vasubandhu's Abhidharmakośakārikā.

The text consists of verse and prose commentary. It currently survives as an incomplete collection of Sanskrit fragments. However, the text is valuable insofar as it confirms the identity of Vasubandhu as author of the Abhidharmakośakārikā.

Ajahn

Ajahn (Thai: อาจารย์, RTGS: achan, IPA: [ʔāː.tɕāːn], also romanized ajaan, aajaan, ajarn, ajahn, acharn and achaan) is a Thai language term which translates as "professor" or "teacher." It is derived from the Pali word ācariya, and is a term of respect, similar in meaning to the Japanese sensei, and is used as a title of address for high-school and university teachers, and for Buddhist monks who have passed ten vassa. The term "ajahn" is customarily used to address forest tradition monks and the term Luang Por, "Venerable father" is customarily used to address city tradition monks in Thai Buddhism.

Assaji

Assaji (Pali: Assaji, Sanskrit: Aśvajit) was one of the first five arahants of Gautama Buddha. He is known for his conversion of Sariputta and Mahamoggallana, the Buddha's two chief male disciples, counterparts to the nuns Khema and Uppalavanna, the chief female disciples. He lived in what is now Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in northern India, during the 6th century BCE.

Atthakatha

Aṭṭhakathā (Pali for explanation, commentary) refers to Pali-language Theravadin Buddhist commentaries to the canonical Theravadin Tipitaka. These commentaries give the traditional interpretations of the scriptures. The major commentaries were based on earlier ones, now lost, in Prakrit and Sinhala, which were written down at the same time as the Canon, in the last century BCE. Some material in the commentaries is found in canonical texts of other schools of Buddhism, suggesting an early common source.

As with the Canon itself, the contents of collected editions of the Theravadin commentaries, compiled from the fourth century CE onwards, vary between editions. The minimal collection, found in the Thai edition (1992) includes the following (Skilling 2002).

Twelve commentaries ascribed to Buddhaghosa: commentary on the Vinaya Pitaka; commentary on the Sutta Pitaka :- one each on the Digha Nikaya, Majjhima Nikaya, Samyutta Nikaya and Anguttara Nikaya; four on Khuddaka Nikaya books; and three on the Abhidhamma Pitaka.

Commentaries by Dhammapala on seven books of the Khuddaka Nikaya.

Four commentaries by various authors on four other books of the Khuddaka Nikaya.In addition, the following are included in one or both of the other two editions: the Burmese Chatthasangayana edition (a list of contents can be found in Thein Han 1981) and the Sinhalese Simon Hewavitarne Bequest edition.

Buddhaghosa's Visuddhimagga, a systematic presentation of the traditional teaching; the commentaries on the first four nikayas refer to this for the material it details. In both Sinhalese (Mori et al. 1994) and Burmese

The Patimokkha (Pruitt & Norman 2001, page xxxvi) and its commentary Kankhavitarani, ascribed to Buddhaghosa

Commentary by Dhammapala on the Nettipakarana, a work sometimes included in the canon

Vinayasangaha, a selection of passages from Samantapasadika arranged topically by Sariputta in the twelfth century (Crosby 2006)

Saratthasamuccaya, commentary on the Paritta. In Sinhalese (Malalasekera 1938).

Buddhism in Venezuela

Buddhism in Venezuela is practiced by over 52,000 people (roughly 0.2% of the population). The Buddhist community is made up mainly of Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans.

Most identify with the Mahayana tradition, reflecting the religious heritage of their emigrant countries.

However, in the mid-1990s Keun-Tshen Goba (né Ezequiel Hernandez Urdaneta), together with Jigme Rinzen, founded a meditation center using the Shambhala Training method.

There are Buddhist centers in Caracas, Maracay, Mérida, Puerto Ordáz, San Felipe, and Valencia.

Buddhist chant

A Buddhist chant is a form of musical verse or incantation, in some ways analogous to Hindu, Christian or Jewish religious recitations.

Buddhābhiṣeka

Buddhābhiseka (Pali: buddhābhiseka; Sanskrit: buddhābhiṣeka) refers to a broad range of Buddhist rituals used to consecrate images of the Buddha and other Buddhist figures, such as bodhisattvas.

Dharani

A dharani (Devanagari: धारणी, IAST: dhāraṇī) is a Buddhist chant, mnemonic code, incantation, or recitation, usually a mantra consisting of Sanskrit or Pali phrases. Believed to be protective and with powers to generate merit for the Buddhist devotee, they constitute a major part of historic Buddhist literature. These chants have roots in Vedic Sanskrit literature, and many are written in Sanskrit scripts such as the Siddham as well as transliterated into Chinese, Korean, Japanese and other regional scripts.Dharani are found in the ancient texts of all major traditions of Buddhism. They are a major part of the Pali canon preserved by the Theravada tradition. Mahayana sutras – such as the Lotus Sutra and the Heart Sutra – include or conclude with dharani. Some Buddhist texts, such as Pancaraksa found in the homes of many Buddhist tantra tradition followers, are entirely dedicated to dharani. They are a part of their ritual prayers as well as considered to be an amulet and charm in themselves, whose recitation believed to allay bad luck, diseases or other calamity. They were an essential part of the monastic training in Buddhism's history in East Asia. In some Buddhist regions, they served as texts upon which the Buddhist witness would swear to tell the truth.The dharani-genre of literature became popular in East Asia in the 1st millennium CE, with Chinese records suggesting their profusion by the early centuries of the common era. These migrated from China to Korea and Japan. The demand for printed dharani among the Buddhist lay devotees may have led to the development of textual printing innovations. The dharani records of East Asia are the oldest known "authenticated printed texts in the world", state Robert Sewell and other scholars. The early-8th-century dharani texts discovered in the Pulguksa temple of Gyeongju, Korea are considered as the oldest known printed texts in the world.Dharani recitation for the purposes of healing and protection is referred to as Paritta in some Buddhist regions, particularly in Theravada communities. The dharani-genre ideas also inspired the Japanese Koshiki texts, and chanting practices called Daimoku, Nenbutsu (Japan), Nianfo (China) or Yombul (Korea). They are a significant part of the historic Chinese dazangjing (scriptures of the great repository) and the Korean daejanggyeong – the East Asian compilations of the Buddhist canon between the 5th and 10th centuries.

Dharma talk

A Dharma talk (Sanskrit) or Dhamma talk (Pali) or Dharma sermon (Japanese: 法語 (ほうご, Hōgo), Chinese: 法語) is a public discourse on Buddhism by a Buddhist teacher.In some Zen traditions a Dharma talk may be referred to as a teisho (提唱). However, according to Taizan Maezumi and Bernard Glassman, a teisho is "a formal commentary by a Zen master on a koan or Zen text. In its strictest sense, teisho is non-dualistic and is thus distinguished from a Dharma talk, which is a lecture on a Buddhist topic." In this sense, a teisho is thus a formal Dharma talk. Vietnamese master Thich Nhat Hanh says the following about Dharma talks:

A Dharma talk must always be appropriate in two ways: it must accord perfectly with the spirit of the Dharma and it must also respond perfectly to the situation in which it is given. If it only corresponds perfectly with the teachings but does not meet the needs of the listeners, it's not a good Dharma talk; it's not appropriate.

Jinapanjara

The Jinapanjara (Pali: jinapañjara; Thai: ชินบัญชร, Chinabanchon), sometimes known in English as "The Cage of the Conquerer", is a post-canonical paritta Buddhist chant. It is one of the most popular texts that is widely chanted in Thailand. It has existed since the end of the nineteenth century, from the time of the reign of Rama II. It is assumed that the Jinapanjara was authored by a Lanna Buddhist monk. Later, the monk Somdej Toh modified the incantation and made it more complete, by translating the content and curtailing some parts in the chant with unknown meaning. The text can also be found in Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

Koliya

The Koliyas were Kshatriya of the Adicca (Iksvaku) clan of the Solar Dynasty from the Indian subcontinent, during the time of Gautama Buddha.The family members of the two royal families, that is the Koliyas and Sakyas married only among themselves. Both clans were very proud of the purity of their royal blood and had practised this tradition of inter-marriage since ancient times. For example, Suddhodana's paternal aunt was married to the Koliyan ruler Añjana. Their daughters, Mahamaya and Mahapajapati Gotami, were married to Śuddhodana, the chief of the Sakyans. Similarly, Yashodhara, daughter of Suppabuddha, who was Añjana’s son, was married to the Sakyan prince, Gautama Buddha. Thus, the two royal families were related by marriage bonds between maternal and paternal cousins since ancient times. In spite of such close blood-ties, there would be occasional rifts between the two royal families, which sometimes turned into open hostility.

List of Buddhas

This is a list of historical, contemporary, and legendary figures which at least one school of Buddhism considers to be a Buddha and which have an article on Wikipedia:

Acala

Adi-Buddha

Akshobhya

Amitābha, principal Buddha of Pure Land Buddhism

Amoghasiddhi

Bhaisajyaguru

Budai

Dīpankara Buddha

Five Tathagatas

Gautama Buddha

Kakusandha

Kassapa Buddha

Koṇāgamana Buddha

Lokesvararaja

Nairatmya

Nichiren Daishonin, Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law (Nikko Lineage)

Padumuttara Buddha

Padmasambhava

Ratnasambhava

Satyanama

Sumedha Buddha

Tara

Tonpa Shenrab

Vairocana, embodiment of the Dharmakaya

Vajradhara

Vajrayogini

Yeshe Tsogyal

List of suttas

Suttas from the Sutta Pitaka of the Pali Canon.

List of Digha Nikaya suttas

List of Majjhima Nikaya suttas

List of Samyutta Nikaya suttas

List of Anguttara Nikaya suttas

List of Khuddaka Nikaya suttas

Mangala Sutta

The Mangala Sutta (Burmese: မင်္ဂလသုတ် Mingala thoke, Thai: มงคลสูตร, Khmer: មង្គលសូត្រ mongkhol sut, Sanskrit "mahāmaṅgalasūtra", "महामङ्गलसूत्र", Tibetan "བཀྲ་ཤིས་ཆེན་པོའི་མདོ།" ) is a discourse (Pali: sutta) of the Buddha on the subject of 'blessings' (mangala, also translated as 'good omen' or 'auspices' or 'good fortune'). In this discourse, the Buddha describes 'blessings' that are wholesome personal pursuits or attainments, identified in a progressive manner from the mundane to the ultimate spiritual goal. In Sri Lanka this is known as Sinhala: මහා මංගල සූත්‍රය "Maha Mangala Sutta" and this sutta considered to be part of "Maha Pirith".

This discourse is recorded in Theravada Buddhism's Pali Canon's Khuddaka Nikaya in two places: in the Khuddakapāṭha (Khp 5), and in the Sutta Nipāta (Sn 2.4). In the latter source, the discourse is called the Mahāmangala Sutta. It is also traditionally included in books of 'protection' (paritta). It is also found in the Tibetan Canon, in the Kangyur (བཀའ་འགྱུར།).

Rinpoche

Rinpoche, also spelled Rimboche and Rinboku (Tibetan: རིན་པོ་ཆེ་, Wylie: rin po che, THL: Rinpoché, ZYPY: Rinboqê), is an honorific term used in the Tibetan language. It literally means "precious one", and may be used to refer to a person, place, or thing--like the words "gem" or "jewel" (Sanskrit Ratna).

The word consists of rin(value) and po(nominative suffix) and chen(big).

The word is used in the context of Tibetan Buddhism as a way of showing respect when addressing those recognized as reincarnated, older, respected, notable, learned and/or an accomplished Lamas or teachers of the Dharma. It is also used as an honorific for abbots of monasteries.

Sutta Piṭaka

The Sutta Pitaka (suttapiṭaka; or Suttanta Pitaka;

Basket of Discourse; cf Sanskrit सूत्र पिटक Sūtra Piṭaka) is the second of the three divisions of the Tripitaka or Pali Canon, the Pali collection of Buddhist writings of Theravada Buddhism. The other two parts of the Tripiṭaka are the Vinaya Piṭaka and the Abhidharma Piṭaka (Sanskrit; Pali: Abhidhamma Piṭaka). The Sutta Pitaka contains more than 10,000 suttas (teachings) attributed to the Buddha or his close companions.

The other two collections are the Vinaya Pitaka and the Abhidhamma Pitaka.

Threefold Training

The Buddha identified the threefold training (sikkhā) as training in:

higher virtue (adhisīla-sikkhā)

higher mind (adhicitta-sikkhā)

higher wisdom (adhipaññā-sikkhā)

Uppalavanna

Uppalavannā (Chinese: 蓮華色比丘尼 or 優缽華色比丘尼) was considered to be one of the two chief female disciples of the Buddha, the other being Khema.

She was the daughter of a wealthy merchant and was known for her great beauty. Her name means "one with the hue of the blue lotus".

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