Differences with the Pāḷi for chanting?

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samseva
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Differences with the Pāḷi for chanting?

Post by samseva » Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:09 am

I'm learning the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta by heart, and upon searching, I found there are various differences with the Pāḷi—which I am finding to be a bit worrisome, since unlearning and relearning something memorized by rote is quite a task.

To memorize the sutta, I am using the chanting booklet of a Thai wat (Wat Phradat Sri Chomtong) as well as two recordings—one from a different Thai wat (Wat Luang Phor Sodh Dhammakayaram) and another from a Sri Lankan monk—and both chant exactly like the following quoted version:
Wat Phradat Sri Chomtong chanting booklet wrote:Evaṃ me sutaṃ. Ekaṃ samayaṃ Bhagavā Bārāṇasiyaṃ viharati Isipatane migadāye. Tatra kho Bhagavā pañca-vaggiye bhikkhū āmantesi: "Dve’me bhikkhave antā pabbajitena na sevitabbā: Yo cāyaṃ kāmesu kāma-sukhallikānuyogo hīno gammo pothujjaniko anariyo anattha-sañhito, yo cāyaṃ atta- kilamathānuyogo, dukkho anariyo anattha-sañhito. Ete te bhikkhave ubho ante anupagamma [...]
However, if you take the VRI version, in just this passage, there are multiple differences (in bold):
VRI Tipiṭaka wrote:ekaṃ samayaṃ bhagavā bārāṇasiyaṃ viharati isipatane migadāye. tatra kho bhagavā pañcavaggiye bhikkhū āmantesi — “dveme, bhikkhave, antā pabbajitena na sevitabbā. katame dve? yo cāyaṃ kāmesu kāmasukhallikānuyogo hīno gammo pothujjaniko anariyo anatthasaṃhito, yo cāyaṃ attakilamathānuyogo dukkho anariyo anatthasaṃhito. ete kho, bhikkhave, ubho ante anupagamma [...]
What I would like to know—the main reason being that I want to make sure I learn the correct version used to chant and not have to unmemorize different parts after having chanted them many dozens of times:
  • Are there important differences with the Pāḷi in the chanting of the different Theravādā sects/countries?
  • Is Thai chanting fairly consistent, or are there differences even among Thai wats?
  • Are there principles to follow to know which variations to follow?

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Dhammanando
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Re: Differences with the Pāḷi for chanting?

Post by Dhammanando » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:20 am

samseva wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:09 am
Are there important differences with the Pāḷi in the chanting of the different Theravādā sects/countries?
In the popularly chanted suttas the majority of differences are trivial matters of orthography, such as whether the Pali for "fetter" gets spelled saṃyojana or saññojana or whether the monastic code is pātimokkha or pāṭimokkha. Where it consists in different countries preserving variant readings, the majority of variants will not involve any decisive differences in how the doctrine will be understood. For example in your two versions of the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta it's not a big deal whether or not the Buddha asks "Which two [extremes]?" (katame dve) before stating what the two extremes are. Nothing much is gained by the inclusion of the question nor lost by its non-inclusion.
samseva wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:09 am
Is Thai chanting fairly consistent, or are there differences even among Thai wats?
There are regional variations in the choice of which texts get chanted, but where any two Thai monasteries choose to chant the same text it will most often be an identical version of it.
samseva wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:09 am
Are there principles to follow to know which variations to follow?
If you're chanting in a group use the group's preferred version. If you're chanting alone use whichever one you prefer. For example, when I recite the Suttanipāta in the privacy of my kuti I use my own version which is heavily informed by K.R. Norman's preferences among the variant readings. But when I'm chanting parittas with a group of Thai monks I'll use the Royal Siamese version of Suttanipāta parittas like the Karaṇīyametta, Ratana and Maṅgala Suttas.

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samseva
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Re: Differences with the Pāḷi for chanting?

Post by samseva » Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:04 am

Dhammanando wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:20 am
[...]
Thank you, Bhante.

dharmacorps
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Re: Differences with the Pāḷi for chanting?

Post by dharmacorps » Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:49 pm

It seems to me often the variations in chanting are intonation or pronunciation more than anything else. I usually do chanting I learned from an Ajahn Chah tradition monastery, but recently learned some more from a dhammayut monastery and there are some differences which at first seemed substantial but now seem fairly minor.

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