what's on your raft? (the indispensable sutta passages to memorize)

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frank k
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what's on your raft? (the indispensable sutta passages to memorize)

Post by frank k » Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:15 pm

I’ve put together an anthology of suttas, what I consider the absolute essential suttas. For crossing the flood from near shore to far, to reach the island (of nirvana).

The raft is the 8aam (noble eightfold path).

On my raft, there’s roughly 2 hours worth of chanting. The part I consider indispensable and the minimal core for the raft to float. I have another hour or so of suttas I personally enjoy, but consider redundant with the core.

It doesn’t have to be an entire sutta, could be just a line or a passage. I’m asking the community here to see if I missed anything important for my anthology.

So what’s on your raft?
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Dhammanando
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Re: what's on your raft? (the indispensable sutta passages to memorize)

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:45 am

frank k wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:15 pm
So what’s on your raft?
In the Northern Thai sub-tradition with whose monks I've been loosely affiliated for the last couple of decades we have two chanting cycles, one used on even-numbered days, the other on odd-numbered days and Uposathas. The first of the cycles is simply the Bangkok one that was composed by King Rama III or Rama IV (I forget which of the two it was) and then imposed willy-nilly on the whole country. The less said about that the better, as it's dull as ditchwater. The other more interesting cycle is an abbreviated version of an old Lanna one. It comprises the following:

1st day of waxing or waning moon

(1) Inviting the devatās
(sarajjaṃ sasenaṃ sabandhuṃ narindaṃ…)

(2) Pubbabhāganamakāra
(namo tassa bhagavato…)

(3) Saraṇagamanaṃ, Lanna-style going for refuge
(buddhaṃ jīvitaṃ yāvanibbānaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi…)

(4) Sambuddhe
(sambuddhe aṭṭhavīsañca, dvādasañca sahassake…)

(5) Namokāraṭṭhakagāthā
(namo arahato sammāsambuddhassa mahesino…)

(6) Verses for initiating a paritta cycle
(ye santā santacittā…)

(7) Rājato
(rājato vā corato vā manussato vā…)

(8) Maṅgala Sutta
(Sn. 46-7)

(9) Jayamaṅgala-aṭṭhagāthā
(bāhuṃ sahassamabhinimmitasāvudhantaṃ…)

(10) Bhojanasuttagāthā
(= AN. iii. 42)

(11) The Bodhisatta’s ten perfections / Itipi so mahājaya
(Itipi so bhagavā dānapāramīsampanno…)

(12) Temiyo / Ten former lives of the Buddha
(temiyo nāma bhagavā…)

(13) Sukho Buddhānaṃ
(comprising Dhp. 194, verses from the Mahākappina Sutta, SN. ii. 284, and Dhp. 204)

(14) Taṅkhaṇikapaccavekkhaṇaṃ (morning) / Atītapaccavekkhaṇaṃ (evening)

(15) Dhātupaṭikūlapaccavekkhaṇaṃ

(16) Pattidānagāthā (morning), Uddissanādhiṭṭhānagāthā (evening)

(17) Asking forgiveness of Triple Gem, etc.
(vandāmi buddhaṃ sabbaṃ me dosaṃ…)

(18) Asking forgiveness of senior monk
(vandāmi bhante sabbaṃ aparādhaṃ…)

(19) Therābhithutigāthāyo
(verses praising the merits of Khrubar Srivichai and Khrubar Prommajak)

Parts 1-2 and 13-19 are chanted every day, so I won't list them again.

3rd day of waxing or waning moon

(1) Namakārasiddhigāthā
(yo cakkhumā mohamalāpakaṭṭho…)

(2) Namokāraṭṭhakagāthā
(namo arahato sammāsambuddhassa mahesino…)

(3) Ratana Sutta
(Sn. 38-42)

(4) Cullamaṅgalacakkavāḷa
(sabbabuddhānubhāvena…)

(5) Verses from the Aggappasāda Sutta
(AN. ii. 35)

(6) Keṇiyānumodanagāthāyo
(= verses starting aggihuttaṃ mukhā yaññā… in the Sn’s Sela Sutta)

5th day of waxing or waning moon

(1) Karaṇīyametta Sutta
(Sn. 25-6)

(2) Khandha Paritta
(= verses from the Ahirāja Sutta, AN. ii. 72-3)

(3) Mora Paritta
(= verses from the Mora Jātaka, Jāt. ii. 33-4)

(4) Vaṭṭaka Paritta
(= verses from Vaṭṭaka Jātaka, Jāt. i. 214-5)

(5) Mahāmaṅgalacakkavāḷa
(siridhitimatitejojayasiddhimahiddhi…)

(6) Vihāradānagāthā
(= Vin. ii. 147-8. sītaṃ uṇhaṃ paṭihanti…)

7th day of waxing or waning moon

(1) Dhajagga Sutta
(SN. i. 218-20)

(2) Ratanattayappabhāvasiddhigāthā
(arahaṃ sammāsambuddho lokānaṃ anukampako…)

(3) Devatādissadakkhiṇānumodanāgāthā
(verses from the DN’s Mahāsudassana Sutta or Udāna’s Pāṭaligāmiya Sutta. yasmiṃ padese kappeti…)

(4) Devatābhisammantanagāthā
(yānīdha bhūtāni samāgatāni…)

Morning chanting for the Aṭṭhaṃī Uposatha

(1) Aṭṭhavīsatibuddha Paritta
(namo me sabbabuddhānaṃ dvattiṃsā varalakkhaṇo…)

(2) Metteyyo
(metteyyo uttaro rāmo…)

(3) Verses relating to the four protective meditations:

(3.1) Buddhānussati
(anantā vitthāraguṇaṃ…)
(3.2) Mettabhāvanā
(attuppamāya sabbesaṃ sattānaṃ…)
(3.3) Asubha
(aviññāṇasubhanibhaṃ saviññāṇasubhaṃ…)
(3.4) Maraṇānussati
(pavātādipatulyā yassāyusantatiyā khayaṃ…)

(4) Vipassanābhūmipāṭha
(pañcakkhandhā rūpakkhandho…)

(5) Mettāpharaṇa
(puratthimāya disāya puratthimāya anudisāya…)

(6) Buddho Sabbaññū
(buddho sabbaññū taññāṇo…)

(7) Buddho Maṅgalasambhūto
(buddho maṅgalasambhūto sambuddho dīpaduttamo…)

Evening chanting for all Uposatha days

(1) Asking forgiveness of the Five Jewels
(namāmi buddhaṃ guṇasāgarantaṃ…)

(2) Lanna Uposatha day vandanā
(yo sannisinno varabodhimūle…)

(3) Kammaṭṭhāna - a long chant comprising the pubbabhāga and saraṇagamanaṃ, verse summaries of the first three anussatis and kāyagatāsati, Dhammapada 41, the four elements, five khandhas, three characteristics, and verses to the Vepullapabbata Sutta.

(4) Pañca Mahāpariccāga - a very long (and for me deadly boring) vandanā that pays homage to almost everything that’s sacred in the cakkavāḷa.

9th day of waxing or waning moon

(1) Āṭānāṭiya Paritta

(2) Aṅgulimāla Paritta

(3) Bojjhaṅga Paritta

(4) Abhaya Paritta

(5) Devatā Uyyojanagāthā

(6) Jaya Paritta

(7) Hiri-ottappasampannā

11th day of waxing or waning moon

(1) Dhammasaṅgiṇī mātikā
(kusalā dhammā akusalā dhammā…)

(2) Vinaya
(= opening paragraphs of the first pārājika’s origin story)

(3) Sutta
(= opening paragraphs of the Brahmajāla Sutta)

(4) Opening paragraphs of the seven books of the Abhidhamma Piṭaka…

(4.1) Dhammasaṅgaṇī
(4.2) Vibhaṅga
(4.3) Dhātukathā
(4.4) Puggalapaññati
(4.5) Kathāvatthu
(4.6) Yamaka
(4.7) Mahāpaṭṭhāna

(5) Sappaccayā
(= Cūḷantaradukka passage of the Dhammasaṅgaṇī)

(6) Paṃsukūla
(6.1) For the deceased
(6.2) For self-reflection
(6.3) For the living

(7) Tirokuḍḍakaṇḍapacchimabhāga
(= last four verses of the Tirokuḍḍa Sutta)

13th day of waxing or waning moon

(1) Pabbatopamagāthā
(= verses from the Pabbatūpama Sutta, SN. i. 101-2)

(2) Ariyadhanagāthā
(= verses from the Dalidda Sutta, SN. i. 232, or Theragāthā verses of Sirimitta)

(3) Dhammaniyāma Sutta
(aka Uppāda Sutta, AN. i. 286)

(4) Tilakkhaṇādigāthā
(= Dhp. 277-279, & 85-89)

(5) Paṭiccasamuppāda anuloma and paṭiloma

(6) Paṭhamabuddhabhāsitagāthā
(= Dhp. 153)

(7) Buddha-udānagāthā
(= verses to the first three suttas of the Udāna)

(8) Bhaddekarattagāthā
(= verses to the MN’s Bhaddekaratta Suttas)

(9) Devatā-uyyojanagāthā
(dukkhappattā ca niddukkhā…)

Morning chanting for full moon and new moon Uposathas

(1) Paṭiccasamuppāda anuloma and paṭiloma

(2) Paṭhamabuddhabhāsitagāthā
(= Dhp. 153)

(3) Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

(4) Yo dhīro
(comprising verses from Vin. i. 38, Vin. i. 40 and the Udāna’s Sāriputta Sutta)

(5) Yo kho Ānanda
(= the Buddha’s last speech in the Mahāparinibbāna Sutta)

(6) Ākāsaṭṭhā
(ākāsaṭṭhā ca bhummaṭṭhā devā…)

(7) Buddho Sabbaññū
(buddho sabbaññū taññāṇo…)

(8) Buddho Maṅgalasambhūto
(buddho maṅgalasambhūto sambuddho dīpaduttamo…)


_______________________________


Now that I’m living alone, although I still more or less follow the above cycle, I have made a few supplements and a few replacements of those chants that I find tedious. The shorter ones listed below I chant in full every day, while the longer ones are spread over several days.

Sīla-related

(1) Dasadhamma Sutta
(aka Pabbajita-abhiṇha Sutta, AN. vi. 87-8)

(2) Bhikkhupātimokkha
(I recite a third of it each day)

Sutta passages customarily chanted in Thailand after a Pātimokkha recital:

(3) Ovādapātimokkha
(= Dhp. 184, 183, 185)

(4) Verses from Tāyana Sutta
(SN. i. 49)

(5) Aparihāniyādhamma Sutta
(aka Paṭhamasattaka Sutta, AN. iv. 21-2)

(6) Chasārāṇīyadhamma Sutta
(AN. iii. 288-9)

Samādhi-related

(1) Thirty-two marks of a Great Man in the Lakkhaṇa Sutta
(chanted daily as I do a visualisation practice based on them)

(2) Twenty suttas in the SN’s Ānāpānasaṃyutta

(3) Ānāpānakathā in the Paṭisambhidāmagga

(4) Full versions of the sutta passages cited in brief in the Visuddhimagga’s Brahmavihāra chapter

Paññā-related

(1) Aṭṭhaka and Parāyana Vaggas of the Suttanipāta

(2) DN’s Saṅgīti and Dasuttara Suttas

(3) Visuddhimagga’s chapter on the five aggregates
(Path of Purification ch. XIV)

(3) Sutta passages quoted in the Visuddhimagga’s chapter on the faculties and truths
(Path of Purification ch. XVI)

(5) Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha chapters 1, 2 & 6.

Miscellaneous

(1) Mahāsamaya Sutta
(because it’s beautiful to chant and I want to be on friendly terms with any yakkhas, gandhabbas, nāgas, etc. that might be hanging around)

(2) Āṭānāṭiya Sutta
(ditto)

(3) Uppātasanti
(I’m not really sold on this one, but it was a great favourite of my late Burmese Pali teacher, so I chant it once a month for auld lang syne)

(4) Abhiṇhapaccavekkhaṇaṃ

(5) Salla Sutta
(Sn. 112-113)

(6) Sigalovāda Sutta

(7) Parābhava Sutta

The last two are useful to know if you’re unexpectedly called on to give a talk to laypeople and can’t think of anything to say. Likewise with the Salla Sutta if it’s a funeral sermon that’s required.

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Idappaccayata
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:54 pm

Re: what's on your raft? (the indispensable sutta passages to memorize)

Post by Idappaccayata » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:44 pm

frank k wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:15 pm
I’ve put together an anthology of suttas, what I consider the absolute essential suttas. For crossing the flood from near shore to far, to reach the island (of nirvana).

The raft is the 8aam (noble eightfold path).

On my raft, there’s roughly 2 hours worth of chanting. The part I consider indispensable and the minimal core for the raft to float. I have another hour or so of suttas I personally enjoy, but consider redundant with the core.

It doesn’t have to be an entire sutta, could be just a line or a passage. I’m asking the community here to see if I missed anything important for my anthology.

So what’s on your raft?
Do you do all your chanting in Pali? I've recently started to learn chanting as well. So far I have the morning chanting (dhammayut) memorized, the metta sutta, and most of the evening chanting.

I'd be interested to know more about the different types of chanting throughout the different schools if you have any information. How chants are selected, when certain chants are done, etc.

Something else I've been trying to find if anyone has any information - what chants or texts must be memorized or learned by a novice ordaining in the Thai Forest tradition?
The furniture may be exquisite,
And the bars of solid gold,
But once the bird realizes that the cage is a cage,
It finds within that cage
No joy

- Ajahn Jayasaro

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Dhammanando
Posts: 4207
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Ban Sri Pradu Rubber Forest, Phrao, Chiangmai

Re: what's on your raft? (the indispensable sutta passages to memorize)

Post by Dhammanando » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:31 pm

Idappaccayata wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:44 pm
Something else I've been trying to find if anyone has any information - what chants or texts must be memorized or learned by a novice ordaining in the Thai Forest tradition?
There’s considerable variation between wats. At one extreme there are some forest wats where you’d expected to memorise nearly as much as city-based scholar monks (e.g., virtually everything in the Dhammayut chanting book at Access to Insight). Then at the other extreme there are places like Wat Pa Baan Taad where a monk might easily get away with knowing only the meal-time blessing chant and the sutta passages chanted after the Pātimokkha recital, because this is the only chanting they ever do.

A fairly common pattern, however, would be something like this:

1. Meal-time blessing (anumodanā) chants to be learned as soon as possible; ideally within a week or two of arriving.

2. King Rama IV-style morning and evening services to be learned during the first month or two. Also, if it’s a wat where a probationary period as a sāmanera is required, then you might be expected to learn the seventy-five sekhiya rules and Sāmanerasikkhā during this period.

3. More frequently-chanted suttas and parittas – chiefly those that make up the Jed Tamnaan and Sib-song Tamnaan paritta cycles – to be learned during the first year or two.

4. The Pāṭimokkha - some time during the first five years. Though in recent years fewer and fewer wats have been insisting on this.

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Idappaccayata
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:54 pm

Re: what's on your raft? (the indispensable sutta passages to memorize)

Post by Idappaccayata » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:09 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:31 pm
Idappaccayata wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:44 pm
Something else I've been trying to find if anyone has any information - what chants or texts must be memorized or learned by a novice ordaining in the Thai Forest tradition?
There’s considerable variation between wats. At one extreme there are some forest wats where you’d expected to memorise nearly as much as city-based scholar monks (e.g., virtually everything in the Dhammayut chanting book at Access to Insight). Then at the other extreme there are places like Wat Pa Baan Taad where a monk might easily get away with knowing only the meal-time blessing chant and the sutta passages chanted after the Pātimokkha recital, because this is the only chanting they ever do.

A fairly common pattern, however, would be something like this:

1. Meal-time blessing (anumodanā) chants to be learned as soon as possible; ideally within a week or two of arriving.

2. King Rama IV-style morning and evening services to be learned during the first month or two. Also, if it’s a wat where a probationary period as a sāmanera is required, then you might be expected to learn the seventy-five sekhiya rules and Sāmanerasikkhā during this period.

3. More frequently-chanted suttas and parittas – chiefly those that make up the Jed Tamnaan and Sib-song Tamnaan paritta cycles – to be learned during the first year or two.

4. The Pāṭimokkha - some time during the first five years. Though in recent years fewer and fewer wats have been insisting on this.
Thank you very much, this is exactly what I was looking for. Is there anything specific that must be learned that pertains only to one who wants to become a monk? Like any chants that are pertinent only to that situation or ordaining?
The furniture may be exquisite,
And the bars of solid gold,
But once the bird realizes that the cage is a cage,
It finds within that cage
No joy

- Ajahn Jayasaro

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Dhammanando
Posts: 4207
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Ban Sri Pradu Rubber Forest, Phrao, Chiangmai

Re: what's on your raft? (the indispensable sutta passages to memorize)

Post by Dhammanando » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:09 pm

Idappaccayata wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:09 pm
Thank you very much, this is exactly what I was looking for. Is there anything specific that must be learned that pertains only to one who wants to become a monk? Like any chants that are pertinent only to that situation or ordaining?
I think it would be better to wait until you're in a monastery or you're almost certain to develop chanting habits that are at odds with the style used in your wat, and so will then have to waste time unlearning them. Even the ordination can't really be prepared for in advance unless you know where you're going to be - Dhammayuts and Mahanikaya Ajahn Chah wats use different formulas for the ordination liturgy.

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