Should Buddhist monks read a passage from Sutta Pitaka when attending to funeral blessings?

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SarathW
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Should Buddhist monks read a passage from Sutta Pitaka when attending to funeral blessings?

Post by SarathW » Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:29 am

Should Buddhist monks read a passage from Sutta Pitaka when attending to funeral blessings?

When I attend to Christian wedding and funerals, the priest read a passage from the bible along with the crowed.
I think this is a great idea if Buddhist monks adopt a similar approach.
What is missing in Buddhist community is the lack of knowledge in Sutta.
This could be a great way to introduce people to start Sutta reading.
Generally monks give Dhamma talk with reference to Sutta but there is no active participation.
What is your opinion on this?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Dhammanando
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Re: Should Buddhist monks read a passage from Sutta Pitaka when attending to funeral blessings?

Post by Dhammanando » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:00 am

SarathW wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:29 am
Should Buddhist monks read a passage from Sutta Pitaka when attending to funeral blessings?
In Sri Lanka isn't it already the custom to recite the Salla Sutta at funerals? I'd always supposed that it was because it's given as such in the chanting book of the Chiswick Vihāra, a Sri Lankan temple in London.

https://legacy.suttacentral.net/en/snp3.8

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mikenz66
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Re: Should Buddhist monks read a passage from Sutta Pitaka when attending to funeral blessings?

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:13 am

Bhante, is there a typical repertoire for the chants used at Thai ceremonies? At our Wat there is chanting in the evening for several days, before the body is taken off for cremation. Of course, in Thailand the cremation is usually on-site, and the ceremony I happened to be in Thailand for, for the mother of one of our resident monks was amazingly touching, with the large crowd all placing flowers inside the coffin. After the cremation there was a thunderstorm... Then more food...

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SarathW
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Re: Should Buddhist monks read a passage from Sutta Pitaka when attending to funeral blessings?

Post by SarathW » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:13 am

a Sri Lankan temple in London
This is news to me.
It seems the West already started this.
If you go to a typical village funeral in Sri Lanka, the monks just chant some thing in Pali then say how great the dead man and his family and go away.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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mikenz66
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Re: Should Buddhist monks read a passage from Sutta Pitaka when attending to funeral blessings?

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:15 am

SarathW wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:13 am
the monks just chant some thing in Pali ...
Is there just one session of chanting? What do they chant (and for how long)?

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Dhammanando
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Re: Should Buddhist monks read a passage from Sutta Pitaka when attending to funeral blessings?

Post by Dhammanando » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:12 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:13 am
Bhante, is there a typical repertoire for the chants used at Thai ceremonies?
The most widespread practice in Thailand is that each evening four monks will be invited to recite the mātika to each of the seven books of the Abhidhamma Piṭaka while seated beside the coffin, either at the deceased's home or in a special funeral sālā in the local wat. This is usually done each evening for at least three days before the cremation. The Abhidhamma recitation may or may not be accompanied by a sermon by the senior monk present, though it nearly always will be on the day of the cremation. The practice is premised on the popular belief in an intermediate state: the spirit of the deceased is assumed to be still hanging around the body and chanting Abhidhamma encourages it to move on.

SarathW
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Re: Should Buddhist monks read a passage from Sutta Pitaka when attending to funeral blessings?

Post by SarathW » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:34 am

Is there just one session of chanting?
It varies.
The day of the burial or cremation they chat for about half an hour.
Then depending on each household, they have further almsgiving in seven days, three months or annually.
Many of us have no idea what they chant.
What I am suggesting is participation by the lay people in reading Sutta rather than monks chant something and go.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Sam Vara
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Re: Should Buddhist monks read a passage from Sutta Pitaka when attending to funeral blessings?

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:44 am

SarathW wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:34 am
Is there just one session of chanting?
It varies.
The day of the burial or cremation they chat for about half an hour.
Then depending on each household, they have further almsgiving in seven days, three months or annually.
Many of us have no idea what they chant.
What I am suggesting is participation by the lay people in reading Sutta rather than monks chant something and go.
Last year I attended a funeral of a good friend at Cittaviveka, here in the UK. The monks did a lot of chanting as per usual, but they also delivered short homilies or talks about the deceased, and about the general topics of death and loss. Several of them explicitly referred to suttas. There was also a slot for the family and friends to do the same. Most of them talked about their memories of the dead person, but they could have recited suttas if they wanted.

The person who died was a Westerner, and the monks happened to be Westerners, so this appears to be a local variation. The grieving husband was given a lot of influence over the shape and the content of the ceremony.

SarathW
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Re: Should Buddhist monks read a passage from Sutta Pitaka when attending to funeral blessings?

Post by SarathW » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:52 am

This initiative has to come from monks.
They may suggest an extract from the sutta to be recited as a group reading.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Should Buddhist monks read a passage from Sutta Pitaka when attending to funeral blessings?

Post by WorldTraveller » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:47 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:15 am
SarathW wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:13 am
the monks just chant some thing in Pali ...
Is there just one session of chanting? What do they chant (and for how long)?

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Mike
I was told that at present Sri Lankan monks, mostly chant a portion of the Tirokuṭṭa Sutta in Pali (a preta story)--they must be too busy! But several decades ago, they used to chant the full Sutta. Around 1950s the lay people used to read loud the full Vessantara Jataka all the night. Perhaps to ward off the preta fear of the residents and neighbours.

These days lay people are too busy looking at the smart phone displays, hardly disturbed by a passing preta/ghost. :coffee: :jumping:
“Do not go by oral tradition, by lineage of teaching, by hearsay, by a canonical tradition, by logical reasoning, by inferential reasoning, by reasoned cogitation, by the acceptance of a view after pondering it, by the seeming competence of a speaker, or because you think: ‘The ascetic is our guru.’”
- Kālāma-sutta

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mikenz66
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Re: Should Buddhist monks read a passage from Sutta Pitaka when attending to funeral blessings?

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:20 am

This verse from the Mahāparinibbāna sutta is also often used:
[When the Buddha became fully extinguished, Sakka, lord of gods, recited this verse:]

“Aniccā vata saṅkhārā,
uppādavayadhammino;
Uppajjitvā nirujjhanti,
tesaṃ vūpasamo sukho”ti.


“Oh! Conditions are impermanent,
their nature is to rise and fall;
having arisen, they cease;
their stilling is true bliss.”

https://suttacentral.net/dn16/en/sujato#6.10.9
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Mike

SarathW
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Re: Should Buddhist monks read a passage from Sutta Pitaka when attending to funeral blessings?

Post by SarathW » Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:32 am

These days lay people are too busy looking at the smart phone displays, hardly disturbed by a passing preta/ghost. :coffee: :jumping:
I am talking about a group reading.
This can be easily done using a smartphone.
:sage:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Grigoris
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Re: Should Buddhist monks read a passage from Sutta Pitaka when attending to funeral blessings?

Post by Grigoris » Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:25 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:12 am
mikenz66 wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:13 am
Bhante, is there a typical repertoire for the chants used at Thai ceremonies?
The most widespread practice in Thailand is that each evening four monks will be invited to recite the mātika to each of the seven books of the Abhidhamma Piṭaka while seated beside the coffin, either at the deceased's home or in a special funeral sālā in the local wat. This is usually done each evening for at least three days before the cremation. The Abhidhamma recitation may or may not be accompanied by a sermon by the senior monk present, though it nearly always will be on the day of the cremation. The practice is premised on the popular belief in an intermediate state: the spirit of the deceased is assumed to be still hanging around the body and chanting Abhidhamma encourages it to move on.
Fascinating. Not disimiliar to the chanting of the Bardo Thodol, "Book of the Dead", in Tibetan rituals for the dead. Mind you, the Tibetans do it for a lot longer, but then again Tibet is not hot and humid like Thailand, so the corpses can be kept in the home for quite a long period of time.
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

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Dhammanando
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Re: Should Buddhist monks read a passage from Sutta Pitaka when attending to funeral blessings?

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:56 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:25 pm
Mind you, the Tibetans do it for a lot longer, but then again Tibet is not hot and humid like Thailand, so the corpses can be kept in the home for quite a long period of time.
Actually the rites do sometimes go on for a long time here too, especially for senior monks, aristocracy and royalty. The heat isn't a problem as most wats nowadays are equipped with long yen - large, ornate, refrigerator coffins inside which the smaller wooden coffin will be placed. From a long yen manufacturer's advert:

.

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Grigoris
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Re: Should Buddhist monks read a passage from Sutta Pitaka when attending to funeral blessings?

Post by Grigoris » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:21 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:56 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:25 pm
Mind you, the Tibetans do it for a lot longer, but then again Tibet is not hot and humid like Thailand, so the corpses can be kept in the home for quite a long period of time.
Actually the rites do sometimes go on for a long time here too, especially for senior monks, aristocracy and royalty. The heat isn't a problem as most wats nowadays are equipped with long yen - large, ornate, refrigerator coffins inside which the smaller wooden coffin will be placed. From a long yen manufacturer's advert:

.
Now that is one ornate beer cooler! :)
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

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