TeachingUncategorized

The Most Basic Pali Chants to Learn

Share this:

Myanmar Pali Script (credit at bottom link.. cc-sa-attrib)

There are many different Pāḷi chants to learn, yet I wanted to list the absolute basic chants that one should learn. If you are interested in Pāḷi chanting, these are the first to learn. The most basic and essential chants for beginning lay people should know are listed in order of importance:

  1. Namo Tassa,
  2. Triple Gem with the 5 precepts,
  3. Bare bones Triple Gem chant of the 24 qualities of the Buddha, Dhamma and Saṅgha.
  4. Loving-Kindness sutta

Namo Tassa

Before any chanting or dhamma discourse, the monk and the group will chant “Namo tassa” together as a group. It is one line repeated 3 times and easy to remember.

Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa
Reverence to him, the Fortunate One, the Worthy One, the Perfect Sambuddha

Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa
Reverence to him, the Fortunate One, the Worthy One, the Perfect Sambuddha

Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa
Reverence to him, the Fortunate One, the Worthy One, the Perfect Sambuddha

Taking Refuge In Triple Gem

Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa x 3
Reverence to him, the Fortunate One, the Worthy One, the Perfect Sambuddha

Saraṇagamanaṁ
Going for Refuge
Asking for refuge

Laity:
Okāsa ahaṃ Bhante tisaraṇena saha pañca‧sīlaṃ
dhammaṃ yācāmi, anuggahaṃ katvā sīlaṃ detha me Bhante

Dutiyam pi okāsa … (repeat above)
Tatiyam pi okāsa … (repeat above)

Permit me, Bhante, I ask for the three refuges together
with the five precepts. Please, Bhante, kindly administer
the precepts to me.
A second time permit me … (repeat above)
A third time permit me … (repeat above)

Buddhaṁ saraṇaṁ gacchāmi
I go to the Buddha for refuge

Dhammaṁ saraṇaṁ gacchāmi
I go to the Dhamma for refuge

Saṅghaṁ saraṇaṁ gacchāmi
I go to the Saṅgha for refuge

Dutiyam-pi Buddhaṁ saraṇaṁ gacchāmi
For a second time I go to the Buddha for refuge

Dutiyam-pi Dhammaṁ saraṇaṁ gacchāmi
For a second time I go to the Dhamma for refuge

Dutiyam-pi Saṅghaṁ saraṇaṁ gacchāmi
For a second time I go to the Saṅgha for refuge

Tatiyam-pi Buddhaṁ saraṇaṁ gacchāmi
For a third time I go to the Buddha for refuge

Tatiyam-pi Dhammaṁ saraṇaṁ gacchāmi
For a third time I go to the Dhamma for refuge

Tatiyam-pi Saṅghaṁ saraṇaṁ gacchāmi
For a third time I go to the Saṅgha for refuge

Monk: Tisaraṇa‧gamanaṃ sampuṇṇaṃ.

Laity: Āma Bhante

Pañcasikkhāpadāni
The Five Training Rules

1.Pāṇātipātā veramaṇīsikkhāpadaṁ samādiyāmi
I undertake the training rule of refraining from killing living creatures

2. Adinnādānā veramaṇīsikkhāpadaṁ samādiyāmi
I undertake the training rule of refraining from taking what has not been given

3. Kāmesumicchācārā veramaṇīsikkhāpadaṁ samādiyāmi
I undertake the training rule of refraining from sexual misconduct

Musāvādā veramaṇīsikkhāpadaṁ samādiyāmi
I undertake the training rule of refraining from false speech

Surāmerayamajjapamādaṭṭhānā veramaṇīsikkhāpadaṁ samādiyāmi
I undertake the training rule of refraining from liquor, wines, or intoxicants which cause heedlessness.

Monk: Tisaraṇena saddhiṃ pañca‧sīlaṃ dhammaṃ samādayitvā
sādhukaṃ surakkhitaṃ katvā appamādena sampādetabbaṃ.

Monk: Having well undertaken and kept the five precepts, together
with the three refuges, one should strive on with diligence.

Laity: Āma Bhante.

Monk:
Sīlena sugatiṃ yanti,
Sīlena bhoga‧sampadā,
Sīlena nibbutiṃ yanti,
Tasmā sīlaṃ visodhaye.

Monk: With morality, good rebirth is gained;
With morality, wealth is achieved;
With morality, perfect peace is attained.
Therefore, morality should be puri

Laity:
Sādhu! Sādhu! Sādhu!

24 Qualities of the Buddha Dhamma and Sangha

Buddhaguṇavandanā
Worshipping the Virtues of the Buddha

Iti pi so Bhagavā Arahaṁ Sammāsambuddho,
Such is he, the Fortunate One, the Worthy One, the Perfect Sambuddha,

vijjācaraṇasampanno Sugato lokavidū,
the one endowed with understanding and good conduct, the Fortunate One, the one who understands the worlds,

anuttaro purisadammasārathī,
the unsurpassed guide for those people who need taming,

Satthā devamanussānaṁ Buddho Bhagavā ti.
the Teacher of gods and men, the Buddha, the Gracious One.

Buddhaṁ jīvitaṁ yāva Nibbānaṁ saraṇaṁ gacchāmi.
I go for life-long refuge to the Buddha right up until Nibbāna.

Ye ca Buddhā atītā ca, ye ca Buddhā anāgatā,
Those who were Buddhas in the past, those who will be Buddhas in the future,

paccuppannā ca ye Buddhā, ahaṁ vandāmi sabbadā!
and those who are Buddhas in the present, I worship them every day!

Natthi me saraṇaṁ aññaṁ, Buddho me saraṇaṁ varaṁ!
For me there is no other refuge, for me the Buddha is the best refuge!

Etena saccavajjena hotu te jayamaṅgalaṁ!
By this declaration of the truth may you have the blessing of success!

Uttamaṅgena vandehaṁ pādapaṁsu varuttamaṁ,
With my head I worship the most excellent dust of his feet,

Buddhe yo khalito doso Buddho khamatu taṁ mamaṁ!
for any fault or wrong against the Buddha may the Buddha forgive me for that!

Dhammaguṇavandanā
Worshipping the Virtues of the Dhamma

Svākkhāto Bhagavatā Dhammo,
The Dhamma has been well-proclaimed by the Gracious One,

sandiṭṭhiko, akāliko, ehipassiko, opanayiko,
it is visible, not subject to time, inviting inspection, onward leading,

paccattaṁ veditabbo viññūhī ti.
and can be understood by the wise for themselves.

Dhammaṁ jīvitaṁ yāva Nibbānaṁ saraṇaṁ gacchāmi.
I go for life-long refuge to the Dhamma right up until Nibbāna.

Ye ca Dhammā atītā ca, ye ca Dhammā anāgatā,
That which was Dhamma in the past, that which will be Dhamma in the future,

paccuppannā ca ye Dhammā, ahaṁ vandāmi sabbadā!
and that which is Dhamma in the present, I worship it every day!

Natthi me saraṇaṁ aññaṁ, Dhammo me saraṇaṁ varaṁ!
For me there is no other refuge, for me the Dhamma is the best refuge!

Etena saccavajjena hotu te jayamaṅgalaṁ!
By this declaration of the truth may you have the blessing of success!

Uttamaṅgena vandehaṁ Dhammaṁ ca tividhaṁ varaṁ,
With my head I worship the excellent threefold Dhamma,

Dhamme yo khalito doso Dhammo khamatu taṁ mamaṁ!
for any fault or wrong against the Dhamma may the Dhamma forgive me for that!

Saṅghaguṇavandanā
Worshipping the Virtues of the Saṅgha

Supaṭipanno Bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho,
The Gracious One’s Saṅgha of disciples are good in their practice,

ujupaṭipanno Bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho,
the Gracious One’s Saṅgha of disciples are straight in their practice,

ñāyapaṭipanno Bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho,
the Gracious One’s Saṅgha of disciples are systematic in their practice,

sāmīcipaṭipanno Bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho,
the Gracious One’s Saṅgha of disciples are correct in their practice,

yad-idaṁ cattāri purisayugāni aṭṭha purisapuggalā,
that is to say, the four pairs of persons, the eight individual persons,

esa Bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho,
this is the Gracious One’s Saṅgha of disciples,

āhuneyyo, pāhuneyyo, dakkhiṇeyyo, añjalikaranīyo,
they are worthy of offerings, of hospitality, of gifts, and of reverential salutation,

anuttaraṁ puññakkhettaṁ lokassā ti.
they are an unsurpassed field of merit for the world.

Saṅghaṁ jīvitaṁ yāva Nibbānaṁ saraṇaṁ gacchāmi.
I go for life-long refuge to the Sangha right up until Nibbāna.

Ye ca Saṅghā atītā ca, ye ca Saṅghā anāgatā,
Those who were the Sangha in the past, those who will be the Sangha in the future,

paccuppannā ca ye Saṅghā, ahaṁ vandāmi sabbadā!
and those who are the Sangha in the present, I worship them every day!

Natthi me saraṇaṁ aññaṁ, Saṅgho me saraṇaṁ varaṁ!
For me there is no other refuge, for me the Sangha is the best refuge!

Etena saccavajjena hotu te jayamaṅgalaṁ!
By this declaration of the truth may you have the blessing of success!

Uttamaṅgena vandehaṁ Saṅghaṁ ca tividhottamaṁ,
With my head I worship the Sangha who are supreme in three ways,

Saṅghe yo khalito doso Saṅgho khamatu taṁ mamaṁ!
for any fault or wrong against the Sangha may the Sangha forgive me for that!

5. The Discourse on Loving-kindness Meditation

right click to download mp3

Karaṇīyam-atthakusalena, yan-taṁ santaṁ padaṁ abhisamecca:
What should be done by one skilled in goodness, who has comprehended the state of peace:

sakko ujū ca sūjū ca, suvaco cassa mudu anatimānī, [01]
he ought to be able, straight, and upright, easy to speak to, meek, without conceit,

santussako ca subharo ca, appakicco ca sallahukavutti,
satisfied (with little), easy to support, free from duties, and light in living,

santindriyo ca nipako ca, appagabbho kulesu ananugiddho, [02]
with faculties at peace, prudent, not forward, and greedless among the families,

na ca khuddaṁ samācare kiñci yena viññū pare upavadeyyuṁ.
he should not do the slightest thing whereby others who are wise might find fault (with him).

“Sukhino vā khemino hontu, sabbe sattā bhavantu sukhitattā! [03]
“(May all beings) be happy and secure, may all beings in their hearts be happy!

Ye keci pāṇabhūtatthi tasā vā thāvarā vā anavasesā,
Whatsoever breathing beings there are trembling, firm, or any other (beings),

dīghā vā ye mahantā vā, majjhimā rassakāṇukathūlā, [04]
whether they be long or great, of middle (size), short, tiny, or of compact (body),

diṭṭhā vā ye ca addiṭṭhā, ye ca dūre vasanti avidūre,
those who are seen, and those who are unseen, those who live far away, those who are near,

bhūtā vā sambhavesī vā sabbe sattā bhavantu sukhitattā!” [05]
those who are born, and those who still seek birth may all beings in their hearts be happy!”

Na paro paraṁ nikubbetha, nātimaññetha katthaci naṁ kañci,
No one should cheat another, nor should he despise anyone wherever he is,

byārosanā paṭighasaññā nāññam-aññassa dukkham-iccheyya. [06]
he should not long for suffering for another because of anger or resentment.

Mātā yathā niyaṁ puttaṁ āyusā ekaputtam-anurakkhe,
In the same way as a mother would protect her child, her only child, with her life,

evam-pi sabbabhūtesu mānasaṁ bhāvaye aparimāṇaṁ. [07]
so too towards all beings one should develop the measureless thought (of friendliness).

Mettañ-ca sabbalokasmiṁ mānasaṁ bhāvaye aparimāṇaṁ,
Towards the entire world he should develop the measureless thought of friendliness,

uddhaṁ adho ca tiriyañ-ca, asambādhaṁ averaṁ asapattaṁ. [08]
above, below, and across (the middle), without barriers, hate, or enmity.

Tiṭṭhaṁ caraṁ nisinno vā, sayāno vā yāvatassa vigatamiddho,
Standing, walking, sitting, lying, for as long as he is without torpor,

etaṁ satiṁ adhiṭṭheyya, brahmam-etaṁ vihāraṁ idha-m-āhu. [09]
he should be resolved on this mindfulness, for this, they say here, is the (true) spiritual life.

Diṭṭhiñ-ca anupagamma, sīlavā dassanena sampanno,
Without going near a (wrong) view, virtuous, and endowed with (true) insight,

kāmesu vineyya gedhaṁ, na hi jātu gabbhaseyyaṁ punar-etī ti. [10]
having removed greed towards sense pleasures, he does not come to lie in a womb again.

Line by line text taken from:

https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/Texts-and-Translations/Daily-Chanting/index.htm

https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/Texts-and-Translations/Safeguard/00-Mahaparittam-02.htm

Five Precepts taken from: https://bhavanasociety.org/bv

Picture from:

See page for author, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Leave a Reply