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Chanting Book

The Buddhist Society of Western Australia

Dhammaloka Buddhist Centre
18-20 Nanson Way
Nollamara. WA 6061. Australia

Chanting files (MP3 format) associated with this book, are available for download:

1. DEDICATION OF OFFERINGS   [* Download: 01-Chanting file]

Yo so bhagavaa araha"m sammaasambuddho
Svaakkhaato yena bhagavataa dhammo
Supa.tipanno yassa bhagavato saavakasa"ngho
Tammaya"m bhagavanta"m sadhamma"m sasa"ngha"m
Imehi sakkaarehi yathaaraha"m aaropitehi abhipuujayaama
Saadhu no bhante bhagavaa suciraparinibbutopi
Ime sakkaare duggata-pannaakaara-bhuute pa.tigga.nhaatu
Amhaaka"m diigharatta"m hitaaya sukhaaya
To the Blessed One, the Lord who fully attained perfect enlightenment,
To the Teaching which he expounded so well,
And to the Blessed One's disciples, who have practised well,
To these - the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha -
We render with offerings our rightful homage.
It is well for us, Blessed One, that having attained liberation,
You still had compassion for later generations.
Deign to accept these simple offerings
For our long-lasting benefit and for the happiness it gives us.
Araha"m sammaasambuddho bhagavaa
Buddha"m bhagavanta"m abhivaademi


Svaakkhaato bhagavataa dhammo
Dhamma"m namassaami


Supatipanno bhagavato saavakasa"ngho
Sa"ngha"m namaami


The Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened and Blessed One -
I render homage to the Buddha, the Blessed One.


The Teaching so completely explained by him -
I bow to the Dhamma.


The Blessed One's disciples who have practised well - I bow to to the Sangha.



2. PRELIMINARY HOMAGE   [* Download: 02-Chanting file]

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammaasambuddhassa -(three times)- Homage to the Blessed, Noble and Perfectly Enlightened One.
a. RECOLLECTION OF THE BUDDHA  [* Download: 03-Chanting file]
Itipi so bhagavaa araha"m sammaa-sambuddho
Vijjaa-cara.na-sampanno sugato lokaviduu
Anuttaro purisa-damma-saarathi satthaa deva-manussaana"m buddho bhagavaa
Tamaha"m bhagavanta"m abhipuujayaami
Tamaha"m bhagavanta"m sirasaa namaami


He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy.

I chant my praise to the Blessed One, I bow my head to the Blessed One.


b. RECOLLECTION OF THE DHAMMA  [*Download: 04-Chanting file]
Svaakkhaato bhagavataa dhammo
Sandi.t.thiko akaaliko ehipassiko
Opanayiko paccatta"m veditabbo vi~n~nuuhii
Tamaha"m dhamma"m abhipuujayaami
Tamaha"m dhamma"m sirasaa namaami


The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise.

I chant my praise to this Teaching,
I bow my head to this Truth.


c.RECOLLECTION OF THE SANGHA  [* Download: 05-Chanting file]
Supa.tipanno bhagavato saavaka-sa"ngho
Uju-pa.tipanno bhagavato saavaka-sa"ngho
~Naaya-pa.tipanno bhagavato saavaka-sa"ngho
Saamiici-pa.tipanno bhagavato saavaka-sa"ngho
Yadida"m cattaari purisa-yugaani a.t.tha purisa-puggalaa
Esa bhagavato saavaka-sa"ngho
Aahuneyyo paahuneyyo dakkhi.neyyo añjali-kara.niiyo
Anuttara"m puññakkhetta"m lokassa
Tamaha"m sa"ngha"m abhipuujayaami
Tamaha"m sa"ngha"m sirasaa namaami


They are the Blessed One's disciples who have practised well,
Who have practised directly,
Who have practised insightfully,
Those who are accomplished in the practice;
That is the four pairs, the eight kinds of noble beings,
These are the Blessed One's disciples.
Such ones are worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of respect;
They give occasion for incomparable goodness to arise in the world

I chant my praise to this Sangha,
I bow my head to this Sangha



3. METTA SUTTA - The Buddha's Words on Loving-Kindness [* Download: 06-Chanting file]

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:

Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech.
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied.
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.

Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.

Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
May all beings be happy.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born,
May all beings be happy!

Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.

Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness over the entire world
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.

Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.

This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.


4. THE REFUGES AND PRECEPTS    [* Download: 07-Chanting file]

The "Going for Refuge" and taking the Precepts define a person as a practising Buddhist.

Going for Refuge gives a continual perspective on life by referring one's conduct and understanding to the qualities of Buddha (wisdom), Dhamma (truth) and Sangha (virtue). The Precepts are also for reflection and to define one's actions as a responsible human being.

There is a formal means of requesting the Refuges and Precepts from a bhikkhu, which is as follows:

After bowing three times, with hands joined in A~njali, recite the following:

Maya"m bhante, ti-sara.nena saha pa~nca siilaani yaacaama

Dutiyampi maya"m bhante, ti-sara.nena saha pa~nca siilaani yaacaama

Tatiyampi maya"m bhante, ti-sara.nena saha pa~nca siilaani yaacaama

We, Venerable Sir, request the three Refuges and the Five Precepts.

For the second time, we, Venerable Sir, request the three Refuges and the Five Precepts.

For the third time, we, Venerable Sir, request the three Refuges and the Five Precepts.

(Note: When requesting individually, change Maya"m to Aha"m, and Yaacaama to Yaacaami)


Repeat after the leader:

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammaasambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammaasambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammaasambuddhassa
Homage to the Blessed One, the Noble One, the Perfectly Enlightened One.
Homage to the Blessed One, the Noble One, the Perfectly Enlightened One.
Homage to the Blessed One, the Noble One, the Perfectly Enlightened One.
Buddha"m sara.na"m gacchaami
Dhamma"m sara.na"m gacchaami
Sa"ngha"m sara.na"m gacchaami

Dutiyampi buddha"m sara.na"m gacchaami
Dutiyampi dhamma"m sara.na"m gacchaami
Dutiyampi sa"ngha"m sara.na"m gacchaami

Tatiyampi buddha"m sara.na"m gacchaami
Tatiyampi dhamma"m sara.na"m gacchaami
Tatiyampi sa"ngha"m sara.na"m gacchaami

To the Buddha I go for refuge.
To the Dhamma I go for refuge.
To the Sangha I go for refuge.

For the second time, to the Buddha I go for refuge.
For the second time, to the Dhamma I go for refuge.
For the second time, to the Sangha I go for refuge.

For the third time, to the Buddha I go for refuge.
For the third time, to the Dhamma 1 go for refuge.
For the third time, to the Sangha I go for refuge.

Tisara.na-gamana"m ni.t.thita"m

-- Aama bhante

This completes the going to the Three Refuges.

-- Yes, Venerable Sir.


To undertake the precepts, repeat each precept after the leader:

1. Paa.naatipaataa verama.nii sikkhaa-pada"m samaadiyaami

2. Adinnaadaanaa verama.nii sikkhaa-pada"m samaadiyaami

3. Kaamesu micchaacaaraa verama.nii sikkhaa-pada"m samaadiyaami

4. Musaavaadaa verama.nii sikkhaa-pada"m samaadiyaami

5. Suraa-meraya-majja-pamaada.t.thaanaa verama.nii sikkhaa-pada"m samaadiyaami

1. I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.

2. I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.

3. I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual misconduct.

4. I undertake the precept to refrain from incorrect speech.

5. I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating liquors and drugs which lead to carelessness.

Imaani pañca sikkhaa-padaani
Siilena sugati"m yanti
Siilena bhoga-sampadaa
Siilena nibbuti"m yanti

Tasmaa siila"m visodhaye

-- Saadhu, saadhu, saadhu

-(bow three times)-

These Five Precepts
Have morality as a vehicle for happiness,
Have morality as a vehicle for good fortune,
Have morality as a vehicle for liberation.

Let morality therefore be purified.

-- Well said, well said, well said!

-(bow three times)-


About Pali text and pronunciation:

(adopted from Access-to-Insight, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/misc/chanting/index.html )

In this transcription, Pali diacritical marks are represented using plain ASCII characters according to a convention widely used on the Internet by Pali students and scholars. Long vowels (those usually typeset with a bar above them) are doubled: aa ii uu . For consonants, the diacritic mark precedes the letter it affects. Thus, the retroflex (cerebral) consonants (usually typeset with a dot underneath) are: .r .t .th .d .dh .n .m .s .l . The guttural nasals (m or n with a dot above) are represented by "m and "n . The palatal nasal is represented here as ~n .


Paali is the original language of the Theravadin Buddhist scriptures, the closest we have to the dialect spoken by the Buddha himself. It has no written script of its own, and so every country that has adopted Theravada Buddhism has used its own script to transcribe it. In Thailand this has meant that Paali has picked up some of the tones of the Thai language, as each consonant and consonant cluster in the Thai alphabet has a built-in tone -- high, medium, low, rising, or falling. This accounts for the characteristic melody of Thai Paali chanting.


Paali has two sorts of vowels, long -- aa, e, ii, o, uu, and ay; and short -- a, i, and u. Unlike long and shorts vowels in English, the length here refers to the actual amount of time used to pronounce the vowel, and not to its quality. Thus aa and a are both pronounced like the a in father, simply that the sound aa is held for approximately twice as long as the sound a. The same principle holds for ii and i, and for uu and u. Thus, when chanting Paali, the vowels are pronounced as follows:

a as in father
o as in go
e as in they
u as in glue
i as in machine
ay as in Aye!


Consonants are generally pronounced as they are in English, with a few unexpected twists:

c as in ancient
p unaspirated, as in spot
k unaspirated, as in skin
ph as in upholstery
kh as in backhand
t unaspirated, as in stop
"m and "n as ng
th as in Thomas
~n as in canyon
v as w

Certain two-lettered notations -- bh, dh, .dh, gh, jh -- denote an aspirated sound, somewhat in the throat, that we do not have in English and that the Thais do not have in their language, either. The Thai solution to this problem is to pronounce bh as a throaty ph, dh as a throaty th, and gh as a throaty kh.

Paali also contains retroflex consonants, indicated with a dot under the letter: .d, .dh, .l, .n, .t, .th. These have no English equivalent. They are sounded by curling the tip of the tongue back against the palate, producing a distinct nasal tone.

The meters of Paali poetry consists of various patterns of full-length syllables alternating with half-length syllables.

Full-length syllables:

contain a long vowel (aa, e, ii, o, uu, ay); or
end with "m; or
end with a consonant followed by a syllable beginning with a consonant (e.g., Bud-dho, Dham-mo, Sa"n-gho).

In this last case, the consonant clusters mentioned above -- bh, dh, .dh, gh, jh, kh, ph, th, .th -- count as single consonants, while other combinations containing h -- such as lh and mh -- count as double.)

Half-length syllables end in a short vowel.

Acknowledgement: Sincere thanks to Dr. James Pinakis who has kindly helped in the conversion of the audio files.

[Vietnamese version]

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revised: 28-01-2005