The Catu-Bhanavara-Pali (critical study)

by Moumita Dutta Banik | 2017 | 50,922 words

This study deals with the Catu-Bhanavara-Pali, (lit. “Text of the Four Recitals”) which in Buddhism is popularly known as “The Book of Protection”. This text, in the Pali language, represents a recital of the Dhamma meant for protection and deliverance from evil and sorrows as well as promoting welfare and well-being. The spreading time of Catubhan...

All-Night chanting

All night chanting ceremony has so important influence that it requires atleast eight higher order monks to perform it. The commencement of the ceremony one counducted by a procession which one led by community of monks carrying the paritta book along with the relics of Buddha. This gathering of devotees ultimately led to the mandapa where the Buddha puja is performed which is in amoured by offering the flowers to the triple gem Buddha Dhamma and Sangha followed by the traditional way of lightening oil lamp surrounding the pavilion. Water jar is placed before the monks along with string tied to this jar followed by another string and tied to the paritta book and another string leading to the gathering devotees which that are to hold on during the time of recitation of the parittas which however acts as medium of transmission of the viberationary effect of the chantings which gives each and every one a feeling of sraddha and enduring kindness thus bestowing the listeners with the benefits of paritta recital ceremony.

At the commencement and ending of the all night chanting it is mandatary that all the monks should assemble for the recitation leading till Atanatiya sutta which is chanted loudly by the four monks and by the early dawn this ceremony has to come to an end. This ceremony and the sprinkling of holy water and distribution of holy thread, suttas like ratana sutta which can be discussed jewels and metta sutta which are discussed as love and kindness are immensely practiced or more popularly conducted by the Buddha followers. Both these suttas having their origin of practice sicne the time of Buddhas were result of the natural outcome which brings about practical advice protection and virtues to their common practioner.

Buddhist spells in verbal formula are known as Gatha or Mantra, the chanting of which is believed to archieve a desired result by generating magical power or by compelling the assistance of super human divinities. In this sutta as some verses are even singularly melodious. Music is a magic. It really worths as magic. This is not an imaginary one but a reality. This chanting of music works truly when its voice-rhythm etc. The each of everything is accumulated properly and in a scientific way when it can be used as a medicine. During the life time of the Buddha we get information about how the bhikkhus were treated and recovered after listening to the Paritta chanting. Similar knowledge is available in the Girimananda and Bojjhanga sutta. Interesting after listening to the bojjhangha suttas recited by Cunda the Buddha himself was recovered from illness.

It is very tough to answer ‘what is music’. There is no particular definition of music. When we hear music, we can recognize if we can feel it, but we cannot describe in words. These are some specific words, quotes, sounds which imports a positive energy on our friends and well wishers.[1]

Reliligious sutta can lessen the unnessary thoughts of our subconscious mind and can convert our all concisousness towards to the almighty one.

Chanting sutta can bring a systematic rhythm to the vibration to our beings which can free the mind from any tension or worries. If any one hears or chants sutta as with an attentive mind, then both body and mind can get better results. So, one should practice sutta’s every day.

Recent research says, a religious man is happier than a non-religious one. The question remains as there is no difference between a non-religious man and a religious man so far. The latest research carried out shows that a believer is more happy than a non believer one.

So, the relation of music with Paritta suttas.

Here we can see that music wonderfully mingle with the paritta sutta and has given rise to catu bhanavara pali which is applied spiritually giving it new class. This has indeed turned out to be very attractive and soothing which gives us the power of concentration. Thus the recital of the entire catubhanavarapali gives paritrana or protection to the concerned people by warding off evils and by bringing good luck.

Footnotes and references:


‘Music Magic’-Dr. Siddhartha Gangapadhay.

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