Are there any Theravada prayers?

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Are there any Theravada prayers?

Postby Luke » Fri Oct 22, 2010 5:51 pm

Hi,

I was wondering if there are any Theravada prayers praising Shakyamuni Buddha. I've never heard or read any, but I imagine that they would exist, unless Theravadins have some philosophical reason against prayers.

I guess I'm trying to get a glimpse of the more devotional side of Theravada, as opposed to the more analytical side of it which is so prominent in the west.
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Re: Are there any Theravada prayers?

Postby bodom » Fri Oct 22, 2010 6:27 pm

unless Theravadins have some philosophical reason against prayers.


The Buddha had this to say about prayer:

"Long life is welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain in the world."Beauty..Happiness..Status..Rebirth in heaven is welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain. Now, I tell you, these five things are not to be obtained by reason of prayers or wishes. If they were to be obtained by reason of prayers or wishes, who here would lack them? It's not fitting for the disciple of the noble ones who desires happiness..beauty..status..rebirth in heaven..to pray for it or to delight in doing so. Instead, the disciple of the noble ones who desires long life...beauty..happiness..status..rebirth in heaven.. should follow the path of practice leading to long life..beauty..happiness.. status..rebirth in heaven. In so doing, he will attain long life,.beauty..happiness..status..rebirth in heaven. - AN 5.43


:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Are there any Theravada prayers?

Postby bodom » Fri Oct 22, 2010 6:32 pm

I was wondering if there are any Theravada prayers praising Shakyamuni Buddha.


You might be interested in this:

The Book of Protection

The world of English Buddhist literature has been enriched by the publication of this book entitled "The Book of Protection." This is a translation by the Ven. Piyadassi Maha Thera of what is well known to every Sinhala Buddhist home as the Pirit Pothawhich means the book of protection. It contains a collection of suttasor discourses taken from the teaching of the Buddha and are meant to be recited in temples and homes for the purpose of obtaining protection from all harm.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ction.html

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Are there any Theravada prayers?

Postby bodom » Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:00 pm

From the Book of Protection:

1. There rises the golden hued one, the one who has sight, the one who is sole monarch, the one who illuminates the earth (it is the sun that is being addressed). I adore thee, the golden hued one who illuminates the earth (it is the sun that is being addressed). I adore thee, the golden hued one who illuminates the earth. Protected by thee we live this day safe and secure.

2. May my adoration be to those Brahmanas[2] (the Buddhas) who have attained Enlightenment by comprehending all dhammas. May they protect me. May my adoration be to the Buddhas (of the past), to their Enlightenment (the Four Paths and the Four Fruits). May my adoration be to those supremely secured from bondage (the Buddhas) and to their Deliverance. Having made this protection, the peacock goes about seeking (food).


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ml#fn-s8-1

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Are there any Theravada prayers?

Postby bodom » Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:03 pm

And more:

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Savatthi, at Jetavana at Anathpindika's monastery. At that time Candima, the moon deity, was seized by Rahu, lord of Asura. Thereupon calling to mind the Blessed One, Candima, the moon deity, recited this stanza:

i. "O Buddha, the Hero, thou art wholly free from all evil. My adoration to thee. I have fallen into distress. Be thou my refuge."Thereupon the Blessed One addressed a stanza to Rahu, Lord of Asuras, on behalf of Candima, thus:

ii. "O Rahu, Candima has gone for refuge to the Tathagata, the Consummate One. Release Candima. The Buddhas radiate compassion on the world (of beings)."....


This should give you an idea of what this book contains. Hope this is along the lines of what you are looking for.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Are there any Theravada prayers?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:18 pm

Luke wrote:Hi,

I was wondering if there are any Theravada prayers praising Shakyamuni Buddha. I've never heard or read any, but I imagine that they would exist, unless Theravadins have some philosophical reason against prayers.

I guess I'm trying to get a glimpse of the more devotional side of Theravada, as opposed to the more analytical side of it which is so prominent in the west.

Sure! The word "prayer" is probably not the best choice of terminology, but praising the qualities of the Buddha is advised in the Suttas and practised by many of us:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ml#evening
A Guide to the Recollection of the Buddha

[Taṃ kho pana bhagavantaṃ] evaṃ kalyāṇo kitti-saddo abbhuggato,
This fine report of the Blessed One's reputation has spread far & wide:

Itipi so bhagavā arahaṃ sammā-sambuddho,
He is a Blessed One, a Worthy One, a Rightly Self-awakened One,

Vijjā-caraṇa-sampanno sugato lokavidū,
consummate in knowledge & conduct, one who has gone the good way, knower of the cosmos,

Anuttaro purisa-damma-sārathi satthā deva-manussānaṃ buddho bhagavāti.
unexcelled trainer of those who can be taught, teacher of human & divine beings; awakened; blessed.

And so on. Apart from the introductory invocation by the leader the words are straight from the Suttas:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... all-Buddha
"There is the case where the disciple of the noble ones recollects the Tathagata, thus: 'Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy and rightly self-awakened, consummate in knowledge & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the world, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher of divine & human beings, awakened, blessed.' As he is recollecting the Tathagata, his mind is calmed, and joy arises; the defilements of his mind are abandoned, ...


:anjali:
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Re: Are there any Theravada prayers?

Postby Individual » Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:41 pm

"May all beings find happiness and be free from suffering."
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
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Re: Are there any Theravada prayers?

Postby Luke » Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:02 pm

Thanks, Mike. Yes, that's exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. I guess I meant "praises of Buddha" more than I meant "prayer." I'm not interested in any "Lord Buddha, please create the causes and conditions for me to own a pony" stuff.

Do Theravadins visualize the Buddha or anything else while reciting these praises of the Buddha? I guess I'm looking at things from the perspective of a Tibetan Buddhist puja which praises a deity.
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Re: Are there any Theravada prayers?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:54 am

Hi Luke,
Luke wrote:Thanks, Mike. Yes, that's exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. I guess I meant "praises of Buddha" more than I meant "prayer." I'm not interested in any "Lord Buddha, please create the causes and conditions for me to own a pony" stuff.

Quite. Of course that doesn't stop some from doing that...
Luke wrote:Do Theravadins visualize the Buddha or anything else while reciting these praises of the Buddha? I guess I'm looking at things from the perspective of a Tibetan Buddhist puja which praises a deity.

I'm not aware of specific visualization instructions in the Tibetan sense. However, I would have thought that any such recollection implies a certain amount of visualization, often aided by having a Buddha Rupa as the focus of the room...

:anjali:
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Re: Are there any Theravada prayers?

Postby dhammapal » Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:18 am

I found this for my Forgiveness Buddhism Yahoo Group
"Repeat Namo... three times. Then:

"May the Triple Gem forgive us
for any wrong we have done
out of carelessness
in thought, word, or deed."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... orgiveness
From: A Chanting Guide
By The Dhammayut Order in the United States of America


With metta / dhammapal.
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Re: Are there any Theravada prayers?

Postby Phra Chuntawongso » Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:31 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Luke,
Luke wrote:Thanks, Mike. Yes, that's exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. I guess I meant "praises of Buddha" more than I meant "prayer." I'm not interested in any "Lord Buddha, please create the causes and conditions for me to own a pony" stuff.

Quite. Of course that doesn't stop some from doing that...
Luke wrote:Do Theravadins visualize the Buddha or anything else while reciting these praises of the Buddha? I guess I'm looking at things from the perspective of a Tibetan Buddhist puja which praises a deity.

I'm not aware of specific visualization instructions in the Tibetan sense. However, I would have thought that any such recollection implies a certain amount of visualization, often aided by having a Buddha Rupa as the focus of the room...

:anjali:
Mike

You mean I'm not getting my pony :cry:
To an extent there is of course some visualization of Lord Buddha.Every time I sit in front of a Buddha Rupa I bring to mind the qualities of our Lord Buddha and how I too would like to attain these qualities.
As for prayers in the Theravada tradition(prayers seems like a funny word huh)we chant many things that could be seen as prayers.The metta sutta which is chanted every day could be seen as such.May all being be happy etc.
Hey if I can't have a pony do you think a Ferrari would be OK to ask for?It would go well with my robes.
Who said us blokes have no fashion sense? :jumping:
And crawling on the planets face,some insects called the human race.
Lost in time
Lost in space
And meaning
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Re: Are there any Theravada prayers?

Postby dhammapal » Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:39 am

I've memorized the Ratana Sutta (also in the Book of Protection), which involves praying to spirits but telling them how they are not necessarily enlightened.
1. "Whatever beings (non-humans) are assembled here, terrestrial or celestial, may they all have peace of mind, and may they listen attentively to these words:

2. "O beings, listen closely. May you all radiate loving-kindness to those human beings who, by day and night, bring offerings to you (offer merit to you). Wherefore, protect them with diligence.

3. "Whatever treasure there be either here or in the world beyond, whatever precious jewel there be in the heavenly worlds, there is nought comparable to the Tathagata (the perfect One). This precious jewel is the Buddha.[2] By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.”
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .piya.html
From: Ratana Sutta: The Jewel Discourse
translated from the Pali by Piyadassi Thera

With metta / dhammapal.
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Re: Are there any Theravada prayers?

Postby Bonsai Doug » Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:11 pm

Nanadhaja wrote:Hey if I can't have a pony do you think a Ferrari would be OK to ask for?It would go well with my robes.
Who said us blokes have no fashion sense? :jumping:

I think you'd look marvelous tooling around the forest in this: :smile:

Image
Now having obtained a precious human body,
I do not have the luxury of remaining on a distracted path.

~ Tibetan Book of the Dead
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Re: Are there any Theravada prayers?

Postby Phra Chuntawongso » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:52 pm

Bonsai Doug wrote:
Nanadhaja wrote:Hey if I can't have a pony do you think a Ferrari would be OK to ask for?It would go well with my robes.
Who said us blokes have no fashion sense? :jumping:

I think you'd look marvelous tooling around the forest in this: :smile:

Image

:woohoo:
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Re: Are there any Theravada prayers?

Postby Maitri » Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:31 pm

If you are looking for books with Pali and/or English verses of praise, you can check out Inward Path Publisher. They have several puja books that are free; you only pay shipping. My shipping for about 10 books and CDs was about 7$. They also have several Pali chanting CDs of paritta and metta prayers.http://www.inwardpath.org

Another book that I use is called "Daily Buddhist Devotions" and it has a large selection of readings, suttas, and more conventional prayers. I have used that book for many years because of its format and variety. Access to Insight also has a great devotional guide for lay people as well: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/khantipalo/wheel206.html There is a day time prayer and and evening prayer that I have found useful. It is an encouragement to be mindful during the day and reflective in the evening about our practice of sila.

Initially when I began to practice Theravada, Luke I felt the same way. Almost all the "mainstream" (i.e. books at Borders, Tricycle magazine, etc..) teachers of Insight practice were approaching it from a very analytical method. Once I began to attend regular puja at the temple and seek out devotional resources, the practice really began to open up to me in a deeper way. I have always enjoy the devotional aspects of the BuddhaDhamma. Nothing lifts my spirits as much as chanting the refuge prayer with the sangha and offering puja to the Lord Buddha. :anjali:
May all beings be well, happy, calm, and at ease.
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Re: Are there any Theravada prayers?

Postby rowyourboat » Mon Nov 15, 2010 7:58 pm

Hi Luke

The Buddha said the best was to 'praise' him is to do the practice. This is considered a kind of offering ('patipatti puja').

with metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
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Re: Are there any Theravada prayers?

Postby Individual » Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:09 pm

rowyourboat wrote:Hi Luke

The Buddha said the best was to 'praise' him is to do the practice. This is considered a kind of offering ('patipatti puja').

with metta

Matheesha

Aside from this just being a pleasant thing to hear, I think there is also a realistic basis for it: Divine beings are more interested in protecting and helping a noble one, who develops a noble mind, with a noble lifestyle and a noble environment. They do this because they can see the value and their own benefit from helping a noble one. Hence, devas encircle and protect the bodhisattva in the womb and the Buddha during his life, but when others invoke the divine, the results are uncertain.
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: Are there any Theravada prayers?

Postby KonstantKarma » Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:48 am

I would hiiiiiiiiighly recommend looking through Bhante G's The Bhavana Vandana. They use this for chanting every morning and evening at the monastary.

The whole thing is online at http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/vandana.pdf . There is a newer updated version in print.

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