Sangīti Sutta: The Chanting Together | 1 Part


Sangīti Sutta: The Chanting Together

Part 1

1.1. Thus have I heard:

Once the Lord was touring in the Malla country with a large company of about five hundred monks. Arrived at Pāvā, the Mallas' capital, he stayed in the mango-grove of Cunda the smith.

1.2. Now at that time a new meeting-hall of the Mallas of Pāvā, called Ubbhaṭaka, had recently been built, and it had not yet been occupied by any ascetic or Brahmin, or indeed by any human being.

Hearing that the Lord was staying in Cunda's mango-grove, the Mallas of Pāvā went to see him. Having saluted him, they sat down to one side and said:

'Lord, the Mallas of Pāvā have recently erected a new meeting- hall called Ubbhaṭaka, and it has not yet been occupied by any ascetic or Brahmin, or indeed by any human being.

May the Blessed Lord be the first to use it! Should he do so, that would be for the lasting good and happiness of the Mallas of Pāvā.'

And the Lord consented by silence.

1.3. Noting his assent, the Mallas rose, saluted him, passed out to his right and went to the meeting-hall.

They spread mats all round, arranged seats, put out a water-pot and an oil- lamp, and then, returning to the Lord, saluted him, sat down to one side and reported what they had done, saying: 'Whenever the Blessed Lord is ready.'

1.4. Then the Lord dressed, took his robe and bowl, and went to the meeting-hall with his monks.

There he washed his feet, entered the hall and sat down against the central pillar, facing east. The monks, having washed their feet, entered the hall and sat down along the western wall facing east, with the Lord in front of them.

The Pāvā Mallas washed their feet, entered the hall, and sat down along the eastern wall facing west, with the Lord in front of them.

Then the Lord spoke to the Mallas On Dhamma till far into the night, instructing, inspiring, firing and delighting them.

Then he dismissed them, saying: 'Vāseṭṭhas, the night has passed away. Now do as you think fit.'

'Very good, Lord', replied the Mallas. And they got up, saluted the Lord, and went out, passing him by on the right.

1.5. As soon as the Mallas had gone the Lord, surveying the monks sitting silently all about, said to the Venerable Sāriputta:

The monks are free from sloth-and-torpor, Sāriputta. You think of a discourse on Dhamma to give to them. My back aches, I want to stretch it.'

'Very good, Lord', replied Sāriputta.

Then the Lord, having folded his robe in four, lay down on his right side in the lion-posture, with one foot on the other, mindful and clearly aware, and bearing in mind the time to arise.

1.6. Now at that time the Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta had just died at Pāvā. And at his death the Nigaṇṭhas were split into two parties, quarrelling and disputing...(as Sutta 29, verse 1).

You would have thought they were bent on killing each other. Even the white-robed lay followers were disgusted when they saw that their doctrine and discipline was so ill-pro-claimed,...having been proclaimed by one not fully-enlightened and now with its support gone, without an arbiter.

1.7. And the Venerable Sāriputta addressed the monks, referring to this situation, and said:

'So ill-proclaimed was their teaching and discipline, so unedifyingly displayed, and so ineffectual in calming the passions, having been proclaimed by one who was not fully enlightened.

But, friends, this Dhamma has been well proclaimed by the Lord, the fully- enlightened One.

And so we should all recite it together without disagreement, so that this holy life may be enduring and established for a long time, thus to be for the welfare and happiness of the multitude, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit, welfare and happiness of devas and humans.

And what is this Dhamma that has been well proclaimed by the Lord... ?

'There is one thing that was perfectly proclaimed by the Lord who knows and sees, the fully-enlightened Buddha. So we should all recite together...for the benefit, welfare and happiness of devas and humans.

1.8. 'What is this one thing?

(1) 'All beings are maintained by nutriment.

(2) 'All beings are maintained by conditions.’

1.9. 'There are [sets of] two things that were perfectly proclaimed by the Lord...Which are they?

(1) 'Mind and body:

(2) 'Ignorance and craving for existence.

(3) 'Belief in [continued] existence and belief in non-existence.

(4) 'Lack of moral shame and lack of moral dread.

(5) 'Moral shame and moral dread.

(6) 'Roughness and friendship with evil.

(7) 'Gentleness and friendship with good.

(8) 'Skill in [knowing] offences and [the procedure for] rehabilitation from them.

(9) 'Skill in entering and returning from [jhāna].

(10) 'Skill in [knowing] the [eighteen] elements and in paying attention to them.

(11) 'Skill in [knowing] the [twelve] sense-spheres and dependent origination.

(12) 'Skill in [knowing] what are causes and what are not.

(13) 'Straightforwardness and modesty.

(14) 'Patience and gentleness.

(15) 'Gentle speech and politeness.

(16) 'Non-harming and purity.

(17) 'Lack of mindfulness and of clear awareness.

(18) 'Mindfulness and clear awareness.

(19) 'Unguarded sense-doors and non-restraint in eating.

(20) 'Guarded sense-doors and restraint in eating.

(21) 'Powers of reflection and mental development.

(22) 'Powers of mindfulness and concentration.

(23) 'Calm and insight.

(24) 'The sign of calm and grasping the sign.

(23) 'Exertion and non-distraction.

(26) 'Attainment of morality and [right] view.

(27) 'Failure of morality and view.

(28) 'Purity of morality and view.

(29) 'Purity of view and the effort to attain it.

(30) 'Being moved to a sense of urgency by what should move one, and the systematic effort of one so moved.

(31) 'Not being content with wholesome acts and not shrinking from exertion.

(32) 'Knowledge and liberation.

(33) 'Knowledge of the destruction [of the defilements] and of [their] non-recurrence.

'These are the [sets of] two things that were perfectly proclaimed by the Lord... So we should all recite them together

1.10. 'There are [sets of] three things....Which are they?

(1) 'Three unwholesome roots: of greed, hatred, delusion.

(2) 'Three wholesome roots: of non-greed, non-hatred non¬-delusion.

(3) 'Three kinds of wrong conduct: in body, speech and thought.

(4) "Three kinds of right conduct: in body, speech and thought.

(5) 'Three kinds of unwholesome thought (akusala-vitakka): of sensuality, of enmity, of cruelty.

(6) 'Three kinds of wholesome thought: of renunciation, of non-enmity, of non-cruelty.

(7) "Three kinds of unwholesome motivation: through sensuality, enmity, cruelty.

(8) 'Three kinds of wholesome motivation: through renunciation, non-enmity, non-cruelty.

(9) "Three kinds of unwholesome perception: of sensuality, of enmity, of cruelty.

(10) 'Three kinds of wholesome perception: of renunciation, of non-enmity, of non-cruelty.

(11) Three unwholesome elements: sensuality, enmity, cruelty.

(12) 'Three wholesome elements: renunciation, non-enmity, non-cruelty.

(13) 'Three more elements: the element of sense-desire, the element of form, the formless element.

(14) 'Three more elements: the element of form, the formless element, the element of cessation.

(15) 'Three more elements: the low element, the middling element, the sublime element.

(16) 'Three kinds of craving: sensual craving, craving for becoming, craving for extinction.

(17) 'Three more kinds of craving: craving for [the World of] Sense-Desires, for [the World of] Form, for the Formless [World].

(18) 'Three more kinds of craving: for [the World of] Form, for the Formless [World], for cessation (as for (14)).

(19) 'Three fetters: of personality-belief, of doubt, of attachment to rite and ritual.

(20) "Three corruptions: of sense-desire, of becoming, of ignorance.

(21) 'Three kinds of becoming: [in the World] of Sense-Desire, of Form, in the Formless World.

(22) 'Three quests: for sense-desires, for becoming, for the holy life.

(23) 'Three forms of conceit: "I am better than...", "I am equal to...", "I am worse than...".

(24) 'Three times: past, future, present.

(25) 'Three "ends" (anta): personality, its arising, its cessation.

(26) 'Three feelings: pleasant, painful, neither.

(27) 'Three kinds of suffering: as pain, as inherent in formations, as due to change.

(28) 'Three accumulations: evil with fixed result, good with fixed result, indeterminate.

(29) 'Three obscurations: One hesitates, vacillates, is undecided, is unsettled about the past, the future, the present.

(30) 'Three things a Tathagata has no need to guard against: A Tathagata is perfectly pure in bodily conduct, in speech and in thought. There is no misdeed of body, speech or thought which he must conceal lest anyone should get to hear about it.

(31) 'Three obstacles: lust, hatred, delusion.

(32) 'Three fires: lust, hatred, delusion.

(33) 'Three more fires: the fire of those to be revered, of the householder, of those worthy of offerings.

(34) 'Threefold classification of matter: visible and resisting, invisible and resisting, invisible and unresisting.

(35) 'Three kinds of karmic formation: meritorious, demeritorious, imperturbable.

(36) Three persons: the learner, the non-learner, the one who is neither.

(37) 'Three elders: an elder by birth, in Dhamma, by convention.

(38) 'Three grounds based on merit: that of giving, of morality, of meditation.

(39) Three grounds for reproof: based on what has been seen, heard, suspected.

(40) Three kinds of rebirth in the Realm of Sense-Desire:

There are beings who desire what presents itself to them, and are in the grip of that desire, such as human beings, some devas, and some in states of woe.

There are beings who desire what they have created,...such as the devas Who Rejoice in Their Own Creation.

There are beings who rejoice in the creations of others,... such as the devas Having Power over Others' Creation.

(41) 'Three happy rebirths:

There are beings who, having continually produced happiness now dwell in happiness, such as the devas of the Brahma group.

There are beings who are overflowing with happiness, drenched with it, full of it, immersed in it, so that they occasionally exclaim: "Oh what bliss!" such as the Radiant devas.

There are beings... immersed in happiness, who, supremely blissful, experience only perfect happiness, such as the Lustrous devas.

(42) 'Three kinds of wisdom: of the learner, of the non-learner, of the one who is neither (as (36)).

(43) Three more kinds of wisdom: based on thought, on learning [hearing], on mental development [meditation].

(44) 'Three armaments: what one has learnt, detachment, wisdom.

(45) 'Three faculties: of knowing that one will know the unknown, of highest knowledge, of the one who knows.

(46) 'Three eyes: the fleshly eye, the divine eye, the eye of wisdom.

(47) 'Three kinds of training: in higher morality, higher thought, higher wisdom.

(48) 'Three kinds of development: of the emotions, of mind, of wisdom.

(49) 'Three "unsurpassables": of vision, of practice, of liberation.

(50) "Three kinds of concentration: with thinking and pondering, with pondering without thinking, with neither.

(51) 'Three more kinds of concentration: on emptiness, the "signless", desireless.

(52) 'Three purities: of body, speech, mind.

(53) 'Three qualities of the sage: as to body, speech, mind.

(54) 'Three skills: in going forward, in going down, in means to progress.

(55) 'Three intoxications: with health, with youth, with life.

(56) 'Three predominant influences: oneself, the world, the Dhamma.

(37) 'Three topics of discussion: Talk may be of the past:

"That's how it used to be"; of the future: "That's how it will be"; of the present: "That's how it is now."

(38) 'Three knowledges: of one's past lives, of the decease and rebirth of beings, of the destruction of the corruptions.

(39) 'Three abidings: deva-abiding, Brahma-abiding, the Ariyan abiding].

(60) 'Three miracles: of psychic power, of telepathy, of instruction.

'These are the [sets of] three things... So we should all recite together...for the benefit, welfare and happiness of devas and humans.'