Most sacred chanting in Buddhism

ये धर्म्मा हेतुप्रभवा हेतुं तेषां तथागतोह्यवदत्।

तेषां च यो निरोध एवंवादी महाश्रमणः।।

Yē dharm’mā hētuprabhavā hētuṁ tēṣāṁ tathāgatōhyavadat.

Tēṣāṁ ca yō nirōdha ēvanvādī mahāśramaṇaḥ..

This is the most sacred chanting in Mahayana Buddhism. We find many images of Lord Buddha with this chanting on pedestal or Stella. There are hundreds of idols in Bihar on which this chanting has been written. We see this mantra not only on Buddha idols but also on other Buddhist idols like Tara, Avalokiteshwar, Maitreya etc.

Yē=which are, dharm’mā= symptoms, hētu-prabhavā= arising out of some reason

This mantra means that all kinds of symptoms arise in the world for some reason. Whether it is misery, or happiness, there is a reason behind all kinds of property. Here the meaning of the word “religion(dharma)” is physical and spiritual property. Just like heat is the property of fire, cold is the property of water, humanity is the property (in other word: religion) of man. Here we also call religion as temperament. In this way, all temperaments, symptoms, properties are born due to some reason. This has been explained in Buddhist philosophy as “hetu” (reason).

hētuṁ=reason  tēṣāṁ=their,  tathāgataḥ-hi-avadat= Tathagata had explained in the past.

Buddha has already explained all the causes created in the world. Explaining the four Arya-truths, God Buddha had said that birth, disease, old age, sickness and death are reasons to the misery. Because of these, this world is full of sorrows.

Tēṣāṁ= their, ca=and, yaḥ= which is nirōdhaḥ=interceptive

Buddha had explained that if we are able to stop the causes of grief, then we can prevent grief. For this, he interpreted the Noble Eight-fold Path or eight practices: right view, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right samadhi.

Ēvamvādī=explaining in this way, mahāśramaṇaḥ=the head priest of monastery

Mahasamana, the chief priest of Buddhist monasteries explains in this way. This Buddhist mantra was brought into practice in the form of invocation. When a preacher started preaching the Buddha’s words or writing a scripture, then he recited it as invocation, bowing down to the Buddha and starting his work. Thus this chanting in Buddhism is most sacred. Buddhacharita of Ashvaghasha, written in 2nd century A.D. also remembers this verse.

inscription: ye dharmma hetuprabhava etc.

In Sanatana Dharma

This type of mantra is also prevalent in Sanatanism. The following mantra is read while beginning the text or discourse of the Purana.

नारायणं नमस्कृत्य नरं चैव नरोत्तमम्।

देवीं सरस्वतीं चैव ततो जयमुदीरयेत्।।

Nārāyaṇaṁ namaskr̥tya naraṁ caiva narōttamam.

Dēvīṁ sarasvatīṁ caiva tatō jayamudīrayēt..

i.e. Om ! Having bowed down to Narayana and Nara, the most exalted male being, and also to the goddess Saraswati, must the word Jaya be uttered.

In Mithila Region

In Mithila, we have got a sacred chanting like this used as an innovation.

सा ते भवतु सुप्रीता देवी शिखरवासिनी।

उग्रेण तपसा लब्धो यया पशुपतिः पतिः।।

Sā tē bhavatu suprītā dēvī śikharavāsinī.

Ugrēṇa tapasā labdhō yayā paśupatiḥ patiḥ..

i.e. The goddess, she, who lives on the Himalayas, be pleased with me, Who had found Lord Shankara as a devout husband, with great penance.

Therefore, children are taught to read this verse first. It seems that there must have been a text called “Siddhirastu” in ancient times. This verse of the beginning of this book should have remained. The Chinese traveler I-tsing (Yijing (635–713 ce), formerly romanized as I-ching or I-tsing,)  also mentions a booklet which had 300 verses. This 300 verses were first taught to children. This book is not available today, but in Mithila this stanza is still taught to children. There is a possibility that Tibetan translation of this text will be safe in the present, in which there should be a matter of teaching alphabet and teaching common language rules.

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