Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

Sadhu is a Pali word which means good, excellent or auspicious. Examples of the word’s use are: ‘It is sadhu to see noble ones’ (D.I,88), ‘It is sadhu to control the mind’ (Dhp.35), and ‘Even one who leads a sadhu life will decline by consorting with a lazy person’ (It.71). Sadhu is also occasionally used in the Tipitaka as an exclamation. To show his appreciation of something Sariputta had said the Buddha responded: ‘Sadhu, sadhu Sariputta!’ (Vin.I,56). Today it is common for people in Buddhist countries to say sadhu three times to express their happiness or approval of something related to the Dhamma.


Blogger said...
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Blogger said...

Dear Venerable,

I am eagerly awaiting your reply for the questions I have posted in "Rama Meets The Bodhisattva".My intention behind asking such question was,recently,I was going through a translated version of the Sutta Nipata and in the SELASUTTA[no.7]of the MAHÂVAGGA The Bhagava praises the Gayatri[Savitri] Mantra

" 21. 'The principal thing in sacrifice is the sacred fire, the principal thing amongst the hymns is the Sâvitti...."

it is so uncharacteristic of The Bhagava to refer to mantras which he rejected.I have shraddha in The Bhagavas' teaching but I just cannot understand why the compilers of the tipitaka filled it with myths,edited it recklessly instead of preserving the Buddhavacana with the original words for the benefit of future aspirants.


Ariyakumara said...

According to commentary of Sela Sutta (which I know indirectly from Mahasi Sayadaw's commentary "Matter relating to Savitti Gatha"), there are 2 kinds of this hymn, i.e Lokiya-savitti-gatha of Brahmanism (which is found in Vedic literature) and Ariya-savitti-gatha of Buddhism (which is the same as Tisarana/Three Refuges Gatha):

Savitti-gatha is of two different kinds, one being the Lokiya (wordly) savitti-gatha of the
Brahmana and the other, Buddha’s Ariya (noble) savitti gatha, as reflected in the Pitaka. Because the Three Refuges "Buddham Saranam Gacchami, Dhammam Saranam Gacchami, Sangham Saranam
Gacchami" have been clearly explained as Ariya Savitti Gatha at the beginning of the Commentary
(2-130) of the Pali Sutta Nipata (Collected Discourses) which runs as “tan tan savittim pucchami, banpadam catuvisakkharam", this verse (gatha) is fully understood by men of wisdom who are well-learned in Pali.

However, as the Brahmana’s lokiya savitti-gatha having been found in the sandhi portion of the kicci text in accordance with what has been stated in Sela Sutta Pali as "Savitti Chandaso Mukham", there appears to be only a very few who know it thoroughly. For this very
reason, instead of giving the meaning of "Chandaso (Vedas), or rather the recitation of Vedas is the forerunner (mukham)", it has been found that the meaning is given in Sanskrit as 'Chandaso
Mukham', i.e. the forerunner or beginning of the text in Sanskrit. Though this gatha is of no value
in the realm of Sasana, since it is evidently found in the Sutta Pitaka Majjhima Nikaya and
Khuddaka Nikaya, it appears necessary to understand the meaning of Savitti-gatha to that extent.

Only after uttering as such [Savitti-gatha], the Vedas are recited and chanted. Therefore it seems sufficient enough to understand what the Blessed One had preached the ascetic Brahmin Keniya who having understood and appreciated the Savitti-gatha [of Brahmanism] had his high
regards for it, as "Savitti chandhaso mukham" with delight and satisfaction.

Furthermore, the next the Buddha's stanza of Sela Sutta suggests the highest offering is offering to the community (Sangha). It is the Buddha's skillful means to make Keniya delight (and maybe have a faith in Buddha Dhamma).

Ps. Sorry if my English is not good, because I'm not a native English speaker :)

Shravasti Dhammika said...

Dear Yashas,
Udaya means growth or increase. Uddyana (the ancient name for the Swat Valley, and there was a variety of ways of spelling it) comes from uyyaana meaning a garden. There is no relation between these two words.

Shravasti Dhammika said...

Dear Blogger,
Savitti refers to a Vedic meter, not specifically to the Gayatri Mantra. According to Sutta Nipara 457 savatti meter has 24 syllables in three lines. Although I’m not an expert in such matters I think the Gayatri Mantra has 23 syllables. Anyway, at Sutta Nipata 568 (Sela Sutta) the Buddha is merely stating a fact, that within the Vedas, savatti is the foremost meter. I see no suggestion here or anywhere else that the Buddha is endorsing the idea that chanting mantras imparts protection or holiness.
Concerning your earlier question. The editors of the Tipitaka did not incorporate elements of Brahmanism into the suttas in a deliberately and sneaky way. Rather, like all of us, they were influenced by and conditioned by their society and often these influences were unconscious. Likewise, in order to ‘speak to’ the society of the time they used its ‘language’ – its categories, legends, similes, assumptions and notions. I think the interesting thing about the suttas is that the Dhamma itself (as opposed to how it is sometimes presented) contains no Brahmanical ideas.

Blogger said...

Dear Venerable,

Venerable and Ariyakumara many thanks to both of you.It is amazing to know that the tisarana is known as the Ariya-savitti-gatha[A Telugu translation of the book unhesitatingly gave it as Gayatri Mantra,the translator is a noble person but probably isn't a Pali Scholar and also Telugu(a language which is heavily influenced by Sanskrit)often resonates Brahmanism].
Thanks again Venerable for exhorting me to grasp the essence.


panchenlama said...

Aryakumara end is and.

gg said...

I have just signed up for the Tara empowerment at the local mahayana meditation centre.
Reading Bhante's comment about mantra chanting challenged my belief. I learnt previously that mantras can offer physical protection and wish fulfillment, perhaps I am wrong. It is enticing though to believe in mantras like e.g tara mantras( I don't know a better term than to call them that).
The local chinese foguangshan monastery offers lighting of the "bright" lamp for an annual fee, they supposedly chant the medicine buddha mantra twice a month to transfer merits for the subscriber. It is a different practice from the Theravda tradition that Bhante, my due respect to you, is from.

Mani Varadarajan said...

"Savitti refers to a Vedic meter, not specifically to the Gayatri Mantra."

Actually, the Savitti (Skt. Savitri) specifically refers to the mantra from the Rig Veda, addressed to the deity Savitr, whereas "Gayatri" refers to a meter of 24 syllables. In the daily prayers of the followers of the Vedas, the seer (Vishvamitra), deity (Savitr), and meter/chandas (Gayatri) are reverentially remembered, and the Savitri is meditated upon.

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