Devotional Practices (Role of mantra recitation (A mantra is a short…
Role of mantra recitation
A mantra is a short sequence of sacred syllables
The function of a mantra is understood differently by the several schools of Buddhism, but at its most basic level, the chanting of a mantra is thought to evoke enlightenment.
There are many ways of reciting mantras. One is vocally and one is mentally.
Mantras often call on the spiritual qualities of a Buddha or Bodhiasattva.
Buddhists may recite a mantra hundreds or even thousands of times, often using a mala.
Most common mantra is 'om mani padme hum' which represents the sound of compassion, which is associated with the Bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokiteshvara.
May increase a Buddhist’s receptivity towards the Buddha and his teachings
Memorise and pass them on orally
Still chant from sacred texts eg. Records of what the Buddha taught
Five moral precepts
Praising oneself & belittling others
Not giving material aid and Dharma
Not forgiving others and not listening to an apology
Abandoning the Mahayana Darma
Taking offerings not meant for you
Abandoning the Dharma
Use of malas
A chain of beads used to count recitations
108 beads with one bead as the summit or head bead called a 'sumeru.
108 is considered a sacred number in Hinduism
Used as a tool to help the mind focus on meditation, or count mantras in sets of 108 repetitions:
Sit comfortably with spine straight and eyes closed. Take a few deep breaths to center and align oneself with your intention.
Hold your mala in right hand, draped between middle and index fingers.
Do this 108 times, traveling around the mala, until once again, reaching the guru bead.
Starting at the guru bead, use thumb to count each smaller bead, pulling it towards the body as you recite your mantra.
Can use a mantra, chanting aloud or silently.
A range of peaceful and devotional practices
Raising hands together & lowering one’s head
Sign of homage and humility
Bows to Buddha’s likeness in a statue or to the Bodi tree
Traditionally, one bows to parents, teachers, the elderly and monastics
Light of Wisdom, illuminates darkness of ignorance
Value what we now have and live in the present
To practice the Buddha’s teaching and to cleanse our minds
Goal is enlightenment
All actions will have their effect
Fragrance of pure moral conduct & to cultivate food conduct
Grows out of mud, yet is not ruined
Buddha is likened to the lotus
We are currently surrounded by sufferings, as is the lotus
Performed daily at home, communal festivals and Uposatha days at a temple
A symbolic or ritual gesture
Most performed with the hands and fingers, although some involve the entire body
Helps identify with Buddhas and Bodhisattvas
Small beads used as aids in meditation and counting breathing