12 Sep 15. Why does chanting Pirith, memorizing Sutras become an obstruction to attain Nibbana
Buddha Darshanaya 12.
“Pariththa” or “Pirith” means security or safety. To protect in reality there must be a “person” or an object. Chanting of Pirith is well established custom in many Buddhist countries. But many do not realise chanting Pirith is an obstruction to attaining Nibbana. The aim of every Buddhist is to attain Nibbana. In order to achieve this objective one must remove all obstacles that block the path.
Let us now find out why chanting of Pirith is a hindrance to attain Nibbana.
Nibbana is something than cannot be forced. When the suitable environment for the eye of Panna to arise is established, it happens automatically. After 2100 years the path to Nibbana and seeing Nibbana is now open for achievement in Sri-Lanka. Therefore with this rare discovery, various practices done in the past in the name of Nibbana have been found to be wrong. Chanting or listening to Pirith is one of them.
Nibbana is seen via the eye of Panna. Hence the eye of wisdom must emerge to see Nibbana. There is no other way. Every activity of the mind results in a thought and ward off the eye of wisdom. Unfortunately the eye of Panna is never active at the same time with a thought. The eye of wisdom arises only when a thought stops. Therefore the way to Nibbana is “freedom from thought” i.e. “CHETHO VIMUKTHI”.
In spite of the fact that the Buddha word “akuppa me chetho vimukthi” – “liberation of thought has to be firmly established” is clearly stated in Dhamma Chakka Pavaththana Sutra, we have been told to firmly establish in a thought, to develop the base on which the thought arises i.e. the mind by proceedures such as meditation. It is no wonder that nobody has attained Nibbana for 2100 years.
Memorization of stanzas and sutras to chant happens as an activity of the mind. Every time a stanza is extracted from the memory it is a mind activity – a “thought”. Every time this happens the environment for arising of Panna is blocked. Furthermore to begin with, in order to memorize stanzas, they have to be heard or read via the sense organs and then deposit in memory. Every time a person memorizes a stanza with or without knowing the meaning, it is deposited in the memory via a thought which nourishes the mind. As this food for the illusion creating mind i.e. “thoughts” are fed, “vinnana” the wakefulness of the mind becomes established. This is a hindrance to emergence of “Gnana” and Panna.
Therefore the Pirith chanterers and Pirith listeners do not develop an atmosphere for the emergence of Panna.
It would be downright foolish to assume that by memorizing something written in another language without understanding, in this instance pali/magadhi will bring about any progress towards Nibbana and protect a non existent “person” in reality or protect bricks and mortar. The Buddhist priests have deceived people by saying that if these stanzas are sung to a particular beat one will harvest results. Also it not only foolish but nonsensical to think that bricks and mortar will be protected this way.
In any case it is unintelligent to the least, in fact stupid and silly to just memorize without understanding even if they were said by Buddha or Ven. Ananada. The wise will not memorize but only understand their meaning. Even more important to know for whose protection Pirith is chanted. In Buddha Dhamma there is no “person” found. It is the mind that creates this illusion of a “person” – a “rupa” — in association with the five senses and the memory.
If so, is it this illusion Pirith is going to protect?.
If one thinks that way you will understand that he/she will never become intelligent or attain Nibbana. In fact if there is no “person” to protect, even if one knows the meaning of the stanzas it would of no use. To “think” that it provides protection itself is an illusion. If so what is the point of talking about chanting Pirith without knowing the meanings.
You will now understand that chanting Pirith or listening to chanting with an assumption of a “person” chanting or a “person” listening is a fallacy and is an illusion of the highest order that creates a situation where intelligence and Nibbana are completely undermined. This is one of the reasons why nobody has attained Nibbana for the past 2100 years.
We know people live happily in harmony and peace in other countries with out chanting or listening to Pirith. Their houses, bricks and mortar also continue to exist in nature as anywhere else, without protection from Pirith.
If anybody strengthens the “self” view or “person” view and expect to be protected just because somebody chants something in a language nobody understands, is simply unintelligent and will never attain Nibbana.
Tying Pirith threads is another deception done by the Buddhist priests. Those who believe such will never attain Nibbana as they are nourishing “mithya Ditthi”.
For one to achieve liberation from “seelabbatha “ i.e. “seela and wrutha” – sil, tradition and customs – , then he/she should not perform foolish “seelabbatha” acts such as listening or chanting Pirith with out knowing the meanings.
Thus those misled by Buddhist priests to perform such rituals to protect a “person” or his/her belongings is not only nourishing “mithya diththi” but also blocking others path to Nibbana only to consolide their way of living, contrary to teachings of Buddha. The public are not only wasting their hard earned money but also prolonging their conquest of Nibbana which can be definitely achieved in this life.
Dr Gamini Abhaya