An Auspicious Weekend In October – Paritta Chanting Night

by Bhikkhuni Seri

Paritta chanting and meditation on Saturday night, 27th October 2012 for Ayya Vayama Bikkhuni’s 60th Birthday, at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Havindra.

The Paritta chanting and meditation  started at 7.00pm  on Saturday, 27th October, on the eve of Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni’s 60th Birthday. The beautiful lights were twinkling and glowing throughout the evening at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage.

Paritta chanting at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Saturday evening, 27th October 2012. Photo by Ming

We started the evening with paying homage to the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha and the taking of Refuges and Five Precepts. We passed the Paritta string around to everyone in the sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. All of us sitting in the sala were connected by the Paritta string of good will and lovingkindness. We chanted the Three Suttas – The Maha Mangala Sutta, The Ratana Sutta and The Metta Sutta.

Offering of blessing by Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni after Paritta chanting at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Saturday, 27th October 2012. Photo by Ming.

After the Paritta chanting, we sat quietly and meditated together. At the  end of the meditation, we chanted Bojjhanga Paritta – The Factors of Enlightenment Protection, for seven times for Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni. Traditionally, Bojjhanga Paritta is associated with good health. The following is a translation of Bojjhanga Paritta from ‘The Book of Protection’ by Venerable Piyadassi Thera:

Seven are the factors of Enlightenment well expounded by the all-seeing Sage (the Buddha), cultivated and fully developed by him.

They are: Mindfulness, Investigation of the Dhamma, Persevering Effort, Rapture, Calm, Concentration, Equanimity. They conduce to perfect understanding; to full realization and to Nibbana.

By the power of the truth of these words may you ever be well.

On one occasion the Buddha, the Protector, seeing that the Theras Moggallana and Kassapa were ill and in distress, declared the seven Factors of Enlightenment hearing which they rejoiced and recovered from the illness.

By the power of the truth of these words may you ever be well.

Once the King of the Dhamma(the Buddha) himself was afflicted by an illness. Cunda Thera with great compassion declared the Factors of Enlightenment. Instantly the Buddha recovered from that illness.

By the power of the truth of these words may you ever be well.

Thus ceased the afflictions of the three great sages, who having removed the defilements by the Path, attained accomnplishment in the nature(essence) of the Dhamma.

By the power of the truth of these words may you ever be well.

Offering of blessing by Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni after Paritta chanting at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Saturday, 27th October 2012. Photo by Ming.

We finished the evening with the sharing of merits. We especially dedicated the merits of Paritta chanting and the practice of meditation to our teacher, Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni for her 60th Birthday. May Ayya Vayama be well and at peace, may she attain Nibbana in this very life!

After the Paritta chanting, everyone was asked, before their departure from the Hermitage that night, to blow up a balloon for the birthday celebration the following day. 

The ballon blowers after the Paritta chanting at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Saturday night, 27th October 2012. Photo by Ming.

The lights were switched off after the last person departed. Silence once again fell upon the Hermitage, with the moon glowing softly in the darkness of the sky.  The sound of the Paritta chanting lingered around, filling the Hermitage with good will, peace and lovingkindness.

Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Saturday evening, 27th October 2012. Photo by Havindra.

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