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The Dhajagga-paritta Chant (Iti pi so…)

The Dhajagga-paritta Chant (Iti pi so…)

Prior to the group meditation, and for those who wish to do so prior to the daily meditation at home, we chant ‘iti pi so’. In this chant you reflect on the qualities of the Three Jewels: the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha.

For everyone who likes to make this chant a part of their own meditation, below you can find the sound file that we use as a reference below, the chanting text itself, then the text with translation and finally an explanation per term.

  1. Iti pi so Thai Monks 1:34

The Chanting Text

Iti pi so Bhagavā arahaṃ sammā-sambuddho,
Vijjā-caraṇa-sampanno sugato lokavidū,
Anuttaro purisa-damma-sārathi satthā deva-manussānaṃ buddho bhagavā ‘ti.

Svākkhāto bhagavatā dhammo,
Sandiṭṭhiko akāliko ehipassiko,
Opanayiko paccattaṃ veditabbo viññūhi ‘ti.

Supaṭipanno bhagavato sāvaka-saṅgho,
Uju-paṭipanno bhagavato sāvaka-saṅgho,
Ñāya-paṭipanno bhagavato sāvaka-saṅgho,
Sāmīci-paṭipanno bhagavato sāvaka-saṅgho,
Yadidaṃ cattāri purisa-yugāni aṭṭha purisa-puggalā:
Esa bhagavato sāvaka-saṅgho —
Āhuneyyo pāhuneyyo dakkhiṇeyyo añjali-karaṇīyo,
Anuttaraṃ puññakkhettaṃ lokassa ‘ti.

The Text with Translation

Itipi so bhagavā arahaṁ sammā-sambuddho,
He is a Blessed One, a Worthy One, a Rightly Self-awakened One,

Vijjā-caraṇa-sampanno sugato lokavidū,
consummate in knowledge & conduct, one who has gone the good way, knower of the cosmos,

Anuttaro purisa-damma-sārathi satthā deva-manussānaṁ buddho bhagavāti.
unexcelled trainer of those who can be taught, teacher of devas & human beings; awakened; blessed.

Svākkhāto bhagavatā dhammo,
The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,

Sandiṭṭhiko akāliko ehipassiko,
to be seen here & now, timeless, inviting all to come & see,

Opanayiko paccattaṁ veditabbo viññūhīti.
pertinent, to be seen by the observant for themselves.

Supaṭipanno bhagavato sāvaka-saṅgho,
The Saṅgha of the Blessed One’s disciples who have practiced well,

Uju-paṭipanno bhagavato sāvaka-saṅgho,
the Saṅgha of the Blessed One’s disciples who have practiced straightforwardly,

Ñāya-paṭipanno bhagavato sāvaka-saṅgho,
the Saṅgha of the Blessed One’s disciples who have practiced methodically,

Sāmīci-paṭipanno bhagavato sāvaka-saṅgho,
the Saṅgha of the Blessed One’s disciples who have practiced masterfully,

Yadidaṁ cattāri purisa-yugāni aṭṭha purisa-puggalā:
i.e., the four pairs—the eight types—of noble ones:

Esa bhagavato sāvaka-saṅgho—
That is the Saṅgha of the Blessed One’s disciples—

Āhuneyyo pāhuneyyo dakkhiṇeyyo añjali-karaṇīyo,
worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of respect,

Anuttaraṁ puññakkhettaṁ lokassāti.
the incomparable field of merit for the world

Detailed Explanation

Here some more explanation about the Pali terms in this chant. This is not the literal translation, but about what the terms stand for, which is important to get a feeling of what you are actually chanting.

For an even more detailed explanation of the qualities of the Buddha our text The 9 Qualities of the Buddha can be consulted. The Visuddhimagga chapter VII offers a lot of extra information as well.

Homage to the Buddha

He is free of desire, hatred and ignorance, in all their forms.

He discovered the Four Noble Truths on his own and understood them completely, like no other.

The Buddha is endowed with both knowledge and correct behavior, in theory and practice. He speaks as he behaves and he behaves as he speaks.

He has reached the supreme, Nibbāna. Furthermore, he is a great speaker who is able to choose the right words, to say them at the right time, and to say them in a way that will be of value to the listener. The Buddha was the greatest master in this.

He has knowledge of all worlds and therefore of our world in every possible way.

Anuttaro purisa-damma-sārathi
This means that the Buddha is the best teacher who can get the sheep back into the pen. The Buddha can make people understand the teaching with just one sentence. We should reflect on this quality of the Buddha when we experience problems in teaching or when we explain things to children. How wonderful is the Buddha in this!

Satthā deva-manussānaṃ
He is a teacher for all beings he can reach, in all worlds.

He himself discovered the Four Noble Truths and knows them like no other. He is the Awakened One, awakened out of ignorance and illusion. Everything that can be known is known by him.

Bhagavā is called the most skillful of all people who are endowed with special powers. The merits collected by the Buddha are unsurpassed. The perfections (parami) he has developed are generosity, moral conduct, renunciation, wisdom, patience, truthfulness, determination, loving kindness and equanimity. He perfected these qualities to the most difficult and highest level. For example, he shared not only material things in his past lives but also his limbs and life.

Homage to the Dhamma

Svākkhāto bhagavatā dhammo
The Dhamma consisting of the four paths and the four fruits, Nibbāna and the Buddhist scriptures, is excellently explained by the Supreme One.

If the Dhamma is well studied and honestly put into practice, the results are visible in the here and now. Even if a depraved person, who is a true curse on himself and society, takes refuge in the Buddha and the Dhamma and started a new life, his problems and misery would come to an end.

Practicing Dhamma gives immediate results. You can reap the benefits of the practice right away. Due to ones own effort wholesome mentale states arise.  Every time the Dhamma is practiced you contribute to this positive effect.

Ehipassiko is an open invitation to come, see, scrutinise and, if necessary, criticise the Dhamma before accepting it. There is nothing mythical or mysterious about it. The Dhamma is pure and crystal clear. It is as pure as solid gold. The Buddha himself declared: “Accept nothing of what I say purely out of respect for me. Just as the purity of gold is tested by rubbing it along a stone, so the Dhamma must also be tested for its purity by meticulous examination”. The fearless claim to allow the teachings to be scrutinized underlines the grandeur of the Buddha and the unshakeable truth of the sublime Dhamma.

Opanayiko indicates that the Dhamma leads you to liberation, to awakening. It leads you to eternal peace and happiness. The Dhamma states that there are four stages of liberation that are worth pursuing through gradual development.

Paccattaṃ veditabbo viññūhi
We can only learn the Dhamma individually through direct experience. No one can absorb the Dhamma on behalf of anyone else, just as no one can quench someone else’s thirst by drinking on their own. There are two important aspects in these terms: first, that enlightenment is individual in character and that Dhamma can only be understood by wise people. The Buddha is not a savior but a teacher – a teacher who has shown the path to others after having followed it himself. It is up to each individual to explore his own morality, then practice proper concentration and then develop wisdom, the intuitive wisdom that enables the individual to achieve his own development through his own efforts.

Homage to the Sangha

Supaṭipanno, Uju-paṭipanno, Ñāya-paṭipanno, Sāmīci-paṭipanno bhagavato sāvaka-saṅgho
Well, directly, true, right is the Noble Order of the Sublime One. Good, because the way the Buddha taught is practiced thoroughly and fully. Directly, because it is practiced without curves, honestly, undistorted. True and right, because the road leading to Nibbāna and all its precursors is true and masterful.

Yadidaṃ cattāri purisa-yugāni aṭṭha purisa-puggalā
The four pairs of people, i.e. the one who is on the road from to the first stage of liberation and the one who has reaped its fruits, and so on for the second, third and fourth stages. The eight types of people describe the same four Noble disciples, only now not by taking them in pairs but by naming all eight individually.

Esa bhagavato sāvaka-saṅgho
It is these eight people who are meant by the Noble Order. What is particularly important about this sentence is that Noble Order does not simply refer to every monk and Buddhist, but only to those who have understood Dhamma and Nibbāna from their own experience, with the four stages indicating a different depth of this experience.

Āhuneyyo pāhuneyyo dakkhiṇeyyo añjali-karaṇīyo
Worthy recipients of gifts, shelter, offerings and respectful greeting. Because the Noble Order has fathomed the Dhamma from their own experience, because they maintain the Dhamma even after the death of the Buddha so that we can hear, study and practice it ourselves today, they are rightly recipients of the above.

Anuttaraṃ puññakkhettaṃ lokassāti
For example, giving gifts is much more worthwhile if it is given to the Noble Order than to any other person, because they represent the highest virtues and stand for the Dhamma. Therefore, the Noble Order is the unparalleled field of merit in the world.

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Buddha, Dhp 276