Religion, as is ordinarily understood, binds one to such untenable beliefs as a Supreme Creator, immortal soul, eternal heavens and hells. The Buddha Dhamma is free from such beliefs, dogmas, superstitions, and speculative theories. Hence, it cannot strictly be called a religion. The Dhamma is essentially the teaching of cause and effect (Hetu phala vada).
This article is intended to clarify the nature of ancient Buddhist chant, and its significance to the admirers who are truly interested in inner peace and relaxation through melodious Buddhist chant. The ancient Buddhist chant has not been prevalent, even unknown and unheard, in the Western world although it has been a popularly daily cultural and spiritual exercise among the practitioners of Buddhism in Buddhist countries. However, later in this century, the westerners are slowly beginning to draw their attention to this ritual and spiritual practice.
The concept of Dependent Arising paticcasamuppada can be considered as the central philosophy of Buddhism. It expresses the content of the Buddha's enlightenment experience. It is the concept in terms of which the fundamental teachings of the Buddha can be explained. The Buddha himself emphasized its central importance when he said that he who sees dependent arising sees the dhamma. The Madhyamaka system of Buddhist thought developed its interpretation of the Buddha's teaching entirely on the principle of dependent arising.
Let us explore and understand the role of joy in daily meditation practice. The quote below reflects what I think about this very key aspect of meditation. Essentially it means that joy is a natural consequence of watching the mind and thoughts in action.
Joy in Meditation:
manasa ce padutthena
bhasati va karoti va
tato nam dukkhamanveti
cakkamva vahato padam.
Verse 1: All mental phenomena have mind as their forerunner; they have mind as their chief; they are mind-made. If one speaks or acts with an evil mind, 'dukkha' 3 follows him just as the wheel follows the hoofprint of the ox that draws the cart.