Self teaching of pali

I ran across this video on youtube about three weeks ago. I am very new to buddhism and was trying to figure out how to meditate effectively and thought maybe chanting would help. For some unknown reason i became obsessed with trying to memorize this chant. It just speaks to me of ancient knowledge in some manner not to be equalled by english. At this point in time the dhammaccakkappavattana sutta (sn56.11) was the only one i was familiar with, and remains my favorite. I think it says it all. I have been trying to chant along with this every day, once in the morning and once in the evening. I can make my way through it, sometimes chanting, and sometimes reading along. It has become for me a real exersise in mindfullness, as if i concentrate i can read along but if my mind wanders for just a second i am lost. I had been doing this for some time before discovering Sutta Central. Now i find that when i go to this sutta on this site i can read it in many other languages of which i am totally unfamiliar. Of course i can only read the parts that i have completely memorized in pali, but am certain that in due time i will become proficient enough to read this sutta in any other language. This is mind blowing to me. I have never spoken anything but english in my life.
Once again i would like to sing praise to Sutta Central. Without the many different language versions of this sutta, i would never have realized this.
Thank you thank you thank you!!


Did you also try to listen to it? SuttaCentral Voice (You find a speaker icon on the Suttaplex card). But Aditi, the Pali voice, isn’t good at rhythm for chanting. Still, for memorizing—or familiarizing with Pali—I find it quite good.

Actually, when Voice was first developed, this was a rather impressive experience for me. Listening to a Sutta seemed to touch some deeper layer in me than reading them—which led to, in no long time, me becoming part of the Voice development team. :smile: :person_shrugging:


I have not…yet!! I didn’t know of this…this site is huge, and am still exploring.
I started out by trying to chant it in english on my own.
I quickly found out how mundane this sounded. It just doesn’t ring true in english like it does in pali. I have listened to others chant in english on youtube and it is like nails on a chalkboard, to my ears anyways. There is just something about the pali…i think i lived in tibet or the himalayas in at least one, and probably many of my pasts. Since discovering buddhism a short time ago (at 57 years old) i think i must have been a monk. Hopefully i am learning this time around!! I don’t want to be downgraded again!!


Well the Tibetans hardly study the Pali Suttas. They did translate lots of Buddhist texts into Tibetan, but mostly from later texts in Sanskrit. This doesn’t mean there are no early texts in that language at all, but they are not the majority.

As far as I know, projects to translate EBTs into Tibetan in a more systematic way have only started relatively recently, and I don’t know how far they have come.

Wishing you the best of luck! :crossed_fingers:


I also think i was a scribe. I have extremely neat handwriting, and writing the poli seems to come very naturally. So what you said actually reinforces my belief!!

I don’t think it’s important what we have been in previous lives. Most likely we’ve been everything that possibly can exist, at one point or another. The Buddha also doesn’t precisely encourage us to research previous kamma, rather to the contrary:

AN4.77:1.1-11: “Mendicants, these four things are unthinkable. They should not be thought about, and anyone who tries to think about them will go mad or get frustrated.

What four?

The scope of the Buddhas … The scope of one in absorption … The results of deeds … Speculation about the world …

These are the four unthinkable things. They should not be thought about, and anyone who tries to think about them will go mad or get frustrated.”

What counts is rather what we make out of the situation we find ourselves in right now in this life.


I am learnimg so much.

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