Update: 2013-09-28 03:39 PM +0630


Mahaparitta Pali


"namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammasambuddhassa"

A collection edited by U Kyaw Tun, M.S. (I.P.S.T., U.S.A.). Not for sale. Prepared for students of TIL Computing and Language Center, Yangon, MYANMAR. See references used.
note for HTML editing

UKT 130927:
One of the downloaded pages was http://web.ukonline.co.uk/myburma/p1mangla.htm . It is now no longer available on the Internet. Because of this, my older file is beyond saving, and it is  deleted. .


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UKT 130927: International Pali or Pal-Lat (Pali speech in Latin alphabet) does not give the pronunciations of Tibeto-Burman (Tib-Bur) languages exemplified by Bur-Myan. Since I believe that Gautama Buddha, born and died in a Tib-Bur speaking area, spoke in Magadhi - a Tib-Bur language - very close to Pal-Myan, the TOC is given in Romabama representing Pal-Myan. I was told that Mingun Sayadaw was also of the opinion that Pal-Myan is close to the language used by the Buddha. Mingun Sayadaw Ven. U Wicttarasa - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mingun_Sayadaw 130927 . The following Paritta are recited by Mingun Sayadaw in Pal-Myan.

Pix on the right shows {u-ra~a.ti. m-tau} - born in the Himalayas - holding a salver in the shape of pedestal on which are placed three palm-leaf books representing Tipitika. {u-ra~a.ti. m-tau} was a Tib-Bur goddess, taken over by the Hindu Brahmin-Poannas, and made into one of their goddesses. They placed a veena (वीणा {wi-Na} - related to the Burmese harp - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veena 130928) in her hands, and forcibly married her to one of their Trinity Deva-gods - the Mahabrahma. Below, I am showing what an artist can do: he must be thinking that the Hindu goddess has gone modern - she still has one of her mounts, the swan, to show that she is indeed Saraswati!

01. Mangala Sutta
02. Ratana Sutta

References cited in the original work
Language and script
Language, transcription and transliteration
Diacritical marks
Forms a and ɑ
Pali language and myself


UKT notes :

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Invocation <))

UKT 130927: There is a mix up between SND of Invocation and SND of Mangala Sutta. I have corrected the problem by listening.


01. <))


02. <))


03. <))


04. <))


05. <))


06. <))


07. <))


08. <))


09. <))


10. <))


11. <))



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References cited in the original work:
1. Eleven Holy Discourses of Protection: Maha Paritta Pali; by Sao Htun Hmat Win, 1991.
2. Mangala Sutta in Pali, from 'The Teachings of the Buddha', Basic Level, Ministry of Religious Affairs, Yangon, 1998
3. How to Live as a Good Buddhis (in Myanmar/Burmese), Ministry of Religious Affairs, Yangon, 1991
     Presenting Theravada Buddhist Tradition in its Pristine Form
      * Click here for the Way to Nibbana *
Internet links:
Invocation / Mangala Sutta | Ratana Sutta | Metta Sutta | Khandha Sutta | Mora Sutta | Vatta Sutta | Dhajagga Sutta | Atanatiya Sutta | Angulimala Sutta | Bojjhanga Sutta | Pubbanha Sutta

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Language and Script

Pali is written in the script of the land, Myanmar script in Myanmar, Sinhala in Sri Lanka and Thai in Thailand -- the three prominent Buddhist countries where Theravada school of Buddhism has taken root. However, the Pali in this paper is in Latin (Roman) script. To make a distinction between various Pali texts, I will designate the text in this paper as International-English-Pali (IE-Pali). It follows the Sinhala-Pali pronunciation. The one that I am familiar with is the Myanmar-Pali (M-Pali). One major difference between IE-Pali and M-Pali is the pronunciation of words involving Myanmar characters {sa.} and {tha.} which have counter-parts in c and s in English-Pali. e.g.

M-Pali Romabama IE-Pali Meaning  
{stana} cetanā intention  
{thi'la.} sīla character  
    E-Pali words from: PTS Dictionary  

Which pronunciation is more authentic is debatable, since there are claims that before the Aryan (language: Sanskrit) domination of India, people living in the area where the Buddha originated spoke a language(s) which had Tibeto-Burmese roots and therefore Myanmar pronunciation -- Bama being a Tibeto-Burmese language -- should be closer to the original Magadha pronunciation.

From: http://www.geocities.com/derekacameron/pali.html
Pali means text. Pali is the language in which the oldest texts of Buddhism are written. In some senses it is an artificial language, in that these texts contain traces of dialects from various geographic regions and various points in time. Nevertheless, we can say that Pali is very close to the language actually spoken by the Buddha.

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Language, Transcription and Transliteration

We should make a distinction between the three terms used by linguists: language, transcription and transliteration. Language is the spoken form of communication between human beings. The smallest unit of a language is the phoneme. The medium of transmission of a language is the sound wave, and once a phoneme (or word) is uttered, it is lost. There was no way to record the sound wave until recent times when the phonograph was invented.

In order to represent the phonemes scripts have been invented. The smallest unit is a glyph or character. Various mediums have been used to record the glyph: stone, clay, palm leaves, papyrus and in modern times paper. There are various kinds of scripts:
Logogram (or Ideogram): A character in writing which represents complete word is called logogram. Examples are Chinese character, and early Egyptian hieroglyph and Sumerian cuneiform.
Alphabet: A writing system, in which consonants and vowels are represented equally by separate glyphs (letters). Greek and Roman alphabets, Cyrillic alphabet, and some artificial alphabets such as Armenian that was invented in 405 and still in use today belong to this category. Note that languages of Western Europe such as English, French, Italian and Spanish are written in Latin (Roman) alphabet, whereas those of Eastern Europe are written in Cyrillic alphabet.
Abugida: also called an alphasyllabary, is a writing system wherein the basic symbols represent a consonant plus an unmarked vowel. When a different vowel is wanted, a diacritic or some other modification is made to the sign. The sign used to indicate that the vowel is dropped is called a virama, or a "vowel killer" {athut}.
     The word "abugida" comes from the first few signs of the Ethiopic Amharic script, which is an example of an abugida. Devanagari is another abugida, used in India.
     Myanmar is the script employed in the country of Myanmar to write the Bama language, the Shan language, etc. Devanagari is the script employed to write the languages in India: Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, etc. Both Myanmar and Devanagari are abugidas.

Though scripts have been invented to represent the phoneme, it was felt that a universal script should be invented, This gave birth to the International Phonetic Association (IPA). Phoneticians and linguists use the IPA characters (or glyphs) to represent the phonemes. Even before the invention of IPA, Latin (Roman) glyphs, erroneously called the English alphabet, has been used to represent the phonemes of non-English languages. This process is known as transcription. Thus Pali, written in Devanagari in India and in Myanmar in the country of Myanmar, has been transcribed in "English" (correctly: the Latin or Roman) alphabet. However, the sister process of representing a script in another script is known as transliteration. The so-called International Pali (IE-Pali) is the just a transliteration of Pali in Devanagari script to Latin script, and does not necessarily represent the phonemes uttered by the Buddha. I must maintain that Myanmar-Pali (M-Pali) can equally represent the phonemes uttered by the Buddha which unfortunately has been lost.

Convention used in most of UKT works:
English words used for illustration or examples are within < >
representation in IPA is within / /
representation in Romabama is within { }.

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Diacritical Marks

Transliteration of Devanagari-Pali in Latin alphabet is actually the transformation of an abugida to an alphabet. This process is always unsatisfactory because:
Virama or the killed vowel, the essence of an abugida, is not present in an alphabet.
In an abugida the vowels do not change much in pronunciation, whereas in an alphabet it does. Thus in the English alphabet, the letter u has two pronunciations: the English words <cut> (representations: /kʌt/ {kut}) and <put> (representations: /pʊt/ {pat}. See p132 and p436 DJPD16 cited in my references on English pronunciations of <cut> and <put>.

To overcome the differences in pronunciations between an abugida-based language (Pali) and an alphabet-based one (English), diacritical marks are used in non-IPA representations. The following is my edited excerpt from Coping with Pali diacritical marks and fonts A Guide to Learning the Pali Language by John Bullit, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/pali/index.html

Alas, there is no standardized method for displaying Pali's accented characters on computer screens.

UKT: To overcome this problem, Myanmars who can read Myanmar script should use the Myanmar script. For those who cannot read Myanmar, I suggest they use Romabama which is a one-to-one transliteration fo Myanmar. Romabama characters are presented within { }.

Over the years, many different methods have been adopted in an attempt to express Pali diacritics using the limited character sets available to personal computers. Some of these strategies are:

Ignore them altogether. This is the method generally used here at Access to Insight (although I have used the palatal nasal because it is easily implemented using HTML). For example, the first precept would be written thus:
     panatipata veramani sikkha-padam samadiyami.

The Velthuis scheme: double the vowels, punctuate the consonants. This scheme was originally developed in 1991 by Frans Velthuis for use with his "devnag" Devanagari font, designed for the TEX typesetting system (see http://www.ctan.org/). Pali and Sanskrit scholars have since adopted it as a standard technique in Internet correspondence (see, for example, the BUDDHA-L discussion group and the Journal of Buddhist Ethics). In the Velthuis scheme two basic rules are observed:
-- Long vowels (those usually typeset with a macron (bar) above them) are doubled: aa ii uu
-- For consonants, the diacritic mark precedes the letter it affects. Thus, the retroflex (cerebral) consonants (usually typeset with a dot underneath) are: .r .t .th .d .dh .n .m .s .l. The guttural nasals (m or n with a dot above) are represented by "m and "n . The palatal nasal (n with a tilde) is ~n.
This scheme is precise, although it does take some getting used to:
     paa.naatipaataa verama.nii sikkhaa-pada.m samaadiyaami.
             -- Myanmar
    {paNati.pata  wera.ma.Ni. theikhkapa.dan  tha.madi.yami.}  -- Romabama

Fake it using HTML. HTML has a few characters that take care of some of the letters OK. For the long vowels you can use some sort of accent: , , etc. The palatal n is straightforward: . Whatever method you adopt, be consistent. Example:
     p.ntipt verama.n sikkh-pada.m samdiymi.

Use capital letters. Capitalized letters represent letters with an accompanying diacritic. This method is simple, but it has ambiguities (e.g., how to distinguish between palatal and guttural n?). Example:
     pANAtipAtA veramaNI sikkhA-padaM samAdiyAmi.

UKT: As long as you are within one system, or within one book, the problem of diacritical marks does not arise. However, if you are referencing or using other books and sources, as I am doing now, you must be careful to note the kind of system the author is using. For example, I am finding that PTS Dictionary and Ashin Narada seems to be using different systems.
   In Mahaparitta Pali http://web.ukonline.co.uk/myburma/p1mangla.htm and related pages, the author has used a transliteration without diacritical marks whereas the incantations are by Myanmar Theravada-Buddhist monks.

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Forms a and ɑ

-- UKT

a U0061 / ɑ U0251
ā U0101 / ɑ̄ U0251+U0304 (diacritical sign is known as macron)

The symbol which corresponds to Myanmar was given as ɑ U0251 in the many works: e.g. An Elementary Pali Course, by Ven. Narada Thera http://www.vipassana.info/pali%20contents.htm. However, since E-Pali characters are not IPA characters, both a U0061 and ɑ U0251 should be appropriate. However, there are webpages, such as  http://www.metta.lk/pali-utils/pcourse.html, which uses Times New Roman font, writing the symbol for in Times_CSX+ font to make it appear as ɑ U0251. Since the symbol used by PTS is a U0061, I am using a U0061 in TIL pages.

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Pali language and myself

-- UKT

I have attempted to study Pali as a language many times in my life -- not as part of the Theravada {hterawada} Buddhism. The first was in Myanmar and the Pali that I learned was the Myanmar Pali (M-Pali). After coming to Canada, I tried to learn Pali a couple of times on the Internet. Of course it was the English-Pali (E-Pali), and the lessons were from An Elementary Pali Course, by Ven. Narada Thera.

I have prepared my lessons formerly in Tipitaka font. However since the introduction of Unicode fonts, I have started to change the previously used fonts including Tipitaka to Arial Unicode MS. If the IPA character schwa [ ə ] appears on your computer with almost the same shape as  , then be assured that most of the characters that is displayed on your computer screen is correct. Even though you are using Arial Unicode MS, there is always a chance that what you are seeing may not be the same as what I have intended. This can be due to the operating system of your computer.

It should be borne in mind that Pali is written in many scripts which would bring about differences in pronunciation. Which pronunciation is more authentic is debatable. Pali written in English (the form presented in this paper) which probably was based on Sinhala and Sanskrit has different pronunciation for some words particularly those involving the Myanmar consonants r2c1 {sa.} and r6c5 {tha.}. To make the paper more intelligible to a native-Myanmar, I have included Myanmar characters and their transliterations in Romabama. The Romabama words are displayed within { }.


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UKT notes



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End of TIL file