佛學講座 - 佛學問答(English) - What role does Buddhist chanting play in sutra recitation and Buddha remembrance? Is accompaniment necessary for sutra recitation and Buddha remembrance if conducted at home?
What role does Buddhist chanting play in sutra recitation and Buddha remembrance? Is accompaniment necessary for sutra recitation and Buddha remembrance if conducted at home?

 

Fan-bei in Chinese transliteration, Buddhist chanting, with the

accompaniment of wooden fish, yin-qing (hand-bell), da-qing (large

bell-shaped bell), dang-zi (small gong), ha-zi (cymbal), jung-gu (bell

and drum), and other instruments, is orchestration of tonal highs and

lows like in a singing score. Assembly in the temple for sutra recitation

and Buddha remembrance, when accompanied by chanting, results in

neat order. Such is the role of fan-bei, Buddhist chanting.

The purport of sutra recitation is that the Buddha' s doctrine needs

to be thoroughly read. With heartiest concentration of thought and

remembrance alongside absorption of content, the goal of sutra

recitation is hence met. Basically, fan-bei or chanting is unneeded

if conducting own recitation, but some practitioners do enthuse in

conducting own chanting.