Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Reciting the prayer to Jivaka Kumarabaccha with Indic pronunication

Every Thai Massage session and teaching starts with an homage to the founder of Buddhist Medical Sciences Acharya Jivaka Kumarabaccha. I love the sing-song style in which it is delivered. One thing, however, bothered me about this prayer which was that it didn’t seem to sound right
.
Knowing Acharya Jivaka was born in India and that most texts were written in Pali in his time, I often wondered why the pronunciation was a bit off according to me. While I was never an expert in Pali (the language in which the homage is written) I could clearly see that the some words sounded like Sanskrit/ Pali but--not quite. Being a native speaker of several Indian languages, all of which derive from Sanskrit or Pali plus some basic Sanskrit I learnt at school, I started unravelling the prayer.

What I also realised with my travels in Thailand, is that the Thais are often not able to pronounce certain consonants well, like the sound “da” and “ra”. Therefore, by combining the translation I had for the homage, I started the slow process of rewriting this prayer word by word e.g. Here are some of the words that I spotted were being pronounced incorrectly.


As in the Thai Version Meaning Correct Sanskrit/Pali 
pronunciation
Osata Medicine Oshadha
Suryajantang Sun Moon Surya Chandam
Pakasesi Shine on Prakasesi
Wantami Salutation Vandami
Bantito Learned person Pundito
Sumetaso &Wisdom Sumedhaso
Aroka Health Aroga
Piyo Beloved of Priyo
Teva Divine Being Deva
Naka Magical Serpent Being Naga
Pininsiang Senses Pinindirang
NamoPuttaya Salutation to the Buddha Namobuddhaya
Na A Na Wa Closing chant in a Mantra Swa Ha Swa Ha
Aroga Health Aroka

I also reached out to a Pali expert Bhikku Nayantusida, a Buddhist monk from Kandy in Sri Lanka and he was able to offer even further insight.
The end of the research here is the final product that I feel is better and truer to its original sound, 


Oṃ namo Jīvako Sirasa Ahang karuṇiko
sabba-sattānaṃ osadha-dibbamantaṃ
pabhāso suriyācandaṃ 
kumārabhacco prakāsesi vandāmi 
sirasā ahaṃ paṇḍito sumedhaso arogā sumanā homi (3 times) 

Priyo Deva Manussanang Priyo-Proma Namuttamo 
Priyo Naga Supananang Pinindiryang
Nama-Mihang Namo Buddhaya 
Navon-Navien Nasatit-Nasatien
Ehi-Mama Navien-Nawe Napai-Tang-Vien Navien-Mahaku 
Ehi-Mama Priyo-Mama Namo-Buddhaya (1 time) 

Swa Ha Swa Ha Roga Payati Vina-Shanti. (3 Times)

Spot any other familiar Indian words write in and let me know?

1 comment:

  1. Nice detailed research. Could you post a audio file of the updated correct prayer?

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