Sarabhanna preaching

Wed Jun 12 13:02:00 UTC 1991

Status: RO

Does anyone have any information about a style of Buddhist recitation
called sarabhanna (palatal n) in Pali (the reciter is called a sara-
bhaa.naka)?  I have come across quite a few references to it, both in
the Vinaya and in commentarial texts, but neither I nor a number of
other pali-wallahs I have asked know what it is.  I am aware of Levi's
1915 discussion ('Sur la recitation primitive des textes bouddhiques'),
and there is a brief discussion of it, without references in Tambiah's
1968 article 'Literacy in a Buddhist village in Northeast Thailand'
(in J.Goody, ed., 'Literacy in Traditional Societies').  It would seem
to be something like a chant or recitative, but not singing (which is
forbidden in the Vinaya).  (Demieville also mentions it in the entry for
Bombai in Hobogirin, but depends on Levi.)
Steve Collins:  E-mail address stevec at

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