In most countries music has developed in close affinity with
religious observances. But the Theravada ideology does not encourage
sensual arts like music and dancing. That when Buddhism was not only a
religion. but the way of the life for the people. such performing arts
received little patronage from the temple. The Buddhist clergy, who
constituted the main literati of the country. Declined to praise the
role of the musician or musical content in their documents, but on the
country performing arts were treated as activities to be shunned by the
bhikkhus and the even by the devout laymen. ( Sarachchandra, 1982, p9 )
Buddhism has no codification of any date pertaining to music and
dancing in its worship. Even the chanting of the Buddhist sutras should
strictly be non – musical ( Kulathilake , 1982 pp 19 – 30 ) such steps
were considered necessary to maintain the purity of Buddhist
discipline and orthodoxy of the temple. The annihilation of Buddhism in India.
Its long of birth and the growth of the bhakathi movement in
Hinduism, were music and dancing were integral pats of that worship,
were some of other persons that caused apprehension among the Buddhist
clergy in Sri Lanka
in the Bhakti Marge of Hinduism. Dedication of everything to God and
ultimate position of the God by the devotee is the highest stringent of
Moksha. Here Music and dancing is treated as a means to create love and
passion in the God. Towards this manifestation the devadest cult
advocated in Hinduism had to play a major role.
In spit of all the music and dancing have develop as falk arts among
the Buddhist but not in the proper easuhevie aspects. When the Buddhist
temple became the intrincincallty impotent religious as well as the
social central of activity to the village dancing with singing
development as most of the worship in the sub religions. Meanwhile the
orthodoxy of the Buddhist temple licensed only that limited
repertoires of these arts required for the exigencies of the temple
festivals ( senevirathne 1973 )
shall now see how the sub – religions which was patronized by the
Buddhist themselves became the main institution of performing arts like
dancing and music , of which the former has today gained international
The social religious cultural sri Lanka
has a music faceted nature tolerating and assimilating sub – cultural
and sub – religions for this purpose the orthodoxy of the Buddhist
temple and had to be relaxed to a certain degree so as to accommodate
democratic thinking of the people. Something that didin’t happen in india in happened Sri Lanka.
Where certain Hindus tic beliefs like the ad vocation of deity
worship was made possible with mahayanism, which stared seeping in to
the main religion from the mid Anuradhapura Period. Had it not been for
this accommodation of mahayanic elements Buddhism, in its pure
Theravada ideas could not have stood the intrigues of Hindustan
in particular. Mahayanism gave licenses for the lavish festivities and
ceremonies as part of its worship, and was therefore favorable to the
life style of the kings. If accorded such privilege to the kings of
stabilize their political position. Sanskurit learning gave access to
the text of Indian musical theory. which appears in rudimentary firms
in some of the Buddhist text in Sri Lanka.
The Musical aspect of the Sri Lankan pirith sajjayana.
Pirith is important part of the Buddhist sajajayana. Sajajayana means
loudly expression and group reciting. pirith is consider as giving of
the safe guard, protection , prevention and emotive consolation by the
reciting Buddhist Suthras. although this reciting is not established
with the musical expectations there are reasonable musical aspects of
the pirith sajajayana. Then pirith sajajayana is a very respectable
role among the Sri Lankan folk lives. Prith sajajyana is based on
suthras which adapted from Thripitaka. Those suthras as followings..
01. Maha Magala
09. Maha samaya
are recited in the pirith sajajyana which is founded in viritha.
Viritha is the meter of gatha. Vritha is considered as combining of
short letters and sustainable letters. It called lagu and guru.
can be seen ‘thristub’ and ‘anustub’ virith in the pirith sajajyana.
Those virith created in the Vedic period. When recites with those
instructor (virith ) it gives some musical stimulations.
i. ( Anushtub virith )
Bahu Dewa manushasacha ………
Bauhi mangala muththman
ii. There are four kind of parts in the maha piritha according to
reciting styles. Here we do concentrated and attention to it. Because ,
it takes a major roll in the musical behavior.
Reciting of suththra
End of reciting
reciting styles are further the distinguished as extension of the
Sinhala music tradition. as a results of that there are some musical
scales in the Sri Lankan music. Such Falk musical scales are nourished
and influenced by the pirith sajajayana. Sri Lakan pirith sajajayana is
peculiar to its own way. when it comes to end allways it locates
beyond one octave that even to very difficult understand to musician.
Today some of Sri Lankan musicians try to explore musical combination
of pirith sajajayana and allready they have been realized north Indian
rag reflection in the pirith. Specially they see some similar points
between north Indian music and pirith chanting.
rag : thodhi
suthras which belongs to the pirith are fictioned by the pali. The
long usage of Sri Lankan Society now it became to independent recitting
styles and a devoting way. Late Mr . C. De.S. kulathilaka who is
musicologist in the Sri Lanka
keen observed Buddihist sajajayana and Sinhala music tradition . Tonal
stimulation is the most important thing which he identified among those (
suththra gayanas ) reciting.
Here are some suggtions for the innovative development of the music. Those are as following:
01. Identifying tonal performs of the pirith sajajayana.
02. Criticizing of the sajajayana scales according to ethnomusicological and musicological discipline.