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
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 )
We 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 recognition.
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
02. 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
Gathas 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.
There 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
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
Reciting of suththra
End of reciting
These 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
The 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 )
Here are some suggtions for the innovative
development of the music. Those are as following:
01. Identifying tonal performs of the pirith
02. Criticizing of the sajajayana scales
according to ethnomusicological and musicological discipline.