The Buddha’s View on Singing the Suttas (podcast)

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Buddhism is not known for great music, especially Theravada Buddhism. As a musician myself, this was something of a bitter pill to swallow. But it makes perfect sense in the context of the Buddha’s teachings on the pleasures of the senses. Here is a sutta that most Buddhist traditions studiously ignore.

Monks, there are 5 drawbacks to singing the suttas.

1. You may get attached to a particular melody.
2. Others may get attached to a particular melody.
3. Lay people may lose respect for monks that sing just as they do.
4. Trying to sing well breaks your concentration.
5. Future generations will copy what they hear.

These are the 5 drawbacks.

-Gītassara Sutta AN 5.209 (A iii 251)

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