The Sariputta Stupa at the World Heritage Site in Nāḷandā, as photographed by a 2022 Pariyatti pilgrim. Nāḷandā was once the biggest Dhamma center in the world with more than 10.000 students and 1500 teachers; it lasted for more than 700 years.
Applications are open for the Along the Path pilgrimage in March 2023.
Pariyatti's annual fundraising campaign is underway to raise $75,000. To date 59 supporters have donated $6,479.80.
Do you wonder why Pariyatti needs financial support to continue operations? The most visible side of Pariyatti is selling books, but we do much more. We publish, import, and distribute titles from the Buddhist Publication Society, Pāli Text Society, and Vipassana Research Institute, and our catalog contains more than 1,450 products.
Our free services include the Pariyatti Learning Center, the Treasures, the online Pariyatti Journal, and the Daily Words (available via email, RSS feeds, and mobile app for daily inspiration). In 2022 we continued our Pariyatti Presents... program more actively then ever, with eight insightful online events. We are also very glad our donation-based residential Pāli workshops will resume again. Since 2012 we have organized 30 residential workshops: in the USA, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Israel, Poland, and Spain. In 2023 we plan to hold two more workshops: in Spain and California.
None of these activities is ‘profitable’ in the conventional sense, but they are no less worthwhile.
During 2022 www.pariyatti.org saw between 490 and 1,600 unique visitors each day from over 200 different countries. In total about 170,000 individuals paid well over 280,000 visits to our website, totalling about 640,000 page views. Our catalog contains Vipassana resources in over 50 languages. Volunteers continue to help make our books, audio and video available in languages other than English. The language pages on our website list all resources per language.
Your support is essential and greatly appreciated.
Many employers in the USA will match donations to nonprofit organizations; if yours does, please take advantage of this to double the value of your gift!
You are welcome to make a one-time donation or may consider making a monthly recurring donation. Donations of any amount can be made online, by check, or by phone.
For US residents the most profitable way to donate is via PayPal Giving Fund, as there are no fees on donations given via the PayPal Giving Fund; we receive the full 100%. To make a donation in Euros or Pounds please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will send a receipt for your records; donations are tax-deductible in accordance with US tax regulations.With mettā and kataññu (gratitude),
Due to its length, this newsletter might be clipped (cut off) by some email providers (such as Gmail). In that case you will have to open the newsletter in the Internet browser (via the link provided at the cut-off point) to read it in its entirety.
How Pariyatti Publishing Came to Be
From Pariyatti Book Service and VRPA
to Pariyatti and VRP (and More)
Pariyatti publishes titles under five different imprints. This is noteworthy, as neither of the two organisations that merged to form Pariyatti originally set out as publishers.
Pariyatti Book Service, set up in 1986, started making books and tapes available by mail order to Vipassana meditators in the USA at a time when Vipassana Research Institute (VRI) had not yet begun to publish, when The Art of Living was still being written, and when there was only one, very new, Vipassana Meditation Center (VMC) in North America (Dhamma Dharā).
Linda Warren, who began the service, aimed to offer what was listed at that time in the 'Recommended Reading List' (RRL), sourcing from any seller that offered good Dhamma books. The RRL, prepared by Bill Hart for the benefit of Western students of Goenkaji, included a mixed collection of resources from the Buddhist Publication Society (BPS), the Pali Text Society (PTS), Motilal Barnasidass, and other publishers.
Vipassana Research Publications of America (VRPA), the brainchild of Rick Crutcher was initiated in 1993, when VRI—which had started publishing by then—was on the verge of printing the first books of the Pāli Tipiṭaka in Devanāgari script. Rick, who was involved with publishing English language books at VRI and studied Pāli at VRI in India for several years, spoke with Goenkaji, discussing his idea of starting a US 'branch' of VRI, to make the Pāli Tipiṭaka books available to scholars in the West.
The Tipiṭaka would be brought out in distinct sets. The Dīgha Nikāya (the collection of long discourses) would come out first—together with its commentaries in one box; the Majjhima Nikāya (the collection of middle-length discourses) would be next, etc., and the idea was to ship the Tipiṭaka sets to the USA as they became available. During the initial organisational phase, it was agreed to also include English VRI books in each shipping and start distributing this collection.
It took from 1993 to late 1995 to actually get books shipped to Seattle from Igatpuri and to begin fulfilling wholesale orders. Some of the first books that were shipped—apart from the Tipiṭaka sets—were the Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta books, the then just released second edition of the The Sayagyi U Ba Khin Journal and the grammar book Pāli Primer.
Linda from Pariyatti Book Service, who became VRPA's major customer, was delighted not to have to import the books from VRI anymore, since she could get them easily from VRPA. VRPA took over the hard work of communicating with and arranging transportation from India. Only a bit more than a year later VRPA was asked to take over the Pariyatti Book Service. This merger meant that wholesale orders between VRPA and Pariyatti Book Service would be unnecessary and the same books could be sold directly to individuals and institutions.
This was during the decade of the growth of the Internet, and computers were the field of expertise of Frank Snow, one of Rick's fellow Pāli students at VRI. Frank launched the website pariyatti.com in 1996. The Pariyatti name was kept as the name Pariyatti Book Service was already well known to meditators in the USA where VRPA was almost entirely unknown (and for website purposes unpronounceably long).
In the meantime Vipassana centers were springing up across the world as Vipassana was spreading widely; Pariyatti wanted to supply the Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta books for the North American centers, which were often having difficulties getting hold of them. As ordering books from India was labourious and took so much time, Goenkaji agreed for Pariyatti to start printing the Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta books, and later other VRI titles. That's how the first imprint came to be: Vipassana Research Publications (VRP).
Over time the scope of the imprint broadened; from printing just VRI titles, to publishing other Vipassana related titles such as Karma and Chaos and The Art of Dying. The Discourse Summaries is the absolute best-seller of the VRP catalog; we have that title also available in Chinese, Farsi, French, Spanish, Thai, and Vietnamese.
Publishing VRP title The Gem Set in Gold is an example of a project that started off with a simple idea but became quite an intricate undertaking. Rebecca Lemov wrote an article in 2006 to celebrate its release, after it had been a decade in the making. The Gem Set in Gold displays English translations of the Pāli and Hindi chanting by S.N. Goenka from a ten-day Vipassana meditation course—from the opening night to the end of the course, including each day's morning chanting and all other chantings.
We touched base with Rick Crutcher and were astonished about the amount of effort we learned had gone into the whole translating process. Rebecca mentions in her article that for the Hindi dohas the initial translation by Bill Hart was used. For the Pāli this was different. The Pāli suttas that are heard during the morning chanting each day have various sources. Several of the daily “suttas” are not actually found in the canonical Pāli Tipiṭaka. They are traditional parittas, or protective chantings, that have been preserved for centuries and have become a standard part of daily practice in the Theravāda countries. This paritta tradition is a very old one; it dates back to the time of the Buddha himself. For some parittas, verses were taken from the canonical literature, but often an introductory verse was composed and added. Other parittas are compilations of inspirational verses that refer to events or suttas from the Pāli canon. There are examples of all of these types among the morning chanting collection in The Gem Set in Gold.
Pāli passages that only existed as a recording first had to be transcribed even before the translation work began. Evie Chaunchey, a Vipassana teacher from British Columbia, took the lead; the team of volunteers was an international mix, with people participating from Europe, India, and the USA. The Pāli course in India turned out to be a great source of volunteers, which lead to Klaus Nothnagel from Europe as well as several Indian editors and the personal secretary from Goenkaji taking part, besides many others. Translators sent their versions via email to Rick and everyone checked each others' work, step by step 'honing it down' to English translations, to 'text that we can recognize', as Rick put it.
As in 2006 print on demand (POD) was not yet available, an investment was always needed to fund a first print run. To limit those cost, a limited page count was generally aimed for, which in this case had some consequences for how the book was made up. Repeat chantings are not included, and one needs to be somewhat scholarly to fully understand the structure. Currently, Pariyatti is working on a second version that will show all chantings and translations in chronological order, as they appear in the course. Stay tuned for that!
Pariyatti Calendar and other Gift Ideas
The Pariyatti Pilgrimage Wall Calendar 2023 features photos taken during the Along the Path pilgrimages through India & Nepal that Pariyatti has been facilitating for Vipassana meditators since 2013. The images present places related to the life and the teachings of the Buddha. The calendars are vertical and consist of one cover page and twelve inner pages—one page with an inspirational image for each month—printed on 250 gsm / 100 lb semi-glossy silk paper. They have sturdy wire-binding and a hanging hook.
For production and shipping reasons, there are two variations available: one for ordering from the USA and Canada (11''x 16.5''), and an A3-sized one for the rest of the world (29.7 x 42 cm).
Our End-of Year Campaign
Our goal is to raise $75,000 by December 31.
Dhamma Story Time - Time change
The Tuesday session is still scheduled as usual, at 7am PT (10am ET, 4pm CET, 8:30pm IST), and being read is The Art of Living.
An Interview with Patrick Given-Wilson
The event will start at 3pm Pacific Time (US)—which is 10am AEDT—to accommodate folks from Australia and the US. It will be a one-hour interview followed by a 30-minute Q&A (with selected questions from the audience).
Why I Serve
By Jeppe Strandskov
I have once again returned home after serving on a 10-day Vipassana meditation course. I arrived at the course a few days after it had begun. On this course I was washing dishes. Doing the dishes for 80 students whom you don’t know, without being paid, probably doesn’t sound very appealing. The task also included waking up at 5:30 am to make their breakfast, working closely with other servers whom I likewise didn’t know, cleaning toilets, and a list of other chores that most people wouldn’t ordinarily find very motivating. Continue reading...
By Luz Donis
All arises and passes away
nothing stays the same way,
with this you don’t play
there’s no way to stay.
Tripod of Life
By Manis Chopra
Through years and years of near incessant effort in progressing my life journey on the basis of academic and professional achievement, I had come to the simple-minded conclusion that my ability and focused effort were the sole determinants enabling my life’s outcomes. Applying a Newtonian approach to the life journey, I believed that the force and energy I apply directly and proportionally propel me forward and thus the greater my effort, so shall the output be. Continue reading...
Exploring the Path (ETP) lesson 3.8.16 is online. Mahāparinibbānasuttaṃ, Veḷuvagāmavassūpagamanaṃ – Be an Island within Yourselves – attadīpā viharatha attasaraṇā
‘Attadīpāti attano guṇe eva attano dīpaṃ katvā vicarantā khīṇāsavā vuccanti.’
‘Dwelling with oneself as an island’ refers to the quality that ‘having made oneself an island’ means abiding without any impurities remaining’
While lesson 3.8.14, Dutiyagelaññasuttaṃ, referred to the guiding principle of the Buddha, 'kālaṃ āgameyya' ('allow the time to ripen!') as a soothing reminder for everyone walking the path to develop patience, endurance and calmness, lesson 3.8.16 upholds another wellspring of inspiration. In various locations throughout the Tipiṭaka the Buddha prompts his disciples to work self-dependant and self-reliant and advises them to be their own master:
‘attadīpā viharatha attasaraṇā anaññasaraṇā,
dhammadīpā dhammasaraṇā anaññasaraṇā’
‘Make yourselves an island within,
Take refuge within yourselves without any other refuge.
Let Dhamma be your island,
make Dhamma your refuge without any other refuge.’
ETP has now chosen this quote and presents it in the section of the Mahāparinibbānasuttaṃ, the fragment of Veḷuvagāmavassūpagamanaṃ to conclude the chapter on sammā sati. In lesson 3.8.16 the Buddha assuages Venerable Ānanda, who during a severe sickness that attacked the Enlightened One was fearful that the Buddha might pass away, without a last admonition. It is here that the Buddha emphasised that he had already revealed all that was to be taught, that it is the Dhamma that guides, and that it is the Dhamma, if fostered within, will bring final liberation.
Donations: Either one-time or monthly pledge
Pariyatti is a charitable, non-profit, educational support system for the Dhamma community. Pariyatti exists because of funds donated by supporters.
FACT: Did you know that the audiobooks we publish are offered for free? The recordings came to be thanks to volunteers who lend their voices and time. May their service be of benefit to many! Read the article on the process of recording audiobooks that we featured in a previous newsletter.
Would you like to receive a dose of inspiration each day? You can choose to have Daily Words of the Buddha, A Pāli Word a Day, and/or Daily Dhamma Verses (Dohas) sent to your inbox. These inspirational daily messages are also available via RSS feed and mobile app. Across the services there are various translations available: English, Chinese, Spanish, French, Brazilian-Portuguese, Italian, Serbo-Croatian, and Lithuanian.
upādānanirodhā – upādāna + nirodha = clinging, attachment, grasping + destruction, cessation, annihilation—a synonym for nibbāna
867 Larmon Rd.
Onalaska, WA 98570, USA