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In Buddha’s time, monastics would have to repeat parts of the scripture immediately after it’s been passed down orally from their teachers. Only until they’ve fully committed the content to memory would their teacher move on to the next subject.

“What are we going to do so much teachings?”
Seeing the puzzled look in their eyes, their teacher replied, “Recitations help speed up your comprehension of the teachings. This in turn helps you attain Buddhahood.”

In this lifetime, what we correspond to the most comes from what we’ve practiced recurrently in the past. Even if you’re only proficient in a certain type of teaching, it can help you understand the meaning of other teachings, and encourage us to study Buddhism. But how do we awaken such habit? Recitations is one way.

In the past, there was a monk who came across many obstacles while studying the Five Great Treatises. From the Collective Topics to the Ornament of Clear Realization, he couldn’t understand a thing One day, while reciting the Speech of Gold in the Essence of True Eloquence, everything felt all too familiar. He successfully memorized the scripture in twelve days. Suddenly, the text didn’t seem that difficult to comprehend. Revisiting what he’d already learnt, he also realized that Collective Topics, Buddhist Logic, and Science of Mind also weren’t as hard as he’d imagined.

Although we can’t remember what we’ve practiced in our previous lives, recitations expose us to what we’ve corresponded to in the past. This may in turn solve many learning obstacles along the way.

Recitations, though mundane, can help sharpen our wisdom by deepening our understanding of scriptures. Such unpretentious cultivating oneself in the right practice, is in fact most auspicious.