Pu’an Mantra / Stanzas of Siddham (Pu’an Zhou/Shitan Zhang)

Part of the Matheson Trust Sacred Audio Collection

What is today called “Pu’an Zhou” seems to have originated as a liturgical chant attributed to the Buddhist monk Pu’an (1115–69). It can still be heard in villages in north China, and it is also recited in Buddhist temples. Instrumental versions of this chant or melody, or parts of it, became extremely popular and have for centuries been part of the repertoire of classical instruments such as the guqin. Chanted popularly to avoid and dispel worries and misfortunes, the original text is a combination of Buddhist invocations with the repetition of syllables of power from Sanskrit.

We present here several versions: first a liturgical one, with the recitation of the mantra; then a communal interpretation from Hebei; and a guqin solo version.

Pu’an Mantra (temple version)

Click here to download – 11:41 (10MB)

Pu’an Mantra (Hanzhuang Village Yinyuehui Club, Hebei Province)


Intrumental versions for guqin

Shitan Zhang (1592 text version by John Thompson)

Click here to download – 10:40 (12MB)

Pu’an Mantra (short version by Peiyou Chang)

Excellent references to the music and the text of the mantra can be found in these two pages by John Thompson dedicated to the Shitan Zhang and the Pu’an Mantra.