Abstract: The Desana Mahajati Sermon is the ritualized preaching of the Vesantara Jataka. The ceremony has existed since the Sukhotai era of Thailand and originated from the 1,000 verses of Pali incantations of the Vesantar Jataka. The 1,000 verses were revised into 13 chapters. Each chapter ends with a musical interlude and a distinctive ornamented melody known locally as Lae melody at the beginning and the middle of the reciting. The Desana Mahajati sermon is divided into the royal version and the public version. Both versions have Lae melodies. The royal version is regarded as the standard pattern or official style of Desana Mahajati and the content directly from the Vesantara Jataka. The public version of Desana Mahajati Sermon or public Lae melodies that refer to content outside the Vesantara Jataka such as other Jataka stories, the history of the Buddha, local folk tales and Thai literature stories. Currently, the succession of the sermons is still continued but the Lae melodies are disappearing and being performed incorrectly. The methods to improve and provide sustainable development of the correct Lae melodies of the sermon can be done by creating a master prototype recording of the accurate royal and public versions and encourage preachers to learn the sermon at the temples. Courses on Desana Mahajati sermon should be taught by teachers, who are experts and have experience. Sermon training should be followed up to asses the effectiveness of the teachings and development. Create prototype media such as CD and DVD by conserving the location, ceremony rituals, melodies, version and content of the correct Desana Mahajati sermon and invite private and government organizations to participate as hosts, sponsors and to help promote the media to preachers, priests and the general public.
Phrakruvinaitorn Manop Palaphan, Songkoon Chantachon and Pornpen Tanprasert, 2009. Succession and Development of Lae Melody of Desana Mahajati Sermon in Central Thailand. The Social Sciences, 4: 483-488.