Chanting the Buddhist texts is not a technical or mental exercise or something that is practised merely as a tradition or cultural ritual. Rather it is devotion and recollection with mindfulness and awareness that we are developing. It offers a tangible sense of uplift for those who are chanting and also for those listening.
I am sure many of us have had such an experience when we first heard these chants. Sometimes at Wat Nanachat here in the morning and evening meetings the Ajahn decides not to do the usual chanting with translations and the Sangha instead chants the parittas in Pali. A very inspiring feeling comes out of that.
I can definitely recall many faith-inspiring occasions when I first arrived here and was getting to know the Theravada tradition; times of sensing intense happiness and bliss during the chanting, even though I didn’t understand a single word of what was being recited – transported by an atmosphere charged with those chants.
All those individuals putting their conscious awareness into those ancient words; all those people in a wholesome state of mind reciting these wholesome dhammas created a blessing in the air.
This reflection by Ajahn Kevali is from the book, Seeing the Way, Volume Two, (pdf) p. 147.