picture by Arindam Thokder Anumodanā (*Sanskrit, "sympathetic joy"; *Pali, anumodana, "satisfaction, thanks; pleased"; *Tibetan, rjes su yi raīs pa) in *Buddhism, one aspect of the *Sevenfold Highest Practice. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Anumodana is a difficult word to translate into English. Literally, it means "rejoicing together," but it can also mean approval and encouragement. The tradition of Buddhist monks' giving anumodana to donors of food and other requisites goes back to the time of the Buddha. After a meal or when presented with a gift, he would often "instruct, urge, rouse, and encourage" the donor(s) with a talk on Dhamma. Many of the anumodana stanzas used today come straight from these talks. Reading them in translation, it is obvious that the stanzas are not mere blessings. They express approval for the donor's wisdom in being generous, explain the rewards of generosity, and give encouragement to continue being generous. Other stanzas, composed in later centuries, fall more into the category of blessings, wishing happiness and good fortune for the donor(s). Definitions Sanskrit (Skt. Saṁskṛtam; in Devanāgarī script) is among the earliest attested members of the Indo-European language family and is not only the premier classical language, but also an official language of India. It enjoys much the same position in Indian culture as Latin and Greek do in Europe. Its vast religious and literary tradition is most famously seen in its Hindu/Vedic traditions. The first Sanskrit text known to us is the Rig-veda (or Ṛgveda), part of the early canon of Hinduism, the Vedas. There are far more Sanskrit texts preserved than there are Latin and Greek ones combined. Most Sanskrit texts available today were composed in ancient and medieval India. Pāli is a middle Indo-Aryan dialect or prakrit. It is most famous as the language in which the scriptures of Theravada Buddhism (also known as the Pāli Canon or in Pāli the Tipitaka) were written down in Sri Lanka in the 1st century BCE. Pāli has been written in a variety of scripts, from Brahmi, Devanagari and other Indic scripts through to a romanised (western) form devised by T. W. Rhys Davids of the Pali Text Society. The Tibetan language is typically classified as member of the Tibeto-Burman branch of the Sino-Tibetan linguistic family. It is a mildly tonal language using two to four tones depending on dialect. It is described as primarily isolating but agglutinative in some degree. It is spoken by approximately 6 million Tibetan people across the Tibetan Plateau as well as by approximately 150,000 exile speakers. Sevenfold Highest Practice (Sanskrit, Pali, lit. "seven way preparations most worthy of respect"; Tibetan, bla na med pa'i mchod pa rnam pa bdun) the Sevenfold Highest Practice or Worship in Buddhism.