Why reciting holy verses?
Reciting verses from the Great Masters, who have realized the teachings in their minds, bringing with their efforts infinite benefit to all beings throughout space, has a special power in training the body, speech and mind in virtue.
It is one of my favourite devotional practices to do, specially if I can do it aloud in an open space where animals surround and can get imprints from the verses they hear. There are stories of animals listening to the recitation of texts and being reborn as human beings with expertise in those texts. Thus, the recitation of wise and compassionate words, does not only benefit the practitioner, but other beings around him as well.
There is a spiritual flavour in recitation of texts that makes the words penetrate deeper the heart, because the voice is a powerful instrument to communicate the Truth. And its virtuous echo reverberates through space, blessing anyone who is touched by it.
All these recordings are done in open spaces in the woods or villages and thus the noises of the background are part of a reminder of how there are always things going on around us: other beings, disruptions, musical sounds, silence. A reminder as well of how samsara is imperfect, but if our mind is focused in virtue, then all noises remain there in the background, incapable of being an obstacle to having a happy state of mind.
Shantideva (687-763 d. C.) was a great indian master from the Nalanda tradition. Having composed the Bodhisattvacharyavattara (Guide to the Bodhisattva's way of life), he is one of the Greatest Guides in Mahayana Buddhism. Everything that someone aspiring for the bodhisattva Path should learn to know how to practice, is taught by him.
All mistakes of this recitation are my own.