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A Chanto (plural "Chanta") is a Nizari Ismaili ceremony in which one seeks forgiveness.
Chanta are performed by Ismaili as a method of seeking forgiveness for past and future sins. One popular chanto is the Du'a Karavi, which is performed before the Jamatkhana leaders as a plea for forgiveness of daily sins. Chantas are performed every "Chand Raat" (new moon celebration) and as part of Ismaili funeral rites.
Once a year, on Laylat ul-Qadr (the night of power), Ismailis perform a series of fifteen Chanta both as a way to seek forgiveness and as a reminder of the importance of daily prayer. The fifteen chanta performed on Laylat ul-Qadr are:
Taube no chanto: Ismailis perform the taube no chanto to seek forgiveness for failing to repent of sins.
Dasond ni bhul chuk no chanto: Dasond is required of all Nizari Ismailis and a foundation of the faith. This chanto is used to seek forgiveness for any unintentional errors that they may have been committed during the year.
Tran wakhat dua ni bhul chuk no chanto: With this chanto one seeks forgiveness for irregularity in performing the Holy Du'a, the Nizari Ismaili prayer performed thrice daily. This chanto is used to seek forgiveness for unintentional lapses of this daily practice.
Gupt gunah no chanto: This chanto is used to seek forgiveness for sins of thought, such as ill will or jealousy towards someone, as a reminder of the need to keep the mind pure.
Char joog no chanto: This chanto is performed in order to seek forgiveness for sins committed in one's many past lives throughout the four ages, or Char Joog. Nizari Ismailism teaches that due to Karma, the reincarnated soul has not attained salvation and this chanto is performed to seek forgiveness for these sins.
Girbhavas no chanto: This chanto is used to seek forgiveness for failing to fulfill promises made prior to birth. Nizari Ismailism teaches that the soul is fully aware of its origin and of its purpose while still in the womb, and that prior to birth it makes a promise to live according to the farmans of the Imam-e Zaman. Worldly concerns sometimes interfere with fulfilling this promise, and this chanto is used to seek forgiveness for that failure.
Ghor bhid no chanto: At the moment of death, the more attached the soul is to the world, the more difficult it is for the soul to leave the body. Depending on the degree of a person's attachments, this process can be very painful to the soul. The ghor bhid no chanto is performed to seek mercy from this pain.
Kabar na puchana no chanto: This chanto is performed to ease the time of accounting when the soul is judged for all its deeds on Earth, and as a reminder that all deeds must be accounted for after death.
Paheli manzil no chanto: Having accounted for its actions, the soul begins the first phase of its journey forward. At this point, the soul is attached to earthly matters, a burden which slows the soul's progress. This chanto is performed to enable the soul to realize the futility of carrying this burden and to discard it.
Biji mannzil no manzil no chanto: After discarding attachments to earthly possessions and desires, the soul begins a second phase of its journey. At this point the results of past deeds become apparent and sins become a burden. This chanto is performed to ease this part of the journey.
Ognis tol no chanto: Pir Sadardin in "Vis Tol" explains that path of the soul after death has nineteen points where the soul may be delayed or stopped because of past actions. This chanto is performed to ease this journey and to remind one that death is the beginning of a long journey.
- Ali Muhammad, Kamaluddin (2008). Practices and Ceremonies. Translated by Kamaluddin, Zarina. Ismaili Tariqah Board.
- Davis, Jimmy (2007). The Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims: A Short Introduction. Lulu. ISBN 1-4303-1562-8.
- "Chantas". Retrieved 2010-05-22.
- "Ismaili Chanta". Retrieved 2010-05-18.