There are four great holy days in the Tibetan Buddhist calendar, each celebrating an anniversary of Shakyamuni Buddha’s display of extraordinary deeds for the sake of sentient beings. On these days, karmic results of actions are multiplied by 100 million, as taught in the vinaya text Treasure of Quotations and Logic. The days are based on the Tibetan lunar calendar, so the dates vary each year.

Chotrul Düchen and the Fifteen Days of Miracles (Days 1–15 of Month 1)

Losar, the Tibetan New Year, marks the beginning of the Fifteen Days of Miracles, commemorating a time when Shakyamuni Buddha showed miraculous powers in order to subdue the non-Buddhist teachers (Tirthikas) who doubted the teachings, and to inspire more faith in his followers. Chotrul Duchen, the fifteenth day of the Tibetan New Year, is specifically called the Day of Miracles. During the period from Losar through Chotrul Duchen, FPMT students are advised to recite the Mani and White Tara mantras for the health of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa Rinpoche and the fulfillment of all their wishes, and for the benefit of all in the FPMT organization.

Saka Dawa Düchen (Day 15 of Month 4)

Saka Dawa Düchen recognizes Shakyamuni Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and parinirvana. On this day, karmic results are multiplied by 300 million times. The entire month of Saka Dawa is considered the most important month of the year for practice, since it encompasses the Buddha’s three major life events.

Chökhor Düchen (Day 4 of Month 6)

Choker Düchen celebrates Shakyamuni Buddha’s first teaching at Sarnath (Deer Park), on The Four Noble Truths.

Lhabab Düchen (Day 22 of Month 9)

Lord Buddha’s mother, Mayadevi, died a week after Buddha’s birth and was reborn in Tushita, the Heaven of the Thirty-Three. To repay her kindness and to liberate her from cyclic existence, the Buddha spent months teaching his mother as well as the gods there. Lhabab Düchen commemorates Shakyamuni Buddha’s return to Earth from Tushita.


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