The Fifteen Days of Miracles—from the first day of the Tibetan new year (Losar, February 10, 2024) until the fifteenth (February 24, 2024) —commemorate the special time when Guru Shakyamuni Buddha showed miraculous powers in order to subdue six tirthikas, or non-Buddhist teachers, who lacked faith in him, and to inspire more faith in his followers. It culminates on the full moon, the fifteenth day of the lunar calendar, which is the actual day of Chotrul Duchen. Merit created on this day (and during all of the Days of Miracles) is multiplied 100 million times according to the Vinaya text Treasure of Quotations and Logics so this is a wonderful opportunity for us to practice online together.
When: Saturday, February 10, 2024, 8:00 – 9:00 am ET
Where: Please register here to watch online. (this is a very simple and quick registration process by email),
or watch the sessions live-streamed on Facebook.
We apologize but due to the recent coronavirus outbreak and our small temple space, the teachings will will be ONLINE ONLY.
Ceremony to Generating Aspiring Bodhicitta and Receive the Engaging Bodhisattva Vows
Geshe Sonam will perform a ceremony to confer the aspiring and engaging commitments of bodhicitta. A bodhisattva is someone who, whether on an aspiring or on an engaging level, commits to working to achieve enlightenment in order to be able to lead all beings to enlightenment. Committing to the Bodhisattva Vows helps by guiding us to understand which actions should be practiced and which should be avoided in order to be of the greatest benefit to others, develop compassion, and overcome selfish ways of being.
Taking the vows to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings, is one of the foremost milestones in the life of a Mahāyāna Buddhist. Geshe la will give this ceremony in two parts, suitable for two levels of commitment.
The late Lama Thubten Yeshe explained the two types of commitment in this way:
“At the outset I mentioned two ways of taking the bodhisattva vows. The first is the wishful (aspiring) way, wanting to develop the mind that wishes to help other sentient beings as much as possible, realizing that to help others in the best way you have to develop toward liberation as quickly as possible, and trying to maintain that motivation continuously in this, the next and all future lives.
If you take the vows the second (engaging) way, you think, “I shall keep the root and branch vows and actualize the six perfections as much as I possibly can from now on, not only until my death, but forever.” This is the sort of strong determination that you make.”
See more resources below.
Transmission of the Praises to The Twenty-One Taras
Geshe Sonam will also be giving a transmission of the Praises to the Twenty-One Tara on this auspicious day.
Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche said:
Reciting the Praise to the Twenty-One Taras with devotion at dawn or dusk, or remembering Tara, singing praises, and reciting Tara mantras at any time of the day or night, protects you from fear and dangers, and fulfill all your wishes. If you pray to Tara, Tara is particularly quick to grant help.
There are also many temporal benefits from Tara practice. Tara can solve many problems in your life: liberate you from untimely death; help you recover from sickness and disease; bring you success in business; help you to find a job; bring you wealth. Through Tara practice, you can obtain any happiness of this life that you wish.
You can learn also more about the Bodhisattva Vows here.
Specific advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche for practices to do on merit multiplying days can be found on FPMT.org, including advice to recite the Sutra of Golden Light on this special day. If you might like to report your recitations using the facility on FPMT.org, which you can find on the Sutra of Golden Light reporting page.
On merit-multiplying days, the FPMT Puja Fund sponsors a large number of pujas and practices offered by thousands of sangha on behalf of the entire FPMT. These prayers are dedicated to all FPMT centers, projects, and services; all students, volunteers, and those who offer service in FPMT; and to all beings in general.
Our programs are given freely, and we also rely on your generosity – this is the traditional and pure way of the Buddha Dharma. Offering support for the Dharma can be a limitlessly powerful act. This is the highest, most long-term form of generosity, which is to share with others the path to full awakening. When we support the Dharma we create causes for us to encounter the Dharma frequently, and we create the merit to be able to integrate the teachings in our minds easily. Offering support deepens our connection to Dharma teachers and connects us as a community.