The Fifteen Days of Miracles—from the first day of the Tibetan new year (Losar, February 21, 2023) until the fifteenth (March 7, 2023)—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: Tuesday, March 7, 2023, 6:30 – 7:30 am EST online
Ceremony to Take the Mahāyāna Precepts for One Day
The practice of the Mahāyāna precepts is a wonderful opportunity to accumulate merit on the Holy Day of Miracles (Chotrul Duchen). Geshe la will transmit the practice, which involves keeping precepts of pure conduct and fasting after the noontime meal for a period of 24 hours. You can learn more about taking these precepts here.
Geshe la encourages those who are in other time zones to take the precepts using the recording from Lama Zopa Rinpoche if they have not received the transmission.
Ceremony to Generating Aspiring Bodhicitta and Receive the Engaging Bodhisattva Vows
Geshe Sonam will also 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.”
Learn more about Part 2: Shakyamuni Buddha Puja with Khedrup la here.
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 mission at Lama Yeshe Ling is for all of us to develop Dharma realizations. If access to our events required paying a fee, we would loose the opportunity to promote generosity as a necessary part of the path to awakening.
So, our programs are offered freely, with everything we are able to do arising solely through your many forms of generous support. Let us all rejoice in such virtue, we are so grateful.
With a compassionate intention to benefit all sentient beings (limitless),
Thinking ‘may the Dharma Jewel remain long in this world’ (profound),
Sharing with a feeling that we have more than we need (purity);
We create limitless, profound, and pure goodness for ourselves and for others. Amazing!
Due to virtues from our past we are connected to holy Dharma now; when you offer support for the Dharma you create the causes for continuing this precious connection.