Chotrul Duchen or The Day of Miracles is the first of the Four Great Buddhist Holidays

The first full moon in the Tibetan lunar calendar is celebrated as the Day of Miracles, or Chotrul Duchen, which commemorates the final day of miraculous display by the Buddha which lasted 15 days. These fifteen days of the year celebrate the fifteen days during which the historical Buddha displayed miracles for his disciples so as to increase their devotion. The Buddha also performed the miracles in response to a challenge from six rival teachers. Chotrul Duchen, meaning “Great Day of Miraculous Manifestations”, is the first of the four great holy days observed by Tibetan Buddhists, always occurring on the Fifteenth day of the first lunar Month in the Tibetan calendar. During this time, it is believed that the effects of both positive and negative actions are multiplied ten million times. Therefor, these 15 days are merit-multiplying days in which any virtue created is magnified millions of times.  

The Day of Miracles is also the most special day of Monlam Chenmo, the Great Prayer Festival, where thousands of people, lay and ordained alike, pray, and make offerings of food, tea, lights or money to the Sangha. To commemorate the occasion, Tibetans make lamps, traditionally of yak butter, called butter lamps, in the shapes of flowers, trees, birds, and other auspicious symbols. They also create elaborate displays for the lamps in their homes and in public spaces, sometimes erecting structures as large as a building.

Many Buddhists take this time from Losar (Friday, February 16, 2018), the beginning of the Tibetan new year to Chotrul Duchen (Friday, March 2, 2018), The Day of Miracles as a very beneficial and important time to practice. I myself expand my personal practice deeply at this time. Not just for the “merit-multiplying” power of these days or the “combined similar power” attained by practicing with other Buddhists from around the world. I take this yearly cycle of time in my personal practice to reset, ground, and deepen my faith in Buddhism. Each year at this time I choose one specific type of practice and engage sincerely and deeply for 15 days.

Whether you are increasing your mantra practice, recitations, prostrations, intellectual Dharma study, contemplation, translating or transcribing, or going on retreat, Chotrul Duchen is one of the best times of the year to engage in the learning, contemplation, and meditation of the Teaching of The Buddha.

AlejAndro Anastasio 


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