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Advice for Losar and the Fifteen Days of Miracles 2023

Feb 10, 2023 09:16 am

Lama Zopa Rinpoche leading incense puja on Kopan Hill on the third day of Losar, 2022. Photo by Ven. Lobsang Sherab.

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.

The Fifteen Days of Miracles are a time for pilgrimage and intensive Dharma practice. During this period, many Tibetan monasteries hold a Great Prayer Festival—Monlam Chenmo—for several days or even weeks, during which the Sangha recite prayers from morning until evening. This year there will be a Monlam Chenmo at a monastery in Swayambhu which Kopan Sangha will be attending.

All fifteen days are merit multiplying days, when the merit of virtuous actions performed on these days is multiplied by 100 million, according to the vinaya text Treasure of Quotations and Logic.

Advice Specifically for Losar, the Anniversary of Lama Yeshe’s Passing Away

Lama Yeshe, Switzerland, 1978. Photo by Ueli Minder, courtesy of the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.

For FPMT, Losar is a special time as it commemorates the anniversary of FPMT founder Lama Yeshe’s parinirvana at dawn of Losar in 1984.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche translated and commented on a short Tibetan text, Advice for the Anniversary of the Guru’s Passing Away, that explains the importance of making offerings on the anniversary of the passing away of one’s guru. It sets out the benefits of making offerings, how to make the offerings with six remembrances, and how to offer and dedicate the roots of virtue collected.

Since one of the very best ways to make offerings to the guru is to offer extensive Lama Chopa with tsog, Lama Zopa Rinpoche requests FPMT centers to do this practice on Losar in honor of the anniversary of Lama Yeshe’s passing away. Doing so brings about the greatest purification of negative karma and collects the most incredible merit.

This Losar marks thirty-nine years since the passing away of Lama Yeshe. Rinpoche also recommends that centers host annual events to introduce new students to Lama Yeshe. These events might include students who knew Lama Yeshe sharing their favorite stories, watching videos of Lama teaching, or reading stories about Lama.  

The Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive has made available the 1984 edition of Wisdom Magazine (the precursor of Mandala magazine), which was a tribute to Lama Yeshe published shortly after his passing.

Advice for the Fifteen Days of Miracles

Students can find Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s advice for merit multiplying days, including the Fifteen Days of Miracles, collected online. (Advice for merit multiplying days can also be found in French.)

(Rinpoche offers additional advice for FPMT centers celebrating special days throughout the year in the Affiliates Area.)

If the members of your community decide to recite the Sutra of Golden Light on these special days, we invite them to report their recitations on the Sutra of Golden Light reporting page.

Please keep in mind: In accordance with the advice of Ven. Choden Rinpoche, one of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s teachers, Lama Zopa Rinpoche observes all the auspicious dates in the Buddhist calendar by Indian Standard time, instead of any other local time.

Creating Merit during the Fifteen Days of Miracles

Sangha offering puja at Kopan Monastery, 2022. Photo by Ven. Lobsang Sherab.

Every merit multiplying day, the FPMT Puja Fund sponsors extensive pujas and offerings to be made on behalf of the entire FPMT organization. This Losar and during the fifteen days of miracles, the following pujas and offerings will be made by ten thousand Sangha, who are undertaking the practices and dedicating them to all the FPMT centers, projects, and services; all students, volunteers; those who offer service to the FPMT organization in any way; and to all beings:

  • Gyudmed Tantric College will recite the Prajnaparamita (three versions)
  • Gyuto Tantric College will offer Namgyäl Tong Chö and Zangcho
  • Sera Je and Mey monasteries will offer Druk Chu Ma, Namgyäl Tong Chö, and Zangcho 
  • Gaden Jangtse and Shartse Monastery will offer Medicine Buddha puja, Druk Chu Ma, and Zangcho 
  • Drepung Gomang, Loseling Monastery will offer Namgyäl Tsechog puja, Druk Chu Ma, and Zangcho 

In addition, the following auspicious activities are sponsored:

  • Offerings are made to all of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s gurus and to Sangha in FPMT international Sangha communities.
  • Robes are offered to the Buddha statue in Bodhgaya, and new parasols and whitewash are offered to Bouddha and Swayambhu stupas.
  • The following sutras are printed: Golden Light Sutra, Arya Sanghata Sutra, Vajra Cutter Sutra, Sutra of Great Liberation and Amitayus Long Life Sutra.
  • Over 1,500 animals are liberated
  • Tsa-tsas and stupas are made, filled, and consecrated

 Please take a moment to rejoice in all these incredible practices and offerings that have been arranged. You can also participate in any of these pujas and offerings by contributing any amount.

Liberation Calendar

Special thanks to the Liberation Prison Project for preparing this year’s Tibetan calendar. A limited view of the calendar is always available on “Dharma Practice Dates” as a courtesy to FPMT students around the world.

Through comprehensive study programs and practice materials, FPMT Education Services nourishes the development of compassion, wisdom, kindness, and true happiness in individuals of all ages.

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