Celebrating the day Buddha returned from the deva realm after teaching the Dharma to his mother.
Tuesday, November 19
All merit created on this day is multiplied 100,000 times.
What is Lhabab Duchen?
Lhabab Duchen is the anniversary of the day that the Buddha descended from the God Realm of the Thirty-three where he had been teaching his mother the Dharma. The Buddha had been away for three months, and his return was a joyous occasion for countless disciples.
On Lhabab Duchen — literally “the great occasion of divine descent” and one of the main holy days of the Buddhist calendar — we also celebrate the Buddha’s life and teachings.
When a Buddha is on Earth in the nirmanakya form — a fully awakened being who turns the Wheel of Dharma and sets the Dharma in motion in a historical era — it’s a time of incredible fortune. People born at that time have tremendous merit.
In our case, although we didn’t have the fortune to be born at the time of the Buddha, we have the fortune to receive his teachings from a pure lineage that goes back to him.
In Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions, by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Ven. Thubten Chodron,
His Holiness writes:
“I feel a deep connection to Gautama Buddha as well as profound gratitude for his teachings and for the example of his life.
“He had insights into the workings of the mind that were previously unknown. He taught that our outlook impacts our experience and that our experiences of suffering and happiness are not thrust upon us by others but are a product of the ignorance and afflictions in our minds.”
This teaching is rare and so needed in our world.
On Lhabab Duchen, let’s generate gratitude to Buddha and the entire lineage of teachers who have preserved his teachings.
Rejoice to know that wisdom and compassion can grow in the hearts of all beings.
How to celebrate Lhabab Duchen
- Out of gratitude, make special offerings to the Three Jewels on your altar. You can also do the Extensive Offering Practice. Read Ven. Chodron’s commentary on the practice here.
- Early Tuesday morning, take the 8 Mahayana precepts for 24 hours where you especially refrain from negativities and distractions from the Dharma.
- Continue your morning practice with the Meditation on the Buddha, guiding yourself or listening to Ven. Chodron leading the practice.
- You can offer your merit from reciting the Buddha’s mantra to help build the Abbey’s new Buddha Hall. Learn more here.
- Watch Ven. Chodron’s short teaching on Lhabab Duchen.