Chokhor Düchen 2020
Chokhor Düchen, First Turning of the Dharma Wheel.
Celebrate Chökhor Düchen: July 24, 2020
Chokhor Düchen is one of the most important “great occasion(s)” (düchen) of the Tibetan Buddhist calendar as it marks Buddha Shakyamuni’s historic first turning of the Dharma wheel. The first turning is said to have taken place at Deer Park in Sarnath near Varanasi (located in northern India). This important day falls on the fourth day of the sixth lunar month in the Tibetan calendar, which is Friday, July 24th, 2020.
It is the Four Noble Truths taught at that first turning of the Dharma Wheel thats paved the way to Nirvana for countless Buddhists over the past 2600 years; and continues to be the foundation of the path into the Buddha-hood for Mahayana practitioners. Many Tibetan Buddhists celebrate Chokhor Düchen, by making pilgrimages to holy places, making offerings such as incense, and hanging prayer flags.
Chökhor Düchen: A Wonderful Opportunity to Multiply Merit
It is believed that positive merits produced on the anniversary of this sacred day are multiplied 100 million times over. As Buddhists we should all take advantage of this auspicious time to practice well! You can join together with your sangha family, support the temple and its activities through the first paramita of generosity, and showing compassion to all sentient beings, especially the most suffering ones. We can then take whatever virtuous merits accumulated on this day and dedicate them towards Buddhahood for all sentient beings.
Chökhor Düchen: Reflect on the Teacher and the Teachings
Reading, reflecting and putting Buddha’s teachings into practice is a wonderful way to celebrate this “great occasion.” Begin with paying homage to the Three Jewels; the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Deepen your understanding of the profundity of the Four Noble Truths as well as the Eightfold Noble Path.
Four Noble Truths
In the Four Noble Truths, Buddha talked about the importance of understanding suffering, the causes of suffering, the possibility of liberation from the suffering, the possibility of Nirvana and the path: the way to Nirvana, the method, the Dharma. Suffering comes about from causes and conditions that we have accumulated in the past due to our ignorance, attachment and aversion. Both attachment and aversion stem from ignorance. Ignorance blinds us from seeing the truth.
The term Dharma is translated in Tibetan as “Cho,” Cho meaning transformation or change, changing ourselves from negative into positive. Changing our ignorance into insight and wisdom, that brings us to cessation. However, in the Mahayana tradition, our ultimate goal is to achieve Buddhahood, the fully enlightened state. This way we can help infinite sentient beings. When you genuinely think about the wellbeing of all sentient beings, selfish-concern and its anxiety disappears.
Eightfold Noble Path
The Noble Eightfold Path consists of: right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration. “Right” here means righteousness, virtue, the extraordinary eightfold path. The “Eightfold Righteous Path” would be the correct translation. Righteousness meaning the quality of being morally right or justifiable.
Stay tuned to our website and social media outlets for more information on a celebration and teaching at the Buddhist Institute of Universal Compassion to honor this auspicious day.