Having immersed in the materialistic world of suffering, though we tend to preach a lot about what is good and bad and try to adopt many philosophies for carrying out karmic deeds, yet we land up doing nothing virtuous and finally when we reflect to the days gone by, it’s all the same mundane that we have done. This according to our revered Rinpoches, are due to the accumulation of bad karma or sins committed in our previous life. Belief it or not, we are taught that it’s the fate of previous life which governs our life, and at such points it seems futile to believe in our will and following our dreams because life seems to be prewritten. We cannot change the past deeds so we will have to face the present circumstances the way it is bequeathed but then we can always pave a path for better future and in that case for our existence after death, by doing some noble deeds.
The days like 8th, 10th, 15th 25th and 30th of every month are considered very auspicious for accumulating good karma and are very religious day for dedicating oneself towards virtuous deeds. So if not every day, at least on such auspicious days we are reminded about the impermanence of our existence and we by default turn faithful devotees towards Dharma. In addition to those regular auspicious days of the month there are few other auspicious days related to the life of great Buddhist masters and of course the Lord Buddha.
There are three important holidays, which we celebrate every year in remembrance to Lord Buddha viz.., Lord Buddha’s Parinirvana on 15th day of the fourth month, First Sermon of Lord Buddha on 4th day of the sixth month, and Descending Day of Lord Buddha on 22nd day of the ninth month, all corresponding to the lunar calendar. It is on such auspicious days that we seek forgiveness for our mistakes, we appreciate others for their righteous accomplishments, and we offer prayers for the wellbeing of all sentient beings and ourselves. The benefits of our good deeds are multifold on such days, and wrong deeds if ever done on such days will also accumulate a sin, which is multifold.
As we remark this auspicious day, the Descending Day of Lord Buddha, commonly known as Lhabab Duechen, it’s important to know the significance of the day in particular and life of Lord Buddha in general. The following legend is strong enough to remind us about the accomplishments of Lord Buddha, and significance of today, The Descending Day of Lord Buddha:
The descending day of Lord Buddha is a celebration of his return to earth from heaven.
History says that Lord Buddha was born in Lumbini, Nepal, and his mother expired after seven days. Therefore six years after attaining enlightenment at the age of 41, he ascended to heaven on the 15th day of the sixth month of the lunar calendar to preach to his mother.
When he was preaching his mother along with gods and goddesses in heaven, two male and female devotees, two ordained nuns and monks and king Zug Chen Nyingpo on the earth were worried because they did not know where Buddha was. Then, Buddha’s disciple, the clairvoyant Sharibu, had a vision of the lord to be in heaven.
Following the request of all the devotees, another disciple of Lord Buddha, Mao gyel ge bu, who was known to possess miraculous powers, ascended to heaven on the 15th day of the ninth month of the lunar calendar and requested Buddha to return to earth.
Lord Buddha descended to earth on the 22nd day of the ninth month.
Source: Bhutan Excursions.
So on this auspicious day, our people might have visited temples and dzongs, offered butter lamps, flowers and incense sticks to our God, erected prayer flags, chanted Badza Guru, and Mani, Circumambulated chortens and prayed for the well being of every animal, thus accumulating a good karma for our better future. For me, since we don’t have any temples nearby, I lit a candle in front my Buddha’s portrait and recited Bad-za Guru, chanted prayers, and then read a Book titled “Sangye Kyi Zhyel Dhaam” to reflect back on the impermanence of this mundane world, which is full of sufferings.
May All Sentient Beings Be Happy and Rest in Peace.