"Chokhor Duchen and International Sangha Day: August 4
Chokhor Duchen, one of the four annual holy days of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, takes place this year on August 4. On these holy days, the power of any meritorious action is multiplied by 100 million, as cited by Lama Zopa Rinpoche from the vinaya text Treasure of Quotations and Logic. Specific advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche for practices to do on merit multiplying days such as Chokhor Duchen can be found here. (Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s advice for merit multiplying days is also available in French.)
Known in English as “Turning the Wheel of Dharma,” Chokhor Duchen commemorates the anniversary of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s first teaching. It is said that for seven weeks after his enlightenment, the Buddha did not teach. Afterward, Indra and Brahma offered a Dharmachakra and a conch shell and requested Guru Shakyamuni Buddha to teach. Accepting, Guru Shakyamuni Buddha turned the wheel of Dharma for the first time at Sarnath by teaching the four noble truths.
If you decide to recite the Sutra of Golden Light on this special day, you might like to report your recitations using the reporting facility on FPMT.org.
Chokhor Duchen is also the day on which FPMT celebrates International Sangha Day! International Sangha Day provides an opportunity for the lay and monastic communities to come together in recognition of their interdependence and acknowledge the ways in which they rely on each other for the practice of Dharma.
Here are some suggested ways you can honor monastics on International Sangha Day:
Recite The Sutra for Remembering the Three Jewels
Show respect for and appreciation of the sangha
Generate deeper awareness of the Sangha Jewel
Donate to the Lama Yeshe Sangha Fund
We rejoice in all of the meritorious activities happening around the world on this auspicious merit multiplying day!
Please keep in mind: According to the late Ven. Choden Rinpoche, one of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s gurus, observation of auspicious days should be according to the date in India, not the date in one’s home country. Therefore, when Lama Zopa Rinpoche is not in India, Rinpoche celebrates the great holy days of the Buddha and other auspicious dates according to the time in India.
Special thanks to the Liberation Prison Project for preparing a Tibetan calendar with information on holy days and other important dates for avoiding or engaging in various activities:
Through comprehensive study programs, practice materials, and training seminars, FPMT Education nourishes the development of compassion, wisdom, kindness, and true happiness in individuals of all ages."