2012 Chotrul Duchen Lives Liberation and Lamp Offerings Group Practice

Period for the Practice: 22 Feb 2012 to 22 March 2012
How to register for the Practice:
Please submit the amount of lives released and lamps offered either via email to sdghgx@126.com or sms to +8613611122611 on 19 March 2012 (Beijing time). The amount for lives released has to be the actual amount. The amount for lamps offered can be estimated but the actual amount has to be completed by 22 Mar 2012. On 22 March 2012, 22:00, the Website will announce the total amount of lives released and lamps offered by all participants, and do a grand dedication.


The origins of the Chotrul Duchen Lives Liberation and Lamp Offerings Group Practice:
In recent years, we face lots of natural and manmade calamities such as earthquakes, tsunamis, plagues, car accidents and mental illnesses, etc. According to a report, in 2011 there were a total of 302 natural disasters, resulted in a total of 29782 people dead or missing and caused economic losses totalling USD 366 billion, the highest since 1980. Further, predictions about various natural calamities in 2012 fuel inexplicable fear and anxiety.
The purpose of this Chotrul Duchen Lives Liberation and Lamp Offerings Group Practice is to dedicate the merits to the souls of the lives lost in last year’s calamities and pray that they be reborn in pure land and enjoy eternal bliss. Also, the practice is to accumulate merits for the participants and through the positive virtues, transform all the inauspiciousness and pray for world peace, harmony and no natural calamities.

Merits of Chotrul Duchen:
The Tibetan calendar is based on what is mentioned in the tantra “Kalachakra” and calculated based on astrology and astronomy. And its accuracy was proven to be much higher than other methods of calculation. Therefore, if one wishes to practice virtues on auspicious dates, it is best to perform in accordance with the Tibetan calendar.

Tibetan 1st month (22 Feb 2012 – 22 March 2012) also known as Chotrul Duchen which means Shakyamuni Buddha’s great miracle month, because Shakyamuni Buddha performed great miracles during this period in order to reject teachings of heretical teachers. Many sutras and treatises also mentioned the merits of Chotrul Duchen. During this period especially the first fifteen days, every virtuous deed is multiplied 100 thousand times. Hence, you should make use of this opportunity to do as many virtuous deeds to accumulate vast amount of merits and purify negativities. Therefore, in Tibetan Buddhism, regardless of which faction they all pay special attention to Chotrul Duchen. And during Chotrul Duchen, Tibetan Buddhists will perform virtuous deeds with body, speech and mind: body – lives released, lamp offerings, Sangha offerings, circumambulation, etc; speech – reciting sutra, mantras, etc; mind – generate bodhicitta and recite aspiration prayers, etc.

Merits of Group Practice during Chotrul Duchen:
As recorded in the Sutras, if virtuous deeds are performed in a group, the merits are incredible, because those who participated share the merits of the group practice. For example, if three thousand people are to participate in lamp offering and everyone offers one thousand lamps, the three thousand people obtained the merits of offering three million lamps, and plus the multiplying effect of Chotrol Duchen, the merits are further multiplied by one hundred thousand times, the merits are indeed incredible. This is a very rare opportunity to accumulate vast amount of merits especially for lay disciples.

In Tibet, many monasteries organize grand pujas during Chotrul Duchen. In Yachen Gar, every Chotrul Duchen, there will be eighteen days of eight precepts ceremony and seven days of Phowa practice; Serthar Larung Gar Buddhist Institute will also organize pujas during Chotrul Duchen.

So, everyone should make use of this very good opportunity to participate in lives released and lamps offerings group practice during Chotrul Duchen.

How to participate:
1. The terms and conditions for lives released:
You should perform at least four times of lives released (either done through others or self) during Chotrul Duchen. Those who have the right conditions should perform lives released for the first fifteen days continuously.
2. The terms and conditions for lamp offerings:
You can do the lamp offerings in the house or request others to offer on your behalf. You should offer at least 30 lamps during Chotrul Duchen. You should recite the aspiration prayers for lamps offering every time you make an offering.
Aspiration for performing the group lives released and lamp offerings:
Every virtuous deed performed with the correct motivation and bodhicitta will reap virtuous fruits.

We should make the following aspiration prayers when we offer lamps — May this lamp eliminate the darkness and ignorance of all sentient beings, and light up our wisdom and every corner of the three worlds! May all of us have peace and tranquility, and may all sentient beings achieve temporary and ultimate happiness!

We should make the following aspiration prayers when we offer lamps and release lives — May there be world peace and no natural calamities. May all sentient beings be well and happy. May the Buddha Dharma spread far and wide. May all the precious teachers have long lives and good health and continue to spread the Buddha Dharma. May all sentient beings be able to gain liberation from samsara, accumulate vast merits and attain Buddhahood.

Grand Dedication:
On 22 March 2012, all participate please recite the aspiration prayers for lamp offerings three times and recite The Extraordinary Aspiration of the Practice of Samantabhadra one time.

This practice is initiated by SDGH website; we welcome other Buddhist websites or organization to join in this meritorious practice. Please send all enquiries or messages to our email: sdghgx@126.com.

In order to benefit all sentient beings, please inform your family and friends to participate and you may report the amount on their behalf and accumulate merits together.

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