Fifteen Days of Miracles
Today is Chotrul Duchen (Great Day of Miraculous Manifestations), the 15th full moon day of the 1st lunar month. It is celebrated, in particular, by Tibetan Buddhists as the final day of the fifteen days of miracles, that commence on the 1st day of the new lunar year. These days celebrate the fifteen days on which, in order to increase the merit and the devotion of future disciples, Buddha displayed a different miracle. Even though Buddha would often scold his monks if they displayed supra-mundane powers, he sometimes resorted to displays of power to prove a point, or to instill faith. For an article about the fifteen miracles , see here.
Anniversary of Marpa Lotsāwa
In addition, today is said to be the anniversary of Marpa Lotsāwa (mar pa chos kyi blo gros, 1012-1097), one of the founding fathers and masters of the different Kagyu lineages, and a great translator and practitioner. Marpa was a disciple of Mahasiddha Naropa and other great siddhas. He brought many tantras from India to Tibet and translated them. These teachings were passed down through Milarepa and his other disciples. His collected writings were recently published in seven volumes. For more on his life-story, see here.
As an offering for this auspicious day, here is the first verse from a Marpa Lotsāwa Guru Yoga[i] composed by Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye. As far as am aware this sadhana has not yet been translated or published in English[ii]. It was written at the request of Drub Lama, Karma Tashi Ozer (sgrub bla ma karma bkra shis ‘od zer). I hope at some point in the future, if I cannot translate it, someone else will.
May seeing and hearing the name, image and words of Marpa Lotsāwa be of benefit. May we remember the great kindness of Shakyamuni Buddha, and translators like Marpa who enabled the Buddhist texts to spread and be preserved beyond India and Nepal, into Tibet, China and other countries. May the Dharma flourish with translations in many languages and may joy, peace and prosperity fill the earth!
Adele Tomlin, 27th February 2021.
Homage to the Great Lotsawa, Dharmamatye
Master of all reality, union of emptiness and compassion
Great Bliss Vajra Joy [Hevajra] of the three secrets, who
Manifested directly as a great translator
Inseparable from the all-pervading sign of Padma , I bow down!
[i] The text can be found in the Gyachen Khadzo one of the Five Treasuries in the Collected Works by Jamgon Kongtrul (1813-1899). Expanded edition that includes several terma cycles published by Shechen Publications. Some of the pages and texts in these volumes are in disarray. Expanded version of the 20 volume set published in Paro, 1975-76. 1) mar pa’i bla sgrub/ ‘jam mgon kong sprul blo gros mtha’ yas; rgya chen bka’ mdzod; W23723, 21 ff. (pp. 399-439). shechen, new delhi. 2002. Block Print. 2) dpal spungs par ma ‘brug spa gro’i bskyar par ma/; W21808, 21 ff. (pp.399-440). ngodup, paro. 1975-1976. Block Print.
[ii] Kongtrul also wrote a Milarepa Guru Yoga , written at the behest of Nangtse Throdpa (snang rtse ri khrod pa) which I think has been translated and published in English. “mi la’i bla sgrub/.” In rgya chen bka’ mdzod. TBRC W23723. 1: 467 – 482. new delhi: shechen, 2002.