In addition to being Halloween, today marks Lhabab Düchen, a Tibetan Buddhist holiday that celebrates the Buddha’s descent from Indra’s heaven where he taught the Dharma to his mother. Khenpo Tenzin Norgay of the Palyul lineage has jokingly called it “Buddhist Mother’s Day,” but it is a day that especially celebrates the miraculous acts and deeds of Siddhartha Guatama, the Shakyamuni Buddha.
The following are two works of praise for the Buddha and his miracles.
Great Praise of the Ten Acts of the Buddha
by Arya Nagajuna
tabkhé tukjé shakyé rik su trung, shyen gyi mitub dü kyi pung jompa
With skillful means and compassion, you were born in the Shakya clan, unconquerable by others, you vanquished Mara’s hordes,
ser gyi lhünpo tabur jipé ku, shakyé gyalpo khyö la chaktsal lo
your physical form resplendent, like a mountain of gold. To you, the King of the Shakyas, I pay homage!
gang gi dangpor changchu tukkyé né, sönam yeshe tsok nyi dzok dzé ching
You I shall praise who first awakened the mind of enlightenment, then completed the accumulations of merit and wisdom,
dü dir dzepa gyachen drowa yi, gön gyur khyö la dak gi töpar gyi
and now in this age, through the vast sway of your actions, have become the lord and protector of living beings!
lha nam dön dzé dulwé dü khyen né, lha lé bab né langchen tar shek shing
Homage to you who, having taught the gods, knew the time had come to tame the human world, and
rik la zik né lhamo gyultrulmé, lhum su shyukpar dzé la chaktsal lo
descending from the god realm like a great elephant, foresaw the family of your birth and entered the womb of Mayadevi!
dawa chu dzok shakyé sepo ni, tashi lumbi tsal du tampé tsé
Homage to you, prince of the Shakyas, born after ten months in the auspicious Lumbini grove, where
tsang dang gyajin gyi tü tsen chok ni, changchub rik su ngedzé chaktsal lo
Brahma and Indra revered you, your supreme marks proving you were destined to be enlightened!
shyönnu tobden mi yi sengé dé, agha magadhar ni gyutsal ten
Homage to you, lion among men, in all your youthful vigour, displaying your prowess in the games at Agha Magadha,
kyewo drekpachen nam tsarché né, drenda mepar dzé la chaktsal lo
where you triumphed over the proud contestants, so that no one could stand as your rival!
jikten chö dand tünpar jawa dang, khana mato pang chir tsünmo yi
Homage to you who, to comply with worldly convention and avoid all misdeeds, took on a queen and courtiers
khor dangden dzé tab la khepa yi, gyalsi kyongwar dzé la chaktsal lo
and by acting with such skilful means, so you ruled the kingdom!
khorwé jawar nyingpo mé zik né, khyim né jung té kha la shek né kyang
Homage to you who saw that samsara is wholly futile, renounced the life of a householder,
chörten namdak drung du nyi lé nyi, rabtu jungwar dzé la chaktsal lo
and, travelling through the sky, ordained yourself before the Vishuddha Stupa!
tsönpé changchub drubpar gong né ni, nairanjané dram du lo druk tu
Homage to you who, intent on persevering until enlightenment, for six years practised austerities on the banks of the Nairañjana,
kawa ché dzé tsöndrü tarchinpé, samten chok nyé dzé la chaktsal lo
and taking diligence to its ultimate perfection, attained the supreme samadhi!
tokma mé né bepa dönyö chir, magadha yi changchub shingdrung du
Homage to you who, seeking to make meaningful all your efforts, made throughout beginningless time, sat
kyiltrung miyo ngönpar sangye né, changchub dzokpar dzé la chaktsal lo
unmoving in the vajra posture beneath the bodhi tree in Magadha and awakened into true buddhahood, attaining perfect enlightenment!
tukjé dro la nyurdu zik né ni, varanasi lasok né chok tu
Homage to you who, in your compassion, gazed at once upon living beings, then
chö kyi khorlo kor né dulja nam, tekpa sum la gö dzé chaktsal lo
turned the wheel of the Dharma in sacred places like Varanasi, and established disciples in the three vehicles!
shyen gyi golwa ngenpa tsarché chir, mutek tönpa dang lhejin sok
Homage to you who destroyed evil-minded opponents, by defeating the six teachers of the tirthikas, Devadatta and the rest,
khormo jik gi yul du dü nam tul, tubpa yul lé gyal la chaktsal lo
as well as the maras in Varanasi; you were the mighty sage, victorious in battle!
sipa sum na pemé yönten gyi, nyen du yöpar chotrul chenpo ten
Homage to you who performed great miracles in Shravasti, unmatched in their splendour in all the three realms,
lhami drowa kün gyi rab chöpa, tenpa gyepar dzé la chaktsal lo
and through the offerings made by gods, humans, and other beings, caused the teachings to prosper and increase!
lelo chen nam chö la kuljé chir, tsachok drong gi sashyi tsangma ru
Homage to you who, to spur the lazy on to the Dharma, left your body, though immortal and like a vajra,
chimé dorjé tabü ku shek né, nya ngen dawar dzé la chaktsal lo
and passed into parinirvana in the pure abode of Kushinagara!
yangdak nyi du jikpamé chir dang, ma ong semchen sönam tobjé chir
Homage to you who, to show that you had not in reality perished and so that beings of the future could gain merit,
denyi du ni ringsel mang trul né, kudung cha gyé dzé la chaktsal lo
emanated a wealth of relics and caused your remains to be divided into eight portions!
Short Praise of the Buddha’s Deeds
gang tsé kang nyi tsowo khyö tam tsé, sa chen di la gompa dün bor né
When you were born, chief among human beings, you took seven steps on this earth and said:
nga ni jikten di na chok ché sung, detsé khepa khyö la chaktsal lo
“In this world I am supreme.” To you, O wise one, I pay homage!
dangpo ganden lha yi yul né jön, gyalpö khab tu yum gyi lhum su shyuk
First, you descended from the heaven of Tushita, and in the royal home you entered your mother’s womb;
lumbini yi tsal du tubpa tam, chomden lha yi lha la chaktsal lo
In the grove at Lumbini, O sage, you were born: to the victorious ‘god amongst gods,’ I pay homage!
shyalyé khang du mama gyé shyi chö, shakyé drong du shyönnü roltsé dzé
You were tended by 32 nurses at the palace, you spent your youth in sports at the house of the Shakyas;
serkyé né su sa tso khab tu shyé, si sum tsunmé ku la chaktsal lo
At Kapilavastu you took Gopa as your wife: to you who are unequalled in the three worlds, I pay homage!
drongkhyer go shyir kyowé tsul ten né, chörten namdak drung du utra sil
At the four city gates, you were shown the four kinds of sorrow and cut your own hair in front of the Vishdda Stupa;
nairanjané dram du katub dzé, drib nyi kyön dangdral la chaktsal lo
On the banks of the Nairañjana, you practised as an ascetic: to you who are free from the faults of the two obscurations, I pay homage!
gyalpö khab tu langchen nyönpa tul, yangpachen du pé’ü drangtsi pul
At Rajagṛha you tamed a rogue elephant, in Vaishali the monkeys offered you honey;
magadha ru tubpa ngön sangye, khyenpé yeshe bar la chaktsal lo
In Magadha O sage, you realised buddhahood: to you in whom omniscient wisdom blossomed, I pay homage!
varanasir chö kyi khorlo kor, dzeté tsal du chotrul chenpo ten
At Varanasi you turned the Wheel of Dharma, and in the Jeta grove you showed great miracles;
tsachok drong du gongpa nya ngen dé, tuk ni namkha dra la chaktsal lo
At Kushinagara your wisdom mind passed into parinirvana: to you whose mind is like the sky, I pay homage!
ditar tenpé dakpo chomdendé, dzepé tsul la do tsam töpa yi
Through the merit of this brief praise of the deeds of the Enlightened One, Master of the Teaching,
gewé drowa kün gyi chöpa yang, deshek nyi kyi dzé dang tsungpar shok
may the actions of all living being come to equal the acts of the Sugata himself!