The Merit of Taking Precepts on Chokhor Duchen

The Merit of Taking Precepts on Chokhor Duchen

Date of Advice:
July 2014
Date Posted:
August 2017

Rinpoche typed this letter himself when he heard that thirty young people were taking eight Mahayana precepts at a center on Chokhor Duchen, one of the four great holy days when merit is multiplied. Lightly edited by Ven. Holly Ansett and Sandra Smith.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche at Jamyang Buddhist Centre, London, 2014. Photo: Pierre Alozie.

My most dear, most kind, most precious wish-fulfilling ones,
I want to offer lunch for the people to thank everyone, as they opened their hearts. For general ordinary Tibetans, maybe it’s more for their future lives, to have a good rebirth and to meet the Dharma. For Westerners, young people do it for other sentient beings, at least for this world.

I am so happy that you took precepts. Even though it’s just one day, it’s a most important day, Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s Dharma [Wheel] Turning Day, which has benefits. Any merit you collect increases one hundred million times. 

Reciting OM MANI PADME HUM one time becomes one hundred million merits, like having recited that much. One dollar given as charity to those who are in need becomes like giving [one hundred million dollars], the merits increase that much. One light offering, for example, one tiny Christmas light,  is like a million light offerings. You get that much merit. One prostration is the same, you get all the benefits.

Global problems, country problems, family problems, individual problems—how much we can stop the problems, including small children killing many people, or one normal person suddenly killing many people in America—these will be put off, or through strong purification we do not have to experience the suffering results. That is not only in this life, the sufferings and problems that we see, but also in future lives.

From one negative karma comes a suffering result that we will experience for five hundred lifetimes or one thousand lifetimes, so it’s very important to try to create merit as much as possible.

Without merit there is no happiness and there are so many problems, then people especially get involved in negative karma, such as stealing, killing and so forth. They don’t know about Dharma or karma, and they think only about this life’s happiness.

We are so fortunate, because we come to know where happiness and success comes from—merit and especially from benefiting others.

Thank you very much [for taking precepts.] That makes the center so beneficial for sentient beings, which is the main purpose of the center.

I can offer lunch today or tomorrow.

With much love and prayers...