Chokhor Duchen: Remembering Buddha’s first teaching

Chokhor Duchen is one of the four great holy days of the Tibetan Buddhist calendar that mark pivotal moments in the life of the Buddha.

We celebrate the day that Buddha Shakyamuni first taught the Four Noble Truths at Sarnath, turning the wheel of the dharma after attaining enlightenment and bringing the teachings of the path to liberation into the world.

“They all sat silently looking only at the Victor. Then the Lord, in the later part of the night, turned the wheel of Dharma, promulgating the twelvefold repetition of the middle path abandoning the two extremes, including the names of the four truths, the choices they involve, their recognition, abandonment, realization, and meditation, and the eightfold path that follows. And from that melodious speech, all the various disciples heard the words they needed to hear to be tamed, receiving the teachings of all three Vehicles according to their inclinations.”

–Tse Chokling Yongdzin Yeshe Gyaltsen, “Shakyamuni Buddha Through Tibetan Eyes,” translated by Robert Thurman, Essential Tibetan Buddhism

Make the most of this merit-multiplying day!


On these holy days, the power of any meritorious action is multiplied by 100 million.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche recommends specific practices for this auspicious day:

A longer list of recommended practices can be found on the FPMT website