Gem of Wisdom for Daily Reflection: 

The Twelve Great Deeds Of The Buddha

The twelve great deeds of Shakyamuni Buddha

The present epoch of our world is known as the Fortunate Aeon (kalpa zangpo'i) in accordance to the Bhadrakalpika Sutra (kalpa zangpo'i do). During the Fortunate Aeon, one thousand Buddhas of which Shakyamuni Buddha (Sangye Shakya Thubpa) is the fourth, would appear in our universe. 

Each Buddha would emanate himself concurrently in the form of a supreme nirmanakaya (chokki tulku) in each of the billion saha worlds (mije jikten) in the southern continent of the Jambudvipa (Dzambuling) to perform the twelve great deeds (dzepa chunyi) of a Tathagata. 

Praise to Buddha (Thup Töed), a prayer which pays homage to these twelve great deeds was recited by His Holiness Penor Rinpoche and other High Lamas inside the Mahabodhi Temple each morning during the annual Nyingma Monlam Chenpo in Bodhgaya, India. It is also a prayer used by Pathgate students in their daily practice. 

The twelve great deeds are:

1. Transferring from Tushita (ganden kyiné né phowa). 

2. Entering the womb (lhumsu zhukpa)

3. Taking birth (ku tampa). 

4. Becoming skilful in all arts and disciplines (zoyi néla khepa)

5. Enjoying the companions of consorts (tsünmo'i khorgyé rolwa)

6. Renouncing family life to become ordained (rabtu chungwa) 

7. Practicing austerities (kawa chepa)

8. Approaching the heart essence of awakening (changchub nyingpo shekpa)  

9. Vanquishing Mara (dü tulwa). 

10. Attaining perfect enlightenment (ngönpar dzokpar sanggyepa)

11. Turning the wheel of dharma (chökyi khorlo korwa)

12. Passing into parinirvana (nya ngen lé depa)

- Extract of an article from the Pathgate feature Chronicle of the Buddha, Bodhisattva and Deity. Click here to see the full list of articles available.