1. Chotrul Duchen

This great miracles day usually fall in the month of February ( 15th of 1st month of Tibetan  calendar). This day is celebrated as the day of great miracles performed by Buddha Shakyamuni. This day also coincides the Mahaparinirvana Anniversary of Zatrul Ngawang Tenzing Norbu Rinpoche.So, in Rolwaling, this day is celebrated as both the auspicious day of Great Miracle Day and Mahaparinirvan of Zatrul Ngawang Tenzing Norbu Rinpoche.

Zatrul Ngawang Tenzing Norbu Rinpoche(1867-1942) , known as ‘Rongphuk Sangey’ meaning ‘Buddha of Ronghuk’, was the founder of the Nyingmapa Rongphuk Monastery in Everest region , Tibet, in 1902. Later he also established monasteries in Thame, Tengboche, Takshindo, and Chiwon. Zatrul Ngawang Tenzing Norbu Rinpoche was chief disciple of Trulshik Donga Lingpa,  predecessor of Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche( 1924-2011), and the root teacher of Kaybje Trulshik Rinpoche.

Story of Great Miracle Day:

The leaders of India's six main philosophical schools had challenged the Buddha to a contest of miraculous powers many times as he wandered through the surrounding kingdoms. Six evil, heretic teachers led by Purnakasyapa had become mad with resentment and jealousy against the Buddha, and tried to engage him in a contest of miraculous powers, which Mara had persuaded them they could win. King Bimbisara laughed them out of court when they petitioned him, but they persisted, and finally he went to request the Buddha's participation.

The Buddha agreed, but stipulated that he would set the time of the contest. A teaching throne was set up in a large arena at Rajagrha, but shortly before the proposed contest, the Buddha and all his followers departed for Vaisali. Seeing this as an admission of defeat, the six heretic teachers were elated, and rushed after the Buddha, with their ninety thousand followers, and after them, king Bimbisara and his entourage. The heretics urged the Licchavi king to stage the contest there, and the Buddha again accepted, but said he would set the time.

The Buddha then moved on, from one city to the next; each time giving the same answer, and gathering a new following, until they came to Shravasti. The heretics soon arrived, and remonstrate with king Prasenajit not to allow any further postponement, and the Buddha assented that the time had now come. Buddha was fifty-seven years old when the conditions were most auspicious to accept this challenge.

King Prasenajit built a hall in Shravasti especially for the event; in it seven thrones were erected. On the new moon of the first month of spring (what is now known as losar, the beginning of the Tibetan new year), the six other teachers took their seats and Shakyamuni came  flying through the air. He was honored with extensive offerings. He then sent forth fire and water from his body and the hall was destroyed and reformed as a transparent palace.

Before the kings of all the capitals he had passed through, the six heretics and their followers, and a huge assembly of gods and humans, he performed inconceivable miracles for the next fifteen days. On the first day, he created a bounteous tree by planting his tooth-pick in the ground, causing a great tree to spring up, fragrant and fully laden with flowers and ripe fruit. On the second day, he manifested two jeweled mountains. On the third day, he produced a jewel lake. On the fourth, voices came from the lake explaining all aspects of the Dharma. On the fifth day, golden light spread from his countenance and filled the world, purifying the emotional poisons of sentient beings. On the sixth day, he allowed people to read each others' thoughts. On the seventh, he transformed his benefactors into world-rulers. On the eighth day, the Buddha pressed down on the throne with the fingers of his right hand, and with a thunderous roar, the fierce Vajrapani appeared from beneath, brandishing a flaming vajra at the heretic teachers. Four beings in Vajrapani's retinue scattered the heretics and smashed their thrones. The heretics were so scared that they leapt into the river. Then, the Buddha radiated eighty four thousand rays of light, one from each pore of his skin, which filled the sky. On the tip of each ray was a lotus, and on each lotus a Buddha, with attendants, teaching Dharma, and all were amazed, and some were liberated by the sight of it.

In these eight days Buddha Shakyamuni utterly defeated his opponents. The ninety thousand followers of the six heretic teachers adopted the Buddhist doctrines, joined the monkhood, and later became arhats. For further seven days Buddha Shakyamuni continued to show miracles and gave teachings to the great assembly, on the day of MahaParinirvana Anniversary of Zatrul Ngawang Tenzing Norbu Rinpoche too.This great miracles day usually fall in the month of February ( 15th of 1st month of Tibetan  calendar). This day is celebrated as the day of great miracles performed by Buddha Shakyamuni. This day also coincides the Mahaparinirvana Anniversary of Zatrul Ngawang Tenzing Norbu Rinpoche.So, in Rolwaling, this day is celebrated as both the auspicious day of Great Miracle Day and Mahaparinirvan of Zatrul Ngawang Tenzing Norbu Rinpoche.

2. LamiGhongtsok

 The full moon day, or 15th day, of the fourth month marks the holiest day in Tibetan Buddhism. It is the day of the Buddha’s Conception, Enlightenment, and parting into Nirvana. It is auspicious to perform meritorious activities on this specific day. The merit generated from these virtuous activities increases 100,000-fold on this day in Saka Dawa.

Also this day coincides with the parinirvana of our great master Thame Rinpoche NgawangChhiring Thundu.

3. Dumju Festival

This festival is celebrated in June( 6 -10 of 5th month of Tibetan calendar) every year. It  was first celebrated in Rolwaling Monastery in 1970 and it is being followed until today. This festival involves performing Vajrakilaya (DorjePhurpa) puja, also known as Vajrakumara (DorjeZhonu, Youthful Vajra). Vajrakilaya is a wrathful heruka deity who embodies all the enlightened forms of all the Buddhas.

  Vajrakilaya is one of the eight heruka deities of the Nyingmatantras. Vajrakilaya is also the personal meditational deity of Guru Padmasambhava. He practiced meditation on Vajrakilaya when many obstacles manifested on his way towards attaining enlightenment.Vajrakilaya being the embodiment of the enlightened form of all the Buddhas is very helpful for  achieving  swift  accomplishments in ones spiritual practice towards englightenment. In addition to being a swift path for the supreme realization of Buddhahood, the practice of Vajrakilaya is also particularly effective for clearing away any obstacles that we might face in the path to enlightenment. It is also effective in pacifying social conflicts and disturbances and in mending the breach of samaya(vows).

So this puja is especially performed for the benefit of whole community. After theVajrakilaya  puja  long life initiation is granted by Rinpoche.

4. Dukang Tsok

In June (14th and 15th day of 5th month of Tibetan  calendar) an extensive puja and offering is made in Urgen Dukang(holy cave of Guru Rinpoche) in Na. It was in this holy cave that Guru Rinpoche had performed practice of Vajrakilaya and thereafter all the deities of Vajrakilaya had appeared before him. Therefore this great tsok day is being carried out every year for  more than 50 years  upon suggestion from lamas as an auspicious day to  accumulate great  merit.

On the 14th day of 5thmonth of Tibetan calendar, VajraKilayaPuja is performed and on the next day Thudup and Mahakala Puja are performed. All the villagers attend the tsok with deep faith and enthusiasm. And in the evening of the last day of tsok the villagers rejoice performing shebru dance. The tsok is sponsored voluntarily by the locals every year.

5. Chokhor Duchen

Chokhor Duchen is one of the four great holy days of the Tibetan calendar. This day is celebrated to commemorate first dharma teaching by  Buddha Shakymuni in Sarnath to his first disciples. The first dharma teaching anniversary by Buddha Shakymuni falls in the month of July , the  4th day of 6th month of Tibetan calendar.

For the seven days after his enlightenment Buddha Shayamuni did not give teaching. After this period, Indra and Brahma offered a dharmachakra and a conch shell and requested Shakyamuni to teach. Accepting, Buddha Shakyamuni turned the Wheel of Dharma for the first time at Sarnath by teaching on the Four Noble Truths.

In Rolwaling Chokhor Duchen is celebrated every year in Sangag Choling Monastery at Na village. In the morning of the  4th day of the 6th month of Tibetan calendar,  a ritual is performed where the holy texts are brought out of the monastery and carried around the village in a procession led by Rinpoche. This is to represent the auspiciousness of the turning of the dharma wheel and also as the blessings. In the following three days, 5th to 7th day, recitation of the Prajnaparamita Sutra ( ‘Bhum’ in Tibetan) is carried out by the monks led by Rinpoche  inside the monastery. And on the 8th, 9th and 10th day Kunjog Chiteu Puja(Yar Lha Ama), locally known as Yar Chang, is conducted in the monastery. In the evening of the final day of the festival the villagers celebrate by singing and dancing as per tradition.

6. MarNyin

MarNyin is a three day extensive puja performed in Sangag Choling Monastery in Beding village. This three day prayer ceremony usually falls in the month of October (8th month of Tibetan calendar) which coincides the three day animal sacrifice day by Hindus during their Dashain festival.

‘Mar’ means sacrifice and ‘Nyin’ means ‘day’. On the 7th  day (called ‘saptami’ by hindus) and the 8th day ( called ‘Astami’) thousands of animals are sacrificed as part of Hindu ritual during Dashain festival. The same day extensive prayers and the Shetul Ngethun Ngingpu puja are conducted in Rolwaling Monastery for the liberation of the souls of the sacrificed animals.

7. Lhabab Duchen

‘Lhabab Duchen’ means the descent of Buddha Shakyamuni from the Tushita Heaven. The twenty-second day of the ninth month of Tibetan calendar (in November),  is celebrated as the sacred day of the Buddha's descent from Tushita heaven.

Buddha's mother, Maya Deva, was reborn in Indra's heaven, after her death. To repay her kindness and to liberate her, and also to benefit the gods in the heaven, Buddha ascended to the heaven where he preached before the divine congregation, including his mother, for three months. In celebration of the great occasion of Buddha's descent from Tushita heaven, pujas to pay homage and make offerings to Guru Shakyamuni Buddha and the Sixteen Arhats are usually held.  Participating in this auspicious puja brings powerful waves of inspiration and blessings and also it brings merits and help purify obscurations.

8. Gandhen Ngachoe

Gandhen ngacho is the anniversary of the great saint and Buddhist pioneer of the Tibet  Lama Tsong khapa who has made tremendous contribution to re-establish the purity of Buddhas teaching.His works and teaching has eliminated all the misconception about the Buddhism that had harboured all over Tibet. He helped to doctorate the authenticity of Buddhas true word which over the period of time had been corrupted. Lama Tsong Khapa is also the founder of the new Buddhist tradition the Gelukpa.  Though the community of Rolwaling is deeply rooted with the nyingmapa sect  Gandhen Ngachoe is celebrated here with great deliberation .

9. Chipi Lhap Sang

Chipi Lhap Sang is a festival of making an offering to the local deity, Tashi Tseringma, by the Rolwaling community in the month of December ( 10th month of Tibetan Calender) in Ramding village.

‘Chipi’ means ‘community’. ‘ Lhap’ means deity and  ‘sang’ means ‘incense’. After moving to the winter settlement- Ramding, Nimare , Jyapluk, Chumigoljo and Changmikha, the Rolwaling community organizes incense offering puja to the local deity, Tashi Tseringma for the  blessings and protection.