Twelve deeds 佛陀十二相成道

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The Twelve Deeds of the Buddha

The twelve deeds (Skt. dvadaśabuddhakārya; Wyl. mdzad pa bcu gnyis) carried out by a supreme nirmanakaya buddha, such as the Buddha Shakyamuni, are: 由釋迦牟尼佛等無上化身佛所行持的十二相成道(如來十二行)

  1. 兜率下凡 the descent from Tushita, the Joyous pure land (dga' ldan gyi gnas nas 'pho ba),
  2. 乘象入胎 entering the mother’s womb (lhums su zhugs pa),
  3. 樹下降生 taking birth[1] (sku bltams pa),
  4. 太子習藝 becoming skilled in various arts (bzo yi gnas la mkhas pa),
  5. 宫中娱樂 delighting in the company of royal consorts (btsun mo'i 'khor dgyes rol ba),
  6. 遊觀四門、削髮出家 developing renunciation and becoming ordained (rab tu byung ba),
  7. 山中苦行 practicing austerities for six years (dka' ba spyad pa),
  8. 前往(菩提)樹下 proceeding to the foot of the bodhi tree (byang chub snying por gshegs pa),
  9. 降服諸魔 overcoming Mara’s hosts (bdud btul ba),
  10. 證菩提覺 becoming fully enlightened (mngon par rdzogs par sangs rgyas pa),
  11. 廣轉法輪 turning the wheel of Dharma (chos kyi 'khor lo bskor ba), and
  12. 雙林入滅 passing into mahaparinirvana [2] (mya ngan las 'das pa)

Notes

  1. In the case of Buddha Shakyamuni, this was in the Lumbini garden.
  2. In the case of Buddha Shakyamuni, this was in the city of Kushinagara.

Teachings Given to the Rigpa Sangha

Further Reading

  • Lobsang Dhargyay, 'The Twelve Deeds of the Buddha—A Controversial Hymn ascribed to Nagarjuna' in The Tibet Journal, Vol.IX, No.2, Summer 1984

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