Saga Dawa 2021 | The Hundred Deeds and Past Life Stories from the Kangyur

Last year, we published the classic sūtra, The Hundred Deeds. This year, we look forward to sharing with you a fully illustrated edition of this sūtra on the auspicious day of Saga Dawa Düchen – the day on which Buddhists around the world celebrate the Buddha’s birth, awakening, and parinirvāṇa.

We were thrilled to see over seven hundred of you join us this past Wednesday to celebrate Saga Dawa Düchen! Our board member, Erik Pema Kunsang, gave a heartfelt and inspiring talk on how the sūtras have defined his life’s path and how much there is for us to learn from them. Erik’s emphasis on how even a single wish can have an outsized impact on our futures and his subsequent advice for us to try to act like bodhisattvas with the right intention, was fortified by the poignant reminder that no amount of wealth in the world can buy wisdom. And we hope you enjoyed his narration of the story of King Goodheart as much as we did!

Despite providing us with a video message, we were surprised and humbled to have our Founding Chair, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, join us live too, and his kind words about Erik coupled with his sincere thanks to everyone really made this a celebration to remember. Thank you all for participating in our sūtra resounding, and we hope you remain inspired both by Erik’s talk and by the #The100Deeds project and our illustrated edition.

You can download the illustrated edition of The Hundred Deeds here, and a recording of the event available here: 

Key Moments

[00:00] Welcome message by Huang Jing Rui, 84000 Executive Director

[01:37] Erik Pema Kunsang speaks on the past life stories in the Kangyur

[20:33] The story of King Goodheart

[26:47] Jing Rui launches #The100Deeds project and our illustrated edition

[28:50] Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s video message

[30:48] Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpche joins LIVE

[35:04] Jing Rui speaks about 84000’s key developments

We invite you to join us for a one-hour event beginning with guest speaker Erik Pema Kunsang on how the past life stories in the Kangyur can inspire us and deepen our practice, and concluding with a global live sūtra resounding of The Hundred Deeds. 

Simultaneous translation into Chinese and Spanish will be provided for the talk.

Date: Wednesday, May 26th

Time: 9am EST | 3pm CET | 6:30pm IST

Zoom Link: Register Here

For the Resounding: Pledge a Part Here

Text: The Hundred Deeds 

About The Hundred Deeds
The sūtra The Hundred Deeds, whose title could also be translated as The Hundred Karmas, is a collection of stories known as avadāna‍—a narrative genre widely represented in the Sanskrit Buddhist literature and its derivatives‍—comprising more than 120 individual texts. It includes narratives of Buddha Śakyamuni’s notable deeds and foundational teachings, the stories of other well-known Buddhist figures, and a variety of other tales featuring people from all walks of ancient Indian life and beings from all six realms of existence. The texts sometimes include stretches of verse. In the majority of the stories the Buddha’s purpose in recounting the past lives of one or more individuals is to make definitive statements about the karmic ripening of actions across multiple lifetimes, and the sūtra is perhaps the best known of the many works in the Kangyur on this theme.

What is a Sūtra Resounding?
A ‘Resounding’ is the term that 84000 uses to express an activity that emulates the traditional monastic practice of reading aloud the entire Kangyur. In the monastic practice, each participant of a group selects a sūtra or section of a sūtra and reads it aloud – until the entire Kangyur has been collectively read aloud. The 84000 version of this practice is the activity of collectively reading aloud translated sūtra(s) or sections of a sūtra that have been published in the 84000 Reading Room. The idea is to have as much of the sūtra(s) as possible read aloud by any number of people in the given amount of time. Reading the words of the Buddha aloud is said to benefit oneself and all those who can hear them.

Very simply, the practice involves finding a sūtra, opening to any page of the body of the text, and reading it out loud. Practicing Buddhists may wish to state their intention through opening prayers and dedicate merit with closing prayers (see below), and/or insert a resounding into another form of practice. Ideally, the sūtras will be read in their entirety. For remote resoundings, the pledge form helps us to ensure that we have a majority of the text covered by participants around the world. 

Click here to learn more about Resoundings 

Posted: 18 May 2021