Teachings on Sūtra | Erik Pema Kunsang

On Saga Dawa Düchen – the day on which Buddhists around the world celebrate the Buddha’s birth, awakening, and parinirvāṇa. Erik Pema Kunsang speaks 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.  

Erik Pema Kunsang, gives 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 enjoy the narration of the story of King Goodheart!

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

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.

Visit our illustration gallery to view the illustrations and learn more about this edition

Download the illustrated edition of  The Hundred Deeds.

A Preface to The Hundred Deeds by Khenpo Tsultrim Lodrö

The Hundred Deeds (Toh 340)

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 

The Teachings on Sutra webinar series draws from our translated collection of the Tibetan Buddhist canon and explores key themes from the sutras. Each event brings in teachers of the Buddhadharma to speak about the theme with reference to specific texts in the Kangyur, and takes place on what are considered to be the four most auspicious days of the Buddhist calendar: Celebration of the Buddha’s Miracles (Chötrul Düchen), Celebration of the Buddha’s Birth, Awakening, and Parinirvana (Saga Dawa), Celebration of the Buddha’s Teachings (Chökor Düchen), and Celebration of the Buddha’s Return from the Realms of the Gods (Lhabab Düchen). 

Posted: 18 May 2021