Buddha’s Descent from Tushita Heaven

written by Anjula November 13, 2014

This year, November 13th is the day celebrated in the Tibetan calendar as “Buddha’s descent from Tushita Heaven,” the 22nd day of the 9th month (Lha-bab Düchen). This day is an auspicious merit-multiplying day.  The fruits of any positive or negative action today will be multiplied 100 million times.

During his forty-first year, Shakyamuni Buddha ascended from Shravasti, where he used to pass the rainy season with his monks and nuns, to the Tushita Heaven, and passed the rainy Season retreat period there, teaching Abhidharma to his mother, Queen Mayadevi, who had died seven days after Buddha’s birth and was thus unable to receive any teaching from her enlightened son.

Buddha Teaching in Tushita

Buddha Teaching in Tushita

It is said that Mayadevi had been reborn in Tushita as a male god. The same happens to the mothers of all the Buddhas, who later go to teach them in heaven.

Seven days before his descent from Tushita, the Buddha again became visible to his foremost disciples.  Anuruddha perceived him by his divine sight and urged Maudgalyayana to go and greet him. The great disciple did so, telling the Buddha that the Order longed to see him.  Shakyamuni replied, that in seven days he would return to the world.  A great assembly of the kings and people of the eight kingdoms gathered.  As the Buddha descended, a flight of gold stairs appeared, down which he came.

He was accompanied on the right by Brahma, who, holding a white chowry, descended on a crystal staircase, while to the left Indra came down a flight of silver stairs, holding a jeweled umbrella.  A great host of gods followed.

Thus Buddha descended from Tushita Heaven where he went to repay his mother’s kindness by teaching dharma to her and other celestial beings. He remained in Tushita for 3 months. As a result of receiving the teachings, Mayadevi attained the realization of an arhat.


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Buddha's Descent from Tushita Heaven
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Buddha's Descent from Tushita Heaven
Learn more about the history behind Lha-bab Düchen, the merit-multiplying day on the Tibetan calendar that celebrates Buddha's descent from Tushita Heaven.
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