Buddhism and Tibetan Culture: Great Prayer Festival ( Choetrul Dhuechen)
Kunsang Dolma interviewes Gelek Rinpoche, Director of Jewel Heart Buddhist Center in Michigan, on the Great Prayer Festival ( Choetrul Dhuechen). This festival is commemorated every year on the 15th day of the Tibetan lunar month. Gelek Rinpche says on this day the Buddha Shakyamuni defeated non-Buddhist teachers in the contests of performing miracles and the event is celebrated as the Great Prayer Festival in Tibet. In Tibet this prayer festival was originally instituted by Je Tsongkhapa, a renowned Tibetan Buddhist scholar, in 1409. Since then every year this Great Prayer Festival was observed in Tibet until the Chinese invasion. However, Gelek Rinpoche says this Great Prayer Festival is being commemorated in the exile Tibetan community since 1959.