Guan Yin Day

Dec 6, 2016 | Views: 942
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I have always admired Chenrezig (Tibetan) or Guan Yin in all her manifestations in Buddhism because of what she represents. When I was younger, I meditated a lot on compassion and recited a lot of mantras, and I can say that Chenrezig is one of the few Buddhas that I always prayed to and worshipped.

Before coming to Malaysia, I always had a fascination with the Chinese form of Guan Yin. I remember having a line drawing of Guan Yin and placing it on my altar when I was still living in the United States. I used to read about Guan Yin in books by John Blofeld. I had no idea at that time that I would end up here in Malaysia, establish Kechara, and share the Dharma amongst the Buddhist community here. I was delighted to find that Guan Yin was so widely worshipped amongst the Malaysian Chinese Buddhist community, and I have since learnt more about Guan Yin, her origins, her history, the background of her worship, and of the celebration of Guan Yin Day.

Hence, I would like to share with all of you some information about Guan Yin, her celebrations, a few of her famous temples, and how you can go about visiting them. It is my wish that this article will direct you toward inviting a Guan Yin home and engage in Her powerful prayers in the future. I hope that with this article, you will develop a deeper appreciation of the festivities surrounding Guan Yin as it is celebrated in Malaysia by the Buddhist community.

Tsem Rinpoche

 


 

The Goddess of Mercy, Guan Yin is regarded by the Chinese to be both a Buddhist and Taoist deity. In the Mahayana Buddhist tradition, she is venerated as a bodhisattva that embodies the Buddha’s compassion. Throughout her various manifestations, Guan Yin is considered the most popular bodhisattva in northern Asian countries that practises Mahayana Buddhism.

The worship of Guan Yin was so popular and efficacious that she was even brought over into Taoist practice, where she is regarded as an immortal and is, by far, one of the most popular Chinese deities. She is often depicted as a lady shrouded in white robes, and her likeness is represented in traditional scroll paintings and white porcelain statues. It is generally accepted amongst the Chinese Buddhists that the deity Guan Yin originated from the Indian male Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, whose worship was brought into China via the Silk Road during the transmission of Buddhism into China. Hence, Guan Yin is sometimes depicted both as a man and woman, which symbolise transcendence over gender, labels and the self-cherishing ‘I’.

 

Lotus Sutra

“Universal Gateway”, Chapter 25 of the Lotus Sutra

“Universal Gateway”, Chapter 25 of the Lotus Sutra

The earliest record of Avalokiteshvara or Guan Yin was mentioned in the Lotus Sutra, which is known as Saddharma Pundarika Sutra in Sanskrit. Guan Yin or Avalokiteshvara was mentioned in the 25th chapter of this ancient Sanskrit text. Within this chapter, her sacred name was explained as ‘The One Who Perceives the Cries of the World’. This reflects the direct translation of her full Chinese name, Guan Shi Yin.

This chapter praises Avalokiteshvara as one of the highest beings in the Buddhist pantheon. Within this chapter, it says “If one were to pray with true devotion to Avalokiteshvara for a moment, one would generate more blessings than if one worshipped with all types of offerings and to as many gods as there are in the grains of sand on the shores of Ganges River for an entire lifetime”. Using this text as a basis, Avalokiteshvara grew to become one of the most important deities within Mahayana Buddhism.

Guan Yin painting in the Mogao Caves, Dunhuang

Guan Yin painting inside the Mogao Caves, Dunhuang

Interestingly, the Lotus Sutra also contains an explanation on the ability of Avalokiteshvara to take on various incarnations in order to benefit sentient beings. Within the text, it was mentioned that Avalokiteshvara had the ability to manifest in the form of worldly gods, including Indra and Brahma, all-powerful Kings or Chakravartin, Dharma Protectors such Vaisravana, any form of Buddha, any gender, age, human or non-human form in order to teach the Dharma to sentient beings.

There are many traditions in China and other East Asian countries that have added many distinctive characteristics and legends to Avalokiteshvara and Guan Yin. Within China, Guan Yin was originally depicted as a male bodhisattva in early Chinese art, and therefore depicted with chest-revealing clothing, and sometimes depicted with a light moustache. Later Chinese art depicted Guan Yin in the female form. Due to explanations in the Lotus Sutra and so forth, some practitioners believe that Guan Yin is androgynous, or perhaps without gender.

 

The Legend of Miaoshan

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In China, Guan Yin was originally worshipped in a male form but eventually came to be worshipped in a female form as the Goddess of Mercy. This transformation into a female deity took place during the Northern Song dynasty (960-1126 CE) and is tied with the emergence of the legend of Miao Shan.

Historically, the cult of Miao Shan first emerged from Xiang Shan Si (Fragrant Mountain Monastery) via an inscription written by Jiang Zhi Qi (1031-1104 CE) in 1100 CE. The Fragrant Mountain Monastery has been known for its magnificent statue of Guan Yin with a thousand arms and a thousand eyes, also known as The Great Compassionate One (Da Bei). In Jiang’s writings, he identifies the Fragrant Mountain Monastery as the location of Guan Yin’s manifestation, where she revealed herself in her Great Compassionate form with a thousand arms and eyes, neatly joining the Miao Shan legend with the image of Guan Yin enshrined in the monastery. He went on to claim that the relics of Miao Shan were enshrined in a stupa, thus establishing Fragrant Mountain Monastery as a popular destination for pilgrims.

According to a written account of that period by scholar Zu Xiu, who wrote a chronicle of Buddhism in 1164 CE, Guan Yin was said to have been reborn as the Princess Miao Shan. Her father was a king whose name was Miao Chuang Yen, while her mother was named Pao Ying, who bore three daughters, the eldest Miao Yen, the second Miao Yin, and the youngest Miao Shan.

When Miao Shan was conceived, the queen dreamt that she swallowed the moon. When the child was about to be born, the earth shook, and wonderful fragrance and heavenly flowers rained down from the celestial realms above. Miao Shan was born clean as if she had already been washed by celestial beings. Her body bore holy marks that were noble and majestic. The people were amazed and some said that these were signs of an incarnation of a holy being. Although her parents were amazed by these signs, they had other plans in store for her.

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The bodhisattva grew up to be a chaste, humble, and saintly girl in court. She was predisposed towards the Buddha’s teachings, and even brought her ladies-in-waiting into Buddhism. Her father, a tyrant king, had plans to marry her off to a rich man in order to dissuade her from her spiritual inclinations, but when he told her that she would be marrying the wealthy man, she replied that she would only obey her father’s command if the marriage would ease three misfortunes.

Out of curiosity, the father asked what the three misfortunes were. She explained that the first misfortune was the universal suffering of old age. The second misfortune was the suffering of falling ill. The third misfortune was the inevitable suffering of death itself. The princess declared that if her marriage could not ease any the three sufferings, then she would rather retire to a life of seclusion and spiritual practice.

Enraged by her terms, the king ordered for her daughter to be put into hard labour at the royal gardens, and her food to be rationed in order to break her. Despite this, she would not give in. Her mother and sisters tried begged her to reconsider, but to no avail. Then, her mother and sisters pleaded with her father, and the king eventually relented and allowed her to enter White Sparrow Monastery, but he also ordered the nuns to ensure that Miao Shan was given the toughest work.

The frightened nuns put her to work on many different chores – fetching wood and water, working with the pestle and mortar in the kitchen, and tending to the temple’s vegetable gardens. Under her care, the vegetables were bountiful even in winter, and a spring miraculously welled up just next to the kitchen. Years rolled by, but Miao Shan was steadfast in her conviction. When the king heard reports of the miracles of the thriving vegetable garden and wellspring, he flew into a rage. He barked for soldiers to retrieve her head and to kill all the nuns.

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When the soldiers arrived at the temple, a fog suddenly appeared and blanketed the whole temple. When the fog cleared, the soldiers searched everywhere, but Miao Shan was nowhere to be found. It was said that a benevolent spirit hid her in a nearby mountain, and the spirit moved her several times before she finally found herself on Fragrant Mountain, where she dwelt, surviving on fruits from the nearby trees and drinking from a stream.

Time passed, and the king eventually contracted a virulent disease until he could no longer sleep or eat. He was in a lot of pain, his body was covered with sores, and the court physician was unable to cure him. A monk appeared and offered to cure the king but his method would require the arms and eyes of one free from anger. The king uttered a sigh of despair as he found this to be an impossible task. The monk then told the king, “On Fragrant Mountain, in the south-west of your majesty’s dominion, there is a bodhisattva engaged in spiritual practices. If you send a messenger to present your request to her, she would definitely comply.”

The king quickly commanded the chamberlain to make the necessary arrangements. When a party arrived and made the request to Miao Shan, she said, “My father insulted the Three Jewels, and he persecuted and suppressed the Sangha when he executed innocent nuns. He is experiencing the negative karma right now.” Then she gouged out her eyes and severed her arms. She offered them to the envoy and she requested that the messenger to relay her exhortation to the king to turn towards virtue and no longer be deluded by false doctrines.

When the two items arrived at the palace, the monk quickly made them up into medicine. The king took the concoction and instantly recovered. He generously rewarded the monk-physician. But the monk refused and told him, “Why do you thank me? You should be thanking the one who provided the arms and eyes for your cure.” Suddenly he was gone and the king realised it was divine intervention. He ordered for his coach and he went with his queen and two remaining daughters to Fragrant Mountain to personally offer his gratitude to the bodhisattva.

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Upon their arrival and before they could even speak, the queen already recognised her own daughter, Miao Shan. They found themselves choking with tears. Miao Shan said, “Does my lady remember Miao Shan? Mindful of my father’s love, I have repaid him with my arms and eyes.” Upon hearing these words, her parents embraced her and wept. Just when the queen was about to wipe Miao Shan’s tears with her tongue, a divine spectacle unfolded before their very eyes. Heavenly clouds encircled them, divine music of celestial musicians could be heard, the earth shook, and flowers rained down from the celestial realms above.

Miao Shan transformed into the Thousand Arms and Thousand Eyes Guan Yin and she hovered majestically into the air. Attendants numbering in the tens of thousands appeared, singing praises of her compassion, and their songs shook the mountains and valleys. Suddenly, the bodhisattva reverted back into Miao Shan as she departed. It was said that the king, queen, and the two sisters made a funeral pyre, preserved the holy relics that emerged, and constructed a stupa on the same mountain to house the relics.

 

Iconography

Guan Yin was popularly represented in male form Chinese religious art before the Song dynasty (10th -13th century CE). The representation of Guan Yin as both genders during this period and after was attributed to the explanation mentioned in the Lotus Sutra, in which Guan Yin could appear as both male or female in order relieve the suffering of sentient beings, along with the unique ability to bestow children on those who are barren.

The older depiction of Kuan Yin as a male bodhisattva with moustache

The older depiction of Kuan Yin as a male bodhisattva with moustache

This exemplified compassion and kindness of a bodhisattva to the ancient Chinese masses. She became known as the mother goddess and patron of expecting mothers and seamen, which led her to become more popularly depicted as the female figure that we are all familiar with today. Today, the Bodhisattva Guan Yin is ubiquitously depicted as a benevolent, white-robed female figure, similar to the graceful Indian two-armed Avalokiteshvara Padmapani or Holder of the Lotus.

Nevertheless, towards the end of the Song period, there were still depictions of Guan Yin as a youthful male figure dressed in Northern Song style robes and seated gracefully. He is usually posed looking downwards, which is meant to symbolise his ever watchfulness upon the suffering of sentient beings. This image has since evolved into the female figure dressed in flowing white robes adorned with refined jewellery to represent her spiritual attainments. She holds a porcelain vase containing sacred water in her left hand, and with her right hand she holds a branch of a willow tree. Weeping willow is a Chinese symbol for compassion, because the branches of the willow tree are soft and yet, they are able to withstand severe thunderstorms that normally uproot other harder and thicker trees. The willow branch is also depicted hanging from the mouth of the vase.

Guan Yin has an image of Buddha Amitabha placed at the crown of her head, signifying the veneration of the spiritual guide. She is usually depicted as a solitary figure, sometimes riding on top of a dragon while traversing the southern seas of China, sometimes accompanied by a white parrot.

In the Precious Scroll of the Parrot, a story is told of the parrot that became a disciple of Guan Yin. During the Tang Dynasty, a small parrot was said to have ventured out in search of food for its mother but a poacher captured it. Parrots were kept as pets during the Tang Dynasty period. When it managed to escape, the bird discovered that its mother had already perished. The parrot grieved for its mother and performed for her funeral. Her death inspired the parrot to become a disciple of Guan Yin. In popular depictions, the parrot is usually white in colour and is depicted as standing to the right of Guan Yin, with clasping either a pearl or with prayer beads in its beak. This parrot has since becomes a symbol of filial piety.

 

Thousand-armed Kuan Yin

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Another popular form of Guan Yin is the Thousand-armed Guan Yin, and her origin can be traced to the Karandavyuha Sutra. In this sutra, Avalokiteshvara is hailed as “The One with a Thousand Arms and a Thousand Eyes”, and is sometimes described as being superior to all the Buddhas and gods in the Indian pantheon.

Another popular Buddhist legend, as narrated in the Complete Tale of Guan Yin and the Southern Seas, presents Guan Yin as vowing never to rest until she had freed all sentient beings from samsara, or the Sanskrit cycle of death and rebirth. After struggling to comprehend the suffering of sentient beings, her head split into eleven pieces. It was said that Buddha Amitabha appeared at this point and healed her by turning each broken piece into a face that perceive the cries of all sentient beings. Upon hearing these cries, Guan Yin attempted to reach out to these suffering beings, but found that her arms shattered into a thousand pieces as well. Buddha Amitabha then appeared again, and gave her a thousand arms to reach out and aid those who suffer.

 

Guan Yin and her acolytes

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Guan Yin is also often depicted as flanked by two children or two warriors. The two children are her acolytes; the girl is known as Long Nü and the boy is called Shan Cai. Shan Cai is the Chinese name for a disabled Indian boy by the name of Sudhana. He travelled to Potala in order to study under Guan Yin, who put him to the test by conjuring 3 sword-wielding bandits who came charging at the bodhisattva. The chase came to an end when the bodhisattva jumped off the cliff and the boy without thinking, hobbled over the cliff to save the bodhisattva. Fortunately, he was saved by Guan Yin, who went on to heal his feet and restore his appearance as well. Guan Yin then taught him the entire Dharma. In another tale, the daughter of a naga king took on the form of a carp, and was caught in a fisherman’s net. Struggling in the net and about to be sold by the fisherman, she let out a cry to the heavens and Guan Yin heard her plea for help. Guan Yin dispatched Shan Cai to bargain for the fish’s release, but he was quickly out-bided by many who guessed that the flesh of this strange fish would grant immortality.

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Guan Yin intervened by projecting her voice, saying “A life should belong to one who tries to save it and not one who tries to take it.” Frightened and embarrassed by their shameful actions, the fish was given to Shan Cai who brought it back to Guan Yin. Guan Yin returned the fish to the ocean and the naga king’s daughter assumed her original form and was reunited with her father.

In gratitude, the naga king sent his granddaughter, Long Nü, to offer a pearl of light to Guan Yin and, overwhelmed by her compassion, she offered herself to be her disciple. Thus, both Shan Cai and Long Nü would often be depicted as acolytes of Guan Yin. This story is also the inspiration for the depiction of the Fujian Guan Yin as a maiden dressed in Tang period attire carrying a basket of fish.

Another popular form of Guan Yin arose along the coastal areas of Southern China and was worshipped amongst seamen and fishermen. This form of Guan Yin, along with others that were catalogued in late 16th century Chinese encyclopaedias, was also depicted in the line drawing of the novel Golden Lotus from the same period.

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In other depictions involving the two warriors, one of the warriors standing with Guan Yin is the general Guan Yu of the late Han dynasty, who is known as Qie Lan or the Bodhisattva Sangharama. He is featured in the Chinese classical epic Records of the Three Kingdoms, and was known to have sworn before the Zen patriarch Zhi Yi (founder of the Tien Tai school) in order to protect the Buddha’s teachings along with its monasteries.

The other warrior accompanying Guan Yin is Wei Tuo or the Bodhisattva Skanda. Wei Tuo is believed to be an incarnation of the Bodhisattva Vajrapani, and was believed to have been one of the generals who protected Miao Shan on her escape from the palace and away from her cruel father. According to one account, both the general and Miao Shan were murdered at the hand of Miao Shan’s cruel father and he became a bodhisattva to continue protecting Guan Yin.

 

Guan Yin as the attendant to Buddha Amitabha

Buddha Amitabha is depicted in the middle with Guan Yin on his right side and Bodhisattva Mahastamaprapta on his left side

Buddha Amitabha is depicted in the middle with Guan Yin on his right side and Bodhisattva Mahastamaprapta on his left side

In Chinese tradition, Guan Yin is also one of the bodhisattva figures popularly depicted alongside Buddha Amitabha along with the Bodhisattva Mahastamaprapta. This trinity is known as the Three Saints of the Western Pure Land, and they are depicted as the central figures in the pure land of Sukhavati. In addition to that, she is also depicted alongside other bodhisattvas and buddhas, sometimes flanked by the two previously-mentioned warriors, who manifest as bodhisattvas to protect the temple and the faith.

 

Kuan Yin Day

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There are generally three celebrations associated with Guan Yin: her birthday, the day of her enlightenment, and the day she left home. Her birthday is celebrated on the 19th of the second lunar month, her enlightenment day is celebrated on the 19th of the sixth lunar month, and the day she left home is celebrated on the 19th of the ninth lunar month.

On Guan Yin’s birthday, devotees observe a vegetarian diet in remembrance of her compassion and kindness. They visit temples or major shrines to offer incense, flowers and food – usually fruits, special festive cakes or vegetarian dishes. Another popular offering is to add oil into the oil lamps on Guan Yin’s shrines in order to keep the flames burning. Devotees seeking to have a child would offer prayers, incense and offerings to the Guan Yin, and when they do get a child, the child would be placed at the feet of Guan Yin to be spiritually adopted by her, as it is believed that she will bless the child with longevity.

As for people from monastic orders, they celebrate the day by reciting the Universal Door chapter of the Lotus Sutra. This chapter is an extensive praise of the bodhisattva’s boundless compassion and kindness, of her ability to liberate sentient beings from the seven types of calamities, her ability to grant the two types of requests, and her ability to transform herself into the thirty-two manifestations.

 

Guan Yin Temples in Malaysia

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After Islam, Buddhism is the second largest religion in Malaysia, with 19.2% of Malaysia’s population identifying themselves as Buddhist. However, some estimates push that figure higher to 21.6% when the figure is combined with other Chinese religions. Buddhism is mainly practised by the Malaysian Chinese population in Malaysia, as well as by other ethnicities, such as Malaysian Indians, and Malaysians of Siamese Burmese, and Sri Lankan descent.

The majority of Malaysian Buddhists are great devotees of Guan Yin and have established great Guan Yin temples throughout Malaysia. The following are a few examples of Guan Yin temples in Malaysia.

 

Kuan Yin Temple Kuala Lumpur

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This temple was built in 1888 by the Chinese community and dedicated to Guan Yin. The temple architecture is evidently Chinese with a touch of Baroque, and while it has been recently refurbished, many of its older elements remain. In the main prayer hall stands the statue of Buddha Sakyamuni on the main shrine, with a statue of Guan Yin of the Southern Seas on his right, and the Thousand Armed Guan Yin on his left. Other statues on the shrine are the Kshitigarbha, also known as the Earth-store Bodhisattva, and Di Zang. Opening Hours are between 7am to 5pm daily.

Historically, this temple started as a Hokkien Chinese place of worship. Stories tell of a Chinese cemetery built near the grounds of what is now known as Stadium Merdeka, and the temple offered a place of solace for visitors to the cemetery. Around 1920, the British administration declared the temple as a place of worship, and ceded the rights over to the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Hokkien Association. Unfortunately, it suffered damages from two fires in 1963 and 1989, but was renovated and restored on both occasions.

 

Getting to the Kuan Yin Temple

The temple is located across from Bulatan Merdeka and is situated next to Stadium Merdeka at the tail end of Petaling Street. One can get to Petaling Street, and then park and walk over to the temple. The Maharajalela Monorail Station is conveniently nearby, and offers more easy access to the temple.

Kuan Yin Temple

Address:
Jalan Maharajalela
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia

 

Places to stay near the Kuan Yin Temple

  1. Cosmic Boutique Hotel
    Address:
    No. 21 & 23
    Jalan Maharajalela
    Chinatown
    50150 Kuala Lumpur
    Malaysia
    Phone: +60 3 9226 3339
  2. OYO Rooms Maharajalela Monorail Station
    Address:
    21 Jalan Maharajalela
    Chinatown
    50150 Kuala-Lumpur
    Malaysia
    Phone: +60 17 7584 3417
  3. Grid 9 Hotel
    Address:
    9 Jalan Maharajalela
    Chinatown
    50150 Kuala Lumpur
    Malaysia
    Phone: +60 3 9226 2629

 

Kun Yam Thong Temple, Kuala Lumpur

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Kun Yam Thong Temple is also known as the Dharma Realm Guan Yin Sagely Monastery. This temple was built in 1880 and was originally named Deng Bi An Temple until it was taken over by the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association in 1993, and then renovated and reopened in 2006. High-rise office towers, hotels and shopping malls surround the temple, making it a quiet oasis in the middle of the bustling city.

The main prayer hall, called the Great Jewelled Hall has a shrine with three giant golden Buddha statues, each weighing one tonne. They are the Buddha Shakyamuni, the Medicine Buddha, and the Amitabha Buddha. Aside from the shrine, there is a famous food hall at the back of the temple that serves healthy and tasty vegetarian meals for a nominal fee. The temple also has a library and bookstore for those seeking a little bit of knowledge.

 

Getting to the Kun Yam Thong Temple

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The temple is located on Jalan Ampang right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. It is between the Citibank tower and KLCC shopping centre, just a stone’s throw away from the MCA building. You can also get to the temple via the Ampang Park LRT station.

Kun Yam Thong Temple

Address:
Menara Citibank
165 Jalan Ampang
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
Phone: +60 3 2164 8055

 

Places to stay near Kun Yam Thong Temple

  1. Corus Hotel Kuala Lumpur
    Address:
    Jalan Ampang
    Hampshire Park
    50450 Kuala Lumpur
    Malaysia
    Phone: +60 3 2161 8888
  2. Le Apple Boutique Hotel (KLCC)
    Address:
    160 Jalan Ampang
    Kampung Baru
    55000 Kuala Lumpur
    Malaysia
    Phone: +60 3 2179 3777
  3. GTower Hotel
    Address:
    199 Jalan Tun Razak
    50400 Kuala Lumpur
    Malaysia
    Phone: +60 3 2168 1919

 

Kuan Yin Teng Temple Penang

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The Kuan Yin Teng Temple, or Kong Hock Keong temple, is one of the oldest Chinese temples in Georgetown, Penang, and has Guan Yin as its central deity. It was built in 1728 at the cost of 4,000 Spanish dollars, a huge sum for its time. It was one of the most magnificent Chinese buildings in Northern Malaya of its time, as most of the other Chinese temples of George Town had not been built by the various clans to rival it yet.

There are several accounts surrounding the Kuan Yin Teng Temple, although very little have been documented in official records. For example, during World War II, the Japanese dropped a bomb on the temple to destroy it. Through sheer luck or perhaps divine intervention, the bomb landed in the courtyard instead, and the temple was left unscathed. Other accounts described how a large number of Penangites took shelter in the Kuan Yin Teng Temple during the war as well.

 

Getting to the Kuan Yin Teng Temple

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The temple is located in Georgetown, at the intersection of China Street and Jalan Kapitan Keling (formerly known as Pitt Street).

Kuan Yin Teng Temple

Address:
Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling
George Town
10200 Penang
Malaysia

 

Places to stay near the Kuan Yin Teng Temple

  1. Palm Mansion Boutique Suites
    Address:
    76 – 88 China Street
    Georgetown
    10200 Penang
    Malaysia
    Phone: +60 4 261 3609
  2. Red Inn Court
    Address:
    35 B&C Jalan Mesjid Kapitan Keling
    George Town
    10200 Penang
    Malaysia
    Phone: +60 4 261 1144
  3. Queen’s Hostel
    Address:
    20 & 22 Queen Street
    Georgetown
    10200 Penang
    Malaysia
    Phone: +60 13 489 6218

 

Kek Lok Si Temple Penang

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The Kek Lok Si Temple (also known in Penang Hokkien for ‘Temple of Supreme Bliss’ or ‘Temple of Sukhavati’, and pronounced in Mandarin Chinese as Ji Le Si) is a Mahayana Buddhist temple situated in Air Itam in Penang. The temple complex faces the sea, giving it an impressive vista, and is one of the best-known Buddhist temples in Malaysia. It is also said to be the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia.

It is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists from the region, as visitors come from Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore and other countries in Southeast Asia. The temple complex was built over a period from 1890 to 1930, and was an inspirational initiative by Beow Lean, its Abbot. The most striking feature of the temple is the seven-storey Pagoda of Rama VI, also known as the Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas, with its 10,000 alabaster and bronze statues of Buddha, and a 30 metre (99 ft) tall bronze statue of Guan Yin.

 

Getting to the Kek Lok Si Temple

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At the corner of Jalan Air Itam and Jalan Pasar in Georgetown, you will see a big sign pointing towards the temple. Just follow the sign down Jalan Pasar, and when you come to an intersection, turn left. Not far down the road, you will see a small alleyway path to the left, and that leads to a set of stairs, which in turn leads to the main walkway. You will then have to walk up a set of staircases and corridors that are all surrounded by a series of souvenir shops.

Kek Lok Si Temple

Address:
86 S Jalan Kampung Pisang
Ayer Itam
11500 Penang
Malaysia
Website: http://kekloksitemple.com
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +60 4 828 3317

 

Places to stay near the Kek Lok Si Temple

  1. Vstay Guesthouse
    Address:
    134-K 1st Floor Jalan Paya Terubong
    Ayer Itam
    11600 Penang
    Malaysia
    Phone: +60 16 422 6879
  2. Fang Zu Ming Concept Guesthouse
    Address:
    1228 N3 & P3 Jalan Paya Terubong
    Air Itam
    Penang
    11060 Malaysia
    Phone: +60 19 477 7661
  3. Fastbook Hostel
    Address:
    1228L-3 Jalan Paya Terubong
    Ayer Itam
    11060 Penang
    Malaysia
    Phone: +60 19 477 7661

 
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  1. Vivian Ong on Jan 14, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article about Guan Yin. My late grandmother has been praying to her since I was small. We have been praying at the Guan Yin temple in Ipoh near the Kinta River for many years already.The temple has been there since 100 years ago. My sister and I took refuge in Guan Yin. At my home in Ipoh, my mum has a Guan Yin statue on the altar which she offer incense and water offering everyday to Guan Yin. I find this article very interesting to read as there are many of the histories and stories of Guan Yin that I have never heard before.

    With folded palms,
    Vivian

  2. freon on Jan 11, 2017 at 11:57 am

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Guan Yin have a long history in China’s culture. Seem, Guan Yin have actually melt into the local culture and bring dharma to many people. Many of Guan Yin story are related to daily life, such as save the fish and taught people to be kind towards animals.

    At Malaysia, many chinese families have pray to Guan Yin for many generation. Even though they do not know much about Dharma, but, to them Guan Yin is important and essential when come to make important decision in their daily life. Some people have even become vegetarian on the Guan Yin anniversary day. Guan Yin play an important part in daily life of Chinese could be seen on the temples they build, the temples years can be as early as chinese settle in Malaysia.

    Thank you Rinpoche for this article.

    With Folded hand,
    Freon

  3. Anne Ong on Jan 8, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    Thank you Guru for this wonderful and meaningful story about Kuan Yin. It’s truly meaningful to me because I was spiritually adopted to Mother Goddess Kuan Yin since i was born with so much health complications and karma problems. And it was Goddess Mother Kuan Yin who answered my prayers to find Peace and met with Dharma practice through our kind and helpful dharma brother from Ipoh. Thank you once again Rinpoche for this meaningful reminder to me _/\_

  4. Stella Cheang on Dec 27, 2016 at 9:04 am

    Guan Yin is a personality we are very familiar with from young. There are many tales and legends about the Guan Yin Bodhisattva that describe Guan Yin as the immortal Goddess of compassion, and Guan Yin is popular because of her compassionate nature. As we study more about Guan Yin, we will understand that Guan Yin is also known as Avalokiteshvara, and he is depicted in the Lotus Sutra as one of the highest beings in the Buddhist pantheon. How fortunate for us to have this article here sharing with us about Guan Yin so that we can understand more about this important deity within Buddhism. As well as the list of popular Guan Yin temples in Malaysia. My favourite is Kun Yum Thong Temple as it is nearby my office area where I can pop by during lunch time, plus the vegetarian meals there is a crowd puller. Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

  5. Darren on Dec 13, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    There is so much information on Guan Yin but this article provided a detailed and much easier to understand. Nice temple in Malaysia and a must visit for everyone.

  6. Sharon Ong on Dec 13, 2016 at 2:06 am

    I have heard about Guan Yin manifesting in a male form previously but didn’t know much about this form. From this post, I learnt that this male form of Guan Yin was commonly featured in religious art during Song dynasty (10th -13th century CE).

    Another useful info I learnt from this post is the 3 important Guan Yin Days ie her birthday, the day of her enlightenment, and the day she left home.
    – Her birthday is celebrated on the 19th of the second lunar month.
    – Her enlightenment day is celebrated on the 19th of the sixth lunar month.
    – The day she left home is celebrated on the 19th of the ninth lunar month.

    Thank you for this informative post, Rinpoche.

  7. Uncle Eddie on Dec 12, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    I wish truly to thank Rinpoche whole heartedly for the sharing of this very informative, interesting and wonderful Guan Yin Pusa Blog-post. It really did enlightened me up with so much new knowledge and teaching that I have not heard before, like what Sock Wan has depicted in her blog comments! Like Sock Wan has said , yes in Buddhism, Buddhas appear in different physical forms depending on the local culture. But I would think that if, “until we are free from our Karmic obscurations, even if all Budhhas descended in front of us, we have no fortune to see the Holy body, adorn with the Holy sign and examplifications. Like one Lama whom I met some years ago did say, “We certainly do meet Buddhas, bodhisattvas, dakas and dakinis. It’s just that our heavy ordinary appearances and strong belief in our view block our seeing that they are Buddhas, bodhisattvas, dakas or dakinis, and because our mind is impure, our view of someone ordinary doesn’t prove that in reality they are like that!” Now back to our “most Holy, Supremely Peaceful and Meditative Guan Yin Pusa”. In all reality she truly shines with Bliss of virtue and she is often praised as “The Mother of all Buddhas”. She heals, blesses and averts grave dangers by the power of Pacification. Her all-forgiving softly smiling eyes always invoke instant faith and the deepest trust. On Guan Yin Day, one would witness scores of devotees generally observe three Celebrations i.e. (i) Guan Yin’s Birthday (ii) The day of her Enlightenment, and (iii) The day she left home. On Guan Yin’s Birthday, all devotees will observe a vegeterian Diet in rememberance of her Compassion and Kindness. They will also visit Temples, major Shrines to offer incense, flowers and food – usually fruits, special festive cakes, vegetarian dishes and performing the pouring of oil into Oil-Lamps on Guan Yin’s Shrines to keep the flames burning for long lives! As said, for people from Monastic order, the recitation of the Universal Door chapter of the long Sutra will be performed to protray an extensive praise of the Bodhisattva’s Boundless Compassion and Kindness etc., and her ability to transfer herself into the thirty-two Manifestations. May all sentient beings be blessed by Guan Yin Pusa saving Powers and be happy for all Eternity! OM MANI PADME HUNG.

  8. Sock Wan on Dec 11, 2016 at 1:08 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing with us the story of Guan Yin (Chenrezig or Avalokiteshvara). In the past I have always thought Guan Yin is a female until I saw the depiction of Guan Yin in Tibetan Buddhism and also how Guan Yin was depicted in male form during Tang Dynasty.

    In Buddhism, Buddhas appear in different physical form depending on the local culture. For example Buddha Shakyamuni depicted in Thailand, China, Tibet, Japan, Korea etc are different. However, the iconography is always the same. Guan Yin in Tibetan culture may be male, in Chinese culture may be female but both represent the same quality. The Buddha can appear in different forms in different time and place but still representing the same quality. Guan Yin’s manifestion as a princess in China is not a folklore but it was mentioned in the Buddhist scripture. This has proven that a Boddhisattva has gone beyond gender or physical look, it will appear in any form with the sole motivation to benefit people.

    If we want to practice to be a Boddhisattva, we have to learn to be open minded and not fixated by gender or physical appearance. It is the mind that matters, not the physical form.

  9. Joy Kam on Dec 10, 2016 at 2:05 am

    Thank you for this lovely blog post especially the tales on Kuan Yin is most fascinating. I have heard of the story how Kuan Yin sacrifice her eyes and cut her hands for her father. We were told this and many other stories about her when I was a kid by my mom. It seems most mothers are familiar and very close to Kuan Yin. So even though my mom was of Catholic faith, she respected all other religions, have always taught us to do so and would even allow us to pick which religion we’d like to follow when we grew up.

    She would bring is to all the temples, Buddhist temples and Hind temples to visit and pay our respect. So reading this story of Kuan Yin again really bring back many nice fond memories of what my mom used to also tell us about her. She was like Mother Mary to my mother as both are female form and compassionate.

    After reading the story of how Kuan Yin sacrificed herself in the end eventhough her father was so cruel to her, is a huge lesson/teaching on forgiveness and true compassion. Only a Boddhisattva can do that. Also I now know more about her depiction in Chinese traditions; the significant two children. Now I know why the Nagas love and appreciate Kuan Yin; she saved their child from being killed! I also know now what the willow leaf in her vase symbolises, and why she has a thousand arm and multiple faces.

    Thank you so much for this blog post Rinpoche. I am sure there are many more legends and stories of Kuan Yin to inspire and teach us as she has been around for such a long time, and her/his stories are always inspiring and increases our faith another notch.

  10. Andrea Lai on Dec 10, 2016 at 12:40 am

    My mom adopted me to Guan Yin since I was a toddler. Never have I thought, I have strong faith with her.I dreamed of her many times. I could only remember her first appearance in my dream and the last.

    When I was young, I used to have wet dreams.It was once I have very horrible wet dreams.She appeared with her 2 acolytes. I remembered she murmured something and holding a small brunch and flick, then she disappeared leaving her 2 acolytes.

    The last time I dreamed of her was 2 days before my grandmother passed away. She came as an old lady with long white hair and white robes.It was my first time encountered her face to face. The moment I look at her, I knew she is Guan Yin and she replied back with a smile. I remembered then, we have a very, very long conversation but I can’t recalled what are our conversation about.

    Thank you Rinpoche, for sharing this lovely story of Guan Yin.It helps me gain more knowledge of this compassionate deity.

    With folded palms,
    Andrea

    • Joy Kam on Dec 10, 2016 at 2:13 am

      Thank you Andrea for your comment. Wow that is very interesting to know that you have dreamt of Kuan Yin several times! She/He is a Buddha that is famous for showing clear signs to people all the time. Other Buddhas famous for giving signs are Tara, Lama Tsongkhapa, Setrap, and Dorje Shugden. So I am not surprised you had those blessed dreams, but still it is quite intriguing. Thanks for sharing. It goes to show that these enlightened beings really do exist!

  11. Thomas N on Dec 9, 2016 at 3:54 am

    Must see: Guan Yin movie (Chinese/English)
    https://youtu.be/8SD8nOGBA6k

  12. Jason on Dec 9, 2016 at 3:42 am

    Very sacred Guan Yin images. Mostly Chinese temples in Southeast Asia did worship Guan Yin.This meant Guan Yin already penetrated as a most popular deity. Most of Guan Yin statue appeared in female forms yet origin is male forms. Anyway, Guan Yin can manifest whatever forms to help all sentient beings.

    I really like thousand arm Guan Yin. She look very fascinated and magnificent. This can’t be expressed by words but I just got the strong feelings when I saw Thousand arms Guan Yin.

    Thank you Rinpoche shared the Guan Yin article. This is very informative articles.It really gain extra knowledge on Guan Yin after read this article.

    Jason

  13. Jen on Dec 8, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for writing this article. I enjoy reading the story of Princess Miao Shan and learn about the different forms of Guan Yin Boddhisattva. This article also makes me learn more about Skanda because in temple in China, Skanda is enshrined at the back of Maitreya Buddha together with Four Heavenly Kings at both sides in the same hall. Somehow Skanda is related to and served as a general to protect Miao Shan.

  14. Pastor Han Nee on Dec 7, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for bringing together, in this lovely article, the different stories and legends about Guan Yin, and how she is worshipped in this country. Most Malaysians, especially of the older generations, who are Buddhists have been brought up to revere Guan Yin as the Goddess or Deity whose compassion for all is as great as that of a mother for her child. Hence, we had grown up seeing her as our Divine Mother.

    In fact, many of us, Guan Yin devotees, had actually been “adopted” as Spiritual Children by Guan Yin.We were told by the nun who conducted the ceremony, that Guan Yin would be our Spiritual Mother until we reach the age of 18. The abbess of the Guan Yin temple in my hometown had explained that our adoption by Guan Yin meant that she would be very close to us as our Guardian and Protector all the way until we became adults.

    I love the stories and legends about Guan Yin’s compassion. The Legend of Princess Miao Shan, and her boundless compassion, sacrificing her eyes and her arms to cure her tyrant of a father, illustrates vividly the nature of the compassion of a Bodhisattva, be it Guan Yin/ Chenrezig or Manjushri or their emanations. I love hearing again and again the story of Avalokiteshvara’s head splitting into 11 pieces and his arms splitting into 1000 arms, through the force of his great compassion. Buddhas in their great compassion can emanate as male or female, and in different realms in samsara, wherever there is a need for them to relieve beings of suffering.

    I remember visiting Guan Yin temples on her three feast days of the year, and I still visit her temple whenever I travel to Penang with my husband , who to this day , is a Guan Yin devotee. Yes, the tradition of topping up the ever -burning oil lamps in the Guan Yin temple still holds strong to this day.

    I keep Guan Yin in my heart daily as I recite I mala of Om Mani to Her. My Guan Yin statue on my altar at home travelled to Sydney Australia to be with my best friend’s sister in the last days of her life. She died chanting Om Mani on her lips, as her mum and sisters and brothers here in Malaysia joined her in the chanting over skype.

  15. TekLee on Dec 7, 2016 at 1:20 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this beautiful article. Since young age, I came across Guan Yin. It’s a very popular Buddha among the Chinese. I’m always attracted by her grace and compassion look. I remember I watched Hong Kong series about Guan Yin also. But I never really read about Guan Yin. This article is beautiful and informative, as Rinpoche tells all the different stories about Guan Yin. I can feel her great compassion in the stories, especially the one that she cut off her arms and took out her eyes for her father. Now, knowing that anyone, friends and relatives has passed away, I will chant The Great Compassion mantra for them. As I joined Kechara, it allows me to know more about Chenrezig, and now read more about Chenrezig. It really gives me a feeling to invite Guan Yin / Chenrezig home. Thank you again Rinpoche, the story of Chenrezig is very beautiful. _/\_

  16. Samfoonheei on Dec 6, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    Good sharing and informative blogs of Kuan Yin temples in Malaysia.
    Origins of Kuan Yin been explained too. I do not know so much about it till i read these post…i only knew Kuan Yin as Goddess of Mercy.When i was young i used to follow my mother to temple to pray without knowing much..just as one one of a deity.On Guan Yin’s birthday, devotees observe a vegetarian diet in remembrance of her compassion and kindness.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these beautiful post .

  17. Datuk May on Dec 6, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    Guan Yin is a deity which almost all Malaysian Chinese will know off whether they are Buddhist or Taoist or even Christians. When I was young, my grandmother would spend the 3 special Guan Yin’s days in meditation and silent retreat and would be vegetarian for a week before she would embark on the retreats.

    She would tell me to always pray to Guan Yin for mercy. And that she is known as the Goddess of Mercy.

    My mother also prayed to Guan Yin and she had a beautiful statue of Guan Yin wearing a colourful cape. This statue is made from porcelain. The statues are normally in white, as such I asked my mother why the colourful cape and her reply was she is a Guan Yin who travels. Indeed she did as my mother brought her with her when she migrated to Australia.

    Whatever legends we have heard so far are dots which this article joins and make whole.

    Thank you, Rinpoche for such a beautiful article on the most popular deity among the Malaysian Buddhists.

  18. Fong on Dec 6, 2016 at 10:56 am

    I remember growing up my mother would religiously bring me along to the local Guan Yin temple for prayers and offerings of light, incense, fruits and flowers on the 1st and 15th day of the lunar calendar. And she would always give some coins to drop into the donation box. It was always very busy and smoky on these days.

    This article has just brought back all those memories when my mother had the time to guide me in paying homage to Guan Yin Pusa, and to hold me by the hand so that I would not be swept away by the sea of people.

    Thank you, Rinpoche for the background on Guan Yin Pusa that we may understand how compassionate and kind she is. It’s interesting too how the practice of Chenrezig, in male form changed to Guan Yin Pusa in female form as this most compasionate of Buddhas, moved from Tibet to China.

  19. Bradley Kassian on Dec 6, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for writing about Guan Yin. I’ve heard stories & sutras coming from tibet and India, but I never heard of the background of Guan Yin in China. It’s nice to read up on the bodhisattva/buddha of compassion. So highly honored and revered in so many cultures. I honestly never heard of Guan Yin Day. It’s not commonly celebrated across the water here. I like how On Guan Yin’s birthday, devotees observe a vegetarian diet in remembrance of her compassion and kindness.

    Namo Guan Shi Yin Pusa!

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  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jan 18. 2017 03:34 PM
    Wonderful….can try this method to repel insects in our house using peppermint plants. I did not know much benefits of peppermint till i read this article.Its really good way to repel insects other then using the ingredient in our kitchen.Keeping the garden and surroundings clean to reduce opportunity for insects too.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this easy and harmless ways to keep insects away.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/try-this-to-repel-insects-in-your-house.html
  • Lin Mun
    Tuesday, Jan 17. 2017 08:31 PM
    If it is not Guru’s compassion and kindness we would not have the chance to learn and practise dharma in Kechara. Guru is very important because he is a person who will guide and lead us to enlightenment. He choose to be with us so we can transform our mind. Hence we must always appreciate our Guru and change our mind to be better.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/choose-your-guru-always.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Jan 17. 2017 01:07 PM
    We are the only family to the senior pets, how cruel it is to abandon them when they are old and helpless. It is a time our pet needs us most because they are in pain or suffering from discomfort, and we should be more sensitive to their needs. Very heartwarming to read a list of ideas to shower the raging pets with some tender loving care. Thank you Rinpoche.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/dont-abandon-senior-pets.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Jan 17. 2017 01:02 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing. Every time I read story of incredible loyalty shown by animals, I’d be marvelled at how more faithful, loyal, humane and selfless they are compared to us. Captain put us to shame. Many of us cannot even be faithful and loyal to the person sharing the same bed, let alone a dead someone… for six years! May we be inspired to be loyal and faithful to people who matter to us and who had benefitted, like our guru and our parents.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/loyal-dog-guards-his-owners-grave-for-6-years.html
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Jan 16. 2017 09:49 PM
    Wow the 3 places are so beautiful. Very nice scenic, clean and so natural. Really wish I can visit Japan and any one of the places above. So calm to be able to live there.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/3-amazingly-attractive-villages-in-japan.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jan 16. 2017 04:57 PM
    Beautiful and powerful short prayer to Dorje Shugden composed by Rinpoche. This prayer is short yet very powerful and easy to understand, visualize suitable for all us and for those who are new to Tibetan Buddhism.Thank you Rinpoche for this beautiful and powerful prayer.May Rinpoche always healthy to continue teachings and guiding us all.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/a-short-prayer-to-dorje-shugden.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Monday, Jan 16. 2017 01:56 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing with us this very beautifully composed prayer to Dorje Shugden. The prayer abridge the complete path to enlightenment complete with the powerful holy mantra Om Benza Wiki Bitana Soha. May Datin MJ and everyone who recites this daily be blessed on their spiritual journey and their faith in Dorje Shugden grow forever more.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/a-short-prayer-to-dorje-shugden.html#comments
  • Stella Cheang
    Monday, Jan 16. 2017 01:32 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for this very important teaching. It is simple logic; working on our mind will last us in our future life (long term investment) while focusing on our body only last us as far as this lifetime (short term investment and often time without return), if the body does not already give way part by part, prematurely. Therefore, utilise our precious time on earth to invest in our mind. Every pleasure that derives through this body is short-lived anyway.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/stop-dancing-with-the-corpse.html
  • Lin Mun
    Sunday, Jan 15. 2017 09:33 PM
    This is very sad. In the new modern business environment I am shock that this is happening in India. This brick kiln management has clearly abuse the labour and has no qualm in admitting that they are treating the labour as slave.

    How can the worker work for 12 to 18 hours in this harsh place. Furthermore, they were not provided any safety gear and have to endure the heat in the kiln. The more scary thing is that they allow children in this dangerous work place.

    Thankfully, the United Nations and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has taken steps in providing new guidelines. I hope the multinational companies there will adhere to the regulations and guidelines to stop this abuse.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article and a reminder that how fortunate are we living in much better condition.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/you-have-to-see-this.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Jan 15. 2017 01:53 PM
    Dementia is a general term for loss of memory and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with our daily life. It is caused by physical changes in the brain.So scientists did discovered that people living near busy roads have a higher chance of developing dementia.Its the air-pollutants can get into the brain via the blood and which lead to neurological problems.
    Elderly monks live a very quiet life in the monastery, far away from the city do not develop dementia as Rinpoche noticed.The air is clean and healthy that leads them to live longer.
    Rinpoche have made a good choice to have KFR at Bentong in a natural forest environment. Whereby all of us can have a healthy.quiet and peaceful mind to do meditation,learn and practice Dharma.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/does-living-near-busy-roads-develop-dementia.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jan 14. 2017 08:23 PM
    Learn and practice Dharma,work for Dharma before its too late.Try not waste our precious time ,as we won’t know what will happens next. So wasting time on samsaric activities that bring comfort and pleasure to the body is of no use .what will benefit us now and at the time of death is to cultivate our mind with dharma and dharma activities. Stay healthy have a healthy body , mind and have Dharma close to us .
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this powerful teachings
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/stop-dancing-with-the-corpse.html
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Jan 14. 2017 05:24 PM
    This is a good article on Serkym offering and Kawang. Earlier when I just joined Kechara I do not understand why we have this rituals and why some of the offering materials are so expensive. Now I understand that we are making offering to the enlightened beings so we should offer the best.

    Thank you Bradley for your sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/bradley-kassian-share-on-kawang-and-serkym.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jan 14. 2017 03:06 PM
    Malaysia is a beautiful multi-racial country with beautiful traditional clothes each different race and culture.That i am proud of it as i love our traditional chinese cheongsum and nyonya kebaya.There are many different cultures in Sarawak too with many variations of tribal dress in different styles. Many of these groups have their own style and colour which caught my eyes by looking at those beautiful pictures shared. Here we can live happily with many different groups and can have religious freedom.But not so lucky for others whereby they attacked .injured each other like the Dorje Shugden issue in Tibet.I do hope the ban on Dorje Shugden will be lifted soon.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/traditional-clothes-of-malaysia.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Saturday, Jan 14. 2017 01:35 PM
    Without a doubt, it is the miraculous power of the enlightened Dharmapala, Dorje Shugden, who worked this magic and saved life. The deep faith in Dorje Shugden let the young Chin Wei suffered only minor injuries despite the collisions resulting in severe damage to the car. May Chin Wei recover swiftly and may his faith in Dorje Shugden be forever strong. Thank you Pastor Seng Piow for sharing this with us.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/saved-by-dorje-shugden-多杰雄登保佑!.html
  • Victor.Choi
    Saturday, Jan 14. 2017 11:07 AM
    Good Morning Rinpoche, Moderator,Pastors and everyone in the chatroom. 🙂

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Writer: Pastor Loh Seng Piow
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The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
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I am in the process of creating beautiful Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat watches at this time. So we can take precious protector and Kechara Forest Retreat wherever we go and be blessed everytime we see what time it is. 
I am perfecting the designs with a great team and will update when done but these are just some samples that arrived. 
Feast your eyes! 

Tsem Rinpoche
6 days ago
I am in the process of creating beautiful Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat watches at this time. So we can take precious protector and Kechara Forest Retreat wherever we go and be blessed everytime we see what time it is. I am perfecting the designs with a great team and will update when done but these are just some samples that arrived. Feast your eyes! Tsem Rinpoche
                        Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini\'s path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html  Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini's path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
Message to Tibetans in English
3 weeks ago
Message to Tibetans in English
Message to the Tibetans
3 weeks ago
Message to the Tibetans
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
3 weeks ago
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
3 weeks ago
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
1 month ago
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
1 month ago
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
2 months ago
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
2 months ago
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
2 months ago
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
2 months ago
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
2 months ago
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
2 months ago
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
3 months ago
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
Sir Edmund Hillary
3 months ago
Sir Edmund Hillary
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha\'s teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha's teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I\'ve seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I've seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
It\'s nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
3 months ago
It's nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
                         Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
3 months ago
Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
4 months ago
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
High lamas in France September 2016
4 months ago
High lamas in France September 2016
༧གོང་ས་ཆེན་པོ་སྐུ་འཕྲེང་བཅུ་བཞི་པ་མཆོག་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། - Interesting relationship between 14th Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden:   http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109757
4 months ago
༧གོང་ས་ཆེན་པོ་སྐུ་འཕྲེང་བཅུ་བཞི་པ་མཆོག་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། - Interesting relationship between 14th Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109757
Dalai Lama Says We Can Practise Dorje Shugden Finally! Read more on this development--- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109777
4 months ago
Dalai Lama Says We Can Practise Dorje Shugden Finally! Read more on this development--- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109777
More time spent in dharma work is more karma collected to be happy and more time spent in non-dharma works is more karma collected to be unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
More time spent in dharma work is more karma collected to be happy and more time spent in non-dharma works is more karma collected to be unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche
All Dorje Shugden prophesizes will come to pass,
 Those who generate refuge and merits will trust, 
 By trusting one will see the good results of his pronouncements,
 By seeing the good results, one\'s path becomes more clear, 
 The path of practice, purification and siddhic results, 
 This would eliminate the samsara within our minds.
 ~Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
All Dorje Shugden prophesizes will come to pass, Those who generate refuge and merits will trust, By trusting one will see the good results of his pronouncements, By seeing the good results, one's path becomes more clear, The path of practice, purification and siddhic results, This would eliminate the samsara within our minds. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Large Dorje Shugden statue built by the 5th Dalai Lama and housed in Trode Khangsar. Sock Wand and Mdm Chuah took this picture in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
4 months ago
Large Dorje Shugden statue built by the 5th Dalai Lama and housed in Trode Khangsar. Sock Wand and Mdm Chuah took this picture in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
Our own Kecharian Mdm. Chua with the oracle of Dorje Shugden Gen Tenzin Tsultrim in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
4 months ago
Our own Kecharian Mdm. Chua with the oracle of Dorje Shugden Gen Tenzin Tsultrim in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Trode Khangsar-the Chapel to Dorje Shugden built 400 years ago by the Great 5th Dalai Lama-Tibet 2016
4 months ago
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Trode Khangsar-the Chapel to Dorje Shugden built 400 years ago by the Great 5th Dalai Lama-Tibet 2016
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Gaden Monastery, Tibet 2016
4 months ago
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Gaden Monastery, Tibet 2016
                         This is the oracle of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa, Tibet. His name is Gen Tenzin Tsultrim of Sera Monastery in Tibet.
4 months ago
This is the oracle of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa, Tibet. His name is Gen Tenzin Tsultrim of Sera Monastery in Tibet.
Ms. Sock Wan, Oracle of Dorje Shugden in Tibet Gen Tenzin Tsultrim, Mdm Chuah and Mr. Tashi in Tibet 2016
4 months ago
Ms. Sock Wan, Oracle of Dorje Shugden in Tibet Gen Tenzin Tsultrim, Mdm Chuah and Mr. Tashi in Tibet 2016
Mahasiddha Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Ven. Rabten Choktrul Rinpoche 2016
4 months ago
Mahasiddha Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Ven. Rabten Choktrul Rinpoche 2016
His Eminence Mahasiddha Gangchen Rinpoche and the official oracle of Dorje Shugden Panglung Kuten Choji lah in Italy together September 2016
4 months ago
His Eminence Mahasiddha Gangchen Rinpoche and the official oracle of Dorje Shugden Panglung Kuten Choji lah in Italy together September 2016
My thoughts on Malaysia. Thank you. Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
My thoughts on Malaysia. Thank you. Tsem Rinpoche
Beautiful thangka of Vajra Yogini. Look at the details where she appears in visions and also takes people to Kechara.
4 months ago
Beautiful thangka of Vajra Yogini. Look at the details where she appears in visions and also takes people to Kechara.
Left to right:

His Holiness the Gaden Throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche (very young) and His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Prayer Hall during prayers.
4 months ago
Left to right: His Holiness the Gaden Throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche (very young) and His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Prayer Hall during prayers.
 It\'s nice when families support the spiritual journeys of their children. This is one beautiful family of Pastor Niral of Kechara
4 months ago
It's nice when families support the spiritual journeys of their children. This is one beautiful family of Pastor Niral of Kechara
Jog Falls a power place of Vajra Yogini and Heruka: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=108652
4 months ago
Jog Falls a power place of Vajra Yogini and Heruka: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=108652
Don\'t wait for the perfect group. Don\'t wait for the perfect person. Don\'t wait for the perfect situation. Don\'t expect yourself to be perfect. Don\'t even look for perfection at least in our realm as it does not exist or time will run out. Just get going and keep doing good. It\'s between you and yourself. Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Don't wait for the perfect group. Don't wait for the perfect person. Don't wait for the perfect situation. Don't expect yourself to be perfect. Don't even look for perfection at least in our realm as it does not exist or time will run out. Just get going and keep doing good. It's between you and yourself. Tsem Rinpoche
Kind people are to be treasured. They make life worth living. ~Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Kind people are to be treasured. They make life worth living. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Don\'t you love her bag? She\'s stylish and at one with the universe. OM Shanti. ~Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Don't you love her bag? She's stylish and at one with the universe. OM Shanti. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Beautiful Manjushri carved in China
4 months ago
Beautiful Manjushri carved in China
Sent from Samsung tablet.
5 months ago
Sent from Samsung tablet.
We must loyal to our guru. How to be loyal? To always do the teachings and practice he gave us and to conquer our laziness. We must make our gurus more important than our ego. So it is important to always let our guru win and not our ego. If our ego wins, many will suffer and we will suffer. If our guru wins, temporarily we suffer, but long term we will be happy and many around us will be happy. You see, the guru is always on the look out to give us methods and teachings that we can engage in to bring us happiness. The biggest happiness is overcoming our ego and it\'s traces and the guru always directly and indirectly focuses on that. Our guru will always love and help us, but we must meet our guru half way too. Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
We must loyal to our guru. How to be loyal? To always do the teachings and practice he gave us and to conquer our laziness. We must make our gurus more important than our ego. So it is important to always let our guru win and not our ego. If our ego wins, many will suffer and we will suffer. If our guru wins, temporarily we suffer, but long term we will be happy and many around us will be happy. You see, the guru is always on the look out to give us methods and teachings that we can engage in to bring us happiness. The biggest happiness is overcoming our ego and it's traces and the guru always directly and indirectly focuses on that. Our guru will always love and help us, but we must meet our guru half way too. Tsem Rinpoche
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Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • You will Never be Ready
    4 weeks ago
    You will Never be Ready
    Dear friends, watch this video and ready, if we keep waiting till we are ready, that day will never come. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Stop asking for Easy
    4 weeks ago
    Stop asking for Easy
    This video is powerful because it's the truth. It applies to anything. It applies to our dharma practice. Watch the video and share it. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Must Watch this Video!
    2 months ago
    Must Watch this Video!
  • Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
    3 months ago
    Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
  • Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    3 months ago
    Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    ཁྱེད་ཀྱི་བཀའ་སློབ་དོན་སྙིང་དེ།།གང་གི་རྣ་བར་བདུད་རྩི་མོད།།འོན་ཀྱང་འགའ་ཡི་རྣ་ལམ་དུ།། བྲག་ཆ་བཞིན་དུ་འགྱུར་སྲིད་མོད།། ཚང་མས་ཚར་རེ་གཟིགས་རོགས།། Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche telling people that it is important to have guru samaya. It use to be that way in the great monasteries. We should not create problems and schisms. If we want to practice a protector, then do so, if not it's okay, but don't make trouble. One should just practice the Buddha Dharma well. To do good practice. If you have faith in Dorje Shugden and trust all the way, he will definitely help you. But most important is to practice the dharma. This is his advice in short here. It's good to let more Tibetans hear this holy speech and appeal by this very senior Rinpoche. TR
  • His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Propitiating Protectors & Oracles
    3 months ago
    His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Propitiating Protectors & Oracles
    This was on FB and I came across it. His Holiness said in Tibetan institutions there is a lot of propitiating protector/oracles and this is not what Buddhism is about. So they are putting Nechung/Tema oracles within the video to say what is he talking about when he does it himself. This is confusing is the message to his people. TR
  • -
    3 months ago
    Look how this crab eats a cherry.. Incredible and cute... Never seen this before. They have feelings too. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is Sarah. Do you have 30 seconds for her? Her life in just 30 seconds!
    4 months ago
    This is Sarah. Do you have 30 seconds for her? Her life in just 30 seconds!
  • See what is your fortune today!
    4 months ago
    See what is your fortune today!
  • Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche recites offering stanza to Dorje Shugden Septemeber 2016
    4 months ago
    Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche recites offering stanza to Dorje Shugden Septemeber 2016
  • Flying the flag proudly
    4 months ago
    Flying the flag proudly
    Just like the rays of the sun, Dorje Shugden's blessings shines on all
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    4 months ago
    These skydivers have a little surprise...
    Let them spell it out for you
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    Taking to the skies
    The sky's the limit for TsemRinpoche.com!
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    4 months ago
    What you need to wake you up on your morning commute
    Make your commutes a little more interesting with an article from TsemRinpoche.com
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    4 months ago
    The blog that gets you addicted in a good way
    There's something for everyone, any time of the day at TsemRinpoche.com

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CHAT PICTURES

Pastor Gim Lee perform prayers for a sponsor during her beloved pet dog's funeral. Lucy Yap
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Pastor Gim Lee perform prayers for a sponsor during her beloved pet dog's funeral. Lucy Yap
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Another New Dorje Shugden Chapel at Bentong. YEO KWAI GIN ( KKSG )
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Penang team after food distribution. P.Patsy
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Preloved clothing for our homeless clients. P.Patsy
Penang team food distribution tonight. P.Patsy
3 days ago
Penang team food distribution tonight. P.Patsy
Getting ready for food distribution. P.Patsy
3 days ago
Getting ready for food distribution. P.Patsy
Chinese Lunar New Year is around the corner! Enjoy the yummy Vegetarian New Year Menu with the finest ingredients at Kechara Oasis!
3 days ago
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Teacher Alice's sharing with the class in Mandarin on January 15, 2017. Stella, KSDS
3 days ago
Teacher Alice's sharing with the class in Mandarin on January 15, 2017. Stella, KSDS
Teacher Victoria's sharing with the class on January 15, 2017. Stella, KSDS
3 days ago
Teacher Victoria's sharing with the class on January 15, 2017. Stella, KSDS
Presentation by the students is an active way to engage the young minds with Dharma. Stella, KSDS
3 days ago
Presentation by the students is an active way to engage the young minds with Dharma. Stella, KSDS
Kechara Sunday Dharma School 's first class for 2017. Here're the teacher & students for class 13-14yo. Stella, KSDS
3 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School 's first class for 2017. Here're the teacher & students for class 13-14yo. Stella, KSDS
Kechara Sunday Dharma School 's class for 2017, here're teachers Kien and Jenni with atudents of 7-8yo. Stella, KSDS
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Kechara Sunday Dharma School 's class for 2017, here're teachers Kien and Jenni with atudents of 7-8yo. Stella, KSDS
Dato' Colin Tan shared yesterday his secrets to success in a talk entitled Inviting Wealth and Good Fortune in Kechara Forest Retreat - picture by Li Kim Phng
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Kenny Loh has blessed the catfish after the Medicine Buddha and Rinpoche's long life mantra recitations in Gunung Lang, Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
4 days ago
Kenny Loh has blessed the catfish after the Medicine Buddha and Rinpoche's long life mantra recitations in Gunung Lang, Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Through the blessings from Rinpoche, Kechara Ipoh Study Group has completed our monthly animals liberation activity in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
4 days ago
Through the blessings from Rinpoche, Kechara Ipoh Study Group has completed our monthly animals liberation activity in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Eight members of the puja team conducted a #MedicineBuddha puja at Kechara. Lucy yap
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Eight members of the puja team conducted a #MedicineBuddha puja at Kechara. Lucy yap
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Dorje Shugden
Click to watch my talk about Dorje Shugden....