Kalmykia: Lore and Memory at the Far Side of the Buddhist World

Sep 12, 2016 | Views: 284
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The Kalmyks are known to be very spiritual because they abide in a community of people who are strong practitioners of Buddhism. I grew up with Kalmyks (A part of the Mongolian people) and during my childhood days back in Howell, New Jersey, I lived in the Kalmyk community and we would often visit the temples (khuruls) to make offerings to the Buddhas and to receive blessings and teachings from the resident lama (manya). This is part of my heritage. I am half Tibetan (dad) and half Mongolian (mom). Kalmyks (also spelled Kalmucks) are a very proud people, with rich traditions in song, dance, music, arts. They are very vibrant, resilient, outspoken and love their freedom. Being nomadic is in their blood. They are very firm in their faith of Buddhism and have carried their faith within their hearts for hundreds of years. Their history is very rich and extensive. I personally find Kalymk history very interesting. I enjoyed growing up with them and proud to have them within my heritage also. I miss many things I experienced as a child growing up in the Kalmyk community of Howell, New Jersey. Many of the Kalmyk elders have sadly passed on, but I remember so many of them vividly. They are a great people with a powerful heritage and strong convictions.

A federal subject of Russia, Kalmykia is the only region in Europe where Buddhism is practiced by the majority of the population. Below is an interesting piece of information gathered to introduce the hidden Kalmykia society to the world. Happy reading. I am very happy to present this to you.

May Kalmykia grow and become very prosperous! May Boorhen Buxsha (Buddha Shakyamuni) continue to bless these people.

Tsem Rinpoche

 


 

Kalmykia: Lore and Memory at the Far Side of the Buddhist World

By Raymond Lam | Buddhistdoor Global | 2015-12-21

Kalmyk lamas in the Bolshederbetovsky ulus (district). From the G. N. Prozritelev and G. K. Prave Stavropol State Historical-Cultural and Natural-Landscape Museum-Reserve.

Kalmyk lamas in the Bolshederbetovsky ulus (district). From the G. N. Prozritelev and G. K. Prave Stavropol State Historical-Cultural and Natural-Landscape Museum-Reserve.

One could be forgiven for imagining the Buddhist republic of Kalmykia to be an uneventful and empty place. A Russian federal subject of less than 300,000 people, the distances between its sparsely populated cities are long. Bumpy, uncomfortable roads stretch across spacious, windswept plains that appear the same wherever one looks. Kalmykia’s capital, Elista, had a provincial, sleepy atmosphere even during the relatively important international conference held there in October (“Buddhism in dialogue between Eastern and Western cultures: Past, Present and Future”), which I was fortunate to be able to attend. True to its time-themed sub-heading, the conference’s objective was to promote awareness of the region’s spiritual and cultural vibrancy. Kalmykia’s shadjin lama (head lama), Telo Tulku Rinpoche, has invited scholars and specialists to give lectures and seminars here ever since the 1990s as part of his mission to promote Buddhist and cultural activities in the region.

“The Buddhist republics are poor and lack the prestige of the big cities,” he admitted in one conversation we had. “But I think it’s good for scholars to have a sense of spiritual purpose while studying Buddhism, not just to talk to their own circles of academics in ivory towers. Scholars [from Russia as well as overseas] can work with our religious institutions to preserve our culture and heritage.”

Attracting young students (many of whom leave for better professional opportunities in Saint Petersburg or Moscow) to study Kalmyk cultural preservation is becoming an increasingly urgent priority. Given the “Definitely Endangered” status accorded by the UN to the Kalmyk language, Telo Rinpoche is confident that students who study the conservation of Kalmyk culture will be sought after for their unique skills.

A khurul dated to 1890. From Palmov Kalmykia Republican Museum of Local Lore.

A khurul dated to 1890. From Palmov Kalmykia Republican Museum of Local Lore.

Although this region south of the Volga River is quiet, it is not insignificant. The republic is located on the Pontic-Caspian steppe, temperate plains stretching out toward the Caspian Sea in the south and to the forests of old Germania and the taiga (boreal or snow forests) of Russia in the north. This home to the Proto-Indo-European cultures is part of the vast ecoregion called the Eurasian, or Great, Steppe. Geography shapes history, and the Great Steppe connects the Pontic-Caspian to the cultures and societies of Europe and the whole of Asia. On a map, the distance between present-day Kalmyks and their ancestral homeland, the Mongolian grasslands, covers almost the entire Eurasian Steppe. Their journey in the 17th century to the far side of the world, the westernmost limit of Buddhism until the 20th century, has been marked by energetic adaptation and cultural fusion, mass exoduses, and dogged survival.

Kalmyk lamas near a khurul. From the G. N. Prozritelev and G. K. Prave Stavropol State Historical-Cultural and Natural-Landscape Museum-Reserve.

Kalmyk lamas near a khurul. From the G. N. Prozritelev and G. K. Prave Stavropol State Historical-Cultural and Natural-Landscape Museum-Reserve.

The Kalmyks are devoted to the Dalai Lama and the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. The fusion of enlightened Dharma and Mongolian folklore can be spotted at the main gate of the recently built Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni, Elista’s largest temple. The statue standing watch in front of a waterfall staircase is a kindly, bearded guardian called the White Old Man (“Sagaan Ubgen” in Mongolian; “Tsagan aav” in Kalmyk). He is a worldly spirit, one you can supplicate for more children or prosperity, but like so many indigenous divinities, was assimilated into the Buddhist pantheon of Dharma protectors by at least the 17th century.

Before the Turkic word “Kalmyk” first appeared in a Russian document dated to 1574, the roughly 270,000 Mongolians moving westward from Mongolia’s Altai region were called different names. Broadly, they were part of a loose federation called the Oirats. However, as Elza Bakaeva wrote in an article about Kalmyk identity, “The adoption of this ethnonym [Kalmyk] differed among the various ethnopolitical groups (Torghut, Derbet, and Khoshut) that afterward melted into one ethnicity: the more intensively a group and its leaders interacted with Russia, the more the name was used” (Bakaeva 2014, 32).

Illustration of a khurul interior. From Palmov Kalmykia Republican Museum of Local Lore.

Illustration of a khurul interior. From Palmov Kalmykia Republican Museum of Local Lore.

The reasons for the Kalmyk migration are disputed, and range from a desire to emulate the Mongol conquests of Europe in the 13th century to prospects for Russian trade to a lack of grazing pastures. The earliest records of Kalmyk-Russian encounters date to 1606, when the Russian town of Tara received a Torghut diplomat, and by 1609 the Kalmyks had voluntarily become nominal subjects of Russia (Bakaeva 2014, 33–34). Shortly thereafter, the celebrated Oirat Buddhist cleric Zaya Pandita (1599–1662), who had studied under the 4th Panchen Lama (1570–1662), diligently propagated the Gelug school among the Mongolian ethnopolitical groups (including the Kalmyks). These groups had in fact been allied to the Gelug school since the rule of the Mongolian leader Altan Khan (1507–82), who bestowed the first Dalai Lama title on Sonam Gyatso (1543–88). Thanks to the westward migration of the Kalmyks, the lower Volga became the region with the oldest Buddhist presence in Europe.

Kalmyk shrine. From Astrakhan State United Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve.

Kalmyk shrine. From Astrakhan State United Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve.

Two major displacements continue to be remembered as great betrayals by the Russian state. The first is the mass exodus in 1771 to Dzungharia (now the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, it had been under the rule of the Qianlong Emperor [r. 1735–96] since 1757), when Ubashi Khan led a large number of Kalmyks to flee the increasingly oppressive policies of Catherine the Great. This prompted her to abolish the Kalmyk Khanate, which had been founded in 1630. The second is the Soviet deportation of 1943–57, which claimed up to about half of the Kalmyk population. Nearly all Buddhist institutions were closed or demolished, and monks were forced to disrobe or be killed. Autonomy was only regained after the new republic was founded on 29 July 1958.

Buddhist ritual on the steppe. From Astrakhan State United Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve.

Buddhist ritual on the steppe. From Astrakhan State United Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve.

It is difficult not to feel a sense of loss when looking at black-and-white photographs and drawings of “old Kalmykia,” the Kalmykia from the 17th to 19th century before its almost total destruction by the Soviets. These images can be found at institutions like the Palmov Kalmykia Republican Museum of Local Lore, Kalmyk State University, and the Astrakhan Museum. They contain memorabilia of Kalmyk history: the earliest students that went to university, heroes and heroines of the Second World War, portraits of past and present politicians and scholars. Photographs at the Golden Abode also capture what were once common sights: the khurul (monasteries for teaching liturgical languages, scriptures, and philosophy), choira (religious colleges for astrologers, philosophers, and physicians), and syume (permanent temples).

My favorite drawing shows a magnificent ritual hall resembling the rock-cut chaityas of India, complete with a grand hall, colonnaded cloister, and high arched ceiling. It is a nod to Buddhist continuity across time and space: from India’s chambers of stone to Tibet’s mandala-inspired architecture, all the way to their Mongolian-Kalmyk counterparts near the lower Volga. These old structures have entirely vanished from the contemporary landscape.

Prayer on the steppe with thangka images. From the G. N. Prozritelev and G. K. Prave Stavropol State Historical-Cultural and Natural-Landscape Museum-Reserve.

Prayer on the steppe with thangka images. From the G. N. Prozritelev and G. K. Prave Stavropol State Historical-Cultural and Natural-Landscape Museum-Reserve.

Modern Kalmyks inhabit a curious cultural and political space. The revival of their culture and religious practice is recent and incomplete. They feel great pride in having served as Cossack-like protectors of Imperial Russia’s southern border against Persia and the Ottomans, and in dying for the Soviet Union in the Great Patriotic War. But they feel just as proud of their cultural and religious identity as Buddhists cast in opposition to indifferent or malicious overlords. It is a peculiar interplay between piety, grievance, and patriotism that sustains their understanding of Kalmykia as a frontier of Eurasian Buddhism—their beloved home, yet not fully their homeland.

References

Bakaeva, Elza Petrovna. 2014. “Kalmyks, Oirat Descendants in Russia: a Historical and Ethnographic Sketch.” In Senri Ethnological Studies, no. 86: 31–54. http://ir.minpaku.ac.jp/dspace/bitstream/10502/5330/1/SES86_05.pdf.

[Source: http://www.buddhistdoor.net/features/kalmykia-lore-and-memory-at-the-far-side-of-the-buddhist-world]
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8 Responses to Kalmykia: Lore and Memory at the Far Side of the Buddhist World

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  1. Vivian Ong on Jan 5, 2017 at 12:40 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article about Kalmyks. I am surprised that they practice Tibetan Buddhism from the Gelug school. I am also surprised that Russia is the only western country where Buddhism is practice widely across the country. It is sad to see that later on monasteries was forced to close and monks were forced to disrobe. The current Kalmyks are not as pure as compared to before.

    With folded palms,
    Vivian

  2. Wan Wai Meng on Dec 5, 2016 at 12:26 am

    I do hope, the the Kalmyks will recover culturally and regain most if not all their spiritual traditions. Nice pictures from a distant past.

  3. Choong on Sep 17, 2016 at 2:27 am

    Zaya Pandita Namkhaijamtso (1599 – 1662)

  4. Choong on Sep 17, 2016 at 2:15 am

    “Shortly thereafter, the celebrated Oirat Buddhist cleric Zaya Pandita (1599–1662), who had studied under the 4th Panchen Lama (1570–1662), diligently propagated the Gelug school among the Mongolian ethnopolitical groups (including the Kalmyks).”

    The Koshut prince Zaya Pandita above is also known as Jaya Pandita, one of the commonly accepted emanations of Dorje Shugden.

    Just like the 5th Dalai Lama and Tulku Dragpa Gyaltsen, Zaya or Jaya Pandita was a student of the 4th Panchen Lama Lobsang Chokyi Gyaltsen.

    It is written that after Tulku Dragpa Gyaltsen was murdered by the regent(s) of the 5th Dalai Lama, they began destroying any shred of his existence. However, a Mongolian monk managed to save Tulku Dragpa Gyaltsen’s written works and scurried it away to Mongolia.

    I believe this Mongolian monk is Zaya Pandita.

    https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Zaya_Pandita

    zaya-pandita-kalmyk-monk

    Zaja2

  5. Uncle Eddie on Sep 16, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    The Kalmyk people (or Kamyks) is said to be the name given to Oriats, western Mongols in Russia whose descendants migrated from Dzhungaria in 1607. Today they form a majority in the autonomus republic of Kalmykia on the western shore of the caspian sea. As written, “The Kalmyks feel great pride in having served as cossack-like protectors of the imperial Russian’s southern russia against Persia and the Ottomans – and in dying for the great patriotic war. They feel just as proud of their cultural and religious identity as Buddhists”. As said, the Kalmyks are the only inhabitants of Europe whose national religion is Buddhism. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, a large number of Kalmyks, primarily the young, was noted to have moved from Kalmykia to larger cities in Russia, such as Moscow, St. Petersburg and to the United States. The move was precipated by the desire of these Kalmyks to pursue better educational and economic opportunities. It is strongly believed that with these strong determination and conviction to create a new life for themselves, through strong tenacity, they will be able to make Kalmykia a frontier of Eurasian Buddhism – their beloved home, though as yet not fully their homeland! Thank you Rinpoche for the sharing and teaching. Om Mani Padme Hung.

  6. Fong on Sep 13, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    What a varied and rich history the Kalmyks have. It seems that the upheaval and all the changes has given the Kalmyks an impetus to keep faith with the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism since the rule of the Mongolian leader Altan Khan (1507–82).

    A curious mix of Mongolian and Russian culture and traditions. Their buildings look very unique as it is reminiscent of Russian architecture and yet not wholly so. Looking at the picture of the Kalmyks, I thought their clothing have remained very Mongolian in style.

    Nice that they have retained their unique blend of culture and traditions till modern times.

  7. Samfoonheei on Sep 13, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Thanks Rinpoche for sharing this interesting article of the Kalmykia:
    Beautiful history, very rich and extensive. of them having gone through hardship yet Buddhism still plays an important part in their daily lives. The hidden Kalmykia society is the only region in Europe where Buddhism is practiced by the majority of the population.That wonderful..they are trying to preserve their culture and heritage….not easy after all with political interference .They feel proud of their cultural and religious identity as Buddhists with a beautiful history behind it.Wish them a smooth journey to continue their spiritual path.
    Thank you Rinpoche…a good read
    .

  8. Sofi on Sep 13, 2016 at 3:50 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article by Raymond Lam on the history and people of Kalmykia. No wonder they are proud people, having to go through their tough living conditions and triumphing over the odds. I would imagine them holding their given words as gold which is why they hold on strong to their practice of Buddhism and are loyal to the Dalai Lama whom their ancestral Leader, Altan Khan made. They have such rich history and I love their grand Khuruls, their prayer ceremonies with full ritual instruments and their freedom to pray wherever they may be. Those pictures are so strongly nostalgic pulling me into sharing their history. They are true survivors both spiritually & secularly and may they never loose their rich history, especially their unique culture and language.

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    Saturday, Feb 25. 2017 02:12 AM
    **The Three Bodies of a Buddha**

    The primary manifestation of a fully enlightened being is called the Dharmakaya. “Dharma” means phenomenon, while “kaya” means body. Therefore, Dharmakaya refers to the primordial or true nature of phenomena which is beyond conceptual and dualistic thought. This manifestation is essentially the mind of a fully enlightened being, beyond appearance and sensory perception. This mind knows no limits or boundaries… more: http://www.dorjeshugden.org/blog/the-three-bodies-of-a-buddha
  • Joy Kam
    Saturday, Feb 25. 2017 02:10 AM
    ***Yangdup Wealth Puja 2017*** blog post is out.

    Find out why is the Yangdup Puja performed? How does wealth play a role in Buddhism? Isn’t Buddhism about letting go of one’s worldly attachments? Check out the fabulous pictures and videos here >>> http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/yangdup-wealth-puja-2017.html
  • Ben
    Saturday, Feb 25. 2017 01:56 AM
    For Pastor Shin – Are pujas more effective than prayers?
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  • Pastor Shin
    Saturday, Feb 25. 2017 01:29 AM
    By understanding Dorje Shugden’s enlightened nature, we realise that relying on him cannot lead us anywhere except for Enlightenment. Reciting any praise of Dorje Shugden on a daily basis reminds us of his attainments, and the type of being we are propitiating. It also serves as a reminder of the qualities we can attain as a result of relying on him, that his practice will help us to attain common and uncommon siddhis.

    http://www.dorjeshugden.org/practice/praise-of-dorje-shugdens-origins
  • Pastor Shin
    Saturday, Feb 25. 2017 01:28 AM
    Incense has been used as a traditional substance for offering since the birth of Buddhism. The first recorded instance of incense being used occurs in the story of Magadha Sangmo, whose impact can be seen across the ancient Buddhist world. The daughter of Suddatta, a layman and the Buddha’s primary patron, she herself was an ardent student of Buddha Shakyamuni. After marrying, she longed to see her Guru, the Buddha and offer dana. Climbing to the roof of her in-law’s house, she offered incense and a verse of invocation. The omniscient Buddha heard her prayers and arrived with his entire entourage, descending from the sky on a lion to fulfil her request.

    http://www.dorjeshugden.org/practice/incense-offering-prayers-to-dorje-shugden
  • Lin Mun
    Friday, Feb 24. 2017 09:37 PM
    John is so brave and compassionate. He risk his life to save the rabbit and that shows he appreciate live very much despite it is an animal. Eventhough he lives in the street to beg for food but he never forgets his 2 pets a dog and a rabbit. He takes care of his pets with whatever he begs. Inspiring to all of us to never take things for granted and not abuse animals.

    I am also proud with the Ireland government in taking action to punish the 18 year old man who abuse and tried to kill the rabbit. This will create the awareness to all that this is a cruel action and that laws will be imposed against these people.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/the-rabbit-in-the-river.html
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    Thursday, Feb 23. 2017 11:29 PM
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    Thursday, Feb 23. 2017 10:41 PM
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    Thursday, Feb 23. 2017 09:38 PM
    After been rejected for so many years, many scientists like Seoul National University finally confirmed the existence of meridians. It’s a piece of glad news which may help the people especially the treatments like acupuncture is based on meridians and energy channels.

    Life is full of challenges and commitments. This is not easy for everyone has immediate lifestyle changes to maintain a healthy balance for eating and living. Therefore, this wonderful news is really bring benefits to others especially those are really need for acupuncture or similar treatments which are caused by nadis blockages and etc.

    Thank you Rinpoche for this nice sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/science-finally-proves-meridians-exist.html
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    Thursday, Feb 23. 2017 09:21 PM
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    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/mother-and-son-saved-by-tsem-rinpoche-and-dorje-shugden.html
  • Yeo Kwai Gin
    Thursday, Feb 23. 2017 09:02 PM
    感恩仁波切的分享这殊胜的一天的文章 !

    我是多么的幸运, 拥有此机缘和福份, 参与这殊胜的一天。很感恩郭月谊讲法师和一班佛友, 日夜的筹备,让当晚的活动顺利和圆满的完成 !

    在这殊胜的法会,大家有幸的得到各种加持, 如触摸加持的金泽八吉祥,迎请加持的正能量,增长好的因素如内在和外在的财富,寿命等等。大家还有幸的可以品尝已加持特制的坚果饭, 乳酪和奶茶。那是多么的有福气啊!希望将来的每一年,大家可以再次的参与,还有携带家人和亲戚朋友到来, 也让他们得到金泽的加持 !

    愿上师詹仁波切健康,长寿,吉祥如意, 克切拉禅修林的工程尽快完成, 佛法传播到世界每一个角落 !

    感恩合十
    YEO KWAI GIN

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/yangdup-wealth-puja-2017.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Feb 23. 2017 07:14 PM
    Beautiful image of Vajrayogini indeed with shimmering jewels offered to her. Its so nice of this lady Ms Wahyu of her painting of Vajrayogini to our previous Rinpoche whom she have not met before.Vajrayogini’s practice is very powerful to start now making offerings and to be connected .we will then gain a great amount of merits.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this beautiful painting of Vajrayogini.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/shimmering-vajrayogini-from-ms-wahyu.html#comment-736083
  • Lin Mun
    Wednesday, Feb 22. 2017 10:18 PM
    Mwalua is truly a very compassionate person. Not many would want to trouble themselves or even risk their live to bring water to these animals. He has such a big heart towards living beings and the importance of life.

    Angie Brown, Cher Callaway and Tami Calliope are also very generous and kind person. They help him to raise fund so he can continue with his action to save the animals.

    I hope Mwalua will receive continuous help from all kind donors so animals don’t have to suffer.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/he-is-super-compassionate.html
  • Alice Tay
    Wednesday, Feb 22. 2017 10:05 PM
    Heartwarming message from Mwalua, who is so compassionate and empathetic:
    “There is completely no water, so the animals are depending on humans,” Mwalua tells The Dodo. “If we don’t help them, they will die.”

    Mwalua fully aware that the wildlife will definitely die without the water. Furthermore, only humans can help the animals. He is able to let go of his stress and laziness just to deliver the water patiently and passionately. Many wildlife have been saved due to his kind actions. Furthermore, he visited local schools and hope to bring awareness to the children so that when they grow up they can protect the wildlife as one of their legacies.

    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing. This is a good example of loving kindness and compassion to inspire us to greater loving kindness and compassion.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/he-is-super-compassionate.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Feb 22. 2017 05:02 PM
    By being a good example ourselves, we can be a more effective campaigner for the helpless animals. I believe that when we want to stand for something, the most powerful words that speak for us is our action. It is inconsistent when one campaigns for the rescued or stray dogs and ask for donations to feed them but consume chicken and seafood and pork and beef. There is no difference between these animals, they all have feelings and fear for pain. So, here’s a picture of the dogs all trapped in a cramped cage where chicken, sea animals, pigs, and cows are in same or worse conditions waiting to be slaughtered. If you feel for these poor dogs, please spare a thought for the other meat on your plate too. Thank you, Rinpoche for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/blog-it-tweet-it-facebook-it-again-and-again-pleeeeeeease.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

CREDITS

Concept: Tsem Rinpoche
Technical: Lew Kwan Leng, Justin Ripley, Yong Swee Keong
Design: Justin Ripley, Cynthia Lee
Content: Tsem Rinpoche, Justin Ripley, Pastor Shin Tan, Sarah Yap
Writer: Pastor Loh Seng Piow
Admin: Pastor Loh Seng Piow, Beng Kooi

I must thank my dharma blog team who are great assets to me, Kechara and growth of dharma in this wonderful region. I am honoured and thrilled to work with them. I really am. Maybe I don't say it enough to them, but I am saying it now. I APPRECIATE THESE GUYS VERY MUCH!

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now

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Animal Care Fund
  Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch

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,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
~Tsem Rinpoche

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
2 weeks ago
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
2 weeks ago
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
This is a good one to read
4 weeks ago
This is a good one to read
Mumu is silly and cute and funny
4 weeks ago
Mumu is silly and cute and funny
Mumu\'s hair is messy and he looks funny
4 weeks ago
Mumu's hair is messy and he looks funny
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
1 month 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
2 months 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
2 months ago
Message to Tibetans in English
Message to the Tibetans
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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
3 months ago
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
3 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.
3 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.
3 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
3 months ago
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
3 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
3 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?
4 months ago
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
Sir Edmund Hillary
4 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
4 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
5 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
5 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...
5 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
5 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.
5 months ago
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
High lamas in France September 2016
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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.
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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.
5 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.
5 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
5 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
6 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
6 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
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu darling is a very good boy.
    2 weeks ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu darling is a very good boy.
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu wants to go bye bye!
    2 weeks ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu wants to go bye bye!
  • [11/02/2017] I love you mumu boy
    2 weeks ago
    [11/02/2017] I love you mumu boy
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu and Oser eating together.
    2 weeks ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu and Oser eating together.
  • Great spiritual rock carving in Tibet
    1 month ago
    Great spiritual rock carving in Tibet
  • You will Never be Ready
    2 months 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
    2 months 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!
    3 months ago
    Must Watch this Video!
  • Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
    4 months ago
    Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
  • Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    4 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
    4 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
  • -
    5 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!
    5 months ago
    This is Sarah. Do you have 30 seconds for her? Her life in just 30 seconds!
  • See what is your fortune today!
    5 months ago
    See what is your fortune today!
  • Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche recites offering stanza to Dorje Shugden Septemeber 2016
    5 months ago
    Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche recites offering stanza to Dorje Shugden Septemeber 2016

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CHAT PICTURES

Children helping in the technical room during the 2016 Graduation Day. Lin Mun KSDS.
4 hours ago
Children helping in the technical room during the 2016 Graduation Day. Lin Mun KSDS.
Volunteers & teachers doing make up for children in preparation for the Graduation Day performance. Lin Mun KSDS
4 hours ago
Volunteers & teachers doing make up for children in preparation for the Graduation Day performance. Lin Mun KSDS
Team decorating the stage in conjunction with the 2016 Lantern Festival. Lin Mun KSDS
4 hours ago
Team decorating the stage in conjunction with the 2016 Lantern Festival. Lin Mun KSDS
Great performance by the Peekaboo Creative academy during 2016 Lantern festival. Lin Mun KSDS
4 hours ago
Great performance by the Peekaboo Creative academy during 2016 Lantern festival. Lin Mun KSDS
KSK and KSDS work together to send food from donation during Halloween  to various homes. Lin Mun KSDS
4 hours ago
KSK and KSDS work together to send food from donation during Halloween to various homes. Lin Mun KSDS
Gotong royong on Malaysia Day in Jalan Chamang. It's our responsibility to care for the cleanliness & environment. Lin Mun KSDS
4 hours ago
Gotong royong on Malaysia Day in Jalan Chamang. It's our responsibility to care for the cleanliness & environment. Lin Mun KSDS
Morning exercise, Boxie enjoys swimming in the pool - by Jace Chong
23 hours ago
Morning exercise, Boxie enjoys swimming in the pool - by Jace Chong
23 hours ago
Dorje Shugden visits Bentong!
2 days ago
Dorje Shugden visits Bentong!
Happy Faces in Bentong!
2 days ago
Happy Faces in Bentong!
Dorje Shugden in Bentong! A Big Thank You to All the Volunteers!
2 days ago
Dorje Shugden in Bentong! A Big Thank You to All the Volunteers!
Wealth God Procession in Bentong with World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden!
2 days ago
Wealth God Procession in Bentong with World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden!
Have fun and be happy is what everyone wants, no one is exception. Stella, KSDS
3 days ago
Have fun and be happy is what everyone wants, no one is exception. Stella, KSDS
Orang Asli community was among the many who came to join us at the Halloween Charity Event, 2016. Stella, KSDS
3 days ago
Orang Asli community was among the many who came to join us at the Halloween Charity Event, 2016. Stella, KSDS
Looks who're in the house! Celebrity hosts! Throwback Halloween Charity Event 2016. Stella, KSDS
3 days ago
Looks who're in the house! Celebrity hosts! Throwback Halloween Charity Event 2016. Stella, KSDS
The Halloween Charity Event 2016 brought together kind volunteers from Bentong town who are always looking for ways to help out! Stella, KSDS
3 days ago
The Halloween Charity Event 2016 brought together kind volunteers from Bentong town who are always looking for ways to help out! Stella, KSDS
Halloween, Costume and Fun Time are synonymous for the children. Throwback: Halloween Charity Event at KFR, Oct 2016. Stella, KSDS
3 days ago
Halloween, Costume and Fun Time are synonymous for the children. Throwback: Halloween Charity Event at KFR, Oct 2016. Stella, KSDS
“If we do not create inner peace, outer peace is not possible.” – H.E the 25th Tsem Rinpoche Participants of Inner Peace Retreat in Kechara Forest Retreat! February 2017
3 days ago
“If we do not create inner peace, outer peace is not possible.” – H.E the 25th Tsem Rinpoche Participants of Inner Peace Retreat in Kechara Forest Retreat! February 2017
Flowers in Kechara Forest Retreat! Thank you Sharon Ong for this beautiful picture!
3 days ago
Flowers in Kechara Forest Retreat! Thank you Sharon Ong for this beautiful picture!
Join the Dharma Talk with Wah Ying in Kechara Forest Retreat on Saturday 25th February 2017!
3 days ago
Join the Dharma Talk with Wah Ying in Kechara Forest Retreat on Saturday 25th February 2017!
Pastor Chia solemnized a couple's marriage registration at Kechara House. Lucy Yap
5 days ago
Pastor Chia solemnized a couple's marriage registration at Kechara House. Lucy Yap
On Sunday morning, we had an animal liberation event , in which we will save the lives of birds. Pastor Han Nee led a beautiful prayer before the birds were released. bit.ly/2ahl6Yv Lucy Yap
5 days ago
On Sunday morning, we had an animal liberation event , in which we will save the lives of birds. Pastor Han Nee led a beautiful prayer before the birds were released. bit.ly/2ahl6Yv Lucy Yap
Kenny Loh from Ipoh has offered lights and incense on behalf of KISG before the start of our short Mother Tara retreat. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
6 days ago
Kenny Loh from Ipoh has offered lights and incense on behalf of KISG before the start of our short Mother Tara retreat. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Through the blessings from Rinpoche, KISG has completed our short Mother Tara retreat today in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
6 days ago
Through the blessings from Rinpoche, KISG has completed our short Mother Tara retreat today in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Join Self Defense Classes in Kechara Forest Retreat on Saturdays
6 days ago
Join Self Defense Classes in Kechara Forest Retreat on Saturdays
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Indonesia 124,430
Germany 100,476
Thailand 85,706
Mongolia 67,541
Italy 70,571
France 72,813
Spain 67,322
Brazil 64,247
Netherlands 66,359
New Zealand 51,460
Hong Kong 51,166
Taiwan 47,928
United Arab Emirates 33,414
Mexico 34,544
Romania 40,160
South Africa 31,351
Switzerland 44,126
Ireland 30,822
Japan 30,619
Vietnam 27,223
Sweden 30,292
Russia 28,614
Saudi Arabia 20,117
Sri Lanka 20,187
Greece 23,320
Belgium 22,681
Poland 23,729
Hungary 21,105
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Dorje Shugden
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