Pilgrimage Through India & Nepal

By | Nov 30, 2016 | Views: 487
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Since my mother had passed away earlier this year, H.E. Tsem Rinpoche advised me to take my dad on a holiday. He suggested several countries like India, Nepal, Burma, Thailand and so forth.

Rinpoche said that we should go to these places to make our holiday a meaningful one because these countries are full of spiritual power places. In other words, we can go to these places to make good prayers, aspirations and offerings that would plant powerful seeds for his future life, especially for someone like my dad who is older. I could not do this for my mom since she had passed away, but I can definitely do this for my dad especially now that he is free and he is still healthy enough to travel.

After talking about it with my dad and my friend Paul, we decided that we should go to Nepal and we could bring Paul’s mom along. In fact, it would be my dad’s and Paul’s mom’s first time to Nepal and I can feel that it would be great. We felt that this was a good time to go and Rinpoche added that we should stop by a Tibetan monastery called Serpom in India to have our parents make offerings to the monks there. It would be great experience for them to collect merit. Therefore, the whole itinerary was revamped to include an extra destination and the visa application required to enter India.

Pilgrimages are basically a spiritual journey to power places in order to connect with the aspirations and energies of that place. These places are charged with the energy of enlightened beings that meditated, resided, consecrated or performed enlightened deeds in that location. Hence, we go to these places to connect with these energies in order to plant powerful blessings into our mind stream. The main places we would be going to in Nepal were power places of the tantric deity Vajrayogini and these are great places to connect with.

Pastor David Lai

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Serpom Monastery

Monks engaging in debate at the courtyard of the main prayer hall at Serpom Monastery

Monks engaged in debate at the courtyard of the main prayer hall at Serpom Monastery.

Serpom Monastery was originally Pomra Khangtsen, a part of Sera Mey Monastery. Due to the Dorje Shugden issue, the monks of Pomra Khangtsen were unable to remain in the monastery. Therefore, the entire Pomra Khangtsen had to separate and establish Serpom Monastery in 2008.

Some say that the very existence of Dorje Shugden monasteries like Serpom shows that Dorje Shugden practitioners have the freedom to practice and that the ban does not really exist. However, the reality of the situation is that the establishment of Serpom was forced upon the monks of this monastery, and that is why the very existence of Serpom Monastery is a living proof of the existence of the ban on Dorje Shugden.

Bird’s eye view of the monks at the main prayer hall of Serpom Monastery while the monks were engaging in the Dorje Shugden puja.

Bird’s eye view of the monks at the main prayer hall of Serpom Monastery while the monks were engaging in the Dorje Shugden puja.

Rinpoche suggested that we visit this monastery so that our parents get to make offerings to the monks personally in order to collect merit. In this manner, we lend our support to these courageous monks for our lineage. Coincidentally, Paul’s mother had set aside some money meant for a puja for her late husband, and my dad had also contributed an amount in dedication to my late mother.

Beautiful tormas were offered to Yamantaka, Dorje Shugden Five Families and entourage.

Beautiful tormas were offered to Yamantaka, Dorje Shugden Five Families and entourage.

Therefore, a large Dorje Shugden puja was commissioned and the torma ritual cakes, tsok food offerings, breakfast of bread and tea for all the monks are sponsored. In sponsoring the puja, Paul’s mother and my father also offered each monk Rs200 as a kuyong or monetary offering. The monastery has approximately 567 monks, and most of them attended the puja.

Paul assisted his mother while she made kuyong offerings to the each of the monks that are performing the Dorje Shugden puja.

Paul assisted his mother while she made kuyong offerings to the each monk who was performing the Dorje Shugden puja.

We arrived in KempeGowda International Airport in Bangalore on the day before the puja. The monastery administrator had arranged for transport to the monastery so we can greet the monastery’s officials before they put us up at a nearby hotel for the night. We came back to the monastery the next day to make the offerings. But before that, we were taken on a tour of the school and library. Upon our return to the main prayer hall, the monks were on a break, and so we were ushered upstairs to have some tea. Not long after, the temple gong resounded, calling the monks to return to the prayer hall for puja.

My dad, Uncle Lai, is excited to be here at the monastery for a chance to collect lots of merits by making offerings to the monks.

My dad, Uncle Lai, is excited to be here at the monastery for a chance to collect lots of merits by making offerings to the monks.

While the monks were in puja, we were ushered downstairs to the prayer hall. We offered three prostrations to the sangha, and we were given khatas to be offered onto the lama thrones, to every large statue and also to the protectors in the protector chapel. Then, we were ushered back upstairs, and at the right moment, we were ushered back to the prayer hall to make the kuyong offerings to the monks. The monks respectfully received the offering with their hands respectfully covered with their zen, which is the loose shawl-like part of their maroon robes. After completing the offering, we were ushered upstairs for lunch.

Uncle Lai and Paul’s mother made pearl offerings to Dorje Shugden at the Protector Chapel.

Uncle Lai and Paul’s mother made pearl offerings to Dorje Shugden at the Protector Chapel.

We returned to the protector chapel after the monks had vacated the temple for another break. We had requested to have the honour for our parents to offer pearl necklaces onto the statues of Dorje Shugden and his emanations at the protector chapel. This was Rinpoche’s idea and had pearl necklaces ready beforehand. So, I guided them with making the right motivation, which was to pray for their respective deceased spouse and family. For my father, I told him to pray to be free of obstacles to be able to do his Dharma work that had been assigned by Rinpoche so he can collect as much merits for his next life. We left the monastery not long after in order to head back to Bangalore to take the evening plane to Nepal.

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Seto Macchendranath

This is the ancient temple of Jan Bahal, where the sacred Chenrezig statue resides within.

This is the ancient temple of Jan Bahal, where the sacred Chenrezig statue resides within.

We arrived in Nepal late in the evening, and we decided to have dinner at our hotel and planned our destination for the next few days. The next day, we decided that it would be good to visit all the nearby destinations, and the first on the list was the nearby Chenrezig and Tara temples.

We took a taxi that brought us close to the temple, but the taxi driver was unsure of the temple’s location. We arrived at Assan Tole, it was an ancient narrow street bazaar, chock-full of Nepalese street vendors hawking flower garlands, vegetables, clay pots and so forth. The street was just crowded with shoppers and passerbys crisscrossing in all directions. We navigated through the crowd, asking for the temple’s direction. Fortunately, Jan Bahal, the home of the Chenrezig statue was easily found.

We offered garlands and butterlamps along with our mantras and prayers to Chenrezig

We offered garlands and butterlamps along with our mantras and prayers to Chenrezig.

The Nepalese call this deity; Seto or White Macchendranath and both Hindus and Buddhists worship this deity. To the Hindus, he is the avatar of Shiva that brings rain and bountiful harvest. For the Buddhists, he is Arya Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion. The Tibetans calls this sacred image Jowo Dzamling Karmo, and he is one of the Four Exalted Brothers. According to legend, this image along with the other three arose from a single Sandalwood tree. One of the images is in Patan and whose face is painted red, and he is known today as Rato or Red Macchendranath. Another one by the name of Phagpa Wati of Kyirong is in the possession of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and the last one is known as Lhasa Lokeshvara that is part of the Potala collection.

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Hence, this Chenrezig statue is really old and the courtyard itself has several old Tara statues enthroned on pillars and the walls of entire temple is covered various forms of Chenrezig. There are even prayer wheels along the way around the temple allowing pilgrims to turn them as they make their devotional rounds. We offered butterlamps, prayers, mantras and even circumambulated Chenrezig by going around the temple.

One of the female temple caretakers looked a little crazy, and I whispered to Paul that at holy places like these, Rinpoche said we should always make offerings to crazy-looking female beggars and not ignore or chase them away because they might be emanations of dakinis. Paul immediately took out a little bit of money and offered it to her. I did the same when I crossed her path later, and she smiled broadly back at me. Before we left the temple; we held hands, closed our eyes and dedicated.

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The sacred face of Chenrezig Jowo Dzamling Karmo

The sacred face of Chenrezig Jowo Dzamling Karmo

 

Itum Bahal Tara

This sacred White Tara statue that flew miraculously from Tibet is in the middle and flanked by Yellow and Green Tara.

This sacred White Tara statue that flew miraculously from Tibet is in the middle and flanked by Yellow and Green Tara.

Our next destination was the Tara chapel of Itum Bahal. Itum Bahal is an ancient 14th century Buddhist monastery and it was not easy to find as we had to ask quite a number of people before arriving at the main temple courtyard. A nondescript chapel to a trinity of Tara statues sits in a smaller courtyard off from the main larger temple courtyard. The central statue is an old statue of White Tara that according to Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche is a Tara statue that flew miraculously from Tibet.

It flew to Nepal to be of benefit to the beings here, and it is also a statue that spoke to great masters who paid homage to her. We offered butterlamps, flower garlands, Tara mantras and circumambulations. However, I advised our parents to pray for long healthy lives in order to engage in spiritual practises. The chapel was really small but popular as we can see that other Tibetan pilgrims are streaming into the courtyard. After dedicating, we left the temple grounds and got back to the main street in order to go back to the hotel for a break.

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Bidjeswori Vajrayogini

This was taken just outside of the Bidjeswori Vajrayogini temple and the pagoda roof you see is directly above the Vajrayogini shrine.

This was taken just outside of the Bidjeswori Vajrayogini temple and the pagoda roof you see is directly above the Vajrayogini shrine.

Our next destination is the Bidjeswori Vajrayogini Temple, and it is also known by a few other names, Bijayaswar or Visyasvari Temple. This is an ancient Newar Buddhist temple dedicated to the Tantric Buddha Vajrayogini or Bajra Jogini in the Newar language. The Newar people are a mixture of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan-Burmese ethnicities and they form the original inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley. They are the creators of its historic heritage and civilisation in Nepal.

Before heading out to the temple, I went to buy some offerings for Vajrayogini so as to create a powerful connection with her. The temple stands on the west bank of the Bishnumati River not far from Thamel, and it is also believed to be next to the ancient charnel grounds of Ramadoli (Karnadip). The temple sits within a courtyard of stupas and the inner sanctum is a shrine to four sacred Vajrayogini statues. The central image is that of Akash Yogini or the sky-going Vajrayogini. To her left is Phamthing Vajrayogini with her left leg thrust skyward and her right is the celestial dancer Vajravarahi. Then there is a statue placed on the right wall is a statue of the haunting Naropa’s Dakini.

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I unpacked the food offerings onto little plates to be offered and the temple caretaker helped to place it near Vajrayogini as we did our prayers. We made butterlamp offerings and in this temple, I told our parents to pray to have the merits to be reborn under similar circumstances to be near a teacher of authentic lineage of Vajrayogini and to receive her practice again. As we were making these aspirations and offerings, the temple caretaker screamed at Paul for taking pictures so close to the shrine and would not allow him inside. Nepalese are highly sensitive about people taking pictures of their sacred shrines.

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Just before exiting the temple, I offered one of my late mother’s jewelled earrings, and I asked the temple caretaker to help me place it on Vajrayogini herself in order to collect merit for her. I gestured for him to place the earring on Naropa’s Dakini. I prayed that she would be blessed to be connected to the Dharma in her next life and be connected to the Dharma and Vajrayogini.

The main image of Vajrayogini is Akash Yogini or the flying Vajrayogini and on her left is Phamthing Vajrayogini and on her right is Vajravarahi

The main image of Vajrayogini is Akash Yogini or the flying Vajrayogini and on her left is Phamthing Vajrayogini and on her right is Vajravarahi.

Naropa’s Dakini is enshrined on the right wall and it is to this statue that I offered my late mother’s earring.

Naropa’s Dakini is enshrined on the right wall, and it is to this statue that I offered my late mother’s earring.

 

Sankhu Vajrayogini

We made abundant offerings to the Sankhu Vajrayogini.

We made abundant offerings to the Sankhu Vajrayogini.

We hired an SUV to take us up into the hills and into Sankhu because that would be the farthest destination. It is only about 17 kilometres but because the recent earthquake had destroyed the road, the journey felt much longer than 17 kilometers. At Sankhu, we were headed towards Gum Bahal, which is an ancient monastery situated on top of a hill that is power place of Vajrayogini.

On a previous trip with Rinpoche, we had arrived at the bottom of a stairs late in the evening, and we had to climb a flight of stairs in pitch-black darkness with torches in order to get to the monastery. This time around, the driver drove us right up the hill and the road ended right behind the monastery. The monastery itself is a custodian of a special 4-armed Vajrayogini bearing a sword, lotus, skullcup and ritual chopper. This form of Vajrayogini is known as the Khadga Yogini or the sword-bearing Vajrayogini.

The statue in the monastery itself is a life-sized Khadga Yogini that is believed to contain the remains of a priestess of Sankhu that was a great practitioner of Vajrayogini. She was said to have become one with Vajrayogini, and she showed many signs of high attainments. Even at death, her remains bore remarkable signs and hence, they enshrined her within this statue. The local people bring this statue out yearly to parade her around town in a weeklong religious festival called the Vajrayogini Jatra.

Due to the earthquake, the monastery was under repairs, and the statue was brought to a room facing the courtyard while the monastery was being restored. I unpacked offerings of food and apple juice. We offered butterlamps, prayers, mantras and especially an aspiration that I had guided them to make. I told them that in this second Vajrayogini temple, we should pray in future lives that we will always meet Vajrayogini and receive her practice from a teacher of authentic lineage. Then, we will gain great attainments through our Vajrayogini practice and enact the altruistic deeds of a Bodhisattva by benefitting many beings.

A picture with the Sankhu Vajrayogini statue believed to contain the remains of the great yogini who had become one with Vajrayogini.

A picture with the Sankhu Vajrayogini statue believed to contain the remains of the great yogini who had become one with Vajrayogini.

We made a dedication and took a walk around the courtyard of the monastery and down a small flight of stone stairs towards a twin pagoda shrines. At the large of the two shrines, we discovered another very ancient statue of Khadga Yogini is enshrined within and a stupa is enshrined in the other smaller shrine. So, we paid homage to both shrines by offering butterlamps and reciting mantras at these two ancient shrines. I recall that there were some caves nearby that were used by Tilopa, Naropa and the Nepalese Pamthingpa brothers. Unfortunately, we couldn’t visit these caves due to ongoing restoration works.

Paul and his mom were making offerings before the other shrine to Vajrayoigini in the aspect of Khadga Yogini.

Paul and his mom were making offerings before the shrine to Vajrayogini in the aspect of Khadga Yogini.

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Boudhanath Stupa

After Sankhu, we drove back to Kathmandu and went on towards Boudhanath. The Boudhanath stupa is reputed to be the largest stupa in the world. Traditional sources say that the great Boudhanath Stupa was constructed in the 5th Century CE. The stupa is believed to enshrine the relics of the previous Buddha, Kashyapa Buddha.

We arrived at the Boudha Stupa when they were about to re-consecrate the stupa after restoration works. The stupa was damaged during the recent earthquake.

We arrived at the Boudha Stupa when they were about to re-consecrate the stupa after restoration works. The stupa was damaged during the recent earthquake.

According to legend, a long time ago Jadzimo and her four sons built Boudhanath, which is known as Chorten Jarung Khashor with money that they saved from their wages. When the stupa was consecrated, it was believed that 100 million Buddhas dissolved into it, and it has the glory of being filled with sacred relics. It is believed that the stupa was built on top of the cremation ground called ‘Spontaneously Amassed’, which was one of the Eight Great Cremation Grounds.

The name Jarung Khashor refers to another legend of its origin in which a courtesan who wounded the pride of the wealthy and powerful by managing to construct this stupa to the Buddha with the permission of the king. The jealous nobles requested the king to demolish the Stupa over petty reasons, but the king replied that “Once authority to build has been given, it cannot be retracted”, which is reflected in its name, ‘Jarung Khashor’.

Guru Rinpoche while in Samye monastery told another tale of the Boudhanath Stupa. He explained that the aspirational prayers of the benefactor Jadzima’s sons, created the cause for them to be reborn as the principle force behind the spread of the teachings in Tibet – Guru Padmasambhava, the King Trisong Detsen, Santaraksita and Ba Salnang. When they met in Nepal and Tibet for the very first time, it felt like a reunion. Guru Padmasambhava foretold that the Stupa would fall into ruin and a certain tulku with a certain special characteristic would restore the stupa. It turns out that Sakya Zangpo discovered the ruined Stupa in the 16th century and undertook the task to restore it to its former glory. In 1505, he also contributed towards the restoration of Swayambhunath.

Today, the Boudhanath Stupa is a World Heritage Site and Buddhists and tourists from around the world come to visit this ancient monument. Most people who come to visit, would be circumambulating the stupa, and some would be within the walled enclosure of the stupa and performing prostrations towards the stupa. The stupa itself is surrounded by shops filled with jewellery, statues, thangkas and not to mention the cafes, restaurants and monasteries and temples of various Tibetan Buddhist traditions. We came here to look for a place to eat before we did our devotional rounds around the stupa. After circumambulating with the growing crowd as more and more older Tibetan pilgrims came out to circumambulate the stupa in the evening. After our third round, we called it a day and returned back to our hotel.

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Pharping Vajrayogini

This unique Vajrayogini with her left leg thrust skywards is from a pure vision by the Nepalese master Phamthingpa.

This unique Vajrayogini with her left leg thrust skywards is from a pure vision by the Nepalese master Phamthingpa.

Pharping is a good 19km south of Kathmandu city and is a major Buddhist site due to a number of sacred sites. There are three places that are in the vicinity of each other and the ancient Vajrayogini chapel is one of the main reasons we are headed to this place. On my previous trips, we stopped by the Self-arising Tara temple first and then we walk up the stairs to Asura caves and finally descending down another flight of stairs to the Vajrayogini temple.

This time around, the car we rented brought us straight to the Vajrayogini temple. So we approach the temple and walked upstairs to the Vajrayogini shrine, and I could see that the caretaker really cleaned up the place. It was a lot cleaner than the last few times I came. The inner sanctum sits an ancient statue of Vajrayogini with her left foot thrust skywards. This form of Vajrayogini is known as Phamthing Vajrayogini, Uddhapada Yogini or Indra Yogini. Apparently, this form of Vajrayogini appeared to the master Phamthingpa in a vision, and although it is unclear if this statue belong to Phamthingpa or not but this statue is known to have miraculously spoken.

The 11th century Nepalese master Phamthingpa was one of the greatest teachers of his day and was also known as the great scholar Vagishvarakirti. He studied under Naropa for nine years, receiving the transmission of the Cakrasamvara and Hevajra Tantras amongst others. Even his brother, Dukhorba studied under Naropa for five years and his youngest brother Thangchungpa was a practicing Tantrika as well.

Naturally, we brought lots of offerings to be offered to Vajrayogini, which we offered via the caretaker along with mantras, prayers and aspiration. It is at this place that I guided our parents to make the aspiration that upon receiving Vajrayogini in our next life; we master it and become completely enlightened with Vajrayogini’s meditations and practises. It is to master her meditations and practices and thereby proliferate it to others. After everything was done, I took out the other jewelled earring from my late mom and gave it to the caretaker to be placed onto the statue of Vajrayogini. I prayed that my mom would be blessed by Vajrayogini to have the merits to meet the Dharma again and specifically meet Vajrayogini in her next life.

 

Asura Cave

The sacred handprint of Guru Rinpoche is just next to the mouth of his retreat cave.

The sacred handprint of Guru Rinpoche is just next to the mouth of his retreat cave.

Our next destination was a Nyingma monastery built around a single cave called the Asura Cave. This monastery is approachable only on foot by climbing up the hill from the Vajrayogini temple. After a short flight of steep steps, we arrived at the back of the monastery.

When we arrived, the nearby prayer halls were packed and it seemed that Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche was giving teachings. Nonetheless, we managed to enter the cave to offer our prayers, mantras and aspirations. There is a darkened image of Guru Rinpoche, Yangdak Heruka and Vajrakilaya on a shrine with the cave. There is a handprint of Guru Rinpoche by the side of the mouth of the cave, sealing his blessings there. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche achieved high realisations through his practice here and he was able to imprint his hand into solid rock.

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In Guru Rinpoche's cave, is a shrine to darkened images of Guru Padmasambhava, Yangdak Heruka, and Vajrakilaya

In Guru Rinpoche’s cave, is a shrine to darkened images of Guru Padmasambhava, Yangdak Heruka, and Vajrakilaya

 

Self-arising Tara

This self-arising Tara image seems to get clearer each time I visit this chapel.

This self-arising Tara image seems to get clearer each time I visit this chapel.

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In order to get to the next destination, which is the Tara temple, we walked to the front of the monastery where there was another flight of steps downhill. Descending down the steps, we came across a Nyingma prayer hall to the left and a small little Tara chapel on the right and a chapel to the Tselha Namsum or the three buddhas that grand long life – Amitayus, White Tara and Namgyalma.

The Tara chapel is a shrine to a rock and from within the rock, a large image of Ganesh had arisen from the rock. Upon first sight, we couldn’t see Tara but on closer inspection, we saw a small but distinct image of Tara rising from the side of Ganesh. These images were not carved but have arisen from within the rock itself. It is said that great meditators and holy beings blessed the place and hence, Tara had chosen to manifest here. There was a single monk there when we visited and he was doing his Tara recitations. Naturally, we made some offerings to him, offered butterlamps, Tara mantras and rubbed our malas on Tara’s feet, hopefully to glean some blessings into our malas. We didn’t stay very long as a whole group of Tibetan pilgrims came shuffling in and crowding the place up.

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Patan Vajrayogini

The Mahabouddha Stupa is a scaled down replica of the great Mahabodhi Stupa at Bodhgaya, India.

The Mahabouddha Stupa is a scaled down replica of the great Mahabodhi Stupa at Bodhgaya, India.

The next day, we took a ride to Patan which also known as Lalitpur, an ancient city known for its beauty. We were headed to the Mahabouddha, a scaled-down replica of the Mahabodhi stupa at Bodhgaya India. This is situated in the old part of town, not far from the Patan Durbar Square. The stupa is not visible from the road and you have to walk a narrow alleyway between shops till you arrive at a little entrance to the courtyard.

The Mahaboudha stupa is built in the middle of a courtyard which enshrines a statue of the Buddha in it and apparently, the statue was brought back from Bodhgaya itself. The stupa was originally built in the 17th century by the artisans of the city for those who could not travel down to India for pilgrimage. This is a beautiful shrine to the Buddha but this is not exactly our main destination. We were here because there is a Vajrayogini chapel just opposite from the Mahaboudha stupa.

The chapel is accessible through a flight of steps that overlooks the stupa. The main image of the shrine is the flying Vajrayogini statue. We did the same here in this chapel by offering food, butterlamps, mantras and aspiration. This was the last Vajrayogini temple on this pilgrimage and I told our parents to pray to be completely enlightened with Vajrayogini’s practice and to ascend to Kechara Paradise while bringing many beings along. That should be our aspiration just in the same manner of how great mahasiddha who liberated many after they themselves gained great attainments.

This is the Buddha statue that originated from Bodhgaya, India.

This is the Buddha statue that originated from Bodhgaya, India.

Offering beautiful butterlamps to the sacred image of the Akash Yogini or flying Vajrayogini.

Offering beautiful butterlamps to the sacred image of the Akash Yogini or flying Vajrayogini.

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Swayambhunath Stupa

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This is known as the monkey temple due to sheer amount of monkeys living on the hill. This is the second largest stupa in Nepal and perhaps one of the most iconic because it is situated on top of a hill. Unfortunately, the earthquake devastated the temple and destroyed quite a number of its structures and temples surrounding the stupa. The stupa itself had survived the earthquake unscathed.

There were three places we had to go and the first one is Manjushri’s site. This is on one side of the hill that is just a platform with prayer flags and some prayer wheels. This place is believed to be where Manjushri would appear to teach the local gods and celestial beings above the ground. We are unable to see this but those with psychic abilities or attained are able to perceive this. For the Nepalese, this is the site from which Manjushri stood and wielded his great flaming sword to carve out Kathmandu Valley in ancient times in order to drain a great lake. Needless to say, we offered several butterlamps and recited Manjushri’s praise and mantras in order to tap in his wisdom here.

The convergence of prayer flags and prayer wheels is the only thing that identify the location of the site where Manjushri is said to teach the local deities.

The convergence of prayer flags and prayer wheels is the only thing that identify the location of the site where Manjushri is said to teach the local deities.

The next destination was the Swayambhunath stupa itself and we circumambulated the stupa 3 times, while rolling the prayer wheels, and peering into the niches that contained shrines to the Dhyani Buddhas and their consorts. After that, we walked past a group of smaller stupas and stroll down towards an old building. Unfortunately, the earthquake damaged the building so badly that scaffolding was erected to support the structure and prevent it from collapsing. This is the temple of the doors, which is believed to be the doors to the underground system of caverns – the main doorway into the abode of the 16 Arhats known to bestow long life. Hence, we did some prayers and aspirations for long life, especially for our parents. After that, we left Swayambhunath hill.

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In order to tap into the blessings of the Swayambhunath Stupa, we circumambulated the stupa clockwise while reciting mantras.

In order to tap into the blessings of the Swayambhunath Stupa, we circumambulated the stupa clockwise while reciting mantras.

Paul’s mother stands in front of the temple of the doors. It was damaged by the recent earthquake and the entire building is held up by metal scaffolding.

Paul’s mother stands in front of the temple of the doors. It was damaged by the recent earthquake and the entire building is held up by metal scaffolding.

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Naropa’s and Tilopa’s Caves

Taking a sacred picture with Naropa along with a feast of offerings that we have prepared for him.

Taking a sacred picture with Naropa along with a feast of offerings that we have prepared for him.

On the last day, we paid a visit to Naropa’s and Tilopa’s cave near Pashupatinath temple complex. The temple complex is one of the largest Hindu temples in Nepal and one of the most important in the Hindu world. It was built along the Bagmati river and had ancient platform-ghats along the river where the deceased are cremated in plain sight of all who walk pass.

We could see that a Hindu Brahmin priest was preparing an old lady for cremation. Just witnessing the cremation was a contemplation of death and impermanence. We walked across a bridge towards the temple and along the ghats towards the far end of the river where there were some dwellings and caves by the side of the river. Sadhus probably lived in these dwellings for centuries and two particular caves were traditionally attributed to the Buddhist yogins, Tilopa and Naropa.

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Their caves were cemented over and images of both masters were placed in them to commemorate the spot in which they had meditated. Naropa most likely meditated and received visions of Vajrayogini here in this very cave. This was also where he lived and served his guru by begging for alms and washing his clothes by the river below. A story of Naropa’s diligence and devotion to his teacher was appropriately told as it was the perfect story and example of devotion to a teacher. Hence, our aspirational prayer was to develop such devotion towards an authentic teacher so spiritual attainments could easily come.

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Conclusion

The pilgrimage was one that connects the four main Vajrayogini temples along with other power places and the offerings and aspiration generated at these places are very powerful. Hence, at each temple the aspiration is a unique one and it is about praying to meet a guru with authentic lineage, receiving Vajrayogini’s practice, becoming attained through her practice, benefitting many beings through her practice and finally ascending to Kechara Paradise and bringing many beings along to Kechara Paradise. It is hoped that these would plant powerful spiritual seeds for my father and for Paul’s mother as well. Since, they are older and hence closer to death, this would be good preparation for the eventual step that all of us have to take.

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About Pastor David Lai

David is a lay Buddhist pastor of Kechara and a longtime student of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche. Initially a reluctant writer, he now finds himself writing for a living and has published four books including his autobiography, There's No Way But Up and Conversations in Love.

David is a lover of Buddhist art and whenever he can, he shares his knowledge of the Dharma with everyone, giving frequent teachings and writing on his blog www.davidlai.me.
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20 Responses to Pilgrimage Through India & Nepal

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  1. Anne Ong on Jan 6, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    Very interesting write up and wonderful pictures about your pilgrimage trip Pastor David. And your explanation about the pilgrimage is very interesting and clear. I love the self Arising Tara place. It’s one of my favorite. I’m rejoice that Uncle Lai to be able to go pilgrimage trip. He looks much healthier and happier 🙂 And you make a very good writer. i love all your articles. I’m sure your Dad and late Mum must be very proud of your achievements. All the best to you,Pastor David and Uncle Lai _/\_

  2. Alice Tay on Dec 24, 2016 at 1:17 am

    Rejoice to Pastor David, Uncle Lai, Paul and Paul’s mother as they have opportunity to have join pilgrimage trip together and made offerings in abundance to many Sangha at Serpom Monastery as well as other temples. This is very blessed and great to collect merit.

    Thank you Pastor David sharing this meaningful pilgrimage trip in details which is very useful as a future guide to those may interested to visit the same holy places.

  3. Samfoonheei on Dec 15, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    Beautiful and meaning pilgrimage journey through India and Nepal.
    Thank you Pastor David for sharing your pilgrimage.Travelling with your beloved dad ,Paul and his mother, was really wonderful.Rejoice.
    Travelling and visiting to those beautiful Holy monasteries was amazing and powerful. It will enaable one to connect with the aspirations and energies of that place.,in order to plant powerful blessings into our mind stream. Well i do hope one day i could go on a pilgrimage too to those Holy places in India and Nepal.
    Thank you Pastor David….a good teaching on pilgrimage and beautiful pictures shared .

  4. Lew on Dec 12, 2016 at 1:40 am

    Thank you Pastor David for such a good travel log. It has indeed brought back many good memories I had when I travelled to these places both in Nepal and Serpom. I have been to Serpom and Nepal on two separate occasions but you did it in one trip! 🙂 Travelling to monastery like Serpom really open my eyes and had a glimpse of the life of monastery.

    I wish one day I can bring my parents to visit holy places while they are still fit to travel…

  5. Soon Huat on Dec 11, 2016 at 12:09 am

    Thank You Pastor David Lai for sharing the beautiful article with all the beautiful pictures. I particularly like the Vayrayogini statues in the ancient temples. I wish I could bring my mother for the pilgrimage of these holy sites especially related to Vajrayogini next year. I will be praying for it daily.

  6. Adeline Tan on Dec 10, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Thank you Pastor David for sharing your pilgrimage trip to India and Nepal with your dad and Paul and his mom. This certainly brought back all the fond memories after seeing all those beautiful holy photos posted on the blog together with the wonderful write up too. As for Paul’s mom, she was so thoughtful to have a protector puja done for her late husband in the monastry. Rejoice for all of them and may they all have good health and long lives.

  7. Jutika Lam on Dec 8, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    Thank you Pastor David for sharing about your recent pilgrimage to India and Nepal together with your beloved father as well as Paul and his mother.

    Looking through all the photos of all holy and blessed places you visited with your dad is a great reminder of the time where I was lucky enough to visit all the temples, shrines, and monasteries in the article above.

    It is a wonderful thing to do to bring parents on a meaningful vacation to collect merits by making offerings and prayers at these pilgrimage sites rather than going on a holiday our tour purely for enjoyment and pleasure

    Thank you for taking the time to write well detailed information of all the places you visited during your trip, may more people who are planning to go on a pilgrimage benefit from this post.

  8. Darren on Dec 6, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Thank you Pastor David for the itinerary and sharing on the holy places. Those holy pictures sure a feast for everyone. I was in Nepal few years back but doesn’t has much picture as most of the mini temple doesn’t allow photography.

  9. Ron Wong on Dec 4, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    I think every practitioner should make an effort to visit these powerful places & pay homage to the Buddha & Bodhisattvas to make spiritual connection with them. Through this, we receive blessing & create the cause to be near a guru, receive the dharma & practice the dharma to bring peace & joy to ourselves & others.

    Thank you Pastor David for sharing your spiritual journey with great details. Appreciate very much your clear explanation & guidance on what & how we should be praying for while in these powerful places. These are definitely the places we should visit & pay homage to the Buddha & great Bodhisattvas.

  10. JP on Dec 4, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    Thank you Pastor David for sharing your pilgrimage with your dad, along with Paul and his mother. It’s very touching to read that you and your dad requested the monks to do a puja for your late mother and also offerings made to Vajrayogini for her.

    The best gift to our parents and loved ones is to bring them closer to the Buddhadharma. This is because we help them create the affinity and karma to have a chance towards realizing Enlightenment. What else is greater Enlightenment?

    Our parents and loved ones may not understand the significance but what matters is that we know that seeds of enlightenment have been planted in their mind stream. It will help them in their future lives. I believe this is what unconditional love really means.

  11. KarenC. on Dec 4, 2016 at 12:59 am

    Travelling around the world can help us to widen our perspective, open up our mind. When we understand more Dharma, the purpose of travelling changes. When we travel, it’s not just purely for pleasure but with purposes that is beneficial for ourselves or people who are close to us, in a dharmic way. I rejoice for both families that had the opportunities to visit so many holy sites in Nepal and India, with the great blessings of Tsem Rinpoche. Rinpoche always tirelessly shower love and care to His students through different means, with the sole purpose of benefiting them.

  12. So Kin Hoe (KISG) on Dec 2, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    Thank you Pastor David for writing and sharing the travelogue with pictures of the pilgrimage in Nepal and India. Nepal itself is rich with ancient Buddhist temples with many previous high masters left their enlightened energies at the sacred sites for us to receiving blessings and gain merits whenever we make prayers, offer lights, butter lamps, flowers and other types of offering.

    This travelogue is very a useful guideline for those who have not been to Nepal and through the pictures of Buddha Vajra Yogini, Mother Tara, Buddhist temples and stupas, these pictures can plant seeds in our minds and create the cause for us to be there. With the blessings from Rinpoche, we should grab the opportunities to participate and join the pilgrimage trip to Nepal whenever it is organized by our own Kechara team so that we can accumulate merits to sustain and expand our Dharma works, and at the same time encourage others to join the pilgrimage.

    Dharma does not come to us by chance but through our efforts and good motivation to learn and practice the Dharma supported by the merits we accumulate by doing Dharma works, reciting prayers and mantras, making offerings to the 3 Jewels and participating in the pilgrimage.

    Thank you with folded hands,
    kin hoe

  13. Jacinta Goh on Dec 2, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Thanks for sharing this with us Pastor David. Besides providing info on various places, most importantly Pastor has given us some tips on what we have or should have done when we are going to visit those sacred places. The aspirations prayers are very important to seal the deal.

    Thanks Pastor and very happy for the four of you.

  14. Bradley Kassian on Dec 1, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    Thank you for sharing this article and images Pastor David. It must of been wonderful to visit these holy places make prayers, offerings and recitation of mantras at these sites charged with enlightened energies. It must of been a very meritorious trip! I rejoice for you and everyone who went.

  15. Fong on Dec 1, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Thank you, Pastor David for the clear explanations for each holy sites visited. Such a precious guide for the next pilgrimage to these sites.

    Both your father and Paul’s mother are very blessed to have Rinpoche to guide them and both you and Paul to assist and make this trip happen.

    May they have stable health and long to continue their dharma work.

  16. Joy Kam on Dec 1, 2016 at 3:47 am

    What a beautiful spiritual holiday trip for Pastor David, Uncle Lai, Paul and his lovely mother. If you could bring your parents on a holiday, why not bring them to a spiritual one that actually blesses them and plant seeds of enlightenment for them.

    What a meritorious holiday this certainly was and I rejoice in their wonderful blessed trip. And beautiful pictures too! Thanks Pastor David Lai for your explanation on the significance of each holy spot. It is amazing how you are able to retained all the stories and information Rinpoche has shared throughout the years with you and hence, now able to share it with others. They give the place a lot more meaning and appreciation when we visit it.

    Going to Nepal is really like stepping into a different realm of spiritual sacredness. I wouldn’t mind living there in a retreat, it is such a holy place, filled with sacred mystical energies. One must go to there to experience it, especially if you are a Buddhist and visit all these powerful holy places!

    Once again thank you Pastor David for lovely post.

    • Joy Kam on Dec 1, 2016 at 3:52 am

      Oh and I especially liked the story you relayed on seeing a female temple caretaker who looked a little crazy, who could actually be dakinis. How mysterious and magical, something we would not know if Rinpoche did not tell us. How blessed you are to have such an encounter and to remember Rinpoche’s advice!

      Uncle Lai looks extremely vibrant and happy too. This is a really good trip for him and Paul’s mother also I am sure.

  17. Choong on Dec 1, 2016 at 12:53 am

    Thank you Pastor David Lai for sharing, it is like being there all over again. The energy is much, the sights spiritual and soothing, the sounds hushed and ethereal, the scents penetrating and lingering. Nobody should miss a trip to Nepal to visit these power places.

  18. Paul Yap on Nov 30, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    Im very glad that we have the great opportunity of going pilgrimage trip together with our parents to holy sites in Nepal, and making offerings to many holy Sangha at Serpom Monastery. This indeed a wonderful experience for all of us.

    Im very thankful that my mum has chosen Serpom monastery in conducting a puja for my late father, instead of following the traditional method of burning incense paper incessantly. I can tell that my mum was very happy during her visit in Serpom and especially during the time of puja. Lastly, i would like to thank the kindness of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche for making this trip possible for all of us, thank you for all the encouragement and advised for my mum. She is much older now, and i think this is one of the good way to repay her kindness and hardship for raising up all her kids.

    • paolorossi on Dec 4, 2016 at 9:31 pm

      Great pictures of nepali Vajrayogini holy places.

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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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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

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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

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  • 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
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    4 months ago
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    4 months ago
    Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche recites offering stanza to Dorje Shugden Septemeber 2016
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    4 months ago
    Flying the flag proudly
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    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 food distribution tonight. P.Patsy
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Penang team food distribution tonight. P.Patsy
Getting ready for food distribution. P.Patsy
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Getting ready for food distribution. P.Patsy
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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
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Kechara Sunday Dharma School 's first class for 2017. Here're the teacher & students for class 13-14yo. Stella, KSDS
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Kechara Sunday Dharma School 's first class for 2017. Here're the teacher & students for class 13-14yo. 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)
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Through the blessings from Rinpoche, Kechara Ipoh Study Group has completed our monthly animals liberation activity in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
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Eight members of the puja team conducted a #MedicineBuddha puja at Kechara. Lucy yap
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Dorje Shugden
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