The Art of Thangka Painting

Jun 15, 2015 | Views: 1,173
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(By Tsem Rinpoche)

As Tibetan Buddhism gains prominence in the world, so too is Tibetan art being appreciated more and more. Today, many sacred Tibetan thangkas can be found in art exhibitions and museums.

Just like any Buddha image, deity thangkas are considered to be holy objects and bestow great blessings to their surroundings and the sentient beings within. Deity thangkas are very important to practitioners, especially to many Buddhist nomads for whom statues would be just too bulky to travel with. For example, during the escape from Tibet to India in 1959, H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama travelled with a sacred Dorje Shugden thangka on his back, as the need for secrecy and stealth required everyone to travel light.

Some time ago, I came across this wonderful write-up about thangka painting, which is very well researched and written. It shares briefly about the history of thangka painting, the different types of thangkas, the process of creating a traditional thangka, and most importantly, how thangka painting was traditionally a form of Dharma practice.

In the olden Tibetan tradition, a thangka painter was typically a sincere practitioner of Buddhism who, through practice and study would be familiar with the various deities, their implements, symbolism and benefits. Having generated the correct motivation, the artist would imbue each thangka painting with the energy of that specific deity through the power of meditation and visualization, during the process of painting it. Some of the most famous thangka painters of recent times, such as Gen. Jamyang of Dharamsala, were known to be attained practitioners who could produce intricate thangkas of the most complicated deities (such as the sixty-two deity mandala of Heruka Chakrasamvara) from memory alone, through their intimate knowledge of the scriptures. Thangkas painted by such artists are said to be ‘alive’ and highly blessed through the power of the artist’s practice and attainments.

Another characteristic of artists for whom thangka painting is a form of practice, not business, is that requests for thangkas to be painted are never accompanied by discussions of money and payment. The artist creates the thangka as an expression of his spirituality and with the motivation to benefit the patron, while the patron makes a monetary offering to the artist in gratitude and thanksgiving, similar to how “kuyong” or monetary offerings are given to monks during pujas and prayers in the monastery.

Unfortunately, thangka painting today has become a popular way of doing business – every commission and sale involves haggling of the thangka price, and many thangka schools have been established where students paint thangkas en masse (which are later sold to unsuspecting tourists) while learning the fundamentals of thangka painting.

So I thought it would be very good for those interested in Tibetan arts and culture to learn more about the interesting history behind thangka making. When we have more knowledge, we can appreciate the effort that goes into creating a high quality Buddhist thangka and the deeper significance of having one in our presence.

Tsem Rinpoche

 


 

THANKA PAINTING

Mathew Kapsner & Tania Wynniatte-Husey

 

Legendary Origins

The painted image of the Buddha is said to have originated in central India, in the area now known as Bihar. It is said that during Buddha’s lifetime, two Kings, Utayana and Bimbisara, who lived in the region used to exchange gifts and that one day King Bimbisara, upon receiving a priceless gem from King Utayana decided, after much thought, to have an image of the Buddha painted on cloth to give in return. After receiving the consent of the Buddha, Bimbisara sent some of his court artists to paint the Buddha’s portrait. When the artists looked upon the Buddha, however, they were so filled with wonder that they were unable to draw and so the Buddha led one of the artists to a clear pool and told him to paint his likeness from the reflection in the water. This the artist did, surrounding the portrait with images of the twelve links of dependent arising and with some words of religious advice, as recommended by the Buddha. When Utayana saw the gift he was greatly moved and later that day, after prayers and meditation on the symbols of the twelve links, he attained the path of seeing. As a result, this style of painting came to be known as ‘The image of the Sage taken from the water’ (Chu-len-ma).

Another account relates the first paintings of the Buddha to an occasion when he was teaching in Kapilavastu. At that time there was a king called Mahanama, whose wife had a maidservant, named Rohita. Whilst the Buddha was teaching nearby the Queen sent Rohita to deliver a necklace of jewels to him. On the way she was attacked by a girl herding cows and was killed. Due to her faith in the Buddha she was reborn as the daughter of the King of Sri Lanka. When the princess was a young girl she heard of the teachings of the Buddha and experienced a re-awakening of faith from her former life. She sent a letter to the Buddha with a gift of pearls and in reply, the Buddha sent her a letter and an image of himself on which an artist had outlined the rays of light surrounding his body. This style became known as ‘The image of the Sage taken from the rays’.

 

Origins in Tibet

Tibetan thanka painting is based upon the Indian religious art of pata and mandala, complex paintings whose designs were used in certain religious rites. As the Tibetans closely adhered to the religious teachings of the Indian Pandits, so too did they follow the strict guidelines laid down by Indian and later, Nepalese and Chinese artists. Eventually it was the Nepalese and Chinese painters who had the most far-reaching influence on the development of the Tibetan thanka.

The principal artistic schools from which Tibetan painting is derived were in Western India and date back to the 7th and 8th centuries. The influence of these schools was felt throughout Central and Eastern India, eventually reaching Nepal from where it filtered into Tibet.

It was in the 7th century, during the reign of Songsten Gampo, that Buddhism and its associated art forms made considerable advances throughout Tibet. Songsten Gampo’s marriage to both a Nepalese and a Chinese princess brought Nepalese and Chinese artists into the region where they worked to further the spread of Buddhism through art.

Later, during the 11th century, thanka painting in Western Tibet began to draw from the Kashmiri school when the great monk translator Rinchen Zangpo, brought a number of artists from Kashmir to Tibet, in the first half of the century. The paintings of these artists hung in temples as pictorial representations of the Dharma, furthering the spread of Buddhism amongst the Tibetans of that region. Influenced by Kashmiri art as well as Central Indian art, Western Tibetan painting developed a style of its own, a style, however, which grew stale and which eventually disappeared, during the 17th century.

Over the centuries, the Nepalese influence upon Tibetan painting was pervasive and dominant, remaining uninterrupted for years, whilst the influence of the Indian artists faded with the Moslem invasions of India. Chinese influence, on the other hand, fluctuated according to the changing political relations between Tibet and China and it was not really until the 18th century that Chinese influence began to be felt, revitalizing Tibetan painting which had begun to flounder in its strict adherence to the archaic styles of Nepal and India. As Guiseppe Tucci states in Tibetan Painted Scrolls, ‘the development of Tibetan painting consists in a mutual approach and blending of the Chinese and Nepalese manners’.

As time went on, these external influences, which provided the initial direction and rules of Tibetan painting, began to give way to a more distinctly Tibetan style of painting. For later, even when absorbing Chinese influence, the Tibetans learnt to interpret it in their own ways, no longer simply imitating the style as they had formerly done.

 

Development of Tibetan Styles

The three major styles of Tibetan paintings practiced today are the ‘Menri’, the ‘Mensar’ and the ‘Karma Gadri’ styles. These are the styles of individual artists whose work played an influential role in the development of Tibetan painting.

The ‘Menri’ style, the oldest of the three forms, dates back to 1440 C.E. and was developed by Menla Dhondrup who studied under the artist, Dhopa Tashi Gyatso, an expert in Nepalese style painting. Through acquiring a thorough knowledge of the new style, Menla Dhondrup went on to revise the proportions and composition of religious figures as well as developing new pigments. In addition he defined the religious requirements of both the artist and patron, demonstrated the need for accurate painting, showing the consequences of inaccurate work and gave instruction in various methods of painting. It was these revisions that came to be known as the ‘Menri’ style.

In the year 1645 C.E., the incarnate master Chöying Gyatso developed a style of his own, known as the ‘Mensar’ or the ‘new Menri’ style. Based on the Menri school, he developed his own approach, making innovations and revisions in the tone, pigment and texture.

Namka Tashi, an incarnate Karmapa artist, born in 1500 C.E. developed the ‘Karma Gadri’ school, or the ‘camp style of the Karma (Kagyu school)’. He first studied painting under Könchok Penday, from whom he learnt the strict proportions developed by the Sharli, a metal casting school of India. He also studied under the 5th Sharmapa, Könchok Yenlak as well as the 4th Gyaltsap Rinpochey, Drakpa Dondrup, who taught him how to paint in a distinctive style which was based upon such examples as: the Chinese thanka given to the 5th Karmapa by the Ming emperor of China; the ‘dashelma’ masks, made by artists who had witnessed the revelation of Rangjung Dorjey’s face in the full moon and a Chinese thanka, the ‘Yerwa Rawama’, that depicts the sixteen Arhats of early Buddhist tradition. Thus, Namka Tashi’s style incorporated components from three foreign sources: Indian forms, Chinese colour and texture and traditional Tibetan composition. Of the three styles practiced today, the Karma Gadri is not as prevalent as the Menri or Mensar.

As thanka painting is strictly governed by iconographic rules the separate styles are hard to discern. They can be most easily characterized by their treatment of the background to the paintings. 

The Menri style is distinguished by its individual representation of nature. In a painting typical of the Menri school, the clouds flow and curl like rushing water, the mountains are low and rounded and are less packed with detail than the other major styles of painting. The Mensar school on the other hand, employs more detail and is characterized by round and thick or long and thin clouds. The mountains tend to be sharp with steep peaks, which give them an exaggerated appearance. In a Karma Gadri painting, more natural forms are given greater emphasis. They are depicted in a more realistic fashion and are not so exaggerated or dream-like. There is also more open space and the colour green tends to predominate.

Many other artists played an important role in the development of Tibetan thanka painting. With these, however, the styles tended to be absorbed by one of the schools rather than achieving a distinction of their own. One skilled artist of the Gadri style was Karma Sidral or Gamnyon, thought to be an emanation of the 8th Karmapa. He developed a style of his own based upon that of the Gadri school which became known as the ‘Second Gadri’. Another artist of inestimable value was the great master Dakpo Rabjum Tenpay Gyeltsen, who was highly skilled in drawing the proportion of the three religious symbols, which led to his proportional style also being adopted by the Gadri school.

A number of unique styles emerged that were also basically proponents of the Karma Gadri school. One of these belonged to the 10th Karmapa, Chöying Dorjey, who was born in the year 1604. During his early career as an artist he studied the elements of the Menri style under the master Lhodrak Tulku Tsering. Subsequently he developed his own style, incorporating techniques from the Chinese and Gadri styles. Another example is the style of Tsuklak Chökyi Nangwa, which was very similar to the original styles of the ‘Three Tashis’ of the Karma Gadri school. This tradition became widespread in eastern Tibet, in such regions as Nangchen and Dergey, as well as Karmay Gönchen and Chamdo, where many skilled painters existed who were called ‘Karsho’.

At the time that Menla Dhondrup’s innovations were first being felt Khyentse Chenmo was born in Gangkar Gangto. He developed an individual style, known as ‘Khyenri’, which in fact became a tradition distinct from Menri or any other school.

The artist Patshu Byiu of Yarto was an incarnate being and learned person who studied painting extensively. He studied all the techniques of the various schools selecting the best of each and combining them along with his own innovations to form also a style of his own. This became known as ‘Byiuris’, after his nickname Byiu, meaning bird and is distinguished by the manner of shading and the choice of colours.

 

The Purpose of a Thanka Painting

A thanka painting is not simply a decoration or a creation of beauty, but a religious object and a medium for expressing Buddhist ideals. These works of art function as models on which the practitioner can reflect and meditate.

There are many reasons for commissioning a thanka, the most common being to create an object of worship which will lead to the accumulation of merit. For even looking at a thanka is in itself a good deed. By meditating on such objects, one can train the mind and gain an understanding of certain types of awareness that that specific image portrays. Other reasons for commissioning a thanka painting may be to bring about good health, prosperity or long life. Sometimes they are commissioned to aid the recovery of a sick person, or to protect a person through vulnerable periods in his or her life, or to help in the rebirth of someone who has recently died. In all these cases, a lama is usually consulted to advice on which deity should be painted to give the greatest assistance to that person. So if somebody dies, the family of the deceased will consult a lama or an astrologer who will advise them which deity would be the most propitious in assisting a good rebirth.

Thus, there are many different forms a thanka may take depending on what the patron wishes to use the painting for. It may portray peaceful or wrathful deities, meditational deities, Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Dharma Protectors or saints and their lives. Green Tara, for example, is a female deity who is seen as the embodiment of all the Buddhas’ enlightened activities and may be commissioned to ensure success either in a particular project or in a person’s long life generally. Thankas may also depict Buddhist doctrine such as the arrangement of the physical universe as taught in the Abhidharma, the layout of the animate universe in the form of the Wheel of Existence, illustrations of monastic garb, implements and practices, as taught in the Vinaya, as well as medical and astrological charts and diagrams. There is a wealth of subjects to be drawn from and many reasons for commissioning a thanka, so much so that a person may have quite a number painted over a period of time.

 

The Painter and His Preparations

Whatever form the thanka takes and for whatever reason it is commissioned, it is of the utmost importance that the works are prepared properly and with the greatest care. For if not, they will be of no benefit to the artist nor to the patron, whose devout intentions will be lost on an improper work of art.

Traditionally it is said that an artist should possess certain characteristics: modesty, devotion to religion, soundness of all senses, diligence and a kindly disposition. In addition, depending on the subject of the work, it is said that the artist may have to follow certain personal restrictions: abstinence from meat, alcohol, onion and garlic and strict personal cleanliness.

How strictly an artist adheres to such ‘rules’ of conduct varies from artist to artist and on the work that is being carried out. Cleanliness, both in mind and body is of the utmost importance when working on a piece and although it is unlikely that the artist will abstain from eating meat, onion or garlic, unless real purity is particularly desired, he will not over indulge and often not consume alcohol during that period.

Correct preparation, then, is very important in order to ensure a high standard of cleanliness. Normally, the artist will get up, clean his room and wash himself before laying out the canvas, paints and brushes. The brushes are contained in a special box with three holes, one for each of the deities: Avalokiteshvara (compassion), Vajrapani (power) and Manjushri (wisdom) who help the artist to achieve perfection in his work. Having prepared his tools and work area, the artist then makes a water offering, the purest of all offerings and if he is about to start a new thanka will do a short meditation on emptiness to purify his mind.

The meditation may take many forms. One way is for the painter to meditate on a particular deity, which is not necessarily the one that will be featured in the painting. The image of the deity, Manjushri, the deity of wisdom, for example, may be used and is placed in front of the artist, who imagines the image melting into his body before he generates himself as Manjushri.

The next step is to invoke the image of the deity about to be painted. If it is one of the Taras, for example, the artist will visualize the goddess who then dissolves into the canvas, brushes and paints, thus making them the essence of that deity.

The final step is the motivation for creating the thanka, when the artist thinks of all the suffering beings in all the different realms and remembers that he is painting the thanka for the benefit of them all.

 As well as playing a role in the purification process, religion also underlies the necessity of cleanliness in thanka painting. For if the artist’s mind and body are not clean, he will be unable to invoke the deities. It has been said that in order to paint certain images, the artist must be an initiate of the specific cycle of teachings they belong to. Thus, if the artist wants to paint an image of the Kalachakra, he must have received the initiation first. This need not always be the case. Unless it is a particular thanka, the artist will not have necessarily received the initiations in advance. One monk artist related how, for example, he had once been commissioned to paint a thanka of Vajrakila for His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He received a blessing from a lama who showed him how to generate the deity, but otherwise it was not his normal practice.

 

The Preparation of the Canvas

‘The painters of Tibet pursue their art in an orderly and systemic way. When creating thanka paintings they proceed through six clearly defined steps. The first is the preparation of the painting surface. Second comes the establishment of a design on that surface by means of a sketch or transfer. The third step involves the initial coats of paint, and that is followed by steps four and five: shading and outlining. The sixth and last step consists of several finishing touches.’

As a thanka painting is made to be rolled up in a scroll fashion, it is painted on cloth whose surface has two layers: the support and ground. The most common cloth, or support, used today is light-weight Indian cotton of fine but slightly open weave. An open weave allows the ‘gesso’ a kind of white paint to settle more evenly. This underlying material holds the subsequent layer of ground and paint. Once the artist has acquired the cloth, it is washed, dried and cut to fit the wooden frame upon which it is stretched. This must be done carefully to avoid any bulging which, if it occurs, will be permanent.

Once the fabric is secured onto the frame three steps are taken to prepare the cloth for painting. First is the sizing of the cloth, which involves the preparation of a warm solution of hide glue which is applied to both sides of the cloth with a large brush or a wadded rag. Once the cloth is saturated, any excess is removed and the cord that connects the cloth to the stretcher is tightened. Then the canvas is set aside to dry.

Secondly, the cotton support is coated with gesso. The gesso used is a solution of either chalk or white clay, whichever is the most available and is combined with size solution until it reaches the consistency of buttermilk. The mixture is then strained through a cloth to remove any lumps and is applied to both sides of the cloth in thin even coats with a wadding rag or gesso knife. When the first coat has dried the artist determines if another is necessary by holding the canvas up to the light. If light comes through, another application of gesso is applied.

Finally the surface is polished until it is perfectly smooth and ready for use.

 

The Painting of the Thanka

The drawing of a thanka is done in several stages – first are the lines of orientation. The most important line is the central vertical axis, which forms the exact centre of the painting around which the composition will be laid out. The vertical axis usually marks the centre of the main figure – in relation to which all the other figures of the composition are to be positioned. The figures portrayed have to be in perfect relationship to the central axis, any mistakes affect the religious value of the painting.

There are eight major lines of orientation to be drawn. The first of these are the two diagonals. These are drawn from one corner of the canvas to its diagonal opposite and enable the drawing of these two axes. Such lines are drawn with the use of a chalk line or a compass. The second lines to be drawn are the vertical axis and the horizontal line and finally the four outer lines that define the edges of the painting are added.

Once the eight major lines are established the artist can begin his sketching. The first step is to establish the area of the main figure on the vertical axis and its position in relation to the horizontal axis. In order to sketch the figure properly the artist must know the iconographic measurements of each deity as established by Buddhist tradition. The main iconographic classes, in order, are: buddhas, peaceful bodhisattvas, goddesses, tall wrathful figures, short wrathful figures, and humans. Other iconographical systems exist with more classes that are basically subdivisions of the above classes with the addition of some rare types.

Once the main figure is drawn, if other figures are to be included their position is established, according to their status. Next, the artist works on the surrounding area, sketching in the landscape, offerings and so forth. For the drawing of the preliminary sketch, the artist uses a graphite pencil or a charcoal crayon, which allows for corrections to be made. Once the sketching is complete the artist finalizes it by going over the pencil sketch with a brush and black ink. Inking in is done with great care, making every effort to correct and improve upon the pencil sketch, for, with the exception of minor details, it determines the final design of the painting.

The next step is to apply paint to the canvas. This is a two step process which includes filling in the areas of different base colours and shading and outlining these areas. Mineral pigments, mixed with a binder of either size or glue, are used for the initial coats of colour, while dye and lakes are used for the shading and outlining.

The progressive application of paint follows four principles. To begin with, the paint is applied to the more distant planes of the picture – sky and landscape – then progress to the primary figure. One colour is used at a time, being applied to all the appropriate places whilst the paint is still fresh. Due to the shading and tinting techniques used, the lighter colours are applied first and the darker colours for shading and tinting are applied later. Finally, the small features of the painting, those that are important and to be done in light colours, are done last so that they are not smudged during the remainder of the painting process.

A simple example of the paint application process would be a small one-deity thanka with a simple landscape. The main planes are (according to distance) – the sky, the landscape, the deity’s nimbus, and the figure of the deity. To paint the sky, the artist prepares by hand a suitable blue paint. He then applies this blue first to the sky and then to wherever it is needed around the figure, beginning with the nimbus and then the body. After blue the next colour used is green, which is applied in a similar manner working from the background forward to the figure. After blues and greens the artist applies the white and bluish and greenish-off whites to distant objects such as the clouds and snowy peaks. For the most part, the remaining colours are used in the forward plane, in this order: reds, oranges, yellow, ochre, brown, pink, white and gold.

The application of the initial coats of paint, depending on the size and complexity of the work, can take from a few hours or days, to a few weeks to complete. Once complete, the artist scrapes the painting surface smooth, in preparation for the finishing steps. After scraping and dusting the artist rubs the surface with a small ball of dry dough. The application of gold cannot be done until after the scraping and cleaning as gold needs a smooth undercoat on which to adhere properly. Nearly every thanka has at least a little gold on it as a religious offering.

After applying the initial coats of colour the next step is the shading. Shading, shadowing and gradation of tones are done to give a three dimensional quality to objects such as clouds. There are two main methods of shading: wet and dry. Wet shading is the blending of two wet colours, which is done during the application of the initial coats of colour. Dry shading is usually a secondary step and is the application of successive thin washes of colour over the dry preliminary coat. The main shading colours are organic dyes and lakes; mainly indigo (blue) and lac dye (red). Other dyes used are mainly yellow and orange. Typically, indigo is used to shade the initial blues and greens, lac dye is used for the areas of red, maroon, orange, yellow or flesh colour, while yellow is used to intensify and highlight the greens. Shading is done much as the initial coats of colours are applied – working from the farthest planes to the closest and working with as much of one colour at once as possible. Shading is an important feature of thanka painting, taking up a large portion of the artist’s time, and is done very carefully and precisely.

Outlining is one of the final steps in the process of thanka painting. It is done to intensify distinct objects, setting them off from their surroundings. It is used to indicate any small or fine details. The colours mainly used in outlining are indigo and lac dye, each used to outline shaded areas of the same colour. Other colours used are: white, for water and bone ornaments; gold, for nimbuses, seats, flowers, leaves, robes, multi-coloured lotuses and rocky crags. These are applied in stronger concentrations than in shading to contrast the base colour and the background more sharply.

The last major step in painting the thanka is drawing the faces of the main figures. This demands great attention. Of the facial features the eyes receive the greatest care, for the eyes bring the painting to life. Of course the shapes and dimensions of the facial features are determined by iconographic traditions. The application of the gold with a burnishing tool is the final step in thanka painting. There are two main types of burnishing, flat burnishing, in which large areas of gold are uniformly polished, and selective burnishing, polishing certain areas or drawing designs onto the gold with the point of the burnisher.

 

Mounting the Thanka

Most thanka paintings are mounted in a brocade frame. Although there is nothing to stipulate that it has to be brocade or even cloth, it is a tradition that has continued from the past.

Silk brocade is the most popular form of mounting since it is seen as having greater religious merit than other less expensive types of cloth. The quality of brocade used, varies from patron to patron, but again it is generally thought that the higher the quality, the greater the religious value the painting will assume. Likewise, the greater the number of brocades used, the greater the enhancement of the painting. Often, for example, a brocade square is sewn on to the mount below the picture to draw attention to the subject, whilst other paintings are framed with one or two thin strips of brocade, often red and yellow, before being placed on the main brocade, again for emphasis.

The proportions of the mounts tend to be the same, although sizes may vary according to the intended wall space on which the painting is to be hung. Normally, the amount of brocade used at the bottom equals half the size of the thanka, whilst the amount at the top is a quarter of the size of the thanka. Similarly, the mounting at the edge is equal to one eighth of the size of the thanka.

One final addition may be a curtain, which tends to be a piece of orange or yellow cotton material attached to the top of the brocade mount and which, when let down, covers the painting. Two thin red strips of material often hang down in front of this. The purpose of the curtain is mainly twofold, although not all thankas have them. First, it is used as a form of protection, preventing the accumulation of dust and is raised only on special occasions and secondly it is an extra adornment to enhance the value of the work further.

Since a thanka painting is a religious work, it is usual to place a white scarf at the brocade which is not only an offering but also acts as a protection. 

 

Consecration

Finally, if the painting is to function as a sacred object it is consecrated through a ritual of consecration, which is performed by a lama. During this ceremony, which is a combination of meditation, incantation and the recitation of prescribed mantras, the back of the painting is inscribed with the three syllables, which indicate the body, speech and mind of the main figure, along with names of certain deities and prayers of request or praise. Sometimes the hand-prints, or fingerprints, of respected teachers are placed on the back of the painting as well.

 

Characteristics of a Quality Thanka Painting

Most of all the painting must be appealing, beautiful and pleasing to the eye. The image must appear to be well proportioned. There are certain characteristics to look for in determining if the image has been done properly. In a well executed thanka painting the feet and hands are youthful with long tapering fingers and toes, marked with the sign of the wheel (dharmachakra) and the endless knot. The limbs are graceful, unblemished and the anklebones hidden. In the case of a thanka painting depicting a Buddha, his stomach is wide; the navel twisted clockwise, the waist well-defined and the upper body broad with rounded shoulders. The throat is tapered, the lips red and the nose long and pointed. The eye, the most important detail, should resemble lotus petals with the whites and pupils clearly defined. The eyebrows must be distinct and should feature a fine white hair (urna) between them, whilst the head should be large and rounded with a broad forehead, distinct hairline and the ears long and lobed. Gema Lama states in his book The Principals of Tibetan Art that, ‘Generally the form is meant to be large and erect, with dignified bearing and pleasing mien’. He goes on to point out that the masculine and feminine features ‘should be clearly defined and the clothing graceful’.

Unfortunately, today, thanka painting and with it, other aspects of Tibetan art are threatened by the influx of fake or badly finished paintings. In many tourist areas such as Delhi, Srinagaror, Kathmandu, these pieces are offered to the unsuspecting buyer as authentic thankas. Many have been prematurely ‘aged’ by holding them over butter lamps for long periods or by twisting them tightly thereby cracking the paint to give the effect of an old, much-used item. The symbols used in some of these paintings have been incorporated with little or no regard to the traditional guidelines laid down over the centuries. Often the grids have been badly or incorrectly drawn and the figures and features from many different mandalas combined into one picture. Furthermore, the silks and paints used are often of inferior quality, which often leads to cracking.

Though authentic thanka paintings belonging to Tibetans may have been sold in the years immediately following their flight from Tibet because of the initial hardship suffered by many families, it is very doubtful that authentic thanka paintings are for sale everywhere now. The sale of religious artifacts is contrary to Buddhist principles and only through the commissioning of an artist as outlined earlier can one acquire a thanka painting. The inferior paintings available at present are of little or no artistic value as most are of crude workmanship and resemble a mosaic of Buddhist symbols, deities, entourage and environments rather than a properly constructed painting. These paintings certainly have no religious value because of the lack of religious intent by the artist and as His Holiness the Dalai Lama has frequently pointed out it benefits neither Tibetans nor Tibetan art and culture for this trade to continue. Thanka paintings are religious works of art intended to aid the devotion and prayers of Buddhist practitioners and herein lies their true value.

 

Mural Painting

Many of the techniques used in mural painting are similar to those used in thanka painting and often in the past qualified thanka painters were commissioned to decorate the walls and even furniture of public buildings, monasteries and private houses in Tibet.

Whereas the function of a thanka painting is primarily religious and serves as a means of protection, the purpose of a mural painting is more decorative. Its subjects, therefore, tend to be diverse ranging from mythological figures and auspicious symbols to animals, birds, trees and flowers. They are often subjects that may feature in a thanka painting but never as the focal point. Thus in private houses, it would be quite common to have a series of ‘medallions’, about a metre in diameter, drawn on the walls of a room depicting scenes from various mythological tales, known stories such as ‘The Four Harmonious Brothers’ which in this case would feature the grouse, the hare, the monkey and the elephant. Ordinary people and events were also often drawn, particularly in important buildings, such as the Potala, where a mural would always be painted depicting the building’s construction, as well as the ground plans.

Mural paintings are always enhanced with a border painted immediately below the ceiling. Ornately decorated with a pattern of flowers, the border is made to look like a curtain, where even the folds of the material as well as the tassles are carefully drawn in. This is usually balanced by three stripes, again florally decorated, which line the walls at the base of the windows running parallel to the border at the top.

In addition to those of non-religious subjects, many religious murals also exist. The decorations in temples are always religious and feature many deities, all of whom have a certain position within the building according to their status and function. Pictures of the more exalted figures, such as the Lord Buddha are always painted behind the main altar and face the protective deities who line the back wall of the temple. In front of the main door are placed the Four Guardian Kings, whose bodies are painted white, blue, red and yellow as they protect the East, South, West and North respectively and who stand next to a painting of the wheel of cyclic existence.

When a religious mural is painted, the artist follows the same traditional guidelines carried out in thanka painting. Thus the same careful preparation and rituals are done before the work is begun and he uses the same system of grids and proportions as those used in a thanka painting. Likewise, the painting is consecrated upon completion.

The same bright colours that are used in thanka painting are used in mural work, although the type of paint is different as well as the method of application because of the contrasting surfaces. Unlike thanka painting, where the colours are added one on top of each other to achieve a fine degree of shading, when painting a mural, the colours are applied at the same time and mixed on the wall itself to achieve the desired shade, thus using the wall as a kind of palette. So, when painting a pink flower, both the white and red paint are applied together and mixed until the correct pink is obtained.

Mural painting has always featured heavily in Tibetan architecture, much of which was unfortunately destroyed by the Chinese during the Cultural Revolution. Brightly painted furniture, for example, which was found in most Tibetan households, had to be painted over, or in the case of poorer people who could not afford the paint, darkened with mud or charcoal and it was a long time before it could be removed. It is only recently that mural painting has begun to be revived properly both in Tibet and in exile, where, as the need to ensure that Tibetan culture does not die, every effort is being made to revive and continue the traditions carried out in the past.

 

Painting Guilds

Most thanka painters in Tibet belonged to a painting guild. For not only was it considered prestigious, since entry was difficult, but it automatically guaranteed a steady income of work at a high level.

As with other building guilds, the artistic guilds carried out a variety of work, both public and private, which ranged from the creation of thanka paintings, private mural work and the painting of furniture to the restoration and decoration of larger edifices, such as monasteries, temples and public buildings.

Hierarchy played a considerable role, not only amongst the artistic guilds but amongst the other building guilds as well. Since much of the painters’ work was of a religious nature, the artistic guilds assumed a superior status to those of the carpenters’ or masons’ guilds. It was for this reason that they were also exempt from having an organized administration, which gave them greater individual freedom in the type of work they undertook. Levels of superiority also featured amongst the artistic guilds themselves. The ones with the greatest prestige were the five or six who had official recognition and who consequently carried out all government work. This, however, did not prevent the other guilds from carrying out any type of work. Then, within the guilds themselves, five or six ranks of seniority existed.

The guilds mostly collapsed or became inactive following the Chinese occupation, especially during the Cultural Revolution when art and culture was repressed.

In the late 1970s, when restoration work began and artists were allowed to paint openly again, instead of reestablishing the guilds, government-run cooperatives were set up, to which all artists had to belong if they wanted to work. Even today, when much greater freedom reigns, the guilds are yet to reappear.

 

Bibliography

  • Dagyab, Loden Sherap, Tibetan Religious Art, Wiesbaden, Otto Harrassowitz, 1977.
  • Jackson, David P. & Janice A., Tibetan Thangka Painting, London, Serindia Publications, 1984.
  • Lama, Gega, Principles of Tibetan Art, Belgium, Karma Sonam Gyantso Ling.
  • Pal, Pratapaditya, Tibetan Paintings, Switzerland, Basilius Press, 1984.
  • Tucci, Guiseppe, Tibetan Painted Scrolls, Kyoto, Rinsen Book Co., 1980 (originally published by Liberia Dello Sato, 1949.)
  • With special thanks to Venerable Sangyay Yeshe and Temba Chöphel.

 

A Dorje Shugden thangka that belonged to H.H. Trijang Dorje Chang. H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama and his entourage traveled with this thangka as they escaped Tibet for India

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7 Responses to The Art of Thangka Painting

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  1. Bonnie on Dec 18, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Dear Rimpoche:

    Please pardon the length of my note. I initially visited your website, thanks to a video post on youtube showing your pearlesque (?) goldfish pond (cute!), then I read your article on Mumu’s passing. I cried!, as I lost Stilpho, my 13yr old, cat child/companion in August 2017, (whom I raised since he was 3-4 days old and rejected/abandoned by his mother when a Tom cat kiled his litter mates, and small enough for his entire body to fit in just the center of my open palm, and I raised by syringe feeding him until he was big enough to take a bottle, then gruel, then solid food, so in essence, and as I have no children, he was my child, and with me every day), due to an unexpected brain tumor, and I was crushed. I too had made a promise to be with him always, and take care of him. I mistakenly thought his issue was a simple bug bite, but he ended up never coming home. Not because of the time nor expense related to his continued care, but because my Vet told me his brain tumor was incurable, and he would just get even worse, and I could not take his being in more pain and possibly suffering even more. My heart broke that day, and remains so..I cry from the pain of his loss often when I think of him, the ache and hole in my heart is still so fresh (and even now as I type this) Therefore, you have my heartfelt, and sincere sympathies and condolences, and so do all who loved and were touched by MuMu! Obviously, you and so many others really cared for him, and he was truly blessed to have been surrounded by so much love. Smiles…Thank you for sharing his story, life, and photos. While painful, because I felt his loss acutely, because of my own personal loss, still, I throughly enjoyed reading about his life, family, and many loving friends.

    I then found your article on your student artist, whom you encouraged to explore Thangka paintings. She is extremely talented, and her paintings are beautiful. And, since I am a graphite and digital artist (or at least, I dabble at being one), I was intrigued, and went on to read the above articles about Thangka style paintings.

    WOW!, Thank You, so much for both posting about the topic of Thangka painting, and especially for sharing this wonderful article about the history and true level of commitment and effort required of a masterful artist, that goes into the creation of any true Thangka style painting. Even with the little information that the Thangka article above provided, versus an in-depth study at a University or an Art School lecture, etc. (which has inspired me to go on to learn even more about this style), I still feel a world class difference in my knowledge level regarding Tibetan Artistry from my knowledge level before reading it. I have never really looked into Thangka paintings before now; however, I now can honestly say that I will NEVER again look at a Thangka style painting again, without pausing to truly appreciate the effort and artistic skill, along with the religious symbolism, and tremendous number of preset requirements, and the messages contain therein. A change in my perspective level that would certainly benefit anyone, regardless of their religious affiliation, or artistic skill level, expert to layman, should all pause a moment, and truly appreciate the history, and the Herculean effort it took in order to create (true and properly made), Tibetian Thangka style artworks! Just knowing what I do now about the requirements of the religious iconography, the multiple different types of painting styles, the proportion requirements, the steps of how a Thangka is made, what colors are utilized, and why, while not making me anywhwere near an expert, all certainly better equips me, and ensures that when I view a Thangka, that I will look on it with an unblinded eye, and be much better equipped to detect a true Thangka, which should and deserves to be revered by its viewers, from a fake, sad cultural parody of one, the likes of which are now currently being mass produced just for thier monetary gain. Not that I have funds to buy any, but I can certainly now more fully appreciate the true ones from afar. So, again, Thank you for enlightening myself and others on this subject. Smiles…

    Best Regards to you and yours, and to all at your Centers…I wish you good Health, true Wealth, and increased Enlightenment as you continue on your unending journey.

  2. Freon on Mar 20, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    I always thought that Thangka original was from Tibet. From this article, i learned that Thangka have such a long history, begin from Buddha Shakyamuni time. And, the influent on the Thangka drawing is from India, Nepal and China.

    From this article, i learned that Thangka is not just an art, it is a subject that we can pray to, especially the Thangka drawing mostly related to Buddhism
    During the drawing of the Thangka, the artist have to clean himself, and also focus, it is like doing meditation while making the Thangka.

    The making of Thangka, from selection of the cloth to the material to paint the Thangka have are carefully considered and selected.

    Interesting article

  3. Fong on Aug 11, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    It is interesting to note that thangkas were done as part of practice with meditation and visualization. The whole process and motivation is very complex and pure. Along the way, the painter/practitioner imbues the thangka with the positive energies of the deities.

    The whole style had matured over the years after the initial influence of India and china, and thus the Tibetan style is born and is unique despite the 2 different schools of Menri and Mendar.

    Reading about the whole process, I am awed by the intricacies of the thangka and its history. This has helped me appreciate thangkas a whole lot more. But, as suggested in the article it is very difficult to have a good quality thangka with the correct iconography and detailing. So, we shall contend ourselves by appreciating the thangkas in monasteries.

    Thank you for sharing this article. It has taught me be grateful to the practitioners who paint thangkas as part of their meditation and visualization with sincere motivation to benefit the future owner. It has taught me to be more aware of the details in thangkas and the skills and concentration required to paint a thangka. It has also taught me that the thangka is not a piece of commodity to be traded but an object of reverence and respect as it is the holy image of the Buddhas, just like a statue with positive energies imbued.

  4. Sunapati Thangka School on Dec 17, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Dear Rimpoche, thank you for this article.
    Its not well known the amount of work and effort that is required to create a thangka painting.
    The commitment of our small school is to keep this tradition alive and support the artists and students that, as many here in Nepal, are facing many difficulties at this time.
    Thank you for sharing and caring.

    Blessing
    traditionalartofnepal.com

    • Tsem Rinpoche on Dec 17, 2015 at 7:04 pm

      Dear Sunapati Thangka School,

      I wish you all the best and success. I hope you all will overcome your difficulties. It is noble to struggle to keep up the powerful tradition. You have my good wishes. I hope blogging here about this special tradition will bring more awareness. Tsem Rinpoche

  5. Alice Tay on Aug 26, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    It is not easy to produce a good quality of a thangka painting. A responsible artist would have compassion coupled with good motivation
    while creating the thangka. The artist would think of all the suffering of other beings in the different realms and therefore he is painting the thangka for the benefit of all sentient beings.

    Other than the good motivation, the artists may have strong devotion to religion, modesty and other good qualities and also follow certain personal restrictions eg abstain from eating meat, onion or garlic, alcohol, strict personal cleanliness in both body and mind and etc etc.

    Having considered thangka painting is also a holy objects which could bless to all the sentient beings, the hardwork by the artists who are follow strictly to the rules of thangka painting and devotion to religion is very much appreciated.

    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing about thangka painting.

  6. Loh Ann Leong (Penang) on Jun 29, 2015 at 9:14 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing the information of intricacies of A to Z preparations till finishing touch, values and history of thangka as representation of Buddhist object aside of art beauty or as decoration. It does create awareness for me after reading this blog, of much and vast merits of the thangka painter with having pure motivations when preparing the thangka.

    OM BENZA WIKI BITANA SOHA _/|\_

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  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 26. 2018 02:01 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these important advice, blessing and very valuable instructions given by Dorje Shugden through the oracle at Kechara Forest Rereat. Dorje Shugden’s advices will benefits us in long term when we trust in the Powerful Protector fully. Applying the teachings daily and go all the way out we can transform our mind and apply it within ourselves to be more positive in life, by working for others.
    Thanks again with folded hands Rinpoche

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/intimate-advice-for-us.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 26. 2018 02:01 PM
    The Tibetan Leadership (CTA) headquartered in Dharamsala North India has instituted this ban against Dorje Shugden for the last 20 years. It is the result of 60 years of the Tibetan leadership abused of power, exploiting their people in all sectors of society. The deep frustration felt by the Tibetan people, is beginning to surface with more and more people speaking up against the Tibetan leadership. There are more than enough evidence that there is no religious freedom. Due to the ban on Dorje Shugden there are discrimination, segregate within Tibetan society. Through Dr Galli’s extensive investigation and analysis of these issues has uncovered and exposed some of the truth facts into an exiled Tibetan leadership. The truth is unveiled having more and more people to know and aware of the issue and their actions. For six decades the Tibetan leadership have caused so much suffering and pain on their own people.
    Thank you Rinpoche having shared Dr Galli’s article with us.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/the-tibetan-leadership-exposed-in-modern-diplomacy.html
  • Alice Tay
    Thursday, Apr 26. 2018 12:46 AM
    Nice to see the update about wonderful and peaceful Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). Although, some people may not able to visit KFR regularly. But, at least they still able to see these progress updates.
    Thank you Rinpoche and the writer team worked tirelessly to obtain all these beautiful photos and information.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/gallery/kfr-photo-updates.html
  • Alice Tay
    Thursday, Apr 26. 2018 12:14 AM
    Nice to see the update about wonderful and peaceful Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). Although, some people may not able to visit KFR regularly. But, at least they still able to see these progress updates.
    Thank you Rinpoche and the writer team worked tirelessly to obtain all these beautiful photos and information.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/gallery/kfr-photo-updates.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Apr 25. 2018 09:17 PM
    One of the reasons I enjoyed Thailand very much is the statues and Wats aplenty all over the place. Even so, it is unusual to find the holy Green Tara statue, what more right smack in one of the busiest district in Bangkok. Green Tara made the vow to always return as a female Bodhisattva to free sentient beings from samsaric suffering. Hence it is truly a blessing to have Tara’s shrine! May everyone be blessed. Thank you for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/mother-tara-spotted-in-bangkok.html
  • Lin Mun
    Wednesday, Apr 25. 2018 08:43 PM
    Well done KSK team for organising a successful event and bring new hope and assistance to the homeless in Penang. May more people will be involved in charity and volunteering work that is so beneficial to those in need.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-soup-kitchen-ksk/2011-ksk-penang-charity-dinner.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 25. 2018 12:25 PM
    Rinpoche’s advice….. “Never abandon your spiritual teacher no matter how many inner obstacles you need to overcome.” This message paint a thousand words and powerful scenario. Rinpoche is very devoted to his root guru, H.H. Zong Rinpoche. As such Rinpoche has made a right choice . For me I did something right too having met Rinpoche and my life since then changed for the better . I have learned from nothing to something from Rinpoche’s blog. A lot more to go and improve.
    With folded hands thank you Rinpoche .

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/i-did-something-right.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 25. 2018 12:25 PM
    Mingyur Rinpoche is a Tibetan teacher and master of the Karma Kagyu and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. He possesses a rare ability to present the ancient wisdom of Tibet. Mingyur Rinpoche seemed to have everything as a well known meditation teacher and admired by developed world devotees for his interest in the scientific implications of meditation. Giving up his identity as a monk he had left for an unfixed period to become a wandering yogi. Since childhood he has a very strong longing to do a kind of wandering retreat as he loves mountains, caves, and been inspired by the great meditators of the past. It’s an inspiration, reading this article. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing such an inspirational story with important message for us to ponder as well

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/mingyur-rinpoche-leaves.html
  • Alice Tay
    Wednesday, Apr 25. 2018 01:24 AM
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Antoinette sharing this interesting article showing many kinds of gods or creatures that give/ attract good luck and fortune to us.
    Out of 15 as mentioned the above, I believe most to Ganapati Ragavajra, who is the emanation of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara and Gyenze, an emanation of Manjushri. Both are enlightened beings and both practices may help us to increase not only outer wealth such as material and financial resources, good health, but also inner wealth that is very important for our spiritual growth.

    Herewith the links about the benefits of Gyenze practice:
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/gyenze-chapel-chinese.html
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/dorje-shugden-gyenze-to-increase-life-merits-and-wealth.html


    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/gods-symbols-and-creatures-of-luck.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Apr 24. 2018 09:58 PM
    It is wonderful to read about this spontaneous gathering of a prayer and light dharma sharing by the Guru with the students on a misty morning in the beautiful Kechara Forest Retreat. May all sentient beings benefit from this. Thank you for the sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/sunrise-dorje-shugden-puja-in-kechara-forest-retreat.html
  • Lin Mun
    Tuesday, Apr 24. 2018 09:20 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this story. We also shared this story to KSDS students during class. It is a good example of a person who have so many negative attitude such as anger, jealousy, chasing for fame , greedy and in the end he has to suffer the result which he has created by himself. It is a good reminder to all of us to be mindful of our action. To stop creating negative karma as it will harm ourselves and others. Instead of blaming others on what we don’t have, we should look at ourselves and transform to be better.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/devadatta-blaming-others.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Tuesday, Apr 24. 2018 07:05 PM
    Dear friends, Guess what we did this morning? Take a peek: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=159143 Peace, Tsem Rinpoche
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Apr 24. 2018 11:49 AM
    Wonderful and interesting article of all the of great 84 Mahasiddhas . Each of the great mahasddhas has a beautiful stories behind it and will inspire us towards realising our spiritual goals. The mahasiddhas are people of all walks of life from men and women, to kings and beggars, young and old, monks and laymen. It is possible to reach the highest human condition within one lifetime nor matter what our initial state is.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/vajradhara-and-84-mahasiddhas.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Apr 24. 2018 11:48 AM
    nteresting article of the greatly learned scholars who referred as the Seventeen Pandits of Nalanda Monastery. All these great master is really very inspiring , and the most important influential Mahayana Buddhist masters from India’s past. The inspiration and teachings of these great masters continue to bless practitioners of the Mahayana to the present day. These seventeen masters are vitally important because their writings are all based on real meditative experience.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/the-seventeen-pandits-of-nalanda-monastery.html
  • Lin Mun
    Tuesday, Apr 24. 2018 03:52 AM
    The 14th Dalai Lama is a highly attained lama and emanation of Chenrezig. He would have known who Dorje Shugden is and therefore composed a prater to Dorje Shugden. Besides it is proven that people who practice Dorje Shugden does not go the lower 3 realms but instead experience so many benefits in their spiritual path, for example the famous Domo Geshe who is a renown and reputable attained lama have reincarnated. So this break the allegation from many that says Dorje Shugden is an evil practise and bring harm is not true.

    May the ban on Dorje Shugden be lifted very soon so many more can benefit from Dorje Shugden practise. May the allegation all be cleared and Tibetan leadership stop the discrimination on Dorje Shugden practitioners.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/the-14th-dalai-lamas-prayer-to-dorje-shugden.html

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Sculpture demigoddesses Singhini (lioness goddess) on the upper terrace in front of Nyatapola temple in Bhaktapur, Nepal.
1 week ago
Sculpture demigoddesses Singhini (lioness goddess) on the upper terrace in front of Nyatapola temple in Bhaktapur, Nepal.
How fortunate I am to be sitting in my room, with a rosary in my hand reciting the mantra given to me by my compassionate guru and to meditate in developing a compassionate heart and purifying my karmas. How fortunate I am to be able to spend my time in such a meaningful manner. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
How fortunate I am to be sitting in my room, with a rosary in my hand reciting the mantra given to me by my compassionate guru and to meditate in developing a compassionate heart and purifying my karmas. How fortunate I am to be able to spend my time in such a meaningful manner. Tsem Rinpoche
Comic drawn by Tendor, a prominent Free Tibet activist-Every Tibetan knows that although His Holiness the Dalai Lama says he is retired from politics, he is in full control of the Tibetan government in exile. No member of the government will dare carry out any decisions without His Holiness\' approval. He is retired for the sake of the west so he does not look like a dictator.~Tenzin Damchoe
2 months ago
Comic drawn by Tendor, a prominent Free Tibet activist-Every Tibetan knows that although His Holiness the Dalai Lama says he is retired from politics, he is in full control of the Tibetan government in exile. No member of the government will dare carry out any decisions without His Holiness' approval. He is retired for the sake of the west so he does not look like a dictator.~Tenzin Damchoe
It would be wonderful if everyone can recite these two mantras 100k each focusing on Shakyamuni Buddha and His powerful healing energies. Not collectively but each person 100k each of each mantra. Praise to Shakyamuni the Sage who showed us a permanent way to bliss.
2 months ago
It would be wonderful if everyone can recite these two mantras 100k each focusing on Shakyamuni Buddha and His powerful healing energies. Not collectively but each person 100k each of each mantra. Praise to Shakyamuni the Sage who showed us a permanent way to bliss.
In Tibet Shannan area Riwoche Ling Monastery, devotees are putting Tsem Rinpoche\'s photo inside the cabinet together with the Buddha he loves - Dorje Shugden
在西藏山南日乌曲林寺,信徒们把詹杜固仁波切的法照和他最敬爱的多杰雄登护法像摆在一起
2 months ago
In Tibet Shannan area Riwoche Ling Monastery, devotees are putting Tsem Rinpoche's photo inside the cabinet together with the Buddha he loves - Dorje Shugden 在西藏山南日乌曲林寺,信徒们把詹杜固仁波切的法照和他最敬爱的多杰雄登护法像摆在一起
Please read this..thank you.
2 months ago
Please read this..thank you.
A beautiful Dorje Shugden depicted in Druid and newage style. There are many more here and free downloads in high file: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144924
2 months ago
A beautiful Dorje Shugden depicted in Druid and newage style. There are many more here and free downloads in high file: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144924
Here, His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche (left), one of the tutors of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, confers one of the many countless tantric initiations on the Dalai Lama (right). You can see a young Dalai Lama bowing in this picture with Trijang Rinpoche blessing him. Trijang Rinpoche is therefore undoubtedly the Dalai Lama’s tantric master. A great master at that. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Here, His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche (left), one of the tutors of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, confers one of the many countless tantric initiations on the Dalai Lama (right). You can see a young Dalai Lama bowing in this picture with Trijang Rinpoche blessing him. Trijang Rinpoche is therefore undoubtedly the Dalai Lama’s tantric master. A great master at that. Tsem Rinpoche
This is a very sacred statue of Buddha Chenresig (Avalokitesvara/Kuan Yin) that manifested many miracles in North India. Read and see more pictures and understand the background here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=153802
3 months ago
This is a very sacred statue of Buddha Chenresig (Avalokitesvara/Kuan Yin) that manifested many miracles in North India. Read and see more pictures and understand the background here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=153802
Wonderful updated version of The Promise book is out! Please get your copy. Much more new information included.
3 months ago
Wonderful updated version of The Promise book is out! Please get your copy. Much more new information included.
\"Bhagavani, source of all wonders, Vasudhara, Goddess of splendour and fortune, bestower of auspicious mental desires; homage to the Goddess Wish-fulfilling Wheel.\" (Sakya liturgical verse).
3 months ago
"Bhagavani, source of all wonders, Vasudhara, Goddess of splendour and fortune, bestower of auspicious mental desires; homage to the Goddess Wish-fulfilling Wheel." (Sakya liturgical verse).
Beautiful and sacred Vajra Yogini in Pharping, Nepal. The caretaker said it was owned by the Great Marpa the translator who was the guru of Milarepa. Wow.
3 months ago
Beautiful and sacred Vajra Yogini in Pharping, Nepal. The caretaker said it was owned by the Great Marpa the translator who was the guru of Milarepa. Wow.
In the Lankavatara Sutra, Lord Buddha says: \"For innumerable reasons, the Bodhisattva, whose nature is compassion, is not to  any meat. Thus Mahamati, whenever there is the evolution of living beings, let people cherish the thought of kinship with them, and thinking that all beings are [to be loved as if they were] and only child, let them refrain from eating meat.  Mahamati, meat is not eaten by anybody for any reason, there will be no destroyer of life. Thus, Mahamati, meat-eating I have not permitted to anyone, I do not permit, I will not permit.\"
3 months ago
In the Lankavatara Sutra, Lord Buddha says: "For innumerable reasons, the Bodhisattva, whose nature is compassion, is not to any meat. Thus Mahamati, whenever there is the evolution of living beings, let people cherish the thought of kinship with them, and thinking that all beings are [to be loved as if they were] and only child, let them refrain from eating meat. Mahamati, meat is not eaten by anybody for any reason, there will be no destroyer of life. Thus, Mahamati, meat-eating I have not permitted to anyone, I do not permit, I will not permit."
At times I have to be a trendsetter in spirituality as opposed to just being a follower and that is why I take chances and try. I may not be liked always for it, but I have to do it. In this way I have been introducing Dorje Shugden to the world. I know Shugden is good and will help so many and that is why I do it.
4 months ago
At times I have to be a trendsetter in spirituality as opposed to just being a follower and that is why I take chances and try. I may not be liked always for it, but I have to do it. In this way I have been introducing Dorje Shugden to the world. I know Shugden is good and will help so many and that is why I do it.
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it\'s right and will benefit people at the cost of your own reputation. That\'s how I feel when I share Dorje Shugden\'s practice with the world.
4 months ago
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it's right and will benefit people at the cost of your own reputation. That's how I feel when I share Dorje Shugden's practice with the world.
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it\'s right and you are true to yourself.
4 months ago
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it's right and you are true to yourself.
At times I have to be a trendsetter in spirituality as opposed to just being a follower and that is why I take chances and try. I may not be liked always for it, but I have to do it. In this way I have been introducing Dorje Shugden to the world. I know Shugden is good and will help so many and that is why I do it.
4 months ago
At times I have to be a trendsetter in spirituality as opposed to just being a follower and that is why I take chances and try. I may not be liked always for it, but I have to do it. In this way I have been introducing Dorje Shugden to the world. I know Shugden is good and will help so many and that is why I do it.
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it\'s right and you are true to yourself.
4 months ago
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it's right and you are true to yourself.
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it\'s right and will benefit people at the cost of your own reputation. That\'s how I feel when I share Dorje Shugden\'s practice with the world.
4 months ago
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it's right and will benefit people at the cost of your own reputation. That's how I feel when I share Dorje Shugden's practice with the world.
Beautiful Buddha built in Sarnath, India. Sarnath was the place where Lord Buddha first starting teaching the sacred Dharma. Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Beautiful Buddha built in Sarnath, India. Sarnath was the place where Lord Buddha first starting teaching the sacred Dharma. Tsem Rinpoche
 This is so good. I need to remember this and not allow people to do this to me anymore. Being kind is one thing, but when they are doing it and it harms, it is not a matter of kindness anymore but taking advantage.
4 months ago
This is so good. I need to remember this and not allow people to do this to me anymore. Being kind is one thing, but when they are doing it and it harms, it is not a matter of kindness anymore but taking advantage.
Incredible Lama Thubten Phurbu and His Activities - http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=150927
5 months ago
Incredible Lama Thubten Phurbu and His Activities - http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=150927
Huffington Post has just released their SECOND EXPOSÉ of the Dorje Shugden issue. You can read about it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=151328
5 months ago
Huffington Post has just released their SECOND EXPOSÉ of the Dorje Shugden issue. You can read about it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=151328
Please read what Kyabje Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche says about people\'s religion.
5 months ago
Please read what Kyabje Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche says about people's religion.
A gorgeous Dorje Shugden painted in traditional art style of China. Chinese art has flourished for over 5,000 years and highly sought after. This form of Dorje Shugden is sitting on a seat as you see painted in his chapel (Trode Khangsar) in Lhasa, Tibet. Dorje Shugden can be on a seat or Lion.  More downloads here.  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
5 months ago
A gorgeous Dorje Shugden painted in traditional art style of China. Chinese art has flourished for over 5,000 years and highly sought after. This form of Dorje Shugden is sitting on a seat as you see painted in his chapel (Trode Khangsar) in Lhasa, Tibet. Dorje Shugden can be on a seat or Lion. More downloads here. http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
Dear friends, The Dorje Shugden oracle of Gaden Shartse Monastery was authorized and blessed by both Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. He was a favorite among high lamas for his smooth trances and clear prophecies. This video is a one-of-a-kind where you see the Choyang Dulzin Kuten oracle take trance of the peaceful form of Dorje Shugden wearing the robes of a high lama giving teachings, blessings and transmissions. Very sacred and rare video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pawS1TMOe8k
5 months ago
Dear friends, The Dorje Shugden oracle of Gaden Shartse Monastery was authorized and blessed by both Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. He was a favorite among high lamas for his smooth trances and clear prophecies. This video is a one-of-a-kind where you see the Choyang Dulzin Kuten oracle take trance of the peaceful form of Dorje Shugden wearing the robes of a high lama giving teachings, blessings and transmissions. Very sacred and rare video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pawS1TMOe8k
Beautiful contemporary art piece of Dorje Shugden for free high res download here:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
5 months ago
Beautiful contemporary art piece of Dorje Shugden for free high res download here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
The Huffington Post extensively covers the Dorje Shugden issue. I had no idea that this article was being written. I was not contacted, not asked for an interview or asked for any comments, and then it was published and my students alerted me to it. So it was a very, very pleasant and encouraging surprise to read such balanced coverage from such a reputable news website. You can read it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=149806
5 months ago
The Huffington Post extensively covers the Dorje Shugden issue. I had no idea that this article was being written. I was not contacted, not asked for an interview or asked for any comments, and then it was published and my students alerted me to it. So it was a very, very pleasant and encouraging surprise to read such balanced coverage from such a reputable news website. You can read it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=149806
དེ་རིང་ང་ཁྱེད་རང་ཚོ་མཉམ་དུ་བོད་མིའི་ཆབ་སྲིད་ནང་གི་བློ་མགུ་ནུས་པའི་མངོན་འགྱུར་ཞིག་ཞུའི་ཡིན། གང་དག་བོད་པའི་སྤྱི་ཚོགས་ནང་ཆོས་ལུགས་ཁྱད་པར། དབྱེ་འབྱེད། ཕྱོགས་རིས་ཐོག་ལ་གང་འདྲ་སྟངས་འཛིན་བྱེད་དགོས་ཀྱི་སྐོར་ངེས་གཏན་སྣུན་ཤུགས་བྱེད་ཐུབ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-mp-tenpa-yarphel-speaks-up-against-nechung-tibetan.html
5 months ago
དེ་རིང་ང་ཁྱེད་རང་ཚོ་མཉམ་དུ་བོད་མིའི་ཆབ་སྲིད་ནང་གི་བློ་མགུ་ནུས་པའི་མངོན་འགྱུར་ཞིག་ཞུའི་ཡིན། གང་དག་བོད་པའི་སྤྱི་ཚོགས་ནང་ཆོས་ལུགས་ཁྱད་པར། དབྱེ་འབྱེད། ཕྱོགས་རིས་ཐོག་ལ་གང་འདྲ་སྟངས་འཛིན་བྱེད་དགོས་ཀྱི་སྐོར་ངེས་གཏན་སྣུན་ཤུགས་བྱེད་ཐུབ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-mp-tenpa-yarphel-speaks-up-against-nechung-tibetan.html
བོད་པའི་དབུ་ཁྲིད་ཚོའི་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན་བསྟེན་མཁན་ཚོར་མ་ཉེས་ཁ་ཡོག་གི་བརྙན་ཕྲིན་གསར་པ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-leaderships-new-anti-shugden-video-tibetan.html
5 months ago
བོད་པའི་དབུ་ཁྲིད་ཚོའི་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན་བསྟེན་མཁན་ཚོར་མ་ཉེས་ཁ་ཡོག་གི་བརྙན་ཕྲིན་གསར་པ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-leaderships-new-anti-shugden-video-tibetan.html
(Drepung) Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we\'ve come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
6 months ago
(Drepung) Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we've come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we\'ve come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
6 months ago
Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we've come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
I had this painting commissioned. Please read more here on this great master-
 http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146195
6 months ago
I had this painting commissioned. Please read more here on this great master- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146195
How can all the high lamas of Tibet and all the protectors not be able to defeat Dorje Shugden? This is food for thought: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bj0254UG-Y
6 months ago
How can all the high lamas of Tibet and all the protectors not be able to defeat Dorje Shugden? This is food for thought: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bj0254UG-Y
致全世界的华人:这是我一份小小的心意:一幅富有古中国传统艺术的作品。希望你们会喜欢! http://bit.ly/2zLOjnK
6 months ago
致全世界的华人:这是我一份小小的心意:一幅富有古中国传统艺术的作品。希望你们会喜欢! http://bit.ly/2zLOjnK
“One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
6 months ago
“One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Download for free this high res photo of Lord Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
6 months ago
Download for free this high res photo of Lord Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
Whatever we can do to spread the teachings of our Guru, we should do so.
6 months ago
Whatever we can do to spread the teachings of our Guru, we should do so.
 These three (Dharma, Oser and Mumu) are super adorable.
6 months ago
These three (Dharma, Oser and Mumu) are super adorable.
Beautiful Vajra Yogini print.
6 months ago
Beautiful Vajra Yogini print.
Beautiful and holy new statues arrived to Kechara Forest Retreat. Please enjoy the pictures: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146950
6 months ago
Beautiful and holy new statues arrived to Kechara Forest Retreat. Please enjoy the pictures: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146950
Beautiful old thangka of Buddha Nageshvaraja
6 months ago
Beautiful old thangka of Buddha Nageshvaraja
Dear friends, This meme is powerful. Who you hang around with and the types of attitude they have is who you will be influenced by many times and who you will become in the future. Look at your friends and the people that always surround you to know who you will become. Tsem Rinpoche
6 months ago
Dear friends, This meme is powerful. Who you hang around with and the types of attitude they have is who you will be influenced by many times and who you will become in the future. Look at your friends and the people that always surround you to know who you will become. Tsem Rinpoche
October 2017, His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal graciously reading our Kechara album and updates as presented by Beng Kooi and Martin. He was very pleased with our progress and offers his blessings. Tsem Rinpoche
6 months ago
October 2017, His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal graciously reading our Kechara album and updates as presented by Beng Kooi and Martin. He was very pleased with our progress and offers his blessings. Tsem Rinpoche
His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche grants audience to Beng Kooi and Martin in France.  Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
6 months ago
His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche grants audience to Beng Kooi and Martin in France. Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
Recently Beng Kooi and Martin on behalf of myself and Kechara was lucky to have audience with His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal of Gaden Shartse Monastery. He lives in around Paris, France. His Holiness is 91 years old and very healthy and alert. He was the 101st throne holder for Tsongkapa and was the head of the Gelugpa school of Buddhism and was very successful during his tenure. He is a strong practitioner of both Sutra and Tantra of Je Tsongkapa\'s tradition and a master of all Buddhist knowledge. He holds steadfast to his protector Dorje Shugden very strongly. So we can see even the highest throneholders who are masters of Sutra and Tantra also practices Dorje Shugden knowing the benefits.

Beng Kooi and Martin brought photo albums of Kechara Forest Retreat/Kechara and updates on Kechara and our works. His Holiness was very pleased to listen and offered some gifts back. 

This is a beautiful picture and the great blessings bestowed on us from His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal.

Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche 
Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
6 months ago
Recently Beng Kooi and Martin on behalf of myself and Kechara was lucky to have audience with His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal of Gaden Shartse Monastery. He lives in around Paris, France. His Holiness is 91 years old and very healthy and alert. He was the 101st throne holder for Tsongkapa and was the head of the Gelugpa school of Buddhism and was very successful during his tenure. He is a strong practitioner of both Sutra and Tantra of Je Tsongkapa's tradition and a master of all Buddhist knowledge. He holds steadfast to his protector Dorje Shugden very strongly. So we can see even the highest throneholders who are masters of Sutra and Tantra also practices Dorje Shugden knowing the benefits. Beng Kooi and Martin brought photo albums of Kechara Forest Retreat/Kechara and updates on Kechara and our works. His Holiness was very pleased to listen and offered some gifts back. This is a beautiful picture and the great blessings bestowed on us from His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp
*****and****
My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li

Fantastic Reads!!
6 months ago
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp *****and**** My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li Fantastic Reads!!
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp
*****and****
My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li
6 months ago
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp *****and**** My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li
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Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche with his student Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
    3 weeks ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche with his student Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
    His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery was one of the teachers of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Here in this beautiful video is Geshe Kelsang Gyatso showing his centre to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, then proceeding to sit down to receive teachings. For more information, please go to http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/category/kyabje-zong-rinpoche
  • Super neat footage of Patty the Bigfoot!
    2 months ago
    Super neat footage of Patty the Bigfoot!
    In 1967, Bob Gimlin and Roger Patterson stumbled across an incredible sight whilst out in Bluff Creek, in the California wilderness. At a creek which had been freshly washed-out by recent floods, they witnessed a female Bigfoot swiftly traverse the rugged landscape. Since their filmed encounter with the Bigfoot, who has since been nicknamed Patty, many have disputed the authenticity of their recording but no one has been able to successfully prove that it is a fake. Credits for this video goes to entirely to windvale for the original footage.
  • Adorable Tibetan kids wishing Happy New Year 2018
    2 months ago
    Adorable Tibetan kids wishing Happy New Year 2018
    The children and their little well-wishing voices are adorable!! It is a must listen. They recite prayers to Dorje Shugden to invoke blessings for everyone for the New Year 2018! At one point, they sprinkle some of the drink into the air as per tradition as an offering to Dorje Shugden. Shugden's practice in Tibet has been strong for four hundred years and is continuing to grow. Happy New Year (Losar) to everyone. May everyone have peace. Sarva Mangalam!
  • Dogs are super intelligent. This dog was trained as a service dog to help his owner who suffers from seizures. It even goes to the extent whereby he will lie under her head when she has a seizure, to protect her head from banging on the floor.
    2 months ago
    Dogs are super intelligent. This dog was trained as a service dog to help his owner who suffers from seizures. It even goes to the extent whereby he will lie under her head when she has a seizure, to protect her head from banging on the floor.
  • Beautiful Tibetan children wishing Happy New Year!
    2 months ago
    Beautiful Tibetan children wishing Happy New Year!
  • Ven Lobsang Jigme of Tsem Monastery in Yara, Tibet is passing out pictures of Tsem Rinpoche to the locals.
    2 months ago
    Ven Lobsang Jigme of Tsem Monastery in Yara, Tibet is passing out pictures of Tsem Rinpoche to the locals.
  • (3) Khenpo Lobdroe blessing the public at Magon Monastery in Drayab.
    2 months ago
    (3) Khenpo Lobdroe blessing the public at Magon Monastery in Drayab.
  • (2) The trance took place in Drayab Magon Monastery.
    2 months ago
    (2) The trance took place in Drayab Magon Monastery.
  • (1) Young monk taking trance of Dorje Shugden in Drayab, Chamdo Tibet.
    2 months ago
    (1) Young monk taking trance of Dorje Shugden in Drayab, Chamdo Tibet.
  • A new megastar in Bollywood! Must see!!
    2 months ago
    A new megastar in Bollywood! Must see!!
  • This is very inspirational
    4 months ago
    This is very inspirational
  • A Mother’s Love
    5 months ago
    A Mother’s Love
    A mother's love is made up of a deep sense of care, of sacrifice and pain as a mother's heart is always with her children. Watch this touching video.
  • Dorje Shugden & Ministers
    5 months ago
    Dorje Shugden & Ministers
    Dorje Shugden and his two ministers, Kache Marpo and Namka Barzin. Vajrasecrets.com
  • Cham Dance
    5 months ago
    Cham Dance
    Cham is sacred dance. A dance that enacts the life story of a holy being. By participating in Cham, one is blessed to see the sacred life story of a being celebrated. This is a cham on Dorje Shugden. It\\\'s a short clip but interesting none-the-less. Tsem Rinpoche
  • The great Gautama Siddhartha meditating intensely is protected by the King of Nagas during heavy rains
    5 months ago
    The great Gautama Siddhartha meditating intensely is protected by the King of Nagas during heavy rains
    The King of Nagas knows this great being Siddhartha will soon become the Buddha. By offering his own body as shelter to the Buddha to be, he honours the state of enlightenment which will be won and gains merit for himself for his future lives although he is a naga now. The pre-eminent Buddha is an object of perfect offering gaining great merits for all beings. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    6 months ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
  • Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
    6 months ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
  • BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
    6 months ago
    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    6 months ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    6 months ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    6 months ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    6 months ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    6 months ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    6 months ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    6 months ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    6 months ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    6 months ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    6 months ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    6 months ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    7 months ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.
  • Beautiful Buddha being sculpted from clay.
    7 months ago
    Beautiful Buddha being sculpted from clay.
  • After a while, you are are numb and you just keep doing it. You don’t know what you are doing and you don’t see it for what it really is. Tsem Rinpoche
    7 months ago
    After a while, you are are numb and you just keep doing it. You don’t know what you are doing and you don’t see it for what it really is. Tsem Rinpoche
    Please share this as much as possible. Please care. Please help: http://www.patreon.com/weanimals
  • OSER GIRL IS SO SMART AND CUTE AND EVERYONE LOVES HER
    7 months ago
    OSER GIRL IS SO SMART AND CUTE AND EVERYONE LOVES HER
  • It is a very painful process before the animals are finally dead.
    7 months ago
    It is a very painful process before the animals are finally dead.
  • If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.
    7 months ago
    If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.
  • Take a look at what singer Nicki Minaj did.
    7 months ago
    Take a look at what singer Nicki Minaj did.
  • Animals are enslaved to do a human’s job, this must stop.
    7 months ago
    Animals are enslaved to do a human’s job, this must stop.
  • This is how the chickens are killed in the farm, they die a very horrible death.
    7 months ago
    This is how the chickens are killed in the farm, they die a very horrible death.
  • America likes to police the world but their own record of civil rights is not on track. Watch this video from people of color in the US.
    7 months ago
    America likes to police the world but their own record of civil rights is not on track. Watch this video from people of color in the US.
  • Important video to watch and learn.
    7 months ago
    Important video to watch and learn.
  • Bigfoot’s voice captured on tape.
    7 months ago
    Bigfoot’s voice captured on tape.
  • Amazing video that you will not regret watching.
    7 months ago
    Amazing video that you will not regret watching.
  • Norma Jean
    8 months ago
    Norma Jean
    These are the heartbreaking scenes we see over and over again, that we share in the hopes of telling the stories of those who otherwise would have suffered and vanished from this earth without a trace. This is Norma Jean. Free for a little over five months, she knew more happiness than millions of her sisters ever will. But she couldn’t escape the fate genetically programmed into her as an egg producing machine. She seemed more lethargic than usual this morning, so we brought her inside to administer fluids and antibiotics in the hopes of pulling her through until we could get her in to see our vet. She couldn’t hang on. She died this evening shortly after this video was taken, severely infected from the rotting egg yolk adhered to various organs throughout her abdominal cavity. Like virtually every single one of her sisters, caged or free range, rescued or not, she paid the ultimate price for eggs (from FB)
  • If you want to change the world, start of by making your bed
    8 months ago
    If you want to change the world, start of by making your bed
    If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart
  • Canadian PM Justin Trudeau visits a Hindu mandir (temple)
    8 months ago
    Canadian PM Justin Trudeau visits a Hindu mandir (temple)
    While on a visit to a Hindu mandir (temple), Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks on diversity as Canada's strength.

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

A section for you to clarify your Dharma questions with Kechara’s esteemed pastors.

Just post your name and your question below and one of our pastors will provide you with an answer.

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CHAT PICTURES

177.22kg were rescued today redistributed equally to 45 needy families staying PPR Desa Rejang. Thanks to this brilliant team where we managed to get it done in no time and in good order. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 hours ago
177.22kg were rescued today redistributed equally to 45 needy families staying PPR Desa Rejang. Thanks to this brilliant team where we managed to get it done in no time and in good order. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thank you guys for coming and be such a great help! Great #teamwork #Connexion - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 hours ago
Thank you guys for coming and be such a great help! Great #teamwork #Connexion - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
you CAN transform, you CAN improve, we can overcome it when we think we can overcome it, because we create the karma to overcome it. It is not magic, it is called karma. More: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MR5zEqFceNs
7 hours ago
you CAN transform, you CAN improve, we can overcome it when we think we can overcome it, because we create the karma to overcome it. It is not magic, it is called karma. More: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MR5zEqFceNs
What is #happiness? Where to find it?
24 hours ago
What is #happiness? Where to find it?
Fantastic team work saw 150 of our street friends in JB received various kind of assistance apart from the usual food. Special mention goes to Silkcut Hair Studio and Glam Hair Studio for rendering free haircuts. ❤❤❤ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
3 days ago
Fantastic team work saw 150 of our street friends in JB received various kind of assistance apart from the usual food. Special mention goes to Silkcut Hair Studio and Glam Hair Studio for rendering free haircuts. ❤❤❤ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thank you May and Maggie for providing free haircuts again for our clients! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
3 days ago
Thank you May and Maggie for providing free haircuts again for our clients! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Kechara Earth Project in Ipoh have a very fruitful Sunday morning with our recycling activities at Ipoh Garden Thanks to all contributions. 克切拉怡保地球计划感恩大德们捐出环保的物品, 让我们得以满载而归。 By Kechara Earth Project
4 days ago
Kechara Earth Project in Ipoh have a very fruitful Sunday morning with our recycling activities at Ipoh Garden Thanks to all contributions. 克切拉怡保地球计划感恩大德们捐出环保的物品, 让我们得以满载而归。 By Kechara Earth Project
Our dedicated volunteers preparing for tonight's distribution. Everyone doing their part. ❤ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
4 days ago
Our dedicated volunteers preparing for tonight's distribution. Everyone doing their part. ❤ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Surplus food distribution to needy families. Food that has less "commercial appeal" becomes precious items for those who struggle to put food onto their dining table. Thank you to Tesco and all volunteers for making a difference to the community!!! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 days ago
Surplus food distribution to needy families. Food that has less "commercial appeal" becomes precious items for those who struggle to put food onto their dining table. Thank you to Tesco and all volunteers for making a difference to the community!!! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thank you guys for the donation! #SegiUniversity boys! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 days ago
Thank you guys for the donation! #SegiUniversity boys! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Families receiving their much needed surplus fresh surplus provisions right in front of their door step thanks to all the dedicated #volunteers! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 week ago
Families receiving their much needed surplus fresh surplus provisions right in front of their door step thanks to all the dedicated #volunteers! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Free haircut service for Kechara Soup Kitchen clients from Silkcut Hair Studio and Glam Hair Studio.
1 week ago
Free haircut service for Kechara Soup Kitchen clients from Silkcut Hair Studio and Glam Hair Studio.
Explore the universe within.
1 week ago
Explore the universe within.
Our distribution to the Orang Asli villages in Bentong yesterday evening. Thank you to all not forgetting the local volunteers as well. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 week ago
Our distribution to the Orang Asli villages in Bentong yesterday evening. Thank you to all not forgetting the local volunteers as well. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Uncle Ng with his "No Look" pose today in the kitchen. Thanks to Wei Di, Jian King, Henry Poong who helped in the kitchen today. Justin @ KSK
1 week ago
Uncle Ng with his "No Look" pose today in the kitchen. Thanks to Wei Di, Jian King, Henry Poong who helped in the kitchen today. Justin @ KSK
Dorje Shugden Chapel in the heart of Bentong! Visit this beautiful chapel at the entrance to Kechara Paradise, 84, Jalan Ah Peng, 28700 Bentong, Pahang, Malaysia. Picture courtesy by Pastor Albert, shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 week ago
Dorje Shugden Chapel in the heart of Bentong! Visit this beautiful chapel at the entrance to Kechara Paradise, 84, Jalan Ah Peng, 28700 Bentong, Pahang, Malaysia. Picture courtesy by Pastor Albert, shared by Pastor Antoinette
当我去Zambala Room 的时候Kai Te 很开心的说“老师!!!你看我画的美丽人生”我问“哇哈!!好棒噢!你画的好好噢!这个就是你的美丽人生?”Kai Te 回我说“是的!!!这里还有美丽的屋子” 看他满足的笑容,满满的正能量,多疗愈啊!By Asyley Chia KSDS
1 week ago
当我去Zambala Room 的时候Kai Te 很开心的说“老师!!!你看我画的美丽人生”我问“哇哈!!好棒噢!你画的好好噢!这个就是你的美丽人生?”Kai Te 回我说“是的!!!这里还有美丽的屋子” 看他满足的笑容,满满的正能量,多疗愈啊!By Asyley Chia KSDS
Throw back last Sunday topic 8 freedom and 10 endowment leading by Teacher Kien and Teacher Lin Mun. Everybody paying full attention while teacher sharing.Well done children. By Asyley Chia KSDS
1 week ago
Throw back last Sunday topic 8 freedom and 10 endowment leading by Teacher Kien and Teacher Lin Mun. Everybody paying full attention while teacher sharing.Well done children. By Asyley Chia KSDS
Ready!!! Get set Throw!!!2 to 4 year old games Time.By Asyley Chia KSDS
1 week ago
Ready!!! Get set Throw!!!2 to 4 year old games Time.By Asyley Chia KSDS
Teacher Alice demonstrate full lotus sit to the Class 2 to 4 year old children.By Asyley Chia KSDS
1 week ago
Teacher Alice demonstrate full lotus sit to the Class 2 to 4 year old children.By Asyley Chia KSDS
Thank you to Calvin Chan and students from Chung Ling Butterworth High School who helped carry the heavy groceries to needy families. Great to see the younger generation spending their time serving the community. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 week ago
Thank you to Calvin Chan and students from Chung Ling Butterworth High School who helped carry the heavy groceries to needy families. Great to see the younger generation spending their time serving the community. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Team Cambridge University Press Malaysia also helped to evaluate applicants applying for our food bank assistance programme. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 week ago
Team Cambridge University Press Malaysia also helped to evaluate applicants applying for our food bank assistance programme. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
466kg of #surplusfood were redistributed to 76 needy families in PPR Beringin on Thursday with the help of these dedicated #volunteers. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 weeks ago
466kg of #surplusfood were redistributed to 76 needy families in PPR Beringin on Thursday with the help of these dedicated #volunteers. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
KISG has carried out prayer recitations to Mother Tara in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
KISG has carried out prayer recitations to Mother Tara in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
More wisdom please log on to www.tsemrinpoche.com
2 weeks ago
More wisdom please log on to http://www.tsemrinpoche.com
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Dorje Shugden
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