Kentrul Thubten Lamsang

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Geshe Ngawang Tashi (right), a student of Tsem Rinpoche's previous incarnation, Kentrul Thubten Lamsang. Seen here with his brother Geshe Thupten Tashi, Geshe Ngawang spoke at length with Tsem Rinpoche's students.

In 2011, some of Rinpoche’s students went to Gaden Monastery on pilgrimage. While they were there, they met a few senior monks…and one of them turned out to be a student of our Rinpoche’s immediate previous incarnation, Kentrul Rinpoche Thubten Lamsang.

Non-Buddhists would probably put this type of meeting down to sheer coincidence; those with a more spiritual leaning might even say it was some kind of cosmic collision or even fate. After all, Kentrul Rinpoche entered clear light in the late 1950s in Tibet, just before the exodus of monks out of Tibet and into India. Many of the monks of his generation have already passed away and to find someone (out of literally tens of thousands of monks) with a good recollection of Kentrul Rinpoche is pretty much like looking for a needle in the proverbial haystack.

But as Rinpoche’s students, we have always seen this meeting as an extremely meritorious one, a result of the clean samaya of our teacher to come back in lifetime after lifetime with a clear connection to his previous lives. Those who met Geshe Ngawang could hardly believe their luck to stumble upon someone who actually knew Kentrul Thubten Lamsang. Right in front of them was a person to make the stories come alive, because he had witnessed for himself Kentrul Rinpoche’s deeds. After discovering his identity, they immediately interviewed the old monk, Geshe Ngawang Tashi, who has since passed away. From Geshe-la, they learned quite a few especially moving things about Tsem Rinpoche’s previous life and because they found the information so interesting, they made more trips to India just to conduct more interviews.

So tremendous was Kentrul Rinpoche’s contribution to the Dharma that almost 60 years on, he is still highly respected and remembered by monks of the monastery. And what is incredible are the similarities between Kentrul Rinpoche’s life and Tsem Rinpoche’s activities today, which any reader will easily be able to identify. From establishing the Dharma in remote “barbaric” regions, to building monastic institutions, right down to relying on Dorje Shugden for the clearance of obstacles, and being renown for his impeccable guru devotion – the interviews with Geshe Ngawang Tashi showed that Tsem Rinpoche has been spreading and practising Lama Tsongkhapa‘s tradition lifetime after lifetime.

Kentrul Rinpoche Thubten Lamsang

What does this mean for us? Reincarnation does exist and what is more, what we return doing what we did and were interested in in our previous lives. This is the result of imprints (Tibetan: bak-cha) – what we did in our previous lives created imprints that shape our interests in this life, and what we do in our current life will therefore create imprints for future lives. That is why, unlike us, high lamas take rebirth to meet the Dharma again at a very young age. They exhibit an unquenchable thirst and curiosity for Dharma and from a young age, it becomes all they are interested in. This is the result of their strong imprints manifesting; it leaves no room in their mind to even consider other activities to be worthwhile, let alone engage in them.

Are we thirstier for spiritual learning or for secular success and acknowledgement? Do we surround ourselves with Buddha images, Dharma knowledge and practice, or are we easily distracted by the ‘attractions’ of the samsaric world? Is Shakyamuni’s wisdom stronger in our minds, or are we better practitioners of the eight worldly concerns? All of that is the result of imprints, and whatever our answers to those questions are is a reflection of what we liked in our past lives. So the interviews with Geshe Ngawang, and his recollection of Kentrul Thubten Lamsang’s life showed the importance of imprints.

It is time for some serious contemplation, on whether we want to get an early start by meeting the Dharma again when we are young, or if we want to come back and again spend decades on samsara, leaving very little time for practice. Our inclination for Dharma learning and how strongly it manifests is the result of imprints. Knowing this, while we still can, our focus should be creating strong imprints of spirituality. In the meantime, reading the biographies of lamas will be immensely helpful for us to develop faith in the Dharma and the teachings of Lord Buddha on death, karma and rebirth.

~ Pastor Khong Jean Ai

 


 

Controller of the Three Realms:

Kentrul Thubten Lamsang Rinpoche

Gedun Nyedrak, the 72nd Abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery

The remarkable achievements of Gaden Shartse Monastery’s 72nd Abbot Gedun Nyedrak’s ardent spiritual practice would arise again in his next incarnation, who would become widely known throughout the Tibetan Buddhist world for his enormous contributions to the growth of Dharma.

Born amidst auspicious signs during his mother’s pregnancy, the clear and unmistaken incarnation of Gedun Nyedrak would be personally identified by none other than H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche – one of the most prominent Buddhist masters of our time and Junior Tutor to the 14th Dalai Lama. This new incarnation was called Kentrul Rinpoche Thubten Lamsang, a name that continues to resound strongly across the monastic community today.

 

The Early Days

Originally from Tsem Monastery in Yara, Tibet, Kentrul Thubten Lamsang Rinpoche joined Tibet’s largest and most famous monastery, Gaden, in Lhasa, when he was recognised as the incarnation of the tantric Abbot Gedun Nyedrak.

Though young, this incarnation swiftly found his way back into the practices of his previous life, becoming increasingly known in the community for his academic prowess and his ability to excel in Buddhist study during his time in Gaden Monastery.

Gaden Monastery in Tibet. At its peak, the monastery was home to 6000 monks. Kentrul Thubten Lamsang and subsequently, Tsem Rinpoche are the reincarnations of the 72nd abbot of this most prestigious monastic institution

Already, even as a child, Kentrul Rinpoche developed an extraordinarily close relationship with Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, receiving many teachings directly from a master who is still considered one of the leading fathers of the Gelugpa school as we know it today. This incredible devotion would become the cornerstone of his entire lifetime of work and practice, leading him to create and sustain huge and influential Dharma communities in a region where Buddhist practice was previously diminishing.

Under the excellent tutelage of Trijang Rinpoche, Kentrul Rinpoche attained the highest degree of Geshe Lharam (a degree equivalent to a PhD, requiring at least 25 years of study) when he was still very young, long before his peers. Kentrul Rinpoche took his final monastic examination in front of H.H. 13th Dalai Lama and H.H. 13th Dalai Lama’s tutors. He went on to the prestigious Gyutö Tantric College – one of the highest monastic institutions of the Tibetan Buddhist world, specialising in the most advanced teachings and practices (Tantra). Again, he would excel here, rising quickly to earn tremendous respect for his most unusual abilities and knowledge. A year later, he was even elected in as the disciplinarian of the monastery, one of three most senior positions that can be held in any Gelugpa institution.

 

Reviving Buddhism

While Gedun Nyedrak was largely celebrated and known for his lifetime’s contribution to Gaden (considered to be one of the Three Pillars of Buddhism in Tibet), this next incarnation as Kentrul Rinpoche Thubten Lamsang would become known for reviving the Dharma in places where it was beginning to dissipate.

With his wealth of knowledge, erudite training and mastery of the teachings and practices, Kentrul Rinpoche was sent by Trijang Rinpoche to some of the most remote parts of Tibet. Tasked with restoring dilapidated monasteries and reigniting the teachings and practice in the area, Kentrul Rinpoche was first sent to Dadokhang Monastery, a branch of Gyutö Monastery in the remote region of Phari bordering Tibet and India. It was a small monastery of just eight monks situated on the top of a rocky hill. When Kentrul Rinpoche first arrived in the area with just 15 monks from Gyutö Monastery, Dharma activity was scarce there with little support for the monasteries and infrequent interaction with the lay community. This would mark the beginning of many such challenges for the rest of Kentrul Rinpoche’s life and works – to bring Dharma study and practice to places where there was a weak foundation and little interest.

(Credits to image: The Tibet Album. "Phari" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. Accessed 30 Apr. 2012)

However, during his three-year tenureship as Abbot of Dadokhang, Kentrul Rinpoche overcame all odds and strove to make the Dharma grow. By improving the conditions of the monastery, creating large Buddha statues and performing extensive pujas for people of the area, much activity was revived and faith restored in the hearts of both the lay and ordained communities. People began making offerings which would support both Dadokhang and its mother monastery Gyutö, and Kentrul Rinpoche’s fame would begin to spread throughout the region.

These efforts would repeat and even double in the next two monasteries that Kentrul Rinpoche restored and led – Sampocheling, a monastery he built himself in south Phari with a three-storey Maitreya Buddha statue, and later, Rizong Butok Monastery, an affiliate of Gaden Shartse Monastery. What he would accomplish there for the people would eventually garner him the greatest fame and respect of his life so that even the Chinese in power began to take notice of him as a leading force of the region. He set into motion what would become thriving Dharma communities, the support from which enabled him to further develop the monasteries there, create large central images of worship and support mother monasteries of Gyutö and Gaden. Among the many large images of worship Kentrul Rinpoche was known to create were life-sized statues of Yamantaka, Heruka, Hevajra, as well as the past, present and future Buddhas, and a 12-foot statue of Lama Tsongkhapa with his two disciples.

Today, that same passionate, tenacious spirit lives on in the next (current) incarnation, Tsem Rinpoche, who is now causing the growth of Dharma in places where it is still in its infancy. Like his predecessor, Tsem Rinpoche has spent his entire life creating large life-sized Buddhist images, building physical institutions, introducing the spiritual teachings to thousands and creating Dharma communities in many of the most unlikely corners of the world.

 

Like a Piece of Flesh from the Heart

His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, one of the Dalai Lama's tutors

Kentrul Rinpoche is especially remembered by monks today for the unparalled devotion he had towards his teacher, the previous Trijang Rinpoche. He was known to be one of the most important disciples of the Trijang Rinpoche and often referred to as Trijang Rinpoche’s “heart son”. Their teacher-disciple relationship was so close that monks describe it with a common Tibetan saying – like “a piece of flesh from the heart”.

Geshe Ngawang Tashi likened Trijang Rinpoche and Kentrul Rinpoche’s relationship to that of Lama Tsongkhapa and Khedrup Je. Trijang Rinpoche even had an affectionate name for Kentrul Rinpoche, often calling him Thubten-la. It was widely known that Kentrul Rinpoche would always be by Trijang Rinpoche’s side and did everything he could to serve his Guru and help him accomplish his wishes. It was said that if Trijang Rinpoche had asked him to jump off the cliff, Kentrul Rinpoche would. Trijang Rinpoche himself told the old monks like Geshe Ngawang Tashi that Kentrul Rinpoche was a very knowledgeable person who studied hard, was very peaceful, maintained harmony with all people and respected his Guru very much.

At a very young age in this incarnation, Tsem Rinpoche came across a picture of Trijang Rinpoche in an old library book about old Tibet and the old masters. Upon seeing this Lama, and without knowing anything about him, the boy cried spontaneously, shedding uncontrollable tears. He immediately photocopied the picture, keeping it very close to him right up until the moment he learnt that this had been the root teacher of his previous life. This picture still rests on Rinpoche’s personal altar now and Trijang Rinpoche remains a most central driving force in Rinpoche’s practice, work and vision for the future.

It was this devotion that led both Kentrul Rinpoche and his subsequent incarnation, Tsem Rinpoche, to sustaining a lifetime of practice and teaching where there was no foundation and very sparse assistance from the people. Upon accomplishing what he had set out to do in Dadokhang and later in his own monastery, Sampocheling, Kentrul Rinpoche had requested to return to Lhasa. However, Trijang Rinpoche saw the potentially large and positive impact he would have on the people in Phari and instructed him to remain there. Kentrul Rinpoche readily agreed and fulfilled this instruction perfectly until the very day he passed away. Kentrul Rinpoche had extremely powerful devotion toward his teacher, which overrode his personal goals all his life. To this day, he is still very much remembered for this quality.

Kentrul Rinpoche had a close relationship with His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche.

Kentrul Rinpoche was also known for having a good relationship with the previous Duldzin Kuten who was the Gaden Oracle of Dorje Shugden. He also enjoyed a close friendship with Sherab Tenzin Rinpoche, the Abbot of Towo Gompa in Tibet.

Whilst Kentrul Rinpoche had many Dharma friendships however, he is most remembered for having an especially close friendship with another of Tibetan Buddhism’s most revered Lamas, H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. Kentrul Rinpoche would sometimes seek teachings from Zong Rinpoche who was very famous for his Dharma knowledge at that time. They were both widely respected throughout the land, though perhaps for slightly different reasons. The previous incarnation of Zong Rinpoche was very much respected throughout the Gelugpa school for his incomparable debate skills and mastery in Tantra. Many people however liked to go to Kentrul Rinpoche because he was more peaceful, compared to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche who was known to be very strict and manifested wrath.

As contemporaries, Kentrul Thubten Lamsang and Zong Rinpoche were both students of Trijang Rinpoche, and enjoyed a strong relationship for much of their life, often regarded to be as close as brothers. Both shared the same experience of holding Abbotships at monasteries as well as teaching in faraway places, beyond their spiritual homes; within that incarnation, Zong Rinpoche even travelled as far as Los Angeles in the later part of his life to bring the teachings in the West.

His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche (left), who was Kentrul Rinpoche's root Guru and His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche (right), who was Kentrul Rinpoche's peer. Zong Rinpoche would later become Kentrul Rinpoche's root Guru in Kentrul Rinpoche's next incarnation as Tsem Rinpoche.

It was at this time, in America in 1983, that Zong Rinpoche would once again meet his old friend, Kentrul Rinpoche, in the form of a young boy, sporting red hair, skinny jeans and a heart full of passion for the Dharma. Tsem Rinpoche had found his way back into the lineage, and in this next incarnation developed an extraordinarily strong relationship with Zong Rinpoche within just a few short months. He would hold this student-teacher bond sacred as the highest priority until today, making it the sole basis of all his practices and work. It was, in fact, from this very relationship that Tsem Rinpoche would eventually make The Promise, the single, sacred commitment that has led to everything he is doing now. In 1983, the young Tsem Rinpoche was only 18 when he made this life-long commitment to the teacher would change his life forever, Zong Rinpoche.

 

Rise to Fame

Throughout his time in Phari, particularly in his own monastery Sampocheling and later in Rizong Butok Monastery, Kentrul Rinpoche came to be well loved not just for his unsurpassable knowledge and command of Dharma, but more so for his precise ability to understand, advise and help the common laypeople. It was generally acknowledged that though a monk may be highly knowledgeable in spiritual affairs, he may not be familiar enough with worldly matters to relate accurately to laypeople and their secular concerns.

Kentrul Rinpoche’s skill in handling both secular and religious affairs was rare at the time, earning him even greater respect of the people in the area. People always consulted Kentrul Rinpoche whenever they had problems – spiritual or secular – and he was well known for always giving advice most suited to them. People quickly developed faith and listened him because they felt that he was able to clearly discern between wrong and right, that he knew how laypeople lived, what they did and what they needed.

He eventually assumed the role as both spiritual and secular head. Kentrul Rinpoche’s judgement was so highly valued that whenever particularly complex or difficult cases reached the secular courts, the laypeople would approach Kentrul Rinpoche for his ruling and he would stand in as a judge for legal matters which could not be otherwise resolved. From his consistent displays of wisdom and compassion, Kentrul Thubten Lamsang became very powerful and famous throughout the area, even among neighbouring Indian and Chinese communities.

He came to have many students and followers throughout the region. Almost 95% of the population in Phari – 8,000 and 9,000 people – became life-long students, some of whom are still alive today in Tibetan monasteries around India. Businessmen and traders – who travelled through Dromo Phari in their travels to nearby countries such as India, China, Nepal and Bhutan – would also frequently seek Kentrul Rinpoche for blessings and advice whenever they passed the area. Many successful businessmen would come to request him to perform pujas or (a type of divination) as they had such strong faith in the effectiveness of his guidance.

Kentrul Rinpoche was known for always going out of his way to relieve the sufferings of the lay people in the area. He is remembered for often giving monetary assistance to the poor, paying for their bills, giving food and paying off the loans of people who were in desperate situations. He was famed and loved for his care of the ordinary laypersons in the area. This quality of exceptional care for others is seen again in his current incarnation as Tsem Rinpoche, who tirelessly finds way to better the lives of his students and every person he comes across – from seeing to their medical treatments to counseling them on matters of spiritual practice, family, relationships and even finances.

Kentrul Rinpoche built an exceptional relationship with the people there, still fondly remembered today by monks and laypeople who were his students. It was particularly notable that he was able to do for Phari what many other highly qualified teachers – even Kyabje Zong Rinpoche – had not been able to. It seemed the affinity with the people there was simply not as strong with them as it would be with Kentrul Rinpoche.

A colourised image of Kentrul Thubten Lamsang. In Tibet in the 1950s, photography was rare and very expensive, and only significant personages had the privilege of having their photographs taken. Kentrul Thubten Lamsang was significant enough to have sat for an official portrait.

He established himself so strongly in the area that his own monastery, Sampocheling, rose to become the central gathering place for all the Sangha of Phari. During one of the most prominent celebrations of the year, the Monlam Chenmo (Great Prayer) festival, the Sangha of every monastery throughout Phari would travel great distances just to attend the festivities and prayers at Sampocheling.

From the side of the mother monasteries such as Gyutö, Kentrul Rinpoche was greatly admired for his Dharma work. Every three years, a rotation of eight new monks from Gyutö Monastery would be sent to Sampocheling Monastery to assist Kentrul Rinpoche in his works and receive teachings from him. The monastery was so well built, and Kentrul Rinpoche so reputable that monks from Gyutö Monastery would compete among themselves to be allowed the opportunity to be sent to Kentrul Rinpoche’s Sampocheling Monastery.

Later in Rizong Butok, he again revived a fragile monastery and community to a state that far exceeded what it had been. At Trijang Rinpoche’s instruction, he redeveloped and refurbished the entire monastery, by first demolishing the monastery then rebuilding it in its entirety. By rebuilding the monastery, he created conducive situations for the monastic community to come to the area and remain there, which in turn created stability in Dharma and allowed for activity to flourish widely in the region. It was also at Rizong Butok that his fame flourished most widely – his influence and what he created for the people became so significant, that he was given the name Rizong Butok Rinpoche, a name he is also still known by today. By his countless contributions to the societies there, monks also refer to him today as kamsum wangdu, a “controller of the three realms” – a term used to describe to someone who has the power to be very powerful, influential in the most positive ways.

When Kentrul Rinpoche first arrived at Rizong Butok, the monastery was in a state of disrepair as the Buddhist community in this area of Phari was very weak. Kentrul Rinpoche revived the monasteries and brought Dharma back to the people using all methods possible, even exhibiting control of the weather. It was believed that at one time when Phari was experiencing a long period of drought, Kentrul Rinpoche brought rain with his return to Phari. Many people believed that this was due to Kentrul Rinpoche’s blessings. People from all over gained such ardent trust and respect in him that they not only began to partake in the activities of the monasteries, but also to make countless donations and offerings to support the maintenance of the Phari monasteries and Sangha under his guidance.

As Kentrul Rinpoche eventually offered up all of Sampocheling to Gyutö Monastery, and Rizong Butok was already a branch of Gaden Shartse, the many offerings and contributions made to Kentrul Rinpoche’s institutions also went towards the larger mother monasteries. In every instance, Kentrul Rinpoche was known for offering everything he received back to the monasteries, keeping nothing for himself. This alone earned him the ardent life-long respect of people everywhere, who recognised this immense devotion to his spiritual home and teachers and the completely selfless wish to benefit the Dharma. There were many wealthy people around Phari and as a result of this trust, whenever someone passed away, they would offer their ornaments, precious items and jewellery such as necklaces, to the monastery. It was their trust in Kentrul Rinpoche to use all his funds for the Dharma that attracted a lot of Dharma sponsorship.

At the same time, continued financial and physical support from the lay communities made it possible for Kentrul Rinpoche to always develop the spiritual and physical wealth of these monastic institutions. The monasteries under his helm were always built to a pristine perfection, featuring many enormous statues of the most important deities of the lineage. By creating statues, building places of worship, and developing the monastic community and practice, Kentrul Rinpoche brought the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha – every aspect of the journey to enlightenment – to the people of Phari.

For that, people saw quickly that Kentrul Rinpoche had only the interests of the people at heart and that he had dedicated his whole life to the betterment of others. Though Phari was small and distant from the centres of spiritual activity in Lhasa, Kentrul Rinpoche’s fame had spread to many far corners of Tibet. After stabilising the Dharma in Phari, Kentrul Rinpoche made a request to return to Lhasa. Happy with his contribution to the Dharma, Trijang Rinpoche instructed him to stay on in Phari. Devoted to his root Guru until the very end, Kentrul Rinpoche followed Trijang Rinpoche’s instruction and remained in this region until the day he entered clear light. Almost 60 years later, his memory still lives on among monks in India who continue to share these stories with world.

 

Protector of the Lineage

Kentrul Rinpoche was known for his devotion to Dorje Shugden and the special connection he created between the laypeople of Phari with this Dharma Protector. Amongst his many other notable works, Kentrul Rinpoche formed a Gompa and community in Phari called Lama Chopa, to protect Dorje Shugden and Lama Tsongkapa’s lineage. Kentrul Rinpoche was also known for gathering a group of laypeople to conduct Dorje Shugden pujas each month to propitiate the Dharma Protector.

The relationship between Lama and Protector was no ordinary one. In fact, it was said that their relationship was so close that Dorje Shugden was Kentrul Rinpoche’s “right hand man”, working closely with the Lama to fulfill the needs and wishes of the laypeople of Phari. Kentrul Rinpoche would often consult Dorje Shugden via the Oracle in Rizong Butok Monastery for advice. During the trance, Dorje Shugden would address the congregation in song and Kentrul Rinpoche, being the only person who understood what the Protector said, would write down his instructions. The Oracle also took trance of Kache Marpo and Namkar Barzin, who spoke in Mongolian, a language which Kentrul Rinpoche understood.

In this lifetime, Dorje Shugden continues his close relationship with Kentrul Rinpoche who took rebirth as Tsem Rinpoche

This would not be the only oracle at Rizong Butok that Kentrul Rinpoche consulted. So willing were the community to assist him in his works that Kentrul Rinpoche also had the assistance of three or four other oracles who resided at Rizong Butok at separate times. Two of them, including the Choyang Oracle and Lhakpa Dondrup (a monk of Dungkar Monastery), also took trance of Dorje Shugden. A fourth oracle would take trance of a powerful mountain deity. Known as Langpu Tsenga, the deity in trance would spit out silver coins which were then used by Kentrul Rinpoche to provide financial assistance for his students.

Kentrul Rinpoche’s devotion to Dorje Shugden was unparalleled, and he was directly responsible for the establishment and spreading of Dorje Shugden’s practice in Phari. Especially pleased by Kentrul Rinpoche’s immense works to benefit others and to spread Tsongkhapa’s teachings widely, it is said Dorje Shugden regarded and respected Kentrul Rinpoche as his main Guru. It is a closeness that has continued into this life where even today, monks continue to comment on the remarkably close relationship between Tsem Rinpoche and Dorje Shugden.

 

The Great Disappointment

As Kentrul Thubten Lamsang ’s fame grew, the Chinese government too tried to become close to him and curry his favour. If they had intended to win over the region, he would have been their ticket in. They began giving several awards to him, and even offered 1,000 silver coins and a high “salary” to him every month.

However, because Kentrul Thubten Lamsang’s status became so high, like that of a King of Phari, some officials began to feel threatened. This was the beginning of events leading to the Cultural Revolution and it is believed that Kentrul Thubten Lamsang foresaw the gravity of the situation, although no one knew at the time. Though the revolutionary movements appeared outwardly peaceful and friendly, he knew of their real intentions to eventually remove, capture and even jail and torture him.

He even knew, through clear clairvoyance, of what was happening in other, far parts of the country, such as the destruction of the major monasteries like Gaden. Many of the monks were surprised at how much he had known and anticipated as no one else in their area knew what had been happening.

The stupas of His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche (left) and His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche (right) in Gaden Monastery, India today. Had the cremation gone according to plan, a similar reliquary would have been constructed for Kentrul Thubten Lamsang's relics.

In order to keep the peace between the people and nations, Kentrul Thubten Lamsang went quietly into a retreat and entered clear light. He passed away peacefully at the peak of his health, at 63 years of age. There was no cause for his death – no illness or any trauma to his body. He had willed himself to die, out of great disappointment and sadness for what had been happening around him.

Unfortunately, though his many thousands of students had wanted to mummify his body and encase him in a stupa – which would become an object of prayer and worship. However, the officials came before they could complete the process and they had no choice but to simply cremate his body.

Following his death – and probably because of the turbulence which arose with the Cultural Revolution – not much more was heard about this well-loved master. Then one day in the early 1980s, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche returned to his monastery from a trip to the United States and said that he had found the incarnation of this most respected Master of Phari, Kentrul Thubten Lamsang Rinpoche, in that crazy, wild city of Los Angeles…

 

A Personal Perspective

Rinpoche feels that it was Trijang Rinpoche’s clairvoyance that led him to instruct Kentrul Rinpoche to remain in Phari. Trijang Rinpoche foresaw that Kentrul Rinpoche’s earlier passing would help pave the way for the next generation of lamas to propagate the lineage.

Trijang Rinpoche knew that the Tibetan lamas would face many challenges reestablishing Tibetan Buddhism in a world unfamiliar with the tradition. They were arriving in exile at a senior age and once the older generation of lamas passed on, there would be a vacuum of knowledge before their incarnations returned, grew up and came of age to teach.

Having remained in Tibet, Kentrul Rinpoche entered clear light 20 years before other lamas like H.H. Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. He would therefore return and reach adulthood just as they entered clear light and took rebirth.

Thus, being 20 years older than the reincarnations of Pabongka Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche and Zong Rinpoche, Tsem Rinpoche feels extremely strongly that his current incarnation’s role is to create an environment for these lamas’ works to come to fruition easily, so that Lama Tsongkhapa’s tradition can firmly take root in people’s minds everywhere.

With this in mind, Rinpoche enthusiastically and constantly promotes their lineage, teachings and works to everyone he connects with. Rinpoche speaks tirelessly about their qualities, deeds and attainments, to inspire people’s faith in them. In this way, when the current generation of Gelug lineage lamas come of age to teach, the world will already know their names and will approach them with an established faith.

It is therefore clear to see that from lifetime to lifetime, impeccable and incomparable guru devotion will always be the defining character of Rinpoche’s line of incarnations.

 

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Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai
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Writer. Blogger. Non-conformist and contemporary. Kechara’s youngest Buddhist Pastor. The smiling nun-to-be. Proud student of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche. Lover of cheese and bad puns. You can find more of her writing at www.elenakhong.com.
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22 Responses to Kentrul Thubten Lamsang

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  1. Jill Yam on Aug 3, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Kentrul Thubten Lamsang has so many similarities with Tsem Rinpoche. Some of it are  :-

    1) Both have strong Guru Devotion.
    – Both go to remote places to spread the dharma where the foundation is weak or of little interest. Both fulfilled their Guru’s promised to spread dharma far and wide.

    2) Both built big retreat places, big statues and monasteries.  In Malaysia we have the holy place Kechara Forest Retreat by Tsem Rinpoche to benefit all sentient beings.

    3) Both have great devotion to the dharma Protector Dorje Shugden and both help to spread Tsongkhapa’s teaching widely.

    It is therefore clear to see that from lifetime to lifetime, impeccable and incomparable guru devotion will always be the defining character of Rinpoche’s line of incarnations.

    I’m fortunate that we have Kechara Forest Retreat here in Malaysia and this is my Spiritual Home.

    Jill Yam

  2. Judy Chen on Jan 27, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Dear Rinpoche and PJA,

    Thank you very much for this informative and detailed sharing.
    This will definitely build more confidence and understanding in anyone (especially a newbie like myself) who wish to learn and be active in dharma with this knowiedge of our Guru’s lineage and reincarnations.

    With folded hands
    Thank you

  3. JP on Jan 24, 2016 at 1:33 am

    It is without doubt that reincarnation exists. Kentrul Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche are very similar in so many ways. What we focus on strongly in our previous life affects our current life.

    Tsem Rinpoche like Kentrul Rinpoche goes out of his way to take care of lay people, help the poor all the time, give money to his students to help them pay off their loan, have strong guru devotion, build life size Buddha statues, teach dharma in areas that are spiritually “barbaric”, have a very strong connection with Dorje Shugden, and build and rebuild monasteries/dharma institutions.

    Rinpoche works tirelessly to bring dharma to the masses and creates suitable conditions for his students to study and practice the dharma. Many people’s lives are changed for the better because of Tsem Rinpoche.

  4. Stella Cheang on Jan 23, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    This is an extremely informative post where I can learn about His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche’s precious life through one of the (then) surviving student, Geshe Ngawang. His Eminence’s previous life was Kentrul Thubten Lamsang Rinpoche, who was the incarnation of Gedun Nyedrak – 72nd Abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery.

    Kentrul Rinpoche was recognised by the junior tutor of the 14th Dalai Lama, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche. He was well-known for reviving Dharma and restoring monasteries in remote places of Tibet where Dharma was weak and dissipating. The followings are the monasteries where Kentrul Rinpoche had done great things:
    – Dadokhang Monastery in remote Phari
    – Sampocheling monastery in south Phari
    – Rizong Butok Monastery, an affiliate of Gaden Shartse Monastery

    Kentrul Rinpoche’s deeds in those barren land of Buddhism were resoundingly similar with the deeds of our Tsem Rinpoche; i.e. bringing Dharma to places where there is hardly Dharma, building large Buddha statues, creating Dharma community and institution, relating Dharma to lay people as well as the immaculate Guru Devotion. The close friendship between Kentrul Rinpoche and Zong Rinpoche was also apparent between His Eminence and Zong Rinpoche.

    Thank You Rinpoche and Pastor Jean Ai for sharing this information. We are so lucky to have Rinpoche who is so kind to return lifetime after lifetime to spread the dharma and plant the seeds for us to be near dharma. I pray that I will be near Rinpoche for all my future lifetimes.

    Humbly, bowing down,
    Stella Cheang

  5. Lin Mun on Jan 23, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    Thank you Pastor Jean Ai for sharing this interesting article and for us to get to know Kentrul Rinpoche Thubten Lamsang who is H.E Tsem Rinpoche’s previous incarnation.

    Points I learned from this article:

    1) The imprint that has been done in Tsem Rinpoches’s previous life continues today. He continues to strive very hard to bring the bemefit of dharma to people.

    2) The Guru Devotion is so strong even after different life time. Rinpoche always follow his Guru’s instruction.

    3) The similarity of both Kentrul Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche in their passion to build big Buddha statues, monastery, so it can benefit more peopel.

    4) The relationship between lama and protector are very strong. Kentrul Rinpoche’s devotion to Dorje Shugden was unparalleled. The same for Tsem Rinpoche, which we witnessed especially during the trance of Doje Shugden in KFR.

    We are very blessed to have Rinpoche in Malaysia and that we are able to learn dharma. Thank you Rinpoche for your great effort in blessing this land.

  6. Valentina Suhendra on Jan 22, 2016 at 2:16 am

    Dear Rinpoche and PJA

    Thank you for this beautiful article about Kentrul Rinpoche Thubten Lamsang – H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche’s incarnation. It is true was what written in the article that past life imprints to benefit others the ability to make Dharma grow in the places where Dharma resources were scarce are prominent characteristics of Rinpoche in the previous and current lives.

    Both in this and previous lives, Rinpoche let go of his personal wishes and carry out the instructions of his guru to stay in certain places in order to benefit others. Because of his strong guru devotion, many people including myself can encountered and learn pure Dharma.

    10 years ago, although I was very much attracted to Buddhism and Buddhist teachings, I was not interested to attend any of the Dharma centres in Jakarta – my city. But after I heard about Tsem Rinpoche’s teachings, I gladly took refuge vows with Rinpoche although I have to travel back and forth to Malaysia. I think it is my good karma to have affinity with real Guru and pure Dharma teachings.

    I sincerely thank Rinpoche for coming to this region and enable many people including myself to meet Dharma.

    Sincerely
    Valentina

  7. Joy on Jan 21, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    It is inspiring to always read/listen to biographies of highly attained masters, what more that it is of my own Guru. This post made me understand Rinpoche better as it helped connected the dots… so now we know why Rinpoche is so close to Trijang Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche and Dorje Shugden, how they are all intertwined.

    Now I know where it all comes from and why Rinpoche is such a visionary, always thinking “big”, building big Dharma institutions (like KFR), why Rinpoche loves creating huge Buddha statues, and how skilful Rinpoche is with lay people. Rinpoche is always so creative and innovative in spreading Dharma to the lay, and just like in the past, creating Dharma community and activities, selflessly helping the lay and his students, and most importantly Rinpoche’s impeccable Guru devotion which even in this life we can witness how Rinpoche would always follow Rinpoche’s guru instructions and remain loyal.

    The similarities are so amazing and that was what stuck out for me. The deeds, the qualities, the skills, everything is so similar with the Rinpoche we know today.

    From this story you know “imprints” definitely do exist and what Rinpoche did in his previous life, he is doing the same again in this life! How extremely fortunate we are to have cross path with such a great highly attained compassionate Lama that changes history. And like before Rinpoche continues to spread Dorje Shugden’s practice widely!

    Thanks for this wonderful post Pastor Jean Ai. This info should definitely be included into H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s past and present lives bio.

  8. June Kang on Nov 21, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    Thank you Pastor Jean Ai for well written article. I am very happy that because of your hard work I can know much more better of our Guru previous life.

    So much similarities of the works of the H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche this life and his previous life as Kentrul Rinpoche Thubten Lamsang. It is hard not to believe that reincarnations exist.

    The reincarnation with the motivation to spread the Dharma, take the suffering and bring happiness to us, guide us, train our mind from lifetime after lifetime, keep doing the same, never give up anyone of us.

    I am very fortunate I can meet Rinpoche this life. Thank you very much.

  9. LI KHENG on Nov 8, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    Thank you Pastor for this write up about Kentrul Thubten Lamsang. It explains a lot about the current reincarnation, H.E the 25th Tsem Rinpoche who displays great wisdom and compassion in resolving both secular and spiritual matters for students today.

    In the blog we have many stories and testimonials from Tsem Rinpoche’s students that show Rinpoche’s skillfulness in guiding students to arrive at conclusions that are beneficial secularly and spiritually. Although this method of giving consideration to both inner and outer wealth is becoming very common, Tsem Rinpoche seem to take lead in this “area of specialty”. For example, Rinpoche started using the Internet to turn the wheel of Dharma ahead of many, making him the neon Lama of the 21st century. Probably because of imprint from the lifetime of Kentrul Thubten Lamsang.

    I am very grateful for this article to allow us to better know the background of Rinpoche and better understand the significance of Rinpoche’s actions and visions.

  10. pammie yap on Nov 6, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Dear Pastor Jean Ai,

    Thank you for such a beautiful write up of H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche’s previous lives. It is very important that many know about His incredible deeds be it in the previous life or in this current life.

    When I read, it just makes me feel like I am watching Tsem Rinpoche current life’s ‘works’.
    From coming to ‘barbaric’ place to spread Dharma as asked by His Guru, creating beautiful Kechara, building Kechara Forest Retreat in ‘remote’ area, tremendous care for everyone whether its His students or strangers, kind, loving but most of all, His never-ending great Guru devotion (which I have seen with my own eyes and heard with my own ears). And another striking fact is that, both reincarnations relied strongly on Dorje Shugden to spread Dharma far and wide to benefit many!

    May we never be separated from H.E Tsem Rinpoche always and may He continue to guide and lead us on the right path to liberation.

  11. Mingwen on Nov 6, 2015 at 2:34 am

    First of all, thank you Pastor Jean Ai for sharing this interesting and well written article. It serve as the fundamental platform for a newbie like me, who wants to learn more about Dharma and also Tsem Rinpoche. Thank you!

  12. Pastor Henry Ooi on Nov 5, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    The similarities of dharma teachings and dharma deeds by Kentrul Rinpoche Thubten Lamsang and Tsem Rinpoche are so strong that it is hard not to believe that reincarnations exist. And not only they exist but controlled reincarnations that return lifetime after lifetime with the sole motivation to benefit others. Great article, Pastor Jean Ai, thank you.

  13. Joy on Nov 5, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    Thank you Pastor Jean Ai for writing this wonderful account of Kentrul Thubten Lamsang’s life. Many will benefit from reading this short bio and faith in our Lama increases.

    It is amazing to read the many similarities of the past and the present incarnation, our beloved Guru H.E. Tsem Rinpoche now. I especially found this point fascinating “it was said that their relationship was so close that Dorje Shugden was Kentrul Rinpoche’s “right hand man”, working closely with the Lama to fulfill the needs and wishes of the laypeople of Phari”…. and “it is said Dorje Shugden regarded and respected Kentrul Rinpoche as his main Guru.” This closeness can still be witnessed by many of us today.

    This just goes to prove that enlightened beings are enlightened.
    Hence there is no way anyone would ever be able to stop them from returning, spreading the Dharma and benefiting others… no matter who tries to burry, twist and change history. Definitely this part of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s life needs to be added, recorded in Rinpoche full bio for many to learn the history of such revolutionary masters of Buddhism and receive blessings.

  14. Sharon Ong on Nov 4, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    Dear Pastor Jean Ai,

    Thank you for this wonderful read that is well-written and informative.I find it interesting to read about previous incarnations of highly attained masters and how similar their lives are. They come back lifetime after lifetime with the sole purpose of preserving and propagating the Buddhadharma.

    It is fascinating to note how in one lifetime the especially close friendship can manifest as a student-teacher relationship in the next. It not only proves that reincarnation exists but also how one’s karmic connections and imprints play such important factors of shaping who we are today and how we are are all somehow interconnected.

  15. Nicholas on Nov 4, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    Thank you Pastor Jean Ai for this wonderful article.

    Indeed we can see that what Tsem Rinpoche doing now is similar with Rinpoche’s previous incarnation Kentrul Rinpoche Thubten Lamsang. Rinpoche values and qualities were just brought down from previous life and the continuity can be obviously witness at this current time. This really explain on ‘Imprint’.

    Rinpoche’s great Guru devotion in previous life reflected in the Guru disciple relationship at this life. When we have great samaya we will meet the Guru/great master again for the betterment of spiritual practice and advancement.

    We are truly fortunate to be able to meet a great and genuine Guru like Tsem Rinpoche that has been continously turning the wheel of dharma from life after life for only one purpose which is to benefit people.

  16. Shelly tai on Nov 4, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Thank you Pastor Khong Jean Ai for sharing this important information about our guru. Indeed Rinpoche has always be so compassion to his student and we are the lucky one who can connect with him may all of us in Kechara will be continue our Dharma journey with Rinpoche life time after life time.

  17. ming hy on Nov 4, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Thank you Pastor Jean Ai for this fascinating and extremely well written article on Rinpoche’s previous incarnation. I loved it and read it again and again, as knowing about Kentrul Rinpoche is akin to reading about Tsem Rinpoche himself. It highlights the continuation of one’s work into the next life and illustrates Tsem Rinpoche’s meeting with Zong Rinpoche to unlikely be just an accidental coincidence.
    Thank you for writing this, in my mind, this article has clarified and put together the pieces of Rinpoche’s work and purpose here in Malaysia and around the world and how Rinpoche continues to help many lifetime after lifetime.

  18. Pastor David Lai on Nov 3, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    Dear Pastor Jean Ai,
    This is indeed a wonderful account of Kentrul Thubten Lamsang’s life. It is the most extensive I have ever read of his life and I am glad that you wrote it down in this article here. It is much needed for admirers, students and friends of Rinpoche to read up and understand what Rinpoche is all about. There’s a pattern or a direction in which Rinpoche is establishing from a previous life to this life.

    I just found this interesting, “…it is said Dorje Shugden regarded and respected Kentrul Rinpoche as his main Guru.” I guess, that would mean that Dorje Shugden via the oracle was recommending and promoting Thubten Lamsang as a lama that one can rely and take refuge in. It would be interesting to see Dorje Shugden take trance of the oracle to receive teachings.

  19. So Kin Hoe (KISG) on Nov 2, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    Dear Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai,

    Thank you for writing and sharing the article of our Guru’s previous reincarnation, Kentrul Thubten Lamsang Rinpoche. All the great Dharma works carried out and completed by Kentrul Thubten Lamsang Rinpoche are remarkable and full of compassion to benefit the local people in the region of Phari at that time.

    There are a lot of similarities from both Kentrul Thubten Lamsang Rinpoche and our kind Guru, Tsem Rinpoche as both Lamas have carried out a large scale of Dharma activities with endless kindness and compassion that benefit many sentient beings.

    We in Malaysia are very blessed and fortunate to have a highly reincarnated Lama, Tsem Rinpoche who has advised, focused and guided the construction of Kechara Forest Retreat and all the Kechara departments, that can bring many Dharma teachings and abundance of blessings to the local folks to gain peace and ultimate happiness through Dharma practice.

    May Kechara Forest Retreat continues to grow and spread the Dharma to all directions until the end of samsara.

    With folded hands,
    kin hoe

  20. Carmen Koo on Nov 2, 2015 at 4:04 am

    Dear Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai,

    Thank you for this tremendously well written article, that had my attention right from the beginning.

    There is so much similarities and resemblance of the works and activities of Tsem Rinpoche in this current life, and in his previous as Kentrul Rinpoche Thubten Lamsang, it is like Rinpoche just picked up where he left off from his previous life. Everything that Kentrul Rinpoche did, Rinpoche is doing now, everything that Rinpoche was inclined to previously, it is the same now too. From devotion to the gurus, to community work, to the care, compassion, generosity and kindness towards all sentient beings, it is carried on.

    What struck me also is the close relationship between Kentrul Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche and Zong Rinpoche, as well as the relationship between Tsem Rinpohe and the 2 erudite lamas. In Kentrul Rinpoche’s life, both Kentrul Rinpoche and Zong Rinpoche were disciples of Trijang Rinpoche. In this life as Tsem Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche became Rinpoche’s teacher. Between lamas, there is no ego, no pride – They continuously return to samsara, work together to propagate the doctrine of Buddha.

    Kentrul Rinpoche’s deeds is remarkable, just as is Tsem Rinpoche’s. We are so lucky to have someone so highly qualified and attained like Tsem Rinpoche with us in this life, to continue bringing the BuddhaDharma to all of us.

  21. Sarah on Nov 1, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    Thank you for this nice article. It would be great if a stupa could be built for Kentrul Thubten Lamsang next to the stupas of Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche in Gaden Monastery. There should also be a book on the life and work of Kentrul Rinpoche. The legacy of this remarkable master must be remembered.

  22. Pema Thinley on Nov 1, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    Dear Pastor,

    It is very moving story and reminds me of great masters who worked just for the sake of sentient beings. All His qualities are seen in Our Guru Tsem Rinpoche. How fortunate to meet such Guru. Thank you for the story Lah. _()_

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  • Pastor Shin Tan
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 06:42 PM
    According to the Buddhist teachings, we all have a unique blend of karma that determines where we are born, the circumstances of our birth and the quality of our life. Naturally, this is due to the actions that we performed in previous lives. Karma also dictates our characteristics and traits that determine how we act throughout our lives, which in turn leads to certain outcomes in this life and a determination of where we will take rebirth in the future.

    Karma, however, is not set in stone. We can change our circumstances through our own efforts – purification of karma and accumulation of merit. Tibetan astrology, based on these Buddhist principles, provides us the methods to ensure success in this life and a good rebirth in the future. Tibetan astrology can also predict what will happen to us in this life and our next rebirth based on the time of our birth.

    Discover your traits according to the Mewa, or Magical Square system of Tibetan astrology below, and find out how to purify your negative karma to improve your life!

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/tibetan-astrology/tibetan-astrology.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 05:24 PM
    Very interesting:


    Radin explained in his book: “For a Western-trained academic, the mere existence of, say, telepathy would be considered supernormal and thus wildly extraordinary. But for an experienced yogi, it’s just a boringly normal minor siddhi [a Sanskrit term for a meditation attainment, or power]. A skeptical scientist, not having the benefit of thousands of hours of practice in yoga and meditation, would require repeatable, rigorously obtained experimental data showing odds against chance of a gazillion to one. The yogi merely requires his own experience.”


    Very interesting read: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/2157904-supernormal-abilities-developed-through-meditation-dr-dean-radin-discusses/?sidebar=morein
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 01:45 PM
    Its indeed a beautiful place …..away from the city hectic life to visit and could stay over night too.Just to get away from work to relax ,get some fresh air ,do meditation and so forth .At Kechara Forest RetreatI,Bentong is where the largest Dorje Shugden statue in the world situated and we can receive blessing,make offering to the Buddhas as well as enjoy the tranquility of the beautiful gardens.I have recomended my friends and relatives to visit such a beautiful place at Bentong.
    Thank you Paul Yap for sharing.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/go-bentong.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 01:15 PM
    Well…all pendants are beautifully designed,hand crafted to match each and every sacred images on it to suit all occasion for the wearer.I can see a lot of hard work for those involed in desgning and making of it.
    All pendants are very unique, modern, timeless and also sacred ,thats all i could describe it.Hope more people will be wearing these beautiful pendants to get connected with the Buddhas.Thank you Rinpoche for sharing and Kechara’s Louise Lee for creating Dharma art in in the form of jewelry
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/timeless-and-sacred.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 12:41 PM
    This Mahasiddha is Kukkuripa (the dog lover). He loved dogs so much. When he meditated in the cave he had his doggie with him. She had kept him company for years in his cave. They shared bedding, food, water and company. When he gained high attainments, the Dakinis came to take him to Kechara Paradise. He was hesitant to go but the Dakinis insisted and he went with them.

    He arrived at Kechara (Paradise/Buddha abode of Heruka and Vajra Yogini) and enjoyed teachings and feasts up there and they asked him to stay longer if not forever…. But he kept thinking about his doggie left alone in the cave. He felt guilty and missed her. Kukkuripa would use his psychic powers to see his poor doggie alone and hungry waiting for him at the cave while enjoying the attention of the Dakinis and feasts. The cave was dark and had no food. The doggie had to go out and find small tiny scraps of food and was getting skinny. Kukkuripa saw this and it pained him. Worried she was not getting enough food. He use to share the offerings of food he would get from people with her. Doggie and him would delightfully eat the food together. Kukkuripa had no attachments to ‘clean’ or ‘dirty’ in regards to sharing food with his dog. He had overcome this in his meditations. In ancient India, people would not co-habitate with a dog. It was considered unclean and filthy, but Kukkuripa had cast away those notions and loved his dog as she loved him. But he felt guilty to leave her alone while he was ‘enjoying’ himself in Kechara and could not stop thinking about his beloved dirty smelly dog in his cave alone…so he left Kechara Paradise and all it’s ‘delights’ for his doggie. He couldn’t abandon her. The Dakinis implored him to stay, but he was firm to return. The Dakinis said you will give up this paradise here for a mere dog???!! You can advance further in your meditations if you stay in Kechara and then help the dog later they attempted to persuade him. But Kukkuripa would not stay, he was loyal to his little dog as she had kept him company for many years in the lonely dark cave. She was loyal to him and how can he abandon her now. He couldn’t and he wouldn’t listen to the Dakinis. He left to join doggie. He never forget her companionship and loyalty. All the wonderful things in Kechara could not tempt him against his loyal friend the little doggie. He left everything for her.

    So he finally left Kechara to the Dakinis dismay and went back to his cave to be with his dog so she won’t be alone. Doggie was delighted to see her master and wagged her tail so much!! She licked him and he hugged her! She was skinnier for not eating well these few days he noticed. He fed her and hugged her and loved his doggie…He went back to his routine of meditation, receiving food offerings and sharing his food with doggie. They were happy together. One day, when he was scratching her in her favorite place and she licked him so his eyes were closed, when he opened his eyes she had suddenly turned into a Dakini shimmering with lights! The brilliance of the lights lit up the whole cave in front of Kukkuripa!! Kukkuripa was astonished to behold the splendourous lady in front of him! Of course this Dakini must be the Queen Herself he realized, as Vajra Yogini which was Kukkuripa’s main Yidam he had meditated on her for years in the cave. And She said to Kukkuripa, “Well done, you gave up paradise to be with just a dog..it shows you have given up attachements and projections of pleasant and unpleasant, now your Dakini will give you the final paradise (enlightenment)!”

    Kukkuripa attained full enlightenment blessed by Vajra Yogini by releasing the final subtle attachment to the non-existent self! After enlightenment his fame and name grew and many came to see him and he gave teachings to countless and benefitted many before he finally ascended to Kechara the second and final time. He was forever known as Kukkuripa the dog lover.

    I love him so much!!! This is one of my favorite Mahasiddhas along with Badrapa, Shantideva, Ghantapa and a few others. I wanted to share this story with you. I wanted you to know that there are many great true stories like this one about Kukkuripa that are true and can be applied to our lives. To inspire us.

    Tsem Rinpoche
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 12:29 PM
    The great and illustrious master Sonam Tsemo at the end of his life was described by an old woman who witnessed Sonam Tsemo depart. Standing on a rock at the holy spring near Sakya area known as Chumik Dzingka, his body ascended gracefully into the sky, still holding his dog. He loved his dog very much. Even today the footprints of Loppon Sonam Tsemo and the dog can be clearly seen in the rock, left for the benefit of living beings as a field from which to accumulate merit. It is a sign of a holy being when they can leave their footprints in stone for future generations to witness and make offerings on that spot to collect merits. This holy site was decorated by the great master Mantradhara Ngawang Kunga Rinchen later on. Other accounts say that he ascended from Gorum Library near Chumik Dzingka spring. A stupa containing his holy relics was erected there. Sonam Tsemo was a powerful practitioner of the Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini and at the end of his short life he ascended with his very body to Kechara paradise. He was 40 years old. Kechara is the sanksrit name of the special abode of Vajra Yogini. Those who practice Vajra Yogini to the highest level can ascend her paradise with their very bodies. Sonam Tsemo the great master of sutra and tantra was seen by an old woman flying off holding his beloved dog to ascend Kechara paradise. No one every found his body and his room was empty.
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 12:27 PM
    Congratulations to Mitra for his first dharma teaching in Nepali to the expats. So glad that Dorje Shugden practise can reach out to many in various languages and to different people. Mitra has done a good job in introducing Lama Tsongkhapa lineage and guided them on the benefit and iconography of Dorje Shugden.

    May Lama Tsongkhapa lineage and Dorje Shugden practise continue to grow and benefit more people.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/mitra-teaches-bhagwan-dorje-shugden-in-nepali.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 04:15 PM
    Very clear explanation of what is Vajrayogini’s left foot stepping on. Each time when i have a look at the beautiful statue of Vajrayogini this question will comes back to me. i am glad came across these blog by chance, i saw and read to understand better.A clear explanation ..stampling left and right foot significant of desire ,hatred and ignorance that cause us to be in samsara and she she able to control.Vajrayogni’s practices is so powerful in heliping us and that is the reason Rinpoche always ask us to start now.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these short explanation in the video and the interesting story of Mahadeva.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/facebook-question-what-is-vajra-yoginis-left-foot-stepping-on.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 02:44 PM
    Rejoice to all the families who had setup a Buddhist altar at home and conducted a house blessing puja. There are diverse benefits of conducting the house blessing puja, which ranges from bringing well-being on all levels – in one’s health, relationships, business, and family – to purifying the home. The puja ceremonies will purify the environment which helps the people who live there and people who are visiting there to experience general well-being. The puja can be personalised based on the request or need of the individual. Thank you for sharing with us the many photos of the beautiful altar of these families, it is very heartwarming to know that they will always be blessed by the Three Jewels.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/10-amazing-house-blessings-by-kechara-pastors.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 02:24 PM
    Thank you for sharing this mindfully planned itinerary for everyone who is interested in visiting Kechara Forest Retreat. Kechara Forest Retreat has different facets that showcase different elements of spirituality and Tibetan Buddhism in this wholesale venue. One can enjoy the flora and fauna of Mother Nature, or embrace the contemporary architectures that feature many magnificent Buddha statues and authentic Himalayan decorations. Not forgetting to mention, in Kechara Forest Retreat sits the largest Dorje Shugden statue in the world! This is a holy place we must never miss to pay homage for blessings from the Three Jewels.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/go-bentong.html
  • Pastor Shin Tan
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 01:07 PM
    金泽“财王”护法殿

    在禅修林的入口处的左边有一间小佛堂,是全天候二十四小时开放给大众的。这间佛堂的一砖一瓦都是由不同善心人士捐增的。也因为他们过后发了一笔小财,所以在大马文东,金泽护法一般被简称为“财王“。

    根据佛陀教诲,五蕴是组成众生的五个方面,分别是色、受、想、行、识。证悟者如多杰雄登能将五蕴分别化现成不同的本尊。金泽是多杰雄登“受”蕴的化现,作用是协助我们增长世俗和修行上的财富。“受”蕴是我们对愉悦或不悦感受的认知。我们执着于愉悦,避免不悦,而这正是导致我们受困和造下各种业,继而产生痛苦的因(此段原文: http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_6d7edf5f0102x1n6.html)

    来到这里,我们首先要上香。做生意的朋友可要趁此机会拜拜,供养一个大的莲花蜡烛,上三根大香,祈求今年一帆风顺哦。

    摘自“GO BENTONG!与菩萨有约”
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=120808
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Mar 25. 2017 11:02 PM
    Can’t imagine that a priest actually stabbed Pope John Paul. How can he do this when he as a priest is suppose to be compassion and love everyone but kill the religion leader. he should remember that he carries the name priest and hence must show good example and behaviour to others but instead took another person’s life.

    I respected Pope John who continued his trip even though he was injured. That shows the determination he had to teach so it can benefit others. Always put others first more than our own needs.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/pope-john-paul-stabbed-by-priest.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Saturday, Mar 25. 2017 08:13 PM
    It is admirable for Sine Lindholm & Mads Ulrik Husum to place their design as open source for everyone to download and copy to manufacture. This shows how farsighted they are in propelling self-sustainability. The first step is always the hardest, and I believe what Sine and Mads had done is towards the right direction. In this way, people from all the around the world who genuinely are passionate and interested in growing own vegetables will be able to start on their own. Without needing to rely on middleman or manufacturer who might end up making the brilliant idea a commercial white elephant. Thank you, Rinpoche for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/build-your-own-growroom.html
  • Alice Tay
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 10:05 PM
    Many companies especially in overseas are very considerate and allow their employees to bring their dogs to work. I personally think that this is a very good practice where the employees no longer have to worry about leaving pets at home alone. The work environments that cultivate loving kindness, caring and compassion create a much more positive and productive place to work. Besides, it may influence everyone especially those who do not have pet to be more kind to the animals.

    Nevertheless, the employer and employees may have to work together to maintain the safe and cleanliness work place such as reduce odour, provide clean air and many others.

    Thank you for this interesting article as a reminder to us to love and be kind to animals no matter where we are.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/inside-the-worlds-most-dog-friendly-office.html
  • Lin Mun
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 07:06 PM
    Superb idea and very creative. Home farming in the cities ! Appreciate all the hardwork and ideas to produce Growroom. It’s just like putting a big puzzle and making the whole process so much easier to plant in cities where we always have limited spaces.

    We should support more people to come up with such ideas so we can eat our own food and cultivate self sustainability.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/build-your-own-growroom.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

CREDITS

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

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

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now

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Animal Care Fund
  Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch

The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
~Tsem Rinpoche

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
yesterday
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
Mumu taking a rest in the turquoise room. Over the years, I always feel very satisfied when I see him covered with a blanket, safe and sleeping. I always wanted to make sure he was safe from harm, illness and distress. I wanted him to have a happy and loved life. Tsem Rinpoche
yesterday
Mumu taking a rest in the turquoise room. Over the years, I always feel very satisfied when I see him covered with a blanket, safe and sleeping. I always wanted to make sure he was safe from harm, illness and distress. I wanted him to have a happy and loved life. Tsem Rinpoche
I wrapped my little Mumu boy up in my blanket and propped him up on my bed. He didn\'t move or wiggle and just looked at me. He is one funny entertaining little guy. Tsem Rinpoche
yesterday
I wrapped my little Mumu boy up in my blanket and propped him up on my bed. He didn't move or wiggle and just looked at me. He is one funny entertaining little guy. Tsem Rinpoche
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
yesterday
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
1 week ago
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don\'t have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don't have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
1 week ago
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
1 week ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
1 week ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
Read this as it will be interesting
1 week ago
Read this as it will be interesting
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one\'s head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book \"The Female Buddhas.\"- Glenn Mullin
3 weeks ago
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one's head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book "The Female Buddhas."- Glenn Mullin
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
3 weeks ago
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
4 weeks ago
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
4 weeks ago
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
2 months ago
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
2 months ago
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
This is a good one to read
2 months ago
This is a good one to read
Mumu is silly and cute and funny
2 months ago
Mumu is silly and cute and funny
Mumu\'s hair is messy and he looks funny
2 months ago
Mumu's hair is messy and he looks funny
I am in the process of creating beautiful Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat watches at this time. So we can take precious protector and Kechara Forest Retreat wherever we go and be blessed everytime we see what time it is. 
I am perfecting the designs with a great team and will update when done but these are just some samples that arrived. 
Feast your eyes! 

Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
I am in the process of creating beautiful Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat watches at this time. So we can take precious protector and Kechara Forest Retreat wherever we go and be blessed everytime we see what time it is. I am perfecting the designs with a great team and will update when done but these are just some samples that arrived. Feast your eyes! Tsem Rinpoche
                        Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini\'s path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html  Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini's path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
Message to Tibetans in English
3 months ago
Message to Tibetans in English
Message to the Tibetans
3 months ago
Message to the Tibetans
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
3 months ago
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
3 months ago
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
3 months ago
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
3 months ago
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
4 months ago
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
4 months ago
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
4 months ago
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
4 months ago
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
4 months ago
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
4 months ago
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
5 months ago
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
Sir Edmund Hillary
5 months ago
Sir Edmund Hillary
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha\'s teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha's teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I\'ve seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
6 months ago
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I've seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
It\'s nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
6 months ago
It's nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
                         Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
6 months ago
Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Please watch this video, it's heartbreaking to see how people have to suffer.
    1 week ago
    Please watch this video, it's heartbreaking to see how people have to suffer.
  • Lady saves puppy from potential abuser
    2 weeks ago
    Lady saves puppy from potential abuser
  • Mr. Denzel Washington is a very intelligent man. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 weeks ago
    Mr. Denzel Washington is a very intelligent man. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Dear friends, please see this educational video on suffering for the sake of others.
    2 weeks ago
    Dear friends, please see this educational video on suffering for the sake of others.
  • A very neat footage of Bigfoot captured by Patterson-Gimlin.
    3 weeks ago
    A very neat footage of Bigfoot captured by Patterson-Gimlin.
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu darling is a very good boy.
    1 month ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu darling is a very good boy.
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu wants to go bye bye!
    1 month ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu wants to go bye bye!
  • [11/02/2017] I love you mumu boy
    1 month ago
    [11/02/2017] I love you mumu boy
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu and Oser eating together.
    1 month ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu and Oser eating together.
  • Great spiritual rock carving in Tibet
    2 months ago
    Great spiritual rock carving in Tibet
  • You will Never be Ready
    3 months ago
    You will Never be Ready
    Dear friends, watch this video and ready, if we keep waiting till we are ready, that day will never come. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Stop asking for Easy
    3 months ago
    Stop asking for Easy
    This video is powerful because it's the truth. It applies to anything. It applies to our dharma practice. Watch the video and share it. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Must Watch this Video!
    4 months ago
    Must Watch this Video!
  • Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
    5 months ago
    Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
  • Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    5 months ago
    Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    ཁྱེད་ཀྱི་བཀའ་སློབ་དོན་སྙིང་དེ།།གང་གི་རྣ་བར་བདུད་རྩི་མོད།།འོན་ཀྱང་འགའ་ཡི་རྣ་ལམ་དུ།། བྲག་ཆ་བཞིན་དུ་འགྱུར་སྲིད་མོད།། ཚང་མས་ཚར་རེ་གཟིགས་རོགས།། Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche telling people that it is important to have guru samaya. It use to be that way in the great monasteries. We should not create problems and schisms. If we want to practice a protector, then do so, if not it's okay, but don't make trouble. One should just practice the Buddha Dharma well. To do good practice. If you have faith in Dorje Shugden and trust all the way, he will definitely help you. But most important is to practice the dharma. This is his advice in short here. It's good to let more Tibetans hear this holy speech and appeal by this very senior Rinpoche. TR

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.

Scroll down and click on "View All Questions" to view archived questions.

  • March 28, 2017 09:11
    Lia asked: If the ushnisha is actually supposed to be a bump, then do we change the visualization of the top knot and replace it with a bump covered in hair or do we keep the ushnisha as the thangkas show?
    No reply yet
  • March 27, 2017 04:19
    Dongho asked: I have been reading on the tunes of certain sects and would like to ask on this. From what I've read, there are certain tunes to each sect and school of certain chants. Exactly where can I find the sheet music for these percussion and horns with the chants, such as to the one for invoking Kache Marpo or Dorje Shugden? Would it be possible to use school instruments for this?
    pastor answered: Dear Dongho, Thank you for your question, it is good to see you back and asking more questions. Yes you are right, there are differences in the tunes and chants between the lineages. The differences can vary significantly between the traditions, for example the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism is known for its extremely deep throat singing which is very powerful and is characterised by a low, booming voice, in contrast to the other traditions. Even within a particular tradition, there can be slight variations as to the manner in which the chants and tunes are performed. For example those monasteries are which are affiliated with Gyume will have one way of throat singing, where those affiliated with Gyuto will have another. As far as I am aware there is no professional sheet music for the rituals, most probably because the music is actually an integral part of the ritual itself. Therefore the music, tunes, and chants are all taught at the same time the ritual and prayers are. The tunes, and use of the instruments all have specific meanings, because they are considered to be offerings to the deities in the form of sound. The monasteries would not have copies of sheet music either, because sheet music is western practice. The use of ritual music within Tibetan Buddhism is more of one based on memory. In the Kechara organisation, the puja team was trained in such ritual instruments at the same time they learnt the particular ritual from monks from the monastery, such as the puja of Dorje Shugden. From what I saw of the training, the musical tunes, and use of instruments was not written down but taught experientially at the same time as the chanting. I have not come across any other instruments being used in pujas apart from the traditional ritual instruments, because even the instruments themselves have a specific meaning. That is not say that school instruments cannot be used. This is because, as long as the offering is sincere, the Buddhas and enlightened deities will accept it, and in turn you will generate great amounts of merit. Offerings should be made to the best of our ability, therefore if you do not have access to the ritual instruments, or do not know how to play them, but you know how to play other instruments, and use these instruments as offerings to the Buddhas during pujas, the amount of merit you generate will be the same. This is because you are sincere with your offering. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 26, 2017 02:14
    Kunga asked: Does the Gelug have Begtse a protector? If so, could you please provide a sadhana for him here?
    pastor answered: Dear Kunga, Yes the Dharma protector Begtse exists within the Gelug tradition. He is also known as Chamsing. Begtse’s practice stems from India and was introduced to Tibet and therefore Tibetan Buddhism by the translator Nyen Lotsawa. Marpa Lotsawa also practiced Begtse, and so the practice exists in the Kagyu traditions. This practice was eventually transmitted to Sachen Kunga Nyingpo, the first of the five patriarchs of the Sakya tradition, who were the founding fathers of that tradition. Over time the practice of Begtse was incorporated into the Gelug tradition, founded by Lama Tsongkhapa, and was notably practiced by the 1st and 2nd Dalai Lamas. Over time the practice gained popularity within the lineage, especially when it spread to Mongolia. There the practice became an important one within the lineage as upheld there. Begtse is also affectionately known as the Dharma protector of Mongolia, because his practice is so popular there. If I am not mistaken, there is an oracle of Begtse in Mongolia as well. There is a mistaken account that the practice originated around the time of the 3rd Dalai Lama, with the subjugation of a Mongolian war god, but Begtse was definitely practiced before that time in the Gelug, Kagyu and Sakya traditions. While the practice of Begtse is very effective, I have not come across the practice of Begtse in my personal practice, therefore I do not have access to the Begtse sadhana to provide to you. Instead Begtse is propitiated in prayers that incorporate many other Dharma protectors, and Begtse is also considered one of the nine protectors of the Hayagriva (Tamdrin) cycle of tantric teachings. Therefore Begtse is included in the Dharma protector sections of the Hayagriva tantras. Surrounding Begtse are his sister, Sing Ma, and his main minister, Le Khan Mar Po. His inner retinue comprises of eight butchers who wield copper swords in their right hands and skull-cups full of blood in their left hands. They are portrayed as naked and are very ugly. His outer retinue comprises a further twenty-one butchers, who hold copper swords in their right hands, and this time, the entrails of butchered enemies. They wear the skins humans and oxen as clothes, with ornaments made from human bone. While this may seem violent, Begtse is actually a very powerful and beneficial protector, who helps practitioners clear their obstacles and create conducive conditions for their spiritual evolution. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 24, 2017 20:12
    Azair asked: Venerable Rinpoche, I am doing a study in Kalachakra Tantra and I've heard from most of the lama's too that if you practice the Kalachakra Tantra, you'll be able to take control of your next rebirth. Ofcourse, it has been said that we will get our rebirth according to our Karma and desires but whether those dreams will get fulfilled will depend upon the actions that we take in this life. Thus, practicing the Kalachakra(till the end) after initiation will give you the opportunity to take rebirth anywhere you desire regardless of your Karma. My question is that, is there some truth in this statement.? Does this statement hold true for other tantra practices, such as Vajrayogini Tantra, Ghuyasamaja Tantra, Heruka Tantra, etc. I would really really like to know. Thankyou in anticipation, regards, Azair
    pastor answered: Dear Azair, Thank you for your question. Yes there is truth to this statement, both from a scriptural perspective and also by example, as the great masters have shown us. This is a unique feature of all Anuttarayoga Tantras or Highest Yoga Tantras, which Kalachakra, Vajrayogini, Guhyasama and Heruka are all examples of. This category of tantric practice can actually lead a practitioner to full enlightenment in this very lifetime. Even if enlightenment is not reached, very high levels of attainment can be reached nonetheless. This includes the ability to take control over your next rebirth. This is primarily engaged in so that the practitioner is born in an environment where they can eventually pick up their practice and further their spiritual path to enlightenment, or in order to be born in a place where they can benefit sentient beings the most, as part of the spiritual journey over many lifetimes. One of the reasons such an ability is very necessary on the spiritual path, is that usual death and rebirth occurs at the mercy of ones karma, specifically what is known as the ‘throwing karma’ or the karma that dictates what sort of rebirth a person is going to take. This opens up at the time of ordinary death, which most people have no control over. During the death process, many of our disturbing emotions will arise. Whichever of these is the strongest at the point of death triggers open a latent karmic potential, which becomes the ‘throwing karma’ and dictates where we are going to take rebirth and if that life will generally be full of suffering or not. Within Anuttarayoga Tantra, one of the key points of practice is to prepare for one’s death. This is done by simulating the dying process during one’s meditations, so that one becomes familiar with it. At the most pivotal part of this process, one practices achieving either the rainbow body or great bliss (in the case of the father tantras); or clear light (in the case of mother tantras). The tantras themselves are not defined in terms of the gender of the central deity, but by the method used to gain enlightenment. This is either the rainbow body/great bliss (classified as male, therefore labelled ‘father’) or clear light (classified as female, therefore labelled ‘mother’). Non-dual tantras such as the Kalachakra tantra can employ either of the two methods, a mixture of both, or alternate methods. In the case of superior practitioners, due to the power of their practice, they can achieve either of these two methods in their current body. Since they have familiarised themselves with the dying process, and a particular method of practice, they can also achieve enlightenment during their physical death. The great Lama Tsongkhapa is said to have achieved enlightenment at the moment of physical death, using the second of these. For other practitioners, they may not be able to achieve this either in their meditations while they are alive, or during the death process. However because they have familiarised themselves with the dying process, they remain in complete concentration at the time of death, not allowing any disturbing emotions to arise. Due to this level of concentration, meditation and awareness during the dying process, they are able to control where they next take rebirth. This is evident in the tantric scriptures themselves, and the life stories of many masters, who can state exactly where, when and to whom they will take their next rebirth, as they are in full control of the dying and rebirth process. There is a type of meditation called ‘thukdam’ which has been translated into ‘death meditation’. This is a final meditation some masters choose to engage in. During this meditation, the master themselves consciously begin the physical dying process themselves, engage in the meditation of dissolving the winds into the heart centre and remain in the most pivotal part of the death process, the mind of clear light of death. During this point they engage in meditations, either the methods of the father or mother tantras as mentioned previously, and or consciously choose where they are to next take rebirth. They can remain in this death meditation for long periods of time, days at an end, in which their consciousness has not yet left their body, although for all intents and purposes they are dead according to medical science, e.g. they have no heartbeat. At the end of their meditation, a drop of blood will be emitted from their nostril, and their head will slump over a little. Masters who engage in this meditation usually sit in full meditation posture, and their body remain supple and soft even though they have passed away from a medical point of view. I hope this brief explanation helps. Thank you.
  • March 23, 2017 23:01
    Brad asked: What is the significance of offering the Seven precious emblems of royalty to the Buddhas and enlightened Dharma Protectors? What are we symbolically offering up?
    pastor answered: Dear Brad, Thank you for your question. The ‘saptaratna’ or seven precious emblems represent on the one hand the ultimate state of temporal power, and on the other hand the ultimate spiritual attainments that we can achieve. By offering these to the Buddhas, we are actually creating the causes to achieve what they represent. Therefore it is good to know the meaning of each, so we can understand what we are creating the causes for by offering them up: Please see below for an explanation of the seven royal emblems: 1. The Precious Wheel: a thousand spoked wheel, representing the universal power of the Buddhas, as well as the teachings of the thousand Buddhas of our aeon. It is represented by the Dharmachakra, symbolising the ‘turning of the wheel’ or teaching of the Noble Eightfold Path. It is a symbol of a universal emperor’s spiritual and temporal power. It is also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect mindfulness, especially that of our own mind, thoughts, delusions and afflictions. 2. The Precious Jewel: an eight sided wish-granting gem, which fulfils all the needs of a universal emperor. This jewel has eight special qualities: it illuminates the night sky for hundreds of leagues; it is cooling when the temperature is hot and warming when the temperature is cold; it makes manifest whatever the holder wants; when thirsty it causes a fresh-water spring to appear; it has the ability to control the nagas, and other supernatural beings, as well as preventing natural disasters such as storms, floods, etc.; it gives off multi-coloured lighted which heals the various mental and emotional afflictions; it cures all illnesses; and it ensures that one dies a natural death, not an untimely one. It is a symbol of a universal emperor’s spiritual and temporal power. It is also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect mindfulness, or perfect discrimination, so one knows what to abandon and what to keep in the mindstream during the spiritual journey to enlightenment. 3. The Precious Queen: the most beautiful and virtuous of all women. She is described as a goddess who is the epitome of someone: with devotion; without jealousy; who is the embodiment of fertility; who works for the welfare of all beings; who possess feminine wisdom; speaks the truth; not attract to sensual pleasures or material possessions; and does not have false views. She is adored by all. She also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect effort. This is necessary to keep meditating until one gains spiritual attainments. 4. The Precious Minister: who has sharp intelligence, patience, and the ability to give wise counsel to the emperor. He is so attuned to the emperor that even before the emperor has spoken, the minister is already carrying out his command. He only wishes to support the Dharma, help sentient beings, and is an excellent strategist. He also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect joy. This is also akin to the attainment of the first bodhisattva level, because you have come to an understanding of your own mind, which is like pouring ice-cold water into boiling water. The water stops boiling, as does the thoughts, projections, and delusions in the mind. He represents the path of the bodhisattva. 5. The Precious Elephant: who has the strength of a thousand normal elephants. He is white, with the perfect features that an elephant could have. He is majestic, graceful, and gentle, but in battle is fearsome, fearless and unyielding. He communicates with the emperor through a telepathic link. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect adaptability. This is important, as one needs to be able to adapt to the various mental afflictions as they arise, and suitably counter them. 6. The Precious Horse: who has all the marks of a celestial horse. Known as wind-horse, he is able to travel extremely fast, and can circumambulate the entire universe three time in just a single day. He is never fearful or startled, never makes a sound when galloping, and has extremely soft hairs on his body. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is single-pointed concentration. This is important because without this form of concentration, once cannot engage in the analytical meditations that lead to an understanding of emptiness, and therefore enlightenment. 7. The Precious General: who has mastered the arts of war and always wins in battle. He wears battle armour and holds many different weapons. He tries to avoid battle, but when necessary fights, and never gives up until he has won. He is fearless, and courageous in carrying out the emperors commands and ensures the emperors army carries out their duties. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect equanimity. This is because he overcomes all warfare, which is akin to the battle between things were are attached to and things we have an aversion for in our minds. In short, what you are offering up is the highest of all temporal treasures and abilities, as well as the entire path of the Dharma. Doing so creates the causes for you to receive all of this on your spiritual journey towards enlightenment. I hope this helps. Thank you.
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