Achi Chokyi Drolma – Chief Protectress of the Drikung Kagyu

By | Mar 27, 2016 | Views: 3,342
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Protectress of the Drikung Kagyu, Achi Chokyi Drolma. Credit: Taylor Taz Johnson (TazDigital)

Dear friends,

I wanted to share with all of you some information about the holy Dharma protector Achi Chokyi Drolma from the Drikung Kagyu school. The great-grandmother to the founder of the school, Kyobpa Jigten Sumgon, her practice is widespread and very efficacious. Her story and practice is very unique, and something I thought many people would find interesting, and at the same time educational. Please enjoy reading it.

Pastor Niral Patel

 

Overview of Tibetan Buddhism

King Songtsen Gampo

Buddhism has a particularly long history in Tibet. It first entered Tibet during the reign of Emperor Songtsen Gampo around 650 CE. It was only a century later that Buddhism actually began to seep deeper into the fabric of Tibetan civilisation. This occurred during the period between the reigns of Emperor Trisong Detsen in 775 CE and Emperor Tri Ralpachen in 838 CE.

After this period there was a decline in Buddhism due to the reign of Emperor Langdarma from 838 to 842 CE, who actively sought to exterminate Buddhism from Tibet. He was to be the last Tibetan Emperor, and upon his death, Tibet entered a dark age lasting over 200 years. During this dark age there was no centralised system of rule and no patrons for the Dharma either. However, Buddhism somehow managed to survive this challenging period in history.

Between 900 and 1200 CE there was a revival of Buddhism due to a lively exchange between Tibetan translators who travelled to India to bring back Buddhist knowledge, and Indian masters who made the journey to Tibet to share their knowledge. By the 14th Century, Buddhism in Tibet became systemised into the four major School of Tibetan Buddhism that we know today, namely the Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug. All four schools, however, trace their origins back to the historical founder and enlightened one, Buddha Shakyamuni.

 

Overview of the Drikung Kagyu School

A statue of the great Mahasiddha Naropa

The Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism traces its specific origins back to the great Indian Mahasiddha Tilopa. Tilopa was originally a monk who later undertook the wandering life of a Mahasiddha. He is famous for his mastery of higher tantric practices, which he passed on to his primary disciple, Naropa (1016-1100 CE). A Mahasiddha in his own right, Naropa is known for his devotion towards his teacher. The teachings given to Naropa by Tilopa in regards to certain tantric completion stage practices, known today as The Six Yogas of Naropa, are considered an essential teaching of the Kagyu lineage and have spread among many other Tibetan Buddhist lineages.

Naropa is also famous for having visions of Vajrayogini. This form of Vajrayogini is known as Naro Kacho, or Naropa’s Vajrayogini, and is currently practiced in many lineages in Tibetan Buddhism, including the Sakya and Gelug schools. Some of the teachings held by Naropa, such as the Six Yogas, were passed down to Marpa Chokyi Lodro, who in turn passed them to the great Milarepa (1040-1123 CE). Milarepa is known to have been one of Tibet’s greatest yogi practitioners. Milarepa’s teachings were then carried by Gampopa (1079-1153 CE), who was known as the physician from Dakpo. From Gampopa’s disciples sprang the first of the four main lineages of the Kagyu School. The founder of the Phagdru Kagyu was Phagmodrupa Dorje Gyalpo (1110-1170 CE). His main disciple, by the name of Kyobpa Jigten Sumgon (1143-1217 CE) then established his own lineage, the Drikung Kagyu, upon the foundation of Drikung Thil Monastery in Meldro Gungkar County, an act which his teacher had previously predicted.

Having received the teachings, oral transmissions, initiations, explanations and blessings in their entirety from Phagmodrupa, Jigten Sumgon in turn passed these to his main disciple Gurawa Tsultrim Dorje (1154-1221 CE). Jigten Sumgon hailed from the Kyura clan, and at the beginning of the Drikung Kagyu, the throneholders came from the male offspring of the same clan, however there were no set rules for the succession among the family. The lineage was setup in such a way that both spiritual and secular matters were separated, under the throne holder and civil administrator respectively.

Jigten Sumgon, founder of the Drikung Kagyu school and great-grandson of Achi Chokyi Drolma.

In 1373 CE, the founder of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, the glorious Lama Tsongkhapa (1357-1419 CE) travelled from Amdo to Drikung. There he become the student of the 11th Drikung Kagyu throneholder, Chenga Chokyi Gyalpo, for a period of five years. Lama Tsongkhapa was passed the complete Drikung teachings on the Six Yogas of Naropa, the outer and inner texts of Jigten Sumgon, the treatises of the ‘Possessing Five’ Mahamudra and the Guhyasamaja Tantras.

After the passing of Gyalwang Konchog Rinchen (1590-1655 CE), a system of two lineage holders developed, of the Chetsang (elder) and the Chungtsang (younger). This became a system that searched for the reincarnations of the throneholders as the Kyura clan died with the passing of Gyalwang Konchog Rinchen and his brother Kunkhyen Rigzin Chodrak (1595-1659 CE). They were given the titles of the 1st Chetsang and the 1st Chungtsang respectively. This system of succession within the Drikung Kagyu has continued up until today.

The current 8th Chungtsang Rinpoche is His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Tenzin Chokyi Nangwa and is the 36th lineage holder, considered an emanation of Manjushri. The current 7th Chetsang Rinpoche is His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Tenzin Thrinle Lhundrup, and is the 37th lineage holder, considered the emanation of Chenresig.

 

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Special Teachings of the Drikung Kagyu

The name ‘Kagyu’ is made up two syllables, ‘ka’ refers to the spoken word of the Buddha and the oral instructions of the guru, while ‘gyu’ refers to tradition or lineage. As such the Kagyu School emphasises the oral instructions passed on from a guru to disciple. A literal translation of ‘Kagyu’ means ‘the lineage of the oral instructions.’

Central to the Drikung Kagyu practices, as reflected in their refuge tree, is the Buddha Vajradhara. Vajradhara is the embodiment of the Dharmakaya, or the ‘truth body’. The Dharmakaya is the unmanifested and inconceivable ultimate aspect of full enlightenment, from which all Buddha forms arise. The Buddha Vajradhara is central to the lineage, as the Mahasiddha Tilopa received teachings directly from Vajradhara. Thus it can be said that the Kagyu lineage originated from the very nature of Buddhahood itself. Tilopa’s teachings form the core of Kagyu practice.

 

Possessing Five Mahamudra

Thangka of the Drikung Kagyu lineage, with Jigten Sumgon as the central figure. Note that Achi Chokyi Drolma is given an important position, next to the Yidam Chakrasamvara.

One of the main teachings from the Drikung Kagyu lineage is known as the ‘Possessing Five’ or ‘The Five-fold Profound Path of Mahamudra.’ This teaching again stems from Tilopa who taught it to Naropa. Mahamudra literally meaning ‘Great Seal’, is a meditation technique that focuses on the nature of the mind in order to understand the true nature of reality, also known as emptiness. This Mahamudra lineage can also be found in the Gelug lineage, as Lama Tsongkhapa and several other Gelug lineage lamas received the teachings from the Kagyu tradition. This unique form of Mahamudra is known as the ‘Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra’ lineage, although also sometimes translated as both ‘Gelug Whispered Mahamudra’ or the ‘Gelug Oral Mahamudra’ lineage. Through this practice it is possible to achieve enlightenment in one lifetime.

Traditionally the practice of Mahamudra is engaged in after completing a series of four Ngondro, or foundational practices. These are (1) going for refuge, (2) Vajrasattva purification practice, (3) Mandala offering, and (4) Guru-yoga practice. These practices are considered completed when one has engaged in each practice 100,000 times. The set of teachings is categorised into five ‘folds’ or interrelated sections. These are, developing Bodhichitta, meditation on the Yidam, Guru Yoga, Mahamudra and dedication.

 

Six Yogas of Naropa

Tilopa’s disciple, Naropa, is famous for having systemised and enumerated a series of six techniques for use when practicing highest yoga tantra in order to achieve a more rapid attainment of enlightenment. According to the lineage, Tilopa received these teachings directly from Heruka Chakrasamvara himself.

These yogas require empowerment into at least one higher tantric yoga deity, most often Heruka Chakrasamvara or Vajrayogini/Vajravarahi and firm stability in the generation stage of the practice. The yogas themselves have no empowerment but they need to be learnt from a qualified teacher. They include:

  1. Tummo (Skt: Candali): the yoga of inner heat.
  2. Gyulu (Skt: Mayakaya): the yoga of illusory body.
  3. Osel (Skt: Prabhasvara): the yoga of clear light.
  4. Milam (Skt: Svapnadarsana): the yoga of the dream state.
  5. Bardo (Skt: Antarabhava): the yoga of the intermediate stage.
  6. Powa (Skt: Samkranti): the yoga of transference of consciousness to a pureland.

 

Yang Zab – The Profound Vision

The Drikung Refuge Tree, in which Achi Chokyi Drolma is portrayed.

The Yang Zab is a unique teaching within the Drikung Kagyu lineage. It is actually a Dzogchen practice, usually only practiced in Nyingma traditions. It was revealed by the 17th Drikung Kagyu throneholder, Rinchen Phuntsog, known as the Drikung Terton (hidden treasure revealer). This teachings was first taught by Padmasambhava to his holy consorts Mandarava and Yeshe Tsogyal as well as Prince Mutik Tsenpo (the son of King Trisong Detsen). Padmasambhava prophesied that these teachings would be most effective in the future, when there was spiritual darkness and so they were hidden by Yeshe Tsogyal for future generations. Rinchen Phuntsog, himself an reincarnation of Prince Mutik Tsenpo, again revealed this teaching during the first half of the 16th century. Since then it has been practiced in the Drikung Kagyu tradition.

 

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Life of Achi Chokyi Drolma

Achi Chokyi Drolma is a Dharma protector (Skt: Dharmapala) practiced within the Drikung Kagyu lineage. She also appears in the Karma Kagyu lineage in the form of Achi Chodron. In this form she is also considered a protector, who specifically protects the teachings of the Karma Kagyu lineage. She also appears as both a Dharma protector and dakini in the life of Terton Tsasum Lingpa of the Nyingma lineage. She is considered an emanation of Vajrayogini, as such she is considered the embodiment of the wisdom and compassion of all the Buddhas, and it is said her coming was prophesised within the Heruka Chakrasamvara tantra.

Around the 11th century there was a couple who lived in the area of Drikung, Tibet. They were childless, so embarked on a pilgrimage to Swayambhunath in Nepal. There they prayed to bear a child. One night, Driza Dharzam, the soon-to-be mother dreamt of a sun shining radiantly from the east appearing, its light spreading into the ten directions, and then the sun dissolving into her womb, while the soon-to-be father Nanam Chowopal dreamt of a rosary made of bright and clear light emanated from Akshobya’s Buddhafield and entered his wife’s womb. The couple upon waking realised that they were to give birth to a special child, so engaged in a tsok (skt: ganachakra) puja, made strong aspirations and returned to Tibet. There they gave birth to daughter, Achi Chokyi Drolma, whose body was extraordinarily white, amid rays of bright and luminous light. As a child she constantly recite the holy mantra of the Buddha Tara, at aged three began to teach it to others. Her parents died early, so from that point onwards she lived with her uncle.

Due to her incredible beauty, many sought to marry her. However she stated that she would only marry a particular yogi descended from the noble Kyura family. Travelling to Kham she came across the yogi, named Ame Tsultrim Gyatso, whom she married, stating that their descendants would become enlightened, help to enlighten others and spread the Buddha’s teachings. Ame Tsultrim Gyatso did not have enough possessions to arrange their wedding, so Achi Chokyi Drolma danced holding a damaru (ritual drum) and kapala (skull-cup) in her hands while gazing up into the sky. The house was instantly filled with the best foods, drinks, and finest clothes for them to wear during their wedding. Upon eating the food it is said the guests felt great bliss and were very satisfied.

A statue of the holy Achi Chokyi Drolma

Achi Chokyi Drolma and Ame Tsultrim Gyatso gave birth to four intelligent and scholarly sons: Namkhe Wangchuk, Pekar Wangyal, Sonam Pal and Kathung Trushi. In turn Pekar Wangyal gave birth to four sons himself including Naljor Dorje. Naljor Dorje in turn gave birth to Jigten Sumgon, also known as Ratnashri, a reincarnation of Nagarjuna and founder of the Drikung Kagyu lineage.

At the end of her time on earth, Achi Chokyi Drolma stated that she had purposefully taken rebirth into samsara in order fulfil her aspirations to protect the Buddhas teachings for the welfare of all sentient beings and to those who follow her, she will bestow both ordinary and supreme siddhis. Together with her disciples she travelled to the Tingring cave. This cave is famous for housing many self-arisen statues of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, yidams, dakinis and Dharma protectors. A human corpse was brought into the cave, which Achi Chokyi Drolma transformed into a tsog offering. Those disciples that partook of the offering gained both ordinary and supreme attainments. It was then that she herself composed a sadhana of herself as the central deity, promised to look after the teachings of the Buddha, and the essence of the Buddha’s teachings that would appear in the future. With that she stated that the activities of her body had come to an end, and flew to Kechara pureland on a blue horse without leaving her physical body, reminiscent of seventy-five of the famous eighty four great Mahasiddhas of ancient India.

Using a human corpse and transforming it into an offering may seem violent, disturbing and unbecoming of a supposed enlightened being, but this should be understood from a tantric point of view since Achi Chokyi Drolma was a great practitioner of tantra. Within tantric practices, one does not attempt to change the world on the external level in order to further one’s practice. On the contrary, the external world remains the same but tantra actually transforms the internal world, which is our own mind.

In Buddhism, it is not about changing the outer world but the internal one. Normally we operate from our attachments and aversions, things we like, we don’t like, things which look nice, things that disgust us, etc. It is because we think in this manner that we are still bound to samsara because we hold on to projections of how things are. This governs how we live, driving our actions towards the accumulation of what we are attached to and avoiding those things we have aversion for. Through this process we make distinctions and label things as good, bad, beautiful, ugly, clean, unclean, etc. This in turn creates further karma to take rebirth in samsara, and we live our lives based on these projections of how things should or should not be.

Achi Chokyi Drolma

In Tantric Buddhism, we engage in certain rituals that break this usual view we have, with the aim of realising that the world does not exist based on our current perceptions which are based on attachment and aversion. The transformation of the human corpse into a tsog offering symbolises the transformation of our ordinary view (the corpse) into the ultimate view of the Buddha (tsog offerings), which is that all things have the same nature known as ‘suchness’, by the power of Achi Chokyi Drolma’s attainments.

The transformation is due to the fact that all that exists is made up of the four elements, known as earth, water, fire and air, which do not deteriorate, or cease to exist but are recycled into varied forms. For example physical fire contains all the four elements, but the element of fire is the strongest, whereas the element of water is the weakest. In physical water, the element of water is the strongest, whereas the element of fire is the weakest. Both physical fire and physical water, however, contain all four of the elements. Similarly our bodies include the four elements in differing qualities as does a piece of fruit or a table.

The use of a corpse as an offering for tsog, or tantric feast, shows a person’s inner attainments over attachment to the body, and their meditation on the fact that all phenomena are in essence the same, made up of all four elements in differing quantities. Hence to taste meat or alcohol, usually ascribed the projection of being pollutants by spiritual practitioners, a tantrika during ritual is able to see the oneness, or ‘suchness’ in all substances and existence. In tantra, these substances are partaken of as a method to ‘taste’ the oneness of all phenomena, free of attachment, rather than to allow our views about them to control our mind and how we live, cutting away the very aspect that binds us to samsara.

This use of a corpse may seem repulsive or disgusting to many people, this is because a human corpse is universally reviled and something to be kept away from. In many cultures around the world a corpse is seen as unclean, for example in both Indian and Chinese cultures it is tradition to wash after attending a funeral in order to wash away any negative energy that one may have picked up from being in close proximity to a corpse.

This is one of the reasons a corpse was used by Achi Chokyi Drolma in order to break this very same and ingrained perception. Another reason is that the body is literally the very embodiment of our attachment. From washing it daily, feeding it, keeping it healthy, clothing it in fine clothes and jewels, to making it comfortable, are all activities which betray our attachment. In this way, the use of a corpse within tantric ritual, usually visualised rather than actual, is used to overcome this very strong attachment to the body. The transformation of the corpse is only done by an attained practitioner like Achi Chokyi Drolma. The normal tantric offering is the tasting of meat and alcohol during tsog offering as symbolic transcendence of attachment and the tasting of the ‘one taste’.

 

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The Nature of Achi Chokyi Drolma

Achi Chokyi Drolma and her entourage

Though Achi Chokyi Drolma is now considered an enlightened Dharma protector within the Drikung Lineage, she was at one point in time considered a female demon who was an oath-bound protector. Many of her biographers took great lengths to disprove this theory and prove her to be the wisdom dakini Vajrayogini, who intentionally took worldly existence as a method to educate practitioners. Even though Jigten Sumgon, himself the founder of the Drikung Kagyu, wrote extensive prayers to Achi Chokyi Drolma, others still considered her to be unenlightened. This caused a great deal of debate and friction, she was not accepted throughout the entire Drikung Kagyu until a later period.

Some have claimed that she was a flesh-eating demoness, while others claimed that she was similar to the Sakya Bamo Sum. These claims are refuted again and again by citing Jigten Sumgon’s texts on her practice. These claims are also refuted by other masters, such as the 28th Drikung throneholder, who cite various texts and Buddhist logic in proving Achi Chokyi Drolma an enlightened being, worthy of being prayed to. Another argument purported is that she is very close in appearance to the Tsering Goddess and her sisters, known as the Five Long-Life Goddesses, who also appear as beautiful women, dressed in ornate garments, riding animal mounts. This again is refuted by examining their natures, the Five Long-Life Goddesses are well accepted to be worldly protectors, whereas Achi Chokyi Drolma is enlightened due to her being an emanation of the Buddha Vajrayogini.

By comparing Achi Chokyi Drolma’s biography to those of other figures within Tibetan Buddhism such as Machig Labdron, it is made clear the arguments used to prove that she is an accepted Buddha figure. These include an auspicious birth, miraculous abilities and physical attributes. Her position as the great-grandmother to Jigten Sumgon is also stressed, providing credence against those who decry her enlightened nature. The case of tracing a bloodline back to a supernatural maternal ancestor is not unusual with the biographies of many great and historical figures from Tibet. These would not have been necessary if she was accepted as an enlightened Dharma protector from the outset of her practice.

Even great masters from other traditions strove to ensure that Achi Chokyi Drolma was legitimised as an enlightened protector. His Holiness the 2nd Dalai Lama, Gyalwa Gendun Gyatso (1476-1542 CE) said:

“From the Vast Valley of the Unconditioned Blissful Sky, Chokyi Dron propagated the Great Vehicle in the Ten Directions. [She is] the Teaching Guardian Grandmother of Jigten Gonpo (Jigten Sumgon).”

Since Drikung is near Amdo, her practice also spread to the monasteries of other lineages, including the Gelugpa monasteries of Gaden, Sera and Drepung. In fact, in recent history, when Pomra Khangtsen left Sera Mey Monastic University to start Serpom Monastery in 2008, those few monks who stayed behind renamed their fraternity Pobhor Khangtsen and took Achi Chokyi Drolma as their Khangtsen’s protector, in light of the current political issues surrounding the practice of Dorje Shugden.

What is striking and most highlighted by both biographers, practitioners and commentators is the fact that Achi Chokyi Drolma, rather than a native mountain god or spirit, is an actual emanation of Vajrayogini, separating her from the realm of lower and worldly Dharma protectors. This elevates her status to Buddhahood, a level at which there can be no mistake that her practice is beneficial, and without issue.

 

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Practice of Achi Chokyi Drolma

Apart from the originally sadhana, composed by Achi Chokyi Drolma herself there are many other sadhanas and practice texts that exist today within the Drikung Kagyu lineage. The most notable is the sadhana composed by her great-grandson, Jigten Sumgon, the founder of the Drikung lineage. It is said that while staying at Jangchub Ling in Drikung Thil, he heard the sound of a damaru, together with mystical singing. One of his disciples asked him about the sounds and songs. Jigten Sumgon stated that they were from his great-grandmother, Achi Chokyi Drolma who is a wisdom-dakini. His disciple, Drubthob Khamba Gyagarwa, immediately requested a sadhana for propitiating Achi Chokyi Drolma. Jigten Sumgon agreed, and this sadhana is now part of a set of texts to Achi Chokyi Drolma, known as the Achi Pebum. Jigten Sumgon also established her as the principal Dharma protector of the lineage.

As a Dharma protector she is visualised on a blue wisdom horse, in the garb of a celestial dakini. Her wisdom horse symbolises the swiftness of her enlightened activities to help sentient beings, long life, health and success. In her left hand she holds a kapala (skull-cup) at the level of her heart. The skull-cup contains a wish fulfilling jewel, symbolising she has the ability to bestow everything necessary for both secular and spiritual life, when needed and asked for. In her left hand she plays the damaru (ritual drum), the sound representing the power of the Dharma. Her practice is beneficial to clear both inner and outer obstacles to practicing the Dharma, while bestowing great protection. Unlike many other Dharma protectors, her countenance is peaceful rather than wrathful.

There are many examples of Achi Chokyi Drolma aiding practitioners. For example when the current His Holiness Chungtsang Rinpoche was imprisoned in a labour camp after the Chinese invasion of Tibet, a woman was seen visiting him and bringing him food. This was impossible due to the restrictions placed on prisoners at the time. It is said that this lady was actually Achi Chokyi Drolma. In another case Achi also helped His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche cross over the Himalayas into India, while escaping from Tibet. Finding that his route was barred by a crevasse in a glacier, he started to turn back the way he had come. Looking over his shoulders, however, he saw a woman standing on the other side of the crevasse and thought to himself that there must be a way over the crevasse. He retraced his steps to find that the crevasse was no longer there, so he could continue his journey to India. The woman herself was nowhere to be seen either.

Achi Chokyi as practiced in the Pure Vision Achi practice. She is visualised as guru (centre), yidam (top-left), long-life dakini (top-right), to invoke wealth (bottom-left) and protector (bottom-right).

The extent to which Achi Chokyi Drolma is venerated and as testament to her enlightened nature, she is propitiated in more roles than just a Dharma protector. The above thangka shows just how important Achi Chokyi Drolma’s role is within the Drikung Kagyu. The thangka portrays the Pure Vision Achi practice that was revealed by His Eminence Tritsab Rinpoche in 1969. This practice was transmitted to His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche and since then has been spread throughout the Drikung Kagyu. This practice includes meditating on Achi as:

  1. The central figure in Guru Yoga practice – similar to how Gelugpas concentrate on Lama Tsongkhapa or Nyingmapas concentrate on Padmasambhava.
  2. As a Yidam – a meditational deity similar to Manjushri or Yamantaka.
  3. As a long life dakini to lengthen one’s life.
  4. As a practice to invoke prosperity.
  5. As a Dharma protector.

The Pure Vision Achi practice even involves a concise ngondro practice (foundational practice used to purify negative karma and accumulate merit), a concise tsog offering (ritual tantric feast), an incense offering, a repelling practice for protection against negativities, a chod practice and even a divination practice. This is very unique as Achi has all the functions of guru, yidam, dakini and protector. Practitioners are said to be able to rely on Achi all the way until enlightenment just by this practice and it is said to be very powerful for our modern day and age, as her practice was revealed less than 48 years ago.

Achi Chokyi Drolma, even though known of and respected by all schools of Tibetan Buddhism, is for the most part practiced purely within the Kagyu lineages. In fact one of her main roles as a Dharma protector is to protect the holy Drikung Kagyu lineage and its precious teachings.

 

A shrine to the chief protectress of the Drikung Kagyu, Achi Chokyi Drolma

For more detailed information regarding Achi Chokyi Drolma, you can read an academic thesis entitled ‘Outward Beauty, Hidden Wrath: An Exploration of the Drikung Kagyu Dharma Protectress Achi Chokyi Drolma’ by Kristen Kail Muldowney here.

 

Praise to Achi Chokyi Drolma

From “The Glorious Treasury of All Desirables Sadhana of Pure Vision Achi”

HUNG HRIH!
CHOEYING MIGYUR PEL GYI YUM
TEN SUNG ACHI CHOE DRON MA
RIG KYI TSOM BU TRUL KHOR CHE
DECHEN THINLE DRUB LA TOE

Hung Hrih!
The mother of the glorious unchanging dharmadhatu
Is the dharma protector Achi Choedron ma.
I praise you and the assembly of your family,
Including the emanations and retinues,
who enact the activities of great bliss

MANTRA:

OM MAMA TSAKRA SOHA
YAR DU SARWA DU
RA DZA RA DZA DU
MAMA DU HUNG PHET SOHA

 

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I’ve learnt a lot during the research for this article, and it has really shaped the way I see other traditions and their practices. Personally for me this article was meaningful because the Gelug lineage, which i practice, is linked to the Drikung Kagyu lineage. The practices of Mahamudra and the Six Yogas of Naropa were taught to Lama Tsongkhapa by the 11th Drikung Kagyu throneholder, Chenga Chokyi Gyalpo, therefore the lineage of Gelugpa practice shares part of the same lineage as the Drikung Kagyu. I make a prayer that this blog post will provide information to others regarding this most holy Protectress, Achi Chokyi Drolma.

Pastor Niral Patel

PS. Special thanks to Pastor David for the great advice and editing.

 


 

Addendum – Similarities to Dorje Shugden:

Over the course of writing the above article, I had many people from all walks of life read it and give the their thoughts and opinions on the subject. One thing that came across the most was the similarity between Achi Chokyi Drolma and Dorje Shugden. I’ve listed some of these questions asked, with some quick answers below. I wanted the above Achi Chokyi Drolma article to be an informative blogpost on its own, which she deserves, but along the way I observed the similarities with her arising as a Dharma protector and the conflict within her lineage with issues surrounding Dorje Shugden. So I decided to add the question and answer sections here separately. I don’t mean to ‘entrap’ you to learn more about the Dorje Shugden issue by using Achi Chokyi Drolma, but the similarities are so starkly evident, I was compelled to put this here.

1. Are they both enlightened beings?

Yes both are definitely enlightened beings. Achi Chokyi Drolma is an emanation of Vajrayogini and Dorje Shugden is an emanation of Manjushri. They both emanated out of enlightened compassion to benefit sentient beings by protecting certain lineages or teachings.

This is seen in Achi Chokyi Drolma’s life story, in which she married and gave birth to sons who would propagate the teachings of the Buddha, and vowed to protect the lineage that her descendants would found. Similarly in his previous incarnations as attained masters (such as the Mahasiddha Virupa, Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen and Panchen Sonam Drakpa), Dorje Shugden practiced and promoted the Buddha’s teachings, he also arose in the form of a Dharma protector to safeguard the teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa so that people can benefit from them on the path towards enlightenment.

Due to their enlightened compassion, Achi Chokyi Drolma at the end of her life rose into the sky on a blue horse and departed to Kechara pureland becoming a Dharma protector, whereas Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen surrendered his life and arose in the form of Dorje Shugden.

 

2. What was their purpose for arising as protectors?

Achi Chokyi Drolma emanated specifically to protect the teachings of the Drikung Kagyu lineage, whereas Dorje Shugden arose to protect the teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa within the Gelug tradition. This can be seen as protectors who have sectarian intentions. They both had the same intention, to ensure that the teachings of the lineage continue to benefit practitioners on their path towards enlightenment. Since their intentions are altruistic although attached to a specific lineage it cannot be seen as sectarian, but they have a special relationship with their certain lineage. Therefore the practitioners of these protectors also cannot be seen as sectarian, so devotees of Achi Chokyi Drolma and Dorje Shugden who specifically propitiate them to protect their lineages, cannot be seen as sectarian.

Many Dharma protectors are considered to protect certain teachings, such as Caturmukha Mahakala who protects the Chakrasamvara tantras or Citipati who protects the Vajrayogini tantras. Would we call Caturmukha Mahakala and Citipati bias because they are protecting a certain lineage only? Of course not, although they protect their particular affinity tantras, they can protect an individual who supplicates them sincerely. So somebody who practices something other than the Chakrasamvara and Vajrayogini tantras, would be protected by them if propitiated. Therefore it is not uncommon for protectors to arise for certain reasons, such as protecting lineages or teachings. But that does not make them sectarian or biased.

Due to their enlightened nature, however, anyone who sincerely propitiates them will receive the benefits of their practice whether they are within that sect or practice that particular tantra or not.

 

3. Are their practices in essence the same?

Both the practices of Dorje Shugden and Achi Chokyi Drolma have the same function which is to remove obstacles facing a practitioner, and to create conducive conditions to practice the Dharma to gain enlightenment through the spiritual path. Another similarity is that both Dharma protectors have divination methods, Dorje Shugden’s involves throwing dice, whereas Achi Chokyi Drolma has two, one involves throwing dice and the other the creation of an elaborate elephant shaped torma, left outside and eaten by birds and then interpreted.

A slight difference occurs when comparing Dorje Shugden’s practice to that of the Pure Vision Achi practice. Whilst Dorje Shugden is currently propitiated as a Dharma protector, in the Pure Vision Achi practice, Achi Chokyi Drolma is propitiated as more. In this practice, her sadhanas can lead a person all the way until Buddhahood. Achi Chokyi Drolma has come a long way as she is also practiced as a yidam, when she was first seen as a flesh-eating demoness by many within her own lineage. In this practice she is considered a guru, yidam, dakini and Dharma protector. Dorje Shugden is currently propitiated as a Dharma protector, and a guru when in the form of Duldzin during trance of a qualified oracle. However this is not to say that Dorje Shugden is just a Dharma protector. In fact in Dorje Shugden’s Kangsol, or liturgy, he is stated as being a guru, yidam and protector, just like Achi Chokyi Drolma:

“You are the Guru who teaches the excellent path of abandonment and practice,
The Yidam who bestows the common and supreme attainments,
The Dharma Protector who assists us with the four actions;
We honour you as the embodiment of the Guru, Yidam, and Protector.”
– Requesting Uncommon Protection, Dorje Shugden Kangsol

Both Dorje Shugden and Achi Chokyi Drolma, as emanations of enlightened beings can be propitiated as either guru, yidam, dharma protector or all three. It is simply that a practice of propitiating Dorje Shugden as either a guru or yidam does not currently exist. This is not to say that it will never exist, as the example of Achi Chokyi Drolma is clearly a testament to.

Achi Chokyi Drolma was originally practiced as a Dharma protector, and over the course of time, was practiced as guru and yidam as well. This was due to her enlightened nature as an emanation of Vajrayogini. Since Dorje Shugden is an emanation of Manjushri, it is possible, even probable given the example of Achi Chokyi Drolma, that in the future he too will be practiced as a guru and yidam as well.

 

4. Historically, was there any opposition to these practices?

Yes, both practices were not accepted in the past at one time or another. For example Achi Chokyi Drolma was not widely accepted as a Dharma protector at the beginning, but this has since changed and she is widely accepted to be a Drikung Kagyu Dharma protector. The same occurred with Dorje Shugden. When he arose many thought he was an evil spirit, however when the enlightened methods of the high lamas at that time failed to destroy him, these same lamas realised that he was in fact a fully enlightened being.

Historically both were considered to be unenlightened and vicious beings by some, but the works of holy and attained masters were used to prove, over time, that they were enlightened. For example Jigten Sumgon, composed prayers to Achi Chokyi Drolma in order to recognise her as an enlightened Dharma protector. Even masters from other traditions such as His Holiness 2nd Dalai Lama Gyalwa Gedun Gyatso wrote a praise to her enlightened nature and position as a Dharma protector. This mirrors the works of not only Gelugpa but also Sakyapa masters in relation to proving Dorje Shugden is a fully enlightened Dharma protector.

 

5. Why is Dorje Shugden’s practice more wrathful?

Thinking that Dorje Shugden’s practice is more wrathful compared to Achi Chokyi Drolma and therefore that her practice is better, is a mistake. Whereas Dorje Shugden’s form is more wrathful compared to Achi Chokyi Drolma’s, whose form is rather peaceful, both practices mirror common Dharma protector liturgies that include a lot of violent imagery.

For example, one of Achi Chokyi Drolma’s emanations is known as the Flesh Eating Karma Dakini, who holds the heart of someone who has violated their samaya. From this heart comes forth blood which she pours into Achi Chokyi Drolma’s mouth, who drinks it. This shows the wrathful nature of Achi Chokyi Drolma’s practice. In fact, towards the end of her life Achi Chokyi Drolma transformed a human corpse into a tsog feast as described and explained in the article above.

Most Dharma protector practices include violent imagery, therefore it is not fair to single out one protector for their violent imagery, while ignoring the violent imagery existing in other Dharma protector prayers. This violent imagery is actually testament to the compassionate nature of the enlightened beings who manifest different activities in order to tame and purify our very heavy and negative karma. It is believed that meditation on blessed violent symbolism is more swifter in purifying heavy impending karma. Hence, most Dharma protectors are in a wrathful form because enlightened angry energy is considered swifter in carrying out protective activities.

 

6. In the article, Jigten Sumgon recognised Achi Chokyi Drolma as a Dharma Protector by composing her sadhana. On the other hand, Lama Tsongkhapa did not recognise nor did he enthrone Dorje Shugden as a Dharma protector. How do you explain this?

At the time of Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden was still incarnating as illustrious high lamas with highest realisation. He was the great student of Lama Tsongkhapa, Dulzin Drakpa Gyeltsen who was considered equal to Lama Tsongkhapa in terms of realisations. He was also known to have pledged to be a protector of Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings and this came to fruition in a later lifetime. In order for a Dharma protector to be recognised, a lama of the highest realisations would compose praises and prayers or would openly proliferate the practice of that protector. Within the Drikung Kagyu tradition, it was Jigten Sumgon who recognised and composed the sadhana of Achi Chokyi Drolma.

Within the Gelug tradition, there are many high lamas of that realisation and calibre who are capable of recognising Dorje Shugden. The Panchen Lama is an example of such a high lama, second only to the Dalai Lama. He had installed Dorje Shugden as one of the main protectors of his monastery of Tashi Lhunpo by dedicating a whole chapel to Dorje Shugden and he also composed prayers to Dorje Shugden as well. Other high lamas within the lineage, past and present, such as Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, Domo Geshe Rinpoche, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche and so forth, have also composed prayers and proliferated the practice. Compared with the Drikung Kagyu who are smaller in numbers compared to the Gelug lineage, the Gelug lineage has many more high and enlightened lamas who have recognised Dorje Shugden as a genuine Dharma protector. In this regard, the Drikung Kagyu needed to cite Jigten Sumgon again and again while proving Achi Chokyi Drolma is an actual enlightened Dharma protector.

 

7. Why did the Drikung Kagyu lineage lamas pick a controversial and ‘homegrown’ Dharma protector like Achi Chokyi Drolma instead of an established and older Dharma Protector from the Indian tradition?

The reason for the choice of Achi Chokyi Drolma as Dharma protector is due to the place, karma and affinity of practitioners at that particular time. All Buddhas are of equal realisation and strength but the difference between them is the affinity with sentient beings, due to the vows made by the enlightened ones, and also the general karma of the practitioners of that particular time.

Historically, there are many protectors of Indian origin that were once popular and are no longer practiced. They were emanations of enlightened beings, who arose for specific purposes. However over time the potency of their practice fades due to the time, place and karma of practitioners. Due to their compassion, the older protectors ‘phase’ out and the same enlightened beings continually emanate out as new Dharma protectors in order to perpetuate the Buddha’s teachings and to benefit practitioners and sentient beings in general. This is the case with Achi Chokyi Drolma and Dorje Shugden as well.

In the case of Achi Chokyi Drolma, she made firm commitments when she composed her own sadhana before her great passing and transformation into a Dharma Protector. On top of that, the Drikung Kagyu lineage arose from her own descendent, Jigten Sumgon. Hence, the affinity with practitioners of this lineage is particularly strong. However, being an emanation of Vajrayogini, she has compassion for all beings. Therefore, anybody who practices her would receive her great blessings and protection. This mirrors Dorje Shugden’s affinity to practitioners of the Gelug tradition, as he has a connection with the lineage due to his previous lives as high Gelugpa lamas. He also vowed to protect the teachings of the lineage’s founder, Lama Tsongkhapa. As an emanation of Manjushri, his propitiation will also benefit anyone too.

 

8. What do you think is the main difference between the relative ease it took Achi Chokyi Drolma to be accepted as an emanation of Vajrayogini within a few hundred years after she arose, when compared with Dorje Shugden who is an emanation of Manjushri?

The main difference is the fact that no high lama within the Drikung Kagyu tradition that we know of has outlawed the practice in modern times. However, even after Jigten Sumgon’s recognition of her as a Dharma protector, many lamas and disciples within the lineage did not accept her as a Dharma protector. Many had to cite Jigten Sumgon and other lamas in order for Achi Chokyi Drolma to be accepted, which took a couple of hundred years. Only after this occurred was she fully accepted. This is in stark contrast to the ban on Dorje Shugden issued by His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself, in which Dorje Shugden was accepted for 400 years and now suddenly is not. Therefore, it is easy to refute any doubts and rumours regarding the nature of Achi Chokyi Drolma. On the other hand, the ban on Dorje Shugden has essentially pitted Gelug lamas against each other in regards to his nature. However, most of the highest lamas of the Gelug tradition like the Panchen Lama, Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, Domo Geshe Rinpoche, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and so forth have all proclaimed Dorje Shugden as the enlightened nature of Manjushri and the principle protector of the Gelug tradition. Some of the Gelugpa lamas had to politically align their allegiance to the Dalai Lama and therefore agree with the ban, irrelevant to whether Dorje Shugden is enlightened or not. To be aligned with the Dalai Lama and to receive his public support could result in the financial and popularity gain of their individual centres.

Ultimately how is it ascertained that His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s statement regarding Dorje Shugden’s nature is correct? Is it through his attainments or his rank that you use to come to this conclusion? If you are coming to this conclusion based on the Dalai Lama’s attainments, are you at a level to ascertain his attainments, to determine if he is qualified to make such a statement regarding Dorje Shugden? Since we are not of the same level as the Dalai Lama to ascertain his attainments (and therefore qualifications), us concluding that his statement on Dorje Shugden is accurate based on our ‘assessment’ of his spiritual attainments is not feasible.

Therefore the assertion that the Dalai Lama’s statement about Dorje Shugden is correct is actually based on rank (Tibet’s leader) rather than attainments. Rank in this case overrides attainments because it provides those who agree with the Dalai Lama the opportunity for financial and popularity gain. And if it is indeed the case that rank overrides attainments, then attainments are no longer relevant and those with higher rank can override the instructions and practice given by any teacher ranked below them regardless of attainments.

This conflict between attainment versus rank has fueled the controversy surrounding Dorje Shugden, and likewise would have fueled the controversy surrounding reliance on Achi Chokyi Drolma in the early days of her practice. Therefore in regards to spiritual practice, one should revert to the infallible advice common to all traditions, whether Gelug, Nyingma, Sakya or Kagyu – follow the advice of your teacher. Just as Achi Chokyi Drolma was recognised and praised as a Dharma protector by teachers from other traditions, so was Dorje Shugden. In the Sakya tradition, in which Dorje Shugden was first practiced, many high lamas recognised and praised him, including five Sakya Trizins who had propagated Dorje Shugden’s practice. These include the 30th Sakya Trizin Sonam Rinchen, 31st Sakya Trizin Kunga Lodro, 33rd Sakya Trizin Pema Dudul Wangchuk, 35th Sakya Trizin Tashi Rinchen and 39th Sakya Trizin Dragshul Trinley Rinchen.

 

9. In the life story of Achi Chokyi Drolma, she danced and performed a ritual that filled her house with food and drink. In that sense, she was used to fulfil material gain. This is similar to Dorje Shugden’s role to provide material/worldly resources, enabling practitioners to concentrate on their spiritual practice. If Dorje Shugden is accused of being propitiated for worldly and material reasons, shouldn’t Achi Chokyi Drolma also be treated in the same respect?

All Dharma Protectors, whether enlightened or worldly, confer worldly benefits and eliminate obstacles to spiritual attainments for their practitioners. The difference between worldly versus enlightened protectors in a worldly form, is the fact that worldly protectors bestow only material or temporal benefit. On the other hand, enlightened protectors in worldly form can confer both worldly benefits and eliminate obstacles to spiritual attainments. Therefore, the worldly benefit that they confer leads one further along the spiritual path, while the material benefits accrued do not distract one away from spiritual practice. Both Achi Chokyi Drolma and Dorje Shugden grant material benefits, with the purpose of creating conducive conditions for one’s practice, without distracting from the spiritual path.

 

10. If the biography of Achi Chokyi Drolma is a valid method to prove her legitimacy as a Dharma protector, why should Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s (previous life of Dorje Shugden) recognition and biographical details by Panchen Lama Losang Chokyi Gyaltsen be rejected?

History shows that politics has played a huge role in the suppression of certain lines of incarnations, like that of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s. The high lama Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen was censored and his line of incarnations was outlawed because it was seen to pose a direct threat to His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama’s rule. This was because he was extremely popular, in fact more popular than the 5th Dalai Lama and gathered powerful patrons and disciples. This led the Desi, the private secretary of the 5th Dalai Lama to feel threatened. Therefore Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen had to be eliminated and his future incarnations banned in order to cover this political crime. In essence, it is because of politics that the legitimate recognition and biographical details of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen was rejected. Furthermore, the more recent ban on Dorje Shugden adds further support to the rejection and censorship on the authentic life story of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen. On the other hand, Achi Chokyi Drolma did not have any such political complications, therefore nobody actually challenges the biographical details of Achi Chokyi Drolma, though it did take some time before she was fully accepted.

Both biographies do in fact clearly prove the legitimacy and compassionate enlightened nature of both Dharma protectors.

 

11. Since Achi Chokyi Drolma arose specifically to protect the Drikung Kagyu, doesn’t that make her sectarian against all other lineages? Isn’t Dorje Shugden sectarian too?

No. Neither Achi Chokyi Drolma nor Dorje Shugden are sectarian. Both arose for a specific reason linked to their lineages but they cannot be sectarian due to their enlightened nature. Achi Chokyi Drolma, as the great-grandmother of Jigten Sumgon arose to protect the very lineage that she had the greatest affinity with, the Drikung Kagyu that her great-grandson would found. She arose to protect the teachings of the Drikung Kagyu so they can continue to benefit others. The same is true for Dorje Shugden, who was the great lama Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen, who arose to protect the teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa in the Gelug lineage. Both arose for their purposes due to a strong connection with the teachings of that particular lineage. Achi Chokyi Drolma was Jigten Sumgon’s great-grandmother while Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen had been a student and practitioner of Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings and had sworn to be a protector of the teachings.

Some people think that because they arose for a specific lineage they are sectarian. This in itself is wrong view as they are emanations of enlightened beings. As they are Vajrayogini and Manjushri respectively, they do not have bias to be sectarian. In fact they will help anyone who sincerely prays to them. Both have been and continue to be practiced within more than one tradition, which would not be possible if they were sectarian in nature. For example Achi Chokyi Drolma, as shown above is practiced in both the Kagyu and Gelug schools, whereas Dorje Shugden has been practiced in the Sakya, Nyingma and Kagyu traditions as well as the Gelug tradition. Therefore, the assumption that these protector practices are sectarian is unfounded. In fact due to their enlightened nature, they help everyone regardless of which lineage you belong to.

In conclusion, we can clearly see that both practices of Achi Chokyi Drolma and Dorje Shugden are in fact very similar. Both protectors are emanations of fully enlightened beings who arose specifically to protect a particular lineage or teachings within a lineage, while removing obstacles and creating conducive conditions for spiritual practice. However they are also practiced in other traditions as well, a testament to their enlightened nature, benefiting anyone who propitiates them. In this regard, they both assume the same function as many other deities – that of a Dharma protector. The practices are similar, inclusive of wrathful imagery, which is not something unique to either one.

Both practices even took some time to become mainstream within their respective lineages. Both have had many great masters from the lineages they arose in and even from other traditions, praise their enlightened nature and spread their practices. Just as Achi Chokyi Drolma went from being propitiated as a Dharma protector to a guru and yidam due to her enlightened nature and compassion, this also seems likely to occur with Dorje Shugden as he is none other than Manjushri. In light of Achi Chokyi Drolma becoming the chief protector of the Drikung Kagyu tradition due to her very strong affinity and connections with the lineage, it is likely that Dorje Shugden too will one day become the chief protector of the Gelugpa tradition, which is what is happening now.

 

Pastor Niral Patel

PS. Special thanks to Pastor David Lai, Pastor Khong Jean Ai and Joy Kam for the help with compiling these questions and answers.

 

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About Pastor Niral Patel

Since becoming a Buddhist, Niral has had a voracious passion for the Dharma. He is known to have his head buried in books and loves to share what he knows. Niral has now found a better way to share his weird, whacky and, more often than not, other-worldly ideas with an unsuspecting audience - as a guest author on his Guruji's blog!
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64 Responses to Achi Chokyi Drolma – Chief Protectress of the Drikung Kagyu

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  1. MartinC on Feb 9, 2017 at 5:36 am

    This comment by Suzy on Rinpoche’s YouTube channel is a sign of change in the people’s understanding and perception of the holy Dorje Shugdenpractice-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4&t=11s. It has been twenty years of negative propaganda but now many people are beginning to see past the false rhetoric to see the divine goodness of the Protector. This is something to rejoice in.

    Suzy

  2. Marek on Dec 23, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    it’s good you provide so much information on different schools of Buddhism, it helps to create a background/context/sets the stage/circumstances for how Je Tsongkhapa’s manifestation of dharama arose. Many Thanks. Please continue. as Phabongka Rinpoche said: it is incorrect to disparage the Theravada for the sake of the Mahayana, or to disparage the Mahayana for the sake of Vajrayana, or to disparage any of the schools of Vajrayana (Nyingmapa, Kagyupa, Sakyapa, Jonangpa or Gelugpa) for the sake of one of them exclusively (he was very critical of Bon – but then again, that’s not my business)

  3. Tsem Rinpoche on Sep 15, 2016 at 3:17 am

    Trode Khangsar Chapel in Lhasa, Tibet

    Over 400 years ago a great and learned lama Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen was famed in Mongolia, Tibet, Nepal and China for being very saintly and compassionate. He resided in his residence (Zimkhang Gongma Ladrang) in Drepung Monastery. His root guru was H.H. the Omniscient 4th Panchen Lama and his close dharma brother was the 5th Dalai Lama.

    The 5th Dalai Lama and Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen had a very close and dharmic relationship and often went to receive teachings together from the 4th Panchen Lama. They were close in age. They both became very learned and well known. During this time, the Dalai Lama was enthroned as a Dharma King of Tibet. But more people went to see Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen for teachings, initiations and divinations. This made the attendants of the 5th Dalai Lama feel threatened that Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s fame might usurp the power of the 5th Dalai Lama. So they had a khata forced down his throat. At that moment, Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen dissolved his psychic winds and generated the wish to be a great guardian of Buddha and Tsongkapa’s teachings. As his consciousness dissolved, he entered ‘bardo’ as a dharma protector of the highest order (jikten depey sungma). Many signs were seen throughout Lhasa at this time and the earth was said to have shaken in Lhasa. This event was already predicted to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s previous incarnation when he was one of the 8 main disciples of Lord Tsongkapa the Supreme Master and he served Tsongkapa directly by building Gaden Monastery.

    When the 5th Dalai Lama heard what his scheming and power-hungry attendants had done, he was very distressed. He was very sorry Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen was murdered and dishonored as he was a great dharma master. The 5th Dalai Lama composed an apology to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen. In Lhasa, tens of thousands gathered for the cremation of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s holy body. During the cremation, the 5th Dalai Lama’s apology was read out at which flames spontaneously arose from the body of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen commencing the cremation. From the body, during cremation, a powerful whirlwind of smoke tunneled into the sky for all to see as this was an indication Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s consciousness has arisen as the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. The Dharma Protector Setrap immediately recognized this new protector Dorje Shugden and ‘enthroned’ him as a powerful Dharma Protector in the realm of the Buddhas. From this, Setrap and Dorje Shugden are closely connected and very close working hand in hand always. After the cremation, the great 5th Dalai Lama built a Dorje Shugden chapel on the spot the cremation took place and named it Trode Khangsar. The 5th Dalai Lama commissioned the statue of Dorje Shugden in this chapel and had monks installed in the chapel to do continuous propitiations to Dorje Shugden. Trode Khangsar Chapel was a commemoration to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen who was wronged and also a celebration of his consciousness arising as the World Peace Peace Protector Dorje Shugden.

    This Trode Khangsar Chapel still exists now in Lhasa where many make pilgrimages there. It is in good condition and was recently renovated. It is over 400 years old and a testimony to the respect the Great 5th Dalai Lama had to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen who arose as Dorje Shugden.

    I have visited this holy chapel in Lhasa years back. I’ve never heard of it till I was in Lhasa and by chance, I was told about it which I was happy to visit. I could not find the place but strangely a bunch of pilgrims from Amdo told me they would show me how to get there in Lhasa.

    This short video is a short clip of this holy Trode Khangsar Chapel in Lhasa today commemorating Dorje Shugden, built by the great 5th Dalai Lama. The great 5th Dalai Lama even composed a prayer to Dorje Shugden which is still available today and we can recite to invoke the blessings, protection, and assistance of World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden.

    Tsem Rinpoche


    Read more: Trode Khangsar – A 400-year-old Dorje Shugden Chapel in Lhasa
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/trode-khangsar-%E2%80%93-a-400-year-old-dorje-shugden-chapel-in-lhasa.html

    Short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTybDwTeLAM

    __________________________________

    The 5th Dalai Lama’s Prayer to Dorje Shugden

    HUM
    Though unmoving from the sphere of primordial spontaneity,
    With wrathful turbulent power, swifter than lightning,
    Endowed with heroic courage to judge good and bad,
    I invite you with faith, please come to this place!

    Robes of a monk, crown adorned with rhinoceros leather hat,
    Right hand holds ornate club, left holds a human heart,
    Riding various mounts such as nagas and garudas,
    Who subdues the mamos of the charnel grounds, praise to you!

    Samaya substances, offerings and torma, outer, inner and secret,
    Favourite visual offerings and various objects are arranged.
    Although, previously, my wishes were a bit dense,
    Do not stop your powerful apparitions, I reveal and confess!

    Now respectfully praising with body, speech, and mind,
    For us, the masters, disciples, benefactors and entourages,
    Provide the good and avert the bad!
    Bring increase like the waxing moon in spiritual and temporal realms!

    Moreover, swiftly accomplishing all wishes,
    According to our prayers, bestow the supreme effortlessly!
    And like the jewel that bestows all wishes,
    Always protect us with the Three Jewels!

    From: http://www.dorjeshugden.org/practice/the-5th-dalai-lamas-prayer-to-dorje-shugden

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

  4. non-tulku on May 26, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    Achi Chokyi Drolma is nothing like Dorje Shugdon and I can’t believe they are being compared by you as something even slightly similar. Also she is chief emanation of Vajravarahi and Queen of dakinis not some jaded monk. What a silly and foolish comparison from a silly and foolish tulku person!! I suggest you eat even more often so that your tongue does not get bored.

    • Valentina Suhendra on May 26, 2016 at 9:05 pm

      Dear Non Tulku

      Please be polite and do not attack my teacher. You should instead focus on the topic at hand – Achi Chokyi Drolma and not accuse or degrade the personality or the physical appearance of my teacher.

      Thank you

      Valentina

    • Rogers Shnell on May 26, 2016 at 11:33 pm

      @non-tulku,

      Dorje Shugden was in the form of a monk emanated from Manjushri.
      Achi Drolma was a grandmother emanated from a Vajravarahi. Enough Tibetans believe both of that. There are more Shugden practitioners than Drijung Kaygupas. Or the Tibetans make up all their stories.

      The comparision is perfect.

      To leave a comment here without your real name is that of a coward that has not a shred of truth backing up your remarks.

      To mock a person’s appearance and not stick to the subject matter shows what a coward you are and nulls your ‘dharma’ comment or any tiny shred of credibility.

      • non-tulku on May 27, 2016 at 9:23 am

        ALL comparisons are imperfect because any of this and that is same so measuring to see difference shows bias/prejudice of mind not the one same tasty thingy at the roots of essence and what is being measured is only the mere productions of ignorance until things get really pooped stinky and then YES indeed many differences WISDOM!
        Seriously measuring Shugden with Achi and especially measuring them as exactly the same is a mistake for many reasons even just on super-fishy levels:
        Achi was already fully-enlightened celestial being before her Achi life and created her own birth. Achi life purpose was to propitiate dharma through a particular living master sexually to procreate Tibet’s greatest lama and other lamas from his off-spring even greater and also with the most Tibetan buddhist followers her great grandson: Jiggy. Also Achi could never be framed for any treachery or murder no matter what the top tulkus say. Because her karma is 100% perfect. And Achi did NOT ever ever DIE…. she just flew up in the sky with her body. These are just a couple reasons from the top of my head why they are TOTALLY different. EVERYTHING I have said is true. Truthfully I am not a buddhist person anymore mostly because of how extremely FAKE tulkus and gurus are and truly many Tibetan stories are simply just silly made-up stories.
        PEACE
        -Uncle Tompa

        • Rogers Shnell on May 27, 2016 at 9:38 am

          @non-tulku,

          This is the best thing you have said so far: “Truthfully I am not a Buddhist person anymore”.

          (Of course the reason you are not Buddhist anymore is someone else’s fault. With people like you, it’s always someone else’s fault.)

          But the good news is that YOU ARE NOT BUDDHIST ANYMORE because Buddhism stands to gain with you out and not being a bad representative. Buddhists gain nothing if you are Buddhist. Buddhists lose nothing if you are not a Buddhist. Good riddance!

          Achi Drolma did not have to die? hahaha….But Lord Buddha Shakyamuni died, so does that make him NOT a Buddha? ahahahha..You are hysterical.

          Since you are NOT BUDDHIST, then don’t comment on Buddhist affairs like Achi and Dorje Shugden. Mind your own business.

          • non-tulku on May 27, 2016 at 9:59 pm

            Such kind compassionate people buddha folk! Buddhists are so caring about people in their imaginations but in real life ha is another story! I will patiently correct you again… you ARE a buddha already just still very extremely ignorant! It is you people here who accuse me of slander who are truly doing all the BS slandering and I was kind to patiently come back and give you the correct and proper specific information again that you asked from me. I gave my contact email and my old dharma name, my real name is unimportant unless you want to come and murder me for helping you. Achi’s great-grand son Jigten, was reincarnation of Nagarjuna, the guy who created MAHAYANA. Not some monk who is a supposed honorific emanation of Manjushri. Achi is WAY out of the Ghost’s league in infinite ways. Me too I am glad I am no longer a stupid and dogmatic religious person either. The only fault of mine was that I stupidly trusted buddhist people to act buddhist!

        • Shane Jayasuriya on Jun 20, 2016 at 2:39 am

          @non tulku/ uncle Tompa,

          Do you think enlightened Archi Drolma worried about comparison right or wrong? I hope you know the how Enlightened mind is like…you cannot say other people ego got hurt, you are the one throw the first stone here.. If you know the Dharma taught by enlighten beings well and let go that first thought came to you when you reading this article you will not throw the first stone. Rinpoche helped many from his blog, showed spiritual path to many, from your point of view i know you see that too, rejoice on them. Spiritual rejoicing bring merits that bring wisdom to our minds. _/\_ ” let it go” …Peace come in..

          quote-i-reached-in-experience-the-nirvana-which-is-unborn-unrivalled-secure-from-attachment-undecaying-buddha-339296

          • Konchok Rinchen on Jun 20, 2016 at 4:42 am

            Shane,
            I will not let it go. My ego was indeed hurt I felt like mercilessly fighting everyone of you for Pastor Niral’s mistake! I refused to taint myself and even read any part of it.
            Ask an expert of Achi like Garchen rinpoche and they will tell you the same. There was never any controversy with Achi. She was widely accepted even when Jigten first taught her sadhana. Maybe other sects questioned her but never within Drikung.
            She is Prajnaparamita mother of all buddhas and you are comparing her with some alleged murderous monk that lived just 400 years ago.
            I liked Tsem rinpoche a lot especially when he got real silly. He seemed to not take himself seriously a decade ago anyway (he seems more reserved and old fart now)… which is a relief because I have personally met another tulku that takes himself very extremely serious but truly is a clown snorting drugs, stealing money and even carries a pistol! He was not Steven Segal some other idiot.
            I do not have faith in Tibet or Tibetans or even Buddhism but I have faith in Achi.
            Just ask an expert Pastor Niral before you write things as an expert like you really know something. I don’t know about high-level infinite buddha thought but for myself 99% of my life is measuring right and wrong and religion is a mistake for that. That is why I am only a humanist now. good-bye.

    • JP on May 27, 2016 at 12:07 am

      Dear non-tulku,

      If you disagree with what you read, that’s fine. But don’t come to my teacher’s blog and write such rude comments. It’s uncalled for and totally disrespectful. Please do not come to this blog again.

      JP

    • Joy Kam on May 27, 2016 at 12:46 am

      Dear non-tulku… is this how a Dharma practitioner behaves? Firstly if you would actually take the time to read properly you’ll know that this article was written NOT by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche but a student. This goes to show that you are an anti-Dorje Shugden person who abuses, condemns and discriminates others for their religion and that you specifically target my Guru to slander. Your behaviour tells the whole world that there is a Dorje Shudgen ban because otherwise people like you would never write such things and seize to exist.

      If you were a real Buddhist practitioner of any sect, Kagyu, Nyingma, Gelug or Sakya, it does not matter, you will be practising the same thing as what Buddha taught since 2500 years ago which is to be kind to others always. Please do not shame your Guru, Buddha and the Dharma further with your negative hateful attitude. It does not make the His Holiness the Dalai Lama look good.

      • non-tulku on May 27, 2016 at 8:14 am

        You people assume so much! Too much tantric imaginations? TRUTH can never be called slander and big deal he can take it with his supposed realizations …I hope! It is you that I apologize for any injury to YOUR ego! You guys need a mahasiddha blessing so terribly bad…. where is your toilet? See the Tibetans don’t think anything…. they just follow their oracles and that is why they are in such trouble! You may just get wisdom from things and people about things you don’t care to hear….. I did…… came from the Tibetans… good day sir.
        -konchok rinchen

        • Rogers Shnell on May 27, 2016 at 8:29 am

          @non-Tulku who likes to hide your identity,

          YOUR truth is your truth and not mine. Don’t judge me. Everyone has their own truth and that is wisdom.

          You have no realizations.

          You should apologize and yes I have a ego just like you and I am not a Buddha. Common human human courtesy is necessary so learn it. Ego is important when dealing with humans and it’s a fact of life.

          The Tibetans are in trouble with their oracles has nothing to do with me. I am NOT Tibetan. Go write on their websites and tell them. Not me.

          YOU PEOPLE assume to much?? I don’t belong to any group, any centre and denominations so keep your assumptions to yourself.

          You are not spiritual, nor wise and no wisdom. Just an angry anonymous coward.

          You don’t like what’s here, DON’T COME BACK! Who invited you? People want to believe what they want to believe about Shugden and that is their right and it is your right to respect that and remain quiet!

          • non-tulku on May 27, 2016 at 10:11 pm

            What?! You are indeed the most wrathful tantrik dink I have ever met Shnell!

    • Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai on May 27, 2016 at 1:52 am

      I don’t think anyone should take “non-tulku”‘s comments seriously when they cannot post something without insulting another person and making personal remarks. Cowardly too, considering they chose to remain anonymous when they came to Rinpoche’s blog to attack him.

      Would Achi Chokyi Drolma approve of such behaviour? I think not.

      • Rogers Shnell on May 27, 2016 at 8:32 am

        Achi Choky Drolma would definitely not approve of non-tulku’s behavior. Non-tulku is just a coward.

        • non-tulku on May 27, 2016 at 10:14 pm

          Achi loves me and even loves you so hush!

          • Joy Kam on May 29, 2016 at 9:41 pm

            Dear non-tulku… I don’t think your behaviour inspires anyone to believe or respect you, what you say and your opinion. If you are trying to say you are an Achi Choky Drolma’s practitioner, you sure aren’t representing her practice well and making Her look like a great Buddha at all because how can something great produce something negative?

            It is very clear you are here just to cause trouble, hurt people and to not try to learn or exchange information to understand better. You’re basically a trouble maker and I do not see a point in you being here. Please have some respect for others’ freedom to practice whatever they wish because it is really not your business. We are not here to judge anyone’s spiritual believes so please do yourself a favour and have some dignity and stop dragging Achi Choky Drolma’s name into the mud by your harsh negative speech.

            Thank you and I wish you will find peace.

          • non-tulku on May 30, 2016 at 10:56 pm

            Well Joy just keep your ears closed to the truth then. Truth is truth no matter where it comes from even lowly tirthika trash like me! Buddha said their are over 100,000 paths to enlightenment that do NOT involve buddhism.
            Someone can appreciate Achi without any practice and also know much more than you do. Everything I said was true regardless what you think and choose to believe is no relation. I do not care to judge Shugden or Dalai or tulkus or gurus or you. Though I failed miserably. Just wanted to inform you folks that it is nothing similar to Achi and why since you asked me why. That is all. I will leave and you can stay mistaken. According to you who am I to say anything? I am no tulku and not even a buddhist. Just a Tirthika… Goyim… Infidel…Scenery… Thank Goodness I am not important!
            I would ban EVERYTHING like Langdharma!
            Just Kidding.
            Good Bye.

          • Pastor Shin Tan on Jun 20, 2016 at 6:43 am

            Dear non-tulku,
            The purpose of these articles are for learning and discussion. It is very clear that your purpose here is not to share or discuss, but to insult my teacher.

            Like what Rogers Shnell pointed out above, Dorje Shugden was in the form of a monk emanated from Manjushri while Achi Drolma was a grandmother emanated from a Vajravarahi. So why not a comparison so that others who have not heard of her, or even heard of Dorje Shugden can learn more about these 2 protectors who are emanations of Buddhas?

            Please be polite. You are on someone else’s space (blog/ website), and this is a virtual temple for learning Dharma, please be respectful.

          • Konchok Rinchen on Jun 20, 2016 at 7:33 am

            Pastor Shin Tan,
            FIRST
            I am only here because Pastor Niral disrespected my teacher with slander and you call it “learning” haha!
            Respectfully you can devolve or learn whatever nonsense you want and from any fraudulent author. I am so sorry the absolute truth is disrespectful to your brainwash! Hide all the ugly facts and please be a fake… yeah I mean become perfectly authentic. Skillful means in your imagination you hopeless fake posing Tibetan-phile…. and if you don’t like it please don’t forget to self-immolate in protest!
            **************************************
            Please stay dumb and inbred and kick me out now!
            ***************************************
            Tibetan Buddhist people really were/are a HUGE disappointment… makes hillbilly rattlesnake Christians look forever wise and vastly intelligent in comparison.
            GOOD-BYE

          • Pastor Shin Tan on Jun 21, 2016 at 7:29 am

            Dear non-tulku,
            No one is slandering and disrespecting your teacher. But what is for sure is that you came and verbally attacked my teacher, and being totally disrespectful on his blog. If you truly respect YOUR TEACHER, you will not cause harm to anyone and commit such an unwholesome action of verbally attacking and putting down a monk. Harsh speech is one of the 10 unwholesome or negative action.

            “makes hillbilly rattlesnake Christians look forever wise and vastly intelligent in comparison.”
            – Why are you attacking Christians yet praising their religion?

            All religions teaches kindness, but looks like none impresses you. May you find peace and you are not welcomed here with that kind of rudeness.

    • Shane Jayasuriya on Jun 26, 2016 at 3:59 pm

      Dear Konchok Rinchen,

      Its good you have faith in Buddha Achi Chokyi Drolma _/\_. With compassionate heart I ask, You should practice Achi Chokyi Drolma diligently daily and pray and ask to stay and guide you every future life times until you achieve enlightenment. I wish you, may you have ultimate never ending happiness, love, peace , good health and abundance of spiritual wealth and worldly wealth to practice dharma.

      With Buddhas of ten direction blessing.. Shane._/\_

  5. Datuk May on May 23, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    Thank you, Pastor Niral and for the openness and generosity of Rinpoche to give us so much learning from another tradition within the Vajrayana doctrine.

    What were very impactful for me was that Achi Chokyi Drolma would so compassionately take rebirth from her enlightened state for the benefit of sentients being by birthing and mothering her descendants to form a powerful Buddhist tradition and lineage of Drikung Kagyu. How more authentic can any devotee ask. Amazing.

    The other point about Achi Chokyi Drolma is her teaching of “suchness” by transforming a corpse to such a divine offering of tsok. Powerful elimination of our wrong views and perceptions.

    I appreciate the comparison of similarities to our Protector, Dorje Shugden and with much hope and prayers, may the discrimination be soon over and the Ban be lifted as it had happened in the case of Achi Chokyi Drolma.

  6. Khoo Hou Haw on May 22, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Thank you Pastor Niral for this informative articles.

    I feel that whenever a Dharma Protector who will greatly benefitted human being appeared, a great obstacle will appreared together which is caused by the accumulative negative karma of the people who will be benefitted by this Protector.

    Take the exmaples of Achi Chokyi Drolma, Yamantaka, and Kalachakra. All had been viewed as demon and strongly opposed by people at the beginning of their practises. And now all renounced High Lama are travelling around giving initiations to people around the world and millions have been benefitted by their practises.

    It is the same as Dorje Shugden as a Dharma Protector. Dorje Shugden had gone through an obstacle once when He arose as a Dharma Protector. After this obstacle a lot of Lama and Dharma practitioners have been pratising and gained the protection from Dorje Shugden. Now another obstacle has arise for Dorje Shugden. To me it significant a greater benefit from Dorje Shugden practise is coming to mankind and we must overcome this great negative karma of us to receive such blessing. Maybe after this obstacle Dorje Shugden will appears as a Yidam which will bring enlightement to His practitional like Achi Chokyi Drolma? Just my thought.

    Thanks

  7. Pammie Yap on May 21, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    To base something on how a protector/Buddha should look like is wrong. I truly agree with what PNP said, they arose because of our affinity with them. However they should look like or whatever they should do to suit our egoistic mind is just our own delusions and projections.
    I strongly believe that Dharma protector’s role is to help us in our spiritual path. How fortunate are we to even have the affinity to even see their holy faces.
    Dorje Shugden’s ban is totally uncalled for and it is such a discrimination!! Many high lamas have also written praise to Him, are we to say that they are wrong in recognizing Dorje Shugden as a Buddha?
    I pray that the ban be lifted ASAP and for Dorje Shugden to arise as the ‘greatest’ protector for Lama Tsongkhapa and Gelugpa lineage to flourish.

  8. Pastor Chia on May 21, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Read through protector of Drikung Kagyu Achi Chokyi Drolma article, it show another example just like Dorje Shugden who vow become protector to to preserve holy dharma teaching of their own lineage to pass down to the future. . Although their practice is not accepted beginning,but at the end of the day, people will realise how compassionate this holy being has make such commitment and dedication to protect dharma teaching. Is sad to see some people due to political issue,create pain and harmful though toward those sincere practitioner.May all the obstacle they facing will remove soon.

  9. June Kang on May 21, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Is very interesting and educational article. It is nice that we have chance to gain knowledge of others lineage protectors. It helps us to understand and foster the relationship with others lineage too. When read through this article, again we can see that all this enlightened Protectors in this world are to protect the Buddha teaching, as well as Dorje Shugden. However with the human greed of power and money, they have made all this protectors look bad. If we really listen to all this peoples, Buddhism surely is degenerated very fast and our practice will become difficult because there is no more authentic and reliable Buddha teaching without the Protectors.

    This is so powerful that Achi Chokyi Drolma having a family just with the motivation to have more great being to spread the Dharma. She mentioned that their children and grandsons, and future generations, will be extraordinary individuals who will benefit all sentient beings by spreading the essence of the Buddha’s teachings. And this is true, one of the great one is her son Pekar Wangyal gave birth to Naljor Dorje. Naljor Dorje in turn gave birth to Jigten Sumgon, also known as Ratnashri, a reincarnation of Nagarjuna and founder of the Drikung Kagyu lineage.

    Thank you Pastor Niral’s effort.

  10. Mingwen on May 21, 2016 at 1:46 am

    This blogpost has increase my knowledge in Tibeten Buddhism generally. Especially the explanation of the visualisation of corpse in various prayers.

    “This use of a corpse may seem repulsive or disgusting to many people, this is because a human corpse is universally reviled and something to be kept away from. In many cultures around the world a corpse is seen as unclean, for example in both Indian and Chinese cultures it is tradition to wash after attending a funeral in order to wash away any negative energy that one may have picked up from being in close proximity to a corpse.”

    Indeed, human have fear about dead since we are exist, specifically for people who live in the society which have no faith in any religion. They focus on the current life and to live to feed their attachments blindly and solely.

    Chinese culture has always make dead as a sensitive issue and also forbidden. Myself, as a Chinese and Buddhist, I have been recently introduced to Tibeten Buddhism, which has provide me a whole new dimension of Buddhism . Now, I am able to learn and apply Dharma more practical and it allow me to fine tune my interrupted mind effectively.

    May the ban of Dorje Shurdington be lifted and benefit more sentient beings.

    Thank you, Rinpoche, Pastor Niral and team.

  11. Pastor Moh Mei on May 20, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    It is amazing how much knowledge and information is contained in Tsem Rinpoche’s blog site. What are the chances for some of us to even have the opportunity to come across the Protectress Achi Chokyi Drolma. This practice may have nothing to do with our own school or path but it helps give a better understanding on protector practices as a whole.

    Protector practices are very common in Tibetan Buddhism. One similarity I see in all protector practices is that there is a “wrathful” aspect to it. The wrathful and to some extent “gory” aspect of practices that focuses on corpses, body parts and death is not easy to accept as something “holy” and spiritual. The more common view would relate these practices to some form of devil or satanic worship because most of us have not been exposed to the meaning behind them. However, I would expect this to be from the western or non-Tibetan viewpoint and not from within the Tibetan community.

    For the Tibetans to accuse practices like Achi Chokyi Drolma and Dorje Shugden to be of satanic origin is illogical and inconsistent from spiritual perspective. The only logical reasoning one can derive is that it is due to secular reasons be it for political, social or financial gain.

    From an enlightened being perspective, there is no differences between the various schools of Buddhism and the various different practices. Naropa who was one of the previous incarnation of Dorje Shugden was an influential figure in the tradition of the Kagyu lineage. If we trace the incarnation lineage of many highly attained Lamas, we are likely to find that it is not restricted within a certain school of Tibetan Buddhism. In fact, many high Lamas are now being incarnated as westerners and non-Tibetans. My point, one school is not more superior to another school, One practice is not more superior to the other. Each of us have our different karma and different spiritual path. Mutual respect between different practices (and I don’t mean just between Buddhism) is essential. Mutual respect and freedom of choice is essential for harmonious co-existence between different races and cultures and even within same race and culture.

  12. Pastor Henry Ooi on May 20, 2016 at 7:19 am

    Politics is the stranglehold in every society, business, family, religion, where humans are present. Politics may influence and suppress certain freedom of movement, expression, speech, religious belief.

    Tibetan Buddhism is not spared from politics because of humans greed for power and money. It’s sad that some Gelugpa lamas yielded to politics, and had to align with the Dalai Lama on the Dorje Shugden ban for the public’s popularity support and for financial gain.

    I opine that the people in the Tibetan leadership, the CTA, do not practice what Buddha has taught: dharma. They practice what humans are teaching: politics.

  13. Li Kheng on May 19, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    Thank you Pastor Niral for this wonderful and educational read. I love the information it provides as well as the magical aspect of Achi Chokyi Drolma. It is very powerful how enlightened beings can transform mundane activities like marriage, feasting and having a family into something that benefits others. This reminds me of Rinpoche’s teaching on motivation. If our motivation is Dharma, then what we do is not so important because it will bring benefit to others. On the other hand, if our motivation is selfish, hatred filled and based on ignorance, even if we are engaged in the holiest of activities, it will not have beneficial results or create merits.

    Although we are not of the kagyu lineage, it is very kind and generous of Rinpoche to provide knowledge of this lineage openly and accessibly for everyone. This is because this blog site is supposed to provide authentic and reliable dharma knowledge to all who seek to learn and practice Dharma.

    In closing, I am saddened that the Tibetan authorities have also contaminated and jeopardized this holy and precious lineage with political agendas. I hope that such corruption will end urgently so that pure dharma is protected and preserved during this kaliyuga age.

  14. nicholas on May 19, 2016 at 12:47 am

    I’m glad to have read this post on the protector from another lineage. Truly beneficial and widen my knowledge of how another protector arose and how they came about as mainstream after sometime. This really show the similarity of the Dorje Shugen practice and how sad when political reason come into the picture of spirituality just to create more negativity in our spiritual journey.

    Indeed what we can see here any new practices is not easily be accepted and it through time how the practice benefited the people and with the recognition especially by the high lamas composed their prayers to acknowledge the practice is the prove of the credibility of the practice. I strongly believe that one practice which has been recognised by the great enlightened lamas how can that be wrong or even to reserved and claim to be a wrong practice after sometime. It doesn’t make sense. How one practice which have been practice for 400 years can suddenly be wrong just by a single advice which personally doesn’t give any logical explanation.

    As reading this post it does show the similarity of how all compassionate being made their vows arise as an enlightened protector purely for benefiting people for their affinity, karma and place of the practitioners at that particular time.

    The question and answer is very good sections to further elaborate and provide much logical explanation for me to understand better the the similarities of the quality of enlightened protectors, their difficulties of acceptation and their practices. We may don’t have the level to understand the action from the suppression of this enlightened practices but we at very least should follow what our Guru advice. Our Guru is the person that show us the spiritual enlightenment.

  15. Pastor Adeline on Apr 10, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Just when everyone focuses on the Dorje Shugden issue, assuming that it is the only case ever found in the whole Tibetan history, we have Achi Chokyi Drolma’s controversy that shaken our fixated perception. This beautiful practice is now widely accepted by the Drikung Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism and is well respected by all Tibetans.

    When comparing the Dorje Shugden and Achi Chokyi Drolma’s practices, it is obvious that new practice is not easily accepted by people. It takes time for people to be educated and to benefit from the practice before they finally accepted it. Hence it took few hundred years for Jigten Sumgon’s recognition of Achi Chokyi Drolma to be fully accepted. On the other hand, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama ‘advice’ on Dorje Shugden is accepted almost immediately when He banned it two decades ago. People who have been benefiting from the practice or practitioners can drop the practice immediately without second thought, highlighting the fact that people accepts negative comment much easier and quicker even though they have received tremendous benefits from Dorje Shugden’s practice.

    This has brought me to think how an untrained mind is so fond of negativity, operates from it and is extremely comfortable with it. An untrained mind is short sighted and selfish, it will do anything for self interest, creates endless suffering to oneself and people around them. Protector practices are meant to assist and guide us towards enlightenment, the final awaken that ceases all suffering, so it is necessary for us to not take negative comment easily without first investigate and research on it. If we are unable to do so, we should at least follow the advice of our root guru and keep any advice from Him or Her to ourselves. There is no need for us to force our guru’s view onto others and call them names just because they do not agree with our guru’s advice.

    There is a difference between the root Guru and the nation spiritual advisor. The formal is the one who observes and guides us directly and impacted our lives positively. He or she is the one whom we should listen to and should appreciate the most with no question ask.

  16. Stella Cheang on Apr 7, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    The story of Achi Chokyi Drolma is very fascinating. As the Chief Protectress of the Drikung Kagyu, she is believed to be the emanation of Vajrayogini. She suffered a similar fate like Dorje Shugden, being defamed and decried as an unenlightened and vicious beings by some. Fortunately, the works of holy and attained masters were used to prove otherwise. For example Jigten Sumgon, composed prayers to Achi Chokyi Drolma in order to recognize her as an enlightened Dharma protector. Even masters from other traditions such as His Holiness 2nd Dalai Lama Gyalwa Gedun Gyatso wrote a praise to her enlightened nature and position as a Dharma protector.

    Achi Chokyi Drolma’s practice took some time to become mainstream due to many great masters from Drikung Kagyu lineage as well as from other traditions, praise her enlightened and being propitiated as a Dharma protector to a guru and yidam due to her enlightened nature and compassion. We certainly think that the same will occur with Dorje Shugden as He too, possesses enlightened nature, and an emanation of Manjushri. We pray sincerely for Dorje Shugden to become the chief protector of the Gelugpa tradition, so that many people will benefit through propitiating Him as Guru, Yidam and Dharmapala.

    Thank you very much Rinpoche and Pastor Niral for this well researched and carefully presented blogpost. I have learnt a lot of reading it.

    Humbly, bowing down,
    Stella Cheang

    • Valentina Suhendra on Apr 10, 2016 at 5:16 pm

      Dear Stella

      Thank you for your comments. I agree with you that one of the similarities of Dorje Shugden and Achi Chokyi Drolma are both of them take sometime to become mainstream. In fact the similarities do not just stop there. Achi Chokyi Drolma rose specifically to protect Drikung Kagyu lineage just like Dorje Shugden who rose specifically to protect the Gelug teaching. I don’t quite understand why many people think that Dorje Shugden practice is sectarian while they don’t say anything about Achi Chokyi Drolma.

      If I am a Gelug Buddhist practitioner and wish to focus my learning and research on Gelug Buddhism, do I fit the definition of being sectarian although I respect other faith and religion. I do not think so.

      Valentina

      • non-tulku on May 30, 2016 at 11:37 pm

        Nobody would ever talk to me about Shugden because Dalai made it taboo.
        I could be wrong on this but I thought Shugden was totally a sectarian protector and that is why Dalai banned him because Dalai always puts his fingers on all the lineage politics and practices all the lineages everywhere and Shugden wrathfully protects only sectarian Gelukpas and murders non-sectarians. That is why Dalai said his life was shortened and endangered by those who practice it… and it makes the deity stronger.
        Am I wrong?

        • Pastor Niral Patel on May 31, 2016 at 12:24 am

          Non-tulku,

          Dorje Shugden is not sectarian as people claim. If you read the history of Dorje Shugden, he was first practiced within the Sakya tradition, and not the Gelug, so how can his practice be sectarian? See here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-sakya-lineage-dorje-shugden.html

          Secondly, in regards to the practice shortening His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s life, can anyone really believe that? Despite Dorje Shugden being practiced all over the world, the H.H. Dalai Lama is now almost 81 years old. So far, he is the longest living of all the Dalai Lamas! And may he live longer! This claim just doesn’t make sense at all.

          By the way, it was not His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche who made this comparison between Achi Chokyi Drolma and Dorje Shugden. If you read the article carefully, you would have realised that it was actually me that wrote this article. For someone who claims not to be a practicing Buddhist you really do jump to conclusions about the nature of the Buddhas and confirm to common misconceptions of the same. Before making judgements isn’t it wise to know a particular topic? That isn’t Buddhist logic or Tirthika logic…it is just logic. All the great masters of any religion have always taught one thing and that is to have as much knowledge about a topic before coming to a judgement. And they have always taught the practice of kindness, good speech and tolerance.

          • non-tulku on May 31, 2016 at 1:56 am

            Thanks for the very kind reply. Okay you say indeed I am wrong. Are you sure it is not being confused with the ancient deity Pehar? The history I read of Shugden only went back to a Gelukpa monk less than 500 years ago.
            We can at least agree the main visualization for Shugden is very scary and wrathful with hanging human body parts and death to enemies etc. so these ideas of shortening life I heard from Dalai are very easy to assume especially to outsiders or non-practitioners of this yidam. Also to people that are/were loyal to Dalai we were not even allowed to ever talk about Shugden or Sharmarpa’s Karmapa EVER!!!!
            Just some definite Tibetan facts about Achi Chokyi Drolma:
            She was born about a thousand years ago.
            The reason why she incarnated was to create her great grandson Jigten, who was reincarnation of Nagurjuna! Nagurjuna was called the second buddha and was a mahasiddha. It is also said Nagarjuna created Mahayana buddhism which was a stepping stone to Vajrayana whether or not Vajrayana is more ancient than Mahayana or later on… whatever you believe or accept. Achi is a Buddha, Mother of all Buddhas in fact. She is Vajravarahi and Bodhisattva Lord Avalokiteshvara, Grandmother Tara, Queen of all Dakinis, Yidam, Dharmapala Protector, Smoking AND Flaming buddha with wish fulfilling jewels, etc.
            Kind of a stretch to say she is the same as Shugden or Pehar even if Shugden is non-sectarian and enlightened.
            They say all buddhas are exactly the same just what they emphasize is the only thing different…. so if your thoughts are based on these clever and crazy buddhist statements of broad logic, maybe I can see where you are coming from.

          • non-tulku on May 31, 2016 at 2:07 am

            I am beginning to think Tibetan facts are as pure as Tibetan silver.

          • Pastor Niral Patel on May 31, 2016 at 7:38 am

            Dear non-tulku,

            “Thinking that Dorje Shugden’s practice is more wrathful compared to Achi Chokyi Drolma and therefore that her practice is better, is a mistake. Whereas Dorje Shugden’s form is more wrathful compared to Achi Chokyi Drolma’s, whose form is rather peaceful, both practices mirror common Dharma protector liturgies that include a lot of violent imagery.

            For example, one of Achi Chokyi Drolma’s emanations is known as the Flesh Eating Karma Dakini, who holds the heart of someone who has violated their samaya. From this heart comes forth blood which she pours into Achi Chokyi Drolma’s mouth, who drinks it. This shows the wrathful nature of Achi Chokyi Drolma’s practice. In fact, towards the end of her life Achi Chokyi Drolma transformed a human corpse into a tsog feast as described and explained in the article above.

            Most Dharma protector practices include violent imagery, therefore it is not fair to single out one protector for their violent imagery, while ignoring the violent imagery existing in other Dharma protector prayers. This violent imagery is actually testament to the compassionate nature of the enlightened beings who manifest different activities in order to tame and purify our very heavy and negative karma. It is believed that meditation on blessed violent symbolism is more swifter in purifying heavy impending karma. Hence, most Dharma protectors are in a wrathful form because enlightened angry energy is considered swifter in carrying out protective activities.”

            This is from the Addendum to the main article above.

          • Pastor Niral Patel on May 31, 2016 at 7:40 am

            Dear non-tulku,

            We have not confused the history of Dorje Shugden with that of Pehar. As practitioners we would need to know the history, functions and practice of a particular deity, otherwise without having reached a logical conclusion that Dorje Shugden is a Buddha, why would we practice? You can read more about Dorje Shugden on this website: http://www.dorjeshugden.org, and you can read more about Nechung here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/nechung-the-retiring-devil-of-tibet.html.

            In addition to the violent imagery in both Dorje Shugden’s and Achi Chokyi Drolma’s practice, all other more ‘accepted’ Dharma protector practices include such violent imagery. For example Palden Lhamo, is depicted as very wrathful amidst a bone palace, and the story of her arising is very graphic and violent. Similarly Kalarupa’s imagery and history is just as violent. Therefore the violence in Dorje Shugden’s practice is not a sign of his unenlightened nature, but his compassion that manifests wrathfully. This violence is common throughout all Dharma protector practices. I’ve included a picture of Palden Lhamo amidst her bone palace as well as a description of her found in ‘The Guardian Deities of Tibet’ by Ladrang Kalsang, and that of Kalarupa, also known as Damchen Chogyal, for your reference as well.

          • Pastor Niral Patel on May 31, 2016 at 8:03 am

            Paldan Lhamo

            PaldenLhamo-01

            PaldenLhamo-02

            PaldenLhamo-03

          • Pastor Niral Patel on May 31, 2016 at 8:05 am

            PaldenLhamo-04

            PaldenLhamo-05

            PaldenLhamo-06

            PaldenLhamo-07

          • Pastor Niral Patel on May 31, 2016 at 8:06 am

            PaldenLhamo-08

            PaldenLhamo-09

            PaldenLhamo-10

            PaldenLhamo-11

          • Pastor Niral Patel on May 31, 2016 at 8:09 am

            PaldenLhamo-12

            PaldenLhamo-13

            PaldenLhamo-14

            PaldenLhamo-15

          • Pastor Niral Patel on May 31, 2016 at 8:13 am

            Kalarupa-01

            Kalarupa-02

            Book Cover

          • Pastor Niral Patel on May 31, 2016 at 8:15 am

            Despite her wrathful imagery, Achi Chokyi Drolma is accepted by all the high lamas of the Drikung Kagyu as the emanation of Vajrayogini. The violent imagery is not taken as a sign of her unenlightened nature, and she is definitely not considered such. If she was considered unenlightened, then all the Drikung Kagyu lamas have been wrong and mistaken in their practice and reliance on her. This is definitely not the case.

            Since the Drikung Kagyu lamas have not been wrong about the nature of Achi Chokyi Drolma, why is it that the many eminent and high lamas of the Gelug tradition are wrong in their practice of Dorje Shugden? It doesn’t make sense to rely on the high lamas, who are highly attained, as a source from which to judge the nature of a being on one hand, and then disparage and ignore what they say on the other.

            Let’s not be selective friend. It’s interesting you stated, “I am beginning to think Tibetan facts are as pure as Tibetan silver” because it can apply to the Drigung Kagyu lamas re: Achi as well as the Gelug Lamas re: Shugden. How can you reject Shugden when the facts about his beginnings and his nature are recounted by very big lamas of the Gelug tradition? Whereas whatever is said by obviously the Drigung Lamas about Achi, you take on face value? That is pure selectiveness. Your ‘vendetta’ against Shugden perhaps fueled by wrong information that are politically motivated has led you down this conclusion. So either all Drigung and Gelug lamas are wrong or they are right. Simple as that.

          • non-tulku on May 31, 2016 at 6:40 pm

            Dear Pastor Niral,
            Everything you say is “MUST BE THIS” !!! when it could also just as easily be that….. the exact opposite of what you say can’t you see?
            Maybe HH is living longer at age 81 precisely because of the steps he took 20 years ago starting in 1996 against Shugden practice?
            All the Gelukpa and Drikung lamas are NOT only either ALL WRONG or ALL RIGHT. They are obviously both and obviously not all are enlightened either.

            These things are very obvious to me but I guess not obvious to you unfortunately.
            I hope and pray you can soon see full picture without everything having to be all this or all that all the time. Thanks man!

          • Pastor Niral Patel on May 31, 2016 at 8:09 pm

            Dear non-tulku,

            You are obviously very set in your views about Dorje Shugden as seen by your earlier comments, though you claim not to be a Buddhist practitioner. In fact in your arguments, you make the same and common allegations against Dorje Shugden as those who do not know much about the issue but are adamant that the practice is bad.

            You labelled Dorje Shugden as sectarian and i gave you proof he his practice began in the Sakya tradition. You labeled him a wrathful being, after which i gave proof that all Dharma protectors are wrathful, even if their appearance is peaceful like that of the holy Achi Chokyi Drolma.

            Now you try to use what i said previously to make it seem as though i am narrow minded and stuck in my view point that Dorje Shugden practice does not harm the life of the Dalai Lama. Within Buddhism, when an ordained member of the Sangha holds their vows, this itself becomes the strongest form of protection against harm from spirits. And since Dorje Shugden is a spirit and the Dalai Lama is, in his own words, ‘just a humble monk’ it doesn’t make sense that Dorje Shugden could ever harm him. If people are adamant that the practice DOES harm him, then they are criticizing the Dalai Lama by implying that he is not a monk who holds his vows well. Then why should we have any respect for him since he himself doesn’t practice what he preaches to others. Who should we listen to and believe, someone who says somethings and does something else? Or a person who says what he or she does. Would you want to follow someone who pays homage to religious piety with their lips but betrays them by their actions?

            Please think deeper about the implications of your words and speech before you make judgements and pass comments. But since you claim not to be a practitioner, i am surprised to see you want to discuss this issue so much.

            Within Buddhism, especially within the Vajrayana schools is very important to view the teachers of the Dharma as vessels that transmit the Dharma to us. It is through viewing them as Buddhas that attainments arise in our mind stream, and the blessings of the Buddhas flow through the lineage of teachings to reach us, allowing a real transformation of the mind towards our own enlightenment. Therefore the view that previous teachers are wrong, even that the Dalai Lama’s own holy gurus, who passed him the practice of Dorje Shugden, negates the entire premise upon which Tibetan Buddhism is built. If the Dalai Lama’s teachers were wrong about Dorje Shugden, this implies the other teachings passed to him were similarly mistaken as they were practiced and taught by someone who had taken refuge in a a worldly spirit and therefore broken their samaya. This would obviously negate His Holiness Dalai Lama’s own position as a Dharma teachers, since the Dharma he received was corrupt. Within the lineage, the masters were highly attained if not enlightened, to claim that they were wrong to recognise Dorje Shugden as an enlightened being or even Achi Chokyi Drolma, is therefore tantamount to stating the all the lineages of Tibetan Buddhism are wrong and that their was no Buddha Shakyamuni, who passed the authentic teachings leading to enlightenment on to others.

            But i doubt you view him a lama through Buddhist logic, since your not Buddhist or religious in any sense. Perhaps you just view him a good statesman, but in that case, why would the worship of Dorje Shugden bother you.

          • non-tulku on May 31, 2016 at 11:15 pm

            Pastor Niral you can’t at all admit you could possibly be wrong sometimes? You never made a mistake in all of your tedious research ever? Some infallible realized rinpoche told you everything you know? You were there in Tibet when it all happened and remember it perfectly? You are a realized buddha already?

            I can admit I am wrong…. even more often than I am right. I am willing to change my view especially if how I was taught “gyalpo spirit” was wrong about Shugden. But you just parrot the same old things many others say without a compelling argument:
            “Dalai should have listened to his old masters and so he is no master just a humble monk.”
            You are a hypocrite man! Can’t you see? No?

            Obviously these “enlightened rinpoche” especially the tulkus make some mistakes just like any human just like you. Give the humble monk the same respect you demand he give his old masters.

            You are misleading people pastor. Compare Shugden with another murderer like Palden Lhamo who sits on her son’s flayed skin for a horse saddle, but please don’t talk about Achi until you really know about her. She is totally unlike Shugden or any other Dharmapala… except for the buddhahood part.

            I really wish you did not write this article. It is wrong to mislead people like you do.
            GoodBye

  17. Casteven Lim (KH JB) on Apr 3, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    Dear Rinpoche and Pastor Niral,

    Thanks for blogging out the details information for Achi Choki Drolma and especially the 11 Questions and Answers. I do learn a lot from the Q & A hence is a very good i can use to answer to others when they are asking the similiar questions to me.

    Dorje Shugden ( emanation of Manjushri ) and Achi Choki Drolma ( emanation of Vajra Yogini ) both have the same enlightenment mind-stream to protect Dharma teaching to benefit others.

    May the unethical DS Ban lifted soon so many more will connect to the world peace protector Dorje Shugden.

    Your sincerely,
    Casteven

  18. Pastor David Lai on Apr 3, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    I think that this is a fantastic and educational blog post. This and many other of such articles make Tsem Rinpoche’s incredible blog such a great place to learn and explore various aspects of spirituality. I particularly enjoy the fantastic pictures of Achi Chokyi Drolma’s lively statues and learning about the Drikung Kagyu and especially the question and answer section.

    It is incredible how the origins of her practice was similar to Dorje Shugden’s in which controversy arose in relations to their true nature. Looks like Dorje Shugden is going through a similar phase but on a bigger scale I would say. If this is true, may Dorje Shugden be widely accepted as Manjushri soon and that he may become widespread as his practice is extremely effective for people today.

  19. Chris Chong on Mar 31, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    Dear Rinpoche and Pastor Niral,

    Thank you for sharing information on this uncommon protector of Drikung Kagyu lineage.

    Achi Choki Drolma has an interesting life and story. Similar to Yamantaka, she was not accepted right away and was said to be a flesh eating demoness. Then, Highly lamas are able to see the true nature of her practice and start to write extensive prayers and praises to her. As time goes by, the practice can prove its worthiness and be accepted.

    Similar goes to Dorje Shugden, i believe it will prove its worthiness and be accepted once again.

    Your Holiness Dalai Lama, Please Shugden Ban.

  20. Alice Tay on Mar 31, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    非常感谢仁波切和Pastor Niral分享此庄严又漂亮的止贡噶举传承的女护法,Achi Chokyi Drolma。

    Achi Chokyi Drolma是金剛瑜伽母的化身。她三岁时,就开始持诵度母咒并教其他的小孩。Achi Chokyi Drolma 仿佛有预知能力,知道她会嫁给一个瑜伽士,然后他们的结合后的每一位孩子都是博学有成就的修行人来弘揚佛法利益无数的众生。

    Achi Chokyi Drolma这一生的经历其实是一个非常好的教诲。她化身成为女护法就是为了要护持止贡噶举传承。而她的动机非常明显地就是要救度众生达成解脱、圆满和开悟。这就好像当年杜固扎巴坚赞化身为多杰雄登护法的目的一样,要护持第二佛宗喀巴大师珍贵的教诲,利益众生。

    一个是金剛瑜伽母化身的Achi Chokyi Drolma,一个是文殊菩萨化身的多杰雄登护法。因为佛菩萨的慈悲而化身为护法,主要的目的就是能帮助我们消除障碍,让我们可以有更好的条件修持佛法,迅速的达到证悟。

  21. Valentina Suhendra on Mar 30, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Dear Pastor Niral

    Thank you for this wonderful post. I learned a lot from it. I agree with the similarities between Achi Chokyi Drolma and Dorje Shugden. Achi Chokyi Drolma specifically rose to protect Drikung Kagyu lineage teaching while Dorje Shugden rose to protect Gelugpa teaching. But since both of them are the emanation of Enlightened Buddha Manjushri and Buddha Vajrayogini, there is no way they are Secterian.

    I hope all misconceptions related to Dorje Shugden practice will be cleared soon.

    Valentina

  22. Wah Ying on Mar 29, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche, writers and blog team who bring this great article to all of us.

    The article was written in a way that is with lots of information yet easy to understand. I learn a lot from reading the article – from different lineages within Tibetan Buddhism, how Drikung Kagyu School arises; Six Yogas of Naropa, as well as life and practice of Achi Chokyi Drolma. When telling about how Achi Chokyi Drolma transforming a corpse into tsog offering, we can see very much efforts have been putting in to explain the using of corpse as an offering, which is to break away our hold of projection and perception; as well as overcoming our strong attachment to our body which will ultimately and always betrays us, no matter how much we have invested into it.

    Of course about how the practice not accepted initially, so much debate and friction were created…and finally being accepted, as well.

    The addendum – Similarities to Dorje Shugden part is extremely good and clear in explaining both Achi Chokyi Drolma and Dorje Shugden practice. Comparison in such a way make clearer to friends who are new to Dorje Shugden/Achi Chokyi practice, that both of the practices are having the “difficult” times before the practice being widely accepted or become mainstream.

    Dorje Shugden is definitely not sectarian as accused like how Achi Chokyi Drolma practice was criticized. If a dharmapala is sectarian for the deity arises specially to protect a certain lineage, then deity like Six-Armed Mahakala is to protect Shangpa Kagyu, Ekajati for Nyingma lineage – are these deities being sectarian as well? Why these deities or lineage free from accusations of being sectarian?

    Politics has played a huge role in the suppression of certain lines of incarnations, like that of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s; and politics does steps in when it comes to a dharma protector to become popular or being sidelined. When politics comes in, the biography, attainments and others proof about a certain deity/protector his/her nature is an enlightened being would be distorted or being overlooked totally. As a practitioner, we should be aware about this, and always go back to the teachings of one’s guru, which should be on top of all views/opinions heavily influenced by politics, outer issues such as ranking or fame of the person who give opinions.

    Another point that stood out and interest me is Achi Chokyi Drolma is propitiated as a guru, yidam and dharma protector. I strongly wish Dorje Shugden will be propitiated as guru, yidam, dharma protector or all three, in the near future, to benefit even more people, especially those who have strong ffinity with him.

    I truly believe as well Dorje Shugden practice will become mainstream, as He is an emanation of Wisdom Buddha Manjushri whose only purpose is to benefits all.

  23. Wan Wai Meng on Mar 29, 2016 at 2:20 am

    Thank you to Rinpoche and everyone who spent so much time to bring the article alive to us.

    One of the points that stood out for me is that just because a dharma protector protects one lineage of teaching does not render that protector as being sectarian, it is pure nonsense to think so. A dharma protector protects a lineage because that particular protector is most suited to protect that lineage, due to the manner the protector arose and karmic affinity. It is almost similar to say because Palden Lhamo is Dalai Lama’s personal protector she will not protect other lamas, or that because Palden Lhamo is the protectoress of Tibet, she will not protect other countries. Can enlightened beings be so ‘narrow’ in their outlook?

    Buddha Shakyamuni also never predicted the coming of Achi Chokyi Drolma, can she then be considered as an unenlightened protector? I don’t think so. Enlightened or not, ‘tenzin’ or ‘tenshi’ can be seen from propitiating the dharma protector, does the dharma grow or not in general or for the practitioners. Actions naturally speak louder than words.

    All dharma protectors help the practitioners to grow spiritually, helping practitioners to grow spiritually is a means to protect the lineage. All dharma protectors can help a practitioner materially, just because they do so does not mean the dharma protector is worldly. So why single out Dorje Shudgen when he helps people financially to over their material problems?

  24. Sofi on Mar 29, 2016 at 1:23 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing and Pastor Niral with writers involved in this beautiful article of Achi Chokyi Drolma – Chief Protectress of the Drikung Kagyu. Its clear and easy to read. I find it interesting that she had used a human corpse as Tsog offering and now understand a little better of the tantric offering. She certainly share strong similarities with Protector Dorje Shugden as shown in the Addendum. She too had faced difficulties before she was fully accepted.
    It is interesting that after almost 400 years of propitiating Dorje Shugden as a Protector, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama should suddenly state that Dorje Shugden is a spirit. And this is after the 5th Dalai Lama, who upon realizing his mistake, wrote a praise declaring Dorje Shugden to be an Enlightened Protector and the following numerous highly attained Masters, like Panchen Lama, Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, the five Shakya Trizins and the list goes on, that had praised, written sadhana on his practise and propitiated his practise to their students and followers throughout this 400 years.
    His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama himself had been practising Dorje Shugden, who helped him safely escape from Tibet. Why had His Holiness, the emanation of Buddha Avalokitesvara suddenly turned his back on Dorje Shugden?
    By stating Dorje Shugden to be a spirit as an excuse can so easily be proven wrong and yet so many of His Holiness’ followers just accept his reasons without questions.
    With his declaration and ban, His Holiness throws the system of Guru/Disciple relationship/samaya, central to Tibetan Buddhism, into disarray and still his followers do not question.
    Many unsavoury acts had been perpetrated against Dorje Shugden Lamas and followers, which are against the very basis of Buddhist practise of Compassion and His Holiness’s followers do not question.
    So it must be true that His Holiness’ followers hold rank to be greater than attainments.
    I personally think that His Holiness’s followers should stop to think on a higher level as to the reason why he had declared a ban on Dorje Shugden. They should look deeper within His Holiness teachings of compassion, mind transformation, inner peace, etc., not just academically but to be put into practise.
    It is sad to see shallow minds waste the precious teachings of His Holiness, trying to proof themselves to be “loyal”. Unless they are attained, this “loyalty” will be their undoing. Sad indeed

    • Joy on Mar 29, 2016 at 3:51 am

      Good observation Sofi on how obvious it is that His Holiness’ followers hold rank to be greater than attainments. And isn’t that the scary part? Because if it is based on rank that one can override someone’s spiritual practice and another’s teacher’s teaching, then just about ANYONE who has a “higher” rank can do that. So what we’re saying is that there is a complete disregard towards the 50 stanzas of Guru Devotion which is the very core foundation for Vajrayana practices. This would also mean anyone who is of “higher” rank than the H.H. the Dalai Lama could override H.H. teachings as well. That means President Obama could probably override H.H. the Dalai Lama’s decision on the ban on Dorje Shugden as he has more authority overall being one of the superpower nations,no? Goes to show how ridiculous it is for anyone to based their decision just because they think H.H. the Dalai Lama has the highest authority.

  25. graceleong on Mar 28, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    Thank you to Rinpoche and all the writers who put this sharing together. It’s simple and clear with loads of information.The few points which stood out for me were :
    1) this whole argument on Dorje Shugden being a sectarian practice and hence have a negative connotation with regards to its practice, is not a valid argument at all. That’s not a valid reason to impose a Ban on DS. DS is not a sectarian practice.Similarly to the practice of Achi Chokyi Drolma, can someone ban it just because it protects the teachings of Drikung Kagyu ?
    2) Wrathful aspects/rituals in any particular practice does not mean that practice is a demonic or negative one. Achi Chokyi Drolma is in essence the wisdom dakini Vajrayogini and Dorje Shugden is in essence the wisdom Buddha Manjushri. Both of these Enlightened protectors have wrathful elements in their respective practices. They are used for more efficacious results.
    3) As history repeats itself, one day very soon, Dorje Shugden will be “free” to be propitiated by anyone and everyone who has the affinity with HIM. The Ban will come down and all that was argued over for the last 3 decades will gradually be forgotten. This happened during the time of Ra Lotsawa and Yamantaka ; similarly with Achi Chokyi Drolma too. This whole controversial drama will come to an end and many more can benefit from the powers of the Protector Dorje Shugden.

    • Joy on Mar 29, 2016 at 3:57 am

      You are right Grace to say this… ” DS is not a sectarian practice.Similarly to the practice of Achi Chokyi Drolma, can someone ban it just because it protects the teachings of Drikung Kagyu?” and the other big question is… Since Achi Chokyi Drolma arose specifically to protect Drikung Kagyu, isn’t that itself considered sectarian? Why is it not sectarian for Drikung Kagyu to have a specific protector but it is considered sectarian for Gelug to have a specific Dharma protector? Why the double standards? Shows us how ridiculous and bias the Tibetan leadership is. Hence why should anyone trust and follow them?

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  • Jason
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 11:54 PM
    People always expect return on some contribution being done especially in charity events. When the return was under their expectations then they will feel sad or unhappy.
    As Rinpoche said, Dharma is a teachings to transform our mind to become bodicitta or selfless to benefit others without condition. Once we practiced selfless mind, our mind will not be affected by others people reaction.
    What will be my legacy? I think this is not really important to me anymore once I know Dharma teachings from Rinpoche.
    Thanks Datuk May for sharing to benefit more people.

    Jason

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/what-will-be-your-legacy.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 08:56 PM
    Amazing miracles true story …of how Rinpoche helped. With Rinpoche blessing during the children baptismal ceremony,this little boy who had not spoken since 9 years old was able to speake again.Incredible….
    Chef Au truly believes been a vegetarian has help him to collects merits for his son.Rinpoche’s care and compassion has benefited many more people.Through these stories hope more people will be inspired to achieve the state of compassion and attainments.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Loh Seng Piow for this sharing.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-4.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 07:51 PM
    Having fully trust and faith in Rinpoche ,Fat monk’s mother was well again, after been diagnosed with cancerious tumour at the liver.
    Following instructions given by Rinpoche, his mother recited mantras and Fat monk did a series of pujas as told,his mother recovered then.
    Amazing……Miracles do happen.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Loh Seng Piow for sharing.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-3.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 05:27 PM
    We are no strangers to the creatures called Werewolves. They are often depicted as the Jekyll-and-Hyde-like monsters in movies who are unable to control their animal instincts when they shift from human form to a wolf-like creature, usually during the full moon. Together with the Vampires who can transform into bats, are my childhood imagery villains, who triggered my curiosity on mythical creatures during younger days. They still do, lol.

    It is gruesome to learn that real life werewolves are actually brutal even when they are in human forms. It is a far depict from the movies and fictions, where they are civil and level headed when in human form. I hope one day science or technology can provide more proves the existence of werewolves, and debunk the reason of this mystical shapeshifter.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/paranormal/werewolves-the-shapeshifters.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 05:07 PM
    The miraculous power of Protectors’ practice can heal and shield us from negative karma from ripening. Through the blessings of our Guru, coupled with strong faith and trust, the practices will take effect swiftly and effectively. Rejoice to Steven Lee. May he be guided by the Three Jewels always. Thank you, Pastor Seng Piow for sharing the true story with us.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-10.html
  • Lin Mun
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 03:57 PM
    This is a very touching article. I totally agree that dog is a man’s best friend. They are always so loyal to the owner. However it is sad that not all pet owners are such. Some will only treat them literally as an animal and therefore do not take good care of them. Dogs or any other animals are beings that have feeling. There should not be neglected and be abused by us. This article reminds us to always care for all beings and respect them.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this heartwarming article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/faithful-dog-chases-deceased-owner.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 02:21 PM
    Its a heartfelt touching article of this faithful dog.Cannot imagine this ,such a wonderful relationship between that dog and the deceased owner.The greatest fear dogs know is the fear that we will not come back for them That i noticed from observing from my pet poodle.In this case this faithful dog knew his owner won’t be back.
    Dogs are loyal, patient, fearless, forgiving, capable of pure love and have feelings too.He must have missed the owner badly that he wanted to accompany the owner all the way to the resting place.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing. May that faithful dog ,continue to serve and well taken, love by the other family members.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/faithful-dog-chases-deceased-owner.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 01:46 PM
    Werewolves are known to be mythical creatures found in fiction instead of lurking in the dark woods,In various parts of the world there were few cases who have gone down in history as real life werewolves Interesting to read it from these post..How far it was true or just legends.,no one really know . Many myths and legends surrounding werewolves .To become a werewolf, it is necessary to be bitten by a werewolf in their form at the time of the full moon. Thats what all of us knew from the movies and from fiction told. Reports of werewolf sightings continued even till this century but mostly in between 1428 and 1447 .The most recent sighting of werewolf sightings in 1972. was in Ohio .but eventually subsided .
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these interesting article which i do enjoyed reading it,
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/paranormal/werewolves-the-shapeshifters.html
  • Valentina
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 01:11 PM
    Join our blog chat session this Saturday 11AM – 12PM (GMT +8) on the topic of:

    Twenty-Four Holy Places & Eight Great Charnel Grounds part 2 – (focus topic: Eight Great Charnel Grounds)

    At one time there was a god by the name of Rudra who was originally part of Mahadeva’s retinue. He was a very fierce being who also had many of his own consorts. Together with his consorts he began to oppress sentient beings, and promoted violence and unethical behaviour. At that time, Heruka once again arose, and in a dance of great compassionate wrath, liberated Rudra and his consorts from their physical bodies, sending their minds to pure lands. The places where Rudra’s body parts fell became charnel grounds. …read more by clicking the following link:

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/twenty-four-holy-places-eight-great-charnel-grounds.html
  • Jason
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 03:07 AM
    This year Wesak Day fall on 10 of May. This day is very special and meaningful to me because I will visit Kechara Forest Retreat(KFR) to join some meritorious event there.
    For me, Wesak is a day to commemorate Buddha Sakyamuni in three aspect( Birth , Enlightened, Nirwana).
    While we celebrate Wesak, we must remind ourselves to learn from Buddha teachings and practice it in order to gain attainment.
    Thanks Rinpoche and Pastor Seng Piow for sharing in order to create more understanding on Wesak Day.

    Jason

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/wesak-day-special-on-rtm-2.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 06:10 PM
    OMG! This is very touching. To see a doggie who never left go of his owner in spite of death. Way more powerful than many who proclaimed “till death do us part.” Just like the human, not all doggies are as loyal as this tear-jerking pet, but I truly believe almost all doggies offer unconditional love to the person who feeds and cares for them. Even when they are stray animals. There was a stray dog who will run two streets from the entrance of the “Taman” until the car stops in front of the house, just to greet me. You can imagine the warm and conviction in my heart that these beings are more than capable of loving than many of us, human! Thank you for this lovely sharing. I miss my doggie, Sherab.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/faithful-dog-chases-deceased-owner.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 06:00 PM
    Thank you, Pastor Seng Piow, for this amazing sharing. There is no doubt about the ability of our Guru, His Eminence the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche. His incarnations have been compassionate and taken rebirth to return and spread the dharma so that sentient beings can benefit and learn some dharma in our short life.

    We shall never doubt our Guru; but must see that He is one with our Yidam and Protector, an attained being. Even if our Guru does not demonstrate clairvoyance abilities, we must never contest our Guru, for he holds the key (dharma) that can liberate us from eternal suffering in samsara.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-1-2.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 05:50 PM
    Thank you, Pastor Seng Piow, for the illustrated miracle story on how Rinpoche guided Cynthia and Marici away from danger through protector’s practice. The unseen exist, whether we like it or not. Some of them are malicious and have the affinity or karma with some of us. Hence they can cause harm and disturbance. By engaging in Protectors’ practice like Dorje Shugden and Setrap that have been practiced by the high lamas of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, we are protected and guarded against harm.

    Rinpoche is compassionate and only want the best for us. His teachings are not meant to show off the power of the divines but offer us a way out from our desperate samsara conundrum that binds us from engaging in deeper spiritual practice. Rinpoche always teaches us to focus on mind transformation and Tsongkhapa practice. How fortunate we are to have met Rinpoche in this lifetime. We must not let this rare and precious opportunity go to waste.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-12.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 04:30 PM
    Miracles do happen,when we have faith and trust in our Guru.What is important is to follow Rinpoche’s advice and do as instructed by our Guru to clear the osbtacles all the way.Angie and Herry were so fortunate to have meet Rinpoche.Its because of Rinpoche ‘s compassion and caring for his student Angie’s life was saved.Infact Rinpoche has helped many people through his intervention, advice and instructions.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Loh Seng Piow for sharing miracles stories which i enjoyed reading.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-2.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 02:45 PM
    WOW….interesting a miracles true story. Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Loh Seng Piow for sharing.Reciting mantras by family members and doing 20 pujas done at the monastery to help the baby. These proved that pujas, which have been done for hundreds of years in the monasteries are very powerful methods for us to overcome difficulties, create huge amounts of merit and for protection, good health and long life.This show us how powerful pujas can help us when we have trust and faith in our Guru.And with Rinpoche divination,the baby was born and now a healthy boy.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-1-2.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Messages from Rinpoche

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Technical: Lew Kwan Leng, Justin Ripley, Yong Swee Keong
Design: Justin Ripley, Cynthia Lee
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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

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The Unknown

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

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.
Holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini\'s blessing can be found when we decide to focus out to others instead of in to only ourselves.
~ Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini's blessing can be found when we decide to focus out to others instead of in to only ourselves. ~ Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
His Holiness Vajradhara Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Monastery who is the refuge of countless, gives a clear explanation of Dorje Shugden. One is able to hear his holy voice and translation by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen! Please see here and share: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=122352
2 weeks ago
His Holiness Vajradhara Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Monastery who is the refuge of countless, gives a clear explanation of Dorje Shugden. One is able to hear his holy voice and translation by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen! Please see here and share: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=122352
: This picture says it all. Click on it to enlarge and read and please share.
3 weeks ago
: This picture says it all. Click on it to enlarge and read and please share.
This is a simple chart showing the three main psychic channels used in tantric meditations to control the winds, raise tummo (fire energy), gain higher consciousness and insight and also for gaining siddhis. These channels are used in meditations for controlling the mind, when the mind ejects from the body (phowa) and one\'s death. These three channels are very important. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
This is a simple chart showing the three main psychic channels used in tantric meditations to control the winds, raise tummo (fire energy), gain higher consciousness and insight and also for gaining siddhis. These channels are used in meditations for controlling the mind, when the mind ejects from the body (phowa) and one's death. These three channels are very important. Tsem Rinpoche
I think my cute doggie Oser is actually Tintin\'s dog Snowy!
3 weeks ago
I think my cute doggie Oser is actually Tintin's dog Snowy!
Great Masters of Gaden Shartse Monastery. From left to right: His Eminence Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, His Holiness Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, H.E. Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, His Holiness 101st Gaden Tripa throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal.
3 weeks ago
Great Masters of Gaden Shartse Monastery. From left to right: His Eminence Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, His Holiness Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, H.E. Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, His Holiness 101st Gaden Tripa throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal.
 Left to right: Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl. The three of them are my beautiful and loved Schnauzer dogs. They loved looking through the window to see traffic, people and movement. They loved the smells that drifted through their little noses. I love seeing the three of them together like this. I love them. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Left to right: Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl. The three of them are my beautiful and loved Schnauzer dogs. They loved looking through the window to see traffic, people and movement. They loved the smells that drifted through their little noses. I love seeing the three of them together like this. I love them. Tsem Rinpoche
Little Mumu boy...he loved balloons. When he saw them, he wanted to get close and perhaps bite them. Cute. I love this picture of Mumu reaching for the balloons. He was young and healthy! This picture captures his energy, enthusiasm, curiosity and high energy. I love this picture of him chasing the balloons. His pictures are always so nice....He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Little Mumu boy...he loved balloons. When he saw them, he wanted to get close and perhaps bite them. Cute. I love this picture of Mumu reaching for the balloons. He was young and healthy! This picture captures his energy, enthusiasm, curiosity and high energy. I love this picture of him chasing the balloons. His pictures are always so nice....He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
Little Mumu boy and myself.. He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Little Mumu boy and myself.. He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
2017-His Holiness the 101st Gaden Tripa, Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal is doing well and 90 years old. His Holiness Lungrik Namgyal is a powerful master of sutra and tantra and practitioner of Dorje Shugden. Currently residing in France.
3 weeks ago
2017-His Holiness the 101st Gaden Tripa, Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal is doing well and 90 years old. His Holiness Lungrik Namgyal is a powerful master of sutra and tantra and practitioner of Dorje Shugden. Currently residing in France.
One of the most sacred statues of Avalokitesvara made of sandalwood housed in Lhasa, Tibet. He has shown miracles also. Every pilgrim wishes to make offerings to this Lord of Compassion.
3 weeks ago
One of the most sacred statues of Avalokitesvara made of sandalwood housed in Lhasa, Tibet. He has shown miracles also. Every pilgrim wishes to make offerings to this Lord of Compassion.
 Sacred Avalokitesvara statue in Nepal. Thousands come to worship this special Buddha as it has conferred wishes in the past.
3 weeks ago
Sacred Avalokitesvara statue in Nepal. Thousands come to worship this special Buddha as it has conferred wishes in the past.
Tsem Rinpoche\'s Vajra Yogini statue and offerings
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche's Vajra Yogini statue and offerings
Two of my teachers from Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India. Left side is Most Venerable Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen whom I lived with for 8 years in Los Angeles where his centre Thubten Dhargye Ling is located. On the right is the abbot emeritus H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche the scholar and yogi. I was very fortunate to have them in my life and learn so much dharma from them. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Two of my teachers from Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India. Left side is Most Venerable Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen whom I lived with for 8 years in Los Angeles where his centre Thubten Dhargye Ling is located. On the right is the abbot emeritus H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche the scholar and yogi. I was very fortunate to have them in my life and learn so much dharma from them. Tsem Rinpoche
 It is so wonderful to be kind to people, be caring, feed them, make sure they are healthy and share dharma if they are interested with them for their future. But simply to be nice to others is worth getting up and being alive...otherwise why be alive to hurt/use/distrust and hate others? No point living that way..must change that..... It is nice to live our lives to benefit others and be patient even if we have been hurt before because by caring we can heal the hurt and \'defeat\' the ones that hurt us because we don\'t become bitter..... Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
It is so wonderful to be kind to people, be caring, feed them, make sure they are healthy and share dharma if they are interested with them for their future. But simply to be nice to others is worth getting up and being alive...otherwise why be alive to hurt/use/distrust and hate others? No point living that way..must change that..... It is nice to live our lives to benefit others and be patient even if we have been hurt before because by caring we can heal the hurt and 'defeat' the ones that hurt us because we don't become bitter..... Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche\'s heritage in China. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=120499
4 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche's heritage in China. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=120499
Thank you Buddhist Pastor Chia for sharing your story on how you met His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche over 20 years ago. We can learn much from your story.~Admin  Please read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116928
4 weeks ago
Thank you Buddhist Pastor Chia for sharing your story on how you met His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche over 20 years ago. We can learn much from your story.~Admin Please read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116928
Mumu boy is incredibly photogenic. He is beyond cute. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
Mumu boy is incredibly photogenic. He is beyond cute. Tsem Rinpoche
 (left to right) Rabten Tulku, Gonsar Rinpoche, Gyume Kensur Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, H.H. Gaden Trisur Rinpoche (France)
4 weeks ago
(left to right) Rabten Tulku, Gonsar Rinpoche, Gyume Kensur Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, H.H. Gaden Trisur Rinpoche (France)
Beautiful 200 roses arrived today for me as a gift from Su Ming. Very kind and thoughtful of her as usual. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
Beautiful 200 roses arrived today for me as a gift from Su Ming. Very kind and thoughtful of her as usual. Tsem Rinpoche
It\'s good to be with kind and sincere people.
4 weeks ago
It's good to be with kind and sincere people.
If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
My Mumu boy didn\'t want to eat. Eating is not one of his favorite activities throughout his life. So I talked to him to let him know why he needs to eat and keep his strength up when this photo was taken. He was listening intently and after my talk with him, he ate. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
My Mumu boy didn't want to eat. Eating is not one of his favorite activities throughout his life. So I talked to him to let him know why he needs to eat and keep his strength up when this photo was taken. He was listening intently and after my talk with him, he ate. Tsem Rinpoche
This is so true. Click to enlarge and understand more about unpleasant people.
4 weeks ago
This is so true. Click to enlarge and understand more about unpleasant people.
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
1 month ago
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
1 month ago
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
1 month ago
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
1 month ago
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 month 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 month 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 month 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 month 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 month 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 month 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 month ago
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
Read this as it will be interesting
1 month ago
Read this as it will be interesting
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month 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 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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!
2 months 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
3 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
3 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
3 months ago
This is a good one to read
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  • April 20, 2017 10:45
    Ronnie asked: Dear Rinpoche and Pastors, I'm studying abroad and very far away from home, seeking guidance and advice as I have no one else I can talk to about this. Please read with an open mind, I don't know where else to go for help. I'm pregnant and it's an unplanned pregnancy. I'm stuck between keeping it or letting it go. I'm young and having a child at my age in the society we live in now would be considered taboo. The father of the child thinks I should let it go because it may cause a setback to both our careers and cause major family issues. He thinks we aren't ready to raise a child especially since we're both still in university and his parents think badly of me even though they've never met me or tried to get to know me. I'm sure no one would ever have the heart to take away a heartbeat but it seems like it isn't the right time to have a child now and if we did go through with it, the child probably won't be able to have the best things life can offer looking at where we are now in terms of finance and maturity. I'm lost, confused and unsure what the right thing to do is now. Any advice at all would be helpful right now. Thank you so very much for taking time to read my story.
    pastor answered: Dear Ronnie, I’m sorry to read that you are going through this situation. I can understand that this situation is tough to go through. You are always more than welcome to come here to ask questions. May I suggest that you talk to either someone in your family or your friends to help you come to an appropriate solution? This is because, what you feel, what you are going through, will change from time to time and you would need someone to talk to, someone that you can lean on through this situation you are facing. Depending on where you are in the world, professional help can also be sought to help you make a decision, which will be the best option for you seeking help. From a Buddhist perspective, the taking of a life is not considered a positive act, therefore those on the Buddhist path, would normally abstain taking a life if possible. However, that being said, one must always weigh the decision oneself. Everything we do in life, necessarily involves karma both positive and negative. That is why Buddhists try to overcome samsara in general. Your situation is complicated because you are abroad, but if possible you should really open up to someone you are close to in order to help you through making this decision on a personal basis. When you talk to someone, whom you are able to express yourself more, you may able to come to better decision that is right for you. There may be other options open to you if you seek help. I personally know women who have been in similar situations. One of these women, let the child go and the other went through the pregnancy and then gave the child up for adoption. You may or may not have thought of this option, but it is one that could be open to you, depending on where in the world you are. Any decision we make in life, however big or small it may seem, has far reaching consequences whether in this life, or in future lives. This is just a part and parcel of life within samsara. However, we should weigh the decisions we make clearly given the situation we are in. We cannot always do this weighing ourselves, but need to talk about our options with others we can rely on such a friends, family or professionals. You should consider doing this, which will help you greatly emotionally, and may give you the grounding you need to make the correct decision for you. I hope this helps.
  • April 19, 2017 04:57
    Dongho asked: What is a nyung ne practice? According to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, it's a purification sadhana. However, what are the instructions for this? I'm guessing it's to Chenrezig, but how does it work? Also, from what I have read, Vajrasattva practice is only for broken vows while Akshobhya is for regular misdeeds. Does that mean one has to take the Akshobhya practice to purify bad karma from this life and previous instead of Vajrasattva? As for the purification practices, are some like Vajrasattva and Chenrezig only to purify the bad karma and let it come quickly or is it to prevent it from coming? I am confused in it. As for signs, I recited a mantra of White Yangchenma that a Sakya lama, Lama Kunga Thartse Rinpoche, gave me with the Sakya visualizations I read on, and after one mala, I heard some lady call my Korean name even though no one in my neighborhood knows of my name and my family members weren't in the area. What does this mean?
    pastor answered: Dear Dongho, Thank you for your questions, it’s nice to see you back here again. Nyung Ne practice is a purification practice that centres around Chenrezig. It is a very beneficial practice that stems from a holy nun named Gelong-ma Palmo. It is a two and a half day practice that can be repeated many times over and over again to intensify the purification and build a closer relationship with Chenrezig. As well as its purification aspect, the practice is known to generate vast amount of merit, and also compassion, as the practice centres around Chenrezig, the Buddha of compassion. The practice involves taking the eight Mahayana precepts for the duration, fasting, meditating, prostrating and praying. The practice usually entails empowerment into the practice of Chenrezig, therefore the exact meditations, prayers can only be explained to those who have the empowerment. Vajrasattva practice is not necessarily only for repairing broken vows, etc. That’s why it is advised that you engage in the practice at the end of the day, to repair any vows that you may have broken during that day, as well as stopping any negative karma you created that day from multiplying. This would entail reciting the mantra 21 times, together with the four opponent powers. However, if you engage in this practice more intensely, it definitely has the capability to purify all sorts of karma. That is the reason why in Ngondro, or preliminary practices one engages in before tantra, the practice of 100,000 Vajrasattva mantra recitation is an integral part. You can read more about Vajrasattva and his practice here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/an-important-purification-practice.html. Within purification practices, some of the karma will be purified completely, so you do not feel its effects at all, but when purifying other karma you will need to feel its effects somehow. For example if you have the karma to be in a car accident and get seriously injured, and you are engaging in any practice, but especially the purification practice, since you have purified most of the karma, you will only experience being in a very minor car accident, with only very superficial injuries. Therefore, in this case, the karma has been purified to the extent that it does not affect you as much, but you still need to feel part of its effect. In regards to any signs that you receive which engaging in the practices given to you by one of your specific gurus, you should report the happenings to that particular guru. He will be able to give you more of an accurate answer, as it may be related to the particular practice that he gave to you. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • April 17, 2017 07:06
    Thomas asked: Dear Pastors, When a serkyem set has been used so much and one is ready to get rid of it and replace it with a new one. What is a respecful mode of disposal?
    pastor answered: Dear Thomas, Thank you for your question. Your question shows that you have a lot of respect for offering items, which is very good. If possible, you should try to repair the item if within your means, and doing so make embellishments to make it a better offering item, which can still be used. If this is not possible, then you should dispose of the item with a good motivation. You should think that this item has been used to make offerings to the enlightened beings, but now that it is broken or unusable, you are going to dispose of it, and replace it with a new one. Since it itself is not a receptacle of energies of the enlightened beings, such as a statue, tsa tsa or thangka, it does not require a special dissolution before being disposed of. However since it was used to make offerings, it still requires some form of respect when disposing, and this comes from one’s motivation and the way in which you dispose of it. Usually, when disposing of items in this way, make the motivation that you have used it and that it is now time to dispose of it, and replace it with a new one. When you do this you can dispose of it in a respectful manner. For example, if you are going to throw it away, you do not simply open the trash can and throw it in. You wrap it up in something, like a bag or newspaper and dispose of it respectfully. Another method you can dispose of it is to recycle the object, if the material it is made from can be recycled. That way you are more conscious of the environment as well. I hope this explanation helps. Thank you.
  • April 16, 2017 22:38
    Curious asked: Dear pastors In a recent youtube video something like paying respect to deceased ones, pastor Nirel Patel explained that merits are like the interest and good karma is like the principal sum. So merits always regenerate themselves and hence do not get used up but good karma is like the principal sum so it gets used up. So my question is what are practices that generate merit? And can we turn a mundane daily activity into a meritorious one? Maybe can you provide an example?
    pastor answered: Dear Curious, Thank you for your question. First, to clarify a point, in regards to good karma, you are right, it is like a principal sum in a bank account, but you take away from it when you experience something good in your life, and you add to it when you do good deeds. Merit on the other hand, once accrued never diminishes, therefore when something is based on merit, it is based on the energies of this never diminishing sum, which you could say is like interest. In short, the principal sum when talking about karma is always added to and subtracted from. However, when talking about merit, once you have it, there is no way to destroy it, you will always benefit from it. There are various ways to explain how to generate merit. I will explain a way that I find easiest to understand. In normal life, when we go about performing any sort of activity, be it ‘good’ or ‘bad’ we do so out of ignorance of the true nature of existence, and it is usually self-motivated. For example, we work our entire lives to generate monetary income, so that we have enough money, resources, and materials goods to be comfortable. This is self-motivated, but it is the accepted way the world works these days, and is part and parcel of being bound to samsaric life. On the other hand, the act of merit making can be categorised into three parts: i) motivation, ii) the act itself, and iii) dedication. Let’s start with motivation, when engaging in various virtuous acts, we should have the motivation that by engaging in the act, we have the motivation to alleviate the suffering of someone else, and that may we gain enlightenment so that we can benefit them in the future. The second is the act itself. The third is to dedicate the energy of the virtuous act to gaining enlightenment. These three are what make merit. This may be a little confusing, so let me give an example: giving help to a homeless person. Whereas in ordinary life, this is something praised as a very good deed, it does not create merit without motivation and dedication. In order for this to become merit, one must set the motivation that one is giving help to the homeless free of the eight worldly concerns, to alleviate their suffering and also making the motivation that you will achieve enlightenment for the sake of the person or people you are helping. Then after you have helped them, you dedicate the energy created to the spiritual journey towards full enlightenment to help all sentient beings, while at the same time benefiting as many sentient beings as possible on the way there. This transforms the act into not only a virtuous action but also one that generates merit. On the other hand, if you were to help the homeless without these, you are creating good karma, which although beneficial, keeps you bound to existence within samsara. As it is the goal of Buddhist practice to overcome the cycle of samsara, a Buddhist would want to generate merit instead of good karma. I hope this explanation helps. Thank you.
  • April 13, 2017 11:38
    D.A. asked: If Begtse Chan is not from Mongolia, what are his real origins or story exactly? And which lamas offer his empowerment? As for Manjushri Nagarakshasa, which lamas specifically offer his empowerment and practice?
    pastor answered: Dear D.A. Thank you for your question. Begtse, is also known as Chamsing, or Jamsaran in Mongolian. As mentioned in an earlier sharing with someone who also asked a question about Begtse, the practiced was introduced to Tibet from India by the translator Nyen Lotsawa, and is considered one of the main protectors of the Hayagriva cycle of tantras. According to the scriptures that derive from the Sakya tradition, who incorporated the practice from the translators, and in which tradition Begtse became a very important protector, Begtse in a previous life was born many eons ago. In that particular life, he was born as the younger prince in a royal family. His name was Drag Gye, and his older brother’s name was Drag Den. Over time both princes developed differing religious beliefs, to the point where they could not get along with each as they both held their own religious views strongly. As was the custom during that time, they decided to settle their differences through logical debate, with the loser having to convert to the winner’s religion. This custom was also prevalent in ancient India, and there are many stories of such debates occurring between the great masters of the past and those of other faiths. Drag Gye lost the various debates, but ran away instead of converting to his older brother’s religion. Drag Den caught him, and tried to punish him for breaking the rules of debate and going back on his promise. Drag Gye told his brother that even if he was killed he would not give up his religion, however if Drag Den let him go, that in the future when Drag Den became enlightened, he would protect his teachings. With that Drag Den let him go, and gave him a set of copper armour, a stick, and a bow and arrow. Drag Den also gave Drag Gye a new name: Sog Dag Yam Shi Mar Po. After this incident the two brothers never saw each other again in that lifetime. Many lives after that Drag Den was reborn as Prince Siddharta, who eventually became enlightened and is now known as Buddha Shakyamuni. Drag Gye, or Sog Dag Yam Shi Mar Po, was reborn in a cemetery in the North West direction. His parents gave birth to two eggs, one was a coral-like colour and the other was an agate-like colour. These two eggs flew high into the sky and reached the heavenly realms, there they subdued the gods. Then flying back down to earth, they subdued many nagas. Eventually they even came to threaten their own parents. The parents petitioned the Dharma protector Ekajati for her help, who threw her own staff (khatvanga) at the eggs, and broke them apart. From the coral-like coloured egg came a ferocious man with yellow hair, he proclaimed that his name was ‘Sog Dag Yam Shi Mar Po’. When he emerged he was wearing a set of copper armour, wielding a stick, copper sword, and a bow and arrow. From the agate-like coloured egg came a female who was blue in colour, her teeth were like shells, she had turquoise eyebrows, and her hair was made of fire. She emerged wielding a copper knife, ritual dagger (phurba), rode a terrifying bear and wore an intricate necklace made of agate and lapis lazuli. It was then that Ekajati once again took action, and subdued them, after which they became Dharma protectors. The male figure became known as Begtse, and the female as his sister. When you propitiate Begtse, his sister is automatically included and aids practitioners as well. As for which lama offer his practice and empowerment, most lamas do not advertise which teachings or practice they hold. Therefore you should respectfully approach lamas and ask them if they have the practice and can bestow it, or if they know of any lamas that have the practice, depending on how much you want to practice Begtse. Similarly, this applies to those lamas who have the practice of Manjushri Nagarakshasa. However, this practice is included in the Rinjung Gyatsa series of empowerments. This unique cycle of teachings, includes all 4 classes of tantric practices, and includes the practice of Manjushri Nagarakshasa. Therefore those lamas who have received the complete transmission, and have kept their commitments for this practice, are qualified to pass this on to others. I hope this explanation helps. Thank you.
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CHAT PICTURES

Pastor Gim Lee assisted by Kechara Puja Team, conducted a Dorje Shugden puja and blessings at a premise. Lucy Yap
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Pastor Gim Lee assisted by Kechara Puja Team, conducted a Dorje Shugden puja and blessings at a premise. Lucy Yap
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Senior students of the children class of Kechara Sunday Dharma School had their class in the ghompa every Sunday. Stella, KSDS
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Senior students of the children class of Kechara Sunday Dharma School had their class in the ghompa every Sunday. Stella, KSDS
Besides young Karlson and Ern Ern, there are new faces in Kechara Sunday Dharma School 2-4 years old. Stella, KSDS
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Kechara Sunday Dharma School students 5-6 years old making prostration to Lama Tsongkhapa at the beginning of the class every Sunday. Stella,KSDS
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Kechara Sunday Dharma School students 5-6 years old making prostration to Lama Tsongkhapa at the beginning of the class every Sunday. Stella,KSDS
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Sunday Dharma class kids learning to take refuge with teacher Alice. Lucy Yap
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One of the outdoor activities for KSDS students is to exercise the drawing that near to the nature. Alice Tay, KSDS
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