Cittamani Tara

By | Apr 11, 2016 | Views: 4,410
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Cittamani Tara with forms of Tara at the chakras (Painted by Lama Thubten Yeshe; Photo by Dionne Wilson)

Dear Friends,

Cittamani Tara is one of Kyabje Zong Rinpoche’s three main practices that was conferred upon H. E. Tsem Rinpoche in Thubten Dhargye Ling in 1984. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche mainly practiced Heruka Cakrasamvara, Vajrayogini and Cittamani Tara intensely throughout his life and this is therefore one of his heart practices. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche was great master of both Sutra and Tantra of course.

Recently, Tsem Rinpoche had requested me to write about Cittamani Tara and so I did a bit of research to learn more, in particular the origins of Tara and the background of this practice. To my knowledge, the Gelug lineage is founded on the premise of scholarship, logic and reasoning as well as tracing all teachings and practices back to a valid source that is usually from the enlightened Indian masters or Buddha Himself. Therefore, Cittamani Tara is a unique tantra because it was originally derived from the visionary experience of a Gelug yogi, Takpu Gargyi Wangpo. This goes to show the efficacy of the Gelug tradition to develop highly attained masters that are capable of pure visions of deities and astral travel to pure lands. This Cittamani Tara tantra originally received from Tara herself to Takpu Gargyi Wangpo directly is very widespread within the Gelug tradition. There is the inner, outer and secret initiations of this practice. Tsem Rinpoche recalled Kyabje Zong Rinpoche saying most monks in Sera, Gaden and Drepung have the inner and outer initiations of this special Tara, but those with the secret initiation of Cittamani Tara is rare. This Cittamani Tara is the highest yoga form (Maha-annutara) of Tara which can confer enlightenment within one lifetime. It belongs to the mother tantra class. Zong Rinpoche also said that an image of Tara is so holy, that no blessings are required. Once a Tibetan man brought a small Tara tsatsa (clay image) to Zong Rinpoche to bless. Zong Rinpoche refused to do so saying as long as it’s Tara’s image, it is automatically very holy without any consecration necessary. The image of mother Tara is extremely blessed for anyone to view, contemplate and meditate on. 

Within this article, I explore the unique qualities of Cittamani Tantra, the origins of Mother Tara, the biographical details of the great yogi and founder of the Cittamani Tara cycle and a very thought-provoking and exciting Question & Answer section that you should not miss which draws parallels with a ‘controversial’ practice and deity. This Question & Answer section will be very thought provoking for you. I think it is educational for all of us to learn about this unique cycle of Tara’s practice that is within our lineage. I hope you enjoy reading and learning up on this practice. I myself learned much more in the process of research and grateful for the opportunity to do so. I present this all to you and with great appreciation towards my fellow research comrades Pastor Niral, Martin Chow, Joy Kam and Pastor Jean Ai who contributed much help. 

I dedicate this post to the long life of all great masters of all lineages, the growth of the general Buddha Dharma, my parents, Kecharians, Zamkar,  all practitioners of sacred Tara and last but not least my spiritual mentor Tsem Rinpoche. 

Pastor David Lai

www.davidlai.me

 


 

Brief Introduction

A beautiful statue of the Buddha Tara. Click to enlarge.

The Cittamani Tara cycle of teachings in the Gelug tradition is a unique lineage of Tara’s practice that is based on the pure vision of the great Tara-siddha Takpu Gargyi Chokyi Wangchuk. This great master had pure visions of Tara and received the initiation and commentary of the practice directly from her.

Within the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism, there are many lineages and practices relating to Tara but a great majority of them belong to the lower Kriya Tantra class, which is a powerful preparation for higher tantric practices but does not bring one directly to enlightenment.

On the other hand, the Cittamani cycle of Tara teachings belongs to the Highest Yoga Tantra class, which is also known as Maha Annuttara Yoga Tantra class. This means that the teachings consist of the generation and completion stages together with the accompanying empowerments. In simple terms, Cittamani Tara’s practice is able to bring a practitioner directly to enlightenment.

In brief, the generation stage or Kyerim in Tibetan is a realization of creative yoga just before attaining the actual completion stage. This is done by mentally generating oneself as the deity Tara (in the case of the Cittamani Tara cycle) and one’s immediate surroundings as the deity’s mandala. In contrast, the completion stage or Dzogrim in Tibetan is the realizations developed via the manipulation of the psychic winds and by entering, abiding, and dissolving within the central channel through the force of meditation and thereby achieving Tantric attainments and enlightenment itself.

Therefore, the Cittamani Tara cycle contains all the necessary elements of highest yoga tantra that can propel one directly to enlightenment itself. This practice has since been widely diffused within the Gelug tradition by great lineage holders.

 

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An image depicting the 21 Taras. These various forms of Tara are commonly prayed to in the Tibetan Tradition.


Origins of Tara Tantras

The Golden Rosary, the origin of the Tara Tantras by Taranatha gives an account of a previous incarnation of Tara as a Bodhisattva on the verge of Buddhahood. She lived countless eons ago in another world system called ‘Manifold Light’. In that world, there was a Buddha by the name of ‘Dundubhisvara’ who manifested full enlightenment and turned the wheel of Dharma to fortunate disciples.

At the same time, there was also a ruling monarch living in the world system that had a virtuous daughter by the name of Yeshe Dawa, who developed great faith in that Buddha’s teachings. She made countless offerings to the Buddha along with his retinue of disciples and generated great merit for a long time. Consequently, she generated Bodhichitta, the mind of enlightenment. On one occasion, the Buddha’s disciples told her, “ You should use this merit and pray that you will be transformed into a man in a future life in accordance to the teachings as it is more befitting.”

Yeshe Dawa replied, “In the ultimate sense, there is no distinction between male and female. The attachment to the label of male and female is meaningless…”

Then, she vowed, “Therefore, there are many who wish for enlightenment in the form of a man but none who work to accomplish the welfare of living beings in the form of a woman. Therefore, I shall work for the welfare of all beings in the body of a woman until all samsara is emptied.” Then, it was said that Yeshe Dawa redoubled her efforts and entered concentration meditation and attained the state where ‘Dharma is Unproduced’ and then achieved the state of ‘Liberating All’. She became fully awakened and was henceforth became known as Tara, the Savioress.

Also in the eon of Bishudha or Nyampar Gyalwa in Tibetan, Tara had sworn before the Buddha Amoghasiddhi that she would protect all beings from fear, specifically the 8 Fears and so forth. Then, she entered a deep concentration called ‘Destroying Demons’ and liberated countless beings and subdued innumerable hordes of demons.

Then, in the eon called ‘Unobstructed’, all the Buddhas in the ten directions issued forth rays of light on the ordained monk by the name of ‘Radiance of Stainless Light’ and he was the incarnation of Arya Avalokiteshvara. Then, Tara was said to have arisen from the heart of Avalokiteshvara. It is said that Avalokiteshvara and Tara resided on the Potala Mountain in the southern direction. Therefore, there was this close connection between Avalokiteshvara and Tara since that time.

Henceforth, many scholars and siddhas of the India and Tibet, specifically the old Kadampa and Gelug masters came under her care. Throughout history, there have been many tantras and sadhanas that emerged and from these sacred texts, the great Indian master Nagarjuna and other scholars and siddhas of India and Tibet composed even more cycle of sadhanas, ritual texts, praises and so forth. From this ocean of texts on Tara, the most profound teachings on Tara were directly bestowed by Mother Tara upon the great siddha, Takpu Kelsang Gargyi Wangpo which came to be known as ‘Cittamani’.

 

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Takpu Kelsang Garwang Chokyi Wangchuk

Takpu Kelsang Garwang Chokyi Wangchuk (1765-1792) is also known as Takpu Gargyi Wangpo. He is known to be an emanation of Arya Holder of the Lotus, Avalokiteshvara. Unfortunately, very few biographical material of this great lama survives.

However, his spiritual legacy is still very much alive and is widely practiced by many High Lamas, Geshes and ordinary monks throughout the Gelug tradition. According to a source, a list of his teachers includes the famous Longdol Lama, the Second Jamyang Zhepa and the Fifth On Gyalse Rinpoche. The Takpu incarnation also has another identity based on his extraordinary visionary experiences and goes known by the name Gargyi Wangpo.

This lama’s collected works is still in print and spans five volumes of written works. However, the most famous and widely circulated is one volume that is bound by the ‘seal of secrecy’ and called the Thirteen Pure Visions of Takpu. It contains his visionary teachings including sadhanas and writings on the Five-deity Amitayus, Hayagriva, Gyalwa Gyatso, Cittamani Tara and so forth. The Takpu line of incarnations is famous for their visionary experiences and ability to astral travel to pure lands in order to receive teachings.

In particular, the Takpu incarnations are known to have pure visions of Tara and receive direct teachings from her. In a previous incarnation as Lobsang Tenpai Gyeltsen (1714-1762), he painted an image of Tara and henceforth, he was never without a vision of Tara and was not only able to perceive her golden face but was able to receive advice, teachings and complete oral instructions and transmissions.

The immediate incarnations after Takpu Gargyi Wangchuk were relatively low key, and it would be his later incarnation as Takpu Pemavajra or Jampel Tenpai Ngodrub (1876 – 1935) who would achieve remarkable and super-extraordinary feats that would influence the Gelug lineage significantly until today. Takpu Pemavajra also had visions of Tara and was particularly known for his ability to astral travel to pure lands. He received the lineage of Cittamani Tara and become its primary lineage holder, disseminating it to Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche.

Of particular note regarding this incarnation is an important incident regarding the practice of Dorje Shugden. It was also this great master, Takpu Pemavajra who on the request of Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche, entered deep meditation and astral-travelled to Tushita. This was done in order to receive the initiation and commentary on the practice of Dorje Shugden from Dulzin Drakpa Gyeltsen by way of Lama Tsongkhapa. This great lama received the complete practice of Dorje Shugden in Tushita pure land. This practice was then passed to Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche who composed commentaries and it became the mainstay of the Dorje Shugden practice and pujas available and widespread today. Dorje Shugden’s lineage, practice and meditations stem from this Takpu Rinpoche as well as the Cittamani Tara cycle of teachings widespread today. 

Ngawang Lobsang Jampal Tempe Ngudrop (a.k.a Takpu Pemavajra)


Lineage Gurus of the Cittamani Tara Practice:

  1. Tag-pu-wa, Gar-gyi Wangpo (a.k.a Takpu Kelsang Gargyi Wangpo)
  2. Ra-la, Lobsang Tenpe Ngudrop
  3. Yong-dzin Yeshe Gyatso
  4. Shar-tse, Ngawang Tsultrim
  5. Je-drung, Lobsang Tenzin
  6. Zhap-drung, Ngawang Gelek Tempe Gyaltsen
  7. Tag-pu, Ngawang Lobsang Jampal Tempe Ngudrop (a.k.a Takpu Pemavajra)
  8. Je Pa-bong-ka, Jampa Tenzin Tinley Gyatso
  9. Kyab-je Song Rinpoche, Losang Tsöndru

 

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Cittamani Tara

A depiction of Cittamani Tara. Click to enlarge.

The Takpu line of incarnations had an uncommon and extraordinary relationship with the Goddess Tara. In the initiation text, it states that in the morning of the 15th day of Saka Dawa, the master and siddha, Takpu Gargyi Wangchuk entered deep concentration and astral traveled to Potala and had audience with Arya Tara. The master first supplicated the venerable mother with an offering of the inner, outer and secret mandalas. In accepting the offering, the Venerable Mother bestowed the profound teachings and initiation of what would become known as Cittamani cycle of teachings. He later took down notes and this became the lineage of the commentary of Cittamani Tara.

Takpu Gargyi Wangchuk later incarnation was Takpu Pemavajra Jampel Tenpai Ngodrub who was also a lineage holder of the Cittamani teachings, and also the teacher of Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche. Pabongka Rinpoche received the Cittamani practice from his teacher and further wrote notes, which combined with the commentary of his teacher on the practice became the basis of a whole tradition of Cittamani Tara practice. Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche had also classified Cittamani Tara as Mother Tantra.

According to the Gelug tradition, Anuttarayoga Tantra is divided into two divisions – father tantra or pagyud in Tibetan and mother tantra or magyud in Tibetan. Father Tantric practices involves primarily on the manipulation of the psychic winds in order to arise in a subtle form known as illusory body and this is the immediate cause for achieving the Buddha’s body. On the other hand, mother tantric practices focuses on the practices to attain clear light mental state while focusing on the blissful awareness of emptiness. This is also the immediate cause for achieving a Buddha’s mind or Dharmakaya.

Some examples of father tantra are the Guhyasamaja and Vajrabhairava, which is also known as the Yamantaka tantra. Some examples of mother tantra are the Chakrasamvara, Hevajra, Kalachakra and Vajrayogini. On its own, the blessing initiation of Cittamani Tara is not enough for a practitioner to engage in the practice. As a prerequisite, a practitioner should receive another highest yoga tantric initiation beforehand, preferably from the same Mother Tantra class as Cittamani Tara.

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Conclusion

Yellow Tara, another form of Tara. Click to enlarge.

In writing this article, I learned a lot on Cittamani Tara and how unique this cycle of Tara’s practice is amongst other traditions. It has also led me to appreciate that it is uniquely a highest yoga tantric practice just like Vajrayogini. What is unusual is that it has a very short lineage that nevertheless is undoubted in its efficacy as the highest tantric training that incredibly began with a siddha’s vision of Tara. An equivalent and later collaboration between the Takpu siddha and another enlightened deity would forge the lineage of Dorje Shugden that was descended from Lama Tsongkhapa and Dulzin Drakpa Gyeltsen in Tushita. Hence, it seems that many practices within our tradition have divine origins and yet they are effective as any other older and more established lineages and practices.

PS – Thank you very much to Pastor Niral, Martin Chow, Joy Kam and Pastor Jean Ai

 

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Questions & Answers – Parallels with Dorje Shugden

His Holiness the Dalai Lama gives Cittamani Tara initiation. Click to enlarge.

In researching about Cittamani Tara, I have come to realize that the lineage holders of this practice also taught and proliferated Dorje Shugden as well. In fact, the incarnation of Takpu Gargyi Wangpo, Takpu Pemavajra on the behest of Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche astral traveled to Tushita to receive the initiation and teachings on the cycle of Dorje Shugden’s practice. This connection has manifold implications and the following Questions and Answers serve to present these implications in an orderly manner so people understand them and would be properly empowered come to their own valid and educated conclusions, specifically on the legitimacy of the Dorje Shugden practice. I did not have the initial intention to connect Cittamani Tara and Dorje Shugden when I wrote this article. I have only discovered the connection after doing some research. I hope this section will shed light on this issue for many people.

1. In tantric practices, what are the most essential elements that must be present for the practice to be considered authentic, and for the transmission of the practice to be blessed and effective?

Within tantra, a practice must have a lineage and we should be able to trace the teachings back to a valid source, which is an originating deity or Buddha via a line of qualified masters of the tradition/school. If the tantric practice today has a lineage, then it is considered a qualified practice to be passed on.

This Cittamani Tara practice was taught by Tara herself to Takpu Gargyi Wangpo. The practice was then passed through the safe hands of a line of qualified masters who are propitiated at the beginning of the daily sadhana. This component of daily sadhana practice is held in common throughout all Highest Tantra Yoga practices. The blessings to gain attainments from engaging in the practice is passed from the deity through these masters. Therefore it is necessary to have complete faith and conviction in these lamas for our practice to be successful.

If a practice that is transmitted does not have a lineage, it is not valid. This is because all Buddhist practices must trace back to an enlightened being. Enlightened beings taught their practices and their blessings are carried through the uninterrupted lineage of authentic practitioners, who necessarily have to have their refuge in the Three Jewels intact. If a particular practice does not have a genuine lineage, then despite the most strident effort of the practitioner, the practice would not be effective in gaining any attainment, let alone enlightenment. Practicing something that would not give any results is useless as there would be no progress in our spiritual path. Therefore, knowing that the lineage of any teaching or practice goes back to a correct and valid source is of paramount importance for faith and confidence in our practice.

 

2. In an authentic tantric practice with a lineage, how can the practice be invalidated and the blessings of the deity and lineage masters become void?

The foundation of all Buddhist practices, is the keeping of one’s Refuge Vows made to the Three Jewels. It is through the keeping of this set of vows by both the lineage masters and the practitioners that the blessings of the deity and lineage masters continue to flow.

All Buddhist practices, including tantric practices are built on and depend on the keeping of one’s refuge vows, which includes abstaining from seeking refuge in unenlightened beings. This is because the effectiveness and power of all practices comes from keeping refuge in enlightened beings. If a lineage holder through whom the blessings of the lineage flows was to break his refuge vows, for example, by taking refuge in unenlightened beings, then the practices he or she passes on are negated and void of the power needed for the practice to be successful.

Therefore for the Cittamani Tara practice to be so treasured today and regarded as a precious gem of the Gelug tradition and for many to have received the transmission and practiced successfully, it is an indication that the lineage master’s vows are intact and the blessings continue to flow.

 

3. According to some people Dorje Shugden is not an emanation of Manjushri but a demon. If that is true, what are the consequences of propitiating a ‘demon’ for a Buddhist practitioner?

If Dorje Shugden is a demon then he is not an appropriate being to take refuge in according to the Buddhist path. Therefore those who propitiate Dorje Shugden and take refuge in him have broken the very fundamental tenet of taking refuge in the Three Jewels. In other words, they have also negated all Buddhist practices that are based on refuge, including tantric practices.

In addition, masters who have broken their refuge vows will not be able to transmit any other tantric lineages or Buddhist practices because once refuge in the Three Jewels is negated, all practices including tantric ones are invalidated. Following this logic, since a person’s practice has been invalidated, they cannot pass a legitimate practice with the authority of the lineage on to another person. Even if they go through the prayers, practices and rituals of empowerments, the lineage of the particular practice would be void and the practice ineffective regardless of how much effort a practitioner applies. That means the practitioner is going against the core of the Buddha’s teachings and no longer a Buddhist.

 

4. In recent times, those who oppose Dorje Shugden have accused the deity to be a demon. Seeing that Takpu Pemavajra is a key component of the Dorje Shugden lineage and practice, how does this impact on the validity of the Cittamani Tara?

Lama Zopa gives Cittamani Tara initiation. Click to enlarge.

According to the history of Dorje Shugden practice it was Takpu Pemavajra who astral-travelled to Tushita and received the practice of Dorje Shugden via Lama Tsongkhapa and Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen. At the same time, Takpu Pemavajra is also an important lama within the lineage of Cittamani Tara practice, through whom the sole Cittamani Tara practice as it is transmitted in the Gelugpa tradition, is traced.

If those who oppose Dorje Shugden were to claim that its practitioners have broken their refuge and therefore invalidated all their practices, then by the same logic, Takpu Pemavajra would have also broke his refuge. If that is so, then the practice of Cittamani Tara he transmitted and is practiced today within the Gelug tradition, is an invalid practice that does not carry the blessings of Tara at all. It cannot lead a person to enlightenment as the lineage itself was broken when Takpu Pemavajra started practicing Dorje Shugden.

By extension of the same logic, if the Cittamani Tara lineage passed by Takpu Pemavajra to Pabongka Rinpoche is invalid, then all the lineage practices passed by Pabongka Rinpoche to Trijang Rinpoche and from Trijang Rinpoche to all his students are similarly invalid.

Why then would anyone in the modern era want to receive the Cittamani Tara from any lama including His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama who would then have received an invalidated practice from his teacher?

Conversely, if someone of Takpu Pemavajra’s caliber and attainment can directly perceive Tara and receive teachings from her, then surely he can differentiate between a Buddha and a demon and would know if Dorje Shugden was in fact a demon. Takpu Pemavajra cannot have selective omniscience that applies when it comes to the Cittamani Tara and suddenly lapses when it comes to Dorje Shugden.

On the other hand, if such an attained lama had made a mistake about Dorje Shugden, he could have been mistaken about Cittamani Tara as well. The room for doubt would have no end. Therefore, we either believe that Takpu Pemavajra did travel to Tushita to receive the initiation and teachings on Dorje Shugden and his previous incarnation did receive Cittamani teachings from a pure vision of Tara herself or we believe that Cittamani Tara and Dorje Shugden are invalid and mistaken practices. In the end, we choose to believe that Dorje Shugden and Cittamani Tara are valid and authentic practices that have tremendous blessings. That is why the Dalai Lama himself and Lama Zopa continue to give Cittamani Tara initiations and teachings.

 

5. Why do people still accept and practice the Cittamani Tara which they regard as sacred, if it has been transmitted via lineal masters who were also prominent Dorje Shugden lamas? Why regard the practice as effective, powerful and holy when it is supposed to have come through the passage of unholy lamas which broken refuge vows, if accusations against Dorje Shugden are to be believed?

The lineage lamas of the Cittamani Tara beginning with Takpu Pemavajra, to Pabongka Rinpoche, and then Trijang Rinpoche and Zong Rinpoche all practiced Dorje Shugden. Doesn’t that mean that the Cittamani practice they passed on since are all invalidated?

Following the above logic, since the practice of Cittamani Tara has passed through the lineage lamas who are also lineage lamas of Dorje Shugden’s practice, it is invalid. Takpu Pemavajra passed both lineages to Pabongka Rinpoche, who in turn passed them to Trijang Rinpoche, who in turn passed them to Zong Rinpoche. It is through either Trijang Rinpoche or Zong Rinpoche that the practice was transmitted to the current masters of the Gelug lineage. Since the time of Takpu Pemavajra, through the aforementioned lamas, the practice must be considered to be invalid due to their practice of Dorje Shugden. Logically, one therefore reaches the conclusion that the practice as it exists today is completely annulled so those who continue to practice Cittamani Tara would not gain any result from their practice. Since the Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa continue to give initiation, it must be that the practice is effective. Since Cittamani Tara practice is effective and beneficial, it must also mean that Dorje Shugden’s practice is effective and beneficial as well. This is because both lineages are taught and proliferated by the same lineage holders. This fact becomes clear when one examines the fact that Cittamani Tara is widely accepted and proliferated throughout the Gelug tradition on those who accept Dorje Shugden as Manjushri and those who do not.

 

6. Given the fact His Holiness the Dalai Lama is both a practitioner of Cittamani Tara and has given Cittamani initiations, what does this in effect say about the Cittamani Tara lineage masters who are also the lineage masters of Dorje Shugden’s practice?

In propagating the Cittamani Tara practice, the Dalai Lama is in fact endorsing the validity of the lineage and the lineage masters from Takpu Pemavajra to Pabongka Rinpoche to Trijang Rinpoche to His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself. The Dalai Lama is saying that there masters have kept their refuge and all other vows intact and that is why the lineage blessings and power for the Cittamani continue to flow through them.

It is therefore surprising that they would accuse Dorje Shugden as being a demonic and refuge-destroying practice seeing that it also come through the same lineage lamas. It must mean that the Dalai Lama does not actually see these lineage lamas as having made a mistake or wrong about Dorje Shugden. In the end, the false accusations against Dorje Shugden is completely negated by the Dalai Lama’s endorsement of the Cittamani Tara.

 

7. If a lineage lama is said to practice and propagate a demonic practice and hence is said to have broken his refuge vows, would this invalidate all the practices, lineages and transmissions he has bestowed to others?

Yes. If a particular lama is accused of having broken his refuge vows by practicing a demonic practice such as Dorje Shugden is wrongly said to be, then all sutric and tantric practices which the lama has passed on becomes annulled. That means that by virtue of their Dorje Shugden practice, all the practices that Pabongka Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche propagated also are also invalid. Any tantric practice that came through a set of lineage masters which includes any Dorje Shugden lama are accordingly invalid. There are no exceptions and certain lineage lamas cannot simply be removed and for the lineage to still continue. If a bridge across a river has been removed, how can anything pass?

Therefore the attack on Dorje Shugden claiming it to be a demon and lamas practicing Dorje Shugden to be lamas with broken refuges is in fact an assault on the entire Gelug tradition. If the accusations are to be upheld then all practices and lineages transmitted by Shugden lamas are similarly invalid. One cannot just pick and choose that one practice is invalid and mistaken while another is authentic and beneficial. Thus, the false charges against the Dorje Shugden practice is not an attack on a single protector practice but on the legitimacy of the entire Gelug lineage in the modern era.

 

8. Why would Tara bestow her practice to someone who would become a refuge vow breaker and contaminate her holy practice?

Tara, a fully enlightened and therefore she is an omniscient being who operates from ultimate compassion for all sentient beings, following simple logic would not bestow such a profound practice on someone who would later break their refuge in a later incarnation. Takpu Gargyi Wangpo who received the practice of Cittamani Tara, and Takpu Pemavajra who received the practice of Dorje Shugden are of the same mindstream. It does not make sense that Tara would knowingly bestow such an important practice to someone who would later invalidate the practice. Following this logic, those who claim Dorje Shugden is a demon and his practice breaks one’s refuge, are indirectly also calling into question the enlightened nature of the glorious mother Tara. This is another important point and therefore, it would seem that Mother Tara herself is indirectly validating Dorje Shugden’s practice because she would have the clairvoyance to see that the incarnation of the lama she is revealing the practice to would one day propagate Dorje Shugden.

 

9. What are the possible conclusions we can draw from this obvious contradiction – that Cittamani Tara is regarded as good and Dorje Shugden bad even though both practices come through the same lineage lamas.

Logically, we can only conclude as follows:

(i) If we accept that Takpu Pemavajra is a ‘defiled’ lama with broken refuge, both the Cittamani Tara and Dorje Shugden practices are bad and not valid. It would mean that many other tantric lineages and teachings associated with other Dorje Shugden lamas like Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and many others are invalid and wrong as well. If this is the case, then why does His Holiness the Dalai Lama transmit and pass on practices that have been invalidated due to reasons defined by the Dalai Lama himself. This view would jeopardize the entire Gelug lineage and is therefore highly unlikely.

(ii) If we take the view that the Cittamani Tara remains a valid and powerful practice with a pure and unbroken lineage, it means that Takpu Pemavajra is faultless. If this is so, then how can the Dorje Shugden practice be bad? It must be that Dorje Shugden is a beneficial and authentic practice just like that of Cittamani Tara practice because these both lineages share the same lineage holders who definitely perceived the benefit that can be derived from these practices. And if it is not bad, then the accusations made against the Protector must be lies.

For us, we believe in option (ii) and that Dorje Shugden and Cittamani Tara are both authentic and extremely beneficial practices. There is no doubt about that if we examine the facts that is presented by the questions and answers

 

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Commentaries

WARNING: Do not recite, read or practice any of the prayers and commentaries in this blog post unless you have receive the initiation of Cittamani Tara. The materials here are presented ONLY for your information and knowledge, so that you have an understanding of the depth and breadth of Cittamani Tara’s practice.

His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche’s Commentary

His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche was born in 1905 in Nangsang, Kham, Tibet. His root Guru was His Holiness Trijang Dorje Chang, who was the junior tutor of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Zong Rinpoche was a highly realised Gelug Lama, erudite scholar, accomplished meditator and practitioner. He completed his Geshe examinations with the highest honours of a Geshe Lharampa degree followed by his examinations at the Gyutö Tantric College with outstanding results. He was known to be a master in philosophical debate and a sharp analyst.

Kyabje Zong Rinpoche served as the Abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery for nine years till 1946. Under his guidance, Gaden Shartse reached new exemplary standards of monastic discipline and scholarship, and there was a great increase in interest in Tantra and rituals. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche entered into clear light in 1984.

 

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/ZongRinpoche1of4.flv

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/ZongRinpoche2of4.flv

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/ZongRinpoche3of4.flv

Or view the video on the server at:
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His Eminence Gelek Rinpoche’s Commentary

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His Eminence Gelek Rinpoche was born in 1939 in Lhasa, Tibet. He was recognised as a reincarnate lama at the age of 4 and was subsequently educated in Drepung Monastery. Gelek Rinpoche is well known for his powers of memory, intellectual judgment and penetrating insight. He was director of Tibet House in Delhi, India and conducted over 1000 interviews in compiling an oral history of the fall of Tibet. He later edited and printed over 170 volumes of rare Tibetan manuscripts that would have otherwise been lost to humanity.

In the late 1970s, Gelek Rinpoche was requested by his teachers to teach Western students. Since then, he has taught Buddhist practitioners around the world. In 1988, Kyabje Gelek Rinpoche created Jewel Heart, a Tibetan Buddhist Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan (United States) where he continues to teach until today.

 

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Venerable Lama Yeshe’s Commentary

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Lama Yeshe was born in 1935 in Tibet and entered Sera Monastery at the age of six. During his time there, he received teachings from many illustrious lamas such as Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, Kyabje Ling Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. He co-founded Kopan Monastery in 1969 and later founded the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) in 1975. Lama Yeshe passed into clear light in 1984. He is credited with being one of the lamas to proliferate Buddhism in the West at a time when very few other Tibetan Buddhist monks thought it possible.

 

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Venerable Geshe Tsephel’s Commentary

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His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche’s Writings

His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche was born in 1901 in Tsel Gungtang, Central Tibet. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche met His Holiness Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche when he was young and became Pabongka Rinpoche’s closest disciple. In 1919, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche received the Geshe Lharampa degree from His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama.

An erudite scholar and prolific author, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche composed a great number of texts and prayers that continue to be used by Gelug practitioners all over the world today. He is especially famous for compiling and editing the seminal text “Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand”, based on notes taken during Pabongka Rinpoche’s 24-day teachings on the Lamrim. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche taught tirelessly throughout his life, his most famous student inarguably His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for whom he was the junior tutor. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche was appointed into this position in 1953.

As a master who was considered the “teacher of teachers”, you would be hard-pressed to find a senior Gelug lama today who has not been touched by Trijang Rinpoche’s kindness and teachings. This great master considered to be an emanation of Vajrayogini passed into clear light in 1981.

Sgrol Ma’i Chos Skor (Tara’s Cycle of Teachings)

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His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche’s Condensed Four-Mandala Ritual of Cittamani Tara

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His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche’s Self-Initiation of Chittamani Tara entitled: A new moon destroying faults, downfalls and obscurations

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Sadhanas

H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche’s Handwritten Transliteration of the Cittamani Tara Prayers

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Cittamani Tara Prayers from H.E. Zasep Rinpoche

Click here to download the sadhana (PDF).

His Eminence Zasep Jamseng Rinpoche was born in 1948 in Kham, Tibet. He was recognised by His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama as the 13th incarnation of Lama Konchog Tenzin of Muru Monastery. In 1975, Zasep Rinpoche left India to study in Thailand where he joined the monks of a forest monastery, living and studying with them for 18 months. He then travelled to Australia, translating for Tibetan-speaking lamas for many years. Since that time, Zasep Rinpoche has been opening, developing and teaching in Dharma centers all around the world. In 1999, Venerable Zasep Rinpoche created the Gaden for the West organisation. These days, Zasep Rinpoche is primarily based in Nelson, BC (Canada).

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Cittamani Tara Sadhana from Venerable Lama Yeshe

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Cittamani Tara Retreat Sadhana from Venerable Lama Yeshe

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Go to Cittamani Tara Prayers from Dechen Ling Press >>

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Cittamani Tara Prayers from Dechen Ling Press

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Go to the Lu Mé Ma Prayers by Losang Tenpai Gyaltsen >>

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Lu Mé Ma Prayers by Losang Tenpai Gyaltsen

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Go to the Stairways Towards liberation: Extraordinary Cittamani Tara Guru Yoga Tantra >>

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sgrol ma cittamaṇi la brten pa’i thun mong ma yin pa’i la ma’i rnal ‘byor thar par bgrod pa’i them skas zhes bya ba bzhug so (Stairways Towards liberation: Extraordinary Cittamani Tara Guru Yoga Tantra)

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Additional Prayers to Tara

The prayers in this section do not require initiation into the practice of Tara in order for the practitioner to recite them.

  1. A Gem to Increase Life and Wisdom, A Praise of White Tara (PDF)
  2. A Song of Longing for Tara (PDF)
  3. Praises to the 21 Taras (PDF)
  4. The Sadhana of the Heroic Red Tara (PDF)

 

For more interesting information:

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Pastor David Lai
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About Pastor David Lai

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

David is a lover of Buddhist art and whenever he can, he shares his knowledge of the Dharma with everyone, giving frequent teachings and writing on his blog www.davidlai.me.
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84 Responses to Cittamani Tara

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  1. MartinC on Feb 9, 2017 at 5:33 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. Anne Ong on Dec 17, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    Thank you very much Rinpoche,Pastor David,Martin,Pastor Jean Ai,Pastor Niral and Joy Kam for sharing this wonderful research and write up on Cittamani Tara lineage and practice. I always feel very blessed to see Mother Tara for many personal reasons. I hope to have the merits to receive the Cittamani Tara practice to benefit others in the future. _/\_

  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. Brad Penney on Sep 9, 2016 at 2:30 am

    Thanks for posting the article – always interested in hearing about Tara.

  5. Wan Wai Meng on Aug 30, 2016 at 1:51 am

    We are indeed blessed to have come across the teachings of Cittamani Tara. We are blessed to even hear about such a practice, this is due to the kindness of Tsem Rinpoche who allowed the blog to mention about such a holy and effacacious practice.

    I like the fact that from Takpu Pemavajra, the Dorje Shugden practice was brought back to be disseminated by Je Pabongka and Takpu Pemavajra was also a key lineage holder of Cittamani Tara. The logic presented in this article is flawless, A realised master who astral travels, cannot in one instance bring back enlightened practices next moment he brings back practices that are in the nature demonic.

  6. Doreen Teoh on Jun 20, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    In this blog, it has been clearly stated the teachings of Cittamani Tara has been passed down by great masters and Guru who has hold their refuge vows and as such the practice of Cittamani Tara is a pure lineage. As such, the Cittamani Tara lineage of masters who practices is the same as Dorje Shugden’s masters. Conclusion is that the dispute that Dorje Shugden is a spirit is NOT A VALID fact at all.

    Thank you Pastor David and team for this research and publishing of this blog, and hope it will clear the wrong accusation of the Dorje Shugden’s practise as a spirit practice.

  7. graceleong on Jun 20, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    I have been a student of Tsem Rinpoche for six years now. Throughout the journey there are endless of surprises that leaves me in awe as to how highly attained my Guru is and how rare and precious is the lineage I belong to. I humbly apologize for my immense ignorance before. I am certain I am still ignorant on many matters but whatever my kind Guru has taught and shared I will treasure with all my heart and work hard on gaining merits to be able to put them into practice to propel my faith and ability to be of help to others.

    ** CITTAMANI TARA is the highest yoga form (Maha-annutara) of Tara which can confer enlightenment within one lifetime. This practice was conferred upon H. E. Tsem Rinpoche in Thubten Dhargye Ling in 1984.

    ** VAJRAYOGINI is a representation of complete Buddhahood in female form, whose practices are associated with the Chakrasamvara Cycle of Anuttarayoga Tantra. The practice of Vajrayogini is only for the very fortunate and if practiced correctly can lead to Buddhahood in this very lifetime. This practice was first conferred to Rinpoche when he was 14 years old by Kensur Lobsang Tharchin Rinpoche,at Howell, New Jersey and again by H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, who had received it from His Guru, H.H.Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, who in turn received it from H.H. Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche !!

    ** DORJE SHUGDEN Protector practice is the most suitable protector practice in these degenerate times; just like that of Vajrayogini practice is the best practice in these times to rid our desires and delusions. Takpu Pemavajra on the behest of Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche astral traveled to Tushita to receive the initiation and teachings on the cycle of Dorje Shugden’s practice, the same Takpu lineage that received the Cittamani Tara tantra practice taught directly by TARA herself. Dorje Shugden practice was also conferred to Rinpoche by H.H Kyabje Zong Rinpoche.
    Another very important point to note is that this practice of Dorje Shugden is authentic and beneficial as it comes from the same line as Cittamani Tara and Vajrayogini practices. There is no possiblity of it being a demon practice !!

    I have only very briefly listed down the potent and precious teachings which my Guru have received from his Gurus which in other words we as students have the opportunity to receive too, if we practice correctly.
    If this is not the most precious rebirth which is ???
    Thank you Rinpoche !!

  8. yikming on Jun 20, 2016 at 1:04 am

    This article is eye opening for me especially in depth on the origin of Cittamani Tara and its relationship to the great masters and to Dorje Shugden. One of the primary Lineage Holder of Cittamani Tara, Takpu Pemavajra had initiation and practice of Dorje Shugden from Dulzin Drakpa Gyeltsen, which i believe has clairvoyance and would be able to serve him to evaluate if Dorje Shugden practice is right. This research was detail to indicate the origin of Cittamani Tara from Tara (Enlighten) all the way to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and to Tsem Rinpoche; unbroken. Also amazing and powerful that Cittamani Tara practice can gain enlightenment within one lifetime. Thanks for the indepth research and sharing.

  9. Shane Jayasuriya on Jun 20, 2016 at 12:11 am

    Dear Pastor David, Thank you for this article about Cittamani Tara. Really excited to learn and practice in this precious life time this precious teachings. _/\_

  10. Sofi on Jun 19, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Beautiful and holy Tara is from another world system called “Manifold Light”. How amazing is that! Many times I have hear of the possibility of other world system and now Mother Tara is the confirmation. I love her view
    “In the ultimate sense, there is no distinction between male and female. The attachment to the label of male and female is meaningless…”. To me it simply shows that she has gone beyond the distinction of duality. Irregardless of whether its male or female, a mind in practise needs both essence, Wisdom and Boddhicitta.

    H.H. Zong Rinpoche says any images of Tara is automatically blessed which to me shows the level of Tara’s compassion towards us and her closeness with us. She has made it easy for us to access her help and care.

    Tara herself had given The Cittamani Tara practise to Takpu Kelsang Gargyi Wangpo. Cittamani Tara practise is the highest tantric practise known as Maha-annutara yoga. His incarnation of the same mindstream, Tagpu Pemavajra passed the practise to Pabongka Dechen Nyingpo who passed it to Trijang Dorje Chang who in turn passed to the 14th Dalai Lama. This is the same Cittamani Tara practise that the Dalai Lama has given to many many people over the years. For this practise to be effective, it is important to receive blessings from the whole line of lineage Gurus.

    Therefore when the Dalai Lama ban the Protector Dorje Shugden calling him a “Spirit”, he is effectively dismissing the lineage masters. It was at the request of Pabongka Dechen Nyingpo that his Guru Tagpu Pemavajra astral travelled to Tushita Pure Land to receive the whole complete practise of Dorje Shugden from Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen, one of Lama Tsongkhapa’s main disciples and also one of the previous lives of Dorje Shugden. If Dorje Shugden was a “Spirit” then the attainment quality of Tagpu Pemavajra will be questionable, as well as the attainments of Pabongka Dechen Nyingpo and Trijang Dorje Chang.

    In other words, the qualities of these attained masters are questionable in regards to Dorje Shugden practise and yet impeccable when it comes the highest tantric practise Cittamani Tara yoga. Does that make any sense? One minute the Guru is wrong and the next he is enlightened. If Dorje Shugden is a “Spirit” then the Dalai Lama in giving the Cittamani Tara practises to the thousands of people over the years until today had giving a practise without any blessings from the lineage Gurus. Or if he gives the practises believing there are still blessings from the lineage Gurus, then Dorje Shugden too is not a spirit and he should lift the ban which was created on no proven basis.

    With folded hands, the Dalai Lama please manifest your true Buddha nature now and lift the ban on Dorje Shugden without creating more damage to the pure names of the enlightened lineage Masters that had brought us such precious practises to help us out of samsara.

  11. Jennifer Yuen on Jun 19, 2016 at 12:21 am

    Thank you Pastor David and team for this clear explanation on Cittamani Tara. This practice is indeed very precious in the Gelug Lineage as the great master Takpu Gargyi Chokyi Wangchuk received it directly from Tara herself and this practice can lead one to enlightenment within one lifetime. But what caught more of my attention while reading the article was the fact that the reincarnation of this great Gelug master, Takpu Pemavajra being the lineage holder of the Cittamani teachings, also astral travelled to Tushita and received Dorje Shugden practice. If this being the case, the conclusion can only be that Dorje Shugden is enlightened. For one to claim Dorje Shugden is a demon, Takpu Pemavajra would have broken his refuge vows which is the basis of all Buddhist practices and hence would not have passed this treasured practice on to Pabongka Rinpoche successfully. The flow of blessings from the Lineage Gurus which is important for tantric practice would not have continued. Why would the Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa be giving initiation of this practice then?

  12. Choong on Jun 18, 2016 at 3:13 am

    The strength of a chain is its weakest link.

    By calling Dorje Shugden a demon, HH Dalai Lama has instantly demolished the core of the Gelug lineage.

    There is no more lineage, the lineage is broken, the apples have rot.

    There is no point practising, no point getting transmissions and empowerment from Gelug lineage masters because the lineage line has been breached by a demon.

  13. Samantha on Jun 18, 2016 at 12:38 am

    I am truly excited to learn all these information on all these valuable teachings which came from our lineage. This has further affirmed my conviction that all the things that i have learned have truly been very beneficial despite all the call on the ban on Dorje Shugden. This has also further motivates me to try and put what i learnt into practice as much as i could.

  14. CK Leong on Jun 18, 2016 at 12:26 am

    Thank you Pastor David and team that did the research. Tara being an alien from different dimensions really expand my thought. Pabongka and Trijang Rinpoche practices Cittamani Tara and DS. The fact that Dalai Lama propagate Cittamani but ban DS is very conflicting. It does not reflect well and the basis taken to ban DS is questionable.

    • Martin on Jun 18, 2016 at 2:14 am

      Ck,

      You touched on a very vital point. The fact that His Holiness the Dalai Lama as well as Lama Zopa, who have both renounced Dorje Shugden and by default, the lamas who believed in and practiced Dorje Shugden, AND YET give initiations on the Cittamani Tara, does not make any sense. The lineage gurus of the Cittamani Tara are the very same ones as that of Dorje Shugden.

      So how can the lineage blessings for the Cittamnai Tara still flow though Tagpu Pemavajra and indeed Pabongka Dechen Nyingpo and Trijang Dorje Chang, if they are supposed to have broken their Refuge Vows as the result of their worship of a ‘demon’ (as Shugden is accused to be).

      IF Dorje Shugden is truly a demon, then the lineage of Dorje Shugden is corrupted and defunct and no blessings of the Gelug lineage lamas can come through them. That would also mean that the Cittamani Tara and Vajrayogini tantras have no power any longer because of the Shugden ‘corruption’ of the lineage.

      Both His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa’s continuing propagation of the Cittamani Tara confirms their trust in the purity of the lineage lama, which is the lineage of Dorje Shugden.

      You cannot insist that a glass is broken for water and yet unbroken for tea. It just doesn’t add up. But then again, the Dorje Shugden ban never many any spiritual sense, only political ones.

  15. Fong on Jun 18, 2016 at 12:13 am

    Thank you, Pastor David for the comprehensive article, as always.

    I like the tracing of the lineage from Takpu Kelsang Gargyi Wangpo also known as Takpu Gargyi Wangpo who from the Takpu line of incarnation. From this same line of incarnation, Tag-pu, Ngawang Lobsang Jampal Tempe Ngudrop (a.k.a Takpu Pemavajra) also gave us Dorje Shugden practice. All this is channelled into the vessel, Pabongka Rinpoche a great and attained master who taught the Lamrim.

    The other interesting point is that the deities themselves gave the practice, that is, Cittamani Tara practice was given by Tara herself to Takpu Kelsang Gargyi Wangpo and Dorje Shugden practice was given by Dorje Shugden himself to Takpu Pemavajra. So, both practice came from the same line of incarnation which means it is from the same mindstream.

    And, to have this practices given through Pabongka Rinpoche only enhances it. So, we cannot say the masters made a mistake with one and was fantastic with the other. If Cittamani Tara practice is a very efficacious, then one cannot say the other practice which is Dorje Shugden is demonic. This definitely strengthens my faith in my practice.

  16. Wei Theng on Jun 15, 2016 at 7:01 am

    Thank you Pastor David for sharing this detailed sharing on Cittamani.

    I am clearer that It is not logical to say Dorje Shugden is a demon if Cittamani practice is recognised as a sacred practice especially in the Gelug lineage.

    If DS is a demon,
    i. then all high lama who practice it, including Takpu Pemavajra (a lineage master of Cittamani practice), have broken their refuge vows.
    ii. if Takpu Pemavajra has broken his refuge vows, then the Cittamani practice would be invalidated too.
    iii. Why would Tara who are enlightened would pass the sacred practice of Cittamani to Takpu Gargyi Wangpo who is the same mind stream with Takpu Pemavajra if Takpu Pemavajra will be “tainting” the Cittamani practice by doing Dorje Shugden practice if Dorje Shugden is a demon? Not logical for an enlightened being like Tara that she cannot foresee that right?
    iv. If Cittamani practice is invalidated, all the practices from Takpu Pemavajra to Pabongka Rinpoche to Trajang Rinpoche and to all his students including HH Dalai Lama will be invalidated too. Then we can also say 90% or all of Gelug lineage and practices are invalid too. How would this possible?

    Following the above logic thinking, I can see that Dorje Shugden is not a demon and we can practice it. Or else, Cittamani practice and the whole Gelug lineage is also not valid any more. Scary right?

  17. Cynthia Lee on Jun 7, 2016 at 5:21 am

    Thank you Pastor David for the extensive research and write-up on Cittamani Tara.

    Cittamani Tara is indeed an important practice to preserve as a means to one’s enlightenment. If what Dalai Lama says is really really TRUE, that Dorje Shugden is indeed a demon, then it jeopardise the Cittamani Tara practice and the whole gelug lineage.

    There’s just way too many cons in relations to believing DS is a demon.
    1. To believe DS is a demon, all the lineage lamas who practiced DS since Tagpu Pemavajra has broken their refuge vows and is not qualified to pass on any Buddhist practice. They are not even monks.
    2. To believe DS is a demon, the whole Gelug lineage is invalid. There is no blessings in one’s practice and brings NO RESULTS.
    3. To believe DS is a demon, the Cittamani Tara practice which His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other lamas like Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave has no blessings.
    4. To believe DS is a demon, one is indirectly challenging Tara’s clairvoyance because Tara chose to bestowed teachings, advice and oral transmission to a “refuge vow breaker” and “demon worshipper”

    In conclusion, for Cittamani Tara to be effective, one must believe there is a bigger picture and Dorje Shugden is NOT a demon. Otherwise, why would Dalai Lama give teachings and empowerment of a practice which came from a lama who taught both Cittamani Tara and Dorje Shugden?

  18. Pastor Yek Yee(月谊讲法师) on Jun 5, 2016 at 3:10 am

    Many people feel very proud or pride when they are received initiation, however they forgot the real meaning after the ceremony. Many didn’t continue their practice because they cannot continuous the practice or feel bored about it? After few months everyone will focus on diving and also neglected and can just simple like this.

    I remembered Rinpoche said that if we joined in the initiation ceremony, if we are appreciated it and thought it is so precious and will follow accordingly Guru said. Then it is considered a real initiation ceremony. If in your mind, you thinking this is only a normal ceremony then it will be a ceremony and nothing special.

    And another key point is if we are practice tantra, the only way to achieve high attainment is we have a strong and pure Guru devotion. In many different teachings, Rinpoche too mentioned about high attainment resulted from strong Guru Devotion. Only your Guru can bring you go to enlightenment no matter how smart or how intelligent you are…if you maintain good relationship with our Guru, we will gain high attainment in spiritual path very easily.

    After I read through “Cittamani Tara”post from H.E.The 25th Tsem Rinpoche, I went to check out few Rinpoche teaching which talked a tantra and Guru Devotion, one of the teaching is “Advice to a Yamataka initiation” (http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/advice-to-a-yamantaka-initiation.html), Rinpoche repeated emphasize the importance of Guru devotion. Rinpoche’s teaching really sprinkled my mind very strongly. I am appreciated all the hard word from Rinpoche and writers who made this blog grow, I received a lot of Dharma knowledge from the post.

    Thank you!

  19. Cynthia Ng on Jun 4, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    感谢Pastor David的分享。

    在此文章中我了解到Cittamani 法门是属于最高瑜伽密续法,它有三个灌顶,分别为内、外和秘密持修。这是大成就者Takpu Gargyi Wangpo穿梭到净土从度母中直接接受灌顶与持修法,这位大师也是闻名于度母大成就者。因此,这个加持力是非常强大的因为这是直接从度母接受的修持法。Cittamani 的来源源自于度母本身,持修法门可以带领我们到证悟。至尊宋仁波切说任何度母的佛像都具有加持力,不需要特别被加持。

    最高瑜伽密续法门需要拥有强烈的上师依止心,这也是我们达到大成就的最基础,因为当我们有强大的上师依止心的时候,我们就会得到来自于上师与整个传承的加持力。

    Cittamani的持修法被Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche 和Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche成功的在传授,而这两位转世高僧都是多杰雄登修持者。为何其他非多杰雄登格鲁派传承上师还继续持修Cittamani法门呢?至到今天我们可以看到达赖喇嘛和索巴喇嘛仍在传授cittamani这意味着这个修持法是有效的。这也意味着,多杰雄登实践必须是有效益的因为这也是来自于同一个传承。

    Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche请求Tagpu进入禅定穿梭去到Tushita去找Dulzin Drakpa Gyeltsen接受多杰雄登的灌顶与修持法门,Cittamani塔拉的传承来自Takpu Pemavajra,所以和多杰雄登的传承是一样的。在此说明此修持法是很纯正和加持力也很大。如果说多杰雄登是邪灵的话,那么Cittamani 修持法门也不纯正,这是不可能也不合逻辑的。

    这清楚地表明,多杰雄登是不是所谓的邪灵??肯定不是,现实上,多杰雄登是文殊菩萨的化身。

  20. Elisha Lynn Tang Sue Ming on Jun 4, 2016 at 11:32 am

    Thank you for writing such a good article. Appreciate it a lot.

  21. sweekeong on Jun 3, 2016 at 8:11 am

    Thank you Pastor David for your research on Cittamani Tara. It is heartwarming and cool, if I may say so, that Tara has become enlightened in her world system and emanate herself in this world system. I have heard that she is considered an ‘alien’ to our world, now I understand why it is stated so.

    What is interesting though is the Q&A you have written. The fact that Takpo reincarnations can have visions and astral travel to learn and transmit the special teachings and practices to his students. Both Dorje Shugden and Cittamani Tara practices where taught by him and he became the lineage holders. The fact is Takpo Pemavajra (Jampel Tenpai Ngodrub) practice Cittamani Tara and gain results. Otherwise the blessings wouldn’t be transmitted to his disciples.

    Then he must gain results from practicing Dorje Shugden too. Otherwise how can one have results from one practice and none from another practice?

    If both Cittamani Tara and Dorje Shugden are at the opposite ends, one beneficial vs one non-beneficial, how can he obtained any results from such contradiction? It is like killing and saving done together. It is like holding vows and breaking vows together. Can he do both at the same time? Therefore it is either both practices are beneficial or both practices are non-beneficial. Thus I concluded from my discussion with others.

  22. Wah Ying on Jun 3, 2016 at 1:38 am

    Dear Pastor David,

    Thanks for the extensive research and clear presentation of facts and Q&A for this article. This is an article worth reading by many practitioners especially who are pro or against Dorje Shugden practice. Some of the points that stood up for me are:

    *It’s quite impossible for Tara who has clairvoyance to confer Cittamani Tara practice to a lineage master who will in his future incarnation breaks his refuge vows and take refuge in a demon practice. If this would happen, the Cittamani Tara will not last.

    *For one to denounce Dorje Shugden as demon practice, but Cittamani Tara as good and powerful, is ilogical, since both practices were passed down by the same lineage masters. Either one accepts both are good or both are bad. No selective. We are not able to skip some lineage lamas to keep the lineage blessing alive, it’s just like impossible to keep having internet connection connected but with in between the optic fiber there are some main missing links.

    *The logic presented on arguing the fallacy people have on Cittamani Tara and Dorje Shugden practices are clear. Many would make understood by these, unless one choose to keep being selective and remain close on the discussion. I believe HH Dalai Lama would not not able to know these logic.

    *Therefore, HH Dalai Lama as an emanation of Cherenzig must believe that Dorje Shugden and Cittamani Tara are valid and authentic practices that have tremendous blessings. There His Holinesshimself and Lama Zopa continue to give Cittamani Tara initiations and teachings.

    Thank you.

  23. Lew on Jun 2, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    Dear Pastor David,

    Thank you for sharing this articles about Cittamani Tara. This is indeed quite special because it is based on pure vision which is not so common in Gelug lineage.

    I would like to share a bit about what I heard from Rinpoche about difference between Lower and Higher tantra. Rinpoche said that lower is not because the practice is not powerful or less effective. Lower tantra is focus more on the body, therefore it would seem to be more “strict”, as to what you cannot do, etc, for example abstain from meat, etc. Lower tantra is to prepare the practitioners to receive Higher tantras, which is focusing on the mind. I hope this very brief sharing can help some to understand the difference.

    To me, the “bonus” of reading this article is seeing the hardwriting of Tsem Rinpoche about the Tara practice 🙂

  24. CindyH on Jun 2, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    Thank you Pastor David and team for such an informative article. It has not only educated me on the origins and intricacies of the Cittamani Tara practice but also highlights yet again, the hollowness of the claim that Dorje Shugden is an unenlightened spirit or demon. Taking into account the source and lineage of both teachings as well as the circumstances of the selective propitiation of one (Cittamani Tara) over the discrimination of another (Dorje Shugden), it is illogical for such cherry-picking of practice by the Dalai Lama. In particular, if Dorje Shugden really is a demon, then the high Lamas of past and present who has propitiated or still is propitiating Dorje Shugden would have broken their refuge vows and if those high Lamas have indeed broken their refuge vow, the sutric and tantric practices which such Lamas have passed on would accordingly be invalid and the lineage blessings would be broken. There just is no two ways about it. The implication then goes beyond smearing the name of a single protector practice but bringing upon the entire Gelug lineage into disrepute.

  25. bengkooi on Jun 2, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    Pastor David,
    This is a very significant article which I hope many people will read. In particular, you did a great job in the Q&A section to explain clearly and logically –

    1. why there is a fundamental conflict in criticizing the lineage lamas for practicing Dorje Shugden and at the same time calling upon their blessings in Cittamani Tara or other practices.

    2. why it is counter intuitive to think that Tara would invalidate her lineage by passing on the Cittamani Tara practice to a lama who would destroy it later in another incarnation.

    3. why according to the lineal rules it is not possible for Dorje Shugden to be a worldly spirit without shaking the foundations of the entire Gelug lineage

    4. why it is illogical to say our lineage lamas are wrong about Dorje Shugden yet trust every other practice they pass on

    5. Most interestingly, to me, is how your point about how His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is actively transmitting the teachings that he received from His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche while at the same time condemning Dorje Shugden to be a demon. Given that Trijang Rinpoche was an active proponent of Dorje Shugden’s practice, and now that we understand clearly how the lineal blessings work, it is improbable to believe that the Dalai Lama does not see that Dorje Shugden being a demon would invalidate nearly 100% of the Gelug teachings and lineages. Thus, for him to still label Dorje Shugden a demon signifies to me that there is something else afoot and that the Dalai Lama does not truly believe Dorje Shugden to be a demon as he claims. This is one of the standout points for me.

    In any case, the above combined with your explanations on how the blessings of the lineage are transmitted and of how the refuge vows are the root of all other attainments and vows will equip open-minded readers with the knowledge and tools to understand how they are drawing upon the blessings of past lineage masters when they do their sadhanas daily, and to assess the Dorje Shugden controversy through the eyes of logic and wisdom.

    I truly hope that everyone who comes to read this article, whether you are for or against Dorje Shugden, digests the information here carefully, verifies it, checks it, researches it and then comes to a justifiable and logical conclusion of the current Dorje Shugden issue. If you are in agreement, please share your thoughts here. If you are NOT in agreement, please also share your reasoning here so that we may have open, civil and knowledge-based dialogue.

    Thank you

  26. tong sun sun on Jun 2, 2016 at 1:16 am

    感恩仁波切和Pastor David 分享如意摩尼度母的事故与修持法。
    在开始学习佛法的初始只知道度母是观音的化身,观音的眼泪化现而来。除此还有21度母和21 度母赞。殊不知如意摩尼度母有如此殊圣修持,而且还是许多高僧所修持的密续对象。如果精进修持,坚守对上师的依止心,坚守门派的传承,我们是可以在这一世里努力修持而得到怔悟。但并不是所有的度母修持都可以达到怔悟. 唯独如意摩尼度母。
    在追溯格鲁的传承里当年Takpu Gargyi Wangchuk 是在一个Saka Dawa的日子进入了深层禅定而到了观音净土从而得到了度母的加持教诲和灌顶从而展开了格鲁派里高密续修持至今。
    Takpo PelmaVajra 入定到兜率天祈请多杰雄登和宗喀巴大师给予祈愿文并和度母灌顶教诲传授至尊嘉杰帕绷喀仁波切,而尊嘉杰帕绷喀仁波切把这两法门发扬光大。直至今日还有许多高僧传授灌顶这法门,那如果说多杰雄登的修持是错的那为何如意摩尼度母法门还可以继续传授而这法门和多杰雄登法门是同相连的??

  27. Pastor Tat Ming on Jun 1, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    Dorje Shugden definitely is NOT a spirit as alleged by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama (HHDL) !

    If Dorje Shugden is a spirit as alleged, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche would have broken his refuge vows for propitiating Dorje Shugden. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche’s broken refuge vows would have rendered all his other teachings passed to HHDL as invalid. This includes the treasured Chittamani Tara practice which is still being transmitted widely by HHDL and other non-Dorje Shugden Gelug Lineage lamas today. Many practise Chittamani Tara successfully and have received its transmission from Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche who are devoted and strong Dorje Shugden practitioners.

    Why would HHDL and other non-Dorje Shugden Gelug Lineage lamas continue to practise Chittamani Tara if this practice had lost its blessing from Buddha Tara and invalidated by Dorje Shugden lineage masters?

    This indicates that the Chittamani Tara lineage masters’ refuge vows are intact and blessings of the practice continues to flow. In that case, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche who is both the Chittamani Tara and Dorje Shugden lineage holders has not broken his refuge vows. This clearly indicate that Dorje Shugden is not a spirit as alleged. In reality, Dorje Shugden is an emanation of Buddha Manjushri.

    • Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai on Jun 2, 2016 at 4:19 am

      Pastor Tat Ming, when you say this – “Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche’s broken refuge vows would have rendered all his other teachings passed to HHDL as invalid.” – you bring up a very important point. Not only is are the lineages for the teachings broken, but also the lineage for vows too since refuge vows are the basis for all other vows.

      Some people accuse Dorje Shugden practitioners of breaking their samaya by maintaining the practice and not giving it up. If their accusations are to be believed, it means that Trijang Rinpoche broke his refuge vows by relying on Dorje Shugden. Since he broke his refuge vows, he also broke his ordination vows because refuge vows are the foundation of all other vows.

      This means that when Trijang Rinpoche gave the Dalai Lama his ordination vows in 1942 and 1954, Trijang Rinpoche wasn’t even a Buddhist (let alone a monk) in order to give the ordination vows. Which means the Dalai Lama did not actually receive ordination vows and so for the last 74 years, the Dalai Lama wasn’t actually a monk (IF those people’s accusations are to be believed).

      This ALSO means that since the Dalai Lama was never a monk, every monk he himself ordained did not actually receive ordination vows because he never had the monk vows to begin with.

      So are Gaden, Sera and Drepung filled with people playing dress-up in monks robes?

      I wish anti-Shugden people would understand that once they start accusing Shugden practitioners of breaking refuge vows and samaya because we won’t give up the practice, they start down a very slippery and dangerous slope of debasing the entire Gelug tradition because the core which is our sangha are essentially without blessings.

  28. Jill Yam on Jun 1, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    What I understand from this post is that the Cittamani Tara practice was taught by Tara herself to the great Siddha Takpu Gargyi Wangpo. And this practice is passed down from Deity to great Masters.

    1)Takpu Gargyi Wangpo then passed to his incarnation Takpu Pemavajra who astral travel to Tushita to receive the teachings of Cittamani Tara and also Dorje Shugden via Lama Tsongkhapa and Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen. If Takpu Pemavajra passed the lineage of Cittamani Tara to Kyabje Pabongka is valid then the practice of Dorje Shugden should be valid too.

    2) If someone like Takpu Pemavajra of high attainment can directly perceive Tara and receive teachings from Her, surely He can differentiate between a Buddha and a Demon.

    3) If Takpu Pemavajra had made a mistake about Dorje Shugden then he can also make a mistake on Cittamani Tara as well.

    4) The lineage Lamas of Cittamani Tara practice begins with Takpu Gargyi Wangpo to Takpu Pemavajra to Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche to Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and also Dalai Lama.
    All these highly attained Lamas practiced Dorje Shugden as well.

    5) Till today you can see that The Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa are still giving Cittamani Tara initiation which means this practice is effective.  This also meant that the practice of Dorje Shugden must be effective and beneficial as well as it comes from the same lineage.

    6) The Dalai Lama practicing of Cittamani Tara is actually endorsing the validity of the lineage and lineage Masters starting from Takpu Pemavajra.

    7) Both practices are passed from Guru to disciples shows strong Guru Devotion.

    8) Guru devotion is the foundation of all realisation and the blessings for the practices comes when we have strong Guru Devotion which otherwise is not valid.

    Therefore I strongly believe that Dorje Shugden is an Enlightened Being from the above mentioned post and His practice is from a pure lineage.

    Thank you.

  29. Chong Pee Bee on Jun 1, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Dear Rinpoche and Pastor David Lai,

    My further understand of on this article after reading through the Q & A session.

    The Cittamani Tara practice is so treasured today and is regarded as a precious gem of the Gelug tradition and many have received the transmission and practiced successfully. This has indicated that the lineage master’s vows are intact and the blessings continue to flow

    For a Tantra practice, the most essential elements that must be presence for the practise to be authentic, is that the lineage must be able to be tracked back to the source of the enlightenment being and the 3 Jewels refuge vow must be intact and unbroken.

    Cittamani Tara lineage passed by Takpu Pemavajra to Pabongka Rinpoche, from Pabongka Rinpoche to Trijang Rinpoche and from Trijang Rinpoche to all his students, same does the Dorje Shugden practice, it is passed by Takpu Remavajra to Pabongka Rinpoche, and so on until Trijang Rinpoche and all his students.

    If Cittamani Tara is valid and endorsed, why not Dorje Shugden practise?
    If Dorje Shugden is a demon, then lineage masters would be taken refuge to the the spirit and have broken their 3 Jewels refuge vows. Therefore, their Cittamani Tara practise will be void and invalid. However, Why Cittamani Tara has been treasured and successfully practised?

    For me. 
Cittamani Tara is effective and successfully practised because the lineage masters did not broke their vows while practising Dorje Shugden. This is because Dorje Shugden is not a Demon but is an enlightening beings

    Thank you
    Pee Bee Chong

  30. Chris Chong on Jun 1, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Dear Pastor David,

    Thank you for this article about this sacred Cittamani Tara lineage and practice. It is very informative .

    This is what I had learnt.

    1. Cittamani Tara tantra is the highest yoga tantra which can bring us to enlightenment in one life time only. There are many other Tara tantra out there but this is the most powerful one.

    2. The source of Cittamani Tara comes from Arya Tara herself. Tagpu Gargyi Wangpo astral travelled to Potala pure land and received this practice from Arya Tara. Hence, the blessings of this practice is extremely powerful which is directly from the deity.

    3. Another Tagpu incarnation also did similar deed which is Tagpu Pemavajra. Upon the request of his student Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche, he astral travelled to Tushita Heaven to receive the practice of Dorje Shugden from Dulzin Drakpa Gyletsen himself. Hence, this blessings of Dorje Shugden practice is also very pure and strong.

    4. Tantric practice emphasise on Guru Devotion alot. In fact, it is the primary factor that one’s practice succeeds or fails. Without Guru Devotion, all efforts of practising will become void.

    5. Both Cittamani Tara and Dorje Shugden practices came from Tagpu lineages. If Dorje Shugden is a demon, then the whole lineage will be deemed as demon practitioners. Naturally, the validity of Cittamani Tara practice will have doubt as well. But why all high lamas still practising Cittamani Tara while they condemn Dorje Shugden. It is illogical. Hence, Dorje Shugden is not a demon.

    Chris

  31. Frederick Law on Jun 1, 2016 at 2:54 am

    It was through Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche who request his Guru Takpu Pemavajra who then entered deep meditation and astral travel to Tushita Heaven in quest to receive receive the initiation and commentary on the practice of Dorje Shugden from Dulzin Drakpa Gyeltsen, who refer to His own Guru Lama Tsongkhapa, this show the humility of this great attain Master and who has great Guru Devotion.

    Tagpu Pemavajra received complete practice of Dorje Shugden, hence it was passed down to Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche and from whom Dorje Shugden commentaries, Pujas and practice flourished and wide spread over the world.

    From this article we can clearly see the uniqueness of Cittamani Tara tantra where Siddha Tagpu line of reincarnation has pure vision of Tara and the ability to astral travel to pure land to receive teaching. It was through Tagpu Pemavajra Rinpoche we are blessed with Dorje Shugden practice.

    By understanding this, we can see that Cittamani Tara is a High Yoga Tantra Practice which is special to Gelugpa Tradition which was passed down by Tagpu Rinpoche line of reincarnation. Since Tagpu Rinpoche received Dorje Shudgen practice directly from Lama Tsongkhapa, how could Dorje Shugden practice be wrong? if it was wrong, that means the practice of Cittamani Tara is wrong and invalid.

    But this isn’t the case, as this practice has valid source and lineage. what is more important is that no matter if it is Cittamani Tara tantric Practice or even Dorje Shugden practice, Guru Devotion and good Samaya with out Guru is utmost importance, because the attainment stems from our Guru blessing.

  32. Callista on Jun 1, 2016 at 12:41 am

    Thank you everyone for the effort.

    From what I read, may it be the article, Q&A section and comments.
    I’m pretty sure that I am on the right track to know and learn more about the great Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden.

  33. Chong Pee Bee on May 31, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David Lai,

    Here is my understanding on the article :

    Cittamani Tara is one of Kyabje Zong Rinpoche’s three main practices (Heruka Cakrasamvara, Vajrayogini and Cittamani Tara) that was conferred upon H. E. Tsem Rinpoche in Thubten Dhargye Ling in 1984.

    Cittamani Tara is a unique tantra because it was originally derived from the visionary experience of a Gelug yogi, Takpu Gargyi Wangpo. This great master had pure visions of Tara and received the initiation and commentary of the practice directly from Tara

    Cittamani Tara is rare and it is the highest yoga form (Maha-annutara) of Tara which can confer enlightenment within one lifetime

    The later incarnation of Takpu Gargyi, Takpu Pemavajra also had visions of Tara and was particularly known for his ability to astral travel to pure lands the Gelug lineage significantly until today. He received the lineage of Cittamani Tara and become its primary lineage holder, disseminating it to Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche.

    Under the request of Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche, Takpu Pemavajra entered deep meditation and astral-travelled to Toshiba in order to receive the initiative practise and commentary on the practise of Dorje Shugden from Dulzin Drakpa Gyeltsen by way of Lama Tsongkhapa.

    Takpu Pemavajra received the complete practice of Dorje Shugden in Tushita pure land. This practice was then passed to Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche who composed commentaries and it became the mainstay of the Dorje Shugden practice and pujas available and widespread today.

    Thank you
    Pee Bee

  34. Uncle Lai on May 30, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    Thank you Pastor David for publishing the article on Cittamani Tara. It is very interesting to note that every practice there is an origin and can be traced back to the origin which is passed down from Guru to student and is considered authentic.

    So is also the practice of Dorje Shugden which is taught by our Guru to us and we cannot give up the practice of Dorje Shugden because it is like disobey our Guru and how can we get result like this?

  35. Victoria Lam on May 30, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    Thank you Pastor David for the interesting article of Cittramani Tara. It’s very important for us to learn and understand of the Tantric practice from Gelug Lineage. Hence, the first lineage master who is Takpu Kelsang Garwayu Chokyi Wangchuk (1765-1792) received the Tantra practice directly from Tara. Therefore, he continuously pass on to 7th Guru of the Gelug Lineage, Takpu Pemavajra who is Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche’s Guru.

    Thank you to all attained High Lamas and Tsem Tulku Rinpoche for the teachings and benefits us with Dorje Shugden practice with the same Lineage practices. May all sentient being benefits and fall in Faiths with practices.

    Humbly bow down with folded hands
    Victoria.

  36. Kien Wong on May 30, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    Thanks for the wonderful write up on Cittamani Tara. It is always so important to know the background of the practice and and where the lineage are. Because we need to invoke the blessing of the lineage master and to get the results from the practice. As H.H. Dalai Lama ban Dorje shugden practice, at the same time it’s come from the same lineage of Cittamani Tara practice. In this condition, how to invoke the blessing from the lineage master. Since H.H. Dalai Lama teachers are Dorje Shugden practioners which is in the ban list. So, question is how to invoke the blessing from the lineage master and get the results? Thank you

  37. Hank Ng on May 30, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    First time heard about Cittamani Tara and I found it very difficult to fully understand this great sharing by just look at the superficial information on the first page, lately I get to know more about it through blog chat session together with other KSDS teachers at Kechara house, I will spent more time to look into those interest topic which induce much curiosity. Thank you Pastor Adeline and Tsem Rinpoche for your none stop sharing. For those Chinese group student, just to let you know the Mandarin name for Cittamani Tara is actually 如意摩尼度母。

  38. Lin Mun on May 30, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    Thank you Pastor David for sharing the Cittamani Tara in detailed.

    My understanding from this article is as follows :

    1) Cittamani Tara is a one of the tantric practice.
    2) A tantric practice is a transmission of a pure lineage and with guru devotion.
    3) All Buddhist practices, including tantric practices are built on and depend on the keeping of one’s refuge vows.
    4) I do not agree on the accusation that Dorje Shugden is a demon. It is a practice that is transmitted from the a pure lineage, so how can it be wrong. It does not make sense that all high lamas that practice Dorje Shugden is wrong because it is being transmitted from their Guru.

    I hope more people will understanding that the ban on Dorje Shugden is not right and the accusation is wrong.

  39. Stella Cheang on May 30, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    Cittamani Tara is an important practice, not because of the mere status of the teaching that belongs to the highest yoga tantra, but also because of the lineage masters. In order for Cittamani Tara’s tantric practice to lead to attainments, practitioner has to invoke the blessing of all the lineage Gurus. But since some of the lineage Gurus practice the teaching of Dorje Shugden, who had been nullified by HHDL and the Tibetan in Exile leadership, then the Cittamani Tara lineage teaching will not be valid. If the teaching of Cittamani Tara is invalid, then why would HHDL and high lamas Gelugpa School went around the world to give initiation of Cittamani Tara? This is something serious for us to ponder on.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David for this rich article; it is thought provoking when we draw parallel with Dorje Shugden practice.

    Humbly, bowing down,
    Stella Cheang

  40. Ray Thing on May 30, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    Hi pastor David Lai,
    From the share above, i just reliaise if we don’t have the correct teaching or lineage from the origin guru (Cittamani tara) no matter how hard we learn, also will get wrong.

  41. Alice Tay on May 18, 2016 at 12:37 am

    感谢仁波切和Pastor David分享此篇关于一位女性终究成为救度众生的证悟者,Cittamani Tara。在此分享关于此篇博文的想法:

    1. 如果一个修持法没有纯正的传承,尽管修持者付出多么的努力,也是不能达到任何成就。

    2. Cittamani Tara的法门是可以帮助修持者直接通往达到证悟。据说,此法门其中重要的传承人之一是Takpu Pemavajra。而Takpu Pemavajra也是负责前往兜率天,从宗喀巴大师和杜津扎巴坚赞那里得到多杰雄登的传授法。之后,Takpu Pemavajra将这两法门传授于至尊嘉杰帕绷喀仁波切,然后嘉杰赤江仁波切。如果现在说持修多杰雄登是错的,那么持修Cittamani Tara也应该是错的。但是,达赖尊者还是继续给Cittamani Tara的灌顶和教法。这不是自相矛盾吗?

    希望有缘看到此篇博文的人可以深思熟虑,看看目前多杰雄登的争议是不是到时候要停止了。

  42. Tara fan on May 2, 2016 at 12:06 am

    Hello,
    Tara was widely popularized to Tibet by the The Great Atisha,mother Tara appeared many times reminding the great Atisha on attaining swift enlightenment through practising bodhicitta, through the kadhampa lineage , praises to the 21 Tara was composed in Sakya, Kagyu, Gelugpa , and Nyingma lineages. The Sakya lineage prayers to tara always begin with invocation of the lord of sutra and Tantra-The Great Atisha, Dipamkara Atisha. The story of Atisha relying upon Tara can be found in Liberation in The Palm of your hand by Pabongkha Rinpoche.

  43. So Kin Hoe (KISG) on Apr 24, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    Thank you Pastor David Lai, Pastor Niral, Martin Chow, Joy Kam and Pastor Jean Ai for spending much time and energies to carry out the research and shared the informative article of Cittamani Tara. We are truly fortunate and blessed to learn the Dharma from an authentic and unbroken lineage through our kind Guru. From the Questions and Answers section, it is clearly proven that all the lineage masters who had passed on the Cittamani Tara practice, were also practicing Dorje Shugden throughout their entire lifetime. Hence, Cittamani Tara practice cannot contradict with Dorje Shugden practice as both practices were being practiced and passed on through the authentic qualified high masters in Gelugpa lineage. I sincerely pray that everyone will think and speak logically to end the ban of Dorje Shugden practice so that all buddhists can be united as one to spread the Buddha Dharma to the ten directions for the benefits of all sentient beings.

    Thank you with folded hands,
    kin hoe

  44. Khoo Hou Haw on Apr 22, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    Thank you Pastor David Lai for such a wonderful and detailed article about Cittamani Tara.

    Personally I feel that the Questions and Answers section is a part that everyome shouldn’t missed. It provides a lot of information and answered a lot of my doubts in the validity of the lineage of Dorje Shugden.

    Thanks to all the attained High Lama including His Holiness Dalai Lama who has been propitiating the practice of Cittamani Tara, which came from the exact same lineage holders of the practice of Dorje Shugden. This made me have a even stronger faith that the practice of Dorje Shugden is indeed a validated and qualified practice that will bring benefits to the practitioners.

  45. Li Kheng on Apr 22, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    Thank you for this beautiful post. The feminine dignity and strength depicted by Tara is totally awesome! on a very superficial level, it is most empowering to identify that strength, wisdom, spiritual prowess in a feminine form. Recently, I was gifted the book “Cave in the Snow” by Rinpoche. I read Tenzin Palmo’s journey that was spotted with varied and many obstacles simply because she was a women. I felt a stab in the heart when I read the parts where the monks sincerely believed that the female form is an inferior one and that all female practitioner should aspire and dedicate all their merits to taking rebirth as a male. Hence, seeing a delicate figure like Tara exude strength, determination, immovable commitment to gain enlightenment in a female form is most encouraging and liberating.

    On another level, I am very grateful to the lineage masters who go through thick and thin to bring us the pure dharma. Not only do they ensure they obtain the teacings from the highest source, i.e. the Buddha or deity themselves, they have to ensure that the channel through which the teachings are passed down (i.e the lineage masters) remain intact and pure. It reminds me to always cherish the teachings I receive as they are the fruits of the greatest compassion and wisdom.

    At a deeper level, the continued dissemination of the Cittamani Tara practice by both His Holiness and Lama Zopa reflects their faith in the power of the teaching that will bestow attainments. It is confusing to witness these two condemner of Dorje Shugden practitioners propitiate and propagate the Citamani Tara lineage that is passed down by Takpu Rinpoche, a renowned Dorje Shugden practitioner. If the source is bad, how can SOME practices he teach is good and others bad? The double standard contradicts Buddha’s teachings.

    Furthermore, accusations of Dorje Shugden being a devil and evil spirit would invalidate the entire Gelupga lineage because it would mean that Takpu Rinpoche, Pabongkha Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche who practiced Dorje Shugden till their passing broke their fundamental refuge vows. By this, every vow and teaching disseminated and expounded by either of these Gurus have no power and cannot grant attainments. In fact, every monk who took refuge and ordination vows from them are not real monks because how can these masters bestow the blessing of these pure vows when they themselves failed to keep their vows pure and intact.

    This is a wonderful read that brings many levels of clarity from the awesomeness of the practice to the impossibility of the CTA’s claims to justify a ban on Dorje Shugden. Again thank you and may this article benefit many others to shed light and bring blessings.

  46. Pammie Yap on Apr 22, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    Thank you Pastor David for such an informative post!!

    I love this post very much!! I especially like the Q&A section.
    If Takpu Gargyi Wangchuk astral travelled to Potala to receive teachings and initiations directly from Arya Tara is right which is still being practiced till today then why did his later incarnation, Takpu Pemavajra Jampel Tenpai Ngodrub who received teachings and initiations directly from Dorje Shugden is wrong??
    Why the selectiveness?? Doesn’t make sense.

    How can 1 incarnation lineage be correct but the other incarnation’s lineage is wrong?
    Until today, there are many high lamas who give Cittamani Tara initiations to hundreds of people BUT since it is of the same lineage then how can Dorje Shugden’s practice be wrong at the same time?

    So, if it is wrong, then what attainments will there be from practicing? Since the lineages were passed on to ‘valid’ high lamas, wouldn’t they know whether the the practices are correct or not? Whether there will be attainments or not?

    It’s just ‘weird’ that people choose what they want to believe instead of understanding the facts that are present.

    I really really do hope that people will get to understand more from this post and all the other posts about Dorje Shugden’s lineage and practice.

  47. Pastor Moh Mei on Apr 22, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    Tibetan Buddhism emphasizes a lot on the source and purity of lineage. One of the important aspect of tracing a Lama’s incarnation line is to strengthen the faith of people that this same mind in life after life has proven to uphold the same virtues and continue to benefit countless sentient beings. Credentials that are not build in only one lifetime but over many lifetimes.

    It is said that what have been attained through our spiritual practice is retained life after life. As it was recorded in Takpu Gargyi Wangpo’s case, his ability to astral travel to a pure lands to obtain direct teachings was witnessed not only in one lifetime.

    Takpu Gargyi Wangpo went to Potala and received the practice of Cittamani Tara. A few lifetime later, his incarnation Takpu Pemavajra went to Tushita to receive the initiation and teachings on the cycle of Dorje Shugden’s practice. When we believe in karma and reincarnation and hence the incarnation lineage of highly attained Lamas such as His Holiness The Dalai Lama himself and many other great Tibetan Lamas, this belief logically extend to their teachings and practices taught by these Lamas. By the same principle, it is illogical to accept Cittamani Tara practice while rejecting Dorje Shugden practice.

    Of course we can and we do often as human choose only to pick and practice what we like and reject what we dislike. But from the point of the practices that were passed down by the Takpu Gargyi Wangpo’s incarnation line, the validity and purity of both practices are the same.

    This is a very interesting article indeed that helps provide a very logical insight into how practices originate from and the validity and purity of these practices. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this on the blog and Pastor David & co for the research and write up.

  48. Pastor Chia on Apr 22, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    Cittamani Tara article is very interesting and informative.Thank for the Pastor David research and hard working with others writers to put up this article sharing at the blog.

    Personally like the question and answer part about origin of Cittamani Tara and lineage holder of this Tantra sharing the same lineage line of Dorje Shugden practitioner from Takpu Kelsang Gargyi Wangpo to Takpu Pemavajra to Je Pabongka to Kyabje Song Rinpoche. Both lineage lama has a vision directly from the Deity itself and pass down the practice until now. But why Cittamani Tara tantra get promoted personally by H.H.Dalai Lama but Dorje Shugden practice get ban because he is devil? What type of logic to explain to people modern world now.It is the lineage lama make a mistake to pass down the practice or something else.By reading this article by Pastor David has given logical point, we should trust the lineage lama and follow both practice has passed down until today.

  49. Mingwen on Apr 22, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Thank you, Rinpoche.
    Thank you to Pastor David and team for putting efforts to make this article and the blog extremely informative and beneficial to all.

    May all sentient beings able to get in touch with Cittamani Tara and Dorje Shugden.

    May all sentient beings receive dharma and free from all sufferings.

    May the Dorje Shugden’s Ban be lifted.

  50. Julia Tan on Apr 22, 2016 at 10:58 am

    Thank you Pastor David and the team who are contributed to this article. It is so special because it was originally derived from the visionary experience of Gelug Yogi, Takpu Gargyi Wangpo. And He received from Tara herself.

    Many holy masters and mahasidhas received teachings directly from the Buddha and Deities due to their pureness, all these masters achieved high attainments and special power that brought countless people to Dharma. They already achieved Buddhahood. Today Cittamani Tara Tantra teachings, one of the most sacred tantra received directly from Tara herself, passed to Takpu Pemavajra, to Pabongka Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche and then to our Guru H.E. The 25th Tsem Rinpoche. These holy masters have been giving initiation to countless students. Even until today HHDL and Lama Zopa still giving Cittamani Tara Tantra initiation to many people all over the world.

    As we all know for our lineage which is Pabongka Rinpoche to Trijang Rinpoche, to HHDL and Zong Rinpoche and Lama Zopa, to Tsem Rinpoche, when trace all the way back, Pabongka Rinpoche received this from Takpu Pemavajra that also received Dorje Shugden Practice from Dulzin in Tushita Heaven. This is also the practice that we and many other DS practitioners doing all over the world but banned by HHDL because we were told by HHDL this practice is a demon practice.

    Well, we are extremely fortunate to have H.E. Tsem Rinpoche as my Guru, who always told us that whatever practices your Guru gives you, first we need to check the lineage, if it is pure. If any of these lineage gurus broke the vows that means whatever this guru has been initiated to the students will achieve no result. Many people do not know about this consequence.

    Hence both Cittamani Tara and Dorje Shugden Practice came from the same master, Takpu Pemavajra. And until today HHDL and Lama Zopa still giving Cittamani Tara initiation, that also mean Cittamani Tara Tantra practice is valid, that also assured me, Dorje Shugden Practice is also valid.

  51. Pastor Henry Ooi on Apr 22, 2016 at 7:48 am

    This is a well researched and informative article. Interestingly, Cittamani practice is well accepted within the Gelugpa school but Dorje Shugden practice is not. Yet both practices were taught by the same lama. I find it strange that practitioners of Cittamani Tara who are against the practice of Dorje Shugden find it alright to engage in Cittamani practice. Also The Dalai Lama, Lama Zopa and other lamas are conferring the initiation on Cittamani Tara. But the Dalai Lama has enforced the ban on Dorje Shugden practice. Lama Zopa dharma centers have notices saying Dorje Shugden practitioners are not allowed to enter their premises for dharma teaching. They even have the notice printed on their entry forms for the public. But both practices originated from the same teacher, Takpu Pemavajra . I wonder why the selectiveness.

  52. nicholas on Apr 22, 2016 at 12:05 am

    It’s a wonderful article of Cittamani Tara practice. It’s really interesting to know Yeshe Dawa vowed to work for the welfare of all beings in the body of a woman until all samsara is emptied since many people wish for enlightenment in the form of a man but none who work to accomplish the welfare of living beings in the form of a woman. With such compassion heart this is how she come about as Tara.300

    In this post it also point out the important of lineage for a practice. One will gain attainment from their practice from the true lineage. This is a blessing from the lineage and that is why the great Lama has been giving the initiation to many people.

    Cittamani Tara practice has a clear lineage that even HH the 14th Dalai Lama acknowledge it else how can he confer the practice to others. But looking at the lineage masters that passes down Cittamani Tara practice they are also the Dorje Shugden Lamas that get the practice from he same lineage. So if isn’t that if everyone agree and acknowledge the lineage master of Cittamani Tara practice  is authentic it should be the same as Dorje Shugden practice? So in this case why there are people saying Dorje Shugden practice is wrong or demon?

    It doesn’t make sense. How can we be selective in what we want to belief from the same lineage? Blessing from the lineage master is consistent and doesn’t goes by differential of practice base on our preference.

    Here, I believe in the benefit of Cittamani Tara practice which has the great blessing from the great lineage masters and at the same time I also believe on Dorje Shugden practice is beneficial as it’s also passed down by the same lineage master.

  53. June Kang on Apr 21, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    This is a very informative article, thank you very much Pastor David Lai.

    Cittamani Tara linage is so pure and powerful that can lead to be enlightenment in one short life and many high lamas such like The Holiness Dalai Lama , Lama Zopa disseminate the Cittamani Tara teaching and it is the same Guru (Pemavajra) who also received Dorje Shugden practice from Dorje Shugden himself. So if Dorje Shugden is bad and Cittamani Tara is good, how can a lama give two conflicting practices??

    By logic and refuge vows, the Cittamani Tara do not have anymore blessing and effective if DS is bad. Therefore how can high lama made mistake. I believe that high lama can not make mistake. They are doing it for the higher purpose to benefit peoples.

  54. chris chong on Apr 18, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    Dear Pastor David,

    Thank you for you and the team’s effort to come up with this astounding post.

    It is very informative and i had learnt alot from this. What stood out to me more is that this linage of the teachings comes directly from the divine deity herself, in this case Mother Tara. Teachings like this are extremely rare and very blessed because the blessings are directly from the deity herself. Another similar example of such teachings is Dorje Shugden practice. The practice is given to Mahasiddha Tagphu Pemavajra by Dorje Shugden himself in Tushita heaven. This signifies the immense blessings and authenticity of the practice and linage.

    I am truly blessed to be able to meet with Dorje Shugden lineage in Kechara.

    Humbly,
    Chris

  55. Yeo Kwai Gin on Apr 17, 2016 at 4:41 am

    非常的感谢仁波切,Pastor David Lai和寻找资讯完成这文章的朋友 !

    Cittamani Tara的持修法门是那么殊胜,几位高成就的大师如帕绷喀仁波切,宗仁波切还有特别是达赖喇嘛尊者,也大力推广持修Cittamani Tara和给予灌顶。而且,Cittamani Tara 的祈愿文是那么的直接的由Takpo Gargyi Wangpo 入定到期净土从度母处亲自抄写回来。就如Takpo PelmaVajra 入定到兜率天祈请多杰雄登和宗喀巴大师给予祈愿文。Takpo Pelma Vajra 乃是Takpo Gargyi Wangpo 的转世,可想他的修行非常的高成就。

    持修这崇高的法门,最重要的重点是;

    1、传承的重要。
    为什么呢?因为如果没有传承的连续追寻,这法门是否定的。我们需要追寻每一位大师和给予灌顶的大师,就如詹杜固仁波切是由祂的根本上师宗仁波切传授,而宗仁波切是由帕绷喀仁波切传授,帕绷喀仁波切也是由Takpo Pelma Vajra所授持的。

    2、皈依戒的重要。
    皈依戒,为所有戒律的根本,皈依戒破了,所有戒律如菩萨戒,密续戒也就破了,而且,所有的密续修持是必须严守戒律,如果没有了戒律,那么修行上也不会有成就。

    在这,就用多杰雄登禁令来思考 !!!

    达赖尊者大力的推广Cittamani Tara法门与灌顶,但此法门是由Takpo Gargyi Wangpo(Takpo PalmeVajra的前一个转世)所带来的,多杰雄登法门也是Takpo PelmaVajra从兜率天带来的,为何会大力推广一个法门而禁一个法门呢?
    大家不妨想想,那是不成立的 !

    愿,多杰雄登禁令尽早解除,受苦的人民可以离苦得乐 !

    OM BENZA WIKKI BITTANA SOHA

    With Folded Hand
    YEO KWAI GIN

  56. Uncle Eddie on Apr 16, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    Thanks to Pastor David Lai and the hard working team for providing removal of doubts to the Dorje Shugden controversy in this beautiful, explanatory and thought-provoking write-up! The Q&A were expertedly created to provide and help people to think clearly and overcome their ignorance on the issue, so that twisted and falsely conjured facts could be dedected to disburse all unwarranted accusation. This beautiful well-researched article is indeed an eye-opener for all. May the Lamp of Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings always remain, dispelling the darkness of ignorance of all beings! Om Benza Wiki Bitana Soha.

  57. Jason on Apr 15, 2016 at 3:57 am

    Thanks Rinpoche ,Pastor David and teams to come out with such a good and
    informative write up. Cittamani Tara practice is being found by a Gelug yogi ,Takpu Garyi Wangpo.Beside that, his incarnation Takpu Pemavajra is the person astral send to Tushita to receive the Dorje Shugden (DS)initiation and practice via Lama Tsongkhapa and Dulzin Trakpa Gelytsen .
    Did Takpu break his vows if DS really a sipirit or demons?if yes, then all the lineages start from Takpu Pemavajra were wrong. But in fact DS is an emanation of manjushri and he is enlightened protector. Dalai Lama still giving initiation on Cittamani Tara practice which means the lineage from Takpu Pemavajra is correct and this practice can benefits sentient beings.
    Thanks again Pastor David to have a Q &A session and help me easy understand on Cittamani Tara and DS .

    Jason

  58. Pastor Antoinette Kass on Apr 15, 2016 at 12:51 am

    Dear Pastor David and team,

    This is a beautiful post on the practice of Cittamani Tara. I rejoice for those having the merits to receive this powerful and most precious practice. And I rejoice for this article to be published and benefit many people all over the world.

    Indeed, the question and answer part of the article is thought-provoking. We cannot choose by saying the Cittamani Tara practice is correct and the Dorje Shugden practice, coming from the same lineage lamas is wrong. This is against all logic.

    Both practices have been passed down from Takpu Pemavajra to Pabongkha Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche to Tsem Rinpoche. Tara is faultless, she is a Buddha and would never pass her practice to the wrong person. As seen, even the Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa practice Cittamani Tara. Dorje Shugden, an emanation of Manjushri, Buddha of Wisdom, is coming from the same line of lineage lamas. It is another clear indicator that the accusations towards Dorje Shugden and the ban inflicted on him are wrong and without any basis.

    May the ban on Dorje Shugden soon be released.
    Thank you,
    Pastor Antoinette

  59. Bradley Kassian on Apr 14, 2016 at 6:50 am

    Thank you Pastor David for your extensive research on Cittamani Tara. <3 I hope one day to be able to practice this in depth, but until then I'll make offerings and prayers.

  60. Vinnie Tan on Apr 14, 2016 at 6:24 am

    This is just such a powerful and educational article. How Tara has became enlightened and said that there is no distinction between male an female in the ultimate sense is just so powerful. It reiterates the fact that everything that has a label on it is all false and projections that we have on different things. Yet, what should be practiced is to let go of that strong projections that we have on things. The way that she became enlightened is as though strong feminism power depicted in the history.

    The Q&A is really thought provoking. It is indeed true that if we do not recognise the Dorje Shugden practice, we should not be doing Cittamani Tara practices as well.

    How will it be alright to say that the lineage masters is wrong about a certain practice and be tainted because of that, yet the practice that is being passed down from the lineage lamas is still correct? There is only one lineage of the Cittamani Tara practice. How will it be that it is alright for us to do the practice when the masters that have passed down the practice is tainted? If we disregard them as a teacher, how will we be getting the full attainments to the practice. It is impossible as we will no longer be able to get the blessings from all the masters that will lead back to Tara herself.

    With lamas that disregard Dorje Shudgen practice like H.H. Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa, why are they still giving Cittamani Tara initiation? If they truly disregard Dorje Shugden practice, they will know that the lamas that are being passed down will not have the full attainments as the practice of Cittamani Tara is tainted as well since the first lineage master for both the Cittamani Tara practice and Dorje Shugden practice is both Takpu Pemavajra. So does that mean that Tara is wrong to give the practice to someone that is “tainted”?

    It does not make any sense that as lay people, we will know better then enlightened beings like Tara and the lineage lamas. Telling others that one practice is correct and another practice is wrong.

    Thank you so much Pastor David and the team for this beautiful article. It has made me understand so much more and believe that everything that is going on now with regards to the ban is all part of a divine play.

  61. Joy on Apr 14, 2016 at 6:09 am

    I love Tara and all her glory from the first time Rinpoche told me about Her right up till now. She is my Mother and that’s how I view Her. Thank you Rinpoche for getting Pastor David to write this blog post. It certainly was a big project as we try to research and find out which Tagpu Dorje Chang, guru of Pabongkha that received this Cittamani Tara practice directly from Mother Tara herself. Now we know and it is Amazing as this is the same Guru (mindstream) who also received Dorje Shugden practice from DS himself wow! So how can He be accurate with one practice – Cittamani Tara yet mistaken for another – Dorje Shugden? This makes no sense!

    I like this Cittamani Tara practice because the unique lineage blessing is so short, making Her blessing more direct and potent for those who fortunate enough to receive Her initiation.

    I love Her stories of how She basically chose to always appear in a female form to break the concept of “male” superiority because in reality there is no such thing as male & female. I’ve always told friend who pray and love “Kuan Yin” (Avalokiteshvara) that when you pray to “Kuan Yin”, you’re also indirectly praying to Tara because it could be Tara who comes to help you as she’s made a vow to assist Kuan Yin in saving/helping all sentient beings so she is very close to us always.

    I really liked the Q&A section which we’ve created to help people THINK instead of being selected, biased and ignorant. It sure gave me further conviction that Dorje Shugden’s practice is definitely 100% authentic. And whatever lies, stories or twisted facts the CTA says about DS is really just BS. As Rinpopche always tells us knowledge is power, and with that our faith becomes rock solid, unshakable! Thank you!

  62. Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai on Apr 14, 2016 at 3:45 am

    Pastor David,

    Thank you for your extensive research. One thing that I have always liked about Tara is the vow she made to achieve enlightenment as a female and to take rebirth “in the body of a woman until all samsara is emptied”. This matches what Rinpoche previously said about the tantric vows, one of which is not to disparage women. Through her example, Tara herself showed that there is no reason to disparage women because women are every bit as capable of achieving enlightenment as men since on an ultimate level, there is no difference between male and female since the mind has no gender or sex. Our mind will take reincarnation over and over again in male bodies, female bodies, male bodies, female bodies…our gender is a manmade and fluid concept, and our sex is impermanent from lifetime to lifetime.

    Seriously though, Tara was THE original feminist! Instead of just talking about how unfair the patriarchy is, she proved her point by becoming enlightened. You look at her sitting there all gentle and smiling but underneath, to use a 2015 slang, giiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirl – you was FIERCE.

    And instead of snubbing men and floating off to Potala Heaven and just chilling there (how could she, she was enlightened!), she came back to teach her tantric practices to men, specifically to Tagphu Pemavajra. How can someone like Tagphu Pemavajra have been attained enough to receive visions of Tara, but wrong enough to be mistaken about Dorje Shugden?

    How did the great masters after Tagphu Pemavajra rely on Cittamani Tara and gain attainments from the practice, but not have the attainments to see Dorje Shugden’s nature as a so-called demon?

    How was it that Cittamani Tara’s practice was deemed fit and genuine by thousands of practitioners, but somehow a so-called demon practice like Dorje Shugden was able to slip under the radar and NO ONE for 400 years realised what was going on until His Holiness the Dalai Lama said something?

    It boggles the mind. Either Tara AND Dorje Shugden are good, or Tara AND Dorje Shugden are bad. It can’t be that Tara is good and Dorje Shugden is bad, because the source is the same. If the source is good enough for one (Tara), it must definitely be good enough for the other (Dorje Shugden).

    • Sharon Ong on Apr 14, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      Dear Pastor David and everyone who worked on this post,

      Thank you for this well written and thought provoking write-up. I like the Q & A part very much as it helped with my thought processes. Here are the 2 things that stood out the most to me:-

      1) Like Pastor Jean Ai, I love how Tara proved that ANYONE can gain enlightenment. True, a little feminist of me here but it gives us girls hope to gain enlightenment and not just wanting to be reborn as a man so that we can gain enlightenment. After all, at the end of it all, man or woman is just a label.

      2) Like his previous incarnation, Takpu Gargyi Chokyi Wangchuk, Takpu Pemavajra too astral-travelled to Tushita and received the practice of Dorje Shugden via Lama Tsongkhapa and Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen. If Dorje Shugden is a demon, it does not make any sense to have “demon teachings” passed from enlightened beings residing in Tushita to be disseminated to us, right? Surely enlightened beings would only pass teachings that are beneficial to us, to help us gain our own enlightenment.

      Through this article, I learnt about Cittamani’s beneficial practice and gained even more faith in my protector.

      With folded hands, thank you!

  63. Pastor Loh Seng Piow on Apr 14, 2016 at 2:29 am

    Thank you Pastor David for your extensive research. This is yet another evidence in support of Dorje Shugden’s practice, the lineage of Cittamani Tara came from Takpu Pemavajra, so is the lineage of Dorje Shugden, so how can Takpu Pemavajra be so right about this Cittamani Tara practice that so many prominent lamas in the world including Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa are practising and spreading it, and yet the same Takpu Pemavajra be so wrong about Dorje Shugden practice that the same lamas including Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa are banning and shunning it? How can such accomplished and attained lama Takpu Pemavajra be spreading Buddha’s practice and Demon’s practice at the same time?

    All the false accusations against Dorje Shugden can only convince the unlearned who simply follow with blind faith, as Trijang Rinpoche aptly predicted “A mountain of absurd consequences, previously non-existent distorted ideas, would have to be accepted.” This Cittamani practice and its relation to Dorje Shugden’s practice is yet another irrefutable proof that Dorje Shugden is indeed a Buddha.

  64. Pastor Adeline on Apr 14, 2016 at 12:41 am

    Thank you Pastor David and everyone who has helped with the research and back-end works in order for such important and powerful article to be written and published for our benefits. Below are few points I find interesting and happy to have learned from the post:

    1) The history of Tara and her vow to attain enlightenment in a female form – This shows how strong the patriarchal system was (is) to the extent of seeing the female form as inferior. One of the Tibetan word for female is “GyeMen”, meaning “lower birth” shows how the system influenced the Tibet society as well. It is good though that tantra is classified in father and mother category which proves that enlightenment is genderless and female can have spiritual attainments as well.

    2) The sacred relationship between Avalokiteshvara and Tara – The commonly heard version is that Tara was a teardrop of Avalokiteshvara while in this post it is said to have arisen from the heart of Avalokiteshvara. Either way, both bodhisattvas are closely connected and are compassionate beings emanated for the benefits of all sentient beings.

    3) The lineage masters of the Cittamani Tara – There is only one lineage of this practice and the lineage masters consist of Dorje Shugden practitioners, including Takpu Pemavajra who has received the Dorje Shugden practice from Dulzin Drakpa Gyeltsen in Tushita heaven. This means if we deny the Dorje Shugden practice, there is no way we receive attainment from this tantra practice because we deny the lineage masters to whom we seek for blessings on a daily basis in tantric practices.

    4) The method the lineage masters received teachings – Takpu Gargyi Wangchuk and Takpu Pemavajra both received the Cittamani Tara and Dorje Shugden practice respectively through deep meditation and astral travel to the respective pure lands to receive the teachings from the deity directly. This show how highly attained they are, so by calling Dorje Shugden a demon we deny the masters’ attainments and their teachings directly.

    5) The seriousness of the Dorje Shugden ban – This ban is not merely stopping a practice per se, but the Gelug lineage as a whole. The lineage has been passed on for centuries untainted from Lama Tsongkhapa to the lineage masters. If one or many of them are wrong about Dorje Shugden, and if it is true that Dorje Shugden is a demon, then all these masters have broken their refuge vow by worshipping spirit. Refuge vow is the basis for all vow. In another word, the ordained are no longer ordained, and all their practices and commitments are invalid. There should be no Gelug lineage anymore.

    There are many more points we can learn from this post and it is definitely worth our while to read and learn. Thank you again for all your efforts.

    • Pastor David Lai on Apr 14, 2016 at 1:19 am

      Dear P Adeline,
      Thank you for your extensive and well-thought out comment. I appreciate it very much. Your explanations about the etymological meaning of the Tibetan word for female is rather interesting. Although it seems sexist but Tibetan society in general is quite matriarchal in comparison to other asian societies.

      Also, as I wrote in the article, mother and father classifications of higher tantra actually has got nothing to do with gender. Mother tantra class belongs to practices that focusses on practices that emphasises clear light and father tantra emphasises illusory body. Just thought I point it out to you.

      • Pastor Adeline on Apr 14, 2016 at 5:49 am

        Thank you Pastor David for this. Appreciate your reply very much.

  65. Pastor Shin on Apr 14, 2016 at 12:26 am

    Thank you Pastor David and the team for this comprehensive post on Cittamani Tara, and all the rare reference materials on this Highest Yoga Tantra class of Cittamani cycle of Tara teachings.

    Tara is one of the most popular deities worshiped in a majority of Tibetan Buddhist communities throughout the world today, and Tara as a tantric practice remains an important part of Vajrayana Buddhism today.

    I have learnt more about the Tara Tantras, including the info that the Takpu incarnations are known to have pure visions of Tara and receive direct teachings from her.

    The questions & answers section helped me to understand more about authenticity and validity of a lineage and practice. Not only the lineage of Cittamani Tara, but the sadhanas of Vajrayogini, Heruka, Yamantaka and Guhyasamaja that are taught and practiced within the Gelug school today, all were transmitted and included Pabongka Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche as the lineage lamas. Hence, all these sadhanas are invalidated due to the fact that the lineage lamas are Dorje Shugden practitioners who have ‘broken their vows’. It’s either these lamas are ‘defiled’ or they are not, and if they are, then Cittamani Tara and many Tantra in the Gelug lineage would be invalidated.

    I pray that the CTA would end the Dorje Shugden ban that doesn’t make sense, as if we invalidate the lineage masters due to their practice of Dorje Shugden, then all the teachings/ commentaries/ practices given or taught by current Gelug masters, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama who has received most of his teachings/commentaries/ practices from his (Gelug) tutors Kyabje Trijang & Ling Rinpoche, would also considered ‘defiled’ and hence should not be relied on or practised.

  66. Li Kheng on Apr 13, 2016 at 11:38 pm

    It is such an honor to belong to a lineage of great masters whose works were of great contribution to the Gelugpa and Tibetan school of Buddhism and continue to benefit sentient beings up to this day. There is something so very mystical about Takpu Gargyi Wangchuk Rinpoche simply on the basis that he received 2 extremely sacred practices directly from the divine beings in heaven. It is a true and rare blessings to receive a practice that come from such a pure source so recently.

    It baffles me that there are people who would want to jeopardize the sanctity of this lineage with no solid proof. As we enter the degenerate age of Kaliyuga as predicted by Buddha Shakyamuni, we should put effort into protecting and preserving the pure dharma and not destroy it. I truly appreciate the Questions and Answers section because it respects the intelligence and genuine heart to learn of the spiritual public. The interactive list of powerful questions and clear, precise and logical answers gave me a clear understanding of how it is impossible that Dorje Shugden is a demon practice, that the entire Gelugpa lineage from the time of Takpu Rinpoche is invalid due to their broke refuge vows. The questions and answer also reveal clearly how His Holiness’ subtle actions to continue teachings the Dharma and giving initiations he received from Trijang Rinpoche as a sign that he still has unwavering faith in his lineage Gurus who were well known for their practice and propagation of Dorje Shugden.

    I thank RInpoche, Pastor David and the team responsible for making available this extensive information about Cittamani Tara practice. Also deep appreciation for the precious answers to logical questions that empower us to remain faithful to the Dalai Lama and all our lineage Gurus as well as the teachings they took with them when they escaped Tibet and expounded with the sincerest of motivation to benefit and liberate sentient beings.

  67. Beatrix Ooi on Apr 13, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    This is a very powerful article, it is short and sweet yet very educational. I really like the Q&A section, it was very well thought out and written, they are all valid arguments.

    Both practises of Cittamani Tara and Dorje Shugden stems from the same lineage master, Takpu Pemavajra. If Dorje Shugden’s practise is impure and stained, how is Cittamani Tara’s lineage ‘valid’ then? It doesn’t make sense to me or anyone, but sadly this is how His Holiness’s camp think. They are trying to ignore the fact that both lineages come from the same master to avoid questions and confrontation. To them, it’s totally ‘logical’ to critise Dorje Shugden practise who was passed down by the very same master that founded the Cittamani Tara practise. Aren’t they directly criticising Tagpu Pemavajra for creating this ‘demonic’ practise? If so, why do they are they still doing Cittamani practise then?

    No matter how they debate, they can’t win because it makes no sense and therefore they can only keep brainwashing themselves that it’s fine to think this way. It’s pretty sad in a way because they chose not to see the truth.

  68. Kb thapa on Apr 13, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    Thank you pastor David for the complete precious article about Cittamani Tara, as i learned the highest yoga tantra form of Tara, em-powers us to reach enlightenment within this very body, this very life. may many people get benefit from her practice.

  69. Pastor Niral Patel on Apr 13, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    This post just goes to the show the extent that Cittamani Tara is practiced within the Gelugpa tradition. Pastor David’s explanation of the practice, and it’s history is concise yet encompassing. Added to this is the incredible amount of practices and commentaries. One that really stands out is Trijang Rinpoche’s Sgrol Ma’i Chos Skor (Tara’s Cycle of Teachings), with over 26 different pujas and practices. This is more than enough evidence that Cittamani Tara’s practice is outstanding, let alone when taken together with the other commentaries buy other eminent masters.

    Given that Cittamani Tara’s practice is so important, Pastor David has managed to get this across very well indeed. In light of this as explained by Pastor David in the Q&A section, if there is such emphasis on this practice, then there is clearly something wrong with the claim that Dorje Shugden practice is incorrect. This cannot be because both practices have come down to us from the same source. If we discredit one, then the other is negated if following simple Buddhist logic. But since one is accepted and actively promoted, and the other is being maligned by some people, this doesn’t really jive together. Really interesting, eye opening and though provoking writing. Thank you Pastor David.

  70. Valentina Suhendra on Apr 13, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Dear Pastor David Lai and friends

    Thank you for making this precious article available for readers around the world. I like the article very much, especially the questions and answers section. if the lineage masters of Cittamani Tara are the same as the lineage masters of Dorje Shugden, then how can one practice (Dorje Shugden) is deemed bad and the other (Cittamani Tara) is considered good?

    For the opponent of Shugden but they themselves are the practitioners of Cittamani Tara, as they have claimed the Shugden lineage lama and the cittamani tara, then they have condemn their lineage masters. What practice can produce results without lineages.

    Then, we have to remember that the incarnation of Dorje Shugden lineage masters have come back to resume their work to benefit others. We know the consequences of demon worship is you will be reborn in the lower realm. So if Dorje Shugden is a demon, why the DS lamas came back in perfect human forms?

    Just my thought

    Valentina

  71. Choong on Apr 13, 2016 at 6:14 am

    Thank you Pastor David and all the collaborators for this article. I have a question to ask… Why is Cittamani Tara leaning to her right whilst being classified as Mother Tantra? I’ve not any initiation hence have not read any of the commentaries. Thank you.

    • Pastor David Lai on Apr 13, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      Hi Choong,
      Thank you for commenting. There is only one Cittamani Tara thangka drawn by Lama Yeshe and she like all traditional depictions of Green Tara, lean towards the left. I do no see any that lean to the right. Remember, the thangka and Tara is facing us and so her left is our right. Furthermore, the iconographical detail is symbolic in nature.

      • Choong on Apr 13, 2016 at 7:48 pm

        Thank you Pastor David. I read your reply and revisited. Father Tantra deities such as Yamantaka and Guhyasamaja lean to their left, our right. Mother Tantra deities such as Cittamani Tara, Heruka Chakrasamvara, Kalachakra, lean to their right, our left.

        I guess I was this morning thinking of Vajrayogini as a comparison to Cittamani Tara, the former who is also Mother Tantra but leaning/looking up to her left. Now this is my new question – Why is Vajrayogini leaning to her left while other Mother Tantras, right?

        • Pastor David Lai on Apr 14, 2016 at 1:06 am

          Choong,
          I am including pictures of Mother Tantra deities for your reference here. Heruka, Kalacakra and Vajrayogini. You will see that they all lean to their left, which is our right. I believe this answers your question.

          Heruka_2009B copy

          17119e539ac409eabdb655200fbde21e

          vajrayogini2006A

          • Choong on Apr 14, 2016 at 1:17 am

            Thank you. That clears it up.

        • Joy on Apr 14, 2016 at 5:20 am

          Because she is beyond all concepts as she has conquered them all… no left nor right just is (?) 🙂

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  • 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
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 12:47 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these powerful teachings.Its a privilege
    to do Dharma work to benefits other,do it with motivation and a good attitude when engaging ourselves It will be guide line for me.When we serve others to do Dharma work together at Kechara Forest Retreat ,we will improve ourself , purify our negative karma and to benefit others too.I will be sponsoring to the healings bricks soon and i will cherish every moment in supporting KFR.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/dharma-work-attitude-tdl.html
  • Lin Mun
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 11:06 AM
    Bigfoot is just another beings living in this world although not commonly seen and live in the deep jungle in high mountains. There were many evidences that people from many parts of the world sighted this beings. Whatever shape they are I think importantly we are all sharing this world and therefore need to have mutual respect and not intervene each others.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/its-in-the-scriptures-they-exist.html
  • Alice Tay
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 04:26 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Adeline sharing this interesting post about Bodhidharma, a great master favoured meditation and introduced the Lankavatara Sutra to Chinese Buddhism.

    Here are a few points I have learned from this post:
    1. Bodhidharma had strong imprints of Dharma from the past and therefore he is interested in Buddha’s teachings and show his great wisdom. at a very young age.
    2. His strong guru devotion and determination in learning and spreading the dharma based on meditation though he confronted with difficulties such as Emperor Wu Di was not impressed by his teachings, being ostracized and rejected and lived as a beggar for many months. Notwithstanding, he continued and never give up to practice meditation in complete silence for nine years in cave wall when he was not accepted by Shaolin Monastery at the beginning .
    3. When Bodhidharma was allowed enter to the monastery, he had put a lot of efforts to help the monks in improving their physical body as well as their mind through the meditation. Then, Bodhidharma continued to develop a system of 18 dynamic tension exercises which were printed as Yi Gin Ching (Changing Muscle/Tendon Classic) in 550 CE. It is known as the Luohan (arhat) 18 Hand Movements today which serves as the basis of both Chinese Temple Boxing and the Shaolin Martial Arts.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/bodhidharma-the-founder-of-gongfu.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 04:10 PM
    Thank you, Grace, for sharing with us the many tips on how to care for and maintain our hair. Personal grooming is important because when we care for our appearance, we are respecting the people who have to deal with us. Caring for our hair, making sure that it is neat and clean should be something we need to take care of since young as it is part of personal grooming. The key is not to be attached to our body and outer-images, that results in spending much time and resources just to make ourselves look good.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/how-much-do-you-know-about-hair.html
  • Alice Tay
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 03:00 PM
    Thank you for sharing these wonderful and significant photos showed that Kechara Pastors’ tireless efforts to bring dharma to many others and do the blessings whenever is necessary.

    Basically, the pastorship role was conceptualized by our precious guru, H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, to preserve the Dharma and to give laypeople an opportunity to commit to benefiting others. Kechara Pastors are fully dedicated and selflessly serving others especially in spiritual growth and therefore this is good for us to support the Pastors so that they can focus and spend more of their time and effort to serve others and most importantly Buddhist teachings can be spread and shared to many others. The supports to Pastors including food, lodging, transportation, items necessary for their work, such as ritual items or spiritual gifts for those in need and many others. (If you are interested to know more about Kechara Pastors, please have a good read at http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/support-the-kechara-pastors.html)

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/10-amazing-house-blessings-by-kechara-pastors.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 02:13 PM
    Its such a great blessing for all of us to hear the holy voice recordings of H.H Kyabje Zong Rinpoche a great master..His profound teachings ,got to take seroiusly,more as an important advice on Dorje Shugden’s practice.H.H Kyabje Zong Rinpoche’s explaination was very clear before any of the practitioner’s commitment and receive sogtae.They must keep the lineage practice and teachings no matter what ever happen.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing with us on the important advice by a great master.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/kyabje-zong-rinpoches-advice-on-dorje-shugdens-practice.html
  • Lin Mun
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 11:50 AM
    Thank you Pastor Han Nee for your sharing your thoughts and review about the book “Be Happy” written by Rinpoche. It is indeed not easy to be happy as we all have various expectation in every situation and people.

    We may think having a big house, lots of cash and good career is happiness but this is the wrong perception. Being happy is not about material and everything about ourselves. It is only when we can do more for others and focus out that we gain happiness. I never realised this until I joined Kechara. I think we have such a fixed mindset of what happiness is and when our expectation is not met, we are unhappy.

    Rinpoche has pointed out many ways for us to rectify our thoughts and methods to be happy. Now it is for us to take initiative to change and transform our mind if we want to be happy.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Han Nee for this article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/be-happy.html
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Apr 24. 2017 12:30 PM
    Many people do not believe in reincarnation and only relates it to certain religion such as Hinduism and Buddhism. However, there were many instances and signs that proven reincarnation exist. As Buddhist we will believe in reincarnation and karma. It is by understanding that everything has its cause and effect that we should learn to live life in the correct attitude and mindset. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this interesting articles to remind us of karma and the importance of doing dharma practise.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/interesting-signs-of-reincarnation.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Apr 23. 2017 08:29 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for your teachings.
    Always be generous and kind in what ever we could do even its little help.It’s the little things in life that bring the greatest happiness. Its between us and our Buddha ,so we would not bother what the receipient thinks and say of us. What ever was said ,should not deter our motivation to do Dharma work.
    (It will change people’s lives in one way or another. It will change your life for the better.)….well said by Rinpoche.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/its-not-between-you-and-the-recipient.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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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.
2 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
2 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
3 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
3 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
3 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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ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

  • 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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