Disharmony Within the Sakya?

By | Jun 10, 2016 | Views: 1,302
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On May 8, 2014, His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin Ngawang Kunga Wangyal and His Holiness the late Dagchen Jigdral Ngawang Kunga issued a joint statement regarding the amendment of the traditional rule of lifetime succession within the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Acting on advice given over 50 years ago by Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro, the term of office for the throne holder of the lineage has been amended to a three-year term, after which the post passes to the next designate from one of the two Sakya Podrangs or ‘palaces’.

This decision has a significant impact on the Sakya tradition, since it drastically changes the established term in which a Sakya Trizin governs the lineage. It is a change that has raised many questions amongst Buddhist practitioners. In writing this article, we seek to analyse the points raised in this statement which can perhaps provide clues as to why such a drastic change has been implemented.

A special thanks to Pastor David Lai and Pastor Khong Jean Ai for their invaluable help with this article.

Valentina Suhendra and Pastor Niral Patel

 


 

Brief overview of the Sakya tradition

The origins of the holy Sakya tradition can be traced back to the Indian Mahasiddha Virupa of the 9th Century. In the scriptures he has several other names, including Birwapa, and his life is recounted as one of the 84 great Mahasiddhas in terms of his miraculous attainments.

The origins of the Sakya Tradition trace back to the Indian Mahasiddha Virupa

The origins of the Sakya Tradition trace back to the Indian Mahasiddha Virupa

His main teachings are called the Lamdre, which literally means the ‘Path and the Fruit’ teachings. Lamdre forms the core of teachings within the Sakya tradition. These teachings were brought to Tibet by the Indian scholar Gayadhara (994 – 1043 CE) and were translated by his Tibetan disciple and translator, Drogmi Lotsawa Shakya Yeshe (992 – 1072 CE). Drogmi Lotsawa in turn transmitted these precious teachings to his main disciple Khon Konchok Gyalpo (1034 – 1102 CE). In 1073 CE, Khon Konchok Gyalpo founded the Sakya monastery in the Tsang region of central Tibet. It was named Sakya, which means ‘grey earth’ due to the colour of the surrounding soil. Thus, the Sakya lineage was born and came to be closely linked to the Khon family lineage, who are believed to be celestial beings.

The Sakya tradition was established and proliferated by the five great early Sakya masters – Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (1092 – 1158 CE), his two sons Sonam Tsemo (1142 – 1182 CE) and Jetsun Drakpa Gyaltsen (1147 – 1216 CE), his grandson Sakya Pandita (1182 – 1251 CE) and Sakya Pandita’s nephew Chogyal Pakpa (1235 – 1280 CE). These Sakya lamas became so famous that the Mongol emperors of China became their patrons. In 1253 CE, the Mongol emperor of China, Kublai Khan conferred the dominion of Tibet upon his lama, Chogyal Pakpa. The Sakya rule of Tibet during this period lasted for approximately a century.

Apart from the Lamdre teachings, which were derived from the Hevajra Root Tantra, is a set of teachings known as the 13 Golden Dharmas, especially treasured by the various Sakya lineage holders. This set of 13 Tantric practices originated from India and were compiled by Sachen Kunga Nyingpo. They consist of:

  1. the Three Vajrayogini initiations – the Naro, Indra and Maitri traditions
  2. the Three Great Red Ones (Marpo Kor Sum) – Kurukulle, Maharakta Ganapati and Takiraja
  3. the Three Small Red Ones (Marchung Kor Sum) – Kurukulle, Red Vasudhara and Tinuma
  4. and the four additional initiations of Singhananda, Shabala Garuda, Black Manjushri and Red Dzambala

In addition, there are several other important Higher Tantric systems besides the Vajrayogini Tantras that are featured in the 13 Golden Dharmas. These include the Hevajra, Vajrakilaya and Guhyasamaja Tantras, each of which has their own special Dharma protectors. The important wisdom protectors practiced within the tradition are Panjaranatha Mahakala (the special protector for the Hevajra Tantras), Citipati (the protectors of the Vajrayogini Tantras) and Four-Faced Mahakala (the protector of the Guhyasamaja Tantras).

Besides these protectors, there are several other general protectors practiced within the tradition including Palden Lhamo, Ekajati and Chamsing (a protector practice proliferated by Sachen Kunga Nyingpo). The Sakyas also rely on the Three Kings (Gyalpo Sum) which consists of Dorje Shugden, Dorje Setrap, and Tsi’u Marpo (Kache Marpo). Finally, unique to the Sakya tradition is the practice of the three Bamo witches who are powerful unenlightened oath-bound protectors.

 

Lineage of succession within the Sakya tradition

Having been established by Khon Konchok Gyalpo, the Sakya tradition is closely linked to the Khon family. As such, the Sakya lineage throne holder has always hailed from this family line. Once a throne holder is chosen, this position is held for life. When the current Sakya throne holder (the Sakya Trizin) passes away, it falls to the next in line to assume leadership of the lineage and this throne holder will hold the position for life.

SakyaSuccession-008

The 33rd Sakya Trizin Pema Dudul Wangchuk established the Dolma Podrang, one of the two ‘palaces’ of the Sakya tradition. He was also an ardent practitioner of Dorje Shugden.

In the 14th Century, Tishri Kunga Lodro Gyaltsen (1299 – 1327 CE), who was the eldest grandson of Sakya Pandita’s brother, established four dynastic houses, of which only Ducho Ladrang has survived to this day. In the 18th Century however, Ducho Ladrang was split between two ‘palaces’, namely Dolma Podrang and Phuntsok Podrang. Pema Dudul Wangchuk established the Dolma Podrang, whilst Phuntsok Podrang was established by his youngest son, Kunga Rinchen. Ever since then, the leadership of the Khon Family (and therefore the Sakya tradition) has alternated between Dolma Podrang and Phuntsok Podrang.

The current head of Dolma Podrang is His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin, Ngawang Kunga Wangyal. When he passes away, leadership of the Sakya tradition will fall to the head of Phuntsok Podrang, His Eminence Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche who will become the 42nd Sakya Trizin. According to the traditional plan of succession, Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche would have held this office until his own passing. With the current Sakya Trizin’s announcement however, that will no longer be the case and a centuries’ old tradition has ceased to exist.

Members of both Sakya Podrangs and the line of succession for the position of Sakya Trizin. Click to enlarge.

Members of both Sakya Podrangs and the line of succession for the position of Sakya Trizin. Click to enlarge.

 

New directive concerning the future leadership of the Sakyas

His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin is also the head of Dolma Podrang. Together with His Holiness Dagchen Jigdral, he was implemented a change, that fundamentally alters the term of succession within the lineage.

His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin is also the head of Dolma Podrang. Together with His Holiness Dagchen Jigdral, he implemented a change, that fundamentally alters the term of succession within the lineage.

On May 8, 2014, the 41st Sakya Trizin released a statement regarding a discussion between Dolma Podrang and Phuntsok Podrang. The statement is titled ‘A Private Discussion between the Dolma Phodrang and Phuntsok Phodrang about a Resolution and New Directive Concerning the Future Role of the Sakya Trizin, the Head of the Sakya Order of Tibetan Buddhism‘. In the directive, the Sakya Trizin addressed the role of the Sakya throne holder. The tradition of holding lifetime office of the Sakya Trizin has formed an integral part of the Sakya tradition since the inception of the lineage by Khon Konchog Gyalpo. Meanwhile, the lineage’s leadership alternating between the two Podrangs has taken place since the palaces were established centuries ago.

This new directive however, marks a fundamental change to the line of succession within the lineage. Before his passing in 1959, Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro suggested that “the post of Sakya Trizin be made like the four Labrangs of the Ngor Monastery, which take turns every three years”. Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro, a great practitioner of the past who had received teachings and transmissions from all four major Tibetan Buddhist traditions, was primarily a Nyingma practitioner. Though he had significant influence due to his role as a great teacher, his suggestion was not immediately implemented at the time. However, it was this suggestion that the Sakya Trizin used as the basis for their change, announcing that both Podrangs have agreed to implement a new system of three-year terms for the office of Sakya Trizin, alternating between the senior members of each Podrang.

The resolution and new directive issued jointly by both Sakya Podrangs informing the public about the change in the rules of succession. This is the English version, click to enlarge.

The resolution and new directive issued jointly by both Sakya Podrangs informing the public about the change in the rules of succession. This is the English version, click to enlarge.

The resolution and new directive issued jointly by both Sakya Podrangs informing the public about the change in the rules of succession. This is the Tibetan version, click to enlarge.

The resolution and new directive issued jointly by both Sakya Podrangs informing the public about the change in the rules of succession. This is the Tibetan version, click to enlarge.

The implementation of this directive has a number of implications and repercussions, not in the least that the position of Sakya Trizin is no longer a lifetime office. Out of all the heads of the various lineages of Tibetan Buddhism, this would make the office of Sakya Trizin the shortest. The role of Karmapa, head of the Karma Kagyu tradition or the Gyalwang Drukpa, head of the Drukpa Kagyu tradition for example are all lifetime offices. Even in the case of the Gelug tradition, the Gaden Tripas, hold office for a seven-year term. This office however is not hereditary, like the Sakya tradition, nor a line of recognised reincarnations as is the case in the Karma Kagyu; the office of the Gaden Tripas is an elected office.

Regardless of which lineage is being addressed, the rules of succession for their leadership have existed since the beginning of each respective lineage. Therefore, since the Sakya Trizin’s recently-announced directive changes a centuries-established tradition of the Sakya lineage, it is natural to wonder why these rules are being changed so dramatically from a lifetime to such a short period.

Some people may feel that the reason for this new directive is to ensure all members of the family have the opportunity to teach the Dharma through their position as the Sakya Trizin. However, it has never been the case that a lama needs a high position or title in order to teach the sacred Dharma, uphold the lineage and make a true mark on the spiritual landscape, as seen in many examples throughout all Tibetan Buddhist traditions.

His Holiness the late Dagchen Jigdral Rinpoche (centre) with two of his grandsons, Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche (left) and Asanga Vajra Rinpoche (right) who are both in line for the position of the future Sakya Trizin.

His Holiness the late Dagchen Jigdral Rinpoche (centre) with two of his grandsons, Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche (left) and Asanga Vajra Rinpoche (right) who are both in line for the position of the future Sakya Trizin.

 

Why now?

It bears further investigation as to why an established tradition is being changed and why now, given that the suggestion by Jamyang Kyentse Chokyi Lodro was made more than 50 years ago. In fact, if the Sakya Trizin or other high lamas intended to change the tradition in this manner, and thought such a change was a good idea, it would have made more sense to change the tradition soon after the statement was made. Instead they waited over 50 years to implement it. This most obviously brings up the question as to why this change is being implemented now.

The question of timing is intimately linked to the question of why this change needs to be implemented in the first place, since the established lifetime term of the Sakya Trizin has been successful in the past. It has been effective for centuries in allowing previous throne holders to uphold and spread their holy lineage, as a throne holder is supposed to do. So why would a change even be necessary and to put it simply, why fix something that is not broken?

His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin (centre) with his two sons, Ratna Vajra Rinpoche (left) and Gyana Vajra Rinpoche (right) who are both in line for the position of the future Sakya Trizin.

His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin (centre) with his two sons, Ratna Vajra Rinpoche (left) and Gyana Vajra Rinpoche (right) who are both in line for the position of the future Sakya Trizin.

We may find the answer if we compare the office of a throne holder with a system that the majority of us would be more familiar with, that of political office. Whenever terms of office for political leaders are changed, it is usually to curb the duration in which a politician can exert their power and influence over a country.

In the United States of America, for example, the Congress passed in 1947 the 22nd Amendment to the American Constitution. This Amendment limits the number of times someone can run for and sit as the President of the United States, and it was in response to the case of President Franklin D. Roosevelt who decided to run for a 4th term despite his ill health. The Amendment limits the number of terms to two terms of four years each, following in the example of President George Washington who stepped down after two terms in office to avoiding the presidency from becoming a lifetime institution like the monarchy. Washington was also serious about preventing any one person from exercising totalitarian power and staying in office to the point of becoming uncontested.

In a more recent example, the Indonesian parliament restricted both the positions of President and Vice-President to two terms of five years, following the resignation of President Soeharto. His presidency, which lasted for 31 years, was marred by corruption and the oppression of those who opposed him. He resigned from his office after violent riots broke out against his rule in May 1998.

Whereas the examples given above are secular in nature, they have some relevance to the limitation of power that is taking place among the Sakyas now. It again begs the question as to why the new term of office for the Sakya Trizin is so short. Even the secular Presidencies of the USA and Indonesia are four- and five-year terms, respectively, and candidates can be elected for a second term as well.

A three-year term hardly seems long enough for a throne holder to ensure their medium to long-term plans to effectively administer their lineage are carried out with the desired results, as the previous thrones holders have done. Three years also opens the lineage to the danger of instability due to policies frequently changing between one Sakya Trizin to another.

What is more troubling though, is when measures to restrict a term of office are being taken in response to accusations of office bearers taking advantage of their position. In this case we find that in the Sakya Trizin’s own announcement, the Sakya Trizin himself states that he has “been seen to have benefited from privileges”. It is clear from his statement that there are people who criticise him for taking advantage of his position as the throne holder of the Sakya lineage. Who or how these allegations were made are not mentioned in the letter itself. However, the allegations troubled the Sakya Trizin enough to address them in the same statement where he announces the change of the lineage’s succession plans.

One has to wonder why the Sakya Trizin felt it was necessary that he address these allegations in the announcement. Were the allegations so vociferous and frequent that it became a matter of urgency that they should be addressed? Is there some truth to the rumours that the Sakya Trizin felt it necessary to quash the allegations as soon as possible?

Whatever his reasons are for addressing the accusations, what can definitely be concluded is that the relationship between both Podrangs has become strained. Accusations were made that the Sakya Trizin exploited his position and enough people had voiced their unhappiness about this, to a point where even the succession of the Sakyas had to be changed in order to quell the arguments. To give everyone an equal chance to assume the leadership and have access to all the resources, power and influence that such a position entails, changes had to be made to the Sakya line of succession.

It is a distant possibility that two Podrangs’ leaders made this announcement to herald a new, more open era in the succession plan of the Sakya Trizins. This is unlikely though, because the succession lineage is still limited within the two Podrangs and no one else is allowed to be considered for the role of the Sakya Trizin. Similarly, the succession is still limited by the rules of primogeniture; female offspring of the Sakya Trizins are never considered in any succession plans, even though they are said to be as attained as the Sakya Trizins themselves.

One would also assume that given the significance of this directive, the authors would have put more effort towards giving better reasons for the changes. It cannot be overstated how significant this change is. It is not minor in the way of considering whether tea should be served at pujas; it addresses one of the fundamental tenets of the Sakya tradition, and that is the succession of their leaders based on the fact they are emanations of Manjushri. However, the authors of the directive saw it fit to provide (in passing, no less) just one reason for changes to something so integral to their tradition – because Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro suggested for them to do so. In fact, more of the directive was devoted to the 41st Sakya Trizin addressing criticisms about him, than to providing legitimate reasons for making such a significant change to the Sakya Trizin succession.

What is interesting to note is that these tensions have probably existed since the founding of the two Podrangs. Remember that Dolma Podrang and Phuntsok Podrang, the two current households, were previously one household – Ducho Ladrang (household). After their split, it was only a matter of time before each Podrang would vie for the position of Sakya Trizin since each Podrang’s leader is equally entitled to the position. And while the Podrangs may be led by attained beings, they are not populated by enlightened staff and students who are susceptible to power struggles and games. Perhaps tensions between both Podrangs have been slowly growing since the time of their split, and these tensions came to a head with the allegations directed against the 41st Sakya Trizin as referenced to above.

 

Conclusion

As we have seen, the statement issued regarding the change in rules of succession between both Sakya Podrangs has repercussions for the office of Sakya Trizin. This much shorter term of office hardly seems long enough for a Sakya Trizin to carry out the traditional roles expected of this position. The fact that this change has been implemented recently, as opposed to over 50 years ago when the suggestion was first made by Jamyang Chokyi Lodro also confounds the issue.

Upon analysis of the situation, this change could be a precautionary measure against the possibility of any one Sakya Trizin developing totalitarian power over the lineage. The change has come about because of growing tensions between both Podrangs, which has existed since Ducho Ladrang split into two. Hence this decision was made in an attempt to curb the power and authority of a lifetime throne holder, and to give everyone equal access to the power, influence and resources that accompany the office of the Sakya Trizin. Whatever the case may be, both of these issues have a significant impact on the lineage, and only time will tell the far reaching consequences of these actions, not only for the Sakya tradition but Tibetan Buddhism as a whole.

 

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About Valentina Suhendra

Valentina met H.E. the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche in year 2006 and became his student one year later. Prior to joining Kechara, Valentina was an advisory director at one of the big four accounting firms.

Currently, Valentina is the chairwoman of Yayasan Kechara Indonesia, a foundation working on social community projects to benefit the community. Read more of her writing on her blog: www.valentinasuhendra.com
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27 Responses to Disharmony Within the Sakya?

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  1. Wan Wai Meng on Oct 29, 2016 at 3:13 am

    I think sometimes change is inevitable, but hopefully this change in the Sakya Trinzin succession was motivated by altruistic motivation. Perhaps in the past people had shorter lifetimes due to many factors, and now people lived much longer, so the opportunity to serve as Sakya Trinzin could be difficult to come across.

  2. Pema Thinley on Aug 2, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    Thank you so much for the post Valencia lah. I don’t know the true reason for the change but it is odd to me to change such system which embodies the upholding of the lineage and the related attainments for the benefits of the sentient beings. But in one way i feel the enlightened beings make the decisions only for the benefits of others.

    I pray for the better future fo the Buddha Dharma _()_

  3. Sharon Ong on Jul 24, 2016 at 11:35 pm

    One of the things I like about Rinpoche’s blog is, the posts are varied in subject matter. I must admit that this post has created more awareness in me with regards to the Sakya lineage and its own share of issues. Going through this post, some thoughts popped into my mind:

    1) I believe that all heads of the individual lineage are highly attained masters and will have the best interests of the lineage at heart. The change of the lineage’s succession plan that has remained unchanged until now, seems rather odd to me. Why would a highly attained master “been seen to have benefited from privileges”? It suspiciously sounds like a smear campaign to me.

    2) The change in succession plans to a 3-year term, on the surface, sounds like a fair arrangement giving equal opportunities to both podrangs. However, I am not sure how well this will work out as 3 years seems like too short for any policies to be implemented and run properly.

    3) The short 3-year term where policies cannot fully “mature to reap its benefits” may create instability which could lead to the weakening of the Sakya lineage. Am wondering if this is the real intention of the people behind the change.

    I am not really at the level to say for sure if this change would bring benefit or otherwise but I hope that it is not what it seem to the ordinary people like me and has a deeper hidden benefits to the Sakya lineage and Tibetan Buddhism as a whole in the long run.

    Thank you for this post, Valentina, Pastor Niral and everyone involved in this post.

  4. JP on Jul 23, 2016 at 10:33 am

    I would assume that the throne holders are either highly attained beings or enlightened beings. As such, regardless of their behaviours and any changes they make, it is ultimately for the benefit of sentient beings.

    Policies and structures of a religious systems are in place to make it easier for practitioners to study and practice the Buddhadharma. Methods to spread the teachings can change in accordance to the people’s karma. We see this all the time with great lamas.

    Furthermore, for HH the Sakya Trizin to make this major change, it shows that he is not attached to his title and position. Highly attained beings do not need big titles and positions to spread the holy dharma.

  5. Julia Tan on Jul 22, 2016 at 9:00 am

    Very sad to read about another article about politics in religion. I believe a spiritual leader should focus on benefiting others. means the teachings should be the most important tasks in their daily life. No matter how high the position the lama is holding if he has no attainment due to no pure motivation, clean samaya, vows and devotion to his guru that make no different or meaning of who is becoming the next throne holder.

    If the coming throne holder or the successor has a pure heart of spreading the pure Dharma and the lineage of Sakya, he will benefits countless people even though just three years he’s allowed to be the next Sakya Trizin. There are many great and attained lamas out there without any name nor position, spreading Dharma and their lineage purely to benefits countless people all over the world. Buddha himself started His teaching journey with nothing, not even shoes on his feet, but with his pure heart to liberate all sentient beings hence we are practicing his teachings until today. So I do not see any problems with it.

  6. Jace Chong on Jul 22, 2016 at 12:25 am

    Thanks Rinpoche, Valentina and Pastor Niral for the article.

    Throughout the history, Tibetan society accepted politics + religion in their daily living. I guess maybe spirituality plays important part in Tibet hence everything including politics are filled with the religious elements. Only this few years we saw the news of Dalai Lama resigned from political head taken over by lay prime minister. But we know Dalai Lama’s decision still play important role for Central Tibetan Administration.

    Personally I think instead of blind faith, people nowadays start to think about logic and judge thing from secular point of view. Transparency of how the religion operates has become something people gauge their faith. This is so different during the Buddha’s time, where people has tremendous faith. I think this is nothing wrong as different era there are different development of Buddhism. With all the questioning and preventing “monopoly”, I believe these are part of how this new term come about.

    I am not sure how this 3 year term can preserve Sakya lineage, but to think about people do question for “unquestionable” rules indicates that people are concerning about the importance of keeping a lineage pure. This makes me think perhaps people would like to preserve the pure lineage of Dorje Shugden and Tsongkhapa’s teachings in Gelug worth to be considered too.

  7. Eric kksiow on Jul 21, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    I don’t have much interest reading about political articles. After the sharing of this topic with KFR team, i am glad to know more that’s not just politic inside this topic, when go deeper thinking i agree what Pastor Henry said :

    And spiritual organisations and places of worship are not spared. There are bound to be people because of wanting power who will do anything to satisfy their greed. For example, the controversy surrounding the unjust ban on the practice of Dorje Shugden is among one of the political games played by the Tibetan leadership. They could not care less who got hurt as long as they remain in power.

    Thank You to Valentina and KFR team..!!
    _/\_
    Eric kksiow

  8. Khoo Hou Haw on Jul 21, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    Why is the change never happened 5 years ago is quite obvious. It was when the tibetan just fled to India and lost all their monasteries, their privileges. Being a “Sakya Trizin” that time means more jobs and more difficulties to overcome since they need to start everything again from nothing. No one will want to take over the position and get their hands dirty. Now that things have been established and settled down, people would start to jealous of the privileges and power of Sakya Trizin and start criticising Him and forgot about His Holiness’ efforts in reestablishing the Sakya monastery in India and holding the Sakya linage. I sincerly wish that this change will not be influenced by any third party’s game of power so that the following Sakya Trizin can focus on their holy mission of turning the Dharma wheel.

    Thank you

  9. Pastor Chia on Jul 21, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    Sakya lineage are unit blessed by lord Manjushiri pass down their lineage and tradition to the next generation over centuries. Currently the two prodrang are take term of every 3 year as the Sakya Tenzin roll to up hold the whole Sakya lineage, which seen difficult to organize efficiency in such short term. I sincere hope both Sakya prodrang can be united and harmony to up keep their precious tradition without interrupt by any political issue.

  10. June Kang on Jul 21, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    When I read this article, that is only one word came to my mind —“power”. What happened since to be like is more power issues. As the writers pointed out “hence the decision was made in attempt to curb the power and authority of a lifetime throne holder”. Is that they are worry that they cannot control Sakya Trizin to do as they wish? This Is just my guess.

    But to my surprise is that how can Sakya Trizin so easily denounce Dorje Shugden as a Sakya deity?? Is that also political and power??

  11. Pastor Antoinette Kass on Jul 21, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    The tradition of changing the leadership between the two Podrangs is very old and successful. A long lineage of succession is stated in the article. This is why it is astonishing that all of a sudden such a big change has been announced. The change from a lifetime commitment to 3 years is not easy to understand.

    It seems that there is disharmony within the Sakya and such a short commitment does not seem beneficial. Whatever the reasons are, the effect will hopefully bring those two families closer together as it does not seem beneficial to rule three years without intense cooperation.

    Thank you Rinpoche, and thank you Valentina for elucidating the interesting history of the Sakya Trinzins and Sakyas and the drastic changes that are happening right now.

  12. pammie yap on Jul 21, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    “The origins of the holy Sakya tradition can be traced back to the Indian Mahasiddha Virupa of the 9th Century. His main teachings are called the Lamdre, which literally means the ‘Path and the Fruit’ teachings. Lamdre forms the core of teachings within the Sakya tradition.”

    This is the confusing part. It is said that Mahasiddha Virupa is one of the previous existences of Dorje Shugden (http://www.dorjeshugden.org/overview/the-previous-existences-of-dorje-shugden) therefore, if the lineage is based on His teachings, how come they renounce the practice? On one hand, they are following Virupa’s teachings and then on the other hand, they do not practice Dorje Shugden (who IS also Virupa) because, perhaps, HHDL said so? And then what about the 31st and 37th Sakya Trizin? They are also said to be the emanation of Dorje Shugden.

    Religions should not be based on politics. We as practitioners, want to practice and not be pulled into conflicts. As the head of Sakya, perhaps He could have said something to help lift the ban instead of doing what HHDL is doing.
    Dorje Shugden ban is real and much sufferings and segregation is happening now as we speak. Please help to stop that instead. Help lift the ban.

  13. nicholas on Jul 21, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Not sure how this three-year term able to serve best for the Sakya but personally is obvious that this decision is more to control on power monopoly. When politic come into the picture it always ruins the essence of the pure truth be it in spiritual. As time changes policy change accordingly to suit what needed to achieve at that particular time.

    What important especially in spiritual aspect, we can change in whatever way but the essence of the spiritual practice should not. If it does then it is too bad just like what happen to the Dorje Shugden ban which only causes suffering.

  14. Pastor Henry Ooi on Jul 21, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    Where there are humans, there are politics. Government, in communities, at work, at home. And spiritual organisations and places of worship are not spared. There are bound to be people because of wanting power who will do anything to satisfy their greed. For example, the controversy surrounding the unjust ban on the practice of Dorje Shugden is among one of the political games played by the Tibetan leadership. They could not care less who got hurt as long as they remain in power.

  15. Pastor Ong Moh Mei on Jul 21, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    Throughout our history, religions have never been truly free from the strong influences of politics and personal interests. It is naive for anyone to expect differently. However, while the management and policies of any religious organization may change, in most cases the fundamental teachings and practices do not.

    It is somewhat interest why the policy for the Sakya Trizin throne was changed and the complete true stories may never be revealed. Religious organizations keep just as many “secrets” as any governments. We rarely practice truth or honesty being the best policy.

    Impermanence is one of the core principle of Buddhism. As such I guess we should also not be surprised with any form of changes that could manifest.

    • Mingwen on Jul 21, 2016 at 11:29 pm

      “However, while the management and policies of any religious organization may change, in most cases the fundamental teachings and practices do not.”

      I’m agree with you on what you stated above , Pastor Moh Mei. People are people, we would easily change our minds just in split second due to external or internal factors. Thus, wrong decision could be make as our minds are not trained and strong enough. However, the teachings of Buddha(who has found enlightenment) would definitely be the only source that we could rely on and we should work hard and keep ourselves on the path. Personally, I think that nothing else is matter when one’s motivation behind any action is right and positive.

  16. Stella Cheang on Jun 17, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    As a follower of the Gelug lineage, I would like to think that Sakya is one of the other lineages that is closer to us relatively speaking, mainly because of the intertwined teachings, e.g. the Dharmapala practices of Dorje Shugden, Setrap, and Kache Marpo. Sakya lineage has a rich line of throne-holders who assert influences in both spiritual and secular matters for over a millennium. The core teachings of Sakya is called the lamdre and can be traced back to the great Mahasiddha Virupa (also known as Birwapa). Thus, it is very sad for me to read the announcement by the current Sakya Trizin that change the fundamental policies regarding succession of the lineage. According to traditional succession plan, the Sakya Trizin, once ascend to the throne, will hold this position until his passing. The new directive by H.H. the 41st Sakya Trizin effectively reduce the life term of the throne holder to just 3 years.

    While this is highly unusual, H.H. the 41st Sakya Trizin mentioned in the same breathe of his announcement that he has been accused of benefitting from his position. This implies 2 things; (1) the decision to change the centuries old succession policy is to address the issue of the abuse of power by the current Sakya Trizin, and (2) the resolution of long term policy for Sakya lineage may no longer resides with the Sakya throne holders since 3 years term is hardly significant. Since the Sakya throne holder alternate between the 2 Podrangs, it would also mean that differing policy would be arbitrated by a third party, possibly of the ruler of the Tibetan Buddhism. Regardless of how the future will pan out for the Sakya school, it is a pity that the succession tradition established centuries ago has to give way now to implausible reason and sacrifice a tradition that existed since the beginning of the lineage.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Valentina / Pastor Niral for this article.

    Humbly, bowing down,
    Stella Cheang

  17. Sofi on Jun 15, 2016 at 2:26 am

    This is an interesting intrigue that has everyone guessing as to why would the current 41st Sakya Trizin amend the inherited lifetime throne holder position even if it had been suggested over 50 years ago by Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro. What had happened in the interim from 1959 until now for that advice to be taken. If it had any importance, then it would have been implemented back in 1959 or thereabouts.

    As Grace Leong mentioned, could the new ruling had been done in favour of the 41st Sakya Trizin’ s own heirs as if going by seniority of age and accomplishments, then both his sons would be the immediate next two successive throne holders from year 2017. And yet the letter had the signatures and seals of both Phodrangs, the Dolma and Phungtsok, which means that they agreed together on the terms of office. Somewhere there was a rumour of the possibility of forgery but it may just be that. a rumour.

    “Ever since I assumed the responsibility of the leadership, just before the “change of time”, 1959 – and a long time had passed since then – it may be possible that at times I, as Sakya Trisin, have been seen to have benefited from privileges. In reality, as soon as I assumed the responsibility, the “change of time” took place. When I arrived as a refugee, there was nothing in terms of monasteries and community in India that we could depend upon. For everything we needed or had depended upon, we had to ask of acquaintances and had to face many hundreds of difficulties for a long period of time. This is neither a “boast’ nor have I anything to show of accomplishment, and yet, as all can see for themselves, I have at least maintained the presence and the name of the Sakya Order.”

    What strikes me from this statement was that in 1959 when the 41st Sakya Trizin escaped Tibet, he was only 14 years of age (born in 1945). From what he had written, they had no established monastery or community in India and had to depend on “acquaintances for necessities and help. Could he had received help from the “acquaintances” that explains his latter declaration of protector Dorje Shugden as being the “devil” and toeing the line of these acquaintances. Maybe now with the wisdom of “age”, he may have realised his errors and to prevent further degeneration of the Sakya Order, he is helping to prevent further control by the acquaintances. If that is the case then it would be like he had “sold his soul to the devil” and is trying to recoup the damage before he departs.

    However I do agree that a 3 year term is awfully short to implement any beneficial plans for their order as the next Sakya Trizin may not agree and just scrape and replace his own. And so it goes with nothing really accomplished.

    Whatever it maybe, the 41st Sakya Trizin is suppose to be an attained being and as such I do hope he is implementing the changes for the benefit of his Sakya Order.

  18. Harold Musetescu on Jun 14, 2016 at 7:32 am

    In 2008 the 41st Sakya Trizin publicly insulted and degraded Dorje Shugden on behalf of his new boss the 14th Dalai Lama. What Sakya Trizin did was back the BAN by refusing to fight for this SAKYA DHARMAPALA. By doing this he attacked all three of the Sakya “Gyalpo Sum” or the three “King Spirits”. The three Sakya “King Spirits” are Dorje Shugden, Setrap and Tsui (Kache) Marpo.

    We all know that Tsiu (Kache) Marpo is the “First Minister” to Lord Dorje Shugden.
    We know that Setrap saved Dorje Shugden from death at the hands of Mindrolling Tulku and his “Fire Puja”. It was Setrap who lead Dorje Shugden to his new home with the Sakya. It was the 30th Sakya Trizin who enthroned Dorje Shugden as a dharmpala and made him the third member of the “Gyalpo Sum”. We know of the love and devotion the 30th,31th,32nd,33rd,35th and 39th Sakya Trizins held for Dorje Shugden. They also loved and were devoted to Setrap and Tsiu (Kache) Marpo. But not this 41th Sakya Trizin who has shown all of them total disrespect.
    The Dalai Lama is more important that the Sakya “Gyalpo Sum.

    I believe by doing all this Sakya Trizin has created massive “Black Karma” not only for himself but also the Sakya Sect. I have never heard of the now deceased head of the Phuntsok Phrodrang (Palace) His Holiness Dagchen Tulku Rinpoche ever speak out AGAINST Dorje Shugden.

    Will the three “King Spirits”, Dorje Shugden, Setrap and Kache Marpo now act as true “Dharmapalas”? Will they seek revenge against this evil 41st Sakya Trizin and his Dolma Phrodrang (Palace) family lineage? Does all this Sakya Trizin really care about is the continued power of the Dolma CORPORATE LINEAGE. Is his FAMILY CORPORATE BUSINESS more important then the Sakya teachings or his three “King Spirits”. It appears it is more important for him to be buddy, buddies with the Dalai Lama then hold true to the Sakya beliefs and teachings.

    Could there be in the very near future two 42nd Sakya Trizins. Will there be a split between these two palaces and there three year period of rule be declared VOID.
    Will the new 42nd Phuntsok Sakya Trizin declare the 3 year term void and return to the “OLD TRADITION”. The old tradition of the Sakya Trizin holding his title for LIFE.

    We will all have to wait to see how the “SAKYA GAME OF THRONES” play out.
    Can there be two separate palaces but only one KING. Or will we see two self declared 42nd Sakya Trizin’s, one from the Dolma and one from the Phontsok?

    Stay tuned for the continuing drama of the Dalai Lama and his employee the 41st Sakya Trizin.

    • Pastor Shin Tan on Jun 15, 2016 at 5:54 am

      Dear Harold,
      It also surprises me that the Sakya Trizin spoke against the Dorje Shugden practice when the three Kings/ Gyalpo Sum of Dorje Shugden, Setrap and Tsiu (Kache) Marpo are Sakya protectors, and Dorje Shugden was first enthroned as a protector in Sakya. I have heard that many Sakya Monasteries, especially in Tibet were surprised and reluctant to give up Dorje Shugden practice because the practice has such a long tradition in the lineage.

      It does seem that the current Sakya Trizin is friendly with the 14th Dalai Lama, but I don’t think that is a good reason to be a ‘traitor’ to the lineage by going against the Dorje Shugden practice that is practised by many Sakya Trizins, and some were even emanations of Dorje Shugden! Let’s hope there is not more drama to add to the many dramas in the various schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

      • Harold Musetescu on Jun 15, 2016 at 8:32 am

        We have two 17th Karmapa’s.
        We will have in the future two 15th Dalai Lama’s. One will be from Tibet who will be pro Dorje Shugden and one from Indian who will continue the ban against Dorje Shugden.
        Why can’t we have two 42nd Sakya Trizin’s?
        The Dolma 42nd Sakya Trizin will be ANTI Dorje Shugden and the Phuntsog 42nd will be PRO Dorje Shugden.

        As you stated to me that the 41st Sakya Trizin is a “TRAITOR TO THE LINEAGE BY GOING AGAINST THE DORJE SHUGDEN PRACTICE.”
        To the best of my knowledge this never happened under the leadership of the late H.H. Dagchen Tulku Rinpoche of the Phuntsog Palace.
        I believe that the 41st Sakya Trizin is a “Traitor” to Dorje Shugden,Setrap and Tsiu (Kache) Marpo. By going against Dorje Shugden he also went against Setrap and Tsiu (Kache) Marpo. They are THREE BROTHERS who all work together and especially helping Dorje Shugden against the Dalai Lama’s EVIL LINEAGE.
        He has publicly insulted the 30th,31st,32nd,33rd,35th,37th and the 39th Sakya Trizin. Does he now claim that they were all WRONG in the practice of Dorje Shugden? His answer to that is simply, YES. The puppet Sakya Trizin agrees with his puppet master the 14th Dalai that Dorje Shugen is evil and must be banned.
        Will he now claim that the Dharmapalas Setrap and Tsiu (Kache) Marpo are just as evil as Dorje Shugden? Should they be BANNED by the Sakya for the help they have and continue to render to Lord Dorje Shugden.

        So the new future of Tibetan Buddhism is that the Gelug,Sakya and the Karma Kagyu will all have TWO heads and not ONE head. Just imagine TWO 15th Dalai Lama’s, TWO 42nd Sakya Trizin’s and TWO 17th Karmapa’s. How long before the Nyingmapa join in?

    • Kunchok on Mar 3, 2017 at 7:18 am

      The accusation that HH Sakya Trizin denounced Shugden on the advice of HH Dalai Lama is misleading. Campagin against Shugden has been going on at least since late nineteenth century in Sakya Order. The eminent masters like Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, and Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro spoke against practice of Shugden, and even the root guru of current Sakya Trizin Khangsar Khenchen Ngawang Shenphen Nyingpo dismantled alter of Shugden in Ngor Evam Monastery. Therefore, though it seems like HH Sakya Trizin has acted on the advice of HH Dalai Lama, in fact there was a long tradition of campaign against Shugen in Sakya Sect. HH Saky Trizin clearly said this in an interview.

  19. Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai on Jun 14, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Thank you Valentina and Pastor Niral for this informative blog post. What stood out for me the most were the following points:

    1) as you so rightly pointed out, nothing significant can be achieved with a three-year term. Whatever the 42nd Sakya Trizin does is in danger of being undone by the 43rd Sakya Trizin, and the 43rd’s edicts being undone by the 44th, and so forth.

    2) so as you said, it almost feels like the Sakya succession will become racked with problems here on out, because there is danger of great confusion arising. What happens if the 42nd Sakya Trizin says something is wrong, then the 43rd Sakya Trizin says something is right. Who do you follow?! After all, it was just three years ago that the 42nd proclaimed something as wrong, that the 43rd is now saying is good.

    3) what if one of the future Sakya Trizins decides to undo the whole directive, and revert back to the lifetime term? Will the Sakya Trizin that is supposed to succeed him kick up a fuss?

    4) and if all of this takes places, what impact will it have on practitioners and on their confidence in the lineage when they see those at the top fighting tooth and nail to hang on to their power? How will it impact their confidence in the teachers when they see those at the top contradicting one another? Samsaric life is confusing enough as it is, without having to create further confusion to add to it!

    No wonder real practitioners eschew rank, position and power, because it comes with so much politics and power wrangling. So much time is wasted on all of this politics when it could be devoted to study and practice.

  20. graceleong on Jun 13, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Based on the new Resolution and Directive of the role of the Sakya Trizin, whereby from 2017 onwards, they will only hold the post for a duration of 3 years after which the post must be turned over to the new designate without fail. Based on the Sakya Podrang’s line of succession, the following should be the sequence of the Sakya Trizin leaders:-
    1st in line :- H.E Sakya Dhungsey Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche (born in 1993)(Phuntsok Podrang). If he assumes the Sakya Trizin position he would be 24 years of age.
    2nd in line :- Ratna Vajra Rinpoche (born in 1974)(Dolma Podrang).If he assumes the Sakya Trizin position he would be 46 years of age.
    3rd in line :- H.E. Khondung Abhaya Vajra Sakya (born in 1997)(Phuntsok Podrang).If he assumes the Sakya Trizin position he would be 26 years of age.
    4th in line :- Gyana Vajra Rinpoche ( born in 1979)(Dolma Podrang).If he assumes the Sakya Trizin position he would be 47 years of age.
    5th in line :- H.E Khondung Asanga Vajra Sakya Rinpoche (born in 1999)(Phuntsok Podrang). If he assumes the Sakya Trizin position he would be 30 years of age.

    Note that there seems to be a big difference in the age of the successors between the two podrangs; the leaders from the Dolma Podrang are older then those from the Phuntsok Podrang.
    In the Resolution and Directive, it was stated that both generation of the Podrangs take turns assuming the responsibility of the role of Sakya Trizin by “SENIORITY OF AGE” coupled with the required “QUALIFICATIONS”. The qualifications are quite extensive http://www.sakya.org/pdf/HHST_Letter_Eng.pdf
    Not an easy task to achieve by the age of 24 !!
    Also, if the new directive is based on “SENIORITY OF AGE” then the Phuntsok Podrang successors will not be enthroned until the Dolma Podrang successors have completed their terms ie 6 years time in year 2023 !!

    The Resolution and Directive is not very clear on some of the facts above. If it ends up favouring one Podrang from the other then conflict and controversies will arise !! I hope that will not be the case.

    The intention and motivation for the changes in the system of enthroning Sakya Trizin should be concentrated purely on benefiting more sentient beings. It should not be tainted by the 8 Worldly concerns !!
    As with the denouncement of the Dorje Shugden practice made by the 41st Sakya Trizin – that clearly is tainted, as he prefers to remain “safe and popular” with the majority !!

    successors between

    • Joy on Jun 14, 2016 at 2:48 am

      Wow Grace… Good observation!

      It is indeed true what you say that the change of the system of enthronement such raises a lot of eyebrows and give questionable doubt especially the way the resolution and new directive has been written.

      For the current Sakya Trizin to actually make such a s statement “been seen to have benefited from privileges” in the letter is very uncalled for. It makes the whole change in the Sakya’s enthronement system look like there is some kind of disturbing dispute going on, and that this change was a manifestation because of it. If this is the case then I would think this is just the beginning of much bigger problem and conflict.

      It sure is interesting how Sakya Trinzin could slam down the practice of his forefathers who basically wrote prayers and enthroned Dorje Shugden from the very beginning. Why would you do that and isn’t that like saying Manjushri is wrong too since they are supposedly emanations of Manjusri?

      So many things actually points at the fact that the current Sakya Trinzin is more concern about his status and his fame than the truth and his own lineage fathers. How sad is this, another sign of the degenerate times? So I couldn’t agree with you more when you say “The intention and motivation for the changes in the system of enthroning Sakya Trizin should be concentrated purely on benefiting more sentient beings. It should not be tainted by the 8 Worldly concerns !!”

    • Pastor Shin Tan on Jun 15, 2016 at 5:44 am

      Dear Grace,
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts as I didn’t think about the age factor earlier. The whole purpose of the Sakya Trizin institution was to benefit sentient beings. If this turns into a power struggle, or any of the future Sakya Trizin declare the 3 year term void and return to the old system for their own sake, that would cause a religious turmoil.

      I am also of the opinion that a 3-year term may not be very beneficial for the continuation of long term projects, and there will be instability due to differences in policies by different Heads of school. Nevertheless, I do hope that the leaders in Dolma Podrang and Phuntsok Podrang can work together, like a council to protect the lineage and tradition. I agree with Valentina that Lamas do not need high position or title in order to teach the sacred Dharma, but perhaps the benefits that the current Sakya Trizin has “been seen to have benefited” have created much problems, and the only way to satisfy all parties is this 3-year term which the leaders have agreed on.

  21. Martin on Jun 12, 2016 at 10:18 am

    This is yet another unusual development in Tibetan Buddhism. We have seen the Gelug lineage divided because of the Dorje Shugden issue; we have seen the chaos in the Karma Kagyu school due to the lineage now having two heads or Karmapas; we have seen how the largely shamanistic Bön suddenly became an official Buddhist tradition and now we see the Sakya sounding so ‘corporate’ and secular.

    What amazes me most about the Sakya Trizin is how he can so easily denounce Dorje Shugden as a Sakya deity. I don’t know if it is mere coincidence but the Sakya clan seems to have declined in its stature since the Sakya throne holder abjured the clan’s own Dorje Shugden heritage.

    I read the Sakya Trizin’s announcement and was quit surprised to see that the head of the Sakya sought the blessing (or was it permission) of the Dalai Lama for a matter that is exclusively for the Sakya to decide. But then again, I see the Dalai Lama’s involvement in the creation of the 2 Karmapas. I cannot say for sure if all these involvements by His Holiness the Dalai Lama was necessary to keep things today, or whether His Holiness’s interference precipitated the chaos.

    Anyway, His Holiness is Avalokiteshvara and should ‘know better’.

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  • Lin Mun
    Friday, Apr 28. 2017 04:00 PM
    Everything we offer to Buddha is a form of mind transformation and practise our mind to be focus even when doing water offering. When pouring the water into the bowl we have to recite Om Ah Hum (3 times), think positively and pouring it slowly so it does not spill and leaving the space of a grain of rice before reaching the top. After offering we also have to clean the bowls properly without leaving stain. All this is to train our mind.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing the many benefits and water offering in a simple to understand article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/making-water-offerings-to-the-buddhas.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 28. 2017 03:38 PM
    Trolls are assiociates as beings of Scandinavian folklore.A large number of different mythological creatures continue to live on in Scandinavian folklore.They have different shapes,habitat and filthy features . There are also numerous tales of trolls told and retold.Trolls are also believed to have the magigal powers, which were folktales ,posses capabilities that are beyond human .What ever it was a remnant of a long-lost reality for sure. I do believe that there’s a very high chance trolls had existed in the past.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing ,i do enjoyed all the stories in these article even though it just folk tales.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/the-hidden-nature-of-trolls.html
  • Jason
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 11:54 PM
    People always expect return on some contribution being done especially in charity events. When the return was under their expectations then they will feel sad or unhappy.
    As Rinpoche said, Dharma is a teachings to transform our mind to become bodicitta or selfless to benefit others without condition. Once we practiced selfless mind, our mind will not be affected by others people reaction.
    What will be my legacy? I think this is not really important to me anymore once I know Dharma teachings from Rinpoche.
    Thanks Datuk May for sharing to benefit more people.

    Jason

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

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

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

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

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this heartwarming article.

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

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

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

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

    Jason

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

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

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

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

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

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-12.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Messages from Rinpoche

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CREDITS

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

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

Tsem Rinpoche

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
Holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini\'s blessing can be found when we decide to focus out to others instead of in to only ourselves.
~ Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini's blessing can be found when we decide to focus out to others instead of in to only ourselves. ~ Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
His Holiness Vajradhara Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Monastery who is the refuge of countless, gives a clear explanation of Dorje Shugden. One is able to hear his holy voice and translation by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen! Please see here and share: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=122352
2 weeks ago
His Holiness Vajradhara Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Monastery who is the refuge of countless, gives a clear explanation of Dorje Shugden. One is able to hear his holy voice and translation by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen! Please see here and share: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=122352
: This picture says it all. Click on it to enlarge and read and please share.
3 weeks ago
: This picture says it all. Click on it to enlarge and read and please share.
This is a simple chart showing the three main psychic channels used in tantric meditations to control the winds, raise tummo (fire energy), gain higher consciousness and insight and also for gaining siddhis. These channels are used in meditations for controlling the mind, when the mind ejects from the body (phowa) and one\'s death. These three channels are very important. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
This is a simple chart showing the three main psychic channels used in tantric meditations to control the winds, raise tummo (fire energy), gain higher consciousness and insight and also for gaining siddhis. These channels are used in meditations for controlling the mind, when the mind ejects from the body (phowa) and one's death. These three channels are very important. Tsem Rinpoche
I think my cute doggie Oser is actually Tintin\'s dog Snowy!
3 weeks ago
I think my cute doggie Oser is actually Tintin's dog Snowy!
Great Masters of Gaden Shartse Monastery. From left to right: His Eminence Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, His Holiness Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, H.E. Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, His Holiness 101st Gaden Tripa throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal.
3 weeks ago
Great Masters of Gaden Shartse Monastery. From left to right: His Eminence Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, His Holiness Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, H.E. Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, His Holiness 101st Gaden Tripa throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal.
 Left to right: Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl. The three of them are my beautiful and loved Schnauzer dogs. They loved looking through the window to see traffic, people and movement. They loved the smells that drifted through their little noses. I love seeing the three of them together like this. I love them. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Left to right: Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl. The three of them are my beautiful and loved Schnauzer dogs. They loved looking through the window to see traffic, people and movement. They loved the smells that drifted through their little noses. I love seeing the three of them together like this. I love them. Tsem Rinpoche
Little Mumu boy...he loved balloons. When he saw them, he wanted to get close and perhaps bite them. Cute. I love this picture of Mumu reaching for the balloons. He was young and healthy! This picture captures his energy, enthusiasm, curiosity and high energy. I love this picture of him chasing the balloons. His pictures are always so nice....He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Little Mumu boy...he loved balloons. When he saw them, he wanted to get close and perhaps bite them. Cute. I love this picture of Mumu reaching for the balloons. He was young and healthy! This picture captures his energy, enthusiasm, curiosity and high energy. I love this picture of him chasing the balloons. His pictures are always so nice....He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
Little Mumu boy and myself.. He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Little Mumu boy and myself.. He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
2017-His Holiness the 101st Gaden Tripa, Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal is doing well and 90 years old. His Holiness Lungrik Namgyal is a powerful master of sutra and tantra and practitioner of Dorje Shugden. Currently residing in France.
3 weeks ago
2017-His Holiness the 101st Gaden Tripa, Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal is doing well and 90 years old. His Holiness Lungrik Namgyal is a powerful master of sutra and tantra and practitioner of Dorje Shugden. Currently residing in France.
One of the most sacred statues of Avalokitesvara made of sandalwood housed in Lhasa, Tibet. He has shown miracles also. Every pilgrim wishes to make offerings to this Lord of Compassion.
3 weeks ago
One of the most sacred statues of Avalokitesvara made of sandalwood housed in Lhasa, Tibet. He has shown miracles also. Every pilgrim wishes to make offerings to this Lord of Compassion.
 Sacred Avalokitesvara statue in Nepal. Thousands come to worship this special Buddha as it has conferred wishes in the past.
3 weeks ago
Sacred Avalokitesvara statue in Nepal. Thousands come to worship this special Buddha as it has conferred wishes in the past.
Tsem Rinpoche\'s Vajra Yogini statue and offerings
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche's Vajra Yogini statue and offerings
Two of my teachers from Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India. Left side is Most Venerable Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen whom I lived with for 8 years in Los Angeles where his centre Thubten Dhargye Ling is located. On the right is the abbot emeritus H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche the scholar and yogi. I was very fortunate to have them in my life and learn so much dharma from them. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Two of my teachers from Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India. Left side is Most Venerable Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen whom I lived with for 8 years in Los Angeles where his centre Thubten Dhargye Ling is located. On the right is the abbot emeritus H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche the scholar and yogi. I was very fortunate to have them in my life and learn so much dharma from them. Tsem Rinpoche
 It is so wonderful to be kind to people, be caring, feed them, make sure they are healthy and share dharma if they are interested with them for their future. But simply to be nice to others is worth getting up and being alive...otherwise why be alive to hurt/use/distrust and hate others? No point living that way..must change that..... It is nice to live our lives to benefit others and be patient even if we have been hurt before because by caring we can heal the hurt and \'defeat\' the ones that hurt us because we don\'t become bitter..... Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
It is so wonderful to be kind to people, be caring, feed them, make sure they are healthy and share dharma if they are interested with them for their future. But simply to be nice to others is worth getting up and being alive...otherwise why be alive to hurt/use/distrust and hate others? No point living that way..must change that..... It is nice to live our lives to benefit others and be patient even if we have been hurt before because by caring we can heal the hurt and 'defeat' the ones that hurt us because we don't become bitter..... Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche\'s heritage in China. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=120499
4 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche's heritage in China. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=120499
Thank you Buddhist Pastor Chia for sharing your story on how you met His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche over 20 years ago. We can learn much from your story.~Admin  Please read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116928
4 weeks ago
Thank you Buddhist Pastor Chia for sharing your story on how you met His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche over 20 years ago. We can learn much from your story.~Admin Please read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116928
Mumu boy is incredibly photogenic. He is beyond cute. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
Mumu boy is incredibly photogenic. He is beyond cute. Tsem Rinpoche
 (left to right) Rabten Tulku, Gonsar Rinpoche, Gyume Kensur Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, H.H. Gaden Trisur Rinpoche (France)
4 weeks ago
(left to right) Rabten Tulku, Gonsar Rinpoche, Gyume Kensur Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, H.H. Gaden Trisur Rinpoche (France)
Beautiful 200 roses arrived today for me as a gift from Su Ming. Very kind and thoughtful of her as usual. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
Beautiful 200 roses arrived today for me as a gift from Su Ming. Very kind and thoughtful of her as usual. Tsem Rinpoche
It\'s good to be with kind and sincere people.
4 weeks ago
It's good to be with kind and sincere people.
If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
My Mumu boy didn\'t want to eat. Eating is not one of his favorite activities throughout his life. So I talked to him to let him know why he needs to eat and keep his strength up when this photo was taken. He was listening intently and after my talk with him, he ate. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
My Mumu boy didn't want to eat. Eating is not one of his favorite activities throughout his life. So I talked to him to let him know why he needs to eat and keep his strength up when this photo was taken. He was listening intently and after my talk with him, he ate. Tsem Rinpoche
This is so true. Click to enlarge and understand more about unpleasant people.
4 weeks ago
This is so true. Click to enlarge and understand more about unpleasant people.
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
1 month ago
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
Mumu taking a rest in the turquoise room. Over the years, I always feel very satisfied when I see him covered with a blanket, safe and sleeping. I always wanted to make sure he was safe from harm, illness and distress. I wanted him to have a happy and loved life. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Mumu taking a rest in the turquoise room. Over the years, I always feel very satisfied when I see him covered with a blanket, safe and sleeping. I always wanted to make sure he was safe from harm, illness and distress. I wanted him to have a happy and loved life. Tsem Rinpoche
I wrapped my little Mumu boy up in my blanket and propped him up on my bed. He didn\'t move or wiggle and just looked at me. He is one funny entertaining little guy. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
I wrapped my little Mumu boy up in my blanket and propped him up on my bed. He didn't move or wiggle and just looked at me. He is one funny entertaining little guy. Tsem Rinpoche
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
1 month ago
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don\'t have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don't have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
1 month ago
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
1 month ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
1 month ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
Read this as it will be interesting
1 month ago
Read this as it will be interesting
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one\'s head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book \"The Female Buddhas.\"- Glenn Mullin
2 months ago
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one's head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book "The Female Buddhas."- Glenn Mullin
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
2 months ago
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
2 months ago
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
2 months ago
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
3 months ago
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
3 months ago
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
This is a good one to read
3 months ago
This is a good one to read
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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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CHAT PICTURES

Pastor Gim Lee assisted by Kechara Puja Team, conducted a Dorje Shugden puja and blessings at a premise. Lucy Yap
yesterday
Pastor Gim Lee assisted by Kechara Puja Team, conducted a Dorje Shugden puja and blessings at a premise. Lucy Yap
Art expression using chalks and papers is an avenue for young children to cultivate positive perspective of life and connect with their artistic or creative side. Stella, KSDS
3 days ago
Art expression using chalks and papers is an avenue for young children to cultivate positive perspective of life and connect with their artistic or creative side. Stella, KSDS
Children as long as 2 years old are ready to learn up skills and attitude that will help them shape their life. When else will be best to instil them with good Dharma values if not since young? Stella, KSDS
3 days ago
Children as long as 2 years old are ready to learn up skills and attitude that will help them shape their life. When else will be best to instil them with good Dharma values if not since young? Stella, KSDS
Senior students of the children class of Kechara Sunday Dharma School had their class in the ghompa every Sunday. Stella, KSDS
3 days ago
Senior students of the children class of Kechara Sunday Dharma School had their class in the ghompa every Sunday. Stella, KSDS
Besides young Karlson and Ern Ern, there are new faces in Kechara Sunday Dharma School 2-4 years old. Stella, KSDS
3 days ago
Besides young Karlson and Ern Ern, there are new faces in Kechara Sunday Dharma School 2-4 years old. Stella, KSDS
Kechara Sunday Dharma School students 5-6 years old making prostration to Lama Tsongkhapa at the beginning of the class every Sunday. Stella,KSDS
3 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School students 5-6 years old making prostration to Lama Tsongkhapa at the beginning of the class every Sunday. Stella,KSDS
@KecharaHouse tonite, 48 puja attendees filled the air with a loud chorus of prayer n mantra 2 Dorje Shugden n Setrap!  PHNee
4 days ago
@KecharaHouse tonite, 48 puja attendees filled the air with a loud chorus of prayer n mantra 2 Dorje Shugden n Setrap! PHNee
A big Thank You to the kind volunteers and to Jace Chong!
4 days ago
A big Thank You to the kind volunteers and to Jace Chong!
Make your weekend meaningful! Contact Jace Chong to volunteer in Kechara Forest Retreat for the aviaries.
4 days ago
Make your weekend meaningful! Contact Jace Chong to volunteer in Kechara Forest Retreat for the aviaries.
Thank you to our young volunteer to improve the life of the birds in our aviary!
4 days ago
Thank you to our young volunteer to improve the life of the birds in our aviary!
English Level 2 Dharma Class, Pastor Han Nee started the Day 5 Lamrim, which is the Seven-Limbed Prayer with Homage and Prostration( 35 Confessional Buddha )  was extensively covered. -  Yew Seng
4 days ago
English Level 2 Dharma Class, Pastor Han Nee started the Day 5 Lamrim, which is the Seven-Limbed Prayer with Homage and Prostration( 35 Confessional Buddha ) was extensively covered. - Yew Seng
Sunday Dharma class kids learning to take refuge with teacher Alice. Lucy Yap
4 days ago
Sunday Dharma class kids learning to take refuge with teacher Alice. Lucy Yap
One of the outdoor activities for KSDS students is to exercise the drawing that near to the nature. Alice Tay, KSDS
6 days ago
One of the outdoor activities for KSDS students is to exercise the drawing that near to the nature. Alice Tay, KSDS
Teacher Jesvin explained the camp rules and regulations to the camper. Alice Tay, KSDS
6 days ago
Teacher Jesvin explained the camp rules and regulations to the camper. Alice Tay, KSDS
KSDS teachers and the young participants of WOAH  Camp played & have fun together for this game, Self defense and attack. Alice Tay, KSDS
6 days ago
KSDS teachers and the young participants of WOAH Camp played & have fun together for this game, Self defense and attack. Alice Tay, KSDS
The younger group of KSDS were happy because they're given chance to feel,touch and play the slime. Alice Tay, KSDS
6 days ago
The younger group of KSDS were happy because they're given chance to feel,touch and play the slime. Alice Tay, KSDS
Teacher Laura guided the students do meditation. Alice Tay, KSDS
6 days ago
Teacher Laura guided the students do meditation. Alice Tay, KSDS
Day break at Kechara Forest Retreat! Sunrise meditation during Inner Reflection Retreat, April 2017
6 days ago
Day break at Kechara Forest Retreat! Sunrise meditation during Inner Reflection Retreat, April 2017
Inner Reflection in April 2017 with guests from USA, Singapore, China and UK! Join our upcoming meditation programs!
6 days ago
Inner Reflection in April 2017 with guests from USA, Singapore, China and UK! Join our upcoming meditation programs!
Visitors in Kechara Forest Retreat, circumambulating the holy Vajra Yogini Stupa. Picture credit Pastor Gimlee
6 days ago
Visitors in Kechara Forest Retreat, circumambulating the holy Vajra Yogini Stupa. Picture credit Pastor Gimlee
Students are getting ready to do prostration in Gompa following a Teacher Kien and Teacher Zhi Yan instruction. Lin Mun KSDS
7 days ago
Students are getting ready to do prostration in Gompa following a Teacher Kien and Teacher Zhi Yan instruction. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Callista & Teacher Irene were sharing with children on the topic of courage. It is good to instil dharma knowledge from young. Lin Mun KSDS
7 days ago
Teacher Callista & Teacher Irene were sharing with children on the topic of courage. It is good to instil dharma knowledge from young. Lin Mun KSDS
Children are learning how to recite mantra from teacher Alice and teacher Laura. Lin Mun KSDS
7 days ago
Children are learning how to recite mantra from teacher Alice and teacher Laura. Lin Mun KSDS
Students were all so excited listening to the process of making slime as they are going to make one themselves. Lin Mun KSDS
7 days ago
Students were all so excited listening to the process of making slime as they are going to make one themselves. Lin Mun KSDS
Robey, Natalie and Lauren doing sharing on how to make slime. A great exercise for them to learn leadership & public speaking. Lin Mun KSDS
7 days ago
Robey, Natalie and Lauren doing sharing on how to make slime. A great exercise for them to learn leadership & public speaking. Lin Mun KSDS
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