Dorje Shugden lineage holders in the Sakya tradition: Sonam Rinchen & Kunga Lodro

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The holy Sakya Monastery, mother monastery of the Sakya tradition. Above the monastery, slightly to the right, you can see the multi-tiered Mug Chung, the most sacred temple to Dorje Shugden within the tradition.

The holy Sakya Monastery, mother monastery of the Sakya tradition. Above the monastery, slightly to the right, you can see the multi-tiered Mug Chung, the most sacred temple to Dorje Shugden within the tradition.

(By Tsem Rinpoche and Pastor David)

Since the 11th century, the Khon family has been intimately linked to the Sakya lineage. Known to be one of the holiest families of Tibet, the heads of the family have acted as the patriarchs of their sacred tradition.

In the 8th century, one of the earliest members of the Khon family, Khon Lui Wangpo Sungwa became a disciple of the great Indian saint Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche. At that time, he was amongst the first seven monks to be ordained in Tibet. Later in 1073, another member of the Khon family, Khon Konchok Gyalpo established Sakya Monastery in Tibet. The Khon family as it exists today are direct descendants of Khon Konchok Gyalpo. Therefore the familial lineage has remained unbroken since the establishment of the monastery.

The Sakya tradition established by the Khon family has since become one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The head of the Sakya lineage is called the ‘Sakya Trizin’ or the Sakya throne holder. In accordance with its unique tradition, the throne of the Sakyas is passed down in a hereditary manner, from father to son within the Khon family. Sometime in the 18th century, the Khon family split into two under the banners of the Drolma Phodrang (Tibetan meaning ‘palace’) and Phuntsok Phodrang with its patriarchs alternating as the Sakya throne holder.

The 30th Sakya Trizin Sonam Rinchen

The 30th Sakya Trizin Sonam Rinchen

Historically, the Sakyas were the first to propitiate the Dharma protector Dorje Shugden. According to both Sakya and Gelug accounts, it was the 30th Sakya Trizin Sonam Rinchen (1705-1741) who introduced Dorje Shugden into the pantheon of Sakya protectors. Later, Sonam Rinchen placed Dorje Shugden alongside two other protectors, Setrap Chen and Tsi’u Marpo and these three became known as the Gyalpo Sum or the Three Kings. This group of protectors was practiced widely within the tradition.

Within the Sakya lineage, Dorje Shugden rides on a horse in an iconographic tradition that is unique to the Sakyas. This form of Dorje Shugden is known as Dorje Shugden Tanag, or Dorje Shugden Riding a Black Horse. In his right hand, he holds a butcher’s stick up in the air and a bleeding heart in the left hand that is lifted up to the level of his heart. He wears the three robes of a fully ordained monk and the round golden hat of a travelling lama, while riding on a black horse mount.

The Sakya Gyalpo Sum trio of protectors including Setrap, Dorje Shugden and Tsiu Marpo (a.k.a. Kache Marpo). This group of protectors is now widely practiced within the Gelug tradition. They are fully enlightened beings appearing in worldly form to be closer in assisting with the needs of sentient beings.

By the late 20th century, as the tradition reduced, the propitiation ritual of the Gyalpo Sum reduced within Sakya monasteries of India and Tibet. Could be due to politics. But that does not lessen the original purposeful reasons the six great Sakya throne holders instituted these practices in the first place. These six throne holders were not ordinary beings so their practice of these three faultless deities would be also without fault. Nonetheless, the Sakya depiction of Dorje Shugden Tanag can still be found in antique artwork that dates back as far back as the 19th century. In museums all around the world, there are a number of old Sakya paintings that feature Dorje Shugden Tanag, which are mostly from the earlier half of the 20th century. There are Sakya monasteries still practicing Dorje Shugden in Tibet.

Dorje Shugden

Dorje Shugden Tanag

On the subject of liturgy, there are several short works on Dorje Shugden within the tradition that were mostly composed over 200 years ago. This body of work is part of the collection of texts known as the Dorje Shugden Be Bum. There are also other Sakya ritual texts dedicated to Dorje Shugden, such as Requesting to Annihilate Interfering Forces which was composed by the 30th Sakya Trizin Sonam Rinchen, the great master who enthroned Dorje Shugden as a protector of the Sakyas. In the autobiography of the 31st Sakya Trizin Kunga Lodro who was the son of Sonam Rinchen, he confirmed that his father composed the ritual. In addition, he added that he received the transmission of the ritual from his father as well.

Although it was Sonam Rinchen who enthroned Dorje Shugden Tanag as a Dharma protector within the Sakya tradition and introduced his worship to the community, it was his son, Kunga Lodro, who developed Dorje Shugden’s various emanations and rituals, and made the practice mainstream. In fact, later Sakya Trizins claimed that Kunga Lodro was himself an emanation of Dorje Shugden.

31st Sakya Trizin Kunga Lodro composed numerous texts on Dorje Shugden

From his father and mentor, Kunga Lodro received many transmissions and initiations including several long life initiations, the Guhyasamaja initiation in the tradition of Arya Nagarjuna, transmissions of Manjushri’s mantras, the Drubta Gyatsa collection of a hundred sadhanas and the Sakya Kabum, which is the collected works of the Sakya tradition. He also studied under the 30th Ngor Khenchen, Jampa Sonam Pelzang (1689-1749), the 33rd Ngor Khenchen, Namkha Samdrub (1696-1754), and the 34th Ngor Khenchen, Pelden Chokyong (1702-1760). From them he received the Lobshe or esoteric presentation of the Lamdre (or Path and its Fruit), the core practice within the tradition that merges sutra and the tantric practice of Hevajra, stemming from the great Indian Mahasiddha Virupa.

Upon the passing of his father, Kunga Lodro ascended the throne as the 31st Sakya Trizin in 1741. It was then that Kunga Lodro also received the Sakya lineage practices from Morchen Kunga Lhundrub (1654-1728). Morchen Kunga Lhundrub was another very important Sakya lineage holder and is included in the lineage masters of Naropa’s Vajrayogini, a lineage which has since also spread to the Gelug tradition. Morchen Kunga Lhundrub was the heart disciple of Nesar Kunga Lekpai Jungne (1704-1760) or Nesar Dorje Chang, the 37th Abbot of Ngor Ewam Chodan Monastery.

Morchen Kunga Lhundrub

Morchen Kunga Lhundrub

In his biography, Kunga Lodro wrote that Nesar Dorje Chang had also composed several important texts dedicated Dorje Shugden. As such, Kunga Lodro was well aware of Morchen’s practice of Dorje Shugden. During his lifetime, Kunga Lodro composed both a praise to Dorje Shugden and a kangsol (fulfilment ritual) to invoke the blessings of Dorje Shugden, and it is still in use today. Dorje Shugden was considered an enlightened being within the Sakya tradition, therefore his practice was given prominence. This is confirmed by the 39th Sakya Trizin Dragshul Trinley Rinchen (1871 – 1935) who wrote, “The one known as Dolgyal [Dorje Shugden] is not mistaken on the path to liberation, he is by nature the Great Compassionate One.” In this instance, Dragshul Trinley Rinchen was highlighting that Dorje Shugden is in nature one and the same with Avalokiteshvara, a fully enlightened being.

The 39th Sakya Trizin Dragshul Trinley Rinchen (1871–1936), head of the Sakya lineage, was a strong practitioner of Dorje Shugden. He is known for spreading the practice of Dorje Shugden within the Sakya tradition.

The 39th Sakya Trizin Dragshul Trinley Rinchen (1871–1936), head of the Sakya lineage, was a strong practitioner of Dorje Shugden. He is known for spreading the practice of Dorje Shugden within the Sakya tradition.

In addition to this it was clearly mentioned that Kunga Lodro himself first introduced the five forms of Dorje Shugden along with the principle figure of Dorje Shugden called Duldzin, also known as Vinayadhara or holder of the vinaya (monastic discipline).

There is a painting of the five forms (emanations) of Dorje Shugden exhibited at the Rubin Museum of Art that has an excellent and clear explanation of each. In this painting, there is an image of the grandson of Kunga Lodro, the 33rd Sakya Trizin Pema Dudul Wangchuk (1792-1853) above Dorje Shugden. There is a high possibility that this thangka could have been painted during his reign. Dorje Shugden takes the position of greatest significance as the central figure in the thangka and he is depicted sitting on a lion throne, holding a vajra club and lasso. The four main emanations are also represented in the thangka. They are the Great Peaceful King on an elephant (Shize Gyelchen), the Great Increasing King on a horse (Gyenze Gyelchen), the Great Powerful King on a dragon (Wangze Gyelchen) and the Great Wrathful King on a garuda (Trakze Gyelchen).

In addition, Kunga Lodro’s biography clearly illustrates the Sakya’s practice of Dorje Shugden at that time. From the biography, we can clearly see that Dorje Shugden’s practice was prevalent and accepted by the various Tibetan schools in the early 19th century. This echoes the view of Stan Mumford in his book, Himalayan Dialogue, that Dorje Shugden was actually commonly practiced at that time. There is a striking similarity between the history of Dorje Shugden as shared by Kunga Lodro in his biography and what Mumford talked about in his book.

Mahasiddha Pema Dudul Wangchuk

Mahasiddha Pema Dudul Wangchuk

Mumford explains that people in modern Gyasumdo, a village that follows the Nyingma tradition also propitiated Dorje Shugden. During that time, it was common to find an image of Guru Rinpoche placed together with an image of Dorje Shugden on the altar in every Tibetan household in the area. In fact, many heads of the various households said that their shrines were mainly used to propitiate Dorje Shugden.

Villagers in Gyasumdo, who were fervent followers of Guru Rinpoche and Dorje Shugden, made offerings to the two holy beings every day. It is also said that each family owned a Dorje Shugden text composed by a lama of the family’s tradition. From this account, we can see that Dorje Shugden was widely practiced outside of the monastic environment as well. Mumford’s findings show very clearly that Dorje Shugden was propitiated as a family protector amongst lay people. In fact, Dorje Shugden practice was so common that it became an integral part of daily custom.

Within the tradition, amongst the most recent of the Sakya Trizin’s, six of them practiced and relied strongly on Dorje Shugden. These include:

  • 30th Sakya Throneholder Sonam Rinchen (1705-1741)
  • 31st Throneholder Sachen Kunga Lodro (1729-1783)
  • 33rd Throneholder Padma Dudul Wangchug (1792-1853)
  • 35th Throneholder Tashi Rinchen (1824-1865)
  • 37th Throneholder Kunga Nyingpo (1850-1899)
  • 39th Throneholder Dragshul Thinley Rinchen (1871-1936)

Dragshul Trinley Rinchen (1871–1936), the 39th Sakya Trizin, was a strong practitioner of Dorje Shugden. Researching his family history, he even proved that his holy father, the 37th Sakya Trizin Kunga Nyingpo (1850–1899), was an emanation of Dorje Shugden. Click on image to enlarge.

Since so many of the Sakya Trizins, who are the heads of their lineage, relied on Dorje Shugden or were even considered to be emanations of Dorje Shugden, it is clear that from the perspective of the Sakya tradition, the practice was considered to be extremely beneficial. Otherwise why would a Sakya Trizin spend time, energy and effort to compose ritual texts or engage in the practice as an example to others?

It can be concluded that while Dorje Shugden was first practiced within the Sakya tradition, the practice was in fact embraced and practiced by a wide segment of the community, even by followers of other schools of Tibetan Buddhism. From as early as the 19th century, Sakya, Nyingma and Gelug practitioners had already accepted Dorje Shugden. It is therefore perfectly logical to conclude that Dorje Shugden, being an enlightened being, is impartial and grants his protection and blessings to all who propitiate him.

 

Tsem Rinpoche and Pastor David

 

Introduction to Dorje Shugden

in the Sakya Tradition

In the Gelug tradition of Dorje Shugden’s fulfillment (kangsol) puja, the invocation of Dorje Shugden begins with the recitation of a special prayer. In the invocation prayer, one of the sites that we call upon Dorje Shugden to come forth from is the Sakya temple at Mug Chung. It is well known to many practitioners that Dorje Shugden was first practiced within the great Sakya tradition.

Dorje Shugden Tanag or Dorje Shugden riding a horse. This form is a popular depiction of Dorje Shugden within the Sakya lineage.

According to Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche‘s text Music Delighting the Ocean of Protectors, the first thought of the high lama Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen after arising as the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden was his lama, Panchen Lobsang Chokyi Gyeltsen (1570 – 1662). Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen recalled his lama’s kindness through the innumerable advice, teachings, transmissions and initiations that he had received. Therefore, he traveled to Tashi Lhunpo monastery in Shigatse with the intention to pay homage to his lama and to be enthroned as the protector of the monastery.

Upon arriving at the monastery, he beheld the Eight Horse Lords of Vaishravana who seemed to be holding hands along the circumambulation path encircling Tashi Lhunpo in a protective manner, thus indicating that it was not the right time to enter the monastery. He realised that it was more auspicious to travel to Sakya instead and so, he immediately took off and traveled to Sakya instead due to affinity made during his previous incarnation as Sakya Pandita. But later, he would enter Tashi Lhunpo Monastery during the time of the 9th Panchen Lama. At Sakya, he manifested signs before the 30th Sakya Trizin Sonam Rinchen, who at that time was the 17-year old supreme throne holder of the Sakyas. Subsequently, he enthroned Dorje Shugden as a protector of the Sakyas. Thus, the Sakyas first practiced Dorje Shugden before the practice spread to other traditions as well.

As was mentioned earlier, Dorje Shugden’s connection with the Sakya School began hundreds of years ago during his previous lifetimes as Sakya Pandita and also as Buton Rinchen Drub. These are two great Sakya lamas who were famous for their incredible contributions to their lineage and the Buddhadharma as a whole.

Forms >>

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Sakya Depictions of Dorje Shugden

Dorje Shugden on a Black Horse

Dorje Shugden Tanag

Within the Sakya lineage of Dorje Shugden, the depiction of Dorje Shugden is very different from the one currently being worshipped within the Gelug tradition. In the old tradition of the Sakyas, Dorje Shugden’s principle mount is a black horse and hence, the lineage of Dorje Shugden is called Dorje Shugden Tanag or ‘Dorje Shugden on a black horse’.

One of the earliest descriptions of this form of Dorje Shugden comes from the writings of the 31st Sakya Trizin Kunga Lodro in the mid-18th Century that was based on a transmission from his father, the 30th Sakya Trizin Sonam Rinchen. In this lama’s text entitled Requesting to Annihilate Interfering Forces, he writes that Dorje Shugden’s body is dark red in color, with one face and two hands. His right hand holds a club up to the sky and he holds in his left hand, a human heart inside a skull cup filled with blood. On his head, he wears a lacquer hat and is riding a black horse.

Dorje Shugden Tanag

Dorje Shugden Tanag tsa tsa

Dorje Shugden on the horse is on the bottom left of this thangka of Vajrayogini. Vajrayogini is considered one of the 13 Golden Dharmas of the Sakya Tradition.

 

Dorje Shugden in Sakya Monastery

(Shigatse, Tibet)

This video and these pictures of Dorje Shugden in the Sakya Monastery were recorded in 2015, hundreds of years after they were first painted as part of their pantheon of Protectors.

The Dorje Shugden wall mural at Sakya Monastery in Shigatse

A close-up of the Dorje Shugden wall mural at Sakya Monastery in Shigatse

 

Mahakala and Dorje Shugden

in the Sakya Tradition

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This antique thangka of Mahakala Panjaranata used to be the personal possession of Sachen Kunga Lodro. The lama figure above the protector is a depiction of Sachen Kunga Lodro himself. The central protector figure at the bottom of the thangka is the Sakya-lineage of Dorje Shugden riding a black horse.

 

Dorje Shugden on a Throne

According to scriptural sources, it seems that the tradition of Dorje Shugden riding on a horse is not the only depiction within the Sakyas. There is another tradition of the Sakyas that invokes Dorje Shugden as a deity uniquely resting on a lion throne. This is similar to the description in the praise of Dorje Shugden by the Great 5th Dalai Lama that was based on his vision of Dorje Shugden in the mid-17th Century.

Dorje Shugden sitting regally on a throne, surrounded by his emanations of Shize, Gyenze, Wangze and Trakze.

Within the Sakya tradition, this depiction of Dorje Shugden can be seen in the writings of Morchen Kunga Lhundrub around the tail end of the 17th Century. In the enthronement prayers or Ngasol that was written by Morchen Kunga Lhundrub, the lama writes, “Posed upon a fearless lion throne, boundlessly powerful Dorje Shugden Tsel.” Hence, there are thangkas of Dorje Shugden within the Sakya tradition that depict Dorje Shugden sitting on a lion throne as well as those in which he is seen riding a black horse as well.

Praise >>

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Praise to Dorje Shugden

By the 31st Sakya Trizin Kunga Lodro

Commentary by His Eminence 25th Tsem Rinpoche on the Praise to Dorje Shugden

Click here to download the prayer in English (PDF)

(Excerpt from the Dorje Shugden prayer called duelzin choe ki gyalpo choepai choka phuentsog doe gu yong khil she jawa)

At the early time, entering into the teaching of the Tathagata,
you rose in the form of Vinaya-holding Bhikshu,
thus you protect all the teachings of the Sravaka-Pitaka without exception,
I prostrate to you.

Here the prayer exhorts Dorje Shugden’s previous incarnation as a great monk, who protected the teachings. This verse also refers to Dorje Shugden’s previous life as the Vinaya-holder (Dulzin) Drakpa Gyeltsen (1374-1434), he was a pure monk who had made the great aspiration to arise as a Protector of the teachings. The teachings are protected when a person learns the Dharma, practises the Dharma and then teaches it. Therefore when Dorje Shugden in his previous incarnations learned the teachings, he was able to protect them.

For example, if someone says something negative about the teachings, as you have internalised the teachings you can reply using logic. When logic is used to clear the doubt in the mind of someone else, you are protecting the teachings. The best methods to protect the teachings is not to kill or oppress those opposed to it, but to have knowledge of the teachings, and then expound that knowledge so that the ignorance in the other person’s mind is cleared.

Therefore here we see that Dorje Shugden is praised as a monk who had mastered the teachings as he can protect them without exception.

 

In the middle, in front of many Buddhas and Bodhisattvas,
having generated the aspiring and entering Bodhicitta,
you obtained the prophecy as a protector of the teaching of the Dharma,
thus you protect all the teachings of the Bodhisattvas without exception,
to you I prostrate.

This verse states that Dorje Shugden has taken the vow of Bodhicitta for the welfare of all sentient beings. Not only that but he has practised and attained Bodhicitta itself, which is the enlightened mind that aids all beings. This was done in front of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Some people could argue that even though he has taken the vow, one can regress in practice. However, as the verse explains, he attained a prophecy when he would be enlightened. That would mean that his generation of Bodhicitta was truly genuine.

 

In the great mandala of the ocean of Tantras,
initiated by Vajradhara, and receiving the samayas,
thus you protect all the teachings of the profound Tantra without exception,
to you I prostrate.

Here the praise mentions the many tantric teachings that Dorje Shugden received in his previous lives. These are based on the sutra teachings, which as we have seen earlier he mastered, and he was also a master of tantra. Therefore as tantra is part of the Buddhist path, he is able to protect them through his own mastery of them. Thus, the nine mothers in the entourage of Dorje Shugden assist tantric practitioners to gain spiritual attainments. The nine mothers are all emanations of Dorje Shugden.

 

In particular in this northern land, surrounded by a range of snow mountains,
though not directly pervaded by the sun of the Buddha, yet sustained by his compassion,
you are the protector of all those perfect schools of Dharma,
I prostrate to you.

This verse exhorts Dorje Shugden as a protector of all schools. Here he is not described as a protector of the Sakya but as a protector of all perfect schools of Dharma. Therefore anyone who practises the Dharma, in any school, if they propitiate Dorje Shugden, he will assist them. This is testament to Dorje Shugden’s quality and nature.

 

All the great holders of the teaching, who comment according to one’s own views,
the entire Tripitakas, the Tantras and their commentaries,
you are the very protector of all the holders of the Dharma,
acting as the fulfiller of the words of those leaders, I prostrate to you.

The great lamas who receive a pure lineage, contemplate the teachings, who practise sincerely and even commentate on the teachings to further elucidate them to their students, in order to bring clarity of mind to others are protected by Dorje Shugden. These lamas are like the sun clearing the clouds in the sky and Dorje Shugden protects them.

Dorje Shugden is not swayed by material offerings or those who make the most elaborate offerings, like an unenlightened being, but favours those who elucidate the Dharma teachings. Therefore Dorje Shugden is especially close to those lamas who teach the Dharma. This shows us he is not an ordinary protector, as ordinary protectors are not excited when someone teaches the Dharma. They are more excited when they are given abundant offerings and respect.

Here we learn that Dorje Shugden is very pleased with lamas who teach the Dharma, after they have received the teachings themselves, practised, internalised them and then gives commentaries. This doesn’t refer to anyone who simply teaches the Dharma, but those who have listened to the Dharma, and teach from experience.

Since the teaching of the Dharma is the gateway to the ending of suffering for all sentient beings, Dorje Shugden finds it the most pleasing and he is closest to these lamas. He will listen to these lamas who teach and assist them. This shows you his nature, as Dorje Shugden is happy when other peoples’ sufferings are relieved. This is not a sign of a worldly protector.

 

The legacy of the pandits, translators, dharma kings and ministers,
all the temples constructed by them,
you are the protector of all those seats of the Sangha without exception,
I prostrate to you.

Here it states that Dorje Shugden is the protector of the legacy of those who have learnt, practised and taught the Dharma. By this it means that he not only protects those great monastic institutions they built, but their teachings as well. This is because these teachings are of great importance for beings to be free of their suffering and gain enlightenment.

 

For entire Tibet, included in upper region Ngari, central region Ue-tsang, and
lower region Dokham,
you act as the very protector, refuge, supporter, and friend of all people without exception,
thus you are the very god of the snow-land country,
I prostrate to you.

In Tibet there are three provinces: Ngari, Ue-tsang and Dokham. Here Kunga Lodro is stating that Dorje Shugden is the master of all three of these provinces. Therefore he is the protector of the entire snow-land, or Tibet itself. This goes to show, even before the Gelugpa lineage arose, some of whom now proclaim Dorje Shugden to be the main protector, the Sakya masters had already stated that he is the main protector of Tibet, and not any other protector.

 

The great protector of all the Buddhas of this fortunate aeon,
who is the eliminator of all the forces of unsuitable Mara,
some day through showing full enlightenment as Samyaksambuddha,
you will fulfil the deed of a Tathagata, to you I prostrate.

This explains that Dorje Shugden is emanating as a Dharma protector for all Buddhist lineages at this moment and that he will continuously emanate to assist sincere practitioners. However, in the future he will take on the form of a Samyaksambuddha. This is a Buddha who manifests when the Dharma is non-existent within samsara to turn the wheel of Dharma to benefit sentient beings. Buddha Shakyamuni for example taught when the Dharma no longer exist, so therefore he is called a Samyaksambuddha.

Likewise, Dorje Shugden will appear in a form like Buddha Shakyamuni to teach the Dharma. Some people would retort that this goes to show that he is not enlightened yet, but is unenlightened. On the contrary, here it states that he will ‘show’ full enlightenment, or take on the form of a Samyaksambuddha, implying that he is already a fully enlightened being. It means he will simply take the form of a Samyaksambuddha for the benefit of sentient beings.

Therefore at the moment he has taken a form of a Dharma protector, later he will take on the form of a Samyaksambuddha. This clearly means that he is enlightened already but will take on the form of a fully enlightened being in the future.

 

In short, in all three times, uninterruptedly,
with your infinite secrets of body speech and mind,
all those beings who are wandering in the ocean of the cycle,
you give them the perfect state of liberation, to you I prostrate.

This clearly states he is an enlightened being as only enlightened beings can provide you with the means of achieving enlightenment. This is not an ability held by any other types of beings. He brings resources, brings practitioners to their gurus who expound the path out of suffering, blesses them so that they are able to receive and understand the teachings. In short he creates the causes for a person to become a fully enlightened being if we have trust in him and his abilities.

 

Thus by the power of venerating you with this ocean of melodious praise,
through generating delight, compassion, and benevolent force of your mind,
please fulfil the activity for increasing of virtues, pacifying of disfavourable
interferences,
and accomplishment of all the purposes in accordance to Dharma.

The last verse states that by praising Dorje Shugden, who is no other than a Buddha, the practitioner generates great waves of merit. From these merits generated by praising him, you supplicate Dorje Shugden to fulfil the various actions of a protector, removing obstacles, granting protection and the granting of conducive conditions for the practice of the Dharma.

When we praise someone with an ego, their ego increases. Whereas if we praise someone without an ego, an enlightened being, our merits increase. Although this verse on the surface level is propitiating Dorje Shugden for various activities in his current role of a Dharma protector, if we look deeper it once again reaffirms his status as an enlightened being as he does not have an ego. This entire praise is a clear sign that Dorje Shugden is not an ordinary being but a fully enlightened being. Similarly it was no ordinary lama who composed these words. This praise was written by the 31st Sakya Trizin Kunga Lodro, a great patriarch of the Sakya School.

 

Click here to download the prayer in English (PDF)

 

Kangsol (part 1) >>

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Kangsol (part 1)

The 31st Sakya Trizin Kunga Lodro (1729-1783) composed the following 149-page Tibetan-style manuscript Dorje Shugden kangsol text. This text contains the propitiation rites that the Sakya high lamas and ordinary monks use in order to invoke the blessings and protection of Dorje Shugden. From this extensive 149-page long text, one can clearly see that Dorje Shugden is evidently not just a minor practice but a significant protector for the Sakyas. Consequently, this important Dorje Shugden text has been in use since the time of Kunga Lodro to this day.

To download the entire kangsol, please click here.

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Kangsol (part 2) >>

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Kangsol (part 2)

The 31st Sakya Trizin Kunga Lodro (1729-1783) composed the following 149-page Tibetan-style manuscript Dorje Shugden kangsol text. This text contains the propitiation rites that the Sakya high lamas and ordinary monks use in order to invoke the blessings and protection of Dorje Shugden. From this extensive 149-page long text, one can clearly see that Dorje Shugden is evidently not just a minor practice but a significant protector for the Sakyas. Consequently, this important Dorje Shugden text has been in use since the time of Kunga Lodro to this day.

To download the entire kangsol, please click here.

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Gallery

Gyalpo Sum on the bottom right, according to the Sakya tradition. They are Setrap, Tsiu Marpo and Dorje Shugden. Click to enlarge.

Close-up of the thangka

This biographical thangka of the 32nd Sakya Trizin Wangdu Nyingpo reveals the fact that one of his personal protectors is Dorje Shugden

Gyalpo Sum according to the Gelug tradition. In this case, Setrap (top) and Tsiu Marpo aka Kache Marpo (bottom) reside in Dorje Shugden’s mandala

A thangka from the Nyingma tradition, featuring Dorje Shugden as the central figure, surrounded by the significant and important deities of the Nyingma tradition

A close-up of the 30th Sakya Trizin Sonam Rinchen

The 31st Sakya Trizin Kunga Lodro is depicted here on the Sakya lineage tree

The 32nd Sakya Trizin Wangdu Nyingpo

The 33rd Sakya Throneholder Sakya Trizin Pema Dudul Wangchuk who practised Dorje Shugden

The 35th Sakya throneholder Sakya Trizin Tashi Rinchen who also practised Dorje Shugden

The 39th Sakya throneholder Sakya Trizin Dragshul Trinley Rinchen who also practised Dorje Shugden

This is the actual writing of the 31st Sakya throneholder Sakya Trizin Ngawang Kunga Lodro that is housed in the National Archives, Kathmandu. He was a great scholar and a practitioner of Dorje Shugden. Click to enlarge.

This is the actual writing of the 31st Sakya throneholder Sakya Trizin Ngawang Kunga Lodro that is housed in the National Archives, Kathmandu. He was a great scholar and a practitioner of Dorje Shugden. Click to enlarge.

The Sakya Gyalpo Sum trio of protectors including Setrap, Dorje Shugden and Tsiu Marpo (a.k.a. Kache Marpo). These same three are being practiced within the Gelugpa lineage now. I myself have great faith in these three enlightened beings enthroned by the great Sakya throneholders of the past as well as the great Gelug masters. They are all fully enlightened appearing as gyalpos or in worldly forms to be closer in assisting the needs of sentient beings.

Addendum >>

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Addendum

Of the 42 supreme throne holders throughout the history of the Sakya tradition, six of the thrones holders are confirmed to have practiced Dorje Shugden. They are known to have built chapels to him, composed prayers and pujas (kangsols) to him and propagated his practice amongst their disciples. The entire Sakya lineage and their sacred practices such as the 13 Golden Dharmas of Sakya, the Lamdre – the Path and its Fruit, the tantric practice of Hevajra, and other numerous teachings and practices have descended down through these six lineage holders who have proven themselves to be highly attained and erudite incarnations. From these great lamas, the teachings have been passed down to the current throne holders, lamas, and great practitioners of the Sakya tradition.

If someone were to say that these six Sakya thrones holders were wrong or mistaken for their propitiation of Dorje Shugden, for their composition of liturgical texts to him, or for the building of chapels in his honour, then they are saying the Sakya throne holders were ordinary. They were fallible, were not erudite, did not have high spiritual attainments, could be mistaken, and therefore we should not rely on them. If they were just ordinary men adorned with brocade silk hats and expensive robes, while sitting on big thrones, then what is the point to call them lineage holders or masters?

What is the point to practice the ‘tainted’ Sakya tradition in modern times? They were definitely very attained and not ordinary human beings by far. If these six Sakya lineage holders could have made such a huge mistake, then the entire Sakya lineage that has passed through them is tainted and without blessings. So according to that line of thinking, if we were to practice the Sakya lineage today, there will be no blessings and no results. This is because the Sakya lineage as it exists was passed down through these six throne holders without exception. This is neither logical nor possible as they were highly attained masters.

Now, the Tibetan leadership is fond of saying that if you practice Dorje Shugden, then you break your refuge and your divine connection with the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Consequently, you will be damned to take rebirth in the three lower realms, as an animal, a spirit or in one of the hell realms. If that is the case, these six great Sakya throne holders must have taken rebirth in the three lower realms too. But this is impossible! They all practiced Dorje Shugden and there is a lot of research and evidence that confirms this. Some even composed long pujas to Dorje Shugden which are still in use today. In actual fact these six great Sakya throne holders were highly attained beings, and they were definitely not ordinary.

It is because of their extraordinary spiritual attainments, that they were easily able to discern which formless beings were Buddhas and which were negative beings that caused harm. They would have known that Dorje Shugden is definitely not negative and therefore, they had encouraged Dorje Shugden’s practice and composed pujas and prayers to him. They had the clairvoyance to see the very nature of Dorje Shugden, or they could use their wisdom to debate and determine the nature of Dorje Shugden by way of logic. I am sure they did both and arrived at the same conclusion. The simple deduction is that Dorje Shugden is not a harmful being and that is why these six erudite masters both practiced and promoted Dorje Shugden within the sacred Sakya lineage.

I myself have tremendous faith and respect for the exalted Dragshul Trinley Rinchen (1871–1936), the 39th Sakya Trizin, and the other five throne holders too. I pray they bless me so I may gain full enlightenment. When I see Dragshul Trinley Rinchen’s photo, I feel as if I have met him or had the great honour to have practiced his teachings in a past lifetime. In any case, great faith arises spontaneously in me for Dragshul Trinley Rinchen as it does for other great masters such as Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche, Kyabje Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche and other great masters of their respective lineages.

Tsem Rinpoche

 

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About Pastor David Lai

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

David is a lover of Buddhist art and whenever he can, he shares his knowledge of the Dharma with everyone, giving frequent teachings and writing on his blog www.davidlai.me.
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18 Responses to Dorje Shugden lineage holders in the Sakya tradition: Sonam Rinchen & Kunga Lodro

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  1. Valentina Suhendra on Oct 19, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    We should fulfil the will of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for an autonomous Tibetan state.

    3d2e2d3d-4daf-4db8-8215-c05d582f0b04

    3d929c9b-8d33-42ff-ab27-640c45ba1139

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    7aece914-b64c-41e4-93b3-2cf0096b25f7

    ff628aeb-4dff-4bbb-bc2f-17ba128af47f

  2. Valentina Suhendra on Oct 19, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    Dear friends,

    This meme is powerful. Who you hang around with and the types of attitude they have is who you will be influenced by many times and who you will become in the future. Look at your friends and the people that always surround you to know who you will become.

    Tsem Rinpoche

    d96b47a2-387a-4d07-8ae1-6b4ad910aed2

  3. Pastor Shin Tan on Oct 19, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    Recently Beng Kooi and Martin on behalf of myself and Kechara was lucky to have audience with His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal of Gaden Shartse Monastery. He lives in around Paris, France. His Holiness is 91 years old and very healthy and alert. He was the 101st throne holder for Tsongkapa and was the head of the Gelugpa school of Buddhism and was very successful during his tenure. He is a strong practitioner of both Sutra and Tantra of Je Tsongkapa’s tradition and a master of all Buddhist knowledge. He holds steadfast to his protector Dorje Shugden very strongly. So we can see even the highest throneholders who are masters of Sutra and Tantra also practices Dorje Shugden knowing the benefits.

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

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

    Humbly,
    Tsem Rinpoche

    GadenTri1

    GadenTri2

    gaden trisur kechara

  4. Valentina Suhendra on Oct 15, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Great message every Tibetan especially must read!

    99db7720-bb39-46d3-bd93-3e2ca0f6ed7c

    bb270277-6912-4e9e-ad1e-0da94bb74dba

    e60b9b05-2f2f-4133-940e-c7eb068a18f6

    e620014f-0cf8-44d2-945e-61f6141a58ee

    ef0d99f0-b31d-4337-aa46-066f75a4aa5c

  5. Tsem Rinpoche on Sep 30, 2017 at 5:42 am

    Sonam Tsemo

    At the age of 41, on the eleventh day of the Tibetan month of Malpo in the Male Water Tiger year (1182), the great Loppon Sonam Tsemo directly entered Sukhavati. As he passed into parinirvana, he manifested two different aspects of his body for the benefit of beings. The first aspect is described in the Supplication with a Mournful Melody: “During the evening of the tenth day, the two holy brothers performed a tsok offering. The next morning Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen visited his brother’s room and found only a Dharma robe left behind, for Loppon Sonam Tsemo had departed to the Kechari realm without abandoning his body. Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen, with great fervor, recited the Supplication with a Mournful Melody and through it he received a special prophecy which emerged from the Dharma robes like the sound of a bee.”

    The second aspect was described by an old woman who witnessed Loppon Sonam Tsemo depart. Standing on a rock at the holy spring near Sakya known as Chumik Dzingka, his body ascended gracefully into the sky, still holding his dog. Even today the footprints of Loppon Sonam Tsemo and the dog can be clearly seen in the rock, left for the benefit of living beings as a field from which to accumulate merit. This holy site was decorated by the great master Mantradhara Ngawang Kunga Rinchen. Other accounts say that he ascended from Gorum Library near Chumik Dzingka spring. A stupa containing his holy relics was erected there.

    http://www.hhthesakyatrizin.org/tradition_founder2.html

    And another version:

    Biography: Sonam Tsemo

    Sonam Tsemo, 1142-1182, also called Lobpon Sonam Tsemo (bsod nams rtse mo) of the Khon family was the second of the Sakya Jetsun Gongma Nga, (sa skya rje btsun gong ma lnga) who were the five founding patriarchs of the Sakya order. He was also the fourth Sakya throne holder, although he served as active head of the monastery for only a few years. His mother was called Machig Odron (ma gcig ‘od sgron). Like his father he remained a layman throughout his life, although he never married or had children. He was identified as the reincarnation of the Indian scholar Durgachandra (or Durjayachandra) the master of Drogmi Lotsawa Shakya Yeshe’s (‘brog mi lotsawa shakya ye shes) teacher Viravajra, in India.

    During his childhood, Sonam Tsemo’s main teacher was his father Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (sa chen kun dga’ snying po), who was the first Sakya patriarch and the third throne holder. His studies with his father focused on esoteric topics, and it is said that he could recite fourteen esoteric scriptures, including the Hevajra and Samvara tantras by the age of sixteen. He received oral Lamdre (lam ‘bras) instructions from Sachen during this time. After Sachen passed away, Sonam Tsemo’s education was strongly inflected by the Indian monastic model. At seventeen he went to the Kadampa monastery Sangpu Neutog (gsang phu ne’u thog) to study Madhyamaka philosophy and epistemology with the great master Chapa Chokyi Sengge (phya pa chos kyi seng ge). This teacher had disciples from several of the most prominent families in Central Tibet and Sonam Tsemo’s biography claims that he became the most accomplished of the students. He studied with this master on and off for eleven years and became well versed in Mahayana texts such as Pramanavinischaya and Bodhicharyavatara. Sonam Tsemo also received some instruction from the Indian or Nepali Acharya Shri Anandagharba.

    Sonam Tsemo’s work Chola jugpai go (chos la ‘jug pa’i sgo), which he composed at the age of twenty-six at Nalatse, was extremely influential on the work of his nephew Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen (sa skya paN+Di ta kun dga’ rgyal mtshan), the fourth Sakya patriarch and a widely renowned scholar. Sonam Tsemo’s written works address topics including the Bodhicharyavatara, a schematization of the tantra; an explanation of the last two chapters of the Hevajra root tantra; a commentary on the Samputa tantra; instructions for reading Sanskrit, and commemorative texts for his main teachers.

    Sonam Tsemo first gave the Lamdre teachings in Sakya at the age of twenty-eight. Many famous masters attended the teaching, and he became renowned as a clear and skilled teacher, but his biographical data reflect a career more focused on study, practice and composition of texts than on teaching. His few close disciples included his brother Dragpa Gyaltsen (rje btsun grags pa rgyal mtshan), Ngodrup (dngos grub), Chagkyi Dorje (lcags kyi rdo rje), and Tsugtor (gstug tor). He was the active Sakya throne holder for only three years, after which he passed the responsibility on to his younger brother Dragpa Gyaltsen, in order to devote the rest of his life to study and retreat.

    Sonam Tsemo passed away in 1182 at the age of forty. The details of his death are unclear, but it is recorded that his body disappeared and he left nothing but his robe and a footprint behind.

    https://www.himalayanart.org/search/set.cfm?setid=400

    Sonam Tsemo beautiful thangka

    Sonam Tsemo3

    Sonam Tsemo1

    Sonam Tsemo

  6. Tara Luka on Sep 27, 2017 at 5:12 am

    A question
    Is it so that if you practice Dorje Shugden or if you be a Gelugpa in your tradition that is it not allowed to get initiations of other traditions like Nigmapas and so on?
    Thank you for clarification. I would like to see, that all Dharmapractioners are in peace.

    • Stan on Sep 27, 2017 at 10:15 am

      Tara Luka, Where did you hear such a thing? I am an old student of Lama Yeshe. I dropped out of FPMT back in 1998 because they are all politics now. But to answer your question I am a Gelug and follow Gelug for over 40 years. I also get teachings from Nyingma and Kagyu and there is no problems. Lama Yeshe said no problems. Why do you listen to rumours and hearsay? No such thing that Dorje Shugden and Gelug cannot practice any teachings they want. I know a person who is a Gelugpa and Jewish practitioner and there is no problems.

      But there is no Nyingma lamas who practice Gelug teachings or give Gelug Tsongkapa initiations.

    • Stan on Sep 27, 2017 at 10:20 am

      Tara Luka, here is a Nyingma practitioner’s thangka. You can see Guru Rinpoche floating right above Dorje Shugden. No issues at all. Dorje Shugden accept all dharmas from all schools of Buddhism.

      nyingma2

      nyingma 3

  7. Choong on Sep 20, 2017 at 1:52 am

    Thank you very much Rinpoche for the commentary on the “Praise to Dorje Shugden” by the 31st Sakya Trizin Kunga Lodro (1729-1783). The praise clearly places Dorje Shugden on the lotus in bloom of an enlightened being, no doubt about it.

    What I find interesting is the following verse in the praise:

    “The great protector of all the Buddhas of this fortunate aeon,
    who is the eliminator of all the forces of unsuitable Mara,
    some day through showing full enlightenment as Samyaksambuddha,
    you will fulfil the deed of a Tathagata, to you I prostrate.”

    Rinpoche comments that the verse explains Dorje Shugden is emanating as a Dharma protector for all Buddhist lineages at this moment and that he will continuously emanate to assist sincere practitioners. However, in the future he will take on the form of a Samyaksambuddha. This is a Buddha who manifests when the Dharma is non-existent within samsara to turn the wheel of Dharma to benefit sentient beings. Buddha Shakyamuni for example taught when the Dharma no longer exist, so therefore he is called a Samyaksambuddha.

    From what I know, the next Samyaksambuddha to come to earth at the end of the current Kali-Yuga or when Dharma ceases to exist, is Maitreya Buddha who is “awaiting” in Tushita Heaven. This would be 5,000 years from when Buddha Shakyamuni, the most recent Samyaksambuddha was born.

    However, there is also a number of ancient Chinese’s Buddhist commentaries, who figured that this period is 2,500 years. Here is one such example:

    “The monks and stream attainers (followers) will be strong in their union with Dharma for 500 years after the Blessed One’s Parinirvana. In the second 500 years they will be strong in meditation; in the third period of 500 years they will be strong in erudition. In the fourth 500 years period they will only be occupied with gift giving. The final or fifth period of 500 years will see only fighting and reproving among the monks and followers. The pure Dharma will then become invisible (disappear)” (Abhidharmakosha, 4.12c. III. p. 41).

    5,000 or 2,500 years, my conclusion is that not only is Dorje Shugden an enlightened being but he is close to us in the form of Maitreya Buddha, in time, very, very, close indeed in cosmological terms.

    May Maitreya Buddha bring about a renaissance in the teaching, learning, spreading and practice of the Dharma!

  8. wan wai meng on Sep 13, 2017 at 12:41 am

    Thank you for this article, Dorje Shugden is truly an universal protector. I remembered Dorje Shugden tried to advice the Gaden Phodrang and Dalai Lama to modernize before Tibet was taken over by the Chinese. Now reading that Dorje Shugden was a protector of Tibet, it all makes sense.

    I pray that the Sakya will one day carry on practicing Dorje Shugden practice, as not having Dorje Shugden as part of their practices they have lost something really precious. I also understand the best way to protect the teachings, is to spread the buddha dharma, thats how the teachings are protected.

  9. Lew on Sep 3, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    Other than Gelug, Sakya is another lineage who rely on Dorje Shugden heavily.

    Some said the Sakya masters were wrong about Dorje Shugden practice. But this is a very serious allegation. If Sakya masters can make such mistakes, does it mean they can make mistakes about other practices too? I cannot believe the Sakya masters can make any mistakes.

  10. Anne Ong on Sep 2, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    Another great write up and information about Sakya lineage in Dorje Shugden practice. More interesting stuffs to read and learn up. Thank you very much Rinpoche and Pastor David for this wonderful follow up article.🙏👍

  11. Datuk May on Sep 2, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    I have been busy, busy reading the latest articles of the History of Dorje Shugden within the Sakya tradition. What a treat to have so much information extended to us by the grace of H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche and Pastor David Lai.

    The gelug great Masters like Pabongka Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche, the list goes on, had practised and many living great Masters, like Current Trijang Rinpoche, Gangchen Rinpoche are great examples of Dorje Shugden Lamas.

    Such great erudite lamas cannot be wrong.

    Now into history, the great Masters and throne holders, the Sakya Trizins, 30th, 31st, 33rd, 37th and 39th had all propitiated Dorje Shugden. It is this tradition that first enthroned Dorje Shugden as an enlightened Protector and the Shakya Trizins wrote texts and prayers to Him.

    Knowledge is so powerful to cement one’s faith on one’s beliefs and religion. These new articles definitely reinforced and enhanced my faith in the Protector of our Time, Dorje Shugden.

  12. MC on Sep 2, 2017 at 5:44 am

    What and incredible post this is and I learned quite a bit from this. Everyone should read at least the ‘PRAISE’ and the ‘ADDENDUM’ parts if you are rushed for time and then come back to read the complete post later. Not only is there so much valuable information condensed into a few logical and powerful paragraphs, the Praise will also fill you with devotion and trust in the Dharmapala when you see how our Protector was described and hailed.

    This post debunks so many of the false allegations against Dorje Shugden for example, that the practice is sectarian and that Dorje Shugden is an anti-dharma practice and an invention by Pabongka Rinpoche. The Sakya prayer itself exhorts Dorje Shugden to protect all Buddhist traditions! In fact, Sakya high lamas like the 30th and 31st Sakya Trinzin, Sonam Rinchen and Kunga Lodro respectively did so much to alleviate Dorje Shugden as a main practice and by virtue of their credibility as supreme mahasiddhas, the practice of Dorje Shugden become very popular.

    We should ask, if Dorje Shugden was not a beneficial practice, how could it have lasted from the 30th to the 39th Sakya Trinzins and then went on to become a Gelugpa practice with strong advocates such as Tagphu Pemavajra Jampel Tenpai Ngodrub and then Pabongka Dechen Nyingpo to Trijang Dorje Chang, to become a main protector practice of the Gelugpa? This is a period of some 300 years during which the greatest and highly attained lamas of the time upheld Dorje Shugden as a Buddha?

    I love these series of Sakya Dorje Shugden articles and they come together to present carefully distilled information about this great Protector from so many monastic and academic sources. Read in concert, there can be no mistake about the true nature of Gyalchen Dorje Shugden and our urgent need to uphold this tradition. And as highlighted in this good post, the best way to protect the tradition is to understand it and practice it whole heartedly.

  13. MC on Sep 2, 2017 at 5:30 am

    What and incredible post this is and I learned quite a bit from this. Everyone *MUST* read at least the ‘PRAISE’ and the ‘ADDENDUM’ parts if you are rushed for time and then come back to read the complete post later. Not only is there so much valuable information condensed into a few logical and powerful paragraphs, the Praise will also fill you with devotion and trust in the Dharmapala when you see how our Protector was described and hailed.

    This post debunks so many of the false allegations against Dorje Shugden for example, that the practice is sectarian and that Dorje Shugden is an anti-dharma practice and an invention by Pabongka Rinpoche. The Sakya prayer itself exhorts Dorje Shugden to protect all Buddhist traditions! In fact, Sakya high lamas like the 30th and 31st Sakya Trinzin, Sonam Rinchen and Kunga Lodro respectively did so much to alleviate Dorje Shugden as a main practice and by virtue of their credibility as supreme mahasiddhas, the practice of Dorje Shugden become very popular.

    We should ask, if Dorje Shugden was not a beneficial practice, how could it have lasted from the 30th to the 39th Sakya Trinzins and then went on to become a Gelugpa practice with strong advocates such as Tagphu Pemavajra Jampel Tenpai Ngodrub and then Pabongka Dechen Nyingpo to Trijang Dorje Chang, to become a main protector practice of the Gelugpa? This is a period of some 300 years during which the greatest and highly attained lamas of the time upheld Dorje Shugden as a Buddha?

    I love these series of Sakya Dorje Shugden articles and they come together to present carefully distilled information about this great Protector from so many monastic and academic sources. Read in concert, there can be no mistake about the true nature of Gyalchen Dorje Shugden and our urgent need to uphold this tradition. And as highlighted in this good post, the best way to protect the tradition is to understand it and practice it whole heartedly.

  14. Tsem Rinpoche on Sep 1, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    🙏🙂☺️🐚 Thank you.

  15. Tsem Rinpoche on Sep 1, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    Sakya throne holders especially Dragshul Trinley Rinchen (1871–1936, the 39th Sakya Trizin invoke a lot of faith in me. Another one is Sakya Throne holder Sonam Tsemo who ascended to Kechara Paradise together with his dog.

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  • Lin Mun
    Sunday, Oct 22. 2017 08:38 PM
    It is very sad for the Tibetan in exile that after 60 years they are still refugees and not able to have a good environment to develop in any sense. The question is why isn’t the governing body (Central Tibetan Administration) whom has been receiving helps from other countries been able to help the Tibetan in exile in getting good education and get them out of the vicious cycle ? Above article clearly shows that Tibetan living in other countries were given the opportunity to learn and freedom to develop ones talent. I hope the Tibetan in exile understand their position and stand up to fight for their rights and freedom.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/why-are-these-tibetans-successful-without-the-cta.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Oct 22. 2017 05:19 PM
    Very touching…….farmer and his cow for 23 years through thick and thin .A special bond between them even when separated to retirement home we can see how much tears flowing the two of them. True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils.
    After the cow was sent to the retirement home, the cow refused to eat for 3 days till the owner came to show up again. Amazing the cow started eating after met up the farmer. There must be a direct relationship between these two of them.
    Animals have feelings too ,and they needs our care ,love aswell.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/so-touching-you-will-cry.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Oct 22. 2017 05:18 PM
    Is really heart breaking to watch this video ,how horrible and sad how those chickens, turkeys ,cows, cattle ,pigs and died suffering so much pain and abused. I almost in tears how can the slaughter men did it…..so cruel. The chicken is the worst abused animals ,suffered cramped, bitten by the owner before been slaughtered. Having the throat slit alive or scalded alive.
    Cattle horn were piled off, injuries on them left alone. Thousands of cows or cattle were not able to walk before going to the slaughtered house. Pigs suffered the same faith, throw against the wall. Many pigs suffered injuries and so forth. Those who are so sick and cannot made to the slaughtered house were shot dead. Some are burned alive.
    Choose vegetarian ,live healthy and safe those poor aniamals.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/please-watch-leave-your-thoughts-in-comments-for-me.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Oct 22. 2017 05:15 PM
    What I heard is more than the 9;s…. 3 and 6 too from old folks many years back. I was warned on these ….year we odd to be careful and so forth. All those black years has passed by me with up and down. I do not believed of such myth and I don’t quite actually remember much and try not to remember as it’s the past. I have let go all ,just looking forward and now I am glad to have Rinpoche to thank for having learn and practice Dharma. Every day is a new day for me ,learning new knowledge from Rinpoche blog.
    Thank you Datuk May for sharing your thoughts of the 9’s.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/a-blind-corner-at-each-decade.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Oct 22. 2017 05:14 PM
    Wonderful platform for Rinpoche to share with more people having an account of FB. From there they can have live streaming to express each individual opinion on certain interesting subject. Having these live streaming Rinpoche did a lot of sharing with people of different walks of life ,his biography, his spiritual journey, meeting his Guru and on the practice of Dorje Shugden .It s a powerful way to spread Dharma knowledge through social media. It can be shared by many and since the video is saved ,the viewer could see from time to time to get a better understanding .
    These live streaming lasted for 3 hours with many beautiful comments.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing. We love HH Dalai Lama and we love Dorje Shugden ..Please resolve the Dorje Shugden issue as soon as possible. and please end the suffering, segregation and prejudice.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/h-e-tsem-rinpoches-first-live-streaming.html
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Oct 21. 2017 09:30 PM
    This is great move by Gucci and I hope it will encourage more brands to follow suit. We do not need to have animals fur on our body to look pretty and to prevent us from cold. We have many options. Choose one that does not harm and bring suffering to other beings.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/do-you-know-what-gucci-did.html
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Oct 21. 2017 09:22 PM
    This is horrible and it is a shame that we human can do such actions that bring tremendous pain to the animals. We should stop using leather products and this will directly stop the demand of leather goods. I hope authority of respective country will implement rules to protect animals welfare. It is only when there are laws that people will stop such act.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/where-does-leather-come-from.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Oct 20. 2017 10:04 AM
    Interesting someone like Rob Lowe a famous actor actually told he came face-to-face with Bigfoot was with his two sons .No proof and details given to support his encounter. Whether for publicity his coming show no one knows. He was filming his new paranormal documentary series when he said he saw it. It does not matter at least it helps to raise awareness of that Bigfoot do exist. Good in way more people will come to accept it and will further investigate its existence of Bigfoot. It also encourages people to start thinking broadly of possibilities.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/rob-lowe-face-to-face-with-bigfoot.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Oct 20. 2017 10:03 AM
    Well,I have read news of Bigfoot sightings in the jungles of southern Malaysia before years back. Interesting as our country do have the sighting of Bigfoot too.It seems that Bigfoot can be found anywhere in this world. To many people, Bigfoot is the stuff of nightmarish folklore. Described by hundreds of alleged eyewitnesses as an ape-like creature that stands nearly eight feet tall. There is a number of sighting by the locals and may be linked to environmental changes and the shrinking jungle. This has attracted world attention, having teams from different countries and our local government as well. The research scientists, has been trying to verify Bigfoot’s existence so far none has really performed intensive research on this matter. Historical records show eight claimed sightings of enormous apemen or Bigfoot or oversized apes. Despite numerous sightings, photos and footprints , there has never been conclusive proof that these creatures exist in Malaysia.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these interesting article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/bigfoot-in-malaysia.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Oct 20. 2017 10:02 AM
    Alarming height and shocking to know there is microplastic contamination in our drinking water after scientific investigation has discovered that.
    Glad to know scientists are doing more for research on the implications for health. At least we could know more knowledge and more aware of all plastics fibres in our tap water. All this while we have been drinking . Scientists warn microplastics are so small they could penetrate organs. That is bad for our health. Plastic fibres have infiltrated the drinking water of cities and towns all over the world. Our oceans are littered with plastic, which is killing whales and other marine mammals, and contaminating fish. Previous studies have shown when people eat seafood, they are also eating high levels of microplastics, not to mention taking in a lot of mercury as well
    Many people have involved to make a change for a better environment for the generation to come. Educating the people from school children to the people on the streets the safest ways of garbage disposal will be a wonderful start. We should all take responsibility to care for the environment and help raise awareness.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/do-you-know-what-you-are-drinking.html
  • Alice Tay
    Friday, Oct 20. 2017 01:51 AM
    In Buddhism, before become an enlightened beings, all living beings have to experience the suffering in taking rebirth for many lifetimes and each of the rebirth, we must have father and mother. It is possible that our previous lifetime’s father and mother have taken rebirth in other forms such as animals, hungry ghosts and etc in this lifetime. Due to this reason, we should love and treat all sentient beings well as everyone might once been our father or mother in the previous life. We owe them kindness and therefore we should practice dharma and help to liberate them from suffering and lead them to enlightenment.

    I am extremely grateful that I meet and learn dharma from Rinpoche. Rinpoche’s skilful means teachings let me understand that I should not only care about myself, my family and friends but to be kind and compassion to everyone around me. Rinpoche reminds and encourage us to do our commitments and daily sadhana. Later, I realized that when we do prayers, sadhana or pujas, we must begin with Taking Refuge in the Three Jewels and followed by recitation of the Four Immeasurables. Through this practice, it is actually to help us to set a good motivation and generate our Bodhicitta for the benefit of all sentient beings.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/five-ways-to-love-more-by-tsem-rinpoche.html
  • Lin Mun
    Thursday, Oct 19. 2017 10:27 PM
    Rinpoche’s blog has so many interesting topics and articles. Be it heavy and technical or light such as traveling tips, all are very useful and informative to the readers. I appreciate Rinpoche and writers team hardwork in giving us vast information and opportunity for us to learn and improve our dharma knowledge.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/i-am-honoured.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Oct 19. 2017 11:04 AM
    Wow …such a unique island called Socotra which i did not know before or come across . Everything from trees to flowers looks so unique. A place home to a panoply of strange plants and animals uniquely which adapted to the hot, harsh, windswept island. The landscape of this remote Socotra Island looks as if it comes from a sci-fi film.
    From what I see through the pictures this Socotra Island, looks more like Alien place. It’s truly unlike any place on earth and is also called the ‘Lost World ‘ to some of the tourist. I did some research on this island .
    It seem over millions of years, the isolated island in the Arabian Sea has cultivated a unique biodiversity unlike anywhere else on Earth. Twisted dragon’s blood trees and bulbous bottle trees have made Socotra a place of legends, feared by sailors throughout history and believed by some to be the site of the original Garden of Eden.
    Now it seem to be a tourist attraction in Yemen after when UNESCO named it as World Natural Heritage Site in 2006. Its wonderful news as UNESCO recognizes the importance of preserving the island.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these unique island with us.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/travel/socotra-island.html#comment-753145
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Oct 19. 2017 11:03 AM
    Beautiful sacred painting by Rinpoche. Amazing to know RInpoche as a small kid is so talented in drawing and painting . Yet after so many years the painting still looks good condition. Such a beautiful White Tara painting and now Rinpoche still paints.
    Wow interesting stories behind the scared painting of the powerful white Tara. When we have trust and faith that’s how these powerful Tara will help us.
    Thank you for sharing with us.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/sacred-painting.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Oct 19. 2017 11:02 AM
    The two beautiful Yeti painting comes a long way from Nepal with love to Malaysia .Specially for Rinpoche……such a beautiful gift and unique .. Knowing Rinpoche like Bigfoot so much. Every gift which is given, even though it be small, is in reality great, if it is given with affection. It is not the gift but the thought that counts.
    Rejoice for Mitra Poudel and Khom Thapa
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these beautiful paintings.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/yeti-bigfoot-sasquatch/from-nepal.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

What Am I Writing Now

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  Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch

The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
Download for free this high res photo of Lord Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
3 hours ago
Download for free this high res photo of Lord Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
Whatever we can do to spread the teachings of our Guru, we should do so.
3 hours ago
Whatever we can do to spread the teachings of our Guru, we should do so.
 These three (Dharma, Oser and Mumu) are super adorable.
yesterday
These three (Dharma, Oser and Mumu) are super adorable.
Beautiful Vajra Yogini print.
yesterday
Beautiful Vajra Yogini print.
Beautiful and holy new statues arrived to Kechara Forest Retreat. Please enjoy the pictures: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146950
yesterday
Beautiful and holy new statues arrived to Kechara Forest Retreat. Please enjoy the pictures: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146950
Beautiful old thangka of Buddha Nageshvaraja
yesterday
Beautiful old thangka of Buddha Nageshvaraja
Dear friends, This meme is powerful. Who you hang around with and the types of attitude they have is who you will be influenced by many times and who you will become in the future. Look at your friends and the people that always surround you to know who you will become. Tsem Rinpoche
3 days ago
Dear friends, This meme is powerful. Who you hang around with and the types of attitude they have is who you will be influenced by many times and who you will become in the future. Look at your friends and the people that always surround you to know who you will become. Tsem Rinpoche
October 2017, His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal graciously reading our Kechara album and updates as presented by Beng Kooi and Martin. He was very pleased with our progress and offers his blessings. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
October 2017, His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal graciously reading our Kechara album and updates as presented by Beng Kooi and Martin. He was very pleased with our progress and offers his blessings. Tsem Rinpoche
His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche grants audience to Beng Kooi and Martin in France.  Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
4 days ago
His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche grants audience to Beng Kooi and Martin in France. Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
Recently Beng Kooi and Martin on behalf of myself and Kechara was lucky to have audience with His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal of Gaden Shartse Monastery. He lives in around Paris, France. His Holiness is 91 years old and very healthy and alert. He was the 101st throne holder for Tsongkapa and was the head of the Gelugpa school of Buddhism and was very successful during his tenure. He is a strong practitioner of both Sutra and Tantra of Je Tsongkapa\'s tradition and a master of all Buddhist knowledge. He holds steadfast to his protector Dorje Shugden very strongly. So we can see even the highest throneholders who are masters of Sutra and Tantra also practices Dorje Shugden knowing the benefits.

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

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

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

Fantastic Reads!!
5 days ago
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp *****and**** My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li Fantastic Reads!!
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp
*****and****
My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li
5 days ago
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp *****and**** My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li
This is so powerful. It is a must read and must share.
5 days ago
This is so powerful. It is a must read and must share.
Beng Kooi meeting with the scholar and teacher Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen lak. Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen has been very active and you can see his youtubes in Tibetan speaking about the benefits of Dorje Shugden practice. He is a direct student of Trijang Rinpoche and Zong Rinpoche.
6 days ago
Beng Kooi meeting with the scholar and teacher Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen lak. Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen has been very active and you can see his youtubes in Tibetan speaking about the benefits of Dorje Shugden practice. He is a direct student of Trijang Rinpoche and Zong Rinpoche.
Martin meeting with Gen Tashi. Gen Tashi is a very devoted and committed activist of Dorje Shugden\'s cause. He is tireless in speaking for the truth. They enjoyed sharing some time together.
6 days ago
Martin meeting with Gen Tashi. Gen Tashi is a very devoted and committed activist of Dorje Shugden's cause. He is tireless in speaking for the truth. They enjoyed sharing some time together.
Martin meeting with the well known strong and devoted Dorje Shugden activist and scholar Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen lak. Geshe lak was very happy to meet Martin and shared so much wonderful information. Beautiful meeting.
6 days ago
Martin meeting with the well known strong and devoted Dorje Shugden activist and scholar Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen lak. Geshe lak was very happy to meet Martin and shared so much wonderful information. Beautiful meeting.
Beng Kooi meeting with friend and strong and devoted Dorje Shugden activist Gen Tashi
6 days ago
Beng Kooi meeting with friend and strong and devoted Dorje Shugden activist Gen Tashi
Another stunning digital print art of Dorje Shugden from an artist in Peru. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Another stunning digital print art of Dorje Shugden from an artist in Peru. Tsem Rinpoche
This beautiful Dorje Shugden is from an artist in the Ukraine. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
This beautiful Dorje Shugden is from an artist in the Ukraine. Tsem Rinpoche
Please never get tired of speaking for those who do not have a voice. If we can alleviate their pain or try our best, why not? Thank you all so much. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Please never get tired of speaking for those who do not have a voice. If we can alleviate their pain or try our best, why not? Thank you all so much. Tsem Rinpoche
Pastor Antoinette of Kechara arranged a Malaysian artist to paint this special Dorje Shugden painting conceptualized by myself. She oversaw the process and completed it. Wonderful beautiful Dorje Shugden Malaysian style by Malaysian artist. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Pastor Antoinette of Kechara arranged a Malaysian artist to paint this special Dorje Shugden painting conceptualized by myself. She oversaw the process and completed it. Wonderful beautiful Dorje Shugden Malaysian style by Malaysian artist. Tsem Rinpoche
Sometimes after my prayers, reading on sasquatch is relaxing. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Sometimes after my prayers, reading on sasquatch is relaxing. Tsem Rinpoche
This gorgeous outdoor bronze Buddha is in Korea. Would be lovely to pay homage to Him there.
3 weeks ago
This gorgeous outdoor bronze Buddha is in Korea. Would be lovely to pay homage to Him there.
Beautiful old vintage photo of Kamakura Buddha in Japan. I had the good fortune to visit this holy Buddha a few years back. I do hope I can go again with some students. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Beautiful old vintage photo of Kamakura Buddha in Japan. I had the good fortune to visit this holy Buddha a few years back. I do hope I can go again with some students. Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche with Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during the Medicine Buddha festival.
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche with Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during the Medicine Buddha festival.
This is a unique thangka of Pelden Hlamo with Dorje Shugden and Setrap and Nechung. Of course they all get along unlike what Tibetan leadership likes to say they don\'t get along. All enlightened beings get along with other enlightened beings and unenlightened beings. Enlightened beings have no karma to not get along with others. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
This is a unique thangka of Pelden Hlamo with Dorje Shugden and Setrap and Nechung. Of course they all get along unlike what Tibetan leadership likes to say they don't get along. All enlightened beings get along with other enlightened beings and unenlightened beings. Enlightened beings have no karma to not get along with others. Tsem Rinpoche
I love this picture. I wish it will all settle down soon.
3 weeks ago
I love this picture. I wish it will all settle down soon.
 I love this picture of Mumu peeking through the screen and window to see what is going on. He is always been very busy body and active. He has to know what is going on. I love you Mumu.
3 weeks ago
I love this picture of Mumu peeking through the screen and window to see what is going on. He is always been very busy body and active. He has to know what is going on. I love you Mumu.
How would you like to get one piece of this beautiful piece of art?
3 weeks ago
How would you like to get one piece of this beautiful piece of art?
First time PM Tenpa Yarphel speaks up against Nechung. It has created a huge stir. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144220
3 weeks ago
First time PM Tenpa Yarphel speaks up against Nechung. It has created a huge stir. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144220
I always like my rooms to smell clean, fresh, woodsy and a bit like the forest. my favorite types of essential oils to burn daily or as an offering to the Buddhas are Juniper, Cypress, Black Spruce, Peppermint and sometimes Rosemary. I like the smell of the forest, woods and wooded areas very much. I\'ve been using essential oils in my rooms for years. I don\'t necessarily purchase the brand you see in the picture as I buy any brand as long as it\'s made naturally. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
I always like my rooms to smell clean, fresh, woodsy and a bit like the forest. my favorite types of essential oils to burn daily or as an offering to the Buddhas are Juniper, Cypress, Black Spruce, Peppermint and sometimes Rosemary. I like the smell of the forest, woods and wooded areas very much. I've been using essential oils in my rooms for years. I don't necessarily purchase the brand you see in the picture as I buy any brand as long as it's made naturally. Tsem Rinpoche
In the bitter coldness of Yachen Gar, Tibet, several nuns are practicing meditation. You can see many small single \'huts\' in the background. They do this yearly and throughout the year. It is very inspiring to see people practice even under extreme conditions because they realize how samsara is so full of deceptions. Praise to the Dharma that liberates us with truth and practice. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
In the bitter coldness of Yachen Gar, Tibet, several nuns are practicing meditation. You can see many small single 'huts' in the background. They do this yearly and throughout the year. It is very inspiring to see people practice even under extreme conditions because they realize how samsara is so full of deceptions. Praise to the Dharma that liberates us with truth and practice. Tsem Rinpoche
More than you have....
3 weeks ago
More than you have....
The holiest place for the spiritual seeker is where our guru abides. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
The holiest place for the spiritual seeker is where our guru abides. Tsem Rinpoche
Beautiful flowers offered on my shrine to Sacred Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Beautiful flowers offered on my shrine to Sacred Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
This is my favorite image of Lord Manjusri. I had this exact same image as a kid in the 1980\'s and treasured it very much. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
This is my favorite image of Lord Manjusri. I had this exact same image as a kid in the 1980's and treasured it very much. Tsem Rinpoche
I love this idyllic painting of a beautiful Buddhist temple in a small town with foliage, natural, blue skies and country living. I can definitely live in this type of environment any time. I love living near nature. I wish I can go inside this picture to start living there now. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
I love this idyllic painting of a beautiful Buddhist temple in a small town with foliage, natural, blue skies and country living. I can definitely live in this type of environment any time. I love living near nature. I wish I can go inside this picture to start living there now. Tsem Rinpoche
Another gorgeous Byzantine style painting. As the crowd is lead to the hill of light, atop the hill is St. Dorje Shugden ready to give rest to the weary. And hope to the hopeless and help to the helpless. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
Another gorgeous Byzantine style painting. As the crowd is lead to the hill of light, atop the hill is St. Dorje Shugden ready to give rest to the weary. And hope to the hopeless and help to the helpless. Tsem Rinpoche
Ms Gerbrick was a very special person in my childhood. When I finally found her again, I had lost her - http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144296
4 weeks ago
Ms Gerbrick was a very special person in my childhood. When I finally found her again, I had lost her - http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144296
I just did another one. See how it\'s done-
 http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144259
4 weeks ago
I just did another one. See how it's done- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144259
I like this sketch I just did. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
I like this sketch I just did. Tsem Rinpoche
One of my sketches just finished. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
One of my sketches just finished. Tsem Rinpoche
More of my drawings.  Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
More of my drawings. Tsem Rinpoche
See what Linus has to say to Charlie Brown: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/category/dorje-shugden
1 month ago
Plse click on this and read and share. Important thoughts regarding our teacher. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Plse click on this and read and share. Important thoughts regarding our teacher. Tsem Rinpoche
The stupa dedicated to the great Changkya Rolpai Dorje in 5 peaks of Manjushri - China. Changkya Rolpai Dorje was one of the previous life of His Holiness Pabongka Rinpoche. In that life, he was the imperial tutor to the Emperor of China.  Photo from Karen Chong
1 month ago
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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.

  • October 18, 2017 23:32
    Yen asked: Dear pastor, I am married but have not been blessed with a kid after several years. How can I overcome the pain I am going through? I also like to ask u for guidance to help someone dear to me who have met with an accident and in vegetative state. How do I help the friend suffer less? What can I do to help her overcome this obstacle in life even when doctor seems to have given up hope?
    Pastor Niral Patel answered: Dear Yen, Thank you for your question. I am very sorry to hear of your situation and that of your friend. One thing we need to remember is that the Buddha explained to us how karma works. Everything we experience in life, whether good or bad is due to our actions previously in this life and previous lifetimes. While this may sound unfair in that we need to experience the results of something that we do not remember doing, this is the way samsara exists. They only way to be free of this type of suffering is to attain enlightenment, the state of a Buddha. That being said, we all need help in our daily life, and that is where deity practice can help us. In order to overcome the pain you are going through, may I suggest that you engage in the Guru Yoga of Lama Tsongkhapa. You can find an excellent commentary by His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/tsongkapas-daily-practice-video-commentary.html. You can find the prayers to recite here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/sadhana-prayers.html#19. There is also a practice box set dedicate to Lama Tsongkhapa, which you can order online here if you wish: https://www.vajrasecrets.com/tsongkhapa-boxset-english Lama Tsongkhapa is the emanation of Manjushri, the Buddha of wisdom; Chenrezig, the Buddha of compassion; and Vajrapani, the Buddha of skilful means. As such the practice is extremely powerful and is well-known to help people heal psychical pain, but more importantly the sufferings felt in the mind. You can concentrate on the recitation of the Mig Tse Ma mantra and beseech Lama Tsongkhapa to help ease your suffering. He will surely help. His practice is known for relieving anxiety and even depression. In regards to your friend, on a practical level you can research about your friend’s specific state and see if there are any treatments available that can be effective if you have not done so already. In any case what you can do is to engage in prayers or pujas and dedicate the merits generated to your friend. For example, you can engage in the practice of Medicine Buddha, available here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/medicine-buddha-practice.html, or alternative have Medicine Buddha pujas sponsored here: https://www.vajrasecrets.com/medicine-buddha-puja-fund. Medicine Buddha is excellent at healing on all levels, and provide us with soothing and beneficial energy. Another method that you can use to help your friend is to generate as much merit for her as possible. A vast amount of merit and purification of karma can help even the direst of circumstances. Such activities could involve releasing animals from slaughter or deplorable conditions, feeding the homeless and less fortunate and providing for them, and making vast amounts of offerings to the Buddhas and enlightened beings. If done with a good motivation, and dedicated towards your friend, she will benefit from the virtuous actions, even if you cannot see the benefits at the moment. Coupled with this you can engage in the practice of a Dharma protector such as a Dorje Shugden. You can find the prayers here if you wish to engage in them yourself: http://www.dorjeshugden.org/practice/diamond-path-a-daily-sadhana-of-dorje-shugden, alternatively you can have Dorje Shugden pujas sponsored here: https://www.vajrasecrets.com/dorje-shugden-wishfulfilling-puja-fund. Dharma protectors help to overcome obstacles and conditions that we wish to arise. I understand that it is a difficult situation, but you should maintain your faith in the Buddhas and enlightened beings, and they will definitely help. I hope this helps. Thank you
  • October 14, 2017 13:27
    Ling asked: I have been practising chakrasamvara for over 2 years now and recently during my meditation I feel that during the deity meditation portion that it feel like my entire body is under a heavy water fall. My heart and limbs also feel like flowing water and there is some crawling sensations. What could this be
    Pastor Niral Patel answered: Dear Ling, Thank you for your question. I rejoice to read that you are practising Chakrasamvara for over two years now. This is very good, you should keep the practice steady, keep the vows and commitments well and you will progress on your spiritual evolution. Generally speaking when you engage in higher tantric yoga meditation, the meditations include movement of your psychic winds. Therefore sometimes people will experience strange feelings in the body. When this happens, once should ease off the concentration on that particular visualisation when engaging in the practice. What you can do to lessen these feelings is to engage in purification practices such as the 35 Confessional Buddhas, which you can find here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-35-confessional-buddhas.html. Alternatively if you have the appropriate initiation, you can engage in the practice of Heruka Vajrasattva, which would be included in your sadhana text. Engaging in the purification practices would lessen these sensations when you practice, as everything we experience is due to our karma. What I would advise the most, however, is to consult the guru that gave you the empowerment of Chakrasamvara practice. Your guru would be able to better advise you in addition to the above, the methods you can use to minimise the physical effects if they are due to the actual practice. I hope this helps. Thank you
  • October 13, 2017 11:15
    Fearful asked: What does violent shaking all of the sudden and "shrinking" feeling of the head mean during practice mean? I've been practicing the dharmapalas, and this is happening. What does it mean?
    Pastor Niral Patel answered: Dear Fearful, Thank you for your question. There could be any number of reasons for this to be occurring. What you can do when this starts to happen is to stop what you are doing, and take deep breaths, and concentrate on your breath. As you concentrate on your breath, this will have a calming effect on both your body and mind, which should stop the involuntary shaking and strange feelings. In fact focusing on the breath is one of the best known methods of developing a focused, concentrated, yet calm Your practice of the Dharmapalas should begin with either Guru Yoga or deity practice, therefore I would suggest that you engage in these practices more before you begin the actually Dharma protector practice. One of the best practices is the Guru Yoga of Lama Tsongkhapa. This practice is well known for its healing ability on for both the body and the mind. Over time, you should see such occurrences lessen. If this shaking happens regularly and also when you are not practicing, you should consider visiting a qualified health professional just to rule out anything untoward. I hope this helps. Thank you
  • October 8, 2017 20:48
    John asked: Dear pastors, When reciting mantras we are instructed to visualize the deity. However I realize that my visualization is very very fuzzy and very very ever-changing. It is not a still image, there is like thick clouds moving and blocking the visualization then they would clear and block again and clear again and the deity would even change shape. The round part would be more oval one moment and more circle the next etc. In fact, I don't even know if the picture that ends up appearing in my mind is really looking like the deity or not. What if I end up visualizing a monster without knowing it since it's so fuzzy? Is there danger if that happens? What do you advice me to do?
    Pastor Niral Patel answered: Dear John, Thank you for your question. This is a question that people actually ask a lot, but there is no need to worry, especially if we do not have tantric initiation. In fact, the more we practice getting our visualisation stabilised now, the better we will be able to practice tantra when we eventually receive tantric initiation. The issue you are having maintain a steady visualisation is not an uncommon one. This is because we actually have to train our mind to concentrate on what we are doing. One of the major facets of Buddhist meditation is concentration, and this is something we need to develop. We might think that we have a good ability to concentrate, but what the Buddha and the great masters have taught is that we actually do not, but we can obviously develop it. Visualisation itself is a form of concentration meditation, therefore until we achieve a good level of concentration, things like this will happen as we train our minds. What we can do is to focus on a particular aspect of the visualisation, such as the face of the deity, and once that is stable and focused, we can continue onto other parts of the deity’s body, and then the various other aspects of the visualisation. That way, we train ourselves little by little to have a complete visualisation. No in regards to your question about their being danger if something goes wrong or if we make a mistake during our visualisation, this cannot be at our stage of practice. This is because the visualisation is engaged in during the mantra recitation section. Mantras themselves are the Buddhas and enlightened beings in the form of sound. Therefore when we recite mantras we are invoking the holy energies of the Buddhas, which naturally guide and protect us from any harm. The fact that you are facing this issue is in fact a good sign. It shows that are trying to concentrate on the visualisation, but that your mind has not reached a level of concentration powerful enough to maintain the stability of the visualisation. The antidote to this is simple, keep practising. As you continue to practice, you will notice that your visualisation becomes stronger and stronger. If however, you are still worried, you can end your recitation sessions with the prayer dedicated to a Dharma protector to any obstacles, and end with a completion dedication. I hope this helps. Thank you
  • October 6, 2017 22:31
    Wong asked: Hi, i would like to ask about jhana which is the last factor of the eightfold path. How is it being practised?
    Pastor Niral Patel answered: Dear Wong, Thank you for your question. The last factor of the eightfold noble path is called jhana in the Pali language. In the Sanskrit language it is called dyana. This is a state of meditative absorption which culminates in the understanding of emptiness and is the pathway that leads us to attain liberation. Generally this state is achieved through the practice of single-pointed concentration meditation. But within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition once you have achieved stabilised single-pointed meditation, you progress onto the path of special insight meditation. It is at this stage, that one is able to concentrate completely on understanding emptiness and therefore attain enlightenment. This topic is somewhat outside of the scope of this section of the blog. However, Pabongkha Rinpoche in his excellent Lam Rim text, titled “Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand” gives a very concise yet thorough introduction to the topic of meditation. Pabongkha Rinpoche addresses the path to enlightenment, not through the eightfold noble path however, but through the six perfections of a bodhisattva. In essence although on the surface the two ways of structuring the path to enlightenment may seem different, they are actually both the same if one analyses them carefully. If you read “Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand” you will understand how the two structures are interlinked if you have an understanding of the eightfold noble path. You can order a copy of the book here: https://www.vajrasecrets.com/lamrim-liberation-in-the-palm-of-your-hand and the book is also available at Kechara Paradise outlets. Alternatively, you can ask your local book store to order the book in for you if they have that service. I hope this helps. Thank you
  • October 3, 2017 04:11
    jason asked: i have been practicing higher yoga tantra for over two year now and recently i started to get nightmares for three continuous nights now and i think it will continue, What is happening ? did i do something wrong? The first nightmare was me being cut in to numerous pieces , the second was me being visited by a greyish blue female old female ghost with no eyes in eye sockets, and the third was a giant dark brown black centipede encased in a white translucent sac exploding out of my thigh and crawling/ rolling away in to darkness. Im quite worried that i may have done something wrong even though i think i have not.
    pastor answered: Dear Jason, Thank you for your question. I am glad to hear that you have been practising Higher Yoga Tantra for over two years. You should keep your samaya with your Guru pure and intact, as well as keeping the vows and commitments that you would have taken during the empowerment into the practice. If you do this then you will see a definite transformation of your mind and circumstances for the better, which is after all what Buddhist practice is all about. In regards to your nightmares I do not think that you have done anything wrong per se. In this case it could be due to two possible reasons, the first is that your negative karma is arising in your dreams and the second is that you are being afflicted by a spirit. In the first case, when we practice Higher Yoga Tantra properly and sincerely, it purifies a lot of negative karma. As when engaging in any practice that purifies negative karma, this karma can open and manifest under control situations. For example you the karma manifests are nightmares or scary figures or feelings, rather than physically, which would come about through uncontrollable causes and conditions. When karma is purified it manifests in its most mild form, and for you in this case, it could manifest in the form of nightmares. Therefore if we are engaging in powerful practices, or when we concentrate on these practices, such things can occur. Some people may find this sort of situation bad. But this is not correct, because due to the nature of samsara, we are affected by karma in some form or another. What matters here is that karma is purified so that we can progress on our spiritual journey. When you face such difficulties, the key here is continue with your practice strongly and not give up. In this manner, the karma which causes such situations to occur is purified quicker and then we are no longer affected by it. Therefore you should wholeheartedly engage in primary sadhana of your meditational deity. On the other hand, it could be that you are being affected by a spirit or spirits. In this case there are methods of protection that you can engage in which should be included in your Higher Yoga Tantra practice. If you are unsure of what these could be, please humbly approach your initiating guru for more guidance. Another way that can help solve this problem is to engage in the practice of a Dharma protector such as Dorje Shugden. Since you are already practising a Highest Yoga Tantra, you can ask your guru about the particular Dharma protectors associated with the practice. Each of the major tantric practice has certain Dharma protectors associated with it that aid practitioners to clear obstacles and create conducive conditions for practice. You can actually engage in any Dharma protector practice, but it would be best for you to consult your guru as he or she may assign you a specific Dharma protector to practice. Whatever the case may be, it comes down to karma. The Higher Yoga Tantra you are practising should include a purification practice such as Vajrasattva. For example if you practice the Heruka Chakrasamvara tantra, and have received the appropriate empowerment, you can practice Heruka Vajrasattva. You then concentrate on the practice of Vajrasattva to purify the negative karma causing the situation, and over time you will see the situation get better. If you are not sure of the purification aspect of your daily practice, you can recite the 35 Confessional Buddhas. All of these can help, however I strongly advise you to humbly approach your guru and ask for further advice and instruction, as he or she may assign you other practices or even ask you concentrate on specific sections of the sadhana that they passed to you, to help you overcome these problems. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • September 30, 2017 22:31
    kevin asked: hi pastor, I've been very problematic lately and depressed. My plans seem to be always out of place. I read from an article that some problems are caused by negative karma from the previous and present life. I want to know if there is anything that I can do to drain my negative karma. Im very wary now on my actions to others so not to add to my existing karma. Can you suggest a mantra which I can recite and reflect on everyday to help alleviate my problems and drain my negative karma. Thank you very much. Bless you.
    pastor answered: Dear Kevin, Thank you for your question. Yes, according to Buddhist thought everything we go through in life is caused by karma. This can be either good or bad, so difficulties we face in life are indeed due to our karma. Now, one thing about karma that people often forget is that it can be purified. There are many methods within Tibetan Buddhism that are used for the purification of karma. In fact all practices necessarily involve the purification of negative karma and the generation of merit. The most effective of these are known as purification practices, which have the specific benefits of helping us to purify negative karma which leads to all kinds of problems within in our lives. These include Vajrasattva practice, which can be found here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/an-important-purification-practice.html and the practice of the 35 Confessional Buddhas, which can be found here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-35-confessional-buddhas.html. You can read more about these practices by clicking on the respective links. These are two very powerful methods of purifying negative karma and have been relied upon by countless practitioners and masters to progress on the spiritual path. They are two very extremely effective methods used within Tibetan Buddhism. Since you are going through many problems, however, you can engage in the practice of a Dharma protector who can help alleviate the obstacles you are facing and at the same provide conditions that are suitable for you. One such Dharma protector is Dorje Shugden, you can read more about his practice here, and his daily prayers here: http://www.dorjeshugden.org/practice/diamond-path-a-daily-sadhana-of-dorje-shugden. The website also has a lot of information about the practice and how it can benefit you in daily life. While it may seem daunting that you have negative karma, you should not be disheartened because negative karma can be overcome by purifying it. What you said is right, you should be wary of creating more negative karma. In fact that is one of the main points a Buddhist lives by, which is not creating more negative karma. People often wonder why Buddhists take vows and precepts, this is actually to stop the accumulation of negative karma. For example a Buddhist takes the vow not to kill, this obviously stops the Buddhist from creating the negative karma of killing because they consciously remember that they should not kill in whatever situation they are in. So it is very good that are checking your actions to make sure that you do not add to the negative karma. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • September 28, 2017 13:18
    Nepal asked: I've noticed that in Nepal, Shugden and his retinue are forms of the worldly protector Za Rahula, or that's what the lamas and sadhanas say. Wouldn't that make Shugden dangerous or wouldn't that make Manjushri a worldly deity or one that is dangerous?
    pastor answered: Dear Nepal, Thank you for your question. Dorje Shugden is an emanation of Manjushri, that is what the high lamas and masters have taught and explained using Buddhist logic. Dorje Shugden as an enlightened being has been practiced by all major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, and was first practiced within the holy Sakya tradition. Similarly, Manjushri is an enlightened being. In fact all Tibetan Buddhist schools and Vajrayana traditions, including those in Nepal, say that Manjushri is an enlightened being, the Buddha of wisdom. Rahula on the other hand is a worldly deity who was bound by oath to protect Buddhism and Buddhism practitioners. You can read more about him here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/dharma-protectors-of-tibetan-buddhism.html#tabs-1. All Tibetan Buddhist schools similarly agree to this point. Therefore to equate Dorje Shugden as a form of Za Rahula would logically mean that Manjushri is not a Buddha. This cannot be since hundreds of thousands of holy masters have relied on Manjushri and gained enlightenment through such beliefs and practices associated with Manjushri. Since from a logical perspective this cannot be the case, and Dorje Shugden is an emanation of Manjushri, it is safe to say that Dorje Shugden is not a form of Za Rahula. You can read more about Dorje Shugden, his history, lineage of practice and benefits here: http://www.dorjeshugden.org. I hope this helps. Thank you.
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Artwork - paper ghost in conjunction with Halloween. Lin Mun KSDS
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Artwork - paper ghost in conjunction with Halloween. Lin Mun KSDS
Halloween is around the corner at Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
5 days ago
Halloween is around the corner at Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
Art section during Kechara Sunday Dharma School, Sunday morning. Stella Cheang
5 days ago
Art section during Kechara Sunday Dharma School, Sunday morning. Stella Cheang
Kechara Sunday Dharma School students at Kechara Ghompa learning together. Stella Cheang
5 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School students at Kechara Ghompa learning together. Stella Cheang
Teacher Laura and Kechara Sunday Dharma School students 4-6 years old. Stella Cheang
5 days ago
Teacher Laura and Kechara Sunday Dharma School students 4-6 years old. Stella Cheang
Kechara Sunday Dharma School in Kechara House, SunwayMas every Sunday morning. Stella Cheang
5 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School in Kechara House, SunwayMas every Sunday morning. Stella Cheang
Sharing with others may bring happiness to everyone. Alice Tay, KSDS
1 week ago
Sharing with others may bring happiness to everyone. Alice Tay, KSDS
Teamwork and work in harmony is important for a success event. Alice Tay, KSDS
1 week ago
Teamwork and work in harmony is important for a success event. Alice Tay, KSDS
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