Emperor Ashoka the Great

Aug 16, 2016 | Views: 9,295
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Emperor Ashoka the Great

Emperor Ashoka the Great

(By Tsem Rinpoche and P. Prashant)

Dear readers,

I am thrilled to have been given this opportunity to write about Emperor Ashoka the Great. During his early reign, he was a fierce ruler and yet he was able to change his way in later life and became a compassionate ruler. This is inspiring in itself because change can be a difficult thing to do, especially when you are habituated to do and think in a certain way. For this reason, I admire his resolve and courage to stop the cycle of war and violence.

Although India is no longer a Buddhist country, the results of Emperor Ashoka’s considerable effort and dedication in spreading the Dharma to neighboring countries can still be felt. I hope you will find this article exciting and informative on the life, works and accomplishments of this great ruler. Enjoy and be inspired by Emperor Ashoka!

Sincerely,
P. Prashant

 


 

ASHOKA THE GREAT

Emperor Ashoka, also known as ‘Ashoka the Great’, was the third ruler of the Mauryan Empire, and many consider him to be one of the greatest rulers in Indian history. H.G. Wells, a 20th century English writer, called him the ‘Greatest of Kings.’

During Emperor Ashoka’s reign, India had a relatively well-managed government system. The reign of Emperor Ashoka is considered to be one of the most glorious periods in Indian history. During the first part of his reign, he worked systematically to consolidate and expand his empire. He ruled over the entire Indian subcontinent, except for the southernmost parts (i.e., Tamil Nadu and Kerala). During the later part of his reign, he is largely credited and admired for spreading the message of Buddhism and peace in many parts of the world. Although Buddhism faded in India after his death, it continued to flourish and spread in other parts of the world, primarily in East and Southeast Asia.

Emperor Bindusara Maurya

Emperor Bindusara Maurya

Emperor Ashoka remained ambitious and fearsome until the annexation of Kalinga, a feudal republic located on the coast of the present day Indian state of Odisha and northern parts of Andhra Pradesh. The war to occupy Kalinga was considered the bloodiest and most lethal that Emperor Ashoka had ever waged. The massive loss of lives and damage left him shattered and regretful, which ultimately caused him to transform from a fierce and vengeful ruler to a peaceful and benevolent emperor. He is said to have constructed approximately 84,000 stupas and pillars across his empire during his lifetime. The most significant of these are the Ashoka Pillars that contain the image of the Lion Capital of Ashoka, which is now regarded as India’s national emblem, and the Ashoka Chakras, inscribed on many of his stone inscriptions.

 

ASHOKA’S FAMILY AND CHILDHOOD

Our knowledge about the history of his reign is based on inscriptions engraved on rocks and pillars, many of which still can be seen today. However, these inscriptions do not provide much information about his early life. For this we have to depend solely on Buddhist texts like the Divyavadana and Ceylonese chronicles like Avadana, Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa to obtain the information regarding his early life.

Ashoka (304 – 232 BCE) was born in the town of Pataliputra and was given the name Devanampriya Priyadarshi Samrat Ashoka. He was born to the second emperor of the Mauryan Dynasty, Emperor Bindusara and his relatively lower ranking wife, Shubhadrangi also known as Maharani Dharma, as stated in the Avadana text. By the virtue of his parenting, he was the grandson of the Founder of the Mauryan Dynasty, Chandragupta Maurya. According to the Ashokavadana, an Indian text in Sanskrit that describes the birth and reign of the Emperor Ashoka, Shubhadrangi was the daughter of a Brahmin from the city of Champa. The legend says that through palace intrigue she was initially kept away from Emperor Bindusara. However, she eventually gained access to him and was able to bear him a son. It is from her exclamation “I am now without sorrow” that Ashoka got his name which means “painless, without sorrow” in the ancient Sanskrit language.

Emperor Chandragupta Maurya

Emperor Chandragupta Maurya

Ashoka’s father, Emperor Bindusara (b. 320 – 273 BCE), was the son of Emperor Chandragupta Maurya and one of his wives, Durdhara. She died giving birth to Bindusara. When she was pregnant, she ate with her husband, the emperor. Durdhara was not informed that the food eaten by Emperor Chandragupta always had a controlled amount of poison to build up his immunity towards being poisoned. The poison was added to the food by his Chief Minister, Chanakya, as a precautionary measure to protect Emperor Chandragupta because he had many enemies, and many attempts were made to poison him. Therefore, when Durdhara ate the same food as the emperor, she did not have the immune system to neutralise the poison and her body reacted negatively. Before she took her last breath, Chanakya who had mastered Ayurveda knowledge and skills, removed Bindusara from his mother’s womb by performing a cesarean section. Durdhara died after giving birth to Bindusara.

A depiction of Chanakya.

Chanakya, the famous minister of both Emperor Chandragupta and Bindusara’s courts

Emperor Chandragupta Maurya left his son, Bindusara, a large and extensive empire. Bindusara was enthroned in 298 BCE. Chanakya was the most famous minister under Chandragupta’s rule, and he continued to be one of the principal ministers during Emperor Bindusara’s reign. Chanakya further extended the Mauryan Empire during the reign of Emperor Bindusara Maurya. The Empire is said to have extended from the east to the west and can be explained by the fact that it stretched from the eastern sea in Bengal to the western sea in Saurashtra.

Like his father, Emperor Bindusara Maurya also maintained good diplomatic relations with the Greek rulers and his step grandfather Selecus Nicator, a former general of Alexander the Great. He also shared cordial relations with his step uncle, the Syrian King, and the Egyptian rulers. Scholars from Egypt and Syria lived in his palace as ambassadors. Emperor Bindusara was passionate about culture and philosophy. He is believed to have been tolerant of all religious sects and saints of various religions visited his court. Ashoka might have learnt from the very men who graced his father’s court.

Ashoka had several elder siblings, all of whom were his half-brothers from the other wives of Emperor Bindusara, who had 16 wives and approximately 101 sons. The name of his eldest son is said to have been Susima and the name of the youngest son was Tishya.

Selecus Nicator

Selecus Nicator

Having been born into a royal family, Emperor Ashoka received extensive royal military training, and he was believed to be the most intelligent among the many sons of his father. He was intellectual, energetic, fearless, strong, fought well and possessed great military skills. He also excelled in hunting, which was evident from his ability to kill a lion with only a wooden rod. It was because of these attributes that Ashoka is said to have been the favorite of his grandfather, Emperor Chandragupta. According to legend, Ashoka recovered Chandragupta’s sword after he cast it away prior to embarking on the life of a Jain ascetic.

 

ASHOKA’S LIFE BEFORE ENTHRONEMENT

The depiction of Emperor Ashoka during his younger days.

A depiction of Emperor Ashoka during his younger days

Ashoka grew to become an extraordinary warrior and a shrewd statesman. He commanded several regiments of the Mauryan army. His growing popularity across the Mauryan Empire made his elder brothers feel insecure about their chances of becoming the next king. In a feeble attempt to end Ashoka’s life in war, or to destroy his reputation through failure, Prince Susima, the eldest son and crown prince to the throne, asked their father Emperor Bindusara to assign Ashoka on a mission to quell an uprising in the city of Taxila in the Northwestern province of Sindh. Ironically, Susima was actually the governor of this city. Susima and his officials did not govern Taxila well, and this caused civil unrest.

The ruin of Taxila.

The ruin of Taxila

Because Susima’s mother was a princess, Susima was King Bindusara’s favorite son. By comparison, Ashoka’s mother was a commoner by birth and King Bindusara is said to have not liked Ashoka very much initially. Perhaps it was because of this reason that Bindusara accepted Susima’s suggestion and commanded Ashoka to quell the uprising in Taxila. Ashoka, being the fearless war general that he was, complied with his father’s request. Upon hearing the news that Ashoka and his army were coming, the militias surprisingly welcomed him and almost immediately ended the uprising without a fight.

Ashoka’s success made Emperor Bindusara’s many sons wary of his intentions of succeeding the throne, and once again Susima suggested to Emperor Bindusara to send Ashoka away. This time he was sent into exile in Kalinga. During his stay there, he fell in love with a fisherwoman named Karuvaki who, according to inscriptions that were found recently, became Ashoka’s second or third wife.

Maharani Devi: First Queen of Ashoka the Great

Maharani Devi: First Queen of Ashoka the Great

After Ashoka was exiled for two years, a violent uprising broke out in Ujjain. King Bindusara sent Ashoka and his generals to quell the uprising there. Although Ashoka was injured during battle, his generals managed to complete the task successfully. After his injury, Ashoka was treated by Buddhist monks (bhikshus) and nuns (bhikshunis) in hiding to prevent those loyal to Susima from harming him. This is where he first learnt of Buddha’s teachings. He had a personal nurse, Devi, who was a merchant’s daughter from the famous Shakya clan. Her full name was Mahadevi Shakya Kumari and she was born in Vidisa. Ashoka grew fond of Devi and married her.

Emperor Bindusara disliked the fact that Ashoka married a Buddhist and thus forbade Ashoka to stay in Pataliputra. He sent him back to Ujjain with the title of Provincial Governor. Emperor Bindusara’s dislike of Ashoka’s marriage was most likely due to Buddhism’s rejection of the caste system. This rejection was considered to be socially dangerous, with the potential to destabilise the status quo and therefore seen as a threat to the monarchy. Buddhism also denied the authority and roles of the Brahmins, which are the highest class of Hindu society. As a result, Buddhists were seen as undermining India’s social system.

 

EMPEROR ASHOKA’S FAMILY & PRIVATE LIFE

When Emperor Ashoka was 20 years old, one of his wives, Maharani Devi gave birth to twins, a son named Mahendra and a daughter named Sanghamitta. Later, both Mahendra and Sanghamitta contributed and played a great role in the spread of Buddhism after their father sent them to preach Buddhism outside India.

Emperor Ashoka had several wives although the exact number is unclear. There are references to at least three empresses in the chronicles and Buddhist texts like the Mahavamsa and Divyavadana. Emperor Ashoka’s Chief Empress for most of his reign was Empress Asandhimittra who passed away four years before King Ashoka’s own passing. Upon the passing of Empress Asandhimittra, Tissarakkha was given the position of Chief Empress. It is said that this empress had a very great influence on Ashoka.

The second empress of Ashoka was Karuvaki, the mother of Trivara as mentioned in the Empress’s edict. Another Empress referred to in the Divyavadana as his third wife was Padmavati who was the mother of the crown prince Kunala, also known as Dharma-vivardhana. The Chinese Buddhist monk, Faxian, who travelled from China to India by foot on a mission to acquire Buddhist texts, also mentioned Dharma-vivardhana, who was the Viceroy of Gandhara, to be the son of Emperor Ashoka. From Rajatarangini, a historical chronicle, we can find references to the other sons of Emperor Ashoka, Jalauka and Tivara, who were the sons of Empress Karuvaki. From the information given, it is reasonable to believe that although Emperor Ashoka was a Buddhist, he had a number of empresses and concubines.

There is little information available concerning Emperor Ashoka’s private life and habits. From Rock Edict 6, we have an indirect reference as to how he would spend his time when he was not attending to official business. When a certain Dr Bhandarkar, an Indian scholar, was analysing the information found in Rock Edict 6, he noted that in Emperor Ashoka’s moments of leisure, when he was not asleep, he could be found at his capital either regaling the dining hall or engaging with his wives and concubines. Emperor Ashoka also enjoyed riding his horse or simply passing time in the orchard. From one of his edicts it is known that he even controlled the slaughter of animals by only permitting two peacocks and one deer to be killed for his royal meals. This gives us an idea of the kind of food that gratified his royal palate.

As an Emperor, before his conversion into Buddhism, Ashoka seemed to have done what the rulers of ancient India would do. He entertained his subjects by continuing the tradition of Samajas. The Samajas consisted of entertaining people with a banquet feast with meat dishes. Other Samajas consisted of dancing, music and wrestling, which were performed in an amphitheatre. Hunting was also a big part of the entertainment. According to Nilkanta Sastri, an Indian historian who wrote on South Indian history, these Samajas were unquestionably a diplomatic method of keeping the people pleased and satisfied. However, such Samajas were all stopped after Ashoka embraced Buddhism.

 

RISE TO POWER

According to the Mahavamsa, Ashoka was in Ujjain when he heard the news concerning his father’s ill health and he hurried towards the capital city of Pataliputra. There he killed 99 of his brothers, except the youngest, Tishya in order to become the new emperor. According to one legend, Ashoka was portrayed as a person with a bad temper and wicked nature. He was said to have built “Ashoka’s Hell”, an elaborate torture chamber disguised as a beautiful palace, which earned him the name of Chanda Ashoka (meaning Ashoka the Fierce).

Depiction of Ashoka’s Hell.

Ashoka’s Hell

Historically, there was a four-year gap between Emperor Bindusara’s death in 273 BCE and Emperor Ashoka’s coronation in 269 BCE. This leads historians to believe that Emperor Bindusara’s death led to a power struggle amongst his sons. According to the Divyavadana, Emperor Bindusara wanted his son Susima to succeed him but Ashoka was supported by his father’s ministers, who found Susima to be arrogant and disrespectful towards them. Ashoka managed to rise to the throne with the support of Emperor Bindusara’s ministers, headed by his Chief Minister Radhagupta (also known as Khallataka).

According to several inscriptions, which were erected long after his coronation, Emperor Ashoka referred to his ‘brothers and sisters’ and other relatives for whose welfare he was most concerned. Inscriptional evidence also indirectly suggests that some of his brothers served as his viceroys in important places such as Taxila, Tosali, Ujjayini and Suvaranagiri and what is more, they were addressed as the Kumaras and Aryaputras. According to the Mahavamsa, Ashoka even appointed his youngest brother Tishya as the Uparaja or the Deputy King. Therefore, the Buddhist legends about his cruelty and the killing of his 99 brothers do not seem to possess much historical substance.

 

The Reign of King Ashoka

Ashoka pursued a policy of expansion for the Mauryan Empire, following the ideal of his predecessors. Eight years after ascending the throne, Emperor Ashoka significantly expanded his empire. It grew from the present-day boundaries of Bangladesh and the Indian state of Assam in the east side, to the present-day territories of Afghanistan and Iran in the west. The empire also grew from the Palmir Knots in the north to the most peninsular part of Southern India. This would be recorded as the greatest geographical expansion of the Mauryan Empire.

The Conquests of Chandragupta, Bindusara and Ashoka.

The Conquests of Emperors Chandragupta, Bindusara and Ashoka. Click on image to enlarge.

Despite the mighty size of this Empire which was built by three successive generations of the Mauryan Emperors (i.e., Chandragupta, Bindusara and Ashoka), it did not include a prominent kingdom which was adjacent to the epicentre of the Mauryan Empire (i.e., Magadha or Kalinga). For eight years after the coronation, Emperor Ashoka ruled his empire with an iron fist. He was perceived to be a strong ruler and lived the usual life of a great emperor with pomp, splendour and pleasure. He did not fight external wars, even though he had the power for aggression. He also had no threat or fear of invasion from the Greek kings with whom he had good diplomatic relations dating back to the time of his father.

During the first 12 years of his reign, Emperor Ashoka was occupied with internal administrative work. His position only grew stronger after his coronation. At the time when Emperor Ashoka enjoyed absolute imperial authority, he gained confidence and decided make a move to annex Kalinga. At that time, Emperor Ashoka commanded the largest army of his time consisting of 600,000 infantry, 30,000 cavalry and 9,000 war elephants.

In 265 BCE, Emperor Ashoka waged war against Kalinga, a state that prided itself on its sovereignty and democracy. This war lasted two years between 265 BCE and 263 BCE, and is famously known as the Conquest of Kalinga. The cause and pretext of the war is uncertain but it was most likely purely territorial. Kalinga occupied a strategic position controlling the routes to South India by land and sea. However, there is speculation that his brothers fled to Kalinga and were granted refugee status, which angered Emperor Ashoka greatly. With the advice, support and urging of his ministers, he waged war on Kalinga to take revenge for their treacherous act.

Emperor Ashoka asked Kalinga’s royalty to submit to the Mauryan Empire’s supremacy but they defied him. Emperor Ashoka went on to send one of his generals to force them to submit, but instead his general and his forces were outsmarted and defeated by Kalinga’s leader who was a brilliant and skilled tactician. Emperor Ashoka was shocked and perhaps humiliated by this defeat. In his anger, he launched the greatest invasion ever recorded in Indian history at that time. Kalinga managed to put up a fight, but they were ultimately defeated by Emperor Ashoka’s massive army. The entire kingdom of Kalinga was destroyed and resulted in approximately 100,000 casualties on the Kalinga side, and 10,000 casualties on the Mauryan side. Although this war caused incredible human suffering, it was also Emperor Ashoka’s final war.

 

CONVERSION TO BUDDHISM

The Battle of Kalingga.

The Battle of Kalingga

In his Rock Edict 13, Emperor Ashoka referred to the Conquest of Kalinga and the resulting great loss of lives. The Rock Edict reads, “One hundred and fifty thousand persons were captured, one hundred thousand were killed and many times that number perished.” The destructive nature of the Kalinga war created an emotional shock in Emperor Ashoka. He regretted the fact that he was responsible for so much suffering of fellow human beings. Upon seeing firsthand the damage this war has caused, Emperor Ashoka was deeply regretful and he cried out the famous sentence, “What have I done?”

While Ashoka was this penitent mood, he met the Buddhist monk Upagupta who taught him the Dharma and the teachings touched his heart. He converted to Buddhism and embraced their concept of non-violence, vowing to serve all human beings. This change of heart that Emperor Ashoka experienced was eventually reflected in his internal and foreign policies.

Emperor Ashoka’s decision to abandon the policy of war made it possible for some states in the south to maintain their independence. He then went on to pursue a policy of friendship towards all nations of the time. He used his position as Emperor to spread the relatively new teachings of Buddhism as far as Ancient Rome and Alexandria, Egypt.

Around 260 BCE, Emperor Ashoka declared Buddhism to be the state religion and started the Vibhajyavada School of Buddhism. Vibhajya means ‘dividing or analysing’ and Vada means ‘doctrine or meaning’.

The Vibhajyavadins, meaning “those who make distinctions”, were the followers of Buddhist Schools founded by Emperor Ashoka. They have a strong presence in South India where they called themselves Theravadans. They rejected the claims of Sarvastivada, an earlier school of Buddhism, that all Dharmas exist in the past, present and future. Instead the Vibhajyavadins made a distinction between Dharmas that exist and Dharmas that do not exist. Their standpoints were formulated by Moggaliputtatissa, a Buddhist monk and one of Ashoka’s spiritual teachers. It is also listed in a Buddhist scripture known as Kathavatthu, one of the seven books in the Theravada Abhidhamma Pitaka, which is a branch of Buddhism that uses the teachings of the Pali Canon, also known as the most complete of the early Buddhist canons.

 

ANOTHER VERSION OF EMPEROR ASHOKA’S CONVERSION TO BUDDHISM

Another account of Emperor Ashoka’s conversion to Buddhism is recorded in the Ashokavadana. The text does not refer to the Battle of Kalinga and appears to be more mythical than the previous historical reference. It does, however, contain interesting details about Emperor Ashoka’s practice of Buddhism.

In this text, a Buddhist monk named Samudra appears at what he thought was a palace in Emperor Ashoka’s capital but in reality, it was a new building dedicated to the ‘art of execution’. The young monk, Samudra who was begging for alms became a potential victim of the palace’s guardian, Chandagirika who was to kill whoever stepped through the door. Chandagirika liked to torture and kill, and had already callously dispatched his own parents. Chandagirika agreed to a seven-day delay when the monk Samudra, who feared death, begged him for mercy.

Meanwhile, another youth and one of the women of the royal household caused some offence to Chandagirika, who immediately ordered their execution. He then had their bodies crushed with pestles in an iron mortar before Samudra. While witnessing this horrible execution, Samudra suddenly realised the truth of the Buddha’s teaching of impermanence and became an arhat (liberated being).

The next morning, the time of his execution arrived but Samudra was calm and not afraid. He said to Chandagirika, “True, my night of ignorance has cleared and the sun of my good fortune is at its height. You may do as you wish, my friend.” The executioner was quite unmoved and threw Samudra into a cauldron of water mixed with blood. However, as hard as Chandagirika tried to light a fire underneath the cauldron, it would not light. Looking into the cauldron, he was amazed to see Samudra calmly sitting in the lotus position. He immediately went to find Emperor Ashoka to show him this miracle, together with hundreds of his subjects. Samudra realised that the time had ripened for Emperor Ashoka to receive Buddhist teachings, which the text explains:

Miraculously, Samudra floated up in the air and stunned Ashoka.
For from half his body water poured down;
from the other half fire blazed forth;
Raining and flaming, he shone in the sky.
Ashoka folded his hands and asked to be initiated into the mysteries of the Dharma.

After the event, Emperor Ashoka converted to Buddhism and became a lay-devotee (upasaka). Samudra informed Ashoka that Buddha Shakyamuni had predicted that the Emperor would build 84,000 stupas to contain his bodily relics. He was supposed to fulfil this prophecy but instead, the Emperor had built a Palace of Execution. Emperor Ashoka then begged for forgiveness and took the three refuge vows by which one becomes a Buddhist (Refuge in the Three Jewels – the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha). He also pledged to build stupas to house the Buddha’s sacred relics. Then the monk Samudra vanished.

As Emperor Ashoka was about to leave himself, his executioner challenged him that his boon had not been granted, and that he still had the right to execute the first person who had entered the Palace. Surprised that his servant apparently intended to execute his master, Emperor Ashoka responded that since Chandagirika had in fact entered before him, he was the one who should die. Chandagirika was duly executed and the palace of horrors (described as hell in the text) was destroyed.

The text continues with the story of how Emperor Ashoka recovered the relics from eight stupas that were built previously, and constructed the new stupas as he had promised. On one occasion, in order to earn some merit, he traveled throughout his realm incognito as a mendicant and experienced the lifestyle of a monk. The phrase yam me samghe upeti, which translates as “going to the Sangha”, has led some scholars to claim that Emperor Ashoka was a full-time mendicant but it probably implies that he visited and spent time listening to the monks. It is said that Emperor Ashoka venerated monks and he donated generously to the Sangha.

Both versions of the story regarding Emperor Ashoka’s conversion to Buddhism record that he had a change of heart that involved the repudiation of slaughter, and the development of a commitment to peace and the precepts of Buddhism.

Diodotus I

Diodotus I

Some historians have interpreted Emperor Ashoka’s transformation to be a ruse, and accuse him of being afraid of more war. However, among his neighboring kingdoms including the Seleucid Empire and the Greco-Bactrian kingdom established by Diodotus I, none could match the military strength of the Mauryan Empire. Ashoka reigned during the same period as both Antiochus I Soter and his successor, Antiochus II Theos, of the Seleucid dynasty as well as Diodotus I and his son Diodotus II of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom. His inscriptions and edicts state that he was familiar with the Hellenic world and some of them were even written in Greek, but he was never in awe of this part of the world. His edicts, which talk of his friendly relations, include the names of both Antiochus of the Seleucid Empire and Ptolemy III of Egypt. The Mauryan Empire had been famous since the time Emperor Chandragupta Maurya defeated Selecus Nicator, the founder of the Seleucid Dynasty. Another indication of the relationship between the Mauryan Empire and Greece can be found in the works of Greek historians who wrote about the Empire’s history. As a result of Alexander the Great’s imperial and cultural projects, the Indian and the Hellenic world were now linked.

Emperor Ashoka undoubtedly deserves the credit for making the first serious attempt to develop governmental policies that were based on Buddhist teachings, effectively putting into practice the Buddha’s own advice on kingship and governance that were contained in the Dasa Raja Dharma (Buddhist principles for leaders to abide by), including the following ten precepts :

  • To be liberal and avoid selfishness
  • To be a person of high moral character
  • To be prepared to sacrifice one’s own pleasure for the well-being of one’s subjects
  • To be honest and maintain absolute integrity
  • To be kind and gentle
  • To set an example by leading a simple life for the subjects to emulate
  • To be free from hatred of any kind
  • To exercise non-violent means
  • To practice patience
  • To respect public opinion to promote peace and harmony

Emperor Ashoka published 14 edicts as the basis on his new policies. These are:

  1. No living being was to be slaughtered or sacrificed
  2. Humans and animals were to be provided medical care throughout his territory
  3. Every five years the monks would tour the empire to teach the Dharma
  4. Everyone should respect their parents, priests and monks
  5. Prisoners must be treated humanely
  6. Concerns regarding the welfare of his people must be reported to him at all times no matter where he was or what he was doing
  7. Since all religions desire self-control and purity of heart, everyone is welcome
  8. He preferred to give to monks, Brahmins and to the needy than to receive gifts from others
  9. Reverence for the Dharma and a proper attitude towards teachers is better than marriage or other worldly celebrations
  10. Glory and fame meant nothing if his people did not respect the Dharma
  11. Giving the Dharma to others is the best gift anyone could have
  12. Whoever praises his own religion due to excessive devotion, and condemns others with the thought ‘Let me glorify my own religion’ only harms his own religion. Therefore, contact (between religions) was encouraged
  13. Conquering through the Dharma was superior to conquering by force but if conquest by force was to be carried out, it should be done so with forbearance and light punishment
  14. He had his edicts written so that people might act accordingly

Emperor Ashoka replaced conquest by force with what he called “conquest by righteousness” (dhammavijaya). He was possibly the first emperor to renounce violence, yet he remained an influential and powerful ruler during his reign.

 

THE SPREADING OF BUDDHISM

Emperor Ashoka sent a branch of Bodhi Tree to Ceylon via his daughter, Sanghamitta.

Emperor Ashoka sent a branch of Bodhi Tree to Ceylon via his daughter, Sanghamitta

Emperor Ashoka is mainly remembered in the ancient texts as the patron of Buddhism. His son, Venerable Mahendra, and daughter, Sanghamitta, a nun whose name means ‘friend of the Sangha’, were also proponents of this cause. They established Buddhism in Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka) and took copies of the Pali Canon of Buddhist scripture (the Tipitaka) with them, which was rectified by the 3rd Buddhist Council presided over by their father. Emperor Ashoka built thousands of stupas and Viharas (monasteries / temples) for Buddhist followers. Some of his missionary monks may even have been Greek. One of Emperor Ashoka’s stupas, the Sanchi Stupa, is famous worldwide.

Sanchi Stupa

Sanchi Stupa

Emperor Ashoka pursued a policy of ahimsa (non-violence). He passed laws against hunting animals and branding, effectively ending unnecessary animal slaughter and mutilation. Even though he promoted the concept of vegetarianism, he permitted limited hunting for consumption purposes as a testament to his tolerance for the beliefs of others. He showed mercy to prisoners by allowing them one day of freedom per year. Universities were built to allow everyone, both men and women, to have access to education. He built water transit and irrigation systems to support agriculture and trade. His subjects were treated as equals, regardless of their caste, political views or religion. His neighbouring kingdoms, which he could have easily conquered, were made into allies.

Emperor Ashoka is credited for constructing veterinary hospitals and renovating major roads throughout India. After his transformation, Emperor Ashoka came to be known as Dhammashoka meaning ‘Ashoka, the follower of Dharma’ in Sanskrit. Emperor Ashoka adopted the main principles of the Dharma. These principles suggested a general ethic of behavior to which no religious or social group could object. Indeed, from his 12th edict, Ashoka appears to have pioneered not only inter-religious dialogue but also the concept that all religions share common values which are virtuous.

Mahendra before leaving for Ceylon.

Mahendra before leaving for Ceylon

Besides spreading Buddhist values throughout his own land, Emperor Ashoka also sent missionaries to other countries. According to one of his rock edicts, he sent envoys to various Mediterranean countries such as Syria, Egypt and Macedonia, which were ruled by the Greeks at that time. However, no record exists of the results that these envoys brought.

On the other hand, Ceylon was very receptive to the mission led by Mahendra. Sri Lanka was converted and regarded as the place of the subsequent spread of the Buddhadharma. The Buddhist chronicles kept in Sri Lanka, like the Mahavamsa and Dipavamsa, provide us with information about Ashoka’s life. However with these texts it is less certain where history ends and legend beings, compared to the various edicts. The chronicles tell us that Ashoka sent his son Mahendra and his daughter Sanghamitta to the court of King Tissa of Ceylon. Soon the king and his court were converted to Buddhism and from that time onward, for the last 23 centuries up until the modern day, Buddhism has been practised in Ceylon (today’s Sri Lanka).

Therefore, although Emperor Ashoka’s envoys may have had little effect in the Mediterranean, they found an audience in countries that surround India, including Nepal and Burma, and Buddhism gradually spread to these countries. This was aided by written teachings of the Buddha and his disciples, which were recorded down by the 4th Buddhist Council in Ceylon. From there, Theravada Buddhism spread to Thailand, Cambodia and other countries in Southeast Asia.

Venerable Sanghamitta

Venerable Sanghamitta, who was Ashoka’s daughter

The role that Emperor Ashoka played in spreading Buddhism can not be underestimated. Nuns in Sri Lanka today trace their lineage right back to Emperor Ashoka’s daughter Sanghamitta, and to the retinue of nuns who traveled to Sri Lanka with her. Although the order later became absent for 1000 years in Sri Lanka, it was preserved in Korea and Japan and re-introduced to Sri Lanka within the last century. Sri Lanka thus remains one of the most important Buddhist countries today and is a centre of Buddhist scholarship. If Emperor Ashoka had not put effort to spreading Buddhism beyond India, it might not have survived as it was largely disappearing from India (until its re-emergence in the modern era) with the exception of the area of East Bengal bordering on Burma. Instead, Buddhism spread to China, Japan and beyond. Origen Adamantius, a Greek Christian theologian who spent half of his career in Alexandria, referred to Buddhist missionaries who even visited England. Buddhism on the whole may not have reached China until the 1st CE, but there are stories of one of Emperor Ashoka’s missionaries visiting China. The revival of interest in Buddhism in India has also been attributed to Emperor Ashoka, since the discovery of his edicts helped to stimulate interest.

Buddhist chronicles state that in 250 BCE, Emperor Ashoka personally convened the 3rd Buddhist Council in Pataliputra with two objectives in mind. First, he was responding to reports of heretical views and dissension among the monks in Pataliputra. Emperor Ashoka is said to have interviewed each monk personally and dismissed monks who held beliefs contrary to the Buddha’s teachings, in particular to a belief in an eternal, unchanging self.

Secondly, Emperor Ashoka used this opportunity to appoint knowledgable monks to journey to other lands as emissaries to teach the Dharma. This part of the story is confirmed by the edicts. Buddhist monks like Madhyamik Sthavira were sent to modern-day Kashmir and Afghanistan. Maharaskshit Sthavira was sent to Syria, Persia / Iran, Egypt, Greece, Italy and Turkey. Massim Sthavira travelled to Nepal, Bhutan, China and Mongolia, and Sohn Uttar Sthavira journeyed to modern-day Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Thailand (which was then known as Survarnabhumi) and Vietnam. Mahadharmarakshita Sthavira travelled to Maharashtra and Maharakshita Sthavira and Yavandharmarakshita Sthavira went to South India.

Not all of these missions were successful. For example, Buddhism did not take root in Thailand or Burma until a few more centuries after the 3rd Council was convened. However, the missions to Greece and Egypt may have had some interesting effects. Scholars have long noted some blending of Hellenic and Buddhist thought that began about that time. There is also some archaeological evidence of Buddhists living in Alexandria.

 

SYMBOLS AND ARCHITECTURE

The Ashoka Chakra, ‘the Wheel of Righteousness’. Click on image to enlarge.

The Ashoka Chakra, ‘the Wheel of Righteousness’. Click on image to enlarge.

The Ashoka Chakra (the wheel of Ashoka) is a depiction of the Dharmachakra (the Wheel of Dharma). The wheel has 24 spokes which represent the 12 Laws of Dependent Origination and the 12 Laws of Dependent Termination. The Ashoka Chakra has been widely inscribed on many relics of the Mauryan Emperor, most prominent among which is The Lion Capital of Sarnath and The Ashoka Pillar. The most visible use of the Ashoka Chakra today is at the centre of the National Flag of the Republic of India (adopted on 22th July 1947), where it is rendered as navy-blue in color on a white background. This replaces Chakra symbol (spinning wheel) of the pre-independence versions of the flag. The Ashoka Chakra can also been seen on the base of the Lion Capital of Emperor Ashoka which has been adopted as the National Emblem of India.

The Ashoka Chakra was created by Emperor Ashoka during his reign. Chakra is a Sanskrit word which also means ‘cycle’ or ‘self-repeating process’. The process it signifies is the cycle of time – how the world changes with time.

A few days before India became independent in August 1947, the specially formed Constituent Assembly decided that the flag of India must be acceptable to all parties and communities. A flag with three colours, saffron, white and green with the Ashoka Chakra was selected.

Pillars of Ashoka (Ashokstambha).

Pillars of Ashoka (Ashokstambha)

The pillars of Ashoka are a series of columns erected by Ashoka during his reign. Their locations are dispersed throughout the northern Indian subcontinent. Originally, there must have been many Ashokan pillars although only 10 with inscriptions survive to this day. Averaging between 40 and 50-ft in height, and weighing up to 50 tons each, all the pillars were excavated in Chunar, just south of Varanasi and transported, sometimes hundreds of miles, to the place where they were erected. The first Ashokan Pillar was found in the 16th Century by Thomas Coryat among the ruins of ancient Delhi. The wheel represents the cycle of time and Buddhist law, while the swastika stands for the cosmic dance around a fixed centre and acted as guardian against evil.

Lion Capital of Ashoka (Ashokmudra).

Lion Capital of Ashoka (Ashokmudra)

The Lion Capital of Ashoka is a sculpture of four lions standing back to back. It was originally placed on top of the Ashokan Pillar in Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, India. The pillar, sometimes called the Ashoka Column is still in its original location, but the Lion Capital is now placed in the Sarnath Museum. This Lion Capital was adopted as the National Emblem of India. The Sarnath Pillar contained one of the Edicts of Emperor Ashoka, an inscription against division within the Buddhist community, which reads “No one shall cause division in the order of monks”.

The Capital contains the image of four lions (Indian / Asiatic Lions), standing back to back, mounted on an abacus, with a frieze carrying sculptures in high relief of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull, and a lion, separated by intervening spoked chariot-wheels over a bell-shaped lotus. Carved out of a single block of polished sandstone, the capital was believed to be crowned by a Dharmachakra.

The four animals in the Sarnath capital are believed to symbolise different stages of Buddha Shakyamuni’s life:

  • The elephant represents the Buddha’s birth in reference to the dream of Queen Maya of a white elephant entering her womb
  • The bull represents desire during the life of the Buddha as a prince
  • The horse represents Buddha’s departure from palatial life
  • The lion represents the accomplishment of Buddha

In addition to religious interpretations, there are some non-religious interpretations regarding these symbols. According to these, the four lions symbolise Emperor Ashoka’s rule over the four directions, the wheels as symbols of his enlightened rule (Chakravartin) and the four animals as symbols of the four adjoining territories of India.

 

STRUCTURES CREDITED TO ASHOKA

Mahabodhi Temple, built on the site of a previously built temple by Emperor Ashoka (c. 250 BCE) to mark the spot of Buddha Shakyamuni’s enlightenment was restored by the British and Indian governments. The British restoration was executed under guidance from Weligama Sri Sumangala.

Mahabodhi Temple

Mahabodhi Temple

Other structures built by Ashoka include:

  • Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh, India
  • Dhamek Stupa, Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • Barabar Caves, Bihar, India
  • Nalanda Mahavihara, (some portions like Sariputta Stupa), Bihar, India
  • Taxila University, (some portions like Dharmarajika Stupa and Kunala Stupa), Taxila, Pakistan
  • Bhir Mound, (reconstructed), Taxila, Pakistan
  • Bharhut stupa, Madhya Pradesh, India
  • Deorkothar Stupa, Madhya Pradesh, India
  • Butkara Stupa, Swat, Pakistan
  • Sannati Stupa, Karnataka, India: The only known sculptural depiction of Emperor Ashoka
  • Mir Rukun Stupa Nawabshah, Pakistan

 

DEATH AND LEGACY

Emperor Ashoka reigned for an estimated 40 years and after his death, the Mauryan Dynasty lasted for just 50 more years. Emperor Ashoka had many wives and children but except for a few, many of them remain obscure in history. He had entrusted to Mahendra and Sanghamitta the task of spreading Buddhism in Ceylon, making them famous across the world.

The reign of Emperor Ashoka could easily have disappeared into obscurity as the ages passed by, if he had not left behind a record of his edicts. The testimony of this wise emperor are embodied magnificently in sculpted pillars and boulders with a variety of teachings intricately etched into the stone. What Emperor Ashoka left behind was the first written language in India since the ancient city of Harappa. Rather than Sanskrit, the language used for the inscriptions was the current spoken form of Prakrit.

In addition to his legacy as the first Buddhist emperor and one of the pioneers of an alternative approach to governance, Emperor Ashoka was an efficient administrator. His empire was divided into five provinces, with major cities at Taxila, Ujjain, Tosali, Suvarnagiri and Patilaputra. A Kumara (prince) governed each province. These were sub-divided into groups of several villages. Each village was headed by a Gramika. At the centre, Ministers of State (Mantris) dealt with judiciary matters and taxation. Emperor Ashoka issued Sasanasad (ordinances), and listened to people’s concerns and consulted not only his ministers but common people as well. He was very concerned that fair justice was carried out and during his rule, he made the system much more open than it had been before. Death sentences were commuted to life imprisonment and were open to appeal. He wrote:

“I even go this far, to grant a three-day stay for those in prison who have been tried and sentenced to death. During this time their relatives can make appeals to have the prisoners’ lives spared. If there is none to appeal on their behalf, the prisoners can give gifts in order to make merit for the next world, or observe fasts.” (Pillar Edict 4)

Public funds were spent on major projects, including agriculture to feed the poor, to dig wells, and also to plant trees so that people could benefit from the shade they gave in the hottest conditions. Art and culture flourished (both show signs of Greek and Persian influence) and both were conscripted to help the spread of Buddhism. He also provided free medical care for people and animals.

The Chinese scholar Faxian traveled to India in search of great Buddhist books of discipline between 399 – 414 CE. Whilst in India, he reported seeing works of art, rock caves, palaces and exemplary buildings from Emperor Ashoka’s period. From this he concluded that there must have been a very sophisticated civil service. A characteristic of Mauryan art was the mirror-like finish to the pillars, which has survived centuries of exposure to wind and sun.

Emperor Ashoka combined personal and state ethics and tried to bridge the divides in his multi-cultural empire. He wrote, “You are true to your own belief is you accord kindly treatments to adherents of other faiths. You ham you own religion by harassing followers of other creeds” (Emperor Ashoka, Rock Edict 3).

He believed that his code of reverence and compassion was based on universal values. His 14-point code was aimed for both inner morality and outer action in harmony. He turned away from kingship based on power, compulsion and self-interest, and dared to believe that he could construct a different kind of kingdom based on causing no one harm. It has been suggested that no greater or better kingdom has yet been known amongst men. In Kalinga Rock Edict One, he instructed his judicial officers, warning them that they would not be promoted unless they furthered his desire:

“All men are my children. What I desire for my own children, and I desire their welfare and happiness both in this world and the next, that I desire for all men. You do not understand to what extent I desire this, and if some of you do understand, you do not understand the full extent of my desire.”

Emperor Ashoka’s policy of non-violence was also revived during the independence struggle against the British, by the nationalist leader and Hindu philosopher Mahatma Gandhi. In addition, when India finally gained independence from the British Empire in 1947, it symbolically adopted Emperor Ashoka’s emblem for its own, placing the Dharmachakra that crowned his many columns on the flag of the newly independent state of India.

But his contribution towards Buddhism itself is perhaps the most substantial one of all. In India, Emperor Ashoka essentially turned Buddhism from a tradition into an official state ideology. It was due to his support that Buddhism transformed from being a local Indian cult into a world religion, which today has an estimated 470 million followers according to the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs. It was through his deeds and action that Buddhism spread outside of India and began its long transformation to becoming one of the world’s greatest religions. Indeed the world owes Emperor Ashoka for his contribution in making Buddhism into what it is today.

 

THE FATE OF THE MAURYAN EMPIRE AND INDIA POST ASHOKA

The Brahman priests who had been sidelined by Emperor Ashoka’s Buddhist policies, encouraged civil war by working to undermine his policies. Emperor Ashoka’s time had been one of unification, bringing small kingdoms together, but sadly, it was followed by a time of fragmentation.

In the year 185 CE, about 50 years after Ashoka’s death, the last Mauryan ruler, Brihadratha, was brutally murdered by the commander of the Mauryan army, Pusyamitra Sunga, while he was taking the Guard of Honor of his forces. Pusyamitra Sunga then founded the Sunga Dynasty (185 – 78 CE) and ruled just a small part of the Mauryan Empire. The empire’s decline is mainly attributable to the weak leadership that succeeded Ashoka’s rule. Several other factors also contributed to the decline of the Mauryan Empire, including the downsizing of the military, who lost their jobs under Emperor Ashoka’s policy of non-violence and were subsequently unable to offer adequate defence. The large administration required strong leadership and when this was not forthcoming, provinces tended to assert independence from the central government.

It would not be until some 2000 years later, under Akbar the Great and his great-grandson Aurangzeb, that a large portion of the Indian subcontinent would again be united under a single ruler.

 

BUDDHISM TODAY

Buddhism has approximately 470 million followers across the globe. It represents a major component of the spiritual heritage of East and Southeast Asia. The two main branches of Buddhism are Mahayana and Theravada. Mahayana Buddhism is practiced by around 185 million people and is the dominant form of Buddhism in China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Vietnam. Theravada Buddhism has about 125 million followers and is dominant in Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Sri Lanka and Burma. Another significant strand of Buddhism related to the Mahayana is Tibetan Buddhism, which is practiced by 20 million people largely in Tibet, Bhutan, Mongolia, and surrounding areas in India, China and Russia. Buddhism is a growing spiritual influence in the West, and many new religious movements are affiliated with Buddhism, especially in Japan and Korea.
Sources:

  • http://nationalviews.com/samrat-bindusara-wives-sons-facts-history
  • https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashoka
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  • https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origen
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  • https://www.quora.com/Did-King-Ashoka-killed-his-brothers-How-many-brothers-he-had
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  • https://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/essays/demographics-of-buddhism

 

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29 Responses to Emperor Ashoka the Great

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  1. Choong on Sep 24, 2017 at 10:30 am

    From: Buddhism in Mongolia: Three or Five Waves of Cultural Blossoming
    By Glenn Mullin

    According to the Origins of Dharma in the Hor Regions by the great Mongolian scholar Lobsang Tamdrin, Buddhism came to the Hor region in three waves.

    1.The first Mongolian Buddhist wave began in the third century B.C., during the time of the Indian Emperor Ashoka, three centuries before Buddhism took root in China, and some eight centuries before it became firmly established in Tibet. Traditionally Mongolians recognize their second highest incarnate lama, Zaya Pandita, as being an emanation of Emperor Ashoka, perhaps in honor of this early connection.

    According to Lobsang Tamdrin, Ashoka extended his empire northward all the way to the Silk Road, and eventually captured the city of Khotan. Khotan was the westernmost region of Hor, and thus in Lobsang Tamdrin’s eyes was part of Mongolia. Emperor Ashoka was a strong Buddhist, and actively promoted Buddhism as the national religion of all lands under his rule.

    From Khotan Buddhism gradually spread eastward to the Mongolian Gobi kingdoms along the Silk Road. Lobsang Tamdrin comments that Hor supported a population of over 100,000 Buddhist monks even in these ancient days.

    Cave paintings along the Hor section of the Silk Road certainly bear witness to an early Mongol enthusiasm for Buddhism. The cave paintings in Dung Huang of modern-day China are an excellent example. Dung Huang at the time was part of the Mongolian patchwork of kingdoms. It was conquered by the Tibetan emperor Songtsen Gampo in the seventh century A.D., reverted to Mongolia under Chinggis Khan.

  2. Datuk May on Apr 28, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    This is truly a very inspiring story of King Ashoka the Great, a King who changed from a warrior who killed and conquered and created a huge empire to that of a Buddhist who also did great things like building 84,000 stupas and propagating the Dharma.

    It is because of King Ashoka who brought Buddhism to many lands outside of India that now we have the opportunity to practise Buddhist.

    I also read that it was during the time of King Ashoka that the relics of Shakyamuni Buddha were sent to other countries to share the blessings of the Buddha and many stupas were built to house these relics.

  3. freon on Nov 30, 2016 at 12:14 am

    Normally to rulers who dare to let go of violence and rule with compassion is very rare. Emperor Ashoka has ruled his kingdom by using Dharma concept. By reading the article, I can even feel the harmony and peace that this Emperor has gave for his subjects. He is great, to me because he dare to practice compassion and equanimity in his reign.
    Emperor Ashoka has treated the animals well. He promoted vegetarian, less hunting and he had medical care for animal at his time ! To me, this is the first Emperor that has medicine to treat the animal.
    For prisoner, Emperor Ashoka will give chances to the prisoner to collect merit, for the prisoner future life!

    His children have also play an important role in spreading the dharma. By reading this article, only I knew that the Nun System was established by his daughter name Sanghamitta

    It is so lucky to have a leader like Emperor Ashoka who apply dharma in his leadership. If the world have many leaders that apply more spiritual knowledge into their countries, there would not be war, but, more peace, harmony in this world.

  4. Wan Wai Meng on Nov 28, 2016 at 1:29 am

    We do owe King Ashoka for all the work he had done to bring Buddhism to the world, without his work buddhism could have just remained in India and might have become extinguished in the land of its birth if it was not spread to other parts of the world.

    His story also draws parellels to the story of Kang Xi, who grew up in political intrigue, but managed to overcome people who wanted to harm his claim to the throne, despite being young age. Both of them were very capable administrators and rulers, it is right they are remembered for their works in bringing the dharma to many during their lifetime.

  5. Sock Wan on Oct 1, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Similarly to Tang or Qing Dynasty, when the ruler adopt Buddhist practice, the development of the country, sentiments of the citizen seemed to be at its best. Buddhist philosophy believes everything on earth, in the universe are interdependent, interrelated, we must respect each other in order to create harmony and balance in our community. When we start to hurt each other, taking revenge, full of anger, we lose the balance, we lose the harmony, there will be no peace.

    King Ashoka also demonstrated to us as long as we are regretful and remorse for the wrongs we have done, we would be able to make it up. We cannot turn back the time to make our wrongs right, but we can do the right things to make up the wrongs we have done.

  6. shelly tai on Oct 1, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    This is really a inspiring post to read , from a vicious ruler to a very compassionate ruler that benefits many sentient beings, what more important is the Dharma that preserved by him up till today.

  7. Albert on Sep 29, 2016 at 9:05 am

    This is a really classic story to read, King Ashoka, someone who kill his brothers, kill thousands of people and never need to consider twice, in order to get what he want, he will never hesitate to kill, but for someone who is so cruel and cold can change 180 degree because of Dharma, he listen to it, applied and totally change the whole situation, peace was created and many people’s life was spare from it.

    Because of King Ashoka’s implementation of Buddhism in India, it get to spread to around the world and benefited people till today’s world. This story of King Ashoka also told us that no matter what we have done previously, it is not permanent, it doesn’t mean we are forever a bad person, as long as we willing to change and amend what is wrong, we can still be a better person and work to the benefit of others, this seems to be hard, but it is possible.

    Thank you Prashant for sharing such inspiring story with us.

  8. Pastor Chia on Sep 29, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Is interesting reading King Ashoka life story and know how he from the warrior king using buddhism to rule his country. Despite through the war by killing thousand and thousand people. King Asoka after met buddhism regret he action had done by killing so many people through the war.Building thousand and thousand stupa is powerful way of purification from his negative karma. The most important how King Asoka implemented buddhist teaching to rule his empire become peace and harmony instate or using violent way cause many harm and suffering. king Ashoka contribution to promote buddhism benefited many people study dharma over century even he had pass away thousand over year until now.

  9. Julia Tan on Sep 29, 2016 at 1:06 am

    The King is always the most powerful and influential one. Hence the fortune of the people strongly depend on how the King rule his country. Being the emperor of India, with so much of power, he had killed many due to greed and anger. Fortunately, he realised his downfall and regret greatly, hence he transformed himself to become a Dharma king and rule the country base on Buddha’s teaching ever after. He reminded me of the Emperor of China Kangxi whom brought tremendous benefit to the people of China.

    One with power can destroy everything. One with power also can unite and benefits all.

  10. Mingwen on Sep 29, 2016 at 12:49 am

    “One hundred and fifty thousand persons were captured, one hundred thousand were killed and many times that number perished.” The destructive nature of the Kalinga war created an emotional shock in Emperor Ashoka. He regretted the fact that he was responsible for so much suffering of fellow human beings. Upon seeing firsthand the damage this war has caused, Emperor Ashoka was deeply regretful and he cried out the famous sentence, “What have I done?”

    A Chinese’s well known quote, “放下屠刀, 立地成佛” which means Slaughter would stop killing and motivated to become a Buddha.

    It’s okay and we have always tend to make wrong moves throughout our lives and regret later. What’s really matter is we do learn a lesson and transform into a version of ourselves after every mistake we did.

  11. Pastor Antoinette on Sep 29, 2016 at 12:06 am

    King Ashoka the Great’s story shows again how someone extremely brutal, selfish and cruel like this warrier can turn around and become someone who spreads Dharma to innumerable amount of people.

    During his reign Buddhism spread so much and it become an official state ideology, the beginning of a world religion. King Ashoka’s legacy is indeed amazing. He helped his people in an extraordinary way we providing free medical care for his people and even for animals. His government helped to feed the poor through farming, digged wells and even planted trees to provide shade.

    Thank you for this amazing historic account.

  12. June Kang on Sep 28, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    读阿育王的故事,我很敬佩他把佛法用在治理国家,阿育王在位37年间,不仅统一全印度,他广泛宣传佛教教义和宗教道德, 他大力宣扬佛教慈悲思想,禁止杀。

    阿育王为了驱除了外道,举行第三次结集,由王与七十二高龄的目犍连子帝须亲临主持,整理了经典,并编撰了“论事”。

    阿育王宣传佛教的最得力的方式是广建佛塔,然而阿育王对佛教的贡献远远不止于此,他的奉行正法,也可说是佛陀遗教的一种实践。重要的是阿育王所做的种种佛教事业是促进了佛教在社会各阶层中的广泛传播,也为佛教走向世界打开了通道。更重要的是,印度在阿育王的统治下是空前的繁荣,这证明了佛法也可以用来“治国平天下”。

  13. nicholas on Sep 28, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    Ashoka indeed contributed in a wide spread of Buddhism in many parts of the world. The effect after the war had made him realised and the turn around of him improve the situation alot. He even attempt to develop governmental policies that based on Buddhist teaching which this is a direct governance to his people. With his enthusiasm which also followed by his childrens that had made a great established Buddhism in other country which we can see it today.

    What I admire about Ashoka is he can govern his empire under non-violance policy and follow through the Buddhism precept. His contribution in Buddhism even spread beyond by sending knowledgable monk to teach in other country. Ashoka indeed had left a great marked in spreading Buddhism from India.

  14. Eric kksiow on Sep 28, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    The emperor Ashoka is considered to be one of India’s greatest monarchs, he is widely remembered as a Buddhist ruler, and it was his contributions to Buddhism and morality that made him such a renowned figure in Indian history.

    Thank You
    Eric kksiow

  15. Khoo Hou Haw on Sep 28, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    It is very inspiring that such a influencial person like Ashoka was convinced by the teaching of Buddha and converted into a Buddhist. With his governmental policies that were based on Buddhist teachings, the people and even animals under the reign of his empire had benefitted greatly because of him following the non-violent way of Buddhisim. Another great person, Mahatma Ghandi who followed his way of non-violent again brought peace to the people of India. Imagine how much benefits can sentient being receive if everyone practise dharma.

  16. Li Kheng on Sep 28, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    Wow, Ashoka is truly a great conqueror. He first conquered land to gain power, wealth and status but later he conquered his own mind. That is the greatest of his conquest. From a King who could instigate and fuel the disastrous Kalinga war that killed and harmed hundreds of thousands, King Ashoka was able to regret and take actions to heal the suffering he caused and ultimately benefit lives beyond his own lifetime.

    This is a reflection of the power of pure Dharma. It is so accurate and irrefutably true that even the mind of a feared and “indestructible” king like ashoka could be transformed.

    king Ashoka’s conversion to Buddhism continue to benefit mankind in modern history as it is through his contribution that buddhism continue to spread into societies in the day and age across oceans in various continents.

    Thank you for sharing such an ancient legacy. The efforts of compiling facts and data of such a historical figure is certainly no easy feat!

  17. Pastor Henry Ooi on Sep 28, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    One man, that’s all it takes to create history. But a special man, with passion, vision, determination, wisdom, effort, love, compassion. Similar to the Buddha and other great men in history, Emperor Ashoka left a legacy. And what a legacy. If not for him, Buddhism might have taken a much longer time to reach other lands outside of India. Today, 470 million Buddhists are grateful to this great Indian Emperor for his great compassion.

  18. pammie yap on Sep 28, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Very good and detailed write up on King Ashoka. There were so many ‘dramatic’ events in his life! All the killings and torturing was really scary to read about. But the best part is how he went through all the dramas that eventually led him to Buddhism. And from there, he practiced and did the best he can spreading Buddhism beyond India and also got his children to do the same which resulted in Buddhism surviving in a few countries and practiced widely.
    This shows that no matter how cruel someone can be, with the correct teachings and guidance, Buddhism can help and change our mind for better as what we can see here with King Ashoka.

  19. Moh Mei on Sep 28, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Pastor Henry pointed out during our discussion, history is usually created by one person. It is true though, we often remember that one great leader, that one famous actor, that one genius scientist, that one Lama, etc. History seldom remember the whole nation, the community, the company, the team or the crew.

    No doubt Ashoka was a great king. As a king one holds the power to do great many things but somethings the same position can also become a restriction. It is rare for a person of such stature as king to change religion or beliefs. Leaders have been known to perish from power when they attempt to do so.

    Ashoka’s conversion to Buddhism and his commitment in dharma after left a permanent impact in history.

  20. Jace Chong on Sep 28, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    Thanks Rinpoche, P.Prashant and the blog team for the extensive information about Ashoka.

    I first heard about Ashoka was in Bodhgaya near Maha Bodhi Stupa, there is an Ashoka Pillar there and I got to know about the story of Ashoka through the tour guide when he is explaining about the pillar.

    I still remember clearly that he said Ashoka was in the great war of Kalinga, Ashoka and his troops killed hundred thousands of people. After the was, Ashoka was very thirsty, he asked his soldier to bring him some water to drink. The soldier brought him a cup of blood and Ashoka asked why. The soldier said there was no water he can find, even the river has became blood river because there were so many people died. The Kalinga war was a great turning point for Ashoka to realize “What have I done.”

    I admire his ruling policy adapting Buddhism and make Buddhist teachings very practical to everyone. However it didn’t last long. Nonetheless, the life story of Ashoka reflects that no matter how much bad deeds one did, there’s chance for him/her to turn around, to connect to our true self, to practice kindness, compassion and wisdom from the Buddha.

    Thank you.

  21. Bradley Kassian on Aug 28, 2016 at 1:09 am

    I really think people haven’t considered how crucial this individual is in preserving and increasing the Dharma far and wide. It is from people like him that Buddha Dharma really took hold across India & the rest of Asia in various countries, and although he did send scholars and monks westward the impact there was much less but there are records that some monks made it to Alexandria in Egypt. I personally believe some Buddhist teachings heavily influenced early Christianity since the teachings did make it to Israel and the surrounding areas. Ashoka the Great was a prolific builder, and supporter of Buddhism. Ajatashatru the King of Magadha had a great impact in the preservation of the teachings for future generations but it was Emperor Ashoka who helped spread them. His immense influence can still be felt across Asia and now the world.

  22. Sheila on Aug 26, 2016 at 2:17 am

    A very informative and entertaining read. We know too well Ashoka was the greatest Indian ruler, but I had no idea about the extent of his contributions to spread Buddhism all over the world.
    I especially enjoyed reading about how he interpreted Buddhism as a method of governance.
    Looking forward to another thought provoking read.

  23. Paul Yap on Aug 25, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    King Ashoka has transformed from a cruel, fierce ruler to a kind, compassionate and generous Buddhist practitioner. Over time, he has build many Buddhist temples and holy sites, he also rules his country with Buddhist principles. Its amazing when one’s who guided properly, the mind could change for better, thus benefited millions of peoples for the better.

  24. Pastor KH Ng on Aug 25, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Emperor Ashoka the Great is widely credited to be the person most responsible for spreading Buddhism outside of India, especially the Therevadan tradition via Ceylon. Without the him, Buddhism would not be what it is today.

    In my mind Emperor Ashoka was a Chakravartin King or Universal Emperor consistent with what are described in the Buddhist texts. He showed us what is wrong; killing, violence, self pleasure; and what is right; compassion, love and tolerance; even while being a King; and normally a king will “need” to act in contrary to those benevolent values in order to rule. This is the outstanding different of Emperor Ashoka and other great rulers in history and he is unique in this way with the exception of Emperor Kangxi of Qing China.

  25. Stella Cheang on Aug 24, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    It is an exhilarating read about King Ashoka. The Kalinga War is quite widely known, and from here in this article, we are brought to face with the brutality of King Ashoka before he became a true devotee of Buddhism. The virtuous deeds through King Ashoka’s proliferation of Buddha Dharma actually stayed longer and deeper in the heart of many compared to his callous history. Two thousand over years after his passing, many Buddhism artifacts like the Pillars of Ashoka and Lion Capital of Ashoka are still being revered as the symbol of an integral and inseparable part of history of India. Thank you P. Prashant for this interesting article.

  26. Fong on Aug 24, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    Ashoka was indeed a very great ruler. From being a vengeful, violent warrior ruler to a compassionate and tolerant ruler. The list of his accomplishment is longer than my arm.

    Though he had a change of heart that involved the repudiation of slaughter, and the development of a commitment to peace and the precepts of Buddhism, he did not force anyone to complete change to fit into his new believes.

    What struck me most is that he sent his children out to other parts of the world to spread Buddhism. If not for that, Buddhism might have declined in India with the Mauryan empire.

    Thank you, for a very informative and interesting read.

  27. Pastor David Lai on Aug 23, 2016 at 12:48 am

    Wow! What a good article. It left a lingering feeling of awe and nostalgia after reading it. I like how the article was written based on very believable hypothesis that was derived from excavated stone carved edicts.

    I love the story, the legend and the origin of Ashoka and the dramatic transformation from a war-mongering to a peace-loving emperor. There were plenty of details within the story that pulled Ashoka off from the history books into a seamless story. It is pretty obvious that from Ashokan’s reign that Buddhism gradually became mainstream all over.

  28. Joy on Aug 19, 2016 at 1:19 am

    This is a truly interesting account on King Ashoka. Thank you P. Prashant for this wonderful detailed historical write up. Every Buddhist ought to know this story of the fist Buddhist King who ruled his Kingdom with Dharma! Being the first emperor to renounce violence, replacing conquest by force with what he called “conquest by righteousness”. But what truly struck me the most was that He was not all that goody goody and holy.

    Before He became a Buddhist, he was known to be a fierce, shrewd, power hungry King. He slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people, and his last battle known as Battle of Kalinga, and it is from this blood shed war, did it dawn on to him the intense suffering he caused, which made him transform himself due to much regret. This is a story of a great King which can resonate with many of us who are still stuck in our bad habits. It is inspiring because it shows that if we are truly sincere and feel regret and remorse for what we have done, and seek refuge and apply the Dharma, we are able to achieve great things. It is because of King Ashoka’s deeds and action that Buddhism managed to spread outside of India, and the rest is history! We owe much to King Ashoka for the spread of Buddhism and I am amazed how much he did after that. Now I know the signiicance of the Mahaboddhi Temple and the person who built it! Thank you!

  29. Sofi on Aug 18, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    Thank you P. Prashant for such an interesting article. I had heard of this great Emperor but mostly with reference to the bloodbath of Kalinga war. I had also gone on pilgrimage to where some of Ashoka’s pillars and stupas still stand. However this article really brought to life the history of Mauryan Empire and Emperor Ashoka. He certainly stands out as a well loved Emperor with his caring governance towards his people, even prisoners on death sentence. He proofed that governance with accordance to Buddhist tenets need not be weak. In fact it is the opposite as citizens were happy with his fair rule and neighbours based on diplomatic friendliness are content with status quo. Emperor Ashoka had ruled his people with firmness but wisely and with plenty of care.

    With this in mind, I wish that the Dalai Lama and CTA will emulate the policies of Emperor Ashoka in their governance and religious edict. Acceptance of another’s religious practise was norm and Emperor Ashoka was respectfully considerate, right down to their food intake. The Dalai Lama and CTA should respect the Protector Dorje Shugden practitioners and accord them the respect as those of other religions. When will they wake up to proclaim “What have I done” and lift the illogical ban on Dorje Shugden?

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  • Alice Tay
    Saturday, Apr 21. 2018 11:05 AM
    Already over 60 years and until today most of the Tibetan people still under the dilemma whether want to leave or go. This implied that the convictions of Tibetan people has been deserted and all of their welfare is never improved due to the incapability of the Tibetan leadership. Furthermore, the oracle, Nechung, predicted that Tibetans will be back in Tibet within 5 years, but this prophecy is never realized. Dear Tibetan leadership, how much longer will the people to wait? The people are suffered enough in their daily life.

    Thank you Rinpoche for this meaningful and insightful review on this issue.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/why-tibetans-are-leaving-india.html
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Apr 21. 2018 10:44 AM
    After 60 years living as refugee in India, there is no development for the Tibetan living in exile. CTA has not done much for his people but instead instill hope that they are going back to Tibet. But the fact is that even the new generation of Tibetan in India have already adapted to the life in India and can’t speak Tibetan. Where would there see a need to go back to Tibet? And if the living condition in India is so bad and status remained as refugee for sure they would have find ways to have a better future elsewhere and that is logical.

    I hope very soon CTA would quickly change their mind to think and act for the best for his people. Stop creating more issues to disunite the people for example Dorje Shugden ban.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/why-tibetans-are-leaving-india.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Apr 21. 2018 10:31 AM
    It’s a heartfelt watching the video of how pigs are slaughtered . Sad can imagine the pig suffering, so much of agony and pain before the hour of death. No living beings will choose to die with so much suffering. Hopefully more people are aware of these slaughtering and stop consuming meat go on vegetarian to cut down the killings.
    Be kind to them .
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article to create more awareness.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/pig-slaughter-in-taiwan.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Apr 21. 2018 10:31 AM
    With so many hundreds of baby southern right whales dead washed ashore around Patagonia. Researchers are launching an investigation into the unexplained deaths of hundreds of young southern right whales. The southern right whales is the biggest sea mammal in the world and one of the planet’s most vulnerable marine species. Its has a feature of a dark, gray and blackish body, heavy and with no dorsal fin. Conservationists, scientists and researchers are determined by all means to find out the cause of the death as the populations could go extinct in no time.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/sad-news-at-sea.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Apr 21. 2018 10:30 AM
    A powerful quote of wisdom by HH the 14th Dalai Lama. Buddhism is unique among the world’s major world religions. Many people consider themselves spiritual but not religious and having religion without being spiritual is emptiness. Wisdom and compassion in Buddhism, inspires us to make our life much better spiritually.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/wisdom.html
  • Alice Tay
    Saturday, Apr 21. 2018 02:26 AM
    Personally, I think it is about 30% from the above mentioned list of animals are very rare as I never heard before. To protect all these endangers wildlife and having considered that hunting has contributed to the extinction of animal species, I hope that Malaysian Government will consider to tighten the regulations on the killing of wildlife.

    Thank you for this wonderful sharing about Malaysia’s beautiful wildlife.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/20-awesome-malaysian-animals.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Friday, Apr 20. 2018 09:57 PM
    During the papacy of Pope Leo X, a widely practiced way of fundraising was to offer salvation to people who could afford it; meaning the rich people could done all evil and gone sin-free. Much fund was needed in order to sustain the Pope’s lavish patronage in culture and arts. He practiced nepotism, which was no difference from abuse of power. It seemed that Pope Leo X was a corrupted leader, abused his authority and manipulated religious issues for his personal gain. One would wondered how a religious leader could have no discipline in his controlling his own desire and only cared about himself and his crony. It certainly cast much bad light on the religion he represented. Unfortunately, all the above traits are familiar to us because they are extremely similar to how the CTA rules today from Dharamsala. The CTA is corrupted, abuses their power and manipulates religious affairs to suit their personal gain; i.e. cover their failure and to raise fund in fake pretext. May more people see the truth behind the CTA ugly intention and step forward or step up to challenge them. Thank you for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/the-controversial-pope-leo-x.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 20. 2018 01:12 PM
    Interesting……..discovery by scientist that extra terrestrials have visited Earth for millions of years ago.. From the age of the dinosaurs to ancient Egypt, from early cave drawings to continued mass sightings in the US. They are convinced and reveals that the truth about mankind’s contact with extra terrestrial aliens long ago including historical text and photos. Hundreds of strange disks are discovered in a cave in China that appear to tell the story of an ancient extra terrestrial crash on Earth. Having discovered ancient gold mine has proven to be of hundreds thousand years old pointing to the theory and facts of an extinct civilisation of aliens on earth. Multiple cultures from different part of the world has shared experiences of alien visitation as well ,proving that ancient aliens definitely exists even before mankind.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this interesting video and glad to know more of the discoveries .

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/ancient-aliens-season-1-episode-4-the-mission.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 20. 2018 01:11 PM
    So touching watching this amazing video of the leopard showing love and compassion to a different species ,a small tiny baboon. The leopard even to the extend helping the tiny baboon on to the tree. Its very rare leopard not kill other beings. Animals experience the same range of emotions as humans, and researchers have proven that some animals do feel a full range of emotions, including fear, joy, happiness, shame, embarrassment, resentment, jealousy, rage, anger, and love. Hence do not hurt and kill animals , give them a chance to live like humans. Go on vegetarian is the best choice.
    Thank you for sharing Rinpoche.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/leopard-saves-baby-baboon-must-watch.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 20. 2018 01:11 PM
    Life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer. To strive for a more impressive meaningful , purposeful in life which involves recognising and accepting our higher potential will be more rewarding. With the powerful Dharma Protector …Dorje Shugden guiding us is indeed a define success in our heart of hearts. The powerful Protector will helps us nor matter when and what race and faith when we trusted fully in it. We will become inspired, have peace of mind and be able to achieve much more in life beyond. It will change our life , doing the activities that we love and spending time with the people that we love. By cultivating the ability to help people be happy, and to relieve them of the suffering they experienced.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Stella for this beautiful article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/finding-deeper-meaning-in-life-with-dorje-shugden.html
  • Alice Tay
    Friday, Apr 20. 2018 06:10 AM
    Thank you Rinpoche and the support team for all of these inspirational quotes that really make us think deeply about various aspects of life.

    A question comes to mind: ”What are we waiting for?” Do the dharma work before it is too late as death can happen at any time.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/people-for-peace.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 19. 2018 11:42 AM
    Interesting article……as I used to think that angel are associated with the Christian faith. As I see pictures of angels always adorned in white and in the light. There also appeared in the holy scriptures and graphics on walls of ancient buildings. After reading this article I concluded that I believe aliens and angels do exist as be extra-terrestrials who may be beings from different realms. In Buddhism, there are some other forms of life existing in other parts of the universe.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these interesting video and article

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/are-angels-ancient-aliens-2.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 19. 2018 11:42 AM
    Beautiful poems , it’s a reminder for us all to appreciate our life as life is short and unpredictable. We could liberate our sufferings by learning , practicing dharma and doing dharma work to live our life meaningful. Free ourselves from suffering and live a life of compassion, fearlessness and joy.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this beautiful poem.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/suffering-is-my-protector.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Apr 18. 2018 09:36 PM
    This article is beautifully presented to capture the contribution of our forefathers who brought with them development and prosperity to Bentong and also other parts of Malaysia. During those days, many immigrants from China came to Malaysia and invested their wealth and effort in this land that was rich in natural resources but otherwise raw and untouched. They made this land their home. Because of them, Bentong is now prosperous and thriving with businesses and industries that can compete in the world arena. Thank you for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/chinese-influx-to-bentong-in-the-early-days.html#comments
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 18. 2018 02:56 PM
    Wow…..amazing watching such a very rare video. We are so fortunate able to see this with a better knowledge of oracles that have existed over thousands years ago in Tibet. This is a very valuable information which provide a great insight into the world of oracles in exiled Tibet. Watching Namsel Donma the only woman oracle was fantastic, she is so strong, powerful and so as the rest of the man oracle in the video. It show us that there are other forms of spiritual beings do exist as depicted in statues and thangkas. HH Dalai Lama gave a good explanation of the incredible phenomena of oracles. I do enjoyed watching, thank you Rinpoche for sharing this rare video.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/videos/fantastic-oracle-film.html

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

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Sculpture demigoddesses Singhini (lioness goddess) on the upper terrace in front of Nyatapola temple in Bhaktapur, Nepal.
3 days ago
Sculpture demigoddesses Singhini (lioness goddess) on the upper terrace in front of Nyatapola temple in Bhaktapur, Nepal.
How fortunate I am to be sitting in my room, with a rosary in my hand reciting the mantra given to me by my compassionate guru and to meditate in developing a compassionate heart and purifying my karmas. How fortunate I am to be able to spend my time in such a meaningful manner. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
How fortunate I am to be sitting in my room, with a rosary in my hand reciting the mantra given to me by my compassionate guru and to meditate in developing a compassionate heart and purifying my karmas. How fortunate I am to be able to spend my time in such a meaningful manner. Tsem Rinpoche
Comic drawn by Tendor, a prominent Free Tibet activist-Every Tibetan knows that although His Holiness the Dalai Lama says he is retired from politics, he is in full control of the Tibetan government in exile. No member of the government will dare carry out any decisions without His Holiness\' approval. He is retired for the sake of the west so he does not look like a dictator.~Tenzin Damchoe
2 months ago
Comic drawn by Tendor, a prominent Free Tibet activist-Every Tibetan knows that although His Holiness the Dalai Lama says he is retired from politics, he is in full control of the Tibetan government in exile. No member of the government will dare carry out any decisions without His Holiness' approval. He is retired for the sake of the west so he does not look like a dictator.~Tenzin Damchoe
It would be wonderful if everyone can recite these two mantras 100k each focusing on Shakyamuni Buddha and His powerful healing energies. Not collectively but each person 100k each of each mantra. Praise to Shakyamuni the Sage who showed us a permanent way to bliss.
2 months ago
It would be wonderful if everyone can recite these two mantras 100k each focusing on Shakyamuni Buddha and His powerful healing energies. Not collectively but each person 100k each of each mantra. Praise to Shakyamuni the Sage who showed us a permanent way to bliss.
In Tibet Shannan area Riwoche Ling Monastery, devotees are putting Tsem Rinpoche\'s photo inside the cabinet together with the Buddha he loves - Dorje Shugden
在西藏山南日乌曲林寺,信徒们把詹杜固仁波切的法照和他最敬爱的多杰雄登护法像摆在一起
2 months ago
In Tibet Shannan area Riwoche Ling Monastery, devotees are putting Tsem Rinpoche's photo inside the cabinet together with the Buddha he loves - Dorje Shugden 在西藏山南日乌曲林寺,信徒们把詹杜固仁波切的法照和他最敬爱的多杰雄登护法像摆在一起
Please read this..thank you.
2 months ago
Please read this..thank you.
A beautiful Dorje Shugden depicted in Druid and newage style. There are many more here and free downloads in high file: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144924
2 months ago
A beautiful Dorje Shugden depicted in Druid and newage style. There are many more here and free downloads in high file: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144924
Here, His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche (left), one of the tutors of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, confers one of the many countless tantric initiations on the Dalai Lama (right). You can see a young Dalai Lama bowing in this picture with Trijang Rinpoche blessing him. Trijang Rinpoche is therefore undoubtedly the Dalai Lama’s tantric master. A great master at that. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Here, His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche (left), one of the tutors of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, confers one of the many countless tantric initiations on the Dalai Lama (right). You can see a young Dalai Lama bowing in this picture with Trijang Rinpoche blessing him. Trijang Rinpoche is therefore undoubtedly the Dalai Lama’s tantric master. A great master at that. Tsem Rinpoche
This is a very sacred statue of Buddha Chenresig (Avalokitesvara/Kuan Yin) that manifested many miracles in North India. Read and see more pictures and understand the background here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=153802
3 months ago
This is a very sacred statue of Buddha Chenresig (Avalokitesvara/Kuan Yin) that manifested many miracles in North India. Read and see more pictures and understand the background here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=153802
Wonderful updated version of The Promise book is out! Please get your copy. Much more new information included.
3 months ago
Wonderful updated version of The Promise book is out! Please get your copy. Much more new information included.
\"Bhagavani, source of all wonders, Vasudhara, Goddess of splendour and fortune, bestower of auspicious mental desires; homage to the Goddess Wish-fulfilling Wheel.\" (Sakya liturgical verse).
3 months ago
"Bhagavani, source of all wonders, Vasudhara, Goddess of splendour and fortune, bestower of auspicious mental desires; homage to the Goddess Wish-fulfilling Wheel." (Sakya liturgical verse).
Beautiful and sacred Vajra Yogini in Pharping, Nepal. The caretaker said it was owned by the Great Marpa the translator who was the guru of Milarepa. Wow.
3 months ago
Beautiful and sacred Vajra Yogini in Pharping, Nepal. The caretaker said it was owned by the Great Marpa the translator who was the guru of Milarepa. Wow.
In the Lankavatara Sutra, Lord Buddha says: \"For innumerable reasons, the Bodhisattva, whose nature is compassion, is not to  any meat. Thus Mahamati, whenever there is the evolution of living beings, let people cherish the thought of kinship with them, and thinking that all beings are [to be loved as if they were] and only child, let them refrain from eating meat.  Mahamati, meat is not eaten by anybody for any reason, there will be no destroyer of life. Thus, Mahamati, meat-eating I have not permitted to anyone, I do not permit, I will not permit.\"
3 months ago
In the Lankavatara Sutra, Lord Buddha says: "For innumerable reasons, the Bodhisattva, whose nature is compassion, is not to any meat. Thus Mahamati, whenever there is the evolution of living beings, let people cherish the thought of kinship with them, and thinking that all beings are [to be loved as if they were] and only child, let them refrain from eating meat. Mahamati, meat is not eaten by anybody for any reason, there will be no destroyer of life. Thus, Mahamati, meat-eating I have not permitted to anyone, I do not permit, I will not permit."
At times I have to be a trendsetter in spirituality as opposed to just being a follower and that is why I take chances and try. I may not be liked always for it, but I have to do it. In this way I have been introducing Dorje Shugden to the world. I know Shugden is good and will help so many and that is why I do it.
3 months ago
At times I have to be a trendsetter in spirituality as opposed to just being a follower and that is why I take chances and try. I may not be liked always for it, but I have to do it. In this way I have been introducing Dorje Shugden to the world. I know Shugden is good and will help so many and that is why I do it.
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it\'s right and will benefit people at the cost of your own reputation. That\'s how I feel when I share Dorje Shugden\'s practice with the world.
3 months ago
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it's right and will benefit people at the cost of your own reputation. That's how I feel when I share Dorje Shugden's practice with the world.
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it\'s right and you are true to yourself.
3 months ago
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it's right and you are true to yourself.
At times I have to be a trendsetter in spirituality as opposed to just being a follower and that is why I take chances and try. I may not be liked always for it, but I have to do it. In this way I have been introducing Dorje Shugden to the world. I know Shugden is good and will help so many and that is why I do it.
3 months ago
At times I have to be a trendsetter in spirituality as opposed to just being a follower and that is why I take chances and try. I may not be liked always for it, but I have to do it. In this way I have been introducing Dorje Shugden to the world. I know Shugden is good and will help so many and that is why I do it.
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it\'s right and you are true to yourself.
3 months ago
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it's right and you are true to yourself.
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it\'s right and will benefit people at the cost of your own reputation. That\'s how I feel when I share Dorje Shugden\'s practice with the world.
3 months ago
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it's right and will benefit people at the cost of your own reputation. That's how I feel when I share Dorje Shugden's practice with the world.
Beautiful Buddha built in Sarnath, India. Sarnath was the place where Lord Buddha first starting teaching the sacred Dharma. Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Beautiful Buddha built in Sarnath, India. Sarnath was the place where Lord Buddha first starting teaching the sacred Dharma. Tsem Rinpoche
 This is so good. I need to remember this and not allow people to do this to me anymore. Being kind is one thing, but when they are doing it and it harms, it is not a matter of kindness anymore but taking advantage.
4 months ago
This is so good. I need to remember this and not allow people to do this to me anymore. Being kind is one thing, but when they are doing it and it harms, it is not a matter of kindness anymore but taking advantage.
Incredible Lama Thubten Phurbu and His Activities - http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=150927
5 months ago
Incredible Lama Thubten Phurbu and His Activities - http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=150927
Huffington Post has just released their SECOND EXPOSÉ of the Dorje Shugden issue. You can read about it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=151328
5 months ago
Huffington Post has just released their SECOND EXPOSÉ of the Dorje Shugden issue. You can read about it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=151328
Please read what Kyabje Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche says about people\'s religion.
5 months ago
Please read what Kyabje Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche says about people's religion.
A gorgeous Dorje Shugden painted in traditional art style of China. Chinese art has flourished for over 5,000 years and highly sought after. This form of Dorje Shugden is sitting on a seat as you see painted in his chapel (Trode Khangsar) in Lhasa, Tibet. Dorje Shugden can be on a seat or Lion.  More downloads here.  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
5 months ago
A gorgeous Dorje Shugden painted in traditional art style of China. Chinese art has flourished for over 5,000 years and highly sought after. This form of Dorje Shugden is sitting on a seat as you see painted in his chapel (Trode Khangsar) in Lhasa, Tibet. Dorje Shugden can be on a seat or Lion. More downloads here. http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
Dear friends, The Dorje Shugden oracle of Gaden Shartse Monastery was authorized and blessed by both Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. He was a favorite among high lamas for his smooth trances and clear prophecies. This video is a one-of-a-kind where you see the Choyang Dulzin Kuten oracle take trance of the peaceful form of Dorje Shugden wearing the robes of a high lama giving teachings, blessings and transmissions. Very sacred and rare video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pawS1TMOe8k
5 months ago
Dear friends, The Dorje Shugden oracle of Gaden Shartse Monastery was authorized and blessed by both Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. He was a favorite among high lamas for his smooth trances and clear prophecies. This video is a one-of-a-kind where you see the Choyang Dulzin Kuten oracle take trance of the peaceful form of Dorje Shugden wearing the robes of a high lama giving teachings, blessings and transmissions. Very sacred and rare video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pawS1TMOe8k
Beautiful contemporary art piece of Dorje Shugden for free high res download here:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
5 months ago
Beautiful contemporary art piece of Dorje Shugden for free high res download here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
The Huffington Post extensively covers the Dorje Shugden issue. I had no idea that this article was being written. I was not contacted, not asked for an interview or asked for any comments, and then it was published and my students alerted me to it. So it was a very, very pleasant and encouraging surprise to read such balanced coverage from such a reputable news website. You can read it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=149806
5 months ago
The Huffington Post extensively covers the Dorje Shugden issue. I had no idea that this article was being written. I was not contacted, not asked for an interview or asked for any comments, and then it was published and my students alerted me to it. So it was a very, very pleasant and encouraging surprise to read such balanced coverage from such a reputable news website. You can read it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=149806
དེ་རིང་ང་ཁྱེད་རང་ཚོ་མཉམ་དུ་བོད་མིའི་ཆབ་སྲིད་ནང་གི་བློ་མགུ་ནུས་པའི་མངོན་འགྱུར་ཞིག་ཞུའི་ཡིན། གང་དག་བོད་པའི་སྤྱི་ཚོགས་ནང་ཆོས་ལུགས་ཁྱད་པར། དབྱེ་འབྱེད། ཕྱོགས་རིས་ཐོག་ལ་གང་འདྲ་སྟངས་འཛིན་བྱེད་དགོས་ཀྱི་སྐོར་ངེས་གཏན་སྣུན་ཤུགས་བྱེད་ཐུབ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-mp-tenpa-yarphel-speaks-up-against-nechung-tibetan.html
5 months ago
དེ་རིང་ང་ཁྱེད་རང་ཚོ་མཉམ་དུ་བོད་མིའི་ཆབ་སྲིད་ནང་གི་བློ་མགུ་ནུས་པའི་མངོན་འགྱུར་ཞིག་ཞུའི་ཡིན། གང་དག་བོད་པའི་སྤྱི་ཚོགས་ནང་ཆོས་ལུགས་ཁྱད་པར། དབྱེ་འབྱེད། ཕྱོགས་རིས་ཐོག་ལ་གང་འདྲ་སྟངས་འཛིན་བྱེད་དགོས་ཀྱི་སྐོར་ངེས་གཏན་སྣུན་ཤུགས་བྱེད་ཐུབ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-mp-tenpa-yarphel-speaks-up-against-nechung-tibetan.html
བོད་པའི་དབུ་ཁྲིད་ཚོའི་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན་བསྟེན་མཁན་ཚོར་མ་ཉེས་ཁ་ཡོག་གི་བརྙན་ཕྲིན་གསར་པ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-leaderships-new-anti-shugden-video-tibetan.html
5 months ago
བོད་པའི་དབུ་ཁྲིད་ཚོའི་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན་བསྟེན་མཁན་ཚོར་མ་ཉེས་ཁ་ཡོག་གི་བརྙན་ཕྲིན་གསར་པ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-leaderships-new-anti-shugden-video-tibetan.html
(Drepung) Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we\'ve come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
5 months ago
(Drepung) Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we've come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we\'ve come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
5 months ago
Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we've come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
I had this painting commissioned. Please read more here on this great master-
 http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146195
6 months ago
I had this painting commissioned. Please read more here on this great master- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146195
How can all the high lamas of Tibet and all the protectors not be able to defeat Dorje Shugden? This is food for thought: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bj0254UG-Y
6 months ago
How can all the high lamas of Tibet and all the protectors not be able to defeat Dorje Shugden? This is food for thought: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bj0254UG-Y
致全世界的华人:这是我一份小小的心意:一幅富有古中国传统艺术的作品。希望你们会喜欢! http://bit.ly/2zLOjnK
6 months ago
致全世界的华人:这是我一份小小的心意:一幅富有古中国传统艺术的作品。希望你们会喜欢! http://bit.ly/2zLOjnK
“One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
6 months ago
“One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Download for free this high res photo of Lord Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
6 months 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.
6 months 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.
6 months ago
These three (Dharma, Oser and Mumu) are super adorable.
Beautiful Vajra Yogini print.
6 months ago
Beautiful Vajra Yogini print.
Beautiful and holy new statues arrived to Kechara Forest Retreat. Please enjoy the pictures: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146950
6 months ago
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
6 months ago
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
6 months 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
6 months 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
6 months 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
6 months 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!!
6 months 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
6 months ago
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp *****and**** My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li
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Please click on the images to watch video
  • His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche with his student Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
    3 weeks ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche with his student Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
    His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery was one of the teachers of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Here in this beautiful video is Geshe Kelsang Gyatso showing his centre to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, then proceeding to sit down to receive teachings. For more information, please go to http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/category/kyabje-zong-rinpoche
  • Super neat footage of Patty the Bigfoot!
    1 month ago
    Super neat footage of Patty the Bigfoot!
    In 1967, Bob Gimlin and Roger Patterson stumbled across an incredible sight whilst out in Bluff Creek, in the California wilderness. At a creek which had been freshly washed-out by recent floods, they witnessed a female Bigfoot swiftly traverse the rugged landscape. Since their filmed encounter with the Bigfoot, who has since been nicknamed Patty, many have disputed the authenticity of their recording but no one has been able to successfully prove that it is a fake. Credits for this video goes to entirely to windvale for the original footage.
  • Adorable Tibetan kids wishing Happy New Year 2018
    2 months ago
    Adorable Tibetan kids wishing Happy New Year 2018
    The children and their little well-wishing voices are adorable!! It is a must listen. They recite prayers to Dorje Shugden to invoke blessings for everyone for the New Year 2018! At one point, they sprinkle some of the drink into the air as per tradition as an offering to Dorje Shugden. Shugden's practice in Tibet has been strong for four hundred years and is continuing to grow. Happy New Year (Losar) to everyone. May everyone have peace. Sarva Mangalam!
  • Dogs are super intelligent. This dog was trained as a service dog to help his owner who suffers from seizures. It even goes to the extent whereby he will lie under her head when she has a seizure, to protect her head from banging on the floor.
    2 months ago
    Dogs are super intelligent. This dog was trained as a service dog to help his owner who suffers from seizures. It even goes to the extent whereby he will lie under her head when she has a seizure, to protect her head from banging on the floor.
  • Beautiful Tibetan children wishing Happy New Year!
    2 months ago
    Beautiful Tibetan children wishing Happy New Year!
  • Ven Lobsang Jigme of Tsem Monastery in Yara, Tibet is passing out pictures of Tsem Rinpoche to the locals.
    2 months ago
    Ven Lobsang Jigme of Tsem Monastery in Yara, Tibet is passing out pictures of Tsem Rinpoche to the locals.
  • (3) Khenpo Lobdroe blessing the public at Magon Monastery in Drayab.
    2 months ago
    (3) Khenpo Lobdroe blessing the public at Magon Monastery in Drayab.
  • (2) The trance took place in Drayab Magon Monastery.
    2 months ago
    (2) The trance took place in Drayab Magon Monastery.
  • (1) Young monk taking trance of Dorje Shugden in Drayab, Chamdo Tibet.
    2 months ago
    (1) Young monk taking trance of Dorje Shugden in Drayab, Chamdo Tibet.
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    2 months ago
    A new megastar in Bollywood! Must see!!
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    4 months ago
    This is very inspirational
  • A Mother’s Love
    5 months ago
    A Mother’s Love
    A mother's love is made up of a deep sense of care, of sacrifice and pain as a mother's heart is always with her children. Watch this touching video.
  • Dorje Shugden & Ministers
    5 months ago
    Dorje Shugden & Ministers
    Dorje Shugden and his two ministers, Kache Marpo and Namka Barzin. Vajrasecrets.com
  • Cham Dance
    5 months ago
    Cham Dance
    Cham is sacred dance. A dance that enacts the life story of a holy being. By participating in Cham, one is blessed to see the sacred life story of a being celebrated. This is a cham on Dorje Shugden. It\\\'s a short clip but interesting none-the-less. Tsem Rinpoche
  • The great Gautama Siddhartha meditating intensely is protected by the King of Nagas during heavy rains
    5 months ago
    The great Gautama Siddhartha meditating intensely is protected by the King of Nagas during heavy rains
    The King of Nagas knows this great being Siddhartha will soon become the Buddha. By offering his own body as shelter to the Buddha to be, he honours the state of enlightenment which will be won and gains merit for himself for his future lives although he is a naga now. The pre-eminent Buddha is an object of perfect offering gaining great merits for all beings. Tsem Rinpoche
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    6 months ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
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    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
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    6 months ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
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    6 months ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
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    6 months ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
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    6 months ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    6 months ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    6 months ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    6 months ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    6 months ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    6 months ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    7 months ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.
  • Beautiful Buddha being sculpted from clay.
    7 months ago
    Beautiful Buddha being sculpted from clay.
  • After a while, you are are numb and you just keep doing it. You don’t know what you are doing and you don’t see it for what it really is. Tsem Rinpoche
    7 months ago
    After a while, you are are numb and you just keep doing it. You don’t know what you are doing and you don’t see it for what it really is. Tsem Rinpoche
    Please share this as much as possible. Please care. Please help: http://www.patreon.com/weanimals
  • OSER GIRL IS SO SMART AND CUTE AND EVERYONE LOVES HER
    7 months ago
    OSER GIRL IS SO SMART AND CUTE AND EVERYONE LOVES HER
  • It is a very painful process before the animals are finally dead.
    7 months ago
    It is a very painful process before the animals are finally dead.
  • If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.
    7 months ago
    If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.
  • Take a look at what singer Nicki Minaj did.
    7 months ago
    Take a look at what singer Nicki Minaj did.
  • Animals are enslaved to do a human’s job, this must stop.
    7 months ago
    Animals are enslaved to do a human’s job, this must stop.
  • This is how the chickens are killed in the farm, they die a very horrible death.
    7 months ago
    This is how the chickens are killed in the farm, they die a very horrible death.
  • America likes to police the world but their own record of civil rights is not on track. Watch this video from people of color in the US.
    7 months ago
    America likes to police the world but their own record of civil rights is not on track. Watch this video from people of color in the US.
  • Important video to watch and learn.
    7 months ago
    Important video to watch and learn.
  • Bigfoot’s voice captured on tape.
    7 months ago
    Bigfoot’s voice captured on tape.
  • Amazing video that you will not regret watching.
    7 months ago
    Amazing video that you will not regret watching.
  • Norma Jean
    8 months ago
    Norma Jean
    These are the heartbreaking scenes we see over and over again, that we share in the hopes of telling the stories of those who otherwise would have suffered and vanished from this earth without a trace. This is Norma Jean. Free for a little over five months, she knew more happiness than millions of her sisters ever will. But she couldn’t escape the fate genetically programmed into her as an egg producing machine. She seemed more lethargic than usual this morning, so we brought her inside to administer fluids and antibiotics in the hopes of pulling her through until we could get her in to see our vet. She couldn’t hang on. She died this evening shortly after this video was taken, severely infected from the rotting egg yolk adhered to various organs throughout her abdominal cavity. Like virtually every single one of her sisters, caged or free range, rescued or not, she paid the ultimate price for eggs (from FB)
  • If you want to change the world, start of by making your bed
    8 months ago
    If you want to change the world, start of by making your bed
    If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart
  • Canadian PM Justin Trudeau visits a Hindu mandir (temple)
    8 months ago
    Canadian PM Justin Trudeau visits a Hindu mandir (temple)
    While on a visit to a Hindu mandir (temple), Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks on diversity as Canada's strength.

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CHAT PICTURES

Thank you guys for the donation! #SegiUniversity boys! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
22 hours ago
Thank you guys for the donation! #SegiUniversity boys! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Families receiving their much needed surplus fresh surplus provisions right in front of their door step thanks to all the dedicated #volunteers! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 days ago
Families receiving their much needed surplus fresh surplus provisions right in front of their door step thanks to all the dedicated #volunteers! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Free haircut service for Kechara Soup Kitchen clients from Silkcut Hair Studio and Glam Hair Studio.
2 days ago
Free haircut service for Kechara Soup Kitchen clients from Silkcut Hair Studio and Glam Hair Studio.
Explore the universe within.
2 days ago
Explore the universe within.
Our distribution to the Orang Asli villages in Bentong yesterday evening. Thank you to all not forgetting the local volunteers as well. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
3 days ago
Our distribution to the Orang Asli villages in Bentong yesterday evening. Thank you to all not forgetting the local volunteers as well. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Uncle Ng with his "No Look" pose today in the kitchen. Thanks to Wei Di, Jian King, Henry Poong who helped in the kitchen today. Justin @ KSK
3 days ago
Uncle Ng with his "No Look" pose today in the kitchen. Thanks to Wei Di, Jian King, Henry Poong who helped in the kitchen today. Justin @ KSK
Dorje Shugden Chapel in the heart of Bentong! Visit this beautiful chapel at the entrance to Kechara Paradise, 84, Jalan Ah Peng, 28700 Bentong, Pahang, Malaysia. Picture courtesy by Pastor Albert, shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 days ago
Dorje Shugden Chapel in the heart of Bentong! Visit this beautiful chapel at the entrance to Kechara Paradise, 84, Jalan Ah Peng, 28700 Bentong, Pahang, Malaysia. Picture courtesy by Pastor Albert, shared by Pastor Antoinette
当我去Zambala Room 的时候Kai Te 很开心的说“老师!!!你看我画的美丽人生”我问“哇哈!!好棒噢!你画的好好噢!这个就是你的美丽人生?”Kai Te 回我说“是的!!!这里还有美丽的屋子” 看他满足的笑容,满满的正能量,多疗愈啊!By Asyley Chia KSDS
4 days ago
当我去Zambala Room 的时候Kai Te 很开心的说“老师!!!你看我画的美丽人生”我问“哇哈!!好棒噢!你画的好好噢!这个就是你的美丽人生?”Kai Te 回我说“是的!!!这里还有美丽的屋子” 看他满足的笑容,满满的正能量,多疗愈啊!By Asyley Chia KSDS
Throw back last Sunday topic 8 freedom and 10 endowment leading by Teacher Kien and Teacher Lin Mun. Everybody paying full attention while teacher sharing.Well done children. By Asyley Chia KSDS
4 days ago
Throw back last Sunday topic 8 freedom and 10 endowment leading by Teacher Kien and Teacher Lin Mun. Everybody paying full attention while teacher sharing.Well done children. By Asyley Chia KSDS
Ready!!! Get set Throw!!!2 to 4 year old games Time.By Asyley Chia KSDS
4 days ago
Ready!!! Get set Throw!!!2 to 4 year old games Time.By Asyley Chia KSDS
Teacher Alice demonstrate full lotus sit to the Class 2 to 4 year old children.By Asyley Chia KSDS
4 days ago
Teacher Alice demonstrate full lotus sit to the Class 2 to 4 year old children.By Asyley Chia KSDS
Thank you to Calvin Chan and students from Chung Ling Butterworth High School who helped carry the heavy groceries to needy families. Great to see the younger generation spending their time serving the community. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 days ago
Thank you to Calvin Chan and students from Chung Ling Butterworth High School who helped carry the heavy groceries to needy families. Great to see the younger generation spending their time serving the community. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Team Cambridge University Press Malaysia also helped to evaluate applicants applying for our food bank assistance programme. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 days ago
Team Cambridge University Press Malaysia also helped to evaluate applicants applying for our food bank assistance programme. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
466kg of #surplusfood were redistributed to 76 needy families in PPR Beringin on Thursday with the help of these dedicated #volunteers. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 days ago
466kg of #surplusfood were redistributed to 76 needy families in PPR Beringin on Thursday with the help of these dedicated #volunteers. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
KISG has carried out prayer recitations to Mother Tara in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
6 days ago
KISG has carried out prayer recitations to Mother Tara in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
More wisdom please log on to www.tsemrinpoche.com
6 days ago
More wisdom please log on to http://www.tsemrinpoche.com
Powerful Dukkar or White Umbrella Puja  “To cut asunder completely all malignant demons, to cut asunder all the spells of others…to turn aside all enemies and dangers and hatred...”  Dukkar manifested from the crown of Buddha Shakyamuni as a personification of Buddha’s victory umbrella, and is commonly regarded as the female counterpart to Avalokiteshvara (Kuan Yin), the Buddha of Compassion. https://www.vajrasecrets.com/dukkar-puja-fund-for-legal-affairs, shared by Pastor Antoinette
6 days ago
Powerful Dukkar or White Umbrella Puja “To cut asunder completely all malignant demons, to cut asunder all the spells of others…to turn aside all enemies and dangers and hatred...” Dukkar manifested from the crown of Buddha Shakyamuni as a personification of Buddha’s victory umbrella, and is commonly regarded as the female counterpart to Avalokiteshvara (Kuan Yin), the Buddha of Compassion. https://www.vajrasecrets.com/dukkar-puja-fund-for-legal-affairs, shared by Pastor Antoinette
Teacher Kien led the students to recite Migtsema & Manjushri mantras before the class start. Alice Tay, KSDS
7 days ago
Teacher Kien led the students to recite Migtsema & Manjushri mantras before the class start. Alice Tay, KSDS
Doing prostrations to the Buddhas is another way of collecting extensive merit. Alice Tay, KSDS
7 days ago
Doing prostrations to the Buddhas is another way of collecting extensive merit. Alice Tay, KSDS
KSDS students paid respect and do prostrations to Lama Tsongkhapa. Alice Tay, KSDS
7 days ago
KSDS students paid respect and do prostrations to Lama Tsongkhapa. Alice Tay, KSDS
Welcome the new joining volunteer teacher, Yvonne, helped the class age between 2 years old and 6 years old. Alice Tay, KSDS
7 days ago
Welcome the new joining volunteer teacher, Yvonne, helped the class age between 2 years old and 6 years old. Alice Tay, KSDS
Teacher Laura is the youngest KSDS volunteer teacher, to take care for the children mainly age between age 7 and 8. Alice Tay, KSDS
7 days ago
Teacher Laura is the youngest KSDS volunteer teacher, to take care for the children mainly age between age 7 and 8. Alice Tay, KSDS
20 birds were released this afternoon. Bird Liberation @ Kechara Penang Study Group ~ Jacinta Goh
7 days ago
20 birds were released this afternoon. Bird Liberation @ Kechara Penang Study Group ~ Jacinta Goh
Kids watched in awe. May they realise the ultimate Bodhicitta ~Jacinta Goh, Kechara Penang Study Group
7 days ago
Kids watched in awe. May they realise the ultimate Bodhicitta ~Jacinta Goh, Kechara Penang Study Group
Led by Pastor Patsy, 108 mantra seeds of Medicine Buddha were being planted and hopefully the birds will have a good rebirth in their next lives and may they meet and practice Dharma strongly ~Jacinta Goh
7 days ago
Led by Pastor Patsy, 108 mantra seeds of Medicine Buddha were being planted and hopefully the birds will have a good rebirth in their next lives and may they meet and practice Dharma strongly ~Jacinta Goh
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Dorje Shugden
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