Exciting information on Tsongkapa!
I was on the blog chat and several other persons also joined me to my delight. I started asking various persons about the different enlightened aspects of Tsongkapa, His practice, benefits and trivia related to Him. I thought I would reproduce the chat here and you can learn a lot from our conversation.
Please do read the questions carefully and then the answers. You will definitely gain from reading.
Much good wishes, Tsem Rinpoche
TSEM RINPOCHE: Dear everyone, What part of Tibet was Tsongkapa from? What place exactly was he born?
PASTOR SENG PIOW: Tsongkhapa was from a place called Tsongkha in East Tibet
PASTOR SENG PIOW: It is near Kumbum Monastery, so in today’s world, the place is near Xining, the capital of Qinghai Province in China
TSEM RINPOCHE: What Monastery did Tsongkapa enter first and at what age?
JOY: At the age of seven, Tsongkhapa received novice vows from Chojey Dondrub-rinchen and the ordination name Lozang-dragpa. He continued to study in Amdo with this lama until he was sixteen, at which time he went to U-tsang (dBus-gtsang, Central Tibet) to study further.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Name me 10 things Tsongkapa and Arya Nagarjuna have in common?
TSEM RINPOCHE: Similarities between Ary Nagarjuna & Lord Tsongkapa: 1. Both predicted by Lord Buddha. 2. Both gained high attainments via Guhyasamaja’s incredible tantric path. 3. Both were the highest scholars in their land during their lifetime. 4. Both conformed to the monastic system of discipline and practice (vinaya-holding pure monk vows) 5. Both only accepted a practice after vigorous debate, analysis and self-practice. 6. Both had thousands of disciples and many erudite masters arose from studying with them. 7. Both ordained many into monkhood as they found this to be perfect in practicing. 8. Both believed in not revealing tantra practice to the general public. 9. Both studied emptiness/practiced emptiness and wrote extensively on it in order to clear the doubts for many practitioners. Because of their extensive teachings and writing on emptiness, many were liberated from rebirth. 10. Both attained full enlightenment within their lifetime. Tsongkapa in bardo. Same.
PASTOR DAVID: Hehe mine was this…. couldn’t figure the last one – Thank you Rinpoche 1. They are both enlightened masters 2. Both are Mahayanists. 3. Both practiced Tantra- Guhyasamaja 4. Both received teachings from Manjushri 5. Both displayed miracles due to their attainments 6. Both masters are depicted with dharmachakra mudra 7. Both taught on the correct view of emptiness 8. Had many great students who became great lineage holders and masters. 9. Both were unexcelled scholars 10. (Unfinished)
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor Niral, what work did Tsongkapa do that benefitted all sentient beings till even now?
PASTOR NIRAL: Rinpoche, Tsongkhapa founded the Ganden monastery which is benefiting sentient beings up until today, as Tsongkhapa’s teachings are preserved and practiced there. this has led to many great masters who have helped many.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Nicholas, How many primary miraculous visions did Kedrup Je have of Tsongkapa and describe how Tsongkapa looked on each vision please for the benefit of many people here to learn.
NICHOLAS: The Five visions of Tsongkhapa 1. On an elephant Tsongkhapa was seated on a jewelled seat, upon a white elephant with six tusks. Tsongkhapa spoke to Khedrup Je and advised him to not be consumed by sadness and that if he thinks of his Guru, he could purify the negative actions he had previously committed and accumulate much merits. Tsongkhapa also advised him to read the mystical songs by Milarepa and to work on developing the teachings. 2. On a Throne held by celestial beings At another time, upon the request of Khedrup Je, Tsongkhapa appeared again, this time on a throne of gold and jewels, held by many youthful celestial beings. Tsongkhapa gave Khedrup Je teachings to clarify his questions and deepened his understanding of the doctrine. 3. As Manjushri on a white Lion The next time Khedrup Je invoked his Guru, Tsongkhapa appeared – this time in the form of a 16 year old, Bodhisattva Manjushri, with a red-orange body, sitting upon a bejewelled white lion. In this form, Tsongkhapa advised Khedrup Je to spread the tantric teachings. 4. As a Yogi on a Tiger In Khedrup Je’s fourth vision of his Guru, Tsongkhapa appeared in the form of a yogi with long red hair tied with green silk at the top of his head. He was riding a ferocious tiger and his right hand carried a flaming sword like Manjushri while his left held a skull cup of nectar at his heart. Tsongkhapa advised him that whenever he thought of his Guru, he should read the treatises Tsongkhapa composed on the two stages of generation and completion of the path of the Tantras. 5. In his normal form The final time that Tsongkhapa appeared to Khedrup Je in a vision, he was in the form of an ordained monk, in the middle of a white cloud. Tsongkhapa told Khedrup Je that he was giving a teaching on Wu Tai Mountain in China to an assembly of more than 1800 holders of the vajra. He advised Khedrup Je to make prayers to go there too and that they would meet again soon. On Lama Tsongkhapa’s last appearance to him, Khedrup Je cried and cried and asked his Guru, “Please may I not stay on Earth anymore. May I join you in Gaden Heaven, please?” Khedrup Je had already asked Lama Tsongkhapa this many times previously and each time, Lama Tsongkhapa had told him not to come yet. However, on that last occasion, Lama Tsongkhapa said to him, “Yes, you may come.” Khedrup Je went into meditation, passed into clear light and was born in Gaden Heaven with his Guru, Lama Tsongkhapa. These disciples were not just ordinary disciples but enlightened Beings themselves.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor Jean Ai, what practices did Tsongkapa perform specifically in the cave with how many disciples and for how many years?
PASTOR JEAN AI: Rinpoche, he entered the cave with eight disciples for four years. They did 100,000 prostrations (35 sets, one for each of thirty-five confession Buddhas). They also did 100,000 mandala offerings (18 sets), and Yamantaka self-initiations
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor Seng Piow, where is the location of the cave Tsongkapa performed his great retreat in?
PASTOR SENG PIOW: The retreat cave is behind Gaden Monastery in Tibet. Tsongkhapa’s holy retreat cave behind Gaden Monastery in Tibet http://www.kechara.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Travel_HolyTkpcave_01.jpg
TSEM RINPOCHE: Very good Nicholas. Another question: What was Tsongkapa’s guru that ‘taught’ the beneficial migtseyma mantra to Him?
NICHOLAS: Jetsun Rendawa
TSEM RINPOCHE: Joy, Name 10 disciples of Tsongkapa that was very close and very learned?
JOY: 10 names of Tsongkhapa’s dsiciples are…. 1. Gyeltsap Dharma Rinchen (1364-1432), 2. Khedrub Gelek Palsang (1385-1438), 3. Gyalwa Gendun Drup (1391-1474) who became known as the first Dalai Lama, 4. Jamyang Chöje Tashi Palden (1379-1449), 5. Chamchen Chöje Shakya Yeshe, 6. Je Sherab Senge, 7. Kunga Dhöndrup (1354-1438) 8. Rongwa Jaknakpa Gendun Gyeltsen 9. Samlo Sanggye Tashi 10. Drubchen Namkha Gyeltsen
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor Moh Mei, Name 10 famous monasteries that arose from Tsongakapa’s incredible learned disciples?
PASTOR MOH MEI: 1. Drepung 2. Kopan 3. Drongtse 4. Sera 5. Tashi Lhunpo 6. Labrang 7. Kirti Gompa 8. Rato Dratsang 9. Namgyal 10. Sershul
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor Seng Piow, Name ten qualities Lama Tsongakapa’s practice has different than other practices?
PASTOR SENG PIOW: Ten qualities Lama Tsongakapa’s practice has different than other practices: (1) it brings peacefulness and calmness to the practitioners (2) it increases wisdom, compassion and spiritual power at the same time (3) it brings peace to the region of the practitioner (4) it has the power to ward off evil spirits just like Yamantaka (5) it brings on the blessings of all previous lineage gurus like Atisha, Dromtonpa etc (6) If we do the Lama Tsongkhapa guru yoga practice and train in the lam-rim by listening, reflecting, and meditating, we will not be attacked by outer, inner, secret obstacles (7) it is also a Phowa practice (8) Crops, food and livelihood will also increase (9) it will protect us from weapons harm (10) we will be protected from harms such as paralysis due to trib (pollutions)
TSEM RINPOCHE: Niral, name 10 benefits of engaging in Tsongkapa’s practice devotedly daily?
PASTOR NIRAL: Rinpoche, the 10 benefits of engaging in Tsongkhapa’s practice are 1. Your memory and intelligence increase. 2. You receive the blessings of Manjushri, Chenresig and Vajrapani. 3. You create a connection with Maitreya Buddha, 4. you can gain the attainments of the 7 types of wisdom. 5. you are protected from spirit harm. 6. purifies negative karma. 7. accumulates merit. 8. can reduce and cure depression. 9. pacification of obstacles to obtaining food and right livelihood. 10. healing of physical ailments.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Nicholas, Please identify 10 signs on Tsongkapa’s body that represents what path to enlightenment?
TSEM RINPOCHE: Clifford and Nicholas, name 20 parts of Tsongakapa’s body and how they relate to enlightenment. Example, the bare foot of Tsongkapa represents he no longer treads in samsara.
NICHOLAS: (1) The Face of 16-year-old boy – youthful (2) Smiling, happy – pleasant state of mind (3) Lotus seat – bodhicitta (4) Moon disc – realization of emptiness (5) Lions – protection against the four fears (demons):the demon of the delusions, the demon of contaminated aggregates, the demon of uncontrolled death, and the Devaputra demons. (6) White skin : attainment of bodhicitta (7) Tinge of red : attainment of shunyata (emptiness) (8) Three robes : holding of vows (pratimoksha, bodhisattva and tantric) (9)Vajra position: immutable, permanent stability in his realizations (10) One face : non-duality (seeing beyond the illusion of separateness of “ I” and “you”)
(11) Two hands : two truths (relative and ultimate) (12) Dharmachakra mudra : mudra of teaching the dharma (13) Long Life mudra : mudra of dispensing nectar of immortality (14) Flaming wisdom sword : one with Manjushri; cutting of our ignorance and delusions (15) Wisdom sword resting on a lotus : the realization of emptiness and bodhicitta (lotus) (16) Prajnaparamita scripture/Sutra of the Perfection of Wisdom: wisdom realizing emptiness (17) Yellow pandit’s hat : Gelugpa school of Buddhism (18) Two flaps : the vast (method) and profound (wisdom) lineages (19) Pointed tip : stage of no more learning (enlightenment)
CLIFFORD: 1. The Face of 16-year-old boy – youthful
2. Smiling, happy – pleasant state of mind
3. White skin : attainment of bodhicitta
6. Tinge of red : attainment of shunyata (emptiness)
4. One face : non-duality (seeing beyond the illusion of separateness of “ I” and “you”)
5. Two hands : two truths (relative and ultimate)
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor David, Name ten special qualities of Lama Tsongkapa’s teachings and writings that make it superior for those who wish enlightenment in one lifetime?
PASTOR DAVID: 1. Based on combined wisdom and method lineage 2. emphasis on lamrim (complete steps to enlightenment 3. based on his attainments 4. many works were direct teachings from Manjushri 5. able to gain quicker attainments 6. praises were composed of yidams based on direct pure visions 7. combines the lineage of Sakya, Kaygyu and Nyingma lineages 8. Based on a lineage on Indian treatises 9. brought many great Gelug masters to achieve great attainments 10. Completely accurate.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor Seng Piow, Name me 10 qualities of Gaden Monastery (built by Tsongkapa) that distinguish from other monasteries?
PASTOR SENG PIOW: (1) it is predicted by Shakyamuni Buddha (2) it is built by Tsongkhapa’s disciple who is the same mindstream as Tsongkhapa (3) it is traditionally considered to be the seat of Gelug administrative and political power. (4) Tsonghkapa stayed there the longest and did many retreats there (5) Tsongkhapa physically went to the site when Gaden was being built (6) it houses Tsongkhapa’s holy relics (7) the throne-holder of Gelug, the Ganden Tripa, was traditionally from Ganden Monastery (8) the name Gaden means Tushita heaven, while the other monasteries were not named after a heaven (9) Tsongkhapa actually taught in Ganden Monastery, while it was not recorded that he went to the other monasteries that he established to teach (Drepung, Sera…) (10) Tsongkhapa personally consecrated the site where Ganden Monastery was built
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor Jean Ai, name me ten qualities of Gelug monk from Gaden?
PASTOR JEAN AI: (1) they are examined using the debate style because of the emphasis on logic and understanding to ground one’s practice. When we know what we are practicing and understand it from every angle, faith arises more easily and we can subdue our unstable minds.
(2) they practice humility, and do not show they have any special attainments because the real attainments are mind transformation and the six paramitas, and not the ability to fly, walk fast, etc which are viewed as tools to aid our practice and learning
(3) they focus on ethics and monastic discipline (vinaya) as the core of their spiritual practice. Thus Gelug monks are celibate and unless highly attained, do not engage in consort practice
(4) reliance on method and wisdom, and sutric and tantric methods for attainments
(5) their central teachings are based on the teachings of Atisha and follow the path of the Lamrim
(6) a commitment to removing distractions due to mental wandering (e.g. annoyance, jealousy, pride, doubt, boredom)
(7) respect is based not only from rank, but also attainments. The system is meritocratic – a simple farmer boy who studies hard enough, can rise to the ranks of the Gaden Tripa (the holder of Lama Tsongkhapa’s throne and the head of the Gelug lineage)
(8) for the scholar monks, compassion to study and hold their commitments so that they may be able to turn the wheel of Dharma, and preserve the teachings and traditions of Lama Tsongkhapa as lineageholders themselves
(9) for worker and administrative monks, compassion to serve the sangha so that the scholar monks and lamas can be relieved of secular work to only study and teach
(10) guru devotion. To hold one’s lama with the highest respect because without our gurus, we would not have access to the Dharma and gain any kind of realisations and insight into the higher teachings. We can study from books but that is not the same as a teacher who elucidates the Dharma clearly and skilfully, and creates the conditions for us to practice. Since we did not have the merits to learn from Shakyamuni, our teachers keep their commitments so that we might be able to connect with the Dharma.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor Niral, name me ten special functions a monastery helps support a practitioner during their practice?
PASTOR NIRAL: 1. Provides shelter/housing for ordained practitioners, 2.provides food for ordained practitioners, 3. Monasteries allow the laity to create a lot of merit by supporting the sangha , 4. provides a place for the sangha to live, 5. is where the learned masters can teach the dharma. 6.is a conducive environment for prayers and retreats. 7. monasteries are places secluded from the distractions of ordinary life. 8. is a place of learning. 9. the monks/nuns can pray for and help the laity during their difficulties, 10. monasteries house the sacred images to the buddhas, that people can offerings to in order to create merit.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Clifford, please find me 5 powerful links where Tsongakpa’s practice is shared in detail.
CLIFFORD: 1. http://www.lama-tsongkhapa.com/guru-yoga/
TSEM RINPOCHE: C’mon?? Where is my US team? Why so sloooooooow? We have to go beyond asking simplistic questions after many years in the dharma? Which one of you can name five different texts composed by the great King of Dharma Tsongkapa?
PASTOR JEAN AI: (1) The Great Exposition of the Stages of the Path (Lam-rim chen-mo) (2) The Great Exposition of Tantras (3) The Essence of Eloquence on the Interpretive and Definitive Teachings (4) The Praise of Relativity (5) The Clear Exposition of the Five Stages of Guhyasamāja
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor Jean Ai, name me 10 very famous lamas in our time now that are proponents of Tsongkapa’s unmistaken path?
PASTOR JEAN AI: (1) HH the Dalai Lama (2) HH the Gaden Tripa Kensur Lungrik Namgyal (3) Lama Zopa Rinpoche (4) Sermey Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin (5) HH Zong Rinpoche (6) HH Trijang Rinpoche (7) HH Pabongka Rinpoche (8) HE Ling Rinpoche (9) Gelek Rinpoche (10) Lama Yeshe, now reincarnated as Lama Osel
TSEM RINPOCHE: Very Good Pastor Jean Ai, now give me another 20!!! fast///
PASTOR JEAN AI: (11) the Panchen Lama
(12) Sharpa Choje
(13) Lati Rinpoche
(14) Kensur Jampa Yeshe
(15) Loden Sherab
(16) Kaka Jetsun Dampa of Mongolia
(17) Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen
(18) Drayab Tokden Rinpoche
(19) Kensur Rinpoche Tamding Gyatso
(20) Kensur Konchok Tsering
(21) HH the Gaden Tripa Rizong Rinpoche
(22) Jangtse Choeje
(23) Telo Tulku
(24) Kensur Rinpoche Gen Mara
(25) Gen Nyima
(26) Rilbur Rinpoche
(27) Geshe Wangyal
(28) Kensur Rinpoche Dakpa Tenzin
(29) Geshe Tsultrim Phuntsok, Kensur Rinpoche of Drepung Gomang
(30) Khensur Rinpoche Ngawang Jorden
TSEM RINPOCHE: Joy, name ten famous Gelug Monasteries?
JOY: 1. Gaden Monastery 2. Drepung Monastery 3. Sera Monastery 4. Kopan Monastery 5. Namgyal Monastery 6. Tashilhunpo Monastery 7. Sershul Monastery 8. Simbiling Monastery 9. Tharpa Choling Monastery 10. Drongtse Monastery
TSEM RINPOCHE: Nicholas, name 10 famous and very beneficial Geshes?
NICHOLAS: 10 Famous Geshe (1) Geshe Wangche (2) Geshe Micheal Roach (3) Geshe Yeshe (4) Geshe Rabten (5) Domo Geshe Rinpoche (6) Geshe Thupten Jinpa (7) Geshe Sonam Rinchen (8) Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche (9) Geshe Lama Konchok (10) Geshe Lhundup Sopa
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor Moh Mei, Name me ten special Yidams Tsongkapa encouraged in writings and teachings?
PASTOR MOH MEI: 1. Chakrasamvara 2. Guhyasamaja 3. Kalachakra 4. Manjushri 5. Vajrapani 6. Sarasvati 7. Avalokiteshvara 8. Yamantaka 9. Hevajra 10. Vajrayogini
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor Seng Piow, Name me 5 famous abbots of Drepung, Sera and Gaden Monasteries?
PASTOR SENG PIOW: Kensur Lobsang Tharchin, Panchen Sonam Drakpa, Kensur Jampa Yeshe, Kensur Lati Rinpoche, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche
TSEM RINPOCHE: Anyone, what is the relationship with Tsonkapa and His Holiness the Dalai Lama? Same question for Panchen Rinpoche and Tsongkapa?
PASTOR DAVID: Dalai Lama’s first recognized incarnation is Gyawa Gendun Drub and that is the disciple of Lama Tsongkhapa as well.
CHOONG: The first Panchen Lama, Khedrub Je, is one of the heart disciples of Lama Tsongkhapa.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor David, name me ten things that connect His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tsongkhapa?
CHOONG: Both the Dalai Lama and Panchen Rinpoche and from the lineage founded by Lama Tsongkhapa.
PASTOR DAVID: 1. Dalai Lama is a Gelug lama 2. He teaches Lamrim that was taught by Je Tsongkhapa 3. The Dalai Lama’s previous lives’ monastery is from Drepung 4. Gendun Drub (Dalai Lama’s first Incarnation) was the nephew of Je Tsongkhapa 5. Je Tsongkhapa and the Dalai Lama wears the yellow hat. 6. Dalai Lama gives Kalachakra 7. Dalai Lama debated in monastic exams as advocated by Lama Tsongkhapa 8. Dalai Lamas based many of his teachings from Indian masters just like Tsongkhapa 9. Dalai Lama taught mind training teachings 10. Dalai Lama gave teaching on emptiness based on Je Tsongkhapa/nagarjuna special view of emptiness
TSEM RINPOCHE: Very good Pastor Niral, name me ten reasons why a person should be a monk or his reasoning or motivation?
PASTOR NIRAL: Rinpoche, here are ten reasons why a person should be a monk/ or reasoning: 1.In order to progress on the spiritual path holding vows and therefore generating merit. 2. to purify negative karma. 3 to dedicate oneself to the dharma which is the only way out of suffering. 4.to ensure your life is 100% in service of others. 5. to become part of the sangha so you can learn the holy dharma. 6. to preserve the holy dharma so that it can be taught to future generations so that they to can benefit and rise out of suffering. 7. to be able to transform ones mind to become a better person, more kind and caring, through practicing the teachings, 8.to dedicate the merits generated to loved ones so that they have good rebirths and can be bought to the dharma. 9. to seek the only lasting and true happiness, which is complete enlightenment. 10. to be an example to others.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Choong, Name me ten qualities of Tsongakapa’s teachings that distinguish it from others?
CHOONG: The ten teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa which distinguishes it from others are: 1. Every moment of the continuity of an object over time is fresh. 2. Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings do not assert subsequent cognition. 3. Cognition may be either conceptual or nonconceptual. 4. Valid sensory nonconceptual cognition cognizes not just sensibilia (sights, smells, tastes, and tactile sensations), but also commonsense objects (but without mentally labeling the commonsense objects with a name or as fitting into a meaning/object category, such as “chair”). 5. Valid nonconceptual cognition is a determining cognition of its involved object – it decisively determines it as “this” and “not that,” such that we can validly recollect it.
6. Valid sensory nonconceptual cognition cognizes external objects. It does so through fully transparent mental aspects representing them (somewhat like mental holograms), which it produces in order to cognize them. 7. Valid conceptual cognition cognizes semitransparent generally characterized phenomena (such as the category table) and, through them, another type of generally characterized phenomenon – fully transparent conceptual representations. 8. Valid cognition, both conceptual and nonconceptual, can explicitly apprehend its involved object by giving rise to a mental aspect representing it, and, simultaneously, implicitly apprehend another involved object, without producing a mental aspect representing it. 9. Among negation phenomena (dgag-pa, negatingly known phenomena), individually characterized object exclusions of something else (don rang-mtshan-gyi gzhan-sel, object exclusions) are nonstatic 10. Cognition of an object may be either manifest or subliminal. With manifest cognition, the consciousness of the manifest cognition gives rise to a mental aspect representing an object and both the manifest consciousness and the person (gang-zag) cognizes it. With subliminal cognition, the consciousness of the subliminal cognition gives rise to a mental aspect representing an object, but only the subliminal consciousness cognizes it, not the person.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Trivia time: Which Buddha did Tsongkapa solicit to get gold pour forth from a large stone and what did Tsongkapa do with the gold witnessed by many disciples?
PASTOR JAY JAE: On another occasion, one of the great deeds of Lama Tsongkhapa – he rebuilt the monastery called Dzingi Ling and restored the Maitreya Buddha statue there. He had no money but only a butter lamp. this he offered to Vaisravana, a guardian of Wealth and resources came pouring in to help achieve the restoration works. During the consecration ceremony which was presided by Lama Tsongkhapa, many rainbows and dakinis were seen and heard singing in that area. The 35 confessional Buddhas also were present. Yogis who were meditating nearby saw these buddhas passing by and asked where they were going, and the Buddhas told the yogis that they were going to bless the consecration of Dzingi Ling at the invitation of Lama Tsongkhapa. Only one who has achieved the 10 Grounds would be able to do so!
TSEM RINPOCHE: Joy, Name me 5 Gelug Nunneries and ten reasons why someone should be a nun? And Joy, you said you wish to be a nun? Can Tibetan tradition nuns smoke? When do you quit and why?
JOY: List of Gelug monasteries and nunneries in India, Nepal and Bhutan: 5 Gelug Nunneries 1. Gashar Norling Dratsang 2. Ganden Jangtse Thoesam Norling 3. Palden Drephung Tashi Gomang 4. Drepung Khemang Losel Yedwailing 5. Sera je Kham nyen
10 reasons why someone should be a nun 1. To be on the path of great enlightenment 2. To benefit others using Buddha’s methods and practices 3. To renounce from samsara 4. To find true liberation for oneself 5. To find liberation for others 5. To find true peace 7. To hold on to vows that will prevent us from going to the three lower realms 8. To have a meaning life 9. To awaken from samsara’s nightmare 10. To become a Buddha Yes I aspire to become a nun. No in the Tibetan tradition nuns do not “smoke” and yes I should quit because I do not wish to waste this precious human life, whatever life I have left and I wish to make full use of it and become a nun! Thank you Rinpoche
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor Jean Ai, excellent. Now name me 5 nuns qualities in Tsongkapa’s bio that touches you and why?
PASTOR JEAN AI: (1) humility: when Lama Tsongkhapa saw Manjushri, he didn’t believe he was attained enough to see Manjushri. He also never thought that practices were beneath him or that he knew enough, or that he had practiced enough. This inspires me because I am very impatient and it arises from the fact I always think I know better. This type of thinking causes me a lot of problems and gives me a reputation of being angersome, which I am changing. To develop humility will cut down on this type of reactive behaviour, and will create less suffering for myself and others.
(2) perseverance: Lama Tsongkhapa stayed in retreat for many years. He continued despite the obstacles I presume he will have had, given Tibet’s climate – inclement weather, lack of food, cold, wind, rain, distance from his teachers, etc. This is something I would like to do in the future; Lama Tsongkhapa showed through example that retreats have results, and that obstacles are not permanent and we can overcome them if we persever enough.
(3) guru devotion: Lama Tsongkhapa composed the praise to Rendawa who offered it back to him. His belief in his lamas was unshakeable and you can see that whatever Lama Tsongkhapa was taught, he put it into practice and he gained the results, of which his whole lifetime is testatement to. No matter how ‘great’ he became, Lama Tsongkhapa always saw himself as below his gurus.
(4) renunciation: Lama Tsongkhapa lived a very simple life with few possession. This inspires me because seeing someone gain such attainments and results, and not have so much ‘stuff’ makes me realise that everything I find ‘precious’ is really my projection of what is precious and not. This thinking helps me to let go of things, not just physical objects but also situations which disturb my mind.
(5) teaching the six paramitas by example: whenever someone requested a teaching from him, Lama Tsongkhapa would go above and beyond to pass on his knowledge. Out of his compassion, he was also always studying and practicing, and doing more retreats. He created Gaden out of compassion for sentient beings of his time and in the future. Teaching through actions and examples really inspires me, because it shows me that the person who is teaching is not hypocritical and not practicing double standards with themselves.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor David, excellent. Now name me ten qualities a disciple of Tsongkapa’s tradition should have and embody in order to receive teachings from a teacher?
10 Qualities of a disciple of Tsongkhapa’s tradition :-
1. That of a filial child. Like a filial child, one thoroughly carries out the instructions of the Guru without the slightest deviation.
2. That of a Vajra. Like a Vajra that cannot be split apart, even when facing division created by devils or bad associates, one will never split away from the Guru.
3. That of the Earth. Like the Earth carrying everything in the world, one shoulders all assignments ordered by the Guru.
4. That of the Iron Circle of Mountains. Like everlasting mountains, while abiding under the patronage of the Guru one endures hardships and sufferings without ever swaying in one’s determination.
5. That of a servant. Like an obedient servant, even when one is obliged to carry out very difficult assignments one holds no grudges in one’s heart.
6. That of a sweeper. Like a humble sweeper, one renounces self-pride and regards oneself as inferior to the Guru.
7. That of a rope. Like a continuous rope, one rejoices in carrying on the Dharma activities of the Guru, regardless of its degree of difficulty and heaviness of load.
8. That of a domestic dog. Like a loyal dog, even when the Guru ridicules, irritates or ignores one, one never responds with anger.
9. That of a boat. Like a ferry one goes back and forth on the Guru’s assignments without any discontent.
10. Hold our vows and commitments in the same way we protect our very own eyes.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor David, if we can just worship Avalokitesvara directly, why do it through Tsongkapa?
PASTOR DAVID: Rinpoche, we worship Avalokiteshvara through Je Tsongkhapa because he embodies Manjushri and vajrapani as well. Therefore we get more benefits out of this practice as Manjushri gives us transcendent wisdom and Vajrapani blesses us with the power of all the Buddhas.
TSEM RINPOCHE: DEBATE TIME PASTOR DAVID- It’s more beneficial to worship Tsongkapa than Avalokitesvara? Are you sure?
PASTOR DAVID: Yes Rinpoche
TSEM RINPOCHE: DEBATE TIME PASTOR DAVID- It’s more beneficial to worship Tsongkapa than Avalokitesvara? Are you sure? *CLAP* Give me your reasonings please? I disagree.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Avalokitesvara does not embody Vajra Pani and Manjushri? Avalokitesvara has no power and no wisdom?
TSEM RINPOCHE: Well Pastor David, I just debated with you? How is Tsongkapa more ‘superior’ to Avalokitesvara?
WEI THENG: All buddhas mind are alike. Just that specific buddha specialised in helping us on specific values. Avalokitesvara also have wisdom and power. It is just that when we do the specific one, we will have faster results.
SWEE KEONG: Lama Tsongkhapa embodies Manjushri and Chenrezig is meant for us to balance practicing wisdom and compassion together, we cannot just neglect one aspect only.
TSEM RINPOCHE: SweeKeong, How are we neglecting the other aspects? What aspects are you speaking of? Be specific and clear please?
PASTOR DAVID: Yes – Rinpoche just came to debate with me earlier and the gist of it is that Lama Tsongkhapa is not superior to Avalokiteshvara but the practice is due to our affinity and karma. According to the migtsema mantra, Je Tsongkhapa bestows Manjushri’s wisdom, Avalokiteshvara’s compassion and Vajrapani’s power or skillful means. In that manner, Je Tsongkhapa is superior from our side.
SWEE KEONG: Why we need all the three aspects of Lama Tsongkhapa? We may wish to help others, the compassion in action aspect, but we are unable to help them ineffectively because of our lack of understanding of Dharma and wisdom from our side. We may study wishing to gain wisdom but without practicing, the compassion aspect, our study would not progress because we don’t practice what we study. If we always have a lot of fear, and using of learning wrong teachings as excuse not to learn, and using of helping others making the situation becoming worst as stopping to help others, we need the aspect of courage, otherwise we would never begin to gain compassion and wisdom.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor Moh Mei, name me ten things you like about Tsongakpa or his image? Faster???
PASTOR MOH MEI: 1. Peaceful and serene look 2. Embody three values – compassion, wisdom and skillful means 3. Took his first set of vows (lay) at the age of 3. 4. Established a systematic and disciplined monastic order 5. His legacy – Gaden monastery 6. Technically composed his own praise/mantra the Migtsema 7. He travelled to study under many teachers 8. Strong renunciation since young and kept his vows strong 9. Began to teach in his 20’s 10. Did extensive retreat
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor Niral, name me ten systems of practice or ways of practice the Tibetans adopted from the incredible rich Buddhist tradition of India?
The ten systems of practice are:-
1. 4 Noble Truths
2. Paramitayana or vehicle or cycle of teachings of the 6 perfections of a Bodhisattva
3. Madhamaka or Middle Way View
4. Vinaya or the teachings on monastic discipline
5. Pramana or Dialectical debate and logic
6. Abhidharma or epistemology that is the higher teachings of the Buddha
7. Dharmapala practice or Dharma Protector practice
8. Devoting ourselves to a Guru according to Asvaghosa’s 50 Stanza’s Guru Devotion
9. Guhyasamaja Tantra
10. Cakrasamvara Tantra
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor Niral, name me ten great Indian masters?
PASTOR NIRAL: 1. Jowo Atisha, 2. Guru Padmasambhava, 3. Nagarjuna, 4. Asanga, 5. Vasubanda 6. Dharmarakshita 7. Aryasura, 8. Santarakshita, 9. Shantideva, 10. Aryadeva, 11. Chandrakirti
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor Moh Mei, How many vows does a nun have?? What are the primary vows of a nun that are most important that cannot be broken or they are disrobed?
PASTOR MOH MEI: Novice nun-36 vows Full Bikshuni nun-256 vows Primary vows To refrain from killing To refrain from stealing To refrain from false speech To refrain from sexual misconduct
TSEM RINPOCHE: Joy, as an aspiring nun, name me 20 things you need to abandon that you have been doing? That has hurt, irritated, annoyed and disturbed many around you?
JOY: 20 things I need to abandon: 1. Bitchiness 2. Laziness 3. Angersome 4. Using Others for self benefit 5. Taking from others 6. Not taking responsibility 7. Lying 8. Calculativeness 9. Manipulation for self benefit 10. Blaming others 11. Seeing faults 12. Being a hypocrite 13. Miserliness 14. Breaking my promises 15. Being inconsistent 16. Being slow 17. Taking advantage of people/situation for self gain 18. Schism 19. Negative thoughts 20. Carelessness
TSEM RINPOCHE: Yes, Casteven I am doing cyber teaching here right now. My USA team of Pastors and group will do this regularly and you should all join. We want to learn, we want to understand. Everyone should read up on Tsongkapa’s life, history, background and works. The next time I chat here will be about Tsongkapa again? Why? Because His practice is simple, easy but very beneficial and good for the people of this time.
PASTOR NIRAL: Rinpoche, here are 5 Indian Masters that definitely affected Tsongkhapa’s practice/writings: 1. Jowo Atisha, 2. Asanga, 3. Nagarjuna, 4. Aryasura, 5. Shantideva
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor David, which monastery (ies) in India did the King of Dharma Tsongkapa base his Gaden Monastery on please and source please?
PASTOR DAVID: It is nalanda monastery rinpoche…. looking for the source now
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor David, where is Nalanda? How do we get there? Is it possible to visit? How many monks at it’s peak? What doctrine was studied? Name me some erudite masters that arose from Nalanda please.
PASTOR DAVID: Nalanda was an ancient higher-learning institution in Bihar, India. The site is located about 88 kilometres southeast of Patna, and was a religious centre of learning from the fifth century AD to 1197 AD. At its height, it accommodated over 10,000 students and 2,000 teachers. I have personally visited it and made prayers there. Examples of great Indian masters from Nalanda are Nagarjuna, Chandrakirti, Shantideva etc
TSEM RINPOCHE: Clifford and Nicholas, Name me the various mantras of Tsongkapa? How ‘many’ mantras are there?
CLIFFORD: Migtsema (Mantra of Je Tsongkhapa)
This can be recited anytime, anywhere, as many times as possible. It has the benefits of receiving the blessings of Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani.
MIG-MEY TZE-WEY TER-CHEN CHENREZIG
DRI-MEY KHYEN-PI WANG-PO JAMPAL YANG
DU-PUNG MA-LU JOM-DZEY SANG-WEY DAG
GANG-CHEN KE-PEY TSUG-GYEN TSONGKAPA
LO-SANG TRAG-PEY SHAB-LA SOL-WA DEB
Je Tsongkhapa, crown jewel of the holy Masters of the land of snows,
You are Avalokiteshvara, great goldmine of Compassion untainted by ego’s delusion.
You are Manjushri, great Master of stainless wisdom.
You are Vajrapani, great subduer of all the gatherings of demons.
At your feet, famed Lobsang Drakpa,
I humbly bow and earnestly request that all sentient beings achieve Enlightenment.
GOPINATH: NGO-DRUB KUN-JUNG THUB-WANG DORJE-CHANG MIG-MEY TZE-WAY TER-CHEN CHENREZIG DRI-MEY KHYEN-PI WANG-PO JAMPAL-YANG DU-PUNG MA-LU JOM-DZEY SANG-WEY-DAG GANG-CHENG KE-PEY TSUG-GYEN LO-SANG-DRAG KYAB-SUM KUN-DU LA-MA SANG-GYA-LA GO-SUM GU-PAI GO-NA SOL-WA-DEB RANG-ZHAN MIN-CHING DROL-WAR JIN-GYI-LOB CHOG-DANG THUN-MONG NGO-DRUB TSAL-DU-SOL
GOPINATH: Je Tsongkhapa Long Life Migtsema MIG-MEY TZE-WEY TER-CHEN CHENREZIG DRI-MEY KHYEN-PI WANG-PO JAMPAL YANG DU-MEY CHI-WA JOONGSEY ZEPAKMAY DU-PUNG MA-LU JOM-DZEY SANG-WEY DAG GANG-CHEN KE-PEY TSUG-GYEN TSONGKHAPA LO-SANG TRAG-PEY SHAB-LA SOL-WA DEB
GOPINATH: Je Tsongkhapa Heart Mantra OM AH GURU BENZA DHARA SUMATI KIRTI SIDDHI HUNG HUNG
CLIFFORD: Je Tsongkhapa Long Life Mantra
OM AH GURU SUMATI KIRTI APARAMEDA AYU JANA SIDDHI HUNG HUNG
TSEM RINPOCHE: Kb, How does Tsongakpa’s mantra bless us? Name me three ways clearly.
KB: Improve meromery, clear obstacles and helps understanding the dharma
TSEM RINPOCHE: Dear Pastor Seng Piow, Name me ten benefits of reciting Tsongkapa’s holy mantra of migtseyma?
SU MING: 1.Protection from spirit harm 2.Wisdom 3.Compassion 4.Spiritual power 5.Stability 6.Great blessings 7.Powa practice 8.Protection from outer, inner and secret obstacles 9.Avoid harm from weapons 10.Crops, food and livelihood 11.Travel Blessing animals Blessing vitamins For our parents Enlightenment
PASTOR SENG PIOW: 10 benefits of reciting Tsongkapa’s holy mantra of migtseyma: (1) Protection from spirit harm (2) Increase Wisdom, Compassion, Spiritual power (3) Increase stability in our mind as well as our environment (4) it is also Phowa practice making constant connection to Tushita heaven (5) Protection from outer, inner and secret obstacles (6) Increase crops, food and livelihood (7) Protect us during travelling (8) Blessing animals (9) Will benefit our parents (10) be protected from harms such as paralysis due to trib (pollutions)
TSEM RINPOCHE: Dear Pastor Niral, give me a synopsis of the very very very very holy master Ary Sri Jana Dipamkara Jowo Atisha? Where was he born? His lineage? His teachers? How was he extremely kind to Tibet? His main practice? Where he studied, etc etc??
PASTOR NIRAL: Rinpoche, Arya Sri Jana Dipamkara Jowo Atisha was born in the Bengal area. He was a prince of the royal family. When he visit a temple as a young boy he made prayers for all sentient beings, thereby showing his greatness. He held two important lineages: 1)Teachings on emptiness received from Vidyakokila and 2)Teachings of Bodhicitta from Dharmakirti, also known as Suvarnadvipa Guru. Also studied under the great Dharmarak-s-hita at the Odantapuri University and eventually went on to Vikramashila to teach. His main practice was Tara, whom he could see and talk to. He was extremely kind to Tibet as he was requested to go to Tibet and teaching by Yeshe Oe. Even though the Buddha Tara told him that if he went to Tibet he his life would be shortened he went anyway. While there he wrote the Lamp on The Path of Enlightenment, the first of the Lam Rim style texts, which Tsongkhapa later based his Lam Rim Chenmo on.
Rinpoche, when Jowo Atisha was in Tibet reformed the dharma as it existed there and clarified many points of contention due his great knowledge and practice. A man who had taken the lay vows, named Dromtonpa became Jowo Atisha’s main disciple. From here starts the great Kadampa lineage, which continued unbroken to Tsongkhapa. When Jowo Atisha wanted to return to India he could not due to war, therefore he lived the rest of his life in Tibet.
WAI MENG: Je Atisha was formerly from the state of bengal and born to royal parents. He was learning from the masters in Nalanda. For the Profound lineage of teachings his main teacher was from mostly from Vidyakokila, for the Vast Path of teachings he traveled to Sumatra to get teachings from Suvarnadipa and spent 13 years there. He was extremely kind to Tibet, because by going to Tibet he shortened his life.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Dear Pastor Moh Mei, very very very good>>>>>>> Can you take the nun vows and be a great Gelug Nun showing compassion, love and tenacity? Can you abandon the primary actions to hold the vows?
PASTOR MOH MEI: Yes, I can Rinpoche
TSEM RINPOCHE: Joy, what are the disbenefits of smoking in relations to being a nun?
JOY: From my own understanding the disbenefit of smoking in relations to being a nun are: 1. Breaking one of the vows (no intoxicants) 2. Creating wrong views in others 3. Blocks one’s chakras for higher meditation practices…
TSEM RINPOCHE: Dear Wai Meng, why is Tsongakpa’s practice good for someone who abhors deep commitments in the beginning?
WAI MENG: Because the guru yoga is short and profound and one can complete the practice in 15 minutes or less. And we can do it with or without initiation.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor David, what class of tantra does Tsongakpa’s initiation and tantra belong to? What are the vows to be held if initiated into this tantra?
PASTOR DAVID: Lama Tsongkhapa belongs to the lower tantras and that means one would have to hold Bodhisattva vows, refuge and also our Guru-disciple commitments as expounded in 50 verses
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor David, specify the lower tantra vows here and be clear please..
PASTOR DAVID: Lower Tantric vows consists of Bodhisattva (16 root vows 46 secondary vows) and 10 Refuge Vows
CHOONG: Have been researching, Lama Tsongkhapa initiation belongs to the Kriya class of tantra.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Saaaaaarah Yap, answer this please: What are the benefits of Gaden Hlagyema and why? What is this practice? Where does it originate from? Why is it good for ordinary clowns like you and me? Why is it easy if it is? Who can do this practice? How to start?
SARAH: The benefits of Gaden Lhagyama are: 1. protection from drib 2. we will not have obstacles when we learn the Lam Rim 3. we gain quick, profound wisdom and compassion 4. protection from physical harm (even lung) 5. protection from spirits 6. we can do powa practice if we do Lama Tsongkhapa practice well 7. we can chant Migtsema and bless our vitamins to make it more effective 8. we will gain stability in our dharma practice
Gaden Lhagyama is extremely beneficial not only by allowing us to be inseparable with our root guru, but also allows us to listen, reflect and meditate about Dharma on the right point. The origin of the Migtsema mantra by itself is something very unique. As the mantra was orinigally composed by Lama Tsongkhapa himself in devotion to his teacher Jetsun Rendawa. However Lama Tsongkhapa’s teacher offered the verse back to Tsongkhapa, saying it is only appropriate for Tsongkhapa. In this way, when we recite the mantra Migtsema, it not only have tremendous benefit to us, but a reminder of Lama Tsongkhapa’s great guru devotion and an example we should all embody.
Anyone can do Lama Tsongkhapa’s practice and gain the benefit of this practice. It is simple, straight forward and easy for people to carry out. Particularly because there is not much rituals that accompany the sadhana, because the sadhana is short and also there is no vows attached to the practice. To start the practice, one can get our Lama Tsongkhapa boxset from Kechara Paradise hehe…
TSEM RINPOCHE: Dear Everyone, where is the best online place to buy items related to Lord Tsongkapa on the internet?
(MANY PEOPLE): Vajrasecrets.com
TSEM RINPOCHE: QUESTION FOR EVERYONE: What image of Lord Tsongkapa in Tibet was very very very famous and spoke before????????????
PASTOR DAVID: The one in Jokhang… that Je Tsongkhapa said that looks like him and spoke… 🙂
TSEM RINPOCHE: QUESTION FOR EVERYONE: What image of Lord Tsongkapa had floated in the air and where was this witnessed? Which image and the name was seen glistening in the river and how did it get there?
PASTOR DAVID: A miraculous Lama Tsongkhapa statue was made by a government official who was a faithful disciple of Je Tsongkhapa and he had Je Tsongkhapa himself consecrate the statue. One day, an enemy who had been harboring jealousy for the official impulsively stole the statue and, while escaping, threw it into a large river. Years passed and one day, a rich and important merchant by the name of Gelek was riding on his horse through the area when he noticed an unusual rainbow rising vertically; it seemed to emerge from the bottom of the river. He thought that this was an unusual sign so he decided to set up camp nearby to contemplate its meaning.The next morning, the rainbow was still there and so he decided to investigate further. Although the local people could not see anything, Gelek was not convinced. He secured himself with ropes, dived into the river and swam towards the bottom of the river.
He thought that this was an unusual sign so he decided to set up camp nearby to contemplate its meaning. The next morning, the rainbow was still there and so he decided to investigate further. Although the local people could not see anything, Gelek was not convinced. He secured himself with ropes, dived into the river and swam towards the bottom of the river. On the riverbed, he discovered the statue of Je Tsongkhapa which was radiating rainbow lights. When he arose back to the surface, the on-lookers were surprised to see him still alive as they thought he had drowned. But everyone was even more amazed with the statue that he discovered. Since it was the chief merchant Gelek who retrieved the statue, the statue was also subsequently bestowed with the name Gelek.
PASTOR SHIN: The statue belonged to a monastery where it was seen by a practitioner to rise into space and then return to its place on the shrine. This statue is known as The Venerable One who Rose into Space or Je nam pur ma. (The location was not stated but I will check !) A statue of Tsongkhapa made by a minister, a faithful disciple of Je Tsongkhapa, was thrown into a large river by an evil person. This statue was blessed by Je Tsongkhapa himself. Later on, a merchant named Gelek was travelling on horseback and he saw a rainbow emerging from the bed of a river. He waded into the river and dived to the bottom where he found the statue of Je Tsongkhapa. The statue was known as The Venerable Chief Merchant Gelek, Je Tsong Pon Gelek Ma. Source: http://www.migtsema.com/ under the section “Visions and Miracles”
TSEM RINPOCHE: Name me the biggest Tsongakapa Monastery in the world?
PASTOR NIRAL: Gongsa monastery in Qinghai province of China.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Everyone: Name me five famous Tsongakpa Monasteries in Mongolia.
PASTOR JEAN AI: (1) Amarbayasgalant Monastery (2) Erdene Zuu monastery (3) Choijin Lama Temple (4) Baldan Bereeven Monastery (5) Gandantegchinlen Monastery, all in Mongolia
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor Jean Ai-excellent answer on the Mongolian Tsongkapa monasteries. Name me the head Mongol high lama of the Tsongkapa tradition and his role and his background. Who was his guru?
PASTOR JEAN AI: QUESTION: Name me the head Mongol high lama of the Tsongkapa tradition and his role and his background. Who was his guru? ANSWER: The head lama of the Tsongkhapa tradition in Mongolia is the Hutuktu Khalkha Jetsun Dhampa. The 9th incarnation, Jampal Namdrol Chokye Gyalsten, recently passed away in 2012. In the Tibetan Buddhist hiearchy, he is the third highest lama after the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama, and the spiritual leader of the Khalkha Mongols. Although the 9th incarnation of the Khalkha Jetsun Dhampa was recognised in 1936, his identity was kept secret until 1990 because of fear of persecution from the Communists. His Holiness did not reside in Mongolia until the last year of his life. His Holiness entered Drepung Gomang at the age of 7, and he studied primarily under Geshe Thupten Nyima.
BENG KOOI: To add: One of the past incarnations of Khalkha Jetsun Dhampa was Jamyang Choje who helped to establish Drepung Monastery in Lhasa. The line of Jetsun Dhampas played a pivotal role in bringing Buddhism to Mongolia and for keeping it alive. Apart from Geshe Thupten Nyima, the 9th Jetsun Dhamap had received teachings from the Dalai Lama as well as from Panchen Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, Ling Rinpoche, and Lhatsun Rinpoche in the Gelukpa lineage. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche in the Nyingma lineage; Kalu Rinpoche in the Kagyu lineage; and Sakya Rinpoche in the Sakya lineage.
PASTOR JEAN AI: And according to Hutuktu Khalka Jetsun Dhampa’s biography, the 6th Dalai Lama recognized him as the emanation of Chakrasamvara.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Beng Kooi and Pastor Jean Ai, your research on the erudite master of Tsongakpa’s tradition in Mongolia is fantasic. Kaka Jetsun Dampa is no ordinary being at all .He is indeed Chakrasamvara. He brought Tsongkapa’s doctrine to millions in many of his incarnations in Mongolia.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Clifford, Show me your favorite Tsongkapa teaching I gave and why please?
Rinpoche, I enjoyed Rinpoche’s commentary on the visualisation of Gaden Lhagyama Je Tsongkhapa’s Guru Yoga. I found it very helpful during my retreat that gave me an understanding of what I should be visualizing and why. Explaining that Lama Tsongkhapa’s practice is very good to cure depression and the winds of the body. Depression, lack of self worth, fear, anxiety and little peace pervade our minds, environments and situations in this day and age, a meditation such as Tsongkapa is essential. Even though this practice is thousands of years old it is still relevant to this day and age, because it still points out some of the main causes of suffering in samsara. Like Rinpoche says it is essential in our practices if we want to reach enlightenment or at least peace of mind.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Nicholas, please name Five points in Tsongkapa’s Lam Rim that is very applicable to us?
NICHOLAS: 1) Contain all Buddha teaching 2) Non contradictory 3) Lead us to Buddhahood 4) Combine method and wisdom lineage 5) Has an authentic lineage
TSEM RINPOCHE: Nicholas, Name me ten body parts of Tsongkapa in comparison to Manjushri that signify the same paths to enlightenment.
NICHOLAS: Name me ten body parts of Tsongkapa in comparison to Manjushri that signify the same paths to enlightenment. (1) The Face of 16-year-old boy – youthful (2) Smiling, happy – pleasant state of mind (3) Lotus seat – bodhicitta (4) Moon disc – realization of emptiness (5) Vajra position: immutable, permanent stability in his realizations (6) One face : non-duality (seeing beyond the illusion of separateness of “ I” and “you”) (7) Two hands : two truths (relative and ultimate) (8) Flaming wisdom sword : one with Manjushri; cutting of our ignorance and delusions (9) Prajnaparamita scripture/Sutra of the Perfection of Wisdom: wisdom realizing emptiness (10) Wisdom sword resting on a lotus : the realization of emptiness and bodhicitta (lotus)
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor Niral, Do you see similarities in Jowo Atisha’s life and Arya Tsongkapa’s life? Name me ten similarities please?
PASTOR NIRAL: Rinpoche, here are ten similarities between Jowo Atisha’s Life and Arya Tsongkhapa’s Life: 1. Both were fully ordained monks 2. Both gave their entire lives studying, practicing and teaching the dharma 3. Both were Mahayana Buddhists 4. Both practiced tantra 5. Both knew that one had to combine both wisdom (teachings on emptiness) and compassion (the development of bodhicitta) to attain enlightenment 6. Both clarified the dharma and stressed the practice of both sutra and tantra. 7. Both emphasized guru devotion 8. Both had visions and could communicate with the Buddhas 9. Both were attained but did not show this openly 10. Both had students who carried on their teachings.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Dear Choong, please answer this: Name me the most famous Tsongakpa monastery built by a great lama who is an emanation of Amitabah? Give me a light history of this monastery and location please?
CHOONG: Tashilhunpo Monastery (Tibetan: བཀྲ་ཤིས་ལྷུན་པོ་), founded in 1447 by Gendun Drup, the First Dalai Lama, is a historic and culturally important monastery next to Shigatse, the second-largest city in Tibet. The monastery is the traditional seat of successive Panchen Lamas, the second highest ranking tulku lineage in the Gelukpa tradition. The “Tashi” or Panchen Lama had temporal power over three small districts, though not over the town of Shigatse itself, which was administered by a dzongpön (prefect) appointed from Lhasa. Located on a hill in the center of the city, the full name in Tibetan of the monastery means: “all fortune and happiness gathered here” or “heap of glory”.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Dear Choong, excellent research. I like the way you research very much. Very quick and accurate…tell us more about His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche please.
CHOONG: The successive Panchen Lamas form a tulku reincarnation lineage which are said to be the incarnations of Amitabha Buddha. The title, meaning “Great Scholar”, is a Tibetan contraction of the Sanskrit paṇḍita (scholar) and the Tibetan chenpo (great). The Panchen Lama traditionally lived in Tashilhunpo Monastery (Teshu-lumbo) in Shigatse. From the name of this monastery, the Europeans referred to the Panchen Lama as the Tashi-Lama (or spelled Tesho-Lama or Teshu-Lama).
The Panchen Lama bears part of the responsibility or the monk-regent for finding the incarnation of the Dalai Lama and vice versa.
In the lineage of the Tibetan Panchen Lamas there were considered to be four Indian and three Tibetan incarnations of Amitabha Buddha before Khedrup Gelek Pelzang, who is recognised as the 1st Panchen Lama. The lineage starts with Subhuti, one of the original disciples of Gautama Buddha. Gö Lotsawa is considered to be the first Tibetan incarnation of Amitabha Buddha in this line.
The fourth Panchen Lama Lobsang Chökyi Gyalsten composed the Lama Chopa (Guru Puja).
Choekyi Gyaltsen, the 10th Panchen Lama, became the most important political and religious figure in Tibet following the 14th Dalai Lama’s escape to India in 1959.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Clifford, very good……I like your answer. Next question: Why should someone keep Tsongkapa as their yidam above other yidams in this time and age?
CLIFFORD: In today’s day and modern time, with technology, many types of entertainment and places to go, easy travel, communication, Internet, conveniences, we find very little time for actual hard-core, sit-down-study-meditation spirituality. Sorry to say this generation there are less people becoming monks or nuns. A lot of the things that monks/nuns do every single day would not suit many people of this generation and the upcoming generation. Other yidams may require vows/commitments to take that can be difficult to uphold by a lay person who needs to support his/her family and themselves whilst pursuing spirituality. Lama Tsongkghapa is a practice, a meditation that is simple, that is short, yet extremely effective.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Joy, Name me the negative actions of speech that oppose our refuge vows and why?
JOY: Negative actions of speech that oppose our refuge vows and why. There are 4 of the Speech – Divisive Speech, Harsh Words, Idle Chatter, Lying Why because it is one of the destructive action which is harmful to ourselves and others because it create division, it hurts others, it is a waste of time that brings us no where but creates more delusions and it creates deception to oneself and others.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Dear Joy, have you been consistently guilty of these speech infractions? If so why and what is the karmic results? Be clear?
JOY: Dear Rinpoche, Yes I have been consistently guilty of these speech infractions. Karmic results would being alone, lost of trust, friendship, receiving harsh speech back, being born mute.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Joy, explain each one in full detail and make it quick.
JOY: 1. being alone – from negative speech such as harsh speech, one chase others away hence one will reap the results of being alone, 2. lost of trust – due to lying or deception one creates mistrust, 3. lost of friendship – due to negative speech it can create arguments, mistrust and break friendships, 4. receiving harsh speech back – this is the karmic results one has to endure from the actions of negative speech 5. being born mute – because of the action related to speech it is a possible result which relates back to the organ that produces the action
TSEM RINPOCHE: more Joy.
JOY: We create future karma by actions of body, speech and mind. Negative Speech is also one of demeritorious actions. This creates the results of contradiction in our actions and speech and thus creates all the negative results of speech one experiences. Our mind also becomes flippant or unstable due to the negative speech of like example; schism. Because we create division, hence we ourselves create disharmony in ourselves, our surrounding and out mind. Because everything stems from the mind, the is actually the primary determinant of karma. Why? Because whatever negative actions we perform with body or speech first appear in the mind in the form of negative emotions and thoughts. It is not possible to engage in negative actions of body and speech if we have not first entertained negative thoughts and emotions. This means that, as far as karma is concerned, whatever we are doing matters, whether we are acting, speaking, or just thinking.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Joy, Do you believe what you wrote, or you just wrote it to answer a question? You’ve been with me over 12 years and by now, your dharma and practice should be much more advanced.
JOY: Yes Rinpoche. In actuality every action body or speech stems from the mind, a thought. Hence, to cut out any negative action completely is to cut out the negative thoughts. If one cannot do so completely then it is best to at least lessen the negative action in this case speech by measuring it through the results we receive.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Joy, you’ve done so much harm to so many around you and to me many times. And since you believe in Buddha, Tsongakpa, dharma and sangha, it is time you transformed. You talk well and always promise, but not much change. Karma and time will run out for you if you don’t transform. I care about you but I don’t support your negative speech and harmful ways. If I am your teacher and I am genuine, then I have to teach you to be different already.
JOY: Yes Rinpoche. I thank Rinpoche for being patient with me for so many years and time is running out.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Joy, it’s not a matter of being patient. You have taken and hurt many people in Kechara and you must stop. Care is from me always available but I don’t support your harm.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Dear Niral, name me five famous disciples of Tsongkapa whose incarnation lineage is still alive and active today?
PASTOR NIRAL: Five famous disciples of Tsongkhapa whose incarnation lineage is still alive and active today are:-
1. Kedrup Je – Panchen Lama
2. Gendun Drub – Dalai Lama
3. Tsako Ngawang Drakpa – Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche
4. Jamyang Choje – Khalkha Jetsun Dhampa
5. Kirti Gendun Gyeltsen – Kirti Rinpoche
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor Shin, very good. Another question. Who has the ‘oldest’ statue of Tsongkapa in Kechara? Meaing which student obtained their Tsongkapa statue first and years ago? guess? Hehehe
PASTOR SHIN: Who has the ‘oldest’ statue of Tsongkapa in Kechara? Meaning which student obtained their Tsongkapa statue first and years ago? guess? Hehehe Dear Rinpoche, I have asked around and it is Dato Ruby who first obtained a set of Lama Tsongkhapa and sons statues, a gift from Rinpoche when she visited Gaden Monastery. Below link is the section in the video where Dato Ruby tells the story. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kg4WZzRIsf8&feature=player_detailpage#t=577
TSEM RINPOCHE: Dear Pastor Shin, It’s not Dato Ruby, have someone who is in Kechara and got a statue of Tsongkapa even earlier..ehhehehehehehe
ANTOINETTE: Dear Rinpoche, has Pastor Chia received the first Tsongkhapa statue?
TSEM RINPOCHE: Antoinette, good try, but not Pastor Chia..heehe
JP: I think Irene was the first to invite a Lama Tsongkhapa statue.
TSEM RINPOCHE: jp,,,very good. you got the right answer…hehe
TSEM RINPOCHE: Sarah Yap, why should everyone have a precious statue of Tsongakpa? What are the benefits of this statue? Where should one keep it and do what with it and how big? Hi Wylfred. Nice to see you.
SARAH: Everyone should have a statue of Lama Tsongkhapa because it is beneficial for our spiritual growth to set up an altar. Although an image also serves a good purpose in visualization during Gaden Lhagyama, having a statue is great because we can fill the statue with millions of mantras and when we do prostrations and our sadhanas, we gain tremendous benefit. Also having a statue gives us the opportunity to offer wonderful jewels to Lama Tsongkhapa hehe. The benefits of having the statue is having a visual reminder, as when we understand Lama Tsongkhapa’s iconography, it reminds us of the various aspects of practice which we should do in order to attain enlightenment. Also having a Lama Tsongkhapa statue has a good effect on our environment.
When we invite home a Lama Tsongkhapa statue, we should light incense and also bring flowers in as we enter our home, we should also have a special table/altar that is higher than the level of our waist. We can place it anywhere in the house as long as it is in a respectful place. So we should avoid placing the altar near the toilet, or if we place it in our bedroom, our feet should not face the altar when we lay down. The size of our statue, it can be any size, 8″ or 3 feet, depending on our budget. But of course having a large Lama Tsongkhapa statue is the best!
TSEM RINPOCHE:Dear Beng Kooi, are you sure it’s Dato Ruby? And what is the biggest and smallest Tsongkapa you have on vajrasecrets.com? Can you paste pics here and link?
BENG KOOI: Dear Rinpoche, the smallest Tsongkhapa statue on Vajrasecrets is 8inches. (http://www.vajrasecrets.com/lama-tsongkhapa-statue-brass-8-inches)
The largest Tsongkhapa statue on Vajrasecrets in 39 inches tall (http://www.vajrasecrets.com/lama-tsongkhapa-statue-brass-39-inches)
SHARON ONG: Anyone who would like a 7-inch Lama Tsongkhapa with his 2 heart sons can have a look here. http://www.vajrasecrets.com/lama-tsongkhapa-and-sons-7
TSEM RINPOCHE: Dear Nicholas, Why and how does a high level Rinpoche ( that counts me out-LOL), incarnate and take rebirth and why?
NICHOLAS: A high level Rinpoche incarnate due to their compassion mind wanting to continue benefit sentient being in and chosen to take rebirth again in their next life to this samsara world. Due to their good Samaya with their Guru, commitment, integrity and discipline in the practices, they achieved the attainment to control their rebirth and able to choose where the want to come back. For a high level Rinpoche they will enter Tuktam (death meditation) to prepare themselves for rebirth. Once the consciousness left the body we will see a drop of blood from the nose with the head slightly tilt.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Dear Pastor Seng Piow and everyone, Be very clear on this please? Does Tsongkapa’s practice help us leave our bodies at the time of death and take a ‘safer’ rebirth? Where and how is that done please?
GRACE: Tsongkapa practice helps us to leave the body at death; when we do dissolution of the Tsongkapa practice ; we visualise the light in the 8 petal lotus in our heart; petal closed but connected by curd like string to Maitreya for an opportunity to be reborn in the pure land.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Grace Leong, your answer is very very very very good. Give me more details please….you have studied up..
GRACE: During the resolution stage of the Tsongkapa practice, we are in meditation, our body filled with Manjushris, Om Ah Ra Ba Za Na Dhis, Dhi images, implements of sword and Dharma texts. Our body is cleansed. Yama has taken on all our negativity. We are in bliss when Lama Tsongkapa ascends our heads on the lotus . Then we request for Tsongkapa to ascend via a channel of red inside and blue outside, to the luminous 8 petal lotus in our heart. The light, bean like ,sits in our heart and the lotus closes. The lotus is surrounded by a red and white mala. In between there are 3 rounds of Om Ah Ra Ba Za Na Dhi rings turning clockwise too. This luminous lotus is connected to Tushita heaven of Maitreya via a curd like string. We ascend to this pure heaven when we take a good rebirth in our next life!
TSEM RINPOCHE: Grace Leong, what you described here, if you do daily and do it well, then at the time of death it will be easy to do. At the time of death, nothing, no friends, position or wealth will benefit us. Whether we have family around us or not does not matter. They cannot help us and maybe even disturb us with their crying. But if we do the meditation as you described, we have great hope to take a good rebirth. His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche taught me that. That is my source. We should do the Gaden Hlagyema daily and the mantra of Tsongkapa and the last part which is the dissolution meditation. Very very very effective and helpful.
GIM LEE: Yes Lama Tshongkhapa practice will help us during the time death to take good & safer rebirth when we practice the visualisation part of Gaden Lhagyama (Guru Yoga) during “Invocation” and “Dissolution”.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Gim Lee, please explain much more clearer please
GIM LEE: In the visualisation part of Gaden Lhagyama (Guru Yoga) during “Invocation”, we visualised the abundance offering and the Gaden Lord Maitreya Buddha’s heart emerging a curd-like cloud where Je Tsongkhapa appeared on lion throne & moon disc with his 2 heart sons. Here we must always visualised our Guru as one with Je Tsongkhapa. And from Je Tsongkhapa’s heart there is Shakyamuni Buddha & in his heart the Vajradhara Buddha, from there another curd-like cloud emerges to connect with the crown of our head. These are all should be visualised in ‘light’ not solid form. From this tube-like cloud connecting to our crown, we visualised the mantra Om Ah Ra Pa Tsa Dhi in orange color, the Manjushri sword & tiny Manjushri images filling our body… thus pushing all negativities out, in formsof snakes, scorpions, etc from lower part to the hell where a sleeping Yama will wake up & swallow them. This is the 1st connection we have. Then the “Dissolution” part – to be continue…
The visualisation of “Dissolution” part of Guru Yoga of Je Tsongkhapa is that during the 1st verse, Je Tsongkhapa image in front of us will come to sit atop our head in a size of a thumb and facing out same direction like us. Here we visualised Je Tsongkhapa will grant us the attainments of our actions i.e. of body, speech & mind; next we visualise Je Tsongkhapa come down to our heart on 8 petals lotus through a tube-like center channel. We visualised Je Tsongkhapa blesses us with attainments in this temporary world & for our supreme goal of enlightenment. Lastly we visualised the lotus at our heart closes and on the tip of Je Tsongkhapa’s yellow pandit there is a cloud that goes up from the same channel all the way back to the heart of Maitreya Buddha in Gaden heaven. This is the most important part visualisation as this is the connection we will have with the future Buddha thus will help us during our time of death. Hence we must always maintain this visualisation and practice it daily as our preparation to face death. I will answer Rinpoche’s question next… my apology, very slow in typing …
ERIC SIOW: Yes, By Lama Tsongkhapa practice, we gain this ability to engage in Powa practice, which will allow us to choose where we go and / or how we can come back to continue our spiritual practice to benefit others. This practice gives us a very strong connection to Maitreya Buddha.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Eric KP, very good……very very good. Grace Leong…wow!!! I am very proud of you and your explanation on how Tsongkapa’s practice can help us at death.
PASTOR SENG PIOW: Ganden Lhagyama or the Guru Yoga of Tsongkhapa consists of a Powa practice or the actual transference of consciousness. If we wish to be reborn in the Tushita Pure Land easily, it is important always to remember the thread of clouds that directly links Guru Tsongkhapa at our heart with Buddha Maitreya’s heart. Even if we experience sudden death, providing we remember this thread of clouds, we will definitely be reborn in Tushita Pure Land. This is because our consciousness will follow the pathway of this thread directly to Maitreya’s heart. Hence, Ganden Lhagyama is a very powerful practice that includes Phowa or the transference of consciousness
TSEM RINPOCHE: Dear Sarah, Very very very good explanations. Now what is the difference between having a poster, painting of Tsongkapa or statue? Becareful, trick question here…ehhe
SARAH: All images of Buddhas are good, but the difference that come from the type of item plays a role. While a poster is good, and also can be blessed by great Lamas, when we use the poster on our altar, it can serve only as a meditational tool for us when we do our sadhana. A painting is much better than a mass produced poster, because more effort it put into getting or commissioning for a painting. We can also offer gold on our painting which is a wonderful offering to our Lama Tsongkhapa image. Also, if we have a good artist that is Buddhist, with great meditation and sincerity, he/she can paint a Lama Tsongkhapa image that has a lot of blessings in it. A statue is one of the best options we can get. We can fill it with mantras, holy items from the monasteries and from our guru. We also have many chances to offer nice offering on Lama Tsongkhapa.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Sarah Yap, your answer in what is the difference with poster, painting and statue is very very very good. I accept your answer. Another question. If we take drinks, smoke, drugs, damaging foods will it affect our meditations? If so how?
GOPINATH: yes smoking , drugs and damaging food will affect our meditation as these substance intoxicate the mind and sways them from its tranquility and hence it affects meditation and also damages ones health and also it causes the mind to loode focus. Please correct me if i am wrong. for meditation focus is importaint these substances makes the mind unfocused.
TSEM RINPOCHE: If we do the mantra of Tsongkapa daily then we smoke, then we chant mantra, then smoke, we are using our mouth for both. Will one override the other’s benefit or disbenefits?
SHARON ONG: Rinpoche, wouldnt it be disrespectful or impure to chant and smoke? Mantras or any rituals should be treated with utmost respect.
GOPINATH: @sharon but arent we doing more stuffs other than smoking which may override the benefit of the mantras such as eating meat and gossiping
TSEM RINPOCHE: Sharon, it is not a matter of disrespect. It is a matter of conflict, but in what way?
SARAH: If we take drinks, smoke, drugs, damaging foods will it affect our meditations? If so how? Yes taking these intoxicants will affect our meditation practice. All these intoxicants will block, pollute and affect our inner channels which will cause our meditation practice to be ineffective.
GOPINATH: @sharon but arent we doing more stuffs other than smoking which may override the benefit of the mantras such as eating meat and gossiping and so many other negative deeds with out mouths at the same time we chant Migstema.
PASTOR JEAN AI: @Gopinath, instead of giving up Migtsema, we should give up the other things. How can a mouth that recites mantras of compassion for example, be used to consume dead flesh? It is contradictory. Like pouring clean water into a dirty cup, expecting the water to stay pure and expecting to gain the full benefits of drinking clean water.
PASTOR JAY JAE: @SARAH: Yes u are right, intoxicants are prohibited in the Vinaya as spoken by the Buddha because it affects our thinking. Of the 5 precepts of a Buddhist Layperson, if you break the 5th vow of taking intoxicants, u are most likely to break the other 4 which are killing, stealing, sopulatory misconduct and lying. Why? When the alcohol takes over, u have no control over yourself
SHARON ONG: Rinpoche, chanting is a very pure, holy and “healthy” activity. Smoking is a very unhealthy habit. Hence, the conflict arises when these 2 activities are done at the same time.
GOPINATH: @pastor jean ai why should one give up o Migstema ? but doesnt by more practise and mind transformation occuring these impure deeds stops ?
PASTOR JEAN AI: I didn’t say that. I said one should give up the other stuff 😉 I said that because some people might think, “Well since I can’t give up meat, might as well give up Migtsema because I don’t want to be hypocritical”. It’s a weird kind of thinking because eating meat doesn’t benefit you, but Migtsema does. So why give up the beneficial action, and hang on to the harmful one?
WEI THENG: Chant mantra & smoking using the same mouth is conflicting as one is holy actions while the other is not. But it’s using the same mouth. Just like chanting mantra and eating meat using the same mouth is conflicting.
PASTOR JAY JAE: @PJA : What u say makes sense, the whole point of doing our Sadhanas, Mantras and practices is so that we can gain realizations and attainments. If our actions contradict the Buddha’s teachings and we recite these prayers, it will not bear fruit. the same goes for eating meat and part taking intoxicants
TSEM RINPOCHE: Smoking is a pollutant. It blocks our channels, winds and chakras. Just like in acupuncture, it is mean to unblock. So if we go for acupuncture to unblock the channels so the winds can flow and we be healthy in mind and body, why block it with alcohol again…we waste our efforts. Why block it with dirty smoke (smoking). So when we smoke and drink, we keep re-blocking what we unblocked by reciting mantras. So why block, unblock, block again and unblock. It’s like a dog chasing it’s own tail. So when we keep blocking, we become unclear in thinking, attracted to vice, become angrier and our negative emotions become stronger. One negative emotions leads to another and then we abandon the dharma. Drinkers find it hard to practice meditation for example. So abandoning smoking and drinking is very important if we are serious.TR
Smoking and drinking is connected to increase of negative emotions. Also it is related to discipline. If we cannot discipline ourselves to stop poisoning our bodies with smoke and drink, how do we expect ourselves to control our speech, anger, hatred, etc etc….think…we have one human precious body and we should not waste it on pleasureless pleasures.
GOPINATH: dearest rinpoche can i ask a question ? if drinking is bad then why we offer it to the protectors ? please enlighten me
SHARON ONG: Gopinath, when we offer those, we are cutting our attachments to it.
GOPINATH: shouldnt we make the purest offerings to the Lords , isnt alcohol impure. why offer impurity ? please enlighten me
PASTOR SENG PIOW: @gopinath, drinking is bad for us, not for enlightened beings like protector, enlightened beings do not have the karma to be harmed by harmful substances, so to a buddha, a delicious food, alcohol, feces, all are equally pure
TSEM RINPOCHE: Gopinath, alocohol is not impure. Our attachment to it is. Even still until we realize that we don’t take alcohol.
PASTOR SENG PIOW: offering alcohol to protectors is a tibetan tradition, by offering a STRONG drink to the protectors, we are asking for STRONG and QUICK actions from them, but in this modern world, to avoid misunderstanding, we do avoid offering alcohol to the buddhas/protectors in public
TSEM RINPOCHE: Kevin, it would be excellent for you to quit smoking. I would be very happy for you if you take care of your body and go vegetarian also and do Tsongkapa’s practice strongly and consistently…but study up first please…attend classes and be close to our wonderful pastors.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Gopinath, you offer the offerings just like you do in the beautiful Hindu traditions. However you do in Hindu tradition you can do with Tsongkapa. Not animals and not animal sacrifices of course. Some Hindus in North India and Nepal offer animals sacrifices, that is not what I am meaning. Non meat and pure. Hindu tradition of offering and puja is beautiful and Tsongkapa will bless you with that..
SHARON ONG: Kevin, you have my support. Good luck on kicking the ciggies! Next time we meet, I buy you vegetarian lunch, ok?
KEVIN LAM: Thanks Sharon. Actually I started to taste funny when I eat meats.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor JJ, do you like ciggies, drink and et al?
GOPINATH: Sure Rinpoche , no animals shall be harmed . I just have a question can I offer Aarthi to tsongkapa , i like doing Aarthi but scared can not do for Tsongkapa. I love to do aarthi
TSEM RINPOCHE: Kevin and Sharon, please go to my veg section of this blog and slowly read through the articles and see videos, you will give up meat for sure….
PASTOR JAY JAE: Dear Rinpoche, I detest ciggies 🙁 I used to drink socially but wasn’t into it. Misuse of intoxicants are causes for many social ills in growing countries and sometimes break the family unit and even society as a whole. It is very much discouraged in many of the world’s religions
GOPINATH: I will do as per your instruction dear Guru dev.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Dear Gopinath, if you love your mother and Bhagwan Tsongkapa, then promise you will never drink or take intoxicants. Be pure and simple and love your mother and Bhagwan. It does not matter what friends say or pressure. Be clean and pure and use the money for puja offerings. 🙂
GOPINATH: I promise dear Rinpoche. This very moment to you my dear Guru dev I promise
TSEM RINPOCHE: Gopinath, by loving your mother and Bhagwan, never take any alcohol or smoke or intoxicants. I am not saying you did in the past, I am saying never do so and be healthy to serve your mother as she ages and server Bhagwan for your old age. I accept your promise and I pray to Buddhas for you.
KEVIN LAM: Actually I tried going vegan the whole day on Wesak day and I felt my body lighter…
SHARON ONG: Rinpoche, I have not touched meat since April last year and I took my vegetarian vows after Wesak Day this year. As for alcohol, I use them sparingly in baking like maybe tiramisu. 😛
RENA WONG: Dear Rinpoche, i had the opportunity to meet with JP Thong yesterday. I ask him abt the benefits of being vegetarian. He says that Rinpoche explained that goin vegetarian will not go to lower realms in our future lives.
WAI MENG: @Rena it is also very difficult to develop compassion when we are eating meat. Eating meat and compassion are opposites.
PASTOR JAY JAE: @Rena: when you don’t eat meat, u do not create the demand for the animal to be slaughtered and the demand for meat to rise. u are indirectly saving lives. By doing so, u create causes not to die an untimely death and be reborn in places where living beings have no control over their lives.
SHARON ONG: Rena, I also read recently (but I cant remember where now) that for one to advance to higher practices, being a vegetarian is a must. One cannot develop compassion when one is still happily eating meat, taking the life of another being.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Rena Wong, Jp is a very kind person and works very hard. He has assisted me and helped me and Kechara so much. I am so glad you have connected with him. Because I want you to be close to him and be good friends. He will guide and lead you to more dharma. He is kind. I love and respect Jp a lot. He never asks anything for himself. Be closer to Jp….you are in good company. Tsem Rinpoche
PASTOR JAY JAE: @Rena: Partaking of intoxicants is part of the Layman’s vows in Buddhism, we cannot ask our Gurus from exemptions. Lama Tsongkhapa teaches us to hold our vows and words of honor to the Buddhas even more serious than our lives, we have to follow Lama Tsongkhapa’s advise if we do his Guru Yoga daily. 🙂
RENA WONG: Yes, PJJ & Sharon…i understand that. I have been vegetarian since August 2011 till now. I have done 100,000 prostration retreat & still continue doing. Have thought to eat fish when i complete additonal 10%.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Who can answer this one: What is are the ten benefits of studying Tsongkapa’s teachings???
CLIFFORD: These are the many types of benefits that arise from Lama Tsongkhapa’s practice.
1 Protection from spirit harm
4 Spiritual power
6 Great blessings
7 Powa practice
8 Protection from outer, inner and secret obstacles
9 Avoid harm from weapons
10 Crops, food and livelihood
TSEM RINPOCHE: Very good cliff..more
CLIFFORD: 11 Travel
12 Blessing animals
13 Blessing vitamins
14 For our parents
PASTOR DAVID: 1. Is based on the Great Indian masters/ authentic lineage 2. Comes from the Buddha’s teachings 3. Based on Sutra and Tantra 4. Blessed by Manjushri 5. One would gain quicker attainments. 6.Combines the lineages of Nyingma, Sakya and Kagyu 7. Emphasizes lamrim – a complete graded path of the buddha’s teachings. 8. protects one from taking rebirth in the 3 lower realms when practice. 9. Logical 10 Accurate
TSEM RINPOCHE: Dear everyone, the most best and superior mantra to chant for yourself, the deceased, the animals, friends, spirits, the environment is Tsongkapa’s migtseyma mantra. Easy, complete and no commitments required. It has no danger as some mantras need guidance. It is blessed and highly effective for many positive actions. If we devote ourselves to this mantra, we will experience true happiness. It is the essence of all the Buddha’s mantra of the ten directions
LESLIE LEONG: Pastor, thank you. Am I correct to say when we do mitgsema, we visualise our yidam dissolving into us with bright light dispelling all darkness and dirt out of us? Sorry my questions not so technical as I am still learning it step by step.
PASTOR SENG PIOW: The first meditation you do is inside the white light. Inside the white light millions and millions and millions and millions and millions of small Manjushri, holding a sword, every single atom, billions, infinite Manjushris coming down and hitting your head and dissolve into your body. So millions and millions of Manjushri come and fill your body with Manjushris. And then push the negative karma of your body out in the form of black light, snakes, mucus, pus, black blood, vomit, urine, scorpions, snakes, leech, through your anal hole, through your anus. They go seven levels under the ground. And then Yama or Yamaraja, the king of death, is sitting under there. Sitting under there, he wakes up from the sleep, he looks up, ah! he’s very happy, he wants it. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche explains this to me. So he wake up, he open his mouth, the great king of death. And then all your obstacles for life, all your negative karma of your body, all unhappiness and sickness, all the negativ…
pls watch this video/read the transcript a few times to understand fully the visualization during tsongkhapa guru yoga/migtsema pratice: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/transcript-guru-yoga-teaching.html
TSEM RINPOCHE: Dear Pastor Moh Mei, what are the biggest obstacles to becoming and remaining a nun and how to overcome?
PASTOR MOH MEI: The biggest obstacle to becoming is renunciation. The biggest obstacle to remaining is temptation. Remain in the places and company that increase one’s virtues, spend time on meritorious activities and avoid places and company that increase delusions and limit worldly activities.
TSEM RINPOCHE: Pastor Moh Mei, your answer is good. Remaining in a place that encourages dharma and practice and being with people on the same goal will help us overcome our ‘temptations’ which are empty of existence except imputed by our false projections something brings pleasure? When something does not bring pleasure, but we believe it does and hence much karma is accumulated by acting them out forms stronger habituations. So do you move back into dukkar apts?
PASTOR MOH MEI: So do you move back into Dukkar Apts? Yes Rinpoche.
KEVIN LAM: Sometimes I experienced crying when I do Sadhana, will that affect the prayers??
TSEM RINPOCHE: Kevin, during prayers, we can cry, get angry, lusty, sleepy, happy, unhappy and all that. It is expected. It is emotions coming out. It is not good and bad. As you advance during practice/mediation and sadhanas, all emotions will be purified..until then keep tissues nearby…LOL>
TSEM RINPOCHE: Dear everyone, question. Where did I receive my Lord Tsongkapa initiation from? I received from two lamas? Think first please…Hi Joshua…very very very nice to see you here.
TSEM RINPOCHE: I have been passing Tsongkapa’s practice, mantras, oral transmissions for twenty years in Malaysia. Before a teacher can pass to others, he must state where he himself got it from so it is a valid source and lineage. Teachers cannot make up teachings…they must have a source. That is very strict within our Gelug system….So I ask all of you where did I get my precious Tsongkapa practice lineage, initiation, commentary, oral transmission from?
BRADLEY KASSIAN: You first recieved the lung for Ganden lhagyama from H.H. Ling Rinpche when you were about 12 years old, and actual initiation from H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche when you were 18
TSEM RINPOCHE: Bradley, you are new and yet you know the information. You are correct. His Holiness Kyabje Ling Rinpoche (senior tutor to HH Dalai Lama) came to New Jersey invited by Kensur Lobsang Tharchin Rinpoche and I received Tsongkapa’s lung and mantra transmission from Him. Then later I received initiation from His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche in Los Angeles. With commentary. I was so luck. Ling Rinpoche was the 98th Gaden Tripa representing Tsongkapa on earth. So I got Tsongkapa from Tsongkapa literally. Besides these two, one more master, anyone know??
BRADLEY KASSIAN: Would it be Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen?
TSEM RINPOCHE: Dear Bradley, Not Geshe la….although he did teach us the Guru Yoga….
SHARON ONG: Am guessing the Dalai Lama who ordained Rinpoche?
TSEM RINPOCHE: Sharon, not HH Dalai Lama. The first teaching I ever received from His Holiness Dalai Lama was oral transmission of Om Mani Peme Hung and 8 Verses of Thought Transformation. I was 11 years old. I received the full commentary of 8 Verses from His Holiiness Dalai Lama.. I think around 3 hours…I wept the whole time.
TSEM RINPOCHE: The last master to give me initiation of Tsongkapa was His Eminence Kyabje Denma Locho Rinpoche of Loseling Monastery. I was very fortunate to receive from him many sets of initiations and practice and oral transmissions. ………..
PASTOR JAY JAE: Rinpoche got the entire Jenang of Manjushri from this illustrious master too. Denma Locho Rinpoche was the abbot of Namgyal Monastery, HHDL’s personal monastery. _/|\_
SHARON ONG: Sorry, I got it wrong, Rinpoche. Why were you weeping the whole time, Rinpoche?
PASTOR DAVID: @Sharon Ong – Rinpoche wept because he was overwhelmed and moved by the teaching and blessings of the Dalai Lama. Perhaps, he was moved by the overwhelming familiarity that he felt during the teaching.
SHARON ONG: Thank you, Pastor D. When you say overwhelming familiarity, do you mean like it probably have taken place in Rinpoche’s previous lives?
TSEM RINPOCHE: Dear everyone, it has been a great pleasure to ‘quiz’ all of you. It was a great pleasure to meet all of you here and share… We will do this again. We will announce on Fb and do join us. Our LA team will announce when next time is. Thank you for your answers and research. I ‘ve enjoyed the learning with all of you. I fold my hands to you all for learning dharma. Remember, practice mind transformation, guru yoga of Tsongkapa daily and be kind to all. I wish you well. it was two hours here well spent. Much love and prayers to all of you from my heart. It is 12:22 Am here. Tsem Rinpoche P.S. Sharon, wept because HH Dalai Lama, the teachings all seemed familiar to me and I felt I was back home for lack of a better word. I wept spontaneously. The first time I saw Trijang Rinpoche’s photo I wept, It felt familiar. The first time I met Zong Rinpoche, I wept and knew he was my lama. I will follow him forever. I just knew……..thanks.
PASTOR DAVID: @Sharon Ong – Yeah of course… especially for rinpoche. Rinpoche told us that when he was very young, he had immediate faith in Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche (as seen from pictures)…even before he knew who they were.
SHARON ONG: Just to share what I pulled up on Denma Locho Rinpoche. He is a direct disciple of Kyabje Ling Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche. He is from Denma Khangtsen of Drepung Loseling Monastery. He is highly esteemed for his learning and being one of the last great Gelugpa Masters from Tibet. He has many lineages, transmissions and empowerments. He was also personally chosen by the Dalai Lama to be the Abbot of Namgyal Monastery. He is now the retired abbot of Namgyal Monastery. He resides part time in Dharamsala and part time in Drepung, South India. He has been sent down to Drepung by HH personally to give many precious rare empowerments and teachings in Drepung Loseling Prayer Hall in the past. All Drepung Loseling monks are his disciples.
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