Incredible Geshe Wangyal

Dec 8, 2013 | Views: 1,667
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Dear respected friends around the world,

This is a must read article and very interesting. I learned from it also. I am so touched by all the work Geshe Wangyal has done in service of Dharma and humanity. Very touching.

I came across this wonderful article about how Tibetan Buddhism came to America and also a short history on the Kalmyks… it is the story about Geshe Ngawang Wangyal, the first Tibetan Buddhist lama who set foot on American soil. Unsurprisingly, he faced many challenges when bringing Buddhism to America! Geshe Wangyal was a Mongol (Kalmyk) which is the same ancestry as my mother.

The story of Geshe Wangyal was one that was told by a lifelong student, David Urubshurow who has been a student of Geshe Wangyal since he was 7 years old! I thank David Urubshurow for his devotion to Geshe Wangyal and this beautiful article. I have blogged it here so many will understand how much Geshe Wangyal did to bring Buddhism to America. I myself had the honour to meet Geshe Wangyal in his North New Jersey centre once many decades ago as a young boy.

Reading the biographies of great Lamas such as Geshe Wangyal is extremely beneficial for spiritual aspirants… similarly with reading biographies of Pabongkha Rinpoche and other great Mahasiddhas. I thought that I should share this article on Geshe Wangyal to all my blog readers in hopes that they will be both inspired and learn through the actions of this Enlightened master. We should never let challenges that seem vast stop us. We should never retire in retreat when it’s too hard. Nothing great comes with no effort.

“It always seems impossible until it is done.” ~Nelson Mandela

Tsem Rinpoche

 

P.S. I lived with my family on West 3rd Street, Howell New Jersey and Venerable Geshe Wangyal Lived on East 3rd Street. Amazing. That is just across the street from me and five minutes walk away! My root guru and first guru was Geshe Lobsang Tharchin. He was was brought to USA by Geshe Wangyal also!

 


From Russia with Love

The untold story of how Tibetan Buddhism first came to America
David Urubshurow

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By some estimates, there may now be three million or more people in the United States who identify themselves as Tibetan Buddhists. Sixty years ago, there were precisely 587 of us who could assert that claim—and we were all Kalmyk Mongols.

Eighteen years before Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche—the charismatic tulku widely assumed to have brought Tibetan Buddhism to North America—set foot in the States, a small band of Kalmyks, America’s earliest Tibetan Buddhists, would establish the religion’s first temple in the Western hemisphere. Refugees from Stalinism and unlikely beneficiaries of America’s early Cold War maneuverings, the Kalmyks transformed an unassuming town in the middle of New Jersey into the epicenter for Tibetan Buddhism in the West.

The community’s most learned lama, Geshe Ngawang Wangyal, was the first Tibetan Buddhist lama in the United States to take on American students. His long list of accomplishments would include pioneering efforts in establishing Tibetan Buddhism’s intellectual bona fides in American academia and popular culture, making possible the successful escape of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from Tibet in 1959 under contract with the CIA, and finally, spearheading a two-decade-long undertaking to remove political proscriptions on American visits by the Dalai Lama, an endeavor that reached up to the highest levels of US government. Not many Western Buddhists know this story—or that the tradition’s first congregation here would have such an improbable yet discernable and documentable impact on Tibetan Buddhism’s future in America.

In the summer of 1952, Jersey Shore–bound travelers zipping down US Route 9 would not have noticed anything that set Freewood Acres, New Jersey, apart from thousands of similar villages throughout America. Nothing on its public face suggested that Freewood Acres had, over the previous winter, become a demographically singular community on this side of the world. The distinction was due, in part, to the decision by a band of about 200 Kalmyks to resettle there permanently (amid an already established Cossack community) shortly after their 1951 Christmas Eve arrival in America. These Kalmyks had avoided all but certain extinction because of their propaganda value in a spirited battle for global domination being waged by their once and current sovereigns.

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The emigrants—nearly half of whom, myself included, were children under the age of 10—landed with only the tattered mementos of six joyless years in a series of Bavarian Displaced Persons (DP) camps cobbled together by the US Allied Forces in Germany to accommodate a portion of the millions uprooted by the Second World War. Each could trace his or her immediate origins to the Russian steppes northwest of the Caspian Sea, to a land they fondly called Hal’mag Tangach’, dubbed “Kalmykia” by their Russian and Cossack neighbors, from a word of Turkic origin meaning “to remain.” The Kalmyks had done just that after emigrating from western Mongolia to the Volga Basin in the early 17th century, establishing the only Buddhist polity in Europe at around the time the Puritans landed at Plymouth Rock.

Most of Freewood Acres’s Kalmyk adults had fought or worked for the Third Reich following the Nazi’s massive attack and subsequent occupation of their Russian Soviet Republic in the spring and summer of 1942. Spurred by the woes of Stalinist oppression, some became “guest workers”; the rest bore arms against the USSR, either as part of the doomed Russian Liberation Army or as members of the so-called Kalmyk Cavalry Corps, created by the German Wehrmacht during its Sixth Army’s brief occupation of Kalmykia as it mustered for the coming disaster in nearby Stalingrad. Understandably, no Kalmyks acknowledged this toxic allegiance in the wake of Germany’s defeat, and at war’s end each would profess involuntary servitude as the reason for his presence in Germany, usually under an assumed name.

Perhaps that was why we were among the very last of Europe’s DPs, still homeless and stateless six years after the end to hostilities. Desperate to preserve a unique cultural heritage in the midst of a physically devastated and morally depleted Germany, Kalmyk DPs rejected opportunities for individual or family resettlement, knowing that any attempt to break them up was tantamount to a death sentence for our culture and survival as a distinct people. Furthermore, in contrast to other past DPs, we were undeniably Asian, physically and culturally. Surprisingly urbane and broadly polyglot on the one hand, Kalmyk Mongols also unabashedly embraced and celebrated religious beliefs and core values found only in more exotic locales and distant times. For a mostly Christian Europe, this feature may have fostered a perception that Kalmyks were little more than godless primitives, perhaps not so far removed from our “barbarian” forebears. Little wonder, then, that there were few offers of safe haven from the community of nations.

In the immediate aftermath of Germany’s defeat, millions of their former countrymen and women—Cossacks, Soviet POWs, German collaborators, and other anti-Stalinists—were forcibly repatriated to Russia by its US and UK allies. Like most of those forcibly returned, Kalmyks harbored a visceral hatred of Communism and Stalin, nurtured in their beleaguered homeland and in European exile. In the early years of the Cold War, this particular stance, and the conviction with which Kalmyks held it, perhaps trumped the negative factors hindering our search for a permanent communal home. Impeccable anti-Communist credentials coupled with a history of persecution in the Soviet Union tipped the balance in our favor when the United States relented and offered Kalmyk Mongols permanent refuge. Our flight from Communist tyranny and eventual “redemption by the West” was valuable propaganda fodder for the political era that followed Mao’s revolution in China, witnessed an alarming upsurge in Communist-led national liberation movements in Southeast Asia, and saw the grisly escalation of hostilities on the Korean peninsula. Virulent anti-Communist Asians, it seems, were at a premium.

At first, the passage and enactment of the DP Act of 1948, a humanitarian measure to grant permanent US residence to 200,000 refugees still languishing in European DP camps, did not affect the Kalmyks’ eligibility, because its benefits applied only to white people. It was only with the help of Leo Tolstoy’s youngest daughter, Alexandra, one of perhaps a half-dozen Americans who even knew what a Kalmyk was, that we were granted asylum. Through her foundation, Tolstoy posited before an immigration tribunal that the Kalmyks’ centuries-old inhabitation of their own polity within European Russia far outweighed their actual and obvious Asiatic origin. In other words, Kalmyks were really Europeans. Despite the initial tribunal’s rejection of this argument, its appellate superiors, the Board of Immigration Appeals and the US Attorney General, reversed the decision months later, making theEuropean Kalmyks beneficiaries of an innovative legal ruling exempting us from the anti-Asian (“Yellow Peril”) hysteria that had swept America and found purchase in its immigration laws.

By figuratively sticking her foot in America’s front door and keeping it wedged there long enough for an anonymous band of war-tossed Mongols to navigate around daunting racial barriers, Countess Tolstoy not only became the architect of the Mongol “invasion” of New Jersey and the country’s first ethnic Mongolian community, she also served as the midwife for the birth of Tibetan Buddhism in America.

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One month short of the first anniversary of their arrival in America, the Kalmyks of Freewood Acres consecrated a communal worship center, their main priority since leaving the camps. The extensively renovated garage, once ritually transformed, symbolized the Kalmyks’ determination to bring their long, arduous journey to an end. The two modest bungalows that shared the site with the transformed garage became housing for the sangha of a half-dozen monks and lamas who had followed their parishioners out of Russia. They gave their new temple a traditional Tibetan name, Rashi Gempil Ling, hoping that it would indeed be a “Sanctuary for the Increase of Auspiciousness and Virtue.” That it was the first Tibetan Buddhist worship center established in the Western hemisphere probably was not foremost in anyone’s mind.

Coverage of the sanctifying rite in The New York Times betrayed the Cold War mentality typically found in the era’s news stories about recent refugees, fixing as it did on the group’s collective plight in recent years and its eventual deliverance from Soviet Communism by the US. The Siberian exile of the Kalmyks’ unfortunate compatriots in Russia was also mentioned, perhaps as an example of what these lucky ones had avoided through America’s compassionate intervention.

The brief article was the most prominent press attention Kalmyk DPs had received to date. And because it was published in the paper of record, it was the most widely disseminated account of the circumstances of our arrival the previous year. Beyond the hundreds of thousands of Times readers and subscribers learning for the first time that there were now “descendants of Genghis Khan” in their midst, the story’s reverberations eventually reached halfway around the globe to the West Bengal town of Kalimpong, India. There its message resonated with a fellow Kalmyk Mongolian who had been living in exile in the former hill station of the British Raj since shortly after the 1950 invasion of Tibet by China. Geshe Ngawang Wangyal’s curiosity was piqued.

The Kalmyk Autonomous Oblast in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic had barely celebrated its second anniversary in 1923 when 21-year-old Lidjiin Keerab, a Buddhist seminarian, left his home in the Lesser Derbet region to complete his ecclesiastical education in Tibet. He was one in a small but continuous trickle, beginning in the mid-to-late 1600s, of Kalmyk geshe-aspirants making the trek. He and his predecessors intended to eventually return home to disseminate buddhadharma among the Kalmyks, the world’s westernmost Buddhists. Keerab, who would complete his studies to become Geshe Wangyal, did not know that he would be the last Kalmyk to make that passage.

Keerab had been a gifted student in one of Kalmykia’s two monastic colleges (chöra) founded two decades earlier by his guru and patron Lama Agvan Dorjiev, a Buryat Mongol geshe from Siberia and an ecclesiastic tutor and debate partner to the 13th Dalai Lama. Although dragged into the geopolitical feuds of the time, Lama Dorjiev spent most of his life promoting the academic study of Buddhism in Mongolia, Buryatia, and Kalmykia according to a curriculum established by the Tibetan monk and scholar Lobsang Drakpa, better known as Tsongkhapa, the 15th-century founder of the Tibetan Gelug lineage.

Recognizing his protégé’s potential to successfully complete the demanding geshe curriculum at the Gelugpa monastic colleges of Tibet, Dorjiev handpicked the young Lidjiin Keerab to be a member of the Borisov Mission, a secret undertaking hatched by the USSR’s foreign ministry and Comintern functionaries. The expedition’s leader, Sergei Borisov, and his travel companions would pose as religious pilgrims while actually exploring opportunities for Communist proselytizing on the “roof of the world,” which conveniently overlooked colonial India, the crown jewel of Britain’s massive empire. Comrade Borisov, a seasoned Comintern operative of Central Asian descent, donned the robes and persona of a Buryat Mongol lama for the months-long trek to Lhasa. To add further credibility to the ruse, Borisov brought several genuine Russian Buddhist pilgrims into the party, including Lama Dorjiev’s promising disciple.

Knowing well the ulterior political motives of the caravan’s sponsors, Lama Dorjiev admonished Keerab to separate from the caravan before its entry into the holy city and to avoid being identified thereafter as a member of Borisov’s party. Borisov’s group would be the last sanctioned overland expedition from Russia to Tibet, ending a centuries-old practice by which Kalmyk traders, monk-students, and pilgrims could stockpile incalculable merit from completing the holy circuit.

Keerab completed his curricular obligations at Gomang Monastic College’s geshe-degree program in less than ten years, about half the time for typical geshe-aspirants. In 1933 or early ’34, Geshe Wangyal made his first (and last) attempt to return to Kalmykia, an endeavor cut short by the ongoing suppression of Buddhism along his proposed return route in Mongolia and even more vigorously at his intended destination. Stranded in Beijing, Geshe-la took a job with a Chinese publishing venture attempting to reconcile various versions of the Buddhist canon, taught school briefly in Inner Mongolia, and, presciently, began teaching himself English.

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Following a quick visit to England at the invitation of the author and mountaineer Marco Pallis, Geshe Wangyal returned to Tibet, resolving to spend the rest of his life there. For more than a decade, Geshe-la would spend most of the year in Lhasa and winter in Kalimpong, India, allowing him to conduct lucrative trade between the two countries and sometimes with China. It was a near-idyllic existence.

Late in 1950, however, the first Chinese Communist artillery shells fell on Eastern Tibet, ending the optimistic notion that Tibet could maintain its historical independence. The Asian expansion of Communism and the consequent devastation of Buddhism that Geshe-la had witnessed over the past three decades had finally caught up with him in Tibet, his most secure redoubt. He could not hope to remain in Lhasa, where his identity as a Russian subject was quite well known and his status as a lama and trader made him an obvious target for the coming wave of ideologues charged with purifying society of its bourgeois elements.

By the end of 1951, as Chinese propaganda cadres and armed forces expanded their presence into Central Tibet from the eastern provinces, Geshe Wangyal had permanently relocated to his winter refuge in India. Soon after, the jungle drums communication network of Kalimpong’s sizeable Tibetan exile community informed him that, according to an article in The New York Times, a group of his fellow Kalmyks had established a small community and congregation in a place called New Jersey.

For a full year thereafter, Geshe-la made multiple requests to the American Consul in New Delhi for a visa. It was eventually granted in late 1954 after the intervention of the Tolstoy Foundation a year earlier. With all his earthly possessions packed into two steamer trunks, Geshe-la made his way to France in time to catch La Liberté’s January 1955 departure for the port of New York. He would spend the next 28 years in New Jersey, the longest continuous residence in one place in his eventful life, making him, in a very real way, the first authentic American lama.

Following his arrival, Geshe Wangyal attempted to join the sanghas of the Kalmyks’ original temple organization, Rashi Gempil Ling, as well as the newest one, Tashi Lhunpo, built on a large communal plot in the adjacent Howell Township. He had been rebuffed by each primarily because of the interventions of *Dilowa Khutuktu, a Mongolian-born tulku who had been in America since 1949. The resulting acrimony in the community between Geshe-la’s defenders and detractors exposed fault lines along tribal and clan affiliations that had always been part of the Kalmyks’ group and individual identities.

Membership in either temple organization would have spared Geshe-la the necessity of raising the funds required to purchase property and build the facility he would need to house the modest Buddhist Studies and Tibetan Language program he hoped to start as a faint echo of the academies established in Kalmykia by his own guru, Lama Dorjiev. However, Geshe-la’s initial urgency to be accepted within the existing Kalmyk organizations appreciably diminished around the time he began his contract work for the CIA, in 1956 or early 1957. Recruited to the spy agency with the help of the Dalai Lama’s eldest brother, Thubten Jigme Norbu (Takster Rinpoche), Geshe Wangyal developed the Tibetan telecode the agency would use to communicate with the Tibetan Resistance, the newest surrogates for fighting communist expansion.

Takster Rinpoche emigrated to the United States under CIA sponsorship eight months to the day following Geshe-la’s arrival in New Jersey. His initial visit in 1951, referred to in some news accounts as a lecture tour of seminaries and colleges, was arranged by a CIA-front organization and used to present his own eyewitness accounts of the Chinese invasion and occupation of Tibet at very high levels of America’s foreign policy and intelligence communities. During his second visit, Rinpoche’s friend and colleague Geshe Wangyal served as his translator for the interview at the offices of Rinpoche’s US sponsor. The two had last seen each other in Lhasa 16 years earlier.

The Agency’s choice for its code designer was, according to Kenneth Conboy and James Morrison inThe CIA’s Secret War in Tibet, a given, since Geshe Wangyal was “the first (and at that time, only) qualified scholar of Tibetan … in the United States” who could develop the code and then train the Tibetan warriors (some of whom were only nominally literate) in its use. In other words, there was no one else in America who could have done it.

Geshe-la’s mandate within the task force also consisted of deciphering and encoding all messages between the Agency and the guerrilla forces for an extended period. Geshe-la, Takster Rinpoche, and the CIA spooks trained the first group of Tibetan guerrillas in the code and tradecraft for its use on the island of Saipan in the western Pacific in 1957. Later, the majority of CIA-trained nationalist forces would receive that training at Camp Hale, a decommissioned WWII– and Korean War–era army base in the Rocky Mountains outside of Leadville, Colorado. These Tibetans, after completing their training by the CIA, would be airdropped back into Tibet to gather intelligence and relay their information to Washington. They were also trained to recruit more resistance members and to conduct opportunistic sabotage.

The material rewards from Geshe Wangyal’s involvement with the US government became evident when he commissioned the construction of a nondescript, ranch-style home on East Third Street in Freewood Acres. Aside from the deer-and-dharma-wheel emblem (hand-carved by Geshe-la) displayed atop the portico of its front door, there was nothing about the typically suburban structure to indicate that it was America’s first center for the academic study of Tibetan Buddhism. The name on the corresponding mailbox at the edge of the street read Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America(LBMA). From that point on, Geshe Wangyal would proceed according to his own agenda, which took a decisive turn in the year His Holiness the Dalai Lama escaped to India, a feat in which Geshe Wangyal played no small part.

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The combined efforts of Geshe Wangyal and Takster Rinpoche at the birth of the organized Tibetan resistance made it possible for ST Circus, the CIA’s codename for its anti-Chinese effort, to achieve its most notable success: the Dalai Lama’s escape from Tibet. Fortuitous contact by members of the first class of US-trained Tibetan resistance fighters with the Dalai Lama’s escape party in March 1959 allowed the CIA to be informed daily of the Dalai Lama’s whereabouts throughout the grueling ordeal. At the time, 50,000 People’s Liberation Army soldiers and dozens of spotter planes scoured the Tibetan side of the Himalayas trying to thwart his escape—or, as they suggested, to rescue him from kidnappers.

Besides keeping their CIA patrons updated on the escape party’s coordinates, the guerrillas used Geshe-la’s telecode to request from Prime Minister Nehru’s government political asylum in India for the Dalai Lama, his cabinet, and his family. Three years earlier, Nehru had turned away a similar request and essentially forced His Holiness to return to Tibet after a brief religious pilgrimage to India. It was thus a great relief when Nehru’s consent to the asylum request, after traveling through several bureaucratic levels of the US and Indian governments over a 24-hour period, was relayed to the Dalai Lama’s Lord Chamberlain by the CIA-trained guerrillas. That message permitted a then ailing Dalai Lama to cross into Indian refuge ahead of his pursuers.

His Holiness’s decision to leave Tibet at that time, almost nine years into China’s occupation, and the details of how and whether he was eluding the Chinese army became fodder for international journalistic speculation as hundreds of newsmen flocked to India’s remote Himalayan outposts hoping to witness his arrival. Few can remember today that this was the most internationally covered cliffhanger of that era, one that resonated well in the existential drama of the ongoing Cold War.

Once His Holiness the Dalai Lama was safely in India, Geshe Wangyal would soon discover that the follow-up task of bringing His Holiness to the United States might be more daunting than the just-concluded escape. For that project, he would need other allies—and plenty of patience.

In 1960, Geshe-la quit the CIA assignment. (The CIA’s Tibet program continued for more than a decade without him, until it was ended by order of Henry Kissinger when he began his courtship of Mao in the early 1970s.) As this was also his first year of eligibility, Geshe Wangyal petitioned for and received United States citizenship and an American passport. He used the latter to return that summer to India, where he met with the Dalai Lama, then into his second year of exile. Although Geshe-la, to my knowledge, never spoke openly of his private conversations with His Holiness—just as he never mentioned his involvement with the CIA’s Tibet Task Force—the results of their initial meetings became apparent in 1962 when His Holiness sent four Tibetan lamas from India to Geshe Wangyal’s center in Freewood Acres, primarily to learn English. The group included Geshe Lhundup Sopa, later a decades-long professor of Buddhism at the University of Wisconsin; Lama Kunga Thartse Rinpoche, founder of the Ewam Choden Buddhist center in California; and two teenage tulkus, Kamlung and Sharpa Rinpoches. The steady procession of Tibetan lamas to LBMA under this informal program continued for an additional ten years. Eventually the lamas’ mandate to learn English was expanded to include teaching Buddhism to receptive audiences. Many alumni of the program, like Geshe Sopa and Lama Kunga, would go on to establish their own active American dharma centers, which attracted hundreds of devoted followers and disciples. One of the last to arrive under this arrangement, Geshe Lobsang Tharchin, became the longest-serving abbot of the Kalmyk community’s Rashi Gempil Ling temple.

Shortly after the arrival of that first group of “ESL-lamas,” LBMA took in its first resident students when a trio of former Ivy Leaguers—Christopher George, Jeffrey Hopkins, and Robert Thurman—who, as The New York Times wrote, could “trace their American descent to the early days of the Republic,” came to begin study in Buddhism and Tibetan. In return for their studies with Geshe Wangyal and the new lamas, the Americans provided English language lessons for the newcomers and manpower for the addition of an altar room and dormitory, which Geshe-la ordered to accommodate LBMA’s sudden population explosion. The bargain struck between scions of America’s oldest settlers with members of its newest furthered the future expansion of Tibetan Buddhism in the West for decades to come, primarily from the efforts of two of these pioneers, Robert Thurman and Jeffrey Hopkins.

Dr. Thurman’s academic career and record of activism on and education about Tibetan spiritual, cultural, historical, and political issues in the past half-century is well documented, as are Professor Hopkins’s contributions to the academic study of Buddhism since his apprenticeship at LBMA. Teaching at Columbia University and the University of Virginia, respectively, together they form two pillars upon which much of Tibetan Buddhist studies in America rest today. These two trailblazers contributed to the emergence of a second generation of scholars, teachers, and activists who made their own unique contributions to the remarkable growth of interest in and understanding of Tibetan Buddhist doctrine in America.

In 1964, Geshe Wangyal traveled to India, taking Thurman along. He introduced him to the Dalai Lama, who had just moved to the hill town of Dharamsala. There, Thurman served a brief tenure as a Tibetan Buddhist monk—the first American to do so, and the first Westerner to be ordained by the Dalai Lama—before returning to America later in the 1960s and reentering Harvard University to earn his PhD in Buddhist Studies. While at Harvard, Thurman befriended two undergraduates, Joel McCleary and Joshua Cutler, who had been taking introductory Tibetan Buddhism classes with him. Both expressed a keen interest in continuing those studies after their upcoming graduation. Naturally, Thurman referred them to his own lama.

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More than 40 years later, McCleary still remembers the first task Geshe-la assigned him after he and Cutler arrived at the LBMA retreat house in the summer of 1971: Bring the Dalai Lama to America. Geshe-la’s decade of experience with bringing Tibetan lamas from India had been both rewarding and extremely frustrating. True, there were more Tibetan (and even Mongolian) lamas and geshes in the United States than at any other time. Yet seemingly intractable obstacles, mostly of a political nature, had thus far blocked any hope that the Dalai Lama would someday be able to join them. As early as December of 1959, President Eisenhower, on a state visit to India, refused to meet with His Holiness despite clear overtures from the Tibetan side requesting a meeting. That semi-public snub established the official policy of the United States toward the Dalai Lama for the next 20 years: His Holiness was persona non grata despite the absence of any formal announcement of such status.

At the time, much of America’s foreign policy regarding Asian issues was determined by supporters of Chiang Kai-shek and his Kuomintang regime’s claim to be the real government of China, even after its forces were driven out of power and into Taiwanese exile by Mao Zedong’s minions. This influential group was called the China Lobby, and their claims to ownership of Tibet mirrored the ones put forth by their political rivals. That the Dalai Lama’s Government-in-Exile was then promoting Tibet’s de facto independence since 1911 insured that neither Chinese faction would look favorably on any official contact between the United States and His Holiness, and that each, indeed, would do all it could to thwart it.
McCleary’s one-man letter-writing campaign to Congressional leaders, begun in response to Geshe-la’s request, took a substantial turn for the better when he became Deputy Assistant to the President for Political Liaison in the Carter Administration at the end of 1977. (McCleary’s path to the West Wing and eventful career as an international political consultant after leaving LBMA are explained in his essay “Confessions of a Buddhist Political Junkie,” published in Tricycle’s inaugural issue in the fall of 1991.)

Tom Beard, a fellow Deputy Assistant to President Carter at the time and a charter member of his team of outsiders known as the Georgia Mafia, freely admits that his own enthusiastic involvement in upending the State Department’s policy was based solely on McCleary’s compelling arguments in favor of its reversal. Many staunch supporters of the policy, with whom McCleary and Beard tussled, would later become the Dalai Lama’s best friends in America. Once Beard was on board, the two Deputy Assistants, with silent but solid backing from their colleagues in the White House, finally forced the issue of a Dalai Lama visit to vigorous debate at the highest levels of government, something no previous administration had dared to raise. What began as a series of calls to the American Embassy in New Delhi, announced by the intimidating words, The White House is calling, and asking the startled diplomats if they had read President Carter’s policy on human rights, soon became an agenda item before the National Security Council. There the debate would be joined by proponents of the visit, including Hopkins, Thurman, Tenzin N. Tethong (from the Office of Tibet in New York City), Beard, and McCleary, who presented it as a logical extension of President Carter’s commitment to human rights, the hallmark of his foreign policy following the “normalization” of relations with the People’s Republic of China shortly after taking office.

The important point here is not that the Tibetophiles won the debate, but rather that it took place at all. In retrospect, it is hard to imagine a similar scenario taking place in succeeding administrations, whose China policies and sensitivities were identical to those of the ones preceding President Carter’s and whose interest in human rights issues were demonstrably not as keen. If Joel McCleary had not been at the White House at that instant in history, it is doubtful that His Holiness could have come to America when he did—or come at all.

The Dalai Lama made his American debut in September 1979, beginning a seven-week, nationwide teaching tour from the campus of the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America in New Jersey. The first private audience His Holiness gave at LBMA on the morning of his first teaching in America was with Joel and April McCleary (and a very surprised yours truly). His Holiness’s maiden visit demolished any chance of reimposing the unspoken ban on US visits by the Dalai Lama. Instead, it marked the start of America’s—and the world’s—love affair with the “simple Buddhist monk.”

The Dalai Lama has returned to LBMA, renamed the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center (TBLC) in 1984, a total of eight times since his first visit. The most recent came in 2008 when he delivered a six-day teaching, held at nearby Lehigh University, on Tsongkhapa’s The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment in appreciation of TBLC’s completion of the English translation of the three-volume magnum opus. The 12-year, multi-translator project had been overseen by Joshua Cutler, who first came to Geshe Wangyal’s center in 1970 with McCleary and stayed long enough to become Geshe-la’s principal disciple. Cutler and his wife Diana would become successors to their lama as TBLC’s Executive Directors upon Geshe Wangyal’s death in 1983.

On the first day of His Holiness’s marathon event, he recalled what proved to be his final meeting in 1981 with his old friend and colleague, “Wangyal-la.” Geshe-la had convened all of his disciples and closest friends in the library of the LBMA’s schoolhouse in preparation for a communal farewell to His Holiness after he concluded his second teaching visit to LBMA. When His Holiness entered and joined Geshe-la at the front of the room, Geshe Wangyal burst into uncontrollable tears even as His Holiness hugged him closely and playfully tugged at the whiskers of his long white goatee. Finally, His Holiness also succumbed to the poignancy of the moment and began weeping for reasons we all knew could never adequately be expressed with words. It was the most moving spiritual moment I have ever experienced; His Holiness thinks of it too whenever he recalls Geshe Wangyal.

The final piece of the narrative, for me, fell into place in southeastern Russia in the summer of 1991, a dozen years after His Holiness’s American debut. I was extremely privileged then to accompany the Dalai Lama on his first pastoral visit to Kalmykia. As His Holiness the Dalai Lama disembarked into a throng of jubilant Kalmyks waiting on the airport tarmac, someone cried out, “Your Holiness, why are you here?” Without hesitation, the Dalai Lama responded, “I’m here because of my friend Geshe Wangyal.”

David Urubshurow was a member of America’s first Tibetan Buddhist congregation. At age 7 he became Geshe Wangyal’s first, and lifelong, disciple in America. He is currently writing a coming-of-age memoir about these events.

[Extracted from: http://www.tricycle.com/feature/russia-love]

Image 1: Geshe Ngawang Wangyal, aboard La Liberté, arrives in America, February 3, 1955. John Lent/Associated Press

Image 2: The author, David Urubshurow, age 10, in the altar room of the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America in Freewood Acres, NJ, 1958. Courtesy of the author.

Image 3: David Urubshurow, age 11, lights a butter lamp in the original altar room of the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America while Geshe Ngawang Wangyal reads and translates sutras, 1959. Courtesy of the author. 

Image 4: (L-R): Jeffrey Hopkins, Geshe Ngawang Wangyal, Robert Thurman, and Christopher George in Tibetan translation class at the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America, 1963. Bettman/Corbis/Associated Press.

Image 5: Geshe Ngawang Wangyal and a boyhood friend from Kalmykia, Dorji Purview, in the new altar room of the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America, 1964. Courtesy of the author.

Image 6: Geshe Ngawang Wangyal with the 14th Dalai Lama during His Holiness’s second visit to the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America, August 1981. Courtesy of the author.

 

* Also spelled Telo Rinpoche

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12 Responses to Incredible Geshe Wangyal

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  1. Samfoonheei on Oct 18, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Interesting article….. history of how Geshe Ngawang Wangyal the first Tibetan Buddhist lama to set foot in America. Geshe Ngawang Wangyal faced many challenges when bringing Buddhism to America.He did even helped in the escaping of the Dalai Lama to America from Tibet.
    Thank you Rinpoche for these touching story of Geshe Wangya struggles to spread Buddhism in America.And it is also a reminder for us not to give up in what ever things we do.
    Quoted ..should never let challenges that seem vast stop us. We should never retire in retreat when it’s too hard. Nothing great comes with no effort.

  2. Brittany Williams on Feb 25, 2015 at 7:06 am

    I have a relic my aunt has given me. It is a heart shaped amber wrapped in fragile metal pendent with butterflies and Buddha in the metal work. The amber has a small strip of saffron robe and a fly. Could you reference me in the right direction for how to learn more of its making and how to use it in my practice properly? The chain or string it was originally on is gone and I currently have it with zebra jasper beads. Do certain beads symbolize or have particular meaning?

  3. Sadi on Feb 21, 2015 at 4:18 am

    I like this blog post because it was imbibed with history and politics and life in the last century. It gave an insight into how tumultous the 20th century was for the world. With wars and political relations heightened with suspense and missions, the aim of dharma was continued and flourished from the small town centre to the America by the efforts of Geshe Wangyal. He offered relief and help to HHDL during those tense times of exile for His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I think the whole world is in debt of Geshe-la because without his initiatives and work to introduce HHDL to the west, the world wouldn’t have known of HHDL.

  4. Wan Wai Meng on Dec 22, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    Geshe Wangyal had done us a great favour of paving the way for Tibetan Buddhism to spread in the US plus the Dalai Lama entry to the US. I think if the Dalai Lama was not permitted to enter the US, I would think a precious gem like His Holiness would not have been revealed to the world.

    The fact that the dharma spread so fast and benefitted so many people is due to the presence of Dalai Lama. Tsem Rinpoche had great devotion and reverence towards Dalai Lama, all Tibetans and Mongolians would want to get a glimpse of the Dalai Lama before their passing.

  5. sweekeong on Dec 15, 2013 at 10:01 am

    The post speaks of effort, courage and the underlying compassionate nature of human who had played such a pivotal role in spreading the Buddhism into the West as we know of today. Also I see only a thin line of thread between an opportunity or missed opportunity if they have given up what they believe in. It is easy for me to take granted of what they have experienced from the acts of war. We can say it is their karma but we can also observed those who have chosen to create their own future with their own hands.

  6. Choongs on Dec 13, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    This article clearly shows the interdependent nature of everything.

  7. Choongs on Dec 12, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    My first comment is that those are really great photos. Look at the NYC skyline in the first photo, only the Empire State and Chrysler skyscrapers were there. Thank you to whom had foresight to take the photos.

  8. So Kin Hoe (Ipoh) on Dec 11, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing on this remarkable history of how the Tibetan Buddhism set foot in America. That was the historical moment where everything was begun from the starting point of spreading the Dharma by Geshe Ngawang Wangyal and then continued on by Geshe Lobsang Tharchin before Geshe Lobsang Tharchin became the root and first guru of Tsem Rinpoche. When Geshe Ngawang Wangyal met with H.H. Dalai Lama and exchanged their spiritual moments in Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America (LBMA), I can truly feel the blessings and compassionate energies manifesting from the two great masters in our century. May all the people in America will get the blessings from all the spiritual masters.

  9. Keng nam on Dec 11, 2013 at 5:29 am

    Dear Rinpoche this is indeed an interesting article that traces the beginning of Tibetan Buddhism in the US. More pertinent to me is that Rinpoche was brought up in New Jersey so close to LBMA not by chance but by a clear choice from Rinpoche’s erudite past. You are truly an erudite master of modern times and so many people whose lives you graced are very ‘karmically’ fortunate. Thank you and I wish you long life and remain to turn the dharma wheel for more people.

  10. [email protected] on Dec 9, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Very interesting to read up about the great person who’s behind the master plan to bring H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama out of Tibet and subsequently to U.S. Many people have benefited from H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama and none of these would happen if not because of Geshe Ngawang Wangyal. Thank you for sharing Rinpoche.

  11. Tommie on Dec 9, 2013 at 9:07 am

    This was awesome. Great story of patience. Very touching. Thank you precious Guru for sharing.

  12. Tommie on Dec 9, 2013 at 9:05 am

    This was awesome. Thanks for sharing.

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  • Stella Cheang
    Thursday, Mar 30. 2017 12:34 AM
    Wonderful good news to learn about this first of its kind progressive campaign to help the stray animals in Malaysia by the Sultan and Permaisuri of Selangor. While stray animals can be a nuisance to the public at large but bear in mind, the strays do not have a choice, and we have a role to play. Neutering strays is a humane and compassionate ways of resolving the program of stray animals in the long run because it largely reduces the numbers of strays on the streets. Neutering and proving proper shelters to strays can prevent thousands of animals from being born, only to suffer and struggle to survive on the streets, be abused by cruel or neglectful people, or be euthanized inhumanely. I have read somewhere that says spaying and neutering makes a big difference: Just one unaltered female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in only six years. In seven years, one female cat and her offspring can produce an incredible 370,000 kittens!

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/stray-free-selangor.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Thursday, Mar 30. 2017 12:15 AM
    Humans and animals, as well as other sentient beings within the six realms of samsara, are subjected to the law of cyclic of existence. Karma or generally known as the law of cause and effect will determine where we take our next rebirth. It is extremely rare for sentient beings to take the form of a human body and in perfect condition. Hence we must not let this precious lifetime go to waste by indulging in silly actions and harmful ways. If we are born in the animals realms or lower, there is close to zero way for us to collect merits and get out of that realm.

    From the stories above, I find the story about Dalawong most unusual because he seemed to be able to determine the destination of his next rebirth after he was being killed as a snake. After he had taken rebirth in human form, he continued to remember the incident in his past life. Amazing!

    Thank you, Rinpoche, for sharing these researches with us.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/do-animals-reincarnate-back-as-humans.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Wednesday, Mar 29. 2017 09:42 PM
    If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
  • Lin Mun
    Wednesday, Mar 29. 2017 03:50 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article about tsa tsa. Didn’t know there are many steps and holy materials used in making a tsa tsa. In addition, the maker of tsa tsa would need to do prayer in the morning depending of what tsa tsa they are making on the day, for example, the maker will do Dorje Shugden practise before making Dorje Shugden tsa tsa.

    Only by knowing the process, we will appreciate the items more. Tsa tsa is a precious item.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/tsa-tsas-are-nice.html
  • Pastor Shin Tan
    Wednesday, Mar 29. 2017 09:28 AM
    Dalawong: A Child Recalls a Past Life as a Cobra in Thailand

    This case was actually researched by the late Francis Story, a British citizen who was fascinated with Buddhism and spent many years in Asia. He was also very interested in the topic of reincarnation and assisted Dr. Stevenson in investigating a number of very important reincarnation cases in Burma and Sri Lanka. Francis interviewed the subject of this case, a Thai boy named Dalowong, along with his father, mother and sister. He also had access to a pamphlet that was previously published regarding the case, which was also summarized in an article in the Bangkok Times.

    Dalawong actually claimed two past animal incarnations. He recalled a past lifetime as a deer, which he said was killed by a hunter. Subsequently, he stated he was reincarnated as a snake, more specifically, as a cobra.

    As the snake, Dalawong remembered that he was in a cave when two dogs entered and attacked him. A ferocious struggle ensued between the cobra and the dogs. The owner of the dogs then entered the cave and killed the snake. Apparently, the snake was able to bite the human invader on the shoulder, prior to succumbing to death.

    The human took the cobra’s body back home, where the snake was cooked for a meal. This man shared the snake meat with an acquaintance, who would become Dalawong’s father in the near future. The man who killed the cobra had the name Mr. Hiew.

    Read more here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/do-animals-reincarnate-back-as-humans.html
  • Alice Tay
    Tuesday, Mar 28. 2017 08:40 PM
    谢谢Paul Yap 为我们介绍马来西亚彭亨州文东必定参观的地方之一~克切拉禅修林。就如照片显示,克切拉禅修林的确是一个环境清幽、山明水秀以及令人有宁静舒适的感觉。

    如果有机会到马来西亚游玩,千万不要错过由Paul Yap介绍克切拉禅修林里的几个优美与神圣的地方,包括:
    1. 金泽”财王”
    2. 金刚瑜伽母佛塔
    3. 绿度母石雕像
    4. 药师佛山
    5. 梦幻文殊菩萨
    6. 詹仁波切的货柜屋
    7. 文殊山
    8. 智慧堂(释迦摩尼佛像和多杰雄登像)

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/go-bentong.html
  • Alice Tay
    Tuesday, Mar 28. 2017 08:09 PM
    The sculpture of Kuan Yin in Macau is simple but elegant. Most importantly, this big Kuan Yin in Macau is built to bring peace, harmony and prosperity to the people.

    I remember Rinpoche mentioned before a big Buddha statue will have positive impact on the environment and plant the Buddha’s seeds in all sentient beings that not only humans but also including animals and many others. Therefore, the bigger Buddha statue the more beneficial to all sentient beings where they can see and be blessed by this big Buddha statue from far.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/kuan-yin-of-macau-city.html
  • Lin Mun
    Tuesday, Mar 28. 2017 03:29 PM
    Krishnan’s effort and hard work in contributing to the society is very inspiring. He is willing to let go of his high paying job to Switzerland and staying back in India to operate a soup kitchen for homeless. On top of that he is willing to accept the hardship of financial restraint every month in maintaining his service for the people living in the street. I hope his good work will bring more awareness and sponsors for him especially when CNN showed the video of his work and awarded him with top 10 CNN heroes.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/chef-turned-hero.html
  • Pastor Shin Tan
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 06:42 PM
    According to the Buddhist teachings, we all have a unique blend of karma that determines where we are born, the circumstances of our birth and the quality of our life. Naturally, this is due to the actions that we performed in previous lives. Karma also dictates our characteristics and traits that determine how we act throughout our lives, which in turn leads to certain outcomes in this life and a determination of where we will take rebirth in the future.

    Karma, however, is not set in stone. We can change our circumstances through our own efforts – purification of karma and accumulation of merit. Tibetan astrology, based on these Buddhist principles, provides us the methods to ensure success in this life and a good rebirth in the future. Tibetan astrology can also predict what will happen to us in this life and our next rebirth based on the time of our birth.

    Discover your traits according to the Mewa, or Magical Square system of Tibetan astrology below, and find out how to purify your negative karma to improve your life!

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/tibetan-astrology/tibetan-astrology.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 05:24 PM
    Very interesting:


    Radin explained in his book: “For a Western-trained academic, the mere existence of, say, telepathy would be considered supernormal and thus wildly extraordinary. But for an experienced yogi, it’s just a boringly normal minor siddhi [a Sanskrit term for a meditation attainment, or power]. A skeptical scientist, not having the benefit of thousands of hours of practice in yoga and meditation, would require repeatable, rigorously obtained experimental data showing odds against chance of a gazillion to one. The yogi merely requires his own experience.”


    Very interesting read: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/2157904-supernormal-abilities-developed-through-meditation-dr-dean-radin-discusses/?sidebar=morein
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 01:45 PM
    Its indeed a beautiful place …..away from the city hectic life to visit and could stay over night too.Just to get away from work to relax ,get some fresh air ,do meditation and so forth .At Kechara Forest RetreatI,Bentong is where the largest Dorje Shugden statue in the world situated and we can receive blessing,make offering to the Buddhas as well as enjoy the tranquility of the beautiful gardens.I have recomended my friends and relatives to visit such a beautiful place at Bentong.
    Thank you Paul Yap for sharing.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/go-bentong.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 01:15 PM
    Well…all pendants are beautifully designed,hand crafted to match each and every sacred images on it to suit all occasion for the wearer.I can see a lot of hard work for those involed in desgning and making of it.
    All pendants are very unique, modern, timeless and also sacred ,thats all i could describe it.Hope more people will be wearing these beautiful pendants to get connected with the Buddhas.Thank you Rinpoche for sharing and Kechara’s Louise Lee for creating Dharma art in in the form of jewelry
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/timeless-and-sacred.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 12:41 PM
    This Mahasiddha is Kukkuripa (the dog lover). He loved dogs so much. When he meditated in the cave he had his doggie with him. She had kept him company for years in his cave. They shared bedding, food, water and company. When he gained high attainments, the Dakinis came to take him to Kechara Paradise. He was hesitant to go but the Dakinis insisted and he went with them.

    He arrived at Kechara (Paradise/Buddha abode of Heruka and Vajra Yogini) and enjoyed teachings and feasts up there and they asked him to stay longer if not forever…. But he kept thinking about his doggie left alone in the cave. He felt guilty and missed her. Kukkuripa would use his psychic powers to see his poor doggie alone and hungry waiting for him at the cave while enjoying the attention of the Dakinis and feasts. The cave was dark and had no food. The doggie had to go out and find small tiny scraps of food and was getting skinny. Kukkuripa saw this and it pained him. Worried she was not getting enough food. He use to share the offerings of food he would get from people with her. Doggie and him would delightfully eat the food together. Kukkuripa had no attachments to ‘clean’ or ‘dirty’ in regards to sharing food with his dog. He had overcome this in his meditations. In ancient India, people would not co-habitate with a dog. It was considered unclean and filthy, but Kukkuripa had cast away those notions and loved his dog as she loved him. But he felt guilty to leave her alone while he was ‘enjoying’ himself in Kechara and could not stop thinking about his beloved dirty smelly dog in his cave alone…so he left Kechara Paradise and all it’s ‘delights’ for his doggie. He couldn’t abandon her. The Dakinis implored him to stay, but he was firm to return. The Dakinis said you will give up this paradise here for a mere dog???!! You can advance further in your meditations if you stay in Kechara and then help the dog later they attempted to persuade him. But Kukkuripa would not stay, he was loyal to his little dog as she had kept him company for many years in the lonely dark cave. She was loyal to him and how can he abandon her now. He couldn’t and he wouldn’t listen to the Dakinis. He left to join doggie. He never forget her companionship and loyalty. All the wonderful things in Kechara could not tempt him against his loyal friend the little doggie. He left everything for her.

    So he finally left Kechara to the Dakinis dismay and went back to his cave to be with his dog so she won’t be alone. Doggie was delighted to see her master and wagged her tail so much!! She licked him and he hugged her! She was skinnier for not eating well these few days he noticed. He fed her and hugged her and loved his doggie…He went back to his routine of meditation, receiving food offerings and sharing his food with doggie. They were happy together. One day, when he was scratching her in her favorite place and she licked him so his eyes were closed, when he opened his eyes she had suddenly turned into a Dakini shimmering with lights! The brilliance of the lights lit up the whole cave in front of Kukkuripa!! Kukkuripa was astonished to behold the splendourous lady in front of him! Of course this Dakini must be the Queen Herself he realized, as Vajra Yogini which was Kukkuripa’s main Yidam he had meditated on her for years in the cave. And She said to Kukkuripa, “Well done, you gave up paradise to be with just a dog..it shows you have given up attachements and projections of pleasant and unpleasant, now your Dakini will give you the final paradise (enlightenment)!”

    Kukkuripa attained full enlightenment blessed by Vajra Yogini by releasing the final subtle attachment to the non-existent self! After enlightenment his fame and name grew and many came to see him and he gave teachings to countless and benefitted many before he finally ascended to Kechara the second and final time. He was forever known as Kukkuripa the dog lover.

    I love him so much!!! This is one of my favorite Mahasiddhas along with Badrapa, Shantideva, Ghantapa and a few others. I wanted to share this story with you. I wanted you to know that there are many great true stories like this one about Kukkuripa that are true and can be applied to our lives. To inspire us.

    Tsem Rinpoche
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 12:29 PM
    The great and illustrious master Sonam Tsemo at the end of his life was described by an old woman who witnessed Sonam Tsemo depart. Standing on a rock at the holy spring near Sakya area known as Chumik Dzingka, his body ascended gracefully into the sky, still holding his dog. He loved his dog very much. Even today the footprints of Loppon Sonam Tsemo and the dog can be clearly seen in the rock, left for the benefit of living beings as a field from which to accumulate merit. It is a sign of a holy being when they can leave their footprints in stone for future generations to witness and make offerings on that spot to collect merits. This holy site was decorated by the great master Mantradhara Ngawang Kunga Rinchen later on. Other accounts say that he ascended from Gorum Library near Chumik Dzingka spring. A stupa containing his holy relics was erected there. Sonam Tsemo was a powerful practitioner of the Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini and at the end of his short life he ascended with his very body to Kechara paradise. He was 40 years old. Kechara is the sanksrit name of the special abode of Vajra Yogini. Those who practice Vajra Yogini to the highest level can ascend her paradise with their very bodies. Sonam Tsemo the great master of sutra and tantra was seen by an old woman flying off holding his beloved dog to ascend Kechara paradise. No one every found his body and his room was empty.
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 12:27 PM
    Congratulations to Mitra for his first dharma teaching in Nepali to the expats. So glad that Dorje Shugden practise can reach out to many in various languages and to different people. Mitra has done a good job in introducing Lama Tsongkhapa lineage and guided them on the benefit and iconography of Dorje Shugden.

    May Lama Tsongkhapa lineage and Dorje Shugden practise continue to grow and benefit more people.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/mitra-teaches-bhagwan-dorje-shugden-in-nepali.html

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

Tsem Rinpoche

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

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If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
8 hours ago
If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
My Mumu boy didn\'t want to eat. Eating is not one of his favorite activities throughout his life. So I talked to him to let him know why he needs to eat and keep his strength up when this photo was taken. He was listening intently and after my talk with him, he ate. Tsem Rinpoche
12 hours ago
My Mumu boy didn't want to eat. Eating is not one of his favorite activities throughout his life. So I talked to him to let him know why he needs to eat and keep his strength up when this photo was taken. He was listening intently and after my talk with him, he ate. Tsem Rinpoche
This is so true. Click to enlarge and understand more about unpleasant people.
12 hours ago
This is so true. Click to enlarge and understand more about unpleasant people.
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
3 days ago
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
Mumu taking a rest in the turquoise room. Over the years, I always feel very satisfied when I see him covered with a blanket, safe and sleeping. I always wanted to make sure he was safe from harm, illness and distress. I wanted him to have a happy and loved life. Tsem Rinpoche
3 days ago
Mumu taking a rest in the turquoise room. Over the years, I always feel very satisfied when I see him covered with a blanket, safe and sleeping. I always wanted to make sure he was safe from harm, illness and distress. I wanted him to have a happy and loved life. Tsem Rinpoche
I wrapped my little Mumu boy up in my blanket and propped him up on my bed. He didn\'t move or wiggle and just looked at me. He is one funny entertaining little guy. Tsem Rinpoche
3 days ago
I wrapped my little Mumu boy up in my blanket and propped him up on my bed. He didn't move or wiggle and just looked at me. He is one funny entertaining little guy. Tsem Rinpoche
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
3 days ago
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
1 week ago
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don\'t have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don't have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
1 week ago
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
2 weeks ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
2 weeks ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
Read this as it will be interesting
2 weeks ago
Read this as it will be interesting
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one\'s head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book \"The Female Buddhas.\"- Glenn Mullin
3 weeks ago
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one's head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book "The Female Buddhas."- Glenn Mullin
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
3 weeks ago
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
1 month ago
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
1 month ago
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
2 months ago
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
2 months ago
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
This is a good one to read
2 months ago
This is a good one to read
Mumu is silly and cute and funny
2 months ago
Mumu is silly and cute and funny
Mumu\'s hair is messy and he looks funny
2 months ago
Mumu's hair is messy and he looks funny
I am in the process of creating beautiful Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat watches at this time. So we can take precious protector and Kechara Forest Retreat wherever we go and be blessed everytime we see what time it is. 
I am perfecting the designs with a great team and will update when done but these are just some samples that arrived. 
Feast your eyes! 

Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
I am in the process of creating beautiful Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat watches at this time. So we can take precious protector and Kechara Forest Retreat wherever we go and be blessed everytime we see what time it is. I am perfecting the designs with a great team and will update when done but these are just some samples that arrived. Feast your eyes! Tsem Rinpoche
                        Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini\'s path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html  Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini's path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
Message to Tibetans in English
3 months ago
Message to Tibetans in English
Message to the Tibetans
3 months ago
Message to the Tibetans
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
3 months ago
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
3 months ago
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
4 months ago
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
4 months ago
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
4 months ago
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
4 months ago
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
4 months ago
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
4 months ago
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
4 months ago
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
4 months ago
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
5 months ago
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
Sir Edmund Hillary
5 months ago
Sir Edmund Hillary
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha\'s teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha's teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

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ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

  • March 28, 2017 09:11
    Lia asked: If the ushnisha is actually supposed to be a bump, then do we change the visualization of the top knot and replace it with a bump covered in hair or do we keep the ushnisha as the thangkas show?
    No reply yet
  • March 27, 2017 04:19
    Dongho asked: I have been reading on the tunes of certain sects and would like to ask on this. From what I've read, there are certain tunes to each sect and school of certain chants. Exactly where can I find the sheet music for these percussion and horns with the chants, such as to the one for invoking Kache Marpo or Dorje Shugden? Would it be possible to use school instruments for this?
    pastor answered: Dear Dongho, Thank you for your question, it is good to see you back and asking more questions. Yes you are right, there are differences in the tunes and chants between the lineages. The differences can vary significantly between the traditions, for example the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism is known for its extremely deep throat singing which is very powerful and is characterised by a low, booming voice, in contrast to the other traditions. Even within a particular tradition, there can be slight variations as to the manner in which the chants and tunes are performed. For example those monasteries are which are affiliated with Gyume will have one way of throat singing, where those affiliated with Gyuto will have another. As far as I am aware there is no professional sheet music for the rituals, most probably because the music is actually an integral part of the ritual itself. Therefore the music, tunes, and chants are all taught at the same time the ritual and prayers are. The tunes, and use of the instruments all have specific meanings, because they are considered to be offerings to the deities in the form of sound. The monasteries would not have copies of sheet music either, because sheet music is western practice. The use of ritual music within Tibetan Buddhism is more of one based on memory. In the Kechara organisation, the puja team was trained in such ritual instruments at the same time they learnt the particular ritual from monks from the monastery, such as the puja of Dorje Shugden. From what I saw of the training, the musical tunes, and use of instruments was not written down but taught experientially at the same time as the chanting. I have not come across any other instruments being used in pujas apart from the traditional ritual instruments, because even the instruments themselves have a specific meaning. That is not say that school instruments cannot be used. This is because, as long as the offering is sincere, the Buddhas and enlightened deities will accept it, and in turn you will generate great amounts of merit. Offerings should be made to the best of our ability, therefore if you do not have access to the ritual instruments, or do not know how to play them, but you know how to play other instruments, and use these instruments as offerings to the Buddhas during pujas, the amount of merit you generate will be the same. This is because you are sincere with your offering. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 26, 2017 02:14
    Kunga asked: Does the Gelug have Begtse a protector? If so, could you please provide a sadhana for him here?
    pastor answered: Dear Kunga, Yes the Dharma protector Begtse exists within the Gelug tradition. He is also known as Chamsing. Begtse’s practice stems from India and was introduced to Tibet and therefore Tibetan Buddhism by the translator Nyen Lotsawa. Marpa Lotsawa also practiced Begtse, and so the practice exists in the Kagyu traditions. This practice was eventually transmitted to Sachen Kunga Nyingpo, the first of the five patriarchs of the Sakya tradition, who were the founding fathers of that tradition. Over time the practice of Begtse was incorporated into the Gelug tradition, founded by Lama Tsongkhapa, and was notably practiced by the 1st and 2nd Dalai Lamas. Over time the practice gained popularity within the lineage, especially when it spread to Mongolia. There the practice became an important one within the lineage as upheld there. Begtse is also affectionately known as the Dharma protector of Mongolia, because his practice is so popular there. If I am not mistaken, there is an oracle of Begtse in Mongolia as well. There is a mistaken account that the practice originated around the time of the 3rd Dalai Lama, with the subjugation of a Mongolian war god, but Begtse was definitely practiced before that time in the Gelug, Kagyu and Sakya traditions. While the practice of Begtse is very effective, I have not come across the practice of Begtse in my personal practice, therefore I do not have access to the Begtse sadhana to provide to you. Instead Begtse is propitiated in prayers that incorporate many other Dharma protectors, and Begtse is also considered one of the nine protectors of the Hayagriva (Tamdrin) cycle of tantric teachings. Therefore Begtse is included in the Dharma protector sections of the Hayagriva tantras. Surrounding Begtse are his sister, Sing Ma, and his main minister, Le Khan Mar Po. His inner retinue comprises of eight butchers who wield copper swords in their right hands and skull-cups full of blood in their left hands. They are portrayed as naked and are very ugly. His outer retinue comprises a further twenty-one butchers, who hold copper swords in their right hands, and this time, the entrails of butchered enemies. They wear the skins humans and oxen as clothes, with ornaments made from human bone. While this may seem violent, Begtse is actually a very powerful and beneficial protector, who helps practitioners clear their obstacles and create conducive conditions for their spiritual evolution. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 24, 2017 20:12
    Azair asked: Venerable Rinpoche, I am doing a study in Kalachakra Tantra and I've heard from most of the lama's too that if you practice the Kalachakra Tantra, you'll be able to take control of your next rebirth. Ofcourse, it has been said that we will get our rebirth according to our Karma and desires but whether those dreams will get fulfilled will depend upon the actions that we take in this life. Thus, practicing the Kalachakra(till the end) after initiation will give you the opportunity to take rebirth anywhere you desire regardless of your Karma. My question is that, is there some truth in this statement.? Does this statement hold true for other tantra practices, such as Vajrayogini Tantra, Ghuyasamaja Tantra, Heruka Tantra, etc. I would really really like to know. Thankyou in anticipation, regards, Azair
    pastor answered: Dear Azair, Thank you for your question. Yes there is truth to this statement, both from a scriptural perspective and also by example, as the great masters have shown us. This is a unique feature of all Anuttarayoga Tantras or Highest Yoga Tantras, which Kalachakra, Vajrayogini, Guhyasama and Heruka are all examples of. This category of tantric practice can actually lead a practitioner to full enlightenment in this very lifetime. Even if enlightenment is not reached, very high levels of attainment can be reached nonetheless. This includes the ability to take control over your next rebirth. This is primarily engaged in so that the practitioner is born in an environment where they can eventually pick up their practice and further their spiritual path to enlightenment, or in order to be born in a place where they can benefit sentient beings the most, as part of the spiritual journey over many lifetimes. One of the reasons such an ability is very necessary on the spiritual path, is that usual death and rebirth occurs at the mercy of ones karma, specifically what is known as the ‘throwing karma’ or the karma that dictates what sort of rebirth a person is going to take. This opens up at the time of ordinary death, which most people have no control over. During the death process, many of our disturbing emotions will arise. Whichever of these is the strongest at the point of death triggers open a latent karmic potential, which becomes the ‘throwing karma’ and dictates where we are going to take rebirth and if that life will generally be full of suffering or not. Within Anuttarayoga Tantra, one of the key points of practice is to prepare for one’s death. This is done by simulating the dying process during one’s meditations, so that one becomes familiar with it. At the most pivotal part of this process, one practices achieving either the rainbow body or great bliss (in the case of the father tantras); or clear light (in the case of mother tantras). The tantras themselves are not defined in terms of the gender of the central deity, but by the method used to gain enlightenment. This is either the rainbow body/great bliss (classified as male, therefore labelled ‘father’) or clear light (classified as female, therefore labelled ‘mother’). Non-dual tantras such as the Kalachakra tantra can employ either of the two methods, a mixture of both, or alternate methods. In the case of superior practitioners, due to the power of their practice, they can achieve either of these two methods in their current body. Since they have familiarised themselves with the dying process, and a particular method of practice, they can also achieve enlightenment during their physical death. The great Lama Tsongkhapa is said to have achieved enlightenment at the moment of physical death, using the second of these. For other practitioners, they may not be able to achieve this either in their meditations while they are alive, or during the death process. However because they have familiarised themselves with the dying process, they remain in complete concentration at the time of death, not allowing any disturbing emotions to arise. Due to this level of concentration, meditation and awareness during the dying process, they are able to control where they next take rebirth. This is evident in the tantric scriptures themselves, and the life stories of many masters, who can state exactly where, when and to whom they will take their next rebirth, as they are in full control of the dying and rebirth process. There is a type of meditation called ‘thukdam’ which has been translated into ‘death meditation’. This is a final meditation some masters choose to engage in. During this meditation, the master themselves consciously begin the physical dying process themselves, engage in the meditation of dissolving the winds into the heart centre and remain in the most pivotal part of the death process, the mind of clear light of death. During this point they engage in meditations, either the methods of the father or mother tantras as mentioned previously, and or consciously choose where they are to next take rebirth. They can remain in this death meditation for long periods of time, days at an end, in which their consciousness has not yet left their body, although for all intents and purposes they are dead according to medical science, e.g. they have no heartbeat. At the end of their meditation, a drop of blood will be emitted from their nostril, and their head will slump over a little. Masters who engage in this meditation usually sit in full meditation posture, and their body remain supple and soft even though they have passed away from a medical point of view. I hope this brief explanation helps. Thank you.
  • March 23, 2017 23:01
    Brad asked: What is the significance of offering the Seven precious emblems of royalty to the Buddhas and enlightened Dharma Protectors? What are we symbolically offering up?
    pastor answered: Dear Brad, Thank you for your question. The ‘saptaratna’ or seven precious emblems represent on the one hand the ultimate state of temporal power, and on the other hand the ultimate spiritual attainments that we can achieve. By offering these to the Buddhas, we are actually creating the causes to achieve what they represent. Therefore it is good to know the meaning of each, so we can understand what we are creating the causes for by offering them up: Please see below for an explanation of the seven royal emblems: 1. The Precious Wheel: a thousand spoked wheel, representing the universal power of the Buddhas, as well as the teachings of the thousand Buddhas of our aeon. It is represented by the Dharmachakra, symbolising the ‘turning of the wheel’ or teaching of the Noble Eightfold Path. It is a symbol of a universal emperor’s spiritual and temporal power. It is also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect mindfulness, especially that of our own mind, thoughts, delusions and afflictions. 2. The Precious Jewel: an eight sided wish-granting gem, which fulfils all the needs of a universal emperor. This jewel has eight special qualities: it illuminates the night sky for hundreds of leagues; it is cooling when the temperature is hot and warming when the temperature is cold; it makes manifest whatever the holder wants; when thirsty it causes a fresh-water spring to appear; it has the ability to control the nagas, and other supernatural beings, as well as preventing natural disasters such as storms, floods, etc.; it gives off multi-coloured lighted which heals the various mental and emotional afflictions; it cures all illnesses; and it ensures that one dies a natural death, not an untimely one. It is a symbol of a universal emperor’s spiritual and temporal power. It is also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect mindfulness, or perfect discrimination, so one knows what to abandon and what to keep in the mindstream during the spiritual journey to enlightenment. 3. The Precious Queen: the most beautiful and virtuous of all women. She is described as a goddess who is the epitome of someone: with devotion; without jealousy; who is the embodiment of fertility; who works for the welfare of all beings; who possess feminine wisdom; speaks the truth; not attract to sensual pleasures or material possessions; and does not have false views. She is adored by all. She also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect effort. This is necessary to keep meditating until one gains spiritual attainments. 4. The Precious Minister: who has sharp intelligence, patience, and the ability to give wise counsel to the emperor. He is so attuned to the emperor that even before the emperor has spoken, the minister is already carrying out his command. He only wishes to support the Dharma, help sentient beings, and is an excellent strategist. He also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect joy. This is also akin to the attainment of the first bodhisattva level, because you have come to an understanding of your own mind, which is like pouring ice-cold water into boiling water. The water stops boiling, as does the thoughts, projections, and delusions in the mind. He represents the path of the bodhisattva. 5. The Precious Elephant: who has the strength of a thousand normal elephants. He is white, with the perfect features that an elephant could have. He is majestic, graceful, and gentle, but in battle is fearsome, fearless and unyielding. He communicates with the emperor through a telepathic link. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect adaptability. This is important, as one needs to be able to adapt to the various mental afflictions as they arise, and suitably counter them. 6. The Precious Horse: who has all the marks of a celestial horse. Known as wind-horse, he is able to travel extremely fast, and can circumambulate the entire universe three time in just a single day. He is never fearful or startled, never makes a sound when galloping, and has extremely soft hairs on his body. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is single-pointed concentration. This is important because without this form of concentration, once cannot engage in the analytical meditations that lead to an understanding of emptiness, and therefore enlightenment. 7. The Precious General: who has mastered the arts of war and always wins in battle. He wears battle armour and holds many different weapons. He tries to avoid battle, but when necessary fights, and never gives up until he has won. He is fearless, and courageous in carrying out the emperors commands and ensures the emperors army carries out their duties. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect equanimity. This is because he overcomes all warfare, which is akin to the battle between things were are attached to and things we have an aversion for in our minds. In short, what you are offering up is the highest of all temporal treasures and abilities, as well as the entire path of the Dharma. Doing so creates the causes for you to receive all of this on your spiritual journey towards enlightenment. I hope this helps. Thank you.
View All Questions

CHAT PICTURES

Pastor Yek Yee assisted by Puja Team blessed and conducted a puja during an outcall house blessing. Lucy Yap
yesterday
Pastor Yek Yee assisted by Puja Team blessed and conducted a puja during an outcall house blessing. Lucy Yap
Butterlamp offering to Lama Tsongkhapa in Kechara Forest Retreat
yesterday
Butterlamp offering to Lama Tsongkhapa in Kechara Forest Retreat
Kechara Sunday Dharma School teachers and volunteers outing session. Stella,
3 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School teachers and volunteers outing session. Stella,
Dorje Shugden the powerful World Peace Protector taking full trance in an oracle.
3 days ago
Dorje Shugden the powerful World Peace Protector taking full trance in an oracle.
Visitors have the opportunity to pay respect to this holy statue, in Kechara Forest Retreat, Wisdom Hall!
3 days ago
Visitors have the opportunity to pay respect to this holy statue, in Kechara Forest Retreat, Wisdom Hall!
Group photo of Kechara Sunday Dharma School teachers and trainer after the Teachers Training program in 2016. Stella, KSDS
4 days ago
Group photo of Kechara Sunday Dharma School teachers and trainer after the Teachers Training program in 2016. Stella, KSDS
Kechara Sunday Dharma School teachers attended the weekly Blogchat Dharma sharing session every Monday. Stella, KSDS
4 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School teachers attended the weekly Blogchat Dharma sharing session every Monday. Stella, KSDS
Kechara Sunday Dharma School students and parents made a day trip to Kechara forest Retreat during school holidays. What a good way to spend a weekend. Stella, KSDS
4 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School students and parents made a day trip to Kechara forest Retreat during school holidays. What a good way to spend a weekend. Stella, KSDS
Kechara Sunday Dharma School students, Kayene and her brother Karlson made a day trip to visit Kechara Forest Retreat with their parents. Stella, KSDS
4 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School students, Kayene and her brother Karlson made a day trip to visit Kechara Forest Retreat with their parents. Stella, KSDS
Lovely visitors in Kechara Forest Retreat, Wisdom Hall
4 days ago
Lovely visitors in Kechara Forest Retreat, Wisdom Hall
Prostration is a practice to show reverence to the Three Jewels. Let the children have this practice at their young age, Alice Tay, KSDS
4 days ago
Prostration is a practice to show reverence to the Three Jewels. Let the children have this practice at their young age, Alice Tay, KSDS
Teacher Stella together with WOAH Camp young participants to check the broken egg. Alice Tay, KSDS
4 days ago
Teacher Stella together with WOAH Camp young participants to check the broken egg. Alice Tay, KSDS
Great to see Dian and Wen Xin tried to do breath meditation slowly. Alice Tay, KSDS
4 days ago
Great to see Dian and Wen Xin tried to do breath meditation slowly. Alice Tay, KSDS
Happy faces of Teacher Irene together with KSDS's youngest age group. Alice Tay, KSDS
4 days ago
Happy faces of Teacher Irene together with KSDS's youngest age group. Alice Tay, KSDS
Most of the KSDS students like drawing and discuss about their drawing. Alice Tay, KSDS
4 days ago
Most of the KSDS students like drawing and discuss about their drawing. Alice Tay, KSDS
The yearly gotong royong event on Malaysia Day. Great day to contribute back to the society. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
The yearly gotong royong event on Malaysia Day. Great day to contribute back to the society. Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS students, parents and teachers participated in food packaging for Kechara Soup Kitchen. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
KSDS students, parents and teachers participated in food packaging for Kechara Soup Kitchen. Lin Mun KSDS
The team is setting up the tent and games for the Halloween party. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
The team is setting up the tent and games for the Halloween party. Lin Mun KSDS
Students of SRJK (C) enjoyed themselves so much during Halloween 2016. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Students of SRJK (C) enjoyed themselves so much during Halloween 2016. Lin Mun KSDS
Khai Te is very talented in drawing. Look at the van. It has a Kechara logo. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Khai Te is very talented in drawing. Look at the van. It has a Kechara logo. Lin Mun KSDS
Students listening to Teacher Grace attentively during WOAH camp 2016. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Students listening to Teacher Grace attentively during WOAH camp 2016. Lin Mun KSDS
Happy visitor invited Dorje Shugden back home.
7 days ago
Happy visitor invited Dorje Shugden back home.
1 week ago
Join our Meditate in Nature Programme 2017! Here are the Dates:
1 week ago
Join our Meditate in Nature Programme 2017! Here are the Dates:
When we love others without projections, we truly LOVE. ~ Tsem Rinpoche . YEO KWAI GIN ( KKSG )
1 week ago
When we love others without projections, we truly LOVE. ~ Tsem Rinpoche . YEO KWAI GIN ( KKSG )
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