Ji Gong – The Crazy Monk of China

By | Sep 29, 2016 | Views: 2,067
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Ji Gong, the Chinese mahasiddha

Ji Gong, the Chinese mahasiddha

The 11th Century Chinese monk Daoji is commonly known by the name Ji Gong. He was a Chan Buddhist monk of the Southern Song Dynasty in ancient China. He was born with the name of Li Xiuyuan. Daoji was also known by the name Hu Yin which meant ‘Recluse from the Lake’ and Elder Fang Yuan, ‘Squared Circle’.

The image of Ji Gong is romanticised as a dishevelled monk wearing a monk’s hat emblazoned with the Chinese character ‘Buddha’ while carrying a worn-out reed fan in one hand and a wine gourd in the other. After his passing, Ji Gong became somewhat of a folk hero and minor deity in Chinese Taoist folk religion and later became the Buddhist figure that he is known as today. He is frequently mentioned in Chinese folktales, koans (Chan Buddhist parables) and is sometimes invoked by temple mediums to assist in people’s affairs.

Mahasiddhas are great yogis who engaged in tantric practices and attained great realisations

Mahasiddhas are great yogis who engaged in tantric practices and attained great realisations

Ji Gong is said to have possessed supernatural powers that arose due to his spiritual attainments. He would often aid the poor with his abilities and stand up to injustices inflicted upon the downtrodden. However, he was also known for his wild and eccentric behavior, especially for his love of alcohol and meat which were considered sacrilegious amongst the Buddhist clergy of his time. This is consistent with the tantric tradition of Buddhism.

Although tantra never really gained mainstream acceptance in China, many aspects of Ji Gong’s life seem to be consistent with that of a great tantric adept – a mahasiddha. The tradition of mahasiddhas arose in India during the later period of Buddhism when great practitioners led the life of wandering yogins who engaged in tantric sadhanas at charnel grounds and achieved great realisations. These itinerant yogins are frequently characterised by their often-controversial behaviour of drinking alcohol, eating meat and so forth.

As far as Ji Gong is concerned, there is no evidence to suggest that he ever received tantric transmissions or ever practiced tantric sadhanas. Nonetheless, his behaviour has all the hallmarks of a mahasiddha. This is probably due to the fact that his mahasiddha-like behaviour was because he operated from the ultimate truth. This is in contrast with the rest of us, who operate from the standpoint of conventional truth.

Conventional truth focuses mainly on the ordinary matters of daily lives, which are centred on our ego and attachment. In Buddhism, there are many conventional truths and they differ according to our background, upbringing and experience. People hang on to these truths but, in reality, they have no real concrete basis as they are impermanent and are based on values we project on them. On the other hand, the ultimate truth is singular and based upon the nature of reality, which is that all things are free of inherent existence. In Buddhism, this is the highest wisdom and the ultimate truth.

One can achieve this view of the ultimate truth through the tantric path or through other methods such as the beautiful Zen/Chan tradition of Buddhism. Hence, those of us with the conventional view would perceive a great practitioner’s behaviour as controversial or crazy, since we perceive his actions based on our conventional perception and our limited view. The mahasiddha example and explanation is used not so much as to suggest Ji Gong was a tantric practitioner but to shed light on the meaning of his controversial actions.

 

The Life of Ji Gong

Ji Gong’s real name was Li Xiuyuan and he was born to a retired military strategist, Li Maochun. Before he was born, a Feng Shui master told his parents that they did not have the fortune to have children. Distraught from this revelation, the parents embarked on a pilgrimage to various temples.

A mural painting at Lingyin temple that illustrates the ordination of Daoji (Ji Gong)

A mural painting at Lingyin temple that illustrates the ordination of Daoji (Ji Gong)

While the parents-to-be were praying and making offerings at a temple which had a prayer hall to 500 Arhats, a statue of the Arhat Taming Dragon fell off the altar on its own accord. The mother was later found to be pregnant and she recalled the incident of the falling statue to mean that her unborn child was, in reality, the incarnation of the Arhat Taming Dragon.

A lively statue of the Arhat Taming Dragon

A lively statue of the Arhat Taming Dragon

In his youth, Ji Gong led a comfortable life until the untimely demise of his parents when he was 18. From then on, Li was sent to Hangzhou and was ordained as a monk at Lingyin Temple. He studied at the feet of the great Vinaya master Huiyuan and was given the monastic name of Daoji. Unlike many of his peers in the monastery, Daoji did not always adhere to the traditional monastic code of conduct. Somehow, he developed a penchant for eating meat and drinking wine while his robes were often dirty and tattered due to his constant travelling. He was also often seen stumbling as he walked because he was highly intoxicated.

It was due to his unrestrained behaviour that he created uproar in the temple. Some of the monks called for him to be expelled. His teacher somehow knew who he was and defended him by saying, “The Gate of Buddhism is so vast! Why is this crazy monk not forgiven?” Therefore, the monks were frustrated and resorted to calling him ‘Crazy Monk’. After his teacher passed away, he was forced to move to Jingci Temple.

Daoji however, had a good heart and was always on the lookout to assist and extend a helping hand to ordinary folks. There are many accounts of him healing the sick and fighting against injustice inflicted on the downtrodden. Unfortunately, such behaviour was at odds with what was expected of a monk. The monks at his temple were bewildered and frustrated with his behaviour and the elders finally decided to expel Daoji from the monastery. From then on, Daoji wandered from place to place and always strove to help those he met.

Ji Gong entered Jingci Monastery after the passing of his teacher, the Abbot Huiyuan

Ji Gong entered Jingci Monastery after the passing of his teacher, the Abbot Huiyuan

It is said that while engaging in his meditations, Daoji attained supernatural powers due to his practice. Eventually, people began to recognise the fact that his eccentric, benevolent nature was because he was actually an incarnation of a bodhisattva, or even an emanation of an arhat. Eventually, he became widely recognised by many people to be the incarnation of the Arhat Taming Dragon, one of the 18 Arhats, a Chinese equivalent of the 16 Arhats. Daoji passed away at Jingci Monastery in the year 1207. It was said that he left this verse before he passed away:

Sixty years’ life in disorder
From east to west, I fight always
Today, I review and return
All is same as those before

His remains were interred in Running Tiger Spring Area and a special monastery named Jigong Tayuan was founded in honour of the memory people had of this great master.

 

The Incredible Tales of Ji Gong

JiGong-12

The following are a few stories told of Ji Gong that are immortalised in books, songs, poetry, plays and artwork. Each unique story reveals an aspect of Ji Gong’s eccentric manner in which he delivers the teachings and benefits people. Hence, it is no surprise how intertwined Ji Gong is with traditional Chinese culture.

 

The Buddha Statue

Ji Gong always sought to teach people not to jump to conclusions based on external appearances. On one occasion, Ji Gong and his students were trying to stay warm during a particularly wintery night.

JiGong-13The cold was so bad that Ji Gong had to dismantle the wooden altar they used for worship and start a fire out of it. One of his students was horrified and cried out, “What are you doing? That’s our sacred altar!” Then Ji Gong took the statue of the Buddha and chopped it into two pieces. The student exclaimed, “You are cutting the Buddha! Don’t do that!” Ji Gong answered, “This statue is not the Buddha himself. This is just a piece of wood.”

In doing so, he wanted to teach his students how to let go of attachment and that what really matters is our true intent at heart. Wood decays over time but compassion is timeless and it touches people at the deepest level. It was not important to Ji Gong whether or not a person appeared to have great virtue because appearances meant nothing to him. He was only interested in the qualities of one’s heart.

 

Summoning Logs from a Well

JiGong-08

Ji Gong in Xiyuan Temple, Suzhou, China

While he was living at Jingci Temple, Ji Gong was appointed as the scribe monk of the temple. On one occasion, a fire broke out and destroyed the main prayer hall of the temple. It was then that the abbot turned to him to procure large quantities of wood for restoration works.

Instead of searching for suppliers, Ji Gong slept for three days because he was intoxicated. Upon waking, he shouted at the monks, “The wood is here, take it from the well!” Large logs were miraculously transported into the well of the temple continuously until there were enough logs for rebuilding the prayer hall. These days, there is a Shenmu Well in Jingci Temple that is purportedly the very same well.

 

Stopping a Landslide

This story highlights Ji Gong’s creative manner in which he saves people from imminent danger. On one occasion, Ji Gong was walking towards Lingyin Temple when he suddenly felt a jolt right in his heart. Immediately he knew something was amiss so he used his clairvoyance to investigate. He realised that a landslide was about to come crashing down the side of a mountain onto the nearby village.

Alarmed at what he saw, Ji Gong began shouting to the townspeople and screaming for them to run for their lives. But the people just laughed and dismissed him as “the crazy old monk” who was drunk as usual and screamed for no apparent reason. Ji Gong realised he was not taken seriously and so he looked around and spotted a wedding procession passing through the village. This gave him an idea. He barged into the procession and snatched the bride, threw her over his shoulders and ran down the road out of town.

This caught everybody by surprise and the worried groom and wedding guests screamed for everyone to chase after the kidnapper. Soon, the entire village was chasing after them. As soon as the maddening crowd ran past the village gates, a loud crash was heard behind them. Everything behind them came down in a huge crash. Huge rocks came crashing down the side of the mountain, shattering rooftops and flattening buildings in an instant.

Ji Gong turned around and he noticed that back in the village, a little girl had been left behind and a gigantic boulder was thundering towards her. He immediately lifted his palm at the boulder and it fell aside. Today this hill is known as Hangzhou’s “Flying Peak” and it has since become a tourist attraction. In fact, visitors today can see the imprint of a hand sunk into the base of the rock bearing testament to Ji Gong’s psychic abilities.

 

Saving a Suicidal Old Man

On another occasion, Ji Gong came across an old man who was on the verge of hanging himself from a tree. The man tied a noose to a branch and was just about to place his head through it when suddenly he saw Ji Gong who was dressed in rags come by. Ji Gong was muttering to himself, “Die! Die! Everything is over after I am dead. Dying is better than living. I will hang myself now.” Ji Gong had a noose in hand and was just about to hang himself just next to the old man at the very same tree.

JiGong-10This puzzled the old man and he asked Ji Gong why a monk would want to commit suicide. Ji Gong explained that he was commissioned to raise money for the monastery’s renovation plans. He had begged for three years and accumulated a sizeable amount but on his way back to the monastery, he stopped by a bar, got drunk and was robbed of all the money. He was embarrassed and dare not return to the monastery so he decided to end his life here. The old man easily believed his story and said, “Don’t worry, I happen to have some money left, which is of no use to me now.”

He gave Ji Gong five pieces of silver, which was all the money he had. Ji Gong took the silver and said, “Your silver does not shine as much as what I used to have but I will take them.” So he took the money and walked away with a big smile. Giving away his money did not change a thing for the old man so he continued his plans to hang himself. But Ji Gong returned not long after and the old man initially thought that the monk had returned to thank him for the money.

But Ji Gong said, “I see you’ve got some nice clothes there. Why don’t you give that to me so you can nakedly leave this world just as you nakedly came?” The old man was stunned with the monk’s audacity and he looked up to the sky and sighed. He said, “Why is it so hard to die as it is to live? How can I end my misery?”

Ji Gong said, “Look, after your death, the wild dogs will come to tear you up and your nice clothes would be wasted. But if you give it to me now, I will make good use of it.” Ji Gong went on to tease and play with the desperate man until the latter became amused and started to laugh along with Ji Gong. The old man soon found this eccentric monk quite friendly and extremely entertaining. He started to open his heart and told Ji Gong his tragic story about how he lost his daughter. Soon, he had a change of heart and no longer wanted to commit suicide. Ji Gong eventually helped him to look for his daughter, and the story had a happy ending.

Ji Gong – The Crazy Monk of China

Ji Gong – The Crazy Monk of China

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Pastor David Lai
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About Pastor David Lai

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

David is a lover of Buddhist art and whenever he can, he shares his knowledge of the Dharma with everyone, giving frequent teachings and writing on his blog www.davidlai.me.
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44 Responses to Ji Gong – The Crazy Monk of China

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  1. Wan Wai Meng on Dec 11, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    Thank you for this story, very impressed with Ji Gong, who appears to transcends forms of buddhism, and cut right to the heart of things. My favourite story was of taking apart the altar so he and his students could stay warm, and not freeze to death.

  2. Vivian Ong on Nov 28, 2016 at 12:33 am

    Thank you Pastor David for sharing this article of Ji Gong. After reading this article only I realize the attainments that Ji Gong has and is a great mahasiddha. What other people think of him as a crazy monk does not stop him from helping people in his own special ways.

    With folded palms,
    Vivian

  3. Justin Cheah on Nov 8, 2016 at 11:58 pm

    Ji Gong is one of my favourite heroes during my childhood. It was then that i collected most imprints about Buddhism at my an early age by watching his series. Ji Gong taught be to be compassion and be always there to help someone. I feel the stories are nice to educate children from their young age to be exposed to Dharma, Compassion and Tantra. Ji Gong have a huge influence on small kids. Thank you Pastor David for sharing.

  4. TekLee on Oct 21, 2016 at 1:06 am

    Thank you Pastor David for sharing Ji Gong story. I read about Ji Gong stories when I was a kid, and watched his drama series. I like Ji Gong a lot. Especially his super natural power to help people and animal. However after reading this article, it let me know more about Ji Gong, like, there is no evidence to prove that is received tantric transmission, but his behaviour showed that he is a mahasiddha. This reminded me of crazy wisdom, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche that Pastor Han Nee told me. He did all sorts of worldly behaviour, but in the end, he brought Tibetan Buddhism to the west during that degenerated age in that era.
    I like the part “The Buddha Statue” in this article, it greatly reminded me everything we see from out side is only a form, a form that appear to people, what really matters is our true intent at heart. The true qualities is what that really matters in the end. Just like Rinpoche told us, we can keep learning Dharma, but applying it is the real transformation.
    Thank you again Pastor David for the article. With folded hands _/\_

  5. June Kang on Oct 16, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    The more I read on the story of Mahsiddhas, the more I can feel the compassion of the Buddha to save and liberate us. Buddha will be emanated in any form just to help us free from samsara world.
    To save the sentient being, Ji Gong with his wisdom to spread the Dharma in unconventional way. He was known for helping those that in need and sometimes even saving their lives. I like to read his story since I was small child, like to see him using his wisdom to help and save people. At one time I wish I have his wisdom. When I grown up I forgotten all this.

    Just like the story of stopping a Landslide that normal people will not think of snatched the bride and ran down the rod out of town to save peoples life, because to us this is a crazy way to do it. However this is actually the best way at that moment. This is the wisdom and compassion of the Buddha.

    However sad to say that some peoples don’t pay attention of his kindness and wisdom but only focus on a Buddhist monk who eat meat and drink alcohol and use this as an excuse to eat meat and drink alcohol also.

    Also, Ji Gong remind me the first time I read the story Chögyam Trungpa, I also asked why he behave like that, he openly smoked, drank, and had intimate relations with students . But this is how Chögyam Trungpa bringing Tibetan Buddhism to the west with his “ Crazy Wisdom”. And his reincarnation has been recognised. I like what he said this
    “Becoming “awake” involves seeing our confusion more clearly.”

    Thank you Pastor David for the wonderful post.

  6. Pema Thinley on Oct 15, 2016 at 2:43 am

    Amazing story….. Amazing how the realised beings break our wrong perceptions. It reminds me of the story of The Divine Madman. They appear crazy to us because we have been always self-centered and perceived through that same lens. Amaing _()_

    Thank you lah

  7. Pastor Antoinette on Oct 15, 2016 at 12:09 am

    The crazy old monk stories seem to be very popular as i saw in the comments below. His life is amazing, starting from his birth to parents who were told not to have a child. How compassionate and wise Ji Gong was becomes obvious by reading the stories.

    It is not what we see on the outside that makes the difference. Our motive and selfless action is much more important. This was true at Ji Gong’s time and it is still the same today.

    Thank you Pastor David for sharing about the Crazy and Wise Monk of China.

  8. nicholas on Oct 14, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    A true Boddhisatva will often return to samsara in different form to benefit people. In this case I believe Ji Gong manifest in such form to help many people with his crazy wisdom. We can’t really judge someone with our naked eye but we can see their action resulted in the ultimate result. This type of great wisdom being will have odd or rather crazy in our term in performing their action to help people. I know it sound weird but I believe they know what they are doing and I feel his behaviour in such is to get close to people or helping people in a subtle way.

  9. shelly tai on Oct 14, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David for sharing this story with us. I have come across his story when I was young , I remember one very significants is he always drunk and he act very out of norm, is kind of funny to watch and I like it especially he will help whoever in danger or being treated unfairly he is like hero . In those day when I watch it is more for entertainment but if think back this what some of the highly attain master will act out of conventional way because our normal mind will perceive as wrong and is not like that so after knowing the Dharma that we know this is because our wrong perception toward the thing we think must be like this and cannot be different so is our wrong perception there is nothing wrong with acting different from the norm the most important is correct motivation.

  10. Alice Tay on Oct 13, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    I came across about Ji Gong’s story since I was very young age at about 7 or 8. Ji Gong is very well known with his dirty robes, eating meat and drinking wine. However, many people believed that Ji Gong has supernatural powers and with his kindness and compassion, he would stand up and help the poor or the misfortune group.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David sharing this interesting article and let me have further thoughts about Ji Gong’s often-controversial behaviour of drinking alcohol, eating meat and so forth which is because of he operated out from the conventional truth in order to achieve the ultimate truth.

  11. Joy on Oct 11, 2016 at 3:37 am

    Thank you Pastor David for writing this blog article of one of the many Chinese folktales told as we were growing up. There were even a hit Hong Kong series which tells of how Ji Gong help others.

    He is no doubt a mahasiddha who like you said were more keen and operated on the ultimate truth! And I guess that was what captivated and attracted me and my sister to watch the series even though it was in Chinese and we did not understand it (thank goodness there were subtitles). You could say that he was the first Buddhist monk I ever came across (on TV) and really liked his unconventional style. In the hit series it tells of how he helps and always stand up for the destitute and those who were weaker.

    So yes I very much believed that he was an Bodhisattva. I guess I’ve always like anything “unconventional” and his tales and stories were. And like you said he was not interested in how others perceived him, instead about developing and being compassionate. In a funny little way Ji Gong kinda reminds me of our Rinpoche’s unconventional skillful methods in teaching us Dharma and introducing Dharma to many of us, minus the dirty clothes. Thanks to your article now will come to know a little bit more about his background and how he became a monk.

  12. Paul Yap on Oct 9, 2016 at 10:35 am

    The legend of Ji Gong is always fascinating and very popular in every generations. The stories and tales of Ji Gong has been made into numerous movies, i think because Ji Gong has successfully show his compassion, kindness and miraculous power in helping and saving life, especially among the poor and needy, Ji Gong is like the western version of Robin Hood but with dharma knowledge and attainment. I like the story of Ji Gong very much. Ji Gong symbolised hope and kindness of dharma to the poor and underprivileged, the spirit of Ji Gong will continue to survive thru time cos nothing can destroyed that.

  13. Darren on Oct 6, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    Thank you Pastor David for the interesting article.

  14. Freon Tee on Oct 5, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    I like the story of Ji Gong since young. His unconventional of helping people was very much impressive. After i read story about Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, I thought both of them are very much the same. They have the crazy wisdom and both give dharma to people which break the point of view at that time.

    Ji Gong was born to a rich family and he is a very learned scholar. He was force to get married with a girl which he ran away at the nite of his wedding and became a monk. Monk life was never easy for Ji Gong, he was “bullied” all the time by the senior of the monastery, and even live life like a beggar. Even tho, he live in hard life, poor and homeless most of the time, but, he was always seem happy and have wisdom to help many people who needed him. He always gave some dharma to the person after he helps them.
    Ji Gong was quite proficient in the medicine and saved many people from death. He was known to give the pill that save life from rubbing his body’s “dust” .
    His story is very inspiring and he is known to be the reincarnation of the Arhat. I really like his story very much.

    Thank you Pastor David for this story. Nice one

  15. Lin Mun on Oct 4, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    This is a very interesting article on Ji Gong. I only knew about Ji Gong when I watched the HK drama series. Thought it was just a creation for the drama and never thought that this person really exist. I love that drama series.

    Ji Gong unconventional method in practising dharma may be portrayed to be crazy but I think it is because we always set a fixed expectation in everything and when it does not match to our expectation, then he is not accepted. What Ji Gong has done is to actually break out mindset to accept differences.

    Thank you Pastor David for sharing.

  16. Wei Theng on Oct 4, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    Thank you Pastor David for this interesting article on Ji Gong.

    Since young I love to watch the series of Ji Gong & stories of Ji Gong as I find that he always helping others and always teaches the bad guy a lesson. To me, he is a hero. 🙂

    Although he looks sloppy & appears to be crazy and always do things out of the norm, he is very kind and extended his helps always especially towards unfairness treatment.

    He also very wise and always says things that to prompt us to check out on our ego & attachment and always have a joyous smile!

    Ji Gong is one of my favourite movies & after reading this article, I can’t help but to google for his song again. 😛

    Here you are to share with all of you the Ji Gong song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1TK0Dj93o8

    Thanks again Pastor David! This really brings back all my great memories.

  17. Adeline Tan on Oct 4, 2016 at 1:46 am

    I have read Ji Gong comic books when i was very young,(in primary school),at that time i only thought that crazy drunken monk, one hand held the wine gourd and the other holding a worn out reed fan liked to show off his magic powers like the folktales. He can heal people miraculously, fighting against injustice and abilities to help the poor.All the stories were very entertaining and heartwarming in the end, without knowing that he is a mahasiddha, the re-incarnation of the ArhatTaming Dragon.
    I remembered quite some times back my ex-colleague told me his daughter of less than 2 years old sometimes has no apparent reasons can cry all night and almost every night, he went to consult the medium who took trance in Ji Gong and he brought
    some guinnese stout as offering there and after the trance, he then brought back some blessed water for his daughter to drink and it worked. In another case,my friend has chronic hands and wrists problems that doctor’s treatment is no longer effective she went to the medium who is a Taiwanese lady in her 50s stays near her house who take trance in Ji Gong every Saturday night for 2, 3 Saturdays, during the trance the medium massaged her hands and wrists with some cream , then her problems solved. As i can see the Ji Gong trance is still popular in some parts in our country. Thank you Pastor David for sharing this interesting article.

  18. Jason on Oct 3, 2016 at 2:26 am

    This is very interesting story about Ji Gong(济公).As I remembered,some people address Ji Gong Huo Fo(济公活佛)meant he is incarnation.After I read Pastor David’s article, now I know Ji Gong is incarnation of Arhat Taming Dragon.
    When I was younger age, I remembered that many people offered beer to Ji Gong to thanks Ji Gong helped them to overcome some difficulty or hardship in their live. Ji Gong always use his worn-out fan to touch people’s sickness part as blessing purpose.
    Ji Gong teach people less attachment to anythings in samsara while cultivate inner quality like compassion which will timeless benefit others. I did like the skillful means of Ji Gong to save people life.
    Thanks Pastor David for sharing Ji Gong’s story.

    Jason

  19. Datuk May on Oct 2, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Thank you, Pastor David, for this article of Ji Gong, the Crazy Monk of China. I really liked reading the following:

    ““You are cutting the Buddha! Don’t do that!” Ji Gong answered, “This statue is not the Buddha himself. This is just a piece of wood.”

    In doing so, he wanted to teach his students how to let go of attachment and that what really matters is our true intent at heart. ”

    I learnt from the above is that what we perceive are of no inherent value except for our perception and attachments to physical material things. However, sad to admit at my level, to be able to really be disrespectful to a Buddha statue is beyond me and that is all because I do not have the attainments to have such wisdom nor confidence to do so.

    Wonderful learning of emptiness and impermanence and that practise of the true meaning of Buddhism to have Bodhichitta and attainments is very clear.

  20. Pastor Han Nee on Oct 2, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Thank you P David for this interesting article on Ji Gong. There must be a generation gap, for I had never heard about Ji Gong when I was growing up and even later.Nonetheless, his “crazy” or “controversial” behaviour and his total disregard for his physical appearance are not exactly shocking. They are very much in keeping with the unconventional behavior of the Indian Mahasiddhas that we read about in the blogpost “The 84 Mahasiddhas”. Mahasiddha Virupa, for instance, drank alcohol and ate meat(pigeons’ meat!)and had “women” visiting him in the monastery until the late hours of the morning!

    They are highly realised beings. More than that Ji Gong, like the other Mahasiddhas, is a Bodhisattva.His seeming disregard and flouting of conventions and conventional norms, does not detract from his kindness and sincere altruistic wish to help all beings. He was truly creative and skillful in his ways of aiding others- the way he got a whole village of people to leave their village before the massive landslide came down on them which would have killed them all, the way he thwarted an old man’s attempt to commit suicide.

    Like yogins of old, he was not daunted by any seeming punishment imposed on him nor any hardship he encountered.He lived truly like a free spirit,not bound by conventional ideas of what a home should be or where to rest his weary head.

    Thank you once more for this story. A beautiful way to remind us that it is the heart that counts and deeds that matter.

  21. Wah Ying on Oct 1, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    I watched quite some of Ji Gong’s movies and tv drama when I was young. He is a popular and famous figure in the Chinese culture. After watching those shows, what I can recall about Ji Gong is he is a monk with controversial behaviours – drink alcohol and eating meat. One of the damous phrase which always mentioned “wine and meat go into my stomach, while Buddha remains in my heart”..however many misundertood that vows are actually not that important..

    With Pastor David’s write up Ji Gong’s controversial behaviours and shed light on the meaning of his controversial actions, by explaining them from the perspective of ultimate truth and conventional truth. The story about making Buddha statue and altar as firewood and the wisdom words of Ji Gong is very good to explain the concepts. Thank you.

    • Pastor David Lai on Oct 1, 2016 at 11:59 pm

      Wah Ying,
      No, wows and commitments are VERY important for our spiritual practice for those of us who are trying to achieve attainments. Without vows, we cannot achieve attainments. However, for someone who had already achieved attainments, vows are not that important because that person had already achieved great attainments and the role of vows had been fulfilled. Most attained masters continue to hold their vows and commitments to be an example and to be able to pass it down to others. For Ji Gong, he showed a mahasiddha behaviour to get closer to ppl he interacted with but that does not mean we can do the same and get the same result because we don’t have his attainments.

  22. Uncle Eddie on Oct 1, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Ji Gong was indeed an exceptionally, extraordinary and fearless Bodhisattva. A diety in a Chinese Taoist Folklore religion, he showed unwavering courage and great care to work for the general cause and benefits of all poor and desolate people. Always like to aid especially the poor, meek, old and the deserted. With whatever abilities and supernatural powers that he possessed, he stood up for the down-trodden and the devasted. Recognised by many people, he was said to be the incarnation of the Chinese Taoist Arhat, named Taming Dragon, one of the 18 arhats, a Chinese equivalent of the 16 arhats. Well known for his wild and eccentric behaviour, particular for his love for alcohol and meat, he was often seen stumbling as he walked, due to his intoxication! It was said that he passed away at Jingei Monastery in the year 1207, but, still vividly remembered and dearly loved by many till today. Om Mani Padme Hung.

  23. Fong on Oct 1, 2016 at 12:37 am

    Most of the Chinese in Malaysia are familiar with Ji Gong but may not know much about him. The many stories about Ji Gong is really interesting.

    What I found interesting was the correlation between Ji Gong and the Mahasiddhas of India. So, maybe tantra did make it’s way to China without it being fully recognized or known widely.

    Like most Malaysian born Chinese, I had my fair share of witnessing trances of Ji Gong and some vague stories about him. So, I found this article very interesting and intriguing.

    Thank you, Pastor David for a very interesting article.

    • Pastor David Lai on Oct 2, 2016 at 12:42 am

      I did discuss the subject of Tantra in China in the article. Tantra was transmitted in China but it did not take off and died out. The manner in which Ji Gong operated from is not that he is a tantric practitioner as there is no evidence that points in that direction. Rather it was Ji Gong’s own attainments and realization arising from his formal meditation practice. Attainments does not require tantric pratice to arise and can arise through Sutric prctices as well. However, it is a lot easier through the path of tantra.

  24. Samfoonheei on Sep 30, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    Thank you Pastor David Lai for this interesting article. Since young i always like to hear stories of Ji Gong, even watch TV show about him and would like to go to Ji Gong temples .That time i would not understand much but do as my parents told .But now after reading these article i begin to understand better. Ji Gong is said to have possessed supernatural powers that he would often help the poor or anyone who needed help with his abilities. In Taoist religion,Ji Gong is well known as today.I have seen a Taoist medium in trance as Ji Gong. I have heard many interesting accounts of him helping those who need his help. Ji Gong has a good, kind heart and appearance should not be judge after all.Never judge a person by appearance…there is a quote what is important is inside..
    Thanks again …i do really enjoyed reading Ji Gong biography.and a reminder for us .. our mindset and motivation to benefit people when practicing Dharma.

  25. Sofi on Sep 30, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Ji Gong really shows us how the Bodhisattva works unconventionally to help us. From the moment he took birth, he helps his parents fulfil their wishes and went on to help others, trying to open their seed of Bodhicitta nature and to transform their ignorance. As So Kin Hoe had aptly described, Ji Gong lived his live as a teaching to others.

    I had loved to watch the Ji Kong series on television as a young kid and loved how he used his abilities to help others in times of need. He was unconventional and one could never expect what he would do next. To cure the sick, he would rub his armpits to form a dirt ball and ask the sick to eat. Of course, they will be repelled at first but having no choice, they ate and recovered. I guess this has parallel to our dharma path. We seek our Guru for cure to our worldly sickness and yet when we are given the practices, we become lazy until we realise there is no other way out of ignorance, then we practice and hopefully gain the mind transformation out of our misery.

    I once went for a trance session where Ji Kong would drink all sorts of alcholic drinks as the people offered and loved to challenge him to drink. No matter how much he drank under trance, after “Ji Kong” leaves, the medium is never drunk. Under trance, Ji Kong is very jovial and also rub his armpits for “medicine pill” to give to the sick. Quite fascinating to watch.

    Thank you Pastor David for this interesting article of our legendary Ji Kong who breaks the idea of conventional Arhats.

  26. Valentina Suhendra on Sep 30, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Dear Pastor David,

    Thank you for the interesting and well-written article. I read about the story of Ji Gong when I was a child as a TV series so reading this story has brought up so many sweet memories of my dad and I watching TV together.

    Even as a child, I noticed that behind the drunkeness and dirty appearance, Ji Gong was very kind-hearted and that is the reason my dad and I were glued to the TV. I guess he wants me to understand that outer appearance may not be the most important.

    The story helps us to understand that we should not have projection of what a Mahasiddha should or should not be. In fact in all aspects of life, if we control our projection, we will be a much happier person.

    Valentina

  27. Kenn Lai on Sep 30, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Nice article Pastor David Lai and how about Bodhidharma(Dak mo)he originated from India who establish a Shaolin in China? Daoji is a compassionate buddha is like emmergency in needed.

  28. So Kin Hoe (KISG) on Sep 30, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Thank you Pastor David Lai for sharing the biography and stories of Ji Gong. The stories of Ji Gong have reminded me that we should not yearn to look good, feel comfortable, dress well or live in abundance when we practise Dharma and most importantly is our sincerity and purity of our mind and motivation to benefit people around us without hoping for any return.

    The physical appearance of Ji Gong has taught us about emptiness as everything will fade away at the time of our death. Ji Gong’s wild and eccentric behaviour indirectly reflect on how limited our minds work that we should not judge anyone based on the outer appearance without deeper understanding on the inner level, before drawing to a conclusion.

    May the stories of Ji Gong able to reach and help many people, who are in need of short Dharma teachings that can open up their minds to a higher level of understanding in the truth.

    • Kenn Lai on Sep 30, 2016 at 11:43 am

      NIce comment So Kin Hoe deeper understanding about Dharma towards any buddha is the word.

    • Pastor David Lai on Sep 30, 2016 at 8:41 pm

      Hi Kin Hoe,
      That’s very good but how I would see Ji Gong is that he is a Buddhist master who place no importance on appearances and on ordinary attachment. He rather be of benefit to others than to look good, feel comfortable, dress well or live in abundance. Why would he do that? He thinks like that because he had realize that all these things do not really make us happy and the little short term satisfaction and pleasure we get is false and does not last. He realize that these short term pleasures and happiness is really empty of inherent existence.

      He had realized this and that is why he operate from the ultimate truth and that is why he disregard ordinary social norms about meat and wine and how he interact with people. Hence, I don’t think he is asking people to give up dressing well, being comfortable, living in abundance and so forth. I think he is telling us that the promise that these things will bring you happiness is false. Hence, we focus more of our effort and time in Dharma and we juggle both in.

      • So Kin Hoe (KISG) on Oct 1, 2016 at 2:29 pm

        Thank you Pastor David Lai for sharing your further explanation about Ji Gong. I agree with you and what I would like to share is we should not increase our desire and attachments when we practice Dharma. Thanks

  29. Stella Cheang on Sep 30, 2016 at 11:19 am

    The stories of Ji Gong have always been my favorite since childhood. The stories are highly entertaining. Ji Gong exhibited unorthodox behavior in his time but well loved by many people after his passing because of his many deeds that brought justice and castigations to the ones who deserved them. Besides his supernatural abilities, Ji Gong was famous for his wisdom. Pastor David has kindly explained here that Ji Gong’s wisdom is the attainment in understanding the ultimate truth. And I really appreciate that now we have the many tales of Ji Gong to give us familiar examples to what is ultimate truth versus conventional truth, a topic that is relatively profound but important to understand fully. Thank you Pastor David for this article. It also gives me a chance to take a stroll down memory lane, and a reason to try locate my Mandarin version of The Legend of Ji Gong.

  30. Sharon Ong on Sep 30, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Some years back I had the opportunity to watch a medium take trance of Ji Gong. At that time I had no idea who Ji Gong was except that he is a beggar monk who helped people. I tried to research him but there wasn’t much about him in cyberspace at that time.

    During the trance, I noticed that he carried a torn fan, wore torn shoes and a rather large wooden mala. He was very friendly and was very jovial. His advice to me and the other people present at the trance was very logical and now that I think of it, is very Dharmic. One of the things I remember is that he mentioned to always help those beggars in the streets, to think of him whenever I encounter a beggar and to give the beggar some food and drinks. He added this… “who knows that beggar might be me.” At that time, this didn’t make much sense to me. But years later, after learning some Dharma, I think he was trying to tell me that Mahasiddhas and Buddhas can manifest amongst the most ordinary to actually help us in our practice.

    Thank you for your detailed and interesting article, I now know more about Ji Gong. Great write-up!

    • Pastor David Lai on Sep 30, 2016 at 8:59 pm

      That was a neat recount. Thank you. I have never met a Ji Gong medium but I heard that there are many and for some reason, he is a very popular deity to take trance of in the Chinese Buddhist/Taoist tradition. I like what he said about making offerings to beggars. Neat…

  31. gary foo on Sep 30, 2016 at 2:09 am

    Thank you Pastor David for the delightful stories of Ji Gong. Though I do not feel a specific affinity with this divine being I loved seeing the hong kong / taiwan series about him and his using his magical powers to help others. I would agree he is like a Mahasiddha. One story I remember clearly was him first barbecuing a pigeon and then chomping on it and looking like he really enjoyed his meat.. when another lay passerby chided him for being a monk and yet taking a life and enjoying meat..to which Ji Gong opened his mouth and miraculously a live pigeon flew out and he answered back ..who said i was eating meat..or something along the lines..:) Anyway to me he is definitely no ordinary being and I have also read about him bringing a person into hell to record the journey and teachings and interviews from the 18 courts and from there the book ‘Journey to the Underworld’was written for the benefit of mankind to practice dharma and not fall into the hell realms

    • Pastor David Lai on Sep 30, 2016 at 9:03 pm

      Gary,

      That’s a very neat story about Ji Gong. Kinda reminds me of the Mahasiddha Tilopa. He eats fish and had done something similar of reanimating dead fish he had eaten. He gave a teaching verse or two as he did that. By the way, Tilopa was Naropa’s Guru. Interesting similarity.

      • gary foo on Oct 1, 2016 at 12:27 am

        Thats an interesting point. Probably the divine beings loves using similar techniques to impart dharma at that time..same technique but used cross the globe by different divine beings but for one purpose 🙂

  32. Anne Ong on Sep 29, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    This is a very good story write up Pastor David. It’s simply meaningful,funny and entertaining. I have watched the story of Ji Gong on TVB drama on DVD many years ago,but i think the dvd version is quite different.Thank you Pastor David for this wonderful story to lift up my day! Keep it up! 🙂

  33. Pastor KH Ng on Sep 29, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    Thank You Pastor David.

    As a child I watched with fascination many movie that featured Ji Gong. He was always portrayed as fun loving “beggar” who ate meat; particularly he loved dog meat, and drank alcohol. He has super natural power and also helps the down trodden people who were victims of the rich and powerful.
    I always regarded Him to be a Buddha and not a deity because He showed wisdom that is beyond normal intelligence. Later, I read that he is a manifestation of Guan Yin, the Buddha of Compassion.

    Well, the world is not we it seem to be. The ultimate truth is to be strived for.

    • Pastor David Lai on Sep 29, 2016 at 8:29 pm

      You are welcomed Pastor KH. Ji Gong is one of these Chinese figures that every Chinese would know of, kinda like a cultural icon. For some reason, I was not really into him much when I was younger. I think I only read a little of his stories at illustrated comic books published by Asiapac a long time ago. In this comic and also of many other sources, they Ji Gong was the Arhat Taming Dragon that took rebirth and actually, this is really the first time, I have ever heard of Ji Gong as the emanation of Guan Yin. Nonetheless, I am not saying you are wrong, I am just acknowledging what you have read.

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  • 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
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 04:15 PM
    Very clear explanation of what is Vajrayogini’s left foot stepping on. Each time when i have a look at the beautiful statue of Vajrayogini this question will comes back to me. i am glad came across these blog by chance, i saw and read to understand better.A clear explanation ..stampling left and right foot significant of desire ,hatred and ignorance that cause us to be in samsara and she she able to control.Vajrayogni’s practices is so powerful in heliping us and that is the reason Rinpoche always ask us to start now.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these short explanation in the video and the interesting story of Mahadeva.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/facebook-question-what-is-vajra-yoginis-left-foot-stepping-on.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 02:44 PM
    Rejoice to all the families who had setup a Buddhist altar at home and conducted a house blessing puja. There are diverse benefits of conducting the house blessing puja, which ranges from bringing well-being on all levels – in one’s health, relationships, business, and family – to purifying the home. The puja ceremonies will purify the environment which helps the people who live there and people who are visiting there to experience general well-being. The puja can be personalised based on the request or need of the individual. Thank you for sharing with us the many photos of the beautiful altar of these families, it is very heartwarming to know that they will always be blessed by the Three Jewels.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/10-amazing-house-blessings-by-kechara-pastors.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 02:24 PM
    Thank you for sharing this mindfully planned itinerary for everyone who is interested in visiting Kechara Forest Retreat. Kechara Forest Retreat has different facets that showcase different elements of spirituality and Tibetan Buddhism in this wholesale venue. One can enjoy the flora and fauna of Mother Nature, or embrace the contemporary architectures that feature many magnificent Buddha statues and authentic Himalayan decorations. Not forgetting to mention, in Kechara Forest Retreat sits the largest Dorje Shugden statue in the world! This is a holy place we must never miss to pay homage for blessings from the Three Jewels.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/go-bentong.html
  • Pastor Shin Tan
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 01:07 PM
    金泽“财王”护法殿

    在禅修林的入口处的左边有一间小佛堂,是全天候二十四小时开放给大众的。这间佛堂的一砖一瓦都是由不同善心人士捐增的。也因为他们过后发了一笔小财,所以在大马文东,金泽护法一般被简称为“财王“。

    根据佛陀教诲,五蕴是组成众生的五个方面,分别是色、受、想、行、识。证悟者如多杰雄登能将五蕴分别化现成不同的本尊。金泽是多杰雄登“受”蕴的化现,作用是协助我们增长世俗和修行上的财富。“受”蕴是我们对愉悦或不悦感受的认知。我们执着于愉悦,避免不悦,而这正是导致我们受困和造下各种业,继而产生痛苦的因(此段原文: http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_6d7edf5f0102x1n6.html)

    来到这里,我们首先要上香。做生意的朋友可要趁此机会拜拜,供养一个大的莲花蜡烛,上三根大香,祈求今年一帆风顺哦。

    摘自“GO BENTONG!与菩萨有约”
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=120808
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Mar 25. 2017 11:02 PM
    Can’t imagine that a priest actually stabbed Pope John Paul. How can he do this when he as a priest is suppose to be compassion and love everyone but kill the religion leader. he should remember that he carries the name priest and hence must show good example and behaviour to others but instead took another person’s life.

    I respected Pope John who continued his trip even though he was injured. That shows the determination he had to teach so it can benefit others. Always put others first more than our own needs.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/pope-john-paul-stabbed-by-priest.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Saturday, Mar 25. 2017 08:13 PM
    It is admirable for Sine Lindholm & Mads Ulrik Husum to place their design as open source for everyone to download and copy to manufacture. This shows how farsighted they are in propelling self-sustainability. The first step is always the hardest, and I believe what Sine and Mads had done is towards the right direction. In this way, people from all the around the world who genuinely are passionate and interested in growing own vegetables will be able to start on their own. Without needing to rely on middleman or manufacturer who might end up making the brilliant idea a commercial white elephant. Thank you, Rinpoche for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/build-your-own-growroom.html
  • Alice Tay
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 10:05 PM
    Many companies especially in overseas are very considerate and allow their employees to bring their dogs to work. I personally think that this is a very good practice where the employees no longer have to worry about leaving pets at home alone. The work environments that cultivate loving kindness, caring and compassion create a much more positive and productive place to work. Besides, it may influence everyone especially those who do not have pet to be more kind to the animals.

    Nevertheless, the employer and employees may have to work together to maintain the safe and cleanliness work place such as reduce odour, provide clean air and many others.

    Thank you for this interesting article as a reminder to us to love and be kind to animals no matter where we are.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/inside-the-worlds-most-dog-friendly-office.html
  • Lin Mun
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 07:06 PM
    Superb idea and very creative. Home farming in the cities ! Appreciate all the hardwork and ideas to produce Growroom. It’s just like putting a big puzzle and making the whole process so much easier to plant in cities where we always have limited spaces.

    We should support more people to come up with such ideas so we can eat our own food and cultivate self sustainability.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/build-your-own-growroom.html

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CREDITS

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

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

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now

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Animal Care Fund
  Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch

The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
15 hours 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
18 hours 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
18 hours 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
18 hours 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!
1 week ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
1 week ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
Read this as it will be interesting
1 week ago
Read this as it will be interesting
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week 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
4 weeks 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!
4 weeks 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
3 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
3 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
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I\'ve seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
6 months ago
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I've seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
It\'s nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
6 months ago
It's nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
                         Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
6 months ago
Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Please watch this video, it's heartbreaking to see how people have to suffer.
    1 week ago
    Please watch this video, it's heartbreaking to see how people have to suffer.
  • Lady saves puppy from potential abuser
    2 weeks ago
    Lady saves puppy from potential abuser
  • Mr. Denzel Washington is a very intelligent man. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 weeks ago
    Mr. Denzel Washington is a very intelligent man. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Dear friends, please see this educational video on suffering for the sake of others.
    2 weeks ago
    Dear friends, please see this educational video on suffering for the sake of others.
  • A very neat footage of Bigfoot captured by Patterson-Gimlin.
    3 weeks ago
    A very neat footage of Bigfoot captured by Patterson-Gimlin.
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu darling is a very good boy.
    1 month ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu darling is a very good boy.
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu wants to go bye bye!
    1 month ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu wants to go bye bye!
  • [11/02/2017] I love you mumu boy
    1 month ago
    [11/02/2017] I love you mumu boy
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu and Oser eating together.
    1 month ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu and Oser eating together.
  • Great spiritual rock carving in Tibet
    2 months ago
    Great spiritual rock carving in Tibet
  • You will Never be Ready
    3 months ago
    You will Never be Ready
    Dear friends, watch this video and ready, if we keep waiting till we are ready, that day will never come. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Stop asking for Easy
    3 months ago
    Stop asking for Easy
    This video is powerful because it's the truth. It applies to anything. It applies to our dharma practice. Watch the video and share it. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Must Watch this Video!
    4 months ago
    Must Watch this Video!
  • Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
    5 months ago
    Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
  • Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    5 months ago
    Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    ཁྱེད་ཀྱི་བཀའ་སློབ་དོན་སྙིང་དེ།།གང་གི་རྣ་བར་བདུད་རྩི་མོད།།འོན་ཀྱང་འགའ་ཡི་རྣ་ལམ་དུ།། བྲག་ཆ་བཞིན་དུ་འགྱུར་སྲིད་མོད།། ཚང་མས་ཚར་རེ་གཟིགས་རོགས།། Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche telling people that it is important to have guru samaya. It use to be that way in the great monasteries. We should not create problems and schisms. If we want to practice a protector, then do so, if not it's okay, but don't make trouble. One should just practice the Buddha Dharma well. To do good practice. If you have faith in Dorje Shugden and trust all the way, he will definitely help you. But most important is to practice the dharma. This is his advice in short here. It's good to let more Tibetans hear this holy speech and appeal by this very senior Rinpoche. TR

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 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.
  • March 20, 2017 10:16
    Grigoris asked: Excuse me, but I would like to ask, what does the prayer to Shangmo Dorje Putri say exactly? I can't read Tibetan, but would like to see the description that the prayer gives. I am not planning to say the prayer or make interaction(as it would be very dangerous), but would like to see what it actually says from the Tibetan text. Here's the link: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/shangmo-dorje-putri-the-bamo-of-sakya.html
    pastor answered: Dear Grigoris, Thank you for your question. Shangmo Dorje Putri is indeed a fascinating unenlightened Dharma protector. Unfortunately at the moment, we do not have a translated copy of the text in English that we can provide. The usual format for such texts, would include an invocation, making offerings to appease them, and then exhortations for them to perform their activities, possibly followed by thanking them for their help. One thing is for certain, due to the nature of Shangmo Dorje Putri her prayer is sure to include violent imagery, just like many other Dharma protectors, such as Achi Chokyi Drolma (who even though has a peaceful appearance, has a lot of violent imagery in her prayers). The reason behind the violent imagery is explained in the post about Achi Chokyi Drolma here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/achi-chokyi-drolma-chief-protectress-of-the-drikung-kagyu.html
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