The Sixty-Four Yogini Temple of Hirapur, India

By | Jun 27, 2018 | Views: 865
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The sixty-four yogini temple in Hirapur.

The sixty-four yogini temple of Hirapur

(By Tsem Rinpoche and Pastor David Lai)

The sixty-four yogini temple in Hirapur, Odisha sits on an ancient piece of land once ruled by the old Kalinga kingdom. The site is also a hotbed of various cults and religions that flourished here in ancient times. In fact, Jainism, Buddhism, Shaktaism, Saivaism and later Vaishnavism thrived on these fertile plains for centuries.

During the golden age that followed after the old Kalinga kingdom was annexed and ruled by various succeeding dynasties, Buddhism and Tantric practice flourished here, and the cult of the yogini evolved as Tantra took hold in these lands. The cult of the Sixty-Four Yoginis was one of these prevailing traditions, and it culminated in the construction of these sacred shrines to the yoginis.

 

Tantra

Tantra refers to the esoteric teachings and practices of Buddhism and Hinduism that were developed simultaneously around 500 CE. In the Buddhist tradition, the Sanskrit term “tantra” literally means “something stretched out”, like thread woven into a piece of fabric in a loom. This thread is “stretched out” to represent the everlasting mental continuum, which has no beginning and no end as we experience endless cycles of death and rebirth.

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The practice of Tantra involves tapping into the everlasting continuity of the mind. It operates on three levels — the basis, the pathway and the result. On the level of basis, the everlasting continuity of the mind is at the subtlest level, which is known as the primordial clear light mind. This is our inherent nature that we take from lifetime to lifetime. The nature of this level of mind is clarity and awareness that is free from all conceptual thought or disturbing emotions, and it is what lies beneath all experiences whether we are awake or asleep. Therefore, no passing negative or positive experience, intensity of experience or rebirth can actually affect this clear light mind. Through the practice of Tantra, one taps into this subtlest mind as a basis for attaining enlightenment, which normally surfaces briefly through the bliss of sexual union and briefly at the moment of death as we enter into the bardo – the intermediate state between death and rebirth.

The second level of Tantra is the pathway and this refers to a specific method for attaining Buddhahood, namely the meditative practice of identifying ourselves as our personal Buddha or yidam. Hence, this special tantric method is called deity yoga. Such practices are normally conferred through an initiation ritual of the specific deity during which the lama plants the seeds of Bodhicitta and accomplishment of that deity into our mind-stream. From thereon, the initiate holds vows and is normally required to engage in a daily sadhana, which involves recitation, offerings, visualisations and mantra recitations in order to identify himself/herself as the deity. As a result, the practice of Tantra is sometimes called taking the “fruit”, which is enlightenment in the form of a Buddha-deity onto the “path”, which is our daily sadhana of self-identification as the Buddha-deity.

Finally, the third level of Tantra is the resultant path, which is to merge our mind-stream with the deity and thereby achieve enlightenment. Therefore in short, Tantra involves the practice of identifying ourselves as the Buddha-deity in order to purify our mind-stream of its stains and thereby achieve the basis, which is our primordial nature of clear light — Buddhahood.

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The Cult of the Yogini

According to archaeological findings, the worship of yoginis was prevalent in the 9th century all the way through to the 13th century CE. At least nine yogini temples from this period have been unearthed, of which the best-known examples are in the states of Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in India.

Despite the fact that a yogini normally refers to a female yogi, it is also used to refer to mysterious female beings who bring about extraordinary tantric attainments for initiates. In this case, she is an adept of tantric lore in any of its various esoteric methods. Thus, the terms yogini and dakini can be used interchangeably in this instance, as they refer to the same type of being.

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Within the Chandi Purana by Sudramuni Sharala Das (15th century) of Orissa, the term yogini refers to the forms or qualities of the Supreme Goddess. Each yogini is also seen as a manifestation of different aspects of her body. However, in other religious texts, the yogini is also an attendant of the Great Goddess.

In Tibetan Buddhism, the term dakini usually refers to an attendant or entourage of a main Buddha-deity. For example, the wisdom dakinis are usually part of the entourage of tantric meditational Buddhas such as Vajrayogini, Heruka Chakrasamvara and so forth. These are enlightened dakinis who are usually emanations of the yidam or our personal meditational Buddha.

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When one engages in a sadhana, the dakinis are called forth from their natural abodes to converge at certain points in our body in order to bless, empower and purify our energy channels so we can develop true spiritual attainments. According to the lore of the dakinis, it is also said that one can acquire ‘siddhis’ or special powers with abilities like being able to transform people into animals or birds through the mastery of certain deity practices.

There are also some worldly dakinis who are known to be frightening beings that are much feared. In some Indian texts, the word dakini is also used to refer to a sorceress, witch or even a flesh-eating ghoul. Nevertheless, a unifying and essential quality of all dakinis is their ability to fly. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why temples dedicated to dakinis are usually open to the sky.

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The Sixty-Four Yoginis

The sixty-four yoginis are based on the Asta Matrakas or the eight major forms of Devi, the mother goddess. Each of these yoginis has eight attendants and when all the yoginis are assembled, they add up to sixty-four yoginis. The legend surrounding the origin of the yogini temple at Hirapur, as told by the local priest, is that the Goddess Durga assumed the form of the sixty-four yoginis in order to defeat a demon. Upon winning the battle, the yoginis turned to Durga and requested to be commemorated in the form of a temple shrine dedicated to the yoginis.

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There is also a tradition of the Sapta Matrikas or Seven Mothers and they are frequently represented on the outer walls of Shiva temples. The eighth yogini is “missing” in this case because Shiva’s consort is the eighth. These yoginis are Brahmi, Maheshvari, Aindri, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi and Chamunda.

Five out of the six Orissan yogini temples are dedicated to the goddess Chamunda. She is an awe-inspiring divine figure who appears as an emaciated old woman standing over a corpse. Her emaciated form reveals every vein and tendon while her gaping mouth and bulging eyes dominate her face. There is also a shrine of Vetali named after her manifestation as a self-arisen corpse. These are all sixty-four yogini temples and have the complete set of yoginis carved on their inner walls, while the central image is either Chamunda or Vetali. The sixth yogini temple is located in Chaurasi, Orisa and is dedicated to Varahi. She is in the form of a corpulent boar-faced divine lady. In one hand she holds a fish and her vehicle is the buffalo.

A village pond near the temple

A village pond near the Hirapur yogini temple

Aside from the yoginis, there are usually two protective and fearsome bhairava carvings, one wielding a knife and with a severed head next to the figure. Interestingly, two severed human heads take the place of the customary fruit offerings which are found on the tripods of the other images in the shrine. Some experts interpret this imagery to mean that human sacrifice was once practised in these temples.

Ancient inscriptions at the yogini temples indicate that dakini rituals were practised well into the 16th century. Thereafter, the cult diminished to the point that the temples were abandoned. However, the temples continue to see offerings left at the feet of their sacred images to this day.

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The Hirapur Yogini Temple

The plan of the Hirapur temple. Click on image to enlarge.

The plan of the Hirapur temple.
Click on image to enlarge.

The Hirapur Temple is the smallest of all known yogini temples that have been unearthed by archaeologists. This yogini temple is situated in Hirapur, which is 20km away from the eastern part of the modern capital of Odisha, Bhubaneswar. According to legend, the temple was built by Queen Hiradevi of the Bramha Dynasty in the 9th century but was later abandoned. It was only rediscovered in 1953.

The architecture of yogini temples is distinctly different from that of other temples and shrines. Almost all known yogini temples are circular and hypaethral, which means that the temple is without a roof and is open to the elements. The circular construction of the yogini temple represents the chakra — the deeply symbolic wheel that represents the universe of the deity.

The Hirapur temple was constructed entirely out of sandstone blocks. The circular wall has many niches, each enshrining a statue of a yogini. There are approximately 60 such images carved out of black granite and placed within these wall niches. This yogini temple also houses a central altar called the Chandi Mandapa, which enshrines the remaining yoginis on all four sides. Some historians believe that an image of Maha Bhairava was also once enshrined at the Chandi Mandapa.

Apart from charnel grounds, yogini temples are centres for tantric practices, the main purpose of which is to develop attainments (Skt. siddhi) or ‘supernatural powers.’ The tantric practitioner aspires to develop extraordinary control of the body and mind, bring or stop rain, attain supernatural mastery of the elements, the power to heal, wealth, or even destructive abilities.

Today, the Hirapur yogini temple is held with a mixture of awe, reverence and fear. The folk belief of never crossing a yogini (which would result in a fate worse than death) is still very much alive today. The temple caretaker/priest often warns pilgrims and tourists alike not to linger too long after dark as strange sounds are known to emanate from the temple. The yoginis are, after all, the most active at night and no one dares to enter the temple after dark for fear of being cursed by these mysterious celestial beings.

 

Temple Exterior

Two Dvarapala guardians (door guardians) are placed on either side of the temple entrance. The Dvarapala on the southern side is a two-armed male figure with ear ornaments and with a lotus creeper on the pedestal. The northern Dvarapala is a wrathful male figure with disheveled hair, protruding stomach and holds a skullcup in his left hand. There is also a lotus creeper on his pedestal.

The exterior of the temple

The exterior of the Hirapur Yogini Temple

Surrounding the temple are Nine Katyayani figures of varying heights, enshrined in niches. They are carved out of sandstone and have a yellow tinge. The Nine Katyayanis (Nine Forms of the Hindu Goddess Parvati) are:

  1. Katyayani No. 1
    A dynamic female figure with an upraised right hand brandishing a curved sword. She is adorned with necklaces and golden bangles called Churis. Two drum-beating male figures are carved on her pedestal.
  2. Katyayani No.2
    A noble female figure with braided hair tied to her left. She is adorned with golden necklaces, armlets, anklets and bracelets. A smaller male attendant on her right holds a parasol above her head. A jackal and a dog are carved on her pedestal.
  3. Katyayani No.3
    A noble female figure with braided hair tied to her left. She carries a katari dagger in her right hand and a skullcup in her left. A smaller female attendant on her right holds a parasol over her head. A jackal and a dog are carved on her pedestal.
The Nine Katyayanis. Click on image to enlarge.

Katyayanis #1-#3. Click on image to enlarge.

  1. Katyayani No.4
    A noble female figure with braided hair tied to her right. She carries a katari dagger in her right hand and a skullcup in her left. She wears an akshamala (garland of beads) on her arm. A smaller female attendant on her right holds a parasol over her head. A jackal and a dog are carved on her pedestal, as is another female attendant who is feeding the dog.
  2. Katyayani No.5
    A noble female figure with braided hair tied to her left. She is adorned with golden necklaces, armlets, anklets and bracelets. A smaller female attendant on her right holds a parasol above her head. A jackal and a dog are carved on her pedestal.
  3. Katyayani No.6
    A noble female figure with braided hair tied to her left. She carries a katari dagger in her right hand and a skullcup in her left. On her right is a tree and a smaller female attendant holding a moon crescent over her head. Two dogs are carved on her pedestal.
The Nine Katyayanis. Click on image to enlarge.

Katyayanis #4-#6. Click on image to enlarge.

  1. Katyayanis No. 7 & 8
    A noble female figure with braided hair tied to her left. She carries a katari dagger in her right hand and a skullcup in her left. A smaller female attendant on her right holds a parasol over her head. A jackal and a dog are carved on her pedestal.
  2. Katyayani No.9
    The last and smallest of the Katyayanis is a wrathful nude female figure. She brandishes a curved sword in her right hand and holds a skullcup in her left while cradling what appears to be a bow or staff. Two jackals are carved on her pedestal.
The Nine Katyayanis. Click on image to enlarge.

Katyayanis #7-#9. Click on image to enlarge.

 

Temple Vestibule

Two guardian images stand on either side of the passage. The ferocious male figure on the right, Kala Bhairav, wears a garland of skulls around his neck and snake anklets. He has a sunken belly, disheveled hair and an emaciated body. He holds a skullcup in his right hand and stands poised to attack the enemy. Underneath him are a jackal and two male attendants holding katari daggers and skullcups.

The other male figure on the left, Bikal Bhairav, is similar to the first but with a few minor differences. He holds a severed head in his left hand and beneath him, an attendant drinks blood while the other holds two skullcups.

The two guardians of the temple. Click on image to enlarge.

The two guardians of the temple. Click on image to enlarge.

 

The Yogini Images

60 yogini figures are housed in the niches along the inner walls of the circular Hirapur yogini temple.

  1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika
    She is four-armed standing in the sensual Tribhanga pose (three-curved bodily posture) upon a corpse that represents an obstacle. She possesses the braided hair of a noble woman and wears various golden ornaments like necklaces, bracelets, anklets and so forth.
  2. Tara
    She is two-armed standing on a corpse, leaning towards her right and with her left leg outstretched. Her braids of hair are tied to her left in a style that is known as Kesabandha. She wears golden ornaments similar to Yogini Maya.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Tara. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Narmada
    She is two-armed standing on an elephant and wears a garland of skulls around her neck along with various ornaments. She carries a skullcup in her left hand near her mouth and is partaking of the divine nectar/blood within. Her braids of hair are tied to her right.
  2. Yamuna
    She is four-armed and stands in the pratyalidha pose or leaning towards her right. Her mount is a large tortoise and her curly hair is in the Jatamandala style (rising over her head). She carries a skullcup in her upper right hand.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Narmada. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Yamuna. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Shanti / Kanti / Laxmi / Manada
    She is two-armed and stands atop a lotus in full bloom. She has braids of hair over her head and wears various golden ornaments along with Naga Keyura (serpent armlets). She wears a skirt of peacock feathers.
  2. Vriddhi / Kriya / Varuni
    She is two-armed and her braided hair is tied to her left. She stands in the Samabhanga pose (upright posture) upon a pedestal of waves suggesting that she is standing atop the ocean.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Shanti / Kanti / Laxmi / Manada. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Vriddhi / Kriya / Varuni. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Ajita / Gauri / Ksemankari
    She is four-armed and stands upon an alligator. Her braided hair is in a chignon and she wears various golden ornaments. She stands in the Samabhanga pose (upright posture).
  2. Aindri / Indrani
    She is two-armed and stands in the Pratyalidha pose (leaning towards her left) upon an elephant mount. Her braided hair is in a chignon and she wears various golden ornaments on her head and body.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Ajita / Gauri / Ksemankari. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Aindri / Indrani. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Varahi
    She is four-armed and has the face of a boar. Standing on top of a buffalo, she carries a skullcup with her upper left hand and cradles a bow in her left arms.
  2. Ratnavira / Padmavati
    She is two-armed and has a wrathful expression. She stands upon the hood and body of a serpent. She wears a garland of skulls and an Alaka hair ornament. She wields a sword with her right hand and her braided hair is in a chignon.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Varahi. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Ratnavira / Padmavati. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Murati / Ostragreeba
    She is four-armed and has the face of a monkey. She stands atop a long-necked camel in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture).
  2. Vaishnavi
    She is two-armed and possesses a graceful face. Her curling hair is adorned with a Sarpa Mukuta and she wears various golden ornaments. She rides on a garuda.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Murati / Ostragreeba. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Vaishnavi. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Virupa / Kalaratri / Panchavarahi
    She is two-armed and has a graceful figure with beautiful braids of hair over her head. She stands smiling atop a boar in the Tribhanga pose (three-curved bodily posture).
  2. Vadyaroopa
    She is two-armed with braids of hair over her head. She stands in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture) atop a drum.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Virupa / Kalaratri / Panchavarahi. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Vadyaroopa. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Charchika
    She is two-armed and stands in the Tribhanga pose (three-curved bodily posture) atop a curly-haired male figure crouching on the ground. He holds a lotus stem in his right hand and a katari dagger is tucked at his waist.
  2. Marjari / Betali
    She is four-armed and stands in the Samabhanga pose (upright posture) on a fish. Her hair is braided over her head. She wears a garland of skulls along with other golden ornaments.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Charchika. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Marjari / Betali. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Chinnamastaka
    She is four-armed and stands on top of a severed head. She holds a bow in one of her left hands and stands in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture). Her hair is braided into a chignon.
  2. Vrisabhanana / Bindhya Basini
    She is two-armed and has a wrathful buffalo face. She has disheveled hair (Jatamandal) and stands on a flat-roofed house or cave with a hole in the middle.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Chinnamastaka. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Vrisabhanana / Bindhya Basini. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Jalakamini
    She is two-armed and stands atop a large frog. Her braided hair is tied to her right and her ornaments and clothing are decorative. She stands in the Tribhanga pose (three-curved bodily posture).
  2. Ghatavara
    She is two-armed and stands in a dancing posture atop a lion. She holds an elephant hide over her head.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Jalakamini. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Ghatavara. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Vikarali / Kakarali
    She is a two-armed graceful figure standing atop a dog. Her braided hair is tied to her right in the Kesabandha style and her right foot is held tightly by both hands and placed on top of her left thigh. She appears to be adjusting an anklet.
  2. Saraswati
    She is four-armed and stands atop a giant serpent. She has a strange moustache and twirls the end of it with one of her left hands. She carries a stringed musical instrument called a tumuru off her shoulder and has intricate braids of hair.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Vikarali / Kakarali. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Saraswati. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Birupa
    She is two-armed and stands atop a wavy pedestal. Her hair is braided and she stands in the Dwibhanga posture (two-curved bodily posture).
  2. Kauveri
    She is two-armed and stands in a dancing pose upon seven Ratna Kalasas (jewels) on a fully bloomed lotus. Her hair is braided in the Kesabandha style and is ornamented by mukuta and kirita. She is adorned with various golden ornaments.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Birupa. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Kauveri. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Bhalluka
    She is two-armed with a boar’s face and her hair is raised in the style of Jatamandal. She stands atop a platform of lotus creepers and holds a damaru in her right hand.
  2. Narasimhi / Simhamukhi
    She is four-armed and has the face of a lioness. Her mane-like hair is in the style of Jatamandal and she holds a pot-like object in her lower hands. She dances atop a platform of five flowers and leaves.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Bhalluka. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Narasimhi / Simhamukhi. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Biraja
    She is a graceful two-armed figure with her braided hair tied to her right. She stands atop a lotus bud with leaves in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture).
  2. Vikatanana
    She is two-armed with a wrathful expression and protruding lips. Her curly matted hair is in the style of Sarpa Mukuta.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Biraja. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Vikatanana. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Mohalaxmi
    She is two-armed and stands atop a lotus in full bloom. She wears an unusual garland of snakes known as Sarpamala and holds a vajra in her right hand and a shield in her left. Her hair is braided to her right in the Kesabandha style.
  2. Kaumari
    She is a graceful two-armed figure standing atop a peacock while holding an akshamala (garland of beads) in her right hand and a shield in her left. She wears golden ornaments just like the other yoginis. Her hair is braided to her right in the Kesabandha style and she stands in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture).
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Mohalaxmi. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Kaumari. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Mahamaya
    As the presiding yogini of the temple, she is slightly larger than the other yoginis enshrined here. She has 10 arms and stands atop a lotus in full bloom. A squarish Shakthi Peetha, representing a holy place of cosmic power, is below her feet. She is adorned with golden ornaments including necklaces, anklets, armlets and a bejewelled girdle. The locals know the temple as Mahamaya Temple, which is named after her.
  2. Usa / Rati
    She is a two-armed figure with a wrathful expression and upraised curly hair known as Jatamandal. She stands in a bended knee pose upon a pedestal that depicts an archer holding a bow and arrow in hand, ready to shoot.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Mahamaya. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Usa / Rati. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Karkari
    She is a two-armed graceful lady standing on a crab. Her braids of hair are tied to her left in the Kesabandha style. She stands regally in the Tribhanga pose (three-curved bodily posture) and wears various golden ornaments.
  2. Sarpasha / Chittala
    She is a four-armed figure standing in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture). She has the face of a snake and is adorned with various golden ornaments. The pedestal upon which she stands is broken and it is therefore uncertain what mount she rides on.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Karkari. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Sarpasha / Chittala. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Yosha
    She is two-armed and stands in the Tribangha pose (three-curved bodily posture) on a cot with four legs. She has elaborate braided hair in the style of Jatamukuta, adorned with Kirita and Mukuta ornaments.
  2. Aghora / Vaivasvati
    She is a two-armed figure with a wrathful expression and bulging eyes. She stands atop a horned goat-like animal and her hair is raised over her head. She stands in the sensual Dvibhanga posture (two-curved bodily posture)
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Yosha. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Aghora / Vaivasvati. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Bhadrakali / Rudrakali
    She is a two-armed figure standing on a crow. Her braided hair looks like flames and she carries a sword in her right hand. Her clothes have many intricate designs and she stands in the straight Samabangha pose.
  2. Matangi / Shitala / Vainayaki / Ganeshani / Gajanana
    She is a two-armed, elephant-faced pot-bellied dakini. Her mount is a donkey and she has Jatamukuta-styled hair.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Bhadrakali / Rudrakali. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Matangi / Shitala / Vainayaki / Ganeshani / Gajanana. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Bindhyabalini
    She is a two-armed figure with carefully braided hair tied to her right. She stands in the Pratyalidha pose (right knee bent) on a rat and holds a bow and arrow, poised to shoot.
  2. Abhaya / Veera Kumari
    She is a four-armed figure standing in a dancing pose upon a scorpion. Her upper arms are raised. Her carefully braided hair is in the Jatamukuta style and she wears various golden ornaments all over her body.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Bindhyabalini. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Abhaya / Veera Kumari. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Maheswari
    She is a four-armed figure standing in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture) atop a bull. Her braided hair is tied to her right in the refined Kesabandha manner and she wears many golden ornaments.
  2. Kamakshi / Ambika
    She is a four-armed figure standing in the bent knee pose on two wheels, below which is a mongoose. Her hair is braided and tied to her right in the Kesabandha style. She holds a damaru in her upper right hand and her two lower hands are on her knees.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Maheswari. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Kamakshi / Ambika. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Kamayani
    She is a two-armed figure and stands in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture) atop a rooster. Her braided hair is tied to her right in the Kesabandha style and she is adorned with various golden ornaments.
  2. Ghatabari
    She is a two-armed figure standing in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture) on a lion. She has curly hair tied up with various ornaments in a style known as Karanda Mukuta.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Kamayani. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Ghatabari. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Stutee
    She is a four-armed figure standing in the Samabhanga pose (upright posture) on a Haladi Kathua, a pot for turmeric paste. Her braided hair is adorned with flowers and other ornaments. She stands next to a flower vase that is placed on a pedestal.
  2. Kali
    She is a two-armed figure standing in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture) on a male figure. He has various ornaments like Kirita and Mukuta along with a third eye, and is usually identified as Lord Shiva. Her hair is braided and she carries a trident in her right hand.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Stutee. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Kali. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Uma
    She is a four-armed figure standing on a bed of lotus flowers. Her braided hair is tied up with Kirita and Mukuta in a style known as Jatamukuta. She carries a naga weapon in her upper left hand and her lower left hand is in the Abhaya mudra, representing fearlessness.
  2. Narayani
    She is a two-armed graceful figure standing with her right leg bent and left leg outstretched on an earthen pot with a conical lid. Her left hand is placed over a wine keg and she brandishes a sword in her right. She wears a tiara and is adorned with various ornaments. Her carefully braided hair is in the Kesabhanda style.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Uma. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Narayani. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Samudra
    She is a two-armed figure with her braided hair tied to her left. She wears a tiara on her head and other ornaments on her body. She stands upon a conch shell in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture).
  2. Brahmani
    She has four-arms, three faces and stands on a book. Her carefully braided hair is ornamented with Kirita and Mukuta in the Jatamukuta style. The sacred thread and various other ornaments adorn her body. A decorative lion with beads in its mouth is carved at the left end of her pedestal.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Samudra. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Brahmani. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Jwalamukhi
    She is a two-armed figure standing in the Dwibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture) upon an eight-legged pedestal. She has unusually long ears that are raised. She has two long knots of matted hair hanging from both sides of her head.
  2. Agneyi
    She is two-armed and stands on a ram. She brandishes a sword in her right hand, ready to strike, and wears various ornaments. Her body is surrounded by an aureole of fire.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Jwalamukhi. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Agneyi. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Aditi
    She is two-armed and stands in the Samabhanga pose (upright posture) upon a parrot. Her carefully braided hair is arranged in a chignon on top of her head.
  2. Chandrakanti
    She is two-armed and stands in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture) upon a wooden four-legged cot. Her carefully braided hair is tied to her right in the Kesabhanda style. She wears various ornaments.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Aditi. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Chandrakanti. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Vayubega
    She is a two-armed graceful figure standing in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture) upon a female yak. Her carefully braided hair is tied in a chignon over her head. She is adorned with various golden ornaments.
  2. Chamunda
    She is a powerful four-armed figure standing in the Tribhanga pose (three-curved bodily posture) upon a musk deer. She is unclothed with a skeletal body and flaccid dangling breasts. She wears a garland of skulls and holds a lion skin over her head with her upper hands. Her lower left hand holds a decapitated human head and her lower right hand holds a katari dagger.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Vayubega. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Chamunda. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Murati
    She is a two-armed figure standing in the Tribhanga pose (three-curved bodily posture) upon a horned deer. Her hair is flared like the tongues of flames and her body is adorned with various ornaments.
  2. Ganga
    She is a four-armed figure standing in the Tribhanga pose (three-curved bodily posture) upon a Makara (water monster). Her carefully braided hair is tied on her head in a chignon and she is adorned with various ornaments. She holds a petiole of lotuses in her upper left hand and a naga noose in her lower left hand.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Murati. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Ganga. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Dhumavati / Tarini
    She is a two-armed figure standing in the Samabhanga pose (upright posture) on a duck. Her braided hair is tied on her head and she holds a winnowing fan in both hands.
  2. Gandhari
    She is a two-armed figure standing in the Samabhanga pose (upright posture) upon a horse. Her carefully braided hair is tied to her left and a Kadamba tree is in the background.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Dhumavati / Tarini. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Gandhari. Click on image to enlarge

Apart from the 60 yogini figures housed in the niches along the inner walls of the Hirapur temple, an additional eight figures (four yoginis and four bhairavs) are enshrined in the four pillars of the Chandi Mandap (central altar).

3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Ajita. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Sarva Mangala
    This carving is missing and there is speculation that it was moved to the Yamuna Kuda near the Kuakhai River. However, iconographic studies of the statues there do not match the ones from this temple.
  2. Ajita
    She is a fearsome four-armed figure standing in the Tribhanga pose (three-curved bodily posture) upon a stag. Her braided hair looks like flames on her head.
  3. Surya Putri
    She is a four-armed figure standing in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture) on a galloping horse. She wears a kirita ornament in her hair and various other ornaments on her body. She carries a bow and arrow and plucks another arrow from the quiver over her shoulder.
  4. Vayu Veena
    She is a two-armed figure standing in a dancing posture upon a black buck. She is adorned with various golden ornaments and wears elaborate earrings known as Kapa. Her hair is braided to her right. There are two vases at the sides of her pedestal.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Surya Putri. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Vayu Veena. Click on image to enlarge

 

The Four Bhairavs

  1. Bhairav No. 1
    This is the only standing Bhairav in the temple’s inner sanctum. He is in the southeast corner of the Chandi Mandap and possesses only one leg. Thus he is known as Ekapada Bhairav or Ajaik Pada Bhairav. He is also called Urdhow Linga, and his secret organ is erect and pointing upwards. He has a halo and stands on a lotus in full bloom. He wears a kirita hair ornament on his head, a garland of skulls, as well as snake bracelets and anklets. He holds a sword, a shield and the backbone of a fish. Two attendants equipped with swords and shields are carved on his pedestal.
  2. Bhairav No. 2
    He is a ten-armed figure sitting in the Viswapadmasana posture. His secret organ is erect and pointing upwards. He holds a garland of beads, a skullcup and a drum in his hands and wears a kirita hair ornament. Two flying dakinis are depicted over his halo and on his pedestal, there are armed dakinis carrying conch shells and skullcups.
Bhairav #1. Click on image to enlarge.

Bhairav #1. Click on image to enlarge.

Bhairav #2. Click on image to enlarge.

Bhairav #2. Click on image to enlarge.

  1. Bhairav No. 3
    He is a ten-armed figure sitting in the Viswapadmasana posture. His secret organ is erect and pointing upwards. He wears a kirita hair ornament and holds a damaru, a trident, a shield and a garland of beads in his hands. Two flying dakinis are depicted over his halo and on his pedestal, there are female attendant dakinis with terrifying expressions and carrying skullcups.
  2. Bhairav No. 4
    He is a ten-armed figure sitting in the Viswapadmasana posture. His secret organ is erect and pointing upwards. He wears a kirita hair ornament and holds a damaru and a garland of beads in his hands. Two flying dakinis are depicted over his halo and on his pedestal, there is a male attendant holding up his foot and a female attendant wielding a sword and a skullcup.
Bhairav #3. Click on image to enlarge.

Bhairav #3. Click on image to enlarge.

Bhairav #4. Click on image to enlarge.

Bhairav #4. Click on image to enlarge.

 

Getting There

The Hirapur yogini temple is off the beaten track. It is located in the hamlet of Hirapur on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha state in eastern India. The nearest railway station is 5.9km away at Bhubaneswar. It is also accessible by domestic and international flight via Biju Patnaik International Airport, located 10.5km away from the temple.

Click here for the location pin of the temple. Click on image to enlarge.

Click here for the location pin of the temple. Click on image to enlarge.

At the time of writing, there are no tours or bus services to the Hirapur yogini temple. Visitors can get to the temple by hiring a taxi or a private car. Two routes from the city lead to the temple, both of which converge around half a kilometre from the temple itself along a semi-sealed road.

The first route is via the Bhubaneswar – Puri Road. Upon seeing the Dhauli Stupa, be on the lookout for a distinctive board that shows further directions to the temple.

The second route is more convenient and begins on Tankapani Road from Ravi -Talkies Square (RTS). After 600 metres, you will pass the Rajarani Temple on your right, then the Bhaskareshwar Temple on your left after travelling a further 3 kilometres or so. You will then pass the Megheshwar Temple on your left after driving another 1.5 kilometres and then the Sai Temple, also on your left another 2 kilometres down the road. Travel 2 to 3 kilometres through the fields and head towards the Gangua River. Cross the bridge over the river and take the immediate right. Keep following the road signs until you arrive at the temple.

19bgh_Overview

 

When to Visit

The best time to visit the Hirapur yogini temple is at 9am in the morning. The morning pujas would have finished by this time and temple guides are readily available. Evenings are also a pleasant time to visit. Coming in the afternoon is not recommended as the hot and humid climate can be overwhelming.

It is recommended to avoid visiting during the monsoon season which runs from June to September as there may be flooding.

 

What Visitors Say

64 Yoginis Extraordinarily Exquisite

Veiled in secrecy, this beautiful Yogini Temple is off the map and not easily found. For the truly dedicated! On the outskirts of the temple city of Bhubaneshwar. Unmarred by commercialism in the country amidst paddy fields, a small circular temple, roofless, open to the sky, with inner niches for the finely carved 64 Yoginis. Sensual bodies, some with non human heads, gracefully poised icons about two feet high, each niche is a miniature shrine. The presiding deity is Mahamaya – honoured with Puja by the priests. The smallest Yogini temple yet the power of the circle is immensely inspiring. A unique and mysterious experience. The potency of the Yoginis tangible and humbling.

UshkaDevi from Scarborough, Western Cape, South Africa

A Superb Experience

The visit to the temple gave us a feeling of peace and serenity which we couldn’t find in Lingaraj temple or Puri Jagannath temple. The temple is surrounded by a well maintained garden and it is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city in a village called Hirapur. You have to hire a taxi to reach there but worth a visit. There is a green field behind the temple which calms your nerves. You can hire a guide (there are 2) if you need them for a paltry sum of Rs.50 but it’s worth it.

Priya B from New Delhi, India

Best Kept Secret of Bhubaneswar

Well, if there is one place where you could get away from Bhubaneswar and just relax in the countryside, Chausath Yogini temple area in Hirapur. Though it used to be far from the city at one time, now with its expanding boundaries the village of Hirapur is getting closer to Bhubaneswar. However the temple of 64 Yoginis has maintained its serenity and uniqueness. One of the four Hypaethral in the country this temple has no roof, circular and is associated with Yogini and Tantra. A guard from ASI, if present will explain to you about its importance or offer you to buy a book which has been written on the Temple. One can spend some good time in the temple and I find it really relaxing to sit on the platform facing the temple. One can also take a walk around the temple which has paddy fields and beautiful water bodies offering a picturesque surrounding. The road approaching the temple has a canal running along & can be refreshing to drive to or away from the temple. Close to the Temple is Dhauli Stupa and visitors can combine both destinations with a Lingaraj temple visit to make a half day tour in Bhubaneswar.

DurgeshSingh from Bhubaneswar, India

Fascinating Temple for History, Architecture and Mythology Enthusiasts

For someone who has always been intimidated by ritualistic worshiping and mystical powers of our female deities, Chausath Yogini is a slightly unnerving place to visit.

But then again, for someone curious about history, architecture and all things heritage, Chausanth Yogini Temple is a delight to explore. This hypaethral (roof-less) shrine has niches that houses the carvings of 64 yoginis – Goddess Durga’s demi-goddess forms.

Besides the many popular jogini forms, there’s the lesser known Ganesharani or Vinayaki (Ganesha’s female energy) and the presiding deity, Mahamaya – after whom the temple is also known as the Mahamaya Temple.

After the Chausanth Yogini Temple at Khajuraho, this was the second such temple that I got to explore at close quarters. While the one at Khajuraho is in dilapidated condition, this one in Hirapur, a hamlet in Khurda district is well maintained and still active as a temple.

The temple is just a few kms outside Bhubaneswar and can be easily accessed by taxi/cab.

Ragini P from New Delhi, India

 

Recommended Videos

 

Chausath Yogini Temple at Hirapur (Part 1)

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Chausath64YoginiTemple.mp4

 

Chausath Yogini Temple at Hirapur (Part 2)

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Chausath64YoginiTemple2.mp4

 

7 Wonders of India: A 64 Yogini Tantrik Site

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Backpacking through History Ep 5: Hirapur

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The Cult of Chausath Yogini

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/TheCultOfChausathYogini.mp4

 

Transcript of ‘The Cult of Chausath Yogini’

Monalisa Behera in conversation with Dr. Nilima Chitgopekar, New Delhi, 2017

Monalisa Behera: How does one introduce a lay man to the concept of yogini? What is a yogini?

Nilima Chitgopekar: The term Yogini has got a huge semantic dimension because it is used in various ways. A yogini, it could be a goddess, it could be a human being, it could be somebody who is adept at yoga, it could be somebody who is just accompanying Shiva. So there are many dimensions to it, but the way I would introduce to a lay person is that basically I would say that this is a cult or a sect which is absolutely esoteric, which had disappeared for the longest time, it had vanished. Publicly nobody knew about it, and then the temples and the shrines were rediscovered in the 19th century to late 19th century, which are just absolutely fascinating, because they don’t go by any trend or any kind of module, or any kind of rules and regulations of the previous Hindu Brahmanical shrines. They seem to be completely wild. They don’t seem to follow Vastu Shastra for instance. They just are completely unusual to look at.

MB: How does one identify a yogini?

NC: You see, identification actually where the shrines are concerned, see architecturally you can immediately identify these shrines, because they have certain very peculiar architectural characteristics. One of them for instance is that they are hypaethral, hypaethral is a term used in architecture for being open to the skies, i.e. roofless. So they are absolutely without any roof at all. And another feature is that they are either circular (maximum ones are circular), and we have some which are rectangular. The icons or the statues whatever you call them, they are sixty four in number. But even that is not steady, that is not constant. There can be sixty four, they can be forty two, they can be eighty one. We have found temples of varying different numbers, but somehow this term has become generic, so even if there are eighty one yoginis in a shrine they are still called the chausath yoginis.

IMG_4178

MB: Is there a yogini typology?

NC: The yogini typology, in the years that I have been studying it is that they are more or less always shown independent of a male consort, independent of a male deity. We are so accustomed to seeing goddesses within Hinduism shown with their male deity, and especially in the ancient times, like Lakshmi is shown with Vishnu, and Parvati is shown with Shiva. Even very often when you go to a shrine you will see the two of them as pairs. But in this context we don’t see any male consort standing with the yoginis. In fact the yoginis are one after the other, are placed together and sixty four of them or eighty four of them. If at all there is a male god, there is Bhairava who is shown in the centre of some of the temples, not all of the temples. So there is an association but there is one Bhairava, sometimes places even a century or two after the making of the shrine. So what I would say the main typology of the yogini goddess is that she is independent, she is autonomously placed – even architecturally, sculpturally she is shown on her own. Of course she has all the attributes for being divine, she is multi-limbed – she can have four heads, she can have many hands. Also another feature is that she is very often therianthrophic i.e. she has the head of an animal and the body of a human being.

MB: Visually what differentiates a yogini from other female divinities?

NC: This would be one of the main features that she is shown independently on her own along with many others like her. Each one is different from the other but the size like they are life-size even when they are seated they are three feet and above (most of them), some of them are of course smaller – the ones we find in Odisha in Hirapur. So the multiplicity, they have to be shown in groups. They are group divinities, the yoginis will always be worshipped in a group, like I said 64, 42, 81. It is not unusual in the Hindu Brahmanical context, we do have group divinities like the Sapta Matrikas which predate the yoginis. And in fact the sapta matrikas are very often included within the yoginis – over the list of the yoginis when they are depicted, you do have Varahi, you have Aindri.

So one is that they have to be in groups and second is just to look at them, they are thrilling to look at. They are so voluptuous, they are so beautiful. They can be saumya, in a very placid and pacific kind of way, depicted very nicely, very calmly. Or they can be absolutely rudra, ugra, or very frightening to look at – with fangs and with skulls everywhere. So they have these different ways of being paradoxical that we are so familiar with even among our goddesses. Because even after all if you look at Kali also, she is the mother, she is Kali Maa but she is shown so fiercely. So this paradoxical nature of the goddess you see very clearly in the yoginis.

MB: How would you say the yoginis blur the boundary between the human and the divine?

NC: Actually when we look at the yoginis, I mean if you go to the yogini temples and the shrines and ask the villagers there, what are these yoginis? Then the stories come up where it seems they are perceived as being human initially and then they become divine. For instance there is this very funny story that in the 1800s, a British man with a gun was chasing some village damsels and when he chased them they got so scared that they ran up to the mountain and prayed to Bhairava, and he almost caught them, but because they prayed they turned into stone. So that they were sixty four of them and they were running away from this British person. So these stories come up which show that there is a correlation.

Not only this kind of a story but even when you go into Odisha and interview the people there, they feel that the human beings can become yoginis; they have certain powers, certain supernatural powers, certain women can have these powers and become yoginis, and then cast spells on men and get rid of all kinds of calamities as well. Yes, there is a connection; there is a sliding between the yoginis and the human adepts. And also the yoginis are supposed to be the women who help the tantric practitioner; a human woman will become a yogini who will help the tantric practitioner to achieve moksha. So there is a very strong human element as well as divine.

I mean we are not calling them ‘mata’, we are not calling them ‘maa’, we are not calling them ‘devi’, and so they clearly have had a different role to play within Hinduism, within the Brahmanical faith. We can call them semi-divine. We do hear that they helped Durga, that they were attendants of Durga. They were polymorphous, their roles were changing all the time. They had different roles to play not only within the texts that we find them in but even in the different regions, they are region-specific.

IMG_4171

MB: Can it be argued that construction of temples dedicated to yoginis marked their materialisation into popular devotional theism from a distinctly esoteric cult? Did the proliferation of Chausath yogini temples lead to the absorption of local goddesses?

NC: I don’t think that the transfer was there, I think it is mainly to do with the fact that these probably were like folk deities, village deities – like you have these gramdevatas, these kshetrapalas, you have people who are protecting your village, protecting a region; now those have been included in this yogini cult which are getting Brahminised. So they are getting included within Saptamatrakas, they are getting included with different forms of Durga, and the number is increasing. And so the folk culture is coming into the Brahmanical culture – that is one evidence. And the shrines are made with a lot of cost, they are expensive to make those shrines. Royalty, the richer community, the elite may have been involved in this. That is how I see the shrines coming up at a particular period of time like from c. 9th to c. 12th century.

MB: What could have been the reason that they disappeared suddenly?

NC: I think when you look at what many of the Marxist historians have said, historians like R.S. Sharma, what they have said is that this was the bringing in of the tribal belt. When the Brahmins went into the tribal belts with land grants being given in different areas like in Madhya Pradesh, like in Odisha where you find most of the temples. Then the Brahmins going in sort of adopted or took over many of the deities that belonged to the tribes. So there was a mixture between the Brahmanical and the non-Brahmanical, however you want to call it Vedic – non-Vedic, the tribal and the priestly. Once this kind of assimilation took place, which may have started at around 8th century, it went on, it is possible that people didn’t need them anymore. And also actually, let me put it like this – many scary stories were associated with the yoginis. When you look at their temples, their shrines are always a little outside the main city or the main town. This could be due to various factors, one of the factors may be that since it was so esoteric so many of the initiations, the rites, the rituals; the practitioners did not want everyone to get to know about them.

MB: Thank you! That was very enlightening.

NC: Thank you

Source: https://www.sahapedia.org/the-cult-of-chausath-yogini

 

Recommended Reading (Free Download)

Sixty Four Yogini Temple Hirapur by Suresh Balabantaray. Click on image to enlarge.

Click to download book in PDF format.

Sixty Four Yogini Temple Hirapur

by Suresh Balabantaray

Click to download

 

The Ancient Mythology and Iconography of the 64 Hindu Yoginis

by Neha Mubeen

Click to download

 

Quick Facts

  • The Hirapur Yogini Temple is also known as Chausathi Jogini Mandir.
  • It is a Chausath yogini temple; as such, the yoginis are all depicted as individual goddesses, independent of their consorts.
  • No two Chausath yogini temples have the exact same set of yoginis.
  • The Hirapur temple is the smallest yogini temple and is also believed to be one of the oldest.
  • It is the only Chausath yogini temple which has sculptures on its outer walls. These sculptures are of the nine Katyayanis (female guardians).
  • The temple has 63 yogini sculptures within. The 64th sculpture is missing.

 

Conclusion

Hirapur and many other forgotten yogini temples arose during the height of the proliferation of Tantra within Buddhism and Hinduism. As can be seen in the images above, the rich iconography employed to depict these divinities undeniably belongs to the realm of Tantra, a sacred movement proliferated amongst Hindu and Buddhist yogis, monastics and scholars alike. Therefore, the sixty-four yoginis of these temples are believed to be none other than celestial dakinis in reality .

64yoginistemple079

The rich iconographic language which is still evident in Hirapur is far more identifiable within the Buddhist context. For example, compared to Hinduism, there are more examples of Buddhist divinities possessing similar iconographic traits such as animal faces, animal mounts, the wielding of skullcups and so forth. In fact, there are documented incidents where an originally Buddhist deity was adapted and appropriated into the Hindu pantheon of gods and a prime example of this is Chinnamasta, the Headless Vajrayogini who is now worshipped both within the Hindu and Buddhist traditions.

Ultimately, it is not a matter of whether the sixty-four yoginis are Buddhist in origin or not, but whether the origin of this form of worship is authentic. In the Buddhist context, tracing any practice to a valid source is of utmost importance in order for the practitioner to possess a sense of confidence in the efficacy of the practice. Needless to say, the sixty-four yoginis must have been the result of a pure vision by an attained meditator-yogi or a great master. However, the record of this lineage is now lost and all that is left are the ruins of this once mighty and pervasive lineage and practice.

64yoginistemple086

 

Addendum:

  1. There are many types of dakinis. The word ‘dakini’ denotes a female mystical being that has varying degrees of power. Some dakinis are harmful. Some are mediocre. Some are helpful. Some are spiritual and some are enlightened. There are many types of dakinis. Some are old in appearance. Some are maidens. Some are wrathful, peaceful, scary, gentle and in many colours and sub-colours. They can even come with various animal heads. They can appear in dreams, be holders of secret teachings and be knowledge ladies who bestow wisdom.
  2. In Tantra, the spiritually-awakened dakinis bless the tantric practitioner to achieve high results in their practices. These dakinis can be the entourage of certain deities, protectors or even teachers. They can be teachers themselves and grant instructions to enlightenment or simply higher states of consciousness. Many dakinis are highly attained or even enlightened and they can give teachings and initiations to beings with affinity.
  3. Normally the dakinis gather in the night. When Tsok or a special tantric rite is performed, the dakinis will be invited to enjoy the ritual and offerings. In return they are requested to bless the practitioners to gain high realisations in their meditations. They are requested to protect the practitioners as well.
  4. Some dakini gathering places are only for spiritually-attained beings, so the dakinis will keep others out. Some places are the gathering areas of ordinary dakinis who can be fierce and protective of their ‘properties’. There are many types of places like this. There are 24 main holy places in India where there is a main guardian dakini in each place with hundreds of her entourage. Spiritually-inclined people who meditate in those places are blessed by these dakinis.
  5. These dakinis can also be summoned to one’s meditational place through mantra, mudra, visualisation and or rituals. When they are summoned, they are requested (depending on the ritual) to bless, protect, gather the inner winds or simply to grant blessings.
  6. Generally because the dakinis are more ‘active’ at night because night is associated with female energy and female energy represents supreme wisdom. Therefore these places of gathering of dakinis are sacred. Many tantra practices rely strongly on female wisdom energy, therefore you practise at night to gain wisdom.

I hope this helps. Tsem Rinpoche

 
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About Pastor David Lai

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

David is a lover of Buddhist art and whenever he can, he shares his knowledge of the Dharma with everyone, giving frequent teachings and writing on his blog www.davidlai.me.
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10 Responses to The Sixty-Four Yogini Temple of Hirapur, India

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  1. Pastor Shin Tan on Jul 7, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    Vajra Yogini has many different forms and in each of these forms, the positioning of her sacred body, the various implements she holds and the expressions on her face have profound meaning into various aspects of enlightenment. The implements she holds, the expressions on her face, and her body symbolise specific aspects of enlightenment that suit people during a particular time and place according to their karma. So, therefore, Vajra Yogini’s pose, forms and emanations change over time in order to suit different karmically-connected practitioners. It will keep changing because enlightenment is fluid, compassionate and skilful. To gaze upon Vajra Yogini is to look at a complete ‘roadmap’ to enlightenment as every aspect of her body is a manifestation of enlightenment. Therefore to have her form, picture, painting or statue is very blessed. We should make offerings to her daily diligently.

    After the great Mahasiddha Naropa had served his guru the Mahasiddha Tilopa for 12 years, Tilopa conferred the Vajra Varahi (another form of Vajra Yogini) initiation with full instructions unto Naropa. Then, Naropa diligently meditated on Vajra Varahi and had a vision of her, and when she appeared to him directly, she appeared in the form of Vajra Yogini. Normally, when he engaged in the Vajra Yogini (Vajravarahi) practice, she was in the form of facing him directly, holding a skull cup and a curved flaying knife in front of her heart. One leg was up and one leg was down as in a dancing pose. That was the form of Vajra Yogini that he had meditated on to gain the highest attainments.

    After he had meditated on Vajra Varahi and gained visions of her, she appeared to him in a different form, with her face looking up at Kechara Paradise instead of facing him directly. Her left hand holding the skullcup was thrust in the air and her right hand holding the curved flaying knife, also known as a cemetery knife was facing down at sentient beings or samsara to help beings cut their bonds to suffering. Her left leg was bent, and her right extended while standing in a pose of looking towards Kechara Paradise like she is about to take off there. This form signifies she will take you there and out of suffering. That form of Vajra Yogini became special and that was called Naro Kacho or the Vajra Yogini of Naropa. This Naropa’s Vajra Yogini was initiated to the Nepalese Pamtingpa brothers and they meditated diligently and this tradition of Naropa’s Vajra Yogini just became prevalent and took off from there. Naropa started initiating his other disciples as well into this special form of Vajra Yogini and she became known as Naropa’s Vajra Yogini till this day and it is considered a highly blessed lineage. That is the lineage we have now and most prevalent.

    She is looking up because this Naropa’s Vajra Yogini is indicating she will lead her practitioners to her Kechara Paradise within one lifetime if you are diligent in her practice. Realizing enlightenment is harder for people in today’s world and needs more time during Kaliyuga degenerate period, she leads you to her paradise where you can practice undisturbed to Buddha-hood.

    In this brilliant artwork, what you see is the Mahasiddha Naropa having a direct vision of Vajra Yogini. It’s the first time she has appeared to Naropa in this form. This form is associated with Naropa. Prior to Naropa, this form of Vajra Yogini did not exist. She in this vision is initiating him into this form (Naro Kacho) of herself indicating this form will be most efficacious now according to our karmic period. In the background, you will see a cave with a light in it because when Naropa used to meditate in that cave, it is said that from his body would emit a light and people could see it from afar. You can also see animals surrounding Vajra Yogini, they can feel her compassion and her great blessings and they are at peace around her.

    Vajra Yogini brings peace, love, compassion, wisdom and freedom to everyone who practices her incredibly powerful tantra. Therefore, this artwork is a very beautiful representation of the time when Naropa had a vision of Vajra Yogini in this form for the first time and it is now known as Naropa’s Vajra Yogini. This artwork was offered to me as a gift from a very talented artist. I deeply appreciate this piece of visual spirituality very much.

    Tsem Rinpoche

    To download for your shrine, please click here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=62528

  2. Pastor Adeline Woon on Jul 7, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Vajra Yogini has many different forms and in each of these forms, the positioning of her sacred body, the various implements she holds and the expressions on her face have profound meaning into various aspects of enlightenment. The implements she holds, the expressions on her face, and her body symbolise specific aspects of enlightenment that suit people during a particular time and place according to their karma. So, therefore, Vajra Yogini’s pose, forms and emanations change over time in order to suit different karmically-connected practitioners. It will keep changing because enlightenment is fluid, compassionate and skilful. To gaze upon Vajra Yogini is to look at a complete ‘roadmap’ to enlightenment as every aspect of her body is a manifestation of enlightenment. Therefore to have her form, picture, painting or statue is very blessed. We should make offerings to her daily diligently.

    After the great Mahasiddha Naropa had served his guru the Mahasiddha Tilopa for 12 years, Tilopa conferred the Vajra Varahi (another form of Vajra Yogini) initiation with full instructions unto Naropa. Then, Naropa diligently meditated on Vajra Varahi and had a vision of her, and when she appeared to him directly, she appeared in the form of Vajra Yogini. Normally, when he engaged in the Vajra Yogini (Vajravarahi) practice, she was in the form of facing him directly, holding a skull cup and a curved flaying knife in front of her heart. One leg was up and one leg was down as in a dancing pose. That was the form of Vajra Yogini that he had meditated on to gain the highest attainments.

    After he had meditated on Vajra Varahi and gained visions of her, she appeared to him in a different form, with her face looking up at Kechara Paradise instead of facing him directly. Her left hand holding the skullcup was thrust in the air and her right hand holding the curved flaying knife, also known as a cemetery knife was facing down at sentient beings or samsara to help beings cut their bonds to suffering. Her left leg was bent, and her right extended while standing in a pose of looking towards Kechara Paradise like she is about to take off there. This form signifies she will take you there and out of suffering. That form of Vajra Yogini became special and that was called Naro Kacho or the Vajra Yogini of Naropa. This Naropa’s Vajra Yogini was initiated to the Nepalese Pamtingpa brothers and they meditated diligently and this tradition of Naropa’s Vajra Yogini just became prevalent and took off from there. Naropa started initiating his other disciples as well into this special form of Vajra Yogini and she became known as Naropa’s Vajra Yogini till this day and it is considered a highly blessed lineage. That is the lineage we have now and most prevalent.

    She is looking up because this Naropa’s Vajra Yogini is indicating she will lead her practitioners to her Kechara Paradise within one lifetime if you are diligent in her practice. Realizing enlightenment is harder for people in today’s world and needs more time during Kaliyuga degenerate period, she leads you to her paradise where you can practice undisturbed to Buddha-hood.

    In this brilliant artwork, what you see is the Mahasiddha Naropa having a direct vision of Vajra Yogini. It’s the first time she has appeared to Naropa in this form. This form is associated with Naropa. Prior to Naropa, this form of Vajra Yogini did not exist. She in this vision is initiating him into this form (Naro Kacho) of herself indicating this form will be most efficacious now according to our karmic period. In the background, you will see a cave with a light in it because when Naropa used to meditate in that cave, it is said that from his body would emit a light and people could see it from afar. You can also see animals surrounding Vajra Yogini, they can feel her compassion and her great blessings and they are at peace around her.

    Vajra Yogini brings peace, love, compassion, wisdom and freedom to everyone who practices her incredibly powerful tantra. Therefore, this artwork is a very beautiful representation of the time when Naropa had a vision of Vajra Yogini in this form for the first time and it is now known as Naropa’s Vajra Yogini. This artwork was offered to me as a gift from a very talented artist. I deeply appreciate this piece of visual spirituality very much.

    Tsem Rinpoche

    To download for your shrine, please click here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=62528

    vynaropaa3logo

  3. Samfoonheei on Jun 29, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    Wow such a beautiful discovery by historian and archaeologist, a mystic site of ancient tantric practices .It seem that these temple were abandoned long ago for mysterious reasons. It were then rediscovered and restored by archaeologists only in the last century. Amazing …. sixty-four yogini temple structure is smallest roofless temples in India, built many centuries AD ago. Some of the beautiful yoginis structures still reminds .The mysteries of dakinis reminds till today as the locals believed these mysterious celestial beings will cause harm if coming across one. The temple of Hirapur is located extremely isolated, is certainly worth a visit. This temple is known for its beauty of its architectural and unique structures.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Davis Lai for this sharing of a better knowledge of the many dakinis.

  4. Jacinta on Jun 29, 2018 at 11:09 am

    Dear Rinpoche and Pastor David Lai,

    I am fascinated with this topic about Dakas-Dakinis and have been thinking about this a lot in these two three days. I’ve finished reading a book that discussed about Guru Padmasambhava and His virtuous activities in Bhutan, about termas, the tertons, the Dharma Protectors and Guardians and the sites. When I read back this post, the last paragraph caught my attention~ that summarises the whole essence of why we need to know this and the importance of this article. I hope I get what Rinpoche wanted us to realise by posting this topic up.

    1. “ Ultimately, it is not a matter of whether the sixty-four yoginis are Buddhist in origin or not, but whether the origin of this form of worship is authentic. In the Buddhist context, tracing any practice to a valid source is of utmost importance in order for the practitioner to possess a sense of confidence in the efficacy of the practice. Needless to say, the sixty-four yoginis must have been the result of a pure vision by an attained meditator-yogi or a great master.”
    —- Rinpoche has stressed on the importance of knowing the lineage and the authenticity of the practices that we are about to engage. It’s so important so that we carry on the pure lineages in order to spread pure and genuine BuddhaDharma to others for as long as we can. We should strive to do this and not simply make up a lineage and passing it on. It will affect many things including the correct way to practice, the accomplishments and the eventually future of the students. We cannot make fun of other people’s enlightenment and hence we sure of this. This is why (with correct motivation) we pray that we will be a lineage holder ourselves by study, contemplation and practice. May we be able to do that. If not us, who else? Even though it sounds silly but however difficult it may seem we should pray for that. Even flowers bloomed from a tiny seed. It’s due to Bodhicitta, that all those lineage masters willingly to commit themselves for many hours of studying, training and reincarnating back again and again to carry on the lineage. Even Gyalchen Shugden reincarnated back into Sakya family. Besides, with patience in particular, genuine Lamas will need to wait wait for the positive karma of the students to open up so that the students can realise and practice Dharma.

    2. “However, the record of this lineage is now lost and all that is left are the ruins of this once mighty and pervasive lineage and practice.”
    —- In order to preserve Dharma, we need lineage holders as discussed above. A lineage will die off when people no longer practices it and the best example to elucidate this is the article itself. It reminds me of the Shangpa Kagyu Lineage where Venerable Kalu Rinpoche single-handedly spreaded the lineage of Shangpa Kagyu. It also reminds me of the lineage of Dorje Shugden where Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche requested His Lama to ask for the DS teachings and rituals as the previous texts was lost. Hence, how precious it is that we should carry on the rituals and the lineage. In one of the paragraphs in DS prayer, it says something like this “ If one performs the fulfilling and restoring ritual delighting Gyalchen’s mind, with substances and requisites of pure Samaya, ….. “
    for me this shows how important it is to uphold the prayer, the rituals, the practices and so on. Also, in particular I remember Rinpoche mentioned in a video about rain dances and why it doesn’t work anymore. Rinpoche touched on the importance of elements (in this case perhaps the Dakas and Dakinis also ), the rituals, purification and etc. Spirituality erodes due to many factors such as when elements are gone, people do not practice the rituals and etc. It’s all interconnected. https://youtu.be/aFhbYU5rxB4

    Many things were in my mind but I would like to pen down some of my thoughts here so that I can come back to read it later. Or perhaps seniors can correct me on this. Thank you for this blog in particular. Because of this, I can learn more and share my thoughts as well. Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David Lai.

    • Jacinta on Jun 29, 2018 at 11:25 am

      Sorry for the grammar. It was written down in a hush. 🙏

  5. Anne Ong on Jun 28, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    This is really an interesting topic and at first i was pretty confused why some Dakinis have negative reaction towards people until Rinpoche explained to us on facebook this morning. Really love this mysterious and yet beautiful, sacred and holy place. Thank you very much Rinpoche and Pastor David for this great write up! Hope for more of these to come!👍👏🙏😘

  6. Datuk May on Jun 28, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    Tantric practice in Vajrayana doctrine of Buddhism had always intrigued me. However I was given the point of view that unless one is a very dedicated practitioner who hold her/his vows strictly, tantric practice would not be initiated by a responsible teacher. The reason being that there can be repercussions which may be severe.

    This article is such an empowering piece of learning on the mysteries of dakinis and how we should have their existence in mind and be mindful of being respectful to them.

    I have read of dakinis helping with practitioners on the tantric path and learning more about dakinis/yoginis make me realise like most things life there are different categories of these special beings.

    It is not possible for me to think that yoginis do not exist as temples like the 64 Yogini Temple of Hirapur, India is definitely testament to their existence and practice and the higher learning of Buddhism.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David for this enlightening article.

  7. Meghna on Jun 28, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    This was a powerhouse of information! When you know more information, even a little bit – about the intricacies it does make a huge difference. There are many sites like this which are known all over India, however all the shrouded in mystery, superstition and a feel of danger due to the lack of knowledge.

    The correlations between the Hindu and Buddhist pantheons is very interesting. The Buddhist concept of yidam and higher practices are also somewhat similar to the Hindu practices of the isht -devta; which according to vedic astrology is the being which guides to liberation. The take on the origins was intriguing – pure lineages which were lost?

    (Also deities like chinnamasta, Maha kali, Hayagriva and mahakala which appear, albeit differently.)
    The information of the 64 Dakinis and their details was highly enlightening as out of them mostly nine or the ten are widely known to the masses.

    Thank you for explaining the details. As mentioned, the slightest amount of knowledge can make one see the imagery and help understand and perceive the importance.

    Also the books WOW!

  8. Tsem Rinpoche on Jun 28, 2018 at 10:03 am

    Pictures attached: Dog headed dakini and owl headed dakini

    ugdongma_full_508_792

    Dog headed Dakini-edited-2 jpg

  9. yin ping on Jun 27, 2018 at 10:54 pm

    The Hirapur temple is the smallest and oldest yogini temple. The architecture of this temple is unique compare to typical Hindu temple which is square with linear orientation. This yogini temple is open to the sky in circular shape.

    The craftsmanship of the sculptures is amazing. Each sculpture is distinctive from one with another in different pose and ornaments adorned. Although prayers are carry on daily by care taker, the original record of this lineage is lost. Perhaps this practice is not meant to be found anymore.

    If I have a chance to visit this temple, it would be one of a kind experience to be surrounded by small Yoginis statues made of black Chlorite on all side.

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  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Jul 17. 2018 02:48 PM
    Voodoo is an Afro-Caribbean religion where by their practices revolve around specific beliefs and a pantheon of Gods and Goddesses. These African Voodoo practice has been going on for many hundreds of years. It was once misunderstood. Some claimed as witchcraft but they are not and it is still practiced today. It was declared as a true religion where everyone can practices freely and worship as they like without discrimination.
    Because of the Tibetan Leadership (CTA) political agenda and due to the differences from their own belief, they instituted the ban against Dorje Shugden practitioners. At this century everyone should given the freedom to choose what they believes and what to practise without discrimination.
    Is heart breaking to read articles on the CTA’s official website of the ban which has indeed cause disharmony among the Tibetan communities. The Tibetan Leadership at one side said that everyone can have the freedom to practise but at one end they are against it. They are not truly democratic at all. Dorje Shugden practice is banned by the Tibetan leadership while the Voodoo was banned by European colonisers previously. As times goes by the authority accepted the voodoo practice. The CTA should followed the example of what actually a democratic country like by lifting the ban so as people can practice freely to what they want .
    Its wonderful to know of the Voodoo’s practice from the videos.
    May HH Dalai Lama please lift the ban soon to create a peaceful and harmonious communities .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/voodoo-and-the-tibetan-leadership.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Jul 17. 2018 02:47 PM
    Great post for many to have a better understanding of our own Malaysian land…..state of Kedah. Many of us are not aware of the beauty of Kedah. I have been twice there yet still could not cover all corners as it is a vast State. Yes ..its definitely a place to visit this ‘ Rice bowl of Malaysia’ which was sometimes called. Visited the mainland and Langkawi Island which has plenty to offer to locals as well as foreigner. The many places of interests are fantastic which has a historical stories and legends behind it. I have visited those common places like … Paddy Museum, Pulau Payar Marine Park, Tasik Dayang Bunting , Mahsuri’s Tomb and so forth to name a few.
    Visitors to Kedah must try their delicacies which are different from those other states of Malaysia.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Sharon Ong for this sharing .

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/travel/wonderful-kedah-malaysia.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Tuesday, Jul 17. 2018 12:38 AM
    Where can you find Buddhist texts, scriptures, ebooks and other documents for download at ZERO COST??
    Here –> http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/free-downloads-texts

    There are texts from General Buddhism to Buddhist Philosophy, Tantra and more, suitable for everyone from the beginner spiritual seeker to the advanced practitioner.

    Do come back regularly as we will be adding more texts.
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Monday, Jul 16. 2018 09:47 PM
    Tsem Rinpoche’s private quarters has such a beautiful shrine for you to view and be blessed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPAfpMoN2bA
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Monday, Jul 16. 2018 09:18 PM
    Sacred Guru Rinpoche thangka w/ Mother Green Tara on his left & World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden on his right- https://bit.ly/2uqdg7f
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Jul 16. 2018 09:04 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for these useful tips when we engage in a retreat. I think it is very important to set the highest motivation before engaging in a retreat and then focus on it during the retreat. We are really very fortunate to have all the guidance from Rinpoche and pastors and comfortable venue to do retreat here in Kechara. Appreciate Rinpoche’s kindness.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/5-practical-tips-for-a-spiritual-retreat.html
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Jul 16. 2018 08:40 PM
    Retreat is indeed a great way to breakaway from our busy schedule to seek for a calm and peaceful mind. Not only that, it is a great way to connect with the Buddha for a few days without any disturbance, just us and Buddha. We are all very fortunate that Rinpoche created Kechara Forest Retreat where we have a conducive environment for retreat. Thank you Rinpoche for your kindness.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/6-signs-you-need-a-retreat-pronto.html
  • Lin Mun
    Sunday, Jul 15. 2018 10:27 PM
    A wonderful news to see Megnath sharing Dorje Shugden practise to his family, friends, students and Nepal’s community. So glad that the powerful practise of Dorje Shugden can be spread to so many places. With the 2 chapels in Nepal, I am sure more people will learn and engage in the practise. Thank you Rinpoche for your kindness in sharing Dorje Shugden and created so many methods and opportunities for all to know him.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/dorje-shugden-arrives-in-nepali-school.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Jul 15. 2018 08:27 AM
    It is fascinating to read about the tradition and practice in Sikkim at the time when Lamaist countries were deemed as mysterious and out of reach. Through the writing of Waddell, it came to light that the enlightened Dharmapala, Dorje Shugden was revered by the Nyingma lineage in Sikkim as the protector was placed in a prominent position within the Pemayantse Monastery. Pemayangtse Monastery stood as one of the most prominent monasteries in Sikkim and it was tied to Mindrolling Monastery in Tibet. It was also the seat of Lhatsun Namkha Jigme, a great master of the Nyingma tradition, who through “his mastery of Riwo Sangcho, established and consolidated the Buddhist teachings in Sikkim.” Given the Given Waddell’s proficiency of the Tibetan language and culture, but perhaps not with the religion and its pantheon of deities, Dorje Shugden remained undisputed as a deity venerated by the people of Sikkim at that time. Thank you for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/dorje-shugden-in-nyingma-pemayangtse-monastery-sikkim.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Saturday, Jul 14. 2018 08:12 PM
    I am not letting go, so don’t drag me yelps Gizmo! https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=31&v=a70X2ql5Lys
  • Stella Cheang
    Saturday, Jul 14. 2018 01:43 PM
    Through out human history, villains and unkind beings are allowed to hold office and make significant decision that caused damages, to not just one but many people. For example He Shen during Qianlong Emperor’s time in Qing Dynasty, or Judas Iscariot during Jesus Christ’s time. It is frustrating to learn in hindsight that, for certain particular reasons, circumstantial or purely out of the leader’s selfish motivations, these villains to reign and damage. Shameful and disgusting.

    Back to Depa Norbu, as a person, he is unkind, certainly not spiritual. He is self-serving and unscrupulous. He was given power and ascent to the position of Regent, then he flipped and joined the rebellious against Gelug tradition. Why would the crimes of such a person being covered up? The worst of all, he murdered a highly attained lama who arose as an enlightened protector of the lineage and teachings? Something is seriously amiss!

    Logically, the Tibetan leaders should have drawn a clear line with Depa Norbu and charged him with all the crimes he have done, including the murder of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen. It may seem unfair to charge a person centuries after he is dead, but it should not be new to the Tibetan leadership. They are capable for ascribing wrongs to the dead anyway, i.e. alleging TDG for making a bad prayer when he died and arose as an evil spirit, Dorje Shugden.

    The Tibetan leadership should use this unscrupulous tactic now, for the sake of unifying the people as well as undoing the wrong of accusing a highly attained lama (Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen) and reinstating Dorje Shugden. It is really too bad that the Dalai Lama, the King of Tibetan Buddhism and his peers were (still is?) surrounded by people the like of Depa Norbu.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/external-articles/murder-in-drepung-monastery-depa-norbu.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Saturday, Jul 14. 2018 03:18 AM
    The 3rd Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche points out clearly the murderer of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen- Read Here – https://bit.ly/2uyhkBt
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Saturday, Jul 14. 2018 03:06 AM
    Murder in Drepung Monastery: Depa Norbu- Read here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=162787
  • Alice Tay
    Friday, Jul 13. 2018 09:11 PM
    This post brought me back to my days in the university’s time. During 3 years studied in Kedah, I have tried all the foods as stated in the post except fried porridge. At that time, most of my friends are Malays (born in Kedah) and therefore the Buddhism temples such as Buddhist Hermitage Lunas, Wat Kalai etc. are not in our list for visit.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Sharon sharing this interesting post of Kedah. Hope I get the chance to visit Kedah again especially Wat Kalai that built more than 200 years ago by Prak Nikcrodthamadtada.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/travel/wonderful-kedah-malaysia.html
  • Lin Mun
    Friday, Jul 13. 2018 08:59 PM
    It’s alarming reading this article. Year 2030 is very near and if we don’t do much to help the earth and our environment, we will very soon exhaust our natural resource. We are facing with so much deficiency such as clean water, air, trees and our whole ecosystem are affected. We should create awareness and start taking action to help our mother earth instead of looking for another earth. It is with the right mindset that we can sustain our earth.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/time-to-find-a-second-earth-wwf-says.html

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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

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
Me and peek-a-boo Oser who is pretending to be a rabbit. LOL Tsem Rinpoche
yesterday
Me and peek-a-boo Oser who is pretending to be a rabbit. LOL Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche\'s private quarters has such a beautiful shrine for you to view and be blessed:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPAfpMoN2bA
yesterday
Tsem Rinpoche's private quarters has such a beautiful shrine for you to view and be blessed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPAfpMoN2bA
Sacred Guru Rinpoche thangka w/ Mother Green Tara on his left & World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden on his right- 
 https://bit.ly/2uqdg7f
yesterday
Sacred Guru Rinpoche thangka w/ Mother Green Tara on his left & World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden on his right- https://bit.ly/2uqdg7f
The 3rd Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche points out clearly the murderer of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen- Read Here -  https://bit.ly/2uyhkBt
4 days ago
The 3rd Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche points out clearly the murderer of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen- Read Here - https://bit.ly/2uyhkBt
Murder in Drepung Monastery: Depa Norbu- Read here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=162787
4 days ago
Murder in Drepung Monastery: Depa Norbu- Read here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=162787
Dorje Shugden Arrives in a Nepali School | नेपाली विद्यालयमा दोर्जे शुग्देनको प्रवेश।- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=164978
5 days ago
Dorje Shugden Arrives in a Nepali School | नेपाली विद्यालयमा दोर्जे शुग्देनको प्रवेश।- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=164978
My doggies are super cute. He is Dharma boy in grey and she is Oser girl in the white. They looked like little stuffed toys. I love them very much.
5 days ago
My doggies are super cute. He is Dharma boy in grey and she is Oser girl in the white. They looked like little stuffed toys. I love them very much.
My doggies are super cute. He is Dharma boy in grey and she is Oser girl in the white. They looked like little stuffed toys.
5 days ago
My doggies are super cute. He is Dharma boy in grey and she is Oser girl in the white. They looked like little stuffed toys.
Four Sacred Sites of Vajra Yogini in Nepal- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=164215

This is an important pilgrimage blog post everyone must study and understand as one day you could visit and make prayers. Also this post has the various lineages of the sacred Lady Vajra Yogini\'s practice. A must read. Tsem Rinpoche
6 days ago
Four Sacred Sites of Vajra Yogini in Nepal- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=164215 This is an important pilgrimage blog post everyone must study and understand as one day you could visit and make prayers. Also this post has the various lineages of the sacred Lady Vajra Yogini's practice. A must read. Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche at Kechara Forest Retreat
6 days ago
Tsem Rinpoche at Kechara Forest Retreat
Sakya tradition\'s thangka of Dorje Shugden sitting on a throne within his palace with his four emanations and high Sakya Lama nearby. Tsem Rinpoche
6 days ago
Sakya tradition's thangka of Dorje Shugden sitting on a throne within his palace with his four emanations and high Sakya Lama nearby. Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche\'s shrine next to his working table
6 days ago
Tsem Rinpoche's shrine next to his working table
Tsem Rinpoche teaching in Kathmandu, Nepal
6 days ago
Tsem Rinpoche teaching in Kathmandu, Nepal
Tsem Rinpoche teaching around 20 years back in Wisdom Centre Kuala Lumpur.
6 days ago
Tsem Rinpoche teaching around 20 years back in Wisdom Centre Kuala Lumpur.
A Indian Yogi meditating on the path of Vajra Yogini deep in the forest as he is guarded by his wisdom protector Dorje Shugden. If we rely on him, Dorje Shugden will watch over us unwaveringly.~Tsem Rinpoche
6 days ago
A Indian Yogi meditating on the path of Vajra Yogini deep in the forest as he is guarded by his wisdom protector Dorje Shugden. If we rely on him, Dorje Shugden will watch over us unwaveringly.~Tsem Rinpoche
A very rare lineage of the Severed-Head Vajra Yogini thangka. She has severed her head and holding it in her own skull cup. Top left is Indra Kacho Vajra Varahi, centre is Flying Vajra Yogini and top right is Maitri Kacho Vajra Yogini.~Tsem Rinpoche
6 days ago
A very rare lineage of the Severed-Head Vajra Yogini thangka. She has severed her head and holding it in her own skull cup. Top left is Indra Kacho Vajra Varahi, centre is Flying Vajra Yogini and top right is Maitri Kacho Vajra Yogini.~Tsem Rinpoche
A stunning ethereal depiction of Dorje Shugden invoked by the Aboriginal tribes in Australia.~Tsem Rinpoche
6 days ago
A stunning ethereal depiction of Dorje Shugden invoked by the Aboriginal tribes in Australia.~Tsem Rinpoche
Beautiful thangka with upper left: Guru Rinpoche in the form of Nyima Odser, centre Lord Buddha Shakyamuni, right Tsongkapa, bottom left Protector Dorje Drolod and bottom right Protector of wisdom Dorje Shugden.~Tsem Rinpoche
6 days ago
Beautiful thangka with upper left: Guru Rinpoche in the form of Nyima Odser, centre Lord Buddha Shakyamuni, right Tsongkapa, bottom left Protector Dorje Drolod and bottom right Protector of wisdom Dorje Shugden.~Tsem Rinpoche
A meditator in Tibet has a vision of Manjushri Dorje Shugden while in retreat...while his \'assistant\' the yeti is in the background. Few Tibetan lamas had mentioned they have seen the yeti in Tibet or they harnessed the yeti to deliver messages to other meditators in distant mountains hard to reach by the average person. Tsem Rinpoche
6 days ago
A meditator in Tibet has a vision of Manjushri Dorje Shugden while in retreat...while his 'assistant' the yeti is in the background. Few Tibetan lamas had mentioned they have seen the yeti in Tibet or they harnessed the yeti to deliver messages to other meditators in distant mountains hard to reach by the average person. Tsem Rinpoche
Left is His Eminence Kensur Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Tharchin lak of Sera Mey Monastery. He was residing in our Rashi Gempil Ling Kalmuck temple in Howell, New Jersey since 1971. I arrived in Howell in 1972 and had the fortune to take refuge with this master and receive innumerable teachings for 8 years. I lived 10 minutes away due to my good fortune. He is my first teacher. He is a direct student of H.H. Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche Dechen Nyingpo the Great as well as Their Holinesses Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche.

Right. Is His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche visiting this temple in New Jersey. It was at this time His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche conferred the Dorje Shugden sogtae (\'initiation\') on Kensur Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Tharchin along with two other students.~Tsem Rinpoche
6 days ago
Left is His Eminence Kensur Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Tharchin lak of Sera Mey Monastery. He was residing in our Rashi Gempil Ling Kalmuck temple in Howell, New Jersey since 1971. I arrived in Howell in 1972 and had the fortune to take refuge with this master and receive innumerable teachings for 8 years. I lived 10 minutes away due to my good fortune. He is my first teacher. He is a direct student of H.H. Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche Dechen Nyingpo the Great as well as Their Holinesses Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. Right. Is His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche visiting this temple in New Jersey. It was at this time His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche conferred the Dorje Shugden sogtae ('initiation') on Kensur Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Tharchin along with two other students.~Tsem Rinpoche
Another cute attack short video of my doggies you must see: 



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMUWYvWk3no&feature=youtu.be
6 days ago
Another cute attack short video of my doggies you must see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMUWYvWk3no&feature=youtu.be
I first saw this \'red\' illustration of Vajra Yogini back in Howell, New Jersey when I was around 14 years old. It is one of my favorite depictions of this Buddha Dakini. Tsem Rinpoche
7 days ago
I first saw this 'red' illustration of Vajra Yogini back in Howell, New Jersey when I was around 14 years old. It is one of my favorite depictions of this Buddha Dakini. Tsem Rinpoche
Sacred old Vajra Yogini small hand painting called a \'tsakaley\'.
7 days ago
Sacred old Vajra Yogini small hand painting called a 'tsakaley'.
Offerings are made daily to the enlightened awakened beings on my shrine. Today we offered many fresh and clean fruits. May all be blessed by finding the path to enlightenment and gaining attainments. Tsem Rinpoche

www.tsemrinpoche.com
1 week ago
Offerings are made daily to the enlightened awakened beings on my shrine. Today we offered many fresh and clean fruits. May all be blessed by finding the path to enlightenment and gaining attainments. Tsem Rinpoche http://www.tsemrinpoche.com
Beautiful picture of His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche.
1 week ago
Beautiful picture of His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche.
My dear Mumu boy has such soulful and deep penetrating eyes. He was highly sensitive, intelligent and caring. He is physically gone, but never from my heart. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
My dear Mumu boy has such soulful and deep penetrating eyes. He was highly sensitive, intelligent and caring. He is physically gone, but never from my heart. Tsem Rinpoche
Oser and Dharma meet \"His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche\"- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-fP1MLuR0A
1 week ago
Oser and Dharma meet "His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche"- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-fP1MLuR0A
Oser and Dharma meet a new friend. Super cute attack video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkuXAcveV0E
1 week ago
Oser and Dharma meet a new friend. Super cute attack video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkuXAcveV0E
Little Oser trying to get a snack out. Super cute video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ANtRnEFREA
1 week ago
Little Oser trying to get a snack out. Super cute video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ANtRnEFREA
Beautiful and sacred shrine
1 week ago
Beautiful and sacred shrine
Voodoo and the Tibetan Leadership- https://bit.ly/2u4BZ0w

What happened to the voodoo religion is similar to what Tibetan leadership is doing today to groups of people due to their religion.
1 week ago
Voodoo and the Tibetan Leadership- https://bit.ly/2u4BZ0w What happened to the voodoo religion is similar to what Tibetan leadership is doing today to groups of people due to their religion.
Take two minutes and  look at this cool video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqBOV1pf8uU
2 weeks ago
Take two minutes and look at this cool video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqBOV1pf8uU
Another beautiful and ancient thangka of Guru Rinpoche and Dorje Shugden!
2 weeks ago
Another beautiful and ancient thangka of Guru Rinpoche and Dorje Shugden!
Please read about this incredible hermit monk Gen Nyima. Very inspirational-  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=163703
2 weeks ago
Please read about this incredible hermit monk Gen Nyima. Very inspirational- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=163703
Neat and fun video to share: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oqe2JPpO6OI
2 weeks ago
Neat and fun video to share: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oqe2JPpO6OI
A question regarding unenlightened oath bound protectors. Do click on picture and read. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
A question regarding unenlightened oath bound protectors. Do click on picture and read. Tsem Rinpoche
Be kind to everyone because they need it. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Be kind to everyone because they need it. Tsem Rinpoche
Ishwar Puri Ji: The Great Sikh Master in the West- Please read more and be inspired: https://bit.ly/2KxqOqI
2 weeks ago
Ishwar Puri Ji: The Great Sikh Master in the West- Please read more and be inspired: https://bit.ly/2KxqOqI
Geshe Puntsok happy with his gift of The Promise book.
3 weeks ago
Geshe Puntsok happy with his gift of The Promise book.
It is said by the caretakers not to go to this place at night. Because at night they hear gatherings and lots of voices. People in the village respectfully avoid this place as the dakinis (yoginis) gather at this place and if they are disturbed, there are fearful consequences worst than death for the intruder. Please read more about the this place in Hirapur: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=163205
3 weeks ago
It is said by the caretakers not to go to this place at night. Because at night they hear gatherings and lots of voices. People in the village respectfully avoid this place as the dakinis (yoginis) gather at this place and if they are disturbed, there are fearful consequences worst than death for the intruder. Please read more about the this place in Hirapur: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=163205
Raven-faced Karma-Mahakala or Kakamukha Mahakala
3 weeks ago
Raven-faced Karma-Mahakala or Kakamukha Mahakala
You may have heard of singing in the rain, but how about chanting in the rain?

A group of Kecharians went on sacred pilgrimage in Kechara Forest Retreat itself yesterday. We all know we don\'t have to travel far for pilgrimage because we have Kechara Forest Retreat with so many blessed images and relics. Please see what I mean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3439KaJsBA

Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
You may have heard of singing in the rain, but how about chanting in the rain? A group of Kecharians went on sacred pilgrimage in Kechara Forest Retreat itself yesterday. We all know we don't have to travel far for pilgrimage because we have Kechara Forest Retreat with so many blessed images and relics. Please see what I mean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3439KaJsBA Tsem Rinpoche
Stunning \'nathang\' thangka of Ekazati, Dorje Drolod and Dorje Shugden together.
3 weeks ago
Stunning 'nathang' thangka of Ekazati, Dorje Drolod and Dorje Shugden together.
Sacred Vajra Yogini made in Qing dynasty Between 1644-1911). It is housed in Sichuan Museum, Chengdu. Just to gaze at Her holy form is to realize there is a different place we can go to that has no suffering. She is the doorway and all we have to do is leave our projections and enter. May all ascend to Kechara Paradise. Namo guru Vajra Yogini lah Chak Tsel Lo! Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini made in Qing dynasty Between 1644-1911). It is housed in Sichuan Museum, Chengdu. Just to gaze at Her holy form is to realize there is a different place we can go to that has no suffering. She is the doorway and all we have to do is leave our projections and enter. May all ascend to Kechara Paradise. Namo guru Vajra Yogini lah Chak Tsel Lo! Tsem Rinpoche
Rumi: Legendary Sufi Poet whose mystical works transcend space and time. It\'s beneficial to enhance our knowledge of other traditions & cultures: https://bit.ly/2lh9cRO
4 weeks ago
Rumi: Legendary Sufi Poet whose mystical works transcend space and time. It's beneficial to enhance our knowledge of other traditions & cultures: https://bit.ly/2lh9cRO
His Holiness Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, Kyabe Zong Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Monastery doing puja.
1 month ago
His Holiness Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, Kyabe Zong Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Monastery doing puja.
Old Tsui Marpo thangka with his other 6 brothers. So it\'s the 7 blazing Tsen brothers. Beautiful.
1 month ago
Old Tsui Marpo thangka with his other 6 brothers. So it's the 7 blazing Tsen brothers. Beautiful.
Protector Tsui Marpo in Danji Ling in Lhasa. Striking image.
1 month ago
Protector Tsui Marpo in Danji Ling in Lhasa. Striking image.
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Considering getting a tattoo of a Buddha image? Watch this video.
    23 hours ago
    Considering getting a tattoo of a Buddha image? Watch this video.
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s personal shrine. May everyone who view the shrine be blessed and have peace.
    yesterday
    Tsem Rinpoche’s personal shrine. May everyone who view the shrine be blessed and have peace.
  • Very powerful and heartwarming short video about love. A must watch and a must share. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 days ago
    Very powerful and heartwarming short video about love. A must watch and a must share. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Megnath is such a devotee of Bhagawan Dorje Shugden where he brought this protector to many people. Must watch this short video of him with the school kids. Lovely. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 days ago
    Megnath is such a devotee of Bhagawan Dorje Shugden where he brought this protector to many people. Must watch this short video of him with the school kids. Lovely. Tsem Rinpoche
  • My super adorable Oser girl Schnauzer reaching for a carrot on a chair. Her face looks like a stuffed animal toy. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 days ago
    My super adorable Oser girl Schnauzer reaching for a carrot on a chair. Her face looks like a stuffed animal toy. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is the shrine next to my working table where I sit daily. Tsem Rinpoche
    6 days ago
    This is the shrine next to my working table where I sit daily. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Who is that?? Wow Wow
    1 week ago
    Who is that?? Wow Wow
    Tsem Rinpoche's pet Schnauzers Oser & Dharma trying to get attention of the life-like statue of Rinpoche's guru Kyabje Zong Rinpoche which was offered by the students
  • Nothing Stops Me from Getting the Snack!
    1 week ago
    Nothing Stops Me from Getting the Snack!
    Tsem Rinpoche's pet Schnauzer Oser got the snack from the ball!
  • I must get the snack!
    1 week ago
    I must get the snack!
    Tsem Rinpoche's pet Schnauzer Oser trying hard to get her snack out of the ball!
  • I love this green snack munch munch munch
    1 week ago
    I love this green snack munch munch munch
    Tsem Rinpoche's pet Schnauzer Oser enjoying her green snack!
  • ‘Ahm-ahm’ video part 3: Starring the two silly doggie clowns doing jumps for carrot tidbits. Teehee
    2 weeks ago
    ‘Ahm-ahm’ video part 3: Starring the two silly doggie clowns doing jumps for carrot tidbits. Teehee
  • ‘Ahm-ahm’ video part 2: Starring the mega monsters Oser and Dharma. Teehee
    2 weeks ago
    ‘Ahm-ahm’ video part 2: Starring the mega monsters Oser and Dharma. Teehee
  • ‘Ahm-ahm’ video part 1: Guess what are the two monsters looking for??? Teehee…cute
    2 weeks ago
    ‘Ahm-ahm’ video part 1: Guess what are the two monsters looking for??? Teehee…cute
  • A Dorje Shugden puja was performed by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s students in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). KFR’s land is extremely blessed and energised, all beings who enter the land will be blessed.
    3 weeks ago
    A Dorje Shugden puja was performed by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s students in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). KFR’s land is extremely blessed and energised, all beings who enter the land will be blessed.
  • A Dorje Shugden puja was performed by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s students in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). KFR’s land is extremely blessed and energised, all beings who enter the land will be blessed.
    3 weeks ago
    A Dorje Shugden puja was performed by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s students in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). KFR’s land is extremely blessed and energised, all beings who enter the land will be blessed.
  • A Dorje Shugden puja was performed by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s students in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). KFR’s land is extremely blessed and energised, all beings who enter the land will be blessed.
    3 weeks ago
    A Dorje Shugden puja was performed by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s students in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). KFR’s land is extremely blessed and energised, all beings who enter the land will be blessed.
  • A Dorje Shugden puja was performed by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s students in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). KFR’s land is extremely blessed and energised, all beings who enter the land will be blessed.
    3 weeks ago
    A Dorje Shugden puja was performed by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s students in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). KFR’s land is extremely blessed and energised, all beings who enter the land will be blessed.
  • Bigfoot Sign Arrives in Betong
    3 weeks ago
    Bigfoot Sign Arrives in Betong
    The town's filled with excitement as Kechara Bigfoot gets a new sign.
  • Visiting senior citizen homes who happily receive Dorje Shugden’s blessings.
    3 weeks ago
    Visiting senior citizen homes who happily receive Dorje Shugden’s blessings.
  • Visiting a senior citizens home and sharing Dorje Shugden with them.
    3 weeks ago
    Visiting a senior citizens home and sharing Dorje Shugden with them.
  • Megnath outside the Chabahil Dorje Shugden Chapel in Kathmandu passing out Dorje Shugden brochures and booklets to the local people.
    4 weeks ago
    Megnath outside the Chabahil Dorje Shugden Chapel in Kathmandu passing out Dorje Shugden brochures and booklets to the local people.
  • Megnath walking around the Bodha stupa in Kathmandu and his uncle holding image of Dorje Shugden as he was just gifted with it.
    4 weeks ago
    Megnath walking around the Bodha stupa in Kathmandu and his uncle holding image of Dorje Shugden as he was just gifted with it.
  • Oser and Dharma vying for a snack! Cute
    1 month ago
    Oser and Dharma vying for a snack! Cute
  • A devotional song by Mary Fewel Tulin from the Radhasoami of Baba Sawan Singh. In it she praises the guru’s ability to evoke love and compassion within a practitioners heart.
    1 month ago
    A devotional song by Mary Fewel Tulin from the Radhasoami of Baba Sawan Singh. In it she praises the guru’s ability to evoke love and compassion within a practitioners heart.
  • Another devotional song in the Radhasoami tradition of Baba Sawan Singh. In this song she sings about the qualities of the guru.
    1 month ago
    Another devotional song in the Radhasoami tradition of Baba Sawan Singh. In this song she sings about the qualities of the guru.
  • On June 1, 2018, His Holiness the 10st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal starting giving teachings on Vajra Yogini in France.
    1 month ago
    On June 1, 2018, His Holiness the 10st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal starting giving teachings on Vajra Yogini in France.
  • His Holiness the 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal Rinpoche at 91 years old is healthy and very strong. We are blessed to see him. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 months ago
    His Holiness the 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal Rinpoche at 91 years old is healthy and very strong. We are blessed to see him. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Monthly Dorje Shugden Puja Performed at Nagu Monastery, Dechen, Yunnan, China for Tsem Rinpoche
    2 months ago
    Monthly Dorje Shugden Puja Performed at Nagu Monastery, Dechen, Yunnan, China for Tsem Rinpoche
  • His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche with his student Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
    3 months ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche with his student Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
    His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery was one of the teachers of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Here in this beautiful video is Geshe Kelsang Gyatso showing his centre to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, then proceeding to sit down to receive teachings. For more information, please go to http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/category/kyabje-zong-rinpoche
  • Super neat footage of Patty the Bigfoot!
    4 months ago
    Super neat footage of Patty the Bigfoot!
    In 1967, Bob Gimlin and Roger Patterson stumbled across an incredible sight whilst out in Bluff Creek, in the California wilderness. At a creek which had been freshly washed-out by recent floods, they witnessed a female Bigfoot swiftly traverse the rugged landscape. Since their filmed encounter with the Bigfoot, who has since been nicknamed Patty, many have disputed the authenticity of their recording but no one has been able to successfully prove that it is a fake. Credits for this video goes to entirely to windvale for the original footage.
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    9 months ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
  • Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
    9 months ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
  • BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
    9 months ago
    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    9 months ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    9 months ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    9 months ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    9 months ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    9 months ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    9 months ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    9 months ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    9 months ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    9 months ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    9 months ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    9 months ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    9 months ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

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.

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CHAT PICTURES

A wonderful Monday to have 2 young teenagers, Su Lin and Kieren together with Polly, Say Fong and Lisa Tan serving lunch to our clients. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
11 hours ago
A wonderful Monday to have 2 young teenagers, Su Lin and Kieren together with Polly, Say Fong and Lisa Tan serving lunch to our clients. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Self-defense class held by KSDS in Kechara House. Alice Tay, KSDS
yesterday
Self-defense class held by KSDS in Kechara House. Alice Tay, KSDS
Every kids will be given opportunity to lead the class to do prostrations. Alice Tay, KSDS
yesterday
Every kids will be given opportunity to lead the class to do prostrations. Alice Tay, KSDS
You Qian is a smart and loving kindess boy made donation for animal liberation. Alice Tay, KSDS
yesterday
You Qian is a smart and loving kindess boy made donation for animal liberation. Alice Tay, KSDS
The birds would be released after the prayers and mantra recitation. Alice Tay, KSDS
yesterday
The birds would be released after the prayers and mantra recitation. Alice Tay, KSDS
Pastor Han Nee led KSDS students, parents and others for animal liberation in Kechara House. Alice Tay, KSDS
yesterday
Pastor Han Nee led KSDS students, parents and others for animal liberation in Kechara House. Alice Tay, KSDS
Lets see who is the lucky person to received Dorje Shugden from Kuala Lumpur Chinatown. Louise
yesterday
Lets see who is the lucky person to received Dorje Shugden from Kuala Lumpur Chinatown. Louise
Dorje Shugden stall sending hope and blessing to everyone daily. Louise
yesterday
Dorje Shugden stall sending hope and blessing to everyone daily. Louise
Children volunteering in Kechara Soup Kitchen. A great way to spend the weekend. Lin Mun KSDS
3 days ago
Children volunteering in Kechara Soup Kitchen. A great way to spend the weekend. Lin Mun KSDS
Lovely kids, learning to chant at very young age. Lin Mun KSDS
3 days ago
Lovely kids, learning to chant at very young age. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback - KSDS Graduation, volunteers are doing make up for children. Lin Mun KSDS
3 days ago
Throwback - KSDS Graduation, volunteers are doing make up for children. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback - Grand Dorje Shugden Puja, homemade soap all the way from Kuantan. Lin Mun KSDS
3 days ago
Throwback - Grand Dorje Shugden Puja, homemade soap all the way from Kuantan. Lin Mun KSDS
Royden feeding a deer during the Farm in The City outing. Lin Mun KSDS
3 days ago
Royden feeding a deer during the Farm in The City outing. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback - Colouring contest during Grand Dorje Shugden Puja 2017. Lin Mun KSDS
3 days ago
Throwback - Colouring contest during Grand Dorje Shugden Puja 2017. Lin Mun KSDS
Thanks to recommendation by Mr Andrew Yap, we brought 2 young clients to a job interview at an upscale hotel in #KualaLumpur. Hopefully they will succeed in their interview and live a stable life soon. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
3 days ago
Thanks to recommendation by Mr Andrew Yap, we brought 2 young clients to a job interview at an upscale hotel in #KualaLumpur. Hopefully they will succeed in their interview and live a stable life soon. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Prayer and dedication ~ Monthly Bird Liberation by Kechara Penang Study Group. ~ Jacinta
3 days ago
Prayer and dedication ~ Monthly Bird Liberation by Kechara Penang Study Group. ~ Jacinta
Monthly Bird Liberation ~ Kechara Penang Study Group , Jacinta
3 days ago
Monthly Bird Liberation ~ Kechara Penang Study Group , Jacinta
Dharma Sharing about H.E. the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche’s biography led by Bro Soon Huat~ Kechara Penang Study Group, Jacinta
3 days ago
Dharma Sharing about H.E. the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche’s biography led by Bro Soon Huat~ Kechara Penang Study Group, Jacinta
More than 200kg of surplus were saved and distributed to the needy families in Jalan Sungai. If not for the food rescue heroes, all these would have ended up in landfills. Thank you to Tesco and all volunteers for making this possible !!! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
4 days ago
More than 200kg of surplus were saved and distributed to the needy families in Jalan Sungai. If not for the food rescue heroes, all these would have ended up in landfills. Thank you to Tesco and all volunteers for making this possible !!! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Big thanks to Billy Hew for the generosity. Winter melon tea drinks arrive just in time for our street friends as the weather has been muggy and unpredictable lately! We also share the joy with our charity partners. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 days ago
Big thanks to Billy Hew for the generosity. Winter melon tea drinks arrive just in time for our street friends as the weather has been muggy and unpredictable lately! We also share the joy with our charity partners. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Jenny, Eunice and Nurul Anisa were such a great help to our kitchen today. Apart from serving in the kitchen, they also helped to prepare materials to be used for the needy families' skills training project. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 days ago
Jenny, Eunice and Nurul Anisa were such a great help to our kitchen today. Apart from serving in the kitchen, they also helped to prepare materials to be used for the needy families' skills training project. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Happy Wefie customer in our stall ! Everyone love Dorje Shugden ! Louise Lee
1 week ago
Happy Wefie customer in our stall ! Everyone love Dorje Shugden ! Louise Lee
Dharma sister Wong Li Yen come to volunteer in our stall in Kuala Lumpur Chinatown during saturday. So kind to spare time to help in the hot sun! Love you. Louise
1 week ago
Dharma sister Wong Li Yen come to volunteer in our stall in Kuala Lumpur Chinatown during saturday. So kind to spare time to help in the hot sun! Love you. Louise
Daily everyone receive precious gift from our stall in Kuala Lumpur Chinatown. Louise
1 week ago
Daily everyone receive precious gift from our stall in Kuala Lumpur Chinatown. Louise
So glad to have children engaging in dharma practise at a young age. Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
So glad to have children engaging in dharma practise at a young age. Lin Mun KSDS
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Dorje Shugden
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