TRANSCRIPT – Khatas and the meaning behind it

Jun 8, 2013 | Views: 6,034
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Dear students and friends,

I would like to share with you a talk I gave some time ago about khatas. Many people who are new to Tibetan Buddhism often wonder about khatas when they see them being used in the Dharma center. What is it for, the significance of using it, what they should do with it etc etc.

These are all perfectly fine questions to ask. In the Dharma, continuously ask questions and continuously learn more. Below, I have provided you with a complete description about khatas, and its significance in both Tibetan culture and Buddhism. 

Do watch the video and read the transcript. It is important to understand why we offer khatas. We should always work towards dispelling ignorance because the very reason for us to be in a Dharma centre is to learn and gain knowledge. Leave a comment below after you’ve read and understood, ask questions and discuss it on the blog chat. If you’re interested in learning, tell me what you think, what you have learnt and understood from this teaching. 

Tsem Rinpoche

 


 

 

 


Transcript for Khatas and the meaning behind it.

 

Khatas. Respect, faith, devotion, love, care, gratitude, respect, love, devotion, care, gratitude, appreciation, concern, and good wishes are very, very, very hard to put into words, into action, and into expression. They’re non-tangible feelings that animals and humans and even spirits have that need to be expressed, that need to be shared, that need to be given. Very important. Paris, would you like a table? Would it be easier for you? Sure! Please get a table. Andee, would you like a table? How about you, Kandarohi? You guys would like a table? Wan? Susan? Joseph? You sure? Please use it, please use it. That’s what it is for. See things here, things in our…um, things…oh turn it around for her because she will have more space under it. Yes. Things in our organization just doesn’t look pretty, it’s also user friendly too, thank you. That includes the Smuru.  Better. You okay, Susan? You okay? Alright. How about you Sharon? Good, good, good.  Better? Stick your legs under the table. You can fit. Yes. I saw you typing ohlulululululu. It’s a lot of suffering. I know. Henry, do you need a table? A chair, a drink, a ciggie butt, a cigar, marijuana, a Mary Jane, some E, Coke, here’s the man! Oh, 10 years ago, not any more. He’s given all that up, no I’m just kidding. He doesn’t do any of that. He takes…eh…I don’t know. He takes pictures of Hiroshima and looks at the mushrooms from that. Oh. A little low blow but never mind. I know, I know. It slipped but never mind I couldn’t think of a better representation of mushroom.  Okay…err Paris is deeply affected now she can’t write anymore. Oh snap out of it! Cut it out with the drama. You should be an actress.

Okay, khatas. Love, appreciation, care, concern, gratitude, respect, etcetera, our emotions are essential for all of us. Emotions are essential to be expressed and to be told. In fact, just giving food and clothes and shelter and a pat on the head and material items doesn’t make animals or people or even spirits grow to be happy, fun loving, beneficial sprits, animals and people, you know and in fact people become spirits because they don’t get those emotions or they don’t give it. They don’t give it because they don’t get it, they don’t get it because they don’t give it. It’s samsara. Same thing with animals, animals that are filled with that kind of emotions or given that kind of emotions they act very differently with owners and other people than animals who don’t and even on a higher level of human capacity, people who are loved, appreciated, given that and shown that and always taken care of in that way, they are very different individuals. 

So, those emotions are intangible, no color, no form, no substance, no taste, no tactile feeling, nothing, but they exist. Why? People who have it are different, and people who give it are very different and hence the most popular Buddha in China and Tibet is the Lord of Compassion, the holder of the white lotus, Avalokiteshvara, Kuan Yin. Why? Because these emotions are represented by this great Bodhisattva though she is so loved in China and in Tibet, he is so loved in Tibet. He is the patron Buddha of Tibet. Why? We all need those appreciation, love and care and thanks and concern. We need that. So therefore, that is not able to be shown, and when we receive teachings from our Guru, you know, “Oh and thank you thank you thank you, you changed my life” and people become enlightened from the teachings and they change and transform. There is no way to show it. People who love their parents so much and they are going away, how do you show it?  Just a hug, and then some people that we can’t hug, you know. They’re beyond our rank, beyond our level, beyond our social class. It’s not proper, or maybe, in some societies we can’t hug women. Women can’t hug men so they’re…they’re…it’s very difficult. 

Because in Tibetan society, touchy-touchy is a no-no, kissy-kissy is a no-no. A public display of affection is not frowned upon but not [kasawhatthe] encouraged and in extreme cases sometimes you see two sisters, you know…you know give a hug and say goodbye or auntie to a nephew or something like that, but there is not a lot of physical touch, there is not a lot of physical expression and touching our Gurus or anything like that is a very, very big no-no. His Holiness has broken the whole taboo by hugging every singe person that meets him, you know, every person that meets him, you know, anything he hugs is beautiful and it’s allowed a lot of Tibetan Lamas to do that like Lama Yeshe was a very big huggy, huggy-huggy person. 

In any case, what it is, it’s love. So in Tibetan society, how to express all that was through a khata. A pure, white, beautiful, clean cloth that has no specific measurements, width, and length, but that can be as ornate as made of pure silk and shiny with the 8 auspicious signs woven into it and very long, maybe 2-3 feet tall, I’m sorry, long, long, can be a 1 feet, 1 1/2 feet in length and folded over, or it can be just a simple piece of cloth that’s 1½ to 2 feet long, maybe ½ feet in width. I’m just giving approximations here and nothing imprinted and it can be made of rough cotton, but a khata wasn’t dependent on the person you give it to and the person giving it, can express respect. When we’re going away some place, and we want to say goodbye to our parents who love us, and the mother is crying, and the father is packing our things because he cares, offering a khata to our mother and father is thank you for your blessings and your deep gratitude. Your deep gratitude to your parents, and to say that may I see you soon, and I love you and you offer the khata to them in deep respect, and when the khata is put back on  to your neck, it is to signify that their love, in the case of parents.  In the case of Lamas when it is put back on your neck, it is blessing. 

So sometimes when we go away, when we go to our altars, and we make a beautiful khata offering to our Yidam, the beautiful green goddess Tara. Tara, I’m going to be away from your statue a little while, from your image here on my altar, but you’re always with me, please follow me and you offer a khata to Tara to say goodbye, I’ll see you soon. Respect and blessings, and also when you go to your protector chapels to invoke upon the protective energies of your Dharma protector, that whatever you want to do, whatever you want to fulfill may be fulfilled, effortlessly, with no obstacles or less obstacles, so when you offer that khata, it costs you some money and that money is translated into a white piece of cloth, whatever its material to mean your devotion, your faith, your confidence and your making a direct affinity to this protective deity or to the Lama, or to the Yidam, and you offer a khata and when you offer gifts to people which I wanted the laptop here on my throne because I wanted to avoid that one, yes. You’ll have to open a shop called Pink Dharma. “Oh what’s that?” “All Dharma items in pink lah! What else?”  Isn’t that fun? God. It’s the first time we see a pink Tsongkhapa. Tsongkhapa will be like “Oh god. All right, if it benefits people, why not?” Isn’t that horrible? And she can get away with it because she is um, obnoxious and fun. Okay. So um, Sharon will be like “Oh, we don’t go into that store, it’s not proper. We go into Dzambala Mystical Treasures where they sell correct colored Tsongkhapas, gold. Let’s go, Susan, now.” Susan: “But…but…but, we have to support our friend, she’s a co-writer.” “Let’s go, now.” Huh! Yes. We know who wears the pants. Alright. 

Now, uh, so, a khata is an expression of this emotion we have towards the person we offering it to, or the being. In the case of our Lama devotion and blessings. In the case of our Yidams, to solicit attainments…attainments…to solicit attainments. In the case of our Dharma protectors, to solicit, to ask for protective energy. In the case of our parents, gratitude, respect, love, in the case of friends, deep friendship, in the case of buildings, if you, if there’s a new building we offer a khata to the building, we tie it at the door, whatever. What is the meaning? Is that my good wishes and my prayers, may this building bring great success and love and happiness, good luck. I…I totally agree with what you are doing. So when you…when you give a gift, it’s not just simply “Here”. You give it with a khata to show respect to the other person that it is an honor and it is a great pleasure for me to offer you something. So when you offer it with a khata, when you offer it with a khata and you give a gift to someone, it’s great respect. So in Tibetan tradition, just to give a gift like that “Ehh” is very disrespectful and to just give one hand is very disrespectful and especially if you’re giving a representation, this is something new, a representative of a Lama, a changtso, whenever you give the gift, an item or the  letter to a person from the Lama, you always give it with a khata to the person, why? It signifies the blessing of the Lama, even the Lama hasn’t touched it because you represent the Lama. Always give everything with a khata to people and a khata is held like this, nothing wrong, but if you need to pick a side the opening is towards the person so the closed part is towards you, and how you store a khata is not the way Seng Piow stores his shirts, let me show you how. This is how —  Seng Piow, can you see this? Good. This is how Seng Piow stores his shirts, his clothes, his pants, his notes, his life. That’s not how we store a khata, how we store a khata is traditionally, it’s a way of social interaction and the feeling of closeness, to be close to someone, to say that “I like you.” Folding khatas is a social interaction.

So we will have another person, Andee can I have your help? Hold the end of the khata like this, allright? That person hold the end, and it’s a joyous occasion, stretch it out, you stretch it like that and usually see Tibetans smiling when they fold khatas, it’s a happy occasion, it’s a beautiful occasion, it’s a social interaction saying this is my friend, you know, a mother and daughter, father and son, father and daughter, you know like 2 students getting ready for a teaching, or after a blessing, you know it’s wow, it’s a happy occasion because khatas represent happy emotions you know, if you are angry at somebody you wouldn’t give a khata, well you’ll probably strangle them but you wouldn’t give them a khata, you wouldn’t write nasty notes on them “I hate Tsem Rinpoche because he didn’t show me love”, you know, on a khata and throw it at him, you wouldn’t do that. 

A khata is a happy so it’s always happy occasions, it’s a celebration, it’s during festivals, it’s during teachings, it’s for pujas, it’s initiations, it’s gifts, it’s birthdays, it’s anniversaries, it’s, it’s…and then the only time a khata is used that is on a sad occasion when someone died and that’s to show your last respect to that person and the family. The khatas are emotions. They are emotions in cloth. What are khatas? Emotions in cloth. So when we fold it, one person will hold it and this person will take it, flip it in and then hold it like that and fold.  No, you keep like that. Keep it tight, and then you come closer as they get folding and as they fold it you come closer and just fold it like that. So it becomes like a fan, alright? See you have a fan effect now and then, when you just get to the end, not all the way to the end, fold it over completely and that’s how you hold it and that’s how you store the khata so it doesn’t  become wrinkly and ulgy and look funny because you know you don’t want to give one of your khatas that look like Seng Piow’s shirts to your Guru, you know it’s like all wrinkled and [khata offering gesture] and then easy to store, doesn’t get wrinkled, because Tibetans will keep it in their chuba and take it out and offer it and immediately. 

You know, here the catchword is never leave home without your AMEX card, American Express, in Tibet, never leave home without a khata. Oh yes, it’s really like that. They say [Tibetan phrase] “No Khata? Ohh!” Why? Because you’re always gonna meet a high Lama, you’re always gonna go to temple, you’re always gonna get a Yidam, you’re always gonna see some Buddha, you’re gonna see someone and it’s like no khata, and to go out there and no khata, its like [gasp] you know, it’s become a cultural thing, and I think it’s beautiful because emotions on cloth, and so when you offer it to your Guru, what you do is you make 3 prostrations first, and you usually keep your khata in a clean place in a clean area. You don’t just stick it in a corner you know, throw it there, wipe your nose with it. You do not wipe your nose and perspiration and body parts with your khata and then wash it and then use it. You do not. Okay, it is not an underwear, it is not a gymwear, it is emotion love wear, okay?

So what happens is this, is that if we’re going to see a Lama, we keep a khata inside in our bag or whatever or a clean place, we make 3 prostrations and then when we’re just near the Lama, we open it up and we hold it with 2 hands and we offer it. When we offer to our Lama, the Lama will put it back on our head. The person that is higher rank or higher in whatever, spiritual rank or worldly rank such as parents, the khata is put back on our head. We never put the khata back on our Guru’s head, because it means I’m blessing you. To put it back on your head means it’s a blessing, okay? So to your parents, to your Guru, to authority, to ministers, you offer it to them, they will put it back on your head. To people who are equal rank or lower rank, you will put the khata to their hand. So let’s say that uh, Zahir is the same as me in the monastery right, I would not put this over his head. If he’s a younger Rinpoche, I will put it over his head. If he’s my age, I’ll put it to his hand to show respect that I am not above you. So you’ll see how Rinpoche’s humility are with other Rinpoches, they will never put over the head, unless it’s your student, they will give it directly to the hand and hold it, and there are Rinpoches who fight to put it on my neck, some Rinpoches will take it and put it on their own neck and the other Rinpoche say “No no no” because it means that “I am higher than you” and the other one is humbling himself. In Tibetan society you always see like one Rinpoche is trying to give it equally, this second Rinpoche will try to put on his head to show humility, it’s a practice of humility because in Tibet, humility, not showing off and not bragging, and no face is a virtue. Wanting face is very, very bad virtue because it’s an extension of the delusional mind, it increase it and um, humility and wanting to advertise who you are and talking about how good you are is very, very bad because it is against Buddhist principles, why is it? Those kind of actions increase your hatred, desire and anger, and ego and pride if it is used wrongly.  So in Tibet it is frowned upon, humility is very great, and in most Buddhist countries that are infiltrated with Buddhism that is the key word, humility.

So if it’s offered to the protective deities, of course you offer it up not on the neck, you offer it in front of them or on to their feet or onto their hands, to your Yidams, all the more so. To Lama Tsongkhapa, if you have a statue, we offer it between his hands or on his lap, never on his neck, never. How can you bless Lama Tsongkhapa? “Hi Shakyamuni, you want a blessing?” [loops khata] I don’t think so, you know. “Hi Shakyamuni, I love you so let me wrap this khata around you?” No, on their here. Why? It’s to show respect. It’s very, very simple and they should be kept, if a high Lama or during special occasions, whatever, a Lama has given you a khata, it’s considered blessed. People can even fold it and keep it somewhere in their house on their altar or something to be used inside their statues or even protective over their doors and some even tie it around their animal which we don’t need here in Tibet, it’s protection. And sometimes when protectors go into trance, they’ll take a khata and do a special knot, they do a special knotting on it, right, and do a mantra, and seal it, and give it to you. It becomes very powerful protection, that you will keep over your house, over your new business, on your altar or something, it’s considered very powerful protection.

The khatas are a universal way of sharing love, acceptance, respect, care, concern and all the positive emotions, so it’s emotion on a cloth so we should keep it very, very well and uh, we may not be Tibetans, but we also have emotions, so can use khatas to show it, okay? And offering khatas is virtuous, very, very virtuous because of what it represents and it has the 8 auspicious signs so when you offer it up you offer the 8 auspicious signs, which we will talk about it in a little while. Questions on khatas? Yes Joanne. Okay. There is not a big difference in the colors, white is the usual pervasive color used in khatas in Tibet. In Mongolia it’s blue, but you also have yellow, red and orange and different colors. Why? For certain rituals, you need to represent the 5 different elements, earth, air, water, fire and what is it? Earth, air, water, fire, metal. They represent the 5 different elements, then you have the 5 different colors, alright. So sometimes khatas are used for specific rituals and sometimes it’s just nice to offer a yellow khata. Yellow khata can represent growth and increase to a wealth deity, you know. A red khata is very nice to offer to a protective deity. Why? Red means fierce and wrath, and isn’t it fabulous. Imagine if you have a 4 foot Vajrayogini statue in your house and she is beautiful, she’s fabulous and she is dressed up and she is looking at you and it’s dark and you and your lover sitting there, staring at her and there’s a butterlamp in front of her and then you offer her a red khata onto her hand and ask Vajrayogini to bestow you higher attainments. Isn’t that fabulous? Oh yes

Can you imagine the big Vajrayogini…what a reason to work, I mean we work so hard and we make so much money, do we want the results of that to have another Fendi, Gucci tired bag or striped socks or you know, another tired car, you know, just another food, a restaurant. Wouldn’t it be nice if all the money we made ended up in something useful for us and our loved ones, a beautiful image of a Buddha, a large, a big one. That’s why even when Buddha images are very expensive, for Tibetans, how poor or rich they are, they don’t blink an eye. They will never go [gasp!] Never. Why? 

To create a Buddha image and to keep it and dedicate it for our son, our daughter, our husband, our wife, our lover, our friend, our parents is very holy. That’s why in our stores, for many people I allow part payment. Why? I’m not into making money, I am into making merits for them.  By having a holy Buddha image, there is so much benefit and we’ll talk about that. So much benefit that it is incredible. That’s why having a holy image that costs nothing, and Tibetans are usually find opportunities to sponsor statues, find opportunities to sponsor tsatsas, find opportunity to give statues away, and they don’t let you know because they collect the merits and all the blessings that you just take and say “Ooh I got a free gift!” Yeah, you may have saved 2-300 dollars or 50 dollars or whatever, you think you’ve saved, but to sponsor statues the benefits are limitless. That’s why you see Lamas, big Lamas, uh little street dogs like me and people and rich and poor women whatever, they will always find an opportunity to sponsor a statue, a stupa or a book to give away, they will die and clamor and scream for it. They will donate to monasteries. They will donate to temple. They will donate to their friends and you know “Oh, it’s your birthday? Here’s a statue!” “Oh it’s your anniversary? Here’s a statue!” “Oh you mean you have a cold? Here’ a statue!” “Oh you’re unhappy? Here’s a statue!” “Oh you mean today you bought your new car! Here’s a statue!” But what has that got to do with it? They don’t care. They look for the opportunity because they know the benefit for the receiver and the giver. 

Just imagine a large… and that should be the goal for us, to have a fabulous, beautiful altar that we come home to, literally, on a superficial basis come home to after a long day of work, come home to, here [patting heart]. Come home to a fabulous, can you imagine, a fabulous beautiful, glorious statue of Vajrayogini, 3 feet 4 feet, oh god, with pearls and jewelry and shiny and just fabulously, fabulously gorgeous and deliciously fabulous that you make offerings and you pray to. That is a sum up of your hard work, the sum of your hard work, oh yes, that’s why I encourage it, and I even get very expensive statues, I’ll tell you why in Nepal as I said, we make next to nothing, I don’t care, sometimes the stores don’t survive. Sometimes we are in the red. Last year, Kechara Paradise was in the red for 25 thousand ringgit, in the red, no profit at all, but in the red. We finally recover from that, slowly, and then everybody is like why? It doesn’t matter, because the outlets is to spread Dharma. And so therefore, I encourage, I get more statues, interesting statues, nice statues and I let people do part payment, why? Because I want them to have holy, powerful images and they may not have realize immediately the effect, but they will in time because people are smart, and people will know and I will explain and teach and we can read. Very, very powerful, and especially if its our particular Yidam, like if it is Manjushri or Cherenzig or Vajrayogini or Lama Tsongkhapa, it is very important to have, very important, very important.

This is not something I talk about now, this is what I have been doing since I was a nobody you know, I still am a nobody but a bigger nobody last time and I didn’t have any money to buy anything. So after this I would like everybody to get a khata and go to my house quickly and to see my Vajrayogini. My Vajrayogini statue there was given to me by a Malaysian in Bodhgaya under the body tree and it costs 1300 rupees, that’s 120 ringgits, and that 13 years ago for me…not even unimaginable, it wouldn’t even enter my mind I can get that because 1300 rupees to me 13 years ago in India is a huge fortune. I can live on that amount for 2 months as a monk. When I got that I was like “Oh my god!” it was a gift, I just screamed. So I have that, it’s from Delhi, its not the best craftsmanship, no it’s not, then I met Tashi in Delhi to make a long story short, you know we met up by accident in a Dharma center and we became friends and she sponsored the gold for the face, and the jewelry which was another three, four thousand rupees and we were like Augh!!” it’s a fortune and I went to the artist everyday and I harassed him to death. I harassed him, I sat there and I pushed him, I bitched nonstop until he got it the way that I want and the face is the original, painted then I took it down to Ganden and took a while to get money to get mantras in and took a while to get it consecrated but it’s been consecrated by the highest Lamas, mantras has been put in, and then when I became recognized as a Lama then people come make offerings to me, somebody died, somebody’s sick, somebody needs prayer, somebody needs luck, they always give me money, this money I don’t use and I collect it and I always buy some jewelry, I always buy some gold and I offer it onto her. 

Over the years, even now in Malaysia, a lot of people give me so many gifts. I don’t deserve it, but I get it and instead of just voraciously take, lapping up gifts, using it and swimming in the gifts, what I do is I offer something back for the people. What I do is I offer, always from the angpau I take a percentage out and I collect it, and I keep it in front of the altar and I pray for the people and I transform that into jewelry or whatever and offer it up to Vajrayogini. For every single person who has done anything for me, always so my offerings never stop, so my offering on Vajrayogini has become quite expensive, extensive, and this statue you take a look afterwards, it’s not the best craftsmanship, it’s not fabulous but it’s the best Vajrayogini statue on this planet, because it’s filled with love, devotion and it’s created from so many people who just offer so much to me, and I had nothing to offer them except Vajrayogini. I want you guys to take a look after this, take a quick, quick look, don’t try to sneak to my kitchen and steal my chocolate cake, don’t try to kidnap my dog, don’t try to sneak upstairs and take a look at what kind of underwears I wear, alright, oh Irene is not here. Uh, I want you to go take a look, why? It’ll become holy and precious. 

So for me, statues is not a passion. It’s not an art. It is something that is extremely beneficial for others. It’s when I have statues all over big ones. Blah…blah…blah everywhere and I give it away like that. Why? It has so much benefit. I will talk about that another time.  So khatas, imagine a beautiful, red khata, in a beautiful, red Vajrayogini in your house, glorious and beautiful with a sexy, gorgeous female body, I mean aren’t women beautiful? Just beautiful beautiful Vajrayogini. Of course, order through KMT, KP and DMT, order anywhere else and I’ll  chop your fingers off. Opps. And then uh, beautifully decorated, not all at once, slowly with time you add to it because our budgets are constrained, constrained, and then during your birthday or something special offer a beautiful red khata. Wow. And just imagine the butterlamp flickering in front of her face in the dark, we do her mantra and her prayers and her meditation, what else is there? You go back home, because Vajrayogini is in here, you’re going back home.  Isn’t that fabulous? Or just think a beautiful Lama Tsongkhapa smiling, matte, gold, with a yellow hat, smiling at you in acceptance, with blessings and compassion and skill, teaching you the Dharma, looking at you and then it’s dark, and there’s a butterlamp with incense billowing. You offer a beautiful white or yellow khata up to him for your mother, for your lover, for someone’s birthday and celebrate, just think about that. 

All of you should take a tour of Ruby’s house and see her Tsongkhapa. She has a big 5 feet Tsongkhapa which costs her a bomb and took her a while to pay it off, but she managed. A big, fat Tsongkhapa. She moved from a big fat house to a teeny little apartment and she fit that Tsongkhapa in I tell you, she stuffed him, she was putting him through the door like “Go in, go in, go in!” Oh yes. You must go to her house and you must pay homage to the fabulous Tsongkhapa. She aint the only one, there’s a lot of Malaysians and Singaporeans as well getting big statues, why? They know the benefit. When they first join they’re like “I want a little one, no space.” Their house is so huge and their little “Oh oh” and after they know me for one or two years, trust me their statues grow. Yes. They’re like algae in the rain.

Okay, so that’s what khatas are for, and that’s how they’re used in general and in short and they have a lot of meaning. Any questions on that? You have any panadol? Anybody has any panadol? Yeah. Questions on khata? You do? Ok. Good. I’ve been having a fever and stuff for a few days but it’s okay, I’ll be alright.  Questions on khatas? Paris, don’t shock us like this, it’s disgusting when you don’t have a question, there’s something wrong,  you have a fever? Bird flu? No? okay. 

Oh this, your pill helped. Thank you very much, I feel better now. I love pills. Drugs, prescriptions drugs, diet pills, sleeping pills, just pass it over, you know, whatever, just give me pills. I’ll tell you another day how I wanted to die from an overdose but the pose, the place, the look, I have it all planned, it’s very Marilyn Monroe but never mind, we’ll talk about that another time. You can ask Andee, he knows about it, he’ll tell you in 10,000 words or less, I promise you. Oh god, Sharon’s evil! She’s like “Yes, I know!”

Transcribed by Joey Wong

 


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  1. Samfoonheei on Oct 23, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these very informative post. I can understand much better now the meaning and the benefits of offering khatas.It was very clear and details explanations shared.The khatas are a universal way of sharing love,respect,faith,devotion,care,gratitude,appreciation, concern and good wishes for someone and from one to another .In a way for many other reasons like an expression of this emotion we have towards the person we offer it. In the case of our Lama devotion and blessings,in the case of our parents,gratitude,respect, love, in the case of friend and so forth.
    Rinpoche did mention about offering Buddha statues to others has so many benefits too.
    Thanks again with folded hands

  2. Fong on Aug 21, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Khatas are an expression of respect, love and gratitude to our parents in the Tibetan tradition
    It is an expression of respect for our lamas or Buddhas.
    To offer khatas to Dharma Protectors to ask for protective energy.
    We offer khata back to our Guru out of respect, and when he puts it back over our head means it’s a blessing from our Guru.
    To offer khatas to friends is a sign of our deep friendship.
    To offer a khata to a new building, we tie it at the door, to show our good wishes and prayers for the building to bring great success and love and happiness, good luck.
    Khatas represent happy emotions so folding khatas is a happy occasion.
    Sometimes, khatas are used for specific rituals and sometimes it’s just nice to offer a yellow khata to represent growth and increase to a wealth deity or a red khata to a protective deity, as Red means fierce and wrath.
    Thank you for the full explanation of offering khatas from a Tibetan point of view. It’s such a very beautiful way of expressing emotions without getting ‘mushy’ from an Asian perspective. Then, it is a matter of accustoming ourselves to it and actually practice it.

  3. Jason on Mar 31, 2016 at 5:17 am

    This is a very useful and clear explanation on Khatas.Khata is represent emotion or feeling expression on cloth. The feelings can be care, devotion,love,, respect, gratitude In Mongolia , Khatas can be different colors for certain rituals to represent 5 elements, earth,water, metal,woods and fire. This is sound interesting.
    Beside that, Rinpoche also did touch about humility practice especially in Khata offering within two lama.Normally, Khata will be offered and put on lama’s hands.(higher lama will offer back the Khata and put on our neck which represent blessing)
    Finally, Rinpoche also emphasize on the benefits of offering Buddha image or statue to others .This can be shown in Tibet that many people are waiting or creating the opportunity to make Buddha statue offering to others.
    Thanks so much Rinpoche.

    With folded hands,
    Jason

  4. Andrew Maddox on Mar 30, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    Is it inappropriate to adorn a khata with anything but ashtamangala?

    • Pastor Niral Patel on Mar 31, 2016 at 12:25 am

      Dear Andrew,

      Khatas are usually adorned with the Ashtamangala, for auspicious reasons. The Ashtamangala, literally means the eight auspicious symbols. This is the traditional symbols that you will find on a khata.

      Some khatas are even adorned with certain mantras. However you will most likely not see khatas adorned with images of deities etc.

      That being said as khatas are used as an offering, it is acceptable to adorn khatas will symbols of offerings.

      I hope this helps. You had a very interesting question, I hope this reply answers it. Don’t forget to check out the Ask The Pastors section if you have any more questions. We will be more than happy to help in any way we can.

      • Andrew Maddox on Mar 31, 2016 at 10:24 pm

        Thank you for your response Rinpoche.

        Could you please elaborate on symbols of offering?

        Thank you,

        Andrew Maddox

  5. Hee TS on Aug 17, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche on the knowledgeable teaching khatas, it really do teaches us the meaning of khatas, giving a better understanding towards khatas.

  6. Pee Bee Chong on Aug 16, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for teaching us the meaning and the benefits of offering khatas.

  7. May Li on Aug 29, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Thank you so much to H.E. Tsem Rinpoche for sprinkling upon us the right understanding about khatas offering.
    Besides, I would like to express my gratitude to Sharon for leading me to explore the Transcription section of this precious blog, in particular that this subject has caught my attention most.
    I had done my first offering of khata last month, following blindly some kind and relatively senior Vajrayana Buddhism practitioners, without knowing the true meaning behind it.
    However, during the entire process, I did felt a strong, mixed emotions rushing and shaking my entire being. And when I am recalling now, it’s just what Rinpoche had elaborated, in a very swift and delightful manner over here.
    Initially there was a mixture of curiosity and anxiousness while queuing up for my turn; no chance to ask and was afraid of making mistakes.
    During presenting, strangely and naturally, at a proximity to the Rinpoche, I just bowed to the lowest possible position, with both hands holding the white khata up to Him. At that moment, humbly I bowed with strong sense of respect; with full acceptance and submission.
    Next, when the khata was taken and wrapped over me, I felt the warmth of acceptance, compassion, care and guidance transmitted; kind of feeling reconnected to the origin. At once, my eyes were wet with tears, followed by unspeakable joy.
    While I am replaying this mental clips now, I realize how beautiful and meaningful khata offering could be. With deeper understanding from this transcript, it has added necessary ingredients to my future offerings.
    My sincere gratitude to everyone and all conditions that allowing me to experience it. Namaste!

  8. Wan Wai Meng on Jul 7, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    I do wonder how this tradition started in Tibet, putting one emotions on the cloth. As Tibet in the ancient times they had a lot of people in arms or weapons. Having a khata probably makes it more peaceful to express an emotion? It is also a gentle way of putting our wishes and hopes onto a khata and a nice and gentle way to offer gifts in a much grander manner.

  9. Ash Ng on Jun 23, 2013 at 11:24 am

    After so many years of using Khatas yet didn’t know the actual significance and the meaning behind this piece of cloth. Now that I understand with greater in-depth, I know how to make an meaningful offering to my teacher, to a Buddha’s statue or to someone of a higher level than myself out of great respect, gratitude, love and concerns etc. Thanks for sharing 🙂 my dharma knowledge and wisdom grow an inch everytime I read Your blog’s teachings. Tashi Delek 🙂

  10. Fernando on Jun 22, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    you know I have been having my khata with me for some time now always on my pocket but this evening I was cleaning it, it had like little pieces of paper so I fold it and placed it in a cleaner place, I wanted to know how I should use it and what the meaning of it is, I came to Rinpoche’s blog, I wanted to read something but just randomly you know? so I clicked on Buddhas and Dharma Practice and what do I find? http://blog.tsemtulku.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/transcript-khatas-and-the-meaning-behind-it.html Not only did it solve my doubts about khatas but also solved a big doubt about how to solve a problem I’ve been trough during some days now, thank you Rinpoche! 🙂

  11. uncle eddie on Jun 20, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    For those who have’nt practice Tibetan buddhism, will not know that a khata can be used as an offering for blessings and an expression of deep gratitude to parents, friends and especially to Gurus. It is also used to signify deep respect and our love for the person being offered. In Tibet it seems, to never leave home without a khata. When offering khatas, we open it up, hold it with two hands, and offer it up. When offered to a Lama, the Lama will put it over our head. Same or of lower ranks, it will be put back into their hands. Khatas is said to be a universal way of sharing love, acceptance, respect, care and concern. Khatas offerings are said to be very virtuous and of great signifigance.

  12. Patsy on Jun 14, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    The gestures of offering khata is so meaningful if we know the significance behind it. Thank you, Rinpoche, for this teaching. It is useful information which we can share in the outlets with our customers.

  13. justin cheah on Jun 13, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing with us the meaning behind using a khata. I always thought of it as a blessing and a very nice traditional gesture of offering respect and gratitude towards a Lama or Guru. Previously I thought khatas can only be offered to Lamas and Statues of Enlightened beings and did not know that khatas can actually can also be offered to lay person such as our parents. Thank you again for sharing Rinpoche.

  14. Han on Jun 11, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Very details and profound teachings about Khata.
    After listening to this clip, I will treasure khatas more and always remember the significance meaning of khata.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this.

  15. Paul Yap on Jun 11, 2013 at 11:00 am

    i remember when we go pilgrimages with Rinpoche, we have lots of khatas with us inside our bag pack. Whenever we enter a monastery, there are lots of beautiful Buddha images, everyone will line up to offer khata and some money too. I think this is a wonderful practice/custom reminding us to be humble and always respectful and appreciate the people surronding us.

  16. Datuk May on Jun 10, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    When I offerred the first Khata to Rinpoche (as instructed by JP) I loved the gesture and thought it to be extremely graceful and stylish and such an expression of warmth when it was returned and put around my neck.

    There was I time I had so many khatas at my altar that I was wondering what to do with them.
    My thought was I shall keep them all as they were put around my neck by Rinpoche and it must be something good.

    Thank you Rinpoche for this detail and clear teaching on Khata and I shall treasure them more.

  17. Grace Leu on Jun 10, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for the sharing. It let me understand Khata is the way to express our emotions in cloth, all the wishes, love, care, respect toward to people we love, care and respect.different colour represent different meaning, we also offer up the 8 auspicious sign to them.we also receive blessing when Khata is return on us . How beautiful to get connection with each other through Khata.

  18. lewkwanleng on Jun 10, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    I have always like the khata but never know the reason until I watch this video.. As Rinpoche put it, it is a cloth which represents happy moments!

    Now that I know the meaning of khata, as it represents love, gratitude, respect, blessing, it is much more meaningful when I offer it!!

  19. Jill Yam on Jun 10, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche on the precious teaching on khatas. Now I really understands the significance and more meaning to the offerings of khatas.

  20. Sharon Saw on Jun 10, 2013 at 1:26 am

    i remember this teaching in Dame Khang 🙂 Rinpoche would spend many hours teaching us the significance and symbolism behind many Buddhist items, of which included this teaching on khatas. When we learn more about khatas, we can see more meaning behind traditional greetings. For example, when Tsem Rinpoche went to Gaden Shartse Monastery in 2006 ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZoxHRjJO5g timestamp: 18:46), Rinpoche wanted to offer a khata to the Abbot, but the Abbot wanted to offer the khata to Rinpoche first, so there was a gentle respectful tussle. The Abbot finally offered Rinpoche the khata and with respect presented it to Rinpoche’s hands as he humbly considered Rinpoche higher ranking thank himself in the monastic hierarchy. However, Rinpoche was very humble and put the khata around his own neck. This brief exchange may be lost to many who do not understand the significance of offering khatas and how it represents respect. Thank you to Rinpoche for constantly providing knowledge and enriching our lives to expedite our Dharma journey.

  21. Rena Wong on Jun 10, 2013 at 12:11 am

    Thank you very much Rinpoche for your valuable teachings. 

    This will definitely help me to explain to participants and members when they offer khata, candle & pearls to Rinpoche’s throne. Now i know the right way to fold, to offer and the significance of the difference colours of khatas.

    Its such a beautiful offering to make as we are able connect with all levels of beings. To our Lama to get blessings & devotion, to our Yidam to receive blessing, devotion & Dharma teachings continuously and gain attainments. To our Protectors for protection energies and various people we have realtionship with for their care, love & kindness.

    As explained by Rinpoche, Khata is an expression of our appreciation, gratitude, love, care , good wishes and good emotional feelings to the person we are offering it to. In return we will also receive the blessings to have the gratitude,  love and care, good wishes and good emotional feelings. As these feelings are intangible, it is best expressed by offering a khata as it represents the positive virtues. Its a universal way of sharing love and positive emotions.  Its so virtuous because of what it represents and has the 8 auspicious sign.

    How nice and beautiful  to offer a khata as it  is a All in One good virtues and a way for us to connect with our Lama, Yidam, Protector, loved ones, family, friends & beings to receive the blessings to practice positive emotions & good virtues. In this way, we will have harmony and positive results in whatever we do and wherever we go.

    Thank you Rinpoche for this beautiful teaching of Khatas.

    With folded hands
    Rena

  22. Josua on Jun 9, 2013 at 2:45 am

    Tashi deleg!

    thank you for the teaching!
    Why are you so thin now?

    kind regards,

  23. Erickksiow on Jun 9, 2013 at 12:52 am

    Tibetan Buddhism culture got a lot things to learn about it, Thank You Rinpoche for the teaching, will share with customer in outlets.

    Best Regards : Eric kksiow

  24. KYC on Jun 8, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    This teaching on khatas is very useful and can be shared with students in Dharma classes and visitors to Kechara House. I always thought khatas are like garlands of flowers we offer to the Lama and sangha. In the case of khatas, they are offered back as blessings. So I always treasure the khatas because of the beautiful gesture and significance behind the gesture.

  25. Cliff on Jun 8, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Thank you Rnpoche for you clear, concise and easy to understand explanation of the significance of a Khata. I had always known a khata as a cloth for a sign of respect and to receive blessings from, i never knew the deeper true meaning to it and it brings me joy to learn this new knowledge of what a Khata is, how it is used, what is it for and how is it kept. I really like the harmonious social interaction it brings between two people to roll and keep the Khata. I also learnt that some coloured Khata’s have a significance for certain rituals. I always thought it was beautiful gesture between two people offering a khata to the other, it is a beautiful scene to witness and experience, it shows the level of humility one has to show to receive and the other to give. I really like the thought of it. Thank you for sharing Rinpoche.

  26. Michael C. on Jun 8, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Thank you very much Rinpoche for this lol teaching on Khatas. I was actually thinking earlier today why a piece of cloth was so important and was thinking if a white napkin imagined as a cloth would do, now I know not!

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  • Lin Mun
    Wednesday, Dec 7. 2016 10:05 PM
    Thank you Dato’ Colin for sharing your journey in dharma and your method in applying dharma in a corporate world.

    I always think that it is difficult to practise dharma in corporate as everyone only have the same mindset that is to gain more profit at the fastest pace and therefore lots of greed and selfishness. But you have showed us that as long as we are perseverance and hold our principal and dharma strongly, we can apply it no matter which segment we are, be it corporate or not.

    Most importantly, is to set the right mindset and hold on to dharma principles. Continue to strive no matter how many challenges we have.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/how-to-grow-your-business-with-buddhist-principles.html
  • Lin Mun
    Wednesday, Dec 7. 2016 09:54 PM
    Thank you Pastor Patsy for sharing your dharma journey. It is a great encouragement for many as you show that determination will surely bring result.

    It is important to practise dharma and to always focus out. When we keep practising this our mind will slowly transform to benefit others instead of feeding ourselves with all the greed, anger and selfishness.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/how-dharma-changed-my-life.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Dec 7. 2016 01:13 PM
    So happy to see the YAK – Millennials of Kechara – were learning to become an entrepreneur, be proactive and independent with good motivations. These practical experience will lay the foundation for leadership qualities, lateral thinking as well as a creative and innovative mindset. I wish to see more success for our Kechara YAK and looking forward to their upcoming activities! Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/yak.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Dec 6. 2016 10:22 PM
    Good sharing and informative blogs of Kuan Yin temples in Malaysia.
    Origins of Kuan Yin been explained too. I do not know so much about it till i read these post…i only knew Kuan Yin as Goddess of Mercy.When i was young i used to follow my mother to temple to pray without knowing much..just as one one of a deity.On Guan Yin’s birthday, devotees observe a vegetarian diet in remembrance of her compassion and kindness.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these beautiful post .
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/guan-yin-day.html
  • Alice Tay
    Tuesday, Dec 6. 2016 09:16 PM
    This is very auspicious that 2 great masters meet together and talk about dharma works for the benefit of all sentient beings.

    I am humble to see our precious guru to pay respect and prostrate to his friend, H.E. Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche , who is a very learned scholar, master of tantra, always focused his time on teaching hundreds of students in Sera and in in-depth personal practice. This is a good example for us to follow and practice.

    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing attached with the beautiful photos.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/meeting-kyabje-yongyal-rinpoche-in-new-york.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Dec 6. 2016 07:04 PM
    Very informative blog post that remind us.
    As human consume fish ,prawns and so forth from the sea laced with harmful chemical, toxins build up that lead to health problems in long term.Sad to know environment is so bad when some people do not care much about it.Sooner or later our oceans will be filled with rubbish,plastic if we are not doing enough to protect the environment.The plastic accounts for 15 per cent of the chick’s body weight…that is shocking.
    I do hope more people are aware of the truth behind the crisis destroying our seas.
    Thank you Rinpoche its a good sharing.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/how-plastic-destroys-our-seas.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Dec 6. 2016 06:11 PM
    It is both motivating and enriching to read sharing by successful individual who applied Dharma in their life. Thank you Dato’ Colin for this sharing. This shows us that when we applied Buddha Dharma, we will be able to achieve more in life.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/how-to-grow-your-business-with-buddhist-principles.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Dec 6. 2016 04:00 PM
    This is the first time I read about Hecate in details. She is the goddess of magic, witchcraft, the night, moon, ghosts and necromancy, and sorcery. Yet people worship her. She was one of the main deities worshiped in Athenian households as a protective goddess and one who bestowed prosperity and daily blessings on the family. I find this juxtaposition very interesting on two level. How people will readily submit themselves to a powerful being bestowed with supernatural powers.

    On the other hand, Hecate, who is associated with dark powers are being worshipped as a protective goddess could mean she uses her power for doing good that benefits people. This goes to show that some who possesses dark power like witchcraft, necromancy and sorcery are not necessary bad and will not necessary harm. It all depends on their motivation.

    Thank you very much Rinpoche for this insightful article on Hecate.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/etc/hecate.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Dec 5. 2016 03:58 PM
    Malaysia is so rich in its cultural identity, and the Dragon festival is one of them been celebrated in a way whereby different races too join in.It is wonderful to know,the origins of the Dragon Boat Festival and the story behind.It has now turned to a team-focused sport.which promotes discipline, racial harmony, physical fitness and mental toughness
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these very informative and interesting post.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/the-dragon-boat-festival-a-fusion-of-traditional-and-modern-culture.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Dec 5. 2016 03:29 PM
    After reading these blog i learned something new.The word Chaplain.
    I have not come across of it before.
    Thanks Beatrix Ooi for sharing ..an interesting blog of how this young man served as a Buddhist Chaplains in the US Arm. There is only one Buddhist chapel in the United States military. In recent years there has been a growing number of Buddhists in the US military, hence the work of Buddhist chaplains are growing too. A great way to spread Dharma to more people in the military.
    Thank you again Beatrix Ooi
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/buddhist-chaplains-in-the-us-army.html
  • Lin Mun
    Sunday, Dec 4. 2016 05:07 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing the article on Dayak Festival and its community and cultures. It is very interesting to learn about the other races cultures. We in Malaysia are so fortunate that we are expose to so many differences and yet live harmoniously.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/travel/gawai-dayak-the-celebration-of-bountiful-harvest.html
  • Yeo Kwai Gin
    Saturday, Dec 3. 2016 05:22 PM
    Wow ! 恭喜Justin与香积厨对社会的付出 !法喜 !

    感恩仁波切的付出与教导, 让在马来西亚的街头露宿者和一班家境贫困的人们在艰辛的时候得到帮助。詹杜固仁波切创立的克切拉香积厨对社会的付出是值得赞扬, 香积厨不但发放食物给街头露宿者,还提供流动医院主要在最快的时间让受伤的露宿者得到治疗, 还有FoodBank专提供食物与支援给各地需要帮忙如天灾带来的食物缺乏, 还有Imbi路的香积厨中心,提供给街头露宿者全免费的食物和饮品,免费沐浴和清洗衣服,还帮忙他们寻找工作等等。让他们体谅到社会另外拥有一班人还在关心着他们。
    愿街头露宿者得到更舒适的生活, 实现他们目标前进,社会繁荣,那么每一个人都可以安居立业,不用再在街头露宿了 !

    欲了解更多克切拉香积厨,或想参与活动,请继续游览 :
    http://www.kechara.com/soup-kitchen/what-we-do/

    感恩合十
    YEO KWAI GIN

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-soup-kitchen-ksk/kechara-won-2-awards.html
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Dec 3. 2016 04:42 PM
    Congratulation to Justin as well as KSK team. A well deserved recognition. You have selflessly working for those in need. Our society need more people to help those living on the street.

    May you and KSK team continue to grow and benefit more people.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-soup-kitchen-ksk/kechara-won-2-awards.html
  • Alice Tay
    Saturday, Dec 3. 2016 12:53 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche and the team’s effort to share these powerful qualities of Dorje Shugden in Mongolian language. Hope they are more people get to know Dorje Shugden, an emanation of Manjushri, and understand to practice Dorje Shugden will also have all the benefits related to Manjushri’s practice.

    Hope these powerful qualities of Dorje Shugden will come up with the words in other languages to benefit more people.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/powerful-qualities-of-dorje-shugden-in-memes-mongolian.html
  • Alice Tay
    Saturday, Dec 3. 2016 12:49 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche and the team’s effort to share these powerful qualities of Dorje Shugden in Mongolian language. Hope they are more people get to know Dorje Shugden, an emanation of Manjushri, and understand to practice Dorje Shugden will also have all the benefits related to Manjushri’s practice.

    Hope these powerful qualities of Dorje Shugden will come up with the words in other languages to benefit more people.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/powerful-qualities-of-dorje-shugden-in-memes-mongolian.html

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

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

Tsem Rinpoche

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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

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This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
1 week ago
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
1 week ago
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
1 week ago
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
2 weeks ago
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
3 weeks ago
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
1 month ago
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
Sir Edmund Hillary
1 month ago
Sir Edmund Hillary
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha\'s teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha's teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I\'ve seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I've seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
It\'s nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
2 months ago
It's nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
                         Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
2 months ago
Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
2 months ago
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
High lamas in France September 2016
2 months ago
High lamas in France September 2016
༧གོང་ས་ཆེན་པོ་སྐུ་འཕྲེང་བཅུ་བཞི་པ་མཆོག་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། - Interesting relationship between 14th Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden:   http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109757
2 months ago
༧གོང་ས་ཆེན་པོ་སྐུ་འཕྲེང་བཅུ་བཞི་པ་མཆོག་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། - Interesting relationship between 14th Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109757
Dalai Lama Says We Can Practise Dorje Shugden Finally! Read more on this development--- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109777
3 months ago
Dalai Lama Says We Can Practise Dorje Shugden Finally! Read more on this development--- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109777
More time spent in dharma work is more karma collected to be happy and more time spent in non-dharma works is more karma collected to be unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
More time spent in dharma work is more karma collected to be happy and more time spent in non-dharma works is more karma collected to be unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche
All Dorje Shugden prophesizes will come to pass,
 Those who generate refuge and merits will trust, 
 By trusting one will see the good results of his pronouncements,
 By seeing the good results, one\'s path becomes more clear, 
 The path of practice, purification and siddhic results, 
 This would eliminate the samsara within our minds.
 ~Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
All Dorje Shugden prophesizes will come to pass, Those who generate refuge and merits will trust, By trusting one will see the good results of his pronouncements, By seeing the good results, one's path becomes more clear, The path of practice, purification and siddhic results, This would eliminate the samsara within our minds. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Large Dorje Shugden statue built by the 5th Dalai Lama and housed in Trode Khangsar. Sock Wand and Mdm Chuah took this picture in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
3 months ago
Large Dorje Shugden statue built by the 5th Dalai Lama and housed in Trode Khangsar. Sock Wand and Mdm Chuah took this picture in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
Our own Kecharian Mdm. Chua with the oracle of Dorje Shugden Gen Tenzin Tsultrim in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
3 months ago
Our own Kecharian Mdm. Chua with the oracle of Dorje Shugden Gen Tenzin Tsultrim in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Trode Khangsar-the Chapel to Dorje Shugden built 400 years ago by the Great 5th Dalai Lama-Tibet 2016
3 months ago
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Trode Khangsar-the Chapel to Dorje Shugden built 400 years ago by the Great 5th Dalai Lama-Tibet 2016
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Gaden Monastery, Tibet 2016
3 months ago
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Gaden Monastery, Tibet 2016
                         This is the oracle of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa, Tibet. His name is Gen Tenzin Tsultrim of Sera Monastery in Tibet.
3 months ago
This is the oracle of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa, Tibet. His name is Gen Tenzin Tsultrim of Sera Monastery in Tibet.
Ms. Sock Wan, Oracle of Dorje Shugden in Tibet Gen Tenzin Tsultrim, Mdm Chuah and Mr. Tashi in Tibet 2016
3 months ago
Ms. Sock Wan, Oracle of Dorje Shugden in Tibet Gen Tenzin Tsultrim, Mdm Chuah and Mr. Tashi in Tibet 2016
Mahasiddha Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Ven. Rabten Choktrul Rinpoche 2016
3 months ago
Mahasiddha Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Ven. Rabten Choktrul Rinpoche 2016
His Eminence Mahasiddha Gangchen Rinpoche and the official oracle of Dorje Shugden Panglung Kuten Choji lah in Italy together September 2016
3 months ago
His Eminence Mahasiddha Gangchen Rinpoche and the official oracle of Dorje Shugden Panglung Kuten Choji lah in Italy together September 2016
My thoughts on Malaysia. Thank you. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
My thoughts on Malaysia. Thank you. Tsem Rinpoche
Beautiful thangka of Vajra Yogini. Look at the details where she appears in visions and also takes people to Kechara.
3 months ago
Beautiful thangka of Vajra Yogini. Look at the details where she appears in visions and also takes people to Kechara.
Left to right:

His Holiness the Gaden Throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche (very young) and His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Prayer Hall during prayers.
3 months ago
Left to right: His Holiness the Gaden Throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche (very young) and His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Prayer Hall during prayers.
 It\'s nice when families support the spiritual journeys of their children. This is one beautiful family of Pastor Niral of Kechara
3 months ago
It's nice when families support the spiritual journeys of their children. This is one beautiful family of Pastor Niral of Kechara
Jog Falls a power place of Vajra Yogini and Heruka: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=108652
3 months ago
Jog Falls a power place of Vajra Yogini and Heruka: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=108652
Don\'t wait for the perfect group. Don\'t wait for the perfect person. Don\'t wait for the perfect situation. Don\'t expect yourself to be perfect. Don\'t even look for perfection at least in our realm as it does not exist or time will run out. Just get going and keep doing good. It\'s between you and yourself. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Don't wait for the perfect group. Don't wait for the perfect person. Don't wait for the perfect situation. Don't expect yourself to be perfect. Don't even look for perfection at least in our realm as it does not exist or time will run out. Just get going and keep doing good. It's between you and yourself. Tsem Rinpoche
Kind people are to be treasured. They make life worth living. ~Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Kind people are to be treasured. They make life worth living. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Don\'t you love her bag? She\'s stylish and at one with the universe. OM Shanti. ~Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Don't you love her bag? She's stylish and at one with the universe. OM Shanti. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Beautiful Manjushri carved in China
3 months ago
Beautiful Manjushri carved in China
Sent from Samsung tablet.
3 months ago
Sent from Samsung tablet.
We must loyal to our guru. How to be loyal? To always do the teachings and practice he gave us and to conquer our laziness. We must make our gurus more important than our ego. So it is important to always let our guru win and not our ego. If our ego wins, many will suffer and we will suffer. If our guru wins, temporarily we suffer, but long term we will be happy and many around us will be happy. You see, the guru is always on the look out to give us methods and teachings that we can engage in to bring us happiness. The biggest happiness is overcoming our ego and it\'s traces and the guru always directly and indirectly focuses on that. Our guru will always love and help us, but we must meet our guru half way too. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
We must loyal to our guru. How to be loyal? To always do the teachings and practice he gave us and to conquer our laziness. We must make our gurus more important than our ego. So it is important to always let our guru win and not our ego. If our ego wins, many will suffer and we will suffer. If our guru wins, temporarily we suffer, but long term we will be happy and many around us will be happy. You see, the guru is always on the look out to give us methods and teachings that we can engage in to bring us happiness. The biggest happiness is overcoming our ego and it's traces and the guru always directly and indirectly focuses on that. Our guru will always love and help us, but we must meet our guru half way too. Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche with holy Mt Shasta of Northern California in the background: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=107430
3 months ago
Tsem Rinpoche with holy Mt Shasta of Northern California in the background: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=107430
We had a nice visit at Mt Shasta, a holy area in Northern California and did a good puja there: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=107430
3 months ago
We had a nice visit at Mt Shasta, a holy area in Northern California and did a good puja there: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=107430
I get requests from all around the world to do prayers. For certain individuals it\'s really dire, so I make special candle offerings to the Buddhas for them at my private residence. These are the candles that was offered recently for a very ill young little girl. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
I get requests from all around the world to do prayers. For certain individuals it's really dire, so I make special candle offerings to the Buddhas for them at my private residence. These are the candles that was offered recently for a very ill young little girl. Tsem Rinpoche
This is powerful and true. When someone disappoints you so many times, it cannot be an accident anymore. You need to have compassion for them to not do more negative karma and not allow it anymore and we need need to have compassion for ourselves too and not let them hurt us again.. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
This is powerful and true. When someone disappoints you so many times, it cannot be an accident anymore. You need to have compassion for them to not do more negative karma and not allow it anymore and we need need to have compassion for ourselves too and not let them hurt us again.. Tsem Rinpoche
Ra Lotsawa\'s personal sacred image of Yamantaka Vajrabhairava. Said to be housed in Samye Monastery, Tibet.
3 months ago
Ra Lotsawa's personal sacred image of Yamantaka Vajrabhairava. Said to be housed in Samye Monastery, Tibet.
Message from Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Message from Tsem Rinpoche
This Tara has such a beautiful face...artwork on this is nice
3 months ago
This Tara has such a beautiful face...artwork on this is nice
This is the road that leads to my house in the mountains. I have a small house and a lake nearby the house and I live there on vegan foods with my pets-Mumu loves running around the meadows. I have a large outdoor Vajra Yogini statue made of stone and we make offerings of juniper leaves burned to her daily as sang. I love living in the mountains away from the senseless repeating of actions in urban life. Urban life with its various pollutions do not connect us to who we are inside. I love this walking path to my retreat home where I will live for the rest of my life and on the way home, I pluck some flowers for my shrine to offer to the Buddha...thank you for allowing me to live here. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
This is the road that leads to my house in the mountains. I have a small house and a lake nearby the house and I live there on vegan foods with my pets-Mumu loves running around the meadows. I have a large outdoor Vajra Yogini statue made of stone and we make offerings of juniper leaves burned to her daily as sang. I love living in the mountains away from the senseless repeating of actions in urban life. Urban life with its various pollutions do not connect us to who we are inside. I love this walking path to my retreat home where I will live for the rest of my life and on the way home, I pluck some flowers for my shrine to offer to the Buddha...thank you for allowing me to live here. Tsem Rinpoche
 Rinpoche\'s quote is on my mom\'s final resting place. It was chosen by my dad and at that time he said it is the best one for both of them. My dad would be interred next to her when his time comes in the distant future. Pastor David Lai
3 months ago
Rinpoche's quote is on my mom's final resting place. It was chosen by my dad and at that time he said it is the best one for both of them. My dad would be interred next to her when his time comes in the distant future. Pastor David Lai
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Videos On The Go

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  • Must Watch this Video!
    1 week ago
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  • Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
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  • Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
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    ཁྱེད་ཀྱི་བཀའ་སློབ་དོན་སྙིང་དེ།།གང་གི་རྣ་བར་བདུད་རྩི་མོད།།འོན་ཀྱང་འགའ་ཡི་རྣ་ལམ་དུ།། བྲག་ཆ་བཞིན་དུ་འགྱུར་སྲིད་མོད།། ཚང་མས་ཚར་རེ་གཟིགས་རོགས།། Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche telling people that it is important to have guru samaya. It use to be that way in the great monasteries. We should not create problems and schisms. If we want to practice a protector, then do so, if not it's okay, but don't make trouble. One should just practice the Buddha Dharma well. To do good practice. If you have faith in Dorje Shugden and trust all the way, he will definitely help you. But most important is to practice the dharma. This is his advice in short here. It's good to let more Tibetans hear this holy speech and appeal by this very senior Rinpoche. TR
  • His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Propitiating Protectors & Oracles
    1 month ago
    His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Propitiating Protectors & Oracles
    This was on FB and I came across it. His Holiness said in Tibetan institutions there is a lot of propitiating protector/oracles and this is not what Buddhism is about. So they are putting Nechung/Tema oracles within the video to say what is he talking about when he does it himself. This is confusing is the message to his people. TR
  • -
    2 months ago
    Look how this crab eats a cherry.. Incredible and cute... Never seen this before. They have feelings too. Tsem Rinpoche
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    Flying the flag proudly
    Just like the rays of the sun, Dorje Shugden's blessings shines on all
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ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

  • December 6, 2016 00:34
    Sipra asked: Dear Pastors, For past 5 month or so I have been suffering from fear and anxiety. It has become difficult to live my daily life. I am mother of young child. Please help me.
    pastor answered: Dear Sipra, I'm sorry to read that you are going through this fear and anxiety, and i can understand that it has been effecting your daily life. You should seek professional help as this fear and anxiety can worsen if you don't get help and can deteriorate fast. Coupled with this, but by no means an alternative, you can engage in the daily practice of Lama Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugden, which you can find here: http://www.dorjeshugden.org/practice/diamond-path-a-daily-sadhana-of-dorje-shugden Lama Tsongkhapa's practice is very well-known to calm the mind from depression, fear and anxiety so will be very beneficial for your situation. When engaging in the practice, please concentrate and focus on the mantra of Lama Tsongkhapa. Dorje Shugden's practice on the other hand is very good for alleviating any obstacles we may be facing in life. Therefore, this may have to overcome the obstacles in life that are causing the fear and anxiety or even remove obstacles for professional help to be even more effective, so you can overcome your situation. The cause of this situation may be deeply rooted, therefore i would like to advise you to do both methods, find professional help and engage in the daily practice. Coupled together they have a better chance of solving your situation, than by themselves. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • December 3, 2016 23:25
    Fluxor asked: I am in a relationship with someone. I want to leave her, so i can give more time for social work and considering monastic life and being ordained in the future. I want to break up and do it gently, but I know she will be very mad and angry with me. Is it okay to leave her without notice? I will make a letter and arrange time to talk few days later when she is more stable emotionally. I think, it will be calmer way. Or should I talk to her first before I leave? I know this way she can be very mad and might do some abusive acts right away. But people say I need to respect her with talking to her first. I'm confused. I want to do it in a gentle and loving way that I don't want to bring her more suffering. Warmest metta, Fluxor
    pastor answered: Dear Fluxor, This is something that is a very difficult thing to do. If you have thought about this carefully and thoroughly, then you should do what feels right. However we must remember that the other person in the relationship may be reliant on you in some way. That being said, we can also hurt another person if we are not open and truthful about the situation. Instead we should go about the situation in the best possible manner to minimise harm and also to not create negative karma in the process, which is all too common when breaking up with someone, and this leads to more suffering in the future. You know the person who you are in a relationship with the best, however the method which you have mentioned may not be the most appropriate course of action. Rather than doing this, you should sit down with your partner and talk about the situation in calmer manner. This is the better approach, if you want to do this. You do need to respect her as a person with her own feelings, and in order to do the right thing in this situation, you should do so face to face and calmly. Following the method that you described may cause even more pain. If you do it calmly, respecting and honouring her as someone who has their own feelings, you are doing your best given the situation. Please remember that you don’t have to take monastic ordination in order to practice the Buddhist path. In fact within Kechara, Tsem Rinpoche has even started the tradition of lay pastors, who are lay people that have dedicated their lives to the practice of Dharma and the service of others. If you change your mind for any reason, Rinpoche has given a very good teaching on transforming a relationship to make it successful. You can find the video teaching here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/ingredients-for-a-successful-relationship.html. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • December 2, 2016 09:44
    Tashi asked: Dear pastors, What are the mantras and sacred syllables of the 12 Tenma Goddesses? I'm trying to find one to the bodhisattva Dorje Yudronma and goddess Tahsi Tseringma. Who is Shiptak Gyene exactly and what is his mantra and purpose? Is simply putting "Namo" and then the name of the Buddha or bodhisattva work? Also, is there a mantra for pimples or near sightedness?
    pastor answered: Dear Tashi, As Dorje Yudronma and Tashi Tseringma are not enlightened protectors but worldly deities who have been subdued to protect the Dharma, their mantras and practices are not free available to all practitioners, according to the Gelug tradition (I am unsure if they are available freely in other traditions). Usually, to engage in these practices one must have first received empowerment into a yidam or meditational deity practice, after which one can request the spiritual teacher to teach the practice. The functions of these protectors are also embodied in other protectors who are enlightened, and whose practices are readily available. As embodiments of enlightened beings, they can also help along the spiritual path to enlightenment rather than just providing material needs and removing obstacles. These include the various emanations of Dorje Shugden, for example Shize Dorje Shugden who is excellent for pacifying diseases and lengthening one’s life, just like Tashi Tseringma and the Long Life Sisters. However as an emanation of Manjushri, Shize can also grant beneficial imprints and help to overcome the inner obstacles of negative emotions and habituations that we all face in life. Shiptak Gyene is a protector specific to the Gelugpa tradition. He was a layman who lived in Lhasa during the time of Lama Tsongkhapa. Whenever Lama Tsongkhapa would travel to Lhasa, Shiptak Gyene would be there, ready to serve Lama Tsongkhapa as best as he could and receive teachings on the Dharma. He was very devoted to Lama Tsongkhapa and arose a protector to help those with material needs if they are sincere pracitioners of the Dharma. As such, he holds a bowl of jewels to represent that he can aid pracitioners in this regard. You can see a picture of Shiptak Gyene here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/archive/deitypics/highres/Shiptak_Gyene.jpg. The word ‘namo’ means ‘I prostrate’, hence when you add the word before the name of a Buddha or bodhisattva, it basically means that you are prostrating to that being. While this has tremendous effect, as you are verbalising the prostration towards an enlightened being and therefore generating some merit, it does not have the same effect as a mantra. This is because a mantra itself in the essence of that particular being, in the form of sound. If you repeat that mantra over and over again, you bring the energies associated with that particular enlightened being into your life. For example if you recite the Medicine Buddha mantra, you bring healing energies into your life. But if you only add ‘namo’ to the beginning of their name, you are simply making prostration. It would be much more beneficial to recite the proper mantra for the particular enlightenment being you are propitiating. As for pimples, I have not come across a specific mantra for this in my own practice. However two very good mantras that you could recite are Black Manjushri or Hayagriva. These two deities are very well known for curing skin diseases of all types, and therefore may help in the situation. You can find out more about Black Manjushri practice here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/a-black-manjushri-sadhana-self-healing-meditation-and-exercises.html. The Hayagriva (a wrathful emanation of Chenresig) mantra is recited as: HRI PEMA DATRI HAYAGRIVA HULU HULU HUNG PHET. For nearsightedness, you can engage in the practice of Migchey Chrenrezig, which is an excellent practice for those with eye problems. You can find it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/blessing-eye-problems.html. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • November 30, 2016 18:56
    Angela Yo asked: These past few months, I can't stop myself thinking about being ordained to be a nun. I don't know where to begin. I don't know if it suits me or not. But I really want to make this lifetime meaningful. Thank you.
    pastor answered: Dear Angela Yo, I rejoice to read that are thinking about become ordained as a nun. This is a very good aspiration to have and follows the example of the holy Buddha Shakyamuni. He showed us the way to make our life meaningful by becoming a Buddha to benefit others. If you have not already done so, you should join a Dharma centre and find a guru. By following the advice of a qualified guru, you can train yourself to hold the ordination vows in the future. Here at Kechara, those who have the aspiration to become members of the holy sangha, first become a Pastor, which is in between a lay practitioner and an ordained monk or nun. This way, we can train ourselves to understand and live by the vows before become ordained. As ordination is very special and holy, it is better that we are prepared before we take the vows. This way we can make the most use of holding the sacred vows on our spiritual journey to enlightenment. As you engage along this path, first you should study and understand the most basic of vows, which are the refuge vows. All other vows, whether ordination, bodhisattva or tantric vows are based on the refuge vows, and the keeping of these vows are the root cause of gaining enlightenment. In fact, all other vows are extensions of these vows. Therefore it is very important that we have a firm basis for our practice by understanding and living by these vows properly. As you progress on your practice, you can learn the teachings such as the 50 Verses of Guru Devotion, the Lam Rim and the Wheel of Sharp Weapons. All these teachings will aid you on the path to become an ordained nun in the future. If this is truly your wish, then during your daily practices you should make strong aspirational prayers that you are able to fulfil this. At the same time you should create the causes for this to occur. The way to do this is by supporting the sangha, you can do this by making any form of dana offering to them, from food, clothing, material assistance or anything else that they would need your help with. While doing this, you should generate the strong aspiration that you can become a member of the sangha. As the sangha are one of the Three Jewels, any offerings that you make to them, especially in terms of your time and effort, will generate a lot of merit because they are holding the holy vows. I hope this helps, and I make the prayer that your auspicious aspiration is fulfilled, that you make your life meaningful by holding the vows of an ordained nun. Thank you.
  • November 28, 2016 12:32
    Demian asked: Dear pastors, Just recently, I have read about concentrations and that has gotten me worried. If one worships a depiction of Saraswati without any concentrations of the depiction, does that mean that I've been praying to an empty shell? If so, does praying to Saraswati's depictions that are online work or not? Or could a simple visualization work without praying to a statue or thangka, but to a visualized form? Would the visualization in Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö's praise to Saraswati be alright along with the mantra? Or does the visualization have to use this website's prayer and mantra to Saraswati? Do the 8 offerings have to be real or can they visualized instead? For the 8th offering of music, does there have to be a bell, or can a drum, flute, violin, or even vocal replace that? What are the views of the mantra "Nam Myoho Renge Khyo"?
    pastor answered: Dear Demian, Thank you for your question. Concentration during one’s daily prayers is an important factor. Within Buddhism, we believe that there are three ways in which a person interacts with the world, these are the body, speech and mind. In order to receive the full benefit of the practice you engage in, you should ensure that all three of these are used. For the body, this is by sitting down to engage in your daily practice without getting distracted. The best posture for this is the meditation position known as the seven-point Vairochana position, this is described in detail in the text Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand. For your speech, you engage in reciting the prayers and the mantra recitation. And for the mind, you concentrate in the various visualisations associated with the practice you are engaging in. Even though you have been praying without the use of concentration, it has still been effective since Saraswati is an enlightened being. She has full compassion, and will definitely bestow her energies and love to those who invoke upon her with a pure heart and good motivation. However, if you do concentrate on both your visualisation and the mantra recitation, the practice will be more effective and you will see a heightened improvement in your life. In regards to the visualisation of Saraswati according to the praise by Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro, this actually belongs to the practice of another lineage, therefore I cannot comment on its validity, as I don’t belong to the lineage to have studied its origins and how it differs from the praise presented here on Rinpoche’s blog. That being said, each lineage has its own version of the visualisation of deities, and this in inherently linked to the particular praise. Therefore if you were to recite one particular praise or practice, you should keep the visualisation to the one that corresponds with it. The 8 offerings can be placed on the altar as physical offerings, but should also be visualised. The reason why we place the actually offerings on the altar is to make a physical offering with our body, as well as a reminder that we make these offerings during our visualisations. If you are not able to make the physical offerings on your altar for whatever reason, this is ok. However you should try your best to have these offerings since it is a way for you to generate merit. The last offering of sound, is usually represented by the conch shell but can be anything that resembles sound, such as any instrument. For example, I know people who represent sound with a miniature flute or even a miniature guitar on their altars. In regards to the Nam Myoho Renge Khyo mantra, this is central to all forms of Nichiren Buddhism, which developed in Japan but is now practiced all over the world. It is said this mantra embodies the entire Lotus Sutra, which in itself explains what enlightenment is and the path to reach enlightenment, following Nichiren’s particular practice. Therefore this mantra is all encompassing, and central to the Nichiren tradition. I hope this helps. Thank you.
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Dorje Shugden
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