TRANSCRIPT – Khatas and the meaning behind it

Jun 8, 2013 | Views: 6,411
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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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  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 06:10 PM
    OMG! This is very touching. To see a doggie who never left go of his owner in spite of death. Way more powerful than many who proclaimed “till death do us part.” Just like the human, not all doggies are as loyal as this tear-jerking pet, but I truly believe almost all doggies offer unconditional love to the person who feeds and cares for them. Even when they are stray animals. There was a stray dog who will run two streets from the entrance of the “Taman” until the car stops in front of the house, just to greet me. You can imagine the warm and conviction in my heart that these beings are more than capable of loving than many of us, human! Thank you for this lovely sharing. I miss my doggie, Sherab.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/faithful-dog-chases-deceased-owner.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 06:00 PM
    Thank you, Pastor Seng Piow, for this amazing sharing. There is no doubt about the ability of our Guru, His Eminence the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche. His incarnations have been compassionate and taken rebirth to return and spread the dharma so that sentient beings can benefit and learn some dharma in our short life.

    We shall never doubt our Guru; but must see that He is one with our Yidam and Protector, an attained being. Even if our Guru does not demonstrate clairvoyance abilities, we must never contest our Guru, for he holds the key (dharma) that can liberate us from eternal suffering in samsara.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-1-2.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 05:50 PM
    Thank you, Pastor Seng Piow, for the illustrated miracle story on how Rinpoche guided Cynthia and Marici away from danger through protector’s practice. The unseen exist, whether we like it or not. Some of them are malicious and have the affinity or karma with some of us. Hence they can cause harm and disturbance. By engaging in Protectors’ practice like Dorje Shugden and Setrap that have been practiced by the high lamas of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, we are protected and guarded against harm.

    Rinpoche is compassionate and only want the best for us. His teachings are not meant to show off the power of the divines but offer us a way out from our desperate samsara conundrum that binds us from engaging in deeper spiritual practice. Rinpoche always teaches us to focus on mind transformation and Tsongkhapa practice. How fortunate we are to have met Rinpoche in this lifetime. We must not let this rare and precious opportunity go to waste.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-12.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 04:30 PM
    Miracles do happen,when we have faith and trust in our Guru.What is important is to follow Rinpoche’s advice and do as instructed by our Guru to clear the osbtacles all the way.Angie and Herry were so fortunate to have meet Rinpoche.Its because of Rinpoche ‘s compassion and caring for his student Angie’s life was saved.Infact Rinpoche has helped many people through his intervention, advice and instructions.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Loh Seng Piow for sharing miracles stories which i enjoyed reading.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-2.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 02:45 PM
    WOW….interesting a miracles true story. Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Loh Seng Piow for sharing.Reciting mantras by family members and doing 20 pujas done at the monastery to help the baby. These proved that pujas, which have been done for hundreds of years in the monasteries are very powerful methods for us to overcome difficulties, create huge amounts of merit and for protection, good health and long life.This show us how powerful pujas can help us when we have trust and faith in our Guru.And with Rinpoche divination,the baby was born and now a healthy boy.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-1-2.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 12:47 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these powerful teachings.Its a privilege
    to do Dharma work to benefits other,do it with motivation and a good attitude when engaging ourselves It will be guide line for me.When we serve others to do Dharma work together at Kechara Forest Retreat ,we will improve ourself , purify our negative karma and to benefit others too.I will be sponsoring to the healings bricks soon and i will cherish every moment in supporting KFR.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/dharma-work-attitude-tdl.html
  • Lin Mun
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 11:06 AM
    Bigfoot is just another beings living in this world although not commonly seen and live in the deep jungle in high mountains. There were many evidences that people from many parts of the world sighted this beings. Whatever shape they are I think importantly we are all sharing this world and therefore need to have mutual respect and not intervene each others.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/its-in-the-scriptures-they-exist.html
  • Alice Tay
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 04:26 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Adeline sharing this interesting post about Bodhidharma, a great master favoured meditation and introduced the Lankavatara Sutra to Chinese Buddhism.

    Here are a few points I have learned from this post:
    1. Bodhidharma had strong imprints of Dharma from the past and therefore he is interested in Buddha’s teachings and show his great wisdom. at a very young age.
    2. His strong guru devotion and determination in learning and spreading the dharma based on meditation though he confronted with difficulties such as Emperor Wu Di was not impressed by his teachings, being ostracized and rejected and lived as a beggar for many months. Notwithstanding, he continued and never give up to practice meditation in complete silence for nine years in cave wall when he was not accepted by Shaolin Monastery at the beginning .
    3. When Bodhidharma was allowed enter to the monastery, he had put a lot of efforts to help the monks in improving their physical body as well as their mind through the meditation. Then, Bodhidharma continued to develop a system of 18 dynamic tension exercises which were printed as Yi Gin Ching (Changing Muscle/Tendon Classic) in 550 CE. It is known as the Luohan (arhat) 18 Hand Movements today which serves as the basis of both Chinese Temple Boxing and the Shaolin Martial Arts.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/bodhidharma-the-founder-of-gongfu.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 04:10 PM
    Thank you, Grace, for sharing with us the many tips on how to care for and maintain our hair. Personal grooming is important because when we care for our appearance, we are respecting the people who have to deal with us. Caring for our hair, making sure that it is neat and clean should be something we need to take care of since young as it is part of personal grooming. The key is not to be attached to our body and outer-images, that results in spending much time and resources just to make ourselves look good.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/how-much-do-you-know-about-hair.html
  • Alice Tay
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 03:00 PM
    Thank you for sharing these wonderful and significant photos showed that Kechara Pastors’ tireless efforts to bring dharma to many others and do the blessings whenever is necessary.

    Basically, the pastorship role was conceptualized by our precious guru, H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, to preserve the Dharma and to give laypeople an opportunity to commit to benefiting others. Kechara Pastors are fully dedicated and selflessly serving others especially in spiritual growth and therefore this is good for us to support the Pastors so that they can focus and spend more of their time and effort to serve others and most importantly Buddhist teachings can be spread and shared to many others. The supports to Pastors including food, lodging, transportation, items necessary for their work, such as ritual items or spiritual gifts for those in need and many others. (If you are interested to know more about Kechara Pastors, please have a good read at http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/support-the-kechara-pastors.html)

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/10-amazing-house-blessings-by-kechara-pastors.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 02:13 PM
    Its such a great blessing for all of us to hear the holy voice recordings of H.H Kyabje Zong Rinpoche a great master..His profound teachings ,got to take seroiusly,more as an important advice on Dorje Shugden’s practice.H.H Kyabje Zong Rinpoche’s explaination was very clear before any of the practitioner’s commitment and receive sogtae.They must keep the lineage practice and teachings no matter what ever happen.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing with us on the important advice by a great master.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/kyabje-zong-rinpoches-advice-on-dorje-shugdens-practice.html
  • Lin Mun
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 11:50 AM
    Thank you Pastor Han Nee for your sharing your thoughts and review about the book “Be Happy” written by Rinpoche. It is indeed not easy to be happy as we all have various expectation in every situation and people.

    We may think having a big house, lots of cash and good career is happiness but this is the wrong perception. Being happy is not about material and everything about ourselves. It is only when we can do more for others and focus out that we gain happiness. I never realised this until I joined Kechara. I think we have such a fixed mindset of what happiness is and when our expectation is not met, we are unhappy.

    Rinpoche has pointed out many ways for us to rectify our thoughts and methods to be happy. Now it is for us to take initiative to change and transform our mind if we want to be happy.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Han Nee for this article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/be-happy.html
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Apr 24. 2017 12:30 PM
    Many people do not believe in reincarnation and only relates it to certain religion such as Hinduism and Buddhism. However, there were many instances and signs that proven reincarnation exist. As Buddhist we will believe in reincarnation and karma. It is by understanding that everything has its cause and effect that we should learn to live life in the correct attitude and mindset. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this interesting articles to remind us of karma and the importance of doing dharma practise.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/interesting-signs-of-reincarnation.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Apr 23. 2017 08:29 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for your teachings.
    Always be generous and kind in what ever we could do even its little help.It’s the little things in life that bring the greatest happiness. Its between us and our Buddha ,so we would not bother what the receipient thinks and say of us. What ever was said ,should not deter our motivation to do Dharma work.
    (It will change people’s lives in one way or another. It will change your life for the better.)….well said by Rinpoche.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/its-not-between-you-and-the-recipient.html
  • Lin Mun
    Sunday, Apr 23. 2017 07:16 PM
    Thank you Grace for this interesting articles about hair. There are just so much info which we do not know previously. Most of the time we may neglect the details, thinking as long as we clean our hair everyday it is sufficient. But there are so many things we need to know for example types of hair, scalp condition, our environment and our physical condition which may affect our hair. Great tips.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/how-much-do-you-know-about-hair.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

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.
Holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini\'s blessing can be found when we decide to focus out to others instead of in to only ourselves.
~ Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini's blessing can be found when we decide to focus out to others instead of in to only ourselves. ~ Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
His Holiness Vajradhara Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Monastery who is the refuge of countless, gives a clear explanation of Dorje Shugden. One is able to hear his holy voice and translation by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen! Please see here and share: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=122352
2 weeks ago
His Holiness Vajradhara Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Monastery who is the refuge of countless, gives a clear explanation of Dorje Shugden. One is able to hear his holy voice and translation by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen! Please see here and share: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=122352
: This picture says it all. Click on it to enlarge and read and please share.
2 weeks ago
: This picture says it all. Click on it to enlarge and read and please share.
This is a simple chart showing the three main psychic channels used in tantric meditations to control the winds, raise tummo (fire energy), gain higher consciousness and insight and also for gaining siddhis. These channels are used in meditations for controlling the mind, when the mind ejects from the body (phowa) and one\'s death. These three channels are very important. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
This is a simple chart showing the three main psychic channels used in tantric meditations to control the winds, raise tummo (fire energy), gain higher consciousness and insight and also for gaining siddhis. These channels are used in meditations for controlling the mind, when the mind ejects from the body (phowa) and one's death. These three channels are very important. Tsem Rinpoche
I think my cute doggie Oser is actually Tintin\'s dog Snowy!
2 weeks ago
I think my cute doggie Oser is actually Tintin's dog Snowy!
Great Masters of Gaden Shartse Monastery. From left to right: His Eminence Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, His Holiness Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, H.E. Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, His Holiness 101st Gaden Tripa throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal.
3 weeks ago
Great Masters of Gaden Shartse Monastery. From left to right: His Eminence Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, His Holiness Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, H.E. Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, His Holiness 101st Gaden Tripa throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal.
 Left to right: Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl. The three of them are my beautiful and loved Schnauzer dogs. They loved looking through the window to see traffic, people and movement. They loved the smells that drifted through their little noses. I love seeing the three of them together like this. I love them. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Left to right: Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl. The three of them are my beautiful and loved Schnauzer dogs. They loved looking through the window to see traffic, people and movement. They loved the smells that drifted through their little noses. I love seeing the three of them together like this. I love them. Tsem Rinpoche
Little Mumu boy...he loved balloons. When he saw them, he wanted to get close and perhaps bite them. Cute. I love this picture of Mumu reaching for the balloons. He was young and healthy! This picture captures his energy, enthusiasm, curiosity and high energy. I love this picture of him chasing the balloons. His pictures are always so nice....He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Little Mumu boy...he loved balloons. When he saw them, he wanted to get close and perhaps bite them. Cute. I love this picture of Mumu reaching for the balloons. He was young and healthy! This picture captures his energy, enthusiasm, curiosity and high energy. I love this picture of him chasing the balloons. His pictures are always so nice....He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
Little Mumu boy and myself.. He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Little Mumu boy and myself.. He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
2017-His Holiness the 101st Gaden Tripa, Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal is doing well and 90 years old. His Holiness Lungrik Namgyal is a powerful master of sutra and tantra and practitioner of Dorje Shugden. Currently residing in France.
3 weeks ago
2017-His Holiness the 101st Gaden Tripa, Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal is doing well and 90 years old. His Holiness Lungrik Namgyal is a powerful master of sutra and tantra and practitioner of Dorje Shugden. Currently residing in France.
One of the most sacred statues of Avalokitesvara made of sandalwood housed in Lhasa, Tibet. He has shown miracles also. Every pilgrim wishes to make offerings to this Lord of Compassion.
3 weeks ago
One of the most sacred statues of Avalokitesvara made of sandalwood housed in Lhasa, Tibet. He has shown miracles also. Every pilgrim wishes to make offerings to this Lord of Compassion.
 Sacred Avalokitesvara statue in Nepal. Thousands come to worship this special Buddha as it has conferred wishes in the past.
3 weeks ago
Sacred Avalokitesvara statue in Nepal. Thousands come to worship this special Buddha as it has conferred wishes in the past.
Tsem Rinpoche\'s Vajra Yogini statue and offerings
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche's Vajra Yogini statue and offerings
Two of my teachers from Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India. Left side is Most Venerable Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen whom I lived with for 8 years in Los Angeles where his centre Thubten Dhargye Ling is located. On the right is the abbot emeritus H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche the scholar and yogi. I was very fortunate to have them in my life and learn so much dharma from them. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Two of my teachers from Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India. Left side is Most Venerable Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen whom I lived with for 8 years in Los Angeles where his centre Thubten Dhargye Ling is located. On the right is the abbot emeritus H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche the scholar and yogi. I was very fortunate to have them in my life and learn so much dharma from them. Tsem Rinpoche
 It is so wonderful to be kind to people, be caring, feed them, make sure they are healthy and share dharma if they are interested with them for their future. But simply to be nice to others is worth getting up and being alive...otherwise why be alive to hurt/use/distrust and hate others? No point living that way..must change that..... It is nice to live our lives to benefit others and be patient even if we have been hurt before because by caring we can heal the hurt and \'defeat\' the ones that hurt us because we don\'t become bitter..... Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
It is so wonderful to be kind to people, be caring, feed them, make sure they are healthy and share dharma if they are interested with them for their future. But simply to be nice to others is worth getting up and being alive...otherwise why be alive to hurt/use/distrust and hate others? No point living that way..must change that..... It is nice to live our lives to benefit others and be patient even if we have been hurt before because by caring we can heal the hurt and 'defeat' the ones that hurt us because we don't become bitter..... Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche\'s heritage in China. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=120499
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche's heritage in China. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=120499
Thank you Buddhist Pastor Chia for sharing your story on how you met His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche over 20 years ago. We can learn much from your story.~Admin  Please read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116928
3 weeks ago
Thank you Buddhist Pastor Chia for sharing your story on how you met His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche over 20 years ago. We can learn much from your story.~Admin Please read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116928
Mumu boy is incredibly photogenic. He is beyond cute. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Mumu boy is incredibly photogenic. He is beyond cute. Tsem Rinpoche
 (left to right) Rabten Tulku, Gonsar Rinpoche, Gyume Kensur Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, H.H. Gaden Trisur Rinpoche (France)
3 weeks ago
(left to right) Rabten Tulku, Gonsar Rinpoche, Gyume Kensur Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, H.H. Gaden Trisur Rinpoche (France)
Beautiful 200 roses arrived today for me as a gift from Su Ming. Very kind and thoughtful of her as usual. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
Beautiful 200 roses arrived today for me as a gift from Su Ming. Very kind and thoughtful of her as usual. Tsem Rinpoche
It\'s good to be with kind and sincere people.
4 weeks ago
It's good to be with kind and sincere people.
If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
My Mumu boy didn\'t want to eat. Eating is not one of his favorite activities throughout his life. So I talked to him to let him know why he needs to eat and keep his strength up when this photo was taken. He was listening intently and after my talk with him, he ate. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
My Mumu boy didn't want to eat. Eating is not one of his favorite activities throughout his life. So I talked to him to let him know why he needs to eat and keep his strength up when this photo was taken. He was listening intently and after my talk with him, he ate. Tsem Rinpoche
This is so true. Click to enlarge and understand more about unpleasant people.
4 weeks ago
This is so true. Click to enlarge and understand more about unpleasant people.
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
1 month ago
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
Mumu taking a rest in the turquoise room. Over the years, I always feel very satisfied when I see him covered with a blanket, safe and sleeping. I always wanted to make sure he was safe from harm, illness and distress. I wanted him to have a happy and loved life. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Mumu taking a rest in the turquoise room. Over the years, I always feel very satisfied when I see him covered with a blanket, safe and sleeping. I always wanted to make sure he was safe from harm, illness and distress. I wanted him to have a happy and loved life. Tsem Rinpoche
I wrapped my little Mumu boy up in my blanket and propped him up on my bed. He didn\'t move or wiggle and just looked at me. He is one funny entertaining little guy. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
I wrapped my little Mumu boy up in my blanket and propped him up on my bed. He didn't move or wiggle and just looked at me. He is one funny entertaining little guy. Tsem Rinpoche
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
1 month ago
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don\'t have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don't have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
1 month ago
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
1 month ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
1 month ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
Read this as it will be interesting
1 month ago
Read this as it will be interesting
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one\'s head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book \"The Female Buddhas.\"- Glenn Mullin
2 months ago
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one's head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book "The Female Buddhas."- Glenn Mullin
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
2 months ago
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
2 months ago
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
2 months ago
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
3 months ago
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
3 months ago
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
This is a good one to read
3 months ago
This is a good one to read
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Heartbreaking, must watch
    2 weeks ago
    Heartbreaking, must watch
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    2 weeks ago
    Mongolian pop group singing hauntingly in Mongolian
  • Nice treats for your dogs
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  • Mumu did his best to recover. He never cried but was valiant to accept treatments by the vet.
    3 weeks ago
    Mumu did his best to recover. He never cried but was valiant to accept treatments by the vet.
  • 98 year-old Ben Ferencz, the last surviving prosecutor from the Nuremberg trials. Powerful advice.
    3 weeks ago
    98 year-old Ben Ferencz, the last surviving prosecutor from the Nuremberg trials. Powerful advice.
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    3 weeks ago
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  • Tsem Rinpoche's Vajra Yogini statue and offerings.
    3 weeks ago
    Tsem Rinpoche's Vajra Yogini statue and offerings.
  • If you say,
    3 weeks ago
    If you say, "You wanna go bye bye" to Mumu, he will be excited. He loves to go for rides.
  • Snake begs for water.
    3 weeks ago
    Snake begs for water.
  • Tsem Rinpoche's beautiful Vajra Yogini shrine which is a portal to Kechara.
    3 weeks ago
    Tsem Rinpoche's beautiful Vajra Yogini shrine which is a portal to Kechara.
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    3 weeks ago
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    His Eminence Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche the mahasiddha speaks clearly about guru devotion and Dorje Shugden
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    4 weeks ago
    Beautiful turtle returning to the sea to be free and happy. Amazing sight.
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    4 weeks ago
    Japan's greatest modern day artist, Yayoi Kusama

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.

  • April 20, 2017 10:45
    Ronnie asked: Dear Rinpoche and Pastors, I'm studying abroad and very far away from home, seeking guidance and advice as I have no one else I can talk to about this. Please read with an open mind, I don't know where else to go for help. I'm pregnant and it's an unplanned pregnancy. I'm stuck between keeping it or letting it go. I'm young and having a child at my age in the society we live in now would be considered taboo. The father of the child thinks I should let it go because it may cause a setback to both our careers and cause major family issues. He thinks we aren't ready to raise a child especially since we're both still in university and his parents think badly of me even though they've never met me or tried to get to know me. I'm sure no one would ever have the heart to take away a heartbeat but it seems like it isn't the right time to have a child now and if we did go through with it, the child probably won't be able to have the best things life can offer looking at where we are now in terms of finance and maturity. I'm lost, confused and unsure what the right thing to do is now. Any advice at all would be helpful right now. Thank you so very much for taking time to read my story.
    pastor answered: Dear Ronnie, I’m sorry to read that you are going through this situation. I can understand that this situation is tough to go through. You are always more than welcome to come here to ask questions. May I suggest that you talk to either someone in your family or your friends to help you come to an appropriate solution? This is because, what you feel, what you are going through, will change from time to time and you would need someone to talk to, someone that you can lean on through this situation you are facing. Depending on where you are in the world, professional help can also be sought to help you make a decision, which will be the best option for you seeking help. From a Buddhist perspective, the taking of a life is not considered a positive act, therefore those on the Buddhist path, would normally abstain taking a life if possible. However, that being said, one must always weigh the decision oneself. Everything we do in life, necessarily involves karma both positive and negative. That is why Buddhists try to overcome samsara in general. Your situation is complicated because you are abroad, but if possible you should really open up to someone you are close to in order to help you through making this decision on a personal basis. When you talk to someone, whom you are able to express yourself more, you may able to come to better decision that is right for you. There may be other options open to you if you seek help. I personally know women who have been in similar situations. One of these women, let the child go and the other went through the pregnancy and then gave the child up for adoption. You may or may not have thought of this option, but it is one that could be open to you, depending on where in the world you are. Any decision we make in life, however big or small it may seem, has far reaching consequences whether in this life, or in future lives. This is just a part and parcel of life within samsara. However, we should weigh the decisions we make clearly given the situation we are in. We cannot always do this weighing ourselves, but need to talk about our options with others we can rely on such a friends, family or professionals. You should consider doing this, which will help you greatly emotionally, and may give you the grounding you need to make the correct decision for you. I hope this helps.
  • April 19, 2017 04:57
    Dongho asked: What is a nyung ne practice? According to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, it's a purification sadhana. However, what are the instructions for this? I'm guessing it's to Chenrezig, but how does it work? Also, from what I have read, Vajrasattva practice is only for broken vows while Akshobhya is for regular misdeeds. Does that mean one has to take the Akshobhya practice to purify bad karma from this life and previous instead of Vajrasattva? As for the purification practices, are some like Vajrasattva and Chenrezig only to purify the bad karma and let it come quickly or is it to prevent it from coming? I am confused in it. As for signs, I recited a mantra of White Yangchenma that a Sakya lama, Lama Kunga Thartse Rinpoche, gave me with the Sakya visualizations I read on, and after one mala, I heard some lady call my Korean name even though no one in my neighborhood knows of my name and my family members weren't in the area. What does this mean?
    pastor answered: Dear Dongho, Thank you for your questions, it’s nice to see you back here again. Nyung Ne practice is a purification practice that centres around Chenrezig. It is a very beneficial practice that stems from a holy nun named Gelong-ma Palmo. It is a two and a half day practice that can be repeated many times over and over again to intensify the purification and build a closer relationship with Chenrezig. As well as its purification aspect, the practice is known to generate vast amount of merit, and also compassion, as the practice centres around Chenrezig, the Buddha of compassion. The practice involves taking the eight Mahayana precepts for the duration, fasting, meditating, prostrating and praying. The practice usually entails empowerment into the practice of Chenrezig, therefore the exact meditations, prayers can only be explained to those who have the empowerment. Vajrasattva practice is not necessarily only for repairing broken vows, etc. That’s why it is advised that you engage in the practice at the end of the day, to repair any vows that you may have broken during that day, as well as stopping any negative karma you created that day from multiplying. This would entail reciting the mantra 21 times, together with the four opponent powers. However, if you engage in this practice more intensely, it definitely has the capability to purify all sorts of karma. That is the reason why in Ngondro, or preliminary practices one engages in before tantra, the practice of 100,000 Vajrasattva mantra recitation is an integral part. You can read more about Vajrasattva and his practice here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/an-important-purification-practice.html. Within purification practices, some of the karma will be purified completely, so you do not feel its effects at all, but when purifying other karma you will need to feel its effects somehow. For example if you have the karma to be in a car accident and get seriously injured, and you are engaging in any practice, but especially the purification practice, since you have purified most of the karma, you will only experience being in a very minor car accident, with only very superficial injuries. Therefore, in this case, the karma has been purified to the extent that it does not affect you as much, but you still need to feel part of its effect. In regards to any signs that you receive which engaging in the practices given to you by one of your specific gurus, you should report the happenings to that particular guru. He will be able to give you more of an accurate answer, as it may be related to the particular practice that he gave to you. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • April 17, 2017 07:06
    Thomas asked: Dear Pastors, When a serkyem set has been used so much and one is ready to get rid of it and replace it with a new one. What is a respecful mode of disposal?
    pastor answered: Dear Thomas, Thank you for your question. Your question shows that you have a lot of respect for offering items, which is very good. If possible, you should try to repair the item if within your means, and doing so make embellishments to make it a better offering item, which can still be used. If this is not possible, then you should dispose of the item with a good motivation. You should think that this item has been used to make offerings to the enlightened beings, but now that it is broken or unusable, you are going to dispose of it, and replace it with a new one. Since it itself is not a receptacle of energies of the enlightened beings, such as a statue, tsa tsa or thangka, it does not require a special dissolution before being disposed of. However since it was used to make offerings, it still requires some form of respect when disposing, and this comes from one’s motivation and the way in which you dispose of it. Usually, when disposing of items in this way, make the motivation that you have used it and that it is now time to dispose of it, and replace it with a new one. When you do this you can dispose of it in a respectful manner. For example, if you are going to throw it away, you do not simply open the trash can and throw it in. You wrap it up in something, like a bag or newspaper and dispose of it respectfully. Another method you can dispose of it is to recycle the object, if the material it is made from can be recycled. That way you are more conscious of the environment as well. I hope this explanation helps. Thank you.
  • April 16, 2017 22:38
    Curious asked: Dear pastors In a recent youtube video something like paying respect to deceased ones, pastor Nirel Patel explained that merits are like the interest and good karma is like the principal sum. So merits always regenerate themselves and hence do not get used up but good karma is like the principal sum so it gets used up. So my question is what are practices that generate merit? And can we turn a mundane daily activity into a meritorious one? Maybe can you provide an example?
    pastor answered: Dear Curious, Thank you for your question. First, to clarify a point, in regards to good karma, you are right, it is like a principal sum in a bank account, but you take away from it when you experience something good in your life, and you add to it when you do good deeds. Merit on the other hand, once accrued never diminishes, therefore when something is based on merit, it is based on the energies of this never diminishing sum, which you could say is like interest. In short, the principal sum when talking about karma is always added to and subtracted from. However, when talking about merit, once you have it, there is no way to destroy it, you will always benefit from it. There are various ways to explain how to generate merit. I will explain a way that I find easiest to understand. In normal life, when we go about performing any sort of activity, be it ‘good’ or ‘bad’ we do so out of ignorance of the true nature of existence, and it is usually self-motivated. For example, we work our entire lives to generate monetary income, so that we have enough money, resources, and materials goods to be comfortable. This is self-motivated, but it is the accepted way the world works these days, and is part and parcel of being bound to samsaric life. On the other hand, the act of merit making can be categorised into three parts: i) motivation, ii) the act itself, and iii) dedication. Let’s start with motivation, when engaging in various virtuous acts, we should have the motivation that by engaging in the act, we have the motivation to alleviate the suffering of someone else, and that may we gain enlightenment so that we can benefit them in the future. The second is the act itself. The third is to dedicate the energy of the virtuous act to gaining enlightenment. These three are what make merit. This may be a little confusing, so let me give an example: giving help to a homeless person. Whereas in ordinary life, this is something praised as a very good deed, it does not create merit without motivation and dedication. In order for this to become merit, one must set the motivation that one is giving help to the homeless free of the eight worldly concerns, to alleviate their suffering and also making the motivation that you will achieve enlightenment for the sake of the person or people you are helping. Then after you have helped them, you dedicate the energy created to the spiritual journey towards full enlightenment to help all sentient beings, while at the same time benefiting as many sentient beings as possible on the way there. This transforms the act into not only a virtuous action but also one that generates merit. On the other hand, if you were to help the homeless without these, you are creating good karma, which although beneficial, keeps you bound to existence within samsara. As it is the goal of Buddhist practice to overcome the cycle of samsara, a Buddhist would want to generate merit instead of good karma. I hope this explanation helps. Thank you.
  • April 13, 2017 11:38
    D.A. asked: If Begtse Chan is not from Mongolia, what are his real origins or story exactly? And which lamas offer his empowerment? As for Manjushri Nagarakshasa, which lamas specifically offer his empowerment and practice?
    pastor answered: Dear D.A. Thank you for your question. Begtse, is also known as Chamsing, or Jamsaran in Mongolian. As mentioned in an earlier sharing with someone who also asked a question about Begtse, the practiced was introduced to Tibet from India by the translator Nyen Lotsawa, and is considered one of the main protectors of the Hayagriva cycle of tantras. According to the scriptures that derive from the Sakya tradition, who incorporated the practice from the translators, and in which tradition Begtse became a very important protector, Begtse in a previous life was born many eons ago. In that particular life, he was born as the younger prince in a royal family. His name was Drag Gye, and his older brother’s name was Drag Den. Over time both princes developed differing religious beliefs, to the point where they could not get along with each as they both held their own religious views strongly. As was the custom during that time, they decided to settle their differences through logical debate, with the loser having to convert to the winner’s religion. This custom was also prevalent in ancient India, and there are many stories of such debates occurring between the great masters of the past and those of other faiths. Drag Gye lost the various debates, but ran away instead of converting to his older brother’s religion. Drag Den caught him, and tried to punish him for breaking the rules of debate and going back on his promise. Drag Gye told his brother that even if he was killed he would not give up his religion, however if Drag Den let him go, that in the future when Drag Den became enlightened, he would protect his teachings. With that Drag Den let him go, and gave him a set of copper armour, a stick, and a bow and arrow. Drag Den also gave Drag Gye a new name: Sog Dag Yam Shi Mar Po. After this incident the two brothers never saw each other again in that lifetime. Many lives after that Drag Den was reborn as Prince Siddharta, who eventually became enlightened and is now known as Buddha Shakyamuni. Drag Gye, or Sog Dag Yam Shi Mar Po, was reborn in a cemetery in the North West direction. His parents gave birth to two eggs, one was a coral-like colour and the other was an agate-like colour. These two eggs flew high into the sky and reached the heavenly realms, there they subdued the gods. Then flying back down to earth, they subdued many nagas. Eventually they even came to threaten their own parents. The parents petitioned the Dharma protector Ekajati for her help, who threw her own staff (khatvanga) at the eggs, and broke them apart. From the coral-like coloured egg came a ferocious man with yellow hair, he proclaimed that his name was ‘Sog Dag Yam Shi Mar Po’. When he emerged he was wearing a set of copper armour, wielding a stick, copper sword, and a bow and arrow. From the agate-like coloured egg came a female who was blue in colour, her teeth were like shells, she had turquoise eyebrows, and her hair was made of fire. She emerged wielding a copper knife, ritual dagger (phurba), rode a terrifying bear and wore an intricate necklace made of agate and lapis lazuli. It was then that Ekajati once again took action, and subdued them, after which they became Dharma protectors. The male figure became known as Begtse, and the female as his sister. When you propitiate Begtse, his sister is automatically included and aids practitioners as well. As for which lama offer his practice and empowerment, most lamas do not advertise which teachings or practice they hold. Therefore you should respectfully approach lamas and ask them if they have the practice and can bestow it, or if they know of any lamas that have the practice, depending on how much you want to practice Begtse. Similarly, this applies to those lamas who have the practice of Manjushri Nagarakshasa. However, this practice is included in the Rinjung Gyatsa series of empowerments. This unique cycle of teachings, includes all 4 classes of tantric practices, and includes the practice of Manjushri Nagarakshasa. Therefore those lamas who have received the complete transmission, and have kept their commitments for this practice, are qualified to pass this on to others. I hope this explanation helps. Thank you.
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