Shall We Hate The Jews and Those Different Than Us?

Nov 9, 2016 | Views: 1,923
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The Jewish people have been persecuted throughout recorded history, from their beginnings in the Middle East, through Europe during the Middle Ages, the Holocaust of the World Wars and into the modern era due to their race and religion. This persecution of a community has been sustained due to religious discrimination. We wanted to provide all of you with just a quick overview of what the Jewish people have been through. We hope you can learn from this, and understand the atrocities that religious persecution can lead to.

It is not only the Jewish people that have been persecuted. Many other people of various backgrounds have also been persecuted throughout history. They have been hated for being who they are or for something that cannot be changed. In this article we are highlighting the persecution faced by the Jews, however the Jewish people here are actually representative of all people persecuted because of their race, culture, religion, economic status or views. This article has been written to highlight how during the time of persecution, many thought it was right. It was only later on that people realised this was wrong. In hindsight, the persecution of any human being is wrong, especially when based on differences in race, culture, religion, economic status or views. May this article contribute to the understanding that people of all nations, backgrounds and religions should be accepted. May we all be able to live together in peace and harmony.

For those who have suffered persecution like the Jews, and in fact many other people too numerous to mention, we offer our humblest and profoundest condolences. It is our wish to share with people this particular example of persecution in order to highlight the causes and conditions of all forms of discrimination. With such knowledge, may we sow the seeds of peace, harmony and religious plurality so such terrible discrimination will never occur again.

Pastor David Lai and Pastor Niral Patel

 


 

Introduction

Most of us around the world have heard the word ‘Jew’ and we may know a little about the religion or may even have family or friends who are Jewish. But how many of us really know what being Jewish means? The term ‘Jewish’ is applied to an ethno-religious group of people that practise Judaism. This means that it encompasses both an ethnicity (belonging to a particular social group that has common cultural traditions) and a religion at the same time.

The menorah or nine-branched candelabrum, which is lit during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. At the centre is the Star of David, a symbol associated with the Jewish faith.

The menorah or nine-branched candelabrum, which is lit during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. At the centre is the Star of David, a symbol associated with the Jewish faith.

The Jewish people trace their ancestry, either through blood or religion (in the case of those who have converted to Judaism) back to the Israelite tribes of the ancient Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah. The word ‘Jew’ itself traces back to the Hebrew word ‘Yehudim’, which was a term used to describe a member of the tribe of Judah or the Kingdom of Judah.

Judaism is a monotheistic religion meaning that they believe in one supreme God. Their central religious text is known as the Torah, although they have many other texts that supplement the Torah. Among these are the Midrash and the Talmud. The Jewish religion plays an important part of everyday life, permeating every aspect of living. They have strong beliefs and practices that ensure a good life by following the commands of God as expounded in their religious texts. Judaism is one of the largest Abrahamic religions (meaning that they can be traced back to the ancient figure Abraham) in the world today, together with Christianity and Islam.

 

Jews

The Jewish people trace back their ethno-religious origins to patriarchs, such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel. According to Jewish narrative, these figures lived in Canaan, what is now known as the Middle East, and it was Jacob who moved his family to Ancient Egypt. According to the scriptures, the descendants of these figures eventually became enslaved by the Egyptian population. It was the prophet Moses, who having previously been raised as a prince, led the Jewish people out of bondage in Egypt, releasing 10 plagues sent by God in the process and parting the Red Sea for his people to cross. On the other side of the Red Sea, on Mount Sinai, he received the Ten Commandments on two stone tablets, which have become central to the Judaic faith.

After wandering for 40 years they arrived at the land promised to them by God. They settled there, founding the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah, until they split apart. The Kingdom of Israel was eventually conquered by the Assyrian Empire, while the Kingdom of Judah was later conquered by the Seleucid Empire. Since that time there have been waves of Jews migrating all over the world, especially to the Germanic and Spanish regions of Europe.

In the modern era, Jews can be found all over the world and cannot be identified by race, only by their ethno-religious practices, which they have maintained even in the most distant parts of the world. The largest populations of Jews can be found in Israel (the world’s only Jewish state), the United States of America and all throughout Europe. However, there are lesser-known communities all over the world

 

Ashkenazim and Sephardim

A group of Ashkenazic Jews in Jerusalem, circa 1885. Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

A group of Ashkenazic Jews in Jerusalem, circa 1885. Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The majority of the Jewish population around the world descend from two distinct groups coming from Europe. The first is known as the Ashkenazim, or Germanic Jews. Ashkenaz is the old Hebrew word for Germany; as such this group stems from Central and Eastern Europe. The Jews have lived in this part of the world since the time of the Holy Roman Empire and it was during the Middle Ages that the population in this region grew. Towards the end of the Middle Ages the Ashkenazi population began to shift further east, to countries that are now known as Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine and Belarus. The Ashkenazim made great contributions to European society, including in areas such as art, music, science and philosophy. During the Nazi genocide of Jews during World War II, commonly called the Holocaust, the Ashkenazi population was severely decimated. This horrendous mass killing is said to have effected almost every Ashkenazi Jewish family living in these areas of Europe. This is the largest group of Jewish people around the world today.

The Sephardim on the other hand come from the Iberian Peninsula (modern day Spain, Portugal and a small part of France). The word Sephardim comes from the Hebrew word Sepharad, which was a location in the Hebrew scriptures that became identified with Spain. To this day Sepharad refers to Spain in Modern Hebrew. They are known to have established strong communities in the peninsula from 1000 CE. During the late 15th Century, this community was brought to an end, with the enforcement of the Spanish Inquisition, discussed below. This led to a huge migration internally within Spain and externally, drastic mass conversions of Jews to Christianity and the brutal killing of those that did not conform to the decree. Today Sephardim refers to a person, of any ethnic background, who practices the customs and traditions that evolved in this community. In a broader sense of the term, the word Sephardim can also be used to describe all Jewish groups not belonging to Ashkenazi descent. It was these two groups of Jewish people that travelled and prospered in the United States of America where they have strong communities, keeping the Judaic religion alive and well, despite millennia of persecution.

 

Kaifeng Jews

The Kaifeng Jews have completely intergrated into Chinese culture. Photo taken circa 1902 CE.

The Kaifeng Jews have completely integrated into Chinese culture. Photo taken circa 1902 CE.

This community of Jewish people live in Kaifeng, Henan Province in China. Though they have integrated into Chinese society, they still preserve their socio-religious Judaic heritage. It is believed that this community has existed in China from the Northern Song Dynasty (960 – 1127 CE), although some scholars suggest they lived in Kaifeng from a much earlier date. They most likely arrived in China along the Silk Road trading route from either Persia or India. Some even claim that they are one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel who had travelled eastward from the ancient city of Babylon. Despite this, no one can be certain of the exact date that the Jewish people arrived in China. They built their first synagogue (Jewish temple) in Kaifeng in 1163 CE. Though there are other Jewish communities in China, the Jews of Kaifeng remain the most well-known.

It is popularly believed that they spoke a New Persian dialect at first and made a living in producing cotton fabrics. During this time, China was only just introducing cotton products due to a silk shortage, brought on by an increasing population. Given their specialty in producing cotton fabrics and the increase in demand, the Kaifeng Jews were mostly like prosperous in the surrounding areas. In 1489, descendants of the Jews that arrived in Kaifeng inscribed the words of the Northern Song Dynasty Emperor that established their community onto a stone tablet that was placed in the courtyard of their synagogue. The inscription read:

“You have come to China. Honour and observe the customs of your ancestors.”

This inscription, now housed in the Municipal Museum of Kaifeng, also listed 17 clans that had settled in Kaifeng. However at a later period this dwindled to only eight clans. Subsequently the Jews in Kaifeng became known as ‘The Eight Clans with the Seven Surnames’ since the surname “Li” covered two distinct clans. From that time, the Kaifeng Jews were completely integrated into Chinese culture while maintaining their Jewish heritage.

The synagogue was destroyed during heavy flooding in the area and then rebuilt it 1653 by a Kaifeng Jew named Chao Ying Chen. He also replaced the holy Torah scrolls in the synagogue after they were destroyed in the floods. Over time the synagogue came into disrepair, most likely due to isolation from other strong Jewish communities.

In 1957, 700 inhabitants of Kaifeng still acknowledged their Jewish descent. Over the years, due to intermarriage with local Chinese and Muslims in the area, the community of practicing Jews dwindled. In recent times, with the establishment of the State of Israel some of the existing Kaifeng Jews have migrated to live there.

 

Indian Jews

Jewish communities in India are the 4th largest population of Asian Jews after Israel, Asian Russia and Iran. These communities have not faced the level of persecution that other communities around the world have. In fact due to the religious pluralism prevalent in India, the Jewish population have lived in relative peace and harmony, allowing the adherence to their faith without much opposition.

Knesset Eliyahoo synagogue in Mumbai, India is the city's second oldest Sephardic temple.

Knesset Eliyahoo synagogue in Mumbai, India is the city’s second oldest Sephardic temple.

The most notable of these communities include: the Cochin Jews; the Chennai Jews of Sephardim origin; the Bene Israel of Karachi who fled to Mumbai after the partition of India in 1947, fearing religious persecution in Pakistan; Iraqi Jews who settled in and around Kolkata; the Bnei Menashe who are converts from the Mizo and Kuki tribes in the Manipur and Mizoram areas; and the Bene Ephraim who are also known as the Telegu Jews.

The Cochin Jews settled in the Kingdom of Cochin, in what is now part of the state of Kerala. They are also sometimes referred to as the Malabar Jews. Following the Spanish Inquisition, some Sephardic Jewish families travelled to Cochin and established their community there, developing a distinct dialect known as Judeo-Malayalam and came to be known as Paradesi Jews, or ‘Foreign Jews’. Late in the 19th century some Iraqi Jews, hearing of the strong community of Cochin Jews, immigrated there to join their community. After the establishment of the State of Israel, the majority of Cochin Jews immigrated there. Most Cochin Jew synagogues have since fallen into disrepair or have been sold. The Paradesi synagogue located in Kochi, Kerala, still retains a strong congregation and has also become a tourist site in recent years.

 

Black Jews

Members of Beta Israel holding the Torah in 1973

Members of Beta Israel holding the Torah in 1973

The term ‘black Jews’ covers a diverse group of Jews from African or African-American heritage. One of the many communities of Jewish people that stem from Africa are known as the Beta Israel or Ethiopian Jews. This group of people lived mainly in the Kingdom of Axum and the Ethiopian Empire.

This group established the Kingdom of Beta Israel following a revolt against Emperor Ezana of Axum, who was crowned in 325 CE. The Emperor had declared Christianity the state religion and expected all his citizens to convert. Their capital city was named Gondar and their first king was Phineas, who was a descendant of a Jewish High Priest named Zadok. The Jewish High Priest was the religious leader of all Jewish peoples and belonged to one of the Jewish priestly families. The tradition of having a High Priest ended in 2nd century BCE.

In the early 17th century, Emperor Susenyos I of the Ethiopian Empire, invaded the lands of the Beta Israel and began a campaign to eradicate Jewish practice, through forced baptism to Christianity, burning of Jewish books and the ban on all Jewish practice. Despite this, the community still flourished, being employed by the succeeding emperors as carpenters, masons and craftsman. During the Zemene Mesafint, a period of history during which the Ethiopian Empire crumbled, the Beta Israel lost their position in society, often being exploited by local rulers.

Following World War II, many Beta Israel have since immigrated to Israel, after the country declared that they were recognised as Jewish according to Israeli law in 1977 and therefore eligible for citizenship. When civil war broke out in Ethiopia, the Israeli government began a series of covert military operations to rescue many of the Beta Israel population from the struggle. These took place between 1980 and early 1901. Since that time many of those that remained in Ethiopia have since migrated as well. As of 2008, there was an estimated 119,000 citizens of Ethiopian descent living in Israel.

There are other communities of Jews living in the African Subcontinent. These include the Jews that live in the Maghreb region and those that live in South Africa. Another group of black Jews include those of African-American descent, belonging to various American Jewish denominations.

 

A Long History of Persecution

Jewish communities around the world have had to suffer terrible persecution throughout history. This persecution of Jews is not based on race but on religion, which is also ingrained in their societal practices. The most well-known cases of this persecution occurred in Europe and the Middle East. From the Seleucid Empire, when the Kingdom of Judea fell, through to the highly anti-Semitic Middle Ages in Europe and the Holocaust of the World Wars, Jews have suffered greatly due to their religious beliefs. Below is a brief overview of one such period of persecution, other than the Holocaust.

Under the brutal Nazi regime from Germany, over 6 million Jews were persecuted, imprisoned and mercilessly killed in the Holocaust

Under the brutal Nazi regime from Germany, over 6 million Jews were persecuted, imprisoned and mercilessly killed in the Holocaust

 

Spanish Inquisition

One of the most horrific examples of Jewish persecution occurred during the Spanish Inquisition of the 15th century. It stemmed from what was officially known as the ‘Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition’, which was established in 1480 CE by the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile.

A painting of Spanish Jews kneeling and pleading before King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, in the presence of the grand inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada who argues for their expulsion from Spain

A painting of Spanish Jews kneeling and pleading before King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, in the presence of the grand inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada who argues for their expulsion from Spain

An earlier Inquisition was originally created by Pope Lucius III to combat various heretical movements in the south of France during the 12th century. An Inquisition is basically the formation of groups of tribunals within the Catholic Church in order to counter heretical movements. Inquisitors were friars (mendicants) mostly appointed from within the Dominican order to head the tribunals. Following the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation in the late Middle Ages, the Inquisition had expanded to include various European countries. This expansion culminated in the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions, which eventually spread to various colonies in Asia, Africa and the Americas.

In Spain, the Inquisition was primarily set up to consolidate Christian orthodoxy, especially amongst those who had converted from Judaism and Islam. The Inquisition intensified after the Spanish royal decrees of 1492 and 1502 that demanded Jews and Muslims to convert to Christianity or leave Spain. Spain at that time had just been unified after the surrender of the last Muslim stronghold in the city-state of Granada to the new Christian monarchy. Muslim Spain was called Al-Andalus and was a prosperous period during which the Jews were tolerated as they were considered ‘al-dhimma’ or non-Muslims under the protection of the Islamic state. Hence, southern Spain became a safe haven for Jews emigrating from other countries that persecuted them.

Under Christian rule, Alonso de Hojeda, a Dominican friar from Seville had approached and convinced Queen Isabella of the existence of Andalusian ‘conversos’ (Jewish converts) that were secretly practicing their faith during her stay in Seville between 1477 and 1478. In a report by Pedro González de Mendoza, Archbishop of Seville, and another by the Segovian Dominican Tomás de Torquemada, Alonso de Hojeda’s claims were confirmed. In 1480, a plot to overthrow the government of Seville in an armed revolt led by Don Diego de Susona, who is a wealthy merchant ‘converso’ was uncovered and quickly suppressed.

Hence in 1478, the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella requested a papal decree to establish an Inquisition in Spain in response to the ‘conversos’ returning to the practice of Judaism. In response, Pope Sixtus IV granted a decree to allow the Spanish monarchs to appoint their own inquisitors. In 1483, Ferdinand and Isabella established a state council to administer the Inquisition with the Dominican Friar Tomás de Torquemada acting as its president.

At that time, Pope Sixtus IV protested the activities of the Inquisition in Aragon and its treatment of the convicted. The monarchs threatened to separate from the Church and the Inquisition when the pope wanted to investigate these abuses. In order to appease the enraged Spanish monarchs, Torquemada was given the title of Inquisitor-General by the pope and the Inquisition continued in earnest. The pope could have done more to address the gross abuses inherent within the Spanish Inquisition but didn’t want to lose his control of Spain. Hence, the pope quickly caved in to the demands of the Spanish monarchs. Without any further objections from the pope, the Spanish Inquisition would go on to become the largest and deadliest inquisition in medieval Europe, inflicting inhuman torture and death on thousands.

A depiction of an Inquisition torture chamber. From Mémoires Historiques (1716).

A depiction of an Inquisition torture chamber. From Mémoires Historiques (1716).

Subsequently, Torquemada quickly established procedures for the Inquisition. A new court was announced with a thirty-day grace period for confessions of ‘conversos’ who relapsed back to the Jewish faith and the gathering of accusations by neighbours. Those who still practiced Judaism despite the ban are called crypto-Jews, meaning that they were Jewish but publically adhered to another faith. Evidence that was used in court to identify a ‘converso’ who relapsed back to Judaism included the absence of smoke from chimneys on Saturdays, which was a sign the family might secretly be observing the Jewish Sabbath; buying of huge amounts of vegetables before Passover; or even the purchase of meat from a converted butcher. The Inquisition employed physical torture in order to extract confessions. Crypto-Jews were allowed to confess and engage in penance, although those who relapsed again were horrifically burned at the stake.

In 1484, Pope Innocent VIII received news of abuses and allowed appeals to be channeled to Rome. In response King Ferdinand decreed in December 1484 and again in 1509, the death and confiscation of the estates of anyone who attempted to make an appeal without royal permission. The Inquisition became the only institution that held authority across all of the Iberian Peninsula and it was a useful tool for the Christian monarchy to persecute the Jews and increase the royal coffers.

If a ‘converso’ was deemed guilty, the condemned had to undergo a ceremony known as ‘autos-da-fé’, which literally meant ‘an act of faith’. The ceremony was meant to ‘celebrate’ the return of the condemned to the Church (in lighter cases), or as a punishment if the condemned was branded an impenitent heretic. The ‘autos-da-fé’ could be either a private or a public spectacle. It could last up to a whole day and involved a Catholic Mass, prayer, a public procession of those found guilty, and a reading of their sentences.

Painting by Francisco Rizi depicting the auto-da-fé held in Plaza Mayor, Madrid in 1680. Click to enlarge.

Painting by Francisco Rizi depicting the auto-da-fé held in Plaza Mayor, Madrid in 1680. Click to enlarge.

According to surviving records, the Spanish Inquisition charged an estimated 150,000 people with crimes and roughly 3,000 were executed or burnt on the stake. The arrival of the ‘Age of Enlightenment’ in Spain marked the decline of the Inquisition. The Enlightenment was an intellectual movement, which swept through Europe in the 18th century, sparked by a range of new ideas centred on reason as the primary source of authority and legitimacy, as well as a slew of scientific discoveries.

Finally, on July 15, 1834, the Spanish Inquisition was formally abolished by a Royal Decree signed by Regent Maria Christina of the Two Sicilies, Ferdinand VII’s liberal widow, with the approval of the President of the Cabinet Francisco Martínez de la Rosa. With centuries of torture, bloodshed and death at the stake, the Inquisition had decimated the Jewish population in Spain. For those who could not leave Spain, they were either forced to abandon the spiritual traditions of their forefathers, go underground with their Jewish practices, or end up losing their lives. Unfortunately, the Inquisition was brutally efficient in uprooting those who kept to their old Jewish ways. Hence, the Spanish Inquisition brought about an exodus of Jews that identified themselves as Sephardim or the Jews of Spain. Thus the 400 year history of persecution against Jews by religious authorities on the Iberian Peninsula came to an end with the royal decree.

 

Comparison Between the Jews and Dorje Shugden Practitioners

Here is a brief list of how Jews have been persecuted and discriminated against. Studying these methods, we have also drawn a comparison to the discrimination against Dorje Shugden practitioners. While not nearly at the same level of persecution that was faced by the Jewish populace in Europe, the methods of religious discrimination do have very striking similarities. Through this we hope to highlight the fact that religious persecution in whatever form it takes is wrong. Instead we should focus on harmony and peace within all cultures and across all religions.

 

The Jewish People Dorje Shugden Practitioners
Jews were forcibly expelled from the country or converted to Christianity by royal decree in 15th Century Spain during the reign of King Ferdinand II of Aragorn and Queen Isabella I of Castile. ‘Conversos’ or converts who were found to have reverted back to Judaism were tried under a tribunal formed by what is known as the Spanish Inquisition. Converts found to have repeated offences were burnt at the stake. The Spanish Inquisition was known to be one of the worst persecutions of the Jews in Europe prior to the modern era and the Holocaust. Dorje Shugden practitioners were forced to give up the practice of Dorje Shugden, especially in monasteries situated in Tibetan settlements of South India. Monks had to swear out from the practice or face expulsion in the late 1990s. A large group of Dorje Shugden monks from Pomra Khangtsen of Sera Mey Monastery were eventually expelled and had to establish Serpom Monastery in 2008, in order to continue practising their faith. Being forced to establish their own monastery represents the fact that religious discrimination existed, otherwise there would have been no need to set up their own monastery. Another group of Dorje Shugden practitioners from Dokhang Khangtsen of Gaden Shartse Monastery were expelled in 2008 and they formed Shar Gaden Monastery. Contrary to what some people say, the very existence of these two monasteries does not represent religious freedom. In fact the Tibetan leadership continues to enforce a policy of the ‘purity’ of Buddhism that led to these monks being forcibly expelled from their main monasteries. In actuality, these two monasteries are living proof of the existence of the ban.
Jews were demonised in Nazi Germany’s anti-Semitic propaganda between 1933 and 1945 in order to indoctrinate hatred and encourage discrimination. Prior to the Nazis, the Jews were already disliked by various indigenous ethnic groups in Europe due to a variety of reasons but mainly due to envy and discontentment. This was because many Jewish people were considerably wealthier and held prominent positions in society. Hence, Nazi propaganda sought to fan discrimination and hatred by popularising the view that the Jews became wealthy through the exploitation of the Aryan race. This was done in order to gather the people’s support for their ruthless pogroms (organised massacres) to exterminate the Jews. Dorje Shugden practitioners, lamas and in particular, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso are demonised in anti-Shugden rhetoric on the internet. The basis of the entire Dorje Shugden issue stems from the fact that Dorje Shugden is wrongly viewed to be a powerful and malevolent spirit or demon. Hence, lamas and practitioners are demonised to be spirit worshipers. This inevitably evokes hatred and discrimination, especially amongst lay Tibetans or misinformed foreign Buddhist practitioners. Both of these groups may not know enough about the issue, so may simply follow common perceptions surrounding the issue. This was done to gather popular support for the implementation of the Dorje Shugden ban across the world. As a result, Dorje Shugden practitioners across the world have been shunned within their own Buddhist communities due to such propaganda.
Jewish businesses in Nazi Germany were boycotted through Nazi propaganda posters while German businesses had signs that prohibited Jews from entering or being served. This was done in the earlier stages as part of Nazi propaganda in order to incite popular hatred and discrimination against the Jews. Later, when the Nazis began to intensify their attempts to exterminate the Jews, there was little resistance although most Germans at that time were aware of what was happening. Dorje Shugden practitioners are not allowed in monasteries, shops, schools, clinics, hospitals and other CTA (Central Tibetan Administration) institutions in India. This can clearly be seen in many signs that prohibit practitioners from entering these institutions and is part of the CTA’s Dorje Shugden ban that has instigated hatred and discrimination against the ordinary Dorje Shugden practitioner. Due to this atmosphere of discrimination there is little resistance from foreign Buddhists who also adopt this discrimination against Dorje Shugden practitioners.
The discrimination and persecution of Jews was institutionalised and sanctioned under the rule of Nazi Germany. Hence, the breadth and scale of the pogroms were extensive and included effort put into covering up the atrocities. Much of what is now known of the suffering faced by the Jews was only made known after the fall of Nazi Germany. The discrimination and persecution of Dorje Shugden practitioners was institutionalised and sanctioned under the CTA’s mandate within the Tibetan communities in India. Hence, few people outside the Tibetan communities would fully understand the problems and issues faced by Tibetan Dorje Shugden practitioners. They are mostly silenced by lynch mobs and death threats. To watch videos on the persecution of Dorje Shugden practitioners, click here.
Jews were driven from their homes and had to flee Germany to other parts of Europe in order to escape the atrocities inflicted on them by the Nazi SS soldiers. Many Jews attempted to escape death by fleeing across Europe but ruthless Nazi SS soldiers hunted them down. It was due to the success of Nazi propaganda that even locals in other European countries would collaborate with the Nazis to reveal fugitive Jews. Dorje Shugden practitioners were driven from their homes due to lynch mobs, stoning and death threats because the identities of Dorje Shugden practitioners was made publicly known by the Tibetan leadership. In addition, personal information of practitioners is made available to incite hatred and violence against Dorje Shugden practitioners. Many practitioners, especially prominent Dorje Shugden Lamas like Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and so forth, received death threats and had their ladrangs or homes stoned by the public.
Jews were segregated from German society and placed in one of several concentration camps situated away from ordinary society, where they faced terrible conditions and many millions were killed. Despite many denials, the ordinary Germans knew what was happening but did nothing to resist this systematic genocide. This bears testament to the success of the Nazi propaganda against the Jews. Dorje Shugden monasteries like Shar Gaden and Serpom were formed because monks were expelled from their mother monasteries. In addition to that, a wall was built between Shar Gaden, the Dorje Shugden monastery and Gaden Monastery, the original monastery, in order to segregate those who practise Dorje Shugden. There are people who are aware of the existence of these monasteries and claim that there never was a Dorje Shugden ban. They do not realise that these monks have friends and family they can never meet due to the ban. In fact, the very reason for the existence of these monasteries bears testament to the existence of the Dorje Shugden ban.
Hitler indoctrinated the German public with the philosophy of the ‘pure Aryan race’ that encouraged segregation and persecution of what they considered ‘impure races’ like the Jews. Just because the masses adhered to this view in Germany does not make it a morally correct one. This propaganda allowed the Nazis to come to power and inflict unspeakable horrors on the Jews. The same propaganda was used to legitimise the genocidal pogroms against the Jews. The Tibetan leadership (the CTA) proclaimed Dorje Shugden to be a spirit and encouraged the public not to worship him. Just because many adhere to this view does not make it a correct view. The CTA are adhering to the ideal of a ‘pure Buddhist’ which leads to the persecution of those who do not confirm. This ideal seems strikingly similar to the Nazi idea of the ‘pure Aryan race’. This wrong view counters the traditional teachings by lineage lamas like Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. These highly attained lamas all said he is an emanation of Manjushri and his practice has tremendous benefit for practitioners.
The basis of the 15th Century Spanish Inquisition of the Jews is based on the ruling of the Catholic Church. However, the torture and persecution of the Jews is actually antithetical to the teachings of Jesus Christ, which include love, compassion and acceptance. It is because the Inquisition was sanctioned by the church that the people of the 15th Century readily accepted the horrors of torture and the execution of the Jews. The basis of the Dorje Shugden ban rests on the view that Dorje Shugden is a spirit and that it is antithetical to Buddhist refuge. However, the segregation, discrimination and persecution of Dorje Shugden practitioners contradicts the Buddha’s teachings on compassion, selflessness and the acceptance of all. Hence, it is strange that when Buddhist centres organise initiations and teachings, Dorje Shugden practitioners are not allowed to come or participate when the centres accept people of other faiths. Doesn’t this contradict the teachings of the Buddha on compassion, acceptance and love for all beings?

 

(Left) The Alhambra Decree, also known as the Edict of Expulsion, ordering all Jews to be expelled from Spain, signed by King Ferdinand & Queen Isabella. (Right) An official letter from the Department of Religion and Culture of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, stating that all monks who practise Dorje Shugden should be expelled from Ganden Shartse monastery. Click to enlarge

(Left) The Alhambra Decree, also known as the Edict of Expulsion, ordering all Jews to be expelled from Spain, signed by King Ferdinand & Queen Isabella. (Right) An official letter from the Department of Religion and Culture of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, stating that all monks who practise Dorje Shugden should be expelled from Ganden Shartse monastery. Click to enlarge

(Left) Poster for The Eternal Jew, a Nazi propaganda film demonising Jews. (Right) A picture demonising Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, simply because he practises Dorje Shugden.

(Left) Poster for The Eternal Jew, a Nazi propaganda film demonizing Jews. (Right) A picture demonizing Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, simply because he practises Dorje Shugden.

Nazi German cartoons like this one served to indoctrinate the public that the rich Jews were exploiting the Aryan (German) race.

Nazi German cartoons like this one served to indoctrinate the public that the rich Jews were exploiting the Aryan (German) race.

(Left) A sign from Nazi Germany prohibiting entry and proclaiming that "Jews are not served here" and (Right) a sign prohibiting Dorje Shugden practitioners from entering Sera Monastery, South India

(Left) A sign from Nazi Germany prohibiting entry and proclaiming that “Jews are not served here” and (Right) a sign prohibiting Dorje Shugden practitioners from entering Sera Monastery, South India

These German youths and a SS Soldier had their picture taken next to the town's anti-Jewish sign. The sign reads, 'Juden sind in Behringersdorf nicht erwünscht,' meaning 'Jews not welcomed in Behringersdorf'. This was a small town near Nuremberg.

These German youths and a SS Soldier had their picture taken next to the town’s anti-Jewish sign. The sign reads, ‘Juden sind in Behringersdorf nicht erwünscht,’ meaning ‘Jews not welcomed in Behringersdorf’. This was a small town near Nuremberg.

During World Way II, millions of Jews were forced to leave their homes. Many were sent to concentration camps and ultimately their deaths but some managed to escape this fate and tell the world of the atrocities they faced due to religious persecution. Today, those who practise Dorje Shugden as forced to leave their homes due to growing pressure and threats of violence due to their religious beliefs.

During World Way II, millions of Jews were forced to leave their homes. Many were sent to concentration camps and ultimately their deaths but some managed to escape this fate and tell the world of the atrocities they faced due to religious persecution. Today, those who practise Dorje Shugden are forced to leave their homes due to growing pressure and threats of violence due to their religious beliefs.

(Right) Concentration camp where Jews were segregated from society in deplorable conditions and killed. (Left) Wall segregating Shar Gaden monastery that practises Dorje Shugden from Gaden Monastery that does not practise.

(Right) Concentration camp where Jews were segregated from society in deplorable conditions and killed for being Jewish. (Left) Wall segregating Shar Gaden Monastery that practises Dorje Shugden, from Gaden Monastery that does not practise.

(Right) Adolf Hitler indoctrinating a crowd of Germans towards his pure Aryan Race philosophy. (Left) A crowd of Tibetans at a public event held by the Central Tibetan Administration. Simple because we are told something and many adhere to it, does not make it a morally correct ideal.

(Right) Adolf Hitler indoctrinating a crowd of Germans towards his pure Aryan Race philosophy. (Left) A crowd of Tibetans at a public event held by the Central Tibetan Administration. Simply because we are told something and many adhere to it, does not make it a morally correct ideal, especially when it includes persecuting others for their religious beliefs.

The Spanish Inquisition's persecution of Jews went against the teachings of Jesus and the Central Tibetan Administration's discrimination against Dorje Shugden practitioners goes against the teachings of the Buddha. Both religious figures taught love, compassion and acceptance towards all.

The Spanish Inquisition’s persecution of Jews went against the teachings of Jesus and the Central Tibetan Administration’s discrimination against Dorje Shugden practitioners goes against the teachings of the Buddha. Both religious figures taught love, compassion and acceptance towards all.

Dorje Shugden monks from Pomra Khangtsen of Sera Mey Monastery were expelled and had to establish Serpom Monastery in 2008. This monastery is a living testament of the Dorje Shugden ban.

Dorje Shugden monks from Pomra Khangtsen of Sera Mey Monastery were expelled and had to establish Serpom Monastery in 2008. This monastery is a living testament of the Dorje Shugden ban.

This is an anti-Shugden sign outside a Gelugpa Monastery. The sign says, "Those who propitiate Dorje Shugden or have association with followers of Shugden may not attend or explore the territory of the on going teaching program." Click to enlarge.

This is an anti-Shugden sign outside a Gelugpa Monastery. The sign says, “Those who propitiate Dorje Shugden or have association with followers of Shugden may not attend or explore the territory of the on going teaching program.” Click to enlarge.

Guru Deva Rinpoche was a high lama and a great patron of the Dalai Lama; his two tutors, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Ling Rinpoche; and the three great Gelug monasteries of Gaden, Sera and Drepung. His ladrang and home in India were stoned and his life was threatened. Just as the Jews fled Nazi Germany, Guru Deva Rinpoche had to flee India and returned to Mongolia. This was due to the face he was a Dorje Shugden practitioner.

Guru Deva Rinpoche was a high lama and a great patron of the Dalai Lama; his two tutors, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Ling Rinpoche; and the three great Gelug monasteries of Gaden, Sera and Drepung. His ladrang and home in India were stoned and his life was threatened. Just as the Jews fled Nazi Germany, Guru Deva Rinpoche had to flee India and returned to Mongolia. This was due to the fact he was a Dorje Shugden practitioner.

Monks from Shar Gaden Monastery in South India are unable to meet relatives and friends that do not practice Dorje Shugden for fear of retaliation from others in the Tibetan community.

Monks from Shar Gaden Monastery in South India are unable to meet relatives and friends that do not practice Dorje Shugden for fear of retaliation from others in the Tibetan community.

The persecution of the Jews throughout history and that of Dorje Shugden practitioners are worlds apart. Both of these are from cultures and spiritual traditions that have virtually no connection whatsoever and yet, they share many similar traits. This is not because there is a link between the Jews and Dorje Shugden practitioners but the attitude in which ignorance, bigotry and discrimination have taken shape against people throughout history. In the case of Nazi Germany, they were defeated by the Allied Forces in 1945 due to the cracking of the Enigma Code that allowed Allied Forces the ability to intercept Nazi messages and the location of their armies. As for Dorje Shugden practitioners, they are still struggling with the ban and the prevalent discrimination from the Buddhist community at large. Their only defence is the truth and it is hoped that with articles such as this one, that enough light will be shed upon this issue. As more and more people realise the truth, the world may be able to put an end to all forms of religious persecution, including the Dorje Shugden ban and the discrimination against practitioners.

The methods of persecution against a group of people remain as timeless as shown above, leading to physical and mental harm. It is always about a ‘pure race’, ‘pure religion’ ‘pure doctrine’, ‘pure philosophy’ or ‘pure politics.’ In their search for purity, people use this as an excuse to highlight or espouse their hatred, greed, jealousy, or whatever human failings that they have. So people will be jealous or be biased against a group of people simply because they are different. That is the real basis for any type of persecution. Therefore persecution is in the name of something pure, but actually comes from the human failings of what we have mentioned.

Living in a modern age, we need to address our human failings and come to terms with people who are different, or those who practice a religion different that ours. When we come to terms with this, persecution will end as we will never use this difference as an excuse to hurt anyone again. With respect to the Jews, we use this example to highlight that everybody in history has been persecuted in one way or another due to human failings. No matter the race, religion or culture a person is from, they should not be persecuted because of this. From the many examples throughout history and what is occurring in the present, we should strive our hardest to live in peace and harmony with each other. Now is the time to give peace a change, and love each other.

Disclaimer: In writing this article we mean no offence to the various Jewish communities around the world. We simply wanted to highlight the level of persecution against Jews and compare this same type of persecution towards Dorje Shugden practitioners, simply based on religious practice. All people around the world should be able to live without the fear of persecution. No one should be persecuted, and so this article may have highlighted the plight of the Jewish people but it is representative of the plight of all people who have been persecuted, in an attempt to educate people against the dangers of discrimination.

 


 

Videos of Persecution Against Dorje Shugden Practitioners

 

Gaden Monastery Attacked

Or view the video on the server at: http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/GadenMonasteryAttacked.flv

Since the inception of the Dorje Shugden ban 20 years ago, the CTA (Central Tibetan Administration) continues to organize a hateful campaign against Dorje Shugden practitioners. In doing so, the Tibetan leadership has gone against the very core teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on compassion and tolerance and thereby, misled the world over the nature of their activities. The Tibetan leadership pursues huge sponsorship and financial aid from the West in order to run its operations but they actually channel these funds towards campaigns that suppresses religious freedom within the Tibetan communities through various means to instigate violent suppression against Dorje Shugden practitioners.

This video footage shows clearly how Dorje Shugden practitioners have lived their lives in fear for the last 20 years due to the ban on Dorje Shugden. Although the Tibetan leadership and supporters have continued to use various violent and underhanded means to segregate and discriminate Dorje Shugden practitioners, the practitioners themselves have not fought back. Instead, they continue to uphold their peaceful reliance on their Dorje Shugden lineage lamas and especially the practices and teachings they have received in relations to the protector deity. The main part of the video was filmed in 2000 and it shows 3,000 lay and ordained Tibetans heading towards Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India in order to riot against a group of Dorje Shugden practitioners.

 

Dendu’s Story

Or view the video on the server at: http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/DenduStory.flv

The discrimination against Dorje Shugden practitioners is not only faced by those living in the Tibetan settlements in India or in Tibet itself, but also by those living in other countries. In this video interview we meet 18 year old Dendu, who was born in Tibet and went to live in the United States when he was 11.

Dendu and his family continue to face discrimination and violence due to the fact they practice Dorje Shugden, despite the fact that the United States constitution guarantees religious freedom, worship and practice. In this interview, he bravely speaks up about the persecution that he and his family have had to face.

 

Conflict in the Tibetan Community

Or view the video on the server at: http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/ConflictTibetanCommunity.flv

This interview highlights the conflict and rift caused by the persecution and discrimination of Dorje Shugden practitioners. It was filmed on August 25th, 2014 at a protest organised by the International Shugden Community and Tibetan Buddhist practitioners opposed to the treatment they have received. Here we see a young woman who talks about the difficulties her family has had to face simply because of their religious practice.

 

Tibetan Public Talk – Interview with Ama Tsekye

Or view the video on the server at: http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/TibetanPublicTalkAmaTsekye.flv

Dorje Shugden practitioners from all walks of life have suffered discrimination and even physical violence due to their religious beliefs. In this interview we meet Ama Tsekye, an elderly woman who has been persecuted due to her practice of Dorje Shugden. She faced difficulties arranging the funeral of her late husband and is now estranged with her own children because of her religious views. This was due to the intolerance and hatred directed at Dorje Shugden practitioners by those who do not believe in religious freedom within the Tibetan community.

 

Tibetan Public Talk – The True Facts – Part 1

Or view the video on the server at: http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/TibetanPublicTalkTheTrueFactsPart1.flv

In this video, Tibetan Dorje Shugden practitioners give an account of the suppression and discrimination they had to endure because of the ban on Dorje Shugden which was enforced by the Tibetan leadership on the Tibetan community.

 

Tibetan Public Talk – The True Facts – Part 2

Or view the video on the server at: http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/TibetanPublicTalkTheTrueFactsPart2.flv

In this video, Tibetan Dorje Shugden practitioners give an account of the suppression and discrimination they had to endure because of the ban on Dorje Shugden which was enforced by the Tibetan leadership on the Tibetan community.

Disclaimer: These videos belong to a third party(s). Permission was granted for us to upload here. These video are not being used for any commercial purposes, it is being used for educational purposes only.

 
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14 Responses to Shall We Hate The Jews and Those Different Than Us?

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  1. MartinC on Feb 9, 2017 at 3:13 am

    Tsem Rinpoche has worked very hard and patiently over the years to provide good and accurate knowledge about Dorje Shugden. These truths are not new at all but have been overshadowed by malicious anti-Shugden propaganda over the last 2 decades. It is a welcome change to see this comment by Suzy on Rinpoche’s YouTube channel in which she expressed her realization of the Protector’s goodness. This is truly beautiful-(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4&t=11s)

    Suzy

  2. wan wai meng on Dec 30, 2016 at 1:42 am

    Dorje Shugden people and Jewish people have experienced tremendous suffering due to a lot of persecution. No one has the right to discriminate others due to their beliefs and inclinations.

    Discrimination was incorrect done on the Jewish so similarly it is incorrect when applied to Dorje Shugden people. Discrimination and persecution is not spiritual at all.

  3. Colin Tan on Dec 24, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    We are individual that have many things in common but also have differences in race, religion, belief and cultures. In fact, all religions that propagate peace and love shall not cast discrimination on people who have different religious beliefs. But history showed it otherwise where Jews and Dorje Shugden practitioners have been persecuted and discriminated against because of their religion. Many times human being can be easily influenced and brainwashed and followed what the majority do. In those circumstances, people did not question if the discrimination was ethically right. Therefore, it’s crucial to educate our next generation not to impose hatred and discrimination on others who are different than us. We should also teach them not to follow blindly even though the instruction comes from higher authority.
    We shall not hold on to hatred, resentment and discrimination on others because of different religion practice, what more to misguide our next generation to believe all this are right. The world doesn’t need more persecution or ill-feeling, instead we shall let go of the judgment on others who are different from us, to live harmoniously and peacefully with one another, regardless of races and religion.

  4. Fong on Nov 26, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    There are many stories and movies about the Jewish holocaust in Germany under Hitler during World War II. It was a time of great suffering and fear. Till this day, those who escape the gas chambers and death trains can neither forget nor forgive the horrors of those years.

    But, time is a great healer, for those not directly involved. So, history has to remind the later generations what the holocaust was all about. And, also to remind that it was not the Jews who were the only ones persecuted.

    There have been many kinds of persecutions all over this Earth of ours. We do have to have empathy, imagine it is our kins who are being persecuted. Can we feel the pain and anguish? What if it were us on the receiving end?

    Discrimination and persecutions only continues a negative cycle that can only lead all down to a very negative place.So, we do have to break that cycle.

  5. Pavara Lam on Nov 20, 2016 at 12:24 am

    I don’t understand how the CTA can implement such cruel punishments on people who practice Dorje Shugden. We all know that cruel treatments and ostracism is a thing of the past that should not happen now in the year 2016, but yet the CTA treats anyone who practices Dorje Shugden like uncivilised creatures. As a matter of fact we are just as human as everyone else if you cut us we bleed if you hit us we feel the pain, so why discriminate us? Instead we should all live peacefully regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity.

    I really hope that the CTA will that we are all humans staying on the same planet.
    May everyone be able to unite peacefully as one regardless of skin colour, religion or ethnicity.

  6. Stella Cheang on Nov 15, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    The point that blatantly stood out is the basis of the persecution and harsh discrimination on both the Jews people and Dorje Shugden practitioners are built on lies and wrong view propagated by one or a few people in position. The horrific persecution during the Spanish Inquisition of the 15th century was initiated by by the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. Similarly the Holocaust was started and led by Hilter who want to purify his land from the impure Jews race. Both were done in the name of falsehood in religion and race. Now looking at the Tibetan leadership who spread lies and wrong view all in the name of a fake ‘pure Buddhist’ agenda, actually contradicts the Buddha’s teachings on compassion, selflessness and the acceptance of all. I pray that Dalai Lama will stand out and lead his people to peace and harmony and end this suffering. May His Holiness be remembered for all the good deeds he had done. It is sad that Hilter is remembered for the persecution and suffering of all the Jews. May this never happen to His Holiness.

    Thank you Pastor David and Pastor Niral for this article.

  7. Wylfred Ng on Nov 14, 2016 at 12:46 am

    历史上实在太多歧视问题。 种族歧视、宗教歧视、性别歧视等等。

    在这篇文章中就是关于犹太教被歧视甚至被赶走。

    多杰雄登修持则现在面对的问题也与犹太教有一些相似的地方。
    当然现在的社会都是提倡平等, 不应该以宗教、文化、种族来标记别人, 更不应该别人的宗教和我们不同而认为我们自己高高在上。

    佛陀提倡的就是众生平等, 不应该有分别心对待众生。 其实多杰雄登禁令原本就是一个错误的禁令, 对多杰雄登修持者实施不平等的政策就已经违背了佛陀的教诲。

    希望通过这篇文章很多人可以更知道历史上其他歧视世间。 也会鞭策自己不会以不同的标签来标签别人。

    谢谢

  8. Datuk May on Nov 12, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    What is very commonly known about the persecution of the Jewish Community was the Holocast inflicted by the Nazis lead by Hitler. This article is a real eye opener whereby Jews were persecuted as far back as the 15th century, in Spain. What is sad is that Jews persecuted because they are so devoted in their faith.

    Throughout their history of persecution and discrimination, what I find amazing is how Jewish people are still so resilient and stay faithful.

    The illustration of discrimination and persecution of the Jews and Dorje Shugden practitioners are so similar in many ways.

    What makes the Dorje Shugden persecution worse is that it is within the same Buddhist religion and people. And it is happening in this modern time of 21st century.

  9. HelenaC on Nov 12, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this informative article of Jews and also how does it related with religions. I read about Jews before long time ago. They are 1 of the most intelligent breed in human kind and because of that they also got killed and hurt the most. Their different believes and culture made them unique. like wise for Dorje Shugden practitioners. why should they suffer in so much violences and harms just because they have different practice. The world belongs to all races, religions, all bloods. We don’t use religions to bully and discriminate others.

  10. Samfoonheei on Nov 10, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    Interesting post …to know more of the Jews and those of Dorje Shugden practitioners, ….. .The Jews has many similarities to Dorje Shugden practitioners.Very sad ,there is no religious freedom,due to their religious beliefs many suffered discrimination and even physical violence.All people around the world should be able to live peacefully and harmony.without the fear of persecution. No one should be persecuted.I did not know of the history of the Jewish communities and the sufferings till i read this post.And i know more details of Dorje Shugden discrimination. Thank you Pastor Niral and Pastor David Lai for sharing this interesting post.May all forms of religious persecution will soon end.

    • Pastor David Lai on Nov 12, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      Dear Samfoonheei,
      I think most Malaysians would not know much about the Jewish persecution because it is not covered in Malaysian world history textbooks. But if you google and youtube about it, you will find plenty of information, articles and documentaries regarding this matter. Unfortunately, many Malaysians are unaware of such matters and its just too bad because knowing about this issue can broaden our mental horizon. It will also give us a comparison to know that the Dorje Shugden ban is unacceptable and can lead to huge monumental damage like what happened to the Jews.

      That is how people know that other people with similar or struggles that are worse than ours have fought for it and made a breakthrough. Hence, reading and watching material and videos regarding a broad range of topics is very beneficial and helps to shape the way we think and in this day of easy access to the Internet, learning and broadening our horizon is easily done.

  11. May Ong on Nov 10, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    No matter what race we are from, in this day and age of global integration of trade, communication, cross multi national marriage among people, it is still hard to believe discrimination based upon a certain religious practice or differences exists. By now, human should have been wiser than their predecessors from what they learned and experienced in the past history but sadly discrimination or difference still happen and there is no end.

    The Jewish community has now spread throughout the whole world, remained strong and completely integrated into the rest of the world. These has many similarities to Dorje Shugden practitioners, for their faith and practice has survived too in the world and remained strong. The world has no room for hate except for love, tolerance and harmony for humanity to survive in all ages.

  12. Justin Cheah on Nov 10, 2016 at 12:13 am

    Thank you for sharing this detailed information about Jews. Little did i know of their “legacy” which stretched so far and wide. Due to the suppression which one can relate to the suppression against Dorje Shugden practitioners are now all over the world. There should not be any form of discrimination against any faith or race just because someone is rallying against it. This world is not just lived by one kind of people but it consist a lot other ethnic group and we need one another from every angle of perspective.

  13. Valentina Suhendra on Nov 9, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Dear Pastor Niral and Pastor David

    Thank you for this insightful article. Back in college, I read and watch about Jews plight and the discrimination they suffered for hundreds of years. They are smart. Although people do not like them, they manage to survive wherever they go.

    Little that I know then I will become a Dorje Shugden practitioner and noted the similarities of the suffering and discrimination between Dorje Shugden practitioners and the jews.

    Everyone should be able to practice the religion of their choice no matter who they are. I sincerely hope the discrimination against the Jew and Dorje Shugden practitioners will end soon.

    Valentina

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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CREDITS

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

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

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now

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

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

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Japan's greatest modern day artist, Yayoi Kusama
    12 hours ago
    Japan's greatest modern day artist, Yayoi Kusama
  • Please watch this video, it's heartbreaking to see how people have to suffer.
    1 week ago
    Please watch this video, it's heartbreaking to see how people have to suffer.
  • Lady saves puppy from potential abuser
    2 weeks ago
    Lady saves puppy from potential abuser
  • Mr. Denzel Washington is a very intelligent man. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 weeks ago
    Mr. Denzel Washington is a very intelligent man. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Dear friends, please see this educational video on suffering for the sake of others.
    3 weeks ago
    Dear friends, please see this educational video on suffering for the sake of others.
  • A very neat footage of Bigfoot captured by Patterson-Gimlin.
    3 weeks ago
    A very neat footage of Bigfoot captured by Patterson-Gimlin.
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu darling is a very good boy.
    2 months ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu darling is a very good boy.
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu wants to go bye bye!
    2 months ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu wants to go bye bye!
  • [11/02/2017] I love you mumu boy
    2 months ago
    [11/02/2017] I love you mumu boy
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu and Oser eating together.
    2 months ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu and Oser eating together.
  • Great spiritual rock carving in Tibet
    2 months ago
    Great spiritual rock carving in Tibet
  • You will Never be Ready
    3 months ago
    You will Never be Ready
    Dear friends, watch this video and ready, if we keep waiting till we are ready, that day will never come. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Stop asking for Easy
    3 months ago
    Stop asking for Easy
    This video is powerful because it's the truth. It applies to anything. It applies to our dharma practice. Watch the video and share it. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Must Watch this Video!
    4 months ago
    Must Watch this Video!
  • Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
    5 months ago
    Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

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

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