Thaipusam – The Festival of Lord Murugan

Nov 16, 2016 | Views: 1,750
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Malaysia is a country that truly embraces diversity, creating a wonderful tapestry of cultures, races and religions living together in harmony. An example of this is the festival of Thaipusam among the Hindu Indian (Tamil) communities. This festival is celebrated with a lot of energy, ceremony and religious devotion. While celebrated all over the world, it is in Malaysia that the festival has really taken root and flourished like never before. This is testament to the harmony and cultural diversity that are hallmarks of Malaysian society.

As such, I wanted to share with all of you some information about the festival, from its origins, how it is celebrated, and even how to get to some of these sites and where you can stay if you are thinking about visiting. By reading this, I hope that you have a deeper understanding of this sacred, devotional and expressive festival as it is celebrated in Malaysia.

Tsem Rinpoche

 


 

Batu Caves in Malaysia is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India and a focal point for the Thaipusam festival (Photo by Olivia Harris/Reuters)

Batu Caves in Malaysia is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India and a focal point for the Thaipusam festival (Photo by Olivia Harris/Reuters)

PLEASE NOTE: some of the pictures and videos in this article show acts of self-mortification, including piercing of the skin with hooks, therefore they may not be suitable for the faint-hearted.

Thaipusam is a Hindu festival that is celebrated primarily by the Indians particularly the Tamil community. The word ‘Thaipusam’ is a combination of the names Thai, a lunar month within the Tamil calendar, and Pusam, the name of a constellation made up of three individual stars. The festival falls on the full moon during the month of Thai, which is around January or February in the western Gregorian calendar. According to Indian astrology, this is the time of the year that the Pusam constellation is at its highest position.

The festival celebrates the overcoming of negative forces by the gods. Specifically it is in relation to Lord Murugan, who was born during a battle between the asuras (demi-gods) that attacked the heavens, and the devas (gods). At one point during the battle, the devas suffered massive losses and were unable to block the onslaught of the asura forces, led by the demi-god Surapadma. Facing their impending defeat, they approached Lord Shiva, who is one of the three main gods within the Hindu pantheon, alongside Brahma and Vishnu. At a loss, they requested Lord Shiva’s help and asked him to name a suitable commander who could lead their armies to victory over the asuras. They surrendered themselves to Lord Shiva and prayed fervently to him. Lord Shiva granted their request, creating a mighty warrior from his own powers. This warrior was Lord Murugan who immediately assumed leadership of the celestial forces, inspiring the devas that eventually went on to defeat the asura armies attacking them.

Thus, during Thaipusam, Lord Murugan’s image is adorned and decorated, placed on a chariot before devotees and escorted in a long procession. Lord Murugan embodies the qualities of bravery, power, virtue and beauty. Apart from this, Hindus also believe that he is a universal deity that bestows many boons and favours. Therefore devotees who have taken vows or made pledges to him fulfil these by undergoing rites of self-mortification. This often takes the form of carrying kavadis, which is discussed below.

 

Who is Lord Murugan?

Lord Murugan is a Hindu god. He has many other names including Kartikeya, Subhramanya, Skanda, Shanmuka (Shamuga), Subhramanian, Sadhana, Guha, Sentil, Saravana, and Kumaraswamy. He is the son of Lord Shiva and the Goddess Parvati, and is considered to be the perfect embodiment of bravery and intelligence. This is the reason why he is worshiped as a god of war and victory. He is also the brave leader of the deva forces and was created to destroy demons, who symbolise the negative tendencies of human beings.

A depiction of Lord Murugan riding his peacock mount together with his consorts. Click to enlarge.

A depiction of Lord Murugan riding his peacock mount together with his consorts. Click to enlarge.

Legend says that as Lord Shiva and the Goddess Parvati showered his brother, Lord Ganesha, with more love, Lord Murugan decided to leave their family abode on Mount Kailash and move to the mountain ranges in South India. Despite being urged to move back home by his father, Lord Shiva, he did not change his mind. This is the reason why Lord Murugan is worshipped more in South India as compared to religious practices in North India.

Lord Murugan holds a ‘vel’ or spear in one of his hands. This spear was given to him by his mother, the Goddess Parvati and embodies her ‘shakti’ or spiritual power. It is said that Thaipusam commemorates the day when she gave the spear to Murugan. His other hand is in the abhayamudra or the ‘gesture of protection from fear’. This mudra is a symbol of dispelling fear, granting reassurance, safety, bliss and spiritual protection. He mounts a peacock symbolising piety and the subjugation of all sexual desires. The peacock itself clutches a serpent in its claws, which symbolises the destruction of bad habits and all negative influences. Since he represents power and strength, devotees also believe that he rids them of all their suffering and grants them strength.

A depiction of Lord Murugan riding his peacock mount together with his consorts

Lord Murugan as a young boy, holding a ‘vel’ in his hand, and blessing devotees with the other

Lord Murugan destroyed the powerful commander of the asura army named Surapadma on the 7th day after his birth. Thus, he is known to be one of the fiercest among the male Hindu gods. He is known for his bravery and as the protector of Hindu Dharma.

As Shanmuka, Lord Murugan has six heads, representing the five senses and the mind. The six heads help him to see in all directions so he can combat problems arising in any direction. As a god of war with six faces, Lord Murugan also teaches his devotees to battle through life, riding themselves of negative situations, influences or people who have the potential to lead them down the six wrong paths of lobha (greed), kaama (sex), krodh (anger), moha (attachment), mada (ego) and matsarya (jealousy).

Lord Murugan has two consorts named Valli and Devasena. Valli is a tribal girl and Devasena is the daughter of Indra, king of the devas. They are the incarnations of the two daughters of Vishnu, Amritavalli and Saundaravalli, who were born from his eyes. They developed an undying love for Lord Murugan and performed severe austerities to have Lord Murugan as their husband. Following his instructions, Amritavalli incarnated as Devasena, a young girl born under the care of Indra in the heavens. Saundaravalli took the form of Valli, a maiden under the protection of Nambiraja, a hunter near Kanchipuram. ‘Valli’ is the Tamil word for a type of creeper plant. She was found amongst the creeper plants as a baby, therefore the hunter named her Valli.

After the war with the Surapadma was over, the devas were overjoyed. It was then Lord Murugan agreed to Indra’s prayers and accept Devasena as his consort. The wedding was celebrated with great enthusiasm at Tirupparankundram near Madurai in the presence of Lord Shiva and the Goddess Parvati. Indra’s re-crowning ceremony in the heaven named Amaravati soon followed. The other devas also regained their positions in the various heavenly realms.

Lord Murugan made his home at Skandagiri and proceeded to Tiruttani near Chennai where Valli was looking after the barley fields. After a series of tricks by Lord Murugan, Valli agreed to marry him once she realised that he was her beloved in disguise.

 

Kavadi

The kavadi attam, which means ‘burden dance’ is a ceremonial sacrifice and offering practiced by devotees during the worship of Lord Murugan. It is a central practice during the Thaipusam festival and emphasises repaying Lord Murugan for his kindness through the act of self-mortification.

The kavadi refers to a physical burden used by the devotee to request Lord Murugan for his assistance or in thanks. This assistance is usually sought after for loved ones who are in need of healing, or as a means to balance spiritual debt due to boons or favours granted in the past.

The devotees that take part in kavadi will proceed and dance along the pilgrimage route while bearing different types of kavadi.

Examples of different kavadi

Examples of different kavadi

 

The Origins of Kavadi

Rishi Agastya, one of the famed seven vedic sages of Hindu legend, wanted to take two hills, Shivagiri and Shaktigiri to his abode in the south. He commissioned one of his demi-god disciples named Idumban to carry them. Idumban was one of the few survivors of the deva-asura war between Lord Murugan’s forces and those of Surapadma. Surviving the war, he repented and became a devotee of Lord Murugan.

Idumban carrying the two hills, Shivagiri and Shaktigiri

Idumban carrying the two hills, Shivagiri and Shaktigiri

At this stage, Lord Murugan had just been outwitted by his brother Lord Ganesha in a contest. They were tasked with circumabulating the universe three times. While Lord Murugan had mounted his peacock and flown around the entire universe three times, Lord Ganesha has simply and reverently circumambulated their parents and was awarded the fruit of knowledge. Lord Ganesha had shown his filial piety as he saw the entire universe contained within his divine parents. When Lord Murugan returned on his peacock, he found that the prize had already been awarded.

In anger, Lord Murugan vowed to leave his home and family. He arrived at an area called Tiru Avinankudi at the Adivaram, which means the ‘foot of the Shivagiri Hill’. Lord Shiva pacified him by saying that Lord Murugan himself was the fruit or ‘pazham/pala’ of all wisdom and knowledge. Hence the place was called Pazham-nee or Palani, which means ‘you are the fruit’. Later, Lord Murugan withdrew to the hill and settled there in peace and solitude.

Idumban bore the Shivagiri and Shaktigiri hills, carrying them across his shoulders in the form of a kavadi, one on each side. When he reached Palani, feeling tired, Idumban placed the kavadi down so he could rest.

Lord Shiva and the Goddess Parvati giving the prized fruit to Lord Ganesha. Click to enlarge.

Lord Shiva and the Goddess Parvati giving the prized fruit to Lord Ganesha. Click to enlarge.

When Idumban wanted to continue with his journey, he could not lift the hills. Lord Murugan had made it impossible for Idumban to carry them. Upon one of the hilltops, Idumban saw a little boy wearing a traditional loin cloth. He demanded the boy leave the hill at once so that he could continue with his task. The young boy refused Idumban’s repeated requests. Losing his patience and temper, he attacked the child with his semi-divine strength and prowess as a warrior. However, to his surprise, he could not move the boy off the hilltop. Instead, he ended up hurting himself in the process.

Idumban regained his composure, realised who the boy really was and folded his hands in reverence. Lord Murugan changed his appearance to his usual form and declared that he was pleased with Idumban’s devotion to his guru and his determination. Lord Murugan appointed Idumban as his guard from that day onwards.

Lord Murugan also declared that people who carry the kavadi, symbolising the two hills that Idumban carried, and pray to him would please him greatly. Idumban prayed for the following, which Lord Murugan accepted:

  1. Whoever carries the kavadi on their shoulders and prays at temples after taking a vow, will have the blessings of Lord Murugan.
  2. That he was given the privilege of standing guard at the entrance of the hill.

Thus began the traditional practice of carrying the kavadi after taking a vow or making a pledge to ask for a boon, or in thanks for blessings that a devotee has received. To this day Idumban remains the guardian of all temples dedicated to Lord Murugan, seen near the front entrance to the inner sanctums.

Kavadis lined up inside Batu Caves Temple

Kavadis lined up inside Batu Caves Temple

 

Preparations for Kavadi Attam

The preparation for kavadi attam begins 48 days prior to the two-day Thaipusam festival. Devotees purge themselves of all impurities, mental and physical. They partake of a single vegetarian meal a day and for 24 hours before the actual Thaipusam festival, devotees maintain a complete fast.

Devotees prepare themselves by following a strict purification guideline that includes:

  • Transcending desire
  • Following a strict vegetarian diet
  • Shaving of the head
  • Sexual abstinence
  • Bathing in cold water
  • Sleeping on the floor
  • Engaging in constant prayer
  • Abstaining from all types of intoxications (drugs and alcohol)
  • Not cursing
  • Refraining from anything that beautifies the body
  • Refraining from all forms of entertainment
  • Waking up before sunrise to chant and meditate

On the actual day of Thaipusam, a guru or teacher performs a puja (prayer) and also gives initiations. Devotees dress in red, saffron or yellow coloured clothing, and kavadi bearers often observe silence throughout the day. A puja is then performed for the kavadi bearers, accompanied by the chanting of praises to Lord Murugan, with spiritual fervour. Once the puja is over, devotees prepare themselves to carry the kavadi and seek blessings from the guru. The guru will then place the kavadi on their shoulders to begin the dance.

A woman dances in trance as she heads towards Batu Caves

A woman dances in trance as she heads towards Batu Caves

Devotees perform kavadi attam by dancing to the rhythm and beat of thavil vadhyam and nagaswaram (genres of Indian music). Devotees dance in ecstasy as they enjoy the high state of religious fervour or are in trance. The dance can be awe inspiring, and there is a divine radiance on the faces of the dancers. These devotees often experience the state of feeling united with Lord Murugan. It is said that at times, Lord Murugan will enter and take trance in them for some time.

 

Kavadi Dance Song

The history surrounding the kavadi attam is strong and has even influenced traditional forms of dance, such as Bharatanatyam. This form of dance is accompanied by stylised music that is beautiful and evocative. Below is one such song that is danced to in Bharatanatyam, called a kavadi chindu. You can click on the “Play” button to listen online, or press “Download” to save the file to your mp3 player, iPod or computer and listen to it at your convenience.

      Kavadi Chindu (Bharatanatyam song)

 

Types of Kavadi

Kavadis come in different shapes, sizes and materials. While there may be a difference in the way they look and how they are used, the purpose behind every one of them is the same, to show devotion to Lord Murugan and the other gods.

 

1. Thol Kavadi

A devotee walking towards Batu Caves during Thaipusam in Kuala Lumpur

A devotee walking towards Batu Caves during Thaipusam in Kuala Lumpur

The thol kavadi usually consists of two semi-circular pieces of wood or steel which are bent and attached to a cross structure that can be balanced on the shoulders of the devotee. This is often decorated with flowers, and peacock feathers, symbolic of Lord Murugan’s mount.

 

2. Paal Kavadi

Thaipusam008

The carrying of a brass or other metal pot on the head, which is filled with milk, vibhuthi (sacred ash) or other holy substance as an offering to deities.

 

3. Mayil Kavadi or Shadal Kavadi

Thaipusam009-1

This type of Kavadi is the most spectacular practice of all. It is a portable altar that can be two meters high (approximately 6.5 ft) or higher. It is decorated with peacock feathers or sometimes coloured and carved polystyrene, and attached to the devotee through 108 vels (spears) pierced into the skin on their chest and back. Some of these kavadi can weigh up to 40kg.

 

4. Alavu Kavadi

A woman with a Alavu Kavadi in trance

A woman with a Alavu Kavadi in trance

This is a form of self-mortification in which the tongue or cheeks are pierced with versions of the vel. The vel pierced through the devotee’s tongue or cheeks reminds him or her of Lord Murugan. It also acts as a preventative measure to stop him or her from speaking, giving the devotee a great power of endurance.

 

5. Vette Mulle

Devotee that has vette mulle pulling a chariot behind him

Devotee that has vette mulle pulling a chariot behind him

The vette mulle is a type of kavadi in which hooks are pierced into the back of the devotee. These hooks are attached to ropes which are either pulled by another devotee walking behind them or are used to pull a chariot.

 

6. Koodam Mulle

A type of koodam mulle using fruits

A type of koodam mulle using fruits

Another type of koodam mulle using small pots of milk

Another type of koodam mulle using small pots of milk

This kavadi involves the devotee having their skin pierced with small hooks. Then various items are tied to the hooks such as small pots of milk, vibhuthi (sacred ash), sandalwood powder or vermilion powder. These are all offerings to the deities. In some instances even fruit offerings are tied to the hooks.

 

Kavadi Trance

Devotees entering a trance on their way to Batu Caves

Devotees entering a trance on their way to Batu Caves

During Thaipusam, it is very common to see many devotees in trance. Some of these kavadi devotees are taken care of by their siblings, wives, husbands or other relatives. Many of these men and some women go the barber beforehand to shave their heads as another sign of the fulfilment of their wishes or as an offering.

The pain from the vel skewers or hooks can be excruciating. In most cases it is due to the power of the deity that takes trance in them that the devotees do not feel much of the pain. In fact many devotees often recount that they only feel pain from the initial piercing. After entering the various forms and levels of trance they are not even aware of anything around them, let alone the pain. When trance ends, they have already reached their destination and many recount that they have no memory of the journey itself.

When the piercings are removed, there is little to no bleeding and the wounds heal easily, due to the blessings of the deity that entered them.

 

Hinduism in Malaysia

Hinduism is the fourth largest religion in Malaysia. There are approximately 1.78 million Malaysians (about 6.3% of the total Malaysian population) that are Hindu, according to the Population Distribution and Basic Demographic Characteristic Report 2010 by the Department of Statistics Malaysia.

The majority of Malaysian Hindus live in the western parts of Peninsular Malaysia. The states with the highest population percentage of Hindus are Negeri Sembilan (13.4%), followed by Selangor (11.6%), Perak (10.9%) and the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur (8.5%). The state with the least percentage of Hindus is Sabah at 0.1%.

 

Thaipusam in Malaysia

Thousands attend the Thaipusam festival at Batu Caves every year

Thousands attend the Thaipusam festival at Batu Caves every year

Thaipusam is celebrated every year in Malaysia and is a public holiday in the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, and Putrajaya, and the States of Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Penang and Selangor. Over a million Hindu devotees gather every year at various Hindu temples nationwide to celebrate this holy festival.

It is celebrated between January – February, depending on the full moon date during the Tamil month of Thai, according to the Hindu calendar. By far, the biggest celebration in Malaysia takes place at Batu Caves just outside of Kuala Lumpur and is known all over the world. Other temples where Thaipusam is celebrated strongly include the Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple (also known as the Waterfall Hill Temple) in Penang, and the Kullumalai Arulmigu Subramaniyar Temple in Ipoh, Perak.

 

Clip from a National Geographic Documentary

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

 

Thaipusam in Kuala Lumpur

Devotees begin preparations in the early morning, around 4am. The procession starts from Sri Mahamariamman Temple in Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur and includes the use of a chariot made of silver. The statues of Lord Murugan and his two consorts are placed on the chariot and escorted to Batu Caves temple, where it arrives around noon.

The chariot was first used in 1893, is made from 350 kilograms of silver and cost RM350,000 to build. It is roughly 6.5 meters (approximately 21 ft) tall and has 240 bells on it. It consists of 12 parts, which were made in India. These were shipped and assembled when they arrived in Malaysia in 1893.

Devotees carrying the image of Lord Murugan out of Sri Mahamariamma Temple onto the silver chariot, an act that officially marks the beginning of the Thaipusam festival

Devotees carrying the image of Lord Murugan out of Sri Mahamariamma Temple onto the silver chariot, an act that officially marks the beginning of the Thaipusam festival

The silver chariot procession along the streets of Kuala Lumpur early in the morning

The silver chariot procession along the streets of Kuala Lumpur early in the morning

The main event takes place at the base of Batu Caves Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple complex. When the statue arrives, devotees begin preparations to conduct ritual acts of thanksgiving and penance. The kavadi devotees will first ritually bathe themselves. While they do this, many of them go into trances due to recitation of prayers and their own effort from being ritually clean over the previous 48 days. They are then lanced and skewered with metal hooks or spikes. This can be a painless procedure for the devotees if they are in trance.

A devotee prays while he bathes himself before his pilgrimage to Batu Caves

A devotee prays while he bathes himself before his pilgrimage to Batu Caves

Hindu devotee seen in trance before his pilgrimage to Batu Caves during Thaipusam

Hindu devotee seen in trance before his pilgrimage to Batu Caves during Thaipusam

Family and friends will then guide the devotees up the steep flight of 272 steps to the entrance of the cave. The devotees carry the various types of kavadi while they walk up the stairs. Some of the kavadis can weigh up to 100 kilograms (approximately 220 pounds). While they climb, and in some cases dance up the stairs, prayers continue to be recited. Due to the size and colourful design of the kavadis, they can also be clearly seen from the base of the temple complex.

Family and friends guiding a kavadi devotee up the steep flight of stairs to the entrance of Batu Caves

Family and friends guiding a kavadi devotee up the steep flight of stairs to the entrance of Batu Caves

Once the kavadi bearers reach the sanctum inside the cave, prayers are concluded and the kavadis are removed. The event will continue throughout the night, with hundreds of devotees queuing to carry their kavadi up to the sanctum inside the central cavern.

After the two-day celebration at Batu Caves, the procession returns to Sri Mahamariamman Temple, accompanying the statue of Lord Murugan and his consorts seated on the silver chariot. Thousands of people join the procession, and performers keep up their morale with the beating of drums.

If you plan to visit Batu Caves during the Thaipusam festival, it is recommended that you visit either in the morning or in the evening as it can get quite hot during the day.

Thousands of devotees climb the stairs to the temple inside Batu Caves every year during Thaipusam (Photo by Olivia Harris/Reuters)

Thousands of devotees climb the stairs to the temple inside Batu Caves every year during Thaipusam (Photo by Olivia Harris/Reuters)

Batu Caves was originally used by the Temuan People. Chinese settlers began excavating guano fertiliser (bat excrement) for growing vegetables, however the site was made famous by British colonial authorities after it was recorded down by them.

Inspired by the vel (spear) shape of the cave’s entrance, K. Thamboosamy Pillay, a prominent Malaysian trader of Tamil origin, promoted the cave as a place of worship. It was later dedicated as a temple to the worship of Lord Murugan, and Pillay installed the central statue in the cave. In 1920, 272 wooden steps were built up to the entrance of the cave, but have since been replaced with the concrete steps in use today.

The temple complex also houses the largest outdoor statue of Lord Murugan in the world. It is 42.7 meters (140 ft) high and was unveiled in 2006, after 3 years of construction. It is a monument that has become synonymous with Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia. When people all over the world think of Kuala Lumpur, they think of the statue of Lord Murugan as one of the city’s most memorable icons. As well as being a very active religious site, Batu Caves is also one of Kuala Lumpur’s most popular tourist attractions.

 

The Thaipusam Silver Chariot Procession at Srimahamariammam Temple, Kuala Lumpur

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

 

Getting To Batu Caves

Map of Batu Caves. Click to enlarge.

Map of Batu Caves. Click to enlarge.

Batu Caves is located about 13 kilometres north of Kuala Lumpur’s city centre. It is advisable to travel there using public transport, as parking may be difficult to find during the festive season. During Thaipusam a special bus service is available from KL Sentral Station to Batu Caves for devotees and visitors. Taxis are also available from anywhere in the city.

The most convenient way to travel is by taking the KTM Komuter line (Batu Caves – Seremban route), to Batu Caves Komuter Station. From Kuala Lumpur city, you can take the KTM Komuter line from KL Sentral, which is the city’s main railway station and costs less than RM5 one way. Taxis are also available from KL Sentral Station and you can also catch the U6 bus from Titiwangsa bus station.

 

Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple

For more information about the Batu Caves temple or its activities, you can contact them for more details.

Address:
68000 Batu Caves, Selangor,
Malaysia.
Phone: +603 6189 6284
Fax: +603 6187 2404
Email: batu_caves@yahoo.com

 

Places To Stay Near KL Sentral Station

Here is a list of places that you can stay at that are near KL Sentral Station if you are visiting. Please note that there are many other hotels in the area which can be found online.

 

Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur (4 Star Hotel)

Address:
2 Jalan Stesen Sentral,
Kuala Lumpur Sentral,
50470 Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia.
Phone: +603 2263 7888
Website: http://www.lemeridienkualalumpur.com

 

Royce Hotel KL Sentral (3.5 Star Hotel)

Address:
20 & 22 Jalan Tun Sambanthan 3,
50470 Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia.
Phone: +603 2276 2420
Website: http://roycehotel-kl.com

 

Hotel Sentral Kuala Lumpur (3 Star Hotel)

Address:
30 Jalan Thambypillai, Brickfields
50470 Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia.
Phone: +603 2272 6000
Website: http://www.hotelsentral.com.my

 

Thaipusam in Penang

Silver chariot escorting Lord Murugan in Penang

Silver chariot escorting Lord Murugan in Penang

The Thaipusam festival that is held in Penang lasts for 3 days. It begins on the eve of the actual Thaipusam day until the day after Thaipusam.

The ceremonial worship of Lord Murugan begins on the eve of Thaipusam at around 6am. Devotees escort Lord Murugan on a silver chariot in a long procession, which is led by kavadis adorned with peacock feathers. The procession begins from Little India at 6am and ends at Nattukottai Chettiar Temple at midnight. Along the procession route, coconuts are smashed onto the ground, symbolic of the fulfilment of sacred vows. The best place to see this coconut smashing ritual is on Jalan Dato Keramat, in front of Penang Times Square. The procession will usually pass by this area from midday onwards.

Coconut smashing ritual in Georgetown

Coconut smashing ritual in Georgetown

On the day of Thaipusam itself, the kavadi devotees have their bodies pierced, just like in Kuala Lumpur. This takes place at the Sri Muthu Mariamman Temple on Lorong Kulit (beside the Rapid Penang office) from 3am onwards. Kavadi devotees will then begin their journey to climb 513 steps up to the Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple (Waterfall Hilltop Temple). The best time to see the kavadi devotees will be from 3pm onwards. Devotees holding the bigger kavadis usually make the journey at the end of the day, starting around 9.30pm. Vegetarian food and refreshments are available from the 130 thaneer panthals, or make-shift stalls. These stalls are usually festively decorated, and span the pilgrimage route.

Devotees making their way up to the Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple

Devotees making their way up to the Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple

The festival concludes the day after Thaipusam, during which the statue of Lord Murugan is escorted on the silver chariot back from the Nattukottai Chettiar Temple, at around 6pm. The procession ends at Kovil Veedu Temple on Lebuh Penang via a different route than the original procession. The procession is once again accompanied with another coconut smashing ritual, and offerings of fruit, flowers and incense on a thambulam or big silver plate.

Thambulam, or offerings arranged on a big silver plate.

Thambulam, or offerings arranged on a big silver plate.

 

Getting To Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple

Map of Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple. Click to enlarge.

Map of Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple. Click to enlarge.

It is advisable to take a taxi to the Waterfall Hilltop Temple as parking might be a little difficult during the festive season.

 

Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple

For more information about the temple or its activities, you can contact them for more details.

Address:
Jalan Air Terjun,
10350 George Town,
Penang, Malaysia.
Phone: +604 6505 215

 

Penang Tourism Action Council

You can contact Penang Tourism Action Council for more details, and any other questions you may have about visiting Penang.

Address:
56th Floor, Komtar
10100 Penang,
Malaysia
Phone: +604 262 0202
Fax: +604 263 1020
Email: enquiry@tourismpenang.gov.my

Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple

Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple

 

Places To Stay Near Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple

Here is a list of places that you can stay near the temple if you are visiting. Please note that there are many other hotels in the area which can be found online.

 

G Hotel Kelawai Penang (5 Star Hotel)

Address:
2 Persiaran Maktab,
10250 Penang,
Malaysia.
Phone: +604 219 0000
Website: http://ghotelkelawai.com.my

 

Georgetown City Hotel (4 Star Hotel)

Address:
1-Stop Midlands Park,
Burmah Road
10350 Georgetown,
Penang, Malaysia.
Phone: +604 227 7111
Website: http://www.georgetowncityhotel.com

 

Hotel Waterfall (3 Star Hotel)

Address:
160 Jalan Utama,
10450 Penang,
Malaysia
Phone: +604 229 5588
Website: http://www.hotelwaterfall.com.my

 

Thaipusam In Ipoh

Thaipusam Festival

The scale of Thaipusam celebrations in Ipoh is much smaller than compared to Kuala Lumpur or Penang, however it is just as electrifying. This celebration is an intense 24-hour practice for kavadi devotees and their families. The procession begins at Mariamman Kovil Temple, and ends at Kallumalai Arulmigu Subramaniyar Temple.

Along the procession route, devotees set up make shift shrines and stalls that provide light refreshments for everyone who passes by. Devotees also dance and cheer to keep the spirit of the festival high.

Thaipusam032

 

Getting To Kallumalai Arulmigu Subramaniyar Temple

Map of Kallumalai Arulmigu Subramaniyar Temple. Click to enlarge.

Map of Kallumalai Arulmigu Subramaniyar Temple. Click to enlarge.

It is advisable to take a taxi to the Kallumalai Arulmigu Subramaniyar Temple as parking might be a little difficult during the festive season.

 

Kallumalai Arulmigu Subramaniyar Temple

Address:
Ipoh Hindu Devasathana Paripalana Sabah
No. 140, Jalan Raja Musa Aziz,
30300 Ipoh,
Perak, Malaysia.
Phone: +604 229 5588
Website: http://www.hotelwaterfall.com.my

 

Places To Stay Near Kallumalai Arulmigu Subramaniyar Temple

Here is a list of places that you can stay at near the temple if you are visiting. Please note that there are many other hotels in the area which can be found online.

 

Cititel Express Ipoh

Address:
2 Jalan S. P. Seenivasagam
30000 Ipoh,
Perak, Malaysia.
Phone: +605 208 2888
Website: http://www.cititelexpress.com/ipoh/

 

Seemsoon Hotel

Address:
No. 2 Regat Dato Mahmud,
Jalan Pasir Puteh
31650 Ipoh,
Perak, Malaysia.
Phone: +605 255 6888
Website: http://www.seemsoonhotel.com

 

M Boutique Hotel Ipoh

Address:
2 Hala Datuk 5,
Off Jalan Leong Boon Swee
31650 Ipoh,
Perak, Malaysia
Phone: +605 255 5566
Website: http://www.mboutiquehotels.com

 

Pictures Of Thaipusam From Around Malaysia

The largest statue of Lord Murugan in the world at Batu Caves

The largest statue of Lord Murugan in the world at Batu Caves

Chinese Hindus joining a kavadi procession

Chinese Hindus joining a kavadi procession

Devotee praying at the start of the kavadi procession

Devotee praying at the start of the kavadi procession

Devotee beginning his journey towards Batu Caves with the burden of the kavadi on his shoulders

Devotee beginning his journey towards Batu Caves with the burden of the kavadi on his shoulders

A devotee in a trance state during the Thaipusam festival in Batu Caves. Devotees enter trance, after which they are lanced without feeling pain

A devotee in a trance state during the Thaipusam festival in Batu Caves. Devotees enter trance, after which they are lanced without feeling pain

A devotee is blessed with vibhuti (sacred ash) by a priest during the Thaipusam festival

A devotee is blessed with vibhuti (sacred ash) by a priest during the Thaipusam festival

A woman showers in turmeric before beginning her pilgrimage to Batu Caves during Thaipusam

A woman showers in turmeric before beginning her pilgrimage to Batu Caves during Thaipusam

A devotee bearing a elaborate and golden kavadi

A devotee bearing a elaborate and golden kavadi

A devotee pierced with hooks and chains connected to the kavadi resting on his shoulders

A devotee pierced with hooks and chains connected to the kavadi resting on his shoulders

A devotee showing his faith, by having the hooks in his back pulled with ropes

A devotee showing his faith, by having the hooks in his back pulled with ropes

Kavadi bearers also show their devotion by using ornate and and even golden 'vel' or spears to pierce themselves as part of the Thaipusam festival

Kavadi bearers also show their devotion by using ornate and and even golden ‘vel’ or spears to pierce themselves as part of the Thaipusam festival

Devotees of all ages take part in the Thaipusam festival

Devotees of all ages take part in the Thaipusam festival

A devotee taking trance of a wrathful deity during Thaipusam

A devotee taking trance of a wrathful deity during Thaipusam

 
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21 Responses to Thaipusam – The Festival of Lord Murugan

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  1. Anne Ong on Jan 17, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    Thank you very much Rinpoche and blog team for this wonderful write up about Thaipusam and Lord Murugan. It brings back many sweet old memories of my Dad bringing me to watch the procession at night. Every year we would go and watch eagerly for the beautiful kavadi with the woshippers in trances. I love the beautiful lights and different types of kavadi. Very interesting indeed.

  2. wan wai meng on Jan 4, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    Carrying of Kabbadis, I could never imagine myself doing that for fear of the pain from the piercing. But we should note that the people who carry the Kabbadis, no permanent damage to their body, speech and mind and this is an expression of their devotion and love to their GOD.

    Nice to have learnt about this on the blog.

  3. Julia Tan on Dec 21, 2016 at 8:36 am

    As Malaysian , I grown up in a country that is rich in many cultures. We celebrate together for all the festivals. I have seen all this since very young. I love it. I remember i will run to the window when i heard the drum sound of the chariot coming and i will stand there to watch when the chariot passing my house.

    Malaysia has no issue about having religious freedom, cultures conflicts whatsoever. We respect all races, their faith and believe. Not only that we learn and understand each other religions, languages and cultures so that we know each other better and stay harmony. Hence Malaysia is one we called truly Asia. That’s the beautiful of my country.I appreciate the religious free, harmony and how we are allowed the preserved the rich cultures of all races here. I am very proud to be a Malaysian.

    But I am very sad and worried when I realised that in Tibetans community under their Tibetan leadership, people are suffer, discriminated, bullied and isolated everyday due to their faith to a Dharma protector Dorje Shugden. These people are being forced to give up their faith and go against their guru, if not they will be treated badly such as not allowed to go out the country, children not allowed to join other kids in the school, even not allowed to enter the hospital, many monks are being expelled from the monasteries simply because they do not want to give up their practice of Dorje Shugden. Please read the article below and watch the videos.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-leaderships-new-anti-shugden-video.html

    No one should suffer nor misstreated due to their faith and believe.

  4. Pastor Antoinette on Dec 21, 2016 at 8:18 am

    These pictures are amazing. I did not know about Thaipusam and what is happening there. I like it that Thaipusam is celebrated like this in Malaysia. In this way the Indian people really feel at home as they can celebrate their important days here in Malaysia. Thank you!

  5. Pastor Chia on Dec 21, 2016 at 7:50 am

    Malaysia is a multi races and culture countries. Religion practice freedom and harmony between different races has be coming one of the cause attracted many tourism visiting Malaysia. At Malaysia, our Hindu friends beside celebrate Deepavali,Thaipusam is the biggest festival celebration for Hindu. Millions of Hindu devotees across the world take part in one of the world’s most passionate spiritual celebrations in Malaysia. Malaysia government has promote this festival attract tourism visiting our country. Thank you rinpoche sharing this article let many of us know more about Hindu culture create more awareness and respect to our Hindu friend across the world.

  6. Mingwen on Dec 21, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Being a local, a Malaysian, I’m shameful because I’ve never have the initiations to know more about my country, all the beautiful customs and cultures we have for decades.

    Thaipusum, which I have know about when I’m in primary school, in the little thin text book.

    Then, when I become older, I know that it’s a big event for our Indian friends, and a public holiday for some states in Malaysia, it’ll be a massive jam at some areas where we have Indian temples. Therefore, I’ll stay in and treat it as a “normal” public holiday like the other great festivals Malaysian have.

    Thank you, Tsem Rinpoche and your team of writers who did extensive reserches for all the blog posts in http://www.tsemrinpoche.com, regarding to this significant and beautiful festival, people like ME, can know more and understand about the festival, the history and the meanings of their practices.

    THANK YOU! =D

  7. Pastor Albert on Dec 21, 2016 at 7:27 am

    This article explained very detailed about Thaipusam, a lot of effort and research has been done about this post. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this festive, after reading this article, i undrstand more about Thaipusam.

    Im very fortunate to be born in Malaysia where the government and everyone respect every religion and festival of different cultures, when there is a festive, everyone celebrate it harmoniously. Example we have Thaipusam, Deepavali, Hari Raya, Wesak, Chinese New Year, Christmas, etc.. it is all from different culture, but you don’t see conflict in it, everyone just celebrate it together.

    Politic and culture and religion really shouldn’t mix, cos their bases are different, and we should respect it. Malaysia has done it, hope CTA understand this and do what’s best for their citizen.

  8. June Kang on Dec 21, 2016 at 2:21 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for a very detail information about Thaipusam. It is a very good reference for those who want to know about Thaipusam.

    Reading through this article found that Lord Murugan has some similarity with Dorje Shugden, both are protector. Protect people from fear, grant assurance and spiritual protection and more. However no one ban this practice. Then, why ban Dorje Shugden practise? The issue here is people do not have religious freedom under the leadership of CTA. Moreover Dorje Shugden in not others religion but is still Buddhism. He arose as a Dharma Protector about 350 years ago especially to protect Nagarjuna’s Middle View, as taught by Lama Tsongkhapa. Therefore the ban is surely is for the benefit of CTA, Why I say so, have you ever see a democratic country treat differently to those people not agreed with their leader, the answer is all are treated equally even you disagree with their views. However, the Tibetan Leadership discriminate the Dorje Shugden Practitioners. And this ban cause the segregation and suffering of Tibetan. Obviously the ban did not bring any benefit to the Tibetan but it brings benefit to certain people who only care about themselves.

  9. nicholas on Dec 21, 2016 at 12:03 am

    Thaipusam is the biggest festival for Hindus after Deepavali.
    During this blessed day millions of Hindu devotees across the world take part in one of the world’s most passionate spiritual celebrations in Malaysia. This is how Malaysian government show their respect for their people’s belief and culture for peace, harmony and unity.

    Unlike Central Tibetan Administration which they called themselves as democracy but their action is opposite. This we can see from how they discriminate Dorje Shugden practitioners and causes so much suffering for their people. Nothing positive we can see from such discrimination but very sure it’s a separation that created within and make them weak as a whole.

    I’m glad to be in Malaysia and with the support of the government we can enjoy the peace and harmony with other different ethnic. We hope the Tibetan leaders will learn and amend what they have done wrong for their own people and also themselves.

  10. Eric kksiow on Dec 20, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    I am always respect to all of my Hindu friends, they are really loyal and devoted to what their believing, back to the year of 2003 – 2009 i has been stay with a Hindu family for more than 5 years in Malacca, they ( Hindu family – Mother & son ) taught me how to pray Lord Siva, Lord Vishnu, Lord Ganesh, Murugan, Kubera and one of the famous hindu protector name call : Munīshwarar ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muneeswarar ).

    I am glad that i understand the culture of Hindu Goddess, and it is easy for me to share of DS with the Hindu peoples in Bentong. Because Munīshwarar is similar like DS, help us to remove obstacles and difficulties in ours living life.

    At last, Thank You to Rinpoche for writing up this article, and is make me more understanding of Murugan and what’s the meaning of Thaipusam.

  11. Pastor Henry Ooi on Dec 20, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    Malaysians are indeed blessed to live in harmony and learning from each other of their religious beliefs and practices, traditions, cultures. So many religious celebrations are held without objections from people of other religions. Thaipusam is indeed a colourful and respected religious ceremony that is attracting more visitors each year, including those from abroad.

    There is no such thing as a religious ban on any religion in Malaysia because the Malaysian government allow religious freedom. I am proud being a Malaysian, having been taught by our parents to respect the peoples’ religious practices, people who are living harmoniously in this beautiful land. Malaysia is Truly Asia. This is true democracy unlike the unjust ban enforced by the Central Tibetan Administration on its own Tibetan people for the practice of Dorje Shugden. To add salt to the injury, Dorje Shugden is a dharma protector within the Tibetan school of Buddhism. Dharma is being destroyed from within, not by other faiths from outside of Buddhism. What irony

  12. Andrea Lai on Dec 20, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    Being a Malaysian, I have heard much of Thaipusam since young but I never really know the story of this festival. Thaipusam is one of popular culture in Malaysia which celebrated by Hindu Tamil. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing so much details and elaboration in this article, and I found out it’s quite interesting reading about the preparation for the festival, the trance and the devotees ritual towards Lord Murugan.
    If by chance, I hope I could witness this festival, live!;-)

    Andrea

  13. pammie yap on Dec 20, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    I never really have the courage to attend Thaipusam. I find it quite gruesome to see the piercings on the devotees’ body. But it would be really good to visit on a normal day to see the beautiful place and the temple. What I really like about Thaipusam, are the vibrant colours and decorations. So many types of people with different backgrounds, who come together and celebrate.
    For those who are planning to attend, the celebration will be on the 9th of February 2017. So do start planning ahead to attend. Especially when there are so many information in this post on how to get there and places to stay.

  14. Echeah on Nov 20, 2016 at 3:31 am

    I always wondered how they can do the kavadi with so many piercings. But I guess they are in trance. But come to think of it, religion aside, nowadays many people do body piercings too! So what’s the difference, lol?

    But the piercings in Thaipusam are done out of penitence and maybe to fulfill a vow. It looks like a form of purification. It is good to see spiritual practice and religious practice. These days, people are so caught up with materialism that spirituality has taken a back seat or thrown out the window. More people engaging in spiritual practice will make this a better world.

    Malaysia has many different cultures and religions practices and traditions. We may not have the same practices and beliefs, but we see beauty in diversity. Nobody should ever discriminate anybody because of their personal practices and beliefs.

  15. CindyH on Nov 19, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Thank you for such a detailed article. Thaipusam is really about faith, endurance and penance. The external offerings via materials or activities are basically linked to the inner offerings of the devotees.

    I remember my actual experience with Thaipusam at Batu Caves was during my secondary school days. Had a group project and we all end up joining our Hindu friend in her pilgrimage up to Batu Caves then. It was such a dynamic, colourful, happy yet devotional event. I also recall it was definitely an interesting experience for me, not only because of the laborious steps or the vibrant activities but also because it was fun to see many Malaysians of different race, religions and faith blended in together to respectfully appreciate and celebrate such a significant Hindu festival.

    Looking back am really grateful for the level of tolerance and respect observed in our multi-racial country. Of course, we have our own issues here but it is not the case where any Malaysians have to really live in fear due to racism or religious prosecution.

  16. Fong on Nov 17, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    Way back when, I stayed near Batu Caves and every year bears witness to the devotion of the Hindus to their Lord Murugan and their thanksgiving. Every year there would be throngs of devotees and curiosity seekers swarming Batu Caves and the surrounding areas. Thaipusam was such a very major event.

    Sometimes we would join in the celebration. There were even spontaneous trances happening on the grounds of the Batu Caves temple. All in all, a very interesting and mesmerizing event.

    Though back then, we did not know the story of Lord Murugan and did not understand the rituals, we could still appreciate their devotion and accept their practice. such was the way of Malaysians back then and still is. We have our differences and misunderstandings occasionally but we accepted and respected each other’s practice and believes.

    As can be seen in some of the picture, Hinduism isn’t just for the Indians. It’s a religion for all races. It is a religion.

    Thank you for this very information article. I can now appreciate this festival even more.

  17. Darren on Nov 17, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Thank you for the detail article. I never knew that the piercing was done on trance mode. I always thought they took substance or painkiller stuff. Good read about Thaipusam and its origin.

  18. Stella Cheang on Nov 17, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Thaipusam is an internationally renowned festival where foreigners love to attend and celebrate the festival of Lord Murugan alongside Hindus devotees and witness the rituals first hand. Since Thaipusam is not an everyday affair, many friends from overseas would often request to visit Batu Caves on normal days as a substitute to attending Thaipusam. Batu Caves housed the tallest Lord Murugan’s statue in the world and offer a 272 steps climb to the divine view of Kuala Lumpur skyline. It is known that Thaipusam is bigger in Malaysia than in India, which is believed due to the boons and benefits granted to devotees by Lord Murugan.

    This wonderful article shares many information on Lord Murugan and what it ‘kavadi attam’? The ‘kavadi attam” rituals are colorful and fascinating as devotes who took trance will not feel the pain during the journey and the wound heal very quickly often without leaving any scar. It is equally fascinating to read the story of Lord Murugan; which deeply reminds us of the characteristic of demi-gods and gods. While they are all mighty and powerful, they are not enlightened and thus will be subjected to suffering, afflictive emotions (e.g. jealousy, anger) and misconduct. They too are living in samsara like us.

    Thank you very much for this wonderful article, Rinpoche. I wish that one day Kechara Forest Retreat will share the same fame where people flock to visit the largest Dorje Shugden statue in the world and participate in the many rich and authentic Tibetan styled Buddhist rituals.

  19. Kb Thapa on Nov 16, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    Beautiful article..Thaipusam Festival has indeed captivated the attention of people from different parts of the world no matter what religion they are. This is also a way of appreciating the diversity of each culture and people’s pride over tradition.

  20. Valentina Suhendra on Nov 16, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Thank you for this interesting article. I have never attended a Thaipusam event before and was not familiar with the culture. When I learned about this festival, I was pleasantly surprised that such event exists and it truly proof that the Malaysian government respected the various culture, faith and belief of its citizens.

    I really like the sense of religious tolerance and diversity that have been successfully implemented in Malaysia.

    Valentina

  21. Datuk May on Nov 16, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    As a Malaysian, I have witnessed the celebration of Thaipusam and that it is celebration and thanks giving to Lord Murugan.

    This article is a real eye opener for me to know that there are Chinese Hindus and that the silver chariot is so old.

    The legend of Lord Murugan is very inspiring being a son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and the epitome of bravery and intelligence.

    Although not an Hindu, the story of Lord Murugan reflects very much the basic kindness and compassion of the deities of our faith and with strong faith and accumulating of merits, we can be blessed by our Gods.

    Thank you, Rinpoche for this article.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

Videos On The Go

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

ASK A PASTOR


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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.

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CHAT PICTURES

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