Thaipusam – The Festival of Lord Murugan

Nov 16, 2016 | Views: 710
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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)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

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

http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Thaipusam.flv

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

 

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

http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/ThaipusamSilverChariot.flv

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

 

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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  • Stella Cheang
    Monday, Jan 23. 2017 09:46 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for this contest to create awareness on the plight of our dinner, before they ended up on our plate. The meat that ended up on our dinner plates are not some chemically produced lifeless “thing”. They are animals who have feelings, can feel pain and suffer a great deal under unhygienic environment, probably able to feel more than us for that matter. This is a fact. We should not ignore it and blindfold our conscious by pretending that the meat we are consuming led a happy life and died peacefully before they ended up on our plate. Do our part by contributing to less suffering for the animals. Go vegetarian.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/win-a-manjushri-statue.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Monday, Jan 23. 2017 09:23 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for the sharing.
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Monday, Jan 23. 2017 05:52 PM
    The Tibetan government in exile in North India (CTA) has in their laws and charters that if you practice Dorje Shugden as your spiritual path:

    1. You are not allowed in Tibetan hospitals.
    2. Your children are not allowed in Tibetan schools.
    3. You may not join in community events in the refugee communities throughout India.
    4. You may not work in any jobs provided by Tibetan govt even if you are qualified within India.
    5. You are not allowed to attend any public talks by the Dalai Lama even secular in nature. You are checked for ID at the door claiming it’s for security.
    6. They restrict your travel by taking extra lengths to complicate issuing you proper papers.
    7. During public speeches, they denigrade the deity Dorje Shugden in order to have public opinion turned against those who practice Dorje Shugden.
    8. They create videos, documentaries and books ‘advertising’ Dorje Shugden as a bad deity. But they call this ‘advice’ only. They allocate much needed funds towards materials with ‘evidence’ that Dorje Shugden is harmful. What kind of government fund campaigns against a particular religion?
    9. They bar/expel you from from entering monasteries based on the fact you practice Dorje Shugden.
    10. Because they have received international pressure and was embarassed, they do not directly restrict you from the practice of Dorje Shugden but produce materials to speak against this faith isolating individuals who continue from the community.
    11. They have smear campaigns funded by the CTA’s Dept of Information & International Relations on social media to destroy the reputation of certain Tibetan teachers who continue to practice Dorje Shugden.
    12. They villify Dorje Shugden practitoners as people who are against Tibetan freedom, Tibetan culture and conveniently called them China spies and violent. This is part of their campaign. Why would China pay anyone to pray to Dorje Shugden? I do not know about others, but I receive no payment for my spiritual practice of Dorje Shugden from any individual, organization or government. I am accused of this as a smear campaign to silence me. But prove clearly that I receive payment from any govt or organization for my practice of Dorje Shugden. If you cannot prove it but continue to say so, then it’s an organized smear campaign from the Dept of Information & International Relations of the CTA in Dharamsala for what they see as defiance when it’s really religious freedom.
    13. Tibetan government in exile has been known to encourage the crowd to harm Dorje Shugden practitioners by posting ‘wanted’ posters of well known and defiant Dorje Shugden practitoners in the 24 refugee communities throughout India.
    14. Whatever donations, gifts, items, help given to the Tibetan govt, their hospitals, Monasteries, schools, individuals by Dorje Shugden practitioners prior to the ban against Dorje Shugden in 1996 has not been refunded or returned. Many Dorje Shugden practitioners including myself have made substantial donations to many sectors of the Tibetan refugee communities and monasteries and all items and monies have not been returned. If Dorje Shugden practitioners are bad, why keep their donations and gifts but restrict their presence?

    I have nothing against Tibet, Tibetans or His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In fact I wish His Holiness long life and health always. I have never said in speech or print any negative word against His Holiness the Dalai Lama. But this ban against Dorje Shugden practitioners is unfair, undemocratic and against human rights. It must be addressed, revoked and removed. It is creating a huge rift within Tibetan communities where we need to be united to preserve our culture, religion and way of life around the world. Whether an individual wishes to practice Dorje Shugden or not is up to the individual, but there should be no restrictions or prejudice created by CTA for engaging in this practice. Now in the 21st century, only in the Tibetan communities lead by CTA, there is heavy religious discrimination. But some find it hard to believe because it does not match the reputation of the Dalai Lama in which the CTA is under. If there is no ban and systematic controlled and funded tyranny against Dorje Shugden practitioners like myself, why should I speak up or say these things? I have no gains to speak up if it was not true. There are thousands of other individuals who can attest to all I have said and much proof to find even on the internet. This systematic tyranny against the fundamental human right of religious choice to practice Dorje Shugden must stop before it creates more damage to individuals and groups and at the same time bringing down the reputation of the CTA or Tibetan govt in exile headquartered in Dharamsala, North India as backward and tyrannical.

    Tsem Rinpoche
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com
  • sonnytan
    Monday, Jan 23. 2017 01:37 PM
    sonny tan on Jan 23, 2017 at 1:33 pm
    Hello jeff Weegee, you came here to insult our guru and claimed that he gets monetary support from China without any documentary,evidential, bullet proof and solid evidence. In the eyes of the learned criminal court judges this statement itself is very defamatory and you can be sued for character assasination and defamation. However, you are not very smart enough thinking that by coming here and abusing our kind guru’s nature and forgiving heart with such nonsensical unproven lies he will not institute further action. It only means that you wantonly and deliberately wants to hurt my guru’s good name thinking that by saying the above he will not retaliate but I beg to differ as you will never know what his students have in store for people of loose characters. We may not be as forgiving as our guru because you intentionally wants to ruin my guru’s reputation and that itself is an urgent call for us to defend him when viciously attacked. We will vehemently pursue such unproven accusations without repose and put to rest all these once and for all and eventually let justice prevails
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Jan 22. 2017 06:05 PM
    Yes it is time to worry for sure if we are not doing anything to protect our earth , environment and animals .There’s the threat that climate change will do more harm.One recent study found that as temperatures rise over the next century.Marine life of dolphins , leatherback sea turtles and so forth are affected .Sooner or later they will be extnct due to global warming. .Scientists discovered environmental pollution can cause human fertility.
    Human activity, including over fishing, unsustainable agriculture, a dramatic loss in natural habitats, and—of course—climate change are to be blamed. Hence it is indeed a time to worry and put in more effort to protect our environment and earth.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this informative article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/is-it-time-to-worry.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Jan 22. 2017 03:27 PM
    The global warming has become alarming and at risks. Arctic drilling could speed up global warming and harm endangered wildlife in the Arctic. Its good that former US President Obama ban offshore drilling untill 2022. Even though this ban only last for five years it is at least protected. With the new President Trump ,i do hope he won’t withdrew global effort to reduce fossil fuel emission and hoping that more people are aware of what happening to the arctic .
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article and videos too.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/offshore-drilling-in-arctic-banned.html
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Jan 21. 2017 08:47 PM
    It is very sad that the effect of pollution and rubbish is getting worse. All of us are living in this world and have the responsibilities to take care of our environment. We can stop all this by starting from our self. Always be mindful, throw rubbish in the right place and use more recycle items.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/plastic-pollution-in-deep-sea-is-alarming.html
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Jan 21. 2017 08:33 PM
    Kaizen practise is a good method to start training our mind to push ourselves and do something new everyday for 1 minute. Because it start with 1 minute, we would not have reason to not do it. Once we started to learn something new and continuously doing it, we will get use to and improve it further.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/the-one-minute-method-for-overcoming-laziness.html
  • Alice Tay
    Friday, Jan 20. 2017 10:38 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for your kindness and compassion and also the support team to have this short prayer translated into Tibetan language. This is great to let more people from different countries and races to read this wonderful prayer to Dorje Shugden.

    May everyone be blessed by Dorje Shugden and able to meet a qualified guru to learn and practice dharma for the benefit of others.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/a-short-prayer-to-dorje-shugden-tibetan.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jan 20. 2017 08:33 PM
    Beautiful, inspiring and so touching story…. of Alvaro Munera a former bullfighter. He is a real hero who learned his lesson through reason and thinking.That is really great of him and even campaigning against bullfighting.He accepted his faith and realized that animals do have feelings too.Not to harm them but to protect them.
    Thank you Rinpoche foe sharing such a touching story
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/do-not-miss-this-so-touching.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jan 20. 2017 07:50 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing Its alarming that plastic pollution has already reached deep oceans which has negatively affecting deep sea animals.The researchers found inside the deep sea animals were polyester, nylon and acrylic.That is bad enough causing ingestion in deep sea animals, such as sea cucumbers, hermit crabs and squat lobsters .Sooner or later they are becoming extinct due to all these plastic pollution. Deep sea animals have the freedom to live too. Do hope all of us take responsibility to care for the environment. Attitude and educating ourselves and sharing with others on the best and safest ways of disposal of rubbish will be wonderful.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/plastic-pollution-in-deep-sea-is-alarming.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Friday, Jan 20. 2017 04:33 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing. It is so sad to learn about the negative impact of our human lifestyle and usage on the animals living in deep sea. Nothing on this Earth can escape our influence because we are a member and a crucial one for all intent and purposes, of this big ecosystem call Earth. I hope through these discoveries and learning, it will awaken our conscious to do something to preserve Earth.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/plastic-pollution-in-deep-sea-is-alarming.html#comments
  • Stella Cheang
    Friday, Jan 20. 2017 04:21 PM
    It is wonderful to learn about the Yayasan Kechara Indonesia team’s effort in fundraising by conquering Mt Rinjani. It is also very meaningful to find out the members of this hike overcome personal and physical limitation to reach the peak. “…thinking Instead of just letting life throw random challenges at me, I should go ahead and provide myself with truly meaningful challenges.” Rejoice and well done! Thank you for this sharing, Valentina.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/guess-what-we-did-on-mt-rijani.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Friday, Jan 20. 2017 12:28 AM
    Taking baby steps to train up our consistency and persistency is really a cool innovation from the traditional “cold turkey” approach. Since this is a trust and proven method, we should give it a try and conquer one of our limitation. Thank you Rinpoche for the sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/the-one-minute-method-for-overcoming-laziness.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Friday, Jan 20. 2017 12:22 AM
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing. Great to be informed of this alternative that deters insects and rodents from getting too intimate with us. The smell of mint is really nice and it has many benefits to our human body too. Hence, it will be a good idea to add mint leaves into our grocery shopping list.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/try-this-to-repel-insects-in-your-house.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

CREDITS

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

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

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
I am in the process of creating beautiful Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat watches at this time. So we can take precious protector and Kechara Forest Retreat wherever we go and be blessed everytime we see what time it is. 
I am perfecting the designs with a great team and will update when done but these are just some samples that arrived. 
Feast your eyes! 

Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
I am in the process of creating beautiful Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat watches at this time. So we can take precious protector and Kechara Forest Retreat wherever we go and be blessed everytime we see what time it is. I am perfecting the designs with a great team and will update when done but these are just some samples that arrived. Feast your eyes! Tsem Rinpoche
                        Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini\'s path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html  Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini's path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
Message to Tibetans in English
3 weeks ago
Message to Tibetans in English
Message to the Tibetans
3 weeks ago
Message to the Tibetans
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
4 weeks ago
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
4 weeks ago
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
1 month ago
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
1 month ago
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
2 months ago
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
2 months ago
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
2 months ago
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
2 months ago
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
2 months ago
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
2 months ago
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
3 months ago
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
Sir Edmund Hillary
3 months ago
Sir Edmund Hillary
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha\'s teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha's teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I\'ve seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I've seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
It\'s nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
4 months ago
It's nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
                         Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
4 months ago
Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
4 months ago
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
High lamas in France September 2016
4 months ago
High lamas in France September 2016
༧གོང་ས་ཆེན་པོ་སྐུ་འཕྲེང་བཅུ་བཞི་པ་མཆོག་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། - Interesting relationship between 14th Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden:   http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109757
4 months ago
༧གོང་ས་ཆེན་པོ་སྐུ་འཕྲེང་བཅུ་བཞི་པ་མཆོག་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། - Interesting relationship between 14th Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109757
Dalai Lama Says We Can Practise Dorje Shugden Finally! Read more on this development--- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109777
4 months ago
Dalai Lama Says We Can Practise Dorje Shugden Finally! Read more on this development--- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109777
More time spent in dharma work is more karma collected to be happy and more time spent in non-dharma works is more karma collected to be unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
More time spent in dharma work is more karma collected to be happy and more time spent in non-dharma works is more karma collected to be unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche
All Dorje Shugden prophesizes will come to pass,
 Those who generate refuge and merits will trust, 
 By trusting one will see the good results of his pronouncements,
 By seeing the good results, one\'s path becomes more clear, 
 The path of practice, purification and siddhic results, 
 This would eliminate the samsara within our minds.
 ~Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
All Dorje Shugden prophesizes will come to pass, Those who generate refuge and merits will trust, By trusting one will see the good results of his pronouncements, By seeing the good results, one's path becomes more clear, The path of practice, purification and siddhic results, This would eliminate the samsara within our minds. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Large Dorje Shugden statue built by the 5th Dalai Lama and housed in Trode Khangsar. Sock Wand and Mdm Chuah took this picture in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
4 months ago
Large Dorje Shugden statue built by the 5th Dalai Lama and housed in Trode Khangsar. Sock Wand and Mdm Chuah took this picture in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
Our own Kecharian Mdm. Chua with the oracle of Dorje Shugden Gen Tenzin Tsultrim in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
4 months ago
Our own Kecharian Mdm. Chua with the oracle of Dorje Shugden Gen Tenzin Tsultrim in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Trode Khangsar-the Chapel to Dorje Shugden built 400 years ago by the Great 5th Dalai Lama-Tibet 2016
4 months ago
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Trode Khangsar-the Chapel to Dorje Shugden built 400 years ago by the Great 5th Dalai Lama-Tibet 2016
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Gaden Monastery, Tibet 2016
4 months ago
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Gaden Monastery, Tibet 2016
                         This is the oracle of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa, Tibet. His name is Gen Tenzin Tsultrim of Sera Monastery in Tibet.
4 months ago
This is the oracle of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa, Tibet. His name is Gen Tenzin Tsultrim of Sera Monastery in Tibet.
Ms. Sock Wan, Oracle of Dorje Shugden in Tibet Gen Tenzin Tsultrim, Mdm Chuah and Mr. Tashi in Tibet 2016
4 months ago
Ms. Sock Wan, Oracle of Dorje Shugden in Tibet Gen Tenzin Tsultrim, Mdm Chuah and Mr. Tashi in Tibet 2016
Mahasiddha Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Ven. Rabten Choktrul Rinpoche 2016
4 months ago
Mahasiddha Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Ven. Rabten Choktrul Rinpoche 2016
His Eminence Mahasiddha Gangchen Rinpoche and the official oracle of Dorje Shugden Panglung Kuten Choji lah in Italy together September 2016
4 months ago
His Eminence Mahasiddha Gangchen Rinpoche and the official oracle of Dorje Shugden Panglung Kuten Choji lah in Italy together September 2016
My thoughts on Malaysia. Thank you. Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
My thoughts on Malaysia. Thank you. Tsem Rinpoche
Beautiful thangka of Vajra Yogini. Look at the details where she appears in visions and also takes people to Kechara.
4 months ago
Beautiful thangka of Vajra Yogini. Look at the details where she appears in visions and also takes people to Kechara.
Left to right:

His Holiness the Gaden Throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche (very young) and His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Prayer Hall during prayers.
4 months ago
Left to right: His Holiness the Gaden Throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche (very young) and His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Prayer Hall during prayers.
 It\'s nice when families support the spiritual journeys of their children. This is one beautiful family of Pastor Niral of Kechara
4 months ago
It's nice when families support the spiritual journeys of their children. This is one beautiful family of Pastor Niral of Kechara
Jog Falls a power place of Vajra Yogini and Heruka: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=108652
4 months ago
Jog Falls a power place of Vajra Yogini and Heruka: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=108652
Don\'t wait for the perfect group. Don\'t wait for the perfect person. Don\'t wait for the perfect situation. Don\'t expect yourself to be perfect. Don\'t even look for perfection at least in our realm as it does not exist or time will run out. Just get going and keep doing good. It\'s between you and yourself. Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
Don't wait for the perfect group. Don't wait for the perfect person. Don't wait for the perfect situation. Don't expect yourself to be perfect. Don't even look for perfection at least in our realm as it does not exist or time will run out. Just get going and keep doing good. It's between you and yourself. Tsem Rinpoche
Kind people are to be treasured. They make life worth living. ~Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
Kind people are to be treasured. They make life worth living. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Don\'t you love her bag? She\'s stylish and at one with the universe. OM Shanti. ~Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
Don't you love her bag? She's stylish and at one with the universe. OM Shanti. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Beautiful Manjushri carved in China
5 months ago
Beautiful Manjushri carved in China
Sent from Samsung tablet.
5 months ago
Sent from Samsung tablet.
We must loyal to our guru. How to be loyal? To always do the teachings and practice he gave us and to conquer our laziness. We must make our gurus more important than our ego. So it is important to always let our guru win and not our ego. If our ego wins, many will suffer and we will suffer. If our guru wins, temporarily we suffer, but long term we will be happy and many around us will be happy. You see, the guru is always on the look out to give us methods and teachings that we can engage in to bring us happiness. The biggest happiness is overcoming our ego and it\'s traces and the guru always directly and indirectly focuses on that. Our guru will always love and help us, but we must meet our guru half way too. Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
We must loyal to our guru. How to be loyal? To always do the teachings and practice he gave us and to conquer our laziness. We must make our gurus more important than our ego. So it is important to always let our guru win and not our ego. If our ego wins, many will suffer and we will suffer. If our guru wins, temporarily we suffer, but long term we will be happy and many around us will be happy. You see, the guru is always on the look out to give us methods and teachings that we can engage in to bring us happiness. The biggest happiness is overcoming our ego and it's traces and the guru always directly and indirectly focuses on that. Our guru will always love and help us, but we must meet our guru half way too. Tsem Rinpoche
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Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Great spiritual rock carving in Tibet
    3 days ago
    Great spiritual rock carving in Tibet
  • You will Never be Ready
    1 month ago
    You will Never be Ready
    Dear friends, watch this video and ready, if we keep waiting till we are ready, that day will never come. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Stop asking for Easy
    1 month ago
    Stop asking for Easy
    This video is powerful because it's the truth. It applies to anything. It applies to our dharma practice. Watch the video and share it. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Must Watch this Video!
    2 months ago
    Must Watch this Video!
  • Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
    3 months ago
    Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
  • Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    3 months ago
    Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    ཁྱེད་ཀྱི་བཀའ་སློབ་དོན་སྙིང་དེ།།གང་གི་རྣ་བར་བདུད་རྩི་མོད།།འོན་ཀྱང་འགའ་ཡི་རྣ་ལམ་དུ།། བྲག་ཆ་བཞིན་དུ་འགྱུར་སྲིད་མོད།། ཚང་མས་ཚར་རེ་གཟིགས་རོགས།། Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche telling people that it is important to have guru samaya. It use to be that way in the great monasteries. We should not create problems and schisms. If we want to practice a protector, then do so, if not it's okay, but don't make trouble. One should just practice the Buddha Dharma well. To do good practice. If you have faith in Dorje Shugden and trust all the way, he will definitely help you. But most important is to practice the dharma. This is his advice in short here. It's good to let more Tibetans hear this holy speech and appeal by this very senior Rinpoche. TR
  • His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Propitiating Protectors & Oracles
    3 months ago
    His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Propitiating Protectors & Oracles
    This was on FB and I came across it. His Holiness said in Tibetan institutions there is a lot of propitiating protector/oracles and this is not what Buddhism is about. So they are putting Nechung/Tema oracles within the video to say what is he talking about when he does it himself. This is confusing is the message to his people. TR
  • -
    3 months ago
    Look how this crab eats a cherry.. Incredible and cute... Never seen this before. They have feelings too. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is Sarah. Do you have 30 seconds for her? Her life in just 30 seconds!
    4 months ago
    This is Sarah. Do you have 30 seconds for her? Her life in just 30 seconds!
  • See what is your fortune today!
    4 months ago
    See what is your fortune today!
  • Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche recites offering stanza to Dorje Shugden Septemeber 2016
    4 months ago
    Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche recites offering stanza to Dorje Shugden Septemeber 2016
  • Flying the flag proudly
    5 months ago
    Flying the flag proudly
    Just like the rays of the sun, Dorje Shugden's blessings shines on all
  • These skydivers have a little surprise...
    5 months ago
    These skydivers have a little surprise...
    Let them spell it out for you
  • Taking to the skies
    5 months ago
    Taking to the skies
    The sky's the limit for TsemRinpoche.com!
  • What you need to wake you up on your morning commute
    5 months ago
    What you need to wake you up on your morning commute
    Make your commutes a little more interesting with an article from TsemRinpoche.com

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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CHAT PICTURES

Students are drawn to Teacher Irene because of her kind and loving demeanour. Stella, KSDS
9 hours ago
Students are drawn to Teacher Irene because of her kind and loving demeanour. Stella, KSDS
Teacher Zhen Yue is really good with kids. Stella, KSDS
9 hours ago
Teacher Zhen Yue is really good with kids. Stella, KSDS
Kechara Sunday Dharma School opens for students from as young as 2 years old up until 18 years old. Classes are conducted in both english and mandarin. Stella, KSDS
9 hours ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School opens for students from as young as 2 years old up until 18 years old. Classes are conducted in both english and mandarin. Stella, KSDS
Jarrett Yu is 5 years old and he can do prostration and recite Migtsema mantra on his own. Stella, KSDS
9 hours ago
Jarrett Yu is 5 years old and he can do prostration and recite Migtsema mantra on his own. Stella, KSDS
Lovely sister and brother attending KSDS classes. KSDS welcome enrolments from students as young as 2 years old. Stella, KSDS
9 hours ago
Lovely sister and brother attending KSDS classes. KSDS welcome enrolments from students as young as 2 years old. Stella, KSDS
Learn for meditation for calm and peaceful mind. Alice Tay, KSDS
yesterday
Learn for meditation for calm and peaceful mind. Alice Tay, KSDS
KSDS students followed Teacher Kien to do prostrations before the class start. Alice Tay, KSDS
yesterday
KSDS students followed Teacher Kien to do prostrations before the class start. Alice Tay, KSDS
Beautiful artworks done by Kechara Sunday Dharma School from age 2-17 years old. Alice Tay, KSDS
yesterday
Beautiful artworks done by Kechara Sunday Dharma School from age 2-17 years old. Alice Tay, KSDS
Participants take turn to do the soap. Alice Tay, KSDS
yesterday
Participants take turn to do the soap. Alice Tay, KSDS
Woah Camp 2016 participants were happy with their own make soap. Alice Tay, KSDS
yesterday
Woah Camp 2016 participants were happy with their own make soap. Alice Tay, KSDS
Yesterdays Visitors in Kechara Forest Retreat at the Vajrayogini Stupa
2 days ago
Yesterdays Visitors in Kechara Forest Retreat at the Vajrayogini Stupa
17 fortunate visitors had the opportunity to make offering and circumambulate at World Largest Dorje Shugden statue at Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat. Lucy Yap
2 days ago
17 fortunate visitors had the opportunity to make offering and circumambulate at World Largest Dorje Shugden statue at Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat. Lucy Yap
Circumambulating at Lama Tsongkapa Shrine. Lucy Yap
2 days ago
Circumambulating at Lama Tsongkapa Shrine. Lucy Yap
Today's visitors to Kechara Forest Retreat. They were taken on a tour by Puja Team members. Lucy Yap
2 days ago
Today's visitors to Kechara Forest Retreat. They were taken on a tour by Puja Team members. Lucy Yap
Learn about birds & how to take care of them. Lin Mun KSDS
3 days ago
Learn about birds & how to take care of them. Lin Mun KSDS
Look at my new skirts. I'm ready for graduation rehearsal. Lin Mun KSDS
3 days ago
Look at my new skirts. I'm ready for graduation rehearsal. Lin Mun KSDS
The dharma sisters :) Lin Mun ksds
3 days ago
The dharma sisters :) Lin Mun ksds
Great sharing from the teenage class on Rinpoche's bio. Lin Mun KSDS
3 days ago
Great sharing from the teenage class on Rinpoche's bio. Lin Mun KSDS
Nurture the children with good values from young. The aim of Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Lin Mun KSDS
3 days ago
Nurture the children with good values from young. The aim of Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Lin Mun KSDS
Pastor Gim Lee perform prayers for a sponsor during her beloved pet dog's funeral. Lucy Yap
5 days ago
Pastor Gim Lee perform prayers for a sponsor during her beloved pet dog's funeral. Lucy Yap
Make lots of merits for the Year ahead! Join our Grand Dorje Shugden Pujas next 3. & 4. February 2017 with many Highlights!
5 days ago
Make lots of merits for the Year ahead! Join our Grand Dorje Shugden Pujas next 3. & 4. February 2017 with many Highlights!
Pet Funeral services provided by Heavenly Gate Memorial Service Sdn Bhd, Bentong , Malaysia.  YEO KWAI GIN ( KKSG )
5 days ago
Pet Funeral services provided by Heavenly Gate Memorial Service Sdn Bhd, Bentong , Malaysia. YEO KWAI GIN ( KKSG )
Visitors visited Mother Tara and pay respects. YEO KWAI GIN ( KKSG )
5 days ago
Visitors visited Mother Tara and pay respects. YEO KWAI GIN ( KKSG )
Another New Dorje Shugden Chapel at Bentong. YEO KWAI GIN ( KKSG )
5 days ago
Another New Dorje Shugden Chapel at Bentong. YEO KWAI GIN ( KKSG )
Treat others like the way you wish to be treated.  YEO KWAI GIN ( KKSG )
5 days ago
Treat others like the way you wish to be treated. YEO KWAI GIN ( KKSG )
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Dorje Shugden
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