The New York Times on Tibetan elections

By | Mar 24, 2016 | Views: 453
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A Tibetan in exile praying at the Tsuglagkhang Temple near Dharamsala, India, on Saturday, the day before the vote. Credit Tsering Topgyal/Associated Press

Mudslinging Trumps the ‘Middle Way’ in Tibetan Exiles’ Election

By GEETA ANAND | MARCH 23, 2016

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/24/world/asia/dalai-lama-tibet-dharamsala.html

DHARAMSALA, India — It is often said that the lower the stakes, the more vicious the politics. And so it might be said of the just-concluded campaign for political leader of the Tibetan government in exile, which, given the exalted status of the Dalai Lama, was a bit like voting for the vice president to a sitting president.

The final round in the second election for a leader of the Central Tibetan Administration, as the exiled Tibetan government is known, concluded last weekend, though the results will not be known until April. Still, the proceedings showed just how hard it is to build a democracy under the leadership of a man who, though 80 years old, semiretired and dedicated to democratic principles, is revered as a Godlike figure by Tibetans.

Largely absent from the discussion in the campaign was the question of how to win freedom for the nearly six million Tibetans living in China, an issue that has consumed the exiled Tibetan community for almost six decades. It is viewed as disrespectful to the man the Tibetans call His Holiness to question the “middle way” strategy that he set in motion nearly 30 years ago, in which he softened his demand for independence, instead seeking self-governance within the Chinese government. It has been an effort to draw China into a dialogue that by most accounts has failed.

Instead, the election devolved into mudslinging and sycophancy. The hot topics were the audacity of the current political leader, Lobsang Sangay, who is running for re-election, to have his portrait displayed in the Washington office, and the drinking habits of his opponent, Penpa Tsering, the speaker of the exiled parliament.

Dhardon Sharling, who was labelled "anti-Dalai Lama" for daring to speak up against the way the elections have been conducted

The campaigns “have been tearing each other apart, harping on petty, trivial issues,” said Dhardon Sharling, 34, a member of the parliament, “when all we should be talking about is how we will resolve Tibetan’s issues, how we’ll take the Sino-Tibetan dialogue forward.”

Mr. Sangay, 48, was on the defensive from the start of his re-election campaign, forced to answer at every stop why he had put his own portrait on the wall of the group’s new Washington office instead of a picture of the Dalai Lama. It did him little good, it seemed, to explain that his portrait had been hung in the basement, and that there were 13 other pictures of the Dalai Lama in the Washington office.

The current Dalai Lama, who is part of the lineage of spiritual leaders of the Tibetan people that dates back to the 14th century, has been championing the cause of democracy for his people since he fled to India in 1959 after China claimed Tibet and began a campaign to repress its religion and culture. (He has refrained from commenting in this campaign, and few people know how closely he was following the dialogue on the elections. His secretaries did not respond to requests for interviews.)

He set up his residence and an exiled government outside of Dharamsala, in northern India. And as he promoted the cause of freedom for the people he had left behind, he gradually relinquished his own political authority. An exiled parliament was set up, a cabinet, and finally, in 2011, the job of an elected political leader, known as the sikyong, a role similar to prime minister.

Even as he gave up his political role, the Dalai Lama retained his position as the spiritual and cultural leader of the Tibetan people. A democratic election for a people without a country is a complicated affair, with voting in more than 40 locations in India, and dozens more around the globe. Registered voters number about 88,000, fewer than in most mayoral elections in the United States.

Mr. Sangay, in an interview in his Dharamsala office, where a life-size picture of the Dalai Lama hangs behind his desk, lamented the endless controversy over the portraits in Washington. “It’s the number one question I’m asked, the number one issue I clarify,” Mr. Sangay said.

In an interview, Mr. Tsering, 50, criticized Mr. Sangay for allowing his own portrait to be displayed, saying his opponent had been “brought up in a very Western style,” in which “image is very important.”

Mr. Tsering blamed his opponent’s supporters for circulating a picture of him at a book party years ago, drinking with friends. “They made it seem like I am always drinking, creating the impression I have a problem,” he said. Someone demanded at a campaign event that he pledge to give up alcohol if elected political leader, which he refused to do, he said, because he does not have a drinking problem.

Even as the free-for-all ensued in the election, a 16-year-old killed himself in early March by settling himself on fire in Dehradun, India, an eight-hour drive from Dharamsala, a reminder of the deep frustration in the exiled community over the lack of progress in winning any measure of freedom in Tibet. One hundred and forty-four Tibetans have killed themselves in this way during the past 20 years.

Despite the absence of their candidates in the election final, there is a vocal minority of voters who refuse to support the middle way strategy, favoring a fight for full independence.

Lukar Jam Atsok, former Sikyong 2016 candidate who was excluded from the elections via rules arbitrarily imposed by the Election Commission

Lukar Jam Atsok, 44, a writer who was imprisoned in China before escaping into India years ago, ran in the preliminary contest for political leader, arguing that the Dalai Lama could be considered a traitor for having given up full independence for Tibet in his negotiations with the Chinese.

“If a person does not believe in independence, whether he’s my father or the Dalai Lama, I do not agree with that person,” he said in Tibetan in an interview. “I am not saying the Dalai Lama is a traitor, but if you consider the political history, then he is one.”

But far from promoting a dialogue, Mr. Atsok’s comments prompted his public condemnation from Mr. Sangay and Mr. Tsering, and he was removed from the final vote. The election commission announced the day after the preliminary ballot that only the top two candidates would remain in the final election, eliminating Mr. Atsok. Sonam Choephel Shosur, the chief election commissioner, said that the only concern was to make the final a two-way runoff, and that the commission had decided on that before the votes were counted in the preliminary round.

Ms. Sharling, the lawmaker, said regardless of the motivation, the election commission’s behavior “made the election smell foul.” She said that Mr. Atsok had gone too far in his criticism of the Dalai Lama, but that pro-independence voices needed to be heard.

“This is binary thinking and is wrong,” said Ms. Sharling. “I fight against it and I get labeled anti-Dalai Lama.”

 

Dear friends,

The New York Times recently published this article providing succinct coverage of the ongoing Tibetan elections. Unlike the Reuters special report, the New York Times coverage was accurate and balanced, using easily identifiable sources of information to highlight aspects where the Tibetan electoral process has fallen short.

The way in which the campaigns have been carried out reflects the petty nature of those involved. Instead of focusing on real issues which affect the Tibetan people, for example education and the preservation of Tibetan culture, the campaigns degenerated into exercises of character assassination.

One would expect that an event of such importance for the Tibetan people would be conducted with some decorum. If however an event of such importance can degenerate into mud-slinging and name-calling, where none of the pertinent issues were discussed, do we need to wonder how day-to-day proceedings in the Tibetan parliament are conducted? Do we need to question why the Tibetan leadership have failed to achieve any of their socio-political objectives over the last 60 years, and have failed to secure the welfare of their people?

Supporters of the Tibetan leadership may argue that democracy is new to Tibetan society, hence the struggle to implement it among their people. If we examine this statement from another angle however, it can also be said that the current state of Tibetan politics reflects an ongoing pattern of corruption and scandal that was brought over from Tibet. After all, pre-1959 Tibet was hardly a model of democracy and there are reports aplenty of a feudally-led, medievally-minded system of punishment and justice.

Hence in the 21st century, the Tibetan leadership are still unable to implement any markers of democracy – for example, elections – without incorporating some aspect of corruption. The chief election commissioner, Sonam Choephel Shosur’s statement is evidence for this – he stated that his only concern is to ensure a two-way runoff, where his real concern should actually be to ensure free and fair elections.

The New York Times article was also a platform for those who have been silenced by the Tibetan leadership. The article highlighted what is probably the most damaging accusation that can be directed against any Tibetan – anything that does not match the views of the establishment is labelled as anti-Dalai Lama, and therefore deemed evil, disloyal and unfit to succeed or lead.

The most prominent example of this is the case of Lukar Jam Atsok who had run his campaign on a platform of full independence for Tibet. This was in stark contrast to the other candidates, who made it known they supported His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Middle Way Approach. After the preliminary ballots, Lukar Jam was removed from the election race, having already been publically condemned by the other candidates as being anti-Dalai Lama.

Similarly, Dhardon Sharling, an incumbent member of parliament, spoke about her experience in speaking up against the election commission’s behaviour. She too noted that she had been labelled as anti-Dalai Lama for daring to speak up against their rulings. Even the incumbent Sikyong himself, Lobsang Sangay, experienced this when it was intimated he is anti-Dalai Lama for not hanging His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s portrait in his Washington office.

(Left to right): Penpa Tsering, Lobsang Sangay and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Appearing in photos with His Holiness is a sure sign of approval by the Tibetan leadership. Those labelled 'anti-Dalai Lama' however, face public condemnation, ridicule and ostracization as Lukar Jam experienced when campaigning to be Sikyong

In countries with a more mature understanding of democracy, this portrait topic would be a non-issue, being so small, insignificant and irrelevant to the welfare of the people. So the fact Lobsang Sangay even had to defend himself on this point, saying he had 13 other portraits hanging elsewhere in the office, is ridiculous. It speaks for the lack of maturity in the Tibetan leadership’s understanding of democratic principles, that such a petty topic could be used by the candidates to distract their people from the lack of discussion of the real issues. It was nothing more than a manipulation of the Tibetan people’s loyalty for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, exploiting this loyalty against them so they would be distracted from asking tough questions like “What are you actually going to do for us and our wellbeing?”

Ms Sharling’s experience also suggests a potentially growing internal conflict among members of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile. Ms Sharling’s criticism is not the first by an incumbent member of parliament. Another recently-former member of parliament, Kalon Dicki Chhoyang, recently resigned from her position as Minister of Information and International Relations so that she could freely express her dissatisfaction and opinions with the way the elections were being conducted. Ms Chhoyang’s feelings towards the elections, her passion for the Tibetan people’s future and her lack of faith in the leadership were all so strong that she felt she had to RESIGN from the leadership in order to speak freely!

For anyone to feel obliged quit so that their views can be taken seriously, and so their views can make a difference, is not a good reflection of the state of the Tibetan leadership.

Given this understanding of the state of the Tibetan leadership, it is clear to see that there is little future for the Tibetan people in exile after His Holiness the Dalai Lama enters clear light. Broad-minded, well-spoken candidates like Ms Chhoyang do not want to get involved with the establishment and do not want to run for the leadership position; those who are broad-minded, well-spoken and DO want to become a leader like Lukar Jam are ostracised and rudely denied the opportunity.

During the preliminary election rounds, it is alleged that the Tibetan leadership pressured various monasteries, groups and individuals to cancel Lukar Jam's speeches and deny him the ability to speak on their premises. It was to send a clear message to the Tibetans that this candidate did not have the support of the Tibetan leadership and the establishment, and the people should therefore not vote for him

So what is in it for Lobsang Sangay and Penpa Tsering then, since other intelligent and broad-thinking individuals are opting out of the race? Why do they cling so hard to the potential to become leader of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile? One cannot help but consider the possibility of benefits and kick-backs from being in the Sikyong position, benefits which Lobsang Sangay and Penpa Tsering apparently value more dearly than other incumbent members of the Tibetan leadership-in-exile.

It would certainly explain why these two fight so hard to retain and / or acquire the Sikyong position, to the point of employing tactics like arbitrary rules designed to exclude other candidates from running. Their motivation is not for the welfare of Tibet and her people. Unlike Ms Chhoyang who quit the leadership to make an impact with her intelligent, incisive speeches to HELP the Tibetan people to decide, Lobsang Sangay and Penpa Tsering continue to fight tooth and nail for the position, strangely without ever uttering a word about what they will do for the Tibetan community!

As the New York Times points out, their manifestos and what they will do for the Tibetan community has been sidelined by petty issues like Lobsang Sangay’s lack of Dalai Lama portraits and Penpa Tsering’s supposed alcoholism. This is also how the welfare of the Tibetan community has been sidelined by the Tibetan leadership for the last 60 years. After all, if there were no perks to the position, the focus would have been the Tibetan people’s welfare. And had their welfare (and not the perks) been the focus, the Tibetan communities throughout India today would not continue to languish after 60 years with poor literacy rates, employment opportunities, and medical and social welfare.

Supporters of the Tibetan leadership should keep in mind that all of this is the result of their investment in the leadership for the last 60 years. Is it wise to continue investing in a regime that has made such little progress in their political and social goals, and a leadership that continues to malign, suppress and ostracise their own people who are deemed to be against the status quo like Lukar Jam, Ms Sharling and Shugden practitioners? If the Tibetan leadership continues to approach divergent views with hostility (much less apprehension and suspicion), they will soon find their supporters decreasing in number, virility and influence.

 

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About Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai

Writer. Blogger. Non-conformist and contemporary. Kechara’s youngest Buddhist Pastor. The smiling nun-to-be. Proud student of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche. Lover of cheese and bad puns. You can find more of her writing at www.elenakhong.com.
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14 Responses to The New York Times on Tibetan elections

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  1. Tsem Rinpoche on Sep 15, 2016 at 3:14 am

    Trode Khangsar Chapel in Lhasa, Tibet

    Over 400 years ago a great and learned lama Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen was famed in Mongolia, Tibet, Nepal and China for being very saintly and compassionate. He resided in his residence (Zimkhang Gongma Ladrang) in Drepung Monastery. His root guru was H.H. the Omniscient 4th Panchen Lama and his close dharma brother was the 5th Dalai Lama.

    The 5th Dalai Lama and Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen had a very close and dharmic relationship and often went to receive teachings together from the 4th Panchen Lama. They were close in age. They both became very learned and well known. During this time, the Dalai Lama was enthroned as a Dharma King of Tibet. But more people went to see Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen for teachings, initiations and divinations. This made the attendants of the 5th Dalai Lama feel threatened that Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s fame might usurp the power of the 5th Dalai Lama. So they had a khata forced down his throat. At that moment, Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen dissolved his psychic winds and generated the wish to be a great guardian of Buddha and Tsongkapa’s teachings. As his consciousness dissolved, he entered ‘bardo’ as a dharma protector of the highest order (jikten depey sungma). Many signs were seen throughout Lhasa at this time and the earth was said to have shaken in Lhasa. This event was already predicted to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s previous incarnation when he was one of the 8 main disciples of Lord Tsongkapa the Supreme Master and he served Tsongkapa directly by building Gaden Monastery.

    When the 5th Dalai Lama heard what his scheming and power-hungry attendants had done, he was very distressed. He was very sorry Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen was murdered and dishonored as he was a great dharma master. The 5th Dalai Lama composed an apology to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen. In Lhasa, tens of thousands gathered for the cremation of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s holy body. During the cremation, the 5th Dalai Lama’s apology was read out at which flames spontaneously arose from the body of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen commencing the cremation. From the body, during cremation, a powerful whirlwind of smoke tunneled into the sky for all to see as this was an indication Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s consciousness has arisen as the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. The Dharma Protector Setrap immediately recognized this new protector Dorje Shugden and ‘enthroned’ him as a powerful Dharma Protector in the realm of the Buddhas. From this, Setrap and Dorje Shugden are closely connected and very close working hand in hand always. After the cremation, the great 5th Dalai Lama built a Dorje Shugden chapel on the spot the cremation took place and named it Trode Khangsar. The 5th Dalai Lama commissioned the statue of Dorje Shugden in this chapel and had monks installed in the chapel to do continuous propitiations to Dorje Shugden. Trode Khangsar Chapel was a commemoration to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen who was wronged and also a celebration of his consciousness arising as the World Peace Peace Protector Dorje Shugden.

    This Trode Khangsar Chapel still exists now in Lhasa where many make pilgrimages there. It is in good condition and was recently renovated. It is over 400 years old and a testimony to the respect the Great 5th Dalai Lama had to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen who arose as Dorje Shugden.

    I have visited this holy chapel in Lhasa years back. I’ve never heard of it till I was in Lhasa and by chance, I was told about it which I was happy to visit. I could not find the place but strangely a bunch of pilgrims from Amdo told me they would show me how to get there in Lhasa.

    This short video is a short clip of this holy Trode Khangsar Chapel in Lhasa today commemorating Dorje Shugden, built by the great 5th Dalai Lama. The great 5th Dalai Lama even composed a prayer to Dorje Shugden which is still available today and we can recite to invoke the blessings, protection, and assistance of World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden.

    Tsem Rinpoche


    Read more: Trode Khangsar – A 400-year-old Dorje Shugden Chapel in Lhasa
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/trode-khangsar-%E2%80%93-a-400-year-old-dorje-shugden-chapel-in-lhasa.html

    Short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTybDwTeLAM

    __________________________________

    The 5th Dalai Lama’s Prayer to Dorje Shugden

    HUM
    Though unmoving from the sphere of primordial spontaneity,
    With wrathful turbulent power, swifter than lightning,
    Endowed with heroic courage to judge good and bad,
    I invite you with faith, please come to this place!

    Robes of a monk, crown adorned with rhinoceros leather hat,
    Right hand holds ornate club, left holds a human heart,
    Riding various mounts such as nagas and garudas,
    Who subdues the mamos of the charnel grounds, praise to you!

    Samaya substances, offerings and torma, outer, inner and secret,
    Favourite visual offerings and various objects are arranged.
    Although, previously, my wishes were a bit dense,
    Do not stop your powerful apparitions, I reveal and confess!

    Now respectfully praising with body, speech, and mind,
    For us, the masters, disciples, benefactors and entourages,
    Provide the good and avert the bad!
    Bring increase like the waxing moon in spiritual and temporal realms!

    Moreover, swiftly accomplishing all wishes,
    According to our prayers, bestow the supreme effortlessly!
    And like the jewel that bestows all wishes,
    Always protect us with the Three Jewels!

    From: http://www.dorjeshugden.org/practice/the-5th-dalai-lamas-prayer-to-dorje-shugden

    Tibetan prayer from: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/the-14th-dalai-lamas-prayer-to-dorje-shugden.html

  2. Wan Wai Meng on Aug 21, 2016 at 2:54 am

    It is in the best ‘self’ interest of the people within CTA to keep their people, the Tibetans in exile who are ignorant and not aware of the reality of how dire their situation truly is.

    There are no high levels or low levels negotiation between, China and CTA, so what kind of hope is there for the Tibetans in exile?

    I also think, there is a calculated reason why the 2 candidates did not have clear manifestoes of how they wish to benefit the Tibetan, they have no idea and no method to benefit and make things better for the Tibetans in exile, sixty years of being in exile and nothing to show for it.

    Not only that, the CTA creates more difficulties for the Tibetans with the Dorje Shudgen issues, the 2 Karmapa Issues, and more recently issues with Drukpa Kagyus monasteries being taken over Karma Kagyus, the list goes on and on. Relying on CTA is just going to be a bigger and deeper hole for the Tibetans in exile. Unless and until we do away with the CTA, Tibetans in exile will have no hope and no peace.

  3. Shane Jayasuriya on Jun 20, 2016 at 1:34 am

    Dear Pastor Jean thank you for this article, Its sad to see corrupted selfish minds within the exiled Tibetan government doing harm to its people and Buddha dharma. Om Benza wiki bithana soha

  4. Chris Chong on Mar 30, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Dear Rinpoche and Pastor Jean Ai,

    Thank you for sharing this article. It is sad to see that religion had been used as a weapon in political affairs. Due to the selfishness of those people, innocent and faithful devotees have to suffer.

    Tibetans have to have a sense of logical thinking and not blindly follow their faith. Because of their ignorance of what is actually happening around them, this gives those despicable people a chance to manipulate them.
    Ay Dorje Shugden Ban be lifted as soon as possible.

    Chris

  5. Jason on Mar 29, 2016 at 2:53 am

    Thanks Pastor Jean Ai for sharing. From the articles, I found out that CTA really no democracy at all.Mr Lukar jam Atsok been removed from election after he said Dalai Lama is traitor in political. Lukar Jam Atsok always promote independence of CTA .
    From the New York Times, it show that Tibet leadership can’t bring much welfare to Tibetan but corruption is getting higher.why tibetan still trust on Dalai Lama?i wish Tibetan will have a better future by change of leadership .

  6. Datuk May on Mar 28, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    It is clear to note from the observations of the New York Times report on the democratic election of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) there is no choice for the Tibetan people in exile. My opinion is based on the following points:

    1) No one except those who are supposed to be supportive of the existing policies are allowed to be candidates for election to office.

    2) Both Lobsang Sangay and Penpa Tsering are sitting high level officers of the existing government.

    3) Any new candidates that have a notion of what can be different from the last 60 years are not allowed to stand for election.

    4) No news of the real manifesto of the candidates are known except of their personal lack of good conduct. If good conduct is to be considered a virtue for public office, these 2 will probably not qualify.

    5) Resignation of clear thinking Tibetans from the government as they are not impactful in what is right for way forward in negotiations with China.

    Democracy is non existent in this whole pretence of free election and I believe the plight of Tibetans in exile will be soon be an issue that the world will see as just an excuse for corruption and disorder. History will repeat itself and Tibetans in exile will have a future as they have seen of the last 60 years. Very sad.

  7. Uncle Eddie on Mar 28, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Tibetan elections are said to still reflect an ongoing pattern of corruptions, scandals and character assasination, purportedly brought over from Tibet since pre-1959. Tibet was seen to be hardly a model of democracy, but said to be still having feudally-led medivally system where no election exists without incorporating some aspects of corruptions and unnecessary conflicts. It is said that China is seen moving towards an excellent direction and needs time to work out her democractic principles according to her culture, and not that of the West. China it seems in the past had been accused of suppressing religion, but now seems to give freedom to practise any religion, including our powerful Dharma Protector, Dorje Shugden, which is said to be totally a free and private matter for religious followers or practitioners! China being the biggest economy in the World, officially is known to be an atheist country, but moving towards a more open stance on the liberty of religious practice! Openly shown, 1.2billion people of China have the freedom of religion, with no suppression to whoever they want to practise, even our great protector, Dorje Shugden if anyone so wish. But here on our side, the Ban still exist! Nevertheless, the whole world’s attention is now centered to see a good transformation of Tibet. With China’s awakening and compassionate intentions, Tibet will have a good chance to be restored back to its normalcy, with more autonomous civil rights than before! With such good hope and expectations,may the ban on Dorje Shugden be lifted and end soonest possible for the benefits of all beings! Om Benza Wiki Bitana Soha.

  8. graceleong on Mar 26, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    Lobsang Sangay has been the Sikyong since 2011 and despite all the promises he made to free Tibet, there is yet any sign of such possiblity. As for Penpa Tsering, he was the Speaker of the Tibetan government and most of the news surrounding him is, his alleged personal vices. No wonder the New York Times have to be so forthwright with their report on this current elections. Plus all these undemocratic methods of labelling others “Anti Dalai Lama”. If the Tibetan government and the Dalai Lama truly want to benefit Tibetans then there should open discussion on all the possible issues that are wrong and hence not helping the Tibetans acquire their freedom . There should be no ego protecting tactics like the ones they are using now by not allowing people to express their opinions.
    If mistakes were ignorantly made in the past, amend them. Make positive changes to remove all these high handed methods of pretending they have the solutions and power but in actual fact not.Be humble. Do not discriminate against others like the Dorje Shugden practitioners. Do not create confusion by recognising double Panchen Lamas and double Karmapas. What politics is there that the CTA can play when their representation is but a speck of dust on this Earth !! Be real and do the real things to help your fellow Tibetans know the truth that they have to learn to move on in the best possible manner and NOT LIVE IN THE PAST !! I feel sorry for those who still hold on to the hope of physically having Tibet “free”.
    The freedom is in the mind. The trap is self made. I hope and pray the Tibetans understand this and free themselves from the trap they created for themselves.
    As for the CTA, please have mercy on your people. If you cannot do good the least is please do not add on more sufferings for your people. I am glad the New York Times wrote an honest piece of news to share with the world that will make people think deeper instead of just sympathizing ignorantly.

    With folded hands.

  9. Abby Foo on Mar 26, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    A good analyzing article by New York Times. I hope the exiled Tibetan government remain calm and not labeling New York Times as another “Chinese-paid-media”.

    What we can see from one election for a leader of the exiled Tibetan government:

    1. There is lack of democracy within the exiled Tibetan government, or even authoritarianism is exist within the system as we can see people who questioned or expressed their disagreement towards the governance, like Dhardon Sharling and Lukar Jam Atsok are labeled as “anti-Dalai Lama”

    2. Lukar Jam Atsok, former Sikyong 2016 candidate had been excluded from the elections via rules arbitrarily imposed by the Election Commission because of his daring comments on Dalai Lama’s “Middle Way” policy. There is NO FREEDOM OF SPEECH or FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION.

    3. In order to freely express dissatisfaction and opinions with the way the elections were being conducted, a recently-former member of parliament, Kalon Dicki Chhoyang, recently resigned from her position as Minister of Information and International Relations.

    4. In the whole process of this election campaign, there’s NO MENTION of how to win freedom for the nearly six million Tibetans living in China, an issue that has consumed the exiled Tibetan community for almost six decades. Whether it is full independence or self-governance within the Chinese government, this is not the main point, important issues for example the welfare and future prospects of their own people are not being addressed, but petty, trivial issues are being “debate”, such as Lobsang Sangay’s photo is hung on the wall instead of Dalai Lama’s picture; Penpa Tsering’s drinking habit.

    These 4 points above show the lack of democracy within the exiled Tibetan government and how authoritarianism is being practiced when there are punishments towards the people who disagree or even merely questioning their governance as their governance does not bring results but bring worries to the Tibetans in exile.

    People always see Dorje Shugden issue is just a religion issue, yes it is a religion issue BUT IT IS ALSO A POLITICAL ISSUE. As we can see the pattern of how the exiled Tibetan government will “punish” people who have different view or stance.

    Thus we see the exiled Tibetan government allowing the discrimination and segregation towards Dorje Shugden practitioners and even implementing the unethical ban on Dorje Shugden practice. Yes, the Dalai Lama may “advise” people not to practice Dorje Shugden, but it DOES NOT MEAN the exiled Tibetan government is free to use this as a mean to oppress their own people, as a government to all people, they should protect all of the people regardless their religion and belief.

  10. Sarah on Mar 26, 2016 at 8:17 am

    I agree with Pastor Jean Ai that there is a “lack of maturity in the Tibetan leadership’s understanding of democratic principles”. Well said. The election campaign was reduced to mud-slinging and name calling. Reminds me of the current preliminary election campaign in the U.S., especially on the Republican side. When political leaders avoid the real issues and focus on attacking their rivals on a personal level, it shows their motivation.

  11. Pastor Henry Ooi on Mar 25, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    It is crystal clear the Tibetan leadership use their power to put down anyone whom they deem as not toeing the line,  like for example, Mr Lukar Jam Atsok. Another example is the ridiculous ban on the practice of Dorje Shugden. In the latter case, it is not only one person the Tibetan leadership put down, but hundreds of thousands of innocent people. And for what? Just because these people refused to stop their religious practice.

    Lukar Jam being a writer was too vocal against the Tibetan leadership and too close for comfort. Hence his political career was abruptly ended. I hope Lukar Jam has started planning for a political comeback.

    The Tibetan leadership has given the impression to the world that they only want candidates who are apple polishers, candidates who would not squeal on them. The Tibetan leadership want loyal candidates who kowtow to their demands, and who are immoral to want a slice of the big creamy cake.

    Tibetans can forget what their leadership can do for them, the leadership are too busy taking care of themselves. The people may close an eye if the Tibetan leadership get fatter but the least they can do is to do more to benefit their people instead of dividing them especially with the Dorje Shugden ban.

    Madam Dicki Chhoyang publicly said she will speak more after the elections. I wonder will she? And when?

  12. Stella Cheang on Mar 25, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    A couple of points came to mind:

    The Tibetan exile community consist of not more than 200,000 population whereas there are about 6 million Tibetan people in Tibet, China. It is somewhat unclear to me how a movement that sits outside of Tibet China and have not yield any form of progress in world stage in the past 6 decades, can be considered as still taking the fight for the freedom of 6 million Tibetans seriously. Perhaps this explain the silence on the Sino-Tibet issue.

    While the democracy process could be rather new to the Tibetan in exile community, the trivialness of the election campaign is mind-blogging. To think that this is a body empowered to bring 6million of Tibetans to freedom, but does nothing to secure the welfare of Tibetans. To make matter worse, the election process is tainted by mudslinging. In a nutshell, it is not hard to summarize that the election process and the demonstration of democracy by having a Sikyong is to revere the spiritual and culture leader, HHDL himself.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Jean Ai for sharing the insights on the on-going Tibetan election. This New York Times report seems more analytical and neutral by comparison to the Reuter’s piece.

    Humbly, bowing down,
    Stella Cheang

  13. Joy on Mar 25, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    Finally a newspaper reporting on REAL NEWS! Unlike Reuters, NY Times really highlighted the truth about what is really happening with the exile Tibetan leadership and giving us a lot of identifiable examples as evidences. This is just a glimpse of how the Tibetan Leadership have been operating and how they have been manipulating their people, using the Dalai Lama’s name and exploiting people’s loyalty to the Dalai Lama as a means to control and influence them for their own benefit. It really tells us a lot about their ruling and their mindset which is NOT democratic at all and with this kind of leadership, it is no wonder they lost their country. Sorry to say this, but I doubt even if Tibet got her independence back, she would be ruined with this lot running the country as one defends about putting his picture on the wall and the with his alcoholic gatherings. Great examples.

    One good thing that’s coming out of this ridiculous ‘undemocratic’ corrupted election is that Tibetans ARE SPEAKING UP and they now DARE to. Perhaps this is a good thing and why the Dalai Lama stepped down as a political/secular leader and started implementing the Sikyong position. I suppose more and more people are fed-up, especially those who are educated, the youths, the newer generation, those living abroad, they will stand up now because…
    1) they know the Dalai Lama is not going to live forever (sorry to say, but this is reality)
    2) they’ve already lost everything, what more can they lose?
    3) they are already in exile and are refuges, and some migrated to other parts of the globe hence they are already not ‘Tibetan’ citizen, hence they have more freedom of speech
    4) they’ve come to the realsiation that the future of Tibetans lies in their own hands, the choices they make now and the kind of life they wish to live and the kind of leaders they choose to lead them will either bring them down or bring them up… and so far sorry to say they’ve failed in all areas and on top of that they continue to DIVIDE their own people by
    1) banning people’s religious practice (Dorje Shugden)
    2) condemning, suppressing (and perhaps even threatening) those who have an opposing view from the Dalai Lama or anyone who dare to speak up for that matter like Mr. Lukar Jam and Ms Sharling as stated in this article.

    Now the world can get a clearer picture of the so called “compassionate” “democratic” Tibetan Leadership and perhaps from this really help look into the the corrupted leadership and really help Tibetans. Hopefully a change will come soon as more and more dare to speak up, and with that broad minded fair leaders will arise to genuinely work for their people and help preserve their culture.

  14. Frederick Law on Mar 25, 2016 at 2:56 am

    The New York Times article on the Tibetan election is written with broader view of the whole issue plaguing Tibetan, a non bias reporting and with sources that is more credible, compared to Reuters report on Dorje Shugden and China issue which is biased and full of personal agenda of the journalist.

    The recent Tibetan Election of the Sikyong, Tibetan version of Prime Minister is marred by charachter assasination, name calling between two Sikyong candidates. what makes it even worst is the way the electoral system that is being conducted in unfair manners, where the candidate such as Lukar Jam who is consider Anti- Dalai Lama was removed from the election, having publicly condemned His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

    You see, the two running candidate Penpa Tsering and Lobsang Sangay who are vying for the Sikyong post uses immature manner to tarnish the name the other. They are too focus on their own personal agenda, forgotten the fight for the rights of their own community, how to improve the education and welfare of the Tibetan people in exiled.

    These are the people who uses their authority to their own people, suppress the religious freedom of Dorje Shugden practitioners. Who never find methods to resolve the 19 years old issue on the ban on Dorje Shugden. 60 years in exile, 60 years of bad governance that has torn the Tibetan community apart, and continue to degenerate the beauty of Tibetan Buddhism due to their own selfish agenda.

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  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Oct 1. 2016 03:10 PM
    It is very important to practise Guru Devotion in Tibetan Buddhism. The relationship between a Guru and student is sacred. We must always follow our Guru instruction and maintain a clean samaya. Guru is like a living Buddha now that guide us to transform our mind and lead us to enlightenment.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/which-guru-shall-i-choose.html
  • nu’
    Saturday, Oct 1. 2016 05:30 AM
    no moon karma cumulation in next4h
    [no sender]
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Sep 30. 2016 06:32 PM
    Thank you Pastor David Lai for this interesting article. Since young i always like to hear stories of Ji Gong, even watch TV show about him and would like to go to Ji Gong temples .That time i would not understand much but do as my parents told .But now after reading these article i begin to understand better. Ji Gong is said to have possessed supernatural powers that he would often help the poor or anyone who needed help with his abilities. In Taoist religion,Ji Gong is well known as today.I have seen a Taoist medium in trance as Ji Gong. I have heard many interesting accounts of him helping those who need his help. Ji Gong has a good, kind heart and appearance should not be judge after all.Never judge a person by appearance…there is a quote what is important is inside..
    Thanks again …i do really enjoyed reading Ji Gong biography.and a reminder for us .. our mindset and motivation to benefit people when practicing Dharma.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/ji-gong-the-crazy-monk-of-china.html
  • nu’
    Friday, Sep 30. 2016 06:01 PM
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2016/sep/30/philippines-president-rodrigo-duterte-likens-himself-to-hitler-video degenerationTimeCallKaliyouga’speedUP? XXI ceuntry, better not mix politics&religion only info;:::#VEGETARIANISM slaughter, if ppl to much smoke can reborn as cow for more grass? Drugs as modern polutions can be almoust irreversable?disturb and destroy inner channels & pranas(winds-energies) .Some % youth ppl many kinds syntheticToo?!”drugs”use2use,much more than had been 30y ago?sure. Dharma yes, but denay outter conditions$? Some articles may be drugs vs dharma??Here some day
    [no sender]
  • sonny tan
    Friday, Sep 30. 2016 05:04 PM
    sonny tan on Sep 30, 2016 at 5:04 pm
    Thank you Vinnie and Beatrix for this revealing article, it is pretty sad to know that inequality still exists in India. I know that caste system is a well-accepted phenomenon but to cast aside women and put them away when they are no more of use is pretty hard for anyone to accept.
    Women, men, animals are all God’s creation but why segregate and dehumanize women and categorize them as ‘has been’ deprived them of basic human rights is something the Indian government has to urgently addressed soon. Perhaps it requires intervention by more developed nation through education and dialogue on such degrading acts of human.
    It would be a very long haul before we can see some little changes for it is not easy at all to change a system that has been happening for so long, perhaps by educating their young ones now and hopefully it can snowballed into a reality in the not too distant future. I hope that if substantial efforts are being enforced and regulations are introduced to make the Indians see that we are all equal in the eyes of God perhaps one day it can turn into an accepted reality.
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Sep 30. 2016 04:24 PM
    Sad…very sad..feel sorry for those widows in India.How can they did these to those widow who are not at fort loosing their husband.Even though it was a tradition practice which they called it Sati or sattee in ancient India.However it was ban during the British rule yet they did continue practicing it.Those unfortunate widows are treated as bad and unholy women by the society. And there’s one kind, caring man Dr Pathak and other human organization are trying to change the mindset ,attitude and behavior of the people towards widow Seeing the sufferings of these widows, Dr Pathak try to create and to bring the awareness on basic human rights and .improve the lives of these women.
    Thank you Vinnie and Beatrix for this article.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/the-unwanted-widows-of-india.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Friday, Sep 30. 2016 11:47 AM
    In the mind of many people, India, among a few other counties, is notorious for gender bias discrimination. In fact, from the many reports in recent years of gang rape cases and child marriages, I personally believe that India, and a few other countries, enshrine sexism on top of genderism. Therefore, the tradition of sati nuanced as disturbing but not surprising. Even though Queen Victoria had declared illegal to practice sati, it had not stopped for the last 2 centuries. It is hard to stomach that before 1987 (most of us were already born then) that many widows had to burn themselves alive to accompany the death of their maybe not so beloved husband. And should they chose not to die, they were given a life of harsh asceticism, which is actually stripping them off their identity and degrade them as public property. It should be the shame of mankind to have such practice. Thank you Vinnie and Beatrix for this article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/the-unwanted-widows-of-india.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Friday, Sep 30. 2016 11:19 AM
    The stories of Ji Gong have always been my favorite since childhood. The stories are highly entertaining. Ji Gong exhibited unorthodox behavior in his time but well loved by many people after his passing because of his many deeds that brought justice and castigations to the ones who deserved them. Besides his supernatural abilities, Ji Gong was famous for his wisdom. Pastor David has kindly explained here that Ji Gong’s wisdom is the attainment in understanding the ultimate truth. And I really appreciate that now we have the many tales of Ji Gong to give us familiar examples to what is ultimate truth versus conventional truth, a topic that is relatively profound but important to understand fully. Thank you Pastor David for this article. It also gives me a chance to take a stroll down memory lane, and a reason to try locate my Mandarin version of The Legend of Ji Gong.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/ji-gong-the-crazy-monk-of-china.html
  • Pastor Adeline Woon
    Friday, Sep 30. 2016 10:33 AM
    I must say the content is very accurate and it helped me to understand how my mind works better. There are so much to learn, explore, understand, and I am amazed how much a number entails. Thank you to the team who worked hard to get this written, uploaded and made it available for all of us!

    In order for us to excel in life, understanding who we really are is very important. In addition, if we make the efforts to understand others this way, I dare to say we will always be in the win-win situation, good things will come to us easily. The key to success is to understand ourselves and others for sure.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/numerology/numerology-calculator.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Friday, Sep 30. 2016 10:19 AM
    This is truly impressive! Kudos to the team who brought this thoroughly well researched and state of the art article to us. I had never knew that there are so many “keys” to unlock the door to understand one’s personality. Human is indeed a complex creature. We have so many facets. To start off with, there are 16 life path categories that differentiate us. And then we have our achievement number, birthday number and karmic debt number that further tell of a part of our character. Combined with our full name, we will have expression number, heart desire number, personality number and balance number.

    For me, this is like a fun new toy. I will cross reference my own personality from the different numbers, and also cross reference that of others. Sometimes I find the readings give conflicting idea of the same person. But I would like to take it as that giving ideas of a person (myself, for example) facet that I don’t see and know of. We are complex creature, I reckon it is common to have multiple characteristic. It is better to know than not to know.

    Thank you very much.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/numerology/numerology-calculator.html
  • Pastor Adeline Woon
    Friday, Sep 30. 2016 10:14 AM
    This is a comprehensive post about one of the important preliminaries practise we should engage in if we wish to excel and improve on our path to enlightenment. A few years ago, five of us got together to engage in the prostration retreat and achieve 100,000 prostrations collectively. Rinpoche has kindly composed the prayers for our retreat which includes the 35 Confessional Buddhas prayers. Rinpoche has mentioned it would be good if we can recite each of the 35 Buddhas’ name as we prostrate which is extremely powerful and efficacious in clearing our negative karmas that arise from our three doors.

    After reading the brief descriptions of the 35 Buddhas, it is obvious that all our negative karmas are caused by the six root of afflictions which is the roots of all our sufferings. As long as we do not purify the karmas arise from the six together with transforming our mind while receiving higher practices, there is no way for us to completely be liberated from sufferings.

    The thought of the number of negative karmas we accumulate every second with the present of the afflictions, especially ignorance, is very scary. It is like we continuously drinking poison while expecting our health to remain in the tip top condition. For those of us who focus on secular activities, unless we have merits and a huge amount of positive karmas, we are basically expediting the manifestation of our negative results. It is logical therefore to focus more on beneficial and meritorious activities while engaging spiritual and purification practices. As long as we continue to improve spiritually, there is definitely hope for us to be ultimately freed from samsara. The very least we can keep things at bay.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-35-confessional-buddhas.html
  • Pastor Adeline Woon
    Friday, Sep 30. 2016 10:13 AM
    For nu’ _____cc TR’desk.pls – It is shocking to learn that discrimination is still exist in today’s modern world where information is easily learned on the internet and education is available in most corners of the world.
  • nu’cc TR&TEAm
    Friday, Sep 30. 2016 04:15 AM
    intresting the ppl’VIEW dont’ you? https://www.facebook.com/berukhyentse2016/photos/pcb.1575423569432589/1575423372765942/?type=3&theater i havent been recently ((this sunday evening before monday friend with car cancel trip last minute, my carTOOld.to.go))…..but i been there few years ago. {before i know TR exists?,i had only IMAGINE?} @Jason hm..,and Guru is trying to train our mind to become less angersome.,,,,1) Mahasiddha Saraha: The “Arrow Shooter”Karmapas are Saraha’incarnations.
    [no sender]
  • Jason
    Friday, Sep 30. 2016 03:09 AM
    84 Mahasiddhas pictures attached with details explanation are really a effective teaching to me. It shows to me that the important of Guru Devotion.For us to gain higher attainment, we must follow and never ever abandon Guru’s instruction. Guru can foresight our future,and Guru is trying to train our mind to become less angersome.
    This is really interesting and inspiring write up.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/vajradhara-and-84-mahasiddhas.html
    [no sender]
  • Lin Mun
    Thursday, Sep 29. 2016 09:00 PM
    Thank you Pastor Seng Piow for sharing this true story. Rinpoche always shower kindness, compassion and love to everyone especially those in need. It also prove that puja can help to clear our obstacles.

    So glad that the baby is now a healthy boy 🙂

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-1-2.html

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CREDITS

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

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

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
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
1 week 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
1 week 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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.
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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.
2 weeks ago
Beautiful thangka of Vajra Yogini. Look at the details where she appears in visions and also takes people to Kechara.
Left to right:

His Holiness the Gaden Throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche (very young) and His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Prayer Hall during prayers.
3 weeks ago
Left to right: His Holiness the Gaden Throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche (very young) and His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Prayer Hall during prayers.
 It\'s nice when families support the spiritual journeys of their children. This is one beautiful family of Pastor Niral of Kechara
3 weeks ago
It's nice when families support the spiritual journeys of their children. This is one beautiful family of Pastor Niral of Kechara
Jog Falls a power place of Vajra Yogini and Heruka: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=108652
3 weeks ago
Jog Falls a power place of Vajra Yogini and Heruka: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=108652
Don\'t wait for the perfect group. Don\'t wait for the perfect person. Don\'t wait for the perfect situation. Don\'t expect yourself to be perfect. Don\'t even look for perfection at least in our realm as it does not exist or time will run out. Just get going and keep doing good. It\'s between you and yourself. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Don't wait for the perfect group. Don't wait for the perfect person. Don't wait for the perfect situation. Don't expect yourself to be perfect. Don't even look for perfection at least in our realm as it does not exist or time will run out. Just get going and keep doing good. It's between you and yourself. Tsem Rinpoche
Kind people are to be treasured. They make life worth living. ~Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Kind people are to be treasured. They make life worth living. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Don\'t you love her bag? She\'s stylish and at one with the universe. OM Shanti. ~Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Don't you love her bag? She's stylish and at one with the universe. OM Shanti. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Beautiful Manjushri carved in China
3 weeks ago
Beautiful Manjushri carved in China
Sent from Samsung tablet.
4 weeks 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
4 weeks ago
We must loyal to our guru. How to be loyal? To always do the teachings and practice he gave us and to conquer our laziness. We must make our gurus more important than our ego. So it is important to always let our guru win and not our ego. If our ego wins, many will suffer and we will suffer. If our guru wins, temporarily we suffer, but long term we will be happy and many around us will be happy. You see, the guru is always on the look out to give us methods and teachings that we can engage in to bring us happiness. The biggest happiness is overcoming our ego and it's traces and the guru always directly and indirectly focuses on that. Our guru will always love and help us, but we must meet our guru half way too. Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche with holy Mt Shasta of Northern California in the background: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=107430
1 month ago
Tsem Rinpoche with holy Mt Shasta of Northern California in the background: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=107430
We had a nice visit at Mt Shasta, a holy area in Northern California and did a good puja there: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=107430
1 month ago
We had a nice visit at Mt Shasta, a holy area in Northern California and did a good puja there: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=107430
I get requests from all around the world to do prayers. For certain individuals it\'s really dire, so I make special candle offerings to the Buddhas for them at my private residence. These are the candles that was offered recently for a very ill young little girl. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
I get requests from all around the world to do prayers. For certain individuals it's really dire, so I make special candle offerings to the Buddhas for them at my private residence. These are the candles that was offered recently for a very ill young little girl. Tsem Rinpoche
This is powerful and true. When someone disappoints you so many times, it cannot be an accident anymore. You need to have compassion for them to not do more negative karma and not allow it anymore and we need need to have compassion for ourselves too and not let them hurt us again.. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
This is powerful and true. When someone disappoints you so many times, it cannot be an accident anymore. You need to have compassion for them to not do more negative karma and not allow it anymore and we need need to have compassion for ourselves too and not let them hurt us again.. Tsem Rinpoche
Ra Lotsawa\'s personal sacred image of Yamantaka Vajrabhairava. Said to be housed in Samye Monastery, Tibet.
1 month ago
Ra Lotsawa's personal sacred image of Yamantaka Vajrabhairava. Said to be housed in Samye Monastery, Tibet.
Message from Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Message from Tsem Rinpoche
This Tara has such a beautiful face...artwork on this is nice
1 month ago
This Tara has such a beautiful face...artwork on this is nice
This is the road that leads to my house in the mountains. I have a small house and a lake nearby the house and I live there on vegan foods with my pets-Mumu loves running around the meadows. I have a large outdoor Vajra Yogini statue made of stone and we make offerings of juniper leaves burned to her daily as sang. I love living in the mountains away from the senseless repeating of actions in urban life. Urban life with its various pollutions do not connect us to who we are inside. I love this walking path to my retreat home where I will live for the rest of my life and on the way home, I pluck some flowers for my shrine to offer to the Buddha...thank you for allowing me to live here. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
This is the road that leads to my house in the mountains. I have a small house and a lake nearby the house and I live there on vegan foods with my pets-Mumu loves running around the meadows. I have a large outdoor Vajra Yogini statue made of stone and we make offerings of juniper leaves burned to her daily as sang. I love living in the mountains away from the senseless repeating of actions in urban life. Urban life with its various pollutions do not connect us to who we are inside. I love this walking path to my retreat home where I will live for the rest of my life and on the way home, I pluck some flowers for my shrine to offer to the Buddha...thank you for allowing me to live here. Tsem Rinpoche
 Rinpoche\'s quote is on my mom\'s final resting place. It was chosen by my dad and at that time he said it is the best one for both of them. My dad would be interred next to her when his time comes in the distant future. Pastor David Lai
1 month ago
Rinpoche's quote is on my mom's final resting place. It was chosen by my dad and at that time he said it is the best one for both of them. My dad would be interred next to her when his time comes in the distant future. Pastor David Lai
Kechara\'s kindly Pastor Shin is in Mumu\'s room doing long life Amitayus retreat and blessings for Mumu, Dharma and Oser (my three doggies) right now. I am very grateful for this. She will complete 10,000 mantras in three days mini retreat to increase their lives, plant positive imprints in their mindstream, bless their health and collect merit indirectly for their future lives to practice dharma..... Tsem Rinpoche August 28, 2016.
1 month ago
Kechara's kindly Pastor Shin is in Mumu's room doing long life Amitayus retreat and blessings for Mumu, Dharma and Oser (my three doggies) right now. I am very grateful for this. She will complete 10,000 mantras in three days mini retreat to increase their lives, plant positive imprints in their mindstream, bless their health and collect merit indirectly for their future lives to practice dharma..... Tsem Rinpoche August 28, 2016.
You must read this. Wait till you are in a quiet place and not out on the streets or some cafe, but in your rooms and read this twice at least..it is so powerful. I just found it. 


Enjoy it and understand it well: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=107335
1 month ago
You must read this. Wait till you are in a quiet place and not out on the streets or some cafe, but in your rooms and read this twice at least..it is so powerful. I just found it. Enjoy it and understand it well: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=107335
This is a short and powerful blog post..be ready to have your heart broken. But you should still read this: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=107363
1 month ago
This is a short and powerful blog post..be ready to have your heart broken. But you should still read this: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=107363
100 holy and beautiful Tsongkapas arrived today!
1 month ago
100 holy and beautiful Tsongkapas arrived today!
(Tsem Rinpoche\'s doggy) hehehe...Mumu\'s face is always so cute..Mumu is very human-like, when you look into his eyes, it seems like you\'re looking into a human\'s eyes. Mumu has a very different energy than other dogs. He is really like a human.-Karen Chong
1 month ago
(Tsem Rinpoche's doggy) hehehe...Mumu's face is always so cute..Mumu is very human-like, when you look into his eyes, it seems like you're looking into a human's eyes. Mumu has a very different energy than other dogs. He is really like a human.-Karen Chong
The amount of suffering, fear and pain they have to experience should be experienced by no one whether animal or human. It is heartbreaking to continuously see the sufferings animals endure for our \'pleasures\'. I do feel helpless, but helpless or not, we must create more awareness tirelessly. With awareness, their suffering can eventually be reduced. The ones who are slaughtered, it\'s too late. We can only shed tears but we have to still be concerned about future slaughter of animals and try to prevent. Helping and being kind to animals is not spiritual, strange or unnatural, but pure empathy of understanding their pain in that no sentient beings would want to suffer. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
The amount of suffering, fear and pain they have to experience should be experienced by no one whether animal or human. It is heartbreaking to continuously see the sufferings animals endure for our 'pleasures'. I do feel helpless, but helpless or not, we must create more awareness tirelessly. With awareness, their suffering can eventually be reduced. The ones who are slaughtered, it's too late. We can only shed tears but we have to still be concerned about future slaughter of animals and try to prevent. Helping and being kind to animals is not spiritual, strange or unnatural, but pure empathy of understanding their pain in that no sentient beings would want to suffer. Tsem Rinpoche
Dear Rinpoche,  I\'ve made some porridge for Rinpoche to have later when Rinpoche is hungry.  Thank you,  Beatrix (Sometime a pot of porridge tells you so much about another person and you just know why you appreciate them so much. Beatrix is such a caring and kind young person. It\'s a pleasure to work with her and have her around. Tsem Rinpoche)
1 month ago
Dear Rinpoche, I've made some porridge for Rinpoche to have later when Rinpoche is hungry. Thank you, Beatrix (Sometime a pot of porridge tells you so much about another person and you just know why you appreciate them so much. Beatrix is such a caring and kind young person. It's a pleasure to work with her and have her around. Tsem Rinpoche)
Sent from Samsung tablet.
1 month ago
Sent from Samsung tablet.
Keep it up!
1 month ago
Keep it up!
Karen does a nice sharing
1 month ago
Karen does a nice sharing
Something nice from Wan San
1 month ago
Something nice from Wan San
The holy statue of Vajra Yogini at Sanku, Nepal
1 month ago
The holy statue of Vajra Yogini at Sanku, Nepal
“We need, in a special way, to work twice as hard to help people understand that the animals are fellow creatures, that we must protect them and love them as we love ourselves.” 
― César Chávez
1 month ago
“We need, in a special way, to work twice as hard to help people understand that the animals are fellow creatures, that we must protect them and love them as we love ourselves.” ― César Chávez
Beautiful monastery in Eastern Tibet.
1 month ago
Beautiful monastery in Eastern Tibet.
An alpine lake at more than 4000 meters in elevation in eastern Tibet
1 month ago
An alpine lake at more than 4000 meters in elevation in eastern Tibet
This is Mount Kailash in Tibet where Vajra Yogini resides. Many Tibetans will go and pay homage to this mountain and do prayers at the base.
1 month ago
This is Mount Kailash in Tibet where Vajra Yogini resides. Many Tibetans will go and pay homage to this mountain and do prayers at the base.
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ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

  • October 1, 2016 04:00
    Thorim asked: Hello, Recently I tried to "mix" the Shenrezig visualisation with Tonglen by: visualising clear compassionate lights coming from Shenrezig to me at the inspiration and during expiration these lights go to all sentients beings, all of that will reciting the mani and it seems to "work" well. Even if it is not an "official" pratice, is it OK? Thanks
    No reply yet
  • September 30, 2016 18:00
    Demian asked: Would the Himalayan Art website be a trustworthy website? As for T'siu Marpo, this website: http://taramandala.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Dzinpa-Rangdrol-Protectors-for-Complete-Transmission.pdf says that he's a worldly protector and the son of a demon when here it says that he's an emanation of Hayagriva. Would prayer wheels with mantras in English have the same effect as traditional ones? Is it okay to visualize Guan Yin bodhisattva illuminating on you when chanting "Om Mani Padme Hum" or "Om Mani Peme Hung"? I read about the oracle of Delphi who took possession of the sun god Apollo. Would that mean that Apollo is an enlightened being? Are Hayagriva and the 2 armed Mahakala the wrathful forms of Avalokitesvara? I found that Mahakala is a form of the Hindu god Shiva. If Kalratri is a form of Vajrayogini, wouldn't that mean Vajrayogini is also the Hindu goddess Kali? How does one purify meat? How does one make holy Buddhist water and blessed/concentrated objects and statues?
    pastor answered: Dear Demian, Thank you for your interesting questions. It nice to see you are reading a lot and learning well. I’ve answered your questions in sections again to make it easier for you to read. A) Yes, the people who make the website do a lot of research into the information they include. From the looks of the website their research is in depth and very clear. However not all the information on the website may be correct. For that you would need to check the sources they cite for further clarification. When possible it is good to check the original source. That being said it looks trustworthy. B) Tsiu Marpo is definitely an emanation of Hayagriva, who in turn is an emanation of Chenresig. His practice is prevalent in two traditions, the Nyingma and the Gelug, in which he is known as Kache Marpo. Tsiu Marpo is actually the special protector of Samye Monastery. Originally Gyalpo Pehar was the special protector of this monastery. However, when Gyalpo Pehar moved to Nechung Monastery, located near Drepung Monastery, Tsiu Marpo became Samye’s special protector. As a protector in his own right, he has his own prayers, rituals and ceremonies, etc. After Dorje Shugden manifested, Tsiu Marpo saw that Dorje Shugden and his practice can benefit many sentient beings. Therefore he took an oath to become one of Dorje Shugden’s attendant ministers. He helps Dorje Shugden to aid practitioners in their spiritual journey. In this form he is known as Kache Marpo and his practice was encouraged by the Great 5th Dalai Lama who is known to have written prayers to him. He was originally one of the Seven Blazing brothers who are ‘tsen’ spirits or yakshas. It is said that in a previous life he was a great practitioner living in a forest. But due to his unusual appearance and also a misunderstanding he was thought of a dangerous man. Fearful, the locals hunted him down and decapitated him, cutting him into pieces. Out of the various body parts arose the Seven Blazing Brothers of which Tsiu Marpo is the chief. Emanations of the enlightened beings who appear in worldly form take a body that exists with samsara. For example there are three types of protectors. The first are enlightened protectors who appear in forms outside of samsara. For example the various Mahakalas or Kalarupa for example. Then there are worldly protectors who are beings who have taken oaths to protect the Dharma but are not enlightened, such as Gyalpo Pehar/Nechung. The third type are the enlightened beings, who emanate within worldly forms, for example Dorje Shugden, Kache Marpo, etc. This is because due to karmic affinity, being in a form within samsara, the enlightened beings are closer to us. This allows them to help us quicker. This is the same as tulkus, who are emanations of the enlightened beings in the form of humans. Similarly Kache Marpo is an emanation of Hayagriva in the form of a tsen spirit. You can read more about Kache Marpo here: http://www.dorjeshugden.org/blog/who-is-kache-marpo. C) In regards to prayer wheels. I have not come across the prayer wheels that have mantras written in English. However written mantras are the expression of the actual sound of the mantra, which is where the energies of the enlightened beings are. Traditionally speaking the mantras are written in Tibetan or Sanskrit. Therefore I do not see anything wrong with having a prayer wheel with mantras written in English as long as the mantras are written correctly, and the prayer wheel is constructed properly as mantras are very sacred. D) Yes, there is nothing wrong with visualising Guan Yin while reciting ‘Om Mani Peme Hung’. This is because Guan Yin is none other than Chenresig in the form of a woman. In India, Chenresig appeared in a male form. In China, however, since culturally speaking women were more associated with compassion than men, Chenresig appeared in the form of a female – Guan Yin. However, if you want to engage in more advanced forms of visualisation during mantra recitation and prayers after taking tantric empowerment, the visualisations would need to follow the traditional forms, in which Chenresig appears as man. E) You are right that the Delphic oracle took trance of Apollo. However this does not mean that Apollo was an enlightened being. The tradition of oracles has existed within cultures all over the world for centuries. Oracles usually take trance of worldly deities and beings. This is different from taking trance of the enlightened protectors in worldly form such as Dorje Shugden. This is because these beings are enlightened beings, they are able to help us in our spiritual journey. In the case of Dorje Shugden, he is an enlightened being in worldly form. His mind is Manjushri. Apollo on the other hand is a powerful god, but he is not an enlightened being. F) Yes, both Hayagriva and 2-armed Mahakala are both emanations of Chenresig. Mahakala is also the name of a form of the Hindu god Shiva. While they share the same name they are not the same being. Similarly, Vajrayogini is not the same being as Kalratri. Buddha Shakyamuni arose in the form of Heruka and Vajrayogini to counter the energies of Shiva and Kalratri that were having a negative effect on the world at that time. Buddha Shakyamuni took a similar form as Shiva and Kalratri but infinitely more powerful due to his enlightened state. Similarly, Vajrayogini is not the same as Kali. You can read more about this here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/twenty-four-holy-places-eight-great-charnel-grounds.html. G) In regards to meat, there is a mantra to recite: OM ABIRA KHE TSARA HUNG (x7) After reciting this mantra, blow on any meat that you eat. This purifies the actual fault of eating meat (the non-virtuous act of killing) and blesses the mind of the sentient being whose flesh you are eating to have a good rebirth. However, as Buddhist practitioners who are developing compassion, this would extend to all sentient beings, including animals. Therefore from a higher perspective, one should strive to live a vegetarian lifestyle. This is the more compassionate option that we should strive to achieve as a physical expression or our compassion. H) In regards to blessed water, at Kechara this is usually done by His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche or advanced practitioners who have learnt to do so. This process involves the recitation of many prayers and also meditations. In regards to the consecration of statues, there are many ways to do this. One of the best ways is to have trained practitioners invoke the enlightened beings to reside in the statue. This includes having a Rabnye-Soongdrup consecration performed, with the actual statue/image present during the puja. The Soongdrup puja purifies Buddha images, mantras and other holy items that are usually placed into a Buddha statue. This is followed by the Rabnye puja, which invokes, blesses and seals the energies and blessings of the enlightened beings within the statue. This is one of the best methods of consecrating Buddha statues. This puja is performed by Kechara Puja House, and is available here: http://www.vajrasecrets.com/rabney-soongdrup-consecration-puja-fund. You can also visit Kechara House if you are based in Malaysia to arrange this puja. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • September 29, 2016 00:40
    Chen asked: Can u please talk about the vajrayana secret mother pills . Also called the black mother pills
    pastor answered: Dear Chen, Thank you for your question. Regarding the pills you have mentioned, I believe you are referring to the Rinchen Rilnag pills, commonly referred to as the ‘Black Pills’. They are also known as the ‘Karmapa’s Black Pills’. The larger versions of these pills are known as the ‘Mother Rinchen Rilnag Pills’. These holy pills are actually made His Holiness the Karmapa from the Karma Kagyu tradition. These pills are extremely rare and made of substances such as precious metals and various jewels. They are said to confer a lot of blessings, healing and protection for those that eat them. They can even be carried with you for protection and good fortune. The healing effects of the Rinchen Rilnag have been known to help those with chronic illnesses, including complete remission. The pills are also known to help with conditions such as depression and anxiety. For those that cannot recover from their illness due to the force of their ripening karma, it is said that eating the pills creates a very strong connection with His Holiness the Karmapa. When they finally pass over from this life, it is said this connection allows His Holiness, who is an emanation of Chenresig, to guide them to a better and fortunate rebirth. The pills are said to be made using implements that belonged to Marpa Lotsawa and Milarepa, two of Tibet’s most well-known Buddhist masters. These implements are what give the pills their black colour. Both smaller ‘baby’ and larger ‘mother’ pills are rolled by His Holiness during the process and placed in the 3rd Karmapa Rangjung Dorje’s begging bowl over night before being distributed. The whole process includes the recitation of sacred prayer and meditation. It is also said that the ‘mother’ pills have the power to multiple or create ‘baby’ pills by themselves if owned by sincere practitioners. You can learn more about Milarepa and teachings on the mind here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/our-neurotic-mind.html. While Kechara does not have these pills, we do have a variety of other holy pills available for practitioners to invite and benefit from. You can invite them from Kechara House, our Kechara Paradise outlets in Malaysia or online from http://www.vajrasecrets.com/precious-pills. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • September 28, 2016 03:15
    Harold Musetescu asked: Do you have any information on the "Vajrapani in Garuda form" practice?
    pastor answered: Dear Harold Musetescu, Thank you for your interesting question. I believe by this, you may be referring to the practice of Trakpo Sumtril. This is a form of Vajrapani combined with Hayagriva and Garuda. In this form Vajrapani is depicted with a horse’s head on top of his own, representing the deity Hayagriva and King Garuda right at the top. This practice is therefore a ‘three-in-one’ practice. It is extremely effective to counter severe and life threatening illness, increase general health, protect against malignant forms of spirit harm and black magic, as well as to rid the mind of the three poisons, which leads to enlightenment. His Eminence the 25th Tsem has recommended this practice for people in the past and has taught of its immense benefits. Vajrapani appears in his usual form, dark blue in colour with one face and two arms. In his upraised right hand he wields a golden vajra with five spokes, while his left hand performs the threatening gesture at the level of his chest. His wears tiger skin garments with his right foot bent and left outstretched, surrounded by wisdom fire. He is adorned at the crown with a white ‘Om’, at the throat with a red ‘Ah’ and at the heart with a blue ‘Hum’. His yellowish-brown hair is upraised, amidst which is a green horse’s head representing the deity Hayagriva. On the crown of this horse’s head is the King Garuda. King Garuda has a white body, three eyes and a vajra beak. His wings are made of swords and between his two horns of turquoise is a magnificent burning gem. In his hands he holds the four types of nagas and eats them, showing that the practice can overcome all types of harm caused by nagas. His holy mantra is: OM BENZAPANI HAYAGRIVA GARUDA HUM PHET Below, i have included a picture showing Trakpo Sumtril. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • September 27, 2016 00:56
    Demian asked: What exactly are the 4 Remati sisters? I know that Palden Lhamo is one of them, but who are the others? I was reading an article from the Rigpa wiki where I got confused. It was on the 12 Tenma sisters, but the names of the 12 didn't match the 3 categories. What does this mean? As for prayers, do they have to be in Tibetan or Sanskrit, or can they be in any language? If they have to be in Tibetan, then where can I find an online English to Tibetan website for large praises and prayers? Who exactly is Nyenchen Thanglha? I've read that he had to be bound 4 times by Vajrapani, Vajrakilaya, Heruka, and finally by Guru Rinpoche do to being powerful. But how can enlightened beings like Vajrapani have a hard time binding a powerful Bon mountain spirit? Is it wise for a child to perform Dorje Yudronma divination alone? If so, where can I find the invocations? According to this link: http://taramandala.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Dzinpa-Rangdrol-Protectors-for-Complete-Transmission.pdf it described Dorje Legpa(aka. Nechung) to be approached for more mundane and personal matters. But why would that be so if he simply gets many prophecies wrong? I thought the consort of Palden Lhamo was Yamantaka(since Saraswati is Palden Lhamo and her consort Manjushri is Yamantaka). However, according to the same link above, it says that Mahakala is Palden Lhamo's consort. Is that even true? Does a torma have to be made of only food? Because I found plastic tormas being sold as well. As for prayer wheels, where are they mentioned in Buddhist teachings? Do the mantras have to be written in Tibetan/Sanskrit with gold ink, or can they be written in pencil lead over and over in English? And how does one make a simple prayer wheel? What are the views on Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton elections? Because both sides are terrible with Trump being racist and greedy while Hillary being a liar, poisoner of old people, and corrupt. Which one would be a wise choice to choose in Buddhist teachings? Is it true that Pehar Gyalpo was once a Mongolian and Tibetan god? According to this website: http://www.trimondi.de/SDLE/Part-2-07.htm it says he was a war god who hates Tibetans. As for this website: http://www.trimondi.de/SDLE/Part-2-08.htm why would the 4 armed and 6 armed Mahakalas be used for war when they are enlightened dharmapalas? As for the mention of the 9 headed Chinese demon, is that Rahula? Because the article says that the demon defeated Mahakala.
    pastor answered: Dear Demian, Thank you for your interesting questions. I have answered your questions in sections. Please see below: A) In regards to the Remati sisters, there are some differing classifications. Palden Lhamo in her aspect as Magzor Gyalmo, which is the form we commonly see her in, is not part of the worldly Remati sisters, although she is often times referred to as ‘Remati’. The four Remati sisters are actually part of the 12 Tenma Goddesses. Under Magzor Gyalmo, as part of her retinue, are the Five Tseringma Sisters or the Five Long-Life Sisters, a group of worldly goddesses. Under this group are the 12 Tenma Goddesses. This group is usually divided into three groups for the purposes of classification. One of these three groups are known as the Four Remati Sisters. Rather than being the same as Magzor Gyalmo, they are part of her entourage. As such, some people mistakenly class her as part of the Remati sisters group since she shares the name. B) I have looked at the page you referred to in relation to the 12 Tenma Goddess. The reason you got confused is because the two lists are different. This is because different traditions name them or identify them differently. I have another source, which lists the goddesses as follows: 1. Dhagnyi Chenmo Dorje Kundrakma 2. Paldan Hari Dorje Yamakyong 3. Gangkyi Yumchen Dorje Kunzangma 4. Drokchen Khordul Dorje Geg-kyi-tso 5. Gangkar Shamey Dorje Chenchikma 6. Kharak Khyungtsun Dorje Pelgi Yum 7. Serchen Khading Dorje Lumo 8. Mari Rabjam Dorje Drakmo Gyal 9. Kongtsun Demo Dorje Pokham Kyong 10. Tsenla Laro Dorje Menchikma 11. Mentsun Chenmo Dorje Yamosil 12. Yuyi Drilbu Dorje Zulema As mentioned earlier, the exact names of the goddesses will differ slightly amongst the various traditions. This is not to say that they are not the same, it is just that their names appear differently. C) When you recite prayers, you can recite in whatever language you are familiar with. For example, in my own daily practice I used to recite only in English. Now that I have become a little more familiar, I recite in Tibetan as well. However, it is not a rule that the prayers must be recited in Tibetan. When the meaning behind the prayers and the motivation from the side of the practitioner is good, then prayers work. Some people prefer to recite in Tibetan because there is flow and rhythm to the prayers, compared to the English translation but this is not necessary. You can recite in any language you are familiar with. D) Nyenchen Thanglha is a deity that is indigenous to Tibet. In fact he is the mountain god of the Nyenchen Thanglha mountain range and interestingly is the god associated with the plateau upon which the Potala Palace is built on in Lhasa. When worldly deities are bound by an enlightened being, they stay bound. When stories relate that they were bound again, this actually means that they retook their oaths or promises in front of other enlightened beings. This is somewhat similar to practitioners re-taking their vows, for example their refuge, bodhisattva and tantric vows, in order to repair them. So this does not mean that the enlightened beings are not powerful, but from the side of the god, that he made his oaths again. E) In regards to Dorje Yudronma divination it is better to have the received the necessary empowerments, permission and commentaries from a Guru before engaging in the divination. This is to ensure that the practitioner has the qualifications to engage in the divination successfully. It is also advisable that one train under the guru to understand everything about the divination method before starting to practice on your own. F) Dorje Legpa and Nechung are not the same deity. Nechung is known to be a Gyalpo spirit, whereas Dorje Legpa is actually a Theurang spirit. Therefore they are two entirely different beings. Dorje Legpa is actually part of the ‘Ma Za Dam Sum’ or the ‘Three Terma Protectors’ who are propitiated mainly in the Nyingma tradition. You can read more about Dorje Legpa here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/dharma-protectors-of-tibetan-buddhism.html. In regards to Nechung, you can read more here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/nechung-the-retiring-devil-of-tibet.html. As for why prophecies from the Nechung oracle can be mistaken, please see my previous replies to you. If I remember clearly, I have given some possible reasons already. G) You are correct that Yamantaka is an emanation of Manjushri. His consort is actually known as Vajra Vetali and is an emanation of Saraswati. Yamantaka and Vajra Vetali are in the form of a Yidam or meditational deity. Yamantaka/Vajra Vetali’s practice belongs to the Anuttarayoga tantra or Highest Yoga Tantra. Through this practice one can gain enlightenment in just one lifetime. In the case of Palden Lhamo, she is also an emanation of Saraswati but in the form of a Dharma protector. The role of a Dharma protector is to clear obstacles and provide the necessary conditions for practice. Their practice does not lead to enlightenment, but aids practitioners so they can concentrate on the practices that DO lead to enlightenment. This includes the Yidam practice of Yamantaka as mentioned above. Palden Lhamo is known as the consort of Mahakala, which is true. There are actually over 75 different forms of Mahakala, all of whom are emanations of different Buddhas. For example Four-Faced Mahakala is an emanation of Manjushri in the form of a protector. Six-Armed Mahakala on the other hand is an emanation of Chenresig. Therefore Palden Lhamo can be the consort of Mahakala. H) Torma itself is an offering of food to the Buddhas. Therefore traditionally it is made of food substances, which usually include barley flour and butter. There are actually a lot of different uses and variety of torma for different purposes. The most common form of torma is the one associated with the row of sensory offerings offered on one’s altar. This can be replaced with a pack of biscuits if you like. Other people replace this with a fixed torma offering. These are the plastic ones you have come across. Most commonly, these are used for fixed sensory offerings on one’s altar to represent the offering of food. I) There are many different ways to make a prayer wheel. You are right that for traditional prayer wheel mantras were written with very good ink or gold if the mantras were handwritten. These days however, I believe that people print out the mantras necessary rather than write them by hand. If you would like to know more about prayer wheels and their construction, you should get hold of the book ‘Wheel of Great Compassion’ by Lorne Ladner. This book explains the manner in which one can create their own prayer wheel. I have not read the book myself but am told it includes the information you would need for this. J) In regards to politics, I am not familiar with the current elections to possibly make an informed decision. From a Buddhist perspective however, a good candidate would be the one who promotes peace, harmony, well-being and religious harmony. You should not support those that perform dubious actions, lie, cheat or who persecute others. Instead support those with positive qualities. K) In regards to Nechung’s history, yes he is considered a very powerful deity. There are differing accounts to his origin, some say he was a war god from Mongolia while others say that he was an ancient god from Persia. However, in both accounts he came to Tibet and was very powerful. Then he was subdued by Guru Rinpoche who bound him by oath to serve the Dharma. You can read more here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/nechung-the-retiring-devil-of-tibet.html L) In regards to the last section of your questions, the links you have provided are from an unreliable source. The whole purpose of this website is to deride Buddhism in all its forms as something negative. This is obviously not the case. The rituals associated with 4-Armed and 6-Armed Mahakala would have been used to clear obstacles. This would have been portrayed as a spiritual battle. What the protectors would actually have been battling against would have been the negative karma of the people at the time. In regards to the nine-headed demon, I do not believe that it would have been Rahula because Rahula is oath bound, which means he would not go against an enlightened being. This means he would definitely not fight with any of the Mahakala protectors. When they refer to the nine-headed demon, it does not refer to Rahula. I hope this helps. Thank you.
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