The Unwanted Widows of India

By | Sep 28, 2016 | Views: 1,018
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Dear friends around the world,

We are very honoured to have been given this opportunity to write on His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche’s blog. We wanted to get this information out to create more awareness on basic human rights that are denied to ‘minorities’ within society, such as widows. We wanted to educate others that minorities are humans too and just like us, they are worthy of respect and kindness. In particular, we wanted to highlight the works of Dr Pathak who is doing a great job in assisting people in need. We hope that more people will recognise his works and contribute in any way possible to help him accomplish such a great mission.

Thank you,
Vinnie and Beatrix

 


 

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According to some parts of the Hindu tradition, women are required to take part in the sati or suttee practice when their husband passes away. This tradition was commonly practised in ancient India and it was not until 1829 that British officials outlawed the practice within their territories. The following decades saw the introduction of similar laws by authorities in the princely states of India. In 1861, the general ban towards the sati practice for the whole of India was issued by Queen Victoria. The sati practice was banned in Nepal in the 1920s.

 

What is Sati?

Sati is the practice among some Hindu communities where recently widowed women – whether voluntarily, by use of force, or coercion – commit suicide after the death of their husbands. The most practised form of sati is when the woman burns herself to death on her husband’s funeral pyre. Other forms of sati include being buried alive with her husband’s corpse or drowning.

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The term sati is derived from the name of the goddess Sati, also known as Dakshayani, who self-immolated because she was not able to stomach her father Daksha’s humiliation towards her (living) husband Shiva.

The practice of sati was found among many castes and at every social level. This included both women who were uneducated, as well as the highest-ranking and highly educated women of the time. Sati was considered the highest expression of wifely devotion to their deceased husband. The act of sati was also viewed as a way for widows to purge their sins, releasing them from the karmic circle of birth and death. It was seen as a way to salvation for the dead husband and seven generations of their offspring.

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Another factor behind the sati practice was the ownership of wealth and property. Upon her husband’s death, all possessions of the widow would be transferred to his family, leaving the widow impoverished. In fact, the alternative way that widows were supposed to live after their husbands died was that of a chaste lady. This meant leading a life of asceticism, renouncing all social activities, shaving her head, eating only boiled rice and sleeping on coarse matting (recorded by Moore, 2004). It is because of this lifestyle that many widows chose death in the past.

In 1987, the Indian Government passed the Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act. As outlined in Part I, Section 2(c) sati is defined as,

The burning or burying alive of:

  • Any widow along with the body of her deceased husband or any other relative or with any article, object or thing associated with the husband or such relative; or
  • Any woman along with the body of any of her relatives, irrespective of whether such burning or burying is claimed to be voluntary on the part of the widow or the women or otherwise.

With the Prevention of Sati Act, any form of support, glorification or attempt to commit sati was made illegal. Supporting the practice of sati, which includes coercing or forcing someone to commit sati, can be punished by the death sentence or life imprisonment. For those who glorify sati, this is punishable with one to seven years in prison.

 

Why Do Widows Leave Their Families?

Shunned by society after their husbands die, widows are seen as a financial drain on their families. Hence many widows leave and end up living as the poorest of the poor not because of religious reasons, but because of tradition.

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After their husbands’ deaths, widows are not allowed to remarry no matter their age and they are not allowed to wear jewelry. They are forced to shave their heads and to wear white clothes until their death. In some areas of India, widows are allowed to keep their hair and dress in coloured saris but this is more an exception than the rule; in most communities in India, widows are not allowed to do this. Thus after the passing of their husbands, the widows no longer have the life they wished for.

Due to the constant struggle these women face, many run away to the holy city of Vrindavan, a popular Hindu pilgrimage place. Also known as the ‘City of Widows’, the widows go to Vrindavan in the hopes that death will free them from all the emotional and physical suffering they face.

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Without education or any skills that would make them employable, the widows beg for alms, or singing religious hymns and chants. Through this method, the widows can earn around USD0.15 (approx. INR10) and a hot meal. Some of the younger and more attractive women are sold into prostitution. In this City of Widows with more than 4,000 temples, no one goes hungry. Locals and pilgrims offer food and money to the widows to gain merits for their spiritual paths. They do however, have to ration the food they receive and though a lucky few have very rundown rented accommodation, most are forced to seek shelter wherever they can. Space in shelters and government-run care homes is limited, so most women are forced to sleep in the streets.

Due to the incorrect projections people have about widows, these women suffer neglect and are looked down upon for the rest of their lives. Moved by the plight of these widows, organisations have formed with the aim to uplift and improve the lives of these women. These human rights organisations play a very important role in changing the lives of widows by giving them hope to live on.

 

The Importance of Human Rights Organisations

Human rights organisations play an extremely important role in society, especially for the forgotten, abandoned and disenfranchised sectors and communities. Because of their inability to speak out about the ongoing denial of their basic human rights, it is easy for society to forget about them and to somehow assume that these ‘minorities’ are worthless. It is in these situations that human rights organisations are needed to protect and assist the powerless to get back on their own two feet. One such organisation working for the welfare of India’s widows is the Sulabh International Social Service Organisation.

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Sulabh International Social Service Organisation

This is a non-profit voluntary social organisation founded in 1970 by Dr Bindeshwar Pathak. It was founded on the Gandhian ideals of the emancipation of scavengers (a class of people traditionally considered in Indian society to be unclean and were used to carry human waste). This organisation has been working very hard to eliminate the social prejudice against human scavenger class.

 

Dr Bindeshwar Pathak

Name: Br. Bindeshwar Pathak

Date of Birth: April 2, 1943

Place of Birth: Rampur Baghel, District Vaishali, Bihar, India

Education:

  • M.A in Sociology
  • M.A in English
  • Ph.D. on “Liberation of Scavengers through Low Cost Sanitation”, from Patna University
  • Patna, Bihar. R.Litt on “Eradication of Scavenging and Environmental Sanitation in India- a Sociology Study”, from Patna University, Patna, Bihar.

Dr Pathak is an influential humanist and social reformer of contemporary India. His compassion has driven him to stand up for the neglected minority. A social reformer who has benefited millions of lives, Dr Pathak is an internationally-renowned expert on sanitation. He developed low-cost toilet technology, a two-pit pour flush toilet popularly known as the Sulabh Shauchalaya System. His contributions are widely known in the areas of poverty alleviation and integrated rehabilitation programme for the much needed people in India.

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Widows of Varanasi

Sulabh International has adopted hundreds of widows in Varanasi. In Varanasi, widows live scattered in private residences as well as in different Ashrams. In order to survive, many of them have to beg on the streets to support themselves. As such, Dr Pathak vowed to go out his way to help these neglected women.

Following the deaths of their husbands, widows face humiliation and degradation from their families and society which often treats widowhood as something inauspicious. Seeing the sufferings of these widows, DrPathak said that his primary concern is to change the mindset, attitude and behaviour of the people towards widows.

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“In our country, there are millions of such unfortunate women who lose their husbands untimely, and become widows. Most of them are old, infirm, disabled and have no source of livelihood. Their position becomes miserable if they have dependent children. When a widow does not have any permanent source of income or livelihood, she is driven out of her in-law’s home or even from her parental home. Many such widows can be seen begging in the streets and public places. They are termed as witches and tortured even by their own kith and kin and others. They are treated as bad and unholy women by the society”.

“Ours is a welfare State. It is the foremost duty of the State to initiate welfare measures, protect them and provide maintenance to them so that they can live with dignity and honour”.

Source: http://www.sulabhinternational.org/after-vrindavan-sulabh-adopts-widows-of-varanasi-april-28-2013/

 

How to Donate

To find out more on how to make donations, please submit your inquiries to [email protected]

 

Contact Information

Email:

  • [email protected]
  • [email protected]
  • [email protected]
  • [email protected]

Websites:

  • http://www.sulabhinternational.org
  • http://www.sulabhtoiletmuseum.org

Address in Delhi:

Founder, Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement Sulabh Bhawan, Mahavir Enclave Palam Dabri Road, New Delhi 110045.

Phone:

+91-11-25031518 & 25031519, 25057748

 

Sources of Information:

  • http://www.sulabhinternational.org/contact/
  • http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/101east/2013/09/201391773152163100
    .html
  • http://www.sulabhinternational.org

 

For more interesting information:

 

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Vinnie Tan

About Vinnie Tan

Vinnie first met H.E. Tsem Rinpoche when she was five and has the good fortune to be connected since. Finding corporate jobs uninspiring, she is taking a few years off to learn and contribute in a Dharma environment.

She often shares that learning about Buddhism has given her a better roadmap to a fulfilling life. Vinnie is also a big fan of anything supernatural, from vampires to magic.
Vinnie Tan

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38 Responses to The Unwanted Widows of India

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  1. Anne Ong on Feb 26, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    Thank you Vinnie and Beatrice for the sharing on The Unwanted Widows of India.This is the first time ,a lot of us get to know the origin on the practice of Sati.We need to create more awareness on this discrimination so that widows in India do not have to suffer like this. Just because it is a tradition that was accepted in society, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be changed. Creating sufferings onto others is wrong on all levels and must be stopped. Life is precious and should not be wasted just like that just because their husbands died.

  2. Jacinta Goh on Dec 31, 2016 at 12:07 am

    A shocking news to me. How come they are being discriminated in such a way where death is probably the only solution for them? Uneducated and not being exposed to the outer world are partly responsible for this. Imagine the untimely death of their husband? We will not be able to understand their feelings well at that time. I believe they will be praying for their husband’s health most of the time. Furthermore, if they are poverty-stricken, abused, facing environmental issues and etc, it will definitely affect their minds greatly. The most we can do is to social media this, but we will not be able to totally rid off the worries and problems that they are having. *in deep thought.

    Thank you Rinpoche, Vinnie and Beatrix.

  3. Wan Wai Meng on Dec 11, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    This is truly a revelation for me, reading this article. No one should be subject to such a thing, when they just lost their husbands.

    One of the reasons why I love the blog so much is that it is a blog that is trying to raise awareness of social inequality and even bring about social change. Social change for any benefit for the blog or the contributors, but for the betterment of society at large.

  4. Lowkhjb on Oct 28, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Thank you Beatrice and Vinnie for the sharing on The Unwanted Widows of India.This is the first time ,a lot of us get to know the origin on the practice of Sati.

    Some deemed it as a spiritual practice for selfish reason.The main culprit ,which started all these was “GREED and IGNORANCE”.We are glad that these practice is outlawed .But we sympathize for those who are still caught up by the web of false tradition and ignorance as female gender in India are not well educated.

    We certainly hope the Government of India would focus on educating their population to bring them out of poverty.Both physically and spiritually.One without the other would only lead to ignorance .

  5. Justin Cheah on Oct 22, 2016 at 2:18 am

    Thank you Beatrice and Vinnie for the article. I am glad such “cultural practice” is no longer encouraged and there are laws protecting the vulnerable widows in modern times like this. Life is precious and should not be wasted just like that just because their husbands died. It makes me wonder if similar punishing ordeal will happen to the widowers. I assume it won’t happen to widowers because there is a discrimination for ladies and laws those days tend to favours men. Nevertheless this article is worth a read and learn from. Thank you

  6. Vivian Ong on Oct 22, 2016 at 1:37 am

    Thank you Vinnie and Beatrix for the informative article. I really didn’t know that there still got people who practice Sati. This is a very inhuman practice. Everyone deserved their rights to live. Those who force the widows to commit sati will have very bad karma. Even the widows who commit sati involuntary will also have bad ending as they will end up in the hungry ghost realm. Many thanks to Dr Pathak for saving the lives of the widows. May more be saved and may the widows will get back on their feet to become a better and positive person.

    With folded palms,
    Vivian

  7. shelly tai on Oct 21, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Thank you Vinnie and Beatrix for this write up. Is frustrating how can such a discrimination can happen during the era now no doubt there is law that again this Sati tradition but the general society will not so easy change their mind set so the organisation like Sulabh International need to create more awareness among the India people because education is important to understand all these widows suffering and pain without education people will follow blindly what is normally practice by general public .

  8. Adeline Tan on Oct 12, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    The practice of ‘sati’ in India among the Hindu communities is very cruel and inhumane. The discrimination against the widows is so unfair they are not witches or inauspicious as the people claimed in their tradition. Hopefully with the help of Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak non-profit voluntary social organisation known as Sulabh International social service organisation can help eradicate the sufferings of the widows in India through education. Thank you Vinnie and Beatrix for highlighting the plight of these poor widows, may this horrible tradition soon be abolished completely.

  9. JP on Oct 11, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    It is very heartbreaking to learn of this tradition of discriminating widows. I’m so glad that there is an act abolishing this tradition. Access to food is a basic human right and regardless of gender, this should not be compromised.

    We need to create more awareness on this discrimination so that widows in India do not have to suffer like this. Just because it is a tradition that was accepted in society, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be changed. Creating sufferings onto others is wrong on all levels and must be stopped.

  10. Jutika Lam on Oct 10, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    There are many traditions around the world that are different, cruel and is sometimes like this one, aimed at putting a gender down.

    Though the intended purpose behind this tradition may have been a better one, the manulupation and lack of awarness and education towards this has lead people to get the wrong idea and shun widows instead. It has also lead people to take advantage of widows and their rightful wealth.

    Human rights organisations such as the Sulabh International Social Service Organisation are indeed very important to speak out as one voice for people who share the same problem. The Sulabh International Social Service Organisation is doing a great job at spreading awarness to change people’s prespictives on the poor.

    Thank you Beatrix and Vinnie for writing this article.

  11. Colin Tan on Oct 10, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    It’s so sad to know this discrimination against the widows in India in this era. It’s unbelievably ridiculous that they were treated unfairly not because of their deeds, but purely because of their husbands’ death, which is totally beyond their control. These widows have to face all kinds of humiliation from their family as well as from the society. The inhumane treatment like forcing them to shave their heads, not allow to remarry, kicked out from home, restrain them from living a normal lifestyle, is definitely a contempt to them & totally unacceptable.

    The untrue belief about them the inauspicious ladies is deeply ingrained in India culture and this probably needs ages to re-educate the society to uproot this belief. We are glad that the Sulabh International Social Service Organisation has started programs to support the widows, to create awareness in the society to change people’s mindset & beliefs. Hopefully there will be more donations & contribution from different parts of the world to help the organization to reach out to more widows & to create the right perception for this minority group. Widows deserve the right to live with dignity and honor like any other human beings on earth.

  12. Paul Yap on Oct 10, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    In the 21st Century where human have made exploration into Mars and Jupiter, its sad that some old uncivilised culture like Sati still existed in the old society of India. This part of society is still very closed minded, unexposed, not educated and sadly without any dharma knowledge. I just can’t imagine the mother is required to choose burning herself alive or to leave the family stay alone in the poverty. How could her children have the heart to see the suffering of their own mother? I’m so glad this practice is now ban by India law. Someone like Dr Bindeshwar Pathak is really a Hero to India and humanity. He is like a walking bodhisattva who works hard tirelessly in lifting the sufferings of all sentient being. I hope all the discrimination against female, widows, caste, ethnic, skin colours, religious etc will be ended soon, may all of us lives in peace and harmony and have all the right conditions for us to grow and practice the dharma.

  13. Wah Ying on Oct 10, 2016 at 12:03 am

    We have so many discrimination towards minority and the tradition of sati is another example. Even in 80s, there are still cases of widow tried to burn herself alive in India after the ban on Sati tradition took place. The status of women have to improve and welfare of widows after the death of their husbands have to have guaranteed, only inhuman tradition of such can be eradicated from the particular societies in India and Nepal.

    To leave to poverty, to live without dignity and to be viewed as bad luck and unholy beings until you die – with all these cruel, uncivilised and inhuman treatment, a widow would rather burn herself…therefore to say those widows burning themselves or committed suicide volunteerly is totally twisted the truth and fact of what happen. Who would willingly end their life in this tragic ways by burning themselves alive or being buried alive, just because they lost their partner? The stigma of Hindu society about widow especially and woman in general needs to change, only then the future of current living widows/woman can be changed.

    It’s glad there are people like Dr Bindeshwar Pathak and many others who put in their effort to help the widows and trying to educate the society, to create the awareness and change the situation. Hope many who see this article can spread the knowledge about the cruel and inhuman facts about the Sati tradition and create awareness to many more in order to eradicate it completely.

  14. Joy Kam on Oct 6, 2016 at 2:16 am

    Gender discrimination has been around for centuries and the worst is always seen in a the cultures of the old, where male superiority seems to dominate. The male chauvinistic attitude is more prevalent in these ancient Asian cultures and is practised and expected in their society more than the western ones. I never ever understood this and could never accept it coming from a very liberal upbringing. So when I first heard of such traditions, I thought how ridiculous and to be born in such cultures.

    I am so glad to see that there is someone who cares enough – Dr. Pathak and it is amazing what a hero he is to all these widowers. He truly is a kind selfless soul, maybe he is a Bodhisattva helping these women! It is really heart warming to know that these ladies are not left to die in such miseries, though I am sure there are some who did.

    This story also reminded me of how Lord Buddha got rid of the caste system in India as well. And in the beginning it was also furiously rejected, until I guess when Kind Ashoka became Buddhist and change the rulings. http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/emperor-ashoka-the-great.html

    Thank you Vinnie & Bea for highlighting these woman’s plight and condition of a society with still very narrow ways which I hope we can all help in spreading this injustice through education and more exposure of such horrible gender discrimination.

  15. Albert on Oct 5, 2016 at 9:01 am

    While reading this article, it reminded me that the olden days in China, when the king emperor died, all their wives are to be buried alive to accompany their husband, so that the king will not be lonely when they go to ‘another place’.

    It is very sad that woman are treated like that, since olden days, and now still happened in some conservative families, woman are not treated well, because they cannot carry on their family name, when their daughter get married, she became someone else’s wife and their kids will follow that someone’s name, so when they know their wife gave birth to a daughter, they will be extremely disappointed.

    In this case, thanks to the compassionate group of people who set up Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, with the existence of this group,at least the woman’s welfare are more secured. Man and woman should be treated the same, cause we are all the same, we are all human.

  16. Julia Tan on Oct 5, 2016 at 8:46 am

    I have heard about this practice long time ago. I am glad and relieved it was banned by law now. Very sad to see people acted out of ignorance by the name of God to harm and even to kill for logical reasons. Simply because women are weak and easier to be bullied and blamed. It was an easy way to cut off their responsibility to take care of the widows. Again, the root was the ignorance of human without Dharma.

    Those who were lucky, adopbted and being take care by Sulabh International Social Service Organisation found by Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak. I hope to see more activist for this course will arise to improve the lives of widows in India. I think to help not only the widows but women to gain a better lives by learning some living skills to survive is important.

  17. Jace Chong on Oct 5, 2016 at 2:51 am

    Thanks Rinpoche, Vinnie, Beatrix and the blog team for sharing this article. It’s the first time I heard about the practice of Sati, it’s inhumane and illogic. How come a living being lose her value to live when her husband pass away? The passing away of the husbands is not something in control by anyone, why do the widows need to suffer from the impermanent phenomena?

    Dr Pathak is like a Gandhi to the unwanted widows who speak up and educate people on the wrong view. May the gender discrimination in all over the world be reduced and people respect other person as a same human being.

    Thank you.

  18. Pastor Chia on Oct 5, 2016 at 1:21 am

    This widows article in India has alert many cases of women are still abuse as victim ,treated unfair manner causing many women suffering in this modern world. Different religion believe and tradition also causing many women get abuse .

    I am glad to know about Dr, Pathak has setup Sulabh International organisation at Vanarasi to protect millions of unfortunate women who lose their husbands untimely, and become widows. Most of them are old, infirm, disabled and have no source of livelihood. With the organisation help, those widows able to received support again , not treated badly neglected them from the society. I ready hope more organisation can setup at future to protect human right especially to protect women free from the abuse cases.

  19. June Kang on Oct 5, 2016 at 12:43 am

    Very sad that at that time the society just accepts the idea of sati . Sati is demeaning to a woman because it implies that the woman’s life has meaning only when associated with a man. And most properly the practice is to benefit the minority greedy and selfish peoples who wanted to hoard property that the property will back to the families and not the widows.

    That is why religious such like Buddhism play an important role to the society. For Buddhism, committed suicide is considered killing and very bad Karma. If peoples have been educated with Buddhism, “sati” will not happen.

  20. Eric kksiow on Oct 5, 2016 at 12:24 am

    First of all i would like to Thanks to the writers for this article, i was shock after reading this, these Hindu widows, the poorest of the poor, are shunned from society when their husbands die, not for religious reasons, but because of tradition.

    My point : In the year of 2016, why men and women can’t equal? Everyone should be treated fairly in the world. We are all human.

  21. Pastor Henry Ooi on Oct 5, 2016 at 12:19 am

    Suicide in the name of honour may be deemed a waste of a precious human life to most people. But to those widows in India, more in the past, it was seemed as the only way out of the misery of being abused, heckled, disowned, kicked out from their family home, treated as pariahs and as an extra mouth to be fed (worse if they have young children). Most women at that time were less educated and easily coerced to end their lives. It is sad to see human lives gone to waste. However, with education and modernisation, this traditional practice is dying off, paving the way for human rights for women in India.

  22. Li kheng on Oct 4, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    Suffering is endless for those living in samsara. It is very, very sad to hear about these widows – helpless and labelled outcasts solely on the untimely death of their husbands. It is most frightening to have our future carved in stone because of what happens to another person…what more a husband over whom these women have little control over (i.e. the masculine oriented culture of India).

    I rejoice that these outcasted women found refuge in spiritual communities that are conscious and “inconvenience” themselves to protect the helpless and uphold the values that make us innately humane.

    One thing I notice quite clearly is that the solace, haven, sanctuary and refuge for all people who suffer greatly is spirituality, be it Buddhism or other holy faiths. On this basis, I request all modern people of this day and age to reflect and observe before losing confidence in the purity of faith and spirit. As Buddha always said, compassion must be practiced with wisdom. I understand that to be “sustainable kindness”.

    Thank you Beatrix and Vinnie for this eye opening article.

  23. Mingwen on Oct 4, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    Purely selfishness and ego within human are the causes for every type sufferings we are experiencing.

    We should help each other out from our sufferings. For instance, those widows in India, little people care about what they are facing around them, hence, people outside their country should stand up for them and pull them up, or else their sufferings will go round and round and never end.

  24. Moh Mei on Oct 4, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    Historically many cultures are patriarchy based and unfortunately still very much so today perhaps just more subtle. Women were viewed as subjects of men and has no individual values. It is ironic that men would supposedly love their wives and daughters on one hand and on the other hand are the cause of the patriarchy system that devalued, discriminated, abused and humiliated the female gender.

    One could say it the karma of the female gender or it’s one’s karma to be born female. Then again karma doesn’t mean predestined fate.

    Time has changed many things in this world but unfortunately it doesn’t always include people. It is shocking to find that in some parts of the world, society are still struggling with these types of serious gender issues.

  25. Pastor Antoinette on Oct 4, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    It is very sad to see how families treat the wife of a husband who passed away. I cannot imagine the pain they have to go through, not only they lose their husband but on top their life or sold for prostritution… if they are “lucky”, they loose their home and all status. It is heartwrenching to see what happens to them after a life spend for the family and children.

    It is a relief to see that Dr Pathak is taking care of them but how many widows are there in a country like India. It is like a drop on a hot stone.

    Thank you Vinnie for creating awareness!

  26. pammie yap on Oct 4, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    I personally find it quite cruel that the widows have to endure the act after their husband’s passing. Although it is part of their culture but I believe that are other ways they can be treated. And the other part that I find cruel is that even if they choose to live, they still have to suffer other conditions. What I can’t tolerate is that some are even forced into prostitution.
    In modern times like this, nobody should endure such cruelty no matter what the culture is. We need to move forward with time and be equal to all human beings.
    I am happy that the government and human rights groups are helping these women. All government should look after the welfare of their people’s welfare and not let any of them be subject to human cruelty.

  27. nicholas on Oct 4, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    It’s really painful to see this type situation happened to the widows. They have lost their beloved husband and being treated in such a way. No one should discriminated and as a human being we should help each other especially those who needed help.

    At this modern world everyone have their right to live and do what they thing is right as long as they don’t hurt anyone. At this era we are responsible for our action and no one should control us for our life. These widows had done nothing wrong but just loosing their husband and they have their right to continue their life just like normal human beings.

    We are glad that to have Dr Bindeshwar to give a big hand helping them and we need to nurture more people to understand what is human rights especially the younger generation to understand the old tradition that discriminate human rights is wrong. Compassion should be the main teaching and practice for all human kind in the world to create a better place to live.

  28. Echeah on Oct 3, 2016 at 2:42 am

    It is sad that in some primitive societies, women’s sole reason for existence is a lifetime of servitude to their husbands. Their husbands define them. After the husband has died, these women are reduced to nothing, no social standing, redundant. It’s easy to understand why they feel they are better off dead without their husbands. It is no wonder that female infanticide is still rampant in some parts of India as girls are often seen as liabilities and not fit to live.

    With Dr. Pathak’s compassionate work, hopefully people can become free from the shackles of these old, so deeply ingrained traditions that discriminate, marginalize and victimise women. Then more lives can be saved and widows’ rights can be restored. Those very people who mistreat or abuse women seem to be blind to the fact that they would not even exist if it had not been for their mothers who gave birth to them.

  29. Julien Roth on Oct 2, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    Thank you Vinnie and Beatrix for sharing this information with us in such a well-written blog post. Its good that news such as this is spread around the internet for people to see as more money can be donated to help and people are aware that such actions are wrong.

    As I read the article, the thing that shocked me the most was the ritual of Sati. I never knew about this ritual until this post. It is terrifying how widows would take their own lives just because their husbands have passed away. That doesn’t make sense to me. I am sure that there must have been a spiritual or racial reason behind it, but from my modern day perspective I strongly believe this is wrong, and sexist.

  30. Pastor Han Nee on Oct 1, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Dr Pathak is to be specially commended for his compassion, for only a person with great compassion can actually see the depths of misery of the disenfranchised widows, their humiliation and their degradation by society and their own people. To see and to be moved by them to do something to alleviate their suffering.

  31. Pastor Han Nee on Sep 30, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    Prejudice against the female gender is bad enough in many parts of the world. But nowhere is it as bad as in India where the most hapless victims of social and cultural prejudice are widows. Tradition and culture have placed a very strong stigma on Indian widows. Although Sati has been outlawed/banned , yet widows are still ostracised by their families and the community. They are left impoverished and almost all end up begging for food. Being helpless, as most are unskilled and uneducated and have not found the voice to speak up, they are among the most neglected minority groups.

    Fortunately for this most abused minority group, human rights organisations like the Sulabh International Social Service Organization founded by a highly influential humanist and social reformer Dr Pathak, are now working very hard for these poor unwanted widows. They have adopted hundreds of these widows in Varanasi, for instance.

    Seeing that these widows are the victims of gross social prejudice(society views them as unclean and they are shunned and treated like social lepers), Dr Pathak’s primary concern is to change the mindset, attitude and behaviour of the people towards widows.

    It is hoped that Dr Pathak will make a significant headway in this direction.

  32. 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.

  33. Samfoonheei on Sep 30, 2016 at 4:23 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.

  34. Stella Cheang on Sep 30, 2016 at 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.

  35. Uncle Eddie on Sep 29, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    These are truly horrible and terrible things that happened in the World, in the name of human tradition and cultural belief, both to humans as well as animals. The happening of the practice of “sati or suttee” in many parts of ancient India, many in the outside World today may not have any knowledge or have even heard of such happening! “Sati or suttee” is described as a practice commonly happened amongst Hindu community, where recent widowed women, by forced or coercion commit sucide after death of husband by burning oneself at the husband’s funeral pyre, or buried alive or by drowning! Such was needed to be practised as a wifely-devotion act, seen as a way to savage the dead husband, and seven generations of their off-spring. It was said that the practice of “sati” was found amongst many castes and every social levels, including the highly educated and uneducated women of modern times. A great many heartfelt thanks to the various organisations and individuals, especially to Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, for their great efforts to help out! Dr. Pathak’s primary concern is to change the mindset, attitude and behaviour of the people towards the widows. Dr. Pathak is a highly influential humanist and social reformer of contemporary India.
    Ultimately, humanity is one and this small planet is our only home. It is believed that at every level of society – familial, tribal, national and international – the key to a happier and more successful World is the growth of Compassion. We don’t need to be an ideologist, all that is necessary is for us to develop our Good Human Qualities to maintain it! Om Mani Padme Hung.

  36. Pastor David Lai on Sep 28, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    I find this article heart wrenching and sad to see that these women live the life of a pariah just because their husbands had passed on. It’s horrible but not unusual that a human being would be treated in this manner. We have come such a long way in our attitude towards women in many countries but there are many more countries that continue to uphold such conveniently prejudiced and archaic views against women.

    It’s not surprising that these women are largely from rural areas where traditional values are still retained. I think poverty has a hand to play in the attitude towards women as for many other social issues. The women is usually the easiest scapegoat and victim. In many cases, education is the way out of poverty and the education of women could do a lot to uplift these women towards sustaining their livelihood.

    I think these women would struck a chord in you especially if you are a woman. Even when I am not a woman but I can feel for these poor women and luckily there are these organizations that help these women self-sustain and get back on their feet. It’s good that more people know about them and what they go through. I think t’s through exposure and education that will bring down such harmful social practices and prejudice.

  37. Fong on Sep 28, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Thank you, Vinnie for another informative article. The practice of sati has not been heard for a long time but nonetheless still haunting. It is sad that India, a land of the greatest religions and spirituality still has some very archaic attitudes towards women.

    Thanks to the various organizations and individuals who make the effort to try and educate the general public about human rights, though it is so very new a concept to them.

    It is sad to read of the widows of Varanasi but at the same time heart-warming to read also of the Sulabh International Social Service Organisation and Dr Bindeshwar Pathak advocating human rights.

    We do have to think of the love and care these women have given their families. It is only right that they be taken care of by their children in gratitude for the sacrifices of their mother though the father is no longer, especially when the father is gone.

    The families should learn to practice generosity to their very own kin, these widows who have lost thir husbands and not see them as a drain on their resources. These widows in their time had done so much for their families and can still contribute to the families in many ways even when their husbands are no longer around. A woman should not be defined by her husband. It’s so great that the Sulabh International Social Service Organisation and Dr Bindeshwar pathak are doing something to educate about human rights.

    • Valentina Suhendra on Sep 29, 2016 at 4:05 am

      Dear Fong

      Thank you for your comment on this article. This is an interesting article indeed. I was shock myself at how women’s life and value is defined by the fragile existence of her husband and that is the reason when their husband passed away, they are being asked to die with their husband or became an outcast. This is the violation of the most basic human rights.

      Fortunately, we have people like Dr. Bideshwar Patak who is passionate about helping these widows. But I think we should not only praising and admiring Dr. Patak, we should help him in bringing awareness about this dire issue.

      I sincerely hope that this custom will be changed very soon.

      Valentina

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/mitra-teaches-bhagwan-dorje-shugden-in-nepali.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 04:15 PM
    Very clear explanation of what is Vajrayogini’s left foot stepping on. Each time when i have a look at the beautiful statue of Vajrayogini this question will comes back to me. i am glad came across these blog by chance, i saw and read to understand better.A clear explanation ..stampling left and right foot significant of desire ,hatred and ignorance that cause us to be in samsara and she she able to control.Vajrayogni’s practices is so powerful in heliping us and that is the reason Rinpoche always ask us to start now.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these short explanation in the video and the interesting story of Mahadeva.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/facebook-question-what-is-vajra-yoginis-left-foot-stepping-on.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 02:44 PM
    Rejoice to all the families who had setup a Buddhist altar at home and conducted a house blessing puja. There are diverse benefits of conducting the house blessing puja, which ranges from bringing well-being on all levels – in one’s health, relationships, business, and family – to purifying the home. The puja ceremonies will purify the environment which helps the people who live there and people who are visiting there to experience general well-being. The puja can be personalised based on the request or need of the individual. Thank you for sharing with us the many photos of the beautiful altar of these families, it is very heartwarming to know that they will always be blessed by the Three Jewels.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/10-amazing-house-blessings-by-kechara-pastors.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 02:24 PM
    Thank you for sharing this mindfully planned itinerary for everyone who is interested in visiting Kechara Forest Retreat. Kechara Forest Retreat has different facets that showcase different elements of spirituality and Tibetan Buddhism in this wholesale venue. One can enjoy the flora and fauna of Mother Nature, or embrace the contemporary architectures that feature many magnificent Buddha statues and authentic Himalayan decorations. Not forgetting to mention, in Kechara Forest Retreat sits the largest Dorje Shugden statue in the world! This is a holy place we must never miss to pay homage for blessings from the Three Jewels.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/go-bentong.html
  • Pastor Shin Tan
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 01:07 PM
    金泽“财王”护法殿

    在禅修林的入口处的左边有一间小佛堂,是全天候二十四小时开放给大众的。这间佛堂的一砖一瓦都是由不同善心人士捐增的。也因为他们过后发了一笔小财,所以在大马文东,金泽护法一般被简称为“财王“。

    根据佛陀教诲,五蕴是组成众生的五个方面,分别是色、受、想、行、识。证悟者如多杰雄登能将五蕴分别化现成不同的本尊。金泽是多杰雄登“受”蕴的化现,作用是协助我们增长世俗和修行上的财富。“受”蕴是我们对愉悦或不悦感受的认知。我们执着于愉悦,避免不悦,而这正是导致我们受困和造下各种业,继而产生痛苦的因(此段原文: http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_6d7edf5f0102x1n6.html)

    来到这里,我们首先要上香。做生意的朋友可要趁此机会拜拜,供养一个大的莲花蜡烛,上三根大香,祈求今年一帆风顺哦。

    摘自“GO BENTONG!与菩萨有约”
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=120808
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Mar 25. 2017 11:02 PM
    Can’t imagine that a priest actually stabbed Pope John Paul. How can he do this when he as a priest is suppose to be compassion and love everyone but kill the religion leader. he should remember that he carries the name priest and hence must show good example and behaviour to others but instead took another person’s life.

    I respected Pope John who continued his trip even though he was injured. That shows the determination he had to teach so it can benefit others. Always put others first more than our own needs.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/pope-john-paul-stabbed-by-priest.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Saturday, Mar 25. 2017 08:13 PM
    It is admirable for Sine Lindholm & Mads Ulrik Husum to place their design as open source for everyone to download and copy to manufacture. This shows how farsighted they are in propelling self-sustainability. The first step is always the hardest, and I believe what Sine and Mads had done is towards the right direction. In this way, people from all the around the world who genuinely are passionate and interested in growing own vegetables will be able to start on their own. Without needing to rely on middleman or manufacturer who might end up making the brilliant idea a commercial white elephant. Thank you, Rinpoche for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/build-your-own-growroom.html
  • Alice Tay
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 10:05 PM
    Many companies especially in overseas are very considerate and allow their employees to bring their dogs to work. I personally think that this is a very good practice where the employees no longer have to worry about leaving pets at home alone. The work environments that cultivate loving kindness, caring and compassion create a much more positive and productive place to work. Besides, it may influence everyone especially those who do not have pet to be more kind to the animals.

    Nevertheless, the employer and employees may have to work together to maintain the safe and cleanliness work place such as reduce odour, provide clean air and many others.

    Thank you for this interesting article as a reminder to us to love and be kind to animals no matter where we are.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/inside-the-worlds-most-dog-friendly-office.html
  • Lin Mun
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 07:06 PM
    Superb idea and very creative. Home farming in the cities ! Appreciate all the hardwork and ideas to produce Growroom. It’s just like putting a big puzzle and making the whole process so much easier to plant in cities where we always have limited spaces.

    We should support more people to come up with such ideas so we can eat our own food and cultivate self sustainability.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/build-your-own-growroom.html

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

Tsem Rinpoche

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The Unknown

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

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

Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
I am in the process of creating beautiful Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat watches at this time. So we can take precious protector and Kechara Forest Retreat wherever we go and be blessed everytime we see what time it is. I am perfecting the designs with a great team and will update when done but these are just some samples that arrived. Feast your eyes! Tsem Rinpoche
                        Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini\'s path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html  Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini's path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
Message to Tibetans in English
3 months ago
Message to Tibetans in English
Message to the Tibetans
3 months ago
Message to the Tibetans
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
3 months ago
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
3 months ago
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
3 months ago
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
3 months ago
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
4 months ago
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
4 months ago
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
4 months ago
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
4 months ago
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
4 months ago
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
4 months ago
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
5 months ago
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
Sir Edmund Hillary
5 months ago
Sir Edmund Hillary
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha\'s teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha's teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I\'ve seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
6 months ago
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I've seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
It\'s nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
6 months ago
It's nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
                         Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
6 months ago
Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
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  • You will Never be Ready
    3 months ago
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    Dear friends, watch this video and ready, if we keep waiting till we are ready, that day will never come. Tsem Rinpoche
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  • Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    5 months ago
    Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    ཁྱེད་ཀྱི་བཀའ་སློབ་དོན་སྙིང་དེ།།གང་གི་རྣ་བར་བདུད་རྩི་མོད།།འོན་ཀྱང་འགའ་ཡི་རྣ་ལམ་དུ།། བྲག་ཆ་བཞིན་དུ་འགྱུར་སྲིད་མོད།། ཚང་མས་ཚར་རེ་གཟིགས་རོགས།། Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche telling people that it is important to have guru samaya. It use to be that way in the great monasteries. We should not create problems and schisms. If we want to practice a protector, then do so, if not it's okay, but don't make trouble. One should just practice the Buddha Dharma well. To do good practice. If you have faith in Dorje Shugden and trust all the way, he will definitely help you. But most important is to practice the dharma. This is his advice in short here. It's good to let more Tibetans hear this holy speech and appeal by this very senior Rinpoche. TR

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

  • March 27, 2017 04:19
    Dongho asked: I have been reading on the tunes of certain sects and would like to ask on this. From what I've read, there are certain tunes to each sect and school of certain chants. Exactly where can I find the sheet music for these percussion and horns with the chants, such as to the one for invoking Kache Marpo or Dorje Shugden? Would it be possible to use school instruments for this?
    No reply yet
  • March 26, 2017 02:14
    Kunga asked: Does the Gelug have Begtse a protector? If so, could you please provide a sadhana for him here?
    pastor answered: Dear Kunga, Yes the Dharma protector Begtse exists within the Gelug tradition. He is also known as Chamsing. Begtse’s practice stems from India and was introduced to Tibet and therefore Tibetan Buddhism by the translator Nyen Lotsawa. Marpa Lotsawa also practiced Begtse, and so the practice exists in the Kagyu traditions. This practice was eventually transmitted to Sachen Kunga Nyingpo, the first of the five patriarchs of the Sakya tradition, who were the founding fathers of that tradition. Over time the practice of Begtse was incorporated into the Gelug tradition, founded by Lama Tsongkhapa, and was notably practiced by the 1st and 2nd Dalai Lamas. Over time the practice gained popularity within the lineage, especially when it spread to Mongolia. There the practice became an important one within the lineage as upheld there. Begtse is also affectionately known as the Dharma protector of Mongolia, because his practice is so popular there. If I am not mistaken, there is an oracle of Begtse in Mongolia as well. There is a mistaken account that the practice originated around the time of the 3rd Dalai Lama, with the subjugation of a Mongolian war god, but Begtse was definitely practiced before that time in the Gelug, Kagyu and Sakya traditions. While the practice of Begtse is very effective, I have not come across the practice of Begtse in my personal practice, therefore I do not have access to the Begtse sadhana to provide to you. Instead Begtse is propitiated in prayers that incorporate many other Dharma protectors, and Begtse is also considered one of the nine protectors of the Hayagriva (Tamdrin) cycle of tantric teachings. Therefore Begtse is included in the Dharma protector sections of the Hayagriva tantras. Surrounding Begtse are his sister, Sing Ma, and his main minister, Le Khan Mar Po. His inner retinue comprises of eight butchers who wield copper swords in their right hands and skull-cups full of blood in their left hands. They are portrayed as naked and are very ugly. His outer retinue comprises a further twenty-one butchers, who hold copper swords in their right hands, and this time, the entrails of butchered enemies. They wear the skins humans and oxen as clothes, with ornaments made from human bone. While this may seem violent, Begtse is actually a very powerful and beneficial protector, who helps practitioners clear their obstacles and create conducive conditions for their spiritual evolution. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 24, 2017 20:12
    Azair asked: Venerable Rinpoche, I am doing a study in Kalachakra Tantra and I've heard from most of the lama's too that if you practice the Kalachakra Tantra, you'll be able to take control of your next rebirth. Ofcourse, it has been said that we will get our rebirth according to our Karma and desires but whether those dreams will get fulfilled will depend upon the actions that we take in this life. Thus, practicing the Kalachakra(till the end) after initiation will give you the opportunity to take rebirth anywhere you desire regardless of your Karma. My question is that, is there some truth in this statement.? Does this statement hold true for other tantra practices, such as Vajrayogini Tantra, Ghuyasamaja Tantra, Heruka Tantra, etc. I would really really like to know. Thankyou in anticipation, regards, Azair
    pastor answered: Dear Azair, Thank you for your question. Yes there is truth to this statement, both from a scriptural perspective and also by example, as the great masters have shown us. This is a unique feature of all Anuttarayoga Tantras or Highest Yoga Tantras, which Kalachakra, Vajrayogini, Guhyasama and Heruka are all examples of. This category of tantric practice can actually lead a practitioner to full enlightenment in this very lifetime. Even if enlightenment is not reached, very high levels of attainment can be reached nonetheless. This includes the ability to take control over your next rebirth. This is primarily engaged in so that the practitioner is born in an environment where they can eventually pick up their practice and further their spiritual path to enlightenment, or in order to be born in a place where they can benefit sentient beings the most, as part of the spiritual journey over many lifetimes. One of the reasons such an ability is very necessary on the spiritual path, is that usual death and rebirth occurs at the mercy of ones karma, specifically what is known as the ‘throwing karma’ or the karma that dictates what sort of rebirth a person is going to take. This opens up at the time of ordinary death, which most people have no control over. During the death process, many of our disturbing emotions will arise. Whichever of these is the strongest at the point of death triggers open a latent karmic potential, which becomes the ‘throwing karma’ and dictates where we are going to take rebirth and if that life will generally be full of suffering or not. Within Anuttarayoga Tantra, one of the key points of practice is to prepare for one’s death. This is done by simulating the dying process during one’s meditations, so that one becomes familiar with it. At the most pivotal part of this process, one practices achieving either the rainbow body or great bliss (in the case of the father tantras); or clear light (in the case of mother tantras). The tantras themselves are not defined in terms of the gender of the central deity, but by the method used to gain enlightenment. This is either the rainbow body/great bliss (classified as male, therefore labelled ‘father’) or clear light (classified as female, therefore labelled ‘mother’). Non-dual tantras such as the Kalachakra tantra can employ either of the two methods, a mixture of both, or alternate methods. In the case of superior practitioners, due to the power of their practice, they can achieve either of these two methods in their current body. Since they have familiarised themselves with the dying process, and a particular method of practice, they can also achieve enlightenment during their physical death. The great Lama Tsongkhapa is said to have achieved enlightenment at the moment of physical death, using the second of these. For other practitioners, they may not be able to achieve this either in their meditations while they are alive, or during the death process. However because they have familiarised themselves with the dying process, they remain in complete concentration at the time of death, not allowing any disturbing emotions to arise. Due to this level of concentration, meditation and awareness during the dying process, they are able to control where they next take rebirth. This is evident in the tantric scriptures themselves, and the life stories of many masters, who can state exactly where, when and to whom they will take their next rebirth, as they are in full control of the dying and rebirth process. There is a type of meditation called ‘thukdam’ which has been translated into ‘death meditation’. This is a final meditation some masters choose to engage in. During this meditation, the master themselves consciously begin the physical dying process themselves, engage in the meditation of dissolving the winds into the heart centre and remain in the most pivotal part of the death process, the mind of clear light of death. During this point they engage in meditations, either the methods of the father or mother tantras as mentioned previously, and or consciously choose where they are to next take rebirth. They can remain in this death meditation for long periods of time, days at an end, in which their consciousness has not yet left their body, although for all intents and purposes they are dead according to medical science, e.g. they have no heartbeat. At the end of their meditation, a drop of blood will be emitted from their nostril, and their head will slump over a little. Masters who engage in this meditation usually sit in full meditation posture, and their body remain supple and soft even though they have passed away from a medical point of view. I hope this brief explanation helps. Thank you.
  • March 23, 2017 23:01
    Brad asked: What is the significance of offering the Seven precious emblems of royalty to the Buddhas and enlightened Dharma Protectors? What are we symbolically offering up?
    pastor answered: Dear Brad, Thank you for your question. The ‘saptaratna’ or seven precious emblems represent on the one hand the ultimate state of temporal power, and on the other hand the ultimate spiritual attainments that we can achieve. By offering these to the Buddhas, we are actually creating the causes to achieve what they represent. Therefore it is good to know the meaning of each, so we can understand what we are creating the causes for by offering them up: Please see below for an explanation of the seven royal emblems: 1. The Precious Wheel: a thousand spoked wheel, representing the universal power of the Buddhas, as well as the teachings of the thousand Buddhas of our aeon. It is represented by the Dharmachakra, symbolising the ‘turning of the wheel’ or teaching of the Noble Eightfold Path. It is a symbol of a universal emperor’s spiritual and temporal power. It is also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect mindfulness, especially that of our own mind, thoughts, delusions and afflictions. 2. The Precious Jewel: an eight sided wish-granting gem, which fulfils all the needs of a universal emperor. This jewel has eight special qualities: it illuminates the night sky for hundreds of leagues; it is cooling when the temperature is hot and warming when the temperature is cold; it makes manifest whatever the holder wants; when thirsty it causes a fresh-water spring to appear; it has the ability to control the nagas, and other supernatural beings, as well as preventing natural disasters such as storms, floods, etc.; it gives off multi-coloured lighted which heals the various mental and emotional afflictions; it cures all illnesses; and it ensures that one dies a natural death, not an untimely one. It is a symbol of a universal emperor’s spiritual and temporal power. It is also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect mindfulness, or perfect discrimination, so one knows what to abandon and what to keep in the mindstream during the spiritual journey to enlightenment. 3. The Precious Queen: the most beautiful and virtuous of all women. She is described as a goddess who is the epitome of someone: with devotion; without jealousy; who is the embodiment of fertility; who works for the welfare of all beings; who possess feminine wisdom; speaks the truth; not attract to sensual pleasures or material possessions; and does not have false views. She is adored by all. She also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect effort. This is necessary to keep meditating until one gains spiritual attainments. 4. The Precious Minister: who has sharp intelligence, patience, and the ability to give wise counsel to the emperor. He is so attuned to the emperor that even before the emperor has spoken, the minister is already carrying out his command. He only wishes to support the Dharma, help sentient beings, and is an excellent strategist. He also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect joy. This is also akin to the attainment of the first bodhisattva level, because you have come to an understanding of your own mind, which is like pouring ice-cold water into boiling water. The water stops boiling, as does the thoughts, projections, and delusions in the mind. He represents the path of the bodhisattva. 5. The Precious Elephant: who has the strength of a thousand normal elephants. He is white, with the perfect features that an elephant could have. He is majestic, graceful, and gentle, but in battle is fearsome, fearless and unyielding. He communicates with the emperor through a telepathic link. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect adaptability. This is important, as one needs to be able to adapt to the various mental afflictions as they arise, and suitably counter them. 6. The Precious Horse: who has all the marks of a celestial horse. Known as wind-horse, he is able to travel extremely fast, and can circumambulate the entire universe three time in just a single day. He is never fearful or startled, never makes a sound when galloping, and has extremely soft hairs on his body. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is single-pointed concentration. This is important because without this form of concentration, once cannot engage in the analytical meditations that lead to an understanding of emptiness, and therefore enlightenment. 7. The Precious General: who has mastered the arts of war and always wins in battle. He wears battle armour and holds many different weapons. He tries to avoid battle, but when necessary fights, and never gives up until he has won. He is fearless, and courageous in carrying out the emperors commands and ensures the emperors army carries out their duties. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect equanimity. This is because he overcomes all warfare, which is akin to the battle between things were are attached to and things we have an aversion for in our minds. In short, what you are offering up is the highest of all temporal treasures and abilities, as well as the entire path of the Dharma. Doing so creates the causes for you to receive all of this on your spiritual journey towards enlightenment. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 20, 2017 10:16
    Grigoris asked: Excuse me, but I would like to ask, what does the prayer to Shangmo Dorje Putri say exactly? I can't read Tibetan, but would like to see the description that the prayer gives. I am not planning to say the prayer or make interaction(as it would be very dangerous), but would like to see what it actually says from the Tibetan text. Here's the link: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/shangmo-dorje-putri-the-bamo-of-sakya.html
    pastor answered: Dear Grigoris, Thank you for your question. Shangmo Dorje Putri is indeed a fascinating unenlightened Dharma protector. Unfortunately at the moment, we do not have a translated copy of the text in English that we can provide. The usual format for such texts, would include an invocation, making offerings to appease them, and then exhortations for them to perform their activities, possibly followed by thanking them for their help. One thing is for certain, due to the nature of Shangmo Dorje Putri her prayer is sure to include violent imagery, just like many other Dharma protectors, such as Achi Chokyi Drolma (who even though has a peaceful appearance, has a lot of violent imagery in her prayers). The reason behind the violent imagery is explained in the post about Achi Chokyi Drolma here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/achi-chokyi-drolma-chief-protectress-of-the-drikung-kagyu.html
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