Srinivasa Ramanujan – The Mystical Mathematician

By | Sep 28, 2016 | Views: 596
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Dear friends all over the world,

A couple of weeks ago I had the honour of having a conversation with His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche. It was during the conversation that His Eminence first mentioned Srinivasa Ramanujan to me. A genius mathematician who was born in India, he is known to have credited his self-taught mastery of mathematics to mystical messages he received from the Hindu Goddess Namagiri. His achievements shaped mathematics and its applications as we know it today. It is with great honour and immense pleasure that I am able to share his story with all of you here. This is a very interesting read because it is a case where spirituality joins with science. Two realms where some people sometimes think cannot mix. I hope you enjoy reading about this extraordinary man.

Special thanks to Pastor David Lai and Valentina Suhendra for their help with this article.

Pastor Niral Patel

 


 

Introduction

Srinivasa Ramanujan, the Indian-born genius who changed the world of mathematics.

Srinivasa Ramanujan, the Indian-born genius who changed the world of mathematics.

Srinivasa Ramanujan was born on December 22, 1887 and was destined to become a brilliant mathematician. Over the course of his life, he went on to develop thousands of his own formulas, many of which have continued to be used in mathematics and science. In fact his formulas are even used to understand the workings of black holes.

He originally created some of his theories while in India, though when he travelled to Cambridge in England to discuss his mathematical formulas with the brightest minds of the time, he created many there too. It was in England that Ramanujan began an inspirational partnership with the Cambridge professor Godfrey Harold Hardy. Professor Hardy realised that Ramanujan had discovered certain mathematical formulas by himself that were actually already known to the mathematical elite. However, what was more striking was that he created his own formulas, which warranted further understanding. Most of his theories have been proven correct over time and have provided mathematicians since then with the basis from which to create formulas that continue to shape science today.

 

Early Life

Komalatammal, mother of Srinivasa Ramanujan. She was well versed in the Hindu religion and a faithful practitioner.

Komalatammal, mother of Srinivasa Ramanujan. She was well versed in the Hindu religion and a faithful practitioner.

Srinivasa Ramanujan was born in Erode, a city in what is now the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. His father, K. Srinivasa Iyengar, was a clerk in a sari shop while his mother, Komalatammal, was a housewife who often sang religious hymns at the local Hindu temple. When he was just two years old, Ramanujan contracted smallpox and later recovered from the disease. As a child, he did not like attending school and his family even enlisted the help of a local constable to ensure that he actually attended. Paradoxically, it was at Kangayan Primary School that he really flourished. He performed very well academically. In November 1897, at nine years old, Ramanujan completed his primary school education and scored the highest marks in his local district. He then enrolled at Town Higher Secondary School. It was there that his love and fascination with mathematics began.

Ramanujan’s thirst for mathematical knowledge was unquenchable. By the age of 13, he had mastered a textbook by Professor Sidney Luxton Loney on advanced trigonometry, or the study of relationships involving the lengths and angles of triangles. Within a couple of years he was discovering complex mathematical theories on his own, creating his own formulas and even completed mathematical examinations in less than half the allocated time.

Porter Town Hall in Kumbakonam where Ramanujan would have sat for examinations while at Kangayan Primary School.

Porter Town Hall in Kumbakonam where Ramanujan would have sat for examinations while at Kangayan Primary School.

Ramanujan received a copy of A Synopsis of Elementary Results in Pure and Applied Mathematics by the mathematician George Shoobridge Carr from a friend. This contained a staggering 5,000 of Carr’s own theories. It is generally believed that by studying this book Ramanujan’s mathematical prowess was awakened. In 1904, he was awarded the K. Ranganatha Rao prize by his school’s headmaster, after which he received a scholarship at Government Arts College in Kumbakonam. While there he was so enamoured with mathematics that he neglected all other subjects, and subsequently lost his scholarship.

Town High School in Kumbakonam, where Ramanujan excelled in mathematics.

Town High School in Kumbakonam, where Ramanujan excelled in mathematics.

Ramanujan would later enroll at Pachaiyappa’s College in Madras, now known as Chennai. He failed in his Fellow of Arts degree as he again did not perform well in subjects other than mathematics. He sat for the examinations again a year later but also failed. Since he lacked a degree, he left formal education to pursue his work independently and because he lacked formal qualifications, he concentrated on his theories alone, living in utter poverty and was often on the brink of starvation.

The student hostel at Pachaiyappa’s College in Chennai (Madras).

The student hostel at Pachaiyappa’s College in Chennai (Madras).

 

Adulthood

Srimathi Janaki, also known as Janakiammal, who was only 10 years old when she married Srinivasa Ramanujan.

Srimathi Janaki, also known as Janakiammal, who was only 10 years old when she married Srinivasa Ramanujan.

In 1909, at the age of 22, Ramanujan was married to Srimathi Janaki, also known as Janakiammal. At this time in history, it was not unusual for marriages to be arranged with girls who were much younger than the husband. This was the case for Ramanujan’s marriage to Srimathi Janaki who was only 10 years old at the time.

Following this, Ramanujan spent time looking for work in Chennai, while living in his friend’s house. At the same time, to earn some money, he gave tuition to students from Presidency College, one of the oldest government arts colleges in India and one of the two Presidency colleges established by the British. At that time the Indian Mathematical Society of India was formed by V. Ramaswamy Aiyer, whom Ramanujan met with when he was looking for a job. Later, Aiyer recalled looking through Ramanujan’s notebooks upon meeting him:

“I was struck by the extraordinary mathematical results contained in it [the notebooks]. I had no mind to smother his genius by an appointment in the lowest rungs of the revenue department.”

This meeting was to be fortunate for Ramanujan, as he was soon sent to Chennai with letters of introduction from Aiyer. There he met with Aiyer’s mathematical peers, who again gave him letters of introduction and sent him to Raghunatha Ramachandra Rao, an Indian civil servant, mathematician and social and political activist. Rao was awarded the title ‘Diwan Bahadur’ by the British Raj for his various works and was the then-secretary of the Indian Mathematical Society. ‘Diwan Bahadur’ was a title of honour conferred upon those who had performed great service to the nation.

Upon first meeting Ramanujan, Rao was unconvinced regarding his mathematical formulas and thought him a fraud. However upon talking and discussing various complicated mathematical theories with Ramanujan, he was won over by the young man’s mathematical genius. Ramanujan requested Rao’s help for financial aid while he continued his research and Rao happily obliged. This eventually led to Ramanujan having his work published in the Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society.

The Honourable Sir Francis Spring who was Ramanujan’s boss and encouraged him in his mathematical works.

The Honourable Sir Francis Spring who was Ramanujan’s boss and encouraged him in his mathematical works.

In 1912, Ramanujan applied for a temporary job in the Madras Accountant General’s office. There he was supposed to earn 20 Indian rupees a month, but he was only in this position for a couple of weeks. During this time, he applied for a job under the Chief Accountant of the Madras Port Trust. His application was accompanied by a letter of recommendation from Edgar William Middlemast, a professor of mathematics at Presidency College. This application landed Ramanujan a job as a Class III, Grade IV accounting clerk on March 1, 1912 with a monthly salary of 30 rupees. Ramanujan was adept at the work, finishing his assignments quickly, allowing him ample time to continue his research. His boss, Sir Francis Spring and his colleague, S. Narayana Iyer encouraged Ramanujan in his research.

In 1913, Diwan Bahadur Rao, Professor Middlemast and S. Narayana Iyer attempted to present Ramanujan’s work to various British mathematicians. Many of them ridiculed Ramanujan’s work, labelling him uneducated and a fraud. It was then that Ramanujan wrote to the mathematical elite at Cambridge University in England.

Though he received the same negative reception from two professors, he received a warmer response from Professor Godfrey Harold Hardy. Though initially sceptical of Ramanujan’s work, upon analysing his manuscript further he was very impressed with some of his theories. Professor Hardy even stated that Ramanujan’s theories

“defeated me completely; I had never seen anything in the least like them before”

and that his theories

“must be true, because, if they were not true, no one would have the imagination to invent them.”

After conferring with his colleague, Professor John Edensor Littlewood, who was equally impressed with Ramanujan’s work, Professor Hardy described him as a mathematician of the highest quality, a man whose work was original and powerful.

Professor John Edensor Littlewood (left) and Professor Godfrey Harold Hardy (right) who were impressed by Ramanujan’s work and invited him to Cambridge.

Professor John Edensor Littlewood (left) and Professor Godfrey Harold Hardy (right) who were impressed by Ramanujan’s work and invited him to Cambridge.

Professor Hardy wrote back to Ramanujan asking for more proof of his theories and began to arrange for Ramanujan to travel to Cambridge, contacting the Indian Office. Secretary Arthur Davies from the Advisory Committee for Indian Studies met with Ramanujan to discuss his trip to England, but Ramanujan refused to travel overseas to a foreign land, in observance of his strict Brahmin (priestly-caste) upbringing.

Despite this, Ramanujan felt very fortunate to have found such a friend. Professor Hardy even arranged, through his peers, for Ramanujan to receive a two-year research scholarship of 75 rupees a month from the University of Madras. While there he continued to submit papers containing his theories to the Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society.

Professor Hardy did not give up after Ramanujan refused his initial requests to travel to England.

Professor Hardy did not give up after Ramanujan refused his initial requests to travel to England.

There was a notable instance during which Ramanujan had pre-empted the work of another mathematician. Professor Edward Ross of Madras Christian College, who Ramanujan had met before, stormed into class one day. Flustered, he asked his students if Ramanujan knew Polish. It turned out that Ramanujan had written theories pre-empting the work of a Polish mathematician that had just arrived in the day’s mail.

Though dismayed at Ramanujan’s refusal to travel to Cambridge, Professor Hardy did not give up and enlisted the help of his colleague E. H. Neville. Over time, when Neville questioned Ramanujan regarding his refusal, it turned out that he no longer held reservations about traveling. Ramanujan promptly left for England, leaving his parents and wife behind in India.

 

Traveling to England and Life in Cambridge

Ramanujan’s journey from India to England took almost a whole month by sea. Traveling from Madras on March 17, 1914, he arrived in the ports of London on April 14. When he arrived, Ramanujan was whisked away to Cambridge after a couple of days stay in London. In Cambridge, Ramanujan was housed a short distance away from Professor Hardy’s own room. There he began working with Professor Hardy and Professor Littlewood almost immediately.

Srinivasa Ramanujan (centre) at Trinity College, Cambridge

Srinivasa Ramanujan (centre) at Trinity College, Cambridge

Studying his notebooks, they found many theories. Some had already been discovered by other mathematicians of the past, some they concluded were wrong and others they decided were complete breakthroughs. They were absolutely stunned by his brilliance, even comparing him to two of history’s most well-known mathematicians – Leonhard Euler and Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi. Throughout Ramanujan’s time in England, Professor Hardy tried to provide Ramanujan with an education in the areas that he was not familiar with.

His five years spent in Cambridge was not without its difficulties. There was a clash of cultures between Ramanujan who came from a traditional Indian background and the two Cambridge professors. They had differences not only in the ways they worked together, but also in their beliefs. Ramanujan was a devout Hindu who relied on his intuition, whereas his colleague Professor Hardy was a stout atheist who only believed in what could be proven and in mathematics.

A copy of Ramanujan’s notebook detailing the complex formulas the shaped modern mathematics today.

A copy of Ramanujan’s notebook detailing the complex formulas the shaped modern mathematics today.

In March 1916, Ramanujan was awarded a PhD (then known as a Bachelor of Science) degree for his mathematical work, part of which was published as an academic paper in the journal Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society. This began a period of acceptance for Ramanujan and his work. He was elected to the London Mathematical Society in 1917, and then as Fellow of the Royal Society in 1918, the oldest scientific academy that still exists. He was only 31 years old at the time, making him one of the youngest Fellows since the Royal Society began in 1660. This award is only granted to those who have made a ‘substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science and medical science’. Other notable Fellows of the Royal Society include the likes of Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday, Albert Einstein and Alan Turing. In 1918, Ramanuja made history by becoming the first ever Indian to be elected a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.

 

Divine Mathematics

Ramanujan was born into a deeply religious Hindu family. Since his father spent most of the day at work, he was especially close to his mother. It was from her that he learned of the ancient Hindu tradition, learned to sing religious hymns, was encouraged to attend religious services at the local temples and learned the ways of the Brahmin (priestly) caste.

Ramanujan’s original refusal of Professor Hardy’s invitation to travel to England came about from his strict orthodox Hindu lifestyle, which prohibited him from travelling overseas. His parents also objected to this invitation, in accordance with their Brahmin upbringing.

The Hindu goddess Namagiri. Her statue is covered with silks and jewels as an offering.

The Hindu goddess Namagiri. Her statue is covered with silks and jewels as an offering.

However, his mother’s opposition was withdrawn after she received a dream from the family goddess, Namagiri, who told her not to stand in the way of her son and the fulfilment of his life’s purpose. Once he received her permission he promptly embarked on his journey that would bring him acclaim and establish his works among those of the world’s leading mathematical elite.

Following his deeply held beliefs, Ramanujan actually attributed his mathematical genius to this very same goddess, Namagiri. In fact he is known to have said,

“an equation for me has no meaning, unless it expresses a thought of God.”

Namagiri or Namakkal, is a form of Mahalakshmi, the Hindu goddess of fortune, wealth and both secular and spiritual prosperity.

In the form of Namagiri, Lakshmi is not portrayed with a stream of coins falling from her hand, a pot of gold at her feet or carrying an auspicious vase. The other iconographic details are the same. She stands on top of a lotus and has four hands. Two of these hands hold lotuses, while the other two are in the mudras of granting fear from danger and granting boons. Namagiri is considered a compassionate goddess who grants many boons to her devotees, including curing of all forms of disease, wanting a child, prosperity, spiritual progress or any other want.

The Hindu goddess Lakshmi (left) and her form as Namagiri (right)

The Hindu goddess Lakshmi (left) and her form as Namagiri (right)

The city near her holy mountain is called Namakkal. It derives its name from the goddess herself. The word ‘giri’ in Sanskrit means mountain; translated into Tamil it is ‘kkal’. Hence the city became known as Namakkal. Namagiri is well-known for appearing in the dreams of her devotees to grant advice and blessings, a sign of her kindness towards those who worship her. Ramanujan was one such devotee and told many people that his formulas came to him in dreams sent by the goddess.

The Hindu god Narasimha, wrathful avatar of Vishnu and consort of Namagiri.

The Hindu god Narasimha, wrathful avatar of Vishnu and consort of Namagiri.

In the dreams he would dream of drops or oceans of flowing blood. The blood symbolised Namagiri’s consort, Vishnu, in his wrathful form of Narasimha. He took this form to save the world from an almost immortal demon, who persecuted his own son and others for their religious beliefs. Though not a common form of Lakshmi, her importance for Hindu practice cannot be underestimated, especially for Vaishnavites, or those who consider Vishnu the highest expression of god within Hinduism.

On the drops or ocean of blood in Ramanujan’s dream, he would see mathematical formulas sent to him by Namagiri. Upon waking he would write these down as complete formulas or as inspiration for formulas he would compose later. He held his religious beliefs deeply, such as a strict vegetarian lifestyle, and considered his faith in Namagiri as the source of his intellect and mathematic prowess.

 

Death and Recognition

Indian postal stamps commemorating the life and works of Srinivasa Ramanujan.

Indian postal stamps commemorating the life and works of Srinivasa Ramanujan.

Ramanujan was never a very healthy person and suffered from illness and health issues throughout his life. This was exacerbated while in England, since he was not used to the foreign environment. He spent time at a sanatorium, or hospital for long-term illness after he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and a severe vitamin deficiency. Following this, he returned to India in 1919 but sadly, he passed away just a year later in 1920. He was 32 years old at the time of his passing. Ramanujan was survived by his wife Srimathi Janaki. Following an examination of his medical records, some experts have argued that his tuberculosis diagnosis was mistaken. They claim that he actually suffered from hepatic amoebiasis, a disease that could have been treated and even cured at the time.

Given his legacy as a great mathematician whose formulas still form the basis of many advanced equations and theories, his life and work have been celebrated in many ways. In 1962, the 75th anniversary of his birth, the Government of India released a memorial postal stamp in remembrance of his life and deeds. A new design of the stamp was released in 2011.

Bust of Srinivasa Ramanujan at Birla Industrial & Technological Museum.

Bust of Srinivasa Ramanujan at Birla Industrial & Technological Museum.

Learning institutions such as Government Arts College in Kumbakonam and IIT Madras in Chennai celebrate his achievements annually on what is referred to as Ramanujan Day. Various prizes for young mathematicians have also been started in his name, for example by the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, the SASTRA University and the Vasavi College of Engineering.

On December 22, 2011, the 125th anniversary of his birth, the Government of India declared that December 22 would be celebrated as ‘National Mathematics Day’ every year in honour of Srinivasa Ramanujan.

 

Movie adaptation: The Man Who Knew Infinity

A British movie adaptation of Srinivasa Ramanujan’s life was released in the spring of 2016. It follows Ramanujan’s life from his time growing up in India and his life at Cambridge University during the 1st World War. Most importantly, it also covers his relationship with Professor Hardy and his achievements as a divinely inspired mathematical genius.

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

 

Sources:

  • Berndt, Bruce C.; Rankin, Robert A. (2001). Ramanujan: Essays and Surveys. 22. Providence, Rhode Island: American Mathematical Society.
  • Kanigel, Robert (1991). The Man Who Knew Infinity: a Life of the Genius Ramanujan. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
  • Ramanujan, Srinivasa (1968). P. K. Srinivasan, ed. Ramanujan Memorial Number: Letters and Reminiscences. Madras: Muthialpet High School.
  • Ranganathan, Shiyali Ramamrita (1967). Ramanujan: The Man and the Mathematician. Bombay: Asia Publishing House.

 

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Pastor Niral Patel
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About Pastor Niral Patel

Since becoming a Buddhist, Niral has had a voracious passion for the Dharma. He is known to have his head buried in books and loves to share what he knows. Niral has now found a better way to share his weird, whacky and, more often than not, other-worldly ideas with an unsuspecting audience - as a guest author on his Guruji's blog!
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11 Responses to Srinivasa Ramanujan – The Mystical Mathematician

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  1. wan wai meng on Mar 20, 2017 at 11:59 pm
  2. Wan Wai Meng on Dec 11, 2016 at 3:23 am

    Yet another great person to have come out of India. Who knows what he could have achieved if he lived another 20-30 years or what mathematical theories he could have discovered. Mathematics has been described as an approximation of nature and phenomena. What joy it must be for the mathematician to see the formulas come to live and resonate with nature/phenomena.

  3. Justin Cheah on Nov 3, 2016 at 1:25 am

    Thank you Pastor Niral for sharing this. This is one of the examples that actually something science cannot explain. How can someone who struggles to go to school can come up with formulas which wowed scholars. It is really remarkable and one might want to argue it is mere piece of luck, i would say it is divine intervention.

  4. Pastor KH Ng on Oct 12, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Thank Pastor Niral for this wonderful article.

    There is no way to explain how a person with little formal education could come up with complex mathematical formulas that astound scholars in his time and these formula is still valid and is used as a basis current mathematical models today; but to attribute it to karma and past lives and the super natural.
    The genius that was Srinivasa Ramanuja; his mathematical ingenuity was attributed to the Hindu Goddess Namagiri. This example of divinity at play falls within the teachings of karma and cause and effect; basic laws of Buddhism and Hinduism.

  5. Paul Yap on Oct 10, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    I believes that the divine is sometimes very powerful in transmitting knowledge thru dreams to the people who has affinity with. The Hindu goddess Namagiri’s form is very similar to Saraswati. Both of them appears in the form of female, have 4 arm, and a swan beside them. I felt that Srinivasa Ramanujan was a very religious man, kept his vows to the goddess, as a results he is able to received messages from Namagiri.

  6. Adeline Tan on Oct 9, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Srinivasa Ramanujan was a prodigy, a genius in mathematics. He was a humble devout Hindu who claimed that in his dreams he would see mathematical formulas sent to him by Namagiri, the Hindu goddess. When he woke up he would write down as complete formulas or as inspiration formulas and would compose later. He is a strict vegetarian and consider his faith as the source of his intellect and mathematics prowess. Thank you Pastor Niral for sharing this unusual article.

  7. Valentina Suhendra on Oct 7, 2016 at 12:09 am

    Dear Pastor Niral

    Thank you for this wonderful post. It was a pleasure to read about the genius Srinivasa Ramanuja. It is interesting that he thought his mathematical genius was attributed (the boon from) to Hindu Goddess Namagiri. it is rare to see scientist that was deeply spiritual and who honour his spiritual commitment more than personal glory. I think Srinivasa was a man of integrity because he held on to his spiritual commitment.

    I noticed that he was a humble person too. And it is interesting to see that although he is lacking in formal education, he continuously met individuals who are impressed with his intelligence and talent and willing to help him to advance his career. I guess he has helped many people too in his previous lives.

    Thank you again PNP for this insightful article
    Valentina

  8. Freon Tee on Oct 3, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Dear Pastor Niral,

    This is the 1st time of example that i know where the science are closely related to divine helps as Mr. Ramanujan claimed. He was a person whom respected his mother, a man do not forget his religion. Many people who have famed now, tends to let go of their religion, and also becoming people who forget their root. This is not happened to Mr. Srinivasa Ramanujan.
    Another Point was, he do not have good health. Yet, still do what he love and contribute to the mankind. I always think that we must have 100% good health then only we can become beneficial, but, this is not the case of Srinivasa Ramanujan. He inspired me to work what on what i love with full heart.

    Thank you Pastor Niral for this article.

    Regards
    Freon

  9. Stella Cheang on Sep 28, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    To normal reader, the story of Srinivasa Ramanujan draw parallel to Nikola Tesla, who is the unmasked genius behind invention/creation that changed the work. Yet, Srinivasa Ramanujan’s success has a mystical connotation. The achievements of Srinivasa Ramanujan, through self-taught mastery of mathematics was attributed to mystical messages received from the Hindu Goddess Namagiri. In Srinivasa’s own words “… an equation for me has no meaning, unless it expresses a thought of God.” The Hindu goddess Namagiri or Namakkal, is a form of Mahalakshmi, the Hindu goddess of fortune, wealth and both secular and spiritual prosperity. She is well-known for appearing in the dreams of her devotees to grant advice and blessings. She would appeared in the dreams of Srinivasa, where there were drops or oceans of flowing blood, where he would see mathematical formulas sent to him by Namagiri. Upon waking he would write these down as complete formulas or as inspiration for formulas he would compose later. Srinivasa Ramanujan was a very religious man and he held his held his religious beliefs deeply, such as strict vegetarian vows. Thank you Pastor Niral for this story.

    • Pastor David Lai on Sep 28, 2016 at 10:43 pm

      Hi Stella,
      Actually I think that Ramanujan was already a mathematical genius and was already extremely talented in his field. His visions given to him by the goddess Namagiri were those that probably pushed the boundaries of mathematics that was known to men at that time.

      It is stated that Ramanujan’s body of work is still studied today to further our understanding of advance mathematics. It’s interesting to see how this goddess is working towards furthering mankind’s knowledge of science and technology. I believe that it was his passion combined with Namagiri’s divine inspiration that led him to discover these mathematical know-how.

      Namagiri obviously is benevolent and is nonetheless a worldly deity and who’s interest is to further our material understand of this universe. Transcendent or enlightened deities are benevolent too but are concerned with our spiritual wellbeing in this and future lives. They are concerned with our merits, where we take rebirth and our attainments as well. They are all real and can bring results but it is up to us to choose the result that we want. Secular or spiritual, this life or the next.

      • Stella Cheang on Oct 3, 2016 at 10:36 am

        Thank you Pastor David for the comments. You are right, a benevolent deity will be concerned of our spiritual well being and will nudge us to do work that generate merits and not purely worldly gain.

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  • Alice Tay
    Thursday, Mar 30. 2017 10:01 PM
    This is really great news for having SFS campaign to help the stray dogs. Other than to urge and educate the public to treat the stray dogs with compassionately, SFS campaign encourages for all quarters to work together to spay or neuter stray animals which is an effective method to control the amount of stray dogs. Indirectly, this may reduce the suffering of stray dogs from being abused or die because of starvation.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/stray-free-selangor.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Mar 30. 2017 10:00 PM
    Good news finally Selangor becaome the first state free from stray dogs. With the support of the royalties and the Selangor Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) organised the campaign to make
    the state free of stray dogs and create the awareness of compassionate love towards stray animals.They are working work towards a radical change,thats a worderful news.
    Well ,do hope more states will follow Selangor to replace the inhumane way of dealing with stray animals too.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this wonderful news.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/stray-free-selangor.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Thursday, Mar 30. 2017 05:29 PM
    These iconographically correct Buddha images set in precious gemstones are one of its kind and unique in every sense of the word. And the designs are versatile to suit any apparels and occasions, redefining the Buddhist sense of fashion in a big way. Thank you, Rinpoche and Louise for this sharing. I hope the pendants will bring protections to the wearer and connections to the Buddha to those who admire it by sight.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/timeless-and-sacred.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Mar 30. 2017 03:29 PM
    Very inspiring true story of a monk…Master Xuyun after going through many hardships and illness to pursue what he wanted to be. What he did was amazing travelling in harsh conditions to so many places just to preach chinese buddhism from one country to another. Master Xuyun has spent his entired life devoted to the Dharma,During the war many monasteries and holy sites was destroyed but somehow Master Xuyun managed to restore once again.Because of him ,those monasteries and holy sites were till today. He was a household name at that time and have inspired many modern spiritual seeker to strive along the path towards enlightenment.
    Thank you Pastor Adeline Woon for such an interesting and inspiring article.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/empty-cloud.html#tabs-7
  • Lin Mun
    Thursday, Mar 30. 2017 11:47 AM
    It is ironic that Dalai Lama would have given a remarks to discourage country such as Germany to accept refugees and that refugees should return to homeland and to build the country. I think this is really a callous statement to be mentioned. Dalai Lama being the Tibetan Buddhist leader should portray compassion and extending help to those in need. All these refugees are running away for their life because their own country is not safe to stay anymore. Just like what Tibetan has encountered in the late 1950s.

    This kind of contrary statement is also very obvious in the Dorje Shugden ban. Dorje Shugden have been practised by many high lamas since 400 years ago and also by Dalai Lama’s Guru but it is ban by Tibetan leadership.

    Dalai Lama is a high lama and is believed to be the emanation of Chenrezig. Although his statements were contrary sometimes but I believe he would have the reason that we may not understand yet. Hopefully all the issues would be resolve in peace.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


    Very interesting read: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/2157904-supernormal-abilities-developed-through-meditation-dr-dean-radin-discusses/?sidebar=morein

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

CREDITS

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

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

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

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

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

Videos On The Go

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

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

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