Agvan Dorjiev: The Diplomat Monk

By | Aug 17, 2016 | Views: 379
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Agvan Dorjiev

Agvan Dorjiev

The idea for this article came about when my teacher, His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche, mentioned Agvan Dorjiev during a conversation. Through my research, I realised that he had an interesting life. Although he was not Tibetan by birth, he served as the attendant and confidant of the 13th Dalai Lama. In addition, he played an important diplomatic role in developing and strengthening the relationship between Russia and Tibet. Unfortunately, his political role and his Russian influence over Tibet were exaggerated and eventually provoked the British invasion of Tibet in December 1903.

Although he was not successful in securing the Russian Imperial family’s backing to protect Tibet from British invasion, Agvan Dorjiev was able to obtain their support to build the first Tibetan Buddhist temple in St. Petersburg and various monasteries in Kalmykia and Buryatia.

His life became challenging after the Bolshevik Communist Revolution. Although initially he was able to ensure that Buddhism co-existed peacefully with Communism in the 1920s, he did not survive Joseph Stalin’s ‘great purge’.

Regardless of what people said about him during his lifetime, I found it remarkable that he managed to be the confidant of the 13th Dalai Lama despite his foreign background. Equally fascinating to me also were his ability to secure the Russian Empire’s support to build monasteries and eventually a Buddhist temple in St. Petersburg. It is a pleasure to be able to write about this complex character, who was highly praised though his motivation was often under suspicion.

Valentina Suhendra

 


 

Early Life and Education

Agvan Dorjiev was born in Baikal, Siberia in 1854 to a devout Buddhist family. He was part of the Buryat Mongol ethnic group which had been incorporated into Russian Empire in the 18th Century.

The 8th Khalkha Jetsundampa Khutuktu Ngawang Lobsang Chokyi Nyima

The 8th Khalkha Jetsundampa Khutuktu Ngawang Lobsang Chokyi Nyima

When he was 19 years old, Agvan Dorjiev travelled as part of the entourage that accompanied the 8th Khalkha Jetsundampa Khutuktu Ngawang Lobsang Chokyi Nyima, Mongolia’s highest ranking Lama, to Tibet. After he arrived in Lhasa, Agvan Dorjiev enrolled himself at Drepung Gomang Monastic College. Unfortunately, two years later, his monastic study was temporarily halted due to Tibet’s policy that prohibited foreigners from living in Tibet.

Agvan Dorjiev then travelled back to Urga (present day Ulaanbaatar) in Mongolia where he took ordination vows from his teacher and mentor, Pelden Chopel Pelzangpo. After that, Agvan Dorjiev travelled to study at Wu Tai Shan, also known as Five-Peaked Mountain, in China where he received empowerments and teachings from several teachers. One of his teachers, Dzasak Rinpoche made arrangements for Agvan Dorjiev to return to Lhasa together with Jadrel Rinpoche, which may be another name for Pelden Chopel Pelzangpo.

Wu Tai Shan – the Five-Peaked Mountain

Wu Tai Shan – the Five-Peaked Mountain

In 1880, Agvan Dorjiev arrived in Tibet and made considerable contributions to the monasteries in Lhasa and Tashi Lunpo in Shigatse, which helped him to circumvent the previous regulations that prevented him from staying in Tibet. Agvan Dorjiev resumed his studies at Drepung Gomang Monastic College and due to his contributions, he was exempted from the manual labour work of an ordinary monk. He successfully obtained his Geshe Lharampa degree after only eight years of study compared to the average 18 years, which is a reflection of his intelligence.

Drepung Monastery in Tibet

Drepung Monastery in Tibet

 

Attendant to the Dalai Lama and Diplomatic Role

In the late 19th Century, the power of the Qing Dynasty in China was declining and British India was expanding their influence to Tibet’s neighbouring countries, Nepal and Sikkim. At the same time, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia wanted to expand his influence in Asia to rival that of Britain.

Tsar Nicholas II

Tsar Nicholas II

Tibet had an adverse opinion to British influence. This began in the early 1800s when Britain seized Sikkim, a region that previously paid tax to Tibet, and put Sikkim under Nepal’s authority. In addition, Britain deliberately caused conflicts in the border regions between Tibet, India and Sikkim in order to coerce China to sign an agreement that would allow them to trade with Tibet. Britain’s political manoeuvring in the region created fear among the Tibetans that one day, Britain would seize their country too and destroy their culture.

Through one of his teachers, the 3rd Purchok Jampa Gyatso, who was the personal teacher of the 13th Dalai Lama, Agvan Dorjiev was able to secure the position of assistant tutor and debate partner of the young Dalai Lama. It was in these roles that Agvan Dorjiev was able to gain the confidence of the 13th Dalai Lama and used this to paint the Russian Empire in a favourable light.

The 13th Dalai Lama Thubten Gyatso

The 13th Dalai Lama Thubten Gyatso

Agvan Dorjiev managed to convince the 13th Dalai Lama that the Russian Empire would be interested and able to protect Tibet from a potential British invasion. In 1898, Agvan Dorjiev visited Russia as the Dalai Lama’s representative. He returned two years later in the summer of 1900 with six other Tibetan representatives. This visit was repeated again in 1901, when Agvan Dorjiev and the other Tibetan representatives managed to meet with Tsar Nicholas II, Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Finance in St. Petersburg. Although Tsar Nicholas II and his ministers were friendly to the Tibetan emissaries, Agvan Dorjiev was not successful in securing Russia’s commitment to protect Tibet from any British invasion.

Unfortunately, the intention and the success of these visits would be exaggerated and consequently, Britain was provoked to invade Tibet. Considering that Agvan Dorjiev was born in the Russian Empire, the British assumed that Agvan Dorjiev was acting to advance Russia’s interests in Tibet. The British used the information from various sources to justify their invasion of Tibet.

 

Russian Publications on Agvan Dorjiev’s Visit to Russia

Dr Peter Badmaev

Dr Peter Badmaev

Perhaps if Agvan Dorjiev’s visit to Russia was not widely publicised, the British would not have felt threatened and therefore would not have been provoked to invade Tibet. Russian newspapers however, wrote about these visits. The Tsarist official Dr Peter Badmaev, who happened to be a Buryat himself, made sure that these visits were widely publicised and that Agvan Dorjiev’s roles were discussed extensively.

 

Ekai Kawaguchi

Ekai Kawaguchi

Ekai Kawaguchi’s Accounts on Agvan Dorjiev’s Role in Tibet

In addition to Russian publications, the British obtained information about Agvan Dorjiev from an unlikely source, the Japanese monk Ekai Kawaguchi. Ekai Kawaguchi visited Tibet and reported Agvan Dorjiev’s activities to Sarat Chandra Das (1849 – 1917), a British agent. Kawaguchi made specific allegations against Agvan Dorjiev including:

  • Fueling pro-Russian sentiments in Tibet by depicting Russia as Shambhala, the mythical kingdom associated with the Kalachakra Tantra
  • Creating an arsenal in Lhasa. In addition, Kawaguchi reported that Agvan Dorjiev held the position of Minister of War in Tibet.

Ekai Kawaguchi also went the extra mile to visit Nepal where he met with Nepal’s Prime Minister, Chandra Shamsher. There he reported his perception of Agvan Dorjiev’s influence over the 13th Dalai Lama. Nepal used Ekai Kawaguchi’s accounts about Agvan Dorjiev to justify their asking for British military action in Tibet.

 

Colonel Younghusband’s Expedition to Tibet

Expedition Leader Colonel Francis Younghusband (centre) with other officers in 1903

Expedition Leader Colonel Francis Younghusband (centre) with other officers in 1903

The exaggerated perception surrounding Agvan Dorjiev’s visits to Russia, his presumed role as a ‘Russian agent’ and pro-Russian sentiment in Tibet caused considerable concern among British officials in India. As a result, the Viceroy of India, George Nathaniel Curzon decided to assign Colonel Francis Younghusband to lead an armed mission to Tibet and secure an advantageous trade agreement for Britain. Although the Younghusband Expedition was based on rumours about Agvan Dorjiev’s role in advancing Russian interests in Tibet, Curzon and Younghusband manipulated the British Cabinet’s opinion in order to obtain the necessary support for the expedition. Curzon famously told Younghusband,

“Remember that in the eyes of HMG [Her Majesty’s Government], we are advancing not because of Dorjiev, or Russian riffles in Lhasa, but because our convention has been shamelessly violated, our frontier trespassed upon, our subjects arrested, our mission flouted, our representations ignored.”

During his advances in Tibet, Colonel Younghusband faced opposition from the Tibetans. Due to their lack of experience and outdated weapons however, the Tibetans were not an equal match against the well-equipped British soldiers. The battle resulted in relatively low casualties on the British side – 202 lost their lives in battle, while 411 lost their lives to injury or illness. There were, on the other hand, significant losses for the Tibetan side – between 2,000 to 3,000 Tibetans lost their lives during battle or were fatally wounded in the war effort.

British army firing at Tibetans

British army firing at Tibetans

And so it was a heavily-armed Younghusband Expedition that entered Tibet in 1903. Agvan Dorjiev advised the Tibetans to avoid battle with the British Expedition as the Tibetan army and soldiers were no match against the organised and more experienced British army. However, Agvan Dorjiev’s advice fell on deaf ears. It was not well-received by the Tibetan government and powerful factions in Lhasa who had the patriotic interest to defend their country. Eventually, Colonel Younghusband and his troops arrived in Lhasa in August 1904.

To his dismay, Younghusband found out that the 13th Dalai Lama and Agvan Dorjiev had left Lhasa for Urga, and therefore he had difficulties finding someone to sign the treaty to conclude the war. The Dalai Lama requested for Russian support to fight against the British. Unfortunately, Russia was focused in a war with Japan in 1904-1905. Therefore, the 13th Dalai Lama’s request for Russian assistance was not fulfilled.

Another illustration of Colonel Younghusband’s Tibet campaign

Another illustration of Colonel Younghusband’s Tibet campaign

Finally, Younghusband managed to coerce the Regent, Gaden Tri Rinpoche, and the Tsongdu (Tibetan National Assembly) into signing the Treaty of Lhasa containing the following terms:

  • Allowance for British trade in Tibet
  • Recognition of the Sikkim-Tibet border
  • Payment of 7.5 million rupees in indemnity (to be paid in yearly installments for 75 years) and the Chumbi Valley, which would only be returned to Tibet when the indemnity had been paid in full
  • Restriction for Tibet to build relationships with other nations except with Britain

Later, Qing officials from China canceled this treaty and signed an Anglo-Chinese treaty on April 27, 1906 with Britain, known as the Convention Between Great Britain and China Respecting Tibet. In this treaty, the British recognised Chinese authority over Tibet. The Acting Viceroy, Lord Ampthill reduced the 7.5 million rupees compensation by two-thirds. In return, China agreed not to let other foreign influences interfere with the Tibetan administration.

Realising that his effort to secure foreign support to help Tibet was not bearing fruit, the 13th Dalai Lama left Mongolia for Kumbum Monastery in Amdo in the second half of 1906.

On August 31, 1907, Russia and Britain signed the Anglo-Russian Entente, a treaty that put an end to their rivalry in Central Asia and recognised China’s authority over Tibet. This treaty ended Agvan Dorjiev’s diplomatic endeavours to align Tibet closer to Russia.

Emperor Guangxu and Empress Dowager Cixi

Emperor Guangxu and Empress Dowager Cixi

In February 1908, the 13th Dalai Lama and Agvan Dorjiev traveled to Wu Tai Shan where they met various foreign diplomats from Britain, America and Russia in order to gain support against the oppressive Qing rule of Tibet. Although they were unsuccessful, the 13th Dalai Lama developed an appreciation for international politics. At this point, Tibet’s adverse opinion against Britain had lessened and the leaders began to consider enlisting British support in protecting Tibet against Chinese influence.

The Dalai Lama and Agvan Dorjiev continued to travel to Beijing where they met with Empress Dowager Cixi and Emperor Guang Xu, who would both die within one day of each other in November 1908. In December 1908, the Dalai Lama returned to Lhasa and Agvan Dorjiev left for St. Petersburg.

 

Establishing Buddhism in Kalmykia and Buryatia

After his third visit to Russia, Agvan Dorjiev visited Kalmykia and Buryatia for two years to establish Buddhism there. During this visit, he met with a gifted student, Ngawang Wangyal. Agvan Dorjiev helped Ngawang Wangyal to go to Tibet and study at Drepung Gomang Monastery where he obtained his Geshe degree. Geshe Ngawang Wangyal would later play a vital role in bringing Tibetan Buddhism to the United States in the 1950s.

Geshe Ngawang Wangyal

Geshe Ngawang Wangyal

During his stay in Buryatia and Kalmykia, Agvan Dorjiev followed the advice of both the 13th Dalai Lama and his teacher, Purchok Jampa Gyatso. He spread the Buddhadharma by establishing monasteries, ordaining monks and bestowing tantric empowerments. Agvan Dorjiev’s effort was not without opposition from influential local priests who were afraid that Agvan Dorjiev would override their authority. Fortunately for Agvan Dorjiev, he received the backing of Tsar Nicholas II.

Not all Agvan Dorjiev’s projects however, were supported by the Imperial Romanov family. He began a project with his friends, Bazar Baradiin, a philologist and Zhamtsarano, a professor at St. Petersburg University which was aimed at creating a Buryat alphabet in order to preserve Buryat culture. This was not supported by the Russian government and his partner Zhamtsarano was also exiled to Mongolia. This project was therefore left incomplete.

Building committee of Datsan Gunzechoinei

Building committee of Datsan Gunzechoinei

In 1905, Agvan Dorjiev managed to gain approval from Russian authorities to build Datsan Gunzechoinei, a Buddhist temple in the city of St. Petersburg. The establishment of the temple was funded by Agvan Dorjiev, the 13th Dalai Lama, the 8th Jetsundampa Khutuktu and Buddhists in Buryatia and Kalmykia. Although the plan was opposed by leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church, Agvan Dorjiev managed to enlist the support of powerful nobility, politicians and personalities such as Prince Esper Ukhtomsky, P. Badmaev, V. V. Radlov, D.F. Oldenburg, G. Th. Stcherbatsky, V.L Kotvich, N.K. Roerich and P. Kozlov. The temple construction commenced in 1909 and was completed in 1915.

Datsan Gunzechoinei, the Buddhist temple in St. Petersburg as it stands today

Datsan Gunzechoinei, the Buddhist temple in St. Petersburg as it stands today

Another angle of the beautiful Datsan Gunzechoinei

Another angle of the beautiful Datsan Gunzechoinei

The Northern part of the beautiful Datsan Gunzechoinei

The Northern part of the beautiful Datsan Gunzechoinei

For Agvan Dorjiev to be able to enlist the support of many powerful personalities to build a prominent Buddhist temple in the Russian capital, despite the Russian Orthodox Church’s very strong and powerful opposition, is remarkable.

 

The End of the Qing Empire and Agvan Dorjiev’s Political Manoeuvring

In February 1910, the 13th Dalai Lama and his entourage escaped to Darjeeling, India as the Qing government sent the Chinese army into Tibet in order to strengthen their control. The Dalai Lama and his entourage stayed in India from February 1910 to mid-1912.

Hastings House (Calcutta, India; 1910). Seated from left: Prince of Derge Ngawang Jampel, Crown Prince of Sikkim Sikyong Tulku, Charles Bell, the 13th Dalai Lama, Lonchen Shatra, Lonchen Zholgang, Lonchen Chankyim and Kalon Tenzin Wangpo. Standing from left: S.W. Laden la, Tashi Wangdi, unknown, physician Ngoshi Jhampa Thubwang, unknown, unknown, Diwan Bahadur Phala. (Source: Jamyangnorbu.com)

Hastings House (Calcutta, India; 1910). Seated from left: Prince of Derge Ngawang Jampel, Crown Prince of Sikkim Sikyong Tulku, Charles Bell, the 13th Dalai Lama, Lonchen Shatra, Lonchen Zholgang, Lonchen Chankyim and Kalon Tenzin Wangpo. Standing from left: S.W. Laden la, Tashi Wangdi, unknown, physician Ngoshi Jhampa Thubwang, unknown, unknown, Diwan Bahadur Phala. (Source: Jamyangnorbu.com)

During this self-imposed exile, the 13th Dalai Lama tried to enlist the support of the British and Russian governments to protect Tibet against China’s power. Unfortunately, neither Britain nor Russia were willing to violate the treaty they signed in 1907. Therefore, the Dalai Lama’s effort was unsuccessful.

In February 1912, the Qing Empire fell apart and the Dalai Lama used this opportunity to rid Tibet of the Chinese influence and declared Tibetan independence.

The 13th Dalai Lama’s Declaration of Tibetan Independence

The 13th Dalai Lama’s Declaration of Tibetan Independence

Excerpt from the 13th Dalai Lama’s declaration of independence:

I, the Dalai Lama, most omniscient possessor of the Buddhist faith, whose title was conferred by the Lord Buddha’s command from the glorious land of India, speak to you as follows:

I am speaking to all classes of Tibetan people. Lord Buddha, from the glorious country of India, prophesied that the reincarnations of Avalokitesvara, through successive rulers from the early religious kings to the present day, would look after the welfare of Tibet.

During the time of Genghis Khan and Altan Khan of the Mongols, the Ming dynasty of the Chinese, and the Ch’ing Dynasty of the Manchus, Tibet and China cooperated on the basis of benefactor and priest relationship. A few years ago, the Chinese authorities in Szechuan and Yunnan endeavored to colonize our territory. They brought large numbers of troops into central Tibet on the pretext of policing the trade markets. I, therefore, left Lhasa with my ministers for the Indo-Tibetan border, hoping to clarify to the Manchu emperor by wire that the existing relationship between Tibet and China had been that of patron and priest and had not been based on the subordination of one to the other. There was no other choice for me but to cross the border, because Chinese troops were following with the intention of taking me alive or dead.

On my arrival in India, I dispatched several telegrams to the Emperor; but his reply to my demands was delayed by corrupt officials in Peking. Meanwhile, the Manchu empire collapsed. The Tibetans were encouraged to expel the Chinese from central Tibet. I, too, returned safely to my rightful and sacred country, and I am now in the course of driving out the remnants of Chinese troops from Do Kham in Eastern Tibet. Now, the Chinese intention of colonizing Tibet under the patron-priest relationship has faded like a rainbow in the sky.”

Source: http://buddhism.about.com/od/The-Dalai-Lamas/a/Tibets-Declaration-Of-Independence.htm

Agvan Dorjiev was reunited with the 13th Dalai Lama in Phari, who then travelled back to Lhasa under the protection of British Indian officials. In August 1912, Agvan Dorjiev departed to Mongolia. The Dalai Lama entrusted Agvan Dorjiev with gifts and a letter for Tsar Nicholas II. That would be the last time Agvan Dorjiev met with the Dalai Lama in person.

In 1912, Mongolia declared its independence from the Qing Dynasty, and the 8th Jetsundampa Khutuktu, a patron of Agvan Dorjiev’s St. Petersburg temple, was installed as the Khan. Agvan Dorjiev, representing Tibet, signed the Treaty of Friendship and Alliance between the Government of Mongolia and Tibet, with the new Khan’s ministers. This treaty stated both Tibet and Mongolia recognised each other’s independence, agreed to strengthen their friendship and acknowledged that they have shared the same religion for years.

Treaty of Friendship and Alliance between the Government of Mongolia and Tibet

Treaty of Friendship and Alliance between the Government of Mongolia and Tibet

This Tibeto-Mongolian treaty was controversial as it drew objection from the new Chinese authorities who tried to exert their influence in Tibet. Britain was not happy with the treaty either because they thought Mongolia was heavily influenced by Russia. They saw it as an opportunity for Russia to increase their influence in Tibet. On the other hand, Russia was wary of this suspicion and denied any involvement in the signing of the treaty. During that time, Russia tried to maintain a good relationship with Britain due to the impending First World War.

Upon signing the treaty, Agvan Dorjiev travelled to St. Petersburg and presided over the first service at Datsan Gunzechoinei, the new Buddhist temple. The historic event took place on February 21, 1913 although at the time, the temple construction was not yet completed. The event coincided with the 300th year celebration of the Romanov Dynasty.

300th year celebration of the Romanov Dynasty

300th year celebration of the Romanov Dynasty

Datsan Gunzechoinei was officially opened on August 10, 1915 when Russia was heavily involved in the First World War. Together with Dashi Dorzho (spiritual leader of Buryatia), Agvan Dorjiev helped in raising funds to support the Russian Empire’s war effort. Unfortunately, the Romanov Dynasty would soon see their end and in the process, Agvan Dorjiev lost a powerful ally.

 

Aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution

After the fall of the Romanov Dynasty, Agvan Dorjiev and Russian Buddhists faced a challenging time. Datsan Gunzechoinei in St. Petersburg was looted and the monasteries in Kalmykia were destroyed by the Red Army. Agvan Dorjiev himself was imprisoned on suspicion of trying to sneak money out of Russia.

Vladimir Lenin, the leader of Bolshevik Revolution

Vladimir Lenin, the leader of Bolshevik Revolution

Fortunately, with the help of Russian intellectuals who were scholars of Oriental Studies, and with whom he had maintained good relationships with (e.g., Th. Stcherbatsky, S.F. Oldenburg and B. Vladimirtsov), Agvan Dorjiev was freed by the Bolsheviks. The Red Army also withdrew from the Datsan Gunzechoinei Temple, sparing it from further destruction.

In his effort to preserve Buddhism in Russia, Agvan Dorjiev tried to adapt Buddhism to Communism. The Buryat Buddhist Congress was held on two occasions in 1922 and 1925. The participants of these congresses discussed changes such as eliminating the private property of monks, separation of religion and government, encouraging monks to engage in military service and so forth. Although the conservative Buddhists were not happy with these changes, Agvan Dorjiev managed to allow Buddhism to co-exist with communism.

The Bolsheviks seemed to recognise the influence that Agvan Dorjiev held in Tibet and Mongolia, so they sent him to Tibet three times to rebuild diplomatic relationships that were severed after the fall of the Romanov Dynasty.

However, although Agvan Dorjiev outwardly appeared to support the Bolsheviks, he sent a secret letter to the 13th Dalai Lama informing him that Buddhist principles and teachings were facing serious oppression in Bolshevik Russia.

Joseph Stalin

Joseph Stalin

By the late 1920s, after Joseph Stalin became the leader of the Soviet Union, Agvan Dorjiev’s effort to ensure Buddhism co-existed with Communism was seriously threatened. The fact that many monks took part in anti-government rebellion gave the Soviet government reason to persecute Buddhist practitioners. Many monks were arrested and sent to concentration camps. They even went as far as to arrest the 13th Dalai Lama’s representative in the Soviet Union, Sharab Tepkin in 1931. In 1933, Agvan Dorjiev received devastating news regarding the passing of the 13th Dalai Lama and the following year, he was arrested for the second time. He was released within 20 days, most likely due to the help of his friends in the Soviet Foreign Office.

In January 1937, Agvan Dorjiev travelled to Buryatia to spend his days in solitary retreat at his house. However, on November 13, 1937, he was arrested for the third time on suspicion that he was spying for Japan. His other charges also included activities such as terrorism, armed rebellion, etc. After a two-week interrogation, he was sent to hospital due to an unspecified illness. Agvan Dorjiev would pass away on January 29, 1938.

Agvan Dorjiev in his later years

Agvan Dorjiev in his later years

 

For more interesting information:

Sources:

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agvan_Dorzhiev
  • https://www.treasuryoflives.org/biographies/view/Agvan-Dorjiev/13510
  • http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-EPT/helen.htm
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_expedition_to_Tibet
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Lhasa
  • https://sites.google.com/site/tibetological/dorjiev
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogd_Khan
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandra_Shumsher_Jang_Bahadur_Rana
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_friendship_and_alliance_between_the_Government_of_Mongolia_and_Tibet
  • https://sites.google.com/site/tibetological/dorjiev
  • http://www.jamyangnorbu.com/blog/2013/02/06/backstory-to-the-13th-dalai-lamas-declaration-of-independence/
  • http://buddhism.about.com/od/The-Dalai-Lamas/a/Tibets-Declaration-Of-Independence.htm
  • https://lhasarising.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/tibetan-declaration-of-independence/

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Valentina Suhendra
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About Valentina Suhendra

Valentina met H.E. the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche in year 2006 and became his student one year later. Prior to joining Kechara, Valentina was an advisory director at one of the big four accounting firms.

Currently, Valentina is the chairwoman of Yayasan Kechara Indonesia, a foundation working on social community projects to benefit the community. Read more of her writing on her blog: www.valentinasuhendra.com
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12 Responses to Agvan Dorjiev: The Diplomat Monk

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  1. Wan Wai Meng on Nov 28, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    It does seem that Agvan Dorjiev was trying to protect Tibet and at the same time further the cause of buddhist, he operated in a time whereby the ancient empires like China gave way to Western colonization and weaponry, Western Powers sought to dominate the world in any way that they can.

    I hope he will once again work for the sake of buddhism in future lives.

  2. Choong on Oct 23, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    Thank you Valentina for the article and the beautiful pictures of Datsan Gunzechoinei.

    Did you know that the stained glass windows in Datsan Gunzechoinei were designed by Nicholas Roerich who was born in St. Petersburg.

    DatsanGunzechoinei-o-St-Petersburg-3

    • Valentina Suhendra on Oct 26, 2016 at 8:38 pm

      Dear Choong

      Thank you for the information and insight. No I did not know previously Datsan Gunzechoinei’s glass windows were designed by Nicholas Roerich. It seems that Nicholas Roerich is a very interesting character on his own.. I heard Rinpoche talked about him several times, and surprisingly his name keep coming up in the various research that I was doing. Maybe one day I will learn more about him.

      Kind regards
      Valentina

  3. Choong on Oct 23, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    Power struggles and the battle for sovereignty yield the most unexpected outcomes.

    The 13th Dalai Lama began his temporal reign, reluctantly, at the age of 20, at a time when the British East India Company, Tsarist Russia, Qing China and Mongolia, put Tibet in a rather precarious situation.

    The Tibetan Kanshag took advantage of these insecurities and permanently and completely sacked Tibetan political power bases such as the Tengyeling Monastery from where Demo Rinpoche (the Regent who traditionally administered Tibet before the Dalai Lamas reached maturity), and other key government officials came from by exile, murder, torture, and destruction.

    When the Dalai Lama was 13 years old, he recorded a dream in which “a black man visited and told him that he would face many difficulties and that he would be forced to travel to Mongolia, China and India”. The figure in the dream also said that he would live longer then any other Dalai Lama.

    By the time he passed away in 1993 at the age of 58, the Bolshevik Revolution, the Mongolian Revolution and the Communist Revolution in China had taken place, completely changing the face of political power in the region.

    During those years, the 13th Dalai Lama himself eventually had to flee Tibet for the various countries foretold in the dream he had at 13.

    When he passed away, the largest tomb ever for a Dalai Lama was built, slightly larger than the Fifth’s. His legacy was keeping Tibet largely in place and independent; and continue the spread of the Yellow Sect from Mongolia, China, to Russia.

  4. Datuk May on Sep 4, 2016 at 8:05 am

    History makes what it is today. This is a very interesting article on how a devout Monk like Agvan Dorjiev can take on many roles in his efforts to spread and propagate the Dharma, particularly into St. Petersburg where the beautiful Buddhist temple, Datsan Gunzechoinei still stands today.

    We always perceive Monks as those who meditate intensely and isolate themselves which is also a form of assisting us out of samsara, but let us also be appreciative to many other great Monks who spend their lives preserving and spreading the Dharma through their pure motivation.

    Thank you, Valentina for the extensive research on Agvan Dorjiev.

  5. Stella Cheang on Aug 25, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    I have never heard of Agvan Dorjiev until now. At a glance, he seemed to be a lobbyist who did the bidding for the Dalai Lama / Tibetan leadership to seek foreign (Russian) aid with a political agenda. He was not the common monk who meditated and taught in the monastery, but actually travelled and lobby for support in those trying times at the turn of the 20th Century. Despite his motivation or political inclination, he had brought Tibet and Buddhism out to foreign land by establishing monasteries, ordaining monks and bestowing tantric empowerments in Kalmykia and Buryatia of Russia. Perhaps it was because of this genuine good deed and his diplomatic connection that he was highly respected. Thank you Valentina for this article.

  6. Pastor Adeline on Aug 25, 2016 at 5:16 am

    While people look up to monks who went into solitary retreat in the deep forest or high mountains, there are equally admirable monks who had to go against all odds in order to bring dharma to many. The later cannot avoid the dealing with politics and complicated human relations, yet they manage to succeed in their endeavours.

    Somehow, Agvan Dorjiev reminded me on H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche, who has also brought dharma to the foreign land out of Guru Devotion. Like Agvan Dorjiev, His Eminence has never given up on his endeavour and go out his way without once looking back. His Eminence has displayed full determination in serving others equally similar to Agvan Dorjiev.

    Agvan Dorjiev is an inspiration to say the least. Thank you for sharing, Valentina.

  7. Pastor David Lai on Aug 24, 2016 at 3:19 am

    I have read his name mentioned several times particularly in the accounts of the 13th Dalai Lama period although I have not read much about his life. It’s interesting to read about his contribution towards the spread of Buddhism in Russia during the turbulent times between the fall of the Romonovs and the rise of communist Russia.

    Its amazing that the institution that he founded still stands to this day and who would have known that Russia would have such a long history of Buddhist practice. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we know of any incarnation of this particular lama. Perhaps, he doesn’t have students that actually went out to look for his incarnation.

    I heard that modern Mongolians are still trying to recover bits and pieces of its spiritual tradition after the devastating period of Russian communism. It would take a lot of work to re-establish the monasteries, monastics, lamas and education system that had been in place for centuries. One thing I must say that the lamas are resilient and Mongols by constitution are hardy people and stickler to what they believe in.

  8. samfoonheei on Aug 22, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Very interesting article,,,I do enjoyed reading it.All about this diplomat monk name Agvan Dorjiev his life story and how he was part of an important diplomatic role in developing and strengthening the relationship between Russia and Tibet.Even though religion and politics do not mix yet with his help he managed to contribute to the monasteries in Lhasa and Tashi Lunpo in Shigatse,and establish Buddhism there. With the support of many powerful personalities he even build a Buddhist temple in the Russian capital, despite the odds and difficulties.His tireless effort to preserve Buddhism in Russia , he was arrested a couple of times.That’s great…..he suffered for the people to make it possible.
    Thanks Valentina for sharing

    • Valentina Suhendra on Aug 23, 2016 at 12:13 am

      Dear Somfoonheei

      Thank you for your kind comments. I am glad that you enjoy reading the article about this remarkable personality. I had mixed feeling when I research about him because I was trying to guess his motivation. But lookilng at his results – establishing various monasteries in Buryatia and Kalmykia and at the same time building such a grand temple in the Christian Orthodox capital of the world – they are enough evidence that his motivation was not bad. 🙂

      Valentina

  9. Lester on Aug 18, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Thanks Valentina for the very informative and exciting article. There is a book, “Tournaments of Shadow”, I think, that contains quite a number of primary sources on the history of this particular era. They include interesting bits by western observers like HHDL humiliating audience with the Empress Dowager, even sightings of extraterrestrial spacecraft near Tibet. Seems that politics and aliens are inextricable parts of the Gelug DNA. 🙂

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Blog Chat

BLOG CHAT

Dear blog friends,

I’ve created this section for all of you to share your opinions, thoughts and feelings about whatever interests you.

Everyone has a different perspective, so this section is for you.

Tsem Rinpoche


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Noticeboard

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  • Pastor Shin
    Thursday, Feb 23. 2017 11:29 PM
    What did they do to Geshe Thupten Lama?

    Geshe Thupten Lama was one of the pioneers who founded Tibetan schools in exile and served as a school teacher from 1963 to 1994 for which he received high commendations from the Tibetan exile government. Shocking what they did to this old erudite master Geshe Thupten Lama after serving them for years.

    Read more: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=119404
  • Joy Kam
    Thursday, Feb 23. 2017 10:41 PM
    >>>Who is Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen?<<<
    Dear sincere dharma students around the world and friends, After the great master, meditator, teacher, logician, yogi, siddha and erudite scholar Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen was ‘eliminated’ by the government of the 5th Dalai Lama over three hundred years ago in Tibet, his reincarnation line was banned. That does not mean he stopped reincarnating as he continued in a string of high and beneficial lamas until present day, although he was not allowed to use his title and name. He has his main mind incarnation and many of his body, speech and activity incarnations also. His reincarnations certainly continued as confirmed by great beings such as Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, Panchen Rinpoche, Scholar Lobsang Tamdin, etc. Read more… http://www.dorjeshugden.org/blog/who-is-tulku-drakpa-gyeltsen
  • Alice Tay
    Thursday, Feb 23. 2017 09:38 PM
    After been rejected for so many years, many scientists like Seoul National University finally confirmed the existence of meridians. It’s a piece of glad news which may help the people especially the treatments like acupuncture is based on meridians and energy channels.

    Life is full of challenges and commitments. This is not easy for everyone has immediate lifestyle changes to maintain a healthy balance for eating and living. Therefore, this wonderful news is really bring benefits to others especially those are really need for acupuncture or similar treatments which are caused by nadis blockages and etc.

    Thank you Rinpoche for this nice sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/science-finally-proves-meridians-exist.html
  • Lin Mun
    Thursday, Feb 23. 2017 09:21 PM
    Thank you Pastor Seng Piow for sharing another miracle story of Rinpoche and Dorje Shugden. As long as we have full trust in Dorje Shugden, he will assist us to clear our obstacles and challenges.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/mother-and-son-saved-by-tsem-rinpoche-and-dorje-shugden.html
  • Yeo Kwai Gin
    Thursday, Feb 23. 2017 09:02 PM
    感恩仁波切的分享这殊胜的一天的文章 !

    我是多么的幸运, 拥有此机缘和福份, 参与这殊胜的一天。很感恩郭月谊讲法师和一班佛友, 日夜的筹备,让当晚的活动顺利和圆满的完成 !

    在这殊胜的法会,大家有幸的得到各种加持, 如触摸加持的金泽八吉祥,迎请加持的正能量,增长好的因素如内在和外在的财富,寿命等等。大家还有幸的可以品尝已加持特制的坚果饭, 乳酪和奶茶。那是多么的有福气啊!希望将来的每一年,大家可以再次的参与,还有携带家人和亲戚朋友到来, 也让他们得到金泽的加持 !

    愿上师詹仁波切健康,长寿,吉祥如意, 克切拉禅修林的工程尽快完成, 佛法传播到世界每一个角落 !

    感恩合十
    YEO KWAI GIN

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/yangdup-wealth-puja-2017.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Feb 23. 2017 07:14 PM
    Beautiful image of Vajrayogini indeed with shimmering jewels offered to her. Its so nice of this lady Ms Wahyu of her painting of Vajrayogini to our previous Rinpoche whom she have not met before.Vajrayogini’s practice is very powerful to start now making offerings and to be connected .we will then gain a great amount of merits.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this beautiful painting of Vajrayogini.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/shimmering-vajrayogini-from-ms-wahyu.html#comment-736083
  • Lin Mun
    Wednesday, Feb 22. 2017 10:18 PM
    Mwalua is truly a very compassionate person. Not many would want to trouble themselves or even risk their live to bring water to these animals. He has such a big heart towards living beings and the importance of life.

    Angie Brown, Cher Callaway and Tami Calliope are also very generous and kind person. They help him to raise fund so he can continue with his action to save the animals.

    I hope Mwalua will receive continuous help from all kind donors so animals don’t have to suffer.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/he-is-super-compassionate.html
  • Alice Tay
    Wednesday, Feb 22. 2017 10:05 PM
    Heartwarming message from Mwalua, who is so compassionate and empathetic:
    “There is completely no water, so the animals are depending on humans,” Mwalua tells The Dodo. “If we don’t help them, they will die.”

    Mwalua fully aware that the wildlife will definitely die without the water. Furthermore, only humans can help the animals. He is able to let go of his stress and laziness just to deliver the water patiently and passionately. Many wildlife have been saved due to his kind actions. Furthermore, he visited local schools and hope to bring awareness to the children so that when they grow up they can protect the wildlife as one of their legacies.

    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing. This is a good example of loving kindness and compassion to inspire us to greater loving kindness and compassion.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/he-is-super-compassionate.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Feb 22. 2017 05:02 PM
    By being a good example ourselves, we can be a more effective campaigner for the helpless animals. I believe that when we want to stand for something, the most powerful words that speak for us is our action. It is inconsistent when one campaigns for the rescued or stray dogs and ask for donations to feed them but consume chicken and seafood and pork and beef. There is no difference between these animals, they all have feelings and fear for pain. So, here’s a picture of the dogs all trapped in a cramped cage where chicken, sea animals, pigs, and cows are in same or worse conditions waiting to be slaughtered. If you feel for these poor dogs, please spare a thought for the other meat on your plate too. Thank you, Rinpoche for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/blog-it-tweet-it-facebook-it-again-and-again-pleeeeeeease.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Feb 22. 2017 04:38 PM
    Thank you, Rinpoche for the teaching on What is a Blessing. Many of us got all excited when we get a “blessing” from a high lama, but often time neglected the true meaning of the blessing. What Rinpoche taught us is important because we need to stop putting our fate, destiny, life in the hands of others. The mindset of thinking that once we have gotten the blessings from a holy being and then we will have good fortune and will be set for life, s not the correct mindset. The holy lama has the power by his touch to bless us, to protect us and to open up our previous imprint. The blessing is meant to trigger us to become better and change the course of our life for the better. A blessing brings positive energy into our life, and it is really up to us to persistently pursue that good cause and change our life for the better.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/what-is-a-blessing.html
  • Joy Kam
    Wednesday, Feb 22. 2017 04:00 PM
    ***The Advantages of Propitiating Dorje Shugden***

    Dorje Shugden is also known as the Protector of our time because, apart from guiding Buddhist practitioners on their path to Enlightenment, he also attends to our daily challenges and obstacles. Dorje Shugden does this not because he is a fulfiller of samsaric wishes but because in his omniscience, Dorje Shugden recognises that the human mind becomes distracted from Dharma practice by mundane problems. Hence alleviating our worries and fulfilling our wishes is just a means by which Dorje Shugden helps practitioners achieve the higher objective…>>> http://www.dorjeshugden.org/blog/the-advantages-of-propitiating-dorje-shugden-part-1
  • Joy Kam
    Wednesday, Feb 22. 2017 03:59 PM
    FEAR NO MORE… here is a method which not only dispels the negative things sent to you and not only does it protects you but it also helps the spirit stop collecting negative karma and binds/subdues it with compassion…

    COMMENTARY ON TRAKZE PRACTICE
    ***A Practice to Dispel Black Magic and Spirits***

    This commentary on Trakze practice was compiled from traditional sources by His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche.
    Date: 30th January 2015
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/trakze-to-dispel-black-magic-spirits.html

    [NOTE: This is a commentary on Trakze’s practice and can be done daily by anyone who wants to receive protection even if you are not afflicted by black magic and spirits. This practice does not require any initiations]
  • Yeo Kwai Gin
    Wednesday, Feb 22. 2017 01:42 AM
    Yeo Kwai Gin on Feb 22, 2017 at 1:38 am
    感恩仁波切和邝仁爱讲法师的分享 !

    看完这篇文章后, 我的心情很沉重和心痛, 多杰雄登修持者在这20年以来开始就被歧视, 不友善对待, 伤害,破坏家园。在文章里, 讲法师被朋友在网上绝交(只因为讲法师是雄登修持者),被丑化, 被脏言怒骂等等, 只因是” 多杰雄登修持者 ” 。那是多么的无辜和无奈和心痛 !

    在邝仁爱讲法师提到的, 赞助大德一直以来供养了庞大的资源如金钱, 修理佛堂, 建医疗中心,供养佛像等等, 让寺院里的僧人拥有舒适的地方和足够的资源修行, 但是为何只有了多杰雄登的争论课题, 西藏中央政府要严厉的把 “修持雄登者” 和” 无修持雄登者”严重的隔离呢?

    一直以来, 所有修持多杰雄登法门的高僧大德如帕绷卡仁波切, 赤江仁波切, 宋仁波切, 刚坚仁波切, 詹杜固仁波切等等都是无私的不断弘扬佛法, 把宗喀巴大师的传承与佛法传播到世界每一个角落, 利益众生 !而且, 很多修持雄登的高僧还一直转世回来继续祂们的宏愿呢 !

    修持多杰雄登法门保护我们和帮助减轻或去除我们的障碍,让我们在灵修的路上更加快速的达到成就 !

    希望尊贵的达赖尊者,西藏中央政府和有关当局可以尽早把”多杰雄登争论课题”解决, 因为还没出现这课题之前, 大家都是一样的和谐共处,一起辩论佛法,一起参加法会, 一起开心的生活。

    愿尊贵的达赖尊者与尊贵的上师詹仁波切健康长寿,吉祥如意, 愿雄登课题可以尽早解决, 世界和平 !

    OM BENZA WIKI BITANA SOHA

    感恩合十
    YEO KWAI GIN

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/how-tibetan-leadership-treats-a-sponsor-jindak.html?nomobile
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Feb 21. 2017 04:37 PM
    Each time when I read of the miracle helps from Rinpoche and Dorje Shugden on people who are in dire straits, the faith for the Guru and Dorje Shugden grow stronger. There are many problems in life where we, human, cannot tackle on our own; especially health problems, emergencies, and disturbance from black magic or spirit. The methods and practice shared by Rinpoche, for example, the Dorje Shugden practice, are proven methods passed from hundreds of years ago and most importantly, it works! Would we rather take a 50-50 chance or seek help from an efficient and proven method? Thank you, Pastor Seng Piow for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/mother-and-son-saved-by-tsem-rinpoche-and-dorje-shugden.html
  • Alice Tay
    Tuesday, Feb 21. 2017 03:54 PM

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CREDITS

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

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

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
2 weeks 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 weeks 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
4 weeks ago
This is a good one to read
Mumu is silly and cute and funny
4 weeks ago
Mumu is silly and cute and funny
Mumu\'s hair is messy and he looks funny
4 weeks 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
1 month 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
2 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
2 months ago
Message to Tibetans in English
Message to the Tibetans
2 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
2 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
2 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
2 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
2 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
2 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
3 months ago
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
3 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.
3 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.
3 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
3 months ago
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
3 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
3 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?
4 months ago
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
Sir Edmund Hillary
4 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
4 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
5 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
5 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...
5 months ago
Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
5 months ago
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
High lamas in France September 2016
5 months ago
High lamas in France September 2016
༧གོང་ས་ཆེན་པོ་སྐུ་འཕྲེང་བཅུ་བཞི་པ་མཆོག་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། - Interesting relationship between 14th Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden:   http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109757
5 months ago
༧གོང་ས་ཆེན་པོ་སྐུ་འཕྲེང་བཅུ་བཞི་པ་མཆོག་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། - Interesting relationship between 14th Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109757
Dalai Lama Says We Can Practise Dorje Shugden Finally! Read more on this development--- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109777
5 months ago
Dalai Lama Says We Can Practise Dorje Shugden Finally! Read more on this development--- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109777
More time spent in dharma work is more karma collected to be happy and more time spent in non-dharma works is more karma collected to be unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
More time spent in dharma work is more karma collected to be happy and more time spent in non-dharma works is more karma collected to be unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche
All Dorje Shugden prophesizes will come to pass,
 Those who generate refuge and merits will trust, 
 By trusting one will see the good results of his pronouncements,
 By seeing the good results, one\'s path becomes more clear, 
 The path of practice, purification and siddhic results, 
 This would eliminate the samsara within our minds.
 ~Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
All Dorje Shugden prophesizes will come to pass, Those who generate refuge and merits will trust, By trusting one will see the good results of his pronouncements, By seeing the good results, one's path becomes more clear, The path of practice, purification and siddhic results, This would eliminate the samsara within our minds. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Large Dorje Shugden statue built by the 5th Dalai Lama and housed in Trode Khangsar. Sock Wand and Mdm Chuah took this picture in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
5 months ago
Large Dorje Shugden statue built by the 5th Dalai Lama and housed in Trode Khangsar. Sock Wand and Mdm Chuah took this picture in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
Our own Kecharian Mdm. Chua with the oracle of Dorje Shugden Gen Tenzin Tsultrim in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
5 months ago
Our own Kecharian Mdm. Chua with the oracle of Dorje Shugden Gen Tenzin Tsultrim in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Trode Khangsar-the Chapel to Dorje Shugden built 400 years ago by the Great 5th Dalai Lama-Tibet 2016
5 months ago
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Trode Khangsar-the Chapel to Dorje Shugden built 400 years ago by the Great 5th Dalai Lama-Tibet 2016
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Gaden Monastery, Tibet 2016
5 months ago
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Gaden Monastery, Tibet 2016
                         This is the oracle of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa, Tibet. His name is Gen Tenzin Tsultrim of Sera Monastery in Tibet.
5 months ago
This is the oracle of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa, Tibet. His name is Gen Tenzin Tsultrim of Sera Monastery in Tibet.
Ms. Sock Wan, Oracle of Dorje Shugden in Tibet Gen Tenzin Tsultrim, Mdm Chuah and Mr. Tashi in Tibet 2016
5 months ago
Ms. Sock Wan, Oracle of Dorje Shugden in Tibet Gen Tenzin Tsultrim, Mdm Chuah and Mr. Tashi in Tibet 2016
Mahasiddha Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Ven. Rabten Choktrul Rinpoche 2016
5 months ago
Mahasiddha Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Ven. Rabten Choktrul Rinpoche 2016
His Eminence Mahasiddha Gangchen Rinpoche and the official oracle of Dorje Shugden Panglung Kuten Choji lah in Italy together September 2016
5 months ago
His Eminence Mahasiddha Gangchen Rinpoche and the official oracle of Dorje Shugden Panglung Kuten Choji lah in Italy together September 2016
My thoughts on Malaysia. Thank you. Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
My thoughts on Malaysia. Thank you. Tsem Rinpoche
Beautiful thangka of Vajra Yogini. Look at the details where she appears in visions and also takes people to Kechara.
5 months ago
Beautiful thangka of Vajra Yogini. Look at the details where she appears in visions and also takes people to Kechara.
Left to right:

His Holiness the Gaden Throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche (very young) and His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Prayer Hall during prayers.
5 months ago
Left to right: His Holiness the Gaden Throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche (very young) and His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Prayer Hall during prayers.
 It\'s nice when families support the spiritual journeys of their children. This is one beautiful family of Pastor Niral of Kechara
5 months ago
It's nice when families support the spiritual journeys of their children. This is one beautiful family of Pastor Niral of Kechara
Jog Falls a power place of Vajra Yogini and Heruka: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=108652
5 months ago
Jog Falls a power place of Vajra Yogini and Heruka: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=108652
Don\'t wait for the perfect group. Don\'t wait for the perfect person. Don\'t wait for the perfect situation. Don\'t expect yourself to be perfect. Don\'t even look for perfection at least in our realm as it does not exist or time will run out. Just get going and keep doing good. It\'s between you and yourself. Tsem Rinpoche
6 months ago
Don't wait for the perfect group. Don't wait for the perfect person. Don't wait for the perfect situation. Don't expect yourself to be perfect. Don't even look for perfection at least in our realm as it does not exist or time will run out. Just get going and keep doing good. It's between you and yourself. Tsem Rinpoche
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Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu darling is a very good boy.
    2 weeks ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu darling is a very good boy.
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu wants to go bye bye!
    2 weeks ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu wants to go bye bye!
  • [11/02/2017] I love you mumu boy
    2 weeks ago
    [11/02/2017] I love you mumu boy
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu and Oser eating together.
    2 weeks ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu and Oser eating together.
  • Great spiritual rock carving in Tibet
    1 month ago
    Great spiritual rock carving in Tibet
  • You will Never be Ready
    2 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
    2 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!
    3 months ago
    Must Watch this Video!
  • Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
    4 months ago
    Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
  • Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    4 months ago
    Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    ཁྱེད་ཀྱི་བཀའ་སློབ་དོན་སྙིང་དེ།།གང་གི་རྣ་བར་བདུད་རྩི་མོད།།འོན་ཀྱང་འགའ་ཡི་རྣ་ལམ་དུ།། བྲག་ཆ་བཞིན་དུ་འགྱུར་སྲིད་མོད།། ཚང་མས་ཚར་རེ་གཟིགས་རོགས།། Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche telling people that it is important to have guru samaya. It use to be that way in the great monasteries. We should not create problems and schisms. If we want to practice a protector, then do so, if not it's okay, but don't make trouble. One should just practice the Buddha Dharma well. To do good practice. If you have faith in Dorje Shugden and trust all the way, he will definitely help you. But most important is to practice the dharma. This is his advice in short here. It's good to let more Tibetans hear this holy speech and appeal by this very senior Rinpoche. TR
  • His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Propitiating Protectors & Oracles
    4 months ago
    His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Propitiating Protectors & Oracles
    This was on FB and I came across it. His Holiness said in Tibetan institutions there is a lot of propitiating protector/oracles and this is not what Buddhism is about. So they are putting Nechung/Tema oracles within the video to say what is he talking about when he does it himself. This is confusing is the message to his people. TR
  • -
    4 months ago
    Look how this crab eats a cherry.. Incredible and cute... Never seen this before. They have feelings too. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is Sarah. Do you have 30 seconds for her? Her life in just 30 seconds!
    5 months ago
    This is Sarah. Do you have 30 seconds for her? Her life in just 30 seconds!
  • See what is your fortune today!
    5 months ago
    See what is your fortune today!
  • Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche recites offering stanza to Dorje Shugden Septemeber 2016
    5 months ago
    Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche recites offering stanza to Dorje Shugden Septemeber 2016

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CHAT PICTURES

Dorje Shugden visits Bentong!
yesterday
Dorje Shugden visits Bentong!
Happy Faces in Bentong!
yesterday
Happy Faces in Bentong!
Dorje Shugden in Bentong! A Big Thank You to All the Volunteers!
yesterday
Dorje Shugden in Bentong! A Big Thank You to All the Volunteers!
Wealth God Procession in Bentong with World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden!
yesterday
Wealth God Procession in Bentong with World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden!
Have fun and be happy is what everyone wants, no one is exception. Stella, KSDS
2 days ago
Have fun and be happy is what everyone wants, no one is exception. Stella, KSDS
Orang Asli community was among the many who came to join us at the Halloween Charity Event, 2016. Stella, KSDS
2 days ago
Orang Asli community was among the many who came to join us at the Halloween Charity Event, 2016. Stella, KSDS
Looks who're in the house! Celebrity hosts! Throwback Halloween Charity Event 2016. Stella, KSDS
2 days ago
Looks who're in the house! Celebrity hosts! Throwback Halloween Charity Event 2016. Stella, KSDS
The Halloween Charity Event 2016 brought together kind volunteers from Bentong town who are always looking for ways to help out! Stella, KSDS
2 days ago
The Halloween Charity Event 2016 brought together kind volunteers from Bentong town who are always looking for ways to help out! Stella, KSDS
Halloween, Costume and Fun Time are synonymous for the children. Throwback: Halloween Charity Event at KFR, Oct 2016. Stella, KSDS
2 days ago
Halloween, Costume and Fun Time are synonymous for the children. Throwback: Halloween Charity Event at KFR, Oct 2016. Stella, KSDS
“If we do not create inner peace, outer peace is not possible.” – H.E the 25th Tsem Rinpoche Participants of Inner Peace Retreat in Kechara Forest Retreat! February 2017
2 days ago
“If we do not create inner peace, outer peace is not possible.” – H.E the 25th Tsem Rinpoche Participants of Inner Peace Retreat in Kechara Forest Retreat! February 2017
Flowers in Kechara Forest Retreat! Thank you Sharon Ong for this beautiful picture!
2 days ago
Flowers in Kechara Forest Retreat! Thank you Sharon Ong for this beautiful picture!
Join the Dharma Talk with Wah Ying in Kechara Forest Retreat on Saturday 25th February 2017!
2 days ago
Join the Dharma Talk with Wah Ying in Kechara Forest Retreat on Saturday 25th February 2017!
Pastor Chia solemnized a couple's marriage registration at Kechara House. Lucy Yap
4 days ago
Pastor Chia solemnized a couple's marriage registration at Kechara House. Lucy Yap
On Sunday morning, we had an animal liberation event , in which we will save the lives of birds. Pastor Han Nee led a beautiful prayer before the birds were released. bit.ly/2ahl6Yv Lucy Yap
4 days ago
On Sunday morning, we had an animal liberation event , in which we will save the lives of birds. Pastor Han Nee led a beautiful prayer before the birds were released. bit.ly/2ahl6Yv Lucy Yap
Kenny Loh from Ipoh has offered lights and incense on behalf of KISG before the start of our short Mother Tara retreat. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
5 days ago
Kenny Loh from Ipoh has offered lights and incense on behalf of KISG before the start of our short Mother Tara retreat. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Through the blessings from Rinpoche, KISG has completed our short Mother Tara retreat today in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
5 days ago
Through the blessings from Rinpoche, KISG has completed our short Mother Tara retreat today in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Join Self Defense Classes in Kechara Forest Retreat on Saturdays
5 days ago
Join Self Defense Classes in Kechara Forest Retreat on Saturdays
Lantern Festival Bazaar was one of the event organised by KSDS. Alice Tay, KSDS
5 days ago
Lantern Festival Bazaar was one of the event organised by KSDS. Alice Tay, KSDS
Light offering to Lama Tsongkhapa by the WOAH Campers. Alice Tay, KSDS
5 days ago
Light offering to Lama Tsongkhapa by the WOAH Campers. Alice Tay, KSDS
Teachers and children are enjoyed for being stayed together for 2D1N of WOAH Camp 2016. Alice Tay, KSDS.
5 days ago
Teachers and children are enjoyed for being stayed together for 2D1N of WOAH Camp 2016. Alice Tay, KSDS.
KSDS students were taken refuge before the lesson start. Alice Tay, KSDS
5 days ago
KSDS students were taken refuge before the lesson start. Alice Tay, KSDS
Fun time in self-defense section during Woah Camp 2016. Alice Tay, KSDS
5 days ago
Fun time in self-defense section during Woah Camp 2016. Alice Tay, KSDS
Dharma sharing with Pastor David Lai about the Secret of Relationships i Wisdom Hall
6 days ago
Dharma sharing with Pastor David Lai about the Secret of Relationships i Wisdom Hall
Group picture of KSDS team upon completion of Graduation 2016. Lin Mun KSDS
6 days ago
Group picture of KSDS team upon completion of Graduation 2016. Lin Mun KSDS
Students from SRJK (C) Bukit Tinggi making khata offering to Rinpoche in KFR. Lin Mun KSDS
6 days ago
Students from SRJK (C) Bukit Tinggi making khata offering to Rinpoche in KFR. Lin Mun KSDS
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Dorje Shugden
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