Atisha Dipamkara Shrijñana: The Reviver of Buddhism in Tibet

Jun 17, 2018 | Views: 12,139
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Dipamkara Shrijnana (Atisha) (982-1054 CE)]

Atisha Dipamkara Shrijñana (982-1054 CE). Click to enlarge.

Atisha Dipamkara Shrijñana (982-1054 C.E.) is considered one of the greatest figures of classical Buddhism and one of the greatest Indian Buddhist masters of all time, but it is his work in reviving the pure Buddhist teachings in Tibet that truly sets him apart.

Through his immense efforts in spreading Buddha’s lineage in the Land of Snows, the Kadam school of Tibetan Buddhism was eventually founded by his heart disciple, Dromtönpa. Atisha also composed his seminal masterpiece, the Bodhipathapradipa or Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment, which lay the foundations for centuries of study, contemplation, attainments and realisations based on this graded approach to the Buddha’s 84,000 teachings. It would also became the backbone of the Kadampa and later Gelugpa traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.

The story of his life continues to inspire many Buddhists to persevere in their spiritual journeys more than nine centuries after his death.

 

Early Life

The map of Pala Empire (750–1200 CE)

A map of the Pala Empire (750–1200 CE)

Atisha’s birth in 982 C.E. was accompanied by auspicious signs. There were rainbows and blue utpali flowers fell from the sky. He was most likely born in Bikrampur (Vikramanipura), the capital city of the ancient Pala Empire in southeast Bengal.

His parents, King Kalyanashri (Glorious Virtue) and his consort, Prabhavarti Shrimati (Glorious Radiance), named him Chandragarbha (Moon Essence). One of his future patrons, King Jangchub Ö of Tibet, would later name him Atisha (Peace) for his calm and peaceful demeanour.

Born the second of three sons to wealthy parents, Atisha spent his childhood in a magnificent palace with 13 golden pagodas and 25,000 golden victory banners. Within the palace complex, there were 25,000 pools, parks filled with beautiful flowers, trees that grew only in India, and seven bridges.

From a young age, Atisha displayed many extraordinary qualities. By the age of three, he was already an expert in grammar and astrology. He could also tell the difference between Buddhism and non-Buddhism. His parents expected him to perform his royal duties and considered him as the heir apparent to his father’s throne.

 

VIDEO: The History of the Pala Empire

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Atisha also displayed compassion from a very young age. During a temple visit, Atisha pointed to a crowd of people who were trying to catch a glimpse of him. His parents explained to him that they were his subjects. Compassion immediately arose in his mind, and he made a prayer:

“May all these people enjoy good fortune as great as my own.”

Source: Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Joyful Path of Good Fortune, Tharpa Publications, 2012, p. 6.

Compassion came naturally to Atisha. Whenever he met someone, he spontaneously wished:

“May this person find happiness and be free from suffering.”

Source: Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Joyful Path of Good Fortune, Tharpa Publications, 2012, p. 6.

On one occasion when Atisha received a vision of Tara, a blue utpala flower fell from the sky as Atisha sat in his mother’s lap.

A blue utpala flower

When Atisha turned 11, he began receiving visions of Tara. On one such occasion, a blue utpala flower fell from the sky as he sat in his mother’s lap. The boy began to speak in the direction of the flower.

Some yogis later explained to his parents that the blue flowers were signs that Tara was manifesting before their son.

When Atisha came of age, his parents began looking for a suitable bride for him. But, Tara appeared before him with the following advice:

“If you become attached to your kingdom, you will be like an elephant when he sinks into [the] mud and cannot lift himself out again because he is so huge and heavy. Do not become attached to this life. Study and practise Dharma. You have been a spiritual guide in many of your previous lives, and in this life also you will become a spiritual guide.”

Source: Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Joyful Path of Good Fortune, Tharpa Publications, 2012, p. 6.

Atisha developed a strong desire to study and practise the Buddha’s teachings after this encounter with Tara. He knew that he would have to leave his comfortable surroundings behind and that he had to tell his parents about his reluctance to marry.

“There is no difference for my mind between this palace and a prison. There is no difference between beautiful, expensive clothes and the torn cloth in the garbage. There is no difference between delicious food and dog meat and pus. There is no difference between princesses and mara women — devil women.”

Source: Lama Zopa Rinpoche, The Life of Atisha, 1976, https://www.lamayeshe.com/article/life-atisha, (accessed 28 March 2018).

 

The Search for Spiritual Teachers

Atisha knew that he needed qualified teachers to guide him on his spiritual journey, so he began to seek them out. Thanks to his intelligence and perseverance, Atisha was able to master the teachings given to him. His teachers referred him to others who could help him further his studies and improve his knowledge. Atisha is said to have studied with more than 150 teachers during his lifetime. Here are a few of them:

 

Jetari

Atisha sought out Jetari, a famous Buddhist master who lived close to him, to learn how to find release from samsara. Jetari gave him teachings on Bodhicitta, the wish to attain Enlightenment in order to benefit all sentient beings. He also gave the prince Refuge and Bodhisattva vows. Jetari then advised Atisha to request guidance from Bodhibhadra of Nalanda Monastery.

The ruin of Nalanda Monastery

The ruins of Nalanda Monastery

 

Bodhibhadra

Vidyakokila

Vidyakokila

Atisha asked Bodhibhadra to teach him how to achieve the state beyond sorrow, so Bodhibhadra taught him how to generate Bodhicitta. Bodhibhadra then advised Atisha to seek guidance from Vidyakokila, the great meditator who had realised emptiness and could skilfully teach the stages of the profound path.

 

Vidyakokila

From Vidyakokila, Atisha received the complete instructions on the profound and vast paths. Vidyakokila then sent Atisha to the great Vajrayana master, Avadhutipa.

 

Rahulagupta

Rahulagupta the Black Mountain Yogi

Rahulagupta the Black Mountain Yogi

Avadhutipa told Atisha that he would only teach him after he had received empowerments in the Hevajra and Heruka Tantras from Rahulagupta, the Black Mountain Yogi.

From Rahulagupta, Atisha received the secret name of Janavajra (Indestructible Wisdom) and the initiation of the Hevajra Tantra. Rahulagupta also advised Atisha to seek permission from his parents.

Atisha complied by visiting his parents and telling them:

“If I practise Dharma purely, then, as Arya Tara has predicted, I shall be able to repay your kindness and the kindness of all living beings. If I can do this my human life will not have been wasted. Otherwise, even though I may spend all my time in a glorious palace, my life will be meaningless. Please give me your consent to leave the kingdom and dedicate my whole life to the practice of Dharma.”

Source: Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Joyful Path of Good Fortune, Tharpa Publications, 2012, p. 7.

Atisha’s father was initially reluctant, but his mother remembered the auspicious signs of Atisha’s birth. She gave Atisha her permission and blessings, and the king followed suit.

 

Avadhutipa

Mahasidha Avadhutipa

Mahasiddha Avadhutipa

With the blessings of his parents, Atisha finally went back to Avadhutipa with whom he spent seven years receiving instructions on Secret Mantra.

At one point, Atisha began to feel arrogant, thinking that he probably knew more about Secret Mantra than anyone else in the world. However, his arrogance vanished after he dreamt of dakinis who showed him scriptures that he had never seen before.

 

Shilarakshita

Atisha originally aspired to become a lay practitioner like Avadhutipa. He decided to become a monk after having a dream in which he was following a procession of monks in the presence of Shakyamuni Buddha who wondered why Atisha had not been ordained. Another account credits his teacher, Rahulagupta, for encouraging him to become ordained. At 29 years of age, Atisha was ordained by Shilarakshita and was given the ordination name Dipamkara Shrijñana.

 

Dharmarakshita

From Dharmarakshita Atisha learned the teachings of the Hinayana. He received instructions on the Ocean of Great Explanation and the Seven Sets of Abhidharma, two works that were written based on the philosophical views of the Vaibhashika system.

 

A Quest for Dharma in a Faraway Land

Though he had received instructions from many qualified masters, Atisha was still motivated to seek more knowledge on the attainment of swift and complete Enlightenment. He began to receive visions and hints that realising Bodhicitta is the key to achieving Enlightenment.

Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya

Mahabodhi Temple is located at the site where Buddha is said to have attained Enlightenment in Bodhgaya.

When he visited Bodhgaya, Atisha overheard a conversation between two ladies who were emanations of Arya Tara:

Younger lady: What is the principal method for attaining Enlightenment quickly?

Older lady: It is Bodhicitta.

Source: Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Joyful Path of Good Fortune, Tharpa Publications, 2012, p. 8-9.

On another occasion, as Atisha was circumambulating the holy Bodhgaya stupa, the statue of Shakyamuni Buddha spoke to him.

“If you wish to attain Enlightenment quickly, you must gain experience of compassion, love, and the precious Bodhicitta.”

Source: Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Joyful Path of Good Fortune, Tharpa Publications, 2012, p. 8-9.

Once, when Atisha was travelling near the Nagarjuna Caves, he heard the Buddha statues say:

“Train the mind in love and the compassionate thought, Bodhicitta.”

Source: Lama Zopa Rinpoche, The Life of Atisha, 1976, https://www.lamayeshe.com/article/life-atisha, (accessed 28 March 2018).

One ivory Buddha statue specifically said to him:

“Yogi, if you want to quickly receive Enlightenment, train the mind in love and compassion, and the thought of Bodhicitta.”

Source: Lama Zopa Rinpoche, The Life of Atisha, 1976, https://www.lamayeshe.com/article/life-atisha, (accessed 28 March 2018).

Vapiyaka Cave, part of Nagarjuna Caves, India

Vapiyaka Cave, part of Nagarjuna Caves, India

Atisha resolved to find a teacher who held the complete set of instructions on Bodhichitta. He discovered that Dharmakirti of Suvarnadvipa (the golden islands) held the lineage of the instructions on how to develop Bodhicitta.

Suvarnadvipa (Serlingpa) from Sriwijaya

Suvarnadvipa Guru (Serlingpa) from Indonesia

Suvarnadvipa Guru (Serlingpa) lived during the period of the Srivijaya Empire, which was regarded as the golden age of Buddhism in Indonesia. Its territories included Java, Sumatra and Malaya.

The journey to Indonesia took 13 months, but Atisha did not immediately approach Serlingpa upon arrival. Instead, he stayed with Serlingpa’s students in order to learn more about the Guru’s life. This shows that the relationship between student and teacher should not be taken lightly.

Once Atisha was convinced that he had found the right teacher, he offered a mandala to Serlingpa and respectfully requested teachings. Atisha offered the Guru a transparent vase full of gold, silver, pearls, coral and lapis lazuli. This symbolised that he would receive the complete instructions into the Bodhicitta trainings, like one pot receiving the full contents of another.

Serlingpa told Atisha that it would take him 12 years to gain realisation of Bodhicitta. At the end of the training, he advised Atisha to go north, to the “Land of Snows,” Tibet. At the age of 45, Atisha finally returned to India with the complete instructions of the Lineage of Vast Bodhisattva Conduct, transmitted to him by Suvarnadvipa Guru. Coincidentally, he left in the same year that the Chola Dynasty invaded Sumatra and caused the decline of the great Srivijaya Empire. It was due to Atisha’s efforts that the Extensive Lineage, passed from Shakyamuni Buddha to the Bodhisattva Maitreya, and from Maitreya to Asanga, was not lost.

 

VIDEO: Reenactment of Life in the Srivijaya Empire

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http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/SriwijyaEmpire-4.mp4

The map of Buddhist expansion from northern India to the rest of Asia, Sriwijaya was once served as a centre of Buddhist learning and expansion.

The map of Buddhist expansion from northern India to the rest of Asia. Srivijaya once served as a centre of Buddhist learning and expansion.

 

VIDEO: Why Did the Cholas Invade the Srivijaya Empire?

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Atisha’s Exceptional Qualities

Another picture of Atisha

Another picture of Atisha

With knowledge acquired from many great masters, Atisha fulfilled Arya Tara’s prediction that he would become a powerful spiritual guide.

Atisha possessed many special qualities. He was known to have kept all of his vows, including his Pratimoksha (ordination) vows, Bodhisattva vows, and Tantric vows.

In addition to mastering the knowledge of the sciences, arts, astrology, rhetoric, and poetry, he was also an extremely good physician who could transform poison into medicine. Atisha gained all the realisations related to the stages of the path including the realisations of the three higher trainings: training in higher moral discipline, training in higher concentration, and training in higher wisdom.

 

A Great Master Returns to India

On his return to India, Atisha achieved a new level of prominence – he became known for his knowledge and skill in philosophy and debate. It is said that he defeated non-Buddhist extremists with his debate skills. Whenever he encountered a mistaken or degenerate form of Buddhism, Atisha immediately implemented effective reforms.

Due to his accomplishment and dedication to the Buddhadharma, Atisha became a respected member of Vikramashila, the centre of Buddhist learning established by Emperor Mahapala. Atisha’s contribution to the Buddhadharma in India led to the growth of Buddhist practice and culture in the region.

The ruin of Vikramashila Monastery

The ruins of Vikramashila Monastery

 

The Harrowing Story of King Yeshe Ö

While Buddhism was flourishing in India, the story could not be more different in Tibet. King Langdarma of Tibet (803-841 C.E.) suppressed Buddhism and its followers during his reign. As a result, Buddhism in Tibet had degenerated. Many people were confused about the practices of Sutra and Tantra, and did not know how to practise the teachings correctly.

The ruin of Purang Guge Kingdom

The ruins of Purang-Guge

To restore the pure form of Buddhism in Tibet, King Yeshe Ö of the Purang-Guge kingdom in Western Tibet sent 21 of the kingdom’s brightest Buddhist students to study Dharma in India. Unfortunately, all but two translators died because they could not acclimatise to the hot Indian weather. The two translators, Legshey and Rinchen Sangpo (958-1055), managed to return to Tibet and informed King Yeshe Ö of the great pandit Atisha. They encouraged King Yeshe Ö to invite Atisha to Tibet to restore the BuddhaDharma.

“In India, there lives a monk of royal birth known as Dipamkara Srijñana. If you could persuade him to come to Tibet, it is certain that he would be of great benefit.”

Source:Kendal Magnussen (ed.), ‘Atisha’s Life Story’, FPMT Education Services, 15 February 2009, http://www.lamrim.com/hhdl/atishaslamp.html, (accessed 27 March 2018).

Upon hearing Atisha’s name, a great devotion arose in King Yeshe Ö’s mind. He was determined to bring this great master to Tibet.

Atisha016

King Yeshe Ö prepared many offerings of gold and sent an invitation to Atisha to come to Tibet. At the time, it was customary to offer gold to Dharma teachers as an indication of the student’s aspiration and respect for the teachings. The first mission to invite Atisha to Tibet was headed by Gya Lotsawa Tsondru Sengge in the 1030s. However, the mission failed when only Sengge survived the journey and decided to stay in India.

The failure of the first mission did not deter King Yeshe Ö. He embarked on a journey to accumulate more gold to offer to Atisha but was captured and imprisoned by Garlog Khan, a non-Buddhist ruler from a neighbouring kingdom. Khan did not want the Buddha Dharma to flourish in Tibet. When Jangchub Ö heard about his uncle’s capture, he went to see Garlog Khan. The wicked king told Jangchub Ö:

“You can either abandon your plans to bring the pandit and become my vassals, or you can bring me the king’s weight in gold.”

Source: Pabongka Rinpoche, Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand, Wisdom Publications, p. 41.

The devoted nephew managed to gather gold equal to the weight of the king’s body minus the head. But, Khan was not happy. He told Jangchub Ö, “I want the head and all.”

Jangchub Ö visited King Yeshe Ö and conveyed Khan’s request. The benevolent King Yeshe Ö told his nephew that since Khan was not satisfied by the immense amount of gold that had been offered to him, then Jangchub Ö should not offer any more gold. King Yeshe Ö further explained to his nephew that he was already old and his time was short.

“No, please do not give even a speck of gold to this evil Khan! …Please take the gold you have already collected and offer it to Dipamkara Srijñana. Please tell him of Tibet’s need for his help. Tell him that our need is so great that I have given up my own life in the hope that he will come to Tibet and teach the pure Dharma!”

Source: Kendal Magnussen (ed.), ‘Atisha’s Life Story’, FPMT Education Services, 15 February 2009, http://www.lamrim.com/hhdl/atishaslamp.html, (accessed 27 March 2018).

King Yeshe Ö then asked his nephew to convey the following message to Atisha:

“I gave up my life to invite you to Tibet. Please guide me with your compassion. What I have in my mind is only for you to come to Tibet and spread the teachings.”

Source: Lama Zopa Rinpoche, The Life of Atisha, 1976, https://www.lamayeshe.com/article/life-atisha, (accessed 28 March 2018).

After conveying this message, King Yeshe Ö passed away in prison. Moved by his uncle’s sacrifice, Jangchub Ö arranged for another mission to India to invite Atisha to Tibet. In 1037, Nagtso Lotsawa Tsultrim Gyalwa (Nagtso) (1011-1064), a Tibetan monk, headed the second mission. Upon their arrival, Gyatsön Senge, a Tibetan lama who had resided in India for many years, took them to Atisha.

The Tibetans offered an impressive mandala decorated with gold and conveyed their intention to invite Atisha to Tibet. They told Atisha about the degeneration of the Dharma in Tibet, the sacrifice of their late king Yeshe Ö, and of the sincere request of King Jangchub Ö, for Atisha’s help.

Arya Tara encouraged him to accept the Tibetan invitation and predicted that he would greatly benefit the Buddha Dharma and sentient beings by doing so

Arya Tara encouraged Atisha to accept the Tibetan invitation and predicted that he would greatly benefit the Buddhadharma and sentient beings by doing so. Click to enlarge.

Atisha was moved by the sincerity of the Tibetans and the sacrifice of King Yeshe Ö. He finally agreed to go to Tibet after seeking the advice of Arya Tara who encouraged him to accept the Tibetan invitation and predicted that he would greatly benefit the Buddhadharma and sentient beings by doing so. But, first, Atisha had to get permission from Ratnakara Shanti, the Sthavira (Elder) of Vikramashila.

Atisha informed the Elder of Vikramashila that he was going to bring the Tibetans to various pilgrimage sites in Nepal. The Elder saw through Atisha’s ruse but decided to grant his permission on condition that Atisha return to India within three years.

In 1040, Atisha finally left for Tibet with Nagtso, Gya Lotsawa, and a group of close disciples. Gyatsön Senge became ill during the journey and passed away. After spending one year in Nepal, Atisha and his companions continued their journey to Tibet. Subsequently, his Indian disciples realised that Atisha did not plan on returning. They complained that the Tibetans were thieves who had stolen their Spiritual Guide!

In 1042, Atisha reached Tolung, the capital of the Purang-Guge kingdom, in present-day Ngari.

 

Spreading the Buddhadharma in Tibet

Upon hearing that Atisha had reached the Tibetan border, Jangchub Ö sent 300 horsemen to greet him. He also sent a horse for Atisha so that the rest of his journey would be more comfortable. Escorted by the horsemen, Atisha presented an inspirational sight when he rode into town, levitating 1.5 feet above his horse. Many who witnessed his entrance developed faith, and rumours of a second Buddha arriving in Tibet began to spread like wildfire.

Upon Atisha’s arrival, Jangchub Ö appealed to him:

“Compassionate Atisha … there is great confusion about correct practice in Tibet. If it pleases you, I request you not to teach on the most profound subjects. Rather please teach about karma, the law of cause and effect. Please teach us those practices that are most easy to follow, and that includes the essential meaning of all the Buddha’s teachings of sutra and tantra.”

Source: Kendal Magnussen (ed.), ‘Atisha’s Life Story’, FPMT Education Services, 15 February 2009, http://www.lamrim.com/hhdl/atishaslamp.html, (accessed 27 March 2018).

Jangchub Ö also asked Atisha about correct Dharma practice. Atisha was very pleased with Jangchub Ö’s wisdom and sincerity. In response to Jangchub Ö’s request, Atisha composed his masterpiece, A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment (Bodhipathapradipa).

Atisha018

This short text, which consists of 67 verses, answered all of Jangchub Ö’s questions and turned the 84,000 teachings of the Buddha into a clear guide for practitioners. Atisha used this text as the base for his teachings in Ngari and Central Tibet. He taught in a way that appealed to the Tibetans and this started a golden age of Dharma in the Land of Snows.

After three years, Atisha sent a letter to the Elder of Vikramashila. He asked for his permission to remain in Tibet for the rest of his life. He also included a copy of the text A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment with the letter, which the Elder shared with the masters in Nalanda.

They were all amazed at how Atisha managed to present the teachings of Sutra and Tantra in such a short and simple text. They realised that Atisha would not have composed this precious text if he had not travelled to Tibet. With that realisation, the Elder gave his permission for Atisha to remain in Tibet.

Click here to download a PDF copy of A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment.

In Ngari, Atisha met with his closest disciple, Dromtön Gyalwa Jugne (Dromtönpa). Before his journey to Tibet, Arya Tara had made a prediction about Dromtönpa:

“When you go to Tibet, a layman will come to receive instructions from you, and this disciple will cause Dharma to flourish far and wide.”

Source: Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Joyful Path of Good Fortune, Tharpa Publications, 2012, p. 14.

Dromtonpa

Dromtönpa

Atisha transmitted the teachings of the stages to the path to Enlightenment (Lamrim) to Dromtönpa and the Secret Mantra to his other disciples. When Dromtönpa asked why he was the only disciple to receive instructions on the Lamrim, Atisha replied that it was because only Dromtönpa was worthy of receiving the teachings.

Atisha also grew close to Nagtso. After staying in Tolung for three years, Atisha went to Nagtso’s hometown of Mangyul and stayed there for a year. Then, he went to Tsang and U where he received and accepted invitations to give teachings in temples.

In 1047 C.E., Atisha visited Samye Monastery, which was built by King Songtsen Gampo in the 8th century. Samye Monastery is the first Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Tibet. Atisha also visited Tangpoche, a Kadampa Monastery in Central Tibet. This monastery was established in 1017 C.E. by a group of Eastern Vinaya monks. It is also said that Atisha was involved in the rebuilding of Meru Nyingpa Monastery in Lhasa.

Atisha spent another five years in Nyetang, the southern Kyichu valley in Lhasa. When he finally passed away in 1054 C.E., Atisha had spent 17 years of his life in Tibet.

 

Atisha’s Legacy

After Atisha’s passing, his foremost disciple, Dromtönpa, founded Reting Monastery and initiated the Kadam Buddhist tradition.

After Atisha’s passing, Dromtonpa gave Lamrim teachings extensively in Tibet (click to enlarge)

After Atisha’s passing, Dromtönpa gave Lamrim teachings extensively in Tibet. Click to enlarge.

Dromtönpa gave Lamrim teachings extensively in Tibet. These precious teachings were passed down to many generations.

One of the recipients was Lama Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelug tradition. The extensive Lamrim texts still widely used today were composed by Lama Tsongkhapa in accordance with the content and structure of Atisha’s Lamrim tradition.

More than 950 years after his passing, Atisha’s life story continues to inspire many. His masterpiece, A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment, continues to be studied and used as a reference by Buddhist practitioners of the modern era.

 

VIDEO: Atisha in Tibet Part I

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http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/AtishaInTibetPart1-1.mp4

 

VIDEO: Atisha in Tibet Part II

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Selected Resources on Atisha

Advice From Atisha’s Heart

When Venerable Atisha came to Tibet, he first went to Ngari, where he remained for two years giving many teachings to the disciples of Jangchub Ö. After two years had passed, he decided to return to India and Jangchub Ö requested him to give one last teaching before he left. Atisha replied that he had already given them all the advice they needed, but Jangchub Ö persisted in his request and so Atisha accepted and gave the following advice.

How wonderful!

Friends, since you already have great knowledge and clear understanding, whereas I am of no importance and have little wisdom, it is not suitable for you to request advice from me. However, because you dear friends, whom I cherish from my heart, have requested me, I shall give you this essential advice from my inferior and childish mind.

Friends, until you attain Enlightenment the Spiritual Teacher is indispensable, therefore rely upon the holy Spiritual Guide.

Until you realise ultimate truth, listening is indispensable, therefore listen to the instructions of the Spiritual Guide.

Since you cannot become a Buddha merely by understanding Dharma, practise earnestly with understanding.

Avoid places that disturb your mind, and always remain where your virtues increase.

Until you attain stable realisations, worldly amusements are harmful, therefore abide in a place where there are no such distractions.

Avoid friends who cause you to increase delusions, and rely upon those who increase your virtue. This you should take to heart.

Since there is never a time when worldly activities come to an end, limit your activities.

Dedicate your virtues throughout the day and the night, and always watch your mind.

Because you have received advice, whenever you are not meditating always practise in accordance with what your Spiritual Guide says.

If you practise with great devotion, results will arise immediately, without your having to wait for a long time.

If from your heart you practise in accordance with Dharma, both food and resources will come naturally to hand.

Friends, the things you desire give no more satisfaction than drinking sea water, therefore practise contentment.

Avoid all haughty, conceited, proud, and arrogant minds, and remain peaceful and subdued.

Avoid activities that are said to be meritorious, but which in fact are obstacles to Dharma.

Profit and respect are nooses of the maras, so brush them aside like stones on the path.

Words of praise and fame serve only to beguile us, therefore blow them away as you would blow your nose.

Since the happiness, pleasure, and friends you gather in this life last only for a moment, put them all behind you.

Since future lives last for a very long time, gather up riches to provide for the future.

You will have to depart leaving everything behind, so do not be attached to anything.

Generate compassion for lowly beings, and especially avoid despising or humiliating them.

Have no hatred for enemies, and no attachment for friends.

Do not be jealous of others’ good qualities, but out of admiration adopt them yourself.

Do not look for faults in others, but look for faults in yourself, and purge them like bad blood.

Do not contemplate your own good qualities, but contemplate the good qualities of others, and respect everyone as a servant would.

See all living beings as your father or mother, and love them as if you were their child.

Always keep a smiling face and a loving mind, and speak truthfully without malice.

If you talk too much with little meaning you will make mistakes, therefore speak in moderation, only when necessary.

If you engage in many meaningless activities your virtuous activities will degenerate, therefore stop activities that are not spiritual.

It is completely meaningless to put effort into activities that have no essence.

If the things you desire do not come it is due to karma created long ago, therefore keep a happy and relaxed mind.

Beware, offending a holy being is worse than dying, therefore be honest and straightforward.

Since all the happiness and suffering of this life arise from previous actions, do not blame others.

All happiness comes from the blessings of your Spiritual Guide, therefore always repay his kindness.

Since you cannot tame the minds of others until you have tamed your own, begin by taming your own mind.

Since you will definitely have to depart without the wealth you have accumulated, do not accumulate negativity for the sake of wealth.

Distracting enjoyments have no essence, therefore sincerely practise giving.

Always keep pure moral discipline for it leads to beauty in this life and happiness hereafter.

Since hatred is rife in these impure times, don the armour of patience, free from anger.

You remain in samsara through the power of laziness, therefore ignite the fire of the effort of application.

Since this human life is wasted by indulging in distractions, now is the time to practise concentration.

Being under the influence of wrong views you do not realise the ultimate nature of things, therefore investigate correct meanings.

Friends, there is no happiness in this swamp of samsara, so move to the firm ground of liberation.

Meditate according to the advice of your Spiritual Guide and dry up the river of samsaric suffering.

You should consider this well because it is not just words from the mouth, but sincere advice from the heart.

If you practise like this you will delight me, and you will bring happiness to yourself and others.

I who am ignorant request you to take this advice to heart.

Note: This is the advice that the holy being Venerable Atisha gave to Venerable Jangchub Ö.

Source: Atisha Dipamkara, ‘Advice from Atisha’s Heart’, Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, http://resources.tsemtulku.com/prayers/general-prayers/advice-from-atishas-heart.html, (accessed 20 April 2018).

 

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A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment

Homage to the Bodhisattva Manjusri, the ever youthful!

1. I bow in great reverence to all past, present and Future Victors, to their Doctrine and Communities. I shall light a Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment, at the request of my good disciple Byang-chub-‘od.

[The three levels of motivation]

2. In that they are inferior or mediocre or Superior, all persons should be understood as three: The characteristics of each are very clear, and I shall note how they differ from one another.

3. One, who by every means he finds, seeks by the pleasure of samsara, and cares but for himself alone, that one is known as the Inferior Person.

4. One who puts life’s pleasures behind and turns himself from deeds of sin, yet cares only about his own peace, that person should be called Mediocre.

5. One who wholly seeks a complete end to the entire suffering of others because their suffering belongs to his own [conscious] stream, that person is a Superior.

[The following teaching is for those with the “superior motivation”]

6. For those pure beings whose desire is the highest of Enlightenments, I shall explain the right means which were taught me by my Gurus.

7. Facing a painted image of the Perfect Buddha, or in front of holy reliquaries – shrines and the like, give worship with flowers and incense and whatever objects may be at hand.

8. Then with the Sevenfold Worship expressed in the Deeds of Samantabhadra, and a mind that does not turn back until the Heart of Enlightenment is reached.

9. With great faith in the Three Jewels, bending knee to the ground, and folding the hands first take the Three Refuges thrice. Buddham Sharnam Gachchami, Dhaman Sharnam Gachcham, Sangham Sharnam Gachchami!

10. Then, because the Thought of Love for all creatures is the prerequisite, one looks out on all the world, suffering in death, transmigration, and rebirth in the three bad destinies:

[Generating Bodhicitta]

11. At sight of that suffering, one suffers, and he who wants to free the world from the very cause of such suffering, must beget this Thought of Enlightenment that is pledged never to turn back.

12. Every quality that belongs to begetting thoughts of such Resolution has been well explained by Maitreya in his sutra, the ‘Stalks in Array.’

13. Read that sutra or hear it from a Guru, and when the infinite benefits of Perfect Enlightenment Thought are seen, then for that very reason you will beget the Thought again and again.

14. The merit of this is shown extremely well in the sutra called the Questions of Viradatta; and to give the essence of it I quote three of its verses here:

15. ‘If a form could be had for the full merit of the Enlightenment Thought, it would surpass even one that filled the whole realm of space.’

16. ‘Or take a man who owns jewels, and with them fills every one of the Buddha-fields – reckoned as more than the grains of Ganga’s sands – then offers all this to the Lord of the World;’

17. ‘Yet another who merely folds his hands, and inclines his thought to Enlightenment. The latter worship is higher by far, because in it there is found no limit.’

18. When you get the thoughts of aspiring to Enlightenment, and then with great effort strive to expand them fully; and to recall your resolve in your other births, observe fully the Training I explained to you.

[Taking Vows]

19. A right resolve will not be furthered without vows that have progress in mind; therefore he, who seeks growth in the resolve for Perfect Enlightenment, earnestly takes them.

20. Only he who has lasting vows in one of Pratimoksa’s seven ranks is fit for the Vow of the Bodhisattva, there is no other way for it to be.

21. The Tathagata has said that of the seven ranks of Pratimoksa, the glorious Pure Life is highest; by which he meant the vows of a Monk.

22. According to the ritual given in the conduct Chapter of the ‘Bodhisattva Levels,’ one takes the Vow from any good Guru who has the proper characteristics!

23. One who is learned in the ritual of the Vow, and himself lives the Vow he has taken, and has the compassionate forbearance to impart it – know him to be the good Guru.

24. But if, after trying, one cannot find just such a Guru as this, I will explain another ritual for taking the vow in a correct way.

25. In this latter way, Manjushri in a former life as Ambaraja begat the Enlightenment Thought; and as told in the sutra called the ‘Ornament of Manjushri’s Buddha-field,’ I write it down clearly here now:

[The method to take the Bodhisattva Vows by yourself]

26. ‘In the presence of the Lords, I beget the Thought of Perfect Enlightenment and issuing invitation to all creatures, I will save them all from the cycle of rebirth.’

27. ‘Beginning from this moment and henceforth, until I obtain the Highest Enlightenment, I shall not permit ill will or anger, avarice or envy, to occupy my mind.’

28. ‘I shall practice the Pure Life, and renounce sin and base desire; I shall imitate the Buddha by rejoicing in the vow of Conduct.’

29. ‘Myself, I am not keen to reach Enlightenment in some swift way; I shall remain until the final end for the sake of but a single creature.’

30. ‘I shall purify the innumerable inconceivable fields of the universe, and from the taking of this [new] name, [henceforth] I shall live in the ten directions.’

31. Purifying the actions of my body and speech entirely, I shall cleanse my mind’s activity as well; No un-virtuous deed will ever be mine.’

[The Three Higher Trainings]

32. In essence, one’s purity of body, speech and mind means keeping vows with a mind for progress; for by practicing well the Three Conduct Trainings, Appreciation of those same Three becomes greater.

[Morality]

33. Hence, when one has striven in the vows, which make up the pure and perfect Bodhisattva Vow, he will bring to complete perfection the very Equipment for Perfect Enlightenment.

[Superknowledges]

34. All the Buddhas have held that perfecting this Equipment, the nature of which is Merit and Knowledge, lies essentially in the superknowledges.

35. Just as a bird with unfledged wings cannot fly up into the sky, so without the superknowledges’ power, one cannot work for the good of others.

36. The merits which a man with the superknowledges’s gains in a single day could not be had in a hundred lives by one who lacked those knowledges.

37. He who seeks to bring to perfection swiftly the Equipment for Perfect Enlightenment strives hard for the superknowledges, for they are not accomplished by sloth.

[Concentration]

38. As long as Calmness is not attained, the superknowledges will not occur; therefore, in order to achieve Calmness, one must keep striving over and over.

39. One, who neglects the Limbs of Calmness, even though he strives to meditate for thousands of years, never will achieve Concentration.

40. Therefore, when well established in the Limbs that are stated in the ‘Chapter on Concentration Equipment,’ one can then set the mind in virtue, fixed on any Topic he chooses.

[Wisdom]

41. When yogic Calmness is achieved, so too are the superknowledges; but obscuration is not destroyed without the Perfection of Insight.

[We need both, method and wisdom, to stay away from the two extremes]

42. Hence, to remove all obscuration of his affliction and his knowledge, the yogin must continually cultivate the perfection of Insight together with Means.

43. Scripture says that bondage is from insight being divorced from Means, and the Means from Insight as well. Therefore, neglect not this union.

44. To remove any doubts about what Insight is, and what are Means, I make clear the difference between the Means and Insight.

[Method is the first five paramitas]

45. The Victors have explained that the Means are all the equipment of virtue, starting with the Perfection of Giving, up to, but excluding, that of Insight.

46. One who combines the mastery of the Means with a true cultivation of Insight will swiftly attain Enlightenment, but not by cultivating merely Non-self.

[Wisdom is realizing that everything is empty of inherent existence; not existent, not non-existent, not both, not neither]

47. ‘Insight’ is fully explained as knowing the Emptiness of intrinsic nature, in comprehending that Aggregates and sense bases and Elements do not arise.

48. An existent’s arising is impossible; a non-existent’s is like flowers in the sky; for a thing to be both is absurd fallacy; so neither do they originate together.

49. Since an entity does not arise from itself, and is not from another, or even from both, nor is it yet without cause; therefore it has no intrinsic nature by way of own-existence.

[First, a conceptual refutation of inherent existence through various adapted skilful reasonings; which all come down to the dependence of everything on conceptual imputation and its expectation (or more generally on primitive associations – this-that – karma formation and karma conditioning)]

50. Furthermore, if one analyses all things as identities or multiplicities, own-existence is not perceived; hence one is certain that intrinsic natures do not exist.

51. The reasoning of the ‘Seventy Stanzas on Emptiness,’ and of texts like the “Basic Stanzas on the Middle Way,” explains the proof that all entities are empty of intrinsic nature.

52. Wherefore, lest my text become too long, I do not elaborate it here, but will explain only proven tenets in order to further contemplation.

53. Thus, not to perceive intrinsic nature in any phenomenon whatever is to contemplate its Non-Self; which is the same as contemplating with Insight.

[Second, a direct realisation of emptiness]

54. And this Insight, which does not see intrinsic nature in any phenomena, is that same Insight explained as Wisdom. Cultivate it without conceptual thought.

[The root cause of all samsara is grasping at conventional truths (which are mostly conceptual) and thinking they are absolute, representing objects that are inherently existing (independently of imputation / association by our mind)]

55. The world of change springs from conceptual Thought, which is its very nature; the complete removal of such Thought is the Highest Nirvana.

[Enlightenment is seeing through this process, seeing the real nature of our own mind, how it operates and creates those associations, concepts, and thinks they are real; being always conscious of this, not accepting anything as absolute, without rejecting anything.]

56. Moreover, the Blessed One declared: ‘Conceptual thinking is the great ignorance, and casts one into Samsara’s ocean; but clear as the sky is his contemplation who remains in Concentration without concepts.’

57. And he also says in the Non-Conceptual Progress Formula: ‘When a son of the Victor meditates on this Holy Doctrine without conceptual thought, he gradually attains the non-conceptual.’

58. When through scripture and reason one has penetrated the non-intrinsic Nature of all non-arising phenomena, then contemplate without conceptual thought.

59. And when he has thus contemplated That-ness, and by stages has attained ‘Warmth’ and the rest, then he will gain the ‘Joyous’ [Level] and on up: Buddha-Enlightenment is not far off.

[Tantrayana]

60. Through the rites of ‘Appeasement’ and ‘Prosperity’ and the rest, effected by the force of Mantra, and also by the strength of the Eight Great Powers, starting with that ‘Good Flask’, and others,

61. It is maintained that the Equipment for Enlightenment is perfected with ease, and if one wants to practice Mantra as prescribed in the Tantras: Action, Practice, and on,

62. Then, to gain the Preceptor-Initiation, one must first win a holy Guru by giving him attendance and precious things and by obedience to his word.

63. And when the Preceptor-Initiation has been conferred by the Guru who was won over, then one is purified of all sin, and becomes fit to exercise the Powers.

64. The Secret and Insight Initiations should not be taken by religious celibates, because it is emphatically forbidden in the ‘Great Tantra of Primal Buddha.’

65. If those Initiations were taken by one who stays in the austerity of a religious celibate, it would violate his vow of austerity since he would be practicing what is forbidden.

66. Transgressions would occur which defeat the man of religious observance; and by his certain fall to bad destinies, he would not even succeed [in Mantra practice].

67. Having acquired the Preceptor-Initiation, he may listen to all Tantras and explain them, perform Fire-offering, Gift-worship, and the like: there is no wrong in wisdom about reality.

[Conclusion]

68. I, the Elder, Dipamkarasri, having seen this explanation in texts such as the sutras; and Byang-chub-‘od’s request have explained concisely the Path to Enlightenment.

[Colophon]

This completes the Lamp for the Enlightenment Path
Composed by the great Acarya, glorious Dipamkarajnana – ATISHA
Translated and edited by the great Master of India himself,
and by the revisor-translator Dge-ba’i blo-gros.
This text was composed at the Tho-ling temple of Zhang-zhung.

Source: Atisha Dipamkara, ‘Teachings by Atisha’, TSEMRINPOCHE.COM, http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/teachings-by-atisha.html, (accessed 20 April 2018).

 

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Advice to Namdak Tsuknor

This was bestowed as a general Dharma teaching to Namdak Tsuknor when Atisha, the saviour of beings, was preparing to begin his journey to Tibet. The lineage of this [teaching] is as follows: From master Atisha to the abbot Maton the lineage is the same as before and [through] to Joden Lungshopa: he to Kirtisila; he to Choje Gyalwa Sangpojhe to Choje Sonam Rinchen, and he to Choje Shonu Gyalchok.

Though the sky of knowable objects is beyond measure,
You embrace them in terms of two: emptiness and compassion-
To you, O my gurus, Dipamkara Shrijñana and others,
I pay homage with my three doors and with a heart filled with devotion.

As the saviour of beings was departing to Tibet,
He bestowed on me this most precious jewel?

This sky is devoid of cause and conditions, my son;
Who would grasp that it does [have a cause] and who it does not?
Know this to be true also of all phenomena, my son,
For there are numerous pitfalls if you fail to.
Remain in equipoise on this space like nature, my son.

When rainbows spread across the sky,
They seem so real and beautiful, my son.
Yet no one has observed their causes and conditions.
This is but a dependent origination, my learned son.

Rainbows appear in the sky, and they disappear in it too.
No one has observed the causes and conditions for this.
This is but a dependent origination, my learned son.
If you probe well, the rainbows are like the sky itself
Is there any separation or division, my learned son?

In phenomena’s primordially empty mode of being
Pulsates unbearable compassion that reaches out to beings.
When compassion arises, it does so from the ultimate expanse,
And when it ceases, it does so within the ultimate expanse, my son.

All phenomena of samsara and nirvana are but your own mind;
None has observed the causes and conditions for these.
When probed and analysed, they are like the rainbows in the sky.
So just like the sky and the rainbows across it
Should you understand emptiness and compassion, my son.

From within an ocean deep and expansive,
Rises high and mighty waves.
When waves appear, they do so in the ocean itself,
And when they subside, they do so in the ocean itself, my son.

Between the dancing waves and the vast ocean,
None has observed any separation or division.
Similarly from the spontaneous co-emergence of emptiness
Arises compassion that touches beings and stirs the heart.
When compassion arises, it does so from emptiness,
And when it ceases, it does so in emptiness, too, my son.

On the surface of a mirror free of blemishes
Varieties of forms appear in stark diversity.
Do they come from the mirror or from the external objects?
Do they come from elsewhere or from no cause at all?
When probed, they cannot be posited; they’re mere dependent origination.

Between the face that never existed and its reflection,
None has observed any separation or division.
Likewise from the emptiness that resembles a mirror
Forms appear, though they were never real before.
Just so must you relate to emptiness and compassion, my son.

On the surface of clear, unperturbed water,
One may experience, like seeing a duality,
The illusion of a crystal-like reflection of the moon;
No one has observed that such a duality exists.

From emptiness that resembles a clear sky
Arises unbearable compassion toward sentient beings.
As compassion grows, it does so from within emptiness;
And when it ceases, it does so in emptiness, my son.

From the body of towering rocky cliffs
Echoes reverberate in succession;
What separation exists between the echoes and the cliffs?
Though resounding, who would grasp them to exist or not to exist?

Likewise from primordially pure emptiness
Reverberates sounds of intense compassion for beings.
Just so contemplate emptiness and compassion, my son.

On the surface of an unblemished, resplendent sun
Arises light that actually benefits sentient beings.
None has observed the sun to be separate from its rays.

Though emptiness and great compassion appear as forms,
Compassion, too, is mere emptiness.
For no saviour has ever taught of compassion
That is separate from emptiness, my learned son.

Ah! Listen to me while in the state of emptiness.
That beings eliminate their suffering
Is due only to emptiness: be cognisant of this.
Though there exist countless remedies,
It is emptiness alone, so engage in its meditation.

Though what is to be relinquished and its antidotes seem distinct,
Practice both in your meditation path by purifying the three aspects”
Though countless people who fail to understand this
Are attracted to you, what need is there to shun them?

View them as emptiness and compassion; how can chis be confusion?
Is not compassion itself empty, my learned son?
Does not emptiness dawn as compassion, the discriminating one?
Is there a difference between emptiness and compassion?

Even when anger rises in me like a windstorm,
I perceive it undifferentiated from emptiness.
Likewise I see the countless instants of conceptualisation’”
As emerging definitely from emptiness.

When I look nakedly at these conceptual thoughts,
I do not see them established as either true or false.
When I let go of them freely from within emptiness,
I do not see even the rising of mere concepts.”

So I see no difference or contradiction,
Even the size of an atom, between emptiness and compassion.
What need is there to say of the indivisibility of the two?

Ah! From here on, whether you are walking or sitting,
That very spot is the wilderness my learned son.
The mind’s abiding in the middle way
Is emptiness’ true mode of being, my learned son.

Meditating on compassion while in this state
Is the yoga of indivisibility, my son.
When you practice compassion with such knowledge,
Then even when in intense compassion, it is sheer emptiness.

There is no emptiness meditation not permeated by compassion;
For the practice of compassion is solely [the practice of] emptiness.
As for emptiness, even those seeking tranquil abiding must practice it.
For this vehicle, however, emptiness is compassion;
And the self-nature of this compassion is emptiness.
So understand that compassion is the essential nature.

Though you may command many disciplines of knowledge,
I reveal to you this great root [practice] of many essential points
From my teachings as my heart’s final counsel.
Now I shall linger no more and begin my journey to Tibet.

All activities are like day [moulds] and wax imprints;
The construct called life fluctuates like the (flickering of] lightning;
The meeting of body and mind, too, resembles a guesthouse and its guests;
Though it is possible I may return to this part [of the country],
It is nature’s law that meeting ends in separation.

You’ll indeed be my son if you take these instructions to heart.
You’ll enjoy lasting joy if you follow these words of advice.
Soon I shall depart to the presence of Maitreya;
I shall depart to the Joyful realm to realise fully
The words and meaning of the Perfection of Wisdom.
On your part, too, you should pray to reach his presence
To discourse with him after this present life ends.

All the buddhas and their children in all ten directions!
Pray attend to us here today with great compassion.
Whatever virtuous deeds we’ve engaged in with our three doors
In the three times, throughout all lives in this cycle of existence,
I dedicate them toward [the attainment of] great enlightenment.

Until we realise the Buddha bodies and the enlightened activities,
Regardless of whatever forms we assume in our births,
May we apply our three doors to [the practice of] the ten perfections,
And may we please our gurus and enhance their enlightened activities.

Extracted from: Mind Training The Great Collection – Compiled by Shonu Gyalchok (ca. fourteenth-fifteenth centuries) and Konchok Gyaltsen (1388-1469) Translated by Thupten Jinpa, 2006; The Institute of Tibetan Classics

 

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Bodhisattva’s Jewel Garland

Sanskrit title: Bodhisattvamanevali / Bodhi-sattva-manyavali

Homage to great compassion.
Homage to the teachers.
Homage to the faith divinities.

1. Discard all lingering doubts,
And strive with dedication in your practice.
Thoroughly relinquish sloth, mental dullness, and laziness,
And strive always with joyful perseverance.

2. With mindfulness, vigilance, and conscientiousness,
Constantly guard the gateways of your senses.
Again and again, three times both day and night,
Examine the flow of your thoughts.

3. Reveal your own shortcomings,
But do not seek out others’ errors.
Conceal your own good qualities,
But proclaim those of others.

4. Forsake wealth and ministrations;
At all times relinquish gain and fame.
Have modest desires, be easily satisfied,
And reciprocate kindness.

5. Cultivate love and compassion,
And stabilise your awakening mind.
Relinquish the ten negative actions,
And always reinforce your faith.

6. Destroy anger and conceit,
And be endowed with humility.
Relinquish wrong livelihood,
And be sustained by ethical livelihood.

7. Forsake material possessions,
Embellish yourself with the wealth of the noble ones.
Avoid all trifling distractions,
And reside in the solitude of wilderness.

8. Abandon frivolous words;
Constantly guard your speech.
When you see your teachers and preceptors,
Reverently generate the wish to serve.

9. Toward wise beings with Dharma eyes
And toward beginners on the path as well,
Recognise them as your spiritual teachers.
[In fact] when you see any sentient being,
View them as your parent, your child, or your grandchild.

10. Renounce negative friendships,
And rely on a spiritual friend.
Dispel hostility and unpleasantness,”
And venture forth to where happiness lies.

11. Abandon attachment to all things
And abide free of desire.
Attachment fails to bring even the higher realms;
In fact, it kills the life of true liberation.

12. When you encounter the causes of happiness,
In these always persevere.
Whichever task you take up first,
Address this task primarily.
In this way, you ensure the success of both tasks,
Where otherwise you accomplish neither.

13. Since you take no pleasure in negative deeds,
When a thought of self-importance arises,
At that instant deflate your pride
And recall your teacher’s instructions.

14. When discouraged thoughts arise,
Uplift your mind
And meditate on the emptiness of both.
When objects of attraction or aversion appear,
View them as you would illusions and apparitions.

15. When you hear unpleasant words,
View them as [mere] echoes.
When injuries afflict your body,
See them as [the fruits of] past deeds.

16. Dwell utterly in solitude, beyond town limits.
Like the carcass of a wild animal,
Hide yourself away [in the forest]
And live free of attachment.

17. Always remain firm in your commitment.
When a hint of procrastination and laziness arises,
At that instant enumerate your flaws
And recall the essence of [spiritual] conduct.

18. However, if you do encounter others,
Speak peacefully and truthfully.
Do not grimace or frown,
But always maintain a smile.

19. In general when you see others,
Be free of miserliness and delight in giving;
Relinquish all thoughts of envy.

20. To help soothe others’ minds,
Forsake all disputation
And be endowed with forbearance.

21. Be free of flattery and fickleness in friendship,
Be steadfast and reliable at all times.
Do not disparage others,
But always abide with respectful demeanour.

22. When giving advice,
Maintain compassion and altruism.
Never defame the teachings.
Whatever practices you admire,
With aspiration and the ten spiritual deeds,
Strive diligently, dividing day and night.”

23. Whatever virtues you gather though the three times,
Dedicate them toward the unexcelled great awakening.
Disperse your merit to all sentient beings,
And utter the peerless aspiration prayers
Of the seven limbs at all times.

24. If you proceed thus, you’ll swiftly perfect merit and wisdom
And eliminate the two defilements.
Since your human existence will be meaningful,
You’ll attain the unexcelled enlightenment.

25. The wealth of faith,
The wealth of morality,
The wealth of giving,
The wealth of learning,
The wealth of conscience,
The wealth of shame,
And the wealth of insight – these are the seven riches.

26. These precious and excellent jewels
Are the seven inexhaustible riches.”
Do not speak of these to those not human.
Among others guard your speech;
When alone guard your mind.

This Concludes The Bodhisattva’s Jewel Garland composed by Indian Abbot Atisha Dipamkara Shrijñana.

Extracted from: Mind Training The Great Collection – Compiled by Shonu Gyalchok (ca. fourteenth-fifteenth centuries) and Konchok Gyaltsen (1388-1469) Translated by Thupten Jinpa, 2006; The Institute of Tibetan Classics

 

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The Jewel Rosary of an Awakening Warrior

(Byang-chub-sems-dpa’ nor-bu’i phreng-ba)

This has been composed by the Indian master Dipamkara Shrijnana, the Glorious Illuminator, the Essence of Primordial Awareness.

Homage to great compassion.
Homage to all spiritual masters.
Homage to the deities of devotion.

Abandon all doubts and cherish
exertion for accomplishing the practice.
Abandon sleepiness, dullness and laziness
and always exert enthusiastic effort. (i.e. effort)

With recollection, alertness and watchfulness
always guard every door of the senses.
Three times during the day and night, again and again
investigate your mental continuum. (i.e. guarding the doors and the mind)

Proclaim your own faults
and seek not mistakes in others.
Hide your own good qualities
but proclaim the good qualities of others. (i.e. exchanging self for others)

Reject acquisitions and honours
and always reject desire for fame.
Desire little, be content
and repay acts of kindness. (i.e. contentment)

Meditate on love and compassion
and stabilize the awakening mind. (i.e. bodhicitta)
Avoid the ten unwholesome actions (i.e. right action)
and always stabilize your faith. (i.e. faith)

Conquer anger and arrogance
and possess a humble mind. (i.e. humility)
Avoid wrong livelihoods
and live a life of truth (dharma). (i.e. truth)

Abandon all worldly possessions
and be adorned by the gems of superiors.
Abandon all frivolities
and abide in solitude. (i.e. solitude)
Abandon all senseless talk
and always control your speech. (i.e. right speech)

When seeing your master or teacher (i.e. interacting with others)
perform services with respect.
Towards a person having the eye of the doctrine
and towards sentient beings who are beginners
develop the recognition of them as teachers.
When seeing any sentient beings, develop
the recognition of them as parents and children.

Abandon misleading friends
and rely on virtuous spiritual companions.
Abandon minds of anger and unhappiness
and wherever you go be happy.

Abandon attachment to everything
and abide free from attachment.
Attachment will never procure you a happy rebirth;
it kills the life of liberation.

Wherever you see practices (leading to) happiness,
always exert effort in them.
Whatever you have started to do,
accomplish that very thing first.

Do everything well in this way,
otherwise nothing will be achieved.
Always be apart from liking evil.

Whenever a pompous mind arises, (i.e. some antidotes)
flatten such arrogance.
Recall the teachings of your master.
When a cowardly mind arises,
praise the sublimity of the mind.
Whenever objects of attraction or aversion arise,
meditate on the emptiness of both;
view them as illusions and emanations.

When hearing any offensive words,
view them as an echo.
When your body is afflicted by harm,
view this as your previous actions. (i.e. result of karma)

Abide well in solitude, beyond town limits,
like the corpses of wild game.
Be by yourself, conceal yourself
and dwell without attachment. (i.e. solitude)

Always stabilize (awareness of) your yidam and,
whenever laziness or lassitude arise,
enumerate these faults to yourself
and feel remorse from your heart.

If you see others, (i.e. interacting with others)
speak calmly and sincerely.
Avoid a wrathful and frowning expression
and always remain cheerful.
When seeing others, continuously
be pleased to give without being miserly.
Discard all jealousy.
To protect the mind of another,
avoid all conflict
and always have patience.
Do not be a flatterer or fickle,
but always be capable of remaining steadfast.
Avoid belittling others and
remain respectful in your manners.
When giving advice to others,
have compassion and thoughts for their benefit.
Do not disparage spiritual doctrines
and be intent on whichever you admire.

Through the door of the ten dharma practices,
exert an effort throughout both day and night. (i.e. effort)

Whatever virtues are collected during the three times,
dedicate them for the unsurpassable great awakening. (i.e. dedication)
Distribute your merit for all sentient beings.
Always offer the seven-limbed prayer
and great aspirations for the path.

If you act in this way, the two accumulations
of merit and wisdom will be accomplished.
Also, with the eradication of the two obscurations,
thus fulfilling the purpose of having gained a human form,
unsurpassable full awakening will be achieved. (i.e. result)

The gem of faith, the gem of ethics,
the gem of generosity, the gem of hearing,
the gem of consideration,
the gem of shame and the gem of intelligence:
these are the seven supreme gems.
These seven gems are never exhausted.

Do not tell this to non-humans.

Examine your speech when amidst many people.
Examine your mind when living alone.

Translated from the Tibetan by Sherpa Tulku and Brian Beresford, for Wisdom Publications, London.

Source: Dipamkara, Atisha, ‘Teachings by Atisha’, TSEMRINPOCHE.COM, http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/teachings-by-atisha.html, (accessed 20 April 2018).

 

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Essential Wealth for the Warrior-like People Who Wish to Be Liberated

by Lama Atisha (Lhacig Jowo Je)

The following text was translated in Bodhgaya by T. K. Lochen Tulku in the winter of 1996

E-ma-ho. When Jowo Je (Atisha) was in Ngari, after he had stayed two years he gave many instructions to those headed by Lha Jangchub Ö, amongst which are these. When he thought to go back to India and was about to leave, Lha Jangchub Ö requested him again to give further instructions. Jowo Je said that what had already been given was sufficient, but Lha Jangchub Ö insisted and therefore he gave these instructions:

1. [Humility]

Though it is improper for me, who is dull and cannot look after myself to give suggestions to friends who are highly learned and clear minded, nevertheless, since you who are a true friend of mine and dearer to me than my heart, and as you have asked me to do so, therefore I, an intellectually limited child would like to put these suggestions forth for the consideration by my friend.

2. [The need to have good friends, to listen to teachings, to practise. The Guru is the source of all happiness.]

Friend, you must have a Guru until you attain Enlightenment so therefore always rely on a Guru.
You have to study until you get the realisation of ultimate reality so listen to the instructions of Spiritual Friends.
Mere knowledge of the doctrine will not lead to Buddhahood, it is not enough, so practise the Dharma.
Keep away from objects that harm the mind and ever stay where virtue finds increase.

3. [Restrict your activities to Dharma, seek good environment, watch your mind]

Activities (‘du rdzi) are harmful until one attains the doctrine, so take shelter in the silence of forest life. (Retreat)
Avoid friends who cause delusions to arise and remain close to those who make virtue increase. (Good friends)
Hold to that thought. The activities of the world are endless so leave them and relax. (False goals)
Bank (sngo) virtues day and night and always keep watch over the mind. (Mindfulness)

4. [The right goal: practice, not worldly goals]

What use is there in instructions if one does not meditate on them? (Need to practise sincerely)
So put the words of the Guru into practice.
If one practises with respect and faith before long results will come quickly.
It seems there is no need to be worried about a livelihood if one practises the Dharma from the depths of one’s heart.
Friends, desires are never satisfied, like drinking salt water, so feel contentment. (False goals)

5. [The danger of finding pride in the Dharma]

Feel contempt for arrogance, conceit, pride and for being puffed up.
Be peaceful and disciplined.
Even so-called meritorious actions are obstacles to the Dharma so refrain from them.
Gain and honour are the snares of demons so get rid of them, as though they were rocks on the road.
Words of praise and fame are deceptive so spit them out like spittle.

6. [Do not be attached to anything. Only the Dharma is useful at the moment of death.]

Even if happiness, prosperity and relatives are all together here now, it is only for a moment so turn your back on them.
The future is longer than the present so store up your wealth for the long journey ahead.
Since everything is left behind when one goes and nothing can be done about it, do not be attached to anything.
Cultivate compassion for those lower and stop ignoring and insulting them.

7. [Exchange self for others]

Do not be partial, having thoughts of overcoming enemies and thoughts of attachment to one’s own people.
Do not be jealous of those with good qualities, be respectful instead and get their qualities.
Do not find fault with others, find the faults in yourself and remove them, like you purge yourself of bad blood.

8. [Exchange self for others, cultivate patience, moderation, self-control.]

Do not think of your own good. (Exchange self for others, love. mindfulness)
Think of the good of others and be as though a servant to all.
Consider all beings as your parents and love them as your child.
Tell the truth without anger, always with a loving mind and smiling face.
Too much unconnected talk will mislead, so know how much to say, and talk in moderation. (Control in speech)

9. [Mindfulness and self-control]

To much unnecessary activity will interrupt virtuous work so set aside non-spiritual activities. (Control in actions)
Do not set great store in work which has no essence; it is meaningless toil.
It is better to be free of tension as nothing happens according to one’s wishes, but is determined by far-off karma.
Hey! If you become an embarrassment to holy persons it is like death so do not be devious, be honest.

10. [Take responsibility]

The pleasures and sufferings of this life are the result of earlier actions so do not blame others. (Karma)
All happinesses are the blessing of the Guru so repay his kindness.
Unless you train yourself you cannot train others so first train yourself.
Without the superknowledges one cannot help others so make great effort to gain them.

11. [Develop the six paramitas]

Since one will definitely have to leave all one’s collected wealth do not store up wickedness for wealth. (False goal)
The diversion into personal consumption goes nowhere, so see the value of the wealth of charity. (i.e. Six Paramitas)
Be ever moral because it beautifies this life and leads to future happiness.
Anger flourishes in a degenerate age so wear the armour of dispassion and patience.

12. [Develop the six paramitas. Chose liberation instead of samsara.]

You will be left behind on account of laziness so make your effort burn like a fire.
Life ends in the byways of distraction so now is the right time to meditate.
You will not be able to understand the way things are if you have wrong view, so try to get right meaning.
Friends, there is no happiness in the mire of samsara so make for the dry land of liberation.

13. [The Guru is the source of all happiness.]

If one meditates properly on the instructions given by a Guru, the river of misery that is samsara dries up. (Conclusion)
These words are not empty words, it is proper to listen to them and keep them in the mind.
If you do so, I, myself, will be delighted, and you yourself and others will be happy.
Please pay heed to these instructions even though I am an ignorant person.

These are the instructions given to Lhatsun Jangchub Ö by Lhacig Jowo Je.

Source: Dipamkara, Atisha, ‘Teachings by Atisha’, TSEMRINPOCHE.COM, http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/teachings-by-atisha.html, (accessed 20 April 2018).

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Seven Point Mind Training Prayer

[Lineage]

I bow to the Spiritual Friends of the Supreme Vehicle,

1. [The Preliminaries]

Source of everything good in Samsara and Nirvana.

By the gracious Lama’s blessings, may my mind be purified with the three kinds of faith.

By the gracious Lama’s blessings, knowing how hard to obtain and how easily destroyed is this precious human life. In all my actions according to their karmic effect, may I try to do what is right and avoid what is wrong and develop a genuine determination to be free from Samsara, as I train in the preliminaries (1).

2. [The Actual Practice: Training in the Two Bodhicittas]

By the gracious Lama’s blessings, may I purify the untruth of duality into the space of voidness and practise the profound exchange of my own and others’ happiness and suffering, meditating continually on the two aspects of Bodhicitta (2).

3. [Transforming Adverse Conditions into the Path]

By the gracious Lama’s blessings, may I see whatever adverse events and sufferings (3) befall me as tricks of the evil spirit of ego clinging and use them as the path of Bodhicitta.

4. [Integration]

By the gracious Lama’s blessings, may I condense my lifetime’s practice (4) into a single essence. By applying throughout my life the five powers of pure determination, pure practice, accumulation of merit, purification of obscurations, and prayers of aspiration.

5. [Measurement of Success (5)]

By the gracious Lama’s blessings, when everything arises as the antidote to ego clinging and my mind finds freedom with happiness and confidence, may I take all adverse circumstances as the path.

6. [Commitments]

By the gracious Lama’s blessings, may I keep my promises, be free of hypocrisy, have no partiality, and little outward show. Protecting the commitments (6) of the mind training as I would my own life.

7. [Precepts]

In essence, by the gracious Lama’s blessings, may I genuinely train my mind according to all the precepts (7) which further the two aspects of Bodhicitta and attain realisation of the Supreme Vehicle within this very lifetime.

[Dedication]

By the merit of this heart-felt aspiration to practice the Seven Point Mind Training, essence of the minds of the peerless Lord and his disciples, may all beings accomplish enlightenment!

Source: Dipamkara, Atisha, ‘Teachings by Atisha’, TSEMRINPOCHE.COM, http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/teachings-by-atisha.html, (accessed 20 April 2018).

Go to Root Lines

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Root Lines of Mahayana Mind Training

Homage to the sovereign who has accomplished all purposes and who is the glorious auspicious jewel swiftly endowing others with great happiness.

First, train in the preliminaries.
For the main practice, train alternately in giving and taking.
There are three objects, three poisons, and three roots of virtue
This, in brief, is the instruction for subsequent practice.

Commence the sequence of taking from your own self.
Place the two astride your breath.
In brief, this is the distilled essence of instruction:
In all actions, train by means of the words.

Relate whatever you can to meditation right now.
When both are present, take them all.
Train constantly toward the chosen objects.

Banish all blames to the single source.
Toward all beings contemplate their great kindness.
Train in the three difficult challenges.
There are two tasks-one at the start and one at the end.

Contemplate the three that are free of degeneration.
Train constantly in the three general points.
Transform your attitudes but remain as you are.
Adopt the three principal conditions.
Train in the five powers.

The intent of all teachings converges on a single point.
Of the two witnesses uphold the principal one!”
Cultivate constantly the joyful mind alone;
If this can be done even when distracted, you are trained.

Do not torment with malicious banter.
Do not boast of your good deeds.
Do not be ill-tempered.
Do not be boisterous.
Do not be fickle.
Do not lie in ambush.
Do not place the load of a dzo onto an ox.
Do not sprint to win a race.
Do not maintain inappropriate loyalty.
Do not be sporadic.
Do not abuse this practice.
Be released through the two: investigation and close analysis.
Train with decisiveness.
Be endowed with the three inseparable factors.

Accomplish all yogas through a single means.
If relapsed, meditate on it as the very remedy.
Whichever of the two arises, bear them both;
Do not speak of the defects [of others].

Do not dwell on others’ shortcomings.
Do not turn the gods into demons.
Do not seek misery as a means to happiness.
Do not depend on other conditions.

Recognise what is primary.
Forsake all expectations of reward.
Discard poisonous food.
Do not strike at the heart.

This proliferation of the five degenerations
Is transformed into the path of enlightenment.
When stability is attained, reveal the secret.

This distilled essence of pith instructions
Stems from the lineage of most sublime masters.

These are the root lines. This was composed by Atisha Dipamkara Shrijñana.

Extracted from: Mind Training The Great Collection – Translated by Thupten Jinpa

 


 

Annotated Root Lines of Mahayana Training

Homage to the sovereign who has accomplished all purposes and who is the glorious auspicious jewel swiftly granting all happiness.

(1)

First, a trainee whose mind is trained in the three scopes and who, having taken the aspiring and engaging [aspects of the awakening mind}, is cognisant of the precepts should’ “train in the preliminaries by reflecting on the human existence of leisure and opportunity, on karma and its fruits, and on the defects of cyclic existence.

Contemplate all phenomena-encompassed by self and others, the outer environment, and the inner sentient beings – as dreamlike, nonexistent but appearing to exist due to the force of the deluded mind.

Experience, free of identification, the thoroughly unborn nature of awareness, which cognises in such manner.

The remedy, which cuts across both body and mind, is itself freed in its natural place, free of grasping at existence and nonexistence. During the interval between sessions, that is, afterward, create the illusion-like person as it arises on the basis of the above two.

(2)

Train alternately in the two–giving (to others of your body, resources, and roots of virtue) and taking.

Place the two (giving and taking) astride your breath as it exits.

There are three objects (the desirable, the undesirable, and the neutral), three poisons (attachment, anger, and delusion), and (their exterminations) three roots of virtue.

In all your actions (such as when gathering [merit] and so on) train by directing the focus of your mind by means of the words.

(3)

The negativities (and their fruit) of the world (the external) and beings (the inner) within cyclic existence and the afflictions.

Transform the adverse conditions (derived from either sentient beings or the natural elements) into aids on the path of enlightenment.

How is this so? Whatever undesirable events befall, banish all the blames to the single source, which is not others but rather self-grasping.

Toward all beings (humans, non-humans, enemies, friends, and in particular the perpetrators of harm), contemplate their great kindness.

(4)

Contemplating the illusions arising from your mind as the four (as presented in your palms) Buddha bodies, that is, the adverse forces and their antidotes.

Emptiness (all in the nature of mind) is among protection unsurpassed.

The fourfold practice (making offerings to meditation deities and teachers, purifying negative karma, giving offerings to the harmful forces, and propitiating the Dharma protectors) is the most excellent method.

Relate whatever you can (adverse conditions such as the arising of intense suffering or afflictions) to your meditation right now.

(5)

In brief, to present the points of the practice of a lifetime, the essence of instruction is this:

Apply yourself to the five powers – intention, familiarity, positive seed, eradication, and aspiration.

As the Perfection Vehicle, Mahayana’s transference instruction is the five powers (noted above) alone, their practice in particular is vital, that is, treat this with critical importance.!”

The intent of all teachings converges on a single point: whether or not it can help subdue you.

(6)

Of the two witnesses (between others’ speech and your own mind, train your mind by ensuring that you do not disgrace yourself, but train in accordance with your aspiration) uphold the principal one.

Cultivate constantly the joyful mind alone.

If this can be done even when distracted, you (your mind) are trained in the remedies.

Train constantly in the three general points to ensure that your mind training does not violate your precepts and chat it does not become sarcastic.

(7)

Transform your attitudes (the aspirations of self-grasping) but remain as you are with respect to the objectives that have not been assigned.

Do not speak of the defects [of others] in conduct of body and speech.

Do not dwell on others’ (those who have entered the spiritual order, in particular) shortcomings.

Discard all expectations of reward as a fruit of practising mind training, in either this life or the future life, including even the attainment of Buddhahood.

Discard poisonous food (the virtues mixed with the false views and self-grasping).

Do not maintain [inappropriate] loyalty that retaliates against harms caused by others.

Do not torment with malicious banter that hurts others in the heart.

Do not lie in ambush to take revenge.

Do not strike at the heart anyone, whether human or nonhuman.

Do not place the load of a dzo (the undesirable accusations and their burden) onto an ox.

Do not sprint (by giving an advantage to yourself when what you desire is owned communally) to win the race but instead accept the defeat.

Do not abuse the practice, seeking victory for yourself.

Do not turn gods (the mind training) into demons.

Do not seek misery for others as a means to happiness for yourself.

(8)

Accomplish all yogas (the yoga of eating and so on) through not others but a single means.

There are two tasks to pursue – one at the start (in the morning) and one at the end (in the evening).

Whichever of the two (benefit and so on) arises, bear them both without conceit or dejection.

Guard the two (the precepts revealed in the teachings in general and the precepts presented in this [mind training teaching] in particular) even at the cost of your life.

(9)

Train (on the basis of a qualified teacher, the ability to channel your mind,

and the coming together of the external and internal conditions) in the three difficult challenges: the difficulty of recalling the antidotes of the afflictions [at the beginning], the difficulty of averting them in the middle, and the difficulty of exterminating their continuum.

Adopt the three principal conditions.

Contemplate the three ([undiminished] reverence for your teacher [and so on]) that are free of degeneration.

Be endowed with the three inseparable factors, as if your body, speech, and mind were competing [among themselves in their accumulation of) the three virtuous activities.

(10)

Train constantly toward the chosen objects: those living together [with you], those hostile toward you, and those unappealing to you.

Those who have the good fortune to practice this mind training should adopt a standpoint such that they do not depend on other conditions.

If relapsed, take this inability to realise when practising mind training as your very basis, and meditate on it as the remedy itself.

Engage in the principal practices right now – especially Bodhisattvas on the beginner’s level – now that you have obtained the human life of leisure and opportunity and encountered the sublime spiritual teacher.

Do not apply misplaced understanding. Learn to cultivate joy in the virtuous activities and do not engage in the six [distorted understandings), such as [misplaced] heedfulness.

Do not be sporadic, sometimes training and sometimes not. Train with decisiveness the task of measuring whether you can do this.

Be released, whether or not your mindstream has attained familiarity with the examples, through the two: investigation and close analysis (when self-grasping arises).

Do not boast to anyone, ever, when you engage in the practice of your good deeds.

Do not be ill-tempered, regardless of how others treat you.

Do not be fickle, fluctuating in your expressions of likes and dislikes.

Do not be boisterous, (even) in words of thanks.

(11)

Like a diamond, like the sun, and like a tree in full blossom, including even medicines

Understand (such as the purpose of practice and so on) the words, their meanings (the words and their contents), and so on.

Through this proliferation of the five degenerations due to the abundance of conditions for practicing mind training

[Everything] is transformed into aids to the path of enlightenment.

The heart practice of Atisha, the instruction that has stemmed from Maitreya (The Blessed One transmitted it to Maitreya; he to Asanga, he to Vasubandhu; he to Kusali the elder; he to Kusali Jr.; and he transmitted it to the teacher Serlingpa.) is concluded.

(12)

Relinquish all biases (those negative acts-done out of attraction to the gods’ realms, or related to wealth or loss-that are the causes [of suffering] of yourself and others!”

Transform everything (the degenerate era and the afflictions, which are the underlying motives) into the Mahayana path.

Cherish your training toward the entire human race (all yogas, and all con• duct), all its breadth and depth, for as each moment of consciousness arises, this [training sees it as] in the nature of suffering and so on.

Train in both the main (the two–giving and taking-and the precepts; [Combat) not the gods, demons, and so on, but rather the self-grasping) and the secondary practices.

(13)

Apply abstention and adoption forcefully with regard to the fierce one.

Transform the adverse factors into aids of practice.

Destroy all rationalisations, for example, losing your enthusiasm for giving and taking because of thoughts like “Others are harming me.”

Purify first whichever affliction is strongest by examining your mind and applying the antidotes against whatever is strongest. [Purify also] discriminatory thoughts, such as near and distant, love and hate, high and low.

(14)

Train without partiality toward [any] object, for if you settle your mind in this [training], everything turns into an aid.

This greatly surpasses all other virtues; even merely hearing about it as news again and again [enhances] its potency.

When both are present, since you have discarded sufferings, you can take them all (those of others).

Learn to ensure ease in your practice. Although this is advice pertaining to an achieved objective, you must integrate it right from the start.

(15)

Begin the sequence of taking from your own self such as those [sufferings] you are likely to experience toward the latter part of your life, [the sufferings of] your actual mother, [and so on].

The defining characteristic of the act (the practice of exchanging self and others) is that of letting go of attachment and dinging to all-to this life and future lives, to cyclic existence and its transcendence [nirvana].

The sign that you are trained is when you are endowed with the five [marks of] greatness, the foremost of which is the practice of a fully ordained monk, an upholder of monastic ethics).

Do not be a stranger, but instead relate to others affectionately with the awakening mind. Do not give “clarifications” of [others’] negative acts and shortcomings, for this prevents your realisation. Do not harbour expectations (of others).

This is the end.

Take many, for you are aware of the discarding of others’ sufferings.

In the future, always put on the armour with the thought “I shall not allow myself to fall prey to all the conditions that preoccupy me in my life.”

When stability is attained, reveal the secret: the two (giving and taking), the profound meaning (the experience of the exchanging of self and others) [the relation between] negative karma and suffering, and so on.

This concludes the treatise on mind training. This was composed by master Atisha, May goodness prevail!

Extracted from: Mind Training The Great Collection – Compiled by Shonu Gyalchok (ca. fourteenth-fifteenthcenturies) and Konchok Gyaltsen (1388-1469) Translated by Thupten Jinpa, 2006;The Institute of Tibetan Classics

Source: Dipamkara, Atisha, ‘Teachings by Atisha’, TSEMRINPOCHE.COM, http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/teachings-by-atisha.html, (accessed 20 April 2018).

 

Go to Various advice

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Various Advice from Atisha

A compilation of dialogues, words of advice, and reflections of Palden Atisha. Translated under Geshe Wangyal.

Advice to Disciples

One time Atisha was asked by his disciples,

“What is the highest teaching of the path?”

Atisha replied:

The highest skill is in the realisation of egolessness.
The highest nobility is in subduing your own mind.
The highest excellence is in having a mind which seeks to help others.
The highest precept is continual mindfulness.
The highest remedy is in understanding the naturelessness of everything.
The highest activity is not to conform with worldly concerns.
The highest accomplishment is the lessening and transmutation of the passions.
The highest giving is found in non-attachment.
The highest moral practice is a peaceful mind.
The highest patience is humility.
The highest effort is to abandon attachment to activities.
The highest meditation is the mind without pretension.
The highest wisdom is not to grasp anything as it appears.

 

Upon leaving the Western province of Nari, Atisha gave the following parting advice to his assembled disciples:

Friends, until you have obtained enlightenment, the spiritual teacher is needed; therefore depend upon the holy spiritual teacher. Until you fully realise the nature of voidness, you must listen to the Teaching; therefore listen closely to the precept of the teacher. Merely understanding the Dharma is not enough to become enlightened, you must practise constantly.

Go far away from any place that is harmful to your practice; always stay in a place that is conducive to virtue. Clamour is harmful until you obtain a firm mind; therefore stay in an isolated place. Abandon friends who increase your fettering passions; depend on friends who cause you to increase virtue. Bear this in mind. There is never an end of things to do, so limit your activities. Dedicate your virtue day and night, and always be mindful.

Once you have obtained the precept of the teacher, you should always meditate on it and act in harmony with his speech. When you do this with great humility, the effects will manifest without delay. If you act according to the Dharma from the depths of your heart, both food and necessities will come naturally.

Friends, there is no satisfaction in the things you desire. It is like drinking sea water to satisfy thirst. Therefore be content. Annihilate all forms of pretentiousness, pride and conceit; be subdued and peaceful. Abandon all that which some call virtue, but which is really an obstacle to the practice of Dharma. As if they were stones on a narrow slippery path, you should clear away all ideas of gain and respect, for they are the rope of the devil. Like snot in your nose, blow out all thoughts of fame and praise, for they serve only to beguile and delude.

As the happiness, pleasure and friends you have accumulated are of but a moment’s duration, turn your back on them. Future life is longer than this life, so carefully secure your treasure of virtue to provide for the future. You leave everything behind when you die; do not be attached to anything.

Leave off despising and deprecating others and generate a compassionate mind to those who are your inferiors. Do not have deep attachment to your friends and do not discriminate against your enemies. Without being jealous or envious of others’ good qualities, with humility take up those good qualities yourself. Do not bother examining the faults of others, but examine your own faults. Purge yourself of them like bad blood. Nor should you concentrate on your own virtues; rather respect those as a servant would. Extend loving-kindness to all beings as though they were your own children.

Always have a smiling face and a loving mind. Speak honestly and without anger. If you go about saying many senseless things, you will make mistakes; thus speak in moderation. If you do many senseless things, your virtuous work will cease; give up actions that are not religious. It is useless to make effort in unessential work. Because whatever happen to you comes as a result of your karma from long ago, results never match your present desires. Therefore be calm.

Alas, it is far better to die than to cause a holy person shame; you should therefore always be straightforward and without deceit. All the misery and happiness of this life arise from the karma of this and previous lives; do not blame others for your circumstances.

Until you subdue yourself, you cannot subdue others; therefore, first subdue yourself. As you are unable to ripen others without clairvoyance, make a great effort to achieve clairvoyance.

You will surely die, leaving behind whatever wealth you have accumulated, so be careful not to gather defilement due to wealth. As distracting enjoyments are without substance, adorn yourself with the virtue of giving. Always keep pure moral practice, for it is beautiful in this life and ensures happiness in future lives. In this world-age of the Kaliyuga, where hatred is rampant, don the armour of patience, which nullifies anger. We remain in the world by the power of sloth; thus we must ignite like a great fire the effort of achievement. Moment after moment your life is wasted led by the lure of worldly activities; it is time to meditate. Because you are under the influence of wrong views, you do not realise the nature voidness. Zealously seek the meaning of reality!

Friends, samsara is a vast swamp in which there is no real happiness; hurry to the place of liberation. Meditate according to the precept of the teacher and dry up the river of samsaric misery. Always keep this in mind. Listen well to this advice, which is not mere words but comes straight from my heart. If you follow these precepts you will make not only me happy, but yourselves and all others as well. Though I am ignorant, I urge you to remember these words.

 

At another time, Atisha stated:

This Kaliyuga is not the time to display your ability; it is the time to persevere through hardship. It is not the time to take a high position, but the time to be humble. It is not the time to rely on many attendants, but the time to rely on isolation. Nor is it the time to subdue disciples; it is the time to subdue yourself. It is not the time to merely listen to words, but the time to contemplate their meaning. Nor is it the time to go visiting here and there; it is the time to stay alone.

 

When the venerable Atisha was staying in Yerpadrak, near Lhasa, he gave the following precept:

Noble sons, reflect deeply on these words. In the Kaliyuga lives are short and there is much to be understood. The duration of life is uncertain; you do not know how long you will live. Thus you must make great effort now to fulfil your right desires.

Do not proclaim yourself a monk if you obtain the necessities of life in the manner of a layman. Though you live in a monastery and have given up worldly activities, if you fret about what you have given up, you have no right to proclaim, ‘I am a monk living in a monastery.’ If your mind still persists in desire for pretty things and still produces harmful thoughts, do not proclaim, ‘I am a monk living in a monastery.’ If you still go about with worldly people and waste time in worldly, senseless talk with those with whom you live, even though you are living in a monastery, do not proclaim, ‘I am a monk living in a monastery.’ If you are impatient and go about feeling slighted, if you cannot be even the least bit helpful to others, do not proclaim, ‘I am a bodhisattva-monk.’

If you speak thus to worldly people, you are a great liar. You may get away with saying such things. However, you cannot deceive those who have the boundless sight of clairvoyance, nor can you deceive those who have the Dharma eye of great omniscience. Neither can you deceive yourself, for the effects of karma follow after you.

To stay in a monastery it is necessary to give up worldly ways and attachment to friends and relatives. By renouncing these, you are getting rid of all the co-operating causes of attachment and longing. From then on you must seek the precious mind of enlightenment. Not even for an instant should you allow your past obsession with worldly concerns to arise. Formerly, you did not properly practice the Dharma, and under the influence of past habits that sapped your strength, you continually produced the concepts of a worldly person. Because such concepts are predominant, unless you make use of strong antidotes to them, it is useless to remain in a monastery. You would be like the birds and wild animals that live there.

In short, staying in a monastery will not be helpful if you do not reverse your obsession for fine things and do not renounce the activities of this life. For if you do not cut off these inclinations, thinking that you can work for the aims of both this and future lives, you will perform nothing but incidental religious practice. This type of practice is nothing but hypocritical and pretentious practice done for selfish gain.

Therefore, you should always seek spiritual friends and shun bad company. Do not become settled in one place or accumulate many things. Whatever you do, do in harmony with the Dharma. Let whatever you do be a remedy for the fettering passions. This is actual religious practice; make great effort to do this. As your knowledge increases, do not be possessed by the demon of pride.

Staying in an isolated place, subdue yourself. Have few desires and be contented. Neither delight in your own knowledge nor seek out the faults of others. Do not be fearful or anxious. Be of good will and without prejudice. Concentrate on the Dharma when distracted by wrong things.

Be humble, and, if you are defeated, accept it gracefully. Give up boastfulness; renounce desire. Always generate the compassionate mind. Whatever you do, do in moderation. Be easily pleased and easily sustained. Run like a wild animal from whatever would entrap you.

If you do not renounce worldly existence, do not say you are holy. If you have not renounced land and agriculture, do not say that you have entered the Sangha. If you do not renounce desire, do not say you are a monk. If you are without love and compassion, do not say you are a bodhisattva. If you do not renounce activity, do not say you are a great meditator. Do not cherish your desires.

In short, when you stay at a monastery, engage in few activities and just meditate on the Dharma. Do not have cause for repentance at the time of death.

Source: Atisha Dipamkara, ‘Teachings by Atisha’, TSEMRINPOCHE.COM, http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/teachings-by-atisha.html, (accessed 20 April 2018).

Go to Light Offering

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Light Offering Prayer

By Lama Atisha

You can recite this prayer when making individual light offering. After lighting a candle, a butter lamp, or any form of light, this prayer can be recited in conjunction with the visualisation described below.

May the light of the lamp be equal to the great three thousand worlds and their environments,
May the wick of the lamp be equal to the king of mountains – Mount Meru.
May the butter be equal to the infinite ocean.
May there be billions of trillions of lamps in the presence of each and every Buddha.

May the light illuminate the darkness of ignorance of all sentient beings
From the peak of samsara down to the most torturous hell,
Whereby they can see directly and clearly all the
Ten directions’ Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and their pure lands.

OM VAJRA ALOKE AH HUM
E MA HO

I offer these beautifully exalted clear and luminous lights
To the thousand Buddhas of the fortunate eon,
To all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the infinite pure lands and of the ten directions,
To all the Gurus, Yidams, dakas, dakinis, Dharma Protectors, and the assembly of deities of all mandalas.

Due to this, may my father, mother, and all sentient beings in this life and in all their future lives,
Be able to see directly the actual pure lands of the complete and perfect Buddhas,
May they unify with Buddha Amitabha in inseparable oneness,
Please bless me and may my prayers be actualised as soon as possible,
Due to the power of the truth of the Three Jewels and the assembly of deities of the three roots.

TAYATHA OM PÄNCHA GRIYA AVA BODHANI SO HA (7x)

 

Visualisation

The light transforms into single brilliant five-colour wisdom.
On a lotus and moon-disc the syllables OM and DHI appear.

From there, one hundred and eight beautiful goddesses of light, Marmema, appear, wearing beautiful garments and precious garlands.

Every goddess holds lights in her hands and from them emanate billions of trillions of infinite replicas of light-offering goddesses.

All of them make light offerings uninterruptedly to all the Buddhas in the Buddha-fields throughout all of space and to the peaceful and wrathful deities.

Source: Dipamkara, Atisha, ‘Light Offering Prayer’, Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, http://resources.tsemtulku.com/prayers/general-prayers/light-offering-prayer.html, (accessed 24 April 2018).

 

Go to Books & Videos

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Recommended Reading (Free Download)

Atisha and Buddhism in Tibet (Click to download PDF)

Atisha (Click to download PDF)

Atisha: The Tibetan Buddhist Master (Click to download PDF)

The Book of Wisdom (Click to download PDF)

The texts above were sourced from legitimate book-hosting services offering these texts for free download. They are made available here for purely educational, non-commercial purposes.

 

Selected Videos by Various Masters

 

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo: Atisha’s Verses On Training The Mind (Part 1)


Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/JetsunmaTenzinPalmoAtishasVersesOnTrainingTheMindPart1.mp4

 

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo: Atisha’s Verses On Training The Mind (Part 2)


Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/JetsunmaTenzinPalmoAtishasVersesOnTrainingTheMindPart2-1.mp4

 

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo: Atisha’s Verses On Training The Mind (Part 3)


Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/JetsunmaTenzinPalmoAtishasVersesOnTrainingTheMindPart3.mp4

 

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo: Atisha’s Verses On Training The Mind (Part 4)


Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/JetsunmaTenzinPalmoAtishasVersesOnTrainingTheMindPart4-1.mp4

 

Atisha’s Seven Point Mind Training By Alan Wallace


Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/AtishasSevenPointMindTrainingByAlanWallace1.mp4

Go to Gallery

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Atisha Image Gallery

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Dipamkara Shrijnana (Atisha) (982-1054 CE)

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Sources:

  • Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Joyful Path of Good Fortune, Tharpa Publications, 2012.
  • Lama Zopa Rinpoche, The Life of Atisha, 1976, https://www.lamayeshe.com/article/life-atisha, (accessed 28 March 2018).
  • Kendal Magnussen (ed.), ‘Atisha’s Life Story’, FPMT Education Services, 15 February 2009, http://www.lamrim.com/hhdl/atishaslamp.html, (accessed 27 March 2018).
  • Pabongka Rinpoche, Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand, Wisdom Publications, Inc.
  • Atisa, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ati%C5%9Ba, (accessed 27 March 2018).
  • Alexander Gardner, Atisa Dipamkara, 2009, https://treasuryoflives.org/biographies/view/Atisha-Dipamkara/5717, (accessed 27 March 2018).

 

For more interesting information:

 

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7 Responses to Atisha Dipamkara Shrijñana: The Reviver of Buddhism in Tibet

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  1. Pastor Han Nee on Jul 18, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    One of the most powerful legacies of this great sage and teacher, Atisha, is the legacy of the Lamrim.Atisha wrote his masterpiece, A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenemnt, which became the seminal Lamrim. He transmitted the Lamrim to his heart disciple, Dromtoenpa.

    The Lamrim contains in essence the complete teachings of Lord Buddha, as it combines both the wisdom or profound Lineage from Manjushri and the Extensive or Method Lineage from Maitreya and is presented as the Stages to the Path to Enlightenment. Dromtöenpa gave Lamrim teachings extensively in Tibet. These precious teachings were passed down to many generations.One of the recipients was Lama Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelug tradition. Tsongkhapa composed extensive Lamrim texts in accordance with the content and structure of Atisha’s Lamrim tradition.These are now used and studied widely.

    The Lamrim embodies the transformation of the mind (lojong)teachings which is the” pith of the Dharma”. The great Mahayana scope of the Lamrim revolves around the development of Bodhicitta and the Six Perfections to attain an Enlightened mind.

    Thus students studying the Lamrim today are the fortunate recipients of this legacy of Lama Atisha, who had brought the Dharma to Tibet, at a time when it was on the decline there.His life-story and deeds continue to inspire the beings of this age

  2. Wylfred Ng on Jun 24, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    谢谢仁波切的分享。

    在众多的佛教大师中, 其中一个令我印象最深刻的就是阿底峡尊者。 阿底峡尊者对于佛法在西藏弘扬扮演了非常重要的角色。

    阿底峡尊者曾经为了求发菩提心的法去到苏门答腊拜访金洲大师。 尊者学成归来也收到西藏的邀请去西藏传法。
    阿底峡尊者因为度母的指引, 不惜减寿去西藏弘扬佛法。 也成功让佛法在西藏重现辉煌。

    阿底峡尊者早期在西藏面对资源不足的问题。 度母也传授阿底峡尊者制作聚宝瓶的法门, 让阿底峡尊者得到资源弘扬佛法。 而且到现在我们可以供奉聚宝瓶也是阿底峡尊者的功劳。

    阿底峡尊者为了可以继续在西藏弘扬佛法才写出菩提道灯论如此殊胜且简易的佛法经典。 日后宗喀巴大师所写的菩提道次第广论也是依据阿底峡尊者所撰写的菩提道灯论为基础。 到今天, 我们才有帕绷喀仁波切教授, 赤江仁波切记录的掌中解脱, 让我们简单学习成佛之道。

    还有到今天我还有念的祈愿文— 灯供祈愿文, 让我所点的每一盏灯都得到最大的功德和利益。

    最后再次谢谢仁波切的分享, 让我们更了解阿底峡尊者的生平故事和成就。 谢谢。

  3. Jacinta Goh on Jun 22, 2018 at 11:21 am

    Dear Rinpoche,
    Have read the life of Most Venerable Atisha,the prayers and sincerely thanks for the chronology of ancient kingdoms (with videos) which helped a lot in understanding the whole scenario during Lord Atisha’s time. I love the teachings by Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo very much as I can listen to it while I’m driving too😁. For the book, have yet to downloading it.

    For the prayers, usually I will try to recite the prayer ” Advice from Atisha’s Heart” monthly as it’s concise and I find it very practical. It serves as a reminder daily reminders. Besides that, I will try to recite the light offering prayer too when I’m offering light to the Buddhas.

    Really thank you for this great and sacred article.

  4. Samfoonheei on Jun 19, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    Beautiful life story of the great Buddhist master, since more than 950 years after his passing, Atisha’s life story still continues to inspire many Buddhists. He was a Buddhist Bengali religious leader and master. He was one of the major figures in the spreading of 11th-century Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism in Asia. Atisha left a legacy of precious teachings which were passed down to many generations to come. Wonderful advice from Atisha’s heart which we should ponder in our daily lives. I do enjoyed and learned some teachings and still reading this blog at time of commenting. I have booked marking so that I could read it from tIme to time and set a reminder for myself.
    Thank you Rinpoche and writers team for this insight article of Atisha’s teachings, on various advice, short video of the Srivijaya Empire and Atisha in Tibet Part I & Part 2 which I truly enjoyed listening and looking at those rare beautiful images of Atisha.

  5. yin ping on Jun 18, 2018 at 4:28 am

    In the practice of mind transformation, Lord Atisha emphasized on Guru Devotion and holding vows. One’s must follow instructions from our Guru because the Guru knows what is the best for our spiritual practice. Without a guru, one’s is not able to obtain attainment and enlightenment.

    The practice of mind transformation is to train ourselves letting go of attachments, self grasping and wrong projections so that we do not get caught in the illusion of samsara. Our mind is trained to be alert and mindful, making our daily actions pure and meaningful. When we practice consistently, we become more compassion, patience, and willing to accept and endure difficulties for others. This is the essential meaning of our human life.

  6. Anne Ong on Jun 17, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    This morning i had a glimpse of this blog post when i was still half asleep in bed and thought…Wow! The Great Lama Atisha on the blog! So blessed and happy to see it on the blog as i always refer to Lama Atisha’s previous article on the blog. Started to love Lord Atisha’s teachings after reading about his adventurous spiritual journey in the Lamrim.🙏 Thank you very much H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche and blog team for this great work and effort done!😍🙏💛🌈

  7. Tsem Rinpoche on Jun 17, 2018 at 7:14 am

    Dear Changzo Beng kooi and our wonderful Kechara blog team including writers, researchers and technical team,

    With the deepest respects, lit incense billowing, prayers and great faith and some tears in my eyes, I have humbly published the story of Lord Atisha the incomparable for the world to read on our blog-site. I am just so happy to have Him on our blog-site. He is so holy and the guru of gurus. May all be blessed by Lord Atisha and Lady Tara by seeing this post and reading about Him. May all gain renunciation, bodhicitta and sunyata completely by studying Atisha’s teachings.- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=158941

    Lord Atisha’s benefits, teachings, writings, presence, works, life, sacrifice and pure monk-hood really is such a jewel among jewels. 900 years later He still inspires us so much.

    The pith of the Dharma is to transform the mind (within lojong teachings) and Atisha exemplified and stressed this throughout His life. Lojong brings the mind of an ordinary person to an exalted being (bodhisattva). From attachment to samsara and wrong projections to seeing samsara for the poisonous nature it really is and brings us to easily develop necessary qualities of endurance, patience, tolerance, compassion and acceptance. Lojong is a most important teaching and essence of Lord Buddha’s path. The Lam Rim composed by Atisha embodies this very much. It is very much worth your time to read. It is in this post for your convenience.

    Thank you all for your hard work towards such a beneficial post.

    Gratefully, Tsem Rinpoche

    P.S.

    1. I love the new tab system in this post you have where every content can be seen so easily at a glance. Makes it easier for the readers. I really want our blog visitors to benefit.

    2. I love all the prayers listed by Atisha you have made available. You made it convenient for the downloadable books regarding Atisha for everyone. I am so happy to have Atisha’s Lam Rim here to be accessible for everyone which is so holy. I love all the videos and I really like the gallery with many Atisha pictures of thangkas and statues. That was a nice touch. A real triumph of a post!!

    Atisha tab

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  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jul 19. 2018 12:16 PM
    I have enjoyed reading books or watching paranormal videos from time to time.. I do believed unseen beings definitely do exist. As long as we do no harm or disturb them , they too do us no harm. But in all we got to accept it seriously as in some cases the unseen beings might be aggressive. We are fortunate we have Dorje Shugden protecting us ….having trust and faith in our practice , respecting the unseen being by making offerings to them. All the paranormal stories which Rinpoche experiences were interesting and scary. I do enjoyed the snake spirit , Banging Pots to name . Seem to be interesting.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/paranormal-collection.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jul 19. 2018 12:15 PM
    Amazing ……The Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. It was once the residence of the HH Dalai Lama until the HH 14th Dalai Lama fled to India during the 1959 Tibetan uprising. It is now a museum and UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace is named after Mount Potalaka, the mythical abode of the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara. It is one of the most famous attractions in Tibet and it seem to be the highest ancient palace around the world. Its in my bucket list to go there for a pilgrimage. That’s my wish after reading and seeing those beautiful pictures of the place. Potala Palace is a must-see attraction in Lhasa.
    Thank you for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/travel/potala.html
  • Alice Tay
    Wednesday, Jul 18. 2018 11:05 PM
    This article is a very precious sharing on Gen Nyima and Dorje Shugden oracle. I appreciate very much and would like to share some of my thoughts here:

    The Significance of Dorje Shugden
    a. Although Gen Nyima did not practice Dorje Shugden but he confirmed that Dorje Shugden is Manjushri and everyone knows this especially all the high lamas.
    b. There was one time HH the 98th Gaden Tripa Jetsun Jampel Shenpen was very ill and his secretary came to visit Gen Nyima. Gen Nyima advised to perform a full Dorje Shugden Torgya ritual. This is because Dorje Shugden has become the principal Protector of Lama Tsongkhapa’s tradition and therefore by performing these pujas, Gaden Tripa would recover.

    The importance of guru devotion
    Dorje Shugden always protects, helps and guides faithful practitioners in spiritual path. If one person does not practice the dharma, against the guru’s advice or disrespecting guru, will not lead the person to enlightenment path. For this instance, Rinpoche asked the Protector Dorje Shugden not to take trance in the lady. After that, it was told that Dorje Shugden never took trance through her again. The lady went to monasteries and requested to become an oracle again, but she was told to repair her samaya with her teacher.

    Focus and have faith in practice
    It is believed that Gen Nyima practiced and focused on Yamantaka. Gen Nyima practiced Yamantaka diligently that included daily sadhana for 4 times per day with rituals and offerings, mantra recitations and full meditation. Gen Nyima said if practice Yamantaka, do not need any other Protector because Yamantaka is also a Protector. Gen Nyima only relied on Yamantaka for many matters included divinations, bless and heal the people and control the weather etc.

    It is said that if you reveal the deity you practise, you will not gain attainments. But, Gen Nyima told Rinpoche about his practice on Yamantaka and this implied that he has achieved higher levels of spiritual attainments and he is no different from Yamantaka. Furthermore, HH the 14th Dalai Lama believed and certified Gen Nyima’s meditational attainments and abilities. HH the 14th Dalai Lama asked Gen Nyima not to die or show signs of old age and sickness. Gen Nyima replied that he will follow the instruction.

    The practice of Eight Worldly Concerns
    Gen Nyima had studied up to the Madhyamaka (Middle Way) philosophy level in the monastery. Gen Nyima was very humble, sincere and he did not want to sit the examinations and earn a degree. He just wanted to meditate.

    When Gen Nyima lived in deep forest of Bhutan, he had helped and healed many people including the Queen Mother of Bhutan. There was no greed or selfishness in Gen Nyima. He only took very little of the money that needed for his and his assistant’s subsistence. While the balance of the money would offer to HH the Dalai Lama and Gaden Monastery. Another example was Gen Nyima just used an Amul cheese container for divinations instead of silver, brass, wood or clay divination boxes.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/the-jolenpa-bodhisattva-gen-nyima.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Wednesday, Jul 18. 2018 10:20 PM
    Oser is super funny. Dharma boy is super funny. Look how they avoid and attack Chip! LOL- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmGg6g8waNg
  • Lin Mun
    Wednesday, Jul 18. 2018 09:43 PM
    Some of the pictures are so funny, cute and some very heartwarming. I like the best is the huge dog caring for the small kitten. It’s like a mom taking care of the young baby. So warm and so much love. All animals have feelings like us. Treat them good.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/etc/very-heartwarming-photos.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jul 18. 2018 02:37 PM
    Inspiring yet powerful article and transcript of Mr Chen, the Chinese Buddhist billionaire. He has started an online games company and had accumulated worth of billions yet feeling unhappy and streesful. He eventually decided he had to salvage his own health after experiencing panic attacks. At the peak of his career he decided to put his wealth for something more meaningful. Combined with his Buddhist beliefs, convinced him to study and commit to researching the human brain and to transcend suffering.
    He gave out most of his fortune to support brain research.
    And even gave millions to various causes, including education, charities, healthcare, disaster relief, and poverty relief. He realised at end of the day , wealth is not everything , we should let go , afterall dealth is unpreditable. An example to all of us.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this inspiring sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/the-chinese-buddhist-billionaire-who-wants-to-fix-your-brain.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jul 18. 2018 02:37 PM
    A wonderful details write-up for anyone who is planning a pilgrimage or visiting there. Its will makes the trip such easier. A very profound teachings and explanations of the four Sacred sites of Vajra Yogini in Nepal. Beautiful pictures of 4 important sites of Vajra Yogini which I am fortunate to have a look at. I have not been to Kathmandu before but would love to visit if I have the opportunity. In fact getting excited after reading this article and watching those videos. Learning some new knowledge of what to do after visiting each site and at the end of trip and making the four aspirational prayers as recommended.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/travel/four-sacred-sites-of-vajrayogini-in-nepal.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Jul 18. 2018 10:36 AM
    Thank you for this brief introduction of the most recognisable landmark in Lhasa, the Potala Palace. At the centre of the Tibetan government and also the winter palace of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, this magnificent 13-storey building is indeed a architecture masterpieces. It is also interesting to note the mystical Demoness of Tibet that illustrates the physical location of important monasteries in Tibet.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/travel/potala.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Jul 17. 2018 02:48 PM
    Voodoo is an Afro-Caribbean religion where by their practices revolve around specific beliefs and a pantheon of Gods and Goddesses. These African Voodoo practice has been going on for many hundreds of years. It was once misunderstood. Some claimed as witchcraft but they are not and it is still practiced today. It was declared as a true religion where everyone can practices freely and worship as they like without discrimination.
    Because of the Tibetan Leadership (CTA) political agenda and due to the differences from their own belief, they instituted the ban against Dorje Shugden practitioners. At this century everyone should given the freedom to choose what they believes and what to practise without discrimination.
    Is heart breaking to read articles on the CTA’s official website of the ban which has indeed cause disharmony among the Tibetan communities. The Tibetan Leadership at one side said that everyone can have the freedom to practise but at one end they are against it. They are not truly democratic at all. Dorje Shugden practice is banned by the Tibetan leadership while the Voodoo was banned by European colonisers previously. As times goes by the authority accepted the voodoo practice. The CTA should followed the example of what actually a democratic country like by lifting the ban so as people can practice freely to what they want .
    Its wonderful to know of the Voodoo’s practice from the videos.
    May HH Dalai Lama please lift the ban soon to create a peaceful and harmonious communities .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/voodoo-and-the-tibetan-leadership.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Jul 17. 2018 02:47 PM
    Great post for many to have a better understanding of our own Malaysian land…..state of Kedah. Many of us are not aware of the beauty of Kedah. I have been twice there yet still could not cover all corners as it is a vast State. Yes ..its definitely a place to visit this ‘ Rice bowl of Malaysia’ which was sometimes called. Visited the mainland and Langkawi Island which has plenty to offer to locals as well as foreigner. The many places of interests are fantastic which has a historical stories and legends behind it. I have visited those common places like … Paddy Museum, Pulau Payar Marine Park, Tasik Dayang Bunting , Mahsuri’s Tomb and so forth to name a few.
    Visitors to Kedah must try their delicacies which are different from those other states of Malaysia.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Sharon Ong for this sharing .

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/travel/wonderful-kedah-malaysia.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Tuesday, Jul 17. 2018 12:38 AM
    Where can you find Buddhist texts, scriptures, ebooks and other documents for download at ZERO COST??
    Here –> http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/free-downloads-texts

    There are texts from General Buddhism to Buddhist Philosophy, Tantra and more, suitable for everyone from the beginner spiritual seeker to the advanced practitioner.

    Do come back regularly as we will be adding more texts.
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Monday, Jul 16. 2018 09:47 PM
    Tsem Rinpoche’s private quarters has such a beautiful shrine for you to view and be blessed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPAfpMoN2bA
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Monday, Jul 16. 2018 09:18 PM
    Sacred Guru Rinpoche thangka w/ Mother Green Tara on his left & World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden on his right- https://bit.ly/2uqdg7f
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Jul 16. 2018 09:04 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for these useful tips when we engage in a retreat. I think it is very important to set the highest motivation before engaging in a retreat and then focus on it during the retreat. We are really very fortunate to have all the guidance from Rinpoche and pastors and comfortable venue to do retreat here in Kechara. Appreciate Rinpoche’s kindness.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/5-practical-tips-for-a-spiritual-retreat.html
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Jul 16. 2018 08:40 PM
    Retreat is indeed a great way to breakaway from our busy schedule to seek for a calm and peaceful mind. Not only that, it is a great way to connect with the Buddha for a few days without any disturbance, just us and Buddha. We are all very fortunate that Rinpoche created Kechara Forest Retreat where we have a conducive environment for retreat. Thank you Rinpoche for your kindness.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/6-signs-you-need-a-retreat-pronto.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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

Tsem Rinpoche

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The Unknown

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

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.
Oser is super funny. Dharma boy is super funny. Look how they avoid and attack Chip! LOL- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmGg6g8waNg
20 hours ago
Oser is super funny. Dharma boy is super funny. Look how they avoid and attack Chip! LOL- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmGg6g8waNg
Very nice picture of Pabongka Rinpoche, Oracle of Shugden and Gen Lobsang Yeshe who helped HH Dalai Lama out of Tibet.
20 hours ago
Very nice picture of Pabongka Rinpoche, Oracle of Shugden and Gen Lobsang Yeshe who helped HH Dalai Lama out of Tibet.
Me and peek-a-boo Oser who is pretending to be a rabbit. LOL Tsem Rinpoche
3 days ago
Me and peek-a-boo Oser who is pretending to be a rabbit. LOL Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche\'s private quarters has such a beautiful shrine for you to view and be blessed:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPAfpMoN2bA
3 days ago
Tsem Rinpoche's private quarters has such a beautiful shrine for you to view and be blessed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPAfpMoN2bA
Sacred Guru Rinpoche thangka w/ Mother Green Tara on his left & World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden on his right- 
 https://bit.ly/2uqdg7f
3 days ago
Sacred Guru Rinpoche thangka w/ Mother Green Tara on his left & World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden on his right- https://bit.ly/2uqdg7f
The 3rd Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche points out clearly the murderer of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen- Read Here -  https://bit.ly/2uyhkBt
6 days ago
The 3rd Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche points out clearly the murderer of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen- Read Here - https://bit.ly/2uyhkBt
Murder in Drepung Monastery: Depa Norbu- Read here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=162787
6 days ago
Murder in Drepung Monastery: Depa Norbu- Read here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=162787
Dorje Shugden Arrives in a Nepali School | नेपाली विद्यालयमा दोर्जे शुग्देनको प्रवेश।- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=164978
7 days ago
Dorje Shugden Arrives in a Nepali School | नेपाली विद्यालयमा दोर्जे शुग्देनको प्रवेश।- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=164978
My doggies are super cute. He is Dharma boy in grey and she is Oser girl in the white. They looked like little stuffed toys. I love them very much.
7 days ago
My doggies are super cute. He is Dharma boy in grey and she is Oser girl in the white. They looked like little stuffed toys. I love them very much.
My doggies are super cute. He is Dharma boy in grey and she is Oser girl in the white. They looked like little stuffed toys.
7 days ago
My doggies are super cute. He is Dharma boy in grey and she is Oser girl in the white. They looked like little stuffed toys.
Four Sacred Sites of Vajra Yogini in Nepal- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=164215

This is an important pilgrimage blog post everyone must study and understand as one day you could visit and make prayers. Also this post has the various lineages of the sacred Lady Vajra Yogini\'s practice. A must read. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
Four Sacred Sites of Vajra Yogini in Nepal- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=164215 This is an important pilgrimage blog post everyone must study and understand as one day you could visit and make prayers. Also this post has the various lineages of the sacred Lady Vajra Yogini's practice. A must read. Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche at Kechara Forest Retreat
1 week ago
Tsem Rinpoche at Kechara Forest Retreat
Sakya tradition\'s thangka of Dorje Shugden sitting on a throne within his palace with his four emanations and high Sakya Lama nearby. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
Sakya tradition's thangka of Dorje Shugden sitting on a throne within his palace with his four emanations and high Sakya Lama nearby. Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche\'s shrine next to his working table
1 week ago
Tsem Rinpoche's shrine next to his working table
Tsem Rinpoche teaching in Kathmandu, Nepal
1 week ago
Tsem Rinpoche teaching in Kathmandu, Nepal
Tsem Rinpoche teaching around 20 years back in Wisdom Centre Kuala Lumpur.
1 week ago
Tsem Rinpoche teaching around 20 years back in Wisdom Centre Kuala Lumpur.
A Indian Yogi meditating on the path of Vajra Yogini deep in the forest as he is guarded by his wisdom protector Dorje Shugden. If we rely on him, Dorje Shugden will watch over us unwaveringly.~Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
A Indian Yogi meditating on the path of Vajra Yogini deep in the forest as he is guarded by his wisdom protector Dorje Shugden. If we rely on him, Dorje Shugden will watch over us unwaveringly.~Tsem Rinpoche
A very rare lineage of the Severed-Head Vajra Yogini thangka. She has severed her head and holding it in her own skull cup. Top left is Indra Kacho Vajra Varahi, centre is Flying Vajra Yogini and top right is Maitri Kacho Vajra Yogini.~Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
A very rare lineage of the Severed-Head Vajra Yogini thangka. She has severed her head and holding it in her own skull cup. Top left is Indra Kacho Vajra Varahi, centre is Flying Vajra Yogini and top right is Maitri Kacho Vajra Yogini.~Tsem Rinpoche
A stunning ethereal depiction of Dorje Shugden invoked by the Aboriginal tribes in Australia.~Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
A stunning ethereal depiction of Dorje Shugden invoked by the Aboriginal tribes in Australia.~Tsem Rinpoche
Beautiful thangka with upper left: Guru Rinpoche in the form of Nyima Odser, centre Lord Buddha Shakyamuni, right Tsongkapa, bottom left Protector Dorje Drolod and bottom right Protector of wisdom Dorje Shugden.~Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
Beautiful thangka with upper left: Guru Rinpoche in the form of Nyima Odser, centre Lord Buddha Shakyamuni, right Tsongkapa, bottom left Protector Dorje Drolod and bottom right Protector of wisdom Dorje Shugden.~Tsem Rinpoche
A meditator in Tibet has a vision of Manjushri Dorje Shugden while in retreat...while his \'assistant\' the yeti is in the background. Few Tibetan lamas had mentioned they have seen the yeti in Tibet or they harnessed the yeti to deliver messages to other meditators in distant mountains hard to reach by the average person. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
A meditator in Tibet has a vision of Manjushri Dorje Shugden while in retreat...while his 'assistant' the yeti is in the background. Few Tibetan lamas had mentioned they have seen the yeti in Tibet or they harnessed the yeti to deliver messages to other meditators in distant mountains hard to reach by the average person. Tsem Rinpoche
Left is His Eminence Kensur Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Tharchin lak of Sera Mey Monastery. He was residing in our Rashi Gempil Ling Kalmuck temple in Howell, New Jersey since 1971. I arrived in Howell in 1972 and had the fortune to take refuge with this master and receive innumerable teachings for 8 years. I lived 10 minutes away due to my good fortune. He is my first teacher. He is a direct student of H.H. Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche Dechen Nyingpo the Great as well as Their Holinesses Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche.

Right. Is His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche visiting this temple in New Jersey. It was at this time His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche conferred the Dorje Shugden sogtae (\'initiation\') on Kensur Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Tharchin along with two other students.~Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
Left is His Eminence Kensur Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Tharchin lak of Sera Mey Monastery. He was residing in our Rashi Gempil Ling Kalmuck temple in Howell, New Jersey since 1971. I arrived in Howell in 1972 and had the fortune to take refuge with this master and receive innumerable teachings for 8 years. I lived 10 minutes away due to my good fortune. He is my first teacher. He is a direct student of H.H. Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche Dechen Nyingpo the Great as well as Their Holinesses Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. Right. Is His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche visiting this temple in New Jersey. It was at this time His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche conferred the Dorje Shugden sogtae ('initiation') on Kensur Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Tharchin along with two other students.~Tsem Rinpoche
Another cute attack short video of my doggies you must see: 



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMUWYvWk3no&feature=youtu.be
1 week ago
Another cute attack short video of my doggies you must see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMUWYvWk3no&feature=youtu.be
I first saw this \'red\' illustration of Vajra Yogini back in Howell, New Jersey when I was around 14 years old. It is one of my favorite depictions of this Buddha Dakini. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
I first saw this 'red' illustration of Vajra Yogini back in Howell, New Jersey when I was around 14 years old. It is one of my favorite depictions of this Buddha Dakini. Tsem Rinpoche
Sacred old Vajra Yogini small hand painting called a \'tsakaley\'.
1 week ago
Sacred old Vajra Yogini small hand painting called a 'tsakaley'.
Offerings are made daily to the enlightened awakened beings on my shrine. Today we offered many fresh and clean fruits. May all be blessed by finding the path to enlightenment and gaining attainments. Tsem Rinpoche

www.tsemrinpoche.com
1 week ago
Offerings are made daily to the enlightened awakened beings on my shrine. Today we offered many fresh and clean fruits. May all be blessed by finding the path to enlightenment and gaining attainments. Tsem Rinpoche http://www.tsemrinpoche.com
Beautiful picture of His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche.
1 week ago
Beautiful picture of His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche.
My dear Mumu boy has such soulful and deep penetrating eyes. He was highly sensitive, intelligent and caring. He is physically gone, but never from my heart. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
My dear Mumu boy has such soulful and deep penetrating eyes. He was highly sensitive, intelligent and caring. He is physically gone, but never from my heart. Tsem Rinpoche
Oser and Dharma meet \"His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche\"- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-fP1MLuR0A
1 week ago
Oser and Dharma meet "His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche"- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-fP1MLuR0A
Oser and Dharma meet a new friend. Super cute attack video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkuXAcveV0E
1 week ago
Oser and Dharma meet a new friend. Super cute attack video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkuXAcveV0E
Little Oser trying to get a snack out. Super cute video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ANtRnEFREA
1 week ago
Little Oser trying to get a snack out. Super cute video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ANtRnEFREA
Beautiful and sacred shrine
2 weeks ago
Beautiful and sacred shrine
Voodoo and the Tibetan Leadership- https://bit.ly/2u4BZ0w

What happened to the voodoo religion is similar to what Tibetan leadership is doing today to groups of people due to their religion.
2 weeks ago
Voodoo and the Tibetan Leadership- https://bit.ly/2u4BZ0w What happened to the voodoo religion is similar to what Tibetan leadership is doing today to groups of people due to their religion.
Take two minutes and  look at this cool video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqBOV1pf8uU
2 weeks ago
Take two minutes and look at this cool video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqBOV1pf8uU
Another beautiful and ancient thangka of Guru Rinpoche and Dorje Shugden!
2 weeks ago
Another beautiful and ancient thangka of Guru Rinpoche and Dorje Shugden!
Please read about this incredible hermit monk Gen Nyima. Very inspirational-  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=163703
2 weeks ago
Please read about this incredible hermit monk Gen Nyima. Very inspirational- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=163703
Neat and fun video to share: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oqe2JPpO6OI
3 weeks ago
Neat and fun video to share: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oqe2JPpO6OI
A question regarding unenlightened oath bound protectors. Do click on picture and read. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
A question regarding unenlightened oath bound protectors. Do click on picture and read. Tsem Rinpoche
Be kind to everyone because they need it. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Be kind to everyone because they need it. Tsem Rinpoche
Ishwar Puri Ji: The Great Sikh Master in the West- Please read more and be inspired: https://bit.ly/2KxqOqI
3 weeks ago
Ishwar Puri Ji: The Great Sikh Master in the West- Please read more and be inspired: https://bit.ly/2KxqOqI
Geshe Puntsok happy with his gift of The Promise book.
3 weeks ago
Geshe Puntsok happy with his gift of The Promise book.
It is said by the caretakers not to go to this place at night. Because at night they hear gatherings and lots of voices. People in the village respectfully avoid this place as the dakinis (yoginis) gather at this place and if they are disturbed, there are fearful consequences worst than death for the intruder. Please read more about the this place in Hirapur: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=163205
3 weeks ago
It is said by the caretakers not to go to this place at night. Because at night they hear gatherings and lots of voices. People in the village respectfully avoid this place as the dakinis (yoginis) gather at this place and if they are disturbed, there are fearful consequences worst than death for the intruder. Please read more about the this place in Hirapur: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=163205
Raven-faced Karma-Mahakala or Kakamukha Mahakala
3 weeks ago
Raven-faced Karma-Mahakala or Kakamukha Mahakala
You may have heard of singing in the rain, but how about chanting in the rain?

A group of Kecharians went on sacred pilgrimage in Kechara Forest Retreat itself yesterday. We all know we don\'t have to travel far for pilgrimage because we have Kechara Forest Retreat with so many blessed images and relics. Please see what I mean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3439KaJsBA

Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
You may have heard of singing in the rain, but how about chanting in the rain? A group of Kecharians went on sacred pilgrimage in Kechara Forest Retreat itself yesterday. We all know we don't have to travel far for pilgrimage because we have Kechara Forest Retreat with so many blessed images and relics. Please see what I mean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3439KaJsBA Tsem Rinpoche
Stunning \'nathang\' thangka of Ekazati, Dorje Drolod and Dorje Shugden together.
4 weeks ago
Stunning 'nathang' thangka of Ekazati, Dorje Drolod and Dorje Shugden together.
Sacred Vajra Yogini made in Qing dynasty Between 1644-1911). It is housed in Sichuan Museum, Chengdu. Just to gaze at Her holy form is to realize there is a different place we can go to that has no suffering. She is the doorway and all we have to do is leave our projections and enter. May all ascend to Kechara Paradise. Namo guru Vajra Yogini lah Chak Tsel Lo! Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini made in Qing dynasty Between 1644-1911). It is housed in Sichuan Museum, Chengdu. Just to gaze at Her holy form is to realize there is a different place we can go to that has no suffering. She is the doorway and all we have to do is leave our projections and enter. May all ascend to Kechara Paradise. Namo guru Vajra Yogini lah Chak Tsel Lo! Tsem Rinpoche
Rumi: Legendary Sufi Poet whose mystical works transcend space and time. It\'s beneficial to enhance our knowledge of other traditions & cultures: https://bit.ly/2lh9cRO
1 month ago
Rumi: Legendary Sufi Poet whose mystical works transcend space and time. It's beneficial to enhance our knowledge of other traditions & cultures: https://bit.ly/2lh9cRO
His Holiness Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, Kyabe Zong Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Monastery doing puja.
1 month ago
His Holiness Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, Kyabe Zong Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Monastery doing puja.
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Considering getting a tattoo of a Buddha image? Watch this video.
    3 days ago
    Considering getting a tattoo of a Buddha image? Watch this video.
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s personal shrine. May everyone who view the shrine be blessed and have peace.
    3 days ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s personal shrine. May everyone who view the shrine be blessed and have peace.
  • Very powerful and heartwarming short video about love. A must watch and a must share. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 days ago
    Very powerful and heartwarming short video about love. A must watch and a must share. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Megnath is such a devotee of Bhagawan Dorje Shugden where he brought this protector to many people. Must watch this short video of him with the school kids. Lovely. Tsem Rinpoche
    7 days ago
    Megnath is such a devotee of Bhagawan Dorje Shugden where he brought this protector to many people. Must watch this short video of him with the school kids. Lovely. Tsem Rinpoche
  • My super adorable Oser girl Schnauzer reaching for a carrot on a chair. Her face looks like a stuffed animal toy. Tsem Rinpoche
    7 days ago
    My super adorable Oser girl Schnauzer reaching for a carrot on a chair. Her face looks like a stuffed animal toy. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is the shrine next to my working table where I sit daily. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 week ago
    This is the shrine next to my working table where I sit daily. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Who is that?? Wow Wow
    1 week ago
    Who is that?? Wow Wow
    Tsem Rinpoche's pet Schnauzers Oser & Dharma trying to get attention of the life-like statue of Rinpoche's guru Kyabje Zong Rinpoche which was offered by the students
  • Nothing Stops Me from Getting the Snack!
    1 week ago
    Nothing Stops Me from Getting the Snack!
    Tsem Rinpoche's pet Schnauzer Oser got the snack from the ball!
  • I must get the snack!
    1 week ago
    I must get the snack!
    Tsem Rinpoche's pet Schnauzer Oser trying hard to get her snack out of the ball!
  • I love this green snack munch munch munch
    1 week ago
    I love this green snack munch munch munch
    Tsem Rinpoche's pet Schnauzer Oser enjoying her green snack!
  • ‘Ahm-ahm’ video part 3: Starring the two silly doggie clowns doing jumps for carrot tidbits. Teehee
    2 weeks ago
    ‘Ahm-ahm’ video part 3: Starring the two silly doggie clowns doing jumps for carrot tidbits. Teehee
  • ‘Ahm-ahm’ video part 2: Starring the mega monsters Oser and Dharma. Teehee
    2 weeks ago
    ‘Ahm-ahm’ video part 2: Starring the mega monsters Oser and Dharma. Teehee
  • ‘Ahm-ahm’ video part 1: Guess what are the two monsters looking for??? Teehee…cute
    2 weeks ago
    ‘Ahm-ahm’ video part 1: Guess what are the two monsters looking for??? Teehee…cute
  • A Dorje Shugden puja was performed by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s students in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). KFR’s land is extremely blessed and energised, all beings who enter the land will be blessed.
    3 weeks ago
    A Dorje Shugden puja was performed by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s students in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). KFR’s land is extremely blessed and energised, all beings who enter the land will be blessed.
  • A Dorje Shugden puja was performed by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s students in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). KFR’s land is extremely blessed and energised, all beings who enter the land will be blessed.
    3 weeks ago
    A Dorje Shugden puja was performed by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s students in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). KFR’s land is extremely blessed and energised, all beings who enter the land will be blessed.
  • A Dorje Shugden puja was performed by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s students in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). KFR’s land is extremely blessed and energised, all beings who enter the land will be blessed.
    3 weeks ago
    A Dorje Shugden puja was performed by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s students in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). KFR’s land is extremely blessed and energised, all beings who enter the land will be blessed.
  • A Dorje Shugden puja was performed by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s students in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). KFR’s land is extremely blessed and energised, all beings who enter the land will be blessed.
    3 weeks ago
    A Dorje Shugden puja was performed by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s students in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). KFR’s land is extremely blessed and energised, all beings who enter the land will be blessed.
  • Bigfoot Sign Arrives in Betong
    3 weeks ago
    Bigfoot Sign Arrives in Betong
    The town's filled with excitement as Kechara Bigfoot gets a new sign.
  • Visiting senior citizen homes who happily receive Dorje Shugden’s blessings.
    3 weeks ago
    Visiting senior citizen homes who happily receive Dorje Shugden’s blessings.
  • Visiting a senior citizens home and sharing Dorje Shugden with them.
    3 weeks ago
    Visiting a senior citizens home and sharing Dorje Shugden with them.
  • Megnath outside the Chabahil Dorje Shugden Chapel in Kathmandu passing out Dorje Shugden brochures and booklets to the local people.
    4 weeks ago
    Megnath outside the Chabahil Dorje Shugden Chapel in Kathmandu passing out Dorje Shugden brochures and booklets to the local people.
  • Megnath walking around the Bodha stupa in Kathmandu and his uncle holding image of Dorje Shugden as he was just gifted with it.
    4 weeks ago
    Megnath walking around the Bodha stupa in Kathmandu and his uncle holding image of Dorje Shugden as he was just gifted with it.
  • Oser and Dharma vying for a snack! Cute
    1 month ago
    Oser and Dharma vying for a snack! Cute
  • A devotional song by Mary Fewel Tulin from the Radhasoami of Baba Sawan Singh. In it she praises the guru’s ability to evoke love and compassion within a practitioners heart.
    1 month ago
    A devotional song by Mary Fewel Tulin from the Radhasoami of Baba Sawan Singh. In it she praises the guru’s ability to evoke love and compassion within a practitioners heart.
  • Another devotional song in the Radhasoami tradition of Baba Sawan Singh. In this song she sings about the qualities of the guru.
    1 month ago
    Another devotional song in the Radhasoami tradition of Baba Sawan Singh. In this song she sings about the qualities of the guru.
  • On June 1, 2018, His Holiness the 10st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal starting giving teachings on Vajra Yogini in France.
    2 months ago
    On June 1, 2018, His Holiness the 10st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal starting giving teachings on Vajra Yogini in France.
  • His Holiness the 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal Rinpoche at 91 years old is healthy and very strong. We are blessed to see him. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 months ago
    His Holiness the 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal Rinpoche at 91 years old is healthy and very strong. We are blessed to see him. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Monthly Dorje Shugden Puja Performed at Nagu Monastery, Dechen, Yunnan, China for Tsem Rinpoche
    2 months ago
    Monthly Dorje Shugden Puja Performed at Nagu Monastery, Dechen, Yunnan, China for Tsem Rinpoche
  • His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche with his student Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
    4 months ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche with his student Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
    His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery was one of the teachers of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Here in this beautiful video is Geshe Kelsang Gyatso showing his centre to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, then proceeding to sit down to receive teachings. For more information, please go to http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/category/kyabje-zong-rinpoche
  • Super neat footage of Patty the Bigfoot!
    4 months ago
    Super neat footage of Patty the Bigfoot!
    In 1967, Bob Gimlin and Roger Patterson stumbled across an incredible sight whilst out in Bluff Creek, in the California wilderness. At a creek which had been freshly washed-out by recent floods, they witnessed a female Bigfoot swiftly traverse the rugged landscape. Since their filmed encounter with the Bigfoot, who has since been nicknamed Patty, many have disputed the authenticity of their recording but no one has been able to successfully prove that it is a fake. Credits for this video goes to entirely to windvale for the original footage.
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    9 months ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
  • Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
    9 months ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
  • BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
    9 months ago
    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    9 months ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    9 months ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    9 months ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    9 months ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    9 months ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    9 months ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    9 months ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    9 months ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    9 months ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    9 months ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    9 months ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    9 months ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

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CHAT PICTURES

Grateful to Kloth Malaysia and Sime Darby Initiative Programme for the invite to The Fabric Recycling Launch by HH Tengku Zatasha. Justin is beaming to have met En. Zaki as they mutually found solutions to each others problems. Finer details to be worked out on a later date. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 hours ago
Grateful to Kloth Malaysia and Sime Darby Initiative Programme for the invite to The Fabric Recycling Launch by HH Tengku Zatasha. Justin is beaming to have met En. Zaki as they mutually found solutions to each others problems. Finer details to be worked out on a later date. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
18 hours ago
A wonderful Monday to have 2 young teenagers, Su Lin and Kieren together with Polly, Say Fong and Lisa Tan serving lunch to our clients. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 days ago
A wonderful Monday to have 2 young teenagers, Su Lin and Kieren together with Polly, Say Fong and Lisa Tan serving lunch to our clients. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Self-defense class held by KSDS in Kechara House. Alice Tay, KSDS
3 days ago
Self-defense class held by KSDS in Kechara House. Alice Tay, KSDS
Every kids will be given opportunity to lead the class to do prostrations. Alice Tay, KSDS
3 days ago
Every kids will be given opportunity to lead the class to do prostrations. Alice Tay, KSDS
You Qian is a smart and loving kindess boy made donation for animal liberation. Alice Tay, KSDS
3 days ago
You Qian is a smart and loving kindess boy made donation for animal liberation. Alice Tay, KSDS
The birds would be released after the prayers and mantra recitation. Alice Tay, KSDS
3 days ago
The birds would be released after the prayers and mantra recitation. Alice Tay, KSDS
Pastor Han Nee led KSDS students, parents and others for animal liberation in Kechara House. Alice Tay, KSDS
3 days ago
Pastor Han Nee led KSDS students, parents and others for animal liberation in Kechara House. Alice Tay, KSDS
Lets see who is the lucky person to received Dorje Shugden from Kuala Lumpur Chinatown. Louise
3 days ago
Lets see who is the lucky person to received Dorje Shugden from Kuala Lumpur Chinatown. Louise
Dorje Shugden stall sending hope and blessing to everyone daily. Louise
3 days ago
Dorje Shugden stall sending hope and blessing to everyone daily. Louise
Children volunteering in Kechara Soup Kitchen. A great way to spend the weekend. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Children volunteering in Kechara Soup Kitchen. A great way to spend the weekend. Lin Mun KSDS
Lovely kids, learning to chant at very young age. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Lovely kids, learning to chant at very young age. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback - KSDS Graduation, volunteers are doing make up for children. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Throwback - KSDS Graduation, volunteers are doing make up for children. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback - Grand Dorje Shugden Puja, homemade soap all the way from Kuantan. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Throwback - Grand Dorje Shugden Puja, homemade soap all the way from Kuantan. Lin Mun KSDS
Royden feeding a deer during the Farm in The City outing. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Royden feeding a deer during the Farm in The City outing. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback - Colouring contest during Grand Dorje Shugden Puja 2017. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Throwback - Colouring contest during Grand Dorje Shugden Puja 2017. Lin Mun KSDS
Thanks to recommendation by Mr Andrew Yap, we brought 2 young clients to a job interview at an upscale hotel in #KualaLumpur. Hopefully they will succeed in their interview and live a stable life soon. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 days ago
Thanks to recommendation by Mr Andrew Yap, we brought 2 young clients to a job interview at an upscale hotel in #KualaLumpur. Hopefully they will succeed in their interview and live a stable life soon. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Prayer and dedication ~ Monthly Bird Liberation by Kechara Penang Study Group. ~ Jacinta
5 days ago
Prayer and dedication ~ Monthly Bird Liberation by Kechara Penang Study Group. ~ Jacinta
Monthly Bird Liberation ~ Kechara Penang Study Group , Jacinta
5 days ago
Monthly Bird Liberation ~ Kechara Penang Study Group , Jacinta
Dharma Sharing about H.E. the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche’s biography led by Bro Soon Huat~ Kechara Penang Study Group, Jacinta
5 days ago
Dharma Sharing about H.E. the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche’s biography led by Bro Soon Huat~ Kechara Penang Study Group, Jacinta
More than 200kg of surplus were saved and distributed to the needy families in Jalan Sungai. If not for the food rescue heroes, all these would have ended up in landfills. Thank you to Tesco and all volunteers for making this possible !!! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 days ago
More than 200kg of surplus were saved and distributed to the needy families in Jalan Sungai. If not for the food rescue heroes, all these would have ended up in landfills. Thank you to Tesco and all volunteers for making this possible !!! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Big thanks to Billy Hew for the generosity. Winter melon tea drinks arrive just in time for our street friends as the weather has been muggy and unpredictable lately! We also share the joy with our charity partners. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
7 days ago
Big thanks to Billy Hew for the generosity. Winter melon tea drinks arrive just in time for our street friends as the weather has been muggy and unpredictable lately! We also share the joy with our charity partners. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Jenny, Eunice and Nurul Anisa were such a great help to our kitchen today. Apart from serving in the kitchen, they also helped to prepare materials to be used for the needy families' skills training project. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 week ago
Jenny, Eunice and Nurul Anisa were such a great help to our kitchen today. Apart from serving in the kitchen, they also helped to prepare materials to be used for the needy families' skills training project. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Happy Wefie customer in our stall ! Everyone love Dorje Shugden ! Louise Lee
1 week ago
Happy Wefie customer in our stall ! Everyone love Dorje Shugden ! Louise Lee
Dharma sister Wong Li Yen come to volunteer in our stall in Kuala Lumpur Chinatown during saturday. So kind to spare time to help in the hot sun! Love you. Louise
1 week ago
Dharma sister Wong Li Yen come to volunteer in our stall in Kuala Lumpur Chinatown during saturday. So kind to spare time to help in the hot sun! Love you. Louise
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