Great Masters Speak about Tsem Rinpoche

By | Aug 7, 2017 | Views: 4,455
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His Eminence the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, protector of the holy Gaden lineage

His Eminence the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, protector of the holy Gaden lineage

One of the first things I was introduced to when I came to Kechara all those years back was the Lamrim, specifically Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand by the great Buddhist saint, Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche. In the Lamrim, the Dharma is described as the medicine, the Guru as the skillful doctor, and we the students as the patients. That was a revelation to me because true to the characteristic of one who is poisoned by ignorance, I did not particularly feel infirmed at the time.

I also found the centrality of the Guru a bit odd and everywhere I looked, there were as many checklists on how one should assess a real guru, as there were warnings about counterfeit lamas and cult figures masquerading as Buddhist masters. The ongoing Dorje Shugden conflict did not help and it was difficult for anyone new to Tibetan Buddhism to separate facts from the Tibetan leadership’s virulent anti-Shugden propaganda.

But another lesson I learned from the Buddha’s teachings is that there are three things we cannot hide – the Sun, the Moon and the Truth. The simple truth is that you cannot hide the pure brilliance of an enlightened Master no matter how much he plays it down. He did not become a Master by being made one but through countless lifetimes of practice and personal sacrifice, and layers upon layers of attainments, each like a flawless cut of a diamond.

The enlightened Master exudes kindness and there is a strong sense that this compassion is not an effort but a very natural outpouring of one who has grasped true understanding of enlightenment. His very being is inseparable from benevolence and generosity and this aspect of his character is consistent and very unwavering. It is impossible not to see this about him.

His mere presence is electrifying and instantly inspires all around him to be more kind, more caring and to want to live life more beneficently. The enlightened Master empowers people with knowledge and he hands them the tools to guide themselves out of darkness. He doesn’t teach rigidly by set textbooks because everyone is different and each has his or her own karma to contend with. Instead he guides them to the Dharma using their own predispositions but in every case, he shows them a glimpse of their own divinity, their own Buddha nature. The Buddha himself was like that.

The enlightened Master possesses supernatural powers and although he works hard to appear ordinary, you cannot help but see the miraculous results of his work. Fatal diseases are held at bay but even more magical is the sheer number of lives he transforms, turning each sentient being he comes into contact with, into an aspiring bodhisattva.

And the enlightened Master lives for the Dharma. This is the only reason he returned to nirmanakaya (emanation body) and there is no aspect of his life that has even a slight emphasis on worldly things. And yet there is no depth he will not go to preserve and uphold the Dharma and the teachings of the lineage’s masters.

The enlightened Master is a great friend, a brother and a parent. He can be all that because he has emptied himself of projections and has no ego to exert and protect. His very appearance is a teaching in impermanence and when needed, he manifests mercurial behaviour to reflect our weak and inconsistent mind, but everything he does is rooted in his unending kindness. You see this in the tears he fights to hold back when he rebukes you with the greatest hope that perhaps this time, another layer of harmful habituation will shatter.

Myself with Rinpoche

Myself with Rinpoche

Should anyone ask me how I know these things, I can say confidently I have met such a Master. My Guru, His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche is such a Master and anyone who has met Rinpoche, who seeks the Dharma honestly, knows what I am talking about.

If you come to Kechara with openness in your heart, you will see clearly that Rinpoche’s actions and his words are never at odds. You will see the simplicity Rinpoche lives in and how he longingly stares out into the mountains where he needs to be but denies himself because we are not yet able to stand on our own feet. You will see Rinpoche’s erudition because he will speak with you in such a casual way and only later will you realise that he had planted the understanding of the Dharma so deep within your mind, without breaking the fragile skin of your own esteem.

This is my Guru that I pray daily that many will come to know as I know him. But we are in samsara and often what is good is perceived as bad and vice versa. Galileo was put on trial twice for speaking the truth; Jesus Christ came to preach love and peace and they crucified him. And yet, despite any condemnation that Rinpoche has received, I have yet to see Rinpoche retaliate. Even in the endemic Dorje Shugden conflict, Tsem Rinpoche has refused to take a side as anti- one or the other. It would have been much easier to pick a side and fight. It is considerably more difficult to be steadfast in holding one’s oath and yet not succumb to the desire to be right or wrong about a conflict.

I see so much anger and insults hurled at Rinpoche but none dare accuse Rinpoche of not being a good monk, of not observing his vows, of not being kind and learned, of not having true devotion to his Gurus and to the Dharma. In fact I see that they attack Rinpoche only because Rinpoche has refused to abandon a sacred practice that was given to him by his Guru and because Rinpoche will not deny a deity who is a Buddha. The fact people may find that this level of guru devotion is something we should condemn, leaves me shocked.

On the other hand, I have witnessed high lamas and equally erudite masters speak glowingly of Rinpoche. These are not ordinary people who are easily fooled but great scholars and high practitioners of the Dharma with significant achievements and attainments. These are masters themselves who have seen beyond the false veneer of samsara and gazed into the vastness of the Buddha’s space. If those who attack Tsem Rinpoche are to be right in their accusations, then all these erudite Masters concurrently and coincidentally erred in their estimation of His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche.

It is my pleasure to share with you the following interviews of great lamas, scholars and Dharma friends giving their opinion of my Guru, His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche. These are just some of the few masters and friends on this post we are sharing as there are many more we didn’t get a chance to record yet. May their words inspire and encourage all who hear and be beacons for those seeking a pure Guru to lead them to the Dharma. May His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche live long in this greatly degenerated age so that he may lead more people to the holy Dharma, and may the minds of many more open to the qualities of a real teacher and learn to recognise such qualities in their own teachers before them.

Martin

 


 

Sangha and Dharma Friends Around the World
Who Spoke About Tsem Rinpoche

Click on any person’s name to be taken to their interview video and see what they have to say about Tsem Rinpoche.

His Holiness the 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal of Gaden Shartse Monastery His Eminence Khen Rinpoche Dakpa Tenzin of Gaden Shartse Monastery His Eminence Kensur Konchok Tsering Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery
His Holiness Zong Chocktrul Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery His Eminence Kalden Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery Geshe Namgyal Wangchen of Drepung Loseling Monastery
Geshe Jangchup Dorje of Gaden Shartse Hospital Gen Thubten Yonten of Gaden Shartse Monastery Gen Gelong of Gaden Shartse Monastery
Gen Nyima and Gen Lobsang Dhargye (Ngakpo) of Gaden Shartse Monastery Geshe Phuntsok Dorje of Gaden Jangtse Monastery Geshe Yeshe of Gaden Jangtse Monastery
Geshe Lobsang Wangchuk of Gaden Shartse Monastery Geshe Tsondrue Wangchuk of Gaden Shartse Monastery Gen Lobsang Gyatso of Gaden Shartse Monastery
Dr. Drolkar Geshe Yonten Gyatso and Geshe Tenpa Chophel of Nitsan Temple Anila Thubten Chonyid of Rashi Gempil Ling
Resident monk of Rashi Gempil Ling Geshe Tenzing Dakpa of Tashi Lhunpo / Olna Gazur Temple Geshe Lobsang Gyatso of Nitsan Temple
Ani Lobsang Drolma of Thubten Dhargye Ling His Eminence Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche of Sera Mey Monastery His Eminence Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende of Shar Gaden Monastery
Geshe Lobsang Phuntsok of Trijang Buddhist Institute Geshe Lobsang Sopa of Trijang Buddhist Institute Geshe Tsultrim Tenzin of Gaden Jangtse Monastery
Chatreng Yeshe BONUS! Long Life Puja for Tsem Rinpoche at Gaden Shartse Monastery

 

In France

His Holiness the 101st Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal Rinpoche

101GadenTripa The 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal Rinpoche was the 101st holder to the throne of ‘Gaden’, the supreme head of the Gelug lineage. Considered the representative of Lama Tsongkhapa on earth, the position of the Gaden Tripa is a seven-year term and highly significant due to the degree of influence and prevalence of the Gelug tradition. The very first Gaden Tripa was Gyaltsab Je, one of Lama Tsongkhapa’s two heart sons, who held the throne from 1419 to 1431. The major monasteries – Gaden, Drepung and Sera, as well as the famous Tantric colleges of Gyuto and Gyumed, all belong to the school of Gelug.

His Holiness Gaden Trisur Lungrik Namgyal Rinpoche, the 101st Gaden Tripa, was born in 1927 in the Dawa region of Eastern Tibet. At the age of 8, His Holiness joined the local monastery in Yangding and was consequently ordained as a monk. Later His Holiness entered Gaden Shartse Norling College. While a student there, Rinpoche studied Pramana Vidya (Logic), Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom) and Madhyamika (Middle Way Philosophy), under the guidance of various highly attained Masters, and also received many precious teachings and empowerments of the pure Gaden lineage.

In 1983 and 1992, the Dalai Lama appointed Rinpoche as the abbot of Gyuto Tantric University and abbot of Gaden Shartse Norling Monastery respectively. During the years of Rinpoche’s abbotship, apart from supervising the administration and discipline of the Sangha, he also conducted various pujas and teachings personally. Rinpoche’s contribution towards the monastery is widely recognised, and deeply respected by all. In 1986, these remarkable qualities inspired the Dalai Lama to choose him as the representative of Buddhism in Ecumenical Encounters of Assisi interfaith meetings convened on the initiative of Pope John Paul II in Italy.

In 1995, Rinpoche was bestowed the honorary rank of Shartse Choje (2nd rank among dignitaries of the Gelug tradition). After 6 years in that position, on January 20, 2003, the Dalai Lama, during his Kalachakra Empowerment in Bodhgaya, announced the appointment of Venerable Lungrik Namgyal as the 101st Gaden Tripa – the supreme head of the Gelug tradition, and literally, the Holder of the Throne of Tushita (Gaden Heaven).

After his retirement, the 101st Gaden Tripa became known as ‘Gaden Trisur Rinpoche’, meaning ‘Gaden Tripa Emeritus’. In this video, Gaden Trisur Rinpoche speaks about the importance of respecting and having faith in Tsem Rinpoche.

A blessed letter
by His Holiness the 101st Gaden Trisur Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal
(February 13, 2008)

His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche, from the Monastic Seat of Gaden Shartse, is an exceptional master who has intentionally taken birth for a noble mission. To take upon himself the responsibility of upholding the pristine and golden dual sutra and tantra Legacy of Manjunatha Tsongkhapa, who re-discovered the wide and ancient pathway shown by the historical Buddha, Tsem Rinpoche sought ordination into Buddhism at his personal initiative, and progressed along his training strictly according to the Vinaya.

At Gaden Monastic Seat, he also studied the Abhidharma and Sutra Pitaka. He has diligently put into practice whatever he has learned. Particularly noteworthy about Rinpoche is that he has engaged in aspects of generosity practice, such as offerings to the Buddha and the Sangha members, that are truly noteworthy and impressive.

Among his many endeavors, Rinpoche is currently involved in the challenging task of building an exceptional image of Manjunatha Je Tsongkhapa rising to 108 feet in height. Such an undertaking demands immense effort, forbearance and perseverance. I would like to recommend that this worthy project deserves the whole-hearted support of the benefactors of the Dharma. With my heartfelt prayers that this endeavor of Tsem Tulku Rinpoche will be fully realised.

Lungrig Namgyal
101st Successor to the Throne of Gaden
Paris, France
February 13, 2008

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In India

His Eminence Khen Rinpoche Dakpa Tenzin

KhenRinpocheDakpaTenzin Before he became the abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery, His Eminence Kensur Rinpoche Dakpa Tenzin was known as a simple and quiet monk. After becoming elected as the abbot, Kensur Rinpoche Dakpa Tenzin’s real character became apparent. Throughout his term in office, he showed unparalleled devotion to Gaden Shartse Monastery, its traditions and the welfare of the monks. He worked hard with no self-interest to improve the finances and the various departments within the monastery. When serving as the abbot, Kensur Rinpoche Dakpa Tenzin took care of all the monks like his own students without bias. He also kept in good contact with the Gaden Shartse monks who were living abroad and engaging in various rituals and teaching activities to support the monastery.

When the Dorje Shugden issue arose in 2008, Dokhang Khangtsen (one of the fraternity houses in Gaden Shartse) were forced to separate from the monastery because they did not want to give up their Dorje Shugden practice. At the time, Kensur Rinpoche Dakpa Tenzin insisted that monastic property be divided equally between the number of monks that remained in Gaden Shartse Monastery and those who were forced to leave with Dokhang Khangtsen (thus forming Shar Gaden Monastery). Kensur Rinpoche decided this in accordance with the vinaya rules that govern the welfare of monks to ensure that every monk is cared for. This is just one example of Kensur Rinpoche’s unbiased compassion for all the monks in the monastery.

Since this interview was recorded, Kensur Rinpoche Dakpa Tenzin has successfully completed his term as the abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery, and currently splits his time between Los Angeles, USA and Gaden Monastery in South India. At the time of the interview however, he was speaking as Khen Rinpoche, the incumbent abbot and talking about Tsem Rinpoche’s contributions to the monastery, and thanking Rinpoche for always helping the monastery.

Summary: Khen Rinpoche Dakpa Tenzin explained that Tsem Rinpoche’s teachings are exceptional, and that when he teaches others listen carefully and therefore they receive the Dharma. Khen Rinpoche remarked that Tsem Rinpoche’s many works for the people in Malaysia are very helpful. Khen Rinpoche also gave an explanation of the Migtsema mantra and Setrap practice. A group of Tsem Rinpoche’s students were able to make offerings to Khen Rinpoche who offered them his gratitude.

Main Points:

  1. Khen Rinpoche Dakpa Tenzin explained that Tsem Rinpoche’s teachings are extraordinary because he has been teaching for many incarnations. In this life, he is able to deliver the wisdom of his root gurus in his teachings and thus making his own teachings extraordinary and exceptionally beneficial to people today.
  2. When Tsem Rinpoche teaches, he is able to relate to his audience. So people listen and the teachings they receive are wonderful and authentic.
  3. What Tsem Rinpoche has done and improved in Malaysia with Kechara is immeasurable. This is very helpful for the ordinary lay practitioner because it provides a platform for people to practise the teachings, and people listen when Tsem Rinpoche teaches. These are the types of precious changes that Khen Rinpoche Dakpa Tenzin has seen Tsem Rinpoche doing for Malaysians.
  4. Khen Rinpoche also spoke about the Migtsema mantra. Even though it is short, it is a complete mantra and if he were to give a full explanation of the mantra, it would be a very long and unending teaching. It is a very powerful prayer, especially for Gelugpa practitioners. Khen Rinpoche Dakpa Tenzin also gave an explanation on Setrap (an action form emanation of the Buddha Amitabha).
  5. A group of Tsem Rinpoche’s students from Malaysia made offerings to Khen Rinpoche Dakpa Tenzin, including an image of the Lama Chopa Guru Tree, various medicines, books, DVDs, etc.
  6. Khen Rinpoche offered his thanks and gratitude for the sponsorship of the monastery’s hospital and gave an update on the hospital’s activities.

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His Eminence Kensur Konchok Tsering Rinpoche

KensurKonchokTsering His Eminence Kensur Konchok Tsering Rinpoche was a great master of sutra and tantra, and known for his great devotion to the Buddhadharma. He was born in Markham, Tibet, in 1934 and when Kensur Konchok Tsering Rinpoche was 13 years old, he received ordination vows at a local monastery in his hometown. At 17 years old, he began his studies at Gaden Shartse Monastery in Lhasa, Tibet. In 1959, Kensur Konchok Tsering Rinpoche escaped to India and in 1980, he passed his monastic examination with the highest honours, receiving the Geshe Lharampa degree. In 1985, Kensur Konchok Tsering Rinpoche left Gaden Shartse for Gyuto Tantric College in order to further his studies; four years later, in 1989, he was appointed as one of the official teachers of Gaden Shartse Monastery.

In 1996, Kensur Konchok Tsering Rinpoche became the Abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery, taking on the title of ‘Khen Rinpoche’. During his term, he successfully improved the education system of the monastery. After he completed his tenure, Khen Rinpoche became ‘Kensur Rinpoche’ (Abbot Emeritus) and continued to work, teaching tirelessly in order to preserve the Buddhadharma. Kensur Konchok Tsering Rinpoche entered clear light on December 21, 2016.

As the Abbot Emeritus of Gaden Shartse Monastery, here Kensur Konchok Tsering Rinpoche took the time to answer some questions about Tsem Rinpoche.

Summary: His Eminence Kensur Konchok Tsering Rinpoche explained that Tsem Rinpoche always cares for others rather than himself. Kensur Konchok Tsering knows Tsem Rinpoche to be someone who always helps the poor and those in need, and has given aid and assistance to the monastery in so many ways.

Main Points:

  1. Kensur Konchok Tsering Rinpoche said that many monks in the monastery could see Tsem Rinpoche’s acts of kindness, and that everyone knew and spoke about it.
  2. Kensur Konchok Tsering Rinpoche himself saw Tsem Rinpoche helping the poor and those in need. He had not heard of anything bad or negative about Tsem Rinpoche.
  3. Kensur Konchok Tsering Rinpoche said that Tsem Rinpoche always helped the monastery in so many ways and that he was grateful to Tsem Rinpoche for this.
  4. Kensur Konchok Tsering Rinpoche hoped that Tsem Rinpoche would continue to help the monastery and offered his prayers for Tsem Rinpoche’s long life, good fortune and great success, as well as that of Tsem Rinpoche’s students and sponsors.

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His Holiness Zong Chocktrul Rinpoche

ZongChocktrulRinpoche His Holiness Zong Chocktrul Rinpoche was born in 1985 in Kullu Valley, Northern India. It was His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama who recognised Zong Chocktrul Rinpoche as the incarnation of the illustrious 3rd Zong Rinpoche Jetsun Losang Tsondru Thubten Gyaltsen (1905–1984), who was Tsem Rinpoche’s root guru and known for his great contribution to the spreading of Buddhism in the west. Zong Chocktrul Rinpoche was enthroned at Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India.

Zong Chocktrul Rinpoche is currently studying sutra and tantra at Gaden Shartse Monastery where he is known as one of the top students in the monastery. It is also reputed that Zong Chocktrul Rinpoche is an extremely formidable and sharp debater, with a penetrative view and understanding of the texts that can only come from lifetimes of practice and great attainments.

Summary: During this audience with His Holiness Zong Choktrul Rinpoche, the Kechara team updated Zong Rinpoche about Kechara’s progress and Tsem Rinpoche’s work.

Main Points:

  1. In this audience with His Holiness Zong Chocktrul Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche was given an update about the Kechara organisation’s works at that time.
  2. Zong Rinpoche expressed his pleasure and approval of Tsem Rinpoche’s works.
  3. The team requested for Zong Chocktrul Rinpoche to write a foreword for a book and left a copy of the book with Zong Rinpoche’s attendant.

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His Eminence Kalden Rinpoche

KaldenRinpoche Over the years, His Eminence Kalden Rinpoche of Gaden Jangtse Monastery has had a very close relationship with Tsem Rinpoche. When Tsem Rinpoche still lived in Gaden Shartse Monastery before moving to Malaysia, Tsem Rinpoche sponsored the construction of a very young Kalden Rinpoche’s house.

Summary: His Eminence Kalden Rinpoche talked about how Tsem Rinpoche was able to adapt very well in the monastery even though he came from America.

Main Points:

  1. Kalden Rinpoche said that Tsem Rinpoche was very caring and always found time to nurture and play with the younger monks in Gaden. He would also buy food for them, like pakhoras.
  2. Tsem Rinpoche would play hide and seek, and also catch with the younger monks. Kalden Rinpoche’s fondest memory is playing with Tsem Rinpoche and the trips to Hubli. Tsem Rinpoche would bring younger monks to Hubli for outings such as the local Ganapathy festival and to watch Star Trek on TV at the Natraj Hotel where they would stay the night. Sometimes, he would take them to the hill outside Hubli to let them have a bird’s eye view of the place.
  3. Tsem Rinpoche was always relaxed and joked a lot.
  4. Kalden Rinpoche remembered Tsem Rinpoche as being very different, very special and very kind, and someone who was able to empathise with the poor. Whenever he saw a poor person, he would give them food and aid. To Kalden Rinpoche, Tsem Rinpoche had not changed and was still the same.
  5. Kalden Rinpoche felt that Tsem Rinpoche’s Dharma work was very great; not only did he offer robes and help with the lachi, but he also helped a lot of poor lay people too. Kalden Rinpoche came to the realisation that Tsem Rinpoche has the pure bodhicitta of a bodhisattva, which was evident in the work he is doing.
  6. Kalden Rinpoche remembers overhearing other monks talking about the great offerings of robes and other items that Tsem Rinpoche made to the whole of Gaden Monastery (Gaden Lachi) and what a great level bodhisattva Tsem Rinpoche was to give such wonderful offerings.
  7. Kalden Rinpoche felt that everything that Tsem Rinpoche did was based on the Dharma, like a guru. Little monks would treat Tsem Rinpoche like they would a teacher.
  8. Tsem Rinpoche always liked to encourage others to study the Dharma well, and also liked to meditate and make tsok offerings.
  9. Tsem Rinpoche would often be concerned for the welfare of the monks and often advised Kalden Rinpoche to study and practise the Dharma so he could become a Geshe.
  10. Tsem Rinpoche still remembers Kalden Rinpoche and would talk over the phone with him and send gifts. Kalden Rinpoche still thinks fondly of Tsem Rinpoche and dedicates his tsok offerings to Tsem Rinpoche.
  11. When Kalden Rinpoche was ill, it was Tsem Rinpoche who paid for his outpatient surgery to treat his infection.
  12. Kalden Rinpoche saw that Tsem Rinpoche had great respect for the sangha and that he sees the sangha in the same light as the Buddha.
  13. Kalden Rinpoche remembers Tsem Rinpoche’s help and kindness and will follow Rinpoche’s advice and to study for his Geshe degree; and also follow Rinpoche’s example to meditate on bodhicitta.
  14. During the audience, the team also offered Kalden Rinpoche a Yamantaka statue, who was very pleased and remarked that it was very timely for his Yamantaka practice.
  15. Kalden Rinpoche says that Tsem Rinpoche did not behave differently from other monks even though Rinpoche came from America. Tsem Rinpoche would join the pujas and classes like other Tibetan monks, and he wished Tsem Rinpoche a long life and requested Tsem Rinpoche to take care of his health.

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Venerable Geshe Namgyal Wangchen (Drepung Loseling Monastery)

GesheNamgyalWangchen Born as Thupten Gyaltsen, in Lhasa, Tibet, in 1934, Geshe Namgyal Wangchen grew to become one of his generation’s most formidable scholars and practitioners. Geshe-la originally entered Drepung Monastery at the age of 10. From age 16 onwards, under the direct tutelage of the abbot, Venerable Khenpo Pema Gyaltsen Rinpoche, he immersed himself in study of the major texts. He proved to be an exceptional student and practitioner, devoting even his holiday periods to retreats in caves above the monastery with fellow students for intensive study and contemplation. With ten years of dedicated study, Geshe la mastered the root texts through to the Madhyamaka (Middle Way) teachings.

Geshe-la’s writing came to the attention of the Dalai Lama who praised his style and clarity, and urged him to write more. It was also at this time, at the persistent request of his long-time Dharma brother, Lama Thupten Yeshe, that His Holiness gave approval for Geshe Wangchen to travel to the UK. Thus in 1982, Geshe-la arrived in London for the first time where he took up residence at the Jamyang Buddhist Centre in London, becoming their resident teacher and spiritual guide.

Ill health forced Geshe-la back to India where he was warmly welcomed by the monastery. Throughout his life, Geshe-la was a highly sought-after teacher and because the monastic community deeply respected him, many requests were made for him to become the abbot the monastery. Never seeking fame or a high throne, Geshe-la would always humbly beg to be removed from the consideration process. Instead of engaging in politics, Geshe-la devoted his time to teaching tirelessly. Geshe-la was well-known to have taught six days a week, 6-8 classes per day from midday until late into the evening. Thanks to his dedication and service, the world now has hundreds more scholars and practitioners preserving and propagating Lama Tsongkhapa’s tradition.

On August 18, 2015, at the age of 81, Geshe-la entered clear light meditation for eight days before finally leaving his body. Upon hearing of his passing, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama composed a prayer for the swift return of his reincarnation, which continues to be recited to this day.

Summary: When Tsem Rinpoche lived in Gaden Shartse Monastery, he would frequently travel to the nearby Drepung Loseling Monastery to receive teachings from the great Geshe Namgyal Wangchen. Because Geshe-la had lived in England for many years, he was one of very few Tibetans fluent in English at that time and he could communicate effortlessly with Tsem Rinpoche. Geshe-la found Tsem Rinpoche to be a highly intelligent student, and someone who grasped philosophy and complex topics very easily. Geshe-la also knew of Tsem Rinpoche’s generosity and how much assistance Tsem Rinpoche gave to the local Tibetan communities, both lay and ordained. Over the many years that Tsem Rinpoche travelled to Drepung to receive teachings from Geshe-la, the two grew to have a very close and warm relationship.

Main Points:

  1. Prior to meeting Geshe-la, Tsem Rinpoche had already studied many texts with his previous teachers. With Geshe-la, Tsem Rinpoche primarily studied Pramanavarttika (texts on logic by the Indian master Dharmakirti).
  2. Tsem Rinpoche would stay in Drepung Monastery for a couple of months at a time, and come to receive teachings from Geshe-la every day. In between teachings, they would chat and talk about everyday life.
  3. Geshe-la found Tsem Rinpoche to be extremely sharp, and a very intelligent person who studied very well. He also found Tsem Rinpoche to be very kind, and to always be giving and on the lookout to find people whom he could look after and take care of.
  4. Tsem Rinpoche took care of everyone, whether young or old, and supported them financially and brought them medical help. Tsem Rinpoche was generous even though he did not have much financial means himself. He was always looking for poor or underprivileged people to help.
  5. Geshe-la remembers Tsem Rinpoche as someone who applied the Dharma teachings. He was not just someone who studied theory, but was interested in its practical application too. In particular, Tsem Rinpoche was very interested in how to present the Dharma to the modern world, and Geshe-la had many discussions with Tsem Rinpoche about this.
  6. Geshe-la feels that because Tsem Rinpoche was educated in America, he already had a very good foundation in modern knowledge. Combined with his good quality of compassion, Geshe-la said he feels Tsem Rinpoche has very good skills to explain and present Buddhist philosophy and thoughts to the modern people, and how to relate Buddha’s teachings to everyday life.

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Geshe Jangchup Dorje (Head of the Hospital)

GesheJangchupDorje Geshe Jangchub Dorje was a Director of Gaden Shartse Hospital. In this short interview, Geshe-la spoke about Tsem Rinpoche’s admirable qualities when Rinpoche was living in the monastery and even after Rinpoche left the monastery to teach overseas.

Summary: Geshe Jangchub Dorje thanked Tsem Rinpoche for his support towards Gaden Shartse Hospital, and stressed that the sponsorship would be put to good use. He offered his prayers for Rinpoche’s long life and wished him success for the future.

Main Points:

  1. Geshe Jangchup Dorje expressed his thanks to His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche, and expressed his hope that Rinpoche would continue to support the monastery.
  2. He gifted Tsem Rinpoche with an Amitayus statue; a poster of His Holiness the Dalai Lama together with His Holiness Kyabje Ling Rinpoche and His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche; and a Medicine Buddha thangka for Kechara House.
  3. Tsem Rinpoche’s guru devotion is not just on an outward level, e.g. folding his hands and prostrating, but Tsem Rinpoche also took guru devotion one extra step such as when he took good care of Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche’s food and medicine, to the extent that Tsem Rinpoche would always taste Kensur Rinpoche’s food to make sure the salt, sugar and oil added into the food suited Kensur Rinpoche’s medical condition. Tsem Rinpoche took Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche to many hospitals in Malaysia and Singapore to make sure the best medical care for diabetes was provided for Kensur Rinpoche, and that is why Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche became famous in these places.
  4. During Tsem Rinpoche’s stay in the monastery, he studied the Dharma and practised for many years; he was in fact the Education Project Secretary. During Tsem Rinpoche’s time in the monastery, the Education Project was the most important work Tsem Rinpoche engaged in. After that, Tsem Rinpoche worked in Pukhang Khangtsen and was responsible for the construction of the Khangtsen. He has contributed a lot towards Pukhang Khangtsen ever since.
  5. Tsem Rinpoche has offered 3-foot statues of His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama to a few monasteries including Gaden Shartse and Gaden Lachi. At the same time, Tsem Rinpoche also made offerings of tea, kuyong, food and even robes to all the monks. Tsem Rinpoche sponsored the marble flooring of Gaden Lachi (main prayer hall), the debate courtyard flooring that costed INR1,800,000, and also sponsored USD80,000 to the Gaden Shartse Hospital.
  6. Tsem Rinpoche has not only donated to Shartse Dratsang’s Education Project but he has also donated to other monasteries. Tsem Rinpoche has helped the monasteries in so many ways, it is countless. Also, Tsem Rinpoche has helped the lay people within their camps, sponsoring their rice, oil, sugar and wheat. Tsem Rinpoche would hire a jeep and one of the monks from Pukhang Khangtsen, Gen Tsondrue Wangchuk would distribute these items to the poor and needy. Tsem Rinpoche was always thinking about others and he has true bodhicitta. He practises and embodies the teachings of the Buddha by being truly selfless, and only thinking of others.

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Gen Thubten Yonten (ex-Gekul / Disciplinarian)

GesheThubtenYonten Summary: Gen Thubten Yonten (Gekul-la) speaks of his meeting with Tsem Rinpoche during a gathering which was called to request Rinpoche to travel to Malaysia to raise funds, due to Rinpoche’s knowledge and fluency in English. Though there were many lamas and geshes in the monastery, not all of them could speak so well or were as educated as Rinpoche. Gekul-la described how he helped prepare many items for Rinpoche to take with him, and remembers that Rinpoche spoke very well, and that people were eager to hear his beneficial teachings. Gekul-la also stated that Tsem Rinpoche’s guru devotion to Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche was extremely strong, and gave advice to the students in regards to Dharma work.

Main Points:

  1. Gekula-la first met Tsem Rinpoche at a meeting which was called to request Rinpoche to go to Malaysia to raise funds, due to Rinpoche’s knowledge and fluency in English. There were many lamas and geshes in the monastery, but not all of them could speak so well. At that time, Gekul-la didn’t think Rinpoche wanted to go but the monks had requested. Rinpoche agreed to go to Malaysia after meditating on the difficult situation of the monks. Together with other monks, Gekul-la helped prepare many items for Tsem Rinpoche’s visit abroad, including chakras and rituals items.
  2. When Gekul-la first started working with Rinpoche, Gekul-la realised and noticed that whenever Rinpoche spoke, everyone was very happy to hear and receive teachings from Rinpoche, which are very beneficial. Upon sight, people were attracted to Rinpoche to come and receive teachings and get involved in his works.
  3. Whatever Tsem Rinpoche engaged in, or teachings that he received, he always learned very fast. Tsem Rinpoche is very hardworking, and working with Rinpoche benefits many people.
  4. At the time Gekul-la thought that if Tsem Rinpoche had remained in the monastery it would benefit the monastery even more. But Gekul-la’s thinking did not come to pass, because Tsem Rinpoche did not have the opportunity to stay due to the urgency of fundraising for the monks.
  5. When Tsem Rinpoche went to raise funds, there were around 200-300 monks in Phukang Khangtsen. He retold the story about Phukang Khangtsen’s difficulties with the influx of monks from Tibet. However because of Tsem Rinpoche’s fundraising efforts a three-story dormitory was built, which helped the monks a lot. The first floor of this building is a puja house.
  6. Gekul-la wanted to continue to work with Tsem Rinpoche to help the Khangtsen but was appointed as a library worker for four years, so he couldn’t work much with the Khangtsen. Following that he went to Gyuto.
  7. Gekul-la mentioned that Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche lived a very simple life, and that Tsem Rinpoche took extremely good care of him, an example of his guru devotion. Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche had diabetes, and Tsem Rinpoche invited Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche to live with him in Tsem Ladrang. Tsem Rinpoche took care of his guru’s diet, and even invited Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche to Malaysia for check-ups to look after him.
  8. Gekul-la said that it doesn’t make a difference that Rinpoche is American or has an American background, he is good Dharma teacher.
  9. Gekul-la also offered his advice to everyone in the Kechara organisation. When people engage in Dharma work, we should think long term, because when we mix it up with trivial things, it won’t be Dharma. If we think of it with a longer vision, then our work will have long-term benefit and we will be stable in it. We have a good guru who takes us on the Dharma path, so continue to do Dharma with a long-term vision, and it will benefit all of us. Meditate on the main point of Dharma when engaging in Dharma work, then the work will be beneficial to us.
  10. Tsem Rinpoche is very different than others because he is always thinking of how to benefit others.
  11. A message from Rinpoche was also conveyed: when Rinpoche was going to Malaysia, Gekul-la was extremely kind to Rinpoche and Rinpoche will never forget his kindness.

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Gen Gelong (ex-Gekul / Disciplinarian)

GenGelong Gen Gelong’s simple appearance belies the force of his practice. Gen Gelong was one of the disciplinarians of the monastery, and he first met Tsem Rinpoche when Rinpoche arrived in Dharamsala. Although Gen Gelong was unable to speak English, and Rinpoche was unable to speak Tibetan, through a series of gestures and mimes, a strong friendship and respect was developed between the two monks. Here he recalls his impression of Tsem Rinpoche when Rinpoche first came to the monastery.

Summary: Most of the video centres around discussion of Gen Gelong’s medical problem. Gen Gelong said that the first time he met Rinpoche, Rinpoche spoke a little Tibetan which impressed him. Gen Gelong and Rinpoche were very close. He felt that Rinpoche was very special and an exceptional young man to be able to leave behind everything in America to go to India to be a monk when others were going the other direction to America. He could see that Rinpoche was a very Dharmic person from the way he carried himself and spoke. Gen Gelong also said that Rinpoche was playful and would play pranks on him. Gen Gelong said that Rinpoche’s Dharma is very pure.

Although bedridden with tuberculosis of the bone, Gen Gelong gave this interview to a group of Tsem Rinpoche’s students, giving each of them personal advice for their practice. He recounted the time when Tsem Rinpoche first arrived at Dharmasala and their meeting. Although Tsem Rinpoche was an ordinary monk at the time, Gen Gelong invited him to stay at Gaden Shartse’s Shabten Khang because he was a student of Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. He did not think Tsem Rinpoche was an ordinary person, but someone who was a strong practitioner of the Dharma, and offered him a khata.

Main Points:

  1. When Zong Rinpoche came to the United States and stayed at Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen’s centre, he met Tsem Rinpoche who was assigned to served him. Zong Rinpoche was very happy with Tsem Rinpoche.
  2. Gen Gelong first met and became close to Rinpoche there. Gen Gelong invited Rinpoche, who was then a young man on his own all the way from America, to stay with him in his house and help him in the Shabten Khang, Gaden Shartse in Dharamsala as he was going to be in Zong Ladrang anyway.
  3. So although Tsem Rinpoche had not been recognised as a high incarnation yet, Gen Gelong had invited him to stay at Gaden Shartse Monastery’s Shabten Khang because he was a student of Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. At the time, Gen Gelong was looking after the Shabten Khang and therefore, had the authority to invite Tsem Rinpoche to stay there.
  4. When Tsem Rinpoche first came to Dharamsala, Rinpoche could not speak Tibetan. Therefore, Gen Gelong started to play and to tease Rinpoche in Tibetan. Soon after, Rinpoche began to speak a little Tibetan.
  5. Gen Gelong then started teaching Tibetan to Rinpoche. They became very close then. Because it was cold in Dharamsala, Tsem Rinpoche offered Gen Gelong clothes, although at the time Tsem Rinpoche was not rich.
  6. Gen Gelong said that Tsem Rinpoche’s Dharma is very pure. He can’t say about others as he doesn’t know them but he knows Rinpoche’s Dharma practice.
  7. Gen Gelong said Tsem Rinpoche left everything in America and came to India. It was a great thing to do as others were leaving India for America. When he first met Tsem Rinpoche, he thought Tsem Rinpoche was not normal but exceptional. The way Tsem Rinpoche looked and spoke was very special. Gen Gelong then offered a khata to Tsem Rinpoche and told Tsem Rinpoche that he looked very much like a Buddhist and a very Dharmic person.
  8. Gen Gelong said that Tsem Rinpoche was very playful. He related his time as the Disciplinarian of the monastery and how Tsem Rinpoche often teased Gen Gelong during puja, or play tricks on him by placing stones or insects in his shoes to surprise Gen Gelong.
  9. Gen Gelong said that if Tsem Rinpoche stayed in the monastery, he would have obtained his Geshe degree name. Tsem Rinpoche had learned all the scriptures necessary for becoming a Geshe. However, Tsem Rinpoche was requested to go overseas to fundraise for Phukhang Khangtsen monks, and therefore, Tsem Rinpoche could not complete the process of becoming a Geshe name. Tsem Rinpoche did not wait to obtain his Geshe degree before going overseas because the objective of the fundraising effort was not for himself, but for many monks.
  10. Although Tsem Rinpoche was from Gaden Shartse, Tsem Rinpoche helped both Gaden Jangtse and Gaden Shartse. Therefore, everybody was very impressed with Tsem Rinpoche because people felt that he possessed bodhicitta, or had the mind of a bodhisattva.
  11. Gen Gelong said that every few months, Tsem Rinpoche offered him money to buy milk or other necessities.
  12. Gen Gelong felt close to Tsem Rinpoche because even though Rinpoche had stayed in foreign countries for many years, he had never disrobed.
  13. Gen Gelong said that Kecharians are very lucky to have a teacher who can speak English, as he is able to impart the teachings which will not only benefit us in this life, but in future lives too.
  14. Tsem Rinpoche was a very sharp student. Due to his learning from past lives, Rinpoche could understand the subjects very fast, compared to those who have not studied them in their past lives. Although Rinpoche has retained the learning from his previous lives, to inspire sentient beings, Tsem Rinpoche has to go through the learning process again.
  15. Tsem Rinpoche’s great guru devotion towards Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche was due to the blessing of Zong Rinpoche and his past lives’ merits.
  16. When this interview was recorded Gen Gelong was ill with tuberculosis of the bone. He was bedridden because the disease had attacked his spine. He apologised that he wouldn’t be able to travel to Malaysia as Tsem Rinpoche had requested because of his illness.
  17. Gen Gelong also explained that he used to give leeway for Rinpoche to skip pujas because of Rinpoche’s strong past life affiliations with the Dharma.
  18. Gen Gelong also felt that Tsem Rinpoche should have entered Dokhang Khangtsen in Gaden Shartse because his past life came from Dokhang Khangtsen. Rinpoche’s previous life was Kentrul Thubten Lamsang from Phari.
  19. Tsem Rinpoche was enthroned very much later in life. However, it does not matter because there are some tulkus that were enthroned at an even older age (e.g., 50 years old).

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Gen Nyima and Gen Lobsang Dhargye (Ngakpo)

GenNyima Gen Nyima was formerly a layperson who visited the monastery often to seek advice from the monks. On one occasion, Rinpoche advised Gen Nyima to become a monk, and that many of his problems would disappear.

After his ordination, Rinpoche invited Gen Nyima to live in Tsem Ladrang where he came to serve Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche. Gen Lobsang Dhargye, also known as Ngakpo, is one of Rinpoche’s closest friends from the monastery.

Summary: Gen Nyima expressed how he felt about Tsem Rinpoche and that Rinpoche was his only hope. He also spoke about the advice that he was given to look after Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche. Gen Lobsang Dhargye (Ngakpo) reminisced about His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche’s kindness.

Main Points:

  1. Gen Nyima explained that Tsem Rinpoche is his guru, teacher, sponsor and more. He stated that Tsem Rinpoche was his only hope.
  2. Tsem Rinpoche had advised him to serve Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche as best as he could, which he had been doing.
  3. Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche likes Rinpoche a lot because Rinpoche took very good care of Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche’s needs and the needs of Kensur Rinpoche’s students as well.
  4. Rinpoche made a lot of tea, bread and monetary offerings so that the monks did not have to work in the fields and kitchens.
  5. Rinpoche was the one who made Gen Nyima a monk in the monastery. Rinpoche helped in many ways such as sponsorship, and also provided many things for him to help Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche. Rinpoche promised to help Gen Nyima from wherever he is if Gen Nyima devoted himself to Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche.
  6. Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche suffered from diabetes and Rinpoche arranged a special diet and medicine, and Kensur Rinpoche diabetes improved a lot after that. Rinpoche made a timetable for medicines and food.
  7. Rinpoche was strict with ladrang discipline. He would scold them if they were slack. Because Rinpoche was a strict disciplinarian, they were all scared of him. He would make sure that everything was running like clockwork.
  8. Rinpoche always did Dharma work well and encouraged the ladrang to do so as well. He would consult Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche as to which puja to do, and he had strong guru devotion.
  9. The ladrang was built and founded by Tsem Rinpoche and it grew from there.
  10. Tsem Rinpoche is like a Buddha. When he is angry, everyone is very, very careful because they know to be on alert. But at the same time, Tsem Rinpoche is very generous, kind and loves to give a lot of gifts. Tsem Rinpoche often talked to all the monks and shared his feelings.
  11. Rinpoche would joke with Gen Nyima when Gen-la was not in the kitchen working. Rinpoche would frighten him with a prosthetic leg. Rinpoche would tease and joke a lot. Rinpoche would switch off the lights and throw tins and such in order to frighten the monks.
  12. Rinpoche is kind-hearted, respected the elders and helped others a lot and that’s how he is different from other monks.
  13. Rinpoche’s good qualities are helping others, respecting teachers, good guru devotion, and helping the poor.
  14. Rinpoche is a very good teacher and sometimes he gets angry, which is normal but most of the time he is a patient teacher. Gen Nyima doesn’t think Rinpoche needs to change anything.
  15. Rinpoche would change Gen-la’s glasses twice a year after Irene sponsored the first pair. He would arrange for a substitute for Gen Nyima before bringing him for his opticians’ tests. Rinpoche would take him to Hubli for good food, stay the night and get his tests done before returning.
  16. Sometimes, Rinpoche would bring the young monks to Hubli, and this then became a tradition.
  17. Rinpoche helped Geshe Tamding from another khangtsen renovate his house and Tsem Rinpoche bought things for Geshe Tamding as he saw that Tamding’s house was in a bad shape. He would buy him provisions like milk and food.
  18. Rinpoche would often share about his life in America, and how they are used to cleaner places and better health care.
  19. Rinpoche supported Lobsang Dhargye (Ngakpo) financially and in his Geshe studies too.
  20. Rinpoche had incredible guru devotion. One of the main reasons Rinpoche built Tsem Ladrang was because Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche was not well taken care of in Zong Ladrang. In Tsem Ladrang, Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche’s food and medicine were well monitored.
  21. Regarding Tsem Rinpoche as a reincarnate lama, he is well-known and respected in the monastery for his deeds.
  22. Rinpoche was strict about monks wearing their robes properly as he felt that it represents the Buddha and should be treated with respect and worn properly.
  23. Rinpoche was very interested in Vajrayogini.
  24. Whenever Lobsang Dhargye has difficulties, he thinks of Rinpoche and his own troubles seem insignificant. Rinpoche always advised him to study the Dharma well.
  25. What he likes most about Rinpoche is that Rinpoche is very helpful to the poor and the way he speaks is excellent though he feels that Rinpoche is always the same.
  26. Gen Lobsang Dargye explained that he could never forget all that Tsem Rinpoche had done for him, and all the kindness that Tsem Rinpoche had shown him.

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Geshe Phuntsok Dorje (Gaden Jangtse Monastery)

GenPhuntsokJangtse One of Tsem Rinpoche’s closest friends in the monastery, and an attendant to His Eminence Kalden Rinpoche, Geshe Phuntsok Dorje of Gaden Jangtse Monastery travelled to Malaysia many times to visit and assist Tsem Rinpoche. In the monastery, Geshe Phuntsok Dorje also personally witnessed many of the acts of giving and assistance that Rinpoche offered to the monastery and the local lay community.

Summary: Geshe Phuntsok Dorje of Gaden Jangtse Monastery explains the difficulties that Tsem Rinpoche went through with students in his Dharma centre in Singapore. He shares how he first met Tsem Rinpoche, and what he would do with Tsem Rinpoche, such as providing the poor with food. He highlighted Tsem Rinpoche’s guru devotion and the way he took care of his teacher, Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche. Geshe Phuntsok Dorje also described how he would never forget Tsem Rinpoche’s kindness, such as helping him build a house, and so prays for Tsem Rinpoche when engaged in puja.

Main Points:

  1. Gen Lobsang Wangchuk had referred Kecharians to interview Geshe Phuntsok Dorje from Gaden Jangtse Monastery to obtain more information about the challenges that Tsem Rinpoche faced when he had a Dharma centre in Singapore.
  2. Tsem Rinpoche had problems with students at his centre in Singapore that also involved two of his student monks, Jampa Lobsang and Lobsang Choedak, from Tsem Ladrang. These problems caused Tsem Rinpoche to lose his centre.
  3. Three years after the problems occurred, Tsem Rinpoche phoned Geshe Phuntsok Dorje to tell him what happened, which he was very sad about. Tsem Rinpoche also wanted to return to the United States. However, several of his close students begged him to stay and pledged their support.
  4. Of his own accord, Geshe Phuntsok Dorje went to meet both Jampa Lobsang and Lobsang Choedak, and advised them to mend their relationship with Tsem Rinpoche. He reminded them of Tsem Rinpoche’s kindness of giving them a place to live, and their livelihood. Unfortunately the two monks did not follow his advice. At the time of the interview they had no connection with Tsem Rinpoche. There are several other monks in the monastery who knew of the problems, and they were saddened by what had happened.
  5. Geshe Phuntsok Dorje first met Tsem Rinpoche in Drepung Monastery many years before, while attending a teaching by Denma Locho Rinpoche. During the visit, Kundeling Rinpoche had asked Geshe Phuntsok Dorje to teach him about sand mandalas, and it was there that Geshe Phuntsok Dorje met Tsem Rinpoche.
  6. When Tsem Rinpoche lived in Gaden Monastery, he would often take Geshe Phuntsok Dorje with him to Hubli to shop for the Ladrang. Once a month, Tsem Rinpoche would also take him to give food and provisions to the poor and needy, such as oil and sugar.
  7. Geshe Phuntsok Dorje described how strong Tsem Rinpoche’s guru devotion was, stating that he would do anything for his teachers. When Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche was staying with him in Tsem Ladrang, Tsem Rinpoche took care of Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche very well, including adjusting and maintaining a suitable diet, his health, medical tests and hospital visits.
  8. When he lived in Tsem Ladrang, Tsem Rinpoche’s students worked very hard and respected Tsem Rinpoche very much, and discipline was upheld. For example, when Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche was giving a teaching, no one could enter the Ladrang, unless they had an appointment.
  9. Geshe Phuntsok Dorje described how Tsem Rinpoche lived like a pure lama. He loved to help others, the poor and his Khangtsen. Prior to giving help, Tsem Rinpoche would investigate each case to check whether the prospective recipients were genuine or not. If they were, he would help them greatly.
  10. Geshe Phuntsok Dorje explained that a book about Tsem Rinpoche’s life would be beneficial to many people, as they would be able to learn from his experiences. Tsem Rinpoche had experienced and overcome many challenges while he was in the United States, in Singapore and during his early years in the monastery.
  11. Geshe Phuntsok Dorje said that he would never forget the kindness of Tsem Rinpoche. He is now in charge of a young Rinpoche and a Geshe in his house. As Tsem Rinpoche helped him to build a house, because of that he does not have any problems now.
  12. He also explained that Tsem Rinpoche had done a lot for the monastery. Whenever Geshe Phuntsok Dorje and the monks are doing puja, they always pray for Tsem Rinpoche’s good luck and success. Tsem Rinpoche’s students should support him all the way because he is a good teacher.

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Geshe Yeshe (Gaden Jangtse Monastery)

GesheYeshe A respected Geshe of Gaden Jangtse Monastery, Geshe Yeshe is known to be very humble. Here he speaks about the rarity and precious opportunity of receiving Dharma from a teacher like Tsem Rinpoche, as well as rejoicing in Rinpoche’s work.

Summary: Geshe Yeshe recounts meeting Tsem Rinpoche, and thinking that he was not an ordinary person. He states he has tremendous respect for Tsem Rinpoche because he sees him as a bodhisattva, someone who is always helping others. Tsem Rinpoche works tirelessly, not only for the monastery but anyone who is in need of help. Geshe Yeshe says that Tsem Rinpoche even helped him by sponsoring his medical treatment. He speaks of Tsem Rinpoche’s exemplary guru devotion, and how his own students should view him. Geshe Yeshe said that Tsem Rinpoche is a real Tibetan master, and his kind actions are signs that he is a highly attained being.

Main Points:

  1. Geshe Yeshe explains that he met Tsem Rinpoche through Gen Phuntsok, and he had a feeling that Tsem Rinpoche was not an ordinary person upon meeting him.
  2. Geshe Yeshe respects Tsem Rinpoche because of the way he speaks and his actions, which match.
  3. Geshe Yeshe recounted that Tsem Rinpoche helped others, such as giving everything he had to the monastery or to the poor, showing his kind heart and bodhisattva nature. He gave the example of how Tsem Rinpoche helped James, an auto-rickshaw driver by buying him an auto-rickshaw and food as he was poor. He also helped Geshe Yeshe personally by sponsoring his medical treatment when he was ill, and even helped other lamas build their ladrangs.
  4. Geshe Yeshe belongs to Gaden Jangtse, whereas Tsem Rinpoche is from Gaden Shartse. They would meet during teachings by high lamas or big pujas, and all the monks from Jangtse knew how Tsem Rinpoche had helped the monastery, both when he was in India and later when he went to Malaysia.
  5. He said that whatever Tsem Rinpoche does is for the benefit of others, and that he went to Singapore and Malaysia to help both the monastery and serve all sentient beings.
  6. Tsem Rinpoche has a lot of Dharma imprints from previous lives, and it is due to the samaya of the students that they could meet and learn from Tsem Rinpoche.
  7. Geshe Yeshe also said that some students would think good of their teacher, and others would not, due to mistaken perception and lack of samaya. Since Tsem Rinpoche’s students have a lot of merit, they should not break their samaya with Rinpoche, as he is an excellent teacher.
  8. Geshe Yeshe said that Tsem Rinpoche had a lot of guru devotion towards Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, and helped him in many different ways. Those who always do good works or make offerings to the sangha will always have good fortune. Because of Tsem Rinpoche’s good works, Geshe Yeshe said he would pray for Tsem Rinpoche’s long life and success.
  9. Geshe Yeshe gave advice to the students, that they should respect their teacher like they would respect a parent, and not to disrespect them. Once a student has accepted a teacher, they should follow the teacher’s advice carefully.
  10. Geshe Yeshe sees Tsem Rinpoche as a Tibetan master, and doesn’t see any areas in which Tsem Rinpoche needs to improve. Tsem Rinpoche is already doing a lot of work for the Dharma centre and students, because he wants to lead them all to a pure land. It is due to his kindness that he helps everyone, which is a good sign.
  11. Geshe Yeshe says he felt like he is good friends with Tsem Rinpoche, and that Tsem Rinpoche had spent a lot of time studying and meditating, which is good.

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Geshe Lobsang Wangchuk

GesheLobsangWangchuk A personal friend of Tsem Rinpoche’s, Geshe Lobsang Wangchuk visited Rinpoche in Malaysia where he was an attendant and assistant. Tsem Rinpoche’s students from his early days in Malaysia will remember this monk well. When they visited the monastery, Geshe Wangchuk helped to show them around and, being fluent in Chinese, also helped to translate during various interviews.

Summary: Geshe Wangchuk explained that many people had a very high opinion of Tsem Rinpoche because they knew his character, and have benefited from his kindness, such as the sponsoring of Gaden Shartse’s debate courtyard. He also spoke of Tsem Rinpoche’s great guru devotion, and how Rinpoche showed this in Rinpoche’s actions. Geshe Wangchuk recounted how Rinpoche helped many monks from different monasteries, and how Rinpoche’s kindness enabled quite a few monks to overcome tremendous hardship, and how Rinpoche gave all that he had to help others, including to beggars on the streets. Geshe Wangchuk explained the life of a reincarnated lama in the monastery, and how it is similar to a normal monk. He also explained the extra responsibilities of a reincarnated lama, and the hopes placed on Tsem Rinpoche by the monks of his fraternity.

Main Points:

  1. Many people still liked Tsem Rinpoche, despite what others may have said. This was because they had received help from Rinpoche and knew his character. There were only a few people who were against Rinpoche, but many others held positive opinions of Tsem Rinpoche.
  2. Gen Wangchuk explained that Tsem Rinpoche is one of the few international lamas living overseas that had contributed significantly in terms of finances for the monastery, such as for Gaden Shartse’s debate courtyard.
  3. For Tsem Rinpoche, it didn’t matter if Rinpoche’s guru was a monk or layman (referring to Drigung Rinpoche), Rinpoche respected all of them the same. For example, Tsem Rinpoche once went to visit Drigung Rinpoche and although the space was very limited, he still prostrated to his teacher.
  4. Gen Wangchuk recounted how Tsem Rinpoche displayed pictures of all his gurus on his altar, with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the centre. He always took his gurus’ pictures with him wherever he went, especially those of Zong Rinpoche and Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche.
  5. Gen Wangchuk also recounted his trip to Malaysia together with Kating Rinpoche, and how Tsem Rinpoche took care of them while they were there.
  6. Geshe Wangchuk recalled that when Tsem Rinpoche was in the monastery, Rinpoche’s help made a difference for many monks. Most of the monks had come from Tibet, and had lost their families or relatives. It was financially difficult for them to survive as they had no one to sponsor or support them. It was actually Tsem Rinpoche who found the money to support their monkhood and their lives.
  7. Tsem Rinpoche helped a lot of monks, not only from Gaden, but also from many different monasteries, including Sera and Drepung Monasteries. Even though he did not have much money, as he did not have a sponsor himself, he still offered what little he had to help other monks.
  8. Tsem Rinpoche even gave money to beggars on the street in Hubli, even though he had very little himself.
  9. When Geshe Wangchuk first started his studies, he wanted to stop and return to Tibet as it was very difficult to make ends meet without any support.
  10. Geshe Wangchuk said that he managed to become a Geshe only because Tsem Rinpoche helped him tremendously and he was not the only one as there were a lot of similar cases. To him, many things would have been impossible if it was not for Tsem Rinpoche, as at the time the monastery was going through a difficult period; everyone was struggling and the monks were even starving. Sometimes there was no breakfast, and for lunch they were lucky if they received vegetables to go with their rice.
  11. Tsem Rinpoche advised Geshe Wangchuk to continue studying the Dharma and advised him not to worry about anything as Rinpoche would help him financially and in any way Rinpoche could. All Geshe-la needed to do was remain in the monastery and focus on studying the Dharma to get his Geshe degree. With Rinpoche’s assurance and help, he stopped thinking about returning to Tibet and persevered in his studies.
  12. Geshe Wangchuk mentioned that Tsem Rinpoche also sponsored the textbooks for many of the monks who came from Tibet and had nothing. Tsem Rinpoche’s concern for the preservation of the Dharma is well-known within the monastery. He reiterated that he was not the only monk to have experienced Tsem Rinpoche’s kindness, and there were many others, and that he was extremely grateful for all that Tsem Rinpoche had done.
  13. In the monasteries, reincarnated lamas are expected to take on some of the responsibilities of the monastery’s welfare. However they also have regular routines just like other monks, such as studying, going for debate and so forth.
  14. Many of the monks from Tsem Rinpoche’s khangtsen (fraternity house) have great hopes for Tsem Rinpoche. Such hopes are not an expectation that is typically given to normal monks.
  15. Typically, the monastery also expects reincarnated lamas to complete their Geshe studies.
  16. Following the interview, some Kecharians met with Khen Rinpoche, the abbot of Gaden Shartse, and Geshe Jangchub Dorje, the director of Gaden Shartse Hospital. They thanked Tsem Rinpoche and Kechara for donating to hospital, and they offered Tsem Rinpoche a Medicine Buddha statue, Medicine Buddha thangka, a poster of the lineage lamas, and wished him a very long life. They also gave an official receipt for the donations, which was signed by Khen Rinpoche and Geshe Jangchub Dorje. In addition, Khen Rinpoche gifted each of the Kecharians that attended the meeting with a bag of incense.

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Geshe Tsondrue Wangchuk

GesheTsondrueWangchuk Summary: Geshe Tsondrue Wangchuk is from Phukhang Khangtsen of Gaden Shartse Monastery, and he remembered Tsem Rinpoche very well. He remarked that Tsem Rinpoche was a very warm and friendly person, and recounted fondly the times they spent traveling around India together. Geshe Tsondrue also spoke of Tsem Rinpoche’s humility as a monk, the great works Rinpoche did for the monastery and the lengths to which Rinpoche went to help the monks and the local community. Poignantly, Geshe Tsondrue expressed how much he misses Tsem Rinpoche.

Main Points:

  1. Geshe Tsondrue Wangchuk recounted that Tsem Rinpoche was very kind-hearted and helpful to everyone he met. Tsem Rinpoche was always helping the poor, the monastery, Sangha and the local community despite not having much money himself. This kindness in Rinpoche was what Geshe Tsondrue respected very much, and that was the reason he liked to help Tsem Rinpoche whenever he could.
  2. Geshe Tsondrue recalled fondly that Tsem Rinpoche was very warm, friendly and open. Rinpoche had a special quality about him and had an ability to make people happy. Tsem Rinpoche used to invite Geshe Tsondrue Wangchuk to visit Rinpoche at his house, and they had many wonderful conversations together.
  3. Sometimes when Tsem Rinpoche travelled around India, he would ask Geshe Tsondrue Wangchuk to accompany him, and during such trips he witnessed how Tsem Rinpoche behaved and felt that Tsem Rinpoche was a great lama.
  4. He recounted that when Tsem Rinpoche first entered the monastery, Rinpoche was very poor and would keep to himself, quietly doing his practices. Many people, Geshe Tsondrue Wangchuk included, didn’t know much about Tsem Rinpoche or think much about him. They just thought he was an American who had come to Gaden to engage in casual meditational practices. No one knew he was a Rinpoche, or how knowledgeable he was until Rinpoche was enthroned. That was when everything changed for Tsem Rinpoche and he demonstrated a lot of special qualities.
  5. From Geshe Tsondrue’s first-hand account, Tsem Rinpoche was a simple and humble, albeit great Rinpoche who did not seek fame, recognition, or acknowledgement. Having been quite close to Tsem Rinpoche, Geshe Tsondrue saw himself how much Rinpoche did for the monastery, monks and the poor community. From what he observed, he developed great respect for Rinpoche.
  6. To Geshe Tsondrue, Tsem Rinpoche’s kindness is actually beyond words.
  7. Geshe Tsondrue Wangchuk expressed that he misses Tsem Rinpoche very much, and that whenever he sees an image of Lama Tsongkhapa and his two spiritual sons, he would think of Tsem Rinpoche.
  8. He felt that he must have collected a lot of merits in his previous life to have been able to have such a close bond with Rinpoche.

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Gen Lobsang Gyatso

GenLobsangGyatsoGaden Summary: This interview shows how consistent Tsem Rinpoche is as a teacher who will do much more than merely impart knowledge. Tsem Rinpoche is well known for going well out of the way to provide suitable conditions for people he meets to practise the Dharma, and to look after every aspect of the student’s life to make sure they have every opportunity to succeed.

Main Points:

  1. Gen-la was only 21 when he met Rinpoche. He came from Tibet to the monastery and he had nothing at that time. Rinpoche was Gen-la’s teacher and provided Gen-la with everything from monk robes to food as well as a place to stay and study. Gen Lobsang Gyatso spoke of how well he was taken care of by Rinpoche.
  2. Gen-la said that Rinpoche was a very good teacher to him. At times Rinpoche would scold him for the mistakes he had done but later, when Gen-la was a teacher himself, he began to understand and appreciate Rinpoche’s kind intentions in wishing him to be as good as he could be.
  3. Rinpoche’s main teachings were to always be kind to others, to always talk kindly and gently to others. In addition, Rinpoche always encouraged him to study hard and to learn the various rituals well.
  4. When Rinpoche offered Tsem Ladrang (Rinpoche’s house) to Rinpoche’s Guru, Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Gen-la felt very sad because Rinpoche built everything himself but would end up without a ladrang of his own. However, he also observed that Rinpoche had very strong guru devotion.
  5. All the monks in the monastery knew that Rinpoche was extremely kind and helpful to the monastery. Rinpoche not only helped the monastery but also anyone who was poor. This was something all the monks witnessed personally about Rinpoche. Gen-la mentioned that everyone knew Rinpoche did great things for the monastery and he has never heard anything negative about Rinpoche.
  6. Since Rinpoche left the monastery, Gen-la has missed Rinpoche very much and said if ever Rinpoche came back to Gaden Monastery, Gen-la would readily serve Rinpoche in any way and indeed that was his greatest wish.

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Dr. Drolkar

DrDrolkar Dr. Tsewang Drolkar Khangkar (Dr. Drolkar) was born in 1959 in Kyirong, Tibet. Her mother was a practitioner of Tibetan medicine, Dr. Lobsang Dolma Khangkar. When Dr. Drolkar was two years old, her mother took her into exile to India. During this dangerous journey, Dr. Drolkar lost two of her elder brothers.

Between 1972 and 1981, Dr. Drolkar learned about Tibetan astrology; herbs, plants, and minerals relevant to Tibetan medicine practice; urine analysis and pharmacology; and pulse reading under the guidance of her late mother, who was famous for her vast knowledge of Tibetan medicine. Dr. Drolkar also studied Tibetan medicine at Men-Tsee-Khang or the Tibetan Medical and Astro Institute in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh. Currently, Dr. Drolkar runs her own clinic, Drolkar Herbal Medicine Clinic in South New Delhi.

Summary: Dr. Drolkar expressed her happiness that Tsem Rinpoche had established a Dharma centre in Malaysia because it will benefit many people. She also gave a brief explanation of illness from the perspective of traditional Tibetan medicine. Her explanation focused on the various common illnesses that can be found in the area and the usage of different medicines to treat them.

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In the USA

Geshe Yonten Gyatso and Geshe Tenpa Chophel

GesheYontenGyatso Geshe Yonten Gyatso came from a monastery in Tibet. He escaped to Nepal during the Tibetan Uprising, where he met and studied with the 14th Dalai Lama’s older brother, Thubten Jigme Norbu. Geshe Yonten Gyatso travelled and stayed in India for some time before settling in Rashi Gempil Ling Temple, in Howell, New Jersey in 1968. Geshe Yonten Gyatso, who entered clear light on December 6, 2014 was known for his expertise in prescribing holistic remedies to cure many types of illness including cancer.

In this interview, Geshe Tenpa Chophel translated for Geshe Yonten Gyatso. Geshe Tenpa Chophel used to be the lead chanter (umze) of Gomang monastery. It was Geshe Yonten Gyatso who actually knew Tsem Rinpoche and gave Rinpoche the Vajrayogini tsa tsa that Rinpoche carried with him to India.

Summary: The Kechara team met with Geshe Yonten Gyatso, the resident monk at the Kalmyk Temple of Nitsan (Gaden Chopheling) near where Rinpoche grew up. Geshe-la remembered Tsem Rinpoche when Rinpoche was still a boy by the name of Burcha Bugayeff. Even as a boy, Tsem Rinpoche was already very interested in the Dharma and would visit the temple daily to pray. He used to ask a lot of questions about the Buddhas. Geshe-la recalled that Rinpoche’s parents used to discourage him from the practice of the Dharma.

Main Points:

  1. Tsem Rinpoche as a young child, when he was known as Burcha Bugayeff, visited the temple all the time to pray, engage in prostrations and make offerings. He did this nearly every day for seven years and he always asked Geshe-la a lot of questions.
  2. Rinpoche’s parents (Dana and Boris Bugayeff) were very unhappy with Rinpoche’s visit. They did not like that Rinpoche wanted to be a monk even when Rinpoche was young.
  3. Geshe-la did not know that Rinpoche left home to go to California, but had heard that Rinpoche met His Holiness Zong Rinpoche. He had heard that Zong Rinpoche told Tsem Rinpoche to go to India, where Zong Rinpoche would ordain Tsem Rinpoche.
  4. Geshe-la heard Rinpoche became ordained as a monk and then went to Malaysia. Rinpoche helped Phukhang Khangtsen in Gaden Shartse Monastery, and Geshe-la knew about this from the letter Rinpoche sent to him together with books, monetary offering (kuyong), etc.
  5. Geshe-la also knew Rinpoche returned to New Jersey to visit his father, and told his father that he was going to be a monk but Boris was not happy with his plans. Boris did not take it well.
  6. Geshe-la recounted how the young Rinpoche was very interested in Dharma and used to come to the temple often. He would always pay homage to the Buddhas and make monetary offerings. Even when Rinpoche was very young, he already knew the Gaden Lhagyama, Migtsema and other prayers.
  7. Ani Chonyid had a lot of Dharma books and Rinpoche used to go to her place to read them.
  8. Later on, via Ani Chonyid, Rinpoche would send to Geshe-la clothes and money from India and Ani-la would offer them to Geshe-la. Rinpoche also used to write to Geshe-la.
  9. Geshe-la was very happy that Rinpoche was recognised as a tulku or reincarnated lama. In Geshe-la’s heart he had expected it because of the signs that Rinpoche showed as a young boy.
  10. Geshe-la remembers that he gave a small Vajrayogini tsa tsa to Tsem Rinpoche and also gave Rinpoche some teachings. Geshe-la gave the tsa tsa to Rinpoche because Rinpoche was so interested in the Dharma. (Note: to this day, Rinpoche still keeps the tsa tsa and it is one of Rinpoche’s most precious and holy possessions.)
  11. Geshe-la had been in the US since 1968. A monk from Xinjiang called Tsultrim asked for Geshe-la to come to the US because they needed a resident monk in the Nitsan Temple. Tsultrim himself went to New York after that.
  12. Geshe-la was from Inner Mongolia and went to Kumbum for two years and then to Lhasa, Tibet and studied in Drepung Gomang for nine years. Then he went to Nepal and then Drepung Gomang in India before he came to the USA.
  13. Rinpoche’s parents did not like Rinpoche learning the Dharma. Rinpoche was very saddened by this, but he was happy whenever he was in the temple and could talk to Geshe-la. Rinpoche would read Dharma books and make offerings. Tsem Rinpoche’s parents were upset about the fact that Tsem Rinpoche visited the temple every day. They wanted him to get married and were worried that the temple would affect the hope of him getting married and having a family. Tsem Rinpoche visited the temple frequently for seven years. When he was young, Tsem Rinpoche requested that he wanted to become a monk, but his parents were strongly against the idea of him becoming ordained as he was their only son. Even though his parents were strongly against the idea of him becoming a monk, Tsem Rinpoche’s wish to become ordained never wavered.
  14. Sometimes Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin gave teachings at Rashi Gempil Ling and Rinpoche would attend. Whenever Tsem Rinpoche attended Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin’s teachings, his parents would be extremely upset.
  15. Geshe Yonten Gyatso was happy to hear about Rinpoche and said he would pray every day for Rinpoche’s work to grow bigger and for Rinpoche’s good health.

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Anila Thubten Chonyid

AnilaThuptenChonyid Anila Thubten Chonyid was a student of Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin, who was also one of Tsem Rinpoche’s teachers. When he was a teenager, Tsem Rinpoche often visited Anila to discuss Buddhism and borrowed Dharma books from her. Until 1988, when Anila received her ordination vows from Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin, she was known as Carmen Kichikov.

When he first travelled to India to study at Gaden Shartse Monastery, Tsem Rinpoche struggled financially. Through Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin, Anila Thubten Chonyid heard about her friend’s difficult circumstances and she decided to help by sending USD50 a month to Rinpoche. Due to the financial help he received from Anila, Tsem Rinpoche was able to procure his basic necessities.

Summary: Anila Thubten Chonyid was a good friend of Tsem Rinpoche from Rashi Gempil Ling and also the student of His Eminence Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin. Anila remembered that as a boy, Rinpoche was very different from the other Kalmyk children and Rinpoche loved Buddhas and had a voracious appetite for anything to do with the Dharma. Rinpoche used to ride his bike to Anila’s house to talk to her about Dharma and to borrow books to read. Anila also recalled that Rinpoche’s parents strongly objected to Rinpoche’s involvement in the Dharma and would attempt to put a stop to it, including demanding that Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin stop teaching the boy. But nothing could come between Tsem Rinpoche and the Dharma.

Main Points:

  1. Anila showed the biography team the former classroom at Rashi Gempil Ling where the Dharma classes were held. When Tsem Rinpoche was in New Jersey, there were a few times when Tsem Rinpoche was allowed to attend Dharma classes by his parents. But most of the time, he was not allowed to come to the temple. The classes Rinpoche was allowed to attend at times, when he was a boy, were senior classes attended by students such as Anila Thubten Chonyid, Geshe Michael Roach, Art Engle, and so on. It was unusual for a little boy to come to adult Dharma class. The classmates thought it was nice when Tsem Rinpoche attended.
  2. Sometimes, the Dharma classes were held at Art Engle’s house. Anila remembered Tsem Rinpoche came to the house and rang the doorbell, left some flowers as an offering to Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin, and ran because Tsem Rinpoche’s parents did not allow him to attend the Dharma class.
  3. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin was very pleased that the young Tsem Rinpoche was so drawn to the Dharma. However, because the objections by Tsem Rinpoche’s parents were so serious, it created a problem and left Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin in a difficult situation because Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin felt that he should not come in between the child and his parents. However, Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin supported and encouraged Tsem Rinpoche without making his problems at home worse. Anila was never present when Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin advised Tsem Rinpoche about this matter.
  4. Sometimes, Tsem Rinpoche would go to Anila’s house to talk about the Dharma and borrow Dharma books. Anila remembered Tsem Rinpoche as a boy with a strong Dharma inclination, strong devotion, love, and faith in the Buddha. One time Tsem Rinpoche drew Buddha Shakyamuni. Rinpoche was very different from most of other Kalmyk children who were not really interested in Buddhism.
  5. Later, when Anila heard news that Tsem Rinpoche became a monk and was later recognised as a Rinpoche, she was not surprised at all.
  6. The first time Anila met Tsem Rinpoche was when Rinpoche showed up at her doorstep to talk about the Dharma. Anila suspected that Tsem Rinpoche had heard about Anila’s interest in Dharma and her intention to become a nun. At the time, Anila was about 30 years old or younger.
  7. Tsem Rinpoche came to visit Anila whenever there were opportunities, once a week or more. Tsem Rinpoche often walked or rode his bike to Anila’s house. Tsem Rinpoche continued to visit and talked to Anila until Rinpoche left for California.
  8. In 1988, Anila was ordained as a nun. That same year, she went to India and visited Tsem Rinpoche there. At the time, Tsem Rinpoche was living in India and Rinpoche took Anila and her daughter on a pilgrimage to Bodhgaya, Nalanda, New Delhi and Dharamsala. Anila recalled that it was a pleasant experience.
  9. When Anila met Tsem Rinpoche in India, she could see that Rinpoche had changed from the boy she knew in New Jersey. Tsem Rinpoche was by then recognised as a Rinpoche. Tsem Rinpoche gave blessings to people he met and advised and helped a lot of people.
  10. Anila showed the biography team an 18-inch Vajrayogini statue that was the first Vajrayogini statue that Tsem Rinpoche ever saw in his life. Tsem Rinpoche was very devoted to Vajrayogini and talked to Anila about her a lot. At one time, Rinpoche told Anila that he had a vision of Vajrayogini flying up to the sky.
  11. Anila showed the team Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin’s audience room and the bed where he passed away. Anila recalled that Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin would give advice and teachings to the people in the audience. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin allowed Tsem Rinpoche to come and join the teachings.
  12. Tsem Rinpoche was able to go to Nitsan Temple more freely because his parents were Buddhists, and they could not tell their son not to go to a Buddhist temple. However, they did not like Tsem Rinpoche going to Rashi Gempil Ling because they did not want Rinpoche to attend Dharma classes and become too deeply involved in Buddhism.
  13. Tsem Rinpoche’s parents wanted Tsem Rinpoche to get married, have children and give them grandchildren. The main reason the Bugayeffs adopted Tsem Rinpoche was because they wanted to have a son who would give them grandchildren to carry on their name. This was not something that Tsem Rinpoche was interested in doing because Rinpoche wanted to become a monk. It was sad that the Bugayeffs adopted Tsem Rinpoche with a mindset about what they wanted him to do with his life.
  14. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin was not the first monk in Rashi Gempil Ling. Before him, there was another Kalmyk monk. Only later did they invite Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin to be the resident lama at Rashi Gempil Ling, which was about one year before Tsem Rinpoche arrived in New Jersey. Anila joined the Dharma centre after Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin arrived.
  15. Sometimes, Tsem Rinpoche confided with Anila about the problems he faced at home such as difficulties in getting permission to attend Dharma classes. Tsem Rinpoche used to come to Anila to borrow her notes from the teachings. However, despite the problems at home, Anila remembers Tsem Rinpoche was a happy boy.
  16. Tsem Rinpoche had great guru devotion and faith toward Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin was a strict teacher not only to Tsem Rinpoche, but also to other students. However, this did not discourage Tsem Rinpoche from learning the Dharma.
  17. Tsem Rinpoche’s parents complained that their son did not listen to them and as a result, the local Kalmyk community members had the impression that Tsem Rinpoche was a bad son.
  18. Anila realised that Tsem Rinpoche’s parents were not good Buddhists. They would even say bad things about Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin and stir up trouble. Fortunately, most people did not believe the bad things they said about Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin.
  19. Tsem Rinpoche’s parents did not like the fact Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin ordained Anila because they thought Anila was not someone who should be ordained as she was rebellious until she found the Dharma. Anila was a hippie and a single mother.
  20. Kalmyk community members do not generally have a deep understanding of the Dharma but they have a lot of faith. They come to the temple to ask the monks for advice and to do divination.
  21. After Tsem Rinpoche ran away from home and reached California, Rinpoche told Anila about what happened. The Kalmyk community members thought that Tsem Rinpoche was a bad boy for running away.
  22. Anila remembers Tsem Rinpoche has very strong faith in the Three Jewels, strong guru devotion and a good sense of humour.

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Resident monk of Rashi Gempil Ling

RGLResidentMonk Summary: The biography team visited Rashi Gempil Ling and interviewed the then-resident monk.

While the monk did not mention Tsem Rinpoche (he was not in the temple during Rinpoche’s time), the team took the opportunity to update him of Tsem Rinpoche’s activities in Malaysia.

Main Points:

  1. The resident monk knew about Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin in Sera Mey. When the resident monk first came to the United States, he did not live in the temple but often came to visit Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin. Only after Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin passed away did he move to the temple and became the resident monk. The resident monk also mentioned that the current changtso (manager) had been with Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin for more than 20 years.
  2. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin was Tsem Rinpoche’s first teacher. Tsem Rinpoche liked to come to the temple to do prayers and to look at the thangkas. The monks also mentioned that when Tsem Rinpoche talked to Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin, he was always very respectful. The monks remembered that Tsem Rinpoche was skinny.
  3. Liaison of Tsem Ladrang, JP Thong, showed the resident monk(s) pictures of Tsem Rinpoche and explained about Tsem Rinpoche’s life journey and Kechara 13 Departments.

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Geshe Tenzing Dakpa

GesheTenzingDakpa As one of the resident monks of Olna Gazur (Tashi Lhunpo) Temple, Geshe Tenzing Dakpa had known Tsem Rinpoche since he was a boy. Olna Gazur was the Bugayeffs’ family temple, which meant that out of the three Kalymk temples in the area, this was the one they identified with. They would often visit the temple during religious festivals and special occasions.

Summary: The biography team interviewed Gen Tenzing who was a resident monk at Tashi Lhunpo temple in Howell, New Jersey, who knew Tsem Rinpoche as a young boy. Gen Tenzing spoke of how Rinpoche was not an ordinary boy and showed a strong predilection for the Dharma.

Main Points:

  1. Since Tsem Rinpoche was a child, there have been indications that Rinpoche was a holy man in his previous lives, who came back to continue his practice of Buddhism. Tsem Rinpoche was interested in many Buddhist items. When you are a child and have not learned about these things, it is amazing that you’re so interested in these things. For example, when a child likes a ritual bell, without him or her having learned about it, the predisposition must came from something inside. Rinpoche’s deep interest in Buddhist items came from the inside, not outside. This was the indication that Tsem Rinpoche was a holy man.
  2. Tsem Rinpoche’s parents wanted him to grow up, go to school like an ordinary boy, get married and have children. That was what Rinpoche’s parents regarded as a good life and they wanted this for him. However, what they wanted for him was not really a good life. There are many miserable married people, for example. So it is a good thing that Rinpoche had good teachers.
  3. When Rinpoche was a child, Rinpoche was always curious and liked to ask questions about Buddhist iconography. For example, why Buddha Amitabha sits in a certain position and why is Lama Tsongkhapa’s position like that? To Geshe Tenzing, these questions and this interest were indicators that Rinpoche was a holy man in the past and no one could stop him from being a holy man in the present.
  4. Unlike other children, Tsem Rinpoche would spend all of his time inside the temple. While the other children were outside playing, Tsem Rinpoche did not join them and would follow the monks around asking them many questions.
  5. Tsem Rinpoche was special and was interested in looking for a teacher. Tsem Rinpoche found the best teachers, received a lot of teachings from these teachers, and continued to practise Buddhism.
  6. Geshe Tenzing used to talk to Tsem Rinpoche’s parents, especially his mother and tell her to let Tsem Rinpoche be whatever he wanted to be. Tsem Rinpoche’s parents wanted Rinpoche to stay an ordinary man. Both of his parents were members of the temple, and they attended events and pujas. The parents were also famous for their favourite pastime, which was to play bingo at home.
  7. Geshe Tenzing knew that Tsem Rinpoche was a tulku since the beginning because Tsem Rinpoche was different from the other boys. However, Gen Tenzing did not know that Tsem Rinpoche was the reincarnation of the 72nd abbot of Gaden Shartse.
  8. After Tsem Rinpoche left home, Geshe Tenzing did not recall meeting or talking to his parents again although Tsem Rinpoche’s sister, Lidshma maintained communication with him. It was easier to communicate with Lidshma due to her education. Geshe Tenzing thinks Tsem Rinpoche did the right thing by running away and meeting a holy teacher.

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Geshe Lobsang Gyatso

During the Kechara team’s visit to the United States in 2010, they had not expected to interview Geshe Lobsang Gyatso. The interview with Geshe-la was a bonus, arranged for by Anila Thubten Chonyid who had spent the afternoon calling the various sangha of Howell’s three Buddhist temples to see if they were present during Tsem Rinpoche’s time. Geshe-la consented to an interview, and kindly took the time to speak with the team about his memories of Rinpoche.

Geshe Lobsang Gyatso entered clear light on October 22, 2013 after a bout of flu and pneumonia.

GenLobsangGyatsoUSA Summary: Geshe Lobsang Gyatso, a resident monk who was based in Rashi Gempil Ling and later Nitsan Temple of New Jersey, speaks about a little boy who liked the Buddhas and was very happy to be in the temple.

Main Points:

  1. Geshe Lobsang Gyatso said that when Tsem Rinpoche was young, Rinpoche would ask questions about Buddhas, Dharma, and almost everything to Geshe Yonten Gyatso of Nitsan Temple.
  2. Rinpoche liked Buddhas and altars very much and was very happy to be in the temple.
  3. Geshe-la said Rinpoche was very young and yet had very good karmic seeds (imprints).
  4. Geshe-la came to the US in 1985 and stayed in Rashi Gempil Ling for nine years and seven months. After that, Geshe-la was based in Nitsan Temple.
  5. Geshe-la said that Boris (Rinpoche’s father) didn’t like Rinpoche visiting the temples and wanted Rinpoche to stay at home and to get married, but Rinpoche liked the Buddhas and praying and had expressed his wish to become a monk. Because of that, Rinpoche had conflicts with his father. Geshe-la mentioned that Boris (Rinpoche’s father) even told Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin not to teach his son (Rinpoche), and to not make his son a monk.
  6. In Geshe-la’s mind, Rinpoche liked Dharma, was very respectful of the Buddhas, was always making offerings and praying in Rashi Gempil Ling. Rinpoche received teachings from Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin, sometimes in private.
  7. Geshe-la recalled Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin mentioning that Tsem Rinpoche had very good karmic seeds and a very good disposition towards the Dharma. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin was happy that such a young child was interested in Dharma.
  8. Later on, when Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin learned that Rinpoche became a monk, Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin was happy and said that Tsem Rinpoche would do a lot as he had become a lama.
  9. Geshe-la also rejoiced that Rinpoche became a monk, gave teachings, and the students came to visit the temple. If Rinpoche had listened to his father Boris and stayed home, he would just be a busy layperson with a family. Geshe-la was also happy to see that the students were harmonious.
  10. Geshe-la wanted to wish Tsem Rinpoche ‘tashi delek’ and prayed that Rinpoche have a long life.

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Ani Lobsang Drolma

AniLobsangDrolma During the eight years Rinpoche spent in Thubten Dhargye Ling (Los Angeles, USA), Ani Lobsang Drolma was one of his closest friends. Known as Marjorie Bukshpan at the time, Ani-la suffered from severe arthritis so at all of Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen’s classes and teachings, Rinpoche would sit next to her to assist her. Ani-la often liked to arrive at the centre a few hours early before any teachings to settle down, and she would also often visit Rinpoche at his apartment in the centre, where the two friends would share a meal and talk about Dharma. Together, the two friends received the Six Yogas of Naropa from His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. Rinpoche has fond memories of her, remembering her as someone very direct and down-to-earth, and extremely devoted to Geshe-la.

Summary: During the interview, Ani-la commented on the close relationship between Zong Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche. When Rinpoche was chosen to be the person to help Zong Rinpoche during his visit, many people were not happy. Although they wanted to be chosen, they did not make themselves available unlike Rinpoche who was always there and made himself available. She also spoke about the very close relationship between Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen and Tsem Rinpoche, and that Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen loved Tsem Rinpoche very much. Ani Lobsang Drolma said that even back then, there was something different and special about Rinpoche and that she was not surprised he was recognised as a Rinpoche. Rinpoche had the instinct to help people; once, when she had a cold, Rinpoche was the only person who took care of her. She also mentioned that Rinpoche absorbed Dharma very quickly and understood it very easily. After teachings, if there were points people had missed, they would often come to Rinpoche to clarify things.

Main Points:

  1. Tsem Rinpoche worked very hard to survive during his stay in Thubten Dhargye Ling. Whatever little extra money Rinpoche earned, he gave it to the centre and bought food for everybody. Everything Rinpoche had, he shared.
  2. Rinpoche found it difficult to work so much because he wanted to be with Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen and serve him all the time. But he couldn’t because there were no sponsors for the centre, because people were unfamiliar with Tibetan Buddhism.
  3. Ani Lobsang Drolma taught Rinpoche to drive when they were in Yucca Valley on retreat. Rinpoche would drive Zong Rinpoche inside the compound to wherever Zong Rinpoche wanted to go, because Zong Rinpoche couldn’t walk.
  4. Tsem Rinpoche showed a lot of respect to his teachers, and there was something in Rinpoche that led him back to the Dharma in this life. Except for the few months when Rinpoche was serving Zong Rinpoche, Rinpoche was very close to Geshe-la.
  5. Tsem Rinpoche and Geshe-la had a very close relationship. Geshe-la cared for Rinpoche very much and Geshe-la once told Ani-la that he loved Tsem Rinpoche. The way both of them interacted was very close and some people were jealous that Rinpoche assisted Geshe-la. But the same people didn’t help Geshe-la themselves.
  6. Ani-la was not surprised that Rinpoche was later recognised. She had always felt that there was something special about him.
  7. When Tsem Rinpoche was chosen to help Zong Rinpoche, many people were not happy they were not chosen. They wanted to be chosen but when the time came to do something, they were usually not available. Rinpoche always made himself right there and available to help.
  8. Rinpoche would only ask questions to Geshe-la and absorbed Dharma teachings very easily. During teachings, Rinpoche was very serious and sat still. It took most people multiple times before they understood the teachings, but not Rinpoche. Rinpoche was so alert and absorbed everything that after teachings, people would come to him to clarify certain points.
  9. Rinpoche was always very excited for initiations and would get involved in the set-up for them. Geshe-la commented that people should be careful about initiations as each one comes with a sadhana and practice. Geshe-la said there was no point in taking many types of initiations. It’s better to take one, learn it well and go all the way with it (Note: to this day, Rinpoche keeps the same policy with his own students)

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In Italy

His Eminence Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche

GangchenRinpoche Gangchen Rinpoche was born in 1941 in Western Tibet. He was recognised as the reincarnation of a lama-healer and was enthroned at Gangchen Choepeling Monastery when he was five years old. Gangchen Rinpoche obtained his “Kachen” degree at the age of 12, which was extraordinary since this degree is usually conferred after 20 years of study. Gangchen Rinpoche also studied medicine, astrology, meditation and philosophy in Sera Monastery, Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, Gangchen Gompa, Tropu Gompa, and Nyetsong Monastery. In 1963, Gangchen Rinpoche went into exile in India. He continued his study at Varanasi Sanskrit University in Benares. Gangchen Rinpoche obtained his Geshe Ringram degree from Sera Monastic University in South India. Gangchen Rinpoche was the student of H.H. Trijang Rinpoche, who was also the junior tutor of H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama.

After he had completed his study, Gangchen Rinpoche became known as a lama-healer within the Tibetan community who lived in Nepal, India, and Sikkim. Throughout his career, he had saved many lives. In 1981, Gangchen Rinpoche visited Europe and became an Italian citizen. That year, he established his Dharma centre, Karuna Choetsok in Lesbos, Greece. Gangchen Rinpoche has travelled extensively around the world to teach, heal, and lead pilgrimages to the most important of the Buddhist holy places. He has also promoted the integration between Tibetan and allopathic medicine. Gangchen Rinpoche’s Ngalso Tantric self-healing practice is based on Buddha’s teaching and suitable for modern society.

Currently, Gangchen Rinpoche has over 100 Inner Peace Education centres around the world.

Main Points:

  1. Gangchen Rinpoche was happy with Tsem Rinpoche’s teaching CDs. They were good teachings and packaged very well. The teachings would benefit the people in Malaysia, Asia, the West and the world. Gangchen Rinpoche also rejoiced that Tsem Rinpoche and his students went to India to offer 3,000 Manjushri statues and monk robes for all the monks of Gaden Monastery, and made special offerings to all the teachers and long life offerings to all the gurus.
  2. Gangchen Rinpoche was one of the teachers that requested Tsem Rinpoche to come to Malaysia. Gangchen Rinpoche rejoiced in the fact that Tsem Rinpoche initially went to Malaysia to help [Phukhang] Khangtsen. The trip was successful, and Tsem Rinpoche was able to help the Khangtsen and the monastery. This trip also created a link between Tsem Rinpoche and Malaysia that has matured in a positive way. Because of this connection, Tsem Rinpoche was not only able to help the Khangtsen and the monastery, but also to create stable a Dharma centre and shops that run very well. Tsem Rinpoche also helped Gangchen Ladrang by buying and ordering a lot of things.
  3. Gangchen Rinpoche advised Tsem Rinpoche to take good care of his health, to have a relaxed mind, to be happy and to live a very long life.
  4. Gangchen Rinpoche advised Tsem Rinpoche to be very kind since the students were very dedicated to helping Tsem Rinpoche to the best of their ability.
  5. Gangchen Rinpoche mentioned that these days it is not effective to advise people to not engage in this or that action. It is better to show the results of one’s actions, behaviour, and lifestyle and advise them to engage or not to engage in the action that has created the result. Therefore, by showing the positive and negative side effects, hopefully they can change their behaviour or attitude. The side effects can also come from the way we use our five senses. For example from the way we use our speech. One word can be more damaging than a weapon. When we say negative words, there are negative side effects to this action.
  6. Tsem Rinpoche is a tulku who has very good knowledge of Buddhism.
  7. Gangchen Rinpoche advised that Tsem Rinpoche should have his biography written because Tsem Rinpoche has been doing great works and his life story will greatly benefit many people and the Dharma. In addition, Tsem Rinpoche has a nice teaching style with jokes that will be of benefit to the Dharma and many people. These days, people suffer and they want to be happy, and therefore they read books and look for information that will be of benefit to them. They need good information that will inspire them to do good work and good deeds.
  8. Gangchen Rinpoche advised that the biography should reflect Tsem Rinpoche’s many special qualities. Tsem Rinpoche is a good lama, a tulku, with great knowledge in Buddhism and the knowledge of modern life. Compared to the lama that has been spending his life in the monastery, because Tsem Rinpoche has spent part of his life outside the monastery, his activities will grow more and spread further in a positive way. It is special that Tsem Rinpoche has established himself in Malaysia because it is the first place where he went to teach.
  9. The biography text should be done in a way that it does not contain only facts, but it should be nice, easy to read, entertaining, poetic, with good explanation and deep meaning of the circumstances surrounding a certain event so the reader will benefit from it. For example, when we read the biography of Milarepa, we can dive into the various periods of his life and gain something from it. Tsem Rinpoche’s biography should be done like that where everything should be done in a nice and beautiful way like poetry. The biography should tell the whole life of Tsem Rinpoche, the difficulties he experienced in the monastery and so forth, so the persons who are reading the biography will feel the direct benefit for their daily and personal lives and their practice of Dharma. The writers should not think that this would be the last biography because Tsem Rinpoche is still young. The biography should also contain how Tsem Rinpoche was recognised as a Tulku and how Tsem Rinpoche entered the monastery, his previous lives, and so forth.
  10. The facts of this current life are more important than his previous lives. The biography should contain the information of Tsem Rinpoche’s effort and dedication for the Dharma. For example: How Tsem Rinpoche met and served Zong Rinpoche. Whenever Tsem Rinpoche had spare time, he always came to serve Zong Rinpoche although nobody was telling him to do so. This is a sign of a special being or a person with extremely good qualities and Dharma from previous lives.
  11. Just like Prince Siddharta Gautama, Tsem Rinpoche’s passion and dedication toward Dharma is great, and therefore, it is important to record how Tsem Rinpoche transmitted this passion and dedication into actions and deeds. The biography should also contain the types of advice that Tsem Rinpoche gave to his disciples, the difficult situations that the disciples experienced, and how Tsem Rinpoche helped them.
  12. Tsem Rinpoche left everything to practise Dharma and realised its special importance and value. Tsem Rinpoche left his family and secular life in the United States for his Dharma practice, and this is something that should not be forgotten in the biography. Tsem Rinpoche’s parents were not happy and against his Dharma practice, and as a result, he was disowned. The biography should document his determination to do Dharma practice. In reality, there is no better way to serve one’s parents than realising the Dharma, which is the basis of stable life.
  13. The target audience of this biography can be a mixture because Tsem Rinpoche is just showing the truth and is not hiding anything. As the Buddha has mentioned, the teachings should be in accordance with the needs, the capacity, the culture, and the mentality of the disciples. This is the reason we have Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana because we have many sentient beings with various mentalities. The story should be told as things were, and the truth should not be hidden. The biographer can tell the story carefully, but the information should be the truth.
  14. Tsem Rinpoche has strong Dharma imprints from previous lives. Some of his qualities may shine more than the others depending on the merits of the disciples, time, and place. For example, Tsem Rinpoche is very generous and giving. Tsem Rinpoche gives love, Dharma and protection from suffering. Because of his previous lives imprint, Tsem Rinpoche fulfills his vows naturally. What Tsem Rinpoche did in this life is much more important than what has been done in his previous lives.
  15. The difficulties that Tsem Rinpoche experienced were positive because they pushed Rinpoche to work harder to reach enlightenment. The fact that Tsem Rinpoche was recognised later in life is more beneficial compared to if Tsem Rinpoche was recognised earlier in life.
  16. Tsem Rinpoche’s style was unconventional and raised many questions. However, if we think about people’s complaints, then it would be endless. Even Buddha Shakyamuni and Lama Tsongkhapa also had their detractors. It is also important to adapt to the society where you live or to go against the society, but follow your path and lineage.
  17. Gangchen Rinpoche was very instrumental in making Tsem Rinpoche teach because in many of his previous lives, Tsem Rinpoche had done many retreats in the monastery, and now it is time for Tsem Rinpoche to teach.
  18. Gangchen Rinpoche has described Tsem Rinpoche’s previous lives in Tsem Rinpoche’s long life prayer composed by him. In his previous lives, Tsem Rinpoche had written many books, but they all stayed within the Tibetan and monastic community. Therefore, the actions of this life are even greater than the actions of the past lives because Tsem Rinpoche is reaching out to people beyond the monastic community.
  19. Tsem Rinpoche’s strong qualities like generosity should be included in the biography. Tsem Rinpoche has always practiced four types of generosity in a very natural way for example, Tsem Rinpoche always gives materials, love, protection, and the Dharma. A lama should fulfill his vows in a very natural way in his deeds and actions. Tsem Rinpoche has the qualities of Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana teachers/ spiritual guides.
  20. Tsem Rinpoche’s role in this life will become clearer as the time passes. This includes not only what he is doing and the directions that he is going, but it also depends on the teacher, and the merits and the conditions created by the disciples as to what deeds Tsem Rinpoche will be realising. However, Tsem Rinpoche’s deeds are dedicated toward world peace and the peace of the environment.
  21. For a Tibetan Lama to be born in Taiwan and later to become an American citizen is of clear importance because it is important for Tibetans to be born outside Tibet these days. The side effects of this teaching, for example in China there are many people who need the Dharma. When Gangchen Rinpoche predicted that Tsem Rinpoche would be big in China, he meant that Tsem Rinpoche would be benefiting many Chinese people around the world, not necessarily only the people within China.
  22. Tsem Rinpoche had a difficult life when he was young. This is a special way to benefit people because Tsem Rinpoche did not always live in a protective environment. The difficulties that Rinpoche experienced push him in his work now, and would eventually push him toward enlightenment.
  23. When Tsem Rinpoche first met Gangchen Rinpoche, he was enthusiastic and would like to meet and receive teachings from all Lamas everywhere. Gangchen Rinpoche did not recall any episodes of Tsem Rinpoche arguing with him. However, the way Tsem Rinpoche reacted may have been influenced by American culture.
  24. Tsem Rinpoche’s guru devotion is very strong. Tsem Rinpoche has a lot of devotion and respect to Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. When Tsem Rinpoche went around Nepal with Gangchen Rinpoche, Tsem Rinpoche showed his guru devotion by helping Gangchen Rinpoche in whatever way he could. Tsem Rinpoche’s guru devotion came out naturally, not because of customs.
  25. Tsem Rinpoche has done many retreats in this life.

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In Malaysia

His Eminence Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende
(Abbot Emeritus of Shar Gaden Monastery)

KensurLobsangPhendeThe 77-year old Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende was born in 1941 in Lhasa, Tibet, not far from Gaden Monastery. Born into a very poor family, Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende joined the local monastery after a monk that the family knew requested for their son to join the sangha. Rinpoche was just 7 years old at the time and he fondly recalls this as one of the best decisions his parents ever made for him.

Having been trained in the great Gaden in Tibet itself, Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende grew to become a well-respected member of the monastic community who held various offices which flourished under his leadership. In February 2008, as a result of the ban on Dorje Shugden, Dokhang Khangtsen (a subdivision of Gaden Shartse Monastery) separated from the rest of Gaden Shartse to become an autonomous Gelug monastic institution on its own right.

Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende was appointed as the abbot to lead this newly-formed monastery, which was given the name Shar Gaden Monastery. Under Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende’s guidance and leadership, the monastery re-established its routine and systems, educating and training the monks as they would have been trained in Gaden Shartse. Only, as part of Shar Gaden, the monks also had Dorje Shugden included as one of their practices.

In 2013, after a highly successful five-year term as abbot, Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende retired from office, thus taking on the title of ‘Kensur’ or Abbot Emeritus. Today, Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende maintains his residence at Shar Gaden Monastery while continuing to serve the monastic community there. To this day, he continues to be highly revered at the monastery, and by countless Dorje Shugden practitioners everywhere.

Summary: In the interview, Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende talked about his experiences in Malaysia and his observations, and how they informed his opinion about the nature and qualities of Tsem Rinpoche. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende also spoke about what he heard about Tsem Rinpoche’s reputation during their time in Gaden Monastery, and Tsem Rinpoche’s generosity that he personally experienced there.

Main Points:

  1. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende first connected with Tsem Rinpoche about three years ago, when Tsem Rinpoche sent his students to escort Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende to Mumbai to receive treatment for his diabetes.
  2. Kechara is an extremely beneficial project for the public, Tsem Rinpoche is reviving the Dharma in an area where it has degenerated. These are the activities of a high being, and that of an incarnate lama.
  3. Being involved with Kechara activities is very virtuous and benefits many. It is a place of the Buddhadharma. The facilities of Kechara are comparable to that of institutions in Europe.
  4. There is nowhere happier in the samsaric world than in Kechara, meaning if we need to be in samsara, the best place to be is in Kechara.
  5. If we have the means to contribute to the Dharma, we should contribute whatever we can and support it however we can. The Dharma centre should always come first in our minds, as well as our guru’s advice and instructions to us.
  6. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende knew Tsem Rinpoche’s financial means back in Gaden were not great, but Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende did not think Tsem Rinpoche was poor when he first saw him, because Tsem Rinpoche came from a foreign country and he was extremely generous.
  7. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende himself first experienced Tsem Rinpoche’s generosity back in Gaden, when Tsem Rinpoche offered a meal to about 20 Gaden Shartse monks taking the Gelug exams. Back then, Tsem Rinpoche said they were the future hope of the Gelug lineage and hoped they would do their best to keep the Gelug tradition strong.
  8. Tsem Rinpoche continues his generosity in Malaysia where he takes care of his students.
  9. Back in Gaden Monastery, Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende had heard talk that Tsem Rinpoche wanted to train to become an oracle, and knew that Tsem Rinpoche was very close with the Choyang Kuten (Oracle) who lived in Gaden.
  10. Monks who visited Kechara prior to Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende’s visit praised the centre as being very big, with Tsem Rinpoche doing the works of a big lama, strongly spreading the Dharma in this region.
  11. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende heard that whatever Kyabje Trijang Dorjechang and Kyabje Zong Dorjechang practised, Tsem Rinpoche continues to practise now and he upholds these practices.
  12. Trijang Rinpoche and Zong Rinpoche were strongly committed to Dorje Shugden and Setrap and took them as their left and right eyes. Tsem Rinpoche is the same and is amazingly devoted to Dorje Shugden.
  13. Monks from the monastery specially practise Dorje Shugden but they remain quiet. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende heard that Tsem Rinpoche is different and spreads the practice throughout the world through his website www.dorjeshugden.org, and will do whatever he can to promote the practice.
  14. Tsem Rinpoche has 25 previous incarnations who were great practitioners, but if we examine Tsem Rinpoche’s current incarnation alone, we can see he is like the spiritual son of Lama Tsongkhapa.
  15. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende has given many teachings and initiations to the entire assembly of monks at Shar Gaden Monastery, including Guhyasamaja and Cittamani Tara. These were done after Tsem Rinpoche made requests and sponsored the teachings and initiations. It was the first time Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende had ever been requested to do so.
  16. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende is familiar with Tsem Rinpoche’s previous life as Kentrul Thubten Lamsang.
  17. Many people attend the monthly Dorje Shugden pujas at Kechara Forest Retreat and on examining them, they appear to be the followers of a very holy lama because their behaviour is virtuous and well-mannered. Tsem Rinpoche taught them this, along with the inner qualities of the Three Principal Paths – renunciation, bodhicitta and the correct view of emptiness.
  18. Through Tsem Rinpoche’s Dharma books, everyone will receive the blessings of body, speech and mind.
  19. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende is aware that many years ago, when Tsem Rinpoche was still living in the monastery in India, he had saved the life of another great lama, Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche whom Tsem Rinpoche had also taken to Mumbai to treat his diabetes.
  20. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende had seen for himself and also heard monks talking about how Tsem Rinpoche took the best care of Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche and got his diabetes under control. He had also seen and heard how Tsem Rinpoche taught the monks in Kensur Ladrang how to serve Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche with the best food for diabetics, in the correct portions, how to take the best medicines at the right time, etc.
  21. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche’s relationship was very close, like father and son.
  22. Tsem Rinpoche is very different from others. Tsem Rinpoche built a house for his guru, Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche when previously, Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche lived in a small room that was very crowded and uncomfortable. Tsem Rinpoche was devoted to his guru and served his guru in this way.
  23. Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche’s students from Kham were taught by Tsem Rinpoche how to serve Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche properly. Although they may not have understood the purpose of certain things, they did it anyway.
  24. Tsem Rinpoche practises guru devotion at a level that is superior to others. And his actions and deeds in this region were possible because of this guru devotion, combined with his practice of Dorje Shugden.

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Geshe Lobsang Phuntsok (English)

Venerable Geshe Lobsang Phuntsok who is the study partner of Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, speaks about his experience in Kechara and shares his thoughts on Tsem Rinpoche’s Dharma activities.

Summary: The purpose of the interview was to understand Geshe Lobsang Phuntsok’s view about Rinpoche and Kechara. Rinpoche has contributed a lot to Gaden Monastery in terms of financial aid to help the poor, elderly and sick, and the construction of Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche’s house. Rinpoche’s contribution in giving teachings in Malaysia and setting up Kechara has benefited many people to learn and practice Dharma around the world. Not only that, Rinpoche has laid out a good platform and has done many things to maintain and uphold the lineage of Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugden in a modern and interactive manner using technology. He has done much to create the causes for Dorje Shugden to grow in Malaysia.

Main Points:

  1. Geshe Lobsang Phuntsok knew Rinpoche when he was in Gaden Monastery. He said that Rinpoche is a very good, kind and helpful person. He always helped the poor, sick and elderly people. He had contributed a lot to Gaden Monastery financially and to the welfare of the monks. For example, Tsem Rinpoche built a new ladrang so it was comfortable for Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche to stay and so that Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche’s students didn’t have to wait outside and were able to learn from Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche in a conducive environment. This showed how much respect and care Rinpoche had for his Guru. Many monks rejoiced for Rinpoche’s work and contribution.
  2. Rinpoche practises strong guru devotion. He not only made sure his guru had enough food and a comfortable place to stay, but he also took good care of Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche’s health and medical requirements. Rinpoche planned all the food and medical needs for Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche.
  3. Geshe Lobsang Phuntsok views Kechara as Dorje Shugden’s paradise. He has been to many places and he feels that Kechara is the place from where Dorje Shugden will spread. When he did puja in Kechara, it was so energised. Rinpoche has done so much to promote Dorje Shugden such as distributing Dorje Shugden photos, murals, pictures and building a huge Dorje Shugden statue. These are the result of blessings from Dorje Shugden.
  4. In regards to Rinpoche’s contemporary practice, Geshe Lobsang Phuntsok said that Tibetan practice may be complicated but Rinpoche’s teaching is lively and modern in order to cater for the people here. It is by using these new modern methods that Rinpoche can reach out to many more people and benefit them.
  5. For example Rinpoche will encourage his students to learn Dharma and then share it with others. The person does not need to be a monk/nun to learn and teach Dharma. Also, by creating this flexibility, the Kechara team can reach out to many people of various levels, languages and nationalities. This enables Dharma to flourish easily as there is no barrier in communication. When more people learn, they will also share their knowledge to others. Then Dharma will grow.
  6. Besides, Rinpoche also practises a lot of generosity and giving. Rinpoche always helps many people in terms of food, clothes, medical needs, etc. This is the Ten Paramitas as taught by Shakyamuni. The people who Rinpoche has helped will look up to him and then Rinpoche can guide them through Dharma. This creates the cause for people to learn Dharma in the future.
  7. He feels that Rinpoche’s mind is at such a high level as he has so much compassion and kindness. He is always thinking of many ways to help people.
  8. Geshe Lobsang Phuntsok felt that his trip to Kechara was a privilege and he considers it to be a pilgrimage trip.
  9. Rinpoche uses a lot of new technologies and online work. This is a very good method to reach out to many people around the world at any point of time. People can learn Dharma any time and from anywhere. People can engage in discussions virtually. Geshe Lobsang Phuntsok was also amazed by the vast amount of information on the Dharma, and information about Dorje Shugden and Tsongkhapa that is available online. Almost everything on Dharma is available on the blog.
  10. Rinpoche has contributed a lot to create the causes for Dorje Shugden to grow. Although the Dorje Shugden issue has been politicised, Rinpoche takes a lot of effort to clear the baseless allegations. Rinpoche explains the situation so people are aware of such discrimination and not make further accusations against Dorje Shugden practice.
  11. Rinpoche wants to maintain the pure lineage of Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugden. So Rinpoche focuses all his works to clear the allegations on Dorje Shugden.
  12. For example, Rinpoche did not introduce Dorje Shugden first but Setrap’s practice. Setrap is the emanation of Amitabha. Most Chinese know Amitabha and therefore can accept Setrap. So when people can accept Setrap, and later Rinpoche introduces the Dharmapala Dorje Shugden, they will be able to receive Dorje Shugden easily as a Dharma protector. Rinpoche had planned the introduction and acceptance process for us.

Geshe Lobsang Phuntsok (Tibetan)

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Geshe Lobsang Sopa (English)

Presently based in Trijang Buddhist Institute in Vermont, USA where he assists His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche, Venerable Geshe Lobsang Sopa is a highly regarded practitioner of our lineage and is at the forefront of the Dorje Shugden cause in America.

Summary: During the interview, Geshe Lobsang Sopa provided his view about Tsem Rinpoche and his Dharma work in Malaysia. Rinpoche had done a lot to contribute to Gaden Monastery and in Malaysia he has done a lot to create the causes for Dorje Shugden’s practice to grow. Not only that, Rinpoche has done very well in creating awareness regarding the ban on Dorje Shugden’s practice, and clearing allegations hurled at Dorje Shugden through the use of technology and social media.

Main Points:

  1. Initially Geshe Sopa only knew Tsem Rinpoche by name. He knows Rinpoche has a good command of English and was once the Secretary of the Education Project in Gaden Monastery. He also knows that Rinpoche had contributed a lot to Gaden Monastery to help the monks and build a ladrang for Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche.
  2. Geshe Sopa is very happy and amazed with Rinpoche’s work in Malaysia. The students work very hard in the entire Kechara organisation. He felt that the students work as if it is for their own home and put their full dedication to it. The dedication of the students is very important for Dharma to grow.
  3. Geshe Sopa is glad to see the work that Kechara has done to lift the ban on Dorje Shugden. He felt Kechara has built a strong Dorje Shugden practice since the ban in year 1996.
  4. Geshe Sopa is very surprised at the development of Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR) in such short time. He hopes that KFR will grow bigger in a few years’ time.
  5. All projects in Kechara can go well because of good motivation. He encourages Kecharians to set the right motivation and not to be influenced by what other people say.
  6. He praised Rinpoche’s work in using technology to bring awareness of the Dorje Shugden ban, to fight the matter peacefully and reach out to more people. Technology and the Internet is a powerful tool in this day and age as everyone uses the Internet.

Geshe Lobsang Sopa (Tibetan)

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Messages from Friends

Geshe Tsultrim Tenzin (Gaden Jangtse Monastery)

Venerable Geshe Tsultrim is the Abbot of the Tsongkhapa Meditation Centre in Canada. Here, he sends his greetings and hearty gratitude to Tsem Rinpoche and his students for their dedication on work related to the Dharma protector Dorje Shugden. Geshe-la also rejoiced that Rinpoche has established a Dharma institution to help many in Malaysia.

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Chatreng Yeshe (Part 1)

Chatreng Yeshe lives in Toronto, Canada and is a respected member of the Tibetan community. He has heard about His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche’s activities and Rinpoche’s pure dedication to spread Buddhadharma. He rejoices and also prays for Rinpoche’s long life.

Chatreng Yeshe (Part 2)

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Long Life Puja for Tsem Tulku Rinpoche at Gaden Shartse Monastery

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Martin Chow
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About Martin Chow

Accidental Buddhist, hesitant writer and fortunate student of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche. He's been there, done that and seriously cannot think of a better place to be than Now. Martin's ability to partake in all earthly pleasures ruined by CS Lewis' quote:"I sometimes wonder whether all pleasures are not substitutes for joy." You can find more of his writings on his blog www.martinmkc.com.
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25 Responses to Great Masters Speak about Tsem Rinpoche

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  1. Bradley Kassian on Aug 19, 2017 at 3:36 am

    Thank you, Martin, for writing and sharing this article. Over the past few years, I have seen H.E. Tsem Rinpoche attacked simply for maintaining his commitments to his Guru. These people just attack him because they don’t like or agree with the practice of Dorje Shugden. I have seen nothing but kindness, thoughtfulness, wisdom, and willingness comes from Rinpoche to assist as many beings as possible. We should be appreciative and privileged to have a Guru of his caliber in our midst and willing to teach us, and with extreme patience guide us to transform our minds and help purify our karma through learning and putting the Dharma into practice. This does not only affect our current life but that of our future lives. I have never once witnessed any single bad qualities of Rinpoche, not one. Words can not describe the gratitude many like me have for Rinpoche. He wants nothing but to help us, and transform our minds. We should diligently put anything given to us by Rinpoche into practice and keep our commitments. Rinpoche’s willingness to assist as many as he can remind me of Avalokitesvara very much, who in past lives stated he will never get tired saving sentient beings.

  2. Pavara Lam on Aug 17, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    I have seen many people attack Rinpoche online many times. The people behind the attacks are people who are against Dorje Shugden. Most of the attacks include vulgar words and other offensive remarks, this makes me wonder if these people are real Buddhist or just fake Buddhist. The way they attack Rinpoche is indescribable it seems as though they worship satan or some other demons the Buddha commanded us to love our enemies and conquer with peace not hate, if being vulgar is what the Buddha taught them and being kind is what the demon taught us, don’t you think it would be better to follow the demon? It Does not add up.

    I have been with Rinpoche for around 6 years and I have got nothing but kindness and love from him, so what do those haters know about Rinpoche? Even though all of them can attack Rinpoche and hurl insults at him none of them can give a reason with proof of why Tsem Rinpoche is bad.

    I really hope that the haters can stop hurling insults at Rinpoche, they are only tarnishing their image as well as their teachers name. The truth will speak and one day we will know the real demon worshippers.

  3. Pastor Albert on Aug 16, 2017 at 11:53 am

    I don’t feel surprise or anything new while reading this article, all the qualities, yes, all the qualities I read here about Rinpoche, it is so true and I have witness all since I know Rinpoche until today.

    For the past few years, I saw many attacks online saying about Rinpoche is a fake lama, he is egoistic, he is money mind, etc, etc, those attacks are as rude as it can be, as vulgar as it can be. The way they talk as if like they know Rinpoche very well, but in fact, they have never met Rinpoche, they just assume things and think that it is right, then attack Rinpoche endlessly online, for the people who used to attack Rinpoche, I wish very much for them to read this article and see what the high lamas say about Rinpoche. Yes, someone may be faking what they are doing to cheat for money, but when that person’s good qualities are started since young or at least they have been doing it for the past 30 years, then it means this is not fake, no one can fake for 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week and 52 weeks a year for 30 years, because faking good qualities are very tiring, unless it is for real and I can be very sure to say that Rinpoche is the kindest person I have met in my entire life.

    As a student of Rinpoche, I have witness many times on Rinpoche’s good qualities, in fact, I have never once witness any single bad qualities of Rinpoche, not even once he is being unkind to anyone. Meeting Rinpoche is the greatest gift in my life, I always ask myself that how much merits I have collected in my previous life to be able to meet Rinpoche in this life, so much teachings I learned from him and it has changed me to what I am today, sometimes, when I think about if I have never met Rinpoche, based on my lifestyle previously, I may not be alive today.

    Thank you Martin for writing such a great article and summarized all the points mentioned by the high lamas from Gaden Monastery.

  4. Julia Tan on Aug 16, 2017 at 8:54 am

    Thank you Martin writing this article with lots of care and shared with the world about how our Guru, H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche was being loved by all the Buddhist masters above during his time in USA and India. Rinpoche’s extraordinary qualities as mentioned above is clearly showed His nature, a bodhisatva who bestowed with compassion and wisdom. All Rinpoche’s guru highly pleased when talked about Rinpoche because of Rinpoche’s strong guru devotion towards all of them. Not only that, Rinpoche also always care about the senior monks in the monastery and wanted to take good care of them always.

    I have been Rinpoche’s student for 10 years. I have experienced and seen how Rinpoche go all the way out and selflessly to help the students and others. Every moments Rinpoche spent with us, is Dharma, even a joke or a tease has Dharma value in it. Rinpoche’s teachings are not only in written, video and giving Dharma talk in live, every tasks, advices, instructions, sad and happy moments in His and our lives. For example, a few years back, i was invited to come to Rinpoche’s ladrang to hang out, help, clean and cook. When I started to work with others, my bad attitudes showed, hahaha.. Rinpoche saw my many bad attitudes but He would not tell me off my face but Rinpcohe skilfully waited and sometimes created the opportunities so that I realised the harm i have been brought to myself and others via my bad attitude. I remembered I was crying and crying at that time, still thinking of “poor me” why my guru treated me like that on something so small. I must thank my Guru and the very kind senior dharma brothers and sisters who have given me support during that time. It was a mind blowing experience for me to let go of my baggage (never thought i have). This experience transformed my mind without me realising it.

    What my guru want from me? Rinpoche gets nothing. In fact many students left simply because they do not see the love of a true Guru, or in other word, lack of merits to stay and continue with their Dharma path. What do I get? I get to know myself better by facing the reality, with confidence, cultivate good attitude, holding my refuse vows, being vegetarian, patience, learned to give in all forms and harmony with people around me no matter who they are. Slowly picked up and replaced the bad attitudes with good qualities. All these lead me to happiness and preparing me for my future lives. Is this is big deal? Yes!

    Rinpoche not only cares and loves His students very much but our family and friends, even to those who he never met. Rinpoche found Kechara and it’s 13 departments in order to benefits all sentient beings in many ways. Rinpoche’s life is about Dharma and Dharma and still Dharma. Rinpoche always in the rush. Rush because Rinpoche sees the urgent of needs for Dharma in samsara. Only by mind transformation, we can help ourselves from sufferings. and our lives is short. We can be taken away by Karma anytime. No one knows when.

    Words cannot describe my gratitude towards my beloved Guru. Every prayers and offerings i dedicated and will dedicate to Rinpoche’s long life. May I never parted from my Holy Guru in this life and all my future lives to serve and receive teachings from Him.

  5. Pastor Chia on Aug 16, 2017 at 8:37 am

    I had witness many good thing what H.E.Tsem Rinpoche has done for pass twenty year. Rinpoche is always very caring and kind to people around him. He is always find opportunity to help people who suffer or needle help.

    Rinpoche not just the lama seat on throne giving teaching. He is walk to talk dharma practitioner and his knowledge of dharma are like lamrim has stated. Obserb rinpoche daily living and what he do, just like seeing the bodhisattva selflessly helping sentient being who suffer.

    One the good quality of Rinpoche is he had very strong devotion toward his guru. Personally i had seen when rinpoche talk about Zong Rinpoche, he always can’t control his emotion and have tear in his eye. When his talk to his guru , he bend his body and head very low while his talking and pay attention when his guru talking. Even talking ovet the phone, rinpoche will stand up and bend his body down to show how respect while his having convasation with his guru. I had fortunate went to Gaden and see how serve his teacher Kensur Jampa Yeshe. Rinpochr building house for his guru snd stay at the same house but rinpoche offer the top floor to Kensur rinpoche and assign students to take care Kensur rinpoche diet, take care his health. Which he did the same thing helping many senior monk in the monastery.

    Meeting and have guru and diciple relationship with rinpoche is unforgetable memory and happy thing in my life. Rinpoche has help me so much in my spiritual practice and for my future life.

  6. Pastor Antoinette on Aug 16, 2017 at 8:31 am

    The amount of kindness and compassion in regard to H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche, which is expressed here in this article is what I myself have experienced. Rinpoche is sharing the Dharma with us to improve and kindly uses every opportunity to help us to improve and let go our negative behaviour.

    The many gifts and opportunities I have received from H.E. the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche show how much he cares and he want us to grow.
    Rinpoche shares the Dharma through his blog and through YouTube and social media, through personal messages, gifts, guidance and encouragements. The teachings shared are for everyone to listen to on the blog and on YouTube and they are fun yet very profound and can be practiced in day to day life.

    Rinpoche also shows his kindness to everyone he meets such as the barber or the homeless. Kechara with his 13 departments, Kechara Forest Retreat, Kechara Soup Kitchen is an expression of how Rinpoche helps us to improve.

    I am most grateful to H.E. the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche as I have received so very much. May I be able to meet Rinpoche always in my future lives and learn the Dharma. Thank you.

  7. June Kang on Aug 16, 2017 at 8:23 am

    看完这篇文章后,只想说,文章所提到詹杜固仁波切所有的特殊特质,身为学生的我们都见识过和体会过。

    在学佛的路上,遇到很多师父,但尊贵詹杜固仁波切,我的上师是无法用文字来形容他的慈悲,我们一个很细微的动作上师都能仔细观察到,而后用善巧的方法指引我们走向证悟之道。

    尊贵詹杜固仁波切为了让我们更快速悟道,他会指出我们的弱点即使你是大功德主,我们都是很难接受被指出自己的弱点,世俗的说是得罪大功德主在当下,然而很多人事后都知道我们无法在自己的人生能再遇到一位近距离的上师及无时无刻都在想如何能引领我们逃离痛苦渊薮,驶抵解脱彼岸的上师,这福报来的不易。

    感恩Martin Chow 的 分享。

  8. Mingwen on Aug 16, 2017 at 7:40 am

    It’s so easy for us to judge a person or an object as good or bad by just having others’ words of month and by seeing with our own eyes. Most of the times, we are wrong with our judgements, because we did not observe/hang out/ use the specific person or object.

    It’s extremely selfish that we make judgements without checking out and we spread the false judgements to everyone around us, not to do this and that with this person or object. It could directly ruin a person reputation. We should be open when people tell us their comments regarding an object or person, we should listen but not accepting it without doing our own observations.

    I don’t think it’s strange to see people who spread rumour for the sake of their own benefits or to ease their jealousy, hence, they would do things that ruin a person’s hard works.

    Tsem Rinpoche is indeed a great being, a great master, who is compassionate, humble, kind, and load with overflowing wisdom. I wish you live long and healthy to continue to share Dharma to this modern era.

  9. Tek Lee on Aug 16, 2017 at 2:46 am

    Thank you Martin for sharing this article and all the lovely videos. Reading the interviews with all the Great Masters, Rinpoche indeed has all the good qualities, even since young. I have joint Kechara for 3 years, and Kechara Soup Kitchen for 4 years. In this short 4 years, no a single time that I saw Rinpoche treated his students badly. Rinpoche’s compassion and love is not only to his student, but even to people who are not Kecharian, and to animals. For example the road workers who cleared Karak highway when there was landslide, it was drizzling I still remember, and Rinpoche led a group of his student to distribute food and water to the workers.

    As to me, Rinpoche is beyond ordinary, and a true Bodhisattva. For example Kechara Soup Kitchen, other than helping homeless and the underprivileged, Rinpoche actually has already built a platform for his student to practice Dharma and to do Dharma work. As a high Lama, he knows that some of the Dharma is not only learn from book, it needs practice, and develop. This is another way that Rinpoche show love to his students, To let them practice dharma and gain merit through the platforms. Without Rinpoche, without Rinpoche gave us the practice of Dorje Shugden, maybe today I end up in mental hospital or in hell.

    In this case, I would like to ask those who gave bad comment, who accused, who criticized Rinpoche, if they can find someone who can fake out such generosity, selflessness and compassion since his childhood, in 24/7, please bring him out, promote him and make him famous. If not, please stop all the bad comments and stop accusing a high Lama that work endlessly, selflessly to benefit sentient beings. I consider myself lucky that I have the merit to have Rinpoche as my Guru and to be in Kechara this life. May I have the merit to continue to be Tsem Rinpoche’s student in suture life time. For all the things that Rinpoche has done, I know a simple “thank you” is not enough. But I still want to say it again, thank you Rinpoche. _/\_

  10. Justin Cheah on Aug 16, 2017 at 1:25 am

    Having known Rinpoche for the past 10 years. There wasn’t any moment at all that I see Rinpoche behaving as an unkind or bad person. In fact Rinpoche for me is the most kind person that I have ever met, more loving to me than my mother ever do for me. Rinpoche is so so so kind and is really second to none. Rinpoche is also a very wise person and of course is one of the erudite master in Tibetan Buddhism. It baffles me when people so conveniently hurl slurs at Rinpoche in attempts trying to defame Rinpoche but for me it didn’t materialise as many of us are there to see how kind Rinpoche have always been. He is in another words is a living Buddha for me. I am very very fortunate to be able to meet in this life and counting my blessings to be able to serve Rinpoche the way I can. I die without regrets.

  11. Vivian Ong on Aug 16, 2017 at 1:06 am

    Thank you Martin for sharing this article. Our beloved Guru, H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche is a walking Bodhisattva. He shows us kindness, love, compassion through his actions. Rinpoche always think of others first before himself. For example the landslide incident at Karak Highway, Rinpoche bought buns and mineral water for the team who were hard at work clearing the roads. Rinpoche also feeds and safe animals. Rinpoche is also very skillful in teaching the Dharma whereby he can relate to us in our modern lifestyle and culture. That is why listening to Rinpoche’s dharma teaching is never boring as he will give examples and most of the time with jokes as well so that we can grasp it easily. Rinpoche’s guru devotion with his root guru is very strong. Rinpoche listens and follow through what his teachers had told him to do. I, myself personally received kindness from Rinpoche. I must say that I am very fortunate and blessed to have met my Guru this life. Here I pray that my Guru’s work will continue to flourish and benefit more people from other corners of the world.

    With folded palms,
    Vivian

  12. Andrea Lai on Aug 16, 2017 at 12:37 am

    Though I’m considered myself new person into Kechara, I have seen myself Rinpoche show a lot of care and concern towards everything that happened. He will settled things skillfully and very mindful over small details. Rinpoche shows true quality of a leader who will selflessly guide and teach us with much patience so that we won’t hit the wall. Listening to Rinpoche ‘s Dharma talk was easy to understand, fun and comfortable.

    What I benefited from Rinpoche was his kindness, love and generosity. My first practice of Dharma is generosity because of existing Kechara Soup Kitchen. In KSK, I learned to be kind, patience and generous. Even though, I’m no longer volunteering in KSK whenever I see any homeless people on the street, I will eventually get something for them.

    With great respect and appreciation, I would like to say thank you to Rinpoche for introducing Dharma teaching into Malaysia, guide and train us to be a better person. Thank you, Martin for sharing this interesting article. Very clear details.

  13. Pastor Henry Ooi on Aug 15, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    Thank you, Martin, for putting these materials together for this great article.

    Among the good qualities of Rinpoche mentioned here by those interviewed, the most common are:
    • Kindness, compassion, care, generosity, always benefiting others;
    • Great guru devotion;
    • Extraordinary dharma teachings that people can relate to.

    These above qualities I see clearly in Rinpoche. My family and I have received many material and financial support, much emotional support, and many precious dharma teachings from Rinpoche since I met Him about 18 years ago. And I can say many more people, inside and outside of Kechara have also greatly benefited by Rinpoche, and will continue to receive benefits. It is because Rinpoche’s dharma teachings, quotes, words of wisdom are found on this blog, whose readership has surpassed 10 Million and is climbing day by day. With such a huge number of Internet eyeballs, there is bound to be some people who do not see eye to eye what Rinpoche writes, thinks, teaches; how, who and what Rinpoche practices. Well, that is perfectly fine. They have their own opinion. But what is not fine is that these highly opinionated people come on this platform to hurl insults and scream obscenities at someone whom they do not know and whom they have not met. But why? Tsem Rinpoche has never said or done anything wrong to these people. If these people have their own opinion, why can’t others have theirs too? And some of these people are ordained monks. These highly opinionated people are grossly delusional and may be potentially dangerous because if they can be so obscene with their writing and speech among the Buddhist community, might they also be the same to people of other faiths? I, for one, would be very wary of such people.

  14. Eric kksiow on Aug 15, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    Since 2007 till today, i has no doubts of Rinpoche, and i’ll follow Rinpoche all the way. And so many of other Rinpoches and Lamas talks about Rinpoche, that’s no reason why other Rinpoches and Lamas lies. And they’re a Highly attained Rinpoche and Lama!

    I always kept this in my mind as Rinpoche mentioned before : Do Dharma works while we still can and put ours Dharma’s practice in daily life ( in action )

  15. nicholas on Aug 15, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    Reading the interviews from so many high lamas, geshe and monks shows that Rinpoche’s qualities are genuine and can be felt, seen and witness consistently. I personally witness and experience them while being together with Rinpoche. Rinpoche’s qualities is spontaneous and Rinpoche always walk the talk. Whatever Rinpoche teaches us we can relate to Rinpoche’s action. In fact a lot of times through Rinpoche’s action we learn and practice. How Rinpoche develop the qualities is through real practical that make us feel it deep in our heart.

    Rinpoche’s selflessness caring for everyone around him has make a lot of people open their eyes due to his action that beyond what our parents can even do for us. Rinpoche did it just to make sure we are taken care and able to learn and do our dharma practice. Rinpoche most concern is to prepare us for our future life and want to help us to be a better person.

    I remembered Rinpoche mentioned this before which is if we can’t help others but at very least we should not harm others. For those that have wrong view about Rinpoche I can only said that they have not known Rinpoche well and don’t have the great opportunity to experience it but should never put down Rinpoche because Rinpoche never once try to hurt anyone but instead tirelessly try to use many ways to penetrate our monkey mind to help us break our negative habit to make us a better person. Who will go to that extent to help us and be a bad person to help us? There are people that being ungrateful but there are also people that appreciate Rinpoche and we can see how Kechara grow and how Rinpoche touches many people lives. I’m grateful to met Rinpoche and may I create the merit follow him in many future lives.

  16. pammie yap on Aug 15, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    All these years that I am in Kechara, I only witness greatness from Rinpoche. From feeding stray animals, helping those in need, caring for strangers/sick people/needy/students, always finding ways to benefit others be it Dharmic or non Dharmic, spending endless hours to teach although sick, giving gifts and so so much more. All these qualities I have seen/experienced and there is only one conclusion, ‘Rinpoche walk His talk!’ The qualities and teachings He gives us, He does it by example and always inspiring us to do the same. His actions and His words always match. This show me what a great and attained master He is.

    His love and care surpass anyone I know in person. Have your ever come across someone who would patiently teach, guide, nurture, transform you into a better you without asking anything in return? Most people would actually give up after a few times of trying. But Rinpoche will always find ways to help us no matter how our ego ‘fence’ is up. And you know at the end of it, that you became a better you without you even realizing it sometimes.

    For those people who always defame our Guru, you don’t even know Him yet you judge Him like you do. Ask yourself, what Dharma knowledge do you have when you defame Him? Do you even have 10% of His qualities? Rinpoche’s ‘achievement’ has and is benefitting millions and will only continue to grow because His only wish is benefit others.

  17. Datuk May on Aug 15, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    The consistent things that all these Great Masters share about H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche are His generosity, care, Loving kindness and most of all these characteristics are natural of Rinpoche. It is therefore the characteristics of a Bodhisavatta. Bodhichitta is natural with Rinpoche.

    Rinpoche has only one priority in life that is the love of the Dharma and his vision to spread Dharma in ten directions to benefit all sentient beings.

    Rinpoche’s guru devotion is also legendary.

    Above it all, thank you Martin for your sharing your experience of our Guru and I will forever be grateful to be His student. Without doubt, all Rinpoche’s students would have experienced the care, love, kindness and generosity from Rinpoche.

  18. Joy on Aug 13, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    So many things were said by all these great masters, but there is one thing that stood out… ALL of these Great Masters, Rinpoches, Lamas, Geshes and highly realised beings and highly credible in their own merit, all repeated the same qualities of Rinpoche; Rinpoche was very kind, generous, giving, acted like a Bodhisattva, compassionate, always doing charity, giving to the poor, raising funds, sponsoring and that Rinpoche was also highly intelligent unlike any ordinary person.

    They were all interviewed at different timing and some even a few years different, so it is very clear that Rinpoche since then until now is consistent. From this, no one can dispute to say H.E. Tsem Rinpoche was not kind, generous, supportive of the monasteries and people. From this, it is clear that Rinpoche has always been kind, generous and extraordinary. All these great beings’ respect and veneration towards Rinpoche were all due to the great kindness Rinpoche has naturally shown in all of Rinpoche’s actions, so much so they say Rinpoche is a Bodhisattva. I am sure these great masters do simply just say such things if it was not true. So this has been the consistent remark as well as what we see in Rinpoche today. Nothing has changed.

    Even the way we came into Dharma… I came into Dharma is because of Rinpoche kindness, generosity, skilful ways of presenting the Dharma to me that sparked an interest in me. No need to mentioned all the gifts Rinpoche has been showering me and my family. All the advice, the care, the outings, the closeness which many do not even get the chance… goes to show that when Rinpoche cares for someone, Rinpoche truly cares and goes all the way. This is the reason why they say your Spiritual Teacher, one’s Guru is even kinder than one’s parents. Not only do they give you secular help but they also give you spiritual help — the best gift that no one else cares to give you except you Guru — the Dharma.

    Thank you Rinpoche for your existence has made people like me who would otherwise never hear the Dharma, let alone attempt to “practice” it, be given an opportunity to learn what is Dharma. Hopefully, from this we get a chance to collect a small amount of merits to save ourselves from drowning further in samsara.

  19. graceleong on Aug 13, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    Thank you Martin, Pastor Jean Ai and all in the Writers team who produced this beautiful compilation. Our Guru has always downplayed His great works and achievements and prefer to remain quiet on his personal fame, but instead bring more awareness of Dharma to as many beings as possible. If H.E Tsem Rinpoche wanted to have stardom, he would have taken the option to be an actor in the US which was an option then. Instead he chose to be a monk, clearly a less “popular” choice in this current times.
    How did a poor young man unsupported by his family make it till today? His journey is very inspiring, the challenges he went through pose as a good guide for us to reflect on our own personal challenges and how to move on in life, making sure our ways do not harm others but instead benefit others if possible.
    It is very heartwarming to read all the comments from many Buddhists practitioners (some are very High Lamas) on their experiences with Rinpoche. I have learnt so much from reading this compilation. I am very touched by the humility, generosity, gratitude and devotion of my Guru, shared by these Great Masters.
    Thank you everyone for the sharing !! May Rinpoche continue to live long to turn the wheel of Dharma to benefit many !!

  20. Samfoonheei on Aug 10, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Wow …wonderful to read all these beautiful words said by all the great masters and friends from Tibetan community around the world. All of them praised Rinpoche for what he has done in Malaysia as well as in Gaden monasteries.Many of them rejoiced that Rinpoche has established a Dharma institution to help many in Malaysia and to create the causes for Dorje Shugden’s practice to grow. The great masters are aware that Rinpoche has contributed a lot to the gaden monastery and to Kechara in Malaysia and benefited many,many people throughtout.
    Thank you Martin Chow for sharing these wonderful post for us. Thank you to those who had helped in getting all these interviews for us to know and understand the truth and more of Rinpoche.

  21. Suzy on Aug 9, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Thank you Martin Chow. This article is beautifully written as it conveys and articulates what we all know on a primordial level. Thanks for bringing this awareness to the surface.

    Blessing and gratitude to all of Kechara.

  22. Uncle Eddie on Aug 8, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    As said in the blessed letter of translation of His Holiness, The 101st Gaden Tisur Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal on Feb.13, 2008: “His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is an exceptional master who has intentionally taken birth for a noble mission.” Like our Lord Buddha, Tsem Rinpoche sought ordination into Buddhism at his personal initiative, and progressed along his strict training according to the Vinaya. Tsem Rinpoche, a Bodhisattva who is intent on enlightenment for the sake of all living beings, will utilize all efforts in making this a reality by making a certain way of life, which comprises every practice needed to fully ripen oneself and others. By fulfulling the needs of others through practicing the perfections strictly, everything a Bodhisattva wished for will be accomplished. But, as said, each perfection is more difficult to practice and more subtle than the preceding perfection from which it develops. The Tibetan words for “Perfection” means “Gone beyond”. These practices are called Perfections because they are said to be practiced by Bodhisattva for the sake of all sentient beings. “A perfection is said to surpass other practices in a way that exalted beings surpass ordinary beings, the ultimate surpasses the conventional, Nirvana surpasses cyclic existences and understanding surpasses nescience. With Tsem Rinpoche’s stringent executions of practice, this will give rise to complete enlightenment, a state beyond both worldly existence and personal peace in generosity, ethical discipline, Patience, enthusiastic effort, concentration and wisdom as perfected. Most Great masters, especially The 101st Gaden, Tisur Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, and His eminence, Gangchen Rinpoche, were of the belief that Rinpoche is making an ethical life-style the basis of his stringent practice, taking the teachings to heart by hearing, thinking and meditating on them for its deeper meaning, in accord to what Tsongkhapa’s summary of the stages of the Path says: “Wisdom is the eye for seeing profound suchness, It is the path which totally uproots worldly existence And the treasure of knowledge praised in all the scriptures, Renowned as the finest lamp To dispel the darkness of confusion. Knowing this, the wise who seek Liberation Cultivate this path with every effort.” Om Mani Padme Hung. Thank you very much brother Martin Chow, for the sharing.

  23. Anne Ong on Aug 7, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    Dear Martin,

    Thank you for this wonderful article. I’m always looking forward for your “Outstanding” write ups. Especially about high lamas and erudite masters. It is such a great idea to compile all the video clips interviews from so many high lamas about our dearest Guru,Tsem Rinpoche for everyone to watch. Rinpoche is a living Buddha that is back to help us out of samsara. I came across an old gem of Rinpoche’s quote that says “In degenerate times, I will appear amongst you and some of you will meet and recognise me as your spiritual guide”.
    This quote brought tears to me and my mum when i let her read it. Rinpoche is a very compassionate and kind Guru. Rinpoche is really a ‘Gem” .I hope more people will realize this and pray that Rinpoche will live a long and healthy life to spread the Dharma. I am forever grateful to my dearest Guru. And I will do my best to support you and Rinpoche’s works to spread the dharma on social media. I will definitely find the time to watch these interviews by so many great masters and high lamas. Hope to read more from you in the near future._/\_

    DGe65VbVoAAfTjl

  24. Lum Kok Luen on Aug 7, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Dear Martin,

    I could not express in beautiful words what you have just shared. The short prose that you’ve written basically sums up the very compassionate nature of a highly attained Lama who chose to return life after life to bring ignorant people like me out of samara through transforming our minds.

    I have not been a good student and all the action of His Eminence 24/7 365 a year continues to demonstrate to us that rock solid Guru devotion will elevate us out from samsara eventually.

    We only have this short life to go all the way and gather the merits so that when we meet our Lama (if we are fortunate), we can continue with increased devotion.

    Thank you so much Martin for this extremely well researched article and sharing the beautiful words from all the venerable Lamas all over the world.

    Humbly yours,
    Lum Kok Luen

    • Martin on Aug 7, 2017 at 10:51 pm

      Dear Lum,

      Thank you for your kind words but in truth, all I did was write a few words to introduce this post. The project was a huge undertaking by a number of Kecharians who travelled to different places at different times to interview the many exalted monks and personage followed by the Writer’s Team transcribing, editing, arranging the material and finally the content of this post was stitched together by Pastor Jean Ai and others in the team.

      What is important to remember is this – the high lamas and noble interviewees would have nothing to say if it weren’t for the fact that our lama, Tsem Rinpoche made such a memorable impression on them that even today, they recall Rinpoche with great veneration and fondness.

      Personally what struck me is how unerring, consistent and faultless Rinpoche’s character has been and how incredibly kind Rinpoche has been from the beginning. At a time when Rinpoche was very poor himself, Rinpoche was spending a lot of time raising funds for other monks and people living in poor conditions. And even after not having anything for decades, Rinpoche gave away his only ladrang at that time, to Kensur Rinpoche so easily and willingly.

      I hope that the testimonials of so many highly attained practitioners and lamas would serve to open up our wisdom to the greatness of our teacher so that we may begin to see him as Vajradhara who he truly is.

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  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Aug 23. 2017 11:57 AM
    What a choice Kenneth Lee made….quit his well-paying job as a lecturer. And now he is teaching in a small school in a remote area of Thailand.He has no regret quitting his job for a journey that comes with many uncertainties and changes to a completely new place.
    All he wanted was to live his life as meaningfully as possible and a good teacher who can contribute positively to a place which can help his students.Even though the work load is slightly more because he could not speck their languages.
    He gave up his comfortable life, his material possessions, and he is now enjoying a greater degree of spiritual happiness and has less worries.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this inspiring post .May more people will be inspired by him.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/he-has-the-best-job-in-the-world.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Aug 23. 2017 11:56 AM
    Very powerful teachings on Bodhicitta which is explains precisely.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this powerful teachings by Lama Yeshe.
    I will keep these in mind ,have deep thoughts and maybe a wake up call for me …….(The dedicated attitude of opening your heart to all universal living beings brings relaxation. )
    Many unusual and auspicious signs happens on the day of 2nd Zong Rinpoche, Zongtrul Tenpa Chopel passing.After opening the cremation hearth they found the skull unburned and completely intact with a Tibetan ‘Ah’ syllable.
    The discovery of these extraordinary signs made everyone feel great peace, reaffirming their faith in their Teacher.
    Thanks again with folded hands.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/great-excerpt.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Aug 23. 2017 11:55 AM
    What%20a%20choice%20Kenneth%20Lee%20made
    [no sender]
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Aug 23. 2017 11:54 AM
    A%20best%20friend%20is%20like%20a%20four%20leaf%20clover%2C%20hard%20to%20find%2C%20lucky%20to%20have.%0AFriendship%20is%20one%20mind%20in%20two%20bodies%20and%20its%20about%20who%20we
    [no sender]
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Aug 23. 2017 11:54 AM
    A best friend is like a four leaf clover, hard to find, lucky to have.
    Friendship is one mind in two bodies and its about who we’ve known and who is always there to be with us at all times.That is dorje Shugden who is always with us and will help us nor matter where and times.As long as we have faith and trust in our powerful Protector Dorje Shugden,he will be our great friend.
    Thank you Rinpoche through your kindness,caring,and compassion we are fortunate to meet and know Rinpoche’s great friend.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/a-good-friend-to-have.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Aug 23. 2017 11:52 AM
    A%20best%20friend%20is%20like%20a%20four%20leaf%20clover%2C%20hard%20to%20find%2C%20lucky%20to%20have.%0AFriendship%20is%20one%20mind%20in%20two%20bodies%20and%20its%20about%20who%20we
    [no sender]
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Aug 23. 2017 11:52 AM
    A best friend is like a four leaf clover, hard to find, lucky to have.
    Friendship is one mind in two bodies and its about who we’ve known and who is always there to be with us at all times.That is dorje Shugden who is always with us and will help us nor matter where and times.As long as we have faith and trust in our powerful Protector Dorje Shugden,he will be our great friend.
    Thank you Rinpoche through your kindness,caring,and compassion we are fortunate to meet and know Rinpoche’s great friend.


    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/a-good-friend-to-have.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 10:58 PM
    Danny Bowman’s case is extreme, more of a mental problem instead of a vanity issue. However, many people around us are addicted to taking selfie. Even though it might be just showing off their beauty to gain attention, it should not be dismissed lightly. Because of their excessive love for themselves, they lack the empathy for others. This is the real issue. When someone place all the attention on themselves and expect others to do the same, it is against the practice of Bodhicitta. And if it not corrected at early stage, it will become a habituation and strong imprint that will also affect them in their next life.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/selfie-addiction-is-no-laughing-matter-psychiatrists-say.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 05:59 PM
    Thank you, Rinpoche, for this sharing on Dr. Joona Repo’s work. In his book “Phabongka Dechen Nyingpo: His Collected Works and the Guru-Deity-Protector Triad,” Dr. Joona Repo’s impartial recollections of Pabongka Rinpoche serves to debunk certain perception people have towards this erudite master, who was brought into question because of his emphasis on Dorje Shugden and what was deemed as sectarianism practices.

    Through presenting the vastness and diversity of the works by Pabongka Rinpoche and records of his teaching against sectarianism, this book empirically presents a balanced view of Pabongka Rinpoche against those baseless allegations. The fact that Pabongka Rinpoche wrote extensively about Vajrayogini and had visions of Heruka proved that he is no ordinary Lama.

    Pabongka Rinpoche was, in fact, the reincarnation of a well-known scholar Changkya Rolpay Dorje who was the Royal Tutor to the Chinese Emperors. Because of this sensitivity, Pabongka RInpoche was not recognized his lineage by the power of the day. This in itself is a hint that there are more than meet the eyes.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/the-collected-works-of-h-h-pabongka-rinpoche.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 12:24 PM
    Very inspiring and powerful quotes for us to have a deep thought of it. Which we will need to remember at all times in our spiritual journey.
    I do loves these quotes…
    Remember, if we wish to make an offering to our teacher, no offering is greater than that of our own dharma practice..~Geshe Tsutrim Gyeltsen

    Never abandon your spiritual teacher no matter how many inner obstacles you need to overcome……~Tsem Rinpoche

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing all these powerful quotes which will change our lives and should not be ignored.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/quotes-that-should-not-be-ignored.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 12:23 PM
    Wow beautiful and meaningful this precious poem wrote by Rinpoche.And the lyrics of the song made from the poem below by Gavin Gooi is fabulous. Could not beliveve it from a poem to a lovely songs. Nice to hear and i love listerning each and every words said….very touching poem from sadness to happiness expressed .Rinpoche’s Guru Devotion and the love for His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche .
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing .

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/a-poem-to-my-teacher.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 12:22 PM
    Its a interesting post with 2 giants countries discussing over movie market. Hollywood producers who are increasingly looking to tap the country’s fast-growing box office into China market.However there is restriction .They hopes China will increase the quota and the share of revenues more in line with international markets. And even has openly criticized China on trade.China is likely to raise the quota of imported films as part of recent trade talks.
    China are trying to protect its growing domestic film industry from Hollywood domination. The most best measure is the strict quota limiting the number.
    Brad Pitt was back in China nearly 20 years after being baned over a film about Tibet .Time has changed China policy on celebrities entering China.
    Thank you Pastor Loh Seng Piow for sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/china-raises-movie-quota-hollywood-on-best-behavior.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 10:05 AM
    You won’t believe what this former Citibank vice president has to say. One of the most powerful and inspiring speeches you will ever hear in your life! Plse take a few moments to listen to this. It is worth it.-
    https://www.facebook.com/mercyforanimals/videos/10152917764269475/?hc_ref=ARTTZV6szVgZXaepZJFJ_-wCZ1U-SiyFA3jzC20EoNgCNwsOyTV_ELImvK3Lq_IgBBQ
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Aug 21. 2017 09:48 PM


    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these precious pictures. It shows so much about Guru Devotion and a very close Guru and student relationship. The love and care of a Guru to his students are unlimited.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/gurus-love-their-students.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Monday, Aug 21. 2017 07:53 PM
    This article reminds me of how, in general, people understand the need to have a strong and fit psychic body but rarely willing to take action to go through the training. Let alone Dharma training of the mind which is much more tougher. Because our habituation has conditioned us to perceive and think a certain way, and the need to unlearn and relearn is not part of our program.

    To me, understanding the need to be trained and having the courage to go through the training is a process in itself. The mind has to be conditioned to understand the need of the training which is to eliminate the “i” and the importance of the training which is to speed up the journey of crossing the ocean of samsara.

    Most importantly, we must recognize it is very rare for us to be in a perfect human condition, meet the dharma and the perfect Guru, therefore, we must not imagine that we have time by thinking there will always be tomorrow. Actually this is the conversation in my mind sometimes… lol.

    Thank you, Rinpoche, for this article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/training-shouldnt-be-optional.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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The Unknown

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

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I pity men who occupy themselves exclusively with the transitory in things and lose themselves in the study of what is perishable, since we are here for this very end- that we may make the perishable imperishable, which we can do only after we have learned how to approach both.~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

(This quote is very powerful from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. He seems to be a powerful thinker and can think beyond daily and ordinary thoughts. Like I shared, only the study of dharma is going to lead to the imperishable. Any other studies of this world only are temporarily beneficial which is perishable. Of course he is not referring to dharma, but he realized ordinary pursuits leads to perishability. If he knew dharma, he would see the vastness of Buddha\'s omniscience.  Tsem Rinpoche)
2 days ago
I pity men who occupy themselves exclusively with the transitory in things and lose themselves in the study of what is perishable, since we are here for this very end- that we may make the perishable imperishable, which we can do only after we have learned how to approach both.~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (This quote is very powerful from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. He seems to be a powerful thinker and can think beyond daily and ordinary thoughts. Like I shared, only the study of dharma is going to lead to the imperishable. Any other studies of this world only are temporarily beneficial which is perishable. Of course he is not referring to dharma, but he realized ordinary pursuits leads to perishability. If he knew dharma, he would see the vastness of Buddha's omniscience. Tsem Rinpoche)
One of the nicest Taras I\'ve seen. I like her shade of green and the lotus on the left which is lower as her hand is lower so it\'s very balanced looking. Her face looks young, motherly, kind and yet regal.
2 days ago
One of the nicest Taras I've seen. I like her shade of green and the lotus on the left which is lower as her hand is lower so it's very balanced looking. Her face looks young, motherly, kind and yet regal.
(1st photo) Kyabje Lati Rinpoche in the centre and Ven Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende on the extreme right. After the unfair ban against Dorje Shugden practitioners was forcibly instituted by Tibetan leadership onto the people and monasteries, the monasteries split. Over 600 monks from Gaden Shartse Monastery left and set up Shar Gaden Monastery. The Tibetan leadership did their best to get the authorities to close Shar Gaden Monastery but Shar Gaden had registered so there was nothing Tibetan leadership can do. It was very sad. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende left Gaden Shartse Monastery to be the abbot of the newly formed Shar Gaden Monastery in South India where they can continue Dorje Shugden practice. Prior to the ban Lati Rinpoche and Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende can meet up, share and be close as they all had been very close. After the ban this was not allowed anymore. Dorje Shugden and non-Dorje Shugden people had to be segregated. They cannot mix. The previous prime minister of the Tibetan exiled government said that Dorje Shugden people and non Dorje Shugden people are like the mustache and the mouth and it has to be separated. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
(1st photo) Kyabje Lati Rinpoche in the centre and Ven Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende on the extreme right. After the unfair ban against Dorje Shugden practitioners was forcibly instituted by Tibetan leadership onto the people and monasteries, the monasteries split. Over 600 monks from Gaden Shartse Monastery left and set up Shar Gaden Monastery. The Tibetan leadership did their best to get the authorities to close Shar Gaden Monastery but Shar Gaden had registered so there was nothing Tibetan leadership can do. It was very sad. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende left Gaden Shartse Monastery to be the abbot of the newly formed Shar Gaden Monastery in South India where they can continue Dorje Shugden practice. Prior to the ban Lati Rinpoche and Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende can meet up, share and be close as they all had been very close. After the ban this was not allowed anymore. Dorje Shugden and non-Dorje Shugden people had to be segregated. They cannot mix. The previous prime minister of the Tibetan exiled government said that Dorje Shugden people and non Dorje Shugden people are like the mustache and the mouth and it has to be separated. Tsem Rinpoche
You can see in this 2nd photo, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche blessing a child and Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende standing next to the child. The monasteries were happy, united and had good samaya with each other prior to the ban. The ban destroyed everything and unity and harmony. It is very sad to see this. These pictures are from Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende\'s collection. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
You can see in this 2nd photo, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche blessing a child and Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende standing next to the child. The monasteries were happy, united and had good samaya with each other prior to the ban. The ban destroyed everything and unity and harmony. It is very sad to see this. These pictures are from Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende's collection. Tsem Rinpoche
His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche on the throne, His Eminence Lati Rinpoche (next to Zong Rinpoche) and below Lati Rinpoche is Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche (sitting below Lati Rinpoche). This is a puja in Gaden Shartse Monastery. A rare and blessed photo and nice to save. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche on the throne, His Eminence Lati Rinpoche (next to Zong Rinpoche) and below Lati Rinpoche is Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche (sitting below Lati Rinpoche). This is a puja in Gaden Shartse Monastery. A rare and blessed photo and nice to save. Tsem Rinpoche
ou can save this rare thangka of 1,000 armed Heruka. I\'ve never seen this thangka or any of this form before and it\'s the first time. You can print out or keep or use. I found this online and it\'s beautiful. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche mentioned this Heruka 30 years ago to us and since then I have never seen this in painting or statue at all till now. He has many legs and many faces too. Very special and unique. Seeing Heruka or thinking of Heruka plants the seeds of enlightenment in our mindstream. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
ou can save this rare thangka of 1,000 armed Heruka. I've never seen this thangka or any of this form before and it's the first time. You can print out or keep or use. I found this online and it's beautiful. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche mentioned this Heruka 30 years ago to us and since then I have never seen this in painting or statue at all till now. He has many legs and many faces too. Very special and unique. Seeing Heruka or thinking of Heruka plants the seeds of enlightenment in our mindstream. Tsem Rinpoche
This is Venerable Lhakpa Tsering from Tibet. He has passed away a few years back of natural causes and as he was older. He was one of the high ranking and official oracle of Dorje Shugden, Namka Barzin, Kache Marpo and several other high protectors. He was famous in Tibet for his correct trance of Dorje Shugden and extremely powerful clairvoyance advice of Dorje Shguden. He has been taking trance since Tibet. In 1959 he left Tibet for India and settled in Kalimpong. He continued to take trance in Kalimpong of Dorje Shugden for government officials, local persons, high lamas, monasteries, nuns, monks and even foreigners. For over 40 years his wonderful oracular ability to take trance and give advice and prophecies has benefited so many people. He was trained and blessed as an oracle by the previous Dromo Geshe Rinpoche of Sera Jey Monastery. I\'ve had a chance to stay at his house, meet him and see him in trance. It was a great blessing and amazing experience. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
This is Venerable Lhakpa Tsering from Tibet. He has passed away a few years back of natural causes and as he was older. He was one of the high ranking and official oracle of Dorje Shugden, Namka Barzin, Kache Marpo and several other high protectors. He was famous in Tibet for his correct trance of Dorje Shugden and extremely powerful clairvoyance advice of Dorje Shguden. He has been taking trance since Tibet. In 1959 he left Tibet for India and settled in Kalimpong. He continued to take trance in Kalimpong of Dorje Shugden for government officials, local persons, high lamas, monasteries, nuns, monks and even foreigners. For over 40 years his wonderful oracular ability to take trance and give advice and prophecies has benefited so many people. He was trained and blessed as an oracle by the previous Dromo Geshe Rinpoche of Sera Jey Monastery. I've had a chance to stay at his house, meet him and see him in trance. It was a great blessing and amazing experience. Tsem Rinpoche
Why seek anything else when you have the illustrious practice of Vajra Yogini from the lineage of the Crazy Wisdom Mahasiddha Naropa? Nothing in samsara created by ordinary men can surpass the practice of Vajra Yogini elucidated to us by the Buddha. Nothing in samsara’s knowledge no matter how incredible can surpass the knowledge embodied in the dharma by the Buddha. Samsara knowledge is limited. When we study Buddha’s knowledge (Dharma) it guarantees our future with no limitations. Spend more time studying dharma than samsaric knowledge. Why even compare? Surrender samsara as death and loss are it’s only results and engage in Dharma practice all the way. Vajra Yogini is dharma and dharma is Vajra Yogini. Give everything for Vajra Yogini’s practice. Start now as a preliminary practice even without initiation (blog article: Starting on Vajra Yogini Now- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=4395). Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Why seek anything else when you have the illustrious practice of Vajra Yogini from the lineage of the Crazy Wisdom Mahasiddha Naropa? Nothing in samsara created by ordinary men can surpass the practice of Vajra Yogini elucidated to us by the Buddha. Nothing in samsara’s knowledge no matter how incredible can surpass the knowledge embodied in the dharma by the Buddha. Samsara knowledge is limited. When we study Buddha’s knowledge (Dharma) it guarantees our future with no limitations. Spend more time studying dharma than samsaric knowledge. Why even compare? Surrender samsara as death and loss are it’s only results and engage in Dharma practice all the way. Vajra Yogini is dharma and dharma is Vajra Yogini. Give everything for Vajra Yogini’s practice. Start now as a preliminary practice even without initiation (blog article: Starting on Vajra Yogini Now- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=4395). Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche
The young Tsem Rinpoche with his cousin Sada Andreyev. She visited him in Los Angeles. Taken in Tsem Rinpoche\'s room in Thubten Dhargye Ling Dharma centre.
3 weeks ago
The young Tsem Rinpoche with his cousin Sada Andreyev. She visited him in Los Angeles. Taken in Tsem Rinpoche's room in Thubten Dhargye Ling Dharma centre.
Young Tsem Rinpoche with his cousin Sonia Waskin. She visited him in Los Angeles, California.
3 weeks ago
Young Tsem Rinpoche with his cousin Sonia Waskin. She visited him in Los Angeles, California.
Pictures of the teenage Tsem Rinpoche with his two cousins Sonia and Sada. Taken outside of Thubten Dhargye Ling Buddhist Centre where Tsem Rinpoche was living. Los Angeles, California, USA
3 weeks ago
Pictures of the teenage Tsem Rinpoche with his two cousins Sonia and Sada. Taken outside of Thubten Dhargye Ling Buddhist Centre where Tsem Rinpoche was living. Los Angeles, California, USA
Pictures of the teenage Tsem Rinpoche with his two cousins Sonia and Sada. Los Angeles, California, USA
3 weeks ago
Pictures of the teenage Tsem Rinpoche with his two cousins Sonia and Sada. Los Angeles, California, USA
The young Tsem Rinpoche with his parents Boris and Dana Bugayeff. And on the extreme right is Tsem Rinpoche\'s cousin Toktun Gugajew. This was in Howell, New Jersey, USA
3 weeks ago
The young Tsem Rinpoche with his parents Boris and Dana Bugayeff. And on the extreme right is Tsem Rinpoche's cousin Toktun Gugajew. This was in Howell, New Jersey, USA
Tsem Rinpoche attending the wedding of Carmen Kichikov\'s brother. Tsem Rinpoche is 2nd from the right and in his adolescence. Howell, New Jersey, USA
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche attending the wedding of Carmen Kichikov's brother. Tsem Rinpoche is 2nd from the right and in his adolescence. Howell, New Jersey, USA
When my adorable Dharma boy came home to me. I love you Dharma boy. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
When my adorable Dharma boy came home to me. I love you Dharma boy. Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche in Taiwan as a baby where he was born
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche in Taiwan as a baby where he was born
Tsem Rinpoche as a baby holding an umbrella
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche as a baby holding an umbrella
Think about this...
3 weeks ago
Think about this...
Our frustrations have meaning when it\'s for others and a greater cause.
3 weeks ago
Our frustrations have meaning when it's for others and a greater cause.
It is much better to be doing good things for others than just for ourselves.
3 weeks ago
It is much better to be doing good things for others than just for ourselves.
Contemplate this please...
3 weeks ago
Contemplate this please...
Is there life beyond the grave? If the soul exists, does it survive death? If so, when did the belief first arise that the soul may reincarnate, to be born anew in another physical body? Before we unlock the future we must find the keys to the past. I’m Leonard Nimoy. Join me and open the door to ancient mysteries beginning now, here on A&E. Continue reading here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=37831
3 weeks ago
Is there life beyond the grave? If the soul exists, does it survive death? If so, when did the belief first arise that the soul may reincarnate, to be born anew in another physical body? Before we unlock the future we must find the keys to the past. I’m Leonard Nimoy. Join me and open the door to ancient mysteries beginning now, here on A&E. Continue reading here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=37831
It was a great honour for myself and Kechara to have His Eminence Kensur Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Phende visiting us. He is a courageous and extremely brave abbot emeritus of the monastery during it\'s most difficult time.~Tsem Rinpoche - Please read more here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=132602
4 weeks ago
It was a great honour for myself and Kechara to have His Eminence Kensur Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Phende visiting us. He is a courageous and extremely brave abbot emeritus of the monastery during it's most difficult time.~Tsem Rinpoche - Please read more here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=132602
This is a powerful picture of Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen, Kensur Kyabje Lati Rinpoche and the current incarnation of Trijang Rinpoche meeting together in the year 2000 when Trijang Rinpoche was 18. All three lamas are Dorje Shugden practitioners. In fact Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen was the one that first encouraged my practice of Dorje Shugden when I was 16 years old when I joined his beautiful Thubten Dhargye Ling centre in Los Angeles. I lived with Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen for 8 years before proceeding to Gaden Monastery in South India. Later Kyabje Zong Rinpoche came to our Los Angeles centre and granted sogtae (permission ceremony) to practice Dorje Shugden for life as requested by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen. Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen had tremendous faith in Trijang Rinpoche. 

Kyabje Lati Rinpoche was innovative, dedicated and very much focused on bringing dharma to many. He had tremendous faith in Dorje Shugden as I had the honour to meet him many times. He would seek advice from Dorje Shugden many times via the oracle of Gaden Monastery. Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen and Kensur Kyabje Lati Rinpoche have since passed away while the current Trijang Rinpoche is a perfect lineage holder and practitioner of Dharma while he keeps Dorje Shugden as his personal protector as he has done so for many lifetimes. 

This is a powerful and beautiful picture of three great lamas of Buddha’s lineage and also of Gaden Monastery. ~Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
This is a powerful picture of Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen, Kensur Kyabje Lati Rinpoche and the current incarnation of Trijang Rinpoche meeting together in the year 2000 when Trijang Rinpoche was 18. All three lamas are Dorje Shugden practitioners. In fact Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen was the one that first encouraged my practice of Dorje Shugden when I was 16 years old when I joined his beautiful Thubten Dhargye Ling centre in Los Angeles. I lived with Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen for 8 years before proceeding to Gaden Monastery in South India. Later Kyabje Zong Rinpoche came to our Los Angeles centre and granted sogtae (permission ceremony) to practice Dorje Shugden for life as requested by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen. Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen had tremendous faith in Trijang Rinpoche. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche was innovative, dedicated and very much focused on bringing dharma to many. He had tremendous faith in Dorje Shugden as I had the honour to meet him many times. He would seek advice from Dorje Shugden many times via the oracle of Gaden Monastery. Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen and Kensur Kyabje Lati Rinpoche have since passed away while the current Trijang Rinpoche is a perfect lineage holder and practitioner of Dharma while he keeps Dorje Shugden as his personal protector as he has done so for many lifetimes. This is a powerful and beautiful picture of three great lamas of Buddha’s lineage and also of Gaden Monastery. ~Tsem Rinpoche
A beautiful photograph of a path walking down from Manjushri Hill in Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
1 month ago
A beautiful photograph of a path walking down from Manjushri Hill in Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
This picture is of KB lovingly holding Mumu while he tries to stand up. I was in the room with them and someone else took this picture. It is a very sad and poignant picture because just a short while after this picture was taken, Mumu passed away with all of us present. This was the last picture of my little Mumu alive. We immediately did puja for Mumu and he is sorely missed by many as he touched our lives deeply. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
This picture is of KB lovingly holding Mumu while he tries to stand up. I was in the room with them and someone else took this picture. It is a very sad and poignant picture because just a short while after this picture was taken, Mumu passed away with all of us present. This was the last picture of my little Mumu alive. We immediately did puja for Mumu and he is sorely missed by many as he touched our lives deeply. Tsem Rinpoche
For years I have been doing this everywhere I go, no matter where or what country I am in. Always be kind to animals.
1 month ago
For years I have been doing this everywhere I go, no matter where or what country I am in. Always be kind to animals.
Practising makes you better at something. If you keep practising in laziness, that is what you will become good in. If you keep practising generosity, that is what you will develop. Keep practising in what you want to become good at.
1 month ago
Practising makes you better at something. If you keep practising in laziness, that is what you will become good in. If you keep practising generosity, that is what you will develop. Keep practising in what you want to become good at.
Real spirituality is kindness.
1 month ago
Real spirituality is kindness.
Our time on this earth in this lifetime is short. It\'s our choice what will look back on when we are in our final moments.
1 month ago
Our time on this earth in this lifetime is short. It's our choice what will look back on when we are in our final moments.
Materialism, desire and greed never result in happiness.
1 month ago
Materialism, desire and greed never result in happiness.
Never ever eat our friends. Go vegetarian.
1 month ago
Never ever eat our friends. Go vegetarian.
It is a privilege to serve the Dharma and to serve others. Real freedom comes in serving others.
1 month ago
It is a privilege to serve the Dharma and to serve others. Real freedom comes in serving others.
Compared to humans and all other sentient beings, animals have just as much right to happiness and freedom.
1 month ago
Compared to humans and all other sentient beings, animals have just as much right to happiness and freedom.
Dharma is not something I engage in as something separate from me. Dharma has been me since young.
1 month ago
Dharma is not something I engage in as something separate from me. Dharma has been me since young.
How much we are willing to suffer is how compassionate we are.
1 month ago
How much we are willing to suffer is how compassionate we are.
Dharma is the medicine of the mind prescribed by the Buddha.
1 month ago
Dharma is the medicine of the mind prescribed by the Buddha.
How much effort we are willing to put into our practice, is how much results we will get.
1 month ago
How much effort we are willing to put into our practice, is how much results we will get.
What do you worship on your altar, meat or compassion? One develops coldness and encourages lack of empathy, and one choice encourages attainments.
1 month ago
What do you worship on your altar, meat or compassion? One develops coldness and encourages lack of empathy, and one choice encourages attainments.
Where does patience come from? Think about it closely
1 month ago
Where does patience come from? Think about it closely
Indian sadhus and mendicants also very happy to receive Bhagwan Dorje Shugden
1 month ago
Indian sadhus and mendicants also very happy to receive Bhagwan Dorje Shugden
Tsem Rinpoche with the great Geshe Namgyal Wangchen of Drepung Loseling Monastery. Read more: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=132495
2 months ago
Tsem Rinpoche with the great Geshe Namgyal Wangchen of Drepung Loseling Monastery. Read more: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=132495
Some of my favorite people
(1st row) Alexandra David-Neel, Nicholas Roerich, Helena Roerich, Anagarika Govinda
(2nd row) Walter Evans-Wentz, John Blofeld, Bill Porter (Red Pine), Ekai Kawaguchi
2 months ago
Some of my favorite people (1st row) Alexandra David-Neel, Nicholas Roerich, Helena Roerich, Anagarika Govinda (2nd row) Walter Evans-Wentz, John Blofeld, Bill Porter (Red Pine), Ekai Kawaguchi
Do share this message and create more awareness. Thank you
2 months ago
Do share this message and create more awareness. Thank you
All that we want in samsara is just fleeting and illusionary and we are tired of chasing something that is so short lived, Lady Buddha Dakini Vajra Yogini, please embrace me as you did Naropa with great affection and lift me to your Kechara Paradise in my rainbow body. ~Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
All that we want in samsara is just fleeting and illusionary and we are tired of chasing something that is so short lived, Lady Buddha Dakini Vajra Yogini, please embrace me as you did Naropa with great affection and lift me to your Kechara Paradise in my rainbow body. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Lady Buddha Diamond Dakini Vajra Yogini, you appear in so many forms, guises and methods out of great compasion to bring me to your paradise of Kechara heaven. Bless me to waste no more time and engage in my spirituality thoroughly and may I see your coral visage soon. Bless me that I surrender all my games, attachments, projections and endless chasing of all that is futile in samsara now.... Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Lady Buddha Diamond Dakini Vajra Yogini, you appear in so many forms, guises and methods out of great compasion to bring me to your paradise of Kechara heaven. Bless me to waste no more time and engage in my spirituality thoroughly and may I see your coral visage soon. Bless me that I surrender all my games, attachments, projections and endless chasing of all that is futile in samsara now.... Tsem Rinpoche
Sri Lanka is one of the most beautiful places I have visited. There is so much to explore. I have compiled 20 MUST VISIT places for you to see in Sri Lanka. Enjoy the post and the great pictures! Enjoy: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=127234
3 months ago
Sri Lanka is one of the most beautiful places I have visited. There is so much to explore. I have compiled 20 MUST VISIT places for you to see in Sri Lanka. Enjoy the post and the great pictures! Enjoy: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=127234
 http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/wp-content/gallery/chat-pictures/chat-8yzmaqog68754.jpg Sacred and holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini being escorted from the Vajra Yogini temple on the streets on festival day to bless the masses. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/wp-content/gallery/chat-pictures/chat-8yzmaqog68754.jpg Sacred and holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini being escorted from the Vajra Yogini temple on the streets on festival day to bless the masses. Tsem Rinpoche
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    To hear the holy lama's voice, to be in his presence or even to see his form requires us to have the merits. To implement the teachings of the lama is not easy but not implementing the teachings only leads to more difficulties. I was fortunate to be in the presence of my lama and have kept my samaya clean all these years. To see, hear and remember your holy voice and teachings I feel grateful. I only hope by keeping my samaya clean with you now my lama, I may meet you in future lives again without distraction by samsara. I wish my stay in samsara to be shorter and it is possible by your teachings. May I practice and bring your teachings to many tirelessly as many need it desperately. May I not be disappointed by their unruly behaviour towards me and at times I lose strength, but I think of you. For in samsara everything has disappointed me and will continue to as everything in samsara is a forced illusion. I bow to the feet of my glorious Kyabje Zong Rinpoche! ~Tsem Rinpoche
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ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

  • August 22, 2017 01:55
    jason asked: what is the significance of a solar eclipse in terms of sadhana practice besides multiplying merit
    Pastor Niral Patel answered: Dear Jason, Thank you for your question. It is good to see you here. As you have rightly pointed out, during solar eclipses the merit from engaging in virtuous actions are greatly multiplied. Therefore there are many prescribed practices one can do during these times to generate a lot of merit, such as engaging in prayers, making abundant offerings, animal liberation, taking precepts for the day, etc. In terms of sadhana practice, the main benefit here would be the multiplication of merits generated. However on a tantric level, since the movements of the planets are linked to the movement of energy within the universe, and therefore one’s body, there would be subtle changes in the psychic winds within the body as well. On the whole, the patterns of the universe are mirrored within the psychic winds in the body as well. The tantric system that deals with these movements in the most detail is the Kalachakra Tantra, which you can read more about here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/tibetan-astrology/introduction-to-tibetan-astrology.html In the Kalachakra Tantra it is said that when a solar eclipse occurs, merit is either multiplied a thousand, ten-thousand times, or a hundred-thousand times. The sun and the moon are linked with the psychic winds, channels and drops with tantric practice. According to the Kalachakra Tantra everyone breathes 21,600 time every day and our minds are said to ride on the winds within our bodies. The majority of the winds within out body are karmic winds, in that they come about and are affected by karmic tendencies. During an eclipse however, more wisdom winds are said to prevail in the body. As these circulate in the body, doing Dharma practice, especially tantric practices in which you use these winds, one can achieve spiritual attainments at a speed that would not normally be possible. In traditional mythology, there is a celestial body known as Rahu. This isn’t actually a physical planet, but a node on the orbit of the moon. When Rahu appears, he is said to swallow the sun for some time, this is the ancient explanation of a solar eclipse. Rahu is also known as the “dragon’s head”. Within the Kalachakra Tantra, practitioners use Rahu to bring the sun and the moon under control. As the sun is associated with psychic channels on the right side of the body, and the moon with psychic channels on the left side of the body, what this means is that the practitioner controls these energies and brings them into the central psychic channel instead. Thereby the solar eclipse is said to mirror a tantric yogi’s ability to bring the psychic energies of the left and right side into the central channel. Once in the central channel the yogi can engage in the higher psychic energy meditations in order to gain spiritual attainments and even enlightenment. For an everyday practitioner therefore, the main benefit of practicing during a solar eclipse is the multiplication of merit. For a tantric practitioner however, it is a time that they can make use of the energies of nature to boost their practices. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • August 18, 2017 01:27
    Todd asked: Does Rinpoche have any information on the deity Rakta Yamari, who is believed to be an emanation of Manjushri?
    Pastor Niral Patel answered: Dear Todd, Thank you for your interesting question. Rakta Yamari is indeed a wrathful emanation of Manjushri, in the form of a yidam or meditational deity belonging to the Anuttarayoga, or highest tantra, class of deities. The practice has been incorporated into all four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism: the Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug. Generally speaking some of the wrathful forms of Manjushri can be classified into three groupings, the Rakta (blood-red), Krishna (blue-black), and Vajrabhairava (adamantine terrifying). Since Rakta Yamari is therefore a classification of deities, it would be hard to give information here on all of them. The specific forms of Rakta Yamari differ in how the main figure appears and the number of other deities in the mandala. Of particular note, is that each of these forms and their practices has their own lineage of practice as well. Whilst there are forms of all three classifications within the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism, certain lineages place more emphasis on a particular form than others. For example, within the Gelug lineage emphasis is placed on Vajrabhairava Yamantaka, of which there are two forms in particular that are practiced: 13-deity Yamantaka, and Solitary Hero Yamantaka. In fact Vajrabhairava Yamantaka is one of the three main Anuttarayoga Tantra deities practiced in the Gelug lineage, which we follow, alongside the Akshobhyavajra variant of Guhyasamaja and Chakrasamvara. There are two important lineages of Rakta Yamari practice: the 13-deity Rakta Yamari, and the 5-deity Rakta Yamari practice. Both of these practices can be traced back to an important lineage holder, the Indian Mahasiddha Virupa. In the case of the 5-deity Rakta Yamari lineage, he was taught the practice by a wisdom dakini. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • August 17, 2017 19:26
    Aldric Wilson DuXing asked: How can the alleged "DiSanShr" "Dorje Chang Fo" Yi Yun Gao be the actual incarnation of Buddha Dipankara Buddha?
    Pastor Niral Patel answered: Dear Aldric Wilson DuXing, Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, I do not know much about Yi Yun Gao to be able to comment on this. However, within Buddhism we do believe that the Buddhas, out of their compassion appear in human form to help sentient beings in whatever way they can. Within Tibetan Buddhism there is a long history of recognising great masters as the physical body emanations (also known as tulkus) of the Buddhas. The logic behind this is that the Buddhas are all compassionate and so help sentient beings in any and all means that they can. This would obviously include taking the physical form of a human. To say that the Buddhas cannot or do not do this, would be limiting the abilities of the enlightened beings, which goes against the scriptures. In fact, in the scriptures it states that Buddhas can emanate out in countless different forms at the same time. This includes animate beings, such as humans, animals, etc., and also inanimate objects such as bridges, or other things. These emanations, or incarnations if in human form, can be recognised by those who have the ability to perceive the enlightened beings, such as highly attained masters or other emanations themselves. That is why you see only the highest masters within the Tibetan Buddhist traditions recognise others as incarnations of the Buddhas. Other methods of confirming this can include checking with an enlightened Dharma protector, such as Dorje Shugden, when in trance of a qualified oracle. Those who really are emanations of the enlightened beings do not actually need to be recognised as such, as they will always help others no matter if they are recognised or not. However the recognition of such beings is more for us, as practitioners to gain merit by helping them achieve their goal of helping other sentient beings. But as I mentioned earlier, these beings do not self-proclaim themselves but are recognised as such by other highly attained masters who are trustworthy and really work for the cause of helping others by upholding and practicing the holy teachings of Lord Buddha. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • August 16, 2017 00:47
    Anonymous asked: Sorry about the link not working. They can be found at dharmawheel.net and then looked under Tibetan Buddhism and then under topics which are under all the other lineage topics. Since this is recent, the title "Crazy Scandal somewhat related to Gelug hitting Taiwan" should come up. But anyway, here are the sources in that case: https://ladakh2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/08/12/mary-jin-gebis/ https://maisonneuve.org/article/2013/06/18/when-monks-come-town/ https://ladakh2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/08/14/bw-dorje-shugden/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ad355FqDQuo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzvPhv_eldk http://www.blisswisdom.org/statement/1854-1006 https://ladakh2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/dalai-lama-speaks-to-chinese-devotees-about-bliss-and-wisdom/
    No reply yet
  • August 15, 2017 01:43
    Anonymous asked: Hi, although this is not a question, I would like to bring awareness towards a particular cult in China and Taiwan that has been having scandals with their leader, Mary Jin. The cult has been defaming the Dalai Lama and has begun supporting Shugden here even though that's not really bad. However, I would like to bring attention so they may not begin corrupting the Buddhists here. Even though I used a dharmawheel website, it has links to its sources: https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=40
    pastor answered: Dear Anonymous, Thank you for bringing this to our attention, however the link you provided does not work. I do not know anything about this particular person or their organisation, so I really can’t say much. However, there are some people out there who use religion for their personal gain, and twist the teachings to suit their greed. These sorts of people are often embroiled in scandals and the like and often have views that go against common sense. That is why it is very important to check that a teacher is qualified, is practicing, and is teaching the Dharma as it should be according to the scriptures. All students are encouraged do to so and this in mentioned clearly in the scriptures themselves. The actions of a teacher should be in line with actions laid out in the scriptures and their views should match the logic laid out in the scriptures as well. Once we see a teacher’s qualities, and we have made sure that what they practice is real and genuine, we can devote ourselves to that person fully. We at Kechara, following the teachings of His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche, think very highly of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as he is the emanation of the Buddha of compassion, Chenrezig. Similarly, we also believe that Dorje Shugden is the emanation of the Buddha of wisdom, Manjushri. For us, both are enlightened beings, and many practitioners all around world follow this belief as well. We are saddened to see or hear when others talk badly about either, since both are enlightened beings capable of benefiting the world tremendously. Thank you.
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Dorje Shugden Puja in Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat. You can order a Puja through Kechara House or www.vajrasecrets.com
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Dorje Shugden Puja in Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat. You can order a Puja through Kechara House or http://www.vajrasecrets.com
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Kayene, 5 years old, from Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
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Teacher Laura guided the students did short prayer before the class started. Alice Tay, KSDS
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