What Would You Do If Your Religion Was Criticised?

By | Dec 9, 2015 | Views: 473
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I am a Dorje Shugden practitioner. I received this practice from my Lama, H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche; my Lama received it from his teacher, and the lineage goes all the way back to the 15th Century. I am also a Vajrayanist who has suffered discrimination from other Vajrayana Buddhists.

Some of you may not know of this issue because the rot of discrimination against Dorje Shugden practitioners has not yet reached you due to various circumstances. I rejoice for you and I hope you will never have to face the ugliness that some people have shown me and my friends, solely because we practice Dorje Shugden. Those of you who have faced discrimination due to your practice may find some peace and safety in what I’m about to share.

In today’s modern and fast-paced world, people are quick to judge even though they do not know you. Strangers will judge and say negative fictional things about you just by looking at your Facebook profile. So, for the longest time, I lived carefully due to my practice. I have supportive friends who tell me, why worry about what others say about you? But when you know that hate and discrimination is going to pour in continuously on a daily basis, it makes you think twice about ‘coming out of the closet’. 

Teacher fined RM4,000 for posting seditious statement about Thaipusam procession

A school teacher was fined RM4,000 by the Sessions Court today for posting an insulting statement on the Thaipusam procession in Batu Caves.

Hidayat Mohamad, 36, was unrepresented and defended himself after claiming trial last year under Section 4 (1) (c) of the Sedition Act 1948 which provides a maximum fine of RM5,000 or a maximum jail sentence of up to three years upon conviction.

He was found guilty for committing the offence on Jan 17 last year at 11.13 am in Ariza Garden Villa, Taman Rainfree in Batu Caves.

Hidayat had published the statement, laced with seditious remarks, on Facebook.

He posted “penyembahan iblis, syaitan dan berhala secara besar-besaran sedang berlangsung, kemudian mendapat liputan meluas media massa tempatan dan antarabangsa” (The worship of the devil and idols is happening now on a grand scale and subsequently, it got extensive local and international media coverage).

A total of 19 prosecution witnesses testified during the trial.

Sessions judge Tasnim Abu Bakar then ordered him to pay a fine of RM4,000.

Prosecution was led by Deputy Public Prosecutor Hamdan Hamzah.

Source: http://www.therakyatpost.com/news/2015/11/18/teacher-fined-rm4000-for-posting-seditious-statement-about-thaipusam-procession/

I sighed with relief when I read the recent case “Teacher fined RM4,000 for posting seditious statement about Thaipusam procession” which was reported in The Rakyat Post website. Why? Because I am a fortunate citizen of Malaysia and my country’s policy advocates ZERO tolerance towards seditious acts by the public, whether it is through face to face interactions or electronically. This is the best gift Malaysia has ever given to me, which is the freedom to practice my choice of religion and curbing those who are ignorantly against it. 

There are those in Malaysia, both organisations and individuals, who have publicly advocated that ‘Dolgyal’ practitioners be outcast and avoided. ‘Dolgyal‘ is a derogatory name for Dorje Shugden. ‘Dol‘ is a region in Tibet and ‘Gyal‘ is an abbreviation of ‘Gyalpo‘, which means spirit king. The direct translation means ‘The King Spirit of Dol’ and it is equivalent to calling the deity we practice a ‘demon’, just like Hidayat Mohamad’s seditious comment on the Hindu deities worshipped during the Thaipusam procession. 

It saddens me greatly that our country, which is known for its cultural and religious diversity, has to resort to using the law to enforce harmony and tolerance among its citizens. But it is even more disappointing that some of my fellow Buddhists in Malaysia fail to recognise the ‘wrong conduct’ inherent in discriminating and putting down another’s practice. After all, how does one practise wisdom and compassion by excluding a group of people? What happened to the Bodhicitta vows and the motivation to return to samsara until all sentient beings are liberated?

I have seen too much nastiness that has befallen Shugden practitioners, and my Lama happens to be one of them. As a Dorje Shugden practitioner, I hope that we can all live in peace and practise our religion of choice without being attacked. After all, it is not about Dorje Shugden, it’s about behaving like a decent human being. 

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Sarah Yap
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About Sarah Yap

A spiritual seeker with a deep interest in Buddhism, Sarah met H.E. Tsem Rinpoche in 2010, an event that changed her life forever. The rest, as they say, is history. Now a core member of the tsemrinpoche.com team since 2012, Sarah aspires to be a Buddhist writer to preserve the teachings of her Lama for future generations. You can find more of her writings on her blog asuraearth.wordpress.com.
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20 Responses to What Would You Do If Your Religion Was Criticised?

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  1. Lew on Sep 2, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    Sometimes I really wonder, what did His government CTA (Central Tibetan Administration) teach their people. Didn’t they teach them about acceptance, tolerance, and religious freedom? Didn’t Buddhism teach us to be kind to everyone? Why use vulgar and defamatory words against other Buddhists? Sometimes I wonder why didn’t HH Dalai Lama put a stop to this? Isn’t He the Nobel Peace Prize Winner, who is supposedly advocate peace to everyone?

    After all, we are not forcing everyone to embrace Dorje Shguden. All we ask is they just leave us alone and let us practice what we received from our Guru.

    I sincerely pray that these people who do not tolerant other religious to find peace within themselves.

  2. Katrina Ann on Jun 19, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Religious freedom should be given in every country, as it is a human right. To practice one’s religion is to have personal faith, belief, and trust in that specific religion. Why follow a religion blindly without having it suited to your personal belief? With that said, why would people discriminate religions of other faiths and their practices, as the choice of choosing or following a specific religion would be one’s personal choice?

    Different faiths have different practices that have their own cultural history and meaning behind it. For example, one would prefer a different choice of color than another due to their own personal reasons. Not everybody has the same taste in food, color, music genre, etc. If one could respect my choices, why can’s they respect my choice of religion? My religion is my own personal choice. It does not bring disturbance to anybody neither does it ask me to discriminate religions of other faiths.

    To be frank, I do not believe that the leaders of each religion would pass down the teachings of discrimination. Buddha did not teach us to harm practitioners of other faiths. Jesus did not ask us to harm or kill the people who do not wish to practice Christianity. All religions preach the teachings of peace and harmony. “Discrimination” is created by man. So why follow the unruly actions created by unenlightened or holy beings than putting our trust in the true teachings, taught by those who have achieved higher attainments. I follow the practice of Dorje Shugden and I personally believe that it helps me in many ways. Why tell me that my practice is wrong when I can see positive results. Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean that I don’t see it. With much said, people need to open their minds and realize how each religion has different practices and a different cultural history and meaning to it, instead of discriminating and causing mental and physical harm to others.

  3. Wan Wai Meng on May 18, 2016 at 12:29 am

    I do not think that anyone or practice is above criticism, however when the criticism becomes personal and not based on logic then one should oppose it. By not opposing it then we are at fault in the propagation of false and incorrect ideals.

  4. Jason on May 5, 2016 at 2:44 am

    In a civilization country, people are free to choose their own religion. In Tibet, Dorje Shugden (DS)practitioners are segregated by non DS practitioners.This issue bring a lot of trouble to DS practitioners especially in basic benefit and medical treatment were being neglected.
    Education on DS should be done via social media channel to let more people know who is Dorje Shudgen(DS).DS is emanation of Masjushri and not a spirit which claimed by Dalai Lama.
    In Malaysia, DS practitioners not facing much problems like Tibetan DS practitioners,but some people are asking me to give up DS practice because of unfavor incident happen between DS and non DS practitioners in Tibet. I did explain to them the real story of DS .
    May DS ban will lift soon to benefit more sentient beings.
    Thanks Tsem Rinpoche’s teachings on Dorje Shugden practices.

    Jason

  5. Lin Mun on May 3, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Dear Sarah,

    Thanks for sharing this article. I agree that we in Malaysia are very fortunate as we have the freedom in religious practice. Unlike other countries like Tibet where the government discriminate and segregate Dorje Shugden practitioners in many ways.

    I pray every country, every leader would exercise fairness and freedom to the people and not propagating bias for their own selfish agenda.

    No one should put down another person’s practice. May everyone has religious freedom.

  6. KB Thapa on Dec 28, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    Everyone claims to be okay with freedom of religion, but the moment you mention Dorje Sugden there is a strange tension that fills the air. We leave in 21st century even now so much discrimination for who practice DS. Malaysia is very nice country where u can have your religious freedom no one said what u should practice, it would be so much easier around the world if Tibetan Government left the ban against DS if not CTA will go down hill.. Discrimination doesn’t last long

  7. Vinnie Tan on Dec 24, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Similar to you Sarah, I am very happy that Malaysia advocates zero tolerance towards seditious acts by the public. I am very glad that both Singapore and Malaysia teaches their citizens to respect all religions and ask their people to not act or treat people of the different cultural/religious backgrounds differently but to accept them as one big happy family.

    However, what is upsetting is that there are many citizens in both countries that do not see that we are all the same only being different with our believes. There is no one perfect way of religion or of doing things. We are free to choose the different methodology that allows us to reach a common path that we target. No one is more superior than another.

    I am very happy to read about this that Malaysian government have zero tolerance towards discrimination like that.

  8. KB Thapa on Dec 17, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    We are very lucky to be in Malaysia.. I am not a Malaysian but I here more then 13 years . I have no problems practiceing my religion and I can do anything. Now suddenly because of the Tibetan government ban the Dorje Shugden practice.. I get a lots Criticise some of my friends. What wrong with CTA government we all should have our Religious Freedom. Thank you Sarah for for article.

  9. Beatrix Ooi on Dec 17, 2015 at 12:26 am

    We are indeed very lucky that the Malaysian governments are fair and that we are allowed to practise our own respective religions. I have always believed that religion is a choice, and the people should have the freedom to practise whichever religion they want to without bring discriminated or segregated by the society.

    Dorje Shugden practitioners have been discriminated ever since the ban is started, I find it very unfair and pbviously it’s against human rights. Why are witch crafts, black magic and etc are allowed while Dorje Shugden practise isn’t? I don’t understand what is the logic behind it. It has always been Dorje Shugden and H.E Tsem Rinpoche who helped my parents through the hard times, I don’t see how Dorje Shugden is evil or whatsoever like what those who are against the practise claimed.

  10. Pastor David Lai on Dec 16, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Dear Sarah,
    I like your simple little article and how you had weaved discrimination from two different context of religious discrimination together. However, the discrimination experienced by Dorje Shugden practitioners are far more subtle as it is discrimination experienced within a particular school of Buddhism not inter-religious conflict. For most people on the street, they would tend to listen to hearsay and rumors especially if it is from a source they deem to be reliable. Hence, we are fortunate that Rinpoche has built a reputation for his reliable and insightful teachings online.Therefore, many people’s acceptance of the practice and even accept that we are okay is due very much to rinpoche’s presence online.

  11. Pastor Lim Han Nee on Dec 16, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    Thank you for this article, Sarah. Thank you for speaking up.
    When we practice a religion, I always thought it was because we need a personal path of spiritual practice. There are so many different faiths that can be practiced. Each person is entitled to the religion of their choice. Hence freedom to pursue one’s religion of choice is enshrined in many country’s constitution.

    Hence Malaysians are fortunate that we have been enjoying freedom of choice to practice one’s religion for a long time. Unfortunately, there are some individuals and groups, even here, who think that religious practices must be controlled and they set themselves up to be the critiques and watchdogs. There are those who are so against the practice of Dorje Shugden that they have gone to the extent of vociferously criticizing Shugden practitioners online and reported them to “self=appointed spiritual authorities”. This contravenes the very basis of any democratic constitution.

    Any Dorje Shugden practitioner can, without hesitation, tell you that we practice Shugden because we have been relying on Shugden all this while and Shugden has never failed us. Not only that, Shugden has taught me to be kinder and more tolerant of others, and to respect others’ freedom to practice the religion of their choice.

  12. Li Kheng on Dec 11, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    There are a few basic and fundamental human rights that have been established for decades in human civilization and religious freedom is one of them. As many of us develop tolerance for diversity and some actually master harmonious embrace of differences, there are some communities that still discriminate, apply violence and threat to those they deem wrong.

    It is very conflicting that the culprits in the case of the Dorje Shugden ban is the Central Tibetan Adminstration that represents the 14th Dalai Lama global icon of peace and tolerance.

    This ban is possible as it was exercised within the helpless Tibetan community in exile who had no one to turn to. However, as this issue has gained international attention, it is urgent and time for this ban to be put to an end. Nations like Malaysia act as examples by upholding laws that protect individuality and diversity but they can also by source of pressure for the Tibetan authority to stop such obsolete method of governance.

    Thank you Sarah for your post and sharing of your thoughts and personal experience.

  13. Stella Cheang on Dec 11, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Personally, I find the hatred and discrimination against Dorje Shugden’s practitioner alarming. From what I read here and through other sites, I believe this could be just the tip of an iceberg. Even though what I practice should be my personal choice, but in reality there are people who judge, persecute by virtue of their rank & position, and to the extend of harming Dorje Shudgen’s practitioners.

    It is indeed very fortunate for us living in Malaysia, being protected by the policy of our nation against religion extremities. By practicing acceptance towards other religious practice is actually a form of spiritual practice itself. We do not live in silo or in isolation of the world. And since we are living with other human beings who are different from us yet sharing the same fundamental biological structure; we should strive to embrace the difference and live in harmony for the benefit of everyone, including ourselves. Disharmony leads to discrimination leads to hatred and so on.

    May all those haters out there, please refrain yourself and stop the extremity action as it is not only hurting us, but also yourself ultimately.

    Thank you Rinpoche and thank you Sarah for this blogpost.

    humbly,
    Stella

  14. Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai on Dec 11, 2015 at 2:32 am

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us Sarah. I fully agree – we are fortunate to be living in a country that takes seditious thoughts seriously, and deals with them fairly. So lucky in fact, most of us take it for granted. Because we are not Tibetan, because we are not living in the Tibetan settlements, and by virtue of our nationality and passport, we have this religious freedom.

    But what kind of people would we be if we just sat back content with the religious freedom that Malaysian law affords us, and not speak up (politely) for others who share the same faith as us, yet do not get to enjoy religious freedom in their respective countries?

    I hope Malaysia continues to stand up fairly against seditious thoughts and behaviours, and does not let the policies of external parties like Dharamsala affect the practice of Shugden practitioners in Malaysia. Religious freedom is and should be a universal human right, and people’s personal thoughts and faith should not be policed by an external authority like the CTA.

  15. Louise Lee on Dec 10, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    谢谢 Sarah 的分享。

    其实不论身在何处, 做任何东西, 都会有人在身边或者其它地方说好的,不好的,一大堆的。 难道我们要跟随他们做同样的东西吗?

    对我而言, 我会出来保护我觉得是对的东西。 我会以友善的方式去处理。 学佛可以修智慧,知识, 还有等等的。 所以我们应该以不会伤害任何人的方式去告诉大家,我们做的东西。 有一些人可能会保持沉默,这是不对的。

    在马来西亚是三大民族的国家,我们充满了许多教派,文化的国家。我们一定要遵守国家的法律与大家的感觉。

    千万不可以利用自由度,做的太过火。 拿巨额很难收拾了。

  16. nicholas on Dec 10, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    Malaysia is a harmony country that always respect each other religious and believes. In fact the people from other religious together celebrate others religious believes and it’s the wonderful thing you would ever see in a country.

    We thanks a lot to Malaysian government to protect and provide freedom of religion. This is strongly an encouragement from the government and we as the citizen or people staying in Malaysia should support to achieve the highest state of harmony in the country.

    For those that discriminating others believe like Dorje Shugden should stop their act as this action does not go along the line to bring harmony to the country. Whatever we believe should just practice within and should not create disharmony. Our practice is our action and I don’t think any religious will create schism or seperation for others. I support our Malaysian leaders in creating the harmony for the country and respect each other religion for the growth of Malaysia.

  17. Pastor Shin on Dec 10, 2015 at 1:52 am

    Thank you Sarah for sharing your thoughts.

    The constitutions of some countries contain provisions expressly forbidding the state from engaging in certain acts of religious intolerance or preference within its own borders while in some other countries, the constitutions contain provisions forbidding discrimination on religious grounds. This shows that freedom of religion is considered by many people and nations to be a fundamental human right.

    Freedom of religion is enshrined in the Malaysian Constitution. Article 11 provides that every person has the right to profess and to practice his or her religion and (subject to applicable laws restricting the propagation of other religions to Muslims) to propagate it. The Constitution also provides that Islam is the religion of the country but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony (Article 3). Relations between different religious groups are generally quite tolerant, and religious harmony is seen as a priority by Malaysian politicians.

    However, earlier this year, influential UK paper Financial Times columnist David Pilling had written that growing religious intolerance in Asian countries could turn into a “disaster” for the region. He cited Malaysia as an example of yet another country with “hardening ideology” but did not elaborate on the disaster this might cause. I find it sad because the Malaysia I know and grew up in is a country where festivals are held for all major religions, which are participated in by people from that religion and others in a Malaysian practice known as ‘Open House’. We also have a reputation for being a successful multicultural country, with minimal occurrences of religious intolerance. What doesn’t help is the existence of individuals and organisation in Malaysia who have publicly advocated that ‘Dolgyal’ (derogatory name for Dorje Shugden) practitioners be outcast and avoided.

    In Malaysia, we do not welcome religious intolerance or discrimination that will disturb social harmony, especially that of any Buddhist group seeking to garner the support/ recognition/ favour of Central Tibetan Administration by creating schism and disharmony within the Buddhist community here, and the larger Malaysian society.

    Malaysia has been placed on a watch list by an advisory body of the United States government US (USCIRF) over concerns about its limitation on freedom of religion, please do not make it worse.

  18. freon on Dec 10, 2015 at 12:22 am

    Dear Sarah.

    Thanks for writing this article

    This article resonance in me a lot. Once I told my friend I believes in Dorje Shugden, some friend without further checking have already call me a cult. Some even posted nasty words in my Facebook. Some just shut off. The friends that care to told me the reason, said that Dorje Shugden is ban by H.H Dalai Lama. Hello! H.H Dalai Lama is not the head of Gelug schools. Not even My Lama – H.E Tsem Rinpoche who have been in Malaysia for over 20 years and benefits many Malaysian with His Dharma knowledge.
    I am lucky enough that many of my friends care to check double on the practices of Dorje Shugden. Those who care, who learn about my practices, have even gain benefit from Dorje Shugden. Drove Shugden helps them to over come their problems

    I hopes. People who want to criticize. Check the subject before do so. Not only to gain more wisdom and act more mature, also not cause embarrassing to oneself.

  19. Joy on Dec 10, 2015 at 12:02 am

    Great article, thanks Sarah!

    Yes I do agree with you this news has so far been the best news I’ve received! It is wonderful to know that we are born in a country where our religious freedom is given and our rights protected! Thank goodness for that good karma of ours lol.

    This is what real democratic government should do for their people, in serving their people which they have been given the honour to do so and by ensuring the PEACE, HARMONY and PROSPERITY of the country. That is what makes a nation and country strive to success and progress.

    I’m glad justice was served to the one that criticised because when you criticise and insight such insensitive hurtful remarks that creates hate, it is really damaging everyone. The motivation is clearly racist, biased, prejudice with the malicious intent to create disharmony and possibly even violence because such comments only stems from hatred which stems from an ignorant mind. If such actions are left unchecked, it can cause huge issues such riots which will destabilise the country and in the end nobody wins. No one ever wins with hatred… haven’t we all learnt this from all the war we’ve seen on this planet?

    So as a Shugden practitioner, I am glad I am a Malaysian and not living in Dharamsala. However, I do hope that the other Buddhist practitioners who are not Shugden practitioners can at least be decent enough to respect the laws of the land which I believe is also in the United Nations constitution that religious freedom is every human right, hence stop the discrimination and peacefully follow your own like a practitioner would.

    Also I do noticed this unfortunate truth when I observe those who need to always criticise others… It is because of their own deep seeded insecurities about their own position in life which they are not ‘happy’ about. So they take it out on others, they need to criticise and put another person down so that they can supposedly ‘look’ right/good but in reality it is actually the opposite. Om Mani Pedme Hum…. I truly hope the ban of Dorje Shugden will be lifted soon for the sake of peace for all! Grateful to be Malaysian in this case here.

  20. Timmi Wally on Dec 9, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Excellent article, thank you for sharing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

CREDITS

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

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

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

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

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

Videos On The Go

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

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

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