Mount Wutai – The Earthly Abode of Lord Manjushri

Dec 4, 2016 | Views: 1,214
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Mount Wutai is located in Shanxi province of Northeastern China

Mount Wutai is located in Shanxi province in northeastern part of China.

(By Tsem Rinpoche)

Articles about holy sites such as Mount Wutai (五台山), the Great Buddha of Kamakura in Japan, the Temple of the Tooth in the city of Kandi, Sri Lanka, Bodhgaya, Lumbini, Varanasi and Kushinagar provide information and inspire readers to visit these important religious sites.

A particular place can be considered holy when at least one of the following criteria is met:

  1. Someone had engaged in intensive meditation to generate higher insight and state of mind (e.g., love, compassion, and bodhicitta) in the area and therefore infused positive energy into the place.
  2. Someone had a pure vision of a holy being (for example, a Buddha, a Mahasiddha, daka, or dakini) and/or received teachings from the holy being(s) in the area. This would have imbued the place with the energy and blessings of the holy beings and/or teachings.
  3. A place where holy beings abide or where supernatural beings engaged in virtuous activities, which blessed the place with positive energy.
  4. The place was blessed or consecrated by a highly realised being who invited the enlightened beings to reside there.

When visiting places that have been blessed, visitors can feel a sense of peace, happiness, healing, and well-being from the positive energy of that environment. It can also leave a spiritual imprint or open up an existing positive imprint in the minds of visitors or pilgrims, which can help spur them on their spiritual path.

Many of the great masters who were recognised as Dorje Shugden’s previous incarnations, such as Sakya Pandita and Buton Rinchen Drub played important roles in the establishment of Mount Wutai as centre of Buddhist practice. Since Dorje Shugden is the emanation of Manjushri, it further strengthens the belief that Dorje Shugden is an enlightened being.

Of the places on this earth that Manjushri chooses to reside on, Wu Tai Shan has been closely associated with his beneficial wisdom energy for centuries. Hundreds and thousands of practitioners have made their way there to engage in practices. Everyone in their lifetime should do their best to go on pilgrimage to this holy abode of the Wisdom Buddha Manjushri, and to request Lord Manjushri’s blessings in their practice.

Tsem Rinpoche

 


 

Overview

Avatamsaka Sutra, also known as the Flower Garland Sutra. Click to enlarge.

Mount Wutai is believed to be the earthly abode of Manjushri, the Buddha of Wisdom. Its connection to Manjushri is mentioned in a passage of Avatamsaka Sutra (the Flower Garland Sutra), which contains information about the abodes of various bodhisattvas including those relating to Manjushri. According to the Sutra, Manjushri resides on a “clear cold mountain” in the northeastern part of China, which would later be known as Mount Wutai. The Sutra conveys the story of an Indian monk from the 1st century who travelled to China and lived on Mount Wutai, where he had a vision of Manjushri. Avatamsaka Sutra legitimises Mount Wutai as the dwelling place of Manjushri, and it is said that Manjushri is often sighted on Mount Wutai taking the form of ordinary pilgrims, monks or unusual five-coloured clouds in the area.

Buddha of Wisdom Manjushri. Click to enlarge.

Manjushri is believed to have chosen Mount Wutai as his dwelling place to help those who sincerely wish to obtain higher spiritual attainments and eventually achieve enlightenment. Due to this reason, Mount Wutai is considered to be one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites for Buddhists around the world and has also developed as a tourist attraction. In 2009, Mount Wutai was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Mount Wutai is regarded as one of the four sacred mountains in China where enlightened beings are known to reside. These four sacred mountains are:

  • Wutai Shan, also known as Mount Wutai, located in Shanxi Province and known as the earthly abode of the Buddha of Wisdom Manjushri.
  • E Mei Shan (峨眉山), also known as Mount E Mei, located in Sichuan Province and known as the earthly abode of the Bodhisattva Samantabhadra.
  • Jiu Hua Shan (九华山), also known as Mount Jiu Hua, located in Anhui Province and known as the earthly abode of the Bodhisattva Dizang or Ksitigarbha.
  • Pu Tuo Shan (普陀山), also known as Mount Pu Tuo, located in Zhejiang Province and known as the earthly abode of the Buddha of Compassion Chenrezig. Chenrezig is also known as Avalokiteshvara in Sanskrit or Guan Yin in Chinese.

Mount Wutai is well-known for its five flat-topped peaks. Each peak is believed to be occupied by a different form of Manjushri. The highest peak is the Northern Terrace at 3,058 m (10,033 ft) above sea level, and the Southern Terrace is the lowest peak at 2,485 m (8,153 ft) above sea level. The distance between the highest and the lowest peak is approximately 9.3 km (5.78 mi).

There are over 53 monasteries and temples on Mount Wutai. Due to its remote location, many of these ancient temples and monasteries survived the Cultural Revolution in China in the 1960s. Therefore, even today, pilgrims can see existing wooden structures that were originally built during the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 CE).

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History

Prior to the arrival of Buddhism in China, Mount Wutai was known as Zi Fu Shan (紫府山) or Purple Palace Mountain. It was originally known as a sacred mountain to the Taoist tradition, and many Taoist saints are known to have lived there. It was during the Eastern Han Dynasty (漢朝) (25 – 220 CE) the earliest Buddhist temples began to be constructed on the mountain. However, it was not until the 5th century, during the time of the Northern Wei (北魏) Dynasty (386 – 535 CE), that Mount Wutai was recognised as the earthly abode of Manjushri.

 

The Tang (唐) Dynasty

A map of Tang Dynasty

A map of the Tang Dynasty.

Mount Wutai, as the earthly abode of Manjushri, was further popularised in the 8th century by the imperial rulers of China who attempted to create a link between themselves and Manjushri in order to legitimise their power. During that time, one of the most politically powerful monks in Chinese history, Amoghavajra (705 – 774 CE), chose Mount Wutai as the site to pray for the protection and preservation of the nation, which included the ritual of carrying various Buddha statues in procession around the mountain. Furthermore, during the Tang Dynasty, Mount Wutai became the sacred site at which the Tang emperors received spiritual mandates from Manjushri, as well as sacred messages from heaven, which allowed the emperors to exercise their power on earth. As such, Mount Wutai become the focus of imperial attention, and the ritual act of procession was used as a legitimate method by subsequent rulers (e.g., Manchu, Tibetan, and Mongolian rulers) to communicate with Manjushri.

 

Amoghavajra (705 – 774 CE)

Amoghavajra

Amoghavajra (705 – 774 CE), an influential monk in the Tang Dynasty.

Amoghavajra was born in Samarkand, a city in the present-day Uzbekistan, to an Indian father and a Sogdian mother. Following his father’s passing in 715 CE, he moved to China where he was ordained by Vajrabodhi, an esoteric Buddhist teacher of the Tang Dynasty, four years later. Amoghavajra was a productive translator and was regarded as one of the eight patriarchs of the Shingon, one of the major schools of Buddhism practised in Japan. As a trusted spiritual guide to several Tang emperors, Amoghavajra was granted the permission to create the first Abhiseka-Bodhi-Mandala School at Daxing Shan Temple (大兴善寺), which is now known as the Chinese Esoteric School.

Amoghavajra served three emperors during the Tang Dynasty: Emperor Xuanzong (唐玄宗) (r. 712 – 756), Emperor Suzong (唐肃宗) (r.756-762 CE), and Emperor Taizong (唐代宗) (r. 626 – 649). He also began the construction of the magnificent Jinge Temple (金閣寺) on Mount Wutai in order to promote Manjushri as the Buddha and protector of China. Jinge temple was completed in 767 CE. He was a famous practitioner of Buddhist tantra, who would perform potent rituals to avert various disasters. He dedicated the remaining years of his life to translate and edit 120 volumes of tantric teachings to benefit sentient beings. After he passed away in 774 CE, he was posthumously bestowed various honorary titles such as Thesaurus of Wisdom, Amogha Tripitaka, and Minister of State.

 

Tibetan Influence

The map of Mount Wutai dated 1596

A map of Mount Wutai from 1596 CE.

A 10th century mural painting of Mount Wutai found in Cave 61, Mogao Caves in Dunhuang County. Click to enlarge.

Buton Rinchen Drub (1290 - 1364 CE)

Buton Rinchen Drub (1290-1364 CE). Click to enlarge.

Tibetan rulers had shown great interest in Mount Wutai especially during the height of the country’s military expansion between the 7th and 8th century. During this period, Tibetan kings and Chinese emperors established cultural exchange for the first time in history. In fact, according to the Testament of Ba, a Tibetan account on the establishment of Buddhism in Tibet and the construction of Samye Monastery, Tibetan envoys who were returning from China made an extremely long detour in order to visit Mount Wutai in 755 CE. The Testament of Ba was written by Ba Salnang, a member of King Trisong Detsen’s (r. 755 – 797 CE) court, whose works have been cited by many historians over the years. In the Chinese history book titled the Old Tang Dynasty History, it is mentioned that in 824 CE, the Tibetan King Trisong Detsen requested a map of Mount Wutai from the Tang imperial court. In the 830s CE, the earliest depictions of Mount Wutai were painted in the murals that adorned the walls of the Thousand Buddha Grottoes (Mogao Caves (莫高窟) in Dunhuang County (敦煌), when the area was under the authority of the Tibetan empire. The murals contain information on topography, history, and various narratives of miracles that occurred on Mount Wutai.

Buton Rinchen Drub (1290 – 1364 CE), a famous Tibetan scholar, in one of his works titled the History of Buddhism, stated that the first Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo (r. 617 – 650 CE), built 108 temples on Mount Wutai. In addition to the imperial family of Tibet, several distinguished masters, such as the 8th century Indian scholar Vimalamitra who established the Dzogchen lineage in Tibet, also embarked on pilgrimage to the sacred mountain.

King Songtsen Gampo built 108 temples on Mount Wutai

King Songtsen Gampo who built 108 temples on Mount Wutai.

Tibet’s interest in Mount Wutai grew between the late-12th and early-13th century when Nyangrel Nyima Ozer (1136 – 1204 CE), wrote extensive accounts on the life of the tantric adept Padmasambhava, and the lives of the Tibetan kings of the 8th century. Nyangrel Nyima Ozer was considered the emanation of King Trisong Detsen’s mind, and was the first of the great Tertons, or hidden-treasure revealers of the Nyingma tradition. In his writings, he mentioned that when King Trisong Detsen was visiting Mount Wutai, Manjushri gave him the advice to establish Buddhism as the official religion of Tibet. Therefore, Tibet as a religious state based on the Buddhist principles was a direct result of Manjushri’s advice. Later on, King Trisong Detsen himself came to be regarded as an emanation of Manjushri, and was often depicted with Manjushri’s implements such as a sword and a Dharma text.

In this picture, King Trisong Detsen is depicted as the emanation of Manjushri.

In this picture, King Trisong Detsen is depicted as the emanation of Manjushri.

 

Padampa Sangye

Padampa Sangye

Padampa Sangye

Padampa Sangye, an 11th century Buddhist master, was a South Indian monk who founded the Zhije school of Buddhism, also known as the Pacification of Suffering tradition. Padampa Sangye travelled to Tibet on at least three occasions. In Tibet, he was referred to as ‘Black Acarya’ and ‘Little Black Indian’ due to his dark skin colour. Acarya means a great scholar who has mastered the teachings and can instruct others to achieve the same level of learning and realisation. Padampa Sangye stayed on Mount Wutai for eleven years (1086 – 1097 CE). His biography includes an account of his meeting with Manjushri on Mount Wutai, who came to him in the form of an old sage carrying a rattan stick. The old sage told him that China was a country full of epidemics, and the only thing that could salvage the situation was a dharani of Ushnishavijaya (known as Namgyalma in Tibetan) that was located at the Vajrasana, or the sacred seat on which Buddha Shakyamuni achieved enlightenment, today this area is known as the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, India. A dharani is a verse or short text that encapsulates the entire meaning and essence of a sutra or particular practice, while Ushnishavijaya is one of the three main long-life Buddhas. The old sage gave further instruction to Padampa Sangye to go to a particular cave where there was a hole that could instantly transport him back and forth between Mount Wutai and the Vajrasana. Padampa Sangye did as he was told and successfully rid China of the epidemics by obtaining the dharani. The story of Padampa Sangye’s meeting with Manjushri on Mount Wutai has become a popular legend. Padampa Sangye used his time in China to teach and spread the principles of the Zhije School and the pacification of suffering teachings. Some practitioners even claimed that he stayed on Mount Wutai to teach and meditate until the day of his passing.

 

The Tangut Empire of Western Xia (西夏)

Map depicting Tangut Empire from the 11th century

A map depicting Tangut Empire from the 11th century

In 1036, the Tanguts of the Western Xia Dynasty invaded the city of Dunhuang and discovered the murals on Mount Wutai that were painted by the Tibetans. Just like the previous Chinese and Tibetan rulers, the Tanguts wished to legitimise their authority and lavish imperial lifestyle by creating a direct connection between the Tangut emperors and Manjushri.

Therefore, the Tanguts made an effort to establish and enforce their own Buddhist ideology on Mount Wutai. The Tanguts were devoted to the Avatamsaka Sutra, which further reinforced the belief that Mount Wutai was the earthly abode of Manjushri. Due to the complexity of their political relationship with the Chinese, the Tanguts built their own version of Mount Wutai on the Helan Mountains and called it the ‘Northern Mount Wutai’. It was situated to the west of their capital, Xi Ping Fu (西平府), in the 11th century. They even replicated two major temples from Mount Wutai, namely Qingliang Temple (清涼寺) and Foguang Temple (佛光寺). However, the Tanguts were not the only group who decided to build their own version of Mount Wutai. The Khitans of the Liao Dynasty (遼朝) (907 – 1125 CE) and the Mongols had also built their own versions of the mountain within their own borders.

 

Mongolian Interest

In the mid-13th century, during the time of the Yuan Dynasty, Mount Wutai became the centre of political life in China. Even though the Mongolians had ruled the Chinese territories for some time, it was not until 1271 CE that Kublai Khan (1215 – 1294 CE), the grandson of Genghis Khan, officially announced the adoption of the Chinese tradition and the founding the Yuan (元) Dynasty (1271 – 1368 CE). The growth of Tibetan Buddhism during this period was due to his policies, which favoured this faith. Some people even believed Kublai Khan was an emanation of Manjushri, who was sent to China to spread the Dharma.

Portrait of Kublai Khan

The Portrait of Kublai Khan.

However, the claim that Kublai Khan was an emanation of Manjushri was not a belief held by all. Urgyanpa Rinchen Pel (Urgyanpa) (1229 – 1309 CE), a contemporary of the emperor, had strong reservations about the credibility of this claim. In his biography that was written by his student, Sonam Ozer, Urgyanpa argued that if Kublai Khan was truly an emanation of Manjushri, the emperor’s glorious power should have come from meditative concentration on Manjushri, not through tyranny. In Urgyanpa’s opinion, the fact that Kublai Khan used oppression and intimidation to expand his territory meant that he was not the legitimate emanation of Manjushri. On the other hand, another contemporary from the Yuan Dynasty, Monlam Dorje (1284 – 1346 CE), thought otherwise. In the biography written by his son, Tselpa, he claimed that Kublai Khan was the true emanation of Manjushri. This claim succeeded in enhancing Mount Wutai’s reputation in the eyes of subsequent emperors, as a place for gaining and maintaining political power.

Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyatsen (1182 - 1251 CE)

Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyatsen (Sakya Pandita) (1182 – 1251 CE).
Click to enlarge.

During Kublai Khan’s reign, many prominent Tibetan lamas visited the Mongolian court and Mount Wutai, which further increased its sanctity. One of the most prominent Tibetan Lamas who visited Mount Wutai was Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen (1182 – 1251 CE), who was recognised as an emanation of Manjushri. As a matter of fact, Sakya Pandita’s nephew, Chogyel Pakpa Lodro Gyeltsen (1235 – 1280 CE), dedicated his life to composing the texts on Manjushri and Mount Wutai. He composed an important 100 verse poem about the mountain called ‘The Garland of Jewels: Praise to Manjushri on Five-Peak Mountain’ in 1257 CE. Due to his devotion to Manjushri and the mountain, Kublai Khan made him the Imperial Chaplain, a post considered to be the highest spiritual authority in the government. This tradition continued with the subsequent Yuan emperors appointed Tibetan Buddhist monks to the highest religious positions in the imperial government.

The Great White Stupa

The Great White Stupa

Chogyel Pakpa Lodro Gyeltsen’s student, Ga Aknyen Dampa Kunga Drak (1230 – 1303 CE), who was a skilled tantric practitioner in Kublai Khan’s court, also lived on Mount Wutai for almost ten years. Kublai Khan appointed him as the abbot of the Temple of Longevity and Tranquillity (Shouning si (壽寧寺)). Such a prestigious position elevated the monastery’s reputation as the first significant Tibetan Buddhist monastery ever built on the mountain. It is important to note that Ga Aknyen Dampa Kunga Drak was given this prestigious post because he used his tantric powers to help the Mongolian army to win many battles. One such battle led to the fall of the Southern Song (南宋) Dynasty (1127 – 1279 CE) and marked the beginning of the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty. It was Kublai Khan who commenced the construction of the Great White Stupa that later became an iconic landmark associated with Mount Wutai.

 

The Ming (明) Dynasty

The 5th Karmapa Deshin Shekpa (1384 - 1415 CE)

The 5th Karmapa Deshin Shekpa (1384 – 1415 CE).
Click to enlarge.

Following the fall of the Yuan Dynasty in 1368, the Han Chinese regained power in China and established the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644 CE). During this period, Tibetan Buddhism experienced minimal support from the imperial elite. However, several Ming emperors and monarchs were known to be adherents of Tibetan Buddhism. Even though they experienced resistance from their Confucian advisers, sovereigns such as Emperor Yongle (永楽帝 ) (1403 – 1424 CE) and Emperor Zhengde (正德) (1505 – 1521 CE) supported Tibetan Buddhism to the best of their ability, and this was especially apparent on Mount Wutai. Emperor Yongle renovated and expanded the Clear Understanding Monastery (Yuanzhao Temple (圓照寺)) in 1406, and even invited the 5th Karmapa Deshin Shekpa (1384 – 1415 CE) to visit his court. The Karmapa’s image was later made and installed at Xiantong (显通寺), one of the temples on Mount Wutai. The emperor also made a donation on behalf of the 5th Karmapa, which was used to renovate the Great White Stupa in 1407 CE. Later, Lama Tsongkhapa’s distinguished disciple Shakya Yeshe (1354 – 1435 CE) also stayed at the Xiantong Temple and Yuanzhao Temple for four years. During his stay, he built five or six more temples and worked to introduce the Gelug tradition in the area.

Statue of Chakzampa Tangtong Gyelpo

The statue of Chakzampa Thangtong Gyalpo (1361 – 1485 CE).

The Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism made greater impact during the Ming Dynasty when Emperor Xuande (宣德) (1426 – 1435 CE) appointed the abbot of Yuanzhao Temple as the manager of Chinese and Tibetan Buddhist affairs on the mountain. This appointment was significant because it implied that Yuanzhao Temple was acknowledged as the first major Gelugpa temple in China. Another prominent Tibetan figure who came to meditate on the mountain was Chakzampa Thangtong Gyalpo (Thangtong Gyalpo) (1361 – 1485 CE). In addition to his meditation, he gave oral transmissions of the Litany of the Names of Manjushri, otherwise known as the Manjushrinamasamgiti in Sanskrit. When he was meditating on Mount Wutai, Thangtong Gyalpo had visions of Manjushri who instructed him to build geomantic focal points to suppress the four elements. His pure vision on Manjushri made him even more renowned.

 

The Qing (清) Dynasty

Qing Dynasty map of Mount Wutai

A Qing Dynasty map of Mount Wutai. Click to enlarge.

After the fall of the Ming Dynasty, the Manchus seized the authority in China and established the Qing Dynasty in 1644 CE. The Manchus were nomadic people from the northeastern plains who also believed that their monarchs were the manifestations of Manjushri. During the Qing Dynasty, Mount Wutai received more attention from the court and enjoyed more autonomous power as compared to the previous dynasties.

Inspired by the successful alliance between Kublai Khan and his spiritual adviser, Chogyel Pakpa Lodro Gyeltsen, in the Yuan Dynasty, the Manchus decided to adopt this proven model in their imperial court. The Manchu emperors declared themselves as the worthy successors of Kublai Khan in spiritual terms, which meant that they were also the emanations of Manjushri. In short, they declared themselves to be the reincarnations of Kublai Khan, once again, blurring the line between the monarchy and Tibetan Buddhism. It was important for the Manchus to draw on the similarities with the Mongols by using Tibetan Buddhism because this spiritual ‘lineage’ was seen as a powerful symbol of political legitimacy in the 17th and 18th century. The Manchus, like the Mongols, were a minority in China, a fact that could have easily made them feel like outsiders. Therefore, embracing Tibetan Buddhism was seen as a strategic move to assure people that they were a part of the community, not mere invaders.

They went as far as changing the name of their ethnic group from Jurchen to ‘Manju’ in 1635 to validate their close relationship with Manjushri. In addition, Emperor Kangxi (康熙) (r. 1661 – 1723 CE) referred to himself as an emanation of Manjushri in the Introduction to the official Mongolian translation of the Tibetan Buddhist canon:

Then Manjushri, the savior of all living forms, [with the] intellect of all the Buddhas, was transformed into human form, and ascended the Fearless Lion Throne of gold; and this was none other than the sublime Emperor Kangxi-Manjushri who assisted and brought joy to the entire vast world…

Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty

Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty (r. 1661 – 1723) who was considered as the emanation of Manjushri. Click to enlarge.

Emperor Kangxi embarked on Buddhist pilgrimage to Mount Wutai at least five times to show his extraordinary devotion to and close relationship with Manjushri, the state’s spiritual protector. During the Qing Dynasty, the monasteries and temples on Mount Wutai were given the freedom to look after their own affairs while the Tibetan and Mongolian clergies enjoyed privileged positions within the imperial court. The emperor also sent 40 Mongolian lamas to Mount Wutai in 1655 CE, and converted 10 Chinese Buddhist monasteries into Tibetan and Mongolian Buddhist institutions between 1683 and 1705 CE, with his full financial support. The Qing emperor also granted the prestigious position of ‘Head of all Religious and Temporal Affairs’ for both Tibetan and Chinese Buddhist institutions on Mount Wutai, to a Mongolian practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism, the Jasagh Lama from Pusa Ding (菩薩頂) Temple.

Contrary to the Ming Dynasty that did not support the locally printed travel booklet to various sites on the mountain, the Qing Dynasty heavily supported their publication in Chinese language. One may suggest that this deliberate action was taken with the aim of spreading the message that Emperor Kangxi was the emanation of Manjushri.

Emperor Kangxi’s grandson, Emperor Qianlong (乾隆), also appointed Changkya Hutuktu Rolpai Dorje (Changkya Rolpai Dorje) (1717 – 1786 CE), the most influential lama of Inner Asia and China in the 18th century, as the emperor’s personal chaplain. He played an important role in spreading the Tibetan Buddhist influence on the mountain. At the time, Changkya Rolpai Dorje was as powerful as the Dalai Lama since he was in charge of all Gelug affairs in the Eastern Tibet. Changkya Rolpai Dorje also advised the emperor on political matters including the formation of the Sino-Tibetan system of the Qing Dynasty.

Since he was young, Changkya Rolpai Dorje was educated in Buddhist scriptures; and the Chinese, Mongolian, Manchu, and Tibetan languages, alongside the imperial princes which included the future Emperor Qianlong. The close relationship between Changkya Rolpai Dorje and the future emperor allowed him to play an important role in the imperial court. Amongst his many roles, Changkya Rolpai Dorje was an imperial adviser and was thus able to guide the emperor during the policy creation towards Tibet and Mongolia that highlighted the heritage of Kublai Khan, with a special emphasis on the connection with Manjushri.

Changkya Rolpai Dorje focused his attention on the Tibetan and Mongolian Buddhist identity of Mount Wutai, and personally supervised the administration of six temples. He also wrote a Tibetan Buddhist pilgrimage guide titled ‘Pilgrimage Guide to the Pure Realm of Clear and Cool Mountain’ that was translated into Mongolian, and actively promoted pilgrimages to Mount Wutai amongst Mongolians and Tibetans. He spent 36 consecutive summers at the Taming of the Ocean Monastery (Zhenhai Temple (殊像寺)), to engage in meditative retreats, from 1750 CE until his death in 1786 CE.

The similarities between Changkya Rolpai Dorje’s patron-priest relationship with Emperor Qianlong, and Chogyel Pakpa Lodro Gyeltsen’s relationship with Kublai Khan were striking, especially after Changkya Rolpai Dorje initiated Emperor Qianlong into the Buddhist rites of the universal emperor or chakravartin in 1745 CE. Chogyel Pakpa Lodro Gyeltsen had done the same for Kublai Khan. In 1753 CE, Changkya Rolpai Dorje also translated Chogyel Pakpa Lodro Gyeltsen’s biography into Mongolian. Changkya Rolpai Dorje and Emperor Qianlong were believed to be Chogyel Pakpa Lodro Gyeltsen’s and Kublai Khan’s reincarnations. Therefore, they acted and behaved with each other in exactly the same manner as they had done in their previous lives. Changkya Rolpai Dorje passed away on Mount Wutai in 1786 CE, and a stupa that contained his relics was erected at Zhenhai Temple complex.

In the early 1840s CE, the Qing Empire was hit by an economic crisis, mainly because they maintained a low tax rate while the population grew at an unprecedented speed. The economic crisis left the Mount Wutai administration with insufficient funds. This circumstance forced the monks to travel outside China, to Mongolia and as far as Buryatia, in order to raise funds. This approach proved to be successful. The monks returned with Mongol-donated livestock, gold, and silver. The Mongols’ assistance during this difficult time created a strong bond between the monks on Mount Wutai and the Mongolian people. When Mount Wutai monks received news of the arrival of princely Mongolian caravans they would personally meet them at the border and took care of the bureaucrats on their journey to Mount Wutai.

 

Changkya Rolpai Dorje (1717-1786 CE)

Changkya Hutuktu Rolpai Dorje

Changkya Rolpai Dorje (1717 – 1786 CE), the spiritual guide of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty. Click to enlarge.

Changkya Rolpai Dorje was born on the 10th day of the fourth month in 1717 CE near Lanzhou in Gansu. When he was a little boy, the first Jamyang Zhepa recognised him as the incarnation of the previous Changkya Hutuktu of Gonlung Monastery in Amdo, which was one of the four great Gelug monasteries in Northern Tibet. Changkya Rolpai Dorje met Emperor Yongzheng (r. 1722 – 1735 CE) during the battle between Qing forces and the rebels in Amdo. The emperor ordered the seven year old Changkya Rolpai Dorje to be brought to his court. He was groomed to become a bridge between the Qing rulers and the Buddhists of Amdo, Tibet and Mongolia. Changkya Rolpai Dorje was responsible for translating Gelugpa texts into Chinese and Mongolian to spread the teachings. During his time as a student at the court, he became a good friend of Prince Hungli, who would later become Emperor Qianlong (r. 1735 – 1796 CE). In 1744 CE, Emperor Qianlong transformed Yonghegong Palace (雍和宫) in Beijing to serve both as a Gelugpa monastery and as an Imperial Palace. The transformed palace became the residence of Changkya Rolpai Dorje and other prominent religious figures from Amdo and Mongolia.

Emperor Qianlong as an emanation of Manjushri

Emperor Qianlong (r. 1735 – 1796 CE) as the emanation of Manjushri. Click to enlarge.

At the request of Emperor Qianlong, Changkya Rolpai Dorje gave him private instructions on how to take refuge in the Three Jewels and on Tibetan grammar. In 1745 CE, he gave the emperor tantric teachings and conferred the empowerment of his yidam, Chakrasamvara. In his famous remark, Emperor Qianlong said to Changkya Rolpai Dorje: “Now you are not only my lama, you are my vajra master.” Changkya Rolpai Dorje also played a significant role in presenting Emperor Qianlong as an emanation of Manjushri. In pictorial representations, Emperor Qianlong is seen as the spiritual heir of Kublai Khan. Such images highlight the similarities between Emperor Qianlong and Manjushri, as the emperor is depicted holding the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra and the flaming wisdom sword of Manjushri. Changkya Rolpai Dorje’s written works consist of seven large volumes containing almost 200 texts. In addition, he supervised and translated the Kangyur into Manchu (108 volumes), and the entire Tengyur (224 volumes) into Mongolian to spread Tibetan Buddhism.

 

The 6th Dalai Lama’s Exile on Mount Wutai

The 6th Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso

His Holiness the 6th Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso

The 6th Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso (1683-1706 CE) was a controversial figure who preferred archery and women as opposed to his religious duties. This preference almost cost him his life as it was planned that he would die in custody, en route to the imperial capital, because Emperor Kangxi considered him to be an illegitimate lama. Legend has it that the 6th Dalai Lama was saved by Manjushri, and lived in meditative exile in a cave on Mount Wutai with his female attendant until the day he died. The cave where he lived is called the Avalokiteshvara Cave (观音洞) and is now a popular pilgrimage destination.

Avalokiteshvara Cave. According to the legend, the 6th Dalai Lama spent his time in meditation inside this cave.

Avalokiteshvara Cave. According to the legend, the 6th Dalai Lama spent his time in meditation inside this cave.

 

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Peaks Of Mount Wutai

Mount Wutai

Mount Wutai

Mount Wutai is a pilgrimage site for international visitors from various backgrounds. It is an interesting place of religious tolerance and understanding because it has been influenced by various Buddhist schools and cultures including China, Mongolia and Tibet.

A pilgrim prostrating on Mount Wutai

A pilgrim prostrating on Mount Wutai.

Today, many pilgrims visit Mount Wutai annually to accumulate merit for themselves and their deceased relatives. They also do so to pray for the fulfilment of their more secular wishes such as wealth and good fortune, purification of sins, and recovery from illness. Even to this day, some Chinese and Mongolian pilgrims still make prostrations throughout the entire length of their journey to the mountain, a journey that could take several years.

There are several holy structures, dating from the earliest periods of Mount Wutai’s history, that have survived the test of time. For example, the main hall of the Foguang Temple (佛光寺), built in 857 CE, is one of the oldest wooden structures in China. Another ancient structure on Mount Wutai is the main hall of the Nanchan Temple (南禅寺大殿), which was originally built around 782 CE and was renovated between 1974 and 1975.

 

Location of the Five Peaks Mountain

Mount Wutai is situated in the northeastern part of Shanxi Province, approximately 230 km (143 mi) away from Taiyuan, the province’s capital city. It covers an area of 2,837 square km (1,762.8 mi), and its five main peaks are located in the east, south, west, north, and in the middle, creating a harmonious and beautiful view. As such, pilgrims can enjoy breathtaking views from the peaks at various different angles. The peaks of the mountain are known as: Wanghai Peak (望海峰) in the east, Guayue Peak (挂月峰) in the west, Jinxiu Peak (锦绣峰) in the south, Yedou Peak (叶斗峰) in the north, and Cuishi Peak (翠石峰) in the centre.

 

Wanghai Peak in the East

Wanghai Peak, the eastern peak of Mount Wutai

Wanghai Peak, the eastern peak of Mount Wutai.

Wanghai Peak, also known as the Peak of Watching the Sea, is located 1 km (0.6 mi) east of Taihuai Town in Wutai County. It overlooks the sea and is 2,795 m (9,169 ft) above sea level. While standing on the peak, visitors can enjoy the beautiful view of thousands of golden rays during sunrise and a sea of floating clouds. On this peak, Four-armed Manjushri or Manjughosa Tiksna, is believed to reside. Wanghai Temple (望海寺) is located here and houses a Manjughosa Tiksna image.

 

Guayue Peak in the West

Guayue Peak, the western peak of Mount Wutai

Guayue Peak, the western peak of Mount Wutai.

Guayue Peak, also known as Hanging Moon Peak, is located 13 km (8.1 mi) west of Taihuai Town and is 2,773 m (9,097 ft) above sea level. The best time to climb Guayue Peak is on a full moon night, when visitors can enjoy the peaceful view of moonlight above the dense pine trees. Vadisimha Manjushri, who is depicted seated on a lion, is believed to reside on this peak. Falei Temple (法雷寺) is located on this peak and houses the Vadisimha Manjushri image.

 

Jinxiu Peak in the South

Jinxiu Peak, the southern peak of Mount Wutai

Jinxiu Peak, the southern peak of Mount Wutai.

Jinxiu Peak, also known as Splendour Peak, is located 12 km (7.5 mi) south of Taihuai Town and is 2,485 m (8,152 ft) above sea level. From the summit of Jinxiu Peak, visitors can enjoy the beautiful view of colourful, sweet-scented flowers all over the peak. The best time to visit this peak is from early-May until late-August when most of the flowers will be in bloom, releasing their fragrance. The white form of Manjushri called Jvanasattva is believed to reside on this peak. Puji Temple (普济寺) is located here and houses a Jvanasattva statue.

 

Yedou Peak in the North

Yedou Peak, the northern peak of Mount Wutai

Yedou Peak, the northern peak of Mount Wutai.

Yedou Peak, also known as the Peak of Flourishing Leaves, is the highest point of Mount Wutai at 3,058 m (10,032 ft) above sea level. It is located 5 km (3.2 mi) north of Taihuai Town. The peak overlooks a natural pool of over 300 square m (984.3 square ft) as well as wonderful and endless greenery. Vimala Manjushri is believed to reside on this peak. Ling Ying Temple (灵应寺) is located here and houses a Vimala Manjushri image.

 

Cuishi Peak in the Centre

Cuiyan Peak, the central peak of Mount Wutai

Cuishi Peak, the central peak of Mount Wutai.

The view from this peak is spectacular. Green moss covers the surface of rocks and makes them resemble moving dragons when light is reflected on them. Hence, the rocks were given the name ‘dragon writhing rocks’, while the plateau is also known as Peak of Green rocks. It sits at 2,894 m (9.494 ft) above sea level. Manjushri Natha, a form of Manjushri depicted wielding a sword, is believed to reside on this peak. Yanjiao Temple (演教寺) is located here and houses a Manjushri Natha image.

 

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The Major Sites

There are over 53 pilgrimage sites on Mount Wutai. These places of worship include the famous Great White Stupa (大白塔), Nanshan Temple (南山寺), Xiantong Temple (显通寺), Pusading Temple, and Foguang Temple (佛光寺).
 

Inner Mount Wutai

On Inner Mount Wutai, there many Buddhist temples, and sacred caves including Xiantong Temple, Shuxiang Temple (殊像寺), Shouning Temple (壽寧寺), Bishan Temple (碧山寺), Puhua Temple(普化寺), Dailuo Peak (黛螺顶), Qixian Temple, Shifang Tang (十方堂), Guangzong Temple, Youguo Temple (佑國寺), Guanyin Dong (Avalokiteshvara Cave), Longhua Temple, Luohou Temple (罗喉寺), Jinge Temple, Zhanshan Temple, Wanfo Temple, Guanhai Temple, Zhulin Temple, Jifu Temple, Gufo Temple, and many others.

 

Outer Mount Wutai

On Outer Mount Wutai, there are even more temples including Yanqing Temple (延慶寺), Nanchan Temple (南禅寺), Mimi Temple (秘密寺), Yanshan Temple (岩山寺), Zunsheng Temple (尊圣寺), Guangji Temple (广济寺), and many others.

The followings are information about selected places of interest on Mount Wutai:

 

The Great White Stupa in Tayuan Temple (塔院寺)

The Great White Pagoda

The Great White Stupa

During the reign of Emperor Ashoka, he had 84,000 stupas constructed all over the world, and each of them contained Buddha’s relics. According to the legend, in the 60s CE, Emperor Ming (漢明帝) of the Han Dynasty had a dream of an enlightened being that lived in India. Therefore, he sent a delegation to search for this master. When the delegation reached the present-day Afghanistan, they acquired many Buddhist texts and statues and met with two Indian Buddhist masters, one of them was called Dharmavaya (Motong). The delegation invited the Indian masters to China. After they had arrived in China, the Indian masters visited Mount Wutai. They used their clairvoyance and discovered that it was the abode of Manjushri, and there was a stupa that was originally built by Emperor Ashoka that contained the Buddha’s bone relics. The stupa name was Cishou-ta (慈寿塔). During the Yuan Dynasty, the 50-m (164 ft) Great White Stupa that contained Cishou-ta was constructed with the help and design from Chogyel Pakpa Lodro’s protégé, Anige, a Nepalese artist who was the head of the Mongolian imperial workshop. Twenty-two years before the event, in 1279 CE, Anige had built a similar stupa in Beijing to commemorate the beginning of the Yuan Dynasty.

Buddha Shakyamuni’s footprints replica in one of the shrines at the base of the Great White Stupa.

Buddha Shakyamuni’s footprints replica in one of the shrines at the base of the Great White Stupa.

Initially, the stupa was a part of Xiantong Temple. However, in 1407 CE, Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty issued an edict that made the stupa’s location an independent temple site. Much later, in 1579, the temple site was restored and expanded by imperial decree. The latest renovation of the structure was undertaken in 1952 CE with the Central Government’s financial support.

The vase-like stupa was based on the structure of a Tibetan stupa, instead of the conservative Chinese pagoda structure. The main body is made of brick slabs, the octagonal base is made of stone, and the conical spire is made of seasoned bronze. The stupa has a lime coating on the outside. The surface is adorned with delicate decorations and many fine copper embellishments. The parasol and the pinnacle are made of gilt copper. The Great White Stupa is also known as the Ashoka Stupa, the Shakyamuni Relic Pagoda, and the Great Compassion Life Lengthening Pagoda.

Pilgrims turned the prayer wheels at the base of the Great White Stupa.

Pilgrims turned the prayer wheels at the base of the Great White Stupa.

The stupa is surrounded by Tibetan prayer wheels, and at its base, there are several small shrines. One of these shrines contains a stone with Buddha’s footprints engraved on it. According to the legend, before he entered Parinirvana, Buddha Shakyamuni left his footprints in India and said to one of his disciples, Ananda, “In the future, whoever sees these footprints which I leave for beings to pay homage to, shall be blessed and have their negativities purified.” When he traveled to India, Master Xuanzang (602 – 664 CE) made a copy of the footprints to be brought to China. Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty later instructed that the footprints be engraved on a stone.

 

Manjushri’s Hair Stupa

Manjushri’s Hair Stupa

Manjushri’s Hair Stupa.

Near the Great White Stupa, there is a smaller stupa about 4.57 m (15 ft) tall that is said to contain Manjushri’s Hair. According to the legend, hundreds of years ago, Xiangtong Temple was hosting a charity event in the third lunar month where visiting sponsors were given free meals. During that event, an old pregnant woman came with a child, a baby, and a dog that was following her. Because she did not have any money, she cut and offered her hair instead. The woman then asked for a meal ahead of the arranged time. A monk gave two lunch boxes for her and her older child. The woman was not satisfied and asked for another share of meal for her baby. Although he was upset, the monk gave the woman another meal portion. Upon getting the extra portion, the woman asked for another share of meal for the dog that was following her. By this time, the monk was irritated and scolded the woman for being greedy. Suddenly, the dog was transformed into a snow lion. The child and the baby were transformed into two youthful attendants, and the woman transformed into Manjushri who said “The mind reacts to thousands of conditions involuntarily. First, train your equanimity. … how would you still have a wavering mind of attachment to some and hostility towards some others?” Then, the four of them flew away in front of over 1,000 people who were in attendance. Everybody was amazed and prostrated simultaneously.

The memorial plate that illustrates the story of the old woman who transformed into Manjushri.

The memorial plate that illustrates the story of the old woman who transformed into Manjushri.

The monks who scolded the woman tried to pull his eyes in deep regret. He was remorseful for not being able to recognise the great Buddha of Wisdom who was in front of him. His colleagues suggested him to build a stupa instead to enshrine the hair that was left by the woman. To some people, the hair looked like an ordinary human hair, while to others, the hair looked like golden threads. During the time of the incident, Xiangtong and Tayuan temples were under the same monastic administration, therefore, the stupa was erected in Tayuan Temple where the incident happened. The monk who scolded the woman built a memorial plate with a picture that described the scene of the woman when she transformed into Manjushri and flew away to remind pilgrims and visitors alike to respect and have compassion toward all sentient beings regardless of their outer physical appearances. The plate is now put at the bottom of Yuanzhao Temple‘s prayer hall entrance.

 

Yuanzhao Temple

Yuanzhao Temple

Yuanzhao Temple

During the reign of Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty (r. 1402 – 1424 CE), an attained master from India, Srisa, came to China. Emperor Yongle appointed him as an imperial teacher, and he was given golden seals, banners, and parasols. Then, Master Srisa built Yuanzhao Temple. After he had passed away, his relics were enshrined in two separate stupas. One of the stupas was located near Beijing, and the other stupa was erected at the Yuanzhao Temple’s main hall. Many Tibetans who came to Mount Wutai recited the names of Manjushri 10,000 times to increase their wisdom in front of this stupa.

When Shakya Yeshe, Lama Tsongkhapa’s disciple who founded Sera Monastery, came to China, he spent sometime on Mount Wutai and bestowed novice and full ordination to Chinese monks. This event is often considered as the beginning of the spreading of Gelug lineage in China. In 1429 CE, Shakya Yeshe presided over the post-funerary rites of Emperor Yongle and his son Emperor Hongxi (洪熙) (r. 1424-1425 CE) at the request of Emperor Xuande (宣德) (r. 1425 – 1435 CE). When the ritual was performed, there were many auspicious signs that occurred such as the formation of a rainbow, falling flowers, and so forth. Emperor Xuande developed much faith in Shakya Yeshe and conferred him the title Dharma Lord of Great Compassion.

Yuanzhao Temple

Yuanzhao Temple

 

Rahula Temple (Luohou Temple)

Luohou Temple

Luohou Temple

Luohou Temple was built in the Tang Dynasty. According to the legend, Luohou Temple was built at the spot where Manjushri gave a discourse with a magic lantern. The temple was named after Rahula, Buddha Shakyamuni’s son, which in Chinese is pronounced Luo Hou Luo (罗候罗) or “a place where all living creatures can avoid torment.”

The grand temple consists of six yards, 16 halls, and more than 100 rooms. According to China Daily:

The most famous item is a wooden device in Buddhist Sutras hall, a 3-meter tall lotus, with a large, round plate carved with sea waves and 18 arhats (Bodhisattvas). There are also Buddha statues and the four deva-kings on the round platform. The wooden lotus is delicate, and when the mechanical mechanism is turned on, the lotus ‘blooms’ and you see four golden Amitabhas seated back-to-back, a spectacular sight. But when the mechanism turns, the red petals fold up and hide the Amitabhas. Lamaism followers delight in seeing the Amitabhas in the lotus and take it as a sign of luck and their [faith] in Buddhism.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/m/shanxi/wutaishan/2015-02/09/content_19533210.htm

The temple also has a tantric chamber with the images of Yamantaka, Mahakala, Guhyasamaja, Heruka, Kalarupa, and Palden Lhamo. Luohou Temple is a famous pilgrimage destination, especially among Mongolians.

Luohou Temple

Luohou Temple

 

Nanshan Temple

You Guo Si – The Temple of Blessed Nation

You Guo Temple or also known as the Temple of Blessed Nation.

Nanshan Temple is a large complex on Mount Wutai that was built in the Yuan Dynasty. It consists of seven terraces and is divided into three parts:

  1. You Guo Temple in the upper terrace.
  2. Shande Hall (善德堂) in the middle terrace.
  3. Jile Temple (極樂寺) in the lower terrace.

Nanshan is said to be the most beautiful temple in the area. There are no signboards in English at this temple, and the temple prohibits lay people from staying there. This policy has resulted in the temple having an atmosphere of a strict monastic life.

Sculpted bridge at Nanshan Temple

The sculpted bridge at Nanshan Temple.

 

Xiantong Temple

Xiantong Temple

Xiantong Temple

Xiantong Temple is by far the largest and the oldest among the temples on Mount Wutai. According to the legend, when the two masters who were invited by Emperor Ming’s delegation identified Mount Wutai as the abode of Buddha of Wisdom Manjushri, their wish to build a Buddhist temple encountered difficulties because Taoist masters and followers occupied the region. To mediate the situation, Emperor Ming asked the Buddhist masters and Taoist leaders to put their holy scriptures on two separate platforms and have them burned. Upon witnessing the Taoist texts were burned into ashes while the Buddhist texts remained intact, Emperor Ming gave permission to the two Buddhist masters to build a temple on Mount Wutai.

The original name of Xiangtong Temple was the Vultures Peak Monastery because it was built on a place that looked like the vulture peak in India. Emperor Ming expressed his devotion by renaming it The Great Faith Vultures’ Peak Monastery. A later emperor, most likely Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty, renamed the monastic institution as Xiantong Temple. The temple underwent major expansion during the reign of Emperor Xiaowen (魏孝文帝) (r. 471 – 499 CE) of the Northern Wei Dynasty. The expansion included twelve courtyards with a garden in the front. Therefore, it is also referred to as the Garden Temple.

Another side of Xiantong Temple

Another side of Xiantong Temple.

The temple consists of 400 rooms of various sizes that display the architectural styles of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Inside the temple, there are three pure copper halls built during the Ming Dynasty and are engraved with fine Buddhist figurines. There are also two 13-storey bronze towers built during the Ming Dynasty beside the temple. They are covered with Buddhist figurines, decorative motifs, and various inscriptions. The temple’s Wuliang Hall houses an image of the Buddha Amitabha, as well as the Huayan Sutra Pagoda on its grounds.

The temple’s Copper Hall has a double-eave hipped gable roof. The size of the hall is proportionally harmonious with the skilfully cast statues. Ten thousand small, golden statues of Chinese deities are also enshrined in the hall. There are two copper pagodas that were built during the Ming Dynasty on the temple complex.

The Copper Hall of Xiantong Temple

The Copper Hall of Xiantong Temple.

 

Guangzong Temple

Guangzong Temple

Guangzong Temple

The stupa that contains Venerable Fazun’s relics.

The stupa that contains Venerable Fazun’s relics.

Guangzong is a temple of Chinese Gelugpa tradition that was built in 1507 CE. Within this temple complex, there is a 5.5-m (18 ft) stupa that contains the relic of the great 20th century Dharma Master, Venerable Fazun (法尊) (1902 – 1980 CE). In 1920 when he was 18 years old, Venerable Fazun came to Guangzong Temple to be ordained as a Buddhist monk. In 1924, he attended Buddhist Institute for the Study of Tibetan Language (Fojiao Zangwen Xueyuan (佛教藏文學院)) that was founded by his teacher Venerable Dayong (大勇). After studying for over one year, Venerable Fazun went to Tibet to continue his Buddhist study. Upon his return to China almost a decade later, Venerable Fazun translated many Gelugpa Buddhist texts from Tibetan into Chinese, including Je Tsongkhapa’s Lamrim Chenmo. His translation effort had created the foundation for the growth of Tibetan Buddhism in China.

 

Pusa Ding Temple

Pusa Ding Monastery

Pusa Ding Temple

Pusa Ding is a temple located on the central peak of Mount Wutai. According to the Expanded Record of the Clear and Cool Mountains (1057 – 1063 CE), the first temple in the complex, the Wenshuyuan Temple was built during the reign of Emperor Xiaowen of the Northern Wei Dynasty as a result of the frequent auspicious signs of Manjushri appearing in the area. Later, Emperor Ruizong (睿宗) (662 – 716 CE) instructed for an image of Manjushri to be built, but this proved challenging to build. The sculptor, Ansheng, failed to carve the image of Manjushri without a crack. He was only successful after asking for guidance from Manjushri himself. During the reign of Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty, the temple was renamed Pusa Ding or the Bodhisattva Peak (also known as the Manjushri Peak).

The entrance to Pusa Ding Temple.

The entrance to Pusa Ding Temple.

The temple complex includes the Dawenshu-dian (大文殊殿), the first temple to house a copy of the Yongle edition of the Tibetan Buddhist Canon or Kangyur, which was completed in 1410 CE. The copy of this Kangyur is also housed in Luohou Temple. At present, Dawenshu-Dian is referred to as Pusa Ding.

During the Qing Emperor Shunzhi’s reign (1644 – 1661 CE), Pusa Ding was extensively renovated with the aim of turning it into an official residence for prominent Tibetan Buddhist monks. Unlike other temple in the area, the roof of Pusa Ding Temple is golden, the colour that was preserved for the Chinese monarchy. The permission to use this colour was given because two emperors had stayed in the temple previously. Emperor Kangxi and Emperor Qianlong visited the temple four and two times respectively.

According to the legend, when Emperor Kangxi was visiting Mount Wutai on a pilgrimage, he saw a naked monk who was bathing while there were women in the area. Emperor Kangxi felt that the monk’s behaviour was a disgrace. He then shot an arrow, which hit the monk in his right shoulder. The monk escaped. Emperor Kangxi chased after him by following the trail of blood, which led him to the western chamber of Pusa Ding prayer hall. Emperor Kangxi saw a Manjushri statue with an arrow on his right shoulder. The emperor realised that the monk was none other than Manjushri who manifested as a monk to create awareness about the hall’s deteriorating condition. Emperor Kangxi granted the fund for renovation, and the statue became famous. In 1908 CE, the 13th Dalai Lama took the arrow from Manjushri’s shoulder because he could not bear to see the holy Manjushri statue being pierced by an arrow.

In the Manjushri Hall, there is a replica of Bodhi tree painting by Emperor Qianlong. In 1780 CE, His Holiness the 6th Panchen Lama visited Emperor Qianlong on his 70th birthday. To show his devotion, Emperor Qianlong changed to lay Buddhist robe and painted the Bodhi tree as an offering to his teacher, the Panchen Lama.

 

Bishan Puji Zen Temple of Ten Directions (Bishan Temple)

The entrance to Bishan Temple.

The entrance to Bishan Temple.

Bishan is a Zen temple that was originally built during the reign of Emperor Xiaowen of the Northern Wei Dynasty. The temple was later rebuilt under the reign of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty. Bishan Temple is unique because the monks elected the abbot, and he was not allowed to have any formal disciples. This policy is to ascertain that the temple continues to belong to the sangha members who are staying at the temple. Bishan Temple provides free room and board to the visiting sangha and often helps them with transportation fee when they leave.

 

Baiyun Temple (白云寺)

Baiyun Temple

Baiyun Temple

In the Tang Dynasty, a government official named Daotai built Baiyun Temple to express his gratitude to Manjushri for curing his mother. According to the legend, when his mother was seriously ill, Daotai was looking for a potent cure for her to no avail. On one occasion, he met a monk who predicted that his mother would pass away in the near future. Daotai immediately knew that this monk was not an ordinary person and begged him to help his mother. The monk went to his house and did some hand movements over Daotai’s mother. Not long after, the old lady recovered. Daotai was very grateful to the monk and asked him about his identity. The monk responded that he came from Baiyun Temple on Mount Wutai. To repay the monk’s kindness, Daotai traveled to Mount Wutai to search for him. However, he could not find a temple by the name of Baiyun. When he was about to give up, he saw a thick lotus-shape white cloud over his head with Manjushri riding on a lion on top of the cloud. He immediately understood that the monk was the emanation of Manjushri, and he was supposed to build the temple. Daotai then built the magnificent Baiyun Temple.

In the 18th century, Baiyun Temple experienced several natural disasters including a big fire. The temple was seriously damaged during the Cultural Revolution. Under the leadership of Venerable Changlong, the temple was undergoing a 15-year restoration to revive its former glory and became a nunnery.

Bodhisattva Pavilion at Baiyun Temple.

Bodhisattva Pavilion at Baiyun Temple.

One of the halls at Baiyun Temple.

One of the halls at Baiyun Temple.

Buddha images at the Pureland Rebirths Hall, Baiyun Temple.

Buddha images at the Pureland Rebirths Hall, Baiyun Temple.

 

Fomu Cave (The Mother Womb Cave) (佛母洞)

Fomu Cave during winter time.

Fomu Cave during winter time.

Fomu Cave

Fomu Cave

Fomu Cave is a naturally formed cave in the shave of a triangular hole. The inner cave is believed to be the manifestation of Vajrayogini’s womb. It is said that Changkya Rolpai Dorje meditated on Vajrayogini in this cave and had the vision of the divine lady:

On the rock ceiling at the entrance of the cave, one would see a naturally formed triangular sanctum through a small opening to emerge again from the inner sanctum through the same hole again, to symbolically go through the birth process from Vajrayogini (Vajravarahi)’s womb. The inner cave is said to resemble a womb with a rock formation that resembles the ribs and the organs and the shape of the opening bears a resemblance of the vagina. The famous Jangya Rinpoche [Changkya Rolpai Dorje], the lama of Emperor Chien-Lung [Qianlong], meditated on Naropa lineage of Vajrayogini (Narokhadro) here and attained the inner dakini pure land state. He had a vision of Vajrayogini and when he emerged from the cave, every person he saw was a daka or a dakini to him and everywhere he went appeared to him as the mandala of the deity. It is possible to do dakini tsog or other practises outside the cave with offerings set up inside. Recently, a group performed tsog here and there was a flower rain followed by a gentle hail storm. The event was talk-of-the-town for many days.

http://www.b-i-a.net/Wutaisan.htm

Instructions on how to get into Fomu Cave.

Instructions on how to get into Fomu Cave.

In 1996, a Chinese monk named Beiyue (悲月) had fundraised over one million yuan to build a path that led to the cave. According to Dilowa Khutugtu, a Chinese monk that assist the pilgrims to get into the cave:

To enter the grotto, the pilgrim would first insert his right arm and his head. The priest would stand below the hole, facing the entrance. The visitor would step on the priest’s shoulder and try to enter the hole by extending his right arm and squeezing his right shoulder through. When he had proceeded so far, he would brace his feet against the shoulders of the priest in order to gain thrust enough to enter the grotto completely.

Then the pilgrim would find himself in a very narrow but widening passage, some three feet long and one foot high, which may be termed as the cervix. Bending and twisting to the left, the tube led into the inner chamber, the matrix which allowed room for two people to stand. In its centre was an altar bearing a stone statue of a deity, possibly Tara or Kuan-yin [Guanyin], both goddesses of mercy and salvation.

Isabelle Charleux, Nomads on Pilgrimage: Mongols on Wutaishan (China), 1800-1940

In 1846 CE, Gelong Lhundrup, a Mongolian lama, crafted a map on Mount Wutai in Cifu Temple (慈福寺). The map is known as Cifusi Map. The map illustrated approximately 130 temples within Mount Wutai area, with inscriptions, painting of divine emanations, rituals, pilgrimage activities, and festivals. On Cifusi Map, there is an image of Vajrayogini near Fomu Cave. In her book, Nomads on Pilgrimage: Mongols on Wutaishan (China), 1800 – 1940, Isabelle Charleux mentioned that:

… the Cifusi map depicts an apparition of naked red Vajrayogini drinking blood out of a human skull in a cloud above Zhenhaisi, just below the cave.

Due to the connection with Vajrayogini, many pilgrims visited the sacred Fomu Cave every year.

Cifusi map that contain an image of Vajrayogini near the Fomu Cave.

Cifusi map that contain an image of Vajrayogini near Fomu Cave. Click to enlarge.

 

Foguang Temple

Foguang Temple

Foguang Temple

Foguang Temple is located 5 km from Doucun, Wutai County, in Shanxi Province. It was built during the Tang Dynasty in 857 CE. The temple consists primarily of two halls, namely the Great Eastern Hall that was built in 857 and Manjushri Hall that was built in 1137 CE. In addition the second oldest existing pagoda in China, Zushi Pagoda (祖师塔) is housed on its grounds, and dates back to the 6th century. Located south of the Great Eastern Hall, the pagoda is presumed to contain the tomb of the temple’s founder. The pagoda is white in colour, hexagonal in shape, and is decorated with lotus petals.

The Zushi Pagoda

The Zushi Pagoda

Originally built during the Northern Wei Dynasty, the temple took 35 years to complete, from 785 to 820 CE. Unfortunately, in 845 CE, Emperor Wuzong (武宗) (r. 840 – 846 CE) had the whole temple destroyed by fire as part of his campaign to ban Buddhism in the country. Only Zushi Pagoda survived his destructive campaign. In 857 CE, the temple was rebuilt with the financial support of a woman named Ning Gongyu (宁公遇). Much of the rebuilding effort was focused on the Great Eastern Hall. In the 10th century, an image of the Foguang Temple resurfaced on the painting in cave 61 of the Mogao Caves, Duhuang City. The existence of the Foguang image in the cave served to emphasise its importance as a holy site for Buddhist pilgrims to visit.

Later in 1137, during the Jin Dynasty (1115 – 1234 CE), the Manjushri Hall and another hall dedicated to Samantabhadra were constructed on the temple’s north and south sides respectively. Unfortunately, the Samantabhadra Hall was burnt down during the time of the Qing Dynasty. The Manjushri Hall is roughly the same size as the Eastern Hall and is located on an 83 cm (2.7 ft) high platform with three front doors and one central back door, and it features a single-eave hipped gable roof. All four walls are filled with murals of arhats painted in 1429 CE during the time of the Ming Dynasty.

Manjushri Hall that was constructed in 1137 CE.

The Great Eastern Hall is located on the far eastern side of the temple, on top of a large stone platform. The simplicity of its structure is striking. It is supported by inner and outer sets of columns. Special emphasis was given to the complexity of the roof, and as such the hall has a lattice ceiling that covers much of the roof frame from view.

The hall has 36 sculptures and murals on each wall dating from the Tang Dynasty and later periods. In the middle of the hall, there are three large statues of Buddha Shakyamuni, Amitabha, and Maitreya, all seated on lotus seats. Four assistants and two bodhisattvas guard each Buddha. There are also statues of Manjushri riding on a lion and Samantabhadra on an elephant next to the platform. The artistic temple also contains a large mural that portrays the Buddha’s previous lives.

 

Nanchan Temple

The Great Buddha Hall of Nanchan Temple

The Great Buddha Hall of Nanchan Temple.

The Nanchan Temple is located near Doucun Town on Mount Wutai. The temple was built in 782 during the Tang Dynasty. Nanchan is regarded as an important architectural site that contains an original set of artistically important Tang sculptures. Its Great Buddha Hall is China’s oldest preserved timber building, and it survived the purge initiated by Emperor Wuzong in 845 CE due to its isolated location. The hall’s interior has seventeen sculptures with a small stone pagoda.

Buddha Shakyamuni statue inside the Great Buddha Hall

Buddha Shakyamuni statue inside the Great Buddha Hall.

The Nanchan Temple houses original images carved during the time of the Tang Dynasty. The temple contains 17 statues that are lined up in the form of an inverted ‘U’. At the centre of the hall, there is a large image of Buddha Shakyamuni sitting on a throne surrounded by sculpted images of a lion and a demigod. A large statue of Samantabhadra riding on an elephant is placed on the far left of the hall, while a large statue of Manjushri riding on a lion is placed on the far right. There are also images of two of Buddha Shakyamuni’s disciples (Ananda and Mahakashyapa), two statues of heavenly kings and four statues of attendants. In addition, the hall has a small five-tiered stone pagoda with Buddha images carved on each tier.

 

Pushou Nunnery (普寿寺)

Pushou Nunnery

Pushou Nunnery

Pushou Nunnery was originally built during the time of the Song (宋) Dynasty (960 – 1279 CE). In the early 20th century, a monk named Yonten Lama rebuilt the monastery and offered it to His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama. His Holiness stayed and gave teachings in the monastery for six months. During the Cultural Revolution, the premise was destroyed and turned into a hospital.

In 1991, a Buddhist nun, Ru Rui (如瑞法师) turned the hospital into a nunnery. Today, Pushou Nunnery is the home of approximately 1,300 nuns.

Students line up in front of Pushou Nunnery’s main hall.

Students line up in front of Pushou Nunnery’s main hall.

Venerable Ru Rui, the founder of Pushou Nunnery.

Venerable Ru Rui, the founder of Pushou Nunnery.

 

Vajra Cave (金剛窟)

Buddhapali’s meeting with an old man who was the emanation of Manjushri on Mount Wutai.

Buddhapali’s meeting with an old man who was the emanation of Manjushri on Mount Wutai.

Vajra Cave was one of the cave on Mount Wutai that was first excavated during the time of the Tang Dynasty. According to the historical records founded in Wutai Shan Zan, a checklist of the key sights found among the manuscripts at Dunhuang, there was an interesting story related to Vajra Cave. In the late 7th century, there was a monk named Buddhapali who travelled to Mount Wutai on pilgrimage. When he arrived on Mount Wutai, Buddhapali met an old man who asked him to return to his hometown and retrieve a Namgyalma text (Foding Zunsheng Tuoluoni Jing). Buddhapali complied with the request and came back with the requested scripture. Manjushri greeted him in his true form and led Buddhapali to the Vajra Cave, where it is said that Buddhapali remained forever.

According to the book titled The Journey of Maps and Images on the Silk Road, Manjushri appeared to Buddhapali in his true form due to Buddhapali’s gesture of respect at their first encounter:

At their first encounter, Buddhapali does not know who the old man is, and it is his gesture of respect and willingness to do the old man’s bidding that ensures his special treatment from a revealed Manjushri when he returns. Thus the story turns on faith in what lies beyond mundane appearances, and on the rewards that come to those with such faith.

 

Dailuo Peak (Black Snail Peak)

Dailuo Peak

Dailuo Peak

Dailuo Peak is also known as big snail because a part of the peak looks like a huge snail shell. A temple with the same name that houses the statues of five Manjushri emanations is located on Dailuo Peak. The statues of each emanation are located in the directions that correspond to the main statues on the five main peaks of Mount Wutai.

In 1781 CE, Emperor Qianlong went on pilgrimage to Mount Wutai. However, due to uncooperative weather and other circumstances, he was not able to visit the five main peaks. Emperor Qianlong was frustrated and wondered whether his failure to reach the five peaks were the result of his negative karma. He then consulted an abbot of one of the temples in the area and instructed him to ensure that within the next five years, his wish to pay homage to the five forms of Manjushri would become a reality. A novice monk came up with the idea of building a separate temple and the replicas of the five Manjushri emanations on a place that is not too high on the mountain, but challenging enough for the emperor to experience physical hardship during his pilgrimage. The abbot agreed with the idea, and Dailuo Peak was chosen as the site to build this new temple. In 1786 CE, Emperor Qianlong visited Mount Wutai and was pleased with the new temple. Since then, pilgrims who were experiencing physical challenges or limited time, could come and chose to pay homage at this temple.

Dailuo Temple

Dailuo Temple

 

Shuxiang Temple

Shuxiang Temple was originally built during the Tang Dynasty, and it houses a 9 century statue of Manjushri riding on a lion. According to the diary of a Japanese monk, Venerable Ennin, the statue was sculpted based on the artist’s clairvoyance. Venerable Ennin learned that the artist had tried to cast the statue for six times, but each time he tried to do so, the statue cracked into pieces although the artist is very talented and has observed abstinence during the process of making the statue. Venerable Ennin recorded the following:

The Master said … “I humbly pray that His Holiness the Bodhisattva Monju (Manjushri) show his true appearance to me in person. If I gaze directly on his golden countenance, then I shall copy it to make [the image].” When he has finished making this prayer, he opened his eyes and saw the Bodhissattva Monju riding on a gold-coloured lion right before him. After a little while [Monju] mounted on a cloud of five colours and flew away up into space. The master, having been able to gaze on [Monju’s] true appearance, rejoiced [but also] wept bitterly, knowing then that what he had made had been incorrect. Then, changing the original appearance [of the image] he elongated or shortened, enlarged or diminished it [as necessary], so that in appearance it exactly resembled what he had seen, and the seventh time he cast the image, it did not crack and everything was easy to do, and all that he desired was fulfilled.

Patricia Berger, Empire of Emptiness: Buddhist Art and Political Authority in Qing China

A 9th century statue of Manjushri riding on a lion or also known as the Real Face Manjushri.

A 9th century statue of Manjushri riding on a lion or also known as the Real Face Manjushri.

There was another interesting story related to this temple. During the time of the Qing Dynasty, the husband of an imperial princess was executed for treason, and therefore, to avoid further embarrassment, the princess was sent to live in exile in Shuxiang Temple. At the time, there was a young and handsome monk who became the princess’s friend. Their relationship was very close that rumours started to spread about the two were having an affair. The emperor decided to burn the temple to end the affair and to prevent the rumours to spread any further.

All the buildings within the temple complex were burned down except for a small house where the young monk and the princess used to meet to discuss about dharma. The emperor realised that the young monk was the emanation of Manjushri and his sister was innocent. Therefore, in an attempt to purify his negative karma of trying to kill an enlightened being and the princess, the emperor made a large donation to rebuild the temple. Since then, the temple became known as The Temple of No Stain to commemorate the relationship between the princess and the monk.

 

Banruo (Prajna) Spring

Banruo Spring

Banruo Spring

Banruo Spring is located on the side of the road where Shuxiang Temple is located. According to the legend in the past, the monks in this area had to walk long distance to get water. There was a monk who vowed to follow the advice of a holy being to do a marathon chanting of the Diamond Sutra. Ten years later, one day prior to his completion, a tiger came, and the monk halted his recitation out of fear. Several years later, another monk made the same attempt. Ten years later, two days before his completion, a tiger appeared, but the monk was unmoved. On the next day, a spirit came and threatened the monk that he will be killed if he continued the recitation. The monk was scared and terminated his retreat. Many years later, during the Tang Dynasty era, another monk was determined to do the Diamond Sutra recitation to help the monks in the area. Two days before he completed the task, a tiger came, but the monk was unafraid. On the last evening, a spirit came to threaten him, but the monk was unmoved. Before the sunrise, an elderly man came and told him that he will get his wish, but he would lose his life. The benevolent monk decided to give up his life, and proceeded to complete his recitation. At dawn, he saw water flowing from the ground where he sat. The monk laughed happily. He passed away soon after. Due to the compassion of this monks, the people who lived in the area were relieved of the water shortage problems. The spring is named Banruo Spring. The water is said to be blessed by Manjushri and could increase one’s wisdom. Due to this reputation, the water became known as Wisdom Water or the Wutai Sacred Water.

Many practitioners used the water from this spring to make offering to the Buddha, and many members of royalties have also taken water from this spring.

 

Avalokiteshvara Cave

Avalokiteshvara Cave

Avalokiteshvara Cave

Avalokiteshvara Cave is said to be the place where the 6th Dalai Lama meditated for six years after Emperor Kangxi saved him. There is a hexagonal-shape temple pavilion near the cave with three murals painted on the pillars. The first mural depicts Avalokiteshvara was rescuing a person from beasts’ attacks. The second mural depicts Avalokiteshvara was rescuing a person that is about to be attacked by a man holding a knife. The third mural depicts Avalokiteshvara was rescuing a person that was about to be attacked by his enemy with a large stone. The temple also houses a statue of an 8-armed Avalokiteshvara with 11 faces. The cave is located behind one of the temples’ corner. The cave is only sufficiently adequate for one person to sit in, and it is said that Avalokiteshvara has manifested miracles in this place. Prior to the 6th Dalai Lama’s arrival, the monks had to carry water from other places. But when His Holiness was meditating in the cave, spring water appeared naturally at the left side of the cave as one is facing the cave. It is said that the water is slightly sweet and very blessed. The 13th Dalai Lama is known to have paid homage at the cave during his visit to Mount Wutai.

 

Zhenhai Temple

Zhenhai Temple is a place of worship of Gelugpa tradition. It contained some of the ancient Indian statues including the male form of Chenrezig. The temple also contains the Changkya Stupa that contains Changkya Rolpai Dorje’s relics and the two pine trees that were planted by this great lama.

The stupa that contains the relics of Changkya Rolpai Dorje and the pine tree that was planted by this great lama.

The stupa that contains the relics of Changkya Rolpai Dorje, and the pine tree that was planted by this great lama.

Before the temple was built, there was a pond at the site that used to flood the area that killed many people. At one time, when it started to flood again, many people in the area were praying to Manjushri for divine intervention. Suddenly, there was a fireball flying across the sky toward the area. On the next day, the people in the area saw a big cooking pot that blocked the water source. After the event, a temple was established in the area and was named Zhenhai, which means ‘subduing the ocean.’

In 1786 CE, Emperor Qianlong, who was a student of Changkya Rolpai Dorje built the Changkya Stupa. When he passed away, Changkya Rolpai Dorje had requested the emperor not to make any monument to commemorate him. However, after his teacher had passed away, Emperor Qianlong insisted on building a stupa for this great lama. The stupa contains Changkya Rolpai Dorje’s relics and 70 kg of solid gold that were secured at the bottom of the stupa so they would remain intact if the stupa is destroyed due to the change of time. It is said that the stupa had emanated rainbow light rays on several occasions since it was built.

 

Jinge Temple

Jinge Temple

Jinge Temple

Jinge Temple was built during the time of Tang Dynasty after a Buddhist master Daoyi came to Mount Wutai on pilgrimage in 736 CE with another monk. According to Susan Andrews in her dissertation, Representing Mount Wutai’s Past: A Study of Chinese and Japanese Miracle Tales about the Five Terrace Mountain, “… as he wandered Daoyi met an old monk (laoseng) who had a rustic manner and was accompanied by the youth Jueyi.” The encounter was described as follows:

…[t]he youth called to [Dao]yi and asked him to enter the monastery to the east to drink tea. Thereupon they entered the monastery and worshipped at the halls. [Daoyi] saw a great pavilion with a height of three stories and nine bays wide all together. It was gold coloured and it shone brightly in his eyes. The old monk sent [Dao]yi away to return in the morning because the mountain was cold and it was difficult to dwell there. When the monk-pilgrim took one hundred steps and turned to look, the only thing he saw was a mountain grove. Thereupon, he knew this was a conjured temple.

After that meeting, Venerable Daoyi drew a detailed plan to build the temple as per his recollection. He obtained the support of the Emperor Xuanzong (r. 712 – 756), however, the temple remained incomplete for years until the Tantric master Amoghavajra decided to submit a memorial to the imperial court where he mentioned about Venerable Daoyi and the conjured temple:

As for the temple (mentioned) above [the Jinge Temple], the sage of yore (Emperor Xuanzang inscribed an official plague for it [yet it remains] incomplete. [This temple] was based on a temple that was Manjushri’s holy trace (Wenshu Shengji si) that the Quzhou monk Daoyi saw when he arrived at Mount [Wu]tai in the twenty-fourth year of the Kaiyuan era (736). It was called the Jinge Cloister (Jinge yuan). It has thirteen halls to accommodate the sangha. It is said that they numbered ten thousand. The towers, buildings, and gates were made of fine gold. [Daoyi] immediately submitted a drawing [of the structure] to the inner palace. Everyone under heaven wanted to see the Jinge Temple completed. Who among the people doesn’t wish this? … Now at the numinous mountain (lingshan), Wutai, there are five temples with plaques. [These are the Qingliang, Huayan, Foguang, and Yuhua Temples.[Construction on these] four temples was completed previously. Only the Jinge Temple, [just] this one [structure], is not yet complete.

In 766 CE, Emperor Taizong approved the request and fund required to complete Jinge Temple. There is a 51-feet 1000-armed Chenrezig statue that was carved from an old pine tree in the central hall. The body of the statue was made from the trunk of the tree, and the arms were made from the branch. It is said that this is the largest Chenrezig statue in the region.

 

Jixiang Temple

Jixiang temple was built prior to the Tang Dynasty period and have been rebuilt a number of times since. The temple houses a Manjushri statue that is unique. The Buddha of Wisdom image has a beard with the robes of a monk and holds a lantern in his hand. The facial expression of this statue is very realistic. According to the legend, during one of his visits, Emperor Kangxi was lost and arrived near this temple. Then the emperor met with an old monk who was holding a red lantern and led him to the temple before he disappeared. After that, Emperor Kangxi found an unusual statue that looked like the old monk with the lantern. This Manjushri statue then became known as ‘the Manjushri with a lantern.’

Between the 1950s and 1960s, the great Buddhist master Venerable Nanhai, who was the disciple of Pabongka Rinpoche and Khangsar Rinpoche, lived and taught in this temple. Venerable Nanhai made a great contribution for spreading Buddhist teachings from Gelug lineage.

 

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Festivals and events on Mount Wutai

 

Mount Wutai International Tourist Month

When: can be any month between June and September
During this month, pilgrims can witness ordained monks and nuns teach practitioners about the essence of Buddhism and perform rituals in accordance with their various traditions.

 

Tiaobuza Festival

Monks performing the traditional demon pacifying dance during the Tiaobuza Festival

Monks performing the traditional demon pacifying dance during Tiaobuza Festival

Painting depicting monks carrying a Maitreya statue on Mount Wutai

Painting depicting monks carrying a Maitreya statue on Mount Wutai

When: June 6 – 15

Tiaobuza is a traditional festival celebrated in the Gelugpa Tradition. The largest celebration of the event occurs at Pusa Ding Temple, a major Gelug institution on Mount Wutai. During the festival, the monks wear masks and perform rituals dances to pacify demons to eliminate obstructions to spiritual practice. On the following day, monks play musical instruments and carry a Maitreya statue in a procession around the mountain.

 

Buddhist Cultural Festival

Dance performance during the Buddhist Cultural Festival

Dance performance during the Buddhist Cultural Festival.

Nuns performing during the Buddhist Cultural Festival

Nuns perform during Buddhist Cultural Festival.

When: 21 August – 21 September

During the festival month, visitors can enjoy various cultural activities and folk art shows, held on Mount Wutai.

 

Weather and Clothing

The best time to visit Mount Wutai is from May to September as Mount Wutai has an early Winter from October to April of the following year. The high altitude and cold climate of Mount Wutai make the winter temperature challenging for some people. During winter time, the average temperature ranges from 0°C-10°C during daylight hours. Regardless of when you visit Mount Wutai, it is advisable to bring warm clothing (e.g., coats, jackets, sweaters), an umbrella and sunscreen.

 

Travel Documents

Passports

Visitors who wish to tour Mount Wutai in China should make sure their passports are valid for at least 6 months. Foreigners should have their passports with them at all times because police officers carry out identification checks from time to time, especially if there are special events going on. Those who are going to Tibet are strongly advised to join a travel group. Individual applicants also need to show their existing Chinese visas.

Visas

China requires all nationals to have visas to enter China, with the exception of:

  • Selected nationals (i.e., from Australia, Britain, Canada, the United States and other European Union countries) can visit the Pearl River Delta for up to six days as part of an organised tour group from Hong Kong or Macau.
  • Nationals from Australia, Canada, Austria, Denmark, France, Finland, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the U.K. and the United States, can visit Hainan Province as part of an organised tour group and stay up to 15 days (or 21 days for German nationals only).

 

  • When applying for a visa, a detailed itinerary and information on the places, hotel bookings, dates of arrival and departure should be included.
  • Official invitation from a legal company or institution in China is required when applying for a business visa.
  • Within 24 hours upon arrival, visitors should report to the Chinese Public Security Bureau.

Please contact your local Chinese Embassy for further information if necessary.

 

How to Get There

The Map of Mount Wutai. Click to enlarge.

Entrance fee: RMB 218 (adult) RMB 134 (child)
Opening hours: 6.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.
Best time to visit: May to September

By plane

Visitors can take flights from Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guilin, Nanjing, Shenyang, Xi An and other main cities to Taiyuan. The airport in Taiyuan is called Taiyuan Wuxu International Airport. Various means of public transport (e.g., airport shuttle, public buses no. 201 and 901, coach, and helicopter) to and from the airport are available.

By train
Mount Wutai train station is located at Shahe Town, Fanzhi County. The trains can take you to Beijing, Taiyuan, Datong and other cities.

By bus
During the peak season, there are long-distance buses from Beijing Liu Liqiao Bus Station, Shijiazhuang Bus Station, and Datong Bus Station to Mount Wutai.

By car
If you take a car from Beijing, drive on the Jingshi Express. Then, take the exit at Baoding and drive pass Shunping, Tangxian, and Fuping. Eventually, you will reach Mount Wutai Road.

To travel from Taiyuan to Mount Wutai, take the Yuantai Express and exit at Jinzhou. Then, drive through Dingxiang, Wutai County, Rucun Village, Qingshui River, and the south entrance of Mount Wutai to get to Taihuai County.

 

Getting to the Peaks and Monasteries

The journey to the Five Peaks starts at the foot of Dailuo Peak, Taihuai village at 7:00 a.m. by minibus. The fee is approximately RMB 70 to go to one peak or you can take a five-peak package for the price of RMB 350. The trip to all five peaks will take about 8.5 hours. The minibus will make a 30-minute stop at each peak.

Get ready to spend the majority of the time on bumpy roads when riding on the minibus. Once you arrive at the North Peak, the air becomes much thinner, and it is colder and more windy.

If you decide to visit only one peak, you can consider the South Peak as it is well-known for its beautiful scenery and mild weather. Another good option is to go to the Central Peak or the West Peak to see the beautiful flowers. Other than the minibus, you can also make a deal with a taxi driver to drive you around.

Food for visitors may not be available on the peaks. Therefore, it might be a good idea to prepare your own snacks. Many of the toilets on the peaks are squat toilets.

Although visiting monasteries on Mount Wutai is generally free, some of the larger monasteries might charge a small entrance fee of about RMB 10.

 

Pusa Peak, Xiangtong Temple, and Taiyuan Temple

Pusa Peak is situated to the north of Xiantong Temple and Taiyuan Temple. These two famous temples are located to the west of Qingshui River. The best way to get there is to ask for directions from the green bus drivers. Most likely, they will point to the free brown minibuses that will take you right up to the peak. The two temples are within walking distance to some other famous temples such as Luohou Temple, Yuanzhao Temple, Guangzong Temple, Pusa Ding Temple, Pushou Nunnery, and Vajra Cave.

 

Dailuo Peak

You can take a cable car to go up and down the peak for RMB 30. If you prefer to have the experience of travelling like they used to in the ancient times, there are some horses that you can rent. The ticket office for the ride on the minibuses is located at the foot of Dailuo Peak.

 

Nanshan Temple

To go to the Nanshan Temple, take the green bus and exit at Nanshan Temple Bridge. From there, you will spend approximately 20 minutes walking to the temple.

 

Zhenhai Temple, Baiyun Temple, and Fomu Cave

The green bus can take you to the Zhenhai Temple if you head south from Taihuai Village. Zhenhai Temple is also the last stop for the green bus. If you wish to go to Mingyue Well, Baiyun Temple or Fomu Cave, you can take the smaller brown minibus from Zhenhai Temple or a chartered car.

From the Baiyun Temple, there are no free minibuses that go to Fomu Cave. You have the option of riding in a taxi which will take you to the steps of Fomu Cave or you can walk there which will take less than one hour. It will take about one hour to climb the steps to Fomu Cave. Visitors will have to wait in line to enter the cave, and the queue can last between two hours during weekdays and seven to eight hours during weekends.

The Pilgrims and visitors were waiting for their turn to see Fomu Cave.

The Pilgrims and visitors were waiting for their turn to see Fomu Cave.

 

Suggested Itinerary

Today, there are travel agents that offer tours to Mount Wutai. The itinerary may vary depending on the purpose of the visit and the length of stay. However, the followings are the suggested itinerary for a-four-day and three-night stay:

Day 1: Check into the hotel and pay homage to the temples within Tai-Huai region as they are within walking distance (i.e., The Great White Stupa, Manjushri’s Hair Stupa, Luohou Temple, Xiantong Temple, Yuanzhao Temple, Guangzong Temple, Pusa Ding Temple, Pushou Nunnery, and Vajra Cave). If you do not spend too much time at each site, you may be able to go to Dailuo Peak and pay homage to the five forms of Manjushri.

Day 2: Visit all five peaks, Jinge Temple, and Jixiang temple.

Day 3: If you did not have the chance to go to Dailuo Peak on the first day, you can start at dawn and visit the peak. Then you can go by chartered car to visit Banruo Spring, Shuxiang Temple, Avalokiteshvara Cave, Zhenhai Temple, Baiyun Temple, and Fomu Cave. The visit to Fomu Cave can be exhausting, therefore, it is suggested that you go to visit other places first before visiting this sacred cave.

Day 4: Prayers, leisure time, and departure.

If you want to spend more time at each place, it is advisable to extend your visit accordingly.

 

Accommodation

There are several accommodation options you can consider when visiting Mount Wutai. It is recommended that you do further research to find accommodation that is suitable for your needs.

 
1. Wutai Mountain Marriott Hotel
Address:
No.300 Daganhe Village 1st Alley
Jin’gangku Town, Wutai Mountain
Wutai County 035514, China

Phone: +86 350 331 8888
Website: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/tynwm-wutai-mountain-marriott-hotel/

 
2. Futai Hotel
Address:
Mingqing Street
Taihuai Town, Xinzhou
Shanxi 035500, China

Phone: +86 350 654 2906

 
3. Wutai Mountain Yunlong International Hotel
Address:
Next to the Wutai Mountain Bus Station, Wutai Mountain
Shanxi 035500, China

Phone: +86 350 654 3166
Website: http://www.wtsyljd.com

 

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Sources of information:

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  • Berger, Patricia Ann. Empire of Emptiness: Buddhist Art and Political Authority in Qing China. University of Hawaii Press, 2003, http://books.google.com
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  • http://wikitravel.org/en/Wutaishan_National_Park
  • http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/wu-tai-shan-2.html
  • http://www.chinadiscovery.com/wutaishan-tours/weather.html
  • http://www.worldtravelguide.net/china/passport-visa
  • https://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/shanxi/taiyuan/mt_wutai.htm
  • http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/m/shanxi/2012-03/12/content_14825388.htm
  • http://www.cits.net/china-travel-guide/Wutaishan/xiantong-temple.html
  • http://lamas-and-emperors.wikischolars.columbia.edu/Wutaishan+Pusading
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foguang_Temple
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanchan_Temple_(Wutai)
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_White_Pagoda
  • http://sukhasights.blogspot.co.id/2013/01/the-symbol-of-wutaishan-white-relic.html
  • http://wikitravel.org/en/Wutaishan_National_Park
  • http://www.chinadiscovery.com/wutaishan-tours/activities.html
  • http://www.art-and-archaeology.com/china/wutai/bs01.html

 
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20 Responses to Mount Wutai – The Earthly Abode of Lord Manjushri

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  1. Anne Ong on Dec 24, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    Another interesting history and background on Mount Wu Tai ,the abode of Lord Manjushri the Wisdom Buddha. I love the interesting and informative write up and pictures. Thank you very much Rinpoche and blog team for this great article. 🙏😘

  2. Uncle Eddie on Dec 11, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    Wu Tai San is believed to be the earthly abode of Manjushri, the Buddha of Wisdom. Its a lovely place of visit for pilgrimage and for the holy engagement of prayers. It has been noted as the most prestigious and listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site! Mount Wu Tai is regarded as one of the four sacred mountains in China, where enlightened beings are known to reside! It is also not being known as “Wu Tai San” for nothing, as it is said to be Lord Manjushri’s favourite chosen earthly abode and closely associated with his beneficial wisdom of energy as said by many high Lama masters. Mount Wutai is believed to have been the chosen dwelling place of Lord Manjushri to help those who sincerely wish to obtain higher spiritual attainments , and is therefore, considered to be one of the most sacred Buddhist Pilgrimage Sites for Buddhists around the World! It is also said that, “it can leave a spiritual imprint or open up an existing positive imprint in the minds of visitors or pilgrims, which can spur them on their spiritual path”.

  3. Valentina Suhendra on Oct 25, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    Dear All

    I would like to share with you the sacred prayer of Manjushri – A Concert Names of Manjushri (’Jam-dpal mtshan-brjod, Skt. Mañjuśrī-namasamgiti), which consists of 160 verses and mantra sentences. One version is translated by Alexander Berzin, a scholar, translator, and teacher of Tibetan Buddhism, and the other one is from FPMT.

    Valentina

  4. Valentina Suhendra on Oct 22, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Great message every Tibetan especially must read!

    99db7720-bb39-46d3-bd93-3e2ca0f6ed7c

    bb270277-6912-4e9e-ad1e-0da94bb74dba

    e60b9b05-2f2f-4133-940e-c7eb068a18f6

    e620014f-0cf8-44d2-945e-61f6141a58ee

    ef0d99f0-b31d-4337-aa46-066f75a4aa5c

  5. William Chua on Sep 11, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    Very informative and well written. It is definitely a great guide, to learn about the temples and history before going for this coming pilgrimage. The temples are built by Emperors who believe in Buddhism for their country to prosper. Also to note that Tibetan Buddhism plays an important role in Mount Wutai. Looking forward to pay homage to Manjushri at his holy abode.

  6. Lim Han Nee on Sep 2, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Mount Wutai, famous Five Peaked Mountain and the abode on earth of Manjushri! Pilgrims flock to this sacred site where the wisdom energy of Manjushri abounds . Visiting this sacred place will likely leave a spiritual imprint or open up an existing positive imprint in the minds of visitors or pilgrims, which can help spur them on their spiritual path. There is so much beauty, peace and calm here.

    Many blessed and fascinating temples, monasteries and caves as well as other holy sites and features are to be found in these 5 peaks. Each peak is the abode of a form of Manjushri, which is housed in a temple on that peak. Wanghai Peak, for instance, has Wanghai Temple in which is the statue of the Four-armed Manjushri or Manjughosha Tiksna for pilgrims to pay homage and make aspirations to.

    Tourists and pilgrims will also be fascinated by the stories related to great historical figures and great Lamas who are emanations of Manjushri.King Trisong Detsen was believed to have been advised by Manjushri , on his visit to Mount Wutai, to establish Buddhism as the official religion of Tibet. Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen, a great and renowned pandit and Master,and who was recognised as an emanation of Manjushri, visited Mount Wutai and is strongly connected to it, playing an important role in the establishment of Mount Wutai as a centre of Buddhist practice.Emperor Kangxi of China made at least five pilgrimages to Mount Wutai to show his extraordinary devotion to and close relationship with Manjushri.

    All these emanations remind us that Manjushri’s presence is very strong in the five peaks of Mount Wutai.All these emanations , like Dorje Shugden, are unmistaken emanations of Manjushri.

    Vajrayogini’s presence is also remarkably strong. It is a must to visit the Fomu Cave, which inner cave is believed to be the manifestation of Vajrayogini’s womb!

    Indeed, wonderful Mount Wutai in China beckons to every Buddhist pilgrim, who surely cannot afford to miss it!

  7. Samfoonheei on Aug 11, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    I am getting excited counting my days to go on pilgrimage with Kecharian groups of Dharma sisters and brothers. Hear and read about this beautiful and famous place yet visiting for the first time.I ts a dream coming through for me as i could not believe that i am going as Wutaishan is the abode of Manjushri on earth. It was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009.Thats fabulous been able to see for myself the beauty of it especially the Fomu Cave, Shuxiang temple, Manjushri Temple and so forth whereby we can do a short prayers there will be wonderful and its a once life time for me to pay homage.
    Read these article a few times to get famiiar with the information and very helpful for a first timer going there.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Valentina Suhendra for sharing these lovely post.

  8. MartinC on Feb 9, 2017 at 2:32 am

    Finally, logic prevails. People who can think beyond gross prejudice are beginning to see the goodness of Dorje Shugden. I came across this comment by Suzy on Rinpoche’s YouTube chanel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4&t=11s) and it is such a welcome change from the usual abuse hurled at Shugden people by those do not understand the issue.

    Suzy

  9. wan wai meng on Jan 21, 2017 at 3:06 am

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading the article and so see that the Chinese emperors saw their divine power was somehow linked to Manjushri. The closer the Emperors were closer to Manjushri then the more powerful they would be and the closeness gave an aura of legitimacy to their rule. Chinese people it could be said have so much affinity to Manjushri.

    There are also many tales in Wu tai Shan of people meeting Manjushri himself. Would love to delve more into that.

  10. paul yap on Jan 5, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    Im excited and fascinated reading all the stories where Manjushri emanated as an older person, pilgrims, monk etc giving advised to various people. As the abode of manjushri, Wu Tai Shan was a famous pilgrimage place, many politicians and Emperors has set foot on this mountain. Among them, Deng Xiaoping was one of the famous Chinese figure who went to Wu Tai Shan make prayers to Lord Manjushri. Wu Tai Shan is definitely one of my favourite pilgrimage site.

  11. Uncle Eddie on Dec 26, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Mount Wutai is located in Shanxi Province of Northeastern China. Mount Wutai, an earthly abode of Manjushri, was chosen by one of the most politically powered monks in Chinese History, Amoghavarja (705-774), as the site from which to pray for protection, and preservation of the nation. During Tang Dynasty, it became the sacred site, at which the Tang emperors received a spiritual mandate from Manjushri, as well as sacred messages from heaven, allowing the emperors to excercise their power on earth. Amoghavarja served three emperors, during the Tang Dynasty (i.e. emperor Xuang, emperor Suzong and Emperor Taizong). Tibetan rulers had shown great interst in Mount Wutai! It was officially announced that “Wutaisan” or the Five Peak Mountain has officially been listed as “Unesco World Heritage site in 2009”. Today, Mount Wutai seems a Pilgrimage Site not only for International visitors from different backgrounds, but also annually, for them to pray for the fulfilment to accumulate merits for themselves and their deceased loved-ones, and particularly for the purification of sins and recovery of any serious illnesses! May everyone has the good fortune to visit this Holy Mountain of Lord Manjushri one day! OM AH RA BA DZA NA DHIH.

  12. Jacinta Goh on Dec 16, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    Dear Rinpoche and Valentina,

    This is a very informative posts, ranging from its historic events, people, places and also suggestions for travelling packages. I am especially intrigued by the lamas or leaders who chose to reincarnate back again and again for the sake of fulfilling greater goals to benefits beings that expand few lifetimes ahead. I mean… wow! ?..
    Please allow me to repeat this again: Just look at the immense works that these lamas/leaders have to accomplish, not only in one lifetimes but in a few lifetimes for the sake of other beings.

    For most of us, we will try to gather any resources as much as possible in this lifetime; mostly for the benefits of oneself or our loved ones.

    That’s really food for thought.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Valentina for this great post.

  13. May Ong on Dec 12, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    This article was well researched and I love the historical links between Pabongkha Rinpoche (aka Changkya Hutuktu Rolpai Dorje) lineage linking to the Emperors of China then and perhaps even in future. I do wish for many aspiring Buddhists to make a pilgrimage there as Wutaishan is the abode of Manjushri on earth. Like to share the map of all temples located on the five flat peaks below.

    Wutaishan Map

    Wutaishan Map names location

  14. Samfoonheei on Dec 8, 2016 at 11:18 am

    Wonderful and interesting post.Its good to know more about Mount Wutai.The history, Tibetan influence and so forth really interesting to read….i do enjoyed reading and learned more.
    Mount Wutai is considered to be one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites for Buddhists around the world.Its now a tourist attraction and listed as UNESCO World Heritage site.
    Thank you Valentina for sharing this lovely post.

  15. Fong on Dec 7, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    Wonderfully informative and detailed sharing. The tracing of the relationship between China and Tibet where Manjushri is concerned was a real eye-opener for me.

    Tying up the various interaction of the many emanations of Manjushri and the Emperors and monks in China over the centuries gave a clearer picture. The Tibetan influence starting from the 1st century right through the time of King Trison Detsen and Emperor Kangxi with Changkya Hutuktu Rolpai Dorje is strong in Mount Wutai. The many historical background supporting the claim that Mount Wutai is the earthly abode of Manjushri is really fascinating.

    Even the information for travel to Wutaishan is great as it gives an idea of what is available and inspire us to make the pilgrimage there.

    Thank you, Rinpoche for making this blog available for our learning and thank you to Valentina too, for another great sharing.

  16. Choong on Dec 6, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    Thank you Valentina for this neatly packed and information rich writeup.

    It weaves the long relationship between the peoples and leaders of China have with Manjushri very well, and this stretches back to even before King Songtsen Gampo brought Buddhism to Tibet. It was during the time of the Northern Wei Dynasty (386 – 535 CE), that Mount Wutai was recognised as the earthly abode of Manjushri.

    As a student in the Gelug or Ganden tradition, I’m also alert of the fact that there was a strong and spiritual relationship between the Changkyas and the Qing Dynasty Emperors such as the case of Emperor Kangxi who rescued the young Changkya Rolpai Dorje from battles occuring in Tibet, to educate him in China alongside with his grandson who would become Emperor Qianlong.

    It is a well known fact that Pabongka Rinpoche is a Changkya incarnation and “The” Lama to Gelug Lamas of the last century. It is no wonder that after Mao and Deng, the cult of Manjushri is very much alive in the vast China.

    • Valentina Suhendra on Dec 11, 2016 at 10:12 pm

      Dear Choong

      Thank you for your kind comment. Yes I do agree with you that it is interesting that the Changkya, who was known as Pabongkha Rinpoche’s previous incarnation enjoyed a close relationship with the Qing royalty.

      But that is not the only thing that interested me, many of the Dorje Shugden incarnation like Kangxi Emperor, Sakya Pandita and Buton Rinchen Drub were involved in the history of Mount Wutai. I think this is one of the indication that They were the emanation of Manjushri himself.

      Valentina

  17. Bradley Kassian on Dec 6, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Thank you Valentina for writing about Mt WuTai. Such a holy place to visit. So many temples there, and the earthly abode of Manjushri. Any one that visits there is truly blessed.

  18. Pastor David Lai on Dec 5, 2016 at 1:31 am

    This is a very nice and complete background on Wu Tai Shan. Thank you Valentina for this wonderful article. I do believe reading from a source that said that Wu Tai Shan is the Bodhimanda of Manjushri or the place where he achieved enlightenment a long time ago and gathered his disciples here to teach. He has since emanated back as a high-level bodhisattva in order to be continue benefitting many beings.

    I had always loved Manjushri and I can see that there are many practitioners do too. Perhaps, it is with the hopes of gaining insight into the Buddha’s teachings that they seek refuge in Manjushri’s divine blessings. Manjushri in China as well as Tibet, plays an important role in worship in order to aid the study, comprehension and realization of the teachings. After all, it takes special combination of intellect and merit in order to practice the Buddha’s teachings successfully. I do hope to have the merits to trek up these mountains one day and perhaps be lucky enough to be visited by Manjushri and personally bless by him.

  19. Lum Kok Luen on Dec 4, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Dear Valentina,

    This well researched and beautiful writing on Wutai Shan is very inspiring. It can inspire one to make commitments to make a pilgrimage there to visit the place and make offerings with sincere motivation.

    Thank you so much Valentina and especially to H.E. 25th Tsem Rinpoche for making this blog so beautiful for all of us to obtain more information on our Dharma journey.

    Thank you.

    Humbly yours,
    Lum Kok Luen

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  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 20. 2018 12:36 PM
    Wonderful sharing knowing how the Russian leadership supports Buddhism. For the sake of a peaceful and harmonious environment the Russian leaderships accepted Buddhism in away. The Russian leadership even heighted importance of Buddhism history in Siberia. Because of Russian supports there are now millions of Buddhists in Russia and several Tibetan Buddhist university-monasteries. May more and more people benefit from the spreading of dharma in Russia.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/russian-leadership-supports-buddhism.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 20. 2018 12:35 PM
    Wonderful to see a devoted Megnath sharing Dorje Shugden practice to many people back to his village in Nepal. He is working hard distributing posters and literature of Bhagawan Dorje Shugden to his family, friends , students and Nepal’s community. He is doing what he can to share his experiences and sharing his knowledge with them. Even though he came from a different religious back ground he have the trust and faith in Bhagawan Dorje Shugden. It’s a clear example that Our Powerful Protector will help anyone regardless of race and religion once we rely in it sincerely.
    Thank you Rinpoche and admin writers for this sharing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Do come back regularly as we will be adding more texts.
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Monday, Jul 16. 2018 09:47 PM
    Tsem Rinpoche’s private quarters has such a beautiful shrine for you to view and be blessed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPAfpMoN2bA
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Monday, Jul 16. 2018 09:18 PM
    Sacred Guru Rinpoche thangka w/ Mother Green Tara on his left & World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden on his right- https://bit.ly/2uqdg7f

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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

Tsem Rinpoche

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  Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch

The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

Videos On The Go

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

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CHAT PICTURES

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