Baba and Nyonya

Feb 13, 2017 | Views: 559
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Background

The Baba Nyonya, also known as Peranakan or Straits-Chinese, are the descendants of Chinese immigrants who married and assimilated into local communities in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries. The number of Chinese migrants increased when the tin mines in Kesang, Johor, opened and started operating. With Malacca as its centre, the Baba Nyonya culture has grown and developed into a rich identity of its own. The Baba Nyonya community is different from the ethnic Chinese communities, but they still consider themselves as Chinese.

“Baba” is an honorific term used for Straits-Chinese men, while “Nyonya” is used for the women. Most of them have lived along the Straits of Malacca for generations, and were mostly English-educated. Due to their background, they could speak two or more languages, and often acted as middlemen for the Chinese and British, and for the Malay and Chinese.

 

An origin myth of the Baba Nyonya

One of the myths or stories about the origins of the Baba Nyonyas can be found at the Humanity blog. In short, the myth claims that Zheng He of China visited Malacca in the 15th century and gifted Sultan Mansur Shah, then Sultan of Malacca, with Princess Hang Li Po.

Her entourage made a home for themselves in Bukit Cina and laid down the roots for the development of the Baba Nyonya culture.

The Peranakan retained most of their ethnic and religious origins (ancestor worship), but assimilated the language and culture of the Malays. They developed a unique culture and distinct foods. A lot of sources claim that the early Peranakan inter-married with the local Malay population. However, the lack of physical resemblances have also led many experts to believe that the Peranakan Chinese ethnicity has hardly [been] diluted. The Peranakan often sent their sons and daughters to China to look for spouses. Also, the religion of the local Malay population was Islam, which forbids inter-marriage with other religions without conversion first. In the early 1800s, new Chinese immigrants to the Straits Settlements bolstered the Peranakan population.

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

By the middle of the Twentieth century, most Peranakan were English educated, as a result of the British colonisation of Malaya, and the natural propensity of these people who were able to easily embrace new cultures. Because the Peranakans readily embraced English culture and education, administrative and civil service posts were often filled by prominent Straits Chinese. The interaction with the British also caused many in the community to convert to Christianity. The Peranakan community thereby became very influential in Malacca and Singapore and were known also as the King’s Chinese due to their perceived loyalty to the British Crown. Because of the interaction of the different cultures and languages that Peranakans had, up to the mid-1900s, most Peranakans were trilingual, able to converse with Chinese, Malays and the British. Common vocations were as merchants, traders, and general intermediaries between China, Malaya and the West; the latter was especially valued by the British, since the Babas also enjoyed good relations with the Malay community and served as advisors to the royal Malay courts. In fact the term “Baba” is an honorific term in Malay; probably derived from Hindi/Sanskrit [Baba: literally means grandfather or father, and is used as a term of reverence and affection for an elderly gentleman.]

http://geographyhumanity.blogspot.my/2010/04/story-of-baba-baba-nyonya.html

 

Culture

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Baba Nyonya is the result of a marriage between a female Malay and a male Chinese. It was common for Chinese traders in the early days to marry Malay women from Peninsular Malaysia or take them as concubines. As a result, the Baba Nyonya boast a unique mix of Malay cultural characteristics. Peranakans of those days are married through arranged marriages with other Peranakan. Marriage in the olden days was not as easy and simple as it is now; marriage of same stature and within the same society were the standard during that time.

The Baba Nyonya community has various unique customs and traditions, especially when it comes to weddings. Marriage proposals are put into a 2-tiered lacquered basket, known as Bakul Siah, and placed into the hands of the bride’s parents by the middle-person who speaks on behalf of the proposer. Sometimes, instead of Bakul Siah, wealthy Peranakans would use beautifully embroidered gilded pagoda trays (Botekan Candi in Indonesian).

Bakul Siah and Gilded Pagoda Trays (or Botekan Candi in Indonesian)

Bakul Siah and Gilded Pagoda Trays (or Botekan Candi in Indonesian)

Wedding invitations were done in red because the colour red represents happiness and harmony. The invitation cards are typically sent by a dispatcher known as “Pak Chindek”, who usually takes about six days to deliver all of them.

Their wedding ceremony is predominantly based on Chinese traditions and is one of the most fascinating and colourful wedding ceremonies in Malaysia. The highlight of the wedding would be the 12-day ceremony and banquet, called “makan tok panjang” which literally means long table feast.

Dondang Sayang

Dondang Sayang

In the Chinese culture, it’s very important to hold the wedding ceremony on auspicious days and at particular times. The same holds true for the Baba Nyonyas. The auspicious days will be chosen according to the eight Chinese characters, which the Hokkiens call “pek ji”, based on one’s birth date and time. During this time, taboos are carefully and strictly observed. The marriages were mostly match-made, and the decision is made by the parents and/or elders, though the bride and groom are consulted during the process. The wedding rituals are witnessed by their ancestors, elders, and deities. Wedding items usually feature the prosperous colours of red, pink, orange, gold, and yellow, and are embroidered with unique motifs to establish a good marriage. Like the Chinese, they believe that it’s auspicious to have things that come in pairs, which is why there is usually two of each wedding item.

 

Food

Some popular Nyonya dishes

Some popular Nyonya dishes

The Baba Nyonya culture is the result of the acculturation development, which occurs when a culture accepts and assimilates foreign customs and elements. The similarities between the Baba Nyonya and Malay cultures can be seen in food and clothing. Many Nyonya dishes are similar to Malay cooking, like, “bubur cha cha”, “nasi kerabu”, “sambal”, and “embuk-embuk”.

Influenced by the Malay culture, the Nyonya cuisine uses the same common Malay spices. An example of a Nyonya dish is Chicken Kapitan, which is a dry chicken curry. Nyonya Laksa is a highly popular dish in Malaysia, and can be found in Malacca as well as Singapore. Pongteh is also another unique dish of the Baba Nyonya community. The primary ingredients of this savoury dish are shallots, fermented bean sauce, chicken, and black mushroom.

As for dessert, there are some very famous traditional Nyonya cakes (kueh) like Kueh Kochi, Lepat Kacang, Apom Balik, Kueh Bongkong, Pulot Inti, Ondeh-Ondeh, Kueh Genggang, and more. These traditional cakes are also made during festivals and celebrations.

 

Nyonya restaurants in Malacca:

1. Nancy’s Kitchen

Nancy’s Kitchen

Nancy’s Kitchen

Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday 11:00 – 17:30

Address: Jalan Hang Lekir off Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Malacca

Phone: +606 283 6099

 
2. Kocik Kitchen

Kocik Kitchen

Kocik Kitchen

Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday 11:00 – 15:00

Address: 100, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Malacca

Tel: +6016 929 6605

 
3. Seri Nyonya Peranakan Restaurant

Seri Nyonya Peranakan Restaurant

Seri Nyonya Peranakan Restaurant

Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday 12:00 – 14:30, 18:30 – 22:30

Address: Hotel Equatorial Malacca, Banda Hilir, Malacca

Tel: +606 282 8333

 
4. Restoran Peranakan

Restoran Peranakan

Restoran Peranakan

Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday 12:00 – 14:30, 18:30 – 22:00

Address: 107, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Malacca

Tel: +606 284 5001

 
5. Amy Heritage Nyonya Cuisine

Amy Heritage Nyonya Cuisine

Amy Heritage Nyonya Cuisine

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 11:30 – 14:30, 18:00 – 22:00

Address: 75, Jalan Melaka Raya, Taman Melaka Raya, Malacca

Tel: +606 286 8819

 

Language

The Baba Nyonyas speak Baba Malay, which is a creole language that contains words from the Malay and Hokkien languages. Due to their ability to quickly adapt to local cultures, most of the Baba Nyonyas can speak two or more languages and dialects, like Baba Malay, English, and Chinese.

Today, the Baba Malay creole is a dying language that is mostly used by the older generation. Many of the younger generation do not know how to speak it anymore and often use English or Chinese as their primary language.

 

Clothing

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The traditional clothing of a Nyonya are the Baju Panjang (Long Dress) and Baju Kebaya. The Baju Panjang is usually worn by the older Nyonyas while the younger Nyonyas prefer the shorter and more colourful Kebaya. It’s worn with a Sarong (Batik wrap-around skirt) and 3 kerosang (brooches). Their beaded slippers, called the Kasot Manek-Manek, are skillfully and patiently made by hand and can feature tiny multi-faceted glass-cut beads (Manek Potong) from Bohemia.

The traditional Kasot Manek-Manek mostly floral and oriental themed, influenced by the batik sarong and Peranakan porcelain. Mostly, they were made into flats or bedroom slippers, but, since the 1930s, heels were gradually added to the footwear.

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Baju panjang

Sharing similarities with the Malay Kebaya, the Kebaya Nyonya is traditionally made of “kasa rubia” fabric (a sheer cotton-like fabric) or printed cotton. Kebayas made from “kasa rubia” are embroidered with intricate flora and fauna designs with “kerawang” borders (floral scalloped borders). Traditional Kebayas also comes “tebok lobang” a line a tiny holes running on each side of the kebaya, from the shoulders to the hem to accentuate the wearer’s feminine form. As the Kebaya is sheer and almost transparent, a camisole or “baju dalam” is worn underneath for decency. Bejewelled “kerosang” are used to fasten the front opening of the Kebaya.

The Baju Panjang is similar to the Malay’s Baju Kurung but has an opening in front similar to the Kebaya. A set of “kerosang” is used as fastening. As the Baju Panjang is typically worn by the older Nyonyas, the colours and patterns of the fabric used are muted. The length of the Baju Panjang’s outer coat reaches the knees, unlike the Kebaya that stops at mid-hips. The inner wear is a white long sleeved blouse with a high collar.

 
Sarong

A sarong is a long length of cotton fabric that’s often wrapped around the waist. It’s mainly worn by men and women in South East Asian countries like Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei. The fabric woven with checkered patterns or plaid are favoured by the men, while the ladies prefer floral designs. Nyonyas prefer their sarongs adorned with delicate floral designs such as the peonies, roses, morning glories and chrysanthemums. It is not unusual to see sarongs with phoenix and peacocks designs.

 
Kerosang

A kerosang is often made out of metal, such as silver and gold, and decorated with gemstones. It can be used as an ornament, but, most of the time, it’s used to secure the position of clothing, such as the baju panjang.

 

Religion

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The Baba Nyonyas have adapted to Chinese belief systems, such as Chinese Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism, as well as Christianity. Just like the Chinese, they, too, observe the Lunar New Year, the Lantern Festival, and many other Chinese celebrations. Their culture is also strongly influenced by the British, Dutch, Portuguese, Malay, and Indonesian.

Just like any other culture, Baba Nyonyas strongly believe in the observation of pantang larang (taboos), especially within the older generations. There are some pantang larang that were deemed too stiff and complicated. Today, in keeping up with the modern times, most of the Baba Nyonyas no longer practise these pantang larang.

The Baba Nyonyas also believe in shamans (a practitioner of magic). For example, when a baby cries non-stop, they will seek help from shamans as they believe that an evil spirit is at work. Another taboo involves forbidding pregnant women from leaving their house at dusk as they believe that this is when demons and evil spirits are active. It is also said that the blood of a pregnant woman attracts Pontianaks (women who died during childbirth and turned into spirits). When a pregnant woman has to travel, they will always bring items that are made of metal, like a knife, as they believe that metal scares the evil spirits away.

 

Museum

Cultural and historical items from the Baba Nyonya culture are displayed at the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum, the Straits Chinese Jewellery Museum, and other historical establishments found in the neighbourhood of Jonker Street and Heeren Street in Malacca. Other notable Peranakan places of interest are: the Pinang Peranakan Mansion in Penang, Malaysia; and the Peranakan Museum, Baba House, and the Intan Museum in Singapore. Exhibits include food, furniture, and even traditional clothes.

Free weekly shows featuring Baba Nyonya and traditional Chinese cultural performances can also be found at Jonker Street in Malacca. Other Peranakan traditional collections, such as batik and bead-works, can also be found in museums outside of South East Asia. The Honolulu Museum of Art and Australian Museum are known to exhibit such collections.

 
1. Pinang Peranakan Mansion

Pinang Peranakan Mansion

Pinang Peranakan Mansion

Address: 29, Church St, Georgetown, 10200 George Town, Penang, Malaysia

Phone: +60 4-264 2929

Monday to Sunday including Public Holidays from 9:30 am to 5 pm

Adults: RM20.00; Children(below 6): Free

Email: [email protected]

 
2. Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum

Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum

Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum

Address: 48-50, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia

Phone: +60 6-283 1273

Daily Tour Times: 10am – 1:00pm (last morning tour 12noon); 2pm – 5:00pm (last evening tour 4pm)

Extended Hour on Weekends: Fri, Sat, Sun (last evening tour 5:00pm)

Adults: RM 8; Children (aged 5 to 12): RM 4

Email: [email protected]

 
3. Straits Chinese Jewellery Museum

Straits Chinese Jewellery Museum

Straits Chinese Jewellery Museum

Address: Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Taman Kota Laksamana, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia

Phone: +60 4-2642929

Opening Days: 7 days a week, 9.30am-5.30pm

Adults: RM20/person; Children: RM10 (below 6 year-old: Free)

 

Filmography

Films that featured the Baba Nyonya culture

Films that featured the Baba Nyonya culture

In the 1950s, the Baba Nyonya culture was featured in several Hong Kong films, such as: Niangre/ Nyonya (娘惹,1952), Fengyu Niuche Shui/ Rainstorm in China town (风雨牛车水,1956), Niangre yu Baba/ Nyonya and Baba (娘惹与峇峇,1956), and Niangre Zhi lian/ Love with a Malaysian Girl (娘惹之恋,1969).

In Malaysia, the popularity of the comedy drama show entitled “Baba Nyonya” turned it into the longest-running TV series in the country. The TV show ran from the late 1990s till 2000, with 509 episodes in total, and earned a place in the Malaysian Book of Records.

"Baba Nyonya" TV series

“Baba Nyonya” TV series

 

Architecture

The Baba Nyonyas have a very unique style of architecture that brings together Western and Eastern components, like elaborated plaster works and ceramic artwork. They are particularly renowned for their unique colonial bungalows. In most of the houses, you’ll notice a distinctive infusion of artworks from both the Malay and Chinese cultures, which is definitely the only one of its kind.

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

The architectural styles of Baba-Nyonya properties in Malaysia are usually associated with the Straits Eclectic Style. The Straits Eclectic Shophouses started appearing in the mid to late 20th century (1940 – 1990). In the early 20th century, shophouses in the Straits Settlements began to incorporate full-length French windows with a pair of full-length timber shutters, an arched or rectangular transom over the window opening, pilasters of classical orders, and plaster renderings. Reinforced concrete was later used to allow wider roof overhangs and more elaborate cantilevered brackets which sprung from above the pilasters.

 

Shophouses

A shophouse, or row house, has two or more storeys. The first floor is usually used for commercial purposes, such as warehouses or sundry shops, and the second floor served as living quarters. The shophouse is not a standalone building. Like terrace houses, it is one of the several separate units that share dividing walls. One building can be made up of any number of shophouses.

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The shophouse is easily found in the urban areas of Malaysia. Some people may prefer to live in these houses with no intent of opening a business. The building itself will have a huge entrance with a timber bar locked into the door head, and louvred panel windows. A 5-foot way (kaki lima), or a walkway with veranda, is one of the unique features of this particular house. This covered 5-foot walkway commonly features an arched opening that joins one house with the rest of the street front. This standout feature has become an instantly recognisable characteristic of a Baba Nyonya house.

 
Sources:

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peranakan
  • http://redfame.com/journal/index.php/ijsss/article/viewFile/651/592
  • https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/峇峇娘惹
  • http://geographyhumanity.blogspot.my/2010/04/story-of-baba-baba-nyonya.html

 
For more interesting information:

 

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11 Responses to Baba and Nyonya

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  1. Stella Cheang on Mar 16, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    The Baba Nyonya culture, food, and architecture have been renowned for being rich and colorful. It is unique because it blends specialties of the Chinese and Malay culture into one and cannot be found anywhere else except mainly in Malacca and perhaps Singapore. It is a clear sign how the racial and cultural difference was not an issue among the multiracial residence of the Malaya. Acceptance and integration were widely practiced, and as a result, we have a distinctively beautiful culture to add to our heritage. Thank you for this article.

  2. wan wai meng on Mar 2, 2017 at 1:50 am

    The Peranakan Culture has certainly contributed to the richness of the Malaysian culture and is a unique legacy within Malaysian Society. It is an indication of the pragmatic nature of the Chinese people, that once they knew that most of them won’t be returning to China, they adapted other cultures and created a new one.

    Also I must say that Malay people, are equally kind to accept Chinese who came from China, and intermarried with the Chinese, there was some form of integration of the Chinese from mainland China with the local Malays at that time. I am glad that both the Malay people and the Chinese people of a bygone era contributed to a new subculture.

    I was also surprised that movies had been on the Peranakan people, it was before my time. I also recall there was a theatrical play called ‘Emily of Emerald Hill’ and it is a monologue, over the past 15 years or so, it has garnered tremendous appreciation and critical acclaimed for all the time it has been playing in theatres. Played by 7 women and even a man, the play revolves a charming Peranakan woman, Emily Gan, who evolves from frightened young bride to a strong-willed matriarch.

  3. Echeah on Feb 19, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    That is such a beautiful culture, so very Malaysian. It is strange but nice to hear two Chinese people conversing with each other in Bahasa Malaysia, but that is quite normal Baba style.

    Their traditional clothing, architecture and furnishing are really colourful and ornate and their cuisine is to die for! Definitely one of my favourite foods. This is Malaysia’s best kept secret, fortunately or unfortunately. I wish Malaysia’s Baba culture and cuisine could be marketed worldwide and become well-known.

  4. Pastor Lim Han Nee on Feb 19, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    The Baba Nyonya, also known as Peranakan or Straits-Chinese, are the descendants of Chinese immigrants who married and assimilated into local communities in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries. This unique group of Malaysians have seamlessly assimilated the cultures of the Chinese and the local Malays particularly into their elaborately embroidered attire and very meticulously and elaborately prepared and delicious cuisine. To me this is the most wondrous feature of the Nonya and Baba culture here.

    The Baba Nonya community has also developed various unique customs and traditions pertaining to weddings. Take for exmple the Marriage Proprosal .Marriage proposals are put into a 2-tiered lacquered basket, known as Bakul Siah, and placed into the hands of the bride’s parents by the middle-person who speaks on behalf of the proposer. Sometimes, instead of Bakul Siah, wealthy Peranakans would use beautifully embroidered gilded pagoda trays. Beautiful! Indeed, just on the occasion of a wedding alone there is an array of very elaborate and interesting cultural practices so unique to this group of people!

    The Nonya Baba people have also evolved a special dialect for communication, which has incorporated words from the Chinese Hokkien dialect and the Malay Language. It will be sad if this unique culture were lost to posterity .

  5. Fong on Feb 18, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful culture with the world. The culture and traditions were slowly dying off but in recent times have seen a revival. It is good to see all these beautiful pictures of a grand culture. There have been very many books written of the Peranakans tracing their history from centuries ago from the Peranakans of Singapore to Malacca and Penang. All these are related to the Peranakans of Indonesia and Thailand specifically Phuket.

    Thank you again for this article bringing interest to the traditions and cultures of the Peranakan.

  6. Lucy Yap on Feb 16, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    There are still many people in Malaysia did not truly understand about the Baba Nyonya culture.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this beautiful information on the rich,colourful, unique and special heritage.
    May this beautiful culture be preserved and practiced by the younger generation and remain with us for a long time.

    Thank you Rinpoche.

  7. Pastor Shin on Feb 16, 2017 at 4:32 am

    Growing up in the melting pot of Malaysia, most of us would have experienced and shared another ethnic group’s culture to a certain extent. For many, we would be familiar with the variety of nyonya kuih, and perhaps had great moments watching Bibik Kim Neo on national TV in the 1990s. For those growing up in Penang, the distinctive taste of taste of Jeu Hoo Char (a finely shredded mixture of stir-fried carrots, onions, mushrooms, pork and cuttlefish), Nasi Kunyit, and Asam Laksa can’t be found anywhere else in the world.

    Thank you for this article featuring the unique culture of the Baba Nyonyas who adopted Malay customs and social practices while retaining Chinese traditions and religious beliefs, and also listing where we can experience what I think is one of the most significant legacy, Nyonya cuisine, as well as the museums. The older generation of Baba-Nyonya community had a very rich and unique culture, as well as refined and colourful characteristics. I highly recommend visits to the museums to see for yourself the architecure, clothing, things they own and use in their home to experience and get to know this unique culture.

  8. Joy Kam on Feb 16, 2017 at 1:18 am

    My mum was a Peranakan or best known as the Baba Nyonya ethnic mentioned here. Their customs is a fusion of the Malay and the Chinese customs which created many unique styles and fashion, they even spoke in Malay mixed with Hokkien and English, so it was in their own unique style. Only another peranakan would understand them. They spoke so fast like a bullet train, it was extremely hard to catch on and they were many slangs which we did not understand. All me and my sister knew was when my mother was really is pissy mood, she would start talking in Malay, and that’s when you know, you don’t want to mess with her.

    I guess the most unforgettable creations are their beautiful hand embroidery clothes and beaded shoes and of course let’s not forgetsome very unique and delicious food! Their cuisine is a dying art and I wish I had take the interest to learn from my mum and aunts when they were around. I was way too young then to cook and did not appreciate spicy food. All I know is to make any authentic Nyonya food, it take a whole day, sometimes some preparations starts as early as a day before because EVERYTHING literally must be made from scratch, that’s their secret and that is why they taste so extra special and delicious. No other Malaysian food can beat the Peranakan cuisine ursting with taste cooked in very refined style. Everything must be so precise, chopped up in specific ways, they would say ‘halus’ or finely cut/chopped.

    This is indeed a very interesting culture which I myself find quite amazing. This ethnic group is slowly disappearing as many of them marries other ethnics, so I’m not surprise one day this ethnic group will be gone, and along with it, their unique customs and style, unless it is well preserved now. Thank you for sharing it here, at least now some information about the Peranakan will be saved/preserved through this blog. Rinpoche’s blog is becoming more and more diverse and serves as an information hub! Thank you Rinpoche.

  9. Lin Mun on Feb 15, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this information about Baba and Nyonya. It is very interesting to learn about this cultural. I was born in Malacca and therefore have friends who are baba and nyonya. They speak fluent Malays but in other slang.

    I love they food especially the various nyonya kuihs. We in Malaysia are so fortunate to be able to experience and know so many people of different races and cultures.

  10. Anne Ong on Feb 15, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for this beautiful write up on Baba and Nyoya culture. I find it very interesting because of the mixed marriage culture in the early days. And the delicious nyoya food and delicacies which my family also loves to cook. My beloved Grandma and Mum cooks wonderful nyonya food. And my uncle used to make and sell Nyoya kuih. Me and my sis Vivian used to help with his kuih business. Really miss his best nyoya kuih like ang ku,rempah udang,kuih kochi and so on. Mum loves to make Acar Awak and also made for Chinese New Year.

  11. Samfoonheei on Feb 15, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing such a beautiful and informative article.It will help many to understand better of the history of Baba-Nyonya .The Baba Nyonyas have a very unique style of architecture that brings together Western and Eastern components,The community it self is also unique and rich in customs and traditions,There is so much to see and know of the varies location of places of interests.example.. Heritage Museum Straits Chinese Jewellery Museum both in Malacca and Pinang Peranakan Mansion in Penang.
    The traditional clothing of the Baba Nyonya includes the Baju Kurung is just as beautiful as our Chinese traditional Cheongsum which i love wearing it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


    Very interesting read: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/2157904-supernormal-abilities-developed-through-meditation-dr-dean-radin-discusses/?sidebar=morein
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 01:45 PM
    Its indeed a beautiful place …..away from the city hectic life to visit and could stay over night too.Just to get away from work to relax ,get some fresh air ,do meditation and so forth .At Kechara Forest RetreatI,Bentong is where the largest Dorje Shugden statue in the world situated and we can receive blessing,make offering to the Buddhas as well as enjoy the tranquility of the beautiful gardens.I have recomended my friends and relatives to visit such a beautiful place at Bentong.
    Thank you Paul Yap for sharing.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/go-bentong.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 01:15 PM
    Well…all pendants are beautifully designed,hand crafted to match each and every sacred images on it to suit all occasion for the wearer.I can see a lot of hard work for those involed in desgning and making of it.
    All pendants are very unique, modern, timeless and also sacred ,thats all i could describe it.Hope more people will be wearing these beautiful pendants to get connected with the Buddhas.Thank you Rinpoche for sharing and Kechara’s Louise Lee for creating Dharma art in in the form of jewelry
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/timeless-and-sacred.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 12:41 PM
    This Mahasiddha is Kukkuripa (the dog lover). He loved dogs so much. When he meditated in the cave he had his doggie with him. She had kept him company for years in his cave. They shared bedding, food, water and company. When he gained high attainments, the Dakinis came to take him to Kechara Paradise. He was hesitant to go but the Dakinis insisted and he went with them.

    He arrived at Kechara (Paradise/Buddha abode of Heruka and Vajra Yogini) and enjoyed teachings and feasts up there and they asked him to stay longer if not forever…. But he kept thinking about his doggie left alone in the cave. He felt guilty and missed her. Kukkuripa would use his psychic powers to see his poor doggie alone and hungry waiting for him at the cave while enjoying the attention of the Dakinis and feasts. The cave was dark and had no food. The doggie had to go out and find small tiny scraps of food and was getting skinny. Kukkuripa saw this and it pained him. Worried she was not getting enough food. He use to share the offerings of food he would get from people with her. Doggie and him would delightfully eat the food together. Kukkuripa had no attachments to ‘clean’ or ‘dirty’ in regards to sharing food with his dog. He had overcome this in his meditations. In ancient India, people would not co-habitate with a dog. It was considered unclean and filthy, but Kukkuripa had cast away those notions and loved his dog as she loved him. But he felt guilty to leave her alone while he was ‘enjoying’ himself in Kechara and could not stop thinking about his beloved dirty smelly dog in his cave alone…so he left Kechara Paradise and all it’s ‘delights’ for his doggie. He couldn’t abandon her. The Dakinis implored him to stay, but he was firm to return. The Dakinis said you will give up this paradise here for a mere dog???!! You can advance further in your meditations if you stay in Kechara and then help the dog later they attempted to persuade him. But Kukkuripa would not stay, he was loyal to his little dog as she had kept him company for many years in the lonely dark cave. She was loyal to him and how can he abandon her now. He couldn’t and he wouldn’t listen to the Dakinis. He left to join doggie. He never forget her companionship and loyalty. All the wonderful things in Kechara could not tempt him against his loyal friend the little doggie. He left everything for her.

    So he finally left Kechara to the Dakinis dismay and went back to his cave to be with his dog so she won’t be alone. Doggie was delighted to see her master and wagged her tail so much!! She licked him and he hugged her! She was skinnier for not eating well these few days he noticed. He fed her and hugged her and loved his doggie…He went back to his routine of meditation, receiving food offerings and sharing his food with doggie. They were happy together. One day, when he was scratching her in her favorite place and she licked him so his eyes were closed, when he opened his eyes she had suddenly turned into a Dakini shimmering with lights! The brilliance of the lights lit up the whole cave in front of Kukkuripa!! Kukkuripa was astonished to behold the splendourous lady in front of him! Of course this Dakini must be the Queen Herself he realized, as Vajra Yogini which was Kukkuripa’s main Yidam he had meditated on her for years in the cave. And She said to Kukkuripa, “Well done, you gave up paradise to be with just a dog..it shows you have given up attachements and projections of pleasant and unpleasant, now your Dakini will give you the final paradise (enlightenment)!”

    Kukkuripa attained full enlightenment blessed by Vajra Yogini by releasing the final subtle attachment to the non-existent self! After enlightenment his fame and name grew and many came to see him and he gave teachings to countless and benefitted many before he finally ascended to Kechara the second and final time. He was forever known as Kukkuripa the dog lover.

    I love him so much!!! This is one of my favorite Mahasiddhas along with Badrapa, Shantideva, Ghantapa and a few others. I wanted to share this story with you. I wanted you to know that there are many great true stories like this one about Kukkuripa that are true and can be applied to our lives. To inspire us.

    Tsem Rinpoche
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 12:29 PM
    The great and illustrious master Sonam Tsemo at the end of his life was described by an old woman who witnessed Sonam Tsemo depart. Standing on a rock at the holy spring near Sakya area known as Chumik Dzingka, his body ascended gracefully into the sky, still holding his dog. He loved his dog very much. Even today the footprints of Loppon Sonam Tsemo and the dog can be clearly seen in the rock, left for the benefit of living beings as a field from which to accumulate merit. It is a sign of a holy being when they can leave their footprints in stone for future generations to witness and make offerings on that spot to collect merits. This holy site was decorated by the great master Mantradhara Ngawang Kunga Rinchen later on. Other accounts say that he ascended from Gorum Library near Chumik Dzingka spring. A stupa containing his holy relics was erected there. Sonam Tsemo was a powerful practitioner of the Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini and at the end of his short life he ascended with his very body to Kechara paradise. He was 40 years old. Kechara is the sanksrit name of the special abode of Vajra Yogini. Those who practice Vajra Yogini to the highest level can ascend her paradise with their very bodies. Sonam Tsemo the great master of sutra and tantra was seen by an old woman flying off holding his beloved dog to ascend Kechara paradise. No one every found his body and his room was empty.
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 12:27 PM
    Congratulations to Mitra for his first dharma teaching in Nepali to the expats. So glad that Dorje Shugden practise can reach out to many in various languages and to different people. Mitra has done a good job in introducing Lama Tsongkhapa lineage and guided them on the benefit and iconography of Dorje Shugden.

    May Lama Tsongkhapa lineage and Dorje Shugden practise continue to grow and benefit more people.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/mitra-teaches-bhagwan-dorje-shugden-in-nepali.html

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CREDITS

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

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

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

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

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


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

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

Pastor Yek Yee assisted by Puja Team blessed and conducted a puja during an outcall house blessing. Lucy Yap
yesterday
Pastor Yek Yee assisted by Puja Team blessed and conducted a puja during an outcall house blessing. Lucy Yap
Butterlamp offering to Lama Tsongkhapa in Kechara Forest Retreat
2 days ago
Butterlamp offering to Lama Tsongkhapa in Kechara Forest Retreat
Kechara Sunday Dharma School teachers and volunteers outing session. Stella,
3 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School teachers and volunteers outing session. Stella,
Dorje Shugden the powerful World Peace Protector taking full trance in an oracle.
3 days ago
Dorje Shugden the powerful World Peace Protector taking full trance in an oracle.
Visitors have the opportunity to pay respect to this holy statue, in Kechara Forest Retreat, Wisdom Hall!
3 days ago
Visitors have the opportunity to pay respect to this holy statue, in Kechara Forest Retreat, Wisdom Hall!
Group photo of Kechara Sunday Dharma School teachers and trainer after the Teachers Training program in 2016. Stella, KSDS
4 days ago
Group photo of Kechara Sunday Dharma School teachers and trainer after the Teachers Training program in 2016. Stella, KSDS
Kechara Sunday Dharma School teachers attended the weekly Blogchat Dharma sharing session every Monday. Stella, KSDS
4 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School teachers attended the weekly Blogchat Dharma sharing session every Monday. Stella, KSDS
Kechara Sunday Dharma School students and parents made a day trip to Kechara forest Retreat during school holidays. What a good way to spend a weekend. Stella, KSDS
4 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School students and parents made a day trip to Kechara forest Retreat during school holidays. What a good way to spend a weekend. Stella, KSDS
Kechara Sunday Dharma School students, Kayene and her brother Karlson made a day trip to visit Kechara Forest Retreat with their parents. Stella, KSDS
4 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School students, Kayene and her brother Karlson made a day trip to visit Kechara Forest Retreat with their parents. Stella, KSDS
Lovely visitors in Kechara Forest Retreat, Wisdom Hall
4 days ago
Lovely visitors in Kechara Forest Retreat, Wisdom Hall
Prostration is a practice to show reverence to the Three Jewels. Let the children have this practice at their young age, Alice Tay, KSDS
4 days ago
Prostration is a practice to show reverence to the Three Jewels. Let the children have this practice at their young age, Alice Tay, KSDS
Teacher Stella together with WOAH Camp young participants to check the broken egg. Alice Tay, KSDS
4 days ago
Teacher Stella together with WOAH Camp young participants to check the broken egg. Alice Tay, KSDS
Great to see Dian and Wen Xin tried to do breath meditation slowly. Alice Tay, KSDS
4 days ago
Great to see Dian and Wen Xin tried to do breath meditation slowly. Alice Tay, KSDS
Happy faces of Teacher Irene together with KSDS's youngest age group. Alice Tay, KSDS
4 days ago
Happy faces of Teacher Irene together with KSDS's youngest age group. Alice Tay, KSDS
Most of the KSDS students like drawing and discuss about their drawing. Alice Tay, KSDS
4 days ago
Most of the KSDS students like drawing and discuss about their drawing. Alice Tay, KSDS
The yearly gotong royong event on Malaysia Day. Great day to contribute back to the society. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
The yearly gotong royong event on Malaysia Day. Great day to contribute back to the society. Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS students, parents and teachers participated in food packaging for Kechara Soup Kitchen. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
KSDS students, parents and teachers participated in food packaging for Kechara Soup Kitchen. Lin Mun KSDS
The team is setting up the tent and games for the Halloween party. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
The team is setting up the tent and games for the Halloween party. Lin Mun KSDS
Students of SRJK (C) enjoyed themselves so much during Halloween 2016. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Students of SRJK (C) enjoyed themselves so much during Halloween 2016. Lin Mun KSDS
Khai Te is very talented in drawing. Look at the van. It has a Kechara logo. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Khai Te is very talented in drawing. Look at the van. It has a Kechara logo. Lin Mun KSDS
Students listening to Teacher Grace attentively during WOAH camp 2016. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Students listening to Teacher Grace attentively during WOAH camp 2016. Lin Mun KSDS
Happy visitor invited Dorje Shugden back home.
7 days ago
Happy visitor invited Dorje Shugden back home.
1 week ago
Join our Meditate in Nature Programme 2017! Here are the Dates:
1 week ago
Join our Meditate in Nature Programme 2017! Here are the Dates:
When we love others without projections, we truly LOVE. ~ Tsem Rinpoche . YEO KWAI GIN ( KKSG )
1 week ago
When we love others without projections, we truly LOVE. ~ Tsem Rinpoche . YEO KWAI GIN ( KKSG )
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Dorje Shugden
Click to watch my talk about Dorje Shugden....