Pele – Hawaiian Goddess

Mar 13, 2016 | Views: 586
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Dear Friends,

I came across this very interesting article about this powerful red goddess from a huge volcano in Hawaii. Her name is Pele – Goddess of Fire. Her poetic name is ‘Ka wahine `ai honua’, the woman who devours the land, and she is both creator and destroyer. She is very active. She throws molten fountains into the air, governs the great flows of lava, and has been known to reveal herself throughout the island of Hawaii. I share this with all of you in respects to Pele. 

Pele the Hawaiian Goddess of the Volcano. Click to enlarge

It is said that whenever tourists take things (stones, dirt, etc.) from that area, she will cause them to have bad dreams or some disasters in their life until they return the items back. The tourism board in that area get hundreds of parcels a year from tourists mailing things they have taken and requesting them to place it back in the area. The Hawaiians have special rituals to her and pray to her as she is known to be very quick and effective. Of course we do not need to pray to her as she is not an enlightened being as far as we know, but it is nice to know about her and such myths and legends to expand our knowledge. We also now know not to simply take things from Mount Kilauea. It’s important to respect special divinities, land gods, elemental spirits. This post is to introduce you to the beautiful and rich culture of Hawaii. You can do more research on your own on this. Do enjoy.

If you’ve been to Hawaii and have some personal stories on the Goddess Pele, do share at the comment section as I would love to read more about it.

Tsem Rinpoche

According to legend, Pele lives in the Halemaʻumaʻu crater Kīlauea

 


 

The Legend Behind Hawaii’s Goddess of Fire

Ancient Hawaiians honoured various gods and one of the most famous is Pele, the Goddess of Fire, also know as the goddess of volcanoes and creator of the Hawaiian Islands. Pele is still very active today in a continuous eruption since 1983 of the Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island. Click to enlarge.

Lighting up ancient Hawaiian legends, Pele (pronounced peh-leh) the goddess of fire, lightning, wind, dance and volcanoes is a well-known character. Otherwise known as ka wahine ai honua, the woman who devours the land, Pele’s home is believed to be Halemaumau crater at the summit of Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. However, all of Hawaii lays the setting for her stories, so that to this day, any volcanic eruption in Hawaii is attributed to Pele’s longing to be with her true love.

Pele is renowned for her passionate and fiery temperament and many people who visit the islands will hear stories of her power and destruction. One of six daughters and seven sons born to Haumea (an ancient Earth goddess) and Kane Milohai (the creator of the sky, earth and upper heavens), Pele’s siblings include Kane Milohai, Kamohoalii, Namaka as well as 13 sisters with the same name – Hiiaka.

 

Behind the Legend of Pele

There are as many versions of how Madame Pele came to Hawaii as there are lava rocks on Hawaii Island. One common legend says that Pele – who was born in Honua-Mea in Tahiti — was sent away by her father because of her difficult temper and for seducing her sister, Namakaokahai’s, husband. She found her way to the Hawaiian Islands where legend after legend bubbled up around her countless lovers, infidelities and feuds and heated outbursts.

Another well-known story spins a web that Pele’s older brother Kamohoalii (the king of sharks) provided Pele with a large canoe which she and her brothers took and sailed away with – eventually coming to Hawaii. When she made landfall in the islands it was on Kauai, where she was attacked by her sister Namakaokahai and left for dead. According to legend she was able to recover and escaped to Oahu where she dug fire pits, including the crater today called Diamond Head. She traveled through the island chain to Molokai and on to Maui where she is said to have made Haleakala volcano.

Upon discovering Pele had survived, Namakaokahai traveled to Maui and the two engaged in an epic battle near Hana, where Pele was torn apart by her sister and became a god, finding a home on Mauna Kea on Hawaii Island. There she dug her final fire pit, the Halemaumau Crater at the summit of Kilauea, where many believe she resides to this day.

And yet another tale tells that Pele was married for a short — and violent — time to Kamapuaa, the god of water. This story says that Pele rerouted Kamapuaa from their home in Helemaumau and angrily chased him, with rivers of lava, into the Pacific Ocean. This story is meant to symbolize the violent and explosive experience of a hydrovolcanic eruption, though Hawaiian eruptions are much more peaceful. Pele’s loyal followers believe that the frequent eruptions of lava on Kilauea is a reminder that Pele is alive and still at home here.

 

Pele Parables

Pele is often portrayed as a wanderer and sightings of the familiar and popular goddess have been reported throughout the island chain for hundreds of years, but especially near volcanic craters and near her home of Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world.

In these sightings or visions she appears as either a very tall, beautiful young woman or an unattractive and frail elderly woman usually accompanies by a white dog. Those well-versed in the legend, say that Pele takes this form of an elderly beggar woman to test people – asking them if they have food or drink to share. Those who are generous and share with her are rewarded while anyone who is greedy or unkind are punished with their homes or other valuables destroyed.

It is said that Pele takes the form of an elderly beggar woman to test people.

 

The Goddess of Volcanoes

If you visit Hawaii only once, the one myth of Pele that you will likely hear and should take heed of is one surrounding the curses she inflicts on those who remove lava rocks from her island home. While many — including some kamaaina (local residents) believe that it is only legend, to this day thousands of pieces of lava rock are mailed back to the island from travelers over the world who insists they’ve suffered bad luck and misfortunes as a result.

It is said that if you want to protect yourself and your family from the lava flow, you have to pay your respects to the Goddess Pele.

According to local legends, if you see a beautiful woman with long, flowing hair or an older woman with long, white hair, you must greet her with aloha and offer her help or respite. To really get on her good side, however, you have to visit her at Halemaʻumaʻu crater and give offerings of food, flowers, and gin. Apparently Pele is a fan of gin.

Photograph of Kilauea, the home of Hawaiian volcano goddess Pele, in eruption.

Hawaii is a state of the United States of America. The Hawaiian archipelago lies 2,390 miles away from the United States mainland.

There are eight main islands in Hawaii. The Kīlauea volcano, home of Pele, is situated on Big Island.

Hawaiian dance accompanied by chants or singing preserves and perpetuates the stories, traditions and culture of Hawaii.

 

The research for this article was done by Joy Kam. Source:The Legend Behind Hawaii’s Goddess of Fire

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17 Responses to Pele – Hawaiian Goddess

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  1. Wan Wai Meng on Aug 12, 2016 at 2:27 am

    I think a very safe rule of thumb is never take anything that do not belong to you.

  2. Fong on Jun 22, 2016 at 1:12 am

    I love the many legends of Pele as told by the Hawaiians. One of the stories i remember is the one telling how the violent lava meets the waters of the sea. The legend has it that Pele fought with her elder water-goddess sister, Na-maka-o-Kaha’i whose husband Pele had seduced.

    Sometimes, Pele wins, and that’s when the molten lava encroaches into the sea. Other times, her sister, Na-maka-o-Kaha’i wins and that’s when the sea washes away the land of the Hawaiian islands.

    That was told to us by a tourist guide on Big Island of Hawaii, on Black Sand Beach on our way to visit the Halema’uma’u crater near the Jaggar Museum. The artists of the island have beautiful depictions of the battles between the 2 sisters.

    Visitors are reminded not to take any souvenir from the mountains, as stated in the article. The rangers really do receive packages of returned rocks and stuff. I guess it’s only polite not to take anything away. If everyone takes something, very soon there will be nothing left on the Hawaiian islands. The humans would not be pleased, what more the temperamental goddess Pele.

    Whatever the source of the stories or legends of the origins of Pele, we still have to be mindful of our actions on other people’s home or property. We have to respect their belief and culture.

    I really do love the Hawaiian islands. There’s something there that makes you want to respect the land and nature. I cannot find the words to describe the feeling.

    Thank you, Rinpoche for sharing about Pele and Hawaii.

  3. Alice Tay on May 28, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    这是一篇很特别的博文有关夏威夷女神~Pele的故事。非常感谢仁波切的分享,因为这是本人第一次接触与知道Pele女神的存在。

    据说Pele女神在夏威夷是非常著名以及备受人崇拜。每当游客想从夏威夷那里收集或取走一些石块或泥土等等,Pele女神就会让他们发恶梦或陷入一些困难的情况,直到他们回来,然后放回去他们当时拿走的东西为止。除此,夏威夷人还特别安排的一些仪式来向Pele女神祈祷。因为他们相信Pele女神是非常快速和有效的回应。

    虽然Pele女神或是当地的土神,山神等等都不是证悟者,但我们也必需要尊重他们。因为他们就像护法神一样,有重大的责任那就是保护他们的地区不受外界来的破坏或毁灭。

  4. Beatrix Ooi on May 23, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    Wow, the goddess Pele seems very powerful! I have heard about all sorts of nature gods and goddesses, but I have not heard something like her before. She seems very nice but if offended, she can get people back, this shows that gods/ goddesses are unenlightened beings and therefore, the six worldly dharmas are still in them. They can be very happy with a certain people but at the same time, they can also inflict harm onto those who disrespect them.

  5. Edward Ooi on Apr 20, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    I believe there are two possibilities. One, the story of Pele is made up just like the Greek Mythology and Egyptian Mythology. It has been said that they are simply made up by people that believes the earth is not naturally created but believes that there is a God who created all of earth. Those people who created all these myths wanted other people to think that weathers and nature are controlled by different Gods but all of that is not true.

    Two, these stories might be real, considering that there still so many types of beings out there in the world. Scientists has even told us that information of ocean life that has been gathered for the past couple of thousand years is merely only about 25%, which means if there are still so many sea life left to be discovered, doesn’t it mean that there are also many possibilities of weird creatures out there in the woods?Honestly, I believe that Pele is just another land deity. Just like Rinpoche has said, “we do not need to pray to her as she is not an enlightened being as far as we know”. Because she is not an enlightened being, how can anyone expect her to be treat us with love and compassion?

    This article is quite interesting to read. It is always interesting to learn more about other tribes or people’s culture. Thank You Rinpoche for sharing this article.

  6. Chris Chong on Apr 14, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Thank you for sharing this article. What I learn is that there are nature spirits everywhere. We have to respect them because to them, we are the intruders. We intrude to their personal space and if we do not act appropriately, we might offend them. We have to be aware of these matters because if we offend them, we might me hurt.

    Chris

  7. Edwin Tan on Mar 18, 2016 at 8:08 am

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Thank you for the article. It really is an interesting read to learn more about myths and legends in other parts of the World.

    Local deities or land gods are definitely around us. We have “Dato Gongs” in Malaysia and many people do pray to them. I have one tree in particular near our shopping mall Dataran Pahlawan and many do offer and pray to him.

    I understand that the “Dato Gong” is supposedly Muslim and if we offered anything alcoholic or pork related, bad misfortune will befall on us.

    Anyway, being Buddhist, I do give my respects when walking past the tree.

    Thank you.

  8. Choong on Mar 16, 2016 at 1:43 am

    Dear Rinpoche, there is an active volcano named after Tara called “Batu Tara” in Indonesia. I wonder how it got its name.

    http://www.tboeckel.de/EFSF/efsf_wv/indonesia_11/Batu%20Tara/Batu%20Tara%202011_e.htm

    IMG_1322_b_n

  9. JP on Mar 16, 2016 at 12:58 am

    It’s interesting to read about Pele as there is so much drama in her life regardless of the various versions to her story. Regardless, it sounds like many people experience bad luck after taking something from Mount Kilauea. I’m not surprised as there are nature spirits around wherever we go. And it’s obvious that she doesn’t like it when others take a portion of her “property”.

    In Malaysia, we have local land deities whom we also make offerings of peace and harmony when we construct a new building. As Rinpoche explained that because we invade the land deities’ space, it’s important that we make offerings to them so that they do not harm anyone on the land.

  10. Wah Ying on Mar 15, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Thanks Rinpoche for sharing this interesting story of Pele. The first picture of Pele looks like Green Tara..

    I used to be a free thinker who do not believe in these type of “taboo” or stories..but start to learn to respect special divinities, land gods, elemental spirits and etc, when I learn more and more from my Guru H.E. Tsem Rinpoche.

    Before Pele’s story, what I heard the similar story about taking the stones or properties from the sites land deities are residing would bring bad luck and etc is the Australia Ayers Rock.

    According to a story: “…National park rangers receive at least one package a day of what have been called “sorry rocks” pilfered from the landmark, now known by its indigenous name of Uluru…” (Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/1948843/Uluru-Tourists-return-stones-to-cursed-Ayers-Rock.html)

    It’s nice and interesting to learn more about our environment and some local or cultural stories, here or in another part of the world. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing 🙂

  11. NUTroll on Mar 14, 2016 at 4:20 am

    All change, #change itself as counponents disintegration “old”in sth new is sufering.as #born #seekness #age #death. In Hawai contekst i like this sound : Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – Over The Rainbow & What A Wonderful World – 1993 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z26BvHOD_sg

    • NUTroll on Mar 14, 2016 at 4:34 am

      Just after posting remind me my 11yo’debate on biology school’ lesson, that living beeing 5points definition all fullfeel Mountains,so are alive , i had been very donkey in it!, i treat it very serious.And actualy defend all points..Of course system say sth.diferent in books.

  12. Kelly Inman on Mar 14, 2016 at 12:00 am

    When I was a child, I lived for 3 years on Oahu, because my father, who was in the military was stationed there. We used to have relatives visit and one place we would take them was the mountains to a tour where the tour guide discussed Pele. There were no active volcanos on Oahu, but they taught us there had been some, and that they used to sacrifice young women to Pele by throwing them into the lava. Also they taught us not to take anything from the area, as this would anger Pele. My parents are fairly agnostic and made fun of this— still they never took anything because I think there were enough stories that they realised it would be a bad idea. That’s good, because I was only about 5 or 6 years old so I wouldn’t have known better perhaps. I think Pele is a local deity or something so it is best not to anger her.

    • Pastor Niral Patel on Apr 13, 2016 at 5:12 pm

      Dear Kelly,

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us! I did a bit of research online after reading this post but did not come across any mention of sacrificing young women to Pele.

      You are right, from a Buddhist perspective Pele is a local deity. Such deities are powerful beings, but just like us are bound by karma caused by our delusions, which can be classified into the Three Poisons – ignorance, attachment and hatred. Though these deities can grant us our worldly goals, through this we actually bind ourselves further into samsara by increasing our attachment. It better that we concentrate on taming our own mind, and on inner transformation along our spiritual path.

      That being said, the Buddhas and enlightened masters have always taught living in harmony with our environment and the other beings who inhabit the earth with us. Therefore we should try our best not to offend them, in this case taking anything from the areas where Pele resides. I hope you enjoyed this post!

  13. heng meng kiat on Mar 13, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Dear RInpoche

    thanks for the interesting myth story, this story remind us have to respect local land deity, because they are not enlighten being and have emotion like human.

    With folded hands
    Meng Kiat

  14. Sharon Ong on Mar 13, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Thank you for the interesting read. I enjoy reading myths such as this as it is interesting to learn about other people’s believes.

    The first picture I saw reminds me very much of Tara with her right leg outstretched. 🙂

    With folded hands.

  15. Choong on Mar 13, 2016 at 3:58 am

    Dear Rinpoche, I do not have any personal stories regarding Goddess Pele but I do remember one historical and rather amusing story about when the Hawaiians first encountered the Europeans and mistook them for God Lono.

    A long white kapa banner honors Lono, the God of agriculture, and announces the annual celebration of the Makahiki Harvest Festival. Makahiki is a time to give thanks to the deities for the abundance of the year and ask for prosperous year to come. It was a time for hula and games that tested and trained the physical and mental abilities of warriors. Work and war were forbidden during Makahiki.

    The first European Explorer arrived on Big Island and interrupts the climax of the Makahiki Festival. His great white sails reveal a similarity with Lono’s banner so the island inhabitants vowed reverence
    and great respect, as they believed the God Lono had arrived in human form.

    The European Explorer was bewildered but decided to play along as a God and enjoy his status but after a while, the Hawaiians decided to have his head because he could not demonstrate any powers.

    He managed to escape but some of his crew were killed. Years later he returned, this time bringing with him gifts (to King Kamehameha). Among the gifts were cattle and Hawaii did not have any cattle at that time.

    The Hawaiians did not know what to do with cattle and since it belonged to the King, they did not there touch them. As a result, after some time, the cattle population on Big Island grew so large that it became an ecological disaster. 🙂

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  • Lin Mun
    Wednesday, Dec 7. 2016 10:05 PM
    Thank you Dato’ Colin for sharing your journey in dharma and your method in applying dharma in a corporate world.

    I always think that it is difficult to practise dharma in corporate as everyone only have the same mindset that is to gain more profit at the fastest pace and therefore lots of greed and selfishness. But you have showed us that as long as we are perseverance and hold our principal and dharma strongly, we can apply it no matter which segment we are, be it corporate or not.

    Most importantly, is to set the right mindset and hold on to dharma principles. Continue to strive no matter how many challenges we have.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/how-to-grow-your-business-with-buddhist-principles.html
  • Lin Mun
    Wednesday, Dec 7. 2016 09:54 PM
    Thank you Pastor Patsy for sharing your dharma journey. It is a great encouragement for many as you show that determination will surely bring result.

    It is important to practise dharma and to always focus out. When we keep practising this our mind will slowly transform to benefit others instead of feeding ourselves with all the greed, anger and selfishness.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/how-dharma-changed-my-life.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Dec 7. 2016 01:13 PM
    So happy to see the YAK – Millennials of Kechara – were learning to become an entrepreneur, be proactive and independent with good motivations. These practical experience will lay the foundation for leadership qualities, lateral thinking as well as a creative and innovative mindset. I wish to see more success for our Kechara YAK and looking forward to their upcoming activities! Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/yak.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Dec 6. 2016 10:22 PM
    Good sharing and informative blogs of Kuan Yin temples in Malaysia.
    Origins of Kuan Yin been explained too. I do not know so much about it till i read these post…i only knew Kuan Yin as Goddess of Mercy.When i was young i used to follow my mother to temple to pray without knowing much..just as one one of a deity.On Guan Yin’s birthday, devotees observe a vegetarian diet in remembrance of her compassion and kindness.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these beautiful post .
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/guan-yin-day.html
  • Alice Tay
    Tuesday, Dec 6. 2016 09:16 PM
    This is very auspicious that 2 great masters meet together and talk about dharma works for the benefit of all sentient beings.

    I am humble to see our precious guru to pay respect and prostrate to his friend, H.E. Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche , who is a very learned scholar, master of tantra, always focused his time on teaching hundreds of students in Sera and in in-depth personal practice. This is a good example for us to follow and practice.

    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing attached with the beautiful photos.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/meeting-kyabje-yongyal-rinpoche-in-new-york.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Dec 6. 2016 07:04 PM
    Very informative blog post that remind us.
    As human consume fish ,prawns and so forth from the sea laced with harmful chemical, toxins build up that lead to health problems in long term.Sad to know environment is so bad when some people do not care much about it.Sooner or later our oceans will be filled with rubbish,plastic if we are not doing enough to protect the environment.The plastic accounts for 15 per cent of the chick’s body weight…that is shocking.
    I do hope more people are aware of the truth behind the crisis destroying our seas.
    Thank you Rinpoche its a good sharing.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/how-plastic-destroys-our-seas.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Dec 6. 2016 06:11 PM
    It is both motivating and enriching to read sharing by successful individual who applied Dharma in their life. Thank you Dato’ Colin for this sharing. This shows us that when we applied Buddha Dharma, we will be able to achieve more in life.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/how-to-grow-your-business-with-buddhist-principles.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Dec 6. 2016 04:00 PM
    This is the first time I read about Hecate in details. She is the goddess of magic, witchcraft, the night, moon, ghosts and necromancy, and sorcery. Yet people worship her. She was one of the main deities worshiped in Athenian households as a protective goddess and one who bestowed prosperity and daily blessings on the family. I find this juxtaposition very interesting on two level. How people will readily submit themselves to a powerful being bestowed with supernatural powers.

    On the other hand, Hecate, who is associated with dark powers are being worshipped as a protective goddess could mean she uses her power for doing good that benefits people. This goes to show that some who possesses dark power like witchcraft, necromancy and sorcery are not necessary bad and will not necessary harm. It all depends on their motivation.

    Thank you very much Rinpoche for this insightful article on Hecate.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/etc/hecate.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Dec 5. 2016 03:58 PM
    Malaysia is so rich in its cultural identity, and the Dragon festival is one of them been celebrated in a way whereby different races too join in.It is wonderful to know,the origins of the Dragon Boat Festival and the story behind.It has now turned to a team-focused sport.which promotes discipline, racial harmony, physical fitness and mental toughness
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these very informative and interesting post.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/the-dragon-boat-festival-a-fusion-of-traditional-and-modern-culture.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Dec 5. 2016 03:29 PM
    After reading these blog i learned something new.The word Chaplain.
    I have not come across of it before.
    Thanks Beatrix Ooi for sharing ..an interesting blog of how this young man served as a Buddhist Chaplains in the US Arm. There is only one Buddhist chapel in the United States military. In recent years there has been a growing number of Buddhists in the US military, hence the work of Buddhist chaplains are growing too. A great way to spread Dharma to more people in the military.
    Thank you again Beatrix Ooi
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/buddhist-chaplains-in-the-us-army.html
  • Lin Mun
    Sunday, Dec 4. 2016 05:07 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing the article on Dayak Festival and its community and cultures. It is very interesting to learn about the other races cultures. We in Malaysia are so fortunate that we are expose to so many differences and yet live harmoniously.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/travel/gawai-dayak-the-celebration-of-bountiful-harvest.html
  • Yeo Kwai Gin
    Saturday, Dec 3. 2016 05:22 PM
    Wow ! 恭喜Justin与香积厨对社会的付出 !法喜 !

    感恩仁波切的付出与教导, 让在马来西亚的街头露宿者和一班家境贫困的人们在艰辛的时候得到帮助。詹杜固仁波切创立的克切拉香积厨对社会的付出是值得赞扬, 香积厨不但发放食物给街头露宿者,还提供流动医院主要在最快的时间让受伤的露宿者得到治疗, 还有FoodBank专提供食物与支援给各地需要帮忙如天灾带来的食物缺乏, 还有Imbi路的香积厨中心,提供给街头露宿者全免费的食物和饮品,免费沐浴和清洗衣服,还帮忙他们寻找工作等等。让他们体谅到社会另外拥有一班人还在关心着他们。
    愿街头露宿者得到更舒适的生活, 实现他们目标前进,社会繁荣,那么每一个人都可以安居立业,不用再在街头露宿了 !

    欲了解更多克切拉香积厨,或想参与活动,请继续游览 :
    http://www.kechara.com/soup-kitchen/what-we-do/

    感恩合十
    YEO KWAI GIN

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-soup-kitchen-ksk/kechara-won-2-awards.html
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Dec 3. 2016 04:42 PM
    Congratulation to Justin as well as KSK team. A well deserved recognition. You have selflessly working for those in need. Our society need more people to help those living on the street.

    May you and KSK team continue to grow and benefit more people.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-soup-kitchen-ksk/kechara-won-2-awards.html
  • Alice Tay
    Saturday, Dec 3. 2016 12:53 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche and the team’s effort to share these powerful qualities of Dorje Shugden in Mongolian language. Hope they are more people get to know Dorje Shugden, an emanation of Manjushri, and understand to practice Dorje Shugden will also have all the benefits related to Manjushri’s practice.

    Hope these powerful qualities of Dorje Shugden will come up with the words in other languages to benefit more people.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/powerful-qualities-of-dorje-shugden-in-memes-mongolian.html
  • Alice Tay
    Saturday, Dec 3. 2016 12:49 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche and the team’s effort to share these powerful qualities of Dorje Shugden in Mongolian language. Hope they are more people get to know Dorje Shugden, an emanation of Manjushri, and understand to practice Dorje Shugden will also have all the benefits related to Manjushri’s practice.

    Hope these powerful qualities of Dorje Shugden will come up with the words in other languages to benefit more people.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/powerful-qualities-of-dorje-shugden-in-memes-mongolian.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

CREDITS

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

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

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
1 week ago
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
1 week 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.
1 week 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.
2 weeks 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
2 weeks ago
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
3 weeks 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
3 weeks 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?
1 month ago
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
Sir Edmund Hillary
1 month 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
1 month 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
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I\'ve seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I've seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
It\'s nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
2 months ago
It's nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
                         Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
2 months ago
Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
2 months ago
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
High lamas in France September 2016
2 months ago
High lamas in France September 2016
༧གོང་ས་ཆེན་པོ་སྐུ་འཕྲེང་བཅུ་བཞི་པ་མཆོག་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། - Interesting relationship between 14th Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden:   http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109757
2 months ago
༧གོང་ས་ཆེན་པོ་སྐུ་འཕྲེང་བཅུ་བཞི་པ་མཆོག་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། - Interesting relationship between 14th Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109757
Dalai Lama Says We Can Practise Dorje Shugden Finally! Read more on this development--- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109777
3 months ago
Dalai Lama Says We Can Practise Dorje Shugden Finally! Read more on this development--- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109777
More time spent in dharma work is more karma collected to be happy and more time spent in non-dharma works is more karma collected to be unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
More time spent in dharma work is more karma collected to be happy and more time spent in non-dharma works is more karma collected to be unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche
All Dorje Shugden prophesizes will come to pass,
 Those who generate refuge and merits will trust, 
 By trusting one will see the good results of his pronouncements,
 By seeing the good results, one\'s path becomes more clear, 
 The path of practice, purification and siddhic results, 
 This would eliminate the samsara within our minds.
 ~Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
All Dorje Shugden prophesizes will come to pass, Those who generate refuge and merits will trust, By trusting one will see the good results of his pronouncements, By seeing the good results, one's path becomes more clear, The path of practice, purification and siddhic results, This would eliminate the samsara within our minds. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Large Dorje Shugden statue built by the 5th Dalai Lama and housed in Trode Khangsar. Sock Wand and Mdm Chuah took this picture in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
3 months ago
Large Dorje Shugden statue built by the 5th Dalai Lama and housed in Trode Khangsar. Sock Wand and Mdm Chuah took this picture in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
Our own Kecharian Mdm. Chua with the oracle of Dorje Shugden Gen Tenzin Tsultrim in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
3 months ago
Our own Kecharian Mdm. Chua with the oracle of Dorje Shugden Gen Tenzin Tsultrim in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Trode Khangsar-the Chapel to Dorje Shugden built 400 years ago by the Great 5th Dalai Lama-Tibet 2016
3 months ago
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Trode Khangsar-the Chapel to Dorje Shugden built 400 years ago by the Great 5th Dalai Lama-Tibet 2016
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Gaden Monastery, Tibet 2016
3 months ago
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Gaden Monastery, Tibet 2016
                         This is the oracle of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa, Tibet. His name is Gen Tenzin Tsultrim of Sera Monastery in Tibet.
3 months ago
This is the oracle of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa, Tibet. His name is Gen Tenzin Tsultrim of Sera Monastery in Tibet.
Ms. Sock Wan, Oracle of Dorje Shugden in Tibet Gen Tenzin Tsultrim, Mdm Chuah and Mr. Tashi in Tibet 2016
3 months ago
Ms. Sock Wan, Oracle of Dorje Shugden in Tibet Gen Tenzin Tsultrim, Mdm Chuah and Mr. Tashi in Tibet 2016
Mahasiddha Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Ven. Rabten Choktrul Rinpoche 2016
3 months ago
Mahasiddha Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Ven. Rabten Choktrul Rinpoche 2016
His Eminence Mahasiddha Gangchen Rinpoche and the official oracle of Dorje Shugden Panglung Kuten Choji lah in Italy together September 2016
3 months ago
His Eminence Mahasiddha Gangchen Rinpoche and the official oracle of Dorje Shugden Panglung Kuten Choji lah in Italy together September 2016
My thoughts on Malaysia. Thank you. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
My thoughts on Malaysia. Thank you. Tsem Rinpoche
Beautiful thangka of Vajra Yogini. Look at the details where she appears in visions and also takes people to Kechara.
3 months ago
Beautiful thangka of Vajra Yogini. Look at the details where she appears in visions and also takes people to Kechara.
Left to right:

His Holiness the Gaden Throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche (very young) and His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Prayer Hall during prayers.
3 months ago
Left to right: His Holiness the Gaden Throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche (very young) and His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Prayer Hall during prayers.
 It\'s nice when families support the spiritual journeys of their children. This is one beautiful family of Pastor Niral of Kechara
3 months ago
It's nice when families support the spiritual journeys of their children. This is one beautiful family of Pastor Niral of Kechara
Jog Falls a power place of Vajra Yogini and Heruka: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=108652
3 months ago
Jog Falls a power place of Vajra Yogini and Heruka: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=108652
Don\'t wait for the perfect group. Don\'t wait for the perfect person. Don\'t wait for the perfect situation. Don\'t expect yourself to be perfect. Don\'t even look for perfection at least in our realm as it does not exist or time will run out. Just get going and keep doing good. It\'s between you and yourself. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Don't wait for the perfect group. Don't wait for the perfect person. Don't wait for the perfect situation. Don't expect yourself to be perfect. Don't even look for perfection at least in our realm as it does not exist or time will run out. Just get going and keep doing good. It's between you and yourself. Tsem Rinpoche
Kind people are to be treasured. They make life worth living. ~Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Kind people are to be treasured. They make life worth living. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Don\'t you love her bag? She\'s stylish and at one with the universe. OM Shanti. ~Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Don't you love her bag? She's stylish and at one with the universe. OM Shanti. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Beautiful Manjushri carved in China
3 months ago
Beautiful Manjushri carved in China
Sent from Samsung tablet.
3 months ago
Sent from Samsung tablet.
We must loyal to our guru. How to be loyal? To always do the teachings and practice he gave us and to conquer our laziness. We must make our gurus more important than our ego. So it is important to always let our guru win and not our ego. If our ego wins, many will suffer and we will suffer. If our guru wins, temporarily we suffer, but long term we will be happy and many around us will be happy. You see, the guru is always on the look out to give us methods and teachings that we can engage in to bring us happiness. The biggest happiness is overcoming our ego and it\'s traces and the guru always directly and indirectly focuses on that. Our guru will always love and help us, but we must meet our guru half way too. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
We must loyal to our guru. How to be loyal? To always do the teachings and practice he gave us and to conquer our laziness. We must make our gurus more important than our ego. So it is important to always let our guru win and not our ego. If our ego wins, many will suffer and we will suffer. If our guru wins, temporarily we suffer, but long term we will be happy and many around us will be happy. You see, the guru is always on the look out to give us methods and teachings that we can engage in to bring us happiness. The biggest happiness is overcoming our ego and it's traces and the guru always directly and indirectly focuses on that. Our guru will always love and help us, but we must meet our guru half way too. Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche with holy Mt Shasta of Northern California in the background: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=107430
3 months ago
Tsem Rinpoche with holy Mt Shasta of Northern California in the background: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=107430
We had a nice visit at Mt Shasta, a holy area in Northern California and did a good puja there: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=107430
3 months ago
We had a nice visit at Mt Shasta, a holy area in Northern California and did a good puja there: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=107430
I get requests from all around the world to do prayers. For certain individuals it\'s really dire, so I make special candle offerings to the Buddhas for them at my private residence. These are the candles that was offered recently for a very ill young little girl. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
I get requests from all around the world to do prayers. For certain individuals it's really dire, so I make special candle offerings to the Buddhas for them at my private residence. These are the candles that was offered recently for a very ill young little girl. Tsem Rinpoche
This is powerful and true. When someone disappoints you so many times, it cannot be an accident anymore. You need to have compassion for them to not do more negative karma and not allow it anymore and we need need to have compassion for ourselves too and not let them hurt us again.. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
This is powerful and true. When someone disappoints you so many times, it cannot be an accident anymore. You need to have compassion for them to not do more negative karma and not allow it anymore and we need need to have compassion for ourselves too and not let them hurt us again.. Tsem Rinpoche
Ra Lotsawa\'s personal sacred image of Yamantaka Vajrabhairava. Said to be housed in Samye Monastery, Tibet.
3 months ago
Ra Lotsawa's personal sacred image of Yamantaka Vajrabhairava. Said to be housed in Samye Monastery, Tibet.
Message from Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Message from Tsem Rinpoche
This Tara has such a beautiful face...artwork on this is nice
3 months ago
This Tara has such a beautiful face...artwork on this is nice
This is the road that leads to my house in the mountains. I have a small house and a lake nearby the house and I live there on vegan foods with my pets-Mumu loves running around the meadows. I have a large outdoor Vajra Yogini statue made of stone and we make offerings of juniper leaves burned to her daily as sang. I love living in the mountains away from the senseless repeating of actions in urban life. Urban life with its various pollutions do not connect us to who we are inside. I love this walking path to my retreat home where I will live for the rest of my life and on the way home, I pluck some flowers for my shrine to offer to the Buddha...thank you for allowing me to live here. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
This is the road that leads to my house in the mountains. I have a small house and a lake nearby the house and I live there on vegan foods with my pets-Mumu loves running around the meadows. I have a large outdoor Vajra Yogini statue made of stone and we make offerings of juniper leaves burned to her daily as sang. I love living in the mountains away from the senseless repeating of actions in urban life. Urban life with its various pollutions do not connect us to who we are inside. I love this walking path to my retreat home where I will live for the rest of my life and on the way home, I pluck some flowers for my shrine to offer to the Buddha...thank you for allowing me to live here. Tsem Rinpoche
 Rinpoche\'s quote is on my mom\'s final resting place. It was chosen by my dad and at that time he said it is the best one for both of them. My dad would be interred next to her when his time comes in the distant future. Pastor David Lai
3 months ago
Rinpoche's quote is on my mom's final resting place. It was chosen by my dad and at that time he said it is the best one for both of them. My dad would be interred next to her when his time comes in the distant future. Pastor David Lai
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Must Watch this Video!
    1 week ago
    Must Watch this Video!
  • Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
    1 month ago
    Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
  • Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    1 month ago
    Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    ཁྱེད་ཀྱི་བཀའ་སློབ་དོན་སྙིང་དེ།།གང་གི་རྣ་བར་བདུད་རྩི་མོད།།འོན་ཀྱང་འགའ་ཡི་རྣ་ལམ་དུ།། བྲག་ཆ་བཞིན་དུ་འགྱུར་སྲིད་མོད།། ཚང་མས་ཚར་རེ་གཟིགས་རོགས།། Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche telling people that it is important to have guru samaya. It use to be that way in the great monasteries. We should not create problems and schisms. If we want to practice a protector, then do so, if not it's okay, but don't make trouble. One should just practice the Buddha Dharma well. To do good practice. If you have faith in Dorje Shugden and trust all the way, he will definitely help you. But most important is to practice the dharma. This is his advice in short here. It's good to let more Tibetans hear this holy speech and appeal by this very senior Rinpoche. TR
  • His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Propitiating Protectors & Oracles
    1 month ago
    His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Propitiating Protectors & Oracles
    This was on FB and I came across it. His Holiness said in Tibetan institutions there is a lot of propitiating protector/oracles and this is not what Buddhism is about. So they are putting Nechung/Tema oracles within the video to say what is he talking about when he does it himself. This is confusing is the message to his people. TR
  • -
    2 months ago
    Look how this crab eats a cherry.. Incredible and cute... Never seen this before. They have feelings too. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is Sarah. Do you have 30 seconds for her? Her life in just 30 seconds!
    2 months ago
    This is Sarah. Do you have 30 seconds for her? Her life in just 30 seconds!
  • See what is your fortune today!
    3 months ago
    See what is your fortune today!
  • Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche recites offering stanza to Dorje Shugden Septemeber 2016
    3 months ago
    Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche recites offering stanza to Dorje Shugden Septemeber 2016
  • Flying the flag proudly
    3 months ago
    Flying the flag proudly
    Just like the rays of the sun, Dorje Shugden's blessings shines on all
  • These skydivers have a little surprise...
    3 months ago
    These skydivers have a little surprise...
    Let them spell it out for you
  • Taking to the skies
    3 months ago
    Taking to the skies
    The sky's the limit for TsemRinpoche.com!
  • What you need to wake you up on your morning commute
    3 months ago
    What you need to wake you up on your morning commute
    Make your commutes a little more interesting with an article from TsemRinpoche.com
  • The blog that gets you addicted in a good way
    3 months ago
    The blog that gets you addicted in a good way
    There's something for everyone, any time of the day at TsemRinpoche.com
  • One-of-a-kind escalator!
    3 months ago
    One-of-a-kind escalator!
    TsemRinpoche.com arrives at the shopping malls!
  • All you need to know about Kechara in our annual magazine...download it!
    3 months ago
    All you need to know about Kechara in our annual magazine...download it!

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.

  • December 6, 2016 00:34
    Sipra asked: Dear Pastors, For past 5 month or so I have been suffering from fear and anxiety. It has become difficult to live my daily life. I am mother of young child. Please help me.
    pastor answered: Dear Sipra, I'm sorry to read that you are going through this fear and anxiety, and i can understand that it has been effecting your daily life. You should seek professional help as this fear and anxiety can worsen if you don't get help and can deteriorate fast. Coupled with this, but by no means an alternative, you can engage in the daily practice of Lama Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugden, which you can find here: http://www.dorjeshugden.org/practice/diamond-path-a-daily-sadhana-of-dorje-shugden Lama Tsongkhapa's practice is very well-known to calm the mind from depression, fear and anxiety so will be very beneficial for your situation. When engaging in the practice, please concentrate and focus on the mantra of Lama Tsongkhapa. Dorje Shugden's practice on the other hand is very good for alleviating any obstacles we may be facing in life. Therefore, this may have to overcome the obstacles in life that are causing the fear and anxiety or even remove obstacles for professional help to be even more effective, so you can overcome your situation. The cause of this situation may be deeply rooted, therefore i would like to advise you to do both methods, find professional help and engage in the daily practice. Coupled together they have a better chance of solving your situation, than by themselves. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • December 3, 2016 23:25
    Fluxor asked: I am in a relationship with someone. I want to leave her, so i can give more time for social work and considering monastic life and being ordained in the future. I want to break up and do it gently, but I know she will be very mad and angry with me. Is it okay to leave her without notice? I will make a letter and arrange time to talk few days later when she is more stable emotionally. I think, it will be calmer way. Or should I talk to her first before I leave? I know this way she can be very mad and might do some abusive acts right away. But people say I need to respect her with talking to her first. I'm confused. I want to do it in a gentle and loving way that I don't want to bring her more suffering. Warmest metta, Fluxor
    pastor answered: Dear Fluxor, This is something that is a very difficult thing to do. If you have thought about this carefully and thoroughly, then you should do what feels right. However we must remember that the other person in the relationship may be reliant on you in some way. That being said, we can also hurt another person if we are not open and truthful about the situation. Instead we should go about the situation in the best possible manner to minimise harm and also to not create negative karma in the process, which is all too common when breaking up with someone, and this leads to more suffering in the future. You know the person who you are in a relationship with the best, however the method which you have mentioned may not be the most appropriate course of action. Rather than doing this, you should sit down with your partner and talk about the situation in calmer manner. This is the better approach, if you want to do this. You do need to respect her as a person with her own feelings, and in order to do the right thing in this situation, you should do so face to face and calmly. Following the method that you described may cause even more pain. If you do it calmly, respecting and honouring her as someone who has their own feelings, you are doing your best given the situation. Please remember that you don’t have to take monastic ordination in order to practice the Buddhist path. In fact within Kechara, Tsem Rinpoche has even started the tradition of lay pastors, who are lay people that have dedicated their lives to the practice of Dharma and the service of others. If you change your mind for any reason, Rinpoche has given a very good teaching on transforming a relationship to make it successful. You can find the video teaching here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/ingredients-for-a-successful-relationship.html. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • December 2, 2016 09:44
    Tashi asked: Dear pastors, What are the mantras and sacred syllables of the 12 Tenma Goddesses? I'm trying to find one to the bodhisattva Dorje Yudronma and goddess Tahsi Tseringma. Who is Shiptak Gyene exactly and what is his mantra and purpose? Is simply putting "Namo" and then the name of the Buddha or bodhisattva work? Also, is there a mantra for pimples or near sightedness?
    pastor answered: Dear Tashi, As Dorje Yudronma and Tashi Tseringma are not enlightened protectors but worldly deities who have been subdued to protect the Dharma, their mantras and practices are not free available to all practitioners, according to the Gelug tradition (I am unsure if they are available freely in other traditions). Usually, to engage in these practices one must have first received empowerment into a yidam or meditational deity practice, after which one can request the spiritual teacher to teach the practice. The functions of these protectors are also embodied in other protectors who are enlightened, and whose practices are readily available. As embodiments of enlightened beings, they can also help along the spiritual path to enlightenment rather than just providing material needs and removing obstacles. These include the various emanations of Dorje Shugden, for example Shize Dorje Shugden who is excellent for pacifying diseases and lengthening one’s life, just like Tashi Tseringma and the Long Life Sisters. However as an emanation of Manjushri, Shize can also grant beneficial imprints and help to overcome the inner obstacles of negative emotions and habituations that we all face in life. Shiptak Gyene is a protector specific to the Gelugpa tradition. He was a layman who lived in Lhasa during the time of Lama Tsongkhapa. Whenever Lama Tsongkhapa would travel to Lhasa, Shiptak Gyene would be there, ready to serve Lama Tsongkhapa as best as he could and receive teachings on the Dharma. He was very devoted to Lama Tsongkhapa and arose a protector to help those with material needs if they are sincere pracitioners of the Dharma. As such, he holds a bowl of jewels to represent that he can aid pracitioners in this regard. You can see a picture of Shiptak Gyene here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/archive/deitypics/highres/Shiptak_Gyene.jpg. The word ‘namo’ means ‘I prostrate’, hence when you add the word before the name of a Buddha or bodhisattva, it basically means that you are prostrating to that being. While this has tremendous effect, as you are verbalising the prostration towards an enlightened being and therefore generating some merit, it does not have the same effect as a mantra. This is because a mantra itself in the essence of that particular being, in the form of sound. If you repeat that mantra over and over again, you bring the energies associated with that particular enlightened being into your life. For example if you recite the Medicine Buddha mantra, you bring healing energies into your life. But if you only add ‘namo’ to the beginning of their name, you are simply making prostration. It would be much more beneficial to recite the proper mantra for the particular enlightenment being you are propitiating. As for pimples, I have not come across a specific mantra for this in my own practice. However two very good mantras that you could recite are Black Manjushri or Hayagriva. These two deities are very well known for curing skin diseases of all types, and therefore may help in the situation. You can find out more about Black Manjushri practice here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/a-black-manjushri-sadhana-self-healing-meditation-and-exercises.html. The Hayagriva (a wrathful emanation of Chenresig) mantra is recited as: HRI PEMA DATRI HAYAGRIVA HULU HULU HUNG PHET. For nearsightedness, you can engage in the practice of Migchey Chrenrezig, which is an excellent practice for those with eye problems. You can find it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/blessing-eye-problems.html. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • November 30, 2016 18:56
    Angela Yo asked: These past few months, I can't stop myself thinking about being ordained to be a nun. I don't know where to begin. I don't know if it suits me or not. But I really want to make this lifetime meaningful. Thank you.
    pastor answered: Dear Angela Yo, I rejoice to read that are thinking about become ordained as a nun. This is a very good aspiration to have and follows the example of the holy Buddha Shakyamuni. He showed us the way to make our life meaningful by becoming a Buddha to benefit others. If you have not already done so, you should join a Dharma centre and find a guru. By following the advice of a qualified guru, you can train yourself to hold the ordination vows in the future. Here at Kechara, those who have the aspiration to become members of the holy sangha, first become a Pastor, which is in between a lay practitioner and an ordained monk or nun. This way, we can train ourselves to understand and live by the vows before become ordained. As ordination is very special and holy, it is better that we are prepared before we take the vows. This way we can make the most use of holding the sacred vows on our spiritual journey to enlightenment. As you engage along this path, first you should study and understand the most basic of vows, which are the refuge vows. All other vows, whether ordination, bodhisattva or tantric vows are based on the refuge vows, and the keeping of these vows are the root cause of gaining enlightenment. In fact, all other vows are extensions of these vows. Therefore it is very important that we have a firm basis for our practice by understanding and living by these vows properly. As you progress on your practice, you can learn the teachings such as the 50 Verses of Guru Devotion, the Lam Rim and the Wheel of Sharp Weapons. All these teachings will aid you on the path to become an ordained nun in the future. If this is truly your wish, then during your daily practices you should make strong aspirational prayers that you are able to fulfil this. At the same time you should create the causes for this to occur. The way to do this is by supporting the sangha, you can do this by making any form of dana offering to them, from food, clothing, material assistance or anything else that they would need your help with. While doing this, you should generate the strong aspiration that you can become a member of the sangha. As the sangha are one of the Three Jewels, any offerings that you make to them, especially in terms of your time and effort, will generate a lot of merit because they are holding the holy vows. I hope this helps, and I make the prayer that your auspicious aspiration is fulfilled, that you make your life meaningful by holding the vows of an ordained nun. Thank you.
  • November 28, 2016 12:32
    Demian asked: Dear pastors, Just recently, I have read about concentrations and that has gotten me worried. If one worships a depiction of Saraswati without any concentrations of the depiction, does that mean that I've been praying to an empty shell? If so, does praying to Saraswati's depictions that are online work or not? Or could a simple visualization work without praying to a statue or thangka, but to a visualized form? Would the visualization in Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö's praise to Saraswati be alright along with the mantra? Or does the visualization have to use this website's prayer and mantra to Saraswati? Do the 8 offerings have to be real or can they visualized instead? For the 8th offering of music, does there have to be a bell, or can a drum, flute, violin, or even vocal replace that? What are the views of the mantra "Nam Myoho Renge Khyo"?
    pastor answered: Dear Demian, Thank you for your question. Concentration during one’s daily prayers is an important factor. Within Buddhism, we believe that there are three ways in which a person interacts with the world, these are the body, speech and mind. In order to receive the full benefit of the practice you engage in, you should ensure that all three of these are used. For the body, this is by sitting down to engage in your daily practice without getting distracted. The best posture for this is the meditation position known as the seven-point Vairochana position, this is described in detail in the text Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand. For your speech, you engage in reciting the prayers and the mantra recitation. And for the mind, you concentrate in the various visualisations associated with the practice you are engaging in. Even though you have been praying without the use of concentration, it has still been effective since Saraswati is an enlightened being. She has full compassion, and will definitely bestow her energies and love to those who invoke upon her with a pure heart and good motivation. However, if you do concentrate on both your visualisation and the mantra recitation, the practice will be more effective and you will see a heightened improvement in your life. In regards to the visualisation of Saraswati according to the praise by Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro, this actually belongs to the practice of another lineage, therefore I cannot comment on its validity, as I don’t belong to the lineage to have studied its origins and how it differs from the praise presented here on Rinpoche’s blog. That being said, each lineage has its own version of the visualisation of deities, and this in inherently linked to the particular praise. Therefore if you were to recite one particular praise or practice, you should keep the visualisation to the one that corresponds with it. The 8 offerings can be placed on the altar as physical offerings, but should also be visualised. The reason why we place the actually offerings on the altar is to make a physical offering with our body, as well as a reminder that we make these offerings during our visualisations. If you are not able to make the physical offerings on your altar for whatever reason, this is ok. However you should try your best to have these offerings since it is a way for you to generate merit. The last offering of sound, is usually represented by the conch shell but can be anything that resembles sound, such as any instrument. For example, I know people who represent sound with a miniature flute or even a miniature guitar on their altars. In regards to the Nam Myoho Renge Khyo mantra, this is central to all forms of Nichiren Buddhism, which developed in Japan but is now practiced all over the world. It is said this mantra embodies the entire Lotus Sutra, which in itself explains what enlightenment is and the path to reach enlightenment, following Nichiren’s particular practice. Therefore this mantra is all encompassing, and central to the Nichiren tradition. I hope this helps. Thank you.
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