Gadhimai – A Holy Festival?

Dec 3, 2014 | Views: 4,087

Yesterday, the slaughter at the Gadhimai festival ended. Although the festival officially started on the first week of November, the sacrificial slaughter took place over the last 2 days, 28th and 29th of November.

Over 5 million people attended the month-long Hindu festival that is held every 5 years at the Gadhimai temple of Bariyarpur, in Bara District. The district is located about 160km south of Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu. The figures are not concrete, but it is estimated that over 500,000 animals were slaughtered… the 2nd largest sacrificial slaughter of animals in the world.

Imagine… In 48 hours, half a million animals are slaughtered in the same area… water buffaloes, pigs, goats, chicken, ducks, rats, and pigeons. Whatever each family can afford as sacrifice, they bring it with them from their villages to be slaughtered at the temple. The only criteria for the sacrificed animal is that they must be male.

Hundreds of men are given licenses to slaughter the animals… all by decapitation with a long, curved machete. Most die quickly, but some are hacked at the neck and legs multiple times until they finally bleed to death. When interviewed by the media, the slaughterers shared how they find spiritual satisfaction in their participation believing that the sacrifice brings them closer to the goddess Gadhimai. So much suffering and cruelty…

I previously blogged about a quote by Thich Nhat Hanh, who is currently ill right now and I wish him well. In the quote he says, “I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to support any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, and in my way of life.”

Religious festivals are celebrated to mark an important and sacred day… it is a reminder for us to uphold the virtues that we learn from our holy religious texts. While most religious ceremonies encourages devotees to adhere to either a fasting ritual or vegetarian diet, and at the same time observe their respective religious precepts… the ultimate teaching of these non-violent practices is to teach us compassion towards ourselves and others.

No good can come from slaughtering another being. If the method to happiness is to serve and help others, then it’s only logical that suffering comes from causing harm onto others.

Below is a wonderful write up about the Gadhimai Festival that I had requested 3 of my students, Khoo, Li Kheng and Julia to prepare. Do read it to learn more about the festival. Please never harm animals…

Please share this with as many people as possible to create awareness so this can stop. We do not need to please any divinity by slaughter, murder, blood or pain. We must move on to an enlightened society already.

Tsem Rinpoche

 


 

Gadhimai Festival – effect of religiousness or greed?

(By Khoo, Julia & Li Kheng)

 

The origin of making sacrifices

Sacrificial rituals are not uncommon practices in the history of mankind and subjects of sacrifice range from human to bloodless sacrifices like cereals or artifacts of value. Therefore, what is sacrifice? Sacrifice has been commonly defined as “the act of offering something to a deity in propitiation or homage, especially ritual slaughter of an animal or person”. A second definition often used to explain sacrifice is “the forfeiture of something highly valued for the sake of what one considers to have greater significance or claim”. In words, sacrifice seems noble, honorable and ceremonial. Perhaps it is this positive light that has been skillfully shed on sacrifices that have fueled the ignorance behind the cruelty and profanity of the practice.

Human sacrifice was a practice in many ancient cultures as reported in historical records as well as fabled stories. Archeological discoveries where large numbers of butchered skeletons of young adults or children were found in locations like Crete and North Africa to appease the mythic Minotaur and to propitiate the religion of Carthage further support the claims of this primeval ritual. Additionally, recognized philosophers like Plutarch and historians like Diodorus Siculus have acknowledged the existence of human sacrifices. In general, human sacrifices were made as dedication to the construction of temples and bridges, to accompany the death of a great leader as servants or companion and as an offering to lessen to divine ire.

Skeletons of butchered young adults discovered by archeologists are evidence of the practice of human sacrifice

Depiction of human sacrifice to appease the Gods, women are symbolism of beauty and are common objects of human sacrifice

While human sacrifice is illegal by law and uncommon in modern civilization, animal sacrifice is still practiced openly and with vehemence. Historians claim that animal sacrifice has turned up in almost every culture from Apis of Ancient Egypt to the Muslims in Pakistan and Romans in Europe. Even the popular Thanksgiving celebration requires the slaughter of millions of turkeys to “say thanks”. Although publicly condemned and criticized, the custom of animal sacrifice remains tolerated. One such deep-rooted sacrificial ritual that must be understood and put to an end is the Gadhimai Festival.

 

The story of Gadhimai

One event of animal sacrifice that has gained increased international attention is the Gadhimai Festival. Actually, I experience hesitation as I type the word “festival” because festival is something related to joyous celebration. However, with some understanding about what happen during this event, Gadhimai is far from a joyous occasion. On the contrary, it is a bloody, foul and inhuman 2-days event soaked in death and suffering.

Gadhimai is a festival that has been practiced in Nepal for 260 years. However, recent awareness and attention shed on the barbarism behind the festival has caused curiosity in the original of this practice. Despite the devotion given to this occasion, its origin is blurred and there are two commonly accepted versions as below.

Version 1: The history of this bloodthirsty event began when Bhagwan Chaudhary, a feudal landlord, was imprisoned in Makwanpur about 260 years ago. He dreamed that all his problems would be solved if he made a blood sacrifice to Gadhimai. Immediately upon his release from prison he took counsel from the local village healer. Apparently then a light appeared in an earthenware jar, and the gory sacrifice began.

~ November 2009 guest column for The Guardian by Anil Bhanot, general secretary of the United Kingdom Hindu Council

Version 2: The sacrificial festival history dates back some 900 years to a simple god-fearing and benevolent resident of Bariyarpur named Bhagwan Chaudhary. One day a theft took place at his house, but the thieves were caught red-handed and paid with their lives at the hands of the enraged villagers. Fearing that his fellow villagers would be convicted [of murder], Bhagwan Chaudhary took the blame and was sent to Nakkhu jail in Kathmandu. One night Gadhi, the goddess of Makwanpur, appeared in his dream and kept appearing on subsequent nights asking him to take her to Bariyarpur and the scene of the crime. The goddess’s occult powers freed Bhagwan Chaudhary from the jailhouse. A pinch of soil from her feet applied to his turban enabled him free passage back to his village.

In return, Gadhimai asked him to sacrifice five humans each year. Bhagwan Chaudhary magnanimously offered his own life, saying he would be unable to perform human sacrifice. Instead, he vowed a quintuple sacrifice every five years. It would include a rat, a pig, a rooster, a goat, and a water buffalo.

This ritual failed, as children and youngsters of Bariyarpur suddenly took ill and started dying. Bhagwan Chaudhary again made an appeal to Gadhimai and was directed by the goddess to offer a human sacrifice. The hunt began for a human, but to no avail. Fortunately, a villager from Simri from neighboring Rautahat district came to the rescue and offered to shed five drops of blood from his body as sacrifice, instead of his life. That saved the village from calamity.

[From then on], individual animals of five species are commonly sacrificed together in Nepal, as is a person ritually shedding five drops of blood. Coconuts, however, are sacrificed hundreds of times more often than animals, even at the Dakshin Kali temple near Kathmandu, for six centuries the most prominent sacrificial site in the country. [The fact] that the place where Gadhimai supposedly lived is marked with a coconut stone instead of an altar suggests that coconut sacrifice was historically the primary manner in which she was worshipped.

~ “The Five-Year Animal Sacrifice: On the trail of the largest animal sacrifice-festival in the world” ECS Nepal writer Ravi M. Singh, September 2013

Based on both legends of Gadhimai above, it can be gathered that the ritual was not intended to be a full-scale holocaust and that coconut is the primary object of sacrifice. So, how did the sacrificial ritual regress and get this big and bloody? The ugly truth and driving force of Gadhimai is ignorance and greed. It is recorded that Euro 2 million is made from the sacrifice of the animals by the wealthy and powerful from the less fortunate who spends about 2 months of their income to purchase the sacrificial animal with the misguided religious belief that they will enjoy good fortune and avoid bad luck. However, being religious is defined as “having or showing a belief in and veneration for God or a divine power”. Therefore, how come an act that causes so much anguish, suffering and damage, be related to divinity?

Another point of debate to challenge the religiousness of the Gadhimai Festival is the clear stipulation that the consumption of meat for enjoyment is prohibited in Hindu and Buddhist scriptures because this desire is the result of selfishness and attachment to sensory pleasures and material wealth from the commerce of live stock.

He who injures harmless creatures from a wish to give himself pleasure, never finds happiness in this life or the next.

Manu-samhita 5.45

Realizing the misrepresentation which forms the foundation on which the Gadhimai Festival is built, it is necessary to develop clearer understanding of what exactly happens at the Gadhimai Festival, its consequences and, most importantly, what can be done to put a stop to this breach of respect to life.

The Ghadimai sacrifice is permitted within a radius of 3 km around the main temple. This is the aftermath of the festival.

 

The tolerated sacrifice – How it is done today

The very first step to enable the continuation of animal sacrifice is the planting and nurturing of wrong view in the minds of the upholders. Observing communities that still practice animal sacrifice from the Western to Eastern hemisphere, the common denominator is presence of superstitious mentality of a bygone time combined with innate ignorance. Sacrifice has been consistently associated to holy acts of religion as required by divine beings for the maintenance of peace, prosperity and protection from misfortune. However, through studying the scriptures by scholars and activists, it is concluded that there is no such proliferation of life sacrifice and that the problem is not in the teachings of the prophets but rather in the interpretation of unqualified priests and teachers who taint the teachings with personal interest. Consequently, such wrongful rituals are allowed to go on for generations uncontrollably and automatically. With the overwhelming power of inertia of this social conditioning combined with the lack of knowledge that fuels ignorance, people succumb to traditional rituals in fear that any change would cause catastrophic consequences. Hence, giving authority to greedy parties who garner great wealth from the gruesome sacrifice of innocent animals.

Devotees view this bloody event as a grand celebration as they dawn their best ceremonial attires to witness the bloodbath

Ex-princess of Nepal, Pramada Shah with a high priest of Gadhimai. Pramada Shah is the president of the Animal Welfare Network Nepal and have been campaigning against the Gadhimai festival.

“Animal sacrifice is done in a big way here, close to the culture prevailing in Bengal. When we opened our restaurant, Balinese Hindu priests conducted the ceremony, which began with killing and burying a dog out in front. Then a pig was roasted, grilled, worshiped and buried. They killed fifty chickens, burying them in the various corners of the building. I had requested all of this not be done, but I was told it had to be done according to the local traditions, that animal sacrifice is an integral part of any big ceremony. We had to follow the customs; we were told that if we did not, and something untoward were to happen later on, we would be blamed for it.”

Indian-born Puneet Malhotra, a resident of Bali for seven years, owns the Queen’s Tandoor restaurant in Kuta.

“The truth is that Gadhimai legitimizes violence against the innocent. The priests make the devotees believe that their wish will only come true when offering an expensive buffalo, goat or other kind of animal,”

Many of the butchers and onlookers were actually laughing during it all. One butcher, Ramlal Mahato, is quoted as saying: “The more animals I kill, the more satisfied I feel. I am helping an ancient tradition to survive.”

Manoj Gautam

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/sacrifice-gadhimai-festival.mp4

The second step in preparation for the revolting festival is the stocking up of livestock for the event. The act of breeding the animals is a cruel one and the process of growing them to a size suitable for slaughter is another painful process. Animal mills are where the livestock farming take place and animals are unnaturally impregnated to mass-produce offspring that are solely intended to be slaughtered at the festival. The process is unnatural because female animals are constantly pregnant and crossbreeding is imposed for fast growing and high volume production. The growing process is equally agonizing as animals live in an overcrowded and unhygienic environment with poor supply of clean water and food. Transporting the animals to the sacrificial site is definitely torturous as economics is the driving factor. Animals are packed into lories in claustrophobic and filthy conditions that are stressful. Needless to say, these animals are transported without water or food for many days prior the festival. In fact, many young and weaker creatures die from anxiety, exhaustion and dehydration before the festival even begins and their bodies are left to rot amongst the living animals. All this suffering is consciously caused in the name of prosperity and protection from Gadhimai.

The journey to death begins… Animals are deprived of food and drink on this tedious voyage

The suffering experienced in the actual killing ritual vary in levels from physical to emotional. Bodily pain is experienced due to the poor conditions in which the animals are put in as well as the physical abuse from the actual act of killing. Emotional anguish is felt as the animals experience sheer fear of being slayed to death when an overdose of adrenaline is secreted into the body. The emotional pain is intensified as animals witness the barbaric death of countless fellow earthlings. This is especially traumatic for young animals that loose their parents, we see them bleating around searching for some comfort before falling victim to the “privileged” killer.

Ceremonially, the festival opens at the main temple where 5 types of animals are offered to the Gadhimai Goddess. For the last festival in year 2009, 2 rats, 2 pigeons, a pig, a lamb and 2 roosters were offered. What cause the stomach to turn is not just the act of killing but the delight of the spectators as they witness the gruesome act known as “panchhbali”. Unlike normal slaughter of animals, “panchhbali” is done to cause exaggerated suffering as the animals’ throats are slit in a protracted manner so that death comes agonizingly slow. The added pain to the creatures is said to better please Gadhimai Goddess. As a sign of ceremony, the sacrificial blood is sprinkled across the Goddess’ image and it’s surrounding.

The image of Gadhimai Goddess that is generously decorated for the festival

Another form and depiction of Gadhimai Goddess that is smeared with blood of the sacrificial animals

It is tragic to state that this ghastly event simply marks the commencement of 48 hours of massacre. Although all deaths, especially conducted by untrained and unskilled killers are painful, none beats the trauma for the buffalos that are hacked to death with blunt khukuri knives by 250 men who are intoxicated with alcohol. The violent men aim for the hind legs of the defenseless animals that are entrapped within a barricade of high walls and armed police to hinder their movements. Once the animal is crippled, the executors attack the neck area. It can take up to 25 strikes at the neck before a buffalo is killed due to animal’s large size combined with the impaired bodily movement of drunken killers.

Devotees and priests consume that blood of the “freshly” persecuted animal as a symbolism of blessing and protection

Approximately 250 men are selected to execute the sacrifice by beheading the animals in masses around the temple grounds

At this point, it is worth highlighting that despite the claims of spiritual honor and show of gratitude to serve the Goddess, these men are rewarded handsomely for each life they take. Again, where does the money come from? It is the money of poor and ignorant spectators who pay 20 rupees per person to watch the massacre. Therefore, it is questionable if spirituality and religiousness is the driving force behind this bloody occasion or is economic gain the motivation.

Religious act or spectacle? The sacrificial ritual is exaggerated to add elements of entertainment so that the audience is pleased with the “performance”.

The above are the “main spectacle” of the festival. Individual devotees can freely perform their own animal sacrifices at a fee of 25 rupees anywhere within a 3-kilometer radius of the Gadhimai temple. Here, another hundreds of thousands of other animals like sheep, pigs, chickens, goats, pigeons and rats are sacrificed.

Faces of death in the name of religion

While some begin to experience shame for the cruelty and display of ignorance of the Gadhimai Festival, many remain opportunistic and indifferent to the sadistic festival. It is this lack of empathy and wisdom that leads to the brutal sacrifice of an estimated of 500,000 animals and the chain reaction of adverse cause and affect.

 

Karma – The law of cause and effect

The consequence of Gadhimai and similar mass killing practices span beyond the 48 hours of the festival. This event does not only leave a negative impact on our health but also the wellbeing of generations to come because it will distort the mindset of humanity and destroy the ecosystem as the inter-relation between flora and fauna is abused and spun into imbalance.

It is traditional belief that the flesh of the sacrificed animal is considered blessed and can bring benefit like protection from evil. However, if we refer to food hygiene and safety standards, the treatment of the animals for the Gadhimai sacrifice prior to the killing as well as the method of slaughter is considered to have extremely negative impact on the meat quality and is also a threat of food contamination. It is confirmed that animals release hormones and toxins into their bodies when experiencing fear and stress, which remain in the corpse and alters the meat tissue resulting in significant deterioration in the meat content with reduced nutrition and increased bacterial activity. As the saying “we are what we eat” goes, our body naturally absorbs all the hormones and toxin that manifests in the form of diseases and, in more serious cases, widespread plagues. Besides negative effects from internally excreted poisons, the filthy conditions of the Gadhimai killing ground is the perfect place for cross contamination. The dead corpse of the weaker animals that died from starvation before the commencement of the festival would be lying dead for a substantial period of time before the meat is harvest for consumption. The risk of bacteria and virus spreading to the flesh of “freshly slaughtered” animal during the 2-days sacrificial ceremony is very high and doubles the health hazard of consumption of such meat.

Harvesting the meat and hide of the sacrificed animal for commercial gains

Besides physical wellbeing, the Gadhimai festival poses threat to mental or emotional health as well. Studies show that acts of cruelty towards animals nurtures the nature of violent pathology, which can spread to aggression towards other humans with time. There are statistics that show 30% of children act out similar behaviors of aggression from the violence they witness towards helpless animals. As they grow up, this violence will expand to deepen in their mind stream, forming a direct correlation between animal abuse and interpersonal violence.

The act of violence stems from a mind of violence, which is the cause of various social issues

Production and slaughter of so many animals for the Gadhimai Festival will inevitably and logically have long-term consequences on the environment. Based on the logistics of the festival, which is held every 5 years, it would be logical to assume that the production of livestock for the purpose of sacrifice to the Goddess will have to begin the moment the preceding festival comes to a conclusion. In other words, the environment is not given an opportunity to rest and revitalize itself. There is no records or study on the actual livestock production model of the Gadhimai Festival. However, I believe that the general process and related implications would not differ significantly from the farming of animals for meat consumption. Therefore, the research and data of the meat production industry will be used as reference to represent the impact of the Gadhimai massacre on our Earth.

Video 2: http://www.peta.org/videos/meet-your-meat/

One of the major environmental concerns of the 21st century is the emission of greenhouse gases. Livestock production accounts for 18% of global greenhouse gas emission, which can be broken down to 9% carbon dioxide and 37% methane. This makes the meat industry the largest emitter of methane, a gas that is 23 times more damaging to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. The direst aspect of this matter is the volume in which it is released because 1 cows produces about 500 liters of methane a day and every kilogram of beef consumed involves the discharge of 27liters of carbon dioxide. One may ask: “What is the impact of these numbers?” It is calculated that if everyone in America take meat and cheese off their menu for 1 day a week, it is like not driving 91 billion miles or taking 7.6million car off the road.

Beef & pork are the major contaminants and most consumed meat category

Besides emitting dangerous gas into the air, livestock production discharges excrement into the waterways directly or indirectly through the ground, creating “dead zones” that makes an area inhabitable. For example, manure from pig farms contain ammonia, methane, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, cyanide, phosphorus, nitrates and heavy metals as well as more than 100 microbial pathogens like salmonella, cryptosporidium (that causes gastrointestinal illnesswith diarrhea in humans) and giardia (parasite that causes severe diarrhea, stomach upset and nausea). It is worth mentioning at this point that the total phosphorous excretions of the meat industry are estimated to be seven to nine times greater than that of humans. The contamination does not only affect people but also the marine lives that become infected with diseases. More worrisome is the rising suspicion that the excrement from animal farms, which accounts for 50% of antibiotic use globally, is contributing to the manifestation of a strain of drug and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The globalization of the marketplace where export and import is rampant, the uncontrolled spread of emerging diseases pose a serious threat as demonstrated by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Bovine Spongiform encephalopathy (i.e mad cow disease) outbreak.

The cramped conditions in which livestock live causes the spread of diseases that ultimately find their way into our health system

Many chicken die in the filthy and overcrowded conditions of meat factories. Diseased corpses are left to rot, becoming a potent condition for outbreak of germs.

Another major issue caused by the livestock industry is the large-scale destruction of natural forests for the purpose of agriculture. It is reported that 2/3 of all agricultural land, which accounts for 33% of Earth’s surface, is devoted to growing feed for livestock. The clearing of forests causes soil erosion, which in turn depletes our grounds of nutritious topsoil leading to the increased use of low cost artificial fertilizers that creates a whole new range of negative environment consequences. With this, we enter the inertia of uncontrolled downward spiral of environmental damage. Besides using land to plant food to feed the farm animals, land is also used to construct farm buildings and vicinities to house the animals. Livestock, Environment and Development Initiative (LEAD) reports that an approximate 1.7billion animal in the livestock industry worldwide occupies about 25% of Earth’s land. The invasion of Earth’s surface is not limited to dry land but also coastal areas and coral reefs, which is one of most diverse and fundamental ecosystem of our Earth.

Lush forestland is destroyed to construct building to produce meat for consumption

Deforestation causes the loss of water tables and the depletion of rich topsoil on the surface of our planet

Lastly, the serious but easily forgotten impact on the environment is loss of biodiversity. As livestock production intensifies with the growing demand, study is done on the coexistence and competition of livestock with wildlife. Driven by economic gains, powerful cartels that monopolize the meat industry incur expensive and permanent biodiversity loss as natural habitats for wildlife are transformed into meat factories. It is recorded that farm animals account for 20% of terrestrial animal biomass and native fauna in 37% of the 825 identified global eco-regions are threatened by the expanding livestock trade.

In summary, the true cost of meat production is much more than the price tag labeled on the delusional package in which they are presented to us. We are unconsciously paying with our true inheritance, which are the natural resources of our Earth. We are paying with our fertile land, clean water, safe air and rich diversity of flora and fauna in exchange for meat and perceived blessing in the case of the Gadhimai Festival.

Although the driving force behind the Gadhimai Festival is an economic one, with closure examination, it can be concluded that the monetary benefit is short term and extremely limited. As the socially conscious world becomes aware of this cruel festival of sacrifice in Nepal, the gusto in which the Gadhimai devotees mercilessly slaughter the animals will become an obstacle to economic prosperity, a contradiction to the very purpose of the festival that is intended to bring good fortune. It is not far fetched to believe that main trade partners like India (who abandoned it’s practice of animal sacrifice) and America would disassociate themselves to avoid worldly scorn. One of the main industries that drive Nepal’s economy is tourism and some devotees of the festivals believe that such a brutal practice that “enriches Nepalese culture” can be a tourist attraction. If local people like Manoj Gautam, a youth member of Roots & Shoots, are beginning to experience shame by this obsolete, ignorant and egotistic act of sacrifice, it is wrong view that typical tourists will travel across the globe and pay money to witness such atrocity.

Reported in September 2014, Nepal’s principal economic activity remains agriculture that accounts for 37% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs 70% of the population. It is ironic that, in engaging in the Gadhimai Festival, Nepalese are unconsciously “biting the hands that feed them”. Another fallacy about the livestock industry is that its commercialization will bring benefit those working in the industry. It is reported that the rapid development has only made the corporates who control this industry wealthier while the 1 billion poor people worldwide who derive their livelihood on meat commerce suffer reduced employment opportunities and loss of income to competition. So, with the hundreds of thousands of lives sacrificed at the Gadhimai Festival, could it be that Goddess Gadhimai is failing her devotees as Nepal is still plagued with poverty?

The poverty in Nepal plagued the nation and the backward mindset that permits practices like the Gadhimai Festival is the source of such non-progressiveness

The wiser questions to pose would be: Is the economic condition of Nepal a consequence of Gadhimai’s failure to hear and grant the prayers and aspirations of her worshippers or is the poverty of Nepal a natural consequence of their inhumane actions based on Karma. Karma is the spiritual principal of the law of cause and affect but, secularly, the saying “What goes around comes around” has also tried the test of time. Karma is the inevitable repercussions where, collectively, the nation will bear the outcome of mass killing. Nepal is the poorest nation is South Asia and 17th most impoverished nation in the world with an unemployment rate of 42% as at August 2014 according to USAID. Despite the international support to build the nation’s economy, Nepal continues to struggle to move forward and upward with 25% of its population living below the poverty line. A series of five-year plans such as privatization of 17 state enterprises, incorporation of the Nepalese currency into the Foreign Exchange and foreign aid that makes up 50% of the development budget have been implement as an attempt to create progress in the economy. Programs to train and develop the youths of Nepal only resulted in the capacity to earn a meager US50 a month while efforts to “clean up” political policies which is necessary for the improvement in Nepal’s economic foundations to promote rapid, sustained, and inclusive economic growth is seeing slow advancement.

The blind attachment some Nepalese have to this obsolete practice of animal sacrifice is hindering the progress of the country because of karma and also superstitious and unprogressive mindset that does not welcome change and development. India was once a fervent practitioner of animal sacrifice but, today, this inhumane practice is banned and, through wisdom, compassion and skillfulness, an alternative solution of offering coconuts and pumpkin is introduced. The effort to stop the cruel practice of animal sacrifice began around 1958 through Supreme Court cases with consistent progress up to today. In addition to forbidding animal sacrifice, India has a large population of vegetarians, an estimated 30%. Through development of mindset through education and implementation of policies as well as effort to purify accumulated negative karma through the code of conduct known as Ahimsa in Hinduism, India’s economy has grown and prospered significantly since 1991. Today, India is the 10th largest economy in the world and a respected member of international organizations like World Trade Organization (WTO), BRICS and G-20. The outcome of ending the gruesome sacrifice of so many lives may remain unguaranteed and uncertain. However, what is certain is that all the blood shed at the Gadhimai Festival over the past centuries has not brought desired prosperity, externally or internally for Nepal and its people. Therefore, with a shining example like India that share close cultural and religious links, it would made sense for Nepal to review its old ways and adopt a solution that has been applied by India with proven potential outcomes.

 

Religiousness or Greed?

It is obsolete practices like Gadhimai that contributes to the increasing number of youths to shy away from spiritual faith because it is claimed that this grotesque events is practiced in the name of religion. However, with intelligence and wisdom that transform into investigation and discovery that the source behind such heinous acts cannot be religious but the interpretation of greedy individuals who seek to abuse the fear factor within every man.

Hinduism is one of the oldest known organized religions with sacred writings date as far back as 1400 to 1500 B.C. Through research and study, the fundamentals of Hinduism are Dharma (virtue or ethics), Samsara, Karma and Moksha (liberation). Together, they form the code of conduct (Ahimsa) that teaches the avoidance of causing harm to all sentient beings.

The purchaser of flesh performs himsa (violence) by his wealth; he who eats flesh does so by enjoying its taste; the killer does himsa by actually tying and killing the animal. Thus, there are three forms of killing. He who brings flesh or sends for it, he who cuts of the limbs of an animal, and he who purchases, sells, or cooks flesh and eats it-all of these are to be considered meat-eaters.”

Mahabharata, Anu. 115:40

Hinduism promotes the respect of all lives that is deemed sacred and precious

Supported by records in scriptures like the Rig Veda, the oldest of the Vedic scriptures, Brahmin priests use grains, vegetables and ghee, which is purified butter, in sacrificial rites. In the Rig Veda, the belief behind sacrificial rites and killing animals is complex and based on the 4 fundamentals of Hinduism listed above.

Practice of Dharma is being kind to all beings. In Hinduism, the buffalo is like our father as he ploughs the land on which we grow crops while the cow is like our mother who provides us with milk that nourished our body.

Five to six thousand years ago Vedic seers recognised that mankind require taking life from the lower level of consiousness to sustain their lives. However, this act must be done with great respect where prayers so that we “think twice before taking a sacred life”. In fact, commerce of meat is forbidden as the person who wants to consume meat must slain the animal himself or herself to experience and realize the horror and consequence of such and act, which will prevent unrestricted consumption. According to the scriptures, license is required for eating meat and killing of an animal for meat is limited to once a month under the supervision of a priest while reciting the prayer (mantra): “You are giving your life, so in your next life you will get the opportunity of becoming a human being. And I who am now killing you will become an animal, and you will kill me.”

The buffalo clearly depicted with reverence and respect

Animal sacrifice to the divine can be read in the scriptures, which should be rightfully read and practiced in two general approaches. Firstly, Vedic scholars have commented that the writings should not be interpreted literally as the Veda expressions contain many symbolism and concealed words that encapsulate deeper meanings. For example, animals mentioned in the context of sacrifice are actually representation of our inner faculties and “demons”. Secondly, animal sacrifice should be regarded as an inferior sacrifice for low level practitioner who should strive to advance and work towards offering superior sacrifices of inner afflictions with motivation to develop mind transformation and liberation.

These fundamentals of Hinduism and other religions that were founded in India like Buddhism are the cause for the large vegetarian population of approximately 31% or 350 million people in India. In 2007, the United Nations Food & Agriculture Association statistics show that India has the lowest rate of meat consumption in the world. It is stated in the teachings that the vegetarian diet is conducive for spiritual progress while meat consumption is a deterrent. Therefore, it is vital for Hindu priests and religious leaders to be vegetarians. The practice of sacrifice in the Gadhimai Festival completely contradicts these tenets of conduct. Furthermore, animals hold a high level of importance in Hinduism and Buddhism. As mentioned above, the sacrifice of animal is now banned in India and replaced with offering of coconuts and pumpkin. The Hindus believe that the breaking of pumpkin is equivalent to sacrifice of blood while the shattering of coconut symbolizes the crushing of the ego (aham) to merge with supreme soul.

 

Call to action

It is clear from the information presented that the cruelty of the Gadhimai Festival has no basis and neither the origination of the sacrificial practice as indicated by Anil Bhanot Ravi M. Singh nor the religion of Hinduism supports this extreme act of savagery. We are society of the 21st century and it is high time we progress from the barbaric age of gladiators where vicious suffering of others is pleasing entertainment. Awareness and understanding the truth behind the Gadhimai Festival sheds lights for the empowerment of action.

The suffering that stems from our lack of awareness is widespread and the story of the animals’ suffering during the Gadhimai Festival is one of many we can bring to an end. Our capacity and ability to make a difference to these helpless creatures, including the 1.7 billion animals of the livestock production industry, are unlimited and liberating. May we be warriors of justice for kindness and a sustainable community that lives in harmony with fellow earthling and Mother Nature.

Hope for humanity is the foundation on which a brighter future can be built for our children

 
Sources:

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_safety
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hazard_analysis_and_critical_control_points
  • http://www.think-differently-about-sheep.com/The_Gadhimai_festival_Why_it-must-never_happen-Again.htm
  • http://www.usaid.gov/nepal/economic-growth-and-trade
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Nepal
  • http://data.worldbank.org/country/nepal
  • http://www.occupyforanimals.org/animal-sacrifice-in-india.html
  • http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/02/india-court-bans-animal-sacrifice-hindu-temples
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_India
  • http://forbesindia.com/article/recliner/being-vegan-in-india/4482/1
  • http://www.think-differently-about-sheep.com/The_Gadhimai_festival_Why_it-must-never_happen-Again.htm .
  • http://www.animals24-7.org/2014/03/12/427/
  • http://www.peta.org/videos/meet-your-meat/
  • https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/earthlings.html
  • http://vedicknow.blogspot.com/2009/12/is-gadhimai-festival-bonafide.html
  • https://woods.stanford.edu/environmental-venture-projects/consequences-increased-global-meat-consumption-global-environment
  • http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/meat/review.pdf

 

Update July 30, 2015

Good news! Due to people signing online petitions and creating awareness, this festival has been stopped. The increased awareness and dialogue around the issue of animal sacrifice has also led the Indian government to restrict the export of animals into Nepal for this purpose. You can read more about this fantastic update below (click on the image to enlarge)!

Click on the image to enlarge. Source: http://www.ekantipur.com/2015/07/29/top-story/main-priest-appeals-for-slaughter-free-rituals/408587.html


 

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31 Responses to Gadhimai – A Holy Festival?

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  1. Chris on Dec 3, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    Animals do feel the pain and suffering that people will feel when we get hurt or dying. The fear and the pain is so great that it is inhumane for anyone to inflict the same to other living beings. Just because the beings are considered to be lower than us, that does not give us the rights to abuse them.

    If the religion teaches you to inflict pain on others in return to get blessings or to progress on your spiritual path, I think that might not be suitable religion.

  2. Gobin on Jul 20, 2019 at 5:24 pm

    Of course it’s really sad to know such festival.It is really sad to see that many races in the world, and many kind of ritual took place that required animals sacrifices.Yet, without any doubt only can prevent it by giving awareness to people belong to those ritual activity. Because I don’t blame the religion or their beliefs. I just want those people to be aware that we can show our beliefs towards God by praying and do Dharma to surroundings instead sacrifices animals to God.

  3. Pastor Chia on Jul 18, 2019 at 8:17 am

    Religion use sacrified to offer to the deity to bring good fortune and blessing at the pass show how people is so ignorance and selfish without concern about other aninals life. How can people use others suffering to fullfill their own happiness. Personally i did not see the logic behind. Such action must stop immediatlxxm and stop all the cruelty to animals.

  4. Julia Tan on Jul 17, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    All animals have feelings. They can feel happiness, sadness, depression, fear, affection, love and lost just like human. If we do not want suffering, why do we want others to be suffer tremendously just to sacrifice for us? Why someone have to be killed because you feel good of eating their meat? Why thousands have to be killed so that to fulfil you wishes?

    For one moment imagine and feel if u have to go through what they went through. Those pain, fear, helpless, hopeless and you can ask for help and no one can help you or will help you……..

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/what-to-order-on-the-menu.html

  5. June Kang on Jul 17, 2019 at 8:41 am

    If you are disagree about Animals are sacrificed for the holy festival, you should start this by yourself. If you are still eating meat, you should stop eating meat; otherwise you are guilty of double standards. If you are vegetarian, help to promote being vegetarian. Social media is a powerful tools and playing an important part to educate people of not killing animals, and you can always take charge to promote not to kill animals by using social media as a part of efforts to install awareness and education the peoples and the government. The government can play a role by implementing animal protection laws within the country, as well as suggested alternative offerings to the gods.

  6. Mingwen on Jul 17, 2019 at 7:46 am

    All lives are equal, it’s us that thought & make ourselves to be more superior to the others living beings on Earth and human beings take this for granted & ruining the world.

    Most of the things done by human beings are not beneficial to the Earth & the other living beings on Earth instead it’s breaking the Earth part by part.
    Whatever it’s, it’s always about to ease the human beings & nothing else.

    If we, don’t realize this, stop & make changes of what we are doing. In near future, we will all regret.

    fullferrantage-Tumblr-2

  7. Justin on Jul 17, 2019 at 1:06 am

    I don’t believe in taking ones life because we are trying to celebrate some occasion but then again this could have been a tradition long transcended from ancient times where belief in pleasing the gods with blood for instance is something important. As it is something cultural just like the whaling practice in nomadic tribes, they are so used to it till the fact that they don’t feel a thing anymore. There is always a question in my mind as to why would people allow this and ban Dorje Shugden which was carried down since the 5th Dalai Lama’s days till this modern age?

  8. Vivian Ong on Jul 17, 2019 at 12:49 am

    Actually it is quite sad to see so many animals are being sacrificed just for one festival. It is also not so good for the environment because of the gas release to the ozone which may affect plants and also humans. I think what people can do is to stop the elaboration while sacrificing the animals. They are already dying, why add so much cruelty in it to prolong their suffering.

  9. Andrea Lai on Jul 17, 2019 at 12:35 am

    I just can’t imagine how bad karma for these people doing such deeds. In the name of religion, it’s odd and don’t make sense. Religion thought us to understand ourselves, change and transform our mindset to be better people and in peace. Therefore, we need to learn to be kind and compassion towards every living being.
    Sacrifice animals lives to please Gods is common to many religious culture. Hence, to change these old customs may take very long time unless message to aware people of the danger and caused of the killings.

  10. Tek Lee on Jul 17, 2019 at 12:33 am

    It is really sad to see that many races in the world, and many kind of ritual took place that required animals sacrifices. I believe there none of religion teaches us to kill. And, no Buddha will take meat as offering. Those are only human thinking. Human think that offering meat to Buddha is precious. Especially in old time, animals like cows, goats, chickens are expensive. To the people, to afford a cow is precious, so they thought to offer what is precious to them to the Buddha, so that they can get blessing. That thinking is wrong. Unfortunately, there are many people who still think like that in the modern days.
    Buddha didn’t teach us to kill, in fact, Buddha taught us to love all beings. I hope more and more people have the opportunity to learn Dharma, so that they will understand and think logically. Taking life from other beings to make offering is wrong. I believe none of the Buddhas non of the Deities would like us to take life from other beings to offer to them.

  11. Datuk May on Jul 16, 2019 at 11:57 pm

    When there is fear of the mass, the greedy will take advantage to profit from that fear. Such is the explanation of the hundreds of animal beings being slaughter to satisfy and honour Gadhimai. Although the initial reasons for thanksgiving were not that many slaughtering of animals, with time and greed the slaughter of animals as sacrifices become massive that lasted for 48 hours with hundreds of animals killed.

    It is illogical to celebrate any joyful festival with killing. Religions are based on virtuous values and killing is definitely not virtuous

    In this, the 21st century, it is tragic to permit such ignorance and wrong doing continue and I am glad that Nepal has banned the slaughter of animals as sacrifices during this festival.

    May the right view of religions prevail that killing is a definitely no no.

  12. Pastor Henry Ooi on Jul 16, 2019 at 11:39 pm

    Many years ago whilst in Kathmandu, Nepal, with Rinpoche and some Kecharians, Rinpoche advised a Nepali friend not to smear animal blood on his car tyres as an offering during the Nepalese religious festivals. Rinpoche asked him to instead offer milk. In replacement of meat offering, to offer flowers and fruits instead. A few years ago, I was back in Nepal and this friend said he has taken Rinpoche’s advice to heart and ever since that day, he has stopped offering animal blood and meat. It may take some time for other people in Nepal to stop animal sacrificial offering during their religious festivals but it would be humane, hygienic, less costly if they were to switch to non meat offering. When demand reduces, supply automatically reduces. 

  13. pammie yap on Jul 16, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    I was in Nepal many years back and happen to pass by when they had this sort animal sacrifice. It was horrifying! The road was filled with blood and the place was packed with people. It was filthy and disgusting. I do not believe in lives being sacrificed to please the gods. Why would gods ask us to cause pain or hurt/kill another life? I believe that religion teach us to be kind and have wisdom to think for ourselves. Not to believe blindly for the sake of it. We should teach the younger generation how important it is for them be kind to each other and understand the importance of the effects from killing. So that they can in turn protect the earth and themselves for their future generations. I really hope that animal sacrifice be stopped and banned.

  14. Pastor Shin Tan on Jun 8, 2019 at 8:04 pm

    Your Next Meal!

    Yummy? Tasty? Behind the scenes of the meat on your plates. Meat is a killing industry.

    https://video.tsemtulku.com/videouploads/comment-1559986650.mp4


  15. Pastor Shin Tan on Jun 8, 2019 at 8:04 pm

    This is Daw

    This is what they do to get meat on tables, and to produce belts and jackets. Think twice before your next purchase.

    https://video.tsemtulku.com/videouploads/comment-1559986627.mp4


  16. Pastor Shin Tan on Jun 8, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    Don’t Take My Mummy Away!

    Look at the poor baby chasing after the mother. Why do we do that to them? It’s time to seriously think about our choices in life and how they affect others. Be kind. Don’t break up families.

    https://video.tsemtulku.com/videouploads/comment-1559986609.mp4


  17. Pastor Shin Tan on Jun 8, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    They do this every day!

    This is how they are being treated every day of their lives. Please do something to stop the brutality. Listen to their cries for help!

    https://video.tsemtulku.com/videouploads/comment-1559986591.mp4


  18. Pastor Shin Tan on Jun 8, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    What happened at Fair Oaks Farm?

    The largest undercover dairy investigation of all time. See what they found out at Fair Oaks Farm.

    https://video.tsemtulku.com/videouploads/comment-1559988165.mp4


  19. Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai on Jan 23, 2016 at 5:23 am

    If your god demands sacrifices, if your god begets pleasure from pain, if your god encourages killing, if your god is a jealous god, if your god revels in violence and war…how is your god any different from humans? And in that case, why seek the advice and protection of a being who is no different from any regular human being?

    Faith and worship should be aimed at our self-improvement, to take our body, speech and mind to the next level. So when qualities are nurtured in us to cause harm to others, we have to examine whether the practices foster the ascendant qualities in us, or if they simply reinforce the negative that we already engage in without the excuse of spirituality.

    Why do we have our various faiths and engage in them in the way we do? We do it because we want to be better and we want to lead better lives. Well, since that is our motivation, then wouldn’t we want to do everything possible to take the shortest route to happiness? Wouldn’t we want to engage in superior methods of practice? Then this most definitely discounts animal sacrifices. As the article says, animal sacrifices are considered inferior for the lowly practitioner. Why? Because animal sacrifices deal with the external, and the external is something everyone can engage in. But it takes a real spiritual practitioner to do battle on the inside, with our minds to rid it of the afflictive emotions that cause pain to ourselves and others.

    So whilst there may be cultural reasons for such practices, in this day and age, when people are more educated (therefore granting them greater access and understanding of the scriptures), such sacrifices are no longer necessary. In any case, if your god is truly a being with an enlightened mind, he / she will not change the way they feel about when you change the way you worship so it creates less harm for others.

    Ultimately, animal sacrifices don’t make any sense. If animals are god’s creatures (as some traditions believe), then we should respect god’s creatures and god’s creations as divine. How is sacrificing the divine, going to bring you any closer to divinity?

    I’m so happy to read that the Gadhimai festival has been cancelled, and that the needless death of thousands of animals will no longer take place!

  20. KB Thapa on Jan 20, 2016 at 1:54 am

    The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans to use. Reading the article broke my heart.. We must stop all this blood from animals. I wonder what kind of God would like blood from any leaving beings. It’s not the god asking kill animals it’s us using religion for their own gain. Thank you Rinpoche for the article , lets hope people open their hearts and see the pain animals going through..

  21. Phng Keng Hwa on Jun 12, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    When I first read this article, I was a bit skeptical that you would question whether this Gadhimai Festival was holy or not. After all, who are we to judge what other peoples religion and traditions are. But after reading the post, I started to see why. I found the entire thing disturbing, how could someone hack the head off a buffalo and laugh?

    And to kill those animals for personal gain just intensified my disturbance. Perhaps if they sacrificed for a good cause, such as good health for the family, the intention might have been on a somewhat… better level. But to sacrifice for your name to get bigger just seemed wrong.

    I’m sure that there were those with good intentions, but to kill for that reason is not the way to go. Also, when they said that they sacrifice so that the Goddess Gadhimai will protect them from diseases I felt dumbfounded. With all those dead animals laying on the ground collecting flies and other germs and bacteria, how could diseases be avoided? And then they go eat the meat.

    Sure, that won’t get them sick at all.

    I hope people will come to realise that this ‘festival’ is not really a festival.

  22. Edward Ooi on Feb 15, 2015 at 12:30 am

    Is it possible for Gadhimai to still stay in the Gods realm? Because millions or billions of animals have been sacrificed because of some legend of her bringing misfortunes to Nepal. I don’t think Gadhimai is a holy festival, not even the slightest. How is sacrificing half a millions of animals holy? I’m saying this with respect, I think the devotees and priests most probably be reborn in the three lower realms. I thought that Nepal is supposed to be a place for pilgrimage and all these holy stuffs, and they should best know that there is always afterlife but why would they sacrifice their afterlife just for a better living condition in this life only? Isn’t it better to practice Dharma, become vegetarians, not harming animals, fight against animal sacrifices and take better rebirths in your future lifetimes? For me, I would definitely choose the second one.

  23. Lucas Roth on Feb 8, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    It is so horrible how people can sacrifice another life for religious purposes, how can it be good to take another life? Especially for religious purposes, religious things are for learning the good and to make peace. For goodness, how can it be good to kill? That is very bad. Animals have lives too so why do we get to take them because we want them for a religious practice that kills. What gives us the right? Also why is it good to kill?

    Even in todays world, animals are being slaughtered in the billions, they are lives, animals can feel pain, express emotion and ca be smart and aware just like humans but we humans are so cruel and horrible that we can think that we are superior. What is wrong with us, what kind of creature can kill and eat or sacrifice another life? What kind of tradition are we setting. Killing is bad, when is it ok to kill someone so then why do we kill animals?

  24. James Larkin on Jan 14, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Whoever or whatever created this life system where each creature kills and eats the other and yet gives the creatures feelings, emotions and intelligence is sadistic and evil. Life is just suffering, a pointless hell and I pray I never come back to it.

  25. Sarah Yap on Dec 29, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    I have never understood the concept of sacrificing animals (or worst… in the ancient days, they sacrificed humans!) to the ‘gods’… I mean, why do you want to praise such a blood thirsty god? Because the god can benefit them, so they don’t care if the consequences is to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of lives every year? If that’s the case, then I would’nt want to be associated with such a god either because not only does it encourage me to kill, but it encourages my greed and being self centered.

    I have read about the Gadhimai festival before… and while this certainly is gruesome… it is not the only religious festival that involves killing. Many other festivals from other religions that involve animal sacrifice too.

    I just hope that with more education… people will gain the wisdom to understand that compassion for all sentient beings should be above any religious rituals one may need to perform.

  26. Stella on Dec 12, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    I have never heard about Gadhimai Festival until recently when I read post on Facebook asking us to support the petition against it. It is a horror to read the details of this so-called festival supposedly to please Gadhimai Goddess. The immediate thought that dawn upon me is “Who is Gadhimai Goddess? How could she be pleased with all these horrific and gruesome slaughtering in her name?” And without thinking further, I burped out (in my head) “Why can’t she do something to stop these people and punish them?” As I am pretty sure no divine goddess is a blood-drinker and would grin upon the cries of helpless animals being hacked to death.

    The significance of this all is not only on the painful and torturous ways in killing the animals but also in the sheer numbers of animals that go through the same ghastly treatment yet being celebrated by the men and women as well as their younglings of this country. True to be told, as I think deeper and contemplate on this write-up, I realize that people who celebrate all festival with pork, beef, chicken, duck, fishes, etc and splurge on beautiful leather products are not far from the people who participate in the Gadhimai Festival. There is perhaps marginally better treatments towards the animals in slaughter house than during Gadhimai Festival, but the satisfaction that people derived from the death of the animals could be the same. Ever heard any of your friend saying “the more meat I eat, the more satisfied I feel”? Isn’t it the same notion as the man who claimed a heightened satisfaction with the increasing numbers of dead animals through his hands?

    Please stop killing in any ways. Let’s practice Ahimsa.

    Thank You Rinpoche, Khoo, Julia and Li Kheng for this write up.

  27. Joy on Dec 8, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    This is certainly not a holy festival but an economical one for the rich to gain more while the poor struggle in hopes of a blessing from the divine so that their lives will be better. Truth it is deteriorating even faster.

    It’s quite scary to hear some villagers gloat and feels happier and satisfied after killing an animal and to kill it slowly, where the animal experience more pain is considered ‘good’. Wow what crazy wrong view is this? I pray I my mind never even degenerate in to such a state!

    I like the comparison researched and written on India and Nepal. One country that has given up animal sacrifices and has the highest percentage of vegetarians vs Nepal who is very much left behind and is one of the poorest nations in the world although so rich in culture and beauty. No I don’t think more tourists are going to flock to see this festival, I think more tourist is going to stand up against it. And yes it does seem like group karma is hindering Nepal’s prosperity as a whole. There is so much beauty in Nepal, but this festival sure it tainting it. I hope this festival will be abolished and banned in the next 5 years to come! Om Mani Pedme Hum

  28. Li Kheng on Dec 5, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Dear Rinpoche

    Thank you for giving us this assignment that enabled us to research, write and learn. It is eye opening to witness the prevalence of ignorance and unwillingness to change as societies grasp onto obsolete traditions that evidently cause more harm than benefit. However, as shocking as the learnings I gained from researching and writing this article with Khoo and Julia, I gained much hope.

    Why hope? Because the simple gesture of becoming vegetarian or eating less meat has such a significant impact on our world secularly and spiritually. It makes sense physically (health), economically (preservation and optimization of natural resources) and politically (stability with sustainable treatment of national resources and creating safe and healthy environment for the people) to promote vegetarianism and reduced consumption of meat and its by products.

    I hope the information provided will create impact through action. The first action available is to click on the link at the end of the article to support the petition to end this old habit to make way for progress and true prosperity as we preserve our inheritance from Mother Earth.

  29. Chandra on Dec 5, 2014 at 6:37 am

    To call this tradition cruel is an understatement. To tell you the truth Rinpoche, I wasn’t even aware of this ”festival” until few months ago when Facebook posts from your students started circulating with aims to urge the Nepalese Government to eradicate this tradition. I was quite appalled and shocked that these massacres still happened in Nepal. On the day of Gadhimai I saw a report on the BBC website and coming from a Nepalese the country would benefit a lot if it were highlighted for other reasons rather than these atrocious crimes. The Nepalese government lets the people and in this case animals down. Please stop these ruthless customs.

    • Joy on Dec 8, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      Thank you Chandra for being honest and speaking up. We need more beautiful people of Nepal to speak and speak against this festival of murder. Please keep spreading the news an educating those who does not know like yourself and those who are ignorant of this negative action! With more people talking about it, it will create the pull to change Napral future of such an inhumane act.

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    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/einstein-on-buddhism.html
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    Thankyou Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/film-tv-music/dont-let-the-sun-go-down-on-me-george-michael-and-elton-john.html
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    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/trisong-detsen-the-great-dharma-king-of-tibet.html
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    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing of a BIG Buddha Statue.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/daibutsuthe-great-buddha-of-kamakura.html
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    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/film-tv-music/dharma-bums.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Aug 7. 2022 03:05 PM
    Interesting spiritual journey of Venerable Longlian one of the best-known students of a famous religious leader of modern China. Venerable Longlian was a talented child, at the age of four she could read, write well and was fluent in Chinese poetry. She even could recite scriptures and Buddha’s name and had visited frequently to templesqith her grandparents. Ven. Longlian studied everything from poetry to Chinese medicine under famous teachers at that time. Received teachings from Tibetan scholars as well and took initiations of the three main Gelugpa tantric deities, Vajrabhairava, Guhyasamaja and Chakrasamvara from Changkya Khutukhtu, who was one of the highest authorities in the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. She did composed more than 1000 poems, through her years.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Shin for this interesting write up of China’s most outstanding Bhiksuni.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/ven-longlian-modern-chinas-most-outstanding-bhiksuni.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Aug 7. 2022 03:02 PM
    In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, monastic vows are for life. But somehow Ci’en temple in Zhejiang province offers three-month course and part-time vows recently. Situated in the luxurious forest, Ci’en temple a small temple remains its charm with impressive landscape and Buddhist culture. The Buddhist temple decided to offer admission to civilians who wanted to experience a monk’s life, only to be overwhelmed with applicants. It’s a small temple , hence only those were interested in Buddhism were given a chance. Participants of the program will live as monks in the temple free of charge. They will learn about Buddhist culture, read its scriptures and will also perform all Buddhist activities as arranged. It’s a good training ground to live as a monk or nun to cultivate minds.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Shin for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/ven-longlian-modern-chinas-most-outstanding-bhiksuni.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Aug 7. 2022 03:00 PM
    Ditsa Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery of Gelug sect in the Huzhu County of Qinghai province. Interesting history of this Ditsa Monastery, been shared . How the reincarnated Lama’s body has shrunk into an incorruptible adamantine body. Nobody at the monastery has realised that the reincarnated Lama was a Great Bodhisattva who came to the world for all sentient beings, but as ordinary people. Its only after the Lama had passed away. Since then the monks in Ditsa Monastery became more serious in their practice and maintained pure moral discipline. Reading this post has gave me a better understanding of that Bodhisattvas come into the world with a variety of manifestations as explained by Rinpoche. Set as a reminder to devote ourselves to our teacher with sincerity and respect and everyone we encounter.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-miraculous-vajrayogini-of-ditsa-monastery.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Aug 4. 2022 12:19 PM
    Lama Ole Nydahl is a Buddhist teacher and author in the tradition of the Karma Kagyu lineage. After years of studying Buddhist teachings and meditating , he was ask to go back to the West set up Buddhist centers. He was also the founder of over 600 Buddhist centers worldwide. As advice by his teacher the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje whom he met at Kathmandu, Nepal he founded the first Buddhist center in the west. Had studied and took many more initiations under many highly attained Lamas such as Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Gyaltsab Rinpoche, Ogyen Tulku Rinpoche and so on.He was also the founder of over 600 Buddhist centers worldwide. Since then, he has travelled worldwide giving lectures, leading meditation courses and guiding Buddhist centers . Lama Ole is the author of several books and is one of the best known western Buddhist teachers. Through his activities the Karma Kagyu lineage is one of the most popular Buddhist traditions in the West. Lama Ole Nydahl received the transmission of the Phowa teachings from highest Tibetan masters and is today the most significant teacher of this practice in the Western world. Interesting biography .
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/lama-ole-nydahl.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Aug 4. 2022 12:18 PM
    Meditation on death awareness is one of the oldest practices in all Buddhist traditions. Buddhist meditation practice of remembering that death can strike at anytime and anywhere. We should practice diligently and with urgency in every moment, even in the time it takes to draw one breath. Over the centuries Buddhism has evolved many different techniques such as mindfulness, loving-kindness and visualisation. Death awareness can serve as a real aid to practice, the importance of using every moment wisely, while we still have the time.
    Reading this article again to refresh , it’s a profound teachings one should read and understand it what is all about. All it take us 10 minutes of our time to do the practice.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this profound teachings.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/ten-minutes.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Aug 4. 2022 12:15 PM
    So blessing seeing all those beautiful Tara at Kechara . Walking through the Tara walk feeling the calmness as if we are walking into the wilderness of a forest . One will surely feels it , all due the kindness of our Lama Tsem Rinpoche , sponsors and those involved in this meritorious project.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing with folded hands.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/21-taras-of-tara-walk.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Aug 1. 2022 02:33 PM
    n Buddhism, there are a variety of attitudes towards different forms of fasting . According to Buddhist tradition, Buddha’s holy form as the ‘Fasting Buddha’ serves as a reminder for us and inspiration of Buddha’s difficult journey to achieve enlightenment. Fasting Buddha Shakyamuni fasted for forty-nine days under the bodhi tree while subjecting his body to extreme conditions to achieve enlightenment. Although it is believed that the Buddha endured great agony because of prolonged fasting, he never gave up and had used the challenges to justify abandoning his spiritual pursuit. Interesting read. Looking at all those images of Fasting Buddha tells all.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing ….a reminder all of us nor matter what happen , never give up in our spiritual journey.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/fasting-buddha.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Aug 1. 2022 02:32 PM
    Reading this again, its worth as great teachings by great Masters and looking at those rare pictures is a blessings. More over listening the powerful Holy voices of HH Kyabje Zong Rinpoche is indeed rare and precious. Merely by hearing HH Kyabje Zong Rinpoche’s voices and teachings is a blessings too. For everyone at the hall understands all about the Dharma Protector after hearing HH Kyabje Zong Rinpoche’s explanations. The truth is the truth and it cannot be wrong. Interesting read with precious pictures tell us a thousands words. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche’s advice on Dorje Shugden’s Practice with Chinese, Japanese, Nepali and Spanish subtitles is incredible so many more people will come to know the thruth.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this great sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/kyabje-zong-rinpoches-advice-on-dorje-shugdens-practice.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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

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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

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According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn\'t this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
3 years ago
According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn't this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden\'s blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
3 years ago
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden's blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
3 years ago
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat\'s doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
3 years ago
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat's doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
3 years ago
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
3 years ago
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
3 years ago
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
It\'s very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it\'s very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
3 years ago
It's very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it's very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
3 years ago
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
3 years ago
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
3 years ago
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
3 years ago
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
3 years ago
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
3 years ago
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
3 years ago
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
3 years ago
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
3 years ago
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
3 years ago
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat\'s land here in Malaysia
3 years ago
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat's land here in Malaysia
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
3 years ago
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
3 years ago
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
3 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
3 years ago
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
Sacred Vajra Yogini
3 years ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
3 years ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
3 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha\'s mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
3 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha's mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha\'s. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
3 years ago
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha's. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
3 years ago
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
3 years ago
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
This is pretty amazing!

First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
3 years ago
This is pretty amazing! First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
3 years ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
3 years ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
3 years ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
3 years ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
3 years ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
3 years ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
3 years ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
3 years ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
3 years ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
3 years ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
3 years ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
3 years ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
3 years ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
3 years ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
3 years ago
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
3 years ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
3 years ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
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    Cute Tara girl having a snack. She is one of Kechara Forest Retreat’s resident doggies.
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    Your Next Meal!
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    3 yearss ago
    This is Daw
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    3 yearss ago
    Don’t Take My Mummy Away!
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    They do this every day!
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    What happened at Fair Oaks Farm?
    The largest undercover dairy investigation of all time. See what they found out at Fair Oaks Farm.
  • She’s going to spend her whole life here without being able to move correctly. Like a machine. They are the slaves of the people and are viewed as a product. It’s immoral. Billions of terrestrial animals die annually. Billions. You can’t even imagine it. And all that because people don’t want to give up meat, even though there are so many alternatives. ~ Gabriel Azimov
    3 yearss ago
    She’s going to spend her whole life here without being able to move correctly. Like a machine. They are the slaves of the people and are viewed as a product. It’s immoral. Billions of terrestrial animals die annually. Billions. You can’t even imagine it. And all that because people don’t want to give up meat, even though there are so many alternatives. ~ Gabriel Azimov
  • Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 yearss ago
    Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is the first time His Holiness Dalai Lama mentions he had some very serious illness. Very worrying. This video is captured April 2019.
    3 yearss ago
    This is the first time His Holiness Dalai Lama mentions he had some very serious illness. Very worrying. This video is captured April 2019.
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    Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
  • This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 yearss ago
    This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
    3 yearss ago
    Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
  • These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 yearss ago
    These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
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    Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
    3 yearss ago
    Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
  • Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
    3 yearss ago
    Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
  • Beautiful
    3 yearss ago
    Beautiful
    Beautiful sacred Severed Head Vajra Yogini from Tsem Rinpoche's personal shrine.
  • My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
    3 yearss ago
    My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
  • Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 yearss ago
    Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 yearss ago
    Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
  • SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    4 yearss ago
    SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    Tsem Rinpoche's dog Oser girl enjoying her snack in her play pen.
  • Cute!
    4 yearss ago
    Cute!
    Oser girl loves the balcony so much. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTcoWpKJm2c
  • Uncle Wong
    4 yearss ago
    Uncle Wong
    We were told by Uncle Wong he is very faithful toward Dorje Shugden. Dorje Shugden has extended help to him on several occasions and now Uncle Wong comes daily to make incense offerings to Dorje Shugden. He is grateful towards the help he was given.
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
    4 yearss ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
  • Cute baby owl found and rescued
    4 yearss ago
    Cute baby owl found and rescued
    We rescued a lost baby owl in Kechara Forest Retreat.
  • Nice cups from Kechara!!
    4 yearss ago
    Nice cups from Kechara!!
    Dorje Shugden people's lives matter!
  • Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    4 yearss ago
    Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    Chirping birds and other forest animals create a joyful melody at the Vajrayogini stupa in Kechara Forest Retreat (Bentong, Malaysia).
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    5 yearss ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
  • Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
    5 yearss ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
  • BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
    5 yearss ago
    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    5 yearss ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    5 yearss ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 yearss ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    5 yearss ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    5 yearss ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    5 yearss ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    5 yearss ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    5 yearss ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 yearss ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    5 yearss ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    5 yearss ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    5 yearss ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

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.

View All Questions

CHAT PICTURES

Is this where Rinpoche received the thangkha of Dream Manjushri?
2 weeks ago
Is this where Rinpoche received the thangkha of Dream Manjushri?
Is this the ruins of Zimkhang Gongma established by Panchen Sonam Drakpa. -Choong
2 weeks ago
Is this the ruins of Zimkhang Gongma established by Panchen Sonam Drakpa. -Choong
We hold our DS puja weekly without fail. We welcome you to join us. Penang DS puja @ 3pm~ by Jacinta
2 weeks ago
We hold our DS puja weekly without fail. We welcome you to join us. Penang DS puja @ 3pm~ by Jacinta
DS PUJA @ Penang. A close up of the offerings. What a feast! #Throwback 23/7/2022.
2 weeks ago
DS PUJA @ Penang. A close up of the offerings. What a feast! #Throwback 23/7/2022.
#Throwback 23/7/2022. Our weekly DS puja attendees. All of us were getting ready to invite Buddhas to come forth, joining and blessing us during DS puja. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
2 weeks ago
#Throwback 23/7/2022. Our weekly DS puja attendees. All of us were getting ready to invite Buddhas to come forth, joining and blessing us during DS puja. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
#Throwback23/7/2022 Welcoming Buddha Shakyamuni, Gyenze, Shize & Namgyalma to Penang chapel. Abundance offerings, including sensory offerings were nicely set up and offered up to Buddha surfing our weekly DS puja @ 3pm, Jalan Seang Tek, Penang ~by Jacinta
2 weeks ago
#Throwback23/7/2022 Welcoming Buddha Shakyamuni, Gyenze, Shize & Namgyalma to Penang chapel. Abundance offerings, including sensory offerings were nicely set up and offered up to Buddha surfing our weekly DS puja @ 3pm, Jalan Seang Tek, Penang ~by Jacinta
Kechara Earth Project 17 July 2022
3 weeks ago
Kechara Earth Project 17 July 2022
Kechara Earth Project 12 June 2022
2 months ago
Kechara Earth Project 12 June 2022
#Throwback. Visitation of Ven. Zawa Tulku Rinpoche and Ven. Geshe Jangchup Gyaltsen to Kechara Penang Chapel on 17/5/2022. We did a short prayers together. Really happy for the short visit. Kechara Penang Study Group~ by Jacinta
3 months ago
#Throwback. Visitation of Ven. Zawa Tulku Rinpoche and Ven. Geshe Jangchup Gyaltsen to Kechara Penang Chapel on 17/5/2022. We did a short prayers together. Really happy for the short visit. Kechara Penang Study Group~ by Jacinta
Photo from JC
3 months ago
Photo from JC
Trying to WE-fie. Do we get that just alright, lol? Come and join us next time at Jalan Seang Tek, Kechara Penang Chapel. Celebrate Wesak with us ~ by Jacinta
3 months ago
Trying to WE-fie. Do we get that just alright, lol? Come and join us next time at Jalan Seang Tek, Kechara Penang Chapel. Celebrate Wesak with us ~ by Jacinta
Trying to "WE-fie". Do we get that just alright, lol? Come and join us next time at Jalan Seang Tek, Kechara Penang Chapel. Celebrate Wesak with us ~ by Jacinta
3 months ago
Trying to "WE-fie". Do we get that just alright, lol? Come and join us next time at Jalan Seang Tek, Kechara Penang Chapel. Celebrate Wesak with us ~ by Jacinta
Celebrated Wesak Day 2022 in Penang, with a group of fun, committed, helpful and also devoted friends & family. Kechara Penang Study Group 15/5/2022 ~by Jacinta
3 months ago
Celebrated Wesak Day 2022 in Penang, with a group of fun, committed, helpful and also devoted friends & family. Kechara Penang Study Group 15/5/2022 ~by Jacinta
Vesak Day 2022 - Bird liberation. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
3 months ago
Vesak Day 2022 - Bird liberation. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
All attendees are paying homage to Rinpoche and Buddhas before the start of our weekly Dorje Shugden puja. Outwardly, it seems that Dorje Shugden helps practitioners overcoming their obstacles and problems but ultimately Dorje Shugden’s supreme purpose is to help practitioners on their path to Enlightenment. Do join in our weekly DS puja, every Saturday @3 pm at Jalan Seang Tek, Penang. ~by Jacinta
3 months ago
All attendees are paying homage to Rinpoche and Buddhas before the start of our weekly Dorje Shugden puja. Outwardly, it seems that Dorje Shugden helps practitioners overcoming their obstacles and problems but ultimately Dorje Shugden’s supreme purpose is to help practitioners on their path to Enlightenment. Do join in our weekly DS puja, every Saturday @3 pm at Jalan Seang Tek, Penang. ~by Jacinta
All of us are practicing on how to properly use dorje(Vajra), bell and damaru ~ Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
3 months ago
All of us are practicing on how to properly use dorje(Vajra), bell and damaru ~ Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
After inviting Dorje Shugden Wangze, Pastor Seng Piow teaches us how to use ritual objects and the full set of prayer accompanying it. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
3 months ago
After inviting Dorje Shugden Wangze, Pastor Seng Piow teaches us how to use ritual objects and the full set of prayer accompanying it. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
With great happiness, merits and excitement that Penang Group have invited Buddha Wangzey to Penang chapel, complete with full rituals and prayer. 30th April 2022 Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
3 months ago
With great happiness, merits and excitement that Penang Group have invited Buddha Wangzey to Penang chapel, complete with full rituals and prayer. 30th April 2022 Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
Come and get your blessing from Lama Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugden in Penang @ Jalan Seang Tek ~ by Jacinta.
4 months ago
Come and get your blessing from Lama Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugden in Penang @ Jalan Seang Tek ~ by Jacinta.
Special thanks to one of our dedicated Penang group members, Choong for superb tormas. Swift Return Puja @ every Saturday, 3pm. Do contact William for more info ~ by Jacinta
4 months ago
Special thanks to one of our dedicated Penang group members, Choong for superb tormas. Swift Return Puja @ every Saturday, 3pm. Do contact William for more info ~ by Jacinta
Thanks to William for being the Umze for Swift Return Puja at Penang Centre. ~ by Jacinta
4 months ago
Thanks to William for being the Umze for Swift Return Puja at Penang Centre. ~ by Jacinta
The members of Kechara Penang Study Group are offering serkym to Dorje Shugden and His entourage. There's puja every Saturday @ 3 pm at Penang Chapel, Jalan Seang Tek. All are welcome. ~by Jacinta
4 months ago
The members of Kechara Penang Study Group are offering serkym to Dorje Shugden and His entourage. There's puja every Saturday @ 3 pm at Penang Chapel, Jalan Seang Tek. All are welcome. ~by Jacinta
We are in the third week of Ramadan this year, and kind volunteers have never failed to feed people in need since Tengku Zatashah started this meaningful #zerofoodwastage initiative in 2016. The aim is to benefit the underprivileged with nice surplus food collected from Ramadan buffets. Every night during the month of Ramadan, volunteers collect surplus cooked food from hotels and distribute it to charity homes and low-income families. THANK YOU, Tengku, dedicated volunteers and hotel partners, for making this Ramadan special for the underprivileged. #kecharasoupkitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment - KSK @ Vivian
4 months ago
We are in the third week of Ramadan this year, and kind volunteers have never failed to feed people in need since Tengku Zatashah started this meaningful #zerofoodwastage initiative in 2016. The aim is to benefit the underprivileged with nice surplus food collected from Ramadan buffets. Every night during the month of Ramadan, volunteers collect surplus cooked food from hotels and distribute it to charity homes and low-income families. THANK YOU, Tengku, dedicated volunteers and hotel partners, for making this Ramadan special for the underprivileged. #kecharasoupkitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment - KSK @ Vivian
We were chanting Migsetma mantra at the time this picture was taken. Thanks to all our Penang members who are very committed to attend Swift Return puja weekly. Kechara Penang Study Group, every Saturday @ 3pm. ~by Jacinta
4 months ago
We were chanting Migsetma mantra at the time this picture was taken. Thanks to all our Penang members who are very committed to attend Swift Return puja weekly. Kechara Penang Study Group, every Saturday @ 3pm. ~by Jacinta
William, who is our leader/ Umze is cleaning the pantry and Gordon offered up 4 carton of packet drinks today. We cannot thank you enough for all kind hearted who sponsored various offerings weekly. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
4 months ago
William, who is our leader/ Umze is cleaning the pantry and Gordon offered up 4 carton of packet drinks today. We cannot thank you enough for all kind hearted who sponsored various offerings weekly. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
Siew Hong came with a basket of fruits while Choong, who is expert in baking offered tormas today for our Swift Return Puja. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
4 months ago
Siew Hong came with a basket of fruits while Choong, who is expert in baking offered tormas today for our Swift Return Puja. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
Dedicated sisters, Sharyn and Swee Bee. They always make sure our puja offerings, especially fruits are arranged nicely. Kechara Penang Study Group ~ by Jacinta
4 months ago
Dedicated sisters, Sharyn and Swee Bee. They always make sure our puja offerings, especially fruits are arranged nicely. Kechara Penang Study Group ~ by Jacinta
Committed and hardworking Kechara Penang members, Mr. Tang and Mr. Huey. Really appreciate having you both at our weekly puja . Kechara Penang Study Group ~ by Jacinta
4 months ago
Committed and hardworking Kechara Penang members, Mr. Tang and Mr. Huey. Really appreciate having you both at our weekly puja . Kechara Penang Study Group ~ by Jacinta
KSK medic personnel have been tending to the needs of the clients every week. Their consistent kindness helps improve the medical welfare of those without a home. Thank you for serving and making them your priority on your weekends. #medicteam #kecharasoupkitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment
5 months ago
KSK medic personnel have been tending to the needs of the clients every week. Their consistent kindness helps improve the medical welfare of those without a home. Thank you for serving and making them your priority on your weekends. #medicteam #kecharasoupkitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment
In the midst of chaos, let's start healing. We have Dorje Shugden Puja every Saturday @ 3 pm. Contact William for more info. Kechara Penang Study Group. ~ by Jacinta.
5 months ago
In the midst of chaos, let's start healing. We have Dorje Shugden Puja every Saturday @ 3 pm. Contact William for more info. Kechara Penang Study Group. ~ by Jacinta.
5 months ago
Pastor is in da' house!!!! Kechara Penang Study Group @ Saturday, 3 pm. Contact William for more info ~ by Jacinta
5 months ago
Pastor is in da' house!!!! Kechara Penang Study Group @ Saturday, 3 pm. Contact William for more info ~ by Jacinta
5 months ago
6 months ago
After Dorje Shugden puja @Penang Chapel, Jalan Seang Tek, members went to a nearby vegetarian shop for gathering. #CNY2022 #HappyReunion by Jacinta.
6 months ago
After Dorje Shugden puja @Penang Chapel, Jalan Seang Tek, members went to a nearby vegetarian shop for gathering. #CNY2022 #HappyReunion by Jacinta.
In 2021, we've encountered far too many challenges—Pandemic, months-long lockdown, landslide, and flood. We are proud to witness Malaysians helping one another as these agonies come sequentially. Looking back to 2021, Kechara Soup Kitchen has made significant progress, with more to come in 2022. Every year, we move a little closer to our vision. We are immensely thankful to have such dedicated teams of volunteers willing to go above and beyond for our clients. Not to mention our sponsors and donors; none of this would have been possible without you. Thank you. Thank you for being you. Thank you for helping the underprivileged to a better future. Have a blessed year ahead from our hearts to your hearts. #2022 #newyear #kecharasoupkitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment
7 months ago
In 2021, we've encountered far too many challenges—Pandemic, months-long lockdown, landslide, and flood. We are proud to witness Malaysians helping one another as these agonies come sequentially. Looking back to 2021, Kechara Soup Kitchen has made significant progress, with more to come in 2022. Every year, we move a little closer to our vision. We are immensely thankful to have such dedicated teams of volunteers willing to go above and beyond for our clients. Not to mention our sponsors and donors; none of this would have been possible without you. Thank you. Thank you for being you. Thank you for helping the underprivileged to a better future. Have a blessed year ahead from our hearts to your hearts. #2022 #newyear #kecharasoupkitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment
Ipoh members were taking turns to offer Serkym and lights to Dorje Shugden. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
8 months ago
Ipoh members were taking turns to offer Serkym and lights to Dorje Shugden. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Kechara Ipoh members were preparing for Dorje Shugden puja. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
8 months ago
Kechara Ipoh members were preparing for Dorje Shugden puja. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh on 4th Dec 2021. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
8 months ago
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh on 4th Dec 2021. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Jun, our new Ipoh member, offered lights to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden & The Three Jewels. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
9 months ago
Jun, our new Ipoh member, offered lights to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden & The Three Jewels. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
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Dorje Shugden
Click to watch my talk about Dorje Shugden....