Kalmykia: Lore and Memory at the Far Side of the Buddhist World

Sep 12, 2016 | Views: 584

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(By Tsem Rinpoche)

The Kalmyks are known to be very spiritual because they abide in a community of people who are strong practitioners of Buddhism. I grew up with Kalmyks (A part of the Mongolian people) and during my childhood days back in Howell, New Jersey, I lived in the Kalmyk community and we would often visit the temples (khuruls) to make offerings to the Buddhas and to receive blessings and teachings from the resident lama (manya). This is part of my heritage. I am half Tibetan (dad) and half Mongolian (mom). Kalmyks (also spelled Kalmucks) are a very proud people, with rich traditions in song, dance, music, arts. They are very vibrant, resilient, outspoken and love their freedom. Being nomadic is in their blood. They are very firm in their faith of Buddhism and have carried their faith within their hearts for hundreds of years. Their history is very rich and extensive. I personally find Kalymk history very interesting. I enjoyed growing up with them and proud to have them within my heritage also. I miss many things I experienced as a child growing up in the Kalmyk community of Howell, New Jersey. Many of the Kalmyk elders have sadly passed on, but I remember so many of them vividly. They are a great people with a powerful heritage and strong convictions.

A federal subject of Russia, Kalmykia is the only region in Europe where Buddhism is practiced by the majority of the population. Below is an interesting piece of information gathered to introduce the hidden Kalmykia society to the world. Happy reading. I am very happy to present this to you.

May Kalmykia grow and become very prosperous! May Boorhen Buxsha (Buddha Shakyamuni) continue to bless these people.

Tsem Rinpoche

 


 

Kalmykia: Lore and Memory at the Far Side of the Buddhist World

By Raymond Lam | Buddhistdoor Global | 2015-12-21

Kalmyk lamas in the Bolshederbetovsky ulus (district). From the G. N. Prozritelev and G. K. Prave Stavropol State Historical-Cultural and Natural-Landscape Museum-Reserve.

Kalmyk lamas in the Bolshederbetovsky ulus (district). From the G. N. Prozritelev and G. K. Prave Stavropol State Historical-Cultural and Natural-Landscape Museum-Reserve.

One could be forgiven for imagining the Buddhist republic of Kalmykia to be an uneventful and empty place. A Russian federal subject of less than 300,000 people, the distances between its sparsely populated cities are long. Bumpy, uncomfortable roads stretch across spacious, windswept plains that appear the same wherever one looks. Kalmykia’s capital, Elista, had a provincial, sleepy atmosphere even during the relatively important international conference held there in October (“Buddhism in dialogue between Eastern and Western cultures: Past, Present and Future”), which I was fortunate to be able to attend. True to its time-themed sub-heading, the conference’s objective was to promote awareness of the region’s spiritual and cultural vibrancy. Kalmykia’s shadjin lama (head lama), Telo Tulku Rinpoche, has invited scholars and specialists to give lectures and seminars here ever since the 1990s as part of his mission to promote Buddhist and cultural activities in the region.

“The Buddhist republics are poor and lack the prestige of the big cities,” he admitted in one conversation we had. “But I think it’s good for scholars to have a sense of spiritual purpose while studying Buddhism, not just to talk to their own circles of academics in ivory towers. Scholars [from Russia as well as overseas] can work with our religious institutions to preserve our culture and heritage.”

Attracting young students (many of whom leave for better professional opportunities in Saint Petersburg or Moscow) to study Kalmyk cultural preservation is becoming an increasingly urgent priority. Given the “Definitely Endangered” status accorded by the UN to the Kalmyk language, Telo Rinpoche is confident that students who study the conservation of Kalmyk culture will be sought after for their unique skills.

A khurul dated to 1890. From Palmov Kalmykia Republican Museum of Local Lore.

A khurul dated to 1890. From Palmov Kalmykia Republican Museum of Local Lore.

Although this region south of the Volga River is quiet, it is not insignificant. The republic is located on the Pontic-Caspian steppe, temperate plains stretching out toward the Caspian Sea in the south and to the forests of old Germania and the taiga (boreal or snow forests) of Russia in the north. This home to the Proto-Indo-European cultures is part of the vast ecoregion called the Eurasian, or Great, Steppe. Geography shapes history, and the Great Steppe connects the Pontic-Caspian to the cultures and societies of Europe and the whole of Asia. On a map, the distance between present-day Kalmyks and their ancestral homeland, the Mongolian grasslands, covers almost the entire Eurasian Steppe. Their journey in the 17th century to the far side of the world, the westernmost limit of Buddhism until the 20th century, has been marked by energetic adaptation and cultural fusion, mass exoduses, and dogged survival.

Kalmyk lamas near a khurul. From the G. N. Prozritelev and G. K. Prave Stavropol State Historical-Cultural and Natural-Landscape Museum-Reserve.

Kalmyk lamas near a khurul. From the G. N. Prozritelev and G. K. Prave Stavropol State Historical-Cultural and Natural-Landscape Museum-Reserve.

The Kalmyks are devoted to the Dalai Lama and the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. The fusion of enlightened Dharma and Mongolian folklore can be spotted at the main gate of the recently built Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni, Elista’s largest temple. The statue standing watch in front of a waterfall staircase is a kindly, bearded guardian called the White Old Man (“Sagaan Ubgen” in Mongolian; “Tsagan aav” in Kalmyk). He is a worldly spirit, one you can supplicate for more children or prosperity, but like so many indigenous divinities, was assimilated into the Buddhist pantheon of Dharma protectors by at least the 17th century.

Before the Turkic word “Kalmyk” first appeared in a Russian document dated to 1574, the roughly 270,000 Mongolians moving westward from Mongolia’s Altai region were called different names. Broadly, they were part of a loose federation called the Oirats. However, as Elza Bakaeva wrote in an article about Kalmyk identity, “The adoption of this ethnonym [Kalmyk] differed among the various ethnopolitical groups (Torghut, Derbet, and Khoshut) that afterward melted into one ethnicity: the more intensively a group and its leaders interacted with Russia, the more the name was used” (Bakaeva 2014, 32).

Illustration of a khurul interior. From Palmov Kalmykia Republican Museum of Local Lore.

Illustration of a khurul interior. From Palmov Kalmykia Republican Museum of Local Lore.

The reasons for the Kalmyk migration are disputed, and range from a desire to emulate the Mongol conquests of Europe in the 13th century to prospects for Russian trade to a lack of grazing pastures. The earliest records of Kalmyk-Russian encounters date to 1606, when the Russian town of Tara received a Torghut diplomat, and by 1609 the Kalmyks had voluntarily become nominal subjects of Russia (Bakaeva 2014, 33–34). Shortly thereafter, the celebrated Oirat Buddhist cleric Zaya Pandita (1599–1662), who had studied under the 4th Panchen Lama (1570–1662), diligently propagated the Gelug school among the Mongolian ethnopolitical groups (including the Kalmyks). These groups had in fact been allied to the Gelug school since the rule of the Mongolian leader Altan Khan (1507–82), who bestowed the first Dalai Lama title on Sonam Gyatso (1543–88). Thanks to the westward migration of the Kalmyks, the lower Volga became the region with the oldest Buddhist presence in Europe.

Kalmyk shrine. From Astrakhan State United Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve.

Kalmyk shrine. From Astrakhan State United Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve.

Two major displacements continue to be remembered as great betrayals by the Russian state. The first is the mass exodus in 1771 to Dzungharia (now the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, it had been under the rule of the Qianlong Emperor [r. 1735–96] since 1757), when Ubashi Khan led a large number of Kalmyks to flee the increasingly oppressive policies of Catherine the Great. This prompted her to abolish the Kalmyk Khanate, which had been founded in 1630. The second is the Soviet deportation of 1943–57, which claimed up to about half of the Kalmyk population. Nearly all Buddhist institutions were closed or demolished, and monks were forced to disrobe or be killed. Autonomy was only regained after the new republic was founded on 29 July 1958.

Buddhist ritual on the steppe. From Astrakhan State United Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve.

Buddhist ritual on the steppe. From Astrakhan State United Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve.

It is difficult not to feel a sense of loss when looking at black-and-white photographs and drawings of “old Kalmykia,” the Kalmykia from the 17th to 19th century before its almost total destruction by the Soviets. These images can be found at institutions like the Palmov Kalmykia Republican Museum of Local Lore, Kalmyk State University, and the Astrakhan Museum. They contain memorabilia of Kalmyk history: the earliest students that went to university, heroes and heroines of the Second World War, portraits of past and present politicians and scholars. Photographs at the Golden Abode also capture what were once common sights: the khurul (monasteries for teaching liturgical languages, scriptures, and philosophy), choira (religious colleges for astrologers, philosophers, and physicians), and syume (permanent temples).

My favorite drawing shows a magnificent ritual hall resembling the rock-cut chaityas of India, complete with a grand hall, colonnaded cloister, and high arched ceiling. It is a nod to Buddhist continuity across time and space: from India’s chambers of stone to Tibet’s mandala-inspired architecture, all the way to their Mongolian-Kalmyk counterparts near the lower Volga. These old structures have entirely vanished from the contemporary landscape.

Prayer on the steppe with thangka images. From the G. N. Prozritelev and G. K. Prave Stavropol State Historical-Cultural and Natural-Landscape Museum-Reserve.

Prayer on the steppe with thangka images. From the G. N. Prozritelev and G. K. Prave Stavropol State Historical-Cultural and Natural-Landscape Museum-Reserve.

Modern Kalmyks inhabit a curious cultural and political space. The revival of their culture and religious practice is recent and incomplete. They feel great pride in having served as Cossack-like protectors of Imperial Russia’s southern border against Persia and the Ottomans, and in dying for the Soviet Union in the Great Patriotic War. But they feel just as proud of their cultural and religious identity as Buddhists cast in opposition to indifferent or malicious overlords. It is a peculiar interplay between piety, grievance, and patriotism that sustains their understanding of Kalmykia as a frontier of Eurasian Buddhism—their beloved home, yet not fully their homeland.

References

Bakaeva, Elza Petrovna. 2014. “Kalmyks, Oirat Descendants in Russia: a Historical and Ethnographic Sketch.” In Senri Ethnological Studies, no. 86: 31–54. http://ir.minpaku.ac.jp/dspace/bitstream/10502/5330/1/SES86_05.pdf.

[Source: http://www.buddhistdoor.net/features/kalmykia-lore-and-memory-at-the-far-side-of-the-buddhist-world]
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10 Responses to Kalmykia: Lore and Memory at the Far Side of the Buddhist World

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  1. Pastor Shin Tan on May 17, 2019 at 9:57 am

    The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. I hope many Mongolians will print out this image and place in their houses to create an affinity with Dorje Shugden for greater blessings. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz

    The powerful Mongolian nation has a long history and connection with Manjushri Dorje Shugden, as expressed in the life of Venerable Choijin Lama, a State Oracle of Mongolia who took trance of Dorje Shugden among other Dharma Protectors. Read more about Choijin Lama: https://bit.ly/2GCyOUZ

    Mongolian Dorje Shugden 2

  2. Samfoonheei on Nov 7, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Revisit this article…..simply amazing of how the people of Kalmykia trying hard to preserve their identity, culture and religion. The Kalmyk people are descended from nomadic Mongol herdsmen who travelled westwards in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Republic of Kalmykia is a constituent republic of the Russian Federation, live in southern Russia and the only Buddhist state in Europe. The Kalmyks are devoted to the Dalai Lama and the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism.
    Thankyou Rinpoche for this sharing.

  3. Vivian Ong on Jan 5, 2017 at 12:40 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article about Kalmyks. I am surprised that they practice Tibetan Buddhism from the Gelug school. I am also surprised that Russia is the only western country where Buddhism is practice widely across the country. It is sad to see that later on monasteries was forced to close and monks were forced to disrobe. The current Kalmyks are not as pure as compared to before.

    With folded palms,
    Vivian

  4. Wan Wai Meng on Dec 5, 2016 at 12:26 am

    I do hope, the the Kalmyks will recover culturally and regain most if not all their spiritual traditions. Nice pictures from a distant past.

  5. Choong on Sep 17, 2016 at 2:27 am

    Zaya Pandita Namkhaijamtso (1599 – 1662)

  6. Choong on Sep 17, 2016 at 2:15 am

    “Shortly thereafter, the celebrated Oirat Buddhist cleric Zaya Pandita (1599–1662), who had studied under the 4th Panchen Lama (1570–1662), diligently propagated the Gelug school among the Mongolian ethnopolitical groups (including the Kalmyks).”

    The Koshut prince Zaya Pandita above is also known as Jaya Pandita, one of the commonly accepted emanations of Dorje Shugden.

    Just like the 5th Dalai Lama and Tulku Dragpa Gyaltsen, Zaya or Jaya Pandita was a student of the 4th Panchen Lama Lobsang Chokyi Gyaltsen.

    It is written that after Tulku Dragpa Gyaltsen was murdered by the regent(s) of the 5th Dalai Lama, they began destroying any shred of his existence. However, a Mongolian monk managed to save Tulku Dragpa Gyaltsen’s written works and scurried it away to Mongolia.

    I believe this Mongolian monk is Zaya Pandita.

    https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Zaya_Pandita

    zaya-pandita-kalmyk-monk

    Zaja2

  7. Uncle Eddie on Sep 16, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    The Kalmyk people (or Kamyks) is said to be the name given to Oriats, western Mongols in Russia whose descendants migrated from Dzhungaria in 1607. Today they form a majority in the autonomus republic of Kalmykia on the western shore of the caspian sea. As written, “The Kalmyks feel great pride in having served as cossack-like protectors of the imperial Russian’s southern russia against Persia and the Ottomans – and in dying for the great patriotic war. They feel just as proud of their cultural and religious identity as Buddhists”. As said, the Kalmyks are the only inhabitants of Europe whose national religion is Buddhism. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, a large number of Kalmyks, primarily the young, was noted to have moved from Kalmykia to larger cities in Russia, such as Moscow, St. Petersburg and to the United States. The move was precipated by the desire of these Kalmyks to pursue better educational and economic opportunities. It is strongly believed that with these strong determination and conviction to create a new life for themselves, through strong tenacity, they will be able to make Kalmykia a frontier of Eurasian Buddhism – their beloved home, though as yet not fully their homeland! Thank you Rinpoche for the sharing and teaching. Om Mani Padme Hung.

  8. Fong on Sep 13, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    What a varied and rich history the Kalmyks have. It seems that the upheaval and all the changes has given the Kalmyks an impetus to keep faith with the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism since the rule of the Mongolian leader Altan Khan (1507–82).

    A curious mix of Mongolian and Russian culture and traditions. Their buildings look very unique as it is reminiscent of Russian architecture and yet not wholly so. Looking at the picture of the Kalmyks, I thought their clothing have remained very Mongolian in style.

    Nice that they have retained their unique blend of culture and traditions till modern times.

  9. Samfoonheei on Sep 13, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Thanks Rinpoche for sharing this interesting article of the Kalmykia:
    Beautiful history, very rich and extensive. of them having gone through hardship yet Buddhism still plays an important part in their daily lives. The hidden Kalmykia society is the only region in Europe where Buddhism is practiced by the majority of the population.That wonderful..they are trying to preserve their culture and heritage….not easy after all with political interference .They feel proud of their cultural and religious identity as Buddhists with a beautiful history behind it.Wish them a smooth journey to continue their spiritual path.
    Thank you Rinpoche…a good read
    .

  10. Sofi on Sep 13, 2016 at 3:50 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article by Raymond Lam on the history and people of Kalmykia. No wonder they are proud people, having to go through their tough living conditions and triumphing over the odds. I would imagine them holding their given words as gold which is why they hold on strong to their practice of Buddhism and are loyal to the Dalai Lama whom their ancestral Leader, Altan Khan made. They have such rich history and I love their grand Khuruls, their prayer ceremonies with full ritual instruments and their freedom to pray wherever they may be. Those pictures are so strongly nostalgic pulling me into sharing their history. They are true survivors both spiritually & secularly and may they never loose their rich history, especially their unique culture and language.

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    Congrats to the writers team for coming out with the first publication of Kechara Comics title “Karuna Find A Way”. I did enjoyed reading this comic . Its fantastic I could only say.
    Thank you Rinpoche and writers for this wonderful sharing .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/karuna-finds-a-way.html
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    The truth is the truth and must be reveal to all. May the ban on Dorje Shugden soon be lifted. A clear explanation tells all by Rinpoche.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this details write up.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/are-the-high-lamas-of-tibet-impotent-in-the-face-of-dorje-shugden

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  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jul 17. 2019 05:07 PM
    The Dorje Shugden controversy has been going for over two decades. Our Guru H.E. Tsem Rinpoche is one of the many who specks out openly about this issue publicly. Having the courage, brave and honest to explain the truth to those who did not understand the whole situation.
    The Dorje Shugden’s practice have been given to Rinpoche by his root teacher Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, for spiritual purposes. Dorje Shugden is an enlightened Dharma Protector who manifested about 400 years ago from a lineage of erudite masters. Over these years many erudite masters, monks, lamas have been practicing over decades before the ban. Rinpoche has been patiently over the years to provide accurate knowledge about Dorje Shugden across the globe. These truths must be reveal to all. The truth is the truth. It has proven that the practise Dorje Shugden, we do not go to the lower realms. Many highly attained lamas practised Dorje Shugden till the end of his life and has since reincarnated back . They have even composed prayers to Dorje Shugden, give Dorje Shugden initiation, give teachings and promote Dorje Shugden as well. They believe that they will not go to the three lower realms, and will definitely reincarnate into another human form to be recognized, enthroned and continue turning the wheel of Dharma. Interesting read.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this interesting and details write up for us to understand better.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/the-reasons-why-people-who-practice-dorje-shugden-do-not-go-to-the-three-lower-realms
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jul 17. 2019 05:05 PM
    Reincarnation is religious concept that the non-physical essence of a living being starts a new life in a different physical body after biological death. Reincarnation do definitely exist and I do believe . There are scientific proof that shows reincarnation is real and there a number of proven case. Reincarnation facts has proven by science and historically and is regarded by many religions. It is believed that the biological death does not destroy the soul, the soul comes back to earth in a different form, in a different body. In Tibetan Buddhism it is considered common, where there is many highly attained lamas has reincarnated back over and over again. One such example was His Holiness Zong Rinpoche. Interesting watch and I do pick new knowledge from there.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/interesting-reincarnation-video
  • S.Prathap
    Wednesday, Jul 17. 2019 04:37 PM
    Situation may change but Karma is constantly recording and waiting for the right chance to strike back.We should think about others when we make our decisions
    The decision we take should not inconvenient the people around us especially our family and friends.Thank you very much for this meaningful article and teaching.

    Read more : https://bit.ly/2Ggamrk

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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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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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 days 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
1 week 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!
2 weeks 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
2 months ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
2 months 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.
2 months 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.
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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!!!
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
2 months ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
Silver Manjusri figure from Ngemplak Semongan (Indonesia). Apparently during the Shailendra Dynasty, Mahayana Buddhism was very strong in Indonesia. This Dynasty promoted Mahayana Buddhism and Manjushri was a principal Buddha of worship.
2 months ago
Silver Manjusri figure from Ngemplak Semongan (Indonesia). Apparently during the Shailendra Dynasty, Mahayana Buddhism was very strong in Indonesia. This Dynasty promoted Mahayana Buddhism and Manjushri was a principal Buddha of worship.
In Buddhism: The Importance of Having a Clean Room- https://bit.ly/2ZgrbKS
2 months ago
In Buddhism: The Importance of Having a Clean Room- https://bit.ly/2ZgrbKS
There is an area near Lumbini, Nepal, they have sightings of Yeti for hundreds of years. So they have signages in the area with Yeti artwork to highlight this. Interesting. TR
3 months ago
There is an area near Lumbini, Nepal, they have sightings of Yeti for hundreds of years. So they have signages in the area with Yeti artwork to highlight this. Interesting. TR
Photos of footprints (Yeti) are from a high altitude pass (Darwa Pass) connecting Gangotri valley to Yamunotri valley through old pilgrim route.
3 months ago
Photos of footprints (Yeti) are from a high altitude pass (Darwa Pass) connecting Gangotri valley to Yamunotri valley through old pilgrim route.
Beautiful picture. Rare. Three holy beings.
3 months ago
Beautiful picture. Rare. Three holy beings.
May 1, 2019-I really enjoy this picture of these visitors visiting Dorje Shugden\'s grotto in Kechara Forest Retreat today. They look happy, light and blessed after doing their prayers to Dorje Shugden. I wanted to share this picture.- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
3 months ago
May 1, 2019-I really enjoy this picture of these visitors visiting Dorje Shugden's grotto in Kechara Forest Retreat today. They look happy, light and blessed after doing their prayers to Dorje Shugden. I wanted to share this picture.- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
A postcard of my great grand aunt Princess Nirgidma of Torghut-Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
A postcard of my great grand aunt Princess Nirgidma of Torghut-Tsem Rinpoche
Rei Kawakubo – Grand Dame of ‘Hiroshima Chic’- https://bit.ly/2Vz4N06
3 months ago
Rei Kawakubo – Grand Dame of ‘Hiroshima Chic’- https://bit.ly/2Vz4N06
Just now, this beautiful grape and orange infused water drink with a blue glass was brought in for me. I was amazed at the colors. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Just now, this beautiful grape and orange infused water drink with a blue glass was brought in for me. I was amazed at the colors. Tsem Rinpoche
We have to look in and change from within to find the way out of all that makes us unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche 

www.tsemrinpoche.com
3 months ago
We have to look in and change from within to find the way out of all that makes us unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche http://www.tsemrinpoche.com
文冬野人咖啡厅开张了!- https://bit.ly/2IRGdBM
3 months ago
文冬野人咖啡厅开张了!- https://bit.ly/2IRGdBM
Click on this picture and read about this very sad girl. Please offer your prayers for her to take a good rebirth. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Click on this picture and read about this very sad girl. Please offer your prayers for her to take a good rebirth. Tsem Rinpoche
Bigfoot cafe in Bentong, Malaysia-Delicious vegetarian food in a beautiful setting- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
3 months ago
Bigfoot cafe in Bentong, Malaysia-Delicious vegetarian food in a beautiful setting- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
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  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    2 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!!
    2 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.
    2 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

These are some of the food distribution photos taken from our kitchen last Saturday. We thanked all volunteers who have come to help for the preparation since 3pm. ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
3 days ago
These are some of the food distribution photos taken from our kitchen last Saturday. We thanked all volunteers who have come to help for the preparation since 3pm. ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Teacher Julie taught children Nagomi Art and they love it. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Teacher Julie taught children Nagomi Art and they love it. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback - Children volunteered in Kechara Soup Kitchen. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Throwback - Children volunteered in Kechara Soup Kitchen. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback- Fun activity in camp. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Throwback- Fun activity in camp. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback - DIY soap making activity. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Throwback - DIY soap making activity. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback- KSDS camp in Kechara Forest Retreat. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Throwback- KSDS camp in Kechara Forest Retreat. Lin Mun KSDS
A simple but meaningful way to spend the weekend liberating birds. Animals deserve lots of love, care and freedom too. Through them, we learn to be more compassionate! ~Kechara Penang Study Group Jacinta
5 days ago
A simple but meaningful way to spend the weekend liberating birds. Animals deserve lots of love, care and freedom too. Through them, we learn to be more compassionate! ~Kechara Penang Study Group Jacinta
Some members from Kechara Penang Study Group get together to do a Dorje Shugden puja this afternoon. Join us if you're in Penang next time. ~KPSG Jacinta
5 days ago
Some members from Kechara Penang Study Group get together to do a Dorje Shugden puja this afternoon. Join us if you're in Penang next time. ~KPSG Jacinta
Today we received a lot recycling items from the public. Thanks for supporting us always. KEP-Serena
5 days ago
Today we received a lot recycling items from the public. Thanks for supporting us always. KEP-Serena
Today we are doing recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. KEP-Serena
5 days ago
Today we are doing recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. KEP-Serena
Winners for Blog Chat Quiz in June 2019: 1st Prize Winner is Stella Cheang. Congratulations! Stella wins a Dorje Shugden Puja worth RM400 + Dorje Shugden pendant on black onyx. (Joy - Blog chat moderator)
1 week ago
Winners for Blog Chat Quiz in June 2019: 1st Prize Winner is Stella Cheang. Congratulations! Stella wins a Dorje Shugden Puja worth RM400 + Dorje Shugden pendant on black onyx. (Joy - Blog chat moderator)
Winners for Blog Chat Quiz in June 2019: 2nd Prize Winner is Wylfred Ng. Congratulations! Wylfred wins a Gyenze pendant + Original Red Crystal incense. (Joy - Blog chat moderator)
1 week ago
Winners for Blog Chat Quiz in June 2019: 2nd Prize Winner is Wylfred Ng. Congratulations! Wylfred wins a Gyenze pendant + Original Red Crystal incense. (Joy - Blog chat moderator)
How to Clear Spirit Disturbances by Pastor Chia Today at 9:30 PM – 11 PM in Kechara House, PJ
1 week ago
How to Clear Spirit Disturbances by Pastor Chia Today at 9:30 PM – 11 PM in Kechara House, PJ
Join us for the annual Ullambana Festival on Saturday August 10th at Kechara Forest Retreat and make the most of the auspicious Ullambana month. PROGRAMME: 9:00am – Opening speech & Dharma sharing 9:30am – Grand Ullambana Gyenze Puja for good fortune, long life & merits 12:15pm – Free vegetarian lunch 2:00pm – Grand Ullambana Trakze Puja for protection & blessings 5:00pm – End The highlight of the Ullambana Festival is two powerful & extensive pujas that will be performed according to the tradition of Gaden Monastery. We've also prepared a wide selection of traditional offerings to send bountiful merits to the people who matter in your life. Don't miss this opportunity to bring tremendous benefits to your dearly departed as well as those who are still with you. For more information on the Ullambana Festival and Ullambana offerings, please get in touch with us at +609 221 5600, +603 7803 3908, +6012 987 3908 (WhatsApp only), care@kechara.com or visit our online partner
1 week ago
Join us for the annual Ullambana Festival on Saturday August 10th at Kechara Forest Retreat and make the most of the auspicious Ullambana month. PROGRAMME: 9:00am – Opening speech & Dharma sharing 9:30am – Grand Ullambana Gyenze Puja for good fortune, long life & merits 12:15pm – Free vegetarian lunch 2:00pm – Grand Ullambana Trakze Puja for protection & blessings 5:00pm – End The highlight of the Ullambana Festival is two powerful & extensive pujas that will be performed according to the tradition of Gaden Monastery. We've also prepared a wide selection of traditional offerings to send bountiful merits to the people who matter in your life. Don't miss this opportunity to bring tremendous benefits to your dearly departed as well as those who are still with you. For more information on the Ullambana Festival and Ullambana offerings, please get in touch with us at +609 221 5600, +603 7803 3908, +6012 987 3908 (WhatsApp only), care@kechara.com or visit our online partner
Join us this weekend for SPIRITUAL SATURDAY in Kechara Forest Retreat! SATURDAY, 13 JULY 9.00 am: Cook for the community - salted eggs & pineapple jam 11.00 am: Book Club - Compassion Conquers All (Eng) / Time To Wake Up (Chi) 12.30 pm: Lunch INTERESTED? To RSVP your place (and your meal!), contact us: +6017 965 9484 (WhatsApp) retreat@kechara.com See all July activities: bit.ly/2FCrJm6
1 week ago
Join us this weekend for SPIRITUAL SATURDAY in Kechara Forest Retreat! SATURDAY, 13 JULY 9.00 am: Cook for the community - salted eggs & pineapple jam 11.00 am: Book Club - Compassion Conquers All (Eng) / Time To Wake Up (Chi) 12.30 pm: Lunch INTERESTED? To RSVP your place (and your meal!), contact us: +6017 965 9484 (WhatsApp) retreat@kechara.com See all July activities: bit.ly/2FCrJm6
In our Johor Bahru office, our single mother trainees get busy to do up the products taught to them by our #volunteers while their children were given additional tuition classes in another room. ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 week ago
In our Johor Bahru office, our single mother trainees get busy to do up the products taught to them by our #volunteers while their children were given additional tuition classes in another room. ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
How To Clear Disturbances by Pastor Niral - Monday 8. July 2019 at 9:30pm in Kechara House, Jalan PJU 1/3G, SunwayMas Commercial Centre 47301 Petaling Jaya
2 weeks ago
How To Clear Disturbances by Pastor Niral - Monday 8. July 2019 at 9:30pm in Kechara House, Jalan PJU 1/3G, SunwayMas Commercial Centre 47301 Petaling Jaya
Kechara Pastor Tat Ming is conducting a blessing prayer for a traveling tour bus at our holy place, Kechara Forest Retreat. By Pastor Yek Yee, shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 weeks ago
Kechara Pastor Tat Ming is conducting a blessing prayer for a traveling tour bus at our holy place, Kechara Forest Retreat. By Pastor Yek Yee, shared by Pastor Antoinette
Kechara Pastor Tat Ming is conducting a blessing prayer for a traveling tour bus at our holy place, Kechara Forest Retreat. By Pastor Yek Yee, shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 weeks ago
Kechara Pastor Tat Ming is conducting a blessing prayer for a traveling tour bus at our holy place, Kechara Forest Retreat. By Pastor Yek Yee, shared by Pastor Antoinette
Kechara Pastor Tat Ming is conducting a blessing prayer for a traveling tour bus at our holy place, Kechara Forest Retreat. By Pastor Yek Yee, shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 weeks ago
Kechara Pastor Tat Ming is conducting a blessing prayer for a traveling tour bus at our holy place, Kechara Forest Retreat. By Pastor Yek Yee, shared by Pastor Antoinette
Kechara Pastor Tat Ming is conducting a blessing prayer for a traveling tour bus at our holy place, Kechara Forest Retreat. By Pastor Yek Yee, shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 weeks ago
Kechara Pastor Tat Ming is conducting a blessing prayer for a traveling tour bus at our holy place, Kechara Forest Retreat. By Pastor Yek Yee, shared by Pastor Antoinette
Kechara Pastor Tat Ming is conducting a blessing prayer for a traveling tour bus at our holy place, Kechara Forest Retreat. By Pastor Yek Yee, shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 weeks ago
Kechara Pastor Tat Ming is conducting a blessing prayer for a traveling tour bus at our holy place, Kechara Forest Retreat. By Pastor Yek Yee, shared by Pastor Antoinette
Kechara Pastor Tat Ming is conducting a blessing prayer for a traveling tour bus at our holy place, Kechara Forest Retreat. By Pastor Yek Yee, shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 weeks ago
Kechara Pastor Tat Ming is conducting a blessing prayer for a traveling tour bus at our holy place, Kechara Forest Retreat. By Pastor Yek Yee, shared by Pastor Antoinette
Teachers went to recce the Farm in the City before the outing with students. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Teachers went to recce the Farm in the City before the outing with students. Lin Mun KSDS
Teachers and students do mantra recitation together before the start of dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Teachers and students do mantra recitation together before the start of dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
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Dorje Shugden
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