Must-Visit Bodhgaya: The Navel of the World

By | Jun 11, 2017 | Views: 7,259

(By Tsem Rinpoche and Pastor David)

Introduction

Since the time of the Buddha, the Dharma that he taught has spread to many countries beyond India. This has resulted in Buddhism adapting and becoming entrenched in many parts of Asia. Each country that Buddhism has spread to have developed their own unique flavour while retaining the core essence of the Buddha’s intent.

Bodhisattva Maitreya

Bodhisattva Maitreya

Despite superficial differences, all Buddhists look to their teacher and founder, the perfect Buddha Shakyamuni as the source of blessing, teaching and inspiration. Hence, Buddhists from around the world travel to Bodhgaya, the sacred ground where the Buddha gained enlightenment, for pilgrimage. This sacred place is not just the spot at which the Buddha achieved enlightenment but it is also the spot at which future Buddhas will manifest enlightenment. It is the site where, in the future, the bodhisattva Maitreya will achieve full enlightenment, becoming a Buddha. It is for this reason that Buddhists consider Bodhgaya to be ‘the navel of the world’.

Buddhists travel to Bodhgaya to retrace the footsteps that the Buddha took in order to achieve full enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. Every step and action that the Buddha took in order to achieve his goal has imbued the place with tremendous spiritual power. Even before his enlightenment, Prince Siddharta Gautama was already a high-level bodhisattva and that meant every action he took had tremendous blessing.

Therefore, Buddhists travel to Bodhgaya in order to tap into the Buddha’s blessings to purify negative karma and to plant the seeds of enlightenment into our mind streams. These are rare karmic seeds that will ripen in the future when the conditions are right and will allow us to continue on our spiritual path towards enlightenment. On top of that, the seeds planted in our mind streams at Bodhgaya are special because they create a special bond with the future Buddha Maitreya. They create a connection with Maitreya that we are reborn near or amongst his closest disciples, and thereby gain special teachings and blessings from Maitreya directly.

 

Location and Weather

This map show Bodhgaya is situated in the northeastern state of Bihar.

This map show Bodhgaya is situated in the northeastern state of Bihar.

Although Prince Siddhartha Gautama was born in Lumbini, he wandered far from his homeland of Kapilavastu after leaving the palace and renouncing his rich princely life in order to search for the truth as a mendicant. The mendicant Siddhartha had learnt much from the four leading meditation masters of his time and practiced the most severe of ascetic practices. Yet, he was no closer to finding the truth.

One day, Siddhartha came to the realisation that he should pursue the ‘Middle Path’ and after regaining his health, he sought a new spot for his meditations. His wandering brought him to what is known today as Bodhgaya. Bodhgaya today is a small bustling village about ten kilometres south of the city of Gaya in the Indian state of Bihar. It is situated west of the Niranjana River, which is a tributary of the larger Ganges River.

The state of Bihar lies in the north-eastern part of the Indian subcontinent and borders with Nepal. Due to its location, the weather is subtropical with hot sunny skies during the summer months between April to mid-June; cool weather through the winter months of December to January; and the famous Indian monsoon season between June to September.

 

Tracing Siddhartha’s Footsteps

An ancient carving of Prince Siddhartha.

An ancient carving of Prince Siddhartha.

Prince Siddhartha was born in Lumbini just outside of the ancient kingdom of Kapilavastu amidst auspicious signs and a prophecy by a sage called Asita that he would either become a great king or upon encountering human suffering, would become a universal teacher. Even with the king’s great effort to shield his son, Prince Siddhartha still came face-to-face with human suffering one day while on an excursion out of the palace walls. He beheld what would become known as the Four Sights – an old man, a diseased man, a funerary procession carrying a corpse followed by mourners, and a saintly and peaceful mendicant.

The young prince was greatly disturbed by what he saw and he realised that everyone would have to experience the same suffering. He finally resolved to seek an answer to suffering itself and in order to do that, he had to leave the palace and with it, he left behind his family, luxuries and a promising future as a prince and heir to the throne. Upon leaving the palace walls, he cut his hair, wore the robes of a mendicant and left in search for the truth. He met with four leading teachers of his time, who taught him meditation and he quickly surpassed them but he was no closer to the truth.

While engaging in severe ascetic practices for six years in Uruvela (modern day Bodhgaya), Siddhartha realised that he had to pursue a different path between the two extremes of self-indulgence and self-mortification, which later became known as the ‘Middle Way’. So, he accepted an offering of milk and rice from a cowherd by the name of Sujata and slowly regained his strength. The five mendicants who were his companions thought that he had abandoned his practice and left him. He then began to look for a conducive place for practice and found his way to Uruvela and chose a spot under a Pipal tree (known today as the Bodhi tree) and sat down to meditate. He vowed never to arise until he had attained his final goal at that very spot.

It is believed that Siddhartha meditated for 49 days under that tree. The night before his enlightenment was divided into three stages called the three watches of the night. During the first watch of the night he gained a complete vision of all his past lives. During the second watch of the night he perceived how all beings die and are reborn according to their karma and plane of existence. During the third watch he realised the complete cessation of craving and suffering. Therefore, his mind was completely liberated and he had thus attained full enlightenment.

Old Mongolian thangka that depicts the Buddha being attacked by the forces of Mara.

Old Mongolian thangka that depicts the Buddha being attacked by the forces of Mara.

It was just before achieving enlightenment that Mara, believed to be the embodiment of mankind’s ego arose, and sent his daughters of unearthly beauty to distract the Buddha but they failed. The second time, Mara sent his army of demons to attack the Buddha but Mara failed again. The third time, Mara claimed that the seat of enlightenment rightfully belonged to him and not to the mortal Siddhartha. Mara challenged Siddhartha, “who will speak for you?” It was then that Siddhartha reached out his right hand to touch the earth, and the earth itself spoke: “I will bear witness!” Mara was utterly defeated and he disappeared. Thus, Prince Siddhartha had achieved complete and perfect enlightenment. He was henceforth known as the Buddha, the Awakened One.

 

Local Language and Cuisine

 

Language

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Hindi, Maithili, and Urdu are the official languages of the state of Bihar. On the other hand, the majority of the people speak one of several Bihari languages, like Bhojpuri or Magadhi. Interestingly, Bihari languages were once mistakenly thought to be dialects of Hindi. However, more recently, linguists have examined and found these languages to be descendants of the ancient Magadha kingdom (Magadhi Prakrit), along with Bengali, Assamese, and Oriya.

It is not an easy task to ascertain the number of people who speak Bihari languages due to unreliable methods of gathering numbers. Naturally, most educated urban speakers would consider Hindi as their main language because it is what they use officially in the media and commerce. Despite the large number of speakers of Bihari languages, these languages have not been constitutionally recognised in India, the only exception being Maithili, which is recognised under the Eighth Schedule.

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Cuisine

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The staple food of the northern Bihari state is a dish composed of roti, dhal,
chawal, sabzi, and achar. This dish is cooked with lentils, wheat flour, rice, vegetables, and pickle. This dish is cooked traditional using mustard oil. Usually, Bihari people have a boiled rice-based meal for lunch and a roti-based meal for dinner and breakfast. On the other hand, khichdi is a broth made of rice and lentils seasoned with spices and served with several other dishes and this constitutes the mid-day meal for most Hindu Biharis on Saturdays. The favourite dish among Biharis is litti-chokha. Litti is made up of sattu, which is flour made from a mixture of ground pulses and cereals, while chokha is made of smashed potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant.

Bihar traditionally offers a large variety of sweet delicacies and they are mostly dry, unlike those from Bengal. Bihari sweets include chen murki, kala jamun, kesaria peda, khaja, khurma, pua & mal, pua, thekua, murabba and tilkut. Many of these sweet foods actually originate in towns in the vicinity of Patna. On the other hand, salted snacks and savouries popular in Bihar include litti, makhana and sattu. The foods of eastern Uttar Pradesh and western Bihar were strongly influenced by Mughlai cuisine due to historical connections. Consequently, Bhojpuri cuisine arose with Bihari flavour and thus reflects Bihar as a unique confluence of culinary cultures.

Bihari delicacy called Pitti Chokra.

Bihari delicacy called Pitti Chokra.

 

20 Great Places to Visit in Bodhgaya

 

1. Mahabodhi Stupa and Bodhi Tree

The Magnificent Mahabodhi Stupa.

The Magnificent Mahabodhi Stupa.

The ancient Mahabodhi Temple commemorates the Bodhimanda, or the place of enlightenment, of Buddha Shakyamuni. The temple is built traditionally facing east and features a 150-foot spire above the spot where the original Bodhi tree, under which the Buddha became fully enlightened, was located.

The inner sanctum of the temple houses a magnificent 10th century, two-meter tall gilded image of the seated Buddha. This statue was carved out of a black stone by artisans of the Pala kingdoms of Bengal. The Buddha is seen seated in the bhumisparsha mudra or the ‘earth touching’ posture. It is said that the golden Buddha image within the Mahabodhi temple complex was sculpted in the exact likeness of the Buddha himself. Legend has it that when the temple was built there were no worthy statues of the Buddha to be found. One day, a sculptor arrived from afar and declared that he would sculpt a statue, but that he would require scented clay, a lamp and that the door to the inner sanctum not be opened for six months. However, the door was opened a few days ahead of schedule.

Ancient main image of Buddha Shakyamuni within the Mahabodhi Stupa.

Ancient main image of Buddha Shakyamuni within the Mahabodhi Stupa.

They found a statue of great beauty, perfect in every detail except for a small part on the breast that was left unfinished. Later, a monk who slept in the sanctum had a dream in which the bodhisattva Maitreya appeared and revealed that he was the one who carved the statue. According to another source, this statue was commissioned 60 years after the Buddha’s parinirvana by one of Lord Buddha’s female disciples who actually beheld the golden face of the Buddha himself. The statue is actually made of a black stone but has since been covered with a layer of gold, which was sponsored by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Hence, this statue is said to be the closest resemblance with what Lord Buddha looked like.

Pilgrims offer robes, which the temple caretaker carefully offers onto the statue itself.

Pilgrims offer robes, which the temple caretaker carefully offers onto the statue itself.

It is believed that Emperor Ashoka visited Bodhgaya and built the Mahabodhi Vihara Temple about 280 years after the enlightenment of the Buddha. However, construction of the temple only completed in the 7th century CE during the reign of the Gupta kings. Incredibly, four of the original stone railings surrounding the temple date back to the early Shunga period (184–72 BCE) survive to this day amongst later replicas. Since then, the temple has undergone several restoration and repair works, aided by the especially devout Burmese. In 1883, a thorough and scientific restoration of the temple was completed under the supervision of the British Archaeologist Sir A. Cunningham, J.D.M. Beglar and the Indian Archaeologist Dr. Rajendra Lal Mitra. Finally in 1956, on the occasion of 2,500th Buddha Jayanti celebrations, the Government of India performed some repair works and enlarged the compound of the Mahabodhi Vihara.

The Bodhi tree which the Buddha sat under until he gained full enlightenment was known as Sri Maha Bodhi. However, the current 80-feet tall tree is not the original tree from the Buddha’s time but a descendant of that tree. A sapling of the original tree was carried by Emperor Ashoka’s daughter, Sanghamitta to Sri Lanka.

The descendant of the original Bodhi tree that the Buddha sat under to become enlightened.

The descendant of the original Bodhi tree that the Buddha sat under to become enlightened.

King Ashoka, the great Indian Emperor who ruled from 269 to 232 BCE, about 200 years after Buddha’s parinirvana, paid special attention to the original sacred Bodhi tree. His wife, Tissarakkha, in a jealous rage destroyed the Bodhi Tree. Fortunately, a cutting from the tree that grew in Sri Lanka from the sapling that Sanghamitta took with her, was replanted in Bodh Gaya when the original tree died. Under this tree is a red sandstone slab known as the Vajrasana, the diamond throne, believed to mark the spot of Buddha’s enlightenment. This red sandstone slab was originally placed there by King Ashoka.

Bags, MP3 players and phones with cameras are advised to be kept in the lockers 50 meters to the west of the entrance. Ever since bombs exploded within the complex in 2013, security has been extra tight.

Map of Bodhgaya that marks the location of the Mahabodhi Stupa along with other places of interests.

Map of Bodhgaya that marks the location of the Mahabodhi Stupa along with other places of interests.

Address:
Bodhgaya, Bihar 824231, India
Phone: +91 631 220 0735
Website: http://www.mahabodhi.com
Opening Hours: 5:00 am – 9:00 pm

Daily Routine of the Mahabodhi Temple:

5:00AM Opening of the Mahabodhi Temple
5:30 am to 6:00 am Sutra Chanting and Meditation
10:00 am Offering of Kheer (rice pudding made of cooked rice, milk and sugar)
6:00 pm to 7:00 pm Sutra Chanting and Meditation
9:00 pm Closing of the Mahabodhi Temple

Associated fees:

Camera:

Digital Camera / Camera Rs. 100/- per day
Handy Video Camera Rs. 300/- per day
Video Camera Rs. 500/- per day

BUTTER LAMP OFFERING:

Small Lamp Rs. 2/- each
Medium Lamp Rs. 4/- each
Large Lamp Rs. 10/- each

(Butter Lamps House situated in the south side of the Temple premises.)

 

2. Animeshlochan Chaitya

The Animeshlochan Chaitya shrine overlooks the Mahabodhi stupa.

The Animeshlochan Chaitya shrine overlooks the Mahabodhi stupa.

During the second week after his enlightenment, the Buddha spent his time sitting facing the Bodhi tree, meditating deeply upon it in gratitude. It is said that the Buddha stared at the tree without blinking, and so the tree became known as animeshlochan or ‘unblinking’. A prayer hall or chaitya has since been built upon the spot.

 

3. Ratnachakrama

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Ratnachakrama literally means ‘jeweled walk’ and this pathway is marked by a raised platform with lotus designs demarcating the Buddha’s steps that he took during the third week after his enlightenment. It is said that he paced 18 steps back and forth near the Bodhi tree, and that lotus sprang up under his feet wherever he stepped. Today, the Ratnachakrama lies along the northern Temple wall.

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4. Ratnaghar Chaitya

The gates to the Ratnaghar Chaitya shrine.

The gates to the Ratnaghar Chaitya shrine.

This shrine lies northwest of the Temple and marks the location where Buddha spent the fourth week after his enlightenment in meditation. It was here that he received a vision of his future mission, and the higher aspect of wisdom, the Abhidharma. It is said that blue, yellow, red, white and orange lights emanated from the Buddha as he meditated. These colours have subsequently used on the Buddhist flag.

Ancient Buddha images enshrined within the Ratnaghar Chaitya.

Ancient Buddha images enshrined within the Ratnaghar Chaitya.

 

5. Ajapala Nigrodh

The pillar on the left of the signage marks the Ajapala Nigrodh.

The pillar on the left of the signage marks the Ajapala Nigrodh.

This is a pillar marking the spot of Buddha’s fifth week of meditation. Originally under a Banyan tree, the Buddha sat and counselled some Brahmins. He taught them that one is true Brahmin by virtue of karma, or one’s actions, rather than one’s birth.

 

6. Rajyatana Tree

The tree next to the sign marks the location of the old Rajyatana Tree.

The tree next to the sign marks the location of the old Rajyatana Tree.

The Buddha spent his seventh week meditating under this tree and it is said that he gained his first two lay disciples here. They were merchants from Burma who had come and offered him his first meal following his seven weeks of meditation. This tree is originally located near to the temple, on its southeast side.

 

7. Muchalinda Pond

The statue of the Buddha protected by the hood of the Naga commemorates the event of the sixth week.

The statue of the Buddha protected by the hood of the Naga commemorates the event of the sixth week.

Buddha spent his sixth week of meditation here. There was a great shower of rain, and the Naga king, Muchalinda sheltered the Buddha by winding his coils seven times round the Buddha’s body and holding his hood over the Buddha’s head.

 

8. Thai Monastery

The beautiful exterior of the Thai Temple.

The beautiful exterior of the Thai Temple.

The Thai Monarch at the request of the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru built this Thai Temple at Bodh Gaya in 1956 in order to strengthen relations between the two countries. This temple is unique for being the only Thai temple in India as it perfectly exemplifies the beauty of Thai architecture with its sloping and curved roof. The temple is situated facing the main road and is next to the tourist bungalow.

The temple enshrines an exquisitely carved bronze statue of Lord Buddha. The temple is quiet and serene as you walk into the main prayer hall. There is also a recently built 25-meter high statue of the Buddha in the garden near the Thai Temple.

Address: Bodhgaya, Bihar 824231, India

The elegant shrine to the Buddha within the Thai temple.

The elegant shrine to the Buddha within the Thai temple.

 

9. Daijokyo Buddhist Temple & 80-foot Buddha Statue

Japanese Daijokyo Buddhist Temple exterior.

Japanese Daijokyo Buddhist Temple exterior.

The Daijokyo Buddhist Temple was built on a 2-acre piece of land allocated by the Government of Bihar. This temple was inaugurated on February 13, 1983 by the then President of India, His Excellency Gyani Zail Singh. The temple is a double-storey concrete building with a three-storey tall pagoda on top that was built in Japanese style. The Buddha statue enshrined within the temple is in the meditation posture, is made of bronze, and was brought over from Japan.

The shrine with the Daijokyo Buddhist Temple.

The shrine with the Daijokyo Buddhist Temple.

On the other hand, the inauguration and consecration of the Great Buddha Statue took place on November 18, 1989. The consecration ceremony was graced with the presence of the 14th Dalai Lama, who consecrated the 25-meter statue, the first large outdoor Buddha ever built in the history of India. The statue is now a symbol of the holy place Bodhgaya alongside the Mahabodhi Temple, which is a World Heritage site, and enjoys constant visits by pilgrims from all over the world. Amongst the local people it is nicknamed ‘the 80-foot (25-meter) Buddha Statue.’

The great Buddha Statue within the compounds of the Daijokyo Temple.

The great Buddha Statue within the compounds of the Daijokyo Temple.

Surrounding the Great Buddha Statue are smaller statues of his ten great disciples on either side, as if protecting and following him. The first to be unveiled and consecrated were Sariputra and Maudgalyayana in November 1993. Then, the other statues of the other eight great disciples, namely Mahakasyapa, Subhuti, Purna Maitrayani-putra, Mahakatyayana, Anuruddha, Upali, Rahula, and Ananda were consecrated in March 1996. The ten statues are made of sandstone from Chunar, near Varanasi, which is the same material as was used for the Great Buddha Statue.

Address: Bodhgaya, Bihar 824231, India
Phone: +91 631 220 0747
Opening hours: 7 am to 12 pm, 2 pm to 6 pm (to 5:30 pm in winter)

 

10. Royal Bhutanese Monastery

The beautiful exterior of the Royal Bhutanese Monastery.

The beautiful exterior of the Royal Bhutanese Monastery.

The king of Bhutan built the Royal Bhutan Monastery dedicated to Lord Buddha, Guru Rinpoche and 4-armed Chenrezig. Intricate clay carvings are seen on the interior walls of the monastery that depict different aspects of the Buddha’s life story.

Address: Birla Road, Bodhgaya
Opening hours: 7:00 am to 7:00 pm

The colorful shrine to the Buddha Shakyamuni, Guru Rinpoche and Chenrezig within the Royal Bhutanese Temple.

The colorful shrine to the Buddha Shakyamuni, Guru Rinpoche and Chenrezig within the Royal Bhutanese Temple.

 

11. Japanese temple (Indosan Nippon)

The simple and dignified exterior of the Japanese Indosan Nippon temple.

The simple and dignified exterior of the Japanese Indosan Nippon temple.

Located at Temple Road. Activities include daily meditation at 6AM and 5PM.This is another outstanding example of Japanese temple architecture. It temple was built in 1972 with the assistance of the international Buddhist community. The structure of this temple was originally carved out of wood and it is meant to look like a traditional Japanese shrine. It also showcases traditional Japanese paintings that tell the story of Buddha Shakyamuni’s life.

Address: Bodhgaya, Bihar 824231, India
Opening hours: 5:00 am-12:00 pm, 2:00 pm-6:00 pm

Main shrine to the Buddha within the Indosan Nippon Temple .

Main shrine to the Buddha within the Indosan Nippon Temple .

 

12. Taiwanese Temple (World Chonghwa Buddhist Sangha)

The exterior of the Taiwanese Buddhist Temple .

The exterior of the Taiwanese Buddhist Temple.

This temple was built in the Chinese architectural style by the Taiwanese government and Buddhist monks. Although it is a very small structure, it is worth visiting. Like other temples, it is dedicated to Lord Buddha. The monastery is located near the Mahabodhi temple complex.

Address: Bodhgaya, Bihar 824231, India
Phone: (0631) 2200 503/ 673

 

13. Archaeological Museum

Entrance to the Archaeological Museum of Bodhgaya.

Entrance to the Archaeological Museum of Bodhgaya.

The museum is closed on Fridays, and has an entrance fee of Rs.10 (for foreigners and locals alike). It possesses a small but interesting selection of Buddhist and Hindu artefacts from Bodhgaya and other nearby excavation sites. Photography is not allowed.

Address: Gaya Center, Bodh Gaya 824231, India
Phone: 0631-2200739
Opening hours: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Entrance fee: Rs. 10/- per head (Children up to 15 years free)

Original artifacts uncovered within the Mahabodhi Temple sites.

Original artifacts uncovered within the Mahabodhi Temple sites.

 

14. Mahabodhi Temple Complex Bookstore

Located inside Mahabodhi temple complex entrance. It has a very wide selection of books on Buddhism, Buddhist culture, and the Mahabodhi temple. All books are new and sold at local prices.

Address: Mahabodhi Temple, Bodh Gaya, Bihar
Opening hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (Daily)

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15. Kundan Bazar Book/Clothing/Gift Shop

Located on the main road near Embassy Hotel, Kundan Bazar is a great little shop with a good selection of clothing, gifts, and books. Their prices are not exorbitant, but do bargain a little.

Address: Kundan Bazar Guest House, Bhagalpur Village, Bodh Gaya Road
Opening hours: 7:00 am to 8:00 pm (Daily)
Phone: +91 631 220 0049

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16. Bodhi Tree Educational Foundation

This is a volunteering organisation located in a village 5 kilometres out of the city. They will provide accommodation, food and other activities around the Gaya and Bodhgaya areas.

Email: peace_answer@rediffmail.com
Website: www.BodhiTreeEducationalFoundation.org

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17. Tibet Om Cafe

Excellent pastries, great and wholesome Tibetan food too. This is a popular destination for tourists.

Address: Near Birladrhamsala, Bodh Gaya 824231, India
Phone: +91 72779 40832
Opening hours: 7:00 am to 9:00 pm (Daily)

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18. Be Happy Cafe

(In front of the Vietnamese temple, just follow the signs).
A small cafe ran by a wonderful Canadian women. The cafe specializes in thin crust pizzas, Italian pastas, sandwiches in thick bread, freshly made cakes, homemade granola for breakfast and a variety of coffees.

Address:
In front of Vietnamese Temple
Kalachakra Ground, Bodhgaya, Bihar 824231, India
Phone: +91 87971 18390
Opening hours: 8:00 am to 8:30 pm

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19. Bowl of Compassion Cafe

Bodhgaya (Opposite the police station).
It is a relatively new restaurant serving delicious Indian and international cuisine, with connections to the nearby Bowl of Compassion NGO. Patrons can choose special “Compassion meals”, where the extra money goes towards helping the poor of the Tikha Bigha Village. Volunteers are welcome.

Address: Bodhgaya, Bihar 824231, India
Phone: +91 99312 77814
Website: https://bowlofcompassion.org
Opening hours: 10:00 am to 11:00 pm

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20. The Olive

(near Hotel Sujata on Buddha Road, on same side).
Impeccably clean, with glass topped tables, and filtered water. Excellent pasta dishes include spaghetti, fusilli, and penne. Other favourites include boiled vegetables, aloo gobi, and masala chai.

Address: Near Hotel Sujata, Gaya, India

 

How To Get There

Gaya International Airport – the gateway for most international travellers to Bodhgaya.

Gaya International Airport – the gateway for most international travellers to Bodhgaya.

From overseas, the nearest international airport is at Gaya, which is 17 kilometres away. Druk Air flies from Bangkok once a week, and Thai Airways flies to Gaya daily. Indian Airlines flies from Kolkata on Fridays at 10am and returns back on Mondays from Gaya at around 3pm. Air India flies from New Delhi via Varanasi every day and Indigo also flies from New Delhi as well.

Alternatively, you may take a flight to Patna Airport, which is 110 kilometres away and take a train or a taxi to Bodh Gaya. This is more feasible for most travellers as Patna has direct and daily flights to Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai.

Bangkok can be used as a hub to change flights to Kolkata, as there are many daily flights between the two cities, and because there are four to five daily flights from Kolkata to Patna.

For those travelling from South East Asia the best suited route is from Bangkok to Kolkata, then from Kolkata to Patna. Transfers between Patna Airport and Bodhgaya are available through Punpun Trails (a local travel agent) throughout the year and can be booked online.

 

Where to stay

  • Burmese Vihara, Gaya Road. The Vihara offerings very basic accommodation and exists mainly to cater to groups of Burmese pilgrims, but there are often rooms available for others too. Rules are posted prominently. Food service is only for those arriving in groups and by prior arrangement.
  • Kundan Bazar Guest House, Bhagalpur Village (Near Old Vietnam Temple), +91 631 220 0049 (reservations@kundanbazar.com), This guest house offers single rooms to full-service apartments, bike rentals, internet cafe, snooker bar, self-service kitchen, laundry facility, tour packages, and more.
  • Mahabodhi Society, GDD, +91 631 220 0742. There are both private rooms and dorms available here.
  • Rainbow Guesthouse, next to Burmese Vihara on Gaya Road. Offers basic rooms, which can be cleaned more thoroughly on request, and has friendly and reliable staff.
  • Rahul Guesthouse, (Just further north up the road 100 metres from Deer park and the Bodhi tree there’s a sports oval, Rahul’s and many other guest houses are just on the other side of the oval. Walk along the road that goes around the oval and you’ll see it.). It offers amazingly clean rooms, with medium customer service. It’s surrounded by about four other guest houses, so it’s a good spot to head towards and shop around. Single rooms cost roughly Rs 350.
  • Sakya Monastery Guesthouse, Mastipur Village (Near Bhutan Monastery), +91 631 220 0770. Clean, simple, friendly, peaceful and calm environment.
  • Siddhartha Vihar, Bihar Tourist Complex, +91 631 220 0445. Simple, but comfortable rooms.
  • Hotel Sujata, Buddha Marg, +91 631 220 0481/220 0761/220 0011 (htsujata@vsnl.com / info@sujatahotel.com, fax: +91 631 220 0511). Offers a clean environment and good restaurant.
  • Welcome Guest House, is a 2 mins walk from Mahabodhi Temple (opp-jayprakash prak), +91 631 220 0377 (welcomeguest_house@yahoo.co.in) Welcome Guest House offers cheap and pleasant rooms in the centre of town.
  • Om Soni Family Guesthouse, on a little street near the Japanese Temple, +91 997 345 4906. A monk at the Japanese monastery recommend this place because he has known the owner, Vijay Kumar, since he was a little boy. Vijay is a really nice guy and the bathrooms are clean, though the rooms a bit small. There is no Wi-Fi, but for the price, it is a good deal in town. Ask people around the Japanese temple if you can’t find it. You have to walk by the temple and then make a left one or two streets past the woodcarvers shop. It is roughly Rs. 250-300 rupees for a double.
  • Hotel Buddha International, near the Japanese Temple, Bodhgaya, + 631 220 0506. (hotel.b.int@gmail.com) This is a budgeted hotel in Bodhgaya, there are 31 air conditioned rooms with single & double occupancy. Room facilities include features like attached bath, running hot and cold water, internet browsing, refrigerators, CCTV, direct dial facility, etc. Other facilities include a multi cuisine restaurant, henna designing, swimming pool, Ayurveda centre, travel desk, doctor on call, free parking, etc.
  • Suma House, Off Saxena Rd (Near Root Institute), +91 898 729 1171. This delightful family are genuinely caring hosts. The building is situated out of town amid the quiet of fields and trees. The rooms are large as are the bathrooms. It has been recently built and is clean and fresh. Air conditioning is available, with 24-hour hot water, Wi-Fi and home cooked meals on request. The family is very inclusive and also run a small NGO teaching disadvantaged children and adolescents in the guesthouse. A truly delightful place to stay from around Rs 600-1500.

 

Travel books on Bodhgaya

Get the most out of your visit to Bodhgaya. Before you arrive, read up on some travel books to help plan your trip and make your journey more enjoyable. Two of the most popular travel books on Bodhgaya include:

Bodh041 Walking with the Buddha – Buddhist Pilgrimages in India

This is an illustrated guide to the various sacred Buddhist sites (including Bodhgaya) throughout India, following a time-honoured pilgrimage circuit. This book is packed with an abundance of information, ranging from ancient stories of the Buddha’s life to archaeological facts on the various sacred sites. This book has over 200 photos and maps detailing every aspect of the sites, from its architectural heritage to its associated literary wealth that reveals Lord Buddha’s contribution to the world.

Bodh042 Meeting the Buddha: On Pilgrimage in Buddhist India
Author: Molly Emma AitkenThis book takes you on a literary tour from E.M. Forster to Peter Matthiessen and Allen Ginsberg. These are some of the most celebrated writers who have travelled to the various sacred Buddhist sites of India in search of spiritual enlightenment. They have written of their personal experiences on their journeys, and for the first time, these works have been compiled into this single volume to inspire the intrepid pilgrim.

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Pastor David Lai
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About Pastor David Lai

David is a lay Buddhist pastor of Kechara and a longtime student of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche. Initially a reluctant writer, he now finds himself writing for a living and has published four books including his autobiography, There's No Way But Up and Conversations in Love.

David is a lover of Buddhist art and whenever he can, he shares his knowledge of the Dharma with everyone, giving frequent teachings and writing on his blog www.davidlai.me.
Pastor David Lai
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12 Responses to Must-Visit Bodhgaya: The Navel of the World

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  1. Samfoonheei on Aug 3, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    Bodh Gaya is the site of the Buddha Shakyamuni’s enlightenment, 2,500 years ago. Is well known as the most revered of all Buddhist sacred sites , a must visit place for every Buddhist. One of the most important pilgrimage sites for Buddhists all over the world.
    I would love to visit this place one day, to retrace the footsteps Buddha and where Buddha achieved full enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. Well engaging in some prayers in these holy places will be wonderful. Wow….in Bodhgaya itself there are 20 great interesting place to visit.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David for this interesting write up on Bodhgaya.

  2. wan wai meng on Sep 3, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Bodghaya is a spiritual pureland and one can be exposed to all forms of Buddhism and traditions, and also engage in making offerings all over. Any Buddhist would like to be associated to this location, that the next Buddha, Maitreya will also manifest at. Thank you for this guide of Bodghaya.

  3. Stella Cheang on Jul 15, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    I have always wanted to make pilgrimage trips to places revolving Buddha’s life; especially his birth place – Lumbini, the place where he attained enlightenment – Bodhgaya, where he first turned the wheel of Dharma – Sarnath, and where he entered clear light – Kusinara. The write up by Pastor David provides intricate details and information that are very useful to plan for the trip. It will really be nice to go with like minded friends, where everyone can engage in some prayers in the holy place if possible, to invoke upon the magnificent blessing by the Buddha.

  4. Stella Cheang on Jun 30, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    It is both inspiring and eye-opening to read this informative article by Pastor David. It is not exaggerating to say that Bodhgaya is the navel of the world because Bodhgaya is the place where Buddha gained enlightenment 2,500 years ago. Buddhism had since then spread and evolved into the mainstream of many nations, culturally and religiously. It is evident how Buddhism took shape by the uniqueness of Buddhist temple from Thailand, Japan, Bhutan and etc which were built in Bodhgaya. For me, I will not miss the ancient stories of Buddha’s life through tracing the archaeological facts in various sacred sites. I wish that I will be able to visit Bodhgaya one day.

  5. Anne Ong on Jun 25, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Testing..

  6. Anne Ong on Jun 25, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Thank you Pastor David for this very interesting article on Bodhgaya.And beautiful pictures and places. I always feel happy to be able to read and see these places because I’m unable to travel and visit. I didn’t know the Bodhi tree is not the original tree. Have been wondering about it already how it could live for so long. Nice to know anyway! Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David once again. _/\_

  7. Jason on Jun 23, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    This is very interesting and informative article to pilgrims who plan to do pilgrimage to India.As we can see that Bodhgaya itself already have 20 sites to visit for pilgrimage purpose. As I remember, Rinpoche did ask us must pay visit a huge Japan architecture Buddha in Daijokyo Temple.This is the only Japanese temple in Bodhgaya. I really wish i can visit Bodhgaya soon to increase my spiritual knowledge and can benefit others and myself.
    Thanks Pastor David for such details information.

    Jason

  8. Fong on Jun 12, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    Beautiful article. Such a sacred place for Buddhists and would really be good to be able to make this pilgrimage to connect with a holy and energy.

    Thank you, Pastor David for another wonderful piece of information on more than 1 level.

  9. Samfoonheei on Jun 12, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Beautiful and meaningful place to visit Bodhgaya for every Buddhist.Bodh Gaya is a religious site and place of pilgrimage associated.
    Buddhists travel there to retrace the footsteps Buddha and where Buddha achieved full enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. I do hope i could there some day.Amazing there are about 20 great interesting place to Visit in Bodhgaya itself.The history of each place are interesting as well.Bodhgaya is the most revered of all Buddhist sacred sites.
    Thank you Pastor David Lai sharing this beautiful post with beautiful pictures and details to make the trip there easier.

  10. Lin Mun on Jun 12, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    Thank you Pastor David for this interesting article about Bodhgaya, the place where Buddha Syakyamuni gained enlightenment. The most interesting part is having different temples built by the Japanese, Taiwanese, Thais and Burmese. The diversity of Buddhism in Bodhgaya itself. I really wish to have the opportunity to visit these holy places.

  11. Datuk May on Jun 12, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Thank you, Pastor David for this very educational account of Shakyamuni Buddha, the essence of His teaching which had evolved since 2,600 years ago. Evolved to accommodate cultural and traditional practices in the different parts of the world but never changed on the ultimate 4 Noble truths of suffering and the 8 fold path to cessation of suffering in Samsara. The Dharma that had lasted through times and that which has proven to be faultless and perfect.

    What impacted me the most is that even in this holiest place in the Universe, the navel of the world, it so inclusive that different types of temples are built to exhibit the differences in structure and still representing the pure Dharma. This inclusiveness of temples built by Burmese, Tibetan, Bhutanese, Japanese, Chinese and Thais with their different styles of architecture indicates the very universal acceptance of Buddhism of diversity upon the similar foundation of the essence of Buddhism.

    I have enjoyed this article tremendously and thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David. Knowledge is the foundation of faith.

  12. Choong on Jun 11, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    This is the first time that I’ve looked at a map with the location of Bodhgaya. It is so close to present day Bangladesh and Burma.

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  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Aug 19. 2022 01:16 PM
    Came across this old post of a truly caring KB whom has been working for our Guru Tsem Rinpoche for a long time. Reading through all those comments tells all about KB …..a truly compassionate man. We can begin with a voice of compassion and a heart of love, an art of kindness. Compassion is to look beyond our pain and to see the pain of others.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing…. To be kind ,loving, caring to those who could not speak for themselves.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/a-text-message-from-kb-to-share.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Aug 19. 2022 01:12 PM
    We are truly fortunate to have H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche here in Malaysia. Learning, practicing Dharma from Rinpoche’s blog . Beautiful video by Jill Carroll tells us all the beauty of Dharma. All I can say is the gift of Dharma surpasses all gifts, and is truly supreme as its conquers all.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this video with us.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/letters-cards-gifts/a-beautiful-video-from-jill-carroll.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Aug 19. 2022 01:10 PM
    Wow……a surprising gift for HE Tsem Rinpoche from the team . Rinpoche loved it as all along Rinpoche watching and reading articles of Bigfoot, Sasquatches and Yetis. So thoughtful of them to look and did research on it to get the foot print done. It is made out of dental stone, looks like the casts the bigfoot hunters have.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this great gift with us. It not easy to see one though.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/a-surprising-gift.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 16. 2022 02:28 PM
    Coming across Tsem Rinpoche’s blog has changed my life ever since then. No stopping for me , learning, practicing keeps me moving forward to be a better person. Still learning everyday through reading and revisit whatever articles I come across. It takes great courage to live simple and walk the path of peace by choosing Dharma. That’s my choice I have made . Glad that Susanne Mitsdörffer found Tsem Rinpoche ‘s blog that has changed her life. Yes its indeed reading and learning through the blogs has benefited many others readers.
    Thank you Rinpoche and writers team with folded hands.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/i-am-honoured.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 16. 2022 02:26 PM
    The magnificent Jetavanaramaya Stupa in Anuradhapura, in Sri Lanka is considered as one of the most sacred pilgrimage places. Located in the ruins of Jetavana monastery in the UNESCO world heritage city . It is an ancient Buddhist reliquary monument, built by King Mahasena of Anuradhapura in (273–301). It is also significant in recorded history as one of the tallest structures in the ancient world. The structure is no longer the tallest, but it is still the largest. Anuradhapura remains an important sacred place for Buddhistsit is one of the biggest archeological sites in the world. Would love to visit one day to see for my self.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/the-magnificent-jetavanaramaya-stupa-the-power-of-repentance-sri-lanka.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 16. 2022 02:24 PM
    Interesting story of Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang ,known as the Mother of the Qing Dynasty by many. She was the consort of Hong Taiji and was honoured as Empress Dowager Zhaosheng who was of the Khorchin Mongol Borjigit clan a Mongolian princess. She was a woman with intellectual and political interests, attaining the powerful position of Empress Dowager in Qing . She is credited in helping bringing Tibetan Buddhism to China. As empress dowager and grand empress dowager, she had significant influence in the Qing imperial court and was highly respected for her political wisdom and insight. Interesting read of the history behind this Empress who was also the grandmother of Kangxi.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/empress-xiaozhuang-wen-kangxis-mongolian-grandmother.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Aug 13. 2022 02:06 PM
    Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist, widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest and most influential physicists of all time. Famous for devising his theory of relativity, which revolutionized our understanding of space, time, gravity, and the universe .
    Albert Einstein did said that Buddhism is a philosophy, not a religion. Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future. If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism.
    He is often cited as one of the most influential scientists of the 20th century. His work continues to help astronomers study everything from gravitational waves to Mercury’s orbit. It is universal truth….as it covers both the natural and the spiritual and Buddhism has the answers. Interesting read. Reading through this post tell Einstein truly tell his love for Buddhism.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/einstein-on-buddhism.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Aug 13. 2022 02:01 PM
    Found this old interesting blog about the 100 most spiritually influential living people in 2012. The top 3 spots are great Buddhist leaders. Wonderful get to know some of those great names on the list. Thank you Rinpoche fir this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/people/100-most-spiritually-influential-living-people-in-2012.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Aug 13. 2022 01:59 PM
    Revisit this old post again listening to the songs by George Michael and Elton John. It was more than 30 years ago that George Michael and Elton John’s duet of “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me.” It’s known as one of the greatest pop duets of all time. Letting go is incredibly difficult. No matter what if we cling to worries about the future, or if we keep replaying the mistakes of the past we will never be happy. Let go and move on, if we want to be happy, do not dwell in the past, do not worry about the future, focus on living fully in the present. Time doesn’t heal emotional pain, we need to learn how to let go for sure. Learning Dharma is the best choice to focus on living fully and meaningfully in the present. Do not quit or give up nor matter what happens in life.
    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
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Aug 13. 2022 01:58 PM
    The interesting biography of King Trisong Detsen, the second Dharma-king of Tibet, who truly established Buddhism in the Land of Snow . King Trisong Detsen, the 38th Yarlung King, had ruled over Tibet from 754 CE to 799 CE. He was the monarch responsible for the official adoption of Buddhism as the state religion of Tibet. It was due to his efforts that the great masters came from India and established Buddhism firmly in Tibet. He was also the king who invited nine royal physicians from neighbouring countries and laid the foundation of Tibetan medicine. Interesting read.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/trisong-detsen-the-great-dharma-king-of-tibet.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 9. 2022 12:46 PM
    The Great Buddha of Kamakura ,is a bronze statue of Amida Buddha, which stands on the grounds of Kotokuin Temple in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, a temple belonging to the Jodo Sect of Buddhism. Wow…. it has long been the second tallest bronze Buddha statue in Japan,with a height of 11.4 meters. It is one of Japan’s most fascinating historical landmarks where thousands of tourist from all over the world visited yearly. The statue is an iconic sight and most visited by tourist in the area. Merely looking at this huge statue tells all and a blessing indeed.
    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
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 9. 2022 12:45 PM
    Found this old inspiring video briefly showing our Lama HE Tsem Rinpoche ‘s life and the stories behind Kechara organization. Interesting….. Beautiful and meaningful video.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this video.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/world-peace-by-tsem-tulku-rinpoche.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 9. 2022 12:44 PM
    The Dharma Bums were a U.S. garage band, formed in 1987 in Portland, Oregon, United States. The band had performed everywhere, and sing varies of subjects travelling around the world. The best is even Dharma songs as well revolving around Tibetan culture and religion. One of the band members is a long-time student of Tibetan Buddhism. Listening to the powerful Crystal Diamond Vajra Dakini, is a blessing.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    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

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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,
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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.
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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
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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.
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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!
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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)
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Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
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Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
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First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
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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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  • 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
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  • 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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  • This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
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    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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    3 yearss ago
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  • 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.
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    3 yearss ago
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    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
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CHAT PICTURES

Is this where Rinpoche received the thangkha of Dream Manjushri?
3 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
3 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
3 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.
3 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
3 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
3 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
7 months ago
After Dorje Shugden puja @Penang Chapel, Jalan Seang Tek, members went to a nearby vegetarian shop for gathering. #CNY2022 #HappyReunion by Jacinta.
7 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
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