The Magnificent Jetavanaramaya Stupa & the Power of Repentance (Sri Lanka)

Jul 3, 2017 | Views: 2,249
The magnificent Jetavanaramaya Stupa.

The magnificent Jetavanaramaya Stupa.

The statue of Mahinda Maha Thero, the son of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka and a great monk who was credited with bringing Buddhism to Sri Lanka.

The statue of Mahinda Maha Thero, the son of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka and a great monk who was credited with bringing Buddhism to Sri Lanka.

The magnificent Jetavanaramaya Stupa in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka is considered as one of the most sacred pilgrimage places in Sri Lanka. The stupa was built on the ground where the legendary Mahinda Maha Thero gave a seven-day discourse on Buddhism. Mahinda Maha Thero was the son of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka and a great monk who brought Buddhism to Sri Lanka. It is also said that part of Buddha Shakyamuni’s belt is buried inside the stupa.

King Mahasena (r. 277 -304 CE) of Anuradhapura (King Mahasena) initiated the construction of Jetavanaramaya Stupa and other structures within the same monastery complex to show remorse for his mistakes in allowing and causing the destruction of Mahavihara, a Theravadan Buddhist monastery. When the original stupa was completed, it was considered as one of the tallest structures in the ancient world behind two pyramids in Giza and the Lighthouse of Alexandria. Even today, many modern engineers were amazed at the ingenuity and the sophisticated engineering techniques that were used to build the stupa and the surrounding structures.

Visitors and pilgrims who visit Jetavanaramaya Stupa would be able to pay homage to the holy object inside the sacred stupa and be inspired by the story of King Mahasena, a great ruler who was able to set aside his ego and recognise his wrongdoings. The grandeur and the beauty of Jetavanaramaya Stupa and the surrounding temple complex are the representations of the king’s sincerity in purifying his misdeeds and negative karma.

Tsem Rinpoche


 

History

 

The Power of Repentance

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Mahavihara, a Theravadan Buddhist monastery in Anuradhapura, was the centre of Buddhism in Sri Lanka until King Valagamba (r. 103 BC and c. 89 – 77 BC) built Abhayagiri Monastery in the 104th century BC. The monks of the new monastery followed the teachings of Dhammaruchi Thero, an Indian Mahayana monk who established Dhammaruchi Nikaya Sect. Due to the differences in the Buddhist doctrines that they followed and the necessity of securing royal patronage, there was a great rivalry between Abhayagiri and Mahavihara.

King Mahasena of Anuradhapura (r. 277 -304 CE).

King Mahasena of Anuradhapura (r. 277 -304 CE).

The rivalry between the two great monasteries reached its peak in the 3rd century CE during the reign of King Mahasena. King Gothabhaya (r. 254 – 267 CE) of Anuradhapura, the father of King Mahasena, was a patron of Mahavihara Monastery. The king issued the policies against the monks of Abhayagiri Monastery and forced them to live in exile in India. One of the banished monks, Sangamitta Thero, decided to return to Anuradhapura and turn around the situation in his favour. King Gothabhaya came to trust this cunning monk, and the king assigned him to be the tutor of his sons, Prince Jetthatissa and Prince Mahasena. Upon the passing of King Gothabhaya, Prince Jetthatissa (r. 266-276 CE) became the king of Anuradhapura, and just like his father, he was a supporter of Mahavihara Monastery.

In 276 CE, King Jetthatissa passed away, and his brother, Prince Mahasena, became the king of Anuradhapura. Unlike his father and elder brother, King Mahasena was very close with his tutor, Sangamitta Thero, who used this opportunity to change the royal’s allegiance from Mahavihara Monastery to Abhayagiri Monastery. According to Mahavamsa, the chronicles of Sri Lankan kings that was written in the 5th century CE, Sangamitta Thero said the following to King Mahasena:

The dwellers in the Mahavihara do not teach the (true) vinaya, we are those who teach the (true) vinaya, O king

http://lakdiva.org/mahavamsa/chap037.html

He also managed to persuade the king that the monks of Mahavihara should be prevented from receiving alms from the public because they lacked discipline. As a result, King Mahasena introduced a penalty for his subjects who chose to help the monks of Mahavihara Monastery:

Whosoever gives food to a bhikkhu dwelling in the Mahavihara is liable to a fine of a hundred (pieces of money).

http://lakdiva.org/mahavamsa/chap037.html

The ruins of Abhayagiri Monastery.

The ruins of Abhayagiri Monastery.

Due to this new policy, the monks of Mahavihara fell into want. They had to abandon their monastery and move to Rohana and Malaya Rata. After the monastery was abandoned, Sangamitta Thero, Minister Sona, and several other shameless monks proceeded to loot Mahavihara and transferred the valuable items, including the content of magnificent seven-story assembly hall (Lohapasada), and various building material to Abhayagiri Monastery. The land of the Mahavihara Monastery was then utilised for farming activities. According to Nikayasangaraha, a Sinhalese Buddhist chronicle:

Not being satisfied with the sinful destruction of Mahavihara Monastery, the land was ploughed and planted with a grain called Undu in Sinhalese [Vigna Mungo] or Urad in Hindi.

http://www.mysrilankaholidays.com/jetavana-dagoba.html

Unhappy with the suppression and the looting of Mahavihara, one of the King Mahasena’s ministers and dear friend, Meghavannabhaya decided to rebel. He raised an army and camped near Duratissaka tank. King Mahasena came with his army to face his friend. According to Mahavamsa, one night as Minister Meghavannabhaya was eating his dinner, he thought of his friend, King Mahasena, “I will not enjoy [the food] without my friend the king.” Therefore, in good faith, he went alone to the place where King Mahasena and his army set up their camp. The king had dinner with Minister Meghavannabhaya, and the following conversation took place:

King Mahasena: Why hast thou become a rebel?
Minister Meghavannabhaya: Because the Mahavihara has been destroyed by thee.

http://lakdiva.org/mahavamsa/chap037.html

King Mahasena realised his wrongdoing and pledged to build another monastery on the former site of Mahavihara Monastery. According to Mahavamsa, King Mahasena said, “ will make the vihara to be dwelt in yet again; forgive me my fault.” Minister Meghavannabhaya and King Mahasena reconciled their friendship. After the pleasant meeting, King Mahasena returned to the capital, while Minister Meghavannabhaya proceeded to collect the necessary material to build several monastic colleges (parivenas) on the former site of Mahavihara Monastery.

To prevent Sangamitta Thero from influencing the king once again, one of King Mahasena’s wives ordered a labourer to murder the monk who had caused so much destruction to the Theravadan Buddhist tradition. A group of people who were unhappy with the destruction of Mahavihara monastery also made sure that the evil Minister Sona met his end. After the demise of Sangamitta Thero and Minister Sona, the monks of Mahavihara returned to the former site of their monastery to participate in the rebuilding effort.

True to his promise, King Mahasena initiated the building of Jetavanaramaya Stupa and other structures on the former site of Mahavihara Monastery. The stupa construction took between 15 and 27 years to complete. King Mahasena passed away before the stupa was completed, and his son, King Sirimeghavanna (r. 304 – 332 CE) continued with the construction effort. Initially, King Sirimeghavanna offered the monastery to a monk named Tissa. Unfortunately, Venerable Tissa committed an offence and was found guilty. Consequently, he was disrobed and expelled from the sangha community. Subsequent to the event, Sagalika Sect, a branch of Theravadan Buddhism, was entrusted with the administration of the new monastery complex.

Jetavanaramaya Stupa was one of the tallest structures in the ancient world.

Jetavanaramaya Stupa was one of the tallest structures in the ancient world.

According to the legend, Buddha Shakyamuni’s belt was buried inside Jetavanaramaya Stupa. In addition, it is said that the stupa was built on the former site of Nandana Pleasure Garden where Mahinda Maha Thero delivered a seven-day teaching on Buddhism. After the event, the garden was known as Jotivana, the place where the holy one made the true doctrine shines forth. Mahinda Maha Thero was also known as Dipajotaka (Light of Lanka).

In the 6th century CE, Juma, a Sri Lankan merchant, offered a Mahayana book on Dhammadatu that he obtained from Benares, India to King Silakala Ambosamanera (King Silakala) (r. 526 – 539 CE) of Anuradhapura. Upon reading this book, King Silakala initiated an annual Dhammadatu celebration. Unhappy with the Mahayana origins of the event, the monks of Jetavanaramaya boycotted the festival. Fortunately, the conflict ended peacefully when the monks of Abhayagiri Monastery managed to convince the monks of Jetavanaramaya Monastery to participate in the festival. During the reign of King Aggabodhi I (r. 564 – 598 CE), the monks of Jetavanaramaya defeated the monks of Abhayagiri in a public debate. Since then, Jetavanaramaya was recognised as the centre of Buddhism in Anuradhapura.

 

About King Mahasena of Anuradhapura

Minneriya Tank, one of the great achievements of King Mahasena. After he passed away, his subjects believed that he was reborn as Minneriya Deviyo.

Minneriya Tank, one of the great achievements of King Mahasena. After he passed away, his subjects believed that he was reborn as Minneriya Deviyo.

During his lifetime, King Mahasena was known as a great builder. In addition to Jetavanaramaya Stupa, which was the architectural wonder of the ancient time, he restored many ruined buildings and built many other temples such as Manihira Vihara, Migagma Vihara, Gangasenakapabbata Vihara, Dhatusenapabbata Vihara, Thuarama Vihara, Hulapitthi Vihara, Uttara Nunnery, Abhara Nunnery, and a vihara in Kokavata. King Mahasena was also known to have destroyed at least three Brahmanical god temples: Gokanna Vihara, a vihara in Erakavilla, and a vihara in Brahman Kalanda Village.

During his lifetime, King Mahasena made great improvements in the irrigation system in the present-day Sri Lanka. He built a canal, Pabbatanta, and over 17 water tanks:

  1. Mahagama
  2. Manihira
  3. Khanu
  4. Mahamani
  5. Kokavata
  6. Dhammaramma
  7. Kumbalaka
  8. Vahana
  9. Rattamalakandaka
  10. Tissavaddhamanaka
  11. Velangacitthi
  12. Mahagallaka
  13. Cira
  14. Mahadaragallaka
  15. Kalapasana
  16. Challura

King Mahasena had built the finest water reservoirs and irrigation systems in the ancient world, and some of them are still in use today. One of his greatest achievements was the building of Minneriya Tank. The tank was 13 m (42.65 ft) tall and covered the area of 4,670 acres (18.9 km2). The tank could hold approximately 20 billion gallons of water. Due to this achievement, after his passing, it is believed that King Mahasena was reborn as the God of Minneriya (Minneriya Deviyo).

The ruins of King Mahasena’s palace in Anuradhapura.

The ruins of King Mahasena’s palace in Anuradhapura.

 

The Dark Ages

Raja Raja Chola I, the Chola invader who caused destructions to many Buddhist monuments in the present-day Sri Lanka.

Raja Raja Chola I, the Chola invader who caused destructions to many Buddhist monuments in the present-day Sri Lanka.

During the reign of King Mahinda V (r. 982 – 1017 CE) of Anuradhapura, the kingdom was in decline. The king was weak and unable to collect taxes. As a result, there was no sufficient fund to pay the army, and his soldiers refused to follow instructions. Therefore, when the Chola invaders under the leadership of Raja Raja Chola I (r. 985 – 1014 CE) came, Anuradhapura was easily defeated, and King Mahinda V escaped to Ruhuna in 993 CE. The Chola invaders later caught the unfortunate king and transported him to India where he died in prison. Raja Raja Chola I moved the capital city from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa and renamed it as Jananathamangalam.

In 1070 CE, King Vijayabahu I (r. 1055 – 1110 CE) of Polonnaruwa managed to defeat the Chola invaders and re-establish Buddhism as the main religion in the present-day Sri Lanka. In the 12th century, King Parakramabahu (r. 1153 – 1186 CE) of Polonnaruwa made an attempt to renovate Jetavanaramaya Stupa. The king rebuilt the stupa at 71 m (232 ft.), a fraction of its original height of 122 m (400 ft.). However, eventually, Anuradhapura was abandoned as Polonnaruwa became the centre of governance in Sri Lanka, and the ancient city was covered with jungle.

 

Restoration Attempts

Jetavanaramaya Stupa prior to the restoration.

Jetavanaramaya Stupa prior to the restoration.

In the 19th century, British colonialist discovered the ruined city of Anuradhapura that was covered with jungle overgrowth and promoted it as a site for Buddhist pilgrimage. In 1909, Atamasthana Committee, the governance body of the eight sacred places in Sri Lanka that included Jetavanaramaya Stupa, gave approval for a monk from Sailabimbaramaya Temple, Kumbukee Dhammarama, to clear Jetavanaramaya Monastery Complex from jungle shrub. The approval was canceled when Kumbukee Dhammarama decided to settle down. After the failed attempt to restore Jetavanaramaya Monastery Complex, another monk by the name of Palannaruwe Sobita decided to take on the restoration project and obtained the permission from Atamasthana Committee to resume the clearing activities. However, the permission was once again withdrawn for unknown reasons. When Palannaruwe Sobita refused to abandon the premise, Atamasthana Committee initiated the necessary legal procedures to evict him.

In 1981, UNESCO took the task of renovating the Jetavanaramaya Monastery Complex as part of UNESCO-Sri Lanka Cultural Triangle Sites project, which consisted of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, and Sigiriya. The bricks used in restoring the stupa are the exact mixture as the bricks used in the original stupa. Archaeologists who were involved in this project have unearthed artefacts that indicated the existence of contacts and trading activities between Sri Lanka and India, Mediterranean, and other far eastern countries. Until today, the conservation effort to revive the stupa and other structures in the monastery complex to their ancient glory is still far from completion.

The pictures below illustrate the progress of Jetavanaramaya Stupa restoration effort throughout the years:

Jetavanaramaya Stupa in 1994.

Jetavanaramaya Stupa in 1994.

Jetavanaramaya Stupa in 2001.

Jetavanaramaya Stupa in 2001.

Jetavanaramaya Stupa in 2015.

Jetavanaramaya Stupa in 2015.

 

About Jetavanaramaya Stupa

 

Jetavanaramaya Stupa in Anuradhapura

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/JethawanaramayaAnuradhapura.mp4

At the time it was built, Jetavanaramaya Stupa was the largest monument in Sri Lanka (122 m or 400 ft) and the fourth tallest pyramidal structure in the world behind the Pyramid of Khufu (147 m or 482.28 ft) and Pyramid of Khafre (144 m or 472.44 ft), and the Great Lighthouse of Alexandria (140 m or 459.31 ft).

Approximately, 93.3 million baked bricks were used to build this magnificent monument. According to James Emerson, a 19th century British writer, in his book, Ceylon:

[Jetavanaramaya] Stupa contained a volume of bricks sufficient to raise eight thousand houses each with twenty feet frontage, line an ordinary railway tunnel twenty miles long, or form a wall one foot in thickness and ten feet in height, reaching from London to Edinburgh.

https://lanka.com/about/attractions/jetavana-monastery/

Approximately, 93.3 million baked bricks were used to build this magnificent monument.

Approximately, 93.3 million baked bricks were used to build this magnificent monument.

However, since it was rebuilt the stupa’s height is 71 m (232 ft). The stupa stands on a raised platform with 233,000 m2 (2,508,000 square ft) base-area. There are 9-m wide stairs at each cardinal point to access the stone paved terrace. The front entrances that lead to the sand terrace are called valimaluva, and the inner walls, which in the past had been used to carry four altars and four parts of elephants, are known as ayakas. Jetavanaramaya Stupa was surrounded by vahalkada, the dressed stone-walls that were about 2.4 m (7.87 ft) tall.

The nine-metre wide stairs to access the stone paved terrace of Jetavanaramaya Stupa.

The nine-metre wide stairs to access the stone paved terrace of Jetavanaramaya Stupa.

The length of the stupa is 176 m (576 ft), and the door to the shrine is 8 m (27 ft) tall. The foundation of the stupa is 8.5 m (28 ft) deep. There are stone inscriptions in the courtyard that contains information about the stupa and the monastery complex including the sponsors who donated for the building of the structure.

Address:
Indiya, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
Opening hours: 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Entrance fee: Free

Jetavanaramaya Stupa and the surrounding monastery complex is also known as: Jetavana Viharaya, Jethawanaramaya, Jetavanaya, Jethawanaya, Jetawanaramaya, Jethawana Viharaya, Jetawanaya, Jethavanaramaya, Jetawana Viharaya, Jethavanaya, and Jethavana Viharaya.

The stone inscriptions in Jetavanaramaya Monastery Complex.

The stone inscriptions in Jetavanaramaya Monastery Complex.

In 2004, the archaeologists restored a 10th century stone slab inscription in Jetavanaramaya Monastery Complex.

In 2004, the archaeologists restored a 10th century stone slab inscription in Jetavanaramaya Monastery Complex.

 

Engineering and Construction

 

The Construction Methodology of Jetavanaramaya Stupa

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/JetavanaramayaConstructionMethodology.mp4

The construction of Jetavanaramaya Stupa marked a significant milestone in the development of Sri Lanka’s engineering techniques. The ancient engineers of Anuradhapura Kingdom had figured out on how to design and develop huge structures such as bridges and stupas:

  1. The methods of laying out foundation were perfected.
  2. The load bearing capabilities of the frame and structures were calculated correctly.
  3. The domes, vaults, and arches were properly constructed.

According to Nimal de Silva, a Sri Lankan architect:

…that in most of the major works, the systems used were unique and indigenous. … the perfect linear arrangements seen in the ancient cities showed that engineering plans had been prepared. Construction work … had been supervised. Labour was paid for, and various necessities, such as food and clothing were provided at the workplace.

http://www.lankalibrary.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=4568

Generally, the ancient architects built stupas on top of a solid foundation such as a bed of rock. The dome material consisted of baked bricks or earth fill or a combination of both. The ancient stupas are usually in the shape of a paddy heap, either round or ellipsoid, because this shape facilitates the necessary load bearing in the construction of a large structure. For example, the shape of Jetavanaramaya Stupa is ellipsoid. According to Mahavamsa, the ancient builders used copper sheets, arsenic, and sesame oil to cover the foundation surface to prevent intrusion from plants and insects for Jetavanaramaya Stupa. Assuming the stupa construction took between 15 and 27 years to complete, hundreds of skilled engineers and labourers (i.e., stonemasons, bricklayers, and brickyard workers) would have been involved in the building process.

As one of the tallest structures in the ancient world, Jetavanaramaya Stupa is a proof of the advanced engineering and construction skills of the ancient Anuradhapura Kingdom. The foundation of the stupa is 8.5 m (27.88 ft) deep and planted on a bed of rock. The 93.3 million baked bricks that were used to build the stupa could withstand 281 kg load/ square inch. The bricks consisted of the following mixture:

  • 60% fine sand; and
  • 35% clay.

One of the bricks’ surfaces was made irregular to trap the bonding material and limit any movement. The dome was made of the combination of earth fill, half bricks, and full bricks. According to Mahavamsa, when laying out the foundation for the stupa, any cracks and opening were filled with stones, and elephants were utilised to stamp down the openings that have been filled. Leather bindings were used to protect the elephants’ feet.

During the building of Jetavanaramaya Stupa, elephants were used to stamp down the openings that have been filled.

During the building of Jetavanaramaya Stupa, elephants were used to stamp down the openings that have been filled.

The ancient engineers used a mixture of sieved sand, clay, limestones, and dolomite as a bonding material. A type of pliable clay was used as an element within the bonding material to accommodate potential structural movements.
After the foundation and the dome had been completed, the surface of the stupa was covered with plaster as a waterproofing measure. The plaster was made from glues, oils, plant resin, sand, clay, pebbles, sugar, syrup, seashells, coconut water, and egg whites.

 

About Jetavanaramaya Monastery Complex

 

The Illustration of the Jetavanaramaya Monastery Complex Before the Fall of Anuradhapura Kingdom

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/IllustrationOfJetavanaramayaMonasteryComplex.mp4

Since King Mahasena established Jetavanaramaya Monastery Complex in the 3rd century, subsequent Anuradhapura kings continued to expand and improve the monastery complex. The complex stood on 48 hectares of land. Jetavanaramaya was named after Jetvana Monastery in Savatthi, Northern India where Buddha Shakyamuni stayed for 19 years and gave the majority of his teachings and discourses.

The ruins of Jetvana Monastery in Savatthi, Northern India where Buddha Shakyamuni stayed for 19 years and gave the majority of his teachings and discourses.

The ruins of Jetvana Monastery in Savatthi, Northern India where Buddha Shakyamuni stayed for 19 years and gave the majority of his teachings and discourses.

The main structure in the monastery complex was the magnificent Jetavanaramaya Stupa. A string of residential colleges surrounded the stupa. The entrances of these colleges were facing the stupa. In addition to the above, there are four other main buildings in Jetavanaramaya Monastery Complex:

  • To the north of the stupa, there was an assembly hall (sannipatasala).
  • To the west of the stupa, there was an image house (patimaghara).
  • To the south of the stupa, there was a chapter house (uposathagara).
  • To the east of the stupa, there was a canteen or refectory (danasala).

Based on the size of the refectory, it is estimated that approximately 3,000 resident Buddhist monks stayed in the monastery complex at one time. Other than the stupa, the first structure in Jetavanaramaya Monastery complex was built on the northern side of the stupa. However, this area has largely remained unexplored. The buildings and the structures were gradually expanded to the southern and eastern parts of the complex.

The ruins of Jetavanaramaya Monastery Complex in Sri Lanka.

The ruins of Jetavanaramaya Monastery Complex in Sri Lanka.

The ornate stone columns found in Jetavanaramaya Monastery Complex.

The ornate stone columns found in Jetavanaramaya Monastery Complex.

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Four Entrances to the Courtyard

Jetavanaramaya Stupa was built on an enormous raised platform that originally had four entrances (vahalkadas). Currently, two of the four vahalkadas have been excavated, and the southern entrance was the most elaborate with the carving of elephant heads, cobra king (nagaraja) and an unidentified female figure. It is said that:

  • A seven-headed cobra represents a naga god.
  • A five-headed cobra represents a naga king.
  • A three-headed cobra represents a naga queen.
  • A single-headed cobra represents a naga.
The picture on the left shows the carving of the seven-headed cobra that represents a naga god, and the picture on the right shows the carvings of naga and nagini on vahalkada.

The picture on the left shows the carving of the seven-headed cobra that represents a naga god, and the picture on the right shows the carvings of naga and nagini on vahalkada.

Nagas have played an important role within the Hindu and Buddhist religions in the Sinhalese culture. Consequently, there are naga related vocabularies in Sinhalese such as Nagara (the dwelling place of the nagas) and Naagariika (to live like the nagas). It is said that the nagas have yellowish skin colour and flat nose.

In the eastern entrance, there were carvings of graceful female figures wearing elaborate and revealing attire.

The remains of vahalkada, the dressed stone-walls that surrounded Jetavanaramaya Stupa.

The remains of vahalkada, the dressed stone-walls that surrounded Jetavanaramaya Stupa.

Various carvings on vahalkada.

Various carvings on vahalkada.

 

Assembly Hall (Sannipatasala)

To the north of the stupa, there was an assembly hall which functioned as the gathering place for the sangha.

 

Jetavana Museum

Jetavana Museum

Jetavana Museum

Jetavana Museum houses various artefacts from the 2nd century BC to the last quarter of the 3rd century. Most of these objects were recovered during the excavation process such as carvings, of Buddha statues, guard stones, jewellery, ear ornaments, ivory carvings, bangles, pottery, three-tiered urinal pot, precious stones (e.g., amethyst and garnet), imported and local ceramics, over 300,000 beads of various materials (e.g., agate, crystal, stone, glass, clay, carnelian, bone, ivory, silver, gold, shell, and bronze), Hindu and Buddhist ritual objects, Roman and Indian coins, and painted slab of stones.

Beautifully carved guard stones in Jetavanaramaya Monastery Complex.

Beautifully carved guard stones in Jetavanaramaya Monastery Complex.

The pavilion outside the museum contains additional stone sculptures, guard stones, and elephants. Most of the excavated objects are of fine craftsmanship. The archaeologists found most of the artefacts within the clay layer between the base and upper platforms. Due to the many objects that were recovered, the artefacts were nicknamed Jetavana Treasure.

The variety and origins of the objects of Jetavana Treasure such Indian and Roman coins and ceramics from other Asian regions (i.e., West Asia, North Asia, and China) show that in the past, Anuradhapura Kingdom had trading and diplomatic relationship with other foreign countries.

The stone sculptures at Jetavana Museum.

The stone sculptures at Jetavana Museum.

In the 1980s, the archaeologists from Central Cultural Fund (CCF) found approximately 50 perforated animals’ teeth (i.e., crocodile, mongoose, dog, fishing cats, civet, bear, porcupine, and leopard) in Jetavanaramaya Monastery complex. The holes in these teeth suggested that in the past, they had been used as ornaments. The shape of the holes also indicated the sophisticated technology that was used to perforate these teeth. According to Manamendra-Arachchi and Thusitha Mendis from the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Management, Rajarata University, and Anslem de Silva, the former head of Department of Community Medicine, University of Peradeniya:

’[The teeth] may have been used as a necklace, arguably worn by a hunter.’ … Another possibility is that the hunter who had killed these animals may have made a vow and placed these hunting trophies on the offering altar to the Lord Buddha, pledging never to hunt again, they add.

http://www.sundaytimes.lk/130526/plus/giving-teeth-to-crocodile-connection-from-the-past-46059.html

In 2013, the above findings were discussed at the World Crocodile Conference in Negombo, Sri Lanka.

Perforated crocodile tooth that was found in Jetavanaramaya Monastery Complex.

Perforated crocodile tooth that was found in Jetavanaramaya Monastery Complex.

 

Buddhist Railing

Behind Jetavana Museum, there is a three-tiered rectangular fence that represents the three jewels (i.e., the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha). In the centre of each side, there is an entrance. In the past, the railing was enclosed to the image house, and the rows of columns had been used to hold a superstructure.

Jetavana Museum is located on the southern side of Jetavanaramaya Monastery Complex, and it opens daily from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

 

Jetavanaramaya Image House (Patimaghara)

The ruins of Jetavanaramaya Image House (Patimaghara).

The ruins of Jetavanaramaya Image House (Patimaghara).

To the west of the stupa, there was a vaulted Image House and the biggest of its kind in Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa Era. It is said that King Sena I of Anuradhapura (r. 846 – 866 CE) built this image house. The monolithic door to enter this image house was 8.3 m (27 ft) tall, and the building was 15.25 m (50 ft) tall. A lotus base found inside the chamber indicates that there was a huge Buddha statue enshrined in this image house. Considering the size of the building, archaeologists estimated that the statue was 11.3 m (37 ft) tall. The Chola invaders destroyed the image house and the huge Buddha statue within.

A lotus base that was found inside the image house indicates that there was a huge Buddha statue enshrined in that place.

A lotus base that was found inside the image house indicates that there was a huge Buddha statue enshrined in that place.

 

Chapter House (Uposathagara)

To the south of the stupa, there was a Chapter House. This was the place where the monks gathered to meditate, discuss about religious texts, and perform religious rites. The Chapter House also functioned as an assembly hall, where the monks who violated the monastery’s codes of conduct confessed under the guidance of the senior monks.

The ruins of the Chapter House (Uposathagara).

The ruins of the Chapter House (Uposathagara).

 

Refectory (Danasala)

To the east of the stupa, there was a refectory in the form of a stone-paved courtyard. The excavation revealed that there was a large canoe shape trough that was used to serve rice, and a smaller one that was used to serve porridge. The larger trough could fit the rice for 3,000 monks.

 

Monks Living Quarters (Pancavasa)

Monk living quarters were located to the southwest of Jetavanaramaya stupa. A larger building was built in the centre surrounded by four smaller buildings. The larger building was reserved for senior monks, and the smaller buildings were reserved for the other monks. All the living quarters had elegant steps decorated with moonstones, balustrades, and guard stones.

 

The Cremation Chamber of Mahinda Maha Thero

Recently, the archaeologists found a 1 m (3.28 ft) wall made of bricks next to a layer of charcoal and ashes. It is believed that this was the cremation chamber of Mahinda Maha Thero.

The garden in Jetavanaramaya Monastery Complex.

The garden in Jetavanaramaya Monastery Complex.

 

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Anuradhapura is during the dry season between January and October. However, visitors may experience hot and strong winds in the month of June and July.

 

How to Get There

Anuradhapura is located in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka.

Anuradhapura is located in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka.

Anuradhapura city map that shows the location of Jetavanaramaya Stupa and other ancient structures in the city.

Anuradhapura city map that shows the location of Jetavanaramaya Stupa and other ancient structures in the city. Click on the image to enlarge.

Anuradhapura, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is approximately five hours from Colombo by bus, or four hours drive by private vehicles. The A9 highway will lead you in and out of the city. Visitors can also opt to travel to the city by train. Upon arrival in the ancient city of Anuradhapura, visitors can explore the city by foot, or travel by tuk-tuk or local busses. You can get from one end of town to the other within 30 minutes because the town is relatively small.

 

Accommodation

The ancient city of Anuradhapura is another popular tourist destination and despite its relatively small size, has many hotels offering accommodation for visitors. Below are just some of the several places available. It is recommended that you do further research to find accommodation that is suitable for your needs.

1. Heritage Hotel

The hotel, which is located in the heart of Anuradhapura, offers 50 well-equipped guest rooms with a modern touch and comfortable interior.

Address:
Galwala Road | Pothanegama,
Anuradhapura 50000, Sri Lanka
Phone: +94 25 2 237806
Website: http://www.heritagehotel.lk

2. Milano Tourist Rest

The hotel is located in the heart of Anuradhapura, and it offers 16 spacious and comfortable rooms with modern amenities.

Address:
596 /40, Stage 01
Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
Phone: +94 25 2 222364
Website: http://www.milanotouristrest.com

The magnificent Jetavanaramaya Stupa at night.

The magnificent Jetavanaramaya Stupa at night.

 

Sources:

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jetavanaramaya
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atamasthana
  • http://lakdiva.org/mahavamsa/chap037.html
  • http://www.lankalibrary.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=4568
  • http://amazinglanka.com/wp/jethavanaramaya/
  • http://www.srilankatravelguide.lk/index.php/2015/11/24/jethavanaramaya-patima-ghara-the-image-house/
  • https://kingdoms2015.wordpress.com/jethavanaramaya-2/
  • http://www.angelfire.com/in4/anuradhapura/jethavana.htm
  • https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/anuradhapura-sight-seen-jethavanaramaya-thilanka-thamel
  • https://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/jethavanaramaya/
  • http://imagessrilanka.blogspot.my/search/label/Jethavanaramaya
  • http://apurahistory.blogspot.my/2009/10/jethavanaramaya.html
  • https://www.wisdomlib.org/definition/sagalika
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahinda_(Buddhist_monk)
  • http://www.cyriltours.com/destinationdetails.php?id=169
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solosmasthana
  • http://www.sundaytimes.lk/070429/Plus/017_pls.html
  • http://www.sundaytimes.lk/130526/plus/giving-teeth-to-crocodile-connection-from-the-past-46059.html
  • http://tissawewa.com/an-ancient-city
  • http://srilankaembassy.com.pl/en/sri-lanka/national-festivals/duruthu-poya/
  • http://srilanka-almanac.com/sri_lanka_almanac_jethavanaaraama_dhaageba_portal/diagrams_illustrations/plan.html
  • http://www.leisuretravelsrilanka.com/-blog/archives/07-2014
  • http://srilankaancientcity.blogspot.no/p/anuradhapura_14.html
  • https://www.pledgeholidays.com/jethawanaramaya-stupa
  • http://www.mysrilankaholidays.com/jetavana-dagoba.html
  • http://www.sasrutha.com/article/377918/jethawanaramaya-ජේතවන-විහාරය-amazinglankacom/
  • https://lanka.com/about/attractions/jetavana-monastery/
  • https://sreejithv.com/2016/07/24/tallest-stupa-ancient-world-jethawanaramaya-dagoba-anuradhapura-sri-lanka/
  • http://mysltravel.com/place-to-visit/anuradhapura/sights/jethawanaramaya-of-anuradhapura-kingdom/
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMkDREgKZEs
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGCqy9eVJFk
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cCi4-agHX8
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Z83IG-10-E
  • https://weepingredorger.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/jetavanaramaya-anuradhapura/
  • http://amazinglanka.com/wp/abayagiri-monastery/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahinda_V_of_Anuradhapura
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raja_Raja_Chola_I
  • https://www.cheops-pyramide.ch/khufu-pyramid/khufu-numbers.html
  • http://www.nationalgeographic.com/pyramids/khafre.html
  • http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=125850
  • http://roadslesstravelledsrilanka.com/news/ancient-jetavana-monastery
  • https://nashaplaneta.net/en/asia/srilanka/anuradhapura-dostoprimechatelnosti

 

For more interesting links:

 

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47 Responses to The Magnificent Jetavanaramaya Stupa & the Power of Repentance (Sri Lanka)

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  1. Anne Ong on Oct 24, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    Thank you very much Rinpoche and blog team for this wonderful and interesting history of this stupa. I love the history, the people who were involved in building the stupa and the meaning behind it. Beautiful pictures of the this place and would make a very blessed place for pilgrimage. Wonderful and meaningful post! ??

  2. sweekeong on Oct 12, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    At Colombo Harbour there is a unique stupa, Sambodhi Chaithya. The stupa is built on of interlocking arches at entrance of Marina Drive. When you walk or drive through the road you would go under the stupa.

    srilanka-Colombo-Fort-Sambodhi-Chaithya-Temple

  3. सुरज केसि on Sep 11, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Wow it is very nice and histrolical.

  4. Choong on Sep 9, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    The history of this magnificent stupa describes very well the pitfalls of sectarianism. May its lessons stay with us forever.

  5. Joy Kam on Sep 9, 2017 at 4:17 am

    This blog post is interesting because it shows not only the magnificent engineering skills and architecture of Sri Lanka in ancient times. But what I absolutely love the most was the story of how King Mahasena repented after realising what he did was wrong and created this sacred stupa, along with many other holy monuments.

    By the power of regret, remorse and doing the opposite, he managed to purify his negative karma and was said to reborn as the God of Minneriya. This King reminds me of King Ashoka building all the great monuments in India!

    Now that I know more about the sacredness of this Stupa, and many significant holy sites in Sri Lanka, I appreciate the beautiful country even more and makes me wish to go on a longer pilgrimage trip to Sri Lanka one day. It is actually a very calm and relaxing country, low profile and rich in cultural heritage.

  6. Pastor Lanse on Sep 8, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    读过这篇文章,纵然深深为阿努拉德普勒古城的祗陀林大佛塔的宏伟建筑所折服,却也感慨人性的贪婪和仇恨,导致耗时不下二十年,动用无数人力物力辛苦建成的大佛塔几乎从此消失人间。平民百姓的私心和贪欲固然无法避免,那需要长时间的教育和整个社会的推动和影响。但身为君主或领袖,若依然受到私心的影响,重私情多于子民,重仇恨多于大局,加上昏庸无明,易受人挑拨,国家必然走向灭亡。

    宗教与政治看似无关,却息息相关。纵观历史,佛教兴衰自古都受到政治的影响,大至国家政局,小至宗教流派,甚至僧团、信众间的小众政治,都能决定一个宗教在一个国家、区域、寺院、乃至社团中的存活。政治的稳定,则取决于领导者是否英明果断、平等爱民。

    祗陀林佛塔的缘起,始于摩诃斯那国王误受邪师影响,摧毁了另一教派寺院后所做出的忏悔和补偿。所幸国王愿意反思、勇于承认错误,并当机立断做出补偿,才有了这座佛塔。

    文章中有一段文字引起了我的注意,事实上,那是整篇文章中最令我动容的一段文字。

    According to Nimal de Silva, a Sri Lankan architect:

    …that in most of the major works, the systems used were unique and indigenous. … the perfect linear arrangements seen in the ancient cities showed that engineering plans had been prepared. Construction work … had been supervised. Labour was paid for, and various necessities, such as food and clothing were provided at the workplace.

    大意是一位现代斯里兰卡建筑师对祗陀林大佛坛进行了仔细的研究之后,发现佛塔的建筑使用了独特的系统,不但工程事先经过精心策划,施工过程得到良好的监督,工人福利如衣食住行等也都被妥善照顾。

    这位建筑师短短的一段评论,让我们看到摩诃斯那国王在建筑佛塔时,并不一味为了补偿自己的过错和完成目标,强迫和剥削人民帮他完成佛塔工程,好让他可以坐享其成地“补偿”自己的过错。过程中,他确保一切人、事、物都被妥善照顾,以实际行动和用心显示了真正的忏悔之心。提醒我们完成目标固然重要,但更重要的发心和行动。只有言行一致、贯彻始终才可能带来真正的成功。

    佛塔今日虽已没落,但佛塔的历史却足以让我们学习和借鉴。摩诃斯那国王所为完全是贯彻了佛教中四对治力:诚心忏悔、依止三宝、用实际行动净业和补偿、决心不再重犯。正由于国王认真忏悔和补偿的决心,整个在当时几乎是不可能完成的巨大工程才得以圆满竣工。

  7. Cynthia Lee on Sep 8, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    Archaeological wonders such as Jetavanaramaya Stupa that was built without sophisticated physics, mathematics and tools has always amazed me. It appears so that most ancient buildings are built for love and devotion. I wonder and at the same time most certain that without such deep devotion, these buildings may not arise.

    Example with the King Mahasena, his drive to show repent and remorse has resulted in an important Buddhist ancient structure. His devotion to Buddhism kept him tireless in purifying his negative karma. Such stories is inspiring that building a place a worship can indeed help with our next rebirth.

  8. Abby f on Sep 8, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    What the king has done to purify his misdeeds is impressive. For destroying a Buddhist monastery, the building of a big stupa that holds the Dharma is necessary and his action shows no ego. And the king’s remorse is not just merely words but something that is so beneficial that lasts until today and still benefiting people.

    Holy sites gives us faith for practicing the holy Dharma because we know there were the times where the attained practitioners did their practices here and gain attainments, and if we do the same, we will see attainments as well. As Rinpoche said before, going to holy sites to get blessings, the blessings are to open up our imprints of Dharma. The energy at the holy sites definitely have the power to open up our Dharma imprints because the chanting, studying, practicing of Dharma at the holy sites are too overwhelming.

  9. Chon Kong on Sep 8, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Very beneficial post .The story of huge and spectacular Jetavanaramaya stupa, tells more about how important and powerful to purify our karma. Stupa can purify our negative karma, blessing of the surrounding environment.This largest stupa is a symbol of the power of repentance, it can make the Dharma teaching sustainability.

  10. Wei Theng on Sep 8, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    The photos of this Jetavanaramaya Stupa (祗陀林佛塔) is breathtaking! It is so huge and it is still one of the largest stupas of the world and the Buddhist pilgrimage site for Sri Lanka with Buddha lyrics. There were also once have 10,000 monks staying in there!

    Reading the history of the stupas, it showed me how due to politics and greed for power and material gain, it causes conflicts as well as causing the harm and the destruction of one sect or monastery and also the religion.

    It also stood up to me the power of repentance that King Mahasena realised his wrong doing and build the stupa to purify his karma and he was reborn as the God of Minneriya (Minneriya Deviyo).
    There is so much benefits in making stupas and i am fortunate that I am closed to the Vajrayogini Stupa in Kechara Forest Retreat that I can frequently circumambulate to purify my negative karma as well as collect merits.
    In Rinpoche’s blog post, there is also a post that shares about the benefits of making stupas as well as different types of stupas. https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/10-articles-on-stupas-contest.html

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing the history and story of this stupa and may I able to do pilgrimage there. Hope one day we will also have a huge stupa like this Jetavanaramaya Stupa in KFR that will benefit a lot of people who visit it.

  11. Wah Ying on Sep 7, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    From introducing the largest stupa in Sri Lanka, this blog article tells more about the power of repentance. We all make mistakes, but is as long as we are able to let go of our ego and remorse, with Buddhism’s Four Opponent Powers, we are able to purify our bad karma. In this case, the King Mahensena has destroy the monastery and sangha community. But he managed to purify one of this five heinous crimes (create schism), which would make one reborn in Avici hell, but he took a better rebirth by remorsing over what he did and build the stupa especially. This shows how important and powerful to purify our karma according to the Four Opponent Powers.

  12. Lew on Sep 7, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    There are many articles in this blog of different types of pilgrimage places. I thank Rinpoche for informing us different types of pilgrimage places because we all have different likings and preferences, and out of all the different types of pilgrimage places, the chances of us finding what we like definitely increase.

    Personally I really like ancient cities, ancient aliens, ancient technology, etc. Therefore, I am really fascinated by Jetavanaramaya stupa and the surrounding ancient city. I pray that I have a chance to visit this holy site and make extensive offering here. May I never be separated from Dharma and a qualified guru in all my future lives.

  13. Han SF on Sep 7, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    Very informative and beneficial post. I learned a lot from the history of this amazing Jetavanaramaya stupa. Not only the magnificent structure has make impact to the people when visited the Stupa.
    The Stupa represents Buddha’s holy mind, Dharmakaya, and each part of the Stupa shows the path to Enlightenment. Building a Stupa is a very powerful way to purify negative karma and obscurations, and to accumulate extensive merit.
    Like what Tek Lee had shared “before building such sacred place, one will face huge obstacle. And it’s a great purification before they started something big related to dharma.” Jetavanaramaya stupa construction took 15 and 27 years to complete, its a great scared holy pilgrimage place to purify negative karma and collect merits at the same time, may I have the fortune to visit this holy place.

  14. Sarah on Sep 7, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    The Jetavaranamaya Stupa is very impressive due to its size. It has the shape of an Ashokan stupa and I’ve seen some of these old stupas in India. But this stupa in Sri Lanka is the largest stupa I’ve ever seen. It is the result of a great architectural feat! It is said that to build a stupa earns one great merit and purifies one’s negative karma. This stupa is a symbol of the power of repentance because of the reason why it was built. By building a stupa, one can avoid going to the lower realms! In spite of heavy negative karma, it is said that the king who built this stupa was reborn in a gods realm.

  15. Alice Tay on Sep 7, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this interesting article. There are some points that stood out to me as follows:
    1. The largest monument in Sri Lanka, Jetavanaramaya Stupa, is also the 4th tallest pyramidal structure in the world behind the Pyramid of Khufu and Pyramid of Khafre. The stupa was built on the ground where the legendary Mahinda Maha Thero gave a seven-day discourse on Buddhism. Mahinda Maha Thero was the son of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka and a great monk who brought Buddhism to Sri Lanka. Also, it is believed that part of Buddha Shakyamuni’s belt is buried inside the stupa.
    2. King Mahasena put down his ego and admitted his mistakes after met with his friend, Minister Meghavannabhaya. To deliver the promise, King Mahasena initiated the building of Jetavanaramaya Stupa, restored many ruined buildings and built many other temples and other structures such as water tanks for the benefit and enjoyment of the People. With his determination and sincerity to mend his mistakes coupled with the good deeds that he had done, it is believed that King Mahasena was reborn as the God of Minneriya (Minneriya Deviyo).

  16. Sharon Ong on Sep 7, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    If King Mahasena did not realise his misdeeds and try to make amends, there will not be such a magnificent stupa today. This architectural marvel is a testament of his sincere wish to right a wrong and to purify his negative karma. Jetavanaramaya Stupa is a sacred site that has benefitted countless and this is only possible to the powers of repentance.

    Thank you for this interesting read.

  17. sweekeong on Sep 7, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    Water is very important resource for living from personal hygiene and agriculture works. I find it interesting that King Mahasena not only repented his mistakes by building stupa and monastery he also contributed to the well being of the people. It is amazing that he initiated construction of more than 17 water tanks and greatly improved irrigation system. This very fact is beneficial to the people because it took care of one of the basic necessity.

  18. bk on Sep 7, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    Two key points stood out in this article:

    Firstly, how politics almost destroyed a particular group of Dharma practitioners. All it took was one influential and powerful person (in this case King Mahasena) to be misled and fooled by his trusted advisor (Sangamitta Thero) who whispered falsehoods into the King’s ear. As a result, the King issued decrees that resulted in the dharma community of Mahavihara Monastery being outcast by the public, left without sponsorship,and forced to relocate to a different place. Worse of course is that their monastery was then looted by the perpetrators of this horrible situation. No wonder the action of creating schism in the sangha is one of the Five Heinous Crimes.

    Which brings me to the second key point. Typically, committing any of the Five Heinous Crimes results in rebirth in the hell realms. However, through the “power of repentance” and his actions of constructing a stupa, King Mahasena not only avoided this terrible rebirth but also took rebirth as the God of Minneriya.

    This goes to show that it is never too late to do something to purify the negative karmas that we have accumulated, no matter how heavy. Even if we cannot build a stupa, there are always tried and tested methods of purification and merit collection available to us, as can be seen in the example of our gurus and our lineage masters. It also goes to show that truly regretting our past negative actions without letting our egos get in the way is part of the purification process, and goes a long way towards the collection of merit as per the Four Opponent Powers.

  19. Kenneth Chan on Sep 7, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    I love how Buddhism has inspired man to create such amazing built environment like this and so many others like it, Nalanda, Ashoka Pillars, Bagan, Borobodur, etc.

  20. Jace Chong on Sep 7, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    Thanks Rinpoche and the blog team for compiling the extensive information on this magnificent stupa!

    The process of the manifestation was through many politics and religious conflicts, fortunately something beneficial arose. It’s amazing to see the planning for the construction is so detailed back then in the era.

    Stupas are very beneficial not only to human, but to animals, insects and to the environment. The hardships of building stupa is something very meaningful and worth to endure as the amount of beings that can be benefited from it is vast.

    I am very fortunate to live and work near a beautiful stupa that was done according to scriptures and consist a lot of blessed items. I hope everyone can come and visit this beautiful stupa in Kechara Forest Retreat 🙂

    Thank you.

    IMG_3844

    • Charlene on Sep 8, 2017 at 3:57 pm

      I agree with Jace that the stupa in Kechara Forest Retreat is beautiful and meaningful. I ever had a magic experience after I visit and turn 3 times of this stupa.

      • Jace Chong on Sep 8, 2017 at 11:40 pm

        It must be something exciting! Please share more on your magical experience 🙂

  21. wan wai meng on Sep 7, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    To destroy a monastery is tremendous negative karma. So I rejoice that King Mahasena, realized his errors after being persuaded by his minister. I felt his minister was indeed a very good spiritual friend.

    King Mahasena committed an act equivalent to the 5 heinous crimes by destroying Mahavihara, such act can lead to a rebirth in Avichi if the karma remains unpurified at the point of death. So happy to know that King Mahasena achieved a god rebirth, which means his act of repentance bore fruits.

  22. CindyH on Sep 7, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    It is interesting that this engineering marvel of ancient times arose due to a dark chapter of King Mahasena’s reign wherein he allowed himself to be led astray and heavily discriminated against Theravada Buddhists. The fact that he can persecute another method of Buddhist teachings, it is not surprising that he is also said to have destroyed at least three Brahmanical god temples: Gokanna Vihara, a vihara in Erakavilla, and a vihara in Brahman Kalanda Village. This drives the point of the danger of intolerance especially by those in power. It also highlights the need for one to really examine for oneself the consequences of one’s action with the teachings of one’s faith properly. Thankfully, King Mahasena was not beyond redemption and actually placed the need for peace above all else. Not surprisingly, due to his willingness to mend the errors of his ways, even those who had previously opposed King Mahasena later rallied around him once more. Considering that many view repentance as uncomfortable as it entails one eating “humble pie” or some form of positive corrective behaviour, King Mahasena’s subsequent actions really spoke volume of his character taking into account the stature given to him by his people at that time (almost God-like).

  23. Esther Goh on Sep 6, 2017 at 10:15 am

    It is so amazing that without the modern technology and sophisticated equipments, the ancient engineers with their ingenuity were able to build the Jetavanaramaya Stupa. This also shows that everything is possible if done with good intentions. It is also worthy to note that King Mahasena despite his position was willing to let go of his ego and repent for his wrongdoings, an act we should emulate.

    Ancient and present times are no difference. Humans are blinded by greed, power and money. To achieve all these they will go through great lengths including harming each other and getting religion involved. We are fortunate that through this degenerate time we are still able to learn Dharma which will guide us to the right path.

  24. Mingwen on Sep 6, 2017 at 8:36 am

    If it’s not about this blog from Tsem Rinpoche, I would never get to know interesting and important things that I would need to know as a human being.

    This Stupa is the world’s tallest Stupa! The stories behind this Stupa were just like drama, full with Ups and downs, in fact, drama is like life, life is like drama. I’m lucky that I ve The chance to know about Dharma in life, which make me accept my drama and do good deeds to make it a better version. The construction materials and knowledge are inspiring and they were out of the box, I guess, they went through lot of trials and failures, until the Stupa was built.

  25. June Kang on Sep 6, 2017 at 8:34 am

    The amazing of Jetavanaramaya stupa structure has make impact to the people mind when visited the Stupa. Although it has gone through so many obstacles but it is worth for it because people collected lots of merits by built it. It really benefits lots of people by just remind people about Buddha and his teaching. To me I always think that building a stupa at that time was a highly difficult works because they do not have the technology we have now. To complete it was a very amazing jobs. it is indeed another magnificent place to visit while in Sri Lanka.

  26. Tek Lee on Sep 6, 2017 at 8:33 am

    After reading the article, I feel that whenever there is human, there is politics and conflict. Doesn’t matter over what subject or what cause, one can easily abuse the power they have. It seems human issue has already started since ancient time, and this is samsara.
    Another thing is, building a sacred place or starting a dharma cause required lots of merits. And, of course if its successfully built, one will gain tremendous merits. Thus, before building such sacred place, one will face huge obstacle. And it’s a great purification before they started something big related to dharma. It is magnificent and impressive that during the ancient time, they could built such a big structure only depending on man power and architecture calculation. This is one place that must visit for pilgrimage. I wish I can visit there one day.

  27. Julia Tan on Sep 6, 2017 at 7:45 am

    What a spectacular super huge stupa. It represent the remorse of the king who had done his wrong to his people by being sectarian. I rejoice for the King to realise his wrong and the negative karma that he committed hence built the huge Jetavanaramaya stupa to purify his karma. Around the stupa there’s a monastery for 3000 monks which showed the rise of the Theravadan Buddhism at that time.

    Sectarianism always exist. It has nothing to do with the religions but the people. Why people choose to destroy each other instead of practicing together harmoniously? In this article it was very clearly explained: “Due to the differences in the Buddhist doctrines that they followed and the necessity of securing royal patronage, there was a great rivalry between Abhayagiri and Mahavihara.” So again, power and money!

    Money is the issue. It reminded me of the ban of Doje Shugden practice. Here we are holding the holy scripture of Buddha, shouting about how good and holy we are by practicing Buddhism yet we discriminating those who are different from us due to our narrow minds. So do we still qualify to talk about loving all sentient beings? How many times in a day we say: “I dedicated my prayer and merits to all sentient beings”? Buddha taught us to love all sentient beings but we destroy each other in the name of His teachings. When can people realise and wake up to understand the true meaning of the rise of all religions?

  28. Pastor Chia on Sep 6, 2017 at 6:36 am

    Jetavanaramaya stupa structure are amazing and make impact for people mind who visiting it. King Mahasena must in peace now by building it and brought such significant sign of buddhism for the future generation. Althrogh King Mahasena has make mistake listen the wrong advice create obstacle for sangha, but by building it able to purify one negative karma. It make me realise when building something holy and bring benifit to many people will to face all the obstacle and challenge and not giving up what had do and keep going until completed.

  29. Pastor Albert on Sep 6, 2017 at 1:40 am

    First thing came into my mind was even during the time that was so close to Buddha Shakyamuni’s time, there are already such big play of politics on Buddhism, moreover now during the degenerate times, people are using religions to attack each other to gain power, money and fame. Whenever there is people, there will always be politics, human’s greed will never stopped and the only way to stop one’s greed / attachment is to follow the Buddha’s path, to reach the state of enlightenment.

    The stupa built was so magnificent, for today’s technology, building this stupa may not be too difficult, but imagine, that is about 2000 years ago, with that technology, people already able to build the stupa is such a big scale, and it even preserved until today, this is one of the great place we should visit that placed such a holy and historical Stupa. Wish one day I could visit too 🙂

  30. Pastor Antoinette on Sep 6, 2017 at 12:41 am

    This is indeed a magnificent Stupa and the remains of the house and surroundings show how much effort and detail was put into this place. The evolution of this beautiful place over time reminds us that everything is impermanent and that even the highest building will not remain as such.

    We can put so much effort into material things but how we make others feel and how we behave has much more impact. The king Mahasena accepted that he did wrong and because of this he changed and did not continue to create harm. So many monks have lived, studies and practiced in this holy place. It is for sure a very good place for a pilgrimage.

  31. Vivian Ong on Sep 6, 2017 at 12:05 am

    Thank your writer’s team for this write up. I am really amazed with the number of bricks that they use to build this stupa. Another thing that I am amazed is how in ancient times people can build such big stupa or pyramid or even monuments. Ancient times’ technology was not so advance like now. King Mahasena realized his own wrong doings and rebuilt back a monastery. King Mahasena is a great builder such as the finest water reservoirs and irrigation systems in the ancient world whereby some of them are still in use today.

    With folded palms,
    Vivian

  32. Andrea Lai on Sep 5, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    The construction of this stupa is awesome and I could hardly imagine it took more than 20 years to complete. Apart of this, what draw my curiosity when the Jetavanaramaya Stupa was found many monks failed appeal for restoration of the stupa. It is understood in samsara, everybody suffer and have karma. Obstacles arises from our negative karma we created, therefore we should obtained into Dharma to collect more merit. Only merit can help lessen or purified our obstacle and guide us pursue the right direction to success or enlightenment.

  33. Pastor Henry Ooi on Sep 5, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    Rinpoche has said that there would be obstacles for the people before any holy place and object could be built or made for dharma to spread. This includes dharma teaching and practice. Because such virtuous efforts would potentially benefit many people at that time and in the future, obstacles would manifest from the people who wanted to or who were assigned for the project. It is vital for the people involved to do and carry on with the work although they were struggling with the obstacles because the efforts and success of such projects purify the karma of those involved and they collect great merit after the completion.

  34. Eric kksiow on Sep 5, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    I was amazed, at that time the stupa construction took between 15 and 27 years to complete, hundreds of skilled engineers and labourers (i.e., stonemasons, bricklayers, and brickyard workers) would have been involved in the building process. And also elephants were used to stamp down the openings that have been filled.

    Wow…. It’s not easy to build a Stupa without any modern technology machines helps.

  35. nicholas on Sep 5, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    It’s sad to see how schism took place and created such suffering within the sangha. Hatred doesn’t choose their victim but we become one when it overruled us. How scary things can be when we let go our mind but fortunate enough through the good friend that make King Mahasena realised and repent his mistake.

    We can see this situation happened similar to Dorje Shugden practice that being suppressed and discriminate that causes much suffering to many Dorje Shugden practitioners around the world. Spirituality is also about respect and harmony rather than emphasising on discriminating the differences.

  36. pammie yap on Sep 5, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    While reading this post, it reminded how similar they were then and what we are facing now. They had their disagreements, obstacles and fights to push for their beliefs and look how the stupa benefit many.
    Likewise now, the ban on Dorje Shugden is making so many people have the same problems but it will also come to the same conclusion, to benefit many.

    The structure and materials used for the stupa is amazing! From the photos and not looking at the information, it looks like any ordinary sized stupa, but the moment I zoomed in, with the people walking around, it took my breath away! It really look awesome. I am glad that after all those history, the stupa was restored to its glory and became a pilgrimage site.

  37. Datuk May on Sep 5, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Building religious monuments create great amount of merits to the sponsors, builders and all who are involved with such constructions. As these monuments stand to this day, they also serve as powerful places for pilgrimages.

    There were controversies during the ancient time of Sri Lanka’s history of Buddhism between the Theravadan and Mahayana doctrines, at the end of it there arose the Magnificent Jetavanaramaya Stupa. The reason was because being influenced wrongly against the Theravaden doctrine, King Mahasena in repentance built the Jetavanaramaya Stupa.

    At the time of construction the Jetavanaramaya Stupa was the 4th tallest structure in the world.

    Very interesting history on this magnificent religious monument and it is the wish of Buddhist around the world to go on this pilgrimage to see this holy site.

  38. Stella Cheang on Sep 3, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    The story of how King Mahasena was being charmed and misled by his tutor, but later on repented because he had a conscience and he valued the friendship enough to not let his ego overruled him is truly what stood out to me. This is really a great lesson for us to ponder on. Imagine, a king, who realized his mistake and listened to his “friend” and repented. How many could have done this? This is honorable. I think besides all the holy relics, great Buddha Dharma preserved in Jetavanaramaya stupa, I will always remember it as the stupa where King Mahasena had been humbled. Thank you, Rinpoche, for this magnificent sharing.

  39. Wai Meng Wan on Jul 16, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    The Building of structures that benefits Buddhists and Buddhism, do create tremendous merits and purification for the builder of such structures. It is great that King Mahinda realized the error of his ways, to take the sides of one of the prevailing Buddhist factions of the day.

    Not to forget it was the good friend of King Mahinda who made him realize the error of his ways. Without this friend truly being courageous to let the King know then Sri Lank a could have experienced a lot of bloodshed than necessary.

  40. Pastor David Lai on Jul 6, 2017 at 6:25 am

    I really like this stupa upon first sight. I guess the shape of the stupa looks good and awe-inspiring. I think it is also due to the fact that the stupa is well-preserved and is relatively intact. I am not usually a stupa person but this minimalist structure is attractive and engenders devotion, probably due to the fact that it has a modern appeal, a sort of minimalist appearance.

    It’s just too bad that a place of such beauty was once a place of great destruction and that it was due to sectarianism, in much the same way as how Dorje Shugden practitioners are treated. I guess if this was ancient times and people are not as aware of religious and human rights, Dorje Shugden practitioners would have been wiped out. Hence, we live in a time when people cannot easily get away with such shocking violence and discrimination on the basis of sectarian differences that we are able to retain our practice and dignity.

  41. Paul Yap on Jul 5, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    There are numerous benefits of building a stupa. Even for a King, he knew that the benefits of making the stupa can purify his negative karma.

    Benefits of Making a Stupa:-

    1. – One will be born as the child of a great king.
    2. – One will have a noble body.
    3. – One will become very beautiful and very attractive.
    4. – One will have sharp sense faculties.
    5. – One will be powerful and famous.
    6. – One will have a great entourage of servants.
    7. – One will become a leader of men.
    8. – One will be a support to all.
    9 . – One will be renowned in the ten directions.
    10 . – One will be able to express oneself in words and verses extensively.
    11. – One will receive offerings from men and gods.
    12. – One will possess many riches.
    13. – One will obtain the kingdom of a universal monarch.
    14. – One will have long life.
    15. – One’s body will be like a collection of vajras.
    16. – One’s body will be endowed with the major marks and the minor signs (of a Buddha).
    17. – One will take rebirth in the three higher realms.
    18. – One will swiftly attain complete nirvana.

  42. Lim Han Nee on Jul 5, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    It is sad to see sectarianism creep into the practice of Buddhism even in the early years of its history. In the city of Anuradhapura, the rivalry was between the two sects represented by the monks of the Mahavihara Monastery and those of the Abhayagiri Monastery. Fortunately, King Mahasena who had been deceptively conned into destroying the Mahavihara Monastery, was a man of integrity and wisdom. Hence, when he realised that he had committed a terrible transgression by destroying the Mahavihara Monastery, he was full of remorse and immediately sought to restore it.

    The magnificent Jetavanaramaya Stupa was built on the grounds of the previous Mahavihara Monastery . It took between 15 and 27 years to complete. In the ninth century, the country fell into the “dark ages” and the seat of Buddhism was moved elsewhere. Anuradhapura was eventually abandoned and this ancient city was covered in jungle.
    The Jetavanaramaya Stupa, after a few failed attempts, has now been restored under the auspices of the UNESCO.

    Despite a tragic past of destruction and being laid to waste, the magnificent Jetavanaramaya Stupa , today ,stands tall and invincible. Pilgrims who visit to pay homage to the holy object within- the belt of Buddha Shakyamuni , will also be paying homage to a great king, King Mahasena, who in sincere remorse for having destroyed the sacred Mahavihara, had commissioned the building of this stupa. The first stupa was a most magnificent structure of sheer ingenuity and sophisticated engineering.It stood as one of the tallest structures in the world, second only to 2 pyramids of Giza and the lighthouse of Alexandria.

    Much must be said of King Mahasena whose building of this great Stupa is a testimony to the power of remorse and repentance.The stupa represents his sincerity in purifying his transgressions and negative karma. He did not let his ego stand in the way of his sincere remorse and heartfelt repentance.

    Pilgrims who visit the Jetavanaramaya Stupa will also be filled with wonder by the fact that they are standing on the very grounds in Sri Lanka, where the legendary monk Mahinda Maha Thero, the son of King Ashoka, had given a 7-day discourse on Buddha. It has been said that he was the monk who had brought Buddhism to Sri Lanka.

    The Jetavanaramaya Stupa is therefore a must for pilgrims to visit in Sri Lanka.

  43. Choong on Jul 5, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    This era saw the nexus of aristocracy, caste and religious belief resulting in an unpredictable and tumultuous outcome for two subsequently defined Buddhist traditions, both of which were walking the same path of liberation but with a different focus – self liberation with a focus on vows, vs. the Mahayana focus on liberation for the benefit of all sentient beings.

    It was also during this time that Arya Nagarjuna’s ideas about the Bodhisattva attracted the nobility in Sri Lanka as well as the Abhayagiri. One of them was the nobleman Aryadeva from Sri Lanka who became a great disciple of Nagarjuna.

    Aryadeva’s “Hundred Verses Treatise” became one of the three basic texts of the Chinese Madhyamaka school founded by the central Asian monk Kumārajīva (b. 344–d. 413), which accordingly was called the Sanlun (Jpn. Sanron), or “three-treatise” school.

    It is interesting to read about the context in which Buddhism developed, vanished and spread during this tumultuous period. Much of its context can be seen in the “Mahavamsa: The Great Chronicle of Sri Lanka”.

    Thank you Rinpoche for this article. To me it shows that there is no right, no wrong, just karma manifesting. Most importantly it shows how one should learn from experience, in this case, the lesson and power of repentance, the first of the four opponent powers.

  44. Fong on Jul 5, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    It pains me to rad about the unscrupulous sangha like Sangamitta Thero bring about destruction the the stupa with his wily ways. Such bad karma to bring disrepute and destruction to places of worship and reverence. Is this occur throughout history that the greed of man comes foremost?

    The saving grace is that there were still good and religious people to stand up for dharma and Buddhism and all that it stands for; so much so that Buddhism still flourishes today in Sri Lanka.

    Thank you for very soul searching article.

  45. Samfoonheei on Jul 5, 2017 at 12:10 am

    The Jetavanaramaya is a stupa located in the ruins of Jetavana in the sacred world heritage … The structure is significant in the island’s history seem to be the tallest structures in the ancient world. Is a proof of the advanced engineering and construction skills of the ancient. Amazing…..with much renovation done since 1981 on these ruins stupa ,under UNESCO poject still far from completion..Archaeologists have unearthed various artefacts dated 21 centuries BC which is now at the Jetavana Museum.Amazing discoveries and amazing great skillfulness ,techniques used to build the stupa and the surrounding structures.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these interesting post history and very informtive for anyone to visit much easier.

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  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Jan 17. 2021 06:28 PM
    Chengdu is a sub-provincial city which serves as the capital of the Chinese province of Sichuan. The city is also home to the famous Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, a conservation center where visitors can view endangered giant pandas in a natural habitat. Been an ancient city with a history of more than 3,100 years, it offer many tourist attraction. Many of the ancient sites around Chengdu reflect the influence of Buddhism, as well as the agricultural history of the region. Thousands of tourists both locally and internationally will flock to this city the beauty of it. It seem Chengdu is one of the most leisurely cities in the world. Well , Chengdu is famous for its spicy hot pot and many other mouth tingling dishes. This is because of the world famous Sichuan peppercorn that is grown in the region. Not only that the Giant statues of the Buddha one in Leshan, show the enduring presence of Buddhism on the area.
    Reading this post help a lot for those first timers visitors like me. I am glad my friends and me made it there to see for ourselves. I wish i could revisit this beautiful and exciting Chengdu again in future. Loved seeing those ancient architecture of those temples and of the city.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful post with details.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/must-visit-chengdu-exotic-and-exciting.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Jan 17. 2021 06:26 PM
    Many monasteries have their own Dharma Protectors to safeguard the organisation and its interests. Setrap is one of them , they will propitiate their Dharma protectors every month to request for protection, blessings, and assistance for the growth of the Dharma and the well-being of the sangha. Each and every monasteries have their own. Interesting read of this article all about the close historical relationship between Dorje Shugden and Setrap.
    Setrap is emanation of the wrathful emanation of Buddha Amitabha, while Dorje Shugden is emanation of Manjushri. Setrap is an ancient Dharma Protector from the holy land of Bodhgaya in India. Sworn to protect the teachings and the practice was introduced to Tibet, and has since flourished. Many great Lamas and Geshes are known to have practised both Setrap, as Gaden Shartse’s Dharma protector, and also Dorje Shugden. They cannot be wrong definitely where Dorje Shugden is not an evil as claimed by the CTA. They knew the practice is very beneficial . has been the Dharma Protector of Gaden Shartse Monastery for the past 600 years. Dalai Lama visited the Dharma protector Setrap’s chapel in Gaden Shartse Monastery, South India. Dalai Lama even consecrated the chapel with prayers and sees Setrap as an enlightened being. Dalai Lama also endorsed Setrap and his practice as a beneficial one where he did affirmed the practice of Dorje Shugden through such close association. Interesting read may more people read this article to have a clearer understanding.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/dalai-lama-blesses-setrap-chapel-in-gaden-monastery.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Jan 17. 2021 06:24 PM
    Looking at those pictures and videos tell a thousand words. What is underneath those lakes mentioned , cannot be taken too lightly. Well-known lake monsters such as
    Loch Ness , Champ, Ogopogo and so forth has been sighted in those lakes around the world. Stories of a sea monster lurking in the depths of lakes are actually centuries old. To believe or not its up to individual. The unexplored darkness of lakes serve as one of the gateways for these fascinations. Many had claimed witnessing those creatures but with no hard evidence. People love to fill in mysterious areas of nature with myths of monsters. Sightings of such lakes creatures is interesting to many. I do believe there are such sea creatures inhabiting in those lakes centuries ago. Some of those creature’s names indeed new to me. Interesting to know that they do exist after all.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this interesting article.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/7-lake-monsters.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jan 15. 2021 04:00 PM
    Amazing ,truly beautiful 1000-armed Avalokitesvara. A special gift given by Joshua and family from Singapore to Rinpoche. I love looking at 1000-armed Avalokitesvara where ever I went seeing any images of it i will always stare at it hoping to get hold of it. Avalokiteśvara is one of the most famous bodhisattvas in Buddhism, who embodies the quality of compassion and having the ability to understand the suffering of others. Merely looking at this beautiful 1000-armed Avalokitesvara paints a thousand words.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/beautiful-1000-armed-avalokitesvara.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jan 15. 2021 03:58 PM
    Revisit this blog again as the miracles stories of Lama Tsongkhapa Statues truly interesting. We are fortunate to have met our Lama Tsem Rinpoche learning all the wonderful teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa. Its such a beneficial teachings and practicing it with so many amazing benefits for us all. Reading this post have me increased my knowledge. Looking at the rare foot print of Lama Tsongkapa which is a sign of his tantric achievements is indeed a blessing for us. The practice of Migtsema is amazing and powerful as it contains the meaning of all the Buddha’s 84,000 teachings.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/benefits-and-miraculous-signs-of-lama-tsongkhapas-statues.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jan 15. 2021 03:54 PM
    Since the monks are holding so many vows, serving them is an opportunity for HUGE merit. They are a source of inspiration for others who are seeking spiritual solace. We need to support them and creates the causes for the Dharma to remain , creating the causes for an abundance of spiritual and material wealth for ourselves as well. In Bangkok , its amazing having the opportunity to make offerings to the monks and nuns early in the morning. Giving to the monks and nuns is an incredible thing, we create unbelievable merit if we offer to the monks with the motivation of Bodhicitta. Looking at Angel makes offerings, reminds me of my trip to ChiangMai where I have an opportunity to give packed foods to monks early in the morning. Its truly wonderful indeed. If I have the opportunity again I will definitely love to offer foods to the monks.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/angel-makes-offerings.html
  • sarassitham
    Friday, Jan 15. 2021 01:02 AM
    Wow! Thank you for the wonderful sharing. I love the amazing recipe on sauces it looks healthy and delicious. I found this recipes very nutritious with all fresh ingredients, spices and herbs. I would love to try it out the Savory Mushroom Gravy.

    https://bit.ly/39MFWeD
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jan 14. 2021 03:13 PM
    Wow interesting one of the most fantastic escapes in history now comes in comic for everyone to know the truth. The true story of how HH the 14th Dalai Lama had made a daring and dangerous escape. Dalai Lama had secretly travelled to India back in 1959. The truth not many knew but with this comic , more people will understand better. Its in simple and yet easy diagrams where kids and adults would love it. The great Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden through the esteemed Panglung Oracle had helped Dalai Lama .
    Interesting comic book one must read it .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-greatest-escape-in-history.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jan 14. 2021 03:09 PM
    Venerable Geshe Rabten Rinpoche known as a debater, scholar, and meditation master. Geshe Rabten was one of the pioneer and the first Tibetan Buddhist masters to give teachings in the West. Interesting sharing and with detail explanations understanding the Praise to Manjusri by Geshe Rabten. We are blessed to have learn and practice it . A good practice with the correct way to visual and reading this post had me understand better the meaning of this powerful prayer.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/praise-to-manjusri-explanation-by-geshe-rabten.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jan 14. 2021 03:07 PM
    Thailand is a Southeast Asian country known for tropical beaches, opulent royal palaces, ancient ruins and ornate temples displaying figures of Buddha. Home to an exorbitantly priced delicacy as well. There are thousands of Buddhist temples in Thailand. Everywhere and corners we could see Buddhist temples . Wat Pho or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, it’s a must-see for any one visiting Thailand first-time . It is the one of the most important Buddhist temples in Thailand, which is 1,800 years old, and is the oldest in the world. Been the third largest, longest and most beautiful reclining Buddha image in Thailand . There are 108 pearl carvings of auspicious images on the Buddha’s soles, in the Chinese-Thai style. Visited Bangkok many years ago but couldn’t recall if I had visited this temple. Wish to revisit again in future to see again the beauty of those temples at Bangkok. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this post with video and beautiful pictures.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/i-visited-wat-pho-thailand.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jan 13. 2021 05:24 PM
    High in the mountains of Sichuan province, hidden from the outside world by its geographical remoteness is the largest nunnery in the world. With an estimated 20,000 nuns, monks and lay practitioners living in the austere surroundings of the Yarchen Gar monastery. The Yarchen Gar monastery above 4000m sea level considered to be the largest concentration of monastics in the world dedicated to the preservation of Tibetan Buddhist culture after the Cultural Revolution. Looking at those pictures tells us all, it’s a huge sea of Burgundy robes, one wouldn’t expect anything on this scale to exist or survive. With determination and will power they could live and do their meditation . Living in such an rudimentary conditions, they are devoted to following the faith and entering a life of sacrament.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/10ooo-nuns-here.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jan 13. 2021 05:22 PM
    When we die our money, fame, and honours will be meaningless. We own nothing in this world. Everything we think we own is in reality only being loaned to us until we die. Everything surrounding us is only temporary. And on our deathbed at the moment of death, no one can save us. Anything can happen in life, anytime of the day , we have to live meaningfully while we still can by learning and practicing dharma before its too late. Do something useful for others in our life .
    Nothing is accomplished in one day…the bigger the project, the more the obstacles…but the obstacles you suffer is for others…so suffer it without suffering…Tsem Rinpoche
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/we-own-nothing.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jan 13. 2021 05:18 PM
    Dana in the Buddhist tradition means giving freely without expecting anything in return. The act of giving is purely out of compassion. Giving is an essential Buddhist practice. It is about generosity, openness, and our capacity to embrace others with compassion and love. At dawn, all over Thailand, the local monks will travel from their temples to the markets and past shops and houses, where local people offer food alms in exchange for blessings. The monks will be walking barefoot and with great grace, that’s where we could offer them foods in packets or so. It was truly wonderful, learning from this post and able to give while I was there in Chiangmai,Thailand few years back.
    When we support the sangha , we support the Dharma. Buddhist monks depend on our support and help to continue their spiritual path to continue benefiting others and dharma to grow .Looking at those pictures tells more.
    Thank you, Rinpoche for this sharing and with explanation for us to understand more of it.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/bangkok-monks-and-why-make-offerings.html
  • sarassitham
    Tuesday, Jan 12. 2021 12:47 AM
    Really very inspiring story, God sent Hero back to India. He droped his job opportunity and gave many people possibilities to survive. I believe not everyone has the passion to contribute or an opportunity to serve others like Mr. Krishnan and KSK.

    Thank you for the sharing, The true compassion of Krishnan comes from thoughtful skill of helping the needy.
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jan 11. 2021 05:32 PM
    There is definitely an unseen spirit world all around us. Even though we are not able to see it or spirits it does not mean they do not exist. Spirits are beings trapped in a non-physical form in the lower realms.
    Thank you Rinpoche and writers team for sharing this interesting and powerful practice of Trakze . Well it’s a very powerful practice for anyone been disturbed by spirits ,unseen beings and obstacles where someone had put a spell on them in their health and business matters. Known as black magic by some . Trakze’s practice and can be done daily for any of us who needs protection even if we are not afflicted by black magic and spirits. Interesting read with all the explanations,of how the practice should be done for us .
    Thanks again with folded hands.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/trakze-to-dispel-black-magic-spirits.html

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Messages from Rinpoche

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

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

Tsem Rinpoche

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

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According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn\'t this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
12 months ago
According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn't this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden\'s blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
12 months ago
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden's blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
12 months ago
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat\'s doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
12 months ago
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat's doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
12 months ago
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
1 year ago
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
1 year ago
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
It\'s very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it\'s very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
1 year ago
It's very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it's very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
1 year ago
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
1 year ago
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
1 year ago
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
1 year ago
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
1 year ago
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
2 yearss 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 yearss 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 yearss 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 yearss 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 yearss 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 yearss 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 yearss 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 yearss 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 yearss 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 yearss 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 yearss 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 yearss 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 yearss 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 yearss 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 yearss ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
2 yearss ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
2 yearss 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 yearss 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 yearss 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 yearss 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 yearss 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 yearss 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 yearss 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 yearss ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Pig puts his toys away
    1 years ago
    Pig puts his toys away
    Animals are so intelligent. They can feel happiness, joy, pain, sorrow, just like humans. Always show kindness to them. Always show kindness to everyone.
  • Always be kind to animals-They deserve to live just like us.
    2 yearss ago
    Always be kind to animals-They deserve to live just like us.
    Whales and dolphins playing with each other in the Pacific sea. Nature is truly incredible!
  • Bodha stupa July 2019-
    2 yearss ago
    Bodha stupa July 2019-
    Rainy period
  • Cute Tara girl having a snack. She is one of Kechara Forest Retreat’s resident doggies.
    2 yearss ago
    Cute Tara girl having a snack. She is one of Kechara Forest Retreat’s resident doggies.
  • Your Next Meal!
    2 yearss ago
    Your Next Meal!
    Yummy? Tasty? Behind the scenes of the meat on your plates. Meat is a killing industry.
  • This is Daw
    2 yearss ago
    This is Daw
    This is what they do to get meat on tables, and to produce belts and jackets. Think twice before your next purchase.
  • Don’t Take My Mummy Away!
    2 yearss ago
    Don’t Take My Mummy Away!
    Look at the poor baby chasing after the mother. Why do we do that to them? It's time to seriously think about our choices in life and how they affect others. Be kind. Don't break up families.
  • They do this every day!
    2 yearss ago
    They do this every day!
    This is how they are being treated every day of their lives. Please do something to stop the brutality. Listen to their cries for help!
  • What happened at Fair Oaks Farm?
    2 yearss ago
    What happened at Fair Oaks Farm?
    The largest undercover dairy investigation of all time. See what they found out at Fair Oaks Farm.
  • She’s going to spend her whole life here without being able to move correctly. Like a machine. They are the slaves of the people and are viewed as a product. It’s immoral. Billions of terrestrial animals die annually. Billions. You can’t even imagine it. And all that because people don’t want to give up meat, even though there are so many alternatives. ~ Gabriel Azimov
    2 yearss ago
    She’s going to spend her whole life here without being able to move correctly. Like a machine. They are the slaves of the people and are viewed as a product. It’s immoral. Billions of terrestrial animals die annually. Billions. You can’t even imagine it. And all that because people don’t want to give up meat, even though there are so many alternatives. ~ Gabriel Azimov
  • Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is the first time His Holiness Dalai Lama mentions he had some very serious illness. Very worrying. This video is captured April 2019.
    2 yearss ago
    This is the first time His Holiness Dalai Lama mentions he had some very serious illness. Very worrying. This video is captured April 2019.
  • Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
    2 yearss ago
    Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
  • This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
    2 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
    2 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
  • Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
    2 yearss ago
    Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
  • Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
    2 yearss ago
    Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
  • Beautiful
    2 yearss ago
    Beautiful
    Beautiful sacred Severed Head Vajra Yogini from Tsem Rinpoche's personal shrine.
  • My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
  • Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
  • SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    2 yearss ago
    SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    Tsem Rinpoche's dog Oser girl enjoying her snack in her play pen.
  • Cute!
    2 yearss ago
    Cute!
    Oser girl loves the balcony so much. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTcoWpKJm2c
  • Uncle Wong
    2 yearss ago
    Uncle Wong
    We were told by Uncle Wong he is very faithful toward Dorje Shugden. Dorje Shugden has extended help to him on several occasions and now Uncle Wong comes daily to make incense offerings to Dorje Shugden. He is grateful towards the help he was given.
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
    2 yearss ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
  • Cute baby owl found and rescued
    2 yearss ago
    Cute baby owl found and rescued
    We rescued a lost baby owl in Kechara Forest Retreat.
  • Nice cups from Kechara!!
    2 yearss ago
    Nice cups from Kechara!!
    Dorje Shugden people's lives matter!
  • Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    2 yearss ago
    Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
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  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    3 yearss ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
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    3 yearss ago
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    3 yearss ago
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  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    3 yearss ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    3 yearss ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 yearss ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    3 yearss ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    3 yearss ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    3 yearss ago
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  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
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  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    3 yearss ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 yearss ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    3 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!!
    3 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.
    3 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.

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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.

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CHAT PICTURES

Update on Empowerment cookies, special holiday packaging. The bakers are most grateful for the overwhelming support of 834 tubs ordered, with a big order of 314 tubs from a group of friends. Thank you to those cookie lovers who couldn’t get enough of it. Watch out for the next update. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
3 weeks ago
Update on Empowerment cookies, special holiday packaging. The bakers are most grateful for the overwhelming support of 834 tubs ordered, with a big order of 314 tubs from a group of friends. Thank you to those cookie lovers who couldn’t get enough of it. Watch out for the next update. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thank you, generous and kind donors, made possible by Alice Smith School's Official Site through their Build Kindness Campaign. The whooping amount of RM63,000 will provide much needed food to 25 poor families for the next 12 months. On behalf of these families, thank you! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
3 weeks ago
Thank you, generous and kind donors, made possible by Alice Smith School's Official Site through their Build Kindness Campaign. The whooping amount of RM63,000 will provide much needed food to 25 poor families for the next 12 months. On behalf of these families, thank you! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
The global pandemic hasn't been easy for all of us. Some find it diffucult to find a job to support the family. Despite that, we are still delivering basic food pack to our recipients nationwide. Thank you to our volunteers, donors, and sponsors. Without your support, we would be unable to reach out to many families. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
3 weeks ago
The global pandemic hasn't been easy for all of us. Some find it diffucult to find a job to support the family. Despite that, we are still delivering basic food pack to our recipients nationwide. Thank you to our volunteers, donors, and sponsors. Without your support, we would be unable to reach out to many families. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thanks to Yap Optometry for gifting Robert a new pair of glasses to see better. We wish him many clear and bright days ahead. Thank you to all sponsors. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 months ago
Thanks to Yap Optometry for gifting Robert a new pair of glasses to see better. We wish him many clear and bright days ahead. Thank you to all sponsors. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Donation received to date: RM33,468.00 Yes! We've achieved the target for the #TamanNegara project. Fundraising is closed for this project. Thank you to all donors, 113 Orang Asli families will benefit from it. Stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 months ago
Donation received to date: RM33,468.00 Yes! We've achieved the target for the #TamanNegara project. Fundraising is closed for this project. Thank you to all donors, 113 Orang Asli families will benefit from it. Stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
FRESHLY BAKED by Kechara Empowerment trainees - Chocolate Chip Butter Cookies - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 months ago
FRESHLY BAKED by Kechara Empowerment trainees - Chocolate Chip Butter Cookies - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
In memory of Wilson Lee, one of our most dedicated volunteers in Penang. Our heartfelt condolences to Wilson's wife, Tze Ling, family and friends. Our thoughts are with them for their loss. Thank you for your kindness and service to KSK Penang. From all of us in KSK.
2 months ago
In memory of Wilson Lee, one of our most dedicated volunteers in Penang. Our heartfelt condolences to Wilson's wife, Tze Ling, family and friends. Our thoughts are with them for their loss. Thank you for your kindness and service to KSK Penang. From all of us in KSK.
Last weekend a Soup Kitchen activities @ Penang, Johor & Kuala Lumpur. Hot food, water, masks, biscuits, buns & fruits. This is what we give out to our friends living on the streets. Thank you to our sponsor & volunteers that make it happen. Come spread more love by being a volunteer at our activities. WhatsApp us today at 010-333-3260! See you soon! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
3 months ago
Last weekend a Soup Kitchen activities @ Penang, Johor & Kuala Lumpur. Hot food, water, masks, biscuits, buns & fruits. This is what we give out to our friends living on the streets. Thank you to our sponsor & volunteers that make it happen. Come spread more love by being a volunteer at our activities. WhatsApp us today at 010-333-3260! See you soon! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Fwd: Dear Sotha
4 months ago
Fwd: Dear Sotha
Kechara Earth Project 13/9/2020
4 months ago
Kechara Earth Project 13/9/2020
Thank you Domino's Pizza Malaysia, Kasih & Piza campaign for sponsoring 85 boxes of pizza to our friends who live on the streets. Your flavourful pizzas have put a smile on their faces. Thank you! - Vivan @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #KasihdanPiza #ItsAllAboutYou
4 months ago
Thank you Domino's Pizza Malaysia, Kasih & Piza campaign for sponsoring 85 boxes of pizza to our friends who live on the streets. Your flavourful pizzas have put a smile on their faces. Thank you! - Vivan @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #KasihdanPiza #ItsAllAboutYou
Thank you Novo Nordisk! Your kind monetary donation and 1,320 boxes of masks will benefit many needy families under the Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families  ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #novonordisk #novonordiskmalaysia
5 months ago
Thank you Novo Nordisk! Your kind monetary donation and 1,320 boxes of masks will benefit many needy families under the Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #novonordisk #novonordiskmalaysia
We were graced with the presence of Tengku Zatashah & The Alice Smith School Foundation yesterday. 130 homeless were blessed to be served by them. RM 20,000 donated by Alice Smith School Foundation will benefit 100 families registered under Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #alicesmithschoolfoundation #alicesmithschool #volunteerism #homeless
5 months ago
We were graced with the presence of Tengku Zatashah & The Alice Smith School Foundation yesterday. 130 homeless were blessed to be served by them. RM 20,000 donated by Alice Smith School Foundation will benefit 100 families registered under Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #alicesmithschoolfoundation #alicesmithschool #volunteerism #homeless
Thanks to the effort of our outstation team, we were able to mobilise food provisions to 600 families living in Kelantan, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor during the Raya period with each of these families receiving RM200 worth of provisions. Adding onto the current 368 families in Klang Valley, a total of 968 families were benefitted from this. Special thanks to the sponsors who have contributed especially Hong Leong Foundation and partially from Tesco Malaysia (where we also ordered the provisions from). ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 months ago
Thanks to the effort of our outstation team, we were able to mobilise food provisions to 600 families living in Kelantan, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor during the Raya period with each of these families receiving RM200 worth of provisions. Adding onto the current 368 families in Klang Valley, a total of 968 families were benefitted from this. Special thanks to the sponsors who have contributed especially Hong Leong Foundation and partially from Tesco Malaysia (where we also ordered the provisions from). ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
7 months ago
So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
7 months ago
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
8 months ago
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
8 months ago
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
8 months ago
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
8 months ago
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
8 months ago
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
Wesak 2020
8 months ago
Wesak 2020
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
10 months ago
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
10 months ago
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
10 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
10 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
10 months ago
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
10 months ago
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
10 months ago
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
10 months ago
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
10 months ago
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
10 months ago
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
10 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
10 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
10 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
10 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
10 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
10 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Over 100 Kecharians & their loved ones spent the Sunday evening immersed in this obstacle pacifying puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
10 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Over 100 Kecharians & their loved ones spent the Sunday evening immersed in this obstacle pacifying puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Dakpa and Geshe Janchup Gyaltsen Lama inspecting the offering substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
10 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Dakpa and Geshe Janchup Gyaltsen Lama inspecting the offering substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
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