15 Thangkas of Lama Tsongkhapa’s Life Story

Jun 8, 2014 | Views: 8,269

Wooden statues of Lama Tsongkhapa and his two heart sons in Sera Monastery, Tibet.
Click on image to enlarge.

(By Tsem Rinpoche)

 

A Brief Biography of Lama Tsongkhapa

The incomparable Manjunatha (an epithet meaning ‘one with Manjushri’) Lama Tsongkhapa Lobsang Drakpa was attributed to be the founder of the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism. Although appearing as an ordinary monk, he is widely regarded to be the emanation of Manjushri, the bodhisattva of wisdom.

An old thangka of Lama Tsongkhapa with Manjushri depicted above him
(top left). Click on image to enlarge.

Although he was destined to be a great yogi, scholar and master, he was born in relatively humble circumstances in the Tsongkha region of Amdo in 1357. His unassuming mother was Shingza Acho and his industrious father was Lubum Ge. From obscurity, he arose to be the greatest scholar and master of the land, thus exemplifying the humility, hard work and the democratic nature of the monastic system that the Gelug School would eventually become. Within the Gelug system, a humble monk with no rank or incarnation status can rise to become the highest Gaden throneholder by sheer hard work, fortitude and pure conduct.

There are numerous miraculous incidents and omens that are indicative of Lama Tsongkhapa’s true nature is believed to have taken place surrounding his birth. This would include many auspicious dreams that his mother, father and even his neighbour experienced. Perhaps the most famous miracle is that of a drop of blood from Lama Tsongkhapa’s umbilical cord is said to have fallen onto the ground and from that very spot, a sandalwood tree grew whose leaves bore symbols related to the Simhananda manifestation of the Bodhisattva Manjushri who is deeply connected with Lama Tsongkhapa.

It was said that his mother later built a stupa on this location to commemorate Lama Tsongkhapa’s birth which became the basis for later structures in the area. Today the location of Lama Tsongkhapa’s birth is marked by Kumbum monastery founded in 1583 by the 3rd Dalai Lama Sonam Gyatso (1543-1588) on the spot of the original stupa. Kumbum literally means a hundred thousand, a number referring to the amount of Lama Tsongkhapa statues enshrined within the temple itself.

Kumbum Monastery, that marks the very spot where Lama Tsongkhapa was born.

Kumbum Monastery, which marks the very spot where Lama Tsongkhapa was born.

Like many other Tibetan incarnate lamas, Lama Tsongkhapa received his foundational vows and training at a young age. At the age of 3, Lama Tsongkhapa received his lay vows from the 4th Karmapa Rolpai Dorje (1340-1383) and received the name Kunga Nyingpo. Then at the age of 8, he received the novice ordination and was given the name Lobsang Drakpa, from the Kadam master Choje Dondrub Rinchen. Dondrub Rinchen who is a great practitioner of Vajrabhairava (Yamantaka) had been in contact with Lama Tsongkhapa and his family since the boy’s birth, and according to the biography, he had received prophecies of the child’s spiritual importance from his own teacher and through a vision of his own personal meditational deity, Yamantaka.

Thereafter, Lama Tsongkhapa spent much of his youth under the tutelage of Dondrub Rinchen. The young child was a prodigy because he could easily understand and memorise even the most complicated texts. Dondrub Rinchen gave many foundational teachings and tantric empowerments, most importantly that of Vajrabhairava tantras. According to his secret biography, at the age of 7, he had already begun to experience pure visions of Atisha Dipamkara (982-1054) and the deity Vajrapani. Later in his life, pure visions with various historical masters and deities would eventually become a particularly important source of teachings and blessings that led to the development of Lama Tsongkhapa’s mastery of Buddhism, especially on its subtler aspects of the teachings.

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When he came of age, it was time for the young man to receive further teachings. Therefore at the age of 16, he travelled to the central province U-Tsang and never to return to his homeland. While in the central province, he studied with over 50 Buddhist scholars and masters. With these great masters, he studied in detail, the topics covered within the Five Treatises of Maitreya and other philosophical works by Asanga (4th Century), the Abhidharma of Vasubandhu (4th Century), the logic systems of Dignaga and Dharmakirti (6th Century) and the Madhyamaka system of Nagarjuna (150-250) and his followers such as Aryadeva (3rd Century).

Heavily influenced by great intellectuals of the period like Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyeltsen (1182-1251) and Buton Rinchen Drub (1290-1364), Lama Tsongkhapa would base his own learning with an emphasis on philosophical study and logic that would eventually become the foundation of the Gelug tradition that we know today.

Lama Tsongkhapa’s studies centred around prevailing philosophical systems at that time, of which the most prominent were the Sakya tradition and the Sangpu tradition, which centers at an important historical Kadam monastery and also a foremost monastic institution for philosophical and dialectical studies.

Sakya master Rendawa Zhonnu Lodro. Click on image to enlarge.

Sakya master Rendawa Zhonnu Lodro. Click on image to enlarge.

Amongst many of Lama Tsongkhapa’s main teachers, one that stood out was the Sakya master Rendawa Zhonnu Lodro (1349-1412). They had a special relationship in which they were both mutually teacher and student as they had on a number of occasions exchanged teachings and initiations. The master Rendawa was also a strong proponent of the Prasangika view of Madhyamaka and thereby one of the primary sources of Lama Tsongkhapa’s philosophical view.

In a famous account, Lama Tsongkhapa’s devotion to Rendawa was best exemplified by the famous Migtsema verse he composed in praise of his master and confidante. According to tradition, Rendawa felt that the verse was more suited to Lama Tsongkhapa and thus, it was reworded slightly and offered back to him. Henceforth, this reworded verse is widely recited as the principal mantra to invoke the blessings of Lama Tsongkhapa.

In addition to Dondrub Rinchen, Lama Tsongkhapa had a number of tantric masters from whom he received a number of important tantric teachings and lineages. Lama Tsongkhapa’s studies and practice of tantra covered all four classes of tantra extensively with emphasis on the higher Annuttara Yoga tantras.

Some of these tantric gurus include Chennga Sonam Gyeltsen (1378-1466), a Drigung Kagyu master from whom he received the Six Yogas of Naropa; the Jonang master Chokle Namgyel (1306-1386), from whom he received the Kalachakra cycle of initiation and commentaries; and the Sakya master Rinchen Dorje, from whom he received the Lamdre teachings along with the Hevajra Tantra. In addition, he received the King of the Tantras, the Guhyasamaja cycle of initiation and commentaries from Khyungpo Lepa Zhonnu Sonam, a student of Buton Rinchen Drub, and the cycle of Heruka Chakrasamvara Body Mandala initiation and commentaries from the Sakya master Lama Dampa Sonam Gyeltsen Pelzangpo (1312-1375).

Top to bottom: Six-Armed Mahakala, Guhyasamaja and Dorje Shugden.
Click on image to enlarge.

From his exhaustive study and practice of tantra, he would eventually emphasise the combined practice of Guhyasamaja, Heruka Chakrasamvara and Yamantaka tantric system, which is collectively known as Sang De Jig Sum. Later in the 20th Century, the Gelug master Kyabje Pabongka Dechen Nyingpo would revise this recommendation to solely on Vajrayogini, a simple but potent Annuttara Yoga practice, which suited the disposition of a modern lay practitioner.

While he was engaged in his extensive philosophical studies, Lama Tsongkhapa’s understanding of Madhyamaka philosophy became increasingly experiential. Much of his realisation of Madhyamaka arose due to teachings he had with Manjushri combined with the various retreats he did to purify and prepare his mindstream. All these spilt over into his writings. By his early twenties, he had already begun composing his most important early work, The Golden Garland, which elaborates on the intricacies of the Prajnaparamita Sutra. Nevertheless, Lama Tsongkhapa would continue to write prolifically throughout his life, producing an 18-volume collection of texts, covering the broad range of topics but with particular emphasis on Tantra.

Although Lama Tsongkhapa is the author of most of his writings but it is believed that there a number of which were composed through the instructions and inspiration of the deities that he saw in pure visions. It is well-known Lama Tsongkhapa beheld many deities including that of Manjushri. However, Lama Tsongkhapa initially relied on his teachers to communicate with various deities in order to receive blessings and teachings.

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In the same way, Lama Tsongkhapa also relied on his teacher Lama Umapa Pawo Dorje, to act as an intermediary with Manjushri until he gained the vision to see the deity himself. Lama Tsongkhapa had met this Kagyu lama when he was 33 and by this time, he had completed his work on The Golden Garland and was, with Pawo Dorje, studying Candrakirti’s (7th Century) great treatise, Madhyamakavatara.

Lama Umapa and Lama Tsongkhapa entered into a retreat together and during this period, Lama Tsongkhapa posed numerous questions to Manjushri via Lama Umapa. This would continue until Lama Tsongkhapa himself began to experience visions of the deity himself. It is said that he would only accept his vision when Lama Umapa had confirmed that his visionary experience was authentic. Thereafter, he could communicate with Manjushri directly, receiving instructions and tantric empowerments, most importantly those related to Manjushri and Vajrabhairava. Over the course of his life, Lama Tsongkhapa continued to receive visions of Manjushri as well as a host of other deities and masters such as Atisha, Asanga and Nagarjuna.

In addition, his Nyingma teacher Namkha Gyeltsen was also able to communicate with Vajrapani and Lama Tsongkhapa relied on him as an intermediary between the deity and himself. Later in his life, Lama Tsongkhapa was dissuaded by Vajrapani via this Nyingma master to travel to India in order to receive further teachings there. Vajrapani prophesied that Lama Tsongkhapa would be of greater benefit to the Dharma if he remained in Tibet.

Vajrapani and Dorje Shugden.
Click on image to enlarge.

After a period of teaching, Lama Tsongkhapa entered into a series of intensive retreats. He took eight of his closest disciples and began an extended preliminary practice retreat at Chadrel Hermitage in 1392, moving to Olka Cholung several years later. During this retreat, they famously completed extensive preliminary practices of 3,500,000 prostrations in conjunction with the practice of the 35 Confessional Buddhas. That would mean that he prostrated 100,000 times to each of the 35 Confessional Buddhas. It was said that he prostrated so many times on the rocky surface that it wore an impression onto the floor.

Upon completion of the retreat, Lama Tsongkhapa travelled to Dzingji where he performed his first out of four great deeds, the restoration of a famous statue of Maitreya at Dzingji. The consecration on the restored temple was marked many wondrous signs. During this period, in 1398, Lama Tsongkhapa is believed to have attained realisation of Madhyamaka and thereby gained a vision of an assembly of the great Indian Madhyamaka masters. In celebration of this realisation, he composed the Praise to Dependent Origination.

This realisation marked a new epoch in Lama Tsongkhapa’s life, he shifted his effort towards composing and teaching so others may gain his realisation as well. This culminated in the famous event in 1402 when he turned 46 and he had begun composing the Lamrim Chenmo, known in English as The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment while at Reting Monastery. This would undoubtedly become his greatest work and it is based on Atisha Dipamkara’s Bodhipathapradipa or Lamp on the path to enlightenment. This text arranges the topics of the Buddha’s teachings as a gradual path to enlightenment.

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It was said that Lama Tsongkhapa while composing the chapter on wisdom was initially doubtful that readers would be able to comprehend his explanations of emptiness which form the latter chapters and was considering abandoning the work. This is said to echo the Buddha Shakyamuni’s own doubt on whether to teach what he had attained under the Bodhi tree. In the case of Lama Tsongkhapa, a vision of Manjushri, however, inspired Lama Tsongkhapa to complete the composition.

In 1402, Lama Tsongkhapa performed his second great deed at Namtsedeng. While residing at the monastery, he spent the rainy season retreat with his teacher Rendawa and Kyabchok Pelzangpo. During this period, he gave a detailed commentary on the Vinaya to a large assembly of monks that was particularly noteworthy for its scriptural accuracy and depth. Apart from his emphasis on philosophical studies, Lama Tsongkhapa was also known for the emphasis he placed on the monastic discipline of Vinaya.

Lama Tsongkhapa continued to compose several other important works after the Lamrim Chenmo like the commentary on Nagarjuna’s Fundamental Verses on the Middle Way called The Ocean of Reasoning and The Essence of Eloquence. In 1415, he composed the Lamrim Dring, known as The Medium-Length Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, which is an abbreviated version of the extensive Lamrim Chenmo.

One of the five visions of Lama Tsongkhapa as perceived by Khedrubje. After passing into parinirvana, Lama Tsongkhapa appeared to Khedrubje in five different forms. Depicted here is Lama Tsongkhapa riding on an elephant. Click on image to enlarge.

One of the five visions of Lama Tsongkhapa as perceived by Khedrubje. After passing into parinirvana, Lama Tsongkhapa appeared to Khedrubje as five different forms. Depicted here is Lama Tsongkhapa riding on an elephant. Click on image to enlarge.

Lama Tsongkhapa was a prolific author of tantric literature as he collectively wrote more on tantra than sutra. As a tantric companion volume to the Lamrim Chenmo, Lama Tsongkhapa wrote in 1405 the famous Ngakrim Chenmo, The Great Treatise on the Tantric Stages of the Path to Enlightenment. This treatise covering all the four classes of tantra with particular emphasis on a detailed explanation of the two stages of Anuttarayoga Tantra.

Other important tantric works include his works on the King of Tantras, Guhyasamaja, especially his commentary on the Vajrajnanasamuccayanama Tantra and the Exposition of the Five Stages of Guhyasamaja. Commentaries on the Guhyasamaja Tantra feature prominently in Lama Tsongkhapa’s collected works, making up the majority of his 18 volumes of writings.

By this time Lama Tsongkhapa’s fame as a great scholar and realised yogi had spread all over Tibet and even China. In 1408, Yongle Emperor (1402-1424) of the Chinese Ming Dynasty extended a formal invitation to Lama Tsongkhapa to visit his court at the imperial capital at that time in Nanjing. It was said that Lama Tsongkhapa hid before the imperial delegation had even arrived, thus revealing Lama Tsongkhapa’s clairvoyance.

Then, a second invitation was sent in 1413. Although Lama Tsongkhapa again declined but this time, he delegated his student Shakya Yeshe (1354-1435) to represent him. Shakya Yeshe embarked on a successful trip to China, receiving the title of Jamchen Choje from the emperor. The offerings he received enabled him to establish Sera monastery in 1419. Following the death of the Yongle Emperor in 1424, Shakya Yeshe visited the Xuande Emperor’s (1425-1435) new capital in Beijing. Through these visits, Lama Tsongkhapa’s tradition was established amongst the emperors of China and the imperial family and would last until the fall of the Manchu Qing Dynasty in 1911.

A statue of Lama Tsongkhapa in Yonghe Gong, China. Click on image to enlarge.

In 1409, Lama Tsongkhapa instituted the Monlam Chenmo Festivities, or Great Prayer Festival, in Lhasa. Monlam Chenmo is traditionally celebrated around the time of the Tibetan New Year, Losar. This celebration is traditionally centred around the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa and is regarded as being Lama Tsongkhapa’s third great deed. It is a special time of the year to make large scale offerings of gold, silks and jewels onto large temple statues, large amounts of butterlamp offerings alongside various other offerings including pujas and rituals. At this time, Lama Tsongkhapa famously offered jewelled ornaments and a crown to the statue of the Jowo Shakyamuni, the most sacred Buddha statue of all Tibet. The offering of these ornaments transformed the Buddha’s Nirmanakaya representation to an auspicious Sambhogakaya manifestation. This probably created the cause for Lama Tsongkhapa’s lineage and teachings to prevail for a very long time.

At his students’ request, a monastery was founded and consecrated as a monastic seat for Lama Tsongkhapa in 1410. This was the year following the inauguration of the Monlam Chenmo. The monastery was given the name of Ganden, the Tibetan translation of ‘Tushita’, the pure land of the future Buddha Maitreya. The monastery would eventually become one of the largest monasteries in Tibet and is considered the principal monastery of the Gelug tradition and of its three pillars alongside Drepung and Sera monasteries. Furthermore, it was Lama Tsongkhapa’s wish to construct three-dimensional representations of the mandalas of his main three Anuttarayoga tantra deities within the monastery- Guhyasamaja, Vajrabhairava and Heruka Chakrasamvara. Constructions were completed in 1415 and the mandalas and deities were installed in 1417. This act contributed to the prolonged survival and proliferation of these tantric systems are counted as Lama Tsongkhapa’s fourth great deed. Lama Tsongkhapa is posthumously counted as the first Gaden throneholder or Ganden Tripa, a position held by successive abbots of the monastery.

In 1419, Lama Tsongkhapa entered clear light at Ganden monastery, the year after he completed his composition of The Elucidation of the Thought in 1418. He was 62 and the wondrous signs exhibited at this point is believed to be a sign that he had attained enlightenment through yogic practices during the death process, thus attaining the illusory body. His body was entombed inside a jewelled stupa at Ganden. Henceforth, Lama Tsongkhapa’s death is commemorated with the annual festival of Ganden Ngamcho, which translates as “The Ganden Offering of the Twenty-Fifth”, during which devotees light scores of butterlamps on their roofs and windowsills and in this manner illuminating the entire monastery.

Present-day Gaden Monastery in Tibet

Present-day Gaden Monastery in Tibet

Before his passing, Lama Tsongkhapa appointed Gyeltsabje Darma Rinchen (1364-1432) as his successor, who in turn appointed Khedrubje Gelek Pelzang (1385–1438) as the next Gaden throneholder.

Lama Tsongkhapa had a number of other illustrious students who continue to proliferate his lineage and teachings. These include Khedrub, Shakya Yeshe, Gendun Drub, who was posthumously identified as the 1st Dalai Lama (1391-1474) and Jamyang Choje Tasho Pelden (139-1449), the founder of Drepung monastery in 1416. Khedrubje and Gyeltsabje are considered to have been Lama Tsongkhapa’s foremost disciples alongside Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen (1374-1434), a close disciple who founded Gaden monastery and would later assume the form of the Protector Dorje Shugden. Nevertheless, all of these students continued to spread and elaborate on Lama Tsongkhapa’s doctrine through their own teachings and writings and each contributed towards the continued development and proliferation of the Gelug tradition.

Tsem Rinpoche

 


 

 

Thangka 1

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Click on image to enlarge

  1. Manjushri, the embodiment of wisdom of all the Buddhas. His attributes are a book (the Prajnaparamita Sutra) placed on a lotus flower above his left shoulder, and the sword of wisdom that cuts the veil of ignorance above his right shoulder. In the Avatamsaka Sutra, the Lord Buddha Shakyamuni stated that Manjushri is in fact a fully enlightened Buddha from aeons ago, but chose to return to assist the present Buddha to turn the wheel of Dharma. Lama Tsongkhapa is venerated as an emanation of Manjushri.
  2. Lama Tsongkhapa. His hands are in the gesture (mudra) of teaching the Dharma.
  3. In a previous life, Lama Tsongkhapa receives a prophecy from the Buddha Peak-of-Power (Buddha Indraketudhvaja from the land called Shubhavimalakuta). Buddha Indraketudhvaja, surrounded by an infinite number of Bodhisattvas, sings praises to Lama Tsongkhapa, foretelling how he will appear in an impure world to teach a perfected way of seeing the nature of reality, as it is found in the teachings of the Diamond Way (Tib.: Dorje Thegpa). He would manifest as an enlightened Buddha known as Tathagata Lion’s Roar or Tathagatha Simhananda.
  4. Lama Tsongkhapa takes rebirth as a brahman named Lotus-Scent during the time of Buddha Shakyamuni. At this time, Bodhisattva Manjushri takes the young Tsongkhapa by his hand and leads him to the presence of Buddha Shakyamuni. The boy offers a crystal mala (rosary) to the Enlightened One, setting in motion the chain of events that will cause his future disciples to perceive the true nature of reality.
  5. Buddha Shakyamuni teaches on the shores of lake Anavatapta and the King of the Nagas offers him a conch shell, which the Buddha uses as a horn to assemble the monks during the summer retreat.
  6. On Vulture’s Peak (Gridhrakuta), Buddha Shakyamuni prophesises the appearance of Lama Tsongkhapa in Tibet. The Buddha also prophesises the monastery that will be founded by Lama Tsongkhapa and hands over the conch shell from the King of the Nagas, to be used as the assembly horn of this monastery in the future.
  7. On Mount Kailash (Ti-Se Snow Mountain), the Buddha uses the conch shell as a horn to assemble the great nagas and worldly deities. Here, the Buddha preaches the Dharma to these celestial beings and nagas.
  8. The conch shell is hidden on a mountain in Tibet.
  9. &10. The great disciples of Lama Tsongkhapa. To Lama Tsongkhapa’s right are Gyeltsabje and Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen. To his left are Khedrubje and Tsako Wonpo. Above them, to the left and right are the Eight Great Masters, the closest disciples of Lama Tsongkhapa whom he took into deep retreat with him. Below them are Gendun Drupa (the 1st Dalai Lama), Jamyang Choje (founder of Drepung monastery in 1416), Jamchen Choje (founder of Sera monastery in 1419), and Sherab Senga (Founder of Gyume Tantric College in 1433).

 

Thangka 2

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Click on image to enlarge

  1. In 1356, Lama Tsongkhapa’s father Dara Kache Lumbum Ge, dreams of a monk coming to dwell in their private temple, on the upper floor.
  2. In his dream, the father sees Vajrapani (Chakna Dorje) throwing a vajra that melts into his wife’s body.
  3. Lama Tsongkhapa’s mother Shingza Acho, dreams of celestial beings purifying her. As dakinis bathe the holy mother, the dakinis sing ancient melodies of offering, which were also sung to Lord Buddha by the gods, as they washed him at his birth.
  4. Neighbours dream that the Jowo Rinpoche of Jokhang temple, Lhasa, is being invited to their village.
  5. A local sage, the master Dondrup Rinchen has a vision of Vajrabhairava announcing the apparition of Lama Tsongkhapa. In his dream, he begged the apparition to come to him in real life. Vajrabhairava then pointed to the land of the Tsongkha River and says, “At about this time next year, I will be arriving in the hinterlands of that place. Until then, let your heart be at ease.” With this dream, the great master understood that a great Dharma master, later to be Tsongkhapa was about to be born.
  6. In 1357, mother Shingza Acho has a dream where people are calling out “Chenrezig is coming! Greet his arrival!” She then watches a grand procession of people playing drums and carrying various auspicious offerings. Above in the sky appears the magnificent body of a holy being, shining as bright as the sun, accompanied by sacred songs and surrounded by various dakas and dakinis. As he descends from the sky, he comes close to Shingza Acho until he finally melts into her very body. The assembly of people then stride in circles around her, presenting gifts and singing songs of good tidings.
  7. The night before giving birth, the mother of Lama Tsongkhapa dreams a crystal door within her heart is opening and celestial beings appear to make the offering of bathing. At dawn, the great Lord Lama Tsongkhapa is born.
  8. The master Dondrup Rinchen sends protection pills for the newborn baby. At the same spot of Lama Tsongkhapa’s birth, a white sandalwood tree springs up. The likeness of all different kinds of holy beings appear upon its leaves including the letters of the wisdom mantra, Arapachanadi. In time, 100,000 leaves covered with holy images and words sprout from this tree, giving it the name Kumbum which means “one hundred thousand holy images”. Here, a great monastery with the same name is established.
  9. The Master Dondrup Rinchen offers cattle to the parents and requests that the child be entrusted to him.
  10. At the age of 3, the child receives his lay vows from H.H. the 4th Karmapa Rolpay Dorje. In a collection of the 4th Karmapa’s writings, it is stated how he looked into the future and declared that a second Buddha had come into our world.
  11. At the feet of Dondrup Rinchen, Lama Tsongkhapa begins his studies at the age of 7 and takes his vows of a novice monk a year later.
  12. The master Dondrup Rinchen bestows secret empowerments to the child.
  13. Lama Tsongkhapa has constant visions of Vajrapani and of the Indian master Atisha. He soon masters arts such as the recitation of texts and mantras.
  14. At the age of 16, Lama Tsongkhapa leaves for Central Tibet. In Chamdo, Lama Tsongkhapa has a vision of the 16 Arhats and Mahakala. He predicts that a great monastery will be built in this place.

 

Thangka 3

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Click on image to enlarge

  1. At the age of 17, Lama Tsongkhapa receives teachings from Chennga Chokyi Gyalpo, abbot of Drigung monastery, the seat of the Drigung Kagyu tradition. From this great abbot, Lama Tsongkhapa receives an infinite number of great teachings – amongst them, the secret instructions of String of Diamonds; the Six Yogas of Naropa; and the great seal, Mahamudra.
  2. Lama Tsongkhapa travels to Gungtang, where he studies the eight branches of medical diagnosis with the great physician Lhadje Kon-chok Kyab. It is said that Lama Tsongkhapa undertakes these medical studies as a symbolic act to show his pure dedication towards following the code of a Bodhisattva – in the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, it is mentioned that a Bodhisattva should train themselves in every useful art and science. Although Lama Tsongkhapa mastered the subject perfectly, he never actually practised medicine but was highly regarded by every sage of the healing arts. It was said that every physician whoever attends to Lama Tsongkhapa ends up seeking Lama Tsongkhapa’s advice instead, about the best possible treatment.
  3. At Dewachen monastery in Nyethang, he receives teachings from Tashi Senge and Densapa Gekong (Densapa Yeshe Senge) on the root text of Maitreya’s The Ornament of Clear Realisation and its commentaries.
  4. Also, at Dewachen monastery, he studies at the feet of masters Yonten Gyatso and Loppon Ugyenpa on the same text and its commentaries.
  5. Lama Tsongkhapa listens to teachings from Jamrinpa on four other treatises by Maitreya – The Ornament of Mahayana Sutras; The Distinction Between the Middle and Extremes; The Distinction Between Phenomena and their Nature; and The Ultimate Continuum of the Mahayana. He heard just once, a careful explanation of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra from Nyaon Kunga Palwa and was very satisfied.
  6. In Cho Dzong, the Sakya Lama Dampa Sonam Gyeltsen bestows on him the empowerment of Manjushri Arapatsana and the empowerment of the mandala of the Body of Heruka according to the tradition of the Indian sage Drilpupa (Ghantapada). Lama Tsongkhapa’s teacher hands his sage’s cape to Tsongkhapa, signifying that he has passed on to him all the teachings of the tradition of Buton Rinchen Drub, his teacher.
  7. When he is 19 years old, he takes part in the philosophical debates of Sangphu monastery.
  8. He takes part in the philosophical debates of Dewachen monastery and his fame spreads.
  9. In Shalu the great Lotsawa Rinchen Namgyal, the famous student of Buton Rinchen Drub, grants him explanations on Heruka with the Thirteen Deities according to the tradition of Maitripa.
  10. In Narthang, Lama Tsongkhapa listens to many teachings at the feet of the great Sakya master Sabzang Mati Paṇchen Lodro Gyeltsen (Mati Panchen).
  11. He takes part in the philosophical debates at Sakya monastery and his fame increases.
  12. Philosophical debates in Sangden monastery on the subject of Perfection of Wisdom.
  13. Philosophical debates in Garong monastery.
  14. Philosophical debates in Ngamring monastery.
  15. In the monastery of Jonang, Lama Tsongkhapa listens to teachings on the “Six Applications of the Kalachakra” by Chok-le Namgyal (Bodong Panchen), the Abbot of Jonang monastery.
  16. In Maray monastery, Tchi-po-lhe teaches him the Progressive Path of the Kadampa school. According to Gyeltsen Sangpo, he also learns the “Book of the Kadam”, a collection of esoteric oral transmissions by Atisha and Dromtonpa.
  17. He takes part in the philosophical debates in Er monastery.
  18. In Narthang, the great translator Donsangwa gives him teachings on the Abhidharma and Valid Cognition (Pramana).
  19. He takes part in the philosophical debates in Ne Nying monastery.
  20. He receives teachings on Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom) from master Nyapon Kunga Pel.

 

Thangka 4

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Click on image to enlarge

  1. At the monastery of Tsechen, Lama Tsongkhapa receives teaching on Abhidharma from the great Sakya sage Rendawa Zhonu Lodro.
  2. In Samling, in the Lower Nyang Valley, he listens to the explanations of the Venerable Rendawa on Candrakirti’s auto-commentary – “Supplement to Nagarjuna’s Treatise on the Middle Way”.
  3. The great translator Lochen Jangchub Tsemo goes to the Potala, in Kyishu. Lama Tsongkhapa receives teachings in Cho Dzong Hermitage (Garmo Cho Dzong).
  4. In Kyormo Lung monastery, he receives the teachings on the complete root text of the Vinaya Sutra, along with its commentaries and ancillaries, at the feet of the Abbot Kashipa Loselwa.
  5. During a prayer assembly, he enters a meditative state that lasts for several hours. He would memorise about seventeen arrow-length folios of the extensive commentary on the root daily, equivalent to thirty-four pages.
  6. He suffers from back pains and goes to see Master Ugyen who is renowned for the efficiency of his rituals at Tulung. Although he received some special personal teachings, it did not help remove the problem.
  7. With other learned disciples, Lama Tsongkhapa heads to Ne-nying. At the request of many from Ne-nying, Lama Tsongkhapa gives his first teaching on the Compendium of Manifest Knowledge (Abhidharma Samuccaya).
  8. During spring, passing through Narthang, he goes to Sakya where he receives teachings from the Venerable Rendawa. During this time, Lama Tsongkhapa devotes himself primarily to learning and training in Valid Cognition.
  9. At Sakya, Lama Tsongkhapa receives at the feet of Lama Dorjé Rinchenpa, the explanation of the two-chaptered root tantra of Hevajra according to the Sakya system.
  10. At Sharwa Labrang of Sakya monastery, Lama Tsongkhapa receives special private teachings from one geshe. Upon receiving the instructions, Lama Tsongkhapa retires to a mountain behind Rinchen Gang Labrang where he performs the secret practice several times after which his illness is completely cleared.
  11. In 1370, Venerable Rendawa and Lama Tsongkhapa go to Ngam-rim. Master Rendawa composes a developed commentary on the Compendium of Abhidharma (Abhidharma Samuccaya). The young Tsongkhapa also listens to his teaching on the commentary of the Pramāṇavārttika (Commentary on Valid Cognition by Dharmakirti).
  12. In autumn, he receives news from his native country. In Lhalung, in the region of Mel, he devotes his energy to the training of mind in the Path of the Tantras under the direction of Lama Sonam Drakpa. He makes a retreat during which he studies a commentary of the Pramanavarttika. Extraordinary realisations came to him as he read the text; shivers of bliss keep rolling up his spine and tears fall in a steady stream from his eyes.
  13. At 1380, he spends the winter in Dewachen where he reads numerous scriptures and gains realisations into them. He leaves for Tsang.
  14. He reaches Narthang where he listens to teaching on a commentary of the Pramana composed by the great Lotsawa Donsang. He spends the summer in this monastery and takes part in the philosophical debates.
  15. He receives teachings of classical poetry, Sanskrit language and calligraphy from Lotsawa Namka Sangpo. At this point, he composes his Praise to Saraswati, the Lady of Song.
  16. He travels to Bodong where the great Lama Jetsun has arrived. Lama Tsongkhapa receives teachings on the Madhyamaka.
  17. Lama Tsongkhapa travels with Jetsun Rendawa to Sakya monastery where he takes part in the philosophical debates. Despite Tsongkhapa has already mastered all the Ten Great Books, he still participates in the debate ground. His performance in the debates steals away the heart of every holy being present.
  18. In 1381 from Sakya, Lama Tsongkhapa continues his journey to the province of U where he has philosophical debates in Soka Gungtang.
  19. At Sangpu, Lama Tsongkhapa performs a retreat on Saraswati. As he finished 50 million mantras of Saraswati, he has a vision of the goddess herself. Lama Tsongkhapa also takes part in the philosophical debates.

 

Thangka 5

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Click on image to enlarge

  1. In Tsethang, Lama Tsongkhapa takes part in the dialectical debates on four of the great Treatises of Maitreya. All who were present were thrown into amazement, lifting Lama Tsongkhapa’s fame even higher.
  2. In Yarlung, surrounded by 20 monks, Lama Tsongkhapa receives the vows of a fully ordained monk (Bhiksu). Tsultrim Rinchen, the master of the Four Great Subjects acts as the vow master. The abbot of Jidzing monastery acts as the ritual master, while Sonam Dorje the Umze of the monastery serves as master of secrets.
  3. He meets Chenga Drakpa Jangchup in Densa Til monastery. They exchange long conversations and the young Lobsang Drakpa offers this master some of his own compositions which brought overwhelming feelings of faith as tears flow from Chenga Rinpoche’s eyes. Tsongkhapa receives teachings from this Master – among other things – the entire essential special instructions of the Kagyu: Six Dharmas of Naropa; the fivefold Mahamudra; the collected writings of Phakmo Drupa and Drigung Jikten Gonpo; and the teachings of Path and Goal.
  4. In Lharang Kheru, he gives teachings on Parchin, Valid Cognition (Pramana) and Madhyamaka to Tsako Wonpo and a great number of other masters of scripture.
  5. In Tsal monastery, he consults the works and the commentaries translated into Tibetan. During this time, Lama Tsongkhapa examines and grasps the entire canons of the Kangyur and Tengyur, opening new insights into the entire body of Buddhist teachings to him. It was here that Lama Tsongkhapa also begins to compose his commentary on Abhisamayalamkara, and engage in an informal memorisation contest with three other monks; Ling Tsungme, Jampel Trashi of Domey, and Sakya Drup, who are already famous as master memorisers of scripture. Lama Tsongkhapa emerges victorious as the greatest master of memorisation.
  6. In Lhasa, he accomplishes with great zeal the practices of Nyune at the feet of the self-manifested statue of Avalokiteshvara. Lama Tsongkhapa and his disciples then have special dreams and help each other to discover their deeper meaning.
  7. During spring, he teaches in Chayul to a gathering which includes 70 geshes.
  8. In winter, he goes to Dewachen and gives many lectures.
  9. He returns to Tsal monastery where he continues the composition of his commentary of the Abhisamayalamkara.
  10. He ends this composition in Dewachen.
  11. In Kyormolung, he receives teachings on the Kalachakra from Tokden Yeshe Gyeltsen, the teacher of H.H. the 4th Karmapa. Here, Lama Tsongkhapa has the opportunity to learn in-depth the Great Commentary to the Kalachakra as well as related subjects such as the preparation of astrological charts.
  12. He spends the winter at Tsomay in Tolung where he studies the Kalachakra. He also gives many lectures.
  13. The following summer, he gives numerous explanations on the Sutrapitaka in front of vast assemblies of scholars in Dewachen monastery. Here he grants the explicit explanations of scripture to a great gathering, a veritable ocean, of bright-minded disciples.
  14. He teaches in Dewachen.
  15. In Ngangkar, he carries on his studies of the Kalachakra and teaches to highly learned monks.
  16. At the invitation of Drakpa Rinchen of Dzingji, Lama Tsongkhapa then travels to Sinpori. In Rik Nga Temple where he resides for the length of spring, he grants teachings to over 70 masters of scripture.
  17. (a) Lama Tsongkhapa then travels to Yarlung, where he taught suitable disciples in Rik Nga Lhakang.
  18. (b) During the autumn Lama Tsongkhapa and Jetsun Rendawa reside together at Potala in Kyishu, where they engage in many spiritual discussions with each other and grant their disciples fine explanations of many subjects.
  19. During summer at Okar Drak in Yarlung, he conducts a retreat of Cakrasamvara. He does a mantra practice, secret meditations and the rite of bringing himself into the secret world. He performs the Six Practices of Niguma and inner breathing exercises 100 times each during every session and develops high realisations.
  20. Staying in Tashi Dong in Mongar, Lama Tsongkhapa expounds 17 texts in a single series of teachings presented to a great gathering including 100 masters of scriptures – Dharmakīrti’s Thorough Exposition of Valid Cognition; the Perfection of Wisdom, that is, Maitreya’s Ornament of Higher Realisation; the pair of Abhidharmas, the higher, which is Asanga’s Compendium of Abhidharma, and the lower, Vasubandhu’s Treasury of Higher Knowledge; Guṇaprabha’s Vinaya Sutra; the other four of the five books of Maitreya; five of Nagarjuna’s six collections of Madhyamaka reasoning; Candrakirti’s Entering the Middle Way; Aryadeva’s Four Hundred Stanzas; and Santideva’s Way of the Bodhisattva. During the autumn, he gives lectures in front of vast assemblies.

 

Thangka 6

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Click on image to enlarge

  1. During the winter, Lama Tsongkhapa gives lectures in a grotto of Kyormo Lung.
  2. In 1390 when spring comes, yearning to listen to the Basket of the Tantra, he goes to the region of Tsang and arrives at Rongcho Lung monastery where he listens to the teaching and receives oral transmissions from highly learned masters such as the abbot Drakpa Shenyen.
  3. In accord with the advice of Manjushri in a vision, Lama Tsongkhapa bestows the empowerment of Sarasvati and Candrakirti’s Autocommentary on Entering the Middle Way to Lama Umapa. Lama Umapa confided with Lama Tsongkhapa that he had constant visions of Manjushri since childhood and asks Tsongkhapa to make a detailed investigation of these apparitions. Lama Tsongkhapa investigated by interrogating difficult points in various textual systems and determined that they were not just ordinary visions.
  4. He goes to Taktsang. In Dzongka, the master translator Kyapchok Pel Sangpo acts as host to four great sages: the master translator Drakpa Gyeltsen, Jetsun Rendawa, the master translator Dunsangwa, and Lama Tsongkhapa. Here, they pass their time together in spiritual teachings and discussions with each other. At this juncture, Master Drakpa Gyeltsen imparts his commentary on the Perfection of Wisdom to Lama Tsongkhapa while Kyapchok Pel Sangpo does the same with his commentary upon the Secret Teaching of Lo Diamond in Two Sections; and Jetsun Rendawa with his explanation of the Commentary on Valid Cognition.
  5. In Ba-U Bagner, he receives explanations on the Guhyasamaja tantra from the Venerable Rendawa. Lama Tsongkhapa has a dream here, a foretelling, where he sees that the Lama Gongsum Dechenpa has taken teachings 17 times from Buton Rinpoche on the Great Commentary to the Wheel of Time. He later learns from the Lama that this was indeed the case.
  6. In Cholung, he questions Manjushri through the mediation of Lama Umapa.
  7. In 1391, in Nyangto, Lama Tsongkhapa meets Rinpoche Gongsum Dechenpa Chokyi Palwa. He offers him a golden towel of silk. On the following day, he makes a ritual offering of fine tea and the gift of a bolt of emerald-coloured silk. Lama Tsongkhapa then requests him to give teachings on the entire transmission of the Great (Kalachakra) Commentary, and receives a complete explanation of both the root text and the commentary, along with word-by-word instructions on the actual practices, and a presentation of the six preliminary stages based on actual experience.
  8. Towards the end of spring, Lama Tsongkhapa travels to Nyangto Dechen. He receives empowerment and oral transmission from Rinpoche Chokyi Palwa. He learns the sacred dance, songs, and mandala construction and thoroughly masters the “Garland Trilogy”, consisting of the Vajra Garland of Mandala Rites, the Garland of Perfected Yogas and the Light Blossom of the pandit Abhayakaragupta, who enjoyed direct visions of Vajrayogini. He also receives many teachings, empowerments, oral transmissions, and personal advice on Vajrapani. In the border between Nyangto and Nyangme, in the Tritsa Khang, Lama Tsongkhapa stays with Master Gunsang, a master of the yoga class of tantra. From him, Lama Tsongkhapa studies in detail the ritual practice of Buton Rinpoche with respect to the dance, line drawing, and chanting, the general arrangement of mandala rites, and the application of mudras for the great mandalas of Vajradhatu, Sri Paramadya, Vajra Peak, and others.
  9. One night, Lama Tsongkhapa has a dream where the Lama Shunnu Sunam comes to him wearing a jewelled head ornament and holding a ritual diamond and bell. The lama honours Lama Tsongkhapa by circling him in a dance three times. He then places the diamond and bell upon his head and says, “Karmavajra“, which is the Sanskrit form of Tsongkhapa’s mystic name.
  10. He dreams that Master Kyungpo Lhe in Shalu shows him his heart in which a rosary of mantras is turning.
  11. (a) He spends the autumn and winter at Shalu with Master Kyungpo Lhe and receives initiations and teachings on the yoga class of tantra. Lama Tsongkhapa pleases his lama by presenting him with offerings, and the circle of the gathering.
  12. (b) Under the direction of Gyeltsen Drakpa, he studies the ritual dances and melodies as well as the manner of tracing mandalas and executing mudras.
  13. He listens to the teachings of Rinpoche Chokyi Pel in Panam Pakri on the Collection of the Commentaries of the Bodhisattvas, and the entire instructions of Buton Rinpoche.
  14. In 1392, during autumn, Lama Tsongkhapa stays in Kadung in U region with Lama Umapa. Here he makes supplications to the image of the Lord Shakyamuni in Lhasa.
  15. Retreat with Lama Umapa. They stay in separate rooms for their practice but have tea together. Again Lama Tsongkhapa makes special supplications to his Lama.
  16. One day Lama Tsongkhapa sees the holy one Manjushri within a sphere of lapis light, surrounded in a radiant rainbow of five different colours. He gazes upon Manjushri’s lovely form, unable to tear his eyes away. He receives the teachings of Manjushri in the form of a single warrior, and then instructions on the body mandala, the inner practice and the secret practice. With each teaching that Manjushri grants Lama Tsongkhapa, Manjushri appears to him in the form of that particular divine being, granting his blessings. Lama Umapa continues to act as an intermediary. At one point he watches as Manjushri transforms into Vajrabhairava. It is at this time that Lama Tsongkhapa, following the instructions of Manjushri, makes his decision to go into deep retreat at a mountain hermitage with a group of close disciples known as the Purest Eight.
  17. Lama Tsongkhapa stays in Lhasa with Lama Umapa. In the southern tower of Toktengma, he sets forth offerings and makes supplication to Manjushri. Manjushri appears to him and speaks a number of verses which Lama Tsongkhapa writes down on paper. These are the instructions about crucial points of personal practice, and include the lines: “Live like a rhinoceros, who always lives alone; Like him, avoid the busyness of humanity.”
  18. In a chapel atop the Gokang in Lhasa, Lama Tsongkhapa imparts the four initiations of the Guhyasamaja to Lama Umapa.
  19. Lama Tsongkhapa gives numerous teachings in Kyormo Lung.

 

Thangka 7

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Click on image to enlarge

  1. In 1392, when he was 36 years old, during winter and having made a small boat, Lama Tsongkhapa leaves Kyormo Lung for Olkha with eight disciples where they will go into deep retreat, abandoning every worldly activity.
  2. During the entire length of the winter and the following spring, Lama Tsongkhapa and his eight disciples each focus their meditations upon the 35 Buddhas, devoting themselves to the practices of accumulating good karma and purifying themselves of bad karma. At this point, Lama Tsongkhapa frequently has visions of the 35 Buddhas of Confession, Medicine Buddha, Maitreya and Amitayus.
  3. Lama Tsongkhapa continues in deep retreat and keeps working until he reaches such a pure mastery of these practices that he feels much joy in them. He begins to think that he would like to come out of retreat and continue his mission of teaching but Manjushri speaks to him with the following advice: “The people of this world, are like wild beasts, and difficult to tame. It’s hard to say, whether any great good, would come from trying to teach them. I think it’s better you remain in solitude, and master single-pointedness: Go and find that path, which will bring both you and others to ripening.”
  4. In the summer of 1393, at 37 years of age, Lama Tsongkhapa presents offerings to the great statue of Maitreya in Dzingji temple and prays with great fervour.
  5. In the winter, Lama Tsongkhapa travels to Gyasokpu, at Menlung in Dakpo. Spiritual realisations are pouring down upon him at this point. He has a vision of Manjushri in the middle of a vast assembly of Bodhisattvas and Buddhas.
  6. Vision of Manjushri surrounded by numerous pandits and great yogis, including the Five of the Realised Father and his Sons (Arya Nagarjuna and his four sons: Master Aryadeva, Buddha Palita, Nagabodhi and Candrakirti); the brothers Asanga (Masters Asanga and Vasubandhu); Dignaga; the Two Supreme Ones (Masters Gunaprabha and Shakyaprabha); Devendra Buddhi; Alankara Pandita; Kamalashila, Abhaya, and the eighty great sages. These visions plant seeds for Lama Tsongkhapa’s use of the great classics composed by these holy beings to be of far-reaching benefit.
  7. Vajrabhairava appears in the middle of a blazing fire and melts into Lama Tsongkhapa. From this point on, Lama Tsongkhapa performs the ritual of bringing himself into the mandala every day, without missing. It was said that Lama Tsongkhapa performs a fire puja on a stone platform which has been shaped for the purpose. A fierce snowstorm breaks out but not a single flake lands in the area around him. Everyone present sees it.
  8. Vision of Manjushri surrounded by Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, pandits and yogis that entirely fill the space. A sword springs out from the heart of Manjushri and its tip comes to touch the heart of Lama Tsongkhapa. Ambrosia flows down the sword into the heart of the Noble Master, filling his body. The pure bliss he then experiences increases in an inconceivable manner.
  9. As this was happening, Lama Tsongkhapa had a further vision that there were an infinite number of disciples standing with their mouths opened to the sky; some aware and some were not. Into the mouths of these disciples nectar flew, and into the mouth of the infinite went many, into the mouths of many went some, and into the mouths of others went nothing. Seeing this, Lama Tsongkhapa then made a foretelling in these words: “The pleasure garden is booming, In the city of Kadhira, and many bees are frolicking there. They drink as well, of that highest nectar.” When Lama Tsongkhapa mentions ‘many’, he means that there will come many disciples during his own life and in the future, who will practise the path to enlightenment. When he says “They will drink as well of the highest nectar” he means that there will come as well many who will reach the ultimate goal. Simply opening their mouths to the sky represents that we are making efforts in the two forms of the teaching on the steps of the path, trying to reach bliss and voidness. The simple act of opening our mouths to receive the nectar, even if none of the nectar comes to us now, creates seeds for us to attain this goal later.
  10. On the day of the celebration of the victory of Buddha Shakyamuni upon the heretics, Lama Tsongkhapa presents lavish offerings for 15 days. When he invites those to whom the offerings are intended, he makes a particularly intense vow. Immediately, he sees the whole sky filled with Buddhas.

 

Thangka 8

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Click on image to enlarge

  1. Benefactors making offerings.
  2. During spring, following the instructions of Manjushri, Lama Tsongkhapa decides to repair the temple walls and roof of Dzingchi. At that instruction, the great master and his disciples (12 people altogether) collect anything they might have of any material value, from their personal items to the materials they brought along for making tormas, and everything else. But altogether they add up to no more than 12 silver coins. Having no riches, he wants to propitiate Vaisravana to get help but he realises he does not even have butter to make the tormas for the ritual. A monk suddenly appears and offers a small package of butter. The ritual is performed and the following day nomads bring plenty of butter mixed with cheese. From this point on, offerings begin to pour in. Every time later that they ever ask for any kind of help in this manner, the very same thing always happens.
  3. As soon as the new walls of the temple are finished, the mandala of Manjushri-endowed-with-secrets is created. Lama Tsongkhapa conducts a developed consecration ceremony. He has a vision of Manjushri as a being of wisdom arriving and melting into it. They offer a tiny butterlamp before the mural, and it continues to burn for two and a half days.
  4. Lama Tsongkhapa indicates to the artists the respective colours of the 35 Confessional Buddhas after he makes supplication to the 35 Buddhas, and is then able to see each of them directly. It is said that an accomplished sage named Chakna Dorje, deep in practice elsewhere, had a vision of the 35 Buddhas travelling through the sky. He asks them where they are going, and they replied that they were on their way to the consecration ceremony being held at Dzingji. At the same time, Manjushri directs Lama Tsongkhapa to compose several scriptures. A prophecy granted to Khenchen Chakna Dorje is fulfilled when a letter of introduction is sent to Lama Tsongkhapa, imploring him to come to Lhodrak, which he complies.
  5. In 1395, he goes to Drao Gun monastery in Lhodrak. Khenchen Tchakdor comes to welcome him and sees him as an emanation of Manjushri while Lama Tsongkhapa sees Khenchen Tchakdor as an emanation of Vajrapani.
  6. Having listened to a teaching on Guru-yoga from Khenchen Tchakdor, both of them suddenly have a vision of Vajrapani who comes to melt into them. At dawn, Vajrapani comes to Khenchen Tchakdor and tells him to request teachings.
  7. When Khenchen Tchakdor approaches Lama Tsongkhapa for the teaching, Lama Tsongkhapa replies, “Did Vajrapani tell you to ask me?“, to which Khenchen Tchakdor replies, “He did.” And so Lama Tsongkhapa instructs both Khenchen Tchakdor and the assembled monks of the monastery in this work. When Lama Tsongkhapa gives a teaching on the Siksa-samuccaya, Khenchen Tchakdor sees above his head the Venerable Maitreya, while a White Manjushri appears above his right shoulder and the Goddess Sarasvati above the left. All around stands a vast assembly of Protectors and Dakinis headed by Mahakala.
  8. Khenchen Rinpoche receives empowerment and permission into the practice of the Five-Point Mantra and other teachings. While at the feet of Khenchen Rinpoche, Lama Tsongkhapa listens to explanations on the Lamrim and receives initiations in the Ear-Whispered Lineage (gnyen gyu). He has a vision of the Deities whose empowerment is conferred to him. He would later say that a major obstacle to his life appeared but was able to repel it by concentrating upon the practice of the Great Wheel.
  9. Lama Tsongkhapa thinks of going to India to meet the Master Mitra Yogi. Vajrapani tells Khenchen Rinpoche that if Lama Tsongkhapa goes to India, although amazing things will occur, it will however be detrimental for his disciples. Vajrapani further advises that great events will be set into motion if Lama Tsongkhapa makes an offering to Maitreya, of an entire set of accoutrements of one who has left the home life, along with verses of praise beginning with “the crown of the Pure One.” Manjushri also advises Lama Tsongkhapa to make these offerings saying that if he does so, then forces will be set for his founding of an order of greatly pure monks and nuns in the future. Following the instructions of Vajrapani and Manjushri, Tsongkhapa offers the three monastic robes, the bowl and so forth to the statue of Maitreya in the Temple of Dzingchi, and decides to head for Nyel instead of India.
  10. During his stay in Nyel, he takes part in the welcoming ceremonies of the great Tenrim, the work composed by Geshe Trinlay-pa. Lama Tsongkhapa carefully reads this text and then gives teachings on it.

 

Thangka 9

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Click on image to enlarge

  1. At Dragor in Nyel, Lama Tsongkhapa receives teaching from Khenchen Chokyap Sanpo, and in return also grants Khenchen oral transmissions on various subjects.
  2. He spends this summer retreat in the Yardren monastery. He has a vision of the Venerable Manjushri and Vaisravana. Manjushri makes a prophecy that Lama Tsongkhapa will grasp the worldview of the Middle Way by utilising a classic text composed by one of the great sages of India.
  3. With 30 disciples, he goes to Tsari Chen. They visit the hermitage there and perform practices of the self-initiation of Heruka. Numerous portents of the future are revealed to them.
  4. On his way back to Nyel, they spend a day at the base of Mola Pass. He has a gigantesque vision of the Protector Maitreya who makes a prophecy about him.

“You must realise, o’ child of noble family, that your coming into the world is the same as a Buddha coming into the world.” – Maitreya

“A tradition is rising which is like the coming of a Buddha into the world.” – Vajrapani through Khenchen Rinpoche

“One is coming who will turn the Wheel of the Dharma in the same way that Lord Buddha did when he came to Varanasi.” – Machig Labdron

All of these statements are a revelation of the greatness and importance of Lama Tsongkhapa.

  1. In Senge Dzong, he carefully examines the Six Applications of the Kalachakra and achieves a correct and firm comprehension. He has a vision of Kalachakra of golden colour in his Solitary Hero form, who delivers a prophecy about him. He says, “You have come into this world as did King Chandra Bhadra, to spread these teachings of the Kalachakra.”
  2. The Goddess Saraswati appears to tell him he will leave this world at the age of 57. Lama Tsongkhapa then undertakes special practices of various deities and asks them whether there is some way to extend his life. However, each of them replies that the power of his prayers in the past and his concentration on developing wisdom has not had that much effect upon how long his physical body will remain. According to Tokdenpa, Manjushri appears in turn to indicate the methods that will enable to increase his longevity. Manjushri advises that if Lama Tsongkhapa continues the practices that he has been doing so far in his life to prevent obstacles, and if he makes tremendous efforts to set in motion karmic forces to extend his life, then he will be able to prevent this early death. While staying in Senge Dzong, Lama Tsongkhapa asks some questions to Manjushri who appears to him in a vision. It was then that Manjushri advises Tsongkhapa not to seek his advice so frequently and that if he comes across any small points that seem contradictory, he should debate it out with his learned disciples.
  3. At Serche Bumpa in Nyelme, Tsongkhapa has an extremely remarkable vision of Manjushri who grants teachings on the Progressive Path. Lama Tsongkhapa presents numerous offerings. Manjushri advises, “You must now assure that you maintain every one of the most subtle outer points of discipline for those who have left the home life: everything from the ritual for assuring that water has no tiny living creatures in it before drinking it.” Upon hearing this advice, Lama Tsongkhapa attempts to reason with Manjushri on how difficult implementing such customs would be and pointed out how contrary to most people’s current thinking these instructions will be. However, Manjushri insists and simply replies, “Do it” and so Tsongkhapa complies. Soon, both master and disciples begin to carry around with them all three of the monastic robes, the required cloth seat, and everything else of the like, the monk bowl, and other monastic accoutrements. Their fame then rises as upholders of the monastic discipline.
  4. While staying in Kang-chung, Lama Tsongkhapa gives teachings in front of vast assemblies of religious and lay devotees.
  5. Lama Tsongkhapa gathers the inhabitants of the region of Nyel and bestows on them the vows of lay disciples, the vows of refuge, and so forth. He also exhorts them to make 100,000 tsa tsas (small clay votives), a custom which continues to the present time.

 

Thangka 10

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Click on image to enlarge

  1. Lama Tsongkhapa spends the summer retreat in Reting. He meets Gyeltsabje who is the emanation of Kulika Pundarika (a legendary king of Shambhala who passed on the teachings of the Kalachakra). Gyeltsabje makes prostrations to Lama Tsongkhapa and, racked with sobs, begs his permission to serve at his feet and never be separated from him for a moment, for as long as they both might live. Lama Tsongkhapa grants this permission. Lama Tsongkhapa then turns the wheel of Dharma for the assembled monks of the four great monastic communities of Nyel, thus instituting the spiritual festival known as the Great Assembly of Nyelung and encourages them to continue this festival annually, which is being done to present times.
  2. At Dakpo Lhading Hermitage, Tsongkhapa gives teachings in Ode Kun-gyel. He has a vision of Nagarjuna surrounded by his Four Spiritual Sons. The Pandit Buddhapalita blesses Lama Tsongkhapa with his work. Taking this as a sign, Lama Tsongkhapa re-reads the Indian scripture known as Buddha Palita. He gains great realisations into the subject such as the difference between the higher and lower schools of the Middle Way on the question of just what it is that we deny exists when we say something is “empty”. A renewed feeling of faith for Buddha arose, one that is based on knowledge instead of believing, which brought Tsongkhapa to compose the text “A Praise of Dependent Origination”. Tsongkhapa then tells his disciples that it will be auspicious if his followers of later generations read this very work.
  3. In autumn, Tsongkhapa gives teachings to the religious community of Karpuk.
  4. During the summer retreat in Ye-Tora, Lama Tsongkhapa gives teachings.
  5. Tsongkhapa gives teachings in Kawa-dong in Olkha.
  6. During the celebration of the Victory of Buddha Shakyamuni upon the heretics, Lama Tsongkhapa presents countless lavish offerings for 15 days in front of the statue of Maitreya in Dzingji Temple. As a result of the intense prayer he makes, an infinite assembly of all the Buddhas of the five families fills the space around him.
  7. In spring, he gives teachings to Gyeltsabje and other disciples.
  8. When Lama Tsongkhapa arrives at Dring, his sage’s cap falls off his head into the river. Tsongkhapa then makes a prediction about a monastery starting at Sangsang in Nyangpo, saying, “Where this river flows, my teachings too will flow like a river. Where the cap stops, a tradition of the Middle Way will flourish.” And just as is predicted, the Tekchen Chunkor Ling monastery of Sangsang in Nyangpo is later built at this very location.
  9. Tsongkhapa gives teachings in Dangdo monastery in the region of Nyang. Tsongkhapa spends the summer giving many teachings to the monks, and benefiting large groups of laypeople by giving them instructions in refuge and the like.
  10. In response to repeated requests from the government official Namka Sangpo, conveyed through Konchok Tsultrim, during the autumn, Lama Tsongkhapa goes to the region of Ki-sho and stays in the Potala. In front of the monks of the three great monasteries of Sangpu, Dewachen and Kuntang, he gives various teachings.
  11. In 1400, Lama Tsongkhapa travels and gives teachings in Kawa-dong. He teaches repeatedly on the commitments of the secret way, the Bodhisattva vows, and how we must always honour these pledges.
  12. The Venerable Rendawa goes to Kawa-dong with some disciples. Lama Tsongkhapa with his disciples greet Rendawa, and he makes three prostrations to Rendawa. The Master Rendawa then begins to return such gestures, but Lama Tsongkhapa begs him not to do so, and prevents him from continuing.
  13. Lama Tsongkhapa and Venerable Rendawa stay together and give numerous teachings.

 

Thangka 11

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

  1. Wishing to make a retreat, Lama Tsongkhapa and Venerable Rendawa along with a large group of masters of scripture go to Reting.
  2. Lama Tsongkhapa gives teachings in Reting and then encourages his listeners to go into deep meditation upon this practice. As a result, many of them develop an extraordinary level of meditative stillness. Tsongkhapa also has long discussions with his Master Rendawa.
  3. In 1401, Lama Tsongkhapa is invited to Drikung monastery. He receives instructions on the Tantras from Chenga Rinpoche and himself gives numerous teachings. In the summer, Jetsun Rendawa and Lama Tsongkhapa, along with the master translator Kyabchok Pel Sangpo head to the monastic summer retreat at the Namtsip Teng Temple of Ar Chenpo Jangchub Yeshe. More than 600 monks attend, and teachings on the subject of monastic discipline are given by each of these three Masters of Dharma.
  4. In 1402, Lama Tsongkhapa succeeds in instituting the monastic practices precisely. The monks begin to observe more strictly in their practices. They start holding ceremonies for confessing any violations of the monastic code, and also keep the kind of confession where we first re-bless and leave the robes. They perform the rituals for blessing their personal articles, and for setting off a kitchen area. They also begin keeping the rule about never being without their robes for a night, and such.
  5. Lama Tsongkhapa and Kyabchok Pel Sangpo stay in the hermitage of Senge Shol near Reting.
  6. (a) Lama Tsongkhapa has a vision of all the Masters of the Lamrim tradition, from the Buddha to his actual Master. Lord Atisha then places his hand upon Tsongkhapa’s head, saying, “Work for the good of the teaching; I will help you to achieve enlightenment, and to serve all living beings.” He then composes the Great Exposition of the stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Lamrim Chen-mo).
  7. (b) Divinities take the oath to protect the Teaching.
  8. In 1403, Lama Tsongkhapa teaches the steps of the path to many great masters. After Lama Tsongkhapa completes his teachings, he instructs his disciples to perform extensive offerings. His disciples then go on to make butterlamp offerings and by the time Gyeltsabje comes to take a butterlamp cup, there are none left. Gyeltsabje then takes a large basin to be used as a butterlamp and offers it up. As Lama Tsongkhapa gazes at the butterlamps, he tells the assembly to place all the butter in their lamps into the large basin. He then gives Gyeltsabje a special task, saying, “I want the master of the 10 great books here to write up a record of what we taught, and compose a commentary based on these notes.” What is said here is that in actuality, Lama Tsongkhapa empowers Gyeltsabje as his successor. Later in 1404, at Gunsar in Lhepu, Tsongkhapa teaches on the Commentary on Valid Cognition. The assembly, be it gods or men, grasps the fact that this presentation is the one lantern for all those seeking the path to enlightenment.
  9. Lama Tsongkhapa then receives an invitation from Drakpa Gyeltsen and travels to Unde Chenteng where he undertakes the traditional summer retreat for the ordained, together with many hundreds of masters of scriptures. In 1405, at Lhashul Jampa Ling at Ode Gungyal, Tsongkhapa gives teachings on the steps of the path as well as on the stages of creation and completion. With his disciples, they engage in a deep retreat. At this point, Tsongkhapa gives the appearance of attaining the unshakable meditation experiencing bliss and voidness. A vision of Manjushri then exhorts Tsongkhapa to compose an explanation of the Master Nagabodhi’s Steps of the Presentation which will be a great benefit to people.
  10. He stays in Ode Kun-gyel where he gives teachings on the Lamrim and composes the Great Exposition of the Stages of the Tantric Path (ngak rim). During this time, a number of evil omens appear and so Lama Tsongkhapa undertakes to write Total Victory over the Demons. He performs practices such as those for repelling demons, and thus stops the obstacles without any trouble.

 

Thangka 12

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

  1. Lama Tsongkhapa stays in Olkha and expounds tantric teachings during winter.
  2. In 1406, while staying in the region of Sera for the summer retreats, he has a vision of Mahakala with six arms. From this time on Mahakala serves as his protector, never leaving his side. It is here too that Lama Tsongkhapa meets Khedrubje for the first time.
  3. Lama Tsongkhapa begins to compose the Root Text on the Wisdom of the Middle Way. He reaches a difficult point and makes supplication to his Lama and Manjushri, as one. With this, he has a vision of the Verses of Commentary appearing across the sky. All of Tsongkhapa’s questions are answered immediately and he goes on to complete his composition.
  4. (a) The envoys of the Ta Ming Emperor of China come to invite Lama Tsongkhapa. They present many gifts to Tsongkhapa and offer their respects. Lama Tsongkhapa then sends Jamchen Chuje in his place, to explain why he cannot come.
  5. (b) Tsongkhapa gives teachings to over 600 spiritual masters in the hermitage of Sera Chos-Ling. Tsongkhapa then spends the monastic summer retreat here and stays for a total of two years.
  6. In 1407, Tsongkhapa once again receives an invitation from Drakpa Gyeltsen. He then travels to Drumbu Lung in Ki-may with over 1,000 disciples.
  7. In 1408, in preparation for Monlam festivals, he undertakes to restore old and damaged images and the like. Tsongkhapa has murals in temples repaired, gold leaf and fresh paint applied to all the paintings and statues, new silken clothes are sewn to dress the images, has religious banners made, etc. Various grand offerings are made. Both the laypeople and the monks and nuns of the place continue throughout the festival too to make their circumambulations; there is not a single moment of the day or night when no one is doing so. It was during this time that Lama Tsongkhapa ensured the instauration of the Great Prayer Festival (Monlam Chenmo).
  8. In 1409, at the foot of the image of Buddha Shakyamuni, Lama Tsongkhapa searches for signs to guide him in selecting a place to build a new monastery. Indications come to him that Ganden is the best choice of sites, and so he travels to Drok Riwo Mountains, where Ganden monastery will be built. He breaks the ground with his own foot and then goes carefully and properly through all the steps required by the rules of monastic discipline. He sends Gyeltsabje and Duldzin to examine the land, making the necessary requests to the assembled monks and receiving their formal permission to build the monastery once the land has been properly examined. A monastic manager is assigned for the construction, and a separate kitchen area set off with stone walls is designated. Tsongkhapa also ensures construction is keeping to other rules of discipline, such as the one which says that the lines of brick for the walls must not be laid too quickly, in a way which might collapse. All these happen as predicted by Manjushri.
  9. Teachings in Sera Choeling.
  10. Teachings in Sanri.

 

Thangka 13

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

  1. Ganden monastery was founded by Lama Tsongkhapa and construction of Ganden monastery on the Drok Riwo Mountain starts.
  2. Lama Tsongkhapa and his disciples move to Ganden.
  3. Lama Tsongkhapa goes to Samten Ling in the region of Olkha and gives numerous teachings. The abbot of Rabdrong had passed on and he has left Lama Tsongkhapa offerings of 1000 weights of gold as well as silver and the like. Here Lama Tsongkhapa spends the autumn retreat, making supplications to his Lama and Manjushri.
  4. On the 3rd day of the 12th month of the Year of the Cow, he has a vision of Manjushri in the middle of a mandala of 19 Deities. The central figure of the mandala reaches out towards Tsongkhapa, handing him a precious vase. The Deity says, “The sacred water in this vase comes from a time when Lama Atisha was sitting on the banks of the Kyichu river in Nyetang. From the time of Atisha, 310 years have passed, and we have not been able to find anyone else worthy of presenting this vase. But now we give it to you.”
  5. On the evening of the 4th day, he has a vision of Buton Rinpoche who entrusts him with the Root Tantra of Guhyasamaja. Buton Rinpoche takes the book up with his two hands and touches it down upon Tsongkhapa’s head three times, each time repeating the mantra ‘HUNG VAJRA UTISHTHA’.
  6. On the 5th day, Lama Tsongkhapa achieves a firm comprehension of the Teachings of Marpa. And on the 6th day, Lama Tsongkhapa comes to a deep understanding of the true intent of the realised being Nagarjuna and his spiritual son, Aryadeva. On the 7th day, Lama Tsongkhapa is practising the mixing of realisations, and he sees the text called Abbreviated Activity. He then sees that the stage of the practice of mixing where we mixing sleep and our dreams exist, and with that he gains a vast understanding of his visions. A vision Tsongkhapa had where an offering set out to a deity with the note “They have made the offering to the dead” was not clearly understood that in later times, the secret teachings of Tantra would be lost, but because Lama Tsongkhapa has elucidated them again, his efforts in these teachings were like making an offering to the deceased.
  7. On the 5th day of the 2nd month, while staying in Ganden, he composes several works.
  8. In 1411, Lama Tsongkhapa suffers from serious health problems. In order to eliminate these hindrances, he does an intensive practice on Vajrabhairava with a group of 30 disciples. Keeping it up for a long time, they begin to experience visions of all the different kinds of Buddhas and deities.
  9. In 1412 during autumn, Lama Tsongkhapa remarked, “I don’t know if I’m going to be able to teach you things over and over at this point. All I’m hoping for now is that we can cover the most important instructions of the four different classes of the secret word.” Worried by these words, Tsongkhapa’s principal disciples beseech him to enter a deep retreat to preserve his health. So, on the 7th day of the 8th month, Lama Tsongkhapa enters a retreat and experiences many extraordinary visions.
  10. On the 29th of the 2nd month of Tsongkhapa’s 56th year, Lama Tsongkhapa devotes himself to practice with seven close disciples. They make great efforts in recitation and meditation so that one of the four spirits of harm makes a pledge that they will do no harm to any of the successive Lamas of this great monastery, for the length of 13th generations.
  11. He has a vision of the Buddha Shakyamuni who executes the mudra of the Victory Upon Demons.
  12. He has a vision of protectors such as Mahakala with Six Arms and Four Arms, Yama, Vaisravana, and so forth who drag the troops of demons. The protecting spirit named Kshetrapala drives the demon from behind, threatening him, and finally severs his head. Lama Tsongkhapa then, with his meditation, stuffs the body into a demon pit. The four groups of the spirits cry out in despair, “The war is lost!”, and they start to flee. Many in attendance of Tsongkhapa hear these cries as well. After this, Lama Tsongkhapa’s ailment gradually disappears.

 

Thangka 14

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

  1. In 1414, during the summer of his 58th year, Lama Tsongkhapa is invited by Miwang Drakpa Gyeltsen to go to Trashi Doka, in the region of On. Here in the words of the Crystal Mirror of Prophecy, it was said, “This disciple of the Way of the Lotus, the monk named Source of Bliss, will become a monk in Tibet, a monk with the highest aspiration for virtue at the end; and he will greatly further the teachings of Lobsang Drakpa.” At this time, he meets Je Gedun Drup (the 1st Dalai Lama) who was accompanying one of Tsongkhapa’s principal spiritual sons, Trinley Namka. He gives teachings in front of vast religious assemblies.
  2. He stays in Ganden where he expounds the teachings. He has a vision of the Venerable Manjushri who makes a prophecy about him: “From this point on, you must throw yourself into practising the stages of creation and completion. If you do so, then you will quickly give birth to high realisations of the unsurpassed teachings of the secret world. Seven of your disciples – those with the fortune that comes from good deeds – will as well achieve extraordinary realisations of the path.”
  3. Lama Tokden-pa dreams he arrives at one stupa and is told it is the stupa of Lama Tsongkhapa. Dakinis holding ritual vases full of ambrosia purify and wash this stupa. The dakinis then say that it is not the right time to pour the nectar as they first need to be fixed and that after they are fixed then the nectar will be poured. From 1415 to 1417, Lama Tsongkhapa tells his disciples that if they perform secret practices at the assembly hall of the monastery, then other people will see empowerments that they are not ready to see, and see secret worlds that they are prohibited from seeing. As such, Lama Tsongkhapa says they need to build a temple for these rituals which is isolated and private. In 1415, the foundation is laid for the Yangpa-chen Temple.
  4. While he is edifying Yangpa-chen Temple, Lama Tsongkhapa has a vision of Buddha Shakyamuni, Maitreya, Amitabha and Yamantaka.
  5. During the construction of Yangpa-chen Temple, he has a vision of Heruka with the mandala of the deities. At that time, an assembly of dakinis appears in the sky and presents offerings while singing praises.
  6. In 1417, during the inauguration ceremony of Yangpa-chen, a great roar like that of a dragon bursts forth from a perfectly cloudless sky, everyone present hears it fly down and melt into the Offerings Hall (chos-kang). At this same time, a number of great practitioners of the five stages say they see forms of Yamantaka, so huge that they cover the sky, approaching from the four directions. The entire surrounding land then is plunged into a time of wondrous fortune, due to the power of these events.
  7. In 1418, Lama Tsongkhapa gives teachings on the commentaries of the Guhyasamaja and the Kalachakra.
  8. In the winter of the same year, Lama Tsongkhapa says to his disciples that “These protectors of the Dharma are also extremely pleased if, as we offer the torma cakes to them, we sing our chants out as loud as a lion’s roar. And so, this is the way we should do it. “ While he is presenting tormas to the Protectors of the Law, he composes a particular melody for Yamantaka.
  9. In 1419, in the middle of numerous monks of the U and Tsang regions, he composes a commentary to the Root Tantra of Heruka and transmits his instructions.
  10. During autumn, he leaves Ganden for Lhasa at the request of his disciples, where he presents offerings to the Jowo and makes sincere vows.
  11. Staying in the region of Tolung, he gives numerous teachings to religious and lay devotees. Lama Tsongkhapa visits the hot springs, but his legs only worsen. Lama Tsongkhapa then sees the assembly of deities of the Secret Collections come and melt down into the abbey at Chumik Lung and that he foretells that a monastery devoted to the secret teachings will come to be founded there.

 

Thangka 15

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

  1. Lama Tsongkhapa leaves Tolung and goes in a palanquin to Drepung monastery. A rainbow appears in front of the palanquin.
  2. When he conducts the consecration ceremony of the statues of the tantric college of Drepung, the Wisdom Beings Vajrabhairava and Mahakala with six arms manifest themselves and Lama Tsongkhapa forces these wisdom beings into the images.
  3. Teaching in Drepung in front of vast religious assemblies. During this time, rainbows of all five colours repeatedly pierce the area of the debate ground. One day, in the middle of a teaching, Lama Tsongkhapa stops and looks out towards Ganden monastery. He ends the teaching at the 9th chapter of the Secret Collection. Everyone there begs him to continue with the teachings and instructions but Lama Tsongkhapa refuses and said, “I’ve made up my mind since yesterday. If I go now, it will be better for everyone. So we’ll go.” By doing this, Lama Tsongkhapa sets in motion deep causes for the lineage of explanation for both the secret and open teachings to remain for a long time.
  4. Leaving Drepung for Lhasa, he bows to the Jowo, presents offerings and pronounces vows for the durability of the Teaching.
  5. In Sera, at the request of Jamchen Choje he teaches the Root Tantra of the Guhyasamaja and of Heruka. It was here that it occurs to Lama Tsongkhapa that he has yet to establish a monastery dedicated to the teaching and study of the secret teachings. During teachings, the students are packed into the debate ground in a great mass. There in the middle of them sits Lama Tsongkhapa as he asks, “Is there any here among you who will be able to uphold this tradition of teaching the secret ways?“ He asks once, and then twice but not a single one of these sages is able to step forth to accept the task. Then Lord Sherab Senge rises, and prostrates himself to Lama Tsongkhapa and said, “I will do it”, delighting Lama Tsongkhapa who then presented him an auspicious gift.
  6. At Balam Tse, Lama Tsongkhapa meets the lord and lady of Castle Drakkar. He advises them that he requires the building of a monastery dedicated to the secret teachings, and they on their part agree to do so.
  7. They ask Lama Tsongkhapa whether he could perform a ceremony of consecration on that very spot, and he replies, “Unless we do it now, it’s not going to be done.” He then undertakes an extensive consecration ceremony.
  8. Teachings in Drakkar.
  9. On the road to Drushi, extraordinary sounds are heard.
  10. Travels in a palanquin from Drushi to Ganden. Lama Tsongkhapa stops in Yangpa-chen where he presents vast offerings.
  11. He takes part in a vast prayer assembly in Ganden. His reason for undertaking these extensive prayers of auspiciousness standing there within a veritable ocean of monks is to create deep causes for other things to come.
  12. Back to his room in Ganden, Lama Tsongkhapa is seriously ill. With Duldzin, Gyeltsabje and others in attendance, Gyeltsabje begs Tsongkhapa to grant some advice. Lama Tsongkhapa then takes the sage’s cap from his head and tosses it into Gyeltsabje’s lap. He also gives his monk’s cloak as well. Tsongkhapa then says to all his close disciples, “Understand what I mean when I do this; now go and perfect the wish to become enlightened for others.” He gives these last instructions to his disciples and particularly to Gyeltsabje whom he designates as his successor.
  13. Lama Tsongkhapa then crosses his legs in meditation position and places his hands in the gesture of meditation. When this is done, he pretends that he is achieving enlightenment for the first time, passing into the precious body of clear light. A rain of flowers falls from the sky, rainbows appear and many other auspicious signs appear when Lama Tsongkhapa passes away.

Thangka description is taken from Je Tsongkhapa by Francoise Wang
(A Detchene Eusel Ling Publication, 2002)

 

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16 Responses to 15 Thangkas of Lama Tsongkhapa’s Life Story

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  1. auto sales data on May 9, 2019 at 7:23 am

    Absolutely pent subject matter, thank you for selective information.

  2. Samfoonheei on Mar 18, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    I am glad I came across this post. Truly amazing looking at those thangkas . Those beautiful thangkas tells us a thousand words each and every thangkas depicts the life story of Lama Tsongkhapa. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing .

  3. Choong on Dec 15, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    This is a must revisit as one learns more about the different traditions and lineages. Then one would appreciate more the significance of Lama Tsongkhapa’s life story. Thank you Rinpoche for making it available to us. May Je Tsongkhapa’s teachings spread in the ten directions.

  4. Wan Wai Meng on Aug 9, 2014 at 1:57 am

    So vast is Je Tsongkhapa’s work to benefit all beings, truly amazing. The biography of Trijang Rinpcohe is evidently quite similar to Je Tsongkhapa’s , Trijang Rinpoche in his lifetime would be giving initiations and teaching non stop.

  5. Hee TS on Aug 8, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing such insightful commentaries. Adding with those amazing pictures, it really allows me to understand Thangkas of Lama Tsongkhapa’s Life Story much easily

  6. Pee Bee Chong on Aug 4, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing the Buddha Images & Thangka

  7. Edwin Tan on Jun 23, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Very nice thangkas of Lord Tsongkapa with such detailed stories of his life in each thangka. I didn’t know thangkas depicts stories of the Buddhas. I am glad I came across this article and have the opportunity to learn from this.

    It is a faster way to learn of Lord Tsongkapa’s life in this article to recommend to friends.

    Thank you Rinpoche.

  8. Julien Roth on Jun 16, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    Thank you for sharing this with us Rinpoche. I enjoyed reading about the different thangkas and I really hope that a lot of others did too. I hope Rinpoche shares more things like this in the future because I would love to read them.

  9. Sean Wang on Jun 16, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Thank you for sharing these wonderful images. i love reading the commentaries that come with them, it allows me a deeper insight into what I am viewing. Thank you, Rinpoche.

  10. Elsie Toy on Jun 10, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Dear Guru
    Thank you for the beautiful images as i go through them my heart suddenly crushed as the thought “how his mother misses him and wishes to see him instead of returning home to see his mother Lama Tsongkhapa had a thangka of him image drawn and sent to him mother” so he could continue with his practice.

  11. Dan Eidson on Feb 13, 2014 at 3:46 am

    Many thanks for these Rinpoche. We will be possibliy using some of them for the Sangha at the Katog retreat center in Arkansas. Khentrul Lodro Thaye Rinpoche of Nyingma is my teacher.
    Emaho, Dan

    • tsemtulku on Jun 9, 2014 at 10:00 am

      Dear Dan, you are very welcome. I have many beautiful dharma art available for free download so people in the remotest part of the world can have beautiful images of enlightenment on their shrines. I want everyone to be blessed. Tsem Rinpoche

  12. […] Dharma Pictures for Download 4 […]

  13. […] holy images of Lama Tsongkhapa here: 1, 2 « Why Malaysia? The Beach, Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia […]

  14. […] holy images of Lama Tsongkhapa here: 1, 2 « Read this […]

  15. Low ksjc on Aug 7, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Thank you for the sharing. I certainly enjoy reading the commentary for all the Thangkas.The drawing in the Thangkas realy come to life with the discription from Francoise Wang. I will read again in the future to get more insight into the lifetime achivement of our dear Je Tsongkhapa.

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  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jan 23. 2020 08:31 PM
    Rejoice to those able to witness such an auspicious trance in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong . A privilege for many fortunate ones, to witness to our Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden and Karcho Marpo, via the Panglung oracle in full trance, which is very rare. The very first time opened to public and is a tremendous blessing and great merits for all. Panglung Kuten (oracle) was the most famous oracle of Kache Marpo and Dorje Shugden before 1959 in Tibet. Tibet has an ancient and popular tradition of oracles which involves Dharma Protector to descend into a human oracle. Panglung kuten is a very well-known oracle of over 7 great Dharma protectors, who are able to enter him, take full control of his body and speech. Many people from Tibet, Nepal , India and over the world came to seek accurate prophecies, advise and healing from this well- known oracle. For me been able to watch the video is a blessing and pictures tells me a thousand words as I only came to know Kechara in 2016.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/700-meet-a-buddha.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jan 23. 2020 08:15 PM
    Many Dharma practitioners rely on Dharma protectors when they seek protection . Dharma protectors play various roles in different aspects of Buddhism . The practice of Dharma protectors has evolved through a long history in India and Tibet. In all traditions of Tibetan Buddhism history, various forceful spirits were tamed by great figures like Guru Rinpoche to become protectors of Buddhism. The purpose of this Dharma Protector practice is to remove obstacles and gather all favourable conditions for their spiritual practice. Within the Nyingma tradition they have Rahula as one of Dharma protectors, Ekajati as the main protector of the Dzogchen teachings while Dorje Shugden is Gelupa Dharma protector and there so many others dharma protectors been practice. Each of the wrathful forms of each protectors varies , depicting their believed willingness to defend and guard practitioners from dangers and enemies. Dharma protectors has benefited countless of sentient beings , granting protection wisdom, material needs and so forth.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Niral for this knowledgeable post.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/dharma-protectors-of-tibetan-buddhism.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jan 23. 2020 08:12 PM
    Begtse Chen is one of the main protectors of the Geluk School of Tibetan Buddhism and especially revered in Mongolia. The origin of Begtse Chen can be traced to a pre-Buddhist deity in 16th century . Begtse Chen is the main protector associated with the Hayagriva cycle of Tantric Deity meditation practice.
    In Tibetan Buddhism Begtse is believed to have originated in India. The practice entered Tibet with Nyen Lotsawa in the 11th century. As a protector deity that does battle with the forces of evil and the wicked and guards the righteous and faithful . His terrifying, monstrous face it appearance serves only to frighten demons and dark spirits away and serves as a beacon of justice as well as a guardian of wisdom to all who see and revere him. Their wrathful forms depicting their believed willingness to defend and guard everyone from dangers and enemies. Interesting read to understand better of this Dharma Protector.
    Thank you for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-dharma-protector-begtse-chen.html
  • S.Prathap
    Thursday, Jan 23. 2020 04:33 PM
    This story is very inspiring.Plants are very important nowadays as we, humans, require oxygen to live. The confidence level in the man has influenced him to change the barren land to a place filled with thousand of various plants.
    Youngsters should take this man as a role model not only for planting trees but for the confidence in him. Not only confidence, but even loaded of courage in him.Thank you very much for the good and inspiring article.

    https://bit.ly/2TOHbmZ


  • S.Prathap
    Wednesday, Jan 22. 2020 04:38 PM
    As we can see in the video these people can help others through these powers , such abilities can also be developed through reciting mantras consistently on a daily basis.It is really interesting of to understand the existing of psychic, which may come from birth or by disaster like lightning.
    Always fascinated by people who have psychic powers. Wonder how it feels like to be able to know and see things the way they do. Personally I don’t know anyone with this ability.Thank you very much for this interesting and educational article.

    https://bit.ly/37jKFBR


  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jan 20. 2020 04:09 PM
    Thank you Pastor David for sharing all the wonderful encounters of shopping with Rinpoche. As we know Rinpoche rarely goes shopping for himself but as gifts for various students. Reading this post simply have me thinking, one must be observant to develop knowledge, and to apply what we read from the Lamrim topics into our lives. Being observant of our surroundings and practicing situational awareness at all times.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/tales-with-my-lama-the-shopping-experience-with-rinpoche
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jan 20. 2020 04:08 PM
    nteresting ….in Tibetan culture wild mushrooms spotted is a symbol of good luck. At Kechara Forest Retreat ,H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s private garden, mushrooms been spotted which is considered a good omen something good or arrival of good news , very auspicious symbol. Associated with nature and the beauty of the forest, having mushrooms popping up on one garden is rare and is very auspicious in Tibetan Buddhism, which will represent the Dharma will flourish in the near future. It’s indeed an auspicious sign.
    Thank you for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/an-auspicious-omen-in-kechara-forest-retreat
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jan 20. 2020 04:02 PM
    Religion should not come into politics as it is not one religion among other. These two should not mixed together or the results would be catastrophic To these days religion and politics seem to be all mixed up. It is happening to the present day where the Tibetan Leadership is against the Dorje Shugden practice. Its far too long the Dorje Shugden controversy been going on which is unnecessary and illogical causing sufferings, disharmony , discrimination and so forth among practitioners and non-practitioners. The Tibetan people should be given religious freedom to practise how and what they want. The Dalai Lama who promotes peace and harmony should do more to help those affected by the ban and not specking against them causing confusion. Hopefully the previous advice against Dorje Shugden should be retracted for the sake of a peace and harmony. It would be wonderful if Dalai Lama could have discussion with the Chinese leadership to solve the present problems once for all. China is a great and powerful nation, it would be good to have a good closer relationship . May Dalai Lama live long and back to his homeland Tibet soon. And may Dalai Lama lift the ban against Dorje Shugden .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/dalai-lama-china-shugden.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Jan 19. 2020 09:16 PM
    Tsem Rinpoche was one definitely a modern Lama ,it was Rinpoche that we have online knowledge , learning and practicing Dharma. Being one of the first lamas to recognise the benefits of using the Internet to spread dharma teachings for free. We are very fortunate to have met Rinpoche , whereby we are able to learn, practice Dharma teachings. I myself got to know Rinpoche through his blog . Since I stumbled across Rinpoche blog, there is no stopping for me. I have visited it daily and to increase my Buddhism knowledge . Its amazing each day I learn something new , really interest and inspiring.
    Rinpoche had set the blog to preserve the teachings as taught by his many Gurus. Rinpoche was truly a modern Lama yet maintaining all traditional commitments, guru devotion, daily practices and so forth.
    Thank you Rinpoche with folded hands and Pastor Jean Ai for sharing this wonderful post.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/growing-up-with-rinpoche-the-traditional-modern-lama
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Jan 19. 2020 09:14 PM
    Helmut Gassner, known as Venerable Gelong Jampa Lungtog is a senior Buddhist monk from Austria. He was an electrical engineer before, and became interested in Buddhism after meeting Venerable Geshe Rabten Rinpoche. Throughout his lifetime, he has translated for many high lamas, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and is a strong advocate for the practice of Dorje Shugden. Helmut Gassner were annoyed and upset by the ban of Dorje Shugden by Dalai Lama ,as he knew that the practice of Dorje Shugden is an integral part of the Gaden Tradition. He bravely spoke about it in his speech at the Friedrich-Naumann-Foundation in Germany. Its wonderful of him to tell the truth with his experience and knowledge. May more people dare to speck up about the truth.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/translator-ven-helmut-gassner-on-dalai-lama-and-dorje-shugden.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jan 18. 2020 02:42 PM
    Great teachings and inspirational for us to ponder, thank you Rinpoche. Each words and sentence tell us a thousand words. Great things never come from comfort zones, is the result of hard work and hustle over time that one is successful. We ourselves got to put in action as no one else is going to do it for us. Sometimes later becomes never. We have to use each day as an opportunity to improve, to be better and to transform our mind. It might sound like a lot of work but with determination and hard work nothing is impossible in life.
    Thanks again with folded hands.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/if-you-are.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jan 18. 2020 02:39 PM
    Interesting biography of Gendun Gyatso the second Dalai Lama. Gendun Gyatso previous Incarnations was Gendun Drub the First Dalai Lama b.1391 – d.1474. He was born an extraordinary child, able to speak in song of his previous life and expressing the wish to return to his monastery, Tashilhunpo. Even before he finished his studies , incredibly he could give teachings and give initiations. He was a renowned scholar and composer of mystical poetry, who travelled widely to extend Gelugpa influence. He was remembered as one who built the monastery Chokhor Gyel Metok Tang and involving an extremely important decision of Lhamo Latso. Lhamo Latso is a sacred lake located in southern Tibet where senior Tibetan monks go for visions to assist in the discovery of reincarnations. It is one of the most significant pilgrimage destinations in Tibetan Buddhism as to this day. He left a legacy with many volumes of verse, composition, and practice instructions.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/the-second-dalai-lama-gendun-gyatso.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jan 18. 2020 02:38 PM
    Master Cheng Yen is a Taiwanese Buddhist nun, most known for her work as a teacher and philanthropist. She is the founder of the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, a non-governmental organization.
    She is involved in various charitable works such as international disaster relief, environmental protection and preservation, community volunteering, health donations and so forth. She is an extraordinary Buddhist nun who has devoted whole her life to helping others,and was recognized internationally with numerous awards to date. Master Cheng Yen continues this noble path of teaching the Buddha Dharma, skillfully revealing how this ancient wisdom is as relevant today, as ever. And, she is a truly inspirational force when it comes to helping us realize that we should put compassion in action by alleviating the suffering of others. She is also known as Mother Teresa of the East to many.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this inspiring post.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/mother-teresa-of-the-east.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jan 17. 2020 05:58 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for the sharing . FEARLESS is getting back up and fighting for what we want over and over again without giving up. Successful people have no fear of failure they stay open to all possibilities of the outcomes. We embrace change, even change that appears negative by thinking positive. Being fearless is more about who we are, rather than what we do. Fearless people are great, they are full of life, good energy, passion and self-belief. We must try as we never know if we do not try. Keep trying as the success rate is higher than we thought.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/thoughts.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jan 17. 2020 05:54 PM
    Happiness is not made by what we own, it is what we share and giving generously and sincerely. A simple gift by June Tang tells all. Given sincerely from her heart on her birthday to Rinpoche . It’s all done without money, that’s very true and that’s what I consider true generosity for sure. Giving what she could. She give all and yet she feel as if it costs her nothing. But to Rinpoche its mean a lot of sincerity We seek to give with an open, pure heart, with no attachment to what we are .
    Quoted… no true spiritual life is possible without a generous heart. Generosity allies itself with an inner feeling of abundance—the feeling that we have enough to share.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/study-groups/its-all-done-without-money.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

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108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden\'s blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
2 days 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
2 days 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
1 week 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!
1 week 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 week 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
2 weeks 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.
2 weeks 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.
2 weeks 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!
2 weeks 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)
6 months 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)
6 months 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)
6 months 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
6 months 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
7 months 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!
7 months 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
7 months 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
8 months 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
8 months 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
8 months 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
8 months 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
8 months 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
8 months 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
8 months ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
8 months ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
8 months ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha\'s mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
8 months ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha's mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha\'s. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
8 months ago
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha's. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
8 months ago
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
8 months ago
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
This is pretty amazing!

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

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
8 months ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
8 months ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
8 months ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
8 months ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
8 months ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
8 months ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
9 months ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
9 months ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
9 months ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
9 months ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
9 months ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
9 months ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
9 months ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
9 months ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
9 months ago
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
9 months ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
9 months ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
Silver Manjusri figure from Ngemplak Semongan (Indonesia). Apparently during the Shailendra Dynasty, Mahayana Buddhism was very strong in Indonesia. This Dynasty promoted Mahayana Buddhism and Manjushri was a principal Buddha of worship.
9 months ago
Silver Manjusri figure from Ngemplak Semongan (Indonesia). Apparently during the Shailendra Dynasty, Mahayana Buddhism was very strong in Indonesia. This Dynasty promoted Mahayana Buddhism and Manjushri was a principal Buddha of worship.
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    8 months ago
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  • What happened at Fair Oaks Farm?
    8 months 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
    8 months 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
    9 months 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.
    9 months 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
    10 months ago
    Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
  • This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
    10 months 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
    10 months 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
    10 months 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
    10 months 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.
    10 months 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.
    10 months 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
    10 months 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
    10 months 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
    11 months 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
    11 months ago
    Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
  • SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    1 years ago
    SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    Tsem Rinpoche's dog Oser girl enjoying her snack in her play pen.
  • Cute!
    1 years ago
    Cute!
    Oser girl loves the balcony so much. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTcoWpKJm2c
  • Uncle Wong
    1 years 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!
    1 years ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
  • Cute baby owl found and rescued
    1 years ago
    Cute baby owl found and rescued
    We rescued a lost baby owl in Kechara Forest Retreat.
  • Nice cups from Kechara!!
    1 years ago
    Nice cups from Kechara!!
    Dorje Shugden people's lives matter!
  • Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    1 years ago
    Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    Chirping birds and other forest animals create a joyful melody at the Vajrayogini stupa in Kechara Forest Retreat (Bentong, Malaysia).
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    2 yearss ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
  • Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
    2 yearss ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
  • BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
    2 yearss ago
    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    2 yearss ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    2 yearss ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    2 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.
    2 yearss ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    2 yearss ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    2 yearss ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    2 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
    2 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.
    2 yearss ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    2 yearss ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    2 yearss ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

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CHAT PICTURES

Throwback KSDS Graduation - All kids were so excited with to perform. Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
Throwback KSDS Graduation - All kids were so excited with to perform. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback WOAH camp 2016 - DIY soap. So interesting. Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
Throwback WOAH camp 2016 - DIY soap. So interesting. Lin Mun KSDS
Children learning the method to make water offering to Buddha. Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
Children learning the method to make water offering to Buddha. Lin Mun KSDS
Monthly animal liberation in Kechara House. KSDS have opportunity to participate in the meritorious activity every mth. Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
Monthly animal liberation in Kechara House. KSDS have opportunity to participate in the meritorious activity every mth. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback Kids camp 2019 - Wonderful volunteers. Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
Throwback Kids camp 2019 - Wonderful volunteers. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback Kids camp 2019 - The nature of KFR is expressed on this drawing. Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
Throwback Kids camp 2019 - The nature of KFR is expressed on this drawing. Lin Mun KSDS
Special thanks to Hue, one of our dedicated members in Kechara Penang Study Group. Thanks for helping out during our bird liberation. ~Jacinta
1 week ago
Special thanks to Hue, one of our dedicated members in Kechara Penang Study Group. Thanks for helping out during our bird liberation. ~Jacinta
Animal Liberation is one of the great ways to show empathy, kindness and compassion to kids. Start them early! ~Jacinta, Kechara Penang Study Group
1 week ago
Animal Liberation is one of the great ways to show empathy, kindness and compassion to kids. Start them early! ~Jacinta, Kechara Penang Study Group
The merits from life liberation are varied and boundless ~Jacinta, Kechara Penang Study Group
1 week ago
The merits from life liberation are varied and boundless ~Jacinta, Kechara Penang Study Group
It is essential for us to properly 'Taking Refuge' before we start any event. “Taking refuge” is where one seeks guidance and to turns to the Triple Gem for liberation and salvation from suffering. We hope these birds will be liberated from sufferings soon. ~Jacinta
1 week ago
It is essential for us to properly 'Taking Refuge' before we start any event. “Taking refuge” is where one seeks guidance and to turns to the Triple Gem for liberation and salvation from suffering. We hope these birds will be liberated from sufferings soon. ~Jacinta
Recitation of Medicine Buddha mantras during Bird Liberation by Kechara Penang Study Group ~Jacinta
1 week ago
Recitation of Medicine Buddha mantras during Bird Liberation by Kechara Penang Study Group ~Jacinta
Paying homage to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and The Three Jewels by Ms. Leow. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
Paying homage to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and The Three Jewels by Ms. Leow. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Mr. Lim offered Serkym to Dorje Shugden on behalf of KISG. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
Mr. Lim offered Serkym to Dorje Shugden on behalf of KISG. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Ms. Leow offered lights & incense to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas prior to the puja. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
Ms. Leow offered lights & incense to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas prior to the puja. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out weekly Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out weekly Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
KISG started our 2020 first weekend with Mother Tara prayer recitations in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
3 weeks ago
KISG started our 2020 first weekend with Mother Tara prayer recitations in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Kids camp 2019 - Exciting stack up game. The kids enjoyed it very much. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Kids camp 2019 - Exciting stack up game. The kids enjoyed it very much. Lin Mun KSDS
Kids camp 2019 - Super delicious fried rice and decorated with heart. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Kids camp 2019 - Super delicious fried rice and decorated with heart. Lin Mun KSDS
Kids camp 2019 - Beautiful farm in Kechara Forest Retreat. Lin Mun KSDS
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Kids camp 2019 - Beautiful farm in Kechara Forest Retreat. Lin Mun KSDS
Kids camp 2019 - Completion of puzzle game. Look at their happy faces. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Kids camp 2019 - Completion of puzzle game. Look at their happy faces. Lin Mun KSDS
KISG carried out weekly Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh on Tuesday's evening. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
1 month ago
KISG carried out weekly Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh on Tuesday's evening. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Long beans from our Kechara Farm 2019 harvested for our community here in Kechara Forest Retreat.
1 month ago
Long beans from our Kechara Farm 2019 harvested for our community here in Kechara Forest Retreat.
Bountiful harvest from our Kechara Farm 2019 for our community. Here are some long beans, four-angled beans, bitter gourds and karelas!
1 month ago
Bountiful harvest from our Kechara Farm 2019 for our community. Here are some long beans, four-angled beans, bitter gourds and karelas!
Bountiful harvest from our Kechara Farm 2019 for our community. This is Malabar spinach which is a herbal healer.
1 month ago
Bountiful harvest from our Kechara Farm 2019 for our community. This is Malabar spinach which is a herbal healer.
Bountiful harvest from our Kechara Farm 2019 for our community. This is Kangkung or water spinach.
1 month ago
Bountiful harvest from our Kechara Farm 2019 for our community. This is Kangkung or water spinach.
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