Lord Tsongkapa, King of the Dharma

By | Jun 14, 2016 | Views: 3,959
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King of the Dharma – Lama Tsongkhapa, with his heart sons Gyaltsab Je (lower left) and Khedrub Je (lower right).

(By Tsem Rinpoche and Valencia)

Dear readers,

I am honoured to have the opportunity to write about Lama Tsongkhapa, one of the greatest Buddhist masters and philosophers of all time. I admire his selfless dedication to preserve and uphold the pure Buddhist teachings. Through this he was able to eliminate the confusion and wrong views prevalent during his time, while inspiring many to practice the Middle Way philosophy as taught by Nagarjuna. Out of all the incredible qualities that he possessed, I particularly respect the fact that he lived as an ordinary pure practitioner although he had achieved the realisation of of Highest Yoga Tantra. He has connected with us on a personal level by showing us how to begin, progress and complete the stages of the path to enlightenment. If he had appeared as a holy being from the beginning and manifested a lot of miracles, his legacy would not have endured, as contemporary practitioners do not easily believe in miracles. Therefore, it was important for Lama Tsongkhapa to be born as an ordinary practitioner, in order to show and inspire us with what we can all achieve. Thank you Rinpoche for giving me the opportunity to learn and be familiar with the life story of this extraordinary master.

Sincerely yours,
Valencia

 


 

King of the Dharma – The Great Lama Tsongkhapa

“If one keeps even a drop of the nectar of the name of this holy being – Lama Tsongkhapa – in a devotional heart, it plants the seed of liberation and one receives the fortune to practice and enjoy happiness from this life up to enlightenment.”

Pabongka Rinpoche

 

The Prophecies

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Lord Buddha Shakyamuni who taught the path out of suffering after attaining enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. Painting by Kritsana Suriyakarn.

The prophecy regarding Lama Tsongkhapa’s birth had been spoken by the omniscient Lord Buddha Shakyamuni, in Bodhgaya, North India. One day, a young boy, who was the son of a Brahmin, went up to Buddha Shakyamuni, prostrated and offered a clear crystal mala (rosary) to him. Upon receiving the mala, Buddha Shakyamuni placed his holy golden hands on the boy’s head and made a prediction to one of his disciples, Ananda. He predicted that this boy would be born in the ‘Northern Land of the Red-Faced Barbarians’ (a reference to Tibet). In that incarnation, the boy would revive the teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni in the era of degeneration. Buddha Shakyamuni also prophesied that the boy would be reborn as the emanation of Manjushri, the Buddha of Wisdom, and that he would be called Sumati Kirti or Lobsang Drakpa in Tibetan. He would establish a monastery called ‘Ge’, meaning ‘virtues’, between Dri and Den.

This boy would be reborn as Lama Tsongkhapa, a notable Buddhist teacher who revitalised the Buddhist teachings by emphasising discipline and morality in addition to distilling the purest teachings from the greatest Buddhist masters of his time. He would also present a crown and ornaments to the statue of Buddha Shakyamuni in Lhasa, an act for which he is remembered until today.

After making the prophecy, Buddha Shakyamuni asked one of his disciples, Mahamaudgalyayana, a highly attained Arhat who had the ability to walk very fast over a vast distance, to bury a conch shell in Tibet where Gaden Monastery would be built. This conch shell was gifted to Buddha Shakyamuni when he was teaching on the shore of Lake Anavatapta by the King of the Nagas. Buddha Shakyamuni blew this conch shell on Mount Kailash (Ti-Se Snow Mountain) to herald his presence and assemble the great nagas and worldly deities. Its deep pervading sound represents the spreading of the Dharma teachings and thus the awakening of beings from ignorance. A conch shell also represents the speech of the Buddha, indicating that the future incarnation of the young boy would be the representative of Buddha Shakyamuni himself. He would touch the hearts of those who hear the Buddha’s teachings.

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The conch shell, a representation of Buddha’s speech.

In 1409, the conch shell that was buried by Mahamaudgalyayana during the Buddha’s time was unearthed as Lama Tsongkhapa commenced the building of Gaden Monastery. The unearthing of the conch shell symbolised the fulfillment of Lord Buddha’s prophecy. The conch shell was later moved to Drepung Monastery where it could be seen until the mid-20th Century.

The prophecy regarding Lama Tsongkhapa was also mentioned in Manjushri’s root tantra. As Buddha Shakyamuni professed to his heart disciple Manjushri:

“After I pass away and my pure doctrine is absent,
You will appear as an ordinary being,
Performing the deeds of a Buddha
And establishing the Joyful Land, the great Protector,
In the Land of the Snows”

Here “The Land of the Snows” refers to Tibet and “Joyful Land” refers both to Gaden Monastery and to the Gaden doctrine.

Therefore, Buddha Shakyamuni gave prophecies on two occasions regarding the coming of Lama Tsongkhapa. The first one was to the boy who offered a clear crystal mala and the second one was to Manjushri. Buddha Shakyamuni clearly stated that the future incarnation of the young boy would be an emanation of Manjushri. This is possible because an enlightened mind is said to have three types of bodies – the Wisdom Truth Body (Dharmakaya), the Enjoyment Body (Sambhogakaya) and the Emanation Body (Nirmanakaya). Within Buddhism, an emanation is an animate or inanimate form manifested by the Buddhas or Bodhisattvas for the purpose of benefiting others. Therefore, Lama Tsongkhapa was an emanation of Manjushri, who manifested to spread the pure teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni.

Lama Tsongkhapa is actually considered an emanation of three great bodhisattvas – Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani – as he possesses the profound qualities of enlightened compassion, wisdom and spiritual power that the three bodhisattvas embody respectively.

 

Avalokiteshvara – Buddha of Compassion

Thousand-Armed Avalokiteshvara - Buddha of Compassion

Thousand-Armed Avalokiteshvara – Buddha of Compassion

(Click here to learn more about Avalokiteshvara)

Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig is the flawless personification of perfect compassion who vowed to free all sentient beings from suffering. The Sanskrit name ‘Avalokiteshvara’ means ‘the Lord who looks upon the world with compassion’. In the Lotus Sutra, Buddha Shakyamuni said that if a suffering being hears the name of Avalokiteshvara and sincerely calls out to him, Avalokiteshvara would hear the call and relieve the being from his suffering. Avalokiteshvara is often depicted as having 11 heads, 1,000 hands and an eye on the palm of each hand, commonly known as Thousand-Armed Avalokiteshvara. The thousand eyes allow the Bodhisattva to perceive the sufferings of sentient beings and the thousand hands represent his ability to reach out to help them.

 

Manjushri – Buddha of Wisdom

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Manjushri – Buddha of Wisdom

(Click here to learn more about Manjushri)

Manjushri is one of the most important figures within Mahayana Buddhism. His Sanskrit name means ‘he who is noble and gentle’. Manjushri first appears in Buddhist literature in the Mahayana Sutras, in particular the Lotus Sutra. The following is a description of Manjushri’s qualities by Zen teacher Taigen Daniel Leighton:

“Manjushri is the bodhisattva of wisdom and insight, penetrating into the fundamental emptiness, universal sameness, and true nature of all things. Manjushri, whose name means ‘noble, gentle one,’ sees into the essence of each phenomena. This essential nature is that not a thing has any fixed existence and separate in itself, independent from the whole world around it. The work of wisdom is to see through the illusory self-other dichotomy, our imagined estrangement from our world. Studying the self in this light, Manjushri’s flashing awareness realizes the deeper, vast quality of self, liberated from all our commonly unquestioned, fabricated characteristics.”

(Bodhisattva Archetypes, p. 93).

 

Vajrapani – Buddha of Protection

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Vajrapani – Buddha of Protection

(Click here to learn more about Vajrapani)

According to the Mahayana tradition, Vajrapani is one of the eight heart disciples of Buddha Shakyamuni and is portrayed with a peaceful appearance. However, within the Vajrayana context, Vajrapani is often depicted in a wrathful form as the main recipient, holder and protector of the tantric texts, literature and teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni. Therefore, he blesses tantric practitioners to achieve realisations on the path of tantra. He is prophesied to be the 1000th Buddha who will manifest full enlightenment and turn the Wheel of Dharma in this eon, in the same manner as Buddha Shakyamuni. Thus, he is known to be the embodiment of the transcendent power and skillful means of an enlightened being.

Padmasambhava is also called Guru Rimpoche, the founder of the Nyingmapa School of Tibetan Buddhism. All through his life he was a controversial figure. On at least two occasions his flouting of convention caused such outrage that people attempted to burn him at the stake – but he emerged unscathed each time. He is the archetype of the embodiment in one person all the accumulated knowledge, wisdom, love and power of the Buddhist tradition. He brought Buddhism to Tibet from India in the eighth century.

Lotus-born Guru Rinpoche

1000 years after Buddha Shakyamuni’s prophecy, another prediction regarding Lama Tsongkhapa was made by the Lotus Born Guru Rinpoche, Padmasambhava. According to one account, Padmasambhava incarnated as an eight-year-old child appearing in a lotus blossom floating in the Dhanakosha Lake, in the kingdom of Oddiyana. He arrived in Tibet during the 8th Century to aid in the establishment of Buddhism there and to introduce the people to the practice of Tantric Buddhism. He is also regarded as the founder of the Nyingma tradition, one of the major traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Padmasambhava was renowned for his mystical abilities and power that arose from his tantric practice, resulting in his ability to subdue a multitude of evil spirits and demons. He foretold that a fully ordained Buddhist monk named Lobsang Drakpa would appear in the east, near the land of China. This monk would be regarded as the emanation of the bodhisattva of great renown, Manjushri, and would attain enlightenment in that lifetime.

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Dipamkara Atisha who was of the same mind stream as Guru Rinpoche and Lama Tsongkhapa

According to His Holiness the 2nd Dalai Lama, Gedun Gyatso (1476 – 1542), Lama Tsongkhapa, Padmasambhava and Dipamkara Atisha (980 – 1054) were of the same mindstream. Lama Tsongkhapa is also said to be the incarnation of Nagarjuna, who was a 2nd Century Indian Buddhist philosopher who founded the Madhyamaka School of Buddhist philosophy. All four of them (i.e. Lama Tsongkhapa, Padmasambhava, Dipamkara Atisha, and Nagarjuna) were important figures in spreading and clarifying Buddha’s teachings.

 

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Auspicious Dreams

In the year prior to Lama Tsongkhapa’s birth, his parents began to have auspicious dreams. His father, Lubum Ge, dreamt of a monk from Five-Peaked Mountain (Wu Tai San) in China. In many scriptures, this mountain is referred to by Lord Buddha to be the holy abode of Manjushri, the Buddha of Wisdom. The monk, travelling from afar, requested shelter in his home for nine months. Lubum Ge gladly accepted the monk’s request in his dream.

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Shingza Acho was chosen among 1000 other women to be the mother of Lama Tsongkhapa

Lama Tsongkhapa’s mother, Shingza Acho, also had an auspicious dream about being in a beautiful garden with 1000 other women. In that garden, there was a young boy who come from the east, dressed in white and carrying a vessel of water. There was also a young girl who came from the west, dressed in red, holding peacock feathers in her right hand and a large mirror in her left. The boy approached each of the women and asked the girl as to which woman was a suitable vessel. The girl chose Shingza Acho as the only suitable candidate out of all women in the garden. Upon choosing her, they bathed Shingza Acho in order to purify her.

In the first month after his conception, Lama Tsongkhapa’s parents began to have more auspicious dreams. His father dreamt of the bodhisattva Vajrapani. In his dream Vajrapani threw a vajra from his pure land, which fell and melted into his wife’s body.

In 1357, Shingza Acho dreamt of monks carrying many ritual items as offerings for Avalokiteshvara, requesting him to appear. Avalokiteshvara finally appeared in the form of a holy being as big as a mountain in the sky, shining as bright as the sun. As Avalokiteshvara approached her, he diminished in size and melted into her body.

The night before giving birth, Shingza Acho dreamt of a crystal door within her heart that opened and that celestial beings appeared to bathe her. At dawn, the baby who would later become the great master Lama Tsongkhapa was born. The auspicious dreams of his parents confirmed Lama Tsongkhapa as the emanation of Manjushri, Vajrapani and Avalokiteshvara.

 

The Birth of Lama Tsongkhapa

Lama Tsongkhapa (‘The man from Tsongkha’) Lobsang Drakpa was born in 1357 to a nomadic family from Tsongkha in Amdo, Tibet (present-day Haidong and Xining, Qinghai). As witnessed during the birth of other holy beings, his birth caused no pain to his mother. The arrival of three great bodhisattvas in the form of a baby boy was accompanied by the incredible singing voices of dakas and dakinis as well as beautiful rainbows appearing in the sky.

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The Kumbum Tree (The Tree of 1000 Buddha Images)

A large sandalwood tree sprung up with more than 100,000 leaves from the exact spot where a drop of blood from Lama Tsongkhapa’s umbilical cord had fallen. The tree’s leaves bore the outline of the Buddha Simhanada, hence why the tree is known as the Tree of Kumbum or the Tree of 1000 Buddha Images. In the past, during the autumn season, pilgrims would collect and keep the fallen leaves. The leaves would then be crushed and made into medicine. Those who took the medicine would be healed and empowered with greater wisdom.

In 1379, Lama Tsongkhapa’s mother, with the help of fellow Buddhists, built a small temple with a stupa around this tree. This simple temple was the first temple built at Kumbum. In 1481, the nobility and nomads of the Kokonor region built a larger temple for making offerings at the holy tree. In 1560, the meditator Rinchen Tsondru Gyeltsen built a small monastery called Gonpalung for intensive meditation practice in that region. Later, the 3rd Dalai Lama, Sonam Gyatso (1543 – 1588) stopped at the isolated retreat place and requested Rinchen Tsondru Gyeltsen to construct a larger monastery at the exact site and appointed him as the abbot. The new monastery was called Kumbum Monastery. The holy tree at Kumbum Monastery is located near a bejeweled silver stupa and can still be seen in that monastery. Several Dalai Lamas have visited this site throughout history. The tree remains a most sacred pilgrimage site for those who pray there as they are healed of diseases, purify obstacles, gain merit, increase luck and receive blessings.

Based on the prophecy of Buddha Shakyamuni, many Tibetan scholars and practitioners had anticipated the emanation of Manjushri to be born as the Tibetan lama, Je Tsongkhapa. The Kadampa Master Choje Dondrub Rinchen (1309 – 1385) was one of the great Buddhist masters who anticipated the coming of Lama Tsongkhapa and was interested in the auspicious omens surrounding his birth. He studied and lived in central Tibet before returning to his homeland to build two monasteries in Amdo. This master also had a dream of Yamantaka, who is Manjushri in wrathful form, who informed him that he would come to the area of Tsongkha within one year, while pointing at the land of the Tsongkha River, “At about this time next year, I will be arriving in the hinterlands of that place. Until then let your heart be at ease.”

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Kumbum Monastery

 

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Lama Tsongkhapa’s Early Life

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The 4th Karmapa Rolpai Dorje

After Lama Tsongkhapa was born, Choje Dondrub Rinchen offered some gifts to his parents along with a letter to explain on how to protect their newborn baby. When Lama Tsongkhapa was about three years old, Choje Dondrub Rinchen offered a gift of livestock to his father and requested the right to be in charge of Lama Tsongkhapa’s education. Recognising his son’s superior qualities from his early years, his father sent him to receive lay upasaka vows when he was only three years old from H.H. the 4th Karmapa Rolpai Dorje (1340 – 1383). He was given the name Kunga Nyingpo, and Rolpai Dorje predicted that this boy would come to be referred to as ‘the Second Buddha’.

Lama Tsongkhapa left his parents to live with Choje Dondrub Rinchen at the age of seven. Even at such a young age, he exhibited supreme intelligence. He could read and write Buddhist texts just by observing his teacher. Choje Dondrub Rinchen gave him the empowerments of Heruka, Hevajra and Yamantaka, three of the most prominent Higher Tantric initiations, and the oral transmissions of many sutras including the Manjushrinamasamgiti. He was also given in-depth teachings on these tantric practices. It was during this period that Lama Tsongkhapa started to practice meditation. He was only eight years old when he received his novice vows and was given the name Lobsang Drakpa (which translates to Sumati Kirti in Sanskrit), another fulfillment of Buddha Shakyamuni’s prophecy.

At the age of seven, the young Lama Tsongkhapa had pure visions of Dipamkara Atisha (982 – 1054), a noble Buddhist teacher, whose life’s work was to restore the purity of the Dharma in India and Tibet. His vision of Atisha indicated that he would follow after Atisha’s footsteps in clarifying the Buddhist teachings.

At the age of 16, Lama Tsongkhapa left Amdo for U-Tsang in order to further his studies on the great Buddhist treatises. Before he left, Choje Dondrub Rinchen instructed Lama Tsongkhapa to focus on the practice of Yamantaka, Vajrapani, Manjushri and Amitayus, and to propitiate three Dharma Protectors (i.e. Vaisravana, Mahakala and Dharmaraja / Kalarupa) in order to safeguard him on his spiritual path.

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Panoramic view of Kumbum Monastery in Amdo

Because he had a strong inkling that he would never return to his hometown, Lama Tsongkhapa made a beautiful mandala offering, which looked like sparkling jewels, to Choje Dondrub Rinchen as a parting gift. He also recited the ‘Praises of the Names of Manjushri’ to his master as he was walking away from his guru. As he reached the line, “Those who do not return to cyclic existence do not come back,” he knew that he would not be returning. At the time, he felt such great sadness that his tears ran down his cheeks. Choje Dondrub Rinchen remained in Jakyung Monastery, which is situated south of Kumbum Monastery.

 

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Lama Tsongkhapa’s Quest for Knowledge

In the autumn of 1373, Lama Tsongkhapa started his journey to Drikung Monastery, Central Tibet. It took five days to reach his destination from Lhasa. At this monastery, he trained under the guidance of the abbot Chennga Chokyi Gyelpo and studied a wide range of topics including the secret instructions called ‘A String of Diamonds’, the Six Yogas of Naropa and Mahamudra, also known at the ‘Great Seal’.

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Drikung Monastery complex

The young Lama Tsongkhapa continued his journey to Gungtang, where he studied the eight branches of medical diagnosis under the guidance of the great physician Lhadje Konchok Kyab. He studied medicine in order to show his pure dedication towards following the bodhisattva’s codes of conduct. A bodhisattva should train in every art and science that would be of benefit to others. Although he mastered the medical treatises, he never actually practised medicine. However, because of his medical skills, other physicians would often consult him regarding the best possible treatment for their patients.

Lama Tsongkhapa continued his quest for knowledge in one of the largest monasteries at that time, Chodra Chenpo Dewachen in Nyerthang, following the completion of his studies in Drikung Monastery. He studied under the guidance of Tashi Senge and Densa Gekong. In Nyerthang, he studied the works of Buddha Maitreya and achieved the complete understanding of the Perfection of Wisdom (Prajnaparamita). As such he was already renowned as a great scholar at the young age of 19.

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Samye Monastery

Later, he debated at Samye Monastery, received the Heruka initiation in Zhalu and took his examinations on the Prajnaparamita in Sakya. According to his autobiography ‘Fulfilled Aims’, he studied texts and topics such as ‘Five Treatises of Maitreya’ at length. He also studied the related works by Asanga (4th Century), the Abhidharma of Vasubhandu (4th Century), the logic systems of Dignaga and Dharmakirti (6th Century) and the Madhyamaka system of Nagarjuna (150 – 250 CE). His in-depth study on philosophy and logic would later become the essence of the Gelug Tradition.

During his studies, he also took part in philosophical debates at various monasteries, such as Sakya, Sangden, Garong, Ngam-ring and Nenying Monasteries. His fame continued to rise after taking part in the dialectical debates on four of the great Treatises of Maitreya in Tse-tang.

He was committed to develop the correct understanding of Dharma and determined to combine his education with the practice of both sutra and tantra. Lama Tsongkhapa was also interested in other areas of study such as poetic composition, astrology and mandala construction. Both teachers and fellow students respected him for his supreme intelligence and his skillful debates. His pursuit for knowledge continued from 1373 to 1393 as he travelled all over Tibet and studied under 45 of the greatest teachers from different Buddhist lineages. Despite his renowned mastery of Dharma, Lama Tsongkhapa remained humble throughout his life.

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Rendawa Zhonnu Lodro

During his quest for knowledge, he focused on the Sakya tradition and the Sangpu tradition, which originated from Sangpu Monastery that was founded by Atisha. One of his main teachers was Rendawa Zhonnu Lodro (1349 – 1412). Rendawa was a proponent of the Prasangika view of Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka (Middle Way) philosophy. During this time, Lama Tsongkhapa devoted himself primarily to the learning and training in the Commentary of Valid Cognition. He developed a strong mutual Guru-student relationship with Rendawa. They respected and admired each other, and Lama Tsongkhapa even composed a prayer to Rendawa as a sign of his admiration:

Lord of stainless wisdom, Manjushri,
Objectless compassion, Chenrezig,
Crown jewel of the sages of the Land of Snows,
O Rendawa Zhonnu Lodro, at your feet I make this request;
Grant protection to me; a fly seeking liberation.

His beloved student’s prayer moved Rendawa. However, he felt the prayer made by Lama Tsongkhapa was more applicable to describe his student’s qualities. Therefore, he reciprocated by replacing his name with Lama Tsongkhapa’s along with other slight amendments:

Objectless compassion, Chenrezig,
Lord of stainless wisdom, Manjushri,
Conquering mara’s hordes, Vajrapani,
Crown jewel of the Sages of the Land of Snows,
Lobsang Drakpa, at your feet, I pray.

The prayer containing the blessings of Lama Tsongkhapa and Rendawa is also known as the Migtsema mantra. It is one of the most important prayers for Gelugpa practitioners and devotees of Lama Tsongkhapa.

MIG-MEY TZE-WEY TER-CHEN CHENREZIG
DRI-MEY KHYEN-PI WANG-PO JAMPAL YANG
DU-PUNG MA-LU JOM-DZEY SANG-WEY DAG
GANG-CHEN KE-PEY TSUG-GYEN TSONGKAPA
LO-SANG TRAG-PEY SHAB-LA SOL-WA DEB

Translated in English:

Je Tsongkhapa, crown jewel of the holy Masters of the land of snows,
You are Avalokiteshvara, great goldmine of Compassion untainted by ego’s delusion.
You are Manjushri, great Master of stainless wisdom.
You are Vajrapani, great subduer of all the gatherings of demons.
At your feet, famed Lobsang Drakpa,
I humbly bow and earnestly request that all sentient beings achieve Enlightenment.

Lama Tsongkhapa’s Migtsema mantra is a wonderful and powerful mantra suitable for anyone at any given stage of practice. In addition, the Migtsema mantra is at the center of Lama Tsongkhapa’s Guru Yoga, which was originally taught by Manjushri to Lama Tsongkhapa. Lama Tsongkhapa taught it to Sherab Senge and he in turn, passed it to Palden Sangpo who wrote it down for posterity. Here are the known benefits of reciting the Migtsema mantra, commonly known as Lama Tsongkhapa’s mantra:

  • Pacifies negative karma and obstacles.
  • Increases merits, life span and Dharma realization.
  • Increases compassion, wisdom and spiritual power.
  • Protects from spirits and untimely death.
  • Creates rain for crops and controls the weather.
  • Cures the ‘drib’ disease (a type of mental obscuration that makes us dull and sleepy especially during one’s Dharma studies) and is caused by a certain classes of spirits.
  • Protects from harm from weapons.
  • Cures wind or ‘lung’ diseases (another mental disease that makes our emotions go up and down due to mental stress arising from various causes).
  • Cures physical and mental disabilities.
  • Protects from harm such as robbers.
  • Pacifies obstacles to grow crops such as insect infestation.
  • Protects those who are travelling.
  • Those who chant the prayer will never be hungry or want for food.
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The Migtsema mantra is the mantra of Lama Tsongkhapa

A lot of questions arise due to the fact that Gelug practitioners pray to Lama Tsongkhapa, a seemingly ordinary teacher, instead of the bodhisattvas Manjushri, Avalokiteshvara and Vajrapani individually. The reason is that Lama Tsongkhapa, the humble and brilliant Dharma teacher, is the embodiment of the three great bodhisattvas. Therefore, reciting Lama Tsongkhapa’s mantra is the same as invoking and receiving blessings from the three great bodhisattvas.

Aside from the Migtsema, there are various praises of Lama Tsongkhapa that can be recited as a prayer to receive blessings from him. These include:

In 1370, Lama Tsongkhapa and Rendawa headed to Ngam-rim, where Master Rendawa composed a commentary on the ‘Compendium of Abhidharma’ (Abhidharma Samuccaya). The young Lama Tsongkhapa also listened to his teaching on the commentary of the Pramana-vartika. Lama Tsongkhapa was so enthralled and moved by the meaning and realisation of Pramana-vartika that shivers of bliss rolled up his spine and tears fell in a steady stream.

Several years later, he spent the summer in Narthang Monastery where he listened to a teaching on a commentary of the Pramana-vartika composed by the great Lotsawa Donsang and participated in philosophical debates there.

As the number of his disciples grew, Lama Tsongkhapa decided that it was time for him to become a fully ordained monk. Lama Tsongkhapa received the vows of a fully ordained monk in Yarlung, surrounded by 20 monks. Tsultrim Rinchen, the master of the Four Great Subjects was the vow preceptor.

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Narthang Monastery

While staying in Tsel Monastery, Lama Tsongkhapa examined and grasped the entire breadth of the Kangyur, the spoken word of the Buddha, and Tengyur, the commentaries to the Buddha’s teachings, opening him to new insights into the entire body of Buddhist teachings. It was in Tsel Monastery that he began to compose his commentary on Abhisamaya-alamkara and engaged in an informal memorisation contest with three other monks: Ling Tsungme, Jampel Trashi of Domey and Sakya Drup, who were famous experts of scripture. Lama Tsongkhapa however, with his divine intelligence, emerged as the winner.

Before completing the composition of his commentary of the Abhisamaya-alamkara, he accomplished with great zeal the practice of Nyungne at the feet of the self-arisen statue of Avalokiteshvara. He also went to Cha-yul and Dewachen to give many lectures. It was in Dewachen that he finalised his commentary.

From Dewachen, he went to Kyormo Lung, where he received teachings on the Kalachakra Tantra from Tokden Yeshe Gyeltsen, the teacher of H.H. the 4th Karmapa Rolpai Dorje. It was also the place where Lama Tsongkhapa had the opportunity to learn about the Great Commentary to the Wheel of Time (a Kalachakra commentary) in more detail, as well as related subjects such as the preparation of astrological charts.

During the summer at Olkha Cholung in Yarlung, he conducted a retreat focusing on the meditational deity Heruka. There, he performed the Six Practices of Niguma and inner breathing exercises 100 times during each session. He developed high realisations as a result of his practices. In the spring of 1390, he went to the region of Tsang and arrived at Nubchu Lung in Rong where he listened to the teachings of the Basket of the Tantra from Drakpa She-nyen.

Lama Tsongkhapa studied under the guidance of many great masters including:

  • Chennga Sonam Gyeltsen (1378 – 1466), a Drigung lama from whom he received the Six Yogas of Naropa;
  • The Jonang lama Chokle Namgyel (1306 – 1386), from whom he received the Kalachakra cycle;
  • The Sakya master Rinchen Dorje, from whom he received the Lamdre teachings and the Hevajra Tantra;
  • Khyungpo Lepa Zhonnu Sonam, from whom he received the Guhyasamaja cycle;
  • Djen Nga Drakpa Jam-chup in the Tel Monastery, from whom he received the Six Yogas of Naropa, the collected writings of Pakmo Drupa, the writings of Jikten Gonpo and the teachings of Path and Goal; and
  • Lama Dampa Sonam Gyeltsen Pelzangpo, from whom he received the cycle of the body mandala of Heruka Chakrasamvara.

Equipped with concrete understanding of Madhayamaka philosophy, he began to compose his most important early work on Prajnaparamita titled ‘The Golden Garland’ (legs bshad gser phreng).

He studied logic and reasoning intensively at the age of 22 by focusing on the works on valid cognition by Dignaga and Dharmakirti. He was especially impressed by the works of Dharmakirti of Suvarnadvipa, a 10th Century renowned Buddhist logician from Srivijaya, Sumatra. Dharmakirti was also known as Dipamkara Atisha’s teacher. Much of Dipamkara Atisha’s work was based on the work of Dharmakirti of Suvarnadvipa. For the next 11 years, he travelled from one monastic college to another to learn new philosophical knowledge and to give teachings.

When Lama Tsongkhapa was 33 years old, he met with the extraordinary Lama Umapa from Tsang, who travelled to study with Lama Tsongkhapa. Lama Umapa had a special ability to communicate directly with Manjushri after undertaking extensive practices related to Manjushri. Lama Umapa would later become Lama Tsongkhapa’s medium of communication with Manjushri. They often spent time together in retreat during which Lama Umapa delivered Manjushri’s advice and responded with answers from Manjushri to Lama Tsongkhapa’s questions.

 

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The Purification Retreat

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35 Confessional Buddha

One day, during their meditation retreat, Lama Umapa relayed an important message from Manjushri. Manjushri advised Lama Tsongkhapa to stop meditating excessively because he would not gain realisation by meditation alone. Meditation is important to collect positive merit and purify negative karma, but it was not going to be enough for Lama Tsongkhapa to purify his negative karma at the rate that was necessary for him to become enlightened. Manjushri instructed him to go into a purification retreat instead.

As instructed by Manjushri, during the winter of 1392, Lama Tsongkhapa took a break from his teaching obligations and withdrew from the public for four years. He lived simply with a group of eight close students. The purification retreat began at Chadrel Hermitage in 1392 and moved to Olkha Cholung several years later. During the four-year long purification retreat, he performed 100,000 prostrations to each of the 35 Confessional Buddhas, completing a total of 3.5 million prostrations, in conjunction with the practice of Triskandhadharmasutra (‘Sutra of the Three Superior Heaps’). Imprints of his body could be seen on the ground after the retreat. His purification practices were fruitful as he gained direct visions of the 35 Confessional Buddhas. He also completed 1.8 million mandala offerings until his forearm was wounded and bled, as the result of using his forearm during the offering process.

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The entrance to one of Lama Tsongkhapa’s meditation caves. The entrance is below the main altar in the center of the room.

Toward the end of the retreat, Manjushri appeared in his vision. Manjushri told him that his negative karma was purified, and as a result he could now have direct communication with Manjushri without having to go through Lama Umapa. He also gained a vision of Maitreya Buddha. Lama Tsongkhapa’s purification retreat inspired many masters and gurus to be more dedicated and committed to investing more effort in their spiritual journey.

 

The Lamrim Chenmo: The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment

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Lamrim Chenmo (The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment) has been translated into many other languages including English and Chinese.

In 1398, he composed the ‘Praise to Dependent Origination’ after attaining realisation and the perfect understanding of the Madhyamaka upon obtaining a vision of an assembly of the great Indian Prasangika masters. In 1402, at the age of 46, Lama Tsongkhapa began to write a book about the graded path to Enlightenment called the Lamrim Chenmo or ‘The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment’. This most famous book was based on Dipamkara Atisha’s text called ‘Bodhipathapradipa’ (‘Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment’). It describes in detail the gradual path to enlightenment from the perspective of the sutra but also incorporates aspects of tantra as well. The Lamrim Chenmo was written while he was staying at Reting Monastery and was considered as one of Lama Tsongkhapa’s greatest deeds.

After completing the Lamrim Chenmo, he began writing several other works around 1407 and 1408, specifically his 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 or ‘The Medium-Length Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment’, which is a condensed version of the Lamrim Chenmo.

As a companion volume to the Lamrim Chenmo, he wrote the Ngarim Chenmo, or ‘The Great Treatise on the Tantric Stages of the Path to Enlightenment’ in 1405. The volume covers all the four classes of tantra in accordance with the Sarma traditions (such as the Kagyu and Sakya traditions) with a detailed explanation of the two stages of Anuttarayoga Tantra, also known as Highest Yoga Tantra. His other important tantric works include his works on Guhyasamaja, especially his ‘Commentary on the Vajrajnanasamuccayanama Tantra’ composed in 1401 and ‘Exposition of the Five Stages of Guhyasamaja’ composed in 1411.

 

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The Realisation of Buddha Shakyamuni’s Prophecies

Lama Tsongkhapa lived during a time when many monasteries had abandoned the rules of the Vinaya (monastic codes of conduct) and the practices had degenerated. Lama Tsongkhapa was determined to revive the Buddha’s teaching by following the method of Atisha. He put much emphasis on morality and especially strict discipline with monasticism. His great attempt to revive monastic discipline is considered the most important of his greatest deeds.

Throughout his life, Lama Tsongkhapa wrote 210 treatises, compiled into 20 volumes. The treatises combine the paths of sutra and tantra, specifically written to unite the View of the Middle Way School with the practice of Anuttarayoga Tantra.

 

The Monlam Chenmo: The Great Prayer Festival

When he was 52 years old, Lama Tsongkhapa initiated the New Year ‘Great Prayer’ Festival (Monlam Chenmo) in Lhasa. Monlam Chenmo was celebrated in Lhasa for two weeks after the Tibetan New Year. All the monks, nuns and lay people from all traditions of Tibetan Buddhism come together to pray and make offerings of thousands of butter lamps. During the two weeks period of Monlam Chenmo, which continues to this day, people perform virtuous actions to collect merits by making tremendous offerings, engaging in prostrations, going for spiritual retreats and looking for Sangha to sponsor. The Monlam Chenmo was one of the four great deeds of Lama Tsongkhapa.

Lama Tsongkhapa was a humble man who preferred not to show miraculous signs. However, there were few instances in which he showed his supernatural power. One day during the first Monlam Chenmo Festival, the flames from the thousands of butter lamps in the temple became uncontrollable. People were afraid the huge flames would burn the temple down. Upon hearing about the incident, Lama Tsongkhapa entered deep meditation and suddenly all the flames were extinguished as if they had been blown out by a gust of wind. He restrained showing his power although he was a powerfully realised being and had visions of the 84 Mahasiddhas perceiving them in the sky above Lhasa. He wanted people to study the Dharma, instead of striving to attain supernatural powers.

His remarkable life became the model for the monastic community to revive the Buddhist teachings. Through his clear teachings and specific guidance, the monastic codes of conduct were finally revived. His great accomplishment drew in more students and followers to the Dharma. He did not want to see Buddha’s doctrine degenerate in Tibet.

 

Maitreya Statue at Dzingji

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Dzingji Temple as it stands today

Advised by Manjushri, Lama Tsongkhapa went to Dzingji Temple to see the Maitreya Statue. He was deeply saddened by the dilapidated state of the building and the icon within. The holy statue was covered in dust and dirt. He felt compelled to restore them but did not have enough funds to accomplish the task. Lama Tsongkhapa and his disciples then made offerings and requested for Vaishravana’s assistance, the Protector of Wealth, to bless them with enough resources to complete the restoration task. Whatever he requested would manifest due to his pure intention. At last, both Dzingji Temple and the Maitreya Statue within were restored to their former glory. The restoration of the Maitreya Statue is usually considered the first of his great deeds.

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Maitreya Buddha

 

Gaden Monastery (Gaden means “Joyful”)

As his popularity grew, his students and followers asked Lama Tsongkhapa to build a monastery. He contemplated the idea and went to request guidance from the statue of Jowo Rinpoche at the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa. Jowo Rinpoche advised him in his dreams to build Gaden Monastery in 1409 at the Drok Riwo Mountains. The monastery was the first and most central monastic institution of the Gelugpa school of Buddhism. His followers were first known as ‘Gadenpas’ before their name was changed to ‘Gelugpas’ – ‘the Virtuous Ones’.

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Gaden Monastery in Tibet

Lama Tsongkhapa entrusted the construction of Gaden Monastery to one of his main disciples, Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen (1350 – 1413). He built the temple in accordance with the rules of Vinaya and with great perseverance. Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen first examined the site, and then asked permission from the Sangha to build. Once the Sangha granted permission and appointed him as the head builder, he took the responsibility for all aspects of the building, from excavating the land for the kitchen to completing the final touches on the temple and representations on the altar. Even the smallest of details such as the size of rooms was based on the Vinaya text. When the project was completed, he invited Lama Tsongkhapa and performed all of the three rounds of work in a manner that fully pleased his Guru.

 

Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen – The Holder of the Vinaya (1374 – 1434)

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Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen

Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen was born in an area between central and western Tibet. A studious disciple of Lama Tsongkhapa, he made bodhicitta his innermost heart commitment and became a great treasury of scriptural knowledge and realised qualities. He was also known as one of the closest heart disciples of the great Lama Tsongkhapa, and realised that reliance upon the Guru is the root of all good qualities and realisation. After Lama Tsongkhapa passed away, he would not take his master’s place, but instead suggested Gyaltsab Je to take the throne of the Gaden Tripa, as the head of the lineage. Because of his deep love for Lama Tsongkhapa, he preserved Lama Tsongkhapa’s precious remains in a case made of sandalwood. Then he placed them in a vase container made from 18 ‘dre’ (30 lbs) of beaten silver.

After Lama Tsongkhapa’s passing, he continued his master’s legacy by founding Tsunmo Tsel (Queen’s Garden) Monastery at the site of the Gyamadar Palace Jampa Migyur Ling in Uruto. It was located at the place where the Dharma King Songtsen Gampo was born and where the queen’s retinue usually resided in the royal garden.

In his lifetime, he carried out the great task of reviving the Vinaya by writing a collection of works on the subject called ‘The Great Precepts of Vinaya’, ‘Advice for Novices’ and ‘The Ritual for the Three Bases’. He also wrote sadhanas for mandala accomplishments and commentaries, consecration rituals, outer offerings for Chakrasamvara, an offering manual for making offerings to the front-generated Akshobya Guyasamaja in reliance upon a heaped mandala, Ganthapa Five-Deity Sadhana, Accomplishment of Great Wheel Vajrapani, Mandala Ritual for Luipa Chakrasamvara, Sadhana of Red-Black Yamantaka, Mandala Rituals of Vajradhatu Ishvari, Ritual of Kunrig Vairochana, Commentary on Purifying Lower Realms and Ritual Practice in the Three Families of Kriya Tantra.

He was called the ‘Holder of Vinaya’ because of his extensive work in preserving the Dharma system from decline. Just saying his name ‘Dulwa Dzinpa’ is something that benefits the teachings.

At the age of 63, he went to Tsunmo Tsel and left his physical body to go to the feet of the Unconquerable Manjusrigarbha Tsongkhapa in the Dharma palace of Tushita Pureland.

 

Drepung Monastery

Drepung Monastery in Tibet

After Gaden Monastery’s construction was completed, Lama Tsongkhapa instructed another of his disciples by the name of Jamyang Choje Tashi Palden (1379 – 1449) to build a monastery. He specifically instructed Jamyang Choje to build a monastery bigger than Gaden.

Lama Tsongkhapa offered him the conch shell that was unearthed during the construction of Gaden Monastery. Upon receiving the instruction, Jamyang Choje Tashi Palden proceeded to build the monastery that would be named Drepung, where the conch shell remained until the mid-20th Century. The construction commenced in 1416 and was completed in 1419.

 

Sera Monastery

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Sera Monastery in Tibet

In 1408 the Yongle Emperor of the Chinese Ming Dynasty (who reigned from 1402 to 1424) sent an invitation to Tsongkhapa inviting him to the royal court in Nanjing. Knowing that his arrival before the emperor would be celebrated with wealth and opulence, he refused the invitation. A second invitation was sent in 1413. This time, he sent his student Shakya Yeshe to represent him. Shakya Yeshe had a successful visit to China and received his title of Jamchen Choje from the Emperor. Great offerings were given to Shakya Yeshe after his visit, which he used to establish Sera Monastery.

The Gaden, Drepung and Sera Monasteries became three of Tibet’s most prominent Gelug monastic institutions and housed several thousand monks. Unfortunately, the original Gaden Monastery, the Gelugpas’ spiritual home, was damaged by Chinese troops during the 1959 uprising in Lhasa. It was during the uprising that Lama Tsongkhapa’s mummified body was ordered by the army to be burned. Presently, the Chinese government is rebuilding the monastery. After the exodus from Tibet to India in 1959, Tibetan lamas in exile re-established Gaden, Sera and Drepung Monasteries in Karnataka, India, where they continue to produce highly skillful and learned Dharma teachers and scholars.

 

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Entering Clear Light

While he was teaching the Guhyasamaja Tantra at Drepung Monastery, Lama Tsongkhapa stopped teaching halfway and left without explanation. As he departed, there was a sudden earthquake and the sky became very dark; many rainbows and clear streams of light shone forth in the direction of Gaden Monastery.

On his way back from Drepung, he paid a visit to Jokhang Temple to make many offerings and prostrations to Jowo Rinpoche. His prayer was simple; it was that the Dharma exists forever.

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Jowo Rinpoche statue at the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa

When he finally reached Gaden Monastery, he made many offerings and dedicated the merit to all sentient beings and recited a Pure Land prayer. As the evening approached, he started to feel great pain all over his body and the monks performed prayers for him. He was accompanied by Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen, Gyaltsab Je and other close disciples. Gyaltsab Je begged Lama Tsongkhapa to grant advice. The Guru then took the sage’s cap from his head and tossed it into Gyaltsab Je’s lap. He also gave him his monk’s cloak before saying 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 gave these last instructions to his disciples and particularly to Gyaltsab Je whom he designated as his successor.

On the second day, knowing that he was going to depart from this world, he entrusted his position to his main disciple, Gyaltsab Je, who would become the 1st Gaden Tripa, Lama Tsongkhapa’s representative on earth. After Gyaltsab Je’s term as Gaden Tripa expired, Khedrup Gelek Pelzang became the 2nd Gaden Tripa.

On the morning of October 25, 1419, Lama Tsongkhapa entered into Samadhi meditation, made many inner offerings and took his last breath. Many saw his body transformed back into that of a 16-year-old boy (some say this is reminiscent of the youthful Manjushri) and rainbows emitting from his body. The rainbows were also seen when he last taught at Drepung Monastery. These auspicious signs signified Lama Tsongkhapa’s wish for his teachings to endure. He passed away at the age of 63, leaving behind him a great legacy of purified Dharma. To this day, the anniversary of Lama Tsongkhapa’s passing in 1419 on the 25th day of the 10th month, is celebrated in Tibet and Mongolia as ‘Gaden Ngamcho’ or Lama Tsongkhapa Day.

 

Gyaltsab Je (1364 – 1432)

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Gyaltsab Je

Gyaltsab Je or commonly known as Dharma Rinchen, was an ordained monk of the Sakya lineage who was an accomplished and eloquent scholar. His intellect had made him arrogant and he initially wanted to challenge Lama Tsongkhapa. It was not until he listened to the incomparable Lama Tsongkhapa’s profound teachings that he regretted his arrogance. Upon listening to Lama Tsongkhapa’s teaching, he became completely devoted to this great teacher. He was also a direct student of Rendawa. Other than being the 1st Gaden Tripa, he wrote a famous commentary on the Bodhicharyavatara known as the Dar Tik.

Gyaltsab Je became the 1st Gaden Tripa (Gaden Throne Holder) after Lama Tsongkhapa entered clear light in order to continue his lineage. To this day, the Gaden Tripa is the official head of the Gelug School, not the Dalai Lama as is mistaken believed by some. The Gaden Tripa is an appointed position, with a seven-year term of office. The position is the symbol of Lama Tsongkhapa’s continuing legacy.

 

Khedrup Gelek Pelzang (1385 – 1438)

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Khedrub Je

Khedrup Gelek Pelzang or better known as Khedrup Je was one of the main disciples of Lama Tsongkhapa. He was considered to be an emanation of Manjushri and the previous incarnation of Lobsang Chokyi Gyaltsen, the 4th Panchen Lama.

When Gelek Pelzang was 21, he studied under the guidance of Rendawa Zhonnu Lodro, with whom he took full ordination. He studied Darmakirti’s Pramanavartika, Abhidharma and the Five Books of Maitreya, Nagarjuna’s work on Madhyamaka and the Vinaya. He was already a learned Sakya scholar before becoming one of Lama Tsongkhapa’s foremost disciples, and he received instructions on both sutra and tantra from Lama Tsongkhapa. He was remembered as a charismatic teacher who wrote many excellent commentaries on the tantric practices, which Lama Tsongkhapa compiled and clarified.

His collected works total nine volumes in all, comprising a total of 58 treatises and many prayer books. In addition, he wrote an important text on Kalachakra that is still used by the current 14th Dalai Lama.

He was unanimously elected as the 2nd Gaden Tripa, succeeding Gyaltsab Je. He was also unanimously elected as Gaden Monastery’s third abbot (after Lama Tsongkhapa and Gyaltsab Je).

 

Qualtities of Gelug Monks

If we were to summarise the good qualities of Gelug monks from the Gaden tradition, it would come to 10 inspiring characteristics that Lama Tsongkhapa himself possessed:

  1. They are examined using debate, as emphasis is placed on logic and understanding in grounding one’s practice.
  2. They practise humility and do not show they have any special attainments. This is because the real attainments are mind transformation and the Six Paramitas, and not the supernatural abilities such as flying, walking fast, clairvoyance, etc. These are viewed as ordinary attainments.
  3. They focus on ethics and monastic discipline (Vinaya) as the core of their spiritual practice. Therefore, Gelug monks are celibate. They do not engage in consort practice.
  4. They rely on the combined sutric and tantric paths of method and wisdom for gaining attainments.
  5. They focus their teachings along the lines of of Dipamkara Atisha and followed the path of the Lamrim.
  6. They are committed to removing distractions due to mental wandering (e.g. annoyance, jealousy, pride, doubt and boredom).
  7. Their respect is not only based on rank, but also attainments. The system is meritocratic – a simple farmer boy who studies hard enough, can rise to the ranks of the Gaden Tripa (representative of Lama Tsongkhapa on earth, throne holder and head of the Gelug lineage).
  8. For scholar monks, who have compassion and the commitment to study, they may be able to turn the wheel of Dharma and preserve the teachings and traditions of Lama Tsongkhapa as lineage holders themselves.
  9. For worker and administrative monks, they serve the Sangha with compassion in order to relieve the scholar monks and lamas of secular work so they can focus on studying and teaching the Dharma.
  10. They are devoted to their teacher. To hold one’s teacher with the highest respect because without the teacher, we would not have access to the Dharma and gain any kind of realisation and insight into the higher teachings. We can study from books but that is not the same as having a teacher who elucidates the Dharma clearly and skillfully, and creates the conducive conditions for us to practice. Since we did not have the merits to learn from Buddha Shakyamuni, our teachers keep their commitments so that we are able to connect with the Dharma.

At the present day, the Gelug doctrine has been well-received all over the world with the existence of many great Gelug Monasteries. In this way, Lama Tsongkhapa’s legacy continues to live on. Some of these monasteries include:

  • Gaden Monastery
  • Drepung Monastery
  • Sera Monastery
  • Labrang Tashikyil Monastery
  • Namgyal Monastery
  • Tashilhunpo Monastery
  • Kumbum Monastery
  • Dhetsang Monastery
  • Reting Monastery
  • Denma Gonsa Monastery
  • Riwo Choling Monastery and many others

 

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The Iconography of Lama Tsongkhapa

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The Long Life form of Lama Tsongkhapa

Every element of the iconography of Lama Tsongkhapa carries great importance and meaning. Taking the time to understand the meaning of each symbol in his iconography will help us to visualise the correct representation of Lama Tsongkhapa during prayers and meditations. It is especially critical when inviting Lama Tsongkhapa’s statue or image to bless your house because the Buddha image should have the correct iconography.

The following are the meaning of Lama Tsongkhapa’s iconography:

  1. The face of a 16-year-old boy represents youthfulness.
  2. A smiling and happy face represents a pleasant state of mind.
  3. The lotus seat represents bodhicitta.
  4. The moon disc represents the realisation of emptiness.
  5. Lions represent protection against the four fears (demons): the demon of the delusions, the demon of contaminated aggregates, the demon of uncontrolled death and the Devaputra demon.
  6. His white skin represents attainment of bodhicitta.
  7. The tinge of red in his skin represents attainment of shunyata or emptiness.
  8. His three robes represent holding the vows (i.e. Pratimoksha, Bodhisattva and Tantric).
  9. He is seated in the vajra position representing the immutable, permanent stability in his realisations.
  10. His one face represents non-duality (seeing beyond the illusion of ‘I’ and ‘you’).
  11. His two hands represent the two truths: relative and ultimate truths.
  12. The dharmachakra mudra represents turning the wheel of Dharma.
  13. In his ‘long life’ form in which he holds a vase, this represents dispensing the nectar of immortality.
  14. The flaming wisdom sword  represents oneness with Manjushri, cutting of ignorance and delusions.
  15. The Prajnaparamita Scripture / Sutra of the Perfection of Wisdom resting on a lotus represents wisdom realising emptiness.
  16. The yellow pandit’s hat represents the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) school of Buddhism.
  17. The two flaps of the pandit’s hat represent the vast (method) and profound (wisdom) lineages.
  18. The pointed tip of the hat represents the stage of no more learning (enlightenment).

In his iconography, Lama Tsongkhapa holds a sword on a lotus on his right side. It symbolises the fact that as we listen and learn the Dharma, like a sword, the Dharma cuts through our ignorance. However, in the iconography, the sword is placed on a lotus. The lotus represents compassion and love. Therefore, the sword acts from compassion and love, and not from the intent to harm.

There is another lotus (compassion and love) on the left side with a Dharma book on it. The Dharma book has a ‘wish fulfilling jewel’ sitting on top of it. The jewel represents the benefits of the knowledge acquired when listening to and understanding the Dharma. When we make offerings and pray to Lama Tsongkhapa, our knowledge, intelligence and ability to communicate, especially through speech will increase.

Lama Tsongkhapa is always pictured in a meditation posture. The meditation posture represents that he has become enlightened by studying, understanding, engaging in retreat and meditation.

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The glorious king of the Dharma – Lama Tsongkhapa

 

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This is the foot print of Lord Tsongkapa. He imprinted his foot in stone as a sign of his tantric achievements.

This is the foot print of Lord Tsongkapa. He imprinted his foot in stone as a sign of his tantric achievements.

A unique Byzantine style depiction of Lama Tsongkhapa with his two heart disciples, Khedrup Je and Gyaltsab Je. This depiction of the three great practitioners is known in Tibetan as Je Yab Se Sum.

A unique Byzantine style depiction of Lama Tsongkhapa with his two heart disciples, Khedrup Je and Gyaltsab Je. This depiction of the three great practitioners is known in Tibetan as Je Yab Se Sum. Click to enlarge and download the high resolution version.

For more interesting information:

 

References

  • https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/exciting-information-on-tsongkapa.html
  • https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/tsongkhapa-prayers.html
  • https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/transcript-lama-tsongkhapa-24th-july-2008.html
  • http://tsongkhapa5.blogspot.co.id/2010/05/prophecies.html
  • http://tsemrinpoche.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Music-Delighting-English.pdf
  • http://resources.tsemtulku.com/free-downloads/15-thangkas-of-lama-tsongkhapa.html
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Padmasambhava
  • http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/history/guanyin.htm
  • http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/history/kuanyin-txt.htm
  • http://buddhism.about.com/od/iconsofbuddhism/a/manjushri.htm
  • http://www.himalayanart.org/search/set.cfm?setID=169
  • http://www.tamqui.com/buddhaworld/Vajrapani
  • http://www.lamayeshe.com/teacher/lama-tsongkhapa
  • http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Tsongkhapa_Lobzang_Drakpa
  • http://buddhism.about.com/od/Schools-of-Tibetan-Buddhism/a/Gelugpa.htm
  • http://www.lama-tsongkhapa.com/migtsema/
  • http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Gyaltsab_Darma_Rinchen
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khedrup_Gelek_Pelzang,_1st_Panchen_Lama
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyaltsab_Je
  • https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/benefits-and-miraculous-signs-of-lama-tsongkhapas-statues.html
  • http://treasuryoflives.org/biographies/view/Khedrubje-Gelek-Pelzang/8027
  • http://www.lama-tsongkhapa.com/iconography/
  • http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Gelug

 

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Valencia Suhendra

About Valencia Suhendra

Valencia is a liberal person who highly values equality and freedom in all aspects of life. She believes that all confusion, conflicts and dilemma we experience on a day-to-day basis can be solved through inner reflection, a thought that has brought her to explore the philosophies of Buddhism. New to spirituality, Valencia finds herself deeply interested in the fields of inner development and meditation, which she reads extensively during her time away from family and work.
Valencia Suhendra

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49 Responses to Lord Tsongkapa, King of the Dharma

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  1. Samfoonheei on Oct 10, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    Its definitely a wonderful and great write up about our lineage holder Lama Tsongkhapa biography. Reading this post again to understand better. Very good informative guide for all of us . Lama Tsongkhapa is an emanation of three great bodhisattvas – Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani. My first Buddha statue that I received from a friend is Lord Tsongkapa. I am fortunate to learn Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings from Rinpoche .
    Thank you Rinpoche and Valencia for this inspiring GREAT post which have increased my knowledge .

  2. Shelly Tai on Dec 16, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche and Valencia for this complete write of Lama Tsongkhapa. Reading this greta being live story is very inspiring to us as a lay practitioner because it reminds us the important of Dharma, and the amount of hard work that they put in for the benefits of others it really amazing. As such we will not easily give up our practice despite all these obstacles that we face because the only way to release ourself is the Dharma.

  3. Lum Kok Luen on Dec 8, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Dear Valencia,

    Thank you for this beautiful and well researched information on Lama Tsongkhapa..

    We are really thankful and fortunate to have our Guru, HE 25th Tsem Rinpoche to bring the sacred and rare lineage teachings to such far away place like Malaysia. We must have had the merits necessary to be able to meet the teachings and to follow a Guru as we tread on the Dharma path.

    Lama Tsongkhapa is such a compassionate Bodhisattva that if any one of us were to emulate his great qualities, I am sure we will be assured of enlightenment within a short time.

    Thank you Rinpoche, Valencia and the whole Kechara team to make and sustain the teachings until Liberation.

    Humbly yours
    Lum Kok Luen

  4. Anne Ong on Mar 2, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche and Valencia for the compilation of this great Guru of the time.This extraordinary master’s legacy is really amazing and inspiring. He creates the conducive conditions for us to practice. Especially for people who really needs Dharma in this degenerating period. We are fortunate to meet the pure lineage of Lord Tsongkhapa in this life time through our precious guru H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche._/\_

  5. freon on Dec 18, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Dear Valencia,

    Thank you for this nice article.

    I feel i am very fortunate to have meet with Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings and lineage in this very lifetime. Although Lama Tsongkhapa was a Buddha, but to guide sentient beings like us, He manifest as human like us, and, he became a role model for sentient beings and show us the path to enlightenment.
    He learned and practice hard to show us the methods of apply dharma in our daily life. He is very serious on his learning journey. Through Lama Tsongkhapa, we have complete monastery system, we have proper moral discipline and vows. Even though Lama Tsongkhapa was attained master, he was very humble, he never show off his super power. By reading Lama Tsongkhapa story again, it touches me a lot- an inspiration to learn my dharma well.

    I thanks Rinpoche for bringing Lama Tsongkhapa lineage to my life. May Rinpoche continued to turn the Dharma wheel.

    With love
    Freon

  6. Wan Wai Meng on Oct 31, 2016 at 2:02 am

    Lama Tsongkhapa certainly left his mark in our world, being the founder of the Gelug traditions, Lama Tsongkhapa has been associated with many titles and names, my favourite ones of him are he has been called ‘Incomparable’ Tsongkhapa and Tricosmic Master. It is very apt to call Tsongkhapa incomparable, no one could rival Tsongkhapa during his time, his learning, practice of which he applied himself doing retreats and teachings and he systemized the Buddhist teachings, and was a very prolific writer at that.

  7. DavidFong on Sep 21, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    感谢您分享出一份有关于宗喀巴大师的生平事迹和他的伟大成就和一个令人惊讶知识,谢谢您这个殊胜的博文。
    我个人很喜欢宗喀巴大师,他的勤奋、奉献、承诺、 值得我去学习。

  8. Pastor Han Nee on Sep 9, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Thank you Valencia for researching and presenting this vast blogpost containing an amazingly vast store of knowledge of Je Tsongkhapa’s life story and his greatness and achievements.

    Lord Tsongkhapa is aptly called King of the Dharma. His humility in the face of his amazing scholastic achievements and accomplishments in the study and writing of Dharma, as well as in his accomplishment of many great feats of Dharma, humbles me. His purity of heart and his mind of bodhicitta saw him accomplish so much in teaching and spreading the Dharma, and in all his other feats for Dharma for the greatest benefit for all sentient beings.

    I am deeply touched by the thoughts that ran through his mind as he sadly bade farewell to his beloved teacher Choje Dondrub Rinchen, as well as his home. As he was bidding farewell by reciting “The Praises to Manjushri”, as he reached the line, “Those who do not return to cyclic existence do not come back,” he knew that he would not be returning. At the time, he felt such great sadness that his tears ran down his cheeks. He knew he would not be returning, because he had renounced samsara and turned his back on it already. We know his full renunciation in the anecdote, where he actually wrote a letter n drew a picture of himself, to give to his mother, who had missed him and asked him to go back to see her. He did not return home but the picture of himself that he sent to his mother, talked to his mother!

    Lama Tsongkhapa realised and practiced the Three Principles of the Path that he wrote into the Lamrim Chenmo – renunciation, bodhicitta and the Correct View of Emptiness. His Lamrim Chenmo, one of his greatest gifts to us all, is still one of the most powerful texts of all times, containing all the stages of the Path to Enlightenment.

    His mind was so pure, with only Dharma and Bodhicitta motivations, that when he wanted to renovate the dilapidated Maitreya statue in Dzingji Temple, which was in a sad state of disrepair, and he prayed to Vaishravana, the Protector of Wealth’s assistance, for resources, these all came for him to fulfil his task of restoring the statue.

    His bodhicitta motivations to benefit all beings in every way led him to study medicine and master all the medical treatises ( “A bodhisattva should train in every art and science that would be of benefit to others”). Although he mastered the medical treatises, he never actually practised medicine. However, because of his medical skills, other physicians would often consult him regarding the best possible treatment for their patients. Hence, he was able to benefit sentient beings with his knowledge, even though he didn’t practice medicine.

    His quest and thirst for every aspect of dharma knowledge – both sutric and tantric – led him to many masters from all existing schools of Tibetan Buddhism ,as well as to great Indian Masters, and in the end, he gained mastery of an amazingly wide range of knowledge. His quest to gain knowledge of the best view of Wisdom caused him to gain mastery of all lineages of the Prajna-parimita. Ultimately, he was led to the study of Nagarjuna’s Middle View of Emptiness. He studied and gained mastery of the profound view – the Prasangika view of Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka (Middle Way) philosophy , and attained realisation of it.

    As realising the Correct View of Emptiness, which is Nagarjuna’s Middle View(the Prasangika-Madhyamika view), is the only ultimate method to eradicate all our suffering and its causes, Lama Tsongkhapa’s unexcelled understanding and propounding of this view is most precious and invaluable for us all in this degenerate age. Hence, compassionate Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen arose as the Dharma Protector especially to protect these teachings, so necessary for beings in this degenerate age.

    Lama Tsongkhapa has left such a powerful legacy of his lineage of teachings and practice that we remain eternally indebted to Him and to our Guru, Tsem Rinpoche, for bringing this lineage to us.

  9. graceleong on Sep 8, 2016 at 11:57 pm

    Lama Tsongkhapa really lives up to his title of being the King of Dharma. At every juncture of his life, he showed incredible talents and results. He studied hard and widely, he practiced purification retreats at a rate which most practitioners will find hard to conquer, but this inspired many to emulate his methods to focus more on holding their vows and doing their practices. He also wrote books and commentaries on all the crucial subjects, laying down the path which can lead one to Enlightment.
    Thank you Rinpoche for providing us the practice of Lama Tsongkhapa in Kechara. We are very lucky and blessed to have this precious opportunity. With folded hands.

  10. Pema Thinley on Sep 8, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    Thank you Valencia lah for such amazing and inspiring post. Many would be benefited in the future. It is sorted out in very easy understandable manner. I could really easily get the sequence of the story of this great master ever lived _()_.
    Thank you Rinpoche

  11. Carmen Koo on Aug 21, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    Such a comprehensive compilation of Je Tsongkhapa’s life. I have always loved Lama Tsongkhapa, and reading this biography further reinforces his supreme and sublime deeds to inspire us on our practice.

    One thing I liked was the benefits that was stated out from reciting Lama Tsongkhapa’s mantra, or the Migstema. To name a few from the article:

    – Pacifies negative karma and obstacles.
    – Increases merits, life span and Dharma realization.
    – Cures wind or ‘lung’ diseases (another mental disease that makes our emotions go up and down due to mental stress arising from various causes).
    – Cures physical and mental disabilities.

    I remember that Rinpoche had told us before that Migstema mantra really helps with stabilising our mental health, and rids depression. I guess that is why also, when you visit the monastery, you will see many old and senior monks, some in their 70s, 80s, and even 90s, still with a very sharp, light, happy mind. Of course they spent their entire lives doing the Dharma, and chanting mantras, which I believe gives them ultimate peace even at that age.

    Lama Tsongkhapa, of course, not an ordinary being, but in a human form, subjected to all the things and conditions that the human body, mind and spirit goes through, proved that with diligence, practice, devotion, commitment, hardwork, and more, enlightenment is possible in the human form. Even he did millions of prostrations and mandala offerings to the 3 jewels in his lifetime, amongst other great accomplishments. He shows that we can too if we focus on our Dharma practice.

    Thank you Valentina for this article that is so beneficlal for many.

    Carmen

  12. William Chua on Aug 3, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Thank you Valencia for the comprehensive article about Lama Tsongkhapa. This is very useful for beginners who will start to know about the founder of Gelug school of Buddhism. I find the iconography of Lama Tsongkapa is very important because every part represents a teaching. When we engage in Lama Tsongkhapa practice, we understand better and not just blindly practicing. With understanding, it will support us in our visualisation when we practice.

    Knowing the origins of Lama Tsongkhapa also strengthens our belief and that the teachings are from a proper lineage.

  13. TekLee on Aug 2, 2016 at 12:55 am

    Thank you Rinpoche and Valencia for sharing the article of Lama Tsongkhapa. It let us know in detail about Lama Tsongkhapa. I am very fortunate to be a member of Kechara and in Gelug lineage. Without Lama Tsongkhapa, we won’t have the chance to practice Dharma in Kechara.
    The very first day I stepped into Kechara Main Gompa, I already like Lama Tsongkhapa very much, and Migtsema mantra is very easy to chant. It is very powerful as it consists the qualities of the three bodhisattvas, Manjushri, Chenrezig and Vajrapani, which helps us in mind transformation.
    Thank you again Rinpoche and Valencia. _/\_

    • Valentina Suhendra on Aug 14, 2016 at 3:44 pm

      Dear Tek Lee

      Thank you for your comment. I am happy that you found this article to be useful. I agree with you that this article is is a good informative guide for beginners and even for someone who have known about Lama Tsongkhapa because it compiled a detailed information from his birth, work, achievements, until his passing. It also explains about his practice.

      Do continue to visit this blog from time to time and looking forward to seeing your other comments.

      Valentina

  14. Carsden on Aug 1, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    Thank you for sharing and giving knowlegde on Lord Tsongkapa for those who are new to Tibetan Buddhism like me.

    This extraordinary master’s legacy is really amazing and inspiring. He creates the conducive conditions for us to practice. Especially for people who really needs Dharma in this degenerating period.

    The very first buddha statue that I received from Tsem Rinpoche is Lord Tsongkapa, King of the Dharma. I like it very much when i first looked at it with his smiling and genial face. Since then, I pray to Lord Tsongkapa and Dorje Shugden everyday until now.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Valencia once again!

  15. Vivian Ong on Aug 1, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    Thank you Valencia for this detailed article about Lama Tsongkhapa. I understand better about Lama Tsongkhapa right from his birth time until his passing and also his Iconography. Lama Tsongkhapa is considered an emanation of three great bodhisattvas – Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani – as he possesses the profound qualities of enlightened compassion, wisdom and spiritual power that the three bodhisattvas embody respectively. The Migstema mantra is very powerful as it consists the qualities of the three bodhisattvas.

  16. Sock Wan on Aug 1, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    Lama Tsongkhapa received many teachings from different lineages and took the best of each lineage, combined them into one and founded Gelug lineage. He emphasised a lot on holding vows, learning Dharma and being humble. In Gelug lineage, even though all highly attained beings due to the nature of their attainment possess magical power, they will not show it as they want the practitioners to focus on learning, which eventually leads to mind transformation.

    What I find interesting is that the Migtsema prayer was originally composed by Lama Tsongkhapa for his guru but instead, his guru offered the prayer back to him. This shows Lama Tsongkhapa was indeed a highly attained lama. By reciting Migtsema we are reciting the mantras of the 3 Buddha deities, ie Manjushri, Tsongkhapa and Vajrapani. If we don’t know which mantra to recite, Migtsema will be the best to start with.

    Lama Tsongkhapa dedicated his life to reviving the pure teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni, because of him we have the opportunity to learn the precious Middle Path teaching of Nagarjuna. He left his own family at the age of 7 and did not go back home ever since. His only wish was to revive Buddha Dharma and continue to pass the teachings down. This is not something an ordinary being like us can do.

  17. Karen on Aug 1, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Thank you Valencia for this wonderful and elaborate write up about our lineage holder Lama Tsongkhapa biography. This write up is easy to understand yet comprehensive for everyone even newbie to understand, including me who find it very difficult to understand years ago.

    Since I joined Kechara, I always heard Rinpoche said by just reciting Migtsema or do Guru Yoga of Lama Tsongkhapa, we could get many benefits on different level. Just pray to 1 Buddha (TKP) we get benefits from other 3 Buddhas (Manjushri, Avalokiteshvara & Vajrapani), 3 in 1. hehe.. I did not really understand at that time. And now that everyone of us have to engage in Tsongkhapa retreat on yearly basis, I really experienced the goodness and benefits from the retreat. After the retreat, I always feel my mind becomes calmer, anger is lessened, my mind is more open, sharp and memory increased. On top of that, many of my fear has gone and I feel lighter. Honestly I was quite amazed by the result from engaging in Lama Tsongkhapa retreat.

    Lama Tsongkhapa practise and retreat is easy and suits the city people who has busy schedule like you and me.

  18. Wylfred Ng on Aug 1, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    谢谢 Valencia 的用心分享。

    宗喀巴大师是格鲁传承的创始者。 在宗喀巴大师出现之前, 佛陀和莲花生大士已经预言在14世纪宗喀巴大师即将会诞生且振兴佛法。宗喀巴大师有不同传承的上师, 也学习了很多不同传承的法门。 宗喀巴大师的著作比如菩提道次第广论、密宗道次第等等还是被沿用至今。

    宗喀巴大师时代建立的三大寺–甘丹寺、色拉寺与哲蚌寺, 到现在还继续传承着宗喀巴大师的事业, 弘扬佛法, 利益众生。

    今天在克切拉佛教中心我们还是学着宗喀巴大师所传的法, 上师詹杜固仁波切也是出自于甘丹寺。

    上师詹杜固仁波切非常推崇宗喀巴大师的上师瑜伽法。 宗喀巴大师由文殊菩萨直接得到此法门。 宗喀巴大师上师瑜伽法集合了佛陀的八万四千法门, 也集合了长寿法门、破瓦法门等等, 是一个非常完整的法门, 适合我们忙碌的现代人修行。

    感恩与随喜宗喀巴大师的佛法事业, 让我们身在末法的我们还有如此清净的法门让我们修行。

    谢谢。

  19. jerry_sito on Aug 1, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    感谢你的分享,

    尊贵的宗喀巴大师,被喻为第二佛,也是属于我们格鲁派的创始人,伟大的宗喀巴大师也就是说是我们整个格鲁派(黄教)的传承上师,在藏传佛教中,上师与传承上师是非常重要的,倘若没有了来自上师与传承上师的加持与祝福,在佛法的修行道路上,我们是很难有所成就的,因此身为格鲁派系的我们,在每天的仪轨(早课)中,我们都会念诵宗喀巴大师的上师瑜伽法与缘悲经,好让我们能够亲近自己的上师,并且得到上师的佛法教诲与开示,以及得到整个传承上师们的保护与加持,并且如果我们认真的修持宗喀巴的上师瑜伽法与缘悲经,还可以帮助我们在死亡的那一刻帮助我们投生弥勒佛的兜率净土,而且我最喜欢有关宗喀巴大师的是,他重新整顿了当时僧侣的戒律,造就了今天的藏传佛教的重要影响。

    我还记得其中一个开示是只要有供奉宗喀巴大师的地方,宗喀巴大师的佛像,能够加持与祝福这个地方,并且能够帮助那一个地方增长与远离贫苦,现代的人都在忙绿的都市生活与灯红酒绿宛如走马灯的生活了,人们总是忙着赚钱,找寻爱情等,然而内心却是充满空洞,与充满忧郁,忧郁症是当下十分普遍的都市病,然而宗喀巴大师的缘悲经对于忧郁症,心情时常低落的人有非常强大的治愈能量,所以修持宗喀巴大师都我们是十分有利的。

    谢谢
    Jerry sito

  20. samfoonheei on Aug 1, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Thank You Valencia for sharing this informative article on Lord Tsongkapa “s life.Lama Tsongkhapa is an emanation of three great bodhisattvas – Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani – Interesting reading it …at least i could understand better. We fortunate to have Rinpoche making the practice that easy for us to practice in away reconnecting link with Lama Tsongkhapa too.May all us be blessed under Rinpoche and hoping the ban of Dorje Shugden be lifted soon.
    Thanks Rinpoche and Valencia again.

  21. Su Ming on Jul 24, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    WOW, this is such a good compilation of Lama Tsongkhapa biography. This really makes a good teaching material. What I really like about this article are the pictures of the monasteries, temples and even where Lama Tsongkhapa performed his purification retreat which has been inserted inside when as we go through Lama Tsongkhapa life journey.

    What I have found very profound about Lama Tsongkhapa’s story is that he manifested during the time where the rules of the Vinaya and practices had degenerated. And this I find it very similar to what we are doing in Kechara Forest Retreat under our spiritual guide, Tsem Rinpoche. I have been lucky enough to be expose to the monasteries for the past few years. Gone were the days that parents actually encouraged their children to be in the monastic environment. Instead, monasteries has to recruit young monks who are from the poor villages and majority of them when they come to age, they have decided to go back to the samsaric world. Therefore, what Rinpoche wants to achieve in Kechara as a whole is important cause is bridging the gap between the new modern and even more degenerated world today with what Lama Tsongkhapa restored.

  22. Eric kksiow on Jul 15, 2016 at 1:35 am

    Thank You Valencia for detailed Lama Tsongkhapa article. It’s great to re-read again in “Detailed”.

    Always amazed by Lama Tsongkhapa due thru his practices and ethic in Dharma at his young age.

    Thank You
    Eric kksiow

  23. Mingwen on Jul 15, 2016 at 12:37 am

    “The young Lama Tsongkhapa continued his journey to Gungtang, where he studied the eight branches of medical diagnosis under the guidance of the great physician Lhadje Konchok Kyab. He studied medicine in order to show his pure dedication towards following the bodhisattva’s codes of conduct. A bodhisattva should train in every art and science that would be of benefit to others. Although he mastered the medical treatises, he never actually practised medicine. However, because of his medical skills, other physicians would often consult him regarding the best possible treatment for their patients.”

    By reading this section, I realised that every actions that Lama Tsongkhapa did were for the sake to benefit all sentient beings. Thus, being selfless and have good motivations are definitely the main qualities to be a better person. I am feeling extremely fortunate to have the chance to have a link with him( Lama Tsongkhapa, the Second Buddha) and do his practice.

  24. Pastor Henry Ooi on Jul 14, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    Monks and lay practitioners of the Gelug lineage rely very much on the teaching of dharma by Lama Tsongkapa, who in turn, learned from his gurus and his gurus learned from their gurus, and so on. This unbroken lineage dates way back to the historical Buddha. Monks and lay practitioners of the Gelugpa lineage have been engaging in the practice of Dorje Shugden for hundreds of years. The ban enforced by the Tibetan leadership on the practice is destroying the teachings and lineage of Lama Tsongkhapa. Dharma practices are now being eradicated from within its own camp and not from outer forces. What happened to loving compassion, kindness, tolerance, acceptance, giving, equality, wisdom? Why practice, pray and dedicate the merit to all sentient beings? Are Dorje Shugden practitioners not sentient beings?

  25. nicholas on Jul 14, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    From the articles we can see that Lama Tsongkhapa is an important saint as during Buddha Shakyamuni time that he already prophesied Lama Tsongkhapa would be reborn as the emanation of Manjushri, the Buddha of Wisdom that will revive Buddhism from the degeneration.

    The existence of Lama Tsongkhapa is very important during that time to revive the monastic value and the establishment of Gelug lineage that produce to many great master that continue to turn the wheel of dharma. Even such a great being like him, would still need to do purification practice to purify the karma in order to achieve attainment. Great learn from this biography.

  26. pammie yap on Jul 14, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    Reading Lord Tsongkhapa’s bio is as interesting as reading Rinpoche’s bio. Both of them are full of wisdom, pure Guru devotion and always thinking of benefitting others with the best motivation. Especially when Tsongkhapa built Gaden and Rinpoche, Kechara Forest Retreat.

    Reading through Tsongkhapa life’s works really amaze me. From young age till His passing, He learned so well, so fast and so much! Not only that, He combined everything and made it easy for us to learn. Even when He knew it was time to ‘leave’, He still made prayers. For Dharma to exist forever!! How inspiring is that prayer!!

    Thank you Tsongkhapa, Rinpoche and Valencia for this beautiful writeup! ??
    May all sentient beings never be separated from Dharma in all lives till we are Enlightened.

  27. Pastor Ong Moh Mei on Jul 14, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    That is one long elaborate story of Lama Tsongkhapa’s life. One thought that comes to mind is did Lama Tsongkhapa become enlightened due to all His learnings, practices and great deeds in that lifetime or what He has demonstrated was due to Him being already enlightened (as He was the emanation of Manjushri).

    If enlightened beings and their emanations are the ones performing all the great dharma deeds and just “pretending” to go through the motions of practicing the path to enlightenment, how much hope does that give normal humans to be able to get anywhere.

    The life of Lama Tsongkhapa is beyond my level of comprehension and understanding.

  28. June Kang on Jul 14, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    看宗喀巴大师的生平,很清楚说到宗喀巴大师不是一个普通的人,宗喀巴大师从3岁至16岁所学是让人很惊讶,惊讶他的智慧, 这显示宗喀巴大师是文殊菩萨的化身。

    宗喀巴大師在其六十二年的歲月裡,所成就的學習、修行、著作、教授及閉關不可思議,一般人要在畢生完成上述其中一項成就都是不太可能的。

    作者对宗喀巴大師的出生、出家、学习做了全面而翔实的记述。

  29. Jace Chong on Jul 14, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    Thanks Rinpoche and Valencia for the compilation of this great Guru of the time.

    Personally I am very grateful that my spiritual journey on Tibetan Buddhism started with Tsongkhapa. Many years ago I was in a great grief of losing 2 of my colleagues, a friend gave me a A5 size card printed a praise to Tsongkhapa. Out of no where my faith on this yellow hat Lama grows and I read the praise everyday before I sleep or when I miss my friends who passed away. My pain was lighter and gradually I heal from the grief.

    From this article, we can see how Lama Tsongkhapa took steps to reach enlightenment as an ordinary being. However, his ability since young to memorize and understand so many powerful scriptures made him an extraordinary person. His purification retreats show us a highly respected scholar with vast knowledge need to purify his negative karma to go to the next level of his path. I might not able to have great wisdom to learn so much as Lama Tsongkhapa, however the purification methods are something easy to start with.

    LamaTsongkhapa ‘s walked a life that’s inspiring in every part of it. Contemplating on Lama Tsongkhapa good qualities give me hopes that there’s answer for every question, there’s solution for every problem.

    Thank you.

  30. Julia Tan on Jul 14, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    We are fortunate to meet the pure lineage of Lord Tsongkhapa in this life time through our precious guru H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche. What’s amazing me about Lord Tsongkhapa was his dedication to the Dharma. Lord Tsongkhapa used his whole life to seek for the pure Dharma and bring them all back together. Not only benefited the people of Tibet but the whole world now. He used his body as an example to show the people that any one of us can achieve perfection which is enlightenment if we dedicated fully and practice fully. He showed us that’s no easy way nor miracles nor super natural power but to practice sincerely. We all have a chance to accomplish enlightenment.

  31. Uncle Lai on Jul 14, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    During the time of Buddha Shakyamuni a small boy presented Lord Buddha with a crystal mala. Upon receiving the mala Buddha Shakyamuni placed his hands on the boy’s head and predicted to one of his disciples Ananda. He said that this boy would be reborn in the land of the snow (Tibet) and would revive the teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni in the era of degeneration. Buddha Shakyamuni also prophesied that this boy would be reborn as emanation of Manjushri, the Buddha of wisdom and he would be called Sumati Kirti or Lobsang Drakpa in Tibetan. This boy would be reborn as Lama Tsonghkapa a notable Buddhist teacher.

    The year prior to Lama Tsonghkapa’s birth his parents had auspicious dreams. His farther Lubum Ge dreamt of a monk from Five Peak Mountain (Wu Tai San) in China. The monk travelling from afar requested shelter in his home for nine months and Lubum Ge gladly accepted.

    Shingza Acho, Lama Tsongkhapa’s mother had auspicious dream too. She dreamt that she was in a garden among 1000 other women. Also present there was a boy and girl very nice and beautifully dressed. The boy approached each of the women and asked the girl which woman was a suitable vessel. The girl chose Shingza Acho. Upon choosing Shingza Acho they bathed her in order to purify her.

    In the first month after his conception Lama Tsongkhapa’s farther dreamt of the bodhisattva, Vajrapani who threw a Vajra from his pure land which fell and melted into his wife’s body. (Shingza Acho)

    In 1357 Shingza Acho dreamt of monks carrying ritual items as offerings to Avalakiteshvera, requesting his appearance. Avalakiteshvera finally appear in a form of a holy body very huge in size up in the sky and shining brightly like the sun. As Alavakiteshvera approached Shingza Acho he diminished in size and melted into her body.

    The auspicious dreams of his parents confirmed Lama Tsongkhapa as the emanation of Manjustri, Vajrapani and Avalakiteshvara,

  32. Alice Tay on Jul 13, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    好喜欢这片博文。因为这片博文可以让我们更加了解有关宗喀巴大师的故事。

    在宗喀巴大师还未出世前,他的父母亲陆陆续续的发梦到一些吉祥梦直到宗喀巴大师出世。而最令本人敬佩的是宗喀巴大师从小聪颖过人,大师可以透过观察他的上师阅读后,他就会随着诵读与写出佛法经典。在大师七岁那年就离开父母亲,然后八岁那年授出家戒。如果与现今社会相比,我相信没有多少人可以像宗喀巴大师年纪轻轻就有如此的坚定与坚信佛法。

    除此,宗喀巴大师曾为他的上师仁达瓦作緣悲经來赞颂其师。然而仁达瓦却将原颂末后的两句改成赞颂宗喀巴大師。後來,此颂成为赞颂宗喀巴大師的緣悲经。而此缘悲经至今是依然令人感动与舒缓人心。

    感谢上师尊贵的詹杜固仁波切以及Valencia用心的与大家分享此博文。

  33. Albert on Jul 12, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    Thank you Valencia for such detail Bio of Lama Tsongkhapa, many of us has heard about Lama Tsongkhapa and got bits and pieces of info about him but not as detail as in this Bio.

    Reading this bio of lama Tsongkhapa, it feel like I’m walking through his life, his work and his life is really amazing, Lama Tsongkhapa work so tirelessly in his life to spread Dharma, to revive Dharma that was taught by Buddha Shakyamuni, he travelled from 1 place to another place to learn the Dharma and combine it and founded Gelug Tradition, this is not an easy task at all, but Lama Tsongkhapa has done it, imagine the challenges he has to go through.

    If without Lama Tsongkhapa selfless contribution towards Dharma, we all would not be here to practice our spiritual path. Rinpoche today is doing the same, he work tirelessly, he build kechara Forest Retreat is to benefit the people in the many years to come, just like Lama Tsongkhapa building Gaden in Tibet.

  34. Valentina Suhendra on Jun 26, 2016 at 12:44 am

    Dear Valencia

    Thank you for this comprehensive article about Lama Tsongkhapa. I learned a lot from reading it. I have been praying to Lama Tsongkhapa and when I established a premise for Yayasan Kechara Indonesia back in year 2011, my teacher, H.E. the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche gave me a 3ft Lama Tsongkhapa statue, which is a very beautiful object of veneration.

    I hope your comprehensive article will attract a lot of people to the practice of Lama Tsongkhapa.

    Valentina

  35. Stella Cheang on Jun 18, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    Lama Tsongkhapa in his previous incarnation, was a young boy who offered a clear crystal rosary to Buddha and received a conch shell in return. The Buddha prophesied that the boy will be born in Tibet, would found a great monastery and be instrumental in spreading Buddha’s doctrine in Tibet. Lama Tsongkhapa through his eclectic and analytic studies and meditations in all the major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, resulted in the founding of the Gelugpa system of the Tibetan Buddhist heritage.

    It is truly inspiring to find out how Lama Tsongkhapa’s quest in search for Dharma knowledge and later on be instrumental in reforming the Buddhist practice in Tibet. Lama Tsongkhapa revived the Buddha’s teaching by following the method of Atisha. He emphasized on morality and especially strict discipline with monasticism. His great attempt to revive monastic discipline is considered the most important of his greatest deeds.

    Lama Tsongkhapa also founded the three Great monasteries of Tibet. These monasteries are Gaden, Sera and Drepung. Gaden Monastery being the first monastic institution of the Gelugpa school has significant meaning to Gelug lineage followers. The construction of Gaden Monastery was entrusted to one of Lama Tsongkhapa’s main disciples, Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltse. He built the temple in accordance with the rules of Vinaya and with great perseverance.

    Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltse was one of the closest heart disciples of the great Lama Tsongkhapa. He would later on arose as world peace enlightened Dharma Protector, Dorje Shugden to protect Lama Tsongkhapa’s teaching.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Valencia for this informative sharing.

    Humbly, bowing down,
    Stella Cheang

  36. Uncle Eddie on Jun 18, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Lord Tsongkapa holds a unique position in Tibetan Buddhist Tradition – all in one, he was said to be the greatest Philosopher, the most eloquent writer, and the most successful Teacher and organiser of Tibetan Buddhism who ever lived in this World. It is said that everywhere a young scholar goes, he is surrounded by the great Master’s influence. The very monastery in which he walks, has been founded either by Lord Tsongkapa or one of his direct desciples; Ganden in 1409 by the Lord himself; Drepung in 1416 by Jamyang Chuje Tashi Pelden, and Sera in 1419 by Jamchen Chuje Shakya Yeshe. The very robes that the monk wears were part designed by Lord Tsongkapa. When he sits down and fingers his beads, he may well be counting the famous and powerful Migtsemas mantra; the tibetan equivalent of hail Mary’s, in supplication to Lord Songhkapa. Lord Tsongkapa, possessing the profound qualities of enlightened compassion, wisdom and spiritual power of Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani, is considered to be an emanation of the three great bodisattvas. This is for the purpose of spreading the pure teachings of Lord Buddha Shakyamuni, and benefitting all sentient beings. Thank you so much Valencia, for the sharing of your well-written and comprehensive write-ups, which make reading so enlightening!

  37. Valencia Suhendra on Jun 18, 2016 at 12:04 am

    Dear friends,

    Thank you for the kind comments. I am very impressed with Lama Tsongkhapa’s dedication to the Dharma. I must admit, I felt a little bit intimidated by the topic, considering Lama Tsongkhapa was one of the great Buddhist teachers of all time. I must give two thumbs up to him. All he had learnt in his lifetime was probably equivalent to the highest level of learning of today, multiplied by 1 million times. I am glad that his legacy endures til today. I hope this article can bring blessing and give knowledge on Lama Tsongkhapa’s life.

    Valencia

  38. Pastor Niral Patel on Jun 17, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    This biography of the great Lama Tsongkhapa is very concise in its explanation of his life and does so in a manner that is easy to understand. There are a few such concise biographies around, but Valencia’s is well written and informative. In fact there are some points in the biography that unique that i have found in other succinct biographies.

    Valencia has taken the time to explain the prophecies concerning Lama Tsongkhapa as well as how these prophecies came to pass. It is interesting that a lot of biographies state that there were prophecies but do necessarily explain how they were fulfilled. This biography also contains a short description on the Three Bodhisattvas that Tsongkhapa is an emanation of. We gain the blessings of these great beings when we engage in the practice of Lama Tsongkhapa. In fact, when we engage in Lama Tsongkhapa’s practice we also make a strong connection with the future Buddha Maitreya as well, as Lama Tsongkhapa currently resides in Tushia Pureland, which is ruled by Maitreya at the current point in time.

    I remember when first coming across His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche’s teachings, i found a wealth of information and prayers dedicated to Lama Tsongkhapa. I found this information to be useful in my own life and began engaging in Lama Tsongkhapa’s Guru Yoga (https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/tsongkapas-daily-practice-video-commentary.html) This really had a very strong impact on my mind, especially coupled with readings of Lama Tsongkhapa’s biography.

    Thank you Valencia for writing this, it has helped me in my understanding of Lama Tsongkhapa’s life in a very nice and easy to understand manner.

  39. Vivian Ong on Jun 16, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    I would like to thank Rinpoche and Valentina for this article. I was able to understand more and in details about the history of Lama Tsongkhapa and his great works and also attainments. We must therefore practice the Guru Yoga intensively if we want to gain the same attainments as Lama Tsongkhapa. _/\_

  40. shelly tai on Jun 16, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Thank you Valencia for this explanation of Lama Tsongkhapa. I personally think the practice is fantastic because by reciting the mantra of Migtsema one can get protection of three Buddhas which is Cherezig, Manjushri, and vajrapani, I think is the most suitable practice for our the lay people because nowadays people are busy and also complain not enough of time to practice.

  41. sonny tan on Jun 16, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Thank you Valentina for this write up on Lama Tsongkhapa, the name Tsongkhapa is relatively new to me although I do notice him at Kechara Paradise. We usually goes there to purchase our incense and other praying paraphernalia but it did not register any interest in me,the only time I became more aquainted with Tsongkhapa was at KFR in February this year. I did not know that he even existed as coming from a Hinanaya background the only enlightened person I prayed to is Lord Gautama Buddha who I still do my sadhana in the morning and taking refuge in the Budhha, Dhamma and Sangha.
    I must admit that learning tantric and paying homage, setting up an Tibetan altar, mantra reciting is pretty ritualistic at the start of my journey because having been exposed to the Theravadan way I do find it pretty difficult.
    It was my wife a Christian that was at the forefront on my journey into Tibetan Buddhism, she began to purchase many Buddhist items from Kechara Paradise. Prior to that on one ocassion when my daughter was having her SPM exam she did some candle lighting and etc..at Kechara Paradise.
    Surprisingly, my daughter’s SPM result was exceptional with flying colours on all subjects and they always say the rest is history.
    I began to invest in book such as ‘Liberation in the palms of your hands’ and immersed myself and trying to digest and grasp into its meaning. Though some chapters are difficult to comprehend I decided that I will need to invest in books at my level and I began my purchasing spree in to books such as ‘Tsongkhapa a simple guide to a powerful practice’ ‘The promise’ ‘If not now when’ ‘Guru for Hire’and also the box set.
    Today, after having a glimpse into the history of Lama Tsongkhapa after four months that I am begining to understand his role as the second Budhha of our generation. However, it is a pretty good start for both of us into Tibetan Buddhism and I must admit that it was my wife’s change that propel and encourage me to learn more.

  42. Martin on Jun 16, 2016 at 2:16 am

    Another good writeup by Valencia who is the blog’s rising star.

    Lama Tsongkhapa’s practice must surely be the quintessential practice today for its relative simplicity and at the same time the ability to convey tremendous benefits. Therefore I appreciate very much how this important post is easy to digest and yet not losing any of its key essence.

    Whilst I value all sects and schools of Buddhism, it has always given me great comfort and confidence that Lama Tsongkhapa’s coming was prophesied by Buddha Shakyamuni himself, not to mention Guru Rinpoche as well.

    There have been times when people questioned the legitimacy of Tibetan Buddhism and yet one wonders why the Buddha not only prophesied but also allowed Ganden to be set up, and even instructed for the conch shell to be buried where Ganden would be built? Ganden is synonymous with the Gelug lineage founded by Lama Tsonglhapa.

    What is of concern is how this illustrious and important Tibetan Buddhist School is experiencing such upheavals because of the Dorje Shugden ban.

  43. Jill Yam on Jun 15, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    I love Lama Tsongkhapa practice as it is a simple yet powerful practice as I am praying to the embodiment of 3 Great Buddhas at one time – Manjushri, Avalokiteshvara and Vajrapani.
    The mantra of Migtsema when recited helps to clear our mind and negative disturbances and improve our memory.

    As Lama Tsongkhapa’s birth is prophecy by Buddha Shakyamuni how can one go wrong with this practice. I have been doing the Gaden Lhagyalma of Je Tsongkhapa daily and it has improved my memory as well.
    Thank you Valencia for this beautiful sharing.

  44. Adeline Tan on Jun 15, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    I like Lama Tsongkhapa practice because it is simple no need initiation and yet a very powerful practice. Lama Tsongkhapa is the embodiment of the 3 great Bodhisattvas, they are Avalokitesvara (compassion),Manjushri (wisdom) and Vajrapani (power). The mantra of Lord Tsongkhapa is Mitseyma, it is so powerful that by reciting Mitseyma can help improve memory, counter depression and calm our mind. It can also purify our negative karma and protect us from evil forces. In every prayer and the sadhana we do we will have to do Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga first.Therefore the Great Lama Tsongkhapa is regarded as the King of the Dharma.Thank you Valecia for this detailed and well written article.

  45. Fong on Jun 15, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Lama Tsongkhapa practice is, to me, a short cut practice as I don’t have to individually practice Avalokitesvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani. Lama Tsongkhapa is regarded as an emanation of all three Buddhas. So, when I do one practice, I propitiate all three – symbolises the compassion, wisdom and power/qualities of the Buddhas, the strength of the Dharma.

    As the prophecy of Lama Tsongkhapa’s arrival was made by the Buddha Shakyamuni himself, how can I go wrong is following Lama Tsongkhapa and his teachings? Lama Tsongkhapa has shown by example what one has to do on the dharma path, though not necessarily the path of the ordained but the laity as well.

    So much to learn, but thanks, Pastor David for condensing the life of Lama Tsongkhapa and the practice for us.

    • Fong on Jun 15, 2016 at 6:17 pm

      Thanks, Valencia for a comprehensive and well written article.

    • CindyH on Jun 16, 2016 at 10:09 pm

      So blessed that we have a practice that is condensed and made so easy for us to practice devoid of many strenuous commitments, complicated visualizations and long prayers that take hours but yet incredibly powerful. Apart from embodying the holy triad of Bodhisattvas (Avalokitesvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani), it is also interesting to note that Lama Tsongkhapa arises from the heart of Maitreya Buddha. Logically since Lord Tsongkhapa emanates from the heart of the Buddha Maitreya, then it would not be far-fetched to say that one gains a special connection to Buddha Maitreya through Lama Tsongkhapa. And since the next Buddha to appear after Buddha Shakyamuni is Buddha Maitreya, it can be said that its like getting a four in one rather than just three in one.

  46. Pastor David Lai on Jun 15, 2016 at 4:13 am

    I am delighted to see a great biography of Lama Tsongkhapa published here on Rinpoche’s blog. To be honest, I found his biography quite difficult to read many years ago when I was new to Tibetan Buddhism because it contains many Buddhist jargons and terms. Hence, I would expect the same here but I find it to be rather complete and has many additional explanations not found in other biographies. It even explains the 3 great Bodhisattvas that Lama Tsongkhapa embodies and what they represent.

    I have always been a fan of Lama Tsongkhapa and what he represents. To me, Lama Tsongkhapa represents great harmony between the powers of wisdom, compassion and skilful means. But ultimately, he represents Buddhist scholarship of the highest order and the special wisdom to glean meaning and insight into the subtlest of the Buddha’s teachings. Personally, I love to read, hear and absorb Dharma and Lama Tsongkhapa’s special blessings appeal to me in this manner.

    I guess, I have been heavily influenced by Rinpoche’s school of thought – which is his absolute love for all forms of Manjushri (including Lama Tsongkhapa) because he blesses one to be smart and insightful.

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  • S.Prathap
    Monday, Jul 13. 2020 03:33 PM
    Sailing stones, are a geological phenomenon where rocks move and slide across the surface or on long tracks along a smooth valley floor .Scientist have been wondering how these happened and puzzled by the mysterious “sailing stones .

    Actually we need to thank the mother earth for creating all the wonders and miracles.Thank you very much for this good sharing.

    https://bit.ly/2CxqENS
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jul 13. 2020 12:30 PM
    Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen was considered as an emanation of Lama Tsongkhapa. He was one of the principal disciples of Je Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. He was the founder of Tsunmo Tsal and built Ganden Monastery in Tibet. A great holder of the vinaya, well known and respected by many. With his incredible devotion and commitment that he had promise to arise as an Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden to preserve the lineage of Tsongkhapa teachings.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this interesting sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/duldzin-drakpa-gyeltsen.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jul 13. 2020 12:28 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for the precious Dharma teachings. Giving teachings in the early sunrise is indeed wonderful. Watching sunrise and spending a moment listening Rinpoche’s teaching will brighten the day with positive energy.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/sunrise-dorje-shugden-puja-in-kechara-forest-retreat.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jul 13. 2020 12:26 PM
    Thich Nhat Hanh is truly a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist, revered around the world for his powerful teachings on mindfulness. He is the founder of the Plum Village Tradition where he spent most of his later life residing at the Plum Village Monastery in France. He is one of the best known and most respected Zen masters in the world today. He has been travelling internationally to give retreats and teachings. He finally made a surprise decision to go back to his root country in Vietnam . Interesting read of a great spiritual leader who has won him several awards for his incredible work of spreading compassion around the world solely just to benefits others.He has authored more than 100 books on various subjects and commentaries on ancient Buddhist texts.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/thich-nhat-hanh-the-icon-of-peace-and-courage.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Jul 12. 2020 02:20 PM
    Most Chinese people believe in Buddhism. So there are countless religious sites in this vast land. China has such an incredibly long history that it makes sense that there would be a lot of places of interest where holy relics were kept. It would be wonderful to go spiritually enriching, going on pilgrimage to all these Holy scared places as mentioned. Interesting to read with lots of information making the trip much easier . Its amazing there are so many temples where holy Buddha relics been kept. Looking at it merely tells us all and is a blessing connected with the spiritual qualities of the Buddha. Interesting read and beautiful pictures shared.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Stella for this wonderful sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/holy-relic-sites-of-china-very-interesting.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Jul 12. 2020 02:19 PM
    Kechara Oasis serves good and healthy foods for most its vegetarian. Kechara Oasis founded by our Lama Tsem Rinpoche caters to fine, high quality, delicious food leaves a deep impression on our nature. Looking at those pictures tells us more. Well decorated those foods shown. We can live and be healthy without killing animals for food. Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life. As our Lama had always encouraged us to on vegetarian to save animals .
    Choosing to go on vegetarian is the best choice. One of these day I will go KO to try those delicious dishes.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/liaisons/look-at-the-food.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Jul 12. 2020 02:17 PM
    A mandala offering in Tibetan Buddhism is a symbolic offering of the entire universe to the Buddha . Its very meritorious to do this practice with the purpose of helping us to transform our ordinary minds and offering away our ego to gain enlightenment. Mandala offering is a powerful method or a preliminary practice for accumulating extensive merit. The mandala offering is more like training us to develop the mind that takes delight and joy in making other people happy. In doing so, we create a vast collection of merits and it’s important that our visualization is clear and well fully concentration. I still plenty to learn from this post and will read again time from time to understand better.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful profound teachings.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/mandala-offering-a-powerful-method-to-accumulate-merits.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jul 11. 2020 02:22 PM
    Avalokitesvara is one of the most famous bodhisattvas in Buddhism. Of the many bodhisattvas, it is identified specifically as the embodiment of compassion and as such has been worshipped throughout Buddhist Asia. Beautiful statue of of 1000-armed Avalokitesvara been offered to Rinpoche. A beautiful gift indeed. The bodhisattva seeks the full and complete enlightenment of Buddhahood out of compassionate concern for the salvation of all sentient beings. Very auspicious and meritorious to have one in the home .
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this beautiful statue given by Joshua and family from Singapore .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/beautiful-1000-armed-avalokitesvara.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jul 11. 2020 02:19 PM
    Well said by Jayadevi that as a Buddhist we need to behave well setting a good example to all. Behaving well to practice the Dharma and will inspire more people to practice. We create beauty with our attitude, our behaviour, our actions, will inspire people. Living in a place where we are the only one who practice Buddhism is far more important with our behaviour to gain respect and trust.
    Being a Buddhist is not that hard as long we have a proper teacher guiding us , learning and putting in actions in a correct manner . Following our teacher advice and for most to have our mind transform. We are fortunate to learn, practice Dharma from Rinpoche.
    Thank you Rinpoche with folded hands,

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/whats-the-hardest-thing-about-being-a-buddhist.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jul 11. 2020 02:17 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche and Wei Tan for this wonderful sharing . Happiness depends upon ourselves how we manage things out. It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness and seeing the happy faces of others. But when we expect too much it becomes an obstacle. Everyone chases after happiness, but few understand where it comes from. Well everything starts within ourselves, mind and in our heart. The only thing that will make us happy is being happy with who we are. To me happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude in helping others to be happy. Learning dharma has me change the way I think , it’s a choice .
    Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. — quoted Buddha

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/when-we-live-our-lives-in-an-unselfish-manner-we-have-more-happiness.html
  • sarassitham
    Friday, Jul 10. 2020 10:20 PM
    I have a strong respect for all the religions, religious places and the mode of prayers they follow. I believe it is more important to have a strong faith, and this faith will lead us on the correct path.

    Thank you for the precious sharing and bring us to the beautiful snow-covered peaks view of Gaden Monastery. I am bless to see the photo of Golden Stupa that encases the holy remains of Lama Tsongkapa’s blessed body/clothes/relics. I sure you must had enjoyed the wonderful experiences of the journey.
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 10. 2020 08:59 PM
    NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft has discovered several terrestrial-mass planets orbiting. Interesting they have discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the habitable zone . Wow… an Earth-sized world within the habitable range of its star, which could allow the presence of liquid water to exist. It has proven we are not alone in this universe where others being such as Aliens or UFO. I do believe definitely there are other unknown beings exist and other planets as well. Maybe in future , more discoveries.
    Interesting read .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/guess-what-was-found.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 10. 2020 08:58 PM
    Money is not everything in life and is not evil . But one uses it in a wrong way it creates harm and unhappiness. Money is the worst discovery in human life but it is the most trusted material to test human nature. With the money , we have use it wisely as one without money in life is tough and rough. If have more money than we need it is good to give away helping in charity and to those who needed badly. To teach our children the right way, never spoiled them with attachment. There is no easy way or short cut .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this profound teachings.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/is-wealth-evil.html
  • sarassitham
    Friday, Jul 10. 2020 12:55 AM
    The art of dinning come from the menu, style and the concept of the restaurant. I haven’t been there but the menu looks yummy. I love almost all vegetarian food that’s made from fresh and healthy ingredients. Vegetarian food leaves a deep impression of our nature. Thank you for the sharing, I wish to walk in one of these days.
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jul 9. 2020 04:41 PM
    Heart breaking after watching the video. Its really sad watching those animals including bludgeoning, neck-breaking while many are skinned alive. The way they were killed just for their fur is horrible inhumane practices. In fact those animals are confined to relatively small wire cages with little enrichment. Millions of fur-bearing animals are killed every year by trappers worldwide. For many of us, wearing fur is simply cruel, and to be avoided at all costs. China is the largest importer of fur pelts in the world and the largest exporter of finished fur products. Glad that campaign groups such as PETA have long highlighted the cruelty of such farms. Fur farming is now banned in a number of countries such as Austria, Croatia, the United Kingdom and so forth. Not only causing the suffering and deaths of millions of animals each year, the production of wool, fur, and leather contributes to climate change, land devastation, pollution, and even water contamination. Hopefully the fur industry can work together with farms with better regulations.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing to bring awareness of the cruelty of animal at fur farm.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/animal-cruelty-in-china.html

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

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

Tsem Rinpoche

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

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According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn\'t this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
5 months ago
According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn't this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden\'s blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
6 months ago
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden's blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
6 months ago
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat\'s doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
6 months ago
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat's doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
6 months ago
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
6 months 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
6 months 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.
6 months 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.
6 months 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!
6 months 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)
12 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)
12 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)
12 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
12 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
1 years ago
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
1 years ago
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
1 years ago
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
1 years ago
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat\'s land here in Malaysia
1 years ago
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat's land here in Malaysia
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
1 years ago
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
1 years ago
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
1 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
1 years ago
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
Sacred Vajra Yogini
1 years ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
1 years ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
1 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha\'s mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
1 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha's mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha\'s. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
1 years ago
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha's. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
1 years ago
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
1 years ago
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
This is pretty amazing!

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

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
1 years ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
1 years ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
1 years ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
1 years ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
1 years ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
1 years ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
1 years ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
1 years ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
1 years ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
1 years ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
1 years ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
1 years ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
1 years ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
1 years ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
1 years ago
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
1 years ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
1 years ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
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Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Pig puts his toys away
    6 months ago
    Pig puts his toys away
    Animals are so intelligent. They can feel happiness, joy, pain, sorrow, just like humans. Always show kindness to them. Always show kindness to everyone.
  • Always be kind to animals-They deserve to live just like us.
    12 months ago
    Always be kind to animals-They deserve to live just like us.
    Whales and dolphins playing with each other in the Pacific sea. Nature is truly incredible!
  • Bodha stupa July 2019-
    12 months ago
    Bodha stupa July 2019-
    Rainy period
  • Cute Tara girl having a snack. She is one of Kechara Forest Retreat’s resident doggies.
    1 years ago
    Cute Tara girl having a snack. She is one of Kechara Forest Retreat’s resident doggies.
  • Your Next Meal!
    1 years ago
    Your Next Meal!
    Yummy? Tasty? Behind the scenes of the meat on your plates. Meat is a killing industry.
  • This is Daw
    1 years ago
    This is Daw
    This is what they do to get meat on tables, and to produce belts and jackets. Think twice before your next purchase.
  • Don’t Take My Mummy Away!
    1 years ago
    Don’t Take My Mummy Away!
    Look at the poor baby chasing after the mother. Why do we do that to them? It's time to seriously think about our choices in life and how they affect others. Be kind. Don't break up families.
  • They do this every day!
    1 years ago
    They do this every day!
    This is how they are being treated every day of their lives. Please do something to stop the brutality. Listen to their cries for help!
  • What happened at Fair Oaks Farm?
    1 years 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
    1 years 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
    1 years 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.
    1 years 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
    1 years ago
    Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
  • This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 years 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
    1 years 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
    1 years 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
    1 years 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.
    1 years 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.
    1 years 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
    1 years 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
    1 years 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
    1 years 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
    1 years 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!
    2 yearss ago
    Cute!
    Oser girl loves the balcony so much. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTcoWpKJm2c
  • Uncle Wong
    2 yearss ago
    Uncle Wong
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  • Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
    2 yearss ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
  • Cute baby owl found and rescued
    2 yearss ago
    Cute baby owl found and rescued
    We rescued a lost baby owl in Kechara Forest Retreat.
  • Nice cups from Kechara!!
    2 yearss ago
    Nice cups from Kechara!!
    Dorje Shugden people's lives matter!
  • Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    2 yearss ago
    Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
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  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    3 yearss ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
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    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    3 yearss ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 yearss ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    3 yearss ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
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  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    3 yearss ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
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  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
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    3 yearss ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 yearss ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    3 yearss ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    3 yearss ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    3 yearss ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

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CHAT PICTURES

Thanks to the effort of our outstation team, we were able to mobilise food provisions to 600 families living in Kelantan, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor during the Raya period with each of these families receiving RM200 worth of provisions. Adding onto the current 368 families in Klang Valley, a total of 968 families were benefitted from this. Special thanks to the sponsors who have contributed especially Hong Leong Foundation and partially from Tesco Malaysia (where we also ordered the provisions from). ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 days ago
Thanks to the effort of our outstation team, we were able to mobilise food provisions to 600 families living in Kelantan, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor during the Raya period with each of these families receiving RM200 worth of provisions. Adding onto the current 368 families in Klang Valley, a total of 968 families were benefitted from this. Special thanks to the sponsors who have contributed especially Hong Leong Foundation and partially from Tesco Malaysia (where we also ordered the provisions from). ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
system
1 week ago
system
So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
4 weeks ago
So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 month ago
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
1 month ago
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 months ago
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 months ago
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
2 months ago
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
2 months ago
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
Wesak 2020
2 months ago
Wesak 2020
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
4 months ago
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
4 months ago
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
4 months ago
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Over 100 Kecharians & their loved ones spent the Sunday evening immersed in this obstacle pacifying puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Over 100 Kecharians & their loved ones spent the Sunday evening immersed in this obstacle pacifying puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Dakpa and Geshe Janchup Gyaltsen Lama inspecting the offering substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Dakpa and Geshe Janchup Gyaltsen Lama inspecting the offering substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Rinpoche & Geshe Janchup making last minute checks before the commencement of the Jinsek or Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Rinpoche & Geshe Janchup making last minute checks before the commencement of the Jinsek or Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The arrival of the Sangha conducting this sacred puja accompanied by Changtso Beng Kooi and Pastor Niral Patel - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The arrival of the Sangha conducting this sacred puja accompanied by Changtso Beng Kooi and Pastor Niral Patel - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The site of the Peaceful Fire Puja the calls upon the pacifying energies of Shize Shugden. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The site of the Peaceful Fire Puja the calls upon the pacifying energies of Shize Shugden. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: A close-up of the ladle. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: A close-up of the ladle. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Substances such as sticks, melted butter, kusha grass, lentils and barley were traditionally offered during the prayers to create the causes for merits, long life and to pacify obstacles. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Substances such as sticks, melted butter, kusha grass, lentils and barley were traditionally offered during the prayers to create the causes for merits, long life and to pacify obstacles. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Beautifully handcrafted torma or food offering to the Buddha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Beautifully handcrafted torma or food offering to the Buddha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Some of the many offering items & substances used during this highly blessed Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Some of the many offering items & substances used during this highly blessed Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja in Kechara Forest Retreat: A special mandala at the base where the fire puja ritual was conducted. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja in Kechara Forest Retreat: A special mandala at the base where the fire puja ritual was conducted. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Kechara Earth Project (KEP) 8/3/2020
4 months ago
Kechara Earth Project (KEP) 8/3/2020
Dear Kecharians and friends, We are pleased to announce that as part of the preparations for H.E. Tsem Rinpoche's reliquary stupas and incarnation chapel, mantra rolling sessions have begun in Kechara Forest Retreat. We are calling for volunteers to join us in this holy activity. DATE Daily starting 5th March 2020 until further notice TIME (1) Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday - 10am to 10pm (2) Thursday & Sunday - 10am to 6pm VENUE Art Studio (Kechara Saraswati Arts) Kechara Forest Retreat If you're interested, kindly contact: Wong Yew Kien 012-3717896 or Karen Chong 012-7710289 We look forward to seeing you soon!
4 months ago
Dear Kecharians and friends, We are pleased to announce that as part of the preparations for H.E. Tsem Rinpoche's reliquary stupas and incarnation chapel, mantra rolling sessions have begun in Kechara Forest Retreat. We are calling for volunteers to join us in this holy activity. DATE Daily starting 5th March 2020 until further notice TIME (1) Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday - 10am to 10pm (2) Thursday & Sunday - 10am to 6pm VENUE Art Studio (Kechara Saraswati Arts) Kechara Forest Retreat If you're interested, kindly contact: Wong Yew Kien 012-3717896 or Karen Chong 012-7710289 We look forward to seeing you soon!
Join us for a Peaceful Fire Puja based on Dorje Shugden’s pacifying form. This blessed puja will be conducted at the future site of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s outdoor reliquary stupa to pacify obstacles and for the success of the project. EVENT DETAILS • Date: Sunday, 8 March 2020 • Time: 6.00pm – 8.30pm • Venue: Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong Admission is free, all are welcome. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS FOR SPONSORS AND ATTENDEES • Healing from illness and disease • Overcoming obstacles • Purifying past negative deeds and negative karma • Calming the environment, natural disasters and calamities • Helping the deceased to take a good rebirth • Accumulation of merits for spiritual realisations and attainments
4 months ago
Join us for a Peaceful Fire Puja based on Dorje Shugden’s pacifying form. This blessed puja will be conducted at the future site of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s outdoor reliquary stupa to pacify obstacles and for the success of the project. EVENT DETAILS • Date: Sunday, 8 March 2020 • Time: 6.00pm – 8.30pm • Venue: Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong Admission is free, all are welcome. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS FOR SPONSORS AND ATTENDEES • Healing from illness and disease • Overcoming obstacles • Purifying past negative deeds and negative karma • Calming the environment, natural disasters and calamities • Helping the deceased to take a good rebirth • Accumulation of merits for spiritual realisations and attainments
Join us this weekend for Spiritual Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat! SATURDAY, 7 MARCH 9.30 am: Polish Gyenze's wish-fulfilling lamps 11.15 am: Introduction to Ayurveda 1.00 pm: Lunch INTERESTED? WhatsApp us at +6017 672 0757 to RSVP your place (and your meal!) See all March activities: bit.ly/2vAGpjF
4 months ago
Join us this weekend for Spiritual Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat! SATURDAY, 7 MARCH 9.30 am: Polish Gyenze's wish-fulfilling lamps 11.15 am: Introduction to Ayurveda 1.00 pm: Lunch INTERESTED? WhatsApp us at +6017 672 0757 to RSVP your place (and your meal!) See all March activities: bit.ly/2vAGpjF
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Dorje Shugden
Click to watch my talk about Dorje Shugden....