The Sixty-Four Yogini Temple of Hirapur, India

By | Jun 27, 2018 | Views: 1,495
The sixty-four yogini temple in Hirapur.

The sixty-four yogini temple of Hirapur

(By Tsem Rinpoche and Pastor David Lai)

The sixty-four yogini temple in Hirapur, Odisha sits on an ancient piece of land once ruled by the old Kalinga kingdom. The site is also a hotbed of various cults and religions that flourished here in ancient times. In fact, Jainism, Buddhism, Shaktaism, Saivaism and later Vaishnavism thrived on these fertile plains for centuries.

During the golden age that followed after the old Kalinga kingdom was annexed and ruled by various succeeding dynasties, Buddhism and Tantric practice flourished here, and the cult of the yogini evolved as Tantra took hold in these lands. The cult of the Sixty-Four Yoginis was one of these prevailing traditions, and it culminated in the construction of these sacred shrines to the yoginis.

 

Tantra

Tantra refers to the esoteric teachings and practices of Buddhism and Hinduism that were developed simultaneously around 500 CE. In the Buddhist tradition, the Sanskrit term “tantra” literally means “something stretched out”, like thread woven into a piece of fabric in a loom. This thread is “stretched out” to represent the everlasting mental continuum, which has no beginning and no end as we experience endless cycles of death and rebirth.

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The practice of Tantra involves tapping into the everlasting continuity of the mind. It operates on three levels — the basis, the pathway and the result. On the level of basis, the everlasting continuity of the mind is at the subtlest level, which is known as the primordial clear light mind. This is our inherent nature that we take from lifetime to lifetime. The nature of this level of mind is clarity and awareness that is free from all conceptual thought or disturbing emotions, and it is what lies beneath all experiences whether we are awake or asleep. Therefore, no passing negative or positive experience, intensity of experience or rebirth can actually affect this clear light mind. Through the practice of Tantra, one taps into this subtlest mind as a basis for attaining enlightenment, which normally surfaces briefly through the bliss of sexual union and briefly at the moment of death as we enter into the bardo – the intermediate state between death and rebirth.

The second level of Tantra is the pathway and this refers to a specific method for attaining Buddhahood, namely the meditative practice of identifying ourselves as our personal Buddha or yidam. Hence, this special tantric method is called deity yoga. Such practices are normally conferred through an initiation ritual of the specific deity during which the lama plants the seeds of Bodhicitta and accomplishment of that deity into our mind-stream. From thereon, the initiate holds vows and is normally required to engage in a daily sadhana, which involves recitation, offerings, visualisations and mantra recitations in order to identify himself/herself as the deity. As a result, the practice of Tantra is sometimes called taking the “fruit”, which is enlightenment in the form of a Buddha-deity onto the “path”, which is our daily sadhana of self-identification as the Buddha-deity.

Finally, the third level of Tantra is the resultant path, which is to merge our mind-stream with the deity and thereby achieve enlightenment. Therefore in short, Tantra involves the practice of identifying ourselves as the Buddha-deity in order to purify our mind-stream of its stains and thereby achieve the basis, which is our primordial nature of clear light — Buddhahood.

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The Cult of the Yogini

According to archaeological findings, the worship of yoginis was prevalent in the 9th century all the way through to the 13th century CE. At least nine yogini temples from this period have been unearthed, of which the best-known examples are in the states of Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in India.

Despite the fact that a yogini normally refers to a female yogi, it is also used to refer to mysterious female beings who bring about extraordinary tantric attainments for initiates. In this case, she is an adept of tantric lore in any of its various esoteric methods. Thus, the terms yogini and dakini can be used interchangeably in this instance, as they refer to the same type of being.

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Within the Chandi Purana by Sudramuni Sharala Das (15th century) of Orissa, the term yogini refers to the forms or qualities of the Supreme Goddess. Each yogini is also seen as a manifestation of different aspects of her body. However, in other religious texts, the yogini is also an attendant of the Great Goddess.

In Tibetan Buddhism, the term dakini usually refers to an attendant or entourage of a main Buddha-deity. For example, the wisdom dakinis are usually part of the entourage of tantric meditational Buddhas such as Vajrayogini, Heruka Chakrasamvara and so forth. These are enlightened dakinis who are usually emanations of the yidam or our personal meditational Buddha.

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When one engages in a sadhana, the dakinis are called forth from their natural abodes to converge at certain points in our body in order to bless, empower and purify our energy channels so we can develop true spiritual attainments. According to the lore of the dakinis, it is also said that one can acquire ‘siddhis’ or special powers with abilities like being able to transform people into animals or birds through the mastery of certain deity practices.

There are also some worldly dakinis who are known to be frightening beings that are much feared. In some Indian texts, the word dakini is also used to refer to a sorceress, witch or even a flesh-eating ghoul. Nevertheless, a unifying and essential quality of all dakinis is their ability to fly. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why temples dedicated to dakinis are usually open to the sky.

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The Sixty-Four Yoginis

The sixty-four yoginis are based on the Asta Matrakas or the eight major forms of Devi, the mother goddess. Each of these yoginis has eight attendants and when all the yoginis are assembled, they add up to sixty-four yoginis. The legend surrounding the origin of the yogini temple at Hirapur, as told by the local priest, is that the Goddess Durga assumed the form of the sixty-four yoginis in order to defeat a demon. Upon winning the battle, the yoginis turned to Durga and requested to be commemorated in the form of a temple shrine dedicated to the yoginis.

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There is also a tradition of the Sapta Matrikas or Seven Mothers and they are frequently represented on the outer walls of Shiva temples. The eighth yogini is “missing” in this case because Shiva’s consort is the eighth. These yoginis are Brahmi, Maheshvari, Aindri, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi and Chamunda.

Five out of the six Orissan yogini temples are dedicated to the goddess Chamunda. She is an awe-inspiring divine figure who appears as an emaciated old woman standing over a corpse. Her emaciated form reveals every vein and tendon while her gaping mouth and bulging eyes dominate her face. There is also a shrine of Vetali named after her manifestation as a self-arisen corpse. These are all sixty-four yogini temples and have the complete set of yoginis carved on their inner walls, while the central image is either Chamunda or Vetali. The sixth yogini temple is located in Chaurasi, Orisa and is dedicated to Varahi. She is in the form of a corpulent boar-faced divine lady. In one hand she holds a fish and her vehicle is the buffalo.

A village pond near the temple

A village pond near the Hirapur yogini temple

Aside from the yoginis, there are usually two protective and fearsome bhairava carvings, one wielding a knife and with a severed head next to the figure. Interestingly, two severed human heads take the place of the customary fruit offerings which are found on the tripods of the other images in the shrine. Some experts interpret this imagery to mean that human sacrifice was once practised in these temples.

Ancient inscriptions at the yogini temples indicate that dakini rituals were practised well into the 16th century. Thereafter, the cult diminished to the point that the temples were abandoned. However, the temples continue to see offerings left at the feet of their sacred images to this day.

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The Hirapur Yogini Temple

The plan of the Hirapur temple. Click on image to enlarge.

The plan of the Hirapur temple.
Click on image to enlarge.

The Hirapur Temple is the smallest of all known yogini temples that have been unearthed by archaeologists. This yogini temple is situated in Hirapur, which is 20km away from the eastern part of the modern capital of Odisha, Bhubaneswar. According to legend, the temple was built by Queen Hiradevi of the Bramha Dynasty in the 9th century but was later abandoned. It was only rediscovered in 1953.

The architecture of yogini temples is distinctly different from that of other temples and shrines. Almost all known yogini temples are circular and hypaethral, which means that the temple is without a roof and is open to the elements. The circular construction of the yogini temple represents the chakra — the deeply symbolic wheel that represents the universe of the deity.

The Hirapur temple was constructed entirely out of sandstone blocks. The circular wall has many niches, each enshrining a statue of a yogini. There are approximately 60 such images carved out of black granite and placed within these wall niches. This yogini temple also houses a central altar called the Chandi Mandapa, which enshrines the remaining yoginis on all four sides. Some historians believe that an image of Maha Bhairava was also once enshrined at the Chandi Mandapa.

Apart from charnel grounds, yogini temples are centres for tantric practices, the main purpose of which is to develop attainments (Skt. siddhi) or ‘supernatural powers.’ The tantric practitioner aspires to develop extraordinary control of the body and mind, bring or stop rain, attain supernatural mastery of the elements, the power to heal, wealth, or even destructive abilities.

Today, the Hirapur yogini temple is held with a mixture of awe, reverence and fear. The folk belief of never crossing a yogini (which would result in a fate worse than death) is still very much alive today. The temple caretaker/priest often warns pilgrims and tourists alike not to linger too long after dark as strange sounds are known to emanate from the temple. The yoginis are, after all, the most active at night and no one dares to enter the temple after dark for fear of being cursed by these mysterious celestial beings.

 

Temple Exterior

Two Dvarapala guardians (door guardians) are placed on either side of the temple entrance. The Dvarapala on the southern side is a two-armed male figure with ear ornaments and with a lotus creeper on the pedestal. The northern Dvarapala is a wrathful male figure with disheveled hair, protruding stomach and holds a skullcup in his left hand. There is also a lotus creeper on his pedestal.

The exterior of the temple

The exterior of the Hirapur Yogini Temple

Surrounding the temple are Nine Katyayani figures of varying heights, enshrined in niches. They are carved out of sandstone and have a yellow tinge. The Nine Katyayanis (Nine Forms of the Hindu Goddess Parvati) are:

  1. Katyayani No. 1
    A dynamic female figure with an upraised right hand brandishing a curved sword. She is adorned with necklaces and golden bangles called Churis. Two drum-beating male figures are carved on her pedestal.
  2. Katyayani No.2
    A noble female figure with braided hair tied to her left. She is adorned with golden necklaces, armlets, anklets and bracelets. A smaller male attendant on her right holds a parasol above her head. A jackal and a dog are carved on her pedestal.
  3. Katyayani No.3
    A noble female figure with braided hair tied to her left. She carries a katari dagger in her right hand and a skullcup in her left. A smaller female attendant on her right holds a parasol over her head. A jackal and a dog are carved on her pedestal.
The Nine Katyayanis. Click on image to enlarge.

Katyayanis #1-#3. Click on image to enlarge.

  1. Katyayani No.4
    A noble female figure with braided hair tied to her right. She carries a katari dagger in her right hand and a skullcup in her left. She wears an akshamala (garland of beads) on her arm. A smaller female attendant on her right holds a parasol over her head. A jackal and a dog are carved on her pedestal, as is another female attendant who is feeding the dog.
  2. Katyayani No.5
    A noble female figure with braided hair tied to her left. She is adorned with golden necklaces, armlets, anklets and bracelets. A smaller female attendant on her right holds a parasol above her head. A jackal and a dog are carved on her pedestal.
  3. Katyayani No.6
    A noble female figure with braided hair tied to her left. She carries a katari dagger in her right hand and a skullcup in her left. On her right is a tree and a smaller female attendant holding a moon crescent over her head. Two dogs are carved on her pedestal.
The Nine Katyayanis. Click on image to enlarge.

Katyayanis #4-#6. Click on image to enlarge.

  1. Katyayanis No. 7 & 8
    A noble female figure with braided hair tied to her left. She carries a katari dagger in her right hand and a skullcup in her left. A smaller female attendant on her right holds a parasol over her head. A jackal and a dog are carved on her pedestal.
  2. Katyayani No.9
    The last and smallest of the Katyayanis is a wrathful nude female figure. She brandishes a curved sword in her right hand and holds a skullcup in her left while cradling what appears to be a bow or staff. Two jackals are carved on her pedestal.
The Nine Katyayanis. Click on image to enlarge.

Katyayanis #7-#9. Click on image to enlarge.

 

Temple Vestibule

Two guardian images stand on either side of the passage. The ferocious male figure on the right, Kala Bhairav, wears a garland of skulls around his neck and snake anklets. He has a sunken belly, disheveled hair and an emaciated body. He holds a skullcup in his right hand and stands poised to attack the enemy. Underneath him are a jackal and two male attendants holding katari daggers and skullcups.

The other male figure on the left, Bikal Bhairav, is similar to the first but with a few minor differences. He holds a severed head in his left hand and beneath him, an attendant drinks blood while the other holds two skullcups.

The two guardians of the temple. Click on image to enlarge.

The two guardians of the temple. Click on image to enlarge.

 

The Yogini Images

60 yogini figures are housed in the niches along the inner walls of the circular Hirapur yogini temple.

  1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika
    She is four-armed standing in the sensual Tribhanga pose (three-curved bodily posture) upon a corpse that represents an obstacle. She possesses the braided hair of a noble woman and wears various golden ornaments like necklaces, bracelets, anklets and so forth.
  2. Tara
    She is two-armed standing on a corpse, leaning towards her right and with her left leg outstretched. Her braids of hair are tied to her left in a style that is known as Kesabandha. She wears golden ornaments similar to Yogini Maya.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Tara. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Narmada
    She is two-armed standing on an elephant and wears a garland of skulls around her neck along with various ornaments. She carries a skullcup in her left hand near her mouth and is partaking of the divine nectar/blood within. Her braids of hair are tied to her right.
  2. Yamuna
    She is four-armed and stands in the pratyalidha pose or leaning towards her right. Her mount is a large tortoise and her curly hair is in the Jatamandala style (rising over her head). She carries a skullcup in her upper right hand.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Narmada. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Yamuna. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Shanti / Kanti / Laxmi / Manada
    She is two-armed and stands atop a lotus in full bloom. She has braids of hair over her head and wears various golden ornaments along with Naga Keyura (serpent armlets). She wears a skirt of peacock feathers.
  2. Vriddhi / Kriya / Varuni
    She is two-armed and her braided hair is tied to her left. She stands in the Samabhanga pose (upright posture) upon a pedestal of waves suggesting that she is standing atop the ocean.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Shanti / Kanti / Laxmi / Manada. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Vriddhi / Kriya / Varuni. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Ajita / Gauri / Ksemankari
    She is four-armed and stands upon an alligator. Her braided hair is in a chignon and she wears various golden ornaments. She stands in the Samabhanga pose (upright posture).
  2. Aindri / Indrani
    She is two-armed and stands in the Pratyalidha pose (leaning towards her left) upon an elephant mount. Her braided hair is in a chignon and she wears various golden ornaments on her head and body.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Ajita / Gauri / Ksemankari. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Aindri / Indrani. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Varahi
    She is four-armed and has the face of a boar. Standing on top of a buffalo, she carries a skullcup with her upper left hand and cradles a bow in her left arms.
  2. Ratnavira / Padmavati
    She is two-armed and has a wrathful expression. She stands upon the hood and body of a serpent. She wears a garland of skulls and an Alaka hair ornament. She wields a sword with her right hand and her braided hair is in a chignon.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Varahi. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Ratnavira / Padmavati. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Murati / Ostragreeba
    She is four-armed and has the face of a monkey. She stands atop a long-necked camel in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture).
  2. Vaishnavi
    She is two-armed and possesses a graceful face. Her curling hair is adorned with a Sarpa Mukuta and she wears various golden ornaments. She rides on a garuda.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Murati / Ostragreeba. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Vaishnavi. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Virupa / Kalaratri / Panchavarahi
    She is two-armed and has a graceful figure with beautiful braids of hair over her head. She stands smiling atop a boar in the Tribhanga pose (three-curved bodily posture).
  2. Vadyaroopa
    She is two-armed with braids of hair over her head. She stands in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture) atop a drum.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Virupa / Kalaratri / Panchavarahi. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Vadyaroopa. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Charchika
    She is two-armed and stands in the Tribhanga pose (three-curved bodily posture) atop a curly-haired male figure crouching on the ground. He holds a lotus stem in his right hand and a katari dagger is tucked at his waist.
  2. Marjari / Betali
    She is four-armed and stands in the Samabhanga pose (upright posture) on a fish. Her hair is braided over her head. She wears a garland of skulls along with other golden ornaments.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Charchika. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Marjari / Betali. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Chinnamastaka
    She is four-armed and stands on top of a severed head. She holds a bow in one of her left hands and stands in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture). Her hair is braided into a chignon.
  2. Vrisabhanana / Bindhya Basini
    She is two-armed and has a wrathful buffalo face. She has disheveled hair (Jatamandal) and stands on a flat-roofed house or cave with a hole in the middle.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Chinnamastaka. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Vrisabhanana / Bindhya Basini. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Jalakamini
    She is two-armed and stands atop a large frog. Her braided hair is tied to her right and her ornaments and clothing are decorative. She stands in the Tribhanga pose (three-curved bodily posture).
  2. Ghatavara
    She is two-armed and stands in a dancing posture atop a lion. She holds an elephant hide over her head.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Jalakamini. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Ghatavara. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Vikarali / Kakarali
    She is a two-armed graceful figure standing atop a dog. Her braided hair is tied to her right in the Kesabandha style and her right foot is held tightly by both hands and placed on top of her left thigh. She appears to be adjusting an anklet.
  2. Saraswati
    She is four-armed and stands atop a giant serpent. She has a strange moustache and twirls the end of it with one of her left hands. She carries a stringed musical instrument called a tumuru off her shoulder and has intricate braids of hair.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Vikarali / Kakarali. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Saraswati. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Birupa
    She is two-armed and stands atop a wavy pedestal. Her hair is braided and she stands in the Dwibhanga posture (two-curved bodily posture).
  2. Kauveri
    She is two-armed and stands in a dancing pose upon seven Ratna Kalasas (jewels) on a fully bloomed lotus. Her hair is braided in the Kesabandha style and is ornamented by mukuta and kirita. She is adorned with various golden ornaments.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Birupa. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Kauveri. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Bhalluka
    She is two-armed with a boar’s face and her hair is raised in the style of Jatamandal. She stands atop a platform of lotus creepers and holds a damaru in her right hand.
  2. Narasimhi / Simhamukhi
    She is four-armed and has the face of a lioness. Her mane-like hair is in the style of Jatamandal and she holds a pot-like object in her lower hands. She dances atop a platform of five flowers and leaves.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Bhalluka. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Narasimhi / Simhamukhi. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Biraja
    She is a graceful two-armed figure with her braided hair tied to her right. She stands atop a lotus bud with leaves in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture).
  2. Vikatanana
    She is two-armed with a wrathful expression and protruding lips. Her curly matted hair is in the style of Sarpa Mukuta.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Biraja. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Vikatanana. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Mohalaxmi
    She is two-armed and stands atop a lotus in full bloom. She wears an unusual garland of snakes known as Sarpamala and holds a vajra in her right hand and a shield in her left. Her hair is braided to her right in the Kesabandha style.
  2. Kaumari
    She is a graceful two-armed figure standing atop a peacock while holding an akshamala (garland of beads) in her right hand and a shield in her left. She wears golden ornaments just like the other yoginis. Her hair is braided to her right in the Kesabandha style and she stands in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture).
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Mohalaxmi. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Kaumari. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Mahamaya
    As the presiding yogini of the temple, she is slightly larger than the other yoginis enshrined here. She has 10 arms and stands atop a lotus in full bloom. A squarish Shakthi Peetha, representing a holy place of cosmic power, is below her feet. She is adorned with golden ornaments including necklaces, anklets, armlets and a bejewelled girdle. The locals know the temple as Mahamaya Temple, which is named after her.
  2. Usa / Rati
    She is a two-armed figure with a wrathful expression and upraised curly hair known as Jatamandal. She stands in a bended knee pose upon a pedestal that depicts an archer holding a bow and arrow in hand, ready to shoot.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Mahamaya. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Usa / Rati. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Karkari
    She is a two-armed graceful lady standing on a crab. Her braids of hair are tied to her left in the Kesabandha style. She stands regally in the Tribhanga pose (three-curved bodily posture) and wears various golden ornaments.
  2. Sarpasha / Chittala
    She is a four-armed figure standing in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture). She has the face of a snake and is adorned with various golden ornaments. The pedestal upon which she stands is broken and it is therefore uncertain what mount she rides on.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Karkari. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Sarpasha / Chittala. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Yosha
    She is two-armed and stands in the Tribangha pose (three-curved bodily posture) on a cot with four legs. She has elaborate braided hair in the style of Jatamukuta, adorned with Kirita and Mukuta ornaments.
  2. Aghora / Vaivasvati
    She is a two-armed figure with a wrathful expression and bulging eyes. She stands atop a horned goat-like animal and her hair is raised over her head. She stands in the sensual Dvibhanga posture (two-curved bodily posture)
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Yosha. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Aghora / Vaivasvati. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Bhadrakali / Rudrakali
    She is a two-armed figure standing on a crow. Her braided hair looks like flames and she carries a sword in her right hand. Her clothes have many intricate designs and she stands in the straight Samabangha pose.
  2. Matangi / Shitala / Vainayaki / Ganeshani / Gajanana
    She is a two-armed, elephant-faced pot-bellied dakini. Her mount is a donkey and she has Jatamukuta-styled hair.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Bhadrakali / Rudrakali. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Matangi / Shitala / Vainayaki / Ganeshani / Gajanana. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Bindhyabalini
    She is a two-armed figure with carefully braided hair tied to her right. She stands in the Pratyalidha pose (right knee bent) on a rat and holds a bow and arrow, poised to shoot.
  2. Abhaya / Veera Kumari
    She is a four-armed figure standing in a dancing pose upon a scorpion. Her upper arms are raised. Her carefully braided hair is in the Jatamukuta style and she wears various golden ornaments all over her body.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Bindhyabalini. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Abhaya / Veera Kumari. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Maheswari
    She is a four-armed figure standing in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture) atop a bull. Her braided hair is tied to her right in the refined Kesabandha manner and she wears many golden ornaments.
  2. Kamakshi / Ambika
    She is a four-armed figure standing in the bent knee pose on two wheels, below which is a mongoose. Her hair is braided and tied to her right in the Kesabandha style. She holds a damaru in her upper right hand and her two lower hands are on her knees.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Maheswari. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Kamakshi / Ambika. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Kamayani
    She is a two-armed figure and stands in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture) atop a rooster. Her braided hair is tied to her right in the Kesabandha style and she is adorned with various golden ornaments.
  2. Ghatabari
    She is a two-armed figure standing in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture) on a lion. She has curly hair tied up with various ornaments in a style known as Karanda Mukuta.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Kamayani. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Ghatabari. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Stutee
    She is a four-armed figure standing in the Samabhanga pose (upright posture) on a Haladi Kathua, a pot for turmeric paste. Her braided hair is adorned with flowers and other ornaments. She stands next to a flower vase that is placed on a pedestal.
  2. Kali
    She is a two-armed figure standing in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture) on a male figure. He has various ornaments like Kirita and Mukuta along with a third eye, and is usually identified as Lord Shiva. Her hair is braided and she carries a trident in her right hand.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Stutee. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Kali. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Uma
    She is a four-armed figure standing on a bed of lotus flowers. Her braided hair is tied up with Kirita and Mukuta in a style known as Jatamukuta. She carries a naga weapon in her upper left hand and her lower left hand is in the Abhaya mudra, representing fearlessness.
  2. Narayani
    She is a two-armed graceful figure standing with her right leg bent and left leg outstretched on an earthen pot with a conical lid. Her left hand is placed over a wine keg and she brandishes a sword in her right. She wears a tiara and is adorned with various ornaments. Her carefully braided hair is in the Kesabhanda style.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Uma. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Narayani. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Samudra
    She is a two-armed figure with her braided hair tied to her left. She wears a tiara on her head and other ornaments on her body. She stands upon a conch shell in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture).
  2. Brahmani
    She has four-arms, three faces and stands on a book. Her carefully braided hair is ornamented with Kirita and Mukuta in the Jatamukuta style. The sacred thread and various other ornaments adorn her body. A decorative lion with beads in its mouth is carved at the left end of her pedestal.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Samudra. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Brahmani. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Jwalamukhi
    She is a two-armed figure standing in the Dwibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture) upon an eight-legged pedestal. She has unusually long ears that are raised. She has two long knots of matted hair hanging from both sides of her head.
  2. Agneyi
    She is two-armed and stands on a ram. She brandishes a sword in her right hand, ready to strike, and wears various ornaments. Her body is surrounded by an aureole of fire.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Jwalamukhi. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Agneyi. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Aditi
    She is two-armed and stands in the Samabhanga pose (upright posture) upon a parrot. Her carefully braided hair is arranged in a chignon on top of her head.
  2. Chandrakanti
    She is two-armed and stands in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture) upon a wooden four-legged cot. Her carefully braided hair is tied to her right in the Kesabhanda style. She wears various ornaments.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Aditi. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Chandrakanti. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Vayubega
    She is a two-armed graceful figure standing in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture) upon a female yak. Her carefully braided hair is tied in a chignon over her head. She is adorned with various golden ornaments.
  2. Chamunda
    She is a powerful four-armed figure standing in the Tribhanga pose (three-curved bodily posture) upon a musk deer. She is unclothed with a skeletal body and flaccid dangling breasts. She wears a garland of skulls and holds a lion skin over her head with her upper hands. Her lower left hand holds a decapitated human head and her lower right hand holds a katari dagger.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Vayubega. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Chamunda. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Murati
    She is a two-armed figure standing in the Tribhanga pose (three-curved bodily posture) upon a horned deer. Her hair is flared like the tongues of flames and her body is adorned with various ornaments.
  2. Ganga
    She is a four-armed figure standing in the Tribhanga pose (three-curved bodily posture) upon a Makara (water monster). Her carefully braided hair is tied on her head in a chignon and she is adorned with various ornaments. She holds a petiole of lotuses in her upper left hand and a naga noose in her lower left hand.
1. Maya / Bahurupa / Chandika. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Murati. Click on image to enlarge

2. Tara. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Ganga. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Dhumavati / Tarini
    She is a two-armed figure standing in the Samabhanga pose (upright posture) on a duck. Her braided hair is tied on her head and she holds a winnowing fan in both hands.
  2. Gandhari
    She is a two-armed figure standing in the Samabhanga pose (upright posture) upon a horse. Her carefully braided hair is tied to her left and a Kadamba tree is in the background.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Dhumavati / Tarini. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Gandhari. Click on image to enlarge

Apart from the 60 yogini figures housed in the niches along the inner walls of the Hirapur temple, an additional eight figures (four yoginis and four bhairavs) are enshrined in the four pillars of the Chandi Mandap (central altar).

3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Ajita. Click on image to enlarge

  1. Sarva Mangala
    This carving is missing and there is speculation that it was moved to the Yamuna Kuda near the Kuakhai River. However, iconographic studies of the statues there do not match the ones from this temple.
  2. Ajita
    She is a fearsome four-armed figure standing in the Tribhanga pose (three-curved bodily posture) upon a stag. Her braided hair looks like flames on her head.
  3. Surya Putri
    She is a four-armed figure standing in the Dvibhanga pose (two-curved bodily posture) on a galloping horse. She wears a kirita ornament in her hair and various other ornaments on her body. She carries a bow and arrow and plucks another arrow from the quiver over her shoulder.
  4. Vayu Veena
    She is a two-armed figure standing in a dancing posture upon a black buck. She is adorned with various golden ornaments and wears elaborate earrings known as Kapa. Her hair is braided to her right. There are two vases at the sides of her pedestal.
3. Narmada. Click on image to enlarge.

Yogini Surya Putri. Click on image to enlarge

[#4] Click to enlarge

Yogini Vayu Veena. Click on image to enlarge

 

The Four Bhairavs

  1. Bhairav No. 1
    This is the only standing Bhairav in the temple’s inner sanctum. He is in the southeast corner of the Chandi Mandap and possesses only one leg. Thus he is known as Ekapada Bhairav or Ajaik Pada Bhairav. He is also called Urdhow Linga, and his secret organ is erect and pointing upwards. He has a halo and stands on a lotus in full bloom. He wears a kirita hair ornament on his head, a garland of skulls, as well as snake bracelets and anklets. He holds a sword, a shield and the backbone of a fish. Two attendants equipped with swords and shields are carved on his pedestal.
  2. Bhairav No. 2
    He is a ten-armed figure sitting in the Viswapadmasana posture. His secret organ is erect and pointing upwards. He holds a garland of beads, a skullcup and a drum in his hands and wears a kirita hair ornament. Two flying dakinis are depicted over his halo and on his pedestal, there are armed dakinis carrying conch shells and skullcups.
Bhairav #1. Click on image to enlarge.

Bhairav #1. Click on image to enlarge.

Bhairav #2. Click on image to enlarge.

Bhairav #2. Click on image to enlarge.

  1. Bhairav No. 3
    He is a ten-armed figure sitting in the Viswapadmasana posture. His secret organ is erect and pointing upwards. He wears a kirita hair ornament and holds a damaru, a trident, a shield and a garland of beads in his hands. Two flying dakinis are depicted over his halo and on his pedestal, there are female attendant dakinis with terrifying expressions and carrying skullcups.
  2. Bhairav No. 4
    He is a ten-armed figure sitting in the Viswapadmasana posture. His secret organ is erect and pointing upwards. He wears a kirita hair ornament and holds a damaru and a garland of beads in his hands. Two flying dakinis are depicted over his halo and on his pedestal, there is a male attendant holding up his foot and a female attendant wielding a sword and a skullcup.
Bhairav #3. Click on image to enlarge.

Bhairav #3. Click on image to enlarge.

Bhairav #4. Click on image to enlarge.

Bhairav #4. Click on image to enlarge.

 

Getting There

The Hirapur yogini temple is off the beaten track. It is located in the hamlet of Hirapur on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha state in eastern India. The nearest railway station is 5.9km away at Bhubaneswar. It is also accessible by domestic and international flight via Biju Patnaik International Airport, located 10.5km away from the temple.

Click here for the location pin of the temple. Click on image to enlarge.

Click here for the location pin of the temple. Click on image to enlarge.

At the time of writing, there are no tours or bus services to the Hirapur yogini temple. Visitors can get to the temple by hiring a taxi or a private car. Two routes from the city lead to the temple, both of which converge around half a kilometre from the temple itself along a semi-sealed road.

The first route is via the Bhubaneswar – Puri Road. Upon seeing the Dhauli Stupa, be on the lookout for a distinctive board that shows further directions to the temple.

The second route is more convenient and begins on Tankapani Road from Ravi -Talkies Square (RTS). After 600 metres, you will pass the Rajarani Temple on your right, then the Bhaskareshwar Temple on your left after travelling a further 3 kilometres or so. You will then pass the Megheshwar Temple on your left after driving another 1.5 kilometres and then the Sai Temple, also on your left another 2 kilometres down the road. Travel 2 to 3 kilometres through the fields and head towards the Gangua River. Cross the bridge over the river and take the immediate right. Keep following the road signs until you arrive at the temple.

19bgh_Overview

 

When to Visit

The best time to visit the Hirapur yogini temple is at 9am in the morning. The morning pujas would have finished by this time and temple guides are readily available. Evenings are also a pleasant time to visit. Coming in the afternoon is not recommended as the hot and humid climate can be overwhelming.

It is recommended to avoid visiting during the monsoon season which runs from June to September as there may be flooding.

 

What Visitors Say

64 Yoginis Extraordinarily Exquisite

Veiled in secrecy, this beautiful Yogini Temple is off the map and not easily found. For the truly dedicated! On the outskirts of the temple city of Bhubaneshwar. Unmarred by commercialism in the country amidst paddy fields, a small circular temple, roofless, open to the sky, with inner niches for the finely carved 64 Yoginis. Sensual bodies, some with non human heads, gracefully poised icons about two feet high, each niche is a miniature shrine. The presiding deity is Mahamaya – honoured with Puja by the priests. The smallest Yogini temple yet the power of the circle is immensely inspiring. A unique and mysterious experience. The potency of the Yoginis tangible and humbling.

UshkaDevi from Scarborough, Western Cape, South Africa

A Superb Experience

The visit to the temple gave us a feeling of peace and serenity which we couldn’t find in Lingaraj temple or Puri Jagannath temple. The temple is surrounded by a well maintained garden and it is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city in a village called Hirapur. You have to hire a taxi to reach there but worth a visit. There is a green field behind the temple which calms your nerves. You can hire a guide (there are 2) if you need them for a paltry sum of Rs.50 but it’s worth it.

Priya B from New Delhi, India

Best Kept Secret of Bhubaneswar

Well, if there is one place where you could get away from Bhubaneswar and just relax in the countryside, Chausath Yogini temple area in Hirapur. Though it used to be far from the city at one time, now with its expanding boundaries the village of Hirapur is getting closer to Bhubaneswar. However the temple of 64 Yoginis has maintained its serenity and uniqueness. One of the four Hypaethral in the country this temple has no roof, circular and is associated with Yogini and Tantra. A guard from ASI, if present will explain to you about its importance or offer you to buy a book which has been written on the Temple. One can spend some good time in the temple and I find it really relaxing to sit on the platform facing the temple. One can also take a walk around the temple which has paddy fields and beautiful water bodies offering a picturesque surrounding. The road approaching the temple has a canal running along & can be refreshing to drive to or away from the temple. Close to the Temple is Dhauli Stupa and visitors can combine both destinations with a Lingaraj temple visit to make a half day tour in Bhubaneswar.

DurgeshSingh from Bhubaneswar, India

Fascinating Temple for History, Architecture and Mythology Enthusiasts

For someone who has always been intimidated by ritualistic worshiping and mystical powers of our female deities, Chausath Yogini is a slightly unnerving place to visit.

But then again, for someone curious about history, architecture and all things heritage, Chausanth Yogini Temple is a delight to explore. This hypaethral (roof-less) shrine has niches that houses the carvings of 64 yoginis – Goddess Durga’s demi-goddess forms.

Besides the many popular jogini forms, there’s the lesser known Ganesharani or Vinayaki (Ganesha’s female energy) and the presiding deity, Mahamaya – after whom the temple is also known as the Mahamaya Temple.

After the Chausanth Yogini Temple at Khajuraho, this was the second such temple that I got to explore at close quarters. While the one at Khajuraho is in dilapidated condition, this one in Hirapur, a hamlet in Khurda district is well maintained and still active as a temple.

The temple is just a few kms outside Bhubaneswar and can be easily accessed by taxi/cab.

Ragini P from New Delhi, India

 

Recommended Videos

 

Chausath Yogini Temple at Hirapur (Part 1)

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Chausath64YoginiTemple.mp4

 

Chausath Yogini Temple at Hirapur (Part 2)

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Chausath64YoginiTemple2.mp4

 

7 Wonders of India: A 64 Yogini Tantrik Site

Or view the video on the server at:
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Backpacking through History Ep 5: Hirapur

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

 

The Cult of Chausath Yogini

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

 

Transcript of ‘The Cult of Chausath Yogini’

Monalisa Behera in conversation with Dr. Nilima Chitgopekar, New Delhi, 2017

Monalisa Behera: How does one introduce a lay man to the concept of yogini? What is a yogini?

Nilima Chitgopekar: The term Yogini has got a huge semantic dimension because it is used in various ways. A yogini, it could be a goddess, it could be a human being, it could be somebody who is adept at yoga, it could be somebody who is just accompanying Shiva. So there are many dimensions to it, but the way I would introduce to a lay person is that basically I would say that this is a cult or a sect which is absolutely esoteric, which had disappeared for the longest time, it had vanished. Publicly nobody knew about it, and then the temples and the shrines were rediscovered in the 19th century to late 19th century, which are just absolutely fascinating, because they don’t go by any trend or any kind of module, or any kind of rules and regulations of the previous Hindu Brahmanical shrines. They seem to be completely wild. They don’t seem to follow Vastu Shastra for instance. They just are completely unusual to look at.

MB: How does one identify a yogini?

NC: You see, identification actually where the shrines are concerned, see architecturally you can immediately identify these shrines, because they have certain very peculiar architectural characteristics. One of them for instance is that they are hypaethral, hypaethral is a term used in architecture for being open to the skies, i.e. roofless. So they are absolutely without any roof at all. And another feature is that they are either circular (maximum ones are circular), and we have some which are rectangular. The icons or the statues whatever you call them, they are sixty four in number. But even that is not steady, that is not constant. There can be sixty four, they can be forty two, they can be eighty one. We have found temples of varying different numbers, but somehow this term has become generic, so even if there are eighty one yoginis in a shrine they are still called the chausath yoginis.

IMG_4178

MB: Is there a yogini typology?

NC: The yogini typology, in the years that I have been studying it is that they are more or less always shown independent of a male consort, independent of a male deity. We are so accustomed to seeing goddesses within Hinduism shown with their male deity, and especially in the ancient times, like Lakshmi is shown with Vishnu, and Parvati is shown with Shiva. Even very often when you go to a shrine you will see the two of them as pairs. But in this context we don’t see any male consort standing with the yoginis. In fact the yoginis are one after the other, are placed together and sixty four of them or eighty four of them. If at all there is a male god, there is Bhairava who is shown in the centre of some of the temples, not all of the temples. So there is an association but there is one Bhairava, sometimes places even a century or two after the making of the shrine. So what I would say the main typology of the yogini goddess is that she is independent, she is autonomously placed – even architecturally, sculpturally she is shown on her own. Of course she has all the attributes for being divine, she is multi-limbed – she can have four heads, she can have many hands. Also another feature is that she is very often therianthrophic i.e. she has the head of an animal and the body of a human being.

MB: Visually what differentiates a yogini from other female divinities?

NC: This would be one of the main features that she is shown independently on her own along with many others like her. Each one is different from the other but the size like they are life-size even when they are seated they are three feet and above (most of them), some of them are of course smaller – the ones we find in Odisha in Hirapur. So the multiplicity, they have to be shown in groups. They are group divinities, the yoginis will always be worshipped in a group, like I said 64, 42, 81. It is not unusual in the Hindu Brahmanical context, we do have group divinities like the Sapta Matrikas which predate the yoginis. And in fact the sapta matrikas are very often included within the yoginis – over the list of the yoginis when they are depicted, you do have Varahi, you have Aindri.

So one is that they have to be in groups and second is just to look at them, they are thrilling to look at. They are so voluptuous, they are so beautiful. They can be saumya, in a very placid and pacific kind of way, depicted very nicely, very calmly. Or they can be absolutely rudra, ugra, or very frightening to look at – with fangs and with skulls everywhere. So they have these different ways of being paradoxical that we are so familiar with even among our goddesses. Because even after all if you look at Kali also, she is the mother, she is Kali Maa but she is shown so fiercely. So this paradoxical nature of the goddess you see very clearly in the yoginis.

MB: How would you say the yoginis blur the boundary between the human and the divine?

NC: Actually when we look at the yoginis, I mean if you go to the yogini temples and the shrines and ask the villagers there, what are these yoginis? Then the stories come up where it seems they are perceived as being human initially and then they become divine. For instance there is this very funny story that in the 1800s, a British man with a gun was chasing some village damsels and when he chased them they got so scared that they ran up to the mountain and prayed to Bhairava, and he almost caught them, but because they prayed they turned into stone. So that they were sixty four of them and they were running away from this British person. So these stories come up which show that there is a correlation.

Not only this kind of a story but even when you go into Odisha and interview the people there, they feel that the human beings can become yoginis; they have certain powers, certain supernatural powers, certain women can have these powers and become yoginis, and then cast spells on men and get rid of all kinds of calamities as well. Yes, there is a connection; there is a sliding between the yoginis and the human adepts. And also the yoginis are supposed to be the women who help the tantric practitioner; a human woman will become a yogini who will help the tantric practitioner to achieve moksha. So there is a very strong human element as well as divine.

I mean we are not calling them ‘mata’, we are not calling them ‘maa’, we are not calling them ‘devi’, and so they clearly have had a different role to play within Hinduism, within the Brahmanical faith. We can call them semi-divine. We do hear that they helped Durga, that they were attendants of Durga. They were polymorphous, their roles were changing all the time. They had different roles to play not only within the texts that we find them in but even in the different regions, they are region-specific.

IMG_4171

MB: Can it be argued that construction of temples dedicated to yoginis marked their materialisation into popular devotional theism from a distinctly esoteric cult? Did the proliferation of Chausath yogini temples lead to the absorption of local goddesses?

NC: I don’t think that the transfer was there, I think it is mainly to do with the fact that these probably were like folk deities, village deities – like you have these gramdevatas, these kshetrapalas, you have people who are protecting your village, protecting a region; now those have been included in this yogini cult which are getting Brahminised. So they are getting included within Saptamatrakas, they are getting included with different forms of Durga, and the number is increasing. And so the folk culture is coming into the Brahmanical culture – that is one evidence. And the shrines are made with a lot of cost, they are expensive to make those shrines. Royalty, the richer community, the elite may have been involved in this. That is how I see the shrines coming up at a particular period of time like from c. 9th to c. 12th century.

MB: What could have been the reason that they disappeared suddenly?

NC: I think when you look at what many of the Marxist historians have said, historians like R.S. Sharma, what they have said is that this was the bringing in of the tribal belt. When the Brahmins went into the tribal belts with land grants being given in different areas like in Madhya Pradesh, like in Odisha where you find most of the temples. Then the Brahmins going in sort of adopted or took over many of the deities that belonged to the tribes. So there was a mixture between the Brahmanical and the non-Brahmanical, however you want to call it Vedic – non-Vedic, the tribal and the priestly. Once this kind of assimilation took place, which may have started at around 8th century, it went on, it is possible that people didn’t need them anymore. And also actually, let me put it like this – many scary stories were associated with the yoginis. When you look at their temples, their shrines are always a little outside the main city or the main town. This could be due to various factors, one of the factors may be that since it was so esoteric so many of the initiations, the rites, the rituals; the practitioners did not want everyone to get to know about them.

MB: Thank you! That was very enlightening.

NC: Thank you

Source: https://www.sahapedia.org/the-cult-of-chausath-yogini

 

Recommended Reading (Free Download)

Sixty Four Yogini Temple Hirapur by Suresh Balabantaray. Click on image to enlarge.

Click to download book in PDF format.

Sixty Four Yogini Temple Hirapur

by Suresh Balabantaray

Click to download

 

The Ancient Mythology and Iconography of the 64 Hindu Yoginis

by Neha Mubeen

Click to download

 

Quick Facts

  • The Hirapur Yogini Temple is also known as Chausathi Jogini Mandir.
  • It is a Chausath yogini temple; as such, the yoginis are all depicted as individual goddesses, independent of their consorts.
  • No two Chausath yogini temples have the exact same set of yoginis.
  • The Hirapur temple is the smallest yogini temple and is also believed to be one of the oldest.
  • It is the only Chausath yogini temple which has sculptures on its outer walls. These sculptures are of the nine Katyayanis (female guardians).
  • The temple has 63 yogini sculptures within. The 64th sculpture is missing.

 

Conclusion

Hirapur and many other forgotten yogini temples arose during the height of the proliferation of Tantra within Buddhism and Hinduism. As can be seen in the images above, the rich iconography employed to depict these divinities undeniably belongs to the realm of Tantra, a sacred movement proliferated amongst Hindu and Buddhist yogis, monastics and scholars alike. Therefore, the sixty-four yoginis of these temples are believed to be none other than celestial dakinis in reality .

64yoginistemple079

The rich iconographic language which is still evident in Hirapur is far more identifiable within the Buddhist context. For example, compared to Hinduism, there are more examples of Buddhist divinities possessing similar iconographic traits such as animal faces, animal mounts, the wielding of skullcups and so forth. In fact, there are documented incidents where an originally Buddhist deity was adapted and appropriated into the Hindu pantheon of gods and a prime example of this is Chinnamasta, the Headless Vajrayogini who is now worshipped both within the Hindu and Buddhist traditions.

Ultimately, it is not a matter of whether the sixty-four yoginis are Buddhist in origin or not, but whether the origin of this form of worship is authentic. In the Buddhist context, tracing any practice to a valid source is of utmost importance in order for the practitioner to possess a sense of confidence in the efficacy of the practice. Needless to say, the sixty-four yoginis must have been the result of a pure vision by an attained meditator-yogi or a great master. However, the record of this lineage is now lost and all that is left are the ruins of this once mighty and pervasive lineage and practice.

64yoginistemple086

 

Addendum:

  1. There are many types of dakinis. The word ‘dakini’ denotes a female mystical being that has varying degrees of power. Some dakinis are harmful. Some are mediocre. Some are helpful. Some are spiritual and some are enlightened. There are many types of dakinis. Some are old in appearance. Some are maidens. Some are wrathful, peaceful, scary, gentle and in many colours and sub-colours. They can even come with various animal heads. They can appear in dreams, be holders of secret teachings and be knowledge ladies who bestow wisdom.
  2. In Tantra, the spiritually-awakened dakinis bless the tantric practitioner to achieve high results in their practices. These dakinis can be the entourage of certain deities, protectors or even teachers. They can be teachers themselves and grant instructions to enlightenment or simply higher states of consciousness. Many dakinis are highly attained or even enlightened and they can give teachings and initiations to beings with affinity.
  3. Normally the dakinis gather in the night. When Tsok or a special tantric rite is performed, the dakinis will be invited to enjoy the ritual and offerings. In return they are requested to bless the practitioners to gain high realisations in their meditations. They are requested to protect the practitioners as well.
  4. Some dakini gathering places are only for spiritually-attained beings, so the dakinis will keep others out. Some places are the gathering areas of ordinary dakinis who can be fierce and protective of their ‘properties’. There are many types of places like this. There are 24 main holy places in India where there is a main guardian dakini in each place with hundreds of her entourage. Spiritually-inclined people who meditate in those places are blessed by these dakinis.
  5. These dakinis can also be summoned to one’s meditational place through mantra, mudra, visualisation and or rituals. When they are summoned, they are requested (depending on the ritual) to bless, protect, gather the inner winds or simply to grant blessings.
  6. Generally because the dakinis are more ‘active’ at night because night is associated with female energy and female energy represents supreme wisdom. Therefore these places of gathering of dakinis are sacred. Many tantra practices rely strongly on female wisdom energy, therefore you practise at night to gain wisdom.

I hope this helps. Tsem Rinpoche

 
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About Pastor David Lai

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

David is a lover of Buddhist art and whenever he can, he shares his knowledge of the Dharma with everyone, giving frequent teachings and writing on his blog www.davidlai.me.
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25 Responses to The Sixty-Four Yogini Temple of Hirapur, India

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  1. Tsem Rinpoche on Nov 20, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    The Library of Tibetan Works & Archives is in Dharamsala, which is broken into two parts. Upper Dharamsala is where the Dalai Lama’s palace is located with his audience room and main prayer hall. It is also the location of the Dialectics School, Gaden Shartse’s guesthouse, restaurants, tourist hotels and main tourist areas.

    A short ride down takes you to the lower part of Dharamsala where the Tibetan government is located. It is the location of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, Nechung monastery, the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, the Tibetan arts centre…it’s all in one area. And the reason why it’s split into upper and lower Dharamsala is because the area is mountainous.

    The Library of Tibetan Works and Archives was established by the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government to preserve all the ancient texts – both secular and spiritual – of Tibet and in the process, translate them into various languages like English. This book, Overview of Buddhist Tantra, by Panchen Sonam Drakpa was one of the books translated into English. What’s very interesting is that the book very clearly says that Panchen Sonam Drakpa’s previous life is Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen, one of the five main disciples of Lama Tsongkhapa. It also says that after that, he was Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen.

    So the book is basically saying that Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen, Panchen Sonam Drakpa and Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen – the three Drakpas – are of the same mindstream.

    Now that’s very peculiar because if Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen’s previous life is Panchen Sonam Drakpa, the renowned composer of 45 volumes of Dharma texts, the abbot of three monasteries AND the 15th Gaden Tripa, the holder of Lama Tsongkhapa’s throne…if that’s the case, how can Panchen Sonam Drakpa take rebirth as Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen and become an evil spirit and have a negative mind?

    Prior to Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen, he was Panchen Sonam Drakpa and before that, he was Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen, a heart disciple of Lama Tsongkhapa. How can a heart disciple of Lama Tsongkhapa reincarnate as the erudite master Panchen Sonam Drakpa, and then die and reincarnate as Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen…and then Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen, due to a bad and negative prayer, become the evil spirit Dorje Shugden? How is that possible? Logically, it’s not.

    What’s incredible is that all of this was printed by the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives under the Dalai Lama’s guidance. They contradict themselves because on one hand, the Tibetan leaders say Dorje Shugden is an evil spirit. On the other hand they’re printing a book saying that Panchen Sonam Drakpa, whose later incarnation became Dorje Shugden, is of this illustrious mindstream.

    So how can the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, which is under the auspices of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government, print the translation of a book composed by the previous incarnation of a so-called evil spirit? How can they then say in the book that Panchen Sonam Drakpa’s previous life is Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen, and his next life was Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen?

    Prior to the Dorje Shugden ban and controversy, everyone in Tibet knew that Dorje Shugden is Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen, that Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen is Panchen Sonam Drakpa, and that Panchen Sonam Drakpa is Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen. The three Drakpas, they are one mindstream emanating again and again to benefit other beings.

    And as we all know, Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen became Dorje Shugden so it totally doesn’t make sense to call him an evil spirit, then highlight all of his previous lives as erudite masters, and publish all of this information under their own library. So you can see the contradictions. You can read all of this for yourself in Overview of Buddhist Tantra, which was printed by the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives.

    —–

    OVERVIEW OF BUDDHIST TANTRA

    GENERAL PRESENTATION OF THE CLASSES OF TANTRA,
    CAPTIVATING THE MINDS OF THE FORTUNATE ONES

    rgyud sde spyi’i rnam par bzhag pa
    skal bzang gi yid ‘phrog ces bya ba bzhugs so

    BY
    PANCHEN SONAM DRAGPA
    (Pan-chen bSod-nams grags-pa, 1478-1554)

    O Choje Sonam Dragpa Pel! (Chos-rje bSod-nams grags-pa-dpal!)
    In the vast expanse of Your bodhi-mind,
    The mind that the Buddhas have lauded for as many as
    one hundred times,
    You have developed “merit” shining like the sun.
    Through Your skill in learning, debate and writing,
    As illuminating as one hundred thousand sun rays,
    You have developed in You a complete knowledge of
    the entire sutras and tantras,
    Resembling a garden of flowers in full bloom.
    The power of Your speech is like the sun;
    The fame of your name has reached the three realms of
    this world.
    O Sonam Dragpa, the teacher of teachers!
    I bow down at your feet.

    In the vast garden of Your great teachings,
    The intelligent young people gather for
    The ‘six ultimates’ and the ‘four modes of transmission,’
    Just as they are attracted to
    The one hundred thousand types of nectar
    Dripping from a flower of one hundred petals.
    May I be able to experience
    The taste of the secret tantra!

    Panchen Choje Sonam Dragpa Pel (Panchen Chos-rje bSod-nams grags-pa-dpal), the holder of sutra and Vajrayana teachings, was a master whose outstanding learning and spiritual accomplishments are well known by all the learned ones in Tibet. His first incarnation came in the form of one of the five prestigious disciples of Lord Tsongkhapa (Tsong-kha-pa) and became known as Vinaya Holder (Dulzin) Dragpa Gyaltsen (Gragspa rgyal-mtshan). Then came Panchen Sonam Dragpa Pel (Panchen bSod-nams grags-pa-dpal), the author of the present text. The next was Nagri Tulku Dragpa Gyaltsen (mNga’-ris sPrul-sku Grags-pa rgyal-mtshan). In this way, a line of his incarnations, each with the Dragpa (gragspa) surname, followed successively.

    Panchen Sonam Dragpa Pel (Panchen bSod-nams grags-pa-dpal) was born in the 14th century in Tsetang (rTsed-thang) in the Lhoka (Lho-kha) region of Central Tibet. He entered the great seat of learning, Sera Thekchenling (Se-ra theg-chen-gling) monastic university, where he became the personal disciple of spiritual master Donyo Dangden (Dhon-yod dang-ldan) and His Holiness the Second Dalai Lama Gedun Gyatso (dGe-‘dun rgya-mtsho). Under them, he studied the entire teachings of sutra, tantra and their commentaries, and became known for his outstanding learning. He also received from them the empowerments, reading transmissions, guides and instructions of the entire body of spiritual training. On becoming the fully blessed one, the Dalai Lama appointed him the abbot of the Loseling (Blo-gsalgling) college, one of the four colleges of Drepung (‘Bras-dpung)- the most prestigious monastic university in Tibet before 1959, with over 10,000 monks on its register. He continued to be the abbot of this college for the next six years; and after him the tenure for each of his successors in this position was fixed for a period of six years, a rule that is followed even today.

    He was then appointed the head of the Gelugpa (dGe-lugs-pa) order, the throne holder of Gaden (dGa’-ldan), thus becoming the 15th regent of Lord Tsongkhapa (Tsong-khapa), the second Buddha. In his eulogy to him, Khedrub Gelek Pelsang (mKhas-grub dGe-legs dpal- bzang) says:

    O Lama, the second successor of the Unsubduable One,
    The regent of the Lord of Dharma,
    You are the one who made the virtuous qualities thrive;
    You are the one who ascended to the golden throne uplifted
    by the fearless lions.
    May Your success thrive forever!

    He continued to be the throne holder for the next seven years, during which time he promoted the spread of Lord Tsongkhapa’s (Tsong-kha-pa) precious teachings, the Gelug (dGe-lugs) tradition, across the land in all directions. He also paid special attention to the practice of monastic rules and the learning and meditation of Buddhism in the monasteries such as Sera (Se-ra), Drepung (‘Bras-spungs), Kyomolung (sKyo-mo-lung), Phagmo Chode (Phag-mo chos-sde), Nyeding (Nye-sdings), Ödna (’Od-sna) and Chöde Rinchen (Chos-sde rin-chen) etc. and improved them to a great extent. He taught the Third Dalai Lama Sonam Gyatso (bSod-nams rGya-mtsho) as the latter’s spiritual master. It was from him that the Dalai Lama received the name Sonam (bSod-nams).

    His contributions in the literary field are enormous; and, indeed, they are the most valuable of all his contributions. Tsongkhapa (Tsong-kha-pa) has rightly said:

    Of all one’s deeds,
    The ‘deeds of speech’ are the most valuable.

    Panchen Sonam Dragpa Pel (Panchen bSod-nams grags-pa-dpal) was a person with an extraordinary talent for teaching, debate and writing. In his colophon to Bu mey chi don zab don sel wey dron mey (dBu ma’i spyi don zab don gsal ba’i sgron me), he wrote:

    In the field of teaching, I am [next to none!] Knowing that
    I would outdo them in this field, Arya Asanga and his
    brother transmigrated into another realm.

    In the field of debate, I am [next to none!] Knowing that
    I would find out the areas they had contradicted and
    that I would examine them and put forth my arguments,
    the logician Dignaga (Digh-naga) and Dharmakirti tactfully
    bypassed me.

    In the field of writing, I am [next to none!] [In my eyes,]
    Arya-sura was just good at spreading the works, which
    are like ‘disputes~ between an insect and a field.’

    I am the learned man. Peerless in the field of teaching,
    debate and writing!

    For some this passage might sound utterly nonsensical, but the most learned master of our age, the talented teacher, logician and writer, the late tutor to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Yongdzin Trijang Dorjechang (Yongs-‘dzin Khri-byang rDorje-‘Chang), said: “Now, some people of our time, who consider themselves learned scholars, think that this is utter nonsense; but they are wrong.”

    Panchen Sonam Dragpa Pel (Panchen bSod-nams grags-pa-dpal) wrote over 45 volumes of books dealing with many different subjects, such as the commentaries on the sutras and tantras, the saddhana manuals of the tutelary deities, history, religious history and so forth. Among these, one that is very important for all who wish to learn and meditate on the path-of the practical aspect of Buddhism in general and that of Vajrayana in particular is the Leg shey gyu de chi nam par shagpa kelsang gi yi trod (Legs bshad rgyud sde spyi’i rnam par bzhag pa skal bzang gi yid ‘phrod). In this book, he has explained precisely how the four tantras differ from one another. He has also fully described the stages of the two spontaneous path practices of the Vajrayana tradition, dealing with the ‘six ultimates’ and the ‘four modes of transmission’, thus interpreting without mistake the intention of Adhi-Buddha Vajradhara.

    May the reprint of this text, which the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives is publishing herewith, bring peace and happiness in this world!

    Professor Nawang Jinpa
    St. Joseph’s College
    Darjeeling
    January 24th, 1996

    PSD1

    PSD2

    PSD3

    PSD4

    PSD5

  2. Pastor Shin Tan on Nov 20, 2018 at 3:53 am

    All enlightened beings are worthy of homage and worship. They are the best beings to take refuge in and we should offer them our prayers as we can put our full confidence in them. Of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, I personally find that Manjushri is extremely important. This is because what keeps us in samsara (cyclic rebirth) is our total ignorance and misunderstanding of the reality of existence. What is necessary to penetrate this deep ignorance that keeps us bound in a perpetual state of reincarnation is wisdom. We need many types of wisdom which can be acquired by relying on Manjushri as our yidam (meditational deity). By focusing on his meditation, practice, mantra and path we can gain wisdom in order to have the tool to penetrate the reality of existence. Therefore, Manjushri is an extremely important Buddha for us to focus on and take refuge in.

    Tsem Rinpoche

    (Photograph: this is the beautiful outdoor Manjushri statue who is in a teaching pose. He is floating above a koi fish pond nestled among lush greenery in Kechara Forest Retreat, Malaysia)

    每一位觉者都能成为我们朝拜、膜拜的对象。他们是我们至高、至好的皈依,我们应该向他们做祈请,并且对他们生起全然的信念。在众佛菩萨之中,我个人认为文殊菩萨极为重要。这是因为使我们身陷娑婆(轮回)的是我们自身的无明,以及对实相的曲解。智慧是一种必要,它能穿透我们深不见底的无明,那个使我们受困于无止境投生的无明。我们需要多种智慧,而依止文殊菩萨作为我们的本尊,即能使我们成就多种智慧。透过文殊菩萨的观想、修持法门、心咒及修行道路,我们能成就智慧,拥有了知实相的“器具”。故此,专注于文殊菩萨的修持法门、皈依他,对我们而言都极为重要。

    詹杜固仁波切

    (相片:这尊户外文殊菩萨像呈转法轮姿。他被茂密的草木环绕,安坐在马来西亚克切拉禅修林的鱼池之上。)

    imagemm

  3. Pastor Niral Patel on Oct 28, 2018 at 1:09 am

    A sacred image of the rare form of Vajrayogini known as Ucheyma, the Buddha that shows us the path to eradicate the ego. For this and many other high-resolution images of the enlightened beings to download for free visit: https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU

    digitalucheyma-s

  4. Valentina Suhendra on Oct 26, 2018 at 11:07 am

    Ucheyma (Severed Headed Vajrayogini) (Main figure)

    (Top to bottom): H.H. the 7th Panchen Lama, Ucheyma (Severed Headed Vajrayogini), Vajra Varnani (green assistant), Vajra Vairocani (yellow assistant), Dorje Shugden and Citipati.

    The central deity is known as Chinnamasta or Dorje Neljorma Ucheyma. Both Chinnamasta (Sanskrit) and Ucheyma (Tibetan) literally mean, ‘She Whose Head is Severed’. The meaning behind her form is to show practitioners that they need to completely remove the grasping and self-identification with the “I” or the ego. Generally, the identity of the self is strongly associated with our face more than any other part of our body. We usually recognise a person when we look at a person’s face. Hence, our self-identification or ego is strongly associated with our face. To show us that this self-identification needs to be overcome on the spiritual path to enlightenment, Vajrayogini uses her ritual chopper to decapitate herself. This is symbolic of her practice eradicating the ego.

    The Severed Headed Vajrayogini, as she is also known, removes all afflictive mental constructs by removing the root cause – the identification of the self, the ego. We are either attached to or averse to people and circumstances because we have an ego to please, gratify and protect. But in the grander scheme of things, this self-identification with the ‘I’ is illusory and does not really exist. Therefore, Vajrayogini reveals this ultimate truth through the dramatic decapitation of her head and at the same time is still able to live and function. She is able to live due to her direct perception of emptiness and egolessness.

    Contrary to what some people might think, the eradication of the self does not destroy individualism, our personality or make us into a mindless person. In fact, the eradication of the ego makes us become a vibrant and compassionate person, someone that has greater awareness of the suffering of others. In other words, we become much warmer, kinder, forgiving, tolerant, conscientious, generous, contemplative and we are become a joy to be with. The cutting of the ego or the ‘I’ brings us towards awakening our true self, the Buddha nature within.

    The Severed Headed Vajrayogini has two dakini attendants. From the trunk of her neck, there are three severed blood vessels spurting three jets of blood that flow into the mouths of her own decapitated head that she carries in her left hand and into the mouths of her two attendants. Tsem Rinpoche explained that the three jets of blood represent that her practice purifies the three psychic poisons of ignorance, hatred and desire. In turn, this leads to the attainment of the three bodies of a Buddha – the emanation body, the enjoyment body and the truth body. In other words, the severance of the ego via her tantric path leads to the purification of all delusions and ultimately, the attainment of Buddhahood itself.

    The 7th Panchen Lama, Palden Tenpai Nyima is featured floating above because of his compilation of sadhanas from the ancient Sadhanamala texts. This includes a particular sadhana or collection of prayers, visualisation and mantra focused on Ucheyma. Incidentally, Dorje Shugden in many of his previous lives was a lineage master of the Vajrayogini tantras as well. These previous lives include the likes of the Mahasiddha Naropa and Tsarchen Losel Gyatso. The Lord and Lady of the Charnel Ground, known as Citipati, are one of the main protectors of the Vajrayogini Tantra.

    Last of all, the ascetic meditator engaging in his devotional practices towards Ucheyma in the cemetery represents the ideal environment for tantric practice because such environments invoke deep renunciation towards worldly affairs and attachments. All Buddhist traditions advocate meditating on the bones of the deceased because it reminds us of our mortality and hence, we develop revulsion towards the transient nature of worldly or ordinary existence.

    More free downloads: https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU

    Read more about Vajrayogini: https://bit.ly/2iVLCuG

  5. Joy on Oct 26, 2018 at 12:22 am

    Ucheyma (Severed Headed Vajrayogini) (Main figure)

    (Top to bottom): Maitri Kacho (Flying Vajrayogini), Maitri Kacho (One-Leg Up Vajrayogini), Naro Kacho, Sukhasiddhi, Ucheyma (Severed Headed Vajrayogini), Vajra Varnani (green assistant), Vajra Vairocani (yellow assistant), Citipati, Vajravarahi and Dorje Shugden.

    The central deity is known as Severed Headed Vajrayogini, Chinnamasta or Dorje Neljorma Ucheyma. Both Chinnamasta (Sanskrit) and Ucheyma (Tibetan) literally mean, ‘She Whose Head is Severed’. The meaning behind her form is to show practitioners that they need to completely remove the grasping and self-identification with the “I” or the ego. Generally, the identity of the self is strongly associated with our face more than any other part of our body. We usually recognise a person when we look at a person’s face. Hence, our self-identification or ego is strongly associated with our face. To show us that this self-identification needs to be overcome on the spiritual path to enlightenment, Vajrayogini uses her ritual chopper to decapitate herself. This is symbolic of her practice eradicating the ego.

    The Severed Headed Vajrayogini removes all afflictive mental constructs by removing the root cause – the identification of the self, the ego. We are either attached to or averse to people and circumstances because we have an ego to please, gratify and protect. But in the grander scheme of things, this self-identification with the ‘I’ is illusory and does not really exist. Therefore, Vajrayogini reveals this ultimate truth through the dramatic decapitation of her head and at the same time is still able to live and function. She is able to live due to her direct perception of emptiness and egolessness.

    Contrary to what some people might think, the eradication of the self does not destroy individualism, our personality or make us into a mindless person. In fact, the eradication of the ego makes us become a vibrant and compassionate person, someone that has greater awareness of the suffering of others. In other words, we become much warmer, kinder, forgiving, tolerant, conscientious, generous, contemplative and we are become a joy to be with. The cutting of the ego or the ‘I’ brings us towards awakening our true self, the Buddha nature within.

    The Severed Headed Vajrayogini has two dakini attendants. From the trunk of her neck, there are three severed blood vessels spurting three jets of blood that flow into the mouths of her own decapitated head that she carries in her left hand and into the mouths of her two attendants. Tsem Rinpoche explained that the three jets of blood represent that her practice purifies the three psychic poisons of ignorance, hatred and desire. In turn, this leads to the attainment of the three bodies of a Buddha – the emanation body, the enjoyment body and the truth body. In other words, the severance of the ego via her tantric path leads to the purification of all delusions and ultimately, the attainment of Buddhahood itself.

    Severed Headed Vajrayogini is surrounded by some of her other forms, including Naro Kacho, two forms of Maitri Kacho, Sukhasiddhi and Vajravarahi. These forms of Vajrayogini are more commonly practised compared to Severed Headed Vajrayogini and are prevalent in most Tibetan Buddhist lineages. Though they may look different, all forms are indivisible from her true nature and all her practices can lead practitioners to enlightenment. Naro Kacho arose from a vision beheld by the Mahasiddha Naropa, Maitri Kacho from a vision beheld by Maitripa, and Indra Kacho from a vision beheld by Indrabodhi. The Lord and Lady of the Charnel Ground, known as Citipati, are one of the main protectors of the Vajrayogini Tantra.

    Last of all, Dorje Shugden is a protector with special affinity with Vajrayogini practitioners because he arose from an incarnation lineage that includes Naropa and Tsarchen Losel Gyatso who practised and proliferated her Tantra.

    More free downloads: https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU

    Read more about Vajrayogini: https://bit.ly/2iVLCuG

  6. Pastor Adeline on Oct 26, 2018 at 12:04 am

    Vajrayogini (Main figure)

    (Top to bottom): Naropa, Vajradharma, Hero Vajradharma, Naro Kacho, Maitri Kacho (Flying Vajrayogini), Dorje Shugden and Vajravarahi.

    Vajrayogini is a female tantric Buddha and she has many forms that are derived from various lineages. She mainly embodies the fully enlightened female (shakti) aspect of a Buddha. She belongs to the Mother Tantra classification, which refers to her practice concentrating on the wisdom aspect of the path to Buddhahood. She is also the principal dakini, the compassionate female guides and nurturers of tantric meditation who lead practitioners to enlightenment. In the thangka, the main figure in the middle is Naro Kechari as she arose from the pure vision of the Mahasiddha Naropa.

    In Anuttara (Highest) Yoga Tantra, principal dakinis normally appear in union with a male consort and this can be seen in the cases of deities such as Guhyasamaja, Hevajra, and Kalachakra. In the case of Vajrayogini, she is the principal female Buddha of the Chakrasamvara Tantra and therefore, she is normally in union with Heruka Chakrasamvara. Furthermore, Vajrayogini is also considered a Vajradakini, who are yidams or meditational deities in their own right. Their practices have evolved from the main practices of their consorts, simplifying the otherwise complicated original practice by reducing it to a single-deity meditation without sacrificing the main benefits and features of the original. Hence, Vajradakini practices such as Vajrayogini and Nairatmya are derived from the original Chakrasamvara Tantra and Hevajra Tantra respectively.

    In essence, Vajrayogini is known as “Sarvabuddha-dakini” or the Dakini Who is the Essence of all Buddhas. Her mantra is known as the King of All Mantras as it has the most powerful ability to bless us with spiritual attainments even without any visualisation or meditation. There are 11 Yogas in the generation stage of her practice and a few which have the power of transforming ordinary actions like sleeping, waking and ordinary daily tasks into a collection of merits. Ultimately, her Tantra offers salvation for ordinary practitioners at death with her special promise of guiding practitioners towards Kechara, or the Paradise of the Dakinis, in which we can continue deep practices to become a Buddha without fear, obstacles and interruptions.

    Within Vajrayogini practice, soliciting the blessings of the lama and the lineage master are of paramount importance in order for our practice to bear results. Hence, the lama is visualised as the red Vajradharma with arms crossed at the heart, holding the vajra and bell. The lineage masters are visualised as Hero Vajradharma, holding a damaru and skullcup while cradling a khatvanga. Aside from the main Naro Kechari form, Vajrayogini also appears in the form of Maitri Kechari, who is known as Flying Vajrayogini, and arose from the vision of Maitripa. Another common form is known as Indra Kechari, or Vajravarahi, who arose from the vision of Indrabodhi.

    Last of all, Dorje Shugden is a Dharma protector with a special affinity with Vajrayogini practitioners. This is because he himself arose from an incarnation lineage that includes the likes of Naropa, the progenitor of Naro Kechari practice, and Tsarchen Losel Gyatso who had practised and proliferated her Tantra and is listed as one the lineage masters invoked upon every day by Vajrayogini practitioners.

    More free downloads: https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU

    Read more about Vajrayogini: https://bit.ly/2iVLCuG

  7. Pastor Shin Tan on Oct 4, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    Original illustration and text posted by Eric D Hatchell as a reply to H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche’s facebook post on Vajrayogini here: http://bit.ly/VYogini0001

    The Dākiṇī with the Essence of all Buddhas, Vajrayoginī

    Her practice includes methods to end the otherwise repetitive states of Bardo and rebirth, by transforming the process into a journey, which may lead to full enlightenment. In preparation for which, Vajrayoginī further offers the omnipresent ability to reconstruct the nature of the most, mundane everyday experiences, such that they may reveal higher destinations, via the spiritual paths she may choose to reveal. [1] Vajrayoginī being defined as, “The Dākiṇī who is the Essence of all Buddhas”, [2] is amplified by scholar Miranda Shaw when she implied that this deity is no less than, the supreme nature of the very Tantric pantheon. No male Buddha, including her divine consort, Heruka-Cakrasaṃvara, further advances her in metaphysical implications. [3]

    Vajrayoginī’s sādhanā originates from India circa 10/12th C, [4] when summoned as Heruka-Cakrasaṃvara’s Yab-Yum consort [5], with later forms including Vajrayoginī as “Solitary Hero”, she may be visualized with the deep red complexion of a 16-year-old female, whose stance is nude amidst a blazing fire of pristine awareness and most exalted wisdom. Her head is adorned with a crown of five skulls and upon her forehead, the third eye of wisdom is set vertically (represented here by an auspicious jewel). She drapes a necklace of fifty dried human skulls and is depicted with her traditional vajra-handled knife in her right hand; with a blood filled kapala in her left, she drinks with upturned head while looking above, toward the pure realm of Khechara. This seemingly gruesome gesture is actually symbolic of her clear light in great joy, known as “mahasukha” (the great bliss), [6] [7] thus the blood she drinks may be offered to us all as if a fine wine.

    Resting on the left shoulder is a Katvanga staff as she stands tall with her two feet, trampling the bodies of red Kalaratri and black Bhairava (with heads bending backward), representing the embodiment of illusion and ego-awareness. The composition, all of which rests above a sun disc and multicolored lotus pedestal, she is rendered here after a thankga of Naropa Tradition (passed down from a special teaching of the Indian Mahasiddha Naropa). Vajrayoginī herself may be classified as the personification of “Wisdom” or “Mother” and her practice originates with the Chakrasamvara Cycle of Tantras, which is one of the five principal tantric practices of the Sakya School, although found in one form or another, she is included in all schools of Tibetan Buddhism. [8]

    Vajrayoginī also appears in versions from the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, with one popular system having the practitioner visualize themselves as Vajrayoginī, as such, their guru taking the form of Milarepa. [9] Thus depicted above the central deity here we see Milarepa on our right, with his great Guru Marpa left (whose guru was Naropa himself, and other great Indian masters). [10]

    Vajrayoginī is a simplified, single most form of the female Buddha, who is otherwise a collection of alternate forms. From her sādhanās she is visualized in English terms as “Vajra Sow”, “Wrathful Lady”, “Fierce Black One”, and other such similar manifestations of female energy found in numerous iconographic renderings and traditions. Each feature of Vajrayoginī’s visualization conveys important spiritual concept. For example, her three eyes indicate her ability to see all (past, present and future); her red-colored body symbolizes the blazing of her ”inner fire”, and the curved knife she wields, demonstrates the power to sever the delusions and obstacles of her followers and of all living beings. [11]

    —–

    Wordmarque Design and Photography

    —–

    References:

    [1] Gyatso, Kelsang. Guide to Dakini Land: The Highest Yoga Tantra Practice of Buddha Vajrayogini. London: Tharpa, 1996, p.xii.

    [2] “The Berzin Archives.” Bonding Practices for Mother Tantra. Accessed February 18, 2016. http://www.berzinarchives.com/…/bonding_prac_mother_tantra_….

    [3] Shaw, Miranda Eberle. Buddhist Goddesses of India. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006, p. 8.

    [4] English, Elizabeth. Vajrayoginī: Her Visualizations, Rituals & Forms: A Study of the Cult of Vajrayoginī in India. Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2002.

    [5] “Vajrasattva (Buddhist Deity) – White (with Consort).” Vajrasattva (Buddhist Deity). Accessed February 18, 2016. http://www.himalayanart.org/items/77598.

    [6] Gyatso, Kelsang. Guide to Dakini Land: The Highest Yoga Tantra Practice of Buddha Vajrayogini. London: Tharpa, 1996 p. 123-127.

    [7] Glenn H. Mullin

    [8] “Item: Vajrayogini (Buddhist Deity) – (Naropa Tradition).” Vajrayogini (Buddhist Deity). Accessed February 18, 2016. http://www.himalayanart.org/items/290.

    [9] English, Elizabeth. Vajrayoginī: Her Visualizations, Rituals & Forms: A Study of the Cult of Vajrayoginī in India. Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2002, p. xxiii.

    [10] Drinking the Mountain Stream: Songs of Tibet’s Beloved Saint, Milarepa … by Mi-la-ras-pa, Rinpoche Lama Kunga, Brian Cutillo, p.305.

    [11] Gyatso, Kelsang. Guide to Dakini Land: The Highest Yoga Tantra Practice of Buddha Vajrayogini. London: Tharpa, 1996, p.123-127.

    VY

  8. Beatrix Ooi on Aug 23, 2018 at 11:15 am

    For more free high reolution images of Vajrayogini, visit: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html?nggpage=9

    Vajrayogini

    Vajrayogini

    Vajrayogini

  9. Pastor Adeline Woon on Aug 22, 2018 at 11:24 pm

    Medicine Buddha puja encourages healing of all levels – physical, mental and emotional healing for those in need.

    High resolution file of this thangka is available for download for all dharma practitioners around the world and for those who just want sacred images in their environment. Enjoy, be blessed and share this with others.

    Here is the link to free download of this image and many other images: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html?nggpage=7

  10. Wai Meng Wan on Aug 15, 2018 at 1:05 am

    This article told me that there are so many types of dakinis out there. I remember that when we attended tsog, we had very quiet in case we disturbed the unenlightened dakinis.

  11. Pastor Adeline on Jul 28, 2018 at 3:01 am

    Nice short video of a new LED signage reminding us of who we can go to for blessings in case of need: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBwrkaKUoH0

  12. Pastor Adeline Woon on Jul 27, 2018 at 6:33 am

    This is my beautiful Bodhgaya Vajra Yogini on my personal altar. May you be blessed by her always. Read about her here https://bit.ly/2AfEK4Q

    Tsem Rinpoche

  13. Joy Kam on Jul 26, 2018 at 2:29 am

    Listening to the chanting of sacred words, melodies, mantras, sutras and prayers has a very powerful healing effect on our outer and inner environments. It clears the chakras, spiritual toxins, the paths where our ‘chi’ travels within our bodies for health as well as for clearing the mind. It is soothing and relaxing but at the same time invigorates us with positive energy. The sacred sounds invite positive beings to inhabit our environment, expels negative beings and brings the sound of growth to the land, animals, water and plants. Sacred chants bless all living beings on our land as well as inanimate objects. Do download and play while in traffic to relax, when you are about to sleep, during meditation, during stress or just anytime. Great to play for animals and children. Share with friends the blessing of a full Dorje Shugden puja performed at Kechara Forest Retreat by our puja department for the benefit of others. Tsem Rinpoche

    Listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbzgskLKxT8&t=5821s

  14. Pastor Shin Tan on Jul 25, 2018 at 2:46 am

    The current form of Naro Kacho Vajra Yogini appeared to the Indian Mahasiddha Naropa after he meditated intensely on her practice inside a cave. He beheld her glorious form in a vision. This unique form became known as Naropa’s Vajra Yogini or Naro Kacho, as it had never existed before. Later, in Tibet, His Holiness Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche also had visions of Vajra Yogini. His vision differed slightly from the vision of her that Naropa beheld. In the original Naro Kacho form, Vajra Yogini looks towards her pure land named Kechara. However in Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche’s vision, she looked straight at him, symbolic of the deity empowering him to bestow her practice to many people in order to benefit them. The practice of Vajra Yogini belongs to the Highest Yoga Tantra classification that leads to tremendous inner transformation and can even grant enlightenment within just one lifetime.

    PabongkaRinpocheVY

  15. Pastor Shin Tan on Jul 22, 2018 at 11:10 pm

    Video of Tsem Rinpoche’s shrine taken July 16, 2018. Very beautiful, well done and meticulous.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPAfpMoN2bA

  16. Pastor Shin Tan on Jul 21, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    Video of Tsem Rinpoche’s shrine taken July 16, 2018.
    Very beautiful, well done and meticulous.

    https://video.tsemtulku.com/chat-videos/chat-1531752637.mp4


  17. Pastor Shin Tan on Jul 7, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    Vajra Yogini has many different forms and in each of these forms, the positioning of her sacred body, the various implements she holds and the expressions on her face have profound meaning into various aspects of enlightenment. The implements she holds, the expressions on her face, and her body symbolise specific aspects of enlightenment that suit people during a particular time and place according to their karma. So, therefore, Vajra Yogini’s pose, forms and emanations change over time in order to suit different karmically-connected practitioners. It will keep changing because enlightenment is fluid, compassionate and skilful. To gaze upon Vajra Yogini is to look at a complete ‘roadmap’ to enlightenment as every aspect of her body is a manifestation of enlightenment. Therefore to have her form, picture, painting or statue is very blessed. We should make offerings to her daily diligently.

    After the great Mahasiddha Naropa had served his guru the Mahasiddha Tilopa for 12 years, Tilopa conferred the Vajra Varahi (another form of Vajra Yogini) initiation with full instructions unto Naropa. Then, Naropa diligently meditated on Vajra Varahi and had a vision of her, and when she appeared to him directly, she appeared in the form of Vajra Yogini. Normally, when he engaged in the Vajra Yogini (Vajravarahi) practice, she was in the form of facing him directly, holding a skull cup and a curved flaying knife in front of her heart. One leg was up and one leg was down as in a dancing pose. That was the form of Vajra Yogini that he had meditated on to gain the highest attainments.

    After he had meditated on Vajra Varahi and gained visions of her, she appeared to him in a different form, with her face looking up at Kechara Paradise instead of facing him directly. Her left hand holding the skullcup was thrust in the air and her right hand holding the curved flaying knife, also known as a cemetery knife was facing down at sentient beings or samsara to help beings cut their bonds to suffering. Her left leg was bent, and her right extended while standing in a pose of looking towards Kechara Paradise like she is about to take off there. This form signifies she will take you there and out of suffering. That form of Vajra Yogini became special and that was called Naro Kacho or the Vajra Yogini of Naropa. This Naropa’s Vajra Yogini was initiated to the Nepalese Pamtingpa brothers and they meditated diligently and this tradition of Naropa’s Vajra Yogini just became prevalent and took off from there. Naropa started initiating his other disciples as well into this special form of Vajra Yogini and she became known as Naropa’s Vajra Yogini till this day and it is considered a highly blessed lineage. That is the lineage we have now and most prevalent.

    She is looking up because this Naropa’s Vajra Yogini is indicating she will lead her practitioners to her Kechara Paradise within one lifetime if you are diligent in her practice. Realizing enlightenment is harder for people in today’s world and needs more time during Kaliyuga degenerate period, she leads you to her paradise where you can practice undisturbed to Buddha-hood.

    In this brilliant artwork, what you see is the Mahasiddha Naropa having a direct vision of Vajra Yogini. It’s the first time she has appeared to Naropa in this form. This form is associated with Naropa. Prior to Naropa, this form of Vajra Yogini did not exist. She in this vision is initiating him into this form (Naro Kacho) of herself indicating this form will be most efficacious now according to our karmic period. In the background, you will see a cave with a light in it because when Naropa used to meditate in that cave, it is said that from his body would emit a light and people could see it from afar. You can also see animals surrounding Vajra Yogini, they can feel her compassion and her great blessings and they are at peace around her.

    Vajra Yogini brings peace, love, compassion, wisdom and freedom to everyone who practices her incredibly powerful tantra. Therefore, this artwork is a very beautiful representation of the time when Naropa had a vision of Vajra Yogini in this form for the first time and it is now known as Naropa’s Vajra Yogini. This artwork was offered to me as a gift from a very talented artist. I deeply appreciate this piece of visual spirituality very much.

    Tsem Rinpoche

    To download for your shrine, please click here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=62528

  18. Samfoonheei on Jun 29, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    Wow such a beautiful discovery by historian and archaeologist, a mystic site of ancient tantric practices .It seem that these temple were abandoned long ago for mysterious reasons. It were then rediscovered and restored by archaeologists only in the last century. Amazing …. sixty-four yogini temple structure is smallest roofless temples in India, built many centuries AD ago. Some of the beautiful yoginis structures still reminds .The mysteries of dakinis reminds till today as the locals believed these mysterious celestial beings will cause harm if coming across one. The temple of Hirapur is located extremely isolated, is certainly worth a visit. This temple is known for its beauty of its architectural and unique structures.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Davis Lai for this sharing of a better knowledge of the many dakinis.

  19. Jacinta on Jun 29, 2018 at 11:09 am

    Dear Rinpoche and Pastor David Lai,

    I am fascinated with this topic about Dakas-Dakinis and have been thinking about this a lot in these two three days. I’ve finished reading a book that discussed about Guru Padmasambhava and His virtuous activities in Bhutan, about termas, the tertons, the Dharma Protectors and Guardians and the sites. When I read back this post, the last paragraph caught my attention~ that summarises the whole essence of why we need to know this and the importance of this article. I hope I get what Rinpoche wanted us to realise by posting this topic up.

    1. “ Ultimately, it is not a matter of whether the sixty-four yoginis are Buddhist in origin or not, but whether the origin of this form of worship is authentic. In the Buddhist context, tracing any practice to a valid source is of utmost importance in order for the practitioner to possess a sense of confidence in the efficacy of the practice. Needless to say, the sixty-four yoginis must have been the result of a pure vision by an attained meditator-yogi or a great master.”
    —- Rinpoche has stressed on the importance of knowing the lineage and the authenticity of the practices that we are about to engage. It’s so important so that we carry on the pure lineages in order to spread pure and genuine BuddhaDharma to others for as long as we can. We should strive to do this and not simply make up a lineage and passing it on. It will affect many things including the correct way to practice, the accomplishments and the eventually future of the students. We cannot make fun of other people’s enlightenment and hence we sure of this. This is why (with correct motivation) we pray that we will be a lineage holder ourselves by study, contemplation and practice. May we be able to do that. If not us, who else? Even though it sounds silly but however difficult it may seem we should pray for that. Even flowers bloomed from a tiny seed. It’s due to Bodhicitta, that all those lineage masters willingly to commit themselves for many hours of studying, training and reincarnating back again and again to carry on the lineage. Even Gyalchen Shugden reincarnated back into Sakya family. Besides, with patience in particular, genuine Lamas will need to wait wait for the positive karma of the students to open up so that the students can realise and practice Dharma.

    2. “However, the record of this lineage is now lost and all that is left are the ruins of this once mighty and pervasive lineage and practice.”
    —- In order to preserve Dharma, we need lineage holders as discussed above. A lineage will die off when people no longer practices it and the best example to elucidate this is the article itself. It reminds me of the Shangpa Kagyu Lineage where Venerable Kalu Rinpoche single-handedly spreaded the lineage of Shangpa Kagyu. It also reminds me of the lineage of Dorje Shugden where Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche requested His Lama to ask for the DS teachings and rituals as the previous texts was lost. Hence, how precious it is that we should carry on the rituals and the lineage. In one of the paragraphs in DS prayer, it says something like this “ If one performs the fulfilling and restoring ritual delighting Gyalchen’s mind, with substances and requisites of pure Samaya, ….. “
    for me this shows how important it is to uphold the prayer, the rituals, the practices and so on. Also, in particular I remember Rinpoche mentioned in a video about rain dances and why it doesn’t work anymore. Rinpoche touched on the importance of elements (in this case perhaps the Dakas and Dakinis also ), the rituals, purification and etc. Spirituality erodes due to many factors such as when elements are gone, people do not practice the rituals and etc. It’s all interconnected. https://youtu.be/aFhbYU5rxB4

    Many things were in my mind but I would like to pen down some of my thoughts here so that I can come back to read it later. Or perhaps seniors can correct me on this. Thank you for this blog in particular. Because of this, I can learn more and share my thoughts as well. Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David Lai.

    • Jacinta on Jun 29, 2018 at 11:25 am

      Sorry for the grammar. It was written down in a hush. 🙏

  20. Anne Ong on Jun 28, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    This is really an interesting topic and at first i was pretty confused why some Dakinis have negative reaction towards people until Rinpoche explained to us on facebook this morning. Really love this mysterious and yet beautiful, sacred and holy place. Thank you very much Rinpoche and Pastor David for this great write up! Hope for more of these to come!👍👏🙏😘

  21. Datuk May on Jun 28, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    Tantric practice in Vajrayana doctrine of Buddhism had always intrigued me. However I was given the point of view that unless one is a very dedicated practitioner who hold her/his vows strictly, tantric practice would not be initiated by a responsible teacher. The reason being that there can be repercussions which may be severe.

    This article is such an empowering piece of learning on the mysteries of dakinis and how we should have their existence in mind and be mindful of being respectful to them.

    I have read of dakinis helping with practitioners on the tantric path and learning more about dakinis/yoginis make me realise like most things life there are different categories of these special beings.

    It is not possible for me to think that yoginis do not exist as temples like the 64 Yogini Temple of Hirapur, India is definitely testament to their existence and practice and the higher learning of Buddhism.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David for this enlightening article.

  22. Meghna on Jun 28, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    This was a powerhouse of information! When you know more information, even a little bit – about the intricacies it does make a huge difference. There are many sites like this which are known all over India, however all the shrouded in mystery, superstition and a feel of danger due to the lack of knowledge.

    The correlations between the Hindu and Buddhist pantheons is very interesting. The Buddhist concept of yidam and higher practices are also somewhat similar to the Hindu practices of the isht -devta; which according to vedic astrology is the being which guides to liberation. The take on the origins was intriguing – pure lineages which were lost?

    (Also deities like chinnamasta, Maha kali, Hayagriva and mahakala which appear, albeit differently.)
    The information of the 64 Dakinis and their details was highly enlightening as out of them mostly nine or the ten are widely known to the masses.

    Thank you for explaining the details. As mentioned, the slightest amount of knowledge can make one see the imagery and help understand and perceive the importance.

    Also the books WOW!

  23. Tsem Rinpoche on Jun 28, 2018 at 10:03 am

    Pictures attached: Dog headed dakini and owl headed dakini

    ugdongma_full_508_792

    Dog headed Dakini-edited-2 jpg

  24. yin ping on Jun 27, 2018 at 10:54 pm

    The Hirapur temple is the smallest and oldest yogini temple. The architecture of this temple is unique compare to typical Hindu temple which is square with linear orientation. This yogini temple is open to the sky in circular shape.

    The craftsmanship of the sculptures is amazing. Each sculpture is distinctive from one with another in different pose and ornaments adorned. Although prayers are carry on daily by care taker, the original record of this lineage is lost. Perhaps this practice is not meant to be found anymore.

    If I have a chance to visit this temple, it would be one of a kind experience to be surrounded by small Yoginis statues made of black Chlorite on all side.

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  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Nov 21. 2018 04:15 PM
    Very powerful teachings of the 35 Confessional Buddhas Practice which is truly amazing to purify our defilements and negative karma. We need to practice this 35 Confessional Buddhas Practice so as we’re not creating much heavy karma for ourselves. The power of purification is so incredible. Good explanation of purification of karma for us to understand. We are so forfunate given a chance to purify our Karma in Kechara Forest Retreat doing reciting Mantras, circumambulation, and prostrations .
    Thank You, Rinpoche for sharing with us the importance of these practice and the details explanation of purification of karma .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/how-to-purify-your-karma-in-kechara-forest-retreat.html
  • Chris
    Wednesday, Nov 21. 2018 08:36 AM
    Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen is perhaps one of the more notable previous lives of Dorje Shugden. In this incarnation, he is said to have made the promise to arise as a Dharma Protector to protect the precious teachings of his teacher Lama Tsongkhapa, thus laying the foundation for Dorje Shugden to manifest later, in another incarnation.

    Duldzin, which is an abbreviation of Dulwa Zinpa, literally means “Vinaya Holder” in Tibetan. This is actually a title bestowed upon him in recognition of his pure monkhood and incredible knowledge and understanding of the Vinaya texts — scriptures that contain teachings by Lord Buddha on monastic discipline.

    He is also the disciple of Lama Tsongkhapa that built Ganden monastery. He is supposed to be the Gaden Tripa after Lama Tsongkhapa passed away. However, he politely refused to ascend to the throne because he wanted to go and do deeper spiritual practices. Later, he fulfilled his promised and rose as Dorje Shugden to protect his Guru’s precious teachings.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/the-vinaya-holder-duldzin-drakpa-gyaltsen.html
  • Chris
    Wednesday, Nov 21. 2018 08:33 AM
    Dorje Shugden ban has been around for 20 years now and it had created a lot of suffering and destroyed many practitioner’s spiritual paths. The ban forces everybody who has been giving Dorje Shugden practice by their Guru to choose between their Guru and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. It is a very cruel situation that the ban puts everyone in.

    When one chooses to abandon the practice, it is equal to them abandoning their guru who gave them the practice. When they break their guru samaya, their spiritual path is finished. There are no attainments or whatsoever that will come to them no matter what practice they do. It will not work without the blessings of the guru.

    If they choose to hold the practice to their heart, they will face the wrath of Dalai Lama’s supports and to be called traitor or Chinese dog. They will be discriminated and segregated in their own community which make their life so much harder just because they choose to honour their guru samaya.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/the-buddhist-divide-an-unholy-campaign-against-religious-freedom.html
  • Sofi
    Wednesday, Nov 21. 2018 07:49 AM
    Kechara Spreads the Practice of Dorje Shugden

    How wonderful to see the sea of faces that had been blessed by Lord Dorje Shugden, the enlightened protector that will always be there for us on our path of spiritual practice! Rejoice indeed!

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/kechara-spreads-the-practice-of-dorje-shugden.html
  • Sofi
    Wednesday, Nov 21. 2018 07:47 AM
    The Dalai Lama & Panchen Lama in India in 1956

    The Panchen Lama and the 14th Dalai Lama was so close back then. Will they become close again in this near future? Read and find out for yourselves.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/the-dalai-lama-panchen-lama-in-india-in-1956.html
  • Sofi
    Wednesday, Nov 21. 2018 07:44 AM
    Excellent Guidelines For Students

    Every Dharma student should read this to learn to be good practitioners for benefits others whilst learning the peace within.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/guidelines-for-students.html
  • Yee Yin
    Tuesday, Nov 20. 2018 09:15 PM
    Dorje Shugden manifests in a Deva form (a form in the 6 realms) so he can give us very swift assistance. He is a ‘young’ protector as he arose only 300 years ago. He is very effective in dealing with problems we have in this era, he helps us to remove our obstacles so we can practice the Dharma. We can chant his mantra: OM BENZA WIKI BITANA SOHA for at least 21 times a day or more to connect with him. But it will be better if we can do his practice daily.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/dorje-shugden-retreat-a-powerful-practice-to-fulfill-wishes.html
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Tuesday, Nov 20. 2018 09:11 PM
    If you are new to Tibetan Buddhism and not sure what practice to do, you should start with Tsongkhapa practice. Tsongkhapa is an emanation of Manjushri, Chenrezig, and Vajrapani. When we recite Tsongkhapa’s mantra we are invoking the energy of wisdom, compassion and skillful mean. Our mind will be more stable, calm and clear.

    Learn more about Tsongkhapa’s practice from here:
    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/tsongkapas-daily-practice-video-commentary.html
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Tuesday, Nov 20. 2018 08:58 PM
    Gyenze is the increase form of Dorje Shugden. His practice is to help us to increase our inner and outer wealth, our health, our relationship with people, etc. He gives us a conducive condition so we can practice Dharma and be liberated from sufferings. His practice is very easy to do and it does not take a long time. Start your practice today to connect with the increase energy of Dorje Shugden.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/dorje-shugden-gyenze-to-increase-life-merits-and-wealth.html
    [no sender]
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Nov 20. 2018 11:44 AM
    Interesting article…. I have heard of hippes many years ago but not much information and details known. Long forgotten till after reading this article I am aware as such it still exist nowadays. To me they were just travellers having long hairs and staying in tents, exploring themselves the world around them. They gave up their comfortable lifestyle to live in poverty. At least now I begin to understand about them.
    Its origins may be traced to European social movements in the 19th and early 20th century. They were a group of people who rebelled against the traditional American lifestyle, craving peace and happiness. They were often vegetarian and eco-friendly people. Up to these days the hippie unique culture is still alive, especially in the United States . So there are still 17 best US cities where the hippes can be found. Interesting to know each of the hippies cities got to offer, their culture and lifestyle .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/17-best-u-s-cities-for-hippies.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Nov 20. 2018 11:43 AM
    Thank you Rinpoche and Li Kheng for this wonderful post for readers to have a good insight understanding of the Tibetan leadership’s prohibition of Dorje Shugden’s practice. Well researched article with supporting evidence, to reveal the suffering and harm on those practitioners.
    Dorje Shugden is the emanation of Manjushri, the Buddha of Wisdom and arose about 400 years ago to protect the teachings as taught by Lama Tsongkhapa. Many highly attained Lamas has been practicing many hundred years before the ban and they cannot be wrong . The Tibetan leadership has been exploiting their own people all these years since the ban. Many families are torn apart , Shugden people had to break away from their monasteries, denied medical services ,schools were some of the examples of the sufferings. There are more than enough evidence showing that there is no religious freedom or true democracy within Tibetan society. Interesting read.
    Interesting read……. Thanks again with folded hands. May the ban on Dorje Shugden be lifted soon.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/the-buddhist-divide-an-unholy-campaign-against-religious-freedom.html
  • Sofi
    Tuesday, Nov 20. 2018 07:38 AM
    100,000 Butterlamp Offering Retreat | 十万盏酥油灯供养闭关

    The offering of butter lamps is a very good generator of merits and dispels darkeness of the mind. Here in Kechara you are able to engage in butter lamp retreat daily with assistance from fellow Kecharians in KFR, Bentong, Malaysia

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpo
    che/buddhas-dharma/100000-butterlamp-offering-retreat.html
  • Sofi
    Tuesday, Nov 20. 2018 12:23 AM
    6 Yogas of Naropa by H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche

    Something that we wish to attain, to gain the total freedom. Do you yearn for it?

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/6-yogas-of-naropa-by-h-h-kyabje-zong-rinpoche.html
  • Yee Yin
    Monday, Nov 19. 2018 05:17 PM
    For people who are sick, Medicine Buddha is a very good practice. Recently, a new holy site Medicine Buddha Healing Fountain was added in Kechara Forest Retreat to benefit people with sickness. We can collect highly energised and blessed water with healing properties from The Medicine Buddha healing fountain for consumption or stray animals.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/medicine-buddha-healing-fountain-at-kechara-forest-retreat.html
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Monday, Nov 19. 2018 05:13 PM
    Dorje Shugden is a very beneficial practice to modern people. He helps us to overcome our obstacles and fulfill our wishes very quickly. Tsem Rinpoche has very kindly composed a short prayer that we can do daily. If you don’t have much time to do prayers, this will be a good start.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/which-dorje-shugden-style-is-your-favourite.html
    [no sender]

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
I was given this beautiful gift today from Karen Chong. It is an enormous gift. I really treasure this. I love anything to do with invoking Manjushri or connecting with Him. Thank you so much. Tsem Rinpoche
7 days ago
I was given this beautiful gift today from Karen Chong. It is an enormous gift. I really treasure this. I love anything to do with invoking Manjushri or connecting with Him. Thank you so much. Tsem Rinpoche
I requesed His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche to write out the mantra of Vajra Yogini. He immediately compassionately obliged me. This is the mantra as written by His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. I\'ve had this in a safe plastic wrap and wore it around my neck in a small yellow cloth \'bag\' for many years. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
I requesed His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche to write out the mantra of Vajra Yogini. He immediately compassionately obliged me. This is the mantra as written by His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. I've had this in a safe plastic wrap and wore it around my neck in a small yellow cloth 'bag' for many years. Tsem Rinpoche
If there were just 10 persons you should know about in your lifetime, one of them is this incredible Dr. Ambedkar. Enrich your life and don\'t miss this: https://bit.ly/2Dub7xu
2 weeks ago
If there were just 10 persons you should know about in your lifetime, one of them is this incredible Dr. Ambedkar. Enrich your life and don't miss this: https://bit.ly/2Dub7xu
Dear friends, watch this short 11mins video. It is so nice. My dream idea of living. I love the fresh things they grow for their own food. I wish our culture here was more geared toward this type of living. Watch plse. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=do1O5Avw_SQ&feature=share
2 weeks ago
Dear friends, watch this short 11mins video. It is so nice. My dream idea of living. I love the fresh things they grow for their own food. I wish our culture here was more geared toward this type of living. Watch plse. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=do1O5Avw_SQ&feature=share
No one stays around, do not depend on anyone. Let go of them before they let go of you...it is inevitable. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
No one stays around, do not depend on anyone. Let go of them before they let go of you...it is inevitable. Tsem Rinpoche
Outdoor stunning Tara at Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
3 weeks ago
Outdoor stunning Tara at Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
The Promise - https://bit.ly/2NfHJjQ
3 weeks ago
Hunting is a horrible \'sport\' because it is not necessary and unfair. Killing animals is vicious and inhuman. Hurting animals does not help us, our karma, our mind and it does not help the animals. Killing animals serves no benefit and it stunts our spiritual growth. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Hunting is a horrible 'sport' because it is not necessary and unfair. Killing animals is vicious and inhuman. Hurting animals does not help us, our karma, our mind and it does not help the animals. Killing animals serves no benefit and it stunts our spiritual growth. Tsem Rinpoche
This is a beautiful Yamantaka
3 weeks ago
This is a beautiful Yamantaka
This is so powerful. This is so true. This is something we must remember about our self worth. We must value ourselves without arrogance.
3 weeks ago
This is so powerful. This is so true. This is something we must remember about our self worth. We must value ourselves without arrogance.
Nothing is for free for sure.
3 weeks ago
Nothing is for free for sure.
Beautiful Dorje Yudroma protector. A gentle Goddess I\'ve had the pleasure to meet via her oracle.
3 weeks ago
Beautiful Dorje Yudroma protector. A gentle Goddess I've had the pleasure to meet via her oracle.
Beautiful Kalachakra painting
3 weeks ago
Beautiful Kalachakra painting
I like this picture of my teacher behind me.
3 weeks ago
I like this picture of my teacher behind me.
This magnificent Dorje Shugden statue is enshrined at Choijin Lama Museum in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia. The museum was the home of the Choijin Lama, the State Oracle of Mongolia. Choijin Lama was an oracle of the Nechung deity and the brother of the 8th Bogd Khaan Jebzundamba (1869-1924), the de facto leader of Outer Mongolia. - https://palyulmedia.smugmug.com/Worldwide-Palyul/MongoliaConnections/Mongolia-Choijin-Lama-Museum/i-TQ8CmHM
3 weeks ago
This magnificent Dorje Shugden statue is enshrined at Choijin Lama Museum in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia. The museum was the home of the Choijin Lama, the State Oracle of Mongolia. Choijin Lama was an oracle of the Nechung deity and the brother of the 8th Bogd Khaan Jebzundamba (1869-1924), the de facto leader of Outer Mongolia. - https://palyulmedia.smugmug.com/Worldwide-Palyul/MongoliaConnections/Mongolia-Choijin-Lama-Museum/i-TQ8CmHM
Please download this and share this meme with others. Thanks.
4 weeks ago
Please download this and share this meme with others. Thanks.
Beautiful Tibetan art for FREE download: https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
4 weeks ago
Beautiful Tibetan art for FREE download: https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
Sacred Protector Dorje Shugden can help you, if you invoke Him sincerely..
4 weeks ago
Sacred Protector Dorje Shugden can help you, if you invoke Him sincerely..
Now there is a Tsem Rinpoche blog  site in Nepalese language! Check it out:  https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/l/np/
4 weeks ago
Now there is a Tsem Rinpoche blog site in Nepalese language! Check it out: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/l/np/
The Reasons Why People Who Practice Dorje Shugden Do Not Go To the Three Lower Realms- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSBbFiexCCE
1 month ago
The Reasons Why People Who Practice Dorje Shugden Do Not Go To the Three Lower Realms- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSBbFiexCCE
Very interesting blog post that goes along with this depiction of the Yeti. - https://bit.ly/2E43COF
1 month ago
Very interesting blog post that goes along with this depiction of the Yeti. - https://bit.ly/2E43COF
His Holiness Sharpa Choje Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Nyima of Gaden Shartse Monastery. He was a supreme master of both Sutra and Tantra. He served as abbot of both Gaden Shartse Monastery as well as Gyuto Tantric college. After serving as abbot of Gyuto Tantric college he entered into a few long term (3 year, 3 month and 3 day) Vajra Yogini retreats in the forest. He completed that long retreat twice and was going to enter it again till he was asked to be abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery by H.H. the Dalai Lama. He was a great practitioner of Vajra Yogini\'s tantra as well as Dorje Shugden. He was a scholar of the highest renown and he was highly sought after for teachings. He was very devoted to Dorje Shugden throughout his whole life as a pure monk. I was fortunate enough to have him as one of my teachers. Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche

To read more- https://bit.ly/2zW2Grz
1 month ago
His Holiness Sharpa Choje Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Nyima of Gaden Shartse Monastery. He was a supreme master of both Sutra and Tantra. He served as abbot of both Gaden Shartse Monastery as well as Gyuto Tantric college. After serving as abbot of Gyuto Tantric college he entered into a few long term (3 year, 3 month and 3 day) Vajra Yogini retreats in the forest. He completed that long retreat twice and was going to enter it again till he was asked to be abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery by H.H. the Dalai Lama. He was a great practitioner of Vajra Yogini's tantra as well as Dorje Shugden. He was a scholar of the highest renown and he was highly sought after for teachings. He was very devoted to Dorje Shugden throughout his whole life as a pure monk. I was fortunate enough to have him as one of my teachers. Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche To read more- https://bit.ly/2zW2Grz
Beautiful thangka painting of Lord Yamantaka the slayer of ignorance and who bestows supreme wisdom that eradicates all projections.
1 month ago
Beautiful thangka painting of Lord Yamantaka the slayer of ignorance and who bestows supreme wisdom that eradicates all projections.
Kadroma Metsik Nakmo or Dakini Ucchusma who purifies and heals the body.
1 month ago
Kadroma Metsik Nakmo or Dakini Ucchusma who purifies and heals the body.
I am reciting a daily prayer to Dorje Shugden. Here is the youtube link to the audio- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-OSudd323A
2 months ago
I am reciting a daily prayer to Dorje Shugden. Here is the youtube link to the audio- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-OSudd323A
It\'s hard to not fall in love with little cute Pema baby girl. She is so light, happy and wags her tail super fast when she sees us or anyone. Super friendly. She is a heart breaker for sure. Teehee...She is our Kechara Forest Retreat doggie and runs free throughout our sacred land. Her name Pema means lotus. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
It's hard to not fall in love with little cute Pema baby girl. She is so light, happy and wags her tail super fast when she sees us or anyone. Super friendly. She is a heart breaker for sure. Teehee...She is our Kechara Forest Retreat doggie and runs free throughout our sacred land. Her name Pema means lotus. Tsem Rinpoche
My Nepalese boys work hard and I appreciate them. Today we have purchased special foods for them to snack on and also to cook with so they won\'t be so homesick. These foods are all imported from their country. There\'s a street in downtown K.L. that sell all this. So happy to get this for them. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
My Nepalese boys work hard and I appreciate them. Today we have purchased special foods for them to snack on and also to cook with so they won't be so homesick. These foods are all imported from their country. There's a street in downtown K.L. that sell all this. So happy to get this for them. Tsem Rinpoche
I come out of the bathroom to be greeted by the mess the two monsters made...Some more they want snacks! Monster Oser girl and Monster Dharma boy.
2 months ago
I come out of the bathroom to be greeted by the mess the two monsters made...Some more they want snacks! Monster Oser girl and Monster Dharma boy.
This blog post has had amazing response. Since published on July 27, 2018, there has been 114,788 views and still increasing. I am happy to see how this post has made things clearer. Do visit this post here-  https://bit.ly/2MATbGe
2 months ago
This blog post has had amazing response. Since published on July 27, 2018, there has been 114,788 views and still increasing. I am happy to see how this post has made things clearer. Do visit this post here- https://bit.ly/2MATbGe
His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche with his disciple Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche. Beautiful picture.
2 months ago
His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche with his disciple Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche. Beautiful picture.
This monk takes trance of Dorje Shugden and he was happy to receive THE PROMISE book in Tibet
2 months ago
This monk takes trance of Dorje Shugden and he was happy to receive THE PROMISE book in Tibet
Find out about the blessed healing water for health and healing at Kechara Forest Retreat- https://bit.ly/2CtVQNk
2 months ago
Find out about the blessed healing water for health and healing at Kechara Forest Retreat- https://bit.ly/2CtVQNk
This is my ultimate home!!! Blue waters, trees, skies, mountains, house that is open, retreat, meditation, Buddha images and purple flowers. Wow. Such a perfect place for me. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
This is my ultimate home!!! Blue waters, trees, skies, mountains, house that is open, retreat, meditation, Buddha images and purple flowers. Wow. Such a perfect place for me. Tsem Rinpoche
To see other beautiful portrayals of Dorje Shugden, click here: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
2 months ago
To see other beautiful portrayals of Dorje Shugden, click here: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Severed head Vajra Yogini has a brilliant orange body, orange darting eyes, wearing a necklace of freshly cut human heads firmly standing within a wisdom fire emanating from her sacred body reminding us to cut off our self damaging ego. Without the ego, our sufferings cannot survive and our happiness will arise. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Severed head Vajra Yogini has a brilliant orange body, orange darting eyes, wearing a necklace of freshly cut human heads firmly standing within a wisdom fire emanating from her sacred body reminding us to cut off our self damaging ego. Without the ego, our sufferings cannot survive and our happiness will arise. Tsem Rinpoche
A thought on how to repay the kindness of the guru
2 months ago
A thought on how to repay the kindness of the guru
Very nice old artwork on the Bodha Stupa in Nepal.
2 months ago
Very nice old artwork on the Bodha Stupa in Nepal.
This is quite interesting....
2 months ago
This is quite interesting....
Wonderful statement by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Although Dorje Shugden is not negative, lets hope His Holiness can apply this to the Shugden issue. Then there will be peace.
2 months ago
Wonderful statement by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Although Dorje Shugden is not negative, lets hope His Holiness can apply this to the Shugden issue. Then there will be peace.
Left to right: Tritul Rinpoche, Gaden Tripa Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Monastic prayer hall during puja.
2 months ago
Left to right: Tritul Rinpoche, Gaden Tripa Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Monastic prayer hall during puja.
The oracle of Dorje Shugden Choyang Dulzin Kuten of Gaden making offerings to Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche during a teaching in Gaden Shartse Monastery.
3 months ago
The oracle of Dorje Shugden Choyang Dulzin Kuten of Gaden making offerings to Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche during a teaching in Gaden Shartse Monastery.
Their Holinesses Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche
3 months ago
Their Holinesses Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche
Please click on this picture and see how tragic this is.
3 months ago
Please click on this picture and see how tragic this is.
Advice by His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche- https://bit.ly/2NiryBg
3 months ago
Advice by His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche- https://bit.ly/2NiryBg
Zong Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche in 1987 Los Angeles.
3 months ago
Zong Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche in 1987 Los Angeles.
Beautiful Yamantaka print
3 months ago
Beautiful Yamantaka print
Beautiful and sacred Vajra Yogini painting for you to download free in high file to print out, frame and place on your shrine or share with friends. May you be blessed. Download here: 
 https://bit.ly/2N5zI02
3 months ago
Beautiful and sacred Vajra Yogini painting for you to download free in high file to print out, frame and place on your shrine or share with friends. May you be blessed. Download here: https://bit.ly/2N5zI02
The Fifth Dalai Lama & Dorje Shugden | ༧གོང་ས་ལྔ་པ་ཆེན་པོ་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། | 第五世达赖尊者与多杰雄登---read more--- https://bit.ly/2C65Iwr
3 months ago
The Fifth Dalai Lama & Dorje Shugden | ༧གོང་ས་ལྔ་པ་ཆེན་པོ་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། | 第五世达赖尊者与多杰雄登---read more--- https://bit.ly/2C65Iwr
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • If there were more schools like this, then our kids would grow up with more caring awareness and kind emotions towards our environment and the people around them. They would grow up knowing that chasing materialism is not going to bring any happiness. I hope very much more schools like this would materialise. I hope in my future life I can attend a school like this. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 weeks ago
    If there were more schools like this, then our kids would grow up with more caring awareness and kind emotions towards our environment and the people around them. They would grow up knowing that chasing materialism is not going to bring any happiness. I hope very much more schools like this would materialise. I hope in my future life I can attend a school like this. Tsem Rinpoche
  • My Oser girl and Dharma boy in their cosy little bedroom next to me sleeping away. Cute.
    3 weeks ago
    My Oser girl and Dharma boy in their cosy little bedroom next to me sleeping away. Cute.
  • It is incredible how smart Oser girl is. She can steal the treat away from Dharma boy and so casually. Wow. She is so smart. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 weeks ago
    It is incredible how smart Oser girl is. She can steal the treat away from Dharma boy and so casually. Wow. She is so smart. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Kechara Forest Retreat Dogs. Dharma boy is tiny and trying to scare off big boy Johnny. Johnny is so patient and just ignores Dharma. They are both cute and both live in Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 weeks ago
    Kechara Forest Retreat Dogs. Dharma boy is tiny and trying to scare off big boy Johnny. Johnny is so patient and just ignores Dharma. They are both cute and both live in Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia. Tsem Rinpoche
  • BREAKING EYEWITNESS FOOTAGE: Workers violently punched, kicked, cussed out, & left sheep to die on dozens of Scottish farms 💔 Sheep bled after rough shearing & were stitched up without painkillers.–From Peta2
    4 weeks ago
    BREAKING EYEWITNESS FOOTAGE: Workers violently punched, kicked, cussed out, & left sheep to die on dozens of Scottish farms 💔 Sheep bled after rough shearing & were stitched up without painkillers.–From Peta2
  • Super cute seal and so gentle. Must watch this video and realize we are all one. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 weeks ago
    Super cute seal and so gentle. Must watch this video and realize we are all one. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Legendary Heart sings “Stairway to Heaven” in tribute to Led Zeppelin. Incredible tribute and rendition. Everyone is blown away. TR
    1 month ago
    Legendary Heart sings “Stairway to Heaven” in tribute to Led Zeppelin. Incredible tribute and rendition. Everyone is blown away. TR
  • In a low-income neighbourhood, this man is growing his own organic produce, and giving extras away for free to neighbours who can’t afford fresh ingredients from the store. Must watch!
    1 month ago
    In a low-income neighbourhood, this man is growing his own organic produce, and giving extras away for free to neighbours who can’t afford fresh ingredients from the store. Must watch!
  • Neat little video
    1 month ago
    Neat little video
  • It is nice to see sangha release animals into the wild. Gen Kunchok Palden and Chodrak contributed to releasing of frogs back into the wild. This is wonderful. Compassion is the mainstay of all spirituality. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 month ago
    It is nice to see sangha release animals into the wild. Gen Kunchok Palden and Chodrak contributed to releasing of frogs back into the wild. This is wonderful. Compassion is the mainstay of all spirituality. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is a special ‘carpet’ for dogs that you hide their snacks and they have to go digging for it. It is challenging and fun where they use their nose, paws and all to dig and find the snacks in between. This dog play carpet is ordered online. You can see little Zopa baby who is a Kechara resident doggie looking for the snacks in this cute video. She is kept busy and entertained! Tsem Rinpoche
    1 month ago
    This is a special ‘carpet’ for dogs that you hide their snacks and they have to go digging for it. It is challenging and fun where they use their nose, paws and all to dig and find the snacks in between. This dog play carpet is ordered online. You can see little Zopa baby who is a Kechara resident doggie looking for the snacks in this cute video. She is kept busy and entertained! Tsem Rinpoche
  • Kechara Forest Retreat in Bentong, Malaysia’s dog Pema is super adorable and cute. Everyone loves her. She is wearing a Manjushri blessing pendant.
    2 months ago
    Kechara Forest Retreat in Bentong, Malaysia’s dog Pema is super adorable and cute. Everyone loves her. She is wearing a Manjushri blessing pendant.
  • Spontaneous trance in Tibet by powerful healing Protector Dorje Shugden of a monk who usually takes trance.
    2 months ago
    Spontaneous trance in Tibet by powerful healing Protector Dorje Shugden of a monk who usually takes trance.
  • 喀切玛波向詹杜固仁波切献供养
    3 months ago
    喀切玛波向詹杜固仁波切献供养
    喀切玛波护法降神,向詹杜固仁波切献供曼扎及身语意之供养,同时也加持马来西亚克切拉禅修林道场。喀切玛波护法乃古时候的紫玛护法,他是藏地首座佛教寺院桑耶寺的护法神
  • Huge Chenresig statue being built. Very beautiful.
    3 months ago
    Huge Chenresig statue being built. Very beautiful.
  • Sacred Kache Marpo in trance of oracle makes offerings to Tsem Rinpoche and blesses the temple in Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia. Kache Marpo in ancient times was known as Tsiu Marpo the great protector of Samye Monastery which is the first monastery of Tibet.
    3 months ago
    Sacred Kache Marpo in trance of oracle makes offerings to Tsem Rinpoche and blesses the temple in Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia. Kache Marpo in ancient times was known as Tsiu Marpo the great protector of Samye Monastery which is the first monastery of Tibet.
  • Shugden practice in Tibet strong and growing
    3 months ago
    Shugden practice in Tibet strong and growing
  • It is Tsunmo Nunnery in Tibet. This nunnery all practise Dorje Shugden.
    3 months ago
    It is Tsunmo Nunnery in Tibet. This nunnery all practise Dorje Shugden.
  • Light offerings to the outdoor Buddha Tara shrine in Kechara Forest Retreat, Malaysia at night. Beautiful.
    3 months ago
    Light offerings to the outdoor Buddha Tara shrine in Kechara Forest Retreat, Malaysia at night. Beautiful.
  • Interesting new interview of Boy George where he mentions about his practicing Buddhism- See the clip I snagged for you above. It’s beautiful to see him chanting. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    Interesting new interview of Boy George where he mentions about his practicing Buddhism- See the clip I snagged for you above. It’s beautiful to see him chanting. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Dharma boy is always mooching for a free snack! As shown in the video, Dharma gave up real fast and is waiting anxiously for a free snack!
    4 months ago
    Dharma boy is always mooching for a free snack! As shown in the video, Dharma gave up real fast and is waiting anxiously for a free snack!
  • Oser girl is very determined to get the snacks out! Look at how her cute little hands hold onto the ball.
    4 months ago
    Oser girl is very determined to get the snacks out! Look at how her cute little hands hold onto the ball.
  • Yudroma takes trance at Gyuto
    4 months ago
    Yudroma takes trance at Gyuto
    In Dharamsala there is a famous oracle to the Goddess Yudroma. She is the protector of Gyuto Tantric Monastic College. Many monks consult her for guidance. Here she is attending a puja session at Gyuto Tantric Monastic College where she is pleased with the people helping the monastery and takes trance spontaneously to express this. Tsem Rinpoche
  • The Simpsons: Lisa becomes a Buddhist
    4 months ago
    The Simpsons: Lisa becomes a Buddhist
  • Considering getting a tattoo of a Buddha image? Watch this video.
    4 months ago
    Considering getting a tattoo of a Buddha image? Watch this video.
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s personal shrine. May everyone who view the shrine be blessed and have peace.
    4 months ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s personal shrine. May everyone who view the shrine be blessed and have peace.
  • Very powerful and heartwarming short video about love. A must watch and a must share. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    Very powerful and heartwarming short video about love. A must watch and a must share. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Megnath is such a devotee of Bhagawan Dorje Shugden where he brought this protector to many people. Must watch this short video of him with the school kids. Lovely. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    Megnath is such a devotee of Bhagawan Dorje Shugden where he brought this protector to many people. Must watch this short video of him with the school kids. Lovely. Tsem Rinpoche
  • My super adorable Oser girl Schnauzer reaching for a carrot on a chair. Her face looks like a stuffed animal toy. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    My super adorable Oser girl Schnauzer reaching for a carrot on a chair. Her face looks like a stuffed animal toy. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is the shrine next to my working table where I sit daily. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    This is the shrine next to my working table where I sit daily. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    1 years 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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    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
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  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 years ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    1 years ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    1 years ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    1 years ago
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  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
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    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
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    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 years 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.
    1 years 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!!
    1 years ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    1 years ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

A section for you to clarify your Dharma questions with Kechara’s esteemed pastors.

Just post your name and your question below and one of our pastors will provide you with an answer.

Scroll down and click on "View All Questions" to view archived questions.

View All Questions
Today's quota for questions has been filled. Please come back tomorrow to re-submit your question

CHAT PICTURES

35 minutes ago
#Surplus #food #distribution to 20 needy families staying around Kebun Bunga, #Penang - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
9 hours ago
#Surplus #food #distribution to 20 needy families staying around Kebun Bunga, #Penang - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thank you Pastor, all Teachers, Volunteers and Kechara House for all your hard work, May many more like-minded people come forward and work together to fulfil all Rinpoche's benevolent and beneficial works! By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
Thank you Pastor, all Teachers, Volunteers and Kechara House for all your hard work, May many more like-minded people come forward and work together to fulfil all Rinpoche's benevolent and beneficial works! By Asyley Chia KSDS
Thank you Pastor, all Teachers, Volunteers and Kechara House for all your hard work, May many more like-minded people come forward and work together to fulfil all Rinpoche's benevolent and beneficial works! By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
Thank you Pastor, all Teachers, Volunteers and Kechara House for all your hard work, May many more like-minded people come forward and work together to fulfil all Rinpoche's benevolent and beneficial works! By Asyley Chia KSDS
Thank you Pastor, all Teachers, Volunteers and Kechara House for all your hard work, May many more like-minded people come forward and work together to fulfil all Rinpoche's benevolent and beneficial works! By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
Thank you Pastor, all Teachers, Volunteers and Kechara House for all your hard work, May many more like-minded people come forward and work together to fulfil all Rinpoche's benevolent and beneficial works! By Asyley Chia KSDS
Thank you Pastor, all Teachers, Volunteers and Kechara House for all your hard work, May many more like-minded people come forward and work together to fulfil all Rinpoche's benevolent and beneficial works! By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
Thank you Pastor, all Teachers, Volunteers and Kechara House for all your hard work, May many more like-minded people come forward and work together to fulfil all Rinpoche's benevolent and beneficial works! By Asyley Chia KSDS
Thank you Pastor, all Teachers, Volunteers and Kechara House for all your hard work, May many more like-minded people come forward and work together to fulfil all Rinpoche's benevolent and beneficial works! By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
Thank you Pastor, all Teachers, Volunteers and Kechara House for all your hard work, May many more like-minded people come forward and work together to fulfil all Rinpoche's benevolent and beneficial works! By Asyley Chia KSDS
Thank you Pastor, all Teachers, Volunteers and Kechara House for all your hard work, May many more like-minded people come forward and work together to fulfil all Rinpoche's benevolent and beneficial works! By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
Thank you Pastor, all Teachers, Volunteers and Kechara House for all your hard work, May many more like-minded people come forward and work together to fulfil all Rinpoche's benevolent and beneficial works! By Asyley Chia KSDS
Thank you Pastor, all Teachers, Volunteers and Kechara House for all your hard work, May many more like-minded people come forward and work together to fulfil all Rinpoche's benevolent and beneficial works! By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
Thank you Pastor, all Teachers, Volunteers and Kechara House for all your hard work, May many more like-minded people come forward and work together to fulfil all Rinpoche's benevolent and beneficial works! By Asyley Chia KSDS
Thank you all Pastor, Teachers, Volunteers and Kechara House for all your hard work, May many more like-minded people come forward and work together to fulfil all Rinpoche's benevolent and beneficial works! By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
Thank you all Pastor, Teachers, Volunteers and Kechara House for all your hard work, May many more like-minded people come forward and work together to fulfil all Rinpoche's benevolent and beneficial works! By Asyley Chia KSDS
Thank you all Pastor, Teachers, Volunteers and Kechara House for all your hard work, May many more like-minded people come forward and work together to fulfil all Rinpoche's benevolent and beneficial works! By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
Thank you all Pastor, Teachers, Volunteers and Kechara House for all your hard work, May many more like-minded people come forward and work together to fulfil all Rinpoche's benevolent and beneficial works! By Asyley Chia KSDS
Thank you all Pastor, Teachers, Volunteers and Kechara House for all your hard work, May many more like-minded people come forward and work together to fulfil all Rinpoche's benevolent and beneficial works! By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
Thank you all Pastor, Teachers, Volunteers and Kechara House for all your hard work, May many more like-minded people come forward and work together to fulfil all Rinpoche's benevolent and beneficial works! By Asyley Chia KSDS
Thank you all Pastor, Teachers, Volunteers and Kechara House for all your hard work, May many more like-minded people come forward and work together to fulfil all Rinpoche's benevolent and beneficial works! By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
Thank you all Pastor, Teachers, Volunteers and Kechara House for all your hard work, May many more like-minded people come forward and work together to fulfil all Rinpoche's benevolent and beneficial works! By Asyley Chia KSDS
Thank you all Pastor, Teachers, Volunteers and Kechara House for all your hard work, May many more like-minded people come forward and work together to fulfil all Rinpoche's benevolent and beneficial works! By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
Thank you all Pastor, Teachers, Volunteers and Kechara House for all your hard work, May many more like-minded people come forward and work together to fulfil all Rinpoche's benevolent and beneficial works! By Asyley Chia KSDS
The best gift to our children is to give them dharma. ~Tsem Rinpoche Thank you and appreciate all the wonderful parents's sending their children to Kechara Sunday Dharma School.May all stay healthy, and always be blessed and protected by the Three Jewels. By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
The best gift to our children is to give them dharma. ~Tsem Rinpoche Thank you and appreciate all the wonderful parents's sending their children to Kechara Sunday Dharma School.May all stay healthy, and always be blessed and protected by the Three Jewels. By Asyley Chia KSDS
The best gift to our children is to give them dharma. ~Tsem Rinpoche Thank you and appreciate all the wonderful parents's sending their children to Kechara Sunday Dharma School.May all stay healthy, and always be blessed and protected by the Three Jewels. By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
The best gift to our children is to give them dharma. ~Tsem Rinpoche Thank you and appreciate all the wonderful parents's sending their children to Kechara Sunday Dharma School.May all stay healthy, and always be blessed and protected by the Three Jewels. By Asyley Chia KSDS
The best gift to our children is to give them dharma. ~Tsem Rinpoche Thank you and appreciate all the wonderful parents's sending their children to Kechara Sunday Dharma School.May all stay healthy, and always be blessed and protected by the Three Jewels. By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
The best gift to our children is to give them dharma. ~Tsem Rinpoche Thank you and appreciate all the wonderful parents's sending their children to Kechara Sunday Dharma School.May all stay healthy, and always be blessed and protected by the Three Jewels. By Asyley Chia KSDS
The best gift to our children is to give them dharma. ~Tsem Rinpoche Thank you and appreciate all the wonderful parents's sending their children to Kechara Sunday Dharma School.May all stay healthy, and always be blessed and protected by the Three Jewels. By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
The best gift to our children is to give them dharma. ~Tsem Rinpoche Thank you and appreciate all the wonderful parents's sending their children to Kechara Sunday Dharma School.May all stay healthy, and always be blessed and protected by the Three Jewels. By Asyley Chia KSDS
The best gift to our children is to give them dharma. ~Tsem Rinpoche Thank you and appreciate all the wonderful parents's sending their children to Kechara Sunday Dharma School.May all stay healthy, and always be blessed and protected by the Three Jewels. By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
The best gift to our children is to give them dharma. ~Tsem Rinpoche Thank you and appreciate all the wonderful parents's sending their children to Kechara Sunday Dharma School.May all stay healthy, and always be blessed and protected by the Three Jewels. By Asyley Chia KSDS
The best gift to our children is to give them dharma. ~Tsem Rinpoche Thank you and appreciate all the wonderful parents's sending their children to Kechara Sunday Dharma School.May all stay healthy, and always be blessed and protected by the Three Jewels. By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
The best gift to our children is to give them dharma. ~Tsem Rinpoche Thank you and appreciate all the wonderful parents's sending their children to Kechara Sunday Dharma School.May all stay healthy, and always be blessed and protected by the Three Jewels. By Asyley Chia KSDS
The best gift to our children is to give them dharma. ~Tsem Rinpoche Thank you and appreciate all the wonderful parents's sending their children to Kechara Sunday Dharma School.May all stay healthy, and always be blessed and protected by the Three Jewels. By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
The best gift to our children is to give them dharma. ~Tsem Rinpoche Thank you and appreciate all the wonderful parents's sending their children to Kechara Sunday Dharma School.May all stay healthy, and always be blessed and protected by the Three Jewels. By Asyley Chia KSDS
在还毕业典礼还没开始之前, 我们一起加油!!打气!! 祝大家演出成功 加油!!!加油!!!加油!!! YEAH!!!!Photos credit : Mr Lim Boon Seang by Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
在还毕业典礼还没开始之前, 我们一起加油!!打气!! 祝大家演出成功 加油!!!加油!!!加油!!! YEAH!!!!Photos credit : Mr Lim Boon Seang by Asyley Chia KSDS
Every single child is gifted and talented in a particular area. Every single one also has particular challenges. But we know that if we are patient and calm and we wear our perspectacles and we keep believing, we will eventually see the specific magic of each child. Well done and thank you to all the talented students and your hard work performance on KSDS Graduation Ceremony 2018. By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
Every single child is gifted and talented in a particular area. Every single one also has particular challenges. But we know that if we are patient and calm and we wear our perspectacles and we keep believing, we will eventually see the specific magic of each child. Well done and thank you to all the talented students and your hard work performance on KSDS Graduation Ceremony 2018. By Asyley Chia KSDS
Every single child is gifted and talented in a particular area. Every single one also has particular challenges. But we know that if we are patient and calm and we wear our perspectacles and we keep believing, we will eventually see the specific magic of each child. Well done and thank you to all the talented students and your hard work performance on KSDS Graduation Ceremony 2018.Photo Credit Mr Lim Boon Seang.By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
Every single child is gifted and talented in a particular area. Every single one also has particular challenges. But we know that if we are patient and calm and we wear our perspectacles and we keep believing, we will eventually see the specific magic of each child. Well done and thank you to all the talented students and your hard work performance on KSDS Graduation Ceremony 2018.Photo Credit Mr Lim Boon Seang.By Asyley Chia KSDS
Every single child is gifted and talented in a particular area. Every single one also has particular challenges. But we know that if we are patient and calm and we wear our perspectacles and we keep believing, we will eventually see the specific magic of each child. Well done and thank you to all the talented students and your hard work performance on KSDS Graduation Ceremony 2018.Photo Credit Mr Lim Boon Seang.By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
Every single child is gifted and talented in a particular area. Every single one also has particular challenges. But we know that if we are patient and calm and we wear our perspectacles and we keep believing, we will eventually see the specific magic of each child. Well done and thank you to all the talented students and your hard work performance on KSDS Graduation Ceremony 2018.Photo Credit Mr Lim Boon Seang.By Asyley Chia KSDS
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