The Sixty-Four Yogini Temple of Hirapur, India

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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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19 Responses to The Sixty-Four Yogini Temple of Hirapur, India

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  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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


  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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. 🙏

  14. 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!👍👏🙏😘

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

  17. 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

  18. 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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  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Oct 20. 2018 05:48 PM
    It is interesting to read Mahatma Ghandi story. He is such a compassionate person who did everything for the benefit of others although he needs to go through so much pain, jail term and even death. His teaching always remain that is to deal the situation with peace and tolerance, not violent. When he was caught by the British in 1919, and his followers were attacked, his advise to his people is do not use violence and do not damage any property. For most of us, we are driven to revenge with hatred and violence once we are being ‘attack’. That’s how negative our mindset is.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing such an inspiring article of Mahatma Ghandi.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/mahatma-gandhi-the-great-soul.html
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Oct 20. 2018 05:16 PM
    It is indeed very rude for Roisinelder to come to Rinpoche’s tweet and made baseless allegation. Thing she stated just show how irresponsible she is with her limited knowledge of Buddha’s teaching and Dorje Shugden. We are thankful that Rinpoche has shared so many articles, videos, prayers and etc about Dorje Shugden so all students and people around the world understand the origins of the practise. None of this I found negative and the slander made by Roisinelder not only damage her own integrity but HH Dalai Lama. I hope people who read this type of comments on social media has the right understanding to what is true and not. May Dorje Shugden ban be lifted soon and Rinpoche do not need to receive such attack on social media.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/why-is-she-putting-the-dalai-lama-down.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Oct 20. 2018 04:09 PM
    Zaya Pandita Luvsanperenlei was born a son of a very poor herdsman in Mongolia. He was a disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni in one of his previous incarnations. At a young age he was recognized as tulku, been gifted he studied under many masters. Later HH 5 th Dalai Lama recognised as an incarnation of Zaya Pandita. Amazing at a young boy he learn to read, write and even learning poetry, painting and sculpture. Later years as a young man he even studied medicine and science. He also studied medicine and science and was known to be an excellent painter and poet. An interesting life story of a great Lama. He was one of the key disciples of Drepung Monastery’s Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen. He also studied medicine and science. An interesting life story of a great Lama He was involved in the construction many temples, founded a monastery and four colleges which had a great influence on Mongolian medicine. Zaya Pandita was a excellent writer having wrote numerous books , texts, prayers and other works to date. He was one of the key disciples of Drepung Monastery’s Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Seow Choong Liang for this interesting read.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/zaya-pandita-luvsanperenlei-1642-1708.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Oct 20. 2018 04:08 PM
    Geshe Ngawang Wangyal was a Buddhist priest and scholar of Kalmyk origin born in the Astrakhan province,Russia. Folowing his brother footsteps he became a monk at a young age , he was able to learn the Tibetan language and could memorised many Tibetan texts. Geshe Wangyal’s intelligence and passion for Buddhist studies lead him working hard to continue his studies. His struggles paid off and during the Chinese invasion he has helped in the escape of HH Dalai Lama to India. The rest is history and later he made his way to New Jersey his home , working for CIA and as a translator then. In the later years he managed to established and built a Buddhist monastery. He gave teachings to many students of Western background and sponsoring many Tibetian Lamas and monks from India to serve the Buddhist community in the United States. He played a significant role in spreading Tibetan Buddhism in the United States. He has worked tireless to benefit many people , had translated two volumes of popular Tibetan and Sanskrit stories illustrative of Buddhist teachings. His legacy still lives on till today.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this interesting read with folded hands.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/geshe-ngawang-wangyal-americas-first-pioneering-buddhist-lama.html
  • Sofi
    Saturday, Oct 20. 2018 08:24 AM
    Another success story of Kechara Soup Kitchen

    H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche had conceptualised Kechara Soup Kitchen based on his experience of great hunger. He understood that hunger cuts across all barriers of humanity and will unite people in compassion. Kudos to all who held Rinpoche’s wishes and went all the way to the success that it is today. Many had benefitted from Kechara Soup Kitchen and many still will.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-soup-kitchen-ksk/another-success-story-of-kechara-soup-kitchen.html
  • Sofi
    Saturday, Oct 20. 2018 08:20 AM
    Menlha (Medicine Buddha) practice

    I truly recommend that you to be familiar with this great Medicine Buddha (Menhla) puja (prayer) as it is so beneficial on many levels, for the swift recovery of sick ones, for the dying or those who had passed and for our own well being. It had been said that at the point of death, if Medicine Buddha’s mantra is recited, then one will take rebirth in the human realm. Such is the compassion of Menhla.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/liaisons/menlha-medicine-buddha-practice.html
  • Sofi
    Saturday, Oct 20. 2018 08:15 AM
    My kind of Architecture….

    Find out what kind of architecture Rinpoche likes and do you share the same?

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/my-kind-of-architecture.html
  • Sofi
    Saturday, Oct 20. 2018 08:13 AM
    Albert Einstein says about Buddhism

    Great praise coming from Albet Einstein, the genius everyone knows of.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/albert-einstein-says-about-buddhism.html
  • Chris
    Saturday, Oct 20. 2018 08:10 AM
    Tibetan leadership forces Sera Jey monk to propose self-harm

    When a government forces a monk to publicly announce that he will self-immolate if the dirty politics in his own government do not stop, the situation is really bad. Monks are supposed to not interfere with any of the secular matters and only focus on his Dharma study and practice.

    Monks also hold vows of not killing also included himself. Suicide is against their vow and it is one of the major vows. This Sera Jey monk is willing to return his monk vows and kill himself just to raise awareness of the corruption of the Tibetan government.

    Tibetan government should really take a good look at themselves to change for the better. This should be a wake-up call for them already. The sufferings that the public feel will be much more if they stay the same.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/tibetan-leadership-forces-sera-jey-monk-to-propose-self-harm.html
  • Chris
    Saturday, Oct 20. 2018 07:33 AM
    Kyabje Ling Rinpoche does Dorje Shugden

    Kyabje Ling Rinpoche is one of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s tutors. He is the one that is responsible for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s education. Since His Holiness the Dalai Lama is not someone ordinary and he will be responsible for the spreading of Dharma later in his life, they will definitely choose the best teacher for him.

    From here, we can see how great this Ling Rinpoche is to be able to be responsible for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s education. He must be someone respectable and excellent in his knowledge to be able to hold such post.

    How is it possible for CTA to choose someone that does demon practice to teach the Dalai Lama? If Dorje Shugden is a demon and it means Ling Rinpoche is a demon practitioner and what he taught His Holiness will be demon practice. It is not logical.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/kyabje-ling-rinpoche-does-dorje-shugden.html
  • Chris
    Saturday, Oct 20. 2018 04:46 AM
    Markham makes it illegal to ban Dorje Shugden

    Dorje Shugden ban has been around for 20 years and many had suffered discrimination and segregation from their own Dharma and secular communities. They are being denied services from restaurants and hotels. They are even being denied by schools and hospitals.

    Dorje Shugden people had suffered tremendously due to their choice of religion. It is unfair to persecute someone based on their choice of religion. That state of Markham recognizes the unjust of the issue and issued a public notice to warn their citizens to not use religious affairs to create trouble especially Dorje Shugden religion.

    Those who are found guilty will be brought under the law. This is a huge step for religious freedom in Tibet and hopefully, more and more cities and counties will follow Markham.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/markam-illegal-to-create-conflict.html
  • Yee Yin
    Saturday, Oct 20. 2018 04:44 AM
    Ever since the Dorje Shugden ban was imposed 20 years ago, the Dorje Shugden practitioners have suffered a lot. The CTA issued a directive to the Tibetans telling them to not have any connection with Dorje Shugden practitioners. Families, friends, teachers, and students are split due to the difference in their faiths.

    The CTA said there is no ban on Dorje Shugden practice, this is not true at all. There are notices put up to stop Dorje Shugden practitioners from frequenting. Dorje Shugden practitioner is not allowed to frequent restaurants, shops, guest house, and temples. In addition, Dorje Shugden practitioners are hurt physically. Nothing was done by the CTA to stop these harmful behaviors.

    These 2 videos are another solid proof of the ban. People are turned away because they are Dorje Shugden practitioners. In general ,when people know you practice Dorje Shugden, they will reject you just like how they did in the videos. The CTA should lift the ban as soon as possible beacuse it causes separation and disharmony in the Tibetan community.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/they-said-no.html
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Saturday, Oct 20. 2018 03:25 AM
    China’s passport is becoming more powerful similar to the United States and the United Kingdom. This new development clearly says that China is fast becoming more respected, and more importantly, trusted. It also means with there is a lot of international trade with the Chinese government and Chinese business people and companies. A more powerful Chinese passport also indicates a wealthier and more affluent Chinese domestic economy. As Chinese people find it easier to travel and access the people of the world, the rich Chinese culture and their philosophy will spread to other nations.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/chinese-passports-become-more-powerful.html
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Saturday, Oct 20. 2018 03:15 AM
    Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen arose as the great protector Dorje Shugden after he was murdered by some jealous students of the 5th Dalai Lama. Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen made a promise in his previous life (when he was Dulzin Drakpa Gyeltsen) that he would protect Buddhism, in particular, the Tsongkhapa doctrine. The appearance of Dorje Shugden is to help Dharma practitioners of our time to overcome their obstacles in life and be able to focus in spiritual practice. For non-Dharma practitioners, Dorje Shugden will give them protection and create a connection with them to guide them in their spiritual path when the time is right.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/who-is-tulku-drakpa-gyeltsen.html
    [no sender]
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Oct 19. 2018 01:22 PM
    Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyeltsen the greatly learned master and emanation of Manjusri, was born in 1182. At the moment he was born many auspicious signs and omens appeared. This show he was some one very special been able to speak in Sanskrit at the time of birth and when he was 3 years old amazingly ,he could even read and speak Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese and Mongolian without having been taught. Wow…. Just within a few years he was able to recite lengthy works of philosophy and Tantra by heart. Since then he studied under many great masers in various subjects such in the Tibetan and Sanskrit languages, astrology, medicine and art, grammar, poetry, and music. He even composed numerous comprehensive logical commentaries, and his skill in debate was unmatched and he possessed with limitless knowledge. He was one of the greatest scholars in Tibetan history.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David Lai for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/sakya-pandita-kunga-gyeltsen.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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Technical: Lew Kwan Leng, Justin Ripley, Yong Swee Keong
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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!

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now

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Animal Care Fund
  Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch

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.
The Reasons Why People Who Practice Dorje Shugden Do Not Go To the Three Lower Realms- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSBbFiexCCE
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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.
2 weeks 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.
2 weeks 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 weeks 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
3 weeks 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
3 weeks 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.
4 weeks 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
1 month 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.
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month ago
A thought on how to repay the kindness of the guru
Very nice old artwork on the Bodha Stupa in Nepal.
1 month ago
Very nice old artwork on the Bodha Stupa in Nepal.
This is quite interesting....
1 month 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.
1 month 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.
1 month 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.
2 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
2 months ago
Their Holinesses Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche
Please click on this picture and see how tragic this is.
2 months ago
Please click on this picture and see how tragic this is.
Advice by His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche- https://bit.ly/2NiryBg
2 months ago
Advice by His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche- https://bit.ly/2NiryBg
Zong Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche in 1987 Los Angeles.
2 months ago
Zong Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche in 1987 Los Angeles.
Beautiful Yamantaka print
2 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
2 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
2 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
My childhood researchers: https://bit.ly/2wroucv
2 months ago
My childhood researchers: https://bit.ly/2wroucv
A message to share. Thanks. Do click and share.
2 months ago
A message to share. Thanks. Do click and share.
Buddhist art has a rich and intricate tradition of expressing the divine iconography of awakened beings.~Tsem Rinpoche

Do enjoy the many wonderful Free Art PDF\'s here- https://bit.ly/2nXjK9T
2 months ago
Buddhist art has a rich and intricate tradition of expressing the divine iconography of awakened beings.~Tsem Rinpoche Do enjoy the many wonderful Free Art PDF's here- https://bit.ly/2nXjK9T
Mumu boy was Tsem Rinpoche\'s little Schnauzer. Partly because of Mumu Kechara was started and you must find out why that is. Do read more and see very cute adorable pictures: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=122472
2 months ago
Mumu boy was Tsem Rinpoche's little Schnauzer. Partly because of Mumu Kechara was started and you must find out why that is. Do read more and see very cute adorable pictures: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=122472
Kamakura is one of my favorite places
2 months ago
Kamakura is one of my favorite places
Anger...
2 months ago
Anger...
In 1989, Bill Porter, also known by his pen name ‘Red Pine’, travelled to the Zhongnan Mountains in China to meet some of these hermits and learn about their way of life. This resulted in his publishing the work titled Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits in 1993. 25 years later, Bill Porter travelled back to the same mountains to see if life there had changed. The outcome of this particular trip was a documentary titled Hermit, about a modern-day journey into the heart of the hermit tradition in China. This is a must watch documentary with so much to learn to enhance our lives which will give us hope as we are all drowning in materialism’s false promises.~Tsem Rinpoche

Fantastic and profound documentary: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=163457
2 months ago
In 1989, Bill Porter, also known by his pen name ‘Red Pine’, travelled to the Zhongnan Mountains in China to meet some of these hermits and learn about their way of life. This resulted in his publishing the work titled Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits in 1993. 25 years later, Bill Porter travelled back to the same mountains to see if life there had changed. The outcome of this particular trip was a documentary titled Hermit, about a modern-day journey into the heart of the hermit tradition in China. This is a must watch documentary with so much to learn to enhance our lives which will give us hope as we are all drowning in materialism’s false promises.~Tsem Rinpoche Fantastic and profound documentary: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=163457
Wrathful Dakini Ucchusma-In the form of wrathful dakini, Ucchusma has 3 eyes; with both hands holding a vase with nectar at her heart level, her hair loose, and no ornaments. She wears a garment of black silk, with two legs, feet together, standing on a lotus and sun disc. This deity functions to remove negative energy and pollutions from body, speech and mind. The practice was conferred by a Dakini to Drupangsa. -Mantra: Om ar-kham zir-kam bu-ma-na-se ou-cus-ha-ma ma-ha tro-da hung phet
2 months ago
Wrathful Dakini Ucchusma-In the form of wrathful dakini, Ucchusma has 3 eyes; with both hands holding a vase with nectar at her heart level, her hair loose, and no ornaments. She wears a garment of black silk, with two legs, feet together, standing on a lotus and sun disc. This deity functions to remove negative energy and pollutions from body, speech and mind. The practice was conferred by a Dakini to Drupangsa. -Mantra: Om ar-kham zir-kam bu-ma-na-se ou-cus-ha-ma ma-ha tro-da hung phet
Tibetan Painted Scrolls Volumes 1-3 in original print is something very rare and expensive to come by. I really like these very much from what I can see.
2 months ago
Tibetan Painted Scrolls Volumes 1-3 in original print is something very rare and expensive to come by. I really like these very much from what I can see.
Kechara Forest Retreat doing the extended puja of Dorje Shugden and Tsem Rinpoche attends the 2nd half. Good video to download: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-an_NAH6Mk
2 months ago
Kechara Forest Retreat doing the extended puja of Dorje Shugden and Tsem Rinpoche attends the 2nd half. Good video to download: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-an_NAH6Mk
A powerful meme to share.
2 months ago
A powerful meme to share.
Beautiful Avalokitesvara scroll painting.
2 months ago
Beautiful Avalokitesvara scroll painting.
Black Garuda. 18th century. U (Central Tibet). Tradition Gelug
2 months ago
Black Garuda. 18th century. U (Central Tibet). Tradition Gelug
Palden Lhamo. 18th century. Tibet. Tradition: Gelug
2 months ago
Palden Lhamo. 18th century. Tibet. Tradition: Gelug
Dorje Jigje. 15th century. Narthang, Tsang (South-Central Tibet). Tradition: Sakya
2 months ago
Dorje Jigje. 15th century. Narthang, Tsang (South-Central Tibet). Tradition: Sakya
The oracle of Dorje Shugden in Dungkar Monastery in Tibet. Very old vintage photo from 1923 by an English Earl Lord Ronaldshay in his book, \"Land Of The Thunderbolt Sikkim, Chunbi & Bhutan\". This Lord met up with Dorje Shugden via the oracle. He devotes a chapter in his book about this oracle and encounter.
2 months ago
The oracle of Dorje Shugden in Dungkar Monastery in Tibet. Very old vintage photo from 1923 by an English Earl Lord Ronaldshay in his book, "Land Of The Thunderbolt Sikkim, Chunbi & Bhutan". This Lord met up with Dorje Shugden via the oracle. He devotes a chapter in his book about this oracle and encounter.
Beautiful old photograph of the Kamakura Buddha in Japan.
2 months ago
Beautiful old photograph of the Kamakura Buddha in Japan.
Never before seen footage of Tsem Rinpoche with various oracles- https://bit.ly/292jMaG
2 months ago
Never before seen footage of Tsem Rinpoche with various oracles- https://bit.ly/292jMaG
In around 2 weeks, there are over 30k views already! Videos are great! Must watch!- https://bit.ly/2K0gNhB
2 months ago
In around 2 weeks, there are over 30k views already! Videos are great! Must watch!- https://bit.ly/2K0gNhB
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Legendary Heart sings “Stairway to Heaven” in tribute to Led Zeppelin. Incredible tribute and rendition. Everyone is blown away. TR
    2 days 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!
    3 days 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
    4 days 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 week 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
    2 weeks 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.
    1 month 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.
    1 month 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
    1 month 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.
    2 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.
    2 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
    2 months ago
    Shugden practice in Tibet strong and growing
  • It is Tsunmo Nunnery in Tibet. This nunnery all practise Dorje Shugden.
    2 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.
    2 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
    3 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!
    3 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.
    3 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
    3 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
    3 months ago
    The Simpsons: Lisa becomes a Buddhist
  • Considering getting a tattoo of a Buddha image? Watch this video.
    3 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.
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 months ago
    This is the shrine next to my working table where I sit daily. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Who is that?? Wow Wow
    3 months ago
    Who is that?? Wow Wow
    Tsem Rinpoche's pet Schnauzers Oser & Dharma trying to get attention of the life-like statue of Rinpoche's guru Kyabje Zong Rinpoche which was offered by the students
  • Nothing Stops Me from Getting the Snack!
    3 months ago
    Nothing Stops Me from Getting the Snack!
    Tsem Rinpoche's pet Schnauzer Oser got the snack from the ball!
  • I must get the snack!
    3 months ago
    I must get the snack!
    Tsem Rinpoche's pet Schnauzer Oser trying hard to get her snack out of the ball!
  • I love this green snack munch munch munch
    3 months ago
    I love this green snack munch munch munch
    Tsem Rinpoche's pet Schnauzer Oser enjoying her green snack!
  • ‘Ahm-ahm’ video part 3: Starring the two silly doggie clowns doing jumps for carrot tidbits. Teehee
    4 months ago
    ‘Ahm-ahm’ video part 3: Starring the two silly doggie clowns doing jumps for carrot tidbits. Teehee
  • ‘Ahm-ahm’ video part 2: Starring the mega monsters Oser and Dharma. Teehee
    4 months ago
    ‘Ahm-ahm’ video part 2: Starring the mega monsters Oser and Dharma. Teehee
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    12 months ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
  • Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
    12 months ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
  • BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
    12 months ago
    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    12 months ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    12 months ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    12 months 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
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    1 years ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    1 years ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    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.

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CHAT PICTURES

Teacher Melinda is one of the teacher for the youngest class of 2-6 years old. Lin Mun KSDS
8 hours ago
Teacher Melinda is one of the teacher for the youngest class of 2-6 years old. Lin Mun KSDS
Children were very excited collecting their own masterpiece. Lin Mun KSDS
8 hours ago
Children were very excited collecting their own masterpiece. Lin Mun KSDS
We will always do group prostration & mantra recitation before the start of our dharma classes. Lin Mun KSDS
8 hours ago
We will always do group prostration & mantra recitation before the start of our dharma classes. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Asyley always make sure all children are being taken care of. Lin Mun KSDS
8 hours ago
Teacher Asyley always make sure all children are being taken care of. Lin Mun KSDS
Children were so excited watching the biography video of Tsem Rinpoche. Lin Mun KSDS
8 hours ago
Children were so excited watching the biography video of Tsem Rinpoche. Lin Mun KSDS
Please come to Kuala Lumpur China town to visit us. YOu willl receive a precious gift from us. Louise
3 days ago
Please come to Kuala Lumpur China town to visit us. YOu willl receive a precious gift from us. Louise
3 days ago
The students of KSDS are wrote in message "DIY Lucky Star" wishes is for our very special one, guess who?? By Asyley Chia KSDS
4 days ago
The students of KSDS are wrote in message "DIY Lucky Star" wishes is for our very special one, guess who?? By Asyley Chia KSDS
The students of KSDS are wrote in message "DIY Lucky Star" wishes is for our very special one, guess who?? By Asyley Chia KSDS
4 days ago
The students of KSDS are wrote in message "DIY Lucky Star" wishes is for our very special one, guess who?? By Asyley Chia KSDS
The students of KSDS are wrote in message "DIY Lucky Star" wishes is for our very special one, guess who?? By Asyley Chia KSDS
4 days ago
The students of KSDS are wrote in message "DIY Lucky Star" wishes is for our very special one, guess who?? By Asyley Chia KSDS
The students of KSDS are wrote in message "DIY Lucky Star" wishes is for our very special one, guess who?? By Asyley Chia KSDS
4 days ago
The students of KSDS are wrote in message "DIY Lucky Star" wishes is for our very special one, guess who?? By Asyley Chia KSDS
The students of KSDS are wrote in message "DIY Lucky Star" wishes is for our very special one, guess who?? By Asyley Chia KSDS
4 days ago
The students of KSDS are wrote in message "DIY Lucky Star" wishes is for our very special one, guess who?? By Asyley Chia KSDS
The students of KSDS are wrote in message "DIY Lucky Star" wishes is for our very special one guess who?? By Asyley Chia KSDS
4 days ago
The students of KSDS are wrote in message "DIY Lucky Star" wishes is for our very special one guess who?? By Asyley Chia KSDS
The students of KSDS are wrote in message "DIY Lucky Star", wishes is for our very special one guess who??By Asyley Chia KSDS
4 days ago
The students of KSDS are wrote in message "DIY Lucky Star", wishes is for our very special one guess who??By Asyley Chia KSDS
The students of KSDS are wrote in message "DIY Lucky Star", wishes is for our very special one guess who??By Asyley Chia KSDS
4 days ago
The students of KSDS are wrote in message "DIY Lucky Star", wishes is for our very special one guess who??By Asyley Chia KSDS
The students of KSDS are wrote in message "DIY Lucky Star", wishes is for our very special one guess who??By Asyley Chia KSDS
4 days ago
The students of KSDS are wrote in message "DIY Lucky Star", wishes is for our very special one guess who??By Asyley Chia KSDS
The students of KSDS are wrote in message "DIY Lucky Star", wishes is for our very special one guess who??By Asyley Chia KSDS
4 days ago
The students of KSDS are wrote in message "DIY Lucky Star", wishes is for our very special one guess who??By Asyley Chia KSDS
The stone art returned back to the students after teacher Wong Yew Kien done spay on met protection coatings.thank you teacher Kien and students's effort the stone art are so nice and colorful.By Asyley Chia KSDS
4 days ago
The stone art returned back to the students after teacher Wong Yew Kien done spay on met protection coatings.thank you teacher Kien and students's effort the stone art are so nice and colorful.By Asyley Chia KSDS
The stone art returned back to the students after teacher Wong Yew Kien done spay on met protection coatings.thank you teacher Kien and students's effort the stone art are so nice and colorful. by Asyley Chia KSDS
4 days ago
The stone art returned back to the students after teacher Wong Yew Kien done spay on met protection coatings.thank you teacher Kien and students's effort the stone art are so nice and colorful. by Asyley Chia KSDS
三代同堂,修行学佛, 克切拉是个好地方。 感谢詹杜古仁波切创办了克切拉, 让我们修心学佛。By Asyley Chia KSDS
4 days ago
三代同堂,修行学佛, 克切拉是个好地方。 感谢詹杜古仁波切创办了克切拉, 让我们修心学佛。By Asyley Chia KSDS
Teacher Melinda teach group 2 to 6year old..The students like her very much.By Asyley Chia KSDS
4 days ago
Teacher Melinda teach group 2 to 6year old..The students like her very much.By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 to 6 year old students concentrate on jataka tales.by Asyley Chia KSDS
4 days ago
2 to 6 year old students concentrate on jataka tales.by Asyley Chia KSDS
Get your hands involved in the land, KFR Saturday ~ Wai Meng
5 days ago
Get your hands involved in the land, KFR Saturday ~ Wai Meng
Awesome sharing by Abby Foo on Tsem Rinpoche's bio, Saturday at KFR ~ Wai Meng
5 days ago
Awesome sharing by Abby Foo on Tsem Rinpoche's bio, Saturday at KFR ~ Wai Meng
We also collect old books. KEP-Serena
5 days ago
We also collect old books. KEP-Serena
The Promise
  These books will change your life
  Tsem Rinpoche's Long Life Prayer by H.H. Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche
  Support Blog Team
Lamps For Life
  Robe Offerings
  Vajrayogini Stupa Fund
  White Tara Mantra Bank Project
  Rinpoche's Medical Fund
  Dana Offerings
  Soup Kitchen Project
 
Zong Rinpoche

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Dorje Shugden
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