The Buddha didn’t just believe in rebirth, he argued for it

Oct 6, 2011 | Views: 1,568

(By Tsem Rinpoche)

Thai forest monk Thanissaro Bhikkhu, a frequent contributor to Tricycle, sends the following:

It never ceases to amaze me that scholars—who should know better—keep repeating the idea that the Buddha lived in a time when everyone took for granted two principles: (1) that rebirth happened, and (2) that karma had an effect on how rebirth happened.

You wonder why this idea gets repeated so often, because the Pali Canon provides clear evidence to the contrary, evidence that has been available in Western languages for more than a century.

The Buddha frequently referred to two extremes of wrong view that blocked progress on the path: eternalism and annihilationism. “Annihilationism” is the term he used to describe those who denied rebirth. Apparently he didn’t invent the term himself, as Majjhima Nikaya sutra 22 reports that other teachers sometimes accused him of being an annihilationist as well.

The Canon mentions two people who, in the Buddha’s times, were famous for their annihilationist views. One was Ajita Kesakambalin, the leader of a materialist sect. Digha Nikaya sutra 2 reports his views as follows:

“‘There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no contemplatives or brahmans who, faring rightly and practicing rightly, proclaim this world and the next after having directly known and realized it for themselves. A person is a composite of four primary elements. At death, the earth (in the body) returns to and merges with the (external) earth-substance. The fire returns to and merges with the external fire-substance. The liquid returns to and merges with the external liquid-substance. The wind returns to and merges with the external wind-substance. The sense-faculties scatter into space. Four men, with the bier as the fifth, carry the corpse. Its eulogies are sounded only as far as the charnel ground. The bones turn pigeon-colored. The offerings end in ashes. Generosity is taught by idiots. The words of those who speak of existence after death are false, empty chatter. With the break-up of the body, the wise and the foolish alike are annihilated, destroyed. They do not exist after death.’” — Digha Nikaya sutra 2

Digha Nikaya sutra 23 tells of a Prince Payasi who held a similar materialist view and who had used his power to execute criminals as an opportunity to conduct gruesome, quasi-scientific experiments to test whether any part of a human being survived death. Two of the experiments were these:

“There is the case, Master Kassapa, where my men—having caught a thief, a wrong-doer—present him to me, (saying,) ‘Here is a thief, a wrong-doer for you, lord. Decree for him whatever punishment you want.’ And I say, ‘Very well, then, masters, having placed this man while still alive in a clay jar, having sealed the mouth, having covered it with a damp skin, having plastered it with a thick layer of damp clay, having set it in a furnace, light the fire.’

“They—responding, ‘Very well,’ to me—having placed the man while still alive in a clay jar, having sealed the mouth, having covered it with a damp skin, having plastered it with a thick layer of damp clay, having set it in a furnace, light the fire. When we know, ‘The man has died,’ then—removing the jar, breaking through the seal, opening the mouth—we look carefully, (thinking,) ‘Maybe we’ll see his soul escaping.’ But we don’t see his soul escaping….’

“There is the case, Master Kassapa, where my men—having caught a thief, a wrong-doer—present him to me, (saying,) ‘Here is a thief, a wrong-doer for you, lord. Decree for him whatever punishment you want.’ And I say, ‘Very well, then, masters, having weighed this man with a scale while still alive, having strangled him to death with a bowstring, weigh him with the scale again.’

“They—responding, ‘Very well,’ to me—having weighed the man with a scale while still alive, having strangled him to death with a bowstring, weigh him with the scale again. When he is alive, he is lighter, more flexible, and more malleable. But when he has died, he is heavier, stiffer, and less malleable.

“This is the reason, Master Kassapa, for which I believe, ‘There is no other world, there are no spontaneously reborn beings, there is no fruit or result of good or bad actions.’” — Digha Nikaya sutra 23

Digha Nikaya sutra 1 gives a more comprehensive picture of annihilationist views current at the time, classifying them by how they define the self annihilated at death. There were seven types in all. Three of them defined the self in terms of a body: either as a physical body composed of the four material elements, as a divine physical body, or as an astral body. The view espoused by Ajita Kesakambalin and Prince Payasi would fall under the first of the three. Four other annihilationist views, however, defined the self as formless: experiencing the dimension of infinite space, of infinite consciousness, of nothingness, or of neither perception nor non-perception. In each of the seven cases, these doctrines state that the self, however defined, perishes and is annihilated at death.

As for the non-Buddhist schools that affirmed the idea of rebirth, the Pali Canon explicitly names at least four: Brahmans (Samyutta Nikaya 42:6; Anguttara Nikaya sutra 10:177), Jains (Majjhima Nikaya sutra 101), and two contemplative (samana) schools: one led by Makkhali Gosala, and the other by Pakudha Kaccayana. We know from other sources that the Jains and some Brahmans affirmed that action played a role in shaping rebirth; the Canon shows, however, that the other two teachers denied that action played any role in rebirth at all.

“[Makkhali Gosala:] ‘Though one might think, “Through this morality, this practice, this austerity, or this holy life I will ripen unripened kamma and eliminate ripened kamma whenever touched by it”—that is impossible. Pleasure and pain are measured out, the wandering-on is fixed in its limits. There is no shortening or lengthening, no accelerating or decelerating. Just as a ball of string, when thrown, comes to its end simply by unwinding, in the same way, having transmigrated and wandered on, the wise and the foolish alike will put an end to pain.’” — Digha Nikaya sutra 2

“[Pakudha Kaccayana:] ‘There are these seven substances—unmade, irreducible, uncreated, without a creator, barren, stable as a mountain-peak, standing firm like a pillar—that do not alter, do not change, do not interfere with one another, are incapable of causing one another pleasure, pain, or both pleasure and pain. Which seven? The earth-substance, the liquid-substance, the fire-substance, the wind-substance, pleasure, pain, and the soul as the seventh. These are the seven substances—unmade, irreducible, uncreated, without a creator, barren, stable as a mountain-peak, standing firm like a pillar—that do not alter, do not change, do not interfere with one another, and are incapable of causing one another pleasure, pain, or both pleasure and pain.’” — Digha Nikaya sutra 2

So the issues of whether there is rebirth and—if there is—whether karma has an effect on rebirth were hotly debated in the Buddha’s time. And the debate didn’t extend just to philosophers. Ordinary people were also affected by the debate, as is clear in the Buddha’s instructions to the Kalamas, a group of skeptical householders. Knowing that he can’t prove the principle of karmic results to them—proof of that comes only with the first stage of awakening—he says that if you assume that karma has results, you will act skillfully. And when you act skillfully, you gain four assurances in the here and now.

“‘If there is a world after death, if there is the fruit of actions rightly & wrongly done, then this is the basis by which, with the break-up of the body, after death, I will reappear in a good destination, the heavenly world.’ This is the first assurance one acquires.

“‘But if there is no world after death, if there is no fruit of actions rightly & wrongly done, then here in the present life I look after myself with ease—free from hostility, free from ill will, free from trouble.’ This is the second assurance one acquires.

“‘If evil is done through acting, still I have willed no evil for anyone. Having done no evil action, from where will suffering touch me?’ This is the third assurance one acquires.

“‘But if no evil is done through acting, then I can assume myself pure in both respects.’ This is the fourth assurance one acquires.” — (Anguttara Nikaya sutra 3:65)

If everyone in his time believed in karma and rebirth, the Buddha wouldn’t have had to state these assurances.

So it’s obvious that that the idea of rebirth and its connection with karma was not an unexamined assumption in Indian culture. It was one of the most controversial issues of the Buddha’s time—which means that we can’t write off his teachings on karma and rebirth simply as an undigested relic from his culture. In teaching these principles, he was consciously taking a stand on an issue that was hotly debated, in a culture that expected him to articulate clearly his explanation for how and why rebirth did or didn’t happen. We know that he didn’t take on all the hot issues of his day—remember the story of the man shot by the arrow (Majjhima Nikaya sutra 63)—so the Buddha must have had his reasons for taking this issue on.

Source: http://www.tricycle.com/blog/guest-post-buddha-believed-rebirth

 


 

Thanissaro Bhikkhu (Geoffrey DeGraff) (1949 – ) is an American Buddhist monk of the Thai forest kammatthana tradition. After graduating from Oberlin College in 1971 with a degree in European Intellectual History, he traveled to Thailand, where he studied meditation under Ajahn Fuang Jotiko, himself a student of the late Ajahn Lee.

He was ordained in 1976 and lived at Wat Dhammasathit, where he remained following his teacher’s death in 1986. In 1991 he traveled to the hills of San Diego County, U.S., where he helped Ajaan Suwat Suwaco establish Wat Mettavanaram (Metta Forest Monastery). He was made abbot of the monastery in 1993. His long list of publications includes translations from the Thai, Ajaan Lee’s meditation manuals; Handful of Leaves, a four-volume anthology of sutta translations; The Buddhist Monastic Code, a two-volume reference handbook for monks; Wings to Awakening; and (as co-author) the college-level textbook, Buddhist Religions: A Historical Introduction.
 

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18 Responses to The Buddha didn’t just believe in rebirth, he argued for it

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  1. Alfonso Malagón on Apr 6, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    I think the reason why it’s very much debated is because it’s not something you can see for yourself. It’s primarily based on faith… or unless you have the meditative techniques to see your past lives. I do believe in Rebirth, but I don’t really “know.”

    A monk asks Bodhidharma (founder of Chan/Zen tradition): “Master, where will you go after death?” Bodhidharma responds, “I don’t know.” The monk remarks, “So there is something you don’t know!” Bodhidharma finally ends the discussion, “I haven’t died yet.”

    If we were to try to see everything for ourselves however, it would take much a longer time and could lead us to madness instead (death by a poisonous arrow). Referencing to Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s last note, “The story about the man shot by the arrow.”

    I think it’s also good to ask ourselves this question: If rebirth and karma weren’t true, would we stop practicing Buddhism?
    Someone once debated that the entire basis of Tibetan Buddhism is on Rebirth and Karma. So, okay, all that wisdom and compassion means nothing right? Of course not! The point is that we don’t practice based on metaphysical qualities, but we practice because of our suffering and for the compassion of all sentient beings. Adding the truth of Rebirth and Karma only strengthens are practice even more.

  2. Lim Han Nee on Oct 15, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche. I like this profound post which necessitates deep reflection on every aspect of it.

    Thai forest monk Thanissan Bhikku has very systematically and succinctly shown to us here that Lord Buddha did not just teach and present to his disciples the two principles of Rebirth and Karma by merely building on a prevailing belief of that time. Instead he shows us here that these two profound truths from Lord Buddha were the result/fruit of his own awakening. Lord Buddha had presented these two principles to his disciples in a clear and irrefutable way through logic and logical inferences, and also by showing the irrationality and lack of logic and basis of the two other/alternative views of Nihilism and Eternalism that were also prevalent in his time in India.

    Skillful and compassionate as Lord Buddha was, he even taught skeptical householders, who would not understand these two principles, how one should reap the benefit of conducting one’s life in accord with these two principles of Rebirth and Karma.

    My own intense thoughts and contemplation on karma and rebirth have been triggered by two recent experiences involving two friends.

    Case 1 is that of a close friend’s beloved sister who discovered she had fourth stage cancer. My close friend is a doctor. Yet, the moment she received the news of this ,she turned to me.She told me that her sister was such a sweet and gentle person whom life had treated most unfairly. Having cancer was yet another of the many bitter and painful experiences she had had to face. In opening up to my friend and her sister and gently guiding her and her sister to understand the working of Karma,and also (going forward) in urging her sister to stay open and compassionate towards her ailment and work towards inner healing as well as outer healing(to prepare for a possibility that her cancer would end in death), I came to have a firmer grasp of how important it is that one’s mind be filled with faith and belief in karma and rebirth.This is especially so when disease sets in and death threatens.

    Case 2 is the experience of being called to the bedside of a 61 year old former student of mine. The fact that it was already too late to help her still pains me immeasurably. I was told that, for two full days before she died, her eyes were wide open. She resisted death all the way, most likely thinking that she did not deserve to be stricken with cancer of the most painful kind and to have discovered it too late to seek a cure for it. Her total ignorance of Dharma, of karma and rebirth, still weighs heavily on my mind.

  3. Thierry Janssens on Oct 11, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Thank you for this post Rinpoche,

    I never thought really that there was wide acceptance of karma and rebirth in the time of Sakyamuni Buddha. For if there was, the buddhist movement would have been even much larger then.

    Though it is clear that there were many beings that had the fortune of understanding easily and applying easily the teachings of the Buddha then.

    When it comes to a debate about how to realise karma and rebirth, I think of it like this:

    1)If one has a REALISATION of karma and rebirth, then one has an easier path, a faster path too. But that is not enough, for to be able to move further in the buddhist path, one must develop faith in the 3rd Nobel truth, or else buddhahood can hardly be achieved, and one remains a practitioner of the so-called “beginner’s scope”.

    2) If one has doubts about karma and rebirth, then one can go through the following steps:
    a. logic and study,
    b. serious contemplation of what is learned through logic and study,
    c. experimentation (with the above a. and b. fully activated),
    d. faith (as the antidote to doubts), in order:
    first: faith in karma and rebirth,
    second: faith in the Buddhist teachings (taking refuge).

    3) to further develop the faith in karma and rebirth into a faith in the Teacher, the sequence should be like this:
    a. reliance on a trusted teacher,
    b. logic and study,
    c. serious contemplation of what is learned from the teacher and through logic and study,
    d. experimentation (with the above a. b. and c. fully activated),
    e. faith (as the antidote to doubts), in order:
    first: faith in karma and rebirth,
    second: faith in the Buddhist teachings (taking refuge),
    third: faith in the 3rd Noble truth,
    fourth: faith in the Teacher (as a being having achieved buddhahood)-the short cut here is to have faith in the teacher.

    3) thus this is the swift path (following the logic of point 3 above): faith in the Teacher (Guru). Faith in the Teacher is like an “all-inclusive” spiritual package.

    Obstacles to the realization of karma and rebirth are our attachments and delusions.
    For as much as karma and rebirth may be difficult to prove to a mind clouded by attachment and delusion, the opposite of karma and rebirth, Annihilationism, finds little friends in our doubts, attachments and delusions to PROVE Annihilationism.
    Then we should be very careful, just as if we were a jury with the power to condemn somebody (in the case: us), and we analyse the “proofs”, are the proofs reliable? In other words, are our attachments and delusions reliable? Stronger than this: ARE DOUBTS RELIABLE? No, doubts are doubts, they are not foundations for anything to be proven, they are questions to be answered that’s all.

    Teaching karma and rebirth, is teaching a controversy, it is a rebellious teaching. Rebellious to our attachments, to our delusions, to our ego!

    Eventually, if one REALLY has full understanding and faith in karma and rebirth, I would assume that being is enlightened or pretty close to it.

  4. Jean Ai on Oct 11, 2011 at 12:24 am

    What I find interesting is that the annihilationism view still exists today, which means that we should not stop the argument for reincarnation and rebirth. Annihilationism helps me to understand hedonism (the view that pleasure is the only intrinsic good). On the one hand, if nothing exists and there is no life after death, then you can be fearless in the pursuit of anything – since nothing really exists, you cannot be hurt because there is nothing to be hurt. But annhilationism also promotes irresponsibility because if there’s no ‘me’, and there’s no ‘you’ then I can do anything to another being and it would not matter.

    I much prefer the view of karma and reincarnation that Buddha argues for because I think it also promotes fearlessness AND responsibility since it recognises the concept of ‘consequence’. The argument of rebirth takes the position that I am responsible for my own actions and its consequences – since I am responsible for my own actions, what is there to stop me except for myself? Therefore I OUGHT to be fearless in the pursuit of virtue because virtuous acts lead to virtuous results and, at the very smallest scope of motivation, I AM selfish and therefore I want a better life and rebirth for myself. More than that, because my actions can only be considered beneficial/virtuous when there is a recipient of my actions, I need other people. Therefore according to the view of rebirth, I want other people to be happy too.

    I also like that the view Buddha promoted made allowances for minds that are still selfish: “But if there is no world after death, if there is no fruit of actions rightly & wrongly done, then here in the present life I look after myself with ease—free from hostility, free from ill will, free from trouble.” It’s a good motivator to think that being virtuous is always within our reach, and can happen regardless of our religious beliefs.

    Thank you Rinpoche for posting this!

  5. susan on Oct 10, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Does it mean the light is not on just because it’s inside a closed door room and you can’t see it? We sure are dependent on and conduct our lives and believes around what we can see or not see. What if the majority of people are born blind, or deaf? And a handful of people can see and can hear. Will the majority of the blind and deaf believe what the minority can see and hear?

    Since Buddha’s time till now, majority of the people are still spiritually blinded thus, the ongoing, heated debates surrounding our next lives (if there are any) continues.

    What struck me was that the Prince Payasi, who held the materialist view did his “experiment” to proof/disprove the existence of the soul by using OTHER people as his guinea pigs! And on top of that, his only instrument of observation was his naked eyes. How about people who holds this view be bold enough to conduct the experiment on THEMSELVES, if understanding existence of next rebirths is merely to observe where the soul go if there is such a thing as a soul. It is an insane and totally illogical method to proof or disproof reincarnation.

    Regarding the annihilationist, which holds the view that self is annihilated at death and that’s’ it… well, I’d be very afraid to live in a society with this as the predominant view. If we can’t even bare office politics and the unbiasedness we experiences on a daily basis, can you imagine with this view, what would people be up to for self gratifications?
    Would it then be a world literally, for the survival of the fittest. I can see people with position of power would see how life and death is after all, they are in position to put an end to the anything and anyone and there will be no repercussions of sort. What if you are not in a position of power, would you subject your experience of life on a daily basis to a society which hold such a view?

    What is strikingly different about Buddha’s teachings is that, he did not “use” others as guinea pigs for his experiments. He subjected himself through the process of discovery. What he discovered about reincarnation and the causes, though cannot immediately be proven to us through our senses, yet we ALL can derive benefits from it immediately irregardless of who we are.

    Majority may not accept reincarnation and karma as universal truth, but who can deny that it will bring about universal benefits with this type of view. I am glad that we do not live in a society predominately with Materialist view nor annihilationist view. Aren’t you?

  6. ngeowchin on Oct 10, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    One of the most beneficial statement here is that we can still receive protection or benefits by living our life based on the assumption there is life after death. Most of us never conduct any proof on the existence of gravity but we don’t jump from a high building.
    The examples of validating a phenomenon mentioned in the article is based on empirical physical measurements. They are useful for establishing gross physical objects. However there are many objects that have subtle forms and formless (like mind )that are beyond the capacities of those instruments based on current technology.
    Until science catches up, we can establish the existence of subtle objects via observation, inferential logic and one’s experiences. I remembered Rinpoche saying that a truth does not depend on us to believe in it for it to function. If we conduct ourselves in accord with it , we will benefit from it. Many don’t know what is karma, but the benefits of doing good can be experienced by all which is what matters ultimately.

  7. Julia Tan on Oct 10, 2011 at 8:43 am

    I read the article a few times, It’s hard for my level of mind to understand. I felt disgusting knowing that this Prince Payasi who held a materialist view had used his power to execute criminals as an opportunity to proved what he believed. 

    There are many things we choose to believe or not to be believe, do to or to do everyday, but how many of them we actually checked whether they are true, exist or even good for us. I think our faith  towards the object play the biggest role in our mind. If everything has an answer then this is not samsara anymore. 

    I believe in reincarnation as this was what my guru taught me as it made sense and very logic to me. By looking it at the most simple level, I can relate and put His teaching into my daily life to practice to be a happier and kinder person day by day which made me looking forward to the next day to come, by simply believing the exist of reincarnation. 

  8. Yoke Fui on Oct 9, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    To me personally,Buddhism makes perfect logical sense – past ,future lives and karma. The dynamic aspect of these teachings give hope to its followers (as compared to the caste system under Hinduism) and sound basis for the need to practice morality.

    One-creator religions cannot provide satisfactory answers to a lot of questions and many Western scientists born of the Christian faith actually relate better to Buddhist teachings & philosophy.

    On the other spectrum, the annihilistic view will make the world a very dangerous place to live because as long as one can think of a way to commit the perfect crime ,there is no moral code of conduct to follow and human beings will behave like animals as they would not be answerable to the conscience that is unique to homo sapiens.

  9. David Lai on Oct 8, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,
    This is a wonderful post. Well, all of Rinpoche’s posts are wonderful because they are informative and thought-provoking. I love the general pervasive mindset of the ancient Indians. They were progressive, organized in their thinking and are willing to push conventional thought through observation and thorough investigation.

    The contrasting atmosphere of wealth and power with the extreme poverty, downtrodden and the war-mongering because suitable environment in India for a great pursuit of spirituality – the answer to man’s existence. Hence, the conditions brought about the thoroughly original theory of reincarnation. I do not know of any other culture that carries this thought of a man’s consciousness taking rebirth again and again after death due to the force of karma.

    Hence, I am not surprised that there were other theories that were contrary to the theory of karma and reincarnation. I find it an evidence of the progressive nature of ancient Indian society. I am sure the theory of karma and reincarnation was an offbeat theory at first but survive culture and time because it was logical and humanistic.

    In India, there were many great masters during, before and after the Buddha but almost none of them became as popular as the Buddha. In part, it is due to the timeless and logical nature of his doctrine along with the transformative qualities of his teachings. Reading about these offbeat theories of annihilism just reminds me of the great culture that bred such questioning theories and masters. More importantly, it reminds me that such questioning mind brought about the sublime Buddha and his equally sublime Buddha.

  10. henry ooi on Oct 8, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Maybe reincarnation may be proven by science in 500, 1000 etc. years from now. Maybe it will never be proven. I think it may not be proven because reincarnation may not be calculated or quantified. I think it takes a mind that has gone through transformational meditation and having acquired compassion and wisdom with the clarity of emptiness. The Buddha experienced, saw and gained all these enlightened qualities but to prove them to others who were unenlightened was another thing.

    No one has proof of an all-creator god also. Who is this all-creator god? How does he look like? Where was he born? When was he born? How was he born? Did he have parents? Is he male or female, etc.?

    Scientific discoveries like electricity, atoms, penicillin, rockets, etc. can be proven because those scientists were brilliantly knowledgeable and highly intelligent. But that did not mean they have enlightened attainments. Even an enlightened scientist still may not prove to others who are unenlightened of reincarnation, just like the greatest scientist of all times, The Buddha.

    Accepting and believing in reincarnation makes me more aware not to do actions that may cause harm to others but instead do more deeds to benefit instead.

  11. James Long on Oct 8, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Due to selfishness, we hurt others direct or indirectly such as lying, stealing, killing etc…we created negative Karma. Some might say: I do not believe in Karma, so what for I hold vow or be a vegetarian?

    Even if we do not believe in Karma or re-incarnation, don’t you think that, do not lie, do not steal and do not kill make us a good person? We will respect ourselves later when we look back what we have done. If not there will be a lot of regret and insecurity.

    In fact, after so many years of proved result from the Master, who am I to judge and say they are wrong?

  12. Joy on Oct 8, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Buddhism is about the only philosophical “religion” or “way of life”… that gives a clear understanding of where we could end up after this life stops… why reincarnation exist. I believe it exist simply because to have just your mind existing in just this one sad finite life is hard to believe.

    Even believing one will ascend in to the heavens explains the continuity of the mind/soul. It obviously does not seize to exist after you are pronounced dead. And how does one explain all the souls that are stuck/lurking here on this planet appearing as “spirits” after passing? Almost all major “religions” acknowledge their existence, otherwise we won’t hear about ghost and exorcism. There wouldn’t be a hell realm nor a heaven in the teachings. They’ve all got special prayers/rituals to help these beings to migrate, what for if life stops when the heart stops.

    So reincarnation definitely exist and this is how my take of it…
    It simply means you take on a new form after this present form ends. Hence the importance of cause and effect (karma) which explains so many of our experiences, likes and dislikes now, and the experiences we’ll have in the next life form. These imprints must have happened before, perhaps in a previous life, which explains why we have certain gifted people with a talent they don’t need much learning, just a refresher will trigger their “genius”…e.g. child prodigies, mozart, da Vinci, Michelangelo etc.
    The planet also operate on these laws.
    We can see this at it’s evidence is in the global warming we’re experiencing now.

    Based on so much truth around us, I find Buddhism helps us put it in the best logical perspective which tells us why cultivating virtues and compassion now will create the imprints of good experiences in the next life.

    If I never come across Buddhism… I think my mind would still be puzzled, perhaps even more confused by the supernatural, the great extremism of those in comfort and those sufferings on this earth. I would probably still be searching for the answers of life… and like many perhaps fall prey to the bliss of ignorance, which I hope not.

    Thank you Rinpoche for a great reminder of the precious human life…

  13. Steve Tobias on Oct 8, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Thank you for the article Rinpoche.

    I think many people believe in rebirth without knowing it.

    My friend said to me once (rhetorically) “what happens when we die, everything turns black? That’s messed up.”

    I thought to myself that this view is actually rebirth. If anyone experiences or “sees” black then it means the mind continues after the body. If the mind continues after the body then it must go through changes or go somewhere eventually. If it goes through changes or goes somewhere then there must be a force which determines it. If there’s a force that determines it then it cannot inherently exist or come from a higher power or from nowhere, it must be interrelated and have cause and effect behind it. This is what karma describes.

    If one believes in heaven or hell it’s rebirth, because the mind moves on and takes a new bodily form. And then since logically all phenomena are impermanent, one must leave and then go somewhere else, so then it matches the Buddhist concept of rebirth.

    I think in general there is an intuitive sense that there’s something unique about consciousness, and it doesn’t “wipe out” for no reason. If it wiped out at death then why doesn’t it wipe out now? And this deals with a “lower level” of understanding.

    Higher level of understanding: monks who enter the jhanas or deep tantric meditation can remember previous lives. They can see the mind as it is and become very familiar with its nature. Independently they meditate and come to the same conclusions. Then when they explain, even through perfect speech, people reject or it’s difficult to understand. They haven’t meditated though, or don’t have the merit, or haven’t investigated it at a basic level.

    IMO all conclusions, even at a low level of understanding, point to rebirth. It should be easy to trust the high monks, lamas, even HH the Dalai Lama, who are pure and without our own defilements, with much greater knowledge and wisdom that immediately penetrates and makes us think. When their words or actions penetrate our minds we feel inspired and great, maybe learned something, but when their subject changes to rebirth we ignore? Doesn’t make sense.

  14. wanwaimeng on Oct 8, 2011 at 1:25 am

    This is a very interesting article I must read it again I am sure I will find a lot more substance from it. Buddhist philosophies if we allow has a lot of benefits. If we wish to discount karma and rebirth, we will have peace if we for example live our lives skilfully!

  15. Wendyyyho on Oct 7, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    It is quite illogical not to believe in reincarnation even if we can’t prove it at this point of time.

    We have heard of many people recalling their previous lives. There are people who can describe a place in their previous life so well that when they actually go to that place it is exactly what they described.

    There was a case where the father of a man reincarnated as his son and his son could tell him things he said to him in his previous life that only both of them knew about.

    There are other cases and most of these cases are experienced by people who are not Buddhist or even heard of the concept of rebirth.

    Also, how do we explain why everyone is born different. If we are created by God then why God is so unfair that some are more blessed than others?

    Therefore, the only logical explanation is that there must be rebirth and due to different karma created in our previous lives, we experience different situation in this life.

  16. Andrew James Boon on Oct 7, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    I do like articles like these because it sheds light on both side of the fence and gives on the opportunity to contemplate and actually come to our own conclusions on the topic at hand.

    Personally, I do believe there is life after death as there are strong “examples” or situations which does point to that. However, can I conclusively prove to anyone, apart from myself, that it does indeed exist, beyond a doubt, perhaps not!

    But then again if we need conclusive proof, beyond a doubt, for anything to exist, then, don’t we even question our very own existence? I liken it to breathing. No one had to prove to us that we need to breathe to survive. We do it subconsciously… we just do.

    I speak for myself when I say this, but I do take a leap of faith when it comes to certain things. But within reason. It has to be somewhat logical to begin with of course. Sometimes the unexplainable are merely indications of my own shortcomings when it comes to understanding and knowledge.

    As Rinpoche clearly shared in a teaching recently… if indeed reincarnation exists and we have our spiritual practice to guide us, we should be fine in our next life. However should reincarnation not exist, our spiritual practice has made us better people while in this so called finite life. Nothing wrong with that! So all in all, it is a win win situation. 🙂

    • Doreen Teoh on Oct 13, 2011 at 5:31 pm

      Hi Andrew, thank you for sharing the last paragraph, it is so true, we have everything to gain and nothing too lose. Everyone wants a guarantee or warranty when we buy goods and services, this is best buy we can obtained for ourself when we die. Do what is good in this life and follow our spiritual practise no matter what happens, we are guarantee be fine.

  17. MayOng on Oct 7, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Can we just dismiss the idea of “rebirth” when we hear stories of people looking at their own body lying down on the operations table while they were afloat up in the ceiling in the same room.

    Clearly, this shows we have a traveling non-physical form and mind that exist out of the physical human body.

    So how do we proof that if our karmic actions in this life or past lives will benefit us in future lives? It can be tested here and now when we are still alive.

    If we decide to be kind in words and deeds to any being first thing in the morning when we get up, we will have a happier day. The decision comes from making up our mind about the action we will take that day. In Buddhism we are taught “being mindful”. If we are careful and mindful in every action (karma) we do daily, we can expect certain fruitful results from it. That is proof that positive mind have positive results already.

    I can conclude through this logic that if we had been practicing virtue in past lives, we would have gain the result we achieved in this life. In the same logical conclusion, if we plant good deeds now, we can reap the benefit in our future lives. The conclusion is we can proof certain results by taking appropriate actions, and we decide whether its positive or negative action to gain the result that we want. We do not need physical proof to do that. The result speaks for itself.

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Blog Chat

BLOG CHAT

Dear blog friends,

I’ve created this section for all of you to share your opinions, thoughts and feelings about whatever interests you.

Everyone has a different perspective, so this section is for you.

Tsem Rinpoche


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Give the room a chance to answer you. Patience is a virtue. And if after awhile, people don't respond, perhaps they don't know the answer or they did not see your question. Do ask again or address someone directly. Do not be offended if people do not or are unable to respond to you.

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Noticeboard

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  • S.Prathap
    Thursday, Aug 6. 2020 01:13 AM
    Meditation is suitable for everyone from kids to the elderly or those in their prime and in pursuit of all the wealth (material and spiritual) life has to offer. It is an exciting journey of discovery that is extremely rewarding.
    Being in nature have so much to offer to someone who wants to be engaged in meditation.Thank you very much for the good article.
  • sarassitham
    Wednesday, Aug 5. 2020 04:32 PM
    Thank you for wonderful information sharing on healing with herbs. The effect of plant based herbs incense has great benefits and much more safer. It’s amazing to discover
    the natural qualities keeps us healthier and prevent us from various illness.

    I loved to have sandalwood for my prayer offering it’s so much soothing and keeps the environment calms and relax.


    https://bit.ly/2PnhiHD
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Aug 5. 2020 03:48 PM
    Beautiful pictures taken during H.E. Kyabje Tsem Rinpoche’s Parinirvana Ceremony . I am fortunate to be there , volunteering , joining most of all the following pujas. It once a life time able to witness a Tibetan Parinirvana Ceremony with a heavy heart .
    Thank you writer teams for this beautiful write up and great pictures shared. Looking at those pictures have me recalling the great moments at Kechara Forest Retreat at that very moment. It paints a thousand words.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/gallery/album-kyabje-tsem-rinpoches-parinirvana-ceremony.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Aug 5. 2020 03:44 PM
    Interesting as Tsem Rinpoche called it as BIZARRE beings. Well I have not heard of some the names such as chupacabra, Ebu Gogo, Springheel Jack and so forth. Spring-heeled Jack is an entity in English folklore of the Victorian era. Wow ….sound interesting. For decades, Spring-heeled Jack name was equated with the bogeyman. Its as a means of scaring people as some said he was demon who would leap up unnaturally high. Another interesting bizarre beings is shadow people who is a shadowy spiritual beings long been a staple of folklore. Stories of these supernatural entities have spanned centuries and cultures. They are some of the most mysterious entities in the known universe. As reported those who saw the shadowy intruders were scare to death as if they had died in their sleep. The Beast of Bray Road is another scary creature of Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Its a hairy humanoid with canine features standing on two legs and can resemble a bear. All those cryptozoological creatures mentioned in this article were indeed real or just folklore. Whether they do exist in this century , no one be sure. But definitely they do decades ago as recorded. There are many unknown out in the universe.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this interesting sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/bizarre-cryptids.html
  • S.Prathap
    Wednesday, Aug 5. 2020 01:08 AM
    We should consider changing our diet and lifestyle to one that gives the minimum negative impact on our environment, we are responsible to give our future generation a better place to live.
    This article show the designers have seriously consider to make this easily available to more everywhere with affordable price; and make cities around the world greener, more self sustainable and the city people healthier.
  • sarassitham
    Tuesday, Aug 4. 2020 06:45 PM
    A beautiful explanation how to gain merits through devotion. In its purest form, religion can inspire people to serve the welfare of others. An inspiring article how to learn to transform a better living by our action and deeds.

    Thank you for your wonderful thoughts of sharing these powerful teaching on how to find the hidden truth of the golden path of life to be more meaningful with sincere faith.

    http://bitly.ws/9f5H
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 4. 2020 04:15 PM
    No words can describe of us losing our Lama and enlightened Guru, H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche. I was deeply saddened to hear about the death of our Lama as just a moment ago last July , we had an audience and met our Lama , which indeed my very first time . Even though its just moment to me its like a long moment which I remembered each and every words of encouragement our Lama told me. Our Lama was such a kind, generous, compassionate gentle soul whom he would do anything to help improve our lives and had made a difference in my life and so many lives. Where lives pass, memories carry on forever. I will cherish the great memories I have with our Lama.
    Throughout Rinpoche’s life, his was a voice for the millions of people. The Parinirvana of H.E. Kyabje Tsem Rinpoche, the world has lost a great Lama, whose steadfast and unflinching determination played a key role in trying to secure the lifting of Dorje Shugden’s ban. Tsem Rinpoche was known for his great compassion, tremendous generosity and extraordinary thoughtfulness. Everything Tsem Rinpoche did was merely to benefit others. May Tsem Rinpoche have a swift reincarnation .
    We will always hold our Lama close in our thoughts.
    Thank you writers team for this wonderful sharing. … beautiful pictures paints a thousand words.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/the-parinirvana-of-kyabje-tsem-rinpoche.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 4. 2020 04:13 PM
    Glenn Mullin is a world well known Buddhist author, translator, scholar, speaker, lecturer and teacher. He is the author of many books on Tibetan Buddhism, many of which have been translated into a dozen foreign languages. Many of these focus on the lives and works of the early Dalai Lamas. In one of his book A Sacred Legacy of Reincarnation of the Fourteen Dalai Lamas he mentioned that Dorje Shugden was a pervasive practice spreading among the Gelugpa tradition for hundred of years. Many highly attained lamas had been relying on Dorje Shugden and the practice been passed down to thousands in the Gelugpa world. It is not a minor practice after all and in fact Dorje Shugden is a major practice in the world as in history has been proved that the practice is beneficial. Religious freedom should be allow for one who choose what one would pray to. But due to the restriction by the Tibetan leadership , the practice been ban. Politics should not have interfere with religion. May the ban be over soon.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/glenn-mullin-on-tulku-drakpa-gyeltsen.html
  • S.Prathap
    Monday, Aug 3. 2020 12:49 PM
    There are immense benefits of making offerings to the Sangha, and a great opportunity for oneself to practice giving and generosity..Thank you very much for sharing this article that explains the benefits of making offerings to the sangha community.


    https://bit.ly/30lYluV
  • Lin Mun
    Friday, Jul 31. 2020 02:21 PM
    Thank you Pastor Niral for sharing this article. I do come across people would like to highlight or even fight which God or religion is greater or more powerful. What do they want to achieve or have in mind? Of course people would like to believe their God or religion is the best which is totally fine. However, it is not right when they impose their belief on others and start giving negative comments to change our perception when they know nothing about our belief. Ultimately whatever religion or God we believe in , we should be promoting peace, harmony and love. Arguing will not bring positive impact. Respect everyone’s choice.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/whose-version-of-god-is-right
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jul 30. 2020 02:28 PM
    The Mahabodhi Temple is a religious site in India which marks the spot where the Buddha first attained enlightenment. It’s one of the most sacred sites in all of Buddhism built around 260 BCE . Bodhgaya in Bihar is the heart and birthplace of Buddhism . The Mahabodhi Temple was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The peace of the Bodhgaya Temple welcomes all races and it has attracted hundred thousands of pilgrims yearly as well as architecture enthusiast. The main Mahabodhi Temple complex is home to the legendary Bodhi Tree and as well as the temple itself. Walking around following Buddha ‘s footsteps to discover several places of spiritual significance around the temple. Worth going and a must place for pilgrims.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/buddha-at-mahabodhi-temple-bodhgaya.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jul 30. 2020 02:26 PM
    Precious teachings from Tilopa to Naropa, still trying to understand it . Simple in the verses, but there is a lot of meaning behind each and every words. I have been reading over and over again to understand more of Tilopa’s Mahamudra instruction to Naropa in twenty eight verses.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these 28 verses with us.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/28-amazing-verses.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jul 30. 2020 02:23 PM
    Prayer wheels are used by many Tibetans everyday, sometimes for hours on end. Worshippers turn prayer wheels to accumulate merit, to help all beings in the world and to purify their karma . They are part of a meditation practice. Prayer wheels are devices for spreading spiritual blessings and well being. According to Tibetan Buddhist belief, spinning a prayer wheel is … By spinning the wheel clockwise and focusing on the mantra, prayer wheels are used to purify negative energy and accumulate good karma and wisdom. Prayer wheels are devices for spreading spiritual blessings and well being. According to Tibetan Buddhist belief, spinning a prayer wheel is just as effective as reciting the sacred texts aloud.
    Kechara have come up with a special and unique prayer wheels which are filled with the mantra of Buddha Vajrayogini. They are made according to traditional methods. With Buddha Vajrayogini holy mantra also creates an extremely strong connection with this divine lady. Wow…our Lama personally blessed and consecrated the prayer wheels with sacred and powerful rituals,
    Thank you Rinpoche for creating these prayer wheels.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/kecharas-vajrayogini-prayer-wheels.html
  • sarassitham
    Wednesday, Jul 29. 2020 11:28 PM
    You’ve known this is important, but it takes time for all of us to understand the nature essential of dharma. If one is following their dharma, they are pursuing their truest calling, serving all other beings in the universe by playing their true role.

    I’m very much grateful to meet a precious Guru like u…Though i haven’t seen you in person, I believe you have been a great guidance to many out there. Thank you for article sharing.

    https://bit.ly/3fbYIN4
  • S.Prathap
    Wednesday, Jul 29. 2020 03:30 PM
    A very good idea as more and more people realized the harmful effect of household waste. Its seems that the reusing trend continues to gain steam in more countries all over the globe.

    Great idea to sell things for Eco-friendly environment.ReTuna is taking up the responsibility as the citizen of planet earth to do what they can to protect our environment.Thank you very much for this good sharing.


    https://bit.ly/3f8HeRy

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn\'t this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
6 months ago
According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn't this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden\'s blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
6 months ago
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden's blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
6 months ago
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat\'s doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
7 months ago
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat's doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
7 months ago
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
7 months ago
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
7 months ago
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
It\'s very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it\'s very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
7 months ago
It's very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it's very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
7 months ago
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
7 months ago
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
1 years ago
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
1 years ago
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
1 years ago
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
1 years ago
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
1 years ago
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
1 years ago
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
1 years ago
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
1 years ago
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat\'s land here in Malaysia
1 years ago
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat's land here in Malaysia
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
1 years ago
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
1 years ago
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
1 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
1 years ago
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
Sacred Vajra Yogini
1 years ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
1 years ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
1 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha\'s mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
1 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha's mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha\'s. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
1 years ago
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha's. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
1 years ago
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
1 years ago
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
This is pretty amazing!

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

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

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