The Incredible Legend of Hoichi the Earless Minstrel

Feb 19, 2019 | Views: 628
Hoichi the Minstrel as drawn by Kelley McMorris

Hoichi the Minstrel as drawn by Kelley McMorris

Hoichi the Earless One is a well known Japanese folktale character who lived during the feudal era. This story comes from Kwaidan, a collection of classic Japanese ghost stories written by Lafcadio Hearn. It is a bizarre tale of supernatural phenomena that occurred after the historic battle of Dan-no-ura which took place in 1185.

This great historic battle which ended the long and bitter Genpei War between the Heike, or the Taira clan and the Genji, or Minamoto clan took place more than seven hundred years ago at Dan-no-ura, in the Straits of Shimonoseki. It was a bitterly fought battle during which women and children of the Heike clan were massacred and the child emperor, Antoku Tenno was drowned in order to escape capture.

According to folklore, the area by the sea and along the shore where the battle took place became haunted. It is home to strange crabs called Heike crabs, reported to have human faces on their backs representing the spirits of the Heike warriors. Strange phenomena such as phantom lights (which local fishermen call Oni-bi or demon fires) have been seen hovering along the shore or over the sea. Strong winds that sound like battle cries have also been heard on windy days.

After this great battle, the spirits of the dead Heike are believed to have caused disturbances, sinking passing ships and drowning swimmers. A Buddhist temple, Amidaji (now known as the Akama Shrine in Shimonoseki) was built in Akamagaseki where Buddhist rites were performed regularly to appease the deceased Heike. In addition, monuments and memorial tablets were set up in a cemetery close to the beach to commemorate Antoku Tenno, the emperor and his fallen subjects. This apparently placated the deceased Heike to some extent though they continued to cause occasional supernatural disturbances.

A depiction of the great battle between the Minamoto and Taira (Heike) clans by Utagawa Kuniyoshi

A depiction of the great battle between the Minamoto and Taira (Heike) clans by Utagawa Kuniyoshi

The ghost of Taira Tomomori with the Heike crabs. Image credit: wikipedia

The ghost of Taira Tomomori with Heike crabs. Image credit: Wikipedia

 

The Legend

It was during this seven hundred year period after the great Battle of Dan-no-ura that the legend of Hoichi began. Hoichi, who was born blind, lived in Akamagaseki. Trained from childhood, he was an extremely talented player of the biwa (a traditional Japanese four-stringed lute) and famous for recounting the history of the Heike and the Genji. He was especially well-known for his moving tales of the battle of Dan-no-ura.

Another depiction of Hoichi by Kelley McMorris

Another depiction of Hoichi by Kelley McMorris

A penniless young performer, Hoichi was befriended by the priest of Amidaji, who, being fond of music and poetry regularly invited him to perform at the temple. Impressed by the skill of young Hoichi, the priest offered him room and board at the temple in return for musical performances in the evenings.

One hot summer night, the priest was called away with his assistant to perform Buddhist rites for a dead parishioner. Hoichi, left alone in the temple, sought refuge from the heat on the verandah overlooking the small back garden of the temple. While waiting for the return of the priest and feeling a little lonely, he started playing his biwa, continuing until well past midnight. Suddenly, he heard someone walking across the garden towards him, stopping directly before him. He could tell it wasn’t the priest. A deep commanding voice sounding very much like a samurai speaking to a lower rank subordinate sharply called his name,

“Hoichi!”

When the startled Hoichi failed to respond, this voice once again angrily called out,

“Hoichi!”

Frightened by the tone of the voice, Hoichi apologised explaining that he was blind and did not know who was calling his name.

Mollified by Hoichi’s apology, the visitor whom Hoichi assumed was a samurai, explained that he had been sent to the temple by his lord, a very high ranking official who was presently staying with his noble entourage in Akamagaseki. He had come that day to visit the site where the battle of Dan-no-ura had taken place. Learning of Hoichi’s reputation and skill in retelling the story of the battle accompanied by his biwa, he wanted to hear Hoichi perform that night.

Hoichi led by the demon samurai to Amidaji

Hoichi being led by the ghost samurai to Amidaji

This was an era in which a samurai’s orders could not be ignored. Putting on his sandals and carrying his biwa, Hoichi left with the stranger. With an ironlike grip, the stranger led Hoichi at an incredibly fast pace towards the yet unknown destination. Hoichi guessed that the samurai must be a palace guard as he could hear the sound of heavy armour as he moved along. When his initial apprehension faded, he congratulated himself on his good fortune to be selected to perform by a high ranking lord. They eventually arrived at what Hoichi guessed was a large gate. This puzzled Hoichi as he could not recall any large gate other than the main gate of the cemetery of Amidaji. At the command of the samurai, the gate opened and they walked through a garden and stopped again at another entrance. Here the samurai announced their arrival.

Biwa, a traditional Japanese instrument favoured by Hoichi. Image credit: LiveAuctioneers

The biwa, a traditional Japanese instrument favoured by Hoichi. Image credit: LiveAuctioneers

The announcement brought a flurry of activity with sounds of quick footsteps, sliding screens and doors, and women in conversation. He could tell from listening to the conversation that these women were domestic workers in a noble household. With little time for speculation, he was led up several stone steps. After removing his sandals at the very last step, he was guided by a woman’s hand through long pillared corridors of wooden floors and wide expanses of tatami floors until they reached a very big hall. He sensed that there was a huge crowd as he could hear the swishing of silk like leaves rustling in a forest and hushed conversation in court speech.

Hoichi was asked to make himself comfortable on a kneeling cushion and once he had tuned his instrument, he was requested by a Rojo, a woman who he assumed was in charge of the courtesans, to recite the history of the Heike accompanied by the biwa. Hoichi was aware that the retelling of this history would take many nights. He asked if there was a particular part of the story that they wanted to hear. He was requested to recount the story of the Battle of Dan-no-ura.

A depiction of the battle of Dan-no-ura at sea by Yoshikazu

A depiction of the battle of Dan-no-ura at sea by Yoshikazu

Hoichi started to sing the Chant of the Fight on the Bitter Sea, skilfully depicting the battle sounds on the sea with his instrument and drawing profuse praises from his august audience. This boosted his confidence and he sang and played with renewed fervour. When he reached the scene of the massacre of the women and children, there was a tremendous outpouring of grief and loud sobs of sorrow. Hoichi was overwhelmed and frightened by the frenzied grieving that he had caused with his performance but a sombre silence followed this emotional outburst.

When he finished, the Rojo praised him lavishly and said that the lord was so pleased with his performance that he wanted him to play to them for the next six nights. However, Hoichi was to keep these visits a secret for the duration of the lord’s stay in Akamagaseki since he was traveling incognito. She then led him back to the entrance and he was guided home to the temple by the same samurai who had led him there.

Hoichi performing for his ghostly audience, a scene from the 1964 movie Kwaidan. Image source: uponobservingthis.wordpress.com

Hoichi performing for his ghostly audience, a scene from the 1964 movie Kwaidan. Image source: uponobservingthis.wordpress.com

It was close to daylight when Hoichi returned but his absence had not been noticed as the priest had assumed that Hoichi had gone to sleep when he came back from the funeral service very late that night. Hoichi made no mention of his unexpected nocturnal performance while managing to rest in the day. The following night he performed again with great success. His absence from the temple was however discovered on the second night! Hoichi gave evasive answers when the concerned priest questioned him upon his return the next morning. Surprised and hurt by Hoichi’s reticence, the priest suspected that something was amiss and that there was something unnatural about his disappearance at night. Rather than pursuing the matter further, the priest quietly instructed the servants to keep an eye on Hoichi and to follow him if he left the temple again in the night.

Hoichi alone playing his biwa in the pouring rain . Image credit: lumenlearning.com

A lone Hoichi playing his biwa in the pouring rain. Image credit: lumenlearning.com

The next night, the servants followed Hoichi as he left the temple. They were surprised that they were unable to keep up with him despite his blindness and the rainy weather. Unable to find him, the servants went to homes of people Hoichi knew, looking for him without success. On their way back to the temple, they were alarmed by the sound of the biwa being played passionately as they walked along the beach past the cemetery of Amidaji. It was pitch dark other than the usual phantom lights.

Despite their fear, the men rushed into the cemetery with their lanterns and discovered Hoichi alone playing his biwa in the pouring rain in front of the memorial tomb of Antoku Tenno while loudly chanting the song about the Battle of Dan-no-ura. He was surrounded by countless bright phantom lights that no human eyes had ever seen. Hoichi did not seem to hear the desperate cries of the servants as they tried to break the spell. Instead he played his biwa more fervently and sang even louder. When they shouted into his ear to rouse him, he rebuked them for interrupting while he was playing for a noble audience. This caused the men to laugh although it convinced them that Hoichi was indeed under some kind of ghostly spell. They immediately bundled him up and forcibly took him back to the temple. Once he had changed into dry clothes, the priest began to interrogate Hoichi about his bizarre behaviour.

When the battle was lost for the Taira, many Taira noblemen committed suicide by jumping into the sea and drowning themselves. Image credit: moonfireprojekt.wordpress.com

When the Taira lost the battle, many Taira noblemen committed suicide by jumping into the sea and drowning themselves. Image credit: moonfireprojekt.wordpress.com

Initially Hoichi was reluctant to divulge anything, but when pressed, he told the priest what had happened. The priest exclaimed that Hoichi’s talent had gotten him into great danger. Contrary to what he believed, Hoichi had been performing in front of the monument to Antoku Tenno in the Amidaji cemetery these past nights to the ghosts of the Heike people who had perished during the Dan-no-ura war. He further explained that Hoichi had put himself under their spell by obeying their call to play for them and that he would eventually be killed by them.

The priest was not able to remain with Hoichi and watch over him due to another service call that night. To protect him from the demons, the priest and his assistant stripped Hoichi and proceeded to write the complete text of the Hannya-Shin-Kyo (also known as the Heart Sutra) on his whole body from his scalp to the soles of his feet. When this was completed, the priest instructed Hoichi to remain on the verandah that night to wait for the demon to call for him. Hoichi was further instructed to remain silent and completely still in meditation when the demon called for him or risk being torn apart and killed. The priest then assured Hoichi that the danger of being killed would be averted if he strictly followed these instructions.

When darkness fell, the priest and his disciple left for their funeral service and Hoichi sat in meditation on the verandah as instructed. Hours later in the night, he heard footsteps approach, stopping directly in front of him. As in the previous nights, the samurai summoned him by calling his name in a deep voice. This time Hoichi remained silent and completely still.

Scene from the movie Kwaidan where the text of the Heart Sutra is written on Hoichi’s body.

A scene from the movie Kwaidan where the text of the Heart Sutra is written on Hoichi’s body.

This angered the frustrated samurai who, after sternly and angrily calling Hoichi’s name a few more times, started to look for him. The Heart Sutra text written on Hoichi’s body prevented the demon samurai from seeing him. Unfortunately, due to an oversight by the priest’s assistant, Hoichi’s ears were not covered by the holy text so while the demon samurai was unable to see Hoichi, he could see his ears. Fearing punishment if he returned without Hoichi, the demon samurai decided to bring along the ears as proof that he had obeyed his lord.

Hoichi felt searing pain as his ears were ripped off but managed to remain silent despite the agony. He remained very still with blood trickling down the sides of his head as he heard the fading footsteps of the demon leaving the temple. The priest hurried back before dawn and slipped on a pool of blood as he approached the verandah. He saw Hoichi still sitting in meditation despite bleeding from his wounds. When Hoichi realised that it was the priest, he finally broke down in tears and recounted what had happened in the night.

A portrayal of Hoichi in agony due to his ears were ripped off

Hoichi in agony after his ears were ripped off

The apologetic priest assured Hoichi that he would never be troubled by the demons again. Hoichi’s wounds eventually healed and he became famous as a result of the incident. Nobility would come from afar to hear him perform and they offered him lavish sums of money for his performances. He was ever after known as Mimi-nashi-Hoichi or Hoichi the Earless One. He is so famous that there is even a shrine dedicated to him at the Akama Shrine in Shimonoseki.

 

VIDEO: Hoichi The Earless

Directed by Masaki Kobayashi

Or view with Chinese Subtitles here https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/HoichiTheEarless.mp4

The beginning of this film is so beautiful illustrating the battle between two royal ancient clans vying for power and control. When one loses, they have to save honour and dignity. The costumes, scenes and story are so reminiscent of Kabuki which I love… The blind Hoichi lives in a temple and magnificently plays his biwa and tells the sea battle of Dan-No-Ura between the clans of Genji and Heike. One night he is invited to perform for a rich family and their guests in their house. He is invited nightly and slowly the life in him is taken away. The kindly abbot who is skilled in the arts of protection realises what has happened to poor Hoichi and protects him. He has the sacred Heart Sutra painted all over the body of Hoichi to hide him from the spirits.

My step mom had the ‘third eye’. She used to see many types of spirits and have powerfully accurate dreams that were prophetic. Some of the spirits she saw were malevolent and wanted to harm her… So her family’s Tibetan Buddhist monk painted mantras on her body as a young girl with consecrated water with the parents present. After this, the malevolent beings could not harm her she told me… She would see them but they would back away when they saw her. She felt a sensation of light emanating from her body when these spirits appeared to her she recalled…Hoichi had this done also and what I like is, it is based on a real practice to paint sutras on bodies when there’s a need. However, there’s a fatal mistake by the Abbot’s assistant in this movie which brings both disaster and benefit…

The Amitabha temple in this movie is so beautiful as it was built to pacify the hundreds of sad souls that had died and are restless in that area. I like all the Kwaidan films, but this is my favourite. This film is stunning and I really like it very much… please watch carefully and enjoy. It’s mysterious and very entertaining also…This is a must watch short ‘horror’ film. Very artistic, entertaining and a visual feast. One of my favorites!

Tsem Rinpoche

 

The Akama-Jinghu Shrine

The Akama Shrine is a Shinto shrine built to commemorate the child emperor, Antoku Tenno who drowned to evade capture and for members of the Heike clan who perished in the Battle of Dan-no-ura in 1185. It is located at 4-1 Amidaijicho, Shimonoseki 750-0003, Yamaguchi Prefecture in Japan.

The imposing Suittemon Gate featured in the legend of Hoichi the Earless leads to a beautiful complex of shrines. It is one of the main Imperial shrines in Japan and is a popular site for locals and tourists alike.

Suitemmon Gate and Drum Tower of the Akama Shrine

Suitemmon Gate and Drum Tower of the Akama Shrine

The Main Hall, Akama Shrine. Image credit: muza-chan.net

The Main Hall of the Akama Shrine. Image credit: muza-chan.net

Every year on 3rd May, there is a beautiful festival called Senteisai attended by many Joro worshippers. During this festival, women are dressed in beautiful traditional kimonos to mourn the untimely death of the young emperor Antoku Tenno. The shrine dedicated to Hoichi the Earless is also located in the Akama complex.

Worshippers dressed in traditional costumes for the Senteisei Festival. Image credit: mainichi.jp

Worshippers dressed in traditional costumes for the Senteisei Festival. Image credit: mainichi.jp

Shrine to Hoichi the Earless One within the grounds of the Akama Shrine by Chihiro Higashi on Flickr

Shrine to Hoichi the Earless One within the grounds of the Akama Shrine. Image credit: Chihiro Higashi via Flickr

 

The Heart Sutra Connection

The Heart Sutra is a holy Buddhist text that is taught in all Buddhist traditions. It is often used as protection from black magic and to ward off evil spirits. In the story of Hoichi, the Heart Sutra features prominently as his ultimate saviour. Although the priest at the Amidaji Temple did not recite the Heart Sutra, he wrote the entire Sutra on Hoichi’s body which had the same effect of averting harm from the spirits. The holy words of the Sutra made Hoichi’s body invisible to the demon samurai, who would have otherwise killed him if not for the priest’s intervention. However, Hoichi lost his ears due to the fact that the priest’s assistant had omitted to write the holy words there.

The Heart Sutra clearly states that the mantra of the Perfection of Wisdom serves as the cause of mundane and supramundane merit. With mundane merit, one is able to overcome afflictions, obstacles and prevent harm from spirits. Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso says in his book Heart of Wisdom that,

“There is no more powerful remedy for overcoming hindrances and interferences than the practice of the perfection of wisdom as revealed in the Essence of Wisdom Sutra.”

Tibetan lamas generally follow the custom of reciting the Heart Sutra before the start of a teaching, oral transmission or initiation. Sermey Khensur Lobsang Tharchin said that by doing this, “harmful spirits are driven away, allowing us to be free from their influence during class.” He added that, “just thinking about shunyata (emptiness) is the most powerful protection and the most effective way to eliminate inner, outer, and secret obstacles.”

 

The Epitome of Compassion by Karl Brunnholz

Why is it called the “Heart Sutra”? It has that name because it teaches the heart of the Mahayana, primarily in terms of the view. However, the basic motivation of the Mahayana is also implicitly contained in this sutra in the form of Avalokiteshvara, the great bodhisattva who is the embodiment of the loving-kindness and compassion of all buddhas. It is actually the only Prajñaparamita Sutra in which Avalokiteshvara appears at all, and in it he is even the main speaker. Thus, the Heart Sutra teaches emptiness through the epitome of compassion.

It is often said that, in a sense, emptiness is the heart of the Mahayana, but the heart of emptiness is compassion. The scriptures even use the phrase “emptiness with a heart of compassion.” It is crucial to never forget that. The main reason for Avalokitesvara’s presence here is to symbolize the aspect of compassion and to emphasize that we should not miss out on it. If we just read all the “nos” and then get hooked on the “no path” of “no self” and “no attainment,” it gets a little dreary or depressing and we may wonder, “Why are we doing this?” or “Why are we not doing this?” In fact, the heart essence of the Prajñaparamita teachings and the Mahayana is the union of emptiness and compassion.

 

Heart Sutra: The Heart of the Blessed Mother Perfection of Wisdom

Homage to the Perfection of Wisdom, the Blessed Mother.

Thus I have heard. At one time the Blessed One was dwelling in Rajagriha on Massed Vultures Mountain together with a great assembly of monks and Bodhisattvas. At that time, the Blessed One was absorbed in the concentration of the countless aspects of phenomena, called Profound Illumination.

At that time also the Superior Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva, the Great Being, was looking perfectly at the practice of the profound perfection of wisdom, looking perfectly at the emptiness of inherent existence also of the five aggregates.

Then, through the power of Buddha, the Venerable Shariputra said to the Superior Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva, the Great Being, “How should a son of the lineage train who wishes to engage in the practice of the profound Perfection of Wisdom?”

Thus he spoke, and the Superior Avalokiteshvara, Great Being, replied to Venerable Shariputra as follows: “Shariputra, whatever son or daughter of the lineage wishes to engage in the practice of the profound Perfection of Wisdom should look perfectly like this: subsequently looking perfectly and correctly at the emptiness of inherent existence also of the five aggregates.”

“Form is empty; emptiness is form. Emptiness is not other than form; form also is not other than emptiness. Likewise, feeling, discrimination, compositional factors and consciousness are empty.”

“Shariputra, like this, all phenomena are merely empty, having no characteristics. They are not produced and do not cease. They have no defilement and no separation from defilement. They have no decrease and no increase.”

“Therefore, Shariputra, in emptiness there is no form, no feeling, no discrimination, no compositional factors, no consciousness. There is no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind; no form, no sound, no smell, no taste, no tactile object, no phenomenon. There is no eye element and so forth up to no mind element and also up to no element of mental consciousness. There is no ignorance and no exhaustion of ignorance, and so forth up to no ageing and death and no exhaustion of ageing and death. Likewise, there is no suffering, origin, cessation or path; no exalted wisdom, no attainment and also no non-attainment.”

“Since that is the case, Shariputra, Bodhisattvas do not attain anything. By relying upon and abiding by way of the Perfection of Wisdom, their minds have no obscuration and no fear! By passing completely beyond mistaken minds they go to ultimate nirvana. It is by relying upon the Perfection of Wisdom that all Buddhas of the three times manifest full awakening in unexcelled, complete, perfect enlightenment!”

“Therefore, the mantra of the Perfection of Wisdom, the mantra of great knowledge, the unsurpassed mantra, the equal-to-the-unequalled mantra, the mantra that thoroughly pacifies all suffering, since it is not false, should be known as the truth. The mantra of the Perfection of Wisdom is proclaimed:

TAYATHA OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SOHA

“Shariputra, a Bodhisattva, a Great Being, should train in the profound Perfection of Wisdom like this.”

Then the Blessed One arose from that concentration and said to the Superior Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva, the Great Being, that he had spoken well: “Good, good, O son of the lineage. It is like that. Since it is like that, just as you have revealed, in that way the profound Perfection of Wisdom should be practiced, and the Tathagatas will also rejoice!”

When the Blessed One had said this, the Venerable Shariputra, the Superior Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva, the Great Being, and that entire assembly of disciples as well as the worldly beings – gods, humans, demi-gods and spirits – were delighted and highly praised what had been spoken by the Blessed One.

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Introduction

The Heart Sutra (Tib. sherab nyingpo, Skt. Prajnaparamita Hridaya Sutra) is the short title for the Heart of Wisdom scripture which belongs to the well-known class of Buddhist scriptures known as the Perfection of Wisdom sutras. The central theme of the Heart Sutra is the empty nature of all phenomena. The Perfection of Wisdom or Prajnaparamita sutras were set forth by the Buddha on Vulture’s Peak in what is known as the second turning of the Dharma wheel.

There are three versions of the Perfection of Wisdom sutras: extensive, middling and brief. According to the Tibetan historian Buton Rinchen Drub (Bu-ston) (1290-1364 CE), the different versions of the Prajnaparamita sutras were all spoken simultaneously by the Buddha. (E. Obermiller (tr.), History of Buddhism by Bu-ston, Heidelberg, 1932)

The Perfection of Wisdom means the wisdom realising emptiness (sunyata) that is endowed with the mind of enlightenment (bodhicitta). There are two types of Perfection of Wisdom:

  1. the “causal Perfection of Wisdom,” which is the wisdom realising emptiness possessed by bodhisattvas. It is causal because it acts as the direct cause of attaining the resultant Perfection of Wisdom; and
  2. the “resultant Perfection of Wisdom” which is the wisdom truth body (dharmakaya) of a Buddha, Buddha’s omniscient wisdom.

Atisha divided the Prajnaparamita sutras into two types: those that teach the essence of the doctrine and those that teach the realisations (abhisamaya) whereby bodhisattvas proceed to enlightenment. The Heart Sutra teaches the first and the longer sutras expound the second.

There are two versions of the Heart Sutra: a shorter and a longer. The shorter version is also known as the Chinese version. It begins with Avalokiteshvara contemplating the meaning of the profound Perfection of Wisdom and ending with the mantra. The longer version, known as the Tibetan version, begins with a prologue in which the Buddha enters into samadhi and ends with an epilogue in which he rises from samadhi and praises Avalokiteshvara.

The Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra or Heart Sutra is called “the sutra of sutras” because all the intentions of the Buddha are found here. The term “heart” means that this text is the essence of all the Perfection of Wisdom sutras. It is the concise presentation of the teachings of the three extensive, middling and brief mother sutras.

 

Title

The title of the Heart Sutra in Sanskrit is Bhagawati Prajnaparamita Hridaya which is translated into English as “The Heart of the Blessed Mother Perfection of Wisdom.”

 

Homage

The Sutra begins with a homage from the Tibetan translators so that their work would be completed successfully and be of benefit to all sentient beings. They are paying homage to the Perfection of Wisdom. “The Blessed Mother” is the name given to the Sutra. In general, both emptiness and the wisdom realising emptiness are referred to as “mother” because superior beings (aryas) are born from them. Therefore, it can be said that all superior beings are born from emptiness and the wisdom that realises emptiness. Prajnaparamita also refers to the female Buddha embodying the resultant Perfection of Wisdom of enlightened beings. Regarded as the highest form of Tara, she is also called the “Great Mother of Transcendental Wisdom” as well as the “Mother of all Buddhas.”

 

The Prologue

The main body of the Sutra begins with a Prologue which presents the context or the background of the teaching. According to H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, there are two different contexts: the common context and the uncommon context. The common context presents the worldly origin of the teaching. The text indicates three perfect conditions that came together:

  • the presence of the perfect teacher, “the Blessed One,” i.e. Buddha Shakyamuni;
  • the presence of a perfect audience, the “great assembly of monks and bodhisattvas”;
  • and the coming together of these first two conditions at a perfect location, the “Massed Vultures Mountain” at Rajagriha.

The great assembly of monks here refers to the ultimate sangha, such as the great arhats.

The uncommon context presents the ultimate origin of the teaching: the Buddha, “the Blessed One” (Bhagawan) was absorbed in the concentration of the countless aspects of phenomena, called Profound Illumination. The term “Blessed One” means the Buddha has conquered all obstructive forces, i.e. the four maras: the mara of the delusions, the mara of the aggregates, the mara of (uncontrolled) death, and the Devaputra mara (the mara of desire). “Profound Illumination” refers to the realisation of emptiness of all phenomena directly and simultaneously.

The Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Chenrezig in Tibetan) is the next figure we encounter. He is described as “the great being,” which refers to his quality of great compassion. The name “bodhisattva” indicates an infinitely altruistic being, who through wisdom, heroically focuses on the attainment of enlightenment out of compassion for all sentient beings. At the same time, Avalokiteshvara was “looking perfectly and correctly at the emptiness of inherent existence also of the five aggregates.” He was meditating on the profound view of emptiness. The word “also” implies that Avalokiteshvara had also looked at the emptiness of inherent existence of the self, or person. The five aggregates are the five interlinked processes which make up a human being: form, feelings, perception, compositional factors and consciousness. The term “inherent existence” refers to an imagined mode of existence whereby phenomena are held to exist from their own side, independent of other phenomena.

 

The Question and the Answer

The actual sutra begins with the question of Shariputra. Avalokiteshvara’s answer comprises the body of the sutra and that has a brief and extended version. The brief answer is given first. “Then, through the power of the Buddha” refers to the blessings conveyed mentally by the Buddha (who was in a state of deep contemplation) to speak the doctrine. Both Shariputra’s question and Avalokiteshvara’s answer occur as a result of the Buddha’s empowerment. Shariputra was a master of the Abhidharma, unexcelled in wisdom, son of Shari (his mother, the most intelligent woman of Magadha) and Tishya (his father). “Lineage” means the family of the Tathagatas; “son or daughter of the lineage” is a bodhisattva, a child of the Conqueror (jinaputra) born from the Mahayana Perfection of Wisdom scriptures. The words “emptiness of inherent existence also of the five aggregates” mean that these aggregates do not exist from their own side.

 

The Fourfold Profundity

“Form is emptiness, emptiness is form, Emptiness is not other than form, form is not other than emptiness.”

“Form” refers to conditioned things, the object of the eye consciousness, the first of the five aggregates, the physical aggregate which provides the material support for the other four. Form encompasses visible form, including colour, shape, sound, odour, taste, tangible objects, and the five sense powers (sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch). “Form is emptiness” means they are exactly the same. The Buddha taught this to discourage sentient beings from becoming attached to form. “Emptiness is form” means that emptiness is not to be discovered apart from form; both are equally empty. Clinging to emptiness leads to the extreme of nirvana, the solitary peace of the Hinayana. The words “feeling, discrimination, compositional factors, and consciousness are empty” signify that the remaining four aggregates are equally empty. They are based on the form aggregate which acts like a vessel (the support). If the vessel breaks, there is no place for the mental aggregates (the supported).

The fourfold profundity is the union of form (phenomena/relative truth) and emptiness (ultimate truth). Form and emptiness are not different entities. Seeing the truth, one dispels ignorance (the conception of inherent existence) which is replaced by wisdom (the realisation of the lack of inherent existence) and liberation is possible. The meaning of “in the same way, feeling, discrimination, compositional factors, and consciousness are empty” is: “in the same way, it is taught that the rest of the aggregates, from feeling to consciousness, like form, are empty of inherent existence.” Thus it is to be understood this way: feeling is emptiness, emptiness is feeling. Emptiness is not other than feeling, feeling is not other than emptiness. This is to be applied to discrimination, etc.

 

The Eightfold Profundity

“Shariputra, like this, all phenomena are merely empty, having no characteristics. They are not produced and do not cease. They have no defilement and no separation from defilement. They have no decrease and no increase.”

This means that all phenomena in the universe are empty. The words, “like this, all phenomena are merely empty“ mean that just as it was explained with regard to the five aggregates, Shariputra should also know that all mundane and supramundane phenomena, from the six sources (ayatana) to the knowledge of all aspects (omniscience, sarvakarajnana) are empty. The phrase “having no characteristics” means that because all phenomena are beyond signs, they are without characteristics, e.g. the aggregates lack the characteristic of having their own entity or being established by such an entity. The terms “not produced and do not cease” mean that phenomena are not ultimately produced or ceased. Production is the arising of that which did not exist before and cessation is the present non-existence of something that existed at a prior moment. Both production and cessation exist conventionally but neither is analytically findable. “No defilement” means that because all phenomena are empty, they are not intrinsically defiled by samsara. “No separation from defilement” means that because nirvana is also empty of inherent existence, phenomena are also not intrinsically free from defilement. “No decrease and no increase” means that because ultimately neither samsara nor nirvana exist, phenomena are not diminished by faults or filled with good qualities.

 

The Negations and Enlightenment

This section of the Sutra defines the existence of all phenomena in terms of their non-existence in the face of emptiness. The negation of the classification of phenomena are expressed as follows:

“no form, no feeling, no discrimination, no compositional factors, no consciousness.” This refers to the negation of the five aggregates.

“no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind; no form, no sound, no smell, no taste, no tactile object, no phenomenon.” This refers to the negation of the twelve sources of consciousness, comprising the six senses and their six objects.

“no eye element, and so forth up to no mind element and also up to no element of mental consciousness.” This refers to the negation of the eighteen constituents (dhatu) which comprise the twelve sources and the six consciousnesses.

“no ignorance and no exhaustion of ignorance, and so forth up to no ageing and death and no exhaustion of ageing and death.” This means that the twelvefold dependent arising of samsara and its twelvefold extinction are equally empty. The Sutra mentions the first and last links, indicating the process by which the cycle of rebirth functions, and mentions the extinction of the first and last, indicating the process by which the cycle of rebirth is destroyed. The order of the twelve links are: Ignorance (avidya), Action (samskarakarma), Consciousness (vijnana), Name and form (namarupa), Sources (ayatana), Contact (sparsha), Feeling (vedana), Attachment (trsna), Grasping (upadana), Existence (bhava), Birth (jati), Ageing and Death (jaramarana).

“no suffering, origin, cessation or path.” This means that the Four Noble Truths are also empty. The Four Noble Truths are: the varieties of experience that are qualified by suffering are to be identified; the origins of those sufferings, such as desire, hatred and ignorance, are to be abandoned; the cessation of suffering, nirvana, is to be actualised; and the paths to nirvana, are to be cultivated. The order of the Four Truths follows the medical model of disease, diagnosis, prognosis, and cure. (Vasubhandu)

“no exalted wisdom, no attainment, and also no non-attainment.” This means that it is impossible to attain or not attain that which has never been lost, the dharmadhatu, the Buddha nature, that abides naturally in all sentient beings. There is no attainment of anything that is not empty. This section sets forth the good qualities (guna) of the Perfection of Wisdom.

 

How Negations Relate to Enlightenment

“Bodhisattvas do not attain anything. By relying upon and abiding by way of the Perfection of Wisdom, their minds have no obstructions and no fear!” To rely on the Perfection of Wisdom means one must not abide in any signs (concepts). This means the bodhisattvas’ mind is free of obstructions (i.e. internal predispositions and all signs of external objects). The benefit of relying on the Perfection of Wisdom is that by understanding the meaning of emptiness, one’s mind is freed from all obstructions and all reasons for fear.

“mistaken mind” means not having interest in reality and seeing phenomena as real, thinking that sentient beings of the three realms exist ultimately.

“beyond mistaken minds” means the bodhisattvas have abandoned the obstructions (i.e. the error of “mistakenly seeing the unmistaken ultimate truth.”

“they go to ultimate nirvana. It is by relying upon the Perfection of Wisdom that all buddhas of the three times manifest full awakening in unexcelled, complete, perfect enlightenment!” This means that having passed beyond the mistaken conception of self, the bodhisattva also passes beyond the nirvana sought by shravakas and pratyekabuddhas and arrives at Buddhahood. This Perfection of Wisdom is the sole path travelled by all the buddhas of the past, present and future.

Back to Tabs

The Mantra & Its Benefits (from Gungthang & other masters)

Mantra: TAYATHA OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SOHA

“mantra of the Perfection of Wisdom”: it brings about the realisation of the ultimate “mantra of great knowledge”: abandonment of ignorance.

“the unsurpassed mantra”: the way of seeing of which there is none higher.

“mantra that is equal to the unequalled”: that which causes one to be equal to the unequalled (the Buddha or space).

“Mantra that thoroughly pacifies all suffering”: that which protects from all suffering.

According to Gungthang, all the meanings of the sutras are included in the Heart Sutra, all the eight subjects and seventy topics of Maitreyanatha’s Abhisamayalamkara should be present in the Sutra. The quintessence of the 84,000 collections of doctrine is the Perfection of Wisdom sutras.

The quintessence of the Perfection of Wisdom in 8000 Lines (Astasahasrikaprajnaparamitasutra) and so forth is the Heart Sutra. The concentrated meaning of the Heart Sutra is the mantra. Therefore, the mantra is the pith of all doctrines and contains the beneficial qualities of all the doctrines.

“It should be known.” This means that the Perfection of Wisdom should be known as the cause of going to Buddhahood.

“The mantra of the Perfection of Wisdom is proclaimed.” The meaning of this statement is that this mantra serves as the cause of mundane and supramundane merit. Mundane merit is effectively able to prevent harm and protect one from afflictions, demons and obstacles. Regarding supramundane merit, relying on this dharani serves as a cause of wisdom and knowledge.

The mantra can be translated as “Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone completely beyond, enlightenment.” (Srimahajana)

The meaning of the mantra in four aspects are: the illusion-like, emptiness, signlessness, and wishlessness.
“tadyatha om” (like this; it is so). This refers to the arising of action.

“gate gate” (gone, gone). The first “gate” refers to the path of accumulation (in which one primarily hears and thinks about reality). The second “gate” refers to the path of preparation (in which there is primarily the wisdom arisen from meditation, having a clear perception of the mental image of emptiness.)

“paragate” (gone beyond) refers to the path of seeing (the three entanglements: wrong view, doubts, and bad ethics) are abandoned.

“parasamgate” (gone completely beyond) refers to the path of meditation (beyond the illusion-like and emptiness, one goes beyond to signlessness).

“bodhi svaha” (become enlightened) refers to the path of no more learning (having purified the afflictions and all objects of knowledge, one transcends awareness).

“Om” and “svaha” bless the mantra with power.

The mantra is said to be “secret” in the sense that even if it is taught to those of dull faculties, they are not able to see it; it remains hidden from them. (Vimalamitra)

Atisha distinguishes the audience of the Sutra into those of dull faculties and those of sharp faculties. The former require the full teaching of all of the characteristics of the five paths, whereas the latter understand merely through a statement of the major headings.

This abbreviated teaching for those of sharp faculties becomes a secret mantra for those of dull faculties because they cannot understand it. “Being secret or not being secret exists in the mind; in actuality there is no difference in what is taught. The Teacher does not have a closed fist.” (Atisha)

The mantra is secret from all but Bodhisattvas of the sharpest faculties. (Gungtang)

The main function of the mantra is to secretly teach the stages of the path.

The mantra teaches emptiness.

Gungtang reads the mantra as an exhortation by Avalokiteshvara: “Proceed, proceed, proceed beyond, proceed completely beyond, be founded in enlightenment.” It is a veiled reference to the five paths.

It is an example of the Buddha’s skilful methods, subtly mixing the taste of tantra into the sutra for those who currently are incapable of practicing the tantric path. (Gungtang)

The mantra prevents downfall. (Prasastrasena)

The mantra clears away obstacles and causes wisdom. (Prasastrasena)

By understanding the mantra the mind is freed. (Vajrapani)

The perfection of wisdom itself may be considered a secret mantra and protects those whose minds abide in it. (Vimalamitra)

The perfection of wisdom is secret because of its profundity and a mantra because of its capacity to protect the mind. (Vimalamitra)

The mantra of the perfection of wisdom is the heart of the meaning of all secret mantras. (Vajrapani)

 

Correlation of the mantra to the Five Paths

The first “gate” refers to proceeding from the state of a worldly being, involved in great desire, to the path of accumulation, the first of the Bodhisattva paths.

The second “gate” refers to moving from the first path to the second, the path of preparation.

“Paragate” (Gone beyond) indicates moving from the path of preparation to the path of seeing. It is with the attainment of the path of seeing that emptiness is seen directly for the first time, making the bodhisattva a Superior (arya) and destroying the seeds for future rebirth as an animal, hungry ghost, or hell being. Because of the special qualities of this path, it merits are “gone beyond” rather than a simple “gone.”

“Parasamgate” (gone completely beyond) refers to the path of meditation.

“bodhi” (enlightenment) means Buddhahood, the path of no more learning.

“svaha” is a word of blessing for achieving the effect of repetition. (Srimahajana)

 

The Epilogue

Avalokiteshvara completes his answer to Shariputra’s question with an exhortation to Bodhisattvas to practise the Perfection of Wisdom, at which point the Buddha rises from his meditative absorption.

“Good, good” The Buddha praises what Avalokiteshvara had said, expressing his pleasure and dispelling the doubts of any who might question the validity of what had been taught.

“son of the lineage, it is like that” If the profound reality is understood, the mind is freed.

“and the Tathagatas will also rejoice” This means even the Buddhas who have thus come and thus gone, who have understood reality and taught it accordingly, are delighted by what Avalokiteshvara has taught.

“that entire assembly of disciples” These are the Bodhisattvas, monks, laymen, and laywomen.

“those of the world” These are the gods, humans, demigods, and gandharvas who are seated with the gods.

“the world” The disintegrating base whose nature is the five aggregates.

“what had been spoken by the Blessed One” The entity of the explanation itself

“praised” They had clear joy and were grasped with joy.

Back to Tabs

 

Recommended Reading

hoichi-1.7

Hearn, Lafcadio. Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things.
Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1904.

 

References

  • Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. 1986. 1989, 1996, 2001. Heart of Wisdom. Ulverston: Tharpa Publications.
  • Lopez, Donald S. Jr. 1988. The Heart Sutra Explained: Indian and Tibetan Commentaries. Albany: State University of New York Press.
  • Sermey Khensur Lobsang Tharchin. 1999. Achieving Bodhicitta. Howell, New Jersey: Mahayana Sutra and Tantra Press.
  • Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. 2002. Essence of the Heart Sutra. Boston: Wisdom Publications.

 

For more interesting information:

 

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4 Responses to The Incredible Legend of Hoichi the Earless Minstrel

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  1. Samfoonheei on Feb 23, 2019 at 6:47 am

    It is a bizarre tale of supernatural phenomena that occurred after the historic battle. Hundreds of men, women and children of the Heike clan were massacred and the child emperor was drowned , as they bitterly fought in the battle. As the locals believed the place where the battle fought was haunted with many weird happenings surrounding the area. After many centuries of the great Battle of Dan-no-ura that the legend of Hoichi began. Hoichi a gifted biwa musician, living in a temple and how he befriended a gruff-sounding samurai who requested that he play for his lord. Realizing that Hoichi had been bewitched by ghosts the temple priest helped Hoichi. The priest then wrote Heart Sutra (kanji characters ) all over Hoichi’s body rendered him invisible to the samurai. But somehow his ears were left out. The samurai then lopped off Hoichi’s ears as proof for his Lord that the ears were what remained of Hoichi. Hoichi soon recovered, never to be bothered by the ghosts again. That’s how his legend lives on in the tale known as “Hoichi the Earless.” Hoichi story is well known in Japan, and the best-known English translation appearing in the books as well as in film. Good sharing and clear explanation on the Perfection of Wisdom which I am trying to understand a little by little. I have not yet watch finish the video , but will do at the time of commenting on this post. I can say its interesting with Japanese music at least for to understand of the historic war.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this interesting sharing.

  2. Tsa Tsa Ong on Feb 19, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    Interesting and touching story and video on The Incredible Legend of Hoichi the Earless Minstrel . It’s truly amazing that The Heart Sutra text written on Hoichi’s body prevented the demon samurai from seeing him. I didn’t know it’s such a powerful sutra. Will read up more and understand about the heart sutra soon . Thank you Rinpoche and blog team for sharing such an intriguing story about Hoichi the Earless Minstrel. 🙏😍👍

  3. Tenzin on Feb 19, 2019 at 11:31 am

    Thank you for posting this, Rinpoche. Please post the story of Mae Nak from Thailand and your views on it if possible. The legend of Mae Nak has many similarities with Hoichi — the husband of Mae Nak had been put under a spell and was said to be living in his dilapidated home after returning from a war, not realizing that his wife and infant child had already died some time ago and that the house he was living in was abandoned.

    The legend of Mae Nak also has similarities with Tibetan Buddhism and the tradition of Dharma Protectors. In this story, a high monk in Thailand at that time came to know about the harm that Mae Nak’s spirit was causing to the villagers, so he traveled from Bangkok to subdue Mae Nak. After this, the spirit promised she would not harm again and was bound by oath to serve the Dharma by assisting the monk in his work for the rest of his life. She was then bound to a piece of bone that was carved out of her skull and the monk carried this relic with him throughout his life. In other words, the monk had made Mae Nak into a worldly dharma protector.

    • Tsem Rinpoche on Feb 20, 2019 at 12:45 am

      Hi Tenzin,

      The story from Thailand you are talking about is excellent and suppose to be based on something that really happened. It was a powerful story and almost every Thai person will know about it. It is well known in Thailand. The movie depicted this story very well as the acting, set, special effects, scenes and dialogue were excellent. I found the realized monk in the end who subdued the spirit very compassionate and very kind. He reminded me of some senior monks in Gaden Monastery. Highly realized monks from all Buddhist traditions can subdue powerful negative spirits as shown in the movie. It was a very touching movie and it was extremely well made. I will see about posting it in the future here on this blog. It is one of my favorite movies. Thank you for sharing. Tsem Rinpoche

      Photos:

      1. Real shrine to then female spirit as depicted in the Nang Nak movie in Thailand. Many visit this shrine I read.

      3. Nang Nak movie cover

      Nang Nak shrine in Thailand

      s-l300

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  • Chris
    Monday, Mar 18. 2019 08:56 PM
    Thank you, Rinpoche and the blog team to share such extensive information on this sacred Dorje Shugden chapel in Lhasa.

    This chapel is the proof of the Dorje Shugden ban being illogical and unreasonable. The Great 5th Dalai Lama who has the same mindstream of the 14th Dalai Lama is the emanation of the Buddha of Compassion, Chenrezig. He accepted Dorje Shugden as an enlightened being and enthroned him as a protector in this chapel. He also handmade the first Dorje Shugden statue in the entire world. This showed the Great 5th Dalai Lama’s reverence to this protector and he is definitely not a small insignificant protector.

    No small insignificant protector will get an entire chapel dedicated to him by the Great 5th Dalai Lama. The 14th Dalai Lama banned the practice saying that he realizes the nature of the practice now and he is not aware of it last time. This is illogical because how can a mere spirit fool a fully enlightened Buddha of Compassion, Chenrezig?

    If we accept that explanation, we are disrespecting all the Buddhas and their clairvoyant ability. We might as well pray to a spirit since a spirit is more powerful than a Buddha as he is able to trick the Buddha to spread his practice and built a chapel for him. Hence, the accusation of Dorje Shugden being a spirit is not acceptable and easily refuted by logic.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/the-fifth-dalai-lama-dorje-shugden.html
  • Yee Yin
    Monday, Mar 18. 2019 08:31 PM
    Malaysia is a multi-racial and multi-religion country. It is a Muslim country but for non-Malay, we are given the freedom to choose what we want to practice. The government allows different religions to have their own worshipping places as long as they abide by the laws. The most important thing is the religion practiced by the people must not create disharmony in the society. Therefore, Malaysians are extremely lucky to be given the freedom to practice the religion we choose. Look at this beautiful Buddhist temple in Langkawi, it is so peaceful and serene.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/wat-koh-wanararm-thai-buddhist-temple-in-langkawi
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Monday, Mar 18. 2019 07:46 PM
    Tsem Rinpoche always shows kindness and compassion to people he meets. He only makes a positive impact on someone’s life, he never inflicts pain or suffering. Tsem Rinpoche is always ready to help, but we have to first open up ourselves before Tsem Rinpoche can help us. With the qualities of a Buddha, Tsem Rinpoche never asks for anything in return, he only wants people to be truly happy and not be stuck in the delusional world we create for ourselves.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/a-personal-account-of-events-with-my-teacher-perfect-clairvoyance
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Monday, Mar 18. 2019 07:22 PM
    Did you know the great 5th Dalai Lama built a protector chapel for Dorje Shugden? The chapel is called Trode Khangsar, located in Lhasa. Not only did the great 5th Dalai Lama built a chapel for Dorje Shugden, but he had also composed a beautiful prayer to praise the good qualities of Dorje Shugden.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/the-fifth-dalai-lama-dorje-shugden.html
    [no sender]
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Mar 18. 2019 12:01 PM
    Interesting news as HH 14th Dalai Lama in the commemoration of the 30th death anniversary of the 10th Panchen Lama, spoke that there are instances in Tibetan Buddhist tradition where a reincarnate lama can took more than one manifestation. It is possible that there can be more than one emanations on the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Rinpoche. Gedhun Chokyi Nyima, who was recognised by HH 14 th Dalai Lama and Gyaincain Norbu, who was recognised by China , HH dalai Lama said that both are legitimate incarnations of HH 10th Panchen Lama. Interesting information and this is the second time H H Dalai Lama spoke of his view. The 10th Panchen Lama is considered to be one of the most revered religious leaders in entire Tibet.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/his-holiness-the-dalai-lama-again-says-its-possible-to-have-two-panchen-lamas.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Mar 18. 2019 12:01 PM
    Abby is indeed talented in all fields at such a young age. Nowadays there are more youngster chasing their dreams to purchase their career path. But some how Abby choose to be with Rinpoche doing what she loves in translating , writing as well as social media management in the Chinese-speaking world. She forgo her studies in Taiwan to be with Kechara. Abby has also witnessed Rinpoche’s teachings that change people’s lives for the better which then inspired her . Even though I have not known her for long and could not understand her videos in mandarin , I can only say she is friendly, happy go lucky go, helpful and speaks well confidently in her dharma sharing.
    Thank you for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/abby-foos-dharma-sharing.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Mar 18. 2019 12:00 PM
    Interesting stories how Rinpoche encountered with the great Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen that had changed Rinpoche’s life. Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen was a Tibetan lama and human rights activist living in the United States. And also the founder and spiritual director of Thubten Dhargye Ling. Its in United states that Rinpoche met him and have had the immeasurable good fortune to have been guided. His advice was always appropriate and beneficial to Rinpoche. He was known for his great compassion and personal warmth that attracted and inspired Rinpoche. He continues to inspire many of his students with the legacy he brought from Tibet. We have Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen to thanks as Rinpoche received all of the teachings and knowledge and now pass on to others about Dorje Shugden.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing of a Great Lama.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/how-geshe-tsultrim-gyeltsen-changed-my-life.html
  • Sofi
    Monday, Mar 18. 2019 03:54 AM
    The Ghosts on Jalan Chamang Road in Bentong | 文冬暹猛路的无头鬼

    Real life story of the supernatural seen along Chamang Road, Bentong, Malaysia. Scary to know of it and the Dorje Shugden mantra certainly comes in handy when we drive along this road. Om Benza Wiki Bitana Soha! Do share with us if you should have some experience or know of real paranormal stories.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/the-ghosts-on-jalan-chamang-road-in-bentong.html
  • Sofi
    Monday, Mar 18. 2019 03:48 AM
    The Promise – Tsem Rinpoche’s inspiring biography now in ebook format!

    An amazing biography of Rinpoche in his journey through the trials and tribulations of human sufferings to his calling as an ordained monk and recognition as reincarnations of highly attained Masters of the past. Note Rinpoche’s strong Guru Devotion, his loyalty and his success despite such pains he had gone through. A true example of how the Dharma should be practiced.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/tsem-rinpoches-inspiring-biography-now-in-ebook-format.html
  • Sofi
    Monday, Mar 18. 2019 03:37 AM
    Whale Saves Woman from Shark!

    Whales are extremely intelligent creatures and, like all animals, they have feelings too just like you and me. What’s amazing is that they can also exhibit behaviour that is kind and compassionate, putting the life and safety of another being ahead of their own.

    Read how did the whale save the woman from the shark.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/whale-saves-woman-from-a-shark.html
  • Lin Mun
    Sunday, Mar 17. 2019 09:12 PM
    Thank you Pastor David for sharing the reason why Rinpoche has to suffer. Rinpoche is a reincarnate lama but chose to go through the difficult life. He shows us that no matter how challenging life would be, we should never give up and must keep our determination strong in order to achieve success.

    Many of us would have gave up after years of trying but Rinpoche did not complaint and just keep pushing himself because his motivation is always to spread the dharma and uphold his promise his Guru. Rinpoche bio is an inspiration for us to not give up in dharma.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/tales-with-my-lama-why-rinpoche-has-to-suffer
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Mar 17. 2019 08:45 PM
    Great speech by Venerable Arjia Rinpoche , who spoke without fear openly. He advised the Tibetan community to stop discriminating against Dorje Shugden practitioners for the sake of peace ,unity of the Tibetans and to safe guard Tibet’s unique culture . A good start from a great lama closed to HH 14 th Dalai Lama. Peace cannot be achieve through violence, it can only be achieved through understanding. More than 60 years of the Tibetan leadership exploiting their people , they are beginning to realised the truth and they want peace and harmony to carry their lives. What is important is the mutual respect and acceptance of differences. Hoping more great lamas will speak out about the Dorje Shugden issue and more will be aware of it. There should not discriminating against people on the basis of their religious and spiritual faiths. World peace begins with inner peace. Most good relationships are built on mutual trust and respect. When we have respect for others, the world would be a better place .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this great news.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/arjia-rinpoche-says-dont-discriminate-against-dorje-shugden-people.html?fbclid=IwAR2EQasick2i3vd4zO3hR-Ibus293qNIBIaBvGse0Ux2XSrc6T7DBS_fxOg
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Mar 17. 2019 08:43 PM
    Thank You Pastor David Lai for this wonderful tales of Rinpoche. I do agree with you that Rinpoche gives people a strong and lasting impression. I personally had this when I first met Rinpoche for the first time when he entered wisdom hall during one of his short Dharma sharing years back. Rinpoche is indeed a living Buddha that stood out among his students during his many trips to town. It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation and Rinpoche is one such honourable exmple.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/tales-with-my-lama-larger-than-life
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Mar 17. 2019 08:41 PM
    Incense is and has been for thousands of years in daily use in many religions of the world . It has numerous benefits amongst them purification of the atmosphere. Wow….. interesting account of how doing this practice saved the lives those in the car accident. The car were badly damaged but all passengers walked out without any major injures except a little bruised. All thanks to Rinpoche’s quick action by doing incense offerings much earlier. That’s the power of Dorje Shugden.
    I have included this incense offering practice in my daily Sadhana since learning of the many benefits.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Niral Patel for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/stories-from-a-chela-incense-offering-that-saves-lives
  • Yee Yin
    Sunday, Mar 17. 2019 06:44 PM
    When Tsem Rinpoche became a monk in India, none of his family or friends in the US were willing to sponsor him to study in the monastery. Fortunately, Tsem Rinpoche’s teacher, Kensur Lobsang Tharchin Rinpoche of Rashi Gempil Ling (Howell) asked Anila Thupten Chonyid to sponsor Tsem Rinpoche USD50 a month. Anila Thupten Chonyid did that for years. Tsem Rinpoche has never forgotten the kindness of Anila, if it was not because of Anila, Tsem Rinpoche would have to suffer even more in the monastery.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/anila-thupten-chonyid-carmen-kichikov.html
    [no sender]

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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

Tsem Rinpoche

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  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.
March 18, 2019-Oser is very photogenic as usual.
16 hours ago
March 18, 2019-Oser is very photogenic as usual.
March 18, 2019-Very cute Oser as usual.
16 hours ago
March 18, 2019-Very cute Oser as usual.
Drashi Lhamo the terrifying female with the rolled out tongue- https://bit.ly/2J8S27y
5 days ago
Drashi Lhamo the terrifying female with the rolled out tongue- https://bit.ly/2J8S27y
Special prayer to Dorje Shugden composed by His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama- https://bit.ly/2QdaL4n
6 days ago
Special prayer to Dorje Shugden composed by His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama- https://bit.ly/2QdaL4n
On January 26, 2019, Venerable Arjia Rinpoche who is a close friend of the Dalai Lama asked the Tibetans to stop discriminating against people who practice Dorje Shugden and regionalism. His speech called for unity for the preservation of Tibet\'s unique culture and religion and all Tibetans should be friendly with each other regardless of religion and regional origins. His speech is powerful and much needed at this time. Very beautiful. Thank you Arjia Rinpoche. Please see here: https://bit.ly/2CdOz1A
7 days ago
On January 26, 2019, Venerable Arjia Rinpoche who is a close friend of the Dalai Lama asked the Tibetans to stop discriminating against people who practice Dorje Shugden and regionalism. His speech called for unity for the preservation of Tibet's unique culture and religion and all Tibetans should be friendly with each other regardless of religion and regional origins. His speech is powerful and much needed at this time. Very beautiful. Thank you Arjia Rinpoche. Please see here: https://bit.ly/2CdOz1A
Nice picture of Tsem Rinpoche with Lati Rinpoche and Kensur Rinpoche. Click on and enlarge.
1 week ago
Nice picture of Tsem Rinpoche with Lati Rinpoche and Kensur Rinpoche. Click on and enlarge.
Evolution starts with an inner revolution.~Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Evolution starts with an inner revolution.~Tsem Rinpoche
Our likes and dislikes are impermanent. Don\'t be stuck.~Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Our likes and dislikes are impermanent. Don't be stuck.~Tsem Rinpoche
I will always be loyal to my teacher, be with genuine friends, keep my spiritual commitments, share Dorje Shugden with those who need help and just be myself. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
I will always be loyal to my teacher, be with genuine friends, keep my spiritual commitments, share Dorje Shugden with those who need help and just be myself. Tsem Rinpoche
You can call me whatever you want,
but that won\'t change me.

~TsemRinpoche.com
2 weeks ago
You can call me whatever you want, but that won't change me. ~TsemRinpoche.com
I have so many wonderful stories, pictures, accounts & videos on bigfoot/yeti here: 
 https://bit.ly/2LjVZ6T
2 weeks ago
I have so many wonderful stories, pictures, accounts & videos on bigfoot/yeti here: https://bit.ly/2LjVZ6T
There is so much to see and read this in this category dedicated to animals. Let’s never harm animals and let’s not eat them anymore and allow them to live in happiness~Tsem Rinpoche- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
2 weeks ago
There is so much to see and read this in this category dedicated to animals. Let’s never harm animals and let’s not eat them anymore and allow them to live in happiness~Tsem Rinpoche- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
1997 in Kuala Lumpur. Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche.
2 weeks ago
1997 in Kuala Lumpur. Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche.
Another one to share..click on picture to view
2 weeks ago
Another one to share..click on picture to view
To share with you....
2 weeks ago
To share with you....
A special prayer on Tibet\'s Saint Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen to calm the mind daily. This short prayer was compassionately composed by His Holiness the 4th Panchen Lama of the great Tashilunpo Monastery. - 
 https://bit.ly/2ElkBZG
2 weeks ago
A special prayer on Tibet's Saint Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen to calm the mind daily. This short prayer was compassionately composed by His Holiness the 4th Panchen Lama of the great Tashilunpo Monastery. - https://bit.ly/2ElkBZG
Kyabje Zong Rinpoche with his two well known disciples. (Left) Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen and (right) Lama Yeshe. Both of them were very devoted to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, their practice, their commitments and brought benefit to many beings throughout their lives. Very great beings. Read more about them-  https://bit.ly/2H2rylB
3 weeks ago
Kyabje Zong Rinpoche with his two well known disciples. (Left) Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen and (right) Lama Yeshe. Both of them were very devoted to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, their practice, their commitments and brought benefit to many beings throughout their lives. Very great beings. Read more about them- https://bit.ly/2H2rylB
Many years ago, I had this 5ft Four-Armed Avalokitesvara made. It was done in Delhi, escorted to Tsem Ladrang in Gaden Shartse Monastery South India. Then my students and myself offered mantras, relics, jewels and brocades on this beautiful image as per tradition. Special rituals were done to consecrate it. Then I offered this image to the main shrine of Gaden Shartse Monstery for the sangha and visitors to pay homage to. The sangha and abbot were very happy. Till this day this beautiful image of compassion is still there in Gaden Shartse Monastery along with the many other thangkas, statues, repairs and offerings I had the honor to offer to the monastery. May all be blessed by Avalokitesvara, Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Many years ago, I had this 5ft Four-Armed Avalokitesvara made. It was done in Delhi, escorted to Tsem Ladrang in Gaden Shartse Monastery South India. Then my students and myself offered mantras, relics, jewels and brocades on this beautiful image as per tradition. Special rituals were done to consecrate it. Then I offered this image to the main shrine of Gaden Shartse Monstery for the sangha and visitors to pay homage to. The sangha and abbot were very happy. Till this day this beautiful image of compassion is still there in Gaden Shartse Monastery along with the many other thangkas, statues, repairs and offerings I had the honor to offer to the monastery. May all be blessed by Avalokitesvara, Tsem Rinpoche
Back in the 90\'s this photo of Tsem Rinpoche was taken in Tsem Ladrang, Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India. Tsem Rinpoche was in his room writing letters for Gaden Shartse Monastery and their sponsors around the world. Tsem Rinpoche had raised much sponsorship for the monks and Gaden Shartse Monastery. Read more- https://bit.ly/2NfHJjQ
3 weeks ago
Back in the 90's this photo of Tsem Rinpoche was taken in Tsem Ladrang, Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India. Tsem Rinpoche was in his room writing letters for Gaden Shartse Monastery and their sponsors around the world. Tsem Rinpoche had raised much sponsorship for the monks and Gaden Shartse Monastery. Read more- https://bit.ly/2NfHJjQ
This is a statue of Lord Buddha Shakyamuni (Jowo Rinpoche) in Lhasa, Tibet. Tsongkapa had offered the crown, \'shirt\' and ornaments on this sacred Buddha. Offering ornaments on Buddha is considered highly meritorious. Many Buddhist countries have this tradition.
3 weeks ago
This is a statue of Lord Buddha Shakyamuni (Jowo Rinpoche) in Lhasa, Tibet. Tsongkapa had offered the crown, 'shirt' and ornaments on this sacred Buddha. Offering ornaments on Buddha is considered highly meritorious. Many Buddhist countries have this tradition.
In Myanmar, they also offer crowns,deocrative upper shirts and beautiful thrones to Lord Buddha Shakyamuni. Just like in Tibet. Tsem Rinpoche (photo 2)
3 weeks ago
In Myanmar, they also offer crowns,deocrative upper shirts and beautiful thrones to Lord Buddha Shakyamuni. Just like in Tibet. Tsem Rinpoche (photo 2)
In Myanmar, they also offer crowns,deocrative upper shirts and beautiful thrones to Lord Buddha Shakyamuni. Just like in Tibet. Tsem Rinpoche (photo 1)
3 weeks ago
In Myanmar, they also offer crowns,deocrative upper shirts and beautiful thrones to Lord Buddha Shakyamuni. Just like in Tibet. Tsem Rinpoche (photo 1)
This was Tsem Rinpoche with Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche in his house in Nepal. Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche was asking Tsem Rinpoche to give teachings in Gangchen Ladrang.
3 weeks ago
This was Tsem Rinpoche with Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche in his house in Nepal. Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche was asking Tsem Rinpoche to give teachings in Gangchen Ladrang.
Dorje Shugden\'s mantra is in Hindi, Tamil, Chinese, English and Nepali. We already have them in Tibetan. These mantra stones of various languages are displayed at the Dorje Shugden grotto so that people of all backgrounds who visit will find familiarity in the mantra. They feel a sense of welcome and closeness. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Dorje Shugden's mantra is in Hindi, Tamil, Chinese, English and Nepali. We already have them in Tibetan. These mantra stones of various languages are displayed at the Dorje Shugden grotto so that people of all backgrounds who visit will find familiarity in the mantra. They feel a sense of welcome and closeness. Tsem Rinpoche
Famous Nyitrul Rinpoche &Lama Thubten Phurbu 2019
3 weeks ago
Famous Nyitrul Rinpoche &Lama Thubten Phurbu 2019
Beautiful Vajra Yogini
3 weeks ago
Beautiful Vajra Yogini
This Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen statue is so stunning. It was a good idea to have a real brocade pandit\'s hat and brocade robes sewn for this image. It makes the image come to life. How nice to have such a Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen statue on our shrine with offerings and we recite the prayer to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen daily to invoke his sacred blessings. This statue is on Martin\'s shrine. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
This Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen statue is so stunning. It was a good idea to have a real brocade pandit's hat and brocade robes sewn for this image. It makes the image come to life. How nice to have such a Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen statue on our shrine with offerings and we recite the prayer to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen daily to invoke his sacred blessings. This statue is on Martin's shrine. Tsem Rinpoche
With deep devotion to the guru, higher meditational insights will arise. If one does not have deep devotion to the guru, it is a clear sign one does not have higher meditational insights.~Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
With deep devotion to the guru, higher meditational insights will arise. If one does not have deep devotion to the guru, it is a clear sign one does not have higher meditational insights.~Tsem Rinpoche
With deep devotion to the guru, higher meditational insights will arise. Because of not having higher meditational insights, one will not realize the need to have devotion to the guru in order to gain higher insights. They are interdependent.~Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
With deep devotion to the guru, higher meditational insights will arise. Because of not having higher meditational insights, one will not realize the need to have devotion to the guru in order to gain higher insights. They are interdependent.~Tsem Rinpoche
This is a school you MUST see! Amazing! What an opportunity for children. This is exactly what they need. Please read this- https://bit.ly/2tu4sfs
4 weeks ago
This is a school you MUST see! Amazing! What an opportunity for children. This is exactly what they need. Please read this- https://bit.ly/2tu4sfs
\"Hoichi the Earless Minstrel\" is a wonderful classic ghost story that is done artistically and very spiritually imbued. One of my favorites. The Amitabha shrine is beautiful. A must watch- https://bit.ly/2NgJUAs
4 weeks ago
"Hoichi the Earless Minstrel" is a wonderful classic ghost story that is done artistically and very spiritually imbued. One of my favorites. The Amitabha shrine is beautiful. A must watch- https://bit.ly/2NgJUAs
Amazing huge Amitabha Buddha on the “roof of Vietnam”-Such stunning photos- https://bit.ly/2Ed0s9n
4 weeks ago
Amazing huge Amitabha Buddha on the “roof of Vietnam”-Such stunning photos- https://bit.ly/2Ed0s9n
Be loyal to your guru. Be close to your guru. Be honest with your guru. Never give your guru excuses but always accomplish your assignments that your guru has given you. Be loving, devoted and sincere with your guru. If you conduct yourself in this way, you will see positive transformations in your mind. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Be loyal to your guru. Be close to your guru. Be honest with your guru. Never give your guru excuses but always accomplish your assignments that your guru has given you. Be loving, devoted and sincere with your guru. If you conduct yourself in this way, you will see positive transformations in your mind. Tsem Rinpoche
Be loyal to your guru. Be close to your guru. Be honest with your guru. Never give your guru excuses but always accomplish your assignments that your guru has given you. Be loving, devoted and sincere with your guru. If you conduct yourself in this way, you will see positive transformations in your mind. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Be loyal to your guru. Be close to your guru. Be honest with your guru. Never give your guru excuses but always accomplish your assignments that your guru has given you. Be loving, devoted and sincere with your guru. If you conduct yourself in this way, you will see positive transformations in your mind. Tsem Rinpoche
It is a must read on this incredible master Tagpu Pemavajra who was a great Mahasiddha- https://bit.ly/2Eagu3N
1 month ago
It is a must read on this incredible master Tagpu Pemavajra who was a great Mahasiddha- https://bit.ly/2Eagu3N
Photo-Rare form of Lady Sindongma or Simhamuka practised in the Bodong Sengdong lineage. Please read more on the practice and benefits of Fierce Goddess Singdongma and the protection She offers- https://bit.ly/2JTMc6O
1 month ago
Photo-Rare form of Lady Sindongma or Simhamuka practised in the Bodong Sengdong lineage. Please read more on the practice and benefits of Fierce Goddess Singdongma and the protection She offers- https://bit.ly/2JTMc6O
Would love to live here in the forest and have breakfast here daily
1 month ago
Would love to live here in the forest and have breakfast here daily
My Oser girl loves to sunbathe on the veranda.
1 month ago
My Oser girl loves to sunbathe on the veranda.
An alluring statue of the Goddess Ucheyma (Severed Head Vajra Yogini) has arrived for me. Take a look and be blessed! She is stunning!- https://bit.ly/2HZRhgx
1 month ago
An alluring statue of the Goddess Ucheyma (Severed Head Vajra Yogini) has arrived for me. Take a look and be blessed! She is stunning!- https://bit.ly/2HZRhgx
It says when the Buddha was born, all the gods, demigods and asura came to pay homage. Buddha proclaimed it will be his last rebirth in samsara. Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu all came to make offerings to a Universal Monarch (Buddha) during this most auspicious time. This is one of the depictions of that. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
It says when the Buddha was born, all the gods, demigods and asura came to pay homage. Buddha proclaimed it will be his last rebirth in samsara. Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu all came to make offerings to a Universal Monarch (Buddha) during this most auspicious time. This is one of the depictions of that. Tsem Rinpoche
Sacred Vajra Yogini stupa at Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia
1 month ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini stupa at Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia
Powerful outdoor Dorje Shugden statue at Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia
1 month ago
Powerful outdoor Dorje Shugden statue at Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia
Li Yu is incredibly creative, artistic, imaginative and really can patiently create a beautiful living space and so much art. Amazing-  https://bit.ly/2Ge6k3C
1 month ago
Li Yu is incredibly creative, artistic, imaginative and really can patiently create a beautiful living space and so much art. Amazing- https://bit.ly/2Ge6k3C
Our Medicine Buddha stops rain- https://bit.ly/2TnGFcG
2 months ago
Our Medicine Buddha stops rain- https://bit.ly/2TnGFcG
满愿护法多杰雄登: https://bit.ly/2G5xiKY
2 months ago
满愿护法多杰雄登: https://bit.ly/2G5xiKY
A brand new \"Wish-fulfilling Shrine\" just completed. Beautiful! Please see pictures and video-  https://bit.ly/2Sczh6v
2 months ago
A brand new "Wish-fulfilling Shrine" just completed. Beautiful! Please see pictures and video- https://bit.ly/2Sczh6v
The ancient and magnificent gigantic Maitreya Buddha of Xumishan Grottoes- https://bit.ly/2VIjCej
2 months ago
The ancient and magnificent gigantic Maitreya Buddha of Xumishan Grottoes- https://bit.ly/2VIjCej
Do we really need psychics, fortune tellers and people who can change our luck and destiny? - https://bit.ly/2RPy2uN
2 months ago
Do we really need psychics, fortune tellers and people who can change our luck and destiny? - https://bit.ly/2RPy2uN
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Beautiful
    14 hours ago
    Beautiful
    Beautiful sacred Severed Head Vajra Yogini from Tsem Rinpoche's personal shrine.
  • My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
    4 days ago
    My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
  • Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 week ago
    Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 weeks ago
    Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
  • SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    2 months ago
    SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    Tsem Rinpoche's dog Oser girl enjoying her snack in her play pen.
  • Cute!
    2 months ago
    Cute!
    Oser girl loves the balcony so much. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTcoWpKJm2c
  • Uncle Wong
    2 months ago
    Uncle Wong
    We were told by Uncle Wong he is very faithful toward Dorje Shugden. Dorje Shugden has extended help to him on several occasions and now Uncle Wong comes daily to make incense offerings to Dorje Shugden. He is grateful towards the help he was given.
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
    2 months ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
  • Cute baby owl found and rescued
    3 months ago
    Cute baby owl found and rescued
    We rescued a lost baby owl in Kechara Forest Retreat.
  • Nice cups from Kechara!!
    3 months ago
    Nice cups from Kechara!!
    Dorje Shugden people's lives matter!
  • Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    3 months ago
    Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    Chirping birds and other forest animals create a joyful melody at the Vajrayogini stupa in Kechara Forest Retreat (Bentong, Malaysia).
  • His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    3 months ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    Trijang Rinpoche never gave up his devotion to Dorje Shugden no matter how much Tibetan government in exile pressured him to give up. He stayed loyal inspiring so many of us.
  • Very rare video of His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche the 10th, the all knowing and compassionate one. I pay deep respects to this attained being who has taken many rebirths since the time of Lord Buddha to be of benefit to sentient beings tirelessly. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 months ago
    Very rare video of His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche the 10th, the all knowing and compassionate one. I pay deep respects to this attained being who has taken many rebirths since the time of Lord Buddha to be of benefit to sentient beings tirelessly. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This bigfoot researcher gives good reasonings on bigfoot. Interesting short video.
    3 months ago
    This bigfoot researcher gives good reasonings on bigfoot. Interesting short video.
  • His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery was one of the teachers of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Here in this beautiful video is Geshe Kelsang Gyatso showing his centre to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, then proceeding to sit down to receive teachings. For more information- https://bit.ly/2QNac1u
    3 months ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery was one of the teachers of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Here in this beautiful video is Geshe Kelsang Gyatso showing his centre to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, then proceeding to sit down to receive teachings. For more information- https://bit.ly/2QNac1u
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s dog, Oser girl always sits on Rinpoche’s chair. When Rinpoche’s other dog, Dharma tries to get into the chair, he is chased away. Oser is the boss. She is possessive. Cute.
    3 months ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s dog, Oser girl always sits on Rinpoche’s chair. When Rinpoche’s other dog, Dharma tries to get into the chair, he is chased away. Oser is the boss. She is possessive. Cute.
  • Lama Yeshe talks about how to practice at the beginning and at the end of each day during teachings given in London during the Lamas’ first European teaching tour in 1975. Lama Yeshe was a brilliant teacher and I wanted to share this with everyone so his teachings can reach more people. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    Lama Yeshe talks about how to practice at the beginning and at the end of each day during teachings given in London during the Lamas’ first European teaching tour in 1975. Lama Yeshe was a brilliant teacher and I wanted to share this with everyone so his teachings can reach more people. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Our beautiful Dorje Shugden shop in the busiest part of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Many tourists visit our store and this area.
    4 months ago
    Our beautiful Dorje Shugden shop in the busiest part of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Many tourists visit our store and this area.
  • Living off the grid in Australia
    4 months ago
    Living off the grid in Australia
    A Jill Redwood is a jack of all trades, Jill built her own house on her property and lives entirely off the grid with no mains power or town water, mobile reception or television. Living on around $80 a week, Jill has over sixty animals to keep her company and an abundant garden that out serves as an organic supermarket right at her doorstep. Her main expenses are animal feed and the rates on her property. Watch this incredible three minute video and be inspired to live differently.
  • Kyabje Dagom Choktrul Rinpoche offering gold on a 350 year-old Dorje Shugden statue in his chapel in Lhasa. This is how Tibetans show homage and pay respect to a holy image. This chapel and statue of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa dedicated to Dorje Shugden was built by the Great 5th Dalai Lama. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    Kyabje Dagom Choktrul Rinpoche offering gold on a 350 year-old Dorje Shugden statue in his chapel in Lhasa. This is how Tibetans show homage and pay respect to a holy image. This chapel and statue of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa dedicated to Dorje Shugden was built by the Great 5th Dalai Lama. Tsem Rinpoche
  • My sweet little Oser girl is so photogenic and adorable. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    My sweet little Oser girl is so photogenic and adorable. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Heart Sutra sang by a monk for the modern crowd. Very interesting and beautiful. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    Heart Sutra sang by a monk for the modern crowd. Very interesting and beautiful. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Submerging powerful mantra stones in water at Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
    4 months ago
    Submerging powerful mantra stones in water at Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
  • Wylfred explains in Chinese the benefits of mantra stones at Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia   |  黄明川以华语解释在马来西亚克切拉禅修林的玛尼堆(刻有心咒的石头)的利益
    4 months ago
    Wylfred explains in Chinese the benefits of mantra stones at Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia | 黄明川以华语解释在马来西亚克切拉禅修林的玛尼堆(刻有心咒的石头)的利益
  • My Oser girl and Dharma boy love the verandah where they can see the greens. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    My Oser girl and Dharma boy love the verandah where they can see the greens. Tsem Rinpoche
  • If there were more schools like this, then our kids would grow up with more caring awareness and kind emotions towards our environment and the people around them. They would grow up knowing that chasing materialism is not going to bring any happiness. I hope very much more schools like this would materialise. I hope in my future life I can attend a school like this. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    If there were more schools like this, then our kids would grow up with more caring awareness and kind emotions towards our environment and the people around them. They would grow up knowing that chasing materialism is not going to bring any happiness. I hope very much more schools like this would materialise. I hope in my future life I can attend a school like this. Tsem Rinpoche
  • My Oser girl and Dharma boy in their cosy little bedroom next to me sleeping away. Cute.
    4 months ago
    My Oser girl and Dharma boy in their cosy little bedroom next to me sleeping away. Cute.
  • It is incredible how smart Oser girl is. She can steal the treat away from Dharma boy and so casually. Wow. She is so smart. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    It is incredible how smart Oser girl is. She can steal the treat away from Dharma boy and so casually. Wow. She is so smart. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Kechara Forest Retreat Dogs. Dharma boy is tiny and trying to scare off big boy Johnny. Johnny is so patient and just ignores Dharma. They are both cute and both live in Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    Kechara Forest Retreat Dogs. Dharma boy is tiny and trying to scare off big boy Johnny. Johnny is so patient and just ignores Dharma. They are both cute and both live in Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia. Tsem Rinpoche
  • BREAKING EYEWITNESS FOOTAGE: Workers violently punched, kicked, cussed out, & left sheep to die on dozens of Scottish farms 💔 Sheep bled after rough shearing & were stitched up without painkillers.–From Peta2
    5 months ago
    BREAKING EYEWITNESS FOOTAGE: Workers violently punched, kicked, cussed out, & left sheep to die on dozens of Scottish farms 💔 Sheep bled after rough shearing & were stitched up without painkillers.–From Peta2
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    1 years ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
  • Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
    1 years ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
  • BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
    1 years ago
    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    1 years ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    1 years ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 years ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    1 years ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    1 years ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    1 years ago
    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.

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

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CHAT PICTURES

A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
3 hours ago
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
3 hours ago
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
4 hours ago
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
4 hours ago
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
Is a colourful bouncing balls.. Let's bounce together haha!!Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
7 hours ago
Is a colourful bouncing balls.. Let's bounce together haha!!Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
Is a colourful bouncing balls.. Let's bounce together haha!!Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
7 hours ago
Is a colourful bouncing balls.. Let's bounce together haha!!Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
Is a colourful bouncing balls.. Let's bounce together haha!!Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
7 hours ago
Is a colourful bouncing balls.. Let's bounce together haha!!Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
7 hours ago
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
7 hours ago
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
7 hours ago
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
7 hours ago
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
7 hours ago
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
7 hours ago
The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
7 hours ago
The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
8 hours ago
The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
8 hours ago
The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
8 hours ago
The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
Today's titles "I Am Happy" What delight is?? Examples of delight... The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
8 hours ago
Today's titles "I Am Happy" What delight is?? Examples of delight... The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
Welcome our 3 little new cute friends, they are brother and sister, Qin Yue( 7 year old), Chang Yang(5 year old) and Qin Tian (2 year old) Welcome to Kechara Sunday Dharma School.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
8 hours ago
Welcome our 3 little new cute friends, they are brother and sister, Qin Yue( 7 year old), Chang Yang(5 year old) and Qin Tian (2 year old) Welcome to Kechara Sunday Dharma School.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
Our class started with prostration, lead by Jun Chen he is 6 years old this year. By Asyley Chia KSDS
8 hours ago
Our class started with prostration, lead by Jun Chen he is 6 years old this year. By Asyley Chia KSDS
We are thankful to the volunteers who turned up yesterday to assist us in preparing the meals for last night's distribution. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
yesterday
We are thankful to the volunteers who turned up yesterday to assist us in preparing the meals for last night's distribution. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thanks to QI Resources team for assisting us in #surplus #food #rescue and delivered it to our charity partner earlier. #zerofoodwastage #volunteerism #kualalumpur - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 days ago
Thanks to QI Resources team for assisting us in #surplus #food #rescue and delivered it to our charity partner earlier. #zerofoodwastage #volunteerism #kualalumpur - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Delicious chocolate muffin done by teacher Grace. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Delicious chocolate muffin done by teacher Grace. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback- WOAH Camp in Kechara Forest Retreat. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Throwback- WOAH Camp in Kechara Forest Retreat. Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS outing - Parents, students & teacher volunteered their time to help pack food for Kechara Soup Kitchen. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
KSDS outing - Parents, students & teacher volunteered their time to help pack food for Kechara Soup Kitchen. Lin Mun KSDS
The Promise
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  Tsem Rinpoche's Long Life Prayer by H.H. Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche
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