The Incredible Legend of Hoichi the Earless Minstrel

Feb 19, 2019 | Views: 1,321
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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8 Responses to The Incredible Legend of Hoichi the Earless Minstrel

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  1. S.Prathap on Feb 18, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    The Incredible Legend of Hoichi the Earless Minstrel is exactly that, the suspense with a great interesting twist to the ending. Not so perfect as is in real life, the sacrifice of his ears for his life in peace, although of course not by his choice but the negligence of another.
    In this story, we can see how they use Heart Sutra to as protection from black magic and ward off evil spirits. Thank you very much for sharing such an intriguing story about Hoichi the Earless Minstrel.

  2. Ummamageswari on Jun 20, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    Thank you so much for this article. Based on the story it is a bizarre tale of supernatural phenomena that occurred after the historic battle of Dan-no-ura which took place in 1185. It is said that Hoichi the Earless One is a well known Japanese folktale character who lived during the feudal era.

    What terrified me is 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. Thank you.

  3. nicholas on Apr 27, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    This is an interesting story. Looking at how the spirit realm attaches in their own world by asking Hoichi to keep retelling the story of the battle accompanied by his biwa. It’s sad but it’s the fact of the spirit realms. They just live in their moment and keep repeating.

    In this story, we can see how they use Heart Sutra to as protection from black magic and ward off evil spirits. Although the priest 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.

    Basically, it’s an interesting story to watch and to relate back to our spirituality.

  4. Sofi on Mar 22, 2019 at 8:53 am

    This is a true classic of Japanese Ghost Stories. I have always loved classic ghost stories as they build up the suspense with great endings. The Incredible Legend of Hoichi the Earless Minstrel is exactly that, the suspense with a great interesting twist to the ending. Not so perfect as is in real life, the sacrifice of his ears for his life in peace, although of course not by his choice but the negligence of another. It is amazing how the heart sutra is able to hide Hoichi from the Samurai ghost. Makes me wonder if the effects of tattoos will be the same as Japanese are well known for their tattoos, especially the Yakuzas. Thank you Rinpoche for this revisit to a great ghost movie and the accompanying article.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. 🙏😍👍

  7. 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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  • S.Prathap
    Wednesday, Apr 8. 2020 09:36 PM
    He is well known as the father of yoga in the West, who has devoted his life to the spread of knowledge about the techniques of yoga meditation. His Yoga teachings are widely practiced around the world by many from various faiths, backgrounds, races, and nationalities.
    The sacred sounds invite positive beings to inhabit our environment, expels negative beings and brings the sound of growth to the land, animals, water and plants. Thank you for the good article.
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 8. 2020 05:58 PM
    Beautiful architectural and unique structures of sixty-four Yogini Temple of Hirapur, India. It is the smallest temple among the list of four major surviving 64 Yogini temples in India. The temple is beautifully well preserved, quite remarkable given the fact that this shrine is only one of a handful traditional form of Yogini temples in India that still exist. This Hirapur shrine is indeed very unique in many ways. Wish I could visit this amazing someday.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David Lai for this wonderful sharing of the sixty-four yoginis of these temples are believed to be none other than celestial dakinis in reality .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/sixty-four-yogini-temple-of-hirapur.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 8. 2020 05:55 PM
    According to Buddhism, the world in which we live and all that happens to us is a result of our past actions. Past harmful actions create unhappiness results and skilful actions create happy results. One way to purify obstacles we experience due to our past harmful action is through prayers and pujas. The power of prayers derives from the sincere motivation of the person asking for prayers, as well as the pure mind of the persons performing the prayers. It is said that prayers performed by lamas are especially powerful and effective as they are done on the basis of pure morality. There are many types of pujas which can be performed for various purposes for the dying, for the deceased and for sickness. All depending on one request and recording to one’s needs with specific problems . Removing these obstacles will help us to achieve happiness and good fortune in all our activities. We are so fortunate to learn, practice some of the pujas at Kechara Forest Retreat. Many people have truly benefited from these pujas done when with concentration and faith.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this extensive article pujas which I have better knowledge of other pujas other that what I knew.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/the-power-of-prayers.html
  • sarassitham
    Wednesday, Apr 8. 2020 01:54 AM
    We all have to realize that there are many strange things that we need to be explore and to understand better. Thank you for the sharing it very interesting to know about the 10 most terrifying supernatural house and place on this earth.
  • S.Prathap
    Tuesday, Apr 7. 2020 02:40 PM
    After reading this article I came to realize I have plenty to know. I get to understand a little much more knowledge of the Body of a Buddha. The details of the 32 marks and there are teachings of each mark.
    Reading this gives me a whole new understanding into Buddha images, and their importance.Thank you very much for the informative article.
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Apr 7. 2020 01:48 PM
    Ksitigarbha is a bodhisattva primarily revered in East Asian Buddhism . Usually depicted as a monk with a nimbus around his shaved head, he carries a staff to force open the gates of hell and a wish-fulfilling jewel to light up the darkness.In Tibetan thangkas, he is often depicted as a classical seated Bodhisattva with crown. He is regarded as the bodhisattva of hell beings. Well known for his greatest compassionate Vow being, that is not to achieve Buddhahood until all hells are emptied. In this beautiful thangka he is depicted with Dorje Shugden an emanation of the Buddha of Wisdom, Manjushri. Dorje Shugden who is a Dharma Protector in order to safeguard the Buddha’s teachings.
    Thank you for this beautiful thangka.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/ksitigarbha-the-saviour
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Apr 7. 2020 01:45 PM
    Machig Labdron was a renowned 11th-century Tibetan tantric Buddhist practitioner, teacher and yogini who originated several Tibetan lineages of the Vajrayana practice of Chod . She is often depicted with the attributes of a dakini, a representation of enlightened female energy. Together with Buddha Shakyamuni, Padampa Sangye, Vajravarahi, Green Tara, Prajnaparamita, Chang Shon, Troma Nagmo and Dorje Shugden as depicted in this beautiful thangka.
    Thank you for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/the-founder-of-chod-machig-labdron
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Apr 7. 2020 01:43 PM
    Black Manjushri is the wrathful healing form of Manjushri that helps us to heal our deep inner negative emotions and mental suffering. Those suffering from aggressive and assertive diseases such as cancer, AIDS , heart disease or those who are prone to negative emotions. Black Manjushri ‘s practice is indeed very beneficial in healing as long as one have faith. It is widely practiced by Gelug practitioners and other lineage as well. Black Manjushri purifies contaminations and impurities. In this thangka , Black Manjushri is depicted with Dorje Shugden who is an emanation of the Buddha of Wisdom, Manjushri. Beautiful and powerful thangka to have it in our home.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/the-wrathful-healing-form-of-manjushri-black-manjushri
  • sarassitham
    Monday, Apr 6. 2020 10:29 PM
    Wow! Great to know the effect of mantra stone, an interesting article to know the powerful way of offering and the blessing. I understand that mantra is a form of meditation that has existed for a long time but offering mantra stone to deity is something new to understand.

    Thank you for the wonderful sharing and I am blessed to come across a beautiful message on offering mantra stone and the benefit behind it.
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Apr 6. 2020 03:40 PM
    Kuan Yin is one of the major deities in Buddhism and one of the most popular deities. Also known as the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion . Kuan Yin is regarded as male in India, and slowly transformed to have a female image in China. She is known for her kindness and can also be regarded as an icon of femininity in modern Buddhism. In this beautiful thangka Kuan Yin is depicted with Wei Tuo who is the great Dharma Protector in Buddhism who protects the Dharma, the teachings of the Buddha and those who cultivate the Dharma. Together with Dorje Shugden also a Dharma protector in order to safeguard the Buddha’s teachings. Dorje Shugden who is an emanation of the Buddha of Wisdom, Manjushri as depicted makes a powerful thangka to have.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/goddess-kuan-yin-the-embodiment-of-compassion
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Apr 6. 2020 03:38 PM
    Born into a noble family the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje was spiritual leader of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. He was well respected and consulted by high lamas of other lineages. He was given many names expressing this respect, including “King of the Yogis”. Interesting short life history of a great lama.
    Lama Jigme Rinpoche an accomplished teacher of the Kagyu lineage has once said….
    “Although the 16th Karmapa appeared and acted as a human being, his mind was completely open, without any limitation. He knew everything in an instant and without having to think about it.”
    Depicted in this beautiful thangka with Dorje Shugden who is an emanation of the Buddha of Wisdom, Manjushri. He took the form of a Dharma protector in order to safeguard the Buddha’s teachings.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/his-holiness-the-16th-karmapa-rangjung-rigpe-dorje
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Apr 6. 2020 03:37 PM
    Chenrezig, also known as ‘All-Seeing Lord’.” is the most revered of all Bodhisattva, embodying the compassion of all Buddhas. Chenrezig listens to the prayers of all sentient beings in times of challenge and difficulty. His vow is to remain in samsara until all beings have been freed, especially lessens anger and also for those who suffer from depression. Here Chenrezig is depicted together with Dorje Shugden the dharma protector who is an emanation of the Buddha of Wisdom, Manjushri. A beautiful thangka to have.
    Thank you.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/semnyi-ngalso-chenrezig
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Apr 5. 2020 03:25 PM
    Nairatmya is the Buddha Mother of the Sakya sect and is the embodiment of prajna wisdom. As well as a meditational deity and the consort of Hevajra which has many different forms and combinations of forms for these two deities. She has phenomenal power which enables practitioners to break through the ignorance of afflictions and increase the practitioners’ Buddha wisdom and merits. She did appeared to the Mahasiddha Virupa urging him to continue with his tantric practice. Depicted with the dharma protector Dorje Shugden forms a beautiful and powerful thangka.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/nairatmya-she-who-has-no-self
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Apr 5. 2020 03:23 PM
    Born as a prince …Siddhartha Gautama but then became known as Shakyamuni only after he became the Buddha . Buddha gave teachings or compassionately turning the wheel of Dharma at a variety of places for many years until his parinirvana. Through these teachings, Buddha showed the way that leads all beings to the experience of awakening and liberation from samsara. In this beautiful thanka Buddha is depicted with his many disciples and Dorje Shugden who is an emanation of the Buddha of Wisdom, Manjushri.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/buddha-shakyamuni-turning-the-wheel-of-dharma
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Apr 5. 2020 03:21 PM
    The Buddha was a philosopher, mendicant, meditator, spiritual teacher, and religious leader who lived in ancient India. He is revered as the founder of the world religion of Buddhism. Life as a prince living in the wealthy circumstances of a noble family . In his late twenties, Prince Siddhartha encountered the “four signs” during excursions from the palace. He realized that the only way out of this suffering world of samsara was through finding and following the right spiritual path. He gave up the ascetic way of life and turned to meditation, until he reached his goal of enlightenment under the Bodhi-tree in Bodhgaya. Interesting story of who the noble prince was, the major events of his life, and the incredible legacy that he left behind for the world with the creation of Buddhism.
    In this beautiful thangka , depicted together with Dorje Shugden who is an emanation of the Buddha of Wisdom, Manjushri. As a dharma protector in order to safeguard the Buddha’s teachings .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/the-noble-prince-who-founded-buddhism

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

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

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

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
11 months ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
11 months ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
11 months ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
11 months ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
11 months ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
11 months ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
11 months ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
11 months ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
11 months ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
11 months ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
11 months ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
11 months ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
11 months ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
11 months ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
11 months ago
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
11 months ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
11 months ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
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    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.
    2 yearss ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    2 yearss ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    2 yearss ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    2 yearss ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    2 yearss ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    2 yearss ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    3 yearss ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

View All Questions

CHAT PICTURES

Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
4 weeks ago
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
4 weeks ago
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 weeks ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 weeks ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 weeks ago
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 weeks ago
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 weeks ago
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 weeks ago
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 weeks ago
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
4 weeks ago
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
4 weeks ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 weeks ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 weeks ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 weeks ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 weeks ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 weeks ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Over 100 Kecharians & their loved ones spent the Sunday evening immersed in this obstacle pacifying puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 weeks ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Over 100 Kecharians & their loved ones spent the Sunday evening immersed in this obstacle pacifying puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Dakpa and Geshe Janchup Gyaltsen Lama inspecting the offering substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 weeks ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Dakpa and Geshe Janchup Gyaltsen Lama inspecting the offering substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Rinpoche & Geshe Janchup making last minute checks before the commencement of the Jinsek or Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 weeks ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Rinpoche & Geshe Janchup making last minute checks before the commencement of the Jinsek or Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The arrival of the Sangha conducting this sacred puja accompanied by Changtso Beng Kooi and Pastor Niral Patel - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 weeks ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The arrival of the Sangha conducting this sacred puja accompanied by Changtso Beng Kooi and Pastor Niral Patel - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The site of the Peaceful Fire Puja the calls upon the pacifying energies of Shize Shugden. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 weeks ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The site of the Peaceful Fire Puja the calls upon the pacifying energies of Shize Shugden. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: A close-up of the ladle. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 weeks ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: A close-up of the ladle. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Substances such as sticks, melted butter, kusha grass, lentils and barley were traditionally offered during the prayers to create the causes for merits, long life and to pacify obstacles. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 weeks ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Substances such as sticks, melted butter, kusha grass, lentils and barley were traditionally offered during the prayers to create the causes for merits, long life and to pacify obstacles. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Beautifully handcrafted torma or food offering to the Buddha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 weeks ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Beautifully handcrafted torma or food offering to the Buddha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Some of the many offering items & substances used during this highly blessed Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 weeks ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Some of the many offering items & substances used during this highly blessed Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja in Kechara Forest Retreat: A special mandala at the base where the fire puja ritual was conducted. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 weeks ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja in Kechara Forest Retreat: A special mandala at the base where the fire puja ritual was conducted. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Kechara Earth Project (KEP) 8/3/2020
4 weeks ago
Kechara Earth Project (KEP) 8/3/2020
Dear Kecharians and friends, We are pleased to announce that as part of the preparations for H.E. Tsem Rinpoche's reliquary stupas and incarnation chapel, mantra rolling sessions have begun in Kechara Forest Retreat. We are calling for volunteers to join us in this holy activity. DATE Daily starting 5th March 2020 until further notice TIME (1) Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday - 10am to 10pm (2) Thursday & Sunday - 10am to 6pm VENUE Art Studio (Kechara Saraswati Arts) Kechara Forest Retreat If you're interested, kindly contact: Wong Yew Kien 012-3717896 or Karen Chong 012-7710289 We look forward to seeing you soon!
1 month ago
Dear Kecharians and friends, We are pleased to announce that as part of the preparations for H.E. Tsem Rinpoche's reliquary stupas and incarnation chapel, mantra rolling sessions have begun in Kechara Forest Retreat. We are calling for volunteers to join us in this holy activity. DATE Daily starting 5th March 2020 until further notice TIME (1) Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday - 10am to 10pm (2) Thursday & Sunday - 10am to 6pm VENUE Art Studio (Kechara Saraswati Arts) Kechara Forest Retreat If you're interested, kindly contact: Wong Yew Kien 012-3717896 or Karen Chong 012-7710289 We look forward to seeing you soon!
Join us for a Peaceful Fire Puja based on Dorje Shugden’s pacifying form. This blessed puja will be conducted at the future site of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s outdoor reliquary stupa to pacify obstacles and for the success of the project. EVENT DETAILS • Date: Sunday, 8 March 2020 • Time: 6.00pm – 8.30pm • Venue: Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong Admission is free, all are welcome. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS FOR SPONSORS AND ATTENDEES • Healing from illness and disease • Overcoming obstacles • Purifying past negative deeds and negative karma • Calming the environment, natural disasters and calamities • Helping the deceased to take a good rebirth • Accumulation of merits for spiritual realisations and attainments
1 month ago
Join us for a Peaceful Fire Puja based on Dorje Shugden’s pacifying form. This blessed puja will be conducted at the future site of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s outdoor reliquary stupa to pacify obstacles and for the success of the project. EVENT DETAILS • Date: Sunday, 8 March 2020 • Time: 6.00pm – 8.30pm • Venue: Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong Admission is free, all are welcome. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS FOR SPONSORS AND ATTENDEES • Healing from illness and disease • Overcoming obstacles • Purifying past negative deeds and negative karma • Calming the environment, natural disasters and calamities • Helping the deceased to take a good rebirth • Accumulation of merits for spiritual realisations and attainments
Join us this weekend for Spiritual Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat! SATURDAY, 7 MARCH 9.30 am: Polish Gyenze's wish-fulfilling lamps 11.15 am: Introduction to Ayurveda 1.00 pm: Lunch INTERESTED? WhatsApp us at +6017 672 0757 to RSVP your place (and your meal!) See all March activities: bit.ly/2vAGpjF
1 month ago
Join us this weekend for Spiritual Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat! SATURDAY, 7 MARCH 9.30 am: Polish Gyenze's wish-fulfilling lamps 11.15 am: Introduction to Ayurveda 1.00 pm: Lunch INTERESTED? WhatsApp us at +6017 672 0757 to RSVP your place (and your meal!) See all March activities: bit.ly/2vAGpjF
Kechara Earth Project- new site at Damansara
1 month ago
Kechara Earth Project- new site at Damansara
For those who did not manage to join in for our Loma Gyonma mantra recitation, here's the prayer that you can do daily at home as a preventive measure to ward off unwanted infections and illnesses, especially contagious diseases such as Coronavirus & H1N1. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 months ago
For those who did not manage to join in for our Loma Gyonma mantra recitation, here's the prayer that you can do daily at home as a preventive measure to ward off unwanted infections and illnesses, especially contagious diseases such as Coronavirus & H1N1. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Special prayer session in Kechara Forest Retreat where we will be collectively accumulating a minimum of 25,000 Loma Gyonma mantras, combined with circumambulations and 108 candle offerings each to Loma Gyonma and Dorje Shugden. To receive the blessings of Loma Gyonma, the Goddess of Healing and Epidemic Diseases, and to pray for all who are at risk from the novel coronavirus to be healed and protected. -photo credit Cynthia Ng - shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 months ago
Special prayer session in Kechara Forest Retreat where we will be collectively accumulating a minimum of 25,000 Loma Gyonma mantras, combined with circumambulations and 108 candle offerings each to Loma Gyonma and Dorje Shugden. To receive the blessings of Loma Gyonma, the Goddess of Healing and Epidemic Diseases, and to pray for all who are at risk from the novel coronavirus to be healed and protected. -photo credit Cynthia Ng - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Back during the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, Rinpoche advised everyone to quickly accumulate 25,000 recitations of Loma Gyonma’s essence mantra ASAP, combined with daily recitation of both Loma Gyonma and Shize’s mantra. In view of the current situation with the global spread of the novel coronavirus, you are invited to a special prayer session in Kechara Forest Retreat where we will be collectively accumulating a minimum of 25,000 Loma Gyonma mantras, combined with circumambulations and 108 candle offerings each to Loma Gyonma and Dorje Shugden. DATE: Saturday, 15 February 2020 TIME: 3.00pm - 6.30pm VENUE: Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat
2 months ago
Back during the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, Rinpoche advised everyone to quickly accumulate 25,000 recitations of Loma Gyonma’s essence mantra ASAP, combined with daily recitation of both Loma Gyonma and Shize’s mantra. In view of the current situation with the global spread of the novel coronavirus, you are invited to a special prayer session in Kechara Forest Retreat where we will be collectively accumulating a minimum of 25,000 Loma Gyonma mantras, combined with circumambulations and 108 candle offerings each to Loma Gyonma and Dorje Shugden. DATE: Saturday, 15 February 2020 TIME: 3.00pm - 6.30pm VENUE: Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat
Mr. Chan Weng Khong & Yee Mun released the birds after the mantra recitations. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 months ago
Mr. Chan Weng Khong & Yee Mun released the birds after the mantra recitations. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
KISG has carried out monthly Animals Liberation activity at DR Park, Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 months ago
KISG has carried out monthly Animals Liberation activity at DR Park, Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Children are all excited to the Kids Camp. Lin Mun KSDS
2 months ago
Children are all excited to the Kids Camp. Lin Mun KSDS
Kids Camp 2019 - Visiting Kechara Farm. Lin Mun KSDS
2 months ago
Kids Camp 2019 - Visiting Kechara Farm. Lin Mun KSDS
Children learning to do water offering to Buddha. Lin Mun KSDS
2 months ago
Children learning to do water offering to Buddha. Lin Mun KSDS
Painting Vajrayogini tsa tsa during Wesak Day 2019. Lin Mun KSDS
2 months ago
Painting Vajrayogini tsa tsa during Wesak Day 2019. Lin Mun KSDS
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Dorje Shugden
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