The Most Illustrious Panchen Sonam Drakpa

By | Dec 17, 2018 | Views: 1,148
Panchen Sonam Drakpa. Click on image to enlarge.

Panchen Sonam Drakpa. Click on image to enlarge.

Within the lineage of Dorje Shugden’s incarnations, none is more illustrious than Panchen Sonam Drakpa. In that lifetime, he became the 15th Gaden Throne Holder and the Abbot of the Three Seats (of learning), i.e., the three main Gelug monasteries, Gaden, Drepung and Sera. He was the unmistaken incarnation of the pure monk Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen who was a direct disciple of Je Tsongkhapa.

In ancient India, a scholar or expert in the five major and five minor sciences was awarded the title of “Pandit.” The five major sciences were logic, grammar, medicine, religion/philosophy and crafts while the five minor sciences were semantics, astronomy/astrology, performing arts, poetry and composition. Due to his great scholarship, Sonam Drakpa was given the title of “Panchen,” which is derived from the Sanskrit-Tibetan hybrid Pandita Chenpo which means “great scholar.”

Sonam Drakpa was born in the earth dog year of 1478 into the family of Nangpa Ralampa near Tsetang Monastery in Lhoka, Central Tibet. At a tender age, he received his novice vows from Lachenpo Sonam Tashi who bestowed upon him his ordination name Sonam Drakpai Pel. Subsequently, the young Sonam Drakpa entered Tsetang Monastery and received his early monastic education which included reading, writing and the rigorous daily memorisation of prayers and important scriptures.

He studied pramana or “valid cognition.” Later, he travelled to Yabzang to further his understanding of this subject with the scholars there. At Yabzang, he also learned grammar, poetry and composition and received teachings on traditional philosophical texts from Choje Dakpo Rabjampa and other scholars.

 

Formal Education at Sera and Other Monasteries

Sonam Drakpa went on to study at Sangpu, Nyimatang, and particularly at the great monastic seat of Sera where he studied for twelve years with Yongzin Donyo Palden. While at Sera, he examined major philosophical treatises like the Abhisamayalamkara (Ornament of Clear Realisation), Mulamadhyamakakarika (Fundamental Verses on the Middle Way), Abhidharmakosha (Treasury of Knowledge/Treasury of Phenomenology), Pramanavarttika (Commentary on the Compendium of Valid Cognition) and the Vinaya (A Compendium of Ethics).

Panchen Sonam Drakpa (central figure). Click to enlarge or click here for more high resolution Buddha images.

Panchen Sonam Drakpa (central figure). Click to enlarge or click here for more high resolution Buddha images.

These five treatises became the five major fields of learning which provided the foundation for the curriculum of Gelug monasteries. A candidate for the degree of Geshe Lharampa must pass the final review of these five treatises.

During this period, Sonam Drakpa sought out many eminent lamas for teachings. These lamas included Nyelton Peljor Lhundrub (1427-1514), Donyo Pelden (1445-1524) who was the 10th Abbot of Sera Monastery and Tonpa Khetsun Yonten Gyatso (1443-1521). They were some of the leading masters of his time. While studying the traditional treatises, he also received many teachings on tantra. When he turned twenty, he received his full ordination vows from the great Wona Lama Sanggye Zangpo.

At the age of twenty-seven, he enrolled in the prestigious Gyutö College and engaged in the study of tantra for three years under the great tantric master, Choden Lodo. This master gave him many teachings, initiations, empowerments, esoteric instructions, and transmissions on tantra. In this manner, Sonam Drakpa became steeped in the knowledge of both Sutra and Tantra.

In the great debate courtyard of Tsetang Monastery, he was awarded the title Rabjampa “One with Unobstructed Knowledge” due to his dialectical skills and scriptural knowledge. The foremost scholars and masters of his day showered him with praises and his fame spread all over Tibet.

H.H. the 2nd Dalai Lama Gedun Gyatso (central figure). Image credit: himalayanart.org. Click on image to enlarge.

H.H. the 2nd Dalai Lama Gendun Gyatso (central figure). Image credit: himalayanart.org. Click on image to enlarge.

The following year, Sonam Drakpa returned to Gyutö College and resumed his advanced studies in tantra under the same master. This time around, he studied tantra more intensely than before. Soon, he became one of the greatest tantric masters in Tibet and he would go on to compose a comprehensive guide on the general practice of Tantra.

Sonam Drakpa also studied under the master Kunga Gyeltsen (1432-1506), a prominent Gelug historian and master from Tsetang Monastery along with a relatively obscure master Rinchen Chozang who probably was a recluse. When he was thirty-four, Sonam Drakpa was appointed to the respectable post of Lobpon, the ritual master of Gyutö Tantric College. During his time in office, he gave a wide range of teachings on tantra. He retired from this post at the age of forty-seven. In the following year, the 2nd Dalai Lama Gendun Gyatso, who was also one of his main teachers, appointed him as the Abbot of Drepung Loseling Monastery.

 

Ascending the Throne of Je Tsongkhapa

Sonam Drakpa remained as Abbot of Drepung Loseling Monastery for five years, performing various duties, upholding the monastic tradition and giving many teachings. Then, in 1529, at the age of fifty-two, Panchen Sonam Drakpa ascended the throne of Je Tsongkhapa to be the 15th Gaden Tripa. Upon ascending the throne, he recited the following verse:

May all conducive conditions arise
and all obstacles be pacified,
in order to increase infinitely,
the doctrine of the spiritual king, Tsongkhapa.

Later, at the Great Prayer Festival of Lhasa (Monlam Chenmo), he recited the following verse:

By the merits of the three times
of myself and others,
May the doctrine of Lama Tsongkhapa
blaze forever.

These two verses are known as the “Prayer for the Virtuous Tradition” and form an essential part of the dedication prayers recited by all Gelug practitioners. To this day, all tulkus, lamas, geshes and ordinary practitioners within the Gelug lineage recite these verses that were originally from this great pandit. Indeed, this prayer embodies the courage and devotion of an erudite master who represented the Gelug tradition and its founder well.

Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen. Click to enlarge or click here for more high resolution Buddha images.

Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen. Click to enlarge or click here for more high resolution Buddha images.

It is important to note that this same fortitude was carried over to his reincarnation, Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen, who fulfilled the promise made in a previous life as Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen, with the supreme aim of protecting the pure teachings of the Second Buddha, Lama Tsongkhapa, during these degenerate times.

Sonam Drakpa remained in office as Gaden Tripa for seven years, performing his duties with grace and dignity by giving many public teachings and presiding over state and religious events.

During the Monlam Chenmo festivities, he would give teachings to the public. This great Buddhist festival in Lhasa was a yearly celebration started by Je Tsongkhapa in 1409 with the aim of praying for world peace and prosperity.

Upon the completion of his term, Trichen Sonam Drakpa retired and settled in Gaden Monastery. From that time on, he would travel to several monasteries including Kyormolung, Pakmo Chode, Nyiding, and Chode Rinchenling, in order to give teachings.

 

Ascending the Thrones of Gaden, Sera and Drepung

Panchen Sonam Drakpa. Image credit: himalayanart. Click on image to enlarge.

Panchen Sonam Drakpa. Image credit: himalayanart.org. Click on image to enlarge.

When he was sixty-six and after the 2nd Dalai Lama, Gendun Gyatso, had entered clear light, the administration of Drepung Monastery and benefactors unanimously agreed that a successor was needed and therefore, they requested Panchen Sonam Drakpa to ascend the throne of Drepung Monastery. He accepted the post and served for four years. This was on top of being the Throne Holder of Gaden at that time.

Furthermore, the Sangha or monastic community of the great monastic seat of Sera also requested him to be their Abbot, and he held that position as well, caring for this great Mahayana University. He served as the Abbot of Sera Monastery for about nine years. Thus, Paṇchen Sonam Drakpa was unique in that he was the only person in history to have served as Abbot of all the three main Gelug monasteries.

 

Becoming the Tutor to the Dalai Lama

H.H. the 3rd Dalai Lama, Sonam Gyatso. Image credit: himalayanart.org. Click on image to enlarge.

H.H. the 3rd Dalai Lama, Sonam Gyatso. Image credit: himalayanart.org. Click on image to enlarge.

Later, in 1552, Sonam Drakpa became the tutor of the 3rd Dalai Lama, Sonam Gyatso (1543-1588). The young Dalai Lama took up residence in the Panchen’s ladrang at Drepung. Thus began his studies and training under the tutelage of the Panchen. He was given numerous teachings and initiations, principally on Guhyasamaja, the “King of the Tantras,” along with a detailed commentary on this vast tantric system. It was known that, although Panchen Sonam Drakpa was an expert in all the major tantric systems, his main practice was that of Guhyasamaja.

While presiding as the Abbot, the great Panchen gave the Dalai Lama his novice vows, with Sangpu Choje Legpa Dondrub as the action master. Thus, Panchen Sonam Drakpa gave the 3rd Dalai Lama his name “Sonam,” when he was seventy-two, in the year of the earth bird.

In this manner, Panchen Sonam Drakpa had effectively altered the incarnation name of the Dalai Lama from Gendun to Gyatso, which literally means “ocean.” For many scholars, the giving of this name is a prophecy by the Panchen that the Dalai Lama’s work would become vast like the ocean. The 3rd Dalai Lama was carefully nurtured to become the lama that would bring Dharma to the fierce Mongol tribes. In fact, the Mongols would give him the name “Dalai Lama” which, in Mongolian, means “Ocean Teacher.”

Some of the Panchen’s disciples were among the most important lamas of his time. They included the 21st Gaden Tripa, Gelek Pelzang (1505-1567), Lhatsun Sonam Pelzang who studied in Tashilhunpo, the 25th Gaden Tripa Peljor Gyatso (1526-1599), and the Second Demo Peljor Tashi.

Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse. Click on image to enlarge.

Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse. Click on image to enlarge.

 

Nechung and Panchen Sonam Drakpa

During Panchen Sonam Drakpa’s lifetime, he was reminded by the Dharma Protector Nechung Dorje Drakden of the promise that he made in his previous lifetime as Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen, to arise as the Protector of the Gelug teachings.

In his text, Music Delighting the Ocean of Protectors, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche gave the following account of Nechung reminding the Panchen of his promise:

“Manjusri of Blissful Intelligence has insisted that I should principally protect the Geden Teachings, but since I have already sworn to Padmasambhava that I would protect all of Buddha’s Teachings in general, there is no way that I can principally protect only the Geden Teachings. Now Panchen, you yourself, among holders of the Geden Teachings these days, have the highest qualities of learning and realisation. Not only that, you must arise as a wrathful protector of the Geden Teachings to fulfill the commitment you have previously made!”

At that time, the master did not commit and said he would check. Perhaps, the conditions at that time were not right for him to arise as a Dharma Protector yet. This would only manifest later, in his reincarnation as Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen (1619-1656).

 

The Legacy of His Written Works

Since the age of thirty-six, Panchen Sonam Drakpa had been composing various texts on both Sutra and Tantra. His contribution in this field was highly beneficial. As Je Tsongkhapa had said:

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

Among Sonam Drakpa’s compositions were Guhyasamaja (Secret Assembly Tantra), and commentaries on the Prajnaparamita (the Perfection of Wisdom), Madhyamaka (Middle Way philosophy), Vinaya (moral and monastic laws), Pramana (logic and epistemology), and Abhidharma (the theory of mental and material realities). His commentaries became the five major subjects of study in the traditional Gelug monastic curriculum alongside history and other subjects.

Professor Nawang Jinpa, in his Foreword to the English translation of Panchen Sonam Drakpa’s work Overview of Buddhist Tantra, said:

“Panchen bSod-nams grags-pa-dpal was a person with an extraordinary talent for teaching, debate and writing.”

Professor Nawang also added that, in his colophon to dBu ma’i spyi don zab don gsal ba’i sgron me, the Panchen wrote:

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

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

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

After quoting Panchen Sonam Drakpa, Professor Jinpa referred to a significant remark from Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche regarding the Panchen’s proclamation. He said:

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

Instead of showing disapproval of the Panchen’s open declaration of confidence in his knowledge and skills, His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche openly defended the great scholar. We can deduce from his remark that he knew, deep down, that the Panchen was right and he agreed with him. This passage clearly illustrates Sonam Drakpa’s dauntless courage and unwavering confidence in expounding the Dharma, which is one of the qualities of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

Panchen Sonam Drakpa’s entire collection of written works were compiled into 45 volumes on various subjects, including major commentaries on Sutra and Tantra, sadhanas of tutelary deities, history, religious history and so forth. Some of these texts have been selected as the main textbooks (Yigcha in Tibetan) which are still used in many Gelug monasteries, especially in Drepung Loseling and Gaden Shartse monastic colleges and in a number of monasteries in Mongolia as well. This is a testament to the clarity and accuracy of the Panchen’s amazing works.

The Significance of the Text

Overview of Buddhist Tantra by the great master Panchen Sonam Drakpa

Overview of Buddhist Tantra by the great master Panchen Sonam Drakpa. To read the entire PDF click here.

Overview of Buddhist Tantra by Panchen Sonam Drakpa is published by the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives (LTWA), which is based in Dharamsala in North India. Dharamsala is also where His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has his official residence and where the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) has their headquarters. The LTWA was established by the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Administration in order to preserve the ancient texts of Tibet both spiritual and secular, and in the process, translate them to various languages including English.

Panchen Sonam Drakpa’s Overview of Buddhist Tantra is one such text that has been translated into English. What is very interesting is that in the foreword to this book, it says Panchen Sonam Drakpa’s previous life was Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen, who was one of the five main disciples of Lama Tsongkhapa. It also notes that Panchen Sonam Drakpa later reincarnated as Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen. Thus, the LTWA acknowledge that Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen, Panchen Sonam Drakpa and Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen are of the same mindstream.

Now, it is very interesting they say this because if Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen’s previous life was the renowned and erudite 45-volume text composer Panchen Sonam Drakpa who was the abbot of the three great Gelugpa monasteries and the 15th Gaden Tripa (the holder of Lama Tsongkhapa’s throne) and moreover the teacher of H.H. the 3rd Dalai Lama and a great master in his own right, it is impossible for Panchen Sonam Drakpa’s future life as Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen to become an evil spirit with a negative mind.

A thangka of Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen (main figure), Brahmarupa Mahakala (top right), and Dorje Shugden (bottom right). Click to enlarge or click here for more high resolution Buddha images.

How can a heart disciple of Lama Tsongkhapa (Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen) reincarnate as the erudite masters Panchen Sonam Drakpa and Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen, then all of a sudden due to “negative prayers” become an evil spirit called Dorje Shugden? This is not logically possible because the minds of enlightened masters of this calibre do not suddenly regress and degenerate into negativity. This is like saying the Bodhisattva Manjushri will become an evil spirit if he makes negative prayers. Illogical!

The incredible thing is that the above information is all printed by the LTWA, which is operating under the Dalai Lama’s guidance and the Tibetan leadership’s auspices. They are contradicting themselves. On the one hand, the Tibetan leadership says that Dorje Shugden is an evil spirit who arose because Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen made negative prayers and on the other hand, they have printed this book acknowledging the qualities of Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen’s mindstream!

Prior to the onset of the Dorje Shugden ban and controversy, everyone in Tibet knew that Dorje Shugden was Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen, who was previously Panchen Sonam Drakpa, who was previously Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen. Everyone knew they were of one mindstream. They were collectively known as the Three Drakpas and were widely revered across the land.

So, the LTWA prints a translation of Panchen Sonam Drakpa’s book, praises his tremendous qualities, recognises his previous life (Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen) and future life (Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen), then the Tibetan leadership claims that Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen became the evil sprit Dorje Shugden? It totally doesn’t make sense. The contradiction is clear.

This also shows how disorganised the Tibetan leadership are because they don’t know what they are printing and they end up contradicting themselves! This book came from a time before the Dorje Shugden ban and now that the Tibetan leadership have decided to make Dorje Shugden the scapegoat for their failures and twist historical facts around, it is ironically their own publication that is exposing their lies.

Overview of Buddhist Tantra, page ix. Click to enlarge.

Foreword to Overview of Buddhist Tantra, page ix. Click to enlarge.

Overview of Buddhist Tantra, page x. Click to enlarge.

Foreword to Overview of Buddhist Tantra, page x. Click to enlarge.

Overview of Buddhist Tantra, page xi. Click to enlarge.

Foreword to Overview of Buddhist Tantra, page xi. Click to enlarge.

 

About LTWA

The Library of Tibetan Works and Archives (LTWA) is a Tibetan library based in Dharamsala, India. The library was founded by H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama on 11 June 1970, and is considered one of the most important libraries and institutions of Tibetan works in the world.

The library contains sources which were relocated from Tibet during the 1959 exodus, including important Tibetan Buddhist manuscripts and archives related to Tibet’s history, politics, culture and even art. It possesses more than 80,000 manuscripts, books and documents; over 600 thangkas, statues and other artefacts of Buddhist heritage; 10,000 photographs; and many other materials.

The primary objective of the library is to provide a comprehensive cultural resource of the highest standards and to promote an environment to facilitate research and the exchange of knowledge.

Source: Wikipedia

 

Foreword to Overview of Buddhist Tantra

The Wylie translation system used in the actual text (as shown above in the three images) may be confusing for readers. Therefore, for ease of reference the foreword has been reproduced below using the more common phonetic translation system.

Foreword

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

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

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

Panchen Sonam Dragpa Pel (Panchen bSod-nams grags-pa-dpal) was born in the 14th century in Tsetang (rTsed-thang) in the Lhoka (Lho-kha) region of Central Tibet. He entered the great seat of learning, Sera Thekchenling (Se-ra theg-chen-gling) monastic university, where he became the personal disciple of spiritual master Donyo Dangden (Dhon-yod dang-ldan) and His Holiness the Second Dalai Lama Gedun Gyatso (dGe-‘dun rgya-mtsho). Under

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them, he studied the entire teachings of sutra, tantra and their commentaries, and became known for his outstanding learning. He also received from them the empowerments, reading transmissions, guides and instructions of the entire body of spiritual training. On becoming the fully blessed one, the Dalai Lama appointed him the abbot of the Loseling (Blo-gsal-gling) college, one of the four colleges of Drepung (‘Bras-dpung)- the most prestigious monastic university in Tibet before 1959, with over 10,000 monks on its register. He continued to be the abbot of this college for the next six years; and after him the tenure for each of his successors in this position was fixed for a period of six years, a rule that is followed even today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the field of teaching, I am [next to none!] Knowing that

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I would outdo them in this field, Arya Asanga and his brother transmigrated into another realm.
In the field of debate, I am [next to none!] Knowing that I would find out the areas they had contradicted and that I would examine them and put forth my arguments, the logician Dignaga (Digh-naga) and Dharmakirti tactfully bypassed me.
In the field of writing, I am [next to none!][In my eyes,] Arya-sura was just good at spreading the works, which are like ‘disputes-between an insect and a field.’
I am the learned man. Peerless in the field of teaching, debate and writing!

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

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

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

Prof. Nawang Jinpa
St. Joseph’s College
Darjeeling

January 24 1996

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To download and read the Overview of Buddhist Tantra by Panchen Sonam Drakpa in PDF format, click here.

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Establishment of his Ladrang

Just before entering clear light, Panchen Sonam Drakpa established his ladrang in Drepung Monastery which became known as Zimkhang Gongma or Upper Residence Estate.

It was known by that name because it was built on higher ground, on the hill just above the Ngakpa debate courtyard. The ladrang became a seat of great power and influence due to the fact that the illustrious Panchen served as the Abbot of three great monasteries and assumed the position of Gaden Tripa as well. After Sonam Drakpa, no other lama or tulku in the Gelug Order had the honour to serve in this manner again.

Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen (center), Panchen Sonam Drakpa (left) and Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen (right). Click to enlarge or click here for more high resolution Buddha images.

The Three Drakpas: Panchen Sonam Drakpa (left), his future incarnation as Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen (centre), and his previous incarnation as Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen (right). Click to enlarge or click here for more high resolution Buddha images.

The ladrang became famous and served as the seat of later incarnations until the time of Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen. In addition, Panchen Sonam Drakpa’s incarnation line became officially known as the Zimkhang Gongma line of incarnations. Hence, Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen was officially known as the 4th Drepung Zimkhang Gongma tulku. The ladrang was also a popular destination for pilgrims who came to Drepung to make offerings and to perform circumambulations on the sacred path around the monastery.

 

The Sacred Relics of Panchen Sonam Drakpa

In 1554, Panchen Sonam Drakpa entered clear light and his great disciples from different regions performed extensive prayers and rituals. For fifteen days, he remained in clear light meditation (thugdam) after his breathing had stopped.

Panchen Sonam Drakpa. Click on image to enlarge.

Panchen Sonam Drakpa. Click on image to enlarge.

When his meditation was over, his sacred remains had miraculously transformed to about a foot in height, which meant that he had achieved the rainbow body through his practice of Guhyasamaja.

After his body was cremated according to tradition, many amazing relics were found in the ashes. His heart, tongue and eyes were not burnt and an extra heart even appeared along with a small image of an eleven-faced Avalokiteshvara and numerous relics with sacred syllables that had naturally formed on them. His disciples constructed a new silver reliquary stupa at Drepung to house these relics.

The extra heart was placed at the heart of a golden statue of the Panchen himself along with the Avalokiteshvara relic; these two were enshrined at Zimkhang Gongma. Unfortunately, the ladrang and other objects of Panchen Sonam Drakpa did not survive the destruction that occurred during the lifetime of Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen.

 

Praise of Panchen Sonam Drakpa

His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, in his text, Music Delighting the Ocean of Protectors, highlighted Panchen Sonam Drakpa’s qualities and included the Praise of the Panchen written by the 2nd Dalai Lama, Gendun Gyatso:

“Panchen Sonam Dragpa’s wisdom was so encompassing of the Scriptures of Sutra and Tantra, all of the inner and outer fields of knowledge, as well as the stories and biographies of holy beings, that the Lord Omniscient Gedun Gyatso venerated him with praise.”

Known (Dragpa) as a river with a bubbling smile flowing with hundreds of Sutras and Tantras,
Over previously gathered merit (Sonam) of gold, and wisdom as vast as the jeweled earth,
Exquisite with foaming waves of poetry and garlands of pearls of stories,
You spread eloquent Teachings, not heard before, that adorn the ears of those of earth.

Professor Nawang Jinpa from St. Joseph’s College, Darjeeling, included the following Praise of Panchen Sonam Drakpa in his Foreword to Overview of Buddhist Tantra, on 24 January 1996:

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

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

 

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About Pastor David Lai

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

David is a lover of Buddhist art and whenever he can, he shares his knowledge of the Dharma with everyone, giving frequent teachings and writing on his blog www.davidlai.me.
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10 Responses to The Most Illustrious Panchen Sonam Drakpa

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  1. Wai Meng Wan on Jan 1, 2019 at 1:38 am

    Panchen Sonam Drakpa was one of the greatest lamas that the Gaden tradiiton has produced long live the gaden tradition

    • Wai Meng Wan on Jan 1, 2019 at 2:03 am

      Panchen Sonam Drakpa was one of the greatest lamas that the Gaden tradition has produced. Some of the textbooks composed by Panchen Sonam Drakpa are still being used in Gaden Shartse and also Drepung monastery.

  2. Samfoonheei on Dec 23, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    Panchen Sonam Drakpa was unique in having served as abbot of the three main Gelug monasteries – Ganden, Sera and Drepung. Great Scholar and Spiritual Master of the Dalai Lama the great master Panchen Sonam Drakpa,was a multi talented scholar having mastered in many fields such as astronomy/astrology, performing arts, poetry, composition and so forth. Amazing he did received many intensely teachings from many great teachers.
    In his later life after retirement he gave teachings to several monasteries. He was a prolific writer and composed many written works on various topics including history , religious history, on Sutra and Tantra to name a few .To this day in his writings are used as textbooks by monks. He was truly a great scholar
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David for this sharing of a GREAT Lama.

  3. Choong on Dec 22, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    The fundamental cause of being born in the ghosts and spirits realm is dying with insatiable desires such as wealth, power, prestige, fame, pleasure, etc.

    There is not a single iota of evidence that shows Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen died while in this state of mind. On the contrary, as this article and other biographies and commentaries of his previous lives detail, his mindstream such as when as the vessel Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen, was one who was scholarly, humble, brilliant at sutra and tantra, devoted and extremely meritful at serving the Dharma.

    I remember that Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen who was one of the heart disciples of Je Rinpoche held the Vinaya so well that he was reknowned for it and he even turned down Je Rinpoche’s request to be the head lama (Gaden Tripa) of Je Rinpoche’s congregation.

    It is clear that accusations of Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen being reborn as a perfidious spirit is without basis.

  4. Chris on Dec 18, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    Thank you, Rinpoche and the blog team for this amazing article. Panchen Sonam Drakpa, in my opinion, is the most erudite and powerful lama among all other Dorje Shugden’s incarnations. He is the only who served as the Gaden Tripa as well as the Abbot of all three major monasteries of the Gelug traditions

    There are no other lamas in the history that manage to do that. This is how good he is. So, how can a high lama with such calibre or attainments become an evil spirit when he dies? Lamas that have such attainments or accomplishment will be regarded as enlightened due to the nature of their work. Minds that have such level of attainments will not degenerate, unlike normal minds.

    Hence, it is not logical to say that the reincarnation of this very same mind which is Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen will become an evil spirit that will harm Tibet and also His Holiness the Dalai Lama. It is just not possible. Anyone that actually knows a little bit about Tibetan Buddhism will be able to know that it is a lie. That is why it is safe for us to conclude that Dorje Shugden is an enlightened protector because before he arose as a Dharma Protector, his mind had already reached enlightenment.

  5. Tsa Tsa Ong on Dec 18, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    Another truly inspiring and interesting history of one of the three Drakpas whose emanation is none other than the enlightened protector Dorje Shugden. Part of the story that stood out, “In 1554, Panchen Sonam Drakpa entered clear light and his great disciples from different regions performed extensive prayers and rituals. For fifteen days, he remained in clear light meditation (thugdam) after his breathing had stopped.
    When his meditation was over, his sacred remains had miraculously transformed to about a foot in height, which meant that he had achieved the rainbow body through his practice of Guhyasamaja.” Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David for another great write up on another erudite High Lama, Panchen Sonam Drakpa.🙏👍👏👏😍⭐️

  6. Jacinta on Dec 18, 2018 at 11:42 am

    We certainly have heard of Panchen Lamas’ line of incarnations and how great He was in spreading Dharma across Tibet and then in China.

    So one can imagine that even the title “Panchen “ (Great Scholar) was accorded to this great Master and thenceforth He was widely known as Panchen Sonam (Ocean) Drakpa ~ just by the name of it, we know how great thou art!

    Panchen Sonam Drakpa has been the Abbot of the three great monasteries namely Sera, Drepung and Ganden, not to mention that He was even the Abbot of Gyutö Monastery as well! His short biography was even mentioned by Lobsang Tamdin, a renown Mongolian Scholar https://bit.ly/2PwboSx . His works and contribution in Dharma was so extensive that He was later known as the Great Master of both Sutra and Tantra.

    And now, His work is being translated, mentioned and published by the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives (LTWA), which is based in Dharamsala. (The LTWA was established by the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Administration in order to preserve the ancient texts of Tibet both spiritual and secular, and in the process, translate them to various languages including English. )

    As Pastor David has mentioned “prior to the onset of the Dorje Shugden ban and controversy, everyone in Tibet knew that Dorje Shugden was Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen, who was previously Panchen Sonam Drakpa, who was previously Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen. Everyone knew they were of one mindstream. They were collectively known as the Three Drakpas and were widely revered across the land.”

    Hence it is ILLOGICAL to claim otherwise! On one hand, they study the work of this great Master and then in another hand, they dismissed the enlightened qualities of His successive incarnation when He was known as Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen? Illogical!

    Also the two famous dedication prayers that Pastor David Lai has mentioned can be found and are still being recited today in all over the monasteries and in my daily sadhana too. In fact, daily, all of us are praying and making connection with this great Master. So, how can one ignore His enlightened qualities, works and contribution, and then on the other hand repeatedly claim that He was a spirit? Again Illogical…

    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David Lai for this article. Really though provoking.

    DAG-SOG JIN-NYEH SAG-PA GE-WA DEE
    TAN-DANG DRO-WA KUN-LA GANG-PHAN DANG
    CHE-PAR JE-TSUN LO-ZANG DRAG-PA YI
    TAN-PI NYING-PO RING-DU SAL-SHEH SHUG

    CHO KHI GYAL PO TSONG KHA PA
    CHO TSUL NAM PAR PHEL WA LA
    GEK KI TSHAN MA ZHI WA DANG
    THUN KYIN MA LU TSHANG WAR SHOK

  7. Bradley Kassian on Dec 18, 2018 at 6:05 am

    Panchen Sonam Drakpa is an inspiration. He was a Ganden Throne Holder and abbot of Ganden, Drepung and Sera. “He is the only person ever to have received this honour.” A very great scholar/pandit. His texts form the core curriculum for the Loseling College of Drepung Monastic University, the Shartse College of the Ganden Monastic University, and several other Gelugpa monasteries. Panchen Sonam Dragpa’s collected works spans fourteen volumes. He was taught by the second Dalai Lama, and in turn later became the teacher of the third Dalai Lama. Panchen Sonam Dragpa also became known as an incarnation of the great lama and historian Buton Rinchen Drub. He is also considered one of the previous incarnations of the “Great King” Protector Dorje Shugden. I rejoice in all his accomplishments. Thank you Rinpoche, Pastor David Lai, and blog team for sharing a biography of this great being. 🙏😀

  8. claudio cipullo on Dec 17, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    tx,very usefull.champa togmeitaly

  9. Datuk May on Dec 17, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    Reading the historical and logical truth works of Panchen Sonam Drakpa in relation to his previous incarnation as Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen and the reincarnation of Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen who arose as Protector Dorje Shugden affirms my believe that Dorje Shugden is an enlightened Protector who is here in today’s degenerated times to protect the tradition of JeTsongkapa and to assist us on our spiritual path.

    Dorje Shugden is an enlightened Dharma Protector who is here with us today to protect and guide us along our practice of the Dharma and to gain merits for a better rebirth.

    Thank you, Rinpoche and Pastor David for this profound learning.

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  • Sofi
    Thursday, Apr 25. 2019 05:39 PM
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    Thursday, Apr 25. 2019 12:40 PM
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    1. Always be appreciative and grateful to the people and things we have. In return, good things will happen to us.
    2. Don’t complain, because complaining does not solve the problems.
    3. When we are sorry for the mistakes we have made, we must do something to make it up. By just saying sorry is not enough.
    4. Be humble and not to react to the negative actions of others towards us.
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    Thursday, Apr 25. 2019 11:42 AM
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    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/the-one-who-saves-four-armed-chenrezig
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    Thursday, Apr 25. 2019 11:41 AM
    Beautiful art paintings of Buddha of Power: Vajrapani and Dorje Shugden who is an emanation of the Buddha of Wisdom, Manjushri. Vajrapani is a Bodhisattva who represents the energy of the enlightened mind and energy that breaks through delusion. He dances wildly within a halo of flames, which represent the transformative power of Awakening.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing with a simple explanations for us to understand.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/the-buddha-of-power-vajrapani
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    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/tamer-of-nagas-hayagriva-sangdrup
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    Wednesday, Apr 24. 2019 12:44 PM
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    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/the-lord-of-secrets-vajrapani
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    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/the-supreme-saviouress-white-tara
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2 weeks ago
Some people really struggle and put in so much effort in their lives. Amazing. Tsem Rinpoche
18th Century Mongolian made Namgyalma statue. Very artistic. Very beautiful. Usually her arms are \'all over the place\' but this one is so artistically placed and poised. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
18th Century Mongolian made Namgyalma statue. Very artistic. Very beautiful. Usually her arms are 'all over the place' but this one is so artistically placed and poised. Tsem Rinpoche
My mother Ms. Dewa Nimbo came out with a new book. I am happy for her. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
My mother Ms. Dewa Nimbo came out with a new book. I am happy for her. Tsem Rinpoche
Challenges makes you more responsible. Always remember that life without struggle is a life without success. Don\'t give up and learn not to quit.~-Rumi
2 weeks ago
Challenges makes you more responsible. Always remember that life without struggle is a life without success. Don't give up and learn not to quit.~-Rumi
May His Holiness Dalai Lama completely recover soon- https://bit.ly/2GgMO6c
2 weeks ago
May His Holiness Dalai Lama completely recover soon- https://bit.ly/2GgMO6c
How I made my beautiful Kyabje Zong Rinpoche statue in Nepal in 1987. I have many more photos for you to see here- 
 https://bit.ly/2Z2r0T5
2 weeks ago
How I made my beautiful Kyabje Zong Rinpoche statue in Nepal in 1987. I have many more photos for you to see here- https://bit.ly/2Z2r0T5
As of April 9, 2019 there are over 240k views on this blog post regarding the relationship between Bhutan\'s Highest lama Zhabdrung Rinpoche & Dorje Shugden.- https://bit.ly/2PrE6Ui
2 weeks ago
As of April 9, 2019 there are over 240k views on this blog post regarding the relationship between Bhutan's Highest lama Zhabdrung Rinpoche & Dorje Shugden.- https://bit.ly/2PrE6Ui
The handprint of His Holiness Kyabje Pabongka Dorje Chang Jetsun Dechen Nyingpo
2 weeks ago
The handprint of His Holiness Kyabje Pabongka Dorje Chang Jetsun Dechen Nyingpo
488 articles on animals, vegetarianism and environment and still growing. :) Enjoy the readings- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
2 weeks ago
488 articles on animals, vegetarianism and environment and still growing. :) Enjoy the readings- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
Beautiful Angel Dorje Shugden chapels in Kathmandu- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCaWhDHKyBA&feature=youtu.be

People love to visit & pray.
3 weeks ago
Beautiful Angel Dorje Shugden chapels in Kathmandu- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCaWhDHKyBA&feature=youtu.be People love to visit & pray.
Stunning pieces-Tibetan spiritual art-Free download- https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
3 weeks ago
Stunning pieces-Tibetan spiritual art-Free download- https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
Kechara visits Shar Gaden Monastery in South India-  https://bit.ly/2VozDp4
3 weeks ago
Kechara visits Shar Gaden Monastery in South India- https://bit.ly/2VozDp4
Obeisance to Yamantaka the powerful practice that destroys our bind to samsara.
3 weeks ago
Obeisance to Yamantaka the powerful practice that destroys our bind to samsara.
I love this picture of their Holinesses. Trijang Rinpoche was known to be very humorous and always joked and made Ling Rinpoche laugh very hard. The two tutors got along very well and very harmonious always. This made their job together of educating H.H. Dalai Lama very smooth and successful. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
I love this picture of their Holinesses. Trijang Rinpoche was known to be very humorous and always joked and made Ling Rinpoche laugh very hard. The two tutors got along very well and very harmonious always. This made their job together of educating H.H. Dalai Lama very smooth and successful. Tsem Rinpoche
(left to right)Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl. Super cute doggies of Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
(left to right)Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl. Super cute doggies of Tsem Rinpoche
You know you just want to kiss me reeeeeeeeal bad!!! ~Oser girl
3 weeks ago
You know you just want to kiss me reeeeeeeeal bad!!! ~Oser girl
Over 106k views! People really interested in this post: https://bit.ly/2Sczh6v
3 weeks ago
Over 106k views! People really interested in this post: https://bit.ly/2Sczh6v
This picture I found by accident on the internet recently. This exact photo was poster size and framed and was on Thubten Dhargye Ling\'s main altar in Los Angeles back in the 80\'s when I was there. It is beautiful picture of H.H. Dalai Lama in his youth with a light glow around his body as he meditates. I love this picture of His Holiness. Tsem Rinpoche Read more-  https://bit.ly/2FECC5S
3 weeks ago
This picture I found by accident on the internet recently. This exact photo was poster size and framed and was on Thubten Dhargye Ling's main altar in Los Angeles back in the 80's when I was there. It is beautiful picture of H.H. Dalai Lama in his youth with a light glow around his body as he meditates. I love this picture of His Holiness. Tsem Rinpoche Read more- https://bit.ly/2FECC5S
Starting on Vajra Yogini now. Practicing Vajra Yogini without initiation. Find out more- https://bit.ly/2JjTTXp
3 weeks ago
Starting on Vajra Yogini now. Practicing Vajra Yogini without initiation. Find out more- https://bit.ly/2JjTTXp
Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
Thai tradition of Buddhism also reveres/respects/remembers their gurus and high monks just like in the Tibetan tradition. You can see here a high guru\'s statue housed beautifully with a canopy and enshrined in a altar inside a temple for people to pay homage to him. Also an act of collecting merits for the disciples. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Thai tradition of Buddhism also reveres/respects/remembers their gurus and high monks just like in the Tibetan tradition. You can see here a high guru's statue housed beautifully with a canopy and enshrined in a altar inside a temple for people to pay homage to him. Also an act of collecting merits for the disciples. Tsem Rinpoche
Offering sustenance on our shrine is a sign of appreciation spiritually
3 weeks ago
Offering sustenance on our shrine is a sign of appreciation spiritually
Beautiful piece of African Dogan style art you can print out large & frame for your home- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
3 weeks ago
Beautiful piece of African Dogan style art you can print out large & frame for your home- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
I hope you\'ll be blessed by this practice of Lady Ucchusma- 
https://bit.ly/2U5Arm9
3 weeks ago
I hope you'll be blessed by this practice of Lady Ucchusma- https://bit.ly/2U5Arm9
Beautiful painting of Nechung Pehar Gyalpo & Dorje Shugden together. Masterpiece. More free downloads: https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
4 weeks ago
Beautiful painting of Nechung Pehar Gyalpo & Dorje Shugden together. Masterpiece. More free downloads: https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
Beautiful painting of Nechung Dorje Drakden & Dorje Shugden together. Masterpiece. More free downloads: https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
4 weeks ago
Beautiful painting of Nechung Dorje Drakden & Dorje Shugden together. Masterpiece. More free downloads: https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
Tsem Rinpoche’s moving experience with Lama Zopa in Kopan (1987)- https://bit.ly/2YyE42m
4 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche’s moving experience with Lama Zopa in Kopan (1987)- https://bit.ly/2YyE42m
Massive 2,600 year old Buddhist Monastery-Afghanistan- read more- https://bit.ly/2HTM48q
4 weeks ago
Massive 2,600 year old Buddhist Monastery-Afghanistan- read more- https://bit.ly/2HTM48q
A good person is made by the intensity of his adversity~Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
A good person is made by the intensity of his adversity~Tsem Rinpoche
BREAKING NEWS- Dharamsala MP Tenpa Yarphel says to make peace with Dorje Shugden people now!~ 
 https://bit.ly/2CESoxf
4 weeks ago
BREAKING NEWS- Dharamsala MP Tenpa Yarphel says to make peace with Dorje Shugden people now!~ https://bit.ly/2CESoxf
How the incomparable yet down to earth Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen changed my life forever- https://bit.ly/2VJjCtk

Photo: His Eminence Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen and Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
How the incomparable yet down to earth Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen changed my life forever- https://bit.ly/2VJjCtk Photo: His Eminence Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen and Tsem Rinpoche
Joanne Kam and Justin Ripley in Kechara doing some cooking..
4 weeks ago
Joanne Kam and Justin Ripley in Kechara doing some cooking..
You have to see this spectacular outdoor Amitabah statue in Vietnam. So sacred and majestic.~ https://bit.ly/2Ed0s9n
4 weeks ago
You have to see this spectacular outdoor Amitabah statue in Vietnam. So sacred and majestic.~ https://bit.ly/2Ed0s9n
Everyday offerings of fresh cooked food and drinks are offered to awakened world peace protector Dorje Shugden on my shrine. It is my way to thank Him for all the help He has given to so many people throughout the decades I\'ve introduced Him to. It is my way to include Him as my family and a feeling of closeness and gratitude I have for Him. He\'s a revered family member who happens to be enlightened and also my close friend. Tsem Rinpoche (Food offering prayer~ https://bit.ly/1VkYXJa)
1 month ago
Everyday offerings of fresh cooked food and drinks are offered to awakened world peace protector Dorje Shugden on my shrine. It is my way to thank Him for all the help He has given to so many people throughout the decades I've introduced Him to. It is my way to include Him as my family and a feeling of closeness and gratitude I have for Him. He's a revered family member who happens to be enlightened and also my close friend. Tsem Rinpoche (Food offering prayer~ https://bit.ly/1VkYXJa)
Read about this special Goddess Lok Yeay Mao of Cambodia. I came across her picture and found her very unique and blogged about it. Do enjoy the reading- https://bit.ly/2HR3vqi
1 month ago
Read about this special Goddess Lok Yeay Mao of Cambodia. I came across her picture and found her very unique and blogged about it. Do enjoy the reading- https://bit.ly/2HR3vqi
March 18, 2019-Oser is very photogenic as usual.
1 month ago
March 18, 2019-Oser is very photogenic as usual.
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
    2 weeks ago
    Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
  • This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 weeks ago
    This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
    2 weeks ago
    Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
  • These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 weeks ago
    These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 weeks ago
    Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
    3 weeks ago
    Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
  • Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
    4 weeks ago
    Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
  • Beautiful
    1 month ago
    Beautiful
    Beautiful sacred Severed Head Vajra Yogini from Tsem Rinpoche's personal shrine.
  • My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
    1 month ago
    My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
  • Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 month ago
    Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 months ago
    Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
  • SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    3 months ago
    SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    Tsem Rinpoche's dog Oser girl enjoying her snack in her play pen.
  • Cute!
    4 months ago
    Cute!
    Oser girl loves the balcony so much. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTcoWpKJm2c
  • Uncle Wong
    4 months ago
    Uncle Wong
    We were told by Uncle Wong he is very faithful toward Dorje Shugden. Dorje Shugden has extended help to him on several occasions and now Uncle Wong comes daily to make incense offerings to Dorje Shugden. He is grateful towards the help he was given.
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
    4 months ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
  • Cute baby owl found and rescued
    4 months ago
    Cute baby owl found and rescued
    We rescued a lost baby owl in Kechara Forest Retreat.
  • Nice cups from Kechara!!
    4 months ago
    Nice cups from Kechara!!
    Dorje Shugden people's lives matter!
  • Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    4 months ago
    Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    Chirping birds and other forest animals create a joyful melody at the Vajrayogini stupa in Kechara Forest Retreat (Bentong, Malaysia).
  • His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    4 months ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    Trijang Rinpoche never gave up his devotion to Dorje Shugden no matter how much Tibetan government in exile pressured him to give up. He stayed loyal inspiring so many of us.
  • Very rare video of His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche the 10th, the all knowing and compassionate one. I pay deep respects to this attained being who has taken many rebirths since the time of Lord Buddha to be of benefit to sentient beings tirelessly. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    Very rare video of His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche the 10th, the all knowing and compassionate one. I pay deep respects to this attained being who has taken many rebirths since the time of Lord Buddha to be of benefit to sentient beings tirelessly. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This bigfoot researcher gives good reasonings on bigfoot. Interesting short video.
    4 months ago
    This bigfoot researcher gives good reasonings on bigfoot. Interesting short video.
  • His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery was one of the teachers of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Here in this beautiful video is Geshe Kelsang Gyatso showing his centre to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, then proceeding to sit down to receive teachings. For more information- https://bit.ly/2QNac1u
    4 months ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery was one of the teachers of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Here in this beautiful video is Geshe Kelsang Gyatso showing his centre to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, then proceeding to sit down to receive teachings. For more information- https://bit.ly/2QNac1u
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s dog, Oser girl always sits on Rinpoche’s chair. When Rinpoche’s other dog, Dharma tries to get into the chair, he is chased away. Oser is the boss. She is possessive. Cute.
    5 months ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s dog, Oser girl always sits on Rinpoche’s chair. When Rinpoche’s other dog, Dharma tries to get into the chair, he is chased away. Oser is the boss. She is possessive. Cute.
  • Lama Yeshe talks about how to practice at the beginning and at the end of each day during teachings given in London during the Lamas’ first European teaching tour in 1975. Lama Yeshe was a brilliant teacher and I wanted to share this with everyone so his teachings can reach more people. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    Lama Yeshe talks about how to practice at the beginning and at the end of each day during teachings given in London during the Lamas’ first European teaching tour in 1975. Lama Yeshe was a brilliant teacher and I wanted to share this with everyone so his teachings can reach more people. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Our beautiful Dorje Shugden shop in the busiest part of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Many tourists visit our store and this area.
    5 months ago
    Our beautiful Dorje Shugden shop in the busiest part of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Many tourists visit our store and this area.
  • Living off the grid in Australia
    5 months ago
    Living off the grid in Australia
    A Jill Redwood is a jack of all trades, Jill built her own house on her property and lives entirely off the grid with no mains power or town water, mobile reception or television. Living on around $80 a week, Jill has over sixty animals to keep her company and an abundant garden that out serves as an organic supermarket right at her doorstep. Her main expenses are animal feed and the rates on her property. Watch this incredible three minute video and be inspired to live differently.
  • Kyabje Dagom Choktrul Rinpoche offering gold on a 350 year-old Dorje Shugden statue in his chapel in Lhasa. This is how Tibetans show homage and pay respect to a holy image. This chapel and statue of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa dedicated to Dorje Shugden was built by the Great 5th Dalai Lama. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    Kyabje Dagom Choktrul Rinpoche offering gold on a 350 year-old Dorje Shugden statue in his chapel in Lhasa. This is how Tibetans show homage and pay respect to a holy image. This chapel and statue of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa dedicated to Dorje Shugden was built by the Great 5th Dalai Lama. Tsem Rinpoche
  • My sweet little Oser girl is so photogenic and adorable. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    My sweet little Oser girl is so photogenic and adorable. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Heart Sutra sang by a monk for the modern crowd. Very interesting and beautiful. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    Heart Sutra sang by a monk for the modern crowd. Very interesting and beautiful. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Submerging powerful mantra stones in water at Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
    5 months ago
    Submerging powerful mantra stones in water at Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    1 years ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
  • Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
    1 years ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
  • BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
    1 years ago
    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    1 years ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    1 years ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    2 yearss ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    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.
    2 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.

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CHAT PICTURES

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for other?’ Mr. Lim is definitely one of our dedicated volunteers for the past 10 years. He dedicates his time to fully support our Kechara Food Bank programme, not only to raise #zerofoodwastage awareness amongst the public but also to help the less fortunate. Thank you for taking part in making the world better. Your great work is much appreciated, Mr. Lim. #Kechara #foodbank #volunteer - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
40 minutes ago
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for other?’ Mr. Lim is definitely one of our dedicated volunteers for the past 10 years. He dedicates his time to fully support our Kechara Food Bank programme, not only to raise #zerofoodwastage awareness amongst the public but also to help the less fortunate. Thank you for taking part in making the world better. Your great work is much appreciated, Mr. Lim. #Kechara #foodbank #volunteer - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
KSK Penang Team visited a dialysis patient to deliver dry food provisions for his family. He has a kidney transplant when he was 12 years old and for the past years is undergoing dialysis three times a week and this has put a financial strain to him. We will try to assist him in anyway we can. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
19 hours ago
KSK Penang Team visited a dialysis patient to deliver dry food provisions for his family. He has a kidney transplant when he was 12 years old and for the past years is undergoing dialysis three times a week and this has put a financial strain to him. We will try to assist him in anyway we can. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
One day, we received a humble wish list from this poor family, an elderly mother who takes care of her grown up son with special needs. ‘It’s quite uneasy to use toilet without a proper door but I do not have enough money to fix it,’ said the mother. Without a second thought, our kindest sponsor, La Hong Eu has decided to make meaningful sponsorship to this case. Big thanks to Bernard Ting and Vickneshwaran for helping this family to replace the broken one with a brand new folding door. Together we are the reason that someone has a sweet smile on her face. #Kechara #foodbank #care - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 days ago
One day, we received a humble wish list from this poor family, an elderly mother who takes care of her grown up son with special needs. ‘It’s quite uneasy to use toilet without a proper door but I do not have enough money to fix it,’ said the mother. Without a second thought, our kindest sponsor, La Hong Eu has decided to make meaningful sponsorship to this case. Big thanks to Bernard Ting and Vickneshwaran for helping this family to replace the broken one with a brand new folding door. Together we are the reason that someone has a sweet smile on her face. #Kechara #foodbank #care - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Laying the rescued food down on the table would mean we will minimise chance of wastage from another level when our recipients will have the privilege to choose what they really need and want. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
3 days ago
Laying the rescued food down on the table would mean we will minimise chance of wastage from another level when our recipients will have the privilege to choose what they really need and want. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Have you ever done beading? Join us for a blessed Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat! http://bit.ly/2IMh5eN - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 days ago
Have you ever done beading? Join us for a blessed Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat! http://bit.ly/2IMh5eN - shared by Pastor Antoinette
What do you do on Saturday mornings? Join us for a meaningful time and be blessed by the Buddhas during the Spiritual Saturday at Kechara Forest Retreat! - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 days ago
What do you do on Saturday mornings? Join us for a meaningful time and be blessed by the Buddhas during the Spiritual Saturday at Kechara Forest Retreat! - shared by Pastor Antoinette
With Dorje Shugden in your car, bus, bike, boat or lorry, you will be protected and blessed. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 days ago
With Dorje Shugden in your car, bus, bike, boat or lorry, you will be protected and blessed. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Recently in Kechara Forest Retreat, this bus was blessed and is now protected by the Three Jewels. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 days ago
Recently in Kechara Forest Retreat, this bus was blessed and is now protected by the Three Jewels. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Volunteers do not necessarily have the time, they just have the heart. In order to send the foodpack to our client in johor bahru area, we need a team that are always ready . Luckily, we have a group of wonderful volunteers that are commited to serve our community. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
4 days ago
Volunteers do not necessarily have the time, they just have the heart. In order to send the foodpack to our client in johor bahru area, we need a team that are always ready . Luckily, we have a group of wonderful volunteers that are commited to serve our community. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Children paint their own mask for Halloween day. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Children paint their own mask for Halloween day. Lin Mun KSDS
Parents and students did a group discussion together on the Bully topic  Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Parents and students did a group discussion together on the Bully topic Lin Mun KSDS
A talk on Bully by Peggy. A very informative sharing for students and parents. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
A talk on Bully by Peggy. A very informative sharing for students and parents. Lin Mun KSDS
Great to start kids with dharma knowledge from young. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Great to start kids with dharma knowledge from young. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Victoria guided the students to do prayer in the dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Teacher Victoria guided the students to do prayer in the dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
Creative horror drawing created by Teacher Kien. Alice, KSDS
5 days ago
Creative horror drawing created by Teacher Kien. Alice, KSDS
Teacher Asyley led the kids to participate animal liberation. Alice, KSDS
5 days ago
Teacher Asyley led the kids to participate animal liberation. Alice, KSDS
Healthy Meals for lunch sponsored by Mr Ravi & friends! We thank you for your unending support to #kecharasoupkitchen in our plight in serving the #homeless. Would you like to sponsor lunch for our street friends? To find out more, checkout our website for more details :) Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 days ago
Healthy Meals for lunch sponsored by Mr Ravi & friends! We thank you for your unending support to #kecharasoupkitchen in our plight in serving the #homeless. Would you like to sponsor lunch for our street friends? To find out more, checkout our website for more details :) Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 week ago
1 week ago
Bernard was briefing the volunteers on the details before they headed out last Saturday to PPR Kota Damansara. #kechara #foodbank #urbanpoor - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 week ago
Bernard was briefing the volunteers on the details before they headed out last Saturday to PPR Kota Damansara. #kechara #foodbank #urbanpoor - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Seen here are team leaders giving their final briefing to the respective volunteers before they head out last night. Thank you very much to all the volunteers who turned up. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 weeks ago
Seen here are team leaders giving their final briefing to the respective volunteers before they head out last night. Thank you very much to all the volunteers who turned up. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thank you very much to James and Shereen for sponsoring oranges for tonight's distribution. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 weeks ago
Thank you very much to James and Shereen for sponsoring oranges for tonight's distribution. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
We received a lot wine bottles for recycling. It was packed nicely by the person. KEP-Serena
2 weeks ago
We received a lot wine bottles for recycling. It was packed nicely by the person. KEP-Serena
Today we are having recycling activity at Kechara Soup Kitchen. You can drop the recycled items here if you are nearby. KEP-Serena
2 weeks ago
Today we are having recycling activity at Kechara Soup Kitchen. You can drop the recycled items here if you are nearby. KEP-Serena
The generous support from Tesco Malaysia and AEON Retail Malaysia have made it possible for us to continue with this contribution to those less fortunate. Thank you very much! Here are photos taken during the distribution at government low cost flat. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 weeks ago
The generous support from Tesco Malaysia and AEON Retail Malaysia have made it possible for us to continue with this contribution to those less fortunate. Thank you very much! Here are photos taken during the distribution at government low cost flat. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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