The Samding Dorje Phagmo – The Courageous Female Incarnation Line

Jun 10, 2016 | Views: 2,307
Painting of the 1st Samding Dorje Phagmo Chokyi Dronma

Painting of the 1st Samding Dorje Phagmo Chokyi Dronma

(By Tsem Rinpoche)

Dear friend around the world,

This female incarnation line, starting from the 15th century princess Chokyi Dronma, went against the social norms of her time by renouncing her royal status, taking ordination vows, and embarking on many beneficial projects such as compiling the written works of her teacher, Bodong Chokle Namgyal, improving irrigation works and so forth.

The Samding Dorje Phagmo incarnation line is known to have used a combination of skillful political maneuvers, charismatic presence and miraculous deeds to maintain her seat and increase her influence to benefit others. As a result, the holders of this incarnation line were able to continue to uphold their tradition and propagate the Buddhist doctrine.

I hope you will enjoy reading about this illustrious and courageous female incarnation line that has survived many social and political challenges of her time and also be inspired by her fortitude and spirituality.

Tsem Rinpoche

 


 

Introduction to the Samding Dorje Phagmo

Machig Labdrön

Machig Labdrön

The Samding Dorje Phagmo is recognised as the highest female incarnation line in Tibet and the third highest incarnation line within the Tibetan Buddhist hierarchy after the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama. This incarnation line is unique because since the 1st Samding Dorje Phagmo Chokyi Dronma, the Tulkus (Nirmanakaya or emanation body) of this line of incarnations have always chosen to be born in female form. She is considered the emanation of Buddha Vajravarahi and the incarnation of Machig Labdrön, a renowned 11th century female Tibetan tantric Buddhist master.

The Samding Dorje Phagmo is associated with the Bodong tradition of Tibetan Buddhism although several incarnations also took teachings from Nyingmapa, Karma Kagyu and Gelug traditions. The current incarnation, the 12th Samding Dorje Phagmo, has also received teachings and empowerments from Gelugpa Lamas such as His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

 

Emanation

Vajravarahi – the wrathful emanation of Vajrayogini.

Vajravarahi – the wrathful emanation of Vajrayogini.

The Samding Dorje Phagmo is regarded as the emanation of Vajravarahi, one of the main forms of Vajrayogini that is associated with Chakrasamvara Tantra. According to Judith Simmer-Brown, the Professor of Contemplative and Religious Studies at Naropa University, “Vajravarahi’s iconography is very similar to that of Vajrayogini, but she is often [depicted as] having more prominent fangs and a more wrathful expression, and she prominently displays a sow’s head above her right ear.” In general, Vajravarahi is described as having a sow’s head protruding above her right ear, which represents the transmuting of ignorance.

 

Iconography

One of the distinctive features in the Samding Dorje Phagmo iconography is the black hat that is similar to the black hat of the Karmapa. This hat is often associated with Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal, the consort of the great Indian Tantric teacher Padmasambhava.

 

Incarnation line

Painting of the Samding Dorje Phagmo incarnation line at Samding Monastery. Click to enlarge.

Painting of the Samding Dorje Phagmo incarnation line at Samding Monastery. Click to enlarge.

Statue of the current Samding Dorje Phagmo wearing a monastic black hat

Statue of the current Samding Dorje Phagmo wearing a monastic black hat

  • 1st Samding Dorje Phagmo Chokyi Dronma (1422 – 1455)
  • 2nd Samding Dorje Phagmo Kunga Zangmo (1459 – 1502)
  • 3rd Samding Dorje Phagmo Nyendrak Zangmo (1503 – 1542/3)
  • 4th Samding Dorje Phagmo Orgyen Tsomo (b. 1543)
  • 5th Samding Dorje Phagmo Yeshe Tsomo (17th century)
  • 6th Samding Dorje Phagmo Dechen Trinle Tsomo (17th century)
  • 7th Samding Dorje Phagmo Chodron Wangmo (d. 1746)
  • 8th Samding Dorje Phagmo Kelzang Choden Wangmo (1746/7 – 1774/5)
  • 9th Samding Dorje Phagmo Choying Dechen Tsomo (d. 1843)
  • 10th Samding Dorje Phagmo Ngawang Kunzang Dechen Wangmo (b. 1857)
  • 11th Samding Dorje Phagmo Tubten Choying Pelmo (b. 1896)
  • 12th Samding Dorje Phagmo Dechen Chokyi Dronma (b. 1938)

 

Highlights from the Samding Dorje Phagmo incarnation lineage:

The 1st Samding Dorje Phagmo Chokyi Dronma (1422 – 1455)

The 1st Samding Dorje Phagmo Chokyi Dronma

The 1st Samding Dorje Phagmo Chokyi Dronma

The life of the 1st Samding Dorje Phagmo Chokyi Dronma is narrated in her biography, Ye shes mkha’ ‘gro bsod nams ‘dren gyi sku skyes gsum pa rje btsun ma chos kyi sgron ma’i rnam thar, a manuscript of 144 folios which is currently kept in the archive of Nationalities Palace in Beijing, China.

According to Dr Hildegard Diemberger, the rich details in the text indicate the biography was compiled by the contemporaries and close companions of Chokyi Dronma. At the beginning of the text, the author of the biography revealed the basis of his work:

“In order to complete the deeds of our great Lama, the omniscient Jigdrel (Bodong Chogle Namgyal), Vajravarahi, the female Buddha, took a human body and enjoyed the magic dance in this world. I am therefore writing a short biography of her. (folio 2a).”

– Dr Hildegard Diemberger (When A Woman Becomes a Religious Dynasty: The Samding Dorje Phagmo of Tibet, pg 77)

Chokyi Dronma was born in 1422 in Mangyul Gungtang. She was the daughter of the Buddhist King Tri Lhawang Gyeltsen who descended from the ancient Tibetan emperors of the Yarlung Dynasty. During the time of her birth she had no brothers and the court therefore attempted to present her as a potential heir to the throne in case no son would be born to the king. The court priests considered her as a divine incarnation and was given the name of Konchok Gyelmo or ‘Queen of the Jewel’, from a prophetic dream of her mother to reflect her potential as a great benefactor of the Dharma and to be ‘Victorious in all directions.’

The front page of Chokyi Dronma’s biography

The front page of Chokyi Dronma’s biography

Chokyi Dronma’s circumstances changed several years later when a son was born to the junior queen of King Tri Lhawang Gyeltsen. Now instead of being the potential heir to her father’s throne, she faced the possibility of being sent away to another country as a bride and political pawn. Despite this prospect, Chokyi Dronma continued to enjoy a happy and lively childhood. She enjoyed affectionate relationships with both of her parents and relatives. Her biography described her as having a strong and compassionate character, “compassionate toward animals, aware of worldly impermanence and daring in her choices”. She was an intelligent child, and able to read and write at the tender age of three. She was said to be able to speak Sanskrit, which seems to hint at her true identity as the emanation of Vajravarahi. However, she also suffered from several health problems and illnesses.

Dzongkha, the capital of Mangyul Gungtang and the ruins of the royal palace

Dzongkha, the capital of Mangyul Gungtang and the ruins of the royal palace

In 1438, when she was 17 years old, Chokyi Dronma was married off to the family of Lhato Lo rulers in Shekar in order to provide Mangyul Gungtang with a strategic political alliance. A great sense of loss was felt during her departure, which was said to have affected both humans and other beings in the area. In her biography it is stated that, “All living beings of Ngari felt as if they had lost their protector. It was as if the whole essence of the earth had been taken away and the earth had turned bleak.” During her marriage procession from Mangyul Gungtang to Lhato Lo, she met the master Bodong Chokle Namgyal from Porong Pelmo Choding Monastery who would later become her teacher.

A map depicting Chokyi Dronma’s journey as a young bride from Mangyul Gungtang to Shekar in Southern Lhato and later as a nun to be to Porong Pelmo Choding Monastery. The map also contains the itinerary of her subsequent travels from Mangyul Gungtang to Chung Riwoche in Northern Lhato, to Lhasa and eventually to Tsari where she entered clear light.

A map depicting Chokyi Dronma’s journey as a young bride from Mangyul Gungtang to Shekar in Southern Lhato and later as a nun to be to Porong Pelmo Choding Monastery. The map also contains the itinerary of her subsequent travels from Mangyul Gungtang to Chung Riwoche in Northern Lhato, to Lhasa and eventually to Tsari where she entered clear light.

Although her parents-in-law were great supporters of Buddhism, her husband Tshewang Tashi was a Bön religion sympathizer. Chokyi Dronma had a strong view against the Bön religion and openly expressed her delight when the Bönpo priests who came to greet her marriage procession were driven away by her retinue.

Ruins of the Southern Lhato Lo rulers’ palace in Shekar

Ruins of the Southern Lhato Lo rulers’ palace in Shekar

Initially, Chokyi Dronma adapted well to her new role as the princess of Lhato Lo. She was generally well-accepted and regarded as the carrier of good fortune to her new kingdom. When she was 19 years old, she became pregnant and gave birth to a baby girl. When her child turned one, a major dispute broke in her father’s kingdom and she decided to return to Mangyul Gungtang and help in mediating the conflict.

When she was in Mangyul Gungtang, her daughter passed away in Lhato Lo. Although she appeared calm and composed, she was actually deeply affected by the loss. She blamed the passing of her daughter on the deeds against Buddhism. She then declared her wish to be ordained as a nun. Although her parents and in-laws refused to accept her request, she remained firm in her decision. In the meantime, she started to receive teachings from Bodong Chokle Namgyal, to whom she was deeply devoted.

Painting of Bodong Chokle Namgyal

Painting of Bodong Chokle Namgyal

Later, Chokyi Dronma read about the story of Prince Siddhartha Gautama and decided to follow his example by renouncing her royal life and strive towards enlightenment. However, her repeated requests to take on the monastic vows were denied by her family. In desperation, she took the drastic action of tearing her hair and injured herself in the process. This horrified her parents-in-law who finally relented and allowed her to renounce her family obligations. To her husband however, she decided to personally explain her decision. Although initially he could not understand her reasons, he eventually allowed her to leave the palace. Chokyi Dronma was not the first woman who resorted to such drastic actions in order to renounce the worldly life:

“The act of unbinding the hair as an expression of madness and transgression features prominently in the life of several female (and male) Indian Buddhist figures.”

http://treasuryoflives.org/biographies/view/First-Samding-Dorje-Pakmo,-Chokyi-Dronma/TBRC_P2CZ7891

Statue of Bodong Chokle Namgyal. This statue was originally enshrined in Pelmo Choding Monastery, but later moved to Kathmandu, Nepal.

Statue of Bodong Chokle Namgyal. This statue was originally enshrined in Pelmo Choding Monastery, but later moved to Kathmandu, Nepal.

Chokyi Dronma entered Porong Pelmo Choding Monastery and she was welcomed by Bodong Chokle Namgyal, who was sensitive to women issues at that time. Although he faced criticism for admitting a female disciple into a monastic community, Bodong Chokle Namgyal firmly defended his decision. Upon obtaining assurance that Chokyi Dronma had received proper permission from her family, she was allowed to take part in her first ritual as a member of the monastic community. From then on, Chokyi Dronma’s life revolved around her teacher and mentor Bodong Chokle Namgyal, from the time she joined the monastic community in 1442 until his passing in 1451.

The princess took her vows as a novice and was given the name Chokyi Dronma, ‘the Lamp of the Dharma.’ She used this occasion to declare her commitment to support the religious practice for women by stating, “Generally, there is no significant difference between those who succeed [in being born as male] and those who fail [and are born as female]. However, from now on, I will focus on supporting Buddhist practices for women, [especially those who follow a religious path], as they are the most trustworthy amongst women.” She was eventually fully ordained as a bhikshuni. According to her biography, the event is described as follows:

“Then she went to [Pelmo] Choding, the great center of meditation, to be fully ordained. She took along numerous monks whom she had invited from the religious colleges of Mangyul Gungtang. [Chokle Namgyal] who was particularly skilled in teaching the eighty-four thousand Dharmaskanda, performed the role of the abbot. Seated on his throne, [while] wearing his [monastic hat], the Venerable Chokyi Wangchuk, who was an expert of the Tripitaka, acted as the master of ceremonies. Surrounded by enough monks who were fully qualified, she reached the final stage and became a [fully ordained] bhikshuni. Further training in the monastic discipline had filled the vase of her mind, and she became an object of worship for all living beings.”

An 18th century Burmese painting of Buddha Shakyamuni and his followers holding begging bowls and receiving offerings.

An 18th century Burmese painting of Buddha Shakyamuni and his followers holding begging bowls and receiving offerings.

Following the example of the Buddha Shakyamuni, Chokyi Dronma spent a substantial amount of time travelling as a begging nun. The commoners and aristocrats who saw their princess begging alms were touched and lent their support. She was very successful in collecting donations to sustain the religious activities carried out by her master.

Throughout her life, Chokyi Dronma devoted her time and efforts to the recruitment and training of nuns. One of her close disciples was Delek Chodren who would play a crucial role in compiling her biography and finding her next incarnation. Chokyi Dronma was committed to their education as well as their practical needs such as the weaving and sewing of their robes. She taught them how to read and introduced a very effective system of teaching the Buddhist doctrine. Her teacher, Bodong Chokle Namgyal, established new ritual tradition for women and encouraged Chokyi Dronma to initiate the performance of ritual dances by nuns. This was a breakthrough role for women because during that time only monks could perform ritual dances and even female roles were played by monks. She would come to experience more successes in overcoming many social and cultural challenges of her time.

The painting of Chakrasamvara commissioned by Chokyi Dronma

The painting of Chakrasamvara commissioned by Chokyi Dronma

In 1451, at the end of the third month, Chokyi Dronma joined her teacher, Bodong Chokle Namgyal for the last time, in his meditation and to be with him at his passing. After her teacher entered clear light, Chokyi Dronma and other close disciples arranged for the master’s funeral rites. In addition, she mediated disputes that arose over the distribution of the relics from his cremation. “She distributed the bone fragments among all members of the monastic community and had little figurines (tsa tsa) made of clay mixed with his ashes which were given to the lay disciples and patrons.” After the passing of her teacher, Chokyi Dronma fell into a period of erratic behavior while mourning the passing of her teacher, but finally managed to emerge to care for the other students of Bodong Chokle Namgyal.

For the remainder of her life, Chokyi Dronma used her time productively for the benefit of the Buddhist teachings. In 1452, she mobilized the disciples of Bodong Chokle Namgyal and the people of Mangyul Gungtang to fulfill her promise to compile the entire teachings of her masters, to edit and have them published. In addition, she encouraged the use of printing technology in Tibet at the time when it was not common. She also executed an irrigation project that increased the yield of farming activities that would in turn support the Buddhist learning establishments.

Tangtong Gyelpo

Tangtong Gyelpo

Later, Chokyi Dronma met with Tangtong Gyelpo, the great Nyingma master who was famous for his religious deeds and miracles. She went to Lhato Jang where the great master was residing and met him at Chung Riwoche. Chokyi Dronma requested spiritual guidance from this great Siddha. Tangtong Gyelpo gave a prophecy that “… [Chokyi Dronma] would enjoy a long life but would have few disciples if she remained in her region, but would have an uncertain life span and a multitude of followers if she were to leave for the east.” This prophecy spurred her on her final journey to southeastern Tibet and the holy mountain of Tsari and explained her sacrifice in doing so.

Chokyi Dronma helped Tangtong Gyelpo to complete the construction of Chung Riwoche Stupa on the bank of Tsangpo River.

Chung Riwoche Stupa

Chung Riwoche Stupa

Due to the influence of Tangtong Gyelpo, Chokyi Dronma engaged in the tradition of ‘mahasiddha’ who used unconventional behavior to convey religious messages. Her biography recounts the story of a scholar who visited her when she was meditating in a cave in Lhato Jang. She displayed the strange and startling appearance where her hair appeared light blue in colour and stood on end. The scholar prostrated and asked for her blessings but she ignored him. The scholar’s faith was thrown into imbalance due to this experience, but he later realized “… the importance of not being dependent upon appearances and conventions in assessing religious value.” Chokyi Dronma remained in Lhato Jang until the end of the rainy season of 1454.

The text that refers to the skull of the 1st Samding Dorje Phagmo Chokyi Dronma.

The text that refers to the skull of the 1st Samding Dorje Phagmo Chokyi Dronma

Chokyi Dronma travelled widely after her stay in Lhato Jang. During her journey to Shigatse, Rinpung, the Gampa La pass, Lhasa and eventually Tsari, she encountered powerful political and religious personalities such as the Lord of Rinpung, Norbu Zangpo, the Indian Pandita Vanaratna and various local rulers. In 1455, Chokyi Dronma passed away at the age of 33.

At her funeral, Chokyi Dronma fulfilled the prophecy of Tangtong Gyelpo that “A skull with special features will come to this sacred place, together with a mountain dweller from Ngari.” A reference to this skull was also mentioned in a short text that is currently preserved at Samding Monastery.

 

The 2nd Samding Dorje Phagmo Kunga Zangmo (1459-1502)

The 2nd Samding Dorje Phagmo Kunga Zangmo (1459 – 1502).

The 2nd Samding Dorje Phagmo Kunga Zangmo (1459 – 1502)

The reincarnation of Chokyi Dronma, Kunga Zangmo was born in 1459 in Eastern Kongpo. She was found by the close companion of her previous incarnation, Delek Chodren. This incarnation was confirmed by Tangtong Gyelpo, one of the teachers of the 1st Samding Dorje Phagmo Chokyi Dronma.

When she was five years old, Kunga Zangmo was cared for by Delek Chodren and other nuns who used to be the close companions of her previous incarnation. She took refuge vows with Tangtong Gyelpo who also gave her various other teachings and empowerments. Around that time, her teacher sent her to Mangyul Gungtang to fulfill her previous life’s promise to perform Powa funeral rites for the mother of Chokyi Dronma. Because of this, Kunga Zangmo gained the support and patronage of the royal house of Gungtang and was able to take possession of her previous incarnation’s ritual items and a portion of her wealth.

Several years later, Kunga Zangmo’s niece was married to a powerful political family, Pakmodrupa and provided her with another powerful patron.

At one point in time, Tangtong Gyelpo sent Kunga Zangmo, accompanied by a monk colleague of Chokyi Dronma, to negotiate with the Mongols who had the intention to invade Tibet, an unusual role for a woman at the time. Kunga Zangmo negotiated between the warring parties, gave basic teachings on mantra recitation, ethics and most importantly, she gave divination suggesting the dangers that will be experienced by the Mongols should they invade Tibet. The divination was given based on the interpretation of an inauspicious omen of mice that had destroyed the year’s barley harvest.

Throughout her life, Kunga Zangmo spent most of her time travelling. She liked to visit Chung Riwoche, the seat of her teacher, Tangtong Gyelpo to whom she was deeply devoted. She always offered the alms she gathered to her teacher. In addition, she sponsored the newly gilded roof for her teacher’s residence.

One of Kunga Zangmo’s prominent achievements was the establishment of Samding Monastery in the Yardrok region, with the support of the rulers of that region who were her devoted patrons. She entered clear light in 1502. Following her death, Samding Monastery became the official seat of her subsequent incarnations.

 

The 6th Samding Dorje Phagmo

According to a famous tale, the 6th Samding Dorje Phagmo (most likely this incarnation due to the year of the invasion) was said to have performed the famous miracle by turning herself and the monks and nuns of Samding Monastery into pigs in order to evade the Dzungar Mongol invaders.

Samding Monastery where the inscription related to the miracle performed by the 6th Samding Dorje Phagmo is located.

Samding Monastery where the inscription related to the miracle performed by the 6th Samding Dorje Phagmo is located

In 1716, Dzungar (a name associated with several Western Mongolian tribes) invaders arrived in Nangartse, where Samding Monastery is located. Their Chief summoned the Samding Dorje Phagmo before him. He wanted to validate the rumors that the Samding Dorje Phagmo had a pig’s head. The request for meeting was refused and the Chief was furious. He tore down the walls of Samding Monastery and was surprised when instead of human beings, he found 80 pigs and an equal number of sows grunting under the lead of a big sow in the congregation hall. Because of this, the Chief and his followers canceled their intention to attack Samding Monastery.

After the Dzungars gave up the idea of attacking Samding Monastery, the pigs disappeared and transformed into venerable monks and nuns alongside their abbess, the Samding Dorje Phagmo. The Chief developed great faith and made abundant offerings to the monastery.

The inscription related to this miracle performed by the Samding Dorje Phagmo is depicted on Samding Monastery’s wall.

 

The 9th Samding Dorje Phagmo Choying Dechen Tsomo (19th Century)

The 9th Samding Dorje Phagmo was a Tertön (a lama who discovers hidden terma teachings) and famous spiritual master for both the Bodong and Nyingma traditions. She is said to have discovered termas, various hidden teachings that are key to Tibetan Buddhism. Today, the holy relic in the form of her skull is still preserved at a Nyingmapa monastery on the island of Yumbudo in Yamdrog Lake.

The 11th Samding Dorje Phagmo Tubten Choying Pelmo at Samding Monastery. Unlike most other nuns, the Samding Dorje Phagmo was allowed to wear her hair long, but was never to sleep lying down. In the day she could sleep sitting up in a chair, but was expected at night to remain in a meditative position.

The 11th Samding Dorje Phagmo Tubten Choying Pelmo at Samding Monastery. Unlike most other nuns, the Samding Dorje Phagmo was allowed to wear her hair long, but was never to sleep lying down. In the day she could sleep sitting up in a chair, but was expected at night to remain in a meditative position.

Another picture of the 11th Samding Dorje Phagmo

Another picture of the 11th Samding Dorje Phagmo

 

The 12th Samding Dorje Phagmo

The 12th Samding Dorje Phagmo Dechen Chokyi Dronma in her younger days.

The 12th Samding Dorje Phagmo Dechen Chokyi Dronma in her younger days

The current 12th Samding Dorje Phagmo is Dechen Chokyi Dronma. She was born either in 1938 (or 1942, according to another source). When she was around three years old, she fell ill. Her parents asked for divination from a monastery. The result of the divination was for her to become a nun at Tsangkhung. Her parents therefore sent her there to become a novice.

In 1956, Dechen Chokyi Dronma was recognised by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama as the incarnation of the 11th Samding Dorje Phagmo Tubten Choying Pelmo. The following is the recollection of Kesang Dronma, Dechen Chokyi Dronma’s older sister, regarding the events leading to the recognition:

“When the time came to decide who the reincarnation was, there were naturally many other candidates… There are always issues of there being many reincarnations, of body, speech and mind, and so on [because a high lama can reincarnate in more than one body]. In any case, [the other candidates] became nuns. There were people supporting one or the other. Then the Regent of Tibet, Taktra, was asked, and he replied that this was the one. Then Kundun [i.e., the Dalai Lama] was asked. If he gave [his] approval, then the appointment would be definitive. And he confirmed it. The order was then passed on to the monastery and the monastery could not oppose this decision. The process of identification was sorted out in this way.”

Her Holiness the 12th Samding Dorje Phagmo. Click to enlarge.

Her Holiness the 12th Samding Dorje Phagmo. Click to enlarge.

In 1958, she went to Lhasa to receive Yamantaka initiation and Vajrayogini initiation from the 14th Dalai Lama and his junior tutor, His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche respectively. By this virtue, she became a student of the 14th Dalai Lama and Trijang Rinpoche.

Although she has received teachings and empowerments from the high lamas of the Gelug tradition, the 12th Samding Dorje Phagmo Dechen Chokyi Dronma is also trained in the Bodong tradition. The following is an account from Kesang Dronma validating the claim above:

“She had a teacher, a monk from the monastery. His name was Dongag. He was very expert in the scriptures and followed the Bodongpa tradition. This teacher was not a lama in a strict sense. But he had an amazing spontaneous expertise in the texts. He was very learned and knew all the different aspects of religious theory and practice. He was also very good at writing, despite the fact that he never went to school. I learned Tibetan writing from him. She stayed at the monastery until she was sixteen or seventeen. There was another teacher, Jiggyal Rinpoche, a Lama. He was one of the Bodongpa followers. His seat was in Rong in the Rinpung area. Jorra Tulku also gave teachings and empowerments before he died. [Therefore,] the Samding Dorje Phagmo received all the necessary empowerments, those of the Bodong tradition.”

In 1959, when the 14th Dalai Lama escaped from Tibet, the 12th Samding Dorje Phagmo and her sister decided to follow their leader. The two sisters managed to escape to Bhutan where they became the guests of the Bhutanese princess, Pema Chodron. From Bhutan, the two sisters continued their journey to Assam. They were treated with suspicion by the Chushi Gangdrug, the Tibetan guerrilla fighters who escorted the Dalai Lama and his entourage on their escape from Tibet, because their parents have received some “… some sort of salary from the Chinese government.” Their mother was beaten and their father managed to escape to Lhasa. The family therefore ended up right in the middle of the warring factions. Not long after, the two sisters decided to return to China voluntarily:

“… They sent some people from Phari [near the border with Bhutan, where the monastery of Samding had an estate] to look for us. From them we heard that we should come back and that the monastery did not suffer any damage. They confirmed that during the uprising many people had died, but said that if we were to return to Tibet now, nothing untoward would happen [to them]. In that difficult situation the idea of returning home became the simplest one. Once we have taken this decision, we established some contacts with the Chinese embassy in Delhi and stayed there for a few days.”

Upon her return, the 12th Samding Dorje Phagmo “… was appointed to various positions in the Chinese People’s Political Consulting Conference (CPPCC) at both the regional and national levels in the 1950s, and early 1960s, and again in post-Mao era. In 1984, she became the Vice President of the People Congress of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR); she reconfirmed [her place] in this position [again] in January 2003.”

The 12th Samding Dorje Phagmo

The 12th Samding Dorje Phagmo in Tibet

Her decisions to return to Chinese-occupied Tibet and to accept appointments to various high positions within the Chinese government opened the doors for her to be accused of collaborating with the Chinese.

 

Another incarnation lineage in Bhutan

True to the belief that enlightened beings are not restricted to one emanation body at a time, there is another incarnation line of the Samding Dorje Phagmo. According to Dr Hildegard Diemberger, there is another Dorje Phagmo incarnation in Tibet, who was recognised by the Sakya Lama Rikey Jatrel. Rikey Jatrel is considered the incarnation of Tangtong Gyelpo, the teacher of the 1st and the 2nd Samding Dorje Phagmos.

The 12th Samding Dorje Phagmo Rinpoche in Beijing, China

The 12th Samding Dorje Phagmo Rinpoche in Beijing, China

 

The rise of the Samding Dorje Phagmo incarnation line

Mural painting of the 5th Dalai Lama that faces the painting of Dorje Phagmo at Nenying Monastery.

Mural painting of the 5th Dalai Lama that faces the painting of Dorje Phagmo at Nenying Monastery

Upon establishing his Tibetan government in 1642 with the help of Gushri Khan and the Khoshut Mongols, the 5th Dalai Lama granted a prestigious position for the Samding Dorje Phagmo incarnation line, particularly due to her association with Tangtong Gyelpo, the spiritual master who inspired him. Due to the rise in her incarnation status, the 6th Samding Dorje Phagmo Thrinley Tshomo or probably the short-lived 5th Samding Dorje Phagmo Yeshe Tsomo became a prominent figure within the world of Tibetan Buddhism.

The 7th Dalai Lama Kelzang Gyatso (1708 – 1757)

The 7th Dalai Lama Kelzang Gyatso (1708 – 1757)

The Samding Dorje Phagmo’s high incarnation status was further confirmed during the time of the 7th Dalai Lama Kelzang Gyatso. During that time, the 8th Samding Dorje Phagmo Kelzang Choden Wangmo supported the Dalai Lama and his ally, Pholhane who had the backing of Qing emperors against their opponent the Dzungar Mongols. The 7th Dalai Lama gave her the title of Khuthuktu, the Mongolian term for high-incarnate lama to ensure she was afforded the status of a high incarnation by the Chinese as well. During her lifetime, the 8th Samding Dorje Phagmo Kelzang Choden Wangmo had the opportunity to visit and be recognised by the Qing court.

 

Monasteries associated with the Samding Dorje Phagmo

Samding Monastery

Samding Monastery

Samding Monastery

Samding Monastery or “The Temple of Soaring Meditation” is the official seat of the Samding Dorje Phagmo incarnation line. It is located near Yamdrok Lake, about 10 kilometers east of Nangartse in Tibet, China. The monastery has a branch near Lhasa, in the small island of Yambu. The monastery became famous after an incarnation of the Samding Dorje Phagmo performed a miracle to subdue Dzungar invaders. Please refer to the incarnation line section above, for a recounting of the incident involving the transformation of the monastery’s occupants into pigs.

During the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Samding Monastery was destroyed. Today, the Chinese government has allowed the current incarnation, the 12th Samding Dorje Phagmo to reintroduce ancient customs and improve the monastic training of the monks and nuns of Samding Monastery. In 1996, the Samding Dorje Phagmo gave an interview regarding these initiatives, saying:

“After the destruction of the Cultural Revolution, Samding Monastery was partly restored, and now we are trying to improve the training of the monks by studying the scriptures of Chokle Namgyal and reintroducing some of the ancient ritual customs. This year, after many decades, we are again observing the great rituals of the 5th Tibetan month, which culminate in two days of sacred dances. These dances are peculiar to the Bodongpa tradition, and the great protector of this tradition, Tashi Obar, is one of the main characters.”

After the Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje escaped from Tibet in January 2000, the Chinese government gave more attention to the high lamas of Tibet. The 12th Samding Dorje Phagmo was not an exception. The Chinese government allocated a substantial amount to the construction funds of the monastery, thus allowing the Samding Monastery administration to execute their restoration works.

The monastery has been a stronghold of the Bodong School of Tibetan Buddhism since the 14th century.

Samding Monastery

Samding Monastery

 

Nyemo Chekar Monastery

Mural painting of Tashi Ombar, protector of the Bodongpa tradition at Nyemo Chekar Monastery

Mural painting of Tashi Obar, protector of the Bodongpa tradition at Nyemo Chekar Monastery

Nyemo Chekar Monastery is a Buddhist monastery of the Bodongpa tradition in Nyemo County, Lhasa, Tibet. The monastery was established by Tashi Obar, the 16th century patron and protector of the Bodongpa tradition together with Chime Palsang, a Bodongpa lama.

Nyemo Chekar Monastery is famous for its mural paintings depicting the reincarnation of the Samding Dorje Phagmo, Tashi Obar and so forth.

Some restoration work has taken place in the temple in recent times. By 1996, the old wall paintings in the porch of the temple had been repainted.

 

 

Nenying Monastery

Nenying Monastery

Nenying Monastery

Nenying Monastery is a Gelug monastery located in Central Tibet where the 7th Gaden Tripa Lodro Tenpa received his ordination vows. This monastery houses mural paintings of the 1st Samding Dorje Phagmo and the 5th Dalai Lama facing each other. The Samding Dorje Phagmo was recognised as one of the highest female incarnation line in Tibet during the time of the 5th Dalai Lama.

Mural paintings of the 5th Dalai Lama opposite of those of Samding Dorje Phagmo at Nenying Monastery

Mural paintings of the 5th Dalai Lama opposite of those of Samding Dorje Phagmo at Nenying Monastery

In her book, “When A Woman Becomes A Religious Dynasty: The Samding Dorje Phagmo of Tibet,” Dr Hildegard Diemberger mentioned that Nenying Monastery was given to the Samding Dorje Phagmo by the grateful King of Tibet, Pholhane Sonam Tobgye, writing that “According to the local monastic community, Nenying monastery was offered by Pholhane Sonam Tobgye (1689 – 1747) to the Samding Dorje Phagmo as a reward for a favor in a crucial moment: she presented him with a horse when he was escaping from his enemies. Later, when he became the ruler of Tibet, he remembered this and expressed his gratitude generously.”

 

Association with other schools of Tibetan Buddhism

Association with the Nyingma Tradition

The 1st and the 2nd Samding Dorje Phagmos have been associated with the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism through the association with their teacher, Tangtong Gyelpo who was a Nyingma lama. In addition, the 9th Samding Dorje Phagmo was considered as the holder of both the Bodong and Nyingma teachings.

 

Association with the Gelug Tradition

As her status rose to prominence during the time of the 5th Dalai Lama onward, the tradition that the Samding Dorje Phagmo belonged to the Bodongpa started to decline. Some of the Bodongpa monasteries were transformed into places of worship for the Gelug tradition. After some negotiations, some of these monasteries were allowed to retain the image of Tashi Obmar, the blue horseman and the protector of the Bodongpa tradition.

While the current incarnation, the 12th Samding Dorje Phagmo is trained in and still upholds the Bodong tradition, she is also known to have received teachings and empowerments from prominent Gelug lamas such as His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

 

Association with the Karma Kagyu Tradition

The Samding Dorje Phagmo has a relatively close association with the Karmapa. According to Dr Hildegard Diemberger, “Kunga Sangmo used to meet Karma Chodrag Gyatsho and they would sit on equal thrones, one to the left and the other to the right, indicated not only her high status but also the symbolic complementarity that was achieved in relations to him.” In addition, the Sharmapa Chodrag Yeshe is said to be the root lama of the 3rd Samding Dorje Phagmo Nyendrak Zangmo.

A late 16th century mural depicting the 4th Sharmapa surrounded by the Samding Dorje Phagmo’s incarnations at Nyemo Chekar Monastery

A late 16th century mural depicting the 4th Sharmapa surrounded by the Samding Dorje Phagmo’s incarnations at Nyemo Chekar Monastery

At Nyemo Chekar Monastery, there is a late 16th century painting of the Red Hat Sharmapa surrounded by the Samding Dorje Phagmo’s incarnations, as can be seen above.

 

Conclusion

The Samding Dorje Phagmo institution has managed to survive many challenges, political turmoil and social convention of a generally patriarchal society. The 1st Samding Dorje Phagmo Chokyi Dronma was everything but conventional. She was able to overcome many social challenges of her time and, against all odds, accomplished much within her relatively short life. Her subsequent reincarnations have been relatively successful in adapting to various political climates. The women who were enthroned to this title are known to be politically savvy, a trait that possibly plays the most important role in the survival of this incarnation line. It is not uncommon to read accounts of them mediating and negotiating between warring factions.

More recently the 12th Samding Dorje Phagmo appears to have been able to adapt to several political upheavals and because of this, has won the support of the Chinese government and managed to maintain her status and official seat at Samding Monastery. The Samding Dorje Phagmo is definitely a unique and illustrious incarnation line that managed to survive the test of time.

 


 

Addendum: About The Bodong Tradition

The Bodong School is one of the smaller traditions in Tibetan Buddhism that was founded by Bodong Penchen Lenam Gyelchok. Bodong Penchen was a prolific writer during his lifetime. His most famous work was Compendium of Suchness, which is considered the foundation of the Bodong Tradition.

The main seat of the Bodong School is Bodong E Monastery, which was established by Geshe Mudrapa Chenpo of the Kadam Tradition 1049. This monastery is located in Nyingtri in Central Tibet. Je Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelug (Yellow Hat) Tradition studied the Mirror of Poetry from Lotsawa Namkha Zangpo at Bodong E Monastery.

 

Sources:

  • A Tibetan Woman-Lama and Her Reincarnations: A Study of the Bsam-Sdings Rdor-Rje Phag-Mo (15th – 21st century)-http://www.innerasiaresearch.org/woman%20lama/holy.html
  • Bodong – http://treasuryoflives.org/tradition/Bodong
  • Bodongpa – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodongpa
  • Diemberger, Hildegard (2007). When A Woman Becomes A Religious Dynasty: The Samding
  • Dorje Pakmo – http://www.chinabuddhismencyclopedia.com/en/index.php/Dorje_Pakmo
  • Dorje Phagmo of Tibet. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0231143219
  • Legend of China’s only female Rinpoche – http://eng.tibet.cn/news/1449501375794.shtml
  • Nenying – http://treasuryoflives.org/institution/Nenying
  • Samding Dorje Phagmo – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samding_Dorje_Phagmo
  • Samding Monastery – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samding_Monastery
  • Samding Monastery – http://treasuryoflives.org/institution/Samding-Monastery
  • Simmer-Brown, Judith (2014). Dakini’s Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism. Boston, MA: Shambhala Publications. ISBN 978-0834828421
  • The First Samding Dorje Pakmo, Chokyi Dronma – http://treasuryoflives.org/biographies/view/First-Samding-Dorje-Pakmo-Chokyi-Dronma/13205
  • The Second Samding Dorje Pakmo, Kunga Zangmo – http://treasuryoflives.org/biographies/view/Second-Samding-Dorje-Pakmo-Kunga-Zangmo/13206
  • Vajravarahi – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vajravārāhī

 

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44 Responses to The Samding Dorje Phagmo – The Courageous Female Incarnation Line

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  2. Samfoonheei on Mar 15, 2018 at 10:42 am

    Came across this article about female incarnation. First time to know there is one and it’s a interesting read. A 15th century princess Chokyi Dronma who left her royal marriage to pursue a religious life. She became renowned throughout Tibet as an embodiment of Vajravarahi and became the first in an incarnation line of female lamas known as the Samding Dorje Phagmo. Wow … she was listed among the highest-ranking reincarnations at the time of the 5th Dalai Lama. The first and most famous lineage to be held by women and one that continues to the present day. She has survived many social and political challenges to be one.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing of all the reincarnations and interesting insight of those monasteries associated with the Samding Dorje Phagmo.

  3. Anne Ong on Dec 22, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    Thank you Valentina for this exciting and interesting article of a Courageous Female Incarnation Line. This is the first time i read about femaile incarnation. Normally about male incarnations. And Magadha Sangmo is the only female in the line of Tsem Rinpoche incarnation.

  4. Datuk May on Aug 1, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    Thank you Valentina for this exciting article of a Courageous Female Incarnation Line. It is good to know that in Vajrayana Buddhism, there are many female Enlightened Buddhas, best known is Vajrayogini.

    It is good that the current 12th Incarnation, Samding Dorje Phagmo is currently living in Tibet in harmony and adapting to the politics of China.

    This article reminds of what Tenzin Palmo said that she intends to attain enlightenment in the female form.

    Thus gives us female practitioners great hopes.

  5. Doreen Teoh on Jul 30, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    In my opinion, it is a very special as the line of Incarnations of Samding Dorje Phagmo has always been chosen to be born female, and it s the 3rd highest incarnation line within the Tibetan Buddhist hierarchy after the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama. In that era of existence, especially the cultural and expectation of woman at that time is to be submissive. She was able too change the mindset of the people on her work and practice. She has also provide path for woman at that time to practice dharma or to be a nun. Her line of reincarnation is also has teachings from High Lama and Great Gurus. For me, she has prove that enlightenment and practice of dharma has nothing to do with the gender of a person, but the motivation & effort of the mind. in addition she is considered the emanation of Buddha Vajravarahi and the incarnation of Machig Labdrön, a renowned 11th century female Tibetan tantric master.

    • Valentina Suhendra on Aug 13, 2016 at 3:16 am

      Dear Doreen

      I agreed with you. when I was researching about this article, I was pleasantly surprised with this female incarnation line. Almost in her every life she was able to change the conventional belief about women. Women have mostly been portrayed as inferior, but her charisma is so strong that she could even play political roles although it was not common for women to do so at the time.

      I am glad that I had the opportunity to write this article, the experience has given me another perspective about how one’s potential can surpass the conventional belief and perception.

      Valentina

  6. Joy on Jul 30, 2016 at 11:40 am

    What an amazing story of an amazing female who proves to us that female enlightenment is possible. Her story is an inspiration to everyone male and female because despite Samding Dorje Phagmo being a female, and having to face the many challenges put before her, she overcame every single one of them and rise above it all to the protectress of her lineage.

    They confirmed that during the uprising many people had died, but said that if we were to return to Tibet now, nothing untoward would happen [to them]. In that difficult situation the idea of returning home became the simplest one. Once we have taken this decision, we established some contacts with the Chinese embassy in Delhi and stayed there for a few days.”

    Her decisions to return to Chinese-occupied Tibet and to accept appointments to various high positions within the Chinese government opened the doors for her to be accused of collaborating with the Chinese.

    How very typical of the Tibetan Government, who tends to be very short sighted and who handles a lot of things with rigid narrow mindedness. I guess samsara is samsara, even if you are a Buddhist nation and supposedly have more Dharma, it is clear the Tibetan Government operates not just in samsaric manners but at times in very backward thinking. How do they expect to progress with such undeveloped thinking? Sorry side tracked a bit here…
    I think what is most inspiring thing about her is that she an emanation of Vajravarahi herself and I especially liked the miraculous part whereby the Chief of Dzungar summoned the Samding Dorje Phagmo before him and was refused. Furious he tore down the walls of Samding Monastery and to his surprised instead of human beings, he found 80 pigs and an equal number of sows grunting under the lead of a big sow in the congregation hall. Because of this, the Chief and his followers canceled their intention to attack Samding Monastery.

    Such miraculous activities gives us more conviction that enlightened being do exist. A part from this… like mother Tara, I love the fact that she vowed to support Buddhist practices for women and from here on in shall continue to incarnate again and again.

    “Generally, there is no significant difference between those who succeed [in being born as male] and those who fail [and are born as female]. However, from now on, I will focus on supporting Buddhist practices for women, [especially those who follow a religious path], as they are the most trustworthy amongst women.”

    Thank you Valentina for a good synopsis of the book and sharing this wondering information on powerful females of our time!

    • Joy on Jul 30, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      Sorry just to make this point even clearer and based from today’s blog chat discussion:

      6. In your opinion, why is the Samding Dorje Phagmo line of incarnations so special?

      What’ amazing is she proves to us that female enlightenment is possible. Her story is an inspiration to everyone male and female because despite Samding Dorje Phagmo being a female, and having to face the many challenges put before her, she overcame every single one of them and rise above it all to the protectress of her lineage. An example is during the uprising many people had died, but they said if she returned to Tibet, nothing untoward would happen to her and her sister. She had to to make a very difficult decision and returning home became the obvious one. She did it to protect the lineage, teachings, people and monastery but Her decisions to return to Chinese-occupied Tibet opened the doors for her to be accused of collaborating with the Chinese. THIS is similar to what we Dorje Shugden practitioners/Lamas are facing NOW just cause we wish to PROTECT our LINEAGE/TEACHINGS. (sigh)

  7. JP on Jul 30, 2016 at 11:01 am

    This is a very interesting account of the works of an enlightened being. I noticed that enlightened beings and highly attained beings would always benefit people around them regardless of the circumstances they are in.

    In the case of Samding Dorje Phagmo, being born in an era where society is male dominated, she managed to arise above these conditions and spread the dharma. As a princess and married to another royal family, she could easily have chosen to remain to enjoy the abundance and privileges accorded to her. However, through her wisdom, she saw past this veil of delusion and showed everyone the importance of the dharma.

  8. Jill Yam on Jul 30, 2016 at 10:50 am

    This is a very inspiring article indeed. The 1st Samding Dorje Phagmo Chokyi Dronma life story is so similar to our Guru Tsem Rinpoche who was also born a royalty but later became a Buddhist nun/monk. Both of them went through obstacles and hardship and still persevere to be what they set out to be. This is truly an act of compassion to serve and benefit all sentient beings.

    I’m also amazed at how determine she was to take up her monastic vows when her in-laws objected by tearing her hair and injuring herself.

    This is another example shown to us that if we wanted something we must go all the way and work for it and not be discouraged in any way. Another point is she never saw the gender problem and still proves that female practitioners can still achieved enlightenment just like the male practitioner.

    Thank you Valentina for the wonderful and inspiring sharing.

    Jill Yam

  9. Wan Wai Meng on Jul 30, 2016 at 4:42 am

    What an interesting lineage of enlightened female practitioner who is one with Vajravarahi. Her story reminds me so much of Tara and how she always took on a female body for the benefit of sentient beings.

    With the Samding Dorje Phagmo having being influenced by other main Tibetan traditions and teachers but yet retain its uniqueness; of being tied closely to the Bodongpa tradition is something of a rarity, in my opinion. From this article even Lama Tsongkhapa had taken teachings from the Bodongpa tradition, and Lama Tsongkhapa who integrated many systems of teachings into the Gelug tradition, would have added the Bodong tradition into the Gelug Tradition as well, preserving it and adding to the corpus of the 84,000 teachings.

  10. Julia Tan on Jul 28, 2016 at 9:24 am

    I am amazed with the courage that Samding Dorje Phagmo had through out all her incarnations. She reminded me of mother Tara, one gained attainment despite her being a female which was impossible at that time. What strike me the most was her courage to return to China voluntarily after she had successfully left Tibet together with H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama. She’s at her age of 21 at that time.

    “… In that difficult situation the idea of returning home became the simplest one….” that showed the true compassion that she had towards her people that made her decided to go back.

    “Her decisions to return to Chinese-occupied Tibet and to accept appointments to various high positions within the Chinese government opened the doors for her to be accused of collaborating with the Chinese.” That’s extremely sad that people always accuse someone like the H.H. the 12th Samding Dorje Phagmo and trying to put her down. This is act out of anger but without any knowledge and looking into bigger picture of why she’s done to the people of Tibet by having good relationship with China in order to protect the people and preserve the pure lineage of Bodong school so that the teachings will continue to benefits countless people.

    I am grateful to her act of compassion and wisdom which showed that nothing is holding her back to benefit all sentient beings (one attained Bodhicitta) although she’s having a female body through out all her incarnations.

  11. Pastor Chia on Jul 27, 2016 at 4:01 am

    Is very rare seeing female practitioner incarnation line manifest in the Tibet to benefit sentient being. Samding Dorje Phagmo are unique and illustrious incarnation line that managed to survive the test of time pass down existing until now. Which send strong message to all the female practitioner in the buddhist world, female practitioner by practising dharma can achieved enlightenment same as male practitioner.

  12. June Kang on Jul 27, 2016 at 1:18 am

    Female reincarnation lineages are far less common . Hence the story of Samding Dorje Phagmo is a big inspiration for female practitioner— a long, powerful, and influential female lineage. It is very challenging for Samding Dorje Phagmo as a female lama in the male dominated religious country (Tibet), and she shows a powerful example being a female practitioner.

    Thank you Valentina Suhendra for compiling this information.

  13. Eric kksiow on Jul 27, 2016 at 12:17 am

    From the 1st incarnation till 12th incarnation, Samding Dorje Phagmo Chokyi Dronma – Samding Dorje Phagmo Dechen Chokyi Dronma showed us once of the 6 Paramitas ( The Perfection of Ethics (Sila Paramita) ) she never ever give up Dharma for many lifetimes. It’s great to learn from a great Buddhist practitioner.

    It’s an inspiration article, Thanks to Valentina for the write up.
    _/\_
    Eric kksiow

    • Valentina Suhendra on Aug 17, 2016 at 2:25 am

      Thank you for your comment Erick. I agree with you that throughout her life Samding Dorje Phagmo always exhibit the quality that never give up Dharma. In addition, she was able to rise about the social convention of her time and become a powerful lama and politician. I found that amazing and it shows that she is not an ordinary being.

  14. Pastor Antoinette Kass on Jul 26, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    This article is a big inspiration to female practitioners. The Samding Dorje Phagmo shows clearly that women or nuns can achieve the highest, enlightenment. The long incarnation line and emanation of Vajravahari and Machig Lobdrön shows its unique and illustrious beginnings.

    Thank you for compiling this information and making it accessible to all.

  15. Khoo Hou Haw on Jul 26, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    This is an inspiring story to read. Despite the gender-related challenges Samding Dorje Phagmo faced, she continue to prove with her wide-ranging activities and accomplishments that those who are commited to dharma are all equal be them male or female. Discrimination should not exist between dharma practitioners regardless of their race, country or linage.

    Thank you

  16. Albert on Jul 26, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    This is one great article I’ve read that explains the life story of the amazing lady, Samding Dorje Phagmo and her re-incarnation.

    From here, we clearly sees that her incarnations never had an easy life, she was going through different great challengers and still manage to keep intact on her spiritual journey and benefiting others.

    While reading the part that Samding Dorje Phagmo tearing her hair in desperation on wanting to become a sangha, this drastic action reminded me of H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche, when Rinpoche was a teenage, his foster parents rejected his request for becoming a monk, they try all ways to stop him for becoming a sangha, but despite with the rejection, Rinpoche decided to run away from home and travel to India to become a monk. They both face the same rejection, but their mind are so firmed that nothing can stop them for becoming a sangha and working for the benefit of others.

    Samding Dorje Phagmo’s great achievements is never from luck or coincident, it was through her consistent effort from life after life to keep her practice intact. Her story has given us a very good lesson as when we want to achieve something in life, we must go all the way and overcome all challengers that is blocking our way, avoiding will never bring us there.

  17. Pastor Ong Moh Mei on Jul 26, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    Most major religions today in my opinion are patriarchal and to some extent inherently misogynistic. Even in Buddhism there appears to be no gender equality.

    Various schools within Buddhism hold different views as to the possibilities of gaining enlightenment in the female form.

    While in Vajrayana Buddhism, many female Buddhas do appear, there are also other Buddhist text mentioning that a woman can become enlightened, only not in female form. Some views on this gender matter has even gone as far as to imply that being born a female is a result of bad karma.

    There are countless male tulku incarnation line but very few female tulku lineages such as Samding Dorje Phagmo.

    Thank you Rinpoche and team for researching and sharing on the rare female incarnation line.

  18. nicholas on Jul 26, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    We always hear in modern day where people talk about equality and it’s so inspiring to read about Samding Dorje Phagmo during her time which has a long line of incarnation such an inspiring lady that took the foot step as Siddhartha Gautama to renounce her royal status becoming a nun and mainly to focus on supporting Buddhist practices for women especially those who follow a religious path. She see equality in enlightenment and her passion is to help the women to excel in their spirituality.

    It’s interesting to know that the 11th Samding Dorje Phagmo Tubten Choying Pelmo is also the student of Dorje Shugden Lama HH Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche.

  19. Pastor Henry Ooi on Jul 26, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    This article shows that women can achieve higher spiritual attainments and enlightenment as taught by the Buddha. Chokyi Dronma’s courage, efforts, passion, paved the way for more women to become ordained and that is a great achievement during her time. His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is always very respectful of women and shows high regard to ordained Buddhist nuns and female lay practitioners of Buddhism. Rinpoche says that women is at a disadvantage compared to men because of their gender. Thus women who strive to be nuns should be accorded respect for their efforts.

  20. pammie yap on Jul 26, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    “Generally, there is no significant difference between those who succeed [in being born as male] and those who fail [and are born as female].”

    I like what She said a lot! Especially when She comes back as a woman in every reincarnation and show us that it is not impossible so long as the motivation is pure and for the benefit of many. There is no difference so long as we practice and transform our mind. In every reincarnation, She expanded the Bodong tradition, brought it higher and it lasted till today.

    It was very courageous of the first Samding Dorje Phagmo to renounce everything, just like Buddha Shakyamuni. I am sure it was not easy at all back then to become a nun but She persevered and did it, just like all the stories we read of high lama’s spiritual path and their perseverance for the benefit of others.

    As time and people change, teachers tend to find suitable ways to connect to students. And Samding Dorje Phagmo found many ways to connect and benefit the students.

    Such an amazing post to read and learn. Thank you for such an inspirational post.

  21. Jace Chong on Jul 26, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    Thanks Rinpoche and Valentina for the article.

    I have never known about this sacred incarnation of Samding Dorje Phagmo, thanks to the information I can learn about the great reincarnation Lama after Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama, and she is in a female form.

    I remember I read somewhere that it’s better to reincarnate as a male human to practise Dharma than female. This made me think I should make aspiration to be a male human in my next life. With Samding Dorje Phagmo’s history, I can say that I do not have to give up the practice this life as a female practitioner that however with this gender, there’s possibility to gain attainments in our Dharma practice.

    For me, Samding Dorje Phagmo is just like Tara who aspire to be a female enlighten Bodhisattva to help all sentient beings.

    Thank you.

  22. Li Kheng on Jul 26, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    In this modern day and age where the human race claim superiority based on the great advancement accomplished, we still face various obstacles related to gender equality. When I read that Samding Dorje Phagmo is third in line of position after the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama centuries ago, awes me speechless. In this, I see the equality that exists in highly attained and enlightened minds which is beyond barrier of time, civilization and development. A highly evolved mind that is rich in wisdom and compassion is real modernism, advancement and civilization.

    Expanding on this, in moving forward, the human race should refer to advanced ancient civilizations for lessons and inspiration. We truly do not have to seek in the blind as highly compassionate beings like Lord Buddha, Samding Dorje Phagmo and Trijang Rinpoche have already shed light on the “tried and tested” path.

    On a similar note, Samding Dorje Phagmo’s story shows us the true characteristic of feminism: grace, generosity, determination, commitment, kindness, forgiveness, skillfulness. There is not need to fight for rights because rights will be given to you if you act in manners that befits such authority.

    Thank you for this enlightening story of a power lady.

    • Mingwen on Jul 26, 2016 at 11:40 pm

      For centuries, the issue of equality between male and female has never been resolved. Personally, I think that male and female have no significant difference. However, what make male and female appear different is due to the way of upbringing , culture and traditions. A simple example, boy should love blue and girl must be having pink as her favourite colour. An obvious difference between male and female is physical strength, but why? Does male have stronger bones or muscles? It’s definely no! It’s all caused by the way of upbringing, female should not do hard works that include lift and move heavy objects or be the breadwinner of the family. All of these events would later have impacts on a female’s behaviours and strength. Hence, females are tend to be “weaker”.

      May all sentient beings free from sufferings and the causes of sufferings.

  23. Carmen K on Jul 23, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    The state of enlightenment and the gaining of attainments does not confine or restrict itself to gender, men or women or any labels. Of course, the history of Buddhism has predominantly been dominated by the male species, and Tenzin Palmo’s story has illustrated that, where it highlights that the same monastic treatment should be extended towards the female species as well.

    The Samding Dorje Phagmo line of incarnations displayed extraordinary abilities, that instills faith amongst many. They have learnt from different schools of Tibetan Buddhism, but what hit me also, was the similarity in practice, mainly in Guru Devotion. The 1st and 2nd incarnations of Samding Dorje Phagmo displayed great devotion to their gurus, just like Tsem Rinpoche who has great devotion towards HH Kyabje Zong Rinpoche Dorje Chang. Unflawed in their devotion, they exemplify the teaching that the root of all attainments comes from one’s guru.

    Valentina, Thank you for such a well researched article, on a line of incarnation I have never heard of, until I read about it today.

  24. KarenC on Jun 15, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    In Buddhism, we always believe in equality. Female and male are just labels and has no distinction. Labelling and projections are one of the sources of us being ignorant.

    These female developed great faith in Buddha’s teachings, took on ordination vows and eventually became so beneficial. Some other examples of powerful potent female who contributed in Buddhism are Magadha Sangmo, protectress Achi Chokyi Drolma, Mother Tara and the new era powerful women Mother Teresa, Tenzin Pelmo, Aung Sang Su Kyi etc.

    They are the fearless woman who has great wisdom to rise as who they want to be. Their inner strength is as strong as men. These strong women spent their whole life accomplishing one great thing after the other. Very inspiring and it proves anybody can achieve our goals.

  25. Wylfred Ng on Jun 15, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    谢谢Valentina 的分享。

    Samding Dorje Phagmo 的故事非常崎岖不平, 每一任转世都经过不同的困难, 不过每一世转世都把佛法带给很多人。 其实身为女性要面对的挑战都要比男性来得大。 不过Samding Dorje Phagmo 每一世都可以克服困难, 到现在她的转世的成就还是为人所津津乐道。

    在第一世的时候,Samding Dorje Phagmo 的其中一位上师,Tangtong Gyelpo 告诉她说: 如果你留在原地, 你会很长寿, 你将会有几位学生。 如果你往东方传授佛法的话你的寿命将会不稳定, 不过你将会有很多学生。 Samding Dorje Phagmo 毅然选择往西藏东方传授佛法, 利益很多人, 不过她的寿命也很短, 只是33岁就圆寂了。
    她一直都以别人的利益为先, 就算她知道她的寿命会短, 她还是选择利益更多人。

    谢谢

  26. Su Ming on Jun 15, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    The thing which struck me the most after reading this article is how Samding Dorje Phagmo shares similar hardship at the beginning when she wanted to embark on her spiritual journey with Tsem Rinpoche. Her drastic action at the beginning when her in laws rejected her wish to join the monastery was similar to the steps Rinpoche took when he wanted to become a monk.

    The fact that she is a women and from her first incarnation description tells that she must have made vows for her to return as a women as an inspiration to others. Just like Tenzin Phalmo.

    I do wonder what her stand is on Dorje Shugden issue since one of her teacher is H.H. Trijang Rinpoche ?

  27. Sock Wan on Jun 15, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    Dear Valentina,
    Thank you for sharing with us the story of Samding Dorje Phagmo. Her story clearly tells us even though we are female, we can gain attainment just like male, gender is not an issue at all, male or female we have equal opportunity in gaining enlightenment.

    Some enlightened beings take rebirth in female form on purpose to teach us whether male or female, we have equal opportunity to become enlightened. Another example of a female practitioner will be Tenzin Palmo https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/videos/tenzin-palmo-cave-in-the-snow.html

  28. Chin San on Jun 15, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    Thank you Valentina for researching and writing such a detailed information about the Samding Dorje Phagmo.

    I’m amazed at the way she sleeps that she was never to sleep lying down. In the day she could sleep sitting up in a chair, but was expected at night to remain in a meditative position. This is interesting!

    Since the 1st Samding Dorje Phagmo Chokyi Dronma, she always chosen to be born in female form. This is out of my expectation because most of people (including me) usually think that high lamas are mostly male, which is true, but gender can’t be labeled, what important is what he/she has done to benefit others.

  29. jerry_sito on Jun 15, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    感谢您的分享

    这是我第一次详细地阅读有关与,女性活佛的文章,感谢您的整理,对于藏传佛教的活佛转世制度又有了新的理解与感觉受益良多。

    桑顶·多吉帕姆活佛为藏传佛教中地位最高的“女活佛”系统,桑顶寺的寺主活佛。为金刚亥母(即多吉帕姆)的化身,本名索朗真玛,在藏传佛教中续达赖尊者与班禅喇嘛的转世体系后,桑顶·多吉帕姆活佛的转世体系为第3高的活佛转世体系,并获得过“呼图克图”的封号,这是清朝及中华民国初年对一部分高级藏传佛教转世喇嘛所封的职衔,其的地位仅次于达赖喇嘛、班禅额尔德尼,高于一般的转世喇嘛。

    在阅读后让我感到惊讶与钦佩的是,身为一位女性修行者,想想但是的年代,对与一位女性修行者来说是困难重重的,而且在西藏里当时“比丘尼”是非常稀少的,在如此严峻与种种的困难,而且我相一位女性修行者肯定会引起更多的争议,然而她却从第一世一路到今天的第十二世成功地坚持了下来。

    我相信对于佛法,许多的高僧大德,他们是如此地大慈大悲,无论在背后默默地承受着让人无法想象的苦楚,给人批评攻击,或是非得经历一些巨大的牺牲,然而我们会发现,他们还是一世一世地乘愿转世回来,而且为了善巧地救渡一切有情众生,他们化做种种不同化身,把佛法带给了我们。

    谢谢
    Jerry

  30. Stella Cheang on Jun 15, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    Thank you Valentina for sharing detailed knowledge on the Samding Dorje Phagmo line of incarnations. I am very fascinated by the story of the 1st Samding Dorje Phagmo. She was a princess of Buddhist King Tri Lhawang Gyeltsen, was married off to Shekar in Southern Lhato. After she suffered the loss of her daughter, she decided to renounce her worldly position and became the disciple of Bodong Chokle Namgyal.

    It was there that the 1st Samding Dorje Phagmo realized that there is no significant difference when it comes to spiritual attainment for male and female. And she promised to focus on supporting Buddhist practices for women, henceforth courageous female incarnation line of Samding Dorje Phangmo.

    The Samding Dorje Phagmo is recognized as the highest female incarnation line in Tibetan Buddhism and the 3rd highest incarnation line within the Tibetan Buddhist hierarchy after the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama. She is believed to be the emanation of Vajravarahi (one of the main forms of Vajrayogini) and the incarnation of Machig Labdron.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Valentina for the informative article on Samding Dorje Phangmo.

    Humbly, bowing down,
    Stella Cheang

  31. dolma on Jun 14, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    om bendza berotsaniye hung : we can not find much info about her but she excists. So thanks for a bigger info. I gave you the only thing i had. Cleans house, space…

    • Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai on Jun 15, 2016 at 2:59 am

      Hi Dolma, I totally agree with you. Information about the Samding Dorje Phagmo is not very easy to find online and it is spread out over many different websites and books.

      It’s a bit sad that it’s so difficult to find good information about her even though she is the third highest incarnation in the land after HH the Dalai Lama and HH the Panchen Lama. Valentina did an excellent job writing a very interesting article about this great being. She presented the information in a clear, easy-to-understand way.

      There are other articles on this blog which are also very interesting. When you can, please do take the time to explore Rinpoche’s blog. Thank you!

  32. Martin on Jun 14, 2016 at 12:45 am

    Very interesting post and what impressed upon me was how challenging it must have been for the first Samding Dorje Phagmo Chokyi Dronma to have transcended cultural and social norms to be recognised be regarded in her own right. What is more is how all the incarnations in the Samding Dorje Phagmo line have kept their tradition blameless and illustrious for so long, to the point of being accepted as the ‘third highest incarnation line within the Tibetan Buddhist hierarchy.

    After I read this post, I did a search for other great female practitioners and highly attained yoginis and was pleasantly surprised to see their interesting stories. Some of these yoginis with incredible attainments are (in no specific order):

    *Shugseb Jetsun*

    Shugseb Jetsun Rinpoche was also known as Lochen. She was born in Rewalsar, India, and from childhood, Lochen was a diligent practitioner. Her mother was also a devoted practitioner, who accompanied her daughter on many pilgrimages and encouraged her practice. Her connection was mainly of Palden Drukpa and Sangag Nyingma tradition. She was invited by Ladakh King and the people of its region. When she visited Ladakh, the King and Queen of Ladakh, their ministers, and everybody wept in tears after seeing her (then only a little child) reciting Om Mani Padme Hung and encouraging everyone else to do so! She is known to be Vajrayogini.

    *Ani Lama Sherab Zangmo*

    Ani Lama Sherab Zangmo was a resident nun and meditation teacher at Gebchak Gonpa. Often referred to as “The Great Yogini of Gebchak Gonpa”, Sherab Zangmo was famed among the lamas in Eastern Tibet for her high realization. She passed away in the autumn of 2008 with many signs of an accomplished practitioner. She spent 70 years in unbroken meditation practice since first coming to Gebchak Gonpa when she was 16 years old!!!

    *Ayu Khadro* (Tsewang Dorje Paldron)

    Ayu Khadro was a teacher of Dzogchen and Tantric Buddhism in East Tibet. She was a student of both Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Nyala Pema Dundul. By many, Ayu Khandro was held to be an incarnation of Vajrayogini. She spent many dozen years in dark retreat and also practiced and taught a tantric long-life practice and was an adept Chödma.

    *Yeshe Tsogyal*

    Yeshe Tsogyal was born in the princely Kharchen family. Her father’s name was Namkhai Yeshe and her mother was called Gewa Bum. When she was born, a spring of fresh water spontaneously burst from the ground and formed a sizable pond next to her house. This pond came to be known as “Lha-tsho”, the Divine Lake. Later the spot would become a famous pilgrimage site for generations of devotees. Life was not easy for Yeshe Tsogyal. She was brutally raped by her first suitor and fought over by her second. When she fled from the latter, she was taken and placed in the King’s harem. Later the Dharma King Trisong Deutsan offered her as a consort to his guru, the Lord Padmasambhava.

    Guru Padmasambhava set her free and she became his disciple. Only then did she begin to discover happiness in her life. That was in the year 794 A.D., when Yeshe Tsogyal was sixteen years old. When she received Empowerment her flower fell on the sacred mandala of Vajrakilaya and through practicing the appropriate sadhana she rapidly gained accomplishment. She then received all of Guru Padmasambhava’s teachings and became his spiritual heir.

    *Gelongma Palmo*

    Gelongma Palmo also known as Bhikshuni Shrimati, introduced the Nyungnay practice, which is a special fasting practice of purification and merit accumulation based on Avalokiteshvara. She was a princess of an ancient Indian kingdom. Through devoted and extensive practice of One-Thousand-Armed Avalokiteshvara for twelve years, Gelongma Palmo overcame severe illness of leprosy and attained enlightenment. Thereafter, she passed the methods and blessings of this practice known as Nyungnay down through a lineage of great practitioners that continues to this day.

    This intensive practice involves maintaining the eight Mahayana precepts (not to kill, not to steal, not to commit sexual misconduct, not to lie, not to take intoxicants, not to take high or luxurious seats, not to sing, dance or wear ornaments and not to eat after midday) on the first day, and taking additional vows of not eating, drinking or talking for twenty-four hours on the second day. The meditation and practice sessions include praises, prostrations and mantra recitation.

    • Carmen K on Jul 23, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      Thank you for sharing these stories as an inspiration and encouragement towards our own practice, Martin! So amazing to read some of them, as it was reading this article itself.

  33. Sharon Ong on Jun 13, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    One of the things I love about Rinpoche’s blog is the variety of subject matter that this blog has. One will always find something new to learn with each post that is uploaded. In this post, not only was I acquainted with a new Buddhist tradition, Bodong, but more importantly, a line of female incarnation whose lives, works and courage are nothing short of extraordinary.

    It further reinforces my believe that it does not really matter if we were born as women as our body is a mere vessel. Ultimately, it is our mind that matters as Enlightenment is all about the state of mind.

    Thank you for this insightful read, Valentina!

  34. CindyH on Jun 12, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    Apart from the great compassion exhibited with their impressive accomplishments and deeds, there seem to be a consistent emphasis on letting go of projections present upon reading about the details of the reincarnations.

    On a general level, all of them courageously went against the social norms of their time (from renouncing royal status, to breaking away from society’s expectation settling down as a wife and mother, involvement of politics in religion etc) and also did not bend to usual order of things at that time. In fact, the 1st Samding Dorje Phagmo Chokyi Dronma’s declaration of her commitment to support the religious practice for women represent the ultimate challenge to the perception relating to the inferiority of female practitioners in a generally patriarchal society. Her line of incarnation can serve as testament that attainments are possible in a female form thereby negating the over-rated importance placed on the difference between a male and female body.

    Other specific incidents illustrating such emphasis include;
    • The 1st Samding Dorje Phagmo Chokyi Dronma’s act of ignoring the scholar’s request for blessings which challenged the monk’s perception and led to him realising the “… the importance of not being dependent upon appearances and conventions in assessing religious value.”
    • The 2nd Samding Dorje Phagmo Kunga Zangmo who successfully negotiated with the Mongols who had the intention of invading Tibet thus accomplishing an extremely unusual role for a woman at that time and broke down the projections about limitations of women’s abilities.
    • In the face of an invasion threat, the 6th Samding Dorje Phagmo opted for an unconventional method which not only avoided the invasion but also caused the Chief of Dzungar Mongol invaders to develop great faith in Buddhism.
    • Based on the excerpts, it can be said that 12th Samding Dorje Phagmo braved the mistrusts and also accusations of her collaborating with the Chinese government to return to Tibet premised on the belief that she would benefit people more by doing so.

    Interestingly, came across materials indicating that Machig Labdron (a renowned 11th century female Tibetan tantric Buddhist master) also placed particular emphasis on letting go of projected concepts and fixation in order to achieve true freedom. Perhaps not that surprising since 1st Samding Dorje Phagmo Chokyi Dronma is said to be the incarnation of Machig Labdron.

    Thank you for such an informative and inspiring post.

  35. May Ong on Jun 12, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    It is always very encouraging to read about tulkus who chose to return lifetime after lifetimes in female form as opposed to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in male form, which is more common knowledge. I can see that through the different incarnations of Samding Dorje Phagmo, she played many different roles as a female protector to help protect her lineage and will use whatever resources she had available around her to preserve it till today, even if she has to take on political role.

    Although politics and dharma does not mix but due to circumstantial environment in these trying degenerate times, even Bodhisattva have to adapt to changing situations to preserve their lineage from being lost.

  36. Pastor David Lai on Jun 12, 2016 at 4:44 am

    Ooooh I love this post very much and enjoyed helping Valentina out with the initial edits of this article. It’s incredible to learn about how powerfully beneficial she is because she is Vajravarahi incarnate. It’s very neat to learn that the Tibetan deities do not just exist in ancient texts, thangkas and the visualizations of practitioners because she also takes rebirth as a female lama.

    Just the fact that she chooses to always be female is a very powerful statement in itself considering the challenges of being a female lama in what is virtually a male dominated religious clergy of Buddhism. It empowers other female lamas and practitioners and also for their male counterpart, to look beyond what people expect of a lama. After all, male and female are merely labels that we impute upon others. I hope many more people are touched and blessed to read and hear about Samding Dorje Phagmo! Beautiful article and well done, Valentina.

  37. Sofi on Jun 12, 2016 at 1:07 am

    A throughly inspiring article for all female practitioners! I am always in awe of female practitioners who had to overcome tremendous odds to fully immerse themselves in their practices. Even with today’s increasing number of female practitioners, getting ordination is still not easily available.

    In Introduction section’s very first line captured my attention…”The Samding Dorje Phagmo is recognised as the highest female incarnation line in Tibet and the third highest incarnation line within the Tibetan Buddhist hierarchy after the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama.” It is amazing that the female line of reincarnation garners such status. This really goes to show that attainments of the mind transcend gender and depends on one’s willingness to strive for it.

    The ordination commitment of the 1st Samding Dorje Phagmo Chokyi Dronma, “I will focus on supporting Buddhist practices for women, [especially those who follow a religious path], as they are the most trustworthy amongst women.”, struck a deep chord. It is suppose to be our aspiration to be born with a male body as one of the good condition for practices and yet she had so much compassion to remain as a female, to be an example that attainments are possible in female form, as proven with her line of incarnation.

    Thank you Valentina and thank you Rinpoche for inspiring Valentina to research and share this line of lineage with us.

  38. Fong on Jun 11, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Thank, Valentina, for a very interesting article.

    I never knew that female practitioners could be so exalted. All I have ever read to date about female practitioners is that they had a ‘glass ceiling’. Even Tenzin Palmo had to get ordination in Taiwan and not India. There was a point when she was so agitated by the attitudes of the male monks that she boldly seek an answer for H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama – “We went to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama and he said that as far as he was concerned—male or female body—it made no difference.” (http://tenzinpalmo.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=73&Itemid=34)

    To read of the Samding Dorje Phagmo, and her triumphant work for Dharma despite the various odds against her is inspiring. When she was treated with mistrust by the Chushig Gangdruk and had no choice but to back track to Tibet while fleeing, it must have taken a lot of strength and courage to make a very hard decision. Even her previous incarnation of Yeshe Tsogyal had it tough before attaining enlightenment and Machig Labdron as well.

    There really is no difference between a male and female body. The training is indeed in the mind and we should not be limited by the body. The Buddha Tara, Yeshe Tsogyal, Mahig Labdron and the Samding Dorje Phagmo has proven that. So, whether male or female, one should just focus on our practice and not worry whether this body is suitable for the task at hand.

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  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Mar 23. 2019 01:52 PM
    Wow….saffron is such a medicinal spice with so many amazing benefits. Such as for sleeping disorder, treatment of cancer, intestinal gas , depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and so forth. It seem that saffron is the most expensive spice in the world and it has been revered for its medicinal properties since ancient times. The aroma and flavour of saffron is unique and difficult to describe. It is an extremely labor-intensive crop. Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus. Great information to know that saffron is added to the water offerings on our shrine making the offerings more rich and beautiful.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/food-recipes/saffron.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Mar 23. 2019 01:51 PM
    As a child Rinpoche showed sign of speciality in a way. Rinpoche has had suffered abuses, problems and sufferings since young. Rinpoche has had experienced much more than anyone else. All the sufferings Rinpoche had gone through merely for the sake of preserving the Dorje Shugden lineage and to purify the obstacles arising from future practitioners and people he can benefit. Whatever Rinpoche encountered did not discourage Rinpoche from spreading Dharma to everyone of us and across the globe. Rinpoche’s guru devotion has inspired him to keep moving. We have Rinpoche to thanks for bringing Dharma to Malaysia. We are fortunate to learn, practice Dharma in this life time . With folded hands thank you Rinpoche.
    Thank you Pastor David Lai for this beautiful write up.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/tales-with-my-lama-why-rinpoche-has-to-suffer
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Mar 23. 2019 01:50 PM
    Interesting first time hearing this….. Buddhist monk hitting people with a broom to purify and clearing one’s obstacles . Different religion and faith have their own way of purifying and blessing. A more usual form of Thai blessing would be sprinkling water on the fore head. A monk who was seen forcefully hitting temple-goers heads with a broom is normal to them. Even though the smacking may look violent, but it didn’t harm anyone recording to the Buddhist monk. I have seen in Chinese temple, one or two occasion that the deity in trance using branches of leaves hitting temple-goers to bless them.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this interesting sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/buddhist-monk-hitting-people-with-a-broom
  • Sofi
    Saturday, Mar 23. 2019 05:46 AM
    Celebrities Ghost Stories (4) and Psychic Kids (2)

    Another interesting sharing of the celebrities’ personal experiences with the paranormal. Do share with us if you have experiences of your own as we love ghost stories especially when its real.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/film-tv-music/celebrities-ghost-stories-4-and-psychic-kids-2.html
  • Sofi
    Saturday, Mar 23. 2019 05:42 AM
    The Miracles of Tsem Rinpoche (True Story 17) | 詹仁波切的奇迹(真实故事 17)

    Great way to share the miracles of H.E. the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche and enlightened protector Dorje Shugden in helping those in need. I love the storytelling through comics which makes such an easy read. Who doesn’t like comics and with such amazing real life experiences?

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-17-html.html
  • Sofi
    Saturday, Mar 23. 2019 05:30 AM
    Celebrity Ghost Stories (7)

    I love watching these stories that celebrities share their experiences of encounters with the paranormal. For all you lovers of paranormal stories, this is a great article for your visit.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/film-tv-music/celebrity-ghost-stories-7.html
  • Chris
    Saturday, Mar 23. 2019 12:08 AM
    Thank you for Rinpoche and the blog team to come with this amazing blog post that talks about the Green School. This school is very amazing because the way it is being set up is very different than conventional schools. It merges learning with nature which proven to be effective.

    Nowadays, people want to be in the forest, and near the greens. They do not want to have the city life which they grew up in because it is very stressful and very unhealthy for the body and also the mind. Concrete cities are full of pollution which is very bad for our health and also our mental health. That is why alot of the people living in the cities are depressed or anger some. These negative emotions arise easier when we are in the city.

    What is amazing about this school is also the way they introduce education into the children’s lives in a non-conventional way. From the video, it looks like the children are enjoying this way of education more than the conventional way because they are allowed to express themselves more.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/amazing-trailblazing-green-school-in-indonesia-you-must-learn-about-this-incredible-place.html
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Friday, Mar 22. 2019 10:02 PM
    In Asia, black magic is not uncommon, it is still practiced by people. People use black magic to take revenge or to get what they want. When people are disturbed by black magic or spirits, they will usually go and seek for a master to help them.

    However, instead of waiting for the unfortunate to happen, we can start a practice that can prevent us from being disturbed. Dorje Shugden practice is very effective for that. Tsem Rinpoche is so kind to compile a very short prayer for us to do daily. Doing prayer is like doing exercise if we do it every day, our protection energy of Dorje Shugden will grow stronger every day.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/a-simple-way-to-protect-yourself-from-spirits
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Friday, Mar 22. 2019 09:41 PM
    Do you believe there are people who have the ability to call upon some local deities or an enlightened being to enter into their bodies to communicate with us? Growing up in a traditional Chinese Taoist family, I believe that. My grandmother sometimes took me to a trance session. When the mediums (oracles) take trance, they are able to give some kind of prediction or advice. Trance taking is also practiced in other Asian cultures, for examples, Tibet, Korea, Mongolia, etc.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/tibetans-welcome-mountain-spirits-in-faith-ceremony.html
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Friday, Mar 22. 2019 09:29 PM
    Traditionally, Dorje Shugden is depicted in wrathful form. This particular Dorje Shugden of Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen is depicted in a peaceful form. The peaceful Dorje Shugden looks very gentle and more approachable to most people who are not familiar with Dharma protectors, especially here in Malaysia. Whether it is in wrathful form or peaceful form, the function and efficacy of Dorje Shugden in helping us to remove the obstacles are the same.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/geshe-tsultrim-gyeltsens-special-thangka.html
    [no sender]
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Mar 22. 2019 11:39 AM
    Thank you Mr Martin Chow for sharing this interesting true life story of how you met Tsem Rinpoche. I have had heard stories of how Rinpoche had changed the lives of many. Truly one great teacher, that have a great wisdom , kindness, humble personality and in many ways everyone or students would love and likable. Rinpoche appeared confident in communication that can also help us feel confidence too, thus aiding and enhancing.
    Thanks again for this interesting sights, stories and your experiences with Rinpoche.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/a-personal-account-of-events-with-my-teacher-perfect-clairvoyance
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Mar 22. 2019 11:37 AM
    Very interesting ……… selection of supernatural closed encounter with unseen beings by famous celebrities ,artists that will seriously freak anyone out . Featuring personal, first-person accounts by notable actors, musicians and models. Unseen beings are every where, they do definitely exists. Some of us could able to see them too. The best is leave them alone as some are harmful and so might not.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/film-tv-music/celebrity-ghost-stories-7.html
  • Chris
    Friday, Mar 22. 2019 08:29 AM
    The Dorje Shugden ban has caused so many suffering to Shugden people as well as the non-Shugden people. There were peace and harmony within the Buddhist community and everything and everyone was fine. All 4 sects of Tibetan Buddhism existed in harmony and everyone just mind their own business and practice the practices that they prefer. There is no fighting, no violence, no harsh speech and most importantly everyone still co-existed in the same community without any problems.

    Then the Tibetan government came out with the Dorje Shugden ban and all hell breaks loose. Shugden people are being accused as demon worshippers and against His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Monks are being beaten up and treated harshly and even chased out of their own monastery. Can you believe it? Peaceful monks are being chased out of their own monastery and all because they choose to practice the practice that their holy guru gave them.

    The ban is totally unnecessary because as a democratic body, claimed by the Tibetan government, they should accept any religion and any faiths as long as they do not break the law. However, the Tibetan government went on persecuting Dorje Shugden people and even forbid them to use public schools and public hospitals. What kind of government will deny the 2 most basic necessity which is education and health care to their own people? This shows the true color of the Tibetan government and they do not care about their own people at all.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/why-is-she-putting-the-dalai-lama-down.html
  • Sofi
    Friday, Mar 22. 2019 07:47 AM
    Tales With My Lama: Why Rinpoche Has To Suffer

    This is something that many have questioned and here is the answer. Why does an attained being like Rinpoche has to suffer so much to bring the Dharma to us? This is how compassion works for a Bodhisattva that he is.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/tales-with-my-lama-why-rinpoche-has-to-suffer
  • Sofi
    Friday, Mar 22. 2019 07:44 AM
    Amazing Trailblazing Green School in Indonesia – You Must Learn About This Incredible Place!

    If you are a parent and have not read this, then you really should. Be amazed at what is the “new” of schooling for your child that will offer a well-rounded curriculum with the love for nature and conservation. This is a great system for making leaders out of your child to his/her best potential.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/amazing-trailblazing-green-school-in-indonesia-you-must-learn-about-this-incredible-place.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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

Tsem Rinpoche

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  Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch

The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

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

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

Videos On The Go

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

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

View All Questions

CHAT PICTURES

Thank you very much to Methodist College Kuala Lumpur students for assisting us in admin work today. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
20 hours ago
Thank you very much to Methodist College Kuala Lumpur students for assisting us in admin work today. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thank you very much to staffs from Munchy's for participating in our #foodbank delivery today and also not forgetting their sponsorship of biscuits and croissants to the needy family. #volunteerism #csr #kualalumpur - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 days ago
Thank you very much to staffs from Munchy's for participating in our #foodbank delivery today and also not forgetting their sponsorship of biscuits and croissants to the needy family. #volunteerism #csr #kualalumpur - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
3 days ago
Thank you very much to Shirley and friends for sponsoring apples and oranges for out street clients. The fruits came right on time on this hot and dry weather to quench their thirst. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
4 days ago
Thank you very much to Shirley and friends for sponsoring apples and oranges for out street clients. The fruits came right on time on this hot and dry weather to quench their thirst. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
A big thanks to Alicia Yap for assisting us with food surplus distribution at Kg. Muhibbah, Puchong today. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 days ago
A big thanks to Alicia Yap for assisting us with food surplus distribution at Kg. Muhibbah, Puchong today. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Kechara Sunday Dharma School KSDS Together We Care , teacher Lin Mun the teenage class's teacher.by Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School KSDS Together We Care , teacher Lin Mun the teenage class's teacher.by Asyley Chia KSDS
Kechara Sunday Dharma School Class start with full prostration , learning with With devotion we prostrate with body, speech, and mind. It helps to plant the seeds of learning dharma.by Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School Class start with full prostration , learning with With devotion we prostrate with body, speech, and mind. It helps to plant the seeds of learning dharma.by Asyley Chia KSDS
Kechara Sunday Dharma School Class start with full prostration , learning with With devotion we prostrate with body, speech, and mind. It helps to plant the seeds of learning dharma.by Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School Class start with full prostration , learning with With devotion we prostrate with body, speech, and mind. It helps to plant the seeds of learning dharma.by Asyley Chia KSDS
Kechara Sunday Dharma School Class start with full prostration , learning with With devotion we prostrate with body, speech, and mind. It helps to plant the seeds of learning dharma.by Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School Class start with full prostration , learning with With devotion we prostrate with body, speech, and mind. It helps to plant the seeds of learning dharma.by Asyley Chia KSDS
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
Is a colourful bouncing balls.. Let's bounce together haha!!Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
Is a colourful bouncing balls.. Let's bounce together haha!!Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
Is a colourful bouncing balls.. Let's bounce together haha!!Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
Is a colourful bouncing balls.. Let's bounce together haha!!Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
Is a colourful bouncing balls.. Let's bounce together haha!!Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
Is a colourful bouncing balls.. Let's bounce together haha!!Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
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Dorje Shugden
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