Animal-headed Divinities in Christianity

By | Oct 17, 2017 | Views: 1,351
This is a fresco of Jesus Christ with his retinue of saints and angels in an Orthodox Christian Church. Notice the 6-winged angels above Jesus and the saints. Click on image to enlarge

This is a fresco of Jesus Christ with his retinue of saints and angels in an Orthodox Christian Church. Notice the 6-winged angels above Jesus and the saints. Click on image to enlarge

Christianity has long associated animal-headed divinities with pagan religions. Consequently, these divinities are denounced and declared as anti-Christ or as manifestations of the devil. Certain Christians quote passages of the Bible that refer to God’s displeasure at the worship of a bull-headed pagan god to validate their viewpoint. However, if one were to delve deeper into the Bible and Christian theological doctrine, one would actually discover saints and angels with animal faces as well.

An example of a divine being with an animal face in Christianity is St. Christopher. A “saint”, also known as a “hallow” which is an older term, refers to a Christian with an exceptional degree of holiness that is often described to be closest in likeness to God. This term also retains its original meaning, which is that the saint is a believer ‘in Christ’ and is a receptacle in which Christ abides, whether here on earth or up in heaven.

Interestingly, according to Anglican, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, and Oriental Orthodox doctrine, all of the deceased who were faithful to their beliefs and are in Heaven are considered to be saints as well. However, there are some saints that are considered worthy of greater honour and emulation by others. The official recognition and veneration of a saint is bestowed upon certain popular Christians through the process of ‘canonization’ in the Catholic Church or ‘glorification’ in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

 

St Christopher

Stained glass depiction of St Christopher in the Western Europe style as a man carrying the infant Jesus.

Stained glass depiction of St. Christopher in the Western Europe style as a man carrying the infant Jesus.

According to the Catholic Church, Saint Christopher was a martyr who was killed during the reign of either the Roman Emperor Decius (reigned 249–251 CE) or the Roman Emperor Maximinus II Dacian (reigned 308–313 CE). Theologians are unsure because of the similarity between “Decius” and “Dacian”. Nevertheless, the veneration of this saint began to surface late in Christian history and only became widespread in the Late Middle Ages. However, there were already churches and monasteries named after him by the 7th century.

Amongst theologians, the existence of St. Christopher is disputed and they are unsure if the name refers to a specific person or a title meaning “Christ-bearer” which was given to several different real or mythological individuals. In fact, St. Christopher may have been St. Menas as well. The most famous legend of this saint, mainly known in the West, may have drawn from ancient Greek mythology. The myth tells the tale of St. Menas carrying an unknown child across a river before the child reveals himself to be the baby Christ. Therefore, he became known as the patron saint of travellers and small images of him are worn around the neck, on little bracelets, carried in pockets, or placed in vehicles for protection.

On the other hand, historians suggest that a historical figure by the name of Reprobus is St. Christopher. Reprobus was a Canaanite, he was a massive 7.5 feet (2.3 m) in height and had a fearsome face. According to legend, while serving the king of Canaan, he took it unto himself to serve “the greatest king there was”. At first, he went to the king who was reputed to be the greatest but one day he saw the king did a sign of the cross at the mention of the devil. The sign of the cross is a Christian benediction by touching the hand sequentially to the forehead, lower chest or stomach, and both shoulders. He discovered that the king feared the devil and so he departed to look for the devil to offer him his service. While searching he came across a band of bandits, one of whom declared himself to be the devil, so Reprobus decided to offer his service to the bandit.

Various Byzantine-styled St Christopher depicted with a dog-face. Click on image to enlarge.

Various Christian Byzantine-styled St. Christopher depictions with a dog’s head. Click on image to enlarge.

Later, he saw his new master avoid a wayside cross and discovered that the devil was afraid of Christ, and so he left him and enquired where he could find Christ. Eventually, he chanced upon a hermit who gave him instructions in the Christian faith. Reprobus asked him how he could serve Christ. When the hermit suggested fasting and prayer, Reprobus replied that he was unable to perform that service. Hence, the hermit suggested that because of his size and strength Reprobus could serve Christ by assisting people to cross a dangerous river, where they were perishing in the attempt. The hermit promised that this service would be pleasing to Christ.

Click on image to enlarge

Various depictions of the popular dog-headed St. Christopher. Click on image to enlarge

Reprobus lived during the Roman Emperor Decius’s persecution of Christians. Subsequently, he was captured and martyred by the governor of Antioch. Historian David Woods also proposed that Reprobus’ remains were taken to Alexandria by Peter of Attalia where he may have become identified with the Egyptian martyr Saint Menas.

Legends of St. Christopher contain two important historical facts that identify him with the historical St. Menas. The first is that the Greek and Latin legends of St. Christopher identify him as a member of the Third Valerian Cohort of the Marmantae (Latin: Cohors tertia Valeria Marmantarum). This was a Roman military unit stationed in Marmarica, North Africa. Today, this area lies between modern-day Libya and Egypt. It was none other than Emperor Diocletian who recruited this whole unit. The second fact which is similar with St. Menas is that St. Christopher was martyred in Antioch.

Various depictions of the popular dog-headed St. Christopher. Orthodox Christians pray to him fervently for protection in travels.

The story of St. Menas’ martyrdom corresponds to the legend of St. Christopher. The theory suggested by historians concludes that the two saints are the same person. This would mean that the name “Christopher” or “Christ-bearer” was an epithet given to the valiant St. Menas who died in Antioch. Since he was not a native of that land and his name was not known, he was simply revered by his epithet, “Christophoros” or “Christ-Bearer.” Coincidentally, St. Menas happens to be the patron saint of travellers in the Coptic tradition as well, which further supports an association with St. Christopher who is the patron saint of travellers in the Greek and Latin Christian traditions.

Furthermore, a part of St. Christopher’s story has parallels with the Greek legend of Jason of the Argonauts, who carried an old woman across a raging river and she was described as being far heavier than she should have been. Later, it was revealed that she was the goddess Hera in disguise.

The sheer variety of St Christopher depicted with a dog-face shows that it is an accepted tradition. Click on image to enlarge.

The sheer variety of St. Christopher depicted with a dog head shows that it is an accepted tradition and prevalent among the Orthodox Christians. Click on image to enlarge.

 

Dog-headed depiction of St Christopher in the Eastern Orthodox tradition

In Eastern Orthodox Christian icons, Saint Christopher is represented with the head of a dog. The background to the dog-headed St. Christopher is connected with the man named Reprobus who was captured in combat against tribes dwelling to the west of Egypt in Cyrenaica. As mentioned previously, he was said to be of enormous size and was also described as having the head of a dog instead of a man, which was a characteristic of the Marmaritae. This Byzantine depiction of St. Christopher as having the head of a dog resulted from a misinterpretation of the Latin term ‘Canaanite’ to read ‘canine’.

According to the medieval Irish Passion of St. Christopher, “This St. Christopher belonged to one of the Dog-heads, a race that had the heads of dogs and ate human flesh.” It was commonly accepted at the time that there were several types of races, the Cynocephalus (or dog-headed people) being one of many believed to populate the world.

Various depictions of the popular dog-faced St. Christopher. Click on image to enlarge.

Various depictions of the popular dog-headed St. Christopher as worshipped by Orthodox Christians

Click on image to enlarge

Various depictions of the popular dog-headed St. Christopher. Click on image to enlarge.

Click on image to enlarge

Various depictions of the popular dog-headed St. Christopher. Click on image to enlarge.

Click on image to enlarge

Various depictions of the popular dog-headed St. Christopher. He is a revered saint. Click on image to enlarge.

Finally, the German bishop and poet Walter of Speyer portrayed St. Christopher as a giant with a dog head that belonged to the Cynocephalic species in the land of the Chananeans who ate human flesh and barked. Eventually, Christopher encountered the Christ child and repented his former behaviour and received baptism. He was rewarded with a human appearance, whereupon he devoted his life to Christian service and became a soldier-saint, an athlete for God.

Click on image to enlarge

Various depictions of the popular dog-headed St. Christopher. Click on image to enlarge.

Click on image to enlarge

Various depictions of the popular dog-headed St. Christopher. Click on image to enlarge.

Click on image to enlarge

Various depictions of the popular dog-headed St. Christopher. Click on image to enlarge.

 

Seraphim & Cherubs

A woodcut depiction of the famous vision of Ezekiel in the Book of Revelation in which he beheld God’s throne surrounded by Seraphim angels. Click on image to enlarge.

A woodcut depiction of the famous vision of Ezekiel in the Book of Revelation in which he beheld God’s throne surrounded by Seraphim angels. Click on image to enlarge.

A seraph or seraphim as in the King James version of the Bible means “the burning one” and this refers to a type of celestial or angelic being in Christianity and Judaism. According to tradition, the seraphim are placed in the highest rank of the angelic hierarchy, and in the fifth of the ten ranks in the Jewish angelic hierarchy.

Within the seminal passage in the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1-8), the name “Seraphim” is used to describe celestial beings with six wings that fly around the Throne of God while harking “holy, holy, holy”. This spectacle in the Bible with its triple invocation of holiness came to be known as the Trisagion, and profoundly influenced subsequent Christian theology, literature and art. Its influence is frequently seen in works depicting angels, heaven and the apotheosis. Aside from Isaiah, Seraphim are mentioned as celestial beings in an influential Hellenistic work, the Book of Enoch, and the Book of Revelation.

This depiction follows the description within the book of Ezekiel, where each of the Cherub angels possess 4 faces - man, lion, ox, and eagle.

This depiction follows the description within the book of Ezekiel, where each of the Cherub angels possess 4 faces –
man, lion, ox, and eagle. Click on image to enlarge.

So Seraphim are heavenly beings that have six wings but apparently they only use two of them for flying. It is said that two are used to cover their faces and the remaining two are used to cover their feet. They cover their face because, being so close to God, they are said to witness his full glory which would be too powerful to behold and require the wings to shield their eyes. Feet are considered ‘unclean’ and improper to be shown to God. Therefore, there are some scholars who also think that this reference to feet actually refers to ‘genitals’ as well.

According to the Book of Revelation (Rev 4:6-8), four Seraphim surround the Throne of God. According to the account, one seraph has the form of a lion, the second an ox, the third has a man’s face and the fourth is that of a flying eagle. Each of the four seraphim have six wings and are covered with eyes all around, even under their wings. It seems that the Seraphim are not just human-like angels but those in the form of animals. These are not normal-ranking angels or cherubs but the highest ranking of the angelic beings. Hence, they are the closest ones standing just next to God’s throne.

In another account (Ezekiel 1:1–3:27), God approaches Ezekiel as the divine warrior riding in his battle chariot. The chariot is drawn by four living creatures, each having four faces (those of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle) and four wings. Beside each “living creature” is a “wheel within a wheel”, with “tall and awesome” rims full of eyes all around. God commissions Ezekiel as a prophet and as a “watchman” in Israel, “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites.” This passage describe the angels in a different manner in which each Seraphim possess 4 faces. These angels are known as Cherubs and in the modern representation they are often depicted in the guise of human infants with wings.

Another depiction of the famous vision of Ezekiel in the Book of Ezekiel in which he beheld God being drawn by Cherub angels.

Another depiction of the famous vision of Ezekiel in the Book of Revelation in which he beheld God’s throne surrounded by Seraphim angels.

Click on image to enlarge

Beautiful depiction of the Cherub angel is rendered as frescoes on the walls of churches. Click on image to enlarge.

Click on image to enlarge

A depiction and diagram of the Seraphim angels along with the corresponding descriptions taken from the Christian bible. Click on image to enlarge.

Another medieval woodcut depiction of the Four Seraphim angels standing around of God's throne. The old man on the celestial throne is the common depiction of the Christian God.

Another medieval woodcut depiction of the Four Cherub angels pulling God’s chariot. The old man on the celestial chariot is the common depiction of the Christian God. This is mentioned in the bible.

Another medieval woodcut depiction of the Seraphim angels standing guard around God's throne.

Another medieval woodcut depiction of the Cherub angels around God’s chariot

A modern and realistic interpretation of the Cherub angel. Click on image to enlarge.

A modern and realistic interpretation of the Cherub angel. Very similar to the various animal headed Egyptian gods. Click on image to enlarge.

A detailed medieval woodcut depiction of the Four Cherub angels pulling God's divine chariot

A detailed medieval woodcut depiction of the Four Cherub angels pulling God’s divine chariot

A modern and realistic interpretation of the Cherub angel.

A modern and realistic interpretation of the Cherub angel with four faces including a man, lion, bull and eagle and here depicted with four wings and body of a human. Sometimes they are depicted with six wings.

Cherub-01

A modern figurine of a Cherub as it was described in the bible.

A modern figurine of a Cherub as it was described in the bible by prophet Ezekiel according to his vision of God. The Christian sacred Cherub with many animal heads upon a human body is similar to the Hindu gods of India that have various animal heads like Hanuman which is a god with a monkey form and head, Ganapati the elephant headed god, Hayagriva the horse headed god and Narasimha with a lion’s head. Christianity cannot call gods of other religions pagan just because they emanate with animal heads.

Depiction of the Seraphim angels

Depiction of the Seraphim angels worshipped by Christians

19th century depiction of Cherub angels

19th century depiction of holy Cherub angels with four faces and with animal faces compared to man which they tower over

Seraphim depicted on a stained glass window

Holy Seraphim depicted on a stained glass window of a Christian church

Seraphim

Seraphim

 

Conclusion

animalheadedsaints17

With the tradition of venerating the dog-headed St. Christopher and the manifestation of animal forms of Cherub and Seraphim angels it is clear that animal-headed divinities do exist within Christianity. It is not only something that exists in ‘pagan’ religions because divinity can manifest in a variety of ways, and divinity can certainly manifest in animal form. Mind you, pagan is something labelled by the Christians to denounce the gods of other religions calling them satanic or evil in order to denounce. Sometimes Christians would denounce in this way to show their superiority over other religions when all religions are actually equal. Nothing can limit the manner in which divinity or God can manifest in order to protect or benefit all beings. Hence, there is nothing wrong or demonic when divinity manifests in animal forms in any religion. It is, in fact, an expression of the divine reaching out to protect and benefit all beings.

 
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About Pastor David Lai

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

David is a lover of Buddhist art and whenever he can, he shares his knowledge of the Dharma with everyone, giving frequent teachings and writing on his blog www.davidlai.me.
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7 Responses to Animal-headed Divinities in Christianity

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  1. Choong on Nov 9, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    In the Indian belief system/mythology and Buddhist description of the different realms that exist in the cosmos, there too is a famous animal-headed being called the Garuda who has a human body and the head and wings of bird.

    Like the Naga being, the Garuda combines the characteristics of animals and divine beings, and may be considered to be among the lowest devas (one of the six realms in samsara).

    According to one version of Pehar’s origins, Pehar was originally called Bihar Gyelpo ( bi har rgyal po ), and he was born from one of the thirteen eggs which had been produced by a white klu mo inhabiting lake Manasarovar (ma dros mtsho).

    He had human body, but had the head of a Garuda bird (‘khyung). Later he came to stay in Bhata Hor, and after his arrival to Samye he was called the Kordag Gyelchen Bihara (dkor bdang rgyal chen bi ha ra); where he was the guardian of this holy place and treasures (gnas dang nor srung)

    Today, Garudas remain very much entrenched in many Asian cultures such as Indonesia, India, Thailand, Mongolia, and many more.

    lead_deskew=67 checksum=0d03ccb70ef740910c91eda2733fa80a

    garudaBali

  2. wan wai meng on Oct 30, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    This article reminds me so much, not to take things literally and also not to judge based on ordinary appearances. In Buddhism we have the ferocious imagery of Yamantaka who reminds us of how we are when we are in anger. Yet Yamantaka although looking very much like a bull headed demon with implements and weapons is a deity that can cut our anger and purify heaps of karma accumulated across aeons.

    On the other spectrum we have beautiful people who come with honey glazed words and expressions but they could be out to harm or get something out of you for their very own benefit. So now who is the real demon then?

    Could the cherubs with 4 heads, be an indication that the Ancient Aliens in Discovery channels had animal heads. Egyptian gods many of them had animal heads too, and ancient Egypt according to Ancient Aliens theoreticians said there was much alien influences in ancient Egypt.

  3. Samfoonheei on Oct 30, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Interesting article …i have seen Animal-headed in pictures only . Its wonderful to known from these article and did own research as well to know further. So now i know and it so called related to Christianity. Animal-headed divinities do exist within Christianity and other religion as well .Its more of an expression of the divine reaching out to protect and benefit all beings.
    The legend of St. Christopher , Egyptian gods were often depicted in therianthrophic – part human, part animal form. There are some of the well known gods with animal heads.
    There many interesting historical stories ,legends related to these animal heads in all ancient periods until the end of the Middle Ages….interesting.
    Thank you Pastor David Lai for sharing .

  4. Fong on Oct 30, 2017 at 9:48 am

    I find it very interesting that there are many depictions of the same saint, St Christopher. Seems, as the religion moves around the various known world of the time, the local customs incorporated their interpretation to the visual image according to their local believes. It was not to demean the saint, nor to put down the religion but instead it was to revere in their own way but yet staying true to the essence of the religion.

    At the core of it, as Rinpoche taught, it is our perception and expectations that create the negative or positive interpretation of holy images.

  5. Cc on Oct 28, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Thank you Pastor David for sharing.

    Dogs were also very highly regarded in Egyptian religion, and one of the most well known Gods, Anubis was a dog-like creature. Some Egyptologists believe him to be a Jackal, whereas others point to the translation of inscriptions which describe that Anubis had a “face like a dog”.

    JackalDog01

  6. Anne Ong on Oct 23, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    Thank you Pastor David for this very nice interesting topic on animal headed divinities in christianity. I love all the beautiful and colorful pictures on this article…lol 😍😎👍

  7. Valentina Suhendra on Oct 19, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    Dear friends,

    This meme is powerful. Who you hang around with and the types of attitude they have is who you will be influenced by many times and who you will become in the future. Look at your friends and the people that always surround you to know who you will become.

    Tsem Rinpoche

    d96b47a2-387a-4d07-8ae1-6b4ad910aed2

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    Not only growing our vegetables are healthier,it is a good way to save some money.This method also will be easier for produce some herbs.

    Read more : https://bit.ly/2ZcAOsN
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 20. 2019 03:26 PM
    Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey was the pioneering teacher of Buddhism for westerners at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, Dharamsala, India. Both secular and spiritual ancient texts of Tibet were preserved in the library by the Tibetan leardership.
    He moved to New Zealand, establishing Dhargyey Buddhist Centre in Dunedin, and continued spreading Dharma teachings till his passing. Truly a great Lama and most highly qualified Gelug lamas of his time. He shared Buddhist philosophy, encourage harmony and unity through his teachings. Respected by many western and inspired many as well. He was an inspiring example of compassion to many westerners. Profound teachings and quite a bit to read and understand. Will read and reread again.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing of a GREAT Lama and the teachings of the importance of meditating on death.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/geshe-ngawang-dhargyey.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 20. 2019 03:24 PM
    Rejoice to those who had followed Rinpoche on a special pilgrimage to the Holy and scared place …Kathmandu,Nepal. Even though it is an old post yet it brought many happy memories to those pilgrims , I am sure. Wow a big group of Kecharians , all in 61 of them. Simply wonderful and the smiles on their faces paints a thousands words. Such a meaningful and a powerful spiritual experience for them. I have not been to Kathmandu valley but would certainly love to . Visiting the Boudhanath Stupa will be my top priority for sure.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing of those wonderful pictures.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/gallery/photo-album-sacred-sites-in-nepal.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 20. 2019 03:23 PM
    Very special and rare thangka from Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen , merely by looking at tells all…..a blessing. Dorje Shugden is in a peaceful form which truly love it . I do have this beautiful Dorje Shugden thangka in this same peaceful form given by my Guru , Tsem Rinpoche. I could understand much better with Rinpoche details explanation of the thangka. Rinpoche relationship with Geshe Trultrim Gyeltsen and Kyeje Zong Rinpoche is an unbreakable, strong as an iron steel. And Rinpoche truly treasure those times spent together as told. Rinpoche had a faith and strong guru devotion with them. Very good example and inspiring for us to learn and practice .
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing with us the importance of Guru devotion.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/geshe-tsultrim-gyeltsens-special-thangka.html
  • sarassitham
    Tuesday, Aug 20. 2019 02:37 PM
    Depression is a feeling of something that is too hard to forget. The imagination of past, enjoyment moment, time and money that has gone in sudden. This slowly take over a person appetite, being very lonely, unhealthy and ill.

    To resolve depression, one has to spend time to talk and to divert the mind and their imagination. Consult and get friends to look for ways to help them. To look for interesting topic to talk and to spend time to take them for outing by changing the environment and meeting people. Depression is an action that need to be change. To accept tragedy and to control the feeling aside. The mind has too be very strong. The best and the only way that gives a good results is to talk to them about spiritual, teach them to meditate and pray.

    Thank for the sharing, I too have helped people who have gone through their difficult time by listening to their problems and paying them a visit with friends.
  • Yee Yin
    Monday, Aug 19. 2019 06:41 PM
    Animals are like human beings. They will feel scared and they need protections. They are more vulnerable than human. Since we are stronger than them, we should protect them, but not inflict pain on them.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/all-she-needed-was-a-hug.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Messages from Rinpoche

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

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  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.
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
4 weeks ago
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
4 weeks ago
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
4 weeks ago
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
1 month ago
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
1 month ago
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
2 months ago
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
2 months ago
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
2 months ago
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat\'s land here in Malaysia
2 months ago
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat's land here in Malaysia
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
2 months ago
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
2 months ago
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
2 months ago
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
3 months ago
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
Sacred Vajra Yogini
3 months ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
3 months ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
3 months ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha\'s mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
3 months ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha's mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha\'s. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
3 months ago
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha's. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
3 months ago
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
3 months ago
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
This is pretty amazing!

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

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
3 months ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
3 months ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
3 months ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
3 months ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
3 months ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
3 months ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
3 months ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
3 months ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
3 months ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
3 months ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
4 months ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
4 months ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
4 months ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
4 months ago
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
4 months ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
4 months ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
Silver Manjusri figure from Ngemplak Semongan (Indonesia). Apparently during the Shailendra Dynasty, Mahayana Buddhism was very strong in Indonesia. This Dynasty promoted Mahayana Buddhism and Manjushri was a principal Buddha of worship.
4 months ago
Silver Manjusri figure from Ngemplak Semongan (Indonesia). Apparently during the Shailendra Dynasty, Mahayana Buddhism was very strong in Indonesia. This Dynasty promoted Mahayana Buddhism and Manjushri was a principal Buddha of worship.
In Buddhism: The Importance of Having a Clean Room- https://bit.ly/2ZgrbKS
4 months ago
In Buddhism: The Importance of Having a Clean Room- https://bit.ly/2ZgrbKS
There is an area near Lumbini, Nepal, they have sightings of Yeti for hundreds of years. So they have signages in the area with Yeti artwork to highlight this. Interesting. TR
4 months ago
There is an area near Lumbini, Nepal, they have sightings of Yeti for hundreds of years. So they have signages in the area with Yeti artwork to highlight this. Interesting. TR
Photos of footprints (Yeti) are from a high altitude pass (Darwa Pass) connecting Gangotri valley to Yamunotri valley through old pilgrim route.
4 months ago
Photos of footprints (Yeti) are from a high altitude pass (Darwa Pass) connecting Gangotri valley to Yamunotri valley through old pilgrim route.
Beautiful picture. Rare. Three holy beings.
4 months ago
Beautiful picture. Rare. Three holy beings.
May 1, 2019-I really enjoy this picture of these visitors visiting Dorje Shugden\'s grotto in Kechara Forest Retreat today. They look happy, light and blessed after doing their prayers to Dorje Shugden. I wanted to share this picture.- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
4 months ago
May 1, 2019-I really enjoy this picture of these visitors visiting Dorje Shugden's grotto in Kechara Forest Retreat today. They look happy, light and blessed after doing their prayers to Dorje Shugden. I wanted to share this picture.- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
A postcard of my great grand aunt Princess Nirgidma of Torghut-Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
A postcard of my great grand aunt Princess Nirgidma of Torghut-Tsem Rinpoche
Rei Kawakubo – Grand Dame of ‘Hiroshima Chic’- https://bit.ly/2Vz4N06
4 months ago
Rei Kawakubo – Grand Dame of ‘Hiroshima Chic’- https://bit.ly/2Vz4N06
Just now, this beautiful grape and orange infused water drink with a blue glass was brought in for me. I was amazed at the colors. Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Just now, this beautiful grape and orange infused water drink with a blue glass was brought in for me. I was amazed at the colors. Tsem Rinpoche
We have to look in and change from within to find the way out of all that makes us unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche 

www.tsemrinpoche.com
4 months ago
We have to look in and change from within to find the way out of all that makes us unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche http://www.tsemrinpoche.com
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Always be kind to animals-They deserve to live just like us.
    1 month ago
    Always be kind to animals-They deserve to live just like us.
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  • Bodha stupa July 2019-
    1 month ago
    Bodha stupa July 2019-
    Rainy period
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    2 months ago
    Cute Tara girl having a snack. She is one of Kechara Forest Retreat’s resident doggies.
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    Your Next Meal!
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    This is Daw
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    Don’t Take My Mummy Away!
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    They do this every day!
    This is how they are being treated every day of their lives. Please do something to stop the brutality. Listen to their cries for help!
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    What happened at Fair Oaks Farm?
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    3 months ago
    She’s going to spend her whole life here without being able to move correctly. Like a machine. They are the slaves of the people and are viewed as a product. It’s immoral. Billions of terrestrial animals die annually. Billions. You can’t even imagine it. And all that because people don’t want to give up meat, even though there are so many alternatives. ~ Gabriel Azimov
  • Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is the first time His Holiness Dalai Lama mentions he had some very serious illness. Very worrying. This video is captured April 2019.
    4 months ago
    This is the first time His Holiness Dalai Lama mentions he had some very serious illness. Very worrying. This video is captured April 2019.
  • Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
    4 months ago
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  • This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
    4 months ago
    Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
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    4 months ago
    These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
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    5 months ago
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  • Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
    5 months ago
    Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
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    5 months ago
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    5 months ago
    Beautiful
    Beautiful sacred Severed Head Vajra Yogini from Tsem Rinpoche's personal shrine.
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    7 months ago
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  • Cute!
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    Cute!
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    8 months ago
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    8 months ago
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    8 months ago
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    We rescued a lost baby owl in Kechara Forest Retreat.
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    8 months ago
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    Dorje Shugden people's lives matter!
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  • His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    8 months ago
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    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.
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  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    2 yearss ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    2 yearss ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    2 yearss ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    2 yearss ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    2 yearss ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    2 yearss ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    2 yearss ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    2 yearss ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

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

Teacher Jayce explained the good value from Rinpoche’s teachings. Alice, KSDS
yesterday
Teacher Jayce explained the good value from Rinpoche’s teachings. Alice, KSDS
“Be kind to animals.” Let your kids join the monthly Animal Liberation at Kechara House, Sunwaymas.
yesterday
“Be kind to animals.” Let your kids join the monthly Animal Liberation at Kechara House, Sunwaymas.
Chern Chern learnt dharma and show the good attitudes to others. Alice, KSDS
yesterday
Chern Chern learnt dharma and show the good attitudes to others. Alice, KSDS
Encourage the kids to express their feelings and at the same instill the dharma to them. Alice, KSDS
yesterday
Encourage the kids to express their feelings and at the same instill the dharma to them. Alice, KSDS
Teacher Grace taught the participants for the DIY candles. Alice , KSDS
yesterday
Teacher Grace taught the participants for the DIY candles. Alice , KSDS
Children recite Migtsema and Manjushri mantra before the start of dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Children recite Migtsema and Manjushri mantra before the start of dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
Student do full prostration before the start of dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Student do full prostration before the start of dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
Wen Yue led students to do key chain as part of art and craft activity. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Wen Yue led students to do key chain as part of art and craft activity. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Kien shared some photos of sangha members. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Teacher Kien shared some photos of sangha members. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback- close bonding during WOAH camp. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Throwback- close bonding during WOAH camp. Lin Mun KSDS
Teenage dharma class in Kechara House . Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Teenage dharma class in Kechara House . Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback- Chinese New Year activity, calligraphy with best wishes words. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Throwback- Chinese New Year activity, calligraphy with best wishes words. Lin Mun KSDS
KISG has been performing White Tara and Dorje Shugden puja for 4 consecutive nights. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
5 days ago
KISG has been performing White Tara and Dorje Shugden puja for 4 consecutive nights. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
KISG members travelled to KFR for Ullambana today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
KISG members travelled to KFR for Ullambana today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
After the Bird Liberation, we proceeded with Dorje Shugden puja. Just before we started our puja, Pastor Patsy gave us a short Dharma Sharing. Pastor spoke about Dharma practice in these days and reminded us to always keep our samaya with Guru intact. To honour our promises, reduce our worldly activities and practice Dharma strongly. Thank you Pastor for the valuable advice~Jacinta, KPSG
2 weeks ago
After the Bird Liberation, we proceeded with Dorje Shugden puja. Just before we started our puja, Pastor Patsy gave us a short Dharma Sharing. Pastor spoke about Dharma practice in these days and reminded us to always keep our samaya with Guru intact. To honour our promises, reduce our worldly activities and practice Dharma strongly. Thank you Pastor for the valuable advice~Jacinta, KPSG
We chanted Medicine Buddha's mantra before we blessed them. May they be connected with Buddha always. ~Jacinta , monthly Bird Liberation Kechara Penang Study Group
2 weeks ago
We chanted Medicine Buddha's mantra before we blessed them. May they be connected with Buddha always. ~Jacinta , monthly Bird Liberation Kechara Penang Study Group
Special thanks to Linny Neoh and her friend for joining our Kechara Penang Study Group Bird Liberation. ~Jacinta, KPSG
2 weeks ago
Special thanks to Linny Neoh and her friend for joining our Kechara Penang Study Group Bird Liberation. ~Jacinta, KPSG
Birds were blessed before their departure to freedom. They deserved love & freedom too ~Jacinta,KPSG
2 weeks ago
Birds were blessed before their departure to freedom. They deserved love & freedom too ~Jacinta,KPSG
Pastor Patsy giving explanation during Bird Liberation event. Kechara Penang Study Group's monthly bird liberation - Jacinta
2 weeks ago
Pastor Patsy giving explanation during Bird Liberation event. Kechara Penang Study Group's monthly bird liberation - Jacinta
Re: Kechara Sunday Dharma Class every Sunday morning, Teachers and students start dharma learning at this blissful morning ~By KSDS Jayce Goh
2 weeks ago
Re: Kechara Sunday Dharma Class every Sunday morning, Teachers and students start dharma learning at this blissful morning ~By KSDS Jayce Goh
Kechara Sunday Dharma Class every Sunday morning, Teacher Lin Mun start class with Manjusri prayers after prostration ~By KSDS Jayce Goh
2 weeks ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma Class every Sunday morning, Teacher Lin Mun start class with Manjusri prayers after prostration ~By KSDS Jayce Goh
Mdm Glian Sim offered Serkym on behalf of KISG today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
Mdm Glian Sim offered Serkym on behalf of KISG today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Janice So offered water to Lama Tsongkhapa, Mother Tara, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
Janice So offered water to Lama Tsongkhapa, Mother Tara, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Ms. Leow offered lights and incense prior to the prayer session in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
Ms. Leow offered lights and incense prior to the prayer session in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
KISG has carried out a session of 21 Praises to Taras prayer recitations today in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
KISG has carried out a session of 21 Praises to Taras prayer recitations today in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
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Dorje Shugden
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