Thaipusam – The Festival of Lord Murugan

Nov 16, 2016 | Views: 1,439
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Malaysia is a country that truly embraces diversity, creating a wonderful tapestry of cultures, races and religions living together in harmony. An example of this is the festival of Thaipusam among the Hindu Indian (Tamil) communities. This festival is celebrated with a lot of energy, ceremony and religious devotion. While celebrated all over the world, it is in Malaysia that the festival has really taken root and flourished like never before. This is testament to the harmony and cultural diversity that are hallmarks of Malaysian society.

As such, I wanted to share with all of you some information about the festival, from its origins, how it is celebrated, and even how to get to some of these sites and where you can stay if you are thinking about visiting. By reading this, I hope that you have a deeper understanding of this sacred, devotional and expressive festival as it is celebrated in Malaysia.

Tsem Rinpoche

 


 

Batu Caves in Malaysia is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India and a focal point for the Thaipusam festival (Photo by Olivia Harris/Reuters)

Batu Caves in Malaysia is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India and a focal point for the Thaipusam festival (Photo by Olivia Harris/Reuters)

PLEASE NOTE: some of the pictures and videos in this article show acts of self-mortification, including piercing of the skin with hooks, therefore they may not be suitable for the faint-hearted.

Thaipusam is a Hindu festival that is celebrated primarily by the Indians particularly the Tamil community. The word ‘Thaipusam’ is a combination of the names Thai, a lunar month within the Tamil calendar, and Pusam, the name of a constellation made up of three individual stars. The festival falls on the full moon during the month of Thai, which is around January or February in the western Gregorian calendar. According to Indian astrology, this is the time of the year that the Pusam constellation is at its highest position.

The festival celebrates the overcoming of negative forces by the gods. Specifically it is in relation to Lord Murugan, who was born during a battle between the asuras (demi-gods) that attacked the heavens, and the devas (gods). At one point during the battle, the devas suffered massive losses and were unable to block the onslaught of the asura forces, led by the demi-god Surapadma. Facing their impending defeat, they approached Lord Shiva, who is one of the three main gods within the Hindu pantheon, alongside Brahma and Vishnu. At a loss, they requested Lord Shiva’s help and asked him to name a suitable commander who could lead their armies to victory over the asuras. They surrendered themselves to Lord Shiva and prayed fervently to him. Lord Shiva granted their request, creating a mighty warrior from his own powers. This warrior was Lord Murugan who immediately assumed leadership of the celestial forces, inspiring the devas that eventually went on to defeat the asura armies attacking them.

Thus, during Thaipusam, Lord Murugan’s image is adorned and decorated, placed on a chariot before devotees and escorted in a long procession. Lord Murugan embodies the qualities of bravery, power, virtue and beauty. Apart from this, Hindus also believe that he is a universal deity that bestows many boons and favours. Therefore devotees who have taken vows or made pledges to him fulfil these by undergoing rites of self-mortification. This often takes the form of carrying kavadis, which is discussed below.

 

Who is Lord Murugan?

Lord Murugan is a Hindu god. He has many other names including Kartikeya, Subhramanya, Skanda, Shanmuka (Shamuga), Subhramanian, Sadhana, Guha, Sentil, Saravana, and Kumaraswamy. He is the son of Lord Shiva and the Goddess Parvati, and is considered to be the perfect embodiment of bravery and intelligence. This is the reason why he is worshiped as a god of war and victory. He is also the brave leader of the deva forces and was created to destroy demons, who symbolise the negative tendencies of human beings.

A depiction of Lord Murugan riding his peacock mount together with his consorts. Click to enlarge.

A depiction of Lord Murugan riding his peacock mount together with his consorts. Click to enlarge.

Legend says that as Lord Shiva and the Goddess Parvati showered his brother, Lord Ganesha, with more love, Lord Murugan decided to leave their family abode on Mount Kailash and move to the mountain ranges in South India. Despite being urged to move back home by his father, Lord Shiva, he did not change his mind. This is the reason why Lord Murugan is worshipped more in South India as compared to religious practices in North India.

Lord Murugan holds a ‘vel’ or spear in one of his hands. This spear was given to him by his mother, the Goddess Parvati and embodies her ‘shakti’ or spiritual power. It is said that Thaipusam commemorates the day when she gave the spear to Murugan. His other hand is in the abhayamudra or the ‘gesture of protection from fear’. This mudra is a symbol of dispelling fear, granting reassurance, safety, bliss and spiritual protection. He mounts a peacock symbolising piety and the subjugation of all sexual desires. The peacock itself clutches a serpent in its claws, which symbolises the destruction of bad habits and all negative influences. Since he represents power and strength, devotees also believe that he rids them of all their suffering and grants them strength.

A depiction of Lord Murugan riding his peacock mount together with his consorts

Lord Murugan as a young boy, holding a ‘vel’ in his hand, and blessing devotees with the other

Lord Murugan destroyed the powerful commander of the asura army named Surapadma on the 7th day after his birth. Thus, he is known to be one of the fiercest among the male Hindu gods. He is known for his bravery and as the protector of Hindu Dharma.

As Shanmuka, Lord Murugan has six heads, representing the five senses and the mind. The six heads help him to see in all directions so he can combat problems arising in any direction. As a god of war with six faces, Lord Murugan also teaches his devotees to battle through life, riding themselves of negative situations, influences or people who have the potential to lead them down the six wrong paths of lobha (greed), kaama (sex), krodh (anger), moha (attachment), mada (ego) and matsarya (jealousy).

Lord Murugan has two consorts named Valli and Devasena. Valli is a tribal girl and Devasena is the daughter of Indra, king of the devas. They are the incarnations of the two daughters of Vishnu, Amritavalli and Saundaravalli, who were born from his eyes. They developed an undying love for Lord Murugan and performed severe austerities to have Lord Murugan as their husband. Following his instructions, Amritavalli incarnated as Devasena, a young girl born under the care of Indra in the heavens. Saundaravalli took the form of Valli, a maiden under the protection of Nambiraja, a hunter near Kanchipuram. ‘Valli’ is the Tamil word for a type of creeper plant. She was found amongst the creeper plants as a baby, therefore the hunter named her Valli.

After the war with the Surapadma was over, the devas were overjoyed. It was then Lord Murugan agreed to Indra’s prayers and accept Devasena as his consort. The wedding was celebrated with great enthusiasm at Tirupparankundram near Madurai in the presence of Lord Shiva and the Goddess Parvati. Indra’s re-crowning ceremony in the heaven named Amaravati soon followed. The other devas also regained their positions in the various heavenly realms.

Lord Murugan made his home at Skandagiri and proceeded to Tiruttani near Chennai where Valli was looking after the barley fields. After a series of tricks by Lord Murugan, Valli agreed to marry him once she realised that he was her beloved in disguise.

 

Kavadi

The kavadi attam, which means ‘burden dance’ is a ceremonial sacrifice and offering practiced by devotees during the worship of Lord Murugan. It is a central practice during the Thaipusam festival and emphasises repaying Lord Murugan for his kindness through the act of self-mortification.

The kavadi refers to a physical burden used by the devotee to request Lord Murugan for his assistance or in thanks. This assistance is usually sought after for loved ones who are in need of healing, or as a means to balance spiritual debt due to boons or favours granted in the past.

The devotees that take part in kavadi will proceed and dance along the pilgrimage route while bearing different types of kavadi.

Examples of different kavadi

Examples of different kavadi

 

The Origins of Kavadi

Rishi Agastya, one of the famed seven vedic sages of Hindu legend, wanted to take two hills, Shivagiri and Shaktigiri to his abode in the south. He commissioned one of his demi-god disciples named Idumban to carry them. Idumban was one of the few survivors of the deva-asura war between Lord Murugan’s forces and those of Surapadma. Surviving the war, he repented and became a devotee of Lord Murugan.

Idumban carrying the two hills, Shivagiri and Shaktigiri

Idumban carrying the two hills, Shivagiri and Shaktigiri

At this stage, Lord Murugan had just been outwitted by his brother Lord Ganesha in a contest. They were tasked with circumabulating the universe three times. While Lord Murugan had mounted his peacock and flown around the entire universe three times, Lord Ganesha has simply and reverently circumambulated their parents and was awarded the fruit of knowledge. Lord Ganesha had shown his filial piety as he saw the entire universe contained within his divine parents. When Lord Murugan returned on his peacock, he found that the prize had already been awarded.

In anger, Lord Murugan vowed to leave his home and family. He arrived at an area called Tiru Avinankudi at the Adivaram, which means the ‘foot of the Shivagiri Hill’. Lord Shiva pacified him by saying that Lord Murugan himself was the fruit or ‘pazham/pala’ of all wisdom and knowledge. Hence the place was called Pazham-nee or Palani, which means ‘you are the fruit’. Later, Lord Murugan withdrew to the hill and settled there in peace and solitude.

Idumban bore the Shivagiri and Shaktigiri hills, carrying them across his shoulders in the form of a kavadi, one on each side. When he reached Palani, feeling tired, Idumban placed the kavadi down so he could rest.

Lord Shiva and the Goddess Parvati giving the prized fruit to Lord Ganesha. Click to enlarge.

Lord Shiva and the Goddess Parvati giving the prized fruit to Lord Ganesha. Click to enlarge.

When Idumban wanted to continue with his journey, he could not lift the hills. Lord Murugan had made it impossible for Idumban to carry them. Upon one of the hilltops, Idumban saw a little boy wearing a traditional loin cloth. He demanded the boy leave the hill at once so that he could continue with his task. The young boy refused Idumban’s repeated requests. Losing his patience and temper, he attacked the child with his semi-divine strength and prowess as a warrior. However, to his surprise, he could not move the boy off the hilltop. Instead, he ended up hurting himself in the process.

Idumban regained his composure, realised who the boy really was and folded his hands in reverence. Lord Murugan changed his appearance to his usual form and declared that he was pleased with Idumban’s devotion to his guru and his determination. Lord Murugan appointed Idumban as his guard from that day onwards.

Lord Murugan also declared that people who carry the kavadi, symbolising the two hills that Idumban carried, and pray to him would please him greatly. Idumban prayed for the following, which Lord Murugan accepted:

  1. Whoever carries the kavadi on their shoulders and prays at temples after taking a vow, will have the blessings of Lord Murugan.
  2. That he was given the privilege of standing guard at the entrance of the hill.

Thus began the traditional practice of carrying the kavadi after taking a vow or making a pledge to ask for a boon, or in thanks for blessings that a devotee has received. To this day Idumban remains the guardian of all temples dedicated to Lord Murugan, seen near the front entrance to the inner sanctums.

Kavadis lined up inside Batu Caves Temple

Kavadis lined up inside Batu Caves Temple

 

Preparations for Kavadi Attam

The preparation for kavadi attam begins 48 days prior to the two-day Thaipusam festival. Devotees purge themselves of all impurities, mental and physical. They partake of a single vegetarian meal a day and for 24 hours before the actual Thaipusam festival, devotees maintain a complete fast.

Devotees prepare themselves by following a strict purification guideline that includes:

  • Transcending desire
  • Following a strict vegetarian diet
  • Shaving of the head
  • Sexual abstinence
  • Bathing in cold water
  • Sleeping on the floor
  • Engaging in constant prayer
  • Abstaining from all types of intoxications (drugs and alcohol)
  • Not cursing
  • Refraining from anything that beautifies the body
  • Refraining from all forms of entertainment
  • Waking up before sunrise to chant and meditate

On the actual day of Thaipusam, a guru or teacher performs a puja (prayer) and also gives initiations. Devotees dress in red, saffron or yellow coloured clothing, and kavadi bearers often observe silence throughout the day. A puja is then performed for the kavadi bearers, accompanied by the chanting of praises to Lord Murugan, with spiritual fervour. Once the puja is over, devotees prepare themselves to carry the kavadi and seek blessings from the guru. The guru will then place the kavadi on their shoulders to begin the dance.

A woman dances in trance as she heads towards Batu Caves

A woman dances in trance as she heads towards Batu Caves

Devotees perform kavadi attam by dancing to the rhythm and beat of thavil vadhyam and nagaswaram (genres of Indian music). Devotees dance in ecstasy as they enjoy the high state of religious fervour or are in trance. The dance can be awe inspiring, and there is a divine radiance on the faces of the dancers. These devotees often experience the state of feeling united with Lord Murugan. It is said that at times, Lord Murugan will enter and take trance in them for some time.

 

Kavadi Dance Song

The history surrounding the kavadi attam is strong and has even influenced traditional forms of dance, such as Bharatanatyam. This form of dance is accompanied by stylised music that is beautiful and evocative. Below is one such song that is danced to in Bharatanatyam, called a kavadi chindu. You can click on the “Play” button to listen online, or press “Download” to save the file to your mp3 player, iPod or computer and listen to it at your convenience.

      Kavadi Chindu (Bharatanatyam song)

 

Types of Kavadi

Kavadis come in different shapes, sizes and materials. While there may be a difference in the way they look and how they are used, the purpose behind every one of them is the same, to show devotion to Lord Murugan and the other gods.

 

1. Thol Kavadi

A devotee walking towards Batu Caves during Thaipusam in Kuala Lumpur

A devotee walking towards Batu Caves during Thaipusam in Kuala Lumpur

The thol kavadi usually consists of two semi-circular pieces of wood or steel which are bent and attached to a cross structure that can be balanced on the shoulders of the devotee. This is often decorated with flowers, and peacock feathers, symbolic of Lord Murugan’s mount.

 

2. Paal Kavadi

Thaipusam008

The carrying of a brass or other metal pot on the head, which is filled with milk, vibhuthi (sacred ash) or other holy substance as an offering to deities.

 

3. Mayil Kavadi or Shadal Kavadi

Thaipusam009-1

This type of Kavadi is the most spectacular practice of all. It is a portable altar that can be two meters high (approximately 6.5 ft) or higher. It is decorated with peacock feathers or sometimes coloured and carved polystyrene, and attached to the devotee through 108 vels (spears) pierced into the skin on their chest and back. Some of these kavadi can weigh up to 40kg.

 

4. Alavu Kavadi

A woman with a Alavu Kavadi in trance

A woman with a Alavu Kavadi in trance

This is a form of self-mortification in which the tongue or cheeks are pierced with versions of the vel. The vel pierced through the devotee’s tongue or cheeks reminds him or her of Lord Murugan. It also acts as a preventative measure to stop him or her from speaking, giving the devotee a great power of endurance.

 

5. Vette Mulle

Devotee that has vette mulle pulling a chariot behind him

Devotee that has vette mulle pulling a chariot behind him

The vette mulle is a type of kavadi in which hooks are pierced into the back of the devotee. These hooks are attached to ropes which are either pulled by another devotee walking behind them or are used to pull a chariot.

 

6. Koodam Mulle

A type of koodam mulle using fruits

A type of koodam mulle using fruits

Another type of koodam mulle using small pots of milk

Another type of koodam mulle using small pots of milk

This kavadi involves the devotee having their skin pierced with small hooks. Then various items are tied to the hooks such as small pots of milk, vibhuthi (sacred ash), sandalwood powder or vermilion powder. These are all offerings to the deities. In some instances even fruit offerings are tied to the hooks.

 

Kavadi Trance

Devotees entering a trance on their way to Batu Caves

Devotees entering a trance on their way to Batu Caves

During Thaipusam, it is very common to see many devotees in trance. Some of these kavadi devotees are taken care of by their siblings, wives, husbands or other relatives. Many of these men and some women go the barber beforehand to shave their heads as another sign of the fulfilment of their wishes or as an offering.

The pain from the vel skewers or hooks can be excruciating. In most cases it is due to the power of the deity that takes trance in them that the devotees do not feel much of the pain. In fact many devotees often recount that they only feel pain from the initial piercing. After entering the various forms and levels of trance they are not even aware of anything around them, let alone the pain. When trance ends, they have already reached their destination and many recount that they have no memory of the journey itself.

When the piercings are removed, there is little to no bleeding and the wounds heal easily, due to the blessings of the deity that entered them.

 

Hinduism in Malaysia

Hinduism is the fourth largest religion in Malaysia. There are approximately 1.78 million Malaysians (about 6.3% of the total Malaysian population) that are Hindu, according to the Population Distribution and Basic Demographic Characteristic Report 2010 by the Department of Statistics Malaysia.

The majority of Malaysian Hindus live in the western parts of Peninsular Malaysia. The states with the highest population percentage of Hindus are Negeri Sembilan (13.4%), followed by Selangor (11.6%), Perak (10.9%) and the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur (8.5%). The state with the least percentage of Hindus is Sabah at 0.1%.

 

Thaipusam in Malaysia

Thousands attend the Thaipusam festival at Batu Caves every year

Thousands attend the Thaipusam festival at Batu Caves every year

Thaipusam is celebrated every year in Malaysia and is a public holiday in the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, and Putrajaya, and the States of Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Penang and Selangor. Over a million Hindu devotees gather every year at various Hindu temples nationwide to celebrate this holy festival.

It is celebrated between January – February, depending on the full moon date during the Tamil month of Thai, according to the Hindu calendar. By far, the biggest celebration in Malaysia takes place at Batu Caves just outside of Kuala Lumpur and is known all over the world. Other temples where Thaipusam is celebrated strongly include the Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple (also known as the Waterfall Hill Temple) in Penang, and the Kullumalai Arulmigu Subramaniyar Temple in Ipoh, Perak.

 

Clip from a National Geographic Documentary

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Thaipusam.mp4

 

Thaipusam in Kuala Lumpur

Devotees begin preparations in the early morning, around 4am. The procession starts from Sri Mahamariamman Temple in Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur and includes the use of a chariot made of silver. The statues of Lord Murugan and his two consorts are placed on the chariot and escorted to Batu Caves temple, where it arrives around noon.

The chariot was first used in 1893, is made from 350 kilograms of silver and cost RM350,000 to build. It is roughly 6.5 meters (approximately 21 ft) tall and has 240 bells on it. It consists of 12 parts, which were made in India. These were shipped and assembled when they arrived in Malaysia in 1893.

Devotees carrying the image of Lord Murugan out of Sri Mahamariamma Temple onto the silver chariot, an act that officially marks the beginning of the Thaipusam festival

Devotees carrying the image of Lord Murugan out of Sri Mahamariamma Temple onto the silver chariot, an act that officially marks the beginning of the Thaipusam festival

The silver chariot procession along the streets of Kuala Lumpur early in the morning

The silver chariot procession along the streets of Kuala Lumpur early in the morning

The main event takes place at the base of Batu Caves Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple complex. When the statue arrives, devotees begin preparations to conduct ritual acts of thanksgiving and penance. The kavadi devotees will first ritually bathe themselves. While they do this, many of them go into trances due to recitation of prayers and their own effort from being ritually clean over the previous 48 days. They are then lanced and skewered with metal hooks or spikes. This can be a painless procedure for the devotees if they are in trance.

A devotee prays while he bathes himself before his pilgrimage to Batu Caves

A devotee prays while he bathes himself before his pilgrimage to Batu Caves

Hindu devotee seen in trance before his pilgrimage to Batu Caves during Thaipusam

Hindu devotee seen in trance before his pilgrimage to Batu Caves during Thaipusam

Family and friends will then guide the devotees up the steep flight of 272 steps to the entrance of the cave. The devotees carry the various types of kavadi while they walk up the stairs. Some of the kavadis can weigh up to 100 kilograms (approximately 220 pounds). While they climb, and in some cases dance up the stairs, prayers continue to be recited. Due to the size and colourful design of the kavadis, they can also be clearly seen from the base of the temple complex.

Family and friends guiding a kavadi devotee up the steep flight of stairs to the entrance of Batu Caves

Family and friends guiding a kavadi devotee up the steep flight of stairs to the entrance of Batu Caves

Once the kavadi bearers reach the sanctum inside the cave, prayers are concluded and the kavadis are removed. The event will continue throughout the night, with hundreds of devotees queuing to carry their kavadi up to the sanctum inside the central cavern.

After the two-day celebration at Batu Caves, the procession returns to Sri Mahamariamman Temple, accompanying the statue of Lord Murugan and his consorts seated on the silver chariot. Thousands of people join the procession, and performers keep up their morale with the beating of drums.

If you plan to visit Batu Caves during the Thaipusam festival, it is recommended that you visit either in the morning or in the evening as it can get quite hot during the day.

Thousands of devotees climb the stairs to the temple inside Batu Caves every year during Thaipusam (Photo by Olivia Harris/Reuters)

Thousands of devotees climb the stairs to the temple inside Batu Caves every year during Thaipusam (Photo by Olivia Harris/Reuters)

Batu Caves was originally used by the Temuan People. Chinese settlers began excavating guano fertiliser (bat excrement) for growing vegetables, however the site was made famous by British colonial authorities after it was recorded down by them.

Inspired by the vel (spear) shape of the cave’s entrance, K. Thamboosamy Pillay, a prominent Malaysian trader of Tamil origin, promoted the cave as a place of worship. It was later dedicated as a temple to the worship of Lord Murugan, and Pillay installed the central statue in the cave. In 1920, 272 wooden steps were built up to the entrance of the cave, but have since been replaced with the concrete steps in use today.

The temple complex also houses the largest outdoor statue of Lord Murugan in the world. It is 42.7 meters (140 ft) high and was unveiled in 2006, after 3 years of construction. It is a monument that has become synonymous with Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia. When people all over the world think of Kuala Lumpur, they think of the statue of Lord Murugan as one of the city’s most memorable icons. As well as being a very active religious site, Batu Caves is also one of Kuala Lumpur’s most popular tourist attractions.

 

The Thaipusam Silver Chariot Procession at Srimahamariammam Temple, Kuala Lumpur

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/ThaipusamSilverChariot.mp4

 

Getting To Batu Caves

Map of Batu Caves. Click to enlarge.

Map of Batu Caves. Click to enlarge.

Batu Caves is located about 13 kilometres north of Kuala Lumpur’s city centre. It is advisable to travel there using public transport, as parking may be difficult to find during the festive season. During Thaipusam a special bus service is available from KL Sentral Station to Batu Caves for devotees and visitors. Taxis are also available from anywhere in the city.

The most convenient way to travel is by taking the KTM Komuter line (Batu Caves – Seremban route), to Batu Caves Komuter Station. From Kuala Lumpur city, you can take the KTM Komuter line from KL Sentral, which is the city’s main railway station and costs less than RM5 one way. Taxis are also available from KL Sentral Station and you can also catch the U6 bus from Titiwangsa bus station.

 

Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple

For more information about the Batu Caves temple or its activities, you can contact them for more details.

Address:
68000 Batu Caves, Selangor,
Malaysia.
Phone: +603 6189 6284
Fax: +603 6187 2404
Email: batu_caves@yahoo.com

 

Places To Stay Near KL Sentral Station

Here is a list of places that you can stay at that are near KL Sentral Station if you are visiting. Please note that there are many other hotels in the area which can be found online.

 

Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur (4 Star Hotel)

Address:
2 Jalan Stesen Sentral,
Kuala Lumpur Sentral,
50470 Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia.
Phone: +603 2263 7888
Website: http://www.lemeridienkualalumpur.com

 

Royce Hotel KL Sentral (3.5 Star Hotel)

Address:
20 & 22 Jalan Tun Sambanthan 3,
50470 Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia.
Phone: +603 2276 2420
Website: http://roycehotel-kl.com

 

Hotel Sentral Kuala Lumpur (3 Star Hotel)

Address:
30 Jalan Thambypillai, Brickfields
50470 Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia.
Phone: +603 2272 6000
Website: http://www.hotelsentral.com.my

 

Thaipusam in Penang

Silver chariot escorting Lord Murugan in Penang

Silver chariot escorting Lord Murugan in Penang

The Thaipusam festival that is held in Penang lasts for 3 days. It begins on the eve of the actual Thaipusam day until the day after Thaipusam.

The ceremonial worship of Lord Murugan begins on the eve of Thaipusam at around 6am. Devotees escort Lord Murugan on a silver chariot in a long procession, which is led by kavadis adorned with peacock feathers. The procession begins from Little India at 6am and ends at Nattukottai Chettiar Temple at midnight. Along the procession route, coconuts are smashed onto the ground, symbolic of the fulfilment of sacred vows. The best place to see this coconut smashing ritual is on Jalan Dato Keramat, in front of Penang Times Square. The procession will usually pass by this area from midday onwards.

Coconut smashing ritual in Georgetown

Coconut smashing ritual in Georgetown

On the day of Thaipusam itself, the kavadi devotees have their bodies pierced, just like in Kuala Lumpur. This takes place at the Sri Muthu Mariamman Temple on Lorong Kulit (beside the Rapid Penang office) from 3am onwards. Kavadi devotees will then begin their journey to climb 513 steps up to the Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple (Waterfall Hilltop Temple). The best time to see the kavadi devotees will be from 3pm onwards. Devotees holding the bigger kavadis usually make the journey at the end of the day, starting around 9.30pm. Vegetarian food and refreshments are available from the 130 thaneer panthals, or make-shift stalls. These stalls are usually festively decorated, and span the pilgrimage route.

Devotees making their way up to the Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple

Devotees making their way up to the Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple

The festival concludes the day after Thaipusam, during which the statue of Lord Murugan is escorted on the silver chariot back from the Nattukottai Chettiar Temple, at around 6pm. The procession ends at Kovil Veedu Temple on Lebuh Penang via a different route than the original procession. The procession is once again accompanied with another coconut smashing ritual, and offerings of fruit, flowers and incense on a thambulam or big silver plate.

Thambulam, or offerings arranged on a big silver plate.

Thambulam, or offerings arranged on a big silver plate.

 

Getting To Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple

Map of Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple. Click to enlarge.

Map of Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple. Click to enlarge.

It is advisable to take a taxi to the Waterfall Hilltop Temple as parking might be a little difficult during the festive season.

 

Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple

For more information about the temple or its activities, you can contact them for more details.

Address:
Jalan Air Terjun,
10350 George Town,
Penang, Malaysia.
Phone: +604 6505 215

 

Penang Tourism Action Council

You can contact Penang Tourism Action Council for more details, and any other questions you may have about visiting Penang.

Address:
56th Floor, Komtar
10100 Penang,
Malaysia
Phone: +604 262 0202
Fax: +604 263 1020
Email: enquiry@tourismpenang.gov.my

Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple

Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple

 

Places To Stay Near Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple

Here is a list of places that you can stay near the temple if you are visiting. Please note that there are many other hotels in the area which can be found online.

 

G Hotel Kelawai Penang (5 Star Hotel)

Address:
2 Persiaran Maktab,
10250 Penang,
Malaysia.
Phone: +604 219 0000
Website: http://ghotelkelawai.com.my

 

Georgetown City Hotel (4 Star Hotel)

Address:
1-Stop Midlands Park,
Burmah Road
10350 Georgetown,
Penang, Malaysia.
Phone: +604 227 7111
Website: http://www.georgetowncityhotel.com

 

Hotel Waterfall (3 Star Hotel)

Address:
160 Jalan Utama,
10450 Penang,
Malaysia
Phone: +604 229 5588
Website: http://www.hotelwaterfall.com.my

 

Thaipusam In Ipoh

Thaipusam Festival

The scale of Thaipusam celebrations in Ipoh is much smaller than compared to Kuala Lumpur or Penang, however it is just as electrifying. This celebration is an intense 24-hour practice for kavadi devotees and their families. The procession begins at Mariamman Kovil Temple, and ends at Kallumalai Arulmigu Subramaniyar Temple.

Along the procession route, devotees set up make shift shrines and stalls that provide light refreshments for everyone who passes by. Devotees also dance and cheer to keep the spirit of the festival high.

Thaipusam032

 

Getting To Kallumalai Arulmigu Subramaniyar Temple

Map of Kallumalai Arulmigu Subramaniyar Temple. Click to enlarge.

Map of Kallumalai Arulmigu Subramaniyar Temple. Click to enlarge.

It is advisable to take a taxi to the Kallumalai Arulmigu Subramaniyar Temple as parking might be a little difficult during the festive season.

 

Kallumalai Arulmigu Subramaniyar Temple

Address:
Ipoh Hindu Devasathana Paripalana Sabah
No. 140, Jalan Raja Musa Aziz,
30300 Ipoh,
Perak, Malaysia.
Phone: +604 229 5588
Website: http://www.hotelwaterfall.com.my

 

Places To Stay Near Kallumalai Arulmigu Subramaniyar Temple

Here is a list of places that you can stay at near the temple if you are visiting. Please note that there are many other hotels in the area which can be found online.

 

Cititel Express Ipoh

Address:
2 Jalan S. P. Seenivasagam
30000 Ipoh,
Perak, Malaysia.
Phone: +605 208 2888
Website: http://www.cititelexpress.com/ipoh/

 

Seemsoon Hotel

Address:
No. 2 Regat Dato Mahmud,
Jalan Pasir Puteh
31650 Ipoh,
Perak, Malaysia.
Phone: +605 255 6888
Website: http://www.seemsoonhotel.com

 

M Boutique Hotel Ipoh

Address:
2 Hala Datuk 5,
Off Jalan Leong Boon Swee
31650 Ipoh,
Perak, Malaysia
Phone: +605 255 5566
Website: http://www.mboutiquehotels.com

 

Pictures Of Thaipusam From Around Malaysia

The largest statue of Lord Murugan in the world at Batu Caves

The largest statue of Lord Murugan in the world at Batu Caves

Chinese Hindus joining a kavadi procession

Chinese Hindus joining a kavadi procession

Devotee praying at the start of the kavadi procession

Devotee praying at the start of the kavadi procession

Devotee beginning his journey towards Batu Caves with the burden of the kavadi on his shoulders

Devotee beginning his journey towards Batu Caves with the burden of the kavadi on his shoulders

A devotee in a trance state during the Thaipusam festival in Batu Caves. Devotees enter trance, after which they are lanced without feeling pain

A devotee in a trance state during the Thaipusam festival in Batu Caves. Devotees enter trance, after which they are lanced without feeling pain

A devotee is blessed with vibhuti (sacred ash) by a priest during the Thaipusam festival

A devotee is blessed with vibhuti (sacred ash) by a priest during the Thaipusam festival

A woman showers in turmeric before beginning her pilgrimage to Batu Caves during Thaipusam

A woman showers in turmeric before beginning her pilgrimage to Batu Caves during Thaipusam

A devotee bearing a elaborate and golden kavadi

A devotee bearing a elaborate and golden kavadi

A devotee pierced with hooks and chains connected to the kavadi resting on his shoulders

A devotee pierced with hooks and chains connected to the kavadi resting on his shoulders

A devotee showing his faith, by having the hooks in his back pulled with ropes

A devotee showing his faith, by having the hooks in his back pulled with ropes

Kavadi bearers also show their devotion by using ornate and and even golden 'vel' or spears to pierce themselves as part of the Thaipusam festival

Kavadi bearers also show their devotion by using ornate and and even golden ‘vel’ or spears to pierce themselves as part of the Thaipusam festival

Devotees of all ages take part in the Thaipusam festival

Devotees of all ages take part in the Thaipusam festival

A devotee taking trance of a wrathful deity during Thaipusam

A devotee taking trance of a wrathful deity during Thaipusam

 
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21 Responses to Thaipusam – The Festival of Lord Murugan

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  1. Anne Ong on Jan 17, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    Thank you very much Rinpoche and blog team for this wonderful write up about Thaipusam and Lord Murugan. It brings back many sweet old memories of my Dad bringing me to watch the procession at night. Every year we would go and watch eagerly for the beautiful kavadi with the woshippers in trances. I love the beautiful lights and different types of kavadi. Very interesting indeed.

  2. wan wai meng on Jan 4, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    Carrying of Kabbadis, I could never imagine myself doing that for fear of the pain from the piercing. But we should note that the people who carry the Kabbadis, no permanent damage to their body, speech and mind and this is an expression of their devotion and love to their GOD.

    Nice to have learnt about this on the blog.

  3. Julia Tan on Dec 21, 2016 at 8:36 am

    As Malaysian , I grown up in a country that is rich in many cultures. We celebrate together for all the festivals. I have seen all this since very young. I love it. I remember i will run to the window when i heard the drum sound of the chariot coming and i will stand there to watch when the chariot passing my house.

    Malaysia has no issue about having religious freedom, cultures conflicts whatsoever. We respect all races, their faith and believe. Not only that we learn and understand each other religions, languages and cultures so that we know each other better and stay harmony. Hence Malaysia is one we called truly Asia. That’s the beautiful of my country.I appreciate the religious free, harmony and how we are allowed the preserved the rich cultures of all races here. I am very proud to be a Malaysian.

    But I am very sad and worried when I realised that in Tibetans community under their Tibetan leadership, people are suffer, discriminated, bullied and isolated everyday due to their faith to a Dharma protector Dorje Shugden. These people are being forced to give up their faith and go against their guru, if not they will be treated badly such as not allowed to go out the country, children not allowed to join other kids in the school, even not allowed to enter the hospital, many monks are being expelled from the monasteries simply because they do not want to give up their practice of Dorje Shugden. Please read the article below and watch the videos.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-leaderships-new-anti-shugden-video.html

    No one should suffer nor misstreated due to their faith and believe.

  4. Pastor Antoinette on Dec 21, 2016 at 8:18 am

    These pictures are amazing. I did not know about Thaipusam and what is happening there. I like it that Thaipusam is celebrated like this in Malaysia. In this way the Indian people really feel at home as they can celebrate their important days here in Malaysia. Thank you!

  5. Pastor Chia on Dec 21, 2016 at 7:50 am

    Malaysia is a multi races and culture countries. Religion practice freedom and harmony between different races has be coming one of the cause attracted many tourism visiting Malaysia. At Malaysia, our Hindu friends beside celebrate Deepavali,Thaipusam is the biggest festival celebration for Hindu. Millions of Hindu devotees across the world take part in one of the world’s most passionate spiritual celebrations in Malaysia. Malaysia government has promote this festival attract tourism visiting our country. Thank you rinpoche sharing this article let many of us know more about Hindu culture create more awareness and respect to our Hindu friend across the world.

  6. Mingwen on Dec 21, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Being a local, a Malaysian, I’m shameful because I’ve never have the initiations to know more about my country, all the beautiful customs and cultures we have for decades.

    Thaipusum, which I have know about when I’m in primary school, in the little thin text book.

    Then, when I become older, I know that it’s a big event for our Indian friends, and a public holiday for some states in Malaysia, it’ll be a massive jam at some areas where we have Indian temples. Therefore, I’ll stay in and treat it as a “normal” public holiday like the other great festivals Malaysian have.

    Thank you, Tsem Rinpoche and your team of writers who did extensive reserches for all the blog posts in http://www.tsemrinpoche.com, regarding to this significant and beautiful festival, people like ME, can know more and understand about the festival, the history and the meanings of their practices.

    THANK YOU! =D

  7. Pastor Albert on Dec 21, 2016 at 7:27 am

    This article explained very detailed about Thaipusam, a lot of effort and research has been done about this post. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this festive, after reading this article, i undrstand more about Thaipusam.

    Im very fortunate to be born in Malaysia where the government and everyone respect every religion and festival of different cultures, when there is a festive, everyone celebrate it harmoniously. Example we have Thaipusam, Deepavali, Hari Raya, Wesak, Chinese New Year, Christmas, etc.. it is all from different culture, but you don’t see conflict in it, everyone just celebrate it together.

    Politic and culture and religion really shouldn’t mix, cos their bases are different, and we should respect it. Malaysia has done it, hope CTA understand this and do what’s best for their citizen.

  8. June Kang on Dec 21, 2016 at 2:21 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for a very detail information about Thaipusam. It is a very good reference for those who want to know about Thaipusam.

    Reading through this article found that Lord Murugan has some similarity with Dorje Shugden, both are protector. Protect people from fear, grant assurance and spiritual protection and more. However no one ban this practice. Then, why ban Dorje Shugden practise? The issue here is people do not have religious freedom under the leadership of CTA. Moreover Dorje Shugden in not others religion but is still Buddhism. He arose as a Dharma Protector about 350 years ago especially to protect Nagarjuna’s Middle View, as taught by Lama Tsongkhapa. Therefore the ban is surely is for the benefit of CTA, Why I say so, have you ever see a democratic country treat differently to those people not agreed with their leader, the answer is all are treated equally even you disagree with their views. However, the Tibetan Leadership discriminate the Dorje Shugden Practitioners. And this ban cause the segregation and suffering of Tibetan. Obviously the ban did not bring any benefit to the Tibetan but it brings benefit to certain people who only care about themselves.

  9. nicholas on Dec 21, 2016 at 12:03 am

    Thaipusam is the biggest festival for Hindus after Deepavali.
    During this blessed day millions of Hindu devotees across the world take part in one of the world’s most passionate spiritual celebrations in Malaysia. This is how Malaysian government show their respect for their people’s belief and culture for peace, harmony and unity.

    Unlike Central Tibetan Administration which they called themselves as democracy but their action is opposite. This we can see from how they discriminate Dorje Shugden practitioners and causes so much suffering for their people. Nothing positive we can see from such discrimination but very sure it’s a separation that created within and make them weak as a whole.

    I’m glad to be in Malaysia and with the support of the government we can enjoy the peace and harmony with other different ethnic. We hope the Tibetan leaders will learn and amend what they have done wrong for their own people and also themselves.

  10. Eric kksiow on Dec 20, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    I am always respect to all of my Hindu friends, they are really loyal and devoted to what their believing, back to the year of 2003 – 2009 i has been stay with a Hindu family for more than 5 years in Malacca, they ( Hindu family – Mother & son ) taught me how to pray Lord Siva, Lord Vishnu, Lord Ganesh, Murugan, Kubera and one of the famous hindu protector name call : Munīshwarar ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muneeswarar ).

    I am glad that i understand the culture of Hindu Goddess, and it is easy for me to share of DS with the Hindu peoples in Bentong. Because Munīshwarar is similar like DS, help us to remove obstacles and difficulties in ours living life.

    At last, Thank You to Rinpoche for writing up this article, and is make me more understanding of Murugan and what’s the meaning of Thaipusam.

  11. Pastor Henry Ooi on Dec 20, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    Malaysians are indeed blessed to live in harmony and learning from each other of their religious beliefs and practices, traditions, cultures. So many religious celebrations are held without objections from people of other religions. Thaipusam is indeed a colourful and respected religious ceremony that is attracting more visitors each year, including those from abroad.

    There is no such thing as a religious ban on any religion in Malaysia because the Malaysian government allow religious freedom. I am proud being a Malaysian, having been taught by our parents to respect the peoples’ religious practices, people who are living harmoniously in this beautiful land. Malaysia is Truly Asia. This is true democracy unlike the unjust ban enforced by the Central Tibetan Administration on its own Tibetan people for the practice of Dorje Shugden. To add salt to the injury, Dorje Shugden is a dharma protector within the Tibetan school of Buddhism. Dharma is being destroyed from within, not by other faiths from outside of Buddhism. What irony

  12. Andrea Lai on Dec 20, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    Being a Malaysian, I have heard much of Thaipusam since young but I never really know the story of this festival. Thaipusam is one of popular culture in Malaysia which celebrated by Hindu Tamil. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing so much details and elaboration in this article, and I found out it’s quite interesting reading about the preparation for the festival, the trance and the devotees ritual towards Lord Murugan.
    If by chance, I hope I could witness this festival, live!;-)

    Andrea

  13. pammie yap on Dec 20, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    I never really have the courage to attend Thaipusam. I find it quite gruesome to see the piercings on the devotees’ body. But it would be really good to visit on a normal day to see the beautiful place and the temple. What I really like about Thaipusam, are the vibrant colours and decorations. So many types of people with different backgrounds, who come together and celebrate.
    For those who are planning to attend, the celebration will be on the 9th of February 2017. So do start planning ahead to attend. Especially when there are so many information in this post on how to get there and places to stay.

  14. Echeah on Nov 20, 2016 at 3:31 am

    I always wondered how they can do the kavadi with so many piercings. But I guess they are in trance. But come to think of it, religion aside, nowadays many people do body piercings too! So what’s the difference, lol?

    But the piercings in Thaipusam are done out of penitence and maybe to fulfill a vow. It looks like a form of purification. It is good to see spiritual practice and religious practice. These days, people are so caught up with materialism that spirituality has taken a back seat or thrown out the window. More people engaging in spiritual practice will make this a better world.

    Malaysia has many different cultures and religions practices and traditions. We may not have the same practices and beliefs, but we see beauty in diversity. Nobody should ever discriminate anybody because of their personal practices and beliefs.

  15. CindyH on Nov 19, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Thank you for such a detailed article. Thaipusam is really about faith, endurance and penance. The external offerings via materials or activities are basically linked to the inner offerings of the devotees.

    I remember my actual experience with Thaipusam at Batu Caves was during my secondary school days. Had a group project and we all end up joining our Hindu friend in her pilgrimage up to Batu Caves then. It was such a dynamic, colourful, happy yet devotional event. I also recall it was definitely an interesting experience for me, not only because of the laborious steps or the vibrant activities but also because it was fun to see many Malaysians of different race, religions and faith blended in together to respectfully appreciate and celebrate such a significant Hindu festival.

    Looking back am really grateful for the level of tolerance and respect observed in our multi-racial country. Of course, we have our own issues here but it is not the case where any Malaysians have to really live in fear due to racism or religious prosecution.

  16. Fong on Nov 17, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    Way back when, I stayed near Batu Caves and every year bears witness to the devotion of the Hindus to their Lord Murugan and their thanksgiving. Every year there would be throngs of devotees and curiosity seekers swarming Batu Caves and the surrounding areas. Thaipusam was such a very major event.

    Sometimes we would join in the celebration. There were even spontaneous trances happening on the grounds of the Batu Caves temple. All in all, a very interesting and mesmerizing event.

    Though back then, we did not know the story of Lord Murugan and did not understand the rituals, we could still appreciate their devotion and accept their practice. such was the way of Malaysians back then and still is. We have our differences and misunderstandings occasionally but we accepted and respected each other’s practice and believes.

    As can be seen in some of the picture, Hinduism isn’t just for the Indians. It’s a religion for all races. It is a religion.

    Thank you for this very information article. I can now appreciate this festival even more.

  17. Darren on Nov 17, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Thank you for the detail article. I never knew that the piercing was done on trance mode. I always thought they took substance or painkiller stuff. Good read about Thaipusam and its origin.

  18. Stella Cheang on Nov 17, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Thaipusam is an internationally renowned festival where foreigners love to attend and celebrate the festival of Lord Murugan alongside Hindus devotees and witness the rituals first hand. Since Thaipusam is not an everyday affair, many friends from overseas would often request to visit Batu Caves on normal days as a substitute to attending Thaipusam. Batu Caves housed the tallest Lord Murugan’s statue in the world and offer a 272 steps climb to the divine view of Kuala Lumpur skyline. It is known that Thaipusam is bigger in Malaysia than in India, which is believed due to the boons and benefits granted to devotees by Lord Murugan.

    This wonderful article shares many information on Lord Murugan and what it ‘kavadi attam’? The ‘kavadi attam” rituals are colorful and fascinating as devotes who took trance will not feel the pain during the journey and the wound heal very quickly often without leaving any scar. It is equally fascinating to read the story of Lord Murugan; which deeply reminds us of the characteristic of demi-gods and gods. While they are all mighty and powerful, they are not enlightened and thus will be subjected to suffering, afflictive emotions (e.g. jealousy, anger) and misconduct. They too are living in samsara like us.

    Thank you very much for this wonderful article, Rinpoche. I wish that one day Kechara Forest Retreat will share the same fame where people flock to visit the largest Dorje Shugden statue in the world and participate in the many rich and authentic Tibetan styled Buddhist rituals.

  19. Kb Thapa on Nov 16, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    Beautiful article..Thaipusam Festival has indeed captivated the attention of people from different parts of the world no matter what religion they are. This is also a way of appreciating the diversity of each culture and people’s pride over tradition.

  20. Valentina Suhendra on Nov 16, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Thank you for this interesting article. I have never attended a Thaipusam event before and was not familiar with the culture. When I learned about this festival, I was pleasantly surprised that such event exists and it truly proof that the Malaysian government respected the various culture, faith and belief of its citizens.

    I really like the sense of religious tolerance and diversity that have been successfully implemented in Malaysia.

    Valentina

  21. Datuk May on Nov 16, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    As a Malaysian, I have witnessed the celebration of Thaipusam and that it is celebration and thanks giving to Lord Murugan.

    This article is a real eye opener for me to know that there are Chinese Hindus and that the silver chariot is so old.

    The legend of Lord Murugan is very inspiring being a son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and the epitome of bravery and intelligence.

    Although not an Hindu, the story of Lord Murugan reflects very much the basic kindness and compassion of the deities of our faith and with strong faith and accumulating of merits, we can be blessed by our Gods.

    Thank you, Rinpoche for this article.

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  • Lin Mun
    Tuesday, Feb 20. 2018 09:19 PM
    It is true all the emotions comes from our mind. Most of the time we tend to see a problem to be so big which we can actually have a choice to dilute it and make it smaller. We always have our expectation on everything and once it goes against ours, we are not happy and anger arise. Therefore we should control our mind and not let it direct us to think and act negatively.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/apply-this-when-your-emotions-get-in-the-way.html
  • Lin Mun
    Tuesday, Feb 20. 2018 09:13 PM
    It’s so heartwarming to watch the short video. The bond between Sirga and Valentine are so strong, like meeting an old friend. This video reminds me that animals is just like human and have feelings, therefore treat all of them with respect and care.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/take-2-minutes-to-see-something-cool.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Feb 20. 2018 05:45 PM
    Thank you for sharing the updates on Buddhist community from Tibet and elsewhere. All these grand and meaningful events around the world since 2011 up until 2018 are now accessible to everyone, which was previously not made widely available. It goes to show that more and more people care and are interested about the news and movements of Tibetan Buddhism, particularly Dorje Shugden events. These events also dispel the myths that DS is a minor sect – check out the crowds! Massive numbers of sangha and lay people turn up at these events for the blessing and initiation to DS Sogtae. These events are evidence that religious freedom is enshrined in Tibet, China and other parts of the world; seems like the only place where there is no religious freedom for DS practitioners are under the rule of Dharamsala. Therefore, events updates of DS practitioners gathered together to receive initiation and teachings are really very encouraging. Rejoice to all who received the sogtae!

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/updates-from-tibet-and-elsewhere.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Feb 20. 2018 02:28 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for the sharing. Can imagine the situation ,the pain and suffering of that poor pig. They the many of these sows live in cages just large enough to contain their bodies. Sows have a pregnancy lasting around four months and their freedom of movement are restricted .Sad to see that situation ,hoping more can be done to improve it. But the best choice is go on vegetarian so less killing , less consuming meat.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/can-you-endure-this.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Feb 20. 2018 02:27 PM
    Happiness , depression, anger, frustration, bitterness is a choice. All is based on how we interpreting each situation in our life and the meaning we associate with. To feel happy, focus on things in our life that will make us feel happy. What ever we see and thinks can lead to thoughts and influences our performance. It is our emotions that influence the way we think and behave We are to accept and the ability to adapt to the challenges of our daily life. A powerful meaning behind this short story. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this wonderful and powerful post that will helps us in our daily life.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/apply-this-when-your-emotions-get-in-the-way.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Feb 20. 2018 02:26 PM
    Wow…. a brilliant picture of the two greatest masters of Tibetan Buddhism. Trijang Rinpoche was a Gelugpa monk and the 16th Karmapa, a Karma Kagyu, enjoying a beautiful relationship based on respect and trust. There were no conflict between them. It seem that in one lifetime, both of them did even interchange incarnations. There is an interesting story regarding both of them. Both enlightened manifesting again and again for the benefit of others .From the picture it tell us a thousands word of wisdom between both of them. H.H. the 16th Karmapa and H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche remained close friends throughout their life. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this a brilliant picture of the two greatest masters for us and merely seeing it is a blessing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/mind-blowing-connections-between-two-high-lamas.html
  • Pastor Shin Tan
    Tuesday, Feb 20. 2018 11:53 AM
    Princess Dewa Nimbo once said that if Tsem Rinpoche was really a high lama, he would eventually find his own way back onto his spiritual path. The Promise tells the story of it.

    Be inspired by #ThePromise & join our #TwitterChat #contest!
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  • Alice Tay
    Monday, Feb 19. 2018 11:17 PM
    Out of compassion, Buddha Manjushri emanate in the form of Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden to help us swiftly.

    Now, with the blessings of our precious guru, we are so fortunate to receive these precious advice from Dorje Shugden. Dorje Shugden reminded us that dharma practice is based on our faith and pure motivation. When we do for any virtuous actions with the pure motivation and out of the Eight Worldly Concerns, it definitely will bring much beneficial not only ourselves but also many others. We should start to practice by letting go our small “self” and slowly let go the big “self”. Eventually we are able to do more that benefit others instead of only ourselves.

    Thank you Rinpoche for this great sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/dorje-shugdens-advice-for-the-new-year-2018.html
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Feb 19. 2018 10:13 PM
    It’s so amazing that since thousand of years ago people already have such high technologies in constructing strong and amazing building that till today we may not necessary be able to achieve. Also it is just amazing that the mummies found in the temple were so well preserved. While many scientists and archeologists are trying their best to find out how, what and where about all this mysteries findings, I hope they use the right method to get into these place and with respect. After all , these places are suppose to be holy .

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/the-mysterious-door-of-vault-b-padmanabhaswamy-temple.html
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Feb 19. 2018 09:49 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche and Lord Dorje Shugden for sharing his precious advises to us during this New Year. It is a good reminder for us to practise dharma and transform our mind. If our mind don’t transform we will forever doing the wrong actions and not able to change our path. Practising Guru Devotion is also very important as “The foundation for every realisation is to properly rely on one’s kind Guru”.

    May I have the opportunity to always learn dharma from my kind Guru, Tsem Rinpoche in every life time.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/dorje-shugdens-advice-for-the-new-year-2018.html
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Feb 19. 2018 09:08 PM
    It’s amazing to see the self arising images of the holy places and also to read the stories. All the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have great compassion in emanating in various forms in order to suit the people of that place to pray, practise and generate merits. We are so fortunate to have our Guru Tsem Rinpoche to guide us and share with us all the dharma and holy places so we can learn and widen our knowledge. Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David for sharing this beautiful article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-self-arising-chenrezig.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Monday, Feb 19. 2018 08:30 PM
    The story of Anagarika Dharmapala is inspiring. He contributed to the revival of Buddhism greatly, and I am especially at awe with his work to regain “control” over Bodhgaya’s Maha Bodhi Temple from the Hindu Brahmins, who had controlled the site for centuries. This holy site is the chief of the four ancient Buddhist holy sites that are of utmost importance to Buddhist. Today, the site is entrusted to a committee with equal numbers of Hindu and Buddhist members. Even though the announcement of this outcome came 16 years after Anagarika Dharmapala’s passing, the success was his legacy.

    Anagarika Dharmapala’s intellectuality in Buddhism was not disregarded; he was one of the two speakers who inspired the first wave of interest in Buddhism amongst the heart of European-Americans who were deeply rooted in Christianity during to culture and upbringing. As a learned person, his writings on Buddhism give perspective from a philosophical, historical and also a practical point of view, making it relevant for many people of different intellectual level. I enjoy reading this article. Thank you for the sharing, Rinpoche and PAW.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/travel/anagarika-dharmapala-the-revered-buddhist-revivalist-and-writer-of-the-20th-century.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Feb 18. 2018 07:22 PM
    It is very blessed to be able to see Naro Kacho Vajrayogini, adorned with beautiful pearl dress. The beading and art work are very detailed. Rejoice to anyone who participated in this project.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/thupten-la-and-vajra-yogini.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Feb 18. 2018 07:05 PM
    This is an amazing story about a brave Jack Russell who decided to protect the four kittens, in the expense of his own life! Just like human, some dogs are more compassionate and non-discriminatory than others. This is a heartwarming story, thank you for sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/leo-the-lion-hearted-saves-4-kittens.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Feb 18. 2018 06:47 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this stunning thangka. Traditionally, thangka paintings are not only valued for their aesthetic beauty. We use thangkas to develop a clear visualization of a particular deity and strengthening our concentration and connecting a link between ourselves and the deity. Gyuto Tantric college is one of the great monastic institutions of the Gelug. Beautiful, colourful, spiritual art and looks fantastic and blessing for everyone looking at it. Amazing it shows the Three ‘Kingly’ Tantras as explained by Rinpoche.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/excellent-thangka-at-gyuto-tantric-college.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!

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
A beautiful Dorje Shugden depicted in Druid and newage style. There are many more here and free downloads in high file: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144924
5 days ago
A beautiful Dorje Shugden depicted in Druid and newage style. There are many more here and free downloads in high file: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144924
Here, His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche (left), one of the tutors of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, confers one of the many countless tantric initiations on the Dalai Lama (right). You can see a young Dalai Lama bowing in this picture with Trijang Rinpoche blessing him. Trijang Rinpoche is therefore undoubtedly the Dalai Lama’s tantric master. A great master at that. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Here, His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche (left), one of the tutors of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, confers one of the many countless tantric initiations on the Dalai Lama (right). You can see a young Dalai Lama bowing in this picture with Trijang Rinpoche blessing him. Trijang Rinpoche is therefore undoubtedly the Dalai Lama’s tantric master. A great master at that. Tsem Rinpoche
This is a very sacred statue of Buddha Chenresig (Avalokitesvara/Kuan Yin) that manifested many miracles in North India. Read and see more pictures and understand the background here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=153802
3 weeks ago
This is a very sacred statue of Buddha Chenresig (Avalokitesvara/Kuan Yin) that manifested many miracles in North India. Read and see more pictures and understand the background here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=153802
Wonderful updated version of The Promise book is out! Please get your copy. Much more new information included.
3 weeks ago
Wonderful updated version of The Promise book is out! Please get your copy. Much more new information included.
\"Bhagavani, source of all wonders, Vasudhara, Goddess of splendour and fortune, bestower of auspicious mental desires; homage to the Goddess Wish-fulfilling Wheel.\" (Sakya liturgical verse).
1 month ago
"Bhagavani, source of all wonders, Vasudhara, Goddess of splendour and fortune, bestower of auspicious mental desires; homage to the Goddess Wish-fulfilling Wheel." (Sakya liturgical verse).
Beautiful and sacred Vajra Yogini in Pharping, Nepal. The caretaker said it was owned by the Great Marpa the translator who was the guru of Milarepa. Wow.
1 month ago
Beautiful and sacred Vajra Yogini in Pharping, Nepal. The caretaker said it was owned by the Great Marpa the translator who was the guru of Milarepa. Wow.
In the Lankavatara Sutra, Lord Buddha says: \"For innumerable reasons, the Bodhisattva, whose nature is compassion, is not to  any meat. Thus Mahamati, whenever there is the evolution of living beings, let people cherish the thought of kinship with them, and thinking that all beings are [to be loved as if they were] and only child, let them refrain from eating meat.  Mahamati, meat is not eaten by anybody for any reason, there will be no destroyer of life. Thus, Mahamati, meat-eating I have not permitted to anyone, I do not permit, I will not permit.\"
1 month ago
In the Lankavatara Sutra, Lord Buddha says: "For innumerable reasons, the Bodhisattva, whose nature is compassion, is not to any meat. Thus Mahamati, whenever there is the evolution of living beings, let people cherish the thought of kinship with them, and thinking that all beings are [to be loved as if they were] and only child, let them refrain from eating meat. Mahamati, meat is not eaten by anybody for any reason, there will be no destroyer of life. Thus, Mahamati, meat-eating I have not permitted to anyone, I do not permit, I will not permit."
At times I have to be a trendsetter in spirituality as opposed to just being a follower and that is why I take chances and try. I may not be liked always for it, but I have to do it. In this way I have been introducing Dorje Shugden to the world. I know Shugden is good and will help so many and that is why I do it.
1 month ago
At times I have to be a trendsetter in spirituality as opposed to just being a follower and that is why I take chances and try. I may not be liked always for it, but I have to do it. In this way I have been introducing Dorje Shugden to the world. I know Shugden is good and will help so many and that is why I do it.
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it\'s right and will benefit people at the cost of your own reputation. That\'s how I feel when I share Dorje Shugden\'s practice with the world.
1 month ago
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it's right and will benefit people at the cost of your own reputation. That's how I feel when I share Dorje Shugden's practice with the world.
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it\'s right and you are true to yourself.
1 month ago
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it's right and you are true to yourself.
At times I have to be a trendsetter in spirituality as opposed to just being a follower and that is why I take chances and try. I may not be liked always for it, but I have to do it. In this way I have been introducing Dorje Shugden to the world. I know Shugden is good and will help so many and that is why I do it.
1 month ago
At times I have to be a trendsetter in spirituality as opposed to just being a follower and that is why I take chances and try. I may not be liked always for it, but I have to do it. In this way I have been introducing Dorje Shugden to the world. I know Shugden is good and will help so many and that is why I do it.
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it\'s right and you are true to yourself.
1 month ago
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it's right and you are true to yourself.
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it\'s right and will benefit people at the cost of your own reputation. That\'s how I feel when I share Dorje Shugden\'s practice with the world.
1 month ago
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it's right and will benefit people at the cost of your own reputation. That's how I feel when I share Dorje Shugden's practice with the world.
Beautiful Buddha built in Sarnath, India. Sarnath was the place where Lord Buddha first starting teaching the sacred Dharma. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Beautiful Buddha built in Sarnath, India. Sarnath was the place where Lord Buddha first starting teaching the sacred Dharma. Tsem Rinpoche
 This is so good. I need to remember this and not allow people to do this to me anymore. Being kind is one thing, but when they are doing it and it harms, it is not a matter of kindness anymore but taking advantage.
2 months ago
This is so good. I need to remember this and not allow people to do this to me anymore. Being kind is one thing, but when they are doing it and it harms, it is not a matter of kindness anymore but taking advantage.
Incredible Lama Thubten Phurbu and His Activities - http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=150927
3 months ago
Incredible Lama Thubten Phurbu and His Activities - http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=150927
Huffington Post has just released their SECOND EXPOSÉ of the Dorje Shugden issue. You can read about it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=151328
3 months ago
Huffington Post has just released their SECOND EXPOSÉ of the Dorje Shugden issue. You can read about it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=151328
Please read what Kyabje Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche says about people\'s religion.
3 months ago
Please read what Kyabje Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche says about people's religion.
A gorgeous Dorje Shugden painted in traditional art style of China. Chinese art has flourished for over 5,000 years and highly sought after. This form of Dorje Shugden is sitting on a seat as you see painted in his chapel (Trode Khangsar) in Lhasa, Tibet. Dorje Shugden can be on a seat or Lion.  More downloads here.  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
3 months ago
A gorgeous Dorje Shugden painted in traditional art style of China. Chinese art has flourished for over 5,000 years and highly sought after. This form of Dorje Shugden is sitting on a seat as you see painted in his chapel (Trode Khangsar) in Lhasa, Tibet. Dorje Shugden can be on a seat or Lion. More downloads here. http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
Dear friends, The Dorje Shugden oracle of Gaden Shartse Monastery was authorized and blessed by both Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. He was a favorite among high lamas for his smooth trances and clear prophecies. This video is a one-of-a-kind where you see the Choyang Dulzin Kuten oracle take trance of the peaceful form of Dorje Shugden wearing the robes of a high lama giving teachings, blessings and transmissions. Very sacred and rare video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pawS1TMOe8k
3 months ago
Dear friends, The Dorje Shugden oracle of Gaden Shartse Monastery was authorized and blessed by both Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. He was a favorite among high lamas for his smooth trances and clear prophecies. This video is a one-of-a-kind where you see the Choyang Dulzin Kuten oracle take trance of the peaceful form of Dorje Shugden wearing the robes of a high lama giving teachings, blessings and transmissions. Very sacred and rare video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pawS1TMOe8k
Beautiful contemporary art piece of Dorje Shugden for free high res download here:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
3 months ago
Beautiful contemporary art piece of Dorje Shugden for free high res download here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
The Huffington Post extensively covers the Dorje Shugden issue. I had no idea that this article was being written. I was not contacted, not asked for an interview or asked for any comments, and then it was published and my students alerted me to it. So it was a very, very pleasant and encouraging surprise to read such balanced coverage from such a reputable news website. You can read it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=149806
3 months ago
The Huffington Post extensively covers the Dorje Shugden issue. I had no idea that this article was being written. I was not contacted, not asked for an interview or asked for any comments, and then it was published and my students alerted me to it. So it was a very, very pleasant and encouraging surprise to read such balanced coverage from such a reputable news website. You can read it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=149806
དེ་རིང་ང་ཁྱེད་རང་ཚོ་མཉམ་དུ་བོད་མིའི་ཆབ་སྲིད་ནང་གི་བློ་མགུ་ནུས་པའི་མངོན་འགྱུར་ཞིག་ཞུའི་ཡིན། གང་དག་བོད་པའི་སྤྱི་ཚོགས་ནང་ཆོས་ལུགས་ཁྱད་པར། དབྱེ་འབྱེད། ཕྱོགས་རིས་ཐོག་ལ་གང་འདྲ་སྟངས་འཛིན་བྱེད་དགོས་ཀྱི་སྐོར་ངེས་གཏན་སྣུན་ཤུགས་བྱེད་ཐུབ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-mp-tenpa-yarphel-speaks-up-against-nechung-tibetan.html
3 months ago
དེ་རིང་ང་ཁྱེད་རང་ཚོ་མཉམ་དུ་བོད་མིའི་ཆབ་སྲིད་ནང་གི་བློ་མགུ་ནུས་པའི་མངོན་འགྱུར་ཞིག་ཞུའི་ཡིན། གང་དག་བོད་པའི་སྤྱི་ཚོགས་ནང་ཆོས་ལུགས་ཁྱད་པར། དབྱེ་འབྱེད། ཕྱོགས་རིས་ཐོག་ལ་གང་འདྲ་སྟངས་འཛིན་བྱེད་དགོས་ཀྱི་སྐོར་ངེས་གཏན་སྣུན་ཤུགས་བྱེད་ཐུབ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-mp-tenpa-yarphel-speaks-up-against-nechung-tibetan.html
བོད་པའི་དབུ་ཁྲིད་ཚོའི་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན་བསྟེན་མཁན་ཚོར་མ་ཉེས་ཁ་ཡོག་གི་བརྙན་ཕྲིན་གསར་པ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-leaderships-new-anti-shugden-video-tibetan.html
3 months ago
བོད་པའི་དབུ་ཁྲིད་ཚོའི་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན་བསྟེན་མཁན་ཚོར་མ་ཉེས་ཁ་ཡོག་གི་བརྙན་ཕྲིན་གསར་པ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-leaderships-new-anti-shugden-video-tibetan.html
(Drepung) Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we\'ve come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
3 months ago
(Drepung) Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we've come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we\'ve come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
3 months ago
Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we've come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
I had this painting commissioned. Please read more here on this great master-
 http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146195
4 months ago
I had this painting commissioned. Please read more here on this great master- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146195
How can all the high lamas of Tibet and all the protectors not be able to defeat Dorje Shugden? This is food for thought: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bj0254UG-Y
4 months ago
How can all the high lamas of Tibet and all the protectors not be able to defeat Dorje Shugden? This is food for thought: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bj0254UG-Y
致全世界的华人:这是我一份小小的心意:一幅富有古中国传统艺术的作品。希望你们会喜欢! http://bit.ly/2zLOjnK
4 months ago
致全世界的华人:这是我一份小小的心意:一幅富有古中国传统艺术的作品。希望你们会喜欢! http://bit.ly/2zLOjnK
“One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
4 months ago
“One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Download for free this high res photo of Lord Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
4 months ago
Download for free this high res photo of Lord Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
Whatever we can do to spread the teachings of our Guru, we should do so.
4 months ago
Whatever we can do to spread the teachings of our Guru, we should do so.
 These three (Dharma, Oser and Mumu) are super adorable.
4 months ago
These three (Dharma, Oser and Mumu) are super adorable.
Beautiful Vajra Yogini print.
4 months ago
Beautiful Vajra Yogini print.
Beautiful and holy new statues arrived to Kechara Forest Retreat. Please enjoy the pictures: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146950
4 months ago
Beautiful and holy new statues arrived to Kechara Forest Retreat. Please enjoy the pictures: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146950
Beautiful old thangka of Buddha Nageshvaraja
4 months ago
Beautiful old thangka of Buddha Nageshvaraja
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
4 months ago
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
October 2017, His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal graciously reading our Kechara album and updates as presented by Beng Kooi and Martin. He was very pleased with our progress and offers his blessings. Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
October 2017, His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal graciously reading our Kechara album and updates as presented by Beng Kooi and Martin. He was very pleased with our progress and offers his blessings. Tsem Rinpoche
His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche grants audience to Beng Kooi and Martin in France.  Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
4 months ago
His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche grants audience to Beng Kooi and Martin in France. Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
Recently Beng Kooi and Martin on behalf of myself and Kechara was lucky to have audience with His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal of Gaden Shartse Monastery. He lives in around Paris, France. His Holiness is 91 years old and very healthy and alert. He was the 101st throne holder for Tsongkapa and was the head of the Gelugpa school of Buddhism and was very successful during his tenure. He is a strong practitioner of both Sutra and Tantra of Je Tsongkapa\'s tradition and a master of all Buddhist knowledge. He holds steadfast to his protector Dorje Shugden very strongly. So we can see even the highest throneholders who are masters of Sutra and Tantra also practices Dorje Shugden knowing the benefits.

Beng Kooi and Martin brought photo albums of Kechara Forest Retreat/Kechara and updates on Kechara and our works. His Holiness was very pleased to listen and offered some gifts back. 

This is a beautiful picture and the great blessings bestowed on us from His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal.

Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche 
Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
4 months ago
Recently Beng Kooi and Martin on behalf of myself and Kechara was lucky to have audience with His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal of Gaden Shartse Monastery. He lives in around Paris, France. His Holiness is 91 years old and very healthy and alert. He was the 101st throne holder for Tsongkapa and was the head of the Gelugpa school of Buddhism and was very successful during his tenure. He is a strong practitioner of both Sutra and Tantra of Je Tsongkapa's tradition and a master of all Buddhist knowledge. He holds steadfast to his protector Dorje Shugden very strongly. So we can see even the highest throneholders who are masters of Sutra and Tantra also practices Dorje Shugden knowing the benefits. Beng Kooi and Martin brought photo albums of Kechara Forest Retreat/Kechara and updates on Kechara and our works. His Holiness was very pleased to listen and offered some gifts back. This is a beautiful picture and the great blessings bestowed on us from His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp
*****and****
My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li

Fantastic Reads!!
4 months ago
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp *****and**** My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li Fantastic Reads!!
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp
*****and****
My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li
4 months ago
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp *****and**** My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li
This is so powerful. It is a must read and must share.
4 months ago
This is so powerful. It is a must read and must share.
Beng Kooi meeting with the scholar and teacher Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen lak. Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen has been very active and you can see his youtubes in Tibetan speaking about the benefits of Dorje Shugden practice. He is a direct student of Trijang Rinpoche and Zong Rinpoche.
4 months ago
Beng Kooi meeting with the scholar and teacher Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen lak. Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen has been very active and you can see his youtubes in Tibetan speaking about the benefits of Dorje Shugden practice. He is a direct student of Trijang Rinpoche and Zong Rinpoche.
Martin meeting with Gen Tashi. Gen Tashi is a very devoted and committed activist of Dorje Shugden\'s cause. He is tireless in speaking for the truth. They enjoyed sharing some time together.
4 months ago
Martin meeting with Gen Tashi. Gen Tashi is a very devoted and committed activist of Dorje Shugden's cause. He is tireless in speaking for the truth. They enjoyed sharing some time together.
Martin meeting with the well known strong and devoted Dorje Shugden activist and scholar Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen lak. Geshe lak was very happy to meet Martin and shared so much wonderful information. Beautiful meeting.
4 months ago
Martin meeting with the well known strong and devoted Dorje Shugden activist and scholar Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen lak. Geshe lak was very happy to meet Martin and shared so much wonderful information. Beautiful meeting.
Beng Kooi meeting with friend and strong and devoted Dorje Shugden activist Gen Tashi
4 months ago
Beng Kooi meeting with friend and strong and devoted Dorje Shugden activist Gen Tashi
Another stunning digital print art of Dorje Shugden from an artist in Peru. Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Another stunning digital print art of Dorje Shugden from an artist in Peru. Tsem Rinpoche
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • (3) Khenpo Lobdroe blessing the public at Magon Monastery in Drayab.
    1 week ago
    (3) Khenpo Lobdroe blessing the public at Magon Monastery in Drayab.
  • (2) The trance took place in Drayab Magon Monastery.
    1 week ago
    (2) The trance took place in Drayab Magon Monastery.
  • (1) Young monk taking trance of Dorje Shugden in Drayab, Chamdo Tibet.
    1 week ago
    (1) Young monk taking trance of Dorje Shugden in Drayab, Chamdo Tibet.
  • A new megastar in Bollywood! Must see!!
    1 week ago
    A new megastar in Bollywood! Must see!!
  • This is very inspirational
    2 months ago
    This is very inspirational
  • A Mother’s Love
    3 months ago
    A Mother’s Love
    A mother's love is made up of a deep sense of care, of sacrifice and pain as a mother's heart is always with her children. Watch this touching video.
  • Dorje Shugden & Ministers
    3 months ago
    Dorje Shugden & Ministers
    Dorje Shugden and his two ministers, Kache Marpo and Namka Barzin. Vajrasecrets.com
  • Cham Dance
    3 months ago
    Cham Dance
    Cham is sacred dance. A dance that enacts the life story of a holy being. By participating in Cham, one is blessed to see the sacred life story of a being celebrated. This is a cham on Dorje Shugden. It\\\'s a short clip but interesting none-the-less. Tsem Rinpoche
  • The great Gautama Siddhartha meditating intensely is protected by the King of Nagas during heavy rains
    3 months ago
    The great Gautama Siddhartha meditating intensely is protected by the King of Nagas during heavy rains
    The King of Nagas knows this great being Siddhartha will soon become the Buddha. By offering his own body as shelter to the Buddha to be, he honours the state of enlightenment which will be won and gains merit for himself for his future lives although he is a naga now. The pre-eminent Buddha is an object of perfect offering gaining great merits for all beings. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    4 months 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.
    4 months ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
  • BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
    4 months ago
    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    4 months ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    4 months ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    4 months 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.
    4 months ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    4 months ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    4 months ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    4 months 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
    4 months 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.
    4 months 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!!
    4 months ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    5 months 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.
  • Beautiful Buddha being sculpted from clay.
    5 months ago
    Beautiful Buddha being sculpted from clay.
  • After a while, you are are numb and you just keep doing it. You don’t know what you are doing and you don’t see it for what it really is. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    After a while, you are are numb and you just keep doing it. You don’t know what you are doing and you don’t see it for what it really is. Tsem Rinpoche
    Please share this as much as possible. Please care. Please help: http://www.patreon.com/weanimals
  • OSER GIRL IS SO SMART AND CUTE AND EVERYONE LOVES HER
    5 months ago
    OSER GIRL IS SO SMART AND CUTE AND EVERYONE LOVES HER
  • It is a very painful process before the animals are finally dead.
    5 months ago
    It is a very painful process before the animals are finally dead.
  • If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.
    5 months ago
    If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.
  • Take a look at what singer Nicki Minaj did.
    5 months ago
    Take a look at what singer Nicki Minaj did.
  • Animals are enslaved to do a human’s job, this must stop.
    5 months ago
    Animals are enslaved to do a human’s job, this must stop.
  • This is how the chickens are killed in the farm, they die a very horrible death.
    5 months ago
    This is how the chickens are killed in the farm, they die a very horrible death.
  • America likes to police the world but their own record of civil rights is not on track. Watch this video from people of color in the US.
    5 months ago
    America likes to police the world but their own record of civil rights is not on track. Watch this video from people of color in the US.
  • Important video to watch and learn.
    5 months ago
    Important video to watch and learn.
  • Bigfoot’s voice captured on tape.
    5 months ago
    Bigfoot’s voice captured on tape.
  • Amazing video that you will not regret watching.
    5 months ago
    Amazing video that you will not regret watching.
  • Norma Jean
    6 months ago
    Norma Jean
    These are the heartbreaking scenes we see over and over again, that we share in the hopes of telling the stories of those who otherwise would have suffered and vanished from this earth without a trace. This is Norma Jean. Free for a little over five months, she knew more happiness than millions of her sisters ever will. But she couldn’t escape the fate genetically programmed into her as an egg producing machine. She seemed more lethargic than usual this morning, so we brought her inside to administer fluids and antibiotics in the hopes of pulling her through until we could get her in to see our vet. She couldn’t hang on. She died this evening shortly after this video was taken, severely infected from the rotting egg yolk adhered to various organs throughout her abdominal cavity. Like virtually every single one of her sisters, caged or free range, rescued or not, she paid the ultimate price for eggs (from FB)
  • If you want to change the world, start of by making your bed
    6 months ago
    If you want to change the world, start of by making your bed
    If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart
  • Canadian PM Justin Trudeau visits a Hindu mandir (temple)
    6 months ago
    Canadian PM Justin Trudeau visits a Hindu mandir (temple)
    While on a visit to a Hindu mandir (temple), Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks on diversity as Canada's strength.

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CHAT PICTURES

Be inspired by #ThePromise & join our #TwitterChat #contest!https://twitter.com/ThePromiseBio
14 hours ago
Be inspired by #ThePromise & join our #TwitterChat #contest!https://twitter.com/ThePromiseBio
Princess Dewa Nimbo once said that if Tsem Rinpoche was really a high lama, he would eventually find his own way back onto his spiritual path. The Promise tells the story of it.

Be inspired by #ThePromise & join our #TwitterChat #contest!
https://twitter.com/ThePromiseBio
14 hours ago
Princess Dewa Nimbo once said that if Tsem Rinpoche was really a high lama, he would eventually find his own way back onto his spiritual path. The Promise tells the story of it. Be inspired by #ThePromise & join our #TwitterChat #contest! https://twitter.com/ThePromiseBio
Happy Chinese New Year! May everyone be blessed by Dorje Shugden and Gyenze. Pastor Antoinette
2 days ago
Happy Chinese New Year! May everyone be blessed by Dorje Shugden and Gyenze. Pastor Antoinette
Burning Huge Incense for an Auspicious New Year of the Dog at Gyenze Chapel, Kechara Forest Retreat, Pastor Antoinette
2 days ago
Burning Huge Incense for an Auspicious New Year of the Dog at Gyenze Chapel, Kechara Forest Retreat, Pastor Antoinette
The young participants of W.O.A.H. Camp focus and listened to Teacher Kien on how to do DIY colourful candle. Alice Tay, KSDS
3 days ago
The young participants of W.O.A.H. Camp focus and listened to Teacher Kien on how to do DIY colourful candle. Alice Tay, KSDS
Lively kids move their body and dance together with the teachers. Alice Tay, KSDS
3 days ago
Lively kids move their body and dance together with the teachers. Alice Tay, KSDS
Cheerful kids showed their own artworks happily. Alice Tay, KSDS
3 days ago
Cheerful kids showed their own artworks happily. Alice Tay, KSDS
Teacher Jayce and Teacher Grace helped out for calligraphy session. Alice Tay, KSDS
3 days ago
Teacher Jayce and Teacher Grace helped out for calligraphy session. Alice Tay, KSDS
Teacher Kien guided the young kids making CNY decorations by using red packets. Alice Tay, KSDS
3 days ago
Teacher Kien guided the young kids making CNY decorations by using red packets. Alice Tay, KSDS
Brian is playing with his new DIY toy. Lin Mun KSDS
3 days ago
Brian is playing with his new DIY toy. Lin Mun KSDS
Dharma class students joined the animal liberation session held in Kechara House every month. Lin Mun KSDS
3 days ago
Dharma class students joined the animal liberation session held in Kechara House every month. Lin Mun KSDS
Group dedication before we end our dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
3 days ago
Group dedication before we end our dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
Students were so excited with the games planned in conjunction with Chinese New Year. Lin Mun KSDS
3 days ago
Students were so excited with the games planned in conjunction with Chinese New Year. Lin Mun KSDS
This is class of 9-11 years old, all are very enthusiastic students. Lin Mun KSDS
3 days ago
This is class of 9-11 years old, all are very enthusiastic students. Lin Mun KSDS
Mumu’s memorial statue and stupa was inspired by a few things. One of them was H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche wish for Mumu to be forever connected to Vajrayogini. Pastor Adeline
3 days ago
Mumu’s memorial statue and stupa was inspired by a few things. One of them was H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche wish for Mumu to be forever connected to Vajrayogini. Pastor Adeline
Cultivating inner wealth for boundless prosperity by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche on The Star newspaper. Pastor Adeline
3 days ago
Cultivating inner wealth for boundless prosperity by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche on The Star newspaper. Pastor Adeline
Kechara Forest Retreat is ready for Chinese New Year2018, Year of the Dog
6 days ago
Kechara Forest Retreat is ready for Chinese New Year2018, Year of the Dog
Laughter Yoga is fun! Read more about Laughter Yoga in Kechara Forest Retreat here: http://www.kechara.com/peace-centre/news/laughing-is-the-best-medicine/
6 days ago
Laughter Yoga is fun! Read more about Laughter Yoga in Kechara Forest Retreat here: http://www.kechara.com/peace-centre/news/laughing-is-the-best-medicine/
Recently in Kechara Forest Retreat - yes... it is Laughter Yoga!
6 days ago
Recently in Kechara Forest Retreat - yes... it is Laughter Yoga!
Thank you Teacher Sock Wan Wee to explain further on the “ghost” and spending more time with the children of KSDS. By Asyley Chia KSDS
1 week ago
Thank you Teacher Sock Wan Wee to explain further on the “ghost” and spending more time with the children of KSDS. By Asyley Chia KSDS
KISG has carried out monthly animals liberation activity at DR Seenivasagam Park, Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
1 week ago
KISG has carried out monthly animals liberation activity at DR Seenivasagam Park, Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Candid photo of teacher Kien. He has many actions during class. Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
Candid photo of teacher Kien. He has many actions during class. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Zhi Yan & teacher Jayce leading the class of 9-11 years old. Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
Teacher Zhi Yan & teacher Jayce leading the class of 9-11 years old. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Grace giving briefing to the teenage students. Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
Teacher Grace giving briefing to the teenage students. Lin Mun KSDS
Good friendship built in KSDS class. Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
Good friendship built in KSDS class. Lin Mun KSDS
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Dorje Shugden
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