Sonam Chopel

Apr 22, 2018 | Views: 271
Sonam Chopel

Sonam Chopel. Image credit: Treasury of Lives

བསོད་ནམས་ཆོས་འཕེལ།

b1595 – d.1658

Tradition: Geluk དགེ་ལུགས།
Geography: Lhasa ལྷ་ས།
Historical Period: 17th Century ༡༧ དུས་རབས།
Institution: Sera Monastery སེ་ར།; Drepung Monastery འབྲས་སྤུངས་།; Jonang Monastery ཇོ་ནང་།; Reting Monastery རྭ་སྒྲེང་།; Chokhor Gyel ཆོས་འཁོར་རྒྱལ།; Dzingchi རྫིང་ཕྱི་ཆོས་སྡེ།; Potala པོ་ཏ་ལ།; Zamkhar ཟམ་མཁར།; Dongkar Dzong གདོང་དཀར་རྫོང་།
Government Officers: Depa སྡེ་པ།
Name Variants: Awu; Chakdzo Sonam Chopel ཕྱག་མཛོད་བསོད་ནམས་ཆོས་འཕེལ།; Desi Sonam Chopel སྡེ་སྲིད་བསོད་ནམས་ཆོས་འཕེལ།; Gyale Chondze; Gyalo Chodze Sonam Chopel རྒྱ་ལོ་ཆོས་མཛད་བསོད་ནམས་ཆོས་འཕེལ།; Sonam Rabten བསོད་ནམས་རབ་བརྟན།; Zhelngo Sonam Rabten ཞལ་ངོ་བསོད་ནམས་རབ་བརྟན།

Sonam Chopel (bsod nams chos ‘phel) was born in 1595 at Gyale (rgya le) in Tibet’s Tolung (stod lung) valley to the west of Lhasa. (Zuiho Yamaguchi suggests that he was born in 1583 instead.) By 1603, when he was eight, he was enrolled at the great Geluk monastery of Drepung (‘bras spungs) just outside Lhasa. At the monastery he was called Gyale Chodze (chos mdzad), or Chodze from Gyale. The term signifies ‘Monk-sponsor,’ one whose family makes substantial donations to the monastery, thus exempting him from the menial duties of ordinary monks. Therefore he probably came from a prosperous family. He started off as a monk-administrator (las sne) of Ganden Podrang (dga’ ldan pho brang), the early Dalai Lamas’ residence at Drepung Monastery. He is first mentioned in the biography of the Fourth Dalai Lama Yonten Gyatso (tA la’I bla ma 04 yon tan rgya mtsho, 1589-1617) as a Ganden Podrang Chodze, at the age of eight, and listed among the welcoming party to greet the Fourth Dalai Lama when he arrived in Lhasa from Mongolia in 1603.

He first rose to prominence in 1613 as Principal Attendant (phyag mdzod) of the Fourth Dalai Lama and Treasurer (mdzod pa), i.e. the senior official of Ganden Podrang and thus by the time he was about twenty he had become one of the top administrators in the Geluk order.

Just after the Fourth Dalai Lama’s death, early in 1617, Sonam Chopel met the Fourth Panchen Lama Lobzang Chokyi Gyeltsen (pan chen bla ma 04 blo bzang chos kyi rgyal mtshan, 1570-1662) who was going to Ngari (mnga’ ris); he had to pass through Shigatse (gzhi ka rtse) and Sonam Chopel, concerned about the opposing power of Tsang (gtsang) being a threat to his safety on the way, tried to dissuade him. The Panchen Lama mentioned a Nyingma prophecy that Mongolians would invade Tibet and suggested that the late, once-powerful Fourth Dalai Lama would have been able to prevent it. He still hoped for peace and before leaving he exhorted Sonam Chopel to work for peace.

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Thangka of the Fourth Dalai Lama, Yonten Gyatso. Click to enlarge. Image credit: himalayanart.org

But peace was not to be. Due to historical political rivalry between leaders of U and Tsang, the sudden death at twenty-eight of the Fourth Dalai Lama, who, being of royal Mongolian birth, was championed by the Mongols, emboldened the fifth king of Tsang, Karma Puntsok Namgyel (karma phun tshogs rnam rgyal, 1587-1621) to attack and capture U by early 1618 when Sonam Chopel was just twenty-two. His forces plundered and wrecked Lhasa’s Geluk monasteries, particularly Drepung, killing hundreds of monks and forcing the rest to flee for their lives to the north. Many civilians were also slaughtered; all the local, Geluk-sympathetic Kyisho (skyid shod) nobility’s estates were captured; the Lhasa valley governor and his son had to flee to Tsokha (mtsho kha) and many Geluk monasteries were forcibly converted into Kagyu institutions. When the Tsang regime crowned the Tenth Karmapa as spiritual leader of all Tibet later that year, religious consolidation under the leadership of the Karma Kagyu order together with suppression of the Geluk became established Tsang policy.

As part of a resolution negotiated by Taklung Choje Ngawang Namgyel (stag lung chos rje ngag dbang rnam rgyal, 1571-1626), Treasurer Sonam Chopel had to arrange ransom of 300 gold coins for the return of the sacked monasteries of Drepung and Sera (se ra), 200 for Drepung and 100 for Sera, and deliver them under escort to Tsang, to the west of Lhasa. Since both monasteries’ funds had been exhausted, Sonam Chopel offered to collect the gold from the previous Dalai Lamas’ secret reserve at Chokhor Gyel (chos ‘khor rgyal). This monastery was a few days journey east but after leaving Lhasa for Chokhor Gyel Sonam Chopel evaded his Tsangpa escort and fled to the north.

 

Discovery of the Fifth Dalai Lama

Upon the early death of the Fourth Dalai Lama in 1617, the Tsang king placed a ban on the search for his reincarnation and prepared to invade and capture U. He bore a grudge against the Fourth Dalai Lama, who, he thought, had not only snubbed him but also cursed him and made him chronically ill. He therefore actively opposed the Geluk and he knew that the elimination of their most popular and important lama would have drastically weakened them. Sonam Chopel, however, being the late Fourth Dalai Lama’s Principal Attendant, secretly mounted a search. In 1619 he and his team, after covertly consulting oracles for clues, identified a strong candidate, a boy called Kunga Mingyur (kun dga mi ‘gyur), born late in 1617 at Chonggye (phyong rgyas) in the Yarlung Valley (yar lung). Then, faced with active hostility from the King of Tsang, Sonam Chopel secretly traveled to Kokonor to seek support from Mongol leaders there.

By 1620, tension was building up again in Lhasa. After their 1618 invasion, Tsang forces had established military bases to blockade Drepung and Sera monasteries and control the city. In 1619, following Sonam Chopel’s secret trip to Kokonor, Mongol soldiers expelled in 1605 started returning as pilgrims and camping outside Lhasa.

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Holy statue of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. Click to enlarge.

In 1621 or thereabouts, the Tsang King Karma Puntsok Namgyel died after invading Ladakh and U. Modern Bhutan was just being founded at this time by the Tibetan lama Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel (P509 zhabs drung ngag dbang rnam rgyal, 1594-1651) of the Drukpa Kagyu tradition; he had fled there from Tsang in 1616 to avoid arrest by the Tsang King, who had opposed and rejected his claim of being the incarnation of the Fourth Drukchen, Padma Karpo (P825, ‘brug chen pad+ma dkar po, 1527-1592). In exile, the Zhabdrung had been welcomed by the Drukpa Kagyu community in the western valleys of Thimpu (thim pu) and Punakha (spu na kha) and had assumed leadership mainly by popular acclaim. This was the beginning of his consolidation of the country into its modern form, gradually overcoming opposition from non-Drukpa groups who instigated an invasion from the Tsangpa King. It was said that the king died after this attack on the fledgling nation of Bhutan because, in his retreat cave, the Zhabdrung, a renowned tantric magician, had targeted him with wrathful rituals. The king, his wife and many of his family died of smallpox soon afterwards and the king was succeeded by his fifteen-year-old son Karma Tenkyong Wangpo (karma bstan skyong dbang po, 1606-1642). We shall see, however, that Sonam Chopel, instead of allying with the Zhabdrung as his co-opponent of the Tsangpa, made an enemy of him instead and, in the end, for all his successes against other political antagonists, the Zhabdrung proved to be Sonam Chopel’s bête noir.

During this time, Sonam Chopel had been keeping in touch secretly with the Mongols, hoping to engineer a counter-attack by them. In 1621 the Mongol cavalry suddenly attacked and routed the Tsangpa, who were now led by Karma Tenkyong, at Kyangtang Gang (rkyang thang sgang) near Lhasa. The teenaged king and his 10,000 Tibetan soldiers retreated and were surrounded at Chakpori Hill, facing starvation and massacre. By the intervention of Panchen Lama and the Thirty-fifth Ganden Tripa, Lingme Zhabdrung Konchok Chopel (gling smad zhabs drung dkon mchogs chos ‘phel, 1573-1646), further hostilities were avoided, the Tsang king and his army were freed and a favorable peace treaty was negotiated; lands and monasteries seized from the Geluk in 1618 and converted to Kagyu were returned.

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The Thirty-Fifth Ganden Tripa, Konchok Chopel. Image credit: Treasury of Lives

Panchen Lama and Ganden Tripa then secretly drew lots before the sacred image of Jowo Jampel Dorje (jo bo ‘jam dpal rdo rje) at Reting Monastery (rwa sgreng) and Sonam Chopel’s boy was chosen from three candidates. While the Panchen Lama lobbied the new king to lift the ban Sonam Chopel was currying favor with him and making gifts. The ban was lifted in 1621 and royal recognition for the reincarnation was sought and granted. The four year old Dalai Lama was revealed and installed at Drepung in the second month of 1622 and given the ordination name of Lobzang Gyatso (tA la’i bla ma 05 blo bzang rgya mtsho, 1617-1682) by the Panchen in the third month.

Three months later, when Mongols were insisting on taking Lobzang Gyatso with them to Kokonor and Mongolia, Sonam Chopel and his helpers, with the complicity and support of the Tsang king, discreetly hid him away for a year at Erigo (e ri sgo) in southern Tibet.

There are differing accounts concerning Kunga Mingyur’s subjection to the object-recognition test in which he had to differentiate his predecessor’s personal items from similar items which had not been his. The accounts differ about when and where the test took place, whether his eventual tutor Kachuwa or Kachu Genyen Dondrub (dka’ bcu dge bsnyen don grub) or Sonam Chopel carried it out and also whether the candidate passed the test.

Sources which assert that Sonam Chopel subjected Kunga Mingyur to the test in 1619, before he left Chonggye and before lots were drawn at Reting, maintain that the boy passed the test without hesitation.

In his autobiography, however, the Fifth Dalai Lama recalls the test was made after lots had been drawn, that they took place at Nakartse (sna dkar rtse) in Yardrok (yar ‘grog) and he frankly admits “I could utter no words to recognize [any of the objects].” It is still possible that he did recognize them but was unable to say so. He states that when his examiner Kachuwa went out of the room to report the result to other officials he declared himself convinced that the boy recognized the objects.

It is probable that the test was carried out twice, once by Sonam Chopel at Chonggye in 1619 when the two-year old was too young to recall the test, but also, according to Tibetan lore, still young enough to retain the memory of the objects from his previous life; and once by Kachuwa at Nakartse in 1621 when he was four and old enough to remember the test later, but, again according to Tibetan lore, too old to remember the objects from his previous life.

 

Relations with the Fifth Dalai Lama

When Kunga Migyur, now called Lobzang Gyatso, aged four, was installed at Drepung in 1622 as the Fifth Dalai Lama, it was the twenty-seven year old Sonam Chopel, head administrator of the Ganden Podrang, who became his Chakdzo, Manager and Principal Attendant, responsible for his upbringing, management and safety. It is normal practice for an important lama’s Chakdzo to exercise more or less total control over his charge in childhood and often to maintain such control long after the lama’s maturity, dominating him and running all his affairs, as Sonam Chopel did. In case of the lama’s death, the Chakdzo is often placed in charge of the search for his reincarnation, as Sonam Chopel was when the Fourth Dalai Lama died. The Chakdzo controls funds and property and is referred to as the ‘Treasurer.’ He takes care of public relations, controlling who can have an audience; he organizes the lama’s travels, accommodation, building and publishing projects and all of the lama’s family affairs as well as engagements, including his private and public teachings. Sonam Chopel took care of all such work with consummate skill.

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The Fifth Dalai Lama, Lobsang Gyatso. Image credit: Rigpa Wiki

In 1626 those duties included arranging funeral rites for Lobzang Gyatso’s father Hor Dudul Dorje (hor bdud ‘dul rdo rje) also called Dudul Rabten (bdud ‘dul rab brtan) who had died, possibly murdered, in the Tsang King’s prison. Although Hor Dudul Dorje had earlier been a friend and protégé of the king, in 1619 he contrived a plot against him, collaborating with the ruler Dakpo Kurab Namgyel (bdag po sku rab rnam gyal) who had led the king’s 1618 assault on Lhasa but subsequently fell out with him. The king was unhappy with Hor Dudul Dorje for allying with Kurab in this plot and imprisoned him. To assuage the king’s wrath, Dudul Dorje’s castle and estate at Chonggye Chingwa Taktse (‘phyongs rgyas ‘phying ba stag rtse) were offered to the king’s Foreign Minister Gangzukpa (phyi blon sgang zug pa). Hor Dudul Dorje’s wife Tricham (khri lcam) and the infant Kunga Mingyur were summoned to Tsang by the king but Tricham circumvented the order by moving to Nakartse where her brother, Yardrok Zhabdrung (yar ‘brog zhabs drung), took responsibility for them, with the consent of the king. Hor Dudul Dorje never saw his son again after 1619. Sonam Chopel, however, succeeded in sending him provisions after seeking the king’s permission. When Hor Dudul Dorje died in 1626 his corpse was discarded behind Zamkhar Castle (zam mkhar) whence it was recovered by a sage from Chonggye. Sonam Chopel then arranged for the appropriate funeral rites to be performed discreetly at local monasteries. Similarly, when the boy’s mother Tricham died at Nakartse in 1639 Sonam Chopel went there to arrange her funeral. At Lobzang Gyatso’s request he also took charge of the work to make a large silver statue of the Buddha for the funeral.

Sonam Chopel, being a monk, sometimes gave religious instruction to the boy, although he was not one of his official tutors. In 1626 Sonam Chopel saw Lobzang Gyatso was interested in a text on Hayagriva so he referred him to Lingme Zhabdrung Konchok Chopel who began to mentor him on this subject.

Chopel was a dynamic character, dealing with nobles, royalty and political leaders including foreign ones, and for many years routinely making critical decisions in all matters without reference to Lobzang Gyatso. Although Sonam Chopel as Regent from 1642 is generally accorded the title “Desi” by historians, in practice Lobzang Gyatso addressed him as “Zhelngo” (zhal ngo), meaning “The Presence” and later referred to him as “Depa”. He never used the term “Desi”, which was not in use at the time; it was only applied retroactively to Sonam Chopel and his successors in histories written later.

Moreover, according to his autobiography, Lobzang Gyatso initially found worldly affairs distasteful and preferred to study. He allowed Sonam Chopel to do as he liked, choosing to defer to him as a matter of course. He somewhat ruefully mentions being overruled on numerous occasions. For example, Sonam Chopel had indefinitely put off Lobzang Gyatso’s longstanding wish to make a new crown for a statue of Mahakarunika (thugs rje chen po) called Rangjon Ngaden (rang byon lnga ldan), judging that it was costly and would earn no recognition. Only after Sonam Chopel’s funeral in 1659 did Lobzang Gyatso feel able to set up a workshop to make the crown to his specifications. It was ready for him to offer to the statue early in 1660.

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Zur Choying Rangdrol. Image credit: rywiki.tsadra.org

Sonam Chopel disapproved of Lobzang Gyatso having a Nyingma teacher, the renowned master Zur Choying Rangdrol (zur ston chos dbyings rang grol, 1604-1669). In 1636 Lobzang Gyatso deceived Sonam Chopel by pretending he needed to ask questions of Zur, and perform rituals with him, when in fact he was receiving teachings from him.

In Lobzang Gyatso’s autobiography there are frequent instances of Sonam Chopel ignoring Lobzang Gyatso’s advice. For example, in 1637 Sonam Chopel asked him what murals to paint on the main hall at Drepung and Lobzang Gyatso suggested the hundred Jataka stories and The Wish-fulfilling Tree (dpag bsam ‘khri shing) of Ksemendra, but this did not suit Sonam Chopel so he had something else done. When he saw the results, Lobzang Gyatso wrote that it would have been better if his advice had been followed. In 1636 and 1637 Lobzang Gyatso also complained that Sonam Chopel would not approve of lamas being invited to give him teachings and initiations to increase his knowledge; in 1638 he complained that Sonam Chopel prevented him from meeting a lama he wanted to take as a master.

On the other hand, over the thirty-six years they spent working together, from 1622 to 1658, there were only a few instances of Sonam Chopel’s policies being challenged by Lobzang Gyatso. Two major examples are in 1641 when the twenty-three-year-old Lobzang Gyatso strongly disagreed with Sonam Chopel’s plan to attack Tsang; and in 1652, as he was leaving to visit the Shunzhi Emperor of China, Lobzang Gyatso issued a decree to repeal and prohibit any further promulgation of the “gross” sectarian practices carried out under Sonam Chopel’s rule. After Lobzang Gyatso’s return from China in 1653 Sonam Chopel took more of a back seat and the former, now thirty-five years old, took over running the government.

 

The ‘Geluk’ Mongol Army and Conquest of Tibet

In the 138 years between 1480 and 1618 the Geluk had suffered a series of at least sixteen military attacks of varying magnitude, mostly by forces coming to U from Tsang, but somehow they had managed to survive them all. The seventeenth, however, the new combined threat from Tsang, Chogthu, Ligdan and Beri was by far the deadliest peril they had faced to date. Hearing about it, the Geluk abbots and patrons convened an emergency meeting with Sonam Chopel to find a way to prevent the extinction of their tradition.

This crucial conference was held at the historic house called Chudingne where patrons of Ganden Podrang would gather. They made offerings to the Lamo Tsangpa Oracle (la mo tsang pa), seeking a divination to resolve their plight. The Oracle advised them to go and ask the four Oirat Mongol tribes for help.

The meeting resolved that Sonam Chopel and Garu Lotsāwa Nache should go to Mongolia to solicit these tribes, Geluk converts, to come to their aid. By 1634 Sonam Chopel had recruited the Oirats, Dzungars and Urluks, Geluk tribes which had many monks in the Geluk monasteries of Lhasa, and who were just as fierce as the Khalkhas and Chahars. Together the tribal leaders deputed Gushri Khan, Chief of the Oirat Khoshot tribe, to lead a combined Geluk Mongol army to Tibet in defense of the Geluk. Sonam Chopel returned to Lhasa with the good news and Gushri Khan travelled to Tibet disguised as a pilgrim to reconnoiter the situation.

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A depiction of Gushri Khan. Image credit: Treasury of Lives. Click to enlarge.

Ligdan died of smallpox on the Kokonor plain as he headed for Tibet with his army and in 1637 Gushri Khan attacked Chogthu in Amdo, destroying him and his large army with a much smaller force. In the meantime, Gushri Khan became a close disciple of Lobzang Gyatso. At a ceremony hosted by Lobzang Gyatso in Lhasa later in 1637 the victorious Gushri was then honored as a ‘Religious king and defender of Buddhism.’ He then returned to Amdo where he remained with his tribe at pasture until 1640.

Sonam Chopel was the principal actor behind all this, and the Tsang regime’s most implacable foe; and he was not satisfied. In 1639 Gushri Khan signaled to Sonam Chopel and Lobzang Gyatso his intention to attack and destroy the Lhasa Geluk’s two main political and religious rivals: Donyo Dorje, the Bon King of Beri in the east who persecuted all the Buddhist traditions, and the Tsang regime in the west which had a long history of oppressing the Geluk. Sonam Chopel was in full agreement with this but, according to his autobiography, Lobzang Gyatso argued against it. He ruled that there had been enough bloodshed already and it was not necessary to compete with and attack other Tibetan leaders or parties.

The politically ambitious Sonam Chopel, however, insisted on taking advantage of the availability of Gushri and his victorious army to establish a greater Geluk supremacy. He rejected Lobzang Gyatso’s wish for peaceful co-existence, saying the Geluk had been unduly persecuted, and laying out his vision for peace under a forcibly united country led by Lobzang Gyatso.

As supposed justification for the attack on Beri, some histories cite a letter from the Beri king to the Karmapa in Tsang, intercepted by Gushri Khan’s men, proposing to destroy the Geluk tradition forever through joint action.

Lobzang Gyatso’s autobiography, however, clearly dates that letter at 1629; it further asserts that Gushri Khan decided to go to war because it was reported to him in 1638 that the Tsang king was persecuting the Tashilhunpo monks while constructing a new monastery on the hill above Tashilhunpo. The king called this monastery Chokhor Dechen (chos ‘khor bde chen), not Trashi Zilnon (bkra shis zil gnon) as mentioned in later Geluk sources.

More recently, it has also been suggested as a rationale for this invasion that economic advantages from controlling Kham could also accrue to the Geluk, by bringing the lucrative Sino-Tibetan border trade, formerly monopolized by the older traditions, within their sphere of influence.

In the summer of 1639, according to Lobzang Gyatso, Sonam Chopel, in front of the 21 year-old Dalai Lama and in defiance of his stated position, sent his messenger Kachu Genyen Dondrub to Gushri Khan with his assent for him to destroy Beri and then return to his base in Amdo. In the winter, Gushri Khan left Kokonor with his army and marched south, going first to Kham to eliminate the Beri King en route to central Tibet. By the end of 1640 the Beri King had been defeated and killed after a hard-fought campaign. To proclaim and celebrate Gushri’s victory Sonam Chopel hoisted flags of good tidings in the four directions around Lhasa and caused the “Great Banner of Power and Fortune” to be raised at the central western gate of Lhasa called Sapokgang.

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Statues of the Fifth Dalai Lama and (apparently) Güshri Khan seen by Johann Grueber in the lobby of the Dalai Lama’s palace in 1661. Image credit: Wikipedia. Click to enlarge.

Sonam Chopel agreed with Gushri Khan that he should now march on to Tsang with his army and attack the King, but Lobzang Gyatso opposed it again, accusing Sonam Chopel of going too far. After defeating Donyo Dorje and releasing his prisoners, Lobzang Gyatso expected Gushri to return directly to Amdo, as Sonam Chopel had earlier arranged, taking his army with him. Sonam Chopel, however, had already deceived Lobzang Gyatso by covertly sending with Kachu Genyen Dondrub additional verbal instructions for Gushri Khan to go and destroy the Tsang King and his allies, the Kagyu establishments to which he belonged.

To save Sonam Chopel’s face Lobzang Gyatso therefore proposed to go to Gushri Khan himself to request him personally to turn back but Sonam Chopel would not agree. He demanded that Lobzang Gyatso carry out a dice divination, which he did before the deity Pelden Lhamo (dpal ldan lha mo). The divination said: “The immediate strategy is good, but bad for the long run.” Sonam Chopel took this as confirmation that his plan was right “because in the end we all die anyway” and Lobzang Gyatso could give no answer.

Thus, after Gushri Khan had executed the Beri King at Chamdo and subdued the Bon in Kham, early in 1641 Chopel sent Tardongne (star sdong nas), a capable and high-ranking official, to guide Gushri and his forces to Shigatse. However, the Tsang King had been forewarned. The border posts were guarded, supplies, arms and ammunition were stockpiled and a high stockade was erected around the castle and the monastery. By the time Gushri got there, the Tsang forces were so well prepared that his men could not break the siege. Sonam Chopel had been busy travelling around U to take over or harass areas ruled by Tsang. When he heard from his informers about Gushri’s failure to capture the fort, he sent a spy inside. The spy reported that the Tsang defenses were so strong it would be impossible to break the siege. Chopel then contritely asked Lobzang Gyatso to go and mediate a settlement but Lobzang Gyatso spoke harshly, blaming him for the difficult situation. He declared that it was now far too late to stand down and they must persevere, pointing out that in any case the Mongols would never agree to withdraw and leave at this late stage.

Stung into action, Sonam Chopel raised an army of Tibetans comprised partly of people who had lost their traditional estates and partly of novice monks from Sera and Drepung. They captured Dongkar Castle (gdong dkar rdzong) in one day. Seeing the fall of Dongkar, a whole series of other Tsang-held forts surrendered one after the other. Chopel had engineered a pretense of Lhasa neutrality, but this was now dropped. He marched his Tibetan army on Shigatse to join Gushri with fresh provisions, fodder and weapons. The siege efforts intensified and by early spring of 1642, Tsang defenses broke. The King and his two main ministers capitulated and all three were imprisoned. At this point Lobzang Gyatso was invited to come for the inauguration of his rule over Tibet in the great assembly hall of Samdrubtse Castle (bsam grub rtse pho brang). The victorious Gushri and Chopel rode out to meet him two days journey from Shigatse.

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A picture of Gyantse town and fortress taken in 1938. Image credit: Wikipedia. Click to enlarge.

Soon after this conclusion, Garpa Yabse (sgar pa yab sras) of the Garpa family (sgar pa), supported by Tanak O Lonpa, Zhokhawa, Jupa Purtse Lhagangpa (phur rtse) other commanders and followers of the Karma Kagyu military forces in Kongpo and elsewhere, including Bhutan, fomented an uprising against the new government. Their armies captured the town of Gyantse, burned Dzingchi Monastery (rdzing phyi chos sde) and inspired a major rebellion in the region of Kongpo. Sonam Chopel and Gushri Khan had to quell the revolt, their forces killing 7,000 or 8,000 rebels in one place and capturing many more. They then moved around southern Tibet wiping out resistance and residual rebel forces. In the course of this they captured the official cook of the Karmapa, one Jama Choying (sgar pa’i mi sna ja ma chos dbyings), who was found to be wearing an amulet which contained details of a plan to eliminate the new government and replace it with Tsang and Karmapa supporters. It was a letter attached to an order of the Karmapa saying that Gushri Khan and Sonam Chopel were to be assassinated and the Panchen Lama and the Dalai Lama imprisoned in Kongpo. As a result, the captured Tsang King and his chief ministers, the last representatives of Tsang and Kagyu power in Tibet, were executed by the enraged Gushri Khan. They were sewn up in ox-hides and thrown in the Tsangpo River (gtsang po), a sentence reserved in Tibet for rebellious nobles.

Thus, after a brief campaign, Sonam Chopel and his Mongol army ended the rebellion of the Karma Kagyu and the last vestiges of their backers in Tsang against the newly established Geluk government in Lhasa.

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The 10th Karmapa, Choying Dorje. Image credit: kagyuoffice.org

Attacks on the Geluk by Kagyu forces in 1537 and by expansionist Tsang forces in 1618 had involved the capture of many Geluk monasteries and their forced conversion to the Kagyu tradition. In 1621 when Mongols counter-attacked the Tsang military bases in Lhasa, as part of the settlement some of these monasteries were returned to the Geluk. After the 1640-1642 war, Lobzang Gyatso agreed with the Tenth Karmapa to leave the Karma Kagyu in possession of most of their monasteries, while suggesting to Sonam Chopel that the remaining Geluk monasteries that had been seized should be returned. After the rebellions that followed the war, however, some additional Kagyu monasteries were seized by the Geluk as punishment for rebelling and intending to destroy all Geluk monasteries, and some because they had become neglected. In 1648, due to political considerations, some Kagyu monasteries and, according to some histories, also some Sakya and Bon, were converted to Geluk, but details are scarce. Chimpu (mchims phu) Monastery near Samye (bsam yas) had been Nyingma but was forcibly converted to Kagyu and later seized by the Geluk; in 1651, Lobzang Gyatso offered it back to the Nyingma. Jonang Monastery (jo nang dgon) was closed down after its founder Taranatha’s death in 1650 and re-opened as Geluk in 1658, but, according to Samten Karmay, Lobzang Gyatso did not issue any formal edict banning the Jonang tradition or its doctrines; nevertheless, the tradition did not survive in central Tibet.

The Tenth Karmapa was exiled for the next twenty-four years but according to his biography by Mendong Tsampa (sman sdong mtshams pa), his deputy the Fifth Gyeltsab Rinpoche (rgyal tshab 05 grags pa mchog dbyangs, 1617-1658) went to Lhasa in 1653 and successfully petitioned Lobzang Gyatso, Sonam Chopel and Gushri Khan for the return of their twenty-one most important monasteries. By 1653 the local nobility were also in such decline that they could no longer support the non-Geluk sects, already impoverished by warfare; whereas the Geluk were constantly enriched by copious donations from the Mongols. Those sects had to abandon some monasteries, some of which were then, presumably, occupied and converted by the Geluk.

 

De facto ruler of Tibet

Sonam Chopel assumed the leadership of the government as Regent under the Dalai Lama as soon as the latter had been commonly acknowledged as titular head of state by the assembled Tibetan and Mongolian leaders and masses at a solemn ceremony held at Samdrubtse Castle in April 1642. Lobzang Gyatso’s superior status was indicated by his being seated on a higher throne than Sonam Chopel and Gushri Khan, who were both seated at an equal level below him.

It was only after this investiture in Samdrubtse and his assumption of the regency that he took the name of Sonam Chopel. Until then he had been known as Gyale Chodze or Sonam Rabten, with the titles ‘Chakdzo’ and ‘Depa.’ From 1642 he kept the title of ‘Depa’ and Lobzang Gyatso in his writings started using this title to refer to him instead of ‘Zhelngo’.

Lobzang Gyatso describes in his autobiography how, Sonam Chopel having returned to U, the latter now exhorted him to stay in Lhasa rather than at Drepung, and to take over more political responsibilities. Lobzang Gyatso records that he preferred to devote himself to religious study instead of dealing with administrative or political matters. In the autobiography, which is normally quite detailed and specific in such matters, there is no indication that Sonam Chopel underwent any change of status, duties or responsibilities, during or after Lobzang Gyatso’s assumption of full political and religious power over Tibet; Sonam Chopel is consistently framed as the ruler taking the pre-eminent role in political affairs. Although Gushri Khan is often referred to as ‘the King,’ even in the years before the civil war, he like Sonam Chopel assumed an inferior position to Lobzang Gyatso in formal seating arrangements. Modern studies confirm that the use of the title ‘King of Tibet’ by Gushri Khan was only thanks to its conferral on him by the Fifth Dalai Lama. Gushri did not interfere in the administration or try to control its policies. Lobzang Gyatso’s role seems to have been that of a figurehead, while Sonam Chopel acted as de facto ruler and only referred matters to him on major issues or when he was in doubt, which was not very often.

 

Activities as ruler of Tibet

In 1642, according to Bhutanese sources, after Geluk forces had defeated the Tsangpa who was their common enemy, the court of the Zhabdrung actually wished to establish friendly diplomatic relations between Bhutan and Tibet. To this end the court insisted that the Zhabdrung send an envoy to Lhasa with a conciliatory letter to congratulate the Ganden Podrang along with gifts of rice, textiles and horses for the Dalai Lama. On arrival in Lhasa the envoy, who was the Zhabdrung’s half brother Tenzin Drukdrak (bstan ‘dzin ‘brugs drags), first showed the Zhabdrung’s letter to Sonam Chopel. Sonam Chopel, however, fresh from their victories over all the Tibetan rivals of the Geluk, thought his combined Mongol/Tibetan forces were invincible. He asserted three improbable pre-conditions: first, the Zhabdrung had to return to Tibet; second, he had to restore the estates of the Lhapa Kagyus (lha pa bka’ brgyud) that he had seized; and third, the Zhabdrung should submit to the new Geluk hegemony.

Sonam-Chopel9-4-faced-mahakala

Four-Faced Mahakala. Click to enlarge.

When Tenzin Drukdrak sought the Zhabdrung’s advice, he was instructed simply to give the rice offering to a Sakya monastery and to return to Bhutan with the other gifts. An infuriated Sonam Chopel then sent an ultimatum to the Zhabdrung to fulfill his demands or risk the wrath of the Mongol King; sending him a bag full of tiny mustard seeds he added that there were as many Mongol soldiers ready to attack Bhutan as there were seeds in the bag. Zhabdrung’s response was to pulverize the seeds into a mash and send it back with the message that ‘if the Mongol King would not listen, his protective deity Mahakala (mgon po) would not listen either’. He also sent a rock and a needle saying that only if Sonam Chopel could pierce the rock with the needle would he agree to his demands. He then started raising an army and expelled all Geluk followers, with whom he had been hitherto on good terms, from Bhutan. In a tit for tat measure Sonam Chopel expelled many lamas of the Drukpa Kagyu school from Tibet.

In 1643 Sonam Chopel began organizing a census, starting with the provinces of To (stod) to the north and Tsang to the east, and formulating taxation laws. He commissioned a detailed survey of the land and population and gradually appointed officials to assess taxes.

In 1644, following the post-war rebellion of the Karmapa, Sonam Chopel and Gushri Khan were patrolling the southern borders of the Tibetan plateau with their army to wipe out any residual resistance. Arriving in Lhodrak, to the west of Tsang and to the north of Bhutan, they drove the Karmapa and his remaining rebels eastwards, into Kham. At this point, Sonam Chopel suddenly decided to send seven hundred mixed Tibetan and Mongol troops south from Lhodrak into Bhutan, apparently in two detachments. One detachment was sent southwest towards Thimpu and Punakha a hundred or so kilometers to the west and across the border from Phari in Tibet, which comprised all the territory that the Zhabdrung had so far consolidated. Another column was sent south into Bumthang valley (Bum-thang) where it was defeated, presumably at the hand of the forces of the King of Bumthang; this central valley was not consolidated into Bhutan for another decade. Thus Sonam Chopel’s aim was more likely to punish the inhabitants of the region in general for aiding and abetting Tibetan rebels, rather than targeting the Zhabdrung specifically.

The detachment that went towards Thimpu met the Zhabdrung’s forces and fought an inconclusive battle where Paro town now stands, followed by an impasse lasting until the spring of 1645 with the invaders unused to the precipitous and dense jungle terrain and unable to cope with the heat and humidity; the Mongol troop division retreated, leaving the Tibetans to face defeat and shattering the myth of Mongol invincibility. Three Tibetan commanders, Nangso Ngodrup (nang so dngos grup), Drongtsene (‘brong rtse nas) and Duchungne (‘dus byung nas) and twenty two other officers, twenty five in all, were taken prisoner and held hostage at Punakha Dzong. Ordinary Tibetan soldiers who failed to escape the Bhutanese were disarmed, escorted back to the border and let go; all their weaponry and armor were seized and offered to the protector deities in their chapel at Punakha Dzong, where they remain till this day.

Sonam-Chopel10-Punakha Dzong

A picture of Punakha Dzong taken in 1637. Image credit: Treasury of Lives.

In 1645 Sonam Chopel met with Lobzang Gyatso and Gushri Khan and they decided to construct the Potala Palace (po ta la). They visited the proposed site together and arranged consecration rituals to prepare for construction to begin. The initial external structure of the White Palace was built over the next three years with the help of indentured labor from U and Tsang. By 1649, the structure was finished, allowing Lobzang Gyatso to move in. In 1646 Sonam Chopel negotiated a peace treaty with Bhutan to release the three hostages, who were sent back to Tibet with gifts the following year. The previous status quo and original borders were reinstated and both sides committed themselves to harmonious coexistence. The Bhutanese also undertook to pay an annual tribute of rice which they had previously offered to the Tsang King; now they would pay it to the Dalai Lama’s government instead. However, in early 1648 Sonam Chopel broke the 1646 treaty by ordering a new, three-pronged invasion of Bhutan with his younger brother Norbu (nor bu) in command of the main army. This supposedly well-organized expedition ended in disaster. The attempt met with an even worse fate than the first one, with Norbu’s column fleeing in terror, causing the other columns to retreat as well. Again, most of the armor, weapons and supplies were lost to the Bhutanese. Norbu, in his defeat, was accused of colluding with the Bhutanese.

Ngawang Namgyel’s success and his decisive victories over Sonam Chopel’s attempts to invade Bhutan in 1644 and 1648 were attributed to his effective use of occult powers, rather than to superior Bhutanese prowess in battle. Previously, as a last resort during the 1639-42 Tibetan civil wars, Sonam Chopel had himself reluctantly resorted to the use of magic rituals. He had requested Nyingma rituals to be performed by Lobzang Gyatso and his Nyingma lama Zur Choying Rangdrol to apparent great effect. Now, in 1650 or 1651, Sonam Chopel requested Zur to arrange such a rite against Bhutan at Phari (phag ri) by the border. When Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel suddenly died from unknown causes four months later, Sonam Chopel complimented Zur and his assistant on the efficacy of their magical rites.

Sonam-Chopel11-Shunxi-Emperor

Qing Shunzhi Emperor, the Third Emperor of China. Image credit: Wikipedia

As mentioned above, in 1648 after the defeat in Bhutan, various Kagyu and possibly some Sakya and Bon monasteries were seized and converted to the Geluk. Moreover, monks from traditions other than the Geluk were forbidden to wear their traditional styles of hats that showed their affiliation. Other mechanisms were implemented to systematically convert and absorb the other institutions into the Geluk: they were banned from recruiting new monks and there was a ban on the maintenance of border-taming temples built by pre-Geluk traditions. All these measures stemmed from Sonam Chopel’s influence. These sectarian policies continued for several years, up to the eve of Lobzang Gyatso’s departure to meet the Qing Shunzhi Emperor (1638-1661) in the summer of 1652, when Lobzang Gyatso issued a decree forbidding all such practices.

When Lobzang Gyatso returned from Beijing seventeen months later, in December 1653, Sonam Chopel met him at Gamo (dga’ mo) with a welcoming party including not only Geluk lamas but also Drigung Kagyu and Taklung Kagyu lamas and others. Sonam Chopel apparently wished to show that he had mended his sectarian ways. In addition, as mentioned in the Karmapa’s biography, the twenty-one most important Kagyu monasteries that had been seized by the Geluk in 1648 were given back to the tradition soon after Lobzang Gyatso’s return.

 

Final Years

Gushri Khan, Lobzang Gyatso’s pious and devoted disciple, always made his army and his advice available to Sonam Chopel in their joint collaboration. This ensured Lobzang Gyatso’s authority was maintained over the widest unified Tibetan Kingdom established since the time of King Tri Udumtsen (khri ur dum btsan, r.836-842), also known as Langdarma, in the ninth century. However, after all the earlier conquests, Sonam Chopel’s prestige suffered from his serial failures to take Bhutan, especially since these were blamed on his brother Norbu, whom he had appointed to lead the army.

In the summer of 1656 Sonam Chopel launched a third military invasion of Bhutan, with Norbu commanding four armies advancing from U, Tsang, Kham and Kongpo.

He went to the border area to supervise but the result was as before. After a year of guerrilla tactics by the Bhutanese in their jungles and ravines, the Tibetan armies, bogged down with sickness and low morale, suffered another ignominious defeat and retreated in disarray. Once again, Norbu was accused of colluding with the Bhutanese. Sonam Chopel returned to Lhasa with demoralized survivors late in the summer of 1657; there is scarce further mention of him until the spring of 1658 when he fell ill and Lobzang Gyatso ordered prayers and rituals to be done for his health and long life. However, on the third day of the third Tibetan month, Sonam Chopel suddenly died following an epileptic fit. He was sixty-three years old.

Lobzang Gyatso kept the death a secret for thirteen months while arranging rituals to be done for his welfare as if he were alive. When the death was announced he ordered and oversaw the funerary rituals. Offerings to the value of 14,000 tons of barley were made to 125,000 participating monks. Listed over several pages, they included 50 kilos of gold, 44,000 bolts of different kinds of cloth and 65,000 ceremonial scarves.

In contrast, Lobzang Gyatso paid somewhat muted written tribute to the deceased: “Sonam Chopel took on not only many troubles for the sake of the Geluk, but also performed other extensive activities that are undeniable and known to all.”

Following the death of his main collaborator Gushri Khan in 1655, Sonam Chopel had become a rather insignificant figure, apart from his involvement in his third ill-fated Bhutan war. Judging by the faint praise afforded to him by Lobzang Gyatso after his death in 1658, and given that Sonam Chopel’s activities are hardly mentioned in the autobiography after 1653, it appears that Sonam Chopel was semi-retired and it was Lobzang Gyatso, now forty years old, who was running the government.

Nevertheless, Sonam Chopel remains a key person in Tibetan history who, in his prime, manipulated people and events to establish the Dalai Lama dynasty which continued to rule Tibet and Tibetans to one extent or another until the present era, that of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama.

He left his brother Norbu in a position to succeed him and Lobzang Gyatso, although he often criticized Norbu in his autobiography, felt obliged to appoint him as his second Depa, Desi or Regent, in the midsummer of 1659, on the sixteenth day of the sixth month of the Tibetan Earth-pig year.

 

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Source: Sean Jones, “Sonam Chopel,” Treasury of Lives, accessed July 11, 2018, http://treasuryoflives.org/biographies/view/Sonam-Chopel/6874.

 


 

Sean Jones left school in England in the 1960s to travel overland to India and lived in the Himalayan regions for a decade, before returning to London to establish a successful travel business. From 1985 he travelled all over Tibet and in the UK he co-founded a number of Tibet-related organizations. An autodidact, he has written and published various articles on Tibet, its people and its history, including in Wikipedia.

Published September 2017
Updated May 2018

Disclaimer: All rights are reserved by the author. The article is reproduced here for educational purposes only.

 

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  1. Pastor Adeline Woon on Jul 28, 2018 at 7:00 am

    Nice short video of a new LED signage reminding us of who we can go to for blessings in case of need: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBwrkaKUoH0

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    Listening to the chanting of sacred words, melodies, mantras, sutras and prayers has a very powerful healing effect on our outer and inner environments. It clears the chakras, spiritual toxins, the paths where our ‘chi’ travels within our bodies for health as well as for clearing the mind. It is soothing and relaxing but at the same time invigorates us with positive energy. The sacred sounds invite positive beings to inhabit our environment, expels negative beings and brings the sound of growth to the land, animals, water and plants. Sacred chants bless all living beings on our land as well as inanimate objects. Do download and play while in traffic to relax, when you are about to sleep, during meditation, during stress or just anytime. Great to play for animals and children. Share with friends the blessing of a full Dorje Shugden puja performed at Kechara Forest Retreat by our puja department for the benefit of others. Tsem Rinpoche

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  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Mar 1. 2021 04:01 PM
    Interesting read with the discovery of various legends, texts by archaeologists thousands years ago. Historians and experts had investigated and found evidence of contact between humans and extra-terrestrial life very much earlier. Their findings theory seem that extra-terrestrials have visited Earth for millions of years. Since the age of the dinosaurs to ancient Egypt, from early cave drawings to continued mass sightings in the US. Historians had revealed that aliens have been with us all along. Encounters with strange beings and sightings of mysterious objects in the sky have been recorded. Such as Christopher Columbus’ first voyage to America witnessed strange lights in the sky and sightings of flying cigar-shaped crafts were reported during the Black Plague that struck Europe and Asia in the mid-1300s. There were many others historical evidence of early civilization that had close encounters with Aliens. Interesting read and to watch the video.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/ancient-aliens-closer-encounters.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Feb 27. 2021 05:33 PM
    Watching the videos and looking at those pictures in this post tell us more. Sad to see the working conditions really bad especially in the brick kilns of Andhra Pradesh,India. We could see those working men, women and younf children are working round the clock 12 just to earn a living.
    We are considered more fortunate enough than them and we should not complain of what we have, live and so on. We should appreciate every moment , what we have now to do good and beneficial for others, no matter how hard and difficult at times as others might be worse than us.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing with us .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/you-have-to-see-this.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Feb 27. 2021 05:32 PM
    Wow…..wonderful dog lovers should read to help them to be more caring, loving having a pet. Once we have them as our pet we have the responsibility to give care and love to them. Dogs have feelings like us and is men best friend.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this essential facts for dog lovers.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/20-essential-facts-dog-lovers-must-always-remember.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Feb 27. 2021 05:31 PM
    Scientists had looking at long term, discovered that estimated about 100 to 10,000 species will be extinct soon if nothing is done. Could imagine from microscopic organisms to large plants and animals will go extinct each year. Animal such as sharks, lions, Pit bulls dogs and so forth as mentioned in this blog can become extinct when humans over hunt and over fish, pollute the environment, destroy habitats , and many others. Reading this post tells us more those world’s most dangerous animals are in fact in danger themselves. But the actions of humans toward those dangerous animal has proven more dangerous than that of the animal. Interesting read .
    Thank you Shakila Rajendra for this sharing…..good knowledge . May more people are aware of the harm they are doing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/the-worlds-most-dangerous-animals-in-danger-themselves.html
  • sarassitham
    Thursday, Feb 25. 2021 01:04 AM
    This is kind of hard to believe and shocking to imagine the weirdest addiction of people in this planet, they are extremely strange. People can become addicted to actions, feelings, or behaviors, not just substances. There must be something behind of every addiction, I don’t think they are crazy or mentally ill, it’s their weird enjoyment for a short time.

    I had a friend in my primary school who eats mud during rainy days, she told me, it smells good and she enjoys doing it during her play time. I found it strange but has she grow up in different environment she forget about her addiction. So, I strongly believe, all behaviors can be changed when the person gains self-awareness and actually wants to change. Thanks for the interesting sharing and recall of my childhood friend.
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Feb 24. 2021 01:33 PM
    nteresting read of this history of how Dorje Shugden practice came into light . Since Dorje Shugden was introduced into the Sakya tradition, there have been many Sakya throne holders that practiced Dorje Shugden. Out of the 42 supreme throne holders throughout the history of the Sakya tradition, six of the thrones holders are confirmed to have practiced Dorje Shugden. They have built chapels to him, composed prayers and pujas (kangsols) to him and even propagated his practice amongst their disciples. They cannot be wrong and in fact as confirmed by the 39th Sakya Trizin Dragshul Trinley Rinchen Dorje Shugden is an enlightened being. Dorje Shugden kangsol (prayer) to invoke the blessings of Dorje Shugden composed by him is still widely used today. Dorje Shugden must be a powerful Dharma protector that Sakya tradition have been long relying. It has proven that Dorje Shugden is not a minor practice. Interesting read , may more people read this post to understand better.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this post .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/sakya-trizins-dorje-shugden-prayer.html
  • sarassitham
    Tuesday, Feb 23. 2021 11:23 PM
    Thank you for sharing this yummy recipe. It looks very delicious, healthy and nutritious. I can’t wait to try making it has the ingredients are easy to purchase and methods are simple. I wonder what it taste like.

    https://bit.ly/37DAV7y
  • sarassitham
    Monday, Feb 22. 2021 11:55 PM
    There are lots of people have more than one reason for choosing vegetarianism. Many people choose a vegetarian diet out of concern over animal rights or the environment and others may be based on religious beliefs or even for healthier lifestyle.

    Regardless of whether you choose a vegetarian way of life, it’s always a healthy idea to eat a wide variety of foods and try out new foods when you can.

    Thank you for the sharing and compiling the list of vegetarian restaurants and organic shops in Klang Valley. I am glad to know whereabout and hoping to try them.

    https://bit.ly/3siC4tf
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Feb 22. 2021 03:30 PM
    Begtse Chen, a deity of alien origin, was incorporated into the pantheon of Tibetan Buddhism as a protector of the Dharma. This Proyector is one of the eight famous Dharmapala in Tantric Buddhism. Also known as red Mahakala and is especially revered in Mongolia where the origin of Begtse Chen can be traced to a pre-Buddhist deity in 16th century. It has become the mainstay of Protector practice in Mongolia. Interesting read.
    Thank you for this sharing .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-dharma-protector-begtse-chen.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Feb 22. 2021 03:27 PM
    Interesting read of Kunkhyen Choku Ozer was a lineage master of the Manjushri Namasamgiti Tantra. He became known as Kunkhyen Choku Ozer due to his ability to penetrate the meaning of the great Buddhist treatises merely just by glancing at it. He could memolised texts just by reading it once. Reading this post and information at least I can know he is also a part of Dorje Shugden’s incarnation lineage. He is also famed for establishing the ancient monastery of Dakpo Tsele.
    Thank you Pastor David for this sharing as many of us would not have known this GREAT Lama was part of Dorje Shugden’s incarnation lineage.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/kunkhyen-choku-ozer-master-of-the-kalachakra-guhyasamaja-tantras.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Feb 22. 2021 03:25 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for the teachings on Dorje Shugden and explanation on retreat. Learning and practicing this Dorje Shugden’s practice have indeed benefited many people. And more so when to do a retreat. . We are all very fortunate to be given an opportunity to meet Tsem Rinpoche and learning, practicing all these precious teachings coming from a pure lineage that can be traced back to the time of the great Lama Tsongkhapa. A very detailed explanation on why we need the retreat and the way to do the retreat.
    Thanks again Rinpoche with folded hands.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/dorje-shugden-retreat-a-powerful-practice-to-fulfill-wishes.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Feb 21. 2021 01:54 PM
    Tsem Rinpoche had been working tirelessly teaching Dharma in his whole life, giving many opportunities for us to learn , practice Dharma teachings. Whatever goes wrong we should admit it as our own fault and not our guru. Rinpoche ‘s love to spread Dharma teachings and nothing else. He had followed his advice of his guru to come all the way from India to teach in Malaysia. Reading all those meaningful quotes and sayings in this article tells us a thousand words of truth which we should not take it lightly. We could in fact learn from it and stop blaming others.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this profound teachings.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/is-it-the-gurus-fault.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Feb 21. 2021 01:51 PM
    HH the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso , the highest spiritual leader of Tibet, who is a living Bodhisattva, an emanation of Avalokiteśvara. Blessing to have a change looking at this rare picture taken years ago of Dalai lama on the throne . Dalai Lama is well known as a Buddhist Advocate for Peace and Freedom.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/his-holiness-the-supreme-holder-of-the-white-lotus.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Feb 21. 2021 01:48 PM
    Tibetans all over the world celebrates Losar, or Tibetan New Year with the beginning of Lunar year. This year it falls on the 12 February, every one will be looking forward to this day. A new year a new beginning , where the Panglung Oracle will take trance of the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. As usual every year the Panglung Oracle will give advices, offering guidance, for the year ahead to everyone of what to do and so forth. Whatever advices given should not taken lightly. The Panglung Oracle as Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden will also give teachings and blessing . For this year Dorje Shugden gave a very powerful teachings and messages.
    Thank you for sharing this precious message.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/dorje-shugdens-2021-losar-advice.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Feb 20. 2021 02:06 PM
    Interesting read , even though short but at least knowing the home Monastery of H E Tsem Rinpoche’s previous incarnation, Gedun Nyedrak. The monastery was called ‘Tsem’,where a custodian of a tooth relic of the great Lama Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
    Thank you Pastor David for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/gedun-nyedrak-an-abbot-of-gaden.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

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

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

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
2 yearss ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
2 yearss ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
2 yearss ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
2 yearss ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
2 yearss ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
2 yearss ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
2 yearss ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
2 yearss ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
2 yearss ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
2 yearss ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
2 yearss ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
2 yearss ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
2 yearss ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
2 yearss ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
2 yearss ago
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
2 yearss ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
2 yearss ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
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  • Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
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    This is the first time His Holiness Dalai Lama mentions he had some very serious illness. Very worrying. This video is captured April 2019.
  • Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
    2 yearss ago
    Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
  • This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
    2 yearss ago
    Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
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    2 yearss ago
    These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
    2 yearss ago
    Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
  • Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
    2 yearss ago
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  • Beautiful
    2 yearss ago
    Beautiful
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    2 yearss ago
    My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
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    2 yearss ago
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    2 yearss ago
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  • SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    2 yearss ago
    SUPER ADORABLE and must see
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  • Cute!
    2 yearss ago
    Cute!
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    2 yearss ago
    Uncle Wong
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  • Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
    2 yearss ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
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    2 yearss ago
    Cute baby owl found and rescued
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    2 yearss ago
    Nice cups from Kechara!!
    Dorje Shugden people's lives matter!
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    2 yearss ago
    Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
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    3 yearss ago
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    3 yearss ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    3 yearss ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
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    3 yearss ago
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    3 yearss ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 yearss ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    3 yearss ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    3 yearss ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    3 yearss ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

  • February 27, 2021 03:31
    Sandra asked: Respected pastors, Is it ok to pray from different areas in the house (even where there is no altar)? I was told you can't create 2 altars in 1 house.
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Thank you for your question and its nice to see you here again. The reason why we pray in front of our altars is because it becomes a focal point of the enlightened energies we are invoking. Therefore it becomes a kind of portal for the energies of transformation, peace, healing, prosperity and protection. It is also the place where we make offerings to the Buddhas. As such, most people usually only have 1 altar in their home. However, you can have more than 1 altar in your home. As it is an altar, it should be complete with representations of the body, speech and mind of the Buddhas. This would be an image (either a statue, thangka, tsa tsa, poster, framed picture, etc), a Dharma text and a stupa. In front of these, you should have at least 1 type of offering or more. This can be a fixed offering or maybe even a set of water offerings, which you make every day. Since practitioners make offerings on a daily basis, most opt to have only 1 altar, but there is no rule in Buddhism to say you can only have 1 altar. The altar however, should be placed in a respectful place. So, not in the bathroom. Or if in the bedroom, you should put a screen up to block it when you are changing, sleeping, etc. Alternatively, you can keep it in a cupboard, and close the doors during such activities. But altars should be dedicated places to the Buddhas, so don't put secular items in the same place, such as on the same shelf, etc. When it comes to praying, it is usually done in front of the altar, as you are invoking the enlightened beings. When you do your prayers there it becomes a powerful place in your home, and provides you with a sacred space to pray and meditate. However, if circumstances are difficult, then of course you can pray elsewhere. For example, when I first set up an altar, I was living in a single room with not much space. I set up an altar on a shelf but was not able to pray in front of it. Once I had made offerings, I would simply sit in another part of the room and do the prayers there. If it is really not convenient, then of course it is permissible to do the prayers elsewhere. It is better to do the prayers, than not do them at all if you can't be in front of your altar. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • February 25, 2021 01:33
    Kuenzang wangdi asked: What would be my most suitable colour ?
    pastor answered: Dear Kuenzang Wangdi, Thank you for your question. The following calculators may be of interest to you: Chinese Zodiac: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/horoscopes/the-chinese-zodiac.html Tibetan Astrology: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/tibetan-astrology/tibetan-astrology.html In relation to which colour if most favourable for you, unfortunately our calculators do not give this information. However, from a Buddhist practice viewpoint, what is more important is the transformation of the mind. Once we transform our minds according to teachings, we are able to overcome any obstacle and create good conditions for our lives. You can learn a very short mind transformation teaching here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/eight-verses-of-thought-transformation.html You can couple this with formal practice. If you are interested, a very good practice to bring energies of increase and generate a long life, merits, wealth and prosperity in your life, is the the practice of Gyenze. You can find information about the practice here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/dorje-shugden-gyenze-to-increase-life-merits-and-wealth.html. I hope this helps. Thanks.
  • February 22, 2021 22:14
    Naseer asked: Hi My name is Naseer Ahmed 8th dec 1979. Life path 1 Im looking to add to my name slightly... change it too... Naseer Al Ahmed... Would this be more complimentary as far as for the business front... or would it not make any difference
    pastor answered: Hello Naseer, As per your question, your Life Path Number is 1. The Life Path Number according to the system of numerology used on our website is calculated using your date of birth. Therefore, a change in name will not affect your Life Path Number. Some of the other calculators on the same page do however use your name. One of the smaller calculators you may be interested in is the Achievement Number, but again, this only uses your date of birth for the calculation. You can find it here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/numerology/numerology-calculator.html You may also be interested in two of our other pages: Chinese Zodiac - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/horoscopes/the-chinese-zodiac.html Tibetan Astrology - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/tibetan-astrology/tibetan-astrology.html Thank you for your question. I hope this helps.
  • February 20, 2021 18:36
    Sandra asked: After making a food offering to the three jewels (which we will eat for lunch etc), should we think of it as a blessing and partake?
    pastor answered: Hello Sandra, When making food offerings to the Three Jewels, which you eat yourself, when you recite the prayer and make the offering, you should visualise that the Buddhas receive your food offering and because you have made an offering, they are very pleased. It also fulfills one of the Refuge commitments, which is to offer the first portion of whatever we eat and drink to the Three Jewels, while remembering their kindness. You can then partake of the meal and consider it a blessing from the Three Jewels. Alternatively, you can set out a plate (which you reserve for this purpose) of food, which you can offer on your altar. Similarly, once the food has been left on your altar for a while, you can later remove it and consume it as a blessing. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • February 19, 2021 04:33
    Sandra asked: Is intovertedness a bad quality? Since Buddha is so altruistic and this is the opposite trait, it must be bad. How do you think one should lessen introverted tendencies?
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Introvertedness is not a bad quality. Altruism and compassion are different from being an introvert or extrovert. Introverts are generally quieter people, less expressive of their emotions, while extroverts are the opposite. Buddhist practice is not about expression of emotion. Rather the altruistic and compassionate teachings are more about how you help other people and sentient beings, physically or emotionally. If the qualities of introverted-ness are stopping you from developing these, then they need to change. But this may not be necessary, depending on the qualities that you are talking about. You can do simple meditations to building up the energy of compassion in your mindstream and you will see that you actions will automatically start to be more compassionate and altruistic. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • February 18, 2021 03:28
    Sandra asked: How should one behave when negative karma is being purified? How can we know if bad karma is being purified? Do we accumulate positive karma simultaneously when doing purification practices? Many thanks for your response.
    pastor answered: Hello again Sandra, There are two ways in which karma can be purified, the first is through our own efforts alone and the second is through our own effort, combined with a purification practice. Through our own efforts: this means that you transform your mind enough to not react negatively in any situation and only react in a positive manner. For example, you may have the karma to get angry. So you get into situations which makes you angry. If you react normally, then you will get angry again, this will only lead you to create more karma of being angry. But if you make the effort not to get angry in those situations then you do not create or multiply that karma. The original karma you have may lead you to be in those types of situations again, but if you do not get angry then after a while you start to purify that karma. Through your own efforts, combined with a purification practice: as you are working on transforming your mind, you can rely on the practices that help you to purify your karma, such as the practice of Vajrasattva or the 35 Confessional Buddhas. This boosts your ability to purify negative karma, based on the enlightened energies of the Buddhas. This however is only truly effective when combined with the Four Opponent Powers. You can read more about that here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-35-confessional-buddhas.html In general, when karma is being purified then you should remain level-headed and not act out of emotion or habit, but from your understanding of the workings of karma and the Dharma. But actually, this should not only be when karma is being purified. You should act and behave in this way all the time according to the Dharma, then you are, up to a point, always purifying karma. It is one of the reasons that so much emphasis is placed on refraining from negative actions and engaging in positive actions using your body, speech and mind, because these are the three means or 'doors' with which you interact with the world. At our level, we cannot tell if karma is being purified or not, only those who are more highly attained can tell. However, that is one of the reasons the Buddhist texts advise study of and belief in karma. If there is karma, then it can be purified, and the way to do so is transform your mind and invoke upon the enlightened beings. So if you are doing both, you can rest assured that you are in fact purifying your karma. When you purify negative karma, whether just through your own efforts or combined with a purification practice you collect merit, not positive karma. If you simply do a good action, you collect good karma. But if you are practicing the Dharma with the intention of achieving enlightenment, you take refuge, engage in the practice, and dedicate at the end, then you develop merit, not positive karma. If you want to read more about how karma works and how to purify it in more detail, I suggest you read a Lamrim text such as Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand, which you can order from your local bookstore or get online here (https://www.vajrasecrets.com/lamrim-liberation-in-the-palm-of-your-hand).
  • February 17, 2021 23:06
    Sandra asked: Hello pastors, thank you for your response to my earlier question. Do divination predictions change frequently? Why does that happen?
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Thank you for your question. Divinations, compared to astrological predictions, are much more accurate. There are many types of divination, but those based on the practice of enlightened beings are very accurate. Three of the most well-known in Tibetan Buddhism are the divination practices of Manjushri, Palden Lhamo and Dorje Shugden. You can read more about Dorje Shugden's dice divination here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/dorje-shugdens-dice-divination.html Questions that are asked during divinations are much more specific than the types of topics that astrological predictions can help with, therefore are based on very specific types of karma. This means that if you asked a divination question twice, without taking remedial actions in between, then the answer would most likely be the same, given that all the prerequisites have been held by the diviner and the divinations are genuine. However, if a divination is done and then remedial actions recommended, such as various practices or pujas, and these are done to the letter, then if the question is asked again, then the results would differ. This is because when engaging in these practices or pujas, either you generate the merit necessary to overpower the negative effects of the karma, or you purify the negative effects of the karma creating the situation. This however, is generally not done. You wouldn't ask the same question twice or over and over again. The reason for this is because one of the factors that comes into play when seeking divination is faith. This is faith in the fact that the remedial actions recommended will help whatever situation you are facing. Having seen H.E. Tsem Rinpoche do countless divinations for people, I can attest to this. Those who have faith and follow through with the advice, see a great improvement in the situation that led them to ask the divination question in the first place. Those that did not follow the advice either at all or not fully, did not see any improvement. And this makes sense, because they did not purify the effects of the karma enough, or generate enough merit. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • February 15, 2021 04:09
    sandra asked: How much importance should we give to astrological predictions or chart readings? Are these readings susceptible to change all the time,i.e, in the context of planetary movements? Can our own effort/actions supercede what is predicted in our birth chart?
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Thank you for your interesting question. You are absolutely correct about the universal principle of change. According to Buddhist practice, astrological predictions are based upon a fixed point in time. Take for example, your moment of birth, which most astrological readings take as the main point of reference. At that specific moment, there would have been various energies or planetary alignments, etc. Combined together, they are said to give an accurate prediction of what will occur to a person throughout their life. This however, is based on one's birth karma, to be born at that specific point in time and location. This birth karma also provides the driving force behind what will occur in a person's life, if that karma is not changed somehow. Hence, that is why astrological predictions can give very accurate readings on someone's personality, as well as life events. Birth karma provides the main force behind all other karma to come into play. That is why it is given importance in astrology. There are also more advanced methods to take into account planetary and energetical movements to give even more detailed and precise predictions that can even be made down to the month, day or hour of a person's life. In Buddhism, however, we believe that karma can be changed. It can multiply, be purified or exhausted, or the effects of that karma can be overpowered by another karma or spiritual merit. In these cases, the outcome will change. The way in which this happens is varied. It can be as simple as doing some prayers (to generate spiritual merit) or changing your behaviour, environment or location, the way you think, and the ways in which you react in various situations. That is why in Buddhist astrological systems, emphasis is placed on remedial measures to counteract negative outcomes. For example, someone may be born with an angry disposition from an astrological point of view. If this person goes through life acting from this anger, then the predictions based on the time of birth will occur. However, a remedial action can be undertaken, such as the person pracitising Chenrezig, who is the Buddha of compassion, or the person doing some form of charity work. These remedial actions generate compassion in the mind of the person, which counteracts the anger. As this happens and the karma is changed, then the person no longer needs to feels the negative effects of any bad astrological (or more correctly - karmic) situations. There are even some practices that specifically help to counteract negative astrological influences and help you to change things. Such an example is Black Manjushri. Within Tibetan Buddhism, according to your time and date of birth, you also have what is known as a 'Birth Buddha'. This is basically an enlightened being that you have an affinity with in this life. General remedial actions include making images of this particular Buddha or engaging in this Buddha's practice. This combined with a change in how we live - otherwise known as Mind Transformation in the Buddhist context - changes astrological outcomes. However, if we continue living without controlling our actions, words and thoughts, the predictions made using astrological readings will most likely still occur. I hope this explanation helps. Thank you.
  • February 7, 2021 00:16
    Purna Tamang asked: What is my lucky number and color ?
    pastor answered: Dear Purna Tamang, Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, none our horoscope apps on this page gives this information at this moment. However, you may find some of the other information provided useful. Below are the links: For Chinese Zodiac: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/horoscopes/the-chinese-zodiac.html For Tibetan astrology: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/tibetan-astrology/tibetan-astrology.html For Numerology: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/numerology/numerology-calculator.html For Fortune cookies: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/fortune-cookie Thank you and I hope you find something interesting in one of the apps.
  • January 20, 2021 03:32
    Sangita. asked: i want to buy my own house.which mantra i should chant to have my own house.kindly reply.
    pastor answered: Dear Sangita, Thank you for your question. Everything in our lives, whether good or bad is due to our karma. This is karma we have accumulated either in previous lives or earlier on in this life. You can learn more about this here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/discovering-yourself-a-teaching-on-karma-mindstream.html Sometimes, we go through obstacles or need some form of spiritual help to assist us in improving our situations. In these circumstances we can rely on the practice of certain deities. One of these deities is the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. You can read more about this deity and his practice here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/beginners-introduction-to-dorje-shugden.html You can learn more about Dorje Shugden's practice here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/dorje-shugden-teaching-videos.html. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • January 12, 2021 00:32
    Laurence Brahm asked: Hello la. I would like to get in touch with Rinpoche. My name is Laurence Brahm and I've directed the two films including Searching for The Lotus Born Master. I would like to get in touch with Rinpoche in hopes he would kindly agree to an interview with our third production on Guru Rinpoche and also I would like to ask some questions concerning Shambala. I would be most grateful if Rinpoche would email me at himalayanconsensus2@gmail.com Thank you. With respects
    pastor answered: Dear Laurence Brahm, Thank you for your questions. This section is actually answered by Kechara's Pastors who were trained by His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche. Unfortunately, Tsem Rinpoche is no longer with us physically. He passed into Parinirvana in 2019. You can read more about this here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/the-parinirvana-of-kyabje-tsem-rinpoche.html If you would like to ask questions to any of the pastors regarding this, please email care@kechara.com with more information and mention that you would like to talk to one of the pastors. Thank you
  • December 31, 2020 14:46
    Jose Ajuria asked: What are the qualities of the Buddha Dharma and Sangha
    pastor answered: Dear Jose Ajuria, Here is a short article that discusses the qualities of the Three Jewels: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/taking-refuge-by-pabongka-rinpoche.html For a more in-depth text regarding this, please read Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand (https://www.vajrasecrets.com/lamrim-liberation-in-the-palm-of-your-hand). The text describes the qualities and benefits of taking refuge in each, in much more detail. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • December 30, 2020 09:55
    Dan asked: Dear pastors, some vegetarians said egg can eat. While some say no. What is your opinion on this. Thank you
    pastor answered: Dear Dan, Thank you for your question. There are differing views on eggs as part of the vegetarian diet. Some people would say that since eggs we get these days are not fertilized, then they are vegetarian since there is no life involved at that point. His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche was vegetarian but consumed eggs, as long as they were free-range and organic, because Rinpoche was against the battery farming system which produces the majority of eggs these days. There is a lot of animal cruelty involved with battery farming. Most people who do not include egg in their vegetarian diets do this because of the harm is causes the hens during the farming process, and also because they can view eating eggs as taking a life. That being said, within Buddhism, there are certain practices that strictly prohibit the consumption of eggs, as with other types of food. This can be for a number of reasons, which are too long to be discussed here. I would say that most people in the Kechara organisation eat eggs although vegetarian, but that may also be a cultural thing. Some people however, have taken the extra step and live a vegan lifestyle, which definitely does not include egg, as an extension of their practice of compassion for other sentient beings. I hope this explanation helps. Thank you.
  • December 5, 2020 00:25
    Bradley asked: Would offerings or prayers like Sangsol offering be more potent if we had the prayers translated to the language of a given geographical area? Example in England where Celtic was once spoken? Would the local deities or spirits be pleased we took the time to do so? They are far older than us.
    pastor answered: Dear Bradley, Thank you for your interesting question. Actually the sangsol prayers will be effective when done in any language. There are two main reasons for this. The first is that when you recite the sangsol prayer, you are actually invoking upon an enlightened being first, in this case, it is Dorje Shugden. Therefore, when you make the requests of the local deities to accept the offering, be calm and improve local circumstances etc, it is not coming from you. You are actually beseeching Dorje Shugden to help you in this matter. Hence, it is Dorje Shugden who is communicating with the local deities, not us. Secondly, deities and gods, as they do not have physical bodies, do not require ordinary language. Language as we know it is actually linked to our physical bodies. Local deities and gods, etc, because they don't have the same type of physical form as us, actually recognise our prayers through intention and effort rather than language. Therefore, prayers such as the sangsol prayers are effective no matter which language they are physical recited in. I hope this makes sense, if it does not, please let us know and we will clarify further. Thank you.
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Thank you, generous and kind donors, made possible by Alice Smith School's Official Site through their Build Kindness Campaign. The whooping amount of RM63,000 will provide much needed food to 25 poor families for the next 12 months. On behalf of these families, thank you! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 months ago
Thank you, generous and kind donors, made possible by Alice Smith School's Official Site through their Build Kindness Campaign. The whooping amount of RM63,000 will provide much needed food to 25 poor families for the next 12 months. On behalf of these families, thank you! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
The global pandemic hasn't been easy for all of us. Some find it diffucult to find a job to support the family. Despite that, we are still delivering basic food pack to our recipients nationwide. Thank you to our volunteers, donors, and sponsors. Without your support, we would be unable to reach out to many families. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 months ago
The global pandemic hasn't been easy for all of us. Some find it diffucult to find a job to support the family. Despite that, we are still delivering basic food pack to our recipients nationwide. Thank you to our volunteers, donors, and sponsors. Without your support, we would be unable to reach out to many families. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thanks to Yap Optometry for gifting Robert a new pair of glasses to see better. We wish him many clear and bright days ahead. Thank you to all sponsors. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
3 months ago
Thanks to Yap Optometry for gifting Robert a new pair of glasses to see better. We wish him many clear and bright days ahead. Thank you to all sponsors. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Donation received to date: RM33,468.00 Yes! We've achieved the target for the #TamanNegara project. Fundraising is closed for this project. Thank you to all donors, 113 Orang Asli families will benefit from it. Stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
3 months ago
Donation received to date: RM33,468.00 Yes! We've achieved the target for the #TamanNegara project. Fundraising is closed for this project. Thank you to all donors, 113 Orang Asli families will benefit from it. Stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
FRESHLY BAKED by Kechara Empowerment trainees - Chocolate Chip Butter Cookies - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
3 months ago
FRESHLY BAKED by Kechara Empowerment trainees - Chocolate Chip Butter Cookies - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
In memory of Wilson Lee, one of our most dedicated volunteers in Penang. Our heartfelt condolences to Wilson's wife, Tze Ling, family and friends. Our thoughts are with them for their loss. Thank you for your kindness and service to KSK Penang. From all of us in KSK.
3 months ago
In memory of Wilson Lee, one of our most dedicated volunteers in Penang. Our heartfelt condolences to Wilson's wife, Tze Ling, family and friends. Our thoughts are with them for their loss. Thank you for your kindness and service to KSK Penang. From all of us in KSK.
Last weekend a Soup Kitchen activities @ Penang, Johor & Kuala Lumpur. Hot food, water, masks, biscuits, buns & fruits. This is what we give out to our friends living on the streets. Thank you to our sponsor & volunteers that make it happen. Come spread more love by being a volunteer at our activities. WhatsApp us today at 010-333-3260! See you soon! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
4 months ago
Last weekend a Soup Kitchen activities @ Penang, Johor & Kuala Lumpur. Hot food, water, masks, biscuits, buns & fruits. This is what we give out to our friends living on the streets. Thank you to our sponsor & volunteers that make it happen. Come spread more love by being a volunteer at our activities. WhatsApp us today at 010-333-3260! See you soon! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Fwd: Dear Sotha
5 months ago
Fwd: Dear Sotha
Kechara Earth Project 13/9/2020
5 months ago
Kechara Earth Project 13/9/2020
Thank you Domino's Pizza Malaysia, Kasih & Piza campaign for sponsoring 85 boxes of pizza to our friends who live on the streets. Your flavourful pizzas have put a smile on their faces. Thank you! - Vivan @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #KasihdanPiza #ItsAllAboutYou
6 months ago
Thank you Domino's Pizza Malaysia, Kasih & Piza campaign for sponsoring 85 boxes of pizza to our friends who live on the streets. Your flavourful pizzas have put a smile on their faces. Thank you! - Vivan @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #KasihdanPiza #ItsAllAboutYou
Thank you Novo Nordisk! Your kind monetary donation and 1,320 boxes of masks will benefit many needy families under the Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families  ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #novonordisk #novonordiskmalaysia
6 months ago
Thank you Novo Nordisk! Your kind monetary donation and 1,320 boxes of masks will benefit many needy families under the Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #novonordisk #novonordiskmalaysia
We were graced with the presence of Tengku Zatashah & The Alice Smith School Foundation yesterday. 130 homeless were blessed to be served by them. RM 20,000 donated by Alice Smith School Foundation will benefit 100 families registered under Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #alicesmithschoolfoundation #alicesmithschool #volunteerism #homeless
6 months ago
We were graced with the presence of Tengku Zatashah & The Alice Smith School Foundation yesterday. 130 homeless were blessed to be served by them. RM 20,000 donated by Alice Smith School Foundation will benefit 100 families registered under Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #alicesmithschoolfoundation #alicesmithschool #volunteerism #homeless
Thanks to the effort of our outstation team, we were able to mobilise food provisions to 600 families living in Kelantan, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor during the Raya period with each of these families receiving RM200 worth of provisions. Adding onto the current 368 families in Klang Valley, a total of 968 families were benefitted from this. Special thanks to the sponsors who have contributed especially Hong Leong Foundation and partially from Tesco Malaysia (where we also ordered the provisions from). ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
8 months ago
Thanks to the effort of our outstation team, we were able to mobilise food provisions to 600 families living in Kelantan, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor during the Raya period with each of these families receiving RM200 worth of provisions. Adding onto the current 368 families in Klang Valley, a total of 968 families were benefitted from this. Special thanks to the sponsors who have contributed especially Hong Leong Foundation and partially from Tesco Malaysia (where we also ordered the provisions from). ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
8 months ago
So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
9 months ago
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
9 months ago
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
9 months ago
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
9 months ago
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
9 months ago
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
9 months ago
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
Wesak 2020
10 months ago
Wesak 2020
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
12 months ago
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
12 months ago
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
12 months ago
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
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