The Princess Nirgidma (My Grandaunt)

Jun 6, 2020 | Views: 2,711
My grand aunt, the Princess Nirgidma of Torghut. This portrait, which is Plate No. 36, is from a series of 50 drawings and paintings made by Alexander Yakovlev during the 1931-1932 expedition of Central Asia sponsored by André Citroën. The expedition, intended to show the power of the motor vehicle, was known as Croisière Jaune and it was the third mission led by Georges-Marie Haardt and Louis Audouin-Dubreuil. She must have been a very prominent figure for this expedition to think it worthwhile to paint such an elaborate portrait of her.

My grandaunt, the Princess Nirgidma of Torghut. This portrait, which is Plate No. 36, is from a series of 50 drawings and paintings made by Alexander Yakovlev during the 1931-1932 expedition of Central Asia sponsored by André Citroën. The expedition, intended to show the power of the motor vehicle, was known as Croisière Jaune and it was the third mission led by Georges-Marie Haardt and Louis Audouin-Dubreuil. She must have been a very prominent figure for this expedition to think it worthwhile to paint such an elaborate portrait of her.

Dear friends around the world,

Many years ago, one of my students travelled to Taiwan to organise some paperwork for me. While she was there, she had the opportunity to trace my family history and background.

As you know, when I was around 7 years old, I was adopted into a Kalmyk-Mongol family in Howell, New Jersey. I was raised there until I left New Jersey and ran away to Los Angeles at the age of 16. It was in Los Angeles where I met my root guru His Holiness Kyabje Zong Dorje Chang.

Although I was raised in America, I was actually born in Taiwan to a Mongolian mother and Tibetan father. So my student, Irene, wanted to do research into my birth parents and who they are and their background and all of that. I already knew that my birth mother, Dewa Nimbo, was a Mongolian princess but after Irene’s research, I came to learn a lot more about my family background. For example, I was born Iska Minh of the Torghut tribe and my family lineage can be traced all the way back to Genghis Khan.

I also discovered that my great grandfather, Prince Palta had been quite a visionary man. He had been educated in military science in Tokyo and later, he became the governor of the vast Altai region. In 1917, he moved to Peking (modern-day Beijing) to take up his post as senator of the Chinese Republic.

Prince Palta was highly educated and even as a young man, he impressed Chinese scholars with his knowledge of Chinese history and literature. Due to his education in Tokyo, he was fluent in Japanese and he also learnt English. Thanks to Prince Palta’s travels and international education, he became very exposed and developed modern views and so contrary to the beliefs of his day, arranged for all four of his children to receive a Western and Oriental education, regardless of whether they were boys or girls.

That is how his daughter who was my grandaunt, Princess Nirgidma was able to speak multiple languages, become learned in various topics such as political science, and came to be known as an authority on Oriental and Western culture. This, apparently, was a surprise to people who met her, who assumed that because she came from a nomadic background, she would be backwards and uneducated. That was definitely not the case.

So recently, I came across this biography of my grandaunt that I wanted to share with you. It was composed by Mr. Carl Barkman, a Dutch diplomat who, by his own account, was close to my grandaunt and very impressed by her. It is the most comprehensive account I have ever read on her life. Unfortunately, Mr. Barkman passed away in 2006. I would like to have asked him things on Princess Nirgidma, the Torghut tribe and more on her family background.

Another painting of Princess Nirgidma, this one painted by Leon Schulman Gaspard in 1933.

Another painting of Princess Nirgidma, this one painted by Leon Schulman Gaspard in 1933.

Anyway, in the course of further research for this post, I discovered that Princess Nirgidma, who was also known as Princess Palta, Nirgidma de Torhout or even Miss Nina de Torghut, was born in Tokyo and educated in France and Peking. As a result of her international upbringing and frequent travels, she became fluent in Chinese, French, English, Mongolian and Russian. It is said that later, she even learnt Persian and Arabic.

She travelled extensively, all over the Middle East and Central Asia. She was very good friends with Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a French idealist philosopher and Jesuit priest, and Lucile Swan, an American sculptor. Because she is frequently mentioned by name in their letters to one another, we get further glimpses into Nirgidma’s life. For example, she appears to have been a journalist for a short period of time – newspapers sent her to Palestine, Morocco, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia, to offer a commentary of the political developments there. Some of her articles were subsequently published.

She also appears to have moved frequently and in 1935, she was supposed to marry someone called Philippe. According to Teilhard, she had “not [seemed] really enthusiastic” about marrying him and expressed misgivings about being tied down because she still had a wish to travel and explore. On December 14, 1938, she married Michel Georges Eugène Bréal instead, who later became a French consul général to China. By January 1939, just a year after her marriage to Bréal, she was already pregnant. A few months later, however, she had a miscarriage and became very sick after the incident. (Much later on, she had a son who, according to Mr. Barkman, lives in the south of France)

Scuplture of Nirgidma, made by her friend the American sculptor Lucile Swan. It fits descriptions of her as a tall and slender beauty.

Scuplture of Nirgidma, made by her friend the American sculptor Lucile Swan. It fits descriptions of her as a tall and slender beauty.

I wish I could have met my grandaunt, who died in Paris in 1983 at the age of 75. I never knew about her until the research done by Irene which prompted me to do further investigations. And based on Mr. Barkman’s writings, as well as the other information discovered about her, it sounds like she was an extraordinary woman who was ahead of her time. In one of her conversations, she debated about the emancipation of the Mongols and the Western concept of ‘progress’, and was even somewhat of a spy, sending reports about political and other developments back to her brother in Central Asia! I love speaking with intelligent, exposed people like Princess Nirgidma and find them to be very interesting. Especially people who defy the cultural and societal norms of their day, I admire people like that because it takes great courage to go against what everyone tells you you must do. When I was younger, everyone told me that I must go to college, I must get married, I must get a job, I must buy a house. And because I did not share the same beliefs, I was seen as weird, strange and I was even abused by my adoptive parents who did not understand why I didn’t want all of those things. But I’m glad I did not follow because otherwise I would never have met Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and I would never have received ordination and been a monk for the last 30-over years. I am very, VERY glad I did not follow.

In the past, I rarely got any news about my blood family members and their lives so this post helps me to explore a family member of mine and in the process helps me to know who I am and where I came from. Who I am and where I came from were hidden from me for years by my adoptive parents. It is something I have slowly found out over the decades. There is still more to know, but I don’t have many people I can ask.

Anyway, do read about the fascinating story of Princess Nirgidma which I’ve reproduced for you below for educational purposes and let me know what you think.

Tsem Rinpoche

 

A Daughter of the Soil

The nomadic plains of the south-western Russian region of Kalmykia are a semi-desert. Vast stretches of untamed land stretch as far as the eye can see. They are marked by cold winters and cool summers in a world that makes for a hard life and hardier people.

Princess Nirgidma with her hooded hunting eagle at Urumchi. A striking photograph of the Torghut princess by Maynard Owen Williams in "The National Geographic Magazine" of November 1932, Vol. LXII No. 5, plate IX opposite p.568, shows her in national costume

Princess Nirgidma with her hooded hunting eagle at Urumchi. A striking photograph of the Torghut princess by Maynard Owen Williams in “The National Geographic Magazine” of November 1932, Vol. LXII No. 5, plate IX opposite p.568, shows her in national costume

The ancestors of Princess Nirgidma Torghut, the Kalmyks, have lived in the region for millennia. When she was born in 1907, few would have suspected that she would go on to lead the eventful life she did in the years to come.

That is not to say that the Princess was restricted in her upbringing or shackled to any particular role or place. Quite the contrary – she was a princess in a time when, and at a place where the title carried much more gravity than it does today.

The earliest pictures we have of Princess Nirgidma show her as she was in her early twenties. They appeared in the November 1932 edition of The National Geographic Magazine. The photograph of the bright, cheery Princess in her colourful royal robes was taken by a member of a Sino-Swedish expedition to north-western China. If the expedition’s historian, Georges Le Fevre and National Geographic editor, Maynard Owen Williams had expected a demure, acquiescent Torghut woman, the ensuing conversation would have left them quite surprised.

Here is an extract:

“Why do Occidentals and Orientals dislike one another?” we asked, our actual relationship belying our thesis. […]

“Why call conservatism dislike?” she replied. “Do you always welcome strangers to your clubs and homes? The oriental has his psychological Great Wall, whose protection is beginning to seem less sure. The man behind it doesn’t want to be loved or even appreciated. He wants to be undisturbed.”

“People seek to protect not only property, but modes of life. Perhaps your way of life is right for you, but it threatens ours.”

“You are in a hurry and hence barbaric. You are entranced by mechanical toys, which you haven’t mastered. You like frankness; but, until real understanding exists, even formal politeness helps. You dominate world ideals, which differ from ours.”

“You are men of auto, railway, radio. You find this a backward land, without roads, speed, a free press, a balanced budget, sanitation, or familiar forms of justice. Hence, you pity the Chinese. But they live in the Celestial Kingdom, the centre of all the world that counts. Your progress is chaotic, at least in its impact on Orientals, because its spiritual values are not realised. We Mongols are emancipated. ‘A good horse and a wide plain under God’s heaven’, that’s our desire. And we realise it.”

Perhaps the princess’s appearance should have forewarned the guests of her singular personality and character. That appearance did make enough of an impression on the explorers that they carefully documented every aspect of what she wore, and her looks, down to her hair.

She wore riding boots, a tight blue skirt and a simple white blouse, lightly touched with coral embroidery. Her hair was slightly dishevelled by her dashing ride on a tough-mouthed pony. Attractive, intelligent, objective, this oriental woman spoke French without accent and Anglo-American English seasoned with slang. Dancing with her seemed strange. Talking with her seemed utterly natural.

A Mongol princess who speaks the languages and thinks the thoughts of both Orient and occident. Familiar with the life of the Rue de la Paix, Princess Palta (Nirgidma of Torghut) is here seen at the entrance of a yurt such as Asiatic nomads have used since the days of Herodotus.

Princess Nirgidma is here seen at the entrance of a yurt such as Asiatic nomads have used since the days of Herodotus.

Imagine the scene. A tête-à-tête between a team of rugged Caucasian explorers on a daring eastern expedition and a sole Asian woman in the early 20th Century. The touchy topics that they broached in this encounter flirted with controversy but the young princess spoke her mind and shared the irrefutable rationale behind her ideas.

The National Geographic editor and photographer also took a black-and-white picture of her.

What emerges from the photographs and from her words is the character of a fiercely proud young woman on the cusp of making her mark on the world. Her Torghut heritage could not be suppressed.

 

The Torghuts

From where did this independent streak arise? To answer that question, we have to delve into the history of the princess’s people.

PrincessNirgid

A streak of fierce independence runs through every Mongolian; even tribes typically identify themselves as discrete entities instead of a part of a larger collective. This has changed at certain points in history, such as in the 15th Century when the four largest West Mongolian tribes formed an alliance called the “Dörben Oirat”.

Even after the alliance disintegrated, the Western Mongolians were referred to as “Oirat.” In the early 17th Century, the Choros, Dörbet and Khoit tribes came together and formed the Dzungar Empire (sometimes called “Dzungaria”) in Western Inner Asia. Simultaneously, the Khoshuts established the Khoshut Khanate in Tibet and the Torghuts formed the Kalmyk Khanate in the lower Volga region. The Kalmyks are the Qirats in Russia, whose ancestors migrated from Dzungaria in 1607.

“Kalmyk” translates to “those who stayed”, a reference to their ancestors who decided to remain in their new home west of the Volga instead of returning to China. This makes the Kalmyks the only European community that is indigenously Buddhist.

Gradually, many Oirats outside lower Volga began to identify themselves as “Kalmyk”, particularly in dealings with their Russian and Muslim neighbours. However, they continued to refer to themselves within their own communities by their tribal and clan affiliations; this was the case with Oirats within the lower Volga.

By 1761, the Manchu Empire had forced the Khoshuts and the Dzungars from their homes (in Tibet and Dzungaria respectively) into Kalmykia. The local Torghuts of Kalmykia had used the name ‘Kalmyk’ for themselves but gradually came to use it as an umbrella term for the Khoshuts and Dzungars as well.

The migrations and subsequent increased interaction blurred the previously clearly-defined lines between the different tribes. Ultimately, European scholars identified all western Mongolians collectively as Kalmyks, regardless of their location and origins.

 

The Bearing of Genealogy

Princess Nirgidma’s family can trace its lineage directly to Ayuka Khan (1669-1724), the most powerful Kalmyk ruler. During his reign, Ayuka Khan defended the southern borders of Russia against the Muslim tribes of Central Asia, the North Caucasus and Crimea. He then focused his military efforts eastwards and made the Kazakh and Turkmen Kingdoms his tributaries.

As a member of the royal family of the Western Mongol Kalmyks, Ayuka Khan himself was a descendant of the great Mongolian emperor, Genghis Khan. While the exact line of descent is unclear, it may be related to the Borjigin line of the Kiyat clan.

Prince Palta

Prince Palta

Princess Nirgidma’s father, Prince Palta Wang was Ayuka Khan’s great-great-great-great grandson. He was a Mongolian statesman and a scholar of military science, which he studied in Tokyo. His daughter, the Princess Nirgidma, was born in the Japanese capital and the family lived there in her first year.

As a young man, Prince Palta is said to have astonished Chinese scholars with his profound knowledge of Chinese history and literature. He was also well-versed in English and Japanese.

The famous Finnish orientalist Gustav John Ramstedt was reportedly greatly impressed by the young Prince Palta, whom he met on a visit to the estate of the prince’s father, Bayir Wang. The men discussed subjects as diverse as Buddhist philosophy and the mutual influence of Western and Oriental culture in the future.

Prince Palta believed that a person’s greatest riches were his intellect, erudition and knowledge. He wanted his four children to receive both an Oriental and Western education, thus including elements of a Eurasian nature.

In 1906, the Chinese Qing Dynasty transferred western Mongolia’s Altai Uriyangkhai, New Torghut and Khoshut banners from the jurisdiction of Khovd Province to the new Altai District, with Chenghua as its capital (now Altay in Xinjiang).

H.E. Tsem Rinpoche's royal family tree

H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s royal family tree

In 1913, the new Altai District was divided between newly independent Mongolia and the Chinese province of Xinjiang. Shortly thereafter, Prince Palta was appointed Governor of Altai District of China. History records Prince Palta as a war hero who defended the Altai region from invasions by a Russian-backed Mongolian army. China’s hold on Xinjiang today may be attributed to the courageous deeds of Prince Palta without whom parts, if not all, of the Altai would have been annexed by Mongolia. Prince Palta was held in great regard and highly respected as an influential member of the Altai royalty. Such was the Prince’s position that he had standing to correspond directly with the Qing Dynasty Emperor Guangxu. Prince Palta’s grasp of the nuances of politics, as well as his command of English, Chinese and Japanese, and knowledge of Chinese history and culture made an impression in the corridors of power in China. He was appointed a senator of the Chinese Republic.

Prince Palta's letter which he wrote directly to Emperor Guangxu

Prince Palta’s letter which he wrote directly to the Qing Dynasty Emperor Guangxu

His son, Migyur Wang married Queen Dechen and the couple had four children, one of whom was Princess Dewa Nimbo. She was often called “Torghut Noyen”, a respectful way of referring to a royal princess of the Torghut tribe. Princess Dewa Nimbo went on to have one child with her first love, a son she named Prince Iska Minh.

We know him better today as His Eminence Tsem Tulku Rinpoche.

 

A Woman of the World

Princess Nirgidma’s posture, demeanour and looks combined to captivate any audience. The exotic pastimes of horse-riding and hunting with eagles were in her blood. She spoke multiple languages and her eloquence in English, French, Chinese and Russian left indelible lifelong impressions on those with whom she spoke.

Her father, Prince Palta was governor of the expansive Altai region and senator of the Chinese Republic. He had insisted on his children receiving both an Oriental and Western education. As his daughter, she was obviously well-travelled and well-educated.

Prince Palta (second from the right)

Prince Palta (second from the right)

The princess received her childhood schooling at the Sacred Heart School in Peking before attending university in Paris. The cornucopia of worldly experiences could not temper the soul of the Mongol within her.

A good horse and a wide plain under God’s heaven,” she had said, speaking of the goals to which she and her people aspired – and achieved – every day. And with that, she displayed that under her educated manners and urban sophistication, she was a free spirit and a traditionalist at heart.

Despite her privileged upbringing, the National Geographic explorers’ notes indicate that Princess Nirgidma was incredibly grounded. The elaborate embroidery work of the traditional outfit she wears in the photo with her hunting eagle was made by her own hand.

It seems that Princess Nirgidma, widely travelled, highly educated and at home in both Eastern and Western society, held opinions that would shake the ground of the cookie-cutter feminists of this millennium.

It is easy to fall under the impression today that feminism necessitates a rejection of the traditional demarcation of male and female roles in society. Princess Nirgidma was a staunch feminist by any measure but her views on this topic deviated from the archetypical feminist of today. She questioned the equality of the sexes as sanctioned by Genghis Khan in law. Writer LaSalle Gilman describes them thus:

The Mongolian woman is as free as the man; she saddles her horse and goes to visit her relatives and friends; she receives her guests and calls on whom she will; her sexual morals are the same as the morals of her roaming brother. She is equal to him before the law, is completely responsible for herself. Adultery is punishable by death, in the case of both men and women. She has the right of inheritance, of owning property and bringing up children, of seeking marriage or divorce, of serving in the army.

However, the princess assessed the supposed privilege of equality with rather different lenses:

I do not know whether the Great Khan was honouring the woman or simply putting her in her rightful place at the man’s side… Because she is the comrade of the man, the Mongolian woman is an object of no particular regard. She shares all the man’s hardest tasks, watches the flocks in rain and snow, loads the beasts, cuts wood. She enjoys no kind of precedence; she rises when a man older than herself comes in and gives him up her place at the fireside or the softest cushions. Man and woman share equally the expenses of life. Flatteries, deferences, everything that in the West is called chivalry – are non-existent. The orphan is protected but not the woman. Having the same rights, she also has the same duties and responsibilities.

She compared this to Chinese society where men wielded unquestionable authority:

Look at the Chinese woman who until recently was of all women the type most dependent on the goodwill of the man,” the princess declares. “She had no rights in public life. She had no existence, but she was and still is the absolute mistress in her family and almost sovereign in that public life in which she never shared herself. In China, a woman is infinitely respected. A man never contradicts her, agrees with her even when she talks nonsense, carries out her whims!

 

Life and Times

By all accounts, Princess Nirgidma lived a blessed life. She was attractive, intelligent and wealthy, factors that together gave her far more independence and opportunities than other women of the time.

It is said that her arrival in Paris as a young lady in the early 1930s inspired a storm of excitement, especially among the elites of the Oirat-Kalmyk community. She was the subject of letters and discussions. Young men fell in love with the princess, professing their emotions through poem and song.

Princess Nirgidma's first husband, Michel Bréal (middle).

Princess Nirgidma’s husband, Michel Bréal (middle).

As there are with everyone, there were low points, too; she married French diplomat Michel Bréal (1896-1973) but miscarried their first child. War is always traumatic but the Second World War was especially hard on the couple because Michel suffered a nervous breakdown. Fortunately, the princess was able to nurse him back to health.

The marriage to Bréal gave her the opportunity to explore more of the world; Michel was subsequently posted as the French Ambassador to Afghanistan (1952-1954), Laos (1954-1955) and Thailand (1958-1959). Along the way, the polyglot princess learnt to speak Arabic and Persian.

Danish writer and anthropologist Henning Haslund Christensen (1896-1948), who lived amongst the Mongols for decades, gave Princess Nirgidma the honour of writing the Foreword to his 1935 book, Men and Gods in Mongolia. In it, she says,

I wish to emphasize that the European’s way of thinking and attitude to life is closer to ours than that of other races. We have the same conception of beauty and of honour and, I would say, similar ideals.

Two years later in Paris, she herself published a collection of Mongolian folk songs titled, very simply, Dix-Huit Chants et Poèmes Mongols (translated as Eighteen Mongolian Songs and Poems). It was perhaps the first time Europe received a personal insight into authentic Mongolian culture from someone who was an intimate part of it. Copies of these rare musical scores are maintained by some of the world’s most prestigious repositories of information, including Oxford University, New York’s Columbia University, Trinity College in Connecticut and Bibliotheque du Musee de l’Homme, Paris.

Princess Nirgidma made strong impressions on the people she met and they spoke of her fondly in their letters and writings. These documents provide invaluable insights into the character and personality of the princess. The writer, diplomat and sinologist, Carl Barkman wrote in The Prelude to the Mandate:

When, during our talks in Peking, I told Nirgidma that I had written an article about the trek of the Torghuts from Russia to China in my student days and had translated passages from the official Ch’ing annals about their reception by the Emperor, she wanted to read the article and so I translated parts of it from Dutch into English for her. She helped me with some of the names, and this article was later published in Hong Kong by the university there. Her people and some allied Oirat tribes had migrated from Central Asia to the Volga region in the early 17th Century. When the pressure of Russian expansion became too strong, about three-quarters of them went back to Central Asia in 1771. Much had been written about this event, especially in Russian, but I appeared to be the only one who had studied the Chinese sources and described their reception in China. This episode, which was new to Nirgidma, fascinated her. The Oirat-Mongols are of a tolerant and peaceful nature. Nirgidma was not at all anti-Chinese, although her people had been badly treated by them.

Princess Nirgidma and her husband, the French diplomat Michel Bréal

Princess Nirgidma and her husband, the French diplomat Michel Bréal

The fictional novel Asaray by Barkman was inspired by the “impressive” Princess Nirgidma whom he had first met in Beijing in 1947. Renewed contact with her in the 1970s inspired Barkman to write a novel about Asaray, the second son of Donduk-Dashi Khan, leader of the Volga Torghuts who now reside in Kalmykia. Donduk-Dashi Khan’s other son, Ubashi Khan (enthroned as his successor), led his people in a rather catastrophic migration back from the Volga region to Dzungaria beginning early 1771.

Asaray, or Asarai, was amongst other things, famous for being the first hostage taken by the Russian rulers in the 18th Century amidst a power struggle in the Volga.

According to Barkman, when he first read about this young Prince Asaray in Russian historical literature, he could “at that time not find anything about his life, and wondered how a young, Buddhist-educated oriental prince would react to the splendour of St. Petersburg and its alien culture. For me, he was an ideal character for a novel.

Princess Nirgidma, whom Barkman was corresponding with, “informed that according to an oral tradition in her family, Asaray had made the return journey to China with his people and played an important role there.

Princess Nirgidma also urged Barkman to write a book about Asaray which he eventually did but Nirgidma never saw the finished novel as she had died in 1983 in Paris. Danish explorer and writer Henning Haslund Christensen writes in his book Men and Gods in Mongolia (London, 1935), that he received the following information through Princess Nirgidma:

“A movement or revolt against the Chinese provincial government had arisen among the Mohammedan population of Sinkiang. The Chinese Governor invited [the Torghut Khan] Seng Chen to Urumchi in order, as he pretended, to discuss with him the suppression of the revolt. Seng Chen arrived surrounded by his most powerful chiefs, but no discussion ever took place. After the first day’s banquet, as the Torghuts sat drinking tea in the Governor’s yamen, he had all of the guests shot from behind by his servants.”

It was for this book, Men And Gods, that Haslund (who preferred to omit his third name) sought out Nirgidma, asking her to write a Foreword. In the piece she composed, she said of meeting him:

“… enjoyed the pleasure, seldom vouchsafed to us Mongols, of talking freely and unconstrainedly about our country. There was nothing for me to tell him or explain to him, for he was one of us.”

Haslund met Nirgidma when he participated in a Central Asian expedition led by the eminent Swedish explorer and geographer Sven Hedin. Having lived for years among the Khalka Mongols and the Torghuts, he was on his way back to Europe with Torghut friends who accompanied him to the Russian border. He writes of their experience:

“One day we were overtaken by twenty galloping Torghuts. They were lusty youths on spirited horses, wild with the delight of speed across limitless steppes. They checked their course for a while to exchange gay greetings and inquisitive questions, and though we had never seen one another before we were soon like old acquaintances. […] They were Torghuts from Khara Ossun on their way to meet their princess.”

When they had galloped away, “What was all this about a princess”, I asked Lyrup. Did I not know? Nirgitma of the Torghuts was expected back on the steppes from the land of the Franks.

“Nirgitma of the Torghuts, that was of course her whom Seng Chen had so often quoted and of whom I had heard in the tents so many unbelievable things that I had come to regard as a figment of the imagination, the Mongolian girl who spoke the languages of the West and whose qualities had made her a legendary figure on the steppes.

“The same evening we came, dripping with sweat and dusty, to the frontier town of Chugochak where I was to experience a marvellous encounter. She, Nirgitma of the Torghuts, was a slender young woman, whose exquisite Parisian clothes looked exotic against her dark Mongolian beauty. It was only two days since she had left the wagon-lit that she had boarded in Brussels, and her speech and bearing had been formed by seven years of university study and life in European capitals. As many years of nomadic life lay behind me.

“And so it came about that we sat there giving one another widely separated impressions from East and West. […] Our environment was the sun-drenched courtyard of an Asian sarai with horses, asses, camels and caravans of people, coming and going.

“She had a complete and elegant command of the speech of Western culture and to all my questions she had apt answers. For fourteen hours we talked and, as the hours went by, her speech slipped more and more into Mongolian lines of thought. When we separated to go to the starting-places of our respective caravans […] our farewell words were spoken in Mongolian.”

Such were Haslund’s impressions. Princess Nirgidma’s acclaim was also captured in Pierre Teilhard’s letters to Lucille Swan. Teilhard was a French philosopher, palaeontologist and Jesuit priest whose intense – albeit platonic – love for American sculptor Lucile Swan was documented in The Letters of Teilhard de Chadrin and Lucille Swan. The princess was a friend to both Teilhard and Swan. We learn in Teilhard’s letters that the princess was a published writer whose opinions were highly regarded by newspapers and that she was sent to various places in the Middle East – Palestine, Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia – to cover political issues. The princess had also apparently gone on a pilgrimage to Mecca. “Why a Mongol Princess?” wondered Teilhard and therein is a hint as to how much Princess Nirgidma had broken through the cultural barriers prevailing of her time.

Michel

Michel Bréal

The princess was apparently not easily impressed, not by the trappings of her Eastern royal heritage nor by the affluence and opulence of the Western upper middle class. Teilhard and Swan’s letters spoke of a princess who was socially successful in both Eastern and Western social circles and yet she had a heart for freedom that could not be extinguished.

Teilhard also observed Nirgidma had no interest in ordinary life. In her private conversations with Swan, the Princess spoke of her love for her husband, Michel Bréal. She also articulated an appreciation for the spiritual and an understanding of the suffering that all human beings have to endure. The letters portray an image of a princess who was immensely successful for a woman of her time and who charmed just about everyone she met. Teilhard observed that the princess would have accomplished even greater things in Asia had she not been so “utterly feminine”. She was described as a loyal wife, who stood staunchly by her husband Michel Bréal’s side when he suffered a mental breakdown just after the Second World War. Bréal recovered and was appointed the French Ambassador to Peking and the Mongolian princess became, in the words of Teilhard, a really impressive and dignified mistress and hostess of the French Embassy.

 

The Line Continues

Prince Palta in his younger days

Prince Palta in his younger days

Each one of us is not just the child of our parents but a product of our entire lineage, stretching back millennia. The talents and abilities we possess, as well as our likes, dislikes and fears, are moulded by both our environment and the genes in our DNA – nature and nurture both make us who we are.

Princess Nirgidma came from a bloodline that includes the greatest conqueror the world has ever known, Genghis Khan. It includes Ayuka Khan, who wielded more power than any Kalmyk before or since. Her father, Prince Palta was a learned man of diplomacy, keen intellect and a passion for learning.

Their qualities of leadership, grit and determination became part of the Princess. Over thousands upon thousands of years, successive generations of Mongols had tamed the challenging land that was their home. They mastered warfare mounted upon horses and on their feet; for game, they hunted with bows and arrows, spears and eagles. This, too, was passed down to the Princess.

Princess Nirgidma was mentioned in  “The National Geographic Magazine” of November 1932, Vol. LXII No. 5, plate IX opposite p.568.

Princess Nirgidma was mentioned in “The National Geographic Magazine” of November 1932, Vol. LXII No. 5, plate IX opposite p.568.

She showed the world that it was possible for a young woman to possess such diverse traits without losing the essence of who she was, regardless of whether she lived in the East or West. Her impassioned defence of her people’s lifestyle and their insular attitudes to the National Geographic team illustrates the solidarity of a royal who truly understood her role in the greater scheme of things.

When the Princess expressed her views on the contradictions between the progress of the West and its abandonment of spirituality, she spoke prophetic words. It was a recognition of things to come as that progress crept ever so fast into the world in which she had been born. That foresight, too, was in her blood.

Her foresight was due to inherited knowledge, leadership and prescience from generations of accomplished ancestors that comprised conquerors, kings, warriors and poets. The essence of her opinions must have been almost traumatic for the average person to hear when she spoke them. Today, they are all the more remarkable for the insight they give us into an accomplished woman’s soul and for the truths she realised so long ago in places so far away.

A family portrait of Princess Nirgidma

A family portrait of Princess Nirgidma

Publications by Nirgidma >>

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The Spectator (London, 1935)

Established in July 1828, The Spectator is a weekly British magazine covering politics, culture and current affairs. Editorship of The Spectator has often been a step to higher office within the British Conservative Party.

In the August 2, 1935 issue of The Spectator, Princess Nirgidma published a piece on women’s rights, titled The Disadvantages of Women’s Rights. The essay was subsequently included in a compilation of other essays, published under the title Redefining the new woman, 1920-1963 by Angela Howard and Sasha Ranaé Adams Tarrant (Garland Publishing, New York, 1997).

Nirgidma's article "The Disadvantages of Women's Rights" in the August 2, 1935 issue of The Spectator. Click to enlarge.

Nirgidma’s article “The Disadvantages of Women’s Rights” in the August 2, 1935 issue of The Spectator. Click to enlarge.

Nirgidma's article "The Disadvantages of Women's Rights" in the August 2, 1935 issue of The Spectator. Click to enlarge.

Nirgidma’s article “The Disadvantages of Women’s Rights” in the August 2, 1935 issue of The Spectator. Click to enlarge.

 

Men and Gods in Mongolia (London, 1935)

In 1935, Princess Nirgidma provided a foreword to this book by the Danish explorer Henning Haslund Christensen. Click here or on the image below to download the PDF. Please take note as the PDF is quite large, the download may take a while depending on your Internet connection.

Click on the image to download the PDF

Click on the image to download the PDF

Princess Nirgidma's foreword that she composed for Haslund's book "Men and Gods in Mongolia". Click on the image to enlarge.

Princess Nirgidma’s foreword that she composed for Haslund’s book “Men and Gods in Mongolia”. Click on the image to enlarge.

Princess Nirgidma's foreword that she composed for Haslund's book "Men and Gods in Mongolia". Click on the image to enlarge.

Princess Nirgidma’s foreword that she composed for Haslund’s book “Men and Gods in Mongolia”. Click on the image to enlarge.

 

Dix-Huit Chants et Poèmes Mongols (1937)

Translated as Eighteen Mongolian Chants and Poems in English, this compilation of Mongolian chants and poems were collected by Nirgidma and transcribed be Mme Humbert-Sauvageot. It was first published in 1937 and has since become a sought-after literary collectible.

Click on the image to download the PDF

Click to enlarge

A handwritten inscription that Nirgidma composed for a limited edition print of her book

A handwritten inscription that Nirgidma composed for a limited edition print of her book. Click to enlarge.

 

Media About Nirgidma >>

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The Letters of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
and Lucile Swan (1988)

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a Jesuit priest who participated in the Croisière Jaune, an expedition into Central Asia financed by André Citroën. He participated in his capacity as a scientist. For several months, Teilhard and his colleagues remained in Urumqi, the capital of Sinkiang (Xinjiang). It was on this trip that he came to befriend Nirgidma. Both spiritual people, they would go on to have a memorable conversation about the meaning of life and the role of God in the universe.

While living in China, Teilhard also struck up a lifelong friendship with the American sculptor Lucile Swan. Nirgidma was frequently mentioned in Teilhard’s many letters to Lucile Swan, offering us a glimpse into Nirgidma’s life. Click here or on the image below to download the PDF. Please take note as the PDF is quite large, the download may take a while depending on your Internet connection.

Click on the image to download the PDF

Click on the image to download the PDF

 

Politika (1933)

In 1933, Princess Nirgidma arrived in Belgrade, the capital of what was then Yugoslavia (today Serbia). A newspaper, Politika, covered her arrival and the purpose of her trip. The original article below is written in Bosnian; click on the image to read the English translation.

Click to enlarge and read the English translation. (Source: http://www.members.tripod.com/budisti/princeza.html)

Click to enlarge and read the English translation. (Source: http://www.members.tripod.com/budisti/princeza.html)

 

The Mandate by Carl Barkman

The fictional novel The Mandate by Carl Dietrich Barkman was inspired by the “impressive” Princess Nirgidma whom he had first met in Beijing in 1947. Renewed contact with her in the 1970s inspired Barkman to write a novel about the second son of Donduk-Dashi Khan, leader of the Volga Torghuts who today reside in Kalmykia. Donduk-Dashi Khan’s other son Ubashi Khan (enthroned as his successor), led his people in a rather catastrophic migration back from the Volga region to Dzungaria beginning early 1771.

Asaray or Asarai, was amongst other things, famous for being the first hostage taken by the Russian rulers in the 18th Century amidst a power struggle in the Volga.

According to Barkman, when he first read about this young Prince Asaray in Russian historical literature, he could “at that time not find anything about his life, and wondered how a young, Buddhist-educated oriental prince would react to the splendour of St. Petersburg and its alien culture. For me, he was an ideal character for a novel.”

Princess Nirgidma, whom Barkman was corresponding with, “informed that according to an oral tradition in her family Asaray had made the return journey to China with his people and played an important role there.” Princess Nirgidma also urged Barkman to write a book about Asaray which he eventually did but Nirgidma never saw the finished novel as she had died in 1983 in Paris.

Click on the image to download the PDF

Click on the image to download the PDF

 

Princess Nirgidma (Prelude to The Mandate)

Carl Barkman, the Dutch diplomat who wrote this account of Princess Nirgidma

Carl Barkman, the Dutch diplomat who wrote this account of Princess Nirgidma

Who was Nirgidma, to whom I dedicated my novel Asaray, a Russian translation of which (entitled Nakaz Bogov) is now being published in Elista, the capital of Kalmykia? I shall try here to describe her extraordinary personality and her interesting life.

When I first met Nirgidma in Peking (Beijing) in 1947, I was immediately impressed by that remarkable lady. Although she was a princess of the Torghuts, a nomadic people in Central Asia, she spoke beautiful French and very good English, Chinese and Russian.

She had received a Western and Chinese education at the French nuns’ school Sacré Coeur in Peking and studied a wide range of subjects in Paris and Brussels, among which political science, literature and music. Her husband, a French diplomat, Michel Bréal, was consul-general in the former Chinese capital, where I represented the Netherlands. Among the diplomatic wives, she stood out as an amazing polyglot and an authority on culture, both Oriental and Western.

She was forty years of age then but looked much younger. A slender, charming young woman, whose face reflected a serenity which suddenly could change into a lively interest. An Oriental beauty? Yes, but also Western, for her clothes, gestures, and subjects of conversation were Western, in particular French. When she discovered my interest in the history of her nation, which I had studied in my university days, we often spoke about Central Asia in general, and her people, the Torghuts, especially.

Nirgidma swiftly won the hearts of many men upon her arrival in France

Her early youth had been spent in tents, in the encampments of her nomadic people, one of the largest tribes of the Oirat-Mongols. In the far north-western province of Sinkiang (Xinjiang) they roamed from one pasture to the next. They had a wonderful time there with their flocks of horses, camels and sheep amidst the most marvellous scenery. The summer was spent in the green highlands and Alpine pastures of the Heavenly Mountains and the Altai, in the winter they stayed in the warmer valleys and oases with their subtropical vegetation. But life could be very hard for them too, in times of extreme heat and drought or of unbearable cold.

I became fascinated by the many-faceted history of this far-flung family and decided to devote some further research to it. It took me to Kalmykia, an autonomous Buddhist republic in the Russian Federation, to the south of France, where Nirgidma’s son lives, to a book by a Danish explorer and, last but not least, to old copies of that marvelous monthly, the National Geographic Magazine.

Princess Nirgidma of the Torghut tribe. She always looked so smiling, happy and open. Click to enlarge.

Princess Nirgidma of the Torghut tribe. She always looked so smiling, happy and open. Click to enlarge.

Who was Nirgidma’s father? Prince Palta was a man of great culture, both Chinese and Oirat-Mongolian, a statesman with a thorough grasp of military science which he had studied in Tokyo in the years 1906–1908. Nirgidma was born there. Back in China, Palta became governor of the vast Altai region. In 1917, when Nirgidma was ten years old, her father moved to Peking to take up his post as senator of the Chinese Republic. Already as a young man he had astonished Chinese scholars by his profound knowledge of Chinese history and literature. He also knew English and Japanese well. The famous Finnish orientalist G. Ramsted was greatly impressed by young Palta when during a visit to the estate of his father, Prince Bayar, they talked about such diverse subjects as Buddhist philosophy, and the mutual influence of Western and Oriental culture in the future.

Palta, who believed that a person’s greatest riches were his intellect, erudition and knowledge, wanted his four children to receive both an Oriental and Western education, thus including elements of a Eurasian nature. In 1915, at his request, Tsar Nicholas II granted his eldest son, Mindzhur-Dordzhi, admission to the Russian officers’ school for the nobility in St. Petersburg. When this son returned to Peking three years later, he was initially considered by some as a Russophile, but after his father’s death inherited his titles, and dedicated himself to the task of increasing the well-being of his people. In 1949, after the Guomintang was defeated, he fled with his family to Tibet, and thence to India, from where he emigrated to Taiwan. He briefly served as a member of parliament there and died in 1975.

Princess Nirgidma was known to be a great beauty and very independent

His sister Nirgidma, following her father’s wish, went to Europe for her university studies. When this princess, then a ravishing beauty, arrived in Paris, she created a furore there, particularly among the intelligentsia of the Oirat-Kalmyk emigrants. They dedicated poems to her, admired her, fell in love. One of them wrote that her high spirituality and boundless soul’s delight were in evidence whenever she met her compatriots from Russia. And another, Prince Nicolai Tundutov, wrote in a letter to the Kalmyk historian and journalist Ilishkin: “Are you interested in Princess Nirgidma? The mention of that name brought memories of years long past. There are in one’s life encounters which leave an indelible memory in one’s subconscious. With her sharp mind, her wide range of culture, charming manners and incredible warmth, the princess easily won the hearts of men. Just like many others I became enchanted by this amazing woman.

While studying in Paris, she kept the Torghut Khan, Seng Chen, and her brother, who ruled the eastern wing of the Torghuts in Khara Ossun, informed of political and other developments in Europe. She never mentioned this to me, but when her brother was visiting Peking, he told me how welcome her reports had always been to them, who lived in isolation in Central Asia.

This photograph of Nirgidma was taken in Peking in the mid-1930's by Madame Thorbecke, wife of the Netherlands Minister to China

This photograph of Nirgidma was taken in Peking in the mid-1930’s by Madame Thorbecke, wife of the Netherlands Minister to China

Nirgidma and her elder brother Mindzhur-Dordzhi were children of Prince Palta and his first Torghut wife Orloma. His second wife, a Khoshut, gave him a daughter, Sertso, and a son, Tsedn-Dordzhi. Sertso, a very talented girl, who apart from Mongol and Chinese, soon mastered English, French and Japanese, died when seventeen years old.

In line with Prince Palta’s ideas about giving a different western education to each of his children, Tsedn-Dordzhi was sent to Germany for his higher learning, whence he returned in the beginning of the Second World War to teach German at the Catholic University of Peking. In his book Flaneur im alten Peking (Lounger in old Peking), he writes, under his Chinese name of Ce Shaozhen, that his sister Nirgidma, as the wife of the French Consul-General in Peking, was able to provide him and his mother with the means to return to that city from Chungking. As its title indicates, the book gives some rather superficial, though occasionally amusing glimpses of the old Peking, and one gets the impression that the author was a bit of a playboy. Tsedn-Dordzhi’s daughter Devu Nimbo studied in the U.S.A., married an American of Oirat-Kalmyk origin, and has two children. Her brother lives in Taipei and has become a Chinese author, calling himself Min Huk Hueay.

Princess Nirgidma (front row, centre) upon her arrival in Belgrade on September 20, 1933.

When during our talks in Peking I told Nirgidma that in my student days I had written an article about the trek of the Torghuts from Russia to China and had translated passages from the official Ch’ing annals about their reception by the Emperor, she wanted to read the article and so I translated parts of it from Dutch into English for her. She helped me with some of the names, and this article was later published in Hong Kong by the university there. Her people and some allied Oirat tribes had migrated from Central Asia to the Volga region in the early 17th Century. When the pressure of Russian expansion became too strong, about three-quarters of them went back to Central Asia in 1771. Much had been written about this event, especially in Russian, but I appeared to be the only one who had studied the Chinese sources and described their reception in China. This episode, which was new to Nirgidma, fascinated her.

The Oirat-Mongols are of a tolerant and peaceful nature. She was not at all anti-Chinese, although her people had been badly treated by them. In 1932, the Danish explorer Henning Haslund Christensen writes in his book Men and Gods in Mongolia (London, 1935), he received the following information through Princess Nirgidma:

“A movement or revolt against the Chinese provincial government had arisen among the Mohammedan population of Sinkiang. The Chinese Governor invited [the Torghut Khan] Seng Chen to Urumchi in order, as he pretended, to discuss with him the suppression of the revolt. Seng Chen arrived surrounded by his most powerful chiefs, but no discussion ever took place. For after the first day’s banquet, as the Torghuts sat drinking tea in the Governor’s yamen, he had all of the guests shot from behind by his servants.”

For this book by Haslund, Nirgidma wrote a Foreword, in which she says that when meeting him she “enjoyed the pleasure, seldom vouchsafed to us Mongols, of talking freely and unconstrainedly about our country. There was nothing for me to tell him or explain to him, for he was one of us.”

Princess Nirgidma

Princess Nirgidma

How had they met? Haslund had participated in a Central Asian expedition by Sven Hedin, had lived for years among the Khalka Mongols and the Torghuts. When he was on his way back to Europe, Torghut friends accompanied him on his way to the Russian border. “One day we were overtaken by twenty galloping Torghuts. They were lusty youths on spirited horses wild with the delight of speed across limitless steppes. They checked their course for a while to exchange gay greetings and inquisitive questions, and though we had never seen one another before we were soon like old acquaintances. […] They were Torghuts from Khara Ossun on their way to meet their princess.”

When they had galloped away, “What was all this about a princess”, I asked Lyrup. Did I not know? Nirgitma of the Torghuts was expected back on the steppes from the land of the Franks.

“Nirgitma of the Torghuts, that was of course her whom Seng Chen had so often quoted and of whom I had heard in the tents so many unbelievable things that I had come to regard as a figment of the imagination, the Mongolian girl who spoke the languages of the West and whose qualities had made her a legendary figure on the steppes.

“The same evening we came, dripping with sweat and dusty, to the frontier town of Chugochak where I was to experience a marvellous encounter. She, Nirgitma of the Torghuts, was a slender young woman, whose exquisite Parisian clothes looked exotic against her dark Mongolian beauty. It was only two days since she had left the wagon-lit that she had boarded in Brussels, and her speech and bearing had been formed by seven years of university study and life in European capitals. As many years of nomadic life lay behind me.

Princess Nirgidma

Princess Nirgidma

“And so it came about that we sat there giving one another widely separated impressions from East and West. […] Our environment was the sun-drenched courtyard of an Asian sarai with horses, asses, camels and caravan people coming and going.

She had a complete and elegant command of the speech of Western culture and to all my questions she had apt answers. For fourteen hours we talked, and, as the hours went by, her speech slipped more and more into Mongolian lines of thought. When we separated to go to the starting-places of our respective caravans […] our farewell words were spoken in Mongolian.” Such was the Danish explorer Haslund’s impressions. We also have an account and photographs by an American author.

In his accompanying article the National Geographic editor writes:

“During our stay [in Urumchi] he [Georges Le Fèvre, the Expedition historian] and I had a delightful discussion with a Mongol princess. She wore riding boots, a tight blue skirt, and a simple white blouse, lightly touched with coral embroidery. Her hair was slightly dishevelled by her dashing ride on a tough-mouthed pony. Attractive, intelligent, objective, this oriental woman spoke French without accent and Anglo-American English seasoned with slang. Dancing with her had seemed strange. Talking with her seemed utterly natural.

“Why do occidentals and orientals dislike one another?” we asked, our actual relationship belying our thesis.[…]

“Why call conservatism dislike?” she replied. “Do you always welcome strangers to your clubs and homes? The oriental has his psychological Great Wall, whose protection is beginning to seem less sure. The man behind it doesn’t want to be loved or even appreciated. He wants to be undisturbed.

“People seek to protect not only property, but modes of life. Perhaps your way of life is right for you, but it threatens ours.

“You are in a hurry and hence barbaric. You are entranced by mechanical toys, which you haven’t mastered. You like frankness; but, until real understanding exists, even formal politeness helps. You dominate world ideals, which differ from ours.”

The National Geographic editor and photographer also took a black-and-white picture of her (op.cit.):

“You are men of auto, railway, radio [Nirgidma continued]. You find this a backward land, without roads, speed, a free press, a balanced budget, sanitation, or familiar forms of justice. Hence you pity the Chinese. But they live in the Celestial Kingdom, the center of all the world that counts. Your progress is chaotic, at least in its impact on orientals, because its spiritual values are not realized. We Mongols are emancipated. ‘A good horse and a wide plain under God’s heaven’, that’s our desire. And we realize it.

“My uncle is Shaliva Gegen, the third Buddhist dignitary. One simply can’t shock him; he’s too deeply rooted in righteousness. He doesn’t know any great Westerners, even by name; but he said to me, ‘The spark of creative life now exists in the Occident. The Westerners will find the light. But it is still hidden under the husk of materialism. In a future incarnation, the Pantshen Lama will be a Nordic.”

Such were her views when she met the American writer in the thirties. They were more cosmopolitan when I knew her in Peking some fifteen years later. Her praises risk becoming monotonous, but I have it on the authority of many colleagues and my own observation, that when married to a French diplomat, she was an excellent hostess, who radiated charm and authority, a learned, culturally interested woman, who learnt Persian in Kabul, and Arabic somewhere else. Michel Bréal served as Ambassador in Afghanistan, Laos and Thailand. She liked music, gardening, and preferred essays to novels.

In the 1970s a renewed contact with her inspired me to write a novel about the second son of Donduk-Dashi, Khan of the Volga Torghuts, who in the 18th Century was taken hostage by the Russian government. When I read about this young Prince Asaray in Russian historical literature, I could at that time not find anything about his life, and wondered how a young, Buddhist-educated oriental prince would react to the splendour of St. Petersburg and its alien culture. For me, he was an ideal character for a novel. Nirgidma, with whom I was corresponding, told me that according to an oral tradition in her family Asaray had made the return journey to China with his people and played an important role there. She urged me to write the book, which I did, in both English and Dutch. It appeared in the Dutch language in 1997 and I dedicated it to her memory. In a Russian translation, it is now being published in Kalmykia. Nirgidma never saw the finished novel; she had died in 1983 in Paris.

(Source: http://www.barkman.nl/en/werk_compleet.jsp?categorie=1&nummer=1)

 

Printsessa Nirdzhidma i kniga pesen torgutov Kitaia

(The Biography of Princess Nirdzhidma)

Click on the image to download the PDF

Click on the image to download the PDF

 

Wants to be Undisturbed

(Source: Heathen Chinese)

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge (Source: https://heathenchinese.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/wants-to-be-undisturbed/)

 

МОНГОЛ НОЁНЫ ЦУУТАЙ ГҮНЖ НИРЖИДМАА

(Source: Analiz.mn)

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge (Source: http://analiz.mn/postview/2693)

 

Монгол ноёны цуутай гүнж Ниржидмаа

(Source: News.mn)

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge (Source: http://news.mn/r/675947)

 

Монгол ноёны цуутай гүнж Ниржидмаа

(Source: News.mn)

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge (Source: http://news.mn/r/675947)

 

Монгол ноёны гүнж Парист ном үзсэн түүх

(Source: Fact.mn)

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge (Source: http://www.fact.mn/35403.html)

 

Бөх гүнж буюу Хотол цагаан гүнжийн домог

(Source: Mongolcom.mn)

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge (Source: http://mongolcom.mn/read/20522)

 

Монгол ноёны гүнж Парист ном үзсэн түүх

(Source: Bolod.mn)

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge (Source: http://www.bolod.mn/News/71008.html)

 

Nirgidma from Torhout

(Source: Wikiwand)

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge (Source: https://www.wikiwand.com/fr/Nirgidma_de_Torhout)

 

Short Biography on Nirgidma

(Source: МАРКО ПОЛО Facebook Page)

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

 

Epilogue >>

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Epilogue: Interview of Queen Dechen and
Princess Dewa Nimbo

These two audio files are a recording of an interview done by Dr Fred Adelman, an anthropologist and student of a famous professor of Mongolian studies, Professor Nicholas Poppe of University of Washington. Dr Adelman had visited Queen Dechen who was 63 years old at that time, to ask her about what she knew of the Torghuts. Rinpoche’s mother Princess Dewa Nimbo acted as the interpreter.

Amongst other things, Princess Dewa Nimbo explained that Queen Dechen’s husband or the King Migyur (Migyur Wang), is a descendent of Ayuka Khan and is a Noyin and that Princess Dewa Nimbo, together with her father, had met famous painter, Tibetologist and practitioner, Nicholas Roerich before.

The audio files are part of the Indiana University Center for Language Technology (CeLT) archives.

(Source: http://celt.indiana.edu/portal/languages/kalmyk/archive.html#menu)

      Interview of Queen Dechen & Dewa Nimbo – Part 1

      Interview of Queen Dechen & Dewa Nimbo – Part 2

 

Epilogue: David Minh

David is Rinpoche’s uncle, the younger sibling of Rinpoche’s mother Princess Dewa Nimbo.

He is a resident of Taiwan, having fled there from the family’s ancestral homeland of present-day northern Xinjiang where they are Kalmyk royalty. In Taiwan, he is regarded as a minor celebrity due to his status as Mongolian royalty, fluent in Mongolian, Mandarin and English. He has two children and is a notable freelance columnist who writes about politics in Taiwan.

With the help of a Lama named Yangduk, it took his family two months to travel from Kalmykia to Lhasa where they had an audience with the 13th Dalai Lama, then later over the mountain passes of the Himalayas, to Kalimpong, India. At that time, Austrian explorer Heinrich Herrer was in Lhasa and got to know his family. In his book “Seven Years in Tibet”, Herrer mentioned meeting the family – a Mongolian prince with his two wives and the two wonderful children (one of which is David Minh).

Later, as refugees, his family relocated to Taiwan, travelling from Kalimpong to Calcutta by rail, then from Calcutta to Taiwan via Hong Kong by ship. Port calls along the way included Bangkok, Penang, and Singapore. Meeting him in Taiwan, David explains that he had lost contact with his sister Dewa Nimbo when she moved to the United States but was reunited with her in the mid-1970s when he started doing business there and met her in Philadelphia. David has however now lost contact with her and described her as becoming “quite a hermit”, refusing to also meet her own two sons.

Rinpoche stated that all his life he wanted to be close to his biological mother but she rejected him. Rinpoche lamented that if he could connect to her and help her, that it would be nice.

 

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Editor’s note:

In seeking to learn more about the incredible lady that was Nirgidma, the more we learned, the more it became impossible to ignore the distinct similarities between the princess and the grandnephew she never met, Prince Iska Minh, also known as His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche.

Nirgidma was considered unusual for her time, an independent and highly educated woman who was vocal about her opinions at a time when women were expected to be silent partners to their husbands. Just like his grandaunt, decades later, Tsem Rinpoche too proved to be a pioneer of his time, standing firmly for his beliefs, whether it was his wish to pursue spirituality in spite of his adoptive parents’ objections, or his campaign to uphold religious freedom for practitioners of Dorje Shugden.

We are proud to be able to shed some light on a luminary of Rinpoche’s family tree and to bring to you the story of Nirgidma, the accomplished princess of the Torghuts.

 

For more interesting information:

 

Please support us so that we can continue to bring you more Dharma:

If you are in the United States, please note that your offerings and contributions are tax deductible. ~ the tsemrinpoche.com blog team

3 Responses to The Princess Nirgidma (My Grandaunt)

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  1. Rolf Gilberg on Jun 11, 2022 at 9:51 pm

    My e-mail sliped away before I finished it. I 2017 I did a paper on Nirgima in the journal, Ger, of the Danish Mongolian Society. You can find it on the net. Start with: Dansk Mongolsk Selskab, then hit “Ger”, then “bladfortegnelse” and find volumen 98. The paper is at page 10-13. Please tell me about Tseden Dorjii’s visit to Denmark in the 1930s.

  2. Samfoonheei on Jun 13, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    Very interesting biography of Rinpoche’s grandaunt Princess Nirgidma. She was a princess of the Torghuts, a nomadic people in Central Asia. Due to her background and up bringing , she could speck multiple languages, such as beautiful French and very good English, Chinese and Russian. She was had an extraordinary personality and her interesting life story. Also known as Princess Palta, Nirgidma de Torhout or even Miss Nina de Torghut . A Mongol Princess who thinks the thoughts of both orient and western .
    Thank you for this beautiful sharing which shed some light on a luminary of Rinpoche’s family tree.

    • Kydyrali on Dec 24, 2023 at 6:56 am

      It turns out that Princess Nirgidma was very knowledgeable and very talented at that time, even the leaders of China were not so literate. She was indeed a Torghaut girl born ahead of her time. I am from Kazakhstan, Mongolian, Torgauts are our relatives, descendants of TonyKok.

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(除了每个月的第一个星期五)
SUNDAY
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4 - 5AM (PST)

UPCOMING TOPICS FOR JUNE / 六月份讨论主题

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KECHARA FOREST RETREAT PROGRESS UPDATES

Here is the latest news and pictorial updates, as it happens, of our upcoming forest retreat project.

The Kechara Forest Retreat is a unique holistic retreat centre focused on the total wellness of body, mind and spirit. This is a place where families and individuals will find peace, nourishment and inspiration in a natural forest environment. At Kechara Forest Retreat, we are committed to give back to society through instilling the next generation with universal positive values such as kindness and compassion.

For more information, please read here (english), here (chinese), or the official site: retreat.kechara.com.

Noticeboard

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  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jun 17. 2024 12:53 PM
    Beautiful pictures paints a thousands words of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche. Those rare pictures shared ultimate sophistication of the relationship between the two great leaders.
    Back in the 20th century Jawaharlal Nehru an Indian anti-colonial nationalist, statesman, secular humanist, social democrat was very kind to receive them both. Looking at the rare pictures says all.
    Its such awesome watching the rare video of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche visiting India together. Visiting sacred places Buddhist sites of India together, and even having state dinner .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this great sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/the-dalai-lama-panchen-lama-in-india-in-1956.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jun 17. 2024 12:52 PM
    nspiring read of the power sacred feminine Maha Pajapati Gotami, founder of the Order of Nuns. She was the foster-mother, step-mother and maternal aunt of the Buddha. In Buddhist tradition, she was the first woman to seek ordination for women, which she did from Gautama Buddha directly, and she became the first bhikkhuni.
    Mahapajapati lived to be around 120 years old. Having such an eminent position in the sangha, she would have had hundreds of nuns under her care, helping them realize the Truth. Perplexingly, the Buddha continued to have doubts about admitting women into the women’s order right up until his death. Mahapajapati had played an important role preserving the dharma taught by Buddha Shakyamuni.
    Truly inspired by Mahaprajapati Gotami’s story.
    Thank you Rinpoche with folded hands.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/mahapajapati-gotami-the-first-buddhist-nun.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jun 17. 2024 12:50 PM
    Area 51 is a U.S. military base that has become synonymous all this while. There’s a possibility recording to many could be a government cover-ups and potentially a place of testing alien. Its always a secret behind this Nevada base also known as Area 51 and is often the subject of alien conspiracy theories. The facility is next to two other restricted military areas, what goes on inside and around is extremely secret. No one are allowed to visit and are kept away by warning signs, electronic surveillance and armed guards. According to the US military, the intense secrecy area is the training range for US nuclear weapons. It has never been declared a secret base and under 24-hour surveillance. Many people have reported seeing unidentified flying objects in or near Area 51. That’s interesting. And the popular image of the place is a secret site for extra-terrestrial research.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/paranormal/aliens-paranormal/what-is-area-51.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jun 17. 2024 12:49 PM
    Reading each messages and looking at those beautiful pictures tells a thousand words. Without dharma, dharma work, dharma institutions and dharma people, life is so much more lonely and empty……loved this message by our Guru.
    May those teachings in this blog flourish in the heart of all beings.
    Thank you Rinpoche sharing this great messages. which taught us more and inspired us too.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/messages-inspired-by-buddhist-art.html
  • payal
    Monday, Jun 10. 2024 04:27 AM
    really….such a stunning sacred image 1,000 Armed Avalokitesvara as gift from Joshua and family for Rinpoche . More so receiving it on Wesak Day is indeed wonderful. Merely looking at this stunning images is a blessing.
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, May 10. 2024 02:57 PM
    A card and hard disc from Sean Wang was truly a smart idea afterall. Nobody could imagine such idea but he did it. Placing thumb drives with millions and billions of Vajrayogini her holy mantra in Tibetan into the holy statue. Not only that drawing pictures too . Such a great idea whereby people come to make offerings, prostrate, circumambulate, collecting huge amount of merits for themselves and their love ones. Thanks to Sean Wang/
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/letters-cards-gifts/seans-got-a-great-idea.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, May 10. 2024 02:55 PM
    Reading this blog kindly reminded us of the most cherished people in our lives that’s our parents. Mother’s Day that is on this Sunday 12th of May and Father’s Day falls on the third Sunday in June. Teachers Day too important ……a day to honour and recognise their roles in our lives. Rinpoche always emphasised that we should not avoid the responsibility of repaying the kindness of the people who have helped us in our life. The only true way to honour and repay their kindness is to let them know that their kindness meant a lot to us . Do something good for them or someone else as this practice ultimately gives enormous power and possibilities for positive effects in many lives not just our own life. Simple saying thank you and expressing our appreciation can go a long way.
    Reading all those powerful quotes by Rinpoche gives us a lesson and example.
    Thank you Rinpoche and writers team for sharing

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/celebrating-kindness-20-quotes-from-tsem-rinpoche.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, May 8. 2024 06:11 PM
    Achi Chökyi Drölma is the Dharma Protector of the Drikung Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. She also appears as a protector in the Karma Kagyu refuge tree as Achi Chodron. Although Achi has a particular committment to protect the Drikung Kagyu, she is recognized and practiced by all lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. To benefit the beings in samsara, she displays a limitless number of manifestations at different times and in different space dimensions. She vowed to protect the Drikung Kagyu lineage and its practitioners, removing inner and outer obstacles , a revered figure in Tibetan Buddhism, embodies the harmonious union of compassion, wisdom, and protective energy. a powerful wisdom-protector who guards and protects all sincere Dharma-practitioners to rely on her. She is also known for her power to confer wealth. She rose to protect Drikung Kagyu lineage while Dorje Shugden who rose to protect the Gelug teaching. Interesting read.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Gen Lobsang Phuljung for this interesting write up

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/achi-chokyi-drolma-chief-protectress-of-the-drikung-kagyu.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, May 8. 2024 06:00 PM
    Dorje Shugden is a special Dharma Protector who quickly fulfils wishes and sincere prayers. He brings healing, harmony and peace; protects from harm and obstacles and attracts opportunities for success and growth. To promote the practice of Dorje Shugden, Kechara has came up a easy way for more people to understand the Powerful Practice. Presented in six different languages as such in English, Tibetan བོད་ཡིག, Chinese 中文, Hindi हिंदी, Tamil தமிழ், Nepali नेपाली so everyone could access. All those materials were distributed to visitors free of charge at all Kechara outlets. Looking at those pictures of visitors says all of how Kechara had spreads the practice of Dorje Shugden like wild fire. More people will get to know and understand the true stories and benefits of Dorje Shugden.
    Thank you Rinpoche and writers for this great sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/kechara-spreads-the-practice-of-dorje-shugden.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, May 8. 2024 05:57 PM
    For the last 60 years, the Tibetan Government-in-Exile has exploited, abused, marginalised and persecuted their people. For the first time in six decades, since the Tibetans first entered a life in exile, we are seeing more and more examples of ordinary Tibetans speaking up against this exploitation. In years gone past, Tibetans would never have dared to voice their objections to the leadership. They have been mixing religion and politics ever since. A majority of the Tibetans in India are stateless, and been sufferings quietly. Hundreds of thousands of Tibetans were killed during the Chinese invasion, prompting the young Dalai Lama to flee into exile in 1959. Because of all the exploitation the younger Tibetan generation are willing to express and speaking up.
    Reading the commentary by a anonymous member of the Tibetan community tells us how those desperate Tibetans experienced all this while and to voice the truth. Interesting read. In order to achieve peace it is necessary to address the root of violence and conflict by having dialogue between the Chinese Government and the Tibetan Government.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/tibetan-refugee-youth-speaking-up.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, May 8. 2024 05:55 PM
    Coming up with these informative website is a great work of Rinpoche and writers team. With these website it had many people get to understand more of Tibetan Buddhism , great teachers teachings and of course all about the practice of Dorje Shugden. I am one of them , its was this website I got to know , learn, and understand about Tibetan Buddhism and Dorje Shugden.
    Thank you Rinpoche with folded hands and writers team .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/fantastic-new-dorje-shugden-website-launched.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, May 8. 2024 05:53 PM
    The legendary Ra Lotsawa Dorje Drak was born in the village of Nyenam,Southern Tibet amidst many auspicious signs of a high rebirth. Ra Lotsawa was a great tantric master and is one of the most controversial Buddhist teachers in Tibetan history who had used wrathful means to subjugate his opponents. One of the previous lives of Dorje Shugden is the renowned lama Ra Lotsawa Dorje Drak, Amongst his great deeds, Ra Lotsawa was known to have renovated many with Samye, Tibet’s first monastery. He also sponsored numerous new translation works, the copying and recitation of sacred scriptures, and the installation of Buddha statues. Interesting read of the biography of this great master. Ra Lotsawa Dorje Drakpa left behind a legacy of many great lamas, practitioners and preserving, as well as spreading this tantric system in Tibet.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/ra-lotsawa-dorje-drakpa-tibetan-master-of-the-vajrabhairava-tantra.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, May 8. 2024 05:51 PM
    Dorjé Shukden is a controversial Tibetan Buddhist protector deity, believed by some to be a wrathful spirit and by others to be an enlightened Buddha. The controversy that arose from this divided understanding over the last fifty years has impacted the Tibetan Buddhist community globally and continues to be relevant to observers and practitioners of Buddhism the world over. The Yellow Book, based on its cover. It was composed by Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche in 1970, but it was not published until 1973. Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche never intended for his book to be published but somehow it was published without his permission. According to the introduction, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche authored this book in 1970 based on teachings given by Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, the junior tutor to the 14th Dalai Lama.The original intention of this book was to be complementary material to Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche’s book, Music Delighting An Ocean of Protectors, which was published six years before the Yellow Book. The Yellow Book did not circulate widely until several years later. It is a collection of cautionary tales and teachings but sadly some influential powerful officials and people who had corrupted the Gelug lineage . Interesting read.
    I am looking forward to finish reading this book.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Martin for this interesting sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/dr-christopher-bells-views-on-zemey-rinpoches-yellow-book.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, May 4. 2024 06:15 PM
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, May 4. 2024 06:13 PM
    Firebirds are mythical birds found in the folklore of many cultures. They are often depicted as magical birds with feathers that glow like flames or the sun. The mythology surrounding firebirds varies between cultures, but there are some common themes. In Greek mythology, the mythical bird known for its ability to be reborn from its ashes, symbolizing immortality and renewal. It is often depicted as a beautiful and majestic creature with brightly coloured feathers and a long tail. Interesting read of the stories related to the mythology, legend and folklore in this blog.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/beautiful-1000-armed-avalokitesvara.html

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Messages from Rinpoche

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CREDITS

Concept: Tsem Rinpoche
Technical: Lew Kwan Leng, Justin Ripley, Yong Swee Keong
Design: Justin Ripley, Cynthia Lee
Content: Tsem Rinpoche, Justin Ripley, Pastor Shin Tan, Sarah Yap
Admin: Pastor Loh Seng Piow, Beng Kooi

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

Tsem Rinpoche

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
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
4 years 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!
4 years 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
4 years 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
4 years 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!
4 years 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.
4 years 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
4 years 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.
4 years 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.
4 years 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!
4 years 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)
5 years 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)
5 years 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)
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years 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!
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
5 years ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
5 years 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.
5 years 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.
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years 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!!!
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
5 years ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
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CHAT PICTURES

We hope you enjoyed our pictures, as much as we enjoyed our Wesak Day together in Penang. Let us carry the energy and enthusiasm we experienced so far and inspires many more. Happy Wesak Day! 22/5/2024 KPSG by Jacinta
4 weeks ago
We hope you enjoyed our pictures, as much as we enjoyed our Wesak Day together in Penang. Let us carry the energy and enthusiasm we experienced so far and inspires many more. Happy Wesak Day! 22/5/2024 KPSG by Jacinta
Puja offering packages. Thanks to those who sponsored the puja. May all your wishes be fulfilled. KPSG by Jacinta
4 weeks ago
Puja offering packages. Thanks to those who sponsored the puja. May all your wishes be fulfilled. KPSG by Jacinta
Colourful altar with plenty of offerings. We had DS puja with Praise to Buddha Shakyamuni as we celebrate this special day of Buddha's Birth, Enlightenment and Parinirvana. KPSG by Jacinta
4 weeks ago
Colourful altar with plenty of offerings. We had DS puja with Praise to Buddha Shakyamuni as we celebrate this special day of Buddha's Birth, Enlightenment and Parinirvana. KPSG by Jacinta
Some of the activities done during the Wesak Day Celebration in Penang. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
4 weeks ago
Some of the activities done during the Wesak Day Celebration in Penang. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
Wesak Day Celebration in Penang!Buddha's Bathing Ritual. 22/5/2024 Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
4 weeks ago
Wesak Day Celebration in Penang!Buddha's Bathing Ritual. 22/5/2024 Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
11/5/2024 Saturday @3pm. After puja, all members helped out clearing the offerings and we shared out the blessed food offerings with our families, friends and even animals. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
1 month ago
11/5/2024 Saturday @3pm. After puja, all members helped out clearing the offerings and we shared out the blessed food offerings with our families, friends and even animals. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
11/5/2024 Saturday @3pm. Activities during puja. Members chanting Dorje Shugden mantras. We've completed Dorje Shugden puja cum Namasangiti. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
1 month ago
11/5/2024 Saturday @3pm. Activities during puja. Members chanting Dorje Shugden mantras. We've completed Dorje Shugden puja cum Namasangiti. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
11/5/2024, Saturday @3pm. Activities : Offerings of khata to Rinpoche, garland of flowers to Dorje Shugden and a new Tibetan butterlamp being offered on the altar. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
1 month ago
11/5/2024, Saturday @3pm. Activities : Offerings of khata to Rinpoche, garland of flowers to Dorje Shugden and a new Tibetan butterlamp being offered on the altar. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
Today we have an inaugural cancer free diet talk and info sharing by Mr. Ooi. Mr. Ooi is a Penangite and like any other man, he has a family to provide for. From colon cancer stage 4,he is now known as a cancer-free man. Learn more about his story and his acquaintance with Dorje Shugden here https://youtu.be/x7i-yXJBUwM?si=A-5O0udxjg52iS58
1 month ago
Today we have an inaugural cancer free diet talk and info sharing by Mr. Ooi. Mr. Ooi is a Penangite and like any other man, he has a family to provide for. From colon cancer stage 4,he is now known as a cancer-free man. Learn more about his story and his acquaintance with Dorje Shugden here https://youtu.be/x7i-yXJBUwM?si=A-5O0udxjg52iS58
Kind-hearted sponsors sponsored these kuih-muih & flowers for today's puja @ 4th May, 2024. Should you wish to contribute these or sponsor our weekly puja, do contact us for more details. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
1 month ago
Kind-hearted sponsors sponsored these kuih-muih & flowers for today's puja @ 4th May, 2024. Should you wish to contribute these or sponsor our weekly puja, do contact us for more details. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
Pastor Seng Piow guides us on the flow of Dorje Shugden puja, its benefits, significant of Chanting the names of Manjushri and also explaining the dedication for the sponsors and to those in need before we start the puja as we have 2 newcomers today.
2 months ago
Pastor Seng Piow guides us on the flow of Dorje Shugden puja, its benefits, significant of Chanting the names of Manjushri and also explaining the dedication for the sponsors and to those in need before we start the puja as we have 2 newcomers today.
Two Pastors in da house! Double the merits, double the happiness. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
2 months ago
Two Pastors in da house! Double the merits, double the happiness. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
Mr. Cheah Fook Wan offered lights and incense to The Three Jewels prior to the puja in Ipoh. (KISG - Kin Hoe)
2 months ago
Mr. Cheah Fook Wan offered lights and incense to The Three Jewels prior to the puja in Ipoh. (KISG - Kin Hoe)
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out Mother Tara prayer recitations on Sunday afternoon in Ipoh. (KISG- Kin Hoe)
2 months ago
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out Mother Tara prayer recitations on Sunday afternoon in Ipoh. (KISG- Kin Hoe)
Powerful Dorje Shugden puja @ Jalan Seang Tek, Penang. Every Saturday, 3 pm. Remove obstacles and grant blessings to fulfil wishes. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta. 6th April 2024
2 months ago
Powerful Dorje Shugden puja @ Jalan Seang Tek, Penang. Every Saturday, 3 pm. Remove obstacles and grant blessings to fulfil wishes. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta. 6th April 2024
Rejoice to the volunteers (also kind sponsors) who cleaned the Gyenze Chapel and made abundant offerings to Gyenze. ~ Alice
3 months ago
Rejoice to the volunteers (also kind sponsors) who cleaned the Gyenze Chapel and made abundant offerings to Gyenze. ~ Alice
Offered beautiful flowers abundantly to Gyenze. ~ Alice
3 months ago
Offered beautiful flowers abundantly to Gyenze. ~ Alice
Offered beautiful flowers abundantly to Gyenze. ~ Alice
3 months ago
Offered beautiful flowers abundantly to Gyenze. ~ Alice
Our weekly Dorje Shugden Puja @ 23/3/2024 . William, as the umze is seen here burning incense powder as we are about to recite the Sangsol Prayer to Dorje Shugden composed by Ganden Serkong. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
3 months ago
Our weekly Dorje Shugden Puja @ 23/3/2024 . William, as the umze is seen here burning incense powder as we are about to recite the Sangsol Prayer to Dorje Shugden composed by Ganden Serkong. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
And here's Mr Wong of KSK Ipoh who dropped by to pray and offered some donation to the Chapel. Kechara Penang Study Group. Pic by Siew Hong & uploaded by Jacinta.
3 months ago
And here's Mr Wong of KSK Ipoh who dropped by to pray and offered some donation to the Chapel. Kechara Penang Study Group. Pic by Siew Hong & uploaded by Jacinta.
Today's puja (16/3/2024) ended around 420pm, Jacinta was the umze of the day. Pic by Siew Hong. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
3 months ago
Today's puja (16/3/2024) ended around 420pm, Jacinta was the umze of the day. Pic by Siew Hong. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
Group photo taken after the last session, sealed with King of Prayers. Come and join us next time! Sayonara - 9-10th March 2024 - Kechara Penang DS Retreat by Jacinta.
3 months ago
Group photo taken after the last session, sealed with King of Prayers. Come and join us next time! Sayonara - 9-10th March 2024 - Kechara Penang DS Retreat by Jacinta.
Abundance altar! Fruits, flowers, Mee Koo (traditional Penang buns), Bee Hoon, sourdoughs and snacks are some of the offerings to Rinpoche, Buddhas & Bodhisattvas. Kechara Penang Dorje Shugden Retreat 9-10th March, 2024 by Jacinta.
3 months ago
Abundance altar! Fruits, flowers, Mee Koo (traditional Penang buns), Bee Hoon, sourdoughs and snacks are some of the offerings to Rinpoche, Buddhas & Bodhisattvas. Kechara Penang Dorje Shugden Retreat 9-10th March, 2024 by Jacinta.
Siew Hong, one of retreatants and an active member of Kechara Penang group proudly presented her torma to be used during the Kalarupa puja. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
3 months ago
Siew Hong, one of retreatants and an active member of Kechara Penang group proudly presented her torma to be used during the Kalarupa puja. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
Torma making was taught by Pastor Seng Piow and held one day before the retreat. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
3 months ago
Torma making was taught by Pastor Seng Piow and held one day before the retreat. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
Penang Dorje Shugden Retreat cum Puja, 9-10th March 2024 led by Pastor Seng Piow with 12 retreatants. Uploaded by Jacinta
3 months ago
Penang Dorje Shugden Retreat cum Puja, 9-10th March 2024 led by Pastor Seng Piow with 12 retreatants. Uploaded by Jacinta
The celebration ended with a Dorje Shugden puja, dedicated to all the sponsors, our loved ones and as well as for the happiness & good health for all sentient beings. May Rinpoche return swiftly too and taking this opportunity wishing all Happy Chinese New Year and Gong Xi Fa Cai from all of us, Kechara Penang Study Group. Uploaded by Jacinta.
4 months ago
The celebration ended with a Dorje Shugden puja, dedicated to all the sponsors, our loved ones and as well as for the happiness & good health for all sentient beings. May Rinpoche return swiftly too and taking this opportunity wishing all Happy Chinese New Year and Gong Xi Fa Cai from all of us, Kechara Penang Study Group. Uploaded by Jacinta.
Seen here, Pastor Seng Piow set off firecrackers - welcoming of the upcoming year with enthusiasm and positive energy. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
4 months ago
Seen here, Pastor Seng Piow set off firecrackers - welcoming of the upcoming year with enthusiasm and positive energy. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
In this pic, Pastor Seng Piow is sharing Dharma with newbies ~ Sharyn's friends. It's always good to make light offerings at the beginning of new year. By making light offerings, you are able to dispel the darkness of ignorance and achieve wisdom. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
4 months ago
In this pic, Pastor Seng Piow is sharing Dharma with newbies ~ Sharyn's friends. It's always good to make light offerings at the beginning of new year. By making light offerings, you are able to dispel the darkness of ignorance and achieve wisdom. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
One the day of Losar (new lunar year), it is always beneficial for Buddhist practitioners to get together in making abundant offerings to Buddhas on the altar to usher in goodness, prosperity and well-being of our loved ones. It's more auspicious this year as Losar and the Chinese New Year begin on the same date, 10th Feb, 2024. Back in Penang, our Kechara members came together to decorate the altar with abundance offerings for Dorje Shugden puja @3pm. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
4 months ago
One the day of Losar (new lunar year), it is always beneficial for Buddhist practitioners to get together in making abundant offerings to Buddhas on the altar to usher in goodness, prosperity and well-being of our loved ones. It's more auspicious this year as Losar and the Chinese New Year begin on the same date, 10th Feb, 2024. Back in Penang, our Kechara members came together to decorate the altar with abundance offerings for Dorje Shugden puja @3pm. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
Mr. Dared Lim was offering water bowls on behalf of Kechara Ipoh Study Group. (Kin Hoe)
4 months ago
Mr. Dared Lim was offering water bowls on behalf of Kechara Ipoh Study Group. (Kin Hoe)
Jun from Ipoh was offering mandarin oranges to Mother Tara and The Three Jewels. (Kin Hoe)
4 months ago
Jun from Ipoh was offering mandarin oranges to Mother Tara and The Three Jewels. (Kin Hoe)
Prior to our puja in Ipoh, Mr. & Mrs. Cheah Fook Wan were preparing for the offerings to the Buddhas. (Kin Hoe)
4 months ago
Prior to our puja in Ipoh, Mr. & Mrs. Cheah Fook Wan were preparing for the offerings to the Buddhas. (Kin Hoe)
On Sunday afternoon, Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out Mother Tara prayer recitations in Ipoh. (Kin Hoe)
4 months ago
On Sunday afternoon, Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out Mother Tara prayer recitations in Ipoh. (Kin Hoe)
Some of the best shots taken during Thaipusam in Penang. Swee Bee, Huey, Tang KS, Nathan, Choong SH and Jacinta volunteered. Wai Meng came all the way from KL to help out. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
5 months ago
Some of the best shots taken during Thaipusam in Penang. Swee Bee, Huey, Tang KS, Nathan, Choong SH and Jacinta volunteered. Wai Meng came all the way from KL to help out. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
Simple yet powerful ally ~ Bhagawan Dorje Shuden. Kechara Penang Study Group consists of Chien Seong, Hue, Choong SH, Tang KS, Swee Bee and Jacinta. Wai Meng came all the way from KL to help out. Uploaded by Jacinta.
5 months ago
Simple yet powerful ally ~ Bhagawan Dorje Shuden. Kechara Penang Study Group consists of Chien Seong, Hue, Choong SH, Tang KS, Swee Bee and Jacinta. Wai Meng came all the way from KL to help out. Uploaded by Jacinta.
Thaipusam in Penang. Some of the best shots. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
5 months ago
Thaipusam in Penang. Some of the best shots. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
Nothing beats having a sacred audience with our lineage lamas. It's not selfie or wefie, but we have the best 'groufie'!!! 20th Jan 2024, Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
5 months ago
Nothing beats having a sacred audience with our lineage lamas. It's not selfie or wefie, but we have the best 'groufie'!!! 20th Jan 2024, Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
Welcoming our lineage Gurus to our Penang Chapel today! Pastor Seng Piow explained the significance of having Guru Tree and introduced to us our lineage lamas, Buddhas, deities, protectors and etc.
5 months ago
Welcoming our lineage Gurus to our Penang Chapel today! Pastor Seng Piow explained the significance of having Guru Tree and introduced to us our lineage lamas, Buddhas, deities, protectors and etc.
Umze for the day was Siew Hong. She's just been with us for slightly more than a year now but she's proven her capability in leading the puja. Our Penang group members are so proud of her and her commitment in attending the weekly puja. Despite being eloquence and smart, she has beautiful chant as well. When she leads, make sure you are there to hear her chant for yourself! Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
5 months ago
Umze for the day was Siew Hong. She's just been with us for slightly more than a year now but she's proven her capability in leading the puja. Our Penang group members are so proud of her and her commitment in attending the weekly puja. Despite being eloquence and smart, she has beautiful chant as well. When she leads, make sure you are there to hear her chant for yourself! Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
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Vietnam 226,545
Thailand 217,772
Taiwan 206,933
Italy 175,641
Spain 160,953
Netherlands 156,804
Mongolia 147,273
Portugal 138,190
South Africa 138,017
Türkiye 132,302
Sri Lanka 128,762
United Arab Emirates 121,726
Japan 119,012
Russia 114,691
Hong Kong 114,218
China 107,718
Romania 104,740
Mexico 97,736
New Zealand 93,880
Switzerland 88,746
Myanmar (Burma) 88,535
Pakistan 82,184
Sweden 78,121
South Korea 75,124
Cambodia 70,770
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Dorje Shugden
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