Power Struggle at Dalai Lama’s Potala Palace – Tibet

May 2, 2019 | Views: 31,649

Potala01

(By Tsem Rinpoche)

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is known for being the spiritual and temporal leader of the Tibetans. However, among Tibetan Buddhists, he is much more than that. His Holiness is treasured for being an emanation of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion and has been in an unbroken lineage of almost six centuries, reincarnating after the passing of his predecessors to care for the welfare and benefits of the Tibetan people.

Each Dalai Lama is a unique individual, they have been philosophers, builders and even poets, and as each is revered as a Bodhisattva who possess great mystical powers and can incarnate life after life, every Dalai Lama has great potential to benefit many beings by disseminating Buddhism and safeguarding his fellow countrymen. This can be seen clearly as His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has been a charismatic global spiritual teacher whose teachings are timeless and translated into many languages.

However, not all is well in paradise. When each incarnation is recognised, the successor will inherit the position, fame, and estates of his predecessor. As such, as highlighted in Mike Dash’s article featured in smithsonian.com, the selection of the Dalai Lamas is never a straightforward and purely religious process. You will read about the politics and power struggles surrounding the selection process, insights into the tragic loss as the lives of the Dalai Lamas were cut short due to political intrigue, and most of all, the key events that shaped Tibetan history.

 

Murder in Tibet’s High Places

The Dalai Lama is one of the world’s most revered religious leaders, but that didn’t prevent four holders of the office from mysteriously dying

The Potala Palace, Lhasa: home to nine successive Dalai Lamas, a number of them suspiciously short-lived. (Wikicommons)

The Potala Palace, Lhasa: home to nine successive Dalai Lamas, a number of them suspiciously short-lived. (Wikicommons)

By Mike Dash
smithsonian.com
April 10, 2012

Few buildings inspire awe in quite the way that the Potala Palace does. Set high on the great Tibetan plateau, against the looming backdrop of the Himalayas, the vast structure rises 400 feet from a mountain in the middle of Lhasa, taking the uppermost apartments on its thirteenth floor to 12,500 feet above sea level. The palace is at once architecturally striking and historically significant. Until the Chinese occupation of 1951, it was also the winter home of the 14th Dalai Lama, believed to be the reincarnation of a long line of religious leaders dating back to the late fourteenth century.

For Buddhists, the Potala is a holy spot, but even for visitors to the Tibetan capital it is hardly the sort of place one would expect to find steeped in intrigue and corruption. Yet during the first half of the 19th century, the palace was the scene of a grim battle for political supremacy fought among monks, Tibetan nobles and Chinese governors. Most historians of the country, and many Tibetans, believe that the most prominent victims of this struggle were four successive Dalai Lamas, the ninth through the twelfth, all of whom died in unusual circumstances, and not one of whom lived past the age of 21.

The 9th Dalai Lama, Lungtok Gyatso  (click to enlarge)

The 9th Dalai Lama, Lungtok Gyatso
(click to enlarge)

The early 1800s are a poorly documented period in Tibet’s history. What can be said is that these dark days began with the death of the eighth Dalai Lama in 1804. Jamphel Gyatso had been enthroned in 1762 and, like three out of four of his immediate predecessors, lived a long life by the standards of the time, bringing a measure of stability to his country. But, by the time of his death, the augeries for Tibet’s future were not propitious. Qianlong, the last great ruler of China’s Qing dynasty, had abdicated in 1796, leaving his empire to successors who took less interest in a region that China had dominated for half a century. The decline of the Qing had two consequences: the governors—ambans—sent from Beijing in pairs to rule in Lhasa discovered that they had a free hand to meddle as they wished; and the Tibetan nobility, which had alternately collaborated with the Qing and resented them, sensed an opportunity to recover the influence and power they had lost since 1750. For the Chinese, the power vacuum that existed during a Dalai Lama’s minority made governing their distant dependency easier; conversely, any Buddhist leader with a mind of his own was a threat. For Tibet’s nobility, a Dalai Lama who listened to the ambans was most likely an imposter who fully deserved a violent end.

Add to that toxic stew a series of infant Dalai Lamas placed in the care of ambitious regents drawn from a group of fractious rival monasteries, and it’s easy to see that plenty of people might prefer it if no self-willed, adult and widely revered lama emerged from the Potala to take a firm grip on the country. Indeed, the chief difficulty in interpreting the murderous politics of the period is that the story reads too much like an Agatha Christie novel. Every contemporary account is self-serving, and everybody gathered in the Potala’s precincts had his own motive for wanting the Dalai Lama dead.

Potala04

The palace itself made an evocative setting for a murder mystery. To begin with, it was ancient; construction on the site had begun as early as 647, in the days of Tibet’s greatest early ruler, Songtsän Gampo, and just as the medieval Tibetan Empire began to emerge as a genuine rival to Tang dynasty China. The structure that we know today mostly dates to a thousand years later, but the Potala belongs to no one period, and the complex was still being expanded in the 1930s. It’s really two palaces: the White, which was the seat of government until 1950, and the Red, which houses the stupas—tombs—of eight Dalai Lamas. Between them, the two buildings contain a thousand rooms, 200,000 statues and endless labyrinthine corridors, enough to conceal whole armies of assassins.

Only a few of the Potala’s many chambers, the first Westerners to gain access to the complex learned, were decorated, properly lit or ever cleaned. Perceval Landon, a correspondent of the London Times who came to Lhasa in 1904 with the British invasion force led by Francis Younghusband, and saw the Potala as it must have been a century earlier, was bitterly disappointed by its interiors—which, he wrote, were illuminated solely by smoldering yak butter and were

indistinguishable from the interiors of a score of other large Tibetan lamaseries…. Here and there in a chapel burns a grimy butter lamp before a tarnished and dirty image. Here and there the passage widens as a flight of stairs breaks the monotony of grimy walls. The sleeping cells of the monks are cold, bare and dirty…. It must be confessed, though the words are written with considerable reluctance, that cheap and tawdry are the only possible adjectives that can be applied to the interior decoration of this great palace temple.

The 10th Dalai Lama Tsultrim Gyatso (click to enlarge)

The 10th Dalai Lama Tsultrim Gyatso
(click to enlarge)

The Dutch writer Ardy Verhaegen sketches in more of the background. The eighth Dalai Lama, he points out, although long-lived (1758-1804), never displayed much interest in temporal affairs, and long before the end of his reign political power in Tibet was being wielded by regents drawn from the ranks of other high lamas in monasteries around the capital. By the 1770s, Verhaegen writes, these men “had acquired a taste for office and were to misuse their powers to further their own interests.” The situation was made worse by the death in 1780 of Lobsang Palden Yeshe, the influential Panchen Lama who had stood second in the hierarchy of Yellow Hat Buddhism, and by virtue of his office played a key role in identifying new incarnations of the Dalai Lama. His successors—only two during the whole of the next century—were much less forceful characters who did little to challenge the authority of the ambans.

The 11th Dalai Lama Khedrup Gyatso (click to enlarge)

The 11th Dalai Lama Khedrup Gyatso
(click to enlarge)

According to Verhaegen, several suspicious circumstances link the deaths of the eighth Dalai Lama’s four successors. One was that the deaths began shortly after Qianglong announced a series of reforms. His Twenty-Nine Article Imperial Ordinance introduced an unwelcome innovation into the selection of a new Dalai Lama. Traditionally, that process had involved a combination of watching for signs and wonders, and a test in which an infant candidate was watched to see which of various personal items, some of which had belonged to earlier incarnations, were preferred; the novelty Qianlong introduced was the so-called Golden Urn, from which lots were to be drawn to select a candidate. The Urn’s real purpose was to allow China to control the selection process, but in the case of the ninth and tenth Dalai Lamas, the wily Tibetans found ways of circumventing the lottery, to the considerable displeasure of Beijing. One possibility is that the Chinese arranged the deaths of these two incarnations in order to have the opportunity to impose a Dalai Lama they approved of.

The second circumstance that Verhaegen calls attention to is that all four of the Lamas who died young had made the sacred journey to Lhamoi Latso lake shortly before their passing. This visit, made “to secure a vision of his future and to propitiate the goddess Mogosomora,” took the Lama away from Lhasa and exposed him to strangers who might have taken the opportunity to poison him. Not that the Potala was safe; alternately, Verhaegen suggests,

it is also possible they were poisoned by cooks… or by the regents when given a specially prepared pill, meant to increase vitality.

Whatever the truth, the first in what would become a series of suspiciously premature deaths took place in 1815 when the ninth Dalai Lama, nine-year-old Lungtok Gyatso, fell dangerously ill with what was said to be pneumonia contracted while attending a festival deep in the Tibetan winter. According to Thomas Manning, the first British visitor to Tibet, who met him twice in Lhasa, Lungtok had been a remarkable boy: “beautiful, elegant, refined, intelligent, and entirely self-possessed, even at the age of six.” His death came during the regency of Dde-mo Blo-bzan-t’ub-btsan-’jigs-med-rgya-mts’o, abbot of bsTan-rgyas-glin. Derek Maher notes that Demo (as he is, thankfully, known outside the austere halls of Tibetan scholarship) “suffered from episodes of mental illness.” Beyond that, however, the only certainties are that Lungtok died at the Potala, that his illness followed a visit to Lhamoi Latso Lake—and that a number of death threats were made against him just before he died. Rumors circulating in Lhasa, the historian Günther Schulemann says, suggested that “certain people trying to get rid of” the boy.

The ninth’s successor, Tsultrim Gyatso, lived a little longer; he was nearly 21 years old when he suddenly fell ill in 1837. Tsultrim—who displayed some unusual traits, including a predisposition for the company of commoners and a love of sunbathing with his office clerks—had just announced plans for an overhaul of the Tibetan economy and an increase in taxation when he entirely lost his appetite and grew dangerously short of breath. According to official accounts, medicines were administered and religious intervention sought, but his decline continued and he died.

The 12th Dalai Lama  (click to enlarge)

The 12th Dalai Lama Trinle Gyatso
(click to enlarge)

There would have been no solid reason to doubt this version of the tenth Dalai Lama’s death had not one Chinese source stated unequivocally that it was caused not by disease but by the unexplained collapse of one of the Potala’s ceilings on him while he was asleep. Basing his account on a set of documents addressed to the Chinese emperor 40 years later, W.W. Rockhill, the dean of American scholars of Tibet, records that, once the dust and rubble had been cleared, a large wound was discovered on the young man’s neck.

It is far from clear whether this mysterious wound was inflicted by an assailant or a piece of falling masonry, but historians of the period are in full agreement as to who had the best motive for wanting the tenth Dalai Lama dead: the regent Nag-dban-’jam-dpal-ts’ul-k’rims, known as Ngawang to most Western writers. He was himself a reincarnated lama who had held power since 1822; the Italian scholar Luciano Petech damningly describes him as glib, full of guile and “by far the most forceful character in 19th century Tibet.” Ngawang was the subject of an official Chinese inquiry, which, in 1844, stripped him of his estates and ordered his banishment to Manchuria; Verhaegen writes that he planned “to extend his authority during the minority of the next Dalai Lama” and was generally thought in Lhasa to have hastened his ward’s death, while Schulemann notes the rather circumstantial detail that the regent “did not seem overly sad at the news and said very little about it.” Yet, as Petech points out, the evidence is far from sufficient to secure the conviction of Ngawang in a court of law. The Chinese investigation focused on broader allegations of speculation and abuse of power, and all that can be said for certain is that the tenth Dalai Lama died just weeks before he was due to turn 21, assume the full powers of his office and dispense with the need for a regent.

The eleventh Dalai Lama did not live so long. Khedup Gyatso also died at the Potala–this time, it was said, of a breakdown in his health caused by the rigors of his training and the punishing round of rituals over which he was supposed to preside. Once again, there is no proof that this death was anything other than natural; once again, however, the situation was unusual. He died in the midst of a disastrous war between Tibet and the Gurkhas of Nepal, and it is not surprising, in those circumstances, that a struggle for power broke out in Lhasa. As a result, the eleventh Dalai Lama suddenly and unexpectedly became the first in 65 years to assume full political power and rule without a regent. This decision made Khedup a threat to a number of vested interests in the Tibetan capital, and it may have been sufficient to make him a target for assassination.

The twelfth Dalai Lama, Trinle Gyatso, was discovered two years after the eleventh’s death. His childhood involved the usual round of intensive study and visits to outlying monasteries. Enthroned in 1873 at the age of 18, he held power for just over two years before his death, and remained for most of his life under the influence of his Lord Chamberlain, Palden Dhondrup. Dhondrup committed suicide in 1871 as a result of court intrigue, after which his body was decapitated and his head put on public display as a warning. The distraught Dalai Lama was so shocked, Verhaegen says, that “he eschewed all company and wandered about as though demented.” Some date his decline to that period; what is certain is that, wintering in the Potala four years later, he fell ill and died in just two weeks.

The golden urn (click to enlarge)

The golden urn
(click to enlarge)

Two aspects of his life are outstandingly peculiar. The first, noted in the official biography of the thirteenth Dalai Lama, was that Trinle once experienced a vision of the Lotus Born Guru, who advised him that “if you do not rely on the siddhiu of karmamudra, you will soon die.” Karmamudra means tantric sex, but why the Dalai Lama should have been advised to practice it is as much of a mystery as why he expired after rejecting the guru’s psychical advice. Equally puzzling was his final illness, which did not confine him to his bed. Instead, he was found dead, seated in meditation and facing south.

Trinle was the fourth Dalai Lama to die in one human lifetime, and murder was immediately suspected. The ambans, the pro-Chinese historian Yan Hanzhang writes, ordered that “the remains be kept in the same position and all the objects in the Dalai’s bed chamber in the same place as when the death occurred.” They then had all the dead lama’s attendants locked in jail.

An autopsy proved inconclusive, but, for Yan, the identity of the murderers was obvious: The twelfth Dalai Lama and his three predecessors were all “victims of the power struggles between the big clerical and lay serf-owners in Tibet.” An alternative hypothesis suggests that Chinese intervention in Lhasa was the cause. Trinle had been the first Dalai Lama to be selected by a contested draw from the Golden Urn—that “potent symbol of Qing control,” Maher calls it, that was said in Tibetan proverb to be the “honey on a razor’s edge.” As such, he was viewed as Beijing’s man, and was less popular than his predecessors among Tibet’s high nobility. Many in Lhasa saw that as explanation enough for his death.

The indications that the twelfth Dalai Lama was killed are hardly conclusive, of course; indeed, of the four youths who ruled over the Potala between 1804 and 1875, there is strong evidence only for the murder of the tenth Dalai Lama. What can be said, however, is that the numbers do suggest foul play; the average lifespan of the first eight holders of the office had been more than 50 years, and while two early incarnations had died in their 20s, none before the tenth had failed to reach manhood. Tibet in the early nineteenth century was, moreover, far from the holy land of peaceful Buddhist meditation pictured by romantics. Sam von Schaik, the British Museum’s Tibet expert, points out that it was “a dangerous and often violent place where travelers carried swords, and later guns, at all times”—a theocracy in which monks and monasteries fought among themselves and where “violence might be prolonged for generations by blood feuds in vicious cycles of revenge.” Life was all too often cheap in a place like that—even when the victim was a bodhisattva.

 

Sources

Ya Hanzhang. The Biographies of the Dalai Lamas. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1991; Perceval Landon. Lhasa: an Account of the Country and People of Central Tibet and of the Progress of the Mission Sent There by the English Government in the Year 1903-4. London, 2 vols.: Hurst & Blackett, 1905; Derek Maher, ‘The Ninth to the Twelfth Dalai Lamas.’ In Martin Brauen (ed). The Dalai Lamas: A Visual History. Chicago: Serindia Publications, 2005; Luciano Petech. Aristocracy and Government in Tibet, 1728-1959. Rome: Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente, 1973; Luciano Petech. ‘The Dalai-Lamas and Regents of Tibet: A Chronological Study.’ T’oung Pao 2nd series vol.47 (1959); Khetsun Sangpo Rinpoche. ‘Life and times of the Eighth to Twelfth Dalai Lamas.’ The Tibet Journal VII (1982); W.W. Rockhill. The Dalai Lamas of Lhasa and their Relations with the Manchu Emperors of China, 1644-1908. Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works & Archives, 1998; Sam von Schaik. Tibet: A History. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011; Günther Schulemann. Geschichte der Dalai Lamas. Leipzig: Harrasowitz, 1958; Tsepon Shakabpa. Tibet: A Political History. New York: Potala Publications, 1988; Ardy Verhaegen. The Dalai Lamas: the Institution and its History. New Delhi: D.K. Printworld, 2002.

The above information and pictures are extracted from: Smithsonian.com (30 April 2019). Retrieved from: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/murder-in-tibets-high-places-62805827/#CpJWgVE7j4A0yl1u.99

 

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4 Responses to Power Struggle at Dalai Lama’s Potala Palace – Tibet

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  1. Ummamageswari on Jun 17, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    Thank you so much for this article. It is true that each Dalai Lama is a unique individual, they have been philosophers, builders and even poets, and as each is revered as a Bodhisattva who possess great mystical powers and can incarnate life after life.

    The Dalai Lama is one of the world’s revered religious leaders, but that didn’t prevent four holders of the office from mysteriously dying. An autopsy proved inconclusive, but, for Yan, the identity of the murderers was obvious where the the twelfth Dalai Lama and his three predecessors were all “victims of the power struggles between the big clerical and lay serf-owners in Tibet.” .

  2. Pastor Albert on May 20, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    Potala Palace – To the outside people, it is always a highest and holiest place for Tibetan Buddhism, many people said that Potala Palace is a place where every Buddhist should visit at least once in a lifetime. But we will never know that such a holy place like this has been a place filled with politics and dirty tricks.

    Dalai Lama as the emanation of Chenrezig and also the leader of Gelug tradition, sadly they became the tools between Tibetan and China’s politics. They often announce that the Dalai Lama was died due to illness, but in fact, they may be assassinated by the politicians, it was all covered up even until today, the caused of their death and the autopsy result was still inconclusive, not much info can be found on their death. Religion always been used by the politics

  3. Samfoonheei on May 5, 2019 at 11:36 am

    Potala Palace – the palace of peace, the palace of struggle, the palace is so call where the Dalai Lama resides before the Chinese invasion. Tibetans believe the H H 14th Dalai Lama being an emanation of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion and to be the reincarnation of his predecessors. All along there were power struggle centuries back, between Chinese government and the Tibetans in Tibet. In history many Tibetans do believe that most of the successive Dalai Lamas were victims of this power struggle, all of whom died in unusual circumstances at young age.
    The HH 14th Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet went into exile in India in 1959, has tussled with China’s ruling on the issue of reincarnation. A similar power struggle played out with the Panchen Lama, the second-most prominent figure in Tibetan Buddhism as well. Interesting read of this article.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing

  4. Harold Musetescu on May 2, 2019 at 9:23 am

    Could the real being behind all these suspected murders be the Dharmapala “Dorje Shugden”.Remember that there were two candidates for the 5th Dalai Lama. One was Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen aka Dorje Shugden. Many believe to this very day that Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen is the real Dalai Lama. Were all these deaths the revenge of Dorje Shugden.

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  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Aug 21. 2019 04:05 PM
    Stephon Marbury is an American former basketball player who played for NBA All Star in 2001 and 2003. The Two-time NBA All-Star embraced China after accepting China offer and turned his career and life around. Even though thousands of miles away from his former life in America , leaving everything behind. Through a series of remarkable games and scripted events he became one of the most beloved people in China. Stephon Marbury went from NBA outcast to Chinese legend and left behind a complicated legacy in the NBA. He is the first foreign celebrity to receive permanent residency in China.
    He never give up even though he did failed in his career with NBA and embracing China was the right choice.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing.
    Positivity, confidence, and persistence are key in our life, so never give up in whatever we do…..

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/stephon-marbury-embraces-china.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Aug 21. 2019 04:03 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this important complete commentary on 50 Verses of Guru Devotion. For all students to understand and put into practice. I am still trying to absorb as much as I could and still learning. Without the devotion to our Guru, we are no where and will not be able to be enlightened.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/complete-commentary-on-50-verses-of-guru-devotion.html
  • sarassitham
    Wednesday, Aug 21. 2019 02:55 PM
    Very touching article of painful childhood experience. A child was battle to grow in a difficult situation, struggled in hunger with lack of care and love.

    A painful love of a teenage mother and a concern grandmother of a new born baby was learned in this article. It was also learned that both mothers’ had the most critical time by adopting a foster family to keep the baby safe. Growing up with foster parents was extremely painful. All necessary needs was neglected including food and most of the time the child was unattended.

    A journey with a lot of bad experience with unforgettable memories with some lovely sweet moments was felt. A lovely gift with a little attention in the painful experienced of a child has helped to gain a deeper understanding of what love really is.

    REPLY
  • Chris
    Tuesday, Aug 20. 2019 04:24 PM
    Thank you, Rinpoche and the blog team for sharing with us this amazing town in Nepal. It is such a beautiful town with its ancient culture and its spiritual atmosphere. Places like this are beautiful because it is away from the city where materialism is at its peak. This town is also full of shops for spiritual shopping

    Places like these are very conducive for spiritual practice and on top of that, the scenery is stunning. It’s location made it a good place for mountaineers to take a break from their quest to conquer Mount Everest and get used to the climate. This will be a good place to go to have a spiritual holiday!

    http://bit.ly/2RMxcKk
  • Yee Yin
    Tuesday, Aug 20. 2019 04:03 PM
    Happiness is a state of mind, not how much we material possession we have accumulated. As we are chasing after a relationship, material possession, we tend to forget to take care of our mind. This is when people suffer from depression.

    We have to understand nothing is permanent, material possession cannot give us long-lasting happiness. Most of our problems are created by our mind. If we can control our mind, we can control how we feel and not suffer.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/external-article/resolve-depression

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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

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  Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch

The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

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

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

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

www.tsemrinpoche.com
4 months ago
We have to look in and change from within to find the way out of all that makes us unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche http://www.tsemrinpoche.com
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  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
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    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    2 yearss ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    2 yearss ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    2 yearss ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    2 yearss ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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CHAT PICTURES

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