Amazing Xuanzang and His Journey to the West

Dec 30, 2017 | Views: 4,517
A statue of Xuanzang (602 – 664 CE), who is widely celebrated all across China for his works, deeds and activities to establish and propagate the Dharma

A statue of Xuanzang (602 – 664 CE), who is widely celebrated all across China for his works, deeds and activities to establish and propagate the Dharma

During the 7th century Tang Dynasty of China (618 – 907 CE), there arose a great Buddhist master named Xuanzang (602 – 664 CE), who became a famed monk, explorer, scholar, writer, and translator. He is particularly famous for his journey to India, which took nearly two decades to complete, from 627 – 645 CE, and his careful translation of various Buddhist scriptures.

Over the years, as the influence of his work spread, many variations of his name arose such as Tang Sanzang, Xuanzang Sanzang, Xuanzang Dashi, and Tang Seng. In fact, his story and works became influential in other Asian countries, where his name took on localised styles of pronunciation, such as Vietnam, where he is known as Huyen Trang; Japan, where he is celebrated as Genjo; and Korea, where he is called Hyeonjang. One of his greatest written works, the Great Tang Records on the Western Regions, provides stunning accounts of his travels, including the geography, customs and political descriptions of the kingdoms he visited in Central and Southern Asia. Due to his courage, perseverance, passion, and great learning, Xuanzang is considered to be one of the most illustrious figures in Chinese history.

His life story and works continue to inspire millions of people in their spiritual path more than 1,300 years after his death. Even for those who are not interested in Buddhism, the accounts from his travels still serve as valuable historical resources and provide a better understanding of the cultural, geographical and political landscapes of the places he visited.

 

Early Life

The present-day Henan Province where Xuanzang was born

The present-day Henan Province where Xuanzang was born

Xuanzang was the youngest of four children, born in 602 CE to a family of respected scholars and officials in Chen He Village near present-day Henan Province. He was given the birth name Chen Yi. Several of his ancestors held respectable positions during previous dynasties in China, highlighting the fact that his family placed great emphasis on learning. Some of these ancestors include:

  • Chen Shi, who lived in the 2nd century, and served as a minister during the time of the Eastern Han Dynasty
  • Chen Qin, Xuanzang’s great-grandfather, who served as the prefect of Shangdang (present-day Changzhi city in Shanxi Province) during the time of the Eastern Wei Dynasty
  • Chen Kang, Xuanzang’s grandfather, who worked in the Imperial Academy as a professor during the time of the Northern Qi Dynasty.
  • Chen Hui, Xuanzang’s father, who served as a magistrate in Jiangling County during the Sui Dynasty. However, he resigned from his position to escape the political turmoil that marked the end of the Sui Dynasty.

After his father resigned as a magistrate, he dedicated his time to educating his children on Confucian principles, classical Chinese literature, and works on filial piety. Even as a child, Xuanzang displayed an excellent aptitude for learning and a keen intellect. By the time he was just eight years old, Xuanzang had mastered many Confucian rituals, and showed great interest in Buddhism and related subjects.

However, he did not have an idyllic childhood by any means. His father passed away in 611 CE when he was just nine years old, and his mother had passed away even earlier, when he was just five years old. Perhaps the misfortunes of his early life allowed Xuanzang a unique realisation of the impermanence of life, which would eventually lead him to renounce secular life altogether.

 

Ordination and Travels Around China

After his father’s passing, Chensu (who was one of Xuanzang’s older brothers and a monk), played an important role in his life. Xuanzang began visiting Jingtu Monastery in Luoyang where his brother studied, and eventually developed the aspiration to become a monk.

The statue of Xuanzang in his hometown near the present-day Henan Province

The statue of Xuanzang in his hometown near the present-day Henan Province

The requirements and examinations to become a monk were very strict, and Xuanzang was very young. However, the abbot of Jingtu Monastery, Zhen Shanguo, made an exception for Xuanzang due to his intelligence and impressive knowledge. Xuanzang received novice monastic ordination when he was just 13 years old. The two brothers lived a peaceful existence in the monastery for several years, where Xuanzang studied various Buddhist scriptures including those from the Theravada and Mahayana schools. However, he had a particularly interest in the Mahayana Buddhist doctrine. He became well-known among the Buddhist practitioners in Luoyang for his memory, intelligence and knowledge.

Unfortunately, the peaceful life did not last. The civil war that would mark the end of the Sui Dynasty broke out, and Xuanzang and his brother sought refuge in Chang’an. In 618, the Sui Dynasty fell, and Chang’an became the new capital of the Tang Dynasty.

A digital reconstruction of the Tang Dynasty’s Chang’an City

A digital reconstruction of the Tang Dynasty’s Chang’an City

However, there was still civil unrest in Chang’an, and many of the temples in the city were destroyed. The two brothers travelled to Chengdu in Sichuan Province and spent approximately three years in Kong Hui Monastery, furthering their study on subjects like the Abhidharma-kosa Sastra or Verses on the Treasury of Abhidharma. Xuanzang received his full monastic ordination in 622 CE at the age of 20.

When studying the scriptures, Xuanzang became confused due to mistranslation, contradictions and discrepancies in the Chinese Buddhist resources available at the time. This sparked a seven-year journey of enlightenment around China during which he visited almost all of the renowned Buddhist masters of the time to seek clarification. Xuanzang became well-known in China for his passion for learning and he gained a reputation as a promising, intelligent young man.

Faxian (337 – 422 CE)

Faxian (337 – 422 CE)

However, the journey of enlightenment across China did not help Xuanzang to find the answers that he was seeking. In 625 CE, Xuanzang returned to Chang’an. Under the reign of Emperor Taizong (r. 626 – 649 CE) of the Tang Dynasty, stability and order had returned to the city. It was in Chang’an that Xuanzang met an Indian Buddhist monk who spoke with him about Indian Buddhism and also another monk named Silabhadra (529 – 645 CE). Silabhadra was the abbot of Nalanda Monastery in India and was reputed to have an excellent understanding of the tenets of Buddhism.

After his exchanges with the Indian monk, Xuanzang felt the need to follow in the footsteps of another eminent Chinese Buddhist monk-explorer, Faxian (337 – 422 CE). Faxian had gone to India to gain a better understanding of Buddhist teachings and to bring back precious Buddhist scriptures to China.

In 626 CE, Xuanzang began to study Sanskrit language and became particularly interested in the Yogacara School of Buddhism.

 

Journey to the West

Escape from China

Emperor Taizong (598 – 649 CE)

Emperor Taizong (598 – 649 CE)

Xuanzang and several other monks requested permission from Emperor Taizong to go to ‘the West’ (India). The Chinese at the time often referred to India as ‘the West’ because India is located to the west of China. However, their request was rejected due to the political turbulence of the time. The Tang Dynasty was young and the emperor was still working to consolidate his power. In addition, there were frequent attacks from the Gokturks along the Northern border and nobody was allowed to leave the country.

Instead of being deterred by the rejection, Xuanzang became even more determined to leave China. It is said that he experienced a vision that strengthened his resolve to go to India. The opportunity presented itself in autumn of the year 627 CE when the harvest did not yield sufficient crops. The authorities allowed citizens of Chang’an to leave the city to escape famine. Xuanzang took this opportunity to leave the city to go to the West. Since he left without the emperor’s permission, he became a fugitive.

In order not to attract attention, Xuanzang travelled during the night and hid during the day. However, when he reached the city of Liangzhou (present-day Wuwei City in Ganxu Province), he discovered that, again, nobody was allowed to leave the city without official permission. At the time, Liangzhou was the one of the commercial and cultural centres of China, and Buddhist culture there was very strong. While waiting for the opportunity to leave the country, Xuanzang taught Buddhism in the city. He stayed in Liangzhou for about one month before the local authorities heard about Xuanzang and ordered him to return to Chang’an.

The gate of Wuwei City

The gate of Wuwei City

However, Xuanzang’s determination and noble intentions touched the Buddhist leader in Liangzhou, and he helped the young monk to slip out of the city. Xuanzang then reached the city of Guazhou, the last military town of the western border of the Tang Empire.

After his experience in Liangzhou, Xuanzang decided not to let the Guazhou authorities know that he was in the city and stayed quietly at an inn while waiting for the opportunity to leave. The situation seemed dire when a local official received a warrant for Xuanzang’s arrest. However, the local official was a pious Buddhist, and he allowed Xuanzang to leave.

After leaving Guazhou, Xuanzang prayed for guidance at the Ta’er Temple just outside of the city. At this temple, Xuanzang met a merchant, whom he later ordained as a Buddhist and his first disciple. The merchant found him a horse and introduced him to an old man who described the dangerous terrain that Xuanzang would have to navigate on his way to India.

He was not dissuaded by the old man’s advice to not continue his journey. The man then exchanged horses with Xuanzang to enable him to travel faster, and after one night, the merchant parted ways with him because he did not want to get into trouble. Xuanzang endured many difficulties during the journey as a result of travelling without a guide.

The harsh Gobi Desert that Xuanzang crossed on his journey towards greater Dharma learning

The harsh Gobi Desert that Xuanzang crossed on his journey towards greater Dharma learning

After travelling 40 kilometres into the Moheyanqi Gobi Desert, Xuanzang managed to reach the Beacon Tower which was manned by Chinese soldiers. There was only one source of water and he waited until nightfall before attempting to collect some, but was caught. Fortunately, the commander of the tower was a Buddhist who treated Xuanzang with respect. He was given food, water and helpful advice. The commander advised Xuanzang to go straight to the fourth Beacon Tower where his relative was serving as its commander. After that, Xuanzang was able to pass and get water from the fourth and the fifth Beacon Towers without difficulty.

He crossed the vast and dangerous Moheyanqi Gobi Desert to reach the first kingdom in his journey to the West, Yiwu (Hami). He almost died of thirst and experienced many mirages while crossing the vast desert. The horse saved his life once by bringing him to an oasis when Xuanzang was unable to do so himself. Xuanzang finally reached a temple and was greeted warmly by a monk of the Han ethnic group. Xuanzang mentions this temple in his biography and it is most likely the Miao’ergou Temple near the city of Hami in Xinjiang.

An ancient beacon tower in Gobi Desert

An ancient beacon tower in Gobi Desert

 

Small Kingdoms on the Way to India

The ruins of Gaochang Kingdom

The ruins of Gaochang Kingdom

When Xuanzang reached the city of Yiwu-Gaochang, the king, Qu Wentai demanded to see him. The king invited him to stay there to teach Buddhism and Xuanzang accepted. The king and Xuanzang forged a bond and they became sworn brothers. The king only let Xuanzang go after he promised to come back to Gaochang on his way back from India to teach for three years. King Qu Wentai gave the monk 25 attendants and 30 horses to accompany him on in his journey.

Snow-covered mountain in Palmir Plateau

Snow-covered mountain in Palmir Plateau

While travelling along the Silk Road, Xuanzang was waylaid by a group of bandits. Fortunately, they left after being given some money. The group of traders who were robbed after Xuanzang, however, were not so fortunate – they were all killed by the thieves. In the spring of 628 CE, Xuanzang reached the third kingdom in his journey, Yanqi. He was not well-received in this kingdom and he only stayed there with his group for one night.

The statue of Kumarajiva (334 – 413 CE) in front of the Kizil Caves in Kuqa County, Xinjiang, China

The statue of Kumarajiva (334 – 413 CE) in Kuqa County, Xinjiang, China

Xuanzang’s group continued their journey to the fourth kingdom, Kucha (present-day Kucha County in Xinjiang Province), the most prominent kingdom in the ancient Western region. The famed 4th century Buddhist scholar, Kumarajiva, was born in Kucha and had gone to India to study.

Xuanzang was given a warm reception here. He noted that people with flat heads were considered attractive in this kingdom and babies’ heads, including those who were members of royal families, were pressed with planks. As a result, everybody in Kucha had flat heads. Music and dance also played an important role in this kingdom. The evidence of Kucha culture and customs can still be seen in the murals of the Kumtura Thousand Buddha Caves.

Due to unfavourable weather, Xuanzang stayed in Kucha for two months before continuing his journey through the snow-covered Palmir Plateau. On the second day of travel, they encountered Turkic bandits. Xuanzang’s group was robbed but then something unexpected happened – the bandits left after quarrelling on how to divide the goods!

Xuanzang’s party continued its journey and encountered the snow-covered Ling Mountain where the path became very treacherous and was prone to avalanches. Some of the men succumbed to fatigue and were not able to continue, and all suffered from the extreme cold.

Kumtura Thousand Buddha Caves

Kumtura Thousand Buddha Caves

The ancient murals of the Kumtura Thousand Buddha Caves

The ancient murals of the Kumtura Thousand Buddha Caves

Today, archaeologists still speculate over the exact path through the mountains that Xuanzang took. Most of the mountains in the area are over 5,000 metres high and it must have been an extremely difficult trek.

In the spring of 628 CE, Xuanzang and his travelling companions reached the Central Asian region on the other side of the mountains. Xuanzang’s first destination was the Issyk-Kul Lake. In his biography, he describes the lake as surrounded by mountains, with dark green water which was salty and bitter. The lake never froze and people often referred to it as the ‘hot sea’.

Issyk-Kul Lake, described by Xuanzang as salty and bitter.

Issyk-Kul Lake, described by Xuanzang as salty and bitter.

During the time of Xuanzang’s travels, the Western Turkic Khaganate dominated the Central Asian kingdoms. The state religion in this region was Zoroastrianism in which they worshiped fire, a practice which was at odds with Buddhism. After leaving the Issyk-Kul Lake, Xuanzang reached Suyab, the military and political centre of the Western Turkic Khaganate.

Suyab was located in modern-day Kyrgyzstan, and its population consisted of individuals from various countries and of a range of beliefs. The city had very few trees and the weather was cold, and the people in the region wore linens and furs to keep warm. Xuanzang and his group stayed in a temple near the lake and waited for the ruling Khan of the Western Turkic Khaganate to summon him.

When he finally met the Khan, Xuanzang noted that he was living in a very luxurious yurt (large, round tent used by nomads) decorated with a pattern of flowers and inlaid with gold. A Chinese envoy also attended the reception banquet. The Khan gave a warm reception to Xuanzang because he had heard that the monk was a sworn brother of the King of Gaochang. In addition, his guest was a monk from the Tang Empire and the Khan strived to maintain good relations with the Tang Dynasty. After this meeting, the Khan selected several military officers who were proficient in several languages to escort Xuanzang on his journey.

Xuanzang continued his journey and passed through various cities and kingdoms. He came across a city inhabited by 300 Chinese households from all over China. They had been forced to live here by the Turkic people. Although the residents of the city wore Turkish attire, they maintained Chinese customs and spoke the Chinese language.

500 kilometres from that city was the Zheshi Kingdom which consisted of several cities ruled by various kings under the Western Turkish Khaganate. They passed through desert again, and this time sandstorms made progress very difficult. After travelling approximately 250 kilometres, they arrived at the city of Samarkand, one of the most ancient cities in the world.

Western Turkic Khaganate (630 CE)

Western Turkic Khaganate (630 CE)

The residents of Samarkand were of Sogdian descent, and their craftsmanship was considered among the best in the world. However, because the King of Samarkand and his people did not believe in Buddhism and considered it heresy, Xuanzang and his entourage were not welcome. The local residents attacked two of Xuanzang’s disciples when they were seen praying at an abandoned temple in the city.

Fortunately, Xuanzang was brought before the King of Samarkand. He managed to convince the king to accept Buddhism after just one night of conversation. After that, Buddhism was welcomed in Samarkand.

After leaving Samarkand, Xuanzang passed through a small city of Kusana, present-day Shahrisabz in Uzbekistan, and reached the Iron Gate Pass after walking over 100 kilometres through the mountainous terrain. The pass connected South and Central Asia and was controlled by the Turkic people. Because Xuanzang was accompanied by the Khan’s military officers, he was able to pass without difficulties.

The next destination for Xuanzang was the Kingdom of Dami (Termez) where Buddhism flourished in the 7th century and where grand monasteries were located. The ruins of one such monastery, Kara-Tepe, can still be seen today. After battling the bitter cold, Xuanzang’s group encountered extreme heat in Termez, where the temperature could go above 40 degrees Celsius.

An artist’s illustration of Xuanzang

An artist’s illustration of Xuanzang

In the summer of 628 CE, Xuanzang and his entourage reached the Kingdom of Huo, in present-day Afghanistan. This kingdom was part of the Western Turkic Khaganate and was ruled by the Khan’s eldest son, Prince Tardu. The queen, who was the younger sister of the king of Gaochang, had passed away and the prince himself was very sick.

Prince Tardu requested Xuanzang to stay for several days so he could see him off to India when his condition improved. However, it turned out that the unfortunate situation was more complicated than it seemed. Upon his wife’s death, Prince Tardu had married a young woman who colluded with one of his sons to kill him. She poisoned Prince Tardu, and his adult son claimed the throne. The incident forced Xuanzang to delay his journey for about a month in order to attend the funeral rites of Prince Tardu.

After the unfortunate political intrigue in the Kingdom of Huo, Xuanzang continued his journey, again encountering snow-covered mountains where there were frequent snow storms. A hunter led the group through the difficult terrain, and they managed to arrive at the Buddhist Kingdom of Kapisi, which is near present-day Kabul. It is said that there was a large temple in the kingdom but no trace remains of it today. It took Xuanzang and his group six months to travel across the kingdom. He gave teachings and visited many sacred Buddhist places in Kapisi before continuing on the journey.

Indus River

Indus River

In the city of Jalalabad, located on the south bank of the Kabul River, Xuanzang paid homage to the famed Buddha bone relic. He also visited the Shadow Cave in the mountains near Jalalabad to see the image of the Buddha inside the cave. It is said that after he prayed 200 times, the image of Lord Buddha appeared and vanished quickly. Xuanzang prayed another 200 times, and the holy imaged appeared again, more distinct than before. Xuanzang was overcome with emotion upon seeing the Buddha’s holy image.

In the autumn of 628 CE, Xuanzang reached the Indus River. From here, the Khan’s soldiers returned to their country because the area was not under the control of the Western Turkic Khaganate.

An artist’s illustration of Xuanzang crossing the Indus River

An artist’s illustration of Xuanzang crossing the Indus River

 

India

Upon crossing the Indus River, Xuanzang reached the Kingdom of Gandhara where he visited many Buddhist holy sites. Although the region had been the centre of Buddhism in central Asia, the faith was in decline. Many temples had been burned and the monks had been exiled. The kingdom was deeply influenced by Greek culture as a result of Alexander the Great’s expedition.

Upon leaving the Kingdom of Gandhara, Xuanzang travelled southeast to Kashmir, where Buddhism was an established religion. He stayed in Kashmir for approximately two years, where there were around 5,000 monks and 100 temples. In addition to Buddhism, the people of ancient India believed in Jainism and Brahmanism. Xuanzang gathered many Buddhist scriptures from this area.

During Xuanzang’s time, Buddhist scriptures needed to be recited in front of an assembly of eminent monks to verify their authenticity before they could be disseminated. This was because the scriptures were originally passed down through oral transmission. When the assembly gathered, they examined the scriptures and discussed the meanings of their contents in order to create authoritative documents for later generations. Whenever the scriptures were deemed inaccurate, they were corrected in accordance with the opinion of the majority.

The gold coin of King Kanishka

The gold coin of King Kanishka

In his book, the Great Tang Records of the Western Region, Xuanzang mentions King Kanishka of Kushana who ordered the Fourth Buddhist Council to be held in 100 CE. Xuanzang noted that there were approximately 300,000 scriptures in Kashmir. They were invaluable to Xuanzang and he spent one whole year studying them thoroughly.

In August 629 CE, Xuanzang left Kashmir for Nalanda University to further his Buddhist studies. On the way there, Xuanzang and his disciples passed through the Pradesh Forest where they encountered a group of robbers who tried to kill them. Fortunately, they found a hidden water tunnel that provided a passage for them to escape.

Following the harrowing experience, the group arrived at the Kingdom of Cinabhukti. The people in this kingdom were familiar with Chinese culture because a Chinese prince had lived in the area during the Han Dynasty. The travellers enjoyed great hospitality here and stayed in Cinabhukti for almost six months.

The holy Ganges River

The holy Ganges River

In the spring of 631 CE, Xuanzang arrived at the Ganges River. Hindus consider the Ganges a holy river and believe that its waters can purify sins. He recalled that the water was very clean. However, an unfortunate event occurred after he reached the holy river. The followers of a local goddess abducted Xuanzang. He was chosen to be killed as an offering to the goddess due to his pleasing appearance, an offering that they mistakenly thought would appease the deity. Believing that his end was near, Xuanzang prayed silently. It was during this time that another miracle occurred. A strong wind arose and created huge waves in the river. The followers of the goddess thought that they had angered her and decided to delay their sacrificial rituals. Thus Xuanzang’s life was saved.

In the summer of 631 CE, Xuanzang reached Kapilavastu, Buddha Shakyamuni’s hometown. This was where Prince Siddharta Gautama, known as Buddha Shakyamuni after his enlightenment, was born. After walking about 50 kilometres, Xuanzang arrived at the pagoda built by Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan Dynasty who ruled over almost all of the Indian subcontinent and became a devout Buddhist in later life.

The cremation site of Buddha Shakyamuni in Kushinagar

The cremation site of Buddha Shakyamuni in Kushinagar

Next, Xuanzang visited Kushinagar, the place where Buddha passed away. There was a pagoda there on which was carved the story of the Buddha’s path to Nirvana at the age of 80. Then, Xuanzang travelled to Sarnath, the place where Buddha Shakyamuni taught for the first time after he achieved Enlightenment.

In his biography, Xuanzang described Sarnath as a place filled with magnificent temples and with a great number of Sangha members. This was the case even though at the time of Xuanzang’s visit, Buddhism was in decline. After Sarnath, Xuanzang visited Vaishali (near present-day Patna). Here too, Xuanzang faced the sad reality that Buddhism was in decline. There were hundreds of temples but most of them had been abandoned and only a small number still functioned as centres of religious study and thought.

The statue of Buddha Shakyamuni in Sarnath

The statue of Buddha Shakyamuni in Sarnath

From Vaishali, Xuanzang proceeded to Bodhgaya, the place where Buddha Shakyamuni achieved Enlightenment. To commemorate that momentous event, the king at the time had erected two sculptures of the Buddha at the Mahabodhi Temple. It was said that if the sculptures were buried by earth, Buddhism would perish. Xuanzang saw that the sculptures were partially buried and he was greatly disturbed.

After all the courage and composure that he had shown in the face of the many challenges of his long journey, Xuanzang was overcome by emotion to see the decline of the Buddhist faith that he loved so much.

After visiting several other important Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India, Xuanzang headed to the main destination of his journey, Nalanda Monastery.

 

Nalanda Monastery

The ruins of Nalanda Monastery in Bihar State

The ruins of Nalanda Monastery in Bihar State

Nalanda Monastery was located in the Magadha Kingdom, in present-day Bihar State of India, and was a major Buddhist centre. It is said that between the 5th and the 6th centuries BCE, Buddha Shakyamuni had delivered lectures in the mango grove nearby. One of his disciples, Shariputra, attained Nirvana there. Xuanzang finally arrived at Nalanda in the autumn 631 CE, but the story of his courage and arduous journey had preceded him. When he arrived, the sangha gave the traveller a grand welcome.

Although Buddhism was in decline in India, Nalanda maintained its reputation as the foremost Buddhist institution of the time and had the support of kings and members of the royal family. Some people consider Nalanda the first university in ancient India and about 10,000 monks lived and studied there. They studied the Mahayana doctrines, worldly classics such as Indian classical logic, Sanskrit theory, medical science and mathematics. Every day, 100 lectures were held at the monastery and the disciples maintained strict awareness and discipline.

Another picture of the Nalanda University ruins

Another picture of the Nalanda University ruins

In his book, the Great Tang Records of the Western Region, Xuanzang mentioned that the King of India provided Nalanda with the tax revenue from over 100 cities and towns. In addition, over 200 families supplied the monastery with large quantities of rice and dairy products. Therefore, the residents of Nalanda were free to focus on their studies instead of worrying about subsistence, as the pursuit of knowledge was considered a higher pursuit than any other activity.

When Xuanzang arrived, the abbot of Nalanda was Silabhadra (529 – 645 CE) who was already over 100 years old. He was a member of a royal family and widely respected. Due to his old age and illness, Silabhadra was considering entering death meditation to pass into his next life. However, he had dreamt of the arrival of Xuanzang, and predicted that he would spread the doctrine of the Buddha to many people. When Xuanzang met with Silabhadra, the two seemed to share a special chemistry. A grand ceremony was held where Xuanzang was formally accepted as the abbot’s disciple. This was perhaps the happiest moment of Xuanzang’s life.

An artist’s illustration of Xuanzang and Silabhadra in the Xuanzang Memorial Hall in Nalanda

An artist’s illustration of Xuanzang and Silabhadra in the Xuanzang Memorial Hall in Nalanda

In his book, In the Footsteps of the Buddha, Rene Grousset wrote about the fateful meeting between Xuanzang and Silabhadra:

The Chinese pilgrim had finally found the omniscient master, the incomparable metaphysician who was to make known to him the ultimate secrets of the idealist systems… the founders of Mahayana idealism, Asanga and Vasubandhu … Dignaga …
Dharmapala had in turn trained Silabhadra. Silabhadra was thus in a position to make available to the Sino-Japanese world the entire heritage of Buddhist idealism, and the Siddhi Xuanzang’s great philosophical treatise … is none other than the Summa of this doctrine, the fruit of seven centuries of Indian [Buddhist] thought.

~ Rene Grousset, In the Footsteps of the Buddha

In Nalanda, Xuanzang was treated very well. Two servants were assigned to help him and he was also allowed the great honour of travelling by elephant. In Nalanda, only 10 out of 10,000 monks were allowed to travel by elephant. Prior to starting his formal instruction, Xuanzang visited the sacred Rajgir Hill, which was associated with the story of Ajatashatru who imprisoned his father King Bimbisara so he could take his throne. Bimbisara requested to be imprisoned near a hill where he could catch sight of the Buddha passing in the morning and evening.

Rajgir Hill, where King Bimbisara was imprisoned by his son King Ajatashatru deposed his father in a forcible takeover of the throne. Both the king and his son were contemporaries of the historical Lord Buddha.

Rajgir Hill, where King Bimbisara was imprisoned by his son King Ajatashatru deposed his father in a forcible takeover of the throne. Both the king and his son were contemporaries of the historical Lord Buddha.

In the spring of 632 CE, Silabhadra began instructing Xuanzang on the Stages of Yogic practice, which was considered the most important of the scriptures of Buddhism. The lecture lasted 15 months. After it was completed, Xuanzang repeated the study of the Stages of Yogic practice three times from beginning to end. He also received an introduction into the theories of logic and the languages of ancient India. Xuanzang felt at home with the rigorous learning environment in Nalanda. In total, he studied in Nalanda for five years.

Palm leaf manuscript. Before paper was used in India, scriptures were written on palm leaves in the Sanskrit language. Palm leaves are naturally resistant to moisture and insects, and scriptures written on them can last hundreds of years. The Sanskrit scriptures were carved into the leaves with cutting tools and then covered with pigment.

Palm leaf manuscript. Before paper was used in India, scriptures were written on palm leaves in the Sanskrit language. Palm leaves are naturally resistant to moisture and insects, and scriptures written on them can last hundreds of years. The Sanskrit scriptures were carved into the leaves with cutting tools and then covered with pigment.

After five years, Xuanzang decided to travel again to gain more knowledge. For the next three years, he travelled around India and recorded in detail what he saw and learnt in his biography. In the spring of 640 CE, Xuanzang returned to Nalanda Monastery and told Silabhadra that he wanted to return to China. However, Silabhadra advised him to delay his trip and instead participate in a series of scriptural debates with the monks of the Yoga School.

His performance in these debates would determine the reputation of his teacher. The loser of the debate would have to either withdraw from public discourse or switch to the other’s school of thought. At the debate, the students of both sides came around to Xuanzang’s point of view, and his opponents abandoned the debate. Due to Xuanzang’s deep knowledge and skills in debate, the Yogacara School saw a revival and his reputation as a learned Buddhist master grew.

A map of ancient Nalanda Monastery by Alexander Cunningham. At its peak, Nalanda Monastery was home to over 10,000 monks.

A map of ancient Nalanda Monastery by Alexander Cunningham. At its peak, Nalanda Monastery was home to over 10,000 monks.

However, the fame and reputation did not lessen his wish to return to China – he had achieved his main purpose, which was to clear up the discrepancies in Buddhist scripture and he had gained the knowledge to spread the correct Buddhist teachings in China.

But Xuanzang also had to participate in a series of unexpected scriptural debates before he returned. As he was victorious in debate after debate, stronger opponents came to challenge him. On one occasion, he was summoned by the King of Eastern India. Nalanda Monastery rejected the invitation on the grounds that Xuanzang was planning to return to China. The king was outraged, and threatened to destroy Nalanda if Xuanzang did not come. Then, Xuanzang received a similar invitation from the powerful King Harsha.

King Harsha had been enthroned at the age of 17. Within six years, his kingdom was known for its military strength. He was often compared to another great Mauryan Emperor, Ashoka, who had been ruthless military leader who had then converted to Buddhism. By 612 CE, he had unified most of Northern India under his empire. Harsha was a powerful yet benevolent ruler, and tolerant of all religions. His support was critical for the survival of Buddhism because the king’s generosity meant that the monks in Nalanda Monastery could live comfortably.

An artist’s illustration of King Harsha

An artist’s illustration of King Harsha

In the winter of 640 CE, King Harsha and the King of Eastern India were at a standoff over Xuanzang. But due to King Harsha’s powerful influence, the King of Eastern India withdrew his invitation and threat. According to Xuanzang’s biography, King Harsha was eager to meet him and welcomed him at night with thousands of torches lit up along the Ganges River as a welcome.

During this meeting, King Harsha made the announcement that he would sponsor a nationwide religious debate in the capital of his empire, Kannauj. Xuanzang would play a major role in the debate while King Harsha facilitated the exchange of ideas. Wise men from various sects in India were invited to participate and offer their opinions on Xuanzang’s ideas.

The event was considered one of the greatest religious debates in the history of India. King Harsha, the King of Eastern India and 18 other kings attended the event along with 3,000 monks, 2,000 representatives of the Hindu religion, and over 1,000 monks from the Nalanda Monastery chosen for their knowledge and eloquence.

After the opening ceremony, Xuanzang commenced a lecture about his ideas. The debate involved a system of rewards and penalties. Xuanzang declared that if anyone could successfully refute his Buddhist concepts, he would kill himself as a penalty. King Harsha had Xuanzang’s ideas written out and displayed prominently so all potential opponents could study them.

On the day of the debate, and as always, Xuanzang spoke with eloquence. His efforts and rigorous study, knowledge, gift of languages and personal charisma paid off and his reputation as a genuine Buddhist master grew. Five days passed and nobody came forward to challenge him. However, the event was sabotaged. King Harsha’s respect for Xuanzang made followers of the other religions jealous. Because they could not challenge Xuanzang in debate, they tried to create chaos by not challenging him. 18 days passed without anyone challenging him and by the last day of the event, he had converted many people. He was praised as a great Buddhist master and earned even more respect from King Harsha. His achievement was unprecedented as never before had such a challenge remained unanswered.

Palace ruins at the former Kingdom of Harsha, whose king was a great patron of Buddhism.

Palace ruins at the former Kingdom of Harsha, whose king was a great patron of Buddhism.

King Harsha’s younger sister was interested in Hinayana Buddhism and because of her influence, the king himself had become interested in that branch of Buddhism. However, due to Xuanzang’s influence, the princess converted from the Hinayana way of thought to the Mahayana. Later that year, King Harsha sent envoys to the Tang Empire, and the Tang Empire also sent envoys to the Harsha Kingdom. It was the first time that China and India exchanged diplomatic envoys. This contact was to last for half a century. This relationship led to a great exchange of ideas at the time, including the Chinese learning the method of refining white sugar from India.

Xuanzang continued to collect manuscripts of Buddhist classics from around India that would come to have significant influence on Buddhism in China. Xuanzang finally left India for China in the late spring of 643 CE, although King Harsha and the monks of Nalanda Buddhist were reluctant to see him go. Four years after the great debate, King Harsha passed away. Upon the passing of this Buddhist monarch, chaos reigned in northern India and Buddhism fell into further decline.

 

China After Xuanzang’s Departure

Political Situation

In the 15 years Xuanzang had spent in India, the political situation had changed dramatically in and around his homeland. Some years after Xuanzang left the Western Turkic Khaganate, the Khan was assassinated. The unfortunate event led to the decline of the Western Turkic Khaganate. One year after his departure, the Eastern Turkic Khaganate fell, and was no longer a threat to China’s north-western borders. Emperor Taizong was able to consolidate his power and extended his influence to the kingdoms of the Taklamakan Desert.

 

Return Journey to China

Xuanzang had departed Chang’an alone as a fugitive, but his return journey to China could not be more different. He was accompanied by many followers and carried a large number of Buddhist books and scriptures. A return by sea would have been less arduous but Xuanzang chose to return over land to keep the promise that he made at the beginning of the journey – a vow to the King of Gaochang that, on his way back to China, he would stop at Gaochang and teach for three years.

Xuanzang’s pilgrimage map

Xuanzang’s pilgrimage map

He encountered the first challenge as his group was crossing the Indus River. Big waves resulted in the loss of approximately 50 books, exotic flowers and food. After crossing the Indus, Xuanzang crossed the mountains to reach the Palmir Plateau once again. They trekked for seven days before reaching the mountain pass. Another seven days later, they reached the highest peak where there was a village of 100 homes. The villagers served as their guides.

Xuanzang’s journey to India followed the Middle Silk Road route, but his journey back followed the Southern Silk Road which was expected to save him time. In 643 CE, when he was preparing to climb the Palmir Plateau, Xuanzang became the first person to describe it in writing. He reached the Qusha Kingdom and heard news from a merchant that his sworn brother, the King of Gaochang had passed away, and his kingdom had become part of the Tang Empire.

Three years earlier, the relationship between Gaochang and the Tang Empire had worsened. The King of Gaochang had allied himself with the Turkic people against the Tang Empire to control the Silk Road. Tang cavalry forces attacked his kingdom. It is said that the king passed away in his palace, and the kingdom surrendered to the Tang Empire without a fight. Realising it had become impossible for him to keep his promise to the late king, Xuanzang decided to return directly to the Tang Empire via the southern route.

A map of the ancient Buddhist Kingdom of Khotan

A map of the ancient Buddhist Kingdom of Khotan

In the winter of 643 CE, Xuanzang reached the famous Buddhist Kingdom of Khotan. 80 kilometres from the capital, there was a tomb of dead mice which was worshipped by the local people. Xuanzang’s Great Tang Records on the Western Region narrates a story of how a group of mice saved Khotan during a battle. In 1900, the archaeologist Marc Aurel Stein found a piece of wood in the Hotan Desert, where the Kingdom of Khotan had once stood. It carried an illustration of a mouse with a human body and a crown on its head. Stein believed that this illustration was the mouse king recorded by Xuanzang. The Khotan Kingdom specialised in the trade of carpets, silk, and jade. The people of present-day Hotan still weave carpets using their hands and their jade jewellery and decorations are highly valued.

Xuanzang was warmly received in Khotan but felt anxious. He wished to gain the forgiveness of the Chinese Emperor before reaching China. The monk wrote a letter to Emperor Taizong to admit his mistake of leaving the country without the emperor’s permission. He also described his experiences and the success of his pilgrimage. While waiting in Khotan, Xuanzang tried to gather more Buddhist statues and scriptures. Six months later, he finally received a reply from the emperor. To his surprise, the emperor was not enraged that he left China without permission, and had actually arranged for his journey back to China.

The ruins of ancient Khotan

The ruins of ancient Khotan

Encouraged by this news, in the summer of 644 CE, Xuanzang left for Chang’an. He crossed the southern edge of Taklamakan Desert where the weather and wind were unpredictable and water was scarce. After a difficult and trying journey through the desert, Xuanzang reached Dunhuang, a territory of the Tang Empire. Emperor Taizong had officers waiting to receive him there.

In 645 CE, Xuanzang arrived back in the land of his birth, very different from the Xuanzang who had left Chang’an 17 years before as a fugitive monk. He returned as an eminent Buddhist scholar and brought back 699 Buddhist scriptures that consisted of:

  • Mahayanist sastras: 192
  • Mahayanist sutras: 224
  • Mahasangika sutras, Vinaya and sastras: 15
  • Sthavira sutras, Vinaya, and sastras: 14
  • Sammitiya sastras, sutras, and vinaya: 15
  • Mahisasaka sastras, sutras, and vinaya: 22
  • Dharmagupta sutras, sastras and vinaya: 42
  • Kasyapiya sastra, sutras and vinaya: 17
  • Sarvastivadin sastras, vinaya, sutras: 67
  • Dharmagupta sutras, vinaya, and sastra: 42
  • Sheng-lun (Etymological treatises): 13
  • Yin-lun (treatises on the science of inference): 36

He also brought with him seven invaluable Buddhist sculptures, over 100 Sarira relics, and exotic plants and flowers.

The following day, the Prime Minister of the Tang Empire presided over a grand ceremony to welcome the eminent scholar who had brought back spiritual knowledge for the Tang Empire and the future generations of Chinese Buddhists. However, Xuanzang did not attend the ceremony. Instead, he stayed alone in his room because he saw the celebration as contrary to the Buddhist values according to which he lived his life.

An illustration of Xuanzang’s return to China in Dunhuang Mural in Cave No. 103

An illustration of Xuanzang’s return to China in Dunhuang Mural in Cave No. 103

 

Life in China

An artist’s illustration of Emperor Taizong

An artist’s illustration of Emperor Taizong

Not long after his return, he was summoned by Emperor Taizong. The emperor was not particularly interested in Buddhism, but he was impressed by Xuanzang’s knowledge of the Western Region, the accounts of his journey, and his knowledge of the customs of the countries in Central and South Asia. Emperor Taizong subsequently called him the “Jewel of the Empire” and offered him the honour of a position as his court advisor on the Western lands. However, Xuanzang politely refused this and instead chose to focus his efforts on translating the Sanskrit scriptures he had brought from his journey.

In 648 CE, Emperor Taizong built the Temple of Great Compassionate Blessing for his mother, and Xuanzang was chosen to be its abbot. The temple was the largest in Chang’an. Unfortunately, his tenure was not without incident. One of his disciples had an affair with an imperial princess and when it became known, the disciple was executed. This incident was a blow for Xuanzang.

Fortunately, Emperor Taizong still had great faith in Buddhism and Xuanzang. In 649 CE, the monarch fell seriously ill and realising that his end was near, he asked for Xuanzang to wait on him. After Emperor Taizong’s passing, Xuanzang devoted even more time and effort on his translation work, sleeping for only a few hours a day. It seemed that the emperor’s passing had reminded him of his own mortality and the limited time he had to complete his work for the benefit of future generations.

 

Construction of Wild Goose Pagoda

The statue of Xuanzang in front of Wild Goose Pagoda

The statue of Xuanzang in front of Wild Goose Pagoda

Fortunately for Xuanzang, the newly enthroned Emperor Gaozong also had great respect for Xuanzang. In 652 CE, Xuanzang managed to convince the new emperor to build the Wild Goose Pagoda in the complex of the Temple of the Great Compassionate Blessing to house scriptures and other Dharma texts. Xuanzang supervised the building of Wild Goose Pagoda in the Great Compassionate Blessing Temple complex based on stupa designs he had seen in India.

Upon the completion of the pagoda, Xuanzang received the sad news that his teacher, Silabhadra had passed away. Xuanzang recalled the kindness and the advice of his teacher, and that made him even more determined to translate as many of the scriptures as possible. With the support of Emperor Gaozong, many eminent monks from various temples and government officials were engaged to help him. His work was not without challenges and difficulties. The emperor’s unwavering support for Xuanzang and for Buddhism made some officials anxious that the emperor was neglecting the development of the empire. Xuanzang became the target of criticism and was caught in a difficult position.

He tried to make the most of his relationship with the imperial court. In 656 CE, he sent a request to the court that the precedence of Taoism over Buddhism be abolished. Unfortunately, Emperor Gaozong was not pleased and rejected this suggestion outright.

Another statue of Xuanzang at Wild Goose Pagoda

Another statue of Xuanzang at Wild Goose Pagoda

 

Faxiang School of Buddhism

Xuanzang established the Faxiang School of Buddhism based on the scriptures of the Stages of the Yogic Practice. He was assisted by his disciples in establishing its foundation and writing the commentary for this school of Buddhism.

One of them in particular, Kuiji (632 – 682 CE), would later become known as the first patriarch of the Faxiang School of Buddhism. In addition to Kuiji, Xuanzang also had several other disciples, including Woncheuk from Korea and Dosho from Japan. These two disciples would play an important role in spreading Faxiang Buddhist doctrines in Korea and Japan. Dosho would later return to Japan and establish the Hosso school of Buddhism that was based the Stages of the Yogic Practice. The Hosso School would became very influential in Japan during the 7th and 8th centuries.

 

Writing and Translations

The Great Tang Records on the Western Region

The Great Tang Records of the Western Region

The Great Tang Records of the Western Region

At the time of Xuanzang’s return to China, the Turkic people in the north were no longer a threat to China. However, the Turkic people in the Western Turkic Khaganate still posed a threat. Emperor Taizong wanted to know everything about the Western kingdoms and realised Xuanzang was familiar with the geography, people and customs there. The emperor instructed Xuanzang to record an account of his 19-year journey to the western region. In 646 CE, Xuanzang completed this writing in the 12 volumes of the Great Tang Records on the Western Regions. Emperor Taizong was impressed with the detailed descriptions in his writings.

The book contained such comprehensive and accurate information about the terrain, politics and customs of the countries in the Western region that it became an authoritative source for records used by archaeologists to obtain a better understanding of the way of life of the people in Central and South Asia during that period. This book was later translated into French in 1857 by Sinologist Stanislas Julien.

 

The Translation of Buddhist Scriptures

According to Der Huey from Beijing University, Xuanzang’s efforts in translating the Buddhist scriptures can be divided into three periods:

  1. 645–650: Xuanzang was focused on the translation of the Stages of the Yogic Practice
  2. 651-660: Xuanzang was focused on the translation of Abhidharmakosa-sastra
  3. 661-664: Xuanzang was focused on the translation of Mahaprajna Paramita sutra
The Mahaprajna Paramita Sutra

The Mahaprajna Paramita Sutra

Upon completing the Great Tang Records on the Western Region, Xuanzang again devoted his time to scriptural translation and assigned a number of monks to help him in these efforts. Sleeping for less than four hours a day, he was unequivocally focused on this work. His accurate and careful translations of these scriptures were an important factor in the growth of Buddhism in China, and in facilitating better understanding of Buddhism across the world.

In 648 CE, Xuanzang presented Emperor Taizong with the translation of the scriptures of the Stages of the Yogic Practice. Upon reading the translation of these scriptures, the emperor became interested in Buddhism.

In the autumn of 659 CE, the 60-year-old Xuanzang arrived at the Yuhua Temple in Shaanxi Province, a palace that Emperor Gaozong had transformed into a temple. This was where Xuanzang would spend the last days of his life and it was here that he carried out the translation of the largest collection of scriptures, the Mahaprajna Paramita Sutra.

The translation of the Mahaprajna Paramita Sutra was completed in four years. From the time of his return from India, Xuanzang performed the incredible feat of translating 47 sutras in 1335 volumes.

 

Later Life and Death

A 9th century illustration of Xuanzang in the Dunhuang Caves

A 9th century illustration of Xuanzang in the Dunhuang Caves

In 657 CE, Xuanzang accompanied Emperor Gaozong to Luoyang. It was the first time he had returned since childhood. Most of his relatives, with the exception of an elderly sister, had passed away. With the help of locals, he was able to locate the tombs of his parents, which had been neglected for a long time. He asked for leave from the emperor to take care of his parents’ tombs and to remain for a time in the place where he had first embarked on his journey to a life devoted to Buddhism. When he was 57 years old, the long hours of work started to catch up with him and affect his health. Xuanzang became ill and would never recover. Meetings in the imperial court and his other obligations worsened his condition.

Upon completing the translation of the Mahaprajna Paramita Sutra, Xuanzang felt that his life’s work was done and informed his disciples that his time was near. He praised the Buddha for blessing him with the visions in the Shadow Cave, and on the 8th day of the first lunar month in 664 CE, one of his disciples dreamt that one of the colossal pagodas had collapsed. The next day, Xuanzang collapsed and had to be carried to his room. He told his disciples that he wanted his body to be wrapped in the simplest way and put in a quiet place after his death. He also wished for his body to be buried in the White Deer Plain in the east of Chang’an.

Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty (r. 649 – 683 CE)

Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty (r. 649 – 683 CE)

Xuanzang passed away on February 5, 664 CE at Yuhua Temple. He was buried on April 14. However, his funeral ceremony was neither simple nor quiet. Historical records state that over one million people, royals and commoners, Buddhist and non-Buddhist, participated in his funeral procession. To honour Xuanzang’s memory, Emperor Gaozong cancelled all audiences for three days following his death.

Xuanzang was originally buried in the White Deer Plain as he had wished. However, five years after his death, the emperor had Xuanzang’s remains moved to Fanchuan, south of Chang’an in the present-day Shaanxi Province. At some point, his tomb was opened and his remains were sent to Buddhist institutions all over China as holy relics.

Xuanzang Dagoba in the Xingjiao Temple, Shanxi Province where Xuanzang’s remains used to be buried, is today a popular pilgrimage site for Buddhists to visit. Some of his remains have become important relics and objects of veneration. They are secured in these locations:

  • In the Temple of Great Compassionate Blessing, some of his relics are enshrined in a golden pagoda adorned with precious jewels.
  • Part of Xuanzang’s skull is also rumoured to be stored in Wenshu Monastery in Chengdu, Sichuan.
  • In 1942, soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army brought part of his remains from Nanjing to Japan. The remains are now secured in Yakushi-ji in Nara, Japan.
  • In 1957, the Chinese government gave a small piece of Xuanzang’s bone relic to India as a gift. Today, the relic is preserved in the newly rebuilt Nalanda University. The skull was originally located in the Temple of Great Compassion until 1956.

 

Legacy

Xuanzang Memorial Hall in the new Nalanda University complex in India

Xuanzang Memorial Hall in the new Nalanda University complex in India

Prior to Xuanzang’s journey to the West, the history of ancient India was largely unrecorded. Xuanzang’s book, the Great Tang Records on the Western Region, contains the detailed records of the social customs, geographical and political aspects of the countries in South and Central Asia. It is still considered a significant history book even today.

Later explorers and archaeologists such as Alexander Cunningham used it as a reference during their archaeological excavations. In 1861, Cunningham found the ruins of Nalanda Monastery, which by then was covered by forest and was subsequently reawakened due to interest in its role in India’s religious heritage.

The interior of Xuanzang Memorial Hall in the new Nalanda University complex

The interior of Xuanzang Memorial Hall in the new Nalanda University complex

Some believe that Xuanzang’s influence on the history of India is second to none and that without his book, it would have been impossible to fully understand the history of the subcontinent. However, Xuanzang’s greatest legacy is his courage, perseverance and passion that continue to inspire many people today to embrace a spiritual path in life.

 

Books on Xuanzang

Xuanzang’s life story and his journey to the West continue to inspire many people over 1,300 years after his death.

  • The Real Tripitaka (p. 11 – 130) by Arthur Waleys (1952) contains information about Xuanzang.
  • In the Footsteps of the Buddha (Sur les Traces du Boudda) (1929), a book by Rene Grousset contains the biography of Xuanzang. The book discusses the life of Chinese pilgrims in the time of the Tang Dynasty.
  • The biography of Xuanzang by the monk, Huili. This book would later be translated by Samuel Beal. The book was also translated by Thomas Watters and edited by Rhys Davids and SW Bushell in 1905.
  • The story of Xuanzang also inspired the writing of a fictional account, Journey to the West by Wu Cheng’en from the Ming Dynasty.
  • In the Yuan Dynasty, the playwright Wu Changling wrote a play about Xuanzang’s journey to the west in search of Buddhist scriptures.

 

CNTV’s Xuanzang’s Pilgrimage Documentary

The enduring fascination and deep interest in Xuanzang’s life has led to extensive coverage about his life, from cartoons to educate the young all to feature-length blockbuster films, from comics that emphasise significant events in his life to intense scholarly biographies. It would be impossible to list them all here; below is just one example, in the form of an extremely well-produced documentary from CCTV-9, which is the documentary channel of China’s state network CNTV.

 

Xuanzang’s Pilgrimage Part 1 and 2

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/XuanzangPilgrimagePart12.mp4

 

Xuanzang’s Pilgrimage Part 3 and 4

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/XuanzangPilgrimagePart34.mp4

 

Xuanzang’s Pilgrimage Part 5 and 6

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/XuanzangPilgrimagePart56.mp4

 

Xuanzang’s Pilgrimage Part 7 and 8

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/XuanzangPilgrimagePart78.mp4

 

Xuanzang’s Pilgrimage Part 9 and 10

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/XuanzangPilgrimagePart910.mp4

 

Xuanzang’s Pilgrimage Part 11 and 12

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/XuanzangPilgrimagePart1112.mp4

 

Recommended Books

These books are just some of many publications containing information on Xuanzang and his life, works and deeds, as well as some of his translations.

Exploration in the Middle Ages (click to download PDF)

The Journey to the West Volume I (click to download PDF)

The Life of Hiuen Tsiang by Samuel Beal (click to download PDF)

The Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra (click to download PDF)

The Sutra of the Master Healing (click to download PDF)

The texts above were sourced from legitimate book-hosting services offering these texts for free download. They are made available here for purely educational, non-commercial purposes.

 
Sources:

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xuanzang
  • http://www.iep.utm.edu/xuanzang/
  • https://www.britannica.com/biography/Xuanzang
  • https://www.travelchinaguide.com/silk-road/history/traveler-xuanzang.htm
  • http://www.chinabuddhismencyclopedia.com/en/index.php/Xuanzang_or_Hsüan-tsang
  • http://factsanddetails.com/china/cat2/4sub8/entry-5449.html
  • http://www.silk-road.com/artl/hsuantsang.shtml
  • http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/Xuan-Zang-to-build-another-bridge-to-India/article16086908.ece
  • http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Xuan-Zang-stayed-in-Vijayawada-to-study-Buddhist-scriptures/article16091816.ece
  • http://www.monkeytree.org/silkroad/xuanzang.html
  • https://depts.washington.edu/silkroad/texts/xuanzang.html
  • https://www.bhantedhammika.net/essays/xuanzang-on-sri-lanka
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xuanzang_(Journey_to_the_West

For more interesting information:

 

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11 Responses to Amazing Xuanzang and His Journey to the West

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  1. Pastor Adeline Woon on Aug 23, 2018 at 12:41 am

    Medicine Buddha puja encourages healing of all levels – physical, mental and emotional healing for those in need.

    High resolution file of this thangka is available for download for all dharma practitioners around the world and for those who just want sacred images in their environment. Enjoy, be blessed and share this with others.

    Here is the link to free download of this image and many other images: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html?nggpage=7

  2. Wai Meng Wan on Feb 9, 2018 at 3:08 am

    The arduous journey faced by Xuanzhang, have been immortalized in Chinese folklore and the first contact with this great master are via stories and movie series about the Monkey God King, Sun Wu Kong. Some have speculated that the mythical key disciples of Xuanzhang were the delusions Xuanzhang had to overcome during his journey to the West. Travel in ancient times were fraught with dangers and bandits, Xuanzhang braved so much to bring the pure dharma back to China.

  3. Jacinta on Jan 21, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    Based on a drama that stretched over several episodes that was being aired in one of the local TV channels, I thought the story and the characters such as Shun Wu Kong, Zhu Ba Jie and Jin Sha was a fairy tale. That time I was a little young, I think I was in primary then. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the drama very much and will be seen sitting in front of the Tv when it’s about time to start.

    Later on, few years back when I learnt more about Buddhism, I’ve shown great interest in watching the drama again. I was overwhelmed by seeing Buddha’s images, the landscape and the songs. Fast forward to now, after reading this article, I was overwhelmed by Master Xuanzang great expedition to the west. It wasn’t a fairy tale after all and it was a long and arduous journey, not to be taken lightly.

    I’ve learnt that due to His relentless effort in searching and collecting the Buddhist scriptures, it has contributed to the growth of Buddhism in each of the places that He went and the understanding of it grew exponentially. Besides this, His journey also contributed to the vast knowledge of the culture, history and geography of ancient India where even the explorers and archaeologists used it as reference.

    This article did not touch so much on magical adventures such as on how He defeated the entities, how he gained control His rebirth, the realisation of emptiness( although that’s the ultimate), seeing deities and the such but more towards of understanding Buddhism in a correct manner and the urge to seek one’s own spiritual path despite the circumstances. It contributes as great inspirations for one to embark and persevere on something which matter to their heart.

  4. Irene Lim on Jan 10, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    Xuanzang got to be an emanation of Manjushri with such passion, resolve, determination, brilliance, wisdom and compassion to import all the Buddhist sutras to China and translating the whole lot of them for the sake of mankind to have clear Buddhadharma. He is truly amazing!

  5. Anne Ong on Jan 9, 2018 at 10:14 pm

    A very exciting and adventurous story which I watched on tv about 20 years ago. Full of obstacles throughout his spiritual journey with his three disciples. Thank you very much Rinpoche and blog team for this wonderful write up with the videos and pictures included 🙏👍

  6. Pastor Han Nee on Jan 6, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    In Xuanzang, we see a great Buddhist Master, who went to great lengths to discover the Dharma in all its essential clarity in order to bring this Dharma to others.He traveled to India, a journey which took him nearly two decades, met with the great Master, the Abbot of Nalanda , studied under him and armed with his deep and vast knowledge of Dharma, he became a renowned Dharma Master who was able to spread the Dharma exponentially everywhere he went.

    As an intrepid traveller and explorer, he was able to gather a great deal of knowledge of the geography, customs and politics of the kingdoms he visited in Central and Southern Asia. Out of this, he produced stunning records of all that he encountered in his travels, which remain as valuable historical resources and provide a better understanding of the cultural, geographical and political landscapes of these places in Asia .

    His passion for the Dharma led him on an earnest search for clear and precise teachings of the Dharma which first took him around China for all of seven years ,where he visited almost all of the renowned Buddhist masters of the time to seek clarification. Still not satisfied as he was still unable to get the complete clarification he wanted, he was directed to seek out Silabhadra the abbot of Nalanda Monastery in India who was reputed to have an excellent understanding of the tenets of Buddhism.His amazing journey to the west was fraught with incredible dangers and obstacles which would have put off a lesser person.

    After studying in Nalanda for five years, under the tutelage of the great Silabhadra, he became a brilliant and renowned debater, and was able to covert many people through these debates. When he finally returned to India, he had already been established as a Buddhist Master of great fame. He brought back 699 precious Buddhist texts.
    He continues to inspire by his life-story which reflects his unequalled courage, perseverance and passion.Yes, his perseverance and his great compassion for all beings which led him to such great lengths to bring the pure and complete Dharma to all, reminds me very much of Tsem Rinpoche.

  7. yin ping on Jan 3, 2018 at 12:39 am

    Xuanzang is a historical Buddhist monk who was famous for his seventeen years overland journey to India from China during the rule of Emperor Taizong of Tang. He was not satisfied with his understanding of the sutras and scriptures because he became confused due to the mistranslation, contradictions and discrepancies in the Chinese Buddhist resources available at that time.

    After spending years travelled around China visited almost all the renowned Buddhists masters to seek clarifications, he came across an Indian monk who spoke with him about Indian Buddhism. From there he knew he got to follow Faxian’s footstep to visit India to gain better understanding of the Buddhist teachings. Xuanzang stated his Sanskrit studies.
    Xuanzang’s journey to India has shown how much sufferings and obstacles he was willing to endure in order to bring Dharma back to China. His determination and faith in Buddhism has shown what a true practitioner really was.

    These qualities of willing to endure sufferings and great faith in dharma remind me of our Guru Tsem Rinpoche, who also endures so much pain and sufferings upholding the Dorje Shugden practice. Due to Rinpoche’s strong Guru devotion, Rinpoche is determine to bring Dorje Shugden to many people although Rinpoche faces many challenges and pressures.

    Thank you to all the great Buddhist masters who tirelessly preserving and turning the wheel of dharma. Because of these compassion great masters we are able to learn the precious dharma, which traced back to the Buddha 2600 year ago. If we have a Guru who gives us dharma and gives us unconditional love, we should be grateful with everything we have received. We should practice sincerely, transform our mind as this is the greatest gift to repay our Guru’s kindness. Thank you Rinpoche.

  8. Stella Cheang on Jan 2, 2018 at 11:22 am

    Thank you for this informative article on XuanZang. He played an important role in disseminating Buddhism to the great land of China during the Tang Dynasty, which largely influenced the culture of the people of the land for many many centuries to come. China became a country with strong Buddhist consciousness and amassed many buddhist followers and students since the Tang Dynasty. This in turn helped Buddhism took form in the neighbouring countries like Korea and Japan as well as SEA.

  9. Samfoonheei on Dec 31, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    Xuanzang was a Chinese Buddhist monk, scholar, traveller, and translator who travelled to India in the sixth century. He was famous for his sixteen-year pilgrimage to India and career as a translator of Buddhist scriptures from Sanskrit into Chinese and founded in China the Buddhist .He was consider as one of the most illustrious figures in the history of scholastic Chinese Buddhism. He left the Chinese dynasty capital for India to obtain Buddhist texts from which the Chinese could learn more about Buddhism. Amazing his journey to India, took nearly two decades to complete. In India, Xuanzang visited all the sacred sites connected with the life of the Buddha. He has spent the remainder of his life translating the Buddhist scriptures which has inspire millions of people in their spiritual path even after his death more than 1,300 years ago. I used to enjoyed watching the film …The journey to the west ,now i knew its having connection with this great Chinese Buddhist monk.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this interesting article and a well-produced documentary of him. I have watched the the frist part. it is interesting and will continue to watch.

  10. Valentina Suhendra on Dec 31, 2017 at 11:34 am

    Thank you, Rinpoche for publishing this article. Before I came across the material in this article, I did not know much about Xuanzang and his journey to the west. I only knew the fictional account from Wu Cheng’en from the Ming Dynasty.

    When I read his true story, I was very touched with his courage and perseverance, and how focus Xuanzang was to bring the precious Buddha’s teachings to China so many people’s suffering, can be eradicated.

    The story of his journey is very colorful and no wonder that even after hundreds of years since his passing, many people continue to be inspired by him.

    I am particularly impressed with his knowledge that could turn the mind of so many people regardless of their background, calmness in the face of adversity. It is because of practitioners like him that many people chose to become Buddhist or at least grew to tolerate the faith.

    Even after Xuanzang came back to China, he continued to become the magnate of many people. But his true nature shone through when he chose not to attend his homecoming celebration. Even when he was being offered respectable position in the powerful Chinese court, he rejected. After he came back to China, he spent his energy to translate the scriptures that he brought from the west,

    It is rare to see a person of Xuanzang’s quality. I can only see it in one person my teacher who has always persevere in bringing Dharma to thousands of people. Thank you, Rinpoche for giving us the opportunity to learn and be inspired by Xuanzang and his Dharma journey.

  11. Hecelus Tan on Dec 30, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Venerable master Xuan Zang was well known in Mahayana as his translation on Prajna-paramita Sutra which is the essence of the great Prajna-paramita Sutra. The shortest and most profound versions of Heart Sutra can be the translation by him. Up until today, where most of Asia Buddhist countries like Japan, Korea, and China continue using his version in the morning and evening chanting. Heart Sutra do play an important role in Mahayana and Vajrayana especially in Mahayana tradition is widely use in different functions like during bereavement or 打皈依 (da gui yi) which is a set of short morning and evening chanting procedure that started with 3 times Guru Shakyamuni’s name, Heart Sutra, Refuge verses and complete with a four lines short dedication. Da gui yi usually performs while all the monastic are busy and are not able to join the morning or evening chanting session, therefore it will be done by a monastic which is arranged by the monastery. In the Chinese Mahayana monastery, there are 2 important rules that have to strictly follow. These rules are the continuation of the morning and evening chanting, which includes the morning and noon offering. Secondly will be the continuation of the 108 times bell and drum to be perform morning before the morning chanting and night before all monastic rest. The sequence of this bell and drum ritual will be starting with the bell at the beginning and ended with the drum for the morning session while drumming at the beginning and ended with bell for the night session. It is believed that the sound of the bell can pacify the suffering of the three lower realms and while the bell ritual was performing all the sufferings were stop during that crucial movement. The monastic who performs this bell ritual will recite the Buddhas and Bodhisattva Mahasattvas’ name and some short dedication verses. The bell and drum ritual is also a signal for all the Dharma protector who reside in the monastery that now is the time to perform their guarding duties so that all the monastic may be clear of the obstacle on the spiritual path.

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Blog Chat

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Tsem Rinpoche


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  • Sofi
    Saturday, Dec 15. 2018 04:39 AM
    Videos Redressing the Misinformation About Dorje Shugden and the Tibetan Situation

    Please do watch these enlightening videos that serves to clarify the truth about the Tibetan situation. You owe it to yourself to understand the disinformation that the Tibetan Leaders are dispensing to their people to divert attention away from their failures. Very disgraceful!

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/videos-redressing-the-misinformation-about-dorje-shugden-and-the-tibetan-situation.html
  • Sofi
    Saturday, Dec 15. 2018 04:35 AM
    Dr. Ambedkar: Supreme Champion of Human Rights

    Dr. Ambedkar is a hero and icon for the Dalits of India who were once called ‘Untouchables.’ He fought to eradicate the discrimination and inequality that he knew all too well because he, too, was an Untouchable by birth. He was a leader of the Dalits and the Law Minister of the Government of India from 1947 to 1951.

    Mahatma Gandhi’s fight for freedom involved uniting India to rise against an external enemy – the colonial British regime that ravaged the country – but Dr. Ambedkar’s struggle was a far more challenging one as he was fighting against his own people. He was fighting the oppression and inequality that has been deeply entrenched for thousands of years as part of his society’s religious and cultural dogma.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/dr-ambedkar-supreme-champion-of-human-rights.html
  • Sofi
    Saturday, Dec 15. 2018 04:33 AM
    Huge outdoor Tsongkapa!

    Both Buddha Shakyamuni and Guru Rinpoche prophesied Tsongkhapa’s birth and attainments. At the time of Buddha Shakyamuni, a young boy who was a previous incarnation of Tsongkhapa presented a crystal rosary to Buddha and received a conch shell in return. Buddha prophesied Manjushri would be born as a boy in Tibet, would found Ganden monastery, and would present a crown to my statue. Buddha gave the boy the future name Sumati-kirti (Blo-bzang grags-pa, Lozang-dragpa). Guru Rinpoche also prophesied a monk named Lozang-dragpa would be born near China, would be regarded as an emanation of a great bodhisattva, and would make a Buddha-statue into a Sambhogakaya representation.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/tsongkhapa/huge-outdoor-tsongkapa.html
  • Yee Yin
    Friday, Dec 14. 2018 09:23 PM
    Wow, this young boy could paint like an experienced painter with a style that is so unique. He is very talented since young. But where does the talent come from? How come some people have a special talent since birth but some do not? For Buddhists, we believe that the talent is actually the imprint from the previous life. It is something that the person has done so much in their previous life that when they take rebirth in another body, they still have the tendency to do the same thing if the condition is right.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/kid-painter-is-mini-monet.html
    [no sender]
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Friday, Dec 14. 2018 07:31 PM
    This special post “Kyabje Zong Rinpoche’s Advice on Dorje Shugden’s Practice” contains His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche’s actual speech and the accompanying English translation on the benefits of Dorje Shugden’s practice and lineage. Fantastic! We all know Kyabje Zong Rinpoche is the same nature as Heruka-Chakrasamvara. To hear his voice is a tremendous blessing as he was an erudite Pandit, master artist, supreme debater, historian, Mahasiddha and highly attained yogi. He was also extremely kind, loving, caring and he dedicated his whole life to teaching the Dharma to thousands. He was a beautiful human being. He was also my spiritual father and root guru.

    I came across his beautiful speech on the World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden and I have blogged his holy speech so that many around the world can listen to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche explain the benefits of this supreme protector. There can be no doubts after this.

    Who dare say that Kyabje Zong Rinpoche was wrong, errant, without knowledge or evil? No one can say this as it is untrue. So far this blog post has garnered over 134k (one hundred thirty-four thousand views)!! It has reached a vast amount of people so they can hear first hand from an enlightened lama how beneficial Dorje Shugden is!! Many wonderful people who seek knowledge and wisdom will benefit from this and I rejoice.

    In his love for me, over 30 years ago Kyabje Zong Rinpoche personally instructed me to practice Dorje Shugden and I know he would never give me anything that would harm me or anyone else. As such, I have great confidence and I share Dorje Shugden with thousands including family, close friends, benefactors and so many others who need help because I know he will benefit others as he did me. His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche was a Bodhisattva who lived his life only to benefit others. Whatever promises I have made to him, I will never abandon. I will forever bow to his holy feet.

    Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche

    Click here to see this beautiful post with many vintage photos- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=122352

    P.S. To this post I have recently added translations of these speeches into Japanese, Nepalese and Spanish.
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Dec 14. 2018 12:44 PM
    Queen Genepil, the last queen of Mongolia and last wife of the last Mongol Khan. Interesting short biography of this Mongol queen. At age 33 in her 5 months pregnancy , she was executed with her father because of her involvement with the Japanese forces . Queen Genepil had in fact concealed many mystery and past secrets in the palace unknown to many. She looked pretty in the queen costumes with a beautiful head gear, just wondering if nowadays the Mongolian Queen wear this . We are considered fortunate able to see this rare costumes. Interesting history to read.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/last-queen-of-mongolia
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Dec 14. 2018 12:43 PM
    Interesting news …… Oklahoma Supreme Court had decide to separate religion and politics. The history of the world, we can see clearly how the involvement of government in religious matters has caused great discrimination among the communities. An example in the Tibetan Leardership , because of the ban on Dorje Shugen practice it cause hardships, suffering ,discrimination, disharmony, and many more. For the past decades , many of the Tibetans in exiles had suffered badly. Where religion is concern ,politics should not comes in. Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, and so forth without government influence and intervention. It also includes the freedom to change one’s religion or beliefs. No government should speak against another religion or any religion. Peace, harmony and happiness can only materialised with respect among and within all people. Everyone of us should be given the choice to what we want to pray.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/the-ten-commandments-monument.html
  • Sofi
    Friday, Dec 14. 2018 08:38 AM
    Dorje Shugden Gyenze to Increase Life, Merits and Wealth

    In one of our private sessions, I asked Kensur Rinpoche, “If we fully rely on Dorje Shugden, and focus on Dorje Shugden, technically can we become fully enlightened?” And Kensur Rinpoche thought about it and he said, “Yes, we definitely can become fully enlightened because Dorje Shugden is a fully enlightened being.”

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/dorje-shugden-gyenze-to-increase-life-merits-and-wealth.html
  • Sofi
    Friday, Dec 14. 2018 08:25 AM
    Bodhi Tree Vajra Yogini

    All of Rinpoche’s Buddha statues are beautiful and yet, what is so special about this particular Buddha Vajra Yogini? Did she perform some miracle? Well to me this beautiful Lady Vajra Yogini gave us the best miracle! Find out what and share with us your thoughts.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/bodhi-tree-vajra-yogini.html
  • Sofi
    Friday, Dec 14. 2018 08:21 AM
    THIS IS ME IN HOLLYWOOD IN THE 80′S

    Rinpoche in his youth enjoying Hollywood, yet never giving up on any of his duties and practices. Read of Rinpoche’s survival after he left home to pursue his dream.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/this-is-me-in-hollywood-in-the-80s.html
  • Sofi
    Friday, Dec 14. 2018 08:15 AM
    5-Foot Gyenze Statue Arrives in Kechara Forest Retreat

    With this in mind, His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche envisioned and built a chapel specifically dedicated to Gyenze and his beneficial energies. Located at the front of Kechara Forest Retreat, it has become a place of spiritual pilgrimage for many people of all backgrounds and Gyenze has manifested signs of fulfilling people’s wishes.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/5foot-gyenze-statue-arrives-in-kechara-forest-retreat.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Friday, Dec 14. 2018 12:56 AM
    Very inspirational movie on the race divide in the US-good story line, good acting & lessons to be learned- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-65f3ISewk


  • Yee Yin
    Thursday, Dec 13. 2018 09:47 PM
    Tsem Rinpoche has been very kind to commission many Dorje Shugden paintings for us to download for free. These Dorje Shugden images are depicted in different styles and cultures or painting techniques. Even though Dorje Shugden is depicted in different styles but the iconography is according to the scripture, which is the most important thing to consider.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/which-dorje-shugden-style-is-your-favourite.html
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Thursday, Dec 13. 2018 09:34 PM
    Do you know what is a self-arising Buddha? The Buddhist deity images appear on the wood or rock by itself without intervention from human beings. Sometimes Buddhas will show signs in this way to devotees who have very strong faith in them. This is to benefit sentient beings by becoming objects of worship and veneration through which we are able to connect with the enlightened beings, generate powerful aspirations, and accumulate tremendous amounts of merit.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-self-arising-chenrezig.html
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Thursday, Dec 13. 2018 08:49 PM
    Do you know the tradition of oracular trance has over 1000 years of history in Tibet? The tradition can be found in the Tibetan Buddhist monastery too. The person who takes trance is called the oracle and the oracle can take trance of local deities, wordly protectors, mountain gods, healing deities, spirit etc. Some are trained to take trance of enlightened Dharma Protectors, for example, Dorje Shugden.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/tibetans-welcome-mountain-spirits-in-faith-ceremony.html
    [no sender]

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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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

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Kechara Saraswati Arts (KSA) offers a comprehensive statue and tsa tsa painting service. We are able to paint both the face and body, using traditional Tibetan techniques and materials.

KSA can transform a ‘bare’ or ‘raw’ object of art into a living masterpiece through a variety of painting techniques. There are several ‘finishes’ to choose from. Be it an ‘antique’ look, a fully-painted colourful finish or a simple ‘gold dusted look’, your imagination and heart’s wishes are fulfilled through KSA’s mastery and artistry in action.

Our team have learnt the techniques of traditional statue painting from the finest artists of India, Tibet and Nepal. Through months of intense training and practice, our talented artists have mastered the art of painting both peaceful and wrathful features.
20 hours ago
Kechara Saraswati Arts (KSA) offers a comprehensive statue and tsa tsa painting service. We are able to paint both the face and body, using traditional Tibetan techniques and materials. KSA can transform a ‘bare’ or ‘raw’ object of art into a living masterpiece through a variety of painting techniques. There are several ‘finishes’ to choose from. Be it an ‘antique’ look, a fully-painted colourful finish or a simple ‘gold dusted look’, your imagination and heart’s wishes are fulfilled through KSA’s mastery and artistry in action. Our team have learnt the techniques of traditional statue painting from the finest artists of India, Tibet and Nepal. Through months of intense training and practice, our talented artists have mastered the art of painting both peaceful and wrathful features.
Unusual depiction of Lord Manjushri. I like it.
yesterday
Unusual depiction of Lord Manjushri. I like it.
Stunning!!!
2 days ago
Stunning!!!
If we have eye problems, this is a good practice and it\'s simple- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=180488
2 days ago
If we have eye problems, this is a good practice and it's simple- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=180488
Many times in the morning my Oser girl will go sunbathe. She really enjoys it. Tsem Rinpoche
2 days ago
Many times in the morning my Oser girl will go sunbathe. She really enjoys it. Tsem Rinpoche
My Oser girl is very photogenic. Tsem Rinpoche
2 days ago
My Oser girl is very photogenic. Tsem Rinpoche
Vintage stunning thangka of Lord Tsongkapa with many other enlightened beings.
2 days ago
Vintage stunning thangka of Lord Tsongkapa with many other enlightened beings.
Beautiful antique thangka of Sakya Pandita
2 days ago
Beautiful antique thangka of Sakya Pandita
The last Lama-Ruler of Mongolia was 8th Jebtsundamba Khutughtu. He did not have a good ending as Mongolia \'fell\'. Read about him- https://bit.ly/2UD83oa
3 days ago
The last Lama-Ruler of Mongolia was 8th Jebtsundamba Khutughtu. He did not have a good ending as Mongolia 'fell'. Read about him- https://bit.ly/2UD83oa
Last Queen of Mongolia-Very interesting what happened to her and tragic too- https://bit.ly/2GcfhfF
3 days ago
Last Queen of Mongolia-Very interesting what happened to her and tragic too- https://bit.ly/2GcfhfF
The famous and powerful state oracle of Mongolia- Interesting and must read- 
 https://bit.ly/2Py3QhI
3 days ago
The famous and powerful state oracle of Mongolia- Interesting and must read- https://bit.ly/2Py3QhI
1984 Los Angeles-Left to right: Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, monk assistant to Zong Rinpoche and the 18 year old Tsem Rinpoche prior to ordination. Read more-  https://bit.ly/2C5OM7l
3 days ago
1984 Los Angeles-Left to right: Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, monk assistant to Zong Rinpoche and the 18 year old Tsem Rinpoche prior to ordination. Read more- https://bit.ly/2C5OM7l
Nice to see Blog Chat going on
3 days ago
Nice to see Blog Chat going on
In the middle of the metropolitan city of Bangkok near the upmarket shopping district is a chapel dedicated to Tara right in the centre of town. Lovely. Tsem Rinpoche
3 days ago
In the middle of the metropolitan city of Bangkok near the upmarket shopping district is a chapel dedicated to Tara right in the centre of town. Lovely. Tsem Rinpoche
Cheeky and cute little He Wei is telling you to get a Dorje Shugden pamphlet now!!!
3 days ago
Cheeky and cute little He Wei is telling you to get a Dorje Shugden pamphlet now!!!
My little cute Oser girl doggie is always nearby. Tsem Rinpoche
3 days ago
My little cute Oser girl doggie is always nearby. Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche\'s father with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The little girl is his brother\'s daughter. Her name is Tara.
3 days ago
Tsem Rinpoche's father with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The little girl is his brother's daughter. Her name is Tara.
Our Gyenze Chapel in Kechara Forest Retreat is visited by people from all over Malaysia now. Many have had their wishes fulfilled.
3 days ago
Our Gyenze Chapel in Kechara Forest Retreat is visited by people from all over Malaysia now. Many have had their wishes fulfilled.
Very nice class going on in Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia. Learning Dharma is the key to overcoming our mind that is unsettled. Tsem Rinpoche
3 days ago
Very nice class going on in Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia. Learning Dharma is the key to overcoming our mind that is unsettled. Tsem Rinpoche
Left to right: 103rd Gaden Tripa Lobsang Tenzin, Gaden Shartse Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche.
3 days ago
Left to right: 103rd Gaden Tripa Lobsang Tenzin, Gaden Shartse Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche.
Tsem Rinpoche holding the young incarnation of Zong Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Monastery.
3 days ago
Tsem Rinpoche holding the young incarnation of Zong Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Monastery.
In Gaden Monastery.

Left to right: Tenzin Trinley Rinpoche, Kari Kentrul Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche, Tsem Rinpoche, Gyalkhangtse Rinpoche, Kating Rinpoche and Genpa Rinpoche. Extreme right is the senior Dorje Shugden oracle of Gaden Monastery, Choyang Dulzin Kuten.
3 days ago
In Gaden Monastery. Left to right: Tenzin Trinley Rinpoche, Kari Kentrul Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche, Tsem Rinpoche, Gyalkhangtse Rinpoche, Kating Rinpoche and Genpa Rinpoche. Extreme right is the senior Dorje Shugden oracle of Gaden Monastery, Choyang Dulzin Kuten.
Tsem Rinpoche with the Abbots of Gaden Jangtse Monastery and Gaden Shartse Monastery escorting a photo of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This is in the main prayer hall of Gaden Monastery.
3 days ago
Tsem Rinpoche with the Abbots of Gaden Jangtse Monastery and Gaden Shartse Monastery escorting a photo of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This is in the main prayer hall of Gaden Monastery.
Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Monastery
3 days ago
Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Monastery
My father Mr. Lobsang Gyatso and myself. He came to Gaden Monastery to visit me. While he was alive he lived in Taiwan. Tsem Rinpoche
3 days ago
My father Mr. Lobsang Gyatso and myself. He came to Gaden Monastery to visit me. While he was alive he lived in Taiwan. Tsem Rinpoche
The most precious Buddha Shakyamuni of Tibet. He is called Jowo Rinpoche and He is in the central Cathedral of Lhasa, Tibet. All the crowns, earrings, necklaces and jewels were constructed and offered by Je Tsongkapa onto this Buddha 600 years ago. Tsem Rinpoche
3 days ago
The most precious Buddha Shakyamuni of Tibet. He is called Jowo Rinpoche and He is in the central Cathedral of Lhasa, Tibet. All the crowns, earrings, necklaces and jewels were constructed and offered by Je Tsongkapa onto this Buddha 600 years ago. Tsem Rinpoche
Click on picture to enlarge, I have something to share.
4 days ago
Click on picture to enlarge, I have something to share.
This is how you can practice Tantric Buddhas without initiation or commitment- https://bit.ly/2PstN28
4 days ago
This is how you can practice Tantric Buddhas without initiation or commitment- https://bit.ly/2PstN28
Many great lamas are pictured here together. I have met many of them and they are very learned and holy. Tsem Rinpoche
5 days ago
Many great lamas are pictured here together. I have met many of them and they are very learned and holy. Tsem Rinpoche
Do share this picture message with friends.
5 days ago
Do share this picture message with friends.
Faster, Faster!!! Can\'t you go any faster! We are late for our puja! Read on- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=179695
5 days ago
Faster, Faster!!! Can't you go any faster! We are late for our puja! Read on- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=179695
Has Pastor David achieved enlightenment under the bodhi tree?
5 days ago
Has Pastor David achieved enlightenment under the bodhi tree?
Very nice. Pastor Seng Piow\'s beautiful Kalarupa statue has finally arrived.
5 days ago
Very nice. Pastor Seng Piow's beautiful Kalarupa statue has finally arrived.
Animals are made to suffer so much. We should never add to their sufferings. We should never beat, abuse, use, kill or eat them. We should be loving with them or just leave them to live their lives.~Tsem Rinpoche
5 days ago
Animals are made to suffer so much. We should never add to their sufferings. We should never beat, abuse, use, kill or eat them. We should be loving with them or just leave them to live their lives.~Tsem Rinpoche
It will break your heart, but you need to see this- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=179733



Thank you, Tsem Rinpoche
6 days ago
It will break your heart, but you need to see this- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=179733 Thank you, Tsem Rinpoche
Find out what happened to this baby- https://bit.ly/2RdxM4o
6 days ago
Find out what happened to this baby- https://bit.ly/2RdxM4o
A very sad true story

Please sign to help end animal experimentation:
https://www.change.org/p/tell-neutrogena-to-stop-all-animal-testing
6 days ago
A very sad true story Please sign to help end animal experimentation: https://www.change.org/p/tell-neutrogena-to-stop-all-animal-testing
My grandaunt Nirgidma whom I have never met but learning more about her now. She lived and died in France. Tsem Rinpoche
6 days ago
My grandaunt Nirgidma whom I have never met but learning more about her now. She lived and died in France. Tsem Rinpoche
Did you know we can grow vegetables under water contrary to need the bright sun, earth and on the surface? Very interesting- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=179595
6 days ago
Did you know we can grow vegetables under water contrary to need the bright sun, earth and on the surface? Very interesting- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=179595
A very rare Buddha hardly seen. He is said to help us overcome laziness. Understand more- https://bit.ly/2EaEtk3
6 days ago
A very rare Buddha hardly seen. He is said to help us overcome laziness. Understand more- https://bit.ly/2EaEtk3
 
 
When you are sleeping, do you get disturbed by supernatural entities or re-occurring dreams that are frightening? Do you sometimes feel a presence in the room with you when sleeping? I have something here that might help you as I have been asked many times about these occurrences. - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=179116
2 weeks ago
When you are sleeping, do you get disturbed by supernatural entities or re-occurring dreams that are frightening? Do you sometimes feel a presence in the room with you when sleeping? I have something here that might help you as I have been asked many times about these occurrences. - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=179116
Foretelling the future in the Tibetan tradition- https://bit.ly/2AKzSl8
2 weeks ago
Foretelling the future in the Tibetan tradition- https://bit.ly/2AKzSl8
Malaysian Brickfields Chief Monk Sri Dhammaratana Fosters Harmony with Tibetan Buddhism- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=178837
2 weeks ago
Malaysian Brickfields Chief Monk Sri Dhammaratana Fosters Harmony with Tibetan Buddhism- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=178837
马来西亚十五碑锡兰佛寺达摩拉达纳长老与藏传佛教界建交- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=179077
2 weeks ago
马来西亚十五碑锡兰佛寺达摩拉达纳长老与藏传佛教界建交- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=179077
For high resolution download of this beautiful artwork of Dorje Shugden, please click here: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
2 weeks ago
For high resolution download of this beautiful artwork of Dorje Shugden, please click here: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
A stupa built dedicated to Dorje Shugden in Tibet.
2 weeks ago
A stupa built dedicated to Dorje Shugden in Tibet.
Repetitive Bad Dreams Disturbing Your Sleep?This might help you- https://bit.ly/2TTp8tw
2 weeks ago
Repetitive Bad Dreams Disturbing Your Sleep?This might help you- https://bit.ly/2TTp8tw
My sacred and ancient Bodhgaya Vajra Yogini immersed in red lights in her casing. So fortunate to even hear her name in this Kaliyuga times. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
My sacred and ancient Bodhgaya Vajra Yogini immersed in red lights in her casing. So fortunate to even hear her name in this Kaliyuga times. Tsem Rinpoche
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    2 days ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    Trijang Rinpoche never gave up his devotion to Dorje Shugden no matter how much Tibetan government in exile pressured him to give up. He stayed loyal inspiring so many of us.
  • Very rare video of His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche the 10th, the all knowing and compassionate one. I pay deep respects to this attained being who has taken many rebirths since the time of Lord Buddha to be of benefit to sentient beings tirelessly. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 days ago
    Very rare video of His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche the 10th, the all knowing and compassionate one. I pay deep respects to this attained being who has taken many rebirths since the time of Lord Buddha to be of benefit to sentient beings tirelessly. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This bigfoot researcher gives good reasonings on bigfoot. Interesting short video.
    3 days ago
    This bigfoot researcher gives good reasonings on bigfoot. Interesting short video.
  • His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery was one of the teachers of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Here in this beautiful video is Geshe Kelsang Gyatso showing his centre to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, then proceeding to sit down to receive teachings. For more information- https://bit.ly/2QNac1u
    5 days ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery was one of the teachers of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Here in this beautiful video is Geshe Kelsang Gyatso showing his centre to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, then proceeding to sit down to receive teachings. For more information- https://bit.ly/2QNac1u
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s dog, Oser girl always sits on Rinpoche’s chair. When Rinpoche’s other dog, Dharma tries to get into the chair, he is chased away. Oser is the boss. She is possessive. Cute.
    2 weeks ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s dog, Oser girl always sits on Rinpoche’s chair. When Rinpoche’s other dog, Dharma tries to get into the chair, he is chased away. Oser is the boss. She is possessive. Cute.
  • Lama Yeshe talks about how to practice at the beginning and at the end of each day during teachings given in London during the Lamas’ first European teaching tour in 1975. Lama Yeshe was a brilliant teacher and I wanted to share this with everyone so his teachings can reach more people. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 weeks ago
    Lama Yeshe talks about how to practice at the beginning and at the end of each day during teachings given in London during the Lamas’ first European teaching tour in 1975. Lama Yeshe was a brilliant teacher and I wanted to share this with everyone so his teachings can reach more people. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Our beautiful Dorje Shugden shop in the busiest part of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Many tourists visit our store and this area.
    2 weeks ago
    Our beautiful Dorje Shugden shop in the busiest part of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Many tourists visit our store and this area.
  • Living off the grid in Australia
    3 weeks ago
    Living off the grid in Australia
    A Jill Redwood is a jack of all trades, Jill built her own house on her property and lives entirely off the grid with no mains power or town water, mobile reception or television. Living on around $80 a week, Jill has over sixty animals to keep her company and an abundant garden that out serves as an organic supermarket right at her doorstep. Her main expenses are animal feed and the rates on her property. Watch this incredible three minute video and be inspired to live differently.
  • Kyabje Dagom Choktrul Rinpoche offering gold on a 350 year-old Dorje Shugden statue in his chapel in Lhasa. This is how Tibetans show homage and pay respect to a holy image. This chapel and statue of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa dedicated to Dorje Shugden was built by the Great 5th Dalai Lama. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 weeks ago
    Kyabje Dagom Choktrul Rinpoche offering gold on a 350 year-old Dorje Shugden statue in his chapel in Lhasa. This is how Tibetans show homage and pay respect to a holy image. This chapel and statue of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa dedicated to Dorje Shugden was built by the Great 5th Dalai Lama. Tsem Rinpoche
  • My sweet little Oser girl is so photogenic and adorable. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 weeks ago
    My sweet little Oser girl is so photogenic and adorable. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Heart Sutra sang by a monk for the modern crowd. Very interesting and beautiful. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 weeks ago
    Heart Sutra sang by a monk for the modern crowd. Very interesting and beautiful. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Submerging powerful mantra stones in water at Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
    3 weeks ago
    Submerging powerful mantra stones in water at Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
  • Wylfred explains in Chinese the benefits of mantra stones at Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia   |  黄明川以华语解释在马来西亚克切拉禅修林的玛尼堆(刻有心咒的石头)的利益
    3 weeks ago
    Wylfred explains in Chinese the benefits of mantra stones at Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia | 黄明川以华语解释在马来西亚克切拉禅修林的玛尼堆(刻有心咒的石头)的利益
  • My Oser girl and Dharma boy love the verandah where they can see the greens. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 weeks ago
    My Oser girl and Dharma boy love the verandah where they can see the greens. Tsem Rinpoche
  • If there were more schools like this, then our kids would grow up with more caring awareness and kind emotions towards our environment and the people around them. They would grow up knowing that chasing materialism is not going to bring any happiness. I hope very much more schools like this would materialise. I hope in my future life I can attend a school like this. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 month ago
    If there were more schools like this, then our kids would grow up with more caring awareness and kind emotions towards our environment and the people around them. They would grow up knowing that chasing materialism is not going to bring any happiness. I hope very much more schools like this would materialise. I hope in my future life I can attend a school like this. Tsem Rinpoche
  • My Oser girl and Dharma boy in their cosy little bedroom next to me sleeping away. Cute.
    1 month ago
    My Oser girl and Dharma boy in their cosy little bedroom next to me sleeping away. Cute.
  • It is incredible how smart Oser girl is. She can steal the treat away from Dharma boy and so casually. Wow. She is so smart. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 month ago
    It is incredible how smart Oser girl is. She can steal the treat away from Dharma boy and so casually. Wow. She is so smart. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Kechara Forest Retreat Dogs. Dharma boy is tiny and trying to scare off big boy Johnny. Johnny is so patient and just ignores Dharma. They are both cute and both live in Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 months ago
    Kechara Forest Retreat Dogs. Dharma boy is tiny and trying to scare off big boy Johnny. Johnny is so patient and just ignores Dharma. They are both cute and both live in Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia. Tsem Rinpoche
  • BREAKING EYEWITNESS FOOTAGE: Workers violently punched, kicked, cussed out, & left sheep to die on dozens of Scottish farms 💔 Sheep bled after rough shearing & were stitched up without painkillers.–From Peta2
    2 months ago
    BREAKING EYEWITNESS FOOTAGE: Workers violently punched, kicked, cussed out, & left sheep to die on dozens of Scottish farms 💔 Sheep bled after rough shearing & were stitched up without painkillers.–From Peta2
  • Super cute seal and so gentle. Must watch this video and realize we are all one. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 months ago
    Super cute seal and so gentle. Must watch this video and realize we are all one. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Legendary Heart sings “Stairway to Heaven” in tribute to Led Zeppelin. Incredible tribute and rendition. Everyone is blown away. TR
    2 months ago
    Legendary Heart sings “Stairway to Heaven” in tribute to Led Zeppelin. Incredible tribute and rendition. Everyone is blown away. TR
  • In a low-income neighbourhood, this man is growing his own organic produce, and giving extras away for free to neighbours who can’t afford fresh ingredients from the store. Must watch!
    2 months ago
    In a low-income neighbourhood, this man is growing his own organic produce, and giving extras away for free to neighbours who can’t afford fresh ingredients from the store. Must watch!
  • Neat little video
    2 months ago
    Neat little video
  • It is nice to see sangha release animals into the wild. Gen Kunchok Palden and Chodrak contributed to releasing of frogs back into the wild. This is wonderful. Compassion is the mainstay of all spirituality. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 months ago
    It is nice to see sangha release animals into the wild. Gen Kunchok Palden and Chodrak contributed to releasing of frogs back into the wild. This is wonderful. Compassion is the mainstay of all spirituality. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is a special ‘carpet’ for dogs that you hide their snacks and they have to go digging for it. It is challenging and fun where they use their nose, paws and all to dig and find the snacks in between. This dog play carpet is ordered online. You can see little Zopa baby who is a Kechara resident doggie looking for the snacks in this cute video. She is kept busy and entertained! Tsem Rinpoche
    2 months ago
    This is a special ‘carpet’ for dogs that you hide their snacks and they have to go digging for it. It is challenging and fun where they use their nose, paws and all to dig and find the snacks in between. This dog play carpet is ordered online. You can see little Zopa baby who is a Kechara resident doggie looking for the snacks in this cute video. She is kept busy and entertained! Tsem Rinpoche
  • Kechara Forest Retreat in Bentong, Malaysia’s dog Pema is super adorable and cute. Everyone loves her. She is wearing a Manjushri blessing pendant.
    3 months ago
    Kechara Forest Retreat in Bentong, Malaysia’s dog Pema is super adorable and cute. Everyone loves her. She is wearing a Manjushri blessing pendant.
  • Spontaneous trance in Tibet by powerful healing Protector Dorje Shugden of a monk who usually takes trance.
    3 months ago
    Spontaneous trance in Tibet by powerful healing Protector Dorje Shugden of a monk who usually takes trance.
  • 喀切玛波向詹杜固仁波切献供养
    3 months ago
    喀切玛波向詹杜固仁波切献供养
    喀切玛波护法降神,向詹杜固仁波切献供曼扎及身语意之供养,同时也加持马来西亚克切拉禅修林道场。喀切玛波护法乃古时候的紫玛护法,他是藏地首座佛教寺院桑耶寺的护法神
  • Huge Chenresig statue being built. Very beautiful.
    3 months ago
    Huge Chenresig statue being built. Very beautiful.
  • Sacred Kache Marpo in trance of oracle makes offerings to Tsem Rinpoche and blesses the temple in Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia. Kache Marpo in ancient times was known as Tsiu Marpo the great protector of Samye Monastery which is the first monastery of Tibet.
    3 months ago
    Sacred Kache Marpo in trance of oracle makes offerings to Tsem Rinpoche and blesses the temple in Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia. Kache Marpo in ancient times was known as Tsiu Marpo the great protector of Samye Monastery which is the first monastery of Tibet.
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    1 years ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
  • Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
    1 years ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
  • BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
    1 years ago
    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    1 years ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    1 years ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 years ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    1 years ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    1 years ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    1 years ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    1 years ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    1 years 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
    1 years 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.
    1 years 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!!
    1 years ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    1 years 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.

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CHAT PICTURES

10 hours ago
1984 Los Angeles- Left to right: Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, monk assistant to Zong Rinpoche and the 18 year old Tsem Rinpoche prior to ordination.
3 days ago
1984 Los Angeles- Left to right: Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, monk assistant to Zong Rinpoche and the 18 year old Tsem Rinpoche prior to ordination.
Very nice class going on in Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia. Learning Dharma is the key to overcoming our mind that is unsettled. Tsem Rinpoche
3 days ago
Very nice class going on in Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia. Learning Dharma is the key to overcoming our mind that is unsettled. Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche holding the young incarnation of Zong Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Monastery.
3 days ago
Tsem Rinpoche holding the young incarnation of Zong Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Monastery.
Left to right: 103rd Gaden Tripa Lobsang Tenzin, Gaden Shartse Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche.
3 days ago
Left to right: 103rd Gaden Tripa Lobsang Tenzin, Gaden Shartse Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche.
In Gaden Monastery. Left to right: Tenzin Trinley Rinpoche, Kari Kentrul Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche, Tsem Rinpoche, Gyalkhangtse Rinpoche, Kating Rinpoche and Genpa Rinpoche. Extreme right is the senior Dorje Shugden oracle of Gaden Monastery, Choyang Dulzin Kuten.
3 days ago
In Gaden Monastery. Left to right: Tenzin Trinley Rinpoche, Kari Kentrul Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche, Tsem Rinpoche, Gyalkhangtse Rinpoche, Kating Rinpoche and Genpa Rinpoche. Extreme right is the senior Dorje Shugden oracle of Gaden Monastery, Choyang Dulzin Kuten.
Tsem Rinpoche with the Abbots of Gaden Jangtse Monastery and Gaden Shartse Monastery escorting a photo of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This is in the main prayer hall of Gaden Monastery.
3 days ago
Tsem Rinpoche with the Abbots of Gaden Jangtse Monastery and Gaden Shartse Monastery escorting a photo of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This is in the main prayer hall of Gaden Monastery.
Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Monastery.
3 days ago
Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Monastery.
Tsem Rinpoche's father Mr. Lobsang Gyatso and Rinpoche. He came to Gaden Monastery to visit Rinpoche. While he was alive he lived in Taiwan.
3 days ago
Tsem Rinpoche's father Mr. Lobsang Gyatso and Rinpoche. He came to Gaden Monastery to visit Rinpoche. While he was alive he lived in Taiwan.
Tsem Rinpoche's father with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The little girl is Rinpoche's brother's daughter. Her name is Tara.
3 days ago
Tsem Rinpoche's father with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The little girl is Rinpoche's brother's daughter. Her name is Tara.
4 days ago
Thanks to Yong Soo Chin for sponsoring today's lunch ingredients and also donation to Kechara Food Bank in memorial of her father-in-law Mr Ng Seng Kee. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
4 days ago
Thanks to Yong Soo Chin for sponsoring today's lunch ingredients and also donation to Kechara Food Bank in memorial of her father-in-law Mr Ng Seng Kee. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Efforts to feed the poor are nothing new. Kechara Soup Kitchen practices of collecting food waste and turning it into meals for the hungry. The generous support from Tesco Malaysia and AEON Retail Malaysia have made it possible for us to continue with this contribution to those less fortunate. Thank you very much! #Kechara #foodbank #hungerknowsnobarriers - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 days ago
Efforts to feed the poor are nothing new. Kechara Soup Kitchen practices of collecting food waste and turning it into meals for the hungry. The generous support from Tesco Malaysia and AEON Retail Malaysia have made it possible for us to continue with this contribution to those less fortunate. Thank you very much! #Kechara #foodbank #hungerknowsnobarriers - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Lovely DIY candle made to offer to Buddha. Lin Mun KSDS
6 days ago
Lovely DIY candle made to offer to Buddha. Lin Mun KSDS
Isn’t it great to see family engaging in pilgrimage & dharma work together. Lin Mun KSDS
6 days ago
Isn’t it great to see family engaging in pilgrimage & dharma work together. Lin Mun KSDS
Pastor Gim Lee gave an interesting introduction to Green Tara during the recentl pilgrimage cum camp event. Lin Mun KSDS
6 days ago
Pastor Gim Lee gave an interesting introduction to Green Tara during the recentl pilgrimage cum camp event. Lin Mun KSDS
So glad to see family doing light offering to Buddha together. Great bonding. Lin Mun KSDS
6 days ago
So glad to see family doing light offering to Buddha together. Great bonding. Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS pilgrimage cum camp 2018 - Prostration to Lama Tsongkhapa. Lin Mun KSDS
6 days ago
KSDS pilgrimage cum camp 2018 - Prostration to Lama Tsongkhapa. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Melinda & teacher Asyley guided the youngest children to take refuge & do prostration to Dzambala. Lin Mun KSDS
6 days ago
Teacher Melinda & teacher Asyley guided the youngest children to take refuge & do prostration to Dzambala. Lin Mun KSDS
Zoey is a happy girl & enjoy coming to dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
6 days ago
Zoey is a happy girl & enjoy coming to dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
Video recording for KSDS Graduation 2018. Lin Mun KSDS
6 days ago
Video recording for KSDS Graduation 2018. Lin Mun KSDS
6 days ago
Rain or shine we will be there to distribute surplus food to the needy families living around Jlns Sungai. Thank you to all volunteers for turning up on a wet afternoon. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 week ago
Rain or shine we will be there to distribute surplus food to the needy families living around Jlns Sungai. Thank you to all volunteers for turning up on a wet afternoon. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
A visit was paid to this family from Petaling Jaya. Our client’s wife has admitted to hospital due to stroke. Therefore, client has to stop working temporarily because he needs to take care of the young daughter who has learning disabilities. Let’s send best wishes to the wife for a speedy recovery! ❤️ #Kechara #foodbank #care - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 week ago
A visit was paid to this family from Petaling Jaya. Our client’s wife has admitted to hospital due to stroke. Therefore, client has to stop working temporarily because he needs to take care of the young daughter who has learning disabilities. Let’s send best wishes to the wife for a speedy recovery! ❤️ #Kechara #foodbank #care - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
The threatening rain and the shortage of volunteers tonight did not stopped us from our regular Monday night distribution. Kudos to all who turned up to help. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 weeks ago
The threatening rain and the shortage of volunteers tonight did not stopped us from our regular Monday night distribution. Kudos to all who turned up to help. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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United States 2,669,355
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Singapore 644,017
Nepal 623,658
United Kingdom 512,023
Bhutan 469,451
Canada 462,441
Australia 405,941
Philippines 267,457
Indonesia 181,384
Germany 136,866
Mongolia 122,742
Portugal 119,318
Thailand 107,012
France 106,977
Taiwan 102,344
Brazil 98,200
Italy 94,178
Spain 90,096
Netherlands 84,157
Hong Kong 65,603
Sri Lanka 65,431
South Africa 65,180
New Zealand 63,372
Romania 62,837
Vietnam 61,556
Switzerland 58,563
Myanmar (Burma) 49,256
Mexico 47,362
United Arab Emirates 45,514
Japan 42,865
Russia 41,920
Egypt 40,679
Ireland 39,674
Cambodia 39,353
Bangladesh 37,553
Sweden 37,271
Poland 33,853
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Dorje Shugden
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