Paramahansa Yogananda: The Father of Yoga in the West

Jul 26, 2018 | Views: 1,041

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Paramahansa Yogananda was an Indian saint and yogi who introduced the ancient teachings of Kriya Yoga to the world. He is often regarded as “the Father of Yoga in the West.” More than a century after his birth, Yogananda is still considered among the greatest emissaries of ancient Indian wisdom in the world. His work touched the lives of millions from various faiths, backgrounds, races, and nationalities.

Yogananda’s famous “Autobiography of a Yogi” continues to inspire and attract spiritual seekers to India’s ancient practice of Kriya Yoga and the underlying universal unity among the world’s greatest religions.

 

Early Life

On 5th January 1893, Yogananda was born in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh State, to a well-to-do and spiritually inclined Hindu family. His father, Bhagabati Charan Ghosh, was an executive at Bengal-Nagpur Railway and his mother was Gyana Prabha Ghosh. Both were sincere disciples of Lahiri Mahasaya, a renowned Kriya Yoga master in India. The fourth of eight children, his parents named him Mukunda Lal Ghosh.

Yogananda’s parents, Bhagabati Charan Ghosh (left) and Paramhansa Prabha Ghosh (right)

Yogananda’s parents, Bhagabati Charan Ghosh (left) and Gyana Prabha Ghosh (right)

When Yogananda was still an infant, his mother had two unusual experiences. The first occurred when she brought the baby Yogananda with her to an audience with Lahiri Mahasaya. Her spiritual teacher placed the infant in his lap and then predicted Yogananda’s extraordinary future:

“Little mother, thy son will be a yogi. As a spiritual engine, he will carry many souls to God’s kingdom.”

Source: om-guru.com

Yogananda when he was six years old

Yogananda when he was six years old

The second unusual event occurred when a wandering sadhu visited and foretold that a silver amulet would miraculously materialise in Yogananda’s mother’s hand during a meditation session and that she would die young. The sadhu also advised Yogananda’s mother to arrange for the amulet to be passed to Yogananda one year after her death.

When Yogananda reached the tender age of 11, the sadhu’s prediction came true. His profound grief over his mother’s passing sparked his interest in the practice of spiritual discipline and the path of self-realisation.

A year later, one of Yogananda’s brothers revealed that their mother had entrusted him with an amulet before she died. True to her instructions, he gave it to Yogananda a year after her passing. When Yogananda received it, he was overwhelmed by the experience of a “blaze of illumination” [Source: om-guru.com] and the awakening of many dormant memories. He was convinced that the powerful magical silver amulet was a gift from the teachers of his former lives.

The young Yogananda with one of his brothers, Ananta

The young Yogananda with one of his brothers, Ananta

Yogananda’s spiritual inclination was apparent to those around him from an early age. One of his younger siblings, Sananda, recalled that “from his earliest years, young Mukunda’s awareness and experience of the spiritual was far beyond the ordinary.” [Source: poemhunter.com]

Yogananda is said to have possessed psychic powers as a child. He had little interest in his secular education and always tried to find ways to do as little academic work as possible. At one point, while he was still in college, he decided to go to the Himalayas on a pilgrimage. However, one of his brothers found out and brought him back home.

 

Meeting His Teacher and Spiritual Training

In his quest to find a spiritual guide, Yogananda visited many holy men in India. This search eventually led him to meet with his true master, Swami Yukteswar Giri, in 1910. For Yogananda, the meeting with Giri was like rekindling an old relationship, one that encompassed many lifetimes.

“We entered a oneness of silence; words seemed the rankest superfluities. Eloquence flowed in soundless chant from heart of master to disciple. With an antenna of irrefragable insight I sensed that my guru knew God, and would lead me to Him. The obscuration of this life disappeared in a fragile dawn of prenatal memories. Dramatic time! Past, present, and future are its cycling scenes. This was not the first sun to find me at these holy feet!”

Source: Wikipedia.org

At their first meeting, Giri predicted that Yogananda’s great destiny would be to spread the ancient practice of Kriya Yoga in the United States and other places in the world.

“Some day you will go to the West. Its people will lend ears more receptive to India’s ancient wisdom if the strange Hindu teacher has a university degree.”

Source: hindustantimes.com

Yogananda was 17 years old and still in Serampore College when he met his master. Fortunately, the college was close to his master’s Serampore ashram. He would study intensively under Giri’s loving but strict guidance for the next 10 years.

The 16-year-old Yogananda

The 16-year-old Yogananda

Known as “the mad monk” among his schoolmates because he spent more time on his meditation practice and spiritual work than on his studies, Yogananda called his graduation in 1915 a miracle. He attributed his academic success to Giri who often took the necessary steps to ensure Yogananda passed his examinations.

Once done with school, he entered the Swami Order where he was given the name Yogananda. “Yoga” means “divine union”, and “Ananda” means “bliss”. He became known as Swami Yogananda Giri.

The practice of Kriya Yoga that Yogananda received from Swami Yukteswar Giri had the following spiritual lineage:

 

Mahavatar Babaji

Mahavatar Babaji was a great master who lived in the Himalayas. He was responsible for reviving the practice of Kriya Yoga that had previously been lost “due to priestly secrecy and man’s indifference.” “Mahavatar” means “the great avatar”, and “Babaji” means “the revered father”.

It is said that Lord Jesus Christ appeared to Babaji and told him that his followers had forgotten how to commune with him through meditation. Jesus advised Babaji “to send someone to the West to remind his people that the goal of life is to become one with God through inner communion.” [Source: paramhansayogananda.com]

That person was Yogananda. One of Mahavatar Babaji’s chief disciples was Lahiri Mahasaya.

 

Lahiri Mahasaya (1828–1895)

Lahiri Mahasaya worked as an accountant by day and taught his disciples by night. He is known for spreading the Kriya Yoga meditation practice that was previously only known to those who were spiritually advanced. Lahiri Mahasaya taught Yukteswar Giri and both of Yogananda’s parents.

 

Yukteswar Giri (1855-1936)

Yukteswar Giri was a renowned disciple of Lahiri Mahasaya and a great Kriya Yoga master in his own right. He was known both for his strict discipline and as Yogananda’s teacher.

Mahavatar Babaji (left) and Lahiri Mahasaya (right)

Mahavatar Babaji (left), Lahiri Mahasaya (middle), and Yukteswar Giri (right)

 

Yogananda’s Spiritual Experiences

Yukteswar Giri’s seaside hermitage in Puri

Yukteswar Giri’s seaside hermitage in Puri

Under Yukteswar Giri’s loving guidance, Yogananda’s Kriya Yoga practice flourished. He spent the majority of his time in his master’s ashram doing intensive meditation practice. During this time, Yogananda went to the Himalayan mountains without his teacher’s permission. Realising his mistake, he returned to his teacher’s ashram and apologised. After this incident, he continued his meditation practice, but had difficulties controlling his thoughts.

Through his clairvoyance, Yukteswar Giri knew the challenges that Yogananda was going through and called Yogananda to see him. Yukteswar Giri expressed his sympathies and assured Yogananda that he would achieve his heart’s desire. The great master then struck Yogananda on his chest just above the heart, giving him an extraordinary experience:

“My body became immovably rooted; breath was drawn out of my lungs as if by some strange magnet. Soul and mind instantly lost their physical bondage and streamed out like a fluid piercing light from my every pore. The flesh was as though dead, yet in my intense awareness, I knew that I had never been so fully alive. My sense of identity was no longer narrowly confined to a body but embraced the circumambient atoms.”

Source: om-guru.com

 

The Long-Awaited Vision

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In 1917, Yogananda established a school for boys, called Yogoda Satsanga Vidyalaya, in Dihika, West Bengal. The school curriculum was unique because it combined academic education with spiritual ideals and yoga training. Within a year, his work impressed the Maharajah of Kasimbazar so much that he decided to gift Yogananda his summer palace and 25 acres of land at Ranchi, which is about 250 miles from Calcutta. The school relocated to Ranchi where Mahatma Gandhi visited several years later and made his famous remark, “This institution has deeply impressed my mind.” [Source: awaken.com]

Three years later, Yogananda received a divine vision while meditating on the school premises that told him it was time to start his work in the West. He immediately left for Calcutta where he received an invitation to join an Indian delegation that would participate in the International Congress of Religions in Boston later that year.

Sensing that this would be an important start for his mission, Yogananda checked with his teacher, Yukteswar Giri, who confirmed Yogananda’s conviction and said, “All doors are open for you. It is now or never.” [Source: yogananda-srf.org]

Before he left for Boston, Mahavatar Babaji appeared to him in a vision and said:

“You are the one I have chosen to spread the message of Kriya Yoga in the West. Long ago I met your guru Yukteswar at a Kumbha Mela; I told him then I would send you to him for training. Kriya Yoga, the scientific technique of God-realisation, will ultimately spread in all lands, and aid in harmonising the nations through man’s personal, transcendental perception of the Infinite Father.”

Source: awaken.com

Later that year, Yogananda sailed to the United States with his teacher’s blessing to fulfil his destiny.

A group of Ranchi students and teachers with the Maharaja of Kasimbazar (at center, in white). The Maharajah of Kasimbazar gave Yogananda his summer palace and 25 acres of land at Ranchi, for his school, Yogoda Satsanga Vidyalaya

A group of Ranchi students and teachers with the Maharaja of Kasimbazar (centre, in white). The Maharajah of Kasimbazar gave Yogananda his summer palace and 25 acres of land at Ranchi, for his school, Yogoda Satsanga Vidyalaya.

The central building of the Yogoda Sat-Sanga Brahmacharya Vidyalaya at Ranchi, Bihar

The central building of the Yogoda Satsanga Vidyalaya at Ranchi, Bihar.

 

Spreading Eastern Spirituality in the West

A ship named City of Sparta brought Yogananda to Boston where he gave his maiden speech on the Science of Religion. A naturally gifted orator, Yogananda’s address was very well-received. In that same year, Yogananda established the Self-Realization Fellowship in Boston with the help of his earliest students in the United States, Dr M. W. Lewis and his wife, and Mrs Alice Hassey. The objective of the Self-Realization Fellowship was to spread the practice and teachings of ancient Indian meditation and yoga.

Yogananda (centre) and the other delegates at the International Congress of Religions in Boston

Yogananda (centre) and the other delegates at the International Congress of Religions in Boston

Yogananda wrote that the objectives of the Self-Realization Fellowship and Yogoda Satsanga Society are:

  • To disseminate among the nations a knowledge of definite scientific techniques for attaining direct personal experience of God.
  • To teach that the purpose of life is the evolution, through self-effort, of man’s limited mortal consciousness into God Consciousness; and to this end to establish Self-Realization Fellowship temples for God-communion throughout the world, and to encourage the establishment of individual temples of God in the homes and in the hearts of men.
  • To reveal the complete harmony and basic oneness of original Christianity as taught by Jesus Christ and original Yoga as taught by Bhagavan Krishna; and to show that these principles of truth are the common scientific foundation of all true religions.
  • To point out the one divine highway to which all paths of true religious beliefs eventually lead: the highway of daily, scientific, devotional meditation on God.
  • To liberate man from his threefold suffering: physical disease, mental inharmonies, and spiritual ignorance.
  • To encourage “plain living and high thinking”; and to spread a spirit of brotherhood among all peoples by teaching the eternal basis of their unity: kinship with God.
  • To demonstrate the superiority of mind over body, of soul over mind.
  • To overcome evil by good, sorrow by joy, cruelty by kindness, ignorance by wisdom.
  • To unite science and religion through realisation of the unity of their underlying principles.
  • To advocate cultural and spiritual understanding between East and West, and the exchange of their finest distinctive features.
  • To serve mankind as one’s larger Self.

Source: Wikipedia.org

The poster to promote Swami Yogananda’s lecture at Philharmonic Auditorium

A poster to promote Swami Yogananda’s lecture at the Philharmonic Auditorium.

Yogananda’s work in the United States grew at an unprecedented rate. For the first three years, Yogananda mainly taught on the East Coast. In 1924, Yogananda began a cross-continental teaching tour. In 1925, Yogananda established the international headquarters of the Self-Realization Fellowship in Los Angeles, which served as the administrative and spiritual heart of his work.

Yogananda became a very renowned and famous teacher in the United States. He spoke in the largest auditoriums available such as Carnegie Hall in New York and the Philharmonic Auditorium in Los Angeles. Wherever he went, venues overflowed with eager attendees. The Los Angeles Times published an article after his talk at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Auditorium:

“The Philharmonic Auditorium presents the extraordinary spectacle of thousands… being turned away an hour before the advertised opening of a lecture with the 3000-seat hall filled to its utmost capacity. Swami Yogananda is the attraction. A Hindu invading the United States to bring God in the midst of a Christian community, preaching the essence of Christian doctrine.”

Source: yogananda.com.au

The attendees at Yogananda's lecture at Philharmonic Auditorium, Los Angeles

The attendees at Yogananda’s lecture at the Philharmonic Auditorium, Los Angeles

Yogananda and the attendees of his lecture in New York

Yogananda and the attendees of his lecture in New York.

Yogananda’s teachings were appealing because, instead of discriminating, he emphasised the unity of the world’s main religions and introduced universal methods for the audience to attain the direct experience of God. He believed that the teaching of Yoga could be found in the scriptures of all religions. For example, the Ten Commandments were seen as the beginning of Pantajali’s Yoga. He was familiar with the Christian scriptures and could effortlessly quote the New and Old Testaments as well as Indian religious texts.

Rituals did not get much emphasis in Yogananda’s teachings. He was even known to speak in the vernacular, to use language that was easily understood by the laypeople, and to never impose his ideas on others. He also advised on the art of achieving balanced well-being and health for the mind, body, and soul.

Yogananda and his disciples

Yogananda and his disciples

Celebrities and notable personalities flocked to him. Some of his followers include the operatic soprano Amelita Galli-Curci, Mark Twain’s daughter Clara Clemens Gabrilowitsch, the tenor Vladimir Rosing, horticulturist Luther Burbank, the inventor of the Kodak camera George Eastman, symphony conductor Leopold Stokowski, and the poet Edwin Markham.

In 1927, newspaper reports on Yogananda attracted the attention of the then President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, who invited him to the White House for a meeting. In 1929, Yogananda expanded his reach to South America. During a two-month trip to Mexico, he was welcomed by none other than the then President of Mexico, Dr Emilio Portes Gil, who was an admirer of Yogananda’s teachings.

Yogananda and the President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge

Yogananda and the President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge

Yogananda and the President of Mexico, Dr Emilio Portes Gil

Yogananda and the President of Mexico, Dr Emilio Portes Gil

Although based in the United States, Yogananda continued to travel widely to spread the spirit of spirituality in the American continent and Europe. Wherever he went, he emphasised the underlying unity of the world’s great religions and introduced the ancient techniques of Kriya Yoga. He also encouraged harmony between nationalities, races, and religions.

Yogananda before one of his classes in Washington D.C. There were approximately one thousand attendees attending this lecture.]

Yogananda before one of his classes in Washington D.C. There were approximately one thousand attendees at this lecture.

Yogananda’s work in the United States thrived because of devoted students who dedicated their lives to nurturing the Self-Realization Fellowship, such as:

  • Dr M. W. Lewis and his wife. They met Yogananda in Boston in 1920 and helped him establish the first Self-Realization Fellowship.
  • Rajarsi Janakananda (James J Lynn), who met Yogananda in Kansas City in 1932. He was appointed Yogananda’s successor after his passing.
  • Sri Daya Mata, who began attending Yogananda’s teachings in Salt Lake City in the early 1930s and took on the responsibility of recording Yogananda’s informal talks, classes, and lectures so that they would be available for many generations to come.
  • Gyanamata, who met Yogananda in Seattle in 1924.
  • Tara Mata, who met Yogananda in San Francisco in 1924.
  • Durga Mata, who met Yogananda in Detroit in 1929.
  • Ananda Mata, who met Yogananda in Salt Lake City in 1931.
  • Sraddha Mata, who met Yogananda in Tacoma in 1933.
  • Sailasuta Mata, who met Yogananda in Santa Barbara in 1933.
Yogananda and one of his devoted disciples, Sri Daya Mata

Yogananda and one of his devoted disciples, Sri Daya Mata.

Due to the efforts of his students, the Self-Realization Fellowship grew at an astonishing rate. Its beautiful headquarters, built on 12 acres of land in the Mount Washington area of Los Angeles, include buildings for resident monks and a printing facility. His students also established Self-Realization Fellowship temples in various cities in California: Hollywood (1942), San Diego (1943), and Long Beach (1947).

Self-Realization Fellowship’s beautiful headquarters, built on 12 acres of land in the Mount Washington area of Los Angeles

The Self-Realization Fellowship’s beautiful headquarters, built on 12 acres of land in the Mount Washington area of Los Angeles.

Self-Realization Fellowship Temple in Hollywood, California

The Self-Realization Fellowship Temple in Hollywood, California.

 

VIDEO: The Purpose of Life

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Visit to India

In 1935, Yogananda went on an 18-month visit to India, mainly to pay homage to his master Yukteswar Giri and to expand the Yogoda Satsanga Society (previously known as Yogoda Satsanga Vidyalaya). For this journey, he travelled by automobile and ship, which took him through Europe, Palestine, and Egypt, before finally arriving in Mumbai in the summer of the same year.

Yukteswar Giri was pleased with Yogananda’s achievements and bestowed him with the religious title of “Paramahansa” which means “the supreme swan”. This title indicates the highest spiritual attainment because the sacred swan is believed to have the extraordinary power of extracting pure milk from a mixture of water and milk.

Yogananda in Egypt with his travel companions, Mr. Wright and Miss Bletch

Yogananda in Egypt with his travel companions, Mr Wright and Miss Bletch

Yogananda and his teacher, Yukteswar Giri

Yogananda and his teacher, Yukteswar Giri

During this visit, Yogananda met with various wise men and saints of India. They include:

  • Mahatma Gandhi – India’s social and independence activist;
  • Ramana Maharisi – a Hindu sage;
  • Sri Anandamayi Ma – a Bengali saint and spiritual leader;
  • Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman – a renowned physicist;
  • Sir C. V. Raman – a physicist and a Nobel Laureate; and
  • Several students of Lahiri Mahasaya.
Yogananda and Mahatma Gandhi enjoying a quiet lunch session in August 1935

Yogananda and Mahatma Gandhi enjoying a quiet lunch in August 1935

Yogananda and Sri Anandamayi Ma, a Bengali saint and a spiritual leader

Yogananda and Sri Anandamayi Ma, a Bengali saint and spiritual leader

During this trip, Yogananda also consolidated his work in his native land with the Yogoda Satsanga Society as its primary vehicle. He gave various classes, teaching sessions, and Kriya Yoga initiations in a few Indian cities. One of his famous initiates was Mahatma Gandhi.

After witnessing the success of his devout disciple, while Yogananda was visiting Calcutta, Yukteswar Giri attained mahasamadhi in Puri. Mahasamadhi means the greatest of meditations, one that is carried out at the time of death and leads the person to complete communion with God, free of the mortal shackles of the physical body.

Today, Yogananda’s legacy survives in India through the Yogoda Satsanga Society. The original boys-only school has expanded to include a kindergarten, a girls’ school, a medical dispensary, a music school, an arts and crafts school, a college, meditation centres, ashrams, charitable works, and a college for homoeopathic medicine.

The last Solstice Festival that Yogananda celebrated with his teacher, Yukteswar Giri in December 1935. Yukteswar Giri was seated in the centerand Yogananda was seated at his right. The celebration took place in the large courtyard of his hermitage in Serampore.

The last Solstice Festival that Yogananda celebrated with his teacher, Yukteswar Giri in December 1935. Yukteswar Giri is seated in the centre and Yogananda is seated on his right. The celebration took place in the large courtyard of his hermitage in Serampore.

 

A Student’s Gift for Yogananda

While Yogananda was in India, his devoted student, Rajarsi Janakananda, built a beautiful temple on 23 acres of land in Encinitas, California, for his beloved teacher. The Encinitas Hermitage, with its incredible view of the Pacific Ocean, would become the place where Yogananda spent most of his time when he returned from India.

Today, this beautiful complex remains one of Yogananda’s many legacies and continues to hold various Self-Realization Fellowship retreat programs.

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Aerial view of Self-Realization Fellowship Hermitage in Encinitas, California

Aerial view of the Self-Realization Fellowship Hermitage in Encinitas, California.

 

Preparing for the Future Generation

Yogananda returned to the United States in late 1936. There was a noticeable change after his return as Yogananda started to focus on preparations for the future and the preservation of his teachings. Instead of going on teaching tours and delivering public lectures, Yogananda concentrated on his writing and building a foundation for the spiritual work of both the Yogoda Satsanga Society and the Self-Realization Fellowship. Together with his close disciples, he prepared instructions for classes and materials for home study. At the same time, he also worked on his seminal work “Autobiography of a Yogi” and other books.

Despite his heavy workload, Yogananda continued to give regular teachings to Self-Realization Fellowship members on various spiritual subjects. His devoted student, Sri Daya Mata, faithfully recorded all these teachings using a stenographic method. These talks would later be published as a three-volume book called “Yogananda’s Collected Talks and Essays” and in Self-Realization magazines.

 

VIDEO: Removing All Sorrows from Life (in Yogananda’s Voice)

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VIDEO: Removing Suffering (in Yogananda’s Voice)

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Autobiography of a Yogi

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Yogananda’s landmark work “Autobiography of a Yogi” was published in 1946. It became an immediate bestseller and a spiritual classic. A panel of spiritual authors considered “Autobiography of a Yogi” as one of the “100 Most Important Spiritual Books of the 20th Century.” [Source: Wikipedia.org]

The book described Yogananda’s various experiences and meetings with renowned personalities such as Nobel Laureate in literature Rabindranath Tagore, plant scientist Luther Burbank, Mahatma Gandhi, Therese Neumann, Nobel Laureate in physics C. V. Raman, and Indian scientist Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose.

In the chapter titled “The Law of Miracles”, Yogananda explained the appearances of miraculous occurrences and gave hope to many when he wrote that “the word ‘impossible’ is becoming less prominent in man’s vocabulary.”

The book has been in continuous print since it was first published. It has sold more than four million copies and has been translated into 34 languages. Philip Goldberg, American author of “American Veda”, wrote:

“The Self-Realization Fellowship which represents Yogananda’s Legacy, is justified in using the slogan, “The Book that Changed the Lives of Millions.” It has sold more than four million copies and counting”.

Source: Wikipedia.org

Autobiography of a Yogi” is a timeless book that continues to inspire. Fans of the book include famous modern personalities like Ravi Shankar, George Harrison, and Steve Jobs. It is said that Mr Jobs read “Autobiography of a Yogi” when he was a teenager and made a habit of re-reading it again each year. Before he passed away in 2011, Mr Jobs arranged for copies of the book to be distributed to those who attended his funeral.

 

The Great Master’s Final Years

Yogananda spent the final years of his life on completing his writings

Yogananda spent the final years of his life completing his writings.

Yogananda spent his final years in seclusion together with his close disciples. He concentrated on completing his writings, which included commentaries on the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Bhagavad Gita. He believed that, “I can do much more now to reach others with my pen.” [Source: Wikipedia.org]

To his close disciples, like Sri Mrinalini Mata, Sri Daya Mata, and a few others, Yogananda provided guidance on how they should carry on with the work he had started once he was gone. He advised:

“My body shall pass but my work shall go on. And my spirit shall live on. Even when I am taken away I shall work with you all for the deliverance of the world with the message of God.

Those who have come to Self Realization Fellowship truly seeking inward spiritual help shall receive what they seek from God. Whether they come while I am in the body, or afterward, the power of God through the link of the SRF Gurus shall flow into the devotees just the same, and shall be the cause of their salvation… The ever living Babaji has promised to guard and guide the progress of all sincere SRF devotees. Lahiri Mahasaya and Sri Yukteswarji, who have left their physical forms, and I myself, even after I have left the body — all will ever protect and direct the sincere members of SRF YSS.”

Source: yogananda-srf.org

The year 1950 marked two significant occasions for Yogananda and the Self-Realization Fellowship:

  • The Self-Realization Fellowship established a beautiful ten-acre lake shrine in the Pacific Palisades in California. Yogananda enshrined a portion of Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes in the meditation gardens in the complex.
  • The first ever Self-Realization Fellowship World Convocation was held at its headquarters in Los Angeles. This annual event continues to attract thousands of spiritual seekers every year from around the world.

 

The Passing of a Great Master

Yogananda after he entered Mahasamadhi

Yogananda after he entered Mahasamadhi

On 7th March 1952, Yogananda attended an event at the Biltmore Hotel to honour India’s ambassador to the United States, Binay Ranjan Sen, where he delivered a memorable speech:

“I am proud that I was born in India. I am proud that we have a great ambassador representing my spiritual India. Somewhere between the two great civilisations of efficient America and spiritual India lies the answer for a model world civilisation.”

Source: thebetterindia.com

This picture of Yogananda was taken approximately hour before he died.

This picture of Yogananda was taken approximately an hour before he passed away.

He then proceeded to read several lines from his poem, “My India” and concluded with the words “Where Ganges, woods, Himalayan caves, and men dream God — I am hallowed; my body touched that sod.” [Source: Wikipedia.org] He then slid to the floor with a beautiful smile on his face. The official cause of death was heart failure. In truth, the great master Paramahansa Yogananda had entered mahasamadhi.

A notarised letter from the director of Forest Lawn Memorial Park stated that Yogananda’s body showed no sign of deterioration although 20 days had passed since his death. The extraordinary phenomenon was reported in various magazines and periodicals, including TIME magazine. The Indian ambassador Binay Ranjan Sen who witnessed Yogananda’s final moments paid homage to the great master in his tribute:

“He was born in India, he lived for India, and he died with the name of India on his lips.”

Source: hindustantimes.com

ajarsi Janakananda

Rajarsi Janakananda

Yogananda’s funeral service was held at the Self-Realization Fellowship headquarters in Mount Washington in Los Angeles. Rajarsi Janakananda presided over the ritual of “releasing the body to God.” His remains were interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Great Mausoleum in Glendale, California. His tomb remains accessible to visitors who wish to pay homage to him.

 

Indian Commemorative Stamp

In March 1977, the Indian government issued a commemorative stamp in honour of Yogananda:

“The ideal of love for God and service to humanity found full expression in the life of Paramahansa Yogananda. Though the major part of his life was spent outside India, still, he takes his place among our great saints. His work continues to grow and shine ever more brightly, drawing people everywhere on the path of the pilgrimage of the Spirit.”

Source: Wikipedia.org

On 7th March 2017, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi released another commemorative stamp to honour the 100th anniversary of the Yogoda Satsanga Society of India and to appreciate Yogananda’s work in “spreading the message of India’s spirituality in foreign shores.” [Source: Wikipedia.org]

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Tribute by Ram Nath Kovind, President of India

In November 2017, the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, visited the Ranchi Ashram of the Yogoda Satsanga Society for the official release of the Hindi translation of one of Yogananda’s books titled “God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita”. On this occasion, the President paid tribute to Yogananda:

“Paramahansa Yogananda’s message is a message of spirituality. Going beyond the confines of religion, his is a message of respecting all religions; his perspective is of world brotherhood. … Paramahansa Yogananda has also deeply impressed today’s young generation, which is surrounded by materialism and competition. Achieving prosperity and success on an international level amidst fierce struggle, many young people credit their accomplishments to Paramahansaji’s Autobiography of a Yogi. This is a very renowned book, and I think most of you have read it; I too have had that opportunity. This book illumines the right course for all to follow in life.”

Source: Wikipedia.org

The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, visited the Ranchi Ashram of Yogoda Satsanga Society for the official release of the Hindi translation of one of Yogananda’s books titled “God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita” on November 2017

The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, visited the Ranchi Ashram of the Yogoda Satsanga Society for the official release of the Hindi translation of one of Yogananda’s books titled “God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita” in November 2017.

 

Award-Winning Documentary

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Yogananda’s life story was immortalised in the award-winning documentary, “Awake: The Life of Yogananda”. The documentary features beautiful recreations of events from Yogananda’s life and interviews with many of his admirers such as sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, the new age spiritual guru Deepak Chopra, and the lead guitarist of the Beatles, George Harrison.

 

VIDEO: Awake (Trailer)

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https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Yoga001AwakeTrailer.mp4

 

Yogananda041

 

Recommended Reading (Free Download)

Autobiography of a Yogi (click to download PDF)

Yogananda for the World (click to download PDF)

Paramhansa Yogananda: History, Life, Mission (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:

  • ‘Paramahansa Yogananda’, Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, 15 June 2018, [website], https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paramahansa_Yogananda (accessed 29 June 2018).
  • ‘Paramahansa Yogananda’,Self-Realization Fellowship, [website], http://www.yogananda-srf.org/Paramahansa_Yogananda.aspx#.WztogtgzY3F (accessed 29 June 2018).
  • ‘Our Spiritual Lineage’, Ananda Sangha Worldwide, [website], https://www.ananda.org/about-ananda-sangha/lineage/ (accessed 29 June 2018).
  • ‘Kriya Yoga’, Paramahansa Yogananda, [website], http://yogananda.com.au/kriya.html (accessed 29 June 2018).
  • ‘Paramhansa Yogananda and the Path of Kriya Yoga’, Paramhansa Yogananda, [website], http://www.paramhansayogananda.com/ (accessed 29 June 2018).
  • Pal, Sanchari, ‘The Story of Paramahansa Yogananda, the Man Who Took Yoga Beyond Indian Shores’, The Better India, 21 June 2016, [website], https://www.thebetterindia.com/59103/paramahansa-yogananda-international-yoga-day/ (accessed 29 June 2018).
  • Pettinger, Tejvan, ‘Biography of Paramahansa Yogananda’, biographyonline.net, 27 February 2018, [website], https://www.biographyonline.net/spiritual/paramahansa_yogananda.html (accessed 29 June 2018).
  • ‘Paramahansa Yogananda Biography’, TheFamousPeople.com, 1 November 2017, [website], https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/paramahansa-yogananda-4037.php (accessed 29 June 2018).
  • ‘Paramahamsa Yogananda’, Om-Guru: Saints, Teachers, and Seekers in the Indian Tradition, [website], http://www.om-guru.com/html/saints/yogananda.html (accessed 29 June 2018).
  • ‘Yogananda, Paramahamsa’, Encyclopedia.com, [website], https://www.encyclopedia.com/people/philosophy-and-religion/other-religious-beliefs-biographies/paramahansa-yogananda#1O101YognandaParamahamsa (accessed 29 June 2018).
  • ‘Biography of Paramahansa Yogananda’, PoemHunter.com, [website], https://www.poemhunter.com/paramahansa-yogananda/biography/ (accessed 29 June 2018).
  • ‘Yogananda Facts’, Your Dictionary, [website], http://biography.yourdictionary.com/yogananda (accessed 29 June 2018).
  • ‘Paramahansa Yogananda Biography’, Awaken, 29 August 2015, [website], http://www.awaken.com/2015/08/paramahansa-yoganandas-biography/ (accessed 29 June 2018).
  • Blumberg, Antonia, ‘The Life Of Yogananda: Guru, Author Of ‘Autobiography Of A Yogi’’ huffingtonpost.com, 9 January 2015, [website], https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-life-of-yogananda-guru-author-of-autobiography-of-a-yogi_us_55dba1dde4b04ae4970435c8 (accessed 29 June 2018).
  • Swamy, MR Narayan, ‘Yogananda: Man who taught yoga to Mahatma died with ‘India on his lips’’ Hindustan Times, 20 June 2016, https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/yogananda-man-who-taught-yoga-to-mahatma-died-with-india-on-his-lips/story-IhptLEPUBrnoVMwcW4ZrfK.html (accessed 29 June 2018).
  • ‘Yogananda’s Mortuary Report’, Paramahansa Yogananda’s Complete Mortuary Report, [website], http://oaks.nvg.org/soy22.html (accessed 29 June 2018).

 

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8 Responses to Paramahansa Yogananda: The Father of Yoga in the West

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  1. Tsa Tsa Ong on Sep 29, 2018 at 11:41 pm

    I truly enjoyed reading Inspiring story of the remarkable life and work of Paramahansa Yogananda,the man who took yoga and meditation to the West. Especially about his younger days. Love the beautiful photos and interesting videos too. Thank you very much Rinpoche and blog team for sharing another inspiring life story. 🙏👍😍

  2. Wai Meng Wan on Sep 25, 2018 at 5:36 am

    I have always wondered who this long haired yogi is, as he is one of the most influential spiritualist of the 20th century.
    Reading about his works, not even going to his teachings, one feels reading this article leaves an indelible mark on one’s psyche and feel inspired to bring the truth and spirituality to share with others as well.

  3. Yee Yin on Sep 8, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    As our material possession gets more, we feel more empty inside. This is when people start to look for a spiritual teacher to guide them in finding the true purpose of life. Paramahansa Yogananda was a spiritual teacher, a saint and a yogi who introduced the ancient teachings of Kriya Yoga to the world.

    Paramahansa Yogananda was very spiritual since he was young, he didn’t like the academic education and was more interested in spirituality. After many years of learning from great spiritual masters, he went to the USA and became a spiritual guide to many Americans including the rich and famous. His teachings were appealing because, instead of discriminating, he emphasised the unity of the world’s main religions and introduced universal methods for the audience to attain the direct experience of God. He also encouraged harmony between nationalities, races, and religions

    People liked his teachings because they were very easy to understand and he didn’t impose his idea on people. His teachings were very suitable for the modern people as we are living in a very diversified society and respect and tolerant of other religions, races, and nationalities are very important.

  4. Meg on Sep 3, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    Beautiful!

    Out of all his works, God Talks to Arjuna [interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita] is a ‘must study’. The dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna on the battlefield and the obstacles faced by the latter are described in parallels to the karmic constraints/conditions to the body, soul and mind. The applications are universal, as the roots are universal.

    Thank you for sharing about this great, great teacher.

  5. Samfoonheei on Jul 28, 2018 at 10:50 am

    Inspiring story of the remarkable life and work of Paramahansa Yogananda,the man who took yoga and meditation to the West. He is well known as the father of yoga in the West, who has devoted his life to the spread of knowledge about the techniques of yoga meditation. He has made yoga accessible to a modern audience, attracting many followers and inspiring millions who practise this ancient tradition meditation even till today. His Yoga teachings are widely practised around the world by many from various faiths, backgrounds, races, and nationalitiesI have not watch those videos yet at the time of commenting but will definitely do.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this inspiring sharing and the recommended reading (Free Download).

  6. Pastor Adeline on Jul 28, 2018 at 2:16 am

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

  7. Jacinta on Jul 27, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Instead of teachings, I was more struck by His penetrating eyes, just by seeing His pictures. I felt some kind of calm and friendliness. I’ve read His book before but maybe I need to re-read again some other time, and the videos too.

    I remember one experience that I had before where He explained about yoga techniques on Dream and sleep. I was amazed that it worked for the first time. Later on, maybe I was expecting too much and hence lost the “effectiveness” of it 🤪. I did experience the dreams that happened at the moment and after I woke up or even later on. It’s very much similar to lucid dreaming. However, before long I’ve lost this so called “ability” 😅. How I wish I’m a yogini 🤣. But His teachings are real and and He shares it openly with us. An inspiration for me to pursue spirituality life and hopefully for others too.

    Thanks for having this in the blog so that I can revisit some other time. Thank you Rinpoche.

  8. Joy Kam on Jul 26, 2018 at 6:19 am

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

    Listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbzgskLKxT8&t=5821s

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  • m.priyaa
    Thursday, Nov 14. 2019 06:22 PM
    முற்றிலும் உன்மை.பாபா சாவான் சிங் எப்பொழுதும் தனது சிஷ்யர்களுக்கு கருணை மற்றும் மத சகிப்புத்தன்மை, அனைத்து உயிரினங்களையும் மதித்தல் மற்றும் போதை தருபவற்றைத் தவிர்க்குமாறும் வலியுறுத்துவார்.அனைத்து மகா ஆன்மீக மனிதர்களைப் போல், தான் போதிக்கும் ஞானம், பாபா சாவான் சிங்கின் செயல்களில் உள்ளடக்கி இருக்கும். அதிலும், இந்திய வரலாற்றில் மிகவும் பேரதிர்ச்சி காலமான‌ பாகிஸ்தானின் உருவாக்கம் பல்வேறு மத சண்டைகளை ஏற்படுத்திய‌ காலக்கட்டத்திலும் பாபா சாவான் சிங் தொடர்ந்து பிரபஞ்ச அளவிலான கருணையையும் மத சகிப்புத்தன்மையையும் தொடர்ந்து செயல்படுத்தி வந்தார்.
  • S.Prathap
    Thursday, Nov 14. 2019 04:51 PM
    Many temple was built and the 10 most famous Buddhist temple in the world was ranked. Each temple has its own history in its remarkable up today.One of the famous templeThe Mahabodhi (Great Enlightenment) Temple is a Buddhist stupa located in Bodhgaya, India. The main complex contains a descendant of the original Bodhi Tree under which Gautama Buddha gained enlightenment, and is the most sacred place in Buddhism.
    Thank you very much for sharing this article with the beautiful view of 10 famous Buddhist temples.

    Read more : https://bit.ly/2KkCr2K
  • nicholas
    Thursday, Nov 14. 2019 03:36 PM
    Generally stupas are the physical representations of a Buddha’s mind. They come in 8 main shapes. Each shape is equal to the representation of Buddha’s mind.

    They can contain:

    Relics of Buddha
    Relics of High monks
    Relics of attained masters
    Sutras
    Mantras
    Multiple images of Buddhas such as statues/tsatsas/pictures/paintings/precious items
    Wealth vases
    Blessed items like from sand mandalas
    Even consecrated bones/nail/hair of ordinary beings/animals can be placed inside… this would generate great merits for the deceased in their future rebirths. And stupas can come in all sizes from one inch to one story or anything
    Stupas are built to purify karma, sanctify an area, calm an area with many natural disasters, bring good energy/luck to a region, enshrine the remains of holy beings, bless the environment and animals in the region and also they can be built as an act of spiritual devotion to commemorate a special event eg. Buddha’s birthday.

    When the stupas are built, many will make prostrations, offerings of butterlamps and circumambulation around them. It is believed these acts will purify the negative karma associated strongly with the mind also body and speech. Negative karma blocks spiritual realization and higher states of existences.

    You will see stupas in all Buddhist countries in their unique styles.

    Here’s an aerial view of the Bodhanath Stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal…You must visit by hook or crook once in your life..and Nepalese culture is beautiful also…so much to see and learn in Bodha… You can call this the Bodhanath stupa or simply the Bodha stupa. As you fly into the Kathmandu International airport, you will see this amazing stupa through your window…

    The Bodha stupa contains the relics of Lord Buddha. Thousands make worship each day and hundreds of thousands visit per year. I have gone many times. I thought to share this picture with everyone for a blessing.

    Check out the beautiful pictures at http://bit.ly/3546Bzx
  • nicholas
    Thursday, Nov 14. 2019 03:28 PM
    The Baodingshan cave is located 20km northeast of Dazu. The site is about 500m long from west to east in the shape of a hairpin, with about one kilometer total length of sculptures. The carved areas which are between three and 15 meters tall are believed to have been carved under the direction of monk Zhao Zhifeng during the Southern Song Dynasty, between 1179 and 1249 AD. However, Some Daoist images date the carvings to the Qing Dynasty and later.

    These reliefs and sculptures reflect a diverse school of Esoteric Buddhism that highlighted the faction of Liu Benzun (855 – 907), a pious layman of Sichuan province who became venerated for his asceticism and spiritual perfection. The three traditions Huayun, Pure Land and Zen are represented, blended with Confucianism. Shakyamuni’s birth and death, the Wheel of Reincarnation, Hell Punishments, and popular deities are also featured.

    The reliefs are like illustrated sermons in stone, being interspersed with copious quotations from the sutras, which show that the intention of these reliefs is variously devotional, sermonic and in the pursuit of transcendence. As expressed by Zhao’s signature text:

    “Even if one spins a burning hot iron wheel on top of my head,
    No matter how excruciating the pain is,
    I will not relapse from the mind of enlightenment.”

    Many of the reliefs are lively, realistic and of high artistic quality. The reliefs were parables or teaching devices for the common people and elite persons of the time by depicting scenes of ordinary people and situations. For the monks who trained at the site, the reliefs illustrated Zhao’s spiritual doctrine in a concrete and memorable way, and remains so for visitors today.

    The sequence of reliefs effectively amounts to a manual on ultimate liberation. Zhao promotes the Mahayana ideal that everyone can be saved through various means i.e. reflections on Shakyamuni’s life (the Parinirvana and Birth reliefs) and the doctrine of Karma (the Wheel of Reincarnation), encouraging good acts (reliefs of Parental and Filial Kindness), discouraging evil acts (Hell reliefs), promoting various kinds of worship (Huayun, Pure Land, and Esoteric reliefs) and contemplation (Oxherding Parable).

    Check out some featured carvings and statues in Baodingshan caves at http://bit.ly/2qWhswn
  • nicholas
    Thursday, Nov 14. 2019 03:16 PM
    The Mogao Caves of Dunhuang, China has been a treasure house of art, spanning over 1,000 years. In each and every one of its 492 Buddhist cave chapels, you will find floor-to-ceiling paintings and clay sculptures as it was previously used for devotions and meditation. The art inside here covers more than ten major genres, such as architecture, stucco sculpture, wall paintings, silk paintings, calligraphy, woodblock printing, embroidery, literature, music and dance, and popular entertainment. But all these only existed because of one man’s vision.

    The legend is that in 366 AD, a monk named Le Zun looked across the river at dawn and saw a thousand Buddhas appear on the golden cliff face of Mingsha mountain along the old Silk Road. The caves were then built by monks and mostly sponsored by patrons such as wealthy merchants, foreign dignitaries, as well as Chinese emperors.

    But when trade in the Silk Road stopped, Dunhuang was soon forgotten and eventually, the Mogao caves were abandoned. The site however was still a place of pilgrimage and was used as a place of worship by the local people of the 20th century when there was renewed awareness in its presence once more.

    Check out some featured carvings and statues in Mogao Caves at http://bit.ly/2Oh155U
  • nicholas
    Thursday, Nov 14. 2019 02:54 PM
    On the 21 of January 2007, a 5 ft 3in shark was caught in Japanese waters. This may seem quite uninteresting, but the shark that was spotted is one of the very few unique species of shark that have survived without evolving at all.

    Called the frilled shark (because of how it flares its gills), this shark has not changed for a HUNDRED MILLION years. Scientists do not know why it hasn’t evolved, and for a while it was even thought to be extinct. When it was discovered to be extant (i.e. still existing) many people called it the “living fossil”. This is because it is the only species in the shark family that completely avoided evolution!

    We don’t see frilled sharks as regularly as those sharks from the Jaws movie, because the frilled shark can live as far as 5,150 ft below sea level.

    Although they are rarely seen, they have been spotted in certain areas around the world… from northern Norway to France, Morocco, West Africa (where they have the 2nd kind of frilled shark, called the Southern African frilled shark, which only lives in the regions of South-Africa), New Zealand, Hawaii, Chile and other places…

    Check out the video http://bit.ly/33MoS42 shows you the frilled shark that was spotted by a fisherman in Japan.
  • nicholas
    Thursday, Nov 14. 2019 02:45 PM
    In June 2010, Wayne Giroux, a lawn mower shop owner, was in a car accident and was killed by a drunk driver. He had lived in Texas with his son, Paul and dog, Spot, and was 61 when he died…

    Also in June 2010, I had written about a dog in Japan, named Hachiko who taught and still teaches people the meaning of friendship and loyalty. Every day, Hachiko would go to the same spot at the train station to wait for his owner… until one day, his owner died whilst at work and did not return.

    Hachiko still continued going to the same spot every day for the next 9 years! This happened in 1925. 85 years later, the same example of friendship and loyalty can be seen in Spot. For the past few months, Spot still sits on the main road waiting for Wayne to drive back home. Whenever Paul sees him there, he gets saddened because he knows what Spot is doing. He says, “I have no doubt that’s what that dog is waiting for. It breaks my heart every time I go out there.”

    We can teach our dogs to sit, stay, roll over and not to bite on the wires etc… but the dog is clearly better at teaching us about friendship and loyalty…

    Do watch the video at http://bit.ly/34Yz3m9 about the American Hachiko, Spot. It’s very heartbreaking to watch her so lost…

  • nicholas
    Thursday, Nov 14. 2019 02:34 PM
    The awareness of the importance of protecting life and the living environment has been increasing in recent times. However, people still continue to misuse their power, and have selfishly destroyed many species of animals and their habitats. We are definitely destroying ourselves on environmental and karmic levels.

    Limiting one’s selfishness through the spirit of contentment would curb the need to satisfy excessive and unnecessary demands, and thus living in harmony with nature without harming the environment. Lessening our greed towards animal products would have a profound positive impact on our world.

    Check out the animals that are hunted to extinction for meat, sport or due to fear… except for the T-rex! at http://bit.ly/2qUdfJW
  • nicholas
    Thursday, Nov 14. 2019 02:25 PM
    Whenever we think about the octopus, we don’t feel very threatened. We are fascinated by how exotic they are… by their flexibility and their intelligence. If we see them swimming in the ocean, we would probably watch from a distance.

    Whenever we think about a shark, our first reaction is usually fear. We fear for our lives…we fear for ourselves. We may be fascinated but we feel sheer fear. If we were to see them swimming in the ocean, we would watch from a distance BUT unlike looking at an octopus, we fear that the shark may find and attack us.

    Can an soft spineless octopus really kill an aggressive shark?

    Shared by Tsem Rinpoche

    Watch the video at http://bit.ly/34XCidF
  • nicholas
    Thursday, Nov 14. 2019 02:17 PM
    Here is another one of those stories that opens your heart. This is about a cat and a deer’s close companionship. The amazing thing here is the cat accepts the deer and likewise, the deer accepts the cat.

    Grooming is usually how one cat bonds with another cat that it loves. When cats groom each other, it is a sign of great affection. They use this time to bond with each other and show how much they care. Plus, it is relaxing. Being groomed by another cat feels good, like a calming massage.

    I love to see things like this so much!!

    How beautiful it is, that every day these two meet each other in the morning for their bonding session. It is a part of their daily routine.

    Shared by Tsem Rinpoche

    Check out the pictures at http://bit.ly/351bUja
  • nicholas
    Thursday, Nov 14. 2019 02:11 PM
    There is a special relationship that can be forged between man and dog, seen so many times in cases such as “Spot” in America, and “Hachiko” in Japan.

    In Afghanistan today, there are many Military Working Dogs on “duty” to protect and serve, such as by detecting the roadside bombs planted by opposing forces to maim and kill. Where technology fails, canines fill the gap by providing the skill and safety needed in the critical field of bomb detection.

    Termed Military Working Dogs, one such dog is Eli, a black labrador, who stood guard over his partner, Private First Class (Pfc.) Colton Rusk, when he was shot in Afghanistan by a Taliban sniper. Even Marines who rushed to Rusk’s side were initially kept at bay by the snarling Labrador, who had been Rusk’s inseparable companion through training and then deployment to this dangerous place.

    Most Military Working Dogs do not make it back from duty, and when the conflict is over they are euthanized. For Eli though, there is a happy ending. Out of gratitude for his loyalty to their son, Darell and Kathy Rusk, Pfc. Rusk’s parents, with the support of Marine brass arranged to adopt Eli and take him to their ranch in Orange Grove, Texas, near Corpus Chirsti.

    This story reminds me of my Mumu, who protects my assistants while they sleep. Mumu is not a fierce dog, but while Monlam or Kb are sleeping, he watches over them. While they are sleeping, never shake or push Monlam or KB when Mumu is nearby. He will growl and bark if he thinks you are trying to hurt them. Mumu is a very sensitive and smart, I love my Mumu.

    Watch the clip on YouTube where Eli is adopted by Pfc. Colton Rusk’s family at http://bit.ly/2NJxAu8

    Shared by Tsem Rinpoche
  • nicholas
    Thursday, Nov 14. 2019 02:04 PM
    Fact: About 4 pigs are slaughtered every second in the USA.

    Fact: In Malaysia, the pig population numbers up to 1.8 million.

    What do these numbers indicate?

    It means many animals are SUFFERING. It means many animals are being slaughtered. And it means even more animals are about to be slaughtered.

    Watch the two videos at http://bit.ly/352IiSe, recorded in a pig farm in the Philippines. Pigs are highly intelligent animals, even more so than dogs and certainly even more than any 3 year old child. It is extremely sad to watch these animals suffer such a horrible death…
  • Teoh
    Thursday, Nov 14. 2019 12:55 PM
    According to Buddhist belief, we can take rebirth in the animal realms. Therefore, it is possible that we were an animal in our previous life. If we look at some people, their behaviours are very animal-like, this might be an indication that they were an animal in their previous life and they bring these behaviours with them into this life.

    This is a proof that while we cannot bring the wealth we have accumulated with us when we die but we will bring our karmas, our habits with us when we die. Since this is the case, we shoould get rid of our bad habituation while we can and cultivate good qualities to create the cause to take rebirth in a better place.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/do-animals-reincarnate-back-as-humans.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Nov 14. 2019 11:55 AM
    Thank you Pastor Jean Ai for this beautiful , heartfelt sharing. Rinpoche’s love for Oser is unconditional. The thought of Oser dog is the only thing on earth that loves Rinpoche more than Oser love herself. Animals have come to mean so much in our lives. In our eyes, dogs always win as the sweetest, cutest, and most lovable pets we have. Well from what I read from the post Oser hold a special place in Rinpoche’s heart and well taken care of, having all the love, care.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/growing-up-with-rinpoche-it-was-from-this-view
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Nov 14. 2019 11:54 AM
    Thank you Pastor David for sharing the simplicity of Rinpoche’s room which I am sure many of us would like to know more. Rinpoche had choose to live an abundant life through self- simplicity. Rinpoche cares for others more than himself and always lightens the burdens of another. Rinpoche ‘s kindness and compassion will transform someone’s dark moment with a blaze of light. Rinpoche will not waste a minute in his life, bringing benefits to those around him and others. Whatever Rinpoche did was never for himself.
    Recently when I was at the DA I saw those large collections of English Dharma books of Rinpoche. Amazing collections…..from books shelves, gifts shelves, to Rinpoche’s two Schnauzers shelves which is full of snacks and toys.
    From what I read in this post tells all how facilitate Rinpoche’s room is.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/tales-with-my-lama-a-snapshot-of-rinpoches-room

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

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

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

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

www.tsemrinpoche.com
7 months ago
We have to look in and change from within to find the way out of all that makes us unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche http://www.tsemrinpoche.com
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Ask the Pastors

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

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

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CHAT PICTURES

Owen Liew offered incense to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas on behalf of KISG. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 days ago
Owen Liew offered incense to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas on behalf of KISG. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Steve from Ipoh offered lights to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas prior to our weekly Dorje Shugden puja. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 days ago
Steve from Ipoh offered lights to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas prior to our weekly Dorje Shugden puja. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
KISG has completed our weekly Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 days ago
KISG has completed our weekly Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Throwback - Parent and children stayed together to do breathing meditation ~ 2018 Pilgrimage cum Camp, Kechara Forest Retreat. Alice, KSDS
2 days ago
Throwback - Parent and children stayed together to do breathing meditation ~ 2018 Pilgrimage cum Camp, Kechara Forest Retreat. Alice, KSDS
Throwback - KSDS parent and student visited Kechara Forest Retreat ~ Wesak Day for virtuous deeds and have fun together. Alice, KSDS
2 days ago
Throwback - KSDS parent and student visited Kechara Forest Retreat ~ Wesak Day for virtuous deeds and have fun together. Alice, KSDS
Wonderful to see these 2 siblings learn dharma together and pray to Manjushri before the class start. Alice, KSDS
2 days ago
Wonderful to see these 2 siblings learn dharma together and pray to Manjushri before the class start. Alice, KSDS
The youngest in the class of only 3 years ago learned how to do full lotus pose for breathing meditation session. Alice, KSDS
2 days ago
The youngest in the class of only 3 years ago learned how to do full lotus pose for breathing meditation session. Alice, KSDS
The youngest group of KSDS are very helpful in arranging the seats before the class. Alice, KSDS
2 days ago
The youngest group of KSDS are very helpful in arranging the seats before the class. Alice, KSDS
Kechara Ipoh Study Group carried out Mother Tara's prayer recitations on Sunday morning. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
1 week ago
Kechara Ipoh Study Group carried out Mother Tara's prayer recitations on Sunday morning. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Throwback- Group work activities during camp. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Throwback- Group work activities during camp. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback- Ice breaking session. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Throwback- Ice breaking session. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback - Decorating Kechara Oasis, artwork dedication from Sunday class kids. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Throwback - Decorating Kechara Oasis, artwork dedication from Sunday class kids. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback- Chinese New Year activity during dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Throwback- Chinese New Year activity during dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback- WOAH Camp 2017 , Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Throwback- WOAH Camp 2017 , Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback - KSDS camp in KFR, Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Throwback - KSDS camp in KFR, Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Grace led the teenage class on a blog chat article. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Teacher Grace led the teenage class on a blog chat article. Lin Mun KSDS
Students and teachers were so excited with the performance hat. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Students and teachers were so excited with the performance hat. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Asyley and teacher Alice shared the biography of HE Tsem Tulku Rinpoche to student. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Teacher Asyley and teacher Alice shared the biography of HE Tsem Tulku Rinpoche to student. Lin Mun KSDS
Class age 10-12 is lead by teacher Jayce. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Class age 10-12 is lead by teacher Jayce. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Kien is teacher for class age 7-9 years old. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Teacher Kien is teacher for class age 7-9 years old. Lin Mun KSDS
Glad to have Chef Anis and Iswan for joining us last night for the food distribution :) ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
3 weeks ago
Glad to have Chef Anis and Iswan for joining us last night for the food distribution :) ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
The generous support from sponsors and volunteers have made it possible for us to continue with this contribution to those less fortunate. Thanks to Add Hope Malaysia and students from First City University College! #Kechara #foodbank #hungerknowsnobarriers #volunteer ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
3 weeks ago
The generous support from sponsors and volunteers have made it possible for us to continue with this contribution to those less fortunate. Thanks to Add Hope Malaysia and students from First City University College! #Kechara #foodbank #hungerknowsnobarriers #volunteer ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thank you very much to Rasa Sayang AEON Club team for assisting us with surplus food collection and also distribution last Saturday. ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
3 weeks ago
Thank you very much to Rasa Sayang AEON Club team for assisting us with surplus food collection and also distribution last Saturday. ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thankful to James and Jien Howe for conducting the safety briefing to the new volunteers last night. ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
4 weeks ago
Thankful to James and Jien Howe for conducting the safety briefing to the new volunteers last night. ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Special thanks to Calvin who came as early as 12.30 p.m. He helped us to spring-clean the chapel before today's events; Bird Liberation and Dorje Shugden puja @ KPSG, Jacinta
4 weeks ago
Special thanks to Calvin who came as early as 12.30 p.m. He helped us to spring-clean the chapel before today's events; Bird Liberation and Dorje Shugden puja @ KPSG, Jacinta
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Dorje Shugden
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