Rumi: The Legendary Sufi Poet

Jun 18, 2018 | Views: 3,389

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Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi, or Rumi for short, was a 13th century Sufi mystic, Islamic scholar, and poet. Considered one of the greatest poetic geniuses and spiritual masters of all time, Rumi was an independent spirit with a unique personality whose influence transcends time, race, background, social class and religion. His universal appeal lies in his message of courage as well as his refusal to follow outdated dogmatic thinking, conform to norms and cultural taboos, or subscribe to the slave mentality.

More than 800 years after his death, Rumi is more popular than ever. His life story, teachings, and writings continue to inspire many to find courage within themselves and to walk the path of spirituality. His writings have been translated into many languages and have sold millions of copies around the world. In fact, a 2014 BBC article named him the best-selling poet in the United States.

Rumi is popularly known as Mowlana (“Our Master”) in the Persian world, Mawlana in Afghanistan, Mevlana in Turkey, and Molavi in Iran.

 

Early Life

An artist illustration of Rumi’s father, Baha al-Din Walad.

An artist’s illustration of Rumi’s father, Baha al-Din Walad.

Rumi entered the world on 30th September 1207, in the Balkh Province in the eastern part of the former Persian Empire or present-day Afghanistan. His father was Baha al-Din Walad, a respected and prominent Islamic theologian and teacher who was also known as the “Sultan al-Ulama” or the “Sultan of Scholars.” His mother was Mo’mina Khatun, a relative of the ruler of the Khorasan Province, also in the eastern Persian Empire. As a child, Rumi displayed virtues that compelled his father to call him Maulana (“Our Master”).

Political turbulence coloured Rumi’s early life. In 1218, when Rumi was 11 years old, Baha al-Din Walad left Balkh with his family and a group of devoted students due to a dispute with the local ruler and to avoid the Mongolian invasion (1215-1220). The group travelled over 2,000 miles westward before they eventually settled in the city of Konya in present-day Turkey.

Farid al-Din Attar

Farid al-Din Attar

During this journey, Baha al-Din Walad passed by the city of Nishapur in Iran and met a mystical poet from Persia by the name of Farid al-Din Attar. According to some accounts, Attar recognised Rumi’s spiritual potential and gave him a book titled “Ilahinama” (The Book of God). Attar had a profound impact on Rumi and would go on to influence his future work.

Baha al-Din Walad and his travelling companions also went on a pilgrimage to the Muslim holy city of Mecca. The family also travelled through the prosperous Anatolia region, which was then under the reign of the Turkish Seljug Dynasty. They stayed in the town of Laranda (Karaman) for seven years. It was in Laranda that Rumi experienced the first tragedies of his life when his beloved mother and brother passed away.

The ruins of Rumi’s family house in Balkh Province, the present-day Afghanistan.

The ruins of Rumi’s family home in the Balkh Province, present-day Afghanistan.

In 1225, Rumi married his first wife, Gowahar Khatun, and the couple had two sons, Sultan Walad and Ala-Eddin Chalabi. After the death of his first wife, Rumi married a widow named Kerrâ Khâtun and bore another son, Amir Alim Chalabi, and a daughter, Malakeh Khatun.

When Rumi and his family finally settled in Konya in 1228, his father assumed the position of head of a madrasah (Muslim religious school) until his death in 1231. Although Rumi was only 24 years old at the time of his father’s passing, he was already well-known for his mastery of Islamic law, Arabic grammar, the meaning of the Quran (Islamic holy scripture), and astronomy.

 

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The Brilliant Scholar and Teacher

Rumi teaching his disciples about the story of Seth

Rumi teaching his disciples about the story of Seth. Click to enlarge.

Rumi succeeded his father by taking on his previous role as a respected scholar and teacher of Hanafi rites as well as heading the madrasah. His students came from various trade backgrounds and included hat makers, tailors, carpenters, bookbinders, grocers, weavers, masons and artisans.

For the next nine years, Rumi continued to receive training on Sharia (the Islamic way) from Burhan al-Din Muhaqqiq, one of his late father’s disciples. Muhaqqiq trained Rumi in Sharia and Tariqa and had a significant influence on Rumi’s spiritual formation until his death in either 1240 or 1241.

After his teacher’s passing, Rumi began his public life. By then, he was already a Sheikh in his own right — an individual who, in Sufism, is qualified to teach, initiate, and guide others in the Islamic way. He became known as an excellent teacher to his disciples and an Islamic jurist who had the authority to issue fatwas (Islamic law points) and preach in mosques.

According to Professor Alan Williams, Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Religion at the University of Manchester:

“Rumi is both a poet and a mystic, but he is a teacher first, trying to communicate what he knows to his audience. Like all good teachers, he trusts that ultimately, when the means to go any further fail him and his voice falls silent, his students will have learnt to understand on their own.”

Source: poets.org

Over the years, Rumi achieved a position of prominence and high prestige in Konya. He also continued to work on enriching his knowledge. It is said that he travelled to Damascus in Syria on at least two occasions to study law and religion intensively. While in Syria, Rumi developed contacts with the Syrian Sufi circle. He may have also met with Ibn al-Arabi, a prominent Islamic theosophist. Ibn al-Arabi’s stepson was Rumi’s friend in Konya.

 

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The Respected Community Member

Rumi was a respected member of Konya’s society. As a beloved and renowned religious figure of the kingdom, the people of Konya looked up to him. Many spiritual seekers sought his guidance and benefited from his profound knowledge. His charisma, wit, charm and spirit drew many to him regardless of social background; high government officials, prominent personalities, Christians monks as well as Jews were comfortable with him and were known to seek out his company.
 Based on various letters written by Rumi which were preserved by his eldest son, Sultan Walad, Rumi also involved himself in solving community disputes and facilitating loans.

The image of Rumi in 5000 Turkish lira

Rumi’s image is on Turkey’s 5,000 lira note

 

The Sufi Philosopher

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Rumi was closely identified with Sufism and was considered “the supreme genius of Islamic mysticism.” Sufism is a sect within Islam where devotees aspire towards a mystical union with God. His explanations and commentaries on the Quran penetrated the minds of his many followers, and he was particularly brilliant at propagating Sufi philosophy with an emphasis on communion with the God Almighty, Allah.

Just like his predecessors, Sana’i and Attar, Rumi shared a passion for removing corruption from religious institutions and practices. His mind was free from sectarianism and narrow-mindedness, and he always encouraged his disciples to practice inter-faith tolerance:

“The Light of Muhammad does not abandon a Zoroastrian or Jew in the world. May the shade of his good fortune shine upon everyone! He brings all of those who are led astray into the Way out of the desert.”

Source: Wikipedia

 

The Great Poet

During his lifetime, Rumi’s poetic potential was enhanced by his relationship with several key personalities.

 

The Influence of Shams-e Tabriz

Shams-e Tabriz was a wandering mystic and renowned teacher of Islam who had taken a vow of poverty. Before meeting Rumi, Shams was wandering the Middle East when he suddenly heard a voice asking him what he would give in return for a friend. To this question, Shams responded that he would give his head. Shams then heard the voice in his head say,

“The one you seek is Jalal ud-Din of Konya.”

Shams-e Tabriz

Shams-e Tabriz

Rumi’s life changed dramatically after he met Shams-e Tabriz on 15th November 1244. When they first met, Rumi was in his late 30s and Shams was in his early 60s. Rumi was attracted to Sham’s personality and his unorthodox way of teaching. Soon, Shams became Rumi’s mentor and began to unlock Rumi’s immense poetic potential.

According to one account, when Rumi and Shams first met, Shams threw Rumi’s precious books, including his beloved father’s spiritual diary, into a fountain. Rumi immediately rushed to save his books and was surprised to discover that the books were dry and undamaged. When Rumi demanded an explanation, Shams replied,

“Something you would not understand.”

Another account tells of an occasion when Shams asked Rumi why he regarded studying from books as important. Rumi responded, “To know the religious laws and precepts.” Shams then shared his opinion that the methods Rumi employed were superficial. He said,

“You must now live what you have been reading about.”

Shams’ influence was so great that Rumi revisited and re-explored his concept of wisdom and love. Rumi was convinced that his real life and his real poetry began when he met Shams. In fact, he is known to have said,

“What I had thought of before as God, I met today in a human being.”

Shams’ influence and close relationship with Rumi made Rumi’s disciples uncomfortable. Their suspicions and unease grew to the point that they decided to remove Shams from Rumi’s life. As a result, Shams had to flee Konya to save his own life. When Rumi lost his mentor and friend, he was inconsolable. He went on to write many poems about separation and longing.

Sultan Walad

Sultan Walad

Rumi launched a search effort to look for Shams and even offered a reward to anyone who could provide information about his friend’s whereabouts. At this point, those within Rumi’s circle decided that Rumi’s health and spirit were more important than their dislike for Shams. Rumi’s eldest son, Sultan Walad, eventually discovered that Shams was in Damascus and informed his father accordingly.

Rumi then sent Sultan Walad to Damascus with many gifts. When Sultan Walad met with Shams, he bent his knee and begged Shams to return to Konya. Sultan Walad also cleverly mentioned that the gifts were not only from his father, but also from the people of Konya.

A copy of Diwan-e Shams-e Tabriz-i from 1503

A copy of the Diwan-e Shams-e Tabriz-i from 1503. Click to enlarge.

When Shams returned to Konya, Rumi offered him the hand of Kimia Khatun in marriage. She was his beautiful stepdaughter from his second wife’s previous marriage. Unfortunately, Shams was known for his hot temper and abrasive personality that often caused friction with those who were close to Rumi. He was also known to be a strict husband who would not hesitate to punish his wife for the slightest transgression. The fact that Kimia passed away several months after their wedding did not help matters.

On the fateful night of 5th December 1248, Rumi and Shams were engaged in a discussion when Shams went out through the back door to answer a call. He was never seen again. It is said that Shams was murdered by one of Rumi’s sons who was angered by the death of Kimia.

After Sham’s second disappearance, Rumi at first refused to accept the possibility that his friend was most likely dead. As stated in the following poem:

“Who says that the immortal one has died?
Who says that the “sun” of hope has died?
Look, it is the enemy of the “sun” who has come to the rooftops,
Closing both eyes shut, crying out, “O, the ‘sun’ has died.”

(“Shams” means “the sun”. Rumi routinely played on this association throughout his work in his first collection, “Divan-e Shams”.)

Source: rumi.net

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Rumi waited for news of Shams. When none came after 40 days, he put on a black robe and proclaimed Shams dead. From that day onwards, Rumi wore black for the rest of his life. He channelled his grief into his passion for writing and produced over 40,000 lyrical verses that included eulogies, odes, quatrains, and other forms of Eastern-Islamic poetry. Rumi was determined to immortalise Shams so he named this collection of writings “Divan-e Shams-e Tabrizi” (“The Works of Shams Tabriz”). Divan-e Shams-e Tabrizi is regarded as one of Rumi’s masterpieces and one of the greatest works in Persian literature. Centuries later, Coleman Barks, an American poet, wrote an introduction to the English translation of Divan-e Shams-e Tabrizi:

“Rumi is one of the great souls, and one of the great spiritual teachers. He shows us our glory. He wants us to be more alive, to wake up… He wants us to see our beauty, in the mirror and in each other.” ~ Coleman Barks

Today, Islamic scholars regard the close relationship between Shams and Rumi as a model of:

“[the] Sufi call to open one’s heart to another human, in order to open one’s heart to God”

Source: khamush.com

 

The Influence of Salah al-Din Zarkub and Husam al-Din Chelebi

Rumi and his beloved disciple Husam al-Din Chelebi in the garden

Rumi and his beloved disciple Husam al-Din Chelebi in the garden. Click to enlarge.

Several years after Shams’ presumed death, Rumi met two other persons to whom he opened his heart and developed special relationships. The first was an illiterate goldsmith from the merchant class by the name of Salah al-Din Zarkub. According to one account, Rumi was visiting a bazaar in Konya when he heard the sound of a hammer in front of Salah al-Din Zarkub’s shop. The rhythmic sound inspired him to dance.

Learning from his relationship with Shams and how his disciples were opposed to him forging a close relationship with a person from a different social class, Rumi formalised his association with Zarkub by marrying his eldest son, Sultan Walad, to Zarkub’s daughter. Just like with Shams, Rumi’s love for and close association with Zarkub inspired him to write beautiful lines of poetry.

After Zarkub’s death, Rumi developed another close relationship with one of his disciples and scribes, Husam al-Din Chelebi. Husam encouraged Rumi’s passion for writing. One day, while visiting the Meram vineyards outside Konya, Husam advised Rumi to look into the works of the legendary Persian poets, Sana’i and Attar, who had written mystical teachings in the form of poems mixed with fables, anecdotes, stories, allegories and proverbs. These works were famous among Sufi mystics. Husam said:

“If you were to write a book like the ‘Ilahinama’ of Sanai or the ‘Mantiq ut-Tayr’ of Attar, it would become the companion of many troubadours. They would fill their hearts from your work and compose music to accompany it.”

Source: Wikipedia

In response, Rumi immediately wrote the opening lines of what would become “Masnavi”, his greatest work. The lines begin with:

“Listen to the reed and the tale it tells,
how it sings of separation…”
Source: Wikipedia

Rumi regarded both Zarkub and Husam as manifestations of the late Shams whom Rumi referred to as “the all-embracing light.” Rumi even called Husam “Diya al-Haqq” or “Light of the Truth.”

“Masnavi” manuscript from 1461

Masnavi manuscript from 1461

Rumi worked on his masterpiece Masnavi for the next 12 years. It is said that during the process, Rumi would recite the verses spontaneously no matter where he was. Husam, his devoted disciple and companion, would then write these verses down.

Masnavi consists of six volumes of poetry with Tauhid, or Oneness of God, as its central idea. It reflects various aspects of spiritual life in 13th century Sufism, which includes ordinary daily events and revelations of the Quran.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, “Masnavi” is exceptional in that:

“[it] often carries the reader away with the loose associations of thought, so that one understands what subjects the master had in mind at a particular stage of his life.”

Rumi believed in the use of artistry such as songs, dance, and poetry as methods to reach God. Rumi also described the experience of love in Masnavi, saying:

“The lover’s cause is separate from all other causes. 
Love is the astrolabe of God’s mysteries.”

Source: famousauthors.org

 

Writing and Poetic Style

Manuscript illumination of “Masnavi” from 1295-96. The manuscript is currently secured in the British Museum.

Manuscript illustration of Masnavi from 1295-96. It is currently secured in the British Museum. Click to enlarge.

Rumi’s evocative writings visited diverse topics and are characterised by expression, philosophy, and mysticism. He wrote about his yearning for freedom from hypocrisy and his distaste for fear-based religious orders which he regarded as poison. He also envisioned a life that was free from fear, shame, and guilt.

Rumi was a genius because he could write in a manner that could be understood by everyone regardless of generation, culture, faith, race, gender, and time. Even today, Rumi’s poems are quoted and recited in synagogues, churches, Zen monasteries, and in secular dramas and musicals around the world. His poems have been translated into German, English, Russian, Urdu, Turkish, Arabic, French, Bengali, Italian, Chinese, and Spanish.

Although Rumi mostly wrote in the Persian language, he also expressed his thoughts in Greek, Arabic, and Turkish. To read and understand Rumi’s writings in their original language would require an understanding of the Quran and Islamic prophetic traditions as well as fluency in the modern Persian language.

Rumi’s poetry is divided into several categories:

  • The six books of “Masnavi”
  • Odes (ghazal) of the Divan
  • The quatrains

Rumi’s prose is divided into:

  • The Seven Sermons
  • The Letters
  • The Discourses

 

Major Works

 

Matnawiye Ma’nawi

“Matnawiye Ma’nawi” (Spiritual Couplets; مثنوی معنوی) or Masnavi consists of six volumes of poetry. Some Sufis consider Masnavi to be the Persian Quran and it is often considered to be on par with the greatest works of mystical poetry.

 

Diwan-e Shams-e Tabrizi

“Diwan-e Shams-e Tabrizi” (The Works of Shams of Tabriz; دیوان شمس تبریزی) was named after Rumi’s master and close companion. It consists of:

  • Persian: 2,000 quatrains and 35,000 couplets
  • Arabic: 90 ghazals and 19 quatrains
  • Greek: 14 couplets
  • Turkish: Several dozen couplets

 

Fihi Ma Fihi

“Fihi Ma Fihi” (In it What’s in It; Persian: فیه ما فیه) contains 71 lectures and talks that were given by Rumi to his disciples. This compilation of notes from his disciples was written in colloquial style with the middle-class as its target audience. Fihi Ma Fihi did not feature the sophisticated use of words that characterised Rumi’s other writings.

 

Majales-e Sab’a

“Majales-e Sab’a” (Seven Sessions; Persian: مجالس سبعه) contains a collection of seven sermons delivered by Rumi. Although the language used in these sermons was relatively simple compared to Rumi’s other works, it contains information that highlights Rumi’s superior knowledge in the Islamic sciences. The style of language Rumi employed here is similar to lectures given by other spiritual teachers of Sufism.

 

Makatib

“Makatib” (The Letters; Persian: مکاتیب) is a compilation of Rumi’s letters to his family members, statesmen, prominent personalities, and various disciples. These letters were written in Persian and provide insight into how Rumi managed his disciples and assisted his relatives. The language used in these letters is rather sophisticated, and is typical of that used by statesmen, rulers, and nobles of the time.

 

Whirling Dervishes

“For Rumi, music helped devotees to focus their whole being on the divine and to do this so intensely that the soul was both destroyed and resurrected.”

Source: Wikipedia

From this belief, Rumi developed the practice of Whirling Dervishes, a twirling dance, as a sacred ritual. He encouraged his disciples to listen to music and perform the sacred dance. He also promoted Whirling Dervishes as a ritual by performing this sacred dance himself in the marketplace as well as at his friend’s funeral, to the surprise of many.

Rumi dancing in front of his three disciples

Rumi dancing in the presence of his disciples. Click to enlarge.

The Mevlevi tradition was established by Sultan Walad based on Rumi’s teachings after Rumi’s death. It presents Sama (whirling) as “a mystical journey of spiritual ascent through mind and love to the Perfect One”. The act of dancing and the unique musical tones that embody Eastern classical music aim to help devotees focus on the love of God. The Sama ceremony consists of three stages:

  • Knowing God
  • Seeing God
  • Uniting with God

While the music is playing, the dancers turn around effortlessly on their own axes. Their right hands are turned upwards in the gesture of receiving blessings of abundance and mercy from God Almighty, while their left hands are turned downward.

The beautiful tones produced by reed flutes, small kettledrums, and cymbals serve as the perfect companion to the compositions of great Sufi poets such as Rumi. It is said that,

“Dervish music cannot be written in notes. Notes do not include the soul of the dervish, they are only to remember the music.”

Source: The Whirling Dervishes: Being an Account of the Sufi Order known as the Mevlevis and its founder the poet and mystic Mevlana Jalalu’ddin Rumi by Shems Friedlander and Nezih Uzel, State University of New York Press, 1992. p. 134

The definition of sama as stated in the Diwan e-Kabir:

“What is sama? A message from the fairy, hidden in your heart;
with their letter comes serenity to the estranged heart.
The tree of wisdom comes to bloom with this breeze;
The inner pores of existence open to this tune.
When the spiritual rooster crows, the dawn arrives;
When Mars beats his drum victory is ours.
The essence of the soul was fighting the barrel of the body;
When it hears the sound of the daf [drum] it matures and calms down.
A wondrous sweetness is sensed in the body;
It is the sugar that the flute and the flute-player bring to the listener.”

Source: Divan-e Kebir, 1734:1-5 Translated by Fatemeh Keshavarz, Reading Mystical Lyric: The Case of Jalaluddin Rumi

The tradition of the Whirling Dervishes dance has survived the passage of time. Today, this sacred dance serves both religious and secular purposes. American author and television host, Annabelle Gurwitch, also promoted the Sufi whirling dance as a way to relieve stress.

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The practice of Whirling Dervishes has made it into the Guinness World Records:

  • In 2012, Shafik Ibrahim Abd El Hamed won the male category for the “most Sufi whirls in one hour” with 2,905 rotations.
  • In 2015, Nicole McLaren won the female category for the “most Sufi whirls in one hour” with 3,552 rotations.
  • In 2011, an event in Taiwan set the record for the highest number of people whirling simultaneously with 755 participants.

 

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Later Life and Death

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The 66-year-old Rumi fell ill in December 1273. Sensing that he was near the end of his life, Rumi composed the following verse:

“How doest thou know
what sort of king I have
within me as companion?
Do not cast thy glance
upon my golden face,
for I have iron legs.”

Source: balkh.com

On 17th December 1273, Rumi passed away. His remains were interred beside his father’s tomb in Konya. It is said that a vast crowd of his followers from various nationalities and faiths attended his funeral.

Rumi’s powerful patron, the Georgian princess Gurcu Hatun (1237-1286), sponsored the construction of the Green Dome (Yesil Türbe) as a grand mausoleum for Rumi. His epitaph is a testament to his influence and enduring appeal:

“When we are dead, seek not our tomb in the earth,
 but find it in the hearts of men.
”
Source: famousauthors.org

Today, the 13th century tomb is known as the Mevlana Mausoleum. The complex comprises of a mosque, a dervish living quarters, a dance hall, a school, and the tombs of some prominent leaders of the Mevlevi tradition. It is a popular pilgrimage destination for those who wish to pay homage to the memory of this great spiritual master.

Mevlana Mausoleum

Mevlana Mausoleum

The tomb of Rumi

The tomb of Rumi

 

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Legacy

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There is something almost magical about Rumi’s work and life story. According to a leading scholar of Rumi from the University of Pennsylvania, Professor Majid M. Naini:

“Rumi’s life and transformation provide true testimony and proof that people of all religions and backgrounds can live together in peace and harmony. Rumi’s visions, words, and life teach us how to reach inner peace and happiness so we can finally stop the continual stream of hostility and hatred and achieve true global peace and harmony.”

Source: Naini

Rumi giving sermon to his disciples

Rumi giving a sermon to his disciples. Click to enlarge.

Rumi was succeeded by his close companion, Husam al-Din. Upon Husam’s death, he was succeeded by Rumi’s eldest son, Sultan Walad, who went on to establish the Mevlevi Order based on his father’s teachings and philosophy. Today, the Mevlevi Order continues to be famous for its ritual dance, the Whirling Dervishes.

During his lifetime, Sultan Walad wrote a poetic account of his beloved father that is now considered to be the most significant authority on Rumi’s spiritual development. In the 14th century, a scholar by the name of Shams ud-Din Ahmad Aflaki wrote a hagiographical account of Rumi that contained both facts and legends of the famous poet. This account is also considered an important source of information on Rumi’s life.

Mevlana monument at Buca Izmir, Turkey.

Mevlana monument at Buca Izmir, Turkey.

Centuries after his death, Rumi continues to fascinate and inspire. Events, medals, and even the design of world currencies have been associated with him. Prominent authors compose tomes about his life and artists continue to find inspiration in his writings:

  • Rumi’s poems are considered the basis of classical Afghan and Iranian music.
  • Sharam Shiva, an award-winning translator and performance poet, made Rumi the main subject of his works. Shiva also played an important role in promoting Rumi’s legacy in English-speaking countries and was awarded the Benjamin Franklin Award for his book on Rumi, “Rending the Veil: Literal and Poetic Translations of Rumi.”
  • Rumi is considered the best-selling poet in the United States. Books on Rumi have sold millions of copies in America alone.
  • Famous contemporary Hollywood personalities such as Madonna, Philip Glass, Goldie Hawn, and Demi Moore have delivered performances based on Rumi’s love poems.
  • Rumi Gate, a famous landmark in northern India, is named after the famous poet.
  • 5000 Turkish Lira banknotes, which were circulated between 1981 and 1994, carried a depiction of the Mevlana Mausoleum.
  • Rumi’s poetry can be found on the walls of many Iranian cities.
  • In 2005, UNESCO declared the Mevlevi Sama Ceremony as “one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”.
  • In 2007, UNESCO launched a medal in Rumi’s name to encourage those who are engaged in the research and promotion of Rumi’s ideas and ideals. It also commemorated the 800th anniversary of Rumi’s birth.
  • On 30th September 2007, school bells across Iran were rung to honour Rumi’s 800th birthday.
  • On the same day, Turkey held a huge Whirling Dervish ritual performance which was broadcast in eight countries to commemorate Rumi’s 800th birthday.
Rumi Gate, a famous landmark in the Northern India

Rumi Gate, a famous landmark in Northern India.

 

Recommended Reading (Free Download)

The Persian Mystics (click to download PDF)

The Persian Mystics (click to download PDF)

The Life and Teachings of Jalal al-Din Rumi (click to download PDF)

The Life and Teachings of Jalal-ud-din Rumi (click to download PDF)

The Life and Work of Jalal ad-Din Rumi (click to download PDF)

The Life and Work of Jalal-ud-din Rumi (click to download PDF)

Masnavi (click to download PDF)

Masnavi: Teachings of Rumi (click to download PDF)

The Sufi Path of Love (click to download PDF)

The Sufi Path of Love (click to download PDF)

Rumi and the Hermeneutics of Eroticism (click to download PDF)

Rumi and the Hermeneutics of Eroticism (click to download PDF)

Fihi Ma Fihi (click to download PDF).

Fihi Ma Fihi (click to download PDF)

Selected Poems (click to download PDF)

Selected Poems (click to download PDF)

Short Rumi Poems (click to download PDF)

400 Short Rumi Poems (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:

  • ‘Rumi,’ Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, 5 June 2018, [website], https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumi (accessed 6 June 2018)
  • ‘Sufi Whirling,’ Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, 18 March 2018, [website], https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sufi_whirling (accessed 6 June 2018)
  • ‘Sultan Walad,’ Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, 23 November 2017, [website], https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sultan_Walad (accessed 6 June 2018)
  • ‘Mevlevi Order,’ Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, 26 May 2018, [website], https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mevlevi_Order (accessed 6 June 2018)
  • ‘Rumi biography,’ TheFamousPeople.com, 14 September 2017, [website], https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/rumi-20.php (accessed 6 June 2018)
  • ‘Rumi,’ FamousAuthor.org, 2012, [website], https://www.famousauthors.org/rumi (accessed 6 June 2018)
  • ‘Jalal al-Din Rumi,’ poets.org, [website], https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/jalal-al-din-rumi (accessed 6 June 2018)
  • ‘Rumi: Sufi Mystic and Poet,’ Encyclopaedia Britannica, 24 May 2018, [website], https://www.britannica.com/biography/Rumi (accessed 6 June 2018)
  • ‘Rumi’s Untold Story,’ Rumi.net, [website], http://www.rumi.net/about_rumi_main.htm (accessed 6 June 2018)
  • Ali, Rozina, ‘The Erasure of Islam from the Poetry of Rumi,’ The New Yorker, 5 January 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-erasure-of-islam-from-the-poetry-of-rumi (accessed 6 June 2018)
  • Ciabattari, Jane, “Why is Rumi the best-selling poet in the US?” bbc.com, 21 October 2014, [website], http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20140414-americas-best-selling-poet (accessed 6 June 2018)
  • Moaveni, Azadeh, ‘How Did Rumi Become One of Our Best-Selling Poets?’ The New York Times, 20 January 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/20/books/review/rumi-brad-gooch.html (accessed 6 June 2018)
  • Gander, Kashmira, ‘Who is Rumi? The Fascinating Story of the Medieval Poet Leonardo DiCaprio is Tipped to Play,’ Independent, 27 June 2016, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/rumi-poet-who-is-he-poems-leonardo-dicaprio-film-persian-medieval-a7106216.html (accessed 6 June 2018)
  • Wines, Leslie, ‘The Poet of Love and Tumult,’ khamush.com, http://www.khamush.com/bio.htm (accessed 6 June 2018)
  • ‘Life of Rumi,’ rumi.org, [website], http://www.rumi.org.uk/life.html (accessed 6 June 2018)
  • ‘Rumi biography,’ Age-of-the-Sage.org, [website], http://www.age-of-the-sage.org/sources/rumi_biography.html (accessed 6 June 2018)
  • ‘Rumi: The Life and Teaching of Rumi,’ onelittleangel.com, http://www.onelittleangel.com/wisdom/quotes/rumi.asp (accessed 6 June 2018)
  • ‘Rumi (1207-1273)’ ThePoetRumi.weebly.com, https://thepoetrumi.weebly.com/biography.html (accessed 6 June 2018)

 

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13 Responses to Rumi: The Legendary Sufi Poet

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  1. Wai Meng Wan on Aug 8, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    Rumi’s poems are very uplifting, the beauty and the creativity of his mind shines through all his poems. The poems more often than not has a theme of love in it, it is often has a deeper meaning to it, but I do find it difficult to understand the deeper meaning, so I just enjoy the the beauty of the language used by Rumi.

  2. cc on Aug 4, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing.???
    Serving people = serving God and be united with God.
    He treat everyone with respect and being a role model and spread love,peace and harmony to everyone with is similar to Buddhism and Christianity.

    In fact, all religious are the same. No boundaries.
    There will be peace harmony if human stop discrimination and label people by skin colour , religion, sectors and etc.

    “Rumi’s life and transformation provide true testimony and proof that people of all religions and backgrounds can live together in peace and harmony. Rumi’s visions, words, and life teach us how to reach inner peace and happiness so we can finally stop the continual stream of hostility and hatred and achieve true global peace and harmony.”

    The message of Love???

  3. Pastor Adeline on Jul 28, 2018 at 4:29 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

  4. Joy Kam on Jul 26, 2018 at 2:32 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

  5. Stella Cheang on Jun 29, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    Wisdom and truth transcend race, religion, creed, time and space. The wise words of Rumi are the source of motivation and inspirations to many people for centuries. Rumi made an art out of the spiritual journey of seeking love and truth through union with God. May his guiding words continue to be the beam of light for all who seek, like his quote “The garden of the world has no limits, except in your mind.” Rumi

    Thank you for this wonderful sharing.

  6. Samfoonheei on Jun 19, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, a Persian poet and Sufi master born 807 years ago yet his popularity remains till today. He was the most popular poet in the US and even globally. Amazing…. his poet have been widely translated into various languages in the world in various forms. It is recited, chanted, set to music and used as inspiration for novels, poems , music and so forth. He was a influential figure in all cultures, truly admired and inspired by many for his ecstatic poems. His combination of mystical richness and bold adaptations of poetic forms is the key to his popularity. His poems been sold millions of copies cross the globe. His poems is simply amazing, meaningful and inspiring.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this inspiring post .

  7. Tsem Rinpoche on Jun 19, 2018 at 6:52 am

    The door is wide open. Don’t go back to sleep – Rumi

  8. meghna b on Jun 19, 2018 at 2:07 am

    Thankyou Rinpoche & Kechara. 😀 Please keep on sharing your knowledge with us!

    I just wanted to share another song by A.R. Rahman. His songs are <3

    This song was sung in the resting place of a Sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin.

    In the movie, the MC is a very kind, if a bit naive individual who aspires to become a singer. Life is not easy – he is framed for thievery (by his own family) leading him to be thrown out of his own house and so he aimlessly wanders till he reaches this shrine situated in Delhi.
    He spends some time there listening to the prayers of other preachers, singers and also of the priests and he gets connected with God and gains inspiration from him. They sing these Arabic verses, 'Kun Faya Kun' which literally translate 'Be as it is'.

    https://video.tsemtulku.com/videouploads/comment-1529344521.mp4

    TQ again!
    Love and Light.
    (Sorry for posting again.)


    • Tsem Rinpoche on Jun 19, 2018 at 6:58 am

      Dear Meghna b,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Thank you for letting us know this post inspires you to learn more and explore Sufi. It is very rewarding to hear this from you.

      Do not apologize for posting comments twice. Post what you like as long as it’s from your heart.

      Thank you for sharing the links to the inspirational music and even explaining what the video is about. Many will see these and benefit.

      May I invite you to listen to these two songs which bring us to another level:

      1. Mere Vich Na Guruji Gun Koi
      https://vimeo.com/274281986

      2. Likhan Valya Tu Hoke
      https://vimeo.com/274281836

      Much luck to you on your journey, Tsem Rinpoche

      • meghna b on Jun 19, 2018 at 9:33 am

        Thank you SO much!!! ??

        Namaste!
        I’m just happy to share, given how much I’ve benefited from your amazing, super inspiring works and the awesome Kechara Pastors <3.

        I hope you are well, happy as can be and will continue to be so!
        Truly grateful that I came across this site.

        Love and Light??

        (P.S. I'll add a description to the to the other video below. – It's from the movie Jodha – Akbar, set in the reign of the Mughal emperor Akbar.

        The scene marks the first ever marriage alliance (Political) and interfaith(personal) between the Hindu Rajputs and the new Muslim dynasty.
        The Emperor was a devout believer of Sufis, and hence, they are invited to bless the wedding. The song is called
        Khwaja mere Khwaja – sung in praise of a great Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti.[/i]

        Thank you again, Rinpoche! ?

  9. Meghna on Jun 19, 2018 at 12:14 am

    Wow!
    Thank you SO much for sharing the knowledge! And the books! (double wow) 😀

    I’d read a little about Sufism academically, and had always been interested in reading more about Rumi (But had never gotten around to it)

    Cannot wait to read the books now!

    The Sufi way of wanting/desiring to reach/realize the Divine through their music and whirling dances is so, so very beautiful.

    Reminds me of one of my favorite songs by one of the greatest singers.
    It’s too beautiful.
    https://video.tsemtulku.com/videouploads/comment-1529338407.mp4


  10. Datuk May on Jun 18, 2018 at 11:46 pm

    In these days and age when Islam is so related to jihadism and terrorism, it is extremely exciting and refreshing to read about a doctrine of Islam called Sufism by a great Master Rumi who believed as follows:

    “Rumi’s life and transformation provide true testimony and proof that people of all religions and backgrounds can live together in peace and harmony.”

    I have heard of SUFI tradition in Islam but was given the impression that it is a flighty version of Islam with not much substance but fun and dancing.

    Reading this article with all the facts definitely makes an impact on me that Sufism is one of the great religions of Love and Wisdom to benefit sentient beings.

    A must read.

  11. Anne Ong on Jun 18, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    Heard and read about this famous poet . Now we are all able to know more about Rumi the famous poet and his history. Rumi really writes romantic and meaningful poems. Really enjoyed reading some of them just now ?? Thank you very much Rinpoche and blog team for providing so many great knowledge with everyone????

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  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Apr 12. 2021 04:12 PM
    Looking at those very unique house been built simply stunning. Creatively with nature indeed , salute to those architecture who has such a wild ideas and innovations building such an incredibly unique houses in nature. No easy though but everything is possible.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/into-the-wild.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Apr 12. 2021 04:11 PM
    Truly stunning Kuanyin Statue also know as”Goddess of Mercy” Statue designed by Portuguese architect . Very serene with the huge golden statue seemingly floating over the sea at high tide. One of the underrated landmarks in Macau. It is believed that when this statue is built, Macau has become more prosperous, peaceful and economically better. Many locals and tourist visited this beautiful Statue and it’s a popular spot where they will walk along the sea watching sunset. Merely by looking at this Statue is a blessing. Those beautiful pictures tells us all.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/kuan-yin-of-macau-city.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Apr 12. 2021 04:07 PM
    Beautiful Yonghe Temple in Beijing, China known to some locals as the‘Palace of Peace and Harmony Lama Temple’ has three world-record masterpieces. This temple is a temple and monastery of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism built during the reign of Emperor Kang Xi (1694). Very impressive buildings and a great insight into Chinese Buddhist temples with 300 years of history . The building and artwork of the temple is a combination of Han Chinese and Tibetan styles.
    Looking at the restoration and conservation work of the Lama Tsongkhapa Statue in Yong He Gong is not easy after all. Thanks to Liu Yuming,77, restoration masters of China’s Cultural Relics. He had done a good job helping to preserve those rare cultural relics left in China. It is indeed a uphill task that needs a lot of patience , skill, delicate , and love . Interesting read even though it an old post. Would love to see this master piece of Lama Tsongkhapa Statue one day .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/an-age-of-restoration.html
  • sarassitham
    Monday, Apr 12. 2021 01:47 PM
    Sometimes a single image can speak much louder than words. It’s very painful to see the abused and made to suffer of a Monkey and Child.

    It is really sad to discover how many animals sacrificed for fulfilling our taste buds. and not only sacrificing their life.

    Why don’t we try to eat more vegetables instead of eating more animals. Vegetables are healthy too, you know! And do you also know that being vegetarian or vegan will not only make you become healthier, it will also make you feel more energetic.
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Apr 10. 2021 03:59 PM
    A legendary figure of Buddhism in Buryatia was Lubsan Samdan Tsydenov, charismatic Buddhist master and visionary and national hero, who had spread the Tantric Buddhist tradition. Interesting read of this forgotten story of Lubsan Samdan Tsydenov, a monk who briefly ruled as a dharma king. He amazingly created a nonviolence Buddhist kingdom who protected thousands of women, children, and men at that time. In 1920’s Soviet government considered Lubsan Samdan Tsydenov to be rebels and Traditional Buryat culture was erased since then. Buddhist monasteries in Buryatia were destroyed and many followers were murdered. He was well remembered as a true Dharma King and a national hero. Interesting read of a Great Lama.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/lubsan-samdan-tsydenov-the-dharma-king-of-buryatia.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Apr 10. 2021 03:57 PM
    We came to this world with nothing and leaving with nothing. There nothings that belongs to us. Whatever we own is temporary on loan only, so we should be glad in this life we are in human form. We should appreciate what we have at this moment, , doing , learning Dharma and practicing Dharma for a good and meaningful cause. Transforming our mind and benefiting others instead of ourselves.
    What Rinpoche had said and explained , very true indeed … we don’t own our body. Well use our body for the greater good of others. Reading the transcript by Tsem Rinpoche tells us more understanding .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this profound teachings.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/transcript-you-dont-own-your-body.html
  • sarassitham
    Friday, Apr 9. 2021 11:20 PM
    Thank you for the wonderful sharing, it’s truly amazing. Each one of these statues is special and drool-worthy, and they have rightly signified the place where they stand today.

    Even when we don’t have the opportunity too witness those beautiful Buddha Statues, yet we are blessed merely by looking at it.
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 9. 2021 01:19 PM
    Reading this article again, truly feeling sorry those refugees in Netherlands. Staying in another country far away from homeland is already sad. They need to start from scratch, could imagine their situation living in a foreign facing a lot of hinders such languages, cultures and so forth. The sad state of refugees living in Netherlands is really bad. The Netherlands has had a reputation as a humanitarian haven, with refugees and immigrants as the situation in their country isn’t safe enough. But entering as refugees they ended up living in empty offices, as room . The government authorities failed to provide basic amenities for those rejected ones who have not or cannot leave the country. The refugees are stuck in a system, were call as an illegal immigrant. They wandered in the streets of Amsterdam, moving from one place to another left in the cold winter. Lucky enough they have volunteers helping them supplying blankets , foods for them. Hopefully the authorities could do more to help those refugees out there and the situation right now has improved.
    Thank you Melissa for sharing this .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/the-building-wanderers-of-amsterdam.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 9. 2021 01:17 PM
    Being generous also makes us feel better about ourselves. Generosity is both a natural confidence builder and a natural repellent of self-hatred. By focusing on what we are giving rather than on what we are receiving. Acts of generosity, such as giving our time, talent or resources, and expecting nothing in return, have been proven to be good for our health. Generous individuals are personally more fulfilled, happier and more peaceful within themselves. Enrich our life and that of others by practicing generosity. That’s what I consider true generosity without anything in return.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Datuk May for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/generosity-giving-gifts.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 9. 2021 01:15 PM
    A Stunning Chenrezig Thangka with an interesting story behind it.Detailed explanations of the iconography of this Buddha. Having understand about it ,will help us to practice better . Chenrezig is the bodhisattva that symbolizes the compassion of all Buddhas.The qualities of Chenrezig is indeed amazing in such away benefited many of us. According to legend, Chenrezig made an vow that he would not rest until he had liberated all the beings in all the realms of suffering. Reciting the Chenrezig mani mantra and practising profound meditation on the nature of sound is believed to be powerful.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Beatrix for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/a-chenrezig-thangka.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Apr 6. 2021 04:52 PM
    Meaningful poems tells us a thousand words. Value and appreciate every moment of our life with those around us. Rinpoche had a very strong connection with Manjushri since childhood and its not surprised the way Rinpoche describe the divine. Lovely poems for us to ponder deeply.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this with us.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/purpose.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Apr 6. 2021 04:52 PM
    It is important to use these difficult times as life lessons, growing and shaping us to blossom into a stronger and wiser person every day. Stay strong and be tough, working as a team, sharing out as a team. Whatever happen then through thick and thin, individual commitment to work as a team is what makes a team work successful toward a common vision. It is true that we can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed as a team. Never give up even its hard with nothing much. Alone, we can do so little compare to working together, we can do so much.
    Reading this quote will inspire us to improve ourselves and our life so that we may be successful someday as a team.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/dont-see-the-porridge-and-run.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Apr 5. 2021 03:04 PM
    The incredible story of the Chinese paper cut artist Ku Shulan. She is one such inspiring lady in the Chinese world of paper cutting. Been born in poor peasant family, doesn’t deter her from doing what she loves most. She had come along way of struggles and hardship to be where she was. She only showed her talent in later life following awakening from a coma after a head injury, discovered by Shanxi Province Cultural Center. Ku Shulan was designated “Master of China Folk Art and Crafts” by UNESCO and was bestowed many domestic awards for her beautiful paper cuttings. Sadly Ku Shulan passed away in 2004 at age 84, but her popularity, and reputation continue to grow . Her unique coloured paper cuttings are the jewel of Chinese folk art and will remain forever so.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this inspiring post of a talented lady.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/ku-shulan-goddess-of-paper-cut.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Apr 5. 2021 03:03 PM
    Do Dharma work. Do Dharma practice. Chase after Dharma…..well said by Rinpoche. Life is meaningless when we only chase for money, fame only at the of life nothing is left for us. What remains is just memories when we are gone. As we grew older , it’s time to chase after something that can last long till our last breathe. Learning, practicing Dharma is the best choice. Since learning and practicing dharma have my life change, benefiting other makes my wonderful.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing with folded hands. Rinpoche had showed me the way and so as many more others.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/chasing.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Apr 5. 2021 03:00 PM
    Inspiring comment by Claire Briard who only met Rinpoche on facebook gave up eating meat. It has since changed his life and she have so much more respect for the all animals. She did wonderfully by encouraging her friends and anyone she met to go meatless. Beautiful message . Do not harm animals , give them a chance to live.
    Thank you Rinpoche this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/claire-briard.html

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

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

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
2 yearss ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
2 yearss ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
2 yearss ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
2 yearss ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
2 yearss ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
2 yearss ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
2 yearss ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
2 yearss ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
2 yearss ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
2 yearss ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
2 yearss ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
2 yearss ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
2 yearss ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
2 yearss ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
2 yearss ago
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
2 yearss ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
2 yearss ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
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ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

  • April 13, 2021 21:55
    ray asked: Dear Pastors, Thank you for clearing my doubts previously about purification practices. Today i have a question about reciting praises to buddhas, why do we recite praises and how does reciting praises to buddhas like Tara, Dorje shugden etc. help and benefit us? Because ive seen certain prayer texts to mother tara which i think is referring to the 21 tara praises stating that : ~If this prayer is recited two, three, or seven times, It will pacify all the sufferings of torments Caused by spirits, fevers, and poisons, And by other beings as well. If you wish for a child, you will get a child; If you wish for wealth, you will receive wealth. All your wishes will be fulfilled And all obstacles pacified.~ Will reciting praises to buddhas also be able to fulfill our wishes as stated? Thank you very much.
    No reply yet
  • April 12, 2021 03:20
    Eden asked: Dear Pastors, How are all of you doing? I have a few questions here. I will be very grateful if you can answer them. Thank you. 1) If we are here because of our previous life karma, previous previous karma and so on. May i know when does all of this started? How does this chain of karma started? Im sure we all had our 1st life and everything had a beginning to it. 2) I am currently facing some problem over my career pathway, are there any practices and mantras that I can do to request for guidance?
    pastor answered: Dear Eden, Thank you for your questions. 1. Buddhism does not believe in a 1st life, and the reason being is the Buddhist view of time. Most people think of time and existence as linear. It has a definitive starting point and a certain end point. But Buddhism views time as a cyclic. Hence, our universe as we understand it, will at one point cease to exist, and then a new universe will come into existence. However, even though our current universe will end, due to the force of karma and reincarnation, we will take rebirth into the new universe and have many rebirths there. So in Buddhism we say that we have had "countless" rebirths, as you would never be able to count how many lifetimes you have had. This cycle is vicious and leads us to take rebirth endlessly. The only way to stop this cycle is to transcend it altogether, which is the state of Buddhahood, in which you are completely liberated from the cycle, known as "samsara". Also the way in which we think about karma is not linear either. It is not one for one. By this I mean, if you do one negative action, it is not that you will experience only one negative result. You will actually experience many negative results, with differing levels of severity until the karma is exhausted. How you respond to the negative results can lead to either more negative karma, or positive karma. Hence, the law of karma according to the Buddhist view point is much more nuanced then the general understanding of karma that people have these days. The Buddha explained this process in a teaching known as the 12 Links of Dependent Origination, which is quite complex. If you want to learn more about this teaching, H.E. Tsem Rinpoche gave a very profound teaching on it here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/teaching-on-the-twelve-links-of-dependent-origination.html Hence, according to Buddhism, the understand of time is a never-ending cycle in which universes are created, destroyed and created again due to the power of karma. Since it is a cycle, there is no "beginning" or "1st life" for sentient beings. 2. In regards to your career pathway, I would suggest you engage in the combined practice of Lama Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugden. We have heard of many people who are either stuck in their career or who need to find good jobs, succeed in the their goals after engaging in this practice with a sincere motivation. There is a book available regarding the practice here: https://www.vajrasecrets.com/the-dorje-shugden-handbook. We also have an entire section of this website dedicated to various aspects of the practice, including history, other prayers, etc. (https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/category/dorje-shugden). I hope this helps. Let us know if we can help in any other way.
  • April 11, 2021 00:23
    Lara asked: Hello pastors, I have a family member suffering from depression right now. May I know how I can help him to overcome this? Thank you.
    pastor answered: Dear Lara, I'm sorry to hear that your family member is going through this. When someone is going through such a difficult time, H.E. Tsem Rinpoche has advised that the person themselves seek qualified medical help as well as engage in the practice of Lama Tsongkhapa, which is well-known to help overcome things like depression. From your side you should be as supportive as possible. Take the time to understand what your family member is going through, and in which ways you can support them to overcome their depression and heal. You can watch a fantastic teaching about the practice of Lama Tsongkha here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/sayonara-to-depression.html. The prayer text for the practice can be found here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/sadhana-prayers.html#19 However, sometimes family members may not be open to the engaging in the practice themselves. In that case, you can engage in the practice yourself and dedicate the merits for the family member to heal, but this will not be as effective as the family member doing the practice themselves. Another thing that you can do, it to make abundant offerings or engage in virtuous activities like as helping the less fortunate, and dedicating the merits from those activities to your family member. You can also have pujas sponsored for your family member. The following two pujas would be excellent: Medicine Buddha Puja - which is good for healing, both physical and mental (https://www.vajrasecrets.com/medicine-buddha-puja-fund) Dorje Shugden Puja - to remove obstacles for a swift recovery (https://www.vajrasecrets.com/dorje-shugden-wishfulfilling-puja-fund) These are the various methods in which you can help. You can do just one or a combination of the methods mentioned to generate as much positive energy and merit as possible for your family member. I hope this helps.
  • April 10, 2021 07:50
    ray asked: hi pastor i have a question regarding purification practices because ive been having some doubts now, is it true that some people say engaging in purification practices bad things would then happen to the practitioner after that? be it being sick or facing obstacles coming after that.
    pastor answered: Dear Ray, Thank you for your question. When we engage in purification practices, what we are purifying is our negative karma. If you know about karma, you know that eventually you will need to experience your karma, be this negative or positive. When you experience your negative karma, then you experience negative situations. This could be something major, like having an accident, to something very minor such as feeling bad if say a loved one says something in a way that you perceive as being negative. Any experience you have that you perceive as negative, is a manifestation of your negative karma. During purification practices, through your own effort of invoking upon the enlightened beings and practice of the Four Opponent Powers, you are able to purify this negative karma. However, for a negative karma to be fully exhausted, you need to experience it. Say you have a karma to get into an accident, if you don't purify and exhaust it, then you will need to suffer from it 100%. This could mean getting into a car accident which is very severe and you are hurt badly. If you engage in purification practices then you can purify, let's say 99% of the karma. But for it to be exhausted fully, you still need to experience it. In this case, maybe you do get into an accident. Since you have purified most of the karma, your car only bumps into another car very softly. You don't even feel it, the person in the other car doesn't feel it and you car is not damaged at all. This is the reason why some people say if you engage in purification practices, bad things will happen. And because of that people are put off doing purification practices. This is wrong thinking because if you do experience negative situations when engaged in purification practices, this could be because: a) What you experienced is actually the purified karma, rather than the full force of the karma. In this case you should rejoice that through your effort of engaging in the practice, you didn't experience something much worse. b) It could just simply be the manifestation of a karma that wasn't purified. This means, you would have had to go through this experience anyway. c) Because you are engaged in purification practices, you are thinking of karma a lot. Therefore, when such experiences occur then you attribute it to karma, and then think it is linked to your purification practice. Then you believe that doing purification practices is bad because you have to suffer from such experiences. This is wrong thinking. Perhaps even if you were not doing purification practices, then you would still experience the situation, but you wouldn't actually think anything of it. You would just go about the rest of your day as usual. That being said, when you are doing purification practices, there comes a point were certain negative karma is so weak that you need to experience it for it to be exhausted completely. This can and does manifest as negative situations, such as minor illnesses, or even accidents, etc. However, the point to remember is the karma causing these situations have been purified so they are very mild compared to their full form. These negative situations can also be purified/exhausted in dreams, etc. Another way they can be purified is having mental disturbances or emotional ups and downs when actually doing the purification practices. In essence, you will need to feel the effects of your negative karma in some form or another, so better that you experience it in a very mild form right? This is what purification practices helps you to do. Purification practices are not something to be scared of. In fact, you should rejoice when engaged in purification practices. On a more deeper level, without some form of purification practice it is hard to understand higher aspects of the Dharma. Your negative karma will block you from being able to understand the Dharma and then internalise it. That is why purification practices are emphasised within each and every tradition and are a prerequisite for higher teaching such as tantra. The benefits of purification practices (such as enabling you to exhaust your negative karma in a very mild form, and preparing your mind for higher teachings) outweighs having to experience a very small negative situation. Therefore think about the benefits of purification practice and contemplate on it. This will help you to develop faith in them and get rid of any doubts or fears that you may have. I hope this helps.
  • April 1, 2021 04:54
    You are awesome! asked: Hello, you are awesome! keep going!
    pastor answered: Thank you for your kind message. It is very encouraging for us to read. May you always be blessed by the Three Jewels.
  • March 28, 2021 15:08
    vikas baluni asked: abut growth of my business
    pastor answered: Dear Vikas Baluni, I am unclear as to the actually meaning of your question but I believe you are asking how to increase and grow your business. According to Buddhism, everything that we go through in life is due to karma, this includes both the good things and the bad things. Therefore, for your business to grow and do well depends on your good karma. Only one type of energy can overcome karma and is always good for your, and that is what we call merit or punya (in sanskrit). So in order to have merit for your business to do well, you have to take actions that generate merit. The main of these is to transform your mind to become a more compassionate and wiser person, to help others less fortunate, to engage in pujas and other such virtuous activities. There are certain deity practices that are well-known in Buddhism to help increase the energies of wealth and success in our lives. These can help your business to grow. Once such practice is that of Bhagawan Gyenze, you can click here to find out more: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/dorje-shugden-gyenze-to-increase-life-merits-and-wealth.html Bhagawan Gyenze will definitely help you to grow your business, if you have a good motivation. If you motivation is only about yourself, then your business will not grow that much. But if you have the motivation help others, then Bhagawan Gyenze will help you even more. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 25, 2021 01:11
    Jason asked: I have been practicing white dzambala and the bathing / water tormas for quite some time now. Recently I have been getting regular dreams where white dzambala appears and just smiles at me, or I dream that I am doing white dzambala chutor practice. I understand that when lama tsongkhapa got dreams of deities he thought that this was Mara acting up and paid no attention to it until his lama said something. My lama is currently on retreat and it is difficult to contact him. Please give me some advice on what is happening. I'm just some normal beginners smuck and I'm getting worried that this is a bad sign. When I wake up I feel at peace... But according to commentaries this could be Mara.
    pastor answered: Dear Jason, Thank you for your question. I am really happy to hear that you are engaging in Dzambhala's practice. It's extremely beneficial. You are right that Lama Tsongkhapa ignored his dreams of deities, and viewed them as bad signs. But before jumping to conclusions, we must analyse the reasons why Lama Tsongkhapa ignored not only his dreams, also the visions of the deities he received. The reason that Lama Tsongkhapa did not consider it a positive sign is because as practitioners on the spiritual path, it is all too easy to get carried away with 'signs' or advice, visions, dreams from supposed deities. Sometimes if we 'analyse' them it can lead us in the wrong direction because of our mistaken understanding. Sometimes, other entities can also enter our dreams and tell us things that we believe, hence we start practising things that are not Dharmic in nature. Lama Tsongkhapa warned against such things, rather Lama Tsongkhapa said that we should rely on the Dharma teachings that are genuine and transmitted to us through an unbroken line through our lineage. Generally speaking however, these dreams you are having are literally just dreams, so there is nothing to worry about. One category of dreams we have are known as samsaric dreams. These arise from karma and karmic traces in the mind. This can also include emotions, memories, etc. The meaning we find in these dreams are imputed by the dreamer, and not inherent in the dream. This also applies to waking life. We impute meaning onto situations and circumstances, rather than the meaning being inherent to the circumstance. It is like reading a book. Words in the book are just marks on paper, however, because we use our sense of meaning, we make a meaning out of it. However, this is always open to interpretation. For example, if you tell your dream to two people, they can interpret the meaning very differently, even though you told them the exact same details. When we have dreams such as of our teacher, our practice, the Buddhas, etc., it is still more than likely to be just a samsaric dream. Because we have been engaging in sustained practice, or have imprints from previous lives, these can surface in our dreams hence we have dreams of Buddhas, our teachers, etc. There is nothing to worry about or to consider overly auspicious or a 'sign'. Just realise that you have had the dream, do not allow your thoughts to dwell on it, accept it and move on. However, do take note that you had these dreams and once your Guru is out of retreat, please consult your Guru and inform him/her of these occurances and seek your Guru's advice if any. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 23, 2021 02:01
    Jason asked: I white dzambhala is a wealth deity but can he also act as a dharma protector?
    pastor answered: Dear Jason, Thank you for your question. The practice of Dzambhala is actually a Yidam practice, this means that Dzambhala is a meditational deity. When you engage in his practice, as well as bestowing wealth, through his practice you also develop qualities that help you progress towards enlightenment. In the case of Dzambhala, the primary quality he helps you develop is actually generosity, which is one of the Six Perfections. Therefore, although he is known as a wealth deity, he is much, much more than that. When you engage in his practice, you are actually developing virtuous qualities in your mindstream. The function of Dharma Protectors however is to remove obstacles and to create conducive conditions so that you can transform your mind. Hence, the function of a meditational deity and a Dharma Protector is different. That being said, when you engage in Dzambhala's practice properly, you do gain wealth. Generally, we only consider this wealth to be external wealth, but Dzambhala's practice is more than that, because through his practice you gain internal wealth which are virtuous qualities. Due to the fact his practice also brings material wealth, he is known as a wealth deity. When you practice any meditational deity, you will gain some physical benefit as well, which can seem to mirror the effect of Dharma Protectors, but their function is very different. Dzambhala for example grants material wealth, but his actually function is to increase inner wealth. Another example would be Medicine Buddha, outward he heals our physical body, but inwardly he also helps to heal our minds and develop qualities such as compassion. Dharma Protectors can also help to heal our body, but for real internal change, we need to rely on a meditational deity. I hope this answer helps.
  • March 16, 2021 21:23
    ray asked: Dear pastors, i have a question regarding vajra and bells. can one use them if they do not have any sort of initiation or whatsoever?
    pastor answered: Dear Ray, Thank you for your question. You are right that traditionally vajras and bells are only used after receiving initiation. However, H.E. Tsem Rinpoche recommended learning how to use the vajra and bell, as a means of creating the causes to receive initiation in the future. That said, there are many dos and don'ts related to using the vajra and bell. You can learn not only how to use them, but also vajra and bell etiquette from one of Kechara's Pastors. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 7, 2021 17:30
    Sandra asked: Respected pastors, Do you recommend doing Tsem Rinpoche’s guru yoga as part of daily Sadhana? I am sure I read on the article for the name retreat that it could be done as daily prayers but now I can’t see that sentence? Thank you.
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Yes of course, you may include Tsem Rinpoche's Guru Yoga as part of your daily sadhana if you wish. This creates a very strong bond with Tsem Rinpoche. If you are following the Diamond Path sadhana (https://www.vajrasecrets.com/diamond-path), you insert the Guru Yoga after you have completed the Gaden Lhagyama (Guru Yoga of Lama Tsongkhapa). Alternative, if you are using a different prayer text, you insert the Guru Yoga after Gaden Lhagyama, or before any deity prayers that you do such as Manjushri, Tara, etc. After you complete the deity practice section of your sadhana, you continue on to your Dharma protector practice, and finish with your completion dedication. I hope this helps. Do let us know if this is not clear. Thanks.
  • March 4, 2021 22:52
    Sandra asked: Respected pastors, Can a lay person work towards the preliminary practices by accumulating daily ? Many thanks.
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Yes, of course. Anyone can engage in the preliminary practices, you don't have to be ordained in order to do so. However for one's practice to be considered a full preliminary practice, you need to do 100,000 repetitions of whichever practice you are engaged in without break. That means you must engage in at least one session a day, until the count is completed. 10% of the count is also added on top, to make up for any unintentional mistakes. So the figure would actually be 110,000. If you skip a day, that means you have broken your preliminary retreat. If this occurs you can still dedicate the practice you have done so far, and you will still benefit from the merit generated and the purification of negative karma from the practice, but it is not counted as a full preliminary practice. Also you must adhere to the retreat procedures for the duration of the time it takes you to complete the particular preliminary practice. For example, an altar with daily offerings, retreat seat with swastika, refraining from eating black foods, etc. This may not be convenient for most people in our day and age. So what you can do is to spend a certain amount of time accumulating a specific figure, for example 10,000 repetitions of a particular practice. Seal the practice at the end with a strong dedication, like the King of Prayers. Later on, you can repeat the procedure more times until you complete 100,000. This method was given by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche for modern-day practitioners who do not have the time to complete 100,000 in one go. While it technically does not constitute a full preliminary retreat, you still gain immense merits and purification from engaging in the practice, even if spaced out. As Rinpoche said, it's better for you to do mini preliminary retreats than not doing any of the preliminary practices whatsoever. That being said, if you do have the ability to do a full preliminary retreat and it will not negatively impact you, such as create financial difficulties or strain familial relationships, then of course go ahead! To have the sincere wish to engage in any Dharma practice is wonderful. You can read more about the individual preliminary practices here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/preliminary-practice.html You can watch a short teaching on the preliminary practices by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/cosmic-tantra.html
  • March 3, 2021 04:13
    Sandra asked: Dear respected pastors, what are dreams? Do dreams have significance? Are they simply images the mind views at night - do they resemble the dreamer's state of mind? Thank you for all your replies :) :)
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Hello. Nice to see you back here. On the normal level, both waking and dream states are both marred by our delusions. The teachings tell us that this deluded state continues through all our experiences, whether during the dreaming or waking states. The way to overcome this is to "wake up" from our delusions, or reach enlightenment. Normally when people think of dreams, they do so in psychological terms and so focus on the content of the dream. When we investigate the nature of the dream itself, we begin to investigate something deeper, the processes that underlies the whole of our existence. Understand this propels you further along the spiritual journey towards enlightenment. We have many dreams during one night of sleep, and may or may not consciously remember then when we wake up. In terms of content, dreams can be used to work through psychological issues or can indicate certain issues and overcoming them (as is common within Western psychological practices). In Tibetan Buddhism, dreams can be used for much more. In the advanced practices, one can transform ordinary dreams to further one's spiritual journey. This is not only in terms of working through psychological issues, but in terms of meditation and practice as well. Generally, there are three types of dreams as described below. Most of us only experience the first type, unless we progress on the spiritual path. 1. Samsaric dreams: these arise from karma and karmic traces in the mind. This can also include emotions, memories, etc. The meaning we find in these dreams are imputed by the dreamer, and not inherent in the dream. This also applies to waking life. We impute meaning onto situations and circumstances, rather than the meaning being inherent to the circumstance. It is like reading a book. Words in the book are just marks on paper, however, because we use our sense of meaning, we take a meaning out of it. However, this is always open to interpretation. For example, if you tell your dream to two people, they can interpret the meaning very differently, even though you told them the exact same details. 2. Clarity dreams: These dreams occur when you are fairly progressed in meditational practices and can carry this into the dream state. These dreams arise not from the emotions, or memories, etc., but from more subtler forms of karma and delusions. However, just like in waking mediational practice, you are not affected by the images or thoughts that appear to you. 3. Clear Light dreams: In the advanced tantric practices, there are teachings called dream yoga. The object of these is to achieve the clear light dreams, which are very difficult to achieve and take years and years of intense practice. The most important clear light mind that arises is actually at the time of our death, if we are trained enough in this very subtle state, we can actually control where we take rebirth. If we are more experienced in this state, then we can actually use it to meditate on the teachings and achieve enlightenment. Clear light dreams are a "lesser" type of clear light mind, that helps practitioners prepare for the time of death. When we have an auspicious dream such as of our teacher, our practice, the Buddhas, etc., even though this is auspicious, it is still more than likely to be just a samsaric dream. There are instances however, when the enlightened beings and Dharma protectors will send practitioners dreams to help with their practice or as methods of divination. Tsem Rinpoche once told us of a very powerful Nyingma lama known for his divination abilities. Students would ask him a question, then he would take a nap, and receive divination advice in this dreams, which he would then relay to his students. This lama was well-known for this ability because his dream divinations were extremely accurate. As I am sure you can tell, the scope of dreams with the Buddhist context is very vast and I will not be able to cover everything here. However, I hope that what I have written helps your understanding. Thank you.
  • March 1, 2021 23:37
    Sandra asked: Hello dear pastors, wish we could have an article like the one below to highlight the auspicious days of 2021. https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/auspicious-days.html
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Thank you for your suggestion. At the moment, there are no plans to publish another article with 2021 dates. But I have listed out some of the auspicious days and their dates for this year for you. I have only included future dates, not those that have already passed. Saga Dawa Duchen - 26th May 2021 Chokhor Duchen - 14th July 2021 Dorje Shugden Day - 24th August 2021 Lhabab Duchen - 27th October 2021 Gaden Ngamchoe or Tsongkhapa Day - 29th December 2021 I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • February 27, 2021 03:31
    Sandra asked: Respected pastors, Is it ok to pray from different areas in the house (even where there is no altar)? I was told you can't create 2 altars in 1 house.
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Thank you for your question and its nice to see you here again. The reason why we pray in front of our altars is because it becomes a focal point of the enlightened energies we are invoking. Therefore it becomes a kind of portal for the energies of transformation, peace, healing, prosperity and protection. It is also the place where we make offerings to the Buddhas. As such, most people usually only have 1 altar in their home. However, you can have more than 1 altar in your home. As it is an altar, it should be complete with representations of the body, speech and mind of the Buddhas. This would be an image (either a statue, thangka, tsa tsa, poster, framed picture, etc), a Dharma text and a stupa. In front of these, you should have at least 1 type of offering or more. This can be a fixed offering or maybe even a set of water offerings, which you make every day. Since practitioners make offerings on a daily basis, most opt to have only 1 altar, but there is no rule in Buddhism to say you can only have 1 altar. The altar however, should be placed in a respectful place. So, not in the bathroom. Or if in the bedroom, you should put a screen up to block it when you are changing, sleeping, etc. Alternatively, you can keep it in a cupboard, and close the doors during such activities. But altars should be dedicated places to the Buddhas, so don't put secular items in the same place, such as on the same shelf, etc. When it comes to praying, it is usually done in front of the altar, as you are invoking the enlightened beings. When you do your prayers there it becomes a powerful place in your home, and provides you with a sacred space to pray and meditate. However, if circumstances are difficult, then of course you can pray elsewhere. For example, when I first set up an altar, I was living in a single room with not much space. I set up an altar on a shelf but was not able to pray in front of it. Once I had made offerings, I would simply sit in another part of the room and do the prayers there. If it is really not convenient, then of course it is permissible to do the prayers elsewhere. It is better to do the prayers, than not do them at all if you can't be in front of your altar. I hope this helps. Thank you.
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Fwd: 12 minute Affiliate Multiple Ways to Earn Commissions
#kecharafoodbank: In collaboration with Good Shepherd Services (GSS) based in Ipoh, we travelled to Buntong with food rations for 33 families. Some of the food items given include rice, noodles, cooking oil and biscuits; in total, we gave 726kg of food to these beneficiaries from the underprivileged class. We are glad to have been able to contribute, especially to families with children and in poor living conditions. We wish to thank GSS for alerting us about those in need, and we look forward to extending more support in the future together with this not-for-profit organization doing good work. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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#kecharafoodbank: In collaboration with Good Shepherd Services (GSS) based in Ipoh, we travelled to Buntong with food rations for 33 families. Some of the food items given include rice, noodles, cooking oil and biscuits; in total, we gave 726kg of food to these beneficiaries from the underprivileged class. We are glad to have been able to contribute, especially to families with children and in poor living conditions. We wish to thank GSS for alerting us about those in need, and we look forward to extending more support in the future together with this not-for-profit organization doing good work. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
In an urgent effort to provide food and necessities to the poverty-stricken in Bentong and rural areas of Pahang, we are launching Food Bank Bentong. With your support, Food Bank Bentong would be able to feed 500 families totaling 2,300 people on a regular basis, giving them a chance to enjoy a basic sense of security we consider a human right. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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In an urgent effort to provide food and necessities to the poverty-stricken in Bentong and rural areas of Pahang, we are launching Food Bank Bentong. With your support, Food Bank Bentong would be able to feed 500 families totaling 2,300 people on a regular basis, giving them a chance to enjoy a basic sense of security we consider a human right. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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Update on Empowerment cookies, special holiday packaging. The bakers are most grateful for the overwhelming support of 834 tubs ordered, with a big order of 314 tubs from a group of friends. Thank you to those cookie lovers who couldn’t get enough of it. Watch out for the next update. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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Thank you, generous and kind donors, made possible by Alice Smith School's Official Site through their Build Kindness Campaign. The whooping amount of RM63,000 will provide much needed food to 25 poor families for the next 12 months. On behalf of these families, thank you! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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The global pandemic hasn't been easy for all of us. Some find it diffucult to find a job to support the family. Despite that, we are still delivering basic food pack to our recipients nationwide. Thank you to our volunteers, donors, and sponsors. Without your support, we would be unable to reach out to many families. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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Thank you Domino's Pizza Malaysia, Kasih & Piza campaign for sponsoring 85 boxes of pizza to our friends who live on the streets. Your flavourful pizzas have put a smile on their faces. Thank you! - Vivan @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #KasihdanPiza #ItsAllAboutYou
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8 months ago
Thank you Novo Nordisk! Your kind monetary donation and 1,320 boxes of masks will benefit many needy families under the Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #novonordisk #novonordiskmalaysia
We were graced with the presence of Tengku Zatashah & The Alice Smith School Foundation yesterday. 130 homeless were blessed to be served by them. RM 20,000 donated by Alice Smith School Foundation will benefit 100 families registered under Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #alicesmithschoolfoundation #alicesmithschool #volunteerism #homeless
8 months ago
We were graced with the presence of Tengku Zatashah & The Alice Smith School Foundation yesterday. 130 homeless were blessed to be served by them. RM 20,000 donated by Alice Smith School Foundation will benefit 100 families registered under Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #alicesmithschoolfoundation #alicesmithschool #volunteerism #homeless
Thanks to the effort of our outstation team, we were able to mobilise food provisions to 600 families living in Kelantan, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor during the Raya period with each of these families receiving RM200 worth of provisions. Adding onto the current 368 families in Klang Valley, a total of 968 families were benefitted from this. Special thanks to the sponsors who have contributed especially Hong Leong Foundation and partially from Tesco Malaysia (where we also ordered the provisions from). ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
9 months ago
Thanks to the effort of our outstation team, we were able to mobilise food provisions to 600 families living in Kelantan, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor during the Raya period with each of these families receiving RM200 worth of provisions. Adding onto the current 368 families in Klang Valley, a total of 968 families were benefitted from this. Special thanks to the sponsors who have contributed especially Hong Leong Foundation and partially from Tesco Malaysia (where we also ordered the provisions from). ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
10 months ago
So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
10 months ago
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
10 months ago
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
11 months ago
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
11 months ago
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
11 months ago
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
11 months ago
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
Wesak 2020
11 months ago
Wesak 2020
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
1 years ago
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
1 years ago
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
1 years ago
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
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