The Icchantikas

Mar 3, 2019 | Views: 1,499

Disclaimer: The information and views provided in the article below are for educational purposes only. Please note that H.E. Tsem Rinpoche does not advocate the harming or killing of any being.

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Who Are the Icchantikas?

There is a class of beings who are said to be beyond all redemption, losing forever the capacity to achieve Nirvana (or ‘liberation’), and have to live for a kalpa (an aeon) in hell. They are called the icchantikas (一闡提), or in Japanese, issendai. The term “icchan” originally refers to someone who is in a continual state of craving. In India, the term refers to an Epicurean or a secularist.

It is said that an icchantika is one whose roots of goodness have been completely eradicated. His original mind is so devoid of any desire for good Dharma that “not a single thought of goodness will ever arise in him”. It refers to someone who lacks the basic causes and conditions to become a Buddha, and that the killing of an icchantika does not matter at all as the Buddha said, “One may well kill an ant and gain the sin of harming, but the killing of an icchantika does not [constitute a sin].”

There is much literature that gives a variety of interpretation about an icchantika.

“A being who, according to some Mahayana texts, is lacking in Buddha-nature or the potential for enlightenment (bodhi).”

Source: Damien Keown, A Dictionary of Buddhism, Oxford 2003: Oxford University Press, p. 117

“This (i.e. icchantika) is generally understood to have been derived from iccha ‘desire’.’… the Icchantika are those devoted followers of hedonism either in its bad or good sense,…”

Source: Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, Studies in the Lankavatara Sutra, London 1930: Routledge, p.219, n. 1

“The notion of the icchantika (loosely rendered into English as “hedonist” or “dissipated”) is the closest Buddhism comes to a notion of damnation or perdition.”

Source: Robert E. Buswell et al., eds., Encyclopedia of Buddhism, New York 2004: Macmillan Reference, vol.1, p. 351, s.v. icchantika

In the Tathagatagarbha sutras, the term icchantika is used to describe those persons who do not believe in the Buddha, His eternal Selfhood and His Dharma (Truth) or in karma; who seriously transgress against the Buddhist moral codes and Vinaya; and who speak disparagingly and dismissively of the reality of the immortal Buddha-nature (Buddhadhatu) or Tathagatagarbha present within all beings.

In the ‘Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra’ (the ‘Mahaparinirvana Sutra’), it refers to one who slanders the correct teaching of the Buddha, does not repent, and does not rectify the error. In the ‘Lankavatara Sutra’, it refers to [those Buddhists] who have abandoned the Bodhisattva collection [of the canonical texts], making the false accusation that they are not in conformity with the sutras, the codes of morality, and the emancipation. As such, the icchantikas have forsaken all the stock of merit and will not enter into Nirvana.

Icchantikas are said to have slandered the correct teaching of the Buddha, not repenting and not rectifying the error.

Icchantikas are said to have slandered the correct teaching of the Buddha, not repenting and not rectifying the error.

A sutra that has extensive information about the icchantikas is the ‘Mahaparinirvana Sutra’. The excerpt below gives an overview of why such a class of beings are damned and said to be inherently and forever incapable of reaching enlightenment.

Chunda spoke once more, asking, ‘What is the meaning of the term icchantika?’

O good man! It is as with three vessels. The first is perfect men or laywomen who speak careless and evil words and slander the correct teaching, and that they should go on committing these grave acts without ever showing any inclination to reform or any sign of repentance in their hearts. Persons of this kind I would say are following the path of the icchantika. Again there may be those who commit the four grave offences or are guilty of the five cardinal sins, and who, though aware that they are guilty of serious faults, from the beginning have no trace of fear or contrition in their hearts or, if they do, give no outward sign of it. When it comes to the correct teaching, they show no inclination to protect, treasure, and establish it over the ages, but rather speak of it with malice and contempt, their words replete with error. Persons of this kind too I would say are following the path of the icchantika.’

Source: Chapter Forty: On Bodhisattva Kasyapa (a), The Mahaparinirvana Sutra.

An icchantika is likened to be like a broken vessel, one that cannot function as a vessel, and impossible to cure.

“O good man! It is as with three vessels. The first is perfect, the second leaks, and the third is broken. When one wishes to put milk, cream or butter into them, which one would one use first?”

“O World-Honoured One! We would use the one which is perfect; next, the one that leaks, and then the broken one.”

“The perfect and pure one is comparable to the Bodhisattva-priest; the one that leaks to the sravaka, and the one that is broken to the icchantika. ”

Chapter Forty: On Bodhisattva Kasyapa (a), The Mahaparinirvana Sutra.

Icchantikas are broken vessels that are unable to function.

Icchantikas are broken vessels that are unable to function.

 

How Did They Become Icchantikas?

According to the ‘Mahaparinirvana Sutra’,

1. An Icchantika Is Deficient in Faith and Harbours Incorrect Views

There are two types of sentient beings in Jambudvipa (the realm where ordinary human beings live), one type is those who have faith, and the other type is those without faith. Those who have faith will be able to attain Nirvana or liberation from suffering. Those who are without faith are called icchantikas, and “icchantikas are known as the incurable ones.”

Icchantikas are said to reject the law of cause and effect, and because of that, it implies that they have a weak sense of moral responsibility when carrying out their actions. Thus, the icchantikas are “blind to the work of the Tathagata”. In the context of the ‘Mahaparinirvana Sutra’, “without faith” means that the icchantikas refute the doctrine and teachings of Buddhism, especially those of Mahayana Buddhism. They “do not know how to differentiate between the good and evil, disparaging the broad and universal teachings of the Mahayana.”

Karma refers to the universal law of cause and effect, of which every volitional act brings about a certain result.

Karma refers to the universal law of cause and effect, of which every volitional act brings about a certain result.

2. An Icchantika Performs Immoral Conducts and Breaks Monastic Precepts

Icchantikas have committed the Four Grievous Trespasses of

and the Five Heinous Crimes of

  • Intentionally murdering one’s father
  • Intentionally murdering one’s mother
  • Killing an Arhat
  • Shedding the blood of a Buddha
  • Creating schism within the Sangha

In ‘The Sutra Preached by the Buddha on the Total Extinction of the Dharma’, the above five acts are referred to as pancanantarya, heinous crimes that will ruin the spiritual cultivation of a person. The five heinous crimes are also listed in the Mahayana Buddhist literature as the ‘sins of immediate retribution’, or called the anantarika-kamma. ‘Anantarika’ comes from ‘an’ (without) and ‘antara’ (interval), which means that the results of these crimes come to fruition in the immediate next life, of which the participant goes straight to hell due to the atrocity of the crimes. The karmic result or retribution will take place immediately after death. Of the five heinous crimes, four of them involve the taking of lives and acts of violence.

The first precept of refuge as a Buddhist is “do not kill”, showing that Buddhist teachings fundamentally condemns killing.

The first precept of refuge as a Buddhist is “do not kill”, showing that Buddhist teachings fundamentally condemns killing.

Icchantikas are also miserly, gluttonous and unfilial.

“This person (the icchantika) originally worshipped the three jewels and various devas, but has changed since then, and now worships his own desires [instead]. He loved to give alms in the past but has now become miserly. He was by nature moderate in his diet, but has now turned gluttonous. He had an ingrained aversion for evils, but now looks on them with sympathy. He was born filial and esteemed his parents, but now he has no thought of respect for his father and mother.”

Source: Mizutani Kosho and Ogawa Ichizo , Bussho shiso, Kyoto 1982: Kyoto-shi Bun’eidoo Shoten, p. 482a, 11, 15-19.

According to the ‘Mahaparinirvana Sutra’, the icchantikas and his kind are bound to the three evil ways (to take rebirth in the three lower realms of animals, hungry ghosts and beings in hell) and cannot be set free due to six reasons.

  • They are intense in their evil thoughts
  • They do not believe in the afterlife
  • They enjoy practising defiled [deeds] or seeking defilement
  • They are far removed from good roots
  • They are obstructed by evil karma from bad actions
  • They seek the company of bad friends

Icchantikas also commit other misconducts that cause them to be bound to the three evil ways. These are:

  • Misbehaving in relations to monks
  • Misbehaving in relations to nuns
  • Misappropriating the properties of the Sangha
  • Misbehaving in relations to womenkind
  • Instigating disputes among the five groups in the Sangha (monks, nuns, nun-candidates, male-novices and female-novices)

In the ‘Mahaparinirvana Sutra’, there are five things by which the person committing them falls into the three lower realms. The icchantikas are guilty of these:

  • Often declaring that there are neither good or bad fruits
  • Killing sentient beings in whom the thought of enlightenment has arisen
  • Fond of talking about the shortcomings of their teachers
  • Calling the true untrue, and the untrue true
  • Listening to and receiving the Dharma only to find fault with it

There are further three things by which the person committing them falls into the three lower realms:

  • They maintain that the Tathagata is impermanent and is annihilated forever [at death]
  • They maintain that the true Dharma is impermanent and mutable
  • They maintain that the Sangha, [the third of the three] jewels, can be destroyed

Icchantikas are thus those who are previously loyal to the teachings, but have since become renegade Buddhists.

3. An Icchantika Has Huge Pride and No Sense of Shame

Icchantikas are said to have insurmountable pride which “quashes all feelings of guilt and so blocks every avenue to penitence”. Hence, in the ‘Mahaparinirvana Sutra’, it is said that “due to their arrogance and pride, they do not have any fear despite the many evils they have done; and for this reason, will not attain nirvana”.

Sceptical of the function of karma, the icchantikas are those who do not believe in the law of cause and effect, and are deprived of the sense of shame. They do not recognise the link or connection between the present and the future. They also stay away from virtuous friends, and do not follow the instructions of the Buddhas.

Icchantikas are said to lack any kind of shame due to their pride and they do not regret their bad deeds.

Icchantikas are said to lack any kind of shame due to their pride and they do not regret their bad deeds.

 

Are Icchantikas Condemned to Hell for Eternity?

Fortunately, the answer is no. Below are three main reasonings to support this point of view.

1. Impermanence

As things are impermanent, causes can be created to change the circumstances as illustrated below from the ‘Mahaparinirvana Sutra’.

Cunda asked further: “Can such a person, who has transgressed the precepts, be saved at all?”

The Buddha said to Cunda: “If circumstantial factors combine, such a person can indeed be saved. If a person, donning the Buddhist robe, does not discard it, and his mind always repents and fears and is not gone far away, he will reproach himself, saying: “What a fool I was to commit such grave sins! How strange that I should engender this karma!” He greatly repents. He becomes minded to protect Wonderful Dharma and build it up. “I shall certainly make offerings to anyone who protects Dharma. To anyone who recites the Mahayana sutras, I shall pose questions, uphold and recite [those sutras]. If I understand [them] well, I shall speak of them widely to others.”

I say that such a person is not one who has broken the precepts. Why not? O good man! For example, when the sun rises, all gloom clears away. The same applies to the appearance into the world of this all-wonderful Great Nirvana Sutra. This annihilates all the sins committed over innumerable kalpas past. That is why this sutra says that if Wonderful Dharma is gained, great fruition ensues and this saves the person who has broken the precepts.

A person may transgress, but if he repents and returns to Dharma, he will think: “All the evils one performs are like doing evil against one’s own self.” Fear arises and he repents. “There can be no help other than this Wonderful Dharma. For this reason, I shall turn back and take refuge in Wonderful Dharma”. If things proceed thus in taking refuge, a person may make offerings to such a one and there will be no end of good fruition arising from this. Also, we can say that such a person is one worthy of offerings from all the world. There may be a person who does evil, as stated above, and after a month or fifteen days, does not take refuge or confess. If someone makes offerings to such a person, there will be very little merit arising therefrom. The same with one who has committed the five deadly sins. If he repents and feels ashamed in his mind and says to himself that what he has done until now was all evil deeds and the cause of great suffering, and that henceforth he will do all he can to protect Wonderful Dharma, such a person does not come within the category of the five deadly sins. Should offerings be made to such a person, this will call forth an inexpressible amount of blessings. Were one to make offerings to a person who has committed the deadly sins and in whom no thought arises of protecting Dharma and taking refuge, the blessings which might ensue would not be much to talk about.

Source: Chapter Seventeen: On the Questions Raised by the Crowd, The Mahaparinirvana Sutra.

Impermanence, or anicca in Pali and anitya in Sanskrit, is one of the fundamental doctrines in Buddhism. It highlights that all conditioned existence, without exception, is “transient, evanescent, inconstant” and that all temporal things are in a continuous change of condition, subject to decline and destruction. Closely related to this doctrine of impermanence is the doctrine of anatta ( or anatman in Sanskrit) , the concept of “non-self” which states that there is no unchanging, permanent self, soul or essence in living beings. Because of that, icchantikas are not doomed to eternal suffering in hell.

It is possible for an icchantika to make effort and change their destiny. Just like the life cycle of a butterfly, great transformation within us is possible for everyone, including the icchantikas. From a Putuchana (Pali), an ordinary person who is overwhelmed with greed, hatred and ignorance/delusion, we can become a Kallayanachana (Pali), a good person who can differentiate between what is right and wrong. From there, we can advance into becoming an Ariyachana (Pali), the noble one who gets rid of greed, hatred, and ignorance/delusion. Transforming our own mind from an ordinary state to the noble mind is possible as the Buddha has shown us the technique or path.

Just like a butterfly's transformation, the icchantikas can eventually attain Nirvana, transforming from a caterpillar to a butterfly since great transformation is possible for everyone.

Just like a butterfly’s transformation, the icchantikas can eventually attain Nirvana, transforming from a caterpillar to a butterfly since great transformation is possible for everyone.

2. The Kindness of the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas

Buddhas and Bodhisattvas wish to liberate all sentient beings, including the lowest and most evil, and they will not exclude the icchantikas. Scriptures, such as the ‘Flower Adornment Sutra’ and ‘Lankavatara Sutra’ affirm this point of view, stating clearly the qualities of a Buddha, who skillfully rescue all beings, and that the icchantikas will be saved through the liberational power of the Buddhas who will never abandon any being.

Attuned to sentient beings’ wisdom, the Buddhas
Induce them to advance, to gain good benefit;
In that way they rescue sentient beings.
Such is the state of all the Buddhas.

Source: Chapter 10 Bodhisattvas Asks for Clarification, The Flower Adornment Sutra

Those Icchantikas, Mahamati, who have forsaken all the stock of merit might some day be influenced by the power of the Tathagatas and be induced at any moment to foster the stock of merit.

Why? Because Mahamati, no beings are left aside by the Tathagatas.

Source: Chapter 2, Part XXII Two Classes of the Icchantika, The Lankavatara Sutra

The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas do not discriminate and they employ various methods to lead sentient beings to advance along the path to liberation. A Buddha is very skillful, and will find methods to teach and transform each and every sentient being accordingly. All the Buddhas of the ten directions and three periods of time work towards rescuing all sentient beings with great compassion, so ultimately an icchantika will be saved.

“O good man! When a Bodhisattva-mahasattva attains the first soil [“bhumi” – level of a higher Bodhisattva], this is called “great loving-kindness”. Why? O good man! The last [i.e. most] evil person is the icchantika. When a Bodhisattva of the first “bhumi” practises great loving-kindness, no discrimination exists in his mind – not even towards an icchantika. As no wrong is seen, no anger arises. For this reason, we indeed call this “great loving-kindness”. O good man! He deprives all beings of what gives no benefit. This is great loving-kindness. He desires to give an uncountable amount of benefit and bliss to all beings. This is great compassion. He plants joy in the minds of all beings. This is great sympathetic joy. There is no guarding or protecting. This is great equanimity [“upeksha”].

Source: Chapter Twenty-One: On Pure Actions (a) , The Mahaparinirvana Sutra.

The Bodhisattva-mahasattva, having practised loving-kindness, compassion, and sympathetic joy attains the stage of the best-loved only son. O good man! Why do we call this stage that of the “best-loved” and also “only son”? A father and mother, for example, greatly rejoice when they see their son in peace. The same with the Bodhisattvamahasattva who abides in this soil [“bhumi”]. He sees all beings just as though they were his only son. On seeing a person practising good, he greatly rejoices. So we call this stage that of the best-loved.

“O good man! When, for example, a son dies and the father and mother have to part from their son whom they love, their hearts so ache that they feel that they themselves will die too. It is the same with the Bodhisattva. When he sees an icchantika [person of the most deluded, twisted views on life] falling into hell, he himself wishes to be born there, too. Why so? Because this icchantika, as he experiences pain, may gain a moment of repentance when I speak to him of Dharma in various ways and enable him to gain a thought of good. Hence, this stage is called that of an only son.

Source: Chapter Twenty-Two: On Pure Actions (b), The Mahaparinirvana Sutra.

O great King! The Tathagata sees all sick persons and always dispenses the medicine of Dharma. The Tathagata is not to blame if the sick do not take the medicine. O great King! There are two kinds of icchantika. One gains the wholesome root [“kusala-mula”] in the present, and the other the wholesome root in the life to come [i.e. next life]. The Tathagata well knows which of the icchantika will gain the wholesome root in this life. So he speaks of Dharma. Even to the one whose wholesome root actualizes in the life to come, he speaks of Dharma. The result may not come about now, but he makes it the cause in the life to come. For this reason does the Tathagata speak of Dharma to the icchantika. Of the icchantika, there are two kinds. One is sharp, and the other is of middle grade. The one of sharp grade gains the wholesome root in this life; the one of middle grade will gain it in the life to come. The All-Buddha-World-Honoured One does not speak for nothing. O great King! For example, a person who is clean does not fall into the privy [cesspit]; a good teacher of the Way sees and pities him, and goes forward, catches hold of his hair and pulls him out. So do things obtain with the All-Buddha-Tathagata. He sees all beings falling into the pit of the three unfortunate realms. He effects expedients and saves them. It is for this reason that the Tathagata does indeed speak of Dharma even to the icchantikas.”

Source: Chapter Twenty-Five: On Pure Actions (e), The Mahaparinirvana Sutra.

The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will not abandon any sentient being, including the icchantikas.

The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will not abandon any sentient being, including the icchantikas.

3. All Beings Possess Buddha-Nature

There are several terms used to describe the Buddha-nature or Buddha Principle that is present in all sentient beings, with the two most relevant ones being “Tathagatagarbha” and “Buddhadhatu”. “Tathagatagarbha” is a compound of two terms, Tathagata and garbha. A Tathagatha is “one who has thus gone” from Samsara (birth and death) to Nirvana (liberation) while garbha means “womb”, embryo”or “essence”. The Chinese translation of the term, 如来藏 (rúláizàng) means ‘Tathagata’s storehouse’, indicating that it “enfolds or contain”, and the Tibetan translation, de bzhin gshegs pa’i snying po refers to “embryonic essence” or the “heart”. “Buddhadhatu” is commonly explained as the nature of the Buddha, which is equivalent to the term dharmakaya. There is also another explanation that it is the cause of the Buddha. In the ‘Mahaparinirvana Sutra’, it is explained as “a sacred nature that is the basis for [beings] becoming Buddhas.”

An explanation that may help to illustrate this better is by Dr. Guang Xing, from his book “The Concept of the Buddha: Its Evolution from Early Buddhism to the Trikaya Theory”, which states that the Tathagatagarbha is the same as the tathata and the dharmakaya. It is called the dharmakaya at the stage of Buddhahood [enlightened beings] because pure nature is revealed, and it is called Tathagatagarbha or Buddhadhatu at the stage of sentient beings [who are not yet enlightened] because the same pure nature is covered with defilements.

As all beings possess Buddha-nature and since no phenomenon is fixed, a deluded person, such as an icchantika too can change for the better. They can repent on their bad deeds and actions, and do away with the icchantika within themselves. Ultimately, icchantikas can also gain the ten powers, the four fearlessnesses, Great Compassion, and the three thinkings of a Buddha. This point is repeatedly affirmed in the ‘Mahaparinirvana Sutra’.

“O good man! The icchantika is not fixed. If fixed, he could not gain unsurpassed Enlightenment. As he is not yet fixed, he can indeed gain it.

“You say that unless he has cut off the Buddha-Nature, how could an icchantika cut off the root of all good?

“O good man! There are two kinds of root of good. One is internal, and the other external. The Buddha-Nature is neither internal nor external. Because of this, there is no cutting off of the Buddha-Nature. Also, there are two kinds. One is defiled, and the other undefiled. The Buddha-Nature is neither defiled nor non-defiled. Because of this, there is no cutting off. Also, there are two kinds. One is eternal, and the other is non-eternal. The Buddha-Nature is neither eternal nor non-eternal. Because of this, there is no cutting off. If cut, it will come back again and be gained again. If it comes back and cannot be gained, this is non-cutting. If what is gained is cut off, this is an icchantika. A person who performs the four grave offences is also one not fixed. If fixed, one who has performed the four grave offences could not gain unsurpassed Bodhi. One who slanders the vaipulya is also not fixed. If fixed, the slanderer could not attain unsurpassed Bodhi. One who has committed the five deadly sins is also not fixed. If fixed, such a one would not be able to attain unsurpassed Bodhi. Matter and the characteristics of matter, too, are both not fixed.

Source: Chapter Twenty-Eight: Bodhisattva Highly-Virtuous King (b), The Mahaparinirvana Sutra

O good man! The icchantika is unable to do away with the mind of the icchantika, no matter whether he encounters a good friend, the Buddha or the Bodhisattvas, and listens to the words of deep meaning or not. Why? Because he is segregated from Wonderful Dharma. The icchantika, too, will gain unsurpassed Enlightenment. Why? If he aspires to Enlightenment, such a one is no longer an icchantika.

Source: Chapter Thirty-Two: Bodhisattva Highly-Virtuous King (f), The Mahaparinirvana Sutra

“The icchantika first crushes out the icchantika [i.e. ceases to be an icchantika within himself] and then he gains the ten powers, the four fearlessnesses, Great Compassion, and the three thinkings. That is why I always say that all beings possess the Buddha-Nature.

SourceChapter Thirty-Three: On Bodhisattva Lion’s Roar (a), The Mahaparinirvana Sutra

All beings have Buddha-nature, even the icchantika. So when an icchantika abandons the mind that he possesses, he can indeed attain unsurpassed enlightenment. Devadatta, the infamous cousin of the Buddha was thought to be an icchantika, and hence had no chance of attaining Buddhahood. He was considered the greatest enemy of Buddha and made numerous attempts to kill the Buddha. Notwithstanding, even Devadatta, together with the rest of the icchantikas – all of them will attain Buddhahood someday. This is consistent with what was mentioned in the ‘Lotus Sutra’, as well as the ‘Mahaparinirvana Sutra’ that icchantikas can also attain Buddhahood on the basis that all living beings possess the same Buddha-nature.

There is a famous incident, popular among Chinese Buddhists that confirms this point of view, referred to as “生公说法,顽石点头”, or “When the Venerable Daosheng spoke the Dharma, dull rocks nodded their heads”. Venerable Daosheng (竺道生, 360-434 C.E.) was one of the foremost disciples of the Venerable Huiyuan (慧远, 334–416 C.E.), the First Patriarch of the Pure Land School of Buddhism. Venerable Daosheng propagated the view that all sentient beings, including the icchantikas have Buddha-nature. At that time, only the short form of ‘Mahaparinirvana Sutra’, which appears to deny the Buddha-nature of icchantikas was available and translated into Chinese. The longer version of the sutra, which explicitly includes the icchantikas in the universality of the Buddha-nature was not yet available. However, Venerable Daosheng was a firm proponent of this, which led to his expulsion from the Buddhist community in the year 428 or 429.

Venerable Daosheng was teaching in Suzhou, China, when he reasoned that despite having insufficient faith, icchantikas are living beings and thus possess the Buddha-nature. Consequently, it becomes impossible to say that icchantikas lack Buddha-nature. His belief angered many Dharma masters, who said that his talk was that of demon kings. Later on, many Dharma masters forbade and discouraged all their disciples and the general public from attending Venerable Daosheng’s teachings, saying that anyone who listened to his lectures on the sutras would “fall into the hells”.

Determined to share the truth, Venerable Daosheng took off to Huqiu (Tiger Mountain). He set up rocks in front of him and started his teaching. Venerable Daosheng said to the rocks “Icchantikas will become Buddhas too. I said Icchantikas do have the Buddha-nature! Do you agree?” It was said that the rocks jumped to attention, moved and nodded in agreement. This was not told by Venerable Daosheng, but paradoxically said by those who opposed him.

Venerable Daosheng was a great exegete of the Mahaparinirvana Sutra and expounder of the theory of the Buddha-nature. In fact, he was the initiator of the tradition.

Venerable Daosheng was a great exegete of the ‘Mahapariirvana Sutra’ and expounder of the theory of the Buddha-nature. In fact, he was the initiator of the tradition.

With the availability of Dharmaksema’s translation of the long ‘Mahaparinirvana Sutra’ after the year 430, Venerable Daosheng was then praised for his insight. He remained in Lushan, composing his commentary on the ‘Lotus Sutra’ from the year 432 until his death in 434.

Venerable Daosheng’s propagation and interpretation of the Buddha-nature greatly impacted Chinese Buddhism and prepared the ground for the Ch’an (Zen) school emergence in the 6th century. Venerable Daosheng’s theory of Buddha-nature also directly influenced landscape poetry during the Six Dynasties period (220–589 C.E.) in China.

All beings possess the Buddha-nature and are able to achieve enlightenment, including the icchantikas.

All beings possess the Buddha-nature and are able to achieve enlightenment, including the icchantikas.

 

Some Lessons from the Sutras

The Lotus Sutra

The Lotus Sutra is one of the most widely read or revered texts of Mahayana Buddhism, with its teachings propagated in most schools of Buddhism in China, Korea, and Japan. The sutra’s name in Sanskrit is Maha Saddharma-pundarika Sutra, or “Great Sutra of the Lotus of the Wonderful Law.”

“Universal Gateway”, Chapter 25 of the Lotus Sutra, text inscribed by Sugawara Mitsushige, from the Kamakura period in Japan.

“Universal Gateway”, Chapter 25 of the Lotus Sutra, text inscribed by Sugawara Mitsushige, from the Kamakura period in Japan. (Click to enlarge)

Some teachings from The Lotus Sutra:

1. All Vehicles Are One Vehicle
The Buddha explained the doctrine of triyana, or “three vehicles” to Nirvana. In short, the triyana describes people who realize enlightenment by hearing the Buddha’s sermons, people who realize enlightenment for themselves through their own effort, and the path of the bodhisattva. These three vehicles are one vehicle, the Buddha vehicle, through which all beings become buddhas.

2. All Beings May Become Buddhas
Dharmakaya as explained in the sutra is the unity of all things and beings, unmanifested, beyond existence or nonexistence, unbound by time and space. Because the dharmakaya is all beings, all beings have the potential to awaken to their true nature and attain Buddhahood.

3. The Importance of Faith and Devotion
The Lotus Sutra stresses the importance of faith and devotion as means to the realisation of enlightenment as Buddhahood may not be attained through intellect alone. It also explains that the absolute teaching cannot be expressed in words or understood by ordinary cognition.

Information extracted from: The Lotus Sutra: An Overview, https://www.thoughtco.com/the-lotus-sutra-an-overview-450024

 

The Mahaparinirvana Sutra

The Mahaparinirvana Sutra (The Sutra of the Great Demise) is considered one of the Tathagatagarbha sutras. The theme of the Tathagatagarbha group of sutras is Buddha Nature and the potential of all beings to realise Buddhahood. This Buddhist scripture about Sakyamuni’s attainment of Nirvana was translated by Dharmaksema, an Indian monk who travelled to North Liang, China and the Mahaparinirvana Sutra is known to hold the vastest contents among all extant Nirvana Sutras.

The only remaining copy of the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, made by the Daejang Dogam in Korea, which was the office responsible for the production of Buddhist scriptures, in the year 1241.

The only remaining copy of the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, made by the Daejang Dogam in Korea, which was the office responsible for the production of Buddhist scriptures, in the year 1241. (Click to enlarge)

Some teachings from The Mahaparinirvana Sutra:

1. The Essential Buddha
The essential Buddha, which transcends his physical, historical form, is eternal, unchanging, everlasting, beginningless, endless, steadfast and indestructible. The Buddha is capable of projecting manifestations of himself in numerous bodies, modes and times and omnipresent across time and space, yet disassociated from time and space.

2. Buddha-Nature in All Sentient Beings
There exists an immortal, immanent and transcendent, radiantly shining Buddha-dhatu (Buddha principle) or Tathagata-garbha (Buddha-Matrix) in all sentient beings. This links sentient beings to Buddhahood and functions as the cause of spiritual awakening (bodhi). Thus all persons and creatures possess one-and-the-same immutable core to their being: the essence of a Buddha, which inheres in and embraces all things – conditioned and unconditioned – and yet is beyond them all, unconstrained by all process and change. This is also why the Buddha shows strong support for vegetarianism in this sutra.

3. Buddhadhatu or Tathagatagarbha
The Buddhadhatu or Tathagatagarbha is the very essence (svabhava) or Dharmakaya (ultimate level of being) of the Buddha and of all persons and creatures, in contradistinction to the five transient skandhas (impermanent mental/physical elements of the “worldly ego”). The Buddha himself is the visible manifestation of the Buddhadhatu and is no less than the inconceivable, virtue-filled Soul or Self (sometimes termed the “True Self” – satya-atman), whose potency inheres in our own body-and-mind complex, and into which Self we should “enter”. Such “entry” is made possible when we have eradicated the kleshas (negative mental, moral and behavioural tendencies) from our being. The chief kleshas are passionate desire, anger, delusion and pride.

4. The Root of All Good Qualities
The root of all good qualities is Friendliness or Loving-kindness (maitri), in association with Compassion, Empathetic Joy, and Impartiality towards all beings; these qualities are also inherent in the nature of the Buddha. The universal application of Kindliness (maitri) implicitly excludes all possibility of hatred for any being on the basis of his/her race, religion, sex or sexuality – indeed, all hatred is to be rejected as a klesha (moral contaminant). Instead, all beings should be “regarded as one’s only child” (i.e. with the caring eye of a loving parent).

Information extracted from: Nirvana Sutra: Appreciation of the “Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra”, https://www.nirvanasutra.net/

 

The Lankavatara Sutra

The Lankavatara Sutra is one of the most important sutras (sacred texts) of Mahayana Buddhism. According to tradition, these are the actual words of the Buddha as he entered Sri Lanka (formerly called Ceylon). The sutra is set in Lanka, the island fortress capital of Ravana, the king of raksasas. The title of this text roughly translates as, “Scripture of the Descent into Lanka” or “Sutra of the Appearance of the Good Doctrine in Lanka”), in full, Saddharma-lankavatara-sutra. The sutra recounts a teaching primarily between the Buddha and a Bodhisattva named Mahamati (“Great Wisdom”).

The Sutra has always been a favourite with the Ch’an sect (Zen, in Japan) and has had a great deal to do with that sect’s origin and development. There is a tradition that started when Bodhidharma, the First Patriarch of Ch’an sect in China handed over his begging-bowl and robe to his successor Huike (Eka), he also gave him his copy of the Lankavatara, saying that he needed no other sutra.

This Chinese-Tibetan Lankavatara Sutra is a special bilingual manuscripts retrieved from Dunhuang, China. The Chinese text, in black ink, is a commentary on the Lankavatara Sutra while the Tibetan text, in red ink, is the Tibetan translation of the sutra itself.

This Chinese-Tibetan Lankavatara Sutra is a special bilingual manuscripts retrieved from Dunhuang, China. The Chinese text, in black ink, is a commentary on the Lankavatara Sutra while the Tibetan text, in red ink, is the Tibetan translation of the sutra itself. (Click to enlarge)

Some teachings from The Lankavatara Sutra:

The Lankavatara Sutra draws upon the concepts and doctrines of Yogacara and Tathagatagarbha. The most important doctrine issuing from the Lankavatara Sutra is that of the primacy of consciousness (Skt. vijnana) often called simply “Mind Only” – the teaching of consciousness as the only reality. The sutra asserts that all the objects of the world, and the names and forms of experience, are merely manifestations of the mind. The Lankavatara Sutra describes the various tiers of consciousness in the individual, culminating in the “storehouse consciousness” (Skt. Alayavijnana), which is the base of the individual’s deepest awareness and his tie to the cosmic.

The Lankavatara Sutra also suggests another important Mahayana doctrine, developed in later Buddhism, and that is the three bodies of Buddhahood, in effect the three levels of enlightened reality:

– transcendental dimension (Sanskrit dharmakaya) – the ultimate level of enlightenment, which is beyond names and forms

– celestial dimension, (Sanskrit sambhogakaya) – expression of the symbolic and archetypal dimension of Buddhahood, to which only the spiritually developed have access

– terrestrial or transformational dimension, (Sanskrit nirmanakaya) – The dimension of Buddhahood to which the unenlightened have access, and where the phenomena of the world exist.

Lankavatara Sutra teaches that the world is an illusory reflection of ultimate, undifferentiated mind and that this truth suddenly becomes an inner realisation in concentrated meditation.

Information extracted from: Lankavatara Sutra, http://thezenuniverse.org/la%E1%B9%85kavatara-sutra/

 

The Avatamsaka Sutra (The Flower Adornment Sutra)

The Avatamsaka Sutra, or the Mahavaipulya-buddhavatamsaka-sutra (“The Great and Vast Buddha Garland Sutra”) is a Mahayana Buddhist scripture that reveals how reality appears to an enlightened being. It is best known for its sumptuous descriptions of the inter-existence of all phenomena. The Avatamsaka also describes the stages of development of a Bodhisattva.

The title of the sutra usually is translated into English as Flower Garland, Flower Ornament or Flower Adornment Sutra. Also, some early commentaries refer to it as the Bodhisattva Pitaka.

A copy of the Avatamsaka Sutra from the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) , from the collection of The Harvard Art Museums

A copy of the Avatamsaka Sutra from the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) , from the collection of The Harvard Art Museums. (Click to enlarge)

Some teachings from The Avatamsaka Sutra:

All reality is perfectly interpenetrating, the sutra says. Each individual phenomenon not only perfectly reflects all other phenomena but also the ultimate nature of existence. In the Avatamsaka, the Buddha Vairocana represents the ground of being. All phenomena emanate from him, and at the same time, he perfectly pervades all things.

Because all phenomena arise from the same ground of being, all things are within everything else. And yet the many things do not hinder each other.

Two sections of the Avatamsaka are often presented as separate sutras. One of these is the Dasabhumika, which presents the ten stages of development of a bodhisattva before Buddhahood.

The other is the Gandavyuha, which tells the story of the pilgrim Sudhana studying with a succession of 53 Bodhisattva teachers. The bodhisattvas come from a broad spectrum of humanity — a prostitute, priests, laypeople, beggars, kings and queens, and transcendent bodhisattvas. At last Sudhana enters the vast tower of Maitreya, a place of endless space containing other towers of endless space. The boundaries of Sudhana’s mind and body fall away, and he perceives the dharmadatu as an ocean of matter in flux.

Information extracted from: The Avatamsaka Sutra: The Flower Garland Scripture, https://www.thoughtco.com/the-avatamsaka-sutra-450027

 
Sources:

  • Buswell, R., ‘Encyclopedia of Buddhism’, New York, Macmillan Reference USA, 2004.
  • Chinabuddhismencyclopedia.com, ‘Icchantika – Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia’, http://www.chinabuddhismencyclopedia.com/en/index.php/Icchantika, [website], (accessed 10 Feb. 2019).
  • City of 10,000 Buddhas , ‘The Flower Adornment Sutra with Commentary 10’, http://www.cttbusa.org/fas10/fas10.asp, [website], (accessed 10 Feb. 2019).
  • En.wikipedia.org, ‘Icchantika’, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icchantika, [website], (accessed 10 Feb. 2019).
  • Epstein, R., ‘Buddhist Text Translation Society’s Buddhism A to Z’, Burlingame, Buddhist Text Translation Society, 2019.
  • Karashima, S., ‘Who were the icchantikas?’, Academia.edu, https://www.academia.edu/9211662/Who_were_the_icchantikas, [website], (accessed 10 Feb. 2019).
  • Keown, D., ‘A dictionary of Buddhism’, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Liu, M., ‘The Problem of the Icchantika in the Mahāyāna Mahāparinirvāna Sūtra’, Journals.ub.uni-heidelberg.de, https://journals.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/index.php/jiabs/article/view/8619, [website], (accessed 10 Feb. 2019).
  • O’Brien, B., ‘An Introduction to the Maha Saddharma-pundarika Sutra or Lotus Sutra’, ThoughtCo, https://www.thoughtco.com/the-lotus-sutra-an-overview-450024, [website], (accessed 10 Feb. 2019).
  • O’Brien, B., ‘The Avatamsaka Sutra’, ThoughtCo, https://www.thoughtco.com/the-lotus-sutra-an-overview-450024, [website], (accessed 10 Feb. 2019).
  • Ogawa, I., ‘Busshō shisō’, Kyoto, Kyōto-shi Bun’eidō Shoten, 1982.
  • Suzuki, D., ‘Studies in the Lankavatara Sutra’, London, Routledge, 1930.
  • The Zen Universe, ‘Lankavatara Sutra’, The Zen Universe, http://thezenuniverse.org/la%E1%B9%85kavatara-sutra/, [website], (accessed 10 Feb. 2019).
  • Uttamapanno, P. , ‘The lesson of the butterfly can transform each one of us’, Dailypress.com, https://www.dailypress.com/news/dp-xpm-20100807-2010-08-07-dp-fea-relcol-0808-20100807-story.html, [website], (accessed 10 Feb. 2019).
  • Xing, G., ‘The Concept of the Buddha’. New York, Routledge, 2005.
  • Yamamoto, K., ‘The Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra’, Shabkar.org, http://www.shabkar.org/download/pdf/Mahaparinirvana_Sutra_Yamamoto_Page_2007.pdf, [website], (accessed 10 Feb. 2019).

 

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6 Responses to The Icchantikas

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  1. Chris Chong on Jun 13, 2019 at 2:22 am

    Thank you, Rinpoche and blog team for sharing this information with us. The idea of Icchantikas are a group of beings that is beyond salvation of the Buddha does not make sense to me. Buddha had said that every single sentient being out there has a Buddha nature in them and with proper guidance and hard-work, we are able to awaken our Buddha nature.

    Even when Icchantikas had a negative experience with the Buddha or as a Buddhist which create the negative karma that propels them into being an Icchantikas, it is still a connection with the Buddhas even if it is a negative one. Rinpoche had said before that this negative connection is better than no connection at all.

    Eventually, these connections might have the chance to turn into positive ones because anything to do with Buddha or Dharma will eventually be beneficial.

  2. Yee Yin on Mar 26, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    This is the first time I heard of Icchantikas. Icchantikas are beings who do not have any goodness in them, this is really sad when there is no more goodness left. It also sounds really scary when a being becomes an Icchantika. Scary in the sense that some Buddhists believe Icchantikas are beyond all redemption, losing forever the capacity to achieve Nirvana (or ‘liberation’), and have to live for a kalpa (an aeon) in hell.

    It is also said that Icchantikas are those who were once Buddhists but later abandoned the Buddha’s teachings and did the opposite of what the Buddha had taught. We must be careful of our thoughts and actions and do only what the Buddha had said. If our thoughts or actions are not correct, we are creating the cause to not practice Buddhism and we can end up as an Icchantika.

    But there are still hopes for the Icchantikas. As Buddha had said before, nothing stays the same forever and every being has the potential of becoming a Buddha, that includes Icchantikas. It is just it will take a long time for the Icchantikas to exhaust the negative karma they have created and then be able to learn Dharma again. It is better not to become an Icchantikas, life in hell is pure sufferings. If we feel we are suffering now as a human being, the suffering Icchantikas will have to go through is even worse.

  3. Samfoonheei on Mar 11, 2019 at 12:15 pm

    First time coming across this word, reading this article gave me a new knowledge and a new word in Buddhism. In Mahayana Buddhism the icchantika is a deluded being who can never attain Liberation and Nirvana. One who has no interest in the path to Awakening, or one whose good roots are completely covered. Interesting read even though there is a number of new words but I will try to understand it a little by little to increase my knowledge.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this teachings

  4. Sofi on Mar 8, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    What an interesting post! I read in amazement of the fact that these people are not able to be helped and will go to hell to suffer the conditions that they themselves had created within their mind. As Jacinta mentioned, we should dedicate our merits to them so that they may open up their grip on their deep seeded attachments to their selfishness and negativities, to realise these are the things that are actually keeping them in sufferings and not to blame others. What an eye-opener and also a scary prospect that we will not wish ourselves to be in. Serves as a warning and a push for us to practice well, especially to transform ourselves through kindness and caring for others. Thank you, Rinpoche for sharing this post with us.

  5. Jacinta on Mar 4, 2019 at 10:39 am

    Dear Rinpoche,

    I believe I have seen this word “Icchantikas” before. Yes, they should be a part of the beings that we should prayed for. They should be an object for our compassion. Buddha has clearly mentioned that in the end, all of us will be liberated. Even the Author (Samuel) of The Journey through Hell https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/the-journey-through-hell observed that the circumstances that the hell beings were in, were actually the continuation of the deprivation that were generated in their mind. In short, their sufferings comes from their mind. He also mentioned that “We entered hell many times through conflict, argument and depression. During which our mental conception is escalate into frozen sphere”. Thank you Rinpoche for the sharing on Icchantikas. It took me more than a minute to read this though ?.

    I have great interest in reading a few sutras mentioned in this article. I think most of us have come across of these sutras in parts. It has been mentioned in many teachings and even in Lamrim. I’ve read some of the sutras in Lama Yeshe website. There’s another website that offers a whole range of sutras too that I will read it from time to time. However, I am not sure if it’s authencity and hence it will not be good for me to provide the link here.

    From sutras, I learnt quite a lot from it. We will be given explanation how the sutras came about, the beings attending the teachings when Buddha spoke about the Sutra. Sometimes mantras will be given too. Thank you once again.

  6. Tsa Tsa Ong on Mar 3, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    I truly enjoyed reading this interesting article on Icchantikas as said to have broken their vows, misconduct, misdeeds and slandered the correct teaching of the Buddha, not repenting and not rectifying the error. However, they can be liberated from samsara when they have repented on their past sins. Thank you very much Rinpoche and blog team for sharing this interesting post and teachings. ??

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  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Feb 27. 2021 05:33 PM
    Watching the videos and looking at those pictures in this post tell us more. Sad to see the working conditions really bad especially in the brick kilns of Andhra Pradesh,India. We could see those working men, women and younf children are working round the clock 12 just to earn a living.
    We are considered more fortunate enough than them and we should not complain of what we have, live and so on. We should appreciate every moment , what we have now to do good and beneficial for others, no matter how hard and difficult at times as others might be worse than us.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing with us .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/you-have-to-see-this.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Feb 27. 2021 05:32 PM
    Wow…..wonderful dog lovers should read to help them to be more caring, loving having a pet. Once we have them as our pet we have the responsibility to give care and love to them. Dogs have feelings like us and is men best friend.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this essential facts for dog lovers.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/20-essential-facts-dog-lovers-must-always-remember.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Feb 27. 2021 05:31 PM
    Scientists had looking at long term, discovered that estimated about 100 to 10,000 species will be extinct soon if nothing is done. Could imagine from microscopic organisms to large plants and animals will go extinct each year. Animal such as sharks, lions, Pit bulls dogs and so forth as mentioned in this blog can become extinct when humans over hunt and over fish, pollute the environment, destroy habitats , and many others. Reading this post tells us more those world’s most dangerous animals are in fact in danger themselves. But the actions of humans toward those dangerous animal has proven more dangerous than that of the animal. Interesting read .
    Thank you Shakila Rajendra for this sharing…..good knowledge . May more people are aware of the harm they are doing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/the-worlds-most-dangerous-animals-in-danger-themselves.html
  • sarassitham
    Thursday, Feb 25. 2021 01:04 AM
    This is kind of hard to believe and shocking to imagine the weirdest addiction of people in this planet, they are extremely strange. People can become addicted to actions, feelings, or behaviors, not just substances. There must be something behind of every addiction, I don’t think they are crazy or mentally ill, it’s their weird enjoyment for a short time.

    I had a friend in my primary school who eats mud during rainy days, she told me, it smells good and she enjoys doing it during her play time. I found it strange but has she grow up in different environment she forget about her addiction. So, I strongly believe, all behaviors can be changed when the person gains self-awareness and actually wants to change. Thanks for the interesting sharing and recall of my childhood friend.
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Feb 24. 2021 01:33 PM
    nteresting read of this history of how Dorje Shugden practice came into light . Since Dorje Shugden was introduced into the Sakya tradition, there have been many Sakya throne holders that practiced Dorje Shugden. Out of the 42 supreme throne holders throughout the history of the Sakya tradition, six of the thrones holders are confirmed to have practiced Dorje Shugden. They have built chapels to him, composed prayers and pujas (kangsols) to him and even propagated his practice amongst their disciples. They cannot be wrong and in fact as confirmed by the 39th Sakya Trizin Dragshul Trinley Rinchen Dorje Shugden is an enlightened being. Dorje Shugden kangsol (prayer) to invoke the blessings of Dorje Shugden composed by him is still widely used today. Dorje Shugden must be a powerful Dharma protector that Sakya tradition have been long relying. It has proven that Dorje Shugden is not a minor practice. Interesting read , may more people read this post to understand better.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this post .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/sakya-trizins-dorje-shugden-prayer.html
  • sarassitham
    Tuesday, Feb 23. 2021 11:23 PM
    Thank you for sharing this yummy recipe. It looks very delicious, healthy and nutritious. I can’t wait to try making it has the ingredients are easy to purchase and methods are simple. I wonder what it taste like.

    https://bit.ly/37DAV7y
  • sarassitham
    Monday, Feb 22. 2021 11:55 PM
    There are lots of people have more than one reason for choosing vegetarianism. Many people choose a vegetarian diet out of concern over animal rights or the environment and others may be based on religious beliefs or even for healthier lifestyle.

    Regardless of whether you choose a vegetarian way of life, it’s always a healthy idea to eat a wide variety of foods and try out new foods when you can.

    Thank you for the sharing and compiling the list of vegetarian restaurants and organic shops in Klang Valley. I am glad to know whereabout and hoping to try them.

    https://bit.ly/3siC4tf
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Feb 22. 2021 03:30 PM
    Begtse Chen, a deity of alien origin, was incorporated into the pantheon of Tibetan Buddhism as a protector of the Dharma. This Proyector is one of the eight famous Dharmapala in Tantric Buddhism. Also known as red Mahakala and is especially revered in Mongolia where the origin of Begtse Chen can be traced to a pre-Buddhist deity in 16th century. It has become the mainstay of Protector practice in Mongolia. Interesting read.
    Thank you for this sharing .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-dharma-protector-begtse-chen.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Feb 22. 2021 03:27 PM
    Interesting read of Kunkhyen Choku Ozer was a lineage master of the Manjushri Namasamgiti Tantra. He became known as Kunkhyen Choku Ozer due to his ability to penetrate the meaning of the great Buddhist treatises merely just by glancing at it. He could memolised texts just by reading it once. Reading this post and information at least I can know he is also a part of Dorje Shugden’s incarnation lineage. He is also famed for establishing the ancient monastery of Dakpo Tsele.
    Thank you Pastor David for this sharing as many of us would not have known this GREAT Lama was part of Dorje Shugden’s incarnation lineage.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/kunkhyen-choku-ozer-master-of-the-kalachakra-guhyasamaja-tantras.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Feb 22. 2021 03:25 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for the teachings on Dorje Shugden and explanation on retreat. Learning and practicing this Dorje Shugden’s practice have indeed benefited many people. And more so when to do a retreat. . We are all very fortunate to be given an opportunity to meet Tsem Rinpoche and learning, practicing all these precious teachings coming from a pure lineage that can be traced back to the time of the great Lama Tsongkhapa. A very detailed explanation on why we need the retreat and the way to do the retreat.
    Thanks again Rinpoche with folded hands.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/dorje-shugden-retreat-a-powerful-practice-to-fulfill-wishes.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Feb 21. 2021 01:54 PM
    Tsem Rinpoche had been working tirelessly teaching Dharma in his whole life, giving many opportunities for us to learn , practice Dharma teachings. Whatever goes wrong we should admit it as our own fault and not our guru. Rinpoche ‘s love to spread Dharma teachings and nothing else. He had followed his advice of his guru to come all the way from India to teach in Malaysia. Reading all those meaningful quotes and sayings in this article tells us a thousand words of truth which we should not take it lightly. We could in fact learn from it and stop blaming others.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this profound teachings.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/is-it-the-gurus-fault.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Feb 21. 2021 01:51 PM
    HH the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso , the highest spiritual leader of Tibet, who is a living Bodhisattva, an emanation of Avalokiteśvara. Blessing to have a change looking at this rare picture taken years ago of Dalai lama on the throne . Dalai Lama is well known as a Buddhist Advocate for Peace and Freedom.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/his-holiness-the-supreme-holder-of-the-white-lotus.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Feb 21. 2021 01:48 PM
    Tibetans all over the world celebrates Losar, or Tibetan New Year with the beginning of Lunar year. This year it falls on the 12 February, every one will be looking forward to this day. A new year a new beginning , where the Panglung Oracle will take trance of the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. As usual every year the Panglung Oracle will give advices, offering guidance, for the year ahead to everyone of what to do and so forth. Whatever advices given should not taken lightly. The Panglung Oracle as Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden will also give teachings and blessing . For this year Dorje Shugden gave a very powerful teachings and messages.
    Thank you for sharing this precious message.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/dorje-shugdens-2021-losar-advice.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Feb 20. 2021 02:06 PM
    Interesting read , even though short but at least knowing the home Monastery of H E Tsem Rinpoche’s previous incarnation, Gedun Nyedrak. The monastery was called ‘Tsem’,where a custodian of a tooth relic of the great Lama Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
    Thank you Pastor David for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/gedun-nyedrak-an-abbot-of-gaden.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Feb 20. 2021 01:59 PM
    News of UFO always fascinating to me . There are many UFO sighting hotspots exist across the globe, it has long since scientist have a keen interest to investigate further. UFOs has become a modern sensation for hunters , scientist and so forth. There was only the ambiguous testament of witnesses so far all happen and appeared mysteries without any substantial evidence. But the Japanese government has admitted and believes definitely they the UFO exist. Well the Japanese government has even made a statement about alien spacecraft appearing on Earth. Many people have denied the existence of UFOs, but with so many UFO sightings they cannot denied it after all. Sound interesting.
    The Buddha has once said that we are not the only beings in existence and we are not alone on earth. Interesting videos to watch.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/japanese-admits-ufo-exists.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

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According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn\'t this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
1 year ago
According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn't this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden\'s blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
1 year ago
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden's blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
1 year ago
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat\'s doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
1 year ago
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat's doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
1 year ago
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
1 year ago
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
1 year ago
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
It\'s very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it\'s very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
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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    3 yearss ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 yearss ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    3 yearss ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
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  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    3 yearss ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    3 yearss ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

  • 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.
  • February 25, 2021 01:33
    Kuenzang wangdi asked: What would be my most suitable colour ?
    pastor answered: Dear Kuenzang Wangdi, Thank you for your question. The following calculators may be of interest to you: Chinese Zodiac: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/horoscopes/the-chinese-zodiac.html Tibetan Astrology: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/tibetan-astrology/tibetan-astrology.html In relation to which colour if most favourable for you, unfortunately our calculators do not give this information. However, from a Buddhist practice viewpoint, what is more important is the transformation of the mind. Once we transform our minds according to teachings, we are able to overcome any obstacle and create good conditions for our lives. You can learn a very short mind transformation teaching here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/eight-verses-of-thought-transformation.html You can couple this with formal practice. If you are interested, a very good practice to bring energies of increase and generate a long life, merits, wealth and prosperity in your life, is the the practice of Gyenze. You can find information about the practice here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/dorje-shugden-gyenze-to-increase-life-merits-and-wealth.html. I hope this helps. Thanks.
  • February 22, 2021 22:14
    Naseer asked: Hi My name is Naseer Ahmed 8th dec 1979. Life path 1 Im looking to add to my name slightly... change it too... Naseer Al Ahmed... Would this be more complimentary as far as for the business front... or would it not make any difference
    pastor answered: Hello Naseer, As per your question, your Life Path Number is 1. The Life Path Number according to the system of numerology used on our website is calculated using your date of birth. Therefore, a change in name will not affect your Life Path Number. Some of the other calculators on the same page do however use your name. One of the smaller calculators you may be interested in is the Achievement Number, but again, this only uses your date of birth for the calculation. You can find it here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/numerology/numerology-calculator.html You may also be interested in two of our other pages: Chinese Zodiac - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/horoscopes/the-chinese-zodiac.html Tibetan Astrology - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/tibetan-astrology/tibetan-astrology.html Thank you for your question. I hope this helps.
  • February 20, 2021 18:36
    Sandra asked: After making a food offering to the three jewels (which we will eat for lunch etc), should we think of it as a blessing and partake?
    pastor answered: Hello Sandra, When making food offerings to the Three Jewels, which you eat yourself, when you recite the prayer and make the offering, you should visualise that the Buddhas receive your food offering and because you have made an offering, they are very pleased. It also fulfills one of the Refuge commitments, which is to offer the first portion of whatever we eat and drink to the Three Jewels, while remembering their kindness. You can then partake of the meal and consider it a blessing from the Three Jewels. Alternatively, you can set out a plate (which you reserve for this purpose) of food, which you can offer on your altar. Similarly, once the food has been left on your altar for a while, you can later remove it and consume it as a blessing. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • February 19, 2021 04:33
    Sandra asked: Is intovertedness a bad quality? Since Buddha is so altruistic and this is the opposite trait, it must be bad. How do you think one should lessen introverted tendencies?
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Introvertedness is not a bad quality. Altruism and compassion are different from being an introvert or extrovert. Introverts are generally quieter people, less expressive of their emotions, while extroverts are the opposite. Buddhist practice is not about expression of emotion. Rather the altruistic and compassionate teachings are more about how you help other people and sentient beings, physically or emotionally. If the qualities of introverted-ness are stopping you from developing these, then they need to change. But this may not be necessary, depending on the qualities that you are talking about. You can do simple meditations to building up the energy of compassion in your mindstream and you will see that you actions will automatically start to be more compassionate and altruistic. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • February 18, 2021 03:28
    Sandra asked: How should one behave when negative karma is being purified? How can we know if bad karma is being purified? Do we accumulate positive karma simultaneously when doing purification practices? Many thanks for your response.
    pastor answered: Hello again Sandra, There are two ways in which karma can be purified, the first is through our own efforts alone and the second is through our own effort, combined with a purification practice. Through our own efforts: this means that you transform your mind enough to not react negatively in any situation and only react in a positive manner. For example, you may have the karma to get angry. So you get into situations which makes you angry. If you react normally, then you will get angry again, this will only lead you to create more karma of being angry. But if you make the effort not to get angry in those situations then you do not create or multiply that karma. The original karma you have may lead you to be in those types of situations again, but if you do not get angry then after a while you start to purify that karma. Through your own efforts, combined with a purification practice: as you are working on transforming your mind, you can rely on the practices that help you to purify your karma, such as the practice of Vajrasattva or the 35 Confessional Buddhas. This boosts your ability to purify negative karma, based on the enlightened energies of the Buddhas. This however is only truly effective when combined with the Four Opponent Powers. You can read more about that here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-35-confessional-buddhas.html In general, when karma is being purified then you should remain level-headed and not act out of emotion or habit, but from your understanding of the workings of karma and the Dharma. But actually, this should not only be when karma is being purified. You should act and behave in this way all the time according to the Dharma, then you are, up to a point, always purifying karma. It is one of the reasons that so much emphasis is placed on refraining from negative actions and engaging in positive actions using your body, speech and mind, because these are the three means or 'doors' with which you interact with the world. At our level, we cannot tell if karma is being purified or not, only those who are more highly attained can tell. However, that is one of the reasons the Buddhist texts advise study of and belief in karma. If there is karma, then it can be purified, and the way to do so is transform your mind and invoke upon the enlightened beings. So if you are doing both, you can rest assured that you are in fact purifying your karma. When you purify negative karma, whether just through your own efforts or combined with a purification practice you collect merit, not positive karma. If you simply do a good action, you collect good karma. But if you are practicing the Dharma with the intention of achieving enlightenment, you take refuge, engage in the practice, and dedicate at the end, then you develop merit, not positive karma. If you want to read more about how karma works and how to purify it in more detail, I suggest you read a Lamrim text such as Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand, which you can order from your local bookstore or get online here (https://www.vajrasecrets.com/lamrim-liberation-in-the-palm-of-your-hand).
  • February 17, 2021 23:06
    Sandra asked: Hello pastors, thank you for your response to my earlier question. Do divination predictions change frequently? Why does that happen?
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Thank you for your question. Divinations, compared to astrological predictions, are much more accurate. There are many types of divination, but those based on the practice of enlightened beings are very accurate. Three of the most well-known in Tibetan Buddhism are the divination practices of Manjushri, Palden Lhamo and Dorje Shugden. You can read more about Dorje Shugden's dice divination here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/dorje-shugdens-dice-divination.html Questions that are asked during divinations are much more specific than the types of topics that astrological predictions can help with, therefore are based on very specific types of karma. This means that if you asked a divination question twice, without taking remedial actions in between, then the answer would most likely be the same, given that all the prerequisites have been held by the diviner and the divinations are genuine. However, if a divination is done and then remedial actions recommended, such as various practices or pujas, and these are done to the letter, then if the question is asked again, then the results would differ. This is because when engaging in these practices or pujas, either you generate the merit necessary to overpower the negative effects of the karma, or you purify the negative effects of the karma creating the situation. This however, is generally not done. You wouldn't ask the same question twice or over and over again. The reason for this is because one of the factors that comes into play when seeking divination is faith. This is faith in the fact that the remedial actions recommended will help whatever situation you are facing. Having seen H.E. Tsem Rinpoche do countless divinations for people, I can attest to this. Those who have faith and follow through with the advice, see a great improvement in the situation that led them to ask the divination question in the first place. Those that did not follow the advice either at all or not fully, did not see any improvement. And this makes sense, because they did not purify the effects of the karma enough, or generate enough merit. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • February 15, 2021 04:09
    sandra asked: How much importance should we give to astrological predictions or chart readings? Are these readings susceptible to change all the time,i.e, in the context of planetary movements? Can our own effort/actions supercede what is predicted in our birth chart?
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Thank you for your interesting question. You are absolutely correct about the universal principle of change. According to Buddhist practice, astrological predictions are based upon a fixed point in time. Take for example, your moment of birth, which most astrological readings take as the main point of reference. At that specific moment, there would have been various energies or planetary alignments, etc. Combined together, they are said to give an accurate prediction of what will occur to a person throughout their life. This however, is based on one's birth karma, to be born at that specific point in time and location. This birth karma also provides the driving force behind what will occur in a person's life, if that karma is not changed somehow. Hence, that is why astrological predictions can give very accurate readings on someone's personality, as well as life events. Birth karma provides the main force behind all other karma to come into play. That is why it is given importance in astrology. There are also more advanced methods to take into account planetary and energetical movements to give even more detailed and precise predictions that can even be made down to the month, day or hour of a person's life. In Buddhism, however, we believe that karma can be changed. It can multiply, be purified or exhausted, or the effects of that karma can be overpowered by another karma or spiritual merit. In these cases, the outcome will change. The way in which this happens is varied. It can be as simple as doing some prayers (to generate spiritual merit) or changing your behaviour, environment or location, the way you think, and the ways in which you react in various situations. That is why in Buddhist astrological systems, emphasis is placed on remedial measures to counteract negative outcomes. For example, someone may be born with an angry disposition from an astrological point of view. If this person goes through life acting from this anger, then the predictions based on the time of birth will occur. However, a remedial action can be undertaken, such as the person pracitising Chenrezig, who is the Buddha of compassion, or the person doing some form of charity work. These remedial actions generate compassion in the mind of the person, which counteracts the anger. As this happens and the karma is changed, then the person no longer needs to feels the negative effects of any bad astrological (or more correctly - karmic) situations. There are even some practices that specifically help to counteract negative astrological influences and help you to change things. Such an example is Black Manjushri. Within Tibetan Buddhism, according to your time and date of birth, you also have what is known as a 'Birth Buddha'. This is basically an enlightened being that you have an affinity with in this life. General remedial actions include making images of this particular Buddha or engaging in this Buddha's practice. This combined with a change in how we live - otherwise known as Mind Transformation in the Buddhist context - changes astrological outcomes. However, if we continue living without controlling our actions, words and thoughts, the predictions made using astrological readings will most likely still occur. I hope this explanation helps. Thank you.
  • February 7, 2021 00:16
    Purna Tamang asked: What is my lucky number and color ?
    pastor answered: Dear Purna Tamang, Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, none our horoscope apps on this page gives this information at this moment. However, you may find some of the other information provided useful. Below are the links: For Chinese Zodiac: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/horoscopes/the-chinese-zodiac.html For Tibetan astrology: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/tibetan-astrology/tibetan-astrology.html For Numerology: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/numerology/numerology-calculator.html For Fortune cookies: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/fortune-cookie Thank you and I hope you find something interesting in one of the apps.
  • January 20, 2021 03:32
    Sangita. asked: i want to buy my own house.which mantra i should chant to have my own house.kindly reply.
    pastor answered: Dear Sangita, Thank you for your question. Everything in our lives, whether good or bad is due to our karma. This is karma we have accumulated either in previous lives or earlier on in this life. You can learn more about this here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/discovering-yourself-a-teaching-on-karma-mindstream.html Sometimes, we go through obstacles or need some form of spiritual help to assist us in improving our situations. In these circumstances we can rely on the practice of certain deities. One of these deities is the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. You can read more about this deity and his practice here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/beginners-introduction-to-dorje-shugden.html You can learn more about Dorje Shugden's practice here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/dorje-shugden-teaching-videos.html. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • January 12, 2021 00:32
    Laurence Brahm asked: Hello la. I would like to get in touch with Rinpoche. My name is Laurence Brahm and I've directed the two films including Searching for The Lotus Born Master. I would like to get in touch with Rinpoche in hopes he would kindly agree to an interview with our third production on Guru Rinpoche and also I would like to ask some questions concerning Shambala. I would be most grateful if Rinpoche would email me at himalayanconsensus2@gmail.com Thank you. With respects
    pastor answered: Dear Laurence Brahm, Thank you for your questions. This section is actually answered by Kechara's Pastors who were trained by His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche. Unfortunately, Tsem Rinpoche is no longer with us physically. He passed into Parinirvana in 2019. You can read more about this here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/the-parinirvana-of-kyabje-tsem-rinpoche.html If you would like to ask questions to any of the pastors regarding this, please email care@kechara.com with more information and mention that you would like to talk to one of the pastors. Thank you
  • December 31, 2020 14:46
    Jose Ajuria asked: What are the qualities of the Buddha Dharma and Sangha
    pastor answered: Dear Jose Ajuria, Here is a short article that discusses the qualities of the Three Jewels: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/taking-refuge-by-pabongka-rinpoche.html For a more in-depth text regarding this, please read Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand (https://www.vajrasecrets.com/lamrim-liberation-in-the-palm-of-your-hand). The text describes the qualities and benefits of taking refuge in each, in much more detail. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • December 30, 2020 09:55
    Dan asked: Dear pastors, some vegetarians said egg can eat. While some say no. What is your opinion on this. Thank you
    pastor answered: Dear Dan, Thank you for your question. There are differing views on eggs as part of the vegetarian diet. Some people would say that since eggs we get these days are not fertilized, then they are vegetarian since there is no life involved at that point. His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche was vegetarian but consumed eggs, as long as they were free-range and organic, because Rinpoche was against the battery farming system which produces the majority of eggs these days. There is a lot of animal cruelty involved with battery farming. Most people who do not include egg in their vegetarian diets do this because of the harm is causes the hens during the farming process, and also because they can view eating eggs as taking a life. That being said, within Buddhism, there are certain practices that strictly prohibit the consumption of eggs, as with other types of food. This can be for a number of reasons, which are too long to be discussed here. I would say that most people in the Kechara organisation eat eggs although vegetarian, but that may also be a cultural thing. Some people however, have taken the extra step and live a vegan lifestyle, which definitely does not include egg, as an extension of their practice of compassion for other sentient beings. I hope this explanation helps. Thank you.
  • December 5, 2020 00:25
    Bradley asked: Would offerings or prayers like Sangsol offering be more potent if we had the prayers translated to the language of a given geographical area? Example in England where Celtic was once spoken? Would the local deities or spirits be pleased we took the time to do so? They are far older than us.
    pastor answered: Dear Bradley, Thank you for your interesting question. Actually the sangsol prayers will be effective when done in any language. There are two main reasons for this. The first is that when you recite the sangsol prayer, you are actually invoking upon an enlightened being first, in this case, it is Dorje Shugden. Therefore, when you make the requests of the local deities to accept the offering, be calm and improve local circumstances etc, it is not coming from you. You are actually beseeching Dorje Shugden to help you in this matter. Hence, it is Dorje Shugden who is communicating with the local deities, not us. Secondly, deities and gods, as they do not have physical bodies, do not require ordinary language. Language as we know it is actually linked to our physical bodies. Local deities and gods, etc, because they don't have the same type of physical form as us, actually recognise our prayers through intention and effort rather than language. Therefore, prayers such as the sangsol prayers are effective no matter which language they are physical recited in. I hope this makes sense, if it does not, please let us know and we will clarify further. Thank you.
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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
8 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
8 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
9 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
9 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
9 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
9 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
9 months ago
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
9 months ago
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
Wesak 2020
10 months ago
Wesak 2020
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
12 months 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
12 months 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
12 months 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
12 months 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
12 months 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
12 months 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
12 months 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
12 months 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
12 months 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.
12 months 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
12 months 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
12 months 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
12 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
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