The Icchantikas

Mar 3, 2019 | Views: 1,205

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
    Monday, Jan 20. 2020 04:09 PM
    Thank you Pastor David for sharing all the wonderful encounters of shopping with Rinpoche. As we know Rinpoche rarely goes shopping for himself but as gifts for various students. Reading this post simply have me thinking, one must be observant to develop knowledge, and to apply what we read from the Lamrim topics into our lives. Being observant of our surroundings and practicing situational awareness at all times.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/tales-with-my-lama-the-shopping-experience-with-rinpoche
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jan 20. 2020 04:08 PM
    nteresting ….in Tibetan culture wild mushrooms spotted is a symbol of good luck. At Kechara Forest Retreat ,H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s private garden, mushrooms been spotted which is considered a good omen something good or arrival of good news , very auspicious symbol. Associated with nature and the beauty of the forest, having mushrooms popping up on one garden is rare and is very auspicious in Tibetan Buddhism, which will represent the Dharma will flourish in the near future. It’s indeed an auspicious sign.
    Thank you for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/an-auspicious-omen-in-kechara-forest-retreat
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jan 20. 2020 04:02 PM
    Religion should not come into politics as it is not one religion among other. These two should not mixed together or the results would be catastrophic To these days religion and politics seem to be all mixed up. It is happening to the present day where the Tibetan Leadership is against the Dorje Shugden practice. Its far too long the Dorje Shugden controversy been going on which is unnecessary and illogical causing sufferings, disharmony , discrimination and so forth among practitioners and non-practitioners. The Tibetan people should be given religious freedom to practise how and what they want. The Dalai Lama who promotes peace and harmony should do more to help those affected by the ban and not specking against them causing confusion. Hopefully the previous advice against Dorje Shugden should be retracted for the sake of a peace and harmony. It would be wonderful if Dalai Lama could have discussion with the Chinese leadership to solve the present problems once for all. China is a great and powerful nation, it would be good to have a good closer relationship . May Dalai Lama live long and back to his homeland Tibet soon. And may Dalai Lama lift the ban against Dorje Shugden .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/dalai-lama-china-shugden.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Jan 19. 2020 09:16 PM
    Tsem Rinpoche was one definitely a modern Lama ,it was Rinpoche that we have online knowledge , learning and practicing Dharma. Being one of the first lamas to recognise the benefits of using the Internet to spread dharma teachings for free. We are very fortunate to have met Rinpoche , whereby we are able to learn, practice Dharma teachings. I myself got to know Rinpoche through his blog . Since I stumbled across Rinpoche blog, there is no stopping for me. I have visited it daily and to increase my Buddhism knowledge . Its amazing each day I learn something new , really interest and inspiring.
    Rinpoche had set the blog to preserve the teachings as taught by his many Gurus. Rinpoche was truly a modern Lama yet maintaining all traditional commitments, guru devotion, daily practices and so forth.
    Thank you Rinpoche with folded hands and Pastor Jean Ai for sharing this wonderful post.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/growing-up-with-rinpoche-the-traditional-modern-lama
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Jan 19. 2020 09:14 PM
    Helmut Gassner, known as Venerable Gelong Jampa Lungtog is a senior Buddhist monk from Austria. He was an electrical engineer before, and became interested in Buddhism after meeting Venerable Geshe Rabten Rinpoche. Throughout his lifetime, he has translated for many high lamas, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and is a strong advocate for the practice of Dorje Shugden. Helmut Gassner were annoyed and upset by the ban of Dorje Shugden by Dalai Lama ,as he knew that the practice of Dorje Shugden is an integral part of the Gaden Tradition. He bravely spoke about it in his speech at the Friedrich-Naumann-Foundation in Germany. Its wonderful of him to tell the truth with his experience and knowledge. May more people dare to speck up about the truth.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/translator-ven-helmut-gassner-on-dalai-lama-and-dorje-shugden.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jan 18. 2020 02:42 PM
    Great teachings and inspirational for us to ponder, thank you Rinpoche. Each words and sentence tell us a thousand words. Great things never come from comfort zones, is the result of hard work and hustle over time that one is successful. We ourselves got to put in action as no one else is going to do it for us. Sometimes later becomes never. We have to use each day as an opportunity to improve, to be better and to transform our mind. It might sound like a lot of work but with determination and hard work nothing is impossible in life.
    Thanks again with folded hands.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/if-you-are.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jan 18. 2020 02:39 PM
    Interesting biography of Gendun Gyatso the second Dalai Lama. Gendun Gyatso previous Incarnations was Gendun Drub the First Dalai Lama b.1391 – d.1474. He was born an extraordinary child, able to speak in song of his previous life and expressing the wish to return to his monastery, Tashilhunpo. Even before he finished his studies , incredibly he could give teachings and give initiations. He was a renowned scholar and composer of mystical poetry, who travelled widely to extend Gelugpa influence. He was remembered as one who built the monastery Chokhor Gyel Metok Tang and involving an extremely important decision of Lhamo Latso. Lhamo Latso is a sacred lake located in southern Tibet where senior Tibetan monks go for visions to assist in the discovery of reincarnations. It is one of the most significant pilgrimage destinations in Tibetan Buddhism as to this day. He left a legacy with many volumes of verse, composition, and practice instructions.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/the-second-dalai-lama-gendun-gyatso.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jan 18. 2020 02:38 PM
    Master Cheng Yen is a Taiwanese Buddhist nun, most known for her work as a teacher and philanthropist. She is the founder of the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, a non-governmental organization.
    She is involved in various charitable works such as international disaster relief, environmental protection and preservation, community volunteering, health donations and so forth. She is an extraordinary Buddhist nun who has devoted whole her life to helping others,and was recognized internationally with numerous awards to date. Master Cheng Yen continues this noble path of teaching the Buddha Dharma, skillfully revealing how this ancient wisdom is as relevant today, as ever. And, she is a truly inspirational force when it comes to helping us realize that we should put compassion in action by alleviating the suffering of others. She is also known as Mother Teresa of the East to many.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this inspiring post.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/mother-teresa-of-the-east.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jan 17. 2020 05:58 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for the sharing . FEARLESS is getting back up and fighting for what we want over and over again without giving up. Successful people have no fear of failure they stay open to all possibilities of the outcomes. We embrace change, even change that appears negative by thinking positive. Being fearless is more about who we are, rather than what we do. Fearless people are great, they are full of life, good energy, passion and self-belief. We must try as we never know if we do not try. Keep trying as the success rate is higher than we thought.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/thoughts.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jan 17. 2020 05:54 PM
    Happiness is not made by what we own, it is what we share and giving generously and sincerely. A simple gift by June Tang tells all. Given sincerely from her heart on her birthday to Rinpoche . It’s all done without money, that’s very true and that’s what I consider true generosity for sure. Giving what she could. She give all and yet she feel as if it costs her nothing. But to Rinpoche its mean a lot of sincerity We seek to give with an open, pure heart, with no attachment to what we are .
    Quoted… no true spiritual life is possible without a generous heart. Generosity allies itself with an inner feeling of abundance—the feeling that we have enough to share.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/study-groups/its-all-done-without-money.html
  • S.Prathap
    Friday, Jan 17. 2020 04:19 PM
    There is no one that can help us, but us. Methods are given, but whether we grasp, apply and practise it is entirely up to oneself. If we don’t change then there is no point in learning the Dharma.
    A transformed mind is our own best protection. That mind can only come from consistent practice over time.When we see results, we will be encouraged to push ourselves more to practice well.Thank you very much for sharing a good article.

    https://bit.ly/2thDjjL
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jan 16. 2020 04:26 PM
    Wonderful news ……the Chinese government has introduced a plan to encourage and reduce its citizens’ meat consumption by 50%, It’s a great move that China has done in the effort to avoid runaway global warming and for health reasons. The climate campaigners has been hoping for it. New dietary guidelines by the Chinese health officials have recommend and advise individuals to limit their meat consumption. As more evidence of chronic diseases such as heart attack, strokes ,hypertension and so forth are related to meat consumption. And for most to maintain a healthy life styles. They also implement dietary guidelines encouraging the general public to consume plenty of cereals, tubers, whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits as well. The Chinese government also put up billboards in attempt to reduce meat consumption by highlighting health risks associated with consuming meat. What we eat contributes to global greenhouse gas emissions and every one of us is responsible. People nowadays are reducing their meat consumption and opting for vegan and plant-based protein to improve their health . Hopefully more countries will follow China reducing the meat consumption. In a way more animals could be save in the slaughter house. And for the future generations to come .
    Thank you for this wonderful news .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/look-what-chinas-doing.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jan 16. 2020 04:23 PM
    Different parts of the world have each various interesting traditions and customs which individual will celebrate and follow. Religious festivals like Gadhimai festival, which is an animal sacrificial ceremony, and dog meat festival where dogs are slaughtered to celebrate the summer solstice have gathered cultural significance over the centuries. In Gadhimai festival , they believe that animal sacrifices to the Hindu goddess Gadhimai will end evil and bring prosperity. In Spain bulls festival or the Toro de la Vega, bulls are torture and kill. Same goes to the Pero Palo Festival where scared donkey being dragged unwillingly through the packed streets . Drive hunting where dolphins and whales are caught and killed for their meat. All these are some of the hidden cruelty and crime against animals in the world which many are not aware of it and do not want to know. But with social media , more and more got to know about it and are trying to end all these animals cruelty. The Indian officials are cracking down and trying to stop the transportation of animals for this festivals. It is good that the number of animals slaughtered during the Gadhimai festival has dropped sharply over the years. The Yulin Dog Meat Festival, which happens every year is a gruesome display of the dog meat trade. Chinese officials are doing their best and discouraging people from eating dog meat which is harmful in long term. Recent years there has been a drop in the consumption of dog meat in the China. Many people are aware of the abuses and torture of those poor dogs before been kill as meat. Looking at those pictures in the articles, tells a thousand words of all the suffering of these animals in the moment before death.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Shakila Rajendra for this sharing raising awareness of animals been abuse , torture and so forth.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/crimes-against-animals-the-world-doesnt-want-you-to-know-about.html
  • S.Prathap
    Thursday, Jan 16. 2020 03:54 PM
    This is what i like about being Malaysia expose with different religion yet there live harmony in society. It is awesome to read about this former Malaysian lady with a big heart and took actions to feed many .
    She understand the pain and sufferings of the people especially students had gone through without food. She was brought up in away she saw how her parents had the unprivileged and she is following their foot steps. Thank you very much for this touching article.

    https://bit.ly/2Ri4suG
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jan 15. 2020 08:35 PM
    For centuries, humans have been gazed at galaxies and peered deep inside atoms for more answers to the space. No one knows for sure what it is up there. Scientist, astronomers and so forth are busy scanning the skies for more discoveries and seeking answers to the mysteries of space. World scientists are doing experiments in an effort to gain insight of it. After years of exploration , they are still looking for more discoveries. Interesting discoveries……..of the dark energy, eagle nebula , galaxy , UFO and more of what is existing beyond our imagination.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/top10-space-mysteries.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

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

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

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

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    1 week ago
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    Cute Tara girl having a snack. She is one of Kechara Forest Retreat’s resident doggies.
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    Your Next Meal!
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    7 months ago
    Don’t Take My Mummy Away!
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    What happened at Fair Oaks Farm?
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    8 months ago
    She’s going to spend her whole life here without being able to move correctly. Like a machine. They are the slaves of the people and are viewed as a product. It’s immoral. Billions of terrestrial animals die annually. Billions. You can’t even imagine it. And all that because people don’t want to give up meat, even though there are so many alternatives. ~ Gabriel Azimov
  • Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
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    Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is the first time His Holiness Dalai Lama mentions he had some very serious illness. Very worrying. This video is captured April 2019.
    9 months ago
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    9 months ago
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    9 months ago
    This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
    9 months ago
    Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
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    9 months ago
    These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
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    10 months ago
    Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
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    10 months ago
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    10 months ago
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    1 years ago
    Uncle Wong
    We were told by Uncle Wong he is very faithful toward Dorje Shugden. Dorje Shugden has extended help to him on several occasions and now Uncle Wong comes daily to make incense offerings to Dorje Shugden. He is grateful towards the help he was given.
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
    1 years ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
  • Cute baby owl found and rescued
    1 years ago
    Cute baby owl found and rescued
    We rescued a lost baby owl in Kechara Forest Retreat.
  • Nice cups from Kechara!!
    1 years ago
    Nice cups from Kechara!!
    Dorje Shugden people's lives matter!
  • Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    1 years ago
    Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    Chirping birds and other forest animals create a joyful melody at the Vajrayogini stupa in Kechara Forest Retreat (Bentong, Malaysia).
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    2 yearss ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
  • Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
    2 yearss ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
  • BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
    2 yearss ago
    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    2 yearss ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    2 yearss ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    2 yearss ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    2 yearss ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    2 yearss ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    2 yearss ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    2 yearss ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    2 yearss ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    2 yearss ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    2 yearss ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

View All Questions

CHAT PICTURES

Throwback KSDS Graduation - All kids were so excited with to perform. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Throwback KSDS Graduation - All kids were so excited with to perform. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback WOAH camp 2016 - DIY soap. So interesting. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Throwback WOAH camp 2016 - DIY soap. So interesting. Lin Mun KSDS
Children learning the method to make water offering to Buddha. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Children learning the method to make water offering to Buddha. Lin Mun KSDS
Monthly animal liberation in Kechara House. KSDS have opportunity to participate in the meritorious activity every mth. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Monthly animal liberation in Kechara House. KSDS have opportunity to participate in the meritorious activity every mth. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback Kids camp 2019 - Wonderful volunteers. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Throwback Kids camp 2019 - Wonderful volunteers. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback Kids camp 2019 - The nature of KFR is expressed on this drawing. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Throwback Kids camp 2019 - The nature of KFR is expressed on this drawing. Lin Mun KSDS
Special thanks to Hue, one of our dedicated members in Kechara Penang Study Group. Thanks for helping out during our bird liberation. ~Jacinta
4 days ago
Special thanks to Hue, one of our dedicated members in Kechara Penang Study Group. Thanks for helping out during our bird liberation. ~Jacinta
Animal Liberation is one of the great ways to show empathy, kindness and compassion to kids. Start them early! ~Jacinta, Kechara Penang Study Group
4 days ago
Animal Liberation is one of the great ways to show empathy, kindness and compassion to kids. Start them early! ~Jacinta, Kechara Penang Study Group
The merits from life liberation are varied and boundless ~Jacinta, Kechara Penang Study Group
4 days ago
The merits from life liberation are varied and boundless ~Jacinta, Kechara Penang Study Group
It is essential for us to properly 'Taking Refuge' before we start any event. “Taking refuge” is where one seeks guidance and to turns to the Triple Gem for liberation and salvation from suffering. We hope these birds will be liberated from sufferings soon. ~Jacinta
4 days ago
It is essential for us to properly 'Taking Refuge' before we start any event. “Taking refuge” is where one seeks guidance and to turns to the Triple Gem for liberation and salvation from suffering. We hope these birds will be liberated from sufferings soon. ~Jacinta
Recitation of Medicine Buddha mantras during Bird Liberation by Kechara Penang Study Group ~Jacinta
4 days ago
Recitation of Medicine Buddha mantras during Bird Liberation by Kechara Penang Study Group ~Jacinta
Paying homage to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and The Three Jewels by Ms. Leow. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
7 days ago
Paying homage to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and The Three Jewels by Ms. Leow. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Mr. Lim offered Serkym to Dorje Shugden on behalf of KISG. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
7 days ago
Mr. Lim offered Serkym to Dorje Shugden on behalf of KISG. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Ms. Leow offered lights & incense to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas prior to the puja. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
7 days ago
Ms. Leow offered lights & incense to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas prior to the puja. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out weekly Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
7 days ago
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out weekly Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
KISG started our 2020 first weekend with Mother Tara prayer recitations in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
KISG started our 2020 first weekend with Mother Tara prayer recitations in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Kids camp 2019 - Exciting stack up game. The kids enjoyed it very much. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Kids camp 2019 - Exciting stack up game. The kids enjoyed it very much. Lin Mun KSDS
Kids camp 2019 - Super delicious fried rice and decorated with heart. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Kids camp 2019 - Super delicious fried rice and decorated with heart. Lin Mun KSDS
Kids camp 2019 - Beautiful farm in Kechara Forest Retreat. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Kids camp 2019 - Beautiful farm in Kechara Forest Retreat. Lin Mun KSDS
Kids camp 2019 - Completion of puzzle game. Look at their happy faces. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Kids camp 2019 - Completion of puzzle game. Look at their happy faces. Lin Mun KSDS
KISG carried out weekly Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh on Tuesday's evening. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
1 month ago
KISG carried out weekly Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh on Tuesday's evening. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Long beans from our Kechara Farm 2019 harvested for our community here in Kechara Forest Retreat.
1 month ago
Long beans from our Kechara Farm 2019 harvested for our community here in Kechara Forest Retreat.
Bountiful harvest from our Kechara Farm 2019 for our community. Here are some long beans, four-angled beans, bitter gourds and karelas!
1 month ago
Bountiful harvest from our Kechara Farm 2019 for our community. Here are some long beans, four-angled beans, bitter gourds and karelas!
Bountiful harvest from our Kechara Farm 2019 for our community. This is Malabar spinach which is a herbal healer.
1 month ago
Bountiful harvest from our Kechara Farm 2019 for our community. This is Malabar spinach which is a herbal healer.
Bountiful harvest from our Kechara Farm 2019 for our community. This is Kangkung or water spinach.
1 month ago
Bountiful harvest from our Kechara Farm 2019 for our community. This is Kangkung or water spinach.
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