The Hidden Nature of Trolls

Apr 27, 2017 | Views: 1,376

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Long before trolls became synonymous with abhorrent pot-stirring sociopaths on the Internet, they were popularly known as mythical creatures who roamed the ancestral lands – mountains, forests, bridges, etc. Many parts of the world have tales of troll-like monsters deeply rooted in their culture but trolls are undeniably most prevalent in Scandinavian mythology and folklore.

 

Overview

T0.1_Asbjornsen_and_Moe's_Norske_folkeeventyr_1874_book_cover

Book cover of an early edition of Asbjornsen and Moe’s Norske Folkeeventyr

Since time immemorial, trolls have heavily featured in Scandinavian folk tales, so much so that they have become part of Scandinavian heritage. Take Norway for example. In the 1830s, two guys named Asbjornsen and Moe, who were pretty much the Norwegian version of the German Grimm Brothers, scoured the whole of Southern Norway in a quest to compile tales from native folklore. A large part of the stories collected were about trolls.

Like the Grimm Brothers, they enjoyed huge success with their compendium of folk tales and their compilation is still a staple for Norwegian children today. In fact, trolls are so ingrained in Norwegian culture that it is common to see not only troll statues or miniatures at every other corner but also places and facilities named “Troll”. It really does say a lot that the only car ever produced by Norway was named the Troll.

 

Origins

T0.2 Ymir

Ymir suckles from the cow Auðumbla while she licks Búri from the ice in a painting by Nicolai Abildgaard (1790) inspired by the Prose Edda narrative

Ironically, despite being so infamous, little is known about the origins of trolls and their history remains rather ambiguous. That being said, there are two prevailing tales which are frequently repeated as the genesis of trolls. One is gleaned from bits and pieces of old Norse legends whilst the other is derived from records of early Christian missionaries.

According to countless tales in Norse mythology, the first troll was “Ymir”, the oldest creature of the Norse universe. Ymir hailed from the Jotuns, thus trolls are also said to be descended from the Jotun. The Jotun were a race very similar to the Titans of ancient Greece.

Like many mystical creatures, their appearance varies depending on which story one reads. In some accounts, the Jotun are certainly troll like, with multiple heads, deformed bodies and claws as well as fangs. However, there are equally contrasting descriptions of the Jotun as being aesthetically beautiful. They were sworn enemies of the Norse Gods and legend has it that they are destined to face each other in an epic battle to settle the score once and for all on Judgement Day.

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Illustration of Thor, Norse God of Thunder hurling his mystical hammer at a Jotun

However, trolls did not share their forefathers’ enthusiasm for a bloodbath with the Norse Gods. On contrary, they were the ones who no longer cared about fighting a battle of good versus evil on Judgment Day. In fact, early Scandinavian folklore tends to highlight the trolls’ preference for isolation over picking fights, and their tendency to avoid contact especially with humans. Some even go on to describe how trolls hate being disturbed, to the extent of gobbling up anyone unlucky enough to stumble upon them.

A darker account of the origins of trolls can be found in a Christian demonological doctrine written by the Bishop of Linkoping, Erichus Johannes Prytz around 1632. It set out the premise that trolls were fallen angels – angels who had been expelled from heaven and:

“landed in the mountains are called mountain trolls, the ones in forests are called forest trolls, forest nymphs, elves and so on and so forth.”

Based on this theory, trolls are alluded to as being devious in nature with no proper fixed form. They essentially assume whatever form necessary to lead people to damnation, be it as alluringly beautiful or hideously sly creatures.

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Statue of a fallen angel

 

Appearance

Following the conflicting trend of their ancestry, descriptions of trolls are also divided, from being plain and repulsive to having enchantingly beautiful physiques.

Across Scandinavian folklore, male trolls are predominantly described as having a human-like form but with one or more grotesque features, e.g. a big protruding nose, a big belly, long breasts, deformed bodies, disproportionate limbs, enormous feet, a crooked back or even several heads. For instance, folktales in Ebeltoft, Denmark describe trolls as man-eating ogres with humps on their backs and wearing pointed red caps. In Gudmanstrup, Denmark, which is a couple of miles away from Ebeltoft, trolls are described as giants devoid of humps and wearing long black clothes. In certain regions of Scandinavia, trolls are said to be smaller, almost dwarf-like and more sinister looking.

To put things into perspective, the following are some common artistic impressions of trolls based on Scandinavian mythology and folklore.

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Troll2

Troll3

Troll4

In the case of female trolls or “trollkoner”, there are some who look like their male counterparts but in general, Trollknoner are usually described as being hauntingly beautiful but with a catch. Such beauty either comes with a hidden abnormality or is merely an illusory front to a hideously deformed appearance.

A perfect illustration of this is the “Huldra” or “Tallemaja” in Swedish, who are troll-like women living in the woods. Described as being enchanting and wildly beautiful, the Huldra looks exactly like a female human being but for a long cow’s tail (or at times, fox tail), which she would naturally hide upon meeting any human. In some tales, her back is said to be a hollowed-out tree or covered in tree bark.

Huldra

Illustration of a Huldra

Some legends claim that the Huldra is friendly if approached properly. On a good day, she might even offer advice such as where the best fishing spots are located. In others tales, she is an evil seductress who either entraps young men to marry her or leads them to a horrible death.

The existence of the Huldra can be traced all the way back to the time of Adam and Eve. According to legend, Adam and Eve had many children after being cast out from the Garden of Eden. One day, while Eve was bathing all her children, God came to visit. For some reason, Eve felt compelled to lie to God about having finished bathing her children. She even hid those who were still dirty.

Upon hearing Eve’s answer, God proclaimed, “Then let all that is hidden, remain hidden.” The unlucky hidden children became “De Underjordiske” (the ones living underground), lost souls condemned to live under the surface of the earth. Huldra is said to be one of the De Underjordiske, but for reasons undisclosed, she remained above the ground albeit confined mostly to the forests.

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Illustration of a Nisse

Some insist that there is a third category of trolls at play, namely the “Nisser” or “Tomte” in Swedish. They are humanoid and dwarf-like but with none of the grotesque features. Some say that the Nisser are not trolls per se but a type of ancient ancestral spirit. However, due to early inaccurate romanised translations, they debuted as trolls or goblins to the English-speaking world and have since been stuck with that categorisation.

In essence, the Nisser are usually responsible for the protection and welfare of the farmstead and its buildings. They are described as older, little men about the height of a young child, although they can change their size at will, from that of a five-year-old child to a thumb. They are also said to have the ability to become invisible.

According to Swedish folklore, Nisser are often garbed in ragged clothes, usually gray or navy blue, but sport bright red caps on their heads. The folktale also advises that it is better to leave them dressed that way. The story goes that upon being provided new clothes by a farmer’s wife (out of kindness), a Nisse deemed himself too elegant to perform any more farm labour and thus disappeared from the farm.

Stockholm Tomtar

Statue of a Nisse/Tomte in the streets of Stockholm, Sweden

The Nisser require very little in exchange for taking care of the farm, its livestock, the welfare of the farmer and his family. They demand only the respect as well as the trust of the farmer and a bowl of “Julegrot” (Christmas porridge) with butter on Christmas Eve. It is commonplace for farmers to place bowls of rice porridge on their doorsteps for the Nisser, just like how cookies and milk are put out for Santa Claus. The Nisser are also said to fulfil the role played by Santa Claus in Western Christmas traditions i.e. delivering presents to the family on Christmas Eve.

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Illustration of a Vittra

Another deserving creature worth a mention is the “Vittra” from Sweden. Although technically not categorised as a troll, in the north of Sweden, the Vittra is considered the equivalent of the troll and Tomte of the south.

The Vittra is said to prefer living underground tending to cattle rather than meddling in human affairs. However, they have been known to surface and “borrow” cattle from time to time, usually under a cloak of invisibility. The good news (for the owner) is that the “returned” cattle usually had the ability to give more milk, believed to be a sign of gratitude from the Vittra.

However, they are also known to be very vindictive if offended or disrespected, and will do whatever it takes to make their target miserable, to the extent of conjuring accidents that can harm or kill. Interestingly, one can tell the mood of a Vittra from its appearance. They will often be red if unhappy and white if they are in good mood.

 

Interesting Characteristics

Despite their different categorisations, the following are some common characteristics attributable to trolls.

 

Intellectually Challenged or Cunning Tricksters

In general, large trolls are portrayed as brutish and less intellectual while human- and smaller-sized trolls are more sophisticated than their bigger counterparts. Thus, gigantic trolls are usually made out to be stupid and dangerous. They are also constantly being outsmarted by the heroes.

The tale of the “Three Billy Goats Gruff” demonstrates that even goats are capable of outwitting trolls. The story tells of how the two weaker goats managed to cross the bridge by tricking the troll into not eating them and instead, to wait for the last goat on the pretext that he was the plumpest of them all. In fact, the last goat was the strongest of the lot and best placed to defend against the troll. The troll ended up being gutted to death by the last goat when the troll tried to eat it.

Three Billy Goats Gruff

There were once three Billy Goats who lived in a meadow at the foot of a mountain, and their last name was Gruff. There was the Big Billy Goat Gruff, and the Middle-sized Billy Goat Gruff, and the Little Billy Goat Gruff. They all three jumped about among the rocks in the meadow and ate what grass they could find, but it wasn’t very much.

One day the Littlest Billy Goat Gruff looked up at the high mountain overhead, and he thought to himself, “It looks as though there were a great deal of fine grass up on the mountain. I believe I’ll just run up there all by myself, without telling anyone, and eat so much grass and eat so much grass that I’ll grow to be as big as anybody.”

So off the Little Billy Goat Gruff started without telling his brothers a word about it. He ran along, tip-tap, tip-tap, tip-tap, until at last he came to a wide river, with a bridge over it.

Now the Little Billy Goat did not know it, but this bridge belonged to a great, terrible Troll, and the little goat had not gone more than half-way across when he heard the Troll shouting from under the bridge.

“Who’s that going across my bridge?” shouted the Troll in his great loud voice.

“It’s me, the Littlest Billy Goat Gruff!” answered the Little Billy Goat in his little bit of voice.

“Oh! it’s the Littlest Billy Goat Gruff, is it? Well, you won’t go much farther, for I’m the Troll that owns this bridge, and now I’m coming to eat you up.” And with that the Troll looked up over the edge of the bridge.

When the Little Billy Goat Gruff saw him, he was very much frightened. “Oh, dear, good Mr Troll, please don’t eat me up,” he cried. “I’m such a very little goat that I would scarcely be a mouthful for you. I have a brother who is a great deal bigger than I am; wait till he comes, for he’d make a much better meal for you than I would.”

“But if he’s much bigger than you are he may be tough.”

“Oh, no, he’s just as tender as I am.”

“And a great deal bigger?”

“Oh, yes, a great deal bigger.”

“Very well then, I’ll wait for him. Run along!”

So the little goat ran on, tip-tap! tip-tap! tip-tap! across the bridge, and on up the mountain to where he was safe. And glad enough he was to be out of that scrape, I can tell you.

Now it was not very long after this that the Middle-sized Billy Goat Gruff began to think he’d like to go up on the mountain too. He did not say anything about it to the Great Big Billy Goat Gruff, but off he set, all by himself—trap-trap! trap-trap! trap-trap! After a while he came to the bridge, where the Troll lived, and he stepped out upon it, trap-trap! trap-trap! trap-trap!

He’d barely reached the middle of it when the Troll began shouting at him in his great, terrible voice:

“Who’s that going across my bridge?”

“It’s me, the Middle-sized Billy Goat Gruff,” answered the Middle-sized Billy Goat in his middle-sized voice.

“Oh, it is, is it? Then you’re the very one I’ve been waiting for. I’m the Troll that owns this bridge, and now I’m coming to eat you up.”

At that the Middle-sized Billy Goat Gruff was in a great fright. “Oh, dear Mr Troll, good Mr Troll, please don’t eat me up! I have a brother that’s a great deal bigger than I am. Just wait till he comes along, for he’d make a much better meal for you than I would.”

“A great deal bigger?”

“Yes, a great deal bigger.”

“Very well then, run along and I’ll wait till he comes. Only the biggest goat there is is fit to make a meal for me.”

The Middle-sized Billy Goat was not slow to run along as the Troll bade him. He hurried across the river and up the mountain as fast as he could go, trappity-trap! trappity-trap! trappity-trap! And just weren’t he and his little brother glad to see each other again, and to be safely over the Troll’s bridge, and up where the good grass was!

And now it was the turn of the Big Billy Goat Gruff to begin to think he’d like to go up on the mountain too. “I believe that’s where the Little Billy Goat Gruff and the Middle-sized Billy Goat Gruff have gone,” said he to himself. “If I don’t look out they’ll be growing so fat up there that they’ll be as big as I am. I think I’d better go and eat the long green mountain grass too.” So the next morning off he set in the pleasant sunshine. Klumph-klumph! klumph-klumph! He was so big you could hear his hoofs pounding on the stones while he was still a mile away.

After a while he came to the bridge where the Troll lived, and out he stepped on it, klumph-klumph! klumph-klumph! and the bridge shook and bent under his weight as he walked. Then the Troll that lived under it was in a fearful rage. “Who’s that going across my bridge?” he bellowed, and his voice was so terrible that all the little fish in the river swam away and hid under the rocks at the sound of it.

But the Big Billy Goat was not one bit frightened.

“It’s me, the Biggest Billy Goat Gruff,” he answered, in a voice as big as the Troll’s own.

“Oh, it is, is it? Then just stop a bit—for you’re the one I’ve been waiting for. I’m the Troll that owns this bridge, and now I’m coming to eat you up!” and with that the great grey Troll poked his head up over the bridge, and his eyes looked like two great mill-wheels, and they were going round and round in his head with rage. But still the Big Billy Goat was not one bit frightened.

“So you’re a Troll, are you! And you own this bridge, do you? And now you’re going to eat me up? We’ll just see about that:

“I have a forehead as hard as stone,
And I’ll mash you all up, body and bone!”

When the Troll heard the Big Billy Goat talk to him that way he bellowed so that the Middle-sized Billy Goat and the Little Billy Goat heard him all the way up on the mountain where they were. He jumped up on the bridge and put down his big, bushy head and ran at the Billy Goat, and the Big Billy Goat put down his head and ran at the Troll, and they met in the middle of the bridge. But the Billy Goat’s head was harder than the Troll’s, so he knocked him down and thumped him about, and then he took him up on his horns and threw him over the edge of the bridge into the river below, and the Troll sank like a piece of lead and never was seen or heard of again.

But the Big Billy Goat went on up the mountain; and you may believe that his two brothers were glad to see him again, and to hear that the great wicked Troll was gone from under the bridge.

And after that they all stayed up on the mountain together, and the smaller goats ate so much grass and grew so fat and big that after a while no one could have told one Billy Goat from the other.

There are also tales in which trolls employ trickery to lure humans to their lair to do their bidding. A typical example of this is the Huldra.

Brunnmigi

Illustration of a Brunnmigi

Trolls can also be cruel tricksters. Take for example the “Brunnmigi”, a peculiar class of troll whose only claim to fame is peeing into wells and fountains. Whilst the classic Norse legend is unclear as to why the Brunnmigi adopted this behaviour, they somehow managed to convince the Great Sea-King Hrolfr and his men to voluntarily gather and drink water from a well that the Brunnmigi were soiling.

 

Vindictive and Vain but (interestingly) with Integrity

Many folktales reveal how heroes have capitalised on the vanity of trolls in order to escape. One popular example is the tale of “Boots Who Ate a Match With The Troll”. In essence, the hero, Askeladden, escaped the troll by boasting of his ability to cut open his stomach to make room for more food. Of course, unknown to the troll, Askeladden only slit open the backpack which he had worn in front of his chest earlier. Too proud to be outdone, the troll proceeded to slit open his own stomach and perished from the self-inflicted wound.

Boots Who Ate a Match With the Troll

Once upon a time there was a farmer who had three sons; his means were small, and he was old and weak, and his sons would take to nothing. A fine large wood belonged to the farm, and one day the father told his sons to go and hew wood, and try to pay off some of his debts. Well, after a long talk, he got them to set off, and the eldest was to go first. But when he had got well into the wood, and began to hew at a mossy old fir, what should he see coming up to him but a great sturdy Troll.

“If you hew in this wood of mine,” said the Troll, I’ll kill you!”

When the lad heard that, he threw the axe down, and ran off home as fast as he could lay legs to the ground; so he came in quite out of breath, and told them what had happened, but his father called him “hare-heart”. No Troll would ever have scared him from hewing when he was young, he said.Next day the second son turn came, and he fared just the same. He had scarce hewn three strokes at the fir, before the Troll came to him too, and said:

“If you hew in this wood of mine, I’ll kill you.”

The lad dared not so much as look at him, but threw down the axe, took to his heels, and came scampering home just like his brother. So when he got home, his father was angry again, and said no Troll had ever scared him when he was young.The third day Boots wanted to set off.

“You, indeed!” said the two elder brothers; “you’ll do it bravely, no doubt! you, who have scarce ever set your foot out of the door.”

Boots said nothing to this, but only begged them to give him a good store of food. His mother had no cheese, so she set the pot on the fire to make him a little, and he put it into a scrip and set off. So when he had hewn a bit, the Troll came to him too, and said:

“If you hew in this wood of mine, I’ll kill you.”

But the lad was not slow; he pulled his cheese out of the scrip in a trice, and squeezed it till the whey spurted out.

“Hold your tongue!” he cried to the Troll, “or I’ll squeeze you as I squeeze the water out of this white stone.”

“Nay, dear friend!” said the Troll, “only spare me, and I’ll help you to hew.”

Boots and the troll eating
Well, on those terms the lad was willing to spare him, and the Troll hewed so bravely, that they felled and cut up many, many fathoms in the day. But when even drew near, the Troll said:

“Now you’d better come home with me, for my house is nearer than yours.”

So the lad was willing enough; and when they reached the Troll’s house, the Troll was to make up the fire, while the lad went to fetch water for their porridge, and there stood two iron pails so big and heavy, that he couldn’t so much as lift them from the ground.

“Pooh!” said the lad, “it isn’t worth while to touch these finger-basins. I’ll just go and fetch the spring itself.”

“Nay, nay, dear friend!” said the Troll; ” I can’t afford to lose my spring; just you make up the fire, and I’ll go and fetch the water.”

So when he came back with the water, they set to and boiled up a great pot of porridge.

“It’s all the same to me,” said the lad; “but if you’re of my mind, we’ll eat a match!”

“With all my heart,” said the Troll.

For he thought he could surely hold his own in eating. So they sat down; but the lad took his scrip unawares to the Troll, and hung it before him, and so he spooned more into the scrip than he ate himself; and when the scrip was full, he took up his knife and made a slit in the scrip. The Troll looked on all the while, but said never a word. So when they had eaten a good bit longer, the Troll laid down his spoon, saying:

“Nay! but I can’t eat a morsel more.”

“But you shall eat,” said the youth; “I’m only half done; why don’t you do as I did, and cut a hole in your paunch? You’ll be able to eat then as much as you please.”

“But doesn’t it hurt one cruelly?” asked the Troll.

“Oh,” said the youth, “nothing to speak of.”

So the Troll did as the lad said, and then you must know very well that he lost his life; but the lad took all the silver and gold that he found in the hill-side, and went home with it, and you may fancy it went a great way to pay off the debt.

Askeladden

Depiction of a scene from the tale of “Boots Who Ate a Match With The Troll”

Capitalising on their vanity works even when dealing with trolls of a higher intellect. This is apparent in a folktale from Tiveden. A boy on a fishing trip was down on his luck when he chanced upon a Huldra. Upon noticing a fox’s tail sticking out below the maiden’s skirt, he bowed deeply and said politely in a soft voice, “Milady, I see that your petticoat shows below your skirt“. The maiden thanked him gracefully and shuffling her tail back under her skirt, she told the boy to go fish on the other side of the lake. From that day onwards, the boy never failed to catch a fish every time he threw out the line. This was the Huldra’s reward for his politeness.

This is possibly the origin of the strong belief that if by chance you notice a tail or hairy feet etc. under the dress of a Huldra, you should discreetly and politely make her aware of this in order to be generously rewarded.

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A Nisse with a bowl of its favourite food, porridge

Naturally, if you are rude, offensive or have somehow managed to upset a troll, you would have to pay for it one way or another. A drastic example of this can be seen in the tale of a starving servant girl who ate the porridge set out for a Nisse. Obviously upset from being deprived of his porridge, the troll took his revenge by causing the servant girl to dance ceaselessly until she died.

Another interesting troll trait gleaned from folklore is that they will keep their end of the bargain even when they are on the losing end. This can be seen in the story of Esbern, who was facing huge problems in his romantic life. The father of the girl he loved would only consent to their marriage if Esbern first constructed a rather large church. Whilst mulling over his dilemma, he chanced upon a troll who agreed to build the church for Esbern. The catch was that the troll would get Esbern’s eyes and soul if Esbern could not discover the troll’s name by the time the job was done.

Things looked bleak for Esbern – the construction of the church was almost completed and he had exhausted all his avenues but still was not able to uncover the troll’s name. Luckily for him, at the last minute, he revealed his dilemma to the girl he loved and she proceeded to pray for him. Her prayers worked as Esbern then overheard the troll’s wife singing to her baby, and the lyrics included the name of her husband. Esber wiped the smug smile off the troll’s face when he correctly gave the troll’s name upon completion of the church. Frustrated by the turn of events, the troll left in a huff whilst Esbern enjoyed his happily ever after.

 

Magical Powers and Shapeshifting

bauer_stone troll by John Bauer

Stone troll by John Bauer

It is clear from Scandinavian folklore that certain trolls have magical powers. To name but a few;

  • Nisser have the ability to change their size at will
  • Huldras are believed to have the power of hypnosis at their disposal
  • Nisser and Vittra have the power of invisibility
  • Trolls are said to be able to travel on the winds
  • Trolls can sneak into houses undetected
  • Some trolls can transform themselves into logs or stubs. It is said that if you take out your knife and cut into them, they will run away as they cannot stand the touch of steel.
  • Some trolls can morph into animate objects like cats, dogs or snakes and even inanimate objects like a rolling ball of synthetic fibres
  • Some trolls can inflict illnesses on people. Whilst usually a form of retribution, some randomly shoot magical projectiles laced with diseases.
  • It is also said that trolls have a special influence on children, hence the belief that children’s clothes are not to be left outside at night lest the trolls gain access to their minds.

The magical powers of trolls also encompass the creation of monsters. A vicar, Mogens Pedersen, recorded in 1635 that two trolls were responsible for the creation of Storsjöodjuret, a huge serpent-like sea monster said to be dwelling in Lake Storsjön, the 5th largest lake in Sweden. Legend has it that the trolls Jata and Kata were brewing a potion in their cauldron on the shores of the lake. They didn’t really know what they were doing but after years of brewing, a black sea serpent leapt from the cauldron and dived into the lake. It is said to have grown to an enormous size, entirely surrounding the island of Frösön. To date, there have been over 200 reported sightings of the creature, and a group has been established to investigate reports from witnesses and to collate information on the monster.

lake Storsjön

Lake Storsjön

 

Aversion to Sunlight

With a few exceptions, trolls generally have a strong aversion to sunlight. They are said to turn to stone when exposed to sunlight, thus it is no wonder that certain trolls avoid sunlight like the plague. In fact, many rocky outcrops around the Scandinavian mountains are said to be attributable to trolls. To name but a few;

  • Trold-Tindterne (Troll Peaks) – The stone crags of Trold-Tindterne in central Norway are said to be two armies of trolls that once fought a great battle until sunrise caught them and turned them to stone.
Trollpeak

One of the stone crags of Trold-Tindterne (Troll Peaks) in central Norway

  • Hvítserkur – Legend goes that Hvítserkur, found at the Vatnsnes peninsula in North-West Iceland, is actually a petrified troll. The troll was en route to tear down the church bell of a nearby convent when he got caught by daylight and turned into stone.
hvitserkur-the-troll-of-north-west-iceland-1

Hvítserkur in North-West Iceland

  • Reynisdrangar – The basalt rock formations known as Reynisdrangar in Iceland are said to be former trolls who were caught in the sunlight as they tried to drag their ship ashore and were turned forever to stone.
Famous Reynisdrangar rock formations

Reynisdrangar in Iceland

 

Hidden Treasures

troll-and-treasure.teach

Hidden treasures

It is generally accepted that trolls who lived in the mountains were wealthier than their forest-dwelling counterparts. Laying one’s hands on these treasures was one of the chief rewards of getting the better of trolls.

In addition, folklore suggests that one should not be too hasty in disposing of worthless things given by a troll. As trolls lived in a mirror-like world, what was dirt on one world would be gold on another – so that worthless thing might just later turn out to be a priceless treasure.

 

Beyond the Scandinavian sphere

 

Philippines: Duwende Puti and Duwende Itim

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Illustration of a Duwende

These tiny humanoid underground creatures comprise of “Duwende Puti” and “Duwende Itim”. They are polar opposites in that Duwende Puti are kind creatures who bring about good luck. Duwende Itim on the other hand are mean folk who love to play pranks on humans. However, both are adamant about respecting nature. Whilst they generally keep to themselves, they will make themselves known when their environment is disturbed.

For example, someone who kicked an anthill on or near the home of a Duwende Itim would be punished with a myriad of ailments from twisted mouth to swollen testicles. In contrast, a kindly farmer who took care of his plot would be rewarded by the Duwende Puti with a greater abundance of crops than usual. According to folklore, reciting “Tabi-tabi po” aloud before entering what might be their space is the best way to avoid offending the Duwende.

 

Germany: Dwarves

In German mythology, dwarves more or less occupy the same position as the Scandinavian troll. They are usually described as subterranean beings who dwell in the mountains and in the earth, and are associated with smithing, mining, and crafting. It is believed that they can become invisible and are often hostile. However, like trolls, they can do good deeds in return for kindness.

 

Japan: Oni

Oni

Statue of a Japanese Oni

The Oni is humanoid in form with grotesque unnatural features. They are often described as hideous, gigantic creatures with sharp claws, wild hair, and two long horns growing from their heads. The colour of their skin varies but is commonly depicted as red or blue. Wearing tiger skin loincloths and carrying an iron club (Kanabo), they generally go around terrorising people.

 

Greenland: Troll

In the folktales of the Inuit people of Greenland, trolls are huge, hairy beasts with enormous bellies that drag on the ground as they walk. They roam around the uninhabited hills looking for unsuspecting travellers to capture with their long dagger-like fingernails and eat.

 

Malevolent or Benevolent?

If one were to comb through Scandinavian mythology and folklore, it appears that prior to the introduction of Christianity, trolls were not inherently seen as evil. They had similar temperaments to human beings and although they could wreak more havoc when offended, they were not stigmatised with links to the devil.

In fact, trolls were viewed as neutral beings in the sense that they were neither out to get humans nor was it their primary objective to harm although they would not hesitate to do so to satisfy their needs. However, some trolls are believed to be fiercely protective of nature and to show great affection for animals.

 

Protectors of the Environment

Troll folklore shows that some trolls are very protective of the forest. In fact, they are portrayed as protective nature spirits defending the forest against human greed.

A classic example is the popular Norwegian tale of “Boots who ate a match with the troll” where the troll repeatedly said “This is my forest. No chopping in my forest. I’m gonna eat you up” before gobbling up the first two victims. Granted, the troll did have a vested interest in protecting its home, but the folktale also emphasised its respect for nature.

Bysen_possible

Illustration of a Bysen

The Baltic island of Gotland is said to be home to a ghostlike troll i.e. the Bysen. They are said to be humans who committed some crime during their lifetime and now are condemned to walk the earth forever. These dwarven grey creatures roam the forests with an axe, carefully chopping trees or branches and generally maintaining and protecting the forests. They make life difficult for forest workers with a range of tricks including turning over timber loads, causing machinery to malfunction and delaying transports of timber.

These protective traits are also apparent in Norwegian, Danish and Swedish folktales relating to charcoal kilns built in forests. Charcoal kilns were not only fire hazards but also disruptive and a threat to forest creatures. One story tells of a Huldra seducing a lonely charcoal burner, thus preventing him from guarding the kiln’s fire and causing the destruction of the entire kiln.

Huldra and charcoal burner_Svenska folksagner(1882)

Huldra and charcoal burner by Svenska Folksagner (1882)

There is another version involving a worker who rescued a beautiful maiden lost in the forest. He brought her back to his forest cabin, located next to a charcoal kiln, for a night of passion as his reward for rescuing her. The maiden’s only condition was that he not look out of the window while they were intimate. He looked anyway and was shocked to discover that she was none other than a Huldra and was extinguishing the kiln’s fire with her tail while distracting him. He ran away and never returned.

Yet another variation tells of a fair maiden who showed up one late evening at the doorstep of a worker in charge of guarding the fire at a charcoal kiln in the forest. In exchange for food and shelter, the maiden agreed to the worker’s demand that she bed him on two conditions. The first was for him to never tell another soul of their night of passion and the other was for him to not look out of the cabin window while they were together. The rest of the story is the same except that he returned to the site the next morning, only to discover that the charcoal kiln and his forest cabin were completely destroyed.

Huldra are also often said to be connected with Frau Holda (or Frau Holle), the German protectress of agriculture and the goddess of women’s crafts.

TimmeHolda2

Early sketch of the German protectress of agriculture and goddess of women’s crafts, Frau Holda, entitled Frau Holda’s Paradise

There are also numerous tales of trolls taking action against those disrespecting or disturbing nature. An example is the Scandinavian tale of a man named Jon. Jon spent his days fishing to the point of excessiveness. One day, as he was fishing, he heard a cry coming from the mountain.

Can I borrow your pot?”
What do you want with that?” a voice replied from the other side of the lake.
I want to cook Jon, who always fishes in the lake.

The lake voice agreed to the loan of his pot on condition that he got Jon’s boat. When Jon heard the first voice replying “You will get both his shoes and his boat”, he quickly left the lake never to return.

These phenomena are not limited to the wilderness. Lack of respect for the land such as irresponsible farming is also subjected to the ire of trolls. Nisser in particular have a tendency to punish lazy farmers with misfortune, as can be seen in a number of Scandinavian folktales, especially if the farmer is lacking in care or disruptive to the troll’s work for the household and farm.

 

Animal Activists

Trolls could possibly be the earliest advocates of animal rights. There are a number of folktales which reveal their care for animals and their non-tolerance of animal abuse. One such prominent illustration is the tale of “The Nisse Who Stole Fodder”. In short, a farmer lamented about not having any hay left for his farm animals when he heard an untraceable voice assuring him of hay supply. After a few days, he noticed his animals were thriving although they had no food. As it turns out, a Nisse was helping the farmer by fetching hay for his animals every night.

nisse and horse

Depiction of a Nisse lovingly feeding a horse

In some places, trolls are also believed to have the power to bless or heal animals. This is most likely fanned by stories that tell of animals (mostly cattle and sheep) under the care of trolls which yield bigger and better produce e.g. the case of cattle being enhanced after being “borrowed” by Vittra. There are even tales of people attempting to steal these animals or bargaining with trolls for the right to interbreed these animals with normal livestock to produce a more profitable breed.

 

Post-Christianity

It would not be farfetched to say that the diminishing influence of trolls is commensurate with the growth of Christianity in Scandinavia. The early Christians first adopted a strong stance and focused on demonising the trolls. However, when it became clear that the local beliefs were deeply entrenched, they changed tack. Disparagement thus became one of the main ways used by Christians to devalue the value of the old, pagan beliefs.

Slowly but surely, reverence for pagan beings such as trolls was chipped away through changing the way they were portrayed. From powerful ancient beings, they became harmless low-brow creatures. For instance, the dangerous and powerful mountain troll as depicted in the Poetic Edda (the leading source of Norse mythology) was made easy to fool by heroes such as Askeladden in subsequent folktales. As a result, trolls were systematically driven farther and farther away from the human sphere and reduced to intangible fantasy beings.

 

Conclusion

Present day depictions of trolls range from cute to off-beat to downright sinister. From neon-haired troll dolls with jewelled belly buttons to the inherently evil servants of Sauron, Dark Lord of Mordor, modern trolls have completed departed from their folkloric roots and mutated into a different kind of supernatural creature.

However, stories get told and retold and it is possible that people will eventually be reminded of the primal force of these creatures of legend. After all, trolls and other mythological creatures are in essence evidence of our ancestors’ vivid encounters with nature elementals. Some may write trolls off as products of the imagination, but always bear in mind that they be none other than a remnant of a long-lost reality.

 
Source/references:

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nisse_(folklore)
  • https://owlcation.com/social-sciences/troll-of-norway
  • http://users.skynet.be/fa023784/trollmoon/TrollBlog/trollblog.html
  • http://powderroom.kinja.com/a-brief-history-of-trolls-1704983550
  • Christian Demonology And Popular Mythology, Gábor Klaniczay, Éva Pócs, Eszter Csonka-Takács, CEU Press, Central European University Press, 2006
  • http://www.mythicalcreaturesguide.com/page/Huldra
  • http://www.ingebretsens.com/culture/traditions/legend-of-nisse-and-tomte
  • http://www.snowintromso.com/blog/2016/12/norwegian-trolls-and-folklore
  • http://www.hf.uio.no/ikos/english/services/knowledge/norwegian-folklore/folktales-and-legends/
  • http://users.skynet.be/fa023784/trollmoon/TrollBlog/files/category-troll-painters.html

 

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30 Responses to The Hidden Nature of Trolls

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  1. Sharon Ong on Jun 17, 2017 at 11:07 pm

    I like the idea of trolls being guardians of nature and animals. I do believe that they exist just the way there are spirits and hungry ghosts. Just because the normal human eye cannot see these trolls doesn’t mean that they do not exist.

    This post reminds me very much of the Malaysian version of “Orang Bunian” who are said to look like indigenous people but are normally invisible. When appeased, they can grant wishes like increase of wealth and good business. But when they or their homes are disturbed, they may retaliate. This is probably why there have been many cases of people getting lost in jungles as Orang Bunian are believed to make people confused and are unable to find their way out of the jungle.

    Whether one believes in their existence or not, it is always a good idea to be mindful of one’s actions especially when out in nature, like mountains, jungles, rivers and lakes.

  2. Joy on Jun 17, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    After reading this story about trolls, I definitely believe in them and I do think that they exist because stories are usually based on sightings and experiences. I am glad they have some positive characters and not just negative one. What stood out was that they are natural protectors of the environment and also animal activists. This is what I like about them. I suppose if you give them respect and respect their environment, they will not harm you and disturb and can even help you, like the story of Nisse helping the farmer fetch hay for his animals!

    I believe they are just like us, humans, some are good and some are bad. But in general if we keep the environment clean and respect the land, they would not harm us and we can all co-exist. I guess they slowly disappear like what the article said when the Christianity or the Church started their influence to dominate and control people by getting them converted and to abandon their pagan beliefs. Not only do they ask them to abandon it, they even condemn them and create a misconception that they are all demonic, which I think is sad and untrue as we can read from the stories above.

  3. Wah Ying on Jun 17, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    Thank you for this interesting post on Trolls. I always amazed at supernatural beings like tree spirits, forest spirits, mountain spirits and so forth mentioned in folklore and animation movies by Hayao Miyazaki especially. I am not sure they exist or not but I am not totally do not believe some supernatural beings are just made up. However, what we not able to witness by our own eyes do not mean they never exist. Rinpoche’s blog posts on supernatural beings and things do open up my mind.

    Legends or stories on trolls told in this post are indeed interesting to read on; and I found they are closely connected to nature, live in the wild. If we believe in there are beings live in the wild, may be they have different appearances and legends come with them for different culture around the world, one would be more alert and have more “respect” to our Mother Earth, more humble and not to think that human owns and can manipulate the nature as we wish. Thanks for the blog post. I enjoy it.

  4. Stella Cheang on Jun 16, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    This is an interesting article that opens my eyes to a forest creature that is ascribed with an ambivalent characteristic. They are fiercely loyal to what they believe in, but at the same time, they eluded the standard humanistic values, which is cunning and brutal depending which folklores they appeared in. Which reminds me of the other mystical creature, Yeti, who exist in the Himalayans, Russia, Mongolia USA, Canada and other countries. It goes to show that these mystical creatures if they exist, they operate with a different set of values and principles. To co-exist in harmony, it is necessary for us to be attentive to their survival traits, values, and principles so that we do not offend them unnecessarily.

  5. justin on Jun 16, 2017 at 12:39 am

    For me trolls exists and i still believe that there are a lot of things in nature that we still do not know about our mother earth. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article about Trolls, which previously unheard of for me. I have heard of Orge etc. but not trolls before. It is beyond my imagination of the nature of trolls. Thank you again.

  6. Raj Kumar on Jun 14, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Good morning Dear Rinpoche🙏
    And Dear all 🙏
    First of all thank you so much for this story about trolls,
    I am really not know so much about trolls,

    But This is a very interesting article about trolls to read
    I really doing enjoying to reading about this trolls story.
    Thank you.
    With folded hands
    Raj Kumar.

  7. Pastor Antoinette on Jun 14, 2017 at 8:13 am

    This is a very interesting article. I did not know very much about trolls except the trolls in Walter Moers fantasy books.

    I like the idea that the trolls are protecting the forests and nature and also feeding the animals like in winter. It reminds me of the nagas and that we should be respectful when we are in the forest and near lakes. Here is the link for more information on nagas: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/apology-to-the-naga-realm.html

  8. Mingwen on Jun 14, 2017 at 7:44 am

    Never say never!

    We have yet to fully discovered the Earth, things are happening without our acknowledgment. No way for us to reject and firmly say certain things do not exist in Earth.

    Be open and we will receive more , but wr should always stay curious and check out things

  9. Tek Lee on Jun 14, 2017 at 3:58 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article. Wow, it has so many types of Troll. The troll I have in mind is the one that I first saw in movie Lord Of The Rings. They are gigantic, grey in colour, slow in movement, and I still remember one of them stabbed a spear on Frodo’s chest 🙂 I thought they were only appear in movie and some sci-fi novel.
    After reading this article, it is actually quite commonly believe and folklore in the Scandinavian, even in Asian countries like Japan and Philippines. But unlike Big Foot, it doesn’t have any picture or video that support its existence, maybe their time was way much earlier than big foot. It makes it sound like myth. But it’s interesting to know they are so many types of troll 🙂

  10. June Kang on Jun 14, 2017 at 2:18 am

    Is interesting to visit Tsemrinpoche.com. You can always find article talking about others beings. Lots of us will not purposely going to search and learn all this but this website always make us so easy to access to learn more of others things besides Buddhism.

    This is the first i learn about troll, is very interesting and i believe it exists and surprising that reading the part they help peoples who are kind to them, they are kind too and not so scary as what I think.

    Thank you for sharing.

  11. Pastor Albert on Jun 14, 2017 at 2:13 am

    Another being that we have long heard but never seen before, all these beings has been told since hundreds of years ago, after so many generations, how many percent of the stories are still accurate? Or has it been changed?

    But for me, I do believe about there are other beings in this planet that we have not seen or they are actually much more intelligent than human, whether are they same as the pictures above or not I have no idea, but they definitely exist.

  12. Pastor Chia on Jun 14, 2017 at 1:57 am

    This is my first time encounter the troll history and background from this article.Thank you for sharing all the interesting stories. Just like those hidden creature in this world. I do beliave their existance and be kind to them. What i like about troll story is they are also protector for enviroment and care for animal. Which make me not fell bad about this creature nature even they stay in the dark side. Is better for the mainkind to be more concesious and respect all the living being exitance.

  13. Andrea Lai on Jun 14, 2017 at 12:39 am

    My first knowledge of troll was when I’m in searching for a present to my sister. I stumbled upon this tiny cute little toy with big round eyes, big button nose, a broad sweet smile and with an uprise hair with various colors. Back then, so little that I know.

    After reading this article, well, it has broadened up my horizon. From my understanding in this article, I think that troll could be have similarity like a naga as what been explained that if trolls been landed in mountain, they will be called mountain trolls, if forest, they will be called as forest trolls or forest nymphs. As example in the illustration of Huldra, a female troll as a form of beautiful human being, lure men who are ignorance with the purpose to prevent them from destroying their living environment, and reward those who show respect to her. Overall, trolls are compassionate and good nature being who wanted to be respected. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article.

  14. nicholas on Jun 14, 2017 at 12:17 am

    I first hear about trolls was from some tales in a story book. When I read about them from this articles it really so much to tell from various part of the world. There are many more living beings that we have not encountered but it doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I believe in their existence and what important is respect.

    We are not the only living being here and we all share the same place here in the universe and stay harmony and being compassion is key for peace.

  15. Vivian Ong on Jun 14, 2017 at 12:15 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article. It is interesting to know that there are many types of trolls in every part of the globe. I’m not so sure about Malaysia, but so far from my childhood until now I have not heard anything about trolls in Malaysia. The trolls that we read or watch is the ogre and hobbit (if hobbits are considered trolls).

    With folded palms,
    Vivian

  16. Pastor Henry Ooi on Jun 13, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    Whether trolls or such creatures of similar descriptions exist or not, these tales told here are pretty interesting and entertaining. I guess every country has their own fairy tale or story told at camp fires, or during festivals especially for the children’s entertainment. Similarly, in Malaysia we do have our local stories. I’m not doubting their existence, just respectful of nature and those unseen beings, and tread with care.

  17. Esther Goh on Jun 13, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for this very interesting article about Trolls. In the past I had always envisioned Trolls to be very mean ugly looking creatures as depicted in the story books. I was intrigued to learn that they come in different forms and demeanor. They possessed magical powers and can be kind and helpful if treated with respect. After reading this article I am convinced they did exist.

  18. Eric kksiow on Jun 13, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    I do believed it’s exist, i always wish to see “Them” ( Trolls or BigFoot ) and hope to communicate with them too.

    Thank you for the research of Trolls.

  19. pammie yap on Jun 12, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    I first came across the word troll, through reading. I love reading books of fantasy genre. I’d read and imagine how they’d look like. In the series of books that I have come across, trolls were often depicted as small notorious creatures and that was it. I was surprised to read of the different types of trolls in this post. That is why I find it wonderful to be able to see things at different perspective/view and not fixed. So many types of trolls! I believe that all beings want respect therefore the same for the trolls. Quite scary to read about the things they’d do to others for being disrespected. However, I like the part where they help the farmers and people who are kind to them and how they take good care of nature. Really interesting!

  20. Echeah on May 8, 2017 at 1:31 am

    The only trolls I’m familiar with are those lurking on the internet, LOL. Maybe they were real trolls in their previous lives, no joke! They come back this life to do what they do best, troll us on social media! I wonder why people invest so much time and energy to do that non-stop. They really must have some kind of past life imprint.

  21. Anne Ong on May 7, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    This is a very interesting topic about Trolls. Have watched the amination version of Trolls on dvd during Chinese New Year at Tek Lee’s parents house. It was very colorful and musical type. And didn’t there is so much background and history about Trolls. Thank you Rinpoche for this interesting folk tales about Trolls. It’s very educational.

  22. Jacinta Goh on May 7, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    I do not have any interest in these ‘Trolls’ thing, not until one day when Rinpoche posted that we should placed trolls statue/ sculpture at home as a gesture to invite them to stay and let them know that we are here for good. I kept thinking, perhaps it’s true that they exist! However, they are mostly depicted as evil in most stories, just like what this article has shared. To know that they actually have healing abilities, this might be a good reason to make friends with them. I wonder whether they are one of the elementals that have gone? Mentioned in one of the teachings about why Rain dances didn’t work, or perhaps I didn’t get the meaning correctly.

    Thank you Rinpoche for this article .

  23. Edwin Tan on May 2, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    Thank you for the well-researched and insightful article on trolls.

    As long as we don’t ever meet one, we will never know if they are beautiful and kind, or ugly and nasty.

    But if they are environment and animal activists and protectors.. I believe they are good-natured.

    With the advancement of technology, many depictions of trolls can be seen on the big screen, from Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings ugly trolls, to singing, kind and helpful trolls in Trolls movie.. I think even smurfs might be early adaptations of trolls or dwarves.

    I really learned a lot more from the article.

    Thank you.

  24. Paul Yap on Apr 30, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    I always believes the existence of mythical creatures. There are many unknown in the vast universe, different dimension and existence. The Trolls character inside the movie “Lord Of The Ring” were mostly huge and ugly, whereas Nisse were cute and small. Nisse reminded me the 7 dwarfs of snow white, which is cute and kind too.

  25. Pastor David Lai on Apr 29, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    This is indeed a very well researched article on Trolls. I love it very much and I read it with much relish. I found female trolls to be particularly interesting because they are somewhat different from their male counterpart. Female trolls are beautiful, seductresses and with a tail of a fox. This is somewhat reminiscent of the Chinese fox-spirit that seduces men.

    There are plenty of stories of fox spirits in Chinese folklore and they go somewhat along the lines of the western female troll. However, in the Chinese folk lore – they are really fox spirits in disguise to play trick or lure men to their doom. On the other hand, the female western troll seduces men in order to distract and destroy kilns and factories that processes wood from the forests. Whatever it is, there is this similarity.

    In general, I really like how trolls are portrayed to be guardians of the forests and protector of animals. It’s nice and probably closer to the truth that time and sceptical modern man has denied for too long.

  26. wan wai meng on Apr 29, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    When I played Dungeons and Dragons, when I was wee lad, Trolls were monsters that liked to wait in bridges, sometimes they could be found in caves toll. So they are quite known to ambush adventurers. And trolls had abilities to regenerate the only way you could have stopped it regeneration is using fire. So trolls to me playing the game, were monsters to be overcome and to take over their treasures because, of their habits of waylaying adventurers, they usually had a good horde of treasures.

    Really enjoyed reading this long piece on Trolls.

  27. Fong on Apr 29, 2017 at 1:12 am

    Thank you, for ever so delightful a story about trolls. Obviously, there’s a lot more to trolls than Shrek.

    It’s interesting there are kind trolls as well as very nasty trolls. Be it products of vivid imaginations of ancients or being of another time and realm, we have to treat them warily. After all, they have acquired a not so pretty reputation since time immemorial.

  28. Lim Han Nee on Apr 28, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for this blogpost that gives an interesting and extensive account of trolls, their origin and their nature, and of the different kinds of trolls. They are not only confined to Scandinavian countries, although they feature mainly in the culture and folklore of Scandinavian countries.

    Although they did have some negative traits, they had not been inherently evil in legends and stories of them in earlier times. Once upon a time, they were revered as powerful mythical creatures, who were very much part of the mountains, forests and bridges of ancient ancestral lands.

    Some trolls even possessed magical powers.Generally, if you are respectful to them, they are nice to you. They return disrespect with nastiness. The bigger sized trolls are supposed to have a lower intellectual level. It is sad to read the stories of how they are tricked into killing themselves or being killed. They are essentially beings that are not out to harm,but if they are offended they will wreak havoc.

    Some trolls are believed to be fiercely protective of nature and the forests and to care much for animals. in fact, they are often portrayed as nature spirits who would defend the forest against human greed. There are stories of trolls taking action against those humans who disrespect or disturb nature. Trolls could possibly be the earliest advocates of animal rights! We can see this in a number of folk-tales that tell of their care for animals and their intolerance of animal abuse.

    It is sad to see that the earlier respect and reverence for pagan beings like trolls are being chipped away, as can be seen in the way they are being portrayed in later stories . Trolls are now disparaged: from being powerful and dangerous mountain beings in myths of old, they are now relegated to being depicted as low-brow creatures who are easily fooled and tricked. They are being reduced into mere beings of fantasy.

  29. Samfoonheei on Apr 28, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Trolls are assiociates as beings of Scandinavian folklore.A large number of different mythological creatures continue to live on in Scandinavian folklore.They have different shapes,habitat and filthy features . There are also numerous tales of trolls told and retold.Trolls are also believed to have the magigal powers, which were folktales ,posses capabilities that are beyond human .What ever it was a remnant of a long-lost reality for sure. I do believe that there’s a very high chance trolls had existed in the past.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing ,i do enjoyed all the stories in these article even though it just folk tales.

    • Anne Ong on Apr 29, 2017 at 5:32 pm

      Hello Samfoonheei,

      I’m very glad to hear you enjoyed all the stories in this article. And I noticed you are also very active and enthusiastic in blog comments. Do try to keep up the good work. Reading Rinpoche’s blog posts really helps to build up our knowledge. Thank you very much for your comments.

      Anne Ong.

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  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 24. 2019 12:44 PM
    Beautiful art painting Of Vajrapani and Dorje Shugden paints a thousands words. As a protector and guide of Gautama Buddha and rose to symbolize the Buddha’s power and Dorje Shugden a Dharma Protector in order to safeguard the Buddha’s teachings form a powerful combination in this beautiful thangka. It will be wonderful to have it printed in our house or on our altar.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/the-lord-of-secrets-vajrapani
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 24. 2019 12:42 PM
    Beautiful art paintings of White Tara , Ushnishavijaya (Namgyalma), Amitayus, Dorje Shugden. In Tibetan Buddhism, White Tara is also known as Jetsun Dölma as a Buddhist saviour-goddess with numerous forms, widely popular in Nepal, Tibet, and Mongolia. She is the protective, helpful and comforting mother who shows limitless kindness, generosity and protection to all who rely on her.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/the-supreme-saviouress-white-tara
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 24. 2019 12:41 PM
    The importance of cleanliness in our lives cannot be denied. Maintaining a clean environment is for the health of all humans. As our health completely depends on the surrounding atmosphere. The practice of cleaning is not only for the environment, but also for our mind . We can change our recognition of cleaning from something that’s negative to something that’s positive, then our quality of life will improve. The importance of having a clean room, clean environment is to respect the people we invited to. To develop the clear mind, we need to be aware of being very mindful, everything should be clean. Make it as a practice, consistently .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/the-importance-of-having-a-clean-room
  • Sofi
    Wednesday, Apr 24. 2019 06:03 AM
    The Life of Yul Brynner (1920 – 1985)

    Read about this actor who acted in the King and, which won morvie acclaims worldwide. Interesting to learn of his life.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/film-tv-music/the-life-of-yul-brynner-1920-1985.html
  • Sofi
    Wednesday, Apr 24. 2019 05:29 AM
    Tyurgen Wowed with Mongolian Throat Singing

    An amazing Russian who won the judges’ hearts with Mongolian throat singing. You should listen to his powerful ability which is unique and welcoming.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/tyurgen-wowed-with-mongolian-throat-singing
  • Sofi
    Wednesday, Apr 24. 2019 05:22 AM
    10,000 Mongolians receive Dorje Shugden!

    An amazing feat! Authentic Dorje Shugden initiations for 10,000 Mongolians. Read more here:

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/10000-mongolians-receive-dorje-shugden.html
  • nicholas
    Wednesday, Apr 24. 2019 05:18 AM
    It’s so rejoiceful to see Mr Yao Ming the professional basketball player use his celebrities platform and reputation to lessen the suffering of others. Mr. Yao Ming speak for the unable to speak for themselves and so rely on us to protect them. Millions of sharks, which are endangered, will be saved thanks to Mr. Yao Ming’s actions. I hope more and more people will be inspired by his example to speak up against cruelty towards animals. With growing awareness of vegetarianism and so many options for food these days, even in mainstream restaurants, there is no need to keep consuming meat or seafood.
  • Yee Yin
    Tuesday, Apr 23. 2019 07:37 PM
    Do you know China is a multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious countries? There are more than 50 ethnic groups in China. Different ethnic groups have their own cultures, customs and traditions but all of them live in harmony. Check out the photos of these beautiful people, their traditional costumes are so colourful and vibrant.

    http://bit.ly/ColourfulChina
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Tuesday, Apr 23. 2019 07:23 PM
    Mount Fanjing in China at 2,572 meters above sea level, is situated in southwestern China’s Guizhou Province. In the 16th century, Mount Fanjing was one of China’s sacred Buddhist mountains. It is said to be the abode of Buddha Maitreya. In recent years, it has again become a popular tourist destination.

    http://bit.ly/HolySite
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Tuesday, Apr 23. 2019 07:14 PM
    Master Cheng Yen must have a very strong Dharma imprint. Even though in the beginning she did not have a teacher, she knew she wanted to be nun, she wanted to renounce and use her life to serve others. It was not easy to embark on the spiritual journey but it did not scare Master Cheng Yen. She found ways to spread Dharma and she has been very successful.

    Today, Tzu Chu foundation has its presence all around the world. Whenever there is a disaster, they will be the first to offer their help. Their selfless compassion is highly respected and acknowledged by many. This is how much impact one person can make if we walk the talk and show people by example. The most important thing is not to give up and be very determined in serving others.

    http://bit.ly/TR-AmazingWoman
    [no sender]
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Apr 23. 2019 12:35 PM
    Back in 1996, H H Dalai Lama had made a controversial statement about Dorje Shugden that have caused much disharmony, sufferings among Tibetan Buddhism practitioners . The Tibetans were divided into two , families torn apart just as they do not agree and accept the practice of Dorje Shugden. The African Americans of black people and slavery , the women in Finland, Iceland, Sweden and some western U.S. states, slavery are some of the historical similarities with Dorje Shugden ban where they suffered badly such as physical abuses, denied services to hospitals, restaurants , schools and so forth having many signs and boards installed to prohibit them from entering. Those who refused to follow their order or to give up their practice were conform faced torture, imprisonment discrimination and abuse. Tibetans in exile, wicca, pagans and so forth are denied their rights of religious freedom. Everyone should have their own rights to choose what we believe and practice. The Dalai Lama have said that Dorje Shugden cannot harm him , as proven Dorje Shugden is not evil. It is recognised to be an emanation of the bodhisattva Manjushri and a dharma protector. They (CTA ) should stopped and should not be involved in religion. Allow religious freedom for the sake of all, and future generations to come. Peace and harmony must be maintained, for the growth of a nation.
    Thank you Velentina for this well researched article to bring more awareness and knowledge for many of us and these abroad.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/comparisons-of-the-dorje-shugden-ban-with-historic-persecutions.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Apr 23. 2019 12:27 PM
    A beautiful story of guru devotion of a Russian princess Buddhist nun. Very inspiring , she was a Russian-born French-American socialite, film actress, and Gelug Tibetan Buddhist nun. The legendary Zina Rachevsky was the earliest Western student and patron of Lama Yeshe . She came from an incredibly wealthy family, having everything money, fame, beauty yet she was not happy and that triggered her soul-searching. Travelling to India, that’s where she met Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa. That’s the first time they encounters with Westerners and Lama Yeshe was glad to learn that this wealthy lady came to them in search of enlightenment. Zina became the first Western student of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa . It was her request and insisted that the Lamas to teach Westerners on Buddhism. She led her life to the fullest from her Hollywood days to renouncing everything.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this inspiring article of a princess turned nun.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/people/the-russian-princess-nun.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Apr 23. 2019 12:25 PM
    Beautiful art thangka of Palden Lhamo,Guru Rinpoche, Lama Tsongkhapa, Nechung and Dorje Shugden. Palden Lhamo is a protecting Dharmapala of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. She is the wrathful deity considered to be the be an emanation of Saraswati, the Goddess of Wisdom. Interesting story of this fearsome and powerful protector.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/powerful-palden-lhamo
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Apr 22. 2019 01:12 PM
    Beautiful art paintings of Saraswati , Manjushri, and Dorje Shugden. Saraswati is a well-known Indian goddess of music, wisdom and learning. While Dorje Shugden is an emanation of the bodhisattva Manjushri. Both depicted in this beautiful thangka paints a thousand words. Matching colours , its truly amazing.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/the-all-pervading-goddess-of-art-saraswati
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Apr 22. 2019 01:09 PM
    That’s wonderful in Kechara Forest Retreat there are a numbers of wonderful progressive, modern, humorous and knowledgeable pastors who are always ready to help readers to understand better. More and more readers on this blog will get to learn and practice Dharma through questions and answering .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing this nice and happy pictures of Pastors having a joyful ride on a trishaw by Pastor Seng Piow.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/if-you-have-any-dharma-questions-ask-a-pastor-at-kechara

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Messages from Rinpoche

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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!

Tsem Rinpoche

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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.
A temple with a thousand Bodhi trees. Unusual and blessed- https://bit.ly/2Xn6nj6
11 hours ago
A temple with a thousand Bodhi trees. Unusual and blessed- https://bit.ly/2Xn6nj6
My way of sharing....
6 days ago
My way of sharing....
Peace
7 days ago
Peace
Please contemplate deeply what this message is sharing. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
Please contemplate deeply what this message is sharing. Tsem Rinpoche
Japanese Buddha statues. Beautiful program- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIfNibljnoI
2 weeks ago
Japanese Buddha statues. Beautiful program- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIfNibljnoI
Japanese Buddhist altars. Beautiful- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4uqb3jPpCs
2 weeks ago
Japanese Buddhist altars. Beautiful- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4uqb3jPpCs
Beautiful Lord Buddha carving which is so elegant. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Beautiful Lord Buddha carving which is so elegant. Tsem Rinpoche
We can love others as we heal ourselves inside...~Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
We can love others as we heal ourselves inside...~Tsem Rinpoche
Beautiful short and powerful teaching by Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Beautiful short and powerful teaching by Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche
China\'s huge Buddha statues. Amazingly beautiful- https://bit.ly/2DgSXxT
2 weeks ago
China's huge Buddha statues. Amazingly beautiful- https://bit.ly/2DgSXxT
Such a powerful imagery of Lord Buddha\'s determination. Fasting Buddha\'s meaning- HTTP://bit.ly/2VCfKLa
2 weeks ago
Such a powerful imagery of Lord Buddha's determination. Fasting Buddha's meaning- http://bit.ly/2VCfKLa
This poor boy is being forced to leave his friend to be sold for slaughter. Children have a natural connection with animals, and they know it is wrong to hurt and kill them. Children lose this connection by being indoctrinated (brainwashed) by their parents/peers into believing animals are here to be exploited, killed, and eaten.- from Lucinda Smyth FB page
2 weeks ago
This poor boy is being forced to leave his friend to be sold for slaughter. Children have a natural connection with animals, and they know it is wrong to hurt and kill them. Children lose this connection by being indoctrinated (brainwashed) by their parents/peers into believing animals are here to be exploited, killed, and eaten.- from Lucinda Smyth FB page
Some people really struggle and put in so much effort in their lives. Amazing. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Some people really struggle and put in so much effort in their lives. Amazing. Tsem Rinpoche
18th Century Mongolian made Namgyalma statue. Very artistic. Very beautiful. Usually her arms are \'all over the place\' but this one is so artistically placed and poised. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
18th Century Mongolian made Namgyalma statue. Very artistic. Very beautiful. Usually her arms are 'all over the place' but this one is so artistically placed and poised. Tsem Rinpoche
My mother Ms. Dewa Nimbo came out with a new book. I am happy for her. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
My mother Ms. Dewa Nimbo came out with a new book. I am happy for her. Tsem Rinpoche
Challenges makes you more responsible. Always remember that life without struggle is a life without success. Don\'t give up and learn not to quit.~-Rumi
2 weeks ago
Challenges makes you more responsible. Always remember that life without struggle is a life without success. Don't give up and learn not to quit.~-Rumi
May His Holiness Dalai Lama completely recover soon- https://bit.ly/2GgMO6c
2 weeks ago
May His Holiness Dalai Lama completely recover soon- https://bit.ly/2GgMO6c
How I made my beautiful Kyabje Zong Rinpoche statue in Nepal in 1987. I have many more photos for you to see here- 
 https://bit.ly/2Z2r0T5
2 weeks ago
How I made my beautiful Kyabje Zong Rinpoche statue in Nepal in 1987. I have many more photos for you to see here- https://bit.ly/2Z2r0T5
As of April 9, 2019 there are over 240k views on this blog post regarding the relationship between Bhutan\'s Highest lama Zhabdrung Rinpoche & Dorje Shugden.- https://bit.ly/2PrE6Ui
2 weeks ago
As of April 9, 2019 there are over 240k views on this blog post regarding the relationship between Bhutan's Highest lama Zhabdrung Rinpoche & Dorje Shugden.- https://bit.ly/2PrE6Ui
The handprint of His Holiness Kyabje Pabongka Dorje Chang Jetsun Dechen Nyingpo
2 weeks ago
The handprint of His Holiness Kyabje Pabongka Dorje Chang Jetsun Dechen Nyingpo
488 articles on animals, vegetarianism and environment and still growing. :) Enjoy the readings- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
2 weeks ago
488 articles on animals, vegetarianism and environment and still growing. :) Enjoy the readings- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
Beautiful Angel Dorje Shugden chapels in Kathmandu- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCaWhDHKyBA&feature=youtu.be

People love to visit & pray.
3 weeks ago
Beautiful Angel Dorje Shugden chapels in Kathmandu- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCaWhDHKyBA&feature=youtu.be People love to visit & pray.
Stunning pieces-Tibetan spiritual art-Free download- https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
3 weeks ago
Stunning pieces-Tibetan spiritual art-Free download- https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
Kechara visits Shar Gaden Monastery in South India-  https://bit.ly/2VozDp4
3 weeks ago
Kechara visits Shar Gaden Monastery in South India- https://bit.ly/2VozDp4
Obeisance to Yamantaka the powerful practice that destroys our bind to samsara.
3 weeks ago
Obeisance to Yamantaka the powerful practice that destroys our bind to samsara.
I love this picture of their Holinesses. Trijang Rinpoche was known to be very humorous and always joked and made Ling Rinpoche laugh very hard. The two tutors got along very well and very harmonious always. This made their job together of educating H.H. Dalai Lama very smooth and successful. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
I love this picture of their Holinesses. Trijang Rinpoche was known to be very humorous and always joked and made Ling Rinpoche laugh very hard. The two tutors got along very well and very harmonious always. This made their job together of educating H.H. Dalai Lama very smooth and successful. Tsem Rinpoche
(left to right)Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl. Super cute doggies of Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
(left to right)Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl. Super cute doggies of Tsem Rinpoche
You know you just want to kiss me reeeeeeeeal bad!!! ~Oser girl
3 weeks ago
You know you just want to kiss me reeeeeeeeal bad!!! ~Oser girl
Over 106k views! People really interested in this post: https://bit.ly/2Sczh6v
3 weeks ago
Over 106k views! People really interested in this post: https://bit.ly/2Sczh6v
This picture I found by accident on the internet recently. This exact photo was poster size and framed and was on Thubten Dhargye Ling\'s main altar in Los Angeles back in the 80\'s when I was there. It is beautiful picture of H.H. Dalai Lama in his youth with a light glow around his body as he meditates. I love this picture of His Holiness. Tsem Rinpoche Read more-  https://bit.ly/2FECC5S
3 weeks ago
This picture I found by accident on the internet recently. This exact photo was poster size and framed and was on Thubten Dhargye Ling's main altar in Los Angeles back in the 80's when I was there. It is beautiful picture of H.H. Dalai Lama in his youth with a light glow around his body as he meditates. I love this picture of His Holiness. Tsem Rinpoche Read more- https://bit.ly/2FECC5S
Starting on Vajra Yogini now. Practicing Vajra Yogini without initiation. Find out more- https://bit.ly/2JjTTXp
3 weeks ago
Starting on Vajra Yogini now. Practicing Vajra Yogini without initiation. Find out more- https://bit.ly/2JjTTXp
Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
Thai tradition of Buddhism also reveres/respects/remembers their gurus and high monks just like in the Tibetan tradition. You can see here a high guru\'s statue housed beautifully with a canopy and enshrined in a altar inside a temple for people to pay homage to him. Also an act of collecting merits for the disciples. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Thai tradition of Buddhism also reveres/respects/remembers their gurus and high monks just like in the Tibetan tradition. You can see here a high guru's statue housed beautifully with a canopy and enshrined in a altar inside a temple for people to pay homage to him. Also an act of collecting merits for the disciples. Tsem Rinpoche
Offering sustenance on our shrine is a sign of appreciation spiritually
3 weeks ago
Offering sustenance on our shrine is a sign of appreciation spiritually
Beautiful piece of African Dogan style art you can print out large & frame for your home- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
3 weeks ago
Beautiful piece of African Dogan style art you can print out large & frame for your home- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
I hope you\'ll be blessed by this practice of Lady Ucchusma- 
https://bit.ly/2U5Arm9
3 weeks ago
I hope you'll be blessed by this practice of Lady Ucchusma- https://bit.ly/2U5Arm9
Beautiful painting of Nechung Pehar Gyalpo & Dorje Shugden together. Masterpiece. More free downloads: https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
4 weeks ago
Beautiful painting of Nechung Pehar Gyalpo & Dorje Shugden together. Masterpiece. More free downloads: https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
Beautiful painting of Nechung Dorje Drakden & Dorje Shugden together. Masterpiece. More free downloads: https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
4 weeks ago
Beautiful painting of Nechung Dorje Drakden & Dorje Shugden together. Masterpiece. More free downloads: https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
Tsem Rinpoche’s moving experience with Lama Zopa in Kopan (1987)- https://bit.ly/2YyE42m
4 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche’s moving experience with Lama Zopa in Kopan (1987)- https://bit.ly/2YyE42m
Massive 2,600 year old Buddhist Monastery-Afghanistan- read more- https://bit.ly/2HTM48q
4 weeks ago
Massive 2,600 year old Buddhist Monastery-Afghanistan- read more- https://bit.ly/2HTM48q
A good person is made by the intensity of his adversity~Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
A good person is made by the intensity of his adversity~Tsem Rinpoche
BREAKING NEWS- Dharamsala MP Tenpa Yarphel says to make peace with Dorje Shugden people now!~ 
 https://bit.ly/2CESoxf
4 weeks ago
BREAKING NEWS- Dharamsala MP Tenpa Yarphel says to make peace with Dorje Shugden people now!~ https://bit.ly/2CESoxf
How the incomparable yet down to earth Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen changed my life forever- https://bit.ly/2VJjCtk

Photo: His Eminence Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen and Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
How the incomparable yet down to earth Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen changed my life forever- https://bit.ly/2VJjCtk Photo: His Eminence Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen and Tsem Rinpoche
Joanne Kam and Justin Ripley in Kechara doing some cooking..
4 weeks ago
Joanne Kam and Justin Ripley in Kechara doing some cooking..
You have to see this spectacular outdoor Amitabah statue in Vietnam. So sacred and majestic.~ https://bit.ly/2Ed0s9n
4 weeks ago
You have to see this spectacular outdoor Amitabah statue in Vietnam. So sacred and majestic.~ https://bit.ly/2Ed0s9n
Everyday offerings of fresh cooked food and drinks are offered to awakened world peace protector Dorje Shugden on my shrine. It is my way to thank Him for all the help He has given to so many people throughout the decades I\'ve introduced Him to. It is my way to include Him as my family and a feeling of closeness and gratitude I have for Him. He\'s a revered family member who happens to be enlightened and also my close friend. Tsem Rinpoche (Food offering prayer~ https://bit.ly/1VkYXJa)
1 month ago
Everyday offerings of fresh cooked food and drinks are offered to awakened world peace protector Dorje Shugden on my shrine. It is my way to thank Him for all the help He has given to so many people throughout the decades I've introduced Him to. It is my way to include Him as my family and a feeling of closeness and gratitude I have for Him. He's a revered family member who happens to be enlightened and also my close friend. Tsem Rinpoche (Food offering prayer~ https://bit.ly/1VkYXJa)
Read about this special Goddess Lok Yeay Mao of Cambodia. I came across her picture and found her very unique and blogged about it. Do enjoy the reading- https://bit.ly/2HR3vqi
1 month ago
Read about this special Goddess Lok Yeay Mao of Cambodia. I came across her picture and found her very unique and blogged about it. Do enjoy the reading- https://bit.ly/2HR3vqi
March 18, 2019-Oser is very photogenic as usual.
1 month ago
March 18, 2019-Oser is very photogenic as usual.
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
    2 weeks ago
    Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
  • This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
    Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
  • 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
    2 weeks 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
  • Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 weeks ago
    Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
  • 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.
    3 weeks 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.
  • Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
    4 weeks ago
    Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
  • Beautiful
    1 month ago
    Beautiful
    Beautiful sacred Severed Head Vajra Yogini from Tsem Rinpoche's personal shrine.
  • My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
    1 month ago
    My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
  • Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 month ago
    Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 months ago
    Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
  • SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    3 months ago
    SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    Tsem Rinpoche's dog Oser girl enjoying her snack in her play pen.
  • Cute!
    4 months ago
    Cute!
    Oser girl loves the balcony so much. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTcoWpKJm2c
  • Uncle Wong
    4 months 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!
    4 months ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
  • Cute baby owl found and rescued
    4 months ago
    Cute baby owl found and rescued
    We rescued a lost baby owl in Kechara Forest Retreat.
  • Nice cups from Kechara!!
    4 months ago
    Nice cups from Kechara!!
    Dorje Shugden people's lives matter!
  • Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    4 months 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).
  • His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    4 months ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    Trijang Rinpoche never gave up his devotion to Dorje Shugden no matter how much Tibetan government in exile pressured him to give up. He stayed loyal inspiring so many of us.
  • Very rare video of His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche the 10th, the all knowing and compassionate one. I pay deep respects to this attained being who has taken many rebirths since the time of Lord Buddha to be of benefit to sentient beings tirelessly. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    Very rare video of His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche the 10th, the all knowing and compassionate one. I pay deep respects to this attained being who has taken many rebirths since the time of Lord Buddha to be of benefit to sentient beings tirelessly. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This bigfoot researcher gives good reasonings on bigfoot. Interesting short video.
    4 months ago
    This bigfoot researcher gives good reasonings on bigfoot. Interesting short video.
  • His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery was one of the teachers of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Here in this beautiful video is Geshe Kelsang Gyatso showing his centre to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, then proceeding to sit down to receive teachings. For more information- https://bit.ly/2QNac1u
    4 months ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery was one of the teachers of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Here in this beautiful video is Geshe Kelsang Gyatso showing his centre to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, then proceeding to sit down to receive teachings. For more information- https://bit.ly/2QNac1u
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s dog, Oser girl always sits on Rinpoche’s chair. When Rinpoche’s other dog, Dharma tries to get into the chair, he is chased away. Oser is the boss. She is possessive. Cute.
    5 months ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s dog, Oser girl always sits on Rinpoche’s chair. When Rinpoche’s other dog, Dharma tries to get into the chair, he is chased away. Oser is the boss. She is possessive. Cute.
  • Lama Yeshe talks about how to practice at the beginning and at the end of each day during teachings given in London during the Lamas’ first European teaching tour in 1975. Lama Yeshe was a brilliant teacher and I wanted to share this with everyone so his teachings can reach more people. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    Lama Yeshe talks about how to practice at the beginning and at the end of each day during teachings given in London during the Lamas’ first European teaching tour in 1975. Lama Yeshe was a brilliant teacher and I wanted to share this with everyone so his teachings can reach more people. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Our beautiful Dorje Shugden shop in the busiest part of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Many tourists visit our store and this area.
    5 months ago
    Our beautiful Dorje Shugden shop in the busiest part of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Many tourists visit our store and this area.
  • Living off the grid in Australia
    5 months ago
    Living off the grid in Australia
    A Jill Redwood is a jack of all trades, Jill built her own house on her property and lives entirely off the grid with no mains power or town water, mobile reception or television. Living on around $80 a week, Jill has over sixty animals to keep her company and an abundant garden that out serves as an organic supermarket right at her doorstep. Her main expenses are animal feed and the rates on her property. Watch this incredible three minute video and be inspired to live differently.
  • Kyabje Dagom Choktrul Rinpoche offering gold on a 350 year-old Dorje Shugden statue in his chapel in Lhasa. This is how Tibetans show homage and pay respect to a holy image. This chapel and statue of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa dedicated to Dorje Shugden was built by the Great 5th Dalai Lama. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    Kyabje Dagom Choktrul Rinpoche offering gold on a 350 year-old Dorje Shugden statue in his chapel in Lhasa. This is how Tibetans show homage and pay respect to a holy image. This chapel and statue of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa dedicated to Dorje Shugden was built by the Great 5th Dalai Lama. Tsem Rinpoche
  • My sweet little Oser girl is so photogenic and adorable. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    My sweet little Oser girl is so photogenic and adorable. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Heart Sutra sang by a monk for the modern crowd. Very interesting and beautiful. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    Heart Sutra sang by a monk for the modern crowd. Very interesting and beautiful. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Submerging powerful mantra stones in water at Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
    5 months ago
    Submerging powerful mantra stones in water at Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    1 years ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
  • Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
    1 years ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
  • BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
    1 years ago
    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    1 years ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    1 years ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    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.

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CHAT PICTURES

One day, we received a humble wish list from this poor family, an elderly mother who takes care of her grown up son with special needs. ‘It’s quite uneasy to use toilet without a proper door but I do not have enough money to fix it,’ said the mother. Without a second thought, our kindest sponsor, La Hong Eu has decided to make meaningful sponsorship to this case. Big thanks to Bernard Ting and Vickneshwaran for helping this family to replace the broken one with a brand new folding door. Together we are the reason that someone has a sweet smile on her face. #Kechara #foodbank #care - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
22 hours ago
One day, we received a humble wish list from this poor family, an elderly mother who takes care of her grown up son with special needs. ‘It’s quite uneasy to use toilet without a proper door but I do not have enough money to fix it,’ said the mother. Without a second thought, our kindest sponsor, La Hong Eu has decided to make meaningful sponsorship to this case. Big thanks to Bernard Ting and Vickneshwaran for helping this family to replace the broken one with a brand new folding door. Together we are the reason that someone has a sweet smile on her face. #Kechara #foodbank #care - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Laying the rescued food down on the table would mean we will minimise chance of wastage from another level when our recipients will have the privilege to choose what they really need and want. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 days ago
Laying the rescued food down on the table would mean we will minimise chance of wastage from another level when our recipients will have the privilege to choose what they really need and want. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Have you ever done beading? Join us for a blessed Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat! http://bit.ly/2IMh5eN - shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 days ago
Have you ever done beading? Join us for a blessed Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat! http://bit.ly/2IMh5eN - shared by Pastor Antoinette
What do you do on Saturday mornings? Join us for a meaningful time and be blessed by the Buddhas during the Spiritual Saturday at Kechara Forest Retreat! - shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 days ago
What do you do on Saturday mornings? Join us for a meaningful time and be blessed by the Buddhas during the Spiritual Saturday at Kechara Forest Retreat! - shared by Pastor Antoinette
With Dorje Shugden in your car, bus, bike, boat or lorry, you will be protected and blessed. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 days ago
With Dorje Shugden in your car, bus, bike, boat or lorry, you will be protected and blessed. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Recently in Kechara Forest Retreat, this bus was blessed and is now protected by the Three Jewels. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 days ago
Recently in Kechara Forest Retreat, this bus was blessed and is now protected by the Three Jewels. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Volunteers do not necessarily have the time, they just have the heart. In order to send the foodpack to our client in johor bahru area, we need a team that are always ready . Luckily, we have a group of wonderful volunteers that are commited to serve our community. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
3 days ago
Volunteers do not necessarily have the time, they just have the heart. In order to send the foodpack to our client in johor bahru area, we need a team that are always ready . Luckily, we have a group of wonderful volunteers that are commited to serve our community. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Children paint their own mask for Halloween day. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Children paint their own mask for Halloween day. Lin Mun KSDS
Parents and students did a group discussion together on the Bully topic  Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Parents and students did a group discussion together on the Bully topic Lin Mun KSDS
A talk on Bully by Peggy. A very informative sharing for students and parents. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
A talk on Bully by Peggy. A very informative sharing for students and parents. Lin Mun KSDS
Great to start kids with dharma knowledge from young. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Great to start kids with dharma knowledge from young. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Victoria guided the students to do prayer in the dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Teacher Victoria guided the students to do prayer in the dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
Creative horror drawing created by Teacher Kien. Alice, KSDS
4 days ago
Creative horror drawing created by Teacher Kien. Alice, KSDS
Teacher Asyley led the kids to participate animal liberation. Alice, KSDS
4 days ago
Teacher Asyley led the kids to participate animal liberation. Alice, KSDS
Healthy Meals for lunch sponsored by Mr Ravi & friends! We thank you for your unending support to #kecharasoupkitchen in our plight in serving the #homeless. Would you like to sponsor lunch for our street friends? To find out more, checkout our website for more details :) Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 days ago
Healthy Meals for lunch sponsored by Mr Ravi & friends! We thank you for your unending support to #kecharasoupkitchen in our plight in serving the #homeless. Would you like to sponsor lunch for our street friends? To find out more, checkout our website for more details :) Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 days ago
7 days ago
Bernard was briefing the volunteers on the details before they headed out last Saturday to PPR Kota Damansara. #kechara #foodbank #urbanpoor - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 week ago
Bernard was briefing the volunteers on the details before they headed out last Saturday to PPR Kota Damansara. #kechara #foodbank #urbanpoor - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Seen here are team leaders giving their final briefing to the respective volunteers before they head out last night. Thank you very much to all the volunteers who turned up. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 week ago
Seen here are team leaders giving their final briefing to the respective volunteers before they head out last night. Thank you very much to all the volunteers who turned up. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thank you very much to James and Shereen for sponsoring oranges for tonight's distribution. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 weeks ago
Thank you very much to James and Shereen for sponsoring oranges for tonight's distribution. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
We received a lot wine bottles for recycling. It was packed nicely by the person. KEP-Serena
2 weeks ago
We received a lot wine bottles for recycling. It was packed nicely by the person. KEP-Serena
Today we are having recycling activity at Kechara Soup Kitchen. You can drop the recycled items here if you are nearby. KEP-Serena
2 weeks ago
Today we are having recycling activity at Kechara Soup Kitchen. You can drop the recycled items here if you are nearby. KEP-Serena
The generous support from Tesco Malaysia and AEON Retail Malaysia have made it possible for us to continue with this contribution to those less fortunate. Thank you very much! Here are photos taken during the distribution at government low cost flat. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 weeks ago
The generous support from Tesco Malaysia and AEON Retail Malaysia have made it possible for us to continue with this contribution to those less fortunate. Thank you very much! Here are photos taken during the distribution at government low cost flat. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thank you committed university students of University of Malaya for helping in our #foodrescue activities. These still good to eat and in date edible bread will be very useful for the needy students in universities! Thank you Komugi Malaysia for contributing and help reduce food wastage! #zerofoodwastage #kecharafoodbank #kecharasoupkitchen #endhunger - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 weeks ago
Thank you committed university students of University of Malaya for helping in our #foodrescue activities. These still good to eat and in date edible bread will be very useful for the needy students in universities! Thank you Komugi Malaysia for contributing and help reduce food wastage! #zerofoodwastage #kecharafoodbank #kecharasoupkitchen #endhunger - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Throw back, Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Chen Chen run thru me when he saw I'm carry a table and Voluntary help me carry the table.. He really warm my heart and remind me must be kindness to others anytime everyway. Just happened that day's topic is "KINDNESS" Thank You Chen Chen, Lovely Boy right?
2 weeks ago
Throw back, Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Chen Chen run thru me when he saw I'm carry a table and Voluntary help me carry the table.. He really warm my heart and remind me must be kindness to others anytime everyway. Just happened that day's topic is "KINDNESS" Thank You Chen Chen, Lovely Boy right?
The Promise
  These books will change your life
  Tsem Rinpoche's Long Life Prayer by H.H. Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche
  Support Blog Team
Lamps For Life
  Robe Offerings
  Vajrayogini Stupa Fund
  White Tara Mantra Bank Project
  Rinpoche's Medical Fund
  Dana Offerings
  Soup Kitchen Project
 
Zong Rinpoche

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Dorje Shugden
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