The World of Chinese Ghosts

By | Jul 22, 2017 | Views: 2,261
The Chinese ghost has been deeply embedded in Chinese culture and folklore since ancient times.

The Chinese ghost has been deeply embedded in Chinese culture and folklore since ancient times.

Chinese Ghosts – Fact or Fiction?

Ghosts are commonly featured in Chinese folklore. Ghost stories existed as part of the old oral tradition during the Shang Dynasty (1600 – 1046 BCE) and expanded further as Chinese literature began to flourish. Ghost stories continue to be popular today, not just in China but also in the Southeast Asian region.

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Chinese character for the word “Ghost”

Generally, the ghost is perceived to be the non-corporeal manifestation of a person who has died. According to folklore, Chinese ghosts are usually malevolent in nature, cause harm and create chaos for the living. The ancient Chinese were huge believers in ghosts as they thought that when a person died, their soul would journey across a bridge to the afterlife.

During this crossing of the bridge, the deceased would be judged if they were worthy. If they had lived a life of virtue, they could continue on. Once they reached the other side, they either took rebirth as human beings or animals, or went to live with the Gods, depending on their beliefs.

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The bridge where the dead will be judged

However, if they had performed evil deeds, they would fall from the bridge into Hell. Each of the eighteen levels of Hell had specific punishments for different sins. Thus, knowledge of the punishment awaiting wrongdoers in the afterlife brought relief to those wronged.

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The Hell realm is known for serving justice in the afterlife

Traditionally, society recognised the existence of ghosts as a natural extension of ancestor worship. This stemmed from the belief that death is not the end but just a journey to one’s continued existence in the next life, according to Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism.

Buddhists, for example, believe that those who have passed away will take rebirth in one of the Six Realms – the God, Demi-God, Human, Animal, Spirit and Hell realms. Confucians, on the other hand, believe that those who have led a virtuous life will dwell with the Gods and can be invoked upon for assistance or protection.

 

The Origins of Chinese Ghosts

The origins of Chinese ghosts can be traced back to the pre-Qin Dynasty (221 to 206 BC) and was initially spread by word of mouth. By the time the written word and literature was developed, the “ghost culture” literally came alive. Some of the more well-known ghost literatures are ‘Notes on Searching Deities’ (搜神記), ‘The Story of Chinese Gods’ (封神传), and ‘Journey to the West’ (西遊記).

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‘Journey to the West’ tells of the legendary pilgrimage of a Tang Dynasty Buddhist monk, Xuanzang, who travelled to the Western Regions to secure sacred Buddhist texts.

‘Journey to the West’ is about the legendary pilgrimage of a Tang Dynasty Buddhist monk, Xuanzang, who travelled to the ‘Western Regions’ (India) to secure sacred Buddhist texts. He returned after many trials and much suffering. It was Buddha who gave him this task and provided him with three protectors who agreed to help him as atonement for their own sins. They were Sun Wukong, Zhu Wuneng and Sha Wujing, together with a dragon prince who acted as Xuanzang’s steed, a white horse.

Culturally, the ancient Chinese believed that the first step in the journey after death was the funeral. Thus, it was essential that proper funeral and burial rites were performed for the deceased, for a mistake could cause their soul to be unhappy and they could return to haunt the living.

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Proper burial rites had to be carried out by a qualified person, like a monk or a Taoist master.

Fear of unsettled spirits returning resulted in rules and regulations being implemented to ensure that all deaths were officially reported and funeral rites were performed accordingly. These applied to both royalty and commoners alike. The penalty for failure to report a death was exile or hard labour.

According to traditional Chinese literature, apart from improper burial rites, souls of the deceased could also return to haunt the living if they had unfinished business, unfulfilled vows, a desire to right a wrong, or just to visit.

The two parts of the soul that are said to return to cause havoc for the living are the ‘Po‘ and ‘Hun‘. Based on the history of Chinese writing, the character for Po 魄 “lunar brightness” appeared before Hun 魂 “soul; spirit”.

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Ancient art piece depicting the Hun and Po

The Po is the yin aspect of the soul, associated with darkness, water and earth. It is the animal nature of Man, whereby instincts and urges are the first to become apparent after birth. Conversely, the Hun is the yang aspect of the soul, associated with light, fire, and Heaven. It governs Man’s intelligence. At birth, it is weak but eventually strengthens as the ability to reason becomes more developed, especially after the age of six when education begins, and reaches full maturity at the age of 20. These two parts of the soul are the essence of what gives a person life. Hun (reason) governs Po (instinct) but Hun also needs Po to survive.

Stories of ghosts haunting their relatives, former residences, or appearing to strangers for help are all examples of Po hauntings, where the yin spirit is still attached to the earth because proper funeral rites were not observed to set it free. One of the best known stories of this type is about the ghost of a young girl who visited the home of some brothers. The spirit was so irritating that they caught it, put it in a bag, and threw it down a well.

The next night it came back, carrying the bag, and haunted them again. They stuffed it back into the bag, tied a rock to it, and threw it in the river. The next night, though, the little girl came back once again. This time, the brothers put her into a hollowed-out log, which they capped on each end, and set it adrift on the river. The spirit thanked them for a proper burial and never bothered them again.

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Ghost sightings were recorded as far back as 827 BCE during the era of King Xuan of Zhou. At the time, they were believed to look like oxen and horses.

Hun hauntings are different because Hun is not attached to the body like Po. Stories about spirit possessions, ghosts appearing as if they were still living, or ghosts taking revenge on the living are examples of Hun hauntings.

In one story, two friends, Gao and Liu, made a pact that whoever died first would return to tell the other what the afterlife would be like. Some months after Liu died, Gao heard a knock at his door one night. The voice of his friend requested that he douse the lamps and let him in so they could speak in the dark. As they were talking, Gao was disturbed by the smell of a rotting corpse. He later found that Liu’s Hun had possessed the body of a barbarian who had been dead for seven days.

In another tale, Marshal Li wanted to marry a young girl but was rejected by her mother. In a bid to win her over, Li vowed he would never marry if he could not marry her. He proved himself so devoted and persistent that the girl’s mother finally agreed to the marriage and he swore to be faithful forever. After a few years, the girl died.

Only a year after his wife’s death, Li arranged to marry someone else. Just before his marriage, as he was soaking in a bath, the Hun of his first wife appeared and reminded him of his promise that he would always remain faithful. She then sprinkled some herbs into his bath water and vanished. Li began to feel weak and became so bloated that he could not move. He died in the bathtub and when he was found, his bones and tendons had dissolved. This story serves as a lesson to fulfil promises made, not just to the living but also to the deceased. It also highlights the importance of observing the proper mourning period.

The words Po and Hun may be etymologically complex but in modern terms, they carry similar meanings to what we would generalise as Ghost or Gui (鬼).

 

Ghost Literature in the History of China

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The story of Kua Fu chasing the Sun (夸父追日) is used today to describe a person who fails to achieve his goals because he overestimates his abilities.

In China’s long history, almost every dynasty has its own ghost legends.

The oldest ghost literature is the Shan Hai Jing (山海经) or ‘Classic of Mountains and Seas’, a fable about pre-Qin Dynasty China and a collection of ancient fairytales. The exact author and date remains unknown but most sociologists in China think that it might have been authored by numerous writers between the Warring States period (475 BC – 221 BC) and the beginning of the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD).

As one of the oldest Chinese classics, it contains vivid and detailed descriptions of medicines, animals and geological features, enabling readers to catch a glimpse of ancient China as it was thousands of years ago. This classic also contains many fairytales, which are well-known even today. One of these stories is that of a giant named Kua Fu (夸父) who ran from East to West in hopes of chasing and catching the sun. He did not complete his mission as he finally died of extreme heat and exhaustion, and his club transformed into a forest.

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Nuwa Repairing the Wall of Heaven is a popular folktale among the Chinese.

Another famous story is about Jingwei (精卫), the daughter of Emperor Yandi (炎帝), who drowned in the East Sea. After her death, she was transformed into a bird who brought stones and small twigs over the sea every day in an attempt to fill it. The Shan Hai Jing also contains other famous stories such as Xing Tian Fighting Against the Supreme Divinity (刑天舞干戚) and Nuwa Repairing the Wall of Heaven (女娲补天).

Another famous Chinese ghost literature is Notes on Searching Deities (搜神記), a compilation of legends about ghosts and spirits. The author is believed to be Gan Bao (干宝), a historian living in the 4th century. It consists of 464 short stories, some of which are still known today. For instance, there is the story of a filial woman who was accused of killing her mother-in-law (who in fact committed suicide) and was subsequently sentenced to death. After she died, her blood miraculously flowed upwards (instead of downwards) as she had predicted before her death, thus exposing the injustice.

During the Tang Dynasty, many ghost stories emerged like the story of Meeting Ghosts One Night in Dongyang (东阳夜怪录). In this tale, a man who was travelling went to a temple to stay for the night. In the dark temple, he met several other people and chatted with them all night. When day broke, the man looked around and realised that the people with whom he had spoken were in fact animals that resided in the rundown temple – a donkey and a camel!

Another interesting story is the tale of The Governor of Nanke (南柯太守传). In this story, a drunk found himself in an unknown kingdom. There, he was bestowed great position and married the princess. In the end, the man woke up and realised that it was nothing but a dream. This story is so famous that it became an idiom “Nan Ke Yi Meng” (南柯一梦).

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The story of The Governor of Nanke tells of the dream of Chunyu Fen (淳于棼), a previously successful and rich officer in the army who offended his general and was dismissed.

During the Qing Dynasty(1644 – 1911), more ghost stories were published. One of them is Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio (聊斋志异). Written by Pu Songling, it is a collection of nearly 500 tales, mostly about the supernatural, where the ghosts are brave and honest while the humans are cowardly and greedy. Another book called He Dian (何典) tells of the legend of a ghost called Living Dead. Written in Wu dialect, the language is humorous although slightly vulgar.

With such a rich history, Chinese ghost literature continues to bring to life the culture and tradition of various Chinese dynasties in modern platforms such as movies and computer games.

 

Popular Chinese Ghosts

Here is a list of the more popular Chinese ghosts that most would have heard of or encountered before.

 

Shui Gui 水鬼 (Water Ghost)

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Shui Gui (Water Ghost)

A popular but particularly dangerous ghost is the Shui Gui, the spirit of someone who drowned and whose body was never recovered or accorded a proper burial. Shui Gui are believed to haunt the waters so that they can move on when they have found a replacement.

According to lore, a Shui Gui possesses and drowns its victim’s body so that the victim takes their place. The victim’s soul then haunts the waters to lure and drown the next victim. This vicious cycle of “luring and drowning” continues and many Chinese swear by talismans and amulets when going near water or swimming to protect them from Shui Gui.

Another legend tells of a Shui Gui that was passed down from one generation to another. It began with the Shui Gui of Huangbo River who wished to find someone to take his place. It created storms, tore nets and bored holes in boats, but the fishermen of Yichang withstood every test. One night, the Shui Gui climbed aboard the boat of a fisherman named Zhijian and hid in a corner as Zhijian prayed for a good catch. When the fisherman leaned over the side to haul in his nets, the ghost pushed him into the freezing water.

Zhijian lost consciousness. The ghost pulled his body to shore, smeared his face with river slime and placed the ghost tablet on his tongue to prepare Zhijian for the spirit world. Then, the Shui Gui appeared in the Underworld to speak to Yen Lo Wang, Emperor of Dead Souls.

“I have found someone to take my place,” he announced.

But Zhijian was not dead. When he was certain that the ghost was gone, he removed the tablet from his tongue and placed it in his pocket. Then, he hurried home and bolted the door. Meanwhile, Yen Lo Wang looked in the “Book of the Living and the Dying” and saw that Zhijian’s name had not been entered. “Go back and take your rightful place!” Yen Lo Wang told the ghost. “And if you do not retrieve your tablet, you will never leave the river.”

The Shui Gui returned and frantically searched the village for Zhijian. Finally, at midnight, he found the fisherman’s cottage. When Zhijian answered the door, the Shui Gui began to weep. “Please return my tablet or I am doomed!” Zhijian had a big heart, but he said, “I will return your tablet if you ensure that my nets are always full.”

Naturally, the ghost agreed to this and from that day on, Zhijian’s nets brimmed with fish. After a while, the Shui Gui began to appear to talk to Zhijian. Before long, they became friends and Zhijian would invite the Shui Gui to his home to share food and conversation.

One evening, the Shui Gui announced that he would be leaving his friend.

“I saw an old woman walking along the riverbank. With one push, she will fall in and drown, and I shall change my fate. Sorry to say farewell.”

But Zhijian cried,

“Wait! You must not kill an innocent woman. Besides, what would I do without your help?”

The ghost thought a while and finally agreed to stay on for another three years without harming anyone. For the next three years, no one drowned in Huangbo River. The years passed swiftly and one evening, the Shui Gui told Zhijian that the next time he had a chance, he would pull someone into the river. “I cannot bear to live in the water forever.” He was desperate.

The next day, Zhijian noticed a young boy skipping along the riverbank. He quickly dropped his nets and rowed to the boy. “Go home. Your mother needs you now!” The boy went home right away. That night, the ghost appeared at Zhijian’s door shaking with rage. Again, Zhijian pacified the Shui Gui and persuaded him to not harm for another three years. Again, the Shui Gui agreed to wait.

Three more years passed, but one night the ghost announced the time had come.

“I care for you, friend, but I must help myself. There is a woman who plans to kill herself by throwing herself into the river. I will not stop her.”

Zhijian promised not to interfere but the next morning when he went down to the river, he was just in time to see a woman diving into the freezing water. He could not help himself and dived in after her, carrying her to safety. From a distance, the Shui Gui was watching and waiting for fate to take its course. But when he saw that the woman did not die, he did not rage. He told Zhijian he understood.

Now Yen Lo Wang, the Emperor of Dead Souls, had been watching and noticed the kindness and generosity of the Shui Gui of Huangbo River. He decided to recommend him for a promotion to the Jade Emperor. That evening, as the Shui Gui rose from the river, the Jade Emperor’s guards stopped him, saying that he would be appointed to a post at the Ch’eng Huang Temple and that he must come right away.

“May I invite my friend to the ceremony?” the Shui Gui asked, and the guards agreed. But when the Shui Gui reached Zhijian’s house, his friend was not there. So he left an invitation to the temple.

When Zhijian found the invitation, he hurried to the temple but when he arrived, the place was deserted. A fierce wind was blowing and the fisherman, tired from his long day of work and the journey, decided to take a nap while waiting for the Shui Gui. In Zhijian’s dream, he saw the Shui Gui dressed in the robes of Ch’eng Huang. His friend placed a bag of coins on the ground and bowed to the fisherman.

“You saved me from killing and I thank you, my friend. Though we shall never see each other again, I will always watch over you.”

When Zhijian woke, he found a bag of gold beside him.

 

Er Gui 饿鬼 (Hungry Ghost)

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Er Gui (Hungry Ghost)

One of the most famous Chinese ghosts is the Er Gui. According to the Buddhist teachings, hungry ghosts are the spirits of people who always wanted more than they had, never grateful with what they were given, and thus, cannot find peace in the afterlife any more than they could when they were alive. They are often depicted as beings with enormous stomachs, tiny mouths and long thin necks.

According to legend, no amount of food can fulfil their hunger. Er Gui would appear to living people to ask for food and, if they were not satisfied, they would curse the person, bringing disaster to their homes and loved ones. The term “hungry ghosts” normally applies to this type of spirit but all ghosts are thought to be hungry in the afterlife. Hence, rituals were developed and performed to keep them “fed” and happy. The annual Hungry Ghost Festival is one of the ways to keep the hungry ghosts appeased.

 

Hua Pi 画皮 (Ghost of the Painted Skin

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Many movies are based on the famous gruesome tale of the Hua Pi

Hua Pi is part of ‘Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio‘, the collection of supernatural tales by Pu Songling. In this creepy and gruesome tale, a scholar named Wang met a homeless girl who claimed to be an abused concubine. Captivated by her beauty and feeling pity for her, Wang agreed to let her stay in his home temporarily. He could not resist her feminine charms and he took her as his mistress, much to the dismay of his wife, Chen.

Later at the marketplace, a Taoist priest told Wang that an evil spirit had possessed him. Wang did not believe the priest and dismissed his claims. When he returned home, Wang made a startling discovery − his mistress was actually a “green-faced monster, a ghoul with great jagged teeth like a saw.” All this while, she had been wearing a mask made of human skin, on which her attractive features were “painted”.

Petrified, he begged the Taoist priest for help. The priest agreed but out of compassion for the ghost, he only offered Wang a charm meant to ward off ghosts and demons. This charm failed to ward off the Hua Pi. Instead, she became furious and ripped Wang’s heart out. Chen reported this to the priest who subdued the spirit, removed the “Painted Skin” and stored it away. His spouse, Chen, through much hard work, later successfully revived Wang.

 

Jiangshi 僵尸 (Vampires)

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Jiang Shi in the movies

Translated as “stiff body”, the Jiang Shi is a type of zombie who steals the life force of a person. The Jiang Shi is so stiff that it cannot bend its limbs or body, and moves around by hopping with its arms outstretched for stability. The Jiang Shi is usually depicted wearing a Chinese-style robe and a tall hat, typical of a Qing Dynasty official, and with a paper “sealing spell” talisman stuck to its forehead.

Jiang Shi are believed to have greenish-white skin. One theory states that the greenish complexion is due to the fungus that grows on corpses. This Chinese vampire is also believed to have long flowing white hair and may behave like an animal.

In the traditional sense, Jiang Shi feed solely on the “qi” (life force) of a living person for sustenance and power. However, due to influences from Western vampire stories, the bloodsucking aspect was introduced to this Chinese ghost character in the modern day version.

 

Nu Gui 女鬼 (Female Ghost)

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A typical Nu Gui looks beautiful and seductive

The Nu Gui is a vengeful long-haired female ghost in a white dress. In Chinese folklore, this ghost is the spirit of a woman who committed suicide while wearing a red dress. Traditionally, the colour red symbolises anger and vengeance. It is believed that she experienced some form of injustice when she was alive, such as being jilted or sexually abused and thus is returning to seek revenge.

Some ancient folktales tell of beautiful female ghosts who seduce men and suck their yang essence, sometimes killing them. This type of female ghost is similar to its Western counterpart, the succubus.

 

Yuan Gui 冤鬼 (Vengeful Ghost)

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The Yuan Gui is dangerous and has the ability to kill and inflict tremendous pain.

Yuan Gui or vengeful ghosts are spirits of people who return from the afterlife to avenge their cruel or wrongful deaths. Such ghosts are believed to have existed in China as early as the Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC– 256 BC) and were recorded in the historical text Zuo Zhuan (左傳).

Due to the circumstances of their deaths, these ghosts can neither rest in peace nor take a rebirth. These depressed and restless spirits roam the world of the living, constantly seeking retribution for their unjust deaths.

In some tales, Yuan Gui approach the living in an attempt to complete the unfinished business that prevents them from moving on. Others try to connect with the living to help them find clues or pieces of evidence which could provide evidence of their wrongful deaths, thus helping the Yuan Gui find closure to finally be able to move on.

 

You Hun Ye Gui 游魂野鬼 (Wandering Spirits)

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You Hun Ye Gui experience suffering no matter where they are

You Hun Ye Gui, literally meaning “wandering souls and wild ghosts”, refers to wandering spirits of the dead. It is said that these ghosts have no living relatives or resting places, hence their need to roam the world of the living.

During the Seventh Lunar Month or Hungry Ghost Festival, ghosts are released from the Underworld into the world of the living. Such spirits include vengeful ghosts seeking retribution for their wrongful deaths (Yuan Gui), hungry ghosts (Er Gui) and playful spirits that could cause trouble during that period. Some could lose their way and are unable to return to the Underworld in time. So, they continue to roam the world of the living even after the Seventh Lunar Month.

Gu Hun Ye Gui 孤魂野鬼 which means “lonely souls and wild ghosts” also describes these ghosts, as it refers to the homeless or those who wander around aimlessly.

 

Wutou Gui 无头鬼 (Headless Ghost)

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The Wutou Gui sometimes approaches people in hopes of finding its head

Wutou Gui are headless ghosts who roam the living realm aimlessly. They are spirits of people who were killed through decapitation due to various causes (e.g. execution, accidents, etc).

In some tales, the Wutou Gui approaches people at night and asks them where its head is. The Wutou Gui is also sometimes depicted as carrying its head at its side.

 

Diaosi Gui 吊死鬼 (Hanged Ghost)

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Diaosi Gui

Fairly common in Chinese folklore, Diaosi Gui are the spirits of people who either committed suicide or are victims of execution. They are said to haunt the location where they died.

According to legend, they appear as corpses with long red tongues hanging out of their mouths and will try to convince passers-by to join them in the afterlife.

 

Gu Huo Niao 姑穫鳥

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A traditional painting of Gu Huo Niao

A Gu Huo Niao is a woman who died during childbirth, subsequently becoming a creature with shape shifting abilities alternating between bird and woman. Due to grief from her grim pregnancy, this bird-woman creature craves for infants, especially males.

Gu Huo Niao is known for stealing male infants to make up for her emotional loss. It is said that those with newborn sons should not leave the baby clothes to dry outside at night. Otherwise, a Gu Huo Niao could find them and mark them with drops of her blood. If a baby wears these clothes, he will die and his spirit will go to the Gu Huo Niao.

 

Ghosts of Deceased Animals

Human beings are not the only creatures with souls that can return from beyond the grave. It is believed that dogs, cats and other animal souls can come back to seek retribution as well.

In one famous story, a man named Coffin Head Li was a bully who loved to kill cats and dogs. One day, two men approached Coffin Head Li and identified themselves as Hell Guards. They informed him that a case had been made against him in the afterlife by the souls of 460 cats and dogs. Coffin Head Li was subsequently found guilty and taken away to face judgement in the unseen world.

 

Ghostly Celebrations

Ghosts and spirits are so deeply entrenched in Chinese culture that practices and rituals were developed to protect people from them. As “Chinese ghost culture” is based on moral admonition in the afterlife, the best way is to live a life of virtue. This is one of the reasons why ghost stories are told to children, to teach them moral values and encourage them to be kind and courteous to each other.

For instance, if one does not want to be killed by a Nu Gui, one should not abuse women. If one goes swimming, one should be careful to avoid drowning and becoming a Shui Gui. Proper respect should be given to one’s elders, superiors and ancestors so that they will not feel wronged after death. One should always keep one’s promises. Most importantly, proper burial practices must always be observed, no matter how much cost or effort is required.

 

Qing Ming Festival (Tomb Sweeping Day)

A tradition still observed in China today is Tomb Sweeping Day during the Qing Ming Festival, which usually falls around April 5 each year. Even if one has neglected the graves of one’s parents, relatives or friends all year round, one must, at least, tend to the ancestors’ graves on Tomb Sweeping Day and pay one’s respects.

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It is common practice for descendants of the deceased to bring flowers and offerings to pay their respects to their ancestors during the Qing Ming Festival

 

Hungry Ghost Festival

The Ghost Festival is the largest festival observed for ghosts in Chinese culture. This celebration, also known as The Hungry Ghost Festival, appeases the souls of the dead so that they will not bother the living during the time that the barrier between the land of the dead and living is “temporarily lifted”. It is celebrated on the 15th day of the 7th Lunar Month in China.

During the Festival, people prepare food in homes and in public places to feed the hungry ghosts and spirits. It is common to see altars piled with fresh fruit and sweet cakes in city streets and town squares. Incense is also burned in front of homes in remembrance of one’s ancestors and to give a pleasing scent to the spirits as they walk by. Many shops in towns, and even cities, will be closed during the festival so that shoppers will not disturb the ghosts.

There is a long list of taboos to keep in mind during the Hungry Ghost Month, especially during the festival.

  • One should not sit in the front row at the theatre because those seats are reserved for ghosts and they will be offended if their seats are taken by the living.
  • One should not place one’s shoes or sandals facing the bed because it is considered an invitation for ghosts to sleep with the person.
  • One should not stay out too late at night or a ghost may follow one home.
  • One should not go swimming because there are more Shui Gui during this period.
  • One should avoid any kind of construction or renovation because the noise bothers the ghosts.
  • One should not wear high heels as spirits are believed to be irritated by the sounds of clicking high heels and may possess the wearer.
  • One should not hang clothes out to dry towards the evening because ghosts will try them on. This is believed to bring bad luck to the wearer.
  • One should not urinate outdoors without seeking permission first because one might accidentally urinate on ghosts and anger them.
  • One should not leave umbrellas open on one’s porch because a ghost might decide to rest under it and then, take up residence.

These traditions have a very long history and were observed as much as possible, even during the time when religion and religious practices were banned in China (c. 1949 – 1979 CE).

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To this day, people still continue the tradition of making elaborate offering during the Hungry Ghost Festival.

As the festival approaches its end, people light small lotus lanterns placed on paper boats to be sent off in lakes or rivers. The lanterns are a message to inform ghosts that their visiting time is over and they have to return to the Underworld. The ghosts are believed to be attracted by the lanterns and will follow them back home to the afterlife. When a lantern goes out, it is a sign that the ghost following it has reached the other side and is at peace.

 

Ghost Marriage

Ancestor veneration in a patriarchal family structure has been at the root of Chinese cultural practices for thousands of years. The Chinese believe that the afterlife or netherworld is a place similar to the world of the living, where the dead can receive gifts and offerings sent by family members. Tablets representing the deceased are placed on family altars for ritual worship and offerings. It is believed that if these rituals are not carried out and continued, ancestors will become angry and can create havoc for their descendants.

Under the Chinese patriarchal family system, a woman was not considered part of her biological family. Upon marriage, she would be accepted into her husband’s family and after death, she would be honoured on her husband’s family altar. If a woman was divorced, she would no longer be considered as part of her husband’s family. Due to this, unmarried and childless women were believed to become Gu Hun Ye Gui 孤魂野鬼, as they had no family or descendants to honour them after they passed on.

In extreme cases, some women were not even allowed to die in their father’s homes. Their ancestral tablet would be placed outside or in a community shrine. However, sons who died before marriage would still be honoured on the family shrine. If a man were to remarry after his first wife had died, his current wife would need to honour his deceased wife.

Ghost marriage is a pragmatic solution to the issues arising for the deceased due to complex Chinese traditions that are steeped in filial piety.

Thus, the Chinese adopted ‘ghost marriage’ as a pragmatic solution to the issues arising for the deceased due to complex Chinese traditions that are steeped in filial piety. By marrying off the ghosts of the deceased, lonely or hungry ghosts could be prevented. Historically, ghost marriages were usually performed between a dead man and a dead woman. There are also instances of a living groom marrying a ghost bride, and in less common circumstances, a living bride marrying a ghost groom. Ghost marriage practices have been recorded as early as the Zhou Dynasty.

As ghost marriage is based on Chinese folk religion, Confucian officials with opposing beliefs made several attempts to ban it. However, the ban did not last. There are many written records of royal ghost marriages during the Tang Dynasty, leading scholars to believe that even more ghost marriages occurred amongst the commoners. The Ming and Qing Dynasties saw a revival of folk practices, and ghost marriage was reported to be popular once again.

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Ghost marriage can occur between a deceased man and a deceased woman, a living groom and ghost bride, or in less common circumstances, a living bride and ghost groom.

Going beyond mainland China, research in the mid 1950s revealed that ghost marriage services were available from some Taoist priests in Singapore, and such marriages were frequently performed in local temples. Though not nearly as popular as it was in the past, the occasional ghost marriage still happens today.

 

Chinese Ghost Myths of Today

Without a doubt, Chinese ghost culture is not as strong as it used to be as many Western elements have been infused into it. Despite a decrease in rituals and rites for appeasing Chinese ghosts, several notable myths are still widely circulated, not just in China but also in Chinese communities all over the world.

The common myths are:

  • When a pregnant woman tries to kill herself but survives, she will be able to see ghosts. It is believed that spirits wait close to pregnant women to enter the body of newborn infants. Having attempted suicide, she would be “gifted” with the power of extra sight and would most likely be haunted by the spirit who was to be her child.
  • Dogs are known to be very sensitive to ghosts. It is believed that placing dog tears or cemetery mud onto one’s eyes will grant the ability to see ghosts.
  • Opening an umbrella indoors is an open invitation for ghosts to drop by and take residence. This act is most unwelcome by many Chinese families.
  • Wearing a hat that covers both eyebrows will cause one to find a haunted place.
  • Mirrors can reflect both humans and ghosts, and ghosts usually do not tolerate vanity. So, combing one’s hair in front of a mirror at midnight is believed to give one the ability to see the unseen.
  • Going to a graveyard at dusk and looking through one’s legs is said to be a sign of disrespect. By doing this, one will be able to see the dead.
  • The burning of joss sticks at graveyards is a sign of respect. To see ghosts, one can take a lit joss stick from a grave, throw it on the ground and then rub the ashes on oneself. This is the ultimate sign of disrespect which will anger the dead, and they will definitely appear to the person who is guilty of such disrespect.
  • Use an Ouija board. This is used to summon spirits and communicate with the dead.
  • A cornea transplant from a dead person is said to grant one the ability to see ghosts.

 

Chinese Ghosts in Malaysia Today

Over the passage of time, as the Chinese settled throughout Southeast Asia, Chinese ghost beliefs have become as diverse as the cultures of the countries they settled in. Similarly in Malaysia, Chinese ghost stories have retained their essence but are infused with local traditions .

 

Ba Jiao Gui 芭蕉鬼

Ba Jiao Gui 芭蕉鬼 which means “Banana Ghost” is a female ghost who lives in banana trees. She appears wailing under the tree at night, sometimes carrying a baby. In Malaysian folklore, greedy people would ask the Ba Jiao Gui for lucky numbers in hopes of winning a fortune.

CG27 (1)

Ba Jiao Gui is a ghost who lives in a banana tree

There is a unique way to lure the Ba Jiao Gui into agreeing to this deal. First, tie a red string around the tree trunk and attach the other end of the string to the bed. Then, stick some sharp needles into the tree. At night, the Ba Jiao Gui will appear and beg the person to set her free. In return, she will provide a set of winning numbers.

If the person does not fulfil their promise to set the Ba Jiao Gui free after winning, he/she will meet a horrible death. This ghost is similar to the Pontianak in Malay folklore.

 

Tambun Inn

One of the most well-known local ghost stories occurred in the infamous Tambun Inn, which is one of the most haunted places in the whole of Malaysia.

CG24 (1)

Tambun Inn was a popular hotel in the 1970s in Ipoh. It still exists today as an abandoned building.

 

Genting Highlands

There are many documented accounts of ghosts wandering the hotels, lights switching on and off, eerie whispers as well as shouts and screams from unknown entities.

CG25 (1)

Genting Highlands remains a popular tourist destination with locals and foreigners even though tales of alleged hauntings are plentiful

 

Buddhist Protection Against Ghosts

The most popular religions in Chinese communities – Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism – each have their own unique methods for countering spirits and ghostly disturbances.

In Buddhism, the simplest method of protection is to Take Refuge in the Three Jewels. Taking Refuge means developing faith in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. When one takes refuge in the Buddha, practises the Dharma and supports the Sangha, one is protected from many different types of spirit.

Nevertheless, there are cases where people still have the karma to experience spirit disturbances, although they have taken refuge in the Three Jewels. This means that additional protection, usually in the form of prayer or ritual, is required.

Tibetan Buddhism is one of the most powerful to counter all forms of ghostly and spirit disturbances.

Those who are disturbed by spirits or ghosts touching or pressing down on them, especially while they are sleeping, can hang a wrathful image of Dukkar above their beds. They can also do Dukkar’s practice daily or have a Dukkar Puja done for them.

Those who are adversely affected by seeing or hearing ghosts can do Sengdongma’s practice daily. They can also have a Sengdongma Puja done for them to help counter this type of disturbance.

CG28 (1)

Trakze or Karma Shugden is the most wrathful form of Dorje Shugden and is supremely effective to counter negative disturbances

For very severe cases, Trakze’s practice and puja are recommended. Trakze also offers very effective protection against black magic.

Another effective form of protection is the Tibetan Ruel. These are extremely effective against persistent harm caused by spirits, curses and black magic and offer powerful protection against the most malevolent spells.

 

Conclusion

Whether one believes in the existence of ghosts or otherwise, it is always good to be mindful of customs and beliefs. Just because one cannot see ghosts does not mean they do not exist. When dealing with such supernatural entities, one should not be afraid but treat them with compassion. As Buddhists, we can employ compassionate methods, such as performing pujas and making offerings, to generate merits that can be dedicated to these ghosts and wandering spirits to help them get out of their current cycle of existence.

 

Note: All articles published on the blog are conceptualised, approved and edited by H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche. For further assistance and any urgent enquiries, please write in to mail@tsemladrang.com.

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Stella was introduced to Kechara in late 2013 through social media, and found the array of activities and learning opportunities to be meaningful, unique and refreshing. Having decided to pursue her spiritual journey with Kechara, she has volunteered with Kechara Sunday Dharma School as a teacher for young children from the age of 2 to 4, and as a writer for the tsemrinpoche.com team.
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27 Responses to The World of Chinese Ghosts

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  1. Pastor Han Nee on Mar 30, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    Thank you for this most interesting and informative article on the Chinese ghosts. Yes, there are so many types of ghosts that it would appear that they are inhabiting a world of their own. They are part of the traditional beliefs of the Chinese. Reading about them,whether they are fact or fiction, they are beings with unfilled wishes or vows or seeking to right a wrong or on such similar pursuits.

    As Buddhists , we believe that these beings only disturb the living who have a karmic link with them. Compassion is still the key to a being in the ghost world rising up above their present lot, as the very compelling legend of the Shui Gui of Huangbo River and the fisherman Zhijian shows. The kind Zhijian repeatedly prevented the Shui Gui from killing someone to take over his place. In the end the Shui Gui was transformed into a kind soul himself and was rewarded by being promoted to a post at a temple.

    As Buddhists, we should treat these beings with compassion and perform prayers, pujas and make offerings for them so that merits can be generated for them to help them get out of their current cycle of existence.

  2. Fong on Dec 21, 2017 at 11:08 am

    this article reminds me very much of the Chinese ghosts stories I used to like when young and got scolded for reading such novels. I still have the book, Tales from the Liao Tzai. thing is that at the time, I was only scared and only knew to be scared. Now, with as little more knowledge, I feel that we do have observe taboos and do what we can to help ease the suffering of beings in the spirit realm by dedicating merits to them after we have done our prayers or any meritorious deeds that we have done.

    Thank you for a very interesting article.

  3. Aldan Chan on Sep 27, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    Thank you for sharing this interesting yet spine chilling article. It is interesting that there are many types of ghosts in China. The scariest post I`ve read on the blog. Thank you for sharing._^_

  4. Liang Jing on Sep 10, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article. I learnt some type of ghost I did know before. Ghost have good and evil, we do not know which ghost is good and witch ghost is evil. So, we better not to make any connection or conversation with them.

  5. Cc on Sep 4, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Spirits and ghost are everywhere day and night. They need help just like humans. It encourage us to do more dharma and having compassion by dedicate to them daily as they are in pain and suffer more than human.

  6. Anne Ong on Aug 14, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    Didn’t know there are so many types of ghosts. Very interesting to read up and know more. Chinese ghosts has always been a folklore and beliefs that was passed down from generations to generations. I don’t really fancy ghosts stories,but it’s good to read up for knowledge.Thank you Rinpoche and blog tem for this write up._/\_

  7. Stella Cheang on Aug 7, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    Chinese Ghosts is an interesting topic because we grew up in a culture submerged in the fear of the unseen beings. We were taught from young that if we are disobedient then the formidable “ah woo” (means ghost to the kids) will come and catch us to take us to a dark place. It is exactly this fear that aid the parents in teaching morale to children when schools and medias were (still are) clueless how to do so.

    As we grew older, we realised that the Chinese Ghosts culture is an extention of a life after death, which none of us can avoid. Therefore, the Chinese Ghosts culture become the moral admonition in the after death. Especially for the crimes committed in this lifetime that escape punishment. It has the effect of exhortation and remonstration for common people and also a sense of relief to know that bad deeds will not go unpunished.

    As we learn about Buddhism and understand the effect of cause and effect, or Karma, we will understand that the Chinese Ghosts culture is a part of the law of Karma. Chinese Ghosts is one of the six realms where we will take rebirth according to the deeds we carried out through out our lifetime. Unfortunately, there is no quick way to get out of it except learning the Dharma and devoting ourselves to the Three Principal Paths.

  8. Colin Tan on Aug 1, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    We will hear lots of Chinese ghost stories or movies especially near the “hungry ghost festival” during lunar calendar. Most of us might treat ghost stories as some kind of entertainment, but some might believe in it and some might treat it as folklore. Ghost stories are told to convince that there is something beyond the living realm that is not yet understood. While most people believe that after death, there is a small percentage of spirit get “stuck” and still hanging on the Earth plane. If the spirit can let go, discard all material belongings, resolve all unfinished issues, and move on, then the spirit will be ready for the reincarnation. Therefore letting go of the past and take only the memories, lessons and spiritual connection with others are the purpose in this life time.

    There is value in the telling of ghost stories regardless of whether you perceive them as folklore or fact; it’s to practice to remain still and silent as well as showing care and reverence when encountering an entity from the afterlife. Of course these Chinses ghost stories were being told to children from generation to generation, to teach them moral values and encourage them to be kind, compassionate and courteous to each other even to entity from different worlds. Hence these stories are moral stories besides being seen as entertaining creative scripts.

  9. William Chua on Jul 28, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    This is such an interesting read. Chinese ghosts has always been a folklore and beliefs that was passed down from generations to generations. It soon became a tradition and part of the Chinese culture that there’s another world after death. As kids, we were told to behave so that ghosts will not disturb us. It doesn’t help when there are lots of movies depicting ghosts that are revengeful and sill hurt people.

    As a Buddhist now, we do believe in the existence of ghosts and the unseen beings. However,ther are in those realms because of their karma. The way out of the realm is to accumulate merits either by themselves or by dedication from others. Buddhists always dedicate merits to all beings to lessen sufferings and to be enlightened, hence this will help the ghosts to be reborn into higher realms.

    The conclusion sums it up: “Whether one believes in the existence of ghosts or otherwise, it is always good to be mindful of customs and beliefs. Just because one cannot see ghosts does not mean they do not exist. When dealing with such supernatural entities, one should not be afraid but treat them with compassion. As Buddhists, we can employ compassionate methods, such as performing pujas and making offerings, to generate merits that can be dedicated to these ghosts and wandering spirits to help them get out of their current cycle of existence.”

  10. Pastor Chia on Jul 27, 2017 at 8:32 am

    Since as the child, i use to heard different type of ghost stories around neigbordhood and scary me a lot. When i grow up older in teenage, i also have experince seeing spirit and get disturbing. I was so scar even refuse watching all kind of horor movies.

    I glad to studying buddhism and get to know the cause to be born as the spirit or ghosts. This knowleadge make me feel more about their suffering being born as the spirit, how lonely they are and live for hunred snd thousand and years.

    As i learn more about buddhism, i also interesting to learn more about puja, which the holy prayer can help to spirit to liberate their suffering and help them go for new rebirth. In Kechara, we have many puja like durkar puja, medicine buddha puja and protector puja can help for those get disturbing by spirit problem and the same time help to liberate spirit to their next rebirth.

  11. Mingwen on Jul 27, 2017 at 7:30 am

    As a Malaysian Chinese, all these names of ghosts are not new to me, I ve been watching them in the Hongkong movies since young. I’ve never seen one, I’ll not wish to do so. Somebody want to see them because they are not sure if they really exist. Hence, somebody will try all sort of method to tap into the negative emerges. I don’t think I need to see one to believe they are here with us. Sometimes, we can just hear or feel them accidentally. No matter what, we should respect to one’s belief and culture, to keep peace and keep trouble away.

    There are more interesting topics that are waiting for us to explore at

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

  12. Pastor Antoinette on Jul 27, 2017 at 6:21 am

    Before learning about Buddhism, I did not believe that ghosts exist. Yet, because I have learned about the six realms in Buddhism, I know that they are real.

    Similar to the waterghost, in my country, we tell the children to keep away from water like lakes, rives and so on, if not the “Kropeman” will drag them into the water. But the “Kropeman” is not seen as a ghost, it is more to protect the children from the danger of drowning.

    I think it is important to be aware about the many ghosts and to know that they are around where ever we are. They have to live very long, about 2000 years, and they are very lonely. So it is better to always be respectful to them.

  13. Justin Cheah on Jul 27, 2017 at 2:41 am

    I am not a big fan of ghost movies or stories partly due to the fact that it’s not particularly my interest and knowing that it is fake and most of the time the type of productions are far from being admired. I do believe existence of ghosts. I have to, for I do believe there are gods and Buddha’s; and if there are gods and Buddha’s whom I do make offerings to then why there should not be ghosts. We are living in this universe big enough for our minds to explore to know that we are never alone in this planet.

  14. June Kang on Jul 27, 2017 at 1:49 am

    大部份的人对鬼都產生恐惧感,人類對鬼的恐懼应源於對未知的恐懼。如果今天你真的遇到可爱善良的鬼,你还会害怕鬼?

    今天如果我告訴你站在你前面这位可爱的先生是杀人和吃人肉,大部份的人都不会相信, 因没看过他吃人肉,可是你也没看过鬼呀!为什么耍怕鬼,因为我们看过鬼戏,听过鬼故事, 都是很恐怖的。

    所以说我们所听所看都会影响我们的想法而后我们的人生, 唯有佛法可以让我们认知自己的无知。

  15. Andrea Lai on Jul 26, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    Personally I don’t fancy much of ghostly or horrible movies firstly might be I experienced spirits disturbances when I was toddler and it gives me quite big impact of rejection but as I grew older, I’m more calm and strong. I have trained myself to be brave and fearless in the dark.

    Living in a multi-culture community, I have heard many stories of ghosts from different races since my primary, from school to work place. I remembered once, it I was during in my secondary, where there was a sudden game trend of coin spirit among my school mates. It was quite scary for girls our age to engage such dangerous games and fortunately it stops after been warned and banned by teachers (Of course!)

    Overall, ghosts or spirits are pity soul that needed blessings and seek for better rebirth. It was due to their unsettled business and attachment to the earth. Therefore, we should be more compassionate to help them instead of harming them.

  16. Eric kksiow on Jul 26, 2017 at 11:37 pm

    I think at my age of 8 – 9 years old, i am watched a lot of Chinese Ghost Movies and Jiangshi 僵尸 (Vampires) movies. At that time i am really scared after watching of all the ” Movies “.

    From young age till today i am still wanted to know more about Jiangshi 僵尸 (Vampires) and Western Vampires, In ancient Chinese tradition, a Taoism Master can control a Jiangshi 僵尸, why? Long long time ago in China, where got car or airplane lah, the only transport in China is Horse, Donkey or by walk, at that time if i want to travel from Beijing to Nanjing, i think i need to spend maybe a month or more to arrive the destination. Let’s talk about the point : If someone born at Beijing and his working in Nanjing, all of the sudden the person passed away in Nanjing ( In Chinese tradition, if we died at other countries or states, our body must send back to the place that we born ) the best part is the Taoism Master can control the Jiangshi 僵尸 and send ” them ” back to their hometown safely. That’s really amazed me..!!

    Let’s talk about Ghosts, again.. If i have the ability, i’ll definitely will send all of ” them ” to Buddha’s land and study Dharma. As a Buddhist, what can we do? After the puja, sadhana and even Dharma sharing session finish, we can dedicate all the merits to ” them ” and the other 5 realms too.

    Eastern Vampires & Western Vampires Movie link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIizFIl-jOA

  17. Pastor Henry Ooi on Jul 26, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    It is common among the Malaysian Chinese community and our fellow Malaysians of other races and religious beliefs to talk about stories of ghosts to one another. Such stories may be from personal experiences or heard of from another party. It is an interesting topic to talk of and a great ice breaker especially if one is among people whom they just met. The existence of ghosts, spirits or whatever they are labelled in different languages, are best not be scorned at and made fun of just because some people cannot see them. It is best to respect and to treat them as we would of everything else in nature.

  18. Pastor Albert on Jul 26, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    A very interesting read I have today , Most of the ghost stories are so familiar as I’m growing up, I’m hearing all these different types of existence of the ghosts, like Er Gui, Shui Gui, Jiangshi, Gu Hen Ye Gui, ming hun, and many more.

    When I was young, I heard especially after died and when about crossing the Nai He Bridge, then we will drink a bowl of Mengpo soup and all that we have done in our life will be forgotten, then we will take rebirth into next life within this 6 realms, at the end of the path after the nai he bridge, there are 6 pots that lead to the 6 realms, so if you did a lot of bad things, the Ghost guardian will push you into the hell pot, and vice versa. So during when I was a kid, I alrdy start planning that after I died, how do I avoid from drinking the Mengpo soup and when I reached the end of the path, how to trick the ghost guardian and jump into the God realm or human realm for my next rebirth (hehe, side effect from too much TVB). After grown up, I noticed how naïve my plan was. Haha…

    Today we have a group discussion inside Kechara Forest Retreat about this topic, it is very wonderful when everyone shared what they heard since young and the ghost story from different country and cultures. Ghost is real and they do exist, and ghost do suffered a lot too, hence, learning and practicing Dharma is so important so that we do not take rebirth in the ghost realm. Thank you everyone for such wonderful sharing session.

  19. nicholas on Jul 26, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    I personally believe in ghost and spirit and they are everywhere. As mentioned in the article these being can be harmful. It’s good for us to take refuge to the 3 jewels and do protector practice. For this being able to disturb is due to our karma. So it’s good to do dharma work or purification practice to purify our karma before it’s too late.

    What also important here is that these being has feeling too and we should always be respectful.

  20. pammie yap on Jul 26, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    When I was younger, I have always feared the 7th month of the Chinese calendar. My mum will always make sure that we stay home after dark and not wander around. I don’t know if its my imagination but I feel that during the 7th month, there are more accidents than other months because I saw quite a number of accidents happen then.

    I love to watch the Chinese horror movies. I like it because they are much different than the western ones, not so ‘boring’. Especially the vampire themed ones, hopping around, sucking blood and possess ‘superpower’ to kill their victims.

    What I especially like is that in the Tibetan Buddhism tradition, there are ways to protect and counter off disturbances. I have heard of how personal practice or Pujas by Kechara House help those who have/had problems with disturbances and even black magic.

    For those who are interested, you may want to join us in Kechara Forest Retreat for the following event which is coming up very soon http://retreat.kechara.com/news/ullambana-the-original-hungry-ghost-festival/ to do dedications.

  21. Paul Yap on Jul 25, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    I grew up with reading all the ghost stories that was mentioned in this article. I always found these stories are quite real. The 6 realms that have been taught by Buddha, especially the hungry ghost and hell realm are very similar to the Chinese folklore. As the “Hungry Ghost Festival” is approaching, many people at these times will do prayers at the temple to seek protections against the evil spirits. It’s important that we make connection to the Enlightened Dharma Protectors to seek for protection. As a Buddhist, we should only take refuge from the Enlightened One, i.e. the Buddha.

  22. Fong on Jul 25, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    Tales of ghosts or other worldly apparitions are always scary. But, after meeting Buddhism and Rinpoche, I have learnt to practice compassion for all including beings of other realms.

    Some of these stories remind of the stories told to me by elders of the village where I grew up. It also brings back memories of stories told by an old lady which I now know to be very Buddhist in nature. And, I remember clearly now how the village was amazed when she passed away sitting in a lotus position dressed in fresh new clothes. How that was the talk for months. At that time, I was just curious but did not know the significance. Now, I regret not getting to know her better.

  23. Datuk May on Jul 24, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    The best way to combat fear is knowledge. This article is very educational for those who believe or seen GHOSTS and also for those who do not believe to be mindful.

    Personally, I believe the realm of another form of life exists, the irony is the dead lives on in another form with their original and currently our space!!!! Therefore being a Tibetan Vajrayana, and on my Guru’s teachings, I have taken refuge with my Guru and the 3 jewels. Also I practise the King Protector Dorje Shugden. Now is for me to be mindful and I believe I shall be fine under any circumstances that a ghost may appear in my face or space. Now not only I have the protection but also know what needs to be done to appease the ghost.

    The story of the Shui Gui and his relationship with a fisherman, Zhijian has a big impact on me. The fact that both these two beings practised compassion, all went well and both were rewarded accordingly within their own realm of being.

    Shui Gui was lifted out of the Ghost Realm and the fisherman with material wealth. This is a beautiful story of how “Compassion conquers all”.

    As always, thank you, H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche, for this encyclopedia of education, information and knowledge. Tsemrinpoche.com

  24. Samfoonheei on Jul 23, 2017 at 10:03 am

    Chinese folklore features a rich variety of ghosts, monsters, and other supernatural creatures. According to traditional beliefs a ghost is the spirit form of a person .There are many folk beliefs and taboos surrounding during the 7th month of the Chinese calendar.Thats where the hell gate open recording to their beliefs.Traditional Chinese culture attached great importance to Ancestral Ghosts and the need to have descendants who would continue to honour them.
    Each faith have their own views of it.Ghosts have played a very important role in Chinese beliefs for many thousands of years, and for many Chinese they still do.
    I always believe when we do not disturb them,they do no harm to us and we are protected by each individual beliefs.As long as we are mindful of customs and beliefs.
    what we can do to help those wandering spirits is by each doing own customs of compassionate way.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these comprehensive explanation,insight post which helps us to understand better.

  25. XIAO QIAN on Jul 22, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    I think ghost stories teach people how to be a good person. In many many chinese ghost stories, there are good ghost and bad ghosts. just like good people and bad people. If you dont do wrong thing in your life, then no need to be afraid of any ghosts. 不做亏心事,不怕鬼敲门😄

    • Stella Cheang on Jul 23, 2017 at 8:32 pm

      Hi Xiao Qian,
      You are absolutely right to say that 不做亏心事,不怕鬼敲门. In another words, if we do not have the karmic affinity with the spirit, we will not be disturbed. 🙂

  26. Martin Yeoh on Jul 22, 2017 at 9:52 am

    They do exist and some of my family members including me do encounter it before. But for now I had Dorje Shugden in my heart, I think it should keep them at bay. Lolz

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  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 26. 2019 11:59 AM
    Stunning art painting of Songtsen Gampo, Trisong Detsen, Tri Ralpachen and Dorje Shugden. Thank you for sharing this beautiful paintings of Tibet’s Founders: The Three Dharma Kings with short explanations for us to have a better knowledge of it.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/tibets-founders-the-three-dharma-kings
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 26. 2019 11:58 AM
    This is amazing art thangka of the Goddess of Enlightenment: Cittamani Tara and Dorje Shugden. Cittamani Tara, the highest yoga tantra manifestation of the deity Tara, who can lead us to liberation and enlightenment within a single lifetime. Depicted with Dorje Shugden who is an emanation of the Buddha of Wisdom, Manjushri form a powerful pair.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/the-goddess-of-enlightenment-cittamani-tara
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 26. 2019 11:57 AM
    Yellow Dzambala is the God of Wealth and Dorje Shugden who is Dharma Protector and an emanation of the Buddha of Wisdom, Manjushri. The Yellow Dzambala bestows inner and outer wealth for those who have faith and trust in his prayers. Dzambhala’s blessings are to help those by eliminating poverty. It will be good to have this beautiful thangka to attract wealth luck and abundance to our home or office.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/bestower-of-wealth-dzambala
  • Sofi
    Friday, Apr 26. 2019 08:52 AM
    Mother Teresa had lost her faith

    Although she had been the beacon of light to the downtrodden in India and healed many but she herself lost faith in God and only believe in humanity until the day she passed. Read more on why and how her compassion grow selflessly.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/the-light-of-darkness-mother-teresa.html
  • Sofi
    Friday, Apr 26. 2019 08:45 AM
    Emperor Kangxi | 康熙皇帝

    He was the great king that ruled his kingdom in fairness and was a staunch supporter of Buddhism during his reign. Read more of his greatness here.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/emperor-kangxi.html
  • Yee Yin
    Friday, Apr 26. 2019 04:30 AM
    It is totally our choice if we want to become happy or bitter. When we are not true to ourselves, we will put the blames on others. As we do this more, we become more bitter every day and we will never improve. It is as if we are sick but we are in denial. As a result, our sickness will never be treated and we will never heal or cured.

    To be out of suffering, the first thing we have to do is to look into ourselves and find the root cause of our unhappiness. After identifying the root cause, we have to apply an antidote to it according to what Lord Buddha has taught us. Lord Buddha himself had walked the path and he had shown us his methods work. We may not like the process, but we should be focusing on the result and work hard towards it.

    http://bit.ly/ProblemI
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Friday, Apr 26. 2019 03:49 AM
    Did you know there are 24 holy places that are empowered with the energy of Heruka and Vajrayogini? For someone who is a practitioner of Heruka or Vajrayogini tantra, meditating in these places can help the practitioner gain higher insight and realization. Jog Falls in Karnakata state in South India is one of the 24 holy places. Many monks visit Jog Falls to do prayer and ritual.

    http://bit.ly/HolyFalls
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Friday, Apr 26. 2019 02:48 AM
    Thailand is a Buddhist country, the majority of Thai people are devoted Buddhists. Therefore, we can find Buddhist temples almost everywhere in Thailand. Wat Rong Khun is a fairly new temple. However, it is very unique because it is all white. It is a temple designed and built by Thailand’s famous artist, Chalermchai Kositpipat. Chalermchai Kositpipat builds this temple with his own money because he has a very strong faith in Buddhism and he hopes the temple will one day become a heritage to the world.

    http://bit.ly/AmazingTemple
    [no sender]
  • Sofi
    Thursday, Apr 25. 2019 11:11 PM
    A More Buddhist Facebook?

    Interesting how Facebook adopted some Buddhism into their corporate world. Read what did they use to inspire or activate their staff to better performance.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/a-more-buddhis-facebook.html
  • Lin Mun
    Thursday, Apr 25. 2019 09:45 PM
    I like this painting. Very nice colour combination, simple yet look so stunning. Even Lama Tsongkhapa emanation are depicted here separately. They are the great Buddha of Chenrezig, Vajrapani and Manjushri. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this nice painting and the description.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/the-one-who-saves-four-armed-chenrezig#comment-841101
  • Lin Mun
    Thursday, Apr 25. 2019 09:22 PM
    Beautifully drawn thangka and thank you Rinpoche for providing the description of each Buddha. All 3 great Buddha of past, present and future are put here, including White Mahakala and Dorje Shugden. Very blessed to have this thangka to be in the house. To remind us to practise dharma as time is precious.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/the-future-buddha-to-come-buddha-maitreya
  • Sofi
    Thursday, Apr 25. 2019 05:39 PM
    He Rejected A $37 Million Contract To Do What?

    Wow, imagine someone rejecting USD37 millions! Don’t you just wonder why did he and for what? Must by such a strong conviction about something. Did he regret his decision?

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/he-rejected-the-37-million-contract-to-do-what.html
  • Yee Yin
    Thursday, Apr 25. 2019 12:40 PM
    Mr. Randy Pauch was very ill when he gave his last speech to the audience. In his speech, he had shared with us a few important points on how to be successful and happy.
    1. Always be appreciative and grateful to the people and things we have. In return, good things will happen to us.
    2. Don’t complain, because complaining does not solve the problems.
    3. When we are sorry for the mistakes we have made, we must do something to make it up. By just saying sorry is not enough.
    4. Be humble and not to react to the negative actions of others towards us.
    5. Be persistent and don’t give up easily. It took Mr. Randy 15 years to make his dream of working at Disney come true.
    6. Death is uncertain and it is beyond our control. We can choose to face death with a positive attitude so when we die, there will be no regret.
    7. Be honest and have integrity, it is hard to do but if we can do that, we will be truly happy and live our lives without regret.

    Mr. Randy had shown us that death is uncertain and we don’t have control over it. However, we have a choice on how we want to live our lives. We are in control of our own happiness. If we have positive thinking, we will be able to turn a negative situation into something positive and then learn and become a better person.

    http://bit.ly/TR-LiveHappy
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Thursday, Apr 25. 2019 11:57 AM
    There are four holy mountains in China, Mount Jiu Hua, Mount Wutai, Mount Emei and Mount Putuo. Mount Wutai is believed to be the abode of Buddha Manjushri, Mount Emei is believed to be the abode of Samantabhadra, Mount Putuo is believed to be the abode of Guan Yin (Avalokiteshvara) and Mount Jiu Hua is believed to be the abode of Ksitigarbha.

    Mount Jiu Hua is located in Qingyang County, Anhui Province in China, the highest peak being the Shiwang Peak (Peak of Ten Kings), at 1,342 metres above sea level. There are many temples on Mount Jiu Hua, the oldest and holiest one is called Huangcheng temple. A Korean prince called Jin Qiaojue engaged in a 75-year-long solitary practice and achieved enlightenment at the age of 99 when he passed away.

    http://bit.ly/TR-HolyMountain
    [no sender]
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 25. 2019 11:42 AM
    Wow ……..outstanding colour art painting of Four-Armed Chenrezig and Dorje Shugden. Beautiful thangka to have it on altar or in our home. Merely looking at it tells a thousand words. Its truly a blessing.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/the-one-who-saves-four-armed-chenrezig

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
Guhya Manjushri of the Forbidden City| 密德文殊室利佛- https://bit.ly/2J3HIvM
2 hours ago
Guhya Manjushri of the Forbidden City| 密德文殊室利佛- https://bit.ly/2J3HIvM
A temple with a thousand Bodhi trees. Unusual and blessed- https://bit.ly/2Xn6nj6
2 days ago
A temple with a thousand Bodhi trees. Unusual and blessed- https://bit.ly/2Xn6nj6
My way of sharing....
1 week ago
My way of sharing....
Peace
1 week ago
Peace
Please contemplate deeply what this message is sharing. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks 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
3 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
3 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
1 month 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
1 month 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..
1 month 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
1 month 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
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
    3 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
    2 months 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
    5 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.

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

View All Questions

CHAT PICTURES

We have our Kechara Food Bank team leaders interview potential urban poor families on every Saturday. New volunteers are most welcomed to join and assist along the session. Kindly contact us at 010-3333260 for registration. #Kechara #foodbank - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 hours ago
We have our Kechara Food Bank team leaders interview potential urban poor families on every Saturday. New volunteers are most welcomed to join and assist along the session. Kindly contact us at 010-3333260 for registration. #Kechara #foodbank - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for other?’ Mr. Lim is definitely one of our dedicated volunteers for the past 10 years. He dedicates his time to fully support our Kechara Food Bank programme, not only to raise #zerofoodwastage awareness amongst the public but also to help the less fortunate. Thank you for taking part in making the world better. Your great work is much appreciated, Mr. Lim. #Kechara #foodbank #volunteer - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
yesterday
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for other?’ Mr. Lim is definitely one of our dedicated volunteers for the past 10 years. He dedicates his time to fully support our Kechara Food Bank programme, not only to raise #zerofoodwastage awareness amongst the public but also to help the less fortunate. Thank you for taking part in making the world better. Your great work is much appreciated, Mr. Lim. #Kechara #foodbank #volunteer - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
KSK Penang Team visited a dialysis patient to deliver dry food provisions for his family. He has a kidney transplant when he was 12 years old and for the past years is undergoing dialysis three times a week and this has put a financial strain to him. We will try to assist him in anyway we can. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 days ago
KSK Penang Team visited a dialysis patient to deliver dry food provisions for his family. He has a kidney transplant when he was 12 years old and for the past years is undergoing dialysis three times a week and this has put a financial strain to him. We will try to assist him in anyway we can. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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
3 days 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 days ago
Creative horror drawing created by Teacher Kien. Alice, KSDS
Teacher Asyley led the kids to participate animal liberation. Alice, KSDS
6 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
7 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
1 week ago
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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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 Promise
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  Tsem Rinpoche's Long Life Prayer by H.H. Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche
  Support Blog Team
Lamps For Life
  Robe Offerings
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  White Tara Mantra Bank Project
  Rinpoche's Medical Fund
  Dana Offerings
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Dorje Shugden
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