Madame Blavatsky: Mother of Modern Spirituality

By | Apr 11, 2018 | Views: 1,056

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(By Tsem Rinpoche and Joy Kam)

Born on 12th August 1831 in Yekaterinoslav (now Dnipropetrovsk), a town near the Dnieper river in Ukraine, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky is considered one of the world’s most extraordinary female spiritualists. Apart from being a controversial figure of the 19th century, she was a renowned occultist, spirit medium, and author of the most influential occult book to date — The Secret Doctrine.

“… Madame Blavatsky … stands out as the fountainhead of modern occult thought, and was either the originator and/or populariser of many of the ideas and terms which have a century later been assembled within the New Age Movement. The Theosophical Society, which she co-founded, has been the major advocate of occult philosophy in the West and the single most important avenue of Eastern teaching to the West.”

J. Gordon Melton, Jerome Clark and Aidan A. Kelly, editors, New Age Almanac, Detroit, Michigan, Gale Research Inc., 1991, p. 16.

Self-educated, Helena Blavatsky’s deep interest in esotericism began in her teenage years, and from there, it grew until she became one of the most influential thinkers of modern spirituality. She opened the doors to a new age of spiritual movements by introducing Eastern esoteric concepts to the Western world.

Blavatsky also led a very controversial life. She claimed to have embarked on a series of travels all around Europe, the Americas, and India in 1849. During these travels, she came across a group of adepts, the “Masters of the Ancient Wisdom.” They apparently sent her exploring the roof of the world, Shigatse in Tibet, where she was trained to develop psychic powers of her own. Biographers and critics have debated whether these travels were fabricated by Blavatsky or if she spent most of her time in Europe during the period she claimed this all took place. Regardless, whether it was true or false, one thing is for sure — she started a movement that dared to challenge the norms and belief systems of having only one almighty God. Through these endeavours, she gained many like-minded followers and students who contributed greatly towards the shape of spirituality today.

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In the early 1870s, Helena Blavatsky became involved in the Spiritualist movement. She defended the authenticity of the existence of Spiritualist phenomena and debated with mainstream Spiritualists that the entities she contacted were spirits of the dead. Later, in 1873, she moved to America and became friends with renowned journalist and lawyer Henry Steel Olcott, who was also interested in spirituality. It was Olcott who made her well-known as a spirit medium, and her friendship with Henry Olcott not only gave her publicity but also invited accusations that she was a fraud due to his overt promotion of her.

Together with Henry Olcott and William Quan Judge, Helena Blavatsky co-founded the Theosophical Society in 1875 in New York. She then published Isis Unveiled, a book that revealed the history, scope, and development of the Occult Sciences and her Theosophical world-view. Blavatsky defined Theosophy as “the synthesis of science, religion and philosophy“, which she associated closely with the esoteric doctrines of Neoplatonism and Hermeticism. She proclaimed she was reviving an “ancient wisdom” that she believed was the reason behind the existence of various world religions. She was soon revered as “The Founding Mother of Occult in America” in the words of American author Kurt Vonnegut.

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In 1880, Blavatsky and Olcott relocated to India and made connections with the Hindu reform movement called Arya Samaj. That year, she and Olcott also became the first Westerners to convert to Buddhism. The Theosophical Society continued to flourish in India, despite opposition from the British administration. However, the Society also experienced internal issues when Blavatsky was accused of and criticised for creating false psychic phenomena, though these accusations could not be proven either way.

Blavatsky was larger than life and very controversial indeed. She had a huge following, her supporters considered her an enlightened guru, and she was hailed as an icon – the Mother of Modern Spirituality. On the other hand, there was another group of people who rejected her and scorned her as a fraud.

Regardless, there is no doubt that her Theosophical doctrines introduced and spearheaded the spread of Buddhism and Hinduism in the West. Her doctrines also helped develop Western esoteric subjects such as Anthroposophy, Ariosophy and the New Age Movement.

 

Early Life

A painting of young Blavatsky with her mother, titled "Two Helens”

A painting of young Blavatsky with her mother, titled “Two Helens”

Helena Petrovna von Hahn was born into an aristocratic Russian-German family. She was the daughter of Colonel Peter von Hahn and Helena de Fadeyev, a well-known Russian novelist and granddaughter of the talented Princess Helena Dolgorukov, a writer and renowned botanist. Helena Petrovna was baptised into the Russian Orthodox Church immediately after she was born.

As a child, Helena moved from one place to another; due to her father’s career in the Russian Imperial Military, the family had to go wherever he was posted in the Russian Empire. This is probably one of the reasons she was so comfortable leading a nomadic lifestyle in her adulthood.

Young Helena P. Blavatsky (1850s – early 1860s)

Young Helena P. Blavatsky (1850s – early 1860s)

The oldest child in the family, Helena Petrovna had a younger brother named Sasha, who died when she was two years old. At that time, her family lived in an army township that did not have the medical facilities needed to save his life. Then in 1835, she moved with her mother to Odessa, the third most populated city in the Ukraine. It was there that her mother gave birth to her sister, Vera Petrovna. Helena’s maternal grandfather, Andrei Fadeyev, was also posted in the same city as a civil administrator for the Russian Imperial Government.

In 1836, Helena’s family relocated to Saint Petersburg. Her mother was fond of the city and this is where she began her writing career under the pseudonym “Zenaida R-va”, authoring novels and translating the works of the famous English author and poet, Edward Bulwer-Lytton.

Helena Blavatsky around 1950s

Helena Blavatsky in the 1950s

A year later, in 1837, Helena’s grandfather was assigned to be the trustee for the Kalmyk people in Central Asia. Helena and her mother accompanied him to Astrakhan, where they became friends with Tumen, a Kalmyk leader who was a Tibetan Buddhist. Kalmyks are usually practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism, and this was when Helena first encountered the religion.

In 1838, Helena’s mother reunited with her husband and moved the family back to Poltava. She taught young Helena how to play the piano and arranged for her to have dance lessons. Unfortunately, Helena’s mother was not in the peak of health, and so they moved back to Odessa, where young Helena learned English from her British governess. Not long after that, the whole family relocated to Saratov, and in June 1840, she welcomed a baby brother named Leonid. After Leonid’s birth, they moved to Poland for a short period of time before returning to Odessa. This is when her mother’s health deteriorated further and in June 1842, she passed away from tuberculosis. She was only 28.

Helena Blavatsky’s mother, Helena de Fadeyev or Helena Andreyevna von Hahn (granddaughter of the talented Princess Helena Dolgorukov) who was a writer as well as a renowned botanist (1814-1842)

Helena Blavatsky’s mother, Helena de Fadeyev or Helena Andreyevna von Hahn, was the granddaughter of the talented Princess Helena Dolgorukov, a writer and renowned botanist

After her mother passed away, Helena’s maternal grandparents took in all three children. They moved to Saratov where their grandfather, Andrei, was the Governor. Richard Davenport-Hines, a historian, described young Helena as “a petted, wayward, invalid child” and a “beguiling story-teller”. There are several accounts by her relatives explaining how little Helena would socialise with children from the lower-classes, often played pranks and enjoyed reading. Although she did not go to school like other children, she was well educated and even studied French, art and music, subjects which at that time were thought to help women find suitable suitors. Helena spent her holidays in Tumen’s Kalmyk summer camp with her grandparents, where she learnt to ride horses and read rudimentary Tibetan.

Different from other children her age, Helena was an exceptional, gifted child in touch with her psychic abilities and highly sensitive to the environment. She was also acutely aware of this difference between herself and other children. A rebel at heart, she would not always listen to authority. With her intelligence, linguistic abilities, talent in the arts and music, and her fearless passion for riding half-trained horses, it was clear that she was in tune with nature, her surroundings and those whom she met. From a young age, she sensed that she had a special mission that would somehow lead her towards dedicating her life to the service of others. She also believed she was guided and protected by some higher power to fulfil this purpose.

Blavatsky during her youth

Helena during her youth

Helena claimed she discovered her great-grandfather Prince Pavel Vasilevich Dolgorukov’s personal library while living in Saratov. It was in this library that she is said to have found various books on esoteric subjects, sparking her interest which rapidly grew over the years.

Her great-grandfather, Dolgorukov, was a Freemason and belonged to the Rite of Strict Observance. Rumour has it that he had met adventurers of the occult arts such as Alessandro Cagliostro, an Italian magician with the royal courts of Europe, and the Count of St. Germain, a great philosopher.

Around this time, it is said that Helena had strange visions of meeting a “mysterious Indian man”, whom she did meet in person later in life. According to her biographers, this was the first appearance of the “Masters” in Helena’s life.

Blavatsky’s maternal grandfather; Andrei Mihailovich de Fadeyev (1789-1867) and grandmother Princess Helena Dolgorukov (1789-1860)

Helena’s maternal grandfather, Andrei Mihailovich de Fadeyev (1789-1867) and grandmother Princess Helena Dolgorukov (1789-1860)

Helena spent one year living with her aunt, Yekaterina Andreyevna Witte, and then she moved to Tiflis, Georgia, where she befriended Alexander Vladimirovich Golitsyn from the princely family line of the Golitsyn noble houses. He was a Russian Freemason member and he greatly encouraged her interest in the esoteric arts. It was also during this time that Helena claimed to have had paranormal experiences, such as astral traveling and more visions of the “mysterious Indian man”.

A picture depicting the great masters with Blavatsky. Blavatsky said these masters appear to her in her visions, guiding her on a spiritual mission which led to establishing the Theosophical Society.

Helena Blavatsky and the great masters. Blavatsky said these masters appeared to her in her visions, guiding her on a spiritual mission which led up to the establishment of the Theosophical Society.

 

Travelling the World

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When Helena turned 17, she agreed to a marriage with the Vice Governor of Erivan Province, Nikifor Vladimirovich Blavatsky, a man in his forties. It is said she agreed to this marriage probably because she wanted to find a way to free herself from the environment she was in.

Helena was a rebel at heart, and so it is possible she plotted her way to freedom and independence. However, she claimed she married Nikifor because she was attracted to his belief in magic, an interest she shared. Before their wedding ceremony, it is said she tried to back out several times, but eventually went ahead with it. She was married on 7th July 1849 and from then on was known as Helena Blavatsky.

After the marriage, Blavatsky moved to Sardar Palace with her husband and later attempted to run away several times. Unfortunately, her attempts were not successful. Eventually, her husband relented and gave up, allowing her to return to her family. Her family sent two escorts, a servant and a maid, to accompany her on the journey back to Odessa where her father was living. The plan was to return to Saint Petersburg together with her father. However, this did not happen as Blavatsky escaped her escorts and bribed the captain of the ship she was on to take them to Kerch. She ended up in Constantinople, and this marked the beginning of Blavatsky’s travels around the world.

Blavatsky explored Turkey, Egypt, and Greece, and her father most likely financed her travels. Unfortunately, most of her activities cannot be verified accurately, as she kept no diary nor did she travel with companions. This is why Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, a historian of esotericism, noted that these travels were based solely on “her own largely uncorroborated accounts”, which were somewhat contradictory as they were “occasionally conflicting in their chronology”.

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Blavatsky claimed that while in Constantinople, she became friends with a Hungarian opera singer named Agardi Metrovitch, whom she met while saving him from being murdered. There she also met the Countess Sofia Kiselyova and together, they went travelling around Eastern Europe, Egypt and Greece. When she was in Cairo, she met Albert Rawson, an American art student who later wrote about the Middle East at great length. Apparently, they both visited and studied under the celebrated Coptic magician, Paulos Metamon, for a while.

Blavatsky went on to Paris in 1851, where she met Victor Michal, a spiritist-magnetiser and was greatly impressed by him. From there, she travelled to England and she claimed this was when she met the “mysterious Indian man”, whom she had visions of during her childhood. He was a Hindu teacher called Master Morya. Although it is unclear how they finally met due to conflicting versions of the story, one thing that was consistently mentioned and maintained by Blavatsky was that Morya had a special mission for her, and that he insisted she travel to Tibet.

The “mysterious Indian” man, Master Morya had a special mission for Blavatsky

The “mysterious Indian man”, Master Morya, had a special mission for Blavatsky

During the autumn of 1851, Blavatsky made her way to Asia from America. She was inspired by James Fenimore Cooper’s novels and was hoping to see Native American communities in Quebec. She wanted to meet their magico-religious specialists, but an unfortunate event occurred and she was robbed during her journey. Blavatsky blamed the corrupt influence of Christian missionaries for the Native American people’s ruthless actions. Hence, she headed South instead, making her way to New Orleans, Texas, Mexico, and the Andes and finally boarding a ship to Ceylon, eventually landing in Bombay.

Based on the correspondences Blavatsky had with Master Morya, she is said to have been following instructions given by him. Blavatsky spent two years in India and also attempted several times to get into Tibet but the British administration stopped her.

There are many stories regarding her travels that no one can guarantee are 100% accurate. In one account, Blavatsky claimed that when she was on her way back to Europe, before reaching England, she survived a shipwreck close to the Cape of Good Hope in 1854. While in England, she experienced hostility because she was Russian — it was the time of the Crimean War, when Russia and Britain were in conflict. She also had to work and landed a role as a musician at the Royal Philharmonic Society.

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Besides Europe, she also explored America, sailing through New York, where she came across Mr. Rawson whom she had befriended in Cairo. She continued on to Chicago, Salt Lake City and San Francisco. After that, she sailed back to India, passing through Japan. When she was in India, she explored the cities of Kashmir and Ladakh, and later journeyed to Burma.

Around 1856, she claimed to have made a second attempt to get into Tibet and this time, she succeeded. Blavatsky supposedly entered Tibet via Kashmir with a Tartar shaman as her companion. He was trying to get to Siberia and thought Blavatsky, being a Russian, could help him get in. Based on their stories, they ended up in Leh before getting lost and later joined a group of travelling Tartar shamans before returning to India once again. Blavatsky eventually went back to Europe through Madras and Java.

Blavatsky spent time in Germany and France before returning to her family in Pskov in 1858. Here is where she claimed to have experienced more paranormal phenomena, such as knocking and creaking sounds that followed her and furniture moving on its own in the house.

Giuseppe Garibaldi (1866) is an Italian general, politician and nationalist who personally commanded and fought in many military campaigns that led to the unification of Italy

Giuseppe Garibaldi (1866) was an Italian general, politician and nationalist who personally commanded and fought in many military campaigns that led to the unification of Italy

Two years later, in 1860, Blavatsky and her sister visited their maternal grandmother in Tiflis, where she met with Metrovitch, the Hungarian opera singer whom she had saved. In 1862, she reunited with her ex-husband Nikifor and they adopted a child, named Yuri. Unfortunately, Yuri passed away at age five, and he was buried with Metrovitch’s surname.

In 1864, Blavatsky went horse riding in Mingrelia when she fell and fractured her spine. This accident put her in a coma. As she recovered from her injury in Tiflis, she claimed to have gained full control over her psychic abilities.

After Blavatsky recovered, she continued to travel, this time to Italy, Transylvania and Serbia, where she may have studied the Kabbalah with a rabbi. Then in 1867, she visited the Balkans, Hungary and then returned to Italy, spending time in Venice, Florence and Mentana. She also claimed she was injured during the Battle of Mentana as she fought for the great Italian general Giuseppe Garibaldi.

 

Journey to Tibet

In 1868, Blavatsky said she received a message from Master Morya that she should go to Constantinople to meet with him, and this was when they journeyed to Tibet together. When they were in Tibet, Master Morya’s friend and colleague, Master Koot Hoomi, opened his house located near Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Shigatse and hosted them.

Koot Hoomi (also known as Kuthumi or K.H.) is one of the Mahatmas or masters who inspired Blavatsky in establishing the Theosophical Society.

Koot Hoomi (also known as Kuthumi or K.H.) is one of the Mahatmas or masters who inspired Blavatsky to establish the Theosophical Society.

According to Blavatsky, both Morya and Koot Hoomi were Kashmiris of Punjabi descent. It is said that Koot Hoomi taught students of the Gelug tradition of Tibetan Buddhism in his house, but it is not clear exactly what he taught them. Koot Hoomi was fluent in both English and French and, like his friend Morya, he was also a vegetarian.

Blavatsky claimed that during her time in Tibet, she learned the ancient language of Senzar and translated several ancient scriptures from the monastery. She was not allowed to enter the monastery, so it would be logical to assume that she did the translations in Koot Hoomi’s house. She also mentioned that during this time, Master Morya and Master Koot Hoomi guided and helped her develop her psychic abilities and taught her how to control them.

The psychic abilities that Blavatsky developed were clairvoyance, clairaudience, telepathy, de-materialisation and re-materialisation of physical objects, the ability to control another person’s consciousness, and to project one’s astral body, giving the illusion of being in two places simultaneously. Blavatsky also claimed she had to engage in a spiritual retreat from late 1868 to late 1870, while she was in Tibet. Although Blavatsky did not write about her visit to Lhasa, this was later mentioned by various sources, one of them an account by her sister.

According to biographers, Blavatsky had been to Tashilunpo monastery, near Shigatse. There are reports saying during Blavatsky’s years of studying in Tashilunpo would have resulted in her meeting the 8th Panchen Lama Tenpai Wangchuk and getting to know him well. This information can be found in the book called "The Voice of the Silence", published by the Chinese society for Buddhism study at Peking, at the request of the 9th Panchen Lama in 1927

According to biographers, Blavatsky visited Tashi Lhunpo Monastery near Shigatse. Some reports state that Blavatsky’s years in Tashi Lhunpo would have resulted in her meeting the 8th Panchen Lama Tenpai Wangchuk and getting to know him well. This information can be found in the book called “The Voice of the Silence”, published by the Chinese Society for Buddhism Study at Peking, at the request of the 9th Panchen Lama in 1927

Many critics and biographers doubted Blavatsky’s claims regarding her travels, particularly her expedition to Tibet. However, there are also those who believed it was possible, especially as traders and pilgrims from neighbouring lands were known to have visited the country. Some biographers suggest Blavatsky could have entered Tibet since she was accompanied by Morya and could have disguised herself as an Asian. There is also an eyewitness account of seeing her in Shigatse. Furthermore, the renowned scholar D.T. Suzuki mentioned Blavatsky possessed advanced knowledge of Mahayana Buddhist subjects, which seems consistent with her claims of studying in a Tibetan monastery during her travels.

 

Establishing Theosophy

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Blavatsky travelled to Tibet to prove to the world that the esoteric phenomena enacted by Spiritualists were real, and she defended this concept fiercely, especially against scientific materialists who accused her of being a fraud. However, she was unbiased and pointed out that the entities some of the mediums were contacting might not be the spirits of the dead, as was often claimed by Spiritualists. These entities could have been mischievous elementals or “shells” left behind by the deceased.

Séances were popular at one time and Blavatsky at one time took part in these Séance but she soon realise that the answers provided by these spirits were not accurate and some were actually mischievous elementals or “shells” left behind by the dead.

Séances were popular at the time and Blavatsky participated in these. However, she soon realised that the answers provided by these spirits were not accurate and some were actually mischievous elementals or “shells” left behind by the deceased.

Next, she proceeded to Greece via the Suez Canal where she met another Master – Master Hilarion, who is considered a saint in the I AM movement. In July 1871, Blavatsky boarded the SS Eumonia to Egypt, but the ship tragically exploded en route. There were only 16 survivors and Blavatsky was one of them. When she arrived in Cairo, she met with Paulos Metamon. She also established société spirite with the help of a lady named Emma Cutting. The society advocated Spiritism, a form of Spiritualism originated by Allan Kardec. Kardec acknowledged the belief of reincarnation, which was a huge contrast from the beliefs of mainstream Spiritualists. However, after just two weeks, Blavatsky discovered that many mediums the society employed were frauds and decided to shut it down.

While in Cairo, Blavatsky also met the renowned French scholar and Egyptologist Sir Gaston Maspero and another one of her Masters, Serapis Bey, the 13th member of the Council of Adepts of the Ascension Temple, also known as Serapis Soleil (Serapis of the Sun).

After Egypt, Blavatsky went on to Syria, Palestine and Lebanon and became acquainted with members of the Druze religion. During these interesting travels, she met and became friends with writer and traveller Lidia Pashkova. Pashkova later provided independent confirmation regarding Blavatsky’s travels during this period.

Blavatsky returned to visit her family in Odessa in July 1872 before following Morya’s instructions to go to America. She arrived in New York in July 1873, and stayed in a women’s housing co-operative on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. She earned a small wage from odd jobs, such as sewing and designing advertising cards. Along the way, she attracted the attention of a journalist named Anna Ballard, who interviewed her for The Sun, a New York newspaper. In the interview, Blavatsky claimed to have travelled to the mysterious Tibet, the first written source of her travels to the Land of Snows.

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By the age of 42, Blavatsky possessed unusual spiritual and occult powers. It was believed she was the most suitable instrument for the work the great Masters had planned and the best person to present it to the world. This message was “The accumulated Wisdom of the ages, tested and verified by generations of Seers…“, a belief that the main Truth was all religions, great and small, are like the many branches that stem from the parent tree. Blavatsky was given the task by the Masters to challenge the deep-rooted beliefs and dogmas of Christian Theology and the materialistic view of science during her time. In Blavatsky’s own words,

“I was sent to prove the phenomena and their reality, and to show the fallacy of the spiritualistic theory of spirits.”

Not long after Blavatsky arrived in New York, she received news that her father had passed away, leaving her a substantial inheritance that allowed her to move from poor living conditions into a luxurious hotel.

In December 1874, Blavatsky met Mikheil Betaneli, a Georgian who had become infatuated with her. He persisted in pursuing her hand in marriage and in the end, Blavatsky conceded. However, since Blavatsky had not divorced her husband from her first marriage, this was considered bigamy. Nevertheless, Blavatsky would not consummate the marriage with Betaneli, which led him to file for a divorce.

 

Establishing the Theosophical Society

Helena Blavatsky and Henry Olcott (1888) were the founders of the Theosophical Society

Helena Blavatsky and Henry Olcott were the founders of the Theosophical Society

Blavatsky was fascinated by stories of William and Horatio Eddy, also known as the Eddy brothers, two American mediums from Chittenden, Vermont. The brothers claimed to levitate and manifest psychic phenomena. Intrigued, Blavatsky visited Chittenden in October 1874, where she met the renowned journalist Henry Steel Olcott, who was the investigating reporter on the Eddys’ claims for the New York Daily Graphic newspaper.

Olcott said he was impressed with Blavatsky’s ability to manifest psychic powers, which made him write an article on her for the paper. They quickly became close friends and they even had nicknames for one another, “Jack” for Blavatsky and “Maloney” for Olcott. He promoted her, generating more attention to her claims, and persuaded the editor of the Daily Graphic to publish an interview with Blavatsky. He also talked about Blavatsky in his book, Spiritualism, People from the Other World (1875).

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Blavatsky gave instructions to Olcott based on her own beliefs, and she also encouraged him to become vegetarian, teetotal and celibate. Sometime in January 1875, they visited the mediums Nelson and Jennie Owen, who were Spiritualists based in Philadelphia. The Owens asked to be tested by Olcott to prove they were not frauds and that the phenomena they produced were real. Olcott believed them but Blavatsky spoke up to expose them, saying some of their phenomena were fake, and failed to manifest as they claimed.

Eager to find ways and ideas to promote their beliefs, Blavatsky and Olcott published a circular letter in The Spiritual Scientist, Eldridge Gerry Brown’s Boston-based Spiritualist publication, and called themselves “Brotherhood of Luxor“, which could have been inspired by the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor. They lived together in rented apartments in New York, presumably supported and funded by Olcott who continued his work as a lawyer. Their last apartment was called Lamasery, which means a monastery of lamas. Blavatsky and Olcott also founded the Miracle Club, supposedly inspired by the Masters, in which they facilitated many lectures on esoteric subjects. From this Club, they connected with an Irish Spiritualist named William Quan Judge, who shared similar interests.

In 1875, from the Miracle Club gatherings, the Theosophical Society was born with Olcott as the Chairman, Judge as the secretary, and Helena Blavatsky as the secretary, but everyone knows that Blavatsky was actual leader and driving force behind the society.

The Theosophical Society was born in 1875 with Olcott as the Chairman, Judge as the secretary, and Blavatsky as another secretary. However, everyone knew that Blavatsky was the actual leader and driving force behind the society.

On 7th September 1875, at a Miracle Club meeting, Blavatsky, Olcott, and Judge decided to create an esoteric organisation, and Charles Sotheran suggested that it be named the ‘Theosophical Society‘. The word ‘theosophy’ derives from the Greek word ‘theos’ which means “god(s)” and ‘sophia’, meaning “wisdom”; therefore, theosophy means “god-wisdom” or “divine wisdom”. Blavatsky insisted that Theosophy was not a religion and would clarify this many times over the course of her life.

The Logo of the Theosophical Society

The Logo of the Theosophical Society

The Theosophical Society was officially formed on 17th November 1875. Colonel Henry Steel Olcott was the chairman, William Quan Judge was the secretary, and Helena Petrovna Blavatsky was another secretary. However, there is no doubt that Blavatsky was the principal theoretician and leader of the group. The early members consisted of many prominent spiritualists such as Emma Hardinge Britten, C.C. Massey, Signor Bruzzesi, and William L. Alden who were, in their own right, successful members of the society.

The main objective of the Society was initially a general statement:

“…to collect and diffuse a knowledge of the laws which govern the Universe.”

However, the founders made several revisions to express their goals more accurately, and today they are the following:

  1. To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or colour.
  2. To encourage the study of Comparative Religion, Philosophy, and Science.
  3. To investigate unexplained laws of Nature and the powers latent in man.
This is the commemorative plaque of Theosophical Society in Adyar, India.

This is the commemorative plaque of the founding members of the Theosophical Society in Adyar, India.

 

Isis Unveiled

In the summer of 1875, Blavatsky wrote Isis Unveiled, a book that outlined her Theosophical worldview, from the home of Hiram Corson, a Professor of English Literature at Cornell University, Ithaca. In the course of her work, she became aware of a second consciousness, which she called “the lodger who is in me” and claimed that it inspired most of her writing.

According to Olcott, Blavatsky quoted from many religious texts and scriptures that she did not have access to in Isis Unveiled. Furthermore, the topics Blavatsky wrote about are still unanswerable over a century after her passing. Thus, Isis Unveiled was an original fusion that connected contrasting ideas and concepts not brought up before in Western literature. Blavatsky’s concept was about all world religions stemming from one “Ancient Wisdom” which she connected with the Western esoteric traditions of Hermeticism and Neoplatonism, openly disagreeing with Darwinian evolution theory that mainly focused on the physical world while ignoring the spiritual realm.

Isis Unveil was Helena Blavatsky’s first book and it was huge success, selling out about 1000 books in a week

Isis Unveiled was Helena Blavatsky’s first book and it was a huge success, selling 1,000 copies in a week.

Edited by Alexander Wilder, Professor of Philosophy, and published in two volumes by J.W. Bouton in 1877, the book encountered negative criticism and bad press reviews; some even said that she had quoted around 100 books but gave no credit or acknowledgement. Yet, despite all the negative reviews, Isis Unveiled still became a huge success, selling 1,000 copies in a week. It was such a success that the publisher asked for a sequel, but Blavatsky stayed true to her mission and rejected the offer.

However, while the world witnessed the great success of Isis Unveiled, it was not the same with the Society, which became quiet and inactive towards the autumn of 1876. This occurred although new lodges were being set up all around the United States and in London, and even though new prominent members like Thomas Edison and Abner Doubleday had joined the Society. Not long after her book’s success, Blavatsky became a U.S. citizen in July 1878.

 

Connections with India

Helena Blavatsky and Hindu Theosophists in India, around 1884

Helena Blavatsky and Hindu Theosophists in India around 1884

The Theosophical Society connected with a Hindu reform movement called the Arya Samaj, founded by Swami Dayananda Saraswati, as members believed these two organisations shared a common spiritual worldview. Shortly thereafter, Blavatsky became unhappy living in the U.S and decided to move to India. Her good friend Olcott agreed to join her in this relocation — they auctioned off many of their possessions in preparation for the move. Olcott also secured himself a position as a U.S. trade representative to the country. They arrived in Bombay in February 1879 and were warmly greeted with celebrations, organised by Hurrychund Chintamon, an Arya Samaj member.

Blavatsky preferred associating with Indians than with the governing British elite, and kept a 15-year-old Gujarati boy, named Vallah “Babula” Bulla, as her personal attendant. Many educated Indians were impressed when they discovered that Theosophists advocated and supported Indian religions, especially during that period of colonialism, British imperialism and on-going missionary efforts to convert them to Christianity. Hence, it was no surprise that her activities were closely monitored by the British Intelligence Service as they were concerned she could be a Russian spy.

Bombay, 1881 - Standing behind Olcott (seated in the middle) is Blavatsky and Damodar Mavalankar (seated to Olcott’s left)

Bombay, 1881 – Standing behind Olcott (seated in the middle) is Blavatsky and Damodar Mavalankar (seated to Olcott’s left)

Neither Christian missionaries nor the British government were happy with the spreading of Theosophy. India’s English-language press was also critical towards the Society. However, its popularity continued to grow, with many branches mushrooming all over India. Later, Blavatsky moved into a comfortable bungalow in the elite estate of a Bombay suburb called Breach Candy. This place was more easily accessible, especially for her Western guests. Olcott also established the Buddhist Education Fund to counter the spread of Christianity in Ceylon. His objective was to create awareness, to inspire, and to encourage locals to take pride and interest in Buddhism. Initially, Blavatsky was opposed to this, saying the Masters would not approve, but Olcott went ahead and it proved to be a great success. This made Blavatsky change her mind.

The Theosophist, a monthly magazine started by Blavatsky and Olcott received huge readership

The Theosophist, the monthly magazine started by Blavatsky and Olcott, gained a huge readership

In July 1879, Blavatsky and Olcott began working on The Theosophist, a monthly magazine, and released the first issue in October of the same year. The magazine quickly gained a huge readership and its management underwent rapid change — a Theosophist, Damodar K. Mavalankar, soon took the helm. He introduced the idea that the Masters should be referred to as Mahatmas which means ‘Great Soul’ in Sanskrit.

In December, Buddhist monks invited Blavatsky and Olcott to Ceylon. During this time, Blavatsky and Olcott officially became Buddhists, and they are said to be the first people from America to do so. They took the Five Precepts in May 1880, in a ceremony at Ramayana Nikayana. As they toured the island, they were greeted with crowds fascinated to see foreigners accepting Buddhism, instead of trying to convert them to Christianity. Their message was a great boost to the self-esteem of the Sinhalese people, and with that, they were cordially invited to visit Kandy to pay homage to the Buddha’s tooth relic.

Buddhists monks with Olcott in Colombo (1883)

Buddhist monks with Olcott in Colombo, 1883

Alfred Percy Sinnett invited Blavatsky to spend time with him, during which she performed the phenomena of materialising objects, stunning his guests in the process. In one incident, she made a cup and a saucer appear from beneath the soil while they were out having a picnic. Enthralled, Sinnet wanted to contact the Masters — in his eagerness, he kept persuading Blavatsky to help him facilitate this communication, which resulted in 1,400 pages of letters supposedly authored by Morya and Koot Hoomi, known as the Mahatma Letters. The teachings in these letters were summarised by Sinnett and published in a book titled Esoteric Buddhism (1883). However, Buddhist authors such as Max Müller openly emphasised that the contents of the book were not Buddhist in nature. Blavatsky herself was also not too pleased and disliked the title, which she thought was misleading. Since its publication, the book has sparked many debates on who the author actually was; some have even said it was written by Blavatsky herself.

Having been diagnosed with Bright’s disease, Blavatsky took up an offer from the Society in Madras, hoping the weather there would be more favourable to her condition. Later, in November 1882, an estate in Adyar was purchased by the Society. It became the new headquarters and a few rooms were reserved for Blavatsky, who moved there in December. Still active, Blavatsky toured the subcontinent and also claimed that she visited her teacher’s ashram in Sikkim and Tibet for a few days around this time.

Headquarters of Theosophy Society in Adyar, Madras, 1887

The headquarters of the Theosophical Society in Adyar, Madras, 1887

Blavatsky’s health further deteriorated and she agreed to return to Britain with Olcott, who had a case on Ceylonese Buddhism to debate as well as issues regarding the Society’s London Lodge to resolve. While in London, Blavatsky connected with the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) and complied with their request to study her psychic abilities. However, she was not very impressed with them and would mockingly call them “Spookical Research Society”.

A photograph taken in London in 1888 with Blavatsky (front left) and her sister Vera Petrovna de Zhelihovsky. Standing behind them are Vera (Blavatsky's niece) with her husband Charles Johnston as well as Henry S. Olcott.

A photograph taken in London in 1888 with Blavatsky (front left) and her sister Vera Petrovna de Zhelihovsky. Standing behind them are Vera (Blavatsky’s niece) with her husband Charles Johnston as well as Henry S. Olcott.

While Blavatsky was in Europe, a conflict with Emma and Alexis Coulomb, known as the Coulomb Affair, arose at the Adyar headquarters. Emma Coulomb was accused of misappropriating funds for her own purposes. The Society’s Board of Control asked her to leave but she and her husband refused. They blackmailed the Society by producing letters they claimed were written by Blavatsky, supposedly proving that her paranormal abilities were a sham. The Society did not buy it, refused to pay, and barred them from the Society’s premises. The Coulombs then turned to the Christian College Magazine based in Madras, who published the letters and exposed Blavatsky as a fraud. The resulting scandal created international attention and the news was picked up by The Times, a London-based newspaper.

In response, Blavatsky with Theosophist Charles Webster Leadbeater went to Cairo in November 1884 in search of information on Emma Coulomb. There, they discovered the ugly truth — that Emma was a suspected extortionist and criminal. Fortunately, although the Society suffered great ‘internal’ damage from this scandal, it did not affect the Society’s or Blavatsky’s popularity, especially in India.

Today the Theosophical Society, located along the Adyar River is one of the popular attractions in the city of Chennai. The campus consists of a Hindu Temple, Jain Temple, a Church and a Buddhist Temple. The library has a rich collection of sacred book and manuscripts on all major faiths. The campus of Theosophical Society is also well known for its huge 200-year-old Banyan tree which can provide shelter to 3000 people all at once.

Today, the Theosophical Society, located along the Adyar River, is one of the popular attractions in the city of Chennai. The campus consists of a Hindu temple, a Jain temple, a Christian church and a Buddhist temple. The library has a rich collection of sacred books and manuscripts on all major faiths. The campus of the Theosophical Society is also well known for its huge 200-year-old Banyan tree.

 

The Final Years

Madame Blavatsky in London (1887)

Madame Blavatsky in London, 1887

1885 was an eventful year. Having returned to Europe due to deteriorating health, Blavatsky resumed writing her book The Secret Doctrine, living off a pension provided by the Theosophical Society in Naples, Italy.

She moved to Würzburg, Bavaria, where she was visited by her good friend, Countess Constance Wachtmeister, a Swedish Theosophist who “loyally and lovingly helped in the great work”. But then disaster struck — Richard Hodgson from the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) reported that Blavatsky and her alleged spiritual phenomena were fake and that she was a Russian spy.

This did not sit well with members of the Society. Blavatsky was denounced by some followers while others quit the organisation in the fallout. For the sake of the Society, Olcott stopped Blavatsky from taking legal action against her accusers. At the same time, many Theosophists criticised Hodgson and stated that his methodologies were only set out to disprove and attack Blavatsky. However, it was only in 1886 that the SPR accepted this and retracted the findings of the report.

Despite the tension created by Hodgson’s report, the growth of the Theosophical Society was unstoppable and towards the end of Blavatsky’s life, there were 121 lodges with charters around the world, mostly located in India, Burma and Ceylon. Although she had to move around in a wheelchair, she started a small ink-producing business and moved to Belgium. At this time, she received complaints from dissatisfied members of the London Lodge who claimed Sinnett neglected the propagation of Theosophy in exchange for gathering support from the upper-class.

A controversial magazine was published by Blavatsky to discuss philosophical ideas

Blavatsky published ‘Lucifer’, a controversial magazine, to discuss philosophical ideas

In 1887, ‘Lucifer’, a controversial magazine, was born and Blavatsky directed its focus on the discussion of philosophical ideas. In 1888, Blavatsky started a special section of the Society for which admittance was only available to those who passed her tests. She nurtured and called them the “True Theosophists” — members of the Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society who would focus on the system’s philosophy. Blavatsky moved to London, staying with Theosophist Mabel Collins in Upper Norwood, and later in Holland Park with Bertram Keightley and his nephew Archibald Keightley, where she held lodge meetings on Thursday nights, establishing the Blavatsky Lodge to rival Sinnett’s.

Her work, The Secret Doctrine was published by her own Theosophical Publishing Company in two volumes, months apart. She claimed it was a commentary on the Book of Dzyan, which Buddhologist David Reigle appeared to agree with, stating it was part of the Tantra section of the Tibetan Buddhist canon. Many Buddhist scholars refuted Reigle’s claim and denied the existence of the Book of Dzyan, saying it was mere fiction, a creation of Blavatsky’s in which she promoted her concept of how the universe, planets and humans came about.

In 1889, she received a visit from Mohandas Gandhi, who became an associate member of the lodge two years later, declaring the close connection between Theosophy and Hinduism. Blavatsky also spoke about the soul and the afterlife — Annie Besant, a social reformer who reviewed books for the Pall Mall Gazette, was so impressed that she joined the Theosophists. Soon, Blavatsky moved into Besant’s large home at 19 Avenue Road in St. John’s Wood, which became the new European headquarters of the Theosophical Society.

Blavatsky writing at her desk

Blavatsky writing at her desk

Blavatsky authored many books there such as The Key to Theosophy, which was a book of questions and answers. The Voice of Silence was a devotional text based on The Book of the Golden Precepts, which Blavatsky claimed was based on another ancient text.

For the rest of Blavatsky’s living years, she had to bear with accusations of being a fraud. In 1890, there was even an article published in a U.S. newspaper, The Sun, with information from Elliott Coues, an ex-member of the Society. The paper later retracted their accusations when Blavatsky sued them for libel.

In 1892, Blavatsky contracted the influenza virus due to the epidemic in Britain and she passed away on 8th May 1891 in the Society’s European headquarters. The date was declared “White Lotus Day” by Theosophists.

London 1890, Blavatsky is seen here with theosophist James Pryse (left) and G.R.S. Mead

London 1890: Blavatsky is seen here with Theosophist James Pryse (left) and G.R.S. Mead

 

Theosophical Belief and Movement

A painting of Blavatsky by the famous artist Nicholas Roerich

A painting of Blavatsky by the famous artist Nicholas Roerich. Click to enlarge.

Helena Blavatsky was responsible for establishing the doctrinal basis of the Theosophical Society and for the emergence of the Theosophical movement. Theosophy dismissed the Christian idea of a “God” which Blavatsky described to be “a bundle of contradictions and a logical impossibility”. Blavatsky believed and emphasised that an “ancient wisdom religion” existed and this wisdom was also known to many great philosophers of the world such as Plato, the Hindu sages and other wise men of the past. She believed all the existing world religions could trace their sources to this ancient wisdom.

Blavatsky also claimed she obtained her Theosophical teachings from various adepts around the world. In addition, she believed the Theosophical movement marked the revival and spreading of this ancient wisdom-religion and that it would eventually eclipse all existing world religions. A pantheist who promoted the idea of mystical, monotheistic and immanentist cosmology, Blavatsky believed in the:

“…universal Divine Principle, the root of All, from which all proceeds, and within which all shall be absorbed at the end of the great cycle of being.”

Blavatsky has also said that each particle in the universe is infused with a spark of the divine:

“Lower Orders emanated from higher ones, before becoming increasingly dense and being absorbed back into the Divine Principle. This cosmology exhibited commonalities with the scientific discoveries of geology and biological evolution, both of which had been revealed by scientific enquiry during the 19th century.”

Bevir, Mark (1994). “The West Turns Eastward: Madame Blavatsky and the Transformation of the Occult Tradition”. Journal of the American Academy of Religion.

In The Secret Doctrine, Blavatsky stated that absolute nothingness existed at the beginning of time, and this essence was separated into Seven Rays, which then created the universe using an energy, called Fohat. The earth underwent seven rounds of creation, where different living beings were created in each round. She also advocated the idea of seven root races:

  1. The first root race lived on a continent named “Imperishable Sacred Land” and was created from pure spirit.
  2. The second root race lived in the land near the North Pole and is known as the Hyperboreans. This race was also created from pure spirit.
  3. The third root race lived on the continent of Lemuria, the present-day Rapa-Nui and Australia.
  4. The fourth root race lived on Atlantis and consisted of higher beings, who descended to the planet. They had psychic powers, physical bodies, and advanced technology.
  5. The fifth root race were the Aryans, who existed around the world when she wrote her book The Secret Doctrine.
  6. The sixth root race would replace the fifth, which will be marked by Maitreya’s arrival.
  7. The seventh root race would eventually replace the sixth root race.

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In addition, Blavatsky believed humans consisted of three separate parts: the physical body, the astral fluid body, and a divine spark.

Although Blavatsky was initially sceptical of the concept of reincarnation as stated in her book Isis Unveiled, she later changed her mind. This change was reflected in her book, The Secret Doctrine, where she stated karma governed the law of incarnation, and the final purpose of humanity is the soul’s emancipation from the cycle of death and rebirth.

When she lived in New York City, Blavatsky claimed herself to be a Buddhist, although her form of Buddhism was unique. She believed the Buddha:

“…had sought to return to the teachings of the Vedas, and that Buddhism therefore represented a more accurate survival of ancient Brahmanism than modern Hinduism.”

Bevir, Mark (1994). “The West Turns Eastward: Madame Blavatsky and the Transformation of the Occult Tradition”. Journal of the American Academy of Religion.

An American journalist, co-founder and the first president of the Theosophical Society, Colonel Henry Steel Olcott, helped in the shape and design of the Buddhist flag. He felt that its long streaming shape was somewhat inconvenient and not practical to be used, hence modified the size and shape to be like national flags.

Colonel Henry Steel Olcott helped to shape the design of the Buddhist flag. He felt that a long streaming shape was somewhat inconvenient and impractical, hence he modified its size and shape to be similar to national flags.

The Theosophical movement owed its popularity to the charismatic Blavatsky’s leadership and perseverance. Her belief sparked interest in spiritualism and her philosophy appealed to women because it provided them the opportunity to take on spiritual leadership that was equal to men.

Theosophical teachings borrow many concepts and beliefs from Buddhism and, as a result of this, Helena Blavatsky and Henry Olcott were amongst the pioneering Westerners who became Buddhist during that time.

Henry Steel Olcott even helped designed the Buddhist flag that is still in use today. In fact, Tibetan Buddhism became popular in the West because of great Theosophist authors like Evans-Wentz and Alexandra David-Neel.

Blavatsky would often compare Theosophy to Mahayana Buddhism and in her book, The Key to Theosophy she wrote,

“But the schools of the Northern Buddhist Church … teach all that is now called Theosophical doctrines, because they form part of the knowledge of the initiates…”

In 1891, by the time of Blavatsky’s passing, the Theosophical community had grown to 100,000 and her writings had been published in various Asian and European languages.

The Theosophical Society in America today is located in Wheaton, Illinois on a beautiful 42 acre campus. The grounds are open to the public and it comprises of the headquarters building, where classes, lectures, and workshops are being held. There is also a huge library and the Quest Bookshop. On the campus is also a beautiful pond, tree groves, gardens, and a labyrinth.

The Theosophical Society in America today is located in Wheaton, Illinois on a beautiful 42-acre campus. The grounds are open to the public and it comprises of the headquarter building, where classes, lectures, and workshops are held. There is also a huge library and the Quest Bookshop. Also on campus are tree groves, gardens, a beautiful pond and a labyrinth.

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VIDEO: A Documentary on Madame Helena Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society and scholar of ancient wisdom and literature

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/MdmBlavatsky_SpiritualTraveller.mp4

 

Selected Books by Helena Blavatsky

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Isis Unveiled (1877). Click on image to download the PDF version.

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The Secret Doctrine (1888). Click on image to download the PDF version.

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The Key to Theosophy (1889). Click on image to download the PDF version.

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The Voice of Silence (1889). Click on image to download the PDF version.

The texts above were sourced from legitimate book-hosting services offering these texts for free download. They are made available here for purely educational, non-commercial purposes.

 

Selected Quotes

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Sources:

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helena_Blavatsky
  • http://blavatskyarchives.com/longseal.htm
  • https://www.britannica.com/biography/Helena-Blavatsky
  • https://tssydney.org
  • http://fromparent2child.blogspot.my/2013/11/founder-of-novgorod-russias-geneology.html
  • http://www.theosophycardiff.care4free.net/Blavatsky%20Chronology.htm
  • http://www.katinkahesselink.net/blavatsky/articles/v1/outline_prior_public.htm
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_flag
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_and_Theosophy

 

For more interesting information:

 

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The day Joy met His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche changed her life forever. Joining Kechara full time in 2004 as an administrator, Joy's current portfolio includes painting, restoring and beautifying Buddha statues. As a writer in Kechara, Joy is also one of the blog chat moderators on tsemrinpoche.com.

An aspiring nun (sangha-to-be), Joy looks forward to promote the sacred lineage of Je Tsongkhapa through modern platforms and social media.
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9 Responses to Madame Blavatsky: Mother of Modern Spirituality

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  1. Andrew on Nov 19, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    tashi delek

  2. Andrew on Nov 19, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    wow and then after this came jiddhu Krishnamurti. he dismantled the theosophical society and left a 30 million dollar fund in the krishna merti fund. jhidus message was clear. complete the investigation. do it now

  3. Joy Kam on Jul 26, 2018 at 5:21 am

    Listening to the chanting of sacred words, melodies, mantras, sutras and prayers has a very powerful healing effect on our outer and inner environments. It clears the chakras, spiritual toxins, the paths where our ‘chi’ travels within our bodies for health as well as for clearing the mind. It is soothing and relaxing but at the same time invigorates us with positive energy. The sacred sounds invite positive beings to inhabit our environment, expels negative beings and brings the sound of growth to the land, animals, water and plants. Sacred chants bless all living beings on our land as well as inanimate objects. Do download and play while in traffic to relax, when you are about to sleep, during meditation, during stress or just anytime. Great to play for animals and children. Share with friends the blessing of a full Dorje Shugden puja performed at Kechara Forest Retreat by our puja department for the benefit of others. Tsem Rinpoche

    Listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbzgskLKxT8&t=5821s

    • Andrew on Nov 19, 2018 at 7:29 pm

      very cool. how is paris and Titula going?

  4. wan wai meng on Jun 2, 2018 at 2:51 am

    Madame Blavatsky has through her investigation and travels has exposed Buddhism to people in the West. Through interacting with Madame Blavatsky and her organization the West understands much more about Buddhism and what it stands for.

    I think her work allowed her to help women also to explore spiritual paths and careers. She was so dogged, she found a way to get into Tibet despite all the problems and difficulties of entering into Tibet. Many have thought of her as a spy and a fake, yet she persevered.

    • wan wai meng on Jun 2, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      Madame Blavatsky, was certainly an unconventional figure of her time, unconventional as a woman and unconventional also a a truth seekers of her time. She was probably one of the first few spiritual travellers on top of that she also protected traditional spiritual beliefs from the encroachment Christian missionaries work at Sri Lanka and India.

  5. Anne Ong on Apr 26, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    Very interesting story about Madame Blavatsky: Mother of Modern Spirituality “From a young age, she sensed that she had a special mission that would somehow lead her towards dedicating her life to the service of others. She also believed she was guided and protected by some higher power to fulfil this purpose.” .Thank you Rinpoche and Joy for such an inspiring story. 👍🙏😀

  6. Samfoonheei on Apr 13, 2018 at 11:17 am

    Helena Petrovna Blavatsky was a Russian occultist, philosopher, and author who co-founded the Theosophical Society. Although she died more than a century ago, her name still turns up in serious discussions about “ancient wisdom,”. She has travelled extensively throughout Asia and Europe as she claimed. Somehow she was the first to introduce knowledge of eastern religions to the West including the ideas of karma and reincarnation. She even revealed that all major religions are acquired from one original religious philosophy. As claimed she has possessed extraordinary psychic powers. She has an interesting life story of up and down yet she has left a legacy with many written articles and ideas been promoted by several foundations and websites till today. That her esoteric spiritual knowledge is consistent with new science which is considered to be the first instance. She was named Mother of Modern spirituality.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Joy Kam for this interesting sharing.

  7. Pastor Han Nee on Apr 11, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche and Joy for this interesting article on Madame Blavatsky – Mother of Modern Spirituality.

    The following are some of the qualities and achievements of Madam Blavatsky that impress me deeply. One of the world’s most extraordinary spiritualists, she was the creator and popularizer of many of the ideas and terms which shaped the New Age Movement. She founded the Theosophical Society and through it, engendered a new world view of spirituality and philosophy. It also became the avenue via which the Eastern religions ,like Buddhism and Hinduism, were introduced to the West.She was fearless in confronting conventional beliefs and challenged them , such as the belief in One God.

    She visited Tibet,in her travels around the world to absorb spirituality from diverse viewpoints. The visit to Tibet was the result of advice by a group of adepts, the “Masters of the Ancient Wisdom”.

    She sums up her path of spirituality, which is quite akin to the Buddhist path,in the definition of the Holy Science as follows:
    The spiritual path is an upward movement, where we pass through stages where we mistake “shadows for realities”. “The upward progress of the Ego is a series of progressive awakenings”. However, only when we have reached “the absolute consciousness and blended our own with it, shall we be free from the delusions produced by Mayo (illusion)”.

    In her concept of modern spirituality which has influenced spiritual thinking of this age, she has included occultism and the esoteric. She was also a spirit medium. Such is the extraordinary woman whom the world credits to have influenced greatly and helped to shape spirituality in the 21st century!

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    Saturday, Mar 23. 2019 12:08 AM
    Thank you for Rinpoche and the blog team to come with this amazing blog post that talks about the Green School. This school is very amazing because the way it is being set up is very different than conventional schools. It merges learning with nature which proven to be effective.

    Nowadays, people want to be in the forest, and near the greens. They do not want to have the city life which they grew up in because it is very stressful and very unhealthy for the body and also the mind. Concrete cities are full of pollution which is very bad for our health and also our mental health. That is why alot of the people living in the cities are depressed or anger some. These negative emotions arise easier when we are in the city.

    What is amazing about this school is also the way they introduce education into the children’s lives in a non-conventional way. From the video, it looks like the children are enjoying this way of education more than the conventional way because they are allowed to express themselves more.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/amazing-trailblazing-green-school-in-indonesia-you-must-learn-about-this-incredible-place.html
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Friday, Mar 22. 2019 10:02 PM
    In Asia, black magic is not uncommon, it is still practiced by people. People use black magic to take revenge or to get what they want. When people are disturbed by black magic or spirits, they will usually go and seek for a master to help them.

    However, instead of waiting for the unfortunate to happen, we can start a practice that can prevent us from being disturbed. Dorje Shugden practice is very effective for that. Tsem Rinpoche is so kind to compile a very short prayer for us to do daily. Doing prayer is like doing exercise if we do it every day, our protection energy of Dorje Shugden will grow stronger every day.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/a-simple-way-to-protect-yourself-from-spirits
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Friday, Mar 22. 2019 09:41 PM
    Do you believe there are people who have the ability to call upon some local deities or an enlightened being to enter into their bodies to communicate with us? Growing up in a traditional Chinese Taoist family, I believe that. My grandmother sometimes took me to a trance session. When the mediums (oracles) take trance, they are able to give some kind of prediction or advice. Trance taking is also practiced in other Asian cultures, for examples, Tibet, Korea, Mongolia, etc.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/tibetans-welcome-mountain-spirits-in-faith-ceremony.html
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Friday, Mar 22. 2019 09:29 PM
    Traditionally, Dorje Shugden is depicted in wrathful form. This particular Dorje Shugden of Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen is depicted in a peaceful form. The peaceful Dorje Shugden looks very gentle and more approachable to most people who are not familiar with Dharma protectors, especially here in Malaysia. Whether it is in wrathful form or peaceful form, the function and efficacy of Dorje Shugden in helping us to remove the obstacles are the same.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/geshe-tsultrim-gyeltsens-special-thangka.html
    [no sender]
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Mar 22. 2019 11:39 AM
    Thank you Mr Martin Chow for sharing this interesting true life story of how you met Tsem Rinpoche. I have had heard stories of how Rinpoche had changed the lives of many. Truly one great teacher, that have a great wisdom , kindness, humble personality and in many ways everyone or students would love and likable. Rinpoche appeared confident in communication that can also help us feel confidence too, thus aiding and enhancing.
    Thanks again for this interesting sights, stories and your experiences with Rinpoche.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/a-personal-account-of-events-with-my-teacher-perfect-clairvoyance
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Mar 22. 2019 11:37 AM
    Very interesting ……… selection of supernatural closed encounter with unseen beings by famous celebrities ,artists that will seriously freak anyone out . Featuring personal, first-person accounts by notable actors, musicians and models. Unseen beings are every where, they do definitely exists. Some of us could able to see them too. The best is leave them alone as some are harmful and so might not.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/film-tv-music/celebrity-ghost-stories-7.html
  • Chris
    Friday, Mar 22. 2019 08:29 AM
    The Dorje Shugden ban has caused so many suffering to Shugden people as well as the non-Shugden people. There were peace and harmony within the Buddhist community and everything and everyone was fine. All 4 sects of Tibetan Buddhism existed in harmony and everyone just mind their own business and practice the practices that they prefer. There is no fighting, no violence, no harsh speech and most importantly everyone still co-existed in the same community without any problems.

    Then the Tibetan government came out with the Dorje Shugden ban and all hell breaks loose. Shugden people are being accused as demon worshippers and against His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Monks are being beaten up and treated harshly and even chased out of their own monastery. Can you believe it? Peaceful monks are being chased out of their own monastery and all because they choose to practice the practice that their holy guru gave them.

    The ban is totally unnecessary because as a democratic body, claimed by the Tibetan government, they should accept any religion and any faiths as long as they do not break the law. However, the Tibetan government went on persecuting Dorje Shugden people and even forbid them to use public schools and public hospitals. What kind of government will deny the 2 most basic necessity which is education and health care to their own people? This shows the true color of the Tibetan government and they do not care about their own people at all.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/why-is-she-putting-the-dalai-lama-down.html
  • Sofi
    Friday, Mar 22. 2019 07:47 AM
    Tales With My Lama: Why Rinpoche Has To Suffer

    This is something that many have questioned and here is the answer. Why does an attained being like Rinpoche has to suffer so much to bring the Dharma to us? This is how compassion works for a Bodhisattva that he is.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/tales-with-my-lama-why-rinpoche-has-to-suffer
  • Sofi
    Friday, Mar 22. 2019 07:44 AM
    Amazing Trailblazing Green School in Indonesia – You Must Learn About This Incredible Place!

    If you are a parent and have not read this, then you really should. Be amazed at what is the “new” of schooling for your child that will offer a well-rounded curriculum with the love for nature and conservation. This is a great system for making leaders out of your child to his/her best potential.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/amazing-trailblazing-green-school-in-indonesia-you-must-learn-about-this-incredible-place.html
  • Sofi
    Friday, Mar 22. 2019 07:41 AM
    The Incredible Legend of Hoichi the Earless Minstrel

    An interesting Japanese ghost story that has a surprising ending. Love this classic that will forever endure the test of times.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-incredible-legend-of-hoichi-the-earless-minstrel.html
  • Yee Yin
    Friday, Mar 22. 2019 05:30 AM
    Plastic is a very convenient invention, it holds things for us and it is reusable. But we did not think it is no biodegradable and when animals eat it by accident, it will cause them to die. Nowadays, there are many plastic wastes in the oceans, it is one of the causes of death for sea animals. Sea animals eat plastic by accident and they are not able to digest the it. As a result, it affects their digestive system and causes them to die.

    We have finally realised that and there are many awareness campaigns being launched all over the world to stop using plastic bags. In Malaysia, many cities have also banned the usage of plastic bag in the supemarket or they choose to use biodegradable plastic bag. People are encouraged to use their own reusable bags for their shopping. We may not reverse the damage we have done to our environment immediately but it will definitely change the situation slowly. Everyone has the responsibility to save and protect our environment but it has to start from ourselves first.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/plastic-pollution-in-deep-sea-is-alarming.html
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Friday, Mar 22. 2019 05:05 AM
    In Buddhist belief, high-level meditators and enlightened beings can attain the realisation of Emptiness (the highest wisdom) and Bodhicitta (the ultimate compassionate wish to benefit others) through tremendous effort and practice. Since they have achieved such powerful attainments, they become worthy objects of refuge. That is why they naturally infuse their environments with the blessings of their attainments, especially in the areas where they engaged in their practices.

    Hence, there are many places that are associated with great meditators, enlightened beings and mahasiddhas who have shown miracles. In some of the places where such great beings have practised or appeared, self-arisen images of the deities have manifested. These images appear miraculously in order to benefit sentient beings by becoming objects of worship and veneration through which we are able to connect with the enlightened beings, generate powerful aspirations, and accumulate tremendous amounts of merit.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-self-arising-chenrezig.html
    [no sender]

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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  Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch

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.
March 18, 2019-Oser is very photogenic as usual.
5 days ago
March 18, 2019-Oser is very photogenic as usual.
March 18, 2019-Very cute Oser as usual.
5 days ago
March 18, 2019-Very cute Oser as usual.
Drashi Lhamo the terrifying female with the rolled out tongue- https://bit.ly/2J8S27y
1 week ago
Drashi Lhamo the terrifying female with the rolled out tongue- https://bit.ly/2J8S27y
Special prayer to Dorje Shugden composed by His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama- https://bit.ly/2QdaL4n
1 week ago
Special prayer to Dorje Shugden composed by His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama- https://bit.ly/2QdaL4n
On January 26, 2019, Venerable Arjia Rinpoche who is a close friend of the Dalai Lama asked the Tibetans to stop discriminating against people who practice Dorje Shugden and regionalism. His speech called for unity for the preservation of Tibet\'s unique culture and religion and all Tibetans should be friendly with each other regardless of religion and regional origins. His speech is powerful and much needed at this time. Very beautiful. Thank you Arjia Rinpoche. Please see here: https://bit.ly/2CdOz1A
2 weeks ago
On January 26, 2019, Venerable Arjia Rinpoche who is a close friend of the Dalai Lama asked the Tibetans to stop discriminating against people who practice Dorje Shugden and regionalism. His speech called for unity for the preservation of Tibet's unique culture and religion and all Tibetans should be friendly with each other regardless of religion and regional origins. His speech is powerful and much needed at this time. Very beautiful. Thank you Arjia Rinpoche. Please see here: https://bit.ly/2CdOz1A
Nice picture of Tsem Rinpoche with Lati Rinpoche and Kensur Rinpoche. Click on and enlarge.
2 weeks ago
Nice picture of Tsem Rinpoche with Lati Rinpoche and Kensur Rinpoche. Click on and enlarge.
Evolution starts with an inner revolution.~Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Evolution starts with an inner revolution.~Tsem Rinpoche
Our likes and dislikes are impermanent. Don\'t be stuck.~Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Our likes and dislikes are impermanent. Don't be stuck.~Tsem Rinpoche
I will always be loyal to my teacher, be with genuine friends, keep my spiritual commitments, share Dorje Shugden with those who need help and just be myself. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
I will always be loyal to my teacher, be with genuine friends, keep my spiritual commitments, share Dorje Shugden with those who need help and just be myself. Tsem Rinpoche
You can call me whatever you want,
but that won\'t change me.

~TsemRinpoche.com
3 weeks ago
You can call me whatever you want, but that won't change me. ~TsemRinpoche.com
I have so many wonderful stories, pictures, accounts & videos on bigfoot/yeti here: 
 https://bit.ly/2LjVZ6T
3 weeks ago
I have so many wonderful stories, pictures, accounts & videos on bigfoot/yeti here: https://bit.ly/2LjVZ6T
There is so much to see and read this in this category dedicated to animals. Let’s never harm animals and let’s not eat them anymore and allow them to live in happiness~Tsem Rinpoche- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
3 weeks ago
There is so much to see and read this in this category dedicated to animals. Let’s never harm animals and let’s not eat them anymore and allow them to live in happiness~Tsem Rinpoche- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
1997 in Kuala Lumpur. Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche.
3 weeks ago
1997 in Kuala Lumpur. Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche.
Another one to share..click on picture to view
3 weeks ago
Another one to share..click on picture to view
To share with you....
3 weeks ago
To share with you....
A special prayer on Tibet\'s Saint Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen to calm the mind daily. This short prayer was compassionately composed by His Holiness the 4th Panchen Lama of the great Tashilunpo Monastery. - 
 https://bit.ly/2ElkBZG
3 weeks ago
A special prayer on Tibet's Saint Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen to calm the mind daily. This short prayer was compassionately composed by His Holiness the 4th Panchen Lama of the great Tashilunpo Monastery. - https://bit.ly/2ElkBZG
Kyabje Zong Rinpoche with his two well known disciples. (Left) Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen and (right) Lama Yeshe. Both of them were very devoted to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, their practice, their commitments and brought benefit to many beings throughout their lives. Very great beings. Read more about them-  https://bit.ly/2H2rylB
4 weeks ago
Kyabje Zong Rinpoche with his two well known disciples. (Left) Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen and (right) Lama Yeshe. Both of them were very devoted to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, their practice, their commitments and brought benefit to many beings throughout their lives. Very great beings. Read more about them- https://bit.ly/2H2rylB
Many years ago, I had this 5ft Four-Armed Avalokitesvara made. It was done in Delhi, escorted to Tsem Ladrang in Gaden Shartse Monastery South India. Then my students and myself offered mantras, relics, jewels and brocades on this beautiful image as per tradition. Special rituals were done to consecrate it. Then I offered this image to the main shrine of Gaden Shartse Monstery for the sangha and visitors to pay homage to. The sangha and abbot were very happy. Till this day this beautiful image of compassion is still there in Gaden Shartse Monastery along with the many other thangkas, statues, repairs and offerings I had the honor to offer to the monastery. May all be blessed by Avalokitesvara, Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
Many years ago, I had this 5ft Four-Armed Avalokitesvara made. It was done in Delhi, escorted to Tsem Ladrang in Gaden Shartse Monastery South India. Then my students and myself offered mantras, relics, jewels and brocades on this beautiful image as per tradition. Special rituals were done to consecrate it. Then I offered this image to the main shrine of Gaden Shartse Monstery for the sangha and visitors to pay homage to. The sangha and abbot were very happy. Till this day this beautiful image of compassion is still there in Gaden Shartse Monastery along with the many other thangkas, statues, repairs and offerings I had the honor to offer to the monastery. May all be blessed by Avalokitesvara, Tsem Rinpoche
Back in the 90\'s this photo of Tsem Rinpoche was taken in Tsem Ladrang, Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India. Tsem Rinpoche was in his room writing letters for Gaden Shartse Monastery and their sponsors around the world. Tsem Rinpoche had raised much sponsorship for the monks and Gaden Shartse Monastery. Read more- https://bit.ly/2NfHJjQ
4 weeks ago
Back in the 90's this photo of Tsem Rinpoche was taken in Tsem Ladrang, Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India. Tsem Rinpoche was in his room writing letters for Gaden Shartse Monastery and their sponsors around the world. Tsem Rinpoche had raised much sponsorship for the monks and Gaden Shartse Monastery. Read more- https://bit.ly/2NfHJjQ
This is a statue of Lord Buddha Shakyamuni (Jowo Rinpoche) in Lhasa, Tibet. Tsongkapa had offered the crown, \'shirt\' and ornaments on this sacred Buddha. Offering ornaments on Buddha is considered highly meritorious. Many Buddhist countries have this tradition.
4 weeks ago
This is a statue of Lord Buddha Shakyamuni (Jowo Rinpoche) in Lhasa, Tibet. Tsongkapa had offered the crown, 'shirt' and ornaments on this sacred Buddha. Offering ornaments on Buddha is considered highly meritorious. Many Buddhist countries have this tradition.
In Myanmar, they also offer crowns,deocrative upper shirts and beautiful thrones to Lord Buddha Shakyamuni. Just like in Tibet. Tsem Rinpoche (photo 2)
4 weeks ago
In Myanmar, they also offer crowns,deocrative upper shirts and beautiful thrones to Lord Buddha Shakyamuni. Just like in Tibet. Tsem Rinpoche (photo 2)
In Myanmar, they also offer crowns,deocrative upper shirts and beautiful thrones to Lord Buddha Shakyamuni. Just like in Tibet. Tsem Rinpoche (photo 1)
4 weeks ago
In Myanmar, they also offer crowns,deocrative upper shirts and beautiful thrones to Lord Buddha Shakyamuni. Just like in Tibet. Tsem Rinpoche (photo 1)
This was Tsem Rinpoche with Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche in his house in Nepal. Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche was asking Tsem Rinpoche to give teachings in Gangchen Ladrang.
4 weeks ago
This was Tsem Rinpoche with Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche in his house in Nepal. Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche was asking Tsem Rinpoche to give teachings in Gangchen Ladrang.
Dorje Shugden\'s mantra is in Hindi, Tamil, Chinese, English and Nepali. We already have them in Tibetan. These mantra stones of various languages are displayed at the Dorje Shugden grotto so that people of all backgrounds who visit will find familiarity in the mantra. They feel a sense of welcome and closeness. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
Dorje Shugden's mantra is in Hindi, Tamil, Chinese, English and Nepali. We already have them in Tibetan. These mantra stones of various languages are displayed at the Dorje Shugden grotto so that people of all backgrounds who visit will find familiarity in the mantra. They feel a sense of welcome and closeness. Tsem Rinpoche
Famous Nyitrul Rinpoche &Lama Thubten Phurbu 2019
4 weeks ago
Famous Nyitrul Rinpoche &Lama Thubten Phurbu 2019
Beautiful Vajra Yogini
4 weeks ago
Beautiful Vajra Yogini
This Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen statue is so stunning. It was a good idea to have a real brocade pandit\'s hat and brocade robes sewn for this image. It makes the image come to life. How nice to have such a Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen statue on our shrine with offerings and we recite the prayer to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen daily to invoke his sacred blessings. This statue is on Martin\'s shrine. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
This Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen statue is so stunning. It was a good idea to have a real brocade pandit's hat and brocade robes sewn for this image. It makes the image come to life. How nice to have such a Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen statue on our shrine with offerings and we recite the prayer to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen daily to invoke his sacred blessings. This statue is on Martin's shrine. Tsem Rinpoche
With deep devotion to the guru, higher meditational insights will arise. If one does not have deep devotion to the guru, it is a clear sign one does not have higher meditational insights.~Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
With deep devotion to the guru, higher meditational insights will arise. If one does not have deep devotion to the guru, it is a clear sign one does not have higher meditational insights.~Tsem Rinpoche
With deep devotion to the guru, higher meditational insights will arise. Because of not having higher meditational insights, one will not realize the need to have devotion to the guru in order to gain higher insights. They are interdependent.~Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
With deep devotion to the guru, higher meditational insights will arise. Because of not having higher meditational insights, one will not realize the need to have devotion to the guru in order to gain higher insights. They are interdependent.~Tsem Rinpoche
This is a school you MUST see! Amazing! What an opportunity for children. This is exactly what they need. Please read this- https://bit.ly/2tu4sfs
4 weeks ago
This is a school you MUST see! Amazing! What an opportunity for children. This is exactly what they need. Please read this- https://bit.ly/2tu4sfs
\"Hoichi the Earless Minstrel\" is a wonderful classic ghost story that is done artistically and very spiritually imbued. One of my favorites. The Amitabha shrine is beautiful. A must watch- https://bit.ly/2NgJUAs
1 month ago
"Hoichi the Earless Minstrel" is a wonderful classic ghost story that is done artistically and very spiritually imbued. One of my favorites. The Amitabha shrine is beautiful. A must watch- https://bit.ly/2NgJUAs
Amazing huge Amitabha Buddha on the “roof of Vietnam”-Such stunning photos- https://bit.ly/2Ed0s9n
1 month ago
Amazing huge Amitabha Buddha on the “roof of Vietnam”-Such stunning photos- https://bit.ly/2Ed0s9n
Be loyal to your guru. Be close to your guru. Be honest with your guru. Never give your guru excuses but always accomplish your assignments that your guru has given you. Be loving, devoted and sincere with your guru. If you conduct yourself in this way, you will see positive transformations in your mind. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Be loyal to your guru. Be close to your guru. Be honest with your guru. Never give your guru excuses but always accomplish your assignments that your guru has given you. Be loving, devoted and sincere with your guru. If you conduct yourself in this way, you will see positive transformations in your mind. Tsem Rinpoche
Be loyal to your guru. Be close to your guru. Be honest with your guru. Never give your guru excuses but always accomplish your assignments that your guru has given you. Be loving, devoted and sincere with your guru. If you conduct yourself in this way, you will see positive transformations in your mind. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Be loyal to your guru. Be close to your guru. Be honest with your guru. Never give your guru excuses but always accomplish your assignments that your guru has given you. Be loving, devoted and sincere with your guru. If you conduct yourself in this way, you will see positive transformations in your mind. Tsem Rinpoche
It is a must read on this incredible master Tagpu Pemavajra who was a great Mahasiddha- https://bit.ly/2Eagu3N
1 month ago
It is a must read on this incredible master Tagpu Pemavajra who was a great Mahasiddha- https://bit.ly/2Eagu3N
Photo-Rare form of Lady Sindongma or Simhamuka practised in the Bodong Sengdong lineage. Please read more on the practice and benefits of Fierce Goddess Singdongma and the protection She offers- https://bit.ly/2JTMc6O
1 month ago
Photo-Rare form of Lady Sindongma or Simhamuka practised in the Bodong Sengdong lineage. Please read more on the practice and benefits of Fierce Goddess Singdongma and the protection She offers- https://bit.ly/2JTMc6O
Would love to live here in the forest and have breakfast here daily
1 month ago
Would love to live here in the forest and have breakfast here daily
My Oser girl loves to sunbathe on the veranda.
1 month ago
My Oser girl loves to sunbathe on the veranda.
An alluring statue of the Goddess Ucheyma (Severed Head Vajra Yogini) has arrived for me. Take a look and be blessed! She is stunning!- https://bit.ly/2HZRhgx
1 month ago
An alluring statue of the Goddess Ucheyma (Severed Head Vajra Yogini) has arrived for me. Take a look and be blessed! She is stunning!- https://bit.ly/2HZRhgx
It says when the Buddha was born, all the gods, demigods and asura came to pay homage. Buddha proclaimed it will be his last rebirth in samsara. Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu all came to make offerings to a Universal Monarch (Buddha) during this most auspicious time. This is one of the depictions of that. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
It says when the Buddha was born, all the gods, demigods and asura came to pay homage. Buddha proclaimed it will be his last rebirth in samsara. Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu all came to make offerings to a Universal Monarch (Buddha) during this most auspicious time. This is one of the depictions of that. Tsem Rinpoche
Sacred Vajra Yogini stupa at Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia
2 months ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini stupa at Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia
Powerful outdoor Dorje Shugden statue at Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia
2 months ago
Powerful outdoor Dorje Shugden statue at Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia
Li Yu is incredibly creative, artistic, imaginative and really can patiently create a beautiful living space and so much art. Amazing-  https://bit.ly/2Ge6k3C
2 months ago
Li Yu is incredibly creative, artistic, imaginative and really can patiently create a beautiful living space and so much art. Amazing- https://bit.ly/2Ge6k3C
Our Medicine Buddha stops rain- https://bit.ly/2TnGFcG
2 months ago
Our Medicine Buddha stops rain- https://bit.ly/2TnGFcG
满愿护法多杰雄登: https://bit.ly/2G5xiKY
2 months ago
满愿护法多杰雄登: https://bit.ly/2G5xiKY
A brand new \"Wish-fulfilling Shrine\" just completed. Beautiful! Please see pictures and video-  https://bit.ly/2Sczh6v
2 months ago
A brand new "Wish-fulfilling Shrine" just completed. Beautiful! Please see pictures and video- https://bit.ly/2Sczh6v
The ancient and magnificent gigantic Maitreya Buddha of Xumishan Grottoes- https://bit.ly/2VIjCej
2 months ago
The ancient and magnificent gigantic Maitreya Buddha of Xumishan Grottoes- https://bit.ly/2VIjCej
Do we really need psychics, fortune tellers and people who can change our luck and destiny? - https://bit.ly/2RPy2uN
2 months ago
Do we really need psychics, fortune tellers and people who can change our luck and destiny? - https://bit.ly/2RPy2uN
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Beautiful
    5 days 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 week 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 weeks 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
    4 weeks ago
    Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
  • SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    2 months ago
    SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    Tsem Rinpoche's dog Oser girl enjoying her snack in her play pen.
  • Cute!
    2 months ago
    Cute!
    Oser girl loves the balcony so much. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTcoWpKJm2c
  • Uncle Wong
    3 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!
    3 months ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
  • Cute baby owl found and rescued
    3 months ago
    Cute baby owl found and rescued
    We rescued a lost baby owl in Kechara Forest Retreat.
  • Nice cups from Kechara!!
    3 months ago
    Nice cups from Kechara!!
    Dorje Shugden people's lives matter!
  • Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    3 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.
    3 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
    3 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.
    3 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
    3 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.
    4 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
    4 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.
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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.
    4 months ago
    Submerging powerful mantra stones in water at Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
  • Wylfred explains in Chinese the benefits of mantra stones at Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia   |  黄明川以华语解释在马来西亚克切拉禅修林的玛尼堆(刻有心咒的石头)的利益
    4 months ago
    Wylfred explains in Chinese the benefits of mantra stones at Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia | 黄明川以华语解释在马来西亚克切拉禅修林的玛尼堆(刻有心咒的石头)的利益
  • My Oser girl and Dharma boy love the verandah where they can see the greens. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    My Oser girl and Dharma boy love the verandah where they can see the greens. Tsem Rinpoche
  • If there were more schools like this, then our kids would grow up with more caring awareness and kind emotions towards our environment and the people around them. They would grow up knowing that chasing materialism is not going to bring any happiness. I hope very much more schools like this would materialise. I hope in my future life I can attend a school like this. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    If there were more schools like this, then our kids would grow up with more caring awareness and kind emotions towards our environment and the people around them. They would grow up knowing that chasing materialism is not going to bring any happiness. I hope very much more schools like this would materialise. I hope in my future life I can attend a school like this. Tsem Rinpoche
  • My Oser girl and Dharma boy in their cosy little bedroom next to me sleeping away. Cute.
    5 months ago
    My Oser girl and Dharma boy in their cosy little bedroom next to me sleeping away. Cute.
  • It is incredible how smart Oser girl is. She can steal the treat away from Dharma boy and so casually. Wow. She is so smart. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    It is incredible how smart Oser girl is. She can steal the treat away from Dharma boy and so casually. Wow. She is so smart. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Kechara Forest Retreat Dogs. Dharma boy is tiny and trying to scare off big boy Johnny. Johnny is so patient and just ignores Dharma. They are both cute and both live in Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    Kechara Forest Retreat Dogs. Dharma boy is tiny and trying to scare off big boy Johnny. Johnny is so patient and just ignores Dharma. They are both cute and both live in Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia. Tsem Rinpoche
  • BREAKING EYEWITNESS FOOTAGE: Workers violently punched, kicked, cussed out, & left sheep to die on dozens of Scottish farms 💔 Sheep bled after rough shearing & were stitched up without painkillers.–From Peta2
    5 months ago
    BREAKING EYEWITNESS FOOTAGE: Workers violently punched, kicked, cussed out, & left sheep to die on dozens of Scottish farms 💔 Sheep bled after rough shearing & were stitched up without painkillers.–From Peta2
  • 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
    1 years ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    1 years 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.
    1 years ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    1 years ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    1 years ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    1 years 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
    1 years 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.
    1 years 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!!
    1 years ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    1 years 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

Thank you very much to Methodist College Kuala Lumpur students for assisting us in admin work today. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
13 hours ago
Thank you very much to Methodist College Kuala Lumpur students for assisting us in admin work today. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thank you very much to staffs from Munchy's for participating in our #foodbank delivery today and also not forgetting their sponsorship of biscuits and croissants to the needy family. #volunteerism #csr #kualalumpur - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
yesterday
Thank you very much to staffs from Munchy's for participating in our #foodbank delivery today and also not forgetting their sponsorship of biscuits and croissants to the needy family. #volunteerism #csr #kualalumpur - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 days ago
Thank you very much to Shirley and friends for sponsoring apples and oranges for out street clients. The fruits came right on time on this hot and dry weather to quench their thirst. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
3 days ago
Thank you very much to Shirley and friends for sponsoring apples and oranges for out street clients. The fruits came right on time on this hot and dry weather to quench their thirst. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
A big thanks to Alicia Yap for assisting us with food surplus distribution at Kg. Muhibbah, Puchong today. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
4 days ago
A big thanks to Alicia Yap for assisting us with food surplus distribution at Kg. Muhibbah, Puchong today. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Kechara Sunday Dharma School KSDS Together We Care , teacher Lin Mun the teenage class's teacher.by Asyley Chia KSDS
4 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School KSDS Together We Care , teacher Lin Mun the teenage class's teacher.by Asyley Chia KSDS
Kechara Sunday Dharma School Class start with full prostration , learning with With devotion we prostrate with body, speech, and mind. It helps to plant the seeds of learning dharma.by Asyley Chia KSDS
4 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School Class start with full prostration , learning with With devotion we prostrate with body, speech, and mind. It helps to plant the seeds of learning dharma.by Asyley Chia KSDS
Kechara Sunday Dharma School Class start with full prostration , learning with With devotion we prostrate with body, speech, and mind. It helps to plant the seeds of learning dharma.by Asyley Chia KSDS
4 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School Class start with full prostration , learning with With devotion we prostrate with body, speech, and mind. It helps to plant the seeds of learning dharma.by Asyley Chia KSDS
Kechara Sunday Dharma School Class start with full prostration , learning with With devotion we prostrate with body, speech, and mind. It helps to plant the seeds of learning dharma.by Asyley Chia KSDS
4 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School Class start with full prostration , learning with With devotion we prostrate with body, speech, and mind. It helps to plant the seeds of learning dharma.by Asyley Chia KSDS
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
Is a colourful bouncing balls.. Let's bounce together haha!!Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
Is a colourful bouncing balls.. Let's bounce together haha!!Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
Is a colourful bouncing balls.. Let's bounce together haha!!Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
Is a colourful bouncing balls.. Let's bounce together haha!!Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
Is a colourful bouncing balls.. Let's bounce together haha!!Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
Is a colourful bouncing balls.. Let's bounce together haha!!Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
Children!!!Guess what's inside the box? Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee By Asyley Chia KSDS
The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
5 days ago
The children are so excited when comes to Q&A part,All of them are eager to answer questions and their facial expressions are so cute.Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
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