Monarchy System in Malaysia

Nov 29, 2016 | Views: 1,247
Birthday Celebration of Yang di-Pertuan Agong in front of Istana Negara

Birthday Celebration of Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) in front of Istana Negara (Royal National Palace)

Dear friends around the world,

I have lived in Malaysia for over 20 years. During this time, I have developed a great appreciation for the cultures and customs that exist in Malaysia, which has inspired me to write more about the aspects of Malaysia that enrich its culture. Here is another interesting post to give you more background and understanding of Malaysia.

Malaysia adopts a constitutional monarchy system that is a mixture of hereditary and elected monarchs. Malaysia consists of several administrative regions across thirteen states and three federal territories. Nine states are ruled by monarchs, four states are supervised by a Yang di-Pertua Negeri or Governor, and the Federal Government controls the remaining three federal territories.

For the purpose of this article, we will focus on the office of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or the Head of State of Malaysia, and the nine states that are ruled by either hereditary or elective monarchs. These states are:

  1. Johor Darul Ta’zim
  2. Kedah Darul Aman
  3. Kelantan Darul Naim
  4. Negeri Sembilan Darul Khusus
  5. Pahang Darul Makmur
  6. Perak Darul Ridzuan
  7. Perlis Indera Kayangan
  8. Selangor Darul Ehsan
  9. Terengganu Darul Iman

I am pleased to present to you the monarchy in Malaysia, its history, and how these unique systems have been implemented successfully for many years. I do so with the greatest respect to the rulers and monarchy of Malaysia.

Tsem Rinpoche

 


 

Overview

Malaysia consists of several Malay kingdoms and regions that were previously part of British Protectorates and Colonial territories. After the unsuccessful attempt to set up the Malayan Union between 1946 and 1948, the British Administrators established the Federation of Malaya in 1948, which acknowledged the symbolic status of Malay’s rulers.

The Federation of Malaya consisted of nine Malay kingdoms: Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Perlis, Selangor, and Terengganu, and two British colonial territories, Penang and Malacca. The British High Commissioner, a senior British diplomat in charge of one Commonwealth region, presided over the Federation of Malaya, and was assisted by the Executive Council and the Legislative Council.

Opposition to the establishment of the Malayan Union (1946 – 1948)

Opposition to the establishment of the Malayan Union (1946 – 1948)

The Declaration of Independence from the British Empire on 31 August 1957

The Declaration of Independence from the British Empire on 31 August 1957

On 31 August 1957, the Federation of Malaya declared its independence from the British Empire. On 16 September 1963, the Federation of Malaysia, henceforth simply known as Malaysia, was established. Its members included the former members of the Federation of Malaya and three new members: North Borneo, Sarawak, and Singapore. Singapore exited the federation two years later.

List of states in Malaysia:

No. State Capital City Head of State
1. State Johor Darul Ta’zim (“Johor”) Johor Bahru Sultan
2. Kedah Darul Aman (“Kedah”) Alor Setar Sultan
3. Kelantan Darul Naim (“Kelantan”) Kota Bharu Sultan
4. Malacca Malacca City Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor)
5. Negeri Sembilan Darul Khusus (“Negeri Sembilan”) Seremban Yamtuan Besar (Yang di-Pertuan Besar)
6. Pahang Darul Makmur (“Pahang”) Kuantan Sultan
7. Penang George Town Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor)
8. Perak Darul Ridzuan (“Perak”) Ipoh Sultan
9. Perlis Indera Kayangan (“Perlis”) Kangar Raja
10. Sabah Kota Kinabalu Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor)
11. Sarawak Kuching Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor)
12. Selangor Darul Ehsan (“Selangor”) Shah Alam Sultan
13. Terengganu Darul Iman (“Terengganu”) Kuala Terengganu Sultan

Note: For the purpose of this article, we will focus more on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong office, and the states that adopt constitutional monarchy system (Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Selangor, and Terengganu)

 

Yang di-Pertuan Agong

 

Brief History

Tuanku Abdul Rahman of Negeri Sembilan, the 1st Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia

Tuanku Abdul Rahman of Negeri Sembilan, the 1st Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia

The office of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was established after Malaysia gained its independence from Britain in 1957. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is Malaysia’s head of state, and is elected by the Majlis Raja-Raja (the Conference of Rulers). The members of the Conference of Rulers play important roles in amending constitutions, especially those related to the rulers’ status, the rights of indigenous citizens, the national language, and other related policies. The first person elected by the Conference of Rulers to be Yang di-Pertuan Agong was Sultan Ibrahim of Johor (1873 – 1959; r. 1895 – 1959). However, the 84 year old ruler declined the position due to his old age. The Conference of Rulers then elected Tuanku Abdul Rahman from Negeri Sembilan (1895 – 1960; r. 1933 – 1960) as the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong instead.

 

The Election Process

Conference of Rulers meeting in 2010

The Conference of Rulers meeting in 2010

The Conference of Rulers is responsible for determining who will be Yang di-Pertuan Agong once every five years, or in the event the position is vacant either due to death or other reasons. The four state governors also attended the conference, but do not have the right to vote or stand for election for the office of Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

The following are the criteria of candidates to be eligible to become Yang di-Pertuan Agong:

  • The candidate is ruler of a sultanate or kingdom within Malaysia
  • The candidate has reached adulthood
  • The candidate has not previously notified the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal that he does not wish to be considered for election to the office of Yang di-Pertuan Agong
  • The Conference of Rulers does not object to the candidate’s election for reasons that reflect reasonable doubt that the candidate is unsuitable to carry out the responsibilities of Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
The Coat of Arms of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong

The Coat of Arms of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong

During the election process, the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal distributes a ballot with a candidate’s name. Each ruler is to specify his thoughts on whether the candidate is suitable for the office of Yang di-Pertuan Agong. The Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal and the most junior ruler, who does not stand for election, count the ballots together. The office of Yang di-Pertuan Agong will be offered to a candidate who obtains at least five votes.

If the candidate declines the offer, or does not manage to secure the majority of available votes, the election process is repeated with the next ruler on the list of Seniority of States as a candidate.

The List of Seniority of States:

  1. The Yamtuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan
  2. The Sultan of Selangor
  3. The Raja of Perlis
  4. The Sultan of Terengganu
  5. The Sultan of Kedah
  6. The Sultan of Kelantan
  7. The Sultan of Pahang
  8. The Sultan of Johor
  9. The Sultan of Perak

After the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is elected, the holder of the office appoints a regent to help perform his responsibilities in his home state, except for the role of the Head of Islam. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong retains the rights to be the Head of Islam in his home state.

The List of Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia:

No. Name Term State
1. Tuanku Abdul Rahman 1957-1960 Negeri Sembilan
2. Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah 1960 Selangor
3. Raja Syed Putra 1960-1965 Perlis
4. Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah 1965-1970 Terengganu
5. Tuanku Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah 1970 – 1975 Kedah
6. Sultan Yahya Petra 1975-1979 Kelantan
7. Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Mustain Billah 1979-1984 Pahang
8. Sultan Iskandar 1984-1989 Johor
9. Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah 1989-1994 Perak
10. Tuanku Jaafar 1994-1999 Negeri Sembilan
11. Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah 1999-2001 Selangor
12. Raja Sirajuddin 2001 – 2006 Perlis
13. Mizan Zainal Abidin 2006 – 2011 Terengganu
14. Tuanku Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah 2011 – 2016 Kedah
15. Sultan Muhammad V Elected in October 2016 Kelantan

 

Privileges and Responsibilities of Yang di-Pertuan Agong

The 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia, Abdul Halim of Kedah and his wife, Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tuanku Hajah Haminah Binti Hamidun

The 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia, Abdul Halim of Kedah and his wife, Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tuanku Hajah Haminah Binti Hamidun

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong must carry out the following responsibilities:

  • Appoint important government positions, including the Council of Ministers (i.e., Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Chief Secretary of the Government), commissions and committees (i.e., the Election Commission, the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, Malaysian Public Service Commission), judges (i.e., the Chief Justice of Malaysia, the Chief Judge of Malaya, and the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak), senators, and governors
  • Become the Head of Islam in the four states governed by governors, the three Federal Territories, and his home state
  • Be the Commander-in-Chief, the highest ranking office in military chain of command

 

Removal of Immunity

In 1993, the Malaysian constitution was amended to remove the immunity of Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the state rulers in their personal capacity. The constitution also states that Yang di-Pertuan Agong or any rulers cannot pardon himself or his immediate family members. However, it is possible for them to request a pardon from the Conference of Rulers.

 

Monarchy Systems in various Malaysian states

Currently, there are nine states in Malaysia that adopt a constitutional monarchy system. The state constitutions specify that only men of royal descent and of Muslim faith are eligible to be the ruler of the state. Like other constitutional monarchies, the rulers are not involved in the day-to-day governance of their states. However, they retained the right to be the Head of Islam, and to appoint the Menteri Besar (Chief Minister), or the head of government of the state.

 

Kedah

Monarch009

 

Brief History

Kedah Sultanate’s Coat of Arms

Kedah’s Coat of Arms

Kedah sultanate is also known as Darul Aman or the ‘Abode of Peace’. Kedah was originally a Hindu kingdom founded in 630 BC by Maharaja Derbar Raja of Gemeron, also known as Bandar Abbas. A Persian King who was defeated in a battle, he escaped and was stranded in Kedah. Bandar Abbas developed a good rapport with the Kedah people, and they enthroned him as their king, Sri Paduka Maharaja Durbar Raja I.

 

Sri Paduka Maharaja Durbar Raja I

Sri Paduka Maharaja Durbar Raja I

By the end of the 11th century, Islam’s influence had reached Kedah. The 9th Maharaja of Kedah, Sri Paduka Maharaja Durbar Raja II converted to this new belief, and later changed his name and title into Sultan Mudzafar Shah I (r. 1136-1179). Since then, the Kedah kingdom became Kedah sultanate. Historically, Kedah has fallen under the control of the Srivijaya kingdom, Siam, Britain, and Japan. When Kedah was a tributary state of Siam, it had to regularly send Bunga Mas or Golden Flowers and other valuable gifts to the Siamese kingdom. In the 18th century, the Sultan of Kedah gave Penang and the Province of Wellesley to the British in exchange for their protection against Siam. However, the Siamese invaded Kedah in 1821 and regained control of that region. Siam also separated Perlis territory from Kedah sultanate. In 1909, the Anglo-Siamese Treaty was signed and Britain gained control over Kedah. Siam re-acquired control over Kedah briefly during the World War II as a reward for their alliance with Japan, but the state was returned to the British empire after the World War II. Kedah joined the Federation of Malaya in 1948 and later Malaysia in 1963.

 

Kedah Monarchy System

The Sultan Abdul Halim of Kedah and his wife, Sultanah Haminah

Sultan Abdul Halim of Kedah and his wife, Sultanah Haminah

Kedah sultanate adopts a hereditary and constitutional monarchy system. The current Sultan of Kedah is Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah (1927 – present; r. 1958 – present). He inherited the throne from his father, Sultan Badlishah (1894 – 1958; r. 1943 – 1958).

 

Kelantan

Monarch014

 

Brief History

Kelantan Sultanate’s Coat of Arms

Kelantan’s Coat of Arms

Kelantan State has a colourful, if not turbulent history. Chinese, Indian and Siamese traders have done trading in Kelantan throughout history, which made it attractive for foreign power to gain control of this region. In the 13th and 14th century, Kelantan sultanate became a tributary state to the Majapahit and Srivijaya kingdom respectively. In the 15th century, Kelantan became a tributary state to Siam and later Malacca. When Kelantan was a tributary state of Siam, it had to regularly send Bunga Mas or Golden Flowers and other valuable gifts to the Siamese kingdom. During the Portuguese occupation of Malacca, Kelantan sultanate was divided into several smaller regions under the authority of feudal lords. The Siamese regained control over this area and subjected them to the authority of the Pattani kingdom.

In 1760, a lord from Kubang Labu named Long Muhammad or Long Pandak reunited the former Kelantan territories and established himself as ruler. Several years later, a Pattani warlord, Long Yunus deposed Long Pandak and declared himself as the king or Raja of Kelantan (1734 – 1794; r. 1775 – 1794). After the passing of Raja Yunus, the authority over Kelantan was transferred to Terengganu under the authority of Yang di-Pertuan Muda Tengku Muhammad, the son of Sultan Mansur of Terengganu (r. 1794 – 1800). In 1800, the son of Raja Yunus, Long Muhammad, declared himself as the ruler of Kelantan under the title of Sultan Muhammad I (r. 1800 – 1835). Kelantan joined the Federation of Malaya in 1948 and the Federation of Malaysia in 1963.

 

Kelantan Monarchy System

Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan and Mentri Besar Muhamad Yakob

Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan and Menteri Besar Muhamad Yakob

Kelantan State adopts a hereditary and constitutional monarchy system. The holder of Sultan of Kelantan office is the designated leader of Kelantan state and the Head of Islam. The current ruler of Kelantan is Sultan Muhammad V (1969 – present; r. 2010 – present). He inherited the throne from his father, Sultan Ismail Petra (r. 1979 – 2010).

 

Johor

Monarch017

 

Brief History

Johor Sultanate’s Coat of Arms

Johor’s Coat of Arms

Johor was originally part of Malaccan sultanate. In 1511, Portuguese conquered Malacca and Sultan Mahmud Shah had to flee his kingdom to Bintan. He had made several unsuccessful attempts to re-occupy his kingdom before the Portuguese finally raided Bintan in 1526 and forced him to escape to Kampar, Sumatra. Sultan Mahmud Shah passed away in 1528, and his two sons formed their own sultanates. Sultan Muzaffar Shah (r. 1528 – 1549) established Perak sultanate, while Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah (1513 – 1564; r. 1528 – 1564) established Johor sultanate. For a period of time, the new Sultan and his descendants were harassed by both the Portuguese and the Acehnese, but they managed to retain his new territory.

The tomb of Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah, the founder of the Johor Sultanate

The tomb of Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah, the founder of Johor Sultanate

In the early 17th century, the Dutch arrived in Southeast Asia and signed two treaties of alliance with Johor sultanate in 1606. The Dutch and Johor sultanate then joined forces to defeat the Portuguese in Malacca. After the war, the Dutch took control of Malacca, and as per the previously signed treaties, the Dutch agreed to not occupy Johor sultanate territories.

Between 1666 and 1673, Jambi, a part of Johor sultanate, became a prosperous region and tried to break free from Johor. This separatist intention created a civil war. During this time, Sultan of Johor strived to keep his sultanate together and was forced to shift his capital city several times. In the 17th century, Johor became a trading hub with more influence than Malacca. The Dutch were not happy about this, but they continued to honour the previously signed treaties. The last Sultan of the original Malaccan Dynasty was Sultan Mahmud Shah II (1675 – 1699; r. 1685 – 1699) of Johor. He died without a son, and therefore, the dominant faction of his court selected Bendahara Abdul Jalil (r. 1699 – 1720) to succeed him as Sultan Abdul Jalil IV.

The throne was later usurped by Raja Kecil, who claimed to be the son of Sultan Mahmud Shah II. Raja Kecil hired an assassin to kill Sultan Abdul Jalil IV and enthroned himself as Sultan of Johor. However, Raja Kecil’s reign was short lived, as Sultan Abdul Jalil’s son, Sultan Sulaiman (r. 1722 – 1760) reclaimed the throne with the help of the influential Bugis personality, Daeng Parani. After Sultan Sulaiman had been enthroned as the Sultan of Johor, Daeng Merewah, Daeng Parani’s brother, was appointed as the Yam Tuan Muda or the heir presumptive to the throne. In 1819, Johor sultanate was divided into Johor mainland and Riau-Lingga territory. Sultan of Johor maintained their control over Johor mainland, while Riau-Lingga territory was given to the Bugis clan.

Riau Lingga Noblemen and Sultan Sulaiman II of Johor

Riau-Lingga Noblemen and Sultan Sulaiman II of Johor

After the loss of Riau-Lingga, Johor continued to evolve into a modern sultanate. During the reign of Sultan Abu Bakar of Johor (1833 – 1895; r. 1862 – 1895), he established a British-style administration and a state constitution, and therefore was known as the Father of Modern Johor. Johor joined the Federation of Malaya in 1948 and the Federation of Malaysia in 1963.

 

Johor Monarchy System

Sultan Ibrahim Ismail of Johor and his wife, Raja Zarith Sofia

Sultan Ibrahim Ismail of Johor and his wife, Raja Zarith Sofia

Johor adopts a hereditary and constitutional monarchy system. The current Sultan of Johor is Sultan Ibrahim Ismail (1958 – present; r. 2010 – present). He inherited the throne from his father, Sultan Iskandar (1932 – 2010; r. 1981 – 2010).

 

Negeri Sembilan

Monarch022

 

Brief History

Negeri Sembilan's Coat of Arms

Negeri Sembilan’s Coat of Arms

Negeri Sembilan was a tributary state of Malaccan sultanate. After Malacca fell to Portuguese power, the state came under the protection of Johor sultanate. In the 14th century, citizens from Minangkabau in Sumatra migrated to Negeri Sembilan. Therefore, unlike other states, the majority of people in the Negeri Sembilan adopted a matrilineal system, which is a characteristic of Minangkabau society. In the 18th century, Johor sultanate had to deal with internal matters, and could not protect Negeri Sembilan from the Bugis attacks. Therefore, Negeri Sembilan sought protection from Sultan Abdul Jalil Pagar Ruyung in Minangkabau, who later sent his son Raja Melewar as his representative.

Raja Melewar, the first ruler of Negeri Sembilan

Raja Melewar, the first ruler of Negeri Sembilan

However, when Raja Melewar arrived in Negeri Sembilan, he found that another party called Raja Khatib had declared himself as the ruler of Negeri Sembilan. Raja Melewar declared war on the new king, dethroned Raja Khatib, and enthroned himself as the ruler of Negeri Sembilan. Johor sultanate recognised Raja Melewar (r. 1773 – 1795) as Negeri Sembilan’s ruler and granted him the title Yamtuan Seri Menanti or ‘He Who is the Highest Lord of Seri Menanti’. After the passing of Raja Melewar, the selection of the subsequent rulers often resulted in civil war and instability, as there were competing interests and supports to various claimants to the throne. In 1873, the British decided to protect their interests in Negeri Sembilan by intervening in the civil war. Subsequently, the region fell under British occupation. Negeri Sembilan joined the Federation of Malaya in 1948 and the Federation of Malaysia in 1963.

 

Negeri Sembilan Monarchy System

The current Yang di-Pertuan Besar Negeri Sembilan, Tuanku Muhriz, and his wife Tuanku Aishah Rohani

The current Yang di-Pertuan Besar Negeri Sembilan, Tuanku Muhriz, and his wife Tuanku Aishah Rohani

Negeri Sembilan adopts an elective and constitutional monarchy system. The ruler of Negeri Sembilan is called Yang di-Pertuan Besar or ‘He Who Is Made Great’. He is elected by the Ruling Chiefs of Negeri Sembilan, also known as Undang, for life. The following are the list of Undang who have the right to vote, but do not have the right to stand for election:

  • The Undang of Sungai Ujong
  • The Undang of Jelebu
  • The Undang of Johol
  • The Undang of Rembau

In order for a candidate to be eligible for Yang di-Pertuan Besar office, the candidate must be male, Muslim, and recognised as the descendant of Raja Radin Ibni Raja Lenggang. The current Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan is Tuanku Muhriz (1948 – present; r. 2008 – present).

 

Pahang

Monarch026

 

Brief History

Pahang Sultanate’s Coat of Arms

Pahang’s Coat of Arms

The first Sultan of Pahang was Muhammad Shah (r. 1470 – 1475). He was the heir presumptive to the Malaccan throne before being banished to Pahang by his father, Sultan Mansyur Syah (r. 1459 – 1477) for committing a murder. Pahang was under the authority of several kingdoms, namely, Srivijaya, Majapahit, Siam, and Malacca. In the 16th century, Pahang became a subject of interest for the Portuguese, Dutch, Johor, and Aceh. In the 17th century, Pahang became one of Johor sultanate’s territories. However, considering that the rulers of Pahang are descended from the Malaccan and Johor royal families, they managed to gain some degree of autonomy from Johor sultanate. During the reign of Bendahara Tun Ali of Pahang (r. 1806-1847), peace and stability were maintained. Unfortunately, after he passed away, his sons, Tun Mutahir (r. 1858 – 1863) and Tun Ahmad argued about who had the right to inherit the throne and initiated a civil war. Tun Ahmad (r. 1863 – 1881) was later enthroned as the new sultan, but his authority was significantly reduced because he was forced to submit to the British administration.

After Johor sultanate lost the Riau-Lingga region to the Bugis, Temenggung Ibrahim of Johor signed a treaty with Bendahara Tun Mutahir of Pahang (r. 1858 – 1863), which stated that Temenggung Ibrahim and his descendants reserved the rights to rule over the state of Johor, while Bendahara Tun Mutahir and his descendants reserved the rights to rule over the state of Pahang. After the treaty was signed, Pahang became independent of Johor. Pahang joined the Federation of Malaya in 1948 and the Federation of Malaysia in 1963.

 

Pahang Monarchy System

The current Sultan of Pahang, Ahmad Syah and his wife Sultanah Kasom Binti Abdullah

The current Sultan of Pahang, Ahmad Syah and his wife Sultanah Kasom Binti Abdullah

Pahang is currently the 3rd largest state in Malaysia. Pahang adopts a hereditary and constitutional monarchy system. The current ruler of Pahang state is Sultan Ahmad Shah (r. 1974 – present). He inherited the throne from his father, the late Sultan Abu Bakar of Pahang (1904 – 1974; r. 1932 – 1974).

 

Perlis

Monarch029

 

Brief History

Perlis's Coat of Arms

Perlis’s Coat of Arms

Perlis was originally part of Kedah sultanate. In the 19th century, when Kedah was under Siamese rule, Siam separated Perlis from Kedah and installed its governor and deputy governor. On 20th May 1843, the Siamese enthroned Sayyid Hussain Jamalulail as Raja of Perlis (r. 1843 – 1873), an equivalent of a king or ruler. The new Raja was the maternal grandson of the Sultan of Kedah. Similar to Kedah sultanate, in the early 20th century, Siam was forced to give up some of its territories to the British’s authority, including Perlis. Perlis was returned to Siamese rule temporarily during the World War II as a reward for Siam’s alliance with Japan. After Japan lost the war, Perlis was returned to Britain. Perlis joined the Federation of Malaya in 1948 and the Federation of Malaysia in 1963.

 

Perlis Monarchy System

The current Raja Sirajuddin of Perlis and his wife, Tuanku Fauziah

The current Raja Sirajuddin of Perlis and his wife, Tuanku Fauziah

Perlis adopts a hereditary and constitutional monarchy system. Unlike most the other Malaysian states, the monarchs of Perlis are called Raja instead of Sultan. The current Raja of Perlis is Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Jamalullail (1943 – present; r. 2000 – present). He inherited the throne from his father, the late Tuanku Syed Putra Jamalullail (1920 – 2000; r. 1945 – 2000).

 

Perak

Monarch032

 

Brief History

Perak’s Coat of Arms

Perak’s Coat of Arms

After Malacca had fallen into Portuguese control in 1511, the son of the Malaccan Sultan Mahmud Syah I, Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah II, established Perak sultanate in 1528, and enthroned himself as the first Sultan of Perak. The Dutch arrived in Perak in the mid-17th century and used their connection with Aceh to force the Sultan of Perak to sign a treaty that would allow the Dutch to build plants and trade in Perak. However, since the Dutch failed to establish a good rapport with the Perak residents, the people of Perak destroyed the plant and forced the Dutch to leave. In 1670, the Dutch managed to gain the Perak ruler’s permission to build a Fortress on Pangkor Island known as Kota Belanda. However, 15 years later, the people of Perak attacked the fortress and forced the Dutch to close their operations in Perak once again.

In the 19th century, the British forced Perak to submit to its authority and installed Sultan Abdullah as the new king of Perak, and a British official, James W. W. Birch was commissioned to administer the sultanate. Unfortunately for Mr. Birch, he was murdered by the Perak people. The British, unhappy with the incident, exiled Sultan Abdullah to Seychelles, and installed a new king, Sultan Yusuf Sharifudin Mudzaffar Shah in 1877. The British installed a new official who was proficient in the Malay language and familiar with local culture, Sir Hugh Low. He was more successful as the administrator of Perak than his predecessor. Perak joined the Federation of Malaya in 1948 and the Federation of Malaysia in 1963.

Sultan Yusuf Sharifudin Mudzaffar Shah with Sir Hugh Low

Sultan Yusuf Sharifudin Mudzaffar Shah with Sir Hugh Low

 

Perak Monarchy System

Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah of Perak and his wife, Tuanku Zara Salim

Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah of Perak and his wife, Tuanku Zara Salim

Perak adopts an elective and constitutional monarchy system. The ruler is elected among the most senior princes who are the descendants of Sultan Ahmaddin (r. 1786- 1806), the 18th Sultan of Pahang. Therefore, the male descendants from the previous Sultan are also eligible to be the reigning monarch of Perak. The current Sultan is Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah of Perak (1956 – present; r. 2014 – present).

 

Selangor

Monarch036

 

Brief History

Selangor Sultanate’s Coat of Arms

Selangor’s Coat of Arms

Selangor was part of the Malaccan kingdom. After the Portuguese annexed Malacca, Johor, Aceh and Siam attempted to claim Selangor territory, but they were unsuccessful. When the Dutch arrived in Malacca, they invited Bugis settlers to come to Selangor, and the newcomers displaced the existing Minangkabau settlers. The rulers of Selangor sultanate were descended from the Bugis settlers who claimed to be related to the Luwu rulers in Sulawesi. The first Sultan of Selangor was Sultan Sallehuddin Shah, also known as Raja Lumu (1705 – 1778; r. 1756 – 1778), the son of a Bugis warrior, Daeng Chelak. The rulers of Perak and Johor initially challenged the enthronement of Sultan Sallehuddin Shah, but he managed to gain some level of legitimacy through the marriage with a member of the Perak royal family. In the 19th century, the exploitation of tin resources in Selangor resulted in economic prosperity. During the reign of Sultan Muhammad Shah (r. 1826 – 1857), Selangor was divided into five territories: Bernam, Kuala Selangor, Kelang, Langat, and Lukut, each with their individual leaders.

Sultan Abdul Samad of Selangor (1804 – 1898; r. 1857 – 1898)

Sultan Abdul Samad of Selangor (1804 – 1898; r. 1857 – 1898)

In 1866, Sultan Abdul Samad, also known as Raja Abdul Samad (1804 – 1898; r. 1857 – 1898), favoured Raja Abdulah as the ruler of Klang instead of Raja Mahadi, the son of the previous ruler. This appointment triggered the Klang War. Sultan Abdul Samad’s son-in-law, Tengku Kudin, was given the task to manage the situation. Tengku Kudin enlisted the help of mercenaries, Pahang sultanate, and Sir Andrew Clarke from Britain. Because of this, unlike other states, Selangor invited and welcomed British involvement. Sultan Abdul Samad also accepted a British resident, Frank Swettenham, as his adviser. The stability that followed under the British administration resulted in prosperity for the state of Selangor. Selangor joined the Federation of Malaya in 1948 and the Federation of Malaysia 1963. Sultan Salahuddin of Selangor (1926 – 2001; r. 1960 – 2001) consented to hand over Kuala Lumpur to the Federal Government in 1974, and Putrajaya in 2001.

 

Selangor Monarchy system

Sultan Sharafuddin of Selangor (centre)

Sultan Sharafuddin of Selangor (centre)

Selangor state adopts a hereditary and constitutional monarchy system. The current Sultan is Sharafuddin of Selangor (1945 – present; r. 2001 – present). He inherited the throne from his father, the late Sultan Salahuddin of Selangor.

 

Terengganu

Monarch040

 

Brief History

Terengganu’s Coat of Arms

Terengganu’s Coat of Arms

Terengganu was originally a vassal state of Malaccan sultanate and later of Johor sultanate. It also stood out as the first state in the Malay region to accept Islam as its religion, as recorded in the Terengganu Inscription Stone. In 1725, Terengganu became an independent sultanate under Tun Zainal Abidin (r. 1725 – 1733), a relative of Sultan of Johor. In the 19th century, the political power shifted, and Terengganu became a tributary state of Siam and had to regularly send Bunga Mas or Golden Flowers and other valuable gifts to the Siamese kingdom. Terengganu prospered during this period, since the Siamese gave them considerable autonomy to govern themselves. In the 20th century, Terengganu became a tributary state of Britain. The British empire forced Terengganu sultanate to accept a British adviser. However, this manoeuvre was unpopular amongst the locals. Siam re-acquired control over Terengganu briefly during the Japanese occupation, but the state was returned to the British empire after World War II. Terengganu joined the Federation of Malaya in 1948 and later Malaysia in 1963.

Bunga Mas, a gift from tributary state to Siam in the 19th century

Bunga Mas, a gift from tributary state to Siam in the 19th century

 

Terengganu Monarchy System

The current Sultan of Teregganu, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, and his family

The current Sultan of Teregganu, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, and his family

Terengganu adopts a hereditary and constitutional monarchy system. The current Sultan is Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu (1962 – present; r. 1998 – present). He inherited the throne upon the death of his father, the late Sultan Mahmud (1930 – 1998; r. 1979 – 1998).

 
Sources:

  • http://thecommonwealth.org/our-member-countries/malaysia/history
  • http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/malaysia.htm
  • http://www.countryreports.org/country/Malaysia.htm
  • http://www.countryreports.org/country/Malaysia/government.htm
  • http://www.countryreports.org/country/Malaysia.htm
  • http://www.wonderfulmalaysia.com/malaysia-history-and-historical-facts.htm
  • http://www.kln.gov.my/web/guest/history
  • http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/10/11/rulers-to-choose-next-yang-dipertuan-agong/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yang_di-Pertuan_Agong
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monarchies_of_Malaysia
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kedah_Sultanate
  • http://factsanddetails.com/southeast-asia/Malaysia/sub5_4c/entry-3672.html
  • http://www.malaysianbar.org.my/constitutional_law/powers_and_functions_of_state_rulers.html
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johor_Sultanate\
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johor
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kedah_Sultanate
  • https://www.facebook.com/notes/dravidian-keyboard-warriors/kesultanan-negeri-kedah-kedah-sultanate-invasion-of-chola-kadaram-kondan-conquer/1085195028161653/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Kedah
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelantan
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sultan_of_Kelantan
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negeri_Sembilan
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pahang
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sultan_of_Pahang
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Bakar_of_Pahang
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmad_Shah_of_Pahang
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perak
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdul_Samad_of_Selangor
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salahuddin_of_Selangor
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmud_of_Terengganu
  • http://www.terengganu.gov.my
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elective_monarchy

 
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6 Responses to Monarchy System in Malaysia

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  1. Samfoonheei on May 18, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    Wonderful write up….which i do enjoyed reading.It refreshed my history subject of all the Malaysian states which i studied during my school days. A very comprehensive details of all the Sultans in Malaysia and their monarchy system.
    I am proud to be from the state of Pahang.Pahang is currently the 3rd largest state in Malaysia with so many beautiful place of interest.A state with beautiful beaches and green forest where Kechara Forest Retreat is situated.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article so more to know and understand about monarchy system in Malaysia.

  2. wan wai meng on Jan 20, 2017 at 3:13 am

    I really enjoyed reading about the Sultan in each state, and the development of their own unique systems of ascending to power. If Thailand is any guess, then having a King that is forward thinking and works hard for the people can contribute a lot to the country. I suppose unlike the olden days, the monarchy system is non existent except from a handful of countries on this planet. So the monarchy system is no longer the norm and is a unique feature in any country now.

  3. Fong on Dec 19, 2016 at 11:36 am

    As a Kedahan, i like all Kedahans love our Sultan and Sultanah very much. They were the kindest and nicest royalty I have ever met. Even in a small town school, they always found the time to visit every year on prize giving day and were always gracious during their visits. These visits on prize giving day really inspired us to work harder so that we were able to receive a prize from the hands of the Sultan – such a highlight of our year in school.

    Thank you for this wonderful write-up. It brought back so much beautiful memories. All these information were taught to us in our school day but have forgotten some along the way.

  4. Sharon Ong on Dec 6, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Thank you for this comprehensive compilation on all the Sultans in Malaysia, Rinpoche. This post is very useful for students and all who need information about Malaysia’s monarchy system. Interesting to note that the Sultan of Kedah, Tuanku Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah, become our Agung twice in his lifetime.

    As a Malaccan, it is a bit sad that our own Sultanate did not survive to this day. After all, Parameswara did make Malacca into a very prosperous port and had good relations with China with the spice and silk trade.

  5. Datuk May on Dec 3, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for this very informative article on the Monarchy System in Malaysia.

    The system of electing the constitutional monarch as Head of State in Malaysia is very democratic and every member of the royal household or sultanate gets an opportunity to be the king or Yang diPertuan Agong of Malaysia. This also makes the Monarchy like the presidents of other countries which have a specific duration of tenure. For the Malaysian Monarch the tenure is 5 years.

    I noticed from this article the current King (sultan of Kedah) had been king before during the period 1970 to 1975. He is also the nephew of Malaysia’s First Prime Minister, Tengku Abdul Rahman, an outstanding statesman and politician who fought for and gained independence for Malaysia in 1957.

  6. Stella Cheang on Dec 2, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    This article is apposite as some of our overseas friends would be interested to find out about the rulers of this beautiful land of Malaysia. The colorful and multi-cultural Malaysia has its roots embedded in the evolution of the Malay Kingdoms since the 15th century when these kingdoms were the trading hub of the region. Today, with the moving of times, the monarchy system in Malaysia had taken a modern form, nonetheless the rulers are respected by the nation. Thank you Rinpoche for this informative article.

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  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Apr 12. 2021 04:12 PM
    Looking at those very unique house been built simply stunning. Creatively with nature indeed , salute to those architecture who has such a wild ideas and innovations building such an incredibly unique houses in nature. No easy though but everything is possible.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/into-the-wild.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Apr 12. 2021 04:11 PM
    Truly stunning Kuanyin Statue also know as”Goddess of Mercy” Statue designed by Portuguese architect . Very serene with the huge golden statue seemingly floating over the sea at high tide. One of the underrated landmarks in Macau. It is believed that when this statue is built, Macau has become more prosperous, peaceful and economically better. Many locals and tourist visited this beautiful Statue and it’s a popular spot where they will walk along the sea watching sunset. Merely by looking at this Statue is a blessing. Those beautiful pictures tells us all.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/kuan-yin-of-macau-city.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Apr 12. 2021 04:07 PM
    Beautiful Yonghe Temple in Beijing, China known to some locals as the‘Palace of Peace and Harmony Lama Temple’ has three world-record masterpieces. This temple is a temple and monastery of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism built during the reign of Emperor Kang Xi (1694). Very impressive buildings and a great insight into Chinese Buddhist temples with 300 years of history . The building and artwork of the temple is a combination of Han Chinese and Tibetan styles.
    Looking at the restoration and conservation work of the Lama Tsongkhapa Statue in Yong He Gong is not easy after all. Thanks to Liu Yuming,77, restoration masters of China’s Cultural Relics. He had done a good job helping to preserve those rare cultural relics left in China. It is indeed a uphill task that needs a lot of patience , skill, delicate , and love . Interesting read even though it an old post. Would love to see this master piece of Lama Tsongkhapa Statue one day .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/an-age-of-restoration.html
  • sarassitham
    Monday, Apr 12. 2021 01:47 PM
    Sometimes a single image can speak much louder than words. It’s very painful to see the abused and made to suffer of a Monkey and Child.

    It is really sad to discover how many animals sacrificed for fulfilling our taste buds. and not only sacrificing their life.

    Why don’t we try to eat more vegetables instead of eating more animals. Vegetables are healthy too, you know! And do you also know that being vegetarian or vegan will not only make you become healthier, it will also make you feel more energetic.
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Apr 10. 2021 03:59 PM
    A legendary figure of Buddhism in Buryatia was Lubsan Samdan Tsydenov, charismatic Buddhist master and visionary and national hero, who had spread the Tantric Buddhist tradition. Interesting read of this forgotten story of Lubsan Samdan Tsydenov, a monk who briefly ruled as a dharma king. He amazingly created a nonviolence Buddhist kingdom who protected thousands of women, children, and men at that time. In 1920’s Soviet government considered Lubsan Samdan Tsydenov to be rebels and Traditional Buryat culture was erased since then. Buddhist monasteries in Buryatia were destroyed and many followers were murdered. He was well remembered as a true Dharma King and a national hero. Interesting read of a Great Lama.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/lubsan-samdan-tsydenov-the-dharma-king-of-buryatia.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Apr 10. 2021 03:57 PM
    We came to this world with nothing and leaving with nothing. There nothings that belongs to us. Whatever we own is temporary on loan only, so we should be glad in this life we are in human form. We should appreciate what we have at this moment, , doing , learning Dharma and practicing Dharma for a good and meaningful cause. Transforming our mind and benefiting others instead of ourselves.
    What Rinpoche had said and explained , very true indeed … we don’t own our body. Well use our body for the greater good of others. Reading the transcript by Tsem Rinpoche tells us more understanding .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this profound teachings.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/transcript-you-dont-own-your-body.html
  • sarassitham
    Friday, Apr 9. 2021 11:20 PM
    Thank you for the wonderful sharing, it’s truly amazing. Each one of these statues is special and drool-worthy, and they have rightly signified the place where they stand today.

    Even when we don’t have the opportunity too witness those beautiful Buddha Statues, yet we are blessed merely by looking at it.
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 9. 2021 01:19 PM
    Reading this article again, truly feeling sorry those refugees in Netherlands. Staying in another country far away from homeland is already sad. They need to start from scratch, could imagine their situation living in a foreign facing a lot of hinders such languages, cultures and so forth. The sad state of refugees living in Netherlands is really bad. The Netherlands has had a reputation as a humanitarian haven, with refugees and immigrants as the situation in their country isn’t safe enough. But entering as refugees they ended up living in empty offices, as room . The government authorities failed to provide basic amenities for those rejected ones who have not or cannot leave the country. The refugees are stuck in a system, were call as an illegal immigrant. They wandered in the streets of Amsterdam, moving from one place to another left in the cold winter. Lucky enough they have volunteers helping them supplying blankets , foods for them. Hopefully the authorities could do more to help those refugees out there and the situation right now has improved.
    Thank you Melissa for sharing this .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/the-building-wanderers-of-amsterdam.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 9. 2021 01:17 PM
    Being generous also makes us feel better about ourselves. Generosity is both a natural confidence builder and a natural repellent of self-hatred. By focusing on what we are giving rather than on what we are receiving. Acts of generosity, such as giving our time, talent or resources, and expecting nothing in return, have been proven to be good for our health. Generous individuals are personally more fulfilled, happier and more peaceful within themselves. Enrich our life and that of others by practicing generosity. That’s what I consider true generosity without anything in return.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Datuk May for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/generosity-giving-gifts.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 9. 2021 01:15 PM
    A Stunning Chenrezig Thangka with an interesting story behind it.Detailed explanations of the iconography of this Buddha. Having understand about it ,will help us to practice better . Chenrezig is the bodhisattva that symbolizes the compassion of all Buddhas.The qualities of Chenrezig is indeed amazing in such away benefited many of us. According to legend, Chenrezig made an vow that he would not rest until he had liberated all the beings in all the realms of suffering. Reciting the Chenrezig mani mantra and practising profound meditation on the nature of sound is believed to be powerful.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Beatrix for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/a-chenrezig-thangka.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Apr 6. 2021 04:52 PM
    Meaningful poems tells us a thousand words. Value and appreciate every moment of our life with those around us. Rinpoche had a very strong connection with Manjushri since childhood and its not surprised the way Rinpoche describe the divine. Lovely poems for us to ponder deeply.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this with us.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/purpose.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Apr 6. 2021 04:52 PM
    It is important to use these difficult times as life lessons, growing and shaping us to blossom into a stronger and wiser person every day. Stay strong and be tough, working as a team, sharing out as a team. Whatever happen then through thick and thin, individual commitment to work as a team is what makes a team work successful toward a common vision. It is true that we can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed as a team. Never give up even its hard with nothing much. Alone, we can do so little compare to working together, we can do so much.
    Reading this quote will inspire us to improve ourselves and our life so that we may be successful someday as a team.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/dont-see-the-porridge-and-run.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Apr 5. 2021 03:04 PM
    The incredible story of the Chinese paper cut artist Ku Shulan. She is one such inspiring lady in the Chinese world of paper cutting. Been born in poor peasant family, doesn’t deter her from doing what she loves most. She had come along way of struggles and hardship to be where she was. She only showed her talent in later life following awakening from a coma after a head injury, discovered by Shanxi Province Cultural Center. Ku Shulan was designated “Master of China Folk Art and Crafts” by UNESCO and was bestowed many domestic awards for her beautiful paper cuttings. Sadly Ku Shulan passed away in 2004 at age 84, but her popularity, and reputation continue to grow . Her unique coloured paper cuttings are the jewel of Chinese folk art and will remain forever so.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this inspiring post of a talented lady.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/ku-shulan-goddess-of-paper-cut.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Apr 5. 2021 03:03 PM
    Do Dharma work. Do Dharma practice. Chase after Dharma…..well said by Rinpoche. Life is meaningless when we only chase for money, fame only at the of life nothing is left for us. What remains is just memories when we are gone. As we grew older , it’s time to chase after something that can last long till our last breathe. Learning, practicing Dharma is the best choice. Since learning and practicing dharma have my life change, benefiting other makes my wonderful.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing with folded hands. Rinpoche had showed me the way and so as many more others.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/chasing.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Apr 5. 2021 03:00 PM
    Inspiring comment by Claire Briard who only met Rinpoche on facebook gave up eating meat. It has since changed his life and she have so much more respect for the all animals. She did wonderfully by encouraging her friends and anyone she met to go meatless. Beautiful message . Do not harm animals , give them a chance to live.
    Thank you Rinpoche this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/claire-briard.html

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

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

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

  • April 12, 2021 03:20
    Eden asked: Dear Pastors, How are all of you doing? I have a few questions here. I will be very grateful if you can answer them. Thank you. 1) If we are here because of our previous life karma, previous previous karma and so on. May i know when does all of this started? How does this chain of karma started? Im sure we all had our 1st life and everything had a beginning to it. 2) I am currently facing some problem over my career pathway, are there any practices and mantras that I can do to request for guidance?
    pastor answered: Dear Eden, Thank you for your questions. 1. Buddhism does not believe in a 1st life, and the reason being is the Buddhist view of time. Most people think of time and existence as linear. It has a definitive starting point and a certain end point. But Buddhism views time as a cyclic. Hence, our universe as we understand it, will at one point cease to exist, and then a new universe will come into existence. However, even though our current universe will end, due to the force of karma and reincarnation, we will take rebirth into the new universe and have many rebirths there. So in Buddhism we say that we have had "countless" rebirths, as you would never be able to count how many lifetimes you have had. This cycle is vicious and leads us to take rebirth endlessly. The only way to stop this cycle is to transcend it altogether, which is the state of Buddhahood, in which you are completely liberated from the cycle, known as "samsara". Also the way in which we think about karma is not linear either. It is not one for one. By this I mean, if you do one negative action, it is not that you will experience only one negative result. You will actually experience many negative results, with differing levels of severity until the karma is exhausted. How you respond to the negative results can lead to either more negative karma, or positive karma. Hence, the law of karma according to the Buddhist view point is much more nuanced then the general understanding of karma that people have these days. The Buddha explained this process in a teaching known as the 12 Links of Dependent Origination, which is quite complex. If you want to learn more about this teaching, H.E. Tsem Rinpoche gave a very profound teaching on it here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/teaching-on-the-twelve-links-of-dependent-origination.html Hence, according to Buddhism, the understand of time is a never-ending cycle in which universes are created, destroyed and created again due to the power of karma. Since it is a cycle, there is no "beginning" or "1st life" for sentient beings. 2. In regards to your career pathway, I would suggest you engage in the combined practice of Lama Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugden. We have heard of many people who are either stuck in their career or who need to find good jobs, succeed in the their goals after engaging in this practice with a sincere motivation. There is a book available regarding the practice here: https://www.vajrasecrets.com/the-dorje-shugden-handbook. We also have an entire section of this website dedicated to various aspects of the practice, including history, other prayers, etc. (https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/category/dorje-shugden). I hope this helps. Let us know if we can help in any other way.
  • April 11, 2021 00:23
    Lara asked: Hello pastors, I have a family member suffering from depression right now. May I know how I can help him to overcome this? Thank you.
    pastor answered: Dear Lara, I'm sorry to hear that your family member is going through this. When someone is going through such a difficult time, H.E. Tsem Rinpoche has advised that the person themselves seek qualified medical help as well as engage in the practice of Lama Tsongkhapa, which is well-known to help overcome things like depression. From your side you should be as supportive as possible. Take the time to understand what your family member is going through, and in which ways you can support them to overcome their depression and heal. You can watch a fantastic teaching about the practice of Lama Tsongkha here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/sayonara-to-depression.html. The prayer text for the practice can be found here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/sadhana-prayers.html#19 However, sometimes family members may not be open to the engaging in the practice themselves. In that case, you can engage in the practice yourself and dedicate the merits for the family member to heal, but this will not be as effective as the family member doing the practice themselves. Another thing that you can do, it to make abundant offerings or engage in virtuous activities like as helping the less fortunate, and dedicating the merits from those activities to your family member. You can also have pujas sponsored for your family member. The following two pujas would be excellent: Medicine Buddha Puja - which is good for healing, both physical and mental (https://www.vajrasecrets.com/medicine-buddha-puja-fund) Dorje Shugden Puja - to remove obstacles for a swift recovery (https://www.vajrasecrets.com/dorje-shugden-wishfulfilling-puja-fund) These are the various methods in which you can help. You can do just one or a combination of the methods mentioned to generate as much positive energy and merit as possible for your family member. I hope this helps.
  • April 10, 2021 07:50
    ray asked: hi pastor i have a question regarding purification practices because ive been having some doubts now, is it true that some people say engaging in purification practices bad things would then happen to the practitioner after that? be it being sick or facing obstacles coming after that.
    pastor answered: Dear Ray, Thank you for your question. When we engage in purification practices, what we are purifying is our negative karma. If you know about karma, you know that eventually you will need to experience your karma, be this negative or positive. When you experience your negative karma, then you experience negative situations. This could be something major, like having an accident, to something very minor such as feeling bad if say a loved one says something in a way that you perceive as being negative. Any experience you have that you perceive as negative, is a manifestation of your negative karma. During purification practices, through your own effort of invoking upon the enlightened beings and practice of the Four Opponent Powers, you are able to purify this negative karma. However, for a negative karma to be fully exhausted, you need to experience it. Say you have a karma to get into an accident, if you don't purify and exhaust it, then you will need to suffer from it 100%. This could mean getting into a car accident which is very severe and you are hurt badly. If you engage in purification practices then you can purify, let's say 99% of the karma. But for it to be exhausted fully, you still need to experience it. In this case, maybe you do get into an accident. Since you have purified most of the karma, your car only bumps into another car very softly. You don't even feel it, the person in the other car doesn't feel it and you car is not damaged at all. This is the reason why some people say if you engage in purification practices, bad things will happen. And because of that people are put off doing purification practices. This is wrong thinking because if you do experience negative situations when engaged in purification practices, this could be because: a) What you experienced is actually the purified karma, rather than the full force of the karma. In this case you should rejoice that through your effort of engaging in the practice, you didn't experience something much worse. b) It could just simply be the manifestation of a karma that wasn't purified. This means, you would have had to go through this experience anyway. c) Because you are engaged in purification practices, you are thinking of karma a lot. Therefore, when such experiences occur then you attribute it to karma, and then think it is linked to your purification practice. Then you believe that doing purification practices is bad because you have to suffer from such experiences. This is wrong thinking. Perhaps even if you were not doing purification practices, then you would still experience the situation, but you wouldn't actually think anything of it. You would just go about the rest of your day as usual. That being said, when you are doing purification practices, there comes a point were certain negative karma is so weak that you need to experience it for it to be exhausted completely. This can and does manifest as negative situations, such as minor illnesses, or even accidents, etc. However, the point to remember is the karma causing these situations have been purified so they are very mild compared to their full form. These negative situations can also be purified/exhausted in dreams, etc. Another way they can be purified is having mental disturbances or emotional ups and downs when actually doing the purification practices. In essence, you will need to feel the effects of your negative karma in some form or another, so better that you experience it in a very mild form right? This is what purification practices helps you to do. Purification practices are not something to be scared of. In fact, you should rejoice when engaged in purification practices. On a more deeper level, without some form of purification practice it is hard to understand higher aspects of the Dharma. Your negative karma will block you from being able to understand the Dharma and then internalise it. That is why purification practices are emphasised within each and every tradition and are a prerequisite for higher teaching such as tantra. The benefits of purification practices (such as enabling you to exhaust your negative karma in a very mild form, and preparing your mind for higher teachings) outweighs having to experience a very small negative situation. Therefore think about the benefits of purification practice and contemplate on it. This will help you to develop faith in them and get rid of any doubts or fears that you may have. I hope this helps.
  • April 1, 2021 04:54
    You are awesome! asked: Hello, you are awesome! keep going!
    pastor answered: Thank you for your kind message. It is very encouraging for us to read. May you always be blessed by the Three Jewels.
  • March 28, 2021 15:08
    vikas baluni asked: abut growth of my business
    pastor answered: Dear Vikas Baluni, I am unclear as to the actually meaning of your question but I believe you are asking how to increase and grow your business. According to Buddhism, everything that we go through in life is due to karma, this includes both the good things and the bad things. Therefore, for your business to grow and do well depends on your good karma. Only one type of energy can overcome karma and is always good for your, and that is what we call merit or punya (in sanskrit). So in order to have merit for your business to do well, you have to take actions that generate merit. The main of these is to transform your mind to become a more compassionate and wiser person, to help others less fortunate, to engage in pujas and other such virtuous activities. There are certain deity practices that are well-known in Buddhism to help increase the energies of wealth and success in our lives. These can help your business to grow. Once such practice is that of Bhagawan Gyenze, you can click here to find out more: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/dorje-shugden-gyenze-to-increase-life-merits-and-wealth.html Bhagawan Gyenze will definitely help you to grow your business, if you have a good motivation. If you motivation is only about yourself, then your business will not grow that much. But if you have the motivation help others, then Bhagawan Gyenze will help you even more. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 25, 2021 01:11
    Jason asked: I have been practicing white dzambala and the bathing / water tormas for quite some time now. Recently I have been getting regular dreams where white dzambala appears and just smiles at me, or I dream that I am doing white dzambala chutor practice. I understand that when lama tsongkhapa got dreams of deities he thought that this was Mara acting up and paid no attention to it until his lama said something. My lama is currently on retreat and it is difficult to contact him. Please give me some advice on what is happening. I'm just some normal beginners smuck and I'm getting worried that this is a bad sign. When I wake up I feel at peace... But according to commentaries this could be Mara.
    pastor answered: Dear Jason, Thank you for your question. I am really happy to hear that you are engaging in Dzambhala's practice. It's extremely beneficial. You are right that Lama Tsongkhapa ignored his dreams of deities, and viewed them as bad signs. But before jumping to conclusions, we must analyse the reasons why Lama Tsongkhapa ignored not only his dreams, also the visions of the deities he received. The reason that Lama Tsongkhapa did not consider it a positive sign is because as practitioners on the spiritual path, it is all too easy to get carried away with 'signs' or advice, visions, dreams from supposed deities. Sometimes if we 'analyse' them it can lead us in the wrong direction because of our mistaken understanding. Sometimes, other entities can also enter our dreams and tell us things that we believe, hence we start practising things that are not Dharmic in nature. Lama Tsongkhapa warned against such things, rather Lama Tsongkhapa said that we should rely on the Dharma teachings that are genuine and transmitted to us through an unbroken line through our lineage. Generally speaking however, these dreams you are having are literally just dreams, so there is nothing to worry about. One category of dreams we have are known as samsaric dreams. These arise from karma and karmic traces in the mind. This can also include emotions, memories, etc. The meaning we find in these dreams are imputed by the dreamer, and not inherent in the dream. This also applies to waking life. We impute meaning onto situations and circumstances, rather than the meaning being inherent to the circumstance. It is like reading a book. Words in the book are just marks on paper, however, because we use our sense of meaning, we make a meaning out of it. However, this is always open to interpretation. For example, if you tell your dream to two people, they can interpret the meaning very differently, even though you told them the exact same details. When we have dreams such as of our teacher, our practice, the Buddhas, etc., it is still more than likely to be just a samsaric dream. Because we have been engaging in sustained practice, or have imprints from previous lives, these can surface in our dreams hence we have dreams of Buddhas, our teachers, etc. There is nothing to worry about or to consider overly auspicious or a 'sign'. Just realise that you have had the dream, do not allow your thoughts to dwell on it, accept it and move on. However, do take note that you had these dreams and once your Guru is out of retreat, please consult your Guru and inform him/her of these occurances and seek your Guru's advice if any. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 23, 2021 02:01
    Jason asked: I white dzambhala is a wealth deity but can he also act as a dharma protector?
    pastor answered: Dear Jason, Thank you for your question. The practice of Dzambhala is actually a Yidam practice, this means that Dzambhala is a meditational deity. When you engage in his practice, as well as bestowing wealth, through his practice you also develop qualities that help you progress towards enlightenment. In the case of Dzambhala, the primary quality he helps you develop is actually generosity, which is one of the Six Perfections. Therefore, although he is known as a wealth deity, he is much, much more than that. When you engage in his practice, you are actually developing virtuous qualities in your mindstream. The function of Dharma Protectors however is to remove obstacles and to create conducive conditions so that you can transform your mind. Hence, the function of a meditational deity and a Dharma Protector is different. That being said, when you engage in Dzambhala's practice properly, you do gain wealth. Generally, we only consider this wealth to be external wealth, but Dzambhala's practice is more than that, because through his practice you gain internal wealth which are virtuous qualities. Due to the fact his practice also brings material wealth, he is known as a wealth deity. When you practice any meditational deity, you will gain some physical benefit as well, which can seem to mirror the effect of Dharma Protectors, but their function is very different. Dzambhala for example grants material wealth, but his actually function is to increase inner wealth. Another example would be Medicine Buddha, outward he heals our physical body, but inwardly he also helps to heal our minds and develop qualities such as compassion. Dharma Protectors can also help to heal our body, but for real internal change, we need to rely on a meditational deity. I hope this answer helps.
  • March 16, 2021 21:23
    ray asked: Dear pastors, i have a question regarding vajra and bells. can one use them if they do not have any sort of initiation or whatsoever?
    pastor answered: Dear Ray, Thank you for your question. You are right that traditionally vajras and bells are only used after receiving initiation. However, H.E. Tsem Rinpoche recommended learning how to use the vajra and bell, as a means of creating the causes to receive initiation in the future. That said, there are many dos and don'ts related to using the vajra and bell. You can learn not only how to use them, but also vajra and bell etiquette from one of Kechara's Pastors. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 7, 2021 17:30
    Sandra asked: Respected pastors, Do you recommend doing Tsem Rinpoche’s guru yoga as part of daily Sadhana? I am sure I read on the article for the name retreat that it could be done as daily prayers but now I can’t see that sentence? Thank you.
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Yes of course, you may include Tsem Rinpoche's Guru Yoga as part of your daily sadhana if you wish. This creates a very strong bond with Tsem Rinpoche. If you are following the Diamond Path sadhana (https://www.vajrasecrets.com/diamond-path), you insert the Guru Yoga after you have completed the Gaden Lhagyama (Guru Yoga of Lama Tsongkhapa). Alternative, if you are using a different prayer text, you insert the Guru Yoga after Gaden Lhagyama, or before any deity prayers that you do such as Manjushri, Tara, etc. After you complete the deity practice section of your sadhana, you continue on to your Dharma protector practice, and finish with your completion dedication. I hope this helps. Do let us know if this is not clear. Thanks.
  • March 4, 2021 22:52
    Sandra asked: Respected pastors, Can a lay person work towards the preliminary practices by accumulating daily ? Many thanks.
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Yes, of course. Anyone can engage in the preliminary practices, you don't have to be ordained in order to do so. However for one's practice to be considered a full preliminary practice, you need to do 100,000 repetitions of whichever practice you are engaged in without break. That means you must engage in at least one session a day, until the count is completed. 10% of the count is also added on top, to make up for any unintentional mistakes. So the figure would actually be 110,000. If you skip a day, that means you have broken your preliminary retreat. If this occurs you can still dedicate the practice you have done so far, and you will still benefit from the merit generated and the purification of negative karma from the practice, but it is not counted as a full preliminary practice. Also you must adhere to the retreat procedures for the duration of the time it takes you to complete the particular preliminary practice. For example, an altar with daily offerings, retreat seat with swastika, refraining from eating black foods, etc. This may not be convenient for most people in our day and age. So what you can do is to spend a certain amount of time accumulating a specific figure, for example 10,000 repetitions of a particular practice. Seal the practice at the end with a strong dedication, like the King of Prayers. Later on, you can repeat the procedure more times until you complete 100,000. This method was given by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche for modern-day practitioners who do not have the time to complete 100,000 in one go. While it technically does not constitute a full preliminary retreat, you still gain immense merits and purification from engaging in the practice, even if spaced out. As Rinpoche said, it's better for you to do mini preliminary retreats than not doing any of the preliminary practices whatsoever. That being said, if you do have the ability to do a full preliminary retreat and it will not negatively impact you, such as create financial difficulties or strain familial relationships, then of course go ahead! To have the sincere wish to engage in any Dharma practice is wonderful. You can read more about the individual preliminary practices here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/preliminary-practice.html You can watch a short teaching on the preliminary practices by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/cosmic-tantra.html
  • March 3, 2021 04:13
    Sandra asked: Dear respected pastors, what are dreams? Do dreams have significance? Are they simply images the mind views at night - do they resemble the dreamer's state of mind? Thank you for all your replies :) :)
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Hello. Nice to see you back here. On the normal level, both waking and dream states are both marred by our delusions. The teachings tell us that this deluded state continues through all our experiences, whether during the dreaming or waking states. The way to overcome this is to "wake up" from our delusions, or reach enlightenment. Normally when people think of dreams, they do so in psychological terms and so focus on the content of the dream. When we investigate the nature of the dream itself, we begin to investigate something deeper, the processes that underlies the whole of our existence. Understand this propels you further along the spiritual journey towards enlightenment. We have many dreams during one night of sleep, and may or may not consciously remember then when we wake up. In terms of content, dreams can be used to work through psychological issues or can indicate certain issues and overcoming them (as is common within Western psychological practices). In Tibetan Buddhism, dreams can be used for much more. In the advanced practices, one can transform ordinary dreams to further one's spiritual journey. This is not only in terms of working through psychological issues, but in terms of meditation and practice as well. Generally, there are three types of dreams as described below. Most of us only experience the first type, unless we progress on the spiritual path. 1. Samsaric dreams: these arise from karma and karmic traces in the mind. This can also include emotions, memories, etc. The meaning we find in these dreams are imputed by the dreamer, and not inherent in the dream. This also applies to waking life. We impute meaning onto situations and circumstances, rather than the meaning being inherent to the circumstance. It is like reading a book. Words in the book are just marks on paper, however, because we use our sense of meaning, we take a meaning out of it. However, this is always open to interpretation. For example, if you tell your dream to two people, they can interpret the meaning very differently, even though you told them the exact same details. 2. Clarity dreams: These dreams occur when you are fairly progressed in meditational practices and can carry this into the dream state. These dreams arise not from the emotions, or memories, etc., but from more subtler forms of karma and delusions. However, just like in waking mediational practice, you are not affected by the images or thoughts that appear to you. 3. Clear Light dreams: In the advanced tantric practices, there are teachings called dream yoga. The object of these is to achieve the clear light dreams, which are very difficult to achieve and take years and years of intense practice. The most important clear light mind that arises is actually at the time of our death, if we are trained enough in this very subtle state, we can actually control where we take rebirth. If we are more experienced in this state, then we can actually use it to meditate on the teachings and achieve enlightenment. Clear light dreams are a "lesser" type of clear light mind, that helps practitioners prepare for the time of death. When we have an auspicious dream such as of our teacher, our practice, the Buddhas, etc., even though this is auspicious, it is still more than likely to be just a samsaric dream. There are instances however, when the enlightened beings and Dharma protectors will send practitioners dreams to help with their practice or as methods of divination. Tsem Rinpoche once told us of a very powerful Nyingma lama known for his divination abilities. Students would ask him a question, then he would take a nap, and receive divination advice in this dreams, which he would then relay to his students. This lama was well-known for this ability because his dream divinations were extremely accurate. As I am sure you can tell, the scope of dreams with the Buddhist context is very vast and I will not be able to cover everything here. However, I hope that what I have written helps your understanding. Thank you.
  • March 1, 2021 23:37
    Sandra asked: Hello dear pastors, wish we could have an article like the one below to highlight the auspicious days of 2021. https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/auspicious-days.html
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Thank you for your suggestion. At the moment, there are no plans to publish another article with 2021 dates. But I have listed out some of the auspicious days and their dates for this year for you. I have only included future dates, not those that have already passed. Saga Dawa Duchen - 26th May 2021 Chokhor Duchen - 14th July 2021 Dorje Shugden Day - 24th August 2021 Lhabab Duchen - 27th October 2021 Gaden Ngamchoe or Tsongkhapa Day - 29th December 2021 I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • February 27, 2021 03:31
    Sandra asked: Respected pastors, Is it ok to pray from different areas in the house (even where there is no altar)? I was told you can't create 2 altars in 1 house.
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Thank you for your question and its nice to see you here again. The reason why we pray in front of our altars is because it becomes a focal point of the enlightened energies we are invoking. Therefore it becomes a kind of portal for the energies of transformation, peace, healing, prosperity and protection. It is also the place where we make offerings to the Buddhas. As such, most people usually only have 1 altar in their home. However, you can have more than 1 altar in your home. As it is an altar, it should be complete with representations of the body, speech and mind of the Buddhas. This would be an image (either a statue, thangka, tsa tsa, poster, framed picture, etc), a Dharma text and a stupa. In front of these, you should have at least 1 type of offering or more. This can be a fixed offering or maybe even a set of water offerings, which you make every day. Since practitioners make offerings on a daily basis, most opt to have only 1 altar, but there is no rule in Buddhism to say you can only have 1 altar. The altar however, should be placed in a respectful place. So, not in the bathroom. Or if in the bedroom, you should put a screen up to block it when you are changing, sleeping, etc. Alternatively, you can keep it in a cupboard, and close the doors during such activities. But altars should be dedicated places to the Buddhas, so don't put secular items in the same place, such as on the same shelf, etc. When it comes to praying, it is usually done in front of the altar, as you are invoking the enlightened beings. When you do your prayers there it becomes a powerful place in your home, and provides you with a sacred space to pray and meditate. However, if circumstances are difficult, then of course you can pray elsewhere. For example, when I first set up an altar, I was living in a single room with not much space. I set up an altar on a shelf but was not able to pray in front of it. Once I had made offerings, I would simply sit in another part of the room and do the prayers there. If it is really not convenient, then of course it is permissible to do the prayers elsewhere. It is better to do the prayers, than not do them at all if you can't be in front of your altar. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • February 25, 2021 01:33
    Kuenzang wangdi asked: What would be my most suitable colour ?
    pastor answered: Dear Kuenzang Wangdi, Thank you for your question. The following calculators may be of interest to you: Chinese Zodiac: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/horoscopes/the-chinese-zodiac.html Tibetan Astrology: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/tibetan-astrology/tibetan-astrology.html In relation to which colour if most favourable for you, unfortunately our calculators do not give this information. However, from a Buddhist practice viewpoint, what is more important is the transformation of the mind. Once we transform our minds according to teachings, we are able to overcome any obstacle and create good conditions for our lives. You can learn a very short mind transformation teaching here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/eight-verses-of-thought-transformation.html You can couple this with formal practice. If you are interested, a very good practice to bring energies of increase and generate a long life, merits, wealth and prosperity in your life, is the the practice of Gyenze. You can find information about the practice here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/dorje-shugden-gyenze-to-increase-life-merits-and-wealth.html. I hope this helps. Thanks.
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We were graced with the presence of Tengku Zatashah & The Alice Smith School Foundation yesterday. 130 homeless were blessed to be served by them. RM 20,000 donated by Alice Smith School Foundation will benefit 100 families registered under Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #alicesmithschoolfoundation #alicesmithschool #volunteerism #homeless
7 months ago
We were graced with the presence of Tengku Zatashah & The Alice Smith School Foundation yesterday. 130 homeless were blessed to be served by them. RM 20,000 donated by Alice Smith School Foundation will benefit 100 families registered under Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #alicesmithschoolfoundation #alicesmithschool #volunteerism #homeless
Thanks to the effort of our outstation team, we were able to mobilise food provisions to 600 families living in Kelantan, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor during the Raya period with each of these families receiving RM200 worth of provisions. Adding onto the current 368 families in Klang Valley, a total of 968 families were benefitted from this. Special thanks to the sponsors who have contributed especially Hong Leong Foundation and partially from Tesco Malaysia (where we also ordered the provisions from). ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
9 months ago
Thanks to the effort of our outstation team, we were able to mobilise food provisions to 600 families living in Kelantan, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor during the Raya period with each of these families receiving RM200 worth of provisions. Adding onto the current 368 families in Klang Valley, a total of 968 families were benefitted from this. Special thanks to the sponsors who have contributed especially Hong Leong Foundation and partially from Tesco Malaysia (where we also ordered the provisions from). ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
10 months ago
So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
10 months ago
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
10 months ago
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
10 months ago
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
11 months ago
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
11 months ago
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
11 months ago
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
Wesak 2020
11 months ago
Wesak 2020
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
1 years ago
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
1 years ago
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
1 years ago
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
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