Pilgrimage to Sri Lanka

Feb 3, 2018 | Views: 1,297

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This (mostly) pilgrimage trip to Sri Lanka was inspired by my Guru, H.E Tsem Rinpoche, who encouraged me to bring my family on a blessed pilgrimage trip instead of a regular holiday to places which do not have much meaning.

I thought about what my Guru said, and it makes a lot of sense especially since my children are growing up into their teenage years, and are already facing the real world. It is definitely extremely beneficial for children to receive the blessings of the Buddhas, so that they can hold the Buddha’s teachings in their heart when they grow up. It is also beneficial for us adults to visit holy places and receive the Buddha’s blessings too.

I thank Rinpoche for everything on this trip.

Lew Kwan Leng

 


 

Day 1: 29 November 2017

We arrived in Colombo at 9.30 am local time. We will be spending three nights in Sigiriya area (about 150km away from Colombo Airport), because it is near to Dambulla and the two ancient cities, Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura.

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We were greeted by a Buddha statue within Colombo Airport itself

Enroute to Sigiriya, we visited Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery and Bambaragala Ancient Temple. Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery is home to more than 700 Buddhists monks and nuns with over 50 branches in Sri Lanka and overseas, including USA, Australia and Europe. The monastery we visited in Polgahawela is the headquarters of the organisation.

It has a big prayer hall with a golden Buddha statue decorated very nicely with lights. Behind the prayer hall, there is a stupa-shaped hall with another Buddha statue. The compound beyond the second hall is restricted to monks only, and we could hear the sounds of the monks chanting. The environment was very calm and peaceful. There are also a few peacocks roaming around the compound.

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Exterior of the main prayer hall of Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery

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The Buddha image inside the main prayer hall. Photography is not allowed inside

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Exterior of the second prayer hall

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We did our prayers in the second prayer hall

After Mahamevnawa Monastery, we visited Bambaragala Old Temple which was just five minutes away. It is a small and old cave temple with a reclining Buddha statue and a Bodhi tree, with a monk living next to the temple.

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Entrance to the Bambaragala Old Temple. A monk lives here as the temple’s caretaker

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The Reclining Buddha. Some renovation work is being carried out in the temple

 

Day 2: 30 November 2017

We left for Polonnaruwa early in the morning as the journey takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes from Sigiriya to Polonnaruwa. Before reaching Polonnaruwa, we stopped to pay our respects to a replica of Avukana Buddha near Giritale. This standing Buddha is 12 meters (39 feet) tall and is believed to have been built during the 5th century, although some sources suggest it was constructed in the 12th or 13th centuries. This statue is situated next to a man-made lake built by King Agbo II in the 12th century. There is a bus stop right in front of the Buddha, and locals are often seen coming down from the bus to make a donation then hopping back into the bus.

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Beautiful 12 meter tall Buddha by the lake

It took another 25 minutes to get to the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa. Polonnaruwa was the capital city of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa in the 11th century for about 180 years, and it has a great deal of history related to Buddhism.

The entrance fees for Polonnaruwa are USD25 for adults, and half price for children aged 6 to 12. It is recommended to get a local guide which costs around USD20. We started the tour in the museum to get a general understanding of the kingdom. Throughout the museum and ancient sites, we could see that many Buddhas were without their heads and hands. This is because blue sapphires were offered on the heads and hands of the Buddhas, and during the war, the heads and hands were broken and looted for the sapphires.

After the museum, we proceeded to the first ancient site which features the royal palace, audience hall and swimming pool. The second ancient site, called Sacred Quadrangle, is more related to Buddhism and is considered to be a sacred place. It has three buildings which housed the Buddha’s tooth during the Polonnaruwa period. In ancient Sri Lanka, the Buddha’s tooth was a symbol of the king.

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Sacred Quadrangle area

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Inscriptions that detail historical events

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Atadage, the oldest building in the Sacred Quadrangle, has been identified as the first building to house the Buddha’s tooth

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Hetagage, the second building to have housed the Buddha’s tooth

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Vatadage, the third building to have housed the Buddha’s tooth

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We did prayers in Vatadage

The same site also has a Bodhisattva Hall, a pavilion where the king listened to chanting, and an ancient temple.

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Bodhisattva Hall. Many of the Buddha images had blue sapphires engraved as the Buddhas’ eyes, and on the Buddhas’ hands, and were destroyed during the war for the precious gemstones

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The pavilion where the king listened to chanting

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The exterior of the ancient temple. Some restoration work is being carried out]

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The shrine area inside the ancient temple. The taller statue is about 3 metres high

The last and final stop for us in Polonnaruwa was Gal Vihara, which was also the most impressive. It has four statues of Buddha carved from one large piece of granite:

  1. Large seated image depicting the Buddha in meditative posture with the dhyana mudra. Height: 15 feet 2.5 inches (4.636 m).
  2. A smaller statue similar to the above seated image. Height: 4 feet 7 inches (1.40 m).
  3. Large standing image with arms folded across the chest, in para dukkha dukkhitha mudra or “sorrow for the sorrow of others”. Height: 22 feet 9 inches (6.93 m)
  4. Large reclining image, the largest Buddha image in Gal Vihara, depicting the Buddha’s parinirvana. Length: 46 feet 4 inches (14.12 m).

There are offering tables in front of each statue for visitors to place offerings on, as well as places for offering incense. The four statues are covered by a roof structure erected by UNESCO to preserve the ancient monument. In total, we spent about three hours in Polonnaruwa.

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Gal Vihara, which means “Rock Monastery” in Sinhalese

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Large seated Buddha at 15 feet 2.5 inches

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Smaller seated Buddha, protected by a metal cage

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Close up of the smaller seated Buddha

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Large standing Buddha at 22 feet 9 inches

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Large reclining Buddha at 46 feet 4 inches long

After Polonnaruwa, we proceeded to the Kaudulla National Park Safari where more than a hundred wild elephants can be observed.

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The jeep, our transport into the national park

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Wild elephant herds can be observed around the lake

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The elephants are not too far from us!

 

Day 3: 1 December 2017

We started our day early in the morning again, and it took about 1 hour and 30 minutes to arrive in Anuradhapura from Sigiriya. The Anuradhapura period spans from 377 BC to 1017 AD (almost 1,400 years), before the Polonnaruwa period. Many of the buildings here were built more than 2,000 years ago.

The entrance fees for Anuradhapura are USD25 for adults and half price for children aged 6 to 12. We engaged a local tour guide for about USD25, which is highly recommended because Anuradhapura is much bigger than Polonnaruwa. It was a public holiday and the entire Anuradhapura area was quite crowded with many local devotees who came to make offerings and pray.

We started by visiting monks meditation caves. It is believed that the first Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka meditated under these rocks some 2,300 years ago. These granite caves are quite small compared to limestone caves, and would have provided very good shelter from the rain for the meditating monks.

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More than 2,000 years ago, monks sat underneath these rocks and meditated here

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The rocks were cut across so that the rain would fall straight down instead of flowing inside the cave, to keep the cave dry so that monks could continue to meditate even when it was raining. Inscriptions are commonly seen here.

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There are many small holes on the floor and it is believed they are the result of grinding medicines. This is said to have been the clinic.

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Another cave which is very conducive for meditation

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View from within the cave

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Breaking rocks 2,000 years ago: Make some shallow holes, place oil inside the holes and burn the oil. With enough heat, the rocks will break

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Another cave suitable for meditation

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We did our prayers here; may we have the merit to be able to meditate in a cave in this life

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This cave was used by monks from royal families, before they were ordained, for resting and meditation.

We then moved on to Isurumuniya Temple which was built around the same period to house 500 young monks of high-caste when they were ordained. It has a beautiful reclining Buddha statue, wall paintings, a Bodhi tree and a small stupa on top. You will need to pay a separate entrance fee for Isurumuniya Temple (about USD1.50 for adults and half price for children aged 6 to 12 years old).

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Making offerings in front of the main shrine. Many visitors offered flowers to the Buddha

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Beautiful wall paintings

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Buddha in parinirvana

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Replica of the Buddha’s footprints

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The stupa in Isurumuniya Temple

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We did prayers next to the stupa in Isurumuniya Temple

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A group photo in Isurumuniya Temple

Our next stop was the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, a sacred fig tree said to be a branch of the historical Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya, under which Buddha Shakyamuni became enlightened. The Mauryan Emperor Ashoka’s daughter, Sangamitta Maha Theri, brought a branch from the original Mahabodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya to Sri Lanka and she offered it to the reigning monarch, King Devanampiya Tissa who, in 288 BC, planted it here in Anuradhapura.

Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is considered to be the world’s oldest living human-planted tree with a known planting date. This sacred tree is surrounded by protective walls and railings, and many devotees chant prayers around the sacred tree.

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Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is one of the oldest living human-planted trees, over 2,300 years old!

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Another angle of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Tree

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It is traditional to wear white when visiting temples in Sri Lanka. Many devotees sat around the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi to chant prayers, led by a monk.

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We also did our prayers here

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There are many other Bodhi trees surrounding the original tree

Next, we took a stroll to Ruwanwelisaya, a stupa said to contain the Buddha’s relics. This is one of the “Solosmasthana” (the 16 places of veneration) and the “Atamasthana” (the 8 places of veneration) in the ancient sacred city of Anuradhapura. Ruwanwelisaya is one of the world’s tallest monuments, with a height of 103 metres (338 ft) and a circumference of 290 metres (951 ft).

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Ruwanwelisaya Stupa

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The main entrance of the stupa

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There are many shrines around the stupa with many flower offerings

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Many devotees circumambulate the stupa

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Another shot of the magnificent stupa

We then went to Thuparamaya, which is also a Solosmasthana, where the right collar-bone of the Buddha is enshrined. This is the earliest stupa to be built (in 200 BC, 2,200 years ago) after the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka.

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Thuparamaya Stupa

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Making flower offerings at the stupa

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Stone pillars around the stupa suggest there is a structure with a conical roof surrounding the stupa

Our last stop was the Jetavanaramaya Stupa, which is said to contain part of the sash or belt of Buddha Shakyamuni, and was the tallest stupa in the ancient world. There is a small temple with a reclining Buddha in front of the stupa.

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Group photo at Jetavanaramaya Stupa

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The small temple next to the stupa

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We did our prayers inside the temple

Anuradhapura Ancient City is bigger than Polonnaruwa and it took us five hours to cover all the above sites. We also took the time to do prayers at most of the sites. If you plan to cover all Buddhist sites, it is recommended to spend two days in Anuradhapura.

Our next destination was the Avukana Buddha, which is about 1 hour and 20 minutes from Anuradhapura. Avukana Buddha was built about 1,500 years ago with a height of 13 metres (42ft). This huge statue, depicted in a variation of the Abhaya mudra, is carved from a large piece of granite rock. The statue is now covered with a roof for preservation purposes. The entrance fee is USD7 for adults, and half price for children aged 6 to 12.

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Avukana Buddha

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Another shot of Avukana Buddha

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The Bodhi tree in front of the statue

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Making prayers in front of Avukana Buddha

 

Day 4: 2 December 2017

We packed our bags and headed for Kandy, the second largest city in Sri Lanka. We had one more temple to visit in the Sigiriya area, which is the famous Dambulla Golden Temple and the Cave Temple. The Cave Temple is situated on top of a small hill, and you can start your climb from the Golden Temple. There is another shorter way up to the Cave Temple which is about 10 minutes drive from Golden Temple. Using the shorter route, it took us about 15 minutes to reach the Cave Temple. While climbing up the stairs, don’t forget to turn back and look at the beautiful view.

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Dambulla Golden Temple

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Circumambulating around the golden stupa

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Another beautiful view of Dambulla Golden Temple

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Prayers in front of the Golden Buddha

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The stairs leading up to the Cave Temple

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Beautiful view while climbing up

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Bodhi tree

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Exterior view of the Cave Temple

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Rocks are “cut” to keep the cave dry

The entrance fees for Dambulla Cave are USD10 for adults, and half price for children aged 6 to 12. You may also consider engaging a tour guide for about USD15. This temple’s history dates back to the first century BC. There are five caves in the Cave Temple, and each cave has tables for visitors to place flower offerings. The entire ceiling of all the caves are painted with beautiful Buddha images and patterns.

We started with the second and largest cave. Called the Temple of the Great King, it is 172 feet long. This cave is said to have 16 standing, 40 seated and 1 reclining Buddha, with the Bodhisattvas Maitreya and Avalokiteshvara, and a stupa.

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There are many statues inside Cave 2

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The two left most statues are Maitreya and Avalokiteshvara

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Elaborate and beautiful wall paintings

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There is a crack in the ceiling which is said to drip healing water

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The third cave, called the Great New Monastery, is 90 feet long (second largest cave). It is about 300 years old, which is considered “new”, and houses 50 Buddha statues in various positions.

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The statues in Cave 3

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Wall paintings in Cave 3

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The fourth cave, called the Western Temple, is about 54 feet long. The main image is a seated Buddha with the dhyana mudra. There is a stupa in the cave which is said to have been broken by thieves for the jewellery contained inside. Although the stupa has since been reconstructed, the cracks are still visible.

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The stupa in Cave 4

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The fifth cave is a small one with the Sleeping Buddha as the main image.

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Cave 5

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The Reclining Buddha in Cave 5

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Wall paintings in Cave 5

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We then went back to the first cave, called Temple of the King of Gods. The main image here, about 47 feet in length, depicts the parinirvana of the Buddha, with His main disciple Ananda standing next to the Buddha.

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Buddha in parinirvana in Cave 1

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The shrine in Cave 1

After we finished touring the five caves, we went back to the second cave to do our prayers there.

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Prayers in Cave 2

En route to Kandy, we also visited the Aluvihara Rock Temple whose history can be traced back to the 3rd century BC, where the Tripiṭaka (Pāli canon) was first written down completely on palm leaves in order to preserve the Buddha’s teachings. The compound has a Bodhi tree, stupa, and a small cave temple with Buddha statues in various postures and beautiful wall paintings of the Jataka Tales. From here, you can also see a huge golden Buddha statue up in the mountains, which is a 1.2km hike away.

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Entrance of the Aluvihara Rock Temple

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Making prayers in front of the Bodhi Tree

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The small but beautiful rock temple

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Wall paintings

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Outside the rock temple

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After arriving in Kandy, we went for a cultural dance performance before proceeding to the famous Temple of the Tooth Relic. The entrance fees are USD10 for adults and half price for children aged 6 to 12. You may also consider engaging a tour guide for about USD8 to explain and guide you through the complex. The Temple of the Tooth Relic has three food offering ceremonies every day – at 5.30 am, 9.30 am and 6.30 pm. We arrived in time for the 6.30 pm ceremony, and it is highly recommended to witness the offering ceremony although it can be rather noisy. During the ceremony, visits to the tooth relic are temporary closed.

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The exterior of the Temple of the Tooth Relic at night

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Food offering ceremony

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Wall paintings depicting food offering

We started queueing at 6.40 pm, and waited for about 10 minutes before visits were allowed again. You will not be able to see the Buddha’s tooth directly because it is enshrined inside a seven-layer stupa. Since many people are queuing to pay homage to the Buddha’s tooth relic, you only have a short time to make offerings of flowers (and a monetary donation if you wish) before you must move on. After making our offerings, we joined other devotees on the floor around the relic and did our prayers.

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The long queue of people patiently waiting to pay homage to the Buddha’s Tooth

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The seven-layer stupa housing the Buddha’s Tooth Relic

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Doing prayers in the temple

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Many devotees outside the hall of the Buddha’s Tooth

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There is also a library and shrine with a beautiful Buddha, but unfortunately photography is strictly prohibited.

On a separate note, Kandy hosts a huge annual parade called Kandy Esala Perahera, which is one of the oldest and grandest of all Buddhist festivals in Sri Lanka, featuring dancers, jugglers, musicians, fire-breathers, and lavishly decorated elephants. This 10-day event is held in July/August which is the time of the year that commemorates the first teaching given by the Buddha after he attained Enlightenment.

 

Day 5: 3 December 2017

Today we spent time in three temples in the Kandy area. As it is the full moon day, the temples were more crowded than usual as it is a holy day for Buddhists in Sri Lanka to pay homage to the Buddhas.

Our first stop was Bahirawakanda Temple which features an 88-ft Buddha statue which can be seen from the entire city of Kandy. The entrance fees for Bahirawakanda Temple are USD2 for adults and half price for children. There is a Bodhi tree here and you can make water offerings to the Bodhi tree. Throughout our visit, we could hear a Dharma talk by the Chief Monk in Sinhalese language on the loudspeakers. We also had the chance to make offerings to the Chief Monk after his Dharma talk. You can also view the entire city of Kandy from this temple.

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Shrine with beautiful paintings on the walls]

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Offering water to the Bodhi Tree

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Beautiful view of Kandy from Bahirawakanda Temple

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Making offerings to the Chief Monk

We then went to Ranawana Purana Rajamaha Viharaya which is about 700 years old. It is said to be one of the most beautiful temples in Sri Lanka, featuring a 100-ft high Walking Buddha statue. The entrance fees are USD2 for adults and half price for children. It also has a cave which houses a shrine and an ancient stupa. It is believed that the relics of the Buddha are enshrined in this stupa.

This temple also has a Dhamma school. Daily gilanpasa (permissible food & drinks after noon) pujas and monthly eight precepts programs are some of the many religious activities conducted at the temple.

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The entrance of Ranawana

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There are many beautiful sculptures in the temple

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Sculptures depicting the story of the Buddha with the devoted elephant and monkey

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Sculptures depicting the Buddha’s chariot driver assisting Him to escape the palace. The chariot driver is Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche’s previous life

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100 ft tall Walking Buddha

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Doing prayers in front of the Walking Buddha

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The Buddha and His main disciples

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Sculptures depicting the story of Devadatta hurling a huge stone at the Buddha

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Chanting session

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Wall paintings in the cave

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The stupa and Bodhi Tree

Our last stop of the day was ancient Gadaladeniya Rajamaha Viharaya, built more than 600 years ago. It features a 2.43 metre (8 ft) high statue of a seated Buddha in dhyana mudra pose. This temple also features a stupa complex, with one central stupa (12.3 m or 40 feet) surrounded by four smaller stupas. The entrance fees are USD2 for adults and half price for children. Many locals come to offer flowers and oil lamps in this temple.

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The famous stupa complex in Gadaladeniya

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Each of the four sides of the stupa has a small shrine like this

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8 ft high statue

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Doing prayers inside the temple complex

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The shrine beside the Bodhi tree

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The shrine and Bodhi tree

 

Day 6: 4 December 2017

We went to the southern part of Sri Lanka to visit two major Buddhist sites: Buduruwagala and Kataragama. En route to Buduruwagala, we stopped at Saliyala Purana Rajamaha Viharaya, the temple with the longest (132 feet) Sleeping Buddha statue in South Asia. The entrance fees are USD2 for adults and half price for children.

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After that, it was a long journey of 150 km with endless stretches of winding mountainous roads, passing by tea factories, various waterfalls, Nuwara Eliya (Little England) and Ella.

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Tea plantation

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Tea factory

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One of the many waterfalls

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Mountainous views in the Nuwara Eliya area

After almost five hours, we finally arrived at Buduruwagala. There aren’t many historical records about this ancient site but it is generally believed to be dated around the 9th or 10th century (about 1,000 years ago). Situated within a forested area, it consists of seven statues in a wide open space. The central statue is a Buddha Shakyamuni (16 m or 52 feet tall) with three statues on either side. The central figure on the left is Avalokiteshvara and next to him is Tara. The place is very calm and surreal, and it is said that wild elephants come to this place at night. The entrance fees are USD2.50 for adults and half price for children.

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Buduruwagala and the beautiful seven statues

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Doing prayers

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The three statues on the left of the main statue. In the centre is Avalokitesvara, and Tara is on the left

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The three statues on the right of the main statue.

Just to the left of the main Buddha statue is a carved “flame” which is about three feet (0.91 m) wide and four feet (1.2 m) high. Previously, the walls of the “flame” were wet with an oil that smelled very much like mustard oil, and many locals believed it had healing power. Nowadays, there is no longer any oil coming from the carved shape.

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Carved “flame” next to the main statue

After checking in to our hotel, we proceeded to Kiri Vehera Stupa in Kataragama, one of the 16 sacred places (Solosmasthana) in Sri Lanka that Buddha Shakyamuni visited, believed to have been built 2,500 years ago. According to legend, Buddha met with King Mahasena on His third and final visit to Sri Lanka. After the king listened to the Buddha’s discourse, he built the stupa on the exact spot where Buddha gave the teaching as a token of gratitude.

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Kiri Vihara at night. There weren’t many visitors as it was raining.

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There is a sheltered courtyard within the compound of the stupa, where we sat and did our prayers.

This ancient temple is unique because it facilitates a close and beautiful relationship between Buddhism and Hinduism. There is also a huge ancient Bodhi tree in Kataragama Temple. It is believed that this sacred tree is 2,300 years old and originated from the Bodhi Tree in Anuradhapura.

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Kataragama Temple, where the Bodhi Tree is planted

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The other entrance to Kataragama Temple

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The 2,300-year-old Bodhi Tree

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It drizzled when we did our prayers around the Bodhi tree

 

Day 7: 5 December 2017

Early in the morning, we left Kataragama for Bentota, a town which is about two hours away from Colombo. It was quite a long drive of more than 220 km. We stopped at Bentota Beach for a quick photo and also joined a two-hour river safari in Maduganga Lake which had many mangrove trees, a cinnamon island, and a few ancient temples.

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Maduganga Lake is nine square kilometres and has 56 islands

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Going through a mangrove “tunnel”

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Situated on one of the small islands, Kotdoowa Temple features a seated Buddha, a reclining Buddha and a Bodhi Tree

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One of the many Buddha statues in Maduganga Lake

 

Day 8: 6 December 2017

On our last day of pilgrimage, we visited three temples: Kande Vihara in Beruwala, Gangaramaya Temple and Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara in Colombo.

We woke up early in the morning and arrived at Kande Vihara at 6.30 am where we witnessed many people making offerings of flowers, fruit and rice to the Buddha before going to work. This temple was founded 300 years ago although it was much smaller at that time. Since then, much renovation and development work has been commissioned and today, it has a huge 48.8 m (160 ft) Samadhi Buddha. There is also a stupa and a Bodhi tree which is believed to be 300 years old within the temple.

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Doing prayers at the feet of the big Buddha

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The Bodhi Tree and the main prayer hall on the right

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The stupa next to the main prayer hall

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Beautiful statues inside the main prayer hall

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The Reclining Buddha inside the main prayer hall

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Devotees come to offer flowers, rice, milk, etc. before starting their day

We then headed to Colombo to visit the National Museum. This museum is huge with a great number of exhibits, many of which are related to Buddhism. It would have taken us at least four hours to cover everything but unfortunately we ran out of time.

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Exterior of the National Museum

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9th century bronze standing Buddha statue

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There are many Buddha statues in the museum

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A stupa with many Buddhas

Our next stop was Gangaramaya Temple which has strong influences of Mahayana Buddhism and a mixture of Sri Lankan, Thai, Indian and Chinese architecture, quite different from the other temples in Sri Lanka. It features a prayer hall with beautifully sculpted and painted Buddhas, a white stupa with a white jade statue, a Bodhi tree, and a relic chamber which is said to contain the Buddha’s hair. It also has an assembly hall for monks in the middle of Beira Lake, which is about 150 metres away from the main building.

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Inside the main prayer hall with its many beautiful and large Buddha statues

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Beautiful wall paintings

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We did our prayers in the main prayer hall

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One of the statues was being restored

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A Bodhi Tree

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The white Jade Buddha in front of the white stupa

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Seating area around the Bodhi Tree for chanting and prayer sessions

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Many rare and valuable Buddha statues are exhibited here

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Buddha’s hair is in this glass chamber

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The assembly hall for monks in the middle of Beira Lake

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The Bodhi tree and stupa next to the assembly hall by the lake

The last temple we visited on our trip was Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara. It is one of the 16 Solosmasthana and it is said that the temple was consecrated by Buddha Shakyamuni during his third and final visit to Sri Lanka.

The temple was built during Buddha’s time, about 2,500 years ago, and the original stupa of this sacred temple enshrined a throne on which the Buddha sat and preached during his visit. There is also a huge Bodhi Tree here, which many devotees queue and offer water to. When we left around 6.15 pm, a monk was leading many devotees in a chanting session in front of the Reclining Buddha inside the prayer hall. There is also an 18-foot stone statue of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara next to the stupa.

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Stupa in Kelaniya Vihara

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The main prayer hall next to the stupa

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Beautiful wall paintings inside the main prayer hall

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The stupa inside the main prayer hall

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Many devotees queue to make water offerings to the Bodhi tree

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We did our prayers inside the main prayer hall

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A monk led a chanting session in front of the Reclining Buddha

 

More Interesting Places We Did Not Manage to Visit

  • Mihintale, where Buddhism in Sri Lanka is believed to have started
  • Adam’s Peak, one of the most sacred pilgrimage places in Sri Lanka
  • Nagadeepa Purana Viharaya in northern Sri Lanka
  • Sigiriya Lion Rock, an ancient rock fortress and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Royal Botanical Gardens in Kandy
  • Brief Garden in Bentota

 

Travel Tips in Sri Lanka

  1. Visa applications are done online. It takes about two hours for approval.
  2. Booking hotels in Sri Lanka is quite an easy task, as you can use online hotel booking sites such as Booking.com. A decent and clean guest house costs around USD30-40 per night for a double room, including breakfast.
  3. Although you can take public transportation to various places, I would recommend to rent a car or van with a driver, because this is much faster and you will be able to visit more places. It cost us USD480 to hire a 9-seater van and driver for eight days.
  4. Visiting tourist attractions such as Sigiriya Lion Rock, ancient sites, etc. can be expensive. Do check prices before you travel.
  5. Most hotels and tourist attractions accept both US dollars and Sri Lankan rupees. However, it is recommended to pay in rupees for better exchange rates.
  6. If you need a 3G/4G data plan, you can get a SIM card for about USD10 that comes with 7GB of data (valid for one year). Most of Sri Lanka has 4G coverage and decent internet speed.
  7. The sun rises at about 6.15 am and sets around 6 pm.
  8. Most of the roads are single lane and the speed limit is 70 km/h for cars/vans.
  9. Restaurant food which is suitable for foreigners is typically priced around USD5-8 per person. It generally takes about 40 minutes to prepare the food. Restaurants will usually wait until all the dishes are ready before they serve you, and the food can be cold by the time it is served.
  10. Most restaurants and guest houses can prepare vegetarian food upon request.
  11. Buddhists usually wear white-coloured clothing when visiting temples.
  12. You are required to wear long pants or long dresses when entering the temples. If you are wearing shorts, then you must cover your legs with a piece of cloth.
  13. You must take off your shoes/hat in temple areas.
  14. It is traditional to offer flowers in Buddhist temples and fruits in Hindu temples.
  15. You can sit almost anywhere inside the temples to do your prayers, including inside the Dambulla Cave and Tooth Relic Temple.
  16. Never take a photo with your back facing the Buddha. It is considered very disrespectful.
  17. If you see signs like “Please obtain a license to take a photo”, you are generally allowed to take photographs; but not when you see signs like “Strictly no photographs”. When in doubt, please check with the staff.

For more interesting information:

 

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7 Responses to Pilgrimage to Sri Lanka

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  1. wan wai meng on Mar 7, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    Some of the wall paintings, had a Byzantine feel to it. Lew you and your family had a whirlwind tour of Sri Lanka, thank you for given us more insights to the rich culture of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

  2. Anne Ong on Feb 22, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    Rejoice to Lew and family! Thank you for sharing your beautiful experience pictures from your pilgrimage trip to Sri Lanka. Enoyed reading your post. Thank you Rinpoche and blog team for sharing this wonderful write up ?

  3. Alice Tay on Feb 18, 2018 at 12:28 am

    The best gift that we can give to the children is to instill dharma in them.
    In this pilgrimage trip, Lew and family able to make offerings and do prayers together that created causes to gain the same qualities as per enlightened beings. Lew and Wei Theng decided to bring their children for this pilgrimage trip of Sri Lanka instead of other places is really inspiring and be a good example to many other parents to consider and make the same aspirations for their family.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Lew sharing this wonderful article. This has opened my eyes to the beauty and significance of Buddha’s relic of such as Buddha’s tooth and hair.

  4. Lum Kok Luen on Feb 13, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    Thank Kwan Leng for sharing your pilgrimage trip with your family.
    It is indeed extremely meritorious to be able to visit these places together as a family as you embark on your Dharma path.
    The pictures shared are indeed beautiful and looking at the phots, one will collect merits as these are holy images of Lord Buddha.

    Great sharing and I have picked up ideas for a pilgrimage trip.

    Thank you.
    Lum KL

  5. Sarah on Feb 9, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    I enjoyed looking at the beautiful pictures of temples, buddha statues and stupas. What a lovely holiday and a beautiful pilgrimage for the whole family. It is a good idea to bring children on pilgrimages. They will receive Buddha’s blessings and collect merits to practise the Dharma. Thank you for the sharing.

  6. cc on Feb 9, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    ????
    A great place to visit especially with families.
    Great photos. The paintings and the stupas in the caves is amazing.
    Will plan a trip there.

  7. Samfoonheei on Feb 6, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Going on pilgrimage with family members are always more meaningful and meritorious than anything else . Its indeed a blessing all who are able to make the trip. Visiting all the holy temples whereby hold those relics ,caves ancient site and merely seeing the many Buddha images is a dream for anyone. Looking through those beautiful pictures in this article is a blessing, hoping one day I could able to visit these beautiful holy place in Sri Lanka.Thank you Lew Kwan Leng for sharing your pilgrimage to Sri Lanka and those beautiful pictures . A very details trip making those planning to go much easier.

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  • sarassitham
    Friday, Jul 10. 2020 10:20 PM
    I have a strong respect for all the religions, religious places and the mode of prayers they follow. I believe it is more important to have a strong faith, and this faith will lead us on the correct path.

    Thank you for the precious sharing and bring us to the beautiful snow-covered peaks view of Gaden Monastery. I am bless to see the photo of Golden Stupa that encases the holy remains of Lama Tsongkapa’s blessed body/clothes/relics. I sure you must had enjoyed the wonderful experiences of the journey.
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 10. 2020 08:59 PM
    NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft has discovered several terrestrial-mass planets orbiting. Interesting they have discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the habitable zone . Wow… an Earth-sized world within the habitable range of its star, which could allow the presence of liquid water to exist. It has proven we are not alone in this universe where others being such as Aliens or UFO. I do believe definitely there are other unknown beings exist and other planets as well. Maybe in future , more discoveries.
    Interesting read .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/guess-what-was-found.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 10. 2020 08:58 PM
    Money is not everything in life and is not evil . But one uses it in a wrong way it creates harm and unhappiness. Money is the worst discovery in human life but it is the most trusted material to test human nature. With the money , we have use it wisely as one without money in life is tough and rough. If have more money than we need it is good to give away helping in charity and to those who needed badly. To teach our children the right way, never spoiled them with attachment. There is no easy way or short cut .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this profound teachings.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/is-wealth-evil.html
  • sarassitham
    Friday, Jul 10. 2020 12:55 AM
    The art of dinning come from the menu, style and the concept of the restaurant. I haven’t been there but the menu looks yummy. I love almost all vegetarian food that’s made from fresh and healthy ingredients. Vegetarian food leaves a deep impression of our nature. Thank you for the sharing, I wish to walk in one of these days.
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jul 9. 2020 04:41 PM
    Heart breaking after watching the video. Its really sad watching those animals including bludgeoning, neck-breaking while many are skinned alive. The way they were killed just for their fur is horrible inhumane practices. In fact those animals are confined to relatively small wire cages with little enrichment. Millions of fur-bearing animals are killed every year by trappers worldwide. For many of us, wearing fur is simply cruel, and to be avoided at all costs. China is the largest importer of fur pelts in the world and the largest exporter of finished fur products. Glad that campaign groups such as PETA have long highlighted the cruelty of such farms. Fur farming is now banned in a number of countries such as Austria, Croatia, the United Kingdom and so forth. Not only causing the suffering and deaths of millions of animals each year, the production of wool, fur, and leather contributes to climate change, land devastation, pollution, and even water contamination. Hopefully the fur industry can work together with farms with better regulations.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing to bring awareness of the cruelty of animal at fur farm.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/animal-cruelty-in-china.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jul 9. 2020 04:39 PM
    Beautiful Jog Fall located at southern state of Karnataka is India’s highest waterfall. It is a segmented waterfall which depends on rain and season becomes a plunge waterfall. Its one of the power where our Lama H E the 25th Tsem Rinpoche had visited years ago. From the beautiful pictures of Jog Fall can tells us more. Looks peaceful to do prayers, recitation , meditation, retreat as encouraged by our Lama when visiting holy place. When there is stupa we can also do circumambulations, offerings and more. Doing prayers at all these power holy places would be wonderful. There are many places as mentioned by Rinpoche do have powerful positive energy. It’s those place where great masters have visited , varies prayers done, meditation ,and retreats. All these holy places such as Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Sarnath-Varanasi and Kushinagara, Tsongkapa’s birthplace and many more all over the world is infused with the powerful energy of beings. A good article to read and great knowledge of some of the power place and go on pilgrimage.
    We are fortunate to have Rinpoche here in Malaysia where Kechara Forest Retreat was conceptualized ….a holy place infused with powerful energy. It has indeed benefited many and many more to come.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing with folded hands.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/power-place-jog-falls.html
  • S.Prathap
    Thursday, Jul 9. 2020 04:26 PM
    A very unusual friendship which I have not heard of. ‘ Incredible true story of Pocho. a injured crocodile was found on the bank of the Parasmina River in Costa Rica after being shot by a farmer.
    Even an animal as large and carnivorous can be gentle and loving. All animals deserve the chance to live.Thank you very much for the good article.

    https://bit.ly/3iIJDW8
  • sarassitham
    Wednesday, Jul 8. 2020 10:56 PM
    Most people think animal cruelty is mainly people being unkind to animals. Based on the article million innocent animals were tortured and killed for their fur or skin off their backs. The fur industry is such a cruel heartless business that is bad for the environment and unnecessary.

    It’s horrendous, I can’t believe that fur from China has so much demand. Shock to see the industries cheapest and cruelest methods used in killing the animals. All the animals are victims of cruelty spent their whole lives restricted to filthy, cramped wire cages. This has to come to an end.

    The industry will continue to grow wild if there is no restriction. The success of any business depends upon how they are creating the demand for a product in the target market and then, how they are managing the supplies to fulfill that demand.
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jul 8. 2020 02:54 PM
    Attitudes toward minorities have been marked by discrimination historically almost everywhere. In the United States’s history many forms of discrimination had been happening in U.S. Population growth and cultural has change throughout much of the U.S. Americans enjoyed legally sanctioned privileges and rights which were denied to other races and minorities. All these should happened just because of their religion, spirituality, race, economic background. Anyway it did happened in USA, as Rinpoche did experienced before where discrimination and there are people who are segregated because of their religious faith.
    In happened in the Dorje Shugden’s controversy as well all because of their faith which has affected hundred thousands of Tibetan communities . Even to this day the discrimination still continue with the Tibetan Leadership interference politics with religion.
    History has a tendency to repeat itself and those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it. Hopefully it will not be repeated for peace and harmony .
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/this-happened-in-the-usa.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jul 8. 2020 02:52 PM
    Beautiful rare and precious ancient thangkas . We are fortunate to have such an opportunity to see all the rare thangkas of Dorje Shugden , Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen, Five Foremost Deities – Mo Lha and so forth. They are all centuries old thangkas . Incredible all are private collections as well as from Rubin Museum of Art which been printed centuries ago. Merely by looking at it is a blessing and paints a thousand words.All these rare centuries thangkas has proven that the Tibetan Leadership is wrong in their judgements of the Dorje Shugden origin. It is visual proof that Dorje Shugden was practised by the other Tibetan Buddhist traditions as well and is not evil spirits.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/beautiful-ancient-thangkas-to-share-with-you.html
  • S.Prathap
    Wednesday, Jul 8. 2020 12:33 PM
    She was was revered as one of the last century’s best known woman teachers and most influential women in Tibetan spiritual history.Many extraordinary stories are told of her remarkable abilities, she was an extraordinary woman.
    It is inspiring to read how much she had to endure from childhood and later under her lama but she never broke down, felt sorry for herself or got angry.Thank you for sharing this wonderful article.

    https://bit.ly/3e8Zbz1
  • S.Prathap
    Wednesday, Jul 8. 2020 12:40 AM
    Happy to Mr. Chen and his wife, for his devotions and great care towards Guru. His good and excellent qualities are an example I wish to follows.All the flowers and plants that you have planted look so good in the pictures.
    These are the results of your care and hard work that you have put in.Mr. Chen sets a good example for us all to learn. Thank you very much for the sharing
  • sarassitham
    Tuesday, Jul 7. 2020 11:20 PM
    What has got into them..Such an inhuman behavior. I got no heart to see all those pictures, had to scroll down as I couldn’t bear seeing this cruelty on poor animals. I have seen people watching slime videos for satisfaction, this is the first time seeing this. This has to end very soon !
    Thank you Rinpoche

    https://bit.ly/31Ut2c8
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Jul 7. 2020 01:35 PM
    nspiration worthy words compiled by Tsem Rinpoche. All the quotes are meaningful for us to ponder. Simple quotes yet very meaningful. Buddha ‘s words is a teaching , we should listen and put into action will lead us to mind transformation and happiness.
    Thank you Rinpoche with folded hands.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/and-buddha-spoke-you-should-listen.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Jul 7. 2020 01:33 PM
    Buddhism has a long history in Indonesia, and is recognized as one of six official religions. Numerous stupa, statues , inscriptions from the earlier history of Indonesian has suggested c Buddhism came to Indonesia a few hundred years after Hinduism. Buddhism is the second oldest religion in Indonesia, after Hinduism recording to history. Temples been built since then which still exist and came under the world heritage site. Borobudur,is one of them which is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple, in Central Java, Indonesia. The magnificent Borobudur temple is the world’s biggest Buddhist monument, an ancient site widely considered to be one of the world’s seven wonders and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Amazing just in the Borobudur itself there were over 500 Buddha statues . I have been to there yet , wish I could. Heard from friends the beauty of it, a peaceful place good for meditation and do prayers . Buddhism in Indonesia has an interesting history behind it. The Srivijaya Kingdom and its kings were influential factors in the spreading of Buddhism then. Interesting read.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Valencia sharing this interesting article.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/the-buddhist-kingdoms-of-indonesia.html

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Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
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One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
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Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
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Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
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12 months ago
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
12 months ago
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
12 months ago
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
1 years ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
1 years 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.
1 years 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.
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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!!!
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
1 years ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
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  • Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
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    Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is the first time His Holiness Dalai Lama mentions he had some very serious illness. Very worrying. This video is captured April 2019.
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    This is the first time His Holiness Dalai Lama mentions he had some very serious illness. Very worrying. This video is captured April 2019.
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    1 years ago
    This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
    1 years ago
    Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
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    1 years ago
    These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
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  • Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
    1 years ago
    Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
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    Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
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ASK A PASTOR


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

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

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CHAT PICTURES

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
2 days 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
system
5 days ago
system
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
3 weeks 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
2 months ago
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
2 months ago
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
Wesak 2020
2 months ago
Wesak 2020
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
4 months 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
4 months 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
4 months 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
4 months 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
4 months 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
4 months 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
4 months 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
4 months 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
4 months 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.
4 months 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
4 months 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
4 months 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
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Over 100 Kecharians & their loved ones spent the Sunday evening immersed in this obstacle pacifying puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Over 100 Kecharians & their loved ones spent the Sunday evening immersed in this obstacle pacifying puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Dakpa and Geshe Janchup Gyaltsen Lama inspecting the offering substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Dakpa and Geshe Janchup Gyaltsen Lama inspecting the offering substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Rinpoche & Geshe Janchup making last minute checks before the commencement of the Jinsek or Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Rinpoche & Geshe Janchup making last minute checks before the commencement of the Jinsek or Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The arrival of the Sangha conducting this sacred puja accompanied by Changtso Beng Kooi and Pastor Niral Patel - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The arrival of the Sangha conducting this sacred puja accompanied by Changtso Beng Kooi and Pastor Niral Patel - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The site of the Peaceful Fire Puja the calls upon the pacifying energies of Shize Shugden. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The site of the Peaceful Fire Puja the calls upon the pacifying energies of Shize Shugden. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: A close-up of the ladle. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: A close-up of the ladle. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Substances such as sticks, melted butter, kusha grass, lentils and barley were traditionally offered during the prayers to create the causes for merits, long life and to pacify obstacles. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Substances such as sticks, melted butter, kusha grass, lentils and barley were traditionally offered during the prayers to create the causes for merits, long life and to pacify obstacles. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Beautifully handcrafted torma or food offering to the Buddha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Beautifully handcrafted torma or food offering to the Buddha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Some of the many offering items & substances used during this highly blessed Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Some of the many offering items & substances used during this highly blessed Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja in Kechara Forest Retreat: A special mandala at the base where the fire puja ritual was conducted. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja in Kechara Forest Retreat: A special mandala at the base where the fire puja ritual was conducted. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Kechara Earth Project (KEP) 8/3/2020
4 months ago
Kechara Earth Project (KEP) 8/3/2020
Dear Kecharians and friends, We are pleased to announce that as part of the preparations for H.E. Tsem Rinpoche's reliquary stupas and incarnation chapel, mantra rolling sessions have begun in Kechara Forest Retreat. We are calling for volunteers to join us in this holy activity. DATE Daily starting 5th March 2020 until further notice TIME (1) Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday - 10am to 10pm (2) Thursday & Sunday - 10am to 6pm VENUE Art Studio (Kechara Saraswati Arts) Kechara Forest Retreat If you're interested, kindly contact: Wong Yew Kien 012-3717896 or Karen Chong 012-7710289 We look forward to seeing you soon!
4 months ago
Dear Kecharians and friends, We are pleased to announce that as part of the preparations for H.E. Tsem Rinpoche's reliquary stupas and incarnation chapel, mantra rolling sessions have begun in Kechara Forest Retreat. We are calling for volunteers to join us in this holy activity. DATE Daily starting 5th March 2020 until further notice TIME (1) Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday - 10am to 10pm (2) Thursday & Sunday - 10am to 6pm VENUE Art Studio (Kechara Saraswati Arts) Kechara Forest Retreat If you're interested, kindly contact: Wong Yew Kien 012-3717896 or Karen Chong 012-7710289 We look forward to seeing you soon!
Join us for a Peaceful Fire Puja based on Dorje Shugden’s pacifying form. This blessed puja will be conducted at the future site of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s outdoor reliquary stupa to pacify obstacles and for the success of the project. EVENT DETAILS • Date: Sunday, 8 March 2020 • Time: 6.00pm – 8.30pm • Venue: Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong Admission is free, all are welcome. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS FOR SPONSORS AND ATTENDEES • Healing from illness and disease • Overcoming obstacles • Purifying past negative deeds and negative karma • Calming the environment, natural disasters and calamities • Helping the deceased to take a good rebirth • Accumulation of merits for spiritual realisations and attainments
4 months ago
Join us for a Peaceful Fire Puja based on Dorje Shugden’s pacifying form. This blessed puja will be conducted at the future site of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s outdoor reliquary stupa to pacify obstacles and for the success of the project. EVENT DETAILS • Date: Sunday, 8 March 2020 • Time: 6.00pm – 8.30pm • Venue: Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong Admission is free, all are welcome. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS FOR SPONSORS AND ATTENDEES • Healing from illness and disease • Overcoming obstacles • Purifying past negative deeds and negative karma • Calming the environment, natural disasters and calamities • Helping the deceased to take a good rebirth • Accumulation of merits for spiritual realisations and attainments
Join us this weekend for Spiritual Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat! SATURDAY, 7 MARCH 9.30 am: Polish Gyenze's wish-fulfilling lamps 11.15 am: Introduction to Ayurveda 1.00 pm: Lunch INTERESTED? WhatsApp us at +6017 672 0757 to RSVP your place (and your meal!) See all March activities: bit.ly/2vAGpjF
4 months ago
Join us this weekend for Spiritual Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat! SATURDAY, 7 MARCH 9.30 am: Polish Gyenze's wish-fulfilling lamps 11.15 am: Introduction to Ayurveda 1.00 pm: Lunch INTERESTED? WhatsApp us at +6017 672 0757 to RSVP your place (and your meal!) See all March activities: bit.ly/2vAGpjF
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Dorje Shugden
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