Pilgrimage to Sri Lanka

Feb 3, 2018 | Views: 1,553

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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.

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8 Responses to Pilgrimage to Sri Lanka

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  1. S.Prathap on Jul 29, 2020 at 12:16 am

    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.The pictures shared are indeed beautiful and looking at the photos, one will collect merits as these are holy images of Lord Buddha.
    Thank you very much for sharing your pilgrimage to Sri Lanka and those beautiful pictures .It really wonderful and nice.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 ?

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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
    Tuesday, May 4. 2021 03:46 PM
    Bali is a magical Island probably the most well-known and most visited Indonesian island. A part of Indonesia archipelago, Bali owns the panorama and unique culture that make this island an ideal location for a vacation.

    It’s shock to discover people in Bali are eating dog meat. Aside from the cruelty, the greatest shock was to discover that tourists are unwittingly eating dog meat and fueling the mobile dog meat vendors are trawling popular beaches in Bali selling satays from buckets, deliberately not telling people the origin of the meat.

    This is causing shocking animal cruelty over the popular holiday destination and
    definitely putting the local Balinese and foreign tourists’ health at risk .Thanks for the thoughtful sharing and bringing awareness to many.

    https://bit.ly/2RknC6Q
  • sarassitham
    Monday, May 3. 2021 11:36 PM
    Each of us is born with a particular set of colors and numbers that are very unique. These numbers reveal our character, purpose, motivation, talents and abilities in this life.

    I had a positive feeling and good action to know the interesting fact of Mewa 6. Thank you for the thoughtful sharing, I am blessed to know my birth Mewa and had the opportunity to encounter the challenges to face and to overcome.

    https://bit.ly/3thT9DE
  • sarassitham
    Friday, Apr 30. 2021 11:09 PM
    Thank you for the informative and historical sharing of The Guangxi Community in Bentong. It’s interesting to know the large Chinese population in the Perting Chinese New Village are Guangxi Chinese.

    A small town famous for its locally produced ginger, durians, tofu puff, bean curd, bean curd puff, fresh vegetables, it has so much more to offer for wandering foodies.

    Success requires hard work, however hard work rewards with much more than success alone. Guangxi people of today are one of the most successful communities in Bentong, producing successful people in every strata of society.

    https://bit.ly/3gQ2JLu
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 30. 2021 03:47 PM
    Great Buton Rinchen Drub’s lifestorys truly inspiring, interesting which I simply love reading over and over again. The Great Buton Rinchen Drub was one of the most erudite of scholars of Tibet. To this day he is well remembered as a prodigious scholar and writer and is Tibet’s most celebrated historian. He catalogued thousands of the Buddhist scriptures and wrote the famous book, the History of Buddhism in India and Tibet. Many Tibetan scholars utilize in their study even as today.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/tibets-great-scholar-buton-rinchen-drub.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 30. 2021 03:46 PM
    Great memories of Rinpoche meeting with Guru Deva Rinpoche a very learned and qualified Lama,that has changed Rinpoche life. He is considered to be the reincarnation of one of the 84 great Mahasiddhas of ancient India. He studied under many great masters as such like Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche, Kyabje Yongzin Trijang Dorje Chang, and so forth. We have Tsem Rinpoche today all because of Guru Deva Rinpoche who had contributed towards Rinpoche’s spiritual journey. The journey was tough for Rinpoche , having gone through and had travelled from America to India. Having remained and continued to languish under the terrible conditions in India till he travelled to Nepal and meeting Guru Deva Rinpoche. Everything changed from then on. Interesting read .
    Thank you Rinpoche and Martin Chow for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/my-recollection-of-h-e-guru-deva-rinpoche.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 28. 2021 04:19 PM
    Buton Rinchen Drub is widely considered to be one of Tibet’s greatest scholars, historians, translators,writers and proponent of the Kalachakra Tantra. Even as a very young child, Rinpoche exhibited extraordinary abilities. He studied and received many tantric transmissions and empowerments from many other teachers. Well respected by many and was one of the brightest lights of Tibetan Buddhism. Over the period of his life he composed at least twenty-six prolific volumes of commentaries. His legacy included the compilation of 500 years’ worth of translated teachings into the encyclopedic Kangyur and Tangyur collections. This monumental effort helped to preserve and propagate the teachings throughout Tibet. These collections have become well known by all of the schools of Buddhism in Tibet, and continue to this day. He travelled tremendously throughout Tibet and many places giving teachings, empowerments, transmissions, and ordinations at monasteries along the way. Interesting read of a great Lama.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/buton-rinchen-drub.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 28. 2021 04:09 PM
    Pema Lingpa was a famous saint and siddha of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. In the history of the Nyingma school in Bhutan, Pema Lingpa is second only in importance to Padmasambhava himself. Many auspicious miraculous signs appeared when was born as such even as a child he was indeed extraordinary learning everything from reading and writing to ironwork and carpentry without receiving any instruction. Interesting read of the extraordinary enlightened activities , stories and biography of Pema Lingpa . He was highly regarded by all four of the principal schools of Vajrayana Buddhism. Pema Lingpa spent his life revealing the precious treasures of Guru Rinpoche, giving empowerments and teachings. He composed many religious texts and ritual, gave initiations and even established monasteries . He was known as a discoverer of spiritual treasures. He left a legacy establishing a tradition that endures to this day. He prophesied that in the future he would return as the Buddha Dorjé Nyingpo in the pure land of Pemako.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this interesting sharing .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/pema-lingpa.html
  • Sarassitham
    Tuesday, Apr 27. 2021 04:22 PM
    Thank you for the interesting sharing of discovering the heart desire numbers. Numerology is the belief in the divine or mystical relationship between a number and one or more coinciding events. The heart’s desire is seen as part of the larger picture which includes the life path, expression, date of birth and personality. Each person has different numbers that help them identify who they are and what their purpose in life. Each letters in our name has a message which is hidden and plays a crucial role in our life.

    I think this article will benefits many who are having a very hard time to achieve their dreams and to find out their true passion in their life. I had a good read and happy to discover my heart desire number.

    https://bit.ly/3vm118z
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Apr 26. 2021 04:10 PM
    For sarassitham –sorry press wrongly
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Apr 26. 2021 04:09 PM
    For sarassitham – For years scientists and experts have been trying hard to get the bottom answers and hard evidence of aliens existing . Finally they did it and very close to the answers through the video….a true evidence. Throughout history, many common myths and legends mention incredible flying machines and how ancient people travelled great distances through the air. I do believe thousands of years ago, ancient mankind was visited by incredible flying machines. There are various places around the world such as the Step pyramid in Saqqara, Egypt, a burial ground in Columbia , Mountain of Solomon and Peru, and many more. All these architectural structure are amazing, how and exactly, did they build those structures those days thousands years ago without modern machineries? Made of millions of precisely hewn stones weighing tons each, even with today’s cranes and other construction equipment, building it would be a very challenging task. Scientists suspect that over centuries aliens have visited Earth. Could it be artifacts of aliens or did ancient humans have extra-terrestrial help ??? It is still a mysteries to this days. Interesting read .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/ancient-aliens-the-evidence-season-1-episode-1.html
  • sarassitham
    Friday, Apr 23. 2021 12:19 AM
    This article is truly inspiring. Ms Chen contributed most of her time working, her passion was a strong desire that she was able to do amazing things. It is indeed a rare sight to see a person who is able to be selfless at such a deep level in many ways. I do agree that we definitely need more Ms Chens in this world to inspire and to help others.

    https://bit.ly/3xj0k1C
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 22. 2021 03:34 PM
    Ngawang Wangyal known to many as Geshe Wangyal and the first American lama introducing Tibetan Buddhism to the West. He was a Buddhist lama and scholar of Kalmyk origin born in Russia. He travelled through Russia to Tibet and spent the next 20 years traveling throughout Asia, learning English and translating . It was during the Chinese invasion he escaped to India and later went to American. Despite the many challenges he faced , he built a monastery been the first temple in the Western hemisphere, sponsored Tibetan monk scholars to assist him in teachings. That’s how Tibetan Buddhism spread in the west. His long list of accomplishments would include pioneering efforts in establishing Tibetan Buddhism’s intellectual bona fides in American academia. During the last several years of his life he worked tirelessly on his final book.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this inspiring untold story of how Tibetan Buddhism first came to America through one great Lama.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/from-russia-with-love.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 22. 2021 03:30 PM
    Kalarupa is one a wrathful emanation of Wisdom Buddha Manjushri, manifesting as a Dharma Protector. Kalarupa displaying as the direct spiritual protector force for all ugliness arising from the true inner spiritual obstacles of fear, hatred, pride and jealousy . As an emanation of Manjushri, Kalarupa’s practice ultimately helps us to destroy ignorance and develop wisdom to overcome our anger and suffering. Interesting read of the story how Kalarupa arose as a Protector. Beautiful pictures of Kalarupa in many forms.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing, even though I still have more to understand.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/kalarupa.html
  • sarassitham
    Thursday, Apr 22. 2021 12:38 AM
    Animals are sentient beings who like us have feelings, if we hurt them they feel pain and if we treat them with love and care, they would feel loved. The more we human know about the animals the more we feel how amazing they are.

    Thank you for sharing, I got attacked from the cuteness and I admired the warm hug of the puppy with teddy bear.

    https://bit.ly/3eoJxl4
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 21. 2021 03:12 PM
    In Buddhism, offerings are made to the Triple Gem, giving rise to contemplative gratitude and inspiration. One such offerings such as foods. flowers, and so forth. Reading this post gives us a more understanding of some do’s and don’ts regarding food offerings. Offering food is a meritorious act that also reminds us not to be greedy or selfish.
    GREAT guidance , precious teachings and listening from those videos tell us more. All about making offerings, the importance of our motivation and the results of making offerings to the Three Jewels
    Thank you Rinpoche and writers for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/a-quick-note-on-food-offerings.html

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Height: 33ft (10m)
2 yearss ago
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
2 yearss ago
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
2 yearss 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
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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  • 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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    2 yearss ago
    This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
    2 yearss 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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    2 yearss 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.
    2 yearss 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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    2 yearss ago
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    2 yearss ago
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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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CHAT PICTURES

#KFBBentong: Ready for some exciting news? We are now at RM154,523.94 - surpassing the funds required for our Pahang food bank operations! Thank you to all who kindly donated, we are deeply moved by your care and generosity towards the less fortunate struggling in our midst. To make our shared goal to continue #helpingthepoor a reality, we are now eagerly looking for suitable premises in Bentong. We will update soon on our progress, so stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #foodaid #bantuan #kitajagakita #hungerknowsnobarriers #endhunger #charity #ngomalaysia #Pahang - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
3 weeks ago
#KFBBentong: Ready for some exciting news? We are now at RM154,523.94 - surpassing the funds required for our Pahang food bank operations! Thank you to all who kindly donated, we are deeply moved by your care and generosity towards the less fortunate struggling in our midst. To make our shared goal to continue #helpingthepoor a reality, we are now eagerly looking for suitable premises in Bentong. We will update soon on our progress, so stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #foodaid #bantuan #kitajagakita #hungerknowsnobarriers #endhunger #charity #ngomalaysia #Pahang - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Fwd: 12 minute Affiliate Multiple Ways to Earn Commissions
4 weeks ago
Fwd: 12 minute Affiliate Multiple Ways to Earn Commissions
#kecharafoodbank: In collaboration with Good Shepherd Services (GSS) based in Ipoh, we travelled to Buntong with food rations for 33 families. Some of the food items given include rice, noodles, cooking oil and biscuits; in total, we gave 726kg of food to these beneficiaries from the underprivileged class. We are glad to have been able to contribute, especially to families with children and in poor living conditions. We wish to thank GSS for alerting us about those in need, and we look forward to extending more support in the future together with this not-for-profit organization doing good work. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 months ago
#kecharafoodbank: In collaboration with Good Shepherd Services (GSS) based in Ipoh, we travelled to Buntong with food rations for 33 families. Some of the food items given include rice, noodles, cooking oil and biscuits; in total, we gave 726kg of food to these beneficiaries from the underprivileged class. We are glad to have been able to contribute, especially to families with children and in poor living conditions. We wish to thank GSS for alerting us about those in need, and we look forward to extending more support in the future together with this not-for-profit organization doing good work. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
In an urgent effort to provide food and necessities to the poverty-stricken in Bentong and rural areas of Pahang, we are launching Food Bank Bentong. With your support, Food Bank Bentong would be able to feed 500 families totaling 2,300 people on a regular basis, giving them a chance to enjoy a basic sense of security we consider a human right. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 months ago
In an urgent effort to provide food and necessities to the poverty-stricken in Bentong and rural areas of Pahang, we are launching Food Bank Bentong. With your support, Food Bank Bentong would be able to feed 500 families totaling 2,300 people on a regular basis, giving them a chance to enjoy a basic sense of security we consider a human right. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Kechara Sunday Dharma School Online Teaching Every Sunday Morning 11am class - KSDS Jayce Goh
3 months ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School Online Teaching Every Sunday Morning 11am class - KSDS Jayce Goh
Re: Kechara Sunday Dharma School Online Teaching Every Sunday Morning 11am class, students attend Pastor Shin Class happily - KSDS Jayce Goh
3 months ago
Re: Kechara Sunday Dharma School Online Teaching Every Sunday Morning 11am class, students attend Pastor Shin Class happily - KSDS Jayce Goh
Update on Empowerment cookies, special holiday packaging. The bakers are most grateful for the overwhelming support of 834 tubs ordered, with a big order of 314 tubs from a group of friends. Thank you to those cookie lovers who couldn’t get enough of it. Watch out for the next update. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
4 months ago
Update on Empowerment cookies, special holiday packaging. The bakers are most grateful for the overwhelming support of 834 tubs ordered, with a big order of 314 tubs from a group of friends. Thank you to those cookie lovers who couldn’t get enough of it. Watch out for the next update. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thank you, generous and kind donors, made possible by Alice Smith School's Official Site through their Build Kindness Campaign. The whooping amount of RM63,000 will provide much needed food to 25 poor families for the next 12 months. On behalf of these families, thank you! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
4 months ago
Thank you, generous and kind donors, made possible by Alice Smith School's Official Site through their Build Kindness Campaign. The whooping amount of RM63,000 will provide much needed food to 25 poor families for the next 12 months. On behalf of these families, thank you! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
The global pandemic hasn't been easy for all of us. Some find it diffucult to find a job to support the family. Despite that, we are still delivering basic food pack to our recipients nationwide. Thank you to our volunteers, donors, and sponsors. Without your support, we would be unable to reach out to many families. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
4 months ago
The global pandemic hasn't been easy for all of us. Some find it diffucult to find a job to support the family. Despite that, we are still delivering basic food pack to our recipients nationwide. Thank you to our volunteers, donors, and sponsors. Without your support, we would be unable to reach out to many families. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thanks to Yap Optometry for gifting Robert a new pair of glasses to see better. We wish him many clear and bright days ahead. Thank you to all sponsors. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 months ago
Thanks to Yap Optometry for gifting Robert a new pair of glasses to see better. We wish him many clear and bright days ahead. Thank you to all sponsors. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Donation received to date: RM33,468.00 Yes! We've achieved the target for the #TamanNegara project. Fundraising is closed for this project. Thank you to all donors, 113 Orang Asli families will benefit from it. Stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 months ago
Donation received to date: RM33,468.00 Yes! We've achieved the target for the #TamanNegara project. Fundraising is closed for this project. Thank you to all donors, 113 Orang Asli families will benefit from it. Stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
FRESHLY BAKED by Kechara Empowerment trainees - Chocolate Chip Butter Cookies - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 months ago
FRESHLY BAKED by Kechara Empowerment trainees - Chocolate Chip Butter Cookies - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
In memory of Wilson Lee, one of our most dedicated volunteers in Penang. Our heartfelt condolences to Wilson's wife, Tze Ling, family and friends. Our thoughts are with them for their loss. Thank you for your kindness and service to KSK Penang. From all of us in KSK.
6 months ago
In memory of Wilson Lee, one of our most dedicated volunteers in Penang. Our heartfelt condolences to Wilson's wife, Tze Ling, family and friends. Our thoughts are with them for their loss. Thank you for your kindness and service to KSK Penang. From all of us in KSK.
Last weekend a Soup Kitchen activities @ Penang, Johor & Kuala Lumpur. Hot food, water, masks, biscuits, buns & fruits. This is what we give out to our friends living on the streets. Thank you to our sponsor & volunteers that make it happen. Come spread more love by being a volunteer at our activities. WhatsApp us today at 010-333-3260! See you soon! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
7 months ago
Last weekend a Soup Kitchen activities @ Penang, Johor & Kuala Lumpur. Hot food, water, masks, biscuits, buns & fruits. This is what we give out to our friends living on the streets. Thank you to our sponsor & volunteers that make it happen. Come spread more love by being a volunteer at our activities. WhatsApp us today at 010-333-3260! See you soon! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Fwd: Dear Sotha
7 months ago
Fwd: Dear Sotha
Kechara Earth Project 13/9/2020
8 months ago
Kechara Earth Project 13/9/2020
Thank you Domino's Pizza Malaysia, Kasih & Piza campaign for sponsoring 85 boxes of pizza to our friends who live on the streets. Your flavourful pizzas have put a smile on their faces. Thank you! - Vivan @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #KasihdanPiza #ItsAllAboutYou
8 months ago
Thank you Domino's Pizza Malaysia, Kasih & Piza campaign for sponsoring 85 boxes of pizza to our friends who live on the streets. Your flavourful pizzas have put a smile on their faces. Thank you! - Vivan @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #KasihdanPiza #ItsAllAboutYou
Thank you Novo Nordisk! Your kind monetary donation and 1,320 boxes of masks will benefit many needy families under the Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families  ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #novonordisk #novonordiskmalaysia
8 months ago
Thank you Novo Nordisk! Your kind monetary donation and 1,320 boxes of masks will benefit many needy families under the Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #novonordisk #novonordiskmalaysia
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
8 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
10 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
11 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
11 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
11 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
11 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
12 months ago
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
12 months ago
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
Wesak 2020
12 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
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