Sacred Mountains Around the World

Nov 19, 2017 | Views: 1,006
Mount Kailash

Mount Kailash

Towering imposingly and majestically in the sky, mountains are believed to possess supernatural properties because they are closer to heaven than any other earthly feature. Interestingly, many mountains are linked to spirituality and enlightened beings, such as the Buddha and Jesus.

From the earliest times, many peoples from the Greeks and Native Americans to the Indians and Polynesians have placed mountains central to their beliefs. The power of such sacred places is believed to enhance the mortal experience and sometimes, it is even forbidden to climb them out of respect.

The mountain calls to us with its calm and serene environment and is often chosen as the site for religious retreats. Pilgrimages to holy mountains are also a way to connect to the sacred and they allow us to purify our sins through the rigour of an arduous climb. In some religions, adherents are urged to make such a pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime.

Here is a selection of sacred mountains scattered across the globe. They are revered by people separated by vast spaces but united in their awe and regard for these magnificent giants of nature.

 

1. Mount Fuji, Japan

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Mount Fuji or Fujisan is the tallest peak in Japan at 3,776 metres. It is located on Honshu Island, about 100 kilometres southwest of Tokyo within the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, the most visited National Park in the country.

It is an active volcano which last erupted on December 16, 1707. Few people know that Mount Fuji actually has two active volcanoes within it, Komitake and Kofuji. Its surface is 182 miles wider than the city of Tokyo.

There are five lakes located at Mount Fuji: Kawaguchiko, Yamanakako, Saiko, Motosuko and Shojiko. Out of the five lakes, Kawaguchiko is the most developed and also the most accessible.

Mount Fuji is an important and well-known symbol of Japan, frequently represented in the country’s art for centuries. It is the inspiration behind the brand Fujifilm, while the Fuji apple, a river, a city, a Japanese warship and an asteroid discovered in 1927 by the Japanese astronomer, Oikawa, also share the same name. There is even a Fuji Rock Festival, Fuji Speedway and Fuji Television.

A magnificent view of Mt.Fuji

A magnificent view of Mount Fuji

The name Mount Fuji is thought to have come from the Ainu people, the original inhabitants of Honshu. Their god of fire and the hearth is called ‘Fuchi’ and this is believed to be the root of the name ‘Fuji’.

Mount Fuji is important to the Shinto religion, which is the main faith in Japan. An unknown Shinto monk is believed to have been the first person to ascend Mount Fuji, completing the trek in the 7th century. Princess Konohanasakuya, the mythical princess of the blossom has since the 15th century CE been the main deity associated with Mount Fuji.

Map indicating the location of Mt.Fuji. Click on image to enlarge.

Map indicating the location of Mount Fuji. Click on image to enlarge.

The volcano is seen as a sacred kami or spirit and climbing Mount Fuji is considered a Shinto pilgrimage. There are important shrines, caves, springs and even a waterfall located on the mountain. The most important Shinto shrine is the Fujisan Jongu Sengen Taisha. This area is also famous for the approximately 500 cherry trees which blossom in April.

Many writers and artists have been inspired by Mount Fuji. The 8th century poetry anthology, Manyoshu, contains many lines dedicated to the mountain. It also appears in haiku poems by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694 CE), including this one:

In the land of Yamato,

It is our treasure, our tutelary god.

It never tires our eyes to look up

To the lofty peak of Mount Fuji
~ Manyoshu (Dougill, 17)

The climate/ecosystem is tundra which means that the temperature is consistently below freezing. As a result, many plants cannot grow there and only various mosses, herbs and small shrubs cover the rocks and the ground.

A simple checklist while visiting Mt.Fuji. Click on image to enlarge.

A simple checklist while visiting Mount Fuji. Click on image to enlarge.

The best time to visit Mount Fuji is between October and February as the visibility is generally best during these months. In winter, there is also a lot of snow on the peak. Climbers who want to ascend Mount Fuji have a window of just two months – from the beginning of July to the end of August. Every year, about 300,000 people make the ascent and of these, 70% are Japanese while 30% are foreigners.

The main attractions in the area are:

  • Kubota Museum dedicated to the kimono artist
  • An amusement park with roller coasters
  • The Sengen Shrine
  • The Chureito Pagoda, with Mount Fuji in the background
  • Iyashi no Sato, a small open-air museum that focuses on village craft
  • Hot springs (onsen), some of which have a view of Mount Fuji
  • The Mount Tenjo Ropeway
  • Oshino Hakkai, a tourist village with eight ponds
  • Caves created by past eruptions of Mount Fuji

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2. Mount Kailash, Tibet

The Unclimbable Mountain, they call it.

At 6,638 metres, Mount Kailash is neither the world’s tallest mountain nor the one with the most difficult ascent. Yet, expert mountaineers and team after team have either been unable to complete the journey to the summit because of sudden inclement weather or outright refused to do so for reasons not always made clear.

Myth tells us that the only person who successfully gazed down on the world from the peak of Mount Kailash was the famed Tibetan mystic, Milarepa, who made the trek about 900 years ago. So, what power does this mysterious peak hold?

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The imposing Mount Kailash is shaped like a diamond, with four steep, black sides. It is located in Tibet in the Burang County of Ngari Prefecture. Darchen Village, located about 1,216 kilometres away from the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, is the gateway to Kailash.

It is said that Mount Kailash is the holiest place in the world. Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Bön followers all view Mount Kailash as their sacred mountain.

A map of Mount Kailash. Click on image to enlarge.

A map of Mount Kailash. Click on image to enlarge.

In Jainism, Mount Kailash is named Mount Ashtapada and is believed to be the location where Rishabhadeva gained liberation from rebirth. In the Bön religion, which existed in Tibet before Buddhism, Mount Kailash is the home of the sky goddess Sipaimen. In Hinduism, it is known as Kailash Parbat, the home of Shiva, the god of destruction and regeneration. It is their paradise and regarded as the spiritual centre of the world. For Tibetan Buddhists, Kailash or Gang Rinpoche is the abode of Buddha Demchok or Heruka Chakrasamvara.

Pilgrims visiting Mount Kailash circumambulate the holy mountain to clear their bad karma (sins). The trek distance is about 32 miles (51.5 kilometres) long with altitudes ranging from 15,000 feet to 19,000 feet. They circumambulate according to their religion, either clockwise or anti-clockwise, and the route is called a kora in Tibetan or parikrama in Sanskrit. The circumambulation can be completed in a single day, taking about 14 hours but visitors, especially those sight-seeing, can take up to three days.

People who are not physically able to cover the distance on foot can opt to hire a yak, a pony or a motor vehicle. Many Tibetans perform the kora of Mount Kailash either 3, 13 or even 108 times. Others do full-length body prostrations along the circuit, a gruelling feat that takes weeks to accomplish.

The full-length body prostrations can take up weeks to complete

The full-length body prostrations around the mountain can take weeks to complete

There are two lakes that form part of the landscape here. The first is Lake Mansarovar, which is part of the pilgrimage site. Located at the foot of Mount Kailash, it is the highest freshwater lake in the world at an altitude of 4,500 metres and considered one of the holiest lakes in Asia. Its surface shimmers in a stunning play of colours as light meets water.

Other important attractions are the Tirthapuri hot springs, Gauri Kund – the lake of compassion, and Yam Dwar – the starting point of the Parikrama. Asthapad (Eight Steps) is the place where the founder of Jainism, Tirthankara Shri Rishabhadev Bhagwan attained Nirvana, at the base of Mount Kailash.

Another map of Mount Kailash. Click on image to enlarge.

Another map of Mount Kailash. Click on image to enlarge.

The best time to visit the Unclimbable Mountain is between April and October as the average temperature is a pleasant 15°C. Saga Dawa, a grand religious festival that is one of the most significant in Buddhism, is celebrated in May and June. Celebrations here infuse a splash of colour into the stark surroundings.

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3. Mauna Kea, Hawaii

A million years old and the tallest mountain on earth if measured from its underwater base, Mouna Kea, also known as ‘Mauna a Wakea’ is one of the most sacred sites for native Hawaiians and occupies an important place in their mythology. It was also a historical burial place as remains have been found next to the lake.

The name means ‘white mountain’, inspired by its snow-covered peak, and attracts many pilgrims who climb up its steep slopes. Rising about 4,207 metres above sea level, it is the highest peak in the Pacific. However, its height from the bottom of the ocean floor in the Pacific Ocean is more than 10 kilometres, which makes it taller than Mount Everest.

A beautiful shot of Mouna Kea

A beautiful shot of Mauna Kea

In Hawaiian mythology, the roof of the mountain belongs to the gods. The name Mauna a Wakea has its origins in the Hawaiian sky father, Wakea, who is considered the father of the Hawaiian people. Wakea is the partner of Papahanaumoku, the earth mother who gave birth to the Hawaiian islands. The summit is considered the realm of the gods and in ancient times it was ‘kapu‘ (forbidden) to all except the highest chiefs and priests. Poli’ahu, the snow goddess of Mauna Kea, is the rival of Pele, the goddess of the fiery volcanoes, who resides at Mauna Loa.

A map of Mouna Kea. Click on image to enlarge.

A map of Mouna Kea. Click on image to enlarge.

Next to Mauna Kea is Lake Waiau, situated at an altitude of 3,970 metres. The name Waiau means “swirling water” in Hawaiian. The water of Lake Waiau is said to be pure and has long been used for healing and worship purposes. It is said that the goddess Waiau used to bathe in the lake, thus it is considered very sacred and is still used for certain rituals such as discarding the umbilical cord of a newborn to ensure good fortune and strength for the baby.

With a sacred mountain and similarly sacred lake situated in such close proximity, the area is alive with energy and power. Unfortunately, it seems that the water of Lake Waiau is now disappearing.

Those who want to climb to the peak of Mauna Kea should know that it can be 40 degrees cooler compared to the beach. It is recommended to not attempt an ascent in the months of January and February as there can be severe snowstorms.

The sky from Mauna Kea

The sky from Mauna Kea

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4. San Francisco Peaks, Arizona

The Native American tribes are some of the most honourable people to ever walk the earth. Despite their ferocity in battle, they respected nature, adhered to high standards of self-discipline and observed lofty principles of fairness. This philosophy was a gift from their gods, some of whom their legends say lived on the mountains of the San Francisco Peaks.

The San Francisco Peaks are a volcanic mountain range in Arizona, located north of Flagstaff and about 80 kilometres south of the Grand Canyon. The three main peaks are Humphreys Peak at 3,850 metres, Agassiz Peak at 3,766 metres, and Fremont Peak at 3,649 metres. The range is part of the Kachina Peaks Wilderness Area.

The San Francisco Peaks

The San Francisco Peaks

According to local legend, the mountain range got its name because one could supposedly see the city of San Francisco from here, which is of course not the case. Other sources say the name is a reference to the order of the Franciscans named after St. Francis of Assisi.

The San Francisco Peaks are sacred to local Native American tribes like the Navajo, Hopi, Havasupai, Apache, Acoma and Zuni. Each has its own name for the range and it occupies a particular place in the legends unique to that tribe.

A close-up of the San Francisco Peaks. Click on image to enlarge.

A close-up of the San Francisco Peaks. Click on image to enlarge.

The Hopi people, for example, consider the San Francisco Peaks a pure and sacred space and have used it to conduct ceremonies for millennia. They believe that the katsinam or kachina, spirit messengers, reside at the Peaks and become clouds after they pass away. The katsinam serve as spiritual guides to the Hopi people and visit them during the first part of the year.

According to Navajo mythology, four sacred mountains surround their territory: Mount Hesperus Dibé Nitsaa in the North, Mount Bianca in the East, Mount Taylor in the South, and the San Francisco Peaks or Dook’o’oslííd in the West.

Dook’o’oslííd in Navajo means “the summit which never melts”. According to Navajo mythology, Dook’o’oslííd was created by the God Áltsé hastiin, the first man, and Áltse adzáá, the first woman, and was attached to the sky by a ray of sunlight.

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The region offers a range of outdoor activities, particularly a wide range of hiking trails to suit everyone from the novice hiker to the experienced trekker looking for a challenge. The snowy peaks are great for skiing and snowmobiling, while equestrian activities are also very popular.

The most visited region is around Humphreys Peak, where there are options for climbing, hiking, mountaineering and even skiing. The best time for climbing Humphreys Peak is from June to October. The winds are strong, especially in the spring, so it is recommended you avoid the March to June period.

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5. Mount Sinai, Sinai Peninsula

Perhaps the best known of all sacred mountains for its enduring depiction in Christian and Jewish stories and in popular culture, Mount Sinai is a testament to how just a name can elicit great joy in people for its intimate link with our beliefs.

Mount Sinai is located in Egypt on the Sinai Peninsula and rises to a height of 2,285 metres. It is sacred to three religions – Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

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No trace of any Jewish places of worship remain, although the Moses Cave, where the Jewish prophet is said to have waited before God revealed the Ten Commandments to him does exist and can be visited. At the foot of the mountain, a Greek Orthodox chapel called Saint Catherine’s Monastery built in 565 CE, still stands while a mosque was built at the summit over a thousand years later.

A map of Mount Sinai. Click on image to enlarge.

A map of Mount Sinai. Click on image to enlarge.

St. Catherine’s Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries in the world. This is also where the biblical site of the Burning Bush can be found – it is said to have been transplanted to this spot from a few yards away so that it came into the security of the courtyard; however, the Church insists that it is the original site. The 700 metre ascent from the monastery to the summit can be completed either on foot or on a camel. It consists of nearly 4,000 steps.

The mosque on top of Mount Sinai is still active while the Greek Orthodox chapel is not open to the public. Yet, the former does not feature in religious history while the latter is said to be the source of the rock used for the Tablets of Stone of the Bible and Torah .

The Sinai region has the climate of a desert. It is recommended to travel there either in spring or autumn as the summers are very hot. In spring, the sky will probably be clearer and the area will have more vegetation and water. In the winter, it can be incredibly cold and even snow on the mountain.

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Close-up of Mount Sinai

Close-up of Mount Sinai

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6. Mount Shasta, California

Map of Mount Shasta. Click on image to enlarge.

Map of Mount Shasta. Click on image to enlarge.

Bigfoot, UFOs and a pre-Atlantean pygmy race – these are just a small cross-section of the amazing tales that surround the mysterious Mount Shasta. Revered for millennia by the Native Americans, it has experienced a rejuvenation of sorts with the rise of New Age mysticism.

Mount Shasta is located in Northern California, USA, and is part of the Cascade Mountain Range. It is a potentially active volcano with a height of 4,322 metres and one of the largest volcanic peaks in the US. Mount Shasta last erupted in 1786. It is said that the area around Mount Shasta is where the oldest known settlement in the region was located, roughly 7,000 years ago.

Sunset at Mount Shasta

Sunset at Mount Shasta

In the Karuk language of the Native Americans, Mount Shasta is called Úytaahkoo meaning “White Mountain”, a reference to its snowy slopes. Many Native American tribes like the Wintu, Karuk, Okwanuchu and Modoc as well as the Sastise Indians lived close to the mountain. It is also home to several sacred tribal sites where medicine men and women were trained, spiritual vision quests were held, and healing and guiding were given.

The local tribes describe a war between the spirit of the underworld, Llao, who lived under Mount Mazama and Skell, the spirit of the sky ‘Above-World’. Llao was rejected by the beautiful princess of the Klamath tribe, Loha, and he rained fire down upon her people in anger. They begged for Skell to intercede and he responded by engaging Llao in battle and defeating him. Llao’s decapitated head became Wizard’s Island which sits on Crater Lake, supposedly created by Skell over the dark pit where Llao’s remains were entombed.

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According to Native American belief, there are “The Little People of Mount Shasta” living within the mountain. They are about four feet tall and serve as the guardians of the sacred sites. Post-Native American legends say these beings are able to make themselves invisible at will and their ancestors are the pre-Atlantean people of Lemuria. It is also believed that there are 1.5 million Lemurians living deep inside Mount Shasta who have unlimited health and wealth and live in a Utopian community.

Bigfoot sightings have been reported in some secluded areas of Mount Shasta. Mount Shasta is also known for UFO sightings. The confluence of ancient traditions, urban legends and modern mysteries at Mount Shasta suggests that there are powerful forces at play in this sacred place, which explains its popularity within the New Age beliefs community.

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Apart from an exploration of the myriad tales and myths, there are many physical activities to indulge in while at Mount Shasta. Its warm and dry summers and long, very cold and wet winters are perfect for outdoor exploration. Hiking or biking on hundreds of miles of trails, bird watching, water sports and different snow sports in the wintertime are especially popular.

Mount Shasta

Mount Shasta

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7. Mount Olympus, Greece

Greek myths have influenced literature, thought and civilisation itself for almost three millennia. No aspect of life has remained untouched from the influence or stories of the Greek deities. The gods of the Greek pantheon live on today in modern fiction and in our minds and imagination, but their mythical home is Mount Olympus.

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Mount Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece, the second-highest mountain in the Balkans, and is situated within the Olympos massif, the tallest mountain range in the country. The slopes of Mount Olympus lie about 263 kilometres from the capital, Athens, and 78 kilometres from Thessaloniki, in northern Greece.

In Greek mythology, Mount Olympus is the abode of the twelve Olympian gods: Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Hestia, Demeter, Hermes, Aphrodite, Ares and Hephaestus.

Mytikas, the highest peak at 2,918 metres was called Pantheon, the site where the gods met. Thronos Dios, known today as Stefani, was where the god Zeus had his throne, according to the Greek poet, Homer. At the northern foot of the mountain, in Pieria, lived the nine Muses, daughters of Zeus, together with their mother Mnemosyne, the Titaness of memory and remembrance. The Muses were the patrons of the Fine Arts: art, literature and science.

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According to legend, before the Olympian Gods moved to Mount Olympus, they defeated the Titans then built their home on Mount Olympus to watch over the world of the mortals.

Outside of mythology, Mount Olympus is also home to the highest-altitude chapel of Orthodox Christianity. It is located on Profitis Ilias and was erected in the 16th century by Saint Dionysios of Olympus. In 1987, a very important mosaic was found here and was restored and moved to a protected site.

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Mount Olympus was originally named Mount Belus. In the time of the Ottoman Empire, it was the base of anti-Turk operations by local resistance fighters as well as during the resistance against the German occupation (1941-1944) and later when the Greek Civil War started in Litochoro (1946-1949).

In 1938, the region surrounding Mount Olympus was declared a National Park and it features some of the richest flora anywhere in Greece. The Olympus National Park is also home to a variety of animals such as deer, wolves, wild goats, wild boar, chamois, foxes, jackals and wild cats. Many endangered birds like rare woodpeckers and the golden eagle, as well as a huge number of butterflies are native to the Park

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The Mediterranean climate has hot and dry summers, humid and cold winters, and snow and rain are not uncommon even during the summer at higher altitudes. As such, Mount Olympus is a haven for outdoor activities such as hiking, paragliding, climbing, canyoning, birdwatching and even skiing, as the seasons permit.

The Olympus Marathon ends every year at Litochoro, a town on the eastern side of the mountain. There are also museums to be visited such as the Geological History Museum and the Dion Archaeological Museum, which has excellent audio-visual information on Mount Olympus.

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8. Wu Tai Shan, China

Map of Wu Tai Shan. Click on image to enlarge.

Map of Wu Tai Shan. Click on image to enlarge.

If the sanctity of sacred mountains is to be judged by the number of places of worship that have been carved and chipped into their age-old facades, Wu Tai Shan in China would easily be one of the most revered. Over the centuries, not only have hundreds of such sites been created here by human hands, but countless other caves and caverns have seen some of the most blessed practitioners of Buddhism hallow them with their presence and meditations.

Wu Tai Shan is the source of the river Qingshui in the province of Shanxi, in the North-Eastern region of China. The meaning of the name Wu Tai Shan is ‘Five Terrace Mountain’. It stands at a height of 3,061 metres and is one of the Four Sacred Mountains according to Chinese Buddhism.

Wu Tai Shan has five flat-topped peaks; the Northern Peak is the highest at 3,061 metres and is also the highest point in North China, earning it the moniker “Roof of Northern China”. The other peaks are Wanghai Peak or “Peak Overlooking the Sea” in the East, Guayue Peak or “Hanging Moon Peak” in the West, Jinxiu Peak or “Splendour Peak” in the South, Yedou Peak or “Peak of Flourishing Leaves” in the north, and finally Cuiyan Peak or “Peak of Green Rocks” in the centre.

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Known as the Purple Palace Mountain or Zi Fu Shan in the Taoist tradition, Wu Tai Shan was a sacred mountain even before Buddhism arrived in China and many Taoist saints have lived there. From a Buddhist perspective, it is said to be extremely sacred as it is the earthly abode of Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom.

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Wu Tai Shan is divided into the inner Mount Wu Tai and the Outer Mount Wu Tai, and is peppered with many temples and sacred caves. Major sites to visit include The Great White Stupa at the Tayuan Temple, the Manjushri’s Hair Stupa, the Yuanzhoa Temple, and the Rahula Temple or Luohou Temple to name just a few.

During the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 CE), many Buddhist temples were built on these peaks. Buton Rinchen Drub states in his work “The History of Buddhism” that the first Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo (617-650 CE) built 108 temples on Wu Tai Shan. There were a further 360 temples added during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE).

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According to the Testament of Ba, an account written by a member of King Trisong Detsen’s (755-797 CE) court, the Tibetans made a detour to visit Wu Tai Shan in 755 CE even though it made the trip much longer. The first depiction of Wu Tai Shan was recorded for the Tibetan King Trisong Detsen who requested a map of the mountain. Today, more than 53 sacred monasteries or temples remain on Mount Wu Tai and some of them are considered the most important of their kind in the country.

The best time to visit Wu Tai Shan is between June and September as you will be able to listen to teachings by ordained monks and nuns. It is also when the Tiaobuza Festival, a Buddhist cultural festival, is held every year.

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The climate in Wu Tai Shan is cold with an early winter and the temperature dips below zero from October to April. It is recommended to always bring warm clothing, even if visiting during the warmer months.

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9. Uluru, Australia

The pleasure of the alien sight, the wonder of an orange-red monolith rising up out of the flatness of the desert, the play of light that births and moulds shadows of seemingly preternatural inspiration… Uluru.

Aerial view of Mount Uluru

Aerial view of Mount Uluru

Known also as Ayers Rock, this amazing testament to the creative tilt that nature possesses is located in the centre of Australia, in the southern part of the Northern Territory state. It is about 335 kilometres from Alice Springs as the crow flies but the distance is about 450 kilometres by road.

Map of Mount Uluru. Click on image to enlarge.

Map of Mount Uluru. Click on image to enlarge.

Uluru and Kata Tjuta, also called the Olgas, together make up the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and are sacred to the Anangu Aboriginal people. Custody of Uluru and Kata Tjuta was returned to the Anangu people by the Australian Government in 1983. According to archaeological research, the aboriginal peoples have lived in Central Australia for 30,000 years.

Surrounded by the Central Australian desert, Uluru is believed to be more than 600 million years old. The monolith is made of sandstone and stands out with its height of 348 metres and circumference of 9.4 kilometres amidst the nothingness of its surroundings. According to geologists, Uluru is an island mountain and extends nearly 6 kilometres below ground.

Aboriginal myth speaks of the ‘Dreamtime’, ‘Dreaming’ or ‘Tjukurpa’, the creation at the beginning of time by their ancestral spirits. It has the meaning ‘to see and understand the law’ and is about past, present and future which they believe happen all at the same time. The Dreaming passes down cultural values and belief systems to younger generations through song, dance, painting and storytelling. Paintings depicting the events of the Dreaming have been found at Uluru.

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One can take guided walks with park rangers to explore the sacred site. A walk around the base of Uluru covers a distance of about 10.6 kilometres but is well worth the effort for the amazing kaleidoscopic shift of colours on the surface of the rock caused by the rays of the sun. Learn about local plants and animals, and discover the Anangu culture for a well-rounded spiritual adventure.

The Anangu people have long discouraged visitors from climbing Mount Uluru, and the practice will become illegal in 2019.

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The Mutitjulu Waterhole, home to the ancestral water snake of the Aboriginals, can be visited on a guided tour too. The paintings, symbols and figures at this age-old site represent animals and their tracks, waterholes and other local features. Stories are told to accompany the paintings to give greater depth of meaning and enhance the dimensions of the experience.

Talinguru Nyakunytjaku is a viewing area constructed in 2009 from which Uluru and the Olgas can be seen well. A cultural centre is attached to the National Park and is the best place to obtain information on various aspects of Aboriginal life, including bush food and traditional weapons and tools.

The temperature at Uluru in summer (December to February) can go as high as 47° Celsius and in winter (June to August), it can drop to –7° Celsius. December usually sees the highest temperatures and visitors must be aware of the risk of dehydration and heat stroke to protect themselves.

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10. Vulture’s Peak, India

How unusual it is that a place with such significance in our lives is named for a creature that we seldom associate with goodness or spirituality. The Buddha himself walked the Griddhkuta, perhaps as a lesson to us that there is so much more to the true beauty of the soul than given names and outward appearances.

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Vulture’s Peak or Griddhkuta is located in Rajgir or the Royal Mountain, in the Nalanda district of India’s Bihar state. It was here that the capital of the Magadha kingdom was located until the 5th century BCE. The name is derived from Rajagriha or “Royal House”.

The height of Vulture’s Peak is 388 metres and it is one of the eight great places for traditional Buddhist pilgrimage. Vulture’s Peak earned its name from the vultures who used to gather on its rocks.

Map of the Vulture's Peak. Click on image to enlarge.

Map of the Vulture’s Peak. Click on image to enlarge.

Vulture’s Peak is held in high esteem because so many monumental events in the life of the Buddha occurred here. It was Buddha Shakyamuni’s favourite place for his retreats, and the Buddha gave many of his teachings and sutra transmissions there. He taught the Prajnaparamita or Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom Sutra here and it is also here that the cave where Buddha discussed his teachings with his disciples for the first time is located.

It was on Vulture’s Peak that the Buddha tamed a wild elephant which had escaped. The escape was arranged by the Buddha’s jealous cousin, Devadatta, who wanted to hurt the Buddha. King Bimbisara also gifted Buddha the Venuvana, the bamboo grove in Nalanda which is known to be the first Buddhist monastery. It is located beside the Japanese Temple near the Rajgir Heritage Museum, which exhibits a treasure trove of Hindu and Buddhist sculpture from the Gupta and Pala Empires.

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There is also Karanda, the place where Buddha bathed. Another important historical place is the Saptaparni Cave where the ‘Atanatiya’ or First Buddhist Council was held after the Buddha’s passing into Paranirvana.

Rajgir is also held in high regard by followers of Jainism and Hinduism. Lord Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, is said to have passed many years at Rajgir, and spent many rainy season retreats there. He was cremated at nearby Pawapuri in 500 BCE and the Jal Mandir temple is located there today.

Ananda's cave, where he meditated in. It's located along the way to Vulture's Peak.

Ananda’s cave, where he meditated. It’s located along the way to Vulture’s Peak.

The hot water springs of Rajgir are reputed to cure skin diseases; they are located at Venuvana at the foot of Vaibhava Hill. During Buddha’s time, there was a Buddhist monastery at Tapodarama, which is now known as the Hindu temple, Lakshmi Narayan Mandir. The Cyclopean Wall, constructed without the use of mortar thousands of years ago, runs 40 kilometres around the city of Rajgir and is an ancient engineering marvel. A ropeway leads to the Peace Pagoda or Rajgir Vishwa Shanti Stupa, which stands 38 metres tall.

Temperatures at Vulture’s Peak can go as high as 40°C in the summer and as low as 6°C at night in winter. The recommended time to visit Vulture’s Peak is from October to March, which is winter, because the daytime temperatures are ideal for exploring.

Sanghas making prayers at Vulture's Peak.

Sangha making prayers at Vulture’s Peak

 

The Call of the Mountain

I hope you have enjoyed this trip with me to some of the holiest mountains around the world. My inspiration for this article came from my own visits to a number of sacred and ancient mountains over the years. These visits fascinated me and stirred a desire to learn more about their ancient connections to the sacred divine, its meaning and the beauty of nature.

It is my hope that I have been able to inspire you to learn more about sacred mountains and, perhaps, even to visit them yourself.

 
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  1. S.Prathap on Nov 18, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    There are so many sacred mountains in the world. Each of the sacred mountains have their own legends or stories behind them. Mount Kailash is the holiest place in the world viewed by different faiths .
    Some respect these mountain peaks so much that it is forbidden to climb them.For others, climbing the mountain is arduous and a form of purification. So they will climb it as a pilgrimage.Thank you for this nice write up

  2. Hayden Chan on Dec 19, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    Cool! The mountains are so beautiful. I have only heard of Mount Fuji but not the rest on this blog post. One day I wish to see Mount Fuji in person because I would like to see the view along with the cherry blossoms. The pictures in this blog post are beautiful. Also, I am glad these mountains have a lot of greenery. Thank you, Pastor Antoinette for writing this post on these beautiful mountains

  3. Cc on Dec 16, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    Thank you for sharing.

    It is amazing. Didnt know there are so many mountains and each has it’s own characteristics and has become Holy place.

  4. Wai Meng Wan on Dec 16, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    So very nice to read about all these holy mountains that ancient people may have regarded as the site where gods and buddhas reside. Also holy mountainous sites where significant events happened, like the Buddha turning the wheel of dharma and teaching Prajnaparamita.

  5. yin ping on Dec 13, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Mountains are part of the nature, our sauce of freshwater, energy, food, biodiversity and medical products. Mountains too have always been treasured as places of power and sacred from many religions throughout the world. History shown that spiritual seekers and hermits retreated into the mountains height to gain realizations and enlightenment. Just as the ancients and our ancestors believed that some mountains were the abode of their gods and goddesses.

    It is no coincidence that a mountain suddenly became a holy site. What were written in the religious scriptures or teachings passed from generations to generations must have been happened long time ago that strengthen ones spiritual faith.

  6. Pastor Han Nee on Dec 12, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Mountains are seemingly so close to the sky and people have always thought that heaven and the abode of gods and enlghtened beings are somewhere up there in the clouds and mists of the mountain peaks.

    Some respect these mountain peaks so much that it is forbidden to climb them.For others, climbing the mountain is arduous and a form of purification. So they will climb it as a pilgrimage.

    Among the more fascinating mountains for me are Mount Kailash ,Tibet -a most inaccessible mountain for one reason or another. Mount Kailash is the holiest place in the world. Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Bön followers all view Mount Kailash as their sacred mountain.For Tibetan Buddhists, Kailash is the abode of Heruka Chakrasamvara.Circumambulatiing this montain is to purify one’s negative karma.Others even do full length prostrations along the circuit!

    Another fascinating mountain for me is Mount Olympus, home of the Greek Gods.Mount Olympus was where the gods would sally forth to order the affairs of men! Gods Like Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes!

    Wu Tai Shan is filled with innumerable manmade constructions of holy sites , as well as natural caves and caverns, abodes of Mnajushri and the Buddhas.They are equally fascinating. The Vulture’s Peak has meant different things for different people. For me, this was where the Heart Sutra was delivered in a triangular transmission with Lord Buddha, Avalokiteshvara and Sariputra!

    So, undeniably, mountains have been always regarded as sacred and linked to the spiritual .

  7. Anne Ong on Dec 8, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    Love these beautiful pictures of sacred mountains around the world. Some of the places that captured my attention are…1. Mount Fuji, Japan, 9. Uluru, Australia, 6. Mount Shasta, California, 7. Mount Olympus, Greece. Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Antoinette for this interesting post 👍😘

  8. Datuk May on Dec 8, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    Mountains being as majestic as the are, it is no surprise that man will always relate mountains to something special and spiritually inclined.

    Mountains are such wonders to view and as I read this incredible post, I remembered how on my trip to Nepal, I was on a hill and looking across to the Himalayan mountain range. I am not too sure that due to the mist I ever saw Mount Everest. But staring at the Himalayan mountain range was spectacular and awesome.

    It is such a pleasure to read about all these amazing natural phenomena like mountains and to learn the significance of their majesty and reverence mankind pay to them in aspect of being holy places for each and our faith.

  9. Samfoonheei on Nov 30, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Wow ……fantastic there are so many sacred mountains in the world. I did not realised these as I only know a few like Mount Kalisah, Wu Tai San, Mount Fuji Mount Shasta,and our very own Mount Kinabalu to name a few.. Each of the sacred mountains have their own legends or stories behind them. Mount Kailash is the holiest place in the world viewed by different faiths .. Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Bön followers . Each of those sacred mountains are rich in natural flora and resources ,having each untouched beauty by itself. I have been to Wu Tai San on pilgrimage trip . It’s a place of natural wonders.
    Thank you Pastor Antoinette Kass for sharing these fantastic trip which I do enjoyed with Pastor to some of the holiest mountains around the world

  10. Sharon Ong on Nov 28, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Enjoyed this piece as I felt like I “travelled” to all these beautiful mountains through all the stunning pictures.

    Closer to home, Malaysia’s tallest mountain located in Sabah, Mount Kinabalu itself is believed to be a sacred place for the local indigenous people particularly the Kadazans. According to BBC, “Locals believe it is also named after a god, Aki Nabalu, who together with another god Odu Nabalu, take care of the mountain.” [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-33105624] There have been many tales where climbers who were disrespectful while ascending the peak had some form of accidents happening to them. It is said that their disrespectful behaviour angered the local deities and in retaliation, these local spirits created mischief as a payback.

    Whether we believe in local superstition or folklore, it is always good to be respectful of the environment we are in. This is just basic civic consciousness to not litter, deface or vandalise Mother Nature’s property.

    Thank you for this write-up, Pastor Antoinette.

    Mount-Kinabalu-620x350

  11. Fong on Nov 20, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    I find that the cloud formation over Mount Shasta are reminiscent of the could formation at Mount Olympus, both reputed to have beings living there though not commonly seen. Many cultures believe in the energy of such places and makes for an interesting experience to visit. I doubt it is a coincidence that there are spiritual stories coming out of these places.

    Like Mount Kailash is believed by many religious groups to be blessed and sacred, the other sacred mountains are not sacred to solely one group of believers. So, there must be some truth in the sacredness but it is experiential.

    Thank you, Pastor Antoinette, for a very spiritual virtual journey to high places.

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  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Feb 27. 2020 03:50 PM
    In general jealousy seems to be bad for any relationships. It’s a feeling of resentment against someone, feeling of insecurity and conflict. It’s human nature. It’s natural to feel jealous from time to time. Well it becomes problematic when we act out in jealousy. Everything happen for a reason, some people have been doing well , wealthy and some do not , all these are our past karma. We should not feel jealous but rejoice for them. We should try self-confidence letting go the situation. Jealousy can be harmful as it will hijack our mind, ruin our relationships, destroy our family, and some extreme cases such stealing or killing as well . At times jealousy becomes lethal, as do domestic fights, and ends up killing others or themselves.
    To avoid jealousy we should accept and begin to appreciate who and what we are. Always rejoice to others and take them as an inspiration example. We should think less about ourselves, and more about others. Learning Dharma , practicing Dharma and putting into action , our jealousy will disappear. It’s the best choice.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/question-on-jealousy.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Feb 27. 2020 03:48 PM
    What a wonderful way going on a holy pilgrimage, and serving a Great Lama. Khensur Rinpoche who is a good friend of our Lama for 27 years. Rinpoche had known Khensur Rinpoche since Rinpoche time in India. Khensur Rinpoche had spent his whole life living in the monastic community teaching. Kensur Rinpoche had established Shar Gaden Monastery where the practice of Dorje Shugden and lineage is protected and preserved.
    Looking at all the pictures tells us a thousand words, how the team lead by Su Ming and team serving a Great Lama Khensur Rinpoche and Gen Wangyal. Such as taking them to see the doctor for medical check-up having all the necessary tests done, to see the dentist as well as checking their eyes and so forth . Well done Su Ming and team.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing which will inspire us to go all the up serving monks.
    In a way to show , gratitude to them how we appreciate their present .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/whats-a-meaningful-pilgrimage.html
  • S.Prathap
    Thursday, Feb 27. 2020 02:44 PM
    Great and clear explanation for us to understand as well as to increase our knowledge of why bigger and more Buddha statues makes a difference in our lives. Big statues have been always been regarded as big blessings for the area around it and also the sentient beings that live around that area.

    In Kechara Forest Retreat have many holy outdoor statue to create cause for people come to pilgrimage, embucirculate around the statue will help those have heavy body karma.Thank you very much for this article.


    https://bit.ly/386stv0

  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Feb 26. 2020 03:48 PM
    Many countries around the world have looking and working with China. They realised being friendly with China is a wise choice for the benefits for the growth of their country. China has become world largest economy country. For Tibet befriending China in long term will benefits both countries. Time had changed with Tibet having workshops with the Chinese is a good sign improving their relationship after all these years . People have their right and freedom to choose what they practice. Practicing Dorje Shugden is nothing to do with China. Every one of us have the right and freedom to choose what we want to practice. HH Dalai Lama is looking forward to return to Tibet one day. It only can be happen if the Tibetan leadership, letting go of the past and have more dialogues and meetings with the Chinese government in future. And solving all the political problems and lifting Dorje Shugden’s ban once for all.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this great news.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/the-importance-of-tibet-befriending-china-nepali.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Feb 26. 2020 03:45 PM
    It is heart breaking, reading this article again, what Pastor Jean Ai had gone through and experience. Yet with strong determination all those abuses and attack by people whom she do not know, she did continue with her practice. Could not imagine how ungrateful the Tibetan Leadership treated the sponsor. Without the funds, sponsorship, monasteries and Dharma institutions would not able to survive for sure. Kechara organisation, and many others kind sponsors had sponsored millions to the Tibetan Buddhist monasteries of India. Not only that sponsoring of monk robes, books , statues , painting and jewelleries to name a few. Even changing the flooring of the monastery as well. Can imagine those sponsors go all the way to send them all those stuffs. And have raised so much sponsorship for them and had donated yearly in fact or when they asked for. And now none of them are allowed to go to the monasteries any more . All because they had practised Dorje Shugden’s practice. Countless other lamas and Shugden practitioners had raised funds for the monasteries too and they too were not allowed to have connection with. Sad ….there is no religious freedom at all. By now after decades , I do hope the Tibetan Leadership will lift the ban on Dorje Shugden for a better peaceful communities. May more read this post for a better understanding of what happening in the Tibetan Leadership and those in exile living in India.
    Thank you Pastor Jean Ai for speaking up for the Tibetan people and for those Dorje Shugden practitioners .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/how-tibetan-leadership-treats-a-sponsor-jindak.html
  • S.Prathap
    Wednesday, Feb 26. 2020 03:21 PM
    Different people have different reasons for wanting to become ordained. Sometimes I do wonder if unless the reasons are right, one should not get ordained but on the other hand I think maybe one should take the leap of faith even if the reasons are not entire “correct”.

    Modern people becoming ordained is tougher than in Buddha’s time, there are much inner and outer battle they need to overcome. May those who have the thought arise to be ordained, have more determination to make it happen. Thank you very much,for sharing this mind-changing article with all of us.

    https://bit.ly/2TeCHnH
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Feb 25. 2020 04:55 PM
    With their expertise a radiant energy scientist, a sound healer, an energy healer and a music composer, coming together to explore knowledge of cold energy . Li Kim and team going to haunted houses to experiment the energy. The haunted house they went looks scary. Joining them is also a Taoist master, finally concluded the presence of supernatural beings, as their findings found that the energy are dark and cold. As the unseen beings do no harm, they decided to do Taoist prayers and combined healing of sound, energy before leaving the area. I do believe those unseen beings do exist. Glad to learn that sound can heal the environment and souls. . Sound wonderful .
    Thank you, Li Kim and team for this sharing.this knowledge.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/paranormal/ghosts-and-hauntings/the-sound-of-light.html
  • S.Prathap
    Tuesday, Feb 25. 2020 04:32 PM
    It is not surprised that many huge Buddha statues were built in many parts of the world both of a religious and secular nature.The bigger the Buddha statues will definitely beneficial to the surrounding area with positive energies, calming the area of wars and natural disasters .

    In Malaysia we have huge statue of Lord Murugan of Batu Caves and Kuan Yin Statue at Kek Lok Si in Penang.Thank you very much for the wonderful sharing with beautiful pictures of World Largest Statues.

    https://bit.ly/2uxPmtO
  • S.Prathap
    Monday, Feb 24. 2020 04:36 PM
    In Dharma, we learned that everything is impermanent, good thing will never last forever, that’s why we should not be attached to it as when it was gone, we will suffer tremendously, and a good news is, bad things never lasts.
    Life is a journey filled with opportunities, hardships, heartaches and its test for our courage. There is always a reason of our existence in this life.Thank you very much for this good article.

    https://bit.ly/37PSlv3
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Feb 24. 2020 04:05 PM
    Life is too short to wake up with regrets. I believe that everything happens for a reason ,and there is a reason behind everything. That’s why Rinpoche asked to think carefully and consider certain things. Due to Rinpoche’s clairvoyance, Rinpoche knew the consequent. Rinpoche wanted us to learn to be responsible for our decisions that is beneficial to all and not jumping into anything blindly. And that is how I pray to what I want to come to be published.
    Glad to know some knowledge of Mount Shasta which I have not heard before being one of the world’s preeminent sacred mountains.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Jean Ai for this wonderful sharing with important explanations, some knowledge to learn and guidelines for us.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/behind-the-scenes/growing-up-with-rinpoche-mount-shasta-and-our-first-dorje-shugden-post.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Feb 24. 2020 04:05 PM
    It won’t be supress Rinpoche felt more Indian as Rinpoche have been staying in India long enough. His early life spent in the monastery in India, serving his teachers and the monastic community, has taught Rinpoche cooking more Indian foods than western foods. Even all these years in Malaysia, Rinpoche preferred Indian cuisine which is rich in spices and masala such as dhal, paneer tikka, aloo mattar and paneer butter masala. Rinpoche will go all the way his students to serve Indian food to visiting Sangha so they would get a taste of home. Glad to know more of Rinpoche through this article. With Rinpoche explanation of how he felt and inherent in the Indian tradition culture, traditional spiritual practice and devotion to a spiritual teacher. All these points that Rinpoche was more Indian as what Rinpoche felt and having a strong connection with it.
    Thank you Pastor David for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/tales-with-my-lama-rinpoche-felt-he-was-more-indian
  • Lin Mun
    Sunday, Feb 23. 2020 09:17 PM
    So brave of Raden to risk his life to save the dog. How many of us would dare to take this step? It is an inspiring story that we all should care and love all living beings. They deserve to live freely too. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this heart warming story.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/aussie-model-saves-dog-read.html
  • Lin Mun
    Sunday, Feb 23. 2020 09:00 PM
    It is ridiculous to think that a rabbinical court would sentence a dog just because they believe he was the reincarnation of a lawyer who offended the judge before. How would the judge know and can confirm that the dog is the reincarnation of the lawyer? Isn’t it abusing of power to make baseless allegation? This is us human trying to be more superior than animals and make decision based on own interest. Horrible act.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/a-lawyer-dog.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Feb 22. 2020 07:42 PM
    Beautiful artwork done on these two Vajra Yogini statues by KSA team . Just from a simple statues to a colorful blinking beautiful realistic images of Vajra Yogini. Well done to KSA. Merely looking at it is a blessing.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these stunning pictures of Vajra Yogini.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/thupten-la-and-vajra-yogini.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Feb 22. 2020 07:38 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful post explaining each and every steps the importance of starting our Dharma practice on Tsongkhapa and Vajrayogini being one. Besides our daily sadhana we should engage in Vajrayogini’s practice without delay. Life is short, not to waste our time . Start now learning from stretch, as Rinpoche has create the beautiful pure land for us to practice Dharma. For me,I still have plenty to learn and improve myself . I am one of those lucky one to have meet Rinpoche in this life and to become part of Kechara. Reading this post gave us a better understanding of how to prepare ourselves before receiving the practice of Vajrayogini . We are indeed fortunate to have Rinpoche sharing this post , once again thank you Rinpoche with folded hands.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html

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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
8 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!
8 months 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
8 months 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
9 months 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
9 months 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
9 months 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
9 months 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
9 months 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
9 months 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
9 months ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
9 months ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
9 months 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.
9 months 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.
9 months 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
9 months 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
9 months 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!!!
9 months 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
9 months 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
9 months 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
9 months 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
9 months 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
9 months 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
9 months 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
10 months 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
10 months ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
10 months ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
10 months 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
10 months 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
10 months 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
10 months 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
10 months 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
10 months 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
10 months 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
10 months ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
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Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Pig puts his toys away
    1 month ago
    Pig puts his toys away
    Animals are so intelligent. They can feel happiness, joy, pain, sorrow, just like humans. Always show kindness to them. Always show kindness to everyone.
  • Always be kind to animals-They deserve to live just like us.
    7 months ago
    Always be kind to animals-They deserve to live just like us.
    Whales and dolphins playing with each other in the Pacific sea. Nature is truly incredible!
  • Bodha stupa July 2019-
    7 months ago
    Bodha stupa July 2019-
    Rainy period
  • Cute Tara girl having a snack. She is one of Kechara Forest Retreat’s resident doggies.
    8 months ago
    Cute Tara girl having a snack. She is one of Kechara Forest Retreat’s resident doggies.
  • Your Next Meal!
    9 months ago
    Your Next Meal!
    Yummy? Tasty? Behind the scenes of the meat on your plates. Meat is a killing industry.
  • This is Daw
    9 months ago
    This is Daw
    This is what they do to get meat on tables, and to produce belts and jackets. Think twice before your next purchase.
  • Don’t Take My Mummy Away!
    9 months ago
    Don’t Take My Mummy Away!
    Look at the poor baby chasing after the mother. Why do we do that to them? It's time to seriously think about our choices in life and how they affect others. Be kind. Don't break up families.
  • They do this every day!
    9 months ago
    They do this every day!
    This is how they are being treated every day of their lives. Please do something to stop the brutality. Listen to their cries for help!
  • What happened at Fair Oaks Farm?
    9 months ago
    What happened at Fair Oaks Farm?
    The largest undercover dairy investigation of all time. See what they found out at Fair Oaks Farm.
  • She’s going to spend her whole life here without being able to move correctly. Like a machine. They are the slaves of the people and are viewed as a product. It’s immoral. Billions of terrestrial animals die annually. Billions. You can’t even imagine it. And all that because people don’t want to give up meat, even though there are so many alternatives. ~ Gabriel Azimov
    9 months ago
    She’s going to spend her whole life here without being able to move correctly. Like a machine. They are the slaves of the people and are viewed as a product. It’s immoral. Billions of terrestrial animals die annually. Billions. You can’t even imagine it. And all that because people don’t want to give up meat, even though there are so many alternatives. ~ Gabriel Azimov
  • 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
    10 months ago
    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.
    10 months ago
    This is the first time His Holiness Dalai Lama mentions he had some very serious illness. Very worrying. This video is captured April 2019.
  • Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
    11 months ago
    Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
  • This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
    11 months 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
    11 months ago
    Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
  • These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
    11 months ago
    These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
    11 months ago
    Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
    11 months ago
    Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
  • Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
    11 months ago
    Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
  • Beautiful
    11 months ago
    Beautiful
    Beautiful sacred Severed Head Vajra Yogini from Tsem Rinpoche's personal shrine.
  • My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
    11 months ago
    My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
  • Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
    12 months ago
    Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 years ago
    Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
  • SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    1 years ago
    SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    Tsem Rinpoche's dog Oser girl enjoying her snack in her play pen.
  • Cute!
    1 years ago
    Cute!
    Oser girl loves the balcony so much. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTcoWpKJm2c
  • Uncle Wong
    1 years ago
    Uncle Wong
    We were told by Uncle Wong he is very faithful toward Dorje Shugden. Dorje Shugden has extended help to him on several occasions and now Uncle Wong comes daily to make incense offerings to Dorje Shugden. He is grateful towards the help he was given.
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
    1 years ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
  • Cute baby owl found and rescued
    1 years ago
    Cute baby owl found and rescued
    We rescued a lost baby owl in Kechara Forest Retreat.
  • Nice cups from Kechara!!
    1 years ago
    Nice cups from Kechara!!
    Dorje Shugden people's lives matter!
  • Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    1 years ago
    Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    Chirping birds and other forest animals create a joyful melody at the Vajrayogini stupa in Kechara Forest Retreat (Bentong, Malaysia).
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    2 yearss ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
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    2 yearss ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    2 yearss ago
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    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
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  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    2 yearss ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    2 yearss ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    2 yearss ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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CHAT PICTURES

Kechara Earth Project- new site at Damansara
4 days ago
Kechara Earth Project- new site at Damansara
For those who did not manage to join in for our Loma Gyonma mantra recitation, here's the prayer that you can do daily at home as a preventive measure to ward off unwanted infections and illnesses, especially contagious diseases such as Coronavirus & H1N1. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 week ago
For those who did not manage to join in for our Loma Gyonma mantra recitation, here's the prayer that you can do daily at home as a preventive measure to ward off unwanted infections and illnesses, especially contagious diseases such as Coronavirus & H1N1. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Special prayer session in Kechara Forest Retreat where we will be collectively accumulating a minimum of 25,000 Loma Gyonma mantras, combined with circumambulations and 108 candle offerings each to Loma Gyonma and Dorje Shugden. To receive the blessings of Loma Gyonma, the Goddess of Healing and Epidemic Diseases, and to pray for all who are at risk from the novel coronavirus to be healed and protected. -photo credit Cynthia Ng - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 week ago
Special prayer session in Kechara Forest Retreat where we will be collectively accumulating a minimum of 25,000 Loma Gyonma mantras, combined with circumambulations and 108 candle offerings each to Loma Gyonma and Dorje Shugden. To receive the blessings of Loma Gyonma, the Goddess of Healing and Epidemic Diseases, and to pray for all who are at risk from the novel coronavirus to be healed and protected. -photo credit Cynthia Ng - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Back during the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, Rinpoche advised everyone to quickly accumulate 25,000 recitations of Loma Gyonma’s essence mantra ASAP, combined with daily recitation of both Loma Gyonma and Shize’s mantra. In view of the current situation with the global spread of the novel coronavirus, you are invited to a special prayer session in Kechara Forest Retreat where we will be collectively accumulating a minimum of 25,000 Loma Gyonma mantras, combined with circumambulations and 108 candle offerings each to Loma Gyonma and Dorje Shugden. DATE: Saturday, 15 February 2020 TIME: 3.00pm - 6.30pm VENUE: Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat
2 weeks ago
Back during the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, Rinpoche advised everyone to quickly accumulate 25,000 recitations of Loma Gyonma’s essence mantra ASAP, combined with daily recitation of both Loma Gyonma and Shize’s mantra. In view of the current situation with the global spread of the novel coronavirus, you are invited to a special prayer session in Kechara Forest Retreat where we will be collectively accumulating a minimum of 25,000 Loma Gyonma mantras, combined with circumambulations and 108 candle offerings each to Loma Gyonma and Dorje Shugden. DATE: Saturday, 15 February 2020 TIME: 3.00pm - 6.30pm VENUE: Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat
Mr. Chan Weng Khong & Yee Mun released the birds after the mantra recitations. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
3 weeks ago
Mr. Chan Weng Khong & Yee Mun released the birds after the mantra recitations. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
KISG has carried out monthly Animals Liberation activity at DR Park, Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
3 weeks ago
KISG has carried out monthly Animals Liberation activity at DR Park, Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Children are all excited to the Kids Camp. Lin Mun KSDS
3 weeks ago
Children are all excited to the Kids Camp. Lin Mun KSDS
Kids Camp 2019 - Visiting Kechara Farm. Lin Mun KSDS
3 weeks ago
Kids Camp 2019 - Visiting Kechara Farm. Lin Mun KSDS
Children learning to do water offering to Buddha. Lin Mun KSDS
3 weeks ago
Children learning to do water offering to Buddha. Lin Mun KSDS
Painting Vajrayogini tsa tsa during Wesak Day 2019. Lin Mun KSDS
3 weeks ago
Painting Vajrayogini tsa tsa during Wesak Day 2019. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Beautiful red lanterns around Vajrayogini Stupa at Kechara Forest Retreat. shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 month ago
Beautiful red lanterns around Vajrayogini Stupa at Kechara Forest Retreat. shared by Pastor Antoinette
Thank you very much for the beautiful calligraphy artwork. shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 month ago
Thank you very much for the beautiful calligraphy artwork. shared by Pastor Antoinette
Thank you very much for the beautiful calligraphy artwork. shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 month ago
Thank you very much for the beautiful calligraphy artwork. shared by Pastor Antoinette
The rain may have doused the fires but the embers of pain still linger in our hearts. Sending Australia our love & prayers. Let's continue to #PrayForAustralia. ❤️ shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 month ago
The rain may have doused the fires but the embers of pain still linger in our hearts. Sending Australia our love & prayers. Let's continue to #PrayForAustralia. ❤️ shared by Pastor Antoinette
Auspicious red decorations at Tsongkhapa shrine. Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong. shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 month ago
Auspicious red decorations at Tsongkhapa shrine. Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong. shared by Pastor Antoinette
Gong Xi Fa Cai! Here's to new beginnings and better endings with this Year of the Metal Rat! shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 month ago
Gong Xi Fa Cai! Here's to new beginnings and better endings with this Year of the Metal Rat! shared by Pastor Antoinette
Throwback KSDS Graduation - All kids were so excited with to perform. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Throwback KSDS Graduation - All kids were so excited with to perform. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback WOAH camp 2016 - DIY soap. So interesting. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Throwback WOAH camp 2016 - DIY soap. So interesting. Lin Mun KSDS
Children learning the method to make water offering to Buddha. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Children learning the method to make water offering to Buddha. Lin Mun KSDS
Monthly animal liberation in Kechara House. KSDS have opportunity to participate in the meritorious activity every mth. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Monthly animal liberation in Kechara House. KSDS have opportunity to participate in the meritorious activity every mth. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback Kids camp 2019 - Wonderful volunteers. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Throwback Kids camp 2019 - Wonderful volunteers. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback Kids camp 2019 - The nature of KFR is expressed on this drawing. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Throwback Kids camp 2019 - The nature of KFR is expressed on this drawing. Lin Mun KSDS
Special thanks to Hue, one of our dedicated members in Kechara Penang Study Group. Thanks for helping out during our bird liberation. ~Jacinta
1 month ago
Special thanks to Hue, one of our dedicated members in Kechara Penang Study Group. Thanks for helping out during our bird liberation. ~Jacinta
Animal Liberation is one of the great ways to show empathy, kindness and compassion to kids. Start them early! ~Jacinta, Kechara Penang Study Group
1 month ago
Animal Liberation is one of the great ways to show empathy, kindness and compassion to kids. Start them early! ~Jacinta, Kechara Penang Study Group
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Romania 88,525
Sri Lanka 87,011
Hong Kong 86,844
South Africa 80,316
Mexico 77,950
Myanmar (Burma) 73,826
New Zealand 71,377
Switzerland 67,420
Japan 66,416
Cambodia 60,343
South Korea 60,185
China 55,598
Pakistan 55,026
Bangladesh 54,786
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Dorje Shugden
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