Theos Bernard – The American Explorer of Tibet

By | Oct 16, 2017 | Views: 1,276
Theos Casimir Bernard was the third American ever to set foot in the city of Lhasa, Tibet. At a time when most people thought it impossible, he amassed the largest collection of Tibetan books, scriptures and artefacts outside of Tibet.

Theos Casimir Bernard was the third American ever to set foot in the city of Lhasa, Tibet. At a time when most people thought it impossible, he amassed the largest collection of Tibetan books, scriptures and artefacts outside of Tibet.

Theos Casimir Bernard’s life story is one filled with adventure, spiritual encounters and a worthwhile determination. He pioneered expeditions to Tibet including the famed city of Lhasa in 1937, at a time when Tibet was closed to foreigners due to a policy of self-isolation. He was only the third American ever to set foot in the once mysterious city after William McGovern in 1923 and Suydam Cutting in 1935. An avid explorer, Bernard voraciously studied both Tibetan Buddhism, and also Indian religious traditions and practices such as hatha yoga. True to this spirit, his contribution to both Indian and Tibetan studies was significant.

Returning from Tibet with what was to be the largest collection of books, photographs, film footage, and religious artefacts for over 40 years, he published works including his Ph.D dissertation in religion in 1943. The first such dissertation at Columbia University, his work was the spur for the founding of the university’s Department of Religion. Through his experiences in Tibet he developed the motivation to begin a research institute in the USA, in order to translate many works belonging to the vast amount of Tibetan literature into English. Throughout his life, he made friends with many of the highest politicians, celebrities, and scholars such as W. Y. Evans-Wentz, and the list of his Buddhist teachers is similarly impressive, including the groundbreaking Geshe Wangyal who was influential in spreading Tibetan Buddhism in the United States.

“I found the Tibetans the most gracious people on earth, and never before had I such friendship extended me by foreigners.”

– Theos Casimir Bernard

 

Early Life & Education

Theos Casimir Bernard was born on December 10, 1908, to Glen Agassiz Bernard and Aura Georgina Crable, in Pasadena, California. Abandoned by his father when he was just two years old, Bernard was raised in his mother’s hometown – Tombstone, Arizona. Having divorced Glen Bernard, Aura Crable remarried seven years later to Jon Gordon, whom she had three more sons with. The couple raised their four sons in the deserts of Arizona, where Bernard trained as a Lone Scout, learning self-reliance and survival skills which would prove a useful experience when he later travelled to Tibet.

Theos Bernard (left) with his brothers Ian, Dugald, and Marvene in the Dragoon Mountains, Arizona, USA.

Theos Bernard (left) with his brothers Ian, Dugald, and Marvene in the Dragoon Mountains, Arizona, USA.

Bernard enrolled in the newly-established University of Arizona, based in Tucson, in 1928. However during his studies he was struck by a near-fatal illness, which changed the course of his life completely. On a cold and rainy day in spring, Bernard became the victim of a college hazing ritual. He was thrown into a fountain in front of one of the buildings on the campus. The result was a chill that turned into a chest cold, and later developed into rheumatic pneumonia. As the days went on, he was soon admitted to the school’s hospital, where he was treated by a medically incompetent doctor. Saving him from certain death, his mother interceded and took him home to Tombstone to be treated by a doctor of her choice. His condition was so bad that he was unable to move and had to drink fluids through a tube. As he recovered from his illness in the Dragoon Mountains, in Cochise County, Arizona, he was put under constant medical supervision, where he was slowly pulled away from the brink of death.

Returning to the University of Arizona months later, he resumed his core studies and then joined the university’s College of Law. The economic situation in the USA took a turn for the worse with the stock market crash of 1929, and Bernard barely managed to graduate with a Bachelor of Law degree (LLB) in 1931 thanks to a scholarship he had received. Working odd part-time jobs, Bernard realised that a career in law, especially given the economic climate, was not for him. He then decided to continue his education at the University of Arizona.

Theos as a young man

Theos as a young man

During his summer break he was fortunate enough to be hired as a court clerk in Los Angeles, where he was reunited with his estranged father, Glen Bernard. It turned out that Glen Bernard had been a student of Sylvais Hamati, a half-French and half-Persian Hindu yogi who had trained in the yogic traditions of Bengal. Theos found his father living near the Self-Realisation Fellowship in Mount Washington, founded by Paramahansa Yogananda and Swami Dhirananda, whom he had also studied under. It was there that Glen introduced his son to various yogic practices and Indian philosophy, as a long-term treatment for this rheumatic pneumonia. To all outer appearances, Theos had recovered from his illness but due to its severity, he had been left chronically weak and with an enlarged heart.

Returning to the University of Arizona with a renewed sense of purpose, continuing his yogic practices, he was now inexplicably drawn to the study of religion and philosophy. Developing dreams of studying further at Columbia University, an Ivy League school in New York, he was swamped with debt, as were many others during that time. That was until a fortunate occurrence, when a close friend picked up a copy of Fortune Magazine which featured Theos’ long-lost paternal uncle, Pierre Bernard, who had amassed a fortune during the economic downturn and lived among the elite in New York.

“It seemed to me that if I ever became enmeshed in the practice of law, there would never be any time left for my other studies; so I decided that I would follow the direction of philosophy.”

– Theos Casimir Bernard

Travelling to New York, Theos met his uncle at the Clarkstown Country Club, where he made a significant impact due to his tan, muscular and handsome appearance. Rather than introducing himself as Theos Gordon, as he was known in Arizona, taking the surname of his stepfather, he introduced himself by his legal name Theos Bernard, stressing the connection with his wealthy uncle. It was there he met Viola Wertheim, with whom he soon entered a romantic relationship. Despite reservations and a deep rivalry between his father Glen Bernard and his uncle Pierre Bernard, Theos married Viola in a private ceremony in New York City in 1934. Moving to an apartment on the east-side of Midtown Manhattan, Viola continued her studies at Cornell Medical School, while Theos enrolled at Columbia University which he was able to afford due to the kindness of his uncle.

The rivalry between his father and uncle stemmed from the teachings they had both received from Sylvais Hamati. After founding the Tantric Order of America, Hamati had returned to India, leaving the organisation under the governance of the Bernard brothers. However the two had had a falling-out. Pierre Bernard had faced serious charges of fraud and moral violations, including relationships with his younger students. Moving to New York, he had made a name and fortune for himself by arranging marriages among the elite, and by providing liberal education and entertainment. Glen Bernard accused Pierre of disgracing the teachings for monetary and personal gain. After having Theos with Aura Crable, Glen had realised that he could not follow the spiritual path taught to him by Hamati if he continued life as a lay householder. He had divorced Aura, moved around and then returned to California to work in the mines, all the while practising the teachings he had received from Hamati in secret.

“I don’t believe there is a more lonely individual living than the well-trained yogi. Yet just as he is capable of the greatest loneliness, he is also capable of the greatest happiness.”

– Glen Bernard

It was due to these experiences that Glen did not trust Pierre at all and thought that he was using Viola to influence Theos negatively. Pierre on the other hand had thought Theos was angling to steal his wealth, since Viola was one of his primary benefactors. Neither father nor uncle were correct however, since Theos and Viola were very much in love. Despite their gruelling studies, Theos and Viola always found time to spend together on weekend breaks or short holidays in upstate New York, skiing in Canada or lazing by the beach in Cuba.

Viola Wertheim

Viola Wertheim

Despite the lasting effects of his illness, which were diagnosed as potentially life-threatening by doctors in New York, Theos journeyed to New Mexico as part of a government-funded initiative to restructure tribal leadership in the area to alleviate poverty and illness amongst the Native American communities. Returning to Columbia University, Theos resumed his studies and began writing his master’s thesis. Influenced by his father’s philosophy Theos now thought that all religious experiences accessed a universal truth, the realm of the divine, but that it was obvious that certain religions provided a more accurate description of this truth than others. He classed these superior religions to be those stemming from India and Tibet. However, such thoughts were best not mentioned in academia at the time.

Agonising over his deep yearning to learn more about these religions and the need to finish his studies, he decided to combine both and travel to India. While there he could not only learn more about Indian philosophy and religious practices, but mask his trip as fieldwork for a Ph.D. Realising he could not submit his master’s thesis, a pre-requisite for a Ph.D, on the subject of yoga to the anthropology department, due to his lack of sufficient research methodology, he registered under the philosophy department, under Professor Herbert Schneider – the only professor of religion there. Rather than being an actual thesis based on prevalent scientific research methods, what he submitted was more of a personal manifesto about the state of research on the misunderstood Indian tradition of yoga. He envisioned his work as the first step to clarify this misunderstanding, especially in relation to tantric yoga.
 

Travelling to India

Planning to meet up with Theos’ father in India, Theos and Viola began storing their possessions and sold their apartment, having one last picnic party with their friends. Viola remained in New York to spend time with her mother, while Theos travelled back to Arizona to spend some quality time with his mother and brothers. Reuniting in San Francisco, Theos and Viola were seen off on their journey by his mother and family. After a brief stop in Hawaii, they arrived in Japan where they toured the country and took the opportunity to visit the most historic and culturally relevant sites, such as the Meiji Shrine, the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, and the Daibutsu Buddha in Kamakura. Following a friend’s recommendation the two were introduced to Sohaku Ogata, the Abbot of Shunkoin Temple, who took them to his home monastery in Shokokuji. It was there that Theos was amazed to find a Hindu monk from Calcutta, who was staying in the monastery to study Zen. Theos jumped at the opportunity and engaged the monk in discussion about his plans.

Theos at his typewriter

Theos at his typewriter

Travelling on, they arrived in Shanghai, China, where they were hosted for dinner by Sir Elly Kadoorie, a successful businessman and upstanding member of the Sephardic Jewish community in the city. Continuing on to Peking, they toured the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, the Winter Palace, and the Lama Temple. All the while Theos captured photograph after photograph. Their journey to India included stops in Penang, Malaysia; and Rangoon, Myanmar, where they visited the famous Shwedagon Stupa.

They finally arrived at the destination – Calcutta, India – on September 13, 1936. Meeting Glen Bernard, they travelled to Belur Math to visit the Ramakrishna Temple, where they were given open letters of introduction to all the Ramakrishna centres across India. Viola, however, was in for a surprise. Theos and Glen had been planning to engage in intensive yoga retreats and studies with various Indian spiritual masters behind her back. However, Viola soon relented, and the three of them continued on their journey across India visiting various holy sites.

Developing a fascination with north Indian traditions and Tibetan Buddhism, they travelled to Darjeeling, where they hoped they could locate Lama Yongden, who had aided Alexandra David-Neel in her studies, but they were unsuccessful. There they visited the famed Ghoom Monastery instead. Travelling across India they visited Delhi and Agra, and once again made their way up north to visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar and Hemis Monastery in Leh. It was during this time that the three of them visited and made a connection with the Roerich family. Travelling back to Delhi, the three began another leg of their journey, this time with the sole intention of deep immersion in the country’s various spiritual traditions.

Viola decided to return to her medical training and left India to return to New York on November 5, 1936, though she had savoured the time spent with her husband and father-in-law. With his fascination with Tibet and Tibetan studies growing, Theos was advised to follow in the footsteps of Evans-Wentz, who had translated texts into English, in order to further his knowledge. Determined to enter Tibet, Theos planned to trace Alexandra David-Neel’s footsteps, hoping to reach Lachen on the Sikkim-Tibet border.
 

Preparations for an Adventure

“Each day is filled with beauty and inspiration. It is impossible to look thru the blue azure of the Himalayan valleys and catch a fleeting glimpse of those majestic ranges of the distant north shoving their noses up into the heavens and not be effected [sic]; I tell you, it does things to you – you want to run, fly, jump, and love all at the same time.”

– Theos Casimir Bernard

Journeying to Lachen, Theos was finally able to meet Lama Yongden, in his monastery some way up the mountain behind the small village. He recounted to Viola, in one of his letters, that the old master had devoted “the years of his youth… to make [an] inner develop[ment], having attained some perfection in this direction… he is now in his eighties and his mind sparkles as a fountain every flowing under the sun of understanding.” Lama Yongden even advised Theos to follow in the footsteps of Alexandra David-Neel, in disguising himself as Buddhist pilgrim in order to reach the inner recesses of Tibet. Theos prepared himself for the adventure ahead by studying the Tibetan language in Kalimpong, while his father, Glen, returned to the United States. Without the distraction of both wife and father, Theos immersed himself in his studies and continued preparations, forging close connections with prominent members of society in the area.

Geshe Wangyal and Theos Bernard

Geshe Wangyal and Theos Bernard

It was during this time that Theos was introduced to a young Kalmyk Mongolian lama by the name of Ngawang Wangyal. When they first met, Ngawang Wangyal was dressed in the traditional robes of a Mongolian Buddhist monk, and made a lasting impression on Theos. Born in the Kalmyk region of Russia, Ngawang Wangyal had entered his local monastery at the age of six. At the age of 17 however, his teacher had passed away. Luckily, the Bolshevik Revolution had sent a group of Buryat Mongolian Buddhists south with the aim of securing a Mongolian state of their own. Among them were three very important masters – Sodnom Zhigzhitov, the Abbot of the Petrograd Temple; Badzar Baradinevich Baradin, a Buryat intellectual; and Agvan Dorjiev, once tutor to His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama and advisor to Tsar Nicholas II. Taking Ngawang Wangyal on as his student, Agvan Dorjiev took the young monk to Lhasa, Tibet, where he enrolled him in the famous Drepung Gomang Monastic University, following in the footsteps of the countless other Mongolians who travelled to Tibet for a religious education.

Completing his studies in less than half the average time, Ngawang Wangyal felt homesick for Mongolia. Travelling to Beijing, he had attempted to enter Mongolia but was advised against it due to Bolshevik influence in the country, which tried to stamp out all forms of religion, including the brutal murder and suppression of Buddhist monks. Staying in China, he began working as a Russian translator. It was during this time that he also learned English, and was therefore hired to accompany the British political officer Charles Bell on a tour throughout Mongolia and China.

Though he had completed his studies, Ngawang Wangyal had not completed the requirement of feeding his entire monastery in order to receive his geshe title. Having saved up his earnings from translating, he was able to return to Drepung Monastery, but was unwilling to complete the requirement of feeding the 7,000 monks there, as he felt the educational system had become corrupt. After persuasion from his close friends who belonged to an influential Tibetan family, he relented. This family even sponsored the whole event.

When Theos met Geshe Wangyal, he was only a few years younger than the Tibetan scholar. Given their closeness in age, and their love of Tibetan Buddhism, they developed a friendship that would last many years. Since Geshe Wangyal was proficient enough in English to hold steady conversations, he was able to answer many of Theos’s questions about various Buddhist texts, and even described the educational systems in Tibet’s three great monasteries – Gaden, Sera and Drepung.

While continuing his language learning, Theos was able to purchase a copy of the Kangyur, the holy spoken words of the Buddha. Overjoyed at his luck, he quickly shipped them back to Viola in New York for safekeeping, until he returned and could begin translating the copious texts. In the meantime, while in Kalimpong, Theos began plans to translate various other texts before he left for Tibet. Writing to Viola, he said:

“I have secured some manuscripts which give the lives of Padma Sambhava, Tilopa, Naropa, Marpa, Mila and his 100,000 songs. It is my aim to have the life of Padma Sambhava translated before I leave here, and also to have made a start on the others…”

– Theos Casimir Bernard

Though he had memorised over a thousand Tibetan words, speaking and listening was immensely challenging for Theos. Luckily he had the company of Geshe Wangyal to distract him, and engaged in hours upon hours of conversations regarding Buddhism and Buddhist practice, although Geshe Wangyal would never talk about tantra. In another letter to Viola, Theos wrote:

“He is a very quiet and modest sort of chap and we have some fine chats at odd intervals, for we see each other several times a week… from him I am able to get an excellent line up on the literature which exists in the country… He possesses a wonderful sense of humour so I am constantly at him for being such a sophisticated monk or rather Lama, for he has that title… Really, I have a lot fun out of him.”

– Theos Casimir Bernard

It was during his time spent with Geshe Wangyal that Theos developed the motivation to start a research institute to translate Buddhist texts, practise yoga, and integrate Western science and Eastern philosophies, such as clinical trials to validate Ayurvedic principles for the betterment of mankind. This was something that he envisioned his dear wife Viola spearheading, since she had learnt Ayurvedic principles at length during her earlier time with Theos in India.

Lord Tsarong

Lord Tsarong

Keeping good relations with his contacts in Kalimpong, Theos was able to visit the home of Tsarong Lhacham, who was the wife of Lord Tsarong, a diplomat and close aid to the 13th Dalai Lama. While touring the house, Tsarong Lhacham unwrapped a text kept in her shrine room, and to her amazement Theos read the title out aloud. This was the first time the lady had ever heard a Westerner read Tibetan, even if it wasn’t perfect. She was extremely impressed and told him that she would do her best to aid him in his journey. However the only person who could guarantee his entry to Tibet was the British representative in Gangtok, Sir Basil Gould. Following her advice he sent several written requests, but to no avail.

Then, on a fateful day, Theos was informed that Sir Basil Gould would pay him a visit the next day. As it turned out, Sir Gould had not ignored his requests but had simply delayed his response as he wanted to meet Theos personally. Theos made a good impression on Sir Gould, not in the least due to rumours of Theos’ savant-like mastery of Tibetan and Indian philosophy, brought about by public fascination with his passion to learn. Sir Gould offered his assistance and immediately composed a cablegram to send to the Indian authorities on Theos’ behalf. However he warned Theos that his political reach could only guarantee him a six-week stay in Tibet, as far into the country as Gyantse. As preparations progressed, he made headway in his study of the Tibetan language.

The giant banner of Chenrezig at Gyantse Monastery

The giant banner of Chenrezig at Gyantse Monastery

Realising that he was far too young to receive the esoteric teachings he was searching for in Tibet, since they were usually only granted to those further in age and study, he began to grow a beard to mask his youthfulness. He was in his late 20s at the time. Purchasing another camera to complement the one he had brought with him from the United States, Theos packed over 22,000 feet of 16-mm motion picture film and 180 rolls of 35-mm still photography film. As he left his hotel, he was seen off by his friends and contacts he had made including Geshe Wangyal, who himself was in the midst of preparing to travel to England the very next day.

 

Tibet

Travelling first to Gangtok in the company of Sir Gould, Theos determined to write meticulous accounts of what happened each day so that those who read his works in the future, including his wife, would have as much information about the trip as possible. Every night he diligently sat at his typewriter to record down the day’s events, incorporating knowledge gleaned from reading various texts.

Theos Bernard and his many books

Theos Bernard and his many books

Accompanying Theos was his teacher in the Tibetan language, Tharchin, and an 18-mule caravan loaded with supplies for their arduous journey. Arriving in Nathu La Pass, a mountainous path linking the Indian state of Sikkim with the Kingdom of Tibet, they were caught in heavy snowfall. As they inched their way forward, they spent most of their time picking up the mules and horses that had fallen over. When they entered the pass itself, they added small stones to piles scattered amongst prayer flags, trying to appease the local mountain gods entreating them so that they could continue along their journey unimpeded.

On his arrival in Tibet, he first visited a Kagyu monastery in Yadong. Unfamiliar with the high altitude, the prolonged exposure to the cold Himalayan air, and a lack of the nutritious food that he was used to, Theos was soon overcome with fatigue and purging. Even so, he was able to ask the abbot of the monastery questions about the Buddhist faith, and in particular about the Kagyu lineage and the life and teachings of Padmasambhava. After resting for a couple of days in the village, the group continued their journey with fresh supplies and mules.

Theos dressed as a Tibetan official

Theos dressed as a Tibetan official

Continuing on, they arrived at Dungkar Monastery, the southernmost monastery belonging to the Gelug lineage. His experiences there were to be one of the most inspirational for Theos. The monastery belonged to the great Buddhist master Domo Geshe Rinpoche, who had recently passed away so when he arrived the monastery was still in a period of mourning. Closed to visitors, they only invited Theos to stay there once they realised he was a student of Buddhist philosophy. However, he was forbidden to document his stay on film.

Theos was enamoured not only by the monastery but the life of Domo Geshe Rinpoche. As his stay continued he could not help but feel sadness at the loss of such a great master. He once wrote about Domo Geshe Rinpoche that “the grandeur of his work says that he held a greater religious feeling than religious understanding.” His ruminations however were interrupted when he was informed that the monastery’s oracle was preparing to take trance and that he could stay for the event. The monastery’s oracle, who facilitated the trance of Dorje Shugden and other Dharma protectors, was famed for accurate prophecies and other miraculous acts. Theos jumped at the chance, but was wholly unprepared for what he witnessed:

“We witnessed the entire performances of him entering the separate shrine where the spirit is said to dwell and listen to the chants and clashing of cymbals that are supposed to prepare him for his state and drive the spirit into him and then all of a sudden he started talking at a frantic rate of speed and writers were getting everything down just as quickly as possible and all of a sudden he ups and collapses, one of the attendants grabbing him in his arms and let him fall back into his throne gradually.

– Theos Casimir Bernard

Lighting butter lamps at Gyantse

Lighting butter lamps at Gyantse

As they continued on to Gyantse, they passed by the formidable Chomolhari mountain in Phari. In Gyantse, Theos and Tharchin approached the Acting British Trade Agent Captain Gordon Cable, who was quite unwelcoming and restricted their movements significantly while waiting for permission that would allow the explorer to continue on to Lhasa. The day after they arrived was Saga Dawa, the annual celebration of the birth, enlightenment and parinirvana of Lord Buddha Shakyamuni. Speaking to the abbot of the local monastery, Tharchin had arranged Theos to become the patron of the monastery’s celebrations. They even incorporated a long-life ceremony and a thousand-butter-lamp offering into the proceedings. During the celebrations, in front of all the monks, Theos had prostrated to the seat that His Holiness the Dalai Lama had once sat on and draped a white silk khata over it, in respect and reverence. The monks were in awe as they witnessed their first display of a foreigner profess his faith in their religion. Upon entering the monastery’s prayer halls and shrines Theos was surprised at the amount of gold, semi-precious and precious stones that adorned the statues, images and walls of the monastery, and realised that accounts he had read of such wealth were grossly understated. Paying his respects to the monastic community, Theos sponsored the tea and monetary offerings to each and every monk. It was here that Theos began his documentation of Tibetan religious life in photographs and on film.

Filming Cham dance during Saga Dawa at Gyantse

Filming Cham dance during Saga Dawa at Gyantse

While waiting for permission to arrive, Theos continued gathering as many Buddhist texts as he could find, and documenting religious life. He was even given a thangka of Padmasambhava, and a copy of Longchenpa’s Seven Treasures, a condensed collection of works taught by Padmasambhava by Chokte, the Western Fort Commander at Gyantse. As Tharchin left for Lhasa in order to expedite the official permission to enter the city, Theos was left to fend for himself in Gyantse, which did wonders for his Tibetan language abilities. Returning to his bungalow after visiting his friend, a local Tibetan noblewoman, Theos found that a cable wire awaited him. It granted him permission to enter Lhasa and was from none other than the Regent of Tibet, Reting Rinpoche himself.

LHASA
BERNARD, GYANTSE
Recd your letter hope you recd wire from Kashag that you are much relationship may visit Lhasa as your desire wire if you need dwelling here = Regent

Theos excitedly prepared provisions for the journey, while continuing his own studies and research into Buddhist texts. He was invited to stay at the British Mission headquarters, known as Deki Lingka, and west of Lhasa but politely refused the offer as he knew they would entangle him in political matters, something that would provide him with no use for his real purpose – the study of religion. Instead he thought of the Mission to be “satisfied, egotistical, bigoted, conceited, prepossessing and anything else that you can add”. He had in fact already arranged for his accommodation in Lhasa. He would be the guest of Lord and Lady Tsarong, one of the most powerful and influential families in the whole of Tibet, whom he had made friends with on his journey. The day before he left Gyantse for Lhasa, he received confirmation once again that his journey to visit Lhasa was approved, this time from the Kashag, the governing council of Tibet:

Bernard of America
GYANTSE
Received your letter which we sent up to the Regent and Prime Minister.
As you probably know Tibet being a purely religious country there is a great restriction of foreigners entering the country but understanding that you have a great respect for our religion and have hopes of spreading the religion in America on your return we have decided as a special case to allow you to come to Lhasa by the main road for a three weeks visit.

Monks lined up at Drepung Monastery

Monks lined up at Drepung Monastery

As he drew closer to Lhasa, he first passed by the great Drepung Monastic University which housed over 10,000 monks. In awe of the buildings, he couldn’t keep his eyes off the golden roof of the Potala Palace in the distance, calling out to him. As he neared the city gates, he was greeted by an official government escort and his close friend and Tibetan teacher, Tharchin. Both men were overjoyed at their reunion, and they headed to the Tsarong estate, just south of the Jokhang Cathedral. Though Lord Tsarong and his wife, Lady Tsarong Lhacham were busy people, they had cleared the schedule to invite Theos to their estate personally since they regarded him a friend. Lord Tsarong was close friends with His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama, had been an integral part of his entourage, and was known as a brilliant strategist. He had earned the name “Hero of Chaksam Ferry” after he fought Chinese invaders, allowing the Dalai Lama time to enter into exile in Kalimpong. Being bestowed the title of the Commander General by the Dalai Lama he was charged with taking back Tibet from the Chinese, which accomplished in 1911. After a series of internal political struggles, he was one of the cabinet ministers who had implemented changes that tried to modernise Tibet, including in terms of military training. With such politically-connected and kind hosts, Theos was sure that he would achieve his aims in Lhasa.

A crowd of people outside the Jokhang Cathedral waiting for food to be distributed

A crowd of people outside the Jokhang Cathedral waiting for food to be distributed

Theos as the patron at the Jokhang Cathedral

Theos as the patron at the Jokhang Cathedral

He was given rooms perfectly suited to his needs, and was surprised at the amenities he was afforded. Copious amounts of floor cushions, covered with heavy and intricate Tibetan carpets; a separate bedroom; store room for his luggage; a modern toilet; towel rack; and bathtub. In fact Theos was noted as saying “it was all much better than many places I had been in India”.

One of his earliest conversations with Lord Tsarong, as far as his work was concerned, centred on acquiring a copy of the Kangyur and Tengyur. While the Lhasa editions were well done, he was informed that copies of the Narthang or Derge editions were the best. The Lhasa editions were printed from wood block which had seriously deteriorated over time, whereas the Derge editions were printed from cast iron blocks, meaning that reproductions were of a higher quality. The lord suggested Theos to leave Tibet via China rather going back down south to India. This would mean Theos would pass through Derge on his way out, where he could acquire a copy of the texts for himself.

Learning that Reting Rinpoche, the Regent of Tibet would be returning to Lhasa in a couple of days, Theos hurried himself in preparations for the meeting. Reting Rinpoche, though considered young and inexperienced, was said to have been shown favour by the 13th Dalai Lama shortly before the later passed away:

“At the time he gave the young Reting his own divination manuscript and dice, supposedly telling him, ‘I have been using these and they have proved good and if you use them it will prove useful for you too.’ Reting’s supporters argued that this was a sign that the late Dalai Lama wanted him to become regent. Reting was also famous in his own right for having performed several miracles as a child.”

– Theos Casimir Bernard

Both somewhat apprehensive of their meeting, Theos and Reting Rinpoche soon found they both shared the same passion, the study of Buddhism. Reting Rinpoche even told him that his fascination with Buddhism stemmed from a previous life, in which Theos would have been a devoted practitioner. Discussing various points of the Buddhist path, Reting Rinpoche asked Theos to list down all the materials that he wished to have, and the regent would try to accommodate him.

“There was no doubt about him being a truly spiritual individual but at the same time very keen, for his mind was sharp and grasping, as well as filled with ideas. Along with it all was a remarkable sense of humour… In our conversation, all the seeds of the future were planted and also for my return, etc. He is now anxious to watch my work and help me if necessary by giving my personal disciples his personal blessings; so that means that I will probably be granted the privilege of returning to this land and brining friends with me by the mere asking – and as it stands today, I am the first American who has ever seen him.”

– Theos Casimir Bernard

He spent the next couple of days meeting various ministers and members of the Kashag, as well as touring the grand Potala Palace, which included the gold-plate funerary stupa of His Holiness the Great 5th Dalai Lama covered with jade, turquoise, ruby and coral. Of particular interest was the Zhol Publishing House, known as the Parkhang, which had the printing blocks of the Lhasa edition of the Kangyur that he had sent home to Viola when he was in India.

Excited to visit the Jokhang Cathedral knowing its religious significance, Theos and Tharchin hurried there a couple of days later. Built in the 7th century the cathedral housed one of the two holiest statues in all of Tibet. Theos was however sadly disappointed by what he found. Apart from the holy statue itself the cathedral was overrun with mice, no light or ventilation and a thick layer of soot from the butter lamps, masking the wall frescos of the enlightened deities which covered the interior of the cathedral.

Theos and Reting Rinpoche, the Regent of Tibet in Lhasa in 1937.

Theos and Reting Rinpoche, the Regent of Tibet in Lhasa in 1937.

Determined to improve Theos’ skill in the Tibetan language, his friend Tharchin began eating his meals alone in his room. This forced Theos to eat his own meals in the company of Lord and Lady Tsarong. Even so, Theos was able to talk with Lord Tsarong well enough to devise plans to convince the Kashag to extend his stay in the city. During a meeting with Reting Rinpoche in regards to his duties to the government, Lord Tsarong mentioned that Theos had wanted to arrange a tea party for the entire Kashag. Reting Rinpoche replied that in fact he himself had wanted to arrange such a party for Theos when he returned to Lhasa in a month’s time. In a roundabout way, that was the regent’s way of saying that Theos’ visa to remain in Lhasa has been extended, and Theos was overwhelmed at the news. With the extension of his stay, Theos buried himself in learning and research.

Wanting to sponsor a puja at the Jokhang Cathedral and Ramoche Temple, Theos was soon inundated by the amount of preparation necessary to complete the task and had to fall back on Lord Tsarong to help, which he did readily. Not only did he help with financial arrangements, he also organised purchase of new silk khatas, monetary offerings to all the monks, 800 pounds of butter, 1000 pounds of barley flour and 400 men that were required to carry it into Lhasa.

Theos visited many of the holiest sites in Tibet

Theos visited many of the holiest sites in Tibet

Visiting Reting Rinpoche before he departed for Reting Monastery, Theos once again made it known that he wanted to stay in Tibet for more than the originally allocated three weeks. In a matter-of-fact manner, Reting Rinpoche said that he had brought it up to the Kashag, and they had granted everything he had requested. The regent then bade him farewell with the traditional silk khata, a red protection string, but also gave him a Buddha statue and an illustrated copy of the Sutra of the Fortunate Aeon.

On a Thursday, a day that was deemed auspicious by Jokhang’s astrologer-monks, Theos sponsored a grand puja at the Cathedral. The puja was graced with the presence of the holy representative of Lama Tsongkhapa on earth, holder of the Gaden throne and supreme head of the Gelug lineage, His Holiness the 93rd Gaden Tripa Yeshe Wangden. Having made three prostrations to the great master, he offered the traditional offerings of body, speech, and mind made by the sponsor. Throughout the puja he was sometimes asked to walk through the rows and rows of monks in a symbolic gesture to remind them that he was the sponsor of their tea, food and monetary offerings. After three more hours, both Theos and Tharchin were excused as they were told the puja would last well into the night.

Rather than leave straight away, the two men distributed money to the beggars outside of the cathedral and arranged for the blessed food offerings to be distributed to the poor and those in prison. While Theos continued his research, Tharchin was so busy running around Lhasa finding books, purchasing statues and thangkas, and stocking up on daily necessities that he wore out the soles of his shoes, and had to buy a new pair.

Theos at Drepung Monastery

Theos at Drepung Monastery

Receiving a message from the abbot of Gyume Tantric College, who had officiated the puja at the Jokhang that Theos sponsored, he told them of a Guhyasamaja Tantric Empowerment at the Ramoche Temple the next day, and asked them to attend and sponsor. Theos and Tharchin happily obliged, taking the opportunity to document as much as they could on camera.

Deciding to go on a tour of the three great monasteries, Theos first travelled to Drepung Monastery where he took the opportunity take more pictures and footage of the monks and daily religious life. He even sponsored tea, food and monetary offerings to the entire monastery, and was then received by the abbot at Nechung Monastery nearby. Continuing onwards, he made an offering of 1,000 butter lamps at the stupa of the late Dalai Lama, food offerings to the monks of Namgyal Monastery, and visited the Norbu Lingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lamas. All the while in the back of his mind he worried about getting hold of a copy of the Derge edition of the Kangyur and Tengyur, given growing tensions on the border with China, hampering his plans to leave Tibet in that direction and acquire a copy of the texts. However the gracious Lord Tsarong gave Theos his own copies, worried that Theos might actually leave Tibet using this route and lose his life in the border skirmishes.

Monks in front of the main prayer hall of Sera Monastery

Monks in front of the main prayer hall of Sera Monastery

Theos continued to make offerings at Sera Monastery, where he was given an extended lunch break by the monastery’s officials. Approaching Gaden Monastery a couple of days later, Theos wrote

“It was really a thrill and stimulated something inside that no other sight could bring about, providing you had ever any ideals on what a perfect monastery should be like so far as its physical structure. Here it was among the gathering clouds of the heavens and complete hidden to anyone passing up and down the valley. It would only be a chance in a million that anyone would discover it, providing there was no knowledge of its existence.”

– Theos Casimir Bernard

During the following day’s ceremonies at Gaden, Theos had grown somewhat weary of the process of making offerings and having to sit through hours of puja. However when his turn came to make offerings His Holiness the 93rd Gaden Tripa, His Holiness spent a longer time than usual in bestowing his blessings by touching Theos’ head. At that time Theos felt the strange but comforting glow of spiritual presence, which stirred his mind emotionally. For Theos, such an emotional impact simply through touch was a sign of Gaden Tripa’s profound spiritual attainments.

Theos took hundreds of thousands of photographs of the Tibetan people

Theos took hundreds of thousands of photographs of the Tibetan people

Coming away from his experience, Theos realised he now had a low opinion of most of those with the monastic system, which had “developed into a social mechanism to provide for those unable to cope with the demands of life”. Following this he also realised that “the head lamas of these large monasteries are one of two personality [types] – political racketeers or a true spiritual master which is the case with [Tri] Rinpoche, but these are few and far between”.

Following his experiences in monasteries, Theos came to the conclusion that the future of mankind lay a new world religious leader, well-versed in Buddhist philosophy that was something he viewed as distinct from religious practice. Yet he also realised that in order for this philosophy to be spread in the materialistic East, it would have to be couched in something he had grown a particular distaste for – ritual.

“Thru our extensive educational system we have developed a semithinking man who no longer can except traditional ritual which gives him no intellectual satisfaction; however he is in just as much in need of ritual as those in the beginning, but a new scheme of pomp must be devised for him – which in turn will also be worn out with time when the same cycle will have to take place one again, and I fear that man will never escape from the cycles of a ritual way of life – we all like clothes, but not those worn by our grandfather.”

– Theos Casimir Bernard

On his way back to Lhasa, Theos stopped by a retreat hermitage known as Dra Yer Pa, where he had an audience with a Kagyu yogi who had been meditating in a nearby cave for many years. There he was given empowerment into a lineage of Tummo, or inner heat meditations, within the lineage of Milarepa, marking his entry into Buddhist tantra, to the astonishment of the local monks. Returning to Lhasa, he set about copying the texts concerning the practice that the yogi had lent him, and gathering and packing many others to take back with him to Kalimpong. He had gathered so many items, he had to spend days just overseeing tailors sew covers for all his books. Meeting Reting Rinpoche once last time in 1937, Theos left Lhasa for Shigatse, arriving in late September. There he once again made food, tea and monetary offerings at the monasteries there.

On his way, Theos was received at Sakya by the Sakya Trizin’s household and given accommodation at the Phuntsok Palace. Upon his meeting with the Sakya Trizin, he was struck by his presence and felt as though they could have been life-long friends, and even a slight and instantaneous affection for him. On October 9, 1937, Theos packed his bags for one last time, and began his journey back to Sikkim.

Preparing to leave. In front of the Himalayan Hotel.

Preparing to leave. In from of the Himalayan Hotel.

 

Theos became a celebrity due to his travels. He was featured in Family Circle on April 22, 1938.

Theos became a celebrity due to his travels. He was featured in Family Circle on April 22, 1938.

Returning to America

Arriving in India, Tharchin mobilised himself in promoting Theos’ adventures. As he began to gain prestige for his achievements, he soon received a message from Viola informing him that her mother had died of cancer. Urging him to continue his academic career, she paid for his commercial plane ticket to London, England, where Theos hoped he could apply for a degree at Oxford University. Back within high society, Theos made his presence and exploits in India and Tibet widely known, becoming a minor celebrity. However, he soon returned to New York.

When he returned he had hopes of starting some form of institution, school, research centre or ashram which would promote the practices of Indian yoga and Buddhist philosophy. His determination to open such an institution was in stark contrast with Viola’s own plans in continuing her medical career and starting a family. The two soon became distant and eventually divorced.

It was during this time that, in order to make his dream a success, Theos began marketing himself as a celebrity, riding on the fame that his adventure brought him and his story was published in newspapers and magazines across the country. He even lectured about Buddhism but with a large helping of showmanship to enrapture his audience. Resigned that he would never be admitted into Oxford University in England, he soon authored a thesis which he submitted to the philosophy department at Columbia University in New York.

This photograph was featured as the first image of Theos’ publication Penthouse of the Gods.

This photograph was featured as the first image of Theos’ publication Penthouse of the Gods.

He wrote and published several books about his journeys, but many of them were embellished to pander to public imagination and the desire to read about the exotic, such as his memoir Penthouse of the Gods. These embellishments were actually based on the life experiences of his father, Glen Bernard who had travelled to India as a young man and been initiated into the practices of various Indian traditions.

However he did in fact publish other more accurate works on the basic principles of both Indian and Tibetan Philosophy. Both his showmanship and the embellishment in his works have led people to label him a controversial figure, despite all that he achieved during his lifetime.

He completed his Ph.D. degree in 1942, graduating for the last time, from Columbia University. His dissertation titled Hatha Yoga: The Report of a Personal Experience paved the way for the university’s Department of Religion, and was a seminal piece of writing that introduced yoga to the American public.

Moving to Santa Barbara, he established the Tibetan Text Society, but it was to be short-lived. He returned to India in search of more materials and a deeper understanding of Buddhist Philosophy in 1947.

 

Theos when he travelled back to India

Theos when he travelled back to India

Travelling Back to India

After a not-so-amicable divorce from his second wife, Ganna Walska, a wealthy Polish opera singer, Theos travelled back to India with his third wife, Helen Park. On his way to back to Kalimpong he even had the opportunity to meet both Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. In Kalimpong, Theos found his old friend, Tharchin working on various projects and publishing a newspaper. There he also found Geshe Wangyal again.

Geshe Wangyal had returned to Tibet to live in Lhasa after arriving back from England. When they last met, as Theos was leaving Kalimpong for Tibet, Geshe Wangyal was leaving Kalimpong for England. While in Tibet, Geshe Wangyal had seen the communists gaining ground in China, and remembering what had happened when the Soviets had invaded his homeland, he tried to warn the Tibetan leaders of the danger. But they had not listened to him. Realising he could only save himself, he had relocated to live in Kalimpong in India.

Overjoyed at his good fortune, Theos resumed his studies under Geshe Wangyal, together with his new wife Helen. Wanting to study Lama Tsongkhapa’s Ngam Rim Chenmo, or The Great Exposition of the Stages of Secret Mantra, Geshe Wangyal told Theos that he must first master sutra. Instead Theos was instructed to study the Lam Rim Chenmo, or The Great Exposition of the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, which he readily accepted. Geshe Wangyal however found that Theos did not have a firm grasp of sutra to be able to comprehend its true meaning, so began teaching him easier subjects first, such as the Wheel of Life, or the Three Poisons.

Helen Park

Helen Park

Hoping to once again visit Tibet, and perhaps see the Monlam Festival in Lhasa, Theos sent numerous requests to the British Residency in Gangtok, seeking a travel permit to enter Tibet. However due to the growing political tensions in the region, the permit was refused. The British authorities even sent word to the Nepali authorities in Kathmandu, in order to block Theos if he tried to enter Tibet via Nepal. Resigned to remain in Kalimpong, he continued his studies and made plans with Helen to set up a Tibetan studies school on the west coast of the United States.

His studies progressed and he was able to translate small portions of the Lam Rim Chenmo into English. This wasn’t just a literal translation but one that conveyed its deeper meaning. His elation towards his work was soon ended by Geshe Wangyal, who put him in his place. Although he felt annoyed at Geshe Wangyal’s low opinion of the grasp of Buddhism by Westerners, Theos admitted that Tibetan Buddhists “have a fairly accurate estimate of human nature and have all mankind divided up into a few simple types of mind,” and that this determined “what kinds of knowledge… should be given to each type”.

It was around this time that Tharchin sent word of a great master coming from Lhasa to give teachings on the Lam Rim Chenmo at the nearby monastery of Tharpa Choling. As it turned out when Lord Tsarong had heard that Theos was back in Kalimpong, he entreated his good friend Dardo Rinpoche to allow Theos to attend his teachings. Over the course of a month, every day from noon until 6pm Theos, accompanied by Geshe Wangyal, attended the teachings. During the breaks Theos would question Geshe Wangyal as to the contents of the teachings, since Theos was unable to keep up with Dardo Rinpoche’s spoken language and grasp the meaning at the same time. Fortunately for Theos, Geshe Wangyal had the entire Lam Rim Chenmo “virtually memorised”.

Coupled with his study of the Lam Rim, Theos searched for books on the topic of the Twelve Links of Dependent Origination, the bardo, and yoga, having them shipped to the United States, waiting his arrival back to his home country. As the political scene in India now not only involved the independence movement, but the increasing rivalry between Hindus and Muslims, the effects could be felt in Kalimpong. Theos decided that he should travel to Kashmir and enter Tibet there. Geshe Wangyal strongly advised against the idea, but Theos was determined.

Travelling down to Calcutta, Theos and Helen gathered their supplies and boarded a train for Delhi. But with the planning of the partition of British-controlled India into two separate countries, India and Pakistan there was huge migration of Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims. Adamant, Theos and Helen continued their journey nonetheless. Arriving in the Kulu Valley, they settled in to enjoy the last days of the British Raj amongst the privileged classes. There they met Nicholas Roerich and family, with whom they discussed their plans of recovering rare manuscripts from Ki Monastery and Hemis Monastery in Ladakh.

Theos at his typewriter

Ki Monastery

When Partition was officially announced, soon there were stories of the violence. This did not change Theos’ mind and he continued northwards. Leaving Helen in the safety of the Kullu Valley, he set off accompanied by his companion Senge. Just days later Helen started to get very worried, as news of violence getting closer to the valley began to come in. Things began to heighten and then three of Theos’ Muslim porters were found dead, with their throats slit. In the midst of the ensuing chaos, she determined to await Theos’ return. She was forced to leave however with the group of Major Hotz. Arriving in Simla on October 20, 1947, she had to wait for two whole days just for a second class ticket on a train for Delhi, given the huge migration of people from all areas of India, coupled with those trying to escape the violence. On the other side of India, Svetoslav Roerich, son of Nicholas Roerich, reached the American vice consul in Calcutta, informing them that Theos was lost in the Himalayan mountain ranges between Spiti and Lahaul, as he had received word of possible sightings there.

Various articles about Theos were published. Here we see an article published on October 21, 1947 in the New York Times.

Various articles about Theos were published. Here we see an article published on October 21, 1947 in the New York Times.

Both Helen and Svetoslav tried their best to persuade the authorities to help search for Theos but the country was still in chaos. Helen even went as far as having articles published about Theos being missing in the newspapers. Distraught, she took a train to Calcutta and returned to the same hotel that she visited with Theos just months earlier. But he never returned, and Helen decided to leave for Hong Kong as she had originally planned to do after her trip to. She left India, never to return.

Theos and his companion Senge were never heard from again. They were presumed to have died amidst the communal clashes on their way back to Helen in the Kulu Valley. His father, Glen Bernard, did not give up hope. He held on for many years, but even as Theos’ published works continued to be reprinted, he was forced to make a public announcement to state the facts regarding his son’s disappearance:

In 1947, Theos Bernard was on a mission to the Ki Monastery in western Tibet in search of some special manuscripts. While on his way, rioting broke out among the Hindus and Moslems in that section of the hills; all Moslems including women and children in the little village from which Theos departed were killed.

The Hindus then proceeded into the mountains in pursuit of the Moslems who had accompanied Theos as guides and muleteers. These Moslems, it is reported, learning of the killings, escaped, leaving both Theos and his Tibetan boy alone on a trail. It is further reported that both were shot and their bodies thrown into the river.

To date we have not been able to get any authentic information on the entire circumstances of his death, nor have we any line of the effects Theos had with him. That region of Tibet is so very remote that it is unlikely we shall ever learn the full details.

Over the course of the years, Theos’ family and friends all tried to locate him or find out what had actually happened but to no avail. Eventually, compiling all the reports and investigations, Helena filed papers to legalise his death in the United States.
 

Legacy

“It should be thought very strange if one’s hands and feet refused to behave, or behaved in a manner which showed that their owner had no control over them. Yet that is how too often human beings allow their most delicate instrument, the mind, to behave.”

– Theos Casimir Bernard

It was Geshe Wangyal, who had tutored Theos, that established a Tibetan learning institution in the United States. Here Geshe Wangyal stands in front of Columbia University in 1958.

It was Geshe Wangyal, who had tutored Theos, that established a Tibetan learning institution in the United States. Here Geshe Wangyal stands in front of Columbia University in 1958.

Though Theos never lived to see his dream of a Tibetan studies school being established on American soil, it became a reality through the efforts of his friend and mentor Geshe Wangyal. Arriving in New York in 1955, Geshe Wangyal was brought to United States by the Mongolian Kalmyk community in New Jersey who were in need of religious direction. Learning of his arrival, Thubten Norbu, the brother of the Dalai Lama came to his aid. Through his contacts, he got Geshe Wangyal a job teaching at Columbia University where Theos once studied. Later Geshe Wangyal did establish a school, along the line of studies at Drepung Monastery as Theos had envisioned, but in New Jersey instead of on the west coast. With his founding of such a school, Geshe Wangyal had officially established Tibetan studies in the United States. Theos’ dream had finally come true.
 

Sources:

  • http://c250.columbia.edu/c250_celebrates/remarkable_columbians/theos_casimir_bernard.html
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theos_Casimir_Bernard
  • Barbarian lands: Theos Bernard, Tibet, and the American Religious Life by Paul Gerard Hackett
  • Theos Bernard, The White Lama: Tibet, Yoga, and American Religious Life by Paul G. Hackett. Columbia University Press. 2012

 

For more interesting information:

 

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Since becoming a Buddhist, Niral has had a voracious passion for the Dharma. He is known to have his head buried in books and loves to share what he knows. Niral has now found a better way to share his weird, whacky and, more often than not, other-worldly ideas with an unsuspecting audience - as a guest author on his Guruji's blog!
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8 Responses to Theos Bernard – The American Explorer of Tibet

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  1. cpk david on Sep 20, 2019 at 2:24 am

    I came to know about him ……… Theos Bernard, from his book “Hatha Yoga” which I bought way back in the 70s He was an accomplished hatha yoga master based on all the yoga poses he personally demonstrated in his book ……. especially coming from a “yellow devil” which is almost un-beleivable !

  2. wan wai meng on Oct 29, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    It is somewhat unfortunate that Theos did not see his dream come through, a consolation would be that at least Geshe Wangyal his tutor established a Tibetan School in the United States.

    Reading this article it really felt like Theos was having a learning adventure of his lifetime. going here and there talking, and amassing teachings all over. Almost like he was the Indiana Jones of learning Buddhism.

  3. Samfoonheei on Oct 25, 2017 at 11:51 am

    Theos Casimir Bernard the self-proclaimed “White Lama,” became the third American in history to reach Lhasa, Tibet. As an avid explorer, author ,he studied Tibetan Buddhism, Indian religious traditions and practices such as hatha yoga. He has an interesting life and he has translated a number of books to English. He made an extraordinary pilgrimage to Tibet in search of adventure and spiritual enlightenment. Theos Casimir Bernard travel and along his route he met , and corresponded with many social, political, cultural leaders and high politicians of Tibet. He accumulated many books, artifacts and determined to acquire the important religious texts, artwork, so he can continue his studies of the language and culture.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these interesting and inspiring read.

  4. Lim Han Nee on Oct 24, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    It is indeed rare to come across individuals like American explorer ,Theos Bernard. A trail-blazer, he set out to find his way into Lhasa, the forbidden city, at a time when Tibet ‘s doors were still firmly closed to the outside world

    There was an all consuming passion and thirst in Theos Bernard for deep knowledge of philosophy and religion especially of India and Tibet. He became fascinated with Tibetan Buddhism .His expeditions into Tibet made possible because of friendships with the highest politicians and celebrities, were very successful ones, as he learnt more and more about the religion (Tibetan Buddhism)and the monasteries that he had the good fortune to visit. Besides that, he learnt and attempted to master the Tibetan language.

    Wherever he went, because of his sincere motive to learn more about Buddhism and to spread Tibetan Buddhism in the West, he met with people who were helpful and kind. One of his most invaluable friendships was that with a Mongolian monk, Geshe Wangyal, a very sharp authority on Tibetan Buddhism, who later became influential in spreading Buddhism in the US. Geshe Wangyal became his spiritual mentor and friend, who taught him and helped him navigate his way through his study of Tibetan Buddhism.

    Theos’ experiences and encounters in Tibet are of the stuff that dreams are made of, considering that Tibet was at that time “a forbidden land”. He was able to visit the three great ‘Tsongkhapa’ Monasteries of Drepung, Sera and Gaden. Of Gaden as he was approaching it, he wrote of his feeling of awe of a place that was like a heaven on earth, a perfect monastery. He was enthralled with Dungkar Monastery and with the life of Domo Geshe(who had passed away when he arrived) . He saw the grandeur of Dungkar Monastery as reflecting the greatness of Domo Geshe.

    When the hand of the 93rd Gaden Tripa touched his head in blessing, he felt the” comforting glow of a spiritual presence”. This left such a deep impression on him that he began to feel that monasteries should exist to produce such rare spiritually attained heads.
    .
    Theos also had other rare and precious experiences like the opportunity to study the Lamrim Chenmo under a renowned teacher, Dardo Rinpoche.

    So much was accomplished within such a short span of time by one individual with such a zest to learn, explore and discover.! His dream to establish a Tibetan studies institute, along the lines of a monastery like Drepung, in the United States was later realised by Geshe Wangyal. That is in a way his legacy to the West.

    Thank you for this fascinating and inspiring account of Theos Bernard.

  5. Jen on Oct 22, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    Thanks for writing this post to share with us the adventure of Dr Theos Bernard to Tibet and his life story. Those pictures are precious to me considering Tibet was not exposed to foreigner back then in early 20th century. His urgency in translating Kangyur to English and his initiative to bring Tibetan studies to the west in a way opened the door for Tibetan Buddhism. Besides, I also learn that translating Dharma text from Tibetan to English is never an easy task to bring out the very essence of Buddha’s teaching. I appreciate for what we have in this blog and youtube 🙂

  6. Fong on Oct 22, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Theos Bernard is of the era of Alexandra David-Neel, Nicholas Roerich and W. Y. Evans-Wentz. They were of the early wave of Westerners who were passionate about eastern philosophies and mysticism.

    It looks like he helped set the stage for the lamas that escaped Tibet to find an audience in the west especially in the US, with his collections and writings. Makes me wonder who they were in their previous lives to be born in the west and do all these work to bring the knowledge of Tibet out and create such interest and bring these knowledge to the west. All these create an atmosphere where Tibetan Buddhism and studies were easily accepted, laying the foundation for the spread of Tibetan Buddhism westwards. Something to ponder.

  7. Valentina Suhendra on Oct 19, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Dear friends,

    This meme is powerful. Who you hang around with and the types of attitude they have is who you will be influenced by many times and who you will become in the future. Look at your friends and the people that always surround you to know who you will become.

    Tsem Rinpoche

    d96b47a2-387a-4d07-8ae1-6b4ad910aed2

  8. Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai on Oct 17, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    The early and mid-20th century were truly the golden age of exploration. In those decades, you had people who pushed the boundaries of travel and exploration, and challenged social conventions and norms by going to the ends of the earth to bring back to the knowledge of a different culture, religion, way of life. They didn’t have the luxury of airplanes or mobile phones, or computers or Internet to do research, make connections and the like. If you wanted to know something, you had to go out there and get it yourself. And that’s what makes people like W.Y. Evans-Wentz, Lama Anagarika Govinda and Theos Bernard to be such interesting people. They were driven, almost to the point of obsession, in their pursuit and quest for knowledge.

    But beyond this pursuit of scholasticism, they were practitioners themselves too and you have to wonder about the circumstances that led Theos to take rebirth in a family that, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, was practicing yoga and whose parents had an interest in Eastern philosophies. Exposure to such philosophies in the West would’ve been, at the time, very limited. To me, this can only be explained by past life imprints, that despite being born in a land barren of such philosophies and spiritual traditions, he was still driven towards them somehow.

    One thing that did surprise me is how young he was when he did all of this. So many of his adventures took place when he was in his mid-20s because he was only in his late 20s when he departed for Tibet. I also felt a bit sad that to get his story out, he felt the need to embellish certain aspects so that it would have broader public appeal. It meant that a lifetime of work and spiritual pursuits were eventually viewed with skepticism. It’s a pity because for someone who was such a prolific archiver, his records could’ve offered an accurate, almost anthropological glimpse into another world from another time. Still, it doesn’t detract from the fact we do have those with us today, and something is better than nothing.

    Thanks for the post Pastor Niral, it was a thoroughly interesting read that I very much enjoyed 🙂

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The Kechara Forest Retreat is a unique holistic retreat centre focused on the total wellness of body, mind and spirit. This is a place where families and individuals will find peace, nourishment and inspiration in a natural forest environment. At Kechara Forest Retreat, we are committed to give back to society through instilling the next generation with universal positive values such as kindness and compassion.

For more information, please read here (english), here (chinese), or the official site: retreat.kechara.com.

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  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 3. 2020 03:19 PM
    Reading this article it gave a clear pictures of how many animals been slaughtered for human’s menu. The simple act of becoming a vegetarian will make a difference in the health of our environment. When we become more mindful of what we have on our menu every day, that mindfulness will seep into everything we do. Many people choose a vegetarian diet out of concern, to stay healthy, saving animals and environment as well.
    What is important , give the animals a chance, respect them and to do harm them. May more people realized how many thousands or millions of animals be saved if they go on being a vegetarian.
    Thank you Rinpoche for bringing awareness with this article..

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/amazing-survey.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 3. 2020 03:17 PM
    Our Lama Tsem Rinpoche was a gift to us and the Tibetan Buddhism world who just keeps on giving , teaching Dharma and cares more than himself. Rinpoche was definitely one Lama that gives much more than another one else. Well known for his compassion, Rinpoche had guild rather train his students from day one where they are today. Rinpoche had observed , on the lookout to assist and encourage anyone of us and friends. Rinpoche had used the ‘new news’ an exercise to develop greater awareness of people and situations around. Wonderful way , to instill the positive qualities of compassion and awareness in us. Reading this post , I learn something new.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/tales-with-my-lama-what-is-the-new-news
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 3. 2020 03:15 PM
    Having a Dorje Shugden shop at Petaling street, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia will definitely benefits more and more local people as well as foreigners especially the tourist from across the globe. Many people will get to know and understand the Powerful Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden of our time. Many people who see the protector or passing by will be blessed as it is located at the famous tourist spot of China town. More people are connected to Dorje Shugden and will have the seeds planted into their mind. Rejoice.
    This is a best gift for our Lama Tsem Rinpoche on his birthday.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/exciting-dorje-shugden-store-in-petaling-street-malaysia.html
  • sarassitham
    Thursday, Jul 2. 2020 10:10 PM
    This is probably the best I’ve ever seen, marvelous creation, very realist with brilliant idea. I like the idea of Julian Beever, working in open air with public attraction. This job definitely takes a lot of patience and hats off to this extraordinary creativity.

    Thank you for the wonderful sharing of a talented artist and his amazing art work.
  • S.Prathap
    Thursday, Jul 2. 2020 04:16 PM
    With our integrity intact, life is less stressful and far less complicated. This is not applying in secular but also in the spiritual practice. If someone who does not have integrity will surely not earn respects from his peers.
    Integrity is very important in our life. It also a good habit for us to cultivate and take as reminder to ourselves that we need to keep hold to our promises in all aspect of chores we are doing.

    https://bit.ly/31yh6MZ
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jul 2. 2020 01:21 PM
    Chatral Rinpoche was one of the greatest meditation masters and most compassionate bodhisattvas in the history of Tibetan Buddhism. Chatral Rinpoche explains the purpose and benefit of saving the lives of endangered animals, especially those due to be slaughtered. Great advice by Chatral Rinpoche to develop compassion for all sentient beings . Save animals, save nature, as animal life is precious too. He lived as a humble yogi without the distractions of fame and fortune. He practiced what he preaches without compromise and was beloved , respected by many of all faiths throughout the Himalayan region. He was well known for his compassion for animals through his compassionate action and profound wisdom. He had liberate millions of fish animals and had encourages his student not to eat meat and drank alcohol. It’s a right choice to be on vegetarian , as more animals will be save. It be healthier for us, better for environment and kinder to be a vegetarian.
    Powerful saying by Chatral Rinpoche ……Eating meat in one’s diet is much different than eating flesh to liberate a being through supernatural powers. I am just an ordinary practitioner. I would be committing sin and I would be getting negative karma.
    Thank You for this sharing Rinpoche and Pastor Loh Seng Piow.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/committing-sin.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jul 2. 2020 01:18 PM
    When i first read this article I did wonder too , how this ever happen. Somehow its real, a geological phenomenon where rocks move without human interference. Known as “sailing stones,” the rocks vary in size from a few ounces to hundreds of pounds. One of the world’s strangest phenomena is at Death Valley National Park in Inyo County, California, U.S. Till today, scientists could not have an answer to this strange phenomena where nobody have seen it moving at all.
    Thank you for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/just-what-are-sailing-stones.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jul 2. 2020 01:17 PM
    Animal abuse frequently occurred in a number of area. Its heart breaking looking at the pictures of that extreme animal and neglect case of a dog in this article . The abused dog was packed in a plastic bag and thrown down a trash chute in the 22-story building. So inhuman for someone to do that . Not only that the dog was under un nourishment, thin, dehydrated and looks more than a skeleton. The condition was so bad that the dog needs a blood transfusion. Thanks to the maintenance workers who found Patrick in the neat of time. Looking at those pictures one will be definitely shocking to see his condition. Thankfully, that poor dog named Patrick is recovering well after been nursed by the hospital staffs. Its one of the worst cases of abuse they’ve seen. A dog is men best friends , shouldn’t be abuse or harm them. Give them love, care as if they are one of us.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/extreme-abuse-dog-found-in-trash.html
  • sarassitham
    Wednesday, Jul 1. 2020 11:14 PM
    Thank you for your wonderful thoughts of sharing the most heartwarming moments of people around the world. Some of the photos were really touching. I believe there are plenty of kind -hearted people around us with faith in humanity.

    Life is all about second chances, always try to care about others because none of us know what tomorrow may speaks. It’s so much true to say photos will make your day much more better with thousand words and I too enjoyed all the stories.
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jul 1. 2020 01:13 PM
    The famous saying “What goes around, comes around”, karma in short is action and every action is preceded by our thoughts. Hence what we think continuously about something will eventually lead to action and the result. Its our mind that is responsible for our karma. Reading this post it has helped me and many of us to understand that we create our own reality or karma. I have book marked these so as i can read it time from time to remind myself. still plenty to catch up.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this profound teachings with folded hands.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/karma-and-the-law-of-attraction.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jul 1. 2020 01:11 PM
    Chatral Rinpoche was a Dzogchen master and a reclusive yogi known for his great realization and strict discipline. Beautiful and meaningful poems, all I can say the poem is full of wisdom. All animals deserves a life free from fear and pain. They do have hearts to feel the pain, eyes to see and families to care, just like one of us. Animal should be the right to be here, long before we arrive. If only we understand we care for them , we will help and save them or we can liberate them .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/by-chatral-rinpoche.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jul 1. 2020 01:10 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for this short and powerful teachings . The Four Noble Truths are the most basic formulation of the Buddha’s teaching. They are the truth of suffering, the truth of the cause of suffering, the truth of the end of suffering, and the truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering. It was these four principles that the Buddha came to understand during his meditation under the bodhi tree.
    To cease from evil, To do what is good. To cleanse one’s mind: This is the advice of all the Buddhas. Inspiring saying short yet powerful when we understand it . I will keep this in mind always.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/magic-4.html
  • S.Prathap
    Wednesday, Jul 1. 2020 12:07 PM
    Meat contains many substances, chemicals, which causes harm to us in the long term and red meat shorten human lives. Large consumption of meat especially processed meat are likely lead to cardiovascular diseases ,cancer and a lot more.

    It is really great to see news write up of factual info like this as evidence and proof that eating meat causes more harm than good. Thank you very much for sharing the informative article.


    https://bit.ly/2VvSb8H
  • S.Prathap
    Tuesday, Jun 30. 2020 04:28 PM
    These was one of the many miraculous cases of how Rinpoche has helped.As we learn and practice dharma sincerely, we may received the blessings from guru and to be protected from any harm.
    Through the blessings of Rinpoche, Marici was able to overcome her problem and get well again. Thank you very much for the sharing.


    https://bit.ly/3ipziOS
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Jun 30. 2020 02:17 PM
    Equality before the law is the principle that each individual being must be treated equally by the law and that all are subject to the same laws of justice. Everyone will be given justice by treating them equally nor matter what race and religion or belief, you are. All are equal without any discrimination to equal protection of the law as well. After reading this article I do not agree with Paul Ryan what he commented on the conservative radio show ‘Morning In America’. Racism should not be brought up then, claimed that black men do not want to work and are satisfied with being poor. Remarks involving negative prejudices about people on the basis of race, would spark off misunderstanding and disharmony . It is extremely dangerous to label the rich or poor by skin colour or ethnicity.
    Thank you Rinpoche for the sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/do-you-agree-with-this.html

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I must thank my dharma blog team who are great assets to me, Kechara and growth of dharma in this wonderful region. I am honoured and thrilled to work with them. I really am. Maybe I don't say it enough to them, but I am saying it now. I APPRECIATE THESE GUYS VERY MUCH!

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The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
~Tsem Rinpoche

Photos On The Go

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According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn\'t this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
5 months ago
According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn't this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden\'s blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
5 months ago
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden's blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
5 months ago
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat\'s doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
5 months ago
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat's doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
5 months ago
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
6 months ago
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
6 months ago
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
It\'s very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it\'s very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
6 months ago
It's very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it's very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
6 months ago
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
6 months ago
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
11 months 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)
11 months 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)
11 months ago
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
12 months ago
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
12 months ago
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
1 years ago
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
1 years ago
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
1 years ago
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat\'s land here in Malaysia
1 years ago
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat's land here in Malaysia
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
1 years ago
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
1 years ago
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
1 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
1 years ago
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
Sacred Vajra Yogini
1 years ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
1 years ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
1 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha\'s mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
1 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha's mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha\'s. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
1 years ago
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha's. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
1 years ago
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
1 years ago
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
This is pretty amazing!

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

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
1 years ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
1 years ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
1 years ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
1 years ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
1 years ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
1 years ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
1 years ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
1 years ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
1 years ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
1 years ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
1 years ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
1 years ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
1 years ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
1 years ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
1 years ago
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
1 years ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
1 years ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
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  • Pig puts his toys away
    6 months 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.
    12 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-
    12 months ago
    Bodha stupa July 2019-
    Rainy period
  • Cute Tara girl having a snack. She is one of Kechara Forest Retreat’s resident doggies.
    1 years ago
    Cute Tara girl having a snack. She is one of Kechara Forest Retreat’s resident doggies.
  • Your Next Meal!
    1 years ago
    Your Next Meal!
    Yummy? Tasty? Behind the scenes of the meat on your plates. Meat is a killing industry.
  • This is Daw
    1 years 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!
    1 years 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!
    1 years 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?
    1 years 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
    1 years 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
    1 years 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.
    1 years 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
    1 years ago
    Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
  • This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 years ago
    This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
    1 years ago
    Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
  • 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
    1 years ago
    These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 years 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.
    1 years ago
    Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
  • 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.
    1 years 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
    1 years ago
    Beautiful
    Beautiful sacred Severed Head Vajra Yogini from Tsem Rinpoche's personal shrine.
  • My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
    1 years 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
    1 years 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
    2 yearss ago
    Cute baby owl found and rescued
    We rescued a lost baby owl in Kechara Forest Retreat.
  • Nice cups from Kechara!!
    2 yearss ago
    Nice cups from Kechara!!
    Dorje Shugden people's lives matter!
  • Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    2 yearss 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).
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    3 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.
  • Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
    3 yearss ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
  • BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
    3 yearss ago
    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    3 yearss ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    3 yearss ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 yearss ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    3 yearss ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    3 yearss ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    3 yearss ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    3 yearss ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    3 yearss ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 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.
    3 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!!
    3 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.
    3 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.

Scroll down and click on "View All Questions" to view archived questions.

View All Questions

CHAT PICTURES

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
2 weeks ago
So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
4 weeks ago
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
1 month ago
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 month ago
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 month ago
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
2 months ago
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
2 months ago
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
Wesak 2020
2 months ago
Wesak 2020
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
4 months ago
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
4 months ago
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
4 months ago
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Over 100 Kecharians & their loved ones spent the Sunday evening immersed in this obstacle pacifying puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Over 100 Kecharians & their loved ones spent the Sunday evening immersed in this obstacle pacifying puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Dakpa and Geshe Janchup Gyaltsen Lama inspecting the offering substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Dakpa and Geshe Janchup Gyaltsen Lama inspecting the offering substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Rinpoche & Geshe Janchup making last minute checks before the commencement of the Jinsek or Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Rinpoche & Geshe Janchup making last minute checks before the commencement of the Jinsek or Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The arrival of the Sangha conducting this sacred puja accompanied by Changtso Beng Kooi and Pastor Niral Patel - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The arrival of the Sangha conducting this sacred puja accompanied by Changtso Beng Kooi and Pastor Niral Patel - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The site of the Peaceful Fire Puja the calls upon the pacifying energies of Shize Shugden. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The site of the Peaceful Fire Puja the calls upon the pacifying energies of Shize Shugden. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: A close-up of the ladle. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: A close-up of the ladle. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Substances such as sticks, melted butter, kusha grass, lentils and barley were traditionally offered during the prayers to create the causes for merits, long life and to pacify obstacles. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Substances such as sticks, melted butter, kusha grass, lentils and barley were traditionally offered during the prayers to create the causes for merits, long life and to pacify obstacles. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Beautifully handcrafted torma or food offering to the Buddha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Beautifully handcrafted torma or food offering to the Buddha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Some of the many offering items & substances used during this highly blessed Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Some of the many offering items & substances used during this highly blessed Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja in Kechara Forest Retreat: A special mandala at the base where the fire puja ritual was conducted. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja in Kechara Forest Retreat: A special mandala at the base where the fire puja ritual was conducted. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Kechara Earth Project (KEP) 8/3/2020
4 months ago
Kechara Earth Project (KEP) 8/3/2020
Dear Kecharians and friends, We are pleased to announce that as part of the preparations for H.E. Tsem Rinpoche's reliquary stupas and incarnation chapel, mantra rolling sessions have begun in Kechara Forest Retreat. We are calling for volunteers to join us in this holy activity. DATE Daily starting 5th March 2020 until further notice TIME (1) Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday - 10am to 10pm (2) Thursday & Sunday - 10am to 6pm VENUE Art Studio (Kechara Saraswati Arts) Kechara Forest Retreat If you're interested, kindly contact: Wong Yew Kien 012-3717896 or Karen Chong 012-7710289 We look forward to seeing you soon!
4 months ago
Dear Kecharians and friends, We are pleased to announce that as part of the preparations for H.E. Tsem Rinpoche's reliquary stupas and incarnation chapel, mantra rolling sessions have begun in Kechara Forest Retreat. We are calling for volunteers to join us in this holy activity. DATE Daily starting 5th March 2020 until further notice TIME (1) Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday - 10am to 10pm (2) Thursday & Sunday - 10am to 6pm VENUE Art Studio (Kechara Saraswati Arts) Kechara Forest Retreat If you're interested, kindly contact: Wong Yew Kien 012-3717896 or Karen Chong 012-7710289 We look forward to seeing you soon!
Join us for a Peaceful Fire Puja based on Dorje Shugden’s pacifying form. This blessed puja will be conducted at the future site of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s outdoor reliquary stupa to pacify obstacles and for the success of the project. EVENT DETAILS • Date: Sunday, 8 March 2020 • Time: 6.00pm – 8.30pm • Venue: Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong Admission is free, all are welcome. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS FOR SPONSORS AND ATTENDEES • Healing from illness and disease • Overcoming obstacles • Purifying past negative deeds and negative karma • Calming the environment, natural disasters and calamities • Helping the deceased to take a good rebirth • Accumulation of merits for spiritual realisations and attainments
4 months ago
Join us for a Peaceful Fire Puja based on Dorje Shugden’s pacifying form. This blessed puja will be conducted at the future site of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s outdoor reliquary stupa to pacify obstacles and for the success of the project. EVENT DETAILS • Date: Sunday, 8 March 2020 • Time: 6.00pm – 8.30pm • Venue: Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong Admission is free, all are welcome. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS FOR SPONSORS AND ATTENDEES • Healing from illness and disease • Overcoming obstacles • Purifying past negative deeds and negative karma • Calming the environment, natural disasters and calamities • Helping the deceased to take a good rebirth • Accumulation of merits for spiritual realisations and attainments
Join us this weekend for Spiritual Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat! SATURDAY, 7 MARCH 9.30 am: Polish Gyenze's wish-fulfilling lamps 11.15 am: Introduction to Ayurveda 1.00 pm: Lunch INTERESTED? WhatsApp us at +6017 672 0757 to RSVP your place (and your meal!) See all March activities: bit.ly/2vAGpjF
4 months ago
Join us this weekend for Spiritual Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat! SATURDAY, 7 MARCH 9.30 am: Polish Gyenze's wish-fulfilling lamps 11.15 am: Introduction to Ayurveda 1.00 pm: Lunch INTERESTED? WhatsApp us at +6017 672 0757 to RSVP your place (and your meal!) See all March activities: bit.ly/2vAGpjF
Kechara Earth Project- new site at Damansara
4 months 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
5 months 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
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Dorje Shugden
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