Little Monk Goes Viral

A little child dressed up as a monk in Fuzhou China has gone viral on Weibo

Robot Monk Unveiled In China

A buddhist temple, Dragon Spring Temple in Beijing, China has developed a robot monk named "XianEr" which was unveiled at the temple's National Day Gala celebration earlier this mont

Steven Seagal To Rebuild Buddhist Temple In Serbia

Steven Seagal Wants To Rebuild Europe's First Buddhist Temple

Buddhist Story - The Dog And The Pet Shop Owner

About A Dog And His Master, A Pet Shop Owner

Get Rid Of Bad Luck

Japanese Style

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Get Well Soon, Eva

Since Monday, this blog has been receiving unusually high hits which it has never experienced before and after a search i discovered that most of the hits were for my earlier posts on Eva Ekvall, the former Miss Venezuela who is suffering from breast cancer.

Since Monday, many people have been searching for Eva on the net after the beauty queen who is undergoing chemotherapy released photos of sickly self, bald and lying on a bad in the hospital resulting in a number of people directed to this blog.

The photo that was released two days ago, was taken from Eva's book Fuera De Foco (Out Of Focus ) which chronicles her fight with cancer. Desribing her bald self as " not pretty at all ", Eva said people would be shocked to see this photo as she has never been seen bald or without make up in public before this.

Eva shares her battle with cancer through her book Fuera De Foco. She hopes this book would help to create more awareness in breast cancer and self examination among Venezuelan women. According to her, breast implants and breast enlargements are common topics in Venezuela and people have no hesitation to talk about them but breast cancer is a taboo topic and many people shy away from talking about this disease.

She said the most difficult part of her 'battle' was not able to take care of her toddler daughter as she was too sick to do so and had to let her mother to look after her young child resulting to her daughter not able to recognize her at times.

The photos released were not the most recent ones. Today she sports a short hair style and is in the process of recovery. Get well soon, Eva..

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Buddha's Home Lies In Utter Negelect

The Uttar Pradesh government may be trying to project itself as a champion of Buddhism, yet his original home Kapilavastu, in the remotest corner of the state along the India-Nepal border, lies in a condition of utter neglect.

Way back in 563 BC, Queen Maya Devi might have conveniently traversed the distance of 10 km from her husband Suddhodana's kingdom, Kapilavastu, to her parental home Lumbini (now in Nepal), where she gave birth to Siddhartha, who later became the legendary Gautam Buddha. But that may not be possible today.

That's because the Nepal government has not cared to build a motorable road from the Indian border at Kakrahwa - barely 500 metres from the Kapilavastu stupa - to the Buddha's birthplace at Lumbini and neither have the Indian authorities bothered to persuade Kathmandu to facilitate the easy movement of Buddhist pilgrims through the border.

Tens of thousands of foreign tourists exploring the Buddhist circuit have to take a detour of at least 53 km simply because of the absence of a barely 20 km good road link between Kapilvastu and Lumbini.

'What is worse is that this detour is usually packed with trucks as it is one of the main trade routes between the two countries,' Shamim Ahmad, a cab driver, told IANS.

'Often, the long wait at the Sonauli border is so disgusting for foreign tourists that they choose to give up one or two places on the Buddhist circuit,' he added.

The Mayawati government is busy proclaiming itself as the champion of the cause of Buddhists by naming Noida as Gautam Buddha Nagar, but it has never struck the government to build a direct road link between Kapilavastu and Shravasti, both being part of the much-talked- about Buddhist circuit.

'There is a narrow dilapidated road connecting Sonauli to Kapilavastu and further down to Shravasti; all that is required to be done is to build it into a proper highway,' said Indrajeet Gupta, a local grocer.

An official on condition of anonymity said: 'What I find strange is that the road - frequented by 80 percent of the commuters - remains utterly unattended while huge funds are spent on the route used by barely 20 percent traffic.'

The absence of a proper road link to key Buddhist destinations is not the only reflection of neglect and indifference shown by various governments. The state government and the Archaeological Survey of India got together to build a stupa at Kapilavastu after archaeologists excavated a casket containing vital Buddha relics from the site.

However, the less said the better about the state of the stupa and its surroundings. Other than a crudely built stupa and equally shabbily constructed walls to mark the Kapilavastu palace some distance away, there is nothing to keep a tourist there for more than a few minutes.

There is not a blade of grass nor very many trees to provide a green touch. And the poor lighting makes the place look desolate once the sun sets.

A tourist bungalow built by the state government in the late 1990s exists only in name. With no electricity, the place looks haunted at night, so much so that even the caretaker prefers to stay in a rented home some distance away.

While local tourists rarely venture all the way to this remote destination, foreigners prefer to park themselves at a 150-year-old British manor, converted by the owners into a Victorian heritage hotel, widely known as the Royal Retreat, which is the one and only place to stay in the vicinity of Kapilavastu.

But the narrow, undulated and muddy path leading to the retreat again speaks volumes of government apathy and the utter disregard for Buddhist tourism.

'We have to fight against all odds to make this work; a little facilitation by the government in the form of better road connectivity and availability of power could make all the difference in realising our long cherished dreams,' remarked Royal Retreat owner Deependra Singh, who left his cushy job in Delhi 15 years back to promote Buddhist tourism here.

A ray of hope has been shown by state tourism director general Avanish Awasthi. 'I am in the process of preparing a blueprint for the development of Kapilavastu as an attractive destination on the Buddhist circuit,

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Yen Tu Pagoda Spring Festival 2011

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan beat the drum, opening the Yen Tu Pagoda Festival Spring in the northern province of Quang Ninh on Coastal Feb. 12, the Tenth day of the first lunar month.

Buddhist dignitaries, Monks, Nuns, followers and visitors joined in Offering Incense to King Tran Nhan Tong, who reigned over the country from 1279 to 1293 and then left the throne to devote His life to Buddhism.

They joined another cũng Ceremony to pray for peace to the country and people.

Yen Tu has welcomed over 20.000 visitors from far since the first day of the lunar year and the festival last three months khi sẽ spring. The site received over 2.1 million visitors in 2010. Although the ceremony was officially opened on February 12, 2011 ( 10th day of Lunar New Year ), visitors have started to throng the temple since the first day of the Lunar New Year.

Yen Tu Mountain is located about 50km from Ha Long City. The route of the pilgrimage, from the foot of the mountain to its Highest peak, is almost 30km. Dong Pagoda, sits atop the mountain's Highest peak, is more than a 1068 above sea level. A new cable car service is introduced this year to lift visitors to the peak.

The area's beautiful natural landscape and awe-inspiring scenery, along with surrounding ancient Pagodas and hermitages, are said to have been the reason that King Tran Nhan Tong gửi the throne to His son than that he could devote His life living as a Buddhist Monk at Yen Tu mountain. Whilst there, he Founded the Truc Lam meditation sect, has led to Yen Tu mà being recognised as the country's leading center for Buddhism.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Karmapa Is Clean

The Himachal Pradesh government Friday gave a clean chit to the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje in any financial irregularities, and categorically ruled out the possibility of any action against him.

"There is no involvement of the Karmapa (in any financial irregularities). We have reasons to believe that some donations came for the monastery and the Karmapa has nothing to do with that. Monastery functionaries were managing the affairs (financial transactions)," Chief Secretary Rajwant Sandhu told reporters here.

Police Jan 28 recovered nearly Rs.70 million worth of unaccounted foreign and Indian currency from the Karmapa Lama's monastery, Gyuto Tantric University and monastery near Dharamsala, where the the Dalai Lama is heading his government-in-exile.

Sandhu said: "The Karmapa is a religious head and has followers across the world. We respect their religious activities. We don't interfere in any religious affairs."

She said police are still investigating where the seized currency, the bulk of it Chinese yuans, as also USD 600,000, came from, its origin and for what purposed it was kept for.

"Police are questioning the monastery functionaries and the law will take its own course," she said.

Seven people, including the Karmapa's aide Rubgi Chosang, also known as Shakti Lama, are in police custody.

On recommending to the central government to deport the Karmapa from India, the chief secretary said: "There is no question at all."

She also clarified that there was no communication from the central government to go slow on the Karmapa issue.

Police still believe the seized money was meant for some "illegal" land deal in Dharamsala with the involvement of the Karmapa's aide Shakti Lama.

However, Sandhu said: "The government is conducting the survey to know the ‘benami' properties acquired by the exiles across the state. The law is equal for all, including the exiles."

However, the government-in-exile has already clarified that the state government is free to take action against illegal land deals by the Tibetans.

"The Tibetans are bound to respect the Indian laws. We don't interfere if the state government takes action against any individual or organisation for violating the laws in acquiring properties. As far the as government-in-exile is concerned, it has constructed buildings after taking permission from the state," Ngodup Dorjee, secretary home department, government-in-exile, told IANS.

Denying all allegations, the Karmapa's office said it denies "the baseless fabrications touted by some media claiming that His Holiness the Karmapa is a Chinese spy or agent".

"Specifically, reports have circulated recently claiming that the Karmapa has acquired land along the Sino-Indian border. We state categorically that His Holiness owns no such property whatsoever, nor does the Karmapa's Office of Administration," said Karma Topden and Deki Chungyalpa, advisers to the Karmapa.

Noting that the Dalai Lama has expressed confidence in the Karmapa, the statement said the Tibetan government-in-exile had demonstrated its support to the Karmapa, "who is the revered head of a 900-year old order within Tibetan Buddhism".

It was after the seizure of Rs.1 crore from Mehatpur in Una district that raids on the monastery were conducted by police Jan 28 and the huge amount of currency was recovered.

A police team twice questioned the Karmapa about the recovery of money. A four-member Enforcement Directorate team from Chandigarh, headed by deputy director V. Neeraja, also scanned the account books, ledgers and documents pertaining to financial transactions and questioned the monastery officials.

The Karmapa fled Tibet and sought refuge in India in January 2000. Ever since, he has mostly lived at the monastery in Sidhbari near Dharamsala.

Buddhist Jokes

A naughty boy liked to run around the house. One day, as he was running and playing in the main hall of his house he accidentally broke his mother's favorite vase.

When the mother discovered about the broken vase, she was very angry and was on the verge of hitting her son when she realized that it was too painful for her to do so. Not wanting to allow her son go without any punishment, she asked her son to kneel in front of the statue of Goddess of Mercy sitting peacefully on the family altar. She asked her son not to stand up until she asked her to do so. The small boy reluctantly followed his mother instruction.

The mother than left the hall for kitchen to do some cooking and when she returned to the hall she saw her son sitting on the coach watching TV. Angrily, she asked the boy why he stop kneeling in front of the Goddess of Mercy without her permission.

Answering in an innocent tone, the boy said " Mummy, you haven't allow me to stand up but when i asked the Goddess of Mercy, she allowed me to do so ". The mother answered " Don't give excuses, how could the Goddess of Mercy talk to you ? ".

The boy answered, " No, the Goddess of Mercy didn't talk to me but she showed me the OK sign with her hand when i asked her if i could stand up ".

The amused mother looked at the statue of the Goddess of Mercy and then just shook her head and smile at her son.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Tibet & Superbowl

The U.S. Internet discount company Groupon, which aired a commercial during Sunday's Super Bowl focusing on the plight of the people of Tibet, has sparked a controversy overseas and in China. Some have posted angry comments online saying the commercial went too far, while others have announced their plans to stop using the discount service.

The controversial commercial opens with a shot of a lofty snow-capped Tibetan mountain scene set to flute music. Then, U.S. Hollywood actor Timothy Hutton appears and says in a somber tone: "The people of Tibet are in trouble. Their very culture is in jeopardy."

But as soon as the commercial seems to be easing into a message about Tibet, Hutton then beams as he talks about a deal he got from Groupon for a fish curry dish at a Himalayan restaurant in Chicago.

Bob Thompson is the director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at New York's Syracuse University. "The biggest problem is that the commercial is just not very funny. I mean, you can get away with making fun of some pretty sacred cow situations, if the result is really hysterical and it really works," he said.

Thompson says that what was odd about the commercial is that it starts out as a very typical well-meaning appeal for an important issue. "And then it of course turns it around, but it does it in a way that isn't so much funny as it makes us really uncomfortable," he said.

The 30-second spot has sparked an avalanche of angry blogs and social network messages.

Many talked about how upset they were with the commercial and Groupon's decision to run the ad. One person put a post on Twitter that called the Groupon spot outrageously insensitive and said he would not use Groupon until the ad was pulled.

On Facebook, some supporters of Tibet launched a group called "Shame On You Groupon, Double Donate." Postings on the page included videos and information from human rights groups about China's treatment of the Tibetan people.

Others said people should just lighten up, and they noted it is not the first time that the advertising company Groupon hired - Crispin Porter and Bogusky - has used controversy to boost a company's brand recognition.

Bob Thompson said "I think that is part of it. The whole idea is, if you are going to pay $3 million for 30 seconds of commercial time, you want to get all the bang for the buck that you can."

China's handling of Tibet has long been a source of domestic and international controversy for Beijing, which took control of the region in 1951.

In a blog for the International Campaign for Tibet on Monday, Bhuchung Tsering says that while the commercial wasn't "ideal" and was "tacky," the amount of attention it is bringing to the plight of the Tibetan people is something that he could live with.

In China, the Super Bowl does not usually attract a lot of attention, but Internet users were commenting on Chinese language blogs about the spot shortly after it was aired.

On's Chinese language microblogging site, some voiced their anger over how China's treatment of the people of Tibet was portrayed. Many others noted that in the wake of the advertisement, Groupon is not likely to have a chance of surviving in China's market.

Following the outpouring of criticism Monday, Groupon CEO Andrew Mason defended his company's decision to run the ad on its company blog, saying that it would have never run the ads if the company thought it trivialized issues such as Tibet.
The blog says Groupon takes the causes it highlighted in the commercial extremely seriously, and it noted that if anything, the commercial would bring more funding and support to the causes its commercials highlight.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dirty Monk Caught Filming Naked Women

A DIRTY Buddhist monk has been charged with secretly filming hundreds of naked women who stripped off to wash in holy water at a temple.

Net Khai, 37, now faces a year in jail and has been stripped of his religious status after cops arrested him for spying on women who had gone to him to be blessed.

Prosecutors in Cambodia say that after filming the naked ladies, Khai shared his saucy clips with others.

He was arrested at his pagoda in the country's capital, Phnom Penh, on Saturday and charged with producing and distributing pornographic images by the local court.

Police chief, Touch Naruth, said that the monk had secretly taped the women pouring sacred water over themselves in a pagoda bathroom.

Khai was arrested after a victim approached cops and said that video clips showing the naked women had been shared via mobile phones.

The police officer said: "He has filmed hundreds of women since 2008. They came to the monk to be blessed with holy water, but they were secretly filmed.

"His act affects other monks and Buddhism and seriously harms our tradition."

Naruth said that Khai confessed to his crimes and they were now looking for his accomplices.

Gyuto Monks - Pure Sounds

A Buddhist chanting album by a group of Gyuto Monks from Tibet has garnered a suprise nomination for the upcoming Grammy Award, in the "Best Traditional World Music Album".

The album is produced by Kamal Engels of New Age Records, an independent label who is a long time producer of meditation and relaxation music.

The German-born musician approached the Gyuto Monks after learning they had set up a small monastery in Rosebank near his home town of Byron Bay. The 4 monks were sent from a monastery in India on rotation basis to attend various functions and events and have since returned to India.

Pure Sounds was an accident, as Engels explains: "I was working on a production for my American label, New Earth Records, called Zen Mama. I wanted some traditional Tibetan chanting on it.

"After the recording … I wanted to offer them the chance to record chants of their choice and put an album together so they could print maybe 500 copies and sell them when they were travelling. We recorded the album and it turned out so well that I suggested they try to get it released by my American record company."

The nomination of this album suprised Engel as he had expected another album produced by him, Beyond: Buddhist And Christian Prayers by Tina Turner to stand a chance of a nomination.

With the monks having returned to India and a table on the Grammy night costing a few thousand dollars, no one associated with Pure Sounds is likely to attend the award presentation. The Grammy will be given out this Sunday ( February 13, 2011 )

Pure Sounds

Beyond : Buddhist And Christian Prayers

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Monks Halt Alms Walks In Southern Thailand

In the wake of insurgent attacks targetting Buddhists, monks residing at 13 temples in Narathiwat have stopped their routine morning alms walk for a month, starting today ( February 8, 2011 ).

The decision has been made by the Sangha Supreme Council and was announced yesterday, at the recommendation of the provincial authorities. Each of the monks at the 13 temples will be given Bt100 (S$4.15) in daily meal allowance provided by the Council.

Two monks were attacked in the South in recent months, among victims who were mainly Buddhists, before a large-scale attack last week at a Buddhist community in Pattanai that saw five victims killed and four others wounded.

This is the second time for the monks' morning alms walk to be briefly suspended. The first was in November 2006, when the insurgents murdered several monks on daily duty, but the attacks on them became infrequent after security officials systematically escorted them on the way from and to the temples.

The provincial monastic office said Buddhists may optionally give foods to the monks at the temples during the one-month period, with escorts provides for their trips.

A senior monk - Phra Khru Pariharn Sanghanuwatr - said the practice was necessary for the monks' existence in the region. Even in a small number, they were a symbol of Buddhism and "a spiritual sanctum for all Buddhists amidst violence."

Phra Khru Paphassorn Sirikul, the abbot of Wat Khao Kong, said the alms for his temple stopped since January 31, with food now provided mainly by soldiers on guard duty, and from visiting Buddhists.

Phra Khru Panya Prayuth, the abbot of Wat Ras Samosorn, where there are only four resident monks, said the alms walks stopped or continued depending on a case-by-case basis.

"When the monks go out taking alms, they are escorted heavily all the way from and back to the temple. It is not a good sight, but there is no better way to solve the problem," he added.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hachiko - A Dog's Story

Over the weekend i watched a movie name Hachiko, starring Richard Gere on DVD and was truly touched by this movie. For those who have yet to watch this movie, go watch it. It's a very nice sad movie based on a true story that took place Japan but in the movie, it was set in America. I later discovered that someone had posted the whole movie on Youtube ( see the link below ).

If you have never heard about Hachiko and would love to know about this story before watching the movie, you may read it on Wikipedia ( here ). Hachiko has taught us the true meaning of loyalty and patience

Watch the trailer first and see if you want to proceed to watch the whole movie.

To watch the whole movie on Youtube, click here

For more authenticity, watch the Japanese version of the movie ( with English subtitles ) here

I have watched both version of the movies. Both are great but i have to say the Japanese version has a slight edge over the English one especially when we know the real story took place in Japan and it chronicles Hachiko's life since the day he was born

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Update : Tibetan Monastery Money Scandal

On February 1, 2011, The Enforcement Directorate (ED) reached Tibetan leader Karmapa Lama's place of residence the Gyuto Tantric University and Monastery near here and scanned documents and questioned functionaries for more than four hours.

It was not immediately clear whether the Karmapa was questioned.

A four-member ED team from Chandigarh, headed by Deputy Director V. Neeraja, was investigating into last week's recovery of unaccounted foreign and Indian currency worth nearly Rs.70 million from the monastery.

"They have scanned the account books, ledgers and documents pertaining to financial transactions. They also questioned the monastery officials about maintenance of the accounts of donations, offerings and other transactions," an official told IANS.

He said the team questioned monastery officials on the sources of the money, what purpose it was meant for, why it was unaccounted and why the Indian government was not informed about the foreign currency.

On being asked by reporters whether the ED team was satisfied with the investigations, Neeraja only said "yes".

A Himachal Pradesh Police team, led by Una's Additional Superintendent of Police K.G. Kapoor, has already questioned the Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, about the currency recovery. The Karmapa was quizzed Jan 28 as well.

A string of central government agencies are attempting to get to the bottom of the recovery of unaccounted currency. The most baffling part of the total seizure from the monastery was the 1.1 million Chinese Yuan (Rs.7 million) and over 600,000 US dollars.

The presence of Chinese Yuan brought to the fore the Karmapa's alleged links to China. He had arrived mysteriously from his monastery near Lhasa in Tibet region in January 2000.

Senior police officers said that the Chinese Yuan was "neatly packed in bundles" and did not seem like money offered by visiting devotees.

Possession of so much foreign currency could put the Karmapa, who is a refugee in India, and his aides in trouble under the Foreign Exchange Maintenance Act (FEMA).

"The foreign currencies are from 25 different countries and include large amounts of US dollars, Chinese Yuan, Hong Kong dollars, Taiwanese and other currencies," Himachal Pradesh Director General of Police D.S. Manhas said.

Police believe that the money was meant for some "illegal" land deal in Dharamsala in Kangra district with the involvement of Karmapa's aide Rubgi Chosang, also known as Shakti Lama. He is now in police custody and is being interrogated.

Five people have been arrested so far in the case.

Earlier Sunday, soon after the Karmapa was questioned by the police, a spokesperson for the Tibetan leader denied the allegations against him.

"The Karmapa has got offerings from all over the world. The cash was donated money. There is no 'hawala' link to money," spokesperson Karma Topden told reporters here.

He also denied reports about the Karmapa being a Chinese agent.

Denying all allegations, the Karmapa's counsel Naresh Mathur said the central government had already been informed about the offerings the monastery received from the devotees, including the foreigners.

"Since 2003, the administrative wing of the monastery has been asking the central government for permission to handle foreign currency received in donations, but the government has rejected the plea on the grounds that there is no such provision," he said.

Deputy Speaker of Tibetan parliament-in-exile Dolma Gyari told IANS: "The Karmapa is innocent. We do not doubt his integrity... truth will soon come out."

The Karmapa is the spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu school, one of the four sects of Buddhism. He is considered the third most important Tibetan religious head after the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama.

The Karmapa fled Tibet and sought refuge in India in January 2000. Ever since, he has mostly lived in the monastery in Sidhbari near Dharamsala - the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

Tibetan Monastery Money Scandal

The discovery of more than US$750,000 in foreign currency equivalents in the administration office of the 17th Karmapa Lama, Tibetan Buddhism’s third highest religious leader, threatens to tarnish what heretofore has been a heroic golden story and could put the future leadership of the Tibetan religion in doubt.

Many see the Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorjee, as a living Buddha as well as the next world Buddhist leader and political successor to the Dalai Lama. The latter defended the 25-year-old lama, telling reporters in Bangalore that “The Karmapa is an important lama, a spiritual leader. People from different parts of the world including many Chinese, come to seek his blessing and offer money.” However, the Tibetan leader said, “The foreign and Indian currency should have been deposited in a bank and not kept in cash at the monastery.”

Officials in Dharamsala held a press conference Sunday to say the money, in nearly two dozen different foreign currencies, was given by the Karmapa’s followers in connection with a land deal with an Indian businessman. Reportedly a Dharamsala-based businessman is being questioned after Rs10 million (US$217,800) was found in his possession. An official said the money was a payment made by the Karmapa’s trust to buy land near Dharamsala. However, even if the money came from followers, there are questions whether the foreign currency violates India’s foreign currency laws.

Indian intelligence officials quizzed the Karmapa for hours, seeking details of the source of the foreign currency. Reports have emerged that he was questioned over whether he has connections with the Chinese government as a large part of the currency seized was in Chinese yuan, in wads of successive serial numbers.

Despite his escape from China in 1999 and his subsequent acceptance by the Dalai Lama as the true Karmapa Lama, Ogyen Trinley Dorjee has always been suspect to a portion of the Tibetan Buddhist community. Another monk, Trinley Thaye Dorje, 28, was enthroned independently as the 17th Karmapa Lama by a minority of the Karma Kagyu monasteries and lamas.

In December 1999 the then-14-year-old Dorjee, who was anointed by the Chinese government as the true Karmapa, pretended to go into seclusion but instead slipped out a window of the Tsurpu Monastery in Tibet with a handful of attendants. He began a daring 1,450-kilometer winter trip across some of the most forbidding terrain on the planet by foot, horseback, train and helicopter to Dharamsala, making world headlines and embarrassing Beijing. He was given refugee status by India in 2001.

Buddhist Personality - Minh Beo

Real Name : Hong Quang Minh
Stage Name : Minh Beo
Nationality : Vietnamese
Date Of Birth : 1977
Profession : Actor / Comedian