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His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche

His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche was a world-renowned Buddhist teacher, the 25th incarnation from a long line of Indian, Nepali and Tibetan Buddhist masters dating back to over 2,500 years ago.

He was a beloved spiritual guide, a prolific author, a champion of religious freedom, a powerful ritual master, a consummate teacher, the founder of the Kechara Buddhist Organisation headquartered in Malaysia, and an extraordinary human being who inspired everyone he met with his incredible compassion and wisdom.

Rinpoche dedicated his entire life to the practice and proliferation of Buddhism, especially through the digital world, and his teachings have touched the hearts and changed the lives of thousands of people around the globe.


A Short Biography

His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche Jetsun Tenzin Zopa Yonten Gyatso, the unparalleled asset of the Gelug tradition and a long-time Dharma brother of pure spiritual bond…

– His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche –

Beloved for his unconventional, contemporary approach to Dharma, His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche brought 2,500 years of Buddhist wisdom and practices to modern spiritual seekers by connecting ancient worlds with new people, cultures, attitudes and lifestyles.

A Mongolian-Tibetan heritage, a childhood in Taiwan and America, intensive monastic studies in India and later the Founder of the Kechara organisation in Malaysia — these were but some of the many facets that contributed to Tsem Rinpoche’s unique ability to effortlessly bridge the East and the West. His teachings brought the Dharma to life and made Buddha’s ancient wisdom relevant to the 21st century.

A Special Child

A Special Child

Descended from a royal Mongolian bloodline, Tsem Rinpoche was first recognised as an incarnate lama when he was seven months old. He was strongly inclined towards Dharma since his early childhood, and showed many special signs of a high incarnate being while growing up in New Jersey and Los Angeles.

He met his first teacher, His Eminence Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin at the age of seven and received his first tantric initiation soon after.

Following the advice of his beloved root guru, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, Tsem Rinpoche took his vows as a monk and joined Gaden Shartse Monastery in India when he was in his early 20s. He studied under many great Buddhist masters of the Tibetan tradition and was an upholder of many lineages of Sutra and Tantra.

A High Incarnation

A High Incarnation

Tsem Rinpoche’s distinguished incarnation line can be traced to a direct disciple of Lord Buddha Shakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism. Throughout his life, Rinpoche’s incarnation status would be affirmed by many high lamas including His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and the mahasiddhas Gangchen Rinpoche and Drigung Kyabgön Rinpoche.

More recently, on the 23rd day of the 5th lunar month of the Year of the Wood Sheep (July 9, 2015), Tsem Rinpoche’s complete line of incarnations was identified and confirmed by the enlightened Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden.

The Tulku is a physical manifestation of higher levels of consciousness, recognised as incarnations of highly attained beings who take rebirth over and over again with the sole intent of benefitting others. They appear among us to fulfil the spiritual responsibilities of their previous lives, and to uphold the tradition of the Buddha’s teachings.

Among Tsem Rinpoche’s 24 previous incarnations are some of the greatest Buddhist masters of their time. Their illustrious deeds include spreading Buddhism for the first time in Tibet, building the very first Tibetan Buddhist monastery, popularising the powerful tantric practices of Yamantaka and Vajrayogini, performing incredible miracles like stopping the sun, preserving and translating the spoken teachings of the Buddha, inventing the written languages of Tibet and Mongolia, establishing new Tibetan Buddhist lineages, and composing the scriptures that are still used to educate the greatest Buddhist scholars of today.

Great Deeds

Great Deeds

The tremendous and virtuous work of his previous lives are clearly reflected in Tsem Rinpoche’s accomplishments in Malaysia, where he was instrumental in the flourishing of Buddhism in this region.

He founded Kechara Forest Retreat which is the largest Tibetan Buddhist temple in Malaysia, and created a virtual temple and online learning platform that has touched the lives of millions around the world.

Driven by his innate compassion, Tsem Rinpoche was involved in extensive charitable works, including building hospitals and schools for the Tibetan refugee community; constructing dormitories and upgrading living conditions for the monastic community; and providing long-term assistance to the underprivileged communities of India and Malaysia.

Tsem Rinpoche tirelessly shared new and creative ways of bringing happiness and relief to people from all walks of life until his parinirvana in September 2019. Kechara, the progressive spiritual organisation he founded, continues to uphold his vision and legacy until the return of his next incarnation.

Be inspired by Rinpoche’s work and life at and read his teachings and thoughts at

Messages from around the world

My heart rejoices to know Rinpoche, even from afar, and to have seen his teachings. And because he gave me Vajrasattva teachings. Gratitude, Rinpoche. May you continue to give us blessings from Clara Luz Space. And may all your students, monks and teachers from Kechara take their precious work forward. Tashi Delek.
I had the deep desire to meet him one day and visit his beautiful monastery. But as I have been taught, impermanence is reality and it really hurts my heart knowing he is gone. His unique personality as a part of the Sangha will live on with me. One day I will visit his monastery and offer what I can. His teachings will resonate with me for the rest of my life. I feel so fortunate to have been born in the time with Internet. To hear his teachings was more than a blessing for me. He will be remembered by many and an inspiration for future Buddhists and lay members.
I belong to another lineage but his teachings and the way he did things really touched me and I earned some realisations… I can say my spiritual life became more honest and serious. I want to say a big THANK YOU and I wish all the best for your next incarnation and may it be longer activity than now. Rest in peace and come back soon Rinpoche!
I never had the pleasure of meeting H.E. Tsem Rinpoche in person, though I lived in Howell, NJ and California. His videos were always a source of information and joy. About 5 years ago, he learned that I was serving a spiritual centre, he sent a care package. I had been financially struggling. He sent me money, a blanket, a jacket, some books and videos. Everything was very touching and profound for me, even to this day. I continue to watch and share his precious videos, as I cannot imagine a world without H.E. Tsem Rinpoche. I join in prayer for his swift return.
Very beautiful ceremony by the esteemed and wonderful Tsem Rinpoche. Tears run down my face, but the joy of his kindness, of his teachings overcomes that sadness. We love Dorje Shugden and we love Tsem Rinpoche. Hugs from a friend from Brazil.
A great regret was that I did not have the opportunity to meet Rinpoche in person. I hope all of you at Kechara keep your faith strong that Tsem Rinpoche was the real deal and that he illuminated the path for you to follow.
I feel alone in the world without his presence. The world lost a great master that connected with the people at all levels. He was a great teacher to me via his videos and I’m sure to most of you as well. I always hoped for a chance to meet him in person. The only comfort I have is that he will re-appear in the world to continue where he left off.
A great master like Tsem Rinpoche is always present. He has never left us, just his body. He will take birth when he is ready or should I say when we are ready. He came, he saw, he conquered.
Rinpoche’s unconditional love and compassionate action and words towards others lead us to apply and practise and be a better person. I will apply and practise your advice to me. Rinpoche, you are forever in my heart.
- AI NIN -
From the depths of my heart, thank you Tsem Rinpoche for devoting your life and all your activities to the flourishing of Je Tsongkhapa’s tradition throughout the world. Your teachings have deeply touched my heart. Your Dharma videos are wisdom jewels that have allowed me to increase my spiritual practice. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and your sincere love for Dharma with the rest of the world. With deep respect, I request you to swiftly return and remain with sentient beings for a very long time.
- NILA -
To His Eminence Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, we will never forget how hard you worked to enlighten us and spread the Dharma to us here in Malaysia. Thank you so much for your hard work. May you rest well and come back soon.
My Dearest Root Guru, you are just like a father to me. I have gone through a lot in my life and I only feel peace in your Mandala by following Your teachings and advice especially in the strong current of samsara. I was doing centre-hopping for years till I met you in 2011 on your Birthday. The teaching You gave on that night really inspired and struck me. From that moment, I bowed down to You and accepted You as my Guru and regarded Kechara as my final spiritual home. I will follow You as your faithful student for lives till I obtain enlightenment. I will keep that Promise forever.
To my Guru, H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, it is sad to know that you have left us so soon. My heartfelt thanks for your love, kindness, compassion, teachings and gifts that you have given to me. I pray for your fast and swift reincarnation and that I may be blessed to meet you again. Please let me have the merits to meet you soon and in all our lifetimes that follow.
My journey with you is CD and Youtube. I recite the mantra with you in your CD everyday in my journey. And I shall continue to do so because you had and will always be there (for me). In your Youtube videos, explanations are always fast, simple, straight-forward and no frills. In my moments of darkness, you’re my lighthouse… always shining without fail. You could’ve been a celebrity or rockstar but you chose a simple path of helping people with lion-heart. To me, you see no difficulty just determination and love. Thank you (gratefully) TSEM RINPOCHE for your guidance.
We pray for the swift return of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche to continue his work of spreading and supporting Je Tsongkhapa’s teachings throughout the world. His commitment, his devotion to his Gurus and his love for Je Tsongkhapa’s teachings manifested through his actions and legacy. Through Tsem Rinpoche’s example, we all learned that to follow Je Tsongkhapa’s doctrine, he said the only thing we have to practise everyday is selflessness. Love and compassion will manifest naturally as they are all virtuous minds. We thank him, and the sangha who supported him, for making the lineage teachings accessible to everyone.
Your untimely passing has left us all much saddened, worldwide. I feel honoured and privileged to be your student but regrettably did not have the opportunity to meet you personally. Your Dharma talks on YouTube and blog inspired me greatly and your unconditional love, care and kindness for everyone, will be fondly remembered. We pray for your swift return to come back to Kechara Forest Retreat and continue to teach us Dharma and guide us on our spiritual path and also to turn the Wheel of Dharma. I will always have you in my prayers and look forward to meet you in this or my future lifetime.
Your teachings have changed my perspective towards Buddhism. Your presence and way of life was exemplary to many which taught us to become a purpose for others. You introduced Lama Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugden practice to me and due to the practice, things changed for me and my family in a better way in many life aspects. I am forever grateful to have come across your teachings, guidance, kindness and blessings in this life. Your Eminence, with folded hands I pray for your swift return to Kechara Forest Retreat and forward the wheel of Dharma for benefit of sentient beings. May the journey be smooth without any obstacles.
I consider my family and I very fortunate to have met our Guru, His Eminence Tsem Tulku Rinpoche as the Dharma we were taught makes a lot of sense. And in Dharma, sense is much more important than just reading and remembering and reciting the sutras. Also, no matter how profound a teaching may be, it will be of little use to us if we do not remember it clearly and then apply it to the cultivation of our own mind. Please show us clear signs of your reincarnation and please come back to Kechara Forest Retreat and make this your ‘home’ again…
Dearest Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, you always kept your promises… never ever broke them. You promised that you will always be there for me. So I trust that you are watching me from somewhere above, and will guide me whenever I am lost.
- TAN -
My heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to a great guru like H.E. Tsem Rinpoche for bringing the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism to Malaysia. Also, to motivate and move so many dedicated disciples to build Kechara Forest Retreat to its present state from scratch which we can use to continue your teachings.
Dear Precious Root Guru, it was unbearable to know that You have left us, have left sentient beings into the sphere of Non-dual Bliss and Emptiness, but Your Great Legacy remains large and wide and Heart felt across the globe. It would be a great loss to mother sentient beings if You were Not to emanate once more. You have saved Tenzin Thokpa from the brink of downfalls with Your uncontrived, unbiased Bodhicitta and Your unconventional Wisdom Skillful means. As a student, Tenzin Thokpa feels fortunate to have met You, my precious lama who despite many difficult odds, You still thrived and excelled brilliantly!
My deepest gratitude and many thanks to Rinpoche for the years of compassion, concern, care and advice to me and family. Without Rinpoche’s blessings and care, I would not have been able to learn and practise the holy Dharma. Your skilful methods to guide us according to our mental disposition is a precious treasure. I am blessed to be your humble student and pray that in future lives I will continue to be in your mandala. May we disciples find your reincarnation swiftly and have the merits to meet you again in this lifetime.
Dear Rinpoche la, we always miss you. Please come back again soon to help others by spreading Buddha’s teachings in this world. You helped a lot of people to learn Dharma, you are so kind. I really wished to come to see your precious body and pay my last respects but unfortunately I could not. We always love you, miss your speech, teachings and the unforgettable Dorje Shugden statue gift. Thank you.
I “met” H.E. Tsem Tulku online in 2010 when I was recuperating from a broken ankle. A friend showed me his videos and I was thrilled. His videos greatly helped me. Even though I never met Rinpoche in person, I was able to do something for him, a favour, since I lived close to Howell, NJ. The blessings I received in return can not be measured. I will be forever grateful to Tsem Tulku Rinpoche. The reasons are too many to list. Guru, Yidam, Protector. I pray for your swift return and that I may be blessed to meet you soon.
- MARY -
Magnificient, Compassionate, Charismatic and Incredible. Although I never met Rinpoche he is unparalled to any earthly being I have met. Such is the impression I have of Rinpoche gathered from the writings on his blog. He inspires me to be a better person every day. I thank Rinpoche for your many greatly beneficial activities and pray that I may have the fortune to study under you always. Do come back soon Rinpoche and may the world see you yet again in your glorious and magnificent form.
Thank you Rimpoche for being a beacon of light to all the Malaysians here, especially the homeless. You have been a compassionate guru, whose knowledge and kindness impacted many souls. May you have a swift rebirth.
Thank you Rinpoche for your compassion and Dharma teachings. My life has changed ever since I found Kechara and also found my spiritual Guru – Tsem Rinpoche. My prayers for Rinpoche’s swift rebirth to continue to turn the wheel of Dharma. Please show clear signs of your reincarnation and may I have the merits to meet Rinpoche again soon in this lifetime or in my future lifetime. You are dearly missed.
H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche awoke me to the Dharma. It’s as simple as it’s deeply profound. I cannot say how he has benefitted me – a gift like that is priceless, beyond comparison, one which cannot be measured.
Saying ‘Thank You for Everything’ is an understatement. Your mere presence was a source of great blessings and inspiration. Your caring guidance transformed minds of many. Every action and word of yours was none other than Dharma teachings that guide us closer to the truth, so is your illusory departure. Although the act of your passing is a poignant reminder of the impermanence of life, it’s difficult not to feel an immense sadness and loss. Our dearest and loving Tsem Rinpoche, please come back (physically) soon to guide us once again.
Rinpoche has made a great positive impact in me and my family’s life. Rinpoche has made me realise the importance of going vegetarian as it can save innocent animals lives. With folded palms, Rinpoche please show us signs of your reincarnation. Love you forever my dearest respected Guru. Till we meet again. Thank You from the bottom of my heart.
Although I have yet to meet Your Eminence personally or receive teachings directly from you , but watching you from far is already a blessing to me. Your teachings in the blog and YouTube channels has benefitted me tremendously. Due to your kindness, we have Kechara House for us to learn Dharma and Kechara Forest Retreat as our spiritual home. Your reincarnation back to Kechara will benefit countless sentient beings. May we be able to find your reincarnation swiftly so that we can continue your lineage and receive teachings directly from you. May all of us have the opportunity to serve you as our venerable holy Guru.
Even though I haven’t met you in person but I always watch your Dharma teachings from YouTube and blog. You helped me tremendously in difficult periods of my life. I’m a brain cancer survivor and all your teachings have given me bright hopes till today. Your passing is a GREAT loss for us. You have left behind a wealth of Dharma teachings, instructions and guidance for all the world. Now it is time that we all need to pray for Your rebirth for benefit of all sentient beings. For me, You are not just a teacher, You are my Hero too. Thank you so much for everything.
Rinpoche appeared in my life at the time I needed it most. My family and I were going through difficult times and I was lucky enough to be granted an audience with Rinpoche. He gave advice that I will never forget. I still practise as much as I can what he taught me. My family is grateful for Rinpoche’s teachings and advice. They are priceless. Our family has Dharma now, all because of Rinpoche’s teachings. He convinced us to practise Dharma effortlessly. Best teacher. I want to say to Rinpoche, thank you so much. I have never met a teacher so dedicated and that my family and I can understand so easily.
I came across your youtube videos back in 2011 while looking for information on Je Tsongkhapa. I found your blog and after that wrote to you. You responded and answered some questions I asked. I didn’t know it right away but I found my root guru. You were very kind and offered advice, and throughout the following years bestowed gifts, much to my surprise. The greatest gift though was your wisdom and guidance. I continued to watch your videos and applied the advice and practices you advised. Everything worked out for the better. Please hurry and come back to us soon.
I am so blessed to have the affinity to be connected to Rinpoche this lifetime. Rinpoche had taught me the true meaning of love and compassion. We, as His students are so blessed to be able to practise and enjoy the benefits of practising Lord Dorje Shugden. His Eminence had touched the hearts of all who had the affinity to be connected to Him. Please Rinpoche come back to us quickly. We all still need you to continue the work of Lord Dorje Shugden and to turn the Wheel of Dharma for the benefit of all sentient beings. May I have the merits to be able to meet Rinpoche again in many lifetimes to come.
During a difficult time, I kept hearing the name of Je Tsongkhapa. Through that I found Tsem Rinpoche. Through Rinpoche and his team, I always received the utmost help and sound advice. I always felt he was only interested in benefitting all beings. It was a shock to hear Rinpoche had passed away at such a young age. My condolences to everyone at this sad time.
I was in a bad place in 2012 and your teachings helped me grow as a person and learn how to deal with difficulties. They have made huge impact in my life and shaped me to become a better person. I am forever grateful for that. In 2013, my brother and I had the great fortune and merit to have an audience with Rinpoche, it was the same day I requested to take refuge. I remember it like it was yesterday, it was truly one of the happiest days of my life. I am forever grateful to you Rinpoche and I miss you a lot. I pray that I will always have the merit to be connected to Rinpoche till I reach Buddha-hood. I pray that Rinpoche will return to us swiftly.
- JIM -
With great humility and palms folded, I humbly request Rinpoche to show us a vivid and lucid sign of your incarnation. May you please continue to guide us through our Great Protector Dorje Shugden during your physical absence. I pray that in this lifetime, we will be given the opportunity to be guided by you again, receiving precious Dharma from you personally here at Kechara House and Kechara Forest Retreat. My deepest gratitude for the encouragement and advice in my personal and professional life. Without your Dharma and guidance, I would not be where I am today. This will not be goodbye, I pray you will come back to us soon.

What you can do for Rinpoche's swift return