A Walk Down Kechara’s Memory Lane

25 Oct

We just celebrated Rinpoche’s birthday last night at the main Kechara House’s prayer hall, which is also affectionately known as KH1. The hosts for the event, Margaret Lee and Dino (for Chinese) pointed out that it would the last major event held at KH1. I don’t know about everyone there but I felt a wave of nostalgia pass through me and more so later, when Susan Lim showed slides that highlighted old pictures of Kechare House.

For a moment, I was transported back to Wesak Day of June 2004, Kechara House was first inaugurated on the auspicious day 6 years ago and I do remember being there. There were around 30 of us with Rinpoche and we sat on mats and flattened cardboard boxes. There was a makeshift altar with some offerings and we did a quick and short blessing puja before we adjourned to Chia’s apartment for the Dharma talk. I remember just as we did dedications, there was a sudden gust of wind. It was a cool respite from the sweltering heat of that morning. Rinpoche said that it was an auspicious omen for Kechara House.

This picture of KH1 was taken before the renovation and this was how KH1 looked during Wesak Day. 

Kechara House opened its doors finally after months of renovation and headaches. A row 15 biographical thangkas of Je Tsongkhapa grace the walls of the odd shaped prayer hall. To breakaway from traditional Tibetan cabinet altars, Rinpoche decided that KH would be a modern setup and so the altars were “loose” little platforms. On the central altar was placed the Je Yab Se Sum set – statues of Lama Tsongkhapa and his two spiritual sons. The others are Buddha Shakyamuni, Guru Rinpoche, Vajrasattva along with a stupa.

KH1 early
A Panoramic Picture taken by Liaison Seng Piow of the prayer hall.

In the above picture, the biggest throne is actually offered by Rinpoche to H. H. the Dalai Lama, which he said represents all his Gurus and lineage masters. Therefore, a picture of the Dalai Lama was placed there. The second throne, which is much shorter and more modest in its ornamentation is Rinpoche’s own throne. He wanted his throne made smaller than his Guru’s throne to denote his humility and his devotion to his Gurus.

The Setrap Chapel at the back of the Gompa which is partitioned off with a ‘foldable’ wall. 


Guru Puja
Lama Chopa held to celebrate Rinpoche’s birthday on 24th October 2004

The above Puja was one of the first major event held after the initial renovation of Kechara House. Just check out the amount of students that Rinpoche have at that time in KL. We felt Kechara House was actually very beautiful and very spacious back then.

Je Tse Zin Ma arrives in Kechara House on 9th October 2005 (Photo taken in Dec 05)

Rinpoche was inspired by an exact statue of Je Tse Zin Ma in his Guru’s Ladrang in Nepal so he ordered one for our center. He felt it would be a very beneficial form of Lama Tsongkhapa for our center and it arrived on the 9th October 2005. Je Tse Zin Ma which means Lord who is the Holder of Life Force is a long life emanation of Lama Tsongkhapa. The long life vase he holds in his hands overflows with Amrita (divine nectar) symbolic of his supreme ability to bring all worldly and spiritual conditions for our spiritual practice.

Wesak day
Picture taken in KH1 during Wesak of this year 2010.

From the above picture, you can already tell that KH1 is already bursting at its seams. It has been like that for the past 2 years. The current KH1 sits around 250 to 300 max (if we pack the people like sardines) Hence, we have our new Gompa that is coming up and it will sit a max of 700 people! (Plus did I mention that Lama Tsongkhapa has grown to 10 feet! Exciting!) The new KH Gompa is thanks to Datuk May Phng, Mr Ngeow, Thierry, Wee Liang and the extremely hard working Liaison Council. It has been an amazing 6 years of great Kechara history and growth…

Picture taken yesterday of the brand new KH Gompa just before the Puja celebration of Rinpoches’s birthday.

… And there  would be many more years of spectacular growth for Kechara House to come! I actually can’t wait for the new Gompa’s launch.

(Old KH1 Pictures courtesy of Susan Lim’s slides & the New Gompa Picture was taken by Ms Han)

4 Responses to “A Walk Down Kechara’s Memory Lane”

  1. Raluca Anghel October 25, 2010 at 10:44 pm #

    Nice story to read and watch!!!!!

  2. David Lai October 26, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    Thank you Raluca. I am glad you like it.

  3. Doreen Teoh October 26, 2010 at 11:11 pm #

    Thanks for the sharing yr experience and history of Kechara. I missed the beginning and birth of Kechara, but i am glad to be part of the future Kechara. Shall not be the observer but the doer.

  4. David Lai October 28, 2010 at 4:02 am #

    Dear Doreen,
    I am sure you will enjoy every moment of it because we are creating history with each Kechara development.

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