COMMENTARY ON TRAKZE PRACTICE
A Practice to Dispel Black Magic and Spirits
|This commentary on Trakze practice was compiled from traditional sources by His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche.
Date: 30th January 2015
[NOTE: This is a commentary on Trakze’s practice and can be done daily by anyone who wants to receive protection even if you are not afflicted by black magic and spirits. This practice does not require any initiations]
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Spirits definitely exist. In the Buddhist cosmology as described by the historical Buddha Shakyamuni, spirits are beings that belong to one of the Six Realms of existence within samsara. While people often feel skeptical about the existence of spirits, modern technologies capable of detecting these formless beings are slowly changing opinions about the ever-presence of these supernatural beings.
Unlike animals and humans who share the same ‘form’ realm of existence, spirits exist within the formless realm. Beings that take rebirth in the formless realm can exist for thousands of years, and one of the main causes of taking rebirth there is strong unpurified ‘attachments’. It is our attachment to something, resulting from our projections onto certain objects and subjects, that drives us to take rebirth in the spirit world, a realm with great suffering and metaphorically described as ‘An existence where one’s thirst is unquenchable’.
It is important to understand that like all sentient beings trapped within the uncontrolled cycle of existence in samsara, spirits are similarly trapped by their karma. Although they can exist for thousands of years, they still have a ‘lifespan’ which means they are mortal and cannot live forever. Once the karma which dragged them into the spirit world expires, they will fade and take rebirth in another existence.
Spirits have no definitive form and can come in all shapes, sizes, forms, colors and temperaments. Some spirits can be benevolent, while some are malicious. Sometimes, due to certain circumstances, spirits from the formless realm intersect with our realm. It is during these moments when we ‘cross paths’ with the spirit that it becomes an opportunity for the spirit to attach itself to us.
There are many ways how a spirit can attach itself to us, and some of the most common methods are:
- Through an object. In some cultures which have a history of believing in spirits, it is an unsaid rule that antique items or objects with a long history are to be handled with caution.
- A place or location. This explains why some places are haunted. Spirits that haunt certain spaces can create disturbances when they share a common space with human beings.
- Through black magic. A spirit can be sent to us in the form of black magic. In such cases, the spirit infestation can manifest in the form of calamities.
Although spirits abide in a non-tangible existence, which means they are formless; they have the ability to move tangible objects. Therefore, there are several ways to identify if we are haunted by a negative being. Some common or “classic” symptoms of spirits and spirit infestations are:
- Unusual electrical occurrences, such as the blinking of lights, electronic items turning on and off by themselves, or even short circuits when the spirit is spoken about.
- Unusual series of accidents that occur one after the other.
- Episodes of consistent negative dreams.
- Feeling the presence of a spirit in the room. For example, there is a sense of being watched or touched.
- Personal belongings disappearing, moving or breaking on its own.
Recognizing that spirits do exist and their ability to cause harm (and in some severe cases, death), one must develop the clarity of mind to identify and confirm spirit infestation and take corrective measures. Sometimes it is easy to get paranoid and blame everything that does not go well in life on spirits, therefore careful observation is necessary to confirm spirit infestation. For example, a person experiencing the symptoms listed above may think they are schizophrenic, but there is a possibility that it is caused by a spirit. In this case, taking schizophrenia medications will not help the situation.
H.H. Kyabje Zong Dorje Chang (centre), Vajrayogini (left) and Dorje Shugden (right)-Tsem Rinpoche’s personal thangka
In Buddhism, the most simple, powerful and instantaneous method of protection from spirits is to take refuge in the Three Jewels. Taking refuge in the Three Jewels is to develop faith in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Formally, taking refuge involves taking vows and the vows taken depend on the school or tradition of Buddhism. It is important to read and understand the refuge vows and realize the Buddha who is free from all fears is the perfect object of refuge. When we take refuge in the Buddha, we practice the dharma and we respect the sangha, we are protected from many different types of spirit.
A very good example to illustrate the effectiveness of the Three Jewels’ protection against spirits is the story of Guru Rinpoche, a great Buddhist master who subdued countless fierce and malicious spirits that plagued Tibet. Through his example and many other examples of recent masters we can have confidence in the Three Jewels to protect us from spirit harm as well.
However, in certain cases, some people have “special” karmic affinity to certain types of harm and formless beings. This karmic affinity enables the spirits to “break through” the refuge protection and cause harm. Therefore, for people with such karmic affinity with a spirit, they will experience harm even if they have taken refuge in the Three Jewels.
In other cases, some people may use certain methods to contact beings from another realm. This practice is very dangerous as we can never be sure if the spirit contacted is malevolent or not. Sometimes, if the spirit that was called upon is strong and malicious, it can stay around to cause harm.
One may question: Why can’t the Three Jewels protect these individuals who have certain karmic affinity with a certain type of spirit? Although one has taken refuge and is under the protection of the Three Jewels, there is still the individual karma that is very strong and directly determines outcomes.
For illustration purposes, let’s refer to more familiar situations: Even though one is protected by the Three Jewels, one can still fall sick, experience calamities and tragedies and suffer emotional ups and downs, and death due to the karma accumulate as a consequence of the actions of the body, speech and mind. In such cases, one may engage in certain spiritual practices or request for pujas of a specific deity to be performed, for example, Medicine Buddha practice, whose energy is specifically targeted for healing.
Therefore, when experiencing the fruition of karma, one should not simply claim that the Three Jewels are not giving protection. The Three Jewels give protection for the short and long-term. For short-term protection, the Three Jewels grant the teachings of the Dharma to enable practice that eliminate all causes of suffering. For the long term protection on the other hand, the Three Jewels bless us to take rebirth in places and situations where Dharma practice is conducive.
WHEN SPECIAL PROTECTION IS REQUIRED
In cases where there is this “special” karmas that create affinity with certain spirits, and harm and affliction is still being experienced, the practice of Dorje Shugden can be done for protection.
Dorje Shugden manifests in five forms for different purposes. Aside from the principal manifestation, he has four other recognized emanations, each with their specific functions. All five forms of Dorje Shugden are complete objects of refuge and protection although they have different emanated function.
Out of the five forms of Dorje Shugden, Trakze also known as Karma Shugden is the most wrathful emanation of Dorje Shugden. His practice is especially efficacious for overcoming powerful delusions and very negative, harmful energies.
Trakze or Karma Shugden is the most wrathful form of Dorje Shugden that is very suitable to counter negative disturbances.
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The practice of Trakze will not only eliminate spirits but also eliminate unnatural disasters, problems and difficulties. Trakze is also suitable for protection for long journeys. He will also offer protection from people’s negative speech, negative mantras, spells or charms as well as sudden death or ill-fated, fatal accidents. So, this form of Dorje Shugden is very powerful.
SETTING UP AN ALTAR
Altar set up:
- A Buddha image or statue
- A Trakze image or statue
- A Dharma text
- A Stupa
- One set of Sensory Offerings (Optional) (From left to right – Water, water, flower, incense, light, perfume, food, and a conch shell)
- One set of water offerings (Optional)
An altar is an important component of the practice of Buddhism, as it serves as a reminder of our practice objectives – which is to develop qualities in ourselves so we may be able to help all sentient beings. This is the spiritual benefits of having an altar. For those who practice Trakze specifically to counter spirit disturbances, the benefit of having an altar with the image of Trakze is by itself a form of protection.
An altar can be set up anywhere except inside the washroom. To develop the view that the enlightened beings on the altar are present before us, it is appropriate to always show respect in front of the altar. Therefore, if an altar is set up in the bedroom, it is encouraged to cover it when engaging in activities that are private in nature.
An ideal altar would consist of all six items listed above. However, at the very least, the altar should hold an image of Trakze and, with time, one can add the remaining items when available. How complete our altar reflects how seriously we take the practice of Trakze in order to counter our problems. Therefore, just like anything, the amount of effort placed into the practice reflects the results of the practice.
“Extra touches” can be added to the altar. One set of water offerings with seven to eight cups can be arranged in front of the altar with clean water filled to about the length of one grain of rice from the brim. A set of wrathful offerings which symbolizes the offering of one’s negative karma, can be neatly arranged behind the water offerings.
THE PRACTICE GUIDE
Download the Prayer Text Here
Video on How to Do Prostrations:
- Tsem Tulku Rinpoche teaches prostrations part 1 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbMFtzTGgkE)
- Tsem Tulku Rinpoche teaches prostrations part 2 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Qon9lYJ_7M)
The practice begins with the recitation of the refuge formula three times. In this case, one is taking refuge in Lama Tsongkhapa – the Guru and Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.
When reciting the refuge formula, visualize Lama Tsongkhapa surrounded by his eight main disciples strongly at eye level. If this visualization is too difficult and advanced at the beginning, one can start by visualizing just two of his main disciples, Khedrup-je Rinpoche and Gyelsab-je Rinpoche. Envision them sitting in Ganden Heaven on their thrones adorned with jewels that are glittering. All three are smiling, happy and warmly sending down their blessings.
Lama Tsongkhapa and his two main disciples
From within Lama Tsongkhapa’s throne (seat), visualize a powerful dark red light emanating out, this light is none other than Manjushri’s mind, descending from Ganden Heaven to appear in front of you.
Visualize a virulent, powerful, tumultuous, and black-grey cloud – with very strong sounds like thunder and lightning surrounded by all types of virulent and wrathful animals such as vultures and eagles. In the midst of this dark cloud is Trakze, in the form as visualized above. In his heart, there is a sun disc on which is a syllable letter “Hung”, red in color. From the letter “Hung”, light emanates out into the 10 directions to invite all the Buddhas, Boddhisattvas and deities, and dissolves back into the “Hung”, the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and deities becomes one with Trakze in nature and become firm in front of you. Now Trakze embodies the complete Three Jewels within his form. So anything done to Trakze is the same as if you have done to all the Three Jewels. The visualized Trakze is the samaya being, and the Trakze invited from within Tsongkhapa’s throne is the wisdom being. When they combine, they become one and inseparable. So you should believe that the real wisdom being Trakze is in front of you now. It is important to believe that. Then, visualize Trakze in this very virulent and powerful storm swept cloud surrounding Trakze, emanated from below Lama Tsongkhapa’s throne, remains connected to Trakze. This signifies the source of blessing is from Lama Tsongkhapa and we are connected to Ganden Heaven.
THE FOUR IMMEASURABLES
The Four Immeasurables are recited to establish good motivation that all practice done to protect oneself does not harm any other being, including the beings that are causing harm to you.
The premise on which The Four Immeasurables are practiced is that ‘everyone wants to be happy, but happiness cannot be achieved in isolation‘. In fact, happiness depends upon the happiness of all, revealing that all life is interdependent. In order to be happy, one needs to cultivate wholesome attitudes towards others in society and towards all sentient beings.
Therefore, the best way of cultivating wholesome attitudes towards all sentient beings is through contemplative meditation on the Four Immeasurables, which cultivates loving-kindness, compassion, appreciative joy and equanimity towards an immeasurable number of sentient beings.
The practice of Four Immeasurables is also a powerful antidote to negative mental states such as anger and pride.
GURU YOGA OF LAMA TSONGKHAPA
Commentary on Lama Tsongkhapa practice:
After completing the Four Immeasurables, proceed to the Guru Yoga of Lama Tsongkhapa. When reciting the Migtsema mantra (at least 21 times) with this visualization as guided above (described at ‘Taking Refuge’), it is important to develop the thought and faith that Trakze (in 3-Dimension / 3D) is in front of you, all-powerful and protective. Upon completing the Guru Yoga of Lama Tsongkhapa, move on to recite Dorje Shugden’s prayers.
DORJE SHUGDEN’S PRAYERS
Kanshag to Dorje Shugden is a very powerful practice to remove our obstacles. In the case of black magic and spirit infestations, Kanshag is specifically effective to purify the negative karma that has created the causes for one to experience this affliction.
The Kanshag prayers may sound very violent and rough. However this is not unique to Dorje Shugden practice. It is also a common feature in other Dharma Protector prayers such as Kalarupa, Palden Lhamo, Mahakala and many others. Therefore, to the ignorant, or one who does not have a qualified master to explain the significance of such wrathful manifestations in the prayers, one may wrongfully feel repelled or recite it only based on faith. While reciting the Kanshag based purely on faith is acceptable, it is however better when we do our practices with a certain level of awareness so that the practice is more effective. Once we realize that this wrathful manifestation by the Kanshag came into existence purely from Dorje Shugden’s pure compassion for all sentient beings, we will learn to appreciate and value the practice with great devotion.
In this Nathang (Black Thangka / painting) Dorje Shugden [Note: see image below] is in the middle, manifesting as Trakze with his four emanations: Shize, Gyenze, Wangze and Trakze. The entourage of Dorje Shugden, appearing in wrathful forms, are just below Trakze.
In visualizing the purifying of one’s negative karma through Kanshag, we must first understand that the human figures depicted in this visualization are not human beings as we know. These human-like figures are without sentience and are the negative qualities that cause us to continuously create negative karma, such as jealousy, anger, ignorance, attachments and more. Because these negative qualities are not tangible, we visualize them as representative-beings in human-like form in order for Trakze and entourage to slay these negative qualities for us.
Karma Shugden (Trakze)
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THE MANIFESTATION OF OUR KARMA
Behind Trakze stands a massive and wrathful bone palace (Rubey Gyi Phodrang). Surrounding the bone palace is virulent weather. Thick, heavy dark clouds accompanied with thunder, lightning, rain and storm. Flying around aimlessly in this bad weather are violent animals – vultures and hawks – with eyeballs emerging from their mouths. Dragons, flying amongst the clouds, signifying the scary and fierce lightning.
The lands surrounding the palace are violent mountains. The jagged, rough and treacherous tracks of the mountain can easily claim one’s life. The dangers of these mountains are magnified with the presence of scary animals – Garudas, wild mad elephants, lizards, alligators, snakes, scorpions – and anything scary and violent is present, roaming all over the place. The stench of corpses fills the air of the dark, dangerous mountains.
From the violent mountains flows the endless treacherous river of blood that is described like the sacred river Ganges. The blood-filled river and its tumultuous flow within the field, with jagged and dangerous rocks by the river that is plagued by wild, vicious animals. Between these dangerous blood-river arises flames and thick smoke, with countless of corpses surfaced on the bloody river.
Everything within this vast space was manifested through the compassion of Dorje Shugden. Because we are unable to fathom how much accumulated negative karma we have collected from many lifetimes, Dorje Shugden manifests this grotesque field to show us our accumulated negative karma in a way we can relate and understand. The fearsome and scary beings, environment and conditions shown to us are meant to make us realize that this is the fate we will have to face if we do not do practices to purify our karma. In this practice, Dorje Shugden, his manifestations and entourage descends upon it to cause great destruction on this horrible field of negativity, thus purifying our negative karma.
ENTERING DORJE SHUGDEN’S PROTECTIVE MANDALA
When you recite the Kanshag, the door into Dorje Shugden’s mandala, which is usually guarded by Kache Marpo, opens. The grotesqueness within the palace doors are all manifested by Dorje Shugden, to purify our karma which leads to our eventual liberation.
(Image on the right: The door into Dorje Shugden’s mandala)
THE DESCENT OF TRAKZE AND ENTOURAGE TO PURIFY KARMA
Amidst this dreadful weather and landscape is the abode of Trakze, residing in a wrathful bone palace. The wrathful bone palace is decorated with human bones and flesh. Here, we see human bone ornaments, flayed human skin used as victory banner floating in the smoky wind, and human skin hung inside the palace like curtains.
The elaborately decorated palace with bones and flayed skin signifies the many materials Trakze has collected through his work of liberating sentient beings. It also symbolizes his great ability and potential of liberating countless beings. Thus, Trakze’s palace is filled with bones and all things perceived as gruesome because he collects and accepts everyone’s negative karma and sufferings.
When we offer our negativity in this form to the Buddhas to slay, it is something that we perceive as ugly. However to the Buddhas, their main objective is to free us from our negativities. Therefore these negativities are presented and transformed as the ultimate offering of a spiritual practitioner. Therefore, once Trakze has slain these negativities (which we visualize in the form of a being), he uses the bones and the skin as decorations for his abode, to celebrate our liberation from these undesired qualities.
The bone palace is also represents Tong Len (the practice of taking other’s suffering and giving one’s merits over to them) in visual tantric form. This means that Trakze will take all the bad karma from you. He will live in this dreadful environment and violent conditions manifested by our negative karma so that we do not have to.
The Nine Wisdom Mothers are not physically alluring, but manifest as fearsome ogresses with scary fangs, talons, with long fingernails and toenails. They appear as these nine frightening beings, running amok and creating havoc. The nine mothers are cutting, pulverizing, slicing, chopping, ripping, scratching and clawing at our negative karma, destroying it.
The Eight Guiding Monks are not calm and quiet; yet they manifest the realizations of acquiescence or contemplation in a wrathful manner. Instead, they are running around in very ‘un-monkly‘ ways, performing violent acts and wrathful rituals to subdue sentient beings.
The Ten Youthful and Wrathful Assistants are emanated from the ‘limbs’ of the principle deity, in this case Trakze. These ten assistants manifest in their most wrathful form as terrifying beings – in order to activate purification quickly to remove sufferings, with chains and ripping our inner and outer obstacles apart.
Therefore, when we recite the Kanshag, we are requesting Dorje Shugden and entourage to destroy our accumulated negative karma through their violent and wrathful ways. We are purifying the karma which not only causes us physical harm but also mental sufferings. Traditionally, wrathful methods have always been quicker. It is for this reason that Dorje Shugden’s practice, when done well, can clear our obstacles to fulfilling our wishes quickly. Thus he is known to aid us swiftly.
Visualize the wrathful environment which is the manifestation of our negative karma. In this space, a massive human-like figure, huge as a mountain, manifests before you. This human-like figure is all of our negative karma and negative qualities that hinder our spiritual growth.
Visualize Trakze and his wrathful entourage descending onto this human-like figure and dismembering it, forming countless complete sets of wrathful offerings.
The wrathful offering consists of:
- ‘Argham’ (tea) – visualize all the blood from the being is emptied into the first bowl and offered up.
- ‘Phupe’ (wrathful flower) – visualize the skull overturned. In the skull is placed the heart. On the heart are the eyes, ears, tongue and nose; all symmetrically arranged on the heart.
- ‘Duphe’ (incense) – visualize the bones of the body are taken and burned. The smoke arising from this is offered to Trakze.
- ‘Aloke’ (light) – visualize all the fat of the body taken out and made into a butterlamp and offered up to Trakze.
- ‘Gyende’ (perfume) – visualize all the remaining liquids in the body such as urine, bile, pus and others, emptied into a bowl and offered up.
- ‘Niweide’ (food) – visualize all the flesh of the body being cut up and offered.
- ‘Shapta’ (sound) – visualize the thighbone carved into a wind instrument, as an offering to Trakze.
Upon ending the Kanshag prayer, visualize that all these negative manifestations have been destroyed by Trakze and entourage. The visualization of purification is in wrathful, gory form as a training for us not to be attached or repulsed to pleasant and unpleasant. It is another method in which renunciation is meditated upon by seeing our bodies arising from negative karma pulverize, smashed and destroyed as in the Chod teachings. This practice may be visual and wrathful in nature but it is all in the spirit of Buddhist renunciation, as when the Thai monks meditate in cemeteries or in front of bones and skulls to actualize detachment from our bodies in which we have false view of its permanence and thereby invest in inordinate time, energy and resources – when in the end it fails us with death. Renunciation is an extremely powerful component in our meditations to actualize in order that our Dharma practice becomes genuine. This necessity to actualize renunciation is pervasive in all three Yanas of Buddhism. (End of visualization)
Wrathful Flower Offering
This is the wrathful flower offering made when reciting Kanshag. It is a very powerful practice that is related to “Chod” which cuts away the attachment to the body. Some find it difficult to understand the reason behind offering such vile and “dirty” substances to the Buddha. However, the vileness is perceived by the tainted mind. In this case, the Buddha does not have the karma to perceive harm or accept anything dirty in nature. Therefore, whatever items (be it visualized or actual) offered up to them will be transformed into pleasant, beautiful gardens and pools of delight.
Therefore, when making these offerings while reciting the Kanshag, we are purifying the karma that we have accumulated from many lifetimes. The Kanshag should be recited as many times as possible but as a guideline, it can be recited three, seven or 21 times during each prayer session, depending on the potency of the affliction. The Kanshag recitation together with visualization is a very powerful method for purifying immediate negative karma. The more Kanshags we can recite with visualization of Trakze, the more immediate the results. 100,000 Kanshag recitations are sometimes done by the assembly of monks in unison over a few days because it is so effective. No negative repercussion can ever arise from reciting Kanshag of Trakze or any other Dharma protector.
After reciting Kanshag, it is beneficial to make offerings of torma to the Dharma Protector.
Tormas are ritual cakes made mostly from flour and butter that are used as offerings in Tibetan Buddhist rituals. Tormas come in various shapes and sizes, according to their purpose but they are usually in conical form. They can be dyed in different colors depending on the practice for which the torma is being made. Tormas are most commonly found in white and red. H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche mentioned it will not be practical for non-monastics to offer traditional tormas. So he said it will be fine to offer things we like to eat for example cookies and biscuits. If we are travelling or in a hotel, plane or train, we can still do the Trakze practice without any of the offerings, just the recitation and visualization. We should make do with time, place and circumstances to the best of our abilities. Sincerity, trust and faith in our practice to Trakze will definitely bear results.
Making traditional torma: The maker wears a mask to protect the “cleanliness” of the torma from our breath (which is considered impure)
A simpler altar set up. For practitioners that are not able to make tormas traditionally, one can use jars filled with cookies to replace the tormas
For regular practitioners who are not trained to make the traditional form of tormas, the tormas can be represented with a glass bottle, filled with cookies. If one wishes to make torma offerings throughout the practice, the following tormas can be prepared:
- One large jar filled with biscuits (torma offerings to Lama Tsongkhapa)
- One large jar filled with biscuits (torma offerings to Trakze)
- One smaller jar filled with biscuits (torma offerings to Trakze’s entourage)
However, if time is limited, the torma offering can be optional. The tormas (biscuits) are in jars simply to prevent insects from getting into them. You can offer the tormas on plates, bowls or cups and discard them in a clean place at the end of the puja/prayer. If you are in an apartment, you can simply eat the tormas as a blessing or if you don’t want to eat them, it can be wrapped in a paper and then discard it in the garbage.
BLACK TEA OFFERING (SERKYEM)
The practice is also called Golden Drink Offering or Serkyem, which forms a central part of the Dorje Shugden Kangsol. This practice was developed as an extended offering to the Dharma Protector to request for swift assistance. Hence, the Serkyem offering has become popular and it is commonly practiced among modern practitioners to request for swift assistance, especially in times of dire need. Traditionally, tea is used as an offering. However other beverages like milk or even carbonated drinks can be used as a replacement.
The Serkyem offering is traditionally offered by pouring the beverage into a two-tiered vessel, which consists of a taller vessel placed into a lower bowl. If the Tibetan-style Serkyem ritual item (which is normally made of brass) cannot be obtained, one can replace it by using a tall glass (such as a wine glass) placed in a glass bowl.
During the offering, the beverage is poured from a pot or jug into the taller vessel until the liquid overflows down into the lower bowl. In Buddhism, the overflowing liquid is highly auspicious as a symbol of abundance of merits, virtues, material resources and conducive conditions for Dharma practice.
The beverage can either be poured fully into the vessel prior to the recitation of the Serkyem verses, or it can be poured a little at a time during the recitation of relevant passages throughout the liturgy. If the latter method is chosen, pour a little of the tea into the taller vessel so that you do not present an empty vessel to the Buddha. Before starting, consecrate the Serkyem by circling a lit incense three times clockwise around the Serkyem set while chanting the mantra ‘OM AH HUM‘.
While making the Serkyem offering, visualized the beverage as divine nectar that expands to fill an entire ocean which represents all the desirable things in the world that pleases the five senses.
A traditional Serkyem set
Once you complete the black tea (Serkyem) offering, recite the wrathful mantra of Dorje Shugden as a request for protection. Trakze’s mantra is “OM BENZA WIKI BITANA RAKYA RAKYA HUNG”. You can recite one, three, seven or as many malas of this mantra as you can. It is encouraged to recite as many mantras as possible. It is also essential that the practice is consistent and done daily until the affliction is completely resolved. Upon completion of the mantra recitation during each session, recite the Vajrasattva purification mantra for 21 times.
During mantra recitation, visualize the light from Trakze protecting and blessing you and Dorje Shugden surrounds you. Nothing can penetrate this protective shield while you are doing this mantra.
While reciting the mantra, visualize Dorje Shugden emanating himself into trillions of images of himself, going in the 10 directions: North, South, East, West, the intermediate directions, up and down. Dorje Shugden surrounds you and your environment with his emanations, offering you complete protection from spirits, harm, demerit or objects of demerit. Nothing can penetrate or get through this divine protection. Simultaneously, nothing can leave this protection, as Dorje Shugden safeguards your merits.
Then from the central image of Dorje Shugden, visualize that from the red “Hung” from the heart, various lights emanate into your body. The force of this light is very strong and powerful, washing over you. For illustration purposes, it would be as if you are standing under a waterfall. The water just washes over you completely, dispelling all the dirt on you.
Visualize the powerful dark red light coming from Dorje Shugden entering your heart. The light pervades your body completely, expelling all impurities through your orifices in the form of scorpions, snakes, insects and lizards. From your whole body, black substances are expelled and the inside of your body is left clean and crystal clear. Immersed and surrounded by Dorje Shugden’s red wisdom light, you are clean and purified.
You should feel very fresh and awake after doing this visualization. With this “clean” sensation, think: “My mind is in control. I am in control. No spirits will harm me, no interfering beings will harm me”. With this thought in mind and while reciting the mantra, do not dispel the spirit in a wrathful manner. Instead, develop compassion for them. They are causing you harm because, just like people who hurt you, they are suffering too.
The most important ingredient of this practice is to develop compassion for the spirit(s) that inflicts harm on you, as it is due to these spirits’ negative karma which compels them to create more negative karma through harming you. When you develop compassion for these beings, you will no longer need the ritual. It is said that when deep and sincere compassion is developed within your mind stream, the spirits will leave the moment they hear your voice because they are unable to harm a being with great compassion. Therefore, the most important ingredient for this practice is to have great compassion.
When you engage in this practice with compassion and recite the mantra together with the visualizations, your body, speech and mind are immersed in the protection of the practice. Your body is engaged as you are seated in meditation posture, your speech is immersed through the recitation of the mantra and your mind focused as you do the visualization. Thus, your body, speech and mind that are referred to as the three doors, which is the gateway for impurities to enter, are blocked.
DOTHEY AND DEDICATION
Before bringing the session to a close, it is good to recite the Dothey prayer, the praise to Dorje Shugden written by H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche. After you finish Dothey, visualize Trakze and Lama Tsongkhapa dissolving into you and recite dissolution verses. The Dothey also contains graphic words and exhortation to ‘kill the enemy‘, but the graphic verses are in reference to only symbology, not actually directed at sentient beings. In any Buddhist practice, no harm is inflicted on others by ritual, thought, meditation and action. The word ‘kill‘ in Dothey refers to the destruction of one’s own inner enemies which are ego, selfishness, miserliness, anger and hatred. So ‘kill the enemy‘ in Dothey may sound quite violent but it refers to the violence that we actually create emotionally to people around us. Due to this afflicted emotions, this practice is aimed at ‘killing off‘ those negative emotions within us or at least realizing – the enemy is within.
End the session with a short dedication.
It is very important to make a compassionate dedication that the afflictive being be free and liberated. Then, do a dedication that you may be free and protected from affliction.
Blessing items for Protection
After you have recited the mantra, you can do a few things which are:
- Blow on some dry, plain, uncooked rice that is stored inside a clean container
- Blow on yourself
- Blow in a bottle of water
When you recite the mantra, which is the sound manifestation of the Buddha’s virtue, it said that your breath is fused with the positive energy of the mantra. Therefore you are transmitting this potent energy when you blow into these objects.
The water that has been blessed can be used to bathe your body or to drink in order to keep the spirits out. It can also be given to someone who is afflicted by spirits or black magic. The water can be sprinkled throughout the house or anywhere you feel the presence of an unseen entity.
The rice that has been blessed can be burnt in places that are afflicted. Therefore, if your house has an affliction, you can burn the rice, which is infused with the power of the mantra and is activated when burnt.
When blowing the mantra’s energy on yourself, the channels on your body which will be blocked and prevent any negative energy from entering are: your two eyes, two sides of the nostril, mouth, two ears, both of your ring fingers, anus and secret organ. These are the 11 places where spirits enter you if left unprotected. For extra caution, you can take a little bit of water and put it on these 11 areas. For the two lower orifices, you sprinkle the water in the front and back area and visualize that your two lower orifices are blocked.
1, 2 and 3 are optional, we can just recite our mantra and end.
If a friend or family member is suffering from such afflictions, you can visualize your friend being protected within Trakze’s smoke, fire and thunder, with your friend standing facing Trakze and many blessed tumultuous red lights emanating from Trakze, absorbing into your friend and absolving him of all ills, afflictions and he is blessed with peace of mind. You can also do it simultaneously for a friend and oneself because there are no limitations of Trakze’s power.
You can also give them blessed water or rice so that they may use it to dispel negative energy in their environment. In some cases, some malicious spirits can begin to cause harm to those around you. If such a situation may occur, you can also include your whole family in your visualization to keep them safe.
Trakze is no other than Manjushri in a ferocious form, emanating to specifically counter obstacles and afflictive entities. In general, Trakze’s practice can purify an environment, bless one’s business, protect one’s home, and give blessings to loved ones, but the real purpose of Trakze’s practice is to be blessed in order to gain an understanding into the deeper teachings of Dharma and facilitate the mind training practices such as Lojong. Ultimately, Lord Manjushri can manifest in myriads of shapes, forms, and appearances, both animate and inanimate because an enlightened mind has no restrictions. Doing Trakze’s practice will bless us and our environment to help increase Dharma activities, energy, and facilitate attainment. The enlightened beings will manifest, re-manifest and again emanate according to time, place, circumstances and karmic affinity of the sentient beings they are benefiting.
So, Dorje Shugden’s practice is 400 years old and considered relatively new, because many now are in need of this type of emanation. Dorje Shugden’s affinity and his special ability to help beings will be recognized more widely in time. We may hold Dorje Shugden in any of his forms such as Trakze as our main Dharma Protector practice. Again, Dharma Protector is not our main practice but sometimes necessary to alleviate many daily problems we encounter. Once we trust and rely on a sublime being such as Dorje Shugden, as the years pass, we will see a special relationship develop and he will take care of us as a father for his only child.
Dorje Shugden’s compassion, wisdom and skillful means are unlimited as he is a fully enlightened Buddha, manifesting as a Dharma Protector. How fortunate we are to even hear his name and also to engage in his practice. Whether you are Buddhist or non-Buddhist, Gelug or any other school of Buddhism, poor or rich, male or female does not matter. People like to label Dorje Shugden as a Gelugpa protector but that is wrong because he is no other than Manjushri, and Manjushri cannot be pigeon-holed within only a Gelug framework.
True Dorje Shugen has a special affinity to Lama Tsongkhapa and his teachings because in one of his lives he was one of the 8 principle disciples of Lord Tsongkhapa. But even prior to Lama Tsongkhapa, he had incarnated as many great masters in Tibet, Nepal, India, and China. He was in fact one of the Qing Emperors of China named Kangxi. Kangxi had ushered in the age of Buddhism and Tsongkhapa’s teachings into the royal court of China and into China itself. The Qing dynasty emperors of China and their descendants are called Manchurians. According to Qing dynasty’s official historical record, the Researches on Manchu Origins; the ethnic name ‘Manchu’ came from Manjushri. The Qinglong Emperor also supported this claim on the origin of their ethnic name and wrote several poems on the subject.
His line of incarnations extend back to one of the 84 Mahasiddhas. Dorje Shugden’s blessings and protection will be bequeath on anyone who sincerely invokes upon his enlightened energy. Again I would like to stress he does not only assist Gelugpas and Buddhists, but anyone from any walks of life that need assistance. For example his practice was also prevalent within the Sakyas, where he manifested as riding on a black horse. If you believe otherwise, you are limiting the powers of an enlightened being. Dorje Shugden in any of his forms will assist anyone who sincerely requests his assistance. You do not need to be a Buddhist or go through any special rituals to receive his assistance. From the comfort of your home, you can download the daily practice I’ve included here and start immediately. Read the commentary carefully and thoroughly for your knowledge and understanding. Do not fear if you cannot do the visualizations or offerings ‘perfectly’ because Dorje Shugden is a Buddha and will not be ‘upset’ with anything lacking. Sincerity and consistency is the key. When you rely on Dorje Shugden consistently and over time you will have a powerful ally as your friend, assistance, protector and confidante. Trust Dorje Shugden all the way. No part of his practice can be harmful in any way. Hundreds of highly attained lamas from the Gelug and Sakya schools of Buddhism have relied on Dorje Shugden for 400 years. Many large monastic institutions as well as powerful lay practitioners were under the full protection of this divine protector. If you have come across this, it could be an indication you have strong affinity. Download the picture, print out and place on your shrine and start the practice. For those who are too young, ill or elderly and find doing the daily practice perhaps too taxing, they can keep a photo of Dorje Shugden or Trakze near them and simply recite his mantra. Again sincerity and faith are the keys. I sincerely wish all of you the best.
My team have worked very hard and for days together with me to bring this compilation to all of you. I, from my heart, thank my compassionate and hardworking team of great people whose sole purpose of assisting me is to bring you benefits. They are really great and kind people. We have many like them in Kechara I am honored to say. Thank you team very much!
I dedicate all merits to my team’s happiness, peace, growth and liberation. I also dedicate the merits that the great lineage holders of all traditions and all teachers who speak about peace, love and development of compassion have long lives and further success. It has been a tremendous honor, privilege and pleasure for me and my team to bring this extremely beneficial practice of Trakze for the first time here. I wish everyone supreme success, health, growth and liberation. May you come under the peaceful, wrathful, mystical and myriad forms of the supreme Manjushri in this and all future lives.
DEDICATION BY TSEM RINPOCHE
The aspiration for offering this practice is so that it will benefit many people. May those who practice Dorje Shugden as Trakze or any other Dorje Shugden emanations be free of their afflictions, black magic, obstacles and spirits. May the resources they need to live good lives and spiritual practice be bestowed by Dorje Shugden Trakze. May they have peace of mind, peaceful sleep, peaceful family, peaceful life and free of accidents. Please remember Dorje Shugden is a world peace Buddha emanated as A Dharma protector and his nature is the fully enlightened Manjushri. This prayer is provided so it may be convenient and free to access to such a precious practice, especially for those that truly need it.
I have worked with my team to compile all of this in hopes that it will be of tremendous benefit.