Sadhana and prayers with visualisation – receives full benefits of our practice, hence necessary to know a deity’s mandala to help us in our visualisation in our prayers.
The manala is an emanation of his enlightened mind, embodiment of his enlightened qualities.
Just looking at his mandala plants seeds of blessings in our mindstreams – accumulating merits and purifying negative karma etc.
Three storey of celestial mansion.
1st level – DS is principal form along with others (collectively the 5 families of DS): color, implementation and mount
Dorje Shugden – remove inner and outer obstacles, connecting with a suitable spiritual path; riding on a snow lion symbolising fearlessness, appearing as a monk in robes, wearing a golden domed hat, right hand holding a wisdom sword, cutting away our delusions, bestowing wisdom and on his left hand holds the heart of the enemies signifying ignorance and the cradle of taming hook on his left arm
Shize (Vairochana Shugden) – health, healing. Pacifying emanation of DS; white color and rides on a white elephant, holding divination arrow in his right hand with a mirror attached to it and on his left holding a noose
Wangze (Pema Shugden) – controlling form of DS – pacifying our untamed mind to gain peace. Also helps to tame very difficult people and situations allowing us to influence negative minds to be more positive, Riding on a turquoise dragon, appearing in blood red color. On his right hand he holds a taming vajra hook tied with red silk and on his left hand he holds a jewelled noose, taming our wild minds
Eight guiding monks – fully ordained monked in saffroned colored robes with different monastic hats, such as the yellow hat, pandits hat, meditation hat and various items of monastic practice such as begging bowl and monk staff – hold commitments, vows and word of honour, especially with regards to vinaya
9 mothers – beautiful maidens dressed in finest silk, 8 jewellery pieces and carry the 5 desirable objects. Great power to control the 4 elements. These attributes show their abilities to assist tantric practitioners with their higher meditation
10 youthful and wrathful deities appear as regular beings, with various facial expressions, some cheerful and others wrathful, wearing various costumes from different origins such as chinese, mongolian and tibetan. Function is to remove inner an outer obstacles, particularly the ones leading us to break our samaya with our guru
Total 32 deities
According to HH Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche this 32 deities are actually the 32 deities of Guhyasamaja body mandala and although appear in worldly form, the emanations and entourage are purely manifestations of DS’s enlightened mind
Level above DS, in the mansion Dharmapala Setrap, having a close connection with DS, he is the protector of TDG and he enthroned DS
Top most level is Buddha Amitabha, who is the original nature of Dharmapala Setrap
2 ministers – not part of his mandala but often depicted within his thangka drawings
Karche Marpo-DS main attendant, appearing in worldly form, is an emanation of Hyagriva, the wrathful form of Chenrizig. He is a recognised dharma protector in his own right and has own set of prayers and rituals but vowed to be DS minister, ever ready to destroy our obstacles and causes of sufferings
Namkar Barzin – newest addition to DS entourage, an unenlightened dharma protector of Dungkar monastery and oath bound minister to DS. In the 1920’s he was a mongolian geshe returing from Indian pilgrimage. On way back to Lhasa, stopped by Dungkar monastery. Duing stay there, developed high fever, continued his journey home. Sickness become worse and he engaged in death meditation near Phari. A few bonpos came acoss his body and our of kindness condus funeral rites for geshe, which cause adverse effect of geshe’s subtle meditation causing him to become a fearsome spirit. Locals make fun of his dead corpse and strange things happen to them, and local herders and livestocks contract diseases and died incl the bonpo. HE Domo Geshe Rinpoche heard of this and quickly tamed the geshe’s raging spirit and place him under thecare of DS and was installed as the protector of Dromo and Dungkar monasteries and thus know and Namkar Barzin
The thirty-two deities of Guhyasamaja’s mandala are represented in the mandala of Dorje Shugden, and each of these beings is an emanation of Dorje Shugden himself. This introduction to the various deities of Dorje Shugden’s mandala illustrates the many ways in which he can assist us, through the Five Families of Dorje Shugden as well as through his entourage – the Nine Mothers, the Eight Guiding Monks and the Ten Youthful and Wrathful Deities.
A Daily Request for Sampatti1, Śānti2 and Surakṣā3
Composed by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche
In the heavens4 there are myriad manifestations of the divine. All those manifestations specifically show us different aspects of divinity5 in order to be of benefit to all living beings. All the rupakaya6 forms of the divine have compassion, skillful means and wisdom. We invoke upon them whether we are happy, sad, down, lost, fulfilled, confused, empty, and during the whole range of emotions we constantly experience due to an untrained mind.
Understanding our nature, Great Wisdom Being Dorje Shugden, therefore all the more so, please hold us close to your bosom as an only child to a parent.
Though the manifestations of the divine need no offerings and gifts from us, we offer you supreme Manjushri7 Dorje Shugden a libation of tea, incense and mantras, in order to ask you to bless us, to be a part of our lives, to abide in our dwellings and to give us signs, omens and portents of both good and bad. When the negative arises, quell them immediately. Please increase the positive for my weary and worn mind as I lay my hopes in you.
When difficulties, problems and confusion arise, we ask you, who is but the culmination of all that is powerful, holy and omniscient to bless myself, family, loved ones, environment and even my pets. May I see wisdom, find hope, and be at peace.
I request you, O Divine Bhagavān8 Dorje Shugden, who wears a round dome hat and the three robes of a saffroned bhikshu9, who wields a sword of liberty, justice and wisdom and clutches a wish-fulfilling jewel, who rides on a supreme lion of subjugation of all that is negative, to fulfill my wishes. I understand my wishes may not be the best, so I surrender to your wisdom for the outcome though it may not be what I have in mind. Please bless myself and everyone that we may enter into the supreme city of liberation.
Great Bhagavān Dorje Shugden, I request you sincerely from my heart to be a part of my life, bless my home, and grant me wisdom, solace and comfort, that I might be of service to others without agenda, and that I may focus out onto others and not be fixated on myself, creating more problems for all that I hold dear.
Bless me to become kinder, wiser, more compassionate, tolerant and very forgiving to all those who hurt and love me. In order to become close to you, Dorje Shugden, we must surrender the banal. We must abandon fixed views, projections and rigidity. Lastly, in my final moment when I leave this plane of existence, only the positive actions I have done will matter as everything and everyone will be left behind. Let me realise this and act upon this now! At this crucial moment, please may I have a vision of yourself, the powerful and merciful Dorje Shugden, to take me to where I may course in the sky10 to continue my journey of spiritual waxing.
I offer you saffron-coloured tea and my faith to fulfill my prayers and gain siddhis11. By reciting your mantra, may healing, peace, love, long life, protection and perfect view of sunyata12 arise.
Mantra of fulfillment, peace and wisdom: OM BENZA WIKI BITANA SOHA
(It is good to recite this mantra one rosary or more per day. Occasionally, engage in retreats where you recite the mantra 100,000 times or more per year, every year. Consistency brings results!)
I dedicate this supreme heartfelt prayer to the all-knowing Celestial and Supreme Protector Dorje Shugden, that I may quickly become a being of light, compassion, love and enlightenment.
This daily prayer to Dorje Shugden was composed by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche on Thursday, 26 February 2015 at 2:03am for Datin MJ. There are many rituals, texts, prayers and rites on Dorje Shugden. But
Prince Gautama Siddhartha, after assuming an ascetic life, first went to Malla (present day Uttar Pradesh in India) and resided for seven days in the mango grove named Anupiyabelonging to the princes of Malla. On the seventh day, he went towards Rajagaha (present day Rajgir in the Nalanda District, in the State of Bihar, India) which was the capital of Magadhawhere King Bimbisara ruled, begging alms. Seeing the imposing posture of the ascetic, the people of Rajagahainformed the king of the new comer. King Bimbisara, after questioning found out the true identity of the ascetic and offered his kingdom. Declining the offer with compassion, Ascetic Gautama promised to make his first visit to Rajagahaafter the Enlightenment.
Resuming his journey, Ascetic Gautama went first to Alara Kalama and then to Uddakaramapuththa for guidance. They were the most eminent intellectuals at the time.
He learnt everything that they were able to teach and became proficient in concentration (samatha) meditation. But, Ascetic Gautama was not satisfied and he knew that their teachings were not enough and would not give the ultimate solution of eliminating the suffering. Despite the request by both sages to take over their institutions after them, Ascetic Gautama left seeking the Eternal Bliss, ‘Nirvana’.
He was wandering in searching for a place to practice his ascetic life when he came to the peaceful Uruvela Senanigama (present day where the Bodhgaya Thai temple is situated, in the State of Bihar).
The place was ideal for an ascetic life since it was a flat area with a forest of lush greenery and the clear waters of river Neranjana flowing through it providing shelter and a bathing spot. In the vicinity, not too far or too near, were villages with peaceful folk to whom an ascetic could go for alms. The five ascetics (Kondanna, Bhaddiya, Wappa, Mahanama, Assaji), who were the sons of the Brahmins, who named Prince Siddhartha too joined him. It is said that they had been brought up in the palace itself and King Suddhodhana sent them to join his son to protect him and care for him.
Here, Ascetic Gautama practiced asceticism to the extreme for six years, starving himself to the highest degree. His flesh dissolved and only the skin was left to cover the bone structure.
When six years of self-starvation didn’t bring the Enlightenment, Ascetic Gautama resorted to the ‘Middle path’ (neither attaching oneself to sensual pleasures nor give excessive agony to the body). He followed this ‘path’ the rest of his life and taught others to do so too.
The five ascetics became disappointed by Ascetic Gautama’s decision and left him. They were sure that he would not attain the Enlightenment as expected by following in this new direction. They left to the Deer Park at Isipathana in Benares(Present day Saranath at Varanasi on the Western Banks of river Ganges in Uttar Pradesh, India).
Near the river Neranjana, there was a banyan tree famously known as ‘Ajapala’. The villagers came here to worship the god of the tree. It was suppose to be a very miraculous tree. On the day that Ascetic Gautama sat under this tree meditating, a young woman named Sujatha came to fulfill a vow with specially made milk rice in a golden bowl. Mistaking the Ascetic to be the god of the tree, she offered the milk rice with great reverence. This was Ascetic Gautama’s last meal before the Enlightenment and seven weeks of contemplation after that.
After partaking the meal, Ascetic Gautama, threw the empty bowl on to the middle of the river saying that if he attains Buddha hood that day, let the bowl go upstream, if not, let it go down stream. The bowl went upstream.
The bowl went upstream
He went to Gaya (Present day Bodhgaya, Gaya District, Bihar, India) looking for a suitable place to start meditation. He found a ‘peepul’ tree (Ficus Religiosa which was native to South Asia and belonged to the fig/mulberry family). He sat under it cross legged with his back to the tree and made a firm resolution not to get up until he attained the Enlightenment.
Sri Maha Bodhi
It was the eve of the Wesak Full moon day. The Ascetic Gautama started the ‘Anapanasati’ (Breathing) meditation.
During the first part of the night, the evil one (Mara) came with his army to defeat the Ascetic’s objective by frightening him and when they were unable to do so, sent his three daughters to lure the Ascetic. (Some say that it was not beings who came to fight him, but his own evil thoughts of desire, craving, attachment & fear which crept into his mind.)
But, Ascetic Gautama’s strong determination beat them all.
He found the power of seeing his past lives as the first step to Enlightenment. (pubbe -nivāsanussati Gnana)
In the second part of the night, Ascetic Gautama realized the impermanence of life. How the karmic effects of a being takes him through the ‘Life – Death Cycle’ (Samsara) over and over again.
He found the power of seeing everything from all sides and distances. (dibba-cakkhu Gnana)
In the third part of the night, Ascetic Gautama realized the Four Noble Truths and found the power of extinction of all mental intoxicants. (āsavakkhaya Gnana)
Thus, attaining The Enlightenment (The Buddha hood) on the Wesak Full Moon day!
Be kind to each other. Work with each other. Do not ask for exceptions, special treatment for oneself or one’s family but be leaders that make policies in all our departments and facilities that benefit the organization and our future. Make policies that benefit the organization as a whole and not oneself. When you come across a situation, do not see how it can be self advantageous, but how you can turn the negative to positive situation that will benefit others and Kechara long term. That is the key, long term. Do not try to bend the rules to make exceptions for oneself and one’s family because this is not sign of a leader/or sincere dharma person and will not garner respect. For example, if we say there is to be no cactuses in Dukkar Apartments, don’t say well this or that person has an exception and ’request’ exceptions for oneself. Rules can be made or amended by community vote and I can ‘presidential veto’ it too if I see huge harm to ensue as a result of the decision. Some of the rules I made can be amended too with appeal and logical reasons presented just the same. Don’t make the reasons or attempt to change for one’s self benefit but think of the consequences. What happens if Dukkar Apts is filled with massive amount of cactuseseverywhere and pricking us as we walk by? That would be damaging. So we don’t want cactuses all over…. LOL. That is just an example. This applies to everything. Don’t look for exceptions to make it easier for yourself or your close people, but think of the organization also. I thank you.
Be on time, be ready to speak up and be courteous. Only having the support of one’s own department is not enough for success because we are a part of our whole. We have to have the support of our department people as well as be friendly with the people of other departments. Department heads must be friendly with each other to send a good example to those working with us. Be genuine. Very important. Do not let anger, ignoring each other, missing meetings, not responding back, keeping quiet due to anger, black faces rule the day. I am asking this of you to not do this please. You may be exacting revenge on someone you don’t like, but guess what, you end up losing the respect of people you do like. We have to be friendly and have the support of the BOD and pastors too. There are people who will perform more and some less for now, but the key is we should be inspired by those who do more and not be uninspired by those who do less. Don’t use those who do less to do less yourself. Don’t use the excuse of people who do less to do less ourselves. If I did that, would you respect me?
We should make our departments grow and have more people. VERY VERY VERY IMPORTANT TO INSTILL MORE DHARMA IN OUR DEPARTMENT PEOPLE. Our departments should not be in Kechara name only and become our personal vessels to do our personal work or promote our personal ‘glories’ only. We must increase manpower, find funds via talking/showing good example/reaching out to more to increase the manpower and produce real tangible work. Beg for help and resources. I do that all the time and so can you. We sustain on donations. It will always be like that so get use to begging. Although be classy in your begging. LOL. We must produce work to impress upon people we deserve the help. Don’t live on past accomplishments as the crowd is fickle but always new accomplishments. We must present BOD with our plans and update along the way and produce the results as per presented timelines.
Those who produce results may have less time to eat, ‘enjoy’ or have ‘personal free time’ it seems but MUCH HAPPIER AT THE END OF THE DAY for sure. Those who produce less, avoid, hide or wait for others to do more, have ‘more’ personal time and less headaches it seems. But in the end, the ones who do less ARE BITTER, UNHAPPY, DEPRESSED AND EMBARRASSED. They look back into their lives and know they have not done anything much..so with all the food, money, trips, branded items, deep down inside they are unhappy and know they wasted so much time. We can keep wasting time or do something now. We can change what we do with time, but time cannot be changed. To keep saying you will do more and you will this or you will do that, is nice and sounds nice. Future tense used always is sort of a closet we hide in to avoid. To fool ourselves. You may even get support from other like minded people who don’t do more out of fear, laziness and justify your gripes and support your complaints. But examine the results of people complaining carefully. But strong and successful people do not hide or make excuses for failure, THEY PRODUCE RESULTS THAT ARE TANGIBLE. Even when they fail, they keep at it. What’s the secret? HARD WORK AND CARE FOR OTHERS. How do you produce results? Well, whatever you promised to do, you do it starting now one day at a time. No one forced you. You offered, you said you will do it, so do it. Just do it. However we feel about ourselves can change. Make it change. How do we feel about people who give up, give ‘great’ excuses and justify? Are they people you want to be around with (sorry), respect or feel you have something to learn from them? Not really, but in hindsight, we can learn from them. Learn what?? How not to invite their results in our lives. This is not to criticize them as we didn’t make them fail, they did it and we can see this clearly. So we can use it positively or be downed by it. In life, there are people who hide behind excuses to fail, not do their part or have others do for them. These types of people never end up well or happy. Because people will who do things for them will not last. Never. Who can be happy being deceptive or criticizing or avoiding inner and outer progress? Who can be happy scoffing at others progress and results. Who can be happy being unhappy? Unhappiness always comes from wrong projections, greed, expectations, spoiled or laziness. Think about it. Not having results is the number one cause for depression. Or having it all and knowing it is all material gains only, is another great cause for depression.
One should read the Fifty Verses of Guru Devotion well. BOD/Pastors should read just the stanzas at the beginning of every meeting and absorb the meaning. I always do this. It’s part of my personal practice and it has helped me so much. The facilities of one’s lama is not for you to see how it can turn into an advantage for oneself. The resources, possessions and properties of one’s lama and his personal household people should not be seen as something that can benefit us personally. As Kensur Rinpoche Jetsun Jampa Yeshe told me once in Gaden, “We should think how to offer to our lama and not take from our lama.” This impacted me very much. Giving and taking is NOT only material things, but time, energy, advice, promises, hope, trust, integrity all the more so. If you promise your lama something and not complete due to sheer laziness, distractions and procrastination or wrong influences from others, whether you approach your lama regarding it or not, you still take from your lama. Whether you ‘hide’ and not say something or give excuses to your lama openly about not completing it, it is the same. You are taking from your lama. Taking what? You take his trust, hope and belief in YOU away. You take the years of love, Dharma and care he has bestowed upon you and your family. Whatever loans, borrowed items or properties, have spiritual integrity and return to your lama and others and never make them wait. Before you buy yourself this or that, pay your spiritual and material loans off. Don’t carry with you. Daily it collects karma. Money can be the one defining factor people can lose all trust in you and whatever you say will hold no weight. The more we make others wait, the more we collect demerit to suffer financially in the future no matter how ‘rich’ we are now. Think: cause and effect. Don’t lose your lama’s trust, belief and hopes in you. Never burn your bridges with your lama who only has the genuine best in his mind for you from the onset. From the first day a genuine lama meets you, he is already planning steps to improve your mind, projections and situations. Not change you or who you are but bring enlightened views into your world to make your world and the world better. The more you cooperate, the more a lama can help. Cooperation by being consistent and completing your tasks (big/small) and updating are the keys. Your lama has never hurt you. Your lama will never do that. Your genuine Dharma brothers and sisters will not hurt you. Who hurts you is yourself and ‘friends’ who entice you and distract you to materialism. That is not wrong statement because from day one, Lord Buddha’s teachings is all about giving up attachments. You were not fooled. You were taught this essence of the Buddha’s teachings from day one. Lam Rim chapter one is Death and Renunciation by Tsongkapa, Pabongka and Atisha.
Whatever works you start or volunteer in, do not ever have the lama or others remind you to do it, show up on time with it and completed. For example if you volunteer as a writer, then show up and write. If you volunteer to garden, then keep doing it and don’t fade. Don’t find reasons to fail. Do not let it fade after a while. Do not hope everyone forgot your duty, they just keep quiet, because they lost respect for you. But you can gain it back by doing it no matter how long you lagged already. If you volunteer to build, then build, and don’t slink away. If you volunteer to do any work big or small, then do the work and complete it. Never be reminded at any age.. This is good spirituality but also good for our lives. Not good for you or your lama to remind you. If he or his assistants or your department head have to remind you, don’t see them as enemies, but they are kind enough to remind you. The day they stop reminding you or the day your lama engages skillful means to stop reminding you or even speaking to you is WHEN YOU ACTUALLY HAVE TO WORRY.. and not leave it like that, but do something. Everyone may or may not be watching, but karma is. If there is no karma, then when you have frightening spirits afflict you, and pujas are done, how come the situation is rectified? We have illness or obstacles and when we do pujas, they get cleared and we see results. This is clear indication there is karma.
On social media, be humble. Talk more on spiritual subjects. Our posts on social media should serve to ‘enlighten’ others on our spirituality and not drag them back down into the quicksand of materialism. Why? Because we want Kechara to grow. Want our spirituality to grow. We want those we love to grow. We want others to grow. Don’t try to show how handsome we are always, our wealth, good food, spas, trips, branded items and tons of selfies alone….and then you are known primarily for just that. Show more spiritual things and the spiritual path. We are marketing our spirituality to get the resources we need to build. We are sincere and we have done so much. How? By sharing our spirituality and not our materialistic attachments and hence got the support of many- we must continue down this road. We improved and attracted others by our spirituality ultimately. How? By showing them our personal spiritual growth. If we didn’t grow much, it will reflect in our jumpy minds, lack of results and lack of results in our departments. This all can change. YOU CAN CHANGE IT. SO CHANGE IT. If we show we are filled with resources and personal wealth, it might not match the image of the majority of Kecharians and give the wrong impressions to others and they will not donate. We can post personal things and why not. But we have a goal, which is to make Kechara grow and be global and these are the steps to accomplish this in the public eye. Less of ourselves and more of spirituality/depts./etc is the method to engage in. People will say you don’t need their donations because you always show eating in great restaurants, branded items, trips and the such. This is not trying to infringe on your personal freedom to post as you like or live as you like, but to say we have a goal and this is the method to achieve it.. Show more on social media of the people in your departments. Praise the other departments is important. Be department centric in work but in praise and friendship, unite all departments into ONE KECHARA. Some of you plan KFR as your home, then advert your home more to build it up. We need to sustain. How to sustain. We need stipends. Some complain stipend are not enough – I apologize, but what are you doing about it for everyone’s stipend and not just your own? Are you finding donations or businesses. Don’t sit there and ask for more, but find a way to get more for everyone. You are supposed to be spiritual, so show spirituality from your social media pages. That is the most important message you should send out to the world. That is the most important message you should send to yourselves. We are here for spiritual progress. Don’t regress or go backwards. You’ve come a long way. Don’t waste it. Thank you.
Whatever works you have in the departments and you have volunteered or stipened to do so, don’t have others chase you. You must do it. Integrity. In the secular world, no one should chase you for what you should be doing or promised to do and they would not tolerate it. All the more so in the spiritual sector you should do it well. It is for self development and that is the whole reason you are here. If they have to remind and chase you, then you open the gates to failure and loss of respect. Don’t show anger or avoid others’ calls when they are forced to ask you why you are not doing your job as promised because you didn’t do it. Don’t cover others who don’t do their jobs because the message you send them is it’s ok to fail and they may not always have you to cover when bigger failures come to them in the future. They wouldn’t be able to cope because they have been trained to fail. The people who do ask you what happened care about the organization and you. Don’t make exceptions for relatives. Be fair always. Don’t only speak up for your friends, spouse, kids, parents, but speak up for the benefit of everyone. Be fair. Being fair is being spiritual too. Perhaps you don’t care so you don’t perform, but don’t blast the people who do care and query you. They care. Don’t forget that. Be grateful. Don’t lose the people that really care. Never never never burn your bridges. You can only shout or show bad behavior to people who care, those who don’t you wouldn’t dare. But don’t take this for granted. You don’t know what life has in store for you.
How much Dharma your department has is 100% a reflection of the Head of Department. How much manpower you can sustain is a direct reflection of the Head of Department. How much results or output from each department is a direct result of the Department Head also. Many or most (with some exceptions) came to Kechara for Dharma, to have them in the departments and not give Dharma more or inspire or arrange more Dharma for them is not correct or fair. Almost using them. Sorry. Whether they like Dharma or not, is up to them, but you have it available is your job. This of course does not apply to our lovely non Buddhist staff and volunteers. Be a good BOD and pastor on your term. Leave a good taste in the mouths of the future leaders.
As spiritual director it is my responsibility to gently and politely remind everyone of their duties and what sometimes I see must be amended. Please do not be offended. May my reminders in the future become an extinct species (LOL) because you are doing your part.
Choji lah’s visit has been a success so far. Choji lah is VERY COMFORTABLE AND VERY HAPPY HERE he told me himself. He finds the environment very suitable and said we will grow. Of course if we do our part to grow and not wait for it to grow itself. Those of you who have sent people to help or volunteered yourself so far, I rejoice for your service to Dorje Shugden. Remember, don’t ask what you can do or just wait to be told, get involved. There is so much to do in KFR even not directly related to Choji lah now and always. Don’t say when you are done with this or that, then you will do more. If you don’t do more now, maybe by the time you are ready to do more, there will be no Kechara to do anything for or your time has passed. Open one’s eyes, ears and heart and look for work to do and dedicate it to your big day which is not far away. Dedicate all your merits to the big day.
Do read this message to your department people. You do not have to forward to them, but read to them gathered as a group please. Make sure they are in the know about my message here. Read it slow and nicely. Would be good if translated into Chinese too. I mean well by this message. Please appreciate my good thoughts, my good intentions and my wish for your success. Please appreciate this as I do you.
All that I say although direct or may seem critical, I do not mean it in this way. I don’t think we need to mince words back and forth. I love you and most of you love me and we’ve had a long spiritual relationship. We’ve come a long way. I would like to work with you for the rest of my life and I would like to together with you bring tremendous benefits to others as we have been doing and we can reach out to more. Since meeting the Dharma, Our mission in life is not to gather more personally, but to release more. Since meeting the Dharma we have to let go more of our attachments and materialism because that is the true path to our goals. We cannot take anything with us. Nothing. Why gather so much then? This is what Lord Buddha has taught us. We should trust Buddha more than our wrong views and attachments.
Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
(This can apply to any student or person in the dharma anywhere. Thanks)
No sex or alcohol to ensure clear mind and body ready for training to become full oracle
Clearing of bodies via yamantaka or hyagriva retreats or both
Lower deities of mandala will enter cause discomfort to body
gradually higher deities enter to make body stronger
before DS enter KM will enter to ensure body is fit for purpose
Bodies sore and numb after trance at training
Full oracle – no traces
During training 72000 wind channels feel pain like fire
Guru devotion – essential support for training and trance
Special throne – with foot rest, for proctector. Regalia made from finest silk, head gear gold silver, copper and precious stones
Gyaling and cymbals welcome oracle
Black t and serkym to protector
oracle rainments – tibetan chuba (lay oracle) or monk robes (monk oracle) first piece of garment is the long golden robe o DS made of fine silk, 2 long sleeves to represent his armour, on top of long yellow robe is the toolay, top garments worn by deities in tibetan buddhism made with brocade and sewn together to form a triangular shape both front and back, then the breast plate, a melong/tibetan mirror, to see into the future to give future predictions, knocking on the plate signify compliance, very pleased with person he is talking to
Following with 7 pieces of cloth (long rainment) offered by the 7th Dalai Lama consisting of the 5 colors of dharani buddhas + silver and gold worn around the neck – offering by 7th DL signifying protector of gelugpa school.
Then he dons the 3 genzen or victory banners behind his back, tied at level of his waist.
He then sits on the throne and verses of invocation are recited. The last part of the garment he wears is the hat but only after oracle takes full trance
Chant master begins with guru yoga of Lama Tsongkhapa, then self generation of Yamantaka and visualisation o DS mandala, together with the cymbals and gyalings and other ritual music, DS is invoked from his palace. Spontaneous trance takes place by DS at different levels. At full trance head gear is put on and tied very tightly, DS will brandish his sword and do a warriors dance to clear obstacles for those present and for growth of buddha dharma is general. after that he sis on the throne and monk offering in tall lama cup tea to DS, the tsok offerings which is received with vajra and bell, that of a tantric master. Ather this a line of hign lamas, abbot and other incarnations will fall in line to make offering of the mandala, body, speech and mind of the buddha to DS. Long red string of protection and blessings offered back by DS. then normal monks and lay people line up to offer. after the DS will exit and his chief master KM will enter. KM will proceed to make offering to high lamas after his ritual dances, on behalf of the great king DS.
usually DS will read questions and his minister will answer. KM can do healing when high lamas manifest sickness, can exorcise, blessings (Panglung Kuten tradition)
Duldzin Dagpa Gyaltsen trance is peaceful, don like monk with high lama coat and Lama Tsongkapa pandit hat, teaching throne, have a red silk napkin wiping to say something, clearing obstacles of his sight to see into future to help sentient beings. Oracles in present day : Ari Kuten, in America successor to Choyang Duldzin Kuten (from Gaden), takes trance of both wrathful and peaceful form of DS, then we have Panglung Kuten, 6th in line of Panglung Hermitage (lineage) in Lhasa, near Sera Monastery, we also have Simla Kuten, student of Kyabje Ling Dorje Chang, who serves Ling Rinpoche daily. Also have Dromo Kuten from Dungkar Monastery, personal oracle monk of Dromo Geshe Rinpoche
Why Lama asks questions of oracles when they themselves are fully enlightened? For students benefits who not have pure faith in their lama and lama showing humility of tantric powers and clairvoyance.
DS used to recognise incarnation. Power of clairvoyance of DS.
Choyang and Panglung seeked to find incarnation of Trijiang Rinpoche
In 1996, His Holiness the Dalai Lama banned the practice of Dorje Shugden. His Holiness himself had practised Dorje Shugden for 30 over years, after it was given to him by his teachers, many of whom also practiced Dorje Shugden and in fact propagated it all over pre-1959* Tibet (the year His Holiness the Dalai Lama left Tibet to seek refuge in India).
We understand that for those new to the issue, it can be a confusing subject. The strength of feeling from both sides of the problem has resulted in a lot of misinformation and rumors. For those who are not Buddhist or who are unfamiliar with Tibetan Buddhism, hearing about the ban will give rise to many questions – why did the Dalai Lama ban this deity? Isn’t the Dalai Lama a paragon of human rights? Why do people send vulgar messages to one another in trying to protect or defend His Holiness?
Trying to read up and research about the ban can also result in confusion, since oftentimes secular issues are combined with the spiritual. It can be hard for those who are not familiar with Tibetan Buddhism to discern between the two, and to appreciate the spiritual background behind the ban.
So here we answer for you some simple questions about the ban on Dorje Shugden, using logic and evidence. We offer this information to you with the hope that it brings clarity to your understanding about the ban. Our intention is not to convert you to the practice of Dorje Shugden, but simply for you to understand the reasons behind the ban, why it is so illogical and therefore why it must be lifted.
There is no need for you to be a practitioner of Dorje Shugden in order to understand that the ban causes great suffering to everyone involved, and that it has driven a deep wedge in the Tibetan community. We are not asking for everyone to agree with our beliefs but for your help to remove the ban and the discrimination that arises as a result of this ban, so that everyone can believe whatever they want without repercussion or fear of repercussion.
For 18 years, countless Tibetan Buddhists around the world have suffered because of the ban, and countless others remain confused about how this conflict can be considered Buddhist. Many hurtful words have been exchanged by both sides, and this needs to stop. For these reasons, we humbly request His Holiness the Dalai Lama to lift the ban on Dorje Shugden.
Key Questions: Is there a ban? What is this conflict about? How did the ban come about? How is the ban enforced? Why can His Holiness the Dalai Lama not do this? What is with all this name-calling?
Yes, there is a ban. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been filmed many times instructing Tibetans (both lay and ordained) that those who do not give up the practice of Dorje Shugden should be kicked out of the monasteries.
Since 1996, four resolutions have been passed by the Tibetan Parliament urging Tibetans to uphold His Holiness’ instructions through whatever means possible. Memos and notices have been circulated throughout Tibetan government departments instructing that employees should give up the practice of Dorje Shugden or face dismissal; signs have been erected throughout the Tibetan settlements (and indeed, around the world) denying Dorje Shugden practitioners entry into shops, restaurants, clinics, schools, temples, etc. People who protest against the ban have been identified as traitors to Tibetan society, and have had their faces, names, personal details and addresses published in lists on the Tibetan leadership’s websites.
The prevailing atmosphere of fear in the Tibetan communities, the separation of the monasteries, and the constant online and physical attacks against Dorje Shugden practitioners are all evidence of the ban against Dorje Shugden.
The Dalai Lama banned an ancient practice, and the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) have taken it upon themselves to enforce this ban through whatever means possible. The CTA refers to the Tibetan leadership which is based in Dharamsala, North India.
How did the ban come about?
Since 1996, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has spoken on countless occasions against Dorje Shugden. In July 1996, the Central Tibetan Administration’s constitution was changed, without a referendum, to include the ban on Dorje Shugden. There was no vote, no Dorje Shugden practitioners and leaders were consulted, and there was no dialogue, debate or discussion held with the people. Thus, the people who would be most affected by this decision were not informed at all, and the policies were implemented without their consent, by a government that claims to be a democratic one.
Since then, in a move reminiscent of the Cultural Revolution in China, monks have been forced to swear out of the practice in front of thousands of their compatriots and threatened with expulsion should they refuse to do so. The Tibetan leadership have also organised riots against Dorje Shugden practitioners, to intimidate them into giving up the practice. Those who refuse to participate in these riots are threatened with fines and expulsions, or are accused of being sympathetic towards Shugden practitioners (and therefore may face discrimination and accusations of being a traitor themselves).
Dorje Shugden practitioners, both lay and ordained, who refuse to give up their practice are harassed and a great stigma befalls their families. They carry this stigma with them wherever in the world they are; stories abound of Dorje Shugden practitioners living in Australia, Taiwan, Switzerland and the United States who are harassed by the local Tibetan communities and pressured into leaving the area.
How is the ban enforced?
In general, a combination of fear, intimidation, peer and community pressure, and violence are used to enforce the ban. More specific examples of enforcement include:
Signs are put up in the Tibetan settlements saying non-Shugden people should not associate with Shugden people. This trend has spilled over to Tibetan Buddhist centres around the world – most recently, some Dharma centres in Singapore with these signs at their entrances
Dorje Shugden practitioners are not allowed to hold positions in the civil service or any kind of roles in the Tibetan leadership
As recently as 2014, the Central Tibetan Administration published lists of Dorje Shugden practitioners on their official website. These lists included their photos, names and addresses so Tibetans can identify them easily. What reason would you need such detailed information about Shugden worshippers, if not to direct some harm or violence against them?
Dorje Shugden practitioners have been violently attacked regardless of their age. As recently as 2013, an 84-year old monk was attacked and stabbed by five masked men bearing knives. During the attack, they said nothing so as not to reveal their true intentions. After the attack, they ran away without taking any valuables, therefore dispelling the idea the attack was part of a botched robbery.
As recently as 2014, those in support of the ban have violently taken over Dorje Shugden monasteries upon the death of their caretakers
Medical treatment is denied to Dorje Shugden practitioners and signs are erected outside clinics clearly stating this
Dorje Shugden practitioners are told they will not be served in restaurants and shops
Dorje Shugden practitioners are banned from certain temples and from attending His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teachings
Dorje Shugden practitioners have been denied refugee status at the Tibetan reception centre in Nepal
Dorje Shugden monks have their homes pelted with rocks
Dorje Shugden monks are denied monastic identity cards showing that they belong to a particular monastery
Dorje Shugden practitioners, on a daily basis, face online threats, attacks and vulgar verbal abuse directed at them
Privately, many Dorje Shugden practitioners receive nasty messages and publicly, anti-Shugden people tell everyone that they should boycott those who rely on Dorje Shugden
The Tibetan leadership has organised riots of 3000-4000 people against Dorje Shugden practitioners who were peacefully conducting their pujas in their prayer hall
Dorje Shugden practitioners are forced to swear out of the practice in front of thousands of people
Wherever they emigrate, the local Tibetan population creates visa problems for Dorje Shugden practitioners, harasses them at their homes and dharma centres, and ostracises their children in school
Those who are not Dorje Shugden practitioners but show sympathy, support or even some kind of understanding of what Dorje Shugden practitioners go through, are themselves subjected to pressure until they agree that no one should be allowed to practice Dorje Shugden
Relatives of Dorje Shugden practitioners are pressured for their relatives’ practice. Sometimes, the pressure is so great that either Dorje Shugden practitioners areforced to leave their homes in order to protect their family, or their families kick them out altogether for refusing to give up the practice
Dorje Shugden practitioners are told they will go to hell for their practice
Dorje Shugden practitioners are told that they are unlearned in Buddhism because they are Western/not Tibetan and have no right to comment
Dorje Shugden practitioners are accused of working for the Chinese governmentor being Communist agents. Within Tibetan society, this accusation is tantamount to being labelled a traitor and the stigma of this accusation is so great that anyone labelled as such is immediately assumed to be against His Holiness the Dalai Lama and working for the ‘enemy’
Why can His Holiness the Dalai Lama not do this?
Because the reasons for the ban are not logical and because the ban is a breach of human rights, both on a national and universal level. The Tibetan leadership operates out of India and because they are not an officially-recognised government by any nation in the world, they have to abide by the Indian constitution. The Indian constitution guarantees freedom of worship; the ban therefore goes against the Indian constitution.
India is also a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which also states that everyone should have equal opportunity to practice their faith without suffering fear of discrimination.
From a spiritual perspective, His Holiness the Dalai Lama is technically not the spiritual leader of all Tibetans and therefore does not have the authority to decide on spiritual matters for all Tibetans. Within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, there are four schools or traditions – Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu and Gelug – which each have their own spiritual leaders. It is these leaders who provide guidance to those practicing under their various traditions.
As there is no legitimate nor scriptural basis to ban the practice, Tibetans are told that Dorje Shugden is anti-Dalai Lama and against the Tibetan cause.
The reasons that the CTA use to enforce the ban on Dorje Shugden touches on a very emotional topic for Tibetans. For the majority of Tibetans, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan cause is their raison d’être – the very reason for their existence. Thus when they are told that something threatens this reason, it is easy to see why they would be very enthusiastic about enforcing the ban. As a result of the CTA’s misinformation, Dorje Shugden has been made to look like a threat to their very existence. Therefore enforcing the Shugden ban is not just about Dorje Shugden himself, but about defending the reason for their existence.
Since the CTA has not presented a balanced view of the issue, people have not been allowed to make their own decisions regarding Dorje Shugden. As a result, many non-Shugden practising Tibetans who are not highly educated and otherwise unable to express their feelings about the ban, have taken to name-calling and directing vulgarities and violence against Shugden practitioners. Their anger has also been encouraged by the Tibetan leadership who have taken every opportunity in the last 18 years to speak about Dorje Shugden in a derogatory manner and remind their people of the reasons for the ban.
This name-calling and violence has spread from Tibetan society into the West, where His Holiness the Dalai Lama has worked tirelessly for the last 60 years to raise awareness about the Tibetan situation. As a result, hundreds of thousands of people have come to strongly identify with the Tibetan cause, or with His Holiness the Dalai Lama as their teacher. Because of this, you will find that there are Western Buddhist practitioners who are very enthusiastic about enforcing the ban.
According to His Holiness, Dorje Shugden is banned because he is a spirit and relying on him shortens His Holiness’ life and harms the Tibetan cause; and those who continue to rely on Dorje Shugden should be expelled from the monasteries. As a result, those who did not have the resources nor ability to examine further took the ban on face value. But with all due respect, His Holiness’ reasons do not make sense if we examine them more closely.
REASON #1: Dorje Shugden is a spirit
This reason can be countered in many ways.
Tibetans believe His Holiness the Dalai Lama is Chenrezig, the Buddha of Compassion. If Dorje Shugden is a spirit as it is claimed, why hasn’t His Holiness simply bound and destroyed him, and sent his consciousness to a pure land?
Many rituals exist within the Buddhist faith to allow for this and there are many examples of spirits being subdued in this way. For example, Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) is famous for his subjugation of spirits. When he first arrived in Tibet, the land was very wild with many spirits roaming and creating obstacles for the spread of the Dharma. One such spirit was Nechung whom Guru Rinpoche subdued and bound to serve the Dharma.
So why hasn’t His Holiness destroyed Dorje Shugden if the practice is as harmful as he makes it out to be? If Dorje Shugden is a harmful spirit as it is claimed, then destroying him would stop Tibetans from being harmed by Dorje Shugden. It would also stop Dorje Shugden from creating negative karma by harming others. That would be the compassionate thing to do for both Tibetans and Dorje Shugden.
Is it that His Holiness, a ritual master, is unskilled in doing this? It does not make sense that someone who is viewed as a Buddha cannot overcome a spirit; someone who is viewed as a Buddha should be MORE powerful than a spirit. So going back to the original premise – if His Holiness is a Buddha, and Dorje Shugden is a spirit as claimed, His Holiness should be able to bind Dorje Shugden. Since His Holiness the Dalai Lama has not done so, it can only mean that Dorje Shugden is as powerful as His Holiness i.e. he is also a Buddha himself.
From a more scriptural point-of-view, according to the Buddhist belief system, a Buddha is a being who is free from karma. If you can be harmed, you have the karma to receive the harm. Since His Holiness the Dalai Lama has not yet bound or destroyed Dorje Shugden, it can only mean that Dorje Shugden does not have the karma to be harmed or destroyed i.e. he is a Buddha.
Being a Buddha, His Holiness definitely possesses clairvoyance. So how is it that for the 30 years that he practiced Dorje Shugden, His Holiness did not see Dorje Shugden’s nature as a spirit, and overnight, suddenly realised that he is? It cannot be that His Holiness suddenly developed clairvoyance; he was born a Buddha and possessed this ability since birth. So to say that it took him 30 years to see that Dorje Shugden is a spirit is illogical.
Countless Buddhist masters from all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism (Gelug, Sakya, Nyingma, Kagyu) have relied on Dorje Shugden over the last 400 years. It is impossible that NONE of those masters were attained, NONE of them could see that Dorje Shugden is a spirit, and ALL of them were fooled by Dorje Shugden. It cannot be possible that only His Holiness has the clairvoyance, knowledge and wisdom to check and see that Dorje Shugden is a spirit, and that no one else in Tibet possesses these qualities or abilities.
Similarly, it cannot be that no one within the Tibetan Buddhist system possesses the power, ability and ritual knowledge to destroy a being that is supposedly justa spirit. If the fear of Dorje Shugden is so great, then Buddhist masters from all traditions should gather to subjugate Dorje Shugden and end the fear once and for all. Why have they not gathered and if they have, why have they not been successful if Dorje Shugden is only a spirit?
His Holiness is a pure monk. According to the Buddha himself, those who hold even their refuge vows very well (let alone their monk vows) are protected from all forms of harm, including spirit harm. Therefore, if the claim that Dorje Shugden is a spirit is true (which it is not), then His Holiness who is a pure monk has nothing to be afraid of because his vows protect him. And those who are not monks but hold their refuge vows well also have nothing to be afraid of.
According to the teachings of His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche (the tutor of His Holiness the Dalai Lama), Dorje Shugden comes from a great incarnation line of lamas. These lamas were famed for their attainments and scholarship, and had thousands of students who relied upon them for teachings. Up until today, monks from Drepung Loseling and Gaden Shartse monasteries continue to study texts authored by one of Dorje Shugden’s previous incarnations, Panchen Sonam Drakpa.
It is one thing to teach from texts how we can achieve enlightenment; it is an entirely different level to author and compose texts describing the path to achieving enlightenment, AND have the entire monastic community accept these texts as being genuine and authentic. Therefore it is not possible that someone of this caliber (who composed texts that lead us to enlightenment) can reincarnate as a spirit and it is not possible that the monastic community would study texts authored by a spirit as part of their core syllabus.
REASON #2: The practice of Dorje Shugden shortens the Dalai Lama’s life
Tibetans believe His Holiness is Chenrezig, the Buddha of Compassion. According to the Buddhist belief system, a Buddha is a being who is free from karma. To be harmed, you must have the karma to receive harm.
Therefore since His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a Buddha and free from karma, he cannot be harmed. Thus his life cannot be shortened by anyone, let alone a spirit (which is what anti-Shugden people claim Dorje Shugden to be).
Prior to the ban, millions of people practiced Dorje Shugden including the sangha of the three great Gelug monasteries of Gaden, Sera and Drepung. None of them ever prayed for His Holiness the Dalai Lama to be harmed, and since the time of the 5th Dalai Lama, when Dorje Shugden was first relied upon, none of the Dalai Lamas have ever come to any harm because of Dorje Shugden or his practice.
Likewise, according to eyewitness accounts from those who were directly involved with His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s escape into India, it was Dorje Shugden who saved the Dalai Lama’s life. It was Dorje Shugden who, through an oracle medium, advised His Holiness to leave Tibet and even specified which route to take. It was also a thangka of Dorje Shugden that His Holiness carried on his back as he made his way out of Tibet and into India.
REASON #3: The practice of Dorje Shugden harms the Tibetan cause
Dorje Shugden was practised by the majority of Gelug lamas for 400 years withno adverse geopolitical effects. So how is it that suddenly the practice harms the Tibetan cause, when it did not for four centuries prior?
It is ridiculous to say that one deity can cause the loss of an entire country. Those who claim that Tibet was lost because of Dorje Shugden are also saying that all the Buddhas (Shakyamuni, Guru Rinpoche, Lama Tsongkhapa, etc.) and attained lamas in Tibet were not powerful enough to stop him.
It would also be saying that a deity that they call a spirit is more powerful than all the Buddhas and that even today, these Buddhas are still not powerful enough to help resolve the Tibetan situation.
To say that one deity can cause the loss of a whole country is to deny that karma exists, and that one spirit (as he is claimed to be) can override the karma of six million Tibetans. If a Buddha cannot override the karma of six million Tibetans to resolve the Tibetan situation, how is it logical to claim that a spirit can do so?
The official Protectoress of Tibet is actually Palden Lhamo and not Dorje Shugden. Therefore should the Tibetan community wish to hold any deity responsible for their political failures and for failing to protect Tibet, logically it would be Palden Lhamo. This is NOT to say that Palden Lhamo or any of the hundreds of protector deities should be blamed; it is to say that there is no logical reason why it is Dorje Shugden’s responsibility, and not Palden Lhamo’s, for the resolution of the Tibetan situation. In fact, the responsibility for the current state of the Tibetan situation should lie squarely on the shoulders of the Tibetan leadership.
REASON #4: Relying on Dorje Shugden is harmful to Buddhist practice
The Tibetan leadership claim that Dorje Shugden is a jealous spirit who harms practitioners who do not keep their commitments. They say that Dorje Shugden takes revenge on people who stop engaging in his practice.
Logically, this does not make sense because His Holiness the Dalai Lama stopped relying on Dorje Shugden in 1996. Yet for the last 18 years, not a single ounce of harm has come to him and His Holiness continues to be very strong, healthy and still travels the world tirelessly to teach Buddhism.
Similarly, thousands of other Buddhist practitioners have given up the practice of Dorje Shugden as a direct result of the ban. If Dorje Shugden were just a jealous spirit who seeks revenge, then surely harm would have fallen on these ex-practitioners who do so much to disparage and destroy Dorje Shugden’s name. Yet no harm has come to them and in fact, they continue to be very vocal offline and online about their hatred and dislike for Dorje Shugden.
It is claimed that when we rely on Dorje Shugden, we break our refuge vows and we are no longer Buddhists. Now, His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself practiced Dorje Shugden for over 30 years. If his reliance on Dorje Shugden meant that he was not a Buddhist during this time, then all the teachings he gave to millions of people were not valid.
Similarly, His Holiness’ own teachers relied on Dorje Shugden for their entire lives (60-80 years). If relying on Dorje Shugden means all of them were not Buddhists, then all the teachings they gave throughout their entire lives (including those they gave to His Holiness the Dalai Lama) are no longer valid. This would mean His Holiness received teachings from unqualified teachers and is therefore not qualified himself to teach.
Thus, if people wish to receive teachings from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and believe his teachings to be authentic, it is not logical for them to simultaneously believe that Dorje Shugden’s practice is harmful to our Buddhist practice.
According to the Tibetan leadership, relying on Dorje Shugden results in us going to the Three Lower Realms (i.e. being reborn as an animal, hungry ghost or in one of the hells). However, contrary to these claims, many Dorje Shugden lamas have been reborn in a perfect human bodyand their incarnations were recognised by His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself.
For example, His Holiness the Dalai Lama recognised the reincarnation of his own guru, His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche. This incarnation, known as His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche, now resides in Vermont, USA as the spiritual guide of Trijang Buddhist Institute. Likewise, His Holiness the Dalai Lama also recognised the reincarnation of Lama Yeshe, known as Lama Osel, who relied on Dorje Shugden until the day he passed away.
If these Dorje Shugden-practicing lamas went to the Three Lower Realms (as the Tibetan leadership claims), then it should not have been possible for His Holiness the Dalai Lama to recognise their reincarnations.
REASON #5: Dorje Shugden’s practice promotes sectarianism and division
Many of the Gelug liturgies propitiating Dorje Shugden’s assistance contain prayers composed by great Sakya and Kagyu masters. It is not logical for a practice which incorporates prayers from other lineages and traditions to be considered sectarian.
Furthermore, the claim that Dorje Shugden takes revenge on Gelug practitioners who rely on practices from other lineages also does not make sense.
Dorje Shugden originally began as a Sakya practice. From the 18th Century onwards, the Sakyas starting with Morchen Kunga Lhundrub regarded Dorje Shugden as an enlightened being. Some quick facts about the Sakya tradition of Dorje Shugden practice:
Morchen Kunga Lhundrub composed a Sakya prayer (kangsol) to invoke upon Dorje Shugden.
The 30th Sakya Trizin Sonam Rinchen included Dorje Shugden in the pantheon of Sakya protectors. He placed Dorje Shugden together with Setrap and Tsiu Marpo, collectively calling them Gyalpo Sum (Three Kings).
The 31st Sakya Trizin Kunga Lodro composed prayers to Dorje Shugden including a wrathful torma offering called “Swirl of Perfect Sense Offerings”. He also first coined the term ‘Shugden Rig Nga’ to refer to Dorje Shugden and his four cardinal emanations.
The 37th Sakya Trizin Kunga Nyingpo was considered to be an incarnation of Dorje Shugden.
The 39th Sakya Trizin Dragshul Trinley Rinchen recognised Dorje Shugden as being of the same nature as Chenrezig / Avalokiteshvara in his writings.
Although the Sakyas today no longer rely as heavily on Dorje Shugden as they used to, this historical information clearly shows that Dorje Shugden’s practice will benefit anyone and everyone regardless of faith, tradition and self-created divisions.
In Geshe Lhundrub Sopa’s biography, which includes a foreword from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, he states clearly that thousands of students received teachings from His Holiness Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche. Amongst this corpus of teachings and practices was Dorje Shugden, which Pabongka Rinpoche’s students in turn taught to their own students.
Therefore it would not be untrue to say that Dorje Shugden was historically relied upon by the vast majority of Gelugpa practitioners, and was an accepted part of the Gelug monasteries. Those who did not feel an affinity with Dorje Shugden were not forced to engage in his practice, and those who relied on him chose to do so willingly. There was no need for separate monasteries to be identified as Shugden-practicing and non-Shugden practicing monasteries.
Considering that there were no divisions in Tibetan Buddhism until the ban came about in 1996, therefore it was the ban that created division in the Tibetan and Tibetan Buddhist community, and not Dorje Shugden himself.
Why has the ban been enforced with so much enthusiasm?
We recognise that those who enforce the ban come from all walks of life and will therefore have all kinds of reasons for enforcing the ban. These are some of the more common reasons as to why the Tibetan leadership and their supporters have been so enthusiastic about enforcing the ban on Dorje Shugden.
REASON #1: They need a scapegoat
In the 60 years since Tibetans first fled into exile, the Tibetan leadership has not been able to arrange for meaningful dialogue with the Chinese leadership. While the Tibetan leadership continues to rely on the kindness and generosity of sponsors, the Chinese leadership have transformed their nation into a global economic powerhouse.
As we move further away from the events of 1959, it becomes increasingly clear that goodwill towards the Tibetan leadership is waning, and they are losing their influence to pressure other nations into intervening in the Tibetan situation. To distract from their lack of accomplishments over the last 60 years, a reason for their failures had to be found and Dorje Shugden became an easy target.
Thus, to distract the Tibetan people from real and immediate issues (for example, the persisting low literacy rates amongst Tibetan adults) theyintentionally linked Dorje Shugden practitioners to China without any proof. Doing so achieves a number of objectives.
First, it is an easy way to make Dorje Shugden people the enemy, by associating them with an even greater ‘enemy’ which is China. It gives the Tibetan community an outlet for their frustrations. Instead of directing their anger at their leadership for failing to resolve the Tibetan situation, the anger and emotion is directed towards a tangible enemy – Dorje Shugden practitioners.
Second, it distracts people from learning about Dorje Shugden. When they are blinded by this association with China, they will be distracted from looking beyond the accusations to examine if the ban has any scriptural basis.
Finally, creating a false association with China is a convenient explanation for the leadership’s failure to effectively provide for their community on a day-to-day basis. Saying that Dorje Shugden lamas and practitioners are paid by China is a convenient method of explaining why Dorje Shugden monasteries and their lamas’ works continue to grow, whilst the remainder of the Tibetan community continues in much the same way it has for the last 60 years, with minimal improvements to their lot.
However, it is ridiculous to say that Dorje Shugden people are paid by China when there are practitioners from all across the globe with no relations to China whatsoever. Is it logical that the Chinese leadership would feel so strongly about the Dorje Shugden issue that they are paying millions of Dorje Shugden practitioners to keep up the practice? Even logistically speaking, this accusation does not make sense. How would the Chinese leadership even get in touch with millions of Dorje Shugden practitioners to disburse the funds? Not a single pay slip providing proof of payment has ever been produced although this accusation has been in existence for the last 18 years.
REASON #2: To diminish the influence of Dorje Shugden lamas
In pre-1959 Tibet, Dorje Shugden lamas commanded the respect, power and held authority over millions of Tibetans. For example, His Holiness the Panchen Lama (second only to the Dalai Lama) relied on Dorje Shugden, as did His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, who commanded the respect and loyalty of hundreds of thousands of Tibetans in the Chatreng region.
In a post-1959 world, the Tibetan leadership would have needed to consolidate power into one individual and their biggest obstacle to achieving this would have been the influence of Dorje Shugden lamas. Thus they chose to destroy the reputation of Dorje Shugden lamas by labelling their faith as demon-worship, anti-Dalai Lama and anti-Tibet.
REASON #3: To break people’s hero worship of His Holiness
His Holiness recognises that the success of the Tibetan movement (for better or for worse) relies largely on his global reputation as a paragon of human rights, universal compassion and virtue. After his passing however, with no succession plan in place, it may never be possible for exiled Tibetans to return to their homeland. There is no other Tibetan leader as charismatic as His Holiness who can influence the opinion of world leaders.
By implementing this ban and publicising it, His Holiness makes it very difficult for many people to continue their blind hero worship of him. It forces many to break their reliance on him as the sole hope for the success of the Tibetan cause. That is, the ban forces most thinking people to wonder why His Holiness the Dalai Lama who teaches compassion and tolerance, would be so intolerant of a particular faith or practice.
REASON #4: To test real practitioners
Dorje Shugden practitioners have suffered constantly for the last 18 years solely because they rely on a deity that was arbitrarily deemed traitorous to the Tibetan situation and people. The ban has made it clear who will give up something for personal gain, and who are loyal, trustworthy and reliable.
REASON #5: For personal vendettas and self-interest
Some may use the ban as an excuse to act out personal vendettas and to further their own political and financial self-interests. Support for the ban is necessary to rise in the ranks of the Tibetan leadership, and to gain personal favours from those in power. It is easy to imagine how a person may be accused of being a Dorje Shugden practitioner if they are viewed as an obstacle to someone else’s rise to power and money.
On a more mundane level, within Tibetan communities, individuals may use the ban to act out their personal vendettas against one another by being unnecessarily forceful in implementing the ban, just to ‘get back’ at someone they do not like.
REASON #6: Lack of knowledge
Many lay Tibetans are unlearned and untrained in Buddhist philosophy. Although they may speak and read Tibetan in a lay context, it is very different to read, contemplate and understand Tibetan in a philosophical or monastic context. Thus most lay Tibetans – young and old – lack the ability to research and check for themselves if the statements and accusations being made against Dorje Shugden are true or false according to the scriptures. Instead, they rely on what they hear or what they have been told.
It is also important to acknowledge that most Tibetans have been raised in an environment where they are taught that any and all statements coming from a ‘trusted’ source (like their leadership) can be taken as unquestionable fact. This gives rise to the particularly virulent enforcement of the ban.
REASON #7: Silence equals consent
Lack of knowledge has resulted in the virulent enforcement of the ban. It has also resulted in another more passive form of enforcement – silence. For those who do not know why the ban is wrong, they may feel they have no choice but to go along with it. As more and more choose not to speak up because they are unequipped to debate against the ban, it encourages others to remain silent.
When everyone remains silent and there is little overt opposition to the ban, it encourages the more vocal supporters to continue with what they are doing since no one is standing up to them.
REASON #8: Genuine, sincere devotion to the Dalai Lama
We should also recognise that there are those who are genuinely sincere in their belief in His Holiness’ reasons, and feverishly enforce the ban as a demonstration of their devotion to the His Holiness the Dalai Lama. What they do not realise is their manner of expressing their devotion is a sad reflection of the qualities of their teacher.
They think that worshipping Dorje Shugden is at odds with and against His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Unfortunately, they do not see that it is completely contradictory to threaten someone for their faith in order to uphold the instructions of someone who teaches compassion.
In fact, they should understand that reliance on Dorje Shugden and respect for His Holiness the Dalai Lama are not mutually exclusive; just because we do not agree with something or someone does not mean we are against them. Disagreements on certain aspects of our beliefs and faiths should not colour our entire relationship with people; there is no relationship in the world that is not TOTALLY free from disagreements.
Why will Dorje Shugden practitioners not give up their practice?
Just as how supporters of the Tibetan leadership are very enthusiastic about enforcing the ban, Dorje Shugden practitioners have been equally enthusiastic about maintaining their practice and campaigning for the ban to be released. In this section, we address some of the reasons why this is the case.
REASON #1: Guru devotion to their Dorje Shugden lamas
In the Buddhist belief system, guru devotion is the foundation of all attainments. A practitioner should hold the advice, practices and instructions received from their teacher as the most precious and important. Therefore Dorje Shugden practitioners maintain their commitments to their teachers because it is guru devotion and it is the correct thing to do according to the Buddhist scriptures. These commitments include Dorje Shugden’s practice.
Thus, simply because another monk, teacher or lama says Dorje Shugden is bad does not mean a Dorje Shugden practitioner will give up the practice. This applies no matter how famous, wealthy or high-ranking the other person or lama making the anti-Shugden statement may be.
REASON #2: No obligation to follow the Dalai Lama
Not everyone in Tibet has His Holiness the Dalai Lama as their spiritual guide. Therefore not everyone has a teacher-disciple relationship (samaya) with His Holiness nor are they obligated to follow his instructions.
Since His Holiness the Dalai Lama is not their teacher, there are no adverse karmic consequences when they do not follow his instructions. This is not said with disrespect towards His Holiness, but recounted merely as fact.
Similarly, not all Buddhists around the world have His Holiness as their spiritual guide and not all Buddhists are from Tibet. Therefore they are not obliged to be guided by Tibetan politics and politicians, and have no obligation to follow the edicts and directives of the Tibetan leadership.
REASON #3: Gratitude and personal experience
As an enlightened Dharma Protector, Dorje Shugden’s practice has benefited countless sentient beings. He has saved lives, brought resources to the destitute, helped practitioners to develop wisdom and clarity of mind to discern the teachings, blessed and protected people from accidents… the list goes on and on and on. Dorje Shugden even saved His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s life when he advised His Holiness to leave Tibet in 1959. Those directly involved in the escape have often spoken of their gratitude to Dorje Shugden for his divine assistance.
REASON #4: The ban is illogical
As it has been debunked here, the ban is not logical and the reasons given for the ban do not make any sense. Those with the ability and resources to gather all the facts then consider the ban for themselves have refused to give up the practice of Dorje Shugden because there is no logical reason for them to do so. Similarly, the continuing vulgar treatment of Dorje Shugden practitioners by supporters of the ban give them very little incentive to drop the practice.
REASON #5: Human rights
Considering that the reasons for the ban are illogical, many Dorje Shugden practitioners continue to speak up against the ban because the manner of its enforcement has been a clear violation of human rights.
REASON #6: Religious freedom
The ban itself violates the freedom of worship guaranteed by the Indian constitution, and it violates the freedom of worship guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which India is a signatory to. All Dorje Shugden practitioners want is to be able to do their practices in peace, free from fear of persecution and marginalisation, whether verbal or physical.
REASON #7: No proof, no dialogue
Ultimately, no proof has ever been shown by the Tibetan leadership that Dorje Shugden is a spirit, that his practice has harmed His Holiness the Dalai Lama or harmed the Tibetan situation. The Tibetan leadership has also never shown any proof of the more ludicrous claims directed at Dorje Shugden practitioners, for example the accusations that Shugden practitioners receive money from the Chinese leadership, that Dorje Shugden practitioners are violent, or that Shugden practitioners pray for harm to befall His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
On the contrary, Dorje Shugden practitioners have, at every juncture, been able to show clearly the discrimination they face, and the violent and vulgar threats they suffer. They are able to provide evidence of the ongoing ostracisation and marginalisation of Dorje Shugden practitioners taking place all over the world.
When comparing the reasons given for the ban against Buddhist knowledge that is universally accepted by all schools of Tibetan Buddhism, none of the reasons for the ban are logical. Thus Dorje Shugden practitioners and those who recognise the unfair nature of the ban will continue to speak up against it until a solution is arrived at. For the last 18 years, no offers of meaningful dialogue have ever been extended by the Tibetan leadership towards Dorje Shugden practitioners, although multiple requests have been made.
It has been claimed by the Tibetan leadership that there is no such thing as a ban on Dorje Shugden. Here is compiled evidence of what Dorje Shugden practitioners have faced for decades. Please read the materials below and decide for yourself whether there is a ban or not.
Some people would like to say that there is no ban. Some people would like to say there is a ban. And some people are not even sure what the ban is about. There are some people who said that the ban is not such a big deal because you have all the freedom to practice. Well, back in the 1960s and 1970s in USA America, and I like to use this example because I’m from the US and I experienced this when I was growing up… not directly and not as harshly, but there was desegregation in the 1960s, the desegregation of black people going to school with white people. This is because during that time, black people and white people could not go to school together. That would also include brown people, yellow people, red people; people of any colour that were not white were segregated to different schools.
So when desegregation came and they had to integrate, all blacks and whites went to the same school. And although federally everybody was allowed to go to school together and there was integration, still the old prejudices, the old thoughts, the people who thought that people who were not white were inferior, or that they didn’t deserve to be with whites, were still there. So although the law was enacted in 1964 that everyone goes to the same school, there’s no more segregation based on colour, yet when people went to all-white schools, they had rocks thrown at them. They had people threaten them, they had people beat them up, they had people called them names, and it was a long road to integration. It took another 10, 15, 20 years where a lot of black people and people of colour were not scorned or hurt or abused in schools that were predominantly white. People said, “Well, what are black people complaining about? They get to go to the schools, they are going to the schools, and the law says they can go to the schools.” But you see, the law is one thing; people’s prejudice is another thing. People’s prejudice came from a law that said “blacks can’t go to school with whites. People of colour couldn’t go to school with whites.”
So that law was in place for many decades in the United States. When I went to school in the early 70s in America, I didn’t suffer as much as the black people did back in the 40s, 50s and 60s but there was prejudice in the schools. I did suffer a lot of racial discrimination while I was in school, being called names (racial slurs), and being cornered, and being abused, that did happened. It wasn’t as intense and as bad as what black people had to suffer in the “heyday” of segregation. I’m perhaps oversimplifying what happened, and I don’t mean any disrespect to the sufferings of the black people, and even the good white people who thought that this was wrong, because not all white people thought that this was right either. So I am not trying to disrespect what happened to the black people and the good white people, but these days in America if you say segregation of schools, of people of colour, people will be surprised. The generation now will be like, “Huh?! What are you talking about?” Nobody will stand for it. But back in the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s in America, that’s how it was for people of colour, especially the beautiful black people and white people.
Similarly, a lot of people now say, “Well, there’s no ban against Dorje Shugden. You have your own monasteries, you have your own properties, you have your own places, just don’t come to our place.” Well that doesn’t make sense to me because, why is there our own place? Why are there our own monasteries, our own properties when these did not exist prior to 1996? Prior to 1996, all Dorje Shugden practitioners and non-Dorje Shugden practitioners were in the same monasteries, the same hospitals, the same schools, the same government positions, the same kind of meetings/gatherings. They all went to the same Lamas but after 1996, when the ban was introduced and heavily enforced, then suddenly there were Dorje Shugden monasteries and non-Dorje Shugden monasteries. Dorje Shugden people cannot go to the hospitals, cannot go to the schools, cannot have the equal educational opportunities and jobs within the Tibetan community that non-Dorje Shugden people have.
To say that there is no ban BUT if you wish to practice, you can’t be with us – that may not be a ban in name but that is the ban in action, in spirit, and in real life. And I myself am a Dorje Shugden practitioner, and I have suffered taunts, threats, negative reactions, degradation, bias, prejudice. I have suffered all that only because I am a Dorje Shugden practitioner. Here’s the link to an article that I have put in – Will the Dalai Lama Agree With This? You can see the amount of hatred that I experienced simply because I am a Dorje Shugden practitioner. I don’t steal, I don’t lie, I don’t kill. I hold my monk vows, I do my meditation, I do my practice, I teach Dharma, I help people as much as I can, I help animals, I help the homeless, and I do the best I can as an ordinary human being can do. Yet I’m not allowed to go to a Tibetan hospital, I can’t join the monastery that I come from, I cannot go to any of the Dalai Lama’s teachings. And it’s not that I need to go the Dalai Lama’s teachings, but why is it that only this group of people cannot go to the Dalai Lama’s teachings? That doesn’t make sense.
So if you say there’s the freedom to practice, yet you put people down all the time and you are violent towards them, and you are saying negative things against them, and you’re always prejudiced against them and keep everything separate, I don’t think that’s the freedom to practice. I think that in name it looks like the freedom to practice but in actual life, there’s a heavy prejudice against Dorje Shugden practitioners and they had to suffer quite a lot.
This all came from the Tibetan leadership, I’m sorry. This can only be eliminated by the Tibetan leadership because there was no such thing prior to 1996. None. There was no such thing prior to 1996. I went to Gaden Monastery and when I entered Gaden Monastery in January 1988, everything was fine. But in 1996, Gaden Monastery had to split into two and physically split in two in 2009. It had to split into Gaden Monastery and Shar Gaden Monastery. The properties had to be split in two, the monks cannot meet. The monks who chose to pray to Dorje Shugden cannot talk and meet with monks who do not practice Dorje Shugden; that did not exist prior to 1996/2009. Therefore, whether we want to call it a ban, whether we want to call it not a ban, there is prejudice against Dorje Shugden people and by me putting up these placards, I’m sending a message to the Tibetan leadership in a very respectful manner that this ban should be removed. It is undemocratic, it is unethical, it is not spiritual and we are biasing a group of people from the fundamental rights of religious practice and also the right to practice in peace without being scorned, feared, abused, or berated. I’m not fighting for this fundamental right; I deserve it, I’m born with it and I’m asking for everyone not to take it away. So I’m not asking for the right because I’m born with it; I’m asking for people not to take away what I am born to.
Secondly, when I made these placards and I send the message to the leadership and people who don’t like Dorje Shugden practitioners, I don’t mean any disrespect to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I don’t mean any disrespect to the leadership or anyone, but I’m expressing my pain, my sorrow, my disappointment and all the sufferings that I and many of us – thousands of us – have endured because of this prejudice against Dorje Shugden practitioners. I think that when we are speaking up against something that is wrong, I do not think that we should insult, put down, be harsh, use negative words or point at faults, mimic, or hurt the person that we are trying to get to change what is happening. You see, because when they do that to us and they hurt us, we don’t have to hurt them back.
My practice of Buddhism and my commitment to Buddha’s teachings, to karma and cause and effect, tells me that even though the ban has caused me so much problems – for us and for myself – it doesn’t give me the right to be rude, to berate, to degrade and to fight back in a way that is disrespectful, that is not polite, that is not right. Because when we use impolite messages, and we start to point at people’s personal so-called downfalls that we perceive – whether existing or not – and when we start calling people negative names all the time, what happens is that people start to not see what you are standing up for. They start focusing on your negative speech, your negative representation, and your negative method of bringing the message across. What happens then is that instead of them focusing on the message, they are focusing on the messenger. So if I am always going to put the Dalai Lama down, which I dare not and I would not do… and we shouldn’t do that to any sentient being because if even we are in the right, we are not excluded or divorced from karma and its effects.
So therefore, if I am bringing this message to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and I am bringing it to his ministers and people in power, the Tibetan leadership. I am asking them respectfully as a human, as a Tibetan, as a person that still respects them, that you do other things that are good. But this one thing can you please look into it? Can you please do something about it because it is hurting a lot of people and it is not right? When we approach people and we want to create a change, the change we wish to create we should not precipitate with vulgarities, rudeness, threats, bad language, pointing out their negative points, calling them negative labels. Why? Because we are not divorced from karma. Whatever they say to us has karma; whatever we say to them has karma. When we start using methods which are rude and impolite, we send the message to the world that we are what they say we are. “We are rude; Dorje Shugden practice does make us bad. Dorje Shugden’s practice does make us angry and violent” – that’s not true so since that is not true, we cannot use violent, rude, negative, degrading types of language against the people or person whom we’re requesting for a change. The reason is we want everyone to please focus on the message and what we’re trying to achieve and not so much the messenger. We have to be polite, respectful and stick to the laws of cause and effect in person and even on social media. We must send the right message out of reconciliation. If They cannot think in this manner, we must think in this manner because we have taken refuge in Dharma. We must refrain from rude words, sarcasm or attacking them on a personal level. None of us are perfect. To speak, write and act in polite dharmic ways is the best way to approach people we wish to create changes, to bring the ban down. We have been wronged, but we must forgive.
Therefore my method of doing this is the peaceful way, the respectful way. The way to achieve equality, non-segregation and removal of the ban is by doing it this way, by addressing the people with a respectful, polite and good manner. And I feel that if we pursue in this type of way, it will have much more effect, it will be more effective, and it will be more humanly. We must treat others the way we want to be treated. Even if they are not treating us well, we still must attempt and treat them back well. Because this will send a good message to everyone out there that yes, we are working towards removing the ban against Dorje Shugden and all the pain it has caused, but we do not want to create pain back to the people who has caused us pain. We want to set a good example to onlookers and bystanders also. We do not want to create unhappiness or problems for them. We would like them to look at the problem, sit down and discuss, and come to a mutual agreement where both parties will win. I repeat: I would like both parties, the Dorje Shugden practitioners and the non-Dorje Shugden practitioners, to gather together and speak and talk politely, drink tea, human to human, intelligent being to another intelligent being. One Dharma practitioner to another, one practitioner who believes in the law of cause and effect, speaking to another practitioner who believes in the law of cause and effect. And to respect the law of cause and effect by exercising politeness, kindness, intelligence, wisdom, debate, and to learn and not to win. Debate is to learn and not to win. Even if they are not practicing or abiding by the law of cause and effect we must do so and take them as our practice. Be courteous when speak out or even when ‘protesting’. Use messages and placards that are polite and respectful. This will bring us further and also spiritually it is correct. We do honor to our gurus and protector when we are kind in the face of unkindness because we take the situation onto the path. Especially if we are sangha or taken vows or are dharma teachers or students.
Therefore I have come out with these placards along with my team. What is written on the placards is some by myself, some is by my team; not everything is from me although my name is on it in order to send a message to everyone who is interested or is involved in this ban in one way or another, or have some ramifications from this ban to please request the Tibetan leadership politely, again and again, without scourging them, without saying negative things against them, to come to the table and talk. I myself do not wish to go to the table and talk, I am a nobody. I have not much knowledge. But I would like the learned people of the Dorje Shugden practitioners and the learned people of the non-Dorje Shugden practitioners to get together and discuss, and come to a good conclusion so that the sufferings of the people who are enduring this ban may end. Hence I have come out with this bunch of placards to be shared on social media to create awareness, and I have spoken up and I have shared.
I request His Holiness the Dalai Lama to please look at the sufferings of all beings, not just non-Dorje Shugden practitioners, and for His Holiness the Dalai Lama to please look at the sufferings of all beings, not just non-Dorje Shugden practitioners. We love you, we respect you, we miss you, we would like to request you to please send representatives down to talk and resolve this. Because if it continues this way, it will not be good all around. Forgive me Your Holiness the Dalai Lama for me to request so directly of you to remove the ban. I bow to you always.
Thank you, Most humbly, and with apologies,
Many years back in 1987, after I was ordained by H.H the 14th Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, I travelled to Nepal to run some errands. During this trip, I stayed in a monastery in Nepal called Samtenling Monastery, and living in the room right next to mine was a Western monk. We eventually befriended each other because we both spoke English, and because the other monks had limited command of English which made communication difficult. So, in the few days that I got to know him, he kept telling me about his teacher, His Eminence Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche, who would be visiting Nepal in two weeks time and that Gangchen Rinpoche would be staying close to Samtenling Monastery during his trip.
At that time, I had never heard of Gangchen Rinpoche… I had not met him or read anything about him. Back in the 80s, there wasn’t much information at our disposal. There was no Internet or computers. So there were no avenues where you could do searches on the spot, and dissemination of information relied mostly on word of mouth.
So, I told this monk that I would very much like to meet with Gangchen Rinpoche to receive his blessings. The monk said “OK” but when the much anticipated day of the audience with Gangchen Rinpoche arrived, the monk left to see his Lama… without me. And, not knowing where Gangchen Rinpoche would be, I could not find him.
I was quite disappointed that day so I went for a walk in the capital of Kathmandu, in an area called Thamel, which is a well-known shopping district for tourists. Then, in the distance, I saw a taxi. In that taxi was a Tibetan monk with a long black beard sitting in the front. When I saw the taxi come my way, I hailed it. The bearded monk stopped the taxi when he saw me and opened the door… and, lo and behold, it was Gangchen Rinpoche! He said to me, “Who are you?” I said, “I don’t know, but I want to meet you.” He responded, “Ok, you come in the afternoon” and told me the location of his ladrang.
The incredible thing was, I was supposed to meet Gangchen Rinpoche earlier that day. I wanted to meet him very much, but when my monk friend left to see his Lama without me, I just thought, “Well, I do not know where he lives, so never mind.” Yet, I ended up meeting him in the middle of a busy town! Also later that afternoon when I arrived at his house (ladrang), the minute I approached him, he told me a few things that were quite incredible, because I had never met this Lama… I had never seen, heard of or spoken to him… In fact, I had never even spoken to any of his students prior to my brief encounter with the Western monk.
So, there I was in the middle of Kathmandu, Nepal and Rinpoche was telling me things about my past that were very accurate and precise. Gangchen Rinpoche also gave me a prediction of my future and what I should do in tremendous detail. Yes, I repeat: he gave me predictions of my future and what I should do in much detail. And in hindsight, 20 years later, it came true. So I am totally and perfectly convinced that Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche has very advanced psychic abilities, which I witnessed with my own eyes. I was and am still amazed at the clairvoyance of Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche. If you ever have a chance to visit him, you should. He is an incredible lama with great compassion, knowledge, insight and psychic abilities. He is a great healer in this incarnation as were his previous incarnations. It is said Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche has many visions of various Buddhas and Dharma protectors and is very close to H.H. Panchen Rinpoche for many lifetimes now.
In the following years, whenever I went to Nepal or travelled to other places, Gangchen Rinpoche would always “happen to be there”. His home base is in Italy but he also has a Ladrang (Lama’s residence) in Nepal. Whenever I was in Nepal, he would always be at his Ladrang there. It was kind of a coincidence. During one of my visits to Nepal, I engaged in a Yamantaka retreat with Gangchen Rinpoche and his group of students. After the Yamantaka retreat, I was planning to return to Gaden in South India. However, Gangchen Rinpoche insisted that I go to India with him.
With trepidation, I followed Gangchen Rinpoche and his large group of students to India from Nepal. We took a bus and among the many places that we visited was Domo Geshe Rinpoche’s monastery in Sikkim, Kalimpong, North India. We also visited Domo Geshe’s private residence. Gangchen Rinpoche respects Domo Geshe very much and the temples built by Domo Geshe in Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Sikkim are very sanctified and holy. Many of Domo Geshe Rinpoche’s students live in the area, and they manage and take care of the temple and the residences perfectly. I am so glad I went along with Rinpoche and he invited me.
During my visit to Domo Geshe’s monastery, I stayed in an oracle’s house in Kalimpong. Domo Geshe Rinpoche had a student in the monastery named Lhakpa Dhondrub, who was an oracle of Dorje Shugden and Namkar Barzin as well as Setrap. I stayed with Lhakpa Dhondrub in his home, and he joined Gangchen Rinpoche and the entourage as we traveled around North India. I remember a particular incident that occurred while we were visiting the monasteries of Domo Geshe Rinpoche… I experienced an incredible feeling as I entered one of the Protector Chapels. Domo Geshe had Dorje Shugden and several other Protectors in the Protector Chapel but I was very attracted to one particular Protector, which Gangchen Rinpoche introduced to me as Namkar Barzin. Lhakpa Dhondrub spontaneously took trance of Namkar Barzin and embraced Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche when we visited this temple. I met Namkar Barzin at this time and offered a khata. I was in awe and entranced. I was so excited to meet a Protector through this famous oracle. Namkar Barzin embracing Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche showed their closeness and how highly attained Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche is.
I was extremely fascinated because I had never seen or heard of this being prior to this visit. Gangchen Rinpoche then told the group more about Namkar Barzin – that he was a special Protector of Domo Geshe Rinpoche, his monasteries and his temples. And the story that another lama friend related to me was very interesting:
During the Monlam Festival, which was started by Je Tsongkhapa in Lhasa during his lifetime on earth, everyone would go out for days to commemorate the New Year. The festivities would culminate in the celebration of the coming of Maitreya Buddha. Maitreya’s statue would be escorted through the crowd that was gathered in the streets of Lhasa, and tens of thousands of people would go and make offerings to Maitreya Buddha to make a connection with him for the future.
There was a Mongolian Geshe who attended the Monlam Festival in the 1920’s. On his way back to Mongolia after the festivities, he passed through Phari, an area of Domo Geshe’s monasteries. At that time, the roads were not paved as they are today, and travelling was very treacherous. There were no vehicles either, and the only way to travel was by horse or caravan or on foot. So, while the Geshe was walking and hitch hiking back to Mongolia, he got caught in a snowstorm in Phari. And by the time the snowstorm was over, the Geshe had literally frozen into a block of ice. He was at death’s door – nearly dead but his consciousness was still present.
He was ‘kind of’ frozen in a walking position – standing in a block of ice – and his eyes were wide open. When the local kids passed by and saw the Mongolian Geshe frozen in the block of ice, they started taunting and making fun of him and, basically, laughed at his predicament. These insensitive acts were done while the Geshe’s consciousness was still inside his body, and through his eyes he could see what these kids were doing, i.e. taunting him instead of getting him help. He became very disturbed and passed away unhappy.
After the Geshe’s unhappy death, animals in the region started to fall ill and die… the weather conditions became unusual… bad omens and signs started to appear.. and the families of the children who had taunted the Geshe started to develop illnesses that could not be cured with medicine. These events worried and frightened the people of the region, so they consulted with Kyabje Domo Geshe Rinpoche, who was the most respected Lama in the area at that time. After listening to the villagers’ problems, Domo Geshe Rinpoche knew exactly what had happened… he understood and decided to talk to the Geshe.
Kyabje Dome Geshe Rinpoche then went to the frozen corpse and said something along these lines, “You are a Geshe and you know Dharma, you understand Dharma, and you should not be attached. Therefore, you have died and you have turned into a being here that is unhappy and causing suffering to others. I would like to release you from this and have you enter the entourage of Dorje Shugden to become one of the ministers and assistants because you are quite powerful, and you are quite learned, and you could be of assistance to the Buddhadharma and the growth of the Buddhadharma. Would you like to do that?”
When Domo Geshe Rinpoche asked the Geshe’s corpse this question, everybody present saw the corpse blink his eyes in acceptance. After that, Domo Geshe had his oracle of Dorje Shugden take trance, and he officially offered the Geshe (now known as Namkar Barzin) to Dorje Shugden to be part of his entourage. Dorje Shugden accepted and Namkar Barzin’s promise to Dorje Shugden was sealed. As Dorje Shugden is a highly realized being, it was appropriate for Namkar Barzin to assist him. He along with Kache Marpo serves as one of the main ministers of Dorje Shugden.
Namkar Barzin showed a lot of effort in helping Dorje Shugden, helping Dharma practitioners, protecting the monasteries and gave a lot of signs. If a lama of Domo Geshe Rinpoche’s caliber recognizes this new protector Namkar Barzin, it is good enough for me. Domo Geshe was very pleased with Namkar Barzin, and made many images of him and spread his practice to many. Domo Geshe also enthroned Namkar Barzin as one of the protectors of his many monasteries. Although he is part of Dorje Shugden’s entourage, Namkar Barzin is a Dharma Protector in his own right and there are rituals, rites and mantras written to Namkar Barzin that specifically invoke his presence, power and blessings. In the Phari area, Namkar Barzin is very famous and very well known. Up till today, the people of Phari practice this Dharma Protector very strongly. I found this to be very interesting and captivating and thought I should share the story here.
A statue of Namkar Barzin which was personally made by H.E. the 1st Domo Geshe Rinpoche
Below are the prayers to Namkar Barzin. I have personally composed a prayer to him because I feel a very strong connection to Namkar Barzin and a very strong liking for him because he can benefit people spiritually. The mantra was extracted from traditional sources. In Lama Zopa’s biography ‘The Lawudo Lama‘, he talks about Namkar Barzin, which is quite beautiful. I have extracted it here for you to see. Also included are extracts from another book ‘Oracles and Demons of Tibet‘ which was written back in the 1950s and published in 1993 (pages 143 – 144). I have also included some different pictures and downloads for all of you.
So, this is the short story of Namkar Barzin and I was first introduced to him by Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche. He is a relatively new Dharma Protector who has been around for 70-80 years. Although he is new, he is very effective. As a footnote, which is quite interesting: while I was in Kalimpong, Domo Rinpoche’s oracle took trance of Namkar Barzin. When Namkar Barzin entered and spoke, the funny thing is he speaks in Mongolian and then he switches to Tibetan. The oracle himself is Tibetan who does not speak any Mongolian but when Namkar Barzin enters the oracle, he actually speaks Mongolian first before switching back to Tibetan. This is because before he passed away and became a Protector, he was a Mongolian Geshe.
So, I met Namkar Barzin once through the oracle and I was introduced to him by Gangchen Rinpoche. I treasure all these wonderful memories and thought I would share it here.
Invocation to Lord Namkar Barzin
Composed by Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, follower of the Duldzin lineage
With great faith I take refuge in Lord Shakyamuni Buddha,
Who with great self sacrifice perseverance achieved fully,
The peerless Enlightenment under the Bodhi tree in BodhGaya,
And with profound compassion turned the wheel of Dharma.
With great reverence I pay heartfelt homage to Lord Tsongkhapa,
Who as an emanation of the Lord of Speech Manjushri,
Took rebirth during the times that Shakyamuni’s teachings,
Were on the decline and enacted the deeds of enlightened activities.
I bow to the Great Geshe of Dromo of Phari, who in dependence upon,
Hearing, contemplation and meditation relied on the preliminaries,
Of Tsongkapa retreat and the secret Mother Queen Vajra Yogini,
Achieved great siddhis and was a tremendous benefit to others.
Great Mongolian Geshe who was diligent and caught in storm returning,
Taunted and made fun of were the causes for you to manifest,
‘compassionate’ anger to take on a form of a supreme Dharmapala,
I invoke your swift presence to this place now by the power of my refuge.
You who take on the form of a fully ordained monk holding sword which,
Cuts the bonds of our temporal sufferings and difficulties,
Who holds a white skull cup representing that you have mastered tantra,
And who rides on a mystical gyaling as a mount, showing your tantric masteries.
Who rides amid psychic wind, fire and smoke with great speed,
And who has three eyes on the lookout for those in need of protection.
Since the great Mahasiddha of Phari, Dromo Geshe places confidence in you,
So I one with faith but little merit do also.
Please calm down the disturbances, fighting, violence, crime,
In this region in which you are invoked. Many here are suffering unnecessarily.
Please calm the violence and hostilities here.
Protect those without help and assistance. Let disturbing violence in this area stop.
Let the population have peace, harmony, prosperity and growth.
I invoke you and request you to be the protector of this region and,
Keep a close eye on those who may be the object of crime and thievery.
Please calm the local guardians for they can come under your subjugation.
Have pity and great compassion to the one who is invoking you through
This prayer of request. Although our spiritual attainments are none, we have
Great faith in Lord Buddha and the holy Dharma, so with respect I remind you,
Of the oath you have taken with the great Mahasiddha of Phari, Dromo Geshe Rinpoche.
I offer you milk, teas, cakes, biscuits, yoghurts, incense, lights, and various other
Offerings as to make a link with you.
Please out of your great compassion,
Accept and make this whole area at peace, prosperous and calm.
Use your quick powerful actions and show immediate protection that is ongoing.
OM BIYADA-PAR DHAMA-DHARA SOHA
(This mantra can be recited as many times as possible to connect with Namkar Barzin)
Please manifest signs to all that are clear and evident of your much needed presence,
Show clear and swift results in helping the suffering of this area.
I invoke you and request you from my heart. You, great Mongol Geshe Namka Barzin,
Protect, protect and show your swift actions for all to witness.
Great Mongol Geshe whose mystical powers have been proven,
Who is known to be swift as wind and extremely fierce, gnawing your lower lip,
Whose reputation to guard the property and wealth of those who place faith in you is famed,
Show special favour to me that I may gain inner and outer accomplishments.
On a personal basis, be my guardian, friend and protector.
Grant me my needs and necessities and may they come easily.
May I gain wealth, prosperity and freedom from obstructers, human and non-human.
Make the situations arise that I may practice the Dharma in-depth.
Remain as my Dharma protector and calm interferences.
May I be blessed by the faultless Shakyamuni, Tsongkhapa, and Dromo Geshe in this life and all future lives.
Where there is unhappiness and sufferings, may it quell and be calmed.
May I be of tremendous benefit to others and a fully enlightened being.
(This prayer to Namkar Barzin can be recited daily and you do not need special permission or initiation. Offerings of water, tea and incense can be made to this protective dharma protector of Phari, if convenient.)
(The other powerful acolyte and entourage of Dorje Shugden is the Mongolian Namkar Barzin who rides on the mythical animal gyaling. A gyaling resembles a goat with scales of a fish for skin. The gyaling is a harbinger of good luck and fortune it is believed. Namkar Barzin was included in the entourage of Dorje Shugden by the 20th century Mahasiddha Domo Geshe Rinpoche who was well-known to be the emanation of Tsongkhapa himself as told by the 13th Dalai Lama. Namkar Barzin also is a dharma protector in his own right but serves Dorje Shugden as Kache Marpo does.)