Serpom Monastery

September 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Videos

View video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02MdzIZ8ulY

This is a collage of photos of Serpom Monastery – first, we see the altar which has a very grand Lama Tsongkhapa statue which is flanked by Shakyamuni Buddha and Medicine Buddha. There are beautifully made torma offerings in front.

There are also beautiful scenic views of Serpom Monastery at dawn, at sunset and when the lights are switched on during the night.


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Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen (1359 – 1413)

September 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Biographies

duldzin

What immediately comes to mind when we hear or see the name, Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen, are two things – he built Ganden Monastery, which stands to this day, and he offered it to his Guru, Lama Tsongkhapa.

These two great deeds alone would be enough to illustrate what kind of Lama and disciple this extraordinary individual was.

Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen was well known for being a great holder of the vinaya (the monks’ vows), or pure morality. It is said that he held his vows so purely and his monkhood that his body smelled of clean, fragrant flowers. This is why they called him “Duldzin” – “dul” means vinaya; and “zin” means hold. Thus, a direct translation of his name means “Holder of the vinaya”.

He was considered as an emanation of Lama Tsongkhapa himself, as his attainments were said to be of Tsongkhapa’s equal. In this case, Duldzin emanated as a direct disciple of Lama Tsongkhapa in order to play the role of “Teacher and Student”. This arrangement enabled Dharma to be brought to many others.

It was Duldzin who raised the funds needed to construct Ganden, the first and greatest Gelugpa monastery in Tibet. He also personally oversaw the construction of Ganden until its completion. Upon its completion, Duldzin offered the monastery to his Guru, Lama Tsongkhapa.

Duldzin was so highly respected among the Sangha that he was offered the position of the first Ganden Tripa (Tsongkhapa’s successor or throne holder) after Tsongkhapa’s passing. However, he turned down the offer. He chose instead to dedicate the rest of his life to upholding these precious teachings. It was with this incredible devotion and commitment that he made a promise to arise as an “Uncommon Protector” to preserve and guard the lineage of his teacher, Tsongkhapa.

This promise was made to Nechung, a worldly spirit subdued by the 8th Century Indian Master Guru Rinpoche to be the general Dharma Protector of the Buddhadharma, who appeared in one of Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings as a white dove.

It was said that one day while Lord Tsongkhapa was giving teachings in the Ganden prayer hall among a vast assembly of Sangha, a white dove appeared and flew about the prayer hall, creating a disturbance. It even hovered above Tsongkhapa’s head.

After the teachings, Tsongkhapa descended from the throne and retired to his quarters. Duldzin recognised that the dove was not a mere dove, and remained behind to investigate.

Then the dove, who was actually Nechung, transformed into a young boy dressed in white and spoke to Duldzin. He requested Duldzin to become an “Uncommon Protector” of Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings on Nagarjuna’s precious philosophy of the Middle Way.

An ‘Uncommon Protector’ is not a general protector but one who arises specifically to protect something. In this case, Nagarjuna’s Madyamika view, as taught by Lama Tsongkhapa.

Duldzin promised Nechung that he would do so. Nechung then said, “Don’t forget your promise, I will come back to remind you.” Then the boy left.

Later, after he had completed building Ganden Monastery, Duldzin went into retreat in a cave and passed away.

Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen is the Drakpa incarnation that began the lineage of the uncommon and most powerful Protector, Dorje Shudgen.


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Dulzin Drakpa Gyeltsen

October 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Biographies

Duldzin Drakpa Gyelsen

Duldzin Drakpa Gyelsen

Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen was the famed great holder of the vinaya, or pure morality. Duldzin was a direct disciple of Lama Tsongkhapa who built Gaden Monastery, the first and world’s greatest Gelug monastic institution in Tibet, and was also considered as an emanation of Lama Tsongkhapa himself.

Dulzin was so highly respected that he was offered the position of the first Gaden Tripa (Tsongkhapa’s successor or throne holder) after Tsongkhapa’s passing. He turned this offer down, choosing instead to dedicate the rest of his life to upholding these precious teachings. It was with this incredible devotion and commitment that he made a promise to arise as an uncommon Protector to preserve and guard the lineage of his teacher, Tsongkhapa.

This is the Drakpa incarnation that began the story of the uncommon and most powerful Protector, Dorje Shudgen.

Nechung, a worldly spirit subdued by the 8th Century Indian Master Guru Rinpoche to be the general dharma protector of the Buddhadharma, appeared in one of Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings as a white dove. After the teachings, he transformed into a young boy dressed in white and came to speak to Dulzin. He requested Duldzin to become the special protector of Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings on Nagarjuna’s precious philosophy of the Middle Way. Dulzin promised Nechung that he would do so. However, after he had completed building Gaden Monastery, Dulzin went into retreat in a cave and passed away.

Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen, the incarnation of Dulzin Drakpa Gyeltsen a few lifetimes later, was reminded by Nechung about his promise to arise as an uncommon protector. Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen agreed to fulfill his promise to protect Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings so it may flourish and spread far and wide. As Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen had no anger in his mindstream at all, Nechung agreed to help by creating the right, conducive conditions for him to manifest wrath in order to arise as the special Dharma Protector. He did so, through various circumstances, thus allowing Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen to arise as the uncommon protector Dorje Shugden to fulfill the promise made many years ago by Dulzin Drakpa Gyeltsen.


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How did Dorje Shugden come into being?

July 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Starter Kit

Introduction and Lineage
How did Dorje Shugden come into being?
The Symbolism

The Benefits of Dorje Shugden’s Practice
The High Lamas who Practice Dorje Shugden
Places to Worship Dorje Shugden

Dorje Shugden’s Prayers
FAQs – Part 1
FAQs – Part 2

Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen

The plan for the “birth” of Dorje Shugden began during the time of Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen. He was the great disciple of Lama Tsongkhapa and was reputed to be a very pure and steadfast holder of the Vinaya. Nechung, a worldly spirit, was oath-bound by Guru Rinpoche, the 8th century Indian master, to be the general Dharma Protector to protect the Buddhadharma. It was Nechung who requested Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen to make a promise to protect Nagarjuna’s priceless Middle view, as taught by Lama Tsongkhapa.

At one of Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings, Nechung emanated as a white dove and flew continuously around the teaching hall. After the teachings ended, Duldzin stayed behind, as he could see through the dove’s disguise. He requested Nechung to reveal himself and asked him what he wanted. Nechung transformed into a young boy dressed in white and told Duldzin that the precious teachings that Lama Tsongkhapa had given of Nagarjuna’s Middle view required special protection. Then Nechung asked Duldzin to become the Chief Protector of these teachings. Duldzin promised that he would, and Nechung said that when the right time came, he would remind him of this promise. After Duldzin completed building Gaden Monastery, he went into retreat in a cave and passed away there.

Several lifetimes later, Duldzin reincarnated as Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen. During an audience with Nechung, who spoke through an oracle, Nechung reminded Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen about his promise. At first, Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen could not recall such a promise. Then, Nechung gave him some blessed rice to eat to help him remember. Upon eating the rice, Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen remembered his promise instantly and agreed to fulfil this promise; to ensure that Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings would spread and grow.

However, Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen was very gentle and did not have any anger at all in his mindstream to manifest as a wrathful Dharma Protector. Understanding this, Nechung told Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen that he would orchestrate a situation for the wrath to rise within him. Only then would Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen be able to arise as the Dharma Protector.

(Source: http://www.dorjeshugdenhistory.org/trode-khangsar-7.html)

The Death of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen

Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen lived during the reign of the 5th Dalai Lama. There was political and religious conflict at the time. To unite the country, the Dalai Lama was placed on the throne, given the title “Religious-King and Holder of the Buddhist Faith” and had supreme political and religious authority over Tibet. Tremendous effort was put into establishing the position of the Dalai Lama during these times of uncertainty, and into eliminating oppositions and potential threats. One such threat was Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen.

Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen was perceived as a threat because:

  • He was also nominated as a potential reincarnation of the 4th Dalai Lama
  • He was later confirmed as the incarnation of Panchen Sonam Drakpa, who had been the tutor to the 3rd Dalai Lama
  • He held equal status as the 5th Dalai Lama, and they were both students of the 4th Panchen Lama, Lobsang Chökyi Gyaltsen
  • His Dharma knowledge and pure spiritual practice was often regarded as equal to that of the Dalai Lama
  • He was more popular than the 5th Dalai Lama, and had more students and received more offerings than the 5th Dalai Lama.

His growing popularity and influence caused continued tension and jealousy among the Dalai Lama’s followers. The Dalai Lama’s ministers were very concerned for the security of His Holiness’ position among the Tibetans. To secure the Dalai Lama’s and their own positions, the ministers plotted the demise of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen, without the knowledge of the Dalai Lama.

Sonam Rabten, the principal executive of the Dalai Lama and his protégé, Norbu, tried many times to assassinate Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen, but failed. Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen simply did not have the karma to be killed. When they tried to poison him, nothing happened. By Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s attainments, he was able to simply dispel the poison from his body. When they tried to stab him, eyes would appear on his body where he was stabbed, and stare back at them.

Out of compassion and commitment to his promise to become a Dharma Protector, Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen told them that the only way he could be killed was if they were to suffocate him by stuffing a khata down his throat. His assailants then managed to kill him that way.

After his death, official documents concerning Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s previous incarnations were tampered with; Butön Rinchen Drub and Panchen Sonam Drakpa’s names were removed from Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s lineage prayers. The position of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen was officially diminished. In addition, Sonam Rabten and Norbu killed members of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s family and seized their property and land.  They also issued a ban on the search of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s reincarnation, after they had dismantled his residence in Drepung and relocated his reliquaries The ban has lasted to this day. All the above was recorded in the autobiography of the 5th Dalai Lama.

(Source: The Great Deception by the Western Shugden Society and http://www.dorjeshugdenhistory.org/trode-khangsar-6.html)

Manifestation of Wrath

At the time of his death, a slight amount of fierce energy resembling wrath arose in Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen and this enabled him to arise as the wrathful Dharma Protector, Dorje Shugden. Thousands attended Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s funeral. However the funeral pyre could not be lit for his cremation ceremony. During the funeral, the 5th Dalai Lama finally heard what had happened and that it was his own people who had killed Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen. With great dismay, he wrote a prayer which expressed his great remorse for what had happened and praised Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s qualities. This was sent down to the funeral and read aloud by one of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s assistants.

After this was read, the funeral pyre immediately caught fire. From the fire, a large plume of smoke arose and covered all Lhasa in the shape of a large, black hand. Great disturbances arose throughout Lhasa. Livestock and crops died, there were earthquakes, the weather was turbulent and chaos prevailed. This was due to the cumulative negative karma accrued by those who had plotted to murder a High Lama.

The 5th Dalai Lama also experienced difficulties and inauspiciousness. Many began to fear that Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen had become an angry spirit and powerful rituals to pacify and destroy him were conducted. However, all efforts were in vain. Nothing could destroy this ‘spirit’ because he wasn’t one. He had actually manifested as the great Dharma Protector: Dorje Shugden.

Enthronement as the Dharma Protector

The 5th Dalai Lama finally realized the gravity of the situation and understood that Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen had not taken rebirth as a vengeful spirit but had arisen as a Dharma Protector. He deeply regretted the attempts to destroy what he thought was a spirit, and recognized Dorje Shugden as an enlightened Dharma Protector in whom he would take refuge.

The Dalai Lama then wrote an official proclamation and prayer, recognizing Dorje Shugden as an undisputed Dharma Protector and a direct emanation of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen. He also constructed Trode Khangsar as a place of worship for Dorje Shugden which still exists in Tibet to this day.

Prayer by the 5th Dalai Lama to Dorje Shugden

HUM

Though unmoving from the sphere of primordial spontaneity,
With wrathful turbulent power, swifter than lightning,
Endowed with heroic courage to judge good and bad,
I invite you with faith, please come to this place!

Robes of a monk, crown adorned with rhinoceros leather hat,
Right hand holds ornate club, left holds a human heart,
Riding various mounts such as nagas and garudas,
Who subdues the mamos of the charnel grounds, praise to you!

Samaya substances, offerings and torma, outer, inner and secret,
Favorite visual offerings and various objects are arranged.
Although, previously, my wishes were a bit dense,
Do not stop your powerful apparitions, I reveal and confess!

Now respectfully praising with body, speech, and mind,
For us, the masters, disciples, benefactors and entourages,
Provide the good and avert the bad!
Bring increase like the waxing moon in spiritual and temporal realms!

Moreover, swiftly accomplishing all wishes,
According to our prayers, bestow the supreme effortlessly!
And like the jewel that bestows all wishes,
Always protect us with the Three Jewels!

(This prayer can be recited by anyone at anytime, and does not require any initiation or empowerment)

The 5th Dalai Lama also crafted a famous statue of Dorje Shugden with his own hands.
This statue was originally placed in Trode Khangsar but now can be seen to this day in
Gaden Phelgyeling Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal.

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and Lineage
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FAQs : I am New Here ( Part 2 of 2)

July 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Starter Kit

Introduction and Lineage
How did Dorje Shugden come into being?
The Symbolism

The Benefits of Dorje Shugden’s Practice
The High Lamas who Practice Dorje Shugden
Places to Worship Dorje Shugden

Dorje Shugden’s Prayers
FAQs – Part 1
FAQs – Part 2

Q. What are oracles, and how are they related to Dharma Protectors?

Oracles are specially trained people who can take trance of the Dharma Protectors. This means that the essence or energy of the Dharma Protector can enter and use their bodies as a vessel to speak to us directly. Therefore, we can receive enlightened and accurate advice to make the right decisions to support our spiritual path in our daily lives.

VIDEO: An oracle taking trance of Dorje Shugden at the Grand Opening of Shar Gaden, Oct 2009

View the original video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7-AXZ453-4


Q. Where did Dorje Shugden’s practice come from?

Dorje Shugden arose as the principal Protector of Lama Tsongkhapa’s doctrine over 300 years ago, at the time of the 5th Dalai Lama, who composed the first verses of praise to him.

However, the more common lineage and practice that is being followed throughout the world today is more recent and comes from a great Lama called Tagphu Pemavajra. Tagphu Pemavajra had the special ability to astral travel and one day, he travelled to Tushita Heaven, the celestial abode of the Buddhist saint Lama Tsongkhapa. There, he requested the Buddhist ascended master Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen to expound the mystical teachings and practice of Dorje Shugden.

For the first time ever, Dorje Shugden’s full entourage and mandala emanated out from under Lama Tsongkhapa’s throne. Dorje Shugden then transmitted the practice directly to Tagphu Pemavajra, just as the Buddha Maitreya had transmitted five major philosophical treatises to the master Asanga in Tushita Heaven in earlier times.

Tagphu Pemavajra later transmitted these instructions to his disciple Pabongkha Dechen Nyingpo, who passed them on to Trijang Dorjechang Losang Yeshe. From Trijang Rinpoche, who was also the junior tutor to HH the 14th Dalai Lama, the teachings were passed to many renowned Gelugpa teachers today who are teaching all over the world.

Q. Is this a secret practice that requires initiation?

No, it is not secret. You do not require any initiation or empowerment to recite some of the prayers and Dorje Shugden’s mantra.

Q. Can I practice Dorje Shugden even if I have not received the practice/initiation/empowerment from a Lama?

Yes, you can. It is good to request an initiation (permission) or oral transmission from a qualified Lama if possible, as you will also receive the lineage blessings of this practice.

More advanced practice would also require guidance and permission from a qualified teacher but you can already start to create a profound connection to this Protector by reciting prayers and his mantra, and praying sincerely to him.

Q. How can I start doing Dorje Shugden’s practice?

If you have an image of Dorje Shugden, you can set up an altar if it is convenient. You can also make daily offerings such as flowers, light, incense, food or whatever you find pleasing.

If it is not convenient for you to have an altar, you can start his practice simply by downloading and reciting any of the prayers that are available on this website. Or, you can recite his mantra anytime, anywhere: OM BENZA WIKI BITANA SOHA.

The most important part of doing Dorje Shugden’s practice is to have a sincere and pure motivation. Click here to download Dorje Shugden’s prayers.

VIDEO: Listen to HH Trijang Rinpoche recite the prayers

View the original video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8cpn5TAzoI


Q. The practice seems complicated. How can I do the practice if I don’t have much time?

You don’t need much time for this practice. Simply recite a short prayer (below) and the mantra. You can also recite the mantra alone any time, anywhere and as many times as you like.

Whenever you have more time, you can recite the longer prayers and/or recite more mantras. Most importantly, generate a good motivation and have strong faith that Dorje Shugden will help you.

Prayer:

By just recollecting you for an instant,
Outer and inner obstructions are dispelled,
O powerful Dorje Shugden’s five families,
Bestower of the four activities,
To the Dharmapala and entourage
I bow down.

Mantra: OM BENZA WIKI BITANA SOHA


Q. What happens if I miss doing the practice when, for example, I’m ill or travelling?

No problem. If for any reason you cannot recite the prayers or mantra for one or two days, simply resume your practice whenever you can. Nothing bad will happen to you. However, to get the best results, it is more beneficial for you if you can be as consistent as possible in your practice.

Q. I already have a Dharma Protector practice so why would I need to do Dorje Shugden’s practice?

Dorje Shugden has manifested specifically at this time to assist practitioners in this day and age. As obstacles and distractions become much greater at this time, Dorje Shugden’s practice is very effective to help us clear these obstacles. His practice is very complementary to all our practices and there is no conflict or overlap at all.

You should continue your existing Dharma Protector practices, but you can also add Dorje Shugden’s practice to your daily prayers. You can add his prayers in after your normal Protector prayers, or simply recite his mantra.

Q. Can I still do Dorje Shugden’s practice if I am already doing other spiritual practices?

Yes, there is no conflict or problem to add Dorje Shugden’s practice to what you are already doing. You can also put images of him on your altar alongside images/statues of other deities and/or Buddhas.

However, if you already have a Lama and have already been advised to do certain prayers, you should maintain what you have already been taught. If you wish to do Dorje Shugden’s practice (or any other practice for that matter) on top of what you have already been advised, do seek the advice of your Lama as he will know what practices would be most suitable and beneficial for you.

VIDEO: Thangka of Dorje Shugden and Guru Rinpoche

View the original video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WB00AFiSYZM


Q. Will Dorje Shugden harm you if you stop doing his practice?

No. As he is a fully enlightened Buddha, he will never have any motivation to harm any being.

Q. Which high Lamas practice Dorje Shugden?

Many of the highest Lamas today – who have been recognized as highly realized, enlightened Beings themselves – have been well known for relying upon Dorje Shugden. Well-known and highly esteemed Gelugpa practitioners of Dorje Shugden, past and present, include:

  • The 5th Dalai Lama, Kelsang Thubten Jigme Gyatso 1743-1811
  • Losang Thubten Wangchuk Jigme Gyatso 1775 – 1813 (head of the Gelugpa school of Buddhism in Mongolia)
  • Ngulchu Dharmabadra
  • The Indian master Shakya Shri Bhadra
  • The 11th Dalai Lama 1838 – 1856 (who installed Dorje Shugden as the Protector of the Gelugpa tradition)
  • Gyara Tulku Rinpoche
  • Domo Geshe Rinpoche (regarded by the 13th Dalai Lama as an emanation of Lama Tsongkhapa)
  • Serkong Rinpoche (regarded by the 13th Dalai Lama as Vajradhara)
  • Tagpo Kelsang Khedrub Rinpoche
  • Pabongka Rinpoche
  • Trijang Rinpoche
  • Ling Rinpoche
  • Khangsar Rinpoche
  • Tathag Rinpoche (in charge of the Tibetan Government after the death of the 13th Dalai Lama)
  • Zong Rinpoche
  • Lobsang Tamdin
  • Ribur Rinpoche
  • Khen Rinpoche Losang Tharchin
  • Lati Rinpoche
  • Geshe Rabten
  • Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey
  • Khechog Rinpoche
  • Dagyab Rinpoche
  • Gelek Rinpoche
  • Lama Yeshe
  • Lama Zopa
  • Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
  • Yongyal Rinpoche
  • The 14th Dalai Lama
  • Dagom Rinpoche
  • Gonsar Rinpoche
  • Gangchen Rinpoche and others.


More resources:


VIDEO: Trijang Rinpoche and the validation of Dorje Shugden’s practice

View the original video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2XoW0N_BQM


VIDEO: Zong Rinpoche doing a Dorje Shugden ritual

View the original video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVgMnfA3Cp0


VIDEO: Gangchen Rinpoche chanting the Medicine Buddha mantra

View the original video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViJH6KGYFr0


Q. Where can I find out more information about this Protector and his practice?

There is plenty of information available on this website www.dorjeshugden.net including a wealth of articles and videos.

VIDEO: An introduction to www.dorjeshugden.net

View the original video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWDCPE3rLAI


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