Morchen Kunga Lhundrub (1654-1728)

June 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Enlightened Lamas Series

Morchen Kunga Lhundrub is the epitome of non-sectarianism, known to have upheld and respected many lineages equally and without any problems. As a highly influential master of the Sakya tradition, he was also revered by the Gelugpas as a lineage master of Naropa’s Vajrayogini. Within his own sect, Morchen was revered as a lineage holder of the Sakya Path and Result.

His early life was typical of great masters, having being recognised at a young age and ordained by the 28th Sakya Throne Holder Jamgon Amyeshab who later would confer upon Morchen may initiations and transmissions. These included a long life initiation, rong tsong’s six transmissions of the Perfect Wisdom and an initiation into Mahakala’s practice.

As a young monk, Morchen would travel to Sakya where he met with Padma Trinley. It was then that Morchen took his full ordination vows from this master who, coincidentally, had conducted a fire puja to burn Dorje Shugden at the request of the Fifth Dalai Lama.

Although Padma Trinley was to be Morchen’s ordination master, Morchen was unable to receive Lamdre teachings from him – after receiving his ordination, Morchen fell seriously ill and was unable to recover in time. Thus, Morchen received these teachings from Kenrab Jampa and went on to become his heart disciple.

Until his passing in 1728, Morchen worked tirelessly to spread the Dharma throughout Tibet. He was a model of non-sectarianism through his work. For example, to passed to his Gelug disciple Jamyang Dewa Dorje, the transmission of Marpo Korsum, a Sakya practice which is part of the 13 Golden Dharmas. He was also abbot of many monasteries, including Mor, Rawa Mey and Tashi Chodey.

Morchen bore a close relationship with Dorje Shugden, entrusting activities to the Dharmapala who was happy to accept. He also gave initiations into this Protector’s practice at Trode Khangsar in Lhasa, which were received by the Gyalchen oracle. Also at Gaden Ling, Morchen performed a consecration of the Gyalchen Tenkhang.

Not all of Morchen’s works are not openly available. From what is available however, we know that Morchen wrote a ritual for gyabshi, an obstacle-clearance puja composed by Shakyamuni Buddha himself. He also co-authored the lower volume of Petition to Dorje Shugden Tsel: Granting all Desired Activities, the upper volume having been composed by Drukpa Kunley of the Drukpa Kagyu sect. This text would become very central to the practice, used in prominent Dorje Shugden temples such as Trode Khangsar and Riwo Choeling, and also incorporated into rituals written by Serkong Dorje Chang centuries later.

Morchen’s contribution to this seminal text was an expansion of the foundation laid by Drukpa Kunley, and included the ritual origins of Dorje Shugden, as well as what is probably the earliest iconographic description of Dorje Shugden and his four cardinal emanations. Morchen gave detailed descriptions of the activities of the four cardinal emanations – peaceful, increasing, control and wrathful – as well as wrote praises to them.

His writings were so influential that up to this day, practitioners continue to rely on his descriptions when painting Gelug thangkas and performing rituals to Dorje Shugden. Prior to Morchen’s writings, Dorje Shugden was described as riding a horse and the Sakyas had relied on that description when propitiating him. Morchen however, described Dorje Shugden as being on a lion throne – this has since been the only description of the principle emanation in such a form.

According to Trijang Rinpoche, Morchen also wrote A Presentation of the King’s Three Activities. Copies of it however, have not been found and thus the works only continue to exist in name. Given the calibre of his works which we have access to, it is unfortunate that more of Morchen’s compositions are not available to us.


DORJE SHUGDEN CHAPEL (Lhasa, Tibet) – built by The Dalai Lama

January 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Monasteries

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In the 17th Century, the Fifth Dalai Lama had Trode Khangsar built in dedication to the Protector Dorje Shugden.
The main image
inside was also commissioned by the 5th Dalai Lama. By the end of the 17th Century, the Fifth Dalai Lama’s Regent Desi Sangye Gyatso entrusted Trode Khangsar to Riwo Choling, a Gelug Monastery.

Today it is in full use and located behind the main Chapel of Jowo Buddha or central Cathedral of Lhasa just off the
main circumambulation circuit or barkor.

Many pilgrims visit and monks are available daily performing
pujas/ceremonies to Dorje Shugden daily. It is open to tourists.

This chapel is over 350 years old in the heart of Lhasa

Dorje Shugden Chapel is 8 mins walk from Jokhang

More information on Trode Khangsar can be found in this book, page 195-199. It is available on

Book Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Serindia Publications; illustrated edition edition (November 15, 2005)
  • Language: English

(from the front flap of this book) The Temples of Lhasa is a comprehensive survey of historic Buddhist sites in the
Tibetan capital of Lhasa. The study is based on the Tibet Heritage Fund’s official five-year architectural conservation
project in Tibet during which the author and his team had unlimited access to the buildings studied. The documented
sites span the entire known history of Tibetan Buddhist art and architecture from the 7th to the 21st centuries.

The book is divided into thirteen chapters, covering all the major and minor temples in historic Lhasa. These include
some of Tibet’s oldest and most revered sites, such as the Lhasa Tsuklakhang and Ramoche, as well as lesser-known
but highly important sites such as the Jebumgang Lhakhang, Meru Dratsang, and Meru Nyingpa. It is illustrated with
numerous color plates taken over a period of roughly fifteen years from the mid-1980s to today and is augmented with
rare photographs and reproductions of Tibetan paintings. This book also provides detailed architectural drawings and
maps made by the project. Each site has been completely surveyed documented and analyzed. The history of each site
has been written — often for the first time — based on source texts and survey results, as well as up-to-date technology
such as carbon dating, dendrochronology, and satellite data. Tibetan source texts and oral accounts have also been
used to reconstruct the original design of the sites. Matthew Akester has contributed translations of Tibetan source
texts, including excerpts from the writings of the Fifth and Thirteenth Dalai Lamas.

This documentation of Tibetan Buddhist temple buildings is the most detailed of its kind, and is the first professional
study of some of Tibet’s most significant religious buildings. The comparative analysis of Tibetan Buddhist
architecture covers thirteen centuries of architectural history in Tibet.


Introduction to Dorje Shugden

June 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Articles

A Dharma Protector is an emanation of a Buddha or a Bodhisattva whose main functions are to avert the inner and outer obstacles that prevent practitioners from gaining spiritual realizations, and to arrange all the necessary conditions for their practice.

In Tibet, every monastery had its own Dharma Protector, but the tradition did not begin in Tibet; the Mahayanists of ancient India also relied upon Dharma Protectors to eliminate hindrances and to fulfil their spiritual wishes.

Though there are some worldly deities who are friendly towards Buddhism and who try to help practitioners, they are not real Dharma Protectors. Such worldly deities are able to increase the external wealth of practitioners and help them to succeed in their worldly activities, but they do not have the wisdom or the power to protect the development of Dharma within a practitioner’s mind.

It is this inner Dharma – the experiences of great compassion, bodhichitta, the wisdom realizing emptiness, and so forth – that is most important and that needs to be protected; outer conditions are of secondary importance.

Although their motivation is good, worldly deities lack wisdom and so sometimes the external help that they give actually interferes with the attainment of authentic Dharma realizations. If they have no Dharma realizations themselves, how can they be Dharma Protectors?

It is clear therefore that all actual Dharma Protectors must be emanations of Buddhas or Bodhisattvas. These Protectors have great power to protect Buddhadharma and its practitioners, but the extent to which we receive help from them depends upon our faith and conviction in them. To receive their full protection, we must rely upon them with continuous, unwavering devotion.

Buddhas have manifested in the form of various Dharma Protectors, such as Mahakala, Kalarupa, Kalindewi, and Dorje Shugden. From the time of Je Tsongkhapa until the first Panchen Lama, Losang Chökyi Gyaltsän, the principal Dharma Protector of Je Tsongkhapa’s lineage was Kalarupa. Later, however, it was felt by many high Lamas that Dorje Shugden had become the principal Dharma Protector of this tradition.

There is no difference in the compassion, wisdom, or power of the various Dharma Protectors, but because of the karma of sentient beings, one particular Dharma Protector will have a greater opportunity to help Dharma practitioners at any one particular time.

We can understand how this is so by considering the example of Buddha Shakyamuni. Previously the beings of this world had the karma to see Buddha Shakyamuni’s Supreme Emanation Body and to receive teachings directly from him.

These days, however, we do not have such karma, and so Buddha appears to us in the form of our Spiritual Guide and helps us by giving teachings and leading us on spiritual paths. Thus, the form that Buddha’s help takes varies according to our changing karma, but its essential nature remains the same.

Among all the Dharma Protectors, four-faced Mahakala, Kalarupa, and Dorje Shugden in particular have the same nature because they are all emanations of Manjushri.

However, the beings of this present time have a stronger karmic link with Dorje Shugden than with the other Dharma Protectors. It was for this reason that Morchen Dorjechang Kunga Lhundrup, a very highly realized Master of the Sakya tradition, told his disciples, “Now is the time to rely upon Dorje Shugden.” He said this on many occasions to encourage his disciples to develop faith in the practice of Dorje Shugden.

We too should heed his advice and take it to heart. He did not say that this is the time to rely upon other Dharma Protectors, but clearly stated that now is the time to rely upon Dorje Shugden. Many high Lamas of the Sakya tradition and many Sakya monasteries have relied sincerely upon Dorje Shugden.

In recent years the person most responsible for propagating the practice of Dorje Shugden was the late Trijang Dorjechang, the root Guru of many Gelugpa practitioners from humble novices to the highest Lamas. He encouraged all his disciples to rely upon Dorje Shugden and gave Dorje Shugdän empowerments many times.

Even in his old age, so as to prevent the practice of Dorje Shugdän from degenerating he wrote an extensive text entitled Symphony Delighting an Ocean of Conquerors, which is a commentary to Tagpo Kelsang Khädrub Rinpoche’s praise of Dorje Shugden called Infinite Aeons.



Places to Worship Dorje Shugden

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

Today, Dorje Shugden worship is available in several prominent places around the world. However, the birthplace of Dorje Shugden, Trode Khangsar, in Lhasa, Tibet is most world-renowned. It was predicted that the practice of Dorje Shugden will grow and become mainstream in the world. The progress towards the fulfilment of this prophecy is reflected by the growth of Dorje Shugden temples in various parts of the world. Among the many monasteries built in dedication of Dorje Shugden’s practice are these listed below.

Trode Khangsar

Trode Khangsar, in the heart of Lhasa, was the first official temple dedicated to the Protector Dorje Shugden. In the 17th century, the 5th Dalai Lama designated Trode Khangsar as a “Protector House” for Dorje Shugden.

By the end of the 17th century, Trode Khangsar’s importance increased when Sangye Gyatso, the 5th Dalai Lama’s regent, entrusted it to the Gelugpa monastery Riwo Choling; this underlined the close bond between Dorje Shugden and the Gelugpa sect, the Tibetan government and Gaden Podrang.

Shar Gaden Monastery

Shar Gaden is located in Mundgod, South India, next to Gaden Monastery, 25 minutes away from Drepung. Currently, it is home to more than 750 Tulkus, Geshes, Masters and monks who keep the Dorje Shugden lineage alive. Eminent Lamas such as H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Domo Geshe Rinpoche have also joined Shar Gaden.

In Shar Gaden Monastery, the practices, debates, pujas and teachings of Dorje Shugden as well as other great lineages and practices like Tara and Medicine Buddha,
live on.

Visit Shar Gaden’s Website:

Watch a video of Shar Gaden Monastery in India:

Sampheling Monastery

Sampheling Monastery is Trijang Rinpoche’s personal monastery situated in Chatreng District in Kham, Tibet.

Here, monks and lay people remain as devoted as ever to Trijang Rinpoche and the practice of Dorje Shugen.

Denma Gonsa Rinpoche’s Monastery in Kham, Tibet

Denma Gonsa Rinpoche is a great senior Lama and student of both Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Pabongka Dechen Nyingpo Rinpoche. His monastery in Tibet continues to teach a pure and unbroken lineage of Dharma teachings to both laypeople and 600 monks.

This monastery is very famous for its 12-storey statue of Lama Tsongkhapa, the largest Tsongkhapa statue in the world at 101ft tall. The yellow building next to it houses a beautiful Dorje Shugden Chapel with the largest Dorje Shugden statue in the world at 18ft tall. Dorje Shugden is the main protector of this monastery.

Watch a video of the Dorje Shugden Shrine in the monastery:

Phelgyeling Monastery

Phelgyeling Monastery moved from Nyanang, Tibet to its current location in Kathmandu, Nepal.

This monastery houses the very first statue of Dorje Shugden made by the 5th Dalai Lama and to this day, they continue to uphold and propagate the sacred lineage of this protector.

Read more here

Serpom Norling Monastery

The formation of Serpom Norling Monastery is very similar to that of Shar Gaden. A large group of monks who are committed to continue this Protector practice left Sera Monastery to establish a new monastery nearby, called Serpom Norling.

Visit the official site of Serpom Monastery:

Video of Serpom Monastery

View the original video on youtube:

Amarbayasgalant Monastery

Guru Deva Rinpoche’s Amarbayasgalant Monastery in Mongolia propitiates Dorje Shugden as one of its Dharma Protectors.

Click to watch video of Amarbayasgalant Monastery in Mongolia with Dorje Shugden

Hua Lian

The first Dorje Shugden Temple in Taiwan. This temple is being built by the efforts of Serkong Tritul Rinpoche of Gaden Jangtze Monastery and his devoted students.

Tritul Rinpoche’s Monastery in Nepal and Auckland, New Zealand

Dorje Shugden will be the main protector in this monastery.

Watch a video of Tritul Rinpoche’s monastery here:

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