Getting to know Dorje Shugden
Who is Dorje Shugden?
Dorje Shugden is an Enlightened Being, an emanation of the Buddha of Wisdom, Manjushri. He arose as a Dharma Protector 350 years ago in order to best safeguard the precious teachings of the Second Buddha known as Lama Tsongkhapa, to benefit all sentient beings.
During the degenerate times we live in and due to our karma, Dorje Shugden is the most helpful Dharma Protector for us because he is swift, powerful and benevolent. Dorje Shugden is quick to help because he is a relatively recent Dharma Protector and as such is very close to us.
He removes our obstacles, protects us and our loved ones, and provides conducive conditions for a successful life and spiritual practice. Above all, he grants us our virtuous and spiritual wishes quickly.
What does the name Dorje Shugden mean?
“Dorje” may be translated as “diamond” – the hardest element which cannot be destroyed. In the Buddhist context, indestructibility refers to the fully enlightened mind.
“Shug” means “power” and “Den” means “immovable”.
Altogether, “Dorje Shugden” means “Diamond of Immovable Power”.
What is a Dharma Protector?
A Dharma Protector is a being who manifests in a wrathful form in order to:
- Avert inner and outer obstacles to Dharma practice and to the achievement of spiritual realizations.
- Create conducive conditions for the practice of Dharma.
- is very valuable for helping to remove immediate worldly obstacles, problems and hindrances to our spiritual practice.
For example, if we are constantly needy in financial terms, it will be more difficult for us to focus on our spiritual practice. If we can achieve financial abundance, we can afford to concentrate on our spiritual life in a more engaging manner, rather than be trapped in our job to make ends meet.
Are all Dharma Protectors enlightened? The answer is no.
There are two kinds of Dharma Protectors:
Enlightened Protectors who are emanations of Buddhas, such as Palden Lhamo (an emanation of Tara), Six-Armed Mahakala (Avalokiteshvara), Dorje Shugden (Manjushri) and Setrab Chen (Amitabha).
Unenlightened Dharma Protectors, such as Nechung, who may be spirits that were oath-bound by Lamas to stop causing harm, and to serve and protect the Dharma as a Protector instead.
We can take refuge in Enlightened Protectors but not in unenlightened Protectors.
What are the benefits of Dorje Shugden practice?
Dorje Shugden imparts assistance morning, day and night, removes obstacles and answers all pleas of benign nature.
In his peaceful form or Shize, practitioners can rely on him to alleviate the effects of negative karma or to resolve difficulties and cure serious illnesses.
In his form of increase, or Gyenze, he enhances all the positive energies in our life such as blessing us with material abundance, prolonging life and granting other wishes.
In his “control” form or Wangtze, he helps subdue undisciplined thoughts so that we can help others apply Buddha’s teachings with greater focus. Wangtze is also efficacious in helping to control difficult situations which defy ordinary solutions.
In his wrathful form or Trakze, he is swift to come to our aid, to remove even the strongest obstacles, to conquer mara, harmful spirits, black magic and life-threatening situations.
Apart from overcoming worldly matters, through his practice, we can also accumulate merits. Merits are our inexhaustible positive potential. Different from karma, they can never be exhausted while good karma can dwindle through use. Merits eventuate out of our desire to be useful to all beings as opposed to the desire to feather our own nests in our action.
Merits will help us stay true to our commitments and vows, to realize attainments in our tantric practice.
Since Dorje Shugden is an emanation of Manjushri, he will help practitioners gain wisdom, good memory and better understanding of Dharma.
In short, Dorje Shugden will protect, guide and support practitioners.
To conclude, Dorje Shugden practice is highly beneficial. In his compassion, he will help anyone who asks for his help, no matter who they are.
The list of adherents to the practice includes senior lamas from different traditions within Tibetan Buddhism, for instance the 31st Sakya Trinzin, HH Pabongka Rinpoche, HH Trijang Rinpoche, HH Zong Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe and my own Guru HE Tsem Tulku Rinpoche.
These days we see millions of practitioners putting their faith in Dorje Shugden everyday and many more relied on him successfully for a long time in the past.
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