Becoming a Divine Messenger: How Oracles are Created

This article, extracted from the forum, was written in response to a question posted about how someone is chosen to become an oracle.



Question: How does a Lama pick a person to become an oracle? What are the criteria? Does anyone know and can a layperson also be chosen to be an oracle?

1. A Lama may pick a person and train them. Some people have a very strong aptitude towards this; some, the Lama might feel would benefit greatly by being an oracular link for beings to give directions.

2. A person may ask to become an oracle and the Lama may then accept or not accept for various reasons. It is possible for a person to request, but they must go all the way and must understand that it is a lifetime of work. The person’s moods and personal wishes must be set aside to serve others. S/he must keep up his retreats, practices and samayas with his/her Lama very strictly for his/her whole life. The more retreats one does, the more immaculate one’s body will be to perform the job as an oracle.

Retreats such as Tsongkapa/Migtsema are crucial and samaya with one’s lama is the one single point that is very important for the retreats to be successful. The practice of Yamantaka is very powerful for clearing the body of interferences and opening chakras, winds, drops for the deity to ‘easily’ enter one’s body with minimal pain after He leaves. And of course, retreats of the actual deity entering you, to get ‘close’ to them is very essential throughout the oracle’s life.

It is also important to remember that these retreats to Tsongkapa, Yamantaka and Shugden should not be done just so one can become a good oracle, but to reach the highest purpose of life, which is to be enlightened. Our goals for retreats should never be anything but enlightenment. Becoming a good oracle is just a ‘by-product’. Also in this case, by being an oracle, some can collect a lot of merit by helping others. By helping others, one collects tremendous merits to actualize the generation and completion stages of Tantra, such as Yamantaka.

For example, Lord Buddha and Tsongkhapa taught the Yamantaka Tantras for us to purify the powerful negative karmas from unlimited lifetimes that serve to obscure us from the truth and therefore keep us in samsara. Yamantaka is for us to gain wisdom into reality (emptiness) and to attain the everlasting great bliss (enlightenment). By relying on Yamantaka’s practice, countless individuals have attained great wisdom, understanding, power to take rebirth as they choose to benefit, Bodhicitta, emptiness and of course, full enlightenment. So something as great as Yamantaka’s practice or Tsongkapa’s retreat should never be done with just the motivation of being a good oracle.

The famous Choyang Duldzin Kuten of Gaden Monastery, who takes trance of Dorje Shugden. Here he takes trance of the peaceful form (Duldzin)

3. The deity Himself may pick the person He will ‘inhabit’. This happens quite often. The person the deity inhabits can be for a short time or long-term. This means that the deity can select a person to become a full-fledged oracle or He only enters the person once or twice to give a message or sign.

Some people not chosen by Dorje Shugden or the Guru may still be an oracle, but that person must get their lama’s blessings, permission and training.

However, whether the Lama or deity picks you, in both cases you still have to do the retreats, hold samaya and be very determined against all odds to do this for the rest of your life. You have to do your part too, and not just relax and think that you have been picked so the Lamas / deity can now do all the work.

Being an oracle is like any other Dharma practice – you have to do your part too. Then, you will collect merits and wisdom will arise. Your wish to serve others must be steadfast. If you do not do your part, then whether the deity or Lama picks you, you will not be able to fulfill the duties of the oracle. Is the Lama or deity wrong? Of course not. Tsongkhapa taught the Lam Rim but if we do not practice what he taught us or give it up, it is not Tsongkapa’s fault if we do not gain the results. It is the same for being an oracle.

Being a good student who practices the Lam Rim, holds his commitments/samayas, and practices and follows the instructions of his lama is much easier than becoming / being an oracle. If you cannot be a reliable and honorable student, then you shouldn’t think about being an oracle yet, which is much harder. Some people would like the more ‘glamorous’ tasks, without realizing that there is much more than meets the eye. But if you do every assignment the lama gives you – no matter how small – and without being selective, it automatically leads to something bigger. Finishing an assignment successful is a good sign of Guru devotion and that you are ready for more and ‘bigger’ things.

If your lama gives you assignments, works or duties and you cannot perform them, then what makes you think you will follow the instructions for becoming an oracle, which could bring you a lot of physical pain during the training over a few years? The training is difficult and can take up to five years.


This opinion piece has been extracted from the forum. Please add to the discussions on the forum if you have further perspectives, comments and thoughts. We always welcome debate and exchange. The original threads can be viewed at and

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  1. Thank you ofor sharing this article. I have always wondered who an Oracle is being selected and now I have got the answer. Another thing that I learned is that to become an oracle is not because of the glamourous title but one should have the motivation to be enlightened and be selfless to help others.

  2. Thanks to for sharing such informative article. It has explained very clearly and easy to understand how to become an Oracle.

    What I have learned from this article is that to become an Oracle is to benefit others and not for oneself. As an Oracle by helping others will gain tremendous merits and end results are enlightenment. To become an Oracle, firstly she or he must have Guru devotion and very clean samayas with the Lama. Whatever the Lama requested, it has to be fulfilled all the way! How fortunate it’s to be chosen as an Oracle!

  3. Even if a Lama picks someone to become as Oracle, the person would have created the causes and karma to be chosen. From the karma created, this person was chosen based on the best path for him to become Enlightened. So some lamas can ask to sweep the floor, cook, paint or to teach. All can lead to Enlightenment if the motivation is correct and the job done well.

    To be chosen to do anything from being an Oracle to something less “glamorous” is all dependent on oneself to make that happen and not some “fate” or god chosen.

  4. In almost all Dharma articles, sharings and teachings, Guru devotion is the common and main ingredient for successful spiritual growth. So, if we want to practice Dharma sincerely, the answer is pretty straight forward: have full faith in our Guru and execute His/Her instructions to the tee.

    Back to oracles: I had the honor to meet a Protector Oracle. What hit me most about him was how pure and compassionate he was. I had the impression oracles are ferocious. However, the oracle I met only exuded gentle energy and kindness in going out of his way to help sentient beings by being a medium through which we can communicate with the divine.

    I hear of the great discomfort oracles have to experience when the Protector enters. Not only do the oracles train hard and make constant effort to remain “clean”, they make a lifetime commitment to serve in this way. As always, the dedication to serve others of the sangha never fail to inspire and awe me. They are true heroes to humanity.

  5. The fact that there are oracles taking trance of enlightened Protectors like Dorje Shugden is clear proof that such beings exist, that Buddhas exist and can communicate with ordinary people through the medium of oracles. Thus, oracles play an important role in the religious life of a community. They can be of tremendous help in difficult times when one needs advice from the divine when all other means have failed.

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.…Instead of turning away people who practise Dorje Shugden, we should be kind to them. Give them logic and wisdom without fear, then in time they give up the ‘wrong’ practice. Actually Shugden practitioners are not doing anything wrong. But hypothetically, if they are, wouldn’t it be more Buddhistic to be accepting? So those who have views against Dorje Shugden should contemplate this. Those practicing Dorje Shugden should forbear with extreme patience, fortitude and keep your commitments. The time will come as predicted that Dorje Shugden’s practice and it’s terrific quick benefits will be embraced by the world and it will be a practice of many beings.

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