Dorje Shugden Cham Dance in Nyemo Gyelche Monastery, Tibet
There are a few variations of accounts on the history and the lineage of Dorje Shugden, written by various attained lamas in the last 350 years. The source most contemporary Gelugpas now refer to was written by His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche in his sungbum (collected works on Dorje Shugden). This is considered the most accurate account of how Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen arose as the supreme World Peace Protector Gyelchen Dorje Shugden during the time of the 5th Dalai Lama. It also mentions clearly how the 5th Dalai Lama enthroned Dorje Shugden and apologized for the circumstances his ministers created. The 5th Dalai Lama also erected a Dorje Shugden Chapel in Lhasa which is still active today and protected by the Chinese government as it’s an important historical site to commemorate this great protector. The 5th Dalai Lama also composed a prayer to Dorje Shugden which is still being used today.
In Trijang Rinpoche’s writings or sungbum it describes clearly how Dorje Shugden for many lifetimes manifested as many high level Mahasiddhas. These Mahasiddhas extend all the way back to the time of the Buddha. Therefore, being of the lineage of great Mahasiddhas and teachers, it is impossible for Dorje Shugden to manifest as anything else but an enlightened being in the form of a Dharma protector.
Dorje Shugden’s history of manifesting as Dharma protector occurred during the time of the 5th Dalai Lama, and you can see it clearly here in the illustrated story or graphic novel. Once he had arisen as Dharma protector which was assisted by the protector Setrap, his entourage included the nine wisdom mothers, eight fully ordained monks, and ten wrathful and youthful assistants. The entourage appears in this sacred Cham dance recounting Dorje Shugden’s history.
Dorje Shugden and his entourage of thirty-two deities are all depicted in this Cham dance as a World Peace Protector who will assist anyone of the Nyingma, Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu traditions. In fact Dorje Shugden will assist anyone of any background even non-Buddhists. As Dorje Shugden is a fully enlightened being propitiated by over 4 million adherents within Tibet and on the outside, this unique Cham dance is something to be seen. It would be worth anyone’s efforts to contact this monastery to join in the audience to witness a spiritual spectacle of cultural and religious Cham on the beginnings of a Dharma Protector whose influence and blessings continue to grow.
The Dorje Shugden Cham dance is rare but not an obscure lineage, there are various advanced monasteries in Tibet who have practiced this Cham dance for hundreds of years which is visual education to his many adherents in Tibet who may not be literate but nomadic.
First the monks must do pujas and meditation in preparation, and remain very clean and focused, and only then do they don the costumes of Dorje Shugden and entourage. They come out ritually and enact the story of how Dorje Shugden arose as Dharma protector from the powerful lama and teacher Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen. It is considered a great blessing to witness this Cham.
It is the pleasure of us here at dorjeshugden.com to present to you pictures of this Cham dance at Nyemo Gyelche Monastery that is performed yearly.
Tibetans flock to Nyemo Gyelche Monastery to be audience to the sacred Dorje Shugden Cham dance.
Dorje Shugden has 32 main deities on his entourage of which are the 8 Guiding Monks whose purpose is to increase Dharma learning. Monks dressed as the 8 Guiding monks entering the Cham area.
Black hat magicians and obstacle creating supernatural entities being subdued by the King of Dharma protectors, Dorje Shugden as depicted here.
Dorje Shugden in the centre of the Cham.
One who relies on Dorje Shugden with full commitment and stable mind will see vast benefits in their lives.
Kache Marpo who is the main Minister of Dorje Shugden in the Cham.
Nyemo Gyelche Monastery is located 136km towards the west of Lhasa, Tibet. A journey by car will take around 2.5 hours. It was built in 1059 by Dromtonpa, who was one of the main disciples of Atisha. Later in 1420, the monastery’s was further expanded by Yonden Gyatso who was inspired by Lama Tsongkhapa during that era, and on the main altar there is a 6 meter (18 ft) Lama Tsongkhapa statue. There are also statues of Dorje Shugden, Kache Marpo, Setrap on the altars.
Tsongkapa is the central image in the prayer hall of Nyemo Gyelche Monastery.
The Dorje Shugden image in Nyemo Gyelche Monastery’s protector chapel.
Kache Marpo, the main Minister of Dorje Shugden.
Dorje Shugden lineage thangka
Thangka that includes the previous incarnations of Dorje Shugden, the lineage lamas who disseminated Dorje Shugden’s practice and Dorje Shugden’s entourage.
Click here to download high resolution file for printing: http://www.dorjeshugden.com/download/DS003b.jpg
Previous incarnations of Dorje Shugden arising from Manjushri.
(top row) Manjushri
(2nd row, left to right) Yulmang Gathey, Birwapa
(3rd row, left to right) Thombi Sambhota, Emperor Triseung Deutsen, Naropa
(bottom row, left to right) Kamashila, Loden Sherab, Gonpo Chodak, Bojeku Donpa Chenpo
Previous incarnations of Dorje Shugden.
(top row) Ra Lotsawa
(2nd row, left to right) Shakya Shri Badra, Kunkyen Chogo Oser
(3rd row, left to right) Buton Rinchen Drub, Sakya Pandita, Tsarchen Losel Gyatso
(bottom row, left to right) 15th Gaden Tripa Panchen Sonam Drakpa, Tulku Yeshe Wangpo, Tulku Ngawang Sonam Gelek, Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen
The practice and lineage of Dorje Shugden started from Mahasiddha Dakpu Dorje Chang in his meditation, went to Gaden Pure Land requesting permission from Lord Tsongkhapa to reveal the practice, Tsongkhapa agreed, so from Dulzin Drakpa Gyeltsen’s heart sitting to the right of Tsongkhapa, lights emanated to below Lord Tsongkhapa’s throne, and from there arose Dorje Shugden and his complete mandala .
(top to bottom) Maitreya then Tsongkhapa representing Gaden Pure Land, Dulzin Drakpa Gyeltsen, Mahasiddha Dakpu Dorje Chang, Pabongkha Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, Denma Gonsar Rinpoche (Wh0 can represent our own teacher from whom we received Dorje Shugden’s practice.)
Dorje Shugden in the centre of the lineage surrounded by his principal four emanations, 9 Wisdom Mothers, 8 Guiding Monks, 10 Wrathful and Youthful assistants and Minister Kache Marpo.