Introduction to 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.

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 his name 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:

  1. Avert inner and outer obstacles to Dharma practice and to the achievement of spiritual realizations.
  2. Create conducive conditions for the practice of Dharma.

(Source: Heart Jewel by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso)

Dharma Protector practice is very valuable for helping to remove immediate worldly obstacles, problems and hindrances to our spiritual practice, and to provide conducive conditions for us to engage more effectively in our Dharma work and practice.


Enlightened or Unenlightened?

There are two kinds of Dharma Protectors:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.


Further readings:

  1. Introduction to Dorje Shugden
  2. The History and Significance of the Dharmapalas
  3. A Teaching on Dharmapalas from a Kagyu Perspective by Choje Lama Namse Rinpoche
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4 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Simple and easy to understand introduction on Dorje Shugden.
    The name of Dorje Shugden is so meaningful “Diamond of Immovable Power”. He is an emanation of Manjushri to protect the teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa.
    Dorje Shugden, before becoming a protector is one of the student of Lama Tsongkhapa.
    Thus, Dorje Shugden is very effective in protecting our spiritual path and guide us towards enlightenment.

  2. Thank you for sharing this article and introducing the dharma protector Dorje Shugden. It is a very easy to read and understand article for an introduction.

    Dorje Shugden is the emenation of Majushri. In this degenerate times we should rely and practice Dorje Shugden as he is swift and powerful.

  3. Dorje means Diamond, Shug = Power and den = immovable.
    We need assitance on our way and Dorje Shugden will protect us and grant swift protection and help.

    May Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings spread into 10 directions and may we always be close to our Teacher.

  4. I am Nyingmapa follower and can i pray to dorji shugden for protection???? As dorji shugden is Gelugpa and sakyapas protector deity…

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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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