Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden

Introduction to the Dharma Protector

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 achieving 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 Shugdän. 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 Shugdän 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 Shugdän 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 Shugdän 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 Shugdän.’ He said this on many occasions to encourage his disciples to develop faith in the practice of Dorje Shugdän.

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 Shugdän. Many high Lamas of the Sakya tradition and many Sakya monasteries have relied sincerely upon Dorje Shugdän.

In recent years the person most responsible for propagating the practice of Dorje Shugdän 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 Shugdän 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 Shugdän called Infinite Aeons.

Source : http://nepalartsgallery.blogspot.com/2007/02/tibetan-god-statue.html

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  1. This article highlights the importance of propitiating only enlightened Dharma protectors and the importance of relying on Dorje Shugden in this day and age. I cannot agree more. This is because Dorje Shugden is an emanation of Manjushri and he emanated especially to help people of these degenerate times. Many great Tibetan masters have practised Dorje Shugden and have encouraged the practice among their disciples. The practice is growing. Who knows, one day the practice will become mainstream, as more and more people realise the benefits.

  2. This article clearly shows why Dorje Shugden is the Dharma Protector we should turn to and rely upon in these degenerate times. For one thing, he is the Protector with whom people of this age has strong karmic links. He is swift and powerful especially when he emanates his peaceful, increasing, powerful and wrathful forms.
    His main function as Dharma protector is to protect and increase Dharma realizations in a practitioner; at the same time he averts the inner and outer obstacles that prevent a practitioner from achieving realizations.As a supramundane protector of Manjushri Tsongkhapa’s teachings and lineage, Manjushri Dorje Shugden is most efficacious in helping Gelugpa practitioners realize Tsongkhapa’s wisdom teachings, including Nargajuna’s Middle View on Emptiness, so essential for us to attain ultimate liberation from suffering, ultimate enlightenment.

  3. There are many Dharma Protectors around. Different Dharma portectors have different affinity with different people according to the people’s karma. Dharma protectors are emanations of Buddhas or Bodhisattvas. In the olden times the Dharma Protector is not much needed as the people are not so highly intellectual and educated. And they are more worldly. What is needed for them is a Dharma Protector with Compassion and Rituals as prove for them to have faith in Dharma practice. But in the present new age generation and as people’s mind in this era are thinking with a logic mind. Many things have to be explained. That is why the Wisdom Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden who is also Manjushri is needed to influence the minds of people in this erainto practicing dharma.

  4. It is important to know the difference between an enlightened Dharma Protector and a worldly deity. This article is very informative and makes it clear that to truely qualify as a Dharma Protector, the being must be enlightened and actualised the Dharma else, how will the being be able to protect the dharma and dharma practitioners.

    There has been so many other Dharma Protectors manifested throughout the ages… different forms for different times and karma. Therefore, it is not difficult to comprehend that the compassionate Buddha is manifesting in the form of Dorje Shugden for beings of this time and karma as clearly stated by the illustrious master, Morchen Dorjechang Kunga Lhundrup.

  5. This article has shown not only the importance of Dharma Protectors, but also the importance of Dorje Shugden in today’s society.

    I like the part of where it is said that four-faced Mahakala, Kalarupa, and Dorje Shugden are the same because they are all emanations of Majushri. But we have stronger karmic linking with Dorje Shugden. I really like this part of the article because it shows us how strong the karmic relationship it is for us with Dorje Shugden. It is shown through many testimonials of Dorje Shugden practitioners whereby Dorje Shugden have answered their prayers quickly and swiftly or they experienced incidences that they believe that it is because of Dorje Shugden noting major happened to them.

    With the constant reminders and advises from Morchen Dorjechang Kunga Lhundrup, I believe that the ban would not only be lifted soon, but also the practices of Dorje Shugden can be spread far and wide.

  6. “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.”

    This is a good reminder. Often we put so much importance on the surrounding conditions instead of looking to the inner attainments.

    Thank you for this clarifying article. We all need Dorje Shugden and Manjushri in our life!

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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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