Trichen Ngawang Chokdhen (1677-1751)

From page 67 of the biography of Trichen Ngawang Chokdhen (1677–1751) composed by Changkya Rolpai Dorje (1717–1786):

Previously, a very vicious and evil spirit [1] possessed a man at Draksep. Some unstable lamas, former abbots, and monastic hostels (khangtsens) did practice in relation to it simply by invoking and propitiating it. A cairn for invoking spirits had also been erected on top of the Jangtse mountain. Considering how inappropriate this turn of events was, he issued an edict to the assembly of monks that as there had been no tradition of propitiating worldly spirits and protectors within the premises of this seat of learning since the time of Je Tsongkhapa, henceforth, nobody would be allowed to engage in such activities.

As stated very clearly in the biography of Changkya, the cairn was demolished and the stones and earth were returned to the places from which they had been taken. The spirit was invoked through a medium in trance and was then ordered not to come through such trances henceforth.

Dholgyal replied, “If this is the order of Tri Rinpoche, I have no choice but to leave.” Then, the ghostly spirit fled to Taktse Shol. Je (Trichen Ngawang Chokdhen) himself went into retreat. He made it a rule that the prayer to Dharmaraja composed by the Omniscient Gendun Gyatso (the second Dalai Lama), should be said in the Main Hall of Ganden.

Due to Dharmaraja’s wrath, the Lamas and former abbots who had been propitiating the spirit were killed and the monastic hostels also suffered many misfortunes. Consequently, such misdeeds entirely ceased and the action that had been taken became an excellent cause for maintaining the purity of the monastery.”


[1] It is not specifically stated that the spirit is Dholgyal, but it is clear from Changkya’s biography that the spirit referred to is Dholgyal. It also refers to the time when Trichen Ngawang Chokdhen was the Ganden Throne-holder.

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Contemplate This

.…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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