Serkong Dorje Chang (1856 – 1918)

Among the many wonderful texts on Dorje Shugden, there exists a very famous incense offering that can also be found in the Dorje Shugden be-bum which was composed by this great Lama. Incense offerings, otherwise known as sang are very powerful offerings that assist the practitioner to uphold his vows and morality, and to clear obstacles in the accomplishment of spiritual goals. This particular text was composed by the great master Serkong Dorje Chang and can be viewed towards the bottom of this page or here.

The great mahasiddha Serkong Dorje Chang, whose ordination name was Ngawang Tsultrim Donden, is also considered to be the reincarnation of Marpa Lotsawa. He quickly rose to become one of the most renowned and sought-after Buddhist teachers of his time.

Serkong Dorje Chang began his studies when he was 10 years old, studying under the 81st Ganden Throne Holder, Ngawang Norbu. He then joined the renowned Gaden Jangtse Monastery, studying under many great masters during his time there. At the mere age of 24, he procured the highly respected Geshe Lharampa degree; in most cases, this degree requires more than 30 years of study before one even qualifies for the exams.

Already an unusually intelligent scholar, he was also advised by both his teacher and the 13th Dalai Lama to take on a consort, which he did much later. Though he initially received criticism for this, he followed the instructions of his teachers fully, proving later how attained he really was. He then went on to do retreats in secluded places and showed great attainments towards the end of his retreats.

It was not surprising that he became the teacher of the Bhutanese king, who invited him to Bhutan after hearing of his feats. In Bhutan, he received a cycle of teachings and initiations on longevity and other teaching cycles from a vision of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the founder of Bhutan.

Besides giving extensive teachings on the monastic subjects, Serkong Dorje Chang was also well known for writing extensive commentaries on the tantric deity Chakrasamvara and also an extensive confession and propitiation prayer known as a kangsol for the protector Dorje Shugden. In the kangsol, Serkong Dorje Chang identifies Dorje Shugden as the principal protector of Lama Tsongkhapa, as well as the special protector of Gaden’s ear whispered lineage, the heart of the Gelug tradition.

This prayer continues to be widely used throughout monastic institutions today. Through the kangsol, the influence of Sera on Serkong Dorje Chang can also be clearly seen as he refers Dorje Shugden as being one and the same as Vajrapani, resonating completely with the views of the earlier masters that originated from Sera Monastery.

Serkong Dorje Chang is also famous for being one of the lineage holders for the Gelug chapter of the Kalachakra teachings. It was of no surprise that the Great 13th Dalai Lama soon awarded him the epithet of “Dorje Chang” for his spiritual achievements, elevating him to a level comparable to the Buddha Vajradhara.

To this day, Serkong Dorje Chang is also greatly remember and respected for combining the prominent writings on Dorje Shugden rituals by earlier masters Morchen Dorje Chang and Drubwang Drukpa Kunley into a single ritual text. Notably, within it, Serkong Dorje Chang makes direct references to Dorje Shugden’s previous incarnation as Duldzin Dragpa Gyeltsen and Shugden’s true enlightened nature.

It also makes clear references to Dorje Shugden as a special protector of Gelugpas, particularly of the healing lineage of Lama Tsongkhapa, Togden Jampel Gyatso, Duldzin Dragpa Gyeltsen, Ensapa and Panchen Lobsang Choekyi Gyaltsen. This unique text also contains a verse on offerings that has been spoken by Dorje Shugden himself.


Sang Offering Text

‘Jam mgon rgyal ba’i bstan srung Rdo-rje Shugs-ldan rtsal chen po’i bsangs mchod [dge legs mchog stsol] bzhugs so, composed by Gaden Serkong Dorje Chang

Hum, visualizing myself as the yidam, from the heart,
Light emanates clearing all faults from incense,
Scent having the five desirable qualities complete in perfection,
Granting uncontaminated bliss fills the extent of awareness.

Om Ah Hum (repeat as many times to bless)

Hum, Root and lineages gurus, Three Jewels,
Dakas, Dakinis and Dharma Protectors,
Especially Dorje Shugden and retinue,
By boundless magical power come here.

Also, birth, warrior and patron deities
Local deities, spirits and guardians with the eight classes,
Assembly of guests worthy of offering please come here.
Each happily dwelling on their seats
For the sake of fulfilling the yogi’s entrusted activities
Outer, inner clouds of offerings, commitment substances and presents,
Accept these and accomplish the entrusted activities.

Kye!
Agar, sandalwood, six medicinal ingredients and plants,
By the smoke cloud from the burning wisdom fire
Completely filling the sky
Purifies the root and lineage lamas, yidams and Three Jewels.
Purifies the dakas, dakinis and dharma protectors.

Purifies especially the Chief Dharma Protector of Conqueror Manjunatha
Dorje Shugden and four cardinal emanations.
Purifies birth, war and five patron gods.
Purifies local deities, spirits, guardians and the eight classes.

By the power of offering incense to worthy guests
May all obscurations of quarrel and samaya be purified.
May lifespan, merit and power all increase.
Pacify all diseases to humans and animals, famine, war and dispute.

May the crops be good and the rain be timely.
Conquer classes of demons of the dark side, increase the positive,
And having befriended spontaneously and effortlessly
Attain all goals just as wished.

Ki ki so so, Lha gyel lo!

Hum! Being pleased and satisfied, guests return to their abodes
Returning again upon request for activities.
By this virtue may I myself and all mother beings
Have perpetual auspiciousness of happiness and benefit.

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3 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Wrong photo. The third photo here is the correct guy: http://www.dorjeechang.com/past-lives/

    Your photo shows his reincarnation, Serkong Dorje Chang II. The sixth photo on the site I linked shows the guy in your photo and the first Serkong Dorje Chang’s son, Serkong Rinpoche. Serkong Rinpoche was 4 or 5 when his father died.

  2. From this article, I get to know that some of the important that we are using now, was composed by Serkong Dorje Chang.
    And most importantly, such a highly attained master have great trust in Dorje Shugden.

    1) Serkong Dorje Chang, was the reincarnation of Marpa the translator. In his previous life, He had translated many India text to Tibetan. Thus, the dharma of today could be preserved now is from the work of Marpa.

    2) Serkong Dorje Chang, had composed many important text and uses by many dharma practitioner until today
    - Sang Offering Text
    - Combining the prominent writings on Dorje Shugden rituals by earlier masters Morchen Dorje Chang and Drubwang Drukpa Kunley into a single ritual text
    - Writing extensive confession and propitiation prayer known as a kangsol for the protector Dorje Shugden.
    - writing extensive commentaries on the tantric deity Chakrasamvara

    If a highly attained master have trusted Dorje Shugden, how about us who are not attained. Thus, i strongly believed that Dorje Shugden is an enlighten being.

  3. Great master, Serkong Dorje Chang, is considered as the reincarnation of Marpa Lotsawa. With his great works in spreading the dharma and spiritual achievements, he was bestowed the title of “Dorje Chang” by the Great 13th Dalai Lama.

    Serkong Dorje Chang was able to identify Dorje Shugden as the principal protector of Lama Tsongkhapa and Gelug lineange. One of the most powerful propitiation prayers to Dorje Shugden is incense offerings composed by Serkong Dorje Chang. This incense offerings prayer assist the practitioners to uphold their vows and morality that include the Refuge vows, Pratimoksha vows, Bodhisattva vows and Tantric vows. When we offer incense offerings to the enlightened beings, we generate the merits and it helps to clear obstacles in the accomplishment of spiritual goals.

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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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