Lotsawa Loden Sherab

Ngok Lotsawa Loden Sherab

The Great Ngok Translator

In the year 1159, one of Dorje Shugden’s previous incarnations took rebirth by the shores of Lake Yardrok in Lhoka, Tibet. Born within the illustrious Ngok family, his father was Chokyab and his mother was known as Pelmo.

His uncle, Ngok Lotsawa Lekpai Sherab was one of the three main disciples of Jowo Dipamkara Atisha and it was this uncle who taught Loden Sherab single-handedly throughout the earlier part of his life. His uncle also founded Sangpu Neutog Monastery in 1073, one of the greatest seats of Buddhist learning in Tibet at that time, and this would also become Loden Sherab’s seat in his later years.

Three years later, Lotsawa Lekpai Sherab ordained the young man and gave him the name Loden Sherab. That very same year, Loden Sherab attended the most important gathering of Buddhist masters of the era, the Fire Dragon Religious Conference, that was sponsored by King Tsede, the nephew of King Jangchub Ö of the old Guge Kingdom. Great masters and translators from all over Tibet, India and Kashmir attended the conference with the purpose of facilitating better translations of the great Buddhist treatises. As one of the methods of fulfilling this objective, the young Loden Sherab was selected to travel to India in order to study Sanskrit.

Loden Sherab was believed to have secured an amount from the royal treasury for such an endeavor and travelled first to Kashmir with five other travelling companions, all of whom would later become well-known translators and amongst them, Ra Lotsawa Dorje Drak would eventually become the most famous.

While in Kashmir, the travelling companions spent most of their time in Anupama, a beautiful ancient city that is known today as Srinagar. They worked with several learned panditas there including the one known as Bhavyaraja, whom they worked with mostly on the translation of logic treatises. At that time, such treatises were part of the study and interest of all religions in Tibet and it was common for logicians from various religious traditions to engage in debates. After that, Loden Sherab went on pilgrimage to the Buddha’s seat of enlightenment at Bodhgaya despite the huge distance.

Upon his return to Tibet, Loden Sherab invited many panditas to the Land of Snows to assist in the translation of the Sanskrit treatises. It was said that in the course of his life, Loden Sherab translated over 137,000 verses and trained countless students in Buddhist philosophy, logic, and tantric practices. Such was his popularity that everytime he gave a teaching, over 20,000 students would attend and he needed up to 2,000 assistant teachers to help him. Along with his translation works, he is credited with bringing the lineage of the Dharma Protector Setrab Chen from India to Tibet.

Just before his passing, Loden Sherab told his closest disciples, Zhang Tshepongwa Chokyi Lama and Drolungpa Jungne, to remember the impermanence of the body and urged them to continue studying the Three Baskets of the Buddha’s teachings, the Tripitaka. In essence, he was forewarning them of his impending demise.

While at Mari, in the same area as Samye Monastery, Loden Sherab entered clear light. Soon after, there were reports of earth tremors and the sky was filled with rainbows, celestial lights and mystical sounds of dakinis singing. His remains were cremated in the same valley where Sangphu Monastery was located. The relics that emerged from his body were also enshrined within a stupa at the same location.

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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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