Prayer by the 5th Dalai Lama to Gyelchen Dorje Shugden

His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso

The Great 5th Dalai Lama Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso (1617–1682) was a contemporary of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen (1619–1656), the previous incarnation of Dorje Shugden. Both these high lamas were disciples of His Holiness the 4th Panchen Lama Lobsang Chokyi Gyeltsen. Following the murder of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen at the hands of the Dalai Lama’s jealous disciples, many inauspicious events and signs occurred due to the heavy negative karma of killing such a great Bodhisattva. The calamities that befell the area of Lhasa centered primarily around the residence of the Dalai Lama himself.

Initially however, blame for these inauspicious events was wrongly placed on Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen, rather than the negative karma accumulated from his murder. It was thought at the time that he had arisen as a raging spirit, but he had in fact arisen as the Protector Dorje Shugden. Consequently, the 5th Dalai Lama requested the assistance of a number of high lamas. These included the likes of Mindrolling Terchen from the Nyingma tradition and other high lamas of that time who were known to be experts in esoteric subjugation rituals. Their aim was to subdue the spirit that they thought Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen had become. They engaged in extremely powerful fire pujas but they were unsuccessful as during the rituals the lamas were distracted by various visions manifested by the Protector Setrab and a vision of Dorje Shugden arising as Yamantaka. This was all reported back to the 5th Dalai Lama who then realized that Dorje Shugden was not a spirit but an emanation of Manjushri.

Dorje Shugden statue at Gaden Pelgyeling Monastery, Nepal, made by the Fifth Dalai Lama

Dorje Shugden statue at Phelgyeling Monastery, Nepal, made by the 5th Dalai Lama. Click to enlarge.

It was then that the Great 5th Dalai Lama subsequently enthroned Dorje Shugden as a Dharma Protector, after which the calamities ceased. The 5th Dalai Lama composed a short praise of Dorje Shugden describing his appearance in accordance to his vision of him. He knew that Dorje Shugden has the power and ability to help many beings and grant them his protection and assistance. This prayer can be recited by anyone to call upon this supreme Dharma Protector. He also established the Trode Khangsar Protector Chapel in Lhasa as the main shrine to Dorje Shugden and assigned Dorje Shugden as the Dharma Protector of Phelgyeling Monastery. He gave this monastery a statue that he made with his own hands. Thus, Dorje Shugden’s practice within the Gelug tradition arose under the sacred auspices of the Great 5th Dalai Lama.

One of the lamas of our recent past, Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang, who propagated Dorje Shugden’s practice once wrote:

Even the composition of this short praise and propitiation brought benefit. Thus, although undisputed great Tantric masters tried to subdue him by burning him in the fire through their rituals, his display of miraculous power only grew greater. (from ‘Music Delighting the Oceans of Protectors’, page 105).

As Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang explains, such displays as that of trying unsuccessfully to subdue the Dharma Protector, serve to bring out the greatness in both the Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden who, in the process, showed his true nature as an enlightened being.

Prayer to Gyalchen Dorje Shugden by the 5th Dalai Lama

Though unmoving from the sphere of primordial spontaneity,
With wrathful turbulent power, swifter than lightning,
Endowed with heroic courage to judge good and bad,
I invite you with faith, please come to this place!

Robes of a monk, crown adorned with rhinocerous leather hat,
Right hand holds ornate club, left holds a human heart,
Riding various mounts such as nagas and garudas,
Who subdues the mamo’s of the charnal grounds, praise to you!

Samaya substances, offerings and torma, outer, inner and secret,
Favorite visual offerings and various objects are arranged.
Although, previously, my wishes were a bit dense,
Do not stop your powerful apparitions, I reveal and confess!

Now respectfully praising with body, speech, and mind,
For us, the masters, disciples, benefactors and entourages,
Provide the good and avert the bad!
Bring increase like the waxing moon in spiritual and temporal realms!

Moreover, swiftly accomplishing all wishes,
According to our prayers, bestow the supreme effortlessly!
And like the jewel that bestows all wishes,
Always protect us with the Three Jewels!


Prayer in Tibetan

For readers who can understand Tibetan, please see below for a copy of the prayer in its original language.

The prayer to Dorje Shugden composed by the Great 5th Dalai Lama after he realized that Dorje Shugden is an enlightened being. Click to enlarge.


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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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