Gelukpa Guru Tree, Updated by Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche

Gelukpa Guru Tree

The Emergence of Dharmapala Dorje Shugden

While Je Tsongkhapa was giving a Dharma discourse, Nechung appeared to Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen in the form of a white dove, urging him to manifest as a protector of Je Tsongkhapa’s teachings who are so sublime and precious that a special protector is needed to guard and further them in this world.

Nechung repeated his request to Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen’s subsequent incarnations and during the time of Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen approached again, asking him if he remembered his promise. Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen replied that since there was no anger in his mindstream, how could he manifest the wrathful energy of a Dharma protector?

Thus the event of strangulation was displayed with bodhicitta motivation, enabling the enlightened being Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen to manifest wrath at the moment of death and to emerge in this way as the transcendent supramundane Dharmapala Gyalchen Dorje Shugden.

Gelugpa Guru Tree, Updated by Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche

Gelukpa Protectors

Magnification of the bottom row of the Guru Tree , showing Dorje Shugden as one of the protectors

Since his emergence as a supramundane Dharma protector, Gyalchen Dorje Shugden has played a major role in nurturing and protecting Dharma realizations in the minds of all practitioners.

Specifically and most importantly, he guards the “the system of Nagarjuna, the highest view, free from extremes, and the supreme behaviour of vinaya, the code of conduct of the Buddha” – the sublime Middle Way philosophy and the pure ethics as realized, exemplified and taught by Manjushri Je Tsongkhapa.

That in our turbulent times of manifold distractions and temptations ordinary beings like us are attracted to such teachings, are guided to a valid teacher, and feel the wish to study and practice with altruistic motivation is a visible sign of Dorje Shugden’s blessed activity. If we then go further and determine “to really tame our minds, he will even give us his heart,” as the great Geshe Rabten said.

Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche, reincarnation of Ra Lotsawa (the originator of the Yamantaka transmission lineage) and holder of all Geluk lineages, has been very kind to give the world this magnificent, ‘updated’ Guru Tree which shows Dorje Shugden amongst our other Dharma protectors.

As visualization aid of the merit field during Lama Chopa puja, or as a holy image on our altars – we invite you to experience the blessings of this sacred thanka!


You said, “I will protect the highest stainless essence of the Sugata’s teachings
As the precious jewel of the merit of all beings!”
Heroic Manjushri Yamantaka in a worldly, haughty disguise,
To you, endowed with strength of ten million dharma protectors,
I offer praise.

Smiling with ruby complexion of affection and compassion,
Elegant in whatever emanation of wrath, passion, or smiling peace,
The instant one remembers the limitless secrets of your body,
All needs and desires are granted,
To you I praise.

Your razor sword of superior wisdom rips through the foe, samsara,
And you hold the heart of great bliss which slaughters the extreme of nirvana;
To you who, for the glory of infinite migrators, shows signs of the skilful means,
Which have arisen from extremes of both samsara and nirvana,
I offer praise.

The system of Nagarjuna, the highest view, free from extremes,
And the supreme behaviour of vinaya, the code of conduct of the Buddha;
As an instruction to migrators that one should practice thus,
You are adorned by the domed hat and saffron robes,
To you I praise.

Having various mounts, unfixed, such as lions, agile garudas, and dragons,
Emanating as whatever will tame beings in infinite realms,
For the sake of migrators, ever tireless,
To you I praise.

Although you have the manner of a very fierce slaughterer,
In the midst of a tumultuous mass of extremely blazing fire,
You don’t move even slightly from a state of peace, love and compassion;
To this especially exalted wonder,
I offer praise.

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  2. The prayer says:

    To you who, for the glory of infinite migrators, shows signs of the skilful means,
    Which have arisen from extremes of both samsara and nirvana.

    However, these skilful means probably have not ‘arisen’ (originated) from extremes of both samsara and nirvana.
    Rather, these skilful means more likely have *risen* (moved above) the extremes of both samsara and nirvana.

    Please review the English translation of the prayer.

  3. Beautiful Picture… Never the less article as well. I’m saving this picture to place on my alter.

  4. We are immensely grateful to Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche for updating the Gelukpa Guru Tree, to include Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden.
    Indeed, Wisdom Protector Dorje Shugden, you have right of place in this Guru Tree. You play an immeasurably significant role as protector of Je Tsongkhapa’s teachings, particularly his teachings, of unexcelled clarity, on Nargajuna’s Middle View on Emptiness, “the highest view, free from extremes’.
    By donning your saffron robes, you show all practitioners the code of moral conduct that we must all uphold. The Heart of “great bliss” which you hold signifies the innermost heart’s aspiration of all practitioners – Enlightenment and Liberation from Samsara and all suffering.
    To you, O Supreme , Supramundane Protector, who arose to fulfill a promise to guard and protect Je Tsongkhapa’s teachings of the highest view, Nargajuna’s Middle View, we offer our heartfelt praise and devotion. Without you, O Protector, we, who are caught in these turbulent , degenerate times( with our unruly minds and innumerable distractions), would be lost for ever.

  5. I believe Nechun is not an enlightened being as he has to come and appeal to Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen to manifest as a Dharma Protector to guard the teachings of Je Tsongkapa so that its teachings can be spread further to the world. It is also logical that a Dharma Protector needs to have wrathful energy. And since Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen did not agree Nechun keep on appealing to his incarnations until the incarnation of Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen appear then appealed again. He replied that he has no anger in his mindstream. How then can he be a Dharma Protector. Then with bodhicitta motivation for the benefit of sentient beings. Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen was strangled. And when Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen died he became the Dharmapada Gyaltsen Dorge Shugden.

  6. Nechung has appealed to Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen to manifest as a Dharma protector because he is not an enlightened being. Hence, he could not be a Dharmapala to protect Je Tsongkapa’s doctrine.

    Dorje Shugden is manifested for times like this to benefit all of us now. I am very happy that Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche has recognised Dorje Shugden as a protector and has added him into the Guru Tree.

    The praises that is written for Dorje Shugden is just so pretty and fluent. allowing all of us to know Dorje Shugden slightly better through the words of the praise.

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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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