History & Lineage of Dharmapala Dorje Shugden by Kyabje Zong Rinpoche

Kyabje Zong Rinpoche in front of Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen’s personal Dorje Shugden thangka in Thubten Dhargye Ling Center in Los Angeles, California

Please listen to the beautiful talk given by H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche to students regarding the lineage of Dorje Shugden. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche’s student Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen of Los Angeles translates.

Great beings such as Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen practiced Shugden their whole lives. Masters of their calibre who are scholars, debate masters, logicians, highly sought after tantric teachers and attained beings have chosen to practice Shugden as their principal protectors must have seen Shugden as beneficial. Surely Shugden cannot fool so many high lamas for so many centuries.

When masters of this calibre practice Shugden, you can be sure Shugden is an enlightened being. Listen to the transcript and be moved by the voices of two great masters talking about the Shugden practice from their hearts to their students. How they share the profound practice of Shugden who they call affectionately Dharmaphala (Dharma protector) to the students of Thubten Dhargye Ling in Los Angeles, California.

Both Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen trusted Shugden wholeheartedly and encouraged their students to practice. Much compassion and care can be heard from this precious and rare audio tape.


Play the audio here:

or listen to the audio on YouTube: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Transcript of the teachings by Kyabje Zong Rinpoche as translated by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen

The Dharmapala is real and he is the emanation of Vajrapani.
From the Thousand Buddhas, he is the *Sangye Hlungzey1 , the last Buddha from the thousand. He generated Bodhichita and said before the Buddha, 999 Buddhas, whatever actions of the Buddha they did, he will also do those.

Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen who founded Thubten Dhargye Ling in 1978

He started generating Bodhichita before with the *Rinchen Nyingpo2 the essence of the jewel. He started there and since then he created merit in the things he did. In our country, there was a great Mahasiddha Buton Rinchen Drub. He was also the Dharmapala.

Before that in India, he was the great master of the Mahasiddha Birwapa. His name was Birwapa.

In India, during Birwapa’s time, there was a very large monastery with many monks and scholars of Buddhism. There were around 500 of them together in one place and Atisha was the proud leader of those monks. Birwapa was living in that very monastery and he was also one of the great scholars.

He kept a small bottle of the wine for the tsog offering. It was his commitment of the Tantra, therefore he kept that.

Atisha saw the wine and as he was the leader of those monks, Atisha said “You cannot stay in the monastery. You have to keep away from the monastery because you keep wine in the monastery. Therefore, you have to go”.

He then said to Atisha, “This wine doesn’t hurt me”.

Atisha said, “I know that it does not hurt you but it hurts others, therefore you have to leave the monastery”. Then when the monks were together in the chanting hall, he said “I am a bad person therefore I cannot go through the door and I have to go up”. Then he took his cushion, sprung through the ceiling and went up in space.

Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen, famous American singer John Denver and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche

Then he went away. When he reached the banks of the Ganga, a very big river in India, he said, “I am a bad person, therefore if I cross you, then you will be bad, therefore better you just keep away from me”. He told that to the river and at that time the river parted and he passed through.

From there he arrived at a temple and in that temple the people sacrificed many animals every day to make offerings to their God.  He went inside the temple right to the statue of the God and he pushed away the very strong, big statue with his knee and pushed it outside.

The devotees were very upset but they couldn’t challenge him so they asked, “Please allow us to put the statue back into the temple. We want this statue back inside the temple. Please put it back there.” They asked this to Birwapa who then said, “I will take this statue back inside of the temple but you need to make a commitment, I first need something from you”.

“What is the commitment?” They asked.

“That you don’t kill any more animals to sacrifice to this God and also when you give an offering to this God, buy rice or any other food, if you do that, then I will put the statue back into the temple”.

Inside the temple, there is also a dakini *Namkyi Jetsun3, there is also a statue of that. Then he went there and he tapped the head of the statue of the dakini. Then the dakini’s head absorbed into the body, and there’s no head.

When the head went down into the body of the stone, stone body, then he pulled up the two ears, holding each ear with each hand, and brought the head back up like normal.

Since then the goddess had a new name, *Lhamo Namjurma4, meaning “holding or pulling the ear”, that’s how the goddess got the name.

In India, he also taught, developed and propagated the Dharma. After that, he went to Nepal. In Nepal, he saw the statue of Lhamo Chandika made from stone.

Thubten Dhargye Ling where His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche gave the teachings on Dorje Shugden and Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen translated. This is in Los Angeles, California.

During that time, in Nepal, there are some people who check, like mathematics, like prophesise, clairvoyance, something like this. They said there was need to sacrifice animals. About 2 million animals to be killed and sacrifice within 3 years and if they don’t do that, the Nepalese government or people, the country will have very bad opportunities, or something very bad will happen.

The Nepalese government, they wanted to, in fact they had to do this, because they had to care for the country but they didn’t have that kind of animal. They were thinking what do we do? Then Birwapa he said, “Take it easy, I have an idea. It doesn’t need 2 million animals but only black sesame seeds, hundreds of bags of sesame seeds”.

Nepalese government need to make the sacrifice to Lhamo Chandika, and while Birwapa was performing the fire puja, some people saw Lhamo Chandika in the wood pyre, when he gave her the sesame seed through his hand, they also saw many animals, what looked like animals strewn forth.

At that time, Birwapa has a very high quality or had very high reputation of the Dharma, Dharma’s power. And then after that, then his generation, in our country there is *Panchen Shakya Sherab5 . He is also reincarnation of the mahasiddha and *Panchen Shakya Sherab6 is also very great scholar but not only scholar, like a mahasiddha of scholars, a very great one.

After that later, then also Buton Rinchen Drub came, also generation of the eight Shabje Sherab, come down then great scholar also Buton Rinchen Drub.

Buton Rinchen Drub, after he left, he also reincarnated back during the time of Lama Tsongkhapa, Je Rinpoche, at which time, came the great mahasiddha called Dulzin Drakpa Gyeltsen.

Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Prayer Hall

Then Dulzin Drakpa Gyeltsen also changed his life, and also then after that was Panchen Sonam Drakpa. Panchen Sonam Drakpa is the teacher of the 3rd Dalai Lama. Panchen Sonam Drakpa has good, very excellent qualities and also very high reputation and after that then, after that came Sonam Yeshe Wangpo.

When Sonam Yeshe Wangpo left, his next incarnation was Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen.

Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen was a very great scholar. Even as a thirteen year old boy, he was a great scholar, spiritual, taken to practising the Lamrim, clear self realization and the ability to teach to others too. His guru is Panchen Lobsang Chokyi.

During Lama Tsongkhapa’s time, Nechung Chokyong, the government’s protector, although he didn’t show his real form but instead emanated as one young boy, went many times to Lama Tsongkhapa’s place, with Lama Tsongkhapa together with his the disciples, he asked, “I need help, I need help, who can do it?”

He asked many times but nobody says “I’ll do it”, nobody said that.

Then one day, Dulzin Drakpa Gyeltsen who was the oldest student of Lama Tsongkhapa around that time thought to himself, “This boy has come many times”, and proceeded to say “I will help you, I will help you”.

Then the young boy said to Dulzin Drakpa Gyeltsen, “Don’t you forget what you told me, don’t forget’ and disappeared.

At the same period, this boy, that is the time of Lama Tsongkhapa, the 1st Dalai Lama, Gyalwa Gendun Drup, he is the disciple of Lama Tsongkhapa. Since then, the Dalai Lama, the 2nd, the 3rd, the 4th and the 5th Dalai Lama also, five generations after, then Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen came. Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen is there, during Lama Tsongkhapa’s time he is Dulzin Drakpa Gyeltsen, he was there. Then 5th Dalai Lama’s time he came and his name is Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen.

Then one day, Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen went to the oracle. Nechung came through the oracle, with other people present, asked “Do you remember what you promised to me, do you remember that?”

Then Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen said, “I don’t remember”.

Then Nechung gave some barley to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen, “You take this, burn the barley and smell it with your nose and then you will remember”. When Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen got back to his place and burnt the barley, he remembered Nechung as the emanation of the small boy, his promise to help and also remembered his whole past.

Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche here taking lunch together as they often did. They were very close. Trijang Rinpoche was the guru of Zong Rinpoche

When he remembered, he thought, “Now I need to show the form of a Dharmapala”.  After that where also, then he said that Nechung, Damchen Dorje Legpa is another protector of the Dharma, very powerful.

Then he said also, he talked to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen, “Now in this time, now is the lucky time, we have pure Dharma and this is the system of Lama Tsongkhapa that is like gold. And also, if you become a protector of that, then you will be his best one, you are the best protector of the Lama Tsongkhapa’s system of teachings”.

Then next time when he went to Nechung and Nechung came through the oracle. He said “I’ll do it, I will take the form of Dharmapala but I don’t have cause of death”.

What is the cause of death? Somebody to make anger or somebody to create bad action to him, then that will be the cause to become and take form as a Dharmapala. Therefore he told this, “I don’t have that kind of a problem”. Then Nechung says “You will stay in Lhasa, go into Lhasa”. “I will make a cause of death”, Nechung told Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen.

Then that’s what Nechung told to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen and just like that, Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen went to the Lhasa. Lhasa is the capital of Tibet. While he was staying in Lhasa, people, Tibetan people, local people or from long distance came to see him. His reputation was much higher than His Holiness the Dalai Lama at that time. Therefore one of the attendants of the Dalai Lama, Desi Sangye Gyatso, got angry and mad and he tried to kill Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen.

Then the attendant of the 5th Dalai Lama, Desi Sangye, killed Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen. But His Holiness the Dalai Lama doesn’t know anything, no. Then this attendant of the Dalai Lama he told to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen was very sick. His Holiness the Dalai Lama then said, “If he is sick, I want to go to there and I want to see him”.

Desi Sangye Gyatso then said “Oh, you cannot go there. Your Holiness please you don’t go because his sickness is very dizzy. Very dizzy. Very badly dizzy. Also it is not good for you. Please don’t go”. And he stopped His Holiness from going there whilst on the other side, Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s body was burned.

When burning his body, very special smoke, a smoke with a rainbow together rose. Rainbow in the smoke together just like a pillar, straight into space, very long one….

Then this rainbow and smoke mixture stayed in sky, go up, and that time, the attendant of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen was very upset. He thought about how people were very bad to him. Killed and also everything very bad action they did to him, but he don’t think about those, and he goes straight up to the pure land, looked like he is going up straight to pureland. That he doesn’t like.

And also “Why don’t you do anything and go straight that way”. His robes hit the smoke and then smoke is coming down. Doesn’t go up anymore. And then come down to earth and the whole area very smoky with the rainbow just like fog on the ground…

Then he started to become, taking a wrathful form, a very powerful one. Then he went to Sangphu, From Lhasa to Sangphu. Sangphu is on the other side of Lhasa. They have a protector called Setrab, this is the college of Setrab. He went there and stayed there.

Then there were many different kind of signs, very powerful and very strange for this country, our country. Everybody was afraid.

Then the 5th Dalai Lama and his government, they tried to make a burn, through the fire puja. Very great ones, like His Holiness Dalai Lama, Karmapa, *Dorje Tra6, and many Gaden Karampa, those powerful lamas tried to make it burn with a fire puja. But they cannot burn, cannot do anything, it was powerful.

Therefore then they know that, after that they put “Now you are the protector, to make the protector, then Dorje Shugden”, and since then also, from the Chinese King like that time also, his great name Dharmapala therefore… many different places also, even China, they sent many different kinds of offerings to Dharmapala and also those kind of Dharmapala hats.

Since then, very powerful protector, a very powerful, great quality protector, therefore then *sog-wang7, means the initiation of the Gyalchen, since then can, when they were given the initiation of the Dharmapala… that blessed Dharmapala through the text by Lama Rinchen Wangyal. But then sometimes, that one also the text lost.

Since then lost that text, and then people, even high level teachers they couldn’t get the initiations of Dharmapala.

Then during Kyabje Pabongkhapa’s time and also Tagphu Dorje Chang. Tagphu Dorje Chang, a very great Mahasidda, he is very great, truly great Mahashidda. And then Kyabje Pabongkhapa asked Tagphu Dorje Chang,“Please try to get the initiation of the Dharmapala because we need it”, asked.

Then Tagphu Dorje Chang he went to the Tushita Heaven because Lama Tsongkhapa is there now. And he went to Tushita Heaven and also he see that Lama Tsongkhapa and also then get the initiation for Dharmapala from Lama Tsongkhapa. Two different kinds of initiations. Tagphu Dorje Chang got it.

Then from the Lama Tsongkhapa given this initiation to Tagphu Dorje Chang, Tagphu Dorje Chang gave the initiation to Kyabje Pabongkhapa, Then Kyabje Pabongkhapa gave this initiation to Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang. Then from Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang gave then His Holiness our guru Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. He got three times, about three times. Then since then to gurus, it’s four generations.

Tagphu Dorje Chang is a great Mahasiddha of the Tibetans, that is the everybody knows just general, everybody knows he is great, because like a statue also talking to him, even like this, also normally Tara and himself, like a person each other, talking to each other, this kind has…

Kyabje Pabongkhapa is a great mahasiddha and long time because his long history and in this time also he the great action of the Dharma increasing and also make develop in the whole of our country Tibet, he is giving teachings and also develop Dharma very kind for us indeed. He is also the emanation of the Chakrasamvara, he is the real Chakrasamvara.

His Holiness also says, and those kind of you have great teachers, great mahasiddhas, through that ways the initiations came and also we got and if you want more details of those real, if you want to know then it has textbook… His Holiness mentioned one textbook I had, because through His Holiness this time I got, and also maybe I can make a Xerox for you, and also you will have centre here or any other centre, therefore if you want to learn you learn from them from your teacher.

Those the commentary of these texts, printing in India also if you want it, Geshe-la His Holiness mentioned where is there.

1-6 sound not very clear, hence spelling may not be accurate
7 sochwang or sogtae

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18 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. I am sure that enlightened beings and masters past and present cannot be wrong! DS.COM is the ONLY resource for dorjeshugden in my opinion with a wealth of information that is diverse, deep and really transformative in my mind, for that I cannot express my gratitude it brings tears to my eyes and day-by-day an open heart appreciating the kindness of many masters preserving this lineage and teachings for us today.
    Jack H xo

  2. ZX

  3. Today, the times and conditions both are rough and it is hard paying a fee and renewing the documentation.

  4. Through this article, it clearly shows us the history behind Dorje Shugden, telling us who he is and how he is being manifested. It clearly shows us that Dorje Shugden is one of Je Tsongkapa’s direct, and oldest students (Dulzin Drakpa Gyeltsen). Thus, by saying that Dorje Shugden is an evil spirit is definitely something that I would not believe no matter how it is said.

    If even a protector like Setrap cannot subdue Dorje Shugden, it would only mean that Dorje Shugden is an enlightened protector that has manifested in these times to bless and protect both Je Tsongkpa’s doctrine and the practitioners (us).

  5. NI

  6. QV

  7. OQ

  8. CS

  9. LU

  10. JF

  11. GF

  12. VV

  13. QZ

  14. NZ

  15. ED

  16. PV

  17. BJ

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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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