400,000 in Chatreng Sampheling Monastery!

An astounding 400,000 people attended the Monlam Festival in Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche’s Sampheling Monastery in Chatreng, Tibet from 5-12 March, 2014. The Gelugpa Monlam Chenmo (or Great Prayer Festival), one of the most significant religious events in Buddhist Tibet, was established by Lama Tsongkapa in 1409. Without doubt, the overwhelming response in Sampheling Monastery on this occasion is testament to Chatreng’s intense guru devotion and faith in their pure lineage and great protector Dorje Shugden.

Today, Sampheling Monastery is the pride and crown jewel of the people of Chatreng. Currently, the monastery has hundreds of monks and thousands of lay devotees, who are responsible for the rebuilding of the great monastery. In grandeur, Lama Tsongkhapa’s statue stands three stories high inside the monastery and the main gate, with its unique design, was lovingly hand crafted by the devotees.

400,000 people attended the Monlam Chenmo celebrations in Sampheling Monastery, Chatreng

The rich history of Chatreng is unquestionably interwoven with the great H.H. Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang, whom Chatrengpas venerate as “their” lama. One of the greatest masters of recent times, Kyabe Trijang Dorje Chang is the teacher, direct or indirect, of practically all Gelugpa lamas teaching Dharma today, including H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama. In fact, most of the Dalai Lama’s teachings, commentaries and practices he is transmitting today arise from Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang. Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang was also the holder of the Ganden Oral tradition, passed to him in its entirety by his root guru, Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche, and a staunch proponent of Dorje Shugden’s practice.

The people of Chatreng will always be remembered for their pivotal role in helping the 14th Dalai Lama escape the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959. It was none other than Dorje Shugden, via the Panglung Oracle, who selected a group of brave warriors from Chatreng to escort the Dalai Lama out of Tibet and into India. Why? Because Chatreng’s people are known for their bravery, loyalty and unquestioning devotion to Dorje Shugden. This group of warriors, known as the Chushi Gangdruk, were the Dalai Lama’s personal bodyguards in his flight to safety and although many unfortunately perished in this historical heroic act, their sacrifice has allowed Tibetan Buddhism to flourish across the world.

In short, the people of Chatreng have unshakable faith in their guru, their pure lineage and their protector. No wonder that despite the best efforts of the Dalai Lama and Central Tibetan Administration, Chatrengpas remain steadfast to H.H. Trijang Rinpoche and Dorje Shugden, and will never change their views for the sake of convenience or political correctness.

More photos from the Monlam Chenmo celebrations in Sampheling Monastery

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  1. I am so surprised to know that there are almost 1/2 million Tibetans in Chatreng region only of tibet who are followers of Dogyal nowadays. Is this number over estimated or just artificially or politically manupulated ???
    Please clearify if anyone knows exactly about the Dogyal worshippers in Chatreng region. If this statistic is true, then Exile- Tibetans must take this religious issue seriously and must solve through fair dialogue and earlier the better for both sides.

  2. @maria, Actually our charting region alone has 480,000 people as of 2012. maybe even more now. and all our charting people . head to toe are dorje shugden people. and our root guru is HH Phabongka rinpoche and HH Trijang rinpoche. All kham Region number are in millions. almost all people in kham area are all dorje shugden people.

  3. here is a video of just one monastery in tibet.


  4. Jampa Tashi,
    I am just curious; I was wondering if Dorje Shugden is a protector for other traditions of Buddhism as well in Kham? I have strong karma with two traditions; from the Gelugpa the thing I like best is how Dorje Shugden always protects the inner wealth of our compassion and wisdom, and helps us get bodhichitta. I am just curious?

  5. @BlueUpali,
    over here in our Kham area i say about 80% Gelukpa. rest 20% kayku, sayka, nyingma.. And i know in our area kham and in other areas of tibet, i know many sayka and Kagyu people also worship dorje shugden. and i don’t know about Nyingma people sorry.


  7. Wow ! Wonderful to know so many DS practitioners in the region of Kham. They have been DS practitioners for generations and their Sangha numbers are also growing steadily. How can anyone say that DS is an evil spirit ??

  8. How come and could CTA ever claim that Shugden followers are in a manority group among Tibetans. The Tibetan population in total after 1959 is said to be about 5 Million and the Shugden worshippers makes about 10 %. of it which means very seriousness of human right freedom of free social movement and interaction.
    The matter doesn`t look so small and simple as one thinks at the very beginning 20 years ago.

  9. Raju Lama, 10% shugden people maybe in india. But, in Tibet try more like 70%.

  10. The above 400,000 only from Chatrin region of East Tibet means the total number of Shugden worshippers in whole Tibetan speaking part of Tibet and all Exile Tibetans plus Himalayan Regions could easily go over 2 Millions. Here without considering the Westerner worshippers, the total number of Dogyal practitioners among Tibetans is very very high in spite of “OFFICIAL BAN “.
    This is hardly any MINORITY GROUP of people existing and is being always mantrarised by the CTA as A SMALL GROUP OF PEOPLE.

  11. People always say there are 4 million Dorje Shugden practitioners world wide, well that means Chatreng holds 10% of the total population highly unlikely. I wouldn’t be surprised that it could be closer to 10 million yes I am pulling the number from the sky, but my estimates may not that far off, there a lot of practitioners under the NKT banner, there are more Chinese embracing Dorje Shugden, so the Dorje Shugden movement is not small at all.

  12. I am sure the Exile Tibetan Adminstration has been very ignorant in the last 30 years for not understanding the another real world beyond Dharamsala. They haven`t been thinking that 90 % of Tibetans are living in Tibetan speaking Tibet.
    The Shugden issue is now a human right problem at International level. When 1-4 Million world people are worshipping this Diety, then no any governmenst can close their eyes on this problem.
    If CTA refuses to solve this problem in due time, sooner or later, then this grave injustice will be solved from the outside with greater importance.

  13. What a wonderful write-up on the majesty and chivalry of the wonderful people of Chatreng and their staunch devotion to Trijang Rinpoche and the lineage masters of Dorje Shugden. Thank you, May the Dharma flourish and spread for an wide. 400,000 devotees flocking back to Sampheling Monastry for Monlam is a startling sign that the protection of Dorje Shugden works and is deemed powerful by these people. Until this moment, I have yet to see prove that Dorje Shugden is an evil spirit and that the practice brings harm to Tibet and the Dalai Lama. The only poison around seems to be CTA and the fanatical followers of the Dalai Lama.

  14. Wonderfull… Keep it up all buddhist.make peacefull world.

  15. This is really encouraging to hear for practitioners of Dorje Shugden in other parts of the world. It is good to know that the tradition of the practice and guru devotion is alive and well. The Dalai Lama himself claiming that his own Guru’s were mistaken in their belief that Dorje Shugden was a fully enlightened protector, some what denigrated guru devotion is my eyes, but I am glad to see the Chatrengpa’s keep their own Guru devotion alive and well.

  16. Our devotion to our lineage and our guru is very important in our practice because with strong devotion will bring us attainment , thus the CTA has very much broken their faith to their lineage because the DS lineage is come from Lama Tsongkhapa .

  17. 400.000 Shuden followers in Chaktren region festival gathering and today 200,000 Shugden worshippers in Chamdo region Gonsar festival means the true followers of Je Tsonkapa,Phabongkha and Trijang Rinpoche are growing in number day by day.
    If 30% of 4 Million Tibetan Shugden followers are only in Tibet, then how many more Tibetan followers are there outside Tibet not counting the Western worshippers.

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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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