Author Topic: A question on sogtae  (Read 13896 times)

Ensapa

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A question on sogtae
« on: March 09, 2013, 08:43:03 AM »
Hi all,

According to my Guru, once someone receives sogtae, Dorje Shugden will protect the person life after life until that person achieves Bodhicitta. For someone who has not received sogtae, Dorje Shugden can only protect them during that lifetime and not further. My question is, lets say that I have received sogtae in my previous life but in my present life I did not have the good fortune to receive sogtae, based on my previous' life sogtae will Dorje Shugden still protect me even though I do not have it in this current life and i have not encountered him in this life?

just a question I was wondering.

Zach

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Re: A question on sogtae
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2013, 12:04:20 PM »
Hi all,

According to my Guru, once someone receives sogtae, Dorje Shugden will protect the person life after life until that person achieves Bodhicitta. For someone who has not received sogtae, Dorje Shugden can only protect them during that lifetime and not further. My question is, lets say that I have received sogtae in my previous life but in my present life I did not have the good fortune to receive sogtae, based on my previous' life sogtae will Dorje Shugden still protect me even though I do not have it in this current life and i have not encountered him in this life?

just a question I was wondering.

Effect similar to the cause, My guess would be that if one had received Sogate in a previous life one would definitely create the causes to meet the protector very quickly within the next and all proceeding lives. How quick you have met with your Guru and the protector would be an indication perhaps of having received it previously.

Big Uncle

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Re: A question on sogtae
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2013, 12:10:37 PM »
Well Ensapa, if you did not receive sogtae in this life does not mean that Dorje Shugden is not doing his best to assist you in this life. He will continue to try to assist you based on the merits you accrued through your practice in this life. But whether, you have the karma to receive his assistance would largely depend on you and your samaya with your lama and the merits you have accrued. It is through these two elements that Dorje Shugden would come to our assistance. However, if we don't practice, in future lives, our connection with Dorje Shugden would still be there but we don't know what negative karmas would arise to block our merits from arising. I hope this helps you.

lotus1

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Re: A question on sogtae
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2013, 08:36:42 PM »
May I know what is a sogtae? I only know that Sogtae is life entrustment of Dorje Shugden. Could someone please explain further what is a sogtae and how to get a sogtae?

Though I do not know what is a sogtae, but based on the law of karma, I agreed with what Big Uncle said. As Buddha said, he will only lead the path and we still need to walk the path ourselves. If someone has not been practicing and only rely on sogtae from previous life, even Dorje Shugden wants to assist you, you also may not have much effect as your negative karma has created the conditions that for us to be even have meet Dharma but also may not able to appreciate the Dharma and not practicing it. So, it we have received sogtae in our previous life, in this life we should do more good to create more merits and do our practice diligently in order not to waste our current life. Then, with the support from Dorje Shugden, the spiritual journey would be easier and can achieve more results.

Losang_Tenpa

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Re: A question on sogtae
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2013, 02:27:10 AM »
Hi all,

According to my Guru, once someone receives sogtae, Dorje Shugden will protect the person life after life until that person achieves Bodhicitta. For someone who has not received sogtae, Dorje Shugden can only protect them during that lifetime and not further. My question is, lets say that I have received sogtae in my previous life but in my present life I did not have the good fortune to receive sogtae, based on my previous' life sogtae will Dorje Shugden still protect me even though I do not have it in this current life and i have not encountered him in this life?

just a question I was wondering.

Effect similar to the cause, My guess would be that if one had received Sogate in a previous life one would definitely create the causes to meet the protector very quickly within the next and all proceeding lives. How quick you have met with your Guru and the protector would be an indication perhaps of having received it previously.

Perfect!

Big Uncle

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Re: A question on sogtae
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2013, 12:49:05 PM »
May I know what is a sogtae? I only know that Sogtae is life entrustment of Dorje Shugden. Could someone please explain further what is a sogtae and how to get a sogtae?

Though I do not know what is a sogtae, but based on the law of karma, I agreed with what Big Uncle said. As Buddha said, he will only lead the path and we still need to walk the path ourselves. If someone has not been practicing and only rely on sogtae from previous life, even Dorje Shugden wants to assist you, you also may not have much effect as your negative karma has created the conditions that for us to be even have meet Dharma but also may not able to appreciate the Dharma and not practicing it. So, it we have received sogtae in our previous life, in this life we should do more good to create more merits and do our practice diligently in order not to waste our current life. Then, with the support from Dorje Shugden, the spiritual journey would be easier and can achieve more results.


Dear lotus1,

With regards to sogtae, I have posted this comprehensive explanation before some time ago. Perhaps, you can take a read and if you have any more questions, do ask them here. Thanks

Life Entrustment (Sogtae)

A complete and historical understanding of life entrustment, or srog gtad (pronounced as 'Sogtae'), would be welcome in order to properly consider something so-often mentioned but rarely understood. In any case, many detractors of Shugden utter the words “life entrustment” as if it was a grave matter somehow distinguished from the rest of Vajrayana Buddhism. However, the term is overly mysterious when considered out of the context of having considerable knowledge of Vajrayana Buddhism. Upon examination, life entrustment can be found for many other protectors. And life entrustment is not unlike many other subsequent permission initiations (rje gnang) given for yidams, with a few exceptions noted.

The exact origin of life entrustment seems to be unknown, and it is also possible that the term came to be popular at a certain time and was used in place of initiation (rje gang). It would appear that “life entrustment” (srog gtad) and “life empowerment” (srog dbang) are used interchangeably. Although life entrustment is similar to a subsequent permission initiation (rje gnang), it would appear the term life entrustment is never used in relation to yidams. Life entrustment does not entail self-generation, and it appears there is a lack of recognition of this fact by Von Brück. This is possibly the root of confusion of Von Brück’s investigation of this matter:

The meditational practice regarding these yidams is identification with the deity, which is possible through complete surrender or the 'life-entrustment' of body, speech and mind by special initiation. (CDI, 335).
Describing identification with a yidam, self-generation or deity yoga, as life-entrustment is a misappropriation of the term life entrustment considered here. Self-generation and life entrustment cannot be assumed to be the same thing, the former term is used to describe this identification with the deity in practice while the latter term is used in the initiation process only. Usage of the term surrender is also non-technical within the context of Vajrayana, and it is not relevant within the context of initiation or subsequent deity yoga itself.

In any case, one can find life entrustment rituals in the 17th century by the Fifth Dalai Lama for the protector Dorje Barwa Tsel. Dreyfus claims that “It does not appear that these ceremonies are practiced in the case of protectors such as Ne-chung, but I have not been able to obtain clear information on this point.” (SA, 266). However, a life entrustment ritual for Nechung can be found in the collected works of Thuken Dharmavajra (1737-1802, bka' srung rgyal po sku lnga'i srog gtad bya tshul ches gsal ba). By the 19th century, life entrustments can be found in some Gelug masters’ collected works. In the collected works of Changlung Pandita (1770-1845), one finds a life entrustment to the Five Warriors connected with the Hayagriva Most Secret Form (rta mgrin yang gsang). The collected works of Gendun Dargye has a life entrustment ritual for Setrabchen per the instructions of his teacher Gomang Tenpa Choepel (1840-1907/1908). Life entrustment rituals for various protectors can be found in the collected works of Rongchen Kirti Lobsang Trinley (1849-1904), including Setrabchen and Dorje Shugden. In particular, as mentioned earlier, there existed a different life entrustment for Dorje Shugden written down by Rinchen Wangyal (1741-1812) of Sera Monastery.

Life entrustment rituals can be found in other traditions as well. This includes the works of Jamgon Kongtrul who has life entrustments connected to Tsiu Marpo (Gnod sbying ya ba rkya bdun), Four Face Mahakala (ye shes mgon po gdong bzhi pa'i srog gtad), and other protectors. Life entrustments can be found to other protectors such as Ekajati and Maning Mahakala.

Some may get the impression that life entrustment initiation is complete surrender to a protector; however, upon examining several initiation rituals, this is certainly not the case. Rather, what is found closely resembles permission initiations (rje gnang) related to yidams. This is case for the Fifth Dalai Lama’s life entrustment initiation for Dorje Barwa Tsel (lha chen rdo rje 'bar ba rtsal gyi srog gtad kyi rje gnang mu thi la'i 'phreng ba bzhugs so: 5DL, vol.22 pages 857-868). This particular initiation includes blessings of aspects of the protector through the medium of a torma. Also, in this initiation these five blessings are followed by a command (bka' bsgo) to the protector to protect the initiate from harm and demons, to perform activities on behalf of the initiate, and to increase the prosperity, merit, and Dharma activities of the initiate.
Initiations in general may entail the initiate abiding by certain commitments (dam tshig) after receiving the initiation. This is a common feature of Vajrayana Buddhism. In some cases, this means daily recitation of a sadhana. With protectors it may entail that monthly fulfillment or torma rituals be observed, which is less time consuming in comparison to a daily sadhana. For example, the life entrustment to the Five Warriors related to Hayagriva by Changlung Pandita states that one should offer tormas (mchod gtor) on a monthly basis.

Von Brück claims that a controversy with the Shugden life entrustment has to do with his ontological status, i.e. whether he is a worldly deity or not. He claims that life entrustment would be appropriate only if Shugden is transworldly and not worldly (CDI, 341). However, such a dispute would have been a long standing issue with the some of the other protectors listed above. In particular, in the conclusion of Thuken Dharmavajra’s life entrustment to the Five Kings we find the statement “Although you are beyond the world you assume a worldly form.” (LCN, vol. 7 page 790). This matches Pabongkha Rinpoche’s ontological view of Shugden, so there is nothing new that Pabongkha Rinpoche introduced that would cause a valid objection to having a life entrustment.

Von Brück also claims that Shugden is not mentioned in a particular Tagphu initiation manual, and because of this it means that Shugden is not from a high class of deities:

In his 'Initiation texts for the practice of the visionary teachings' which he had received from Losang Choekyi Wangchuk (blo bzang chos kyi dbang phyug), there are teachings on Amitayus, Avalokiteshvara, Vajrapani, Tara and the Guru Yoga, and there is no mention of Shugden because the text deals with high Tantric initiations. That Shugden is not mentioned in this context suggests that he considers the deity not among this high class of deities. (CDI, 339).

However, this argument is a complete fallacy on the part of Von Brück because the initiation manual is for 13 visions of an earlier incarnation of Tagphu, Losang Choekyi Wangchuk (1765-1792), and it was a later incarnation of Tagphu, Jampel Tenpai Ngodrup (1876-1935), who was Pabongkha Rinpoche’s master. This initiation manual is specific only to Losang Choekyi Wangchuk’s visions. The later Tagphu incarnation received these initiations of his earlier incarnation and propagated these to Pabongkha Rinpoche. Pabongkha Rinpoche never claimed that the earlier Tagphu—Losang Choekyi Wangchuk—had had a vision of Shugden, rather it was the later Tagphu—Jampel Tenpai Ngodrup—who did so, at the request of Pabongkha Rinpoche. Therefore, the fact that Shugden is not mentioned in the initiation manual is not because of his ontological status, rather Shugden was simply not included in the set of visions of the earlier Tagphu incarnation.

In summary, life entrustment initiation to a protector resembles a subsequent permission initiation (rje gnang) to a yidam, with the exception of self-generation (as protectors are not yidams). It would appear that there is no reason or known historical case to raise the issue of a controversy in relation to life entrustment as von Brück does. We find life entrustments in the Gelug tradition for several centuries. In particular, Nechung is considered ultimately enlightened taking a worldly form, which is the same view of Dorje Shugden posited by Pabongkha Rinpoche, Serkong Dorje Chang and other masters. It is not clear if there was a controversy related to a Nechung life entrustment or not, but it would not be a fair exception to single Dorje Shugden out. Moreover, we find that an earlier eminent master preceding Pabongkha Rinpoche, Serkong Dorje Chang, did raise the subject of Dorje Shugden life entrustment and actually recommended it. It would appear that an issue with life entrustment was raised only due to bias against Pabongkha Rinpoche.
(Taken from http://www.dorjeshugdenhistory.org/misc-ds-vajrayana.html )

Ensapa

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Re: A question on sogtae
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2013, 01:06:40 PM »
Well Ensapa, if you did not receive sogtae in this life does not mean that Dorje Shugden is not doing his best to assist you in this life. He will continue to try to assist you based on the merits you accrued through your practice in this life. But whether, you have the karma to receive his assistance would largely depend on you and your samaya with your lama and the merits you have accrued. It is through these two elements that Dorje Shugden would come to our assistance. However, if we don't practice, in future lives, our connection with Dorje Shugden would still be there but we don't know what negative karmas would arise to block our merits from arising. I hope this helps you.

Thank you for your answer, but after receiving sogtae wouldnt Dorje Shugden help to reduce the instances of broken samayas between one and the Lama? Sometimes, from what I can observe there are people who fall into situational traps that cause them to break their samaya. If one  is overburdened with negative karmas, would Dorje Shugden be able to help and lead the person to a path or a way where purification is possible if one has received sogtae in a previous life? But in general, I do like your answer the most as it makes the most sense to me.

lotus1

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Re: A question on sogtae
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2013, 02:58:47 PM »
Thank you very much Big Uncle for you explanation on sogtae.

Ensapa

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Re: A question on sogtae
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2013, 04:19:02 AM »
Effect similar to the cause, My guess would be that if one had received Sogate in a previous life one would definitely create the causes to meet the protector very quickly within the next and all proceeding lives. How quick you have met with your Guru and the protector would be an indication perhaps of having received it previously.

But what if due to circumstances and also negative karma, the person who has received sogtae in his or her previous life gets into a situation where he or she is further and further away from the Dharma and/or the Dharma protector, or their own Guru? If under normal circumstances a person who has received sogtae would re-encounter Dorje Shugden in their next lives very soon, what are the chances that he or she have encountered Dorje Shugden but are unable to receive sogtae? does Dorje Shugden's help end there, or will he still help them out?

Zach

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Re: A question on sogtae
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2013, 08:39:23 AM »
Effect similar to the cause, My guess would be that if one had received Sogate in a previous life one would definitely create the causes to meet the protector very quickly within the next and all proceeding lives. How quick you have met with your Guru and the protector would be an indication perhaps of having received it previously.

But what if due to circumstances and also negative karma, the person who has received sogtae in his or her previous life gets into a situation where he or she is further and further away from the Dharma and/or the Dharma protector, or their own Guru? If under normal circumstances a person who has received sogtae would re-encounter Dorje Shugden in their next lives very soon, what are the chances that he or she have encountered Dorje Shugden but are unable to receive sogtae? does Dorje Shugden's help end there, or will he still help them out?

Dharmapala's can only help people according to their own karma, Just because one encounters Dorje Shugden it wouldn't imply they have received sogate previously, Generally because of the associated commitments I would think that a person who takes it would become a very pure practitioner and thus meet with Dorje Shugden very quickly in the next...You can never predict the exact workings of Karma. 

dsiluvu

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Re: A question on sogtae
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2013, 09:41:22 AM »
Well Ensapa, if you did not receive sogtae in this life does not mean that Dorje Shugden is not doing his best to assist you in this life. He will continue to try to assist you based on the merits you accrued through your practice in this life. But whether, you have the karma to receive his assistance would largely depend on you and your samaya with your lama and the merits you have accrued. It is through these two elements that Dorje Shugden would come to our assistance. However, if we don't practice, in future lives, our connection with Dorje Shugden would still be there but we don't know what negative karmas would arise to block our merits from arising. I hope this helps you.

Thank you for your answer, but after receiving sogtae wouldnt Dorje Shugden help to reduce the instances of broken samayas between one and the Lama? Sometimes, from what I can observe there are people who fall into situational traps that cause them to break their samaya. If one  is overburdened with negative karmas, would Dorje Shugden be able to help and lead the person to a path or a way where purification is possible if one has received sogtae in a previous life? But in general, I do like your answer the most as it makes the most sense to me.

Interesting question and answer. Thanks Ensapa for asking, and thank you Big Uncle for your clear answers. But from what I understand, just because you have received sogtae, you are safe and well guided. Like what Big Uncle said... you have to also do your part and make sure you do not keep on breaking your samaya and collecting negative karma. I am sure Dorje Shugden will do his part but the other half, it is based on us and out own effort and actions.

All situations and "traps" that makes us fall and break our samaya is basically done by our own self. Karma is created by who? Our own self. Hence if we can create negative karma, can we not also create positive ones? How? Simple... the choice is yours and it is in your own hands. It is as simple as making the choices and living with it's consequences, good or bad, is really up to us. I guess this is why we are Buddhist, for Buddha said we all have the potential to be Buddhas. Hence, we are responsible for our own happiness... Dorje Shugden can show us the way but we still have to walk the path ourselves. There is no other way. Hence to lay it all on Dorje Shugden, is kind of like a delusional expectations that we know is unfair and probably wrong concept. This is my opinion and isn't refreshing to know, your karma, destiny, goal is really in your hands :)


dsiluvu

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Re: A question on sogtae
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2013, 10:12:47 AM »
Effect similar to the cause, My guess would be that if one had received Sogate in a previous life one would definitely create the causes to meet the protector very quickly within the next and all proceeding lives. How quick you have met with your Guru and the protector would be an indication perhaps of having received it previously.

But what if due to circumstances and also negative karma, the person who has received sogtae in his or her previous life gets into a situation where he or she is further and further away from the Dharma and/or the Dharma protector, or their own Guru? If under normal circumstances a person who has received sogtae would re-encounter Dorje Shugden in their next lives very soon, what are the chances that he or she have encountered Dorje Shugden but are unable to receive sogtae? does Dorje Shugden's help end there, or will he still help them out?

Ensapa... you create the causes for Dorje Shugden to help ya  ;)

Dorje Shugden will help anyone... but like what Big Uncle have said and what everyone have said "Dharmapala's can only help people according to their own karma". And who creates those "karma"? We ourselves of course.

We cannot expect Dorje Shugden to hand held us all the way and not take any responsibilities what so ever for your own negative karma. We still have to be the one to do it. And even if Dorje Shugden want to hold your hand and guide you, if our negative karma is so strong that it literally blurs out his vision that even if Dorje Shugden cannot find us, how can He then help?

I believe Dorje Shugden will do His part like a father always protecting and guiding his sons and daughters... But we, as sons and daughters, gotta make that call home first so the "father" knows where we are to be able to help. It is a two way street always.

And there are so many practices we can do to help us purify our negative karma of the past and present especially to our Gurus who have been so kind to us... in fact kinder than Dorje Shugden because if it wasn't for the Guru, we would not even have heard of Dorje Shugden! So better we make good sure we keep our Guru samaya clean, (if not repair them) such as keeping our word of honour with our Gurus, never to break any promises made to our Gurus is better than to think about whether we got sogtae in the previous life or not. Besides I remembered a senior monk once told me "if the Guru is happy, so will Dorje Shugden" and "never forget, that Dorje Shugden follows the Guru's instructions not the other way round." So if we really really want Dorje Shugden's help... better to make the Guru happy by practicing and applying Dharma! No need to live in the past... live in this moment NOW and forward!  ;)   

Ensapa

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Re: A question on sogtae
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2013, 04:09:37 AM »
Hmm, so at the end of the day, Dorje Shugden can only help us only if we have the merits to be helped by him, which is why after getting His practice we have to gain as much merits as possible so that we dont get 'lost' in our next life. After all it is said to be rare for someone to come across Tsongkhapa in this day and age and develop faith in him, so it should be even more rare to encounter a Dharma protector that has compassionately sworn to protect the Buddhadharma during these times and who is also Lama Tsongkhapa's direct emanation. He is so kind to give us protection life after life until we gain enlightenment. Now I have a clearer idea of the sogtae process.

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: A question on sogtae
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2015, 09:52:50 AM »
Buddhism also teaches us about our previous lives, our imprints, our current life and how to gain merits for swift and good rebirth when we die.

So if we have once in any of our lives prayed to Dorje Shugden and have received transmission on sogtae, it seem logical that we will have the imprints of DS for many future lives.  Maybe in this life as we practise DS it is the positive ripening of our Karma, result of an imprint from previous lives.

Clifford.Khong

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Re: A question on sogtae
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2015, 02:32:53 PM »
Effect similar to the cause, My guess would be that if one had received Sogate in a previous life one would definitely create the causes to meet the protector very quickly within the next and all proceeding lives. How quick you have met with your Guru and the protector would be an indication perhaps of having received it previously.

But what if due to circumstances and also negative karma, the person who has received sogtae in his or her previous life gets into a situation where he or she is further and further away from the Dharma and/or the Dharma protector, or their own Guru? If under normal circumstances a person who has received sogtae would re-encounter Dorje Shugden in their next lives very soon, what are the chances that he or she have encountered Dorje Shugden but are unable to receive sogtae? does Dorje Shugden's help end there, or will he still help them out?

Ensapa... you create the causes for Dorje Shugden to help ya  ;)

Dorje Shugden will help anyone... but like what Big Uncle have said and what everyone have said "Dharmapala's can only help people according to their own karma". And who creates those "karma"? We ourselves of course.

We cannot expect Dorje Shugden to hand held us all the way and not take any responsibilities what so ever for your own negative karma. We still have to be the one to do it. And even if Dorje Shugden want to hold your hand and guide you, if our negative karma is so strong that it literally blurs out his vision that even if Dorje Shugden cannot find us, how can He then help?

I believe Dorje Shugden will do His part like a father always protecting and guiding his sons and daughters... But we, as sons and daughters, gotta make that call home first so the "father" knows where we are to be able to help. It is a two way street always.

And there are so many practices we can do to help us purify our negative karma of the past and present especially to our Gurus who have been so kind to us... in fact kinder than Dorje Shugden because if it wasn't for the Guru, we would not even have heard of Dorje Shugden! So better we make good sure we keep our Guru samaya clean, (if not repair them) such as keeping our word of honour with our Gurus, never to break any promises made to our Gurus is better than to think about whether we got sogtae in the previous life or not. Besides I remembered a senior monk once told me "if the Guru is happy, so will Dorje Shugden" and "never forget, that Dorje Shugden follows the Guru's instructions not the other way round." So if we really really want Dorje Shugden's help... better to make the Guru happy by practicing and applying Dharma! No need to live in the past... live in this moment NOW and forward!  ;)   

I really what all of you have discussed here, Sogtae is just the first step of making the connection with Dorje Shugden, indeed its your own karma and your guru samaya that really depends on the next future lives you would take to be protected by Dorje Shugden. We all must treat our guru and Dorje Shugden as one and that any instructions from our Guru is also from Dorje Shugden vice versa I think. We can't expect to receive something as precious as Sogtae and believe we are forever protected, we need to make the effort to keep that connection, like you dsiluvu said you have to create the causes for Dorje Shugden to help us. By receiving Sogtae it would higher our chances of being close to Dorje Shugden in the next life but what's more important is keeping our Guru Samaya clean in order to receive the teachings of Lord Buddha.

Same goes to many of those who have sworn in to stop practicing Dorje Shugden even though the teachings and practices were passed down from their Guru, despite being close and to know of Dorje Shugden was rare enough but they may not have had the merits to continue their practice, lets pray that they have a change of heart soon.