FAQS – About Dorje Shugden’s Practice

Where did Dorje Shugden’s practice come from?

Dorje Shugden arose as the principal Protector of Lama Tsongkhapa’s doctrine about 350 years ago, at the time of the 5th Dalai Lama, who composed the first verses of praise to him.

However, the common lineage and practice that is being followed throughout the world today is more recent and comes from a great Lama called Tagphu Pemavajra. Tagphu Pemavajra had the special ability to astral travel and one day, he travelled to Tushita Heaven, the celestial abode of the Buddhist saint Lama Tsongkhapa. There, he requested the Buddhist ascended master Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen to expound the mystical teachings and practice of Dorje Shugden.

For the first time ever, Dorje Shugden’s full entourage and mandala emanated out from under Lama Tsongkhapa’s throne. Dorje Shugden then transmitted the practice directly to Tagphu Pemavajra, just as the Buddha Maitreya had transmitted five major philosophical treatises to the master Asanga in Tushita Heaven in earlier times.

Tagphu Pemavajra later transmitted these instructions to his disciple Pabongka Dechen Nyingpo, who wrote the Melodious Drum, the lineage practice prayer, and passed it on to Trijang Dorjechang Losang Yeshe who wrote a commentary on the prayer. From Trijang Rinpoche, who was also the junior tutor to H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, the teachings were passed to many renowned Gelugpa teachers. Today, these teachers are teaching all over the world.

Is this a secret practice that requires initiation?

No, it is not secret. You do not require any initiation or empowerment to recite some of the prayers and Dorje Shugden’s mantra.

Can I practice Dorje Shugden even if I have not received the practice, initiation or empowerment from a lama?

Yes, you can. It is good to request an initiation (permission) or oral transmission from a qualified Lama if possible, as you will also receive the lineage blessings of this practice.

More advanced practice would require guidance and permission from a qualified teacher but you can already start to create a profound connection to this Protector by reciting prayers and his mantra, and praying sincerely to him.

How can I start doing Dorje Shugden’s practice?

If you have an image of Dorje Shugden, you can set up an altar if it is convenient. You can also make daily offerings such as flowers, light, incense, food or whatever you find pleasing. If it is not convenient for you to have an altar, you can start his practice simply by downloading and reciting any of the prayers that are available on this website. Or, you can recite his mantra anytime, anywhere:


The most important part of doing Dorje Shugden’s practice is to have a sincere and pure motivation.

How can I do the practice if I don’t have much time?

You do not need much time for this practice. Simply recite a short prayer (below) and the mantra. You can also recite just the mantra at any time, anywhere and as many times as you like.

Whenever you have more time, you can recite the longer prayers (which can be downloaded from the prayers section of this website) and / or recite more mantras. Most importantly, generate a good motivation and have strong faith that Dorje Shugden will help you.

By just recollecting you for an instant,
Outer and inner obstructions are dispelled,
O powerful Dorje Shugden’s five families,
Bestower of the four activities,
To the Dharmapala and entourage, I bow down.


What happens if I miss doing the practice when, for example, I am ill or travelling?

Dorje Shugden is an emanation of Manjushri, the Enlightened Buddha of Wisdom. He arose as a Dharma Protector about 350 years ago especially to protect Nagarjuna’s Middle View, as taught by Lama Tsongkhapa.

He is often considered to be a Protector of the Gelugpa lineage but actually, he protects all sincere Dharma practitioners equally.

I already have a Dharma Protector practice so why would I need to do Dorje Shugden’s practice?

Dorje Shugden has manifested specifically at this time to assist practitioners in this day and age. As obstacles and distractions become much greater at this time, Dorje Shugden’s practice is very effective to help us clear these obstacles. His practice is complementary to all our practices and there is no conflict or overlap at all.

You should continue your existing Dharma Protector practices, but you can also add Dorje Shugden’s practice to your daily prayers. You can add his prayers in after your normal Protector prayers, or simply recite his mantra.

Can I still do Dorje Shugden’s practice if I am already doing other spiritual practices?

Yes, there is no conflict or problem in adding Dorje Shugden’s practice to what you are already doing. You can also put images of him on your altar alongside images / statues of other deities and / or Buddhas. However, if you already have a Lama and have already been advised to do certain prayers, you should maintain what you have already been taught.

If you wish to do Dorje Shugden’s practice (or any other practice for that matter) on top of what you have already been advised, do seek the advice of your Lama as he will know what practices would be most suitable and beneficial for you.

Can I be harmed in any way from doing this practice?

It is impossible for any Enlightened Being like Dorje Shugden to harm anyone. He abides totally in compassion and wisdom, and would never do anything to harm any being.

Will Dorje Shugden harm you if you stop doing his practice?

No. As he is a fully Enlightened Buddha, he will never have any motivation to harm any being.

Which high lamas practice Dorje Shugden?

Many of the highest Lamas today – who have been recognized as highly realized, Enlightened Beings themselves – have been well known for relying upon Dorje Shugden. Well-known and highly esteemed Gelugpa practitioners of Dorje Shugden, past and present, include:

Past Masters

  • The 5th Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso
  • Losang Thubten Wangchuk Jigme Gyatso (head of the Gelugpa school of Buddhism in Mongolia)
  • Ngulchu Dharmabadra
  • The Indian master Shakya Shri Bhadra
  • The 11th Dalai Lama (who installed Dorje Shugden as the Protector of the Gelugpa tradition)
  • Gyara Tulku Rinpoche
  • Domo Geshe Rinpoche (regarded by the 13th Dalai Lama as an emanation of Lama Tsongkhapa)
  • Serkong Rinpoche (regarded by the 13th Dalai Lama as Vajradhara)
  • Dagpo Kelsang Khedrub Rinpoche
  • Pabongka Rinpoche
  • Trijang Rinpoche
  • Ling Rinpoche
  • Khangsar Rinpoche
  • Tathag Rinpoche (in charge of the Tibetan Government after the death of the 13th Dalai Lama)
  • Zong Rinpoche
  • Khen Rinpoche Losang Tharchin
  • Lati Rinpoche
  • Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey
  • Khechog Rinpoche
  • Lama Yeshe
  • Dagom Rinpoche

Present Masters

  • Lobsang Tamdin
  • Ribur Rinpoche
  • Geshe Rabten
  • Dagyab Rinpoche
  • Gelek Rinpoche
  • Lama Zopa
  • Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
  • Yongyal Rinpoche
  • The 14th Dalai Lama
  • Gonsar Rinpoche
  • Gangchen Rinpoche and others

Where can I find out more information about this Protector and his practice?

There is plenty of information available on this website, including a wealth of articles, images and videos. There is also a very helpful forum which encourages plenty of discussion and where you can ask any questions you may have about Dorje Shugden and his practice.

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10 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Can one that is generally more Hindu oriented (in an uninitiated way?) practice Dorje Shugden?
    Although I have had Darshan (where the god’s manifested and appeared in my ‘”inner vision” actively in the past), this has not happened in many years. I would like and need for the gods to reappear in my inner vision so that I can see and talk with them. Will Dorje Shugden do this?
    Although I am new to Buddhist practice in this incarnation, Lamas have told me that I practiced Buddhism in “past lives.”

  2. Nice to know HIndus are interested in the practice, welcome :) well I believe that your question is answered by the answers for “Can I practice Dorje Shugden even if I have not received the practice, initiation or empowerment from a lama?” and “Can I still do Dorje Shugden’s practice if I am already doing other spiritual practices?”…of course you can :) Buddhas do not discriminate against who they help because all sentient beings are equal, and they help out of great compassion for our suffering.

    I dont think though that you need gods to appear in your visions. First off, gods arent enlightened beings so as Buddhists, we shouldnt seek advice from them. Buddhists only take refuge in enlightened beings like the Buddha.

    Anyway, sometimes appears to you arent gods. They can be spirits manifesting as gods, to advise you to do things that outwardly look good, but in the long term can be very harmful to you and others. We arent enlightened so we shouldnt seek these kinds of experiences because we cant distinguish between Buddha and spirit.

  3. I have 3 questions:

    1) Can I use the short prayer above as a daily prayer offering to Protector Dorje Shugden?

    2) Can I chant the mantra above only without offering any prayer? Cn this mantra be used to cover all the shortcomings in my life?

    3) Can I pray for my family members on their behalf using the mantra?

    The mantra mentioned her is ” Om Benza Wiki Bitana Soha”

    Thank you very much

  4. We are so very fortunate to have Dorje Shugden as our protector.
    No harm can be done! How fortunate we are!

    Thank you for giving His practice to the world.
    This website is so clear and easy to understand. So much wisdom!


  5. So many great masters are practicing this protector and gain attainment, I have full confident that this practice is good and can not be wrong.

  6. Thank you for this simple easy guide to the practise . You are doing a lot for lineage n I am thanking to you . I am agree dat Dorjee Shugden cannot harm to anyone because he is Manjushri n is Buddha .

  7. Thank you so much for these clear answers! No doubt, we can all practice and we are most fortunate to connect to this holy being who will assist as if we have a pure motivation.

    Buddhas will help us if we request from the heart. May Dorje Shugden and the practice of Lama Tsongkhapa florish for ever more.

    May we all be blessed in all our lifes to connect to Dorje Shugden and Buddhism. May we all connect to a holy Guru who will guide us towards enlightenment.

    Thank you DorjeShugden.com team!!

  8. I am baptized a Roman Catholic but I need some enlightenment in my life I am going through a turmoil and I need peace in my heart, can I do this prayer even if I am Catholic per se?

  9. Hi team,

    I want to know about bhagwan bhagwan dorje shugden i m residing in mumbai india

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Contemplate This

.…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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