Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen

Immaculate Disciple of Je Tsongkhapa

In a previous lifetime, in1327, the great being Dorje Shugden emanated in Central Tibet as Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen. As in his previous incarnations, he displayed a compelling inclination towards spirituality from a very young age, and took on his studies with tremendous zeal and astonishing results.

He took ordination at the foot of Drigung Choje Chan Nga who acted as Zimpon, the assisting Master. Throughout his monastic studies, he listened to infinite teachings of Sutra and Tantra from many spiritual masters but the only Lama he held close to his heart was the great Je Tsongkhapa.

At that time, this heart disciple of Je Tsongkhapa developed such a respected reputation for holding the Vinaya vows so well that he was given the name Duldzin, an abbreviation of ‘Dulwa Dzinpa’, which means ‘Holder of the Vinaya’. Just like his Guru Je Tsongkhapa, Duldzin held onto his vows so well that he exuded a beautiful scent – the fragrance of morality – and was a dazzling sight to behold.

With Je Tsongkhapa, Duldzin studied and mastered the Lamrim, realised Bodhichitta, and practiced and mastered the four classes of Tantra, all while keeping his Vinaya, Bodhisattva and Tantric commitments perfectly.

In his later years, Je Tsongkhapa travelled and did extensive retreats. While he was away, he would place Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen in charge of his affairs. As Je Tsongkhapa aged, Duldzin feared for his master’s health so he took on the challenge of building Gaden Monastery for him. He did this exactly in accordance with the Vinaya rules. Upon completion, Duldzin offered the entire monastery up to his Lama so Je Tsongkhapa could reside there to teach.

Once, Lord Duldzin was invited to Tsel Gungtang temple to give teachings on Lamrim and the Vinaya. He gave the teachings so well that he was able to empower the monastic community of the monastery with renewed enthusiasm for the Vinaya and also infused them with the spirit of the Great Scope.

He never took credit for his teachings but always attributed them to the kindness of his Lama, Je Tsongkhapa. It was during this lifetime that Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen first made a promise to Nechung to arise as a Protector to preserve the teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa.

When the great Je Tsongkhapa finally passed away in meditation, Duldzin was greatly saddened. Along with many of Je Tsongkhapa’s closest heart disciples, he entombed his Lama’s remains in a magnificent stupa. Many people believed Je Tsongkhapa and Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen to be equals in terms of their wisdom, spiritual realisation and knowledge.

It is even said that both Je Tsongkhapa and Duldzin were actually emanations of the same enlightened mind, manifesting simultaneously as teacher and student to show the perfect example of Guru devotion. The other students of Je Tsongkhapa thus requested Duldzin to ascend the Gaden throne of Je Tsongkhapa, as the first Gaden Tripa. However, Duldzin politely declined.

Instead, he offered the Gaden throne to another of Lama Tsongkhapa’s heart disciples, Gyaltsab Je, who became the first throne-holder of the Gaden tradition. In his lifetime, Duldzin founded another monastery, Tsunmo Tsal, and it was here that he passed away, leaving behind many great students and a whole body of written works.

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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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