Dorje Shugden’s Five Families

Dorje Shugden manifests in five different forms for different purposes. Aside from his principal emanation on the snow lion and wearing a golden domed hat, he has four other recognized emanations, each with their specific functions.

These five forms are also known as the five families of Dorje Shugden. Altogether, the five families are manifestation of his five aggregates, which also correspond to the five Dhyani Buddhas.

Duldzin Dorje Shugden

Main Emanation

This is the principle deity who corresponds to the aggregate of consciousness. He wears a domed hat on his head while wearing the robes of a fully ordained monk. In his hands, he carries a wisdom sword and the heart of the enemy (symbolizing ignorance), and cradles a taming hook in the crook of his left arm. He rides upon a snow lion, symbolizing his fearlessness. He bestows great wisdom and shows us the right way.

You said, “I will protect the highest stainless essence of the Sugata’s teachings as the precious jewel of the merit of all beings!” Heroic Manjushri Yamantaka in a worldly, haughty disguise,to you, endowed with strength of ten million dharma protectors, I offer praise.

Vairochana Shugden


This emanation is the aggregate of form. He has a semi-wrathful smile and is white in colour. In his right hand, he holds aloft a lance that has a mirror tied to it while his left hand holds a noose.

He wears flowing white silk robes, a golden turban and rides an elephant. He purifies our negative karma and obstacles, and his practice is very powerful for healing and pacifying serious illnesses.

O you whose purified aggregate of form, in the dance of the pacifier, is a new youthful body of a hundred thousand autumn moons, holding silk beribboned arrow and noose, riding the king of elephants, the dispeller of negative conditions and obstructors, to you I praise.

Ratna Shugden


This emanation is the aggregate of feeling and is a golden (yellow) colour. In one hand, he holds up to the sky a golden long-life vase which carries the branch of a wish-granting tree and in the other hand, a bowl filled with jewels.

He is adorned in princely yellow robes and rides a white palomino horse. He increases all that is good, bringing wealth and abundance in all aspects.

O you whose purified aggregate of feeling, in the dance of the increaser, is a body, magnificient with the brilliance of ten million suns. Holding vessel of jewels and vase, riding a divine yellow palamino, the increaser of wealth, prosperity and all desirables, to you I praise.

Pema Shugden


This emanation is the aggregate of discrimination. He appears with blood-red skin and smiles flirtatiously in wrathful manner. He holds a taming vajra hook tied with red silks with his right hand and a jeweled noose with his left.

He wears a handsome red silk garment adorned with flowers and rides upon a turquoise dragon. He brings about peace of mind and helps to tame very difficult, negative minds, people and situations.

O you whose purified aggregate of recognition, in the dance of the subjugator, is a body blazing with the glory of a ruby mountain, holding hook and noose, riding a blue turquoise dragon, the powerful summoner of the three realms, to you I praise.

Karma Shugden


This emanation is the aggregate of compositional factors. He manifests with a very dark red skin and displays a very wrathful appearance. He hurls a big sword with his right hand and clutches a bleeding heart in his left.

He is dressed in black silk garments and rides upon a powerful Garuda. His practice is especially efficacious for overcoming powerful delusions and very negative, harmful energies.

O you whose purified aggregate of compositional factors, in the dance of the terrifier, is a body like a dark red intolerable tumultuous storm of fire, riding an agile garuda, holding razor-edged sword and enemy heart, the reducer of enemies and obstructors to ashes, to you I praise.

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  1. very nice to read about 5 families of dorjeshugden. and so happy to read praise 5 familise of dorje shugden.i hope many people can know about 5 families of dorje shugden. beneficial for many people .thank you very much.

  2. This article make me learn a lot about Dorje Shugden, now i understand five Dorje Shugden five families link with Five dhyani Buddha energies. Thk you for sharing, very educational !

  3. The Buddhas are very kind. Manjushri manifest in 5 forms corresponding to the 5 Dhayani Buddhas and the 5 kleshas and 5 skandhas to help beings of this degenerate age. Dorje Shugden’s five families directly provides the practice and activities of the 5 Buddha families to counter the kleshas/afflictions of ignorance, attachment, anger, jealousy and pride. The practice also counters our ignorance of the existence of the 5 skandhas/aggregates of form, feelings perceptions, mental formations and consciousness.
    Dorje Shugden not only provide protection of the practice of the Dharma on the outer level but the practice can be considered a deity/yidam practice because its 5 forms counters every possible delusions we have.

  4. The alchemy of 5 families of Dorje Shugden has the complete power and qualities of transmutation of human neurosis which drown the human race in samsara to reach the stage of pure bliss and enlightenment.

  5. This very interesting article shows us how we can bring our practice of Shugden to a higher level.

    His five aggregates manifest in the form of the five Dhyani Buddha Families. His main emanation is Duldzin , representing the consciousness aggregate. Then there is Vairochana Shugden, representing the form aggregate, Ratna Shugden representing the ‘feeling’ aggregate; Padma Shugden representing the ‘perceptions’ aggregate, and Karma Shugden representing the ‘compositional factors ‘ aggregate.

    Through the practice of the 5 emanations, our afflictive emotions(lkleshas) can be transmuted into wisdom energies. How powerful!

  6. The 5 Dhayani Buddhas are celestial Buddhas or transcendent beings who symbolize universal divine forces. The Protector manifest in the corresponding 5 forms to be closer to us and for us to practice the path to directly subdue our afflictions of ignorance, attachments, hatred, jealousy and pride; transforming our mind to that of compassion and wisdom.

  7. Compassionate and loving Buddhas will manifest in any forms to help us and to subjugate all of our delusions and afflicted emotions that keeps us in Samsara, the vicious cycle of sufferings through pure ignorance.

    In this extreme age of degeneration, it is not that easy for us to visualise the 5 Dhyani Buddhas, and in his great compassion, Dorje Shugden will appear in 5 forms to help us towards right views and the right path by reducing our negativities.

    Each form is representation of the energy that will subjugate our 5 Kleshas, namely Ignorance, Anger, Attachment, Pride/ego and Jealousy.

    The main form, Duldzin Dorje Shugden eradicates ignorance and bestows wisdom.

    Shize form in purity of white and with compassion will dispel our negativities and tame our mind. A healer in peaceful form.

    Gyenze, in yellow form will provide us in abundance and increase of good conditions for our growth to the path of enlightenment.

    Wangze, in red form with a flirtatious smile will entice us to tame our wilful, wild minds, granting us a tamed and control mind for peace.

    Trakze, in dark red form will subdue all our obstacles and enemies and smooth our path on our Dharma Journey.

    In our practice and faith in our Protector, we can overcome our afflicted emotions and be at peace with our short life for this time and have the imprints to continue our path to enlightenment the next life and the next life with beneficial purpose to all sentient beings.

  8. The five Dhyani Buddhas also known as Pancha Buddhas or Buddhas in meditation are abstract aspects of Buddhahood, emanations of Adibuddha. Often called Tathagata, they are seated in a position of meditation, with Vairochana in the middle of the mandala, Akshobhya in the east, Ratnasambhava in the south, Amitabha in the west and Amoghasidhi in the north. The five forms of Dorje Shugden are said to correspond to the five Dhyani Buddhas, having the same qualities and activities such as pacifying, increase, control and wrathful. They consist of the main form, the mind emanation Duldzin who is in the middle. In front of him is Vairochana Shugden or Shize, who corresponds to Vairochana, the form aggregate. To the right is Ratna Shugden or Gyenze, the quality emanation who corresponds to Ratnasambhava. Behind Duldzin is Pema Shugden or Wangze, the speech emanation. To the left is Trakze or Karma Shugden, the wrathful emanation who corresponds to Amoghasiddhi. A noticeable difference between the two groups is their colour. While Vairochana, Ratnasambhava and Amitabha have the same colour as their counterpart in the Shugden families, Akshobhya is blue while Duldzin Dorje Shugden is red. While Amoghasiddhi is green, his counterpart Karma Shugden is dark red. However, the aggregates that the emanations of the two families represent are the same.

  9. How wonderful we able to understand in details through this article.

    We are so fortunate that able to practice such complete hence powerful Dorje Shugden practice that can totally help us to Enlightenment…

    Dorje Shugden 5 families will help us to face and fight with our 5 Skandhas, hence lead us easier to get out from Samsara…

    Homage to Dorje Shugden 5 Families, u r always my Guru, Yidam and Protector!!!

  10. Dorjeshugden is a very powerful practices because his practices combine all the five Buddha families. Very nice statutes that display in this blog and clear iconography good job.

  11. This article is very insightful. If Dorje Shugden 5 families corresponds to the 5 Dhyani Buddhas, it means the Dorje Shugden practice is an all encompassing practice which will lead us to enlightment . That is really great in times like this where we have lack of time and plenty of obstacles to overcome in our daily lives. Now I have to really sit down and understand how it all works and put my mind and soul in practicing it. Thank you to all the kind Lamas who suffer so much to keep this practice alive to benefit us . May you all live long to continue to spread these teachings !

  12. Is there a mantra dedicated to each of the 5 families of Dorje Shugden?

  13. Dear John Phang
    You may refer to this link for the different mantras related to Dorje Shugden

    May you always be blessed by Dorje Shugden !!

  14. Thank you for explaining Lord Dorje Shugden 5 families. From this article I learned on the details of each emanation of Dorje Shugden and their qualities. I am glad that I meet an opportunity to practice Dorje Shugden. May the ban be lifted immediately, may Dorje Shugden practice continue to flourish, may more and more people received blessing from Dorje Shugden.

  15. 👍

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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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