A Dorje Shugden Empowerment by Gen-La Dekyong at Manjushri KMC

This video, produced by the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT), was published on Apr 10, 2012 with the following description:

“Dorje Shugden is the Wisdom Buddha, appearing as the Dharma Protector of modern Kadampa Buddhism. He is our ultimate friend and protector; by relying on him with faith, all our spiritual needs and wishes will be fulfilled and all obstacles dispelled. Receiving the empowerment of Dorje Shugden makes an unbreakable connection between us and this holy being, so that we will always come under his loving care, never apart from a wise and powerful ally.”

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHHkvtNHdT0

The swift growth of Dorje Shugden’s lineage in the West has been largely due to the efforts of the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT), which was founded by Ven. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. When NKT first split from the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), many saw it as a betrayal of the Gelug tradition by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. However, 1100 NKT centers later, one begins to see the wisdom of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, who has instilled amongst his students a loyalty and devotion so essential for Vajrayana practice.

FPMT, on the other hand, appears to have forgotten its roots in its efforts to toe the line. It seems that they have conveniently ignored their own history; the massive Dorje Shugden rituals performed at Kopan, how fervently its founder, Lama Yeshe, relied on Dorje Shugden, and how Dorje Shugden was the protector who brought FPMT to a global level.

A very close and senior student of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is Gen-La Dekyong, whose humility and clarity of speech is apparent when she is giving teachings or empowerments. Gen-La Dekyong is the General Spiritual Director of the New Kadampa Tradition and she bestows many empowerments including that of Dorje Shugden every year at the Buddhist Festivals. These festivals are hugely popular, with 2000-6000 people attending them. We rejoice in the efforts of Gen-la Dekyong and NKT to touch people’s hearts and minds with the Wisdom Buddha’s energy and empowerments.

The video in this post is of Gen-La Dekyong giving a Dharma sharing during a Dorje Shugden empowerment at the Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre, the mother center of NKT. As Gen-La Dekyong points out succinctly

…we have no power on our own to overcome delusions. We need help, we need Dorje Shugden’s help, Wisdom Buddha’s help, our Guru’s help. We need help, support and power. We need power.

We’re asking Dorje Shugden – please help me with my Dharma practice. There is no more qualified protector for the Ganden Oral Lineage at this time than Dorje Shugden, now is the time to rely upon Dorje Shugden.

An empowerment is usually associated with permission to practice a particular deity or protector. Naturally, if we receive an empowerment from someone who has received it from an authentic unbroken lineage and is attained in that particular practice, we also receive the powerful lineage blessings all the way from its first practitioner.

It is a prerequisite of the Dorje Shugden life entrustment1 (initiation-empowerment) or srog gtad (pronounced as ‘Sogtae’) that we have first received the Anuttara Yoga Tantric practices like Yamantaka or Heruka Chakrasamvara. The Dorje Shugden empowerment is an opportunity to establish or strengthen our connection with Dorje Shugden as he is a powerful loving friend, ally and protector and his practice is beneficial for anyone.

Once you receive empowerment you promise to hold Dorje Shugden as your main protector until you gain Bodhicitta. Dorje Shugden promises to protect you on the dharma path until you gain Bodhicitta in life after life.2

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 gnang). 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.3

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.3

In Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche’s namtar4, it is very apparent that Dorje Shugden was ever present watching over the young Trijang Rinpoche, supporting and ensuring the next generation of Gelug teachers are ready for the future and the preservation of Je Tsongkapa’s tradition. Dorje Shugden is not a protector just for the moment, he is a protector for innumerable lifetimes.


A Biography of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Watch this short documentary on Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.

Or watch on server | download video (right click & save file)



  1. 10,000 conferred Shugden Sogtae
  2. A question on sogtae
  3. Dorje Shugden and Vajrayana
  4. Download Kyabje Trijang Dorjechang’s Autobiography
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11 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Rejoice for Geshe-la hard work who create million of follower around the world, we as a lay practitioner we need high Lama like this to guide us may the NKT center grow and may Je Tsonkhapa teaching spread to more people.

  2. Sadly, Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong does not appear to really embody Dorje Shugden’s lineage, as she has put in several people who are in direct contradiction to Dorje Shguden’s heart commitment. Her purpose appears to be to confuse people into thinking she is a Shugden while placing people in key positions who do the bidding of the Dalai Lama. Furthermore the NKT was NEVER part of the FPMT; Ven. Geshe Kelsang’s perfect teachings come strait from his root guru, not from Lama Zopa or someone.
    Please see: https://redblackfireandwind.wordpress.com/2015/08/24/dont-let-the-dalai-lama-take-over-the-nkt-replace-gen-la-kelsang-dekyong-with-a-shugden-gsd/

  3. Kelly = BlueUpali?

    Seems very odd to give Dorje Shugden empowerment and undermine Dorje Shudgen.

  4. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is no ordinary monk, to have brought NKT to where it is now. I doubt he would approve any to be GSD who is secretly having her own agenda and is against Dorje Shugden.

  5. The NKT promote the pure Dharma of Geshe la’s root guru, unlike all the other political Tibetan Buddhist sects with their so-called tulkus and geshes. Only the NKT present the pure Dharma. All other groups like the FPMT promote false Dharma.

  6. I didn’t know Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s biography. Thank you for posting the short video here! His work has reached out to so many and has benefited people all over the world.

    The amount of 1.100 centres all over the world is amazing and shows how hard Geshe la has worked and how many people are involved to make it happen.

  7. It is wonderful to see how many people are being blessed and supported by Dorje Shugden! The NKT has grown tremendously due to the kindness of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and the committed sangha. This a clear manifestation of Dorje Shugden’s power and abilities to say the least. May the NKT continue to grow in preserving the sacred lineage of Dorje Shugden and Lama Tsongkhapa!

  8. Ven. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is the muscle in propelling Dorje Shugden into the west. With 1,100 NKT setup in the west, it is public view to acknowledge his wisdom, loyalty and tenacity to Dorje Shugden and his lineage Master’s teachings. While FPMT was doing everything opposite. FPMT can even forget and ignore how their founder, Lama Yeshe, had fervently relied on Dorje Shugden, and how Dorje Shugden was the protector who brought FPMT to a global level.

    NKT is known to bestows many empowerments including that of Dorje Shugden every year at the Buddhist Festivals. Empowerment is usually associated with permission to practice a particular deity or protector. Naturally, if one received an empowerment from someone who has received it from an authentic unbroken lineage and is attained in that particular practice, we also receive the powerful lineage blessings all the way from its first practitioner.

    Hence it is important not to disparage any lineage masters nor ignore their practice and conveniently dismiss any teaching passed down by Guru to serve the political flavor of the day. Spiritual attainment cannot be measured by the worldly deeds one carried out.

  9. This is so true that we need help from Dorje Shugden to overcome delusions and problems. Without the dharma protector, we may encounter many obstacles to our spiritual practice especially in this degenerate times.

    We should grateful as the lineage masters continue practice and spread to others for this practice and one of them is Ven. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Because of their determination, all of us would have the opportunity to learn and practice Dorje Shugden.

  10. What will the all the people around the world and in Tibet do now? Dalai Lama says he is happy that Tibet is a part of China and should remain a part of China. So many Tibetans self-immolated for Tibet to be independent and now Dalai Lama did a 360 degree turn and says he wants to go back to Tibet and China and Tibet should be a part of China. So unbelievable. So many are angry and disappointed.

    Tibetans ready to be part of China: Dalai Lama
    Organised by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the event was a part of “Thank You India – 2018″ held by the Tibetan community across India to mark 60 years of its exile in the country.
    Indo-Asian News Service
    Tibetans are ready to be a part of China if guaranteed full rights to preserve their culture, the Dalai Lama said on Friday.
    “Tibetans are not asking for independence. We are okay with remaining with the People’s Republic of China, provided we have full rights to preserve our culture,” the 83-year-old spiritual leader said at “Thank You Karnataka” event here in the city.
    Organised by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the event was a part of “Thank You India – 2018″ held by the Tibetan community across India to mark 60 years of its exile in the country.
    “Several of Chinese citizens practicing Buddhism are keen on Tibetan Buddhism as it is considered scientific,” the Nobel laureate said.
    Born in Taktser hamlet in northeastern Tibet, the Dalai Lama was recognized at the age of two as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. He fled to India from Tibet after a failed uprising against the Chinese rule in 1959.
    China annexed Tibet in 1950, forcing thousands of Tibetans, including monks, to flee the mountain country and settle in India as refugees.
    Since then, India has been home to over 100,000 Tibetans majorly settled in Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh among other states.


  11. Dear Dalai Lama,

    Since you started the cruel ban against the 350 year Dorje Shugden practice, how has it benefit your Tibetan society and Buddhism in the world? Things have become worse and most educated Tibetans can see this. They don’t speak out not because they don’t see your ban as wrong, but you instill fear in them and not respect. It is like fear of a dictator. I am sorry to say so. Everyone is divided. There is no harmony. Before your ban there was more harmony and unity.

    By enacting the ban, you split the monasteries, split so many families, split regions in Tibet apart, split your disciples from you, split your own gurus from you, split Tibetan Buddhism apart. You have created so much disharmony.

    It is not democratic what you have done to ban a religion within your community. You always talk of tolerance and acceptance and democracy and yet you do not accept and tolerate something different from your beliefs. When people practice Dorje Shugden you ostracize them, ban them from seeing you, ban them from using Tibetan facilities. You know you have done that. There are videos that capture your speech and prove this point. You even had people expelled from monasteries just because they practice Dorje Shugden. Some of the monks you expelled have been in the monastery for over 40 years. Many older monks shed tears because of this.

    Many young educated Tibetans lost confidence in you as they saw the damage the Dorje Shugden ban created and they lose hope. Many have become free thinkers. They reject what you have done. So many people in the west left Buddhism because of the confusion you created with this ban against Dorje Shugden which is immoral.

    You could of had millions of people who practice Dorje Shugden to support, love and follow you, but you scared them away. They are hurt and very disappointed. They loved you and respected you deeply before the ban. It has been 60 years and you have failed to get Tibet back. Your biggest failure is not getting Tibet back after 57 years in exile. Now you are begging China to allow you to return to Tibet to the disappointment of thousands of people who fought for a free Tibet believing in you. So many self-immolated for a free Tibet and now you want Tibet to be a part of China with no referendum from Tibetans. Just like a dictator, you decide on your own. It was your government and you that lost Tibet in the first place. Your policies and style of doing things do not benefit Tibet and Buddhism. You have been the sole ruler of Tibet your whole life and you still have not gotten our country of Tibet back for us. Our families and us are separated. Yet you create more pain by creating a ban to further divide people. Please have compassion.

    No other Buddhist leader has banned or condemned any religion except for you. It looks very bad. You are a Nobel laureate and this is not fitting of a laureate. You should unite people and not separate them by religious differences.

    You said Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi did not do right to the Rohingya people in Myanmar due to religious differences, but you are doing the same thing to the Shugden Buddhists within your own society. There is a parallel in this. You separate the Shugden Buddhists from the others in Tibetan society.

    You have lost so many people who would have loved and supported you. You have lost so much support around the world. The Shugden Buddhists who love you number in the millions. When you are fast losing support from governments and private people, it will not do you well to lose more.

    After you are passed away in the future, the rift you created between the Dorje Shugden and non-Dorje Shugden people will remain for a while and that will be your legacy. Disharmony. You will be remembered for this. Not as a hero but a disharmony creator.

    Dorje Shugden will spread and further grow, but you will be no more as you are a human. No one wishes you bad and in fact we hope you have a long and healthy life, but we have lost so much hope and have so much despair because of you. All the hundreds of Dorje Shugden lamas, tulkus and geshes are maturing and there are hundreds of Dorje Shugden monasteries in Tibet who will not give up Dorje Shugden. You have made a mistake. These hundreds of teachers and teachers to be will spread Dorje Shugden further in the future.

    The gurus that gave us Dorje Shugden as a spiritual practice and you have called these holy gurus wrong and they are mistaken in giving us Dorje Shugden. How can you insult our gurus whom we respect so much? If they can be wrong, then you can be wrong. Then all gurus can be wrong. So no one needs to listen to any guru? You have created this trend. It is not healthy. Your own gurus practiced Dorje Shugden their whole lives. Your own gurus were exemplary and highly learned.

    Dalai Lama you have created so much pain with this ban against so many people due to religion. You are ageing fast. Are you going to do anything about it or stay stubborn, hard and un-moving. You show a smile and preach peace and harmony wherever you go. But will you do the same to your own people? Please rectify the wrong you have done. Please before it is too late. You can create harmony again or you can pass away in the future with this legacy of peace. May you live long and think carefully and admit what was a mistake in having this unethical ban against Dorje Shugden religion.

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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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