Every part of Dorje Shugden's form has deep spiritual significance. Its entirety represents the complete path of the Lamrim, thus meditating upon it with...
Like the Buddha, Dorje Shugden’s body manifested from his great attainments. Hence, every part of his form has deep spiritual significance. Dorje Shugden’s entire body represents the complete path of the Lamrim or the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, and meditating upon it with correct understanding will generate great merits and spiritual attainments. This is a brief explanation of Dorje Shugden’s form:
The meandering wisdom sword of Dorje Shugden is similar in significance to the one that the Buddha of Wisdom, Manjushri wields. It is a strong indicator that Dorje Shugden’s mind is none other than the mind of Manjushri.
The wisdom sword cuts through the ignorance and delusions that have arisen from our negative karma and obscurations so that we may attain the Buddha’s wisdom. The wisdom sword also symbolises Dorje Shugden’s ability to cut through and purify our negative karma. The meandering blade of the sword is a feature of blades which are designed for inflicting maximum damage. Therefore, it shows just how efficacious Dorje Shugden’s practice is for the purposes of purification, removing obstacles and ultimately to gain merits and attainments.
Dorje Shugden’s golden domed hat is symbolic of the protection he grants to practitioners and upholders of the highest view of Madhyamika, Nagarjuna’s special view of Emptiness as embodied perfectly in Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings and lineage. The domed hat is traditionally a travelling Tibetan Lama’s hat; thus it symbolises Dorje Shugden’s mobility and swiftness in coming to the aid of sincere practitioners.
Dorje Shugden has three round bulging eyes that represent his clairvoyant ability to perceive past, present and future simultaneously. It is also an indicator of a being who has realised and is able to perceive the conventional and ultimate truths – a Buddha. Such a being is a worthy object of refuge thus one can place total trust in Dorje Shugden.
The heart jewel is a scriptural description of the bleeding ‘enemy’ heart that Dorje Shugden holds in his left hand. This heart is known as the heart of the ‘enemy’ as it represents the source of all our negativities – ignorance. It also symbolises how effective Dorje Shugden’s practice is at ripping out ignorance, which then gives us space to cultivate the wisdom mind which can overcome all obscurations, negativities and delusions.
In another interpretation, the heart jewel is a heart of great bliss symbolising Dorje Shugden’s pure Bodhicitta intent, which is to protect all beings and lead them to full Enlightenment.
The heart also symbolises our innate Buddha-nature which is that of great compassion. This shows that Dorje Shugden supports and protects those who dedicate their lives to others by striving towards supreme Enlightenment.
Resting on Dorje Shugden’s lower left arm is a jewel-spitting mongoose, an ancient symbol of great wealth. This signifies that by engaging in his practice, Dorje Shugden will provide sincere practitioners with all their material and spiritual needs. The most supreme form of wealth that can be bestowed by Dorje Shugden is, of course, the spiritual attainments of wisdom and compassion.
The taming vajra hook held in the crook of Dorje Shugden’s left arm is considered an implement of control, subduing all negativities and wild, harmful delusions that are obstacles for liberation. On the other hand, the taming hook also represents the hooking in of all favourable conditions for Dharma practice to flourish including material assistance, supportive spiritual friends and a spiritual guide of an authentic lineage.
In his previous lives as Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen, Panchen Sonam Drakpa and Tulku Draka Gyaltsen among others, Dorje Shugden was a pure fully ordained monk. Hence, he wears the three types of monk robes symbolising that he is a Protector of those who uphold their vows and that he will remove obstacles that lead towards the Dharma. The robes also reflect the importance of the Sangha and of holding one’s vows and commitments.
Tiger Skin Boots
Dorje Shugden wears tiger-skin boots which reveal his manifestation in a worldly form. Although he is a fully enlightened being, Dorje Shugden has taken rebirth as a deva to have a closer karmic affinity to all ordinary beings. Thus, it takes less effort and merits to ‘contact’ him and he is therefore ‘easier’ to propitiate. When compared to other enlightened Dharma Protectors such as Kalarupa, Mahakala, Palden Lhamo and so forth, the boons granted through Dorje Shugden’s practice arise much quicker, especially in times of dire need.
In the Gelug tradition, Dorje Shugden’s mount is a fierce and powerful mythical snow lion. The snow lion is in fact an emanation of Dorje Shugden’s mind and represents fearlessness. Fearlessness is attained when we are victorious in our practice over the three psychic poisons – ignorance, attachment and hatred.
The snow lion’s appearance is intended to be ferocious and frightening. This wrathful demeanour of both Dorje Shugden and his mount symbolise his ability to tame obstructing beings and overcome obstacles so that they do not become a hindrance to the practitioner.
Such wrath is a common attribute of many Dharma Protectors. In Buddhism, the energies of wrath denote swiftness and extreme compassion for the suffering practitioner who is besieged by inner and outer obstacles.
Dorje Shugden’s snow lion is usually depicted trampling on a naked human form – the ‘enemy’, which symbolises our three poisons as mentioned above. The trampling of the ‘enemy’ into the sun disc also symbolises the elimination of ignorance via the realisation of Emptiness.
The lotus is perhaps one of the most enduring images of Buddhism. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are usually depicted sitting on lotus thrones and the significance of the lotus has been elucidated in the Buddhist scriptures many times over.
The lotus growing out of the mud is a befitting epithet for an enlightened being who has developed great compassion. Astride his snow lion, Dorje Shugden is atop a thousand-petalled lotus symbolising that he has the great compassion of all the Buddhas, and that all his actions arise from great compassion.
Dorje Shugden’s lotus is crowned by a sun disc or sun cushion, which reveals his direct realisation of Emptiness. It is also a common attribute of wrathful deities’ iconography.
The wisdom fire that surrounds Dorje Shugden is a manifestation of his Bodhichitta, or great compassion. These wisdom flames are emitted from every pore of his body to form a great nimbus of fire surrounding him. Traditionally, the flames are said to burn up our obstacles and mental obscurations. Therefore, the closer we get to Dorje Shugden in our practice, the more Dorje Shugden’s wisdom flames are able to consume our obstacles that keep us away from the spiritual path.
Every detail of Dorje Shugden’s form has great spiritual significance
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Last few days i was given free postcard of Dorje Shugden when i visited Forest Retreat at Bentong.So i bring back home and put at the table in my center of the house which facing my dad.He is now amputated and sleep at the bed.But that day when i put up the poster he cant sleep and always scream and getting mad.Its this normal??
Answer from Pastors
Thank you for your question. What you have described is not normal. Dorje Shugden is the emanation of Manjushri, who is the Buddha of Wisdom. As a Buddha, he cannot affect people in negative ways. When we see a Buddha image or hear their prayers and mantras, we can only be affected in positive ways. This is because all Buddhas operate from the highest form of compassion. They only do what is the best for us and they can never harm us.
I think what is happening to your father is probably due to his state of mind. You should talk to him and explain to him who Dorje Shugden is, his benefits and that he is an emanation of Manjushri. That might help to ease his mind. Sometimes having an image of a deity can disturb some people's minds because they do not know who the deity is. This is especially the case if they are not familiar with the form of the deity. To them it may seem strange at first, but once they know the benefits of Dorje Shugden then their minds will calm down. You can explain to your father about the benefits of Dorje Shugden's practice. You can find a list of these benefits here: http://www.dorjeshugden.org/benefits/how-dorje-shugden-helps.
Since your father is an amputee, he may be suffering from mental stress at having lost his limbs. This is very common with people who have been amputated, even if not recent. If you father is open to the idea, you can ask him to chant Dorje Shugden's mantra, which will bring him a lot of peace. You can also move the image to another location of the house if your father does not like it where it is. I hope this helps. Thank you.
Please : May I know if there a Center of Dorje Shugden in Genova or in others places near Genova. Grateful for Your Answer ! Gisella
Answer from Pastors
Dear Alberto Vassallo,
Hello! It is very nice to see you here. Unfortunately, I do not know of any Dorje Shugden centres in or around Genova. However, there is a very famous master named Gangchen Rinpoche who has a centre in Italy. The address of the centre is:
Via Campo dell’Eva, 1
28813 Albagnano di Bée (VB) Italia
Tel +39 0323 569601 – Fax +39 0323 569921
Thank you for the answer, just to check; does that mean that if I have a Chenrezig initiation I may visualize as Chenrezig and then do the visualization of those lights from my own heart? Thank you for the patience.
Answer from Pastors
It's nice to see you here again. As for your question, this would depend on what sort of Chenrezig initiation that you have received, as there are many lineages of practice. If you have received a practice that involves front generation (visualizing the deity in front of you) then you would not visualize yourself as Chenrezig during the invitational verses to Dorje Shugden. However, as you have the initiation, you can visualize Chenrezig on top of your head instead of Lama Tsongkhapa.
If you have received the practice in which you can self-generate (visualize yourself as the deity) then yes, you can visualise yourself as the deity and then visualize the lights from your heart. Usually, Dharma protector practice is done before the dissolution of the main deity sadhana, in this case Chenrezig. However, if you have received initiation you should check with your Lama, during which section of the sadhana you can insert Dharma protector practice. I hope this helps.
Regarding the Invocation Prayer of Dorje Shugden, (http://www.dorjeshugden.org/practice/invocation-prayer-of-dorje-shugden), there is a visualization of "rays of light from my heart, invite from the natural sphere.." Is there any initiation that is required to visualize this light when reciting the invocation, or can one visualize this light from the heart without initiation? If initiation is required is there an alternative way to visualize this?
Answer from Pastors
Thank you for your interesting question! You are indeed right about needing initiation to engage in the corresponding visualization of lights emanating from one's heart to invite Dorje Shugden. This can be any deity initiation in which you are given permission to generate oneself as the meditational deity. In the case of Dharma protector practices, one engages in these meditational deity practices before one engages in Dharma protector practices. For those without initiation, we engage in the Guru Yoga of Lama Tsongkhapa.
For those of us without initiation, when we recite the invitational verses, we can visualise Lama Tsongkhapa sitting on top of our heads. His size is similar to the size of our thumb. One should concentrate on visualizing Lama Tsongkhapa sitting on top of our head. When we recite the line that says "rays of light from my heart, invite from the natural sphere..” we imagine that lights shine out from Lama Tsongkhapa's heart, not ours, to invite Dorje Shugden. I hope this helps. Thank you.
May I know where can I find DS center in Bangkok? I want to visit in Thailand at September, thank you so much
Answer from Pastors
Unfortunately, I do not know of any centres in Bangkok that practice Dorje Shugden. However, depending on where you live in the world, there are many centres all across the globe that practice Dorje Shugden and where you can learn more about his beneficial practice. You can search online, or you can even reply here to area you live and we can help you locate the nearest centre to your location. I hope this helps. Thanks.