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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My son Indranil has severe chest pain and spine pain, right opposite the chest area. He has bad headaches, fogginess, depression, breathlessness for past 6 years. These are so debilitating that he has no energy or urge to do anything. How can he be healed? Pl. Bless him.
Answer from Pastors
Dear Santosree Rath,
I'm very sorry to read about the health problems that your son has been facing. From a Buddhist perspective in these instances we should always do two things. The first is to seek professional medical help, as the illness can be treatable with modern medication if it is diagnosed. This will lead to your son being able to live a normal healthy lifestyle.
From the spiritual side, the psychical illness is caused by negative karma from previous lives. This negative karma manifests in this life as an illness. So, with Buddhism there are many methods of purifying this negative karma so that it no longer affects your son.
If your son is old enough, you can teach him the prayers and mantras and he can engage in the practice himself. Otherwise if he is young, you should try to teach him the mantra which he can recite for healing. The key to this practice is consistency. It should be done every day with great faith and trust is Shize and you will see that he helps you. He is a Buddha so only wants the best for people, when we make a connection with him through prayer and mantra recitation, he is able to help us.
This practice also helps to create the karmic causes for any medical treatment done to be as effective as possible. That is why you should visit your local medical healthcare professional to get the best treatment for your son as well. I hope this helps. Thank you.
May I know if I can just chant DS mantra "Om benza wiki bitana soha" 108 times per night at my bedside before I go to sleep? Or, just keep chanting the mantra any time of the day whenever I have the time (eg: on the way to work) and not working? Its hard for me to be in front of an altar all the time. Will it be OK with DS?
Answer from Pastors
Thank you for your question. Yes, you can recite the mantra to Dorje Shugden at any time of the day, as long as you are in a respectful place (for example, not in the washroom). Usually mantras are recited in front of one's altar as part of a daily practice. However, if you do not have enough time to do this, you can of course recite the mantra whenever convenient.
Mantras are usually recited together with visualisation as part of a daily practice. This would be most beneficial but due to time constraints of a modern lifestyle, this can be hard to do. So of course, you can recite mantras whenever you can.
As Dorje Shugden is an enlightened being, he will not be angered if you don't recite his mantra in front of the altar. In fact, Dorje Shugden acts out of compassion for all sentient beings, therefore whenever you recite his mantra, you are making a divine connection with his energies. This is something that is very beneficial and can be done any time. I hope this helps. Thank you.
I wish to be initiated where do I need to go. I reside in India after reading I have this urge to be intiated. Can you please guide me to a master who can take me as his pupil.
Answer from Pastors
Dear Rohit Sinha,
Thank you for your question. There are many lamas throughout India that can help you with this. You can contact Serpom Monastic University in Karnataka State as they are one of the biggest monasteries in India that practises Dorje Shugden. They should be able to provide you with current and up=to-date information about which lamas can help you in this regard, follow this link to their website for their contact details: http://serpommonastery.org/uncategorized/contact/
Hi. I'm very new to D.S. mantras and prayers. I'm not new to practice that opened me up the way I cannot deal with nasty energies mentally. I'm dealing with the size of anger, jealousy, control, nastiness, being very in a bad way judgmental, envy, that I didn't know ever existed. And I don't want to hear that I must learn to control my reactions. I can't. I basically can't. What the moment arrives I can't stop it. I'm ruining my life, my relationships. Interesting enough that I have those emotions to my partner! Perhaps because no-one else is this close?
And actualy, why can I tolerate something in my friend bit cannot in my partner or his friends?
What kind of Karma is that? What am I dealing with?
A friend recomended D.S practice. But what do I ask for? How do set up an intention? And what actualy Om Vajra Wiki Witrana Soha means?
Sorry if I sound ridiculous and should just read up the internet..
Answer from Pastors
Thank you for your question. In Buddhism we believe that we all have such emotional tendencies and that we react in different ways to different people in various situations. This is mirrored in secular psychology. However in Buddhism we have very effective methods to overcome these tendencies so that we can get along with people and have a better control over our own emotions. When people tell us we need to control our tendencies, this is easier said than done and most of the time we think that we cannot because it is just too hard. But stopping these tendencies takes time and practice, because they are so ingrained into our minds.
In Buddhism, this is achieved through meditation of which there are many forms. But luckily, the practice of Dorje Shugden not only calls upon his energies to transforms our lives but is itself a form of meditation. As for what karma you are dealing with, actually you shouldn't view it as what kind of karma that you are dealing with, but that you are in fact just dealing with karma. According to Buddhist philosophy we have all had countless previous rebirths and the actions we took in those lives affects us now because they have become tendencies. So these tendencies are a manifestation of our karma. That is why Buddhism places strong emphasis on controlling our body, speech and mind, so that we can overcome these tendencies and not let them affect our future.
Dorje Shugden's practice is perfect for this. You can begin the practice by reciting the short prayer here: http://www.dorjeshugden.org/practice/starting-on-dorje-shugdens-practice. And then recite as many mantras as possible. There is an explanation of the meaning of the mantra and the visualization here: http://www.dorjeshugden.org/practice/dorje-shugdens-mantra. You use the recitation of the mantra and the visualization as the object of your meditation. You may find this hard to do at first, but over time with consistent practice, you will see that your mind will start to become calmer and you are able to handle whatever life throws at you in a more balanced way. What's more, creating a connection with Dorje Shugden will help to make your life obstacle free as that is one of the benefits of his practice.
When most people engage in his practice, they want something or ask for something, like the clearing of obstacles, etc. But what you are after is something more higher, it is the ability to control your mind from negative emotions so that your life can improve, which is a very good intention to have. You can just say to yourself "through this practice may I be able to control my thoughts and disturbing emotions be lessened" before you begin the practice. This will be a very good way to set the intention or motivation when engaging in the practice. I hope this helps. Thank you.
May I know if it is still fine to recite without being in front of an altar? Also, what if I am unable to visualise while reciting as per taught in this post?
Answer from Pastors
Yes, it is acceptable to recite the prayers and mantras without being in front of the altar. Dorje Shugden is an enlightened being and will hear your prayers no matter where you are. However, it is advisable to recite your prayers in front of your altar, because you altar acts as a physical connection with the enlightened beings. At the same time, you can make physical offerings before you engage in the practice, generating more merit which is something we all need, both in our every day life and our spiritual path. That being said, sometimes it may not be conducive to recite in front of an altar, therefore you can recite wherever you are.
As for the visualisation when reciting, it is ok if you cannot visualise at first. You can just recite for now, but as you get used to the practice, you can start by learning the visualisation part by part. That would be extremely beneficial. It is said to make the most of out any practice you should engage your body, speech and mind. You engage your body by sitting down to recite, not engaging in any other activity, you engage your speech by reciting the prayers, and you engage your mind when you do the visualisations. This is the best, but even if you cannot visualise, you are still engaging you body and speech, which is also very beneficial and will generate the spiritual merit and remove obstacles that are part of the practice. I hope this helps.