(Originally published on tsemrinpoche.com)
Many years ago, when I first entered Gaden Monastery, the supreme abbot, learned master and meditational teacher of hundreds of monks in Gaden Shartse was H.E Kensur Jetsun Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche. Kensur Rinpoche and I had a special relationship because before Kensur Rinpoche joined Gaden Monastery in Tibet, he came from a monastery called Tsem Monastery in the district of Kham in Yara Province, Tibet. That is my previous life’s monastery, i.e. the monastery I came from in my previous life. So, Kensur Rinpoche and I shared the same monastery of origin before we both entered Gaden Shartse Monastery for further studies.
When I entered Gaden, Kensur Rinpoche was the abbot and he gave between eight to 10 hours of teachings a day. Many of the very knowledgeable Geshes, teachers and masters of today are his students. He lived with me in my house and I had the great pleasure and honor to serve him for many years, and to receive teachings from him directly.
In one of our private sessions, I asked Kensur Rinpoche, “If we fully rely on Dorje Shugden, and focus on Dorje Shugden, technically can we become fully enlightened?” And Kensur Rinpoche thought about it and he said,
Yes, we definitely can become fully enlightened because Dorje Shugden is a fully enlightened being.
On another occasion, I went up to Kensur Rinpoche and asked for the meditation on Dorje Shugden in his increasing form and Kensur Rinpoche gave me a short but concise explanation which I wrote down in my notes. I always pen down the teachings I receive from my Gurus, either from memory or with my Guru’s permission, and I have kept them all these years. So I thought I would include a picture of my notes on this particular teaching in this blog post.
Below, you will see the notes I wrote as Kensur Rinpoche gave me the teaching on how to do the Gyenze meditation. I am sharing this with everybody in the world now because I am very confident about this practice, and I am very happy about this practice since it came from an authentic source, which is the great Abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery. His knowledge, study and power of debate is beyond question and well-known in the Tibetan world. He was also very much esteemed as one of the past judges for the Gelug Exam, for the conferment of Geshe degrees. And I had the opportunity to learn from and practice with such an erudite and great master of his caliber… and also to ask him my questions.
So many hundreds of great masters and learned monks of Gaden, Sera and Drepung Monasteries practiced Dorje Shugden. I have seen this with my own eyes. I have done monthly pujas with them numerous times. These masters are beyond speculation as they are the top in their field of learning and debate. If they practice Dorje Shugden and many of their incarnations have returned, then it says a lot about Dorje Shugden. Living in the monastery as I have and witnessing the greatness of these masters such as Kensur Rinpoche, you know they cannot be wrong. When I arrived in the monastery, hundreds of these masters and monks did monthly pujas (kangsol) to Dorje Shugden in Gaden Shartse Monastery and I joined them. The majority.
With a job, income, finances and our bills paid, it is easier to practice dharma free of most worldly concerns. During economic hard times, when we need help, then invoking upon Gyenze daily will bring what we need. If we have large companies or businesses, then it will be wonderful to set up a Gyenze altar or shrine at home/office to do the prayers daily to invoke upon the blessings of Gyenze.
Gyenze is Dorje Shugden in a wealth form specifically to help us gain resources through correct means. Gyenze’s practice can also increase our life span and healing. In his right hand he holds a long life vase filled with life-increasing nectar signifying he can bless us to extend our lives as well as grant us protection, assistance, attainments and increase of mental cognition. Our main practices (study, preliminaries, vipassana, Lojong, Lam Rim, Vajra Yogini, Yamantaka, Heruka, etc) and our general meditations will be assisted also as Gyenze will help arrange for the necessities we need for dharma practice.
Dorje Shugden is excellent to practice the art of foretelling the future (mö) as he will grant that to us if we trust him long term. Many high Tibetan lamas use Dorje Shugden divination methods to divine the future to assist others. Dorje Shugden Gyenze will increase our existing psychic abilities also when we do his practice long term. Those are not the main purpose we practice Gyenze but the side benefits that can arise. He can also assist us in closing second sight when we don’t want to see supernatural beings which sometimes can frighten us. We recite his mantra diligently to accomplish these goals.
Many activities can be accomplished through Dorje Shugden Gyenze. It is indeed a wonderful practice and blessed. Good to do this practice in dharma centres to attract the energy for sponsorship and increase of dharma activities. Many wonderful dharma centres suffer from lack of funds to pay bills and carry on activities, Gyenze will be most helpful in this. Kechara definitely engages in this practice and due to Dorje Shugden, Kechara has been able to grow. Any dharma centre regardless of sect may engage in this practice as a group or individually. The main function of Gyenze is to help us with our outer conditions and resources so that we can engage in inner focused dharma practice to gain enlightenment to be of benefit to all sentient beings.
Gyenze can be practiced by a Gelug, Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu, Hinayana, Mahayana, Christian, Hindu, Taoist, Wiccan, Jew, atheist, etc. Because Gyenze is a fully enlightened Buddha therefore he makes no conditions to help anyone who sincerely requests his assistance. You do not even need to convert. Dorje Shugden in his Gyenze form or any form will not assist in prayers that bring harm to oneself or others ever. Buddhas will never agree to harmful actions. You do not need permission or initiation to begin and continue this practice, but be consistent in order to gain benefits just like anything in life.
So this source of Gyenze teachings is from Kensur Rinpoche the great who was the supreme abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery and the teacher to hundreds of scholars, which I would like to share with all of you here. You can practice Gyenze with complete confidence. These teachings have a valid source and they are very blessed. I have it available here so many who need assistance in gaining better situations and resources may invoke upon the energy of Gyenze. This is specifically aimed to help you in resources in order to have a better life and dharma practice. I wish you all well.
I thank my team who worked with me to get this wonderful and beneficial post out for the world. My team works from compassion, care, a sense of renunciation and genuine sense of concern for others. They work hard and long hours together with me to get these powerfully beneficial posts out. I thank them sincerely. I wish everyone good luck with this holy practice that I am so excited to offer you!
Commentary on Gyenze Practice
A Practice to Increase Life, Merits and Wealth
This commentary on Gyenze’s practice was compiled from traditional sources by His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche on 23rd April 2015. This practice can be done daily by anyone who wishes to cultivate the energies of increase and abundance in their lives. This practice does not require any initiations.
In this day and age, wealth, affluence and prosperity are what most people around the world strive for, perhaps as the most important goal in their lives. Given the overtly material nature and image associated with wealth, people often have this misconception that the drive for wealth and success contradicts the Buddha’s teachings.
However, this is not the case as the Buddha gave many sets of teachings that cater to all types of mindsets and mental dispositions, including those seeking fortune and money. For those driven by material success and wealth, the Buddha taught teachings that appealed to their frame of mind and yet benefited them on Dharmic levels. In fact, everything that the Buddha taught is extremely beneficial and is as relevant today as they were during the Buddha’s time. Consistent in all the Buddha’s teachings is the concept of ‘karma’ or the law of causality, and so to those predisposed to it, the Buddha instructed on the causes and conditions for attaining wealth and conversely, actions that create the karma for poverty that they should avoid.
In today’s volatile world of trade, fast money, avarice and materialism, millionaires are made easily and broken just as easily. There are those who are born with silver spoons and live their lives in sheer luxury and then, there are those who are born into abject poverty and are forced to scavenge for their entire lives to survive. Therefore it behooves us to examine the causes that brought about these conditions – either relative wealth or poverty – because by knowing the causes, we can change our current habits, attitudes and situations, or maintain them.
According to the Buddha, every single experience and situation like the state of wealth or poverty is the result of previous causes and conditions. For certain, the result must resemble the original cause. This is often explained with the example of planting fruit trees. When we have an orange fruit, it must have been harvested from a tree that was planted using orange seeds. Logically speaking, oranges cannot be harvested from a tree that was grown with apple seeds. Therefore, the ‘result’ here is that the orange fruit must resemble or have arisen from a particular cause, which in this case is the planting of orange seeds. Therefore, the cause for wealth is something that arises from a particular act and that is the act of giving or generosity. As they say, it is in giving that we create the causes to receive.
Similarly poverty and dire conditions are created from seeds or causes we have planted in the past. In Buddhism, it is believed that poverty comes from having a miserly state of mind in this or previous lives. In other words, a stingy mindset is the cause to be reborn in poverty-stricken conditions. Therefore, the direct antidote or remedy for the affliction of poverty is to develop a generous mind that gives easily. These are what the Buddha had explained in his teachings on the law of causality which were further reiterated and elaborated on by Indian and Tibetan masters after Him.
The Activity of Increase
In the Buddhist practice, we take refuge in the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in order to increase our merits, purify our karma and be blessed with the four types of activities, which are Pacification, Increase, Subjugation and Wrath. These four types of enlightened activities all arise from the wisdom and skilful means of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in order to benefit us.
The activities of Pacification are to purify, pacify and remove obstacles and illnesses. On the other hand, the activities classified under ‘Increase’ are those which bring about an increase of beneficial causes and conditions for our material and spiritual wellbeing to come to fruition. The activity of Subjugation aims to arrest negative circumstances and minds. Finally, the activity of Wrath is the action of eliminating the most dangerous and negative causes and conditions that are harmful to us. Each of the aforementioned activities is embodied in each of the five emanations of Dorje Shugden – Duldzin Dorje Shugden (main form), Shize (Pacification), Gyenze (Increase), Wangze (Subjugation) and Trakze (Wrath).
When we propitiate Gyenze, we are tapping into Dorje Shugden’s activity of Increase. Since Gyenze is an emanation of Manjushri, propitiation of Gyenze will result in an increase of spiritual merits. Merits are the causes and energies that will propel us towards Enlightenment. Hence, an abundance of merits will make transformation of the mind easier, as the result of practicing the teachings that we have listened to and learned from our Gurus and Dharma books. Due to the enlightened nature of Gyenze, the merits that accrue from propitiating this deity cannot be exhausted in the same way mere good karma is used up. Merits are dedicated towards our full enlightenment and it is infinitely enduring.
Propitiating Gyenze also increases our inner and outer wealth. Inner wealth is our spiritual attainments or realisations arising in relation to the practices of the Six Paramitas, Lamrim, the Three Principle Aspects of the Path and the Tantric practices that we may undertake. However, the principal attainment from practising Gyenze will be that of generosity because it is this that becomes the primary cause out of which true inner wealth is attained and the elimination of spiritual and material poverty is accomplished.
On the other hand, outer wealth is material wealth that is obtained through our careers, businesses and financial endeavours that we need to sustain our livelihood and spiritual practice. However, Gyenze’s practice is clearly not just about financial wealth but also the increase of material resources and conditions, like relationships and assistance, that we need to fulfil our worldly aspirations. Outer wealth such as positive relationships bestowed by Gyenze is not just about intimate relationships but friendships and close associations with real spiritual friends who encourage us on our spiritual path and guide us in making the right decisions that benefit us in the long term. Finally, merits bestowed by Gyenze can also lead us towards a Guru of an authentic lineage if we do not already have one, and this will drastically alter the destiny of our current and future lives.
Finally, propitiating Gyenze can increase our lifespan, which is determined by karma. The karma that determines our lifespan can be altered with certain practices and Gyenze’s practice is one such practice that can prolong our lifespan. The merits from Gyenze’s practice can manifest as having a long life so that we have more time and more opportunities to engage in Dharma learning and practice. This is important because the accumulation of merits and corresponding purification of bad karma can change the destiny of our next rebirth and allow us the time to develop spiritual realisations that we can take to our next life.
The Five Aggregates
The Five Families of Dorje Shugden refer to his main emanation of Duldzin Dorje Shugden; the ‘peaceful’ emanation, Shize or Vairochana Shugden; the ‘increase’ emanation, Gyenze or Ratna Shugden; the ‘control’ emanation, Wangze or Pema Shugden and the ‘wrathful’ emanation, Trakze or Karma Shugden.
Each of these emanations represents one of the five aggregates of Dorje Shugden, and each emanation takes on a different appearance that denotes their special function manifested in order to benefit practitioners in different manners. While these emanations appear as separate deities, they are, in reality, of the same mind stream as Dorje Shugden, and each is complete in itself.
The five aggregates, also known as skandhas, are what the Buddha had explained to be the five aspects that make up a sentient being. The five aggregates are Form, Feeling, Discrimination, Mental Factors and Consciousness. For an enlightened being like Dorje Shugden, he is able to emanate each of his aggregates as a separate being.
Gyenze is the emanation of Dorje Shugden’s aggregate of feeling and he acts as the increaser of worldly and spiritual wealth. The aggregate of feeling is the perception of pleasant and unpleasant sensations. The attachment to the pleasant and aversion to the unpleasant is what traps us and makes us suffer by perpetuating various types of karmas. However, Gyenze liberates us because whatever he grants us is what we need to progress along the spiritual path.
Since Gyenze is the emanation of Dorje Shugden’s aggregate of feeling that has been purified, every aspect of his body represents various enlightened qualities. Furthermore, Gyenze’s physical form reveals his great ability and strength to benefit sentient beings by way of bestowing inner and outer wealth. In the mandala of Dorje Shugden, Gyenze appears on the right of the main deity (Duldzin Dorje Shugden) in the form of a celestial prince with one face and two arms.
With his right hand, he holds up to the sky a golden long-life vase that overflows with divine nectar and is adorned with the branch of a wish-granting tree. This vase represents his ability to bestow worldly and physical necessities like wealth, health, relationships and all manner of resources so that we are free to practice the Dharma. In the other hand, he holds a bowl filled with jewels and on his arm rests a treasure-spitting mongoose. This signifies that Gyenze is a wealth-bestowing deity who provides spiritual and material wealth.
Furthermore, Gyenze is adorned in princely yellow robes and rides a yellow palomino horse. The color yellow represents the activity of increase and abundance, which is Gyenze’s method to bless and benefit practitioners. In the crook of his left arm, he cradles a victory banner and vajra hook. The victory banner represents victory over Maras or delusions, negative emotions and the negative karma that denies us what we wish for. Hence, whatever Gyenze bestows will ultimately lead towards the removal of defilements and obstacles. Gyenze wielding the vajra hook represents his ability to remove all obstacles and negativities and the hooking in of all spiritual and material wealth that leads ultimately to liberation. The yellow palomino horse symbolises Gyenze’s swiftness in removing obstacles and in coming to our aid.
In actual fact, no Buddha or Dharma Protector can change our karma. Therefore, how Gyenze is able to come to our aid is because he works with the merits and purification that was accumulated through our practice of propitiating him. In other words, Gyenze’s practice supplies the merits through which we access Gyenze’s divine powers that help us. Without this, we would be unable to receive his blessings, therefore the practice is important. Naturally, we gain merits through relying, making offerings, visualising and reciting his mantra. With these merits, Gyenze is able to activate positive karma that is dormant and he is also able to hold back negative karma from ripening. When Gyenze holds back heavy negative karma, it is not removed but temporarily prevented from ripening until we have purified the karma to the extent that the karma is diminished or completely purified so that it is not harmful anymore.
An important ‘advantage’ of Gyenze and that which makes this practice most efficacious and swift is the fact that Gyenze is an enlightened being in a worldly form. This means that he is a lot quicker in coming to our aid than other wealth deities due to having a closer karmic affinity with us. This is because Gyenze is in the form of a deva, a powerful existence within the six realms of samsara. According to the Buddha, the other realms below are the demi-god, human, animal, spirit and hell-being existence. Yet, although Gyenze’s existence is a deva, his mind is that of Manjushri. In addition, being a relatively ‘new’ protector that only arose over 300 years ago, Gyenze’s close affinity with us translates into him having the strength of a thousand Dharma Protectors and his practice is much swifter than any other wealth deity or practice.
Setting Up An Altar
In order to propitiate Gyenze, it will be good to have a shrine to Gyenze, complete with representations of the Buddha’s Body, Speech and Mind, alongside various types of offerings. The ‘Body’ here refers to a statue, thangka or picture of Gyenze alongside our root Guru or lineage Gurus. ‘Speech’ is represented by a Dharma text and ‘Mind’ is represented by a stupa.
On our shrine to Gyenze, we can offer incense, water, flowers, any types of food, electric or candle lights, sensory offerings, mandalas, the Eight Auspicious Signs, the Seven Royal Emblems and so forth. As part of our practice, we should ensure that the altar is neat, clean and the offerings are changed regularly. The practice of cleaning and making offerings before engaging in Gyenze’s practice is part of the preparatory rite that will ensure the success of our practice.
Altar set up:
- A Buddha image or statue
- A Gyenze image or statue
- A Dharma text
- A Stupa
- One set of Sensory Offerings (Optional) (From left to right – Water, water, flower, incense, light, perfume, food, and a conch shell)
- One set of water offerings (Optional)
An altar is an important component of the practice of Buddhism, as it serves as a reminder of our practice objectives – which is to develop qualities in ourselves so we may be able to help all sentient beings. This is the spiritual benefit of having an altar.
An altar can be set up anywhere except inside the washroom. To develop the view that the enlightened beings on the altar are present before us, it is appropriate to always show respect in front of the altar. Therefore, if an altar is set up in the bedroom, it is encouraged to cover it when engaging in activities that are private in nature.
An ideal altar would consist of all six items listed above. However, at the very least, the altar should hold an image of Gyenze and, with time, one can add the remaining items when available. How complete our altar is reflects how seriously we take the practice of Gyenze in order to derive the benefits of his practice. Therefore, just like anything, the amount of effort placed into the practice reflects the results of the practice.
“Extra touches” can be added to the altar. One set of water offerings with seven to eight cups can be arranged in front of the altar with pure, clean water filled to about the length of one grain of rice from the brim. A set of wrathful offerings which symbolises the offering of one’s negative karma, can be neatly arranged behind the water offerings.
The Practice Guide
Download the Prayer Text here
Videos on how to do prostrations:
The practice begins with the recitation of the refuge formula three times. In this case, one is taking refuge in Lama Tsongkhapa – the Guru and Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.
When reciting the refuge formula, strongly visualise Lama Tsongkhapa surrounded by his eight main disciples at eye level. If this visualisation is too difficult and advanced at the beginning, one can start by visualising just two of his main disciples, Khedrup Je Rinpoche and Gyaltsab Je Rinpoche. Envision them sitting in Gaden Heaven on their thrones adorned with jewels that are glittering. All three are smiling, happy and warmly sending down their blessings.
From within Lama Tsongkhapa’s throne (seat), visualise a powerful yellow light emanating out. This light is none other than Manjushri’s mind, descending from Gaden Heaven to appear in front of you.
Visualise a brilliant mass of luminous clouds and in the midst of the clouds is Gyenze, in the form described above. In his heart, there is a sun disc on which is a syllable letter “Hung”, yellow in color. From the letter “Hung”, light emanates out into the 10 directions to invite all the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and deities, and dissolves back into the “Hung”. The Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and deities become one with Gyenze in nature and become firm in front of you. Now Gyenze embodies the complete Three Jewels within his form. So anything done to Gyenze is the same as if you have done to all the Three Jewels. The visualised Gyenze is the samaya being, and the Gyenze invited from within Tsongkhapa’s throne is the wisdom being. When they combine, they become one and inseparable. So you should believe that the real wisdom being Gyenze is in front of you now. It is important to believe that. Then, visualise Gyenze, emanated from below Lama Tsongkhapa’s throne, remains connected to Gyenze. This signifies the source of blessings is from Lama Tsongkhapa and we are connected to Gaden Heaven.
The Four Immeasurables
The Four Immeasurables are recited to establish a good motivation that all practices done to benefit oneself do not harm other beings.
The premise on which The Four Immeasurables are practiced is that ‘everyone wants to be happy, but happiness cannot be achieved in isolation‘. In fact, one’s happiness depends upon the happiness of all, revealing that all life is interdependent. In order to be happy, one needs to cultivate wholesome attitudes towards others in society and towards all sentient beings.
Therefore, the best way of cultivating wholesome attitudes towards all sentient beings is through contemplative meditation on the Four Immeasurables, which cultivates loving-kindness, compassion, appreciative joy and equanimity towards an immeasurable number of sentient beings.
The practice of The Four Immeasurables is also a powerful antidote to negative mental states such as anger and pride.
Guru Yoga of Lama Tsongkhapa
Watch the commentary on Lama Tsongkhapa practice:
After completing The Four Immeasurables, proceed to the Guru Yoga of Lama Tsongkhapa. When reciting the Migtsema mantra (at least 21 times) according to the guided visualisation above (described at ‘Taking Refuge’), it is important to develop the thought and faith that Gyenze (in 3-Dimension / 3D) is in front of you, all-powerful and efficacious. Upon completing the Guru Yoga of Lama Tsongkhapa, move on to recite Dorje Shugden’s prayers.
Dorje Shugden’s Prayers
The Kangshag to Dorje Shugden is a very powerful practice to remove our obstacles and purify the negative karma that has caused us to experience poverty, lack of resources and dire conditions.
The Kangshag prayers may sound very violent and rough. However this is not unique to Dorje Shugden’s practice. It is also a common feature in other Dharma Protector prayers such as Kalarupa, Palden Lhamo, Mahakala and many others. Therefore, to the ignorant, or to one who does not have a qualified master to explain the significance of such wrathful manifestations in the prayers, one may wrongfully feel repelled or recite it only based on faith. While reciting the Kangshag based purely on faith is acceptable, it is much more effective when we do our practices with a certain level of awareness and understanding. Once we realise that this wrathful manifestation by the Kangshag came into existence purely from Dorje Shugden’s pure compassion for all sentient beings, we will learn to appreciate and value the practice with great devotion.
In visualising the purifying of one’s negative karma through Kangshag, we must first understand that the human figures depicted in the visualisation below are not human beings as we know. These human-like figures are without sentience and are the negative qualities that cause us to continuously create negative karma, such as jealousy, anger, ignorance, attachments and more. Because these negative qualities are not tangible, we visualise them as representative beings in human-like form in order for Gyenze and entourage to slay these negative qualities for us.
Kangshag is a very powerful practice that is related to “Chod”, which cuts away the attachment to the body. Some find it difficult to understand the reason behind offering such vile and “dirty” substances to the Buddhas. However, the vileness is perceived by the tainted mind. In this case, the Buddha does not have the karma to perceive harm or accept anything dirty in nature.
Therefore, whatever items (be it visualised or actual) offered up to them will be transformed into pleasant, beautiful gardens and pools of delight.
Visualise a wrathful environment which is the manifestation of our negative karma. In this space, a massive human-like figure, huge as a mountain, manifests before you. This human-like figure is all of our negative karma and negative qualities that hinder our spiritual growth.
Visualise Gyenze and his entourage descending onto this human-like figure and dismembering it, forming countless complete sets of wrathful offerings.
The wrathful offerings consist of:
- ‘Argham’ (tea) – visualise all the blood from the being is emptied into the first bowl and offered up.
- ‘Phupe’ (wrathful flower) – visualise the skull overturned. In the skull is placed the heart. On the heart are the eyes, ears, tongue and nose; all symmetrically arranged on the heart.
- ‘Duphe’ (incense) – visualise all the remaining bones of the body (save the thighbone) being taken out and burned. The smoke arising from this is offered to Gyenze.
- ‘Aloke’ (light) – visualise all the fat of the body taken out and made into a butterlamp and offered up to Gyenze.
- ‘Gyende’ (perfume) – visualise all the remaining liquids in the body such as urine, bile, pus and others, emptied into a bowl and offered up.
- ‘Newide’ (food) – visualise all the flesh of the body being cut up and offered.
- ‘Shapta’ (sound) – visualise the thighbone carved into a wind instrument, as an offering to Gyenze.
Upon ending the Kangshag prayer, visualise that all these negative manifestations have been destroyed by Gyenze and entourage. The visualisation of purification is in wrathful, gory form as a training for us not to be attached or repulsed to the pleasant and unpleasant. It is another method in which renunciation is meditated upon by seeing our bodies arising from negative karma pulverised, smashed and destroyed as in the Chod teachings. This practice may be visual and wrathful in nature but it is all in the spirit of Buddhist renunciation, such as when Thai monks meditate in cemeteries or in front of bones and skulls to actualise detachment from our bodies in which we have false view of its permanence and thereby invest in it inordinate time, energy and resources – when in the end it fails us with death. Renunciation is an extremely powerful component in our meditations to actualise in order that our Dharma practice becomes genuine. This necessity to actualise renunciation is pervasive in all three Yanas of Buddhism. (End of visualisation)
Therefore, when making these offerings while reciting the Kangshag, we are purifying the karma that we have accumulated from many lifetimes. The Kangshag should be recited as many times as possible but as a guideline, it can be recited three, seven or 21 times during each prayer session, depending on the urgency of the situation. The Kangshag recitation coupled with visualisation is a very powerful method for purifying immediate negative karma. The more Kangshags we can recite with visualisation of Gyenze, the more immediate the results. 100,000 Kangshag recitations are sometimes done by the assembly of monks in unison over a few days because it is so effective. No negative repercussions can ever arise from reciting Kangshag of Gyenze or any other Dharma protector.
After reciting Kangshag, it is beneficial to make offerings of tormas to the Dharma Protector.
Tormas are ritual cakes made mostly from flour and butter that are used as offerings in Tibetan Buddhist rituals. Tormas come in various shapes and sizes, according to their purpose but they are usually in conical form. They can be dyed in different colors depending on the practice for which the torma is being made. Tormas are most commonly found in white and red.
H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche mentioned it will not be practical for non-monastics to offer traditional tormas. So he said it will be fine to offer things we like to eat, for example cookies and biscuits.
If we are travelling or in a hotel, plane or train, we can still do the Gyenze practice without any of the offerings, just the recitation and visualisation. We should make do with time, place and circumstance to the best of our abilities. Sincerity, trust and faith in our practice to Gyenze will definitely bear results.
For regular practitioners who are not trained to make the traditional form of tormas, the tormas can be represented with a glass bottle, filled with cookies. If one wishes to make torma offerings throughout the practice, the following tormas can be prepared:
- One large jar filled with biscuits (torma offerings to Lama Tsongkhapa)
- One large jar filled with biscuits (torma offerings to Gyenze)
- One smaller jar filled with biscuits (torma offerings to Gyenze’s entourage)
However, if time is limited, the torma offering can be omitted. The tormas (biscuits) are in jars simply to prevent insects from getting to them. You can offer the tormas on plates, bowls or cups and discard them in a clean place at the end of the puja/prayer. You can also eat the tormas as a blessing. If you don’t want to eat them, they can be wrapped in paper and then discarded in the garbage.
Black Tea Offering (Serkym)
This practice is also called Golden Drink Offering or Serkym, which forms a central part of the Dorje Shugden Kangsol. This practice was developed as an extended offering to the Dharma Protector to request for swift assistance. Hence, the Serkym offering has become popular and it is commonly practiced among modern practitioners to request for swift assistance, especially in times of dire need. Traditionally, tea is used as an offering. However, other beverages like milk or even carbonated drinks can be used as a replacement.
The Serkym offering is traditionally offered by pouring the beverage into a two-tiered vessel, which consists of a taller vessel placed into a lower bowl. If the Tibetan-style Serkym ritual item (which is normally made of brass) cannot be obtained, one can replace it by using a tall glass (such as a wine glass) placed in a glass bowl.
During the Serkym offering, the beverage is poured from a pot or jug into the taller vessel until the liquid overflows down into the lower bowl. In Buddhism, the overflowing liquid is highly auspicious as a symbol of abundance of merits, virtues, material resources and conducive conditions for Dharma practice.
The beverage can either be poured fully into the vessel prior to the recitation of the Serkym verses, or it can be poured a little at a time during the recitation of relevant passages throughout the liturgy. If the latter method is chosen, pour a little of the tea into the taller vessel so that you do not present an empty vessel to the Buddhas. Before starting, consecrate the Serkym by circling a lit incense stick three times clockwise around the Serkym set while chanting the mantra ‘OM AH HUM‘.
While making the Serkym offering, visualise the beverage as divine nectar that expands to fill an entire ocean which represents all the desirable things in the world that pleases the five senses.
Once you complete the black tea (Serkym) offering, recite the increase mantra of Dorje Shugden as a request for increasing activities. Gyenze’s mantra is “OM BENZA WIKI BITANA SOHA TSESO PALJOR LONG CHO THAMCHED PUTRIM KURU OM”. You can recite one, three, seven or as many malas of this mantra as you wish. It is encouraged to recite as many mantras as possible. It is also highly recommended that the practice is consistent and done daily. Upon completion of the mantra recitation during each session, recite the Vajrasattva purification mantra 21 times (You can recite either the 100-syllable Vajrasattva mantra or the short mantra – OM VAJRASATTVA HUNG).
Below is an explanation of the visualisation (important to do) to be done during the recitation of Gyenze’s mantra to invoke his blessings, as taught by Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche. These are my handwritten notes of Gyenze’s meditation. Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche gave the teachings and I wrote this down as he taught. (Click on each image to enlarge)
Typed Copy of the Handwritten Notes
Life, merits, wealth and fortune be attracted towards us.
From our HUNG as a deity, lights yellow go out to Gyenze and entourage’s heart which is on a sun disc with yellow HUNG and surrounding mantra. They become very pleased and happy. Having thus entreated them, from them, rays of light goes out, at the end of each light, many beautiful goddesses goes out (as in mandala offering) and offer offerings to the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Dakas and Dakinis, etc.
The enlightened ones are very pleased by the protector’s offerings. Then the Enlightened ones send out lights and fills Gyenze and entourage (mainly) Gyenze with splendour and more power. Again yellow lights from Gyenze and entourage, from Gyenze’s bumpa, jewels, cleaver, banner in their replicate forms and fills the thousand system worlds and goes to the extraordinary beings, gods, yakshas, nagas, etc and touches them and it hooks their life, virtue, fortunes, splendour, wealth and comes back as wish-fulfilling gems, Seven Royal Emblems, Eight Auspicious Symbols, etc. back to the bumpa of Gyenze, in yellow colour.
The merits, splendour, virtue, wealth, etc. fill the vase of the protector with the wish-fulfilling qualities, filled with whatever we need. (We can stop meditation here or continue).
Rays of light from the vase and his artefacts goes out to one’s sponsors, parents, and all sentient beings and miserliness of mind, negative karma, but especially miserliness are removed.
And one receives the blessings of body, speech and mind of Gyenze and his benedictions in form of yellow lights, one becomes filled with virtue, wealth, wisdom, Buddha’s teachings, siddhis are accomplished and all other beings also.
Then yellow lights from his artefacts and himself and goes to the sky creating many clouds in the nature of yellow gold, bright and luminous. From these clouds rain down torrents of grains, jewels, money, facilities, etc. and even from Gyenze’s treasure bowl, rain down along with the clouds everything, to our country, area, our room, and especially our bhumpa box become filled with all necessities, wealth and signs of wealth that we need. So the golden clouds give out the roar of Dragons, Thunders, very pleasant sound (not unpleasant) to all ten directions and one’s name is spread out wherever the thunder sound has pervaded.
OM DHARMAPHALA – 9x
Contemplate on this:
OM BENZA WIKI BITANA SOHA ZE SO PEJOR LONGCHO THAMCHED PUTRIM KURU OM
And after this is the Vajrasattva mantra (short one fine) OM VAJRASATTVA HUNG.
Then do the dissolving visualisation.
Commitment being (visualised) dissolves to bhumpa and wisdom being to us. We are one with Manjushri.
AS TAUGHT BY H.E. KENSUR JAMPA YESHE RINPOCHE, GADEN
An Extended Explanation of the Mantra Recitation Visualisation
First, we visualise ourselves as a yidam. Yidam is the meditational deity or Buddha from any of the four classes of Tantra that we are initiated into. If we do not have a yidam that we have received initiation of, we visualise Lama Tsongkhapa sitting gently on the crown of our head. Then, lights that are yellow in colour go out to Gyenze’s heart. Gyenze sits on a sun disc with the yellow syllable ‘HUNG’ and surrounding mantra garland at his heart. The mantra garland is basically Gyenze’s mantra encircling the syllable ‘HUNG’ clockwise. This represents the ‘Mind’ of Gyenze. The yellow lights represent our request to Gyenze to perform activities to increase inner and outer wealth.
Next, Gyenze becomes very pleased and happy. Having thus being entreated, from him and entourage, rays of light go out in all directions and at the end of each light, many beautiful goddesses manifest and make sensory offerings to the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Dakas and Dakinis and so on. The enlightened ones are very pleased by the Protector’s offerings. Then the Enlightened ones send out lights and fill Gyenze and entourage with splendour and more power. This part of the visualisation is to empower our commitment being or visualisation with the blessings of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
Then, yellow lights go out from Gyenze’s bumpa. On these lights, jewels, vajra hooks and banners in their replicate forms go out, thus filling the thousand world systems and goes to the extraordinary beings, gods, yaksha, nagas. It hooks their life, virtue, fortunes, splendour and wealth which comes back as wish-fulfilling gems, the Seven Royal Emblems, the Eight Auspicious Symbols, etc. in the form of yellow light and goes back into the bumpa of Gyenze. The merits, splendour, virtue, wealth, etc. fill the vase of the Protector with the wish-fulfilling qualities and thus filling it with whatever we need.
At this point, the visualisation can be stopped or continued depending on the practitioner.
Then, rays of light from the vase and Gyenze’s implements go out to one’s sponsors, parents, (or a person we have in mind) and all sentient beings, and expel negative karmas. Miserliness especially is removed. Then, one receives the blessings of Body, Speech and Mind of Gyenze and his benedictions in the form of yellow light. Within the stream of yellow light, visualise countless small Gyenze images, mantras and implements dissolving into you through the crown of your head, blessing you to attain the qualities of Gyenze’s body, speech and mind. Thus, one becomes filled with virtues, wealth, wisdom, Buddha’s teachings and siddhis are accomplished within us and all other beings as well. This part of the visualisation is to channel Gyenze’s wealth energy that has been enriched by the hooking in of the power of the other extraordinary beings and drawn into ourselves and all sentient beings.
Then yellow lights from his implements and himself go upwards to the sky and create many clouds in the nature of yellow gold that is bright and luminous. Then these clouds rain down torrents of grains, jewels, money, facilities, resources and so on. Even from Gyenze’s treasure bowl, a rain of similar items pours down into our country, area, our room, and especially our wealth cabinet, which becomes filled with all necessities, wealth and signs of wealth that we need. Then the golden clouds give out the roar of dragons and thunder that is auspicious and pleasant-sounding into the ten directions and one’s name spreads to wherever the sound of thunder has pervaded. This visualisation is to draw upon the abundance of inner and outer wealth from Gyenze.
Upon the completion of the visualisation, we do the Dissolution meditation. At this point, the commitment beings (visualised Gyenze and entourage) dissolve into the actual Gyenze’s bumpa and then, the actual Gyenze which is the wisdom being dissolves into us. We think that we have become one with Manjushri. The completion of this visualisation is crucial towards gaining inner wealth and spiritual attainments.
Wealth Manjushri Prayer
If time permits, recite the praise to Gyenze as composed by H.E. Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche to enrich your practice. I received the ‘lung‘ (oral transmission) of this prayer and mantra from Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche in April 2007.
Dothey and Dedication
Before bringing the session to a close, it is good to recite the Dothey prayer, the request to Dorje Shugden for his enlightened activities which was written by H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche. The Dothey also contains graphic verses and exhortations to ‘kill the enemy‘, but such graphic words are only symbology, not actually directed at sentient beings. In any Buddhist practice, no harm is inflicted on others by ritual, thought, meditation or action. The word ‘kill‘ in Dothey refers to the destruction of one’s own inner enemies which are ego, selfishness, miserliness, anger and hatred. So ‘kill the enemy‘ in Dothey may sound quite violent but it refers to the violence that we actually create emotionally towards the people around us due to such afflictive emotions. This practice is aimed at ‘killing off‘ those negative emotions within us or at least realising that the enemy is within.
After you finish Dothey, visualise Gyenze and Lama Tsongkhapa dissolving into you and recite the dissolution verses. End the session with a short dedication. It is very important to make a sincere dedication.
Additional Ways of Gathering Wealth (Addendum)
NOTE:The information below is related to the construction of a wealth box as an additional method of gathering wealth. This is purely for educational purposes only. A wealth box should only be constructed by a seasoned practitioner. Otherwise, having a wealth vase is a blessing.
Besides engaging in a Gyenze ritual and puja, another way of gathering wealth is through creating a wealth vase and enshrining it within a wealth box or cabinet called a ‘yangkam’. The tradition of creating wealth vases originated from the Indian master Jowo Dipamkara Srijana Atisha who, amongst his many accolades, was the Abbot of the prestigious Vikramashila Monastery in ancient India.
Atisha’s main yidam was Tara and due to his attainments, he was constantly in communion with Tara and would consult her before making important decisions. The Buddha Tara was said to have advised Atisha to accept a request from a Bodhisattva Tibetan King to travel to Tibet to teach the Dharma. While in Tibet, Tara manifested to Atisha and was entreated by the Indian master for a ritual to gather resources as Tibet was barren and the people were untamed by Dharma, which presented many obstacles for Atisha’s works to flourish. Thus, Tara gave detailed instructions for the creation of a wealth vase which Atisha followed. After Atisha created the first wealth vase, he became successful in attracting the students, patrons, sponsors and resources that he needed for his great works.
The lineage of creating wealth vases descended from Atisha and was incorporated into many wealth-bestowing deity practices like Dzambala and so forth. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche created and instituted the practice of creating Gyenze wealth vases in order to tap into Gyenze’s incredible blessings to attract wealth and resources. The creation of wealth vases requires the use of traditional vases and the ingredients including incense, mantras, symbols of wealth such as coins, semi-precious or precious gems, the seven royal emblems and others such as grains (for example beans, rice, lentils and such), along with an image of Gyenze.
These are the basic wealth vase ingredients but it may also be more elaborate and extensive. In addition to the items listed above, there can be other special, sacred ingredients such as high lamas’ robes, special blessed holy items like dirt and tree bark from powerful and sacred places like Bodhgaya, or relics from high lamas such as those from His Holiness the Panchen Lama, His Holiness Trijang Dorje Chang, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and others. The ingredients are placed within the vase, consecrated by mantras, and traditional rituals are performed to invite Gyenze’s energy into the vase. Then the vase is sealed with five-coloured cloth and tied with a five-coloured cord.
The wealth cabinet may vary from the size of a 1-sq ft box up to the size of a whole room. Preferably, it should have many shelves to store offerings. The bigger the cabinet, the more the offerings that can be made to Gyenze via the wealth vase. The cabinet can be placed at any location that will be strategic for Gyenze’s presence and energy to manifest, for instance, in the office, living room or shrine room.
The wealth vase should be placed on the highest level and the offerings can take up the shelves below that. If there is a picture of Gyenze or a little statue, this can be placed around the wealth vase to fill up the space. There is no order to the way the offerings are placed. The wealth cabinet can be consecrated by high lamas, geshes or monks with the Yangdup Puja and are sealed for the year. The cabinet will only be opened once every year for the offerings to be replaced. The wealth vase and cabinet will then be re-consecrated again with another Yangdup puja before being sealed for yet another year.
The offerings placed in the wealth cabinet should consist of items that please the five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. These may be flowers, jewels, bells, conch shells, drums or any musical instruments, perfume, saffron, dry foods like canned foods, sweets, drinks, milk powder, sugar, honey, grains like beans, rice, wheat, nuts, mustard seeds, olive oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, brocades, silks or anything similar.
Sensory offerings are also arranged in the wealth cabinet alongside images of the Eight Auspicious Symbols, dragons, phoenixes or any representations of jewels.
As mentioned before, the size of the offerings and the quantity depends on the capacity of the cabinet. However, perishable food offerings should be avoided and practitioners should only offer dry foods that can last up to a year. We can also offer animal figurines, toy cars, houses, any form of crystals such as those in the shape of flowers and fruits, coins, money, jewelry, precious metals like gold, silver, copper and precious or semi-precious stones.
Besides the wealth vase, Yang Dzay Rilbus are little pills consecrated with the energy of the wealth deity by high lamas. They are meant to be worn and function in the same way wealth vases do. However, they are smaller and are more portable and suitable especially if one travels a lot.
Gyenze is no other than Manjushri, emanating to specifically increase our spiritual attainments as well as resources for us to be able to engage in spiritual activities. Doing Gyenze’s practice will bless us and our environment to help increase Dharma activities, energy, and facilitate attainments. In general, Gyenze’s practice can give us wealth, resources, increase our life and even make our business grow. But the real purpose of Gyenze’s practice is to be blessed with a conducive environment so we can engage in spiritual practice and eventually gain an understanding into the deeper teachings of Dharma and facilitate the mind training practices such as Lojong. Ultimately, Lord Manjushri can manifest in myriad shapes, forms, and appearances, both animate and inanimate because an enlightened mind has no restrictions. The enlightened beings will manifest, re-manifest and again emanate according to time, place, circumstance and karmic affinity of the sentient beings they are benefitting.
So, Dorje Shugden’s practice is 400 years old and considered relatively new, because many now are in need of this type of emanation. Dorje Shugden’s affinity and his special ability to help beings will be recognised more widely in time. We may hold Dorje Shugden in any of his forms such as Gyenze as our main Dharma Protector practice. Again, the Dharma Protector is not our main practice but sometimes necessary to alleviate the many daily problems we encounter. Once we trust and rely on a sublime being such as Dorje Shugden, as the years pass, we will see a special relationship develop and he will take care of us as a father for his only child.
Dorje Shugden’s compassion, wisdom and skillful means are unlimited as he is a fully enlightened Buddha, manifesting as a Dharma Protector. How fortunate we are to even hear his name and also to engage in his practice. Whether you are Buddhist or non-Buddhist, Gelug or any other school of Buddhism, poor or rich, male or female does not matter. People like to label Dorje Shugden as a Gelugpa Protector but that is wrong because he is no other than Manjushri, and Manjushri cannot be pigeon-holed within only a Gelug framework.
True, Dorje Shugden has a special affinity to Lama Tsongkhapa and his teachings because in one of his lives, he was one of the eight principle disciples of Lord Tsongkhapa. But even prior to Lama Tsongkhapa, he had incarnated as many great masters in Tibet, Nepal, India, and China. He was in fact one of the Qing Emperors of China named Kangxi. Kangxi had ushered in the age of Buddhism and introduced Tsongkhapa’s teachings into the royal court of China and into China itself. The Qing Dynasty emperors of China and their descendants are called Manchurians. According to the Qing Dynasty’s official historical record, the Researches on Manchu Origins; the ethnic name ‘Manchu’ came from Manjushri. The Qinglong Emperor also supported this claim on the origin of their ethnic name and wrote several poems on the subject.
Dorje Shugden’s line of incarnations extend back to one of the 84 Mahasiddhas. His blessings and protection will bequeath on anyone who sincerely invokes upon his enlightened energy. Again I would like to stress he does not only assist Gelugpas and Buddhists, but everyone from all walks of life who need assistance. For example, his practice was also prevalent within the Sakyas, where he manifested as riding on a black horse. If you believe otherwise, you are limiting the powers of an enlightened being. Dorje Shugden in any of his forms will assist anyone who sincerely requests his assistance. You do not need to be a Buddhist or go through any special rituals to receive his assistance. From the comfort of your home, you can download the daily practice I’ve included here and start immediately. Read the commentary carefully and thoroughly for your knowledge and understanding. Do not fear if you cannot do the visualisations or offerings ‘perfectly’ because Dorje Shugden is a Buddha and will not be ‘upset’ with anything lacking. Sincerity and consistency are the keys. When you rely on Dorje Shugden consistently and over time, you will have a powerful ally as your friend, assistant, protector and confidante. Trust Dorje Shugden all the way. No part of his practice can be harmful in any way. Hundreds of highly attained lamas from the Gelug and Sakya schools of Buddhism have relied on Dorje Shugden for over 300 years. Many large monastic institutions as well as powerful lay practitioners were under the full protection of this divine protector. If you have come across this, it could be an indication you have strong affinity. Download the picture, print it out, place it on your shrine and start the practice. For those who are too young, ill or elderly and find doing the daily practice perhaps too taxing, they can keep a photo of Dorje Shugden or Gyenze near them and simply recite his mantra. Again, sincerity and faith are the keys. I sincerely wish all of you the best.
My team have worked very hard with me to bring this compilation to all of you. I, from my heart, thank my compassionate and hardworking team of great people whose sole purpose of assisting me is to bring you benefits. They are really great and kind people. We have many like them in Kechara I am honored to say. Thank you team very much!
I dedicate all merits to my team’s happiness, peace, growth and liberation. I also dedicate the merits that the great lineage holders of all traditions and all teachers who speak about peace, love and development of compassion have long lives and further success. It has been a tremendous honor, privilege and pleasure for me and my team to bring this extremely beneficial practice of Gyenze for the first time here. I wish everyone supreme success, health, growth and liberation. May you come under the peaceful, wrathful, mystical and myriad forms of the supreme Manjushri in this and all future lives.
Dedication by Tsem Rinpoche
The aspiration for offering this practice is so that it will benefit many people. May those who practice Dorje Shugden as Gyenze or any other Dorje Shugden emanation receive his great blessings of inner, outer and secret wealth. May the resources they need to live good lives and engage in spiritual practice be bestowed by Dorje Shugden Gyenze. May they have peace of mind, peaceful sleep, peaceful family, peaceful life and free of accidents.
Please remember that Dorje Shugden is a World Peace Buddha emanated as a Dharma protector and his nature is the fully enlightened Manjushri. This prayer is provided so it may be convenient and free to access to such a precious practice, especially for those that truly need it.
I have worked with my team to compile all of this in hopes that it will be of tremendous benefit.
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