The original Nyanang Shedrup Gaden Phelgyeling Monastery was located in Nyanang, Tibet close to the border with Nepal. Records indicate that Phelgyeling Monastery was...
The original Nyanang Shedrup Gaden Phelgyeling Monastery was located in Nyanang, Tibet close to the border with Nepal. Records indicate that Phelgyeling Monastery was originally established as a Kagyu monastery, with Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden installed as their Dharma Protector during the time of His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama.
The Dorje Shugden statue personally made by H.H. the 5th Dalai Lama
In fact, one of the most revered and treasured holy objects in Phelgyeling Monastery is a statue of Dorje Shugden which was personally made and offered to the monastery by the 5th Dalai Lama. In her book, Ursula Bernis describes the statue to be about 12 – 16 inches tall with only the face visible since, like many Buddhist statues, it is covered in brocade and kept in a glass-covered container high up on a shelf.
In 1665, when Phelgyeling Monastery converted from Kagyu to Gelug, the propitiation of Dorje Shugden continued in the monastery. In fact, in Nyanang there were Kagyu and Nyingma monasteries who practised Dorje Shugden as well. Phelgyeling Monastery was also famed for performing the ritual cham dance of Dorje Drolo, which is predominantly a Nyingma practice. This highlights the inter-lineage harmony that existed surrounding the practice of Dorje Shugden.
Following the 1959 Tibetan crisis, Phelgyeling Monastery was re-established in Kathmandu, Nepal with the help of Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche. It is located at the foot of the Swayambhu mount, one of the holiest places in the Himalayas and closely associated with Lord Manjushri. It is said that on one side of the Swayambhu stupa is the entrance to an underground lake where nagas live and from where Manjushri brought the Prajnaparamita Sutras.
A prayer session at Phelgyeling Monastery
Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche also established the monthly schedule of rituals and prayers for Phelgyeling Monastery and in 1966, advised the monastery to engage in Dorje Shugden’s monthly kangso, or fulfilment ritual. Prior to this, the monks had only engaged in a Dorje Shugden ritual to request activities.
Today, Phelgyeling Monastery still uses the four exhortation verses (‘phrin bskul) to Dorje Shugden composed by the 5th Dalai Lama and the rituals composed by His Holiness Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche.
Phelgyeling Monastery is also home to several other very precious religious artefacts. Due to the close proximity of the original monastery’s location, Nyanang, with the border, these rare and holy objects were successfully brought to Nepal and are preserved to this day. The items enshrined in Phelgyeling Monastery today include:
A Tara image which is famous throughout the Himalayan region due to its ability to speak to those with pure minds. Many have come to Phelgyeling Monastery to behold this treasure and ask Arya Tara for her blessings.
A slab capturing the footprints of His Holiness the 6th Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso (1682 – 1706).
A rare statue of Jetsun Milarepa (1052— 1135 CE) made during his lifetime by his heart-disciple Rechungpa.
A statue of Buddha Shakyamuni that dates back to the time of King Langdharma of Tibet, who reigned from 838 to 841 CE. King Langdharma is well known for his suppression of Buddhism. It is said that he ordered all statues to be destroyed unless the statue could prove its worthiness by actually speaking. This particular statue is believed to be one of the statues that spoke directly to King Langdharma, and thus was spared from destruction.
The interior of Phelgyeling Monastery’s prayer hall
The famous Tara statue that speaks to those with pure minds
The footprints of H.H. the 6th Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso.
A statue of Jetsun Milarepa made during his lifetime by his heart disciple Rechungpa.
A statue of Buddha Shakyamuni that spoke to King Langdharma of Tibet.
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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.
I was given the link to read about Dharma Protector. I extracted the sentences below and would like to seek your further elaboration of it.
"From understanding merit, we can then accumulate it through relying, making offerings, visualising and reciting the Dharma Protector’s mantra, propitiation prayers and verses."
Please advise step by step what should I do and any link to the suggested action would be useful.
Answer from Pastors
Thank you for your question. The way to generate spiritual merit that was mentioned is simply by engaging in the practice of Dorje Shugden. I have broken down the each of the points to make it easier to understanding:
1. Relying: this means that we understand that Dorje Shugden is an enlightened being who has manifested in a specific form to help us overcome our obstacles in life. Knowing this, we engage in the practice of Dorje Shugden and understand that in doing so he can help in both our worldly and spiritual lives.
2. Making offerings: this refers to two types of offerings. The first is actual offerings made on your altar. You can read more about setting up an altar here: http://www.dorjeshugden.org/practice/setting-up-a-tibetan-buddhist-altar. The second type is when we engage in the practice there are sections of the prayer that talk about making offerings, here you can visualise making these offerings to Dorje Shugden.
3. Visualisation: during Dorje Shugden's prayers, there are certain visualisations that you engage in, especially during the mantra recitation, serkym and the recitation of the kawang section. You can read more about these following the relevant links below:
While trying to find a local buddhist meditation group in my area, I happened upon a website that is connected to Ligmincha Int'l. It is a Bon sect claiming to be the oldest form of Tibetan Buddhism. I searched for a connection with Dorje Shugden and came across a page that had terribly negative comments about him. It said that he was a demon spirit, vengeful and capricious with evil intent, the ghost spirit of an evil king not to be trusted. His practice was discouraged for he would not be helpful. Naturally, I was upset. They also intimated that he appealed to Westerners who didn't know any better. I do not think that the page I got this from was directly connected to the above-mentioned organization. However, it did make me pause because I am new to all of this and don't know how judge it all. Can you offer any
reassurance? Thank you
Answer from Pastors
It's nice to see you here again. Bon is actually the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet. The first and oldest Tibetan Buddhist sect is actually known as the Nyingma tradition, which basis a lot of its teachings on the life and works of Guru Rinpoche. There are four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism, the Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug. As far as I am aware, the Bon tradition incorporated Buddhist elements over time as it came into contact with these four schools.
Fundamentally however, Bon philosophy is Tibetan in origin, whereas Buddhist philosophy and practice is Indian in origin as that is where Buddhism actually came from. Whereas Buddhist teachings trace back to Buddha Shakyamuni, Bon teachings trace back to a figure known as Tonpa Sherab. All Buddhist schools, as the name of the religion suggests trace their origins back to the historical Buddha. But Bon does not. That does not make Bon an negative tradition in any way. It is a religion in and of itself which should be respected, but from a logical angle is not Buddhist in origin.
Now, some people may say that Dorje Shugden is an evil being, or a spirit. In your comment, you mention that he is the ghost of an evil king. This is certainly not true, and this is clear from his previous life, in which he was a holy and practiced monk. As for being an evil being, I am sure you have read the various articles on the blog section of this website? In it there are many articles about high lamas of different Tibetan Buddhist traditions that all practiced Dorje Shugden. If one were to say that Dorje Shugden was an evil spirit, this would make all of these great masters wrong in their practice. If they were wrong in their practice then they were wrong in all their Buddhist practices. If that was the case, the entirety of Tibetan Buddhism would be invalidated, as these are the very same masters who have passed the teachings down over time.
But this cannot be the case, because we have seen how the high lamas have benefited so many people with their teachings, and how they themselves have shown many signs of being spiritually attained. You can read more about these masters and their works, on the blog section of this site, if you haven't done so already. I really hope this helps.
I noticed a picture of someone's altar on the blog and it seemed to have Lakshmi and Lord Shiva together with Dorge Shugden. Is it permissible to have Hindu gods on a Buddhist
altar? I have suffered all of my life with religious OCD i.e. Scrupulosity, which means that I worry about every little thing in my practice; that I may be doing, saying or thinking something wrong or not appropriate or even insincere. Eventually, what happens is that from worrying about doing something wrong, I wind up doing nothing. I have Hindu items which
are hindering me from my setting up of a new altar for Dorge Shugden, as I do not know what is the respectful way to dispose of them. I would appreciate any suggestions you have. I would also appreciate any help you might render in order to help me overcome this debilitating condition as it has wrecked my spiritual life. Thank you very much.
Answer from Pastors
Dear Philip Strumolo,
It is nice to see you here again. From a strict Buddhist perspective, we do not include other deities together with the Buddhas (enlightened beings) on out altar. However, there is nothing wrong with doing so if your aim is to create a sincere connection with Dorje Shugden and given your circumstance.
The main reason for this is that Dorje Shugden is an enlightened being, that means everything he does comes from unbiased compassion. Since everything he does is from compassion, he will not 'conflict' with other deities if placed on the same altar. So, there is nothing wrong with doing so. It will not create a problem whatsoever.
If you prayer to and create a connection with Dorje Shugden, you should concentrate on the recitation of his mantra. Not just reciting, but concentrating on the sound and energy of the mantra. This is very important.
For your specific circumstance, Dorje Shugden's mantra can help, as can the mantra of Lama Tsongkhapa, which is included in the Diamond Path, which is the daily prayer text. This is available here: http://www.dorjeshugden.org/practice/diamond-path-a-daily-sadhana-of-dorje-shugden. Lama Tsongkhapa's mantra has the benefit of calming one's mind and can help deal with OCD as well. Dorje Shugden's mantra can have the same effect, because in essence both Lama Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugden are both Manjushri in nature, but manifested for specific purposes and with certain practices to help people in their spiritual path. I hope this helps.
I've always been been able to dark entities since I was a teen. I used to have a lot of night terrors and and a dark thing used to render me immobile during the night. Even my sister could see it at times.
And it always approached from the left side - there's a sensation of something* touching the left side of the body when it happens. It's just very disturbing.
I happen to come across D.S post and am wondering how the effects manifest. I need help as it's really affecting me.
Answer from Pastors
It's nice to see you here. And let me just say that I know what you are going through. I have also been similarly afflicted by entities such as these in the past.
From the sounds of it, it seems that you have a karmic connection with a particular entity from a previous life, alternatively in this life you have the karma to be sensitive to these types of entities so you have these types of experiences.
The article starts off with a quick explanation how we can be afflicted by spirits and black magic and then goes on to explain a very powerful practice that helps to stop things like this from happening. It is a very long article, so please take your time to read it. While this particular form of Dorje Shugden may appear very frightening, he is actually very compassionate. The article will explain more.
This practice is very powerful and I have personal experience with this practice, as well as know people who have overcome similar disturbances using this practice. I hope this helps. Thank you.