Dorje Shugden’s Puja and Its Benefits
In Sanskrit, puja means ‘offering’ and therefore an apt description of ‘puja’ is a set of rituals and prayers performed to offer devotional praise to a deity to accumulate merits and remove obstacles. In Buddhism, pujas are not offered to please the Buddhas as they do not have egos to be pleased. Instead they are a means of tapping into the Buddhas’ enlightened energy and ‘borrowing their attainments’ in order to accomplish purification of karma and accumulation of merits for the purpose of the specific puja, for instance, the removal of obstacles.
An attained person can recite a mantra or request a deity to bless something and it would have effect by virtue of their realisations. However, ordinary sincere practitioners need to rely on pujas with its complete seven limbs in order to perform blessings. The seven limbs are prostrations with refuge, making offerings, confessing, rejoicing, requesting for teachings, petitioning the teacher to remain and a dedication. These seven limbs or elements of a puja are necessary to effectively tap into the energy of an enlightened being.
The first of the seven limbs is prostrations towards the object of the puja and in this case, Dorje Shugden. We can prostrate physically or verbally by praising the qualities of Dorje Shugden. In this manner we take refuge in Dorje Shugden, purify our bodily karma by prostrating, and accumulate merits because Dorje Shugden is one with Manjushri. When we praise Dorje Shugden’s qualities, we create the causes to achieve the same qualities as well.
The second of the seven limbs is making offerings to Dorje Shugden. When we make offerings to an enlightened being, not only do we accumulate merits and attainments but we also create the causes to receive the necessary material needs to support our spiritual practice. There are many types of traditional offerings that one can make during a puja such as incense, water, lights, food, serkym – golden drink or tea offering, and so forth.
The third of the seven limbs is making confessions to Dorje Shugden. When we engage in the confessional aspect of the Dorje Shugden puja like the kawang, we are purifying the karma that we have created to experience a particular obstacle, and we are purifying the negative deeds that we recall as well as those we have forgotten. How much karma we purify is determined by how strong our refuge in Dorje Shugden is; and how strong our refuge is, is determined by how much we know of the special qualities Dorje Shugden possesses.
The fourth of the seven limbs is rejoicing in all virtuous deeds of Dorje Shugden and especially those of his previous lives. When we rejoice in their deeds, we collect a vast amount of merits because we are creating a connection to perform similar actions in the future. At the same time, we are also reinforcing our minds towards virtuous actions as opposed to materialistic or non-virtuous actions that we are normally exposed to in our daily lives.
The fifth of the seven limbs is requesting for teachings from Dorje Shugden. This basically means that we are requesting for an antidote to end suffering. It does not mean Dorje Shugden will appear to give us the teachings because we cannot perceive him as yet but we create the merits by way of Dorje Shugden to receive the Dharma. It also means that when we receive the Dharma, we will be happy, alert and not feel bored or distracted.
The sixth of the seven limbs is petitioning the teacher to remain through Dorje Shugden. Requesting Dorje Shugden to remain can manifest as our own teachers living longer; it can also manifest as a meeting with a qualified teacher or with our late teacher’s disciples, Dharma texts or anything that will facilitate our understanding of the Dharma. It will also manifest by us receiving the Dharma in one way or another.
The last of the seven limbs is the dedication of merits. The merits accrued through our practice of the previous six limbs are dedicated through sacred verses. It is important to dedicate merits because, by tradition, a moment of anger or negativity will undo or destroy the positive potential created through the previous limbs. Dedication therefore seals this positive force into merits which cannot be destroyed, and the reason why we keep dedicating is because we have not eliminated anger from our mind stream due to ignorance.
The most effective pujas are performed by sincere practitioners with positive motivation, to a deity they have a close affinity with that is developed through practice. The combination of the right factors makes the Dorje Shugden puja extremely efficacious seeing that he is regarded as the Dharma Protector of our time. This means that he is the Dharma Protector who can assist us best and fastest based on our karma. That is not to say that the other Buddhas such as Lord Shakyamuni cannot bless us and remove our obstacles, but it would require more merits on our part to receive Buddha Shakyamuni’s direct assistance.
On the other hand, Dorje Shugden is Manjushri manifesting as a Dharma Protector in a worldly form. This means he has tremendous affinity and strength to assist practitioners to overcome their obstacles on the spiritual path. The puja propitiating Dorje Shugden is composed by great masters specifically to purify karma, increase merits and create favourable conditions for our Dharma practice to flourish. It is important to note that no Buddha or Dharma Protector can change our karma. Therefore, how Dorje Shugden is able to overcome our obstacles is because he works with the purification and merits that were accumulated through the puja. In other words, Dorje Shugden’s puja doesn’t take away the problem but purifies the root negative karma that created the problem in the first place.
Performing the right puja to clear karmic obstacles is akin to taking the right medicine to recover from specific illnesses. In this way, pujas are antidotes and different pujas are done for different purposes. For example, pujas can be performed to heal diseases, purify negative karma, attract wealth, subdue spirits, counter disturbances and attacks by malevolent spirits and nagas, and also as an overall method of accumulating merits.
The benefit of Dorje Shugden’s puja is two-fold. Dorje Shugden’s supreme purpose is to help practitioners on their path to Enlightenment. However, as practitioners are beings caught in samsara and heavy with negative karma, Dorje Shugden must first help practitioners overcome obstacles and problems of the natural (financial problems, physical health, intellectual comprehension, emotional health) as well as supernatural kind (spirit disturbances, black magic, demonic possessions).
In a nutshell, Dorje Shugden’s puja provides the following benefits to the practitioner:
1. Creates the right external conditions for Dharma practice
All things in samsara are designed to distract practitioners from Dharma practice. And so in order to help practitioners, Dorje Shugden first provides appropriate external conditions for Dharma to flourish.
This includes a peaceful environment, the presence of Dharma teachers and centres, the means for Dharma to be communicated and understood, a government that does not hinder the teaching and spread of the Dharma and such like factors.
2. Creates the right internal conditions for Dharma practice
Even if the external conditions are in place, Dharma practice cannot go far unless the practitioner has the wherewithal to undertake the practice. And so Dorje Shugden also blesses the practitioner with:
- The intellect to grasp the teachings
- The wisdom to realise the preciousness of the practice and to put it into practice
- The ability to retain Dharma knowledge
- The freedom from mental encumbrances to focus on the practice
- The fortitude to persist with the practice
3. Overcomes obstacles and problems that hinder the practice
Often Dorje Shugden has to help the practitioner overcome obstacles and even serious problems that hinder his or her progress in spiritual training. At other times, the Protector manifests miracles so that a person can develop trust and belief and be led to the Dharma. These miracles include:
- Healing from very serious and fatal diseases
- Protection from life threatening situations, dangerous people and malicious spirits
- Wealth and financial security
- The fulfilment of difficult wishes that will galvanise the person’s faith in the Dharma.
Therefore propitiating Dorje Shugden benefits the practitioner both in the immediate and ultimate sense, covering not only spiritual but also worldly matters. And due to the fact that Dorje Shugden is a Buddha that has chosen to manifest in our midst, the Protector can respond to our needs swifter than normal.
Finally, in order to effectively and very quickly deal with the problems and hindrances that practitioners face, Dorje Shugden also manifests in four other forms, each a ‘specialist’ in removing specific problems – Gyenze to invoke upon Dorje Shugden’s ‘increasing’ energies for abundance in wealth and attainments; Shize to invoke upon Dorje Shugden’s ‘pacifying’ energies for healing illnesses and pacifying natural disasters; Wangze to invoke upon Dorje Shugden’s ‘controlling’ energies to subdue difficult minds and people; and Trakze to invoke upon Dorje Shugden’s ‘wrathful’ energies to overcome black magic and situations that are dangerous.
Therefore, when we consider how comprehensive the benefits of Dorje Shugden’s puja are, we begin to realise how important this Dharma Protector is for all beings of this time and age.
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HelenaPosted on June 5, 2016 #1 Author
It’s very blessed that we could have this powerful puja that held in Kechara Forest Retreat monthly.
I believe that practicing Dorje Shugden will purify our obstacle swiftly and miracle will happen. Thank you Rinpoche for bringing DS practice to us in Malaysia and all over the world.
Wah YingPosted on June 6, 2016 #2 Author
The article explains on what is puja, how puja works and benefits of doing Dorje Shugden puja..Many of us may familiar with puja but not really understand how it works; and might think one might able to remove all the problems they are facing by doing a puja, whreas “puja doesn’t take away the problem but purifies the root negative karma that created the problem in the first place”.
Alice TayPosted on July 8, 2016 #3 Author
The puja is more effective by having a good motivation. By following the seven limbs and good motivation to perform the puja, it will helps us in the way to create the right external and internal conditions for Dharma practice as well as overcomes obstacles and problems that hinder the practice.
Stella CheangPosted on August 1, 2016 #4 Author
Thank you very much for this sharing. Performing puja to clear karmic obstacles is similar to taking the medicine to recover from illnesses, it implied that getting the right puja is important, similar to being prescribed with the right medicines. There are different pujas that serve different purposes. Dorje Shugden Pujas help overcome our obstacles through purification, and merits that were accumulated through the puja. It does not mean that Dorje Shugden puja takes away the problem, on the contrary, it purifies the root negative karma that created the problem in the first place.
Moh MeiPosted on September 14, 2016 #5 Author
For me it is more common to associate puja with prayer to request rather than offering because from what I observe people often do pujas or pray when they want or need divine help for something. Granted, there are thanksgiving type of prayers which are also very common in most religions but still most people tend to turn to prayers when in dire situations.
I don’t doubt pujas have “power” but it also seems somewhat unfair for the divine to interfere/intervene. Maybe we need to have the illusion that some higher beings of power are on our side aiding us to give us hope but it is really just us helping ourselves because no one can really change our karma but ourselves.
Jace ChongPosted on September 14, 2016 #6 Author
Thanks for the informative article on Pujas.
When I joined puja very first time, I found the session calm me down a lot, and the calmness allows me to see my problems clearly and solve it in a logical way. Even though I yet to understand the meaning of the prayers that time, but I felt the benefits and it helped me. After understand more on the prayer text and the significance for it, I feel so lucky that I be able to join such meaningful acts compare to spending time in endless complaining which doesn’t help at all.
It’s very important to understand that “puja doesn’t take away the problem but purifies the root negative karma that created the problem in the first place.” When solve the root problems, we solve everything. What is also important is we need to take action and be responsible on our own sufferings.
pammie yapPosted on September 14, 2016 #7 Author
How wonderful that pujas can also be done on behalf of us. Some of us may not be able to do it physically or mentally and we still collect the benefits from it. For example, in Kechara we have pujas that can be done on our behalf http://www.vajrasecrets.com/pujas
“The Dharma Protector who can assist us best and fastest based on our karma.”
The benefits of doing pujas are just tremendous! Without purifying our negative karma, it would be difficult to pursue in our spiritual path as there will be many obstacles. And not forgetting the merits that we need to support it as well. But that doesnt mean that we dont do our part as well, if we can and able.
nicholasPosted on September 14, 2016 #8 Author
I personally had an experience of how Puja benefited my mother recovered from stroke. Through the advice by my Guru H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche on various Puja to be done and some of it I did it with my wife and it changed the faith of my mother and the recovery was fast. We may say it’s miracle but if without the blessing from our Guru and correct motivation to carry out the puja we may not able to purify the karma to clear the obstacles.
By saying so we have to do the puja correctly just as mentioned in the articles and the highest result from our Puja is to purify our karma in order for us to collet merits from our dharma work and ultimately to gain attainment for benefiting others.
Pastor Henry OoiPosted on September 14, 2016 #9 Author
I have seen many good results from pujas carried out in Kechara and have personally benefited from the pujas. Because of the popularity of the pujas, Kechara has a pool of volunteers who perform different pujas on a daily basis. The requests for pujas are mostly from the public, and the most popular is the Dorje Shugden puja. The volunteers also make house calls, to perform the puja in homes, offices, lands, factories.
Eric kksiowPosted on September 14, 2016 #10 Author
Thank You Pastor Chia who explained ( in paragraph ) it very detail, especially in 7 rims prayer. And it link to our daily Dharma practice by collecting merits.
1) Prostrations to Buddhas
2) Making offerings to Buddhas daily
3) Making confessions
4) Rejoicing in all virtuous deeds
5) Requesting for teachings
6) Petitioning the teacher to remain
7) Dedication merits to others
That’s what i learned from this article.
Julia TanPosted on September 15, 2016 #11 Author
Kechara provides many types of puja, conducted by Puja team, students of H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche, to help others. I personally is the big fan of Dorje Shugden pujas. I believed in the power of pujas because i have seen it saved many people’s lives, granted many people’ wishes, especially those who has strong faith and clean samaya with the gurus.
June KangPosted on September 15, 2016 #12 Author
Dorje Shugden puja can help in obstacle-clearing, healing, karma purification, cleansing, wealth ,protection from life threatening situations, dangerous people and malicious spirits and merit accumulation. It is very powerful. I have seen many peoples including myself has been benefited from the Puja. If you need the puja to be performed and you are unsure how to do it , you can order from http://www.vajrasecrets.com/pujas.
Pastor Antoinette KassPosted on September 15, 2016 #13 Author
This is a very extensive explanation about the Dorje Shugden Puja and the seven limbs prayer. I rejoice for this beautiful blog to give so much wisdom to people and is free for everyone to discover and start with the prayers. We can order a Dorje Shugden Puja for our obstacles to be cleared and the right internal and external conditions to come about for our Dharma practice to flourish.
Dorje Shugden is for sure a powerful Dharma Protector and everyone should make a connection to this holy and powerful enlightened being.
Khoo Hou HawPosted on September 15, 2016 #14 Author
It is wonderful to know that performing a Dorje Shugden’s puja will help us in both worldly and spiritual path. As Dorje Shugdem is an Enlightened Buddha who appears in worldly form. That is why I’ve seen so many people benefitted from Dorje Shugden’s puja by having their worldly obstacles resolved and have their faith in spiritual practise increased.
Pastor ChiaPosted on September 15, 2016 #15 Author
Dorje Shugden puja’s contain 7 limbs prayer inside, in order to invoke blessing from the deity to purify negative karma and collecting merit clearing obstacle. Is important have right motivation and faith to the three jewel ,so result after puja’s will be tremendous effective. However no Buddha or Dharma Protector can change our karma. Therefore, how Dorje Shugden is able to overcome our obstacles is because he works with the purification and merits that were accumulated through the puja. In other words, Dorje Shugden’s puja doesn’t take away the problem but purifies the root negative karma that created the problem in the first place.
AlbertPosted on September 15, 2016 #16 Author
Puja is something very abstract and we normally don’t see it even though we are doing it, some times we may think why are we doing puja, why have to do it every week or every day and when we attend puja session, we just keep reading and reading, it may seems ‘wasting’ time doing it, but when we do puja with greed, with ill intention, or with wrong motivation, of course puja has no effect, puja works best is when we do it with compassion for benefiting others, because Puja is for us to tap into Buddha’s nature, and Buddha’s nature is compassion, kindness, and other good qualities, so when we do puja, we must have good motivation and it doesn’t operate from greed.
When a person do Dorje Shugden puja with good motivation, their life will be different and they will notice their mind and habit changing to become better, hence, it will lead them to a better life. And especially during critical situation, we can see how Dorje Shugden puja perform miracles to help us solve the situation. There are many testimonial about how they benefited from Dorje Shugden Puja.
MingwenPosted on September 15, 2016 #17 Author
It is a bless for me to able to pratice the great Dharma Protector, Dorje Shugden in this life. It is a “coincidence”(I must have collected much merits in my previous lives) to tap into Dorje Shugden.
By practicing Dorje Shugden, I don’t really have the evidence or experience any miracle personally. However, how would we, human beings, know if the Buddhas are helping us at times. Do we really need them to appear in front of our face to give us a lot of cash and kick our enemies assess? Then only we would have faith to practice Buddhadharma? In fact, mainly praticing Dharma is to transform our pollinated minds into a better one, ultimately find enlightenment within us. I have faith in Dorje Shugden, because somehow I feel calm when I think of him and recite his mantra. Furthermore, I’ve been in “lucky” mode, since I get to know Dorje Shugden. Everything I do seem to be smoother.
FongPosted on September 16, 2016 #18 Author
Pujas are commonly seen and participated in many temples or monasteries. The real reasons for the puja are very superficial for many. They just want to have their problems or obstacles taken away immediately after the puja without understanding about karma and positive actions.
Therefore, when they perform pujas and have their rood cause removed but must still ride out the karma that has ripened into the problems that they are facing, they feel disappointed and that the puja has not worked.
So, this article is very good, as it explains very clearly what puja is all about and the benefits to be reaped from it.
Thank you, for this clear information on the meaning and benefits of puja.
SameerPosted on October 5, 2016 #19 Author
I belong to Vajracharya caste of Kathmandu, Nepal. I know little about tantric poojas done in secret altars of our vihars. I wish to know how Vajrayana Buddhism practiced in Kathmandu Valley related to the Tibetan Buddhism. We have also culture of inviting God into one’s body which is similar to oracle invitation in Tibetan Buddhism. The main Gurus of Vajracharya perform Vajra Dance in special occasions. They also perform what is known as ‘Dekha’ (Manjushree Dance). Do Vajracharyas of Kathmandu too have the ritual of inviting oracle of Dharmapala as Shugden and Nechung? In very special occasion we worship Gods Mahakala and Vairav which we thought were Hindu dieties but happened to be the buddhist dharma protectors! I am really keen in knowing how the Vajrayana practiced in Kathmandu related to Tibetan Buddhism. By the way, though Vajracharyas are Newars, they are dressed as Lamas in special occasions such as ‘Baracheu’ (I myself have used Vajra and Bell in some poojas but without knowing why?). Similar in Newar Shakyas! Are Newar Shakyas belong to Sakya Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism? I am really excited to know about all these links! Can our respected Lamas and Gurus help me to know all these?…:-)
Stella CheangPosted on November 18, 2016 #20 Author
Thank you for sharing this with us. I am glad to learn that PUJA means offering in Sanskrit, it is a set of rituals and prayers performed to offer devotional praise to a deity to accumulate merits and remove obstacles. Dorje Shugden’s puja that is performed in Kechara is complete with seven limbs prayer that will invoke the energy of Dorje Shudgen for swift assistance, to remove obstacles and create the right condition for Dharma advancement. The seven limbs are prostrations with refuge, making offerings, confessing, rejoicing, requesting for teachings, petitioning the teacher to remain and a dedication. These seven limbs or elements of a puja are necessary to effectively tap into the energy of an enlightened being.
Wylfred NgPosted on November 26, 2016 #21 Author
多杰雄登的法门实在太殊胜了!! 多杰雄登法门可以不只是可以给我们修法的环境， 也可以让我们更容易了解和修习佛法。
Datuk MayPosted on August 31, 2017 #22 Author
Once a month, this precious Dorje Shugden puja is held for all of us to participate. However, realising how beneficial the puja is for us both spiritually and secularly, it is good that we do our daily sadhana to our Protector. It is my opinion that the Sadhana is a short version of our monthly puja. It is not that Dorje Shugden needs our attention with prayers but rather we need the merits and His guidance and protection as we live this short human life.
Prostrating to the Buddhas, like Dorje Shugden purifies our bodily karma, making offerings and all seven limbs are to benefit us.
Learn more at http://www.dorjeshugden.org