How to Rely upon Dorje Shugden How to Rely upon Dorje Shugden
Relying on a Dharma Protector is an essential and beneficial practice within Vajrayana Buddhism. There are two ways to rely upon Dorje Shugden: in... How to Rely upon Dorje Shugden

Relying on a Dharma Protector or Dharmapala is an essential and beneficial practice within Vajrayana Buddhism. As a result of living in the Kaliyuga (degenerate) age, where negative karma is immense and distractions from the spiritual path are abundant, treading the path to Enlightenment can be an arduous and obstacle-ridden road.

H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche gifts a Dorje Shugden image to Tibetan lady

H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche gifts a Dorje Shugden image to Tibetan lady

It is for these reasons that the practice of a Dharma Protector is even more important for easily distracted practitioners, especially as daily life is surrounded by elements that are capable of pulling us away from the route to Enlightenment. Reciting Dorje Shugden’s prayers is beneficial for sure, yet it is always best to know the correct way to rely on his divine help in order to have lasting faith and confidence in his holy practice.

Below is an excellent extract from Tharpa Publications describing two simple methods of relying on Dorje Shugden.

The Way to Rely Upon Dorje Shugden
There are two ways to rely upon Dorje Shugden: in thought and in deed. If we recognise that Dorje Shugden is the embodiment of the Three Jewels, if we remember his kindness in protecting and preserving the Buddhadharma, if we recall how he eliminates obstacles and gathers the necessary conditions for Dharma practitioners, and if with deep faith we develop respect for him and hold these special feelings continually, we are relying upon Dorje Shugden in thought.

With deep faith and conviction in Dorje Shugden we can practise his extensive, middling, or condensed sadhana. After completing a close retreat we can engage in peaceful, increasing, controlling, and wrathful actions and gradually achieve the supreme attainments. By engaging in these practices we can protect others by helping them to eliminate their obstacles and develop wisdom, to find the right conditions for practising Dharma, to fulfil their wishes, and to meet with success in their daily lives. Whenever we engage in any of these deeds with faith we are relying upon Dorje Shugden in deed.

There are many commentaries, rituals, and sadhanas in relation to Dorje Shugden which were composed by high Sakya and Gelugpa Lamas. For beings of this present age the late Trijang Dorjechang, who was the embodiment of Buddha Shakyamuni, Heruka, Atisha, and Je Tsongkhapa, wrote his great commentary to Infinite Aeons, the praise to Dorje Shugden composed by Tagpo Kelsang Khädrub Rinpoche. He also wrote many special rituals and yogas for gaining different attainments connected with Dorje Shugden. Tharpa Publications, 2008

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  • Wei Theng

    Posted on June 26, 2016 #1 Author

    Thank you for sharing.
    Now I learn in more details on how to rely upon Dorje Shugden especially when we engage into DS retreat or practices, it means we are rely on DS on it’s deeds.
    For those who wants to learn about how to do a Dorje Shugden Retreat, here is the info:

    Thank you!


  • Lin Mun

    Posted on June 26, 2016 #2 Author

    Thank you for sharing this article. It gives me an understanding of :
    a) why we should rely on dharma protector
    b) how it is beneficial to us is we keep this practise
    c) 2 simple methods in relying on Dorje Shugden practise (in thought and in deed)



    Posted on June 30, 2016 #3 Author



  • Stella Cheang

    Posted on July 12, 2016 #4 Author

    Dharmapala practice, while not the main Buddha Dharma practice, is nevertheless a significant practice in this degenerated age. This is due to sentient beings’ inherent negative karma accumulated from timeless beginnings. We are always distracted from the path of attainments; which explains why we are still here in the first place. No matter how hard we try, our mind is always unstable and sway from the path. Therefore Dharmapala practice plays a pivotal role to bless us, guide us and protect us on our spiritual progress. And among all the Dharmapala practices, we have the closest affinity with Dorje Shugden, for He and His 32 entourage are swift to assist us cut through the thick of our immense attachment.

    According to an extract from Tharpa Publications, there are 2 ways to rely on Dorje Shugden.
    1. Rely upon Dorje Shugden in thought – when we recognize that Dorje Shugden is the embodiment of the 3 Jewels. We should remember his kindness in protecting and preserving the Buddha Dharma. By developing this deep faith and great respect in Him, we are relying upon Dorje Shugden in thought.
    2. Relying upon Dorje Shugden in deed – when we practice His Sadhana and engage in any peaceful, increasing, controlling and wrathful actions that aim to benefit others by eliminating their suffering through the essence of Dharma, we are relying upon Dorje Shugden in deed.


  • Alice Tay

    Posted on August 15, 2016 #5 Author

    We need dharma protector very much in order to clear our clear obstacles and provide the conducive environment to enable us to collect merits which will propel us towards enlightenment.

    By knowing these 2 ways to rely upon Dorje Shugden in thought and in deed, it is believed that we are getting closer to Dorje Shugden and therefore he can help us swiftly.


  • Sofi

    Posted on September 1, 2016 #6 Author

    Thank you for this informative article. I had not known that there two methods to relying on Lord Dorje Shugden in our practise. First would be to rely on him in thoughts, by have full faith in Dorje Shugden as embodiment of the 3 Jewels and to think of his great kindness in protecting the Buddhadharma. Second would be to rely on him in deeds, by propitiating him daily in our prayers, engage in retreats and to spread his beneficial practise to others to help them overcome their obstacles. Now we are able to be more aware rather than blindly chanting the mantras during prayer sessions. May Lord Dorje Shugden’s practise spread to all directions of the world to bless the people during this degenerate times.


  • Fong

    Posted on September 13, 2016 #7 Author

    Dharmapala practice is to protect our spiritual journey as we need to focus on a lot of things, as we cannot concentrate on that many aspects on our journey. Wit the Dharmapala protection, the obstacles can be lessened.

    Here in the article, the 2 ways of relying upon Dorje Shugden in thought and relying upon Dorje Shugden in deed, is about action and mind. Simple yet not so easy but profound. To actually be able to do that requires training as well.

    But, it is great to have something to constantly remind us what and how to walk the spiritual path.
    Thank you.


  • Datuk May

    Posted on October 2, 2017 #8 Author

    Although I am not the perfect Dorje Shugden practitioner, I constantly rely upon him to guide me through my spiritual path to live within the tenants of the Dharma which at my level is to be generous, kind and compassionate. Although I can write these virtuous words, practising them is not the easiest as I go through life on a daily basis.

    However, in remembering always that Dorje Shugden watches and protects me, I become more careful in the actions of my body, speech and mind. Whenever I face adversity and danger, I would automatically recite Dorje Shugden’s mantra. Miracles big and small had been experienced by me.

    I love the practice as the world today is full of distractions and frustrations and I am glad that I have this practice from my Root Guru.


  • Pastor Antoinette Kass

    Posted on October 30, 2017 #9 Author

    It is important to always remember Dorje Shugden’s kindness and effort to protect and preserve the Buddha Dharma. We are very fortunate to have met the Dharma and espectially the most powerful Dorje Shugden.

    It is very true that we are very easily distracted from the virtuous path. Therefore it is very precious to meet the holy Dharma and to meet such invaluable teachings.

    May we be close to the Dharma always and continue to practice and be close to our Guru in all our lives from a young age onwards.



  • yin ping

    Posted on November 28, 2017 #10 Author

    Dharma protector practice is very important especially during this degenerate age where people are facing more obstacles, wrong views, and distractions that will pull us away from the dharma.

    We can rely upon Dorje Shugden sincerely. We should remember the kindness and compassion of Droje Shugden because he is always swift and effective when practitioners need him. We should respect and show our gratitude to Dorje Shugden by practicing dharma in our daily life. Besides, it is good that we do Dorje Shugden sadhanna and engaged in retreats. Our faith on Dorje Shugden will grow stronger.


  • Jacinta Goh

    Posted on January 27, 2019 #11 Author

    May I and others rely properly on this powerful Protector in thought and deeds in this life and in all our future lives.