(Originally published on tsemrinpoche.com)
Who is Namkar Barzin?
Many years back in 1987, after I was ordained by H.H the 14th Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, I travelled to Nepal to run some errands. During this trip, I stayed in a monastery in Nepal called Samtenling Monastery, and living in the room right next to mine was a Western monk. We eventually befriended each other because we both spoke English, and because the other monks had limited command of English which made communication difficult. So, in the few days that I got to know him, he kept telling me about his teacher, His Eminence Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche, who would be visiting Nepal in two weeks time and that Gangchen Rinpoche would be staying close to Samtenling Monastery during his trip.
At that time, I had never heard of Gangchen Rinpoche… I had not met him or read anything about him. Back in the 80s, there wasn’t much information at our disposal. There was no Internet or computers. So there were no avenues where you could do searches on the spot, and dissemination of information relied mostly on word of mouth.
So, I told this monk that I would very much like to meet with Gangchen Rinpoche to receive his blessings. The monk said “OK” but when the much anticipated day of the audience with Gangchen Rinpoche arrived, the monk left to see his Lama… without me. And, not knowing where Gangchen Rinpoche would be, I could not find him.
I was quite disappointed that day so I went for a walk in the capital of Kathmandu, in an area called Thamel, which is a well-known shopping district for tourists. Then, in the distance, I saw a taxi. In that taxi was a Tibetan monk with a long black beard sitting in the front. When I saw the taxi come my way, I hailed it. The bearded monk stopped the taxi when he saw me and opened the door… and, lo and behold, it was Gangchen Rinpoche! He said to me, “Who are you?” I said, “I don’t know, but I want to meet you.” He responded, “Ok, you come in the afternoon” and told me the location of his ladrang.
The incredible thing was, I was supposed to meet Gangchen Rinpoche earlier that day. I wanted to meet him very much, but when my monk friend left to see his Lama without me, I just thought, “Well, I do not know where he lives, so never mind.” Yet, I ended up meeting him in the middle of a busy town! Also later that afternoon when I arrived at his house (ladrang), the minute I approached him, he told me a few things that were quite incredible, because I had never met this Lama… I had never seen, heard of or spoken to him… In fact, I had never even spoken to any of his students prior to my brief encounter with the Western monk.
So, there I was in the middle of Kathmandu, Nepal and Rinpoche was telling me things about my past that were very accurate and precise. Gangchen Rinpoche also gave me a prediction of my future and what I should do in tremendous detail. Yes, I repeat: he gave me predictions of my future and what I should do in much detail. And in hindsight, 20 years later, it came true. So I am totally and perfectly convinced that Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche has very advanced psychic abilities, which I witnessed with my own eyes. I was and am still amazed at the clairvoyance of Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche. If you ever have a chance to visit him, you should. He is an incredible lama with great compassion, knowledge, insight and psychic abilities. He is a great healer in this incarnation as were his previous incarnations. It is said Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche has many visions of various Buddhas and Dharma protectors and is very close to H.H. Panchen Rinpoche for many lifetimes now.
In the following years, whenever I went to Nepal or travelled to other places, Gangchen Rinpoche would always “happen to be there”. His home base is in Italy but he also has a Ladrang (Lama’s residence) in Nepal. Whenever I was in Nepal, he would always be at his Ladrang there. It was kind of a coincidence. During one of my visits to Nepal, I engaged in a Yamantaka retreat with Gangchen Rinpoche and his group of students. After the Yamantaka retreat, I was planning to return to Gaden in South India. However, Gangchen Rinpoche insisted that I go to India with him.
With trepidation, I followed Gangchen Rinpoche and his large group of students to India from Nepal. We took a bus and among the many places that we visited was Domo Geshe Rinpoche’s monastery in Sikkim, Kalimpong, North India. We also visited Domo Geshe’s private residence. Gangchen Rinpoche respects Domo Geshe very much and the temples built by Domo Geshe in Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Sikkim are very sanctified and holy. Many of Domo Geshe Rinpoche’s students live in the area, and they manage and take care of the temple and the residences perfectly. I am so glad I went along with Rinpoche and he invited me.
During my visit to Domo Geshe’s monastery, I stayed in an oracle’s house in Kalimpong. Domo Geshe Rinpoche had a student in the monastery named Lhakpa Dhondrub, who was an oracle of Dorje Shugden and Namkar Barzin as well as Setrap. I stayed with Lhakpa Dhondrub in his home, and he joined Gangchen Rinpoche and the entourage as we traveled around North India. I remember a particular incident that occurred while we were visiting the monasteries of Domo Geshe Rinpoche… I experienced an incredible feeling as I entered one of the Protector Chapels. Domo Geshe had Dorje Shugden and several other Protectors in the Protector Chapel but I was very attracted to one particular Protector, which Gangchen Rinpoche introduced to me as Namkar Barzin. Lhakpa Dhondrub spontaneously took trance of Namkar Barzin and embraced Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche when we visited this temple. I met Namkar Barzin at this time and offered a khata. I was in awe and entranced. I was so excited to meet a Protector through this famous oracle. Namkar Barzin embracing Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche showed their closeness and how highly attained Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche is.
I was extremely fascinated because I had never seen or heard of this being prior to this visit. Gangchen Rinpoche then told the group more about Namkar Barzin – that he was a special Protector of Domo Geshe Rinpoche, his monasteries and his temples. And the story that another lama friend related to me was very interesting:
During the Monlam Festival, which was started by Je Tsongkhapa in Lhasa during his lifetime on earth, everyone would go out for days to commemorate the New Year. The festivities would culminate in the celebration of the coming of Maitreya Buddha. Maitreya’s statue would be escorted through the crowd that was gathered in the streets of Lhasa, and tens of thousands of people would go and make offerings to Maitreya Buddha to make a connection with him for the future.
There was a Mongolian Geshe who attended the Monlam Festival in the 1920’s. On his way back to Mongolia after the festivities, he passed through Phari, an area of Domo Geshe’s monasteries. At that time, the roads were not paved as they are today, and travelling was very treacherous. There were no vehicles either, and the only way to travel was by horse or caravan or on foot. So, while the Geshe was walking and hitch hiking back to Mongolia, he got caught in a snowstorm in Phari. And by the time the snowstorm was over, the Geshe had literally frozen into a block of ice. He was at death’s door – nearly dead but his consciousness was still present.
He was ‘kind of’ frozen in a walking position – standing in a block of ice – and his eyes were wide open. When the local kids passed by and saw the Mongolian Geshe frozen in the block of ice, they started taunting and making fun of him and, basically, laughed at his predicament. These insensitive acts were done while the Geshe’s consciousness was still inside his body, and through his eyes he could see what these kids were doing, i.e. taunting him instead of getting him help. He became very disturbed and passed away unhappy.
After the Geshe’s unhappy death, animals in the region started to fall ill and die… the weather conditions became unusual… bad omens and signs started to appear.. and the families of the children who had taunted the Geshe started to develop illnesses that could not be cured with medicine. These events worried and frightened the people of the region, so they consulted with Kyabje Domo Geshe Rinpoche, who was the most respected Lama in the area at that time. After listening to the villagers’ problems, Domo Geshe Rinpoche knew exactly what had happened… he understood and decided to talk to the Geshe.
Kyabje Dome Geshe Rinpoche then went to the frozen corpse and said something along these lines, “You are a Geshe and you know Dharma, you understand Dharma, and you should not be attached. Therefore, you have died and you have turned into a being here that is unhappy and causing suffering to others. I would like to release you from this and have you enter the entourage of Dorje Shugden to become one of the ministers and assistants because you are quite powerful, and you are quite learned, and you could be of assistance to the Buddhadharma and the growth of the Buddhadharma. Would you like to do that?”
When Domo Geshe Rinpoche asked the Geshe’s corpse this question, everybody present saw the corpse blink his eyes in acceptance. After that, Domo Geshe had his oracle of Dorje Shugden take trance, and he officially offered the Geshe (now known as Namkar Barzin) to Dorje Shugden to be part of his entourage. Dorje Shugden accepted and Namkar Barzin’s promise to Dorje Shugden was sealed. As Dorje Shugden is a highly realized being, it was appropriate for Namkar Barzin to assist him. He along with Kache Marpo serves as one of the main ministers of Dorje Shugden.
Namkar Barzin showed a lot of effort in helping Dorje Shugden, helping Dharma practitioners, protecting the monasteries and gave a lot of signs. If a lama of Domo Geshe Rinpoche’s caliber recognizes this new protector Namkar Barzin, it is good enough for me. Domo Geshe was very pleased with Namkar Barzin, and made many images of him and spread his practice to many. Domo Geshe also enthroned Namkar Barzin as one of the protectors of his many monasteries. Although he is part of Dorje Shugden’s entourage, Namkar Barzin is a Dharma Protector in his own right and there are rituals, rites and mantras written to Namkar Barzin that specifically invoke his presence, power and blessings. In the Phari area, Namkar Barzin is very famous and very well known. Up till today, the people of Phari practice this Dharma Protector very strongly. I found this to be very interesting and captivating and thought I should share the story here.
Below are the prayers to Namkar Barzin. I have personally composed a prayer to him because I feel a very strong connection to Namkar Barzin and a very strong liking for him because he can benefit people spiritually. The mantra was extracted from traditional sources. In Lama Zopa’s biography ‘The Lawudo Lama‘, he talks about Namkar Barzin, which is quite beautiful. I have extracted it here for you to see. Also included are extracts from another book ‘Oracles and Demons of Tibet‘ which was written back in the 1950s and published in 1993 (pages 143 – 144). I have also included some different pictures and downloads for all of you.
So, this is the short story of Namkar Barzin and I was first introduced to him by Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche. He is a relatively new Dharma Protector who has been around for 70-80 years. Although he is new, he is very effective. As a footnote, which is quite interesting: while I was in Kalimpong, Domo Rinpoche’s oracle took trance of Namkar Barzin. When Namkar Barzin entered and spoke, the funny thing is he speaks in Mongolian and then he switches to Tibetan. The oracle himself is Tibetan who does not speak any Mongolian but when Namkar Barzin enters the oracle, he actually speaks Mongolian first before switching back to Tibetan. This is because before he passed away and became a Protector, he was a Mongolian Geshe.
So, I met Namkar Barzin once through the oracle and I was introduced to him by Gangchen Rinpoche. I treasure all these wonderful memories and thought I would share it here.
Invocation to Lord Namkar Barzin
Composed by Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, follower of the Duldzin lineage
With great faith I take refuge in Lord Shakyamuni Buddha,
Who with great self sacrifice perseverance achieved fully,
The peerless Enlightenment under the Bodhi tree in BodhGaya,
And with profound compassion turned the wheel of Dharma.
With great reverence I pay heartfelt homage to Lord Tsongkhapa,
Who as an emanation of the Lord of Speech Manjushri,
Took rebirth during the times that Shakyamuni’s teachings,
Were on the decline and enacted the deeds of enlightened activities.
I bow to the Great Geshe of Dromo of Phari, who in dependence upon,
Hearing, contemplation and meditation relied on the preliminaries,
Of Tsongkapa retreat and the secret Mother Queen Vajra Yogini,
Achieved great siddhis and was a tremendous benefit to others.
Great Mongolian Geshe who was diligent and caught in storm returning,
Taunted and made fun of were the causes for you to manifest,
‘compassionate’ anger to take on a form of a supreme Dharmapala,
I invoke your swift presence to this place now by the power of my refuge.
You who take on the form of a fully ordained monk holding sword which,
Cuts the bonds of our temporal sufferings and difficulties,
Who holds a white skull cup representing that you have mastered tantra,
And who rides on a mystical qilin as a mount, showing your tantric masteries.
Who rides amid psychic wind, fire and smoke with great speed,
And who has three eyes on the lookout for those in need of protection.
Since the great Mahasiddha of Phari, Dromo Geshe places confidence in you,
So I one with faith but little merit do also.
Please calm down the disturbances, fighting, violence, crime,
In this region in which you are invoked. Many here are suffering unnecessarily.
Please calm the violence and hostilities here.
Protect those without help and assistance. Let disturbing violence in this area stop.
Let the population have peace, harmony, prosperity and growth.
I invoke you and request you to be the protector of this region and,
Keep a close eye on those who may be the object of crime and thievery.
Please calm the local guardians for they can come under your subjugation.
Have pity and great compassion to the one who is invoking you through
This prayer of request. Although our spiritual attainments are none, we have
Great faith in Lord Buddha and the holy Dharma, so with respect I remind you,
Of the oath you have taken with the great Mahasiddha of Phari, Dromo Geshe Rinpoche.
I offer you milk, teas, cakes, biscuits, yoghurts, incense, lights, and various other
Offerings as to make a link with you.
Please out of your great compassion,
Accept and make this whole area at peace, prosperous and calm.
Use your quick powerful actions and show immediate protection that is ongoing.
OM BIYADA-PAR DHAMA-DHARA SOHA
(This mantra can be recited as many times as possible to connect with Namkar Barzin)
Please manifest signs to all that are clear and evident of your much needed presence,
Show clear and swift results in helping the suffering of this area.
I invoke you and request you from my heart. You, great Mongol Geshe Namka Barzin,
Protect, protect and show your swift actions for all to witness.
Great Mongol Geshe whose mystical powers have been proven,
Who is known to be swift as wind and extremely fierce, gnawing your lower lip,
Whose reputation to guard the property and wealth of those who place faith in you is famed,
Show special favour to me that I may gain inner and outer accomplishments.
On a personal basis, be my guardian, friend and protector.
Grant me my needs and necessities and may they come easily.
May I gain wealth, prosperity and freedom from obstructers, human and non-human.
Make the situations arise that I may practice the Dharma in-depth.
Remain as my Dharma protector and calm interferences.
May I be blessed by the faultless Shakyamuni, Tsongkhapa, and Dromo Geshe in this life and all future lives.
Where there is unhappiness and sufferings, may it quell and be calmed.
May I be of tremendous benefit to others and a fully enlightened being.
(This prayer to Namkar Barzin can be recited daily and you do not need special permission or initiation. Offerings of water, tea and incense can be made to this protective dharma protector of Phari, if convenient.)
Download more Buddha images:
Invite a Namkar Barzin tsa tsa from Vajrasecrets.com:
The Lawudo Lama
(NOTE: click on the images to enlarge)
The Lawudo Lama presents two life stories along with an extended introduction laying out their social and cultural context. The first Lawudo Lama portrayed, Lama Kunzang Yeshe (1864-1946), was a yogi of the Nyingma lineage who spent much of his life meditating in a cave near Lawudo. The second story is of Kunzang Yeshe’s reincarnation, a monk of the Gelug lineage known as Lama Zopa Rinpoche, whose story is given in a first-person narrative. In this book, Lama Zopa mentions Namkar Barzin when recounting his visit to Dungkar Monastery.
Source: Jamyang Wangmo; (2005) The Lawudo Lama, Stories of Reincarnation from the Mount Everest Region; Vajra Publications
Oracles and Demons of Tibet
Source: RENE DE NEBESKY – WOJKOWITZ, (1956 – 1st print); Oracles and Demons of Tibet, The Cult and Iconography of the Tibetan Protective Deities; Book Faith India)
(NOTE: click on the images to enlarge)
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