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September 30, 2016 at 3:47 am in reply to: Metal plate on the chest of Dorje Shugden's oracle #9410
The metal plate worn by Dorje Shugden oracle is not unique, but something worn by most oracles when they take trance. For example, the Nechung oracle uses this metal plate as well. This metal plate is known as thungs kyi me long aka divination mirror. The tradition of this mirror comes from centuries ago, even as far back as pre-Buddhist era. During that time, mirrors do not exist, and to see ones reflection, metal is used… thus the metal plate functions as a mirror. Also, there are many other ancient religions that use mirror as ritual objects, especially for divination purposes. At the center of the plate, the deity’s seed syllable is inscribe, example HRI.
As for the function of the mirror, I am not 100% sure, however, it is logical to look at it as
1) Protection. The mirror which is inscribed with the deity’s seed syllable protects us from the wrong entity from entering the oracle.
2) Since it is also known as a divination mirror, it helps the deity to divine the future when we ask for advice and help.
As for the oracle in trance hitting the metal plate, it is usually when the Lama requests for his assistance, if the deity wishes to help, the hitting the metal plate is a way of communicating he promises to assist.
Hope this helps.
Dorje Legpa does look a little similar but he is not Dorje Shugden…. well technically all Enlightened beings are one, and Dorje Legpa is believed to be the emanation of Heruka.
As for your question, Dorje Shugden in the Sakya tradition is depicted a little different, as he rides a black horse instead of a snow lion.
I have never seen Dorje Shugden depicted by Kagyu, but I have heard there are those who does his practice.
In the Nyingma tradition, I have also seen so far, one thangka of Dorje Shugden with Guru Rinpoche as the lineage lama. I am unsure if this is really a Nyingma thangka, or a Gelug practitioner with a particular close affinity with Guru Rinpoche. But in any case, it is highly likely that it belongs to a Nyingma practitioner. See the pic attached, I found it online when I did a search.
Hope this answers your question.
Kache Marpo, being the emanation of Hayagriva (which is the wrathful form of Avalokiteshvara) is an enlightened Dharma Protector. Due to his enlightened nature, his works and reach are limitless. He is not bound to only his own original function but can emanate to have various functions according with time and need of sentient beings.
Although very often Kache Marpo is classified as the entourage of Dorje Shugden, but I think it is more accurate to call him the minister of Dorje Shugden. For example, the Prime Minister have his entourage, and ministers. As for the case of Dorje Shugden and Kache Marpo, we can look at it as if in a movie, where we have the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. Skill wise, both are at par, but they play different roles. It is true for this case. On a more spiritual note, due to Dorje Shugden having stronger karmic affinity with us in this era, it would not be impossible that Kache Marpo take a supporting role to assist Dorje Shugden. After all, being enlightened they are free of ego, and it doesnt really matter who runs the show as long as sentient beings get the most benefit out of their works
As for Kache Marpo as a single protector, he is still practiced within the Nyingma tradition as Tsui Marpo, where he originally enthroned in Samye Monastery by Guru Rinpoche.
I’m sorry to hear about the difficulties you’re facing but relief that you have managed to find this website for some spiritual help.
Dorje Shugden’s protection is undoubtedly very powerful. H.E. Tsem Rinpoche have a student who hosts a Paranormal series called The Paranormal Zone. Due to the nature of her job, which is to go out into the unknown seeking for paranormal events, she relies fully on Dorje Shugden’s protection so that no paranormal entity can harm or follow her back home.
However, every paranormal event is unique, and none are really quite the same. Just like what Vinnie have pointed out, there are instances where the entity becomes more violent when mantras are recited as a way to retaliate and scare you to stop your activities. On the other hand, more information about the case is needed. For example, how long have you been experiencing this problem in your house? The longer it have been there, the more difficult it is to rid of this entity. Do provide more details about the paranormal event.
On top of chanting the mantras and doing serkym and kawang, you can also print out Dorje Shugden Trakze’s image and place it in a respectful place in your house, or areas where you feel most disturbed in your house. You can also increase the repetitions of mantras (example 3 malas or 10 malas) and make sure you chant the mantras out loud (not at the top of your lungs, but enough for yourself to hear your voice), rather than in silence. You may also want to try to obtain some Protector Rice which can be burnt with incense to purify your house, and also some protection talisman for you and your family members to wear (such as protector knots or string).
Do keep us updated. Wishing you the best.
Dear Jane Vanco, Dorje Shugden has 5 emanations, and one of his emanation known as Dorje Shugden Gyenze functions to specifically grant practitioners both inner (spiritual) and outer (material) wealth. You can find out more about Gyenze here: http://www.dorjeshugden.org/practice/dorje-shugden-gyenze-to-increase-life-merits-and-wealth
I personally know and heard many genuine stories of people receiving help through Dorje Shugden’s blessings due to their consistent prayers, in regards to their career. But of course Dorje Shugden is not a quick fix (though for some, his assistance comes very quickly) and results varies from individuals, simply due to the different karmas we have collected in our countless of lifetimes. Do start his simple practice, there is after all nothing to lose, but only to gain. Wishing you the best of luck!
Dear Kiran Gupta, I am from Malaysia and we have quite a large Hindu community here. I have seen and personally know Hindu practitioners who pray to the Buddhas and Dorje Shugden. In fact, I have a Hindu friend who rely heavily on Ganesha and Dorje Shugden for protection and the success of his businesses.
According to the story of the Deities, Dorje Shugden is actually the offspring of Ganesha. In Tibetan Buddhism, Ganesha is also known as Ganapati and he have 4 emanations propitiated by the Gelugpas. They are:
- Yellow Ganapati (tshogs bdag ser po)
- Authority Averting (Ajna Vinivarta) Ganapati (ajur agegs sel wai tshogs bdag)
- Four Armed White Ganapati (According to the great India master Atisha) (tshogs bdag dkar po phyag bzhi pa jo pai lugs)
- Four Armed Red Ganapati (tshogs bdag dmar po phyag bzhi pa)
You can read more about Buddhist Ganapati here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/ganapati-ragavajra.html
Ideally, it will be good to separate the altar, as some Hindu deities are un-enlightened beings. However, if that is not possible, you can place the Buddha statue in one corner of the altar, and the Hindu deities in the other corner. Or you can get a small cabinet like this (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/94/9a/82/949a8275bade35cf437651f92704cc2a.jpg). Traditionally, Dorje Shugden images (and all Dharma Protectors in general) are always placed inside a cabinet because his practice is sacred and also because he is very wrathful, so it is ok to have him enclosed inside a cabinet such as in the picture. Hope this answers your questions.
Dear Shunsuke Takahashi, it is possible to recite the prayers without doing the physical offering, however such action is usually reserved for those who have attained great meditational stability. For regular practitioners, it is always advisable to have a physical offering set up on the altar as it is also a great and easy way for us to collect merits by making offerings to the Buddhas daily. It’s permissible to offer an air tight jar filled with cookies/ biscuits on your altar. You can change the offerings weekly or monthly according to your liking. Hope this helps.
Hmm… I think the word ‘secret’ in English gives it a little ‘negative’ connotation because people often associate keeping things a secret as hiding a negative deed or not allowing someone know about something due to selfish reasons.
But in the case of secret practices in Tibetan Buddhism it means entirely different from that. Perhaps using the world ‘esoteric’ is more accurate for secret practices to avoid misconceptions.
So what type of practices are secret? Higher Tantric practices are secret practices, and because in the past, Dharma Protector practice is only introduced to a student after they have received Tantric practice, it is thus by default made secret practice.
So, why are these practices kept secret? There are some reasons, here only to name a few:
1) There is a danger of a student who’s not ready for the practice may misunderstand or misuse the practice. This is very dangerous as it not only harm the practitioner, but it directly affect the longevity of the practice during our generation. Remember, Buddha himself mentioned that Buddhism will not be destroyed by any outside influence but destroyed by Buddhists themselves. On a ‘smaller’ scale, it is the same principle with selected practices. Therefore, keeping it a secret is to protect the practitioner, and the practice.
2) If the Lama, upon examine his student and find that the practice is not beneficial for him/her, then the practice is kept secret. Beneficial in what sense? If the practice can help the student spiritually or not. If it can’t then there is no point in revealing or giving the practice to the student anyway.
Also, the form of keeping practices a secret is not created and manufactured by Tibetan Buddhism. In fact, it originated from Shakyamuni himself, whom preached this form of esoteric practice to a selected few students that were ready and suitable for the teachings, the type of teaching that brings one quickly to Enlightenment. It started off very secret to the point that centuries after Buddha’s passing, no one knew about these esoteric practices. When these practices were later brought to Tibet and became institutionalized to what we know now as Tibetan Buddhism, and the esoteric practices are not too ‘secret’ anymore, infact, we see a decline in the number of people that benefit from the practice… creating only a handful of great masters, when in oppose a whole nation practicing this form of Buddhism, shouldn’t it create an Enlightened society by now, but that is not the case. So here we can already see, the importance of keeping very silent about the practices for efficacy sake.
The benefit of keeping one’s practice a secret can also be known if we think about it logically, with the knowledge of how purification works. How does purification practices work? We purify our negative karma so that we don’t need to experience it’s effect anymore, and we can do this through confessional practices. Doing Confessional practices gives us a two fold benefit, which is to purify our past negative karma, and when we openly admit to our faults and mistakes, it will prevent us from making the mistake again, thus it protects us from creating new negative karma. Similarly, if it works in this positive aspect, this law of nature applies to the opposite.
It was said that, during Lama Atisha’s trip to Tibet from India, everytime Lama Atisha manifested a downfall, he would stop the whole convoy, got out of his carriage and shouted at the top of his lungs, ‘I did this mistake… I did this downfall…’. He did that so many times to the point that his disciples begged Lama Atisha ‘Lama Atisha, we still have a long journey, please can we not do this every single time. In fact, everything you have confessed, we don’t even see it as any form of transgression and we don’t even understand why it is a downfall. We have so much faith in you already, you dont need to tell us what you have done wrong’.
To that, Lama Atisha replied ‘Every small action when kept hidden grows and grows and finally it brings a big result. So inorder for it not to happen, I admit them (the negative actions) as soon as I see them’.
So in short, ‘Speak openly of your good deeds, and it will diminish; speak not of your good deeds, and it will blossom. Speak openly of your misdeeds, and it will diminish; speak not of your misdeeds, and it will grow.’
Another point is that within the Gelug lineage, humility is an important point in our practice and keeping things secret helps us develop that. It was said that Lama Tsongkhapa, kept so many of his practices secret, that even his closes disciple did not know Lama Tsongkhapa had a vajra and bell. They only found out about it after Lama Tsongkhapa entered clear light.
The above is my thoughts and what I have read and heard about secret practices.
In relation to your questions:
1) Why is Dharma Protector practice openly practiced now?
There are few reasons for this, and it is mainly due to the time and generation we live in which is filled with distractions. Many times, due to these distractions, Dharma practitioners don’t even get the chance to receive Tantric practices and thus if followed the traditional way, they would not receive Dharma protector practice as well. However, due to the kindness of our Gurus, and recognizing the difficulties experienced today, the Lamas such as Tsem Rinpoche have given us practices to seek the blessings and help of Dharmapalas such as Dorje Shugden in order for us to gain the benefits, without receiving his practice officially. But officially, if one has the opportunity and fortune to receive Dorje Shugden Sogtae (life entrustment), then that is the most ideal.
2) Practicing Dharma Protector to clear Negative karma
This statement is not entirely accurate. Our negative karma can only be cleared through purification practices. No Buddha, Bodhisattva or Dharmapala can clear our negative karma, we have to do it ourselves. However, Dharmapala Dorje Shugden can help us in ways such as giving us good conditions that will ultimately lead us to do more spiritual practice. Of course the way he helps us varies according to our karma and what we need in order to reach our spiritual goals.
Hope this helps.
I do not think that any purification practice for this particular issue is necessary, but that being said, doing daily purification practice is an important component in our daily prayers as we are sure to have conducted transgression everyday no matter how careful we are. Daily purification help us so the negative karma collected daily do not multiply and if we practice by applying sincerely the 4 opponent powers, then we can even burn out the negative seeds, thus purifying negative karma.
Now that you know, then either skip through the Torma Offering prayer section, or you can immediately place offerings on your altar. It is not ‘wrong’ per say to recite without torma offerings, but it is inauspicious to not have the tormas when the recitation is being made.
Auspicious days would be Wesak Day, Dharma cakra day, your Guru’s birthday or paranirvana day (if this incarnation has entered clear light), depending on which lineage you belong to, then the paranirvana day of your lineage gurus will also be considered as auspicious days to make offerings. You can also make abundant offerings after the completion of a retreat or after attending a Dharma teaching or completion of a Dharma learning course in your centre, these are also considered as auspicious days.
Namka Barzin is a protector by his own right. There is no right or wrong, and reciting his prayers would definitely invoke the blessings of his promise to aid sincere practitioners. However, his function as a Dharma Protector is mainly focused on protecting monasteries and dharma institutes.
In my opinion, if you are seeking help with in regards to work, Dorje Shugden’s practice may be more suitable. Do note that Namka Barzin is part of Dorje Shugden’s entourage, he functions as one of Dorje Shugden’s ministers along side Kache Marpo. So when you pray to Dorje Shugden, you’re automatically praying to Namka Barzin as well. Hope this help, good luck in your practice!
May 23, 2016 at 9:58 pm in reply to: Enlightened Art (especially those created by great lamas!) #8526
I believe the image of Tara is similar, both Tara and Cittamani Tara. But the practice by itself is different. Commonly Tara tantra belong to Kriya Tantra, which is lower tantra; but Cittamani Tara is an Anuttarayoga Tantra, which is higher tantra. Tsem Rinpoche have written extensively about Cittamani Tara here (http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/cittamani-tara.html). If you haven’t receive the initiation, please do not read the commentary. However, you can read the introduction and history of her practice.
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