The Previous Existences of Dorje Shugden
Out of great compassion for all sentient beings, Dorje Shugden reincarnated as a Dharma Protector in order to be of benefit. He arose from a long line of incarnations that stem all the way back to the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, Manjushri.
In each lifetime, he manifested great compassion and wisdom as can be seen in each existence’s tremendous contribution to preserving and propagating the Buddha’s teachings. In particular, the earlier incarnations performed many miraculous deeds because it was easier for people to gain faith through miracles at that time. Later incarnations focused on spreading and teaching the Dharma.
These tales of Dorje Shugden’s previous lives and deeds will inspire the practitioner and help develop deeper faith in his extraordinary abilities to assist on the spiritual journey.
Manjushri: The Embodiment of Wisdom
Manjushri is the Bodhisattva of Wisdom and his name means ‘Gentle Brilliance’. In the Sutra Revealing the Abode of Manjushri, Buddha Shakyamuni states that Manjushri attained full Enlightenment in his pure land as the Buddha called ‘Tathagata Lamp of the Nagas‘.
In this aeon, Manjushri emanated as a Bodhisattva in order to benefit sentient beings. He was one of the Bodhisattva students of Buddha Shakyamuni. According to the Sutras, Manjushri would frequently pose questions to the Buddha so that he would give an important teaching. He was also asked by the Buddha and others to give teachings as well. The Buddha would send certain students to Manjushri because he had greater affinity with them.
Manjushri has emanated in many forms including Kalarupa, Four-Faced Mahakala, Yamantaka, Lama Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugden. Great lineage lamas including Mahasiddha Tagpu Pemavajra, His Holiness Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche and His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche have formally recognised Dorje Shugden to be an emanation of Manjushri.
Magadha Sangmo: The Buddha’s Patron
One of Dorje Shugden’s first recorded incarnations is Magadha Sangmo, the daughter of Suddatta who was a disciple and the primary patron of Lord Buddha Shakyamuni. It was the generous Suddatta who built and offered Buddha the first monastic abode named Jetavana. Suddatta soon became a shining example of the perfect sponsor of the Guru’s virtuous work.
Following in the footsteps of her father, Magadha Sangmo became a model patron of the Sangha through her offerings of food and incense to the Buddha and his monastic community. She is perhaps best known for single-handedly bringing Buddhism to thousands in the city of Gokhara.
Magadha Sangmo invited the Buddha and his entourage to Gokhara to partake of a meal by offering incense and heartfelt prayers from the rooftop of her home. The very next day, the Buddha and his entourage miraculously descended from the sky to partake of the food offerings.
The Buddha also gave teachings to those present, thus developing faith in the minds of thousands and turning them to Buddhism. Through her faith, devotion and selflessness in serving others, Magadha Sangmo achieved arhatship during her lifetime as a lay householder.
Thus, Magadha Sangmo’s story is one of pure devotion to the Buddha’s teachings which, in turn, has made the Dharma available to countless others. She is immortalised in the scriptures of all three Buddhist traditions – Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana.
Mahasiddha Virupa: Master of Enchantment
Around the 7th or 8th Century CE, Dorje Shugden was born into a royal family of East India. He was given the name Dharmapala but later became known as Biwawa, Virupa or Birwapa.
Although Virupa was one of Nalanda Monastery’s great practitioners of the Chakrasamvara Tantras, he almost gave up his practice because he received negative dreams. He threw his rosary (mala) into the latrine but recovered it after the goddess Nairatmya appeared to him in a vision and explained that he was about to achieve realisations. He became enlightened soon afterwards.
When Virupa engaged in Tantric rituals such as tsog, dakinis (female celestial beings) would enter his chambers to partake of the offerings. The other monks saw them as ordinary women and so Virupa was evicted from Nalanda Monastery because they thought he had consorted with women.
Virupa roamed all over India as a disheveled yogin and performed many miracles to subdue people’s minds. Many became his students, amongst them a boatman who later became known as the Mahasiddha Dombi Heruka.
The most famous of Virupa’s miracles was when he stopped the midday sun in the sky for almost three days, seemingly because he couldn’t pay for drinks at a tavern. In the end, the entire kingdom embraced Buddhism and entered the Buddhist path.
Thonmi Sambhota: Father of the Tibetan Script
In the 7th Century, Dorje Shugden was Thonmi Sambhota, a bright young man chosen by King Songtsen Gampo to travel to India in an expedition of 16 young and brilliant Tibetans. They were to study the Sanskrit language in order to devise a script for the Tibetan language.
Thonmi Sambhota studied Sanskrit grammar, literature and other related topics under the masters Lipikara and Devavidyasimha, and was their brightest student. Upon his return to Tibet, he fused the Devanagari and Kashmiri scripts together and is said to have composed six reference texts on the new written language. Today, only two of these texts survive (sum bcu pa and rtags kyi ‘jug pa) and those pursuing Tibetan grammar studies must study these two texts.
After completing the gruelling project, Thonmi Sambhota presented the Tibetan script to the king and the royal court. The king then entered a retreat of four years to master the new language, after which he engaged in many translation projects. Thonmi Sambhota would eventually become one of the most trusted advisors of King Songtsen Gampo.
King Trisong Detsen: Great Dharmaraja
In the 8th Century, Dorje Shugden was the second of the three great Dharma Kings of Tibet, King Trisong Detsen. As a military leader, he waged several successful military campaigns against the Arabs in the West and against the Tang Chinese in the East.
In order to spread Buddhism in his country, King Trisong Detsen invited the Indian master Shantarakshita and later Guru Padmasambhava to teach in Tibet. He also founded Tibet’s first monastery, Samye, which ordained Tibet’s first Buddhist monks and initiated great translation projects of the Indian treatises.
King Trison Detsen was instrumental in ensuring the purity and accuracy of the Buddhist teachings in Tibet. At the time, Samye Monastery attracted teachers from India, Kashmir, China and so forth. One of them, a monk named Hoshang, taught the meditative practice of emptying the mind of all conceptual thoughts and had become very popular.
The king doubted the source and accuracy of these teachings. Thus, he initiated the great two-year debate called the Council of Lhasa at Samye Monastery, between the Chinese and Indian scholars. The Indian master Kamalashila was proclaimed the winner of the debate and thenceforth, Tibetan Buddhism was taught only from Indian sources.
One of King Trisong Detsen’s five wives was Yeshe Tsogyal, who was later considered to be an emanation of the female Tantric Buddha, Vajrayogini.
Mahasiddha Naropa: The Indomitable Disciple
In the early 11th Century, Dorje Shugden was born as a Kashmiri prince who renounced his throne to become a monk at the prestigious Nalanda Monastery of India.
Already an erudite scholar, a chance meeting with an old woman made him realise his lack of realisations. Following her advice, Naropa decided to seek out the great Mahasiddha Tilopa and became a wandering yogin in search of his Guru.
After a long search, Naropa finally found Tilopa but upon their first meeting, Tilopa did not accept Naropa as a student. What followed has since become known as the 12 major and 12 minor trials that Naropa had to endure.
Having persevered and successfully overcome the challenges and tasks set by his Guru, Naropa was given the full set of teachings including an initiation into the Tantric practice of Vajravarahi. He is said to have attained full Enlightenment within just a few months of practice due to the purification and merits accumulated through serving his Guru. Thus, Naropa’s story is often quoted as a great example of devotion to a spiritual guide
Naropa is known for having gained a vision of Vajrayogini, and one of her most common forms which is widely practised today is called Naro Kacho, named after how she appeared to Naropa. He is also known for the Tantric practice of the Six Yogas of Naropa. Naropa had many students, amongst them the Tibetan master Marpa who later became the teacher of Milarepa.
Ra Lotsawa: The Great Yamantaka Yogin
In the early 11th Century, Dorje Shugden was also Ra Lotsawa, a controversial figure who almost single-handedly proliferated the Yamantaka Tantras in Tibet. He lived at the same time as the great Mahasiddha Naropa and Lotsawa Loden Sherab, and all three are the previous lives of Dorje Shugden. It is possible for attained Bodhisattvas to split their consciousness and take rebirth simultaneously in order to benefit an even greater number of people.
Born in 1016 in Nyenam, Tibet, Ra Lotsawa was a contemporary of Lotsawa Loden Sherab and they traveled together to India in an expedition of five young men to study the Sanskrit language.
He received the Yamantaka and Vajrayogini Tantric lineages from his Guru, Bharo Chakdum, who was a specialist in these Tantras. He also received the Chakrasamvara and Namasamgiti lineages from Mahakaruna, a master in Naropa’s lineage of disciples, and the Kalachakra Tantras from the Indian master Samantashri.
Upon his return to Tibet, Ra Lotsawa began proliferating these lineages in the Land of Snows. At that time, he faced many obstacles because of Yamantaka’s frightful appearance which was thought to be non-Buddhist in nature. In the face of such opposition and threats, Ra Lotsawa had no choice but to engage his accusers in arcane magical combat, successfully dispatching 13 Lamas of various traditions. Although these appear to be ordinary actions, in actuality the lamas were divine actors playing their part to highlight the superiority of the Yamantaka Tantras in order to eliminate the opposition that Ra Lotsawa was facing in propagating them.
Ra Lotsawa also rebuilt many monasteries particularly in the southern Tsang region, engaged in numerous translation works and sponsored the printing of Dharma texts and the installation of Buddha statues.
Lotsawa Loden Sherab: The Prolific Translat0r
In the second half of the 11th Century, Dorje Shugden was Lotsawa Loden Sherab, a nephew and student of the great master Ngok Lekpai Sherab, who ordained him as a fully ordained monk.
Lotsawa Loden Sherab was a contemporary of Ra Lotsawa and, together with an expedition of five young Tibetans, they travelled to India to study Sanskrit and the great treatises. He returned to Tibet after mastering the Sanskrit language and brought along with him many great Indian treatises including the Dharma Protector practice of Setrap Chen.
Lotsawa Loden Sherab established his seat at Sangphu Neutog Monastery and was renowned as a great Lama and teacher who attracted audiences of over 20,000 students to his Dharma discourses. A prolific translator, he also engaged in huge translation projects of the Indian treatises and called upon many Indian scholars to assist him in his work.
Over the course of his life, Lotsawa Loden Sherab translated over 135,000 verses and trained countless students in ancient Buddhist philosophy. He entered clear light amidst auspicious omens of rainbows, earth tremors and celestial lights, and his relics are enshrined in Sangphu Monastery.
Shakya Shri Bhadra: The Great Kashmiri Scholar
In the early 12th Century CE, Dorje Shugden was born into a Brahmin family in Kashmir. The boy, named Shakya Shri Bhadra, eventually took the position of Mahapandita of Nalanda Monastery and was also appointed the abbot of both Nalanda and Vikramashila monasteries .
Shakya Shri Bhadra’s fame grew far and wide, and he was a highly sought-after teacher in Tibet. Together with his entourage, he travelled to many monastic seats in the Land of Snows giving extensive teachings on a range of topics including the five main texts of Buddhist philosophy. He also turned the Wheel of Sutra and Tantra through the efforts of Tropu Lotsawa, an outstanding translator and debater.
Throughout his travels, Shakya Shri Bhadra ordained innumerable monks into the Kashmiri Vinaya system that eventually became the guiding principle for the Sakya, Kagyu and Gelug monastic traditions. He is also credited for authenticating the lineage of the Vajrakilaya practice, and for introducing the Indian system of logic into the Sakya school through Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen, whom he met on his travels.
Sakya Pandita: Accomplished Sakya Master
In the late 12th Century CE, Dorje Shugden was born in Tibet as the great Sakya master, Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen. His teacher was the famed Sakya Jetsun Drakpa Gyaltsen and under his tutelage, Sakya Pandita grew to become a great scholar and invincible debater.
Even in his youth, he silenced six great Hindu scholars including the famous Harinanda. As a writer, he wrote prolifically on Buddhist philosophy and is famous for his commentary on Pramana or logic called Rig Ter, that corrected some wrong views of his day.
Sakya Pandita’s fame spread to China and he was invited to visit by Godan Khan, the Mongol emperor of China. When he first arrived, he was put to the test. Unbeknownst to Sakya Pandita, the emperor had secretly instructed the court magicians to conjure a temple for the Lama to bless.
After Sakya Pandita had blessed the illusory temple, the triumphant emperor told his magicians to dissolve the illusion. However, they were unable to do so as Sakya Pandita’s blessings had made the temple real. Embarrassed, the emperor begged Sakya Pandita for forgiveness and requested to become his student. It was this lifetime that began Dorje Shugden’s connection to the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism which later culminated in his enthronement as one of the Protectors of Sakya.
Buton Rinchen Drub: Kangyur and Tangyur Collector
Around the turn of the 13th Century, Dorje Shugden took rebirth as the great Buton Rinchen Drub of Zhalu Monastery. Like many of his previous incarnations, he became a very famous scholar and translator and was a teacher to many in the 14th Century.
During this period, the Muslim invasion had systematically destroyed many great Buddhist institutions of India. When Buton Rinchen Drub heard of this, he embarked on a grand project to compile the Kangyur, which are texts recording the spoken words of the Buddha and the Tangyur, which are the great Indian and Tibetan commentaries on the Buddha’s teachings. A prolific writer, he also composed 26 volumes of commentaries over the course of his life.
Buton Rinchen Drub acquired many Sanskrit texts and their corresponding Tibetan translations, many of which he corrected and improved. His compilation of the Kangyur and Tangyur was highly sought after by monasteries from all traditions in Tibet and became the foundation for Buddhist study. This encyclopaedic compilation is Buton Rinchen Drub’s most enduring legacy and as a result, he almost single-handedly preserved the Buddha’s teachings for future generations of scholars and masters.
Dulzin Drakpa Gyeltsen: Builder of Gaden
In the 14th Century CE, Dorje Shugden was born as the Vinaya-holder Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen, who would become the foremost disciple of Lama Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. He was bestowed the precious title of Duldzin or Vinaya-holder because he held his vows so well that he naturally exuded the fragrant scent of morality.
During his lifetime, Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen was considered by many to be equal to Lama Tsongkhapa in terms of attainments and practice. He was also accomplished in Sutra and Tantra and had many erudite students including the great Khedrub Je.
Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen was responsible for initiating and supervising the construction of the great Gaden Monastery. He engaged in this project so that his Guru, the aging Lama Tsongkhapa, could have a permanent place to reside and teach in instead of traveling all over Tibet. He also founded Tsunmo Tsel Monastery.
It was in this lifetime that the seeds for Dorje Shugden to eventually arise as a Dharma Protector were planted. Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen made a promise to the Dharma Protector Nechung to arise as an uncommon Protector to protect Lama Tsongkhapa’s special lineage of Nagarjuna’s view. He would fulfil this promise in a later incarnation.
Panchen Sonam Drakpa: The Unexcelled Scholar
Dorje Shugden took rebirth as the unparalleled scholar Panchen Sonam Drakpa in the 17th Century CE. This incarnation was a protege of the 2nd Dalai Lama Gendun Gyatso and the spiritual master of the 3rd Dalai Lama Sonam Gyatso.
Panchen Sonam Drakpa was such an erudite master and so respected by all that he served as the abbot of Gyutö Tantric College as well as Gaden, Drepung and Sera monasteries, the only master to do so in history. He also received the rare honour of ascending the throne of Lama Tsongkhapa as the 15th Gaden Tripa (Throne Holder) of the Gelugpa lineage.
Panchen Sonam Drakpa was a prolific writer and composed 45 major and minor works. To this day in Drepung Loseling and Gaden Shartse monasteries, his writings are used as textbooks by monks studying for their Geshe Lharampa degrees. He also established the ‘Upper House’ ladrang, Zimkhang Gongma, in Drepung Monastery.
Sonam Yeshe Wangpo and Ngawang Sonam Geleg: Great Masters of Fate
In the 16th Century, Dorje Shugden took rebirth as Sonam Yeshe Wangpo and exhibited all the signs of a high incarnation. As a young child, he had extraordinary memories and was able to recall various aspects from his previous life.
He was presented to the 3rd Dalai Lama Sonam Gyatso in Drepung Monastery and was given his name Sonam Yeshe Wangpo. He was able to give teachings from a young age and followed the Dalai Lama as part of a retinue to Mongolia.
He entered clear light at 37 years old and was unable to manifest further great deeds.
Towards the end of the 16th Century, Dorje Shugden was born as Ngawang Sonam Geleg. He too grew up with all the marks and signs of a high incarnation and was presented to the leading Lama of his time, Paljor Gyatso.
He began giving teachings at a young age and many were amazed by their clarity. He met with the 4th Dalai Lama Yonten Gyatso on his return from Mongolia and received teachings from this great Lama as well. Unfortunately, Ngawang Sonam Geleg contracted smallpox and entered clear light at the young age of 22.
These two previous incarnations of Dorje Shugden did not live long. It is traditionally believed that these Lamas passed away young because the people of that time and place had insufficient merits to support their great activities. Some also believe that their early passing was to allow other incarnations lineages to manifest their great deeds.
Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen: The Great Martyr
In the 17th Century CE, Dorje Shugden took his penultimate rebirth as the great master Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen, also known as Ngatrul Drakpa Gyaltsen. He was a contemporary of the Great Fifth Dalai Lama and they were both students of the 4th Panchen Lama Lobsang Chokyi Gyaltsen.
Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen showed the extraordinary signs of a great being and had clear visions of the enlightened beings from a young age. He was one of the leading candidates during the search for the reincarnation of the 4th Dalai Lama and was later recognised and enthroned as the incarnation of Ngawang Sonam Geleg by the 4th Panchen Lama. As a result, he inherited the Upper House ladrang, Zimkhang Gongma, in Drepung Monastery of his predecessor, Panchen Sonam Drakpa.
In that lifetime, Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen was an unexcelled scholar of Sutra and Tantra. His fame grew exponentially because of his purity and his exceptional teachings and practices. His reputation even reached Mongolia and many members of the Mongol royalty became his students and patrons. Soon, his name eclipsed that of the Fifth Dalai Lama which caused much dissatisfaction amongst the Dalai Lama’s assistants, although Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen and the Dalai Lama enjoyed a close relationship.
It was during this lifetime that Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen would fulfil the promise made in a previous life as Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen. Working together with Dharma Protector Nechung, the necessary circumstances were created that eventually led to the murder of Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen. Thus, with the right conditions, time and place, Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen arose as the wrathful enlightened Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden.
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graceleongPosted on May 4, 2016 #1 Author
Enlightened beings come to us in many different forms but in this degenerate era we do not recognise it or at times disregard it even if it’s right before our eyes! There’s a great need to recognise these beings and learn from their journey and teachings the very essence of Enlightenment. Otherwise, how do we find ours ?
Dorje Shugden is a great example. Manifesting in different forms over the different aeons; each form leaving behind precious teachings and blessings ! The stories of the previous reincarnation of Dorje Shugden are not folklores. They are historical figures who have achieved great works on secular matters like building temples,monasteries,kingdoms etc. They are also high level spiritual practitioners whose main goals and purpose in life is to spread the Buddha Dharma to benefit all beings. But due to the complexity of samsara, these Enlightened beings have to manifest in different forms best suited for the practitioners of those times.
It is really interesting to read the works of each previous reincarnation of Dorje Shugden, as, although they are different they still exude a similar essence or energy.
jerry_sitoPosted on June 6, 2016 #2 Author
第二位就是须摩提女，须摩提女的故事–》 http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_6d7edf5f0102wc4c.html 对于请转法轮的虔诚心是非常值得我们学习的，而当时须摩提女所祈请佛陀的祈请文，一路延续之今，我们都是在沿用着的：祈请无余等护诸众生，且摧凶猛魔王魔军尊，於诸事物无余善知者，世尊眷属驾临於此地。
CarsdenPosted on June 6, 2016 #3 Author
Sock WanPosted on June 6, 2016 #4 Author
This is a very informative article on the reincarnation lineage of Dorje Shugden.
Dorje Shugden’s reincarnation lineage can be traced back to Buddha’s time, at least 14 of his life times he has been a great master, making huge contribution to Dharma and left behind a lot of legacy. For example, the Tibetan language today was created by him, his scriptures he translated are still being used today, the Yamantaka practice he passed down is still widely practiced among different Tibetan Buddhist tradition. With a reincarnation lineage of such achievements, Dorje Shugden definitely is here to benefit all sentient beings in our era.
William ChuaPosted on June 6, 2016 #5 Author
Before Dorje Shugden arose after Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen, the previous reincarnations all lead illustrious lives which brings knowledge and dharma to people. They contributed lots to the spread of Buddhism during their time, be it being great yogis, translators or scholars.
One of the significant point I wish to highlight is that our karma plays a very important part in the existence of a great Lama as quoted “It is traditionally believed that these Lamas passed away young because the people of that time and place had insufficient merits to support their great activities. Some also believe that their early passing was to allow other incarnations lineages to manifest their great deeds.”
Therefore, we should always create conducive conditions for our guru to continue to turn the wheel of dharma.
Vivian OngPosted on June 6, 2016 #6 Author
It is very clear that the incarnations of Dorje Shugden consists of great scholars. They displays the great wisdom of the Manjushri. They have preserved and pass down the Buddha’s teachings till today . In order for the Lama to be in a place to spread the teachings, it all very depends on the merits of the people. We are fortunate enough to receive this practice. So, we must grab this golden opportunity to learn all we can and if we are fortunate enough, we will be again to gain enlightenment in future lifetimes.
KarenCPosted on June 6, 2016 #7 Author
All Dorje Shugden’s previous lives have a very strong similarity – that Buddhism was brought or rather introduced to places where it was barbaric and no Buddhism existed, through different means.
From Magadha Sangmo, who made Gokhara a Buddhist town by her sincerity of leaning Dharma from Buddha. One of the 3 Tibet Dharma kings – King Trisong Detsen who invited Guru Rinpoche over to Tibet to assist in defeating the negative forces while building Tibet’s first Buddhist monastery, and from then, Buddhism grew tremendously in Tibet. And Thonmi Sambhota who translated Buddhist scriptures from Sankrits to Tibetan had been so beneficial to the spread of Buddhism among Tibetans.
It’s not difficult to find that all Dorje Shugden’s incarnations are very important figures who establish Buddhism in various places. They were scholars and monastery’s abbot like Panchen Sonam Drakpa who continued the lineage by upholding the teachings.
justinPosted on June 6, 2016 #8 Author
Most of Dorje Shugden’s reincarnations have been well known scholarly or teaching Lamas including translators such as Loden Sherab hence a very special connection with Dharmapala Setrap. From this article, I realised that many of the reincarnations also were very beneficial to places where the area has no or less Dharma. Dorje Shugden’s reincarnations also were known to be building monasteries and learning centers to make Dharma grow. This is really an interesting read as to know Dorje Shugden’s reincarnations have contributed a lot into Dharma and its growth.
Wylfred NgPosted on June 6, 2016 #9 Author
我本身是去过那洛巴尼泊尔的圣地。 那洛巴是弘扬金刚瑜伽母修持法的上师， 而且到现在金刚瑜伽母的法门还在很多传承流传着。
现在的护法多杰雄登也是因为要利益众生而化身成为护法。 多杰雄登主要的任务就是守护由宗喀巴大师对于龙树菩萨的中观论的教诲。 当然其他的任务就是帮助我们佛法修行者可以更精进修持佛法。
佛菩萨可以化身成为不同的形态以利益众生。 在华人社会最令人熟悉的就是观世音菩萨。 提篮观音、送子观音等等都是我们所熟悉的， 虽然形象不同， 不过都是因为为了利益众生以不一样的形象出现。
Su MingPosted on June 7, 2016 #10 Author
There are a few things which made me very fascinated about Tibetan Buddhism or rather Buddhism in general. One of the main thing is the lineage and how it is trace back all the way to Buddha. Why is that important? Cause it tells you exactly where the lineage is from and it’s authenticity.
This article is very informative as it shows clearly where my protector, Dorje Shugden is from. And this is one of the few reason why I worshipped him and not because of blind faith. Before my Lama, Tsem Rinpoche gave a small group of us this protector many years ago, we were made to learned, researched by traveling and reading, debate before we, ourselves took this protector as our very own.
One thing for sure is that the previous life or existence of Dorje Shugden has created or resulted in bringing dharma in such a big scale which is predominantly the goal of all incarnation. Results do speak louder the words in all cases. And by choosing what you want to believe in is all based on knowledge and results. Contrary to what others might think.
CarmenPosted on June 9, 2016 #11 Author
Dorje Shugden’s long line of incarnations before fulfilling his promise (made during the time of Dulzin Drakpa Gyeltsen) to become a Dharma protector during the lifetime he was Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen, is nothing short of incredible. The great works that was achieved and done by each incarnation is astounding and shows the enlightened and compassionate mindstream of Dorje Shugden. Each incarnation did so much to uphold the lineage to prevent its diminish and degeneration of the Buddhism as a whole, and each have such inspiring stories of such great deeds which, in my mind, is extraordinary and not a common feat by just any one. Dorje Shugden clearly is Manjushri, their nature, one. These are incarnations that we study today, and read their biographies to grant us great blessings on our spiritual journey to enlightenment. And they’re all from the lineage of Dorje Shugden tracing back thousands of years ago to the Buddha of great Wisdom himself, Manjushri. Amazing.
Pastor Ong Mog MeiPosted on June 9, 2016 #12 Author
This is an excellent compilation and summary of the previous incarnations of Dorje Shugden. Each incarnation has an interesting story and has done great and significant deeds for dharma. For me what I found intriguing is that the first recorded incarnation was a female practitioner Magadha Sangmo. What is also interesting is that it was the only female incarnation mentioned too. It would be interesting to understand the significant of this (if there is any significant) and relate to how the female gender is viewed/explained in Buddhism in relation to gaining enlightenment.
nicholasPosted on June 9, 2016 #13 Author
Looking at the line of incarnation of Dorje Shugden, it strongly shows that Dorje Shugden is enlightened being even way back from Lord Manjushri time. It’s important for all spiritual seekers to be able to trace the source of their practice that lead back to the enlightened master. This is to form a faith for our spiritual practice and to go all the way.
Dorje Shugden line of incarnation shows that he was a great disciples, a great master of debate with full of knowledge, a great mahasiddha that had performed many miracles and so many more. Form this we can be very sure his practice is pure and authentic.
We should rejoice that for those that able to meet our Lama and being given such helpful practice. At this degenerate time protector practice is very important due to our negative karma we need protector practice to provide the conducive condition for us to purify our karma and practice the dharma.
pammie yapPosted on June 9, 2016 #14 Author
The previous existences of Dorje Shugden are amazing! All of them have done so much for Buddhism and some are still being used till today. In every incarnation, many great written works was produced/preserving the Dharma, building temples for the benefit of others, this show the authenticity of the incarnations and they all have the wisdom of Manjushri.
In all lineages, there must be a traceable line of incarnations/teachers so that we know whatever we are learning/practicing is correct and produce results.
How fortunate that we can receive blessings in this lifetime from Dorje Shugden and do His practice!
yin pingPosted on February 28, 2018 #15 Author
Dorje Shugden previous lives consist of Mahasiddhas, great scholars and translators who shown so much wisdom and compassion spreading the Dharma skillfully. It is good to study all these previous existence of Dorje Shugden to increase ones faith to practice sincerely. Knowing the authenticity of the incarnations that can be traced back to Manjushri the Buddha of Wisdom, ones can rely upon Dorje Shugden without worried.
Pastor Henry OoiPosted on June 9, 2016 #16 Author
It is incredibly amazing to know how Beings with great attainments and enlightened qualities are able to incarnate at will, and to manifest in various forms simultaneously. This article shows the enlightened nature of Dorje Shugden, tracing back centuries of His previous lives. And what is even more incredible is that all of Dorje Shugden’s previous incarnations benefitted so many people in each lifetime.
Eric kksiowPosted on June 9, 2016 #17 Author
What i found out on this article?
According of my study of Dorje Shugden incarnations, i just knew 3 of the names which are Dulzin Drakpa Gyeltsen, Panchen Sonam Drakpa & Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen only. Thru today discussion and sharing of The Previous Existences of Dorje Shugden, i able to knew more about Dorje Shugden incarnations and manifestations too.
Thanks to DS.ORG writer team..!!
Pastor ChiaPosted on June 10, 2016 #18 Author
Dorje Shugden previous existent from lord Manjushiri until Tulku Drakpa Gyelten are all the great scholar, translator and practitioner to preserve holy buddha dharma from Buddha Shakyamuni time to pass down until today. It is show how important the lineage of holy dharma teaching to be protected and authentic buddha dharma has pass down from India and Tibet. What the amazing part is from Dorje Shugden previous incarnation emanated few form are the same time to preserve and protect buddha dharma teaching.
June KangPosted on June 10, 2016 #19 Author
MingwenPosted on June 10, 2016 #20 Author
“In each lifetime, he manifested great compassion and wisdom as can be seen in each existence’s tremendous contribution to preserving and propagating the Buddha’s teachings. In particular, the earlier incarnations performed many miraculous deeds because it was easier for people to gain faith through miracles at that time. Later incarnations focused on spreading and teaching the Dharma.”
Indeed, all of the previous reincarnations of Dorje Shugden were all doing deeds that all focused on spreading and teaching Dharma. It is great to know and understand about the deities we are putting faith on. Personally, I think it is the same as we are looking for new friends, business partner and intimate partner. We should at least know about their background, before establish a deeper relationship. The more we know about one, the more we can put our trust and faith on one.
Li KhengPosted on June 10, 2016 #21 Author
This kine of reincarnation is not only purely devoted to the dharma but also contributed in significantly tangible ways to benefit all sentient beings. King Trisong detsen ignited the growth of Dharma in Tibet. Thonmi Sambhota developed the Tibetan text that enabled a literate society while. Loden sherab played a pivotal role in the translation of fundamental initial dharma scriptures into tibetan. If we believe in the Buddhas teaching on karma, this line of reincarnation can only be beneficial as it came from a source that is reliable and pure and also closely connected to the dharma.
With such a lineage, practitioners can be confident and secure to rely on Lord Dorje Shugden.
Julia TanPosted on June 10, 2016 #22 Author
It is amazing to know that a Dharma protector Dorje Shugden that came from an unbroken lineage all the way to Lord Manjushri. All these reincarnations showed that Dorje Shugden came from enlightenment minds. In all His past lives, He brought huge benefits to sentient beings by preserving the Buddha’s teachings. Hence He is now the enlightened protector not like any other, continuing His job by protecting the Lama Tsongkhapa pure lineage in this degenerate time. All practitioners of Dorje Shugden experienced His powerful blessings and protection all the time, from spiritual path to personal obstacles. We know He loves us just like our Guru. We should rely on Dorje Shugden but no other protector because He has the unbroken lineage all the way to the Buddha’s time.
Pastor KH NgPosted on June 10, 2016 #23 Author
The pasty incarnations of Dorje Shugden includes an amazing list of who’s who in Tibetan Buddhism from the fathe of the Tibetan script, without whom we would not have the Dharma in Tibetan, to yogi masters like Naropa, and Ra Lotsawa, to translator like Loden Sherab, scholars like Shakya Shri Bhadra, Sakya Pandita and Panchen Sonam Drakpa, the builder of Ganden, Dulzin Drakpa Gyeltsen, Dharma Kings, martyr and Gurus.
The greatness of this lineage is without doubt and hence that the nature of the Protector is Enlighthened.
Khoo Hou HawPosted on June 11, 2016 #24 Author
This is a very informative and interesting article. It shows that all previous forms of Dorje Shugden had manifested various abilities and methods to uphold and spread Dharma. This is truly a sign that Dorje Shugden is the manifestation of Buddha of Wisdom, Lord Manjushri.
Jace ChongPosted on June 13, 2016 #25 Author
Thanks for the great article explaining the previous existences of Dorje Shugden, that show how we can trace the incarnations all the way back to Manjushri.
Each of the incarnation plays important role to preserve the Buddha’s teachings, either through collection of Buddha’s teachings or translate to another language. Imagine what Tibetan Buddhist world we are experiencing now without these important incarnations, it would be degenerating real fast due to losing the lineage part by part.
One of the interesting part is Dorje Shugden incarnated as 2 great masters at the same time, Ra Lotsawa and Lotsawa Loden Sherab who have great contribution to Yamantaka Tantra and also the great translation of Buddhist text from Sanskrit to Tibetan, and many other great deeds.
We are so fortunate to live in this era where Dorje Shugden exists and manifest in a protector form where people can seek for wisdom help and protection at the same time, learning the precious Dharma.
FongPosted on June 30, 2016 #26 Author
Although I have read the many incarnations many times, there are always fresh perspectives to the incarnation.
Every lifetime is a lifetime of dharmic achievements to teach the dharma and the spread the dharma. All the lives face adversity and yet persevere for the sake of all beings. The various attainments that follow the practices of the various incarnations show that the mind retains the great dharma knowledge accumulated.
Reading this article, affirms faith and conviction.
Thank you, admin for the article.
Sharon OngPosted on July 27, 2016 #27 Author
I thank the team at dorjeshugden.org for such a comprehensive and informative write-up on the past lives of Dorje Shugden. Among the things that I found interesting are:
1. The first incarnation of Dorje Shudgen happens to be an extraordinary woman who “invented” incense offering and is known for her legendary Guru Devotion to her Guru, Lord Buddha himself. What’s more amazing is that as a woman, she achieved arhatship during her lifetime as a lay householder.
2. Ra Lotsawa lived at the same time as the great Mahasiddha Naropa and Lotsawa Loden Sherab. All three are the previous lives of Dorje Shugden. It is possible for attained Bodhisattvas to split their consciousness and take rebirth simultaneously in order to benefit an even greater number of people.
3. It is traditionally believed that Lamas pass away young because the people of that time and place had insufficient merits to support their great activities. Some also believe that their early passing was to allow other incarnations lineages to manifest their great deeds.
4. As Dorje Shugden’s previous existence stem all the way back to Manjushri, many of Manjushri’s sacred qualities can be seen clearly in all of the subsequent incarnations. From an extraordinary scholar like Panchen Sonam Drakpa to profilic translator Lotsawa Loden Sherab to the inventor of the Tibetan script, Thonmi Sambhota. Each incarnation displayed extraordinary wisdom.
FongPosted on August 9, 2016 #28 Author
All the previous incarnations of Dorje Shugden, from the time of Buddha Shakyamuni, has been great personages who focus has always been the dharma and teachings of the Buddha. They show great devotion to the Buddha and their Guru. They were fearless in their determination to bring beneficial teachings and practices to the people. They were leaders in traditions that are symbolic and significant in the practices of offerings, protectors and the sutras.
Thank you, admin, for this list and write-up on the incarnations. Very inspiring and instills feelings of devotion and faith.
Joy KamPosted on August 13, 2016 #29 Author
This is an enlightening read to know the many different enlightened masters of Dorje Shugden. To know who Dorje Shugden’s previous lives you will know the calibre of this great enlightened protector. It is amazing and inspiring to know that our protector is Manjushri himself, followed so many other great masters… even a master of the Sakya lineage. This goes to show that true enlightened masters are never ever sectarian.
ChoongPosted on August 13, 2016 #30 Author
It’s a good read and to learn that Dorje Shugden’s previous existences are some of Buddhadharma’s icons, Bodhisattvas who have come to exist in our world with the sole purpose of spreading, strengthening, establishing, extending, teaching, living and demonstrating the path to full liberation. To me, there is no doubt about the status of Dorje Shugden as an enlightened being.
Stella CheangPosted on August 13, 2016 #31 Author
Thank you very much for this concise list of Dorje Shugden’s previous existence. The long line of incarnations that can be traced back to Lord Manjushri himself and Buddha Shakyamuni’s time is an unmistakable strong display of spiritual conviction and devotion to Buddha’s Dharma. Every incarnation took rebirth and found his way as an erudite Buddhist master, who did great work that in ways, directly or indirectly, contributed to the growth and perseverance of Buddha Dharma. In another words, the precious Dharma that we have the great fortune to be connected with today, is partially the result of the work by this line of incarnation. It is a one in a million good fortune to find our affinity with this attained master rekindled amidst the degenerated age, we must not let this opportunity slipped pass without doing anything about it.
Ron wongPosted on August 14, 2016 #32 Author
All the previous reincarnations of Dorje Shugden are such great beings who have contributed tremendously to the spreading of the Dharma & benefited countless beings in all their lives time. Of the many reincarnations, Thonmi Sambhota had played a very important role in the preservation & propagation of the Buddha’s teaching into Tibetan Buddhism. Having been sent to India to study the Sanskrit language & devise a script for the Tibetan language, the formulation of the Tibetan language had later begun the translation & preservation of the Buddha’s teaching from Sanskrit to Tibetan. Since then, the many schools of the Tibetan Buddhism has grown & wide spread to all over the world till these days.
Datuk MayPosted on December 10, 2016 #33 Author
Dorje Shugden, in one of His previous reincarnation was with Shakymuni Buddha, the historical founder of Buddhism, in the form of Manjushri. And since then Dorje Shugden has reincarnated as erudite Lamas and Mahasiddhas and also as a beautiful female devotee, Magadha Sangmo.
As an Enlightened Being it is out of great compassion that knows no boundaries, to all sentient beings that Dorje Shugden continues to reincarnate to save us from samsara.
Reading this article on the history of Dorje Shugden, we are eternally grateful for having the good fortune be under the protection of this Great Enlightened Being.
Datuk MayPosted on June 12, 2017 #34 Author
I was always taught by my Guru, H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche to study and practise the Dharma propagated by authentic lineage. In this manner the Dharma I learn will be pure and reliable.
Learning the Previous Existence of Dorje Shugden proves beyond doubt of this Enlightened Protector’s authenticity and His continuance educated and compassionate contribution to the propagation of the Dharma in all ten directions.
Dorje Shugden’s existence had always been for the Dharma to benefit sentient beings. In our time, He is here with us again as our Protector to clear our obstacles so that our spiritual journey to enlightenment can be eventually fulfilled by our true faith and trust in him.
Read more of the Protector of our time @dorjeshugden.org
FreonPosted on September 3, 2017 #35 Author
Protector Dorje Shugden was with us since Buddha’s time and in every of Dorje Shugden’s incarnation the sentient beings was benefited in mundane and Supramundane. Most importantly, people who get close with one of their reincarnation will became a Buddhist and be in dharma. This is very powerful that every reincarnation of Dorje Shugden’ brought people to dharma.
From Magadha Sangmo, we have learned to offer food for Buddha. From Mahasiddha Virupa we learned that He performed miracle to subdue people mind. From Thonmi Sambhota, we have complete system of Tibetan language. From King Trisong Detsen, the source of Buddhism was able to maintain pure. From Naropa we have learned the important of Guru Devotion. From Ra Lotsawa we have Yamantaka practices. From Lotsawa Loden Sheran we have Setrap as protector. Many of Dorje Shugden’s reincarnation was a monk, even Dorje Shugden’s forms is in monk form.
Looking at Dorje Shugden’s line of incarnation, which brought so much benefit to sentient beings it is illogic to said that Dorje Shugden will bring harm to sentient being.
CcPosted on October 29, 2017 #36 Author
Dorje Shudgen reincarnation has been trace back and the mind was caltivated through so many life times. Each incarnation has great renunciation and perform great miracles and contributed. We are indeed very fortunate and should continue and follow their foot steps and continue doing dharma.
Lim Han NeePosted on October 29, 2017 #37 Author
Dorje Shugden ‘s glorious line of incarnations were all fearless and selfless in the proliferation and preservation of Dharma.Magadho Sangmo married a man who came from a non-Buddhist community in a place a distance away. Her great compassion and devotion and faith in Lord Buddha led to Lord Buddha appearing to her in Gokhara in a miraculous way, which in turn led to the conversion of her husband and the people of Gokhara to Buddhism.
Mahasiddha Virupa brought a king and his whole kingdom to Buddhism by miraculously causing the mid-day sun to stay in the sky for nearly three days!
Thonmi Sambhota created the written Tibetan script so that Buddhism could be brought from India to Tibet and be proliferated. Dharma King Trison Detsen brought Shantarakshita and later the tantric adept Padmasambhava, to teach in Tibet and spread the Dharma. He also initiated the great debate that led to Tibet from then on being taught from Indian sources.
Ra Lotsawa conquered and vanquished all fears and opposition to tantric deity, Yamantaka, and other tantric deities in arcane magical combat and in this way also spread their lineages.Loden Sherab spread the Dharma through his huge translation project. Sakya Pandita, from young, engaged great Hindu scholars in debate, and vanquished them and thus won them over to Buddhism.He also converted the Mongolian emperor of China to Buddhism, using his magical power.
After Muslim invaders systematically destroyed Buddhist institutions, Buton Rinchen DRub made it his lifetime’s project to compile the Kangyur and th Tengyur. He thus preservd the Buddha’s teaching s in its entirety for future generations of scholars and masters.
The whole lineage of previous lives culminated in Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen who sowed the seed for Dorje Shugden to arise with his Promise, Sonam Drakpa Gyeltsen, who established him firmly in the mindstream with his great deeds and accomplishments and Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen, who arose as Protector, in fulfilment of Duldzin Drakpa Gyltsen. How beautiful!
Lum Kok LuenPosted on October 30, 2017 #38 Author
Dorje Shugden’s previous existences all demonstrate that He has the same mind stream – Manjushri. This proves that Dorje Shugden is definitely is not a spirit but an Enlightened Buddha.
In Malaysia, and also the world over, those who practice Dorje Shugden is very, very fortunate to have in their midst an Enlightened Protector to guide us on our Dharma path. We, therefore, must be grateful and have sufficient merits to be able to come to Dorje Shugden and be grace by His compassion to all.
We, at Kechara, is ever so fortunate to have in our midst the complete and powerful Dorje Shugden practice. It is extremely fortunate for us in Kechara and for those who will be coming to Kechara to have such freedom to practice and, more importantly, be able to have the guidance of a living Buddha within Kechara’s midst. We are indeed fortunate.
This posting is very, very beneficial to all of us to be able to understand and grasp all these previous existences of Dorje Shugden. After reading this post, we will definitely appreciate the compassion of all Buddhas and, especially our Guru, HE 25th Tsem Rinpoche who have travelled to Malaysia to spread the Dharma and to bring Dorje Shugden to all of us who so need Him in this degenerate times to protect Je Tsongkhapa’s Middle Way teachings,
Thank you Your Eminence so much.
Lum Kok Luen
TekLeePosted on November 1, 2017 #39 Author
This article is interesting. As a practitioner of our dharma protector Dorje Shugden, it’s essential to know the previous existences of Dorje Shugden. All Dorje Shugden’s previous existence consists of great scholars, great masters, and with very strong Guru devotion. They all have the same mind stream as Manjushri. And of course, Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen who rose as Dorje Shugden, had the same mind stream with Manjushri too. With this, it clearly shows that Dorje Shugden is a fully enlightened protector. Again, how is it possible they ban Dorje Shugden practice and claim that he is devil? The ban is not logical at all. Hopefully more and more people can read this article and understand about Dorje Shugden previous existence, and not to follow the ban blindly.