Before Dorje Shugden arose as an enlightened Dharma Protector, he was the renowned Lama Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen who lived during the time of the Great Fifth Dalai Lama. Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen’s attainments were such that after his birth, he became a potential candidate during the search and recognition process for the Fifth Dalai Lama himself.
Jealous of Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen’s popularity, the Fifth Dalai Lama’s ministers undertook to murder him. Upon hearing of their role in the death, the Fifth Dalai Lama manifested great remorse. The prayer below was composed after the Fifth Dalai Lama realised that Dorje Shugden was not a harmful spirit, which he had first assumed after witnessing the disturbing events that occurred after Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen’s death.
The Fifth Dalai Lama was not the only being who mistook Dorje Shugden to be anything but enlightened. As His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche later wrote in Music Delighting the Ocean of Protectors, meditation masters tried to destroy Dorje Shugden in fire rituals but were unable to do so. Their actions only served to reflect Dorje Shugden’s completion of Guhyasamaja’s two stages, the result of which was his Enlightenment and lack of karma to be destroyed.
According to the White Conch Dictionary, the Fifth Dalai Lama had developed such great faith in Dorje Shugden as a Protector that he designated Trode Khangsar in Central Lhasa as a Protector chapel dedicated to Dorje Shugden. In the vicinity of Trode Khangsar is Monkyi Khangsar (smon skyid khang gsar), a shrine where Kache Marpo was invoked via an oracle.
Trode Khangsar Chapel in Lhasa, Tibet
Over 400 years ago a great and learned lama Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen was famed in Mongolia, Tibet, Nepal and China for being very saintly and compassionate. He resided in his residence (Zimkhang Gongma Ladrang) in Drepung Monastery. His root guru was H.H. the Omniscient 4th Panchen Lama and his close dharma brother was the 5th Dalai Lama.
The 5th Dalai Lama and Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen had a very close and dharmic relationship and often went to receive teachings together from the 4th Panchen Lama. They were close in age. They both became very learned and well known. During this time, the Dalai Lama was enthroned as a Dharma King of Tibet. But more people went to see Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen for teachings, initiations and divinations. This made the attendants of the 5th Dalai Lama feel threatened that Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s fame might usurp the power of the 5th Dalai Lama. So they had a khata forced down his throat. At that moment, Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen dissolved his psychic winds and generated the wish to be a great guardian of Buddha and Tsongkapa’s teachings. As his consciousness dissolved, he entered ‘bardo’ as a dharma protector of the highest order (jikten depey sungma). Many signs were seen throughout Lhasa at this time and the earth was said to have shaken in Lhasa. This event was already predicted to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s previous incarnation when he was one of the 8 main disciples of Lord Tsongkapa the Supreme Master and he served Tsongkapa directly by building Gaden Monastery.
When the 5th Dalai Lama heard what his scheming and power hungry attendants had done, he was very distressed. He was very sorry Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen was murdered and dishonored as he was a great dharma master. The 5th Dalai Lama composed an apology to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen. In Lhasa, tens of thousands gathered for the cremation of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s holy body. During the cremation, the 5th Dalai Lama’s apology was read out at which flames spontaneously arose from the body of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen commencing the cremation. From the body, during cremation, a powerful whirlwind of smoke tunneled into the sky for all to see as this was an indication Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s consciousness has arisen as the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. The Dharma Protector Setrap immediately recognized this new protector Dorje Shugden and ‘enthroned’ him as a powerful Dharma Protector in the realm of the Buddhas. From this, Setrap and Dorje Shugden are closely connected and very close working hand in hand always. After the cremation, the great 5th Dalai Lama built a Dorje Shugden chapel on the spot the cremation took place and named it Trode Khangsar. The 5th Dalai Lama commissioned the statue of Dorje Shugden in this chapel and had monks installed in the chapel to do continuous propitiations to Dorje Shugden. Trode Khangsar Chapel was a commemoration to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen who was wronged and also a celebration of his consciousness arising as the World Peace Peace Protector Dorje Shugden.
This Trode Khangsar Chapel still exists now in Lhasa where many make pilgrimages there. It is in good condition and was recently renovated. It is over 400 years old and a testimony to the respect the Great 5th Dalai Lama had to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen who arose as Dorje Shugden.
I have visited this holy chapel in Lhasa years back. I’ve never heard of it till I was in Lhasa and by chance I was told about it which I was happy to visit. I could not find the place but strangely a bunch of pilgrims from Amdo told me they would show me how to get there in Lhasa.
The great 5th Dalai Lama even composed a prayer to Dorje Shugden which is still available today and we can recite to invoke the blessings, protection, assistance of World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden.
Prayer to Dorje Shugden
Composed by the Great 5th Dalai Lama
Though unmoving from the sphere of primordial spontaneity,
With wrathful turbulent power, swifter than lightning,
Endowed with heroic courage to judge good and bad,
I invite you with faith, please come to this place!
Robes of a monk, crown adorned with rhinoceros leather hat,
Right hand holds ornate club, left holds a human heart,
Riding various mounts such as nagas and garudas,
Who subdues the mamos of the charnel grounds, praise to you!
Samaya substances, offerings and torma, outer, inner and secret,
Favourite visual offerings and various objects are arranged.
Although, previously, my wishes were a bit dense,
Do not stop your powerful apparitions, I reveal and confess!
Now respectfully praising with body, speech, and mind,
For us, the masters, disciples, benefactors and entourages,
Provide the good and avert the bad!
Bring increase like the waxing moon in spiritual and temporal realms!
Moreover, swiftly accomplishing all wishes,
According to our prayers, bestow the supreme effortlessly!
And like the jewel that bestows all wishes,
Always protect us with the Three Jewels!
Source: 5DL: Ngag-dbang-blo-bzang-rgya-mtsho. (1995). The collected works (gsung ‘bum) of Vth Dalai Lama Ngag-dbang-blo-bzang-rgya-mtsho. Gangtok: Sikkim Research Institute of Tibetology
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