Trode Khangsar Chapel
Located behind the main chapel of Jowo Rinpoche or Central Cathedral of Lhasa, just off the main circumambulation circuit (Barkor) is the Dorje Shugden Chapel – Trode Khangsar. It was commissioned by His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama in the 17th Century and serves as a testament to the official establishment of Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden’s practice in Tibet.
According to records, H.H. the 5th Dalai Lama founded Trode Khangsar as a “Protector House” (btsan khang) for Dorje Shugden, in which he also placed a statue of this enlightened Protector. He did so following his remorse after being misled in regards to the events relating to the death of Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen.
H.H. the 5th Dalai Lama manifested the mistaken thought that Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen, his Dharma brother, had become a malevolent spirit, but he had in fact arisen as the enlightened Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden.
H.H. the 5th Dalai Lama had even invited many masters to subdue Dorje Shugden through wrathful pujas but these were all unsuccessful. Manifesting the realisation that Dorje Shugden was in fact a great and powerful enlightened Dharma Protector, he thus founded Trode Khangsar Chapel.
Around the end of the 17th Century, the 5th Dalai Lama’s Regent Desi Sangye Gyatso entrusted Trode Khangsar to Riwo Choling, a Gelug monastery. Following such entrustment, Trode Khangsar welcomed its pioneering Sangha of 11 monks and an oracle.
Trode Khangsar bore witness to the recognition of Dorje Shugden by the Chinese Qing dynasty emperor at the time of His Holiness the 11th Dalai Lama, Khedrub Gyatso. At that juncture, an Amban, a Chinese official, was present in Lhasa.
The Amban burnt a set of questions in front of Trode Khangsar and asked for clear answers from Dorje Shugden. These were questions posed by the Qing Emperor Dakhong himself relating to certain political decisions that needed to be made. When the Trode Khangsar oracle took trance, Dorje Shugden gave clear advice and answers to the questions burned by the Amban.
When the answers were brought back to Emperor Dakhong, he was amazed at the precision and clarity of the advice given. The Emperor sent offerings of a pandit’s hat for Dorje Shugden, and recognised Dorje Shugden as a powerful Dharma Protector, not only for the Gelug lineage but for the entire Buddhadharma. Thereafter, His Holiness the 11th Dalai Lama, the Qing Amban, Reting Rinpoche, the Dorje Shugden oracle and various monks held a grand ceremony in the courtyard of Trode Khangsar, and the pandit’s hat was placed over its doors.
Originally a three-storey structure, Trode Khangsar’s topmost floor, which housed the Dorje Shugden oracle, was removed during the Cultural Revolution in Tibet. The first floor which is slightly below ground level is not used for religious purposes. If one were to take the stairs leading to the front entrance from the south side of this floor, one would encounter an enclosed portico. On the walls of this portico are painted images of the Four Heavenly Protectors (rgyal chen sde bzhi) as is typical with most temples and monasteries.
The front entrance leads directly into the main hall of the building which is supported by eight pillars and is approximately ten meters wide. To the east and west sides of the main hall lie the residential rooms for monks. Behind the main hall, protruding from the north side of the building is a room used for rituals by the resident monks. This room has a skylight and black coloured walls with paintings of various Dharma Protectors. On the north side of the room are statues of Lama Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelug sect, and his principal students Gyaltsab Je and Khedrup Je.
The murals on the walls of the main hall are of important historical significance and encompass the murals of Dorje Shugden’s previous lives’ stories (‘khrung rabs) including:
- Manjushri during the life of Buddha Shakyamuni
- Birwapa, one of the Mahasiddhas in medieval India
- Khache Panchen Shakya Shri, a Kashmiri scholar who travelled to Tibet and disseminated important lineages of practice
- Sakya Pandita and Buton Rinchen Drub, early Tibetan translators and scholars
- Panchen Sonam Drakpa, Sonam Yeshe Wangpo, Ngawang Sonam Gelek and Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen, masters of the Gelug tradition founded in the 14th Century.
Photographs of the murals of Manjushri as Jampel Mawa’i Senge and Avalokiteshvara as Yellow Amoghapasha are found in the book “The Temples of Lhasa”. Other murals feature important stories of how Dorje Shugden was urged to become a Protector in the presence of Lama Tsongkhapa as his student, Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen.
In particular, the mural depicts Lama Tsongkhapa surrounded by other monks and the Protector Nechung arriving on a snow lion, holding a bow and arrow. Nechung in the form of a boy interrupted the teachings three times. On the third occasion, Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen informed him it was not appropriate to interrupt the teachings and asked him to stop. Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen is then depicted standing up, at which point he promises Nechung to protect Lama Tsongkhapa’s tradition in the future. Next, Lama Tsongkhapa is depicted as being delighted and offers Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen a skull cup filled with nectar.
There are several known manifestations of Dorje Shugden, such as a form riding a black horse which is popular in the Sakya tradition. The form of Dorje Shugden riding a snow lion and holding a sword is the most popular in the Gelug tradition. One interesting difference in the iconography of several of the statues and paintings of Dorje Shugden in Trode Khangsar is that he is holding a club instead of a sword. The significance of this particular iconographic detail pertains to the manifestation His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama witnessed, as evident in the praise and confession written by him:
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 mamo’s of the charnel grounds, praise to you!
In a survey carried out by Taktra Rinpoche who was Regent of Tibet between 1941-1950, Trode Khangsar is recorded to be in possession of the wood block prints of an extensive Dorje Shugden Fulfilment Ritual (chos skyong shugs ldan gyi bskang chog rgyas pa) authored by Gaden Jangtse Serkong Dorje Chang, one of the most important Gelug Lamas at the turn of the 19th Century.
Trode Khangsar is currently in full use with pujas or ceremonies performed to Dorje Shugden daily. It is open to the public.
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SofiPosted on June 6, 2016 #1 Author
As I read the history of Trode Khangsar, I can’t but help noting the great significance in it being founded by the 5th Dalai Lama as an apology. And his placement of Dorje Shugden statue within this “Protector House” is a recognition of Dorje Shugden as an enlighten Protector. Over the years, many had benefitted, even the Emperor Dhakhong of China was so impressed by Dorje Shugden’s enlightened answers and solutions that he proclaimed Dorje Shugden as a protector of the Buddhadarma and presented a Pandit’s Hat for Dorje Shugden. His Holiness the 11th Dalai Lama had taken part in the grand ceremony to hang the pandit’s hat over the doors of Trode Khangsar which significantly show that he condones and view Dorje Shugden as an enlightened Protector.
We hold the Dalai Lamas to be incarnate of the same mindstream and to be the emanation of Avalokitesvara, therefore it stands to reason that from the times of the 5th Dalai Lama all the way to the 11th Dalai Lama, Dorje Shugden had been recognised and acknowledged to be an enlightened Protector. We have also known the 14th Dalai Lama to enlist the help of the Protector and had taken refuge during his troubles with China. His very escape from Tibet as under the guidance and protection of Dorje Shugden. As such the ban on Dorje Shugden is certainly illogical and being called a “spirit” is definitely wrong.
Even as of today, Dorje Shugden is still strongly practiced in Tibet and protected under the government of China due to its policy of religious freedom.
FongPosted on June 29, 2016 #2 Author
The 5th Dalai Lama founded Trode Khangsar as a Protector House and enshrined a statue of Dorje Shugden as an enlightened Protector here, out of remorse. It was here too, that the Qing Emperor Dhakhong recognised Dorje Shugden as an enlightened Protector by presenting a Pandit’s hat to Dorje Shugden. The 11th Dalai Lama also gave recognition by participating in a ceremony to hang the Pandit’s hat over the door at Trode Kahngsar signifying that he too recognize Dorje Shugden as an enlightened Protector.
Furthermore, there is a mural on the wall in the main hall of Trode KHangsar detailing the previous incarnations of Dorje Shugden as well as other murals featuring stories of how Dorje Shugden was urged to become a Protector in the presence of Lama Tsongkhapa as his student, Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen. Even Nechung is featured in the mural accepting Duldzin Dragpa Gyeltsen’s promise to Nechung to protect Lama Tsongkhapa’s tradition in the future.
These are importants fact to note that Dorje Shugden was recognized by very important persons in the spiritual and temporal world over the centuries as well as by Nechung himself. This in itself, will convince me that Dorje Shugden is indeed enlightened.
It would indeed be most auspicious and blessed to visit Trode Khangsar on pilgrimage.
Sarah YapPosted on July 8, 2016 #3 Author
Such a blessed place and a must go pilgrimage site particularly Dorje Shugden practitioners. Not only is it a historical site where Dorje Shugden was enthroned by the 5th Dalai Lama, but it’s a place where thousands, if not millions devoted practitioners have visited throughout the ages to make sincere prayers and aspirations.
Alice TayPosted on August 4, 2016 #4 Author
Trode Khangsar is the significant building that represents Dorje Shugden was officially established in Tibet since HH 5th Dalai Lama’s time.
Besides, due to the precision and clarity of the advice given by Dorje Shugden, Emperor Dakhong had recognised Dorje Shugden as a powerful Dharma Protector, not only for the Gelug lineage but for the entire Buddhadharma. The Emperor sent the offerings of a pandit’s hat for Dorje Shugden which was place over its doors.
As such, we shall visit this blessed place especially to see the historical significance and encompass the murals of Dorje Shugden’s previous lives’ stories.
Pastor ShinPosted on September 4, 2016 #5 Author
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.
This short video is a short clip of this holy Trode Khangsar Chapel in Lhasa today commemorating Dorje Shugden, built by the great 5th Dalai Lama. 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, and assistance of World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden.
Trode Khangsar – A 400-year-old Dorje Shugden Chapel in Lhasa
The 5th Dalai Lama’s Prayer to Dorje Shugden
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!
Tibetan from: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/the-14th-dalai-lamas-prayer-to-dorje-shugden.html
Wylfred NgPosted on September 5, 2016 #6 Author
西藏拉萨市的布旦康萨是专为多杰雄登而设的重要护法殿，由至尊第五世嘉瓦仁波切建于公元17世纪末。 这也代表着布旦康萨也是世界上首座供奉多杰雄登的寺院。 而且多杰雄登就是从这里开始， 弘扬到全世界。
除了有至尊第五世嘉瓦仁波切亲手做的多杰雄登像之外， 这里还有我们比较少见的多杰雄登形象， 比如手拿着短棒的多杰雄登。
希望有一天可以参观这里， 看看多杰雄登的始源地。 谢谢
jerry_sitoPosted on September 5, 2016 #7 Author
布旦康萨（藏文：སྤྲོ་བདེ་ཁང་གསར，威利：spro bde khang gsar），位于西藏自治区拉萨市城关区八廓街，是一座藏传佛教格鲁派寺院，供奉多杰雄登。该寺也是多杰雄登护法的驻锡地及降神场所。~ 维基百科，自由的百科全书
William ChuaPosted on September 5, 2016 #8 Author
It is important to note that Trode Khangsar was built by the 5th Dalai Lama because Tulku Dragpa Gyletsen was innocently killed by his people. And this established the Dorje Shugden lineage in Tibet. The Chinese Emperor Dakhong also recognises Dorje Shugden as the protector because DS gave clear answers and advice to the Emperor’s questions. This seals the position of Dorje Shugden as a powerful protector of Tibet with offerings from the Emperor.
Trode Khangsar is a holy site for pilgrimage which should not be missed if you go to Tibet.
Sock WanPosted on September 5, 2016 #9 Author
It has to be one of the most important DS Chapels in the world we have to visit if we have the opportunity. Enlightened beings sometimes have to manifest mistake due to the Karmas of the normal sentient beings like us in order for us to believe or be convinced of something beneficial to us.
There is no ego in enlightened beings, they will do anything that can bring benefits to people. In this case, HH Dalai Lama did not mind to act ignorant for not knowing who DS was. While Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen gave up his life and was accused as an evil spirit in order to fulfil his promise to protect Dharma and practitioners.
Su MingPosted on September 5, 2016 #10 Author
I am very glad that the China government is preserving such holy place as Trode Khangsar. Holy places like this will attract a lot of pilgrims from within China and also around the world. And places like this has a rich history of the Gelug lineage which is growing.
Trode Khangsar is such a powerful holy place due to the reasons written so clearly in this article. And everything about this building contradicts the current ban on the Shugden practice.
CarsdenPosted on September 5, 2016 #11 Author
Trode Khangsar has been a chapel to Dorje Shugden for 400 years, and continues to be full used with pujas or ceremonies performed to Dorje Shugden daily, this can clearly proves that there is nothing wrong with Dorje Shugden practice. If there is any, it won’t exist until now.
KarenCPosted on September 5, 2016 #12 Author
As a DS practitioner, this is one of the monasteries that I wish to visit. Trode Khangsar was created because of Tulku drakpa Gyeltsen and more so was built by 5th Dalai Lama commemorating Dorje Shugden. It clearly shows that Dorje Shugden is not a spirit but a Buddha because such high calibre lama like HHDL wouldn’t make a mistake on this. Secondly, the emperor of China such as Emperor Kangxi and Emperor Dao Guang’s recognition of Dorje Shugden as an enlightened Protector is another proof that DS is no other than a Buddha.
Trode Khangsar is full of energy of Manjushri, from the murals on the wall to the statues on the altar. It would be such a great blessings and honour if we can make a visit to this extremely holy monastery.
justinPosted on September 5, 2016 #13 Author
Trode Khangsar is the ‘living example’ of the entire Dorje Shugden- Dalai Lama saga i strongly feel. This is the main proof of the 5th Dalai Lama recognising Dorje Shugden as a Dharma protector right after the passing of Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen. It also ironed out the significant Dharma relationship between the two most prominent and learned master of that period.
The below statement says it all:
“It was commissioned by His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama in the 17th Century and serves as a testament to the official establishment of Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden’s practice in Tibet.”
I am grateful that Trode Khangsar is still preserved till today and very glad that it is fully utilised for pujas. May Dorje Shugden practice flourish to an even bigger scale. I wish to see all Buddhists will one day flock Trode Khangsar as one of the “MUST GO” pilgrimage site.
TekLeePosted on September 6, 2016 #14 Author
Thank you Rinpoche for the article. It is really great to know that the Dorje Shugden Chapel, Trode Khangsar is built right in the central of Lhasa, and it was built by the 5th Dalai Lama. This is a strong evidence that Dorje Shugden is recognised as an enlightened Protector. Plus, the recognition by Emperor Dhakhong as the Dharma Protector for the whole of Buddhism, again it’s proven that Dorje Shugden is en enlightened Protector. Trode Khangsar is for sure a place to visit as it is very auspicious, and it is a place that’s full of history. Thank you again Rinpoche. With folded hands. _/\_
CarmenPosted on September 15, 2016 #15 Author
Glad to see pictures of Trode Khangsar. The fact that the 5th Dalai Lama manifested the realisation that Dorje Shugden is an enlightened Dharma protector shows that Dorje Shugden is indeed powerful and applicable for us today. The Amban who burnt the list of questions from Qing Emperor Dakhong not even infront of Dorje Shugden shows that Dorje Shugden is all omniscient who can see into our past, present and future. Also, it is evident how Dorje Shugden played a role in Dalai Lama’s escape from Tibet to India, as it was upon consulting Dorje Shugden that Dalai Lama decided to leave Tibet. May I one day, have the merits to visit.
Stella CheangPosted on September 22, 2016 #16 Author
Trode Khangsar Chapel is a significant building attributed to Dorje Shugden by His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama, as the proof that Dorje Shugden is an enlightened protector. It is also a way His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama wanted to show the world that his earlier view that Dorje Shugden is an evil spirit had been mistaken. Even since the enthronement of Dorje Shugden in Trode Khangsar Chapel, it had borne witness to recognitions by the Qing Emperor and His Holiness the 11th Dalai Lama. Thank you very much for this article.
Vivian OngPosted on September 25, 2016 #17 Author
It is very significant that Dorje Shugden is an enlightened protector as the H.H 5th Dalai Lama founded Trode Khangsar as a “Protector House”for Dorje Shugden, in which he also placed a statue of this enlightened Protector. He did this following his remorse after being misled in regards to the events relating to the death of Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen.
Trode Khangsar bore witness to the recognition of Dorje Shugden by the Chinese Qing dynasty emperor at the time of His Holiness the 11th Dalai Lama, Khedrub Gyatso. At that juncture, an Amban, a Chinese official, was present in Lhasa. The Amban burnt a set of questions in front of Trode Khangsar and asked for clear answers from Dorje Shugden. These were questions posed by the Qing Emperor Dakhong himself relating to certain political decisions that needed to be made. When the Trode Khangsar oracle took trance, Dorje Shugden gave clear advice and answers to the questions burned by the Amban. When the answers were brought back to Emperor Dakhong, he was amazed at the precision and clarity of the advice given.
SuzyPosted on October 29, 2017 #18 Author
A blessing for all that this very holy temple still stands and still pays homage to the protector Dorje Shugden. It’s founded by none other than the 5th Dalai Lama himself to house Dorje Shugden. So, there is a close relationship between the 4th Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden