Who is the Dalai Lama’s Dharma Protector?

Since my last post, I’ve been thinking a lot more about this quote from the Dalai Lama, in conversation with Trijang Choktul, the reincarnation of his root Guru Trijang Rinpoche:

“If you give up this deity, myself and all Tibetan people will appreciate it very much and our protector Nechung will take care of you and make you more successful and famous than ever.”

the Dalai Lama says “OUR  protector Nechung”.  This is most curious.  NKT is often criticised by Tibetan Buddhists for replacing the three protectors of Je Tsongkhapa’s tradition – namely  Kalarupa, Mahakala, and Vaishravana – with Dorje Shugden who is seen by them to be a worldly spirit.  Actually, there’s no problem because in Heart Jewel Geshe Kelsang explains that it was felt by many high lamas that Dorje Shugden had replaced Kalarupa as the principal protector of Je Tsongkhapa’s tradition.  We can also say that since Dorje Shugden and Kalarupa are both emanations of Manjushri, they are the same nature.

So what of the Dalai Lama?  He was schooled in the Gelugpa tradition, so surely his protectors should be Kalarupa, Mahakala, and Vaishravana as well?  Seemingly not from the quote above!  If Nechung is the Dalai Lama’s protector and the protector of the Tibetan people, then the Dalai Lama has actually replaced Tsongkhapa’s enlightened Dharma protectors with a worldly Deity.  Kalarupa is an emanation of Manjushri, as is Dorje Shugden, but Nechung is regarded as a worldly protector, a class of spirit called Gyalpo.

The surprising conclusion therefore is that, whereas Tibetan Buddhists accuse the NKT of relying upon a worldly spirit, the Dalai Lama regards his principal protector to be  Nechung, who is a worldly spirit!

Nechung is actually a Nyingma protector, so what tradition is the Dalai Lama?  Is he any tradition, or no tradition, or all traditions?  No wonder he’s confused!  The Dalai Lama has gone to extreme of inclusivism, mixing teachings and protectors, creating a spiritual soup that has no particular flavor, and therefore no power.

The other curious thing is that Nechung has actually done very little if anything to help the Dalai Lama.  When a decision had to be made as to whether the Dalai Lama should flee Tibet or not,  Nechung said that  “The Holder of the Lotus should stay in the land”. If the Dalai Lama had actually followed this advice, it would have been disastrous!

Finally, the Dalai Lama’s assistant secretly consulted a  Dorje Shugden oracle.   Dorje Shugden gave clear instructions for the Dalai Lama’s exodus from Tibet This literally saved the Dalai Lama’s life.   When the Dalai Lama fled Tibet, he left behind the monk who was the oracle for Nechung, who later on had to make his own escape to India.

Given all this, isn’t it therefore very strange that many years later, the Dalai Lama would claim that it was Nechung who saved his life, when it was because of this confused spirit that he nearly lost his life, and that he would also claim that relying on Dorje Shugden would shorten his life,  when it is because of Dorje Shugden that he is alive and well today?

If that’s not ‘spinning the facts’, I don’t know what is!


5 thoughts on “Who is the Dalai Lama’s Dharma Protector?

  1. I would like to advise you of a woman in California who claims to be the reincarnation of Domo Geshe Rinpoche. She was a former student of the late Rinpoche and now has 3 centers. She has self declared herself as his incarnation and has publicly declared that she will not follow Dorje Shugden. If you go to http://www.infinitenetworks.com you will see a series of articles exposing this woman and her false claims. I feel that all followers of Trijang Rinpocheand his official recognized reincarnation of Domo Geshe Rinpoche and Dorje Shugden should help stop this wolve in Lama’s clothing. She is leading many innocent students down a wrong path, a path without the blessed practice of Dorje Shugden.


  2. I feel that the sentence : “The holder of the Lotus should stay in the land” has a different application than what has been stated above. When Nachung stated “the land” it meant “this world.” By saying the Holder of the Lotus needs to stay in the land–he means the holder needs to stay alive–remain in this physical land, in this physical state of existing: the land of the living. This meant that the Holder of the Lotus should stay alive and at that time, the way to do that was for the Dalai Lama to leave Tibet.

    We tend to think of, perhaps, too small of an area when it says “the land”. If these words were in fact coming from Nachung, a protector spirit, then any reference to “the land” is referring to the earth itself. When comparing the Earth to the vastness of the universe, it really is a small place.

    I have no formal background or training, but this feels like what was meant by the statement. In this case, the Dalai Lama was saved by Nachung because the spirit advised that the Lama should stay alive. Staying in Tibet, he would have unfortunately been killed which would have caused him to pass on to a non-physical existence.

    In conclusion, by leaving Tibet, the Dalai Lama did stay in “the land” the land of the living.

    Again, just an observation, and I am not claiming to be right or wrong. 🙂
    Thanks for reading,

  3. I have another interpretation: perhaps “The holder of the Lotus should stay in the land” meant just that, advice for the Dalai Lama to stay in Tibet. If he had done so, he would have been able to to promote peace and harmony with the Chinese Government, and this might have been very positive. I am not saying he was wrong to leave Tibet, just that there was obvious merit in the idea of staying. It’s not some Hollywood drama where our hero “must leave”. I hope it was a calm and wise choice and brought better results than staying.

  4. I think it is important to remember, that HH the Dalai Lama is only a human, cursed as it were, with a human’s physical brain which doesn’t always work very well in light of the higher tantras and practices of any religion, let alone, Buddhism. Such is his gift to humanity to incarnate in such a lowly form, in order to be of service to them. But it never the less, is a fallible tool.

    I think it is also important to remember Dorje Shugden’s role in the pantheon of Tibetan Buddhist tantra. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t he supposed to be the one who clarifies and purifies our abilities to meditate and perceive the subtler aspects of our world, such that we can all gain a higher understanding about ourselves and the world around us?

    Perhaps this is a genuine test of HH the Dalai Lama’s abilities, and of our own abilities as practitioners to keep to the sensible path. Personally, I’m a little doubtful of the spirits and tantric deities beyond their presence in my own mind/brain. However, I will admit that this is some very peculiar stuff that should be analyzed as soon as we devise the means to accurately and consistently study on this level of the universe, if that it is at all feasible in our current incarnations as human beings in the first place.

    Thank you for your time.

    I hope this gives you many thoughts and feelings to contemplate.

    Thank you! 🙂

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