Jamyang Khyentse Choeki Lodroe, (1893-1959)


Jamyang Khyentse Choeki Lodroe was one of the most respected Lamas throughout Tibet, well versed in all traditions. When His Holiness the Dalai Lama was thirteen years old (which is considered an age of obstacle according to Tibetan tradition) Jamyang Khyentse Choeki Lodroe composed a long life prayer for His Holiness. When he visited Lhasa from Kham, he requested the young Dalai Lama for a transmission of the teaching of ‘Gaden Ladgyama’ or The Hundred Deities of Tushita, a Guru Yoga practice in connection with Tsongkhapa. This Lama suggested several religious means to stop the occupation of Tibet by the Chinese forces, one of which was a construction of a statue of Guru Padmasambhava, specifically the wrathful aspect of Guru Padmasambhava called ‘the Guru who overpowers all appearances of Samsara’, or ‘Guru Nangsid Zilnon’. Instead, due to unfortunate circumstances at that time, a statue of Guru Gyagarma [that literally means ‘the Indian Guru’] was constructed. When Jamyang Khyentse heard of that, seeing the inevitable occupation of Tibet, he gave this prophecy, ‘His Holiness with few members of his retinue would be able to escape to India’.

Seeing the importance of this prophecy of Jamyang Khyentse Choeki Lodroe, as soon as he arrived in exile, His Holiness constructed a statue of Guru Nangsid Zilnon at Tsuklakhang temple at Dharmsala in India. The statue faces Tibet.

This great master, known widely as one of the greatest adepts of his time, considered Shugden [Dolgyal] as a Kordag, which literally means a devil guarding a treasury. In one of his compositions of dedicational ritual for giving ritual-feast wastages, he names Shugden as a Kordag that needs to be fed with ritual-feast wastages which are blessed so that such pitiable spirits could lavish on them.

In his Dedicational Ritual of Cake Offerings for Kordaks and Demons, it says thus:

“Hey, all of you pitiable spirits throughout the sphere of existence:
Shugden, the king of treasure guarding devils,
As well as Chodpa Dawa Senge, [a name of a devil who seemed to have fallen into the malpractice of the Chod Tantric Practice]
King-devils such as the nine siblings of Ba and their followers,
King devils feasting on meats, Lakyab devils, and rocky mountain-devils,
Devilish ghost, pitiable spirits, and spirits of strained commitments,
And to all males and females born as ghosts,
These ritual cakes of spines and bones
Are given to you as substitute for flesh, blood and life, …

Thus, looking at these words of Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, and looking at other works of eminent Sakya masters, it is clear that Dolgyal was considered an evil spirit by them. He was referred to as an evil spirit, a formless wanderer, a spirit of strained commitments, and a ghost. Thus, far from considering him a Dharma protector, many of these masters considered Shugden as an object for giving ritual cakes that are given to spirits and hungry-ghosts. Many eminent masters from Sakaya such as Ewam Khangsar Khenpo Ngawang Yonten Gyatso, a student of Ewan Khangsar Khenchen Ngawang Lodroe Shenphen Nyingpo, and Ngor Luding Khenpo Jamyang Thupten Lungtok Gyaltsen had destroyed cairns and spirit houses of Dolgyal and performed exorcisms to pacifiy his evil hexes.

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