Has the Great 5th Dalai Lama really composed a prayer to Dolgyal?

Button_EngContemporary Dolgyal fanatics continue to insist that the Great 5th Dalai Lama had composed a eulogy for Shugden. The following is a critical examination on this claim:

In the eulogy or prayer of Dolgyal that you claim was written by the Great 5th Dalai Lama, the second stanza says thus:

‘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, …..’

[posted on www.dorjeshugen.com on July 25th, 2009 under the title ‘Prayer by the 5th Dalai Lama to Gyalchen Dorje Shugden’]

In this prayer, it speaks of Dolgyal as having an ornate club on the right hand and a human heart on the left. In Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche’s commentary on Dolgyal’s eulogy, it says that Dolgyal was given these two armaments by Dakchen Sonam Rinpoche [one of the Sakya hierarchal heads] when he was 17 years old. Dakchen Sonam Rinchen was born in 1704 [according to his biography] and in 1721, he attained the age of 17. This year is believed to be the year Shugden met Dagchen Sonam Rinchen. So, according to Trijang Rinpoche’s eulogy for Dolgyal, Dolgyal was given a human heart and a sword as his armaments in 1721 and from then onwards, he came to be associated with these two armaments. Thus, if this prayer that you claim to be written by His Holiness the Great 5th Dalai Lama was indeed his work, then, His Holiness should be alive in 1721 because Dolgyal’s association with these two armaments started only when he met Dakchen Sonam Rinchen and in this prayer, Shugden is associated with a human heart. [Read the second stanza of the prayer.] However, His Holiness the Great 5th Dalai Lama died in 1682, and if he were alive in 1721, he should be 104 years old. Even the biography of the Great 5th Dalai Lama that they have posted on Shudenpa’s official website maintains that the Great 5th Dalai Lama lived until 1682.

[Check this under the sub-section ‘Enlightened Masters’ under the section ‘Great Masters’ on the home page of their official website. ]

His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama wrote extensively. In none of his thirty volumes of work can one see this prayer. On the contrary, in the auto-biography of His Holiness, he relates how they had to perform wrathful exorcisms to pacify the rancours of Dolgyal and other perfidious spirits. In the biography, he mentions about an attestation that he had written at the time of exorcism. The attestation is found in the Volume Da [of his Tibetan alphabetically arranged works]. Read more on historical back grounds and His Holiness the Great 5th Dalai Lama’s position on Dolgyal from other sources as it is not possible to elaborate everything here. In this attestation written at the time of exorcism, the Great 5th Dalai Lama calls Dolgyal a sanctimonious and a perilous spirit with strained commitments, born out of distorted prayers.

In the attestation, it says thus:

‘The so called Dakpa Gyaltsen, the sanctimonious one pretending to be noble although he is not,
This pitiable spirit of strained commitments, born out of distorted prayers,
As he harms all beings as well as the Dharma,
Never be his refuge, protection or support,
But grind him to dust.’

There are many others on Dolgyal in His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama’s works. Read more from other sources to find out. Looking at the evidence that only shows the opposite of what they have been claiming, it is highly unbelievable for the Great 5th Dalai Lama to write any prayer to Dolgyal.

Now the only defense left for them is that they would most likely say that the Great 5th Dalai Lama wrote the prayer in advance as he could see the future through his clairvoyance. However, if this was the case, why did he perform wrathful exorcisms against Dolgyal in the first place? Or is it because His Holiness initially had no clairvoyance and he only acquired it later? Again, to validate this claim, what proof do they have of His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama’s different levels of attainment? Do they have clairvoyance or other sources? Or they going to lie again to defend their initial position?

If Dolgyal indeed were a genuine Dharma protector, and as it concerns the wellbeing of Dharma and since it is a very important matter, His Holiness the Great 5th Dalai Lama would have definitely mentioned about it in his writings. However, you only see the opposite. Why would His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama call a Dharma protector a perilous spirit? Also, in other documents that they have been circulating, they have referred to the 5th and the 13th Dalai Lama as dictators? Now, let me ask them this: If His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama was a dictator, how do you validate Dolgyal’s credibility by saying that the 5th Dalai Lama wrote a prayer to him? How would Hitler’s writing a prayer to Dolgyal validate Dolgyal’s credibility as a Buddhist Dharma protector? Or how would His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama’s writing a eulogy for Dolgyal and his crafting of a statue of Dolgyal with his own hands not contradict with your other view on His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama of being a dictator? Or do dictators craft statues of genuine Dharma protectors to help the Dharma? Can you not see that you are only fooling yourself with lies culminating into more lies to cover the former lies? Although we have many protectors such as Mahakala, Dharma Raja and others that have been mentioned in authentic Tantras, there is no history of His Holiness the Great 5th Dalai Lama crafting any of their statues. However, your assertion that His Holiness had crafted the statue of Dolgyal at Pelghyeling Monastery in Nepal only implies that you hold Shugden even more important than those Dharma protectors prescribed in the authentic Tantras by the Buddha himself.

You have been circulating a card carrying the picture of that statue which you claimed was made by His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama. You further claimed that written at the back of the statue is His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama’s eulogy to Shugden, attested by the official seal of His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama. However, there was no picture of the said prayer and the seal behind the statue in any of your advertisements. Why? Show us the eulogy attested by the seal of the Great 5th Dalai Lama if it is really there so that we can verify how authentic it is. Generally speaking, Dolgyal came into being after His Holiness the Great 5th Dalai Lama became Tibet’s spiritual and political leader. All of His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama’s writings on Dolgyal all only point out that His Holiness recognised Dolgyal as a vicious spirit. His biography also narrates that there were several instances of Dolgyal’s rancour against His Holiness himself and his minister Sonam Rabten. Please read more on this from other sources [on the website]. It is also mentioned in His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama’s autobiography that his minister Sonam Rabten succumbed to Dolgyal’s rancour.

Probably, Dolgyal’s statue that you claim to be crafted by His Holiness the Great 5th Dalai Lama should be in a monk’s robe with an ornate club in the right hand and a human heart in the left. You can’t claim that the statue and the prayer do not conform with one another because if it were His Holiness’ work, such a talented scholar of his calibre would be so meticulous that he would not write a prayer and seal it at the back of a statue whose appearance does not match the description in the prayer. Neither the picture that you have been distributing and nor the one that is displayed on your official website show the armaments in the hands clearly. We have zoomed in and out to see if it is clearly visible, and it is not. However, nowhere in the voluminous autobiography of His Holiness — where he had written his important accounts in the same fashion we would write a diary — would we come across His Holiness mentioning anything about crafting a statue of Shugden. Although His Holiness was so well known among the scholars as one of the best in his time, or probably the best, it is very unlikely that His Holiness was trained as a craftsman. Since His Holiness refers to Dolgyal Shugden as a perilous spirit in many of his works, it is very unlikely that he would contradict himself by writing a prayer to Dolgyal or craft a statue of Dolgyal and put his seal behind it. It is also very unlikely that His Holiness had time for undertaking such a work of crafting a statue of Dolgyal when, as the supreme leader of Tibet, he was extremely busy with his religious and political activities as the supreme head of Tibet.

It is important for you to be in a clear state of mind before making such bogus claims. The reasons why you have asserted that His Holiness the Great 5th Dalai Lama had written a prayer for Dolgyal and crafted his statue with a seal of approval at the back are two: firstly, you blindly believe what you see in the writings of past masters such as Kyabje Phabongkha Rinpoche and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and take them literally. Secondly, bereft of any wisdom to discern, you only follow the hearsay and try to prove, even be it in vain, that you are right about what you believe in. Nobody wants to be wrong and knowing that you are wrong is painful. However, being truthful is important if you want to be an unbiased and a realistic practitioner.

Now consider this logic and think. The reason why you have been saying that His Holiness the Great 5th Dalai Lama had composed a prayer to Dolgyal is because you wanted to prove that Dolgyal is an authentic Dharma protector. To validate that Dolgyal is a genuine Dharma protector and not an evil spirit, you have been trying to convince others by saying that such a high spiritual authority as His Holiness the Great 5th Dalai Lama had written a prayer to Dolgyal. For this to be a valid reasoning, you have to believe and accept that the 5th Dalai Lama was a reliable spiritual authority. So, it shows that you do believe in the greatness of His Holiness the Great 5th Dalai Lama. Even on your website, under the subtitle ‘enlightened masters’ series’ within the title ‘great masters’ on your home page, in the biography of His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama that you have posted there, you have used the term ‘the Great 5th Dalai Lama’. It shows that you want to prove Dolgyal as infallible by reasoning that even His Holiness the Great 5th Dalai Lama considered him infallible. For that, you have to believe in the infallibility of the Great 5th Dalai Lama. If you maintain that you accept the Great 5th Dalai Lama as infallible and trust his word, then ponder over this: Is Dolgyal a sanctimonious and perilous spirit? He must be because His Holiness the Great 5th Dalai Lama says this in the Da Volume of his writings. Even if that prayer was composed by His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama, the question still remains: Is Dolgyal both a genuine protector and a perilous spirit with strained commitments because His Holiness the Great 5th Dalai Lama had said so? If the answer is yes, then you have to have a devil for a Dharma protector!

Having set forth reasons to invalidate their claim that His Holiness the Great 5th Dalai Lama had written a prayer to Shugden, one would definitely be curious to know who could have written it if it was not His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama. The description of Shugden in this prayer — an ornate club in his right hand and a human heart in his left, appearing in a monastic robe, crown ardorned with a rhinoceros leather hat — completely resembles the description of Shugden in Sachen Kunga Lodro’s Fulfillment and Revival Ritual of Shugden called ‘Requesting to Annihiliate Interfering Forces’ [Logdren Tsarchoed in Tibetan: ideally, it should be translated as ‘vanguishing those that leads to the wrong path’; however, as they have translated it as above on dorjeshugdenhistory.org, I have maintained their version of the translation to avoid onfusion]. This text is included in the first of the two volumes of Guru Deva’s compilation of different works on Shugden that was printed in 1983 at New Delhi [and not in 1984 as their website claims. Check page no. 34 of the first volume of Shugden Be Bum to confirm]. This compilation is everything that they have to support their claim and practice of Dolgyal and is known among them as Shugden Be Bum. If you look at page no. 226 of the first volume of Shugden Be Bum and compare the two prayers, there is no denying the fact the first one that they claim of being His Holiness the Great 5th Dalai Lama’s writing was either a work of someone who relied on Sachen Kunga Lodro’s work to write the prayer or it was Sachen Kunga Lodro’s own writing. On page no. 227, if you read it carefully, the invitational verse of Sachen Kunga Lodro’s ‘Prayer to Annihiliate the Interfering Forces’ has only three lines, although traditionally a verse in a Tibetan writing would always have four lines. Thus, as the invitational verse of this ritual is incomplete with only three lines, it puts us in doubt if the prayer that they claim to be the 5th Dalai Lama’s writing was extracted from Sachen Kunga Lodoe’s work. As they have failed to find the prayer in any work or the biography of His Holiness the Great 5th Dalai Lama, they have resorted to another deception, saying that there is a propitiation ritual to Cache Marpo in the volume Da of His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama’s work, and that this Cache Marpo has a strong resemblance to the Cache Marpo who is listed by them as one of the retinue of Shugden. Thus, implicitly, they have tried to assert that the Great 5th Dalai Lama had written a prayer/eulogy for Dolgyal. However, Sokpo Tayang or Lobsang Tamdin mentions at the end of his catalogue and introduction to the Shugden Be Bum that he had not found the prayer of the Great 5th Dalai Lama’s eulogy and Lamo Tsangpa’s prayer to include them in the Bu Bum [check page no. 34 of the Shugden Bu Bum].

DorjeShugdenhistory.org failed short of mentioning that the very attestation of the Great 5th Dalai Lama which declares Shugden/Dolgyal as a perfidious spirit is arranged exactly after the propitiation ritual of Cache Marpo. Cache Marpo in the 5th Dalai Lama’s prayer has been described as having been sworn as a protector first by Haryangriva, then by Guru Padmasambhava and later by Je Padma Wangyal Legden. Considering the story of Dolgyal’s animosity against the Nyingma tradition which is also shared by his followers, it is very unlikely that this Cache Marpo in His Holiness’ prayer is one with Dolgyal’s servant Cache Marpo, although both of them share the same name. His Holiness the Great 5th Dalai Lama stated at the end of the prayer that the Cache Marpo, whose propitiation that he had written, was the protector of Surkhar DoNgyag Ling Monastery. (Shugdenpas could do more research in this respect.)

Dorjeshugdenhistory.org also writes that the attestation (they refered to it as the alleged proclamation) of His Holiness the Great 5th Dalai Lama was an addition made later after Zaya Pandita’s cataloging of the volume Da. If apocrypha has been a long standing issue in Tibetan Buddhism, how can we be sure that the same did not happen to Zaya Pandita’s catalogue? (We also need to verify all details of the print of Zaya Pandita’s catalogue to make sure that no aprocrypha ever happened.) Zaya Pandita might have been a good scholar but many scholars like to pick up what is in their favour, neglecting the rest or twisting facts with theories to meet their own versions. As he was a lineage holder of Tulku Dakpa Gyaltsen’s teachings, it is understandable if he did not include ‘the attestation’ in his ‘catalogue of the Great 5th Dalai Lama’s work’ since no one wants to believe that one of his/her lineage masters was born as a perfidious spirit due to distorted prayers.

The author in their website Dorjeshugdenhistory.org mentions that in the collected works of the Sikkim Research Institute of Tibetology, the volume Da of the Great 5th Dalai Lama’s work does have the attestation written at the time of exorcism. However, he/she did not mention that the volume that was printed by SRIT (in 1991-1995) had been reproduced from the print of Gaden Phuntsokling at Lhatse, the earliest publication of the Great 5th Dalai Lama’s work printed during the Great 5th’s own lifetime. The electronic scanned copy of Tibetan Buddhist Resource Centre which is based on SRIT’s print of the volume Da [of the Great 5th’s work] mentions that it was scanned on the Lhasa print. However, on a closer look, if you carefully read the publisher’s end note (in the scanned copy) of the original text, it says that the text was printed in Gaden Phuntsokling at Lhatse. Thus, the whole work of His Holiness the Great 5th Dalai Lama reprinted by SRIT was based on the original prints of Gaden Phuntsokling at Lhatse. Traditional Tibetan scriptures are inscribed on wooden planks which are then printed on papers. Thus, it is highly improbable for the texts to have been redacted.

Although Dolgyal fanatics insist that the attestation has been added later and not found in the original text of His Holiness the Great 5th Dalai Lama, the prints found in the Potala Palace, the chamber of the Dalai Lamas at Sera Monastery in Tibet, Tsuglakhang Cathedral of Tibet and Dakpo Ngari Monastery all have the same attestation intact. The works of the Great 5th Dalai Lama were initially printed during His Holiness’ own lifetime at Gaden Phuntsokling in Latse. In the autobiography of the Great 5th Dalai Lama, he mentions of an attestation that he had written at the time of the final wrathful exorcism to subdue Dolgyal and his retinue of perfidious spirits. This attestation is included in the volume Da and is intact in all the four different kinds of prints that we have gone through. In the secret biography of His Holiness [cited in the section of the 5th Dalai Lama and Dolgyal], he again mentions about the destruction of the Upper Chamber [of Tulku Dakpa Gyaltsen]. Looking at the works of the Great 5th Dalai Lama, it is very certain that Tulku Dakpa Gyaltsen was born as a perilious spirit in the form of Dolgyal.

On the contrary, there is not a single source for the story of Tulku Dakpa Gyaltsen’s arising as a Dharma protector recorded at the time of Tulku Dakpa Gyaltsen’s dealth or before. Such a tall tale came to be spoken in the Tibetan society only in the 19th century. Tulku Dakpa Gyaltsen’s (1619-1656) earliest biography written after his death by Zaya Pandita (1642-1708) has nothing in it that speaks of his birth as a Dharma protector. Zaya Pandita was someone who had much faith in Tulku Dakpa Gyaltsen and had received lineages of the Tulku’s teachings. He was therefore an indirect student of Tulku Dakpa Gyalsten. Although the biography of Tulku Dakpa Gyaltsen that he wrote speaks very highly of the Tulku and narrates many stories of the Tulku’s accomplishments, we cannot be very sure how much truth there is in there, and how much was based on hearsay that usually gets exaggerated with time. It is true that the Sakyas in the past propitiated Dolgyal, but none of their works seem to undoubtedly support the story of Tulku Dakpa Gyaltsen’s arising as a Dharma protector. It appears that this myth of Tulku Dakpa Gyaltsen’s arising as a Dharma protector in the form of Dolgyal is a concotted story with no authentic historical source.

Having witnessed how many naïve westerners who have sincere dreams are lured into this practice of Shugden and deceived into believing in and worshipping an evil spirit that will ultimately bring more destruction than any real benefit, I have endeavoured to critically examine some of their bogus claims so that many could be saved from deception and exploitation. The expansionist strategy of NKT and others of its kind only seem to suggest that they are more into commercialising Dharma for their vested interest, and not to genuinely help sincere aspirants to follow their spiritual aspirations. There are many authentic Buddhist scholars elsewhere. It takes effort to find good teachers, but it’s worth trying rather than sacrificing your future by believing in these western amateurs and Tibetans who have ditched their own Lamas, their own country Tibet and its people, and have fallen prey to the lure of Chinese money. Without their activities that serve their political agendas, the Chinese won’t pay them. Thus, if you submit yourself so easily to these Tibetans, you will surely become a tool to carry forward their vicious designs. So be careful lest you paved your own destruction. I hope that this will open the eyes of many who believe in a truthful and realistic approach to Dharma rather than blindly letting others to lead oneself and others into a slow and systematic destruction.