Dharma Raja is averse to the propitiation of Gyalchen

Button_Eng[This speech was given on 29th March, 1983, to a selected audience consisting of the abbots of Sera, Drepung, Gaden, Gyuto, Gyumed, Tashi Lhunpo, as well the Nyingma and Sakya monastery at Mundgod. The talk was given in the smaller hall on top of the main prayer hall of Drepung Lachi.]

Dharma Raja, one of the three main protectors of Geluk tradition

Dharma Raja, one of the three main protectors of Geluk tradition

Another point that I was thinking of relating to you is about Dolgyal. If I relate it here to you, words will also reach others in due course of time. If I don’t do that, people might speculate about what could have happened at that time, leading to gloominess and misinterpretation. As such, before taking leave from the two great monastic seats here [Gaden and Drepung], I thought it would be good to share with you whatever has happened so far. The Gyalchen statue that you have here in Dharma Raja’s shrine room on the first floor atop the main hall of Gaden [Tsogchen] seemed to have been made before I started opposing Gyalchen. When issues concerning Gyalchen have unfolded, it was not easy from my side to make changes with regards to the statue that had already been built. From the side of the Gaden Monastic Office, it was even more difficult to bring changes; so, until now it has remained there. When I arrived here the other day, there was someone who told me about the statue. I replied that as it was already made before, there wasn’t much I could do about it. As I didn’t want to create a crisis, I chose to overlook it. You also did the same since you also felt that there was nothing to be done about it.

I stayed two days in Gaden Jangtse Monastery and another two days at Gaden Shartse Monastery. On the second night at Shartse, I had a dream. When I woke up from it, it was four in the morning. Although there were also many other dreams at that time, the one I am now sharing with you came to me just before I woke up. In the dream, there was a whip with a wooden handle that is said to belong to the disciplinarian of [Gaden] Tsogchen [the central prayer hall at Gaden]. It looked quite similar to the cane that Drepung Gomang used to have, a whip made of wood. I was told that it was the magnet onto which Shugden clings and that I should destroy it. It occurred to me that to destroy it, either a hammer to crush it or a saw to cut it was needed. In the dream, one of my security personnels whose name is Choegyal [the Tibetan name for the Geluk Protector Dharma Raja] was asking me to use a hammer to crush it. He said that unless I got rid of it thoroughly, it will not help. While replying that I would see to it if it was essential, as I looked at the whip closely, I noticed that it was embedded with thick silver that cannot be crushed by a hammer, but could only be destroyed by something such as a grenade. Since its destruction could only be done by crushing it into pieces, my security personnel Choegyal’s assertion that I must destroy it thoroughly made sense.

As I woke up, I wondered the implication of the dream. I did a divination by using my rosary to see if the dream needs to be taken seriously or not, and the result came in the form of number seven and eleven. That day was the same one on which I paid a visit to Gaden in order to pay my homage there. Although it was my usual practice to perform the urn-rotation divination in front of Kali Devi, it occurred to me that performing the divination in front of Dharma Raja would be more suitable as the matter to decide relates specifically to Dharma Raja in this case. Thus, I decided to perform the Drukchuma Feast Ritual in connection with Dharma Raja before conducting an urn-rotation divination in front of Dharma Raja. With my own hand, I wrote down three points for investigation. I gave the three points to my secretary Tara, telling him that those were to be encased inside pills made from flour for divination. I then sent words to ritual attendants that ritual cakes for the Drukchuma Feast Ritual should be kept prepared in my own room on top of Gaden Tsogchen [the main prayer hall]. Nobody knew anything about it since it occurred to me that it might not be good if any non-human spirits came to hear of it.

When I reached Gaden Tsogchen, firstly, I started by reciting the Hundred Deities of Tushita. After that, I recited one round [by rosary] of Migtsema, the supplication verse for Tsongkhapa. After that, I counted the mantra of Manjushri ‘Ara Pa Za’ for a while since at that time I also happened to be conducting a practice of counting this mantra. Then I counted the Guru’s Mantra for a while. Arising myself instantaneously as a deity, I recited the prayer of Appeasement and Confession in connection with the Inwardly Accomplished Dharma Raja and the Outwardly Accomplished Dharma Raja, followed by the recitation of their respective mantras for some time. After that, I offered the Drukchuma Feast Offering. Just before the actual urn rotation, I again recited Tsongkhapa’s supplication Migtsema, the mantras of Mahakala, Kali Devi and others. When the ritual cake was about to be taken out, I conducted the divination.

The first point written on the paper rolled inside one of the pills was this: ‘It is better to keep Gyalchen’s statue as it was without any change’.

Another thought that came to my mind was that a time in future would come when the monastic hall in Gaden would need renovation. So, it occurred to me that it might be good to discreetly usher the statue elsewhere at that time. So, the second point was: ‘To remove Gyalchen’s statue when an opportune time arises later’.

The third point was: ‘To bring about change immediately’.

If the third point came out, I will have to speak about it to the concerned people. In this case, there were two choices, to speak about it immediately after the divination or to wait until the Great Prayer Festival in the first month of the Tibetan New Year.

Usually when I rotate the urn, some pills take long to come out whereas others would leap out instantly. So, with this in mind, I internalized two aspirations, and prayed that if the need was to speak about it instantly, may the pill come out instantly. If speaking on it should be done later after the Great Prayer Festival, may the pill come out after several rotations. As I turned the urn, one of the pills leapt out instantly. When I opened it, the point there was: ‘Bring about change immediately’.

As this was the result of the urn-rotation divination, I immediately summoned the abbots, ex-abbots, staff members, and senior scholarly Geshes of Gaden Jangtse and Shartse. In the small hall on top of the main prayer hall, I described everything to them in the same way I have just related to you. I told them this: “If the statue of Gyalchen in Dharma Raja’s shrine room could be shifted to a spirit house of Gyalchen, if there is any around here, you should do so. If not, give it to someone who propitiates it. If neither of them is possible, then there is no other way than to perform the ritual of ‘requesting him to retreat away’. However, as it says in the ‘Fifty Stanzas’:

If it is something that is beyond logic,
Explain with proper words why it is illogical. “

As such, I asked them three times, in accordance with the tradition that corresponds to the one that appears in the Sutra of Revival and Confession, and asked them to speak their opinions. Nobody said anything. As it is said in the Sutra, if no words are spoken, ‘it should be accepted as explained’. So, in this way, the decision was reached.

At that meeting, I explained the immediate factors for the decision. Furthermore, I told them that Gaden Lachi [the common office for the two monasteries] would make sure of implementing the decision, and reiterated thus: “As words would also reach other seats of learning such as Sera and Drepung, people might accuse me of destroying the Gyalchen statue at Gaden. However, it is not that I have come to this decision without any examination or analysis. I have not acted on any natural instinct or on a whim”.

From the beginning, I never had such a wish. However, when I reached Gaden, I had that dream. But dreams are basically unreliable. So long as we have ignorance, deceptive appearances will arise continuously. As we have deceptions even when we are wide awake, then what to speak of dreams since they are even more deceptive than other deceptions in general. However, I wondered if that particular dream had any significance and did a divination to check. Not trusting the divination by rosary, I performed a Drukchuma Feast Offering for Dharma Raja and conducted the urn-rotation divination in front of him.

An instance that I vividly remember at that time is that while I was conducting the divination inside my room, Kunchok Tsering, who is also present here in the audience, was there outside facing my room with folded hands and praying fervently. While he was fervently praying from outside, inside, I conducted my divination in front of Dharma Raja.

After the divination that was followed by a meeting and a decision, I went to see Ling Rinpoche at Drepung and told him thus: ‘Today, I have created a mess’. Ling Rinpoche asked me what kind of mess was that. I then reported everything to him, right from the dream, the divinations and so forth until the very end. Ling Rinpoche then replied thus: ‘You have done the right thing’.