His Holiness the 8th Panchen Lama Tenpai Wangchuk (1855-1882)

Button_EngThe biography of the most eminent master Lobsang Palden Choeki Dakpa Tenpai Wangchuk Pelsangpo called The Sunlight that Illuminates the Garden of the Faithful Ones was composed by Yongzin Lobsang Tenzin Wangyal. It states thus in the first line of the back page of page no. 223:

“On the 6th, at the protector’s shrine of his personal residence, he told his younger brother and other retinue members such as his personal assistants that there were various signs of Dolgyal’s sorceries at His Holiness’ personal chamber on the top floor of Dechen Palace. On the 9th, he ordered that the chamber be destroyed completely without leaving any trace of rubble, etc.”

Excerpt on Shugden in the biography of the 8th Panchen Lama, Palden Yeshi

Excerpt on Shugden in the biography of the 8th Panchen Lama, Palden Yeshi

Earlier, when the 8th Panchen Lama was young, he and his entourage were warned by Yongzin Yeshi Gyaltsen that Tashi Lhunpo would be driven to ruination by the new devilish protector. Later, as he witnessed signs of Dolgyal’s sorceries, his own personal chamber on the top floor of Dechen Palace was ordered to be destroyed completely. This and the destruction of Dolgyal’s cairn in Gaden Monastery by Trichen Ngawang Chokden were done so that there would no place of dwelling for Dolgyal to cling on to. It seems that around the time when the 8th Panchen Lama was newly recognised, there were some in Tashi Lhunpo who were propitiating Dolgyal, and for that reason, Yongzin Yeshi Gyalsten gave them the warning. Later as Panchen Tenpai Wangchuk came of age, he himself was said to have performed the exorcism of fire rituals to subjugate the evil influences of Dolgyal.

The same page no. 223 of his biography mentions a constitution that His Holiness the 8th Panchen Lama had composed around the same time the personal chamber was destroyed. That constitution consists of monastic codes of conduct as well as other directives to be followed by all subjects who accept the Panchen Lama’s religious authority.

In the constitution called

‘The Virtuous Golden Vajra Yoke That Prevents Punishments Detrimental to Life: a second constitution to be observed equally by the congregation of Sangha, the seniors and commoners, and the internal household staff of Dechen Chokle Nampar Gyalwailing of the Great Tashi Lhunpo’ states thus:

“Some in this monastery seemed to have been appeasing a perilous devil who will ultimately lead you down the abyss. In future, with an exception of a few protectors such as Lamo Choekyong and others, you are not allowed to randomly invite any other through a medium. As far as Dharma protectors are concerned, apart from vajra protectors with wisdom eyes [trans-worldly protectors], propitiating and taking refuge in hungry-ghosts that roam the sky, such as Dolgyal and others, will contradict the refuge mind, the entry to Buddhism, and so, you should never do that.

Also, when passing through some narrow pathways, we come across some dwellings of perilous hungry-ghosts, where lay people who have not entered through the door of Buddhism would usually offer them some forms of respect such as getting down from their horses and prostrating. However, we, the followers of Buddha Shakyamuni, should instead cultivate a virtuous and a peaceful state of mind that only wishes to benefit them, and by reciting verses such as ‘like the star, mirage, so forth’ [from Sutra] and others as a gesture of giving them the gift of Dharma, do the ‘Sur Ritual’ of giving them alms of food as well. You should not do as worldly people would do by showing respectful gestures such as getting down from horses, taking off hats, and worshipping them for immediate and ultimate protection. The fact that these are not allowed comes from many valid sources of Sutras [Buddha’s own teachings] and Shastras [commentaries Sutras by Indian and Tibetan masters]

As such, you should continue to refrain from such things and practise with steadfast determination whatever I have mentioned earlier”.

In the excerpt cited above, it says, ‘with an exception of a few protectors such as Lamo Choekyong and others’. Lamo Choekyong is a worldly protector and others in this might refer to the Five King Protectors. Here, Dolgyal’s name is specifically mentioned and he is refered to as a hungry-ghost that roams the sky.

Other than the Great 5th Dalai Lama who practised the ecumenical form of Buddhism, the rest of other Lamas who were critical of Dolgyal were all purely Geluk practitioners. None of them had recognised Dolgyal as a Geluk protector. On the contrary, they had referred to him as a demon, a perilous spirit, a hungry ghost etc. That Dolgyal is merely a sanctimonious being, and not a Dharma protector is validated by these historical accounts.

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