The 29th of every month is Protector Day. This is part 7 of a 12-part series aimed at helping us remember our Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden and increase our faith in him on these special days.
The remainder of the sadhana is largely making requests to Dorje Shugden. Before we get into the specifics, I want to now explain some general advice on how to increase the power of our making requests to him. These apply equally to the meditation break as well as the meditation session.
First, the extent to which he can help us depends on the degree of faith we have in him. If our faith is weak, his protection will be weak. This is not because he is holding back it is because our mind remains closed so he has few points of entry for bestowing his blessings. If our faith is indestructible and infinite, then his protection of us will be infinite. If we understand this we will realize that our primary training in the practice of Dorje Shugden is increasing our faith in him.
Second, he can help us to the extent that our motivation is pure. When our motivation is pure, it is like we align the crystals of our mind perfectly with the light of the deity. To improve our motivation, we need to train sincerely in Lamrim. The main function of Lamrim is to change our heart desires from worldly ones into spiritual ones. Once we get our motivation right, everything else naturally falls into place. It is the mental factor intention that determines the karma we create, so intention is the most important.
Third, he can help us to the extent that we realize that he, ourselves and everything else are empty. The main point is this: Dorje Shugden isn’t anything from his own side. He is as powerful as we construct him to be. We can construct him as an ordinary being or as an infinitely powerful protector.
After the invitation to Dorje Shugden, which has already been explained, we then make offerings and requests as follows:
Respectfully I prostrate with body, speech and mind.
Here we imagine that from ourself and from all the beings we previously put within the protection circle, we emanate all of our past and future bodies. Then with all of these past, present and future emanations of ourself, we prostrate. This creates special merit with him so that he can provide us protection in all our past, present and future lives. How Dorje Shugden protects us in our present and future lives is easy to understand. But how can he provide us protection in our past lives when they have already passed? He can bless our mind so that everything that happened to us in the past also becomes a cause of our enlightenment. We view our past differently in such a way that it teaches us lessons of Dharma. In this way, no matter when we start our practice, even if it is when we are very old, it can be as if we effectively have practiced our whole life. When we go to normal psychological therapists, they help us process our past so that it is no longer a drag on us. In the same way, by requesting Dorje Shugden to transform our past experiences into a cause of our enlightenment, we receive special blessings to view these events differently. We may even come to view our greatest past trauma as our greatest life blessing. Such is the power of Dorje Shugden and the truth of emptiness.
I offer a mass of inner and outer offerings, blissful tormas,
Alcohol, tea, cakes, milk, and curd,
Both actually set out and mentally imagined, filling the whole of space.
The basic idea is this: whatever we offer to Dorje Shugden, he can then use for our swiftest possible enlightenment. For example, if I offer my house to him, then everything that happens in my house will be emanated by him for my practice, etc. So mentally, we offer everything because we want to use everything for our attainment of enlightenment.