The 29th of every month is Protector Day. This is part 9 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.
All my harmful thoughts and actions
That have offended your mind, O Great Protector,
I confess from the depths of my heart.
Please purify them swiftly, and care for me with love, like a mother for her child.
With this verse, we can purify all the negative karma that obstructs our ability to receive the care and protection of Dorje Shugden. Such negative karma is like interference preventing a reception of our mobile phones or junk clogging up the arteries of a person. We can generate a regret for whatever we have done in the past which has created negative karma preventing us from receiving the care and protection of Dorje Shugden. Then we strongly imagine from Dorje Shugden purifying light rays and nectars flow down and touch all the beings inside the protection circle, ourself included, purifying all of the negative karma obstructing us from receiving Dorje Shugden’s care and protection. We then strongly believe that all of these being are now without obstruction.
I beseech you from the depths of my heart, O Supreme Deity,
Please cause the tradition of Je Tsongkhapa to flourish,
Extend the life and activities of the glorious Gurus,
And increase the study and practice of Dharma within the Dharma communities.
We can understand this as follows: The key point here is we realize how the Dharma of Je Tsongkhapa is the solution to all the problems of all beings. The reason why beings suffer is because they too are trapped in a dream-like world of suffering created by their own self-centered minds. They need to wake up from this dream into the pure world of the Buddhas. The Dharma of Je Tsongkhapa provides a solution for destroying this self-centered mind, thereby enabling all beings to wake up from their worlds of suffering. This is the solution to all of their problems.
Please be with me always like the shadow of my body,
And grant me your unwavering care and protection.
Destroy all obstacles and adverse conditions,
Bestow favourable conditions, and fulfil all my wishes.
Here we request Dorje Shugden to accomplish his main function, namely to arrange perfect conditions and to eliminate obstacles to our practice. There are two types of condition: When we are confronted with a situation which we think could be better, we request Dorje Shugden to arrange whatever is best and imagine that a protection circle radiates out accomplishing this function. If the external situation changes, then we know the situation was beyond our capacity and we can use that to develop bodhichitta, wishing later to have a capacity that can transform anything and everything. If the external situation remains the same (or gets worse) then we can know that we need to work on the delusions that this situation generates for us. We can equally do this with internal conditions. An important thing worth noting at this point is Dorje Shugden will arrange what is best for our practice, not what is necessarily best for our worldly concerns. We might even say Mick Jagger is actually part of Dorje Shugden’s mandala when he sung ‘you don’t always get what you want, but you get what you need.’
Now is the time to show clearly your versatile strength
Through your four actions, which are swift, incisive, and unobstructed,
To fulfil quickly my special heartfelt desires
In accordance with my wishes;
Here we request Dorje Shugden to arrange whatever is best in general, in his own mysterious ways and imagine that a protection circle radiates out accomplishing this function. Ask people their Dorje Shugden stories when you are at festivals, and you will be amazed. If our motivation is pure, he can arrange anything.
Now is the time to distinguish the truth and falsity of actions and effects;
Here we request him to make clear the relationship between cause and effect for all the beings within the protection circle. At present, we think negativity is entertainment and exciting and we think virtue is boring. In reality, negativity creates the cause for enormous suffering and virtue is the cause of all happiness. Here we request that Dorje Shugden to bestow special wisdom blessings on all beings within the protection circle so they naturally, from their own side, make good choices.
Now is the time to dispel false accusations against the innocent;
Here we request Dorje Shugden to enable all beings within the protection circle to stop making mistaken and false imputations on others, but to correctly impute onto everybody ‘emanation of my spiritual guide’ and imagine that a protection circle radiates out accomplishing this function. At present, we impute onto others ‘object of attachment’ ‘object of aversion’ or ‘irrelevant.’ These are false accusations we impute on others, and we relate to them as if they were really these things from their own side. This creates all our problems. The only valid imputation of anybody is ‘emanation of my spiritual guide.’ The ultimate nature of all things is the Dharmakaya, so it is correct to say that everybody is an emanation of my spiritual guide.
Now is the time to protect the pitiful and protectorless;
The reason why people are pitiful and protectorless is because we have been neglecting them. Their experience is what we have karmically created for them in our empty dream. So here we request that he provide protection for all the beings we have been neglecting and imagine that a protection circle radiates out accomplishing this function.
Now is the time to protect Dharma practitioners as your children.
It is particularly important to provide care and protection for Dharma practitioners because by helping them directly, indirectly it helps all living beings since they have vowed to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all. It is like opening up a second cash register at the supermarket. Everybody gets through the line twice as fast.
In short, from now until I attain the essence of enlightenment,
I shall honour you as the embodiment of my Guru, Deity, and Protector.
Therefore please watch over me during the three periods of the day and the night
And never waver in your actions as my Protector.
The biggest fear of a Dharma practitioner is the fear of losing the path. If we do not lose the path, we have nothing to fear; but if we do lose the path, we have all of samsara to fear. When we recite this verse, we are creating the causes to be able to meet Dorje Shugden and rely upon him again in all our future lives. In this way, we maintain the continuum of our practice and go from joy to joy until we attain enlightenment.