Dharma Protectors

Dharma Protectors

By Zhaxi Zhuoma

The Sanskrit term dharmapala literally means the guardian of the dharma.  For the protection of its teachings and institutions, the vajrayana called upon this group of beings who can also be invoked by the individual practitioner. Dharma protectors are sometimes emanations of Buddhas or Bodhisattvas, and sometimes spirits, celestial beings,animals, or even demons who have been subjugated by a Great Master and bound under oath. Dakinis are also considered dharma protectors. When you have the desire to benefit and make happy all sentient beings and keep your precepts, the dharma protectors will come to protect and uphold your practice, wipe out your demonic obstructions and assist you in becoming accomplished. The dharma protectors will safeguard your road to liberation. The dharma protectors will not allow nectar to be bestowed or other initiations to take place unless the recipients are qualified according to the dharma. It is the dharma protectors who will open your chakras to enable you to receive supernormal powers. If the holy dharmapalas are properly evoked by one who practices the correct dharma, they can also bestow blessings and empowerment that will enable that person to quickly become an enlightened holy being.

Guan Yu

Statue of Dharma Protector Guan Yu at Hua Zang Si.

Statue of Dharma Protector Guan Yu at Hua Zang Si.

Every year Hua Zang Si and other temples celebrate the holy birthday of the Dharma Protecting Deity, Guan Yu to pray that disasters will be minimized, evil eradicated, and good promoted so as to bring harmony to families and happiness to our life and to safeguard the country.

The couplets on the pavilion of the Dharma Protecting Deity express the profound dharma expounded by H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu. The first line of the couplets is “Yu quan shan zhong li miao tang di jun gui fo men.” This explains that Guan Yu took refuge in Master Zhiyi at Yuquan Hill. He then manifested great supernatural power and constructed the Yuquan Temple overnight on a barren lot, where he resolved to become a protector of Buddhism. The other line of the couplet is “Guan sheng ting quian yao qian yun ling gan shi guo yin.” Even before the statue of Guan Yu was installed at Hua Zang Si, it has manifested great efficacious power. It is for these reasons that it is most auspicious to have this pavilion and statue in the temple garden.

Skanda Bodhisattva

Skanda Bodhisattva

Skanda Bodhisattva

While Guan Yu Bodhisattva watches over and protects our worldly affairs, Skanda Bodhisattva protects our spiritual affairs, watching over dharma matters.

The Holy Shrine of Skanda Bodhisattva at Hua Zang Si has two couplets about Skanda Bodhisattva written by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III:

xian san zhou gan ying ding huan yu

you liu dao you qing zhen qian kun

The first line of the couplet by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu is “xian san zhou gan ying ding huan yu.” Its basic meaning is as follows. Skanda Bodhisattva is a great dharma protector who is constantly with us. He protects all sentient beings in the entire universe. Through meditation, he looks over the entire universe.

The second line of the couplet is “you liu dao you qing zhen qian kun.” Skanda Bodhisattva has great compassion. He compassionately blesses and protects all living beings whose lives are in correspondence with the dharma. He comes and goes day and night as he supernaturally observes what happens on earth. He often uses his samadhi powers to stabilize all things in the universe.

Skanda Bodhisattva’s birthday is celebrated on or near the third day of the sixth lunar month each year.

Guan Yu Bodhisattva watches over worldly matters while Skanda Bodhisattva watches over dharma

Link: https://wisdomtea.org/2023/04/20/dharma-protectors/

2 thoughts on “Dharma Protectors”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s