Geshe Kelsang Gyatso gave the teaching below at Summer Festival in 2006. He explains how Dorje Shugden and Je Tsongkhapa are the same mental continuum.
Who is Dorje Shugden? By Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Dorje Shugden is a Dharma Protector who is a manifestation of Je Tsongkhapa. Je Tsongkhapa appears as the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden to prevent his doctrine from degenerating.
During his life, Je Tsongkhapa founded and established the doctrine of the Ganden Oral Lineage, which leads living beings to the attainment of permanent liberation from suffering and the supreme happiness of enlightenment very quickly. Of course, Je Tsongkhapa himself takes responsibility for preventing his doctrine from degenerating or from disappearing. He takes responsibility for his doctrine to remain from generation to generation.
To do this, since he passed away he continually appears in many different aspects, such as in the aspect of a Spiritual Teacher who teaches the instructions of the Ganden Oral Lineage. Previously, for example, he appeared as the Mahasiddha Dharmavajra and Gyälwa Ensapa; and more recently as Je Phabongkhapa and Kyabje Trijang Dorjechang. He appeared in the aspect of these Teachers.
And he also appears in the aspect of different Dharma Protectors such as Kalarupa, and later as Dorje Shugden. In his extensive praise to Dorje Shugden, the great Yogi and scholar Kelsang Khädrub, says:
Although you attained enlightenment many eons ago,
You appear in various aspects to benefit living beings and the doctrine.
You possess the twenty-seven uncommon good qualities of Buddha.
O Vajradhara Dorje Shugdän, I prostrate to you.
Then he listed some of Dorje Shugden’s former reincarnations, which were, during Buddha’s time, Bodhisattva Manjushri, and later Mahasiddha Biwawa, the great Sakya Pandita, and Butön Rinchen Drub.
These holy beings were also Je Tsongkhapa’s former reincarnations. From this, we can understand that Dorje Shugden’s former reincarnations and Je Tsongkhapa’s former reincarnations were the same.
So it is clear that Je Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugdän are the same mental continuum – one person but different aspects. For this reason, I am saying that Dorje Shugden is a manifestation of Je Tsongkhapa, no doubt, no doubt.
Je Tsongkhapa himself appears as Dorje Shugden to prevent his doctrine of the Ganden Oral Lineage from degenerating by pacifying obstacles, gathering necessary conditions, and bestowing powerful blessings upon practitioners of this doctrine.
If we continually rely upon Dorje Shugden with faith, he will care for us like a mother cares for her child. He will guide us to the correct path or liberating path.
He will pacify our obstacles and gather our necessary conditions, and we will receive his powerful blessings, through which our wisdom, compassion, and spiritual power will increase. Through this, we can easily make progress along the quick path to enlightenment that is shown to us by Je Tsongkhapa.