Many of the events during the Fifth Dalai’s time are shrouded in conflicting accounts of events and various power struggles. One thing is certain: from the Fifth Dalai Lama onward the Gelug tradition enjoyed more power and its influence spread to the nearly all of the Mongol tribes and even to the Qing Emperors themselves. On the other hand, from this the Gelug tradition suffered from more power struggles and scandals involving enlightened beings, which left Tibet open to the influence from foreign powers.

Deciphering this history is further complicated by the fact that Tibetans did not write extensive accounts on the history of events and various buildings, but mostly relied on disseminating history orally. Many can personally attest to the last generation of Tibetan-born lamas and geshes being master story tellers, leaving their audience in a suspended state of drama while they recount events from 500 years ago down to the most minute detail. However, the objective with this is in imparting the moral of the story with an unforgettable impact, not for historical documentation.

In today’s modern climate, oral history is treated with suspicion, as it has been in the West, since it is often exaggerated or altered to suit political inclinations. Most of the educated Tibetans who were knowledgeable of Tibet’s history have already passed away. Furthermore, as Tibet never even had typewriters or a modern printing press, many of the writings not having wood blocks for reproduction were lost after the Chinese invasion and consequent systematic destruction of these materials in the 1950s and 1960s. Nevertheless, the mere existence of a temple with centuries-old paintings can hardly be dismissed as important source for researching the historical development of the deity Dorje Shugden in Tibet.

Ironically, writing this now is probably easier than it would have been ten years ago. More information is available and searchable to the masses thanks to fruitful projects such as Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center and the Tibet Heritage Fund. This short account could be expanded on as more sources are found.