Trode Khangsar

by Trinley Kalsang

Just as the Buddhist monuments and structures in the Indian subcontinent are undeniable testaments to Buddhism’s past establishment in these regions, similarly Trode Khangsar (spro bde khang gsar) in the heart of Lhasa illustrates how the protector deity Dorje Shugden was officially established in Tibet. In the 17th century Trode Khangsar was designated as a “protector house” (btsan khang) for the deity Dorje Shugden by the Fifth Dalai Lama. By the end of the 17th century its role was expanded as it was entrusted to the Gelug monastery Riwo Choling (ri bo chos gling) by the Fifth Dalai Lama’s regent1 (sde sris) Sangye Gyatso. As a result relations between Dorje Shugden and the Gelug sect, the Tibetan government, Ganden Podrang (dga' ldan pho brang), were firmly established early in the existence of this deity.

1 The word sde sris in general means governor, one who holds governmental power. In some cases, I will translate the word as governor, in other contexts as regent, such as when there is no other contending peer power, and other contexts just the word sde sris itself.