The Guru yoga of Je Tsongkhapa according to the Segyu lineage was originally taught by Buddha Manjushri as part of a special scripture known as the Kadam Emanation Scripture. It was extracted from this scripture by Je Tsongkhapa himself. These days, the practice is known as Ganden Lhagyema in Tibetan, or The Hundreds of Deities of the Joyful Land in English. The name derives from the fact that in the first verse we invite Je Tsongkhapa to descend from the heart of Buddha Maitreya, who is known as the ’Protector of the hundreds of Deities of the Joyful Land’.
Je Tsongkhapa passed this instruction to Je Sherab Senge, who was one of his main disciples. Je Sherab Senge was born in the upper part of Tibet called Tsang. He was a very holy meditation master and scholar who had thousands of disciples, including Je Gendundrub, the first Dalai Lama.
He was the holder of the lineage of the Tantric teachings of Je Tsongkhapa and, as predicted by Je Tsongkhapa, he established Gyume Tantric College in central Tibet and Segyu Tantric College in the upper part of Tibet.
Je Sherab Senge passed this instruction to Dulnagpa Palden Sangpo, who was one of his main disciples. Palden Sangpo was also born in Tsang, in a town called Tanagdo near Tashilhunpo Monastery, and he was ordained at Narthang Monastery. After receiving this instruction, he
practised it sincerely and as a result gained very high spirit-ual realizations. He was able to help many sick people by curing serious diseases and by pacifying obstacles through healing actions performed in conjunction with the Migtsema prayer.
In general, there are many people who are harmed by spirits called ’Behar’. These spirits enter into people’s bodies, causing them to become insane, interfering with their spiritual development, or causing untimely death. Once, while Palden Sangpo was engaged in a retreat on the
Migtsema prayer at a place called Sepu, a Behar spirit began to harm a rich family who lived nearby. Many of their relatives had already been killed by such spirits, and now this spirit was trying to enter into the body of the son of the family. The members of the family were very worried and they
requested Palden Sangpo to stop the spirit harming their son. Palden Sangpo accepted their request and gave the father a number of beads from the mala he had used during his Migtsema recitation. He told him, ’When the spirit enters your son’s body, immediately place one bead at every exit
to your house. This may cause the spirit to cry out in terror, and if this happens, call me.’ The father did exactly as Palden Sangpo had said, and in this way trapped the spirit in his house. The spirit was terrified and cried, ’I want to escape from this house but many powerful and terrifying
wrathful beings are preventing me.’
The father immediately went to Palden Sangpo and requested him to come to his house. When Palden Sangpo arrived he asked the spirit, ’How can you inflict harm on many mother sentient beings when you yourself cannot bear even this slight suffering? From now on, you must not harm anyone else. If you do not promise to stop harming others, Yamantaka will not let you go.’ The spirit replied, ’I follow the orders of the chief Behar spirit. If I do not harm anyone, my powers will diminish and I will suffer. Please do not ask so much of me, please reduce the commitment.’ Palden Sangpo told the spirit, ’At least you must promise me that you will not harm anyone who recites the Ganden Lhagyema or Migtsema prayers’, and the spirit said, ’Yes, I
can promise you this.’ Palden Sangpo then gathered up the beads of his mala from the exits to the house and the spirit immediately left the boy’s body and fled. The boy became normal again and did not suffer further. Later, people clearly realized that anyone who recites the Ganden Lhagyema and Migtsema prayers will be protected from harm by Behar spirits.
Both the Ganden Lhagyema and the Migtsema prayers come from the Kadam Emanation Scripture. This scripture, which is the same nature as Manjushri’s wisdom, cannot be seen by ordinary beings, and the instructions it contains are not written in ordinary letters. So that ordinary beings could see these prayers, Palden Sangpo wrote them out in ordinary letters, in the form of prose. Later, Khedrub Sangye Gyatso wrote the verses that we now recite. Je Palden Sangpo passed this instruction on to Gyuchen Gendunpai, who passed it on to Gyuchen Tashipa, who passed it on to Je Samdrub Gyatso, who passed it on to Tsondrupa, who passed it on to Dorje Sangpo, who passed it on to Khedrub Sangye Gyatso. Eventually the instruction reached Je Phabongkhapa and Kyabje Trijang Dorjechang, spiritual Father and Son. This lineage is an uncommon close lineage that comes from Buddha Shakyamuni to Manjushri, and directly from Manjushri to Je Tsongkhapa, Je Sherab Senge, and so on. Through the kindness of Je Sherab Senge, Je Palden Sangpo, and Khedrub Sangye Gyatso, this instruction flourished throughout Tibet. Since these Lamas came from the area called Se, in the region of Tashilhunpo Monastery, the lineage is called the ’Segyu lineage’.
The history and lineage instruction were written by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso in his book titled “Heart Jewel.”