Monday, June 2, 2008

Outrage as Dalai Lama denounces Dorje Shugden

Buddhists picketed the Dalai Lama’s recent visit to the United States and Europe. They protested against the ban on the worship of the 350-year-old deity, Dorje Shugden, whom they say is one of the most revered in the Buddhist religion. In 1996 the Dalai Lama announced that worship of Dorje Shugden was banned and explained that his oracle, Nechung, had advised him that the deity was a threat to his personal safety and the future of Tibet.

The Tibetan Government-in-exile said its employees must stop worshipping the deity or be sacked. The office of the Dalai Lama told the superiors of the Sermey Monastic College in Bylakuppe, India: ‘If there is anyone who continues to worship Dorje (Shugden), make a list of their names, birthplace and class... Keep the original and send us a copy of the list.’

According to PK Dey, a human-rights lawyer from Delhi: ‘Those worshipping Shugden are experiencing tremendous harassment. It is not in a particular part of the country, but everywhere there are Tibetans. Dalai Lama supporters are going from house to house searching.’ For example, in Clementown, India, the house of a family of Shugden worshippers was stoned and then firebombed. Wanted posters describe people believed to be Shugden leaders as the top ten enemies of the state. The posters have been put up in monasteries, settlements and in Dharamsala by the Government-in-exile’s Department of Security.

Dorje Shugden worshippers say the ban and its implementation are in direct conflict with the proposed constitution of a free Tibet, laid down by the Dalai Lama in 1963. The constitution states that all religious denominations are equal before the law, and every Tibetan shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. But when Dorje Shugden worshippers challenged the ban, the Tibetan Government-in-exile stated that: ‘Concepts like democracy and freedom of religion are empty when it comes to the well-being of the Dalai Lama and the common cause of Tibet.’

During recent peace vigils a petition with 15,000 signatures was handed to the Dalai Lama stating the need for all Tibetan traditions to flourish. Protesters asked him to sign a declaration of freedom to worship Dorje Shugden. The Dalai Lama refused.

He says that he banned the worship of Dorje Shugden because it is a divisive deity that causes sectarianism among his followers, and is leading to the degeneration of Buddhism. But in doing so he has left many Tibetans confused. Gonsar Rinpoche, a Tibetan Lama who has worshipped Dorje Shugden throughout his life, says: ‘I cannot accept this ban on Shugden. If I accept that all my wise and great masters are demon worshippers, then their teachings are wrong, everything they believe in is wrong. That is not possible.’

From New Internationalist

1 comment:

Atishas cook said...

Dear friends -

I write this as someone who has always, to the best of my ability, tried to encourage others to have strong faith in their Gurus and in their traditions, whether Buddhist or non-Buddhist. I have always taken great care not to harm another's view of their objects of Refuge, and to be respectful of their right to hold their own opinion. This is an apology and a request to all those who are students of the Dalai Lama, or who have faith in him: please be patient with me, with us.

I hear a wide variety of views on the Dalai Lama, and many people who wish to continue to view him as an enlightened being, despite his actions and the effect of these actions on the holy Buddhadharma, and the worldwide Sangha community, Tibetan and Western, lay and ordained.

If the Dalai Lama is an enlightened being, then He is manifesting as Mara.

Some say that maybe he is being misunderstood, or maybe he is unaware of the effects of his ban. Unfortunately, he has not been misunderstood at all (except by the western media). He has directly ordered this ban and reiterated it strongly, on record, many times. He is fully aware of how this is being enforced by his fanatical representatives, and he has encouraged this.

No-one is inherently evil, of course; but it's perfectly valid to call someone's intentions evil. The Dalai Lama is clearly trying to consolidate his power, both political and religious, by destroying any opposition within the religious establishment - and has been doing this in a calculated and systematic way since he first fled Tibet in the 50s. In this sense, conventionally I can call one person "good" and another "evil"; mere name, yes, but certainly appropriate.

I have been making excuses for this tyrant for 12 years, out of respect and compassion for his faithful students. But I cannot any longer - his actions since this January leave me absolutely no choice. Out of compassion, for his victims and for him, I must expose his hypocrisy and disempower him. Therefore, I'm right behind the Western Shugden Society.

I'm truly sorry to say it, but he's a liar and a hypocrite. His intentions (as far as I can tell), and his actions are in direct contradiction with Lord Buddha's teachings. He is trying to destroy pure Buddhist lineages (not just ours - see the Kagyu debacle, for example), and he is doing this - apparently - for his own political aggrandisement. He's no monk, and he's not a Buddhist. He misuses the holy Dharma to disguise his true nature and intention.

So I am sorry to all those who have faith in this person, but he must be stopped, and to do this we have no choice but to bring to light his abuses and destroy his reputation, however temporarily painful and disruptive that may be for the Buddhist community worldwide. Through my karma this is the situation as it appears to me now, and, as a Buddhist, I have no choice but to do this.