Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Dalai Lama: Discord in Exile - Swiss Documentary Transcript

The following is a transcript of a Swiss national television's evening news (SF1) series of news reports on the conflict in Tibetan society concerning the worship of the deity Dorje Shugden. Many questions have been raised by these reports, which are of interest for everyone interested in Tibetan politics and religion in general. Grave questions have been raised as to how the Dalai Lama and his government deal with minorities.

The first two programs dealt mainly with the people, lay and ordained, who have been directly influenced by the Dalai Lama's ban on the practice of Dorje Shugden. Worshippers of Dorje Shugden have been ousted from society, their houses burnt down, property destroyed, families torn apart, people have been threatened, stoned and stabbed by fanatical Dalai Lama supporters. The interviews of these individuals were heart moving due to the obvious distress in which they now have to live under the Dalai Lama's ban.

In the third program this evening the Dalai Lama explained his views. His explanations for the ban are: " Tibetan Buddhism is such a profound tradition, that there is a danger of spirit worship, that Buddhism could degenerate into spirit worship by practicing Dorje Shugden."

After this statement footage was shown of the writhing Nechung State Oracle (Nechung is recognized by the Dalai Lama as a worldly deity or spirit), one of the oracles, who the Dalai Lama frequently consults and who suggested the ban on Dorje Shugden worship. "The worship of Dorje Shugden is of great harm to the Tibetan cause and a danger to the life of the Dalai Lama."

The programme clearly shows the actions of the Dalai Lama's Government in Exile which were observed by the Swiss documentary team directly, the devastating effect on Dorje Shugden practitioners living in India and the curt denials of the Dalai Lama himself. For example, when the Dalai Lama was asked why he would not simply advise against the practice and then otherwise be tolerant, advising against violence, he repeated his statement that no one was being harmed. When confronted by the reporter about the announcements advocating violent action in newspapers and wall postings his answer was: "No, No, I think rumour." When asked "All the great masters who have worshipped the deity for centuries, was all of that wrong?" the Dalai Lama replied simply "Wrong! Yes! Wrong!". This is all the Dalai Lama had to say about his great Teachers.

Since these master who practised Dorje Shugden were his very own spiritual masters, and these are now discredited, where is his validation as a spiritual master and what happened to his lineage? This means that his own spiritual practice was wrong for over 40 years.

Please draw your own conclusions from the following transcript.

Dalai Lama: Discord in Exile - Swiss Documentary Transcript


Anonymous said...

This is a very powerful documentary, no doubt about it. Also very good is the one put together by german television around the time "7 years in Tibet" came out. (
The site also shows a transscript of the content and you cann use babelfish for a rough translation of the site and transscript. (
So much for Tibet = Shangri-La. Personally I found this bit the most outrageous. Boy, am I glad I'm not Tibetan:

Dalai Lama today [mid nineties, when the docu was made], nearly forty years later. He still glorifies the conditions [re horrible living conditions of the poor in old Tibet presented previously in the documentary] and thereby feeds the romantic picture of the old Tibet. Quotation:

“A poor Tibetan had little reason to envy or resent his rich feudala lord with hostility, because he knew that everyone harvests the seed from his earlier life. We were plain and simply happy.”

That last sentence, to me, is a lie the size of Tibet. Unless all Tibetans were highly realized beings my guess is that apart from the upper crust most people were rather miserable.

Anyhow, does anybody have something that is a bit more recent? Perhaps interviews with people in India or within the international Tibetan society?

Also, what about the people involved in the lawsuit in Delhi highcourt? Do we have a transcript of the case and an update as to when the court case will proceed?

Wisdom Buddha said...

Thank you Orange. Message me privately and I will answer your questions: