Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Are Dorje Shugden practitioners supported by the Chinese?

Now I understand that there is a belief that because the Dalai Lama has banned the religious practice of Dorje Shugden, Shugden practitioners must be in league with China, a country with which the Dalai Lama has political problems.

I would like to add that other than this illogical reasoning, there is not one shred of evidence connecting Shugden Buddhists with the Chinese. But while there is no link between Shugden Buddhists and the Chinese, there is, on the other hand, direct evidence pointing to the ban. Watch some of the Dalai Lama's speeches here:

So if the Shugden practitioners are not supported by the Chinese, how do Western Shugden Society supporters get to the demonstrations to protest against the Dalai Lama? How can we afford it??? What would we do without the Chinese financing us??!!?? These naive claims make me chuckle.

Do you want to know the truth? Most Shugden practitioners have JOBS! Most of us have cars. And most of us can drive. Shugden practitioners are lots of people: doctors, lawyers, teachers, accountants, software engineers etc -- not exactly people who need to take a loan from the Chinese to support a trip across the border to an American demonstration. I have got to tell you, it ain't that expensive to demonstrate! The fact that the Dalai Lama teaches mostly on weekends has also been very helpful.

As any spiritual person knows, it is worth booking off holidays from work to defend their right to pray.

I can tell you that Canadians of many different backgrounds have given money to support these demonstrations. A Canadian friend said to me. "Of course I want to help financially. Dorje Shugden is in my heart too".

I think it is strange that "Buddhists" want to take away a prayer from other Buddhists. Why do they tell me that I cannot make these prayers of love and compassion? Why? And why do they tell me that I am being sectarian because I am continuing to say this prayer and not following their command to stop? Who is being sectarian here?

This foolishness comes about because people wish to believe that the following misconceptions are true:

1) the Dalai Lama is the head of Buddhism
2) the Dalai Lama is the head of the Gelugpa tradition
3) the Dalai Lama has the right to ban a prayer taught to him by his spiritual teacher.
4) the Dalai Lama has the right to enforce this ban in the monasteries
5) the Dalai Lama has the right to enforce this ban in the lay community
6) the Dalai Lama has the right to deny rights and privileges to both the lay and monastic communities even though this is against international law.

Posted courtesy of Lotus in Canada.

1 comment:

adam said...

Apparently the Dalai Lama made a statement to the effect that in view of the success of Lamas relying on Dorje Shugden, including Geshe Kelsang and Lama Ganchen, he regretted not enforcing the ban twenty years ago. This sounds to me like a clear expression of jealousy, and yet I read this on a site defending the Dalai Lama.

No one should be completely above questioning. Deluded behaviour is deluded behaviour, regardless of who it is who's doing it. "If it looks like a duck, it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck."

Buddhists are encouraged to train in "pure view" but this can lead to big problems if we take it to an extreme. We also need the ability to recognise delusions for what they are, in both ourself and others. I can barely think of anything sadder and more ironic than sensible and humble people relying upon the deluded advice of someone they revere. Certainly we can have compassion for people misled in this way.

The Dalai Lama needs to receive some teachings on recognising the delusion of jealousy and engaging in the practice of rejoicing (as an opponent), and he needs the humility to learn from them. How about a video open letter, similar to the excellent one done in response to the ASA, containing this message. Just a thought anyway.