Thursday, November 13, 2008

Exiled from Exile

If you are interested in the subject of the Dalai Lama banning the practice of Dorje Shugden, you may find the following scholarly research by Dr Ursula Bernis, who was around all the main protagonists in the 1990s, very helpful. Here is an extract. The whole study can be found on the Dorje Shugden Devotees Website and also elsewhere on the worldwide web.

Exiled from Exile
© by Ursula Bernis, 1996 - 1999


While gathering material for a book on seminal Buddhist masters of this century I became aware in 1996 that because most belonged to the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and relied on the religious protector Dorje Shugden, they were suddenly at the center of a raging controversy. Told by the Dalai Lama to renounce ties with that venerable tradition they were put into a position of either breaking their vows or facing ostracism from the community. These greatest of masters who included one of the two tutors of the Dalai Lama had been central to the transmission of Buddhism as it traveled from Tibet to India and the rest of the world after 1959. They ensured the integrity of a living wisdom tradition that had been passed on from one adept to another for millennia. I was shocked to hear the ugly allegations against such venerated and highly respected Lamas. I personally knew many of them, had studied with them, and had had a chance to observe them in close proximity over many years. Like most everyone else, I found their gentle kindness, open-mindedness, and inclusive teachings exemplary.

Since every accusation against them contradicted facts, reason, and my own experience, I felt compelled to get to the bottom of the controversy that had generated such extreme views. It was impossible to continue my project without finding an explanation of how such a dramatic shift from the most revered masters to "devil worshipers" could have occurred and, moreover, how it could so completely possess the Tibetan cultural psyche in such a short time.

In the process of my work on this book I found that open debate about the subject was impossible in the exile community and that the conflict was driven by an emotional zeal for the Dalai Lama beyond all rational considerations, suggesting an identity crisis of unexpected proportions. The conditions of exile, the loss of country, home, family and the threat to the established religious world view certainly contributed to the Tibetans' exaggerated hold onto the one institution left to them, that of Dalai Lamas. However, there seemed something else at work that extended far beyond the Tibetan community to affect Western Tibet supporters as well. They exhibited similarly irrational responses to the conflict. No matter what approach one brought to the subject, all attempts at rational debate became immediately polarized and turned into a series of outlandish accusations none of which held up under scrutiny.

1 comment:

Thom said...

I had the honor of a serving the Dharmapala with Dr. Bernis from 1996_1999 under direct guidance of H.H.Domo Geshe Rinpoche in defense of our lineage from the assault of the Pretender H.H. Dalia Lama and his conspirators.
For three years on a daily basis we progressed day by day to devlop the strategy to defeat these false allegations perpetrated by a
Dr Robert Thurman and funded by Richard Gere.
I could relate innummerable stories that still mystify me, but I can say with absolute certainty that the essence of this unprecendented schism and the misuse of the Teachins of Lord Buddha by Dalia lama and the TGIE to justify their wrongful activities towards the sentient beings is atroscious.
It is quite clear that this issue that he uses to split the Community is based upon his fear that the world will find out that he came to power as a murderer. It was the predecessor of this Dalia lama, the 5th Dl killed not only the Wisdom Buddha Shri Dorje Shugden, but was responsible for the wholesale carnnage of Tibetans who opposed the 5th political coup to form the union of Tibet under his complete control and jurisdiction for oer 300 years.
He is not a Buddha and not the elected head of any government.
His actual following is only a sparse collection of 120,000 people located world wide vesus six million Tibetans in The People's Republic Of China. He does not represent the Tibetans inside of Tibet except in a vague memeory of a totalitarian potentate. He does have actual citizenship papers that he signed to acknowledge his status as a citizen of the PRC.