Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tibetan Youth Congress Enforces Dalai Lama's Ban on Dorje Shugden

"The Monasteries Have Been Cleaned!"
Report from an Eyewitness

Date: Early September 2008

A monk aged around 30 came from a Gelug monastery in Manali to Tibetan Children's Village's (TCV) vocational training center for Tibetans, Patikuhl in Kulu Manali.

He had been invited by the local Manali Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) to persuade students to give their signatures and oaths rejecting the practice of Dorje Shugden.

[The TYC is an NGO that functions as the covert mouthpiece and enforcer of the government and the Dalai Lama.]

The monk gave a speech to the gathering of students and teachers:

"Drepung, Sera and Ganden monasteries have been cleaned. Our monastery is cleaned too. There is not the slightest doubt about it. … You should not worship the demon Shugden."
The monk brought a thangka painting depicting a Protector stamping on Dorje Shugden, who was lying down. He showed it to the students and teachers, saying:
"The reason why Shugden is being stamped on is because he is a demon. It is not because the painter drew whatever he liked.

Many people no longer worship this Deity. However, some organizations and people of Chating
province dislike the Dalai Lama and so they do still worship Shugden. Therefore, you should cut all ties with the people from Chating province."

Everybody must follow the words of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who is telling us not to worship this Deity. . .

I was invited here by the Manali Tibetan Youth Congress, who requested me to explain to you how bad the worship of Shugden is. Along with giving us your signatures, you must all swear in front of Palden Lhamo and the Three Jewels that you will not worship the Deity."

The staff and teachers first gave their oaths and signatures that they would not worship Shugden. Then the students were called in to give their signatures and oaths. Many students didn't know anything about it, but they were told:
"The Dalai Lama said that Shugden is a demon and you should not worship him; so you must come up here to sign your name and swear not to worship him."
Students then stood in line to sign their names and declare their oaths.

The monk and members of the Manali TYC left in the afternoon, saying that they had a signature and oath campaign to go to somewhere else.

Manali TYC also told the owners of shops and restaurants to come to the monastery to give their signatures and oaths not to worship Shugden nor maintain spiritual or material ties with Shugden followers.

A restaurant's owner spoke to the witness:
"If you worship Shugden you will have success and happiness in this life, but when you die you will go directly to hell!"
At around 5pm, the Manali TYC members came back to TCV and asked those who had not already signed and made their oaths to do so.

A Spanish journalist came to the Dorje Shugden Society to interview its members about the Shugden Issue. He was in Manali when the incident happened. He reported that the Manali TYC had forced the public to come to the monastery for their signatures and oaths, telling them that they needed to close their shops and restaurants and that, if any of them did not come, the public would be asked to boycott their businesses.

The journalist was shocked at hearing this.
"Tibetans are saying that they are proceeding on the path of democracy; but they are using coercive force.

I did not know much about Dorje Shugden. When I heard about the ban on Shugden, it made me want to find out more."

The journalist asked people in Manali who had organized this campaign what was the benefit of banning this Deity? He did not get an answer, and he said they sounded hostile towards him. He said he had discovered that Tibetan religion and politics are completely mixed.

6 comments:

Tenzin said...

I found a very interesting article from a non-Shugden practitioner about life in Tibet and the Dalai Lama's ban on Dorje Shugden. This article may be a little strong, but it is a useful corrective to those who think that Tibet is a Shangri-la and the Dalai Lama a cuddly man of peace.

http://canterburyatheists.blogspot.com/2008/12/dalai-lama-hail-neo-medieval-tibetan.html

A brief extract:

"The Dalai Lama talks about freedom for his people in Tibet - at least autonomy within the Peoples Republic of China - but is perfectly happy employing the same draconian injustices, denying basic human rights to Dorje Shugden practitioners."

And, from the author's footnote:

"My research on this article came about by accident. For the record, I am a member (should that now be was?)of a Free Tibet group – yes, I too believed what I was feed. So I’m far from being an apologist for the Chinese Government, I decry their brand of politics. I first came across an article about pre-annexation Tibet on the internet and was shocked at what I read."

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this article! BTW There is a rumor that the DL is on his way to southern india, it's likely that he will shake up the Shugden practitioners / monks there some more. let's hope the spanish journalist or somebody else can tag along...

Anonymous said...

and that canterbury atheist article is stunning.
i'm looking forward to reading what else he uncovers.

dougal said...

i was in Manali 18 years ago and i remember going into a Tibetan-run restaurant there and seeing a photograph of HH Trijang Rinpoche in pride of place on their wall. i didn't at that time know who he was, but the photograph, with such profound compassion in his eyes, and the sincere devotion towards this monk of the Tibetan family who ran the restaurant made a deep impression on me that i have never forgotten.

i fear for them now, those sincere disciples, in this current witch-hunt. the Dalai Lama and his cronies ought to be so ashamed; how can they call themselves Buddhist? it's disgusting.

Anonymous said...

I will pray for the brave Tibetans who still practise Dorje Shugden openly or in secret and that all Dharma Protectors will protect the Ganden lineage of Je Tsongkhapa and those who practise it.

May there be peace in the hearts of all beings.

Wisdom Sword said...

I myself have been to Manali and seen for myself the problems caused by the ridiculous and destructive ban on the Wisdom Protector. I visited one of the Gelug monasteries there - this was in 2006 and I spent some time with a kind monk called Dorje, then a Dorje Shugden practitioner, who was clearly deeply upset and confused about the whole issue, devoted to both the DL and Dorje Shugden. He repeatedly told me that Shugden was 'good...very good' and that those lay and ordained Tibets who had been attacking him were misguided and confused. At that time and beautiful painting of Dorje Shugden on the wall of the Gompa had been scratched by someone so that you could barely see it - i took a picture at the time but I am sure that none of the image is now visible. In fact, according to recent reports since I was in Manali, the statue of Dorje Shugden was dragged out of the monastery and destroyed. My heart goes out to this monk Dorje and the misery he must be going through right now - these reports are not exagerations, monks such as Dorje and others are suffering greatly directly because of the words and directives of the Dalai Lama. I dreamt of returning to Manali and paying my old friend a visit, but now I dread what I may find on my return. Fortunately, Dorje gave me a Thanka to 'smuggle' out of the monastery which is now in pride of place on my bedroom wall. This small piece of the past harmony and devotion surrounding Dorje Shugden in Manali is a beautiful thing a testament that once again such a state may be restored. Dorje and others, if you are listening, my thoughts and prayers are with you - at least in this sense you are not alone. Next time I am in India I will come back to Manali - I look forward to seeing you all again and hopefully being able to help in some way.