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