Saturday, August 30, 2008

Dalai Lama's political ban of a religious practice extends to Switzerland

Will it ever stop? This mixture of politics and religion is already destroying the spiritual lives of many thousands of people in the Tibetan exile community in India, and is spreading its tentacles into the West.

Swiss Resolution regarding the worshipping of Dholgyal

On August 16, 2008, in the local assembly of Tibetan people in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, their Deputies discussed thoroughly with great responsibility. After that, the Local Assembly’s Deputies extended their appreciation to the Resolution (1996) adopted by the majority regarding the worshipping of Dholgyal (Shugden). Due to necessity there is now no option but to add three new resolutions on top of the existing five resolutions. We request all Tibetans who are above 18 years old in Switzerland and Liechtenstein to fully follow the content of these resolutions.

A The five resolutions passed unanimously by the Local Assembly’s Deputies on July 6, 1996 were:

1. The Dholgyal worshipper must completely give up [the practice] henceforth.

2. Those who do not worship Shugden must follow the instruction without falling into the trap of others.

3. You all must invite only those who do not worship Dholgyal, when you need to perform puja for oneself or for the Dalai Lama’s well-being.

4. Be it in private or a group, when you make offerings to the monasteries in Nepal, India, etc, you must do these offerings to those monasteries which do not worship Dholgyal.

5. You must bear in mind the instructions of politics and religion and abide by them without any contradiction.

B Three additional resolutions adopted on August 16, 2008 by the majority during the Second Session of Local Assembly were:

1. Recently a few Dholgyal followers have engaged in baseless criticism against the Dalai Lama in public. This we recognize as a conspiracy to spread rumors through gossip.

2. Those few Tibetans who criticize the Dalai Lama, we recognize them being in the category of Chinese government’s politics, directly, indirectly and thoroughly.

3. We will collect signatures as a truth witness which represents the volunteer support to the above-mentioned points.

For a copy of the original Tibetan document, please see

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Segregation and ostracism of Dorje Shugden practitioners in India and the West

Update from the Dorje Shugden Devotees Society in India:

Sera-Jay monastery is situated in the Tibetan settlement at Bylakupee, five hours by bus from Banglore City, Karnataka State, India . Until this year, it was a monastery that was used by Shugden and non-Shugden practitioners alike. Since the introduction of the ban on Shugden practice made by the Dalai Lama, such harmony has been destroyed and great division and discrimination now exists in the monastery. The posters in these three pictures announce:

"Shugden followers are not allowed."

Picture 1: Sidharta Guest House, which is run by Sera-Jay School.

Picture 2: Visual Section run by Sera-Jay monastery.

Picture 3: Guest House of Sera-Jay monastery.

The posters have been here for the past few months. Taking photographic evidence was not possible before now because of the vigilance in these places.

These three posters show clearly the naked and open discrimination and abuses against Shugden practitioners. It is time for the world to know the terrible apartheid being conducted by monks against monks. We have the spiritual and social responsibility to raise this awareness and to help free these suffering monks from being outcast.


As these three posters show, we are witnessing the creation of a new class of untouchability in India. This is something prohibited by the Indian constitution.

ARTICLE 17 of The Constitution of India
"ABOLITION OF UNTOUCHABILITY - "Untouchability" is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden. The enforcement of any disability arising of "Untouchability" shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law."

(Ed: Worth noting that the monastery is only there because the Indian government gave it permission to be there, and it is still on ground belonging to the Indian government.)

Latest discrimination by the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT)

Dorje Shugden practitioners are now completely outcast from the FPMT in the West as well, even though the Founder of the FPMT, Lama Yeshe, practiced Dorje Shugden until his death, as did many of the lineage masters mentioned on their teachers page. Lama Yeshe’s senior disciples relying upon Dorje Shugden have already either had to go underground or give up their life commitment to Lama Yeshe in order to stay as a teacher or ordained person in the FPMT. Now they have to do this merely to attend teachings. This is a sickening echo to the Jim Crow “separate but equal” laws segregating blacks and whites in the American south, except that Shugden practitioners are now officially not just separate but unequal.

From the FPMT website: "Restriction: FPMT has recently issued a new policy regarding the Shugden practice in accordance with the wishes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Lama Zopa Rinpoche has expressed the wish "not to have a guru-disciple relationship with anyone who is practicing Shugden."

This is a clear policy of discrimination against other Buddhists. It is extraordinary that it has been enacted, let alone advertised on their website, in this 21st Century.

Since Lama Zopa is still the nominal head of the FPMT, this means that Tibetan politics has now irreversibly permeated the FPMT. It means that not even Lama Zopa's precious teachers, Trijang Rinpoche (or his reincarnation) or Lama Yeshe, would be allowed to attend Lama Zopa's teachings.

FPMT members have long accused the Dorje Shugden practitioners in the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT) of being a sectarian cult. The irony is that the NKT is an open and tolerant organization that has never turned anyone away from a teaching due to their religious beliefs. That this religious belief is the 400-year old practice passed down through generations of fully accomplished Buddhist masters, including half the lineage Gurus of the FPMT, is beyond comprehension.

Meanwhile, it is unclear whether or not Lama Osel (the reincarnation of Lama Yeshe) would countenance this latest extraordinary development. He has kept his distance from the FPMT for the last few years. The de facto head of the FPMT is now the Dalai Lama.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Part Three: Disputing Pico Iyer's version of events regarding the Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden

Part Three of setting the record straight on Pico Iyer's book, Open Road, The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama's personal feelings about Dorje Shugden

pp 135-138

One hot day in August 2005 in Zurich, at an eight day set of teachings on compassion the Dalai Lama was offering, the public address system suddenly declared- in German, Tibetan, and English- that followers of Shugden should take care not to attend the following morning, when the Dalai Lama was going to be offering some special initiations. Flyers were handed out to the same effect, and the announcement was broadcast again. Then, as he was nearing the end of his daily explication of the text, at 4pm, the Dalai Lama suddenly said “Today I am going to speak for 30 extra minutes. If that makes problems for you, please feel free to go. But I hope you will not mind my going on a little late today.” The audience, which could never get enough of him- many of its members had travelled across the world for these teachings- was clearly delighted.

Slowly at first, in long and forceful Tibetan sentences- rendered into German by a scholarly man on stage next to the Dalai Lama (and into other languages by unseen translators speaking into our transistor radios)- the Dalai Lama began to explain why he did not wish any followers of Shugden, to attend the special initiations, even if some of them had chosen, in spite of requests, to attend the other days teachings. For them to be present during these esoteric ceremonies would potentially impede the progress of everyone else, he said, and even do harm to the person giving the initiations, himself.

His voice began to rise, and soon he was speaking like thunder. Argument after argument followed as to why Shugden supporters should not come, and his bearing was as wrathful as I had ever seen him public. Occasionally his words would trail off, and the mild mannered Swiss professor in jacket and tie by his side would start translating the sentences; then, before the man could continue the Dalai Lama would start up again, drowning him out.

The audience laughed at such moments, but not with delight.

This is another oft-repeated lie from the Dalai Lama: Dorje Shugden harms himself and others. How can this be? One of the benefits of Buddhist refuge is that we are protected from harm inflicted by humans and non-humans, so if the Dalai Lama is a follower of Buddha Shakyamuni, how can he be harmed? Furthermore, how can others be harmed? This is a very irrational statement. The bogeyman under the bed is alive and well, appearing in the form of Dorje Shugden as far as the Dalai Lama is concerned. “Watch out, he is coming to get you....!”

I challenge the Dalai Lama to explain clearly and with logical reasons how and why he and others are being harmed by Dorje Shugden. He has been challenged on this before by Geshe Kelsang and other great Lamas, but has never replied.

This passage also clearly shows the strong negative feelings that the Dalai Lama has towards Dorje Shugden. What has Dorje Shugden even done to him except to save his life (by helping him to escape from Tibet)? How can you trust someone whose judgement is so erratic? One minute the Dalai Lama is your friend, the next he's seeing you as his worst enemy! This is completely contrary to everything that Buddha taught.

The Dalai Lama has a right to believe whatever he wants about Dorje Shugden, but he has no right to enforce his view in Tibetan society or elsewhere. Here Pico Iyer shows that the Dalai Lama is a religious dictator, getting on his soapbox and subjecting an unsuspecting audience who came to hear about compassion to a thirty-minute tirade about his hatred of a Buddhist Deity and its followers.

The Dalai Lama is always smiling for the Western media but here he showed his true colours, inducing nervous laughter from an audience who had never seen this man act so extremely in public before. The smiley mask had slipped and what they saw was not very pleasant.

Part Four coming soon.

Click here to read Part One and Part Two.

Posted courtesy of Lineageholder.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Demonstrations against the Dalai Lama in Nantes, France

Partying for Freedom in Nantes : A first hand account of three days of demonstrations against the Dalai Lama's ban of Dorje Shugden

I've just got back from a tiring but incredibly rewarding three days in Nantes. We were demonstrating outside the Zenith Metropole concert hall where the Dalai Lama was giving talks. I heard that they only allow two demonstrations per year at this venue, so we were fortunate.

The demonstrations began on the morning of the first day with a march at La Baulle, a local beach resort. 400 demonstrators took part and we were cheered and clapped by many locals and holiday makers who had taken advantage of a French national holiday to have a long weekend. We marched and chanted along the beachfront for an hour before boarding our coaches and heading off to the main demonstration site.

The weather was bright and sunny to match the mood of the 700 demonstrators, who were from Mexico, Spain, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, India, France, Holland, Ireland, UK and the USA. I'm constantly inspired by the dedication and determination shown by WSS demonstrators who travel long distances because they care so much about the future of Je Tsongkhapa's tradition and are totally determined to stop the Dalai Lama from destroying it.

We were delighted to be joined by a group of Tibetan Shugden practitioners, including Geshes and monks who had been expelled from their monasteries when Dorje Shugden practice was first banned in 1996. Along with many placards, the Tibetan flag flew over our enclosure once again.

Over the course of the three days, many brochures were given out and the situation explained to an often incredulous public. They had come to see an iconic man of peace, but when some heard they were actually attending the talks of a hypocritical and divisive religious dictator, they left.

The demonstrations get better and better and we are able to chant for longer. On the first day, cries of 'Dalai-Lama, menteur!' (Dalai Lama, liar!) and 'Dalai-Lama donne la libert̩ religieuse' (Dalai Lama, give religious freedom) were accompanied by the sound of clapping and water bottles being bashed together as impromptu percussion instruments that gave a light and joyful air to the proceedings Рsurely no one would think that we were angry as we all looked to be having such a good time? It was one big rave for religious freedom!

On the second day, drums and bongos appeared, giving a definite Latin feel to our chanted requests. Many demonstrators were dancing to the infectious rhythms and looked a lot happier than anyone who was attending the Dalai Lama's teachings ;-) Our chants went on for well over an hour at a time and at no time did anyone look tired or bored as we were jointly energised by our dedication to our cause and the party atmosphere that crackled through the crowd like high voltage electricity.

Unfortunately we didn't get close to the Dalai Lama as we had in Oxford, but each day as he arrived and departed from the venue he was greeted with 700 people simultaneously bellowing 'menteur!....manteur!', rolling like thunder across the arena.

However, on the final departure on Day Three, circumstances led to a golden opportunity. Access to the venue was obtained by crossing a footbridge over a main road, and each day the Gendarmes would close it off prior to the DL's departure, not allowing anyone to cross it, presumably to prevent someone from dropping something onto his car as it sped underneath. On that final day, many Shugden supporters arrived back late from the cafe on the other side of the road and were prevented from crossing the bridge. They lined the road on one side and the rest of us lined the road on the other. When the DL left, instead of driving him away from us as they had the day before, his motorcade came straight between the two lines of Shugdenites! He was greeted with exuberant roars of 'menteur!' - from both sides of the road this time! He can have been in no doubt after his three days in front of an adoring French public what we, who know of his dishonesty, thought of him.

Well done everyone; see you in Basel!

Posted courtesy of Lineage Holder.

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.

Monday, August 18, 2008

10 Questions for the Dalai Lama

1. Why do you deny that you are enforcing the ban on Dorje Shugden when there are videos of your speeches enforcing this ban?

2. If you are truly an advocate for human rights, why do you issue identity cards which make it extremely difficult for Shugden practitioners to get food, water, shelter, medical attention and travel visas?

3. Why do your followers view you as the Buddha of Compassion when you engage in such harmful actions toward your own people?

4. If you are truly an advocate for nonviolence, why don’t you ask your followers not to engage in violent actions toward Shugden practitioners?

5. Why do you teach your disciples that the heart practice of a Buddhist is reliance on the Spiritual Guide while you are having the thrones and images of your own Spiritual Guide removed from monasteries?

6. Why do you lie about Dorje Shugden, saying that he is a evil spirit harming the cause for Tibetan Independence when you have said that you are no longer working toward Tibetan Independence?

7. Why have you expelled over 900 monks from their monasteries for practicing what their lineage gurus have been teaching them in their monasteries for the last 350 years?

8. Why do you claim that you are following the example of the 5th Dalai Lama, when it was the 5th Dalai Lama who made the first statue of Dorje Shugden that can still be seen?

9. Why don’t you stop lying?

10. Why don’t you give religious freedom to Shugden practitioners?

Taken from Western Shugden Society blog by Golden Mala.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dalai Lama destroying legacy of one of Tibet's greatest Buddhist Masters

August 5, 2008

The Dalai Lama is destroying the legacy of one of Tibet’s greatest Buddhist masters

Ganden Lachi and Shartse monasteries are situated at Mundgod in South India. In both these monasteries stands a throne for Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, the spiritual master of the Dalai Lama.

Ganden Lachi and Shartse monasteries were threatened: "You must remove these thrones or else we will not hold the great prayer festival together in Drepung monastery."
It is quite certain that the thrones will be removed forever from the monasteries in order to appease the Tibetan Government in exile and the Dalai Lama.

Many old Tibetans used to display the photo of the Dalai Lama sitting with his two masters, Ling Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche. Nowadays, many Tibetans cover the photo of Trijang Rinpoche with another photo. They are afraid that they will be labelled "Shugden worshippers" if others merely see their photo of Trijang Rinpoche.

Tibetan Followers of the Dalai Lama Gather to Protest Against the Beijing Olympics and the Dorje Shugden Society at the Same Time!

Thousands of Tibetans from different parts of India and Nepal have gathered in New Delhi to protest against the Beijing Olympics. (To see what happened last time “peaceful” pro-Dalai Lama Tibetan monks protested against the Chinese, see Response to letter from the Australian Sangha Association.)

Many protesters have been saying amongst themselves: "Along with the protests against the Beijing Olympics, we should also attack the Dorje Shugden Society so that they will not file the writ petition in the court nor dare to protest against the Dalai Lama."

The Dorje Shugden Society has received many calls from sympathizers asking them to be cautious. The Society has alerted the Indian Government and Intelligence Agency.

Does This Remind You of the Cultural Revolution?

Also, out of jealousy, rich Tibetan families are now often denounced as "Shugden worshippers".

Posted Courtesy of the Dorje Shugden Society in New Delhi, India

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Demonstration against the Dalai Lama in Nantes, France: Aug 15-17

As Kelsang Pema, WSS spokesperson, said recently:

"The purpose of the Western Shugden Society is to bring the Dalai Lama's hypocrisy to the attention of the public in the hope that millions of Buddhists will be able to live in peace and harmony again. For this reason we protested in Philadelphia this week and will continue to protest around the world, wherever the Dalai Lama is scheduled to perform."

Why we were protesting the Dalai Lama, Philadelphia Daily News, July 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

Dalai Lama - the "God-King"

Regarding his ban of the practice of the Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden, the Dalai Lama said on 27 March 2006:

"... most of the concerned people have been able to make a proper choice between what to accept and what to reject in this matter, I felt an urge to thank you all for it. This activity which concerns the well being of our faith should not begin and end like the Chinese campaigns, which start suddenly to deal with an urgent current concern and then, after a while, calm down to eventually, sort of, die out. We should be able to carry forward to a successful conclusion the work that we have started in the matter.

Those who practice Dorje Shugden (called here "Dholgyal" in a derogatory fashion) have no recourse, nowhere to turn. Some are publicly named by the Dalai Lama so they can be dealt with:

There are, however, some cases of people pretending not to have heard what they have heard; especially, there are still some cases in which I feel that persons deliberately practice and propagate Dholgyal. With regard to them, all concerned should think with great caution. To mention specific names in Tibet, there are some local monasteries in Chamdo with their principal of Chamdo Monastery. I do feel that there are people there who are still strengthening their efforts to propagate the practice of Dholgyal Shugden. In the Dragyab region too, some such at the branch Dragyab Monastery and in the Markham region also, I feel that there are people who deliberately retain and propagate the practice. Denma Gonsar passed away last year. In the region where he lived too, there are people who continue and propagate the practice of Dholgyal. In the Rawatoe region of Nyethang there are among the monks and nuns coming to Lhasa from Markham, Dragyab, etc., people who propagate the practice. There are monks from the Markham region who have followed their tradition of joining the Ramoche Temple in Lhasa, where they are still propagating the practice of Dholgyal. Whatever is the case, if such people are designedly reciprocating in negative kind the gratitude we owe to the successive Dalai Lamas and are thereby knowingly showing nothing but scorn for the religious and political causes of Tibet and the kindness of the Dalai Lamas, I have no suggestions to offer. If, nevertheless, I am reiterating my emphasis on the issue, it is because we need to hold as objects of compassion people, if any, who do not know about the issue, or who have not heard about it, or who, out of ignorance, have committed a rash mistake, or who have been led astray by others. All those who know about it have a duty to explain and thereby ensure proper conformity regarding what to accept and what to reject. I too take this as very important."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wanted Posters of Tibetan Western Shugden Society supporters

On the bus from New York City to Madison, on the way to the Western Shugden Society Demonstrations in Madison, Wisconsin, July 19, 20, 21

I had the good fortune to be on the bus from New York to Madison with over 30 Tibetans. They were part of the Tibetan WSS contingent going there to protest the Dalai Lama in order to protect their spiritual lineage from his unpopular political ban.

After journeying for a few hours deep in the woods of Pennsylvania, the Tibetans in the front of the bus began to sing a folk song. Upon its conclusion the Tibetans in the back of the bus reciprocated with another folk song. After much whooping, hollering and applauding, the Tibetans in the front of the bus then came back with yet another folk song -- and so it went for over an hour.

We the Westerners felt quite culturally deprived as we realized that we would hardly be able to pull together even two complete songs before running out. The Tibetans were easily demonstrating the richness of their culture as well as their joie de vivre even in these trying times. It was a poignant and touching moment to hear these beautiful voices celebrating their culture. As Lobsang (not his real name) later said to me:

"They accuse us of being Chinese agents and against Tibet, but we love our country. Of course we want a free Tibet. This is why we bring the Tibetan flags to our demonstrations. It is because of the Dalai Lama's words that we have been thrown out of Tibetan exile communities. Now we are like refugees among refugees.”

All of a sudden, the atmosphere in the bus changed and the Tibetans began speaking amongst themselves in hushed tones. Some of them started texting and making phone calls. Clearly something had come up.

One of the Tibetans who spoke good English came and sat down next to me and explained that they had just received a text. All their photos had been posted on the wall of a Tibetan restaurant in Queens, wanted posters, along with sentences such as: "These people are paid by the Chinese", "These people are bad", and other implicit and explicit threats.

For a while the Tibetans discussed what to do, but then they decided that they could not run from this.

As Lobsang explained to me: “Where am I going to go now? I've already left India for America. There is no place else to run. Now is the time for me to make my stand. I have to do this even though I have a mother in India and they have threatened her, and told her that she must stop all contact with me, her son. My wife and children don't want me to do this but I feel I have no choice. The Dalai Lama and his government and security forces are destroying our lineage. They are killing our Gurus.

We have to take these threats in Queens very seriously. They have killed people. For example, it is an open secret -- everyone in the Tibetan community talks about this -- that Dagom Rinpoche was quite possibly poisoned in 2006. Two or three days afterward, one of the oracles of Dorje Shugden was killed in similarly mysterious circumstances. They can use sophisticated poisons; after all they are trained by the CIA. When two young and healthy pro-Shugden leaders die for such unexplained causes, this is a strange coincidence.
[NB No autopsy was performed and the cause of death remains unknown.]

Lobsang continued: “Most of the Tibetans on this bus do not have family in India. Their families are in Tibet. Most Dorje Shugden practitioners in the West who still have families in India feel that they are not able to stand with us in public demonstrations because it puts their families in danger. However, they call me and thank me for what we are doing. They say they want to help, for example with money.

There are hundreds of Tibetan Dorje Shugden practitioners in the New York area. There are hundreds in the Madison area. All of them are behind us, but mostly they cannot show their support in public.

In Tibet, there are still whole regions where people practise Dorje Shugden and so there is no danger in those areas at this time. However they have begun to bring the oath swearing to Tibet as well.

They are very skilful. They have one piece of paper that is kept hidden and the other one that is legal. The secret one is the Dalai Lama's saying that you have to sign this. The legal one is how would you like to have a vote in which you decide whether to do this or not?

Most of the Tibetans here used to be monks. We were all forced to leave our monasteries after what happened in 1996 when the Dalai Lama first implemented and enforced the ban on Dorje Shugden.

For example, for one of the Tibetans, what took place during the New York demonstrations [when thousands of Tibetans started shouting and pelting us with spit, water bottles and coins] was nothing in comparison to what happened to him in India. He said: "Oh that was nothing. When the monks demonstrated against the ban in 1996 in India, we were pelted with stones and sixty monks had to be taken to hospital."

All we want to do is practice our lineage in peace. Lately the Dalai Lama has been giving a new justification. He says: "I give religious freedom and they take it away." This is completely untrue. We don't want to restrict anyone's right to practice their religion. Why should we? We are just trying to protect our own lineage from being destroyed. Now we need to make a stand. We had a big meeting in which we decided this and now we will see it through. What else can we do?

All of us on this bus and elsewhere have had to flee India for America. Now that they are bringing in the signature campaign and destroying our lineage even here in America, I have nowhere else to run to. When you know that they are destroying your lineage and killing your Gurus, you have to make a stand. I have no choice. I don't care if I myself die. Of course I am worried about my wife, children and mother. But I have taken out life insurance so then I don't need to worry.

Many of these people here don't have a wife or children because they used to be monks until they were expelled from their monastery and home. I used to run my own monastic community. A small monastery that practiced Dorje Shugden. Now I work twelve hours a day, six days a week, in a restaurant.”

[Another Tibetan, who was actually a Rinpoche, laughingly told me that he used to debate for twelve hours a day in a monastery. Now he spends twelve hours a day cutting vegetables.]

Lobsang continued: “We were very happy to come to America because at least we have freedom here to do our spiritual practice. But even now here in America we are completely ostracized from our communities. My child cannot go to a school where there are other Tibetan children because they have been told to ignore any child connected with a Dorje Shugden practitioner.

We have been discussing these threats against us in Queens. And we have made a decision. We will contact Radio Free Asia and let them know that these threats have been issued and let them know that if anything should happen to any one of us, it will be the Dalai Lama's responsibility. Previously we would never have said it like this but now we have no choice. It is his responsibility to protect his people but instead he is doing the opposite.”

I reflected to myself on the reasons articulated in the recent New York Times article for the Dalai Lama's defence of his position on the practice of Dorje Shugden, where he had said that 99 percent of his people are with him and only 1 per cent against him. He said: "I am for freedom of expression so let them have freedom of talk."

It is considerably more than 1 percent of his people who are against him. Once upon a time, the practice of Dorje Shugden was relied upon by almost every Gelugpa, which was the largest of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism. However, even if it was only 1 percent, any normal Western politician would actually have said that the 1 percent is very precious to our democracy and that they need to be protected. They wouldn't just be given freedom to talk but freedom to practice.

The Dalai Lama's statement "give them freedom to talk" was actually patronizing and dismissive and clearly did nothing to curb the anger of the Tibetans listening to him, who came out in New York and promptly attacked us. It is amazing how people are bedazzled by his words and overlook his contradictory actions.

I thanked Lobsang for his explanation and first-hand stories. He replied: "I know it is useful to hear personal first-hand accounts. When you just read the various words, it is easy to develop doubts and therefore we feel the need to tell our stories.”

An increasing number of stories are coming to light. See the Western Shugden Society website for more videos and testimonies, including the recent documentary by the French news team.

Published by Western Shugden Society demonstrator and kind courtesy of Lobsang.

Can anyone explain the Dalai Lama's stance on non-violence?

Dalai Lama's stance on non-violence: In 1996, outside a monastery in southern India, a group of pro Dalai Lama supporters (including monks) surrounded hundreds of peaceful monks who had gathered to demonstrate against the Dalai Lama's ban on the mainstream Buddhist practice of Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden.

See the chronology of persecution of Buddha Dorje Shugden practitioners for more information on events leading up to this unhappy event.

The angry mob of pro Dalai Lama supporters, including many monks, threw stones and bricks at the Dorje Shugden practitioners. 60 of them were hospitalized with serious injuries.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Dalai Lama's Reasons for the Ban of Dorje Shugden

About the Dalai Lama’s Advice Concerning the Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden

The Dalai Lama has given three main reasons for banning the practice of Dorje Shugden. Before we reply to those, we should point out that although he says he “strongly discourages” it, there is an increasing body of evidence to show he has banned it. Witness the ID card – Tibetans are forced to swear that they will never venerate Dorje Shugden nor have any spiritual or material relationship with those who do or they will not be given an ID card (effectively making them refugees amongst refugees). The resulting ostracism and denial of basic human rights such as food, shelter and companionship has created great suffering in the Tibetan community and is clearly documented.

Even if the Dalai Lama’s views on the practice were reasonable or true, which they are not, it would still be unacceptable to force these views on others in this way, using his political power to impose his religious will. Imagine if any other leader forced this signature campaign on Muslims, or Jews, or Shamans? There would be a huge outcry and people would be reminded of Germany in the 1930s.

As for his reasons, they are refuted in detail by the words and experiences of thousands and thousands of practitioners past and present – for example, see and In particular, look at the article Replies to the three reasons for the Dalai Lama’s ban on the practice of Dorje Shugden.

Here, we answer them briefly.

1.“The danger of Tibetan Buddhism degenerating into a form of spirit worship”. The practice of Dorje Shugden is not spirit worship because Dorje Shugden is viewed as the embodiment of Manjushri, the Buddha of Wisdom, arisen in this form to protect Buddha’s teachings. All Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden practitioners, including the Dalai Lama’s teachers and millions of Gelugpa Lamas and practitioners of past generations, are actual Buddhists who practice the complete Dharma of Buddha Shakyamuni. It is untrue, patronizing and insulting to say that they are not. It would also mean that the teachings that the Dalai Lama himself is giving are non-Buddhist as these come from his teachers who were Dorje Shugden practitioners.
2. “Obstacles to the emergence of genuine non-sectarianism”. The Dalai Lama allegedly promotes interreligious understanding and harmony, just so long as Dorje Shugden practitioners can be the exception to the rule. Even today, for example, everyone can attend the “formal religious teachings” by the Dalai Lama – come along if you are a Muslim, a Catholic, or an actual spirit worshipper, everyone is welcome! But a Buddhist Dorje Shugden practitioner? You will be asked to leave. That the Dalai Lama says he is a man of peace and tolerance makes this Buddhist apartheid even more intolerable. There is absolutely no evidence to support the claim that it is Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden practitioners who promote sectarianism; they are simply asking for the freedom to practice their ancient tradition without being persecuted and shunned. The Dalai Lama hides behind his celebrity status and blames the victim for the crime.
3. “Especially inappropriate in relation to the well-being of Tibetan society”. Imagine if President Bush were to declare that someone’s spiritual practice was affecting his life and ability to govern and so it should be stopped? He would be considered dictatorial and idiotic. The idea that those who do their peaceful prayers to Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden for the protection of positive minds of compassion and wisdom is somehow detrimental to the government headed by the Dalai Lama and therefore should be stopped is likewise dictatorial and embarrassingly superstitious. The Dalai Lama is now 73 years old, in fine health, and he gave up the idea of Tibetan independence years ago. Scapegoating Dorje Shugden practitioners for the failure to win a free Tibet is a political ploy and, if it were not the popular charismatic Dalai Lama who was saying these things, this would have been laughed out of court a long time ago. It is not Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden practitioners who are destroying Tibetan unity, it is the Dalai Lama’s controversial and divisive actions of splitting families and communities down the middle.

The Dalai Lama has urged people to consider this and “to act accordingly”. We are confident that if you do take the time to critically examine his reasons and do some research, you will agree that they make no sense and that, even if they did, he has no right to impose these religious views on others through political processes such as the ID card.

Why would so many Tibetan and Western practitioners take all this time and expense to travel to demonstrate against one of the world’s most famous religious leaders if there were not some very urgent and compelling reason for doing so? We are here because there is a major problem in Tibetan exile society and it is just going to get worse if we do not have the courage to point it out.

For 30 years, Lamas and practitioners have tried to communicate with the Dalai Lama on this subject, and for 30 years he has either ignored or insulted us.

To say we are demonstrating because we are being paid by the Chinese is a lazy and laughable excuse – firstly because there is not a shred of evidence for this because it is not remotely true; and secondly because why would employed, educated and free citizens need Chinese money to make their voices heard?