Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ten Simple Reasons why Dorje Shugden is a Buddha

1. Dorje Shugden is the last incarnation in a lineage of enlightened Masters

Dorje Shugden arose from an incarnation lineage of enlightened Teachers. As the highly realized Master, Tagpo Kelsang Khedrub Rinpoche, said:

You have manifested in different aspects
As Indian and Tibetan Masters,
Such as Manjushri, Mahasiddha Biwawa, Sakya Pandita,
Buton Rinchen Drub, Duldzin Dragpa Gyaltsen, Panchen Sonam Dragpa, and many others.

Their life stories are explained in the book Heart Jewel. Since his lineage is enlightened, Dorje Shugden is a Buddha too.

2. Dorje Shugden could not be subdued by the 5th Dalai Lama or other Lamas

When Ngatrul Dragpa Gyaltsen, the last human incarnation, manifested as the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden (as he had predicted he would do), the 5th Dalai Lama initially developed the mistaken idea that he was a spirit and tried to subdue him through performing wrathful fire pujas. Although he and many high Lamas tried to destroy Dorje Shugden, they were not able to because he is a Buddha. This is explained by Tagpo Kelsang Khedrub Rinpoche in his praise of Dorje Shugden, Infinite Aeons:

Then, although four undisputed powerful Tantrikas,
With concentration, began wrathful rituals to strike you down,
Through the power of having completed Guhyasamaja's two stages,
You would not be silenced, and showed signs of heroism; praise to you!

3. Dorje Shugden’s form teaches the paths of Sutra and Tantra

Dorje Shugden's form teaches the complete stages of the path of Sutra and Tantra, and such qualities are not possessed by the forms of worldly beings.

He appears as a fully ordained monk
to show that the practice of pure moral discipline is essential for those who wish to attain enlightenment. In his left hand he holds a heart, which symbolize great compassion and spontaneous great bliss – the essence of all the stages of the vast path of Sutra and Tantra. His round yellow hat represents the view of Nagarjuna, and the wisdom sword in his right hand (like the one held by Manjushri and Je Tsongkhapa) teaches us to sever ignorance, the root of samsara, with the sharp blade of Nagarjuna’s view. This is the essence of all the stages of the profound path of Sutra and Tantra. He rides a snow lion, symbolizing the four fearlessnesses of a Buddha.

Explanation of his remaining features can be found in Heart Jewel, as can the specific
enlightened function of each of the thirty-two Deities of his mandala, which are explained in a prayer written by Sachen Kunlo, one of the great Sakya Lamas.

Only enlightened beings display a meaningful aspect that teaches the entire path to enlightenment. Therefore, Dorje Shugden is a Buddha.

4. Dorje Shugden is the incarnation of the five Buddha families

Dorje Shugden is the incarnation of the five Buddha families and appears in five forms that symbolize the five families. These forms are explained in Heart Jewel and are called 'the five lineages of Dorje Shugden'. The principal Deity, Duldzin Dorje Shugden rides a snow lion. Vairochana Shugden is white and rides an elephant. Ratna Shugden is yellow and rides a palomino horse. Pema Shugden is red and rides a turquoise dragon. Karma Shugden is dark red and rides a wrathful Garuda bird. These forms also symbolize Dorje Shugden's attainment of pacifying, increasing, controlling and wrathful actions and his main form as Duldzin symbolizes the supreme attainment – enlightenment itself.

Since Dorje Shugden is the manifestation of the five Buddha families, there is no doubt that he is the same enlightened nature as Buddha Vajradhara.

5. Dorje Shugden is the same nature as Manjushri, Je Tsongkhapa, Mahakala and Kalarupa

Dorje Shugden is the same nature as Je Tsongkhapa – they are the same person performing different functions. Many Dorje Shugden sadhanas state that Dorje Shugden is the embodiment of the “Guru, Yidam, and Protector”, where “Guru” refers specifically to Lama Tsongkhapa. When we practice the sadhana of Dorje Shugden, we are indirectly practising the Guru yoga of Je Tsongkhapa. Gelugpa practitioners who have a sincere trust in Dorje Shugden will have no difficulty in generating unshakeable faith in Je Tsongkhapa and his teachings.

Both Je Tsongkhapa (‘peaceful Manjushri’) and Dorje Shugden (‘wrathful Manjushri’) are manifestations of the Wisdom Buddha Manjushri, as are the Dharma Protectors four-faced Mahakala and Kalarupa. Therefore, they are all the same enlightened nature.

6. Dorje Shugden’s mandala Deities are the same nature as the body mandala Deities of Lama Losang Tubwang Dorjechang

The Deities of Dorje Shugden’s mandala are the same nature as the Deities of the body mandala of Lama Losang Tubwang Dorjechang, who is in essence Je Tsongkhapa.

Lama Losang Tubwang Dorjechang is the principal object of refuge in the blessed Gelug practice of Offering to the Spiritual Guide (Tib: Lama Chöpa), which comes from Manjushri’s Emanation Scripture. In this practice we visualize within his body the thirty-two Deities of Guhyasamaja. These thirty-two Deities manifest as the thirty-two Deities of Dorje Shugden's mandala, indicating that Dorje Shugden is the same nature as Je Tsongkhapa and Guhyasamaja and thus a fully enlightened being.

Of the Deities of the five lineages of Dorje Shugden explained above, the principal Deity is Duldzin Dorje Shugden, who is the manifestation of the aggregate of consciousness of Lama Losang Tubwang Dorjechang. The remaining four lineages are manifestations of Lama Losang Tubwang Dorjechang’s remaining four aggregates. Je Tsongkhapa himself therefore manifests as an enlightened Protector and retinue to protect his Ganden tradition.

7. The practice of Dorje Shugden was taught by Je Tsongkhapa in Tushita Pure Land

Dorje Shugden arose as the principal Protector of Je Tsongkhapa's doctrine over 300 years ago, at the time of the Fifth Dalai Lama, who composed the first verse of praise to him. However, the current system of empowerment and worship is more recent and comes from a great Lama called Tagpo Kelsang Khedrub Rinpoche. Lama Tagpo went to Tushita Pure Land where he met Je Tsongkhapa and requested a teaching. In response, Je Tsongkhapa lifted up the cloth covering the front of the golden throne on which he was sitting, and the five lineages of Dorje Shugden emerged. Dorje Shugden then transmitted the practice to Lama Tagpo, just as Maitreya had transmitted five major philosophical treatises to Asanga in Tushita Pure Land in earlier times.

Lama Tagpo later transmitted these instructions to Pabongkhapa Dechen Nyingpo, who passed them on to Trijang Dorjechang Losang Yeshe -- spiritual father and son. From Trijang Rinpoche, they passed to our present day Gelugpa Teachers.

8. Dorje Shugden has been relied upon by the highest Lamas, who themselves have been recognized as enlightened

Well-regarded Gelugpa practitioners of Dorje Shugden include the 5th Dalai Lama, Kelsang Thubten Jigme Gyatso 1743-1811 (a tutor to the 9th Dalai Lama), Losang Thubten Wangchuk Jigme Gyatso 1775 – 1813 (head of the Gelugpa in Mongolia), Ngulchu Dharmabadra, the Indian master Shakya Shri Bhadra, the 11th Dalai Lama 1838 - 1856 (who installed Dorje Shugden as the Protector of the Gelugpa tradition), Gyara Tulku Rinpoche, Tomo Geshe Rinpoche (regarded by the 13th Dalai Lama as an emanation of Je Tsongkhapa), Serkong Rinpoche (regarded by the 13th Dalai Lama as Vajradhara),Tagpo Kelsang Khedrub Rinpoche, Pabongkha Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, Ling Rinpoche, Khangsar Rinpoche, Tathag Rinpoche (in charge of the Tibetan Government after the death of the 13th Dalai Lama), Zong Rinpoche, Lobsang Tamdin, Ribur Rinpoche, Khen Rinpoche Losang Tharchin, Lati Rinpoche, Geshe Rabten, Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey, Khensur Rinpoche, Khechog Rinpoche, Dagyab Rinpoche, Gelek Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Yongyal Rinpoche, the 14th Dalai Lama (until he was in his forties), Dagom Rinpoche, Gonsar Rinpoche, Gangchen Rinpoche and others.

These Lamas themselves have all been recognized as realized, holy beings, with many thousands of Tantric disciples who revered them as living Buddhas.

The later Lamas were all direct or indirect disciples of the great Pabongkha Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche. The 14th Dalai Lama says that Pabongkha Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche were “wrong” to worship Dorje Shugden, but they have been recognized as emanations of Heruka and Amitabha respectively, and were the principal upholders of Je Tsongkhapa’s Gelug doctrine in their time; so how can they be wrong?

9. Dorje Shugden performs the twenty-seven deeds of a Buddha

The highly realized Master, Tagpo Kelsang Khedrub Rinpoche, composed a verse of praise:

With deep faith I prostrate to you, Vajradhara Dorje Shugden.
Although you have already attained the Buddha ground
And engage in the twenty-seven deeds of a Buddha,
You appear in various forms to help the Buddhadharma and sentient beings.

These twenty-seven deeds, explained in the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras, range from showing living beings the way to enter the spiritual path to liberation up to guiding them to the final attainment of Buddhahood. Since Dorje Shugden performs all these twenty-seven deeds, it is clear that he is a Buddha.

Some people say that Dorje Shugden has harmed practitioners who have strayed from the Ganden tradition, but there are no examples of this forthcoming, whereas there are many examples of how Dorje Shugden has protected living beings. For example, Dorje Shugden was responsible for the Dalai Lama being able to safely travel from Tibet to India in 1959.

Even today, there are many Buddhist practitioners with their own stories to tell of how they have been protected by this Dharma Protector. Dorje Shugden's name means 'Vajra Possessing Strength', indicating that he has great power and strength to spread Buddhadharma and to help people in these degenerate times.

10. Relying upon Dorje Shugden leads to supramundane results

The difference between a Dharma Protector and a worldly protector is that the former is an enlightened being whereas the latter is not. Worldly protectors have no ability to flourish the Buddhadharma nor to protect Dharma realizations in a practitioner's mind. As a Dharma Protector, Dorje Shugden’s principal function is to protect our Dharma practice, not to help our mundane affairs.

Dorje Shugden always helps, guides, and protects faithful practitioners by granting blessings, increasing their wisdom, fulfilling their virtuous wishes, and bestowing success on all their virtuous activities. Dorje Shugden does not help only Gelugpas; because he is a Buddha, he helps all living beings.

Dorje Shugden has removed obstacles and created the conditions for the extraordinary growth of Je Tsongkhapa's teachings, and most importantly realizations of those teachings, in this current age. Je Tsongkhapa's doctrine is now spreading to countries throughout the world. For example, any spiritual success enjoyed by NKT and FPMT practitioners is due to the blessings of this Buddha. (Lama Yeshe, the founder of the FPMT, relied sincerely on Dorje Shugden throughout his life.)

Those who rely upon Dorje Shugden know that their spiritual realizations come from his blessings. However, as with a relationship with any holy being, this is something that can only be experienced by someone who relies on him with strong faith over a long period of time, steadily building their connection with him.

Gyara Tulku Rinpoche from Drepung Loseling Monastery wrote a prayer of gratitude, whose sentiments are shared by Dorje Shugden practitioners worldwide:

First you gave me a highly qualified Spiritual Guide
Under whom I studied and practised Dharma.
When through following misleading advice I came close to entering wrong paths,
You immediately hooked me back into the correct path.

O Duldzin, King of the Dharma, I thank you for your kindness.
Your body is the synthesis of all Sangha Jewels,
Your speech is the synthesis of all Dharma Jewels,
And your mind is the synthesis of all Buddha Jewels.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

An open letter to Tsering, a monk at Sera Monastery

Dear Tsering,

I hope this letter find you well and happy. I'm responding to recent comments you made on Tenzin Peljor's blog 'refuting' the points made by Shugden practitioners on various Western Shugden Society websites.

In general, I find your letter to be defensive and high in accusatory rhetoric but low in references and logic that refute these claims by the Western Shugden Society. Just saying that someone is wrong does not make them wrong, and just saying that someone is right does not make them right. This is the main problem with the Dalai Lama's claims about Dorje Shugden for example – everyone believes him although he has provided no actual evidence. Such blind belief is not acceptable in Western countries where we like to examine evidence and think for ourselves. This also used to be the case for Gelugpas in the Tibetan tradition in previous times. Sadly, now, the Dalai Lama's word is truth and law and not questioned by most (not that they have any power if they disagree.)

You have provided no evidence to refute the points made by the Western Shugden Society. For example, with respect to the Dalai Lama coming from a Muslim village, Taktser, the only thing you say is:

Moreover, by calling Taktser, the hamlet in Amdo Kubum where His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama was born, as a Chinese Muslim village is implying that the area belonged to China, thus flagrantly contradicting the historical facts and holding out the historically Tibetan area to PRC.

If I understand you correctly, the only thing you are refuting is that Taktser is Chinese. It is agreed that at the time when the Dalai Lama was discovered, the village was, indeed, in Tibet. However, you have not given any evidence to refute that the Dalai Lama is from a Muslim village and family, so I can only assume that you accept this as true.

I'm personally not familiar with the booklet you quoted, 'Expressing the Ocean of Truth'. You say it is an anonymous publication, but, if so, that is hardly surprising. You cannot be unaware that if someone in feudal Tibetan society speaks out against the Dalai Lama, they can put themselves in grave personal danger. For example, it is well known that the 9th Panchen Lama had to flee Tibet in 1924 in fear of his life for having offended the 13th Dalai Lama. Gunthang Tsultrim was shot in 1976, allegedly for opposing the Dalai Lama's plans to unite all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism under him. Such retribution for opposing the Dalai Lama is well known. Tibet was no Shangri-la and certainly no democracy. There are many bloody tales of revenge in Tibetan history.

You attribute this book to Shugden practitioners, but on what evidence? This is like the TGIE accusing Shugden practitioners of murdering Ven Lobsang Gyatso and his assistants while providing no evidence. Shugden practitioners have been providing a useful scapegoat for the Dalai Lama and his followers for everything that goes wrong in Tibetan society, and congruent with that is the fact that anyone who dares criticize the Dalai Lama is immediately assumed to be a Shugden practitioner and/or the PRC! However, it is clear that it is not just Shugden practitioners who are critical of the Dalai Lama and unhappy with the direction he has taken, both secular and religious. There are documents and articles written by Tibetans that are implicitly, if not explicitly, critical of the Dalai Lama. The Mongoose Canine letter is explicitly critical, but there is also a growing amount of implied criticism on the Internet.

For example, there are many now who recognise the need for a genuine democratic system of government for the Tibetan people, and they aren't getting it. In an article about the separation of religion and politics, Samten Karmay says:

The separation of church and state does not imply abandoning the practice of the established religion. Far from it, it secures freedom of religious exercise and therefore the right of personal choice whether one wishes to practice a religion or not.
Freedom of religious exercise is clearly not what the Dalai Lama wants. He faces a dilemma because if he allows a truly democratic Tibetan society, he will no longer be able to dictate a ban on Dorje Shugden practice. It's probably for this and many other reasons that it's unlikely that there will be be true democracy in Tibetan society while he has power.

Samten Karmay concludes:
A secularization of the exiled community should contribute towards solving the unending sectarian problems and lead to true unity amongst the Tibetan people, without any further religious interference in the political domain.
In banning the practice of Dorje Shugden and making laws to prohibit it, we can see TGIE's political interference in the religious domain – but they are fulfilling the Dalai Lama's wishes. Samten Karmay's solution is to separate 'church and state' as a means of eliminating sectarianism, not banning the practice of Dorje Shugden, although to be fair he clearly agrees with the Dalai Lama's view.

You also say:

The second unjustifiable allegation that the pro-Shugden has made in their writings is about the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The writers in the same website, says that the monks in Sera and Ganden are not happy with the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. It further claims that the monks are wary of His Holiness again speaking on the "Shugden issue" and inspiring "provocation."

This assertion of the Shugden supporters are absolutely untrue. The visit, first of all, is heartily welcomed by all Tibetans from all walks of lives, including the monks of Sera monastery barring few handfuls of Shugden supporters. We as a monk community, feel it very fortunate to once again be in the presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and to blessed by his kindness and benevolence. And by saying so, I also meant many of those who follow Shugden propitiation, if their claims of respecting His Holiness are not mere empty words.

This clearly shows that you're not a Shugden practitioner and have no idea what suffering they're going through. You're completely out of touch with reality on this one, but that's hardly surprising since Shugden and non-Shugden monks are now segregated in the monasteries and encouraged to have nothing to do with each other. You don't even know the people you're living next to.

I personally find it amazing that, even though Tibetan Shugden practitioners are suffering because of the Dalai Lama's actions, they still find it in their hearts to love him. This is a testament to their spiritual realizations. The monks are apprehensive about his coming visit because it was the Dalai Lama's visit to the monasteries in January 2008 that re-ignited the bad feeling over the Shugden Issue and the subsequent 'referendum' that met no standards of democracy and that split the monasteries. It is the Dalai Lama himself who is causing all this suffering and disharmony due to his fanatical pursuance of his self-made policy of banning Shugden worship. He will not leave things alone, so of course the monks are afraid of his next visit. You can love your mother while at the same time knowing that because of her anger or mental illness she will still beat you. These monks are in a similar predicament. How can they be happy when the Dalai Lama himself said:
Recently monasteries have fearlessly expelled Shugden monks where needed. I fully support their actions. I praise them. If monasteries find taking action hard, tell them Dalai Lama is responsible for this.
The monks obviously fear that after the Dalai Lama's next visit, at best they will be put under more pressure to give up their practice and at worst they will be homeless. Knowing this, would you look forward to his visit, Tsering? You have security because you either never engaged in the practice of Dorje Shugden or you have renounced it. Can you imagine how it feels for a Buddhist monk to have their security threatened by their ordaining Master and Buddhist Elder simply because they refused to renounce their Protector practice that they took a commitment to do? They are keeping their spiritual commitments to their Spiritual Guides, and the Dalai Lama is not! It beggars belief. The Dalai Lama acts more and more like someone who's become an irrational control freak – who, under his power, would not be afraid? The Dalai Lama should be a refuge and protector of others, not an unpredictable threat.

This goes to show how crazy this situation is – it's the complete opposite of what it should be. Your complete lack of empathy for the Shugden monks displays your single minded devotion to the Dalai Lama and your lack of understanding of what he's doing to them. Why should the Shugden monks fear a famous Buddhist Teacher who preaches love, compassion, tolerance and acceptance unless he isn't practising what he's preaching? This is sad, but true.

It's laudable that the Dalai Lama is coming to the monasteries to grant ordination to those who could not afford to travel to Dharamsala, but how many of those would-be monks will be Shugden practitioners? The answer is “none” because he refuses to ordain anyone who practises Shugden. Denying ordination to those who practise Shugden unless they give up their practice is yet another despicable method of control.

Then you say:

Thirdly, whereas the retaliating against the actions of Shugden supporters is concerned, it would have been done a long time back if it were not His Holiness the Dalai Lama's advice to His followers to observe restraint.

The Dalai Lama started this problem and I don't see any restraint from his side. There was no restraint when he split the monasteries this year, precipitating the formation of the Western Shugden Society, their letter and demonstrations against the Dalai Lama's ban. Can't you see that the Dalai Lama is the one responsible for fomenting all this conflict and misery?

Please quote passages from his speeches where he said not to harm Shugden practitioners. Let's see some evidence. Rather, there is evidence for the opposite:

Recently monasteries have fearlessly expelled Shugden monks where needed. I fully support their actions. I praise them. If monasteries find taking action hard, tell them Dalai Lama is responsible for this. Shugden followers have resorted to killing and beating people. They start fires. And tell endless lies. This is how the Shugden believe. It is not good.
These are terrible falsehoods. Shugden practitioners of course have done none of these things. Does this sound like the Dalai Lama is really trying to create harmony between Shugden and non-Shugden Tibetans?! Are the Wanted Posters in Southern India, Dharamasala and even New York -- giving the addresses and photographs of Dorje Shugden practitioners -- encouraging restraint? On the contrary, they are there to encourage violence. The recent mob at the New York demonstrations did not seem to be showing any restraint. It was only due to the quick thinking and action of the New York Police in evacuating the demonstrators that a riot was averted. There are suspicions that this near riot was incited to teach the demonstrators a lesson.

In comments on a Tricyle blog, one Tibetan said:
Therefore you NKT/WSS people ought to be careful––New Yorkers are restrained compared to the reception you may get if you persist in staging media stunts in future, if you get thrashed, you may regret not heeding this tip.
In the 1990s, the Dalai Lama himself refused to acknowledge that wanted posters existed or that Dorje Shugden practitioners were being harmed. This is from the Swiss TV Documentary in 1998:
Reporter: Why don't you simply advise people not to worship the deity Dorje Shugden and instruct others to be tolerant and avoid violence towards those who continue to worship it?

Dalai Lama: Nobody harming! Nobody harming on them!

Reporter: But I've seen the calls for violence in the newspapers

Dalai Lama: No, no, no

Reporter: I've seen it with my own eyes

Dalai Lama: No, I think rumors!
How could the Dalai Lama deny what the reporter had personally witnessed? How stupid does he think people are? This is denial, not advising restraint -- he is simply denying that there is violence because it would destroy his reputation.

You conclude by saying:

The recent Special General Meeting in mid November that saw the representation of all walks of lives of the Tibetan people, reaffirmed the supreme leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and therefore, harping otherwise by few handful of Shugden supporters would do nothing good except distancing themselves from the mainstream Tibetan society.

I doubt that you are in touch with the thoughts of all your own countrymen and women. In her blog, a Tibetan woman called 'Mountain Phoenix' says of the meeting:

This meeting could have been both special and historic, if we had taken the bold and painful step that I believe is unavoidable: To allow the Dalai Lama to retire into the religious sphere, and set the stage for the separation of religion and politics.
Are you going to characterise all critics of the Dalai Lama's approach as Shugden-worshipping-Chinese-sympathisers? This is lazy and wrong and it prevents the Dalai Lama from seeing that there are many Tibetans who disagree with his stance on both political and religious issues. The comments from Tibetans on the Samten Karmay article are unanimously supportive of a separation of religion and politics, so there are many who disagree with you concerning the 'supreme leadership of His Holiness'.

I'd like to say that, despite refuting your obvious wrong claims, I personally have no interest in Tibetan politics. My only interest is the religious freedom of Shugden practitioners. I wish all Shugden practitioners to be able to practise free from slander or persecution by the Dalai Lama.

On Behalf of Concerned Dorje Shugden Practitioners in Europe and India

(The author first offered this open letter to Tenzin Peljor's comments section (on his anti-Shugden website, Western Shugden Society Unlocked), but Tenzin Peljor declined to post it. He claimed that Tsering had sent his letter originally to this blog, but we never received anything from Tsering.)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Red Guards of Tibetan Buddhism

Resolutions by the Tibetan Youth Congress

This article shows how (at least certain elements of) the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) have taken it upon themselves to be the mouthpiece of the Dalai Lama and the TGIE and to pursue a witch hunt against Shugden practitioners. Here are a few examples:

Tibetan Youth Congress Enforces Dalai Lama's Ban on Dorje Shugden
Human Rights Violations of Dorje Shugden Practitioners
Background, history, analysis and stories about the Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden

It is worth noting that the
Dalai Lama's younger sister Jetsun Pema was one of the founders of the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC). His youngest brother, Ngari Rinpoche, was the second president of the TYC. Ngari Rinpoche's wife Rinchen Khando Choegyal served as the president of Tibetan Women's Association (which has also harassed Shugden practitioners).

(1) Agenda of Meeting of the TYC

The local and central TYC will perform pujas for the Dalai Lama. When the Dalai Lama pays a visit to a local group, the local TYC must take care of the Dalai Lama's well-being and be very cautious of the followers of Dholgyal (Shugden).

Without any shame, the followers of Dholgyal are accomplishing the wishes of the Chinese government by directly protesting against His Holiness the Dalai Lama and so on. What a challenge for the Tibetan Youth Congress to carry!


On the basis of our firm stance and resolution in 1996, over thirty thousand members of the TYC will take an oath and give their signature, to be witnessed by the Three Jewels, never to share religious and material resources with the followers of Dholgyal. Under the decree of the Tibetan Youth Congress, the local TYC must take oaths and give their signatures on the above matter.

Recently Dholgyal followers, the so-called Dorje Shugden Devotees Religious and Charitable Society, have brought legal action against the Dalai Lama and the Kalon Tripa, leveling baseless accusations against them. The TYC will single-pointedly protest against this. Our general body will send a letter that will reject and protest [the writ petition by Dorje Shugden Society].

With the stamp of TYC and signature of TYC president Tsewang Rigzin
July 5, 2008

(2) Letter to the Dorje Shugden Society of Delhi

To the executive members of Dorje Shugden Society of Delhi:

Recently, the 39th General Meeting of the governing body of the Tibetan Youth Congress was held in Kulu Manali, Himachal Pradesh, from July 1 to 5 of 2008. Ninety-two members from 45 local enclaves of India, Nepal, Bhutan, Taiwan and so on took part in this meeting. We have thoroughly discussed the principally related political agendas.

In the 2nd resolution of Agenda no 5, the governing body has resolved to send a letter to the effect that the Tibetan Youth Congress reject and single pointedly protest Dholgyal followers -- so called Dorje Shugden Devotees Charitable and Religious Society -- for taking His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche to the court on the baseless allegations.

During the time our brothers in Tibet, sacrificing one's life, engage in tremendous campaign of saving Tibet and protest against China, to our sadness, you have reversed the black and white, and accomplished the necessities of the Chinese government by protesting and criticizing when the Dalai Lama travels to the foreign country. Not only that but we, the head and locals of the Tibetan Youth Congress, do not accept that you have sued them with the baseless allegations, regardless of the kindness of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Kalon Tripa and Himachal government. Furthermore, this governing body will show the clear expression of our single-pointed protest.

In future we will remind you not to mistake friend and enemy, and to know the manner of maintaining Buddhadharma and living beings, as well as to know the purpose and benefit of the instructions given to the Tibetan public by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

39th General Meeting of the Governing Body of the Tibetan Youth Congress
July 5, 2008
Tserwang Rizin, Chairman
Seal and Signature
CC: Indian Government, Himachal Government, Private Office of the Dalai Lama, Department of Security of Tibetan government in exile.

(Letter sent on September 18, 2008)

The patriotic fervor, blind devotion to their leader, and elements of their behavior (threatening letters, wanted posters, arson, violence) ironically and sadly is reminiscent of the Red Guards of China. It is worth pointing out that these particular members of the Tibetan Youth Congress (and Women's Association) are not behaving like Buddhists in their political activities of repressing Shugden practitioners -- they are behaving like thugs.

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.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Critique of 'Why the Dalai Lama Matters' by Robert Thurman, Part 4

Continued from Chapter 2: What has the Dalai Lama Accomplished?

The next section is 'accomplishments and impacts'. Here, Thurman waxes lyrical on the Dalai Lama's achievements in various spheres but, as before, is somewhat prone to exaggeration. For example:

If you understand Buddhism not merely as a world religion, religion as primarily a system of belief and the Dalai Lama as being a great philosopher in the tradition he claims as his own, that of the Seventeen Great Professors (Pandits) of Nalanda University (the great Monastic University of classical India), then he emerges not as a religious preacher but as a world teacher. The Dalai Lama can be classified as someone like Albert Einstein, Arnold Toynbee, Bertrand Russell or Stephen Hawking who advances human knowledge from a philosophical and scientific point of view. If Buddhism is one third ethics, one third psychology and religion as therapy, and one third scientific wisdom, then the Dalai Lama brings new aspects of those three values to the world. (page 39)

These days the Dalai Lama talks about 'the Nalanda Tradition'. He mentioned it again in an
interview in Nottingham in May 2008:

So some people criticize me, I banned that sort of spirit worship; that is not true. I just simply make
clear what is the reality, whether as we are follower of Nalanda tradition, we are not spirit worshipper. So there is a sort of danger, I feel in my eye, the degenerating, the pure Nalanda tradition eventually become like spirit worship. That is not good.

Thurman says that the Dalai Lama claims this tradition as his own. These days, the Dalai Lama
does not talk about the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism so much as the Nalanda tradition. This term is his own invention. The Dalai Lama was not educated in the 'Nalanda tradition' but in the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, a tradition he seems to have disowned and for which he shows increasing disrespect.

The Dalai Lama's Junior Tutor and Guru is Trijang Rinpoche,
the Spiritual Guide of a whole generation of Gelugpa teachers from the highest Lamas to the most humble novices. The Dalai Lama has ordered Trijang Rinpoche's thrones to be removed from Ganden Lachi and Shartse monasteries. The thrones represent the continuing presence of this great Master, so what is the Dalai Lama saying by ordering their removal? Even though Trijang Rinpoche treated the Dalai Lama as his own son and cared for him in every way, how does the Dalai Lama repay that kindness? By branding him as a 'spirit worshipper', telling everyone he was 'wrong, yes wrong' and having his thrones removed from two monasteries where he was revered.

The Dalai Lama is clearly trying to destroy Trijang Rinpoche's reputation. In Buddhism, respect
for one's own Teacher is vital. It is said to be the root of the path. The Dalai Lama has cut his root. Even so, he continues to travel around the world, giving the teachings from the very lineage he has turned his back on.

Where does the Dalai Lama's knowledge come from? It comes only from Buddha through the
Dalai Lama’s teachers, whom he has thoroughly disrespected by calling them 'spirit worshippers' and enabling the persecution of their followers. The Dalai Lama is not the source of these teachings. Whereas the theory of relativity as formulated by Einstein was a unique achievement that came from his own thought experiments, if the Dalai Lama is teaching Buddhism correctly, he has nothing doctrinally “new” to offer. Buddha's insights were uniquely established two and a half thousand years ago and the content is non-negotiable. Buddha is the true genius and advancer of human knowledge, but he's not given the credit – the Dalai Lama takes the credit in Thurman's mind.

Recently, at an FPMT Center in Deerfield Beach, Florida, they proudly advertized that the
teachings they gave were in the “lineage of the Dalai Lama”. But what is this lineage exactly? Does it begin and end with the Dalai Lama?

Buddhism is so much more than philosophy, science or 'religion as therapy' (a curious choice of
words!). Boiling it down to mundane subjects of study seems to do Buddhism a grave disservice. Maybe it is the academic in him, but Thurman here misses the magic of Buddhism. No amount of philosophy, science or therapy can lead to permanent liberation from suffering and the full enlightenment of Buddhahood.

Later, Thurman gives us some insight as to why he wrote his book:

The main accusation against the Dalai Lama that surfaces from time to time around the world is
that of being ineffective. People have said, “What has the Dalai Lama ever accomplished, for all his running around the world meeting celebrities?” In fact, answering that question is one of the main drives of this book. (page 45)

It is clear what the Dalai Lama has accomplished by doing this – celebrity and power. And
Thurman seems to be justifying this lifestyle (or defending it, not sure which). While it is true that the Dalai Lama has been so far ineffective in his political work for Tibet, no doubt he will also receive more accusations against him in the future as a result of his illegal and unconstitutional actions. It could be argued that the main accusation against the Dalai Lama already is, 'Why is he lying?' or 'Why is he using Buddhism to maintain his own power and position at the cost of harmony in the Buddhist community?' Not surprisingly, Thurman does not address these questions.

He has been working on and gradually introducing a democratic constitution in the exile
community as a way to live in exile and a model of self-rule whenever it is recovered in Tibet. It is a secularist constitution based on the separation of church and state, in which all religions are equal under the law (p 51)

Since 1959 the Dalai Lama has had ample opportunity to introduce a democratic system of
government into the Tibetan community in exile. Why hasn't it happened? Could it be because he wants to continue the union of politics and religion for his own ends?

More and more Tibetans see the faults with this system. For example, in an article called “He Has
Got It Wrong” (on pro-Tibetan Phayul, taken from the Times of India), Eliot Sperling says of the recent meeting (November 2008) about Tibet’s future in Dharamsala:

And while the Dalai Lama has repeatedly stated that the Tibet issue is not about him but about all
Tibetans, the end result of the special meeting bears out China's stance: in spite of his democratic rhetoric, the Dalai Lama has never empowered Tibetans to feel comfortable taking stands at variance with him. Accusations of disloyalty to the Dalai Lama remain a weapon in political and personal feuds in Dharamsala.

In her article commenting on this newspaper opinion piece, a Tibetan woman calling herself Mountain Phoenix says:

So when we look at the outcome of this “special meeting”, there was nothing special about it, let
alone “historic”. The ultimate decision was again not to decide but to leave the decision to the Dalai Lama.

In the article 'Tibetan Religion and Politics', posted on Phayul, Samten G Karmay makes a powerful case for separation of church and state based upon the incompatibility of the role of head of democratic government with being a spiritual master:

In this theocratic system the head of the state was not only the political leader of the people, but
also their spiritual master. In other words, the whole population was subjected and put in the position of spiritual disciple to the master. Within the context of this essentially religious bond no devotee would ever dream of opposing the view of the master, because that would be tantamount to breaking the sacred relationship between the master and the disciple. How does this fit with the discussion of democracy among the Tibetans in exile for whom HH the Dalai Lama is the political leader, but who nonetheless bestows on them the Kalachakra initiation?

This ties in with the Mongoose-Canine letter, in which the writer says:

Moreover, to challenge Lamas you have used religion for your aim. To that purpose you had to develop the Tibetan people’s blind faith. In the end you adopted the same activity that you yourself had pointed out was mistaken in other Lamas. For instance, you started the politics of public Kalachakra initiations. Normally the Kalachakra initiation is not given in public. Then you started to use it continuously in a big way for your politics. The result is that now the Tibetan people have returned to exactly the same muddy and dirty mixing of politics and religion of Lamas which you yourself had so precisely criticised in earlier times.

The implication is that the Dalai Lama has used his position as a Spiritual Leader through
Kalachakra initiations to keep the Tibetan people docile because they would never challenge their Teacher with whom they have 'samaya' (sacred bond) through initiation. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso of the New Kadampa Tradition has been branded 'a samaya breaker' for the very reason that it is claimed that he received this initiation from the Dalai Lama in 1954 and has subsequently spoken out against him (N.B. he never received this initiation).

The point of the Dalai Lama using Kalachakra for political purposes is mentioned again later in
the Mongoose-Canine letter:

Nowadays you have given the Kalachakra initiation so many times you have made the Tibetan
people into donkeys. You can force them to go here and there as you like. In your words you always say that you want to be Gandhi but in your action you are like a religious fundamentalist who uses religious faith for political purposes.

Samten G Karmay's article was well read and received many supporting comments from
Tibetans. Some examples:

religion and politics should be separated in order to have a true democratic system.people will
more freely speak out when its a religious person most people don’t want to speak freely.the present tibetan govt needs to listen to people and stop calling people who give their opinion as chinese spy etc.this is not democracy


As you know, Tibetan government in exile, in realty there is no democracy. It's like still old Tibet
style empire rules, Lama Rules or one of the linage rule. One man leader for ever and at the same time they call it real democracy. In fact no Democracy and it's like banana democracy. Young educated Tibetans have no chances to become a Top leader of Tibet as a 'President".


You are right -- majority Tibetans has no power to tell or comment to the head of the exile.
Because our head leader is Religious one. One of the four linage of mahayana Tibetan Buddhism. If you do so there is Dhamtsik Samaya breaking between a guru and the deciple.

Since the Dalai Lama alone has the power to determine whether democracy is introduced or not,
and there is no democracy, the facts speak for themselves. Thurman should not whitewash this situation by pretending that the Dalai Lama is pro-democracy when his clear lack of action in this area shows that he is not. Either the Dalai Lama is fooling Thurman, or Thurman is fooling us.

Thurman talks about the Dalai Lama's enthusiasm for inter-religious dialogue. Why then doesn't the Dalai Lama want to talk to Dorje Shugden practitioners to resolve the big schism in his own community? Their pleas for understanding are ignored. The Religion section in the recent Memorandum has fine words for the Chinese, but surely the Dalai Lama and his government should get their own house in order first?

Thurman also mentions that the Dalai Lama defends the Muslim religion. In these times, when
Muslims tend to be demonized as terrorists due to the actions of a relative minority of fanatics, this is a laudable thing to do. But surely it would have been worth mentioning here that the Dalai Lama has a natural sympathy with Muslims because he is from a Muslim family and was born in a Muslim village? It is a curious omission.

Thurman talks about 'what we might call the magic of the Dalai Lama's special presence' (page
62). He reports that 'the effect of his presence is galvanizing; people often burst into tears, forget what they were planning to say, commonly change their preconceived ideas completely'. Is it a good idea to mention this? Thurman's intention is probably good, and what he wants to show is how his Guru’s presence has a powerful effect on others’ minds. However, there have been many charismatic leaders throughout history who have had powerful speech and been able to get people to do what they want, and this has not always worked out to their advantage. Does Thurman really want us to think that the Dalai Lama has some power to influence others, and maybe even to be able to control their minds?

It's a curious thing to talk about and, more than
anything else, it indicates a somewhat unexamined faith. Thurman doesn't see how it could be misunderstood, which is a little naïve of him. If people said such fanatical things about Geshe Kelsang, no doubt his critics would jump on the bandwagon with their accusations of 'mind control cult'; so why do no alarm bells sound when people talk so glowingly of the control the Dalai Lama exerts over others?

Thurman talks extensively about Tibetan, Tibetans and the Tibetan cause, which is also the
other main motivation for his writing this book. He's obviously trying to coax Chinese sympathizers to see a different view of the Dalai Lama with one aim in mind – the fulfilment of the Dalai Lama's wishes for autonomy for Tibet within China. This is where the book is quite political and a little obvious in its intentions. Thurman is saying “look, the Dalai Lama is really a very special guy and you can trust him, so give us back Tibet!”

Whilst not wanting to get too political, I have to mention an obvious lie about the Dalai Lama, the
Tibetan resistance, and the CIA because it has implications for Thurman's trustworthiness and honesty. Thurman says:

Tibetan warriors did fight for over a decade as guerrillas (with a low level of support from CIA until
betrayed by Henry Kissinger and President Richard Nixon), against the Dalai Lama's instructions, but admittedly with his admiration for their bravery.

Does Thurman really believe this version of events? There is evidence that the Dalai Lama
himself was on the CIA payroll in the 1960's, to a tune of $186,000 per annum. From the Wikipedia article on the 14th Dalai Lama:

In October 1998, The Dalai Lama's administration acknowledged that it received $1.7 million a year in the 1960s from the U.S. Government through the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and also trained a resistance movement in Colorado (USA).

According to a report in a Vancouver newspaper:

Funds to pay this army were funnelled through the Dalai Lama and his organization, which received US$1.7 million a year, later reduced to $1.2 million. (Of this, the Dalai Lama himself was paid $186,000 a year. But no one has ever suggested that he pocketed it. The money was used to operate his exiled government's offices in Geneva and New York.) The last year in which the stipend was paid out was 1974. By then, of course, U.S. policy had changed to one of embracing China, not antagonizing it.

According to Thurman, the guerrillas fought ‘against the Dalai Lama's instructions’; yet the Dalai Lama's administration received the funds to pay for the army from the CIA, with the Dalai Lama himself being paid. No one can claim that the Dalai Lama didn't know what was going on, or that it was against his instructions.

From an interview with the Dalai Lama with the New York Times in 1993:

Q: In Tibet, from the late 1950's until the early 1970's, one of your brothers was involved in leading
a guerrilla movement against the Chinese. In fact, the guerrillas were supported by the C.I.A. How did you feel about that?

A: I'm always against violence. But the Tibetan guerrillas were very dedicated people. They
were willing to sacrifice their own lives for the Tibetan nation. And they found a way to receive help from the C.I.A. Now, the C.I.A.'s motivation for helping was entirely political. They did not help out of genuine sympathy, not out of support for a just cause. That was not very healthy.

The Dalai Lama says “they found a way to receive help from the CIA” as if the Dalai Lama and
the Tibetan Administration knew nothing about it; but they were on the payroll! The Dalai Lama is being disingenuous, as is Thurman in misrepresenting events. The aim is to maintain the Dalai Lama's public image as someone who does not agree with armed struggle, which is obviously wrong.

Things become even more nefarious when the Mongoose Canine letter states:

The problem of your government splitting the Tibetan guerilla fighters in Mustang. In fact, they
were originally organised by your government with the help of the CIA. In 1969, as a consequence of Nixon’s policy with China, you provoked a fight among the Tibetan guerillas over their weapons. This fight finally destroyed them.

What then are we to make of Thurman's statement:

But overall, in spite of massive oppression, Tibetans have maintained the non-violence the Dalai
Lama has asked of them. The greatness of this achievement cannot be overstated (page 74)

Thurman seems attached to Tibet and what it represents in his mind, as he is attached to the
Dalai Lama and what he represents. Such attachment is obviously going to influence his views. Either Thurman is deliberately misrepresenting events, or he is genuinely in the thrall of the Dalai Lama and Tibet and ignoring obvious truths. This is also evident when he says:

Nowadays the world is spinning out of control in a “war on terror” which is endless in principle
because violence simply breeds more counter-violence. Then, to our amazement, we encounter a people who eschew terrorism and violence from the beginning. (page 74)

Michael Parenti is an American political scientist, historian and media critic whose article Friendly
Feudalism: The Tibet Myth explains the excesses of Tibet as a feudal society. The view that Tibet was some kind of Shangri-la filled with happy, non-violent practising Buddhists is a complete myth.

As for 'eschewing violence from the beginning', there was almost a riot in New York in July 2008
when a large group of Tibetans who had just been to a teaching by the Dalai Lama surrounded a much smaller group of Western Shugden Society protestors to spit, jeer and throw things. The protestors had to be evacuated by New York Police for their own safety. There have also been many other instances of violence against Dorje Shugden practitioners, some of which are itemized on the Dorje Shugden Controversy article in Wikipedia.

Again, there are many more points in this chapter that merit comment, but we will finish on something positive -- the Dalai Lama's concluding statement from his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech:

I pray for all of us, oppressor and friend, that together we succeed in building a better world
through human understanding and love, and that in doing so we may reduce the pain and suffering of all sentient beings. Thank you. (page 95)

We pray that the Dalai Lama will live by these words and stop all the problems he has created in
the Buddhist community through his divisive actions. Dalai Lama, please give religious freedom to Dorje Shugden practitioners.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden Blogs in German, Spanish and Dutch

Three new Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden blogs, for those of you who speak German, Spanish or Dutch...

Weisheits Buddha Dorje Shugden Blog
Der offizielle Blog der Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden Website mit News, Videos und Hintergründen zur Dorje Shugden Kontroverse

Doryhe Shugden Blog
El blog oficial del Buda de la Sabiduria Doryhe Shugden, traiendo las ultimas notcias, videos, e informacion de la contreversia de Doryhe Shugden.

Dalai Lama Leugens
Zonder te vergeten dat liefde, mededogen en wijsheid de basis zijn van het pad naar verlichting is dit een oprechte poging om de Ganden overleveringslijn van Je Tsongkhapa te beschermen tegen de leugens en laster verspreid door een politiek leider in een monniksgewaad.