Sunday, December 13, 2009

An Exhortation to Ostracism with False Reasons

We have recently received a translation of a letter from Geshe Tashi Tsethar of Sera Monastery offering invalid reasons to ostracise Dorje Shugden practitioners from Tibetan society and encouraging everyone to do so.

Here is the text of this shameful document:

Not allowed to share religious and material relation with Dholgyal worshippers!

To the public, ordained and laity, of Tibetan and Himalayan regions;

I will give brief explanation on the reason why [you] are not allowed to share religious and material relation with Dholgyal or Shugden worshippers.

...With regard to the political advises and important instructions on the worship of Dholgyal since 1970 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Bikshu who is the emanation of Avalokiteshvara, all Tibetans outside and inside Tibet who recognize Buddha as undeceivable savior, have recanted worship of Dholgya and taken oath not to worship in future, without frittering their wisdom of distinguishing savior and non-savior. They are worthy of praise because they did great virtuous for this and next life... Yet, without being satisfied to such extend, all the ordained and laity, the followers of our protector [Dalai lama], should initiate campaign widely...

...In 2008, in the compassionate speech given by His Holiness during the inaugural ceremony of Assembly Hall of Drepung Monastery, he instructed not to share religious and material relation with Dholgyal worshippers. As such, all Gelug monasteries including three ‘Great Seats’ complied with his word; and immediately 99 % did Samantabatra, picking up the yellow vote-stick. The worshippers of evil spirit Dholgya launched defamation against His Holiness the Dalai Lama. They fed propaganda that this was forced by His Holiness and Tibetan Government in exile. Nevertheless, no result is possible than merely pleasing China Communist Country. The instructions given by His Holiness at date are consistent with democracy and truth. There is no word of order by force...

...In the wake of oath campaign conducted in the respective monasteries, you the unreligious have already expelled from your monastery. Therefore, that the religious monks would not share religious and material relation with you is consistent with Vinaya...

...Whether you are an ordained or laity, regardless of four traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, it is the intention of Tantra that you are not allowed to share religious and material relation with Dholgyal followers who blame, condemn and annoy Vajra Guru. As such, you should aware that Gelugpa is not only one who ought to fulfill this. If you don’t do so, you will face root downfall of Secret Mantra vow, which is “ Relying upon malevolent friends”.

...You, the leaders and followers of Dholgyal, if you examine these texts with respect for few days, you are possible to create imprint in order to release from this non-religious.

... without falling into the trap of deception and finance, and in keeping with freedom and Buddha’s intention, all Tibetans and Himalayans who have respect and faith in His Holiness the Dalai Lama must decide to cut the religious and material relation with them.. In this regard you must endeavor since it is a superior source of benefit and happiness.

In the end I request holy beings of all Traditions, Gaden Tri Rinpoche, Shartse Choeje, Jangtse Choeje, abbots of monasteries, Geshes and Tulkus, and administrators, to provide clear instructions to monk community from time to time.

I appreciate if you photocopy and distribute.

Geshe Tashi Tsethar,

Drati Khamtsen, Sera-Jey
November 18, 2009

This is yet more evidence, as if we needed more, that the Dalai Lama completely lacks compassion because this letter would not have been issued without his request and total agreement of the content. While he travels around the world hypocritically teaching about love, compassion and tolerance, he is secretly waging a war against Dorje Shugden practitioners, the students of his root Guru Trijang Dorjechang, for his own political purposes. He must not be seen to be doing this, so he gets others, such as Geshe Tsethar, to do his 'dirty work' for him. The Dalai Lama does not have the four arms of Avalokiteshvara, rather he has the two faces of a deceitful politician wearing a spiritual mask, abusing the Dharma for his own position and power.

The intention behind this letter is harmful and the reasons given as justification are absurd. Geshe Tsethar tries hard to justify the persecution of Shugden practitioners as a 'democratic action', but in reality all the negativity towards Dorje Shugden and his practitioners is the work of the Dalai Lama and his followers alone. It is they who have created this problem of disharmony in the Buddhist community. Also, astoundingly, the Geshe praises those practitioners who have recanted the worship of Shugden saying that they created great virtue for this and future lives when, in reality, they have had no choice but the abandon the practice under great pressure from the Tibetan Government in Exile, and in so doing they have broken their commitments to their Gurus. How is this great virtue? It is great non-virtue and more lies from the Dalai Lama.

How can the Dalai Lama be a 'Vajra Guru' when he is not keeping even the most basic commitment of Buddhist refuge, to abandon harming others? For years the Dalai Lama has granted Kalachakra empowerment in large public gatherings in contradiction to Buddha Vajradhara's intentions. His reason for doing this has been to bolster his own reputation and to create samaya (a holy bond between Teacher and disciple) with all these disciples so that he can control them. As it says 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. Your image is the Dalai Lama, your mouth is Mahatma Gandhi and your heart is like that of a religious dictator.

In Geshe Tsethar's letter, we see the most shameful and cynical exploitation of this sacred bond in order to stop Tibetans from associating with the Shugden practitioners who the Dalai Lama has declared (somewhat inexplicably) to be his enemies. A true bodhisattva has no enemies but views all living beings with kindness and love. This is another reason why the Dalai Lama is most certainly not Avalokiteshvara - he's no bodhisattva because he has enemies. These innocent spiritual practitioners have annoyed the 'Vajra Guru' because they will not obey his irrational command to abandon a holy practice given to them by their Gurus. The Dalai Lama's disregard of sacred commitments and his annoyance are clear indications that he is not the Buddha or bodhisattva other people say he is.

This letter does offer a ray of hope - it would not have been written if complete ostracism of Shugden practitioners had already taken place in Tibetan society. It has been seen in the past that when the Dorje Shugden issue has died down and the monasteries were not discriminating against the practitioners of this Deity, the Dalai Lama came along to whip up sectarian hatred once again. This last happened in January 2008 when the furore of the 1996 ban of the practice had subsided and, to accomplish his goals, the Dalai Lama has even coerced and threatened the Abbots of Gelugpa monasteries. We can only surmise that because this letter has had to be been written, the Dalai Lama's wish to isolate and harm Shugden practitioners has not been carried out to his satisfaction. Perhaps their families have too much love and compassion to follow the Dalai Lama's hateful edicts. I am sure they wish this problem would just go away.

It is to be hoped for the sake of millions of Dorje Shugden practitioners who have already suffered greatly at the hands of this self-serving politician wearing a spiritual mask that they do not heed his latest sectarian call based on wrong religious arguments.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Is 'A Great Deception' a Political Book?

Some critics of the Western Shugden Society have claimed that its agenda is a political one and that the new book, 'A Great Deception' is a political book.

So, is this the case? The answer is, quite simply, 'no'. The reason is that the stated aims of the book are spiritual:

  • To liberate millions of innocent practitioners of the Buddhist Deity Dorje Shugden and their families from suffering

  • To restore peace and harmony between Shugden and non-Shugden practitioners

  • To re-establish the common spiritual activities of Shugden and non-Shugden practitioners

  • To free Buddhism from political pollution

The book functions spiritually like a Dharma Protector, protecting not only Dorje Shugden practitioners from slander, ostracism and persecution by exposing the Dalai Lama's lies and 'setting the record straight' but also protecting the Gelugpa tradition whose reputation has suffered greatly through the Dalai Lama's arrogant statement that all his Teachers and Lineage Gurus were 'wrong'.

Indirectly the book protects ALL schools of Tibetan Buddhism. By exposing the Dalai Lama's plan to create a new school of Buddhism by merging all the schools together, with him as the head, it will avert the destruction of Tibetan Buddhism. If the Dalai Lama were to succeed with his plan, it would destroy the precious and unique enlightenment-giving qualities of each tradition but the Dalai Lama doesn't care about Buddhism - this is his plan to consolidate and protect his personal power over the Tibetan people and to ensure a position as a religious leader if he should ever return to a Tibet that is governed as an autonomous region within China.

In a review of Buddha’s Not Smiling: Uncovering Corruption at the Heart of Tibetan Buddhism Today, by Erik D. Curren, Lama Karma Wangchuk wrote:

Curren’s account of the United Party initiative will be shocking to many readers. The United Party was a plan run by the Dalai Lama’s brother Gyalo Thondup to unite all Tibetans, regardless of their region or religious affiliation, into a coherent group able to stand together against the Chinese. The most controversial part of the plan was a scheme to combine the four Buddhist schools and the Bon religion—governed separately for more than five hundred years back in Tibet —under a single administration led by the Dalai Lama. “When word of the United Party’s religious reform got out in 1964, the exiled government was unprepared for the angry opposition that leaders of the religious schools expressed. To them, this unification plan appeared as a thinly disguised scheme for the exile government to confiscate the monasteries that dozens of lamas had begun to re-establish in exile with funds they had raised themselves.”

Although the Dalai Lama's plan failed when he tried to do this in the early 1960's, thanks mainly to opposition by the 16th Karmapa and the Thirteen Tibetan settlements, he never gave up on his plan. His banning of Dorje Shugden is part of this plan. This ban has two main purposes - to divert attention from his failure to obtain any good results for the Tibetan people in terms of Tibetan independence or even autonomy within China, and to weaken the Gelugpa tradition so that he can merge all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism together and guarantee himself religious power as head of this new school. Since his intentions are completely self-serving and worldly, it can be seen that he is not a valid spiritual leader or spiritual guide. The faults of mixing religion and politics are there for all to see.

The purpose of 'A Great Deception' is similar to that of 'Buddha's not Smiling' – an attempt to uncover corruption at the heart of Tibetan Buddhism, that heart being the Dalai Lama's 'lama policy' of mixing politics and religion. Just as 'Buddha's not Smiling' is an expose of the Karmapa controversy, so 'A Great Deception' is an expose of the Dorje Shugden controversy.

One reason why 'A Great Deception' might be mistaken for a political book is that, in order to highlight the hypocrisy and deception of the Dalai Lama, it investigates his political actions, subsequent failures and the devastating effect that these religiopolitical actions are having on Buddhist practitioners and society at large. As the book states, the only person who can put an end to this is the Dalai Lama himself:

In Tibetan society, anyone who has views and intentions that are different from those of the Dalai Lama is immediately accused of not being Tibetan; they are criticised, threatened and ostracised. This happened in the past and is happening to Dorje Shugden practitioners today. From this alone we can see that Lama Policy continues to have a devastating effect on society. This problem cannot be solved unless the lama himself changes his own attitude. (p18)

The hope of publishing a book such as 'A Great Deception' is that it will bring pressure to bear on the Dalai Lama to change his disastrous policy. Sadly, being self-serving, this will only happen if his reputation and power are affected. Until now, he has arrogantly refused to discuss the Dorje Shugden issue with concerned practitioners.

We can see that all the problems of division and disharmony in the Buddhist community these days, whether due to the Dorje Shugden issue or the Karmapa issue, are due to the power and ambitions of one person: the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet and it is he and he alone who can solve these problems. Let us hope that as public awareness of 'Lama Policy' grows the Dalai Lama will be forced to abandon it in favour of a separation between 'church and state' in Tibetan society. Only this will remove the political pollution in Tibetan Buddhism and enable it to function as a pure path to liberation and enlightenment for all living beings.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Hypocrite

Here is another excerpt from the new Western Shugden Society book, 'A Great Deception', taken from the fourth chapter, 'A Hypocrite'

Although the Dalai Lama talks constantly about love and compassion, his own actions have brought and continue to bring misery and unhappiness. Since 1996, this false Dalai Lama has unceasingly inflicted heavy and unjust punishment on Dorje Shugden practitioners – all of whom are completely innocent of any crime or misdemeanour. Using his people like an army, the Dalai Lama has destroyed many Shugden temples and shrines, caused millions of people to experience inhumane situations and unbearable feelings of pain, and expelled all Shugden practitioners from the Tibetan community. He has caused innocent people to become severed from their families, friends, monasteries and communities. Thousands of Shugden practitioners have been forced into refugee status for the second time in their life, as they try to escape the inhumane treatment by seeking exile in other countries.

On 8 February 2008, this Dalai Lama caused the expulsion of 900 monks from their monasteries in India. Earlier, on January 9th, he had been invited to inaugurate a Prayer Hall for a large monastic community in South India. At this supposedly spiritual event he publicly announced a 'Referendum on the practice of Dolgyal' (Dolgyal is the false name for Dorje Shugden, which the Dalai Lama uses with a negative attitude), insisting on a collection of votes on this issue by the deadline of February 8th. Each monk was required to cast his individual vote. But since when did any spiritual practice become the object of a political vote like this?

The voting itself was held in public, in full view of monastery administrators, by casting coloured sticks indicating either 'yes' or 'no', with no possibility of abstention. As a direct result of this so-called referendum 900 innocent monks were then summarily expelled from their monasteries.

Most of the 900 monks were very poor and had no other place to live; many were fearful of the future and actually wept as they were forced to leave. The false Dalai Lama is clearly breaking the law by inflicting such blatant religious persecution. Making this difficult situation worse for the expelled monks is the message now being issued by his representatives to the Tibetan community, that anyone who helps Dorje Shugden practitioners will receive similar punishment. Furthermore, anyone who dares not to follow the orders of the Dalai Lama is publicly denounced by his government ministers and declared a 'Chinese supporter'. Not satisfied with this, his ministers encourage groups within the Tibetan community to humiliate, discredit and ostracise the people denounced, and to distribute 'wanted'-style posters giving their names, addresses and biographical details, and those of their families.

Becoming aware of the international public horror at these recent violations, which clearly stem from the single-minded policy of the Dalai Lama alone, the Tibetan Prime Minister and other officials within the exile Tibetan government then started a campaign to distance the Dalai Lama from this referendum, and from the resulting inhumane victimisation of a whole section of the Tibetan community. Such official deception, hypocrisy and duplicity is truly astounding.

One only needs to hear the speeches of the Dalai Lama and to witness current events within the Tibetan community to understand the truth. It should be clear to the international public, and to world leaders, governments and other organisations that it is the false Dalai Lama himself and no one else who solely initiated and who solely maintains the prevalent discrimination, persecution and intolerance within Tibetan society today.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Sufferings Caused by Lama Policy

Here are some extracts from the first chapter of the new Western Shugden Society book A Great Deception. This chapter concerns the problems that come from mixing religion and politics:

Lama Policy

The explanations given in this book are to encourage people not to follow or be influenced by 'Lama Policy', which like a drug causes people to be confused about the real nature of Buddhist practice. In this context, 'Lama' refers to the Fifth, Thirteenth and Fourteenth Dalai Lamas of Tibet. The policy of these lamas has been to use religion for political aims, thus causing suffering to millions of people from generation to generation. Because of the Fifth Dalai Lama's policy of mixing religion and politics, the Nyingma, Sakya and Kagyu traditions of Tibetan Buddhism rapidly declined and, as a result, for hundred of years, millions of people who followed these traditions experienced great difficulties. Today, some people from these traditions say that it was the followers of the Gelug tradition who caused their tradition to decline, but this is untrue. The Gelugpas themselves had no political power. It was the Fifth Dalai Lama who alone used his political power to destroy the development of these traditions, both spiritually and materially.

The Fifth Dalai Lama always showed two faces. One was that of a Nyingmapa and the other was that of a Gelugpa. In fact, he did not follow either tradition, but remained between them without ever finding a pure spiritual path. In this he was like the present Dalai Lama, the Fourteenth, who also shows two faces and likewise has never found a pure spiritual path.

There then follows an explanation of how the Fifth Dalai Lama achieved his political power with the support of the Mongols by waging war against the King of Tibet. Then there is an extensive section concerning the hypocrisy of the political lamas:

In their teachings, the Fifth and Thirteenth Dalai Lamas talked about compassion, but they behaved like dictators, creating so many problems for their society. This is also true of the present Dalai Lama. Despite this hypocrisy, many people because of their extreme religious view and blind faith still believe that these lamas are holy beings. In Tibetan society, anyone who has views and intentions that are different from those of the Dalai Lama is immediately accused of not being Tibetan; they are criticised, threatened and ostracised. This happened in the past and is happening to Dorje Shugden practitioners today. From this alone we can see that this Lama Policy continues to have a devastating effect on society. This problem cannot be solved unless the lama himself changes his own attitude.

The Fifth Dalai Lama was the founder of Lama Policy which he called 'the union of religion and politics'. The nature of Lama Policy is deceptive; its function is only to mislead people and to use religion for political aims. It is like a rainbow, which from the distance looks beautiful but upon closer examination is seen to be completely empty and hollow. The lamas who have principally upheld the policy established by the Fifth Dalai Lama are the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Dalai Lamas, and of these two the policy of the present Dalai Lama is the worst.

The chapter continues with a discussion of the murder of Lama Ngatrul Dragpa Gyaltsen (who was opposed to Lama Policy) by the Fifth Dalai Lama and his ministers out of jealousy and fear, and Ngatrul Gyaltsen's subsequent incarnation as Dorje Shugden. Because of his rivalry with Ngatrul Dragpa, initially the Fifth Dalai Lama was opposed to Dorje Shugden, but later he changed his view and developed faith in this Deity, even going as far as being the first to write a praise to Dorje Shugden and establishing the Trode Khangsar Temple in Lhasa. The point is made that, because of the change of heart of the Great Fifth, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama's claim to be following the Fifth Dalai Lama by rejecting Dorje Shugden is clearly a lie. It is revealed that his real intention in banning Dorje Shugden is to weaken the Gelugpa tradition so that he can become the supreme head of Tibetan Buddhism.

The chapter concludes with:

What the present Dalai Lama really wants is to become the leader of all traditions of Tibetan Buddhism by making all the practitioners of these traditions throughout the world follow only one tradition that he has newly created. Doing this would naturally destroy the pure lineage and blessings of the Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu and Gelug traditions. This would be a very great loss to the world, when people more than ever need access to the Buddha's supreme methods of finding true peace and happiness, and it is for this reason that the Western Shugden Society is encouraging people to stop being deceived by the drug of Lama Policy.

How ironic it is that the Dalai Lama is whipping up hysteria around the supposed sectarian dangers of Dorje Shugden practice when, in actuality, it is his personal ambition for power that is the biggest threat to the continued existence of the four traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. It's like putting a wolf in charge of the sheep.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Great Deception

The Western Shugden Society has published a new book concerning the Dorje Shugden controversy entitled 'A Great Deception'. The website publicising the new book explains:

This is a true story revealing the hidden side to the celebrity Nobel Peace Prize winner – The Dalai Lama. Using ground-breaking research, this book looks behind the saintly image to expose the real Dalai Lama; a religious and political dictator, who is responsible for persecuting not only his own people, but millions of people around the World.

The stated aims of the book are:

  • To liberate millions of innocent practitioners of the Buddhist Deity Dorje Shugden and their families from suffering
  • To restore peace and harmony between Shugden and non-Shugden practitioners
  • To re-establish the common spiritual activities of Shugden and non-Shugden practitioners
  • To free Buddhism from political pollution
The book explains how, just like the 5th and 13th Dalai Lamas, the present Dalai Lama has misused Buddha's teachings for political aims (the Lama Policy) and how this degeneration has destroyed the peace and harmony of the international Buddhist community, including the persecution of Dorje Shugden practitioners.

We will be featuring extracts from the book in future blog posts, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dalai Lama found guilty of persecution by High Court

We have recently received an update regarding the court case against the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile over their persecution of Dorje Shugden practitioners and their breaking of the Indian Deity discrimination law.

There was a hearing on the Dorje Shugden case on the 14th of September at the High Court in Delhi. This was the 3rd hearing, which was convened to examine the written response from the Dalai Lama's representatives to the allegations of Deity discrimination and religious discrimination against Dorje Shugden practitioners. This is nine and a half months after that response was received by the Court.

The Judge dismissed the Dalai Lama's arguments as unconvincing, further asserting that there was sufficient documentary evidence to prove that the Dalai Lama was in fact persecuting followers of the deity Dorje Shugden and that this would have to cease henceforth. The decision was made to issue a warning to the Dalai Lama to stop the persecution. The Judge declared that punitive measures would be initiated if the Dalai Lama refused to comply.

A commentator remarked:

"Apparently, Dharamsala is mysteriously silent, and this is not new! They are probably contemplating on the next course of action--whatever it may be. It is possible that they may contemplate peaceful and violent means--or, on the contrary behave as if nothing has happened!"

Postscript: It's worth noting that, although the Western Shugden Society has stopped its protests against the Dalai Lama, the Dalai Lama has not stopped trying to destroy the practice of Dorje Shugden. He recently spoke out against relying on the Deity in his Medicine Buddha empowerment in Long Beach, California and during his visit to Washington, where he spoke directly to Tibetans about the issue. This is yet more evidence that the Dalai Lama is engaging in actions of religious discrimination, something he now legally has to stop in India.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Tide has Turned - Gelugpa Tradition Revival in the East and the West

Homage to Guru Protector Dorje Shugden!

Since the Western Shugden Society demonstrated against the Dalai Lama's ban on the practice of Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden last year, much has happened that is a cause for rejoicing. These demonstrations came about because the Tibetan government were organizing the expulsion of Dorje Shugden practitioners from Tibetan society with those practitioners having no recourse and no free speech, and although the WSS made many requests to the Dalai Lama requesting him to stop, he never replied. The peaceful protests arose out of compassion, not out of anger. Now the problems they were addressing have stopped, at least temporarily. Moreover, developments on various fronts also show how necessary and effective this expression of free speech in Western society was in terms of showing support and thereby increasing the confidence of sincere practitioners in India and elsewhere. They have heralded a revival of Dorje Shugden practice throughout the world.

Persecution stops, WSS stops

As the world media spotlight is never far away, the Dalai Lama and his followers are forced to be more cautious, and as a result we are hearing less about the persecution of Dorje Shugden practitioners in the Tibetan exile community in India. Recent information indicates that the Tibetan government have stopped the persecution because the Dalai Lama's reputation is decreasing in the world due to this mistake. If the Dalai Lama continues to speak out and act to destroy the practice of Dorje Shugden and the beloved Gelugupa tradition transmitted by the lineage holders Je Phabongkhapa and Trijang Rinpoche, as well as many other great Gelugpa Lamas and their disciples, he now knows that WSS demonstrators will continue to protest to bring this hypocrisy and injustice to the world's attention. The WSS wants peace. If the Dalai Lama and his government stop, the demonstrations stop. If they do not stop, the WSS does not stop.

Politicians backtrack

The Dalai Lama's student and Tibetan prime minister, the monk Samdhong Rinpoche, has even been embarrassed into publicly criticizing the Abbots for the forced signature campaign. This is ironic, as he was of course an instigator of this campaign, but it is a clear indication that the exile government knows now that they cannot get away with this disastrous policy, and feel the political need to distance themselves from it by scapegoating the Abbots.

Court case

The court case against the Dalai Lama and Samdhong Rinpoche wends its way through the Delhi High Court, to be heard in September. Whatever the outcome, it is at least being taken seriously as there are pages upon pages of documented evidence of the ban and its repercussions -- persecution, violence, segregation, etc.

High Gelugpa Lamas speak up

Recently the Ganden Tripa, the Ganden Throne Holder and head of the Gelugpa school, spoke out publicly in support of Trijang Choktrul. The Dalai Lama has never been the head of the Gelugpa school (nor any of the other Tibetan Buddhist schools); it is the Ganden Tripa who has traditionally been responsible for what happens within the Tibetan Gelugpa tradition, and this support for a famous Tibetan Dorje Shugden practitioner indicates the Ganden Tripa's lack of support for the Dalai Lama's interference in this tradition. It indicates that more and more Gelugpa Lamas who have continued their practice of Dorje Shugden in secret now have the confidence to come out of the closet and defy the Dalai Lama and his government in exile.

Dorje Shugden practitioners now have their own qualified temples and monasteries, free from political interference

Many Lamas, monks and other practitioners now have the confidence to join forces in practicing this tradition openly.

Perhaps the most compelling sign that the tide is turning is the growth of the monasteries Serpom Norling and Shar Gaden. Very fortunately, 500 monks from Ganden and 400 monks from Sera received their own land and are making new monasteries and temples where they can continue to practice the Gelugpa tradition purely without political disturbance. They are receiving financial support from individuals in the West, other Tibetan Lamas, and the WSS. As you can see from the pictures, they are working extremely hard and effectively, just as Dorje Shugden practitioners once upon a time worked hard to build the Tibetan community in exile after 1959.

These extraordinary qualified monasteries have arisen just ten minutes away from Sera and Ganden monasteries, the homes the monks were forced to leave for refusing to sign their names to say they would not support Dorje Shugden practitioners either materially or spiritually. These impressive buildings and the daily religious activities of the monks are a potent witness to the Dalai Lama's failure to use his power and reputation to stamp out a pure religious tradition. The lineage Gurus have been restored to their rightful places on the thrones and the walls of the new temples. These new developments also show clearly how religion and politics do not mix. It seems as though the pure Gelugpas have broken away forever from Tibetan politics, both in the West and in the East. Despite some run ins with Dalai Lama supporters, and attempts by the Tibetan Government in Exile to stir up animosity towards Dorje Shugden practitioners, the ranks of the monks are growing all the time.

The annual Medicine Buddha Festival will held in Serpom Monastery on Sept 29, 2009, when hundreds of monks will perform pujas three times a day for a week 'for the well-being and prosperity of all living beings, and particularly of devotees and well-wishers of the Peace Deity Dorje Shugden'.

Other monasteries throughout the world

There seems to be a revival of Dorje Shugden practice throughout the East, with temples and monasteries growing up or continuing to flourish in Tibet, in Chatreng, Chamdo and Kham, as well as in Mongolia, Nepal, and Taiwan.

In the West, the New Kadampa Tradition also flourishes, with over 1100 Centers and branches.

Dorje Shugden's practice is growing like his statues

There are also Dorje Shugden statues being built both in the East and the West. People from all around the world are ordering more and more Dorje Shugden statues to be intalled in their respective centres and temples. This summer will see the unveiling of a beautiful new set of Dorje Shugden five lineages in the Kadampa Temple in England.

Dorje Shugden empowerment to thousands of Westerners

Last but not least, next week in England between 4000 and 5000 Western Buddhists, more than ever before, will receive a Dorje Shugden empowerment and Lamrim teachings from Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso at the UK Kadampa Meditation Centre. For his entire life, Geshe Kelsang has fearlessly practiced, preserved, and promoted the pure Gelugpa tradition of Je Tsongkhapa as passed to him by Trijang Rinpoche.

All in all, it is proving impossible to stamp out this great tradition. Dorje Shugden's time has come! May all living beings be happy and experience religious freedom.

So that the tradition of Je Tsongkhapa,
The King of the Dharma, may flourish,
May all obstacles be pacified
And may all favorable conditions abound.

If you know of other hopeful developments, please let us know in the comments section.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Shugden Society USA Speaks Out

Letter from Shugden Society USA

September 2nd 2009

Press release

Today we would like to bring to the attention of all those who believe in peaceful coexistence of all faiths and beliefs in this world, and particularly the attention of the people who believe in freedom of religion and human rights.

Today, September 2nd is The Tibetan Democracy Day, but the irony is that we the Tibetan people do not have true democracy due to the policies of the Tibetan government in exile, under the powerful guidance of the Dalai Lama , that undermines our Rights to Religious Freedom as embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and other international conclaves. We, The Dorjee Shugden practitioners, must commemorate the date of September 2nd to create a global awareness of our plight.

On the 9th of January 2008, His Holiness the Dalai Lama declared that "Dorjee Shugden devotees are supported by the Chinese and therefore there is no need for them to be in exile, they can go back to Tibet (under Chinese rule)”. On the same day, he also called for “holding an open referendum, to decide if the majority of the Tibetans want to coexist with the devotees of the deity”. This is an invitation for open segregation in the Tibetan society, under the disguise of practicing democracy. To hear such statements from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, whom we regard as our most compassionate leader and who is known and respected around the world, as a champion of peace, is deeply heartbreaking for all of our people. Furthermore, because of His Holiness’s position and influence, his statements become government policies, and therefore have great consequences. These statements from His Holiness’s position, undermine our fundamental rights: our right to exercise freedom of religion, right to peaceful living, and right to equal opportunity; they denote an obvious contempt of the devotees of the deity; they implicate accusations for which there are no ground at all. These statements have great potential to cause communal violence in the society and as a result, we, the followers of this deity, and our family members have been victims of ostracism and violence.

In reference to the letter to the prime minister of the Tibetan Government in exile, Samdong Rinpoche and The Dalai Lama, dated April 25, 2008, we had appealed to the Tibetan government to enforce our demands within the deadline of September 2nd, 2008,

Our Demands were:

·To entitle us to the fundamental rights of freedom to speech, beliefs, and the rights to live peacefully as guaranteed in the Constitution of Tibetan Government-in-Exile and Democratic countries.

· To lift the ban on Shugden practice and the religious persecution of its practitioners.

·To stop the systematic process of segregation in the Tibetan communities in exile, that has led to the social, psychological and physical torture of Shugden practitioners.

As our demands were time and again blatantly ignored, and in addition to the plight:

· The Tibetan government in exile continue to ostracise and segregate the Shugden practitioners from the rest of the Tibetan society.

· All the Tibetan media including the Voice of America (Tibetan Section) and the Radio free Asia, instead of standing up for the democratic principles, promote further segregation and ostracism of the Shugden devotees.

· Hundreds of monks, who worshipped Dorjee Shugden, were ostracised and expelled from the monasteries. As a result, a new wall at Ganden monastery in Southern India was built in March 2008 to segregate the Shugden worshippers.

·Monks who worshipped Shugden were denied medical services from the health clinics in the Tibetan communities in exile.

·Students, whose parents worshipped Dorjee Shugden, were ostracised in schools system.

· The idols of the Dorjee Shugden deity, destroyed in places like Lhasa, Central Tibet, South India and Kathmandu.

Due to such violation of our fundamental human rights, we are left with no clear options but to stand up for our rights. From this date onwards, we will implement the following campaign measures until our democratic rights to practice our religious rights are established:

· Being proactive by using various media to create the awareness of our plight.

· Organise and gather petition and submit to various concerned authorities and organisations.

· Organise systematic demonstrations.

Following are few of the recent incidents of violence towards Shugden devotees:

1) In July 2008, wanted posters of several monks involved in the Western Shugden Society protests appeared in Queens, New York. Al Jazeera reported about the wanted posters saying, "No Shugden worshipper has ever been charged or investigated for terrorism and yet the monks that continue to worship Shugden remain victims of name and shame."

An attack on Gaden Shartse monastery in South India by thousands of monks and laymen resulted in 40 people wounded and properties damaged.

3) In 1997, a nun in Tibet, was beaten up and left naked in the street to die, who fortunately survived.

4) In Clement town, there was also an attempt of arson on a Shugden devotees family’s house.

5) In July 29th 2009, the Tibetan section of Radio Free Asia, with intention to turn the general Tibetan people against the Shugden devotees, demonised the Shugden devotees of being responsible for the abductions of Tenzing thakpa, Woeser rinpoche's father and a 13 year old boy along with few goats and sheep in Markham. In reality, Woeser rinpoche's father and a 13 year old boy were victims of flood and Tenzing thakpa was seen alive and well, travelling in Lhasa and India.

These are just a few cases from countless incidents of atrocities involving violence and discrimination towards Shugden followers.

With best regards,

Shugden Society USA

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Samdhong vendetta continues

Samdhong Rinpoche, the Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government in Exile, obviously doesn't know when he's fighting a lost cause. Despite the fact that Tibetan Gelugpa Shugden practitioners are flourishing, having just opened the new Shar Gaden and Serpom Norling monasteries and other positive news, Samdhong recently spoke out against Dorje Shugden practitioners while in Switzerland as reported on Radio Free Asia:

August 30, 2009

Scholar Samdhong
Rinpoche, Kalon Tripa of Tibetan Government in Exile has given advice to the public in Swiss that people should pay special attention about the Shugden issue. Please listen to the news sent by Tsering Phuntsok

Tsering Phuntsok: During the visit by Scholar Samdhong Rinpoche, political leader of Tibetan Government in Exile, in Switzerland recently, he said that Dholgyal (Shugden) issue is not only a religious issue, but it became a tool for Chinese government. And he advised public should pay special attention.

Samdhong Rinpoche: In terms of our religion and politic, some Shugden followers became like a tool which is used by political authorities of People Republic of China. Apart from that, be it in Tibet or in Exile, over 95 percent of monks and nuns and lay people have abandoned what is to be abandoned and have practiced what is to be practiced (meaning that they abandoned the worship of Shugden), and they are very well. In present situation, for example, although there were few Shugden followers in the Seats (Sera, Drepung and Gaden monasteries), they were separated and became clean, after religious and material connection are cut off. Among them Tibetans are very few. It is a human group composed of many from border side who do not know the matter, and who are deceived by materials. . I think this will be clean before long. However, Dholgyal followers became like a subject to be used for both politics and propaganda by People Republic of China. Therefore, it is not a question of religion; it falls under situation of politics only. Therefore, yet in Europe and particulary around Swiss, some dispute of Dogyal followers remain in unfinished-work. Recently if you look at the media – in newspaper – of around this country, they try their best to rise after death. Regarding these matters, Swiss public took firm stand. If you continue it to end, the public has responsibility to try to vanish their continuity, which is like air of poison, without letting it to increase in future. Therefore, you must take it into consideration.

A scan of the Tibetan version of the transcript is shown above.

The Kalon Tripa is once again stirring up unrest and disharmony in Tibetan society. He incorrectly says that the Shugden issue is only a political one. This is not true since the main objections to the practice voiced by the Dalai Lama are religious ones and it has been a religious debate. If Samdhong means that the Shugden issue is one that has come about because of the mixing of religion and politics by the Dalai Lama, he's certainly correct! Rather than China using Dorje Shugden as a political issue, it's the TGIE who have done so.

It's sad to say that although the Western Shugden Society has suspended its campaign of protests against the Dalai Lama, the Dalai Lama and his government officials never stop trying to harm Dorje Shugden practitioners behind the scenes. Although the Dalai Lama talked about how he is dedicated to democracy during his recent visit to Taiwan, there is little evidence of democracy in his government when he instigated this present situation regarding Dorje Shugden by cutting off material support for Shugden practitioners and forcing their families to do the same. He's not giving Tibetans the democratic freedom to follow the tradition of Shugden practice given to them by their spiritual masters.

Despite Samdhong's statements about 'cleaning' Tibetan society (which is scarily like statements by dictators about ethnic cleansing), the Tibetan Government in Exile's hopes are in vain as Shugden practice is healthily flourishing in Tibetan society as well as throughout the world and there is nothing they can do about it.

A reminder: The annual Medicine Buddha Festival will held in Serpom Monastery on Sept 29, 2009, when hundreds of monks will perform pujas three times a day for a week 'for the well-being and prosperity of all living beings, and particularly of devotees and well-wishers of the Peace Deity Dorje Shugden'.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ganden Tripa Authorizes Dorje Shugden Practitioner to Represent the Gelugpa Tradition

April 23, 2009

I, the undersigned, Lungri Namgyel, the official head of the Gelug order of Tibetan Buddhism (Ganden Tripa) and successor to the said order’s founder, Je Tsongkhapa (1357-1419), whose headquarters are Ganden Monastery in Karnataka state, south India, hereby confirm that:

• His Eminence Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche, having been educated in the teachings of the Gelug order of Tibetan Buddhism, and officially recognized by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama as being the incarnation of the late Trijang Dorje Chang, Tutor to the 14th Dalai Lama and one of the greatest twentieth-century Buddhist masters of this order, is fully qualified to act in the capacity of director of Trijang Buddhist Institute in the state of Vermont, United States of America, where he is currently residing at 210 Morning Star Lane, Northfield, Vermont 05663 USA.

• I confer upon Trijang Buddhist Institute the authority to represent and transmit the teachings of the Gelug order of Tibetan Buddhism in the United States.

• Thus authorized, Trijang Buddhist Institute is dedicated to preserving, representing, and transmitting the Buddhist teachings of the Gelug tradition.


Ganden Tripa Lungri Namgyel

For more information, click here.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Dalai Lama supporters attack young monks

Two young tulkus (reincarnate Lamas) recently had to leave Gaden Jangtze Monastery as a result of the Dalai Lama's ban on their spiritual practice. They joined the newly formed and fast-growing Shar Gaden Monastery so that they could openly practice Dorje Shugden without fear of reprisal.

It didn't work. On the night of May 30 these two young monks, Lobsang Damchoe and Lobsang Choekyi Gyaltsen, were severely beaten up by six monks from Gaden Jangtze. The six attackers are all supporters of the Dalai Lama's ban, and have admitted to planning and carrying out the attack, which was completely unprovoked. There is no news yet from the monastery as to whether or not they will receive any discipline for this premeditated crime.

Shar Gaden Monastery is just 10 minutes walk away from Gaden Jangtze Monastery.

The two young tulkus have been admitted to hospital and are now recuperating.

Once again, the Dalai Lama's ban on Dorje Shugden practice has caused hard-line anti-Shugden supporters -- even Buddhist monks -- to act out unlawfully and in violence against their own kind who practice Dorje Shugden.

Please write in to Gaden Jangtze Monastery to let them know the world is watching:

Attention: Abbot, Gaden Jangtze Monastery, P.O. Tibetan Colony-Mundgod, Lama Camp No. 1, N. Kanara, Karnataka State, India 581411

See also the report on the Western Shugden Society Website.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Samdhong Rinpoche Blames Abbots for Signature Campaign!

It seems that the Abbots of Sera Je, Sera Mey, Gaden Jangtse, Gaden Shartse, Drepung Gomang and Drepung Loseling were recently summoned to Dharamsala by the Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government in Exile, Samdhong Rinpoche.

Unbelievably, Samdhong Rinpoche scolded the Abbots for pushing the signature campaign on all monks to renounce Dorje Shugden in the three great seats of Sera, Ganden and Drepung Monasteries.

He said that their "insistence on the signature campaigns has made personal difficulties for the Dalai Lama."

Could this be Samdhong Rinpoche and the Dalai Lama's attempt to wriggle out of being implicated in the September Indian Supreme Court case, where they are on trial for Deity discrimination? Could it be because the international public are increasingly wary and suspicious of the Dalai Lama undermining others' religious freedoms? By blaming the Abbots, they might let themselves off the hook?

In the short term they may look better in the Indian supreme court and in the court of international opinion, but in the long term this new strategy will likely backfire as it presents irreconcilable contradictions.

Why? Because there are many recorded public tapes of the Dalai Lama available on the mainstream press and the Internet at large where he is very clearly encouraging the Abbots of these three Monasteries to expel and remove all monks who refuse to sign the declaration that they will no longer associate spiritually or materially with Dorje Shugden practitioners.

See videos here.

This indeed is why Shar Ganden and Serpom Norling Monasteries are arising -- communities of monks expelled under the Dalai Lama's orders who are continuing with their practice of Dorje Shugden.

At least we can be thankful that the Abbots are now being scolded instead of praised for their enactment of the oppressive and unlawful signature campaign mandated by the Dalai Lama, ironic (and hypocritical) as this reprimand may be.

See also another article on the subject.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The History of Dorje Shugden

In the commentary Heart Jewel, Geshe Kelsang explains the spiritual history of the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden -- a short account that is deeply inspiring to practitioners and that evokes great faith. It is enough history for many who have faith in their spiritual teachers, lineage and Protector.

Now a new website has been completed, which gives more detail and historical context through which everyone, even the most skeptical, can hopefully start to see that Dorje Shugden has always been relied upon as a Buddha.

This website uncovers the texts, rituals, historical works and art dedicated to the practice of the Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden. As the author, Trinley Kalsang, explains:

"Although there are many texts that reveal the gradual development of the system of ritual for this deity, much of this has not been brought out in the open for examination."

Much of this material in fact has been deliberately suppressed because it proves that Dorje Shugden has been considered an enlightened being and the Protector of the Gelug lineage for several hundred years, since he first arose in this form; and this quite obviously undermines the 14th Dalai Lama's pronouncements of Dorje Shugden being a spirit of the dark forces, a Chinese demon, and so on.

Trinley Kalsang, a scholar of Tibetan, focuses on works from the time period before the 20th century. He leaves aside the works of Pabongkha Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche with the exception of various references to how these have drawn upon these earlier works. In particular, it can now be seen how the basic components of the practice were originally developed within the Sakya tradition and then incorporated into the Gelug tradition.

In particular, these translations and essays naturally disprove many of the fallacious ideas written in The Shuk-den Affair by Georges Dreyfus, who put the onus of the development and spread of Dorje Shugden on the individual figure of Pabongkha Rinpoche in the 20th century. He was not the first to do so, but he lent the Dalai Lama's claim Western academic credibility and enabled copy cat commentators, altogether doing a great deal of damage to the reputation of Dorje Shugden and his followers.

As Trinley Kalsang explains, the presentation of The Shuk-den Affair follows the same approach as that found in polemical Tibetan works, including the Brief History of Opposition to Shugden by the Tibetan Government in Exile's “Dolgyal Research Committee", the main thrust of which is to discredit the Dorje Shugden practice by discrediting Pabongkha Rinpoche. With this approach, the existing practice is presented as a whimsical device of one person rather than as a true spiritual practice with precedence. With The Shuk-den Affair, Dreyfus took this same pre-existing presentation and wrapped it in a seemingly scholarly package.

Dreyfus therefore got behind the Dalai Lama and his Government in Exile in discrediting the practice of Dorje Shugden and falsely accusing the highly revered Gelugpa Lama Je Phabongkhapa of possessing a sectarian agenda. Regrettably, some later Western commentators such as David Kay relied upon Dreyfus's work as the basis for their own inaccurate and defamatory accounts of the Wisdom Buddha without doing the original research that would have shown them that Dreyfus's work was full of problems and political bias to begin with. Consciously or not, these commentators' omission in doing decent research, relying so heavily on accounts by the Dalai Lama, TGIE and Dreyfus, seems to have arisen from trying to stay on the right side of the Tibetan power structure. It appears that they took as their starting point the assumption that the Dalai Lama must be right and skewed the history to fit with this. Had they found these collected works, and used them, they might have been able to tell a more accurate story.

The main sources for this website were originally collected by the Mongolian scholar and master Lobsang Tamdin (1867-1937), who gathered a number of earlier texts written by Mongolian and Tibetan masters. Regardless of where individuals stand on whether or not people should be allowed to continue their practice of Dorje Shugden, the translations on this website prove that Pabongkha Rinpoche did not invent any aspect of this practice, but merely absorbed and propagated it.The translations speak for themselves -- not a lot of added interpretation or polemics are required to challenge the views of the Dalai Lama, the TGIE, Dreyfus, and other detractors.

As the author says:

"In short, it has been revealed from historical sources that Dorje Shugden is the Three Bodhisattvas: Avalokiteshvara, Vajrapani and Manjushri. He is the sole protector ever to bear the title Protector of the Conqueror Manjunatha, having the responsibility to protect and promote the doctrine of the Second Buddha Jamgon Lama Tsongkhapa. "

Monday, March 23, 2009

Helmut Gassner on the Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden

If you have not yet had the chance to read Helmut Gassner's speech at the Friedrich-Naumann-Foundation Hamburg, on March 26th 1999, it is well worth doing so.

Helmut Gassner is a long-term Western Buddhist monk, scholars and practitioner, and he was the interpreter (and chauffeur) for the Dalai Lama for 17 years. He has a unique inside understanding of the Dalai Lama's motives and so on, and personally knew all the original players in this drama.

According to a contemporary:

"Of those of us who had gathered around and subsequently left Geshé Rabten, the outstanding exception was Helmut Gassner. He stood loyally by Geshé and retains his robes to this day. He spends his time between the center in Switzerland and Trijang Labrang in Feldkirch, Austria. Helmut is notable for wading into the shocking Dorje Shugden scandal with his courageous speech to the Friedrich-Naumann Foundation in 1999."

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Legends of the Dalai Lama -- Die Weltwoche Article

Taken from a major Swiss publication Die Weltwoche, with extracts translated from the German. The whole article can be found here:

Die Weltwoche
Die Legenden des Dalai Lama


The Legends of the Dalai Lama

March 10 this year will see the 50th anniversary of the uprising of the Tibetan people against China. In the West, the spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, is worshipped like a pop star. Strange. The normally romanticized theocracy was a corrupt feudal system that enslaved its subjects.

By David Signer

Recently, in the context of his most recent trip to Europe, the Dalai Lama could receive the German Media Award in Baden-Baden, which has previously been granted to celebrities such as Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton or Bono. On March 10 fifty years ago, the Tibetans rose up against the Chinese hegemony. And it is seventy years since a little farmer's boy became 'His Holiness'.

In winter 1937/38 [the common story of recognition follows].

Everybody loves the now 73-year-old Dalai Lama, and in particular have done so since 1998 when Martin Scorsese brought his autobiography called 'Kundun' into our cinemas. From Richard Gere through to Brad Pitt, from Patti Smith through to Peter Maffay, from Dolly Buster to Robbie Williams: everyone worships the non-stop world jet-setting spiritual leader of the Tibetans. When the Dalai Lama came to Switzerland three years ago, during his eight day visit 30,000 people went onto a pilgrimage to the Zurich stadium to see him. And as is clear with the idolization of the Dalai Lama, whom even people who are not normally fond of personality cults, call 'His Holiness', the same is true for Tibet. There is a common agreement that, before the Chinese marched in, this mountainous region was a paradise of meditating monks and happy farmers living in the midst of splendid mountain scenery -- and that it would be again if it were not for the evil occupiers.

The reality is that until fifty years ago Tibet was a clerical-feudal tyranny. The truth is that a lot of the widespread common knowledge about the country is just wishful thinking. There are also dark sides to the biography of the Dalai Lama, and a lot of obscure stuff is mixed in with the esoteric Lamaism Schwärmerei (excessive sentimentality). However, since there is only little journalism on site, it is not easy to find the truth within the jungle of exile Tibetan and Chinese propaganda.

[Now follows some historical background and how the Dalai Lama, once recognized, lived until his escape.]

In the Dalai Lama's autobiography, however, it sounds like paradise when he mentally travels back to the Tibet of his youth: "No one needs to make too much of an effort in order to earn his living. Existence happens on its own and everything works wonderfully." Accordingly, during his reign, he did not make any effort to reform the country, apart from stopping the legal heritage of tax debts. The fact that political decisions are based upon oracles and astrology is no problem for him, who normally pretends to be democratic and progressive. Even though in his 'five point peace plan' he demands 'respect for the democratic freedoms of the Tibetan people', he himself has not tried until today, not even within the exile communities, to be democratically legitimized. Self-evidently he pretends to be the wholistic leader of the Tibetans, even though, strictly speaking, he is not even the spiritual representative of the whole of Tibet. He is merely the head of the Gelugpa order, the so called Yellow Hats, whose claim for leadership he has been trying to pursue for decades. These contradictions are also true for his ecological engagement. On the one hand, he demands to transform Tibet into a kind of natural reserve park and uses every opportunity to demand more ecological thinking in accordance with Mother Nature. On the other hand, from the first days of his exile onwards, at his seat in Dharamsala, the litter keeps being piled up simply on a large waste dump.

[Some stuff on the 1950’s in Tibet.]

While the Dalai Lama and his entourage went into exile to Dharamsala in India, the Cultural Revolution raged in Tibet. Between 1966 and 1976, thousands of monasteries and cultural monuments were destroyed. Switzerland was the first European country which, in 1961, accepted Tibetan refugees and offered them accommodation and work in Rikon. In 1967, the monastic Tibet Institute was opened. The information from the Dalai Lama and Tibet supporters is often not credible with regards to the Chinese occupancy. Very often it is not mentioned that in the meantime approximately half of the monasteries have been restored and are running again. Also, since the mid-nineties, you can no longer claim that there is a ban on the monastic system. If the Dalai Lama is asked about these things he replies that the monasteries have only been rebuilt for the sake of tourists; thus the Chinese are said to have no interest in maintaining the traditional culture but to re-install it as exotic backdrop and in this way it is being doomed even more. One limitation however has been enforced, undoubtedly against the will of the Dalai Lama: no more children can enter the monasteries. Also in his autobiography, 'His Holiness' claims that, due to resettlement programmes, the Chinese proportion of the population overrides the Tibetans. According to the disputed census in 2000, the proportion of Chinese people within the Tibetan Autonomous Region is 6.1%, with the highest proportion, 17%, being in Lhasa. Again and again the claim has been spread that 1.2 million Tibetans had become victims of Chinese terror, in other words a full fifth of the population. Official statements from Dharamsala even sometimes say that all of these have been Tibetan prisoners who were victims of torture or executions, and very often Chinese concentration camps are mentioned. Without doubt, China is far away from regular constitutional affairs; however the charge of systematic, lethal torture of thousands -- as indicated by the term 'concentration camp' -- is hardly plausible.

Esoteric argy bargy

Towards the end of the 1980s there were again riots in Tibet, and in December 1989 the Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Price. About one year before that he became friends with the Japanese Shoko Asahara, who ran a 'spiritual community' with several thousand followers near Tokyo. According to the researches of the publisher Colin Goldner, Ashara visited with the Dalai Lama several times in 1988. This community with their 'appreciated aims and activities' (said the Dalai Lama) was 'Aum', one of the most dangerous and totalitarian cults ever, which performed the Tokyo subway poison attacks in March 1995. The Japanese authorities had been patient with the megalomaniac Guru, despite all warnings, possibly due to the protecting hands of the Dalai Lama. When the Centres after the Sarin attack were finally searched, there were deposits of chemical and other weapons which could have killed millions of people at once. The Dalai Lama however could not even find one single word of regret. Even as late as Summer 1995, when at the Peace University in Berlin, he stated that he would recognize Asahara as a 'friend, even though not necessarily an unmistaken one'.

Also the so-called 'Shugden affair' gives rise to doubts about the much-praised wisdom of the Dalai Lama. In Summer 1996, upon the advice of his state oracle, he banned the worship of the protector Deity Dorje Shugden for his people. A number of abbots and monks protested against this ban. They accused the Dalai Lama of violating religious freedom, who reacted to this insubordination by systematic searches of houses and monasteries in the exile community. Shugden statues were destroyed and renitent monks bashed and beaten. Supporter committees even claimed that the Shugden movement was hand in glove with China.

[Mentions the triple murder. More information about that can be found here: Defamatory accusations of murder repeated over and over again for ten years]

Monks armed with iron bars

Generally, the riots before the Olympic Games were presented by the Western media in a way that they fitted into the image of 'peace-loving Tibetans'’ -- either any violence was supposedly coming from the side of the Chinese, or, if not, claims were made to the effect that Tibetan protesters had only acted in self-defence. Footage documentation and reports from eye-witnesses however give evidence of how monks armed with iron bars and bats went marauding through the historic quarter of town. Buses and cars were pushed over and set on fire, and Chinese shops and houses were pillaged. Molotov cocktails were even thrown into kindergartens, schools and hospitals. The Dalai Lama later claimed that the monks had been Chinese soldiers in disguise. This is because, by definition, Tibetans are non-violent. Around the world, demonstrations of solidarity took place.

[The rest is about the Dalai Lama’s right-wing tendencies and the stories about the liaisons between Tibetans and the Nazis and how the Tibetan regent wrote a letter to 'King Hitler'. The final paragraph is on the question why it is that the Dalai Lama is so popular in the West in spite of all the facts mentioned; and the main conclusion is that it is because Westerners are so naive.]

Pabongka Rinpoche and the Gelugpa Tradition

Pabongka Rinpoche (1878-1941AD) was one of the greatest Gelugpa Lamas of the past century. He possessed many spiritual realizations and was highly revered. He was the root Guru of both the 14th Dalai Lama's own principal teachers, Trijang Rinpoche and Ling Rinpoche; therefore, almost all the Dalai Lama's Dharma knowledge comes from Pabongka Rinpoche.

Je Pabongka
His reputation is currently being besmirched by some detractors of Dorje Shugden, but there is an increasing amount of information about him becoming available on the Internet to show that this criticism is unfounded. This includes the new blog called "Scholars and Yogis Please Check!", which has recently run a series of articles on Pabongka Rinpoche.

As the translator of his famous text Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand explains, Je Phabongkhapa had a profound and far-reaching influence on the Gelug tradition:

Pabongka Rinpoche was probably the most influential Gelug Lama of this century, holding all the important lineages of Sutra and Tantra, and passing them on to most of the important Gelug Lamas of the next two generations; the list of his oral discourses is vast in depth and breadth. He was also the root guru of the Kyabje Ling Rinpoche (1903-83AD), Senior Tutor of the Dalai Lama, Trijang Rinpoche, and many other highly respected teachers. His collected works occupy fifteen large volumes and over every aspect of Buddhism. If you have ever received a teaching from a Gelug Lama, you have been influenced by Pabongka Rinpoche.

Zong Rinpoche, also a highly regarded Gelug Lama, says on the blog mentioned above:

Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Ling Rinpoche were tutors to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. They taught His Holiness everything from basic teachings to advanced levels.

Kyabje Phabongka passed all of his lineages to Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang. He often said this in discourses. The purpose of this detailed exposition is to affirm the power of the lineage. If we lose faith in the lineage, we are lost.

We should remember the biographies of past and present teachers. We should never develop negative thoughts towards our root and lineage gurus."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dorje Shugden -- A Recovered History

Over the past 30 years, Tibetan politicians and others following their view have been attempting to rewrite the history of the enlightened Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden, making him out to be a worldly deity of recent provenance, even an evil spirit.

Nothing could be further than the truth. And thanks to the efforts of Trinley Kalsang, a scholar of Tibetan Buddhism, the truth of Dorje Shugden's history is now coming out in detail, based on research into "a legacy of rituals, historical works and art" that have been dedicated to the practice of Dorje Shugden over the last few hundred years.

Today sees the start of Trinley Kalsang's scholarly and clarifying website: Dorje Shugden History. We thank him for doing all this painstaking research and translation. It will go a long way to indicating the extent to which Dorje Shugden and his practitioners have been subject to terrible falsehoods over the last few decades, and especially the last ten years since the publication of George Dreyfus's highly misleading The Shuk-den Affair: Origins of a Controversy, which served as the basis for several other biased and inaccurate accounts.

From the introduction:

Dorje Shugden is a protector deity (srung ma) that came to be propitiated principally by the Sakya and Gelug sects starting in the 17th and 18th centuries. Since that time, a legacy of rituals, historical works and art have been dedicated to the practice of this deity. Although there are many texts that reveal the gradual development of the system of ritual for this deity, much of this has not been brought out in the open for examination. Examination of the important details from these texts is necessary to reconstruct a more complete history, as the history presented thus far by scholars has been partial in order to paint particular constructions that concur with events in the 20th century.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The daily prayers practitioners make to Buddha Shakyamuni, Je Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugden

Liberating Prayer ~ Praise to Buddha Shakyamuni

{Kadampa practitioners traditionally start every meditation session of Sutra or Tantra with the Liberating Prayer to their principal object of refuge, Buddha Shakyamuni, who is the founder of Buddhism.}

O Blessed One, Shakyamuni Buddha,
Precious treasury of compassion,
Bestower of supreme inner peace,

You, who love all beings without exception,
Are the source of happiness and goodness;
And you guide us to the liberating path.

Your body is a wishfulfilling jewel,
Your speech is supreme, purifying nectar,
And your mind is refuge for all living beings.

With folded hands I turn to you,
Supreme unchanging friend,
I request from the depths of my heart:

Please give me the light of your wisdom
To dispel the darkness of my mind
And to heal my mental continuum.

Please nourish me with your goodness,
That I in turn may nourish all beings
With an unceasing banquet of delight.

Through your compassionate intention,
Your blessings and virtuous deeds,
And my strong wish to rely upon you,

May all suffering quickly cease
And all happiness and joy be fulfilled;
And may holy Dharma flourish for evermore.

{Kadampa practitioners traditionally start their daily practice of Heart Jewel prayers with a special Guru yoga in which they visualize their Spiritual Guide as Je Tsongkhapa, who himself is a manifestation of Manjushri. By relying upon this practice, they purify negativity, accumulate merit, and receive blessings. In this way, they naturally accomplish all the realizations of the stages of the path of Sutra and Tantra, and in particular they attain a very special Dharma wisdom.}

Going for refuge
I and all sentient beings, until we achieve enlightenment,
Go for refuge to Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. (3x)

Generating bodhichitta

Through the virtues I collect by giving and other perfections,
May I become a Buddha for the benefit of all. (3x)

Inviting Je Tsongkhapa

From the heart of the Protector of the hundreds of Deities of the Joyful Land,
To the peak of a cloud which is like a cluster of fresh, white curd,
All-knowing Losang Dragpa, King of the Dharma,
Please come to this place together with your Sons.

Prayer of seven limbs

In the space before me on a lion throne, lotus, and moon
The venerable Gurus smile with delight.
O Supreme Field of Merit for my mind of faith,
Please remain for a hundred aeons to spread the doctrine.

Your mind of wisdom realizes the full extent of objects of knowledge,
Your eloquent speech is the ear ornament of the fortunate,
Your beautiful body is ablaze with the glory of renown,
I prostrate to you, whom to see, to hear, and to remember is so meaningful.

Pleasing water offerings, various flowers,
Sweet-smelling incense, lights, scented water, and so forth,
A vast cloud of offerings both set out and imagined,
I offer to you, O supreme Field of Merit.

Whatever non-virtues of body, speech, and mind
I have accumulated since time without beginning,
Especially transgressions of my three vows,
With great remorse I confess each one from the depths of my heart.

In this degenerate age you strove for much learning and accomplishment,
Abandoning the eight worldly concerns, you made your freedom and endowment meaningful.
O Protector, from the very depths of my heart,
I rejoice in the great wave of your deeds.

From the billowing clouds of wisdom and compassion
In the space of your Truth body, O venerable and holy Gurus,
Please send down a rain of vast and profound Dharma
Appropriate to the disciples of this world.

Through the virtues I have accumulated here,
May the doctrine and all living beings receive every benefit.
Especially may the essence of the doctrine
Of Venerable Losang Dragpa shine forever.

Offering the mandala

The ground sprinkled with perfume and spread with flowers,
The Great Mountain, four lands, sun and moon,
Seen as a Buddha Land and offered thus,
May all beings enjoy such Pure Lands.


Migtsema prayer

Tsongkhapa, crown ornament of the scholars of the Land of the Snows,
You are Avalokiteshvara, the treasury of unobservable compassion,
Manjushri, the supreme stainless wisdom,
And Vajrapani, the destroyer of the hosts of maras;
O Losang Dragpa I request you, please grant your blessings. (3x, 7x, 21x etc)

Prayer of the Stages of the Path

The path begins with strong reliance
On my kind Teacher, source of all good;
O Bless me with this understanding
To follow him with great devotion.

This human life with all its freedoms,
Extremely rare, with so much meaning;
O Bless me with this understanding
All day and night to seize its essence.

My body, like a water bubble,
Decays and dies so very quickly;
After death come results of karma,
Just like the shadow of a body.

With this firm knowledge and remembrance
Bless me to be extremely cautious,
Always avoiding harmful actions
And gathering abundant virtue.

Samsara's pleasures are deceptive,
Give no contentment, only torment;
So please bless me to strive sincerely
To gain the bliss of perfect freedom.

O Bless me so that from this pure thought
Come mindfulness and greatest caution,
To keep as my essential practice
The doctrine's root, the Pratimoksha.

Just like myself all my kind mothers
Are drowning in samsara's ocean;
O So that I may soon release them,
Bless me to train in bodhichitta.

But I cannot become a Buddha
By this alone without three ethics;
So bless me with the strength to practise
The Bodhisattva's ordination.

By pacifying my distractions
And analyzing perfect meanings,
Bless me to quickly gain the union
Of special insight and quiescence.

When I become a pure container
Through common paths, bless me to enter
The essence practice of good fortune,
The supreme vehicle, Vajrayana.

The two attainments both depend on
My sacred vows and my commitments;
Bless me to understand this clearly
And keep them at the cost of my life.

By constant practice in four sessions,
The way explained by holy Teachers,
O Bless me to gain both the stages,
Which are the essence of the Tantras.

May those who guide me on the good path,
And my companions all have long lives;
Bless me to pacify completely
All obstacles, outer and inner.

May I always find perfect Teachers,
And take delight in holy Dharma,
Accomplish all grounds and paths swiftly,
And gain the state of Vajradhara.

Receiving blessings and purifying

From the hearts of all the holy beings, streams of light and nectar flow down, granting blessings and purifying.

{Kadampa practitioners traditionally do their Lamrim (stages of the path) and Lojong (training the mind) meditation at this point in the prayers. More information on these Buddhist practices can be found in The New Meditation Handbook, Universal Compassion, and other books by Tharpa Publications}.

Request to receive the Guru's blessings

O Glorious and precious root Guru,
Please sit on the lotus and moon seat at my heart.
Please care for me with your great kindness,
And grant me the blessings of your body, speech, and mind.

O Glorious and precious root Guru,
Please sit on the lotus and moon seat at my heart.
Please care for me with your great kindness,
And bestow the common and supreme attainments.

O Glorious and precious root Guru,
Please sit on the lotus and moon seat at my heart.
Please care for me with your great kindness,
And remain firm until I attain the essence of enlightenment.

{Kadampa practitioners traditionally do their Mahamudra meditation at this point in the prayers. More information on this practice can be found in Mahamudra Tantra and other books by Tharpa Publications}.


Through being cared for throughout all my lives
By Conqueror Tsongkhapa as my Mahayana Guru,
May I never turn away, even for an instant,
From this excellent path praised by the Conquerors.

{Kadampa practitioners traditionally conclude their Heart Jewel prayers by relying upon the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden in order to overcome obstacles to their practice and create favourable conditions so that they can nurture and increase these Dharma realizations of Lamrim, Lojong and Mahamudra}.

Inviting Dorje Shugdän and his retinue

I have the clarity of the Yidam.
Before me in the centre of red and black fire and wind,
On a lotus and sun, trampling demons and obstructors,
Is a terrifying lion, which is powerful and alert.
Upon this sits the great king Dorje Shugdän,
The supreme Heart Jewel of Dharma Protectors.
His body is clothed in the garments of a monk,
And on his head he wears a round, yellow hat.
His hands hold a sword and a heart of compassion.
To his followers he shows an expression of delight,
But to subdue demons and obstructors he displays a wrathful manner.
He is surrounded by a vast, assembled retinue,
Such as his attendant Khache Marpo and so forth.

Light rays from my heart instantly invite the wisdom beings from the sphere of nature, and from all the different palaces where they abide. They become inseparable from the commitment beings.

Making offerings and requests

Respectfully I prostrate with body, speech, and mind.
I offer a mass of inner and outer offerings, blissful tormas,
Alcohol, tea, cakes, milk, and curd,
Both actually set out and mentally imagined, filling the whole of space.

Commitment, fulfilling, reliance, and appropriate substances,
Outer, inner, secret, attractive, and cleansing offerings, filling the whole of space,
I offer these to the entire assembly;
May I fulfil the heart commitment and restore my broken commitments.

All my harmful thoughts and actions
Which have offended your mind, O Great Protector,
I confess from the depths of my heart.
Please purify them swiftly, and care for me with love, like a mother for her child.

I beseech you from the depths of my heart, O Supreme Deity,
Please cause the tradition of Je Tsongkhapa to flourish,
Extend the life and activities of the glorious Gurus,
And increase the study and practice of Dharma within the Dharma communities.

Please be with me always like the shadow of my body,
And grant me your unwavering care and protection.
Destroy all obstacles and adverse conditions,
Bestow favourable conditions, and fulfil all my wishes.

Now is the time to show clearly your versatile strength
Through your four actions, which are swift, incisive, and unobstructed,
To fulfil quickly my special heartfelt desires
In accordance with my wishes;

Now is the time to distinguish the truth and falsity of actions and effects;
Now is the time to dispel false accusations against the innocent;
Now is the time to protect the pitiful and protectorless;
Now is the time to protect Dharma practitioners as your children.

In short, from now until I attain the essence of enlightenment,
I shall honour you as the embodiment of my Guru, Deity, and Protector.
Therefore please watch over me during the three periods of the day and the night
And never waver in your actions as my Protector.

Requesting the fulfilment of wishes

Whenever your followers with commitments
Request any of the four actions,
Swiftly, incisively, and without delay, you show signs for all to see;
So please accomplish the actions that I now request of you.

The stainless sun of Je Tsongkhapa's tradition
Shines throughout the sky of samsara and nirvana,
Eliminating the darkness of inferior and wrong paths;
Please cause its light to spread and bring good fortune to all living beings.

May the glorious Gurus who uphold this tradition
Have indestructible lives, as stable as the supreme victory banner;
May they send down a rain of deeds fulfilling the wishes of disciples,
So that Je Tsongkhapa's doctrine will flourish.

Through increasing the study, practice, pure discipline, and harmony
Of the communities who uphold the stainless doctrine of Buddha,
And who keep moral discipline with pure minds,
Please cause the Gedän tradition to increase like a waxing moon.

Through your actions please fulfil the essential wishes
Of all practitioners who uphold the victory banner
Of practising single-pointedly the stages of the paths of Sutra and Tantra,
The essence of all the teachings they have heard.

Beings throughout this great earth are engaged in different actions
Of Dharma, non-Dharma, happiness, suffering, cause and effect;
Through your skilful deeds of preventing and nurturing,
Please lead all beings into the good path to ultimate happiness.

In particular, please destroy the obstacles and unfavourable conditions
Of myself and other practitioners.
Increase our lives, our merit, and our resources,
And gather all things animate and inanimate to be freely enjoyed.

Please be with me always like the shadow of my body,
And care for me always like a friend,
By accomplishing swiftly whatever I wish for,
And whatever I ask of you.

Please perform immediately, without delaying for a year, or even for a month,
Appropriate actions to eliminate all obstacles
Caused by misguided beings with harmful minds who try to destroy Je Tsongkhapa's doctrine,
And especially by those who try to harm practitioners.

Please remain in this place always, surrounded by most excellent enjoyments.
As my guest, partake continuously of tormas and offerings;
And since you are entrusted with the protection of human wealth and enjoyments,
Never waver as my guardian throughout the day and the night.

All the attainments I desire
Arise from merely remembering you.
O Wishfulfilling Jewel, Protector of the Dharma,
Please accomplish all my wishes. (3x)


By this virtue may I quickly
Attain the enlightened state of the Guru,
And then lead every living being
Without exception to that ground.

Through my virtues from practising with pure motivation,
May all living beings throughout all their lives
Never be parted from peaceful and wrathful Manjushri,
But always come under their care.

{Kadampa practitioners traditionally conclude every meditation session of Sutra or Tantra, including Heart Jewel, with the following prayers.}

Prayers for the Virtuous Tradition

So that the tradition of Je Tsongkhapa,
The King of the Dharma, may flourish,
May all obstacles be pacified
And may all favorable conditions abound.

Through the two collections of myself and others
Gathered throughout the three times,
May the doctrine of Conqueror Losang Dragpa
Flourish for evermore.

The nine-line Migtsema prayer

Tsongkhapa, crown ornament of the scholars of the Land of the Snows,
You are Buddha Shakyamuni and Vajradhara, the source of all attainments,
Avalokiteshvara, the treasury of unobservable compassion,
Manjushri, the supreme stainless wisdom,
And Vajrapani, the destroyer of the hosts of maras.
O Venerable Guru-Buddha, synthesis of all Three Jewels,
With my body, speech, and mind, respectfully I make requests:
Please grant your blessings to ripen and liberate myself and others,
And bestow the common and supreme attainments. (3x)

These prayers are taken from the sadhana Heart Jewel, published by Tharpa Publications. Commentary to these prayers can be found in the book Heart Jewel.