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.