Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sectarianism in Bodh Gaya

The Dalai Lama recently gave teachings in Bodh Gaya, the place of Buddha Shakyamuni's enlightenment. As reported by Tibetan Sun, the only people who were not welcome were Shugden practitioners. It's very sad that at the place where Lord Buddha demonstrated the attainment of enlightenment for the happiness of all living beings, the Dalai Lama should instead demonstrate his attainment of sectarian bias and choose to deny the Dharma to the students of his Root Guru Trijang Rinpoche.

During the teachings, the Dalai Lama took the opportunity, as he often does these days, to justify his ban of Dorje Shugden practice. The report in the Tibet Post erroneously refers to him as 'the head of the Gelugpa sect' which he is not. This position is held by the Ganden Tripa (Ganden Throneholder).

The Dalai Lama is reported as saying:

"actually it [Dolgyal worship] is unrelated to religion, because in the Buddha's commentaries and teachings, except for the worship of Dharma protectors like Mahakala, the worship of deities is not mentioned. It is wrong to venerate house and mountain deities more than Buddha."
Dorje Shugden practitioners venerate him as a Buddha (which he is, being an emanation of Manjushri Je Tsongkhapa) but they do not venerate him more than Buddha Shakyamuni. This is an attempt by the Dalai Lama to claim that Shugden practitioners are not Buddhist. In this way, by spreading untruths and distortions, he hopes to remove Shugden practitioners from the Buddhist community.

Another report from the Voice of Tibet website said (translated from Tibetan by the Dorje Shugden Society):

Broadcaster: During his teaching in Bodh Gaya, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the jewel of all, said to have received permission and support from his two tutors to give up his worship of Dholgyal (Dorje Shugden). In this regard, our reporter Pasang Dhonden explains:

Pasang: Before His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the supreme leader of Tibetan politics and religion, granted ordination of Bikshus and empowerment of Avalokiteshvara in the morning to devotees from twenty thousand to thirty thousand, he gave instruction and introduction on Dorje Shugden. At that time he explained clearly on the distorted information among the public:

Dalai Lama: Some are saying that the Dalai Lama has changed his mind after the demise of his two tutors. When they were alive, I explained everything to them about my investigating and renouncing the worship of Dholgyal. They agreed. Ling Rinpoche said it was very good and had been very clean. Ling had no connection at all. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche said that there was no mistake in my way of investigating, and that it must have a purpose and reason. When I renounced the worship comfortably, I informed my two tutors. They agreed and I was granted permission and support. [there is a report] that I have changed my mind after the two tutors passed away. The reality is what I have just said.

When people in Tibet are aware of my ban on worshipping Dholgyal, some are saying that that this is not the intention of the Dalai Lama; the Dalai Lama imposed a ban in order to appease Nyingma and that this is politics. It is not true. My intention is pure. Therefore, I have to explain that the decision I took with pure intention is being distorted.

Be it in China or in Taiwan. Similarly in China, a section of Dholgyal followers are seem to be adopting many methods and efforts these days. In particular, Chinese government found the ban imposed by the Dalai Lama as necessity, and she provides an especial support to Dholgyal followers. Monasteries in Tibet which gave up the worship meanwhile are encouraged not to give it up, but to worship. It is little bit conflicting. It became a political issue. Therefore I thought to explain clearly to you, Chinese Dharma friends here.

Whether it be in it in India, or in Tibet, majority, however, believes my explanation through exhaustive investigation. The public’s stand is wonderful. Thank you! As for the monks of [Gelukpa] monastic establishment, you are very good. It is different matter for few; they remain mischievous. It is different matter. Majority found reason in my statement, and listened and appreciated it. Thank you!

Whether you worship a deity, a demon, or an evil spirit, or whatever you worship, it is in your hand. It is freedom. Nothing is there. However, if you worship without knowing the matter, I have a responsibility to tell you that this is the matter. Therefore I am telling you. It is up to you to think whether you want to listen or not, after I said. I have known many things. It is my mistake if I don’t tell you what I knew. If you don’t listen after I said, it is your loss.

Why does the Dalai Lama feel the need to keep justifying his sectarian position unless he doesn't feel confident that everyone has heard and accepted the message? In essence, Bodh Gaya has been a non-sectarian place for all Buddhists, but the Dalai Lama is playing politics and is taking advantage of this to give very emotional driven, divisive speeches to further the separation of Dorje Shugden followers.

Bodh Gaya's religious sites are in the care of the Mahabodhi Society of India. If you object to the Dalai Lama's sectarian speech and would like to make your disagreement known to the Society, they can be contacted at the following addresses:

Monday, January 4, 2010

Dalai Lama - the God-King

Revisit this video, which deftly provides a clear and succinct analysis of the Dalai Lama problem. Around 200,000 people have seen this video at various places on YouTube.