Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Dalai Lama's Shady Past

There is another book out about the previous Dalai Lamas, called
Secret Lives of the Dalai Lama: The Untold Story of the Holy Men Who Shaped Tibet, from Pre-history to the Present Day

Part of its write up says:

His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama is known to the world for his efforts to preserve Tibetan culture and for his inspiring spiritual teachings. Often unnoticed, however, is the long, colorful history from which this most beloved of holy men has emerged. In Secret Lives of the Dalai Lama, Alexander Norman tells this story in full for the first time, from Tibetan Buddhism’s foundational narratives to the present-day crisis faced by Tibet.

And what a story it is. Along with dedicated monks selflessly serving the Tibetan people, among His Holiness’s spiritual forebears there are a Dalai Lama who waged wars, a womanizing and inebriated poet, and several who wound up dead following disputes over temporal power. Also, while Western practitioners focus on Tibetan Buddhism’s liberating vision of enlightenment, it simultaneously contains ritual practices of prophecy and magic, as well as a vivid pantheon of deities and demons.

"Holy men"??! Upon reading the history of the previous Dalai Lamas, the only "holy men" amongst them would appear to be the first four and the Seventh, none of whom had political power or abused their position as spiritual teachers.

It is a stretch to call the rest "holy men". That is unless you call womanizing drunks (the Sixth), violent power-hungry people (the "Great Fifth" and the "Great Thirteenth") and political dictators (the current Fourteenth) "holy men". The Eighth handed over his political power to regents, and the Ninth, Tenth and Twelfth died too young for anyone to make their mind up about them.

During a rebellion of the Karmapas in Tsang, the Fifth Dalai Lama (the 14th Dalai Lama's favorite "spiritual forbear") issued orders:

[Of those in] the band of enemies, who have despoiled the duties entrusted to them:
Make the male lines like trees that have had their roots cut;
Make the female lines like brooks that have dried up in winter;
Make the children and grandchildren like eggs smashed against cliffs;
Make the servants and followers like heaps of grass consumed by fire;
Make their dominion like a lamp whose oil has been exhausted;
In short, annihilate any traces of them, even their names.

The "Great Thirteenth" (1876-1933) (the current Dalai Lama's other favorite "spiritual forbear") was also a cruel leader. As chief judge he commanded severe punishments to be meted out to trouble-makers, including floggings, amputations and exile. His friend Sir Charles Bell gave the damning verdict:

He loved the work... and he liked the power which the work gave him.

Doesn't sound very holy to me. Nor does the current Dalai Lama's current ban of a beloved spiritual practice and the threatening language he uses to back it up, such as (to monks in India who questioned the ban on practicing Dorje Shugden):

14th Dalai Lama inspecting 
troops at Chakrata in 1972
"There will be no change in my stand. I will never revoke the ban. You are right. It will be like the Cultural Revolution. If those who do not accept the ban do not listen to my words, the situation will grow worse for them. You sit and watch. It will grow only worse for them."
As for the 14th Dalai Lama's "inspiring spiritual teachings", they come from the kindness of his precious Spiritual Guides. Yet he superseded and denigrated all of them as he assumed more and more temporal power.

Sometimes cliches hit the mark: Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

This all sounds incredible. It is true though. To find out more, including all the sources for this information, read A Great Deception.

Here is a very good article on why we feel it is okay to criticize the Dalai Lama.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dalai Lama messes with Tibetans' minds

The Dalai Lama continues to spread pain throughout the Tibetan communities. Recently a speech given to his followers during teachings in the Himalayan region of India were reported on the Tibetan radio station 'Voice of Tibet'. Here is a transcript:

Pachen Dorje (reporter): Today on the second day of his teaching in Varanasi, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, public jewel and supreme leader of Tibetan religion and politics, was kind to deliver a special advice to over six thousand devotees from Bhutan, Nepal and Indian Himalayan regions, who came to receive his teachings. On the occasion His Holiness explained he knew that some people of Shugden society recruited children in the name of education in Himalayan regions, and that if parents send their children with full awareness of the Dalai Lama's ban on worship of Shugden, he does not question and oppose. However, he also explained that there would be problems in future if children are sent without any knowledge.

Dalai Lama:
I heard that the so-called Geshe-la of Shugden society comes there, and they take children, saying that children would have good education. Similarly this is possible in Gashar; it is possible in Monpa; it is possible in Nepal. I do not oppose if the guardian parents send their children after knowing everything about Gyalpo Shugden; everything about the reasons of the ban imposed on it, and that the Shugden society is opponent of the Dalai Lama. Do you understand? If you do not know, are deceived, and say that there are good facilities and education, later your children have no way to meet the Dalai Lama.

Here the great Prayer Festival is held. Many monks from Sera, Drepung and Gaden monasteries came here. Down there, the monks from Dhokhang Khamtsen of Gaden and Dholgyal worshippers of Pomra in Sera Mey have no way to come here. (slight laugh) When I went to the seats down there (South India), they have no way to come to my teachings, except that they stay performing puja separately.

I clearly state that Guru and disciple require uncontaminated commitment. If someone with degenerated commitment receives teaching, it rather harms Guru; it doesn't help disciple.

Therefore it is unnecessary that you send your children to Dholgyal worshipping organizations, and you regret later when you come to realize. First you need to know. When Tibetan monks come and say you have place to go, you must ask their affiliation.

The Dalai Lama spooks the Tibetan community with his heavy-handed language. For example: “later your children have no way to meet the Dalai Lama” and "if someone with degenerated commitment receives teaching, it rather harms Guru; it doesn't help disciple."

When he first introduced the ban on Dorje Shugden, the Dalai Lama used similar rhetoric, claiming that the practice of Shugden harmed his health and shortened his lifespan. In this way, the Dalai Lama plays on the spiritual fears and superstitions of his audience.

The Dalai Lama, “supreme leader of Tibetan religion and politics”, is using this self-proclaimed status within Buddhism to enforce his own biased view. He demands compliance from an audience who may have a Guru-disciple relationship with him and/or who fear dire consequences if they do not fit in with the crowd.

Such use of Buddhism for political aims is distasteful. The Dalai Lama’s bigoted views and oppressive actions are also contrary to the love and compassion with which Buddha originally gave his teachings.

Sadly, there is only one source of religious disharmony in the Tibetan community, and it is the Dalai Lama. He uses his position to split the Tibetan community by spreading his wrong views about Protector Dorje Shugden, bringing pain to his people who are torn between loyalty to the Dalai Lama and their heartfelt commitments to their other precious Gurus who gave them this practice.

Many bravely continue to practise in secret, waiting and hoping, fearing the witchhunt should they reveal their true feelings.

It is sad that someone who preaches love, compassion and religious tolerance should continue to be the source of division, disharmony, and fear. Particularly someone who wears the robes of a Buddhist monk.

For more information, see A Great Deception.