Archive for the 'Dorje Shugden' Category



The Dalai Lama’s Lies about Dorje Shugden

Below is the beginning of an article posted on the Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden Blog today titled ‘The Cult of Dorje Shugden or the Cult of the Dalai Lama’

The Dalai Lama’s big lie

“In an interview with NEWSWEEK earlier this month, the Dalai Lama expressed his worries about the Dorje Shugden. “That cult is actually destroying the freedom of religious thought,” he said.”- Newsweek April 1997

“The problem with Dolgyal practice is that it presents the spirit Dolgyal (Shugden) as a Dharma protector and what’s more tends to promote the spirit as more important than the Buddha himself. If this trend goes unchecked, and innocent people become seduced by cult-like practices of this kind.” – The Dalai Lama’s Advice Concerning Dolgyal (Shugden), June 2008

This shows that in ten years, nothing has changed. The Dalai Lama is consistently using this derogatory term in relation to Dorje Shugden practice and practitioners, throwing mud that he hopes will stick so that Buddhists who have faith in him will also share this view. He uses the term ‘cult’ to dismiss the practice and humiliate those who practise it, but — as with most of the Dalai Lama’s pronouncements – few of his fervent followers have checked to see if there is truth in what he is saying.

Read the full article: ‘The Cult of Dorje Shugden or the Cult of the Dalai Lama’

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Dorje Shugden and Je Tsongkhapa

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso gave the teaching below at Summer Festival in 2006. He explains how Dorje Shugden and Je Tsongkhapa are the same mental continuum.

Who is Dorje Shugden? By Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Dorje Shugden is a Dharma Protector who is a manifestation of Je Tsongkhapa. Je Tsongkhapa appears as the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden to prevent his doctrine from degenerating.

During his life, Je Tsongkhapa founded and established the doctrine of the Ganden Oral Lineage, which leads living beings to the attainment of permanent liberation from suffering and the supreme happiness of enlightenment very quickly. Of course, Je Tsongkhapa himself takes responsibility for preventing his doctrine from degenerating or from disappearing. He takes responsibility for his doctrine to remain from generation to generation.

To do this, since he passed away he continually appears in many different aspects, such as in the aspect of a Spiritual Teacher who teaches the instructions of the Ganden Oral Lineage. Previously, for example, he appeared as the Mahasiddha Dharmavajra and Gyälwa Ensapa; and more recently as Je Phabongkhapa and Kyabje Trijang Dorjechang. He appeared in the aspect of these Teachers.

And he also appears in the aspect of different Dharma Protectors such as Kalarupa, and later as Dorje Shugden. In his extensive praise to Dorje Shugden, the great Yogi and scholar Kelsang Khädrub, says:

Although you attained enlightenment many eons ago,
You appear in various aspects to benefit living beings and the doctrine.
You possess the twenty-seven uncommon good qualities of Buddha.
O Vajradhara Dorje Shugdän, I prostrate to you
.

Then he listed some of Dorje Shugden’s former reincarnations, which were, during Buddha’s time, Bodhisattva Manjushri, and later Mahasiddha Biwawa, the great Sakya Pandita, and Butön Rinchen Drub.

These holy beings were also Je Tsongkhapa’s former reincarnations. From this, we can understand that Dorje Shugden’s former reincarnations and Je Tsongkhapa’s former reincarnations were the same.

So it is clear that Je Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugdän are the same mental continuum – one person but different aspects. For this reason, I am saying that Dorje Shugden is a manifestation of Je Tsongkhapa, no doubt, no doubt.

Je Tsongkhapa himself appears as Dorje Shugden to prevent his doctrine of the Ganden Oral Lineage from degenerating by pacifying obstacles, gathering necessary conditions, and bestowing powerful blessings upon practitioners of this doctrine.

If we continually rely upon Dorje Shugden with faith, he will care for us like a mother cares for her child. He will guide us to the correct path or liberating path.

He will pacify our obstacles and gather our necessary conditions, and we will receive his powerful blessings, through which our wisdom, compassion, and spiritual power will increase. Through this, we can easily make progress along the quick path to enlightenment that is shown to us by Je Tsongkhapa.

Shugden Worshippers – The Buddhist Taliban?

When I first saw this article, I thought it was Robert Thurman’s response to the open letter from the Western Shugden Society. The title of the article is “Shugden Worshippers – The Buddhist Taliban” on a website called unmadeinchina. Robert Thurman has become infamous among Shugden practitioners for his statement in Newsweek in 1997: “It would not be unfair to call Shugdens the Taliban of Tibetan Buddhism.”

The article doesn’t actually say who the author is, but the intentions of this article are clear. It is attempt to brew hatred in the minds of Tibetans toward the NKT and Shugden practitioners in general by using the hatred many Tibetans already have toward the Chinese.

Here’s a few quotes from the article

In 1991, a senior monk named Kelsang Gyatso established a new Dorje Shugden order based in England, calling it the New Kadampa Tradition. (The NKT does not consider itself a form of Tibetan Buddhism.) The practice promised spiritual rewards for cash, which helped trigger problems with the Dalai Lama. Shugden can basically be considered a revival movement within the Geluk tradition. Shugden is considered the protector, not just of individual practitioners, but of the integrity of the Geluk tradition as conceived by its most conservative elements – for which they have been called “the Taliban of Buddhism.”

This smear that the NKT encourages people to give their money to the organization has been refuted many times. Who in the NKT has ever said practitioners could receive spiritual rewards for cash?

Chinese “Buddhist” organizations connected with NKT – such as the Buddhist Association of China (BAC) – use the agency New China to proclaim H.H. the Dalai Lama to be a “superstitious dictator” who holds his people in subjugation.

Where do they get this stuff? I’ve been involved in the NKT for 7 years and I’ve never even heard of the Buddhist Association of China before. If this was true, wouldn’t it be important for them to show some evidence of this connection? It is not true. So there is no evidence.

Not only that, but the Western Shugden Society calls the Dalai Lama a “religious dictator” not a “superstitious dictator”.

Could followers of Shugden have “infiltrated” the famous March 2008 clashes in which the Chinese alleged that some overexcited “monks” acted in ways that are in complete antithesis to Buddhism, but which are advocated by Shugden? Certainly, a fundamentalist sect which trains young monks – especially ones who may be open to using violence is very convenient for the forces of the Chinese occupation.

What will happen to Tibet if the non-violent Buddhism preached and defended by the Dalai Lama dies out and Shugden fundamentalism takes root?

Shugden’s mask may hide an even more terrible one: that of the CCP and of Hu Jintao. And His Holiness the Dalai Lama may be man they are trying to crush.

Can you believe that they are actually blaming Shugden practitioners for the March riots in Tibet? Everyone knows that it’s the Dalai Lama’s followers who hate the Chinese and engage in violent behavior towards them.

They accuse Shugden practitioners of both siding with China and fighting against them. It seems that Shugden practitioners have become the scapegoat for all the problems of the Tibetan Government in Exile.

Smear: NKT is sponsored by the Chinese Government

6 Questions for Tenzin Peljor

Below was an email sent to Tenzin Peljor, the most vehement critic of Shugden practitioners and of the NKT. He will not post it. He will not answer these questions nor other important ones. He is very selective it what he chooses to respond to. These are some of the most important questions concerning the Dalai Lama and yet remain completely ignored. If you (Tenzin Peljor) are so confident in your beliefs why are you afraid to answer these questions?

Dear Tenzin,

Since you have taken it upon yourself or been asked to represent the views of the Dalai Lama, I wish to submit six important questions that hopefully you can provide clear replies to. Since you have gone to great lengths to accommodate the questions of a concerned citizen in Brighton, then in fairness please show the same willingness to address the questions below – they to come from a concerned citizen.If you are fair and open minded as the people visiting your blogs indicate, demonstrate these qualities by providing the appropriate answers. There is no valid reason not to post these questions and let your readers draw their own conclusions.

Sincerely,
Ron Cook

1) If it is appropriate for the Dalai Lama to decide what spiritual practices are appropriate, and seeing clearly that such a decision causes divisiveness, why are the reasons he cites for the ban on Dorje Shugden not being supported by the teachings of Buddha? What sutras specifically dictate the need for invoking spiritual bans? If the ban is not politically motivated there must be an authentic spiritual basis for this action. The teachings of Buddha address all possible delusions that sentient beings are capable of generating, therefore, please cite the sutras that necessitate imposing the ban on Dorje Shugden.

2) Why is the Dalai Lama consistently patient, apologetic, and conciliatory toward the Chinese and not Dorje Shugden practitioners? The Dalai Lama has never acknowledged any email, petition, fax, phone call, telegram, or verbal request, nor has he ever granted an audience to anyone wishing to try and solve the Shugden controversy. However, he makes effort to engage the Chinese at virtually every opportunity. Please explain this double standard of engagement.

3) The Dalai Lama says that Dorje Shugden practitioners are free to ignore his ‘advice’ and continue to practice their faith. How is this possible when his government, his siblings, his personal friends, and representatives of Buddhist traditions that he controls, at every opportunity, disparage and attack Dorje Shugden practitioners? What basis is there to believe that Shugden practitioners have freedom? The Dalai Lama has said:

“Everyone who is affiliated with the Tibetan society of the Ganden Phodrang government, should relinquish ties with Dholgyal. This is necessary since it poses danger to the religious and temporal situation of Tibet. As for foreigners, it makes no difference to us if they walk with their feet up and their head down. We have taught Dharma to them, not they to us…

‘Until now you have a very good job on this issue. Hereafter also, continue this policy in a clever way. We should do it in such a way to ensure that in future generations not even the name of Dhogyal is remembered.”

(From a speech delivered July 14th 1996, in Caux Switzerland)

Since the Dalai Lama has expressed an intention to utterly destroy the practice of Dorje Shugden, please explain the nature and type of freedom such practitioners shall enjoy.

4) Johan Candelin, director of the World Evangelical Fellowship’s (WEF) Religious Liberty Commission, invited the Dalai Lama to meeting in Helsinki on June 20, 1998. One of the topics discussed was the persecution of Christians in Sri Lanka by Buddhists. The Dalai Lama said that any Buddhist who persecutes Christians “misunderstands the true nature of Buddhism.” Persecution is defined in the Random House College Dictionary (def. 3) to mean:

“A program or campaign to exterminate, drive away, or subjugate a people because of their religious or moral beliefs or practices.”

If persecution of Christians is inappropriate and contrary to the true nature of Buddhism, why is the persecution of Shugden practitioners been not only acceptable, but advocated by the Dalai Lama? How can any reasonable person not consider the Dalai Lama’s words and actions to be hypocrisy in the extreme? Please clarify that persecuting Shugden practitioners is not hypocrisy.

5) The Dalai Lama freely admits that previous to his ban he was a practitioner of Dorje Shugden. He also composed a prayer to the deity entitled, Melody of the Unceasing Vajra, which is subtitled: ‘A Propitiation of Mighty Gyalchen Dorje Shugden, Protector of Conqueror Manjushri Tsongkhapa’s Teachings, by the Supreme Victor, the Great 14th Dalai Lama.’ Since the Dalai Lama is considered to be infallible and a fully enlightened being, how can these completely opposite beliefs be reconciled? Should we understand that the Dalai Lama was a faulty being when he practiced this deity in the past? If so, how is it that he can be considered to be faultless now? Enlightened beings cannot become more enlightened with time, nor can their perfect state degenerate. Moreover, such a pure being is omniscient, and would know indubitably that such a reversal of belief would cause tremendous confusion and problems. A flawless being should be able to provide a coherent, logical, and plausible explanation for this contradiction. The Dalai Lama has yet to provide such an explanation. Please explain how the Dalai Lama’s reversal on Dorje Shugden can be considered anything other than the confused and mistaken action of an ordinary being.

6) For nearly four centuries the deity Dorje Shugden has supposedly caused harm to many people. The Fourteenth Dalai Lama claims that since the time of the Fifth Dalai Lama, Dorje Shugden has caused not only a consistent degeneration of Buddhism, but many other serious problems. If this is true, why is it not possible for any of the reincarnations of the Dalai Lama to subdue this being? It is claimed that each of the Dalai Lamas are successive manifestations of the Buddha of Compassion (Chenrezig). There are many accounts of high Lamas subduing malevolent spirits in Tibet, yet the succession of ten Dalai Lamas cannot accomplish a similar feat. Practitioners of Dorje Shugden claim that he is an enlightened being, and therefore impossible to subdue. Please explain the failure of these ten Dalai Lamas to subdue Dorje Shugden. Please explain the failure of thousands of high Lamas to do the same.

Fundamentalism or Traditionalism?

From the Dorje Shugden Truth blog:

This is a response to Tenzin Peljor’s article “Religious Fundamentalism in Buddhism” posted on his blog yesterday. In this article he tries to make the case that Dorje Shugden practitioners are fundamentalists. He quotes Wikpedia’s article on Fundamentalism, and gives the definition as follows:

Fundamentalism refers to a “deep and totalistic commitment” to a belief in, and strict adherence to a set of basic principles (often religious in nature), away from doctrinal compromises with modern social and political life.

The aim of Buddhist traditions should be to maintain the doctrine of Buddha which is then passed down in its entirety from generation to generation with nothing being added and nothing being omitted. Changing the teachings of Buddha is non-negotiable because they reveal fundamental truths such as karma, rebirth, suffering, liberation and enlightenment and they reveal a flawless path to become free from all suffering and to be of benefit to all living beings. So, given this, are Shugden practitioners fundamentalists?

No, they are traditionalists, as all Buddhist should be.

The Oxford English Dictionary definition of Traditionalism is ‘the upholding of tradition, especially so as to resist change’. This is the aim of Buddhism. Of course, there must be flexibility in how to present the teachings of Buddha, and how to put them into practice, but the teachings must remain essentially unchanged; only their presentation and practice can change.

Those who follow Buddha’s teachings during these times need to have the determination to follow them unchanged, but to adapt their practice of the teachings to the needs and norms of society and to be able to present them in a way that is suitable for practitioners at this time. This is something that Geshe Kelsang Gyatso has done superbly and is one of the reasons why the New Kadampa Tradition has been so successful in bringing Buddha’s teachings to thousands of people.

The basic problem is this: Tenzin seems to equate someone who only wants to practise one tradition and who doesn’t want someone to arbitrarily change that tradition as fundamentalist but there’s nothing wrong with wanting to practise one tradition any more than there is with wanting to practise many, if that’s your wish. Everyone should have the freedom to practise as they wish without being criticised and castigated as ‘fundamentalist’ or ’sectarian’. Such criticism is itself sectarian – another example of how critics of the WSS and NKT are doing exactly what they accuse them of!

Another example of possible fundamentalism would be the recent furore over NKT ordination triggered by the Australian Sangha Association statement. It could be argued that those who criticise NKT ordination don’t understand the real meaning of ordination and they could also be accused of being fundamentalist because they are unable to let go of their idea of what constitutes ordination, even though how that is defined must necessarily depend upon the culture in which Buddhism is practiced. What’s important always is that the spirit and meaning of Buddha’s teachings is preserved while its aspect can change in accordance with the needs of society and the time of practice. For example, in a spiritually degenerate time, does it make sense to cling to the idea that ordination consists of 253 vows for a fully ordained monk, even though it is virtually if not totally impossible to keep them all? Such clinging to views might also be accused of being fundamentalist, especially when the definition is ’strict adherence to a set of basic principles (often religious in nature), away from doctrinal compromises with modern social and political life‘.

Tenzin seems to be saying that because Shugden practitioners are unwilling to acquiesce to the Dalai Lama’s demand that people do not practise Shugden, that makes them fundamentalist. Why should Shugden practitioners listen to the Dalai Lama when he has no good reason? It is certainly not necessary to remove the practice of the Wisdom Protector Dorje Shugden from Je Tsongkhapa’s tradition. There is no logical justification for this, even though Tenzin thinks there is one. He says:

Because a main argument in the conflict at the site of the Shugden followers is that their Gurus, e.g. Pabongkha Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche, revealed the Shugden practice and gave obligations on it, one has to follow it, whereas the Shugden opponents in Gelug school cite Buddha in the Kalama Sutra and refer on the sectarian nature of the Shugden practice which is seen by them as a contradiction to Buddhist ethics and Je Tsongkhapa, the Gelug founder, who said one should not follow “if it is an improper and irreligious command”, which is based on the Vinaya Sutra: “If someone suggests something which is not consistent with the Dharma, avoid it.”

However, he’s incorrect. The main arguments for the practise of Dorje Shugden is both that it was passed down by our Lineage Gurus and (very importantly) it’s a valid practice that can be known through experience. Just because Tenzin had a bad experience with it doesn’t invalidate the practice – this also goes for the Dalai Lama. There is nothing in the prayer to Dorje Shugden that is not consistent with Dharma – I’d challenge Tenzin to tell me if there is!

In short, Shugden practitioners are thinking people who understand the worth of relying on Dorje Shugden through their own daily experience, not fundamentalists who merely follow the words of their Guru because ‘they should’.

Tenzin also accuses Geshe Kelsang as having a narrow minded attitude, and he gives various quotes from Geshe-la’s books on faith and devotion to a Spiritual Guide and reliance on one tradition as evidence, but this is traditional Buddhism also! The Dalai Lama praises such devotion in his student Lama Zopa, for example, so why is Tenzin trying to paint it as something unusual or narrow minded?

Rinpoche is someone who follows my guidance sincerely, very expansively and with one hundred percent trust. He possesses unwavering faith and pure samaya; not only has he pure samaya and faith but whatever I instruct, Zopa Rinpoche has the capability to accomplish it.

Furthermore, Tenzin claims that “NKT literature lacks a lot of Buddhist teachings” when its basis is lamrim, the condensation of all of Buddha’s teachings. How curious!

Finally Tenzin concludes:

In general as said above fundamentalism is based on non-knowledge so offering more understanding was suggested as one way to address fundamentalism. However, as long as a more narrow minded person refuses to broaden his understanding or to relax his views, and because one can not force others to think about their point of view, this method is very limited.

I would agree with this. Getting the Dalai Lama to broaden his understanding of the nature and function of Dorje Shugden so that he can relax his wrong view that Dorje Shugden is a spirit has been very difficult until now. We can see how entrenched he is in the way that he refuses dialogue with the WSS about this.

Finally, Tenzin quotes the Dalai Lama on the solution to Fundamentalism:

RB. What can the West or westerners do in a concrete way at this point?

HH. “Listen. Listen to their complaints and their reasons. They are unhappy and we should share their unhappiness.”

RB. Your Holiness, you have to admit that is a bit difficult.

It’s certainly appears a bit difficult for the Dalai Lama to have empathy with Shugden practitioners. This shows the Dalai Lama’s hypocrisy once more – as usual, he says one thing and does another. He’s not listening, not sharing and he’s not talking.

My conclusion is that if anyone is practising Buddhist fundamentalism, it is the Dalai Lama, especially when Richard Dawkins characterizes it as ‘clinging to a stubborn, entrenched position that defies reasoned argument or contradictory evidence.

We can all see the immense spiritual problems that have been caused by the fundamentalist position of the Dalai Lama and they could all be solved if he simply changed his mind and allowed Shugden practitioners to live and practice freely as traditionalists. We can only hope that such freedom will be forthcoming in the future.

False Accusations Against the Innocent

There are many followers and representitives of the Dalai Lama who wish to make Shugden practitioners look like evil (violent) spirit worshippers in the public eye. However, there is no evidence that Shugden practitioners are violent or spirit worshippers.

So how can they make Shugden practitioners look like evil spirit worshippers without any evidence? Make it up.  And that’s exactly what they do.

The prime minister of the Tibetan Government in Exile, Samdhong Rinpoche recently said:

The Shugden and the Chinese are obviously allies…Their cults all over the world are financed by the Chinese…people are afraid of Shugden violence. They are like terrorists, they will stop at nothing, everyone knows this.

Have they provided any valid evidence that Shugden practitioners and the Chinese are allies or that Shugden practitioners are financed by the Chinese? No. These are just negative accusations that have no evidence supporting them.

There are millions of Shugden practitioners all over the world and the only evidence the Tibetan Government in Exile has to support that Shugden practitioners are violent is the murders of Lobsang Gyatso and his two attendants in 1997. No one has been convicted for these murders, and there is no valid evidence linking these murders to Shugden practitioners. Yet Samdhong and other Tibetan officials repeatedly claim that Shugden practitioners are violent in nature. Their inability to provide any valid evidence of this violence, in fact, proves the opposite. It proves that they are lying in an attempt to destroy the reputation of Shugden practitioners worldwide.

In a 1997 Newsweek article Robert Thurman said:

It would not be unfair to call Shugdens the Taliban of Tibetan Buddhism.

This statement proves one thing. That Robert Thurman will say absolutely anything on behalf of the Dalai Lama. Even if it means telling blatant lies.

A German Newspaper recently stated that Shugden practitioners engage in animal sacrifice. This accusation is about as ridiculous as Robert Thurman’s accusations in 1997. The “religious expert” who is the source of this accusation wished to remain anonymous.

From the New Kadampa Truth site:

We might ask what such an “expert” is scared of. To appear to be manipulated by the Dalai Lama’s Private Office? To be sued for libel? When asked for evidence or even instances of Shugden practitioners sacrificing animals, the journalist could not give any. This was not the most rigorous example of “investigative journalism”.

It appears that the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile follow the view of the Russian communist leader Vladimir Lenin, who said “A lie told often enough becomes truth”.

The FPMT’s Restrictions on Dorje Shugden Practitioners

New article from the New Kadampa Truth site:

From the FPMT website: “Restriction: FPMT has recently issued a new policy regarding the Shugden practice in accordance with the wishes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Lama Zopa Rinpoche has expressed the wish “not to have a guru-disciple relationship with anyone who is practicing Shugden.”

Since Lama Zopa is still the nominal head of the FPMT, this means that Tibetan politics has now irreversibly permeated the FPMT. It means that not even Lama Zopa’s precious teachers, Trijang Rinpoche or Lama Yeshe, or their reincarnations, would be allowed to attend Lama Zopa’s teachings.

FPMT members have long accused the NKT of being a sectarian cult. The irony is that the NKT is an open and tolerant organization that has never turned anyone away from a teaching due to their religious beliefs. This religious belief is the 400-year old practice passed down through generations of fully accomplished Buddhist masters, including half the lineage Gurus of the FPMT.

Meanwhile, it is unclear whether or not Lama Osel (the reincarnation of Lama Yeshe) would countenance this latest extraordinary development. He has kept his distance from the FPMT for the last few years. The de facto head of the FPMT is now the Dalai Lama.

Lama Zopa has said this about himself and Lama Yeshe, the Founder of the FPMT:

“Of course, Lama and I practiced Dorje Shugden for many years. That was always the main thing that Lama did whenever there were problems to overcome. At the beginning of every Kopan course, Lama always did Shugden puja to eliminate hindrances.”