Archive for the 'Geshe Kelsang Gyatso' Category

NKT World VS Reality

There is a new blog online tackling the website NKTWorld.org. The NKT World – Where there’s smoke…there’s arson! points out the many lies and misconceptions presented on NKTWorld.org.

Below are a couple quotes from the About US page:

The aim of this blog is to examine and clarify the more frequent assertions that NKTWorld.org makes about the New Kadampa Tradition, addressing the many misconceptions presented therein.

By constantly presenting issues in a biased and prejudiced fashion—especially putting their own ignorance in Geshe Kelsang’s mouth—NKTWorld.org’s real aim is merely to destroy people’s faith by any means necessary. It is nothing less than spiritual arson.

Dharmaprotector.org and the Dalai Lama Controversy

There are a couple of sites worth visiting regarding the Dalai Lama Controversy. Thomas Hochman, from Albuquerque, New Mexico wrote an interesting series of articles about the controversy and the site Heart Jewel – Standing up for the Middle Way has been redesigned. It’s looking sharp. Check out these sites if you haven’t already.

Geshe Kelsang Explains the Relationship between Je Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugden

Venerable Geshe Kelsang explains how Dorje Shugden is Manjushri Je Tsongkhapa. This was at the Dorje Shugden empowerment at the 2006 NKT Summer Festival at Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre in England.

A Presentation of Dharma for the Modern World

Today, I came across a website where someone was saying many horrible things about Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Most of what they were saying has already been addressed on the New Kadampa Truth website. But, one thing they were saying has not. They were questioning whether or not Geshe Kelsang had permission from, his spiritual guide, Trijang Rinpoche to make a new presentation of Dharma. At the NKT Summer Festival, in 2004, Geshe Kelsang made it very clear that he did have permission from Trijang Rinpoche. Below is part of this teaching.

A Presentation of Dharma for the Modern World

Sometimes if we mix ordinary view and profound Dharma, then it causes people more confusion. For we Buddhists the confusion is enough! It is everywhere, big confusion in Buddhist people. Because previously our Buddhist texts were very profound and modern people found them very difficult to understand. Buddhist Teachers are also giving teachings following the tradition of their own country, which is very difficult for people in other countries to understand. In this way, there is huge confusion.

So now our responsibility, the main job of Kadampa Buddhist Teachers, is to disappear the confusion of the people throughout the world. We should never cause confusion to increase. Therefore, you need certain skillful methods.

Even for myself, at the very beginning it was very difficult. If I taught according to the Tibetan tradition, Western people found it very difficult to accept or understand-there was not much meaning for them. If I taught my own presentation, a different design, I worried because I need to follow my lineage Gurus’ tradition. So big problem, you know. Every Teacher who came from ancient country, from Eastern country, had this problem. But I solved my problem when I had my last meeting with my Spiritual Guide Trijang Rinpoche.

At that time, he was near passing away, so I went to India to see him. I had a very good opportunity to have a long meeting. I made him a long-life ritual prayer called “ten shu” with an assembly of monks, and then I had a long meeting. During this, I asked many questions about my own problem, because if I taught according to the Tibetan tradition, Western people found it difficult to accept because they are not like Tibetan people. They are educated people who went through school and university or college. They have learned a lot. They are knowledgeable people. They will not follow blind faith. They immediately check how it is true or not. They immediately want practical things. So if we follow our own tradition, it is very difficult. So now I gave many lists from Sutra and Tantra, now what do we do with this?

He said clearly, “Don’t worry! My students are Tibetan people. Your students are people from other countries. Of course, you teach with different methods. Of course, your presentation of Dharma is necessarily going to be different than mine, because people’s characteristics, nature, capacity, wishes, and society are different.”

He said this and I was so happy that he gave me permission. He said: “You don’t worry. Buddha himself said that the way of presenting Buddhadharma should be like the way a doctor gives medicine to different people. The doctor never gives one medicine to everybody, every sick person. Different sick people receive different medicines, because they are not the same. Similarly, the way of presenting Dharma is necessarily going to be different according to different people.”

He told me this example. So then I realized that he gave me permission to make a new design for the people of the modern world. So we did, and it works very well. – Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Lama Yeshe’s Request for Geshe Kelsang to come to England

This is a little bit of history that I hadn’t known about before tonight. It’s now on the Wikipedia article about Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. We are so fortunate that Lama Yeshe and Trijang Rinpoche requested Geshe Kelsang to come to the West and that he accepted.

In Geshe Kelsang’s own words:

When I was in India I received an invitation from Manjushri Institute in England through Lama Yeshe, who was my very close friend in Tibet. He and I were from the same monastery in Tibet and we had the same Teacher. He wrote to me and requested me please to go to England and give Dharma teachings. I received this invitation but I didn’t answer for two months. At that time it was difficult for me to say yes due to certain commitments to local Tibetan people, and also I thought how could I teach as I could not speak English? I had no confidence. Lama Yeshe was very clever; he went to visit my root Guru Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, and requested him to ask me to go to England to teach Dharma. He knew if my root Guru asked me, then I would agree to go.

The Dalai Lama’s Mixture of Religion & Politics

The below text is by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso about the Dalai Lama mixing religion and politics from a 1997 interview. This evening, I came across it and found it helpful, so I decided to share.

Question: Do you support the separation of Church and State in any reconstituted Tibet?

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s Answer: Yes, I believe that the separation of Dharma and politics in a reconstituted Tibet is of the utmost importance. I appreciate that you also agree with this. This mixing of religion and politics causes so many problems, I understand this very clearly. The problem surrounding the worship of Dorje Shugden is due to mixing of religion and politics. The Dorje Shugden issue is a religious issue, but the Dalai Lama is using his political power to try to destroy this practice. This is the source of the problem. I clearly understand that although the Dalai Lama may say he supports a separation of Church and State, the reality is far different. Otherwise why is he still holding on to both these positions, that of religious leader and political leader of the Tibetan community in exile?

The issue of the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama is in reality a religious issue, likewise the reincarnation of the Karmapa. Why is the Tibetan political leader involved in these things? Why does he not leave these matters to the disciples of these two religious leaders? I don’t believe that the Dalai Lama is interested in a separation of Dharma and politics. If he were really interested in changing to a more democratic society, he would have already begun the transition from a feudal autocracy to a free society within the Tibetan communities in India. This has manifestly not happened. – Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, November 18th, 1997

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (video)

This excerpt from “The Story of Conishead Priory” details Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s arrival at Manjushri Centre, and how he served as the beacon of inspiration for its restoration.

How do Buddhists View Other Religions?

This is a video interview with Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (filmed at least 10 years ago) about how Buddhists view other religions. In particular, Geshe Kelsang is asked how Buddhists view Christianity. He said that it is a very beautiful religion that shares a lot of similarities with Buddhism. Some people love both religions, but in the end they should choose just one. Otherwise there is fighting inside.

This is similar to why, in the NKT, many practitioners say it’s best to focus on one tradition. Because, if we follow multiple traditions, we will be confused and have an internal conflict about which path is correct or which teacher is correct. This is why most practitioners in the NKT focus on one tradition. Not out of sectarianism or coming from a critical attitude toward other traditions.

Smears About Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s Retreat in India

Although Geshe Kelsang refuted this smear in an interview in 1997. Tenzin Peljor and others continue to spread lies about Geshe Kelsang’s retreat in India. The letter referred to in the question is the Sera Expulsion Letter

Q: Geshe-la, in their letter it says that you suffered from chronic TB while living in Mussourie, India, and you did not do long retreat. Can you clarify this, please?

GKG: I did a long retreat for many years in Nepal near the border of Tibet in the Himalayan region. The place is called Bangthog Damthang, and I was sponsored by my sister Dekyi who is now living in Switzerland. Later, I did many long retreats in the Dalhousie mountains near Dharamsala.

In Mussourie, every winter for several months I did retreat. When I was not in retreat I was trying to help families by performing healing rituals and special pujas. Before I went to Mussourie I lived in Buxa and fell sick there with recurrent chest infections, but it was not serious. Later, in Mussourie the chest infections continued to recur, but I was never admitted to hospital. In this life, I have never spent even one night in hospital! My relatives in Mussourie were urging me to have a thorough check up so I was examined by three different doctors. Two of them said that I had no disease, but that I needed to build up my bodily strength, and one doctor said that maybe I had TB. In reality it was difficult to understand the real problem.

Later, when I was living in England, I experienced continual physical weakness until finally I went with two Western assistants to London for three weeks and was examined by two specialists. They took many X-rays and did many other tests. The final result was that both doctors said there was no disease, just lung weakness. They said I needed fresh air, sunshine, exercise and rest to build up my strength.

More about this on the New Kadampa Truth website Smear: Geshe Kelsang didn’t do retreat in India, but was sick

Please spread the truth

Quotes from Great Gelugpa Masters About Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

The below quotes from great masters of the Gelugpa lineage help to refute the smear: Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is a ‘self-styled Geshe’.

In the foreword to Geshe Kelsang’s book, Clear Light of Bliss, Yongdzin Ling Rinpoche says:

This excellent commentary on the joyous Mahamudra
Derived from churning the essence of the ocean of Tantric scriptures
That arose from the heart of this most precious Spiritual Guide
Is published with a pure wish to benefit migrators.

In the foreword to Geshe Kelsang’s book Meaningful to Behold, Venerable Trijang Rinpoche says:

The excellent expounder, the great Spiritual Master Kelsang Gyatso, who studied myriad Buddhist scriptures at the famous Je College of the great monastic university of Sera, Tegchen Ling, practised the meaning of the teachings he received, and became a wise, serious and realized Teacher. From the rain of profound and extensive Dharma that he has bestowed upon his fortunate disciples, he has recently given comprehensive instructions on the great Bodhisattvacharyavatara (Guide to The Bodhisattva’s Way of Life).

In the prayer for the long life of the Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Trijang Rinpoche says:

You who are skilled in the wisdom that unties the sealed knots
Of the profound meaning of the Sutras and Tantras of the Fourth
Deliverer of this fortunate aeon,
Who possess an abundance of good qualities like a thousand petalled lotus,
O peerless, great Spiritual Guide, may you live for a very long time.

The holy Dharma, a treasury of jewels that is difficult to find for many aeons,
Is borne forth on the chariot of your excellent, superior intention;
O Protector who destroy the samsaric miseries of vast numbers of disciples,
Great Knowledge Hero arisen from an ocean (of wisdom), may you live for a very long time.


Disclaimer

This is not an official blog of the New Kadampa Tradition.

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