Posts Tagged 'dalai lama'



“Oh no, am I in a cult?!”

The New Kadampa Truth blog has rolled out the first in a series of articles about the New Kadampa Tradition being labeled as a cult by supporters of the Dalai Lama. The ‘cult’ smear has probably been the most damaging smear to the reputation of the NKT even though there is no actual basis to support it. It’s wonderful that this series of articles is being published by the New Kadampa Truth team. May the truth prevail!

A quote from the article: The history of the New Kadampa Tradition’s ‘cult’ smear

Being accused of being a cult by someone who dislikes you is similar to being asked if you are still beating your wife every night. No matter what is said or not said in defence, the insinuation remains that you beat your wife. For simply addressing this topic, the NKT may be accused by the same detractors of being defensive (”they wouldn’t need to defend themselves if they weren’t in fact a cult!”); but we will take that risk. From the faultfinders’ point of view, we’re damned if we defend ourselves and damned if we don’t. Why not just ignore them? Because people surfing the Internet sometimes encounter the allegation that the NKT is a cult and then assume that the person who said this somehow knows something that they do not. They may then believe this and either stay away from the NKT or, if they are already in the NKT, anxiously ask themselves, “Oh no, am I in a cult?!”

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Ten Simple Reasons why Dorje Shugden is a Buddha

A very well-done article was posted on the Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden Blog today explaining “Ten Simple Reasons why Dorje Shugden is a Buddha”. If there’s a Buddhist out there who hasn’t heard that the Dalai Lama claims that Dorje Shugden is an evil spirit, you must have been living in a mountain cave for the last 10 years. 8)

This post gives a simple explanation that anyone somewhat familiar with the subject can understand. Check it out:
Ten Simple Reasons why Dorje Shugden is a Buddha

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

Western Shugden Society – Unlocked? Or was it ever Locked?

This is another one of Tenzin Peljor’s smears refuted. Tenzin Peljor claims to have unlocked the secrets of the Western Shugden Society. He claims on multiple sites (one of which was barred from flickr for storing defamatory material) that the Western Shugden Society is really the New Kadampa Tradition in disguise and then goes through his usual routine of claiming the NKT is a cult (because it says so on the Cult Information Centre website). Interestingly, the main references (links) of the Cult Information Centre about the NKT are Tibetan Government in Exile websites and at least two sites created by or moderated by Peljor. You didn’t have anything to do with those links did you Peljor?

From the New Kadampa Truth website:

Truth: It is the Western Shugden Society (WSS) that is demonstrating against the Dalai Lama, not the NKT. The WSS is an ad hoc coalition of Dorje Shugden practitioners from many different countries, including more Tibetans than Westerners.

Some NKT detractors have created websites and posted on blogs to allege that it is the NKT that is demonstrating against the Dalai Lama because there are many prominent and senior NKT practitioners visible at the demonstrations. However, those who attend the demonstrations do so as individual Dorje Shugden practitioners, not as representatives of the NKT. Everyone who practices Kadam Dharma is a practitioner of Dorje Shugden so it is not surprising that there are a great number of Kadampas supporting the demonstrations.

Nor are they wrong to do so. For the reasons why Kadampa practitioners everywhere oppose the Dalai Lama’s ban of their Protector practice and attempted suppression of their religious tradition, please see www.WesternShugdenSociety.org and www.WisdomBuddhaDorjeShugden.org.”

Smear: Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is a Self-proclaimed Geshe?

Truth: In 1996, Fifteen abbots and teachers from Sera Je Monastery wrote an open letter against Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, excluded him from the community of the monastery and named him an “apostate”. The reason for this action was Geshe Kelsang’s outspoken criticism against the Dalai Lama’s ban of Dorje Shugden.

Below is the refutation of this smear by James Belither in 1998:

“In Tibet before he joined Sera-je Monastery near Lhasa, Geshe Kelsang studied on the Geshe training program for many years in his local monastery of Jampaling. He then took two examinations at the great monastic university of Tashi Lhunpo, one for memorization of texts, the second being the actual examination. After the second examination he was awarded a degree from that monastery, and from that time on the other monks and local people called him Geshe Kelsang.

Later, he continued with the Geshe training programme in Sera-je Monastery until he left for India in 1959, where he alternately studied and engaged in meditation retreats. One day he received a letter from Sera-je Monastery in south India, encouraging him to attend a Geshe offering ceremony and to take an examination in order to receive a certificate. In 1973 he went to Sera Monastery and made an extensive offering at the Geshe offering ceremony to a large assembly of monks from both Sera-je and Sera-mey monasteries, in Sera Tsogchen Prayer Hall. He also made the traditional offerings to Sera-je Monastery. On that occasion the monks of his class offered him a ‘katag’, or ceremonial scarf, and gifts in the traditional way. If he was not considered a Geshe then what was the point of inviting him to participate in this ceremony?

At that time he declined to take the examination, which was a new system that had been recently introduced. He later explained that this was because he did not think that receiving a piece of paper was important.

The present abbot of Sera-je, Geshe Jampa Tekchog, also made offerings at another Geshe offering ceremony and he also did not take this examination for receiving a certificate.

Lama Thubten Yeshe, founder of the FPMT, although he completed his Geshe studies, never took the examination for receiving his Geshe degree, although later Sera Monastery offered him an honorary Geshe degree, no doubt after he became so well-known.

If it has been known for years that Geshe Kelsang is not a Geshe, then why has Sera Monastery waited until 1996 to declare him a fraud? For years, ever since 1978, a large number of Tibetan Lamas, including some of the most eminent within the Gelugpa Tradition have been invited by Geshe Kelsang to Manjushri Centre and other Centres. If he is a fraud then why did they not expose him?

Kyabje Ling Rinpoche, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, and the Dalai Lama have all written prefaces to his books. Kyabje Ling Rinpoche refers to Geshe Kelsang as ‘this most precious Spiritual Guide’. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche refers to him as ‘The excellent expounder, the great Spiritual Master Kelsang Gyatso …’, and in the colophon to the long life prayer that he wrote for Geshe Kelsang he says, ‘This brief prayer for the long life of the Tsang-pa Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, of Sera-je Monastery, who is endowed with great learning and immaculately pure conduct, …’.

It is only now, when Geshe Kelsang has dared to face up to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile in refusing to accept the Dalai Lama’s ban against the practice of Dorje Shugden—a practice given to him by his Spiritual Guide Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche—that Geshe Kelsang’s credentials as a Buddhist teacher have been called into question.

The campaign to discredit Geshe Kelsang is clearly an attempt to silence him and to act as a warning to others. As one Tibetan Lama living in America said to another Lama living in Germany who was planning to come out publicly against the Dalai Lama’s ban ‘No, you mustn’t do that. They’ll do to you what they’ve done to Geshe Kelsang.’

Actually, having been a student of Geshe Kelsang for the past twenty years, it matters little to me whether my teacher has an ecclesiastical title or not. The title ‘Geshe’ originally had the meaning of ‘Virtuous or Spiritual Friend’. Through having been inspired by his writings, teachings, example, and personal advice, Geshe Kelsang is a dearly loved Spiritual Friend and Guide to myself and to thousands of others.”

[James Belither, former Secretary of the New Kadampa Tradition 1998]

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s response to the Sera Expulsion Letter in 1996:

Q: Geshe-la, in the letter from the people of Sera-Je, it says that you were expelled from the monastery. Are you upset about this?

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso: No, I am not upset. I had already stopped my affiliation with Sera-Je twenty years ago and have no intention of renewing it. So, I feel this doesn’t make any sense.

Refuted Smears of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso on the New Kadampa Truth website.