Posts Tagged 'Dorje Shugden'

His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche Chanting Dorje Shugden Prayers

This video includes an audio recording of Trijang Rinpoche chanting Dorje Shugden prayers in Tibetan.

The author of the Heart Jewel blog wrote an interesting post about Trijang Rinpoche recently entitled ‘Trijang Rinpoche on Dorje Shugden‘. Here’s a quote from his post:

If a Buddha has any perceived faults—whether lustful to subdue the lustful, or hateful to subdue the hateful—these are our very faults on display.

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Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche Caught Lying Again

Someone just posted this info as a comment on my blog:

The latest news I have received is not very long but quite important on many levels from very reliable sources. The Abbots of Sera Je, Sera Mey, Gaden Jangtse, Gaden Shartse, Drepung Gomang and Drepung Loseling were summoned to Dharamsala by Prime Minister of Exile Tibetan Govt Professor Samdong Rinpoche very recently. Samdong Rinpoche scolded the Abbots for PUSHING THE SIGNATURE CAMPAIGN OF ALL MONKS TO RENOUNCE SHUGDEN IN THREE GREAT SEATS OF SERA, GADEN AND DREPUNG!!!

He said that their insistence on the signature campaigns has made personal difficulties for H.H. the Dalai Lama. (I would presume the court case and also the bad media regarding religious discrimination)

The ironic fact is that HH himself pushed for it through the Abbots. We can see the videos of HH praising the monasteries who has expelled the monks who wish to continue the practice and encourages more of it.

So perhaps this is a sign that the ban by HH is starting to have a negative effect on his reputation? extracted from dorjeshugden.com forum

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

The Origins of the ‘Cult of Shugden’ Smear

The second in a series of articles about the history of the ‘cult’ smear of the New Kadampa Tradition was posted on the New Kadampa Truth blog this evening. The history of the New Kadampa Tradition’s ‘cult’ smear, Part 2 reveals the origins of the smear ‘cult of Shugden’. The smear was first used by Andrew Brown in his article “Battle of the Buddhists” which appeared in The Independent (15 July 1996). The label ‘cult’ was then used by the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile as a weapon to try to destroy the reputation of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and the New Kadampa Tradition.

Update: Dalai Lama’s Court Case in Delhi High Court

An update on the Dalai Lama’s court case in Delhi High Court has been posted on the Shugden Society blog. Unfortunately, it’s not good news, but it’s good to know what’s going on at least.

Here’s a link: Update on the Dalai Lama’s Court Case in New Delhi, India

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.