Posts Tagged 'Geshe Kelsang Gyatso'

Tibetan Politics and the Gelugpa Lineage

This is an interesting section on the Wikipedia page about Geshe Kelsang Gyatso with regard to his views of the current state of the Gelugpa tradition.

Relationship with Tibetan politics

Consistent with the lineage teachings he received from his root Guru, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, Geshe Kelsang believes that the practice of Dorje Shugden should continue to be practised by any Gelugpas who wish to do so. This view differs from that held by the current Dalai Lama, who, despite having received the same lineage teachings, now actively discourages this practice. However, as it is an independent Western Buddhist organization, the Dalai Lama has no authority in terms of how the NKT-IKBU is organized and what practices are taught. The controversy surrounding the Dalai Lama’s ban of the practice of Dorje Shugden is described in the article on the Dorje Shugden Controversy.

Geshe Kelsang said at an NKT-IKBU Festival in 1995 that the Gelug tradition is in a state of “serious degeneration.” In explaining this, Geshe Kelsang said that if the Dalai Lama succeeds in destroying the practice of Dorje Shugden, the entire Gelug tradition itself will be destroyed:

If the practice of Dorje Shugden is harmful then it follows that Je Phabongkhapa was not an authentic Buddhist master, and if he was not then there is no doubt that his heart disciples, Kyabje Ling Rinpoche and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche (the Senior and Junior Tutors of HH the Dalai Lama) were also not authentic. These three Lamas are the most important Gelugpa Lamas of recent times. If these three are not pure Teachers then there is no doubt that the entire practice of the Gelug Tradition is invalid. This is the main issue that needs clarification.

Geshe Kelsang become critical of the Gelugpa hierarchy’s attempts to prevent him from passing on Dorje Shugden teachings that he had received from his own teacher. The distancing of Geshe Kelsang from the Tibetan hierarchy has also been underlined by a number of revisions made to later editions of his earlier publications. Geshe Kelsang’s dedications to the long life of the Dalai Lama found in earlier editions of Meaningful to Behold are omitted from the fourth edition (1994) onwards. Also, Geshe Kelsang’s students made revisions to the list of Mahamudra lineage gurus in the second edition of Clear Light of Bliss published in 1992. (On this point, Kyabje Gehlek Rimpoche explains that “We have two lineage prayers, one long and one slightly shorter one. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, who had the teaching from Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche at the same time when I was there, gives the shorter lineage prayer and I put in the longer one.”) In the first edition, Phabongkha Rinpoche was followed by Trijang Rinpoche and Ling Rinpoche, the latter being the ‘current holder of the throne of Ganden’. In the second edition, Ling Rinpoche’s name is omitted and replaced by ‘Dorjechang Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche’ (Geshe Kelsang Gyatso).

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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.

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

New Kadampa Tradition ‘Cult’ Smear, Part 3

Part three of the articles on the New Kadampa Truth Blog about the history of the New Kadampa Tradition’s ‘cult’ smear has been up for a couple days now. This article highlights the Dalai Lama’s first publicized attacks on Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and Je Phabongkhapa (one of the principal lineage Gurus of all modern day Gelugpas).

Part three also addresses the smears of the New Kadampa Tradition and Geshe Kelsang Gyatso published by Newsweek in 1997 in the article entitled Cult Mystery. The main body of which was based on interviews with the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman.

This combined with the Sera Expulsion Letter cemented in the minds of many Tibetan Buddhists the belief that the NKT was a cult. 1996 and 1997 were bad times for the NKT. Brave as they were to stand up to the Dalai Lama, their actions were misconstrued and the unfair smear of their being a cult began.
The history of the New Kadampa Tradition’s ‘cult’ smear, Part 3

For previous installments:

The history of the New Kadampa Tradition’s ‘cult’ smear, Part 1
The history of the New Kadampa Tradition’s ‘cult’ smear, Part 2

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.

“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?!”

The NKT, Sectarianism and Fractals

Before Today, I never would have known that fractals could be useful in illustrating Atisha’s advice on how to gain the attainments of all deities through accomplishing the practice of just one. But the author of Heart Jewel (both the site and the blog) has presented a skillful refutation of the smear that the New Kadampa Tradition is sectarian by using a fractal illustration.

The NKT follows the middle way which avoids the extremes of sectarianism and eclecticism.

Extreme #1: One tradition is better than the other three (“one size fits all”), which leads to sectarianism.

Extreme #2: Four traditions are better than one (“I need all I can get”), which leads to eclecticism.

The Middle Way: (a) One tradition cannot accomplish everything for everybody (“different strokes for different folks”), which counters sectarianism. But, (b) one tradition can accomplish everything for you (“less is more”), which counters eclecticism.

– From the article: You Do the Math: Understanding Atisha’s Fractal Dharma