Posts Tagged 'geshe-la'

NKT and Sectarianism

Another easily refuted smear that is frequently spread on the internet is that the New Kadampa Tradition is sectarian.

Sectarianism is bigotry, discrimination, intolerance or hatred arising from attaching importance to perceived differences between subdivisions within a group, such as between different denominations of a religion or the factions of a political movement.

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso on sectarianism:

At the same time as cherishing our own tradition we should respect all other traditions and the right of each individual to follow the tradition of their choosing. This approach leads to harmony and tolerance. It is mixing different religious traditions that causes sectarianism. This is why it is said that studying non-religious subjects is less of an obstacle to our spiritual progress than studying religions of different traditions. From the book Understanding the Mind.

From the New Kadampa Truth website:

Truth: The NKT is not sectarian because we respect all religions and the right of others to choose what they want to practice, while we ourselves practice the teachings of our Mahayana tradition.

Read the full article Smear: NKT is Sectarian

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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.

New Kadampa Truth – Fighting the Smears

The purpose of this blog is to help refute the smears of the New Kadampa Tradition. This site is also open to discussion and debate. However, if your comments promote anger toward to NKT, or toward the individuals who are responsible for the smears, they will not be posted. Peaceful and well-thought-out comments only please.

Please take the time to check out this new site which refutes the lies which have been spread all over the internet mainly by a handful of individuals.

www.newkadampatruth.org

From the home page of New Kadampa Truth:

“For over 10 years Kadampa Buddhism in the West in the form of the New Kadampa Tradition ~ International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKT-IKBU) has been subject to a great number of false allegations. The purpose of this website is to try and respond to these with facts and the truth.

This website is needed because New Kadampa Tradition students and teachers have been accused of being spirit worshippers and cultists, even murderers. They have been accused of destroying the health and lives of others, even of causing the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Britain. They have been heckled and shouted at, barred from other Tibetan Buddhist organizations and online Buddhist forums, spat at, and threatened. Their locations have been cancelled, their Centers vandalized, their publicity torn down or defaced. Some Tibetan practitioners wear protective ribbons, chant, and make mudras (hand gestures) merely upon encountering a Kadampa. The same negative gossip and insinuation is repeated again and again on the Internet until people come to believe it, largely due to the untiring work of several individuals engaged in a smear campaign, who acknowledge that they would like the New Kadampa Tradition to be destroyed. Websites plagiarizing the name of the tradition store defamatory and divisive material, even though this material is prejudiced or was discredited years ago.”

Smears of the New Kadampa Tradition

Smears of The New Kadampa Tradition Refuted

From the website: New Kadampa Truth – Fighting New Kadampa Tradition Smears