Posts Tagged 'New Kadampa Truth'



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

Advertisements

Important Posts About the New Kadampa Tradition

Two important posts about the New Kadampa Tradition have been posted on the New Kadampa Truth Blog in the last couple days. These posts refute the smears that the NKT has broken away from the Gelugpa tradition and the mainstream of Buddhism.

After reading these posts I was surfing the web and came across this quote from Jim Belither about Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and found these words inspiring to contemplate:

Through the kind efforts and pure wishes of our Venerable Teacher, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, the sun of Je Tsongkhapa’s Kadam Dharma, having risen from behind the Eastern Snow Mountains, now radiates to many countries throughout the world. Through the pure thoughts and actions of Kadampa Buddhists, now and in the future, may the teachings, example and blessings of the Buddha and Je Tsongkhapa continue to remain and flourish for the greater good and happiness of all beings.  – Jim Belither

 
The posts are below:

Are NKT practitioners real Gelugpas?
Has the NKT broken away from the mainstream?

The Dalai Lama’s Lies about Dorje Shugden

Below is the beginning of an article posted on the Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden Blog today titled ‘The Cult of Dorje Shugden or the Cult of the Dalai Lama’

The Dalai Lama’s big lie

“In an interview with NEWSWEEK earlier this month, the Dalai Lama expressed his worries about the Dorje Shugden. “That cult is actually destroying the freedom of religious thought,” he said.”- Newsweek April 1997

“The problem with Dolgyal practice is that it presents the spirit Dolgyal (Shugden) as a Dharma protector and what’s more tends to promote the spirit as more important than the Buddha himself. If this trend goes unchecked, and innocent people become seduced by cult-like practices of this kind.” – The Dalai Lama’s Advice Concerning Dolgyal (Shugden), June 2008

This shows that in ten years, nothing has changed. The Dalai Lama is consistently using this derogatory term in relation to Dorje Shugden practice and practitioners, throwing mud that he hopes will stick so that Buddhists who have faith in him will also share this view. He uses the term ‘cult’ to dismiss the practice and humiliate those who practise it, but — as with most of the Dalai Lama’s pronouncements – few of his fervent followers have checked to see if there is truth in what he is saying.

Read the full article: ‘The Cult of Dorje Shugden or the Cult of the Dalai Lama’

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.

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

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.

Kadampa Bloggers

For the last 10 years or so, it seems like it has mainly been people who are opposed to the NKT writing about their experiences on the internet. Why is this? My opinion is that most people who are involved in the NKT don’t have a whole lot of time for this kind of thing. Most Kadampas do volunteer work for their Center, have part time or full time jobs, study on the NKT study programs and have daily meditations and pujas that they do. Which translates into, not a lot of free time, for blogging and such.

However, I don’t think there is a single Kadampa who isn’t tired of all the lies that get spread about our Spiritual Guide and Tradition on the internet. They say we’re a cult or an NRM (whatever that is). They say we’re murderers, chinese spies, and spirit worshippers. They say our Spiritual Guide isn’t a real Geshe, because he doesn’t have the Dalai Lama’s stamp of approval.

There have also been some people who never really got their practice off the ground. Then left the NKT, and now share their sad interpretation of the NKT in blog posts and such.

The good news is, the future is looking brighter. There are now several Kadampas who are sincere practitioners who are now blogging about their experiences so that outsiders can have a look at how people with positive minds experience the NKT.

Here’s the blogs that I’ve recently come across: Content NKTer, Happy New Kadampa, Making My Life Meaningful, New Kadampa Buddhist, and Wisdom and Bliss