Posts Tagged 'tenzin peljor'
Tags: dholgyal, Dorje Shugden, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Kadampa Buddhism, New Kadampa Tradition, NKT, Shugden practitioners, tenzin peljor
Tags: Dorje Shugden, fundamentalism, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, hypocrisy, New Kadampa Tradition, New Kadampa Truth, NKT, Shugden, tenzin peljor, 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.
Tags: Buddhism in Britain, David N. Kay, dorje shugden controversy, fpmt, fundamentalism, New Kadampa Tradition, new kadampa tradition wikipedia, NKT, tenzin peljor
Today, Tenzin Peljor added a post on his blog about fundamentalism in Buddhism. He copied a statement from the Wikipedia article on the fundamentalism page about Buddhism. Just today, there was an edit on the fundamentalism page of Wikipedia and the section about the Dorje Shugden controversy and the New Kadampa Tradition was added (see the history). Interestingly, the section contains a lot of content from Tenzin Peljor’s favorite book ‘Buddhism in Britain’ by David N. Kay. I found a lot of coincidences here. So I looked to see if any other similar edits were made on Wikipedia with the same IP address (22.214.171.124). All of the edits from that IP address were made to pages related to the New Kadampa Tradition and the Dorje Shugden controversy. So I looked it up to find out the location of the IP address online. The IP address is based in Italy. Tenzin Peljor is currently in Italy studying on the FPMT Master Study Program.
Does anyone other than me think that the mysterious editor of this page on fundamentalism is Tenzin Peljor?
Tenzin says this about the new addition to Wikipedia on his blog:
The section of the Wikipedia article on fundamentalism regarding Buddhism has been repeatedly deleted – probably by followers of the NKT – however the quotes and material are based on reliable sources and the section is balanced.
This section did not exist on the fundamentalism page before today. This is obvious, by looking at the history of the pages edits. This section is also very unbalanced since the author is just trying to spread negative views about the NKT on the internet. David Kay (Tenzin’s source) has a disgruntled history with the NKT. His book is not a nuetral or reliable source. Tenzin Peljor is the author of at least two thirds of the smears of the NKT on the web.
Tags: Dorje Shugden, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Kadampa Buddhism, new kadampa, New Kadampa Tradition, NKT, NKT Survivors, Shugden, tenzin peljor, Western Shugden Society
Tenzin Peljor recently posted a message on his blog which included a message from a member of the New Kadampa Survivors forum who claimed to be giving the inside story from the NKT Summer Festival. Most of what is said could be easily refuted by anyone who was at the Summer Festival. So these kinds of posts, only serve to further discredit the integrity of Tenzin Peljor and his smear campaign.
The anonymous author claims that there were posters promoting the Western Shugden Society protests in Nantes, France all over the walls everywhere. Here’s a quote about the posters that were supposedly everywhere:
On mobile cooking points, walls and outbuildings. Even on the temple wall. The chapel was used as a meeting point. Even more posters! The walls were covered as were the doors and tables! – New Kadampa Survivors member
This person sounds like they were almost buried in posters. I had the great fortune to attend the Summer Festival (both weeks). I saw only about a dozen posters around Manjushri Centre, and as a matter of fact, the chapel in the priory was used for Festival registration. So this individual is clearly confused. The most bogus claim made is that the members of the Western Shugden Society are prepared to use violence against the Dalai Lama and that they are very angry. Another quote:
Some told me they were prepared to use violence. Hatred? Why? Geshe-la wants us to win at all costs. Confusion? They have truly been poisoned. [..] – New Kadampa Survivors member
Anyone who has attended a Western Shugden Society protest is aware that anyone who displays anger or malicious intentions would not be allowed to participate in the demonstrations. Before each protest, everyone attending makes a promise in writing to conduct themselves in a peaceful and respectful manner.
It’s great that Tenzin Peljor is posting this kind of material from the New Kadampa Survivors group so that outsiders can have a peek at the quality of the content of this forum. It is understandible that many of the people who join this group, hoping to derive some therapeutic benefits from the discussions held, quickly unsubscribe describing the group as “toxic”.
HappyNKTer said it best:
So there’s not a doubt in my mind that some people have had bad NKT experiences — just in the same way that Catholics, Baptists, Anglicans, Methodists, Jews, Muslims, and others have had bad experiences with their own religious tradition. But to create a forum whose main aim is to spend so much time blaming others and dwelling in negativity… well, they have every right to do that. I hope it brings them the happiness they seek.
Tags: Buddhism, geshe kelsang, india, kadampa, Kadampa Buddhism, nepal, new kadampa, New Kadampa Tradition, New Kadampa Truth, NKT, retreat, retreats, tenzin peljor, tibet
Although Geshe Kelsang refuted this smear in an interview in 1997. Tenzin Peljor and others continue to spread lies about Geshe Kelsang’s retreat in India. The letter referred to in the question is the Sera Expulsion Letter.
Q: Geshe-la, in their letter it says that you suffered from chronic TB while living in Mussourie, India, and you did not do long retreat. Can you clarify this, please?
GKG: I did a long retreat for many years in Nepal near the border of Tibet in the Himalayan region. The place is called Bangthog Damthang, and I was sponsored by my sister Dekyi who is now living in Switzerland. Later, I did many long retreats in the Dalhousie mountains near Dharamsala.
In Mussourie, every winter for several months I did retreat. When I was not in retreat I was trying to help families by performing healing rituals and special pujas. Before I went to Mussourie I lived in Buxa and fell sick there with recurrent chest infections, but it was not serious. Later, in Mussourie the chest infections continued to recur, but I was never admitted to hospital. In this life, I have never spent even one night in hospital! My relatives in Mussourie were urging me to have a thorough check up so I was examined by three different doctors. Two of them said that I had no disease, but that I needed to build up my bodily strength, and one doctor said that maybe I had TB. In reality it was difficult to understand the real problem.
Later, when I was living in England, I experienced continual physical weakness until finally I went with two Western assistants to London for three weeks and was examined by two specialists. They took many X-rays and did many other tests. The final result was that both doctors said there was no disease, just lung weakness. They said I needed fresh air, sunshine, exercise and rest to build up my strength.
More about this on the New Kadampa Truth website Smear: Geshe Kelsang didn’t do retreat in India, but was sick
Tags: dalai lama, dalai lama and dorje shugden, dorje shugden controversy, Shugden, shugden controversy, tenzin peljor, tibet, Western Shugden Society, western shugden society unlocked, WSS
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.”