Dalai Lama speaks: What you wouldn’t know if you’re not Tibetan

The opinion piece below was sent to dorjeshugden.com for publication. We accept submissions from the public, please send in your articles to [email protected].



By Sil Klose

Imagine being forced to choose between abandoning your religious beliefs or facing segregation, being thrown out of your community, getting fired from your job, having your business boycotted, losing your friends and even finding family members turning against you. Imagine being named on government blacklists, so that you can be persecuted publicly and your personal details, including your address, are openly published on official websites so that you and your entire family live in fear for your lives. All of this is imposed upon you alongside other punishments including being denied basic amenities and vital services such as healthcare and education, as well as having to face constant harassment and also violent attacks. Then, imagine knowing these cruel treatments will also fall upon your loved ones, including your children, solely due to your choice of religion.

Despite such obvious discrimination against Dorje Shugden practitioners, the Tibetan leadership continues to lie about there being no Dorje Shugden ban. Click to enlarge.

These are familiar scenes often described in historical accounts of famous public persecutions such as the Spanish Inquisition, the anti-Semitism of Nazi Germany, the racial discrimination of coloured people in the United States before the Civil Rights Movement, and South Africa’s apartheid system. As much as we would like to believe that such scenarios are a thing of the past, unfortunately, it is a harsh reality faced by Dorje Shugden practitioners for the past two decades.

The practice of Dorje Shugden originated in the 17th century, as a common practice in the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism until Gelug masters also began to propagate this protector practice. Even His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself received the practice from his tutor Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang, and propitiated the powerful deity until he turned his back on the practice in 1976, largely due to politically-motivated reasons. By that time, Dorje Shugden had become widespread, practiced by lamas of all ranks and in almost all Gelug monasteries and Tibetan communities. Despite the Dalai Lama’s stance, the practice was heavily relied upon for its effectiveness and continued to grow.

That was until 20th March 1996, when the Dalai Lama announced at a teaching that everyone should abandon the Dorje Shugden practice. The Dalai Lama also instructed that those who would not comply should immediately exit the hall. Ten days later, an official decree was issued from the Private Office of the Dalai Lama for everyone to stop practicing Dorje Shugden, along with instructions to make the public aware of this through government offices, monasteries, associations, and other formal bodies.

Every democratic leadership respects and upholds the religious freedom of its citizens. Yet, the Tibetan leadership does not hesitate to use state instruments to blatantly victimize a segment of its people simply because they disagree with their choice of religion. Click to enlarge.

The decree was quickly followed by a resolution passed by the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies — the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile as it was known then — banning the worship of Dorje Shugden by Tibetan government employees.

The shocking announcement was the start of a schism that would divide not only the Tibetan monastic community but also the lives of lay Tibetans and Tibetan Buddhists all over the world.

Evidence attesting to the serious consequences of being associated with Dorje Shugden in Tibetan communities are aplenty. Dorje Shugden practitioners, be they lay followers or members of the Sangha, have had their lives destroyed for steadfastly holding on to their faith.

As a result of the Dorje Shugden ban, Dorje Shugden practitioners are clearly ostracized within the Tibetan communities. Click to enlarge.

Even the monastic communities were not spared. In the aftermath of the unwarranted Dorje Shugden ban, monasteries which were once lifelong homes for monks were split in two. Click to enlarge.

Thus, it is nothing short of amazing that there are still those who remain blind to the pain and suffering caused by the Dorje Shugden ban. In fact, the Tibetan leadership and supporters of the Dalai Lama outright deny the existence of the ban even when confronted with plentiful evidence. Instead, pro-Dalai Lama supporters habitually dismiss the evidence as propaganda fabricated by Shugden practitioners, whom they have branded to be against the Dalai Lama and the so-called Tibetan cause, and even accuse them of being agents or spies of China.

The far-reaching detrimental consequences of the Dorje Shugden ban pervade into the cyberworld where hate speech, vulgarities and threats are blatantly directed at Dorje Shugden practitioners. Click to enlarge.


The Dalai Lama Ten Years Ago

To better understand the seriousness of the Dorje Shugden ban and its effects, we need to travel back to 2008, a crucial year of events that informed and shaped the mindset of Tibetans both in China-controlled territories and in all 24 Tibetan settlements in India; of Tibetan Buddhists residing everywhere in the world, and the regional politics of Tibet, India and China.

This video of the Dalai Lama speaking at a teaching in January 2008 has been identified as being the catalyst for the escalation of the Dorje Shugden ban. The points that were raised by the Dalai Lama became the narrative held by pro-Dalai Lama groups and the fuel for their anti-Dorje Shugden hate speech as we know it today.

This speech at Drepung Loseling Monastery was attended by the presiding abbots of the most influential monasteries – Ganden Shartse, Ganden Jangtse, Sera Mey, Sera Jey, Drepung Loseling, Drepung Gomang, Ratö and Tashi Lhunpo Monasteries along with their sponsors and patrons. The Dalai Lama’s teachings also coincided with several formal government functions, making it probable that top officials of the Tibetan Government-in-exile such as the Justice Commissioner, Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, the then-Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister) Samdhong Rinpoche and other ecclesiastical heads were also in attendance.

It is also important to remember that at the time the Dalai Lama gave this speech in Drepung Loseling Monastery in 2008, he was still the secular leader of the Tibetan people and had yet to relinquish his political power.


Video: The Dalai Lama at Drepung Loseling Monastery, 2008

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While you are having tea, I have something to tell, thought of telling in detail later. But today, as there are many sponsors here, and some of them are leaving tonight or tomorrow, therefore, I thought it is better to explain whilst everyone is present.

Have to translate it, [the Dalai Lama points in the direction of the translators] translate it. Where is the Chinese translator? There you are!

First of all, the Dalai Lama’s insistence that the translators are present clearly reflects his intention for his speech to be made available to an international audience. Similarly, the Dalai Lama makes it clear he wants everyone to hear his message before they leave, so that sponsors with the financial capacity to support the activities of Shugden practitioners are dissuaded from lending their assistance.

A screenshot of the 2008 video with the Dalai Lama pointing to his translators


Now, all of you have heard about a controversy called Gyalpo Shugden! Now that controversy, since the 1970s, it continued up to now. Now, since recently, that controversy turned into something even the Chinese government started to take interest!

Recently, during our representative’s 6th round of talks with China, they have included it as a point of accusation. The Dalai Lama’s restriction of Shugden is suppression of religious freedom! So now, even the Chinese government which does not believe in religion, now, due to the Dalai Lama’s actions, is forced to take responsibility in order to protect religious freedom.

Right from the opening of his speech, the Dalai Lama set the stage by playing up the Tibetans’ negative sentiments against China and associating Shugden practitioners with the Chinese. For the Tibetans and their supporters, the association is simple – China is bad for invading Tibet, and therefore because Shugden practitioners have alleged links with China, they must also be bad. Nevermind whether these accusations are true or not, or whether any proof has been provided (it has not) because it is simply enough that the Dalai Lama has said so.

The Dalai Lama also employs his oft-used tactic of giggling, to make his tough message more easily digestible. Although he is in the midst of accusing Shugden worshippers of having links with the Chinese – a very serious topic indeed – the Dalai Lama turns his message into a joke. By appearing endearing and in possession of the moral high ground, with a few well-placed giggles here and there, something sinister becomes acceptable to the audience.

In truth, there was harmony between Shugden practitioners and the wider Tibetan Buddhist community until the Dalai Lama began speaking against Dorje Shugden’s practice. Before the ban, there was no record in the 400-year history of Dorje Shugden practice that Shugden followers collectively caused any harm, or performed harmful or unwholesome actions.


They said Dalai Lama’s restriction on Dolgyal is in violation of religious freedom. The Chinese government has officially accused me! Now, I doubt Chinese government know anything about Dolgyal…ha, ha…but, they saw it as a political tool and started using it to criticize me.

If they accuse me personally, it’s no big deal. But, in Tibet, Dolgyal propitiators are given special privilege and support, funding their construction projects, etc. and then tell monasteries to propitiate Dolgyal. It is religious freedom and Dalai Lama is suppressing religious freedom. They encourage them in Tibet…like that.

Although self-defeating at first glance, the underlying message of the Dalai Lama’s speech is this: it is ridiculous that the Chinese government should accuse him of anything, but he is very magnanimous because “it’s no big deal”.

For the Dalai Lama to take potshots at China for not having full knowledge in relations to Dorje Shugden is, quite frankly, illogical. Since when has it been necessary for a government to have full and complete knowledge of every single religion, in order to safeguard their citizens’ religious freedom? This is especially applicable for governments who claim to be democratic in nature.

Any peaceful government would want to ensure stability and prevent in-fighting among its populace, especially when those fights are based on religion which can elicit very strong emotional reactions. On that note, China’s preventive actions against any unrest potentially triggered by religious issues are exactly what anyone would expect from any self-respecting, responsible government.

The irony is that the Dalai Lama accuses the Chinese of employing Shugden worship as a political tool when in reality, Shugden worship could not be used as anything if there was no ban. If China does indeed extend special privileges to Shugden-worshipping monasteries, who made that happen? Everything leads back to the Dalai Lama – if he proclaims over and over again that he is against the practice of Dorje Shugden, is it so surprising if the Chinese leadership hears about it and decides to support Shugden-related institutions?

So, even if it is the case where the Chinese government is capitalizing on the Shugden conflict to sway public opinion in their favor with sponsorships and other financial benefits, then the solution is quite obvious – all the Dalai Lama has to do to undermine the Chinese is to simply lift the ban.

So why does the Dalai Lama not just defuse the issue, lift the ban and prevent the Chinese from exploiting the controversial Dorje Shugden ban?


Then most UNFORTUNATELY!! I believe at the instigation of Dolgyal propitiators, there is a statue of Guru Rinpoche at Samye, which was built recently. They have DISMANTLED it. Like that, there seems to have been other cases of dismantling Guru Rinpoche’s statues. There is so much restriction.

Then in western Tibet, there is a huge statue of Guru Rinpoche, built by the people. The Chinese Army surrounded the area, prohibiting anyone from coming near it, maybe to prevent anyone from taking pictures of the incident. Then they destroyed the statue with EXPLOSIVES!!

‘Innocent until proven guilty’ is a fundamental rule of law upheld by any democratic government. Yet, the Dalai Lama callously, without producing any solid proof, blames Dorje Shugden practitioners for allegedly instigating the destruction of holy images.

This type of name-calling and finger-pointing in the absence of proof is a highly irresponsible action coming from a respected political and spiritual leader. Imagine if President Trump alleged that Mexicans blew up a Hindu temple or that Hindus blew up a mosque – what would be the fallout and reaction from the American people at such a statement? Yet, when the Dalai Lama alleges that Dorje Shugden practitioners destroyed a number of Guru Rinpoche statues, everyone just listens because it is the Dalai Lama talking.

In fact, the Dalai Lama’s choice of Guru Rinpoche is deliberate – Guru Rinpoche is commonly worshipped by the Nyingma sect and by alleging that Shugden practitioners destroyed a Guru Rinpoche statue, the Dalai Lama is trying to paint Shugden devotees (who are generally Gelugs) as sectarian and attempting to turn Nyingmapas against them. In effect, this statement from the Dalai Lama is highly schismatic as it pits two schools of Tibetan Buddhism — Gelugpas and Nyingmapas — against each other.

The Dalai Lama also reinforces a misconception that Guru Rinpoche is somehow a Nyingma deity because the Nyingmas famously propitiate him. However, to label Guru Rinpoche as such is actually ignorant because Guru Rinpoche, through meditation and practice, became attained and enlightened. To say that any Buddha belongs to the Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu or Gelug sects is illogical; abiding in a state of enlightenment, the Buddhas do not have labels. Is Tara, who is commonly worshipped by all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism, a Gelug Buddha or a Sakya Buddha? Since Amitabha is popular amongst Chinese Buddhists, is Amitabha Chinese?

So just because one sect propitiates a particular Buddha more, does not mean that the Buddha ‘belongs’ to that sect. Hence the idea that Shugden worshippers would destroy the image of another Buddha (i.e. Guru Rinpoche) is preposterous, because it would be destroying the image of an enlightened being, even if it is one whom they do not commonly propitiate.

The Dalai Lama’s accusations become all the more outlandish when we consider that the Dalai Lama’s own Guru, Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang, who was one of the greatest propagators of Dorje Shugden practice, was known to have given Guru Rinpoche teachings and empowerments to many, including to Nyingmapas.

The Guru Rinpoche statue at Mindrolling Monastery. Guru Rinpoche does not exclusively ‘belong’ to the Nyingma sect; in fact, his teachings are revered by high lamas from all traditions including Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang, as reflected in his autobiography, The Illusory Play.


In that sense, it is now turning into an URGENT matter! So, under such circumstances, if we still keep treating fish and turnips as one, it creates problems for many people.

Then also, Dolgyal group recently submitted an application to the Indian Government, stating that the Dalai Lama restricts their religious freedom, and they also face danger to their lives, and requested the Indian government to provide them protection. And the Indian Foreign Ministry has also given them a letter acknowledging receipt. So, now this thing has become a serious issue.

This is the turning point in the video, the moment when the Dalai Lama makes his intentions clear. “Fish and turnips” is a Tibetan proverb meaning the two items in question could not be more different from one another. In this instance, this proverb is used to reinforce the point that Dorje Shugden practitioners and non-practitioners have absolutely nothing in common. Hence to treat them in the same way – meaning to allow Dorje Shugden practitioners into mainstream society and give them access to public events like the Dalai Lama’s talks – will be inviting trouble.

Unlike Westerners, Tibetans generally speak in a less direct manner. Hence to those who are unfamiliar with Tibetan customs, the Dalai Lama’s advice can come across as a friendly recommendation. However, to the Tibetans, especially given the Dalai Lama’s God-like status in their society, his words are in reality unquestionable and beyond challenge. In Tibetan society, regardless of how the Dalai Lama presents it, when he says something, it is not a choice but an instruction that must be followed. In the case of the Shugden ban, and in the case of this video especially, saying something is like ‘fish and turnips’ is actually a call to segregate Shugden followers from everyone else because they are not and can never be the same. Can anyone really believe that this is democracy?

A telling Tendor cartoon highlighting the Tibetan mentality when it comes to making choices. Click to enlarge.

The Dalai Lama, who ironically calls himself a democratic leader, then berates Shugden practitioners for reporting his actions to the Indian government. This is despite the fact they were well within their rights to do so; Shugden followers were merely exercising their freedom of speech to protest against the illegal ban and trying to protect their religious freedom. But in highlighting to Tibetans that someone had the gall to speak up and report him to the Indian government, the Dalai Lama’s message is very clear – Shugden practitioners are traitors who work against him, therefore they are deserving targets of violence, segregation and vulgarities.

Does this sound like the actions and words of a democratic leader to you? And is it really surprising that Dorje Shugden practitioners would seek the assistance of the law after being segregated and discriminated against for over a decade (at the time this video was filmed)?


Up to now, I have only given advice about the disadvantage of such a practice, based on my own experience and words of past great masters as it is my duty to point out faults of such practice. But, it is up to the individual whether they want to heed my advice or not. NEVER EVER have I told anyone that you cannot propitiate Dolgyal. Right from the beginning, I have always quoted a stanza from KHACHE-BHALU’s advice, that “I Khache-Bhalu have given you my sincere advice, now it is up to you whether to listen or not”. I have always told everyone this way by referring to Khache-Bhalu’s advice. So, it is up to you whether you want to listen or not. NEVER EVER have I told before nor at any time that you have to obey to what I say.

This is a highly contradictory statement from the Dalai Lama. In the same year, the Dalai Lama went on a tirade against Dorje Shugden followers in Drepung Loseling Monastery and gave clear instructions for the monks to expel all Dorje Shugden practitioners from the monasteries. He even went as far as to congratulate the monasteries for taking harsh steps to eliminate this so-called scourge from the Sangha community and said clearly that he approved of such measures. Various documentaries from international media groups such as SwissTV, France24 and Al-Jazeera have also covered the Dorje Shugden controversy in great depth and it has been made clear that an official ban exists at the behest of the Dalai Lama. Clearly it is a ban and not just advice.

If there was no ban, why were 600 Ganden Shartse monks forced to leave their monastery to form Shar Ganden Monastery? If there was no ban, why does every Tibetan store in Mundgod and Bylakuppe have signs in the window stating that Dorje Shugden practitioners are unwelcome? Why do hospitals have signs denying service and treatment to Shugden followers?

Monks protest to demand the departure of Dorje Shugden practitioners from their monasteries, South India, 2008.

Furthermore, as the political leader of the Tibetan exile community, why does the Dalai Lama ban Shugden followers from attending his secular talks? All citizens are entitled to attend talks by their country’s leaders regardless of their religious persuasions. Surely the members of the US Congress do not have to be of the same religion as the US President in order to attend his speeches? Surely not all the people who attend the Dalai Lama’s foreign talks are Buddhists? Therefore, why aren’t Dorje Shugden practitioners allowed to listen to his political speeches? Imagine the fallout if President Trump excluded all Muslims from attending his talks or if the Queen of England excluded all Hindus.

It is arguable that Dorje Shugden is a spiritual matter and hence, those who continue to uphold Dorje Shugden’s practice may not have samaya with the Dalai Lama and therefore should not attend his spiritual teachings. Other religions have such exclusions too. For instance, non-Muslims are not allowed to enter mosques and in Nepal, some temples are off-limits for non-Hindus. But the bottom line is, if the Dalai Lama is giving a talk about the future of the exile community, everyone should be allowed to attend even if they practice Dorje Shugden. And they should most definitely be allowed access to services in hospitals, schools, stores and so forth. Their choice of religion should not affect their rights as human beings.

A senior monk of Ganden Monastery testified to the threats and coercion that Shugden worshippers faced. However, the Dalai Lama has continued to deny that there was any discrimination.


But now, the time has come where we no longer can continue with this ‘on and off’ like status quo! We have to make it clear, FOR THAT REASON! As it is mentioned in the Sutra, to settle the monastic dispute, there are I think seven points? Like distributing grass, painted sticks, etc., right? Now, the time has come for us to distribute colored sticks. Then also in modern democratic method, the English word, “Referendum”. “Referendum”, to ask the majority! Now the time has come to ask the majority!

Therefore, after this Loseling programme is over, all of you will return to your respective monasteries. There in your monasteries, to all the monks, there should be one question, “Whether you want to propitiate Dolgyal or not?” Those who want to propitiate Dolgyal should sign, “YES. I want to PROPITIATE”. And those who don’t want to propitiate Dolgyal should sign, “NO. I don’t want to PROPITIATE Dolgyal”, understood?

Then, next question. Those who want to share religious and mundane activities with Dolgyal propitiators should sign, “Yes! I want to share”. Then, those who don’t want to share religious as well as mundane activities with Dolgyal propitiators should sign, “NO!” Understand? Then, see what happens. Let’s do the voting. Nobody is forcing.

The Dalai Lama mentions a referendum but despite this democratic-sounding label, a shrewd analysis of the Dalai Lama’s speech indicates that his call for a referendum is a ruse, designed to legitimize his command to segregate Shugden worshippers from mainstream society. Knowing that his speech was being translated into English and Chinese, and would therefore be broadcast all over the world, the Dalai Lama used the concept of a referendum to appear modern and democratic, paying lip service to give a good impression to his international audience.

In reality, the referendum was anything but democratic. First of all, the referendum was not requested for by the majority of Tibetans. And not only was it held at the instructions of just one individual, but the voting also took place openly. This meant peer pressure would force Tibetans to vote against Dorje Shugden, knowing that if they did not, everyone would know they disobeyed the Dalai Lama’s instructions.

Yellow vote sticks denote renouncement of the Dorje Shugden practice and a refusal to share any spiritual and material relations with Dorje Shugden followers. Red vote sticks indicate the opposite. Those who chose the red sticks were expected to explain themselves further.

Similarly, the referendum was designed to force people who do not practice Shugden to openly disassociate with those who do. In what kind of democratic society are people forced to disassociate from others just because they do not share the same opinions or religious beliefs?

Hence the referendum was nothing more than an open call for monks to officially “disown” and marginalize their fellow Dharma brothers. Why make the monks “unfriend” their fellow Sangha with whom they have been walking the spiritual path for decades? This is like a father telling his sons not to be harmonious and to hate each other.

In this entire section of the video, the Dalai Lama also repeatedly addressed the abbots who were in attendance – from Drepung Loseling, Drepung Gomang, Sera Jey, Sera Mey, Ganden Shartse, Ganden Jangtse, Rato and Tashi Lhunpo Monasteries. This is very revealing of the Dalai Lama’s forceful insistence that his instructions were to be carried out by those present. Failure to do so would automatically mean the abbots were disobeying the Dalai Lama, who has clearly told them over and over again that the referendum, with the Dalai Lama’s preferred outcome, is mandatory.

Trode Khangsar marks the official establishment of Dorje Shugden’s practice in Tibet by His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama, who commissioned Trode Khangsar as a “Protector House” for Dorje Shugden in the 17th Century.


If the final result of voting shows more than 60% want to propitiate Dolgyal, then from that day onwards, I shall never utter even a single word about Dolgyal. Understand? Then you all have to take full responsibility!

But if it turns out that more than 60%-70% says they don’t want to propitiate Dolgyal and they don’t want nothing to do with Dolgyal propitiators, then we shall have to think accordingly.

While it may seem fair and even democratic to hear the Dalai Lama mention that he will never utter a single word about Dorje Shugden again should 60% vote to keep the practice, his next statement of caution is a clear indication of the Dalai Lama’s preferred outcome and his continued coercion of the monks to abandon their practice, by issuing what is essentially spiritual blackmail. In saying “you all have to take full responsibility”, what this really means in reality is “practice Dorje Shugden and you will all go to hell” as well as “this will be your fate if you do not obey my instructions”. Thus by him saying that, the Dalai Lama is playing on the baseless fears of the anti-Dorje Shugden camp who falsely claim that the enlightened protector is nothing but a spirit.

The Dalai Lama is very shrewd to employ this “threat” as he is fully aware that all members of the Sangha must know that the heavy karma for propitiating spirits will lead to a rebirth in the hell realms. He also knows that to the outside world, he is viewed as the spiritual leader of all Tibetan Buddhists (although, in theory, this is not true since each lineage has its own head). So to foreign audiences, the Dalai Lama’s words sound like spiritual advice born out of concern for his followers’ spiritual wellbeing. But Tibetans know better, and Tibetans hear the underlying message of spiritual blackmail that accompanies the Dalai Lama’s words.

In the history of mankind, no democratic country has ever forced its citizens to choose between their religion and friends. That is, until this unethical ban imposed by the Dalai Lama. Knowing this, in the second scenario where the majority gives up their Dorje Shugden practice and severs ties with those who want to maintain it, the Dalai Lama had this to say: “Then, we shall have to think accordingly.” He makes it sound open, as though he has never considered the ramifications of the referendum. Yet he had it in mind all along to call for the referendum, what questions need to be asked, and even a specific figure that he is looking for (60 to 70%). Hence the Dalai Lama’s reply, though innocent in appearance, has been read by many Tibetans as another threat i.e. “get 60 to 70% to agree with me, or else…

How can all these highly attained lamas be oblivious to the demonic side of Dorje Shugden, if it were true that he is an evil spirit?


But, then in reality also, those who propitiate Dolgyal have no reason to come to India. We who came to India came here in protest of the Chinese Government’s policy. But as the P.R.C. government patronizes Dolgyal propitiators, they are taking special care of them! Then, obviously it is better for them to go back to where they are specially welcome. What is the point of staying here? Understand?

It is precisely this type of talk from the Dalai Lama that makes life so difficult for Dorje Shugden practitioners living in the Tibetan exile communities in India. By saying this, the Dalai Lama is essentially telling the Tibetan government and the heads of the monasteries not to entertain Shugden-practicing refugees who have made the arduous journey from Tibet to India. Although it may not sound that way to foreign ears, the message to Tibetans is clear: Don’t help the refugees who practice Dorje Shugden. Don’t give them travel permits, job opportunities, health services, education, etc. Basically, make their life so difficult that they have no choice but to return to Tibet to face whatever is coming to them.

It is shocking that the Dalai Lama, as the leader of the Tibetans, does not welcome his own people escaping supposed Chinese oppression in Tibet. When the Tibetans escaped from their home country after the events of 1959, they were all fleeing from a common threat. Many did not succeed and died; and both Shugden practitioners and non-Shugden practitioners had their lives taken indiscriminately. As the leader of the Tibetan people at the time this video was filmed, is the Dalai Lama not responsible for their welfare if they choose to flee Tibet and escape to India? If things in Tibet are so bad because the Chinese leadership is so bad, why is the Dalai Lama rejecting his own people who wish to escape into exile? Is the Dalai Lama suggesting that Shugden practitioners are undeserving of a safe haven in India?

Shugden practitioners suffered just as much as any other Tibetan during the political upheaval of 1959. Just because they practice Dorje Shugden does not mean they are less Tibetan, or that they experienced less suffering in 1959. Almost every family in Tibet lost someone during those tumultuous years so theoretically, Shugden-worshipping Tibetans have every reason to want to escape into exile, just like any other Tibetan. Yet, the Dalai Lama continues to reinforce the mentality of “us versus them” – according to the Dalai Lama’s view, on one side are loyal Tibetans “who came to India in protest of Chinese government policy” and on the other side are so-called disloyal Tibetans who practice Dorje Shugden under the alleged support of the Chinese.

It is time the Dalai Lama changes this view. It has been nearly 60 years since the Dalai Lama led the exodus of Tibetans into India. To give some context, the infamous Berlin Wall was raised in 1961 and after 28 years, the wall came down when Germany was reunited. In 1945, when Japan surrendered to the US-led Pacific allied forces, the island state suffered massive devastation but 40 years later, the Japanese rebuilt their country to become one of the biggest economies in the world.

On the other side of the coin, modern China is nowhere like the ‘Red China’ it was under Mao in 1959. China today is a modern industrial nation that has overtaken all of Europe to become the second biggest economy in the world and is rapidly closing the gap between themselves and the USA, which maintains its position as the biggest world economy. China today also employs diplomacy for negotiations, as opposed to enforcing their military might. Hence, it is not unusual that in their bid to become a global superpower, China is becoming more democratic and open. By allowing freedom of religion which includes Dorje Shugden practice, China’s decision to support all religious practices is moving with the times.

What is not moving with the times however is the Dalai Lama’s feudalistic belief that assumes all Dorje Shugden devotees are Chinese supporters and therefore, have no right to come to India. What’s more, the Dalai Lama again reinforces his misguided point that Dorje Shugden practitioners are all receiving special treatment from the Chinese and are therefore anti-Tibetan and anti-Dalai Lama by virtue of their spiritual practice.

Many of those who escaped with the Dalai Lama in 1959 under Dorje Shugden’s protection remain confused and devastated by the Dorje Shugden ban.


Well, if the majority decides they want to propitiate Dolgyal, then I have nothing more to say except, “Yes, of course”. It doesn’t make any difference to me.

Before, even I propitiated it and I was wrong. So, I apologise that to past masters and started practicing in proper way. That is my current position. But, if majority decides they want to propitiate Dolgyal, it’s OK, you have your freedom to choose. Understand? For that you don’t have to be cautious or fear or flatter Dalai Lama in any way. But first, make sure you understand the whole issue completely.

Once more, the Dalai Lama makes a deliberate psychological play. First, he expresses that it does not make any difference to him whether people want to practice Dorje Shugden or not, and even goes further to say that he will be okay if they decide to. Our question: then why even call for the referendum, if it does not matter to him and there is no issue? And why spend so long talking about Dorje Shugden if it doesn’t make any difference to him?

Next, using another disarming approach, the Dalai Lama admits to having practiced Dorje Shugden himself. He then goes on to say that it was his mistake to have done so, then offers his apologies to his Gurus. Our question: but where is his apology to the Gurus who gave him the practice, which he is now giving up and attacking?

The Dalai Lama then smoothly slips in his advice that people should first be fully informed before they make a choice to practice. Our question: Does that mean his own holy Gurus were not fully informed when they practiced and propagated Dorje Shugden and only he, the Dalai Lama, is fully informed on the matter?


Also, later on, tomorrow or day after tomorrow, I have copies of quotes from relevant scriptures for distribution. Starting from the 5th Dalai Lama, what many great masters of the past say, and their view about Dolgyal propitiation and how they have restricted / banned the practice. Those literature, right now, I have asked to print more copies for distribution and I shall distribute it. Now, before referendum, make sure everyone knows how, starting from 5th Dalai Lama, what past masters who criticize Dolgyal propitiation have to say. Explain to everybody about that in detail.

Then, they should also know what Dolgyal propitiators say about the advantages and purpose of propitiating Dolgyal. Regarding that, since recently, they have published many books. Like if you propitiate Dolgyal, Dolgyal is a god of wealth and you will be rich! Then, first obtain the vase, then gradually you trust your life force to Dolgyal followed by monthly grand worship – seem to follow in that sequence. If you propitiate Dolgyal, you will be rich, you will be successful in every venture. Those things are written in late Dagom Rinpoche’s book. Many have seen books like that and know about them.

So, you should know what Dolgyal propitiators say about the advantages and purpose of propitiation. Then on the other side, know about the views of those who say it is wrong to propitiate Dolgyal. Then like weighing on a scale, see which view holds more weight! Those who are pro-Dolgyal or those against it. Starting from the 5th Dalai Lama, Trichen Ngawang Chokden, Changkya Rolpai Dorje, Phurchok Ngawang Jampa, then Yongzin Yeshi Gyaltsen, these are the main great masters. So, keep them at one side and then balance and think which side has more reasons. So, I feel this is how it should be done. Understand? Sponsors, do you understand?

This psychological play fast reaches its conclusion with the Dalai Lama announcing that he has already made all the necessary preparations to distribute information about Dorje Shugden practice — printed literature with the negative views of a handful of “great masters” who supposedly restricted or discouraged Dorje Shugden practice! But where are the views of the attained masters who say that Dorje Shugden’s practice is good and beneficial? High ranking and highly respected masters such as H.H. the 9th Panchen Lama, H.H. the 10th Panchen Lama, H.H. the 101st Ganden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, Mahasiddha Tagphu Dorje Chang, H.H. Kyabje Pabongka Dorje Chang, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang, H.H. Kyabje Zong Dorje Chang, H.E. Kyabje Zemey Dorje Chang and H.E. Domo Geshe Rinpoche, not to mention hundreds of other lamas far outnumber the ones who have spoken negatively about Dorje Shugden. Even the current 11th Panchen Lama practices Dorje Shugden. Furthermore, they all taught Dorje Shugden practice to tens of thousands of Tibetans and foreigners over the past century. Why didn’t the Dalai Lama make copies of their teachings too?

This image of Dorje Shugden was commissioned by His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama and is still housed in Phelgyeling Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Not to mention that His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama was actually the first to recognize Dorje Shugden as an enlightened Dharma Protector! He established the very first chapel dedicated to Dorje Shugden called Trode Khangsar in Lhasa, composed a prayer to Dorje Shugden, and even commissioned a statue of Dorje Shugden which remains to this day in Phelgyeling Monastery in Nepal. These facts are conveniently left out and the 14th Dalai Lama chooses to only highlight the negative things that the 5th Dalai Lama had to say about Dorje Shugden before he realized his mistake.

Our question: How can people be “fully informed” when they are only given one-sided information on Dorje Shugden’s practice? Why didn’t the Dalai Lama distribute teachings from high lamas who fully supported, recommended and condoned Dorje Shugden practice? How are people supposed to weigh both sides of the matter prior to making their choice if the Dalai Lama restricts the information distributed to only that which paints Dorje Shugden in a negative light? Our answer: the entire referendum is a smokescreen to hide the fact that there is no democracy at all when it comes to the Dorje Shugden issue. The referendum is couched in the language of democracy but the truth is that the Dalai Lama is just forcing his point of view onto the Tibetan people by spreading unbalanced, one-sided information to get the results he wants from the referendum.

The Dalai Lama also makes negative insinuations about Dorje Shugden’s role as a “god of wealth”. However, the Dalai Lama is conveniently ignoring the fact that Tibetan Buddhism is rich in other wealth deities and practices such as Dzambala, Namtose, White Mahakala, Yellow Yamantaka, Yellow Tara and so forth. The outer purpose of these deity practices is to remove obstacles and attract wealth – it is not just unique to Dorje Shugden. So if the Dalai Lama is going to criticize Dorje Shugden for being a “god of wealth”, shouldn’t he discourage the practices of these other deities too?

The Dalai Lama even goes further to stress that those present should “explain to everybody” his views of the Dorje Shugden practice “in detail”. Tibetans will know that this is essentially a command from their leader to disseminate propaganda that refutes Dorje Shugden practice and discredits its practitioners. Being that it is the Dalai Lama’s views, there is in reality no choice – failure to conform and obey means going against the Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama then makes it a point to address the sponsors directly, stressing the importance of them understanding what he has said. Although it was posed as a question, it is in fact the Dalai Lama’s way of applying pressure on the sponsors to withhold financial support for monasteries, groups and individuals who are Dorje Shugden practitioners. Now that the Dalai Lama has directly addressed them, anyone who attempts to support Shugden worshippers will be viewed as contradicting the Dalai Lama’s direct instructions. It is nothing but a systematic oppression of Dorje Shugden practitioners, segregating them from everyone and everything that could support them.


As per an old saying which says, “separation of moustache and mouth”, I think the time has come to do just that. Because now the Chinese government has started to take such a strong stance.

The Dalai Lama now uses another Tibetan proverb, the “separation of moustache and mouth”, to make one of his strongest statements in the video. To Western ears, the phrase may sound poetic but Tibetans know full well what the Dalai Lama means – despite the mouth’s close proximity to the moustache, they are separate and not the same, just as in the case of fish and turnips. Thus, the Dalai Lama is strongly stating that Shugden practitioners should be segregated and separated from the rest of the Tibetan community, and the reason he gives for enforcing this segregation is that the Chinese government supports Dorje Shugden practice.

It is astonishing that the Dalai Lama uses a foreign government’s policies and yet-to-be-proven support as a basis to justify obstructing an individual’s religious freedom. This enforced segregation is miles away from the democratic image the Dalai Lama tries so hard to portray throughout his video. It is also miles away from the justification the Dalai Lama initially gave for banning the practice – that is, Dorje Shugden is supposedly bad and unenlightened. Yet here, the Dalai Lama makes it clear that his main reason to call for the segregation of Shugden practitioners is their alleged link to the Chinese government. So which one is it? Is it because this long-established 400-year-old practice is not in accordance with Tibetan Buddhist doctrine? Is it because the Chinese government supports it? Or is it merely a political smokescreen to hide the failures of the Tibetan leadership to regain their homeland by blaming it on a protector deity? The inconsistencies in the Dalai Lama’s words over the decades when it comes to the undemocratic ban on Dorje Shugden practice bears further investigation and analysis.

A screenshot of the 2008 video where the Dalai Lama talks about “separation of moustache and mouth.”


Till now, Dolgyal propitiators have committed murder, have beaten people and threaten people who oppose their view. Those are in a way, no big deal.

Here, the Dalai Lama is obviously referring to the murder of Geshe Lobsang Gyatso, the Director of the Tibetan School of Dialectics, which anti-Shugden groups keep raising as proof of the character of Dorje Shugden followers despite a lack of tangible evidence or arrests proving that the crime was committed by Dorje Shugden practitioners.

And after talking about the murder and violence, the Dalai Lama rounds off his point by saying it is ‘no big deal’. Notice the pattern here – once again, the Dalai Lama adds a lighthearted touch to a very important subject so that he can make potentially offensive information more acceptable to the audience. He is essentially creating the association in listeners’ minds that all Dorje Shugden followers are aggressive and violent, in the hope that it will make the act of banning Dorje Shugden more palatable.

Yet, the Dalai Lama’s statement can be interpreted in another way. Is the Dalai Lama actually saying that murder, beatings and violence are “no big deal”? That would explain why no repercussions are meted upon his supporters who beat and threaten Shugden followers within the Tibetan settlements; if the very top thinks violence is “no big deal”, then the underlings have no reason to.

Astute observers will find the callousness behind this thought process to be not in keeping with the Dalai Lama’s image of tolerance and compassion. Just because an individual or a small group of people from a particular faith allegedly performed an act of violence, it does not mean that everyone who subscribes to that faith should be criminalized. For example, when the World Trade Center in New York was attacked by terrorists, the United States government did not respond by banning the practice of Islam or by segregating its practitioners. Similarly, after the Jewish genocide of World War II, the world did not respond by segregating all Germans. To criminalize an entire group of people for the acts of a few is illogical, wrong and a huge infringement on human rights.


But now they have decided to side with the People’s Republic of China. That is indeed very surprising! Right now we are arguing with the Chinese government, that if they give us meaningful autonomy that Tibetans can trust, then we are ready to stay within the People’s Republic of China. Right now, we are arguing that what the Chinese are doing in Tibet as they please with utter lack of respect to Tibetan feeling, is wrong! While we are arguing, they choose to side with the Chinese government. That is very sad indeed!

By this point in his speech, the Dalai Lama has accused Dorje Shugden practitioners of being enemies of the Nyingmapas, murderers, thieves, liars, etc. and now – the icing on the cake – as Chinese spies. The Dalai Lama is well aware that most Tibetans have strong feelings about their enemy #1, China. Despite the fact that it is illogical to label all four million Dorje Shugden practitioners as being pro-China, the Dalai Lama has done so through this speech and as a result, Dorje Shugden practitioners all around the world, old and young, are being labeled Chinese dogs and Chinese spies.


Then as to the proportion of lying, they accuse their religious freedom has been denied. But in reality, this is not a religious matter at all! Like we touched on the subject yesterday, this matter is propitiation of a spirit who is in violation of pledge (Dam-si) with distorted aspiration (monlam-logpai). It is not even a Dharmapala class of spirit.

But then, if you say perfidious spirit, in Yamantaka’s 15 cardinal protector’s ritual cake offering prayer, there it says:

Spirits and Vetalas (zombie) in front of Lord Yamantaka and Manjushri,
You who have pledged to protect the Dharma, karmic lord of death,
Mamo and dakinis as well as perfidious spirits and Vetalas (zombies),
You who are protector or external, internal and secret aspects bounded by oath.

But at the end, it says those who uphold PLEDGES!!! Not those who VIOLATE pledges. If it is one who upholds pledges, then even it is a perfidious spirit or Vetala (zombie) are also OK. But if it is a perfidious spirit who is also in violation of pledges, then it is not right. Understand?

Because some might think a perfidious spirit is OK as it is mentioned in Yamantaka’s prayer, “Perfidious spirit, vetala (zombie), who are protector, To you I bow with respect.” So a perfidious spirit is OK since it is mentioned in Yamantaka’s prayer, BUT then at the end it says, those who UPHOLDS PLEDGES! Here is one who is in VIOLATION of pledge!! It is like I told you yesterday. Maybe I shall explain later. I myself have not much to say. But I shall distribute the documents later on.

Returning to the so-called doctrinal basis for banning Dorje Shugden, the Dalai Lama cites scriptures in the Yamantaka propitiation rites to support his view that Dorje Shugden is a perfidious spirit and therefore, deserving of a ban.

Buddhism teaches that a sentient being can take rebirth in any one of the six realms, one of them being the spirit realm. After death, and by virtue of their negative karma, beings who are extremely attached may take rebirth as one of the many classes of spirits. In Tibetan Buddhism, there is a tradition of subduing spirits by putting them under oath to protect the Buddha’s teachings. Spirits who are subdued in such a manner are known as worldly protectors. Unlike enlightened beings who manifest as enlightened protectors, these worldly protectors do not serve the Dharma out of compassion, but because they are oath-bound to do so.

A painting of Nechung Dorje Drakden, the Protector of the Tibetan government

One famous example is Nechung or Pehar, who was once a war-mongering Persian spirit who found his way to Tibet, where he was put under oath by Guru Rinpoche. In time, Nechung, who was first commonly propitiated by the Nyingmas, became accepted by the Gelug school and has since become the Protector of the Tibetan government. Likewise, his oracle has been appointed as the State Oracle of the Tibetan government.

However, in his speech, the Dalai Lama is saying that Dorje Shugden is not even in the class of spirits who have been subdued. This implies that Dorje Shugden is one of the worst perfidious spirits who has also violated his pledges. But the Dalai Lama is overlooking one very important point: if Dorje Shugden is as harmful and perfidious as he claims, then why doesn’t the Dalai Lama just subdue Dorje Shugden and “force” him to serve the Dharma? Tibetan Buddhism is renowned for its powerful rituals that can subdue even the most malignant spirits and black magic. Surely, it would be a simple matter to just subdue and bind Dorje Shugden thus bringing an end to the Dorje Shugden controversy? Why expend so many hours talking about the harm a so-called spirit can cause when it would just be easier to solve the problem once and for all?

Having said that, even if Dorje Shugden is truly a perfidious spirit, this should not be the Dalai Lama’s concern as the secular leader of the Tibetan people. Whether people choose to worship spirits or demons, or if they want to pray to a teapot or a slice of bread – none of this should be an issue for the Dalai Lama if he truly respected religious freedom. The Dalai Lama, in his position as the Tibetan head-of-state, should be guaranteeing his people’s rights to freedom of religion, and not oppressing the rights of Dorje Shugden followers to practice their religion freely and openly.

A real head of a truly democratic state should only be concerned about ensuring that the citizens have religious freedom, and to provide a safe environment for them to practice their religion of choice. What a person wishes to have faith in – even if it is a teapot – is entirely up to them and should not be policed.


Now for 300, almost 400 years, this problem continued. For 360 years, 370 years it remained in a subtle way. But for last 30 years, it has become a prominent controversy. In addition to that, now even the Chinese Communist Government has started to take special interest. So now, on our part, we have to think carefully and decide what to do. Do we separate mouth and moustache? Do we separate fish and turnips? And how do we go about doing it?

The Dalai Lama claims that for nearly 400 years, the practice of Dorje Shugden has been an ongoing issue but historically speaking, there are no such reliable accounts. On the contrary, there is plentiful evidence to show a widespread reliance on Dorje Shugden worship over the last four centuries. Even when the Dalai Lama escaped into India and for decades after, there was no problem with Dorje Shugden and even the Dalai Lama continued to practice Dorje Shugden in exile without any negative repercussions.

But by saying that Dorje Shugden practice has been problematic, the Dalai Lama has rewritten history because his words cannot be challenged. Because of that, pro-Dalai Lama groups viciously target Dorje Shugden practitioners both online and offline. And yet again, the Dalai Lama raises the mouth-moustache and fish-turnip analogies to remind his audience about separating from, and segregating and discriminating against Shugden practitioners.

Ironically, the Dalai Lama also proclaims that in the last 30 years, Dorje Shugden has become a prominent controversy. But how and why did the practice become “a prominent controversy”? The truth is, Dorje Shugden practice has grown more in the last 30 years than it has in the past few centuries only because the Dalai Lama keeps talking about it over and over again.

And, by mentioning China and the segregation of Dorje Shugden practitioners in the same breath, the Dalai Lama is skilfully planting the idea in the audience’s mind that Dorje Shugden practice is negative and its followers should be segregated.


First, listen to both sides carefully. Then contemplate. After that we shall decide by vote. Understand? Abbots understand? Shall distribute documents later. Sutra teachers understand? Administrators also understand? Sponsors also, did you understand? That is how it is. So, no use leaving it like that. Even in the Sutras, when there are major differences of opinion in the Sangha, they settle it by monks voting with coloured sticks. It is written as seven ways to settle monastic disputes. Like that, even in our modern way, referendum is a very good way. So, we shall settle it with referendum!

Then you western monks, do you want to participate in the referendum too? Ha, Ha, Ha…

OK. There is no hurry. When you all return to your respective monasteries, there, after settling down, then explain everything in detail, and make sure everybody understands the whole thing clearly, and give them time to think and contemplate. Then, only after that, we shall hold voting. That is how we do it, understand? So, this I thought is a good time to explain while the sponsors are present.

Having presented all of his so-called irrefutable evidence, the Dalai Lama once again reminds the abbots, teachers and administrators of the biggest Tibetan Buddhist monasteries to carry out his referendum. Remember – at the beginning of his speech, the Dalai Lama suggested a referendum. And by the end of his speech, having presented all of his arguments, no one in the audience is able to refuse the referendum especially since the Dalai Lama singled out different groups of people. It is the Dalai Lama’s subtle way of letting them know that he is watching to see what they will do next, and if they will disobey his orders. From the outset, the entire speech looks and sounds relatively democratic but in reality, the abbots, teachers, administrators and sponsors have no choice if they want to remain in the Dalai Lama’s good books.

As predicted, in the months following this speech, the referendum took place exactly as the Dalai Lama had described, with colored sticks and all. Monks were forced to choose between giving up their Shugden practice or continue practicing and suffer the consequences.


Video: The vote-stick referendum regarding the worshipping of Dolgyal (Dorje Shugden)

or watch on our server:

Those who decided to remain loyal to their Gurus and continue practicing came to suffer grave consequences. Not only were they ostracized from their brethren as outcasts and pariahs, but many were expelled from their monasteries, the only home they had ever known. All around them, the community gathered to routinely degrade and berate them, refusing them service in shops or treatment in hospitals, and dealing them a level of indignity one would not expect from a so-called democratic, supposedly Buddhist society.

In another time and place, if this had occurred in Tibet and not in an exile settlement in India, and if the Dalai Lama had full control over the law and its enforcers, it would not be hard to believe that Dorje Shugden practitioners could easily have been placed in concentration camps. Only Indian law tempered the Tibetan leadership’s behaviour, preventing them from going all the way to decimate the population of Shugden practitioners.


Video: Tibetan Leadership Organizes Violence Again

Monks and lay Tibetan protestors turned violent at the instigation of Tibetan Government-in-exile representatives and threw stones at a khamtsen (fraternity house) of Ganden Shartse Monastery because its residents chose to remain Dorje Shugden practitioners. While the violent protests were happening, the monks inside remained calm and performed a Dorje Shugden puja.

or watch on our server:


10 Years Later, An Unexpected U-turn?

Fast forward 10 years from 2008 and the Dalai Lama has changed his mind on various issues which he has been typically very staunch about.

Where the Dalai Lama was once very firm about total independence, he now pushes for genuine autonomy under Chinese rule.

Where the Dalai Lama once attacked China with rhetoric (as can be seen in the video above), he now makes various overtures to appease the Chinese leadership.

Where the Dalai Lama was once very firm about the terms and conditions of his return to China, he has since sent his personal emissary, Samdhong Rinpoche on a secret visit to China, presumably to renew strained Sino-Tibetan relations and discuss the terms for the Dalai Lama’s return.

Where the Dalai Lama was once very firm about his choice of candidate for the position of the 11th Panchen Lama, he has since acknowledged China’s choice of Panchen Lama as “official” and even commented that he is receiving a good education from a good teacher.


Video: The Dalai Lama Corrects Himself on the Chinese Panchen Lama

or watch on our server:

All these developments lend hope that, despite his harsh words against Shugden practitioners, the Dalai Lama might soon change his mind about them too. If the Dalai Lama has begun to reverse his stance on the issue of Tibet and the Panchen Lama, it definitely leaves open the possibility that he could do the same with his stance on Dorje Shugden. Certainly it would be a change that Shugden practitioners worldwide would welcome with open arms.


The End of the Ban on Dorje Shugden?

In a famous prediction by His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang, the junior tutor to the 14th Dalai Lama, he said that,

…in the future, it will appear that the Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden are in conflict, but in actuality they are helping each other to make the Buddhadharma grow, through making the practice of Dorje Shugden known to the world-at-large.

For those of us without clairvoyance, what we can irrefutably see with our own eyes is the extent of the Dalai Lama’s power over the monasteries and the Tibetan community at large. If the Dalai Lama can make such a shocking statement about the Chinese-backed Panchen Lama, it would be just as easy for him to speak up to negate the ban on Dorje Shugden practice. Only time will tell and by looking at the fast-moving political changes between China, India and the Tibetan leadership in the recent months, there is increasing hope that that time may be close.

Dorje Shugden: Will this 400-year-old Dharma Protector practice become the cause that unites a world at odds with each other?


Supporting Documents

A letter from the Tibetan Women’s Association and Tibetan Youth Congress to Sera Mey Pomra Khangtsen, pressuring the monks of Pomra Khangtsen to give up their practice of Dorje Shugden. Click to enlarge.

English translation:

To the monks under Sera-Mey Pomra monastic section, the object of refuge, who did not pick the vote-stick and who didn’t take oaths:

We, the members of standing committee of Tibetan Youth Congress and Tibetan Woman Association here in Bylakupee as well as the members, would like to request you:

His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the champion of peace and spiritual and temporal leader of Tibetan religion and politics has delivered advices and instructions at row.

In the announcement by Department of Culture and Religion of Tibetan government in exile, “Henceforth, in order to not pollute the commitment between guru and disciple by those who continue to worship Dholgyal [Dorje Shugden], they [Shugden devotees] are not permitted to attend the teachings of the Dalai Lama; they are not permitted to be admitted in any Gelug monastery, as per the charter of Gelug monastic establishment; and they are not permitted to take part together in prayers, exams and so on. Nevertheless, they can equally enjoy other rights of Tibetan in exile.

It is imperative to take this into consideration to maintain peace and security in the community, and that there should be no harassment between Shugden monks and non-Shugden monks. Furthermore, spiritual activities including the great prayer festival in Sera, Drepung and Ganden should be held traditionally – and on time. Even in the future, each monastery must accept if anyone, with pure motivation, takes oath and engages in what to take and what to abandon.”

It is vital to abide by the words of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the refuge of this and next life, and in particular, there is a peril that will stain the dignity of Sera Mey Monastery and the root of happiness of the six million Tibetans.

Therefore, in order to maintain pure commitment and harmony as it was within Sera Mey Monastery in particular, and to ensure the dignity of Sera Monastery as it used to be, we strongly request you, from now on, to give up the practice of Dholgyal, and to take vote stick and oath of not worshipping. And we urge you to bear the matter in the mind.

Dated: February 25, 2008
Tibetan Youth Congress, Bylakuppe
Tibetan Woman Association, Bylakuppe
With seals

Copy to:
The Hon. Private Office of the Dalai Lama
Department of Culture and Religion
The Office of Chief Representative of Southern Settlements
The representatives of old and new settlements in Bylakuppe
Sera Lachi monastery
Abbot of Sera-Jay monastery
Abbot of Sera-May monastery
The headquarter of Tibetan Youth Congress
Tibetan headquarter of Tibetan Woman Association


A leaflet featuring the names and photos of six expelled Sera Mey monks, circulated amongst the Tibetan monastic and lay community, encouraging them to ostracise these Dorje Shugden practioners.

English translation:

To the Tibetan public and monks,

Since earlier time, the following monks under the affiliation of Sera Mey Pomra, whose names are listed together with their photos, have engaged in mere conceit exaggeration to around six thousands monks, in the name of Dorje Shugden.

Therefore, the lords of law of Sera Lachi Monastery, disciplinarian Geshe Thupten Tendar and disciplinarian Geshe Tsultrim Gyaltsen have excommunicated them from the institution of Sera Monastery. We thus call for Tibetan public and monks not share to religious and material resources with these persons.

Thupten Samphel (photo), Thupten Kunsang (photo), Tenzin Tsering (photo)
Jampa Khetsun (photo), Jampa Chogyal (photo), Lobsang Jigme (photo)

Dated: April 8, 2008


The General Secretary of the Department of Religion and Culture personally decrees that recommendation letters for monastic entry are not to be issued to Dorje Shugden practitioners. Click to enlarge.

English translation:

To Abbots and Administrators of the Gelug monasteries,

We have received the copy of the decree dated 02.17.2007, which was sent by the Kashag [Tibetan Cabinet] to the directors of Tibetan Reception Offices, and urged us to send the notice to every Gelug monastic establishment.

Simply for the sake of Tibetan religion and politics, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been giving advice regarding the worship of Dorje Shugden; even the Head Reception Center has been describing the reasons behind the Dalai Lama’s ban against worshipping Dholgyal (Dorje Shugden) to our Tibetan brothers from Tibet. But we still provide the same recommendation letters, without discrimination, for schools and monasteries to the few Tibetan newcomers who continue taking a rigid stand to worship Dholgyal.

However, in the 7 of 12 section of Gelug’s Code of Conduct resolved on the gathering of Gaden Tripa, Sharjang Choje, abbots and representatives, it is clear that those who want to join a monastery must give up the worship of Dholgyal [Dorje Shugden]. As such, the Head Reception Center must explain to them the reasons why the Dalai Lama has imposed a ban on worshipping Dholgyal.

In case they didn’t listen and take a rigid stand of continuing their worship, there is no way to let them enter any Gelug Monastery including Sera, Drepung and Ganden. Therefore, from the day you receive this decree, you must implement the policy not to provide a recommendation for any monastery which is registered in the Tibetan Government in Exile’s Department of Religion and Culture. But we urge you it is clearly written that for students who want to join a school, it is fine to provide a recommendation.

Tsering Dhondup
Department of Religion & Culture
Central Tibetan Administration of H.H. the Dalai Lama
Dated: February 27, 2007


The Guardian: PM-in-exile urges Tibetans to make Dalai Lama’s return a reality

The sudden announcement by President Lobsang Sangay calling for Dalai Lama’s return to Chinese controlled Tibet. Click to enlarge.

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  1. A plot to murder the Dalai Lama by a Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) terrorist named Kausar was recently uncovered. Kausar planned to cause the Dalai Lama’s demise and blow up Buddhist temples in the Indian State of Karnataka as revenge for the attacks on Rohingya Muslims by some Buddhists in Myanmar.

    Although Kausar’s plans are appalling and cannot be justified, it is a reminder that the Dalai Lama as a well-known Buddhist personality has a moral obligation to discourage religious persecution in any form. This even includes the discrimination experienced by Dorje Shugden practitioners.

    Bengaluru: JMB terrorists targeted Buddhist temples in Karnataka?
    Tue, Oct 2 2018 01:46:48 PM
    Daijiworld Media Network – Bengaluru (MS)
    Bengaluru, Oct 2: Explosive information about the plans of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) terrorist Kausar alias Muneer Sheikh alias Mohammed Jahidul Islam (38) has been unearthed in which he had targeted to blow up the Buddhist temples of the state.
    Earlier in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) investigation, it came to light that Kausar had planned to plant a bomb at the programme of Buddhist leader Dalai Lama that was held in the month of August at Ramanagara. Dalai Lama had participated in the programme that was held on August 13 at the Dalai Lama Institute of Higher Education, which is situated at the Bengaluru – Mysuru road. Kausar was arrested by NIA on August 7, barely six days before the programme.
    With regard to this information, the top officials of the CID department have held a meeting on Monday, October 1 and it was decided to conduct a separate investigation of this issue, as per the information given by home minister.
    It was also decided to gather information to know whether Kausar had visited the sites of important Buddhist temples in the state like Bailukuppe Tibetan Camp at Kushalnagar in Kodagu, Kollegal and the camp at Mundagod of Uttara Kannada district.
    It is confirmed from the interrogation that Kausar had planned to conduct acts of sabotage and explosions, targeting the Buddhists living in India, as a revenge to the attacks on Rohingya Muslims by the Buddhists in Myanmar. In addition, the investigating officers have also said that Kausar, who had lived in and around Bengaluru from 2014, had hatched a plot to kill Dalai Lama.
    NIA officials had arrested an accomplice of Kausar in the case of Bodh Gaya bombings. It is also confirmed that the JMB terrorists had planned in Kerala to carry out acts of sabotage in the state of Karnataka. It is learnt that a special team will be sent to Kerala also to know Kausar’s link there.
    One accomplice of Kausar still absconding
    NIA has so far arrested seven accused in the Bodh Gaya explosion case. However, Arif Hussain, one more accused and accomplice of Kausar is absconding. Arif is one of the members of the gang that kept IED explosives in the Kalachakra ground of Bodh Gaya. During the investigation, a shocking piece of information has come to light that Arif had met Kausar after the blasts and also discussed with regards to the failure of the intended plan.
    Expert in manufacturing IED explosives
    Kausar, the JMB terrorist is an expert in manufacturing IED explosives. He had come to India with his accomplice Muzafir Rehman from Bangladesh and had planned to carry out terrorist acts on a large scale. Kausar had also trained his accomplices with regards to the manufacture of IED.
    No information of intended bombings in state, says CM
    “No plot was hatched to kill Buddhist leader Dalai Lama in the state of Karnataka. Police are about to file charge sheet against the accused who have been arrested for the bomb blasts that took place in Bodh Gaya. However, I do not know why the name of Dalai Lama is mentioned in this issue. There is no relation between terrorist Kausar, who was caught in Ramanagara, and the attempt on the life of Dalai Lama. However, the police are going to conduct investigation in this angle also. The central government has not sought any information in this regard from the state government,” clarified CM Kumaraswamy to the media.
    Speaking on the issue, Dr G Parameshwar, DCM, said, “The officers of NIA are not sharing any information with us with regard to the plot hatched by the terrorists. They gather information at the international level and arrest the terrorists.”
    Former CM Jagadish Shettar accused the state government and said, “A comprehensive inquiry has to be conducted relating to the issue of the plot to kill Dalai Lama by JMB terrorists. The arrest of suspected terrorists by the NIA shows the utter failure of the state CID.” 

    Bengaluru JMB terrorists targeted Buddhist temples in Karnataka

  2. The fact that rangzen activists aim for the goal of Tibetan independence is at odds with the Dalai Lama’s goal for Tibet’s autonomy. This is nothing new but it is an undeniable fact that the Dalai Lama is the most recognisable Tibetan face and representative for the Tibetan Cause. However, for years now there has been a deficit of trust between China and the Dalai Lama, which leaves the future of Tibetan refugees in limbo.

    Recently, the Dalai Lama tried to take conciliatory steps towards China by acknowledging that development in the Tibet Autonomous Region is beneficial and expressed his desire to return to China. He even said he wants to go on pilgrimage to Mount Wutai, China’s most famous Buddhist site. The fact that the Rangzen people are still protesting against China however shows their true colour. They are against the Dalai Lama and want to make sure that his efforts to help Tibetans are unsuccessful.

    Activists coalition rally against “Xi-the-Pooh” at Un headquarters in NY
    [Thursday, September 20, 2018 18:01]
    By Tenzin Dharpo
    DHARAMSHALA, Sep. 20: Activists from various countries that calls for freedom from China’s repression gathered in front of the United Nation’s headquarters in New York City on Tuesday on the opening day of the 73rd General Assembly to protest CCP honcho Chinese President Xi Jinping.
    Activists from Tibet, East Turkestan, Southern Mongolia and Hong Kong, Taiwan as well as pro-democracy groups in unison called for the end to repressive policies implemented by China and freedom for their countries. The coalition labelled the Chinese president “Xi-the Pooh” in resemblance to cartoon character Winnie the Pooh who is incidentally banned in China, in addition to calling the Chinese leader “Xitler” likening him to infamous Nazi dictator Adolf Hilter.
    Members of the Students for a Free Tibet, Tibetan Youth Congress and Tibetan National Congress joined in the rally that saw activists throw ink at an effigy of Xi in apparent solidarity with Chinese woman Dong Yaoqiong who threw ink at a poster of Xi in Shanghai on July 4. The 29-year-old from Hunan province was arrested by Chinese police in July and has been detained in a mental institution, sources say. 
    SFT Executive Director Dorjee Tsetan led the protest where activists denounced China’s narrative that Xi as the face of new China inching towards leadership in the global arena and reiterate their resistance in the face of Xi-led CCP’s totalitarian rule.
    Tiananmen massacre survivor and pro-democracy activist Rose Tang wrote in her Facebook page, “Very honoured to be with my sisters and brothers from Tibet, East Turkestan, Southern Mongolia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and the US to de-face Xitler. Xitler and the Chinese Communist Party rely on lies and violence; our weapons are peace, love and compassion. We shall defeat Xitler!”
    Representatives from various occupied nations and activists such as Ilshat Hassan, President of Uyghur American Association, Enghebatu Togochog, Director of Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center, Sarah Cook, Senior Researcher for East Asia, Freedom House, Teng Baio, Chinese Human Rights Lawyer and Activist, Omer Karnat, Director, Uyghur Human Rights Project, Ngawang Tharchin, President, Regional Tibetan Youth Congress NY/NJ, Anna Cheung, Activist, New York For Hong Kong and Marvin Kumetat, US Program Coordinator, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization were seen speaking at the protest rally in New York city.

    Activists coalition rally against “Xi-the-Pooh” at Un headquarters in NY

  3. Sex Predator in a Monk’s Robes?

    In USA, Shambhala’s head Sakyong Mipham with his huge ceremonial hat, blue and gold brocades on a high throne. So much pomp and ceremony and underneath it all was a monster… a sexual predator in religious robes exploiting women and people. Such a disgusting shame. Sakyong should be barred from any activities in the future and go for counselling. He needs it badly. His father was Chogyam Trungpa who did the same thing to women and included drugs and orgies in the 70′s. Dalai Lama supports Sakyong Mipham as sizeable donations were given to the Dalai Lama’s office. Shame. We all thought Dalai Lama was clairvoyant and can see the hearts of sentient beings? Sakyong Mipham wears monk robes, shaves his head but has a wife and kids. Why keep wearing monk robes? He is wearing monk robes to look authentic as he is not authentic. Easier to swindle and fool people. Ontop of wearing robes, shaved head masquerading as a monk, has a wife and kids, he further attacks other women sexually. What kind of spiritual leader is this? Disgusting.

  4. It is not understandable for most people that the Dalai Lama, who has received the Nobel Peace Prize can act in such a way against his very own people.

    In terms of Buddhism, who would guess that such discrimination against one Buddhist practice happens right now and for 20 years already – and supported by the Dalai Lama.

    It is very disappointing but the God King of the Tibetans has done this and it is well proven as you can see above.

    I really hope that the ban and discrimination against the Dorje Shugden practice and practitioners will end as soon as possible and that we all can unite.

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.…Instead of turning away people who practise Dorje Shugden, we should be kind to them. Give them logic and wisdom without fear, then in time they give up the ‘wrong’ practice. Actually Shugden practitioners are not doing anything wrong. But hypothetically, if they are, wouldn’t it be more Buddhistic to be accepting? So those who have views against Dorje Shugden should contemplate this. Those practicing Dorje Shugden should forbear with extreme patience, fortitude and keep your commitments. The time will come as predicted that Dorje Shugden’s practice and it’s terrific quick benefits will be embraced by the world and it will be a practice of many beings.

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