A solution for the Shugden issue

To your Holiness the Dalai Lama, since you visit the US so often, does this image represent acceptance of all creed, color and religion? Or does it exclude Dorje Shugden practitioners? Does this powerful symbol of liberty, freedom and dignity apply to Shugden practitioners or they are ‘terrorists’ who need to be segregated?

By: J. Wong

Over the years, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA; the Tibetan leadership based in Dharamsala, India) has conjured many ‘reasons’ for people to stop practicing Dorje Shugden. One of the oft-repeated and absurd claims is that Dorje Shugden practitioners receive money from the Chinese leadership. The CTA’s intent for this ‘reason’ is to whip up patriotic sentiment against Shugden practitioners, and direct the Tibetan people’s attention towards pressuring Dorje Shugden practitioners to give up the practice, supposedly for the sake of the Tibetan cause. In this way, the CTA use Dorje Shugden as a distraction for their own political failures to gain any kind of meaningful freedom or autonomy for the Tibetan people.

When we compare the history of Dorje Shugden’s practice against the political history of Tibet, the CTA’s reason why Dorje Shugden practice harms the Tibetan ‘cause’ is clearly illogical. For the last 400 years, since the time of the 5th Dalai Lama, Dorje Shugden has been practiced by the vast majority of Tibetans. Their devotion and faith existed at a time before Chinese-Tibetan relations soured. In light of this, the claim that Dorje Shugden practitioners receive Chinese money to destabilize Tibetan society is absurd, when Shugden practitioners existed at a time when Tibetan society was stable, with no adverse effects to anyone.

Did this great soul ever criticize or show disrespect to another person’s belief system or religion. Since the Dalai Lama considers himself a follower of Gandhi, perhaps he should emulate Gandhi’s view of freedom of religious worship.

Dorje Shugden’s practice existed before the 1950s, when the Tibetan leadership had no reason to claim Dorje Shugden practitioners received Chinese funding. Even if Dorje Shugden practitioners had received Chinese funding during that time, for hundreds of years before 1959, there were no adverse effects to Tibetan politics. Should we criticize and persecute every Tibetan who receives a gift from the Chinese? In this case, perhaps the Tibetan government should be held accountable for accepting the statue of Jowo Rinpoche from the Chinese Princess Wencheng.

It is simply impossible and illogical to think that Dorje Shugden practitioners have received funding from the Chinese government for the last 400 years, which would certainly be a very costly exercise for the Chinese government. Similarly, for the CTA to claim Dorje Shugden practitioners receive Chinese funding is for them to claim that H.H. the previous Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche (who composed the Tibetan national anthem) was unpatriotic and paid to destabilize the country. If that were indeed the case, Tibetans should be worried that the Dalai Lama himself studied under a Chinese employee for 30 years. If Trijang Rinpoche had been paid by the Chinese (which he was not), was the Dalai Lama wrong and unable to see something this significant early on? If the Dalai Lama could be wrong about his choice of tutor, then he can also be wrong about his current opinion on Dorje Shugden practice. Just because he is famous does not make his actions error-free nor exempt him from accountability for these mistakes.

Does this religious leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu make negative remarks against another’s faith or does he respect all?

It is important to note that the Tibetan leadership’s claim that Dorje Shugden practitioners receive Chinese money has never been backed up with any evidence or proof. No pay slips or bank statements have ever been produced by the CTA to show that their claims about Dorje Shugden practitioners are valid. Thus, not only is the CTA’s claim baseless and lacking in evidence, but their subsequent actions do not even support their own claims.

The CTA is very fond of courting Western leaders and most recently, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was seen meeting with President Barack Obama. The CTA claimed this meeting was nothing more than the meeting of two minds, in continuance of a long friendship between the USA and Tibetans. However, the CTA failed to consider that the US is China’s largest trading partner. It is a relationship that generates much profit for China, therefore providing them with the resources to enforce their hold on Tibet.

Did the Dalai Lama call for Obama to boycott American-Chinese trade, since it financially enables the Chinese leadership to supposedly destabilize Tibetan society? Does President Obama criticize any form of religious worship in the USA or anywhere in the world? Or does he respect religious freedom and individual choice?

Since the Tibetan leadership is so concerned with Dorje Shugden practitioners receiving Chinese funds, one has to wonder if the Dalai Lama called for Obama to institute a boycott against Chinese trade since it contributes to China’s financial ability to so-called destabilize Tibetan society. Instead of visiting countries like Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, Italy, Canada, Australia, South Africa, India and New Zealand (all of whom trade with China), the Dalai Lama should cease visiting any nations who trade with China, thus contributing to Chinese ability to destabilize Tibetans.

In fact, since the CTA claims they are disturbed by anyone having a financial relationship with China, they should boycott and leave India altogether since India has massive billion-dollar trade partnerships with China. The fact the Tibetan leadership remains in India, continuing to exploit India’s hospitality whilst simultaneously criticizing anyone who has a financial partnership with China, is hypocritical of them.

Does Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, divide her people and nation by making religious differences?

For Tibetans to call for free nations to boycott Chinese trade is irresponsible and immature where these nations’ leadership have a duty first and foremost to provide for their own citizens. The fact is that free nations have the right to trade with whomsoever they wish, and free people have the right to practice and rely upon whatsoever deity they wish. To claim that Dorje Shugden practitioners are bad, negative and evil for supposedly receiving Chinese funding is absurd and hypocritical, when the CTA themselves make relationships with people who trade and receive financial gain from China.

The CTA’s hypocrisy unfortunately does not end there. Every year, the Tibetan leadership accrues an incredible amount of air miles travelling from democratic nation to democratic nation. Despite their unprecedented amount of travelling, the CTA has thus far been incapable of realizing that religious freedom and freedom of worship and expression are an inalienable birth rights, enshrined in the constitutions of the nations they visit. Likewise, Tibetans all over the world have sought refuge in free nations with democratically-elected governments, for example India. The Tibetans there should examine those systems of governance and look to implement it in their own administration.

Could President Obama get away with criticizing any form of religious worship in the USA, or would people protest? If people protested, would they be placed on a hit list? The Dalai Lama’s administration, the CTA, places Tibetans on a hit list when you protest. Tibetans are not allowed to protest against the Dalai Lama as he is infallible.

For example, thousands of Tibetans live in the United States. According to the American constitution, voodoo is a permissible practice because it concerns the rights of the individual to worship whoever they want, regardless of its impact on the American economy or politics. Americans would find it hypocritical for their government to speak against voodoo when the freedom to practice this faith is constitutionally enshrined. Such a statement from the American government would create much strife, division and controversy because of the level of hypocrisy it entails – in one breath, allowing the practice but in another, doing everything they can to discourage people from it. The CTA needs to take this same example when it comes to Dorje Shugden where, in one breath, they claim everyone has religious freedom but in another breath, they constantly and consistently publicize their ‘reasons’ why people should not rely on Dorje Shugden.

That Dorje Shugden is good or bad is not the point. The point is that every individual should have the freedom to choose whatever deity they wish to rely upon. No government should enforce, police or comment on an individual’s personal choices such as who they choose to worship and rely upon. Worship and faith are personal choices; officialdom and administrations should remain neutral so as not to infringe on the varied interests of the diverse people who voted them into power.

Did Mother Teresa criticize any religions during her public speeches? Why then does the Dalai Lama criticize Shugden practice at all?

Since the ban was enforced in 1998, the Tibetan leadership have continued to hurt the sentiments of many Dorje Shugden people by equating their practice with a lack of patriotism. That is in fact far from the truth. Simply because a person practices Dorje Shugden, does not make them any less Tibetan or any less human than their friends; their practice is a part of them, but not ALL of them. Their practice is a part of them but it does not DEFINE them.

Would this great man criticize or segregate others due to differences in religious beliefs?

Thus the Tibetan leadership should stop criticizing Dorje Shugden’s practice and adherents, whether privately and especially publicly. In criticizing this practice, the sentiments of millions of people are hurt and this is contradictory to the goal of any administration. An administration’s goal should be to support, encourage and nurture their population, and not to harass, harangue and persecute them for their faith. Since the Dalai Lama accepts people of all religious orientations, faiths and beliefs, so too should this courtesy and respect be extended to Dorje Shugden practitioners.

Even if just 100 people practiced Dorje Shugden, it is not the Tibetan leadership’s jurisdiction nor concern what they practice or rely upon. Even if it were related to Tibetan Buddhism, no one person is the authority of ALL Tibetan Buddhism. Every school and tradition has their own heads but on a more local, personal level, every person is the head of their own choice. Thus until the criticisms stop, Dorje Shugden people will not remain silent, not because we are defending Dorje Shugden but because we are defending our right to practice peacefully, without persecution whether verbal, physical, emotional or spiritual. We will protest peacefully, and write our leaders and media till the ban is lifted.

The Dalai Lama often participates in inter-faith conferences and events. How come no such courtesy has yet been extended to Shugden practitioners who are banned from any events he attends or hosts?

The Dalai Lama has been meeting many world leaders since his flight into exile. Here with President Clinton, one wonders if the Dalai Lama criticized Clinton for fostering Sino-American trade in the way the Dalai Lama does with Shugden practitioners.

Everyone is accepted by the Tibetan leadership except for Dorje Shugden practitioners who are defined by and persecuted for that one aspect of their characters and beings.

Mandela spent 27 years in prison for fighting against racial segregation and apartheid. The Tibetan leadership should learn from this great man. Mandela has never spoken a negative word regarding anyone’s faith, religion or beliefs. Therefore he is respected as a statesman of the highest caliber. The world respects this man.

Anyone and everyone is free to attend the Dalai Lama’s teachings. He will walk with them, hold their hands and engage in dialogue. Since 1998, Dorje Shugden practitioners have not enjoyed this kind of freedom and warmth extended to everyone else but them. Is it that all Shugden practitioners are evil and deserve no compassion? Everyone needs love and warmth, but the Dalai Lama has advised Tibetans to stay away from Shugden practitioners.

Did a great leader like Nehru divide his country by criticizing any form of worship in India? Of course not. India has so many religions and subsects of those religions. No one in a democratic nation would stand for it. So why is it such a surprise that Dorje Shugden practitioners would be peacefully protesting for their rights to religious freedom? Dorje Shugden practice is allowed in India and the rest of the free world but not in the communities that the Dalai Lama holds sway over. If you practice Dorje Shugden, you are unpatriotic and automatically a Chinese spy.

Lastly, Dorje Shugden practice is not a cult. In fact the behavior of the Dalai Lama’s followers make the Dalai Lama like a cult leader. For them, what he says goes and no further examination is allowed. He is god. He is the final authority. He can make no mistakes. How is this possible? If you disobey the cult leader Dalai Lama then you are expelled from monasteries, not allowed to enter stores, hospitals and other CTA-funded public services because you practice Shugden. You are totally segregated from mainstream society. How dare the Dalai Lama and the CTA call anyone’s faith a cult, or damaging or negative. The Dalai Lama and the CTA have no rights whatsoever to publicly condemn another person’s faith and then mask it as advice, claiming that it is ‘up to you’. Who would accept any religious or secular leader ‘advising’ people against another religious faith or tradition? Such behavior is wrong on all counts. The only religious leader who will accuse or denigrate another person’s religion is if they themselves are cult leaders or a dictator, and demand absolute obedience. Any forms of dissension result in segregation or expulsion. Within Tibetan society, if you do not listen to the Dalai Lama, then you will be ostracized, harassed and even kicked out of your Tibetan refugee settlements.

A cult is not a religion or its offshoot. A cult is created by people and their misinterpretations. There are extreme people in Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Buddhism but they do not define their religion or their wrong interpretations of their religion. The Dalai Lama has followers that interpret the teachings of Buddha incorrectly and become extreme because of this. Does that make Buddhism a cult? Dorje Shugden practice has existed for four hundred years which is older than America, and his worship is practiced by the most elite and respected lamas in three schools of Tibetan Buddhism. There were no issues, bias or prejudice until the Dalai Lama and the CTA spoke up against Shugden practitioners. Among Shugden practitioners are people who are fallible and imperfect. You will have good people who follow Shugden as well as questionable ones. Likewise there are good people who follow the Dalai Lama as well as questionable ones, as in all religions. The actions of a few persons do not define a religion, nor define it as a cult. No religious or secular leader in the democratic free countries of the 21st century may disparage any faith or discourage anyone from any faith. It is unethical and can be seen as sectarian. Is the Dalai Lama sectarian? Why does the ban only apply to Shugden practitioners? Is every single Shugden practitioner wrong, a bandit, a cultist, a terrorist and takes money from the Chinese? America derives profit from the Chinese, so why does the Dalai Lama still visit and accept money from the USA and her citizens? How incredibly ridiculous is this.

Shugden practice is a religion of peace, love, harmony and compassion. The goal of genuine Shugden practitioners is to gain full enlightenment to benefit all sentient beings. The Dalai Lama or CTA have no right in any capacity to discourage others from this practice. In the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Thailand, Taiwan, Switzerland, South Africa, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Spain, Bhutan, Nepal, India and many other countries, their governments ensure their freedom to practice any religion they like without scorn, prejudice or segregation. Stateless citizens like the Dalai Lama and his CTA cronies may not step into anyone’s democratic countries and spout autocratic orders of what religion is not good or good. The Dalai Lama and CTA live like beggars, begging sustenance and sponsorship from these countries to sustain their activities and the CTA’s so-called Government-in-exile. The Dalai Lama and CTA must respect the charters of freedom for all citizens in these countries to practice whatever religion they choose. It would be polite, ethical and politically correct for the Dalai Lama to not force his views against Shugden and call it a ‘spirit’ worship anywhere. How dare he force choices on free citizens of the world and then expect them to remain quiet, not protest and not speak up. The democratic countries around the world were founded on the basis of People’s Power and their votes, not the other way around. The Shugden practitioners will not remain silent. Nor will they forego their practice. Nor will they tolerate the condemnations of a stateless autocratic leader like the Dalai Lama. We will peacefully continue to protest, write to the media and state and federal leaders as well as the United Nations. The Dalai Lama and CTA have no right to criticize Shugden’s practice now or in the future. Shugden people are people. Full stop!

The only person who can bring an end to this division is the Dalai Lama himself. He or his people must sit down with the representatives of the Shugden communities that number into the millions and find a way to acceptance, tolerance and co-existence. Find a way to peace and must, in writing, retract all the degrading comments against peaceful Shugden practitioners and stop hurting the sentiments of millions. We wish no harm towards the Dalai Lama nor wish any ill towards him, and he should not publicly or privately condemn our religion whether he deems it a religion or not. It’s time to sit and talk or the problem will not go away. We will not give up our practice of Shugden so let’s find a middle way.

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21 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. The 14th Dalai Lama is possessed by a demon.
    This demon will never let him lift the ban.
    You can tell a mentally ill person they are ill but they will never believe you. They will go on acting the way they do oblivious to there insane actions.
    There is no hope for this demonically possessed Dalai Lama
    We will have to wait for his death and then we will be truly free.

  2. With so much logical points in this article, is it possible that the CTA still does not get it? It is sad to imagine how can CTA ever be able to have a free Tibet when the most basic freedom of religion is not honoured.

    It is so unimaginable to have such a group of Tibetan administrators leading Tibetans in exile and from what I can see, poor Tibetans and will never be able to depend on CTA for their goal to be fulfilled.

    It is not impossible to sit down and negotiate or talk of a middle way for Tibetans to return to Tibet and Shugdenpas to continue their worship of Dorje Shugden.

    This fear is groundless and the inability to find the middle way is a failure of the part of CTA. That may be the cause for the Ban, to distract Tibetans in exile from the truth of incompetence of their government, CT A.

    It is my wish that the Dalai Lama out of his wisdom will lift the Ban by just declaring it to be. That simple!!!!! NO POLITICS, NO INJUSTICE, NO BULLYING but just LOVE AND COMPASSION.

  3. A very powerful and well written article which turns the tables around on the CTA always pointing fingers at people taking money from Chinese for the Shugden movement which is not true. It is the CTA at fault and the hypocrite.

  4. When scrolling though all the pictures of the interfaith ceremonies and events which the Dalai Lama attended, it assured me that one day in the future( which I am sure will be very soon), there will be a photo of the Dalai Lama attending a Dorje Shugden event. Once all the misunderstandings are cleared through open talks from both sides, the ban will come down and all will be able to practice the religion of their choice with no discrimination or punishments. Really looking forward to that !

  5. There are not many material things in the world that the Chinese are not involved in manufacturing. So what will all these Tibetans and CTA do, everything or item that has Chinese content serves only to benefit the Chinese and prolong the hold of China over Tibet.

  6. Religion freedom is very important for every individual we have our right to choose which religion we want to follow because each type of religion suit a different group so for a leader to force a religion to their people I think is very unfair, what more CTA claim that the DS practitioner receive funds from China this even more rediculous because no evidence at all this is pure accuse. We as a practitioner must voice out our dissatisfaction about this ban and work hand in hand to lift the ban.

  7. ..can anybody explain me why on earth China – a wonderful country by the way , made of human beings! – should separate from its precious money to give it to Shugden practitioners??…were it so!!

  8. You can wish all you want for a solution to this issue and it will not come about unless one does something about it. Action speaks louder than mere words. So blog, comment, Tweet, FB, Instagram, do whatever it takes to make the world hear and understand the issue and it will get resolved.

    I for one believe that the Dalai Lama who is an emanation of Chenrezig is making the ultimate sacrifice out of infinite compassion for sentient beings of this age. I wish the Dalai Lama long life and bow down to his lotus feet.

  9. Why is the Dalai Lama insist to ban Dorje Shugden, a protector that protected him when he left Tibet to India? How come he has no gratitude to his protector? Dharma protector is here to assist and protect those who are on the path practicing Dharma for enlightenment. There is none or any issue or has anything to do with political issues. Dorje Shugden is purely a spiritual practice. There’s no way the Dalai Lama and his CTA can stop us from practicing Dorje Shugden. Here you cut off the welfare for Dorje Shugden practitioners by not allowing them to seek for help from the hospital then at the other hand talking about compassion and world peace? and you represent the Buddha on earth?

    There are millions of us and many are not Tibetan. Hence it make no sense that all Dorje Shugden Practitioners are taking money from China! There’s no way you can boycott people who are associate with China. Please do not think and act like a immature baby being so naive and ridiculous thinking of by blaming this to the Dharma protector practitioners so that you can save your failure from protecting your country. in fact you are ruing your people and country now. Dalai Lama Stop Lying before it is too late.

  10. Dear HH Dalai Lama,

    Everyone has their birthright to practice what they want to or does not want to. Respect should be there from others. We respect others’ choices as we would like others to respect ours.

    Especially in this 21 century which emphasizes on basic human rights, and good values such as harmony, peace and acceptance; to force someone stop their belief or condemn the religion they have chosen and passed down by their Gurus is unacceptable.

    Without acceptance there will be no peace, no harmony in this planet. Using force against those who have different belief system with us, will not bring peace and harmony to us and others. We all want peace, love, prosperity and growth…and avoid sufferings and pains. Give peace to others then we will gain peace in return. That’s the rule of universal.

    HH Dalai Lama, let’s sit down and talk it out as you have always talk it out in inter faith conference or any other seminars. We Dorje Shugden practitioners will continue to practice, to tell the whole world what is happening and how bad the ban is…all we want is only peacefully continue our practice…until you LIFT the ban.

    Thank you.

  11. This article is misleading and cloying and not factual. To repeatedly claim there are not millions of Dolgyal followers is foolish, unless there is another planet we don’t know about. There are so many Dolgyal people especially in Tibet and it’s growing bigger very fast. I have people there who tell me. The more HH Dalai Lama speak about Dolgyal, the more it grow. Maybe HH Dalai Lama should stop to speak about this subject and it won’t grow?

  12. How often have we heard of the Dalai Lama and CTA claiming this and without a shred of evidence especially pertaining to the claim of China secretly funding Dorje Shugden lamas and practitioners? Too often that it sounds like a mantra. This article is well researched and well presented unlike the baseless chants of the CTA.

  13. In many ways, the solution to the Shugden Controversy is evident and getting more glaring with the progress of time. Why? Because of the actions and results of both Dorje Shugden practitioners and pro-Dalai Lama camp.

    Whether Dorje Shugden is good or bad is not the point. The importance is the impact of the practice on the actions of body, speech and mind of the people who practice it. The Dorje Shugden practitioners have been engaged in peaceful demonstrations internationally that are arranged with respect to local authorities and regulations. Similarly, the demonstrations are conducted in creative ways where Shugden practitioners express their stand through music, display of placards, and respectful interviews with journalists and reporters. All these speak well of Dorje Shugden practitioners, especially when compared to the vulgar and violent demeanor and actions of the anti-Shugden camp. So if practicing Dorje Shugden creates peaceful individuals and groups in various parts of the world who consistently requested the Dalai Lama to debate and discuss is bad, how can flicking the middle finger in public, shouting vulgarities, destroying Buddhist statues and Guru images in monasteries and temples as well as damaging people and property be perceived by His Holiness and his administration to be better?

    The shallowness of defining someone’s patriotism based on their choice of religious practice still makes me speechless. This is especially so when such an equation is formulated by the Dalai Lama and his leaders. Religion and politics do not mix in many part of the world as clearly illustrated in the article for valid reasons: the conflict in interest and infringement into fundamental human rights. In fact, as basic social ethics, religion and political belief are subject matters that society is taught to respect each person’s entitled individual choice. Therefore, how can an icon of peace mash the two together and and create so much division, disharmony as well as tangible and intangible damage by his political and religious policy? Up to this point, no one in the Dalai Lama’s administration has been able to offer a logical, clear and consistent communication as a response.

    The invasion of human rights by His Holiness and the CTA is extreme. Not only does His Holiness stop Dorje Shugden practitioner from receiving his teachings because of their choice to uphold Guru devotion and continue the practice bestowed upon them by their spiritual teachers, he would even oust sincere Dharma masters like Zemey Rinpoche who served HH tirelessly, including going to meet with the Chairman Mao in China for negotiation. How can we have faith in these high lamas who practiced and taught the Dorje Shugden lineage? Because each of them have returned and their reincarnations, such as Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche, have been recognized by the Dalai Lama himself.

    If His Holiness talks about compassion, how could he permit Zemey Rinpoche to prostrate outside the teaching hall every time he gives a teaching without granting forgiveness or even some empathy? The Dalai Lama never forgave or pardoned Zemey Rinpoche who consistently “attended” every teaching outside the hall doing prostration from the start to the end of every session.

    If it was really “up to you” to practice what you want, then why torture those who took this option to practice Dorje Shugden by expelling them from monasteries and forbidding them to attend teachings and depriving them from basic services and goods. Was this “up to you” insincere? If so, how can a global spiritual leader and peace icon act with such deception? Why trick the people into taking an option that was never truly there?

    I am not sure where Dorje Shugden practitioners are getting their money from but one thing for sure is that His Holiness has been receiving a lot of funds from the general public for many years now, enabling him and his entourage to travel the world. These were funds raised to free Tibet and contribute to the cause of greater peace etc. The cause of free Tibet is not something we need to talk about as it will be like rubbing salt on open wounds. But how have the funds been used to create greater peace. Instead, disharmony is being caused within the Buddhist world with the Dorje Shugden Ban. How much fund is used to cause this violence, separation and schism amongst Buddhist brothers and sisters? So, before His Holiness criticizes other people’s method of raising funds etc., it is good advise that the Dalai Lama and his administration be more accountable with the results they are creating with the generosity of all his sponsors and supporters.

  14. It is interesting to note that among the many leaders of the world, spiritual heads & great individuals whom the Dalai Lama & CTA met are strong advocate of freedom of speech, choice & even religious freedom. Not because they are concerned about the people will not support them but simply out of respect for their rights as part of the citizens of the world. Ironically while the Dalai Lama is promoting love, compassion & world peace everywhere he go but on the other hand the CTA’s actions & discriminations towards their own people totally contradict to what the Dalai Lama preach & represent, the icon of love, peace & compassion. Their baseless & illogical accusation are totally unfounded with no solid proof or evidence to support their claims which are driven by only greed & selfish reasons.

    Evidently for so many years the CTA has achieve nothing with their so called “Tibetan Cause” but rather hurting, separating & discriminating their fellow countrymen & women, I only hope that H.H. Dalai Lama will immediately lift the ban & end the suffering of both the DS practitioners & their families & friends.

  15. The King of England at one time in the 16th century banned ie condemned the practice of the Shakers it created much dis harmony and persecution but because of this a great land was inhabited where that freedom became the foundation of its government

    repression of freedom to practice religion or practices seems to become a breeding ground and a tempering for its free expression As a Christian who is considering Buddhist practice I hope this confusion will be resolved but only see it as the age old result of the struggle for power vs true freedom From what I have read even the Buddha himself wanted to make this change ie his philosophy vs the Brahmin Caste system Good Luck to all in this conflict….

  16. Seriously? If the Chinese backed Shugden people, would we even need to have this conversation? With Chinese backing who needs the Dalai Lama and who will give a toss about the CTA! Show the evidence instead of making false allegations. I pray for wisdom and common sense for CTA and anti-Shugden bands.

  17. This is indeed a great article. I would not understand why the CTA would not try to sit people down to do the discussion.

    It just does not make sense for people to condemning things that is in fact just based on statement that has over thrown history that is being done for for hundreds of years.

    Till today, I cannot see why the Dalai Lama has given up the Shugden practice, and even have a ban on it. Saying that those people that do this practice would be the people that are against him, making exceptions for only his guru that would be able to do this practice.

    Why is there any exemptions at all if the practice is really bad?

  18. I like Agnes Kohl’s comment. I tend to agree too! If China was really involved in funding and helping the Shugden practitioners, they would have the largest and grandest monasteries and who would even bother inviting the Dalai Lama to their official events. CTA won’t even have voice as they will be marginalised in favour of China’s trade agreements.
    We all know the Dalai Lama’s allegations of Dorje Shugden is illogical and CTA’s enforcement of his wishes is gangsterism against human rights and religious freedom. Its time that the heads of countries and religious bodies stop accommodating the Dalai Lama and demand a logical solution to settle the issue of the ban and the sufferings of the practitioners in the hands of CTA and Anti-Shugdens. The Dalai Lama should be made to face the contradiction of his teachings on compassion and love while segregating and condemning Shugden practitioners. As the article mentioned, only the Dalai Lama himself will be able to resolve this ban and so it is with him that dialogue is needed.

  19. All the talk about China funding the Dorje Shugden practitioners is very tiring. Who instituted the ban? If the ban was not there in the first place, how can China drive a wedge within the Tibetans. Looking at the situation now, it’s the Tibetans themselves that are doing the dividing and pointing fingers.

    By this very accusation, the CTA has shown that they were bought, so therefore, these monasteries that were rebuilt can be bought. Old adage of “to set a thief to catch a thief” hold water for me here.

    The reasons given for the ban is pretty lame. For all that it’s worth, the CTA should thank the current Chinese government for rebuilding the monasteries which the CTA do not have to do now. They should be happy now that they will have extra money for their pockets.

  20. Well, 2 years down the road from the date of this article, there is hope. There is an article that shows that the Dalai Lama is finally saying that Dorje Shugden cannot harm him and by inference cannot harm the Tibetan cause. Please follow the link attached.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109777

    Thanks to ShugdenProtector who posted this link in the forum to announce the great news.

    Further, the Dalai was quoted the following “:-

    “I hear that some people report that I have said no one should do the practice of Dolgyal. That is not what I say. There are problems with the practice, which I know from my own experience, and that’s why I recommend people not to do it. But if someone wants to do it, they can. There are monks today in monasteries adjacent to Ganden and Sera who specifically follow the practice.” ~Dalai Lama

    Source: http://dalailama.com/news/post/1457-avalokiteshvara-empowerment-and-public-talk

    So, again by inference, anyone can practice, and therefore there is no longer any reason for the Dalai Lama’s followers and the CTA to persecute, discriminate, segregate and threaten and commit violence against Shugdenpas. If they do so, then they are defying the wishes and words of the Dalai Lama. They then are the ones who wish the Dalai Lama ill.

    Thank you, ds.com for your platform for news and knowledge.

  21. Dear Dalai Lama,

    Since you started the cruel ban against the 350 year Dorje Shugden practice, how has it benefit your Tibetan society and Buddhism in the world? Things have become worse and most educated Tibetans can see this. They don’t speak out not because they don’t see your ban as wrong, but you instill fear in them and not respect. It is like fear of a dictator. I am sorry to say so. Everyone is divided. There is no harmony. Before your ban there was more harmony and unity.

    By enacting the ban, you split the monasteries, split so many families, split regions in Tibet apart, split your disciples from you, split your own gurus from you, split Tibetan Buddhism apart. You have created so much disharmony.

    It is not democratic what you have done to ban a religion within your community. You always talk of tolerance and acceptance and democracy and yet you do not accept and tolerate something different from your beliefs. When people practice Dorje Shugden you ostracize them, ban them from seeing you, ban them from using Tibetan facilities. You know you have done that. There are videos that capture your speech and prove this point. You even had people expelled from monasteries just because they practice Dorje Shugden. Some of the monks you expelled have been in the monastery for over 40 years. Many older monks shed tears because of this.

    Many young educated Tibetans lost confidence in you as they saw the damage the Dorje Shugden ban created and they lose hope. Many have become free thinkers. They reject what you have done. So many people in the west left Buddhism because of the confusion you created with this ban against Dorje Shugden which is immoral.

    You could of had millions of people who practice Dorje Shugden to support, love and follow you, but you scared them away. They are hurt and very disappointed. They loved you and respected you deeply before the ban. It has been 60 years and you have failed to get Tibet back. Your biggest failure is not getting Tibet back after 57 years in exile. Now you are begging China to allow you to return to Tibet to the disappointment of thousands of people who fought for a free Tibet believing in you. So many self-immolated for a free Tibet and now you want Tibet to be a part of China with no referendum from Tibetans. Just like a dictator, you decide on your own. It was your government and you that lost Tibet in the first place. Your policies and style of doing things do not benefit Tibet and Buddhism. You have been the sole ruler of Tibet your whole life and you still have not gotten our country of Tibet back for us. Our families and us are separated. Yet you create more pain by creating a ban to further divide people. Please have compassion.

    No other Buddhist leader has banned or condemned any religion except for you. It looks very bad. You are a Nobel laureate and this is not fitting of a laureate. You should unite people and not separate them by religious differences.

    You said Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi did not do right to the Rohingya people in Myanmar due to religious differences, but you are doing the same thing to the Shugden Buddhists within your own society. There is a parallel in this. You separate the Shugden Buddhists from the others in Tibetan society.

    You have lost so many people who would have loved and supported you. You have lost so much support around the world. The Shugden Buddhists who love you number in the millions. When you are fast losing support from governments and private people, it will not do you well to lose more.

    After you are passed away in the future, the rift you created between the Dorje Shugden and non-Dorje Shugden people will remain for a while and that will be your legacy. Disharmony. You will be remembered for this. Not as a hero but a disharmony creator.

    Dorje Shugden will spread and further grow, but you will be no more as you are a human. No one wishes you bad and in fact we hope you have a long and healthy life, but we have lost so much hope and have so much despair because of you. All the hundreds of Dorje Shugden lamas, tulkus and geshes are maturing and there are hundreds of Dorje Shugden monasteries in Tibet who will not give up Dorje Shugden. You have made a mistake. These hundreds of teachers and teachers to be will spread Dorje Shugden further in the future.

    The gurus that gave us Dorje Shugden as a spiritual practice and you have called these holy gurus wrong and they are mistaken in giving us Dorje Shugden. How can you insult our gurus whom we respect so much? If they can be wrong, then you can be wrong. Then all gurus can be wrong. So no one needs to listen to any guru? You have created this trend. It is not healthy. Your own gurus practiced Dorje Shugden their whole lives. Your own gurus were exemplary and highly learned.

    Dalai Lama you have created so much pain with this ban against so many people due to religion. You are ageing fast. Are you going to do anything about it or stay stubborn, hard and un-moving. You show a smile and preach peace and harmony wherever you go. But will you do the same to your own people? Please rectify the wrong you have done. Please before it is too late. You can create harmony again or you can pass away in the future with this legacy of peace. May you live long and think carefully and admit what was a mistake in having this unethical ban against Dorje Shugden religion.

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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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