Not Just a Simple Advice but an Order

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

By: Michaela Smith

For many years, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has insisted that his view and statement on Dorje Shugden practice constitutes advice and not a ban. On the Dalai Lama’s official website it is stated that:

“[The Dalai Lama] has stated that, as a Buddhist leader with a special concern for the Tibetan people, it is his responsibility to speak out against the damaging consequences of this kind of spirit worship. Whether or not his advice is heeded, His Holiness has made clear, is a matter for the individual.”
- Source:

The Dalai Lama’s camp further emphasized the nature of his statements on Dorje Shugden as being ‘advice’ during a meeting with the International Shugden Community (ISC) on July 7, 2015. On the Dalai Lama’s website it is stated that:

“The OHHDL representatives explained that although His Holiness has for forty years advised against propitiating Shugden, he has always been consistently clear that, in the end, it is up to individuals to choose whether or not to follow his counsel.”
- Source:

With these statements, it seems that the Dalai Lama’s camp wish to downplay/nullify the basis of struggle that those who practice Dorje Shugden seek to overcome. However, the Dalai Lama’s statement on Dorje Shugden practice is much more than simple advice for the following reasons:

1. If it is only advice, then there would be no negative consequences for those who choose to continue their Dorje Shugden practice.

For most Dorje Shugden practitioners, practicing this deity is not without its consequences. The Dalai Lama’s camp and the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) can argue that the discrimination suffered by Dorje Shugden practitioners is initiated by those who have faith in the Dalai Lama and from their own initiatives. In reality, the Dalai Lama encourages this discrimination. For example, back in 2008, the Dalai Lama encouraged monks who practiced Dorje Shugden to be expelled from the main Gelugpa monasteries such as Gaden, Sera and Drepung. To the Tibetan people, anything the Dalai Lama wants is nothing short of a decree, and the Dalai Lama knows that and uses that to his advantage.

It is true that the Dalai Lama’s followers make the lives of Dorje Shugden practitioners more wretched by refusing to serve or and by disassociating with them. However, it is within the power of the Dalai Lama and the CTA to end this discrimination. They could follow the example of President George W. Bush, who immediately after the 9/11 incident in which the terrorist group Al-Qaeda crashed two planes into the World Trade Center towers in New York, issued a statement that any US citizen who engaged in acts of discrimination against Middle Eastern Americans would be dealt with. If the Dalai Lama and the CTA had good intentions, they would also discourage their followers from discriminating against Dorje Shugden practitioners. Please find below evidence showing discrimination aimed at Dorje Shugden practitioners:

  • Thousands of monks who refused to abandon their Dorje Shugden practice have been expelled from their monasteries. The following video contains footage of the Dalai Lama’s speech in Drepung Monastery where he encourage the monastery to expel Dorje Shugden monks. If the administration and monks met with any refusal or resistance, and were questioned on whose authority the expulsion was taking place, they could say “the Dalai Lama said so”.

Or watch on server | download video (right click & save file)

  • Lay Dorje Shugden practitioners are labeled demon worshipers and banned from accessing public facilities and welfare benefits (e.g., hospitals, shops, etc.) in Tibetan refugee camps in India. In addition, they are denied identity cards and travel passes which in turn denies them voting rights and the ability to travel. Their freedom to travel and freedom to vote are curtailed although they live in the world’s largest democracy, India. Lay Dorje Shugden practitioners are constantly harassed and violently threatened. In the following video, a Dorje Shugden practitioner explains they were refused service in shops and barred from entering public institutions like hospitals.

Or watch on server | download video (right click & save file)

  • Recent refugee arrivals from Tibet are asked if they are Dorje Shugden practitioners. Those who reply in the affirmative are denied refugee status (and the protections and benefits such a status accords) in India.
  • Dorje Shugden centers and lamas around the world receive death threats and great pressure to give up the practice. It is still fresh in our mind that the old assistant of His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, Gen Chonze, was beaten by a group of men on December 27, 2013. It is suspected that the incident happened due to His Holiness Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche’s refusal to attend the Dalai Lama’s Jangchup Lamrim teachings in Sera Monastery. Kyabje Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche’s refusal to attend the teachings resulted in an embarrassed CTA and the ex-abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery, Jangchup Choden, who visited the United States for the sole purpose of inviting Kyabje Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche to attend the Dalai Lama’s teachings.
  • Non-Dorje Shugden practitioners in India are prohibited from having any form of contact with Dorje Shugden practitioners, causing painful separation between family members, friends and people who are forced into hiding and physically harmed without actually committing any crime. In the following Tibetan Public Talk series below, Tibetan Shugden practitioners speak about their experience of being separated from their family members because they chose to practice Dorje Shugden.

Or watch on server | download video (right click & save file)


Or watch on server | download video (right click & save file)

2. The Dalai Lama’s spiritual and political significance among the Tibetans makes whatever statements he issues more than just simple advice.

The Dalai Lama’s position embodies both spiritual and political significance within Tibetan culture:

Dalai Lama the spiritual leader

Spiritual significance - Among followers of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama is believed to be the emanation of the Buddha of Compassion, Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig, who chose to incarnate in the world to serve humanity. Thus, many of the Dalai Lama’s followers consider the advice of the Dalai Lama as an instruction from the Buddha of Compassion himself. The Dalai Lama’s statement to not practice Dorje Shugden and to disassociate with Dorje Shugden practitioners will trigger his followers to penalize those who choose to continue with this practice.

Dalai Lama the political leader

Political significance - The Dalai Lama is traditionally recognised the head of the Tibetan government. After his escape to India in 1959, the Dalai Lama retained this role as the head of Tibetan Government in Exile, later renamed the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA). Considering his position as the head of a secular government, the instruction disguised as “advice” to his people (to not associate with Dorje Shugden practitioners) definitely carries much more weight than just plain simple advice. It is the instruction from the head of government. Even though in 2011 the Dalai Lama resigned from his position as the secular head of the CTA, his presence still carries substantial political significance to this date, as it has done for many centuries before.

3. The culture of serfdom in Tibet prior to Chinese occupation created a subservient culture among the older Tibetans.

A serf being forced to do labor while being shackled

Prior to the Chinese occupation in Tibet, about 95%  of Tibet’s population was bound in serfdom or slavery* while the remaining minorities were high-ranking lamas and landowners. The serfs who disobeyed their masters’ commands were often severely punished, which could include gouging out their eyes or severing their hamstrings depending on the discretion of their masters. The severe punishments were intended to create a subservient culture, which still prevails to this day among the older Tibetans.

A herder shows what remains of his right hand which was chopped off by the serf-owner

According to Sorrel Neuss, a journalist from the Guardian in her article titled What We Don’t Hear About Tibet, this is a far cry from the popular belief that in old Tibet, under the Dalai Lama’s governance, the “Tibetans lived contentedly in a spiritual non-violent culture, uncorrupted by lust or greed: but in reality society was far more brutal than that vision.”

A serf named Cering Zholma living under a toilet

Considering that the Tibetans have lived in this culture of serfdom for hundreds of years, and the fact that they view the Dalai Lama as their ultimate lord and master, they definitely take the Dalai Lama’s statements to not practice Dorje Shugden and disassociate with those who practice, as more authoritative than just a simple piece of advice.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama always show religious tolerance except to Dorje Shugden practitioners

In democratic non-Tibetan cultures, we would take the following statement literally and not expect to be reprimanded for our personal choice. This is clearly not the case with regard to those that practice Dorje Shugden.

“[The Dalai Lama] has stated that, as a Buddhist leader with a special concern for the Tibetan people, it is his responsibility to speak out against the damaging consequences of this kind of spirit worship. Whether or not his advice is heeded, His Holiness has made clear, is a matter for the individual.”

To make matters worse, the Dalai Lama has stated that there is no discrimination toward Dorje Shugden practitioners, and he dismissed this allegation as mere rumour to Western journalists. However, this is clearly not the case. The Dalai Lama himself blatantly encouraged his followers to take action against and discriminate those who chose to continue their practice. Only the Dalai Lama himself knows the true reason why he keeps issuing contradictory statements about his treatment of Dorje Shugden practitioners.

Or watch on server | download video (right click & save file)

With the abundant evidence presented in this article, we hope to make it clear that the ban against Dorje Shugden practice exists and to refute the Dalai Lama’s and the CTA’s claims that Tibetan Buddhists followers are given the freedom of choice to continue their practice without coercion. The ban is harmful and many are suffering because of it. Keeping this in mind, we appeal to Dorje Shugden practitioners everywhere to continue the struggle to bring awareness of the ban against Dorje Shugden’s practice.



*about 95%  of Tibet’s population was bound in serfdom or slavery - the figure according to Prof. Robert Barnett (Professor of Contemporary Tibetan Studies, and Associate Research Scholar of Modern Tibetan history at Columbia University, New York)

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  1. Dear

    Thank you for posting this article. I strongly believe that describing the Dalai Lama’s statements on Dorje Shugden as advice is a political game played by the CTA and the Dalai Lama’s camp to downplay the issue of Dorje Shugden and to curb the noises made by the activists to bring awareness about the issues. I hope this article would serve to clarify the nature of the Dalai Lama’s statement, which is not only an advice.


  2. According to:

    ” …The DBO has already pointed out that in its opinion that the allegations are factually distorting and misleading. …”

    And discrimination happend and happens “… due to overzealous Tibetan individuals …”

    In all cultures of the past and present there have been and are so called “overzealous individuals” that ignored/ignore their own inherent dignity, due to a lack of education about non-duality and their own inherent dignity or wisdom and compassion, and harmed/harm others and therfore themself because it effects ones own conciousness (karma) due to reality is free of non-existence means that there is reality or are effects that are caused.

    Of course anything eternalistic and nihilistic that happend in the old tibet and happens within the present tibetan community, was and is wrong. But also anything eternalistic and nihilistic that happend in the past and happens in the present all around the world, just look into history of mankind until our present, was and is wrong.

    Eventhough there is the decleraton of human rights that says that it is most important to recognize the inherent dignity and most important to live according to our inherent dignity, just look into the state of mankind, religions, states/republics with their economy around the world are still dualistic systems that destroy nature and themself as well there are in conflict with eachother and reality/non-duality itself.

    Modern science tries to unterstand non-duality in order to prevent and resolve problems and suffering until today, but they are still stock into duality untill today with all their eternalism and nihilism and thereby they just create and keep running ignorant dualistic systems that effect so many problems, suffering and frustration in the name of god, dignity and democracy ot whatever. Thereby they just destroy themself, nature, animals and other human beings, is that intelligence?

    Therefore transmissions, study and practice of dharma or non-duality and ones own wisdom and compassion or inherent dignity, is most important for any human being worldwide to cause and effect freedom and wellbing. Thereby mankind can prevent and reduce problems, suffering and frustration that is rooted in ignorance regarding non-duality, interdependence, law of cause and effect, essence and nature of conciousness and space.

    Instead of ignoring reality, dharma only explains reality or non-duality and so on and that there are problems, suffering and frustration due to ignorance regarding reality/non-duality that effects eternalism and nihilism as well that freedom and wellbeing can only be effected by your recognizing your own inherent wisdom and compassion and not by eternalism and nihilism because reality is free of lastingness and non-existence and so on.

    Therefore dharma is not an ideology, dharma is not an ism, not a cult or religion but it is transmission about non-duality like reality is by reality itself. Dharma is not a belief/belief system nor knowledge that is effect by perverted curiosity regarding reality. Just look at all the problems, suffering and frustration that are created by belief and knowledge due to perverted curiosity regarding reality until our present like radioactive waste, plastic waste, air pollution, water pollution, earth pollution and so on and all the problems that eare effected by economy that ignores reality and the inherent dignity just for impermanent luck that also effects pain, problems, suffering, conflicts, crime, terror, war and so on.

    Tibetan people preserved dharma from Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche, Shakyamuni, Garab Dorje and all these transmissions are about the basic freedom of lastingness and non-existence, interdependence, law of cause and effect, essence, nature and healing power of conciousness (inherent dignity/intelligence) and so on. Guess why dharma is still here since over 18.000 years and all kingdoms, states, republics and religions of the past are gone and all current kingdoms, states, republics and religions will disappear but dharma will stay? Just ask this question and do your own research.

    All these dharma transmissions by all shools/linages are the same, they all teach about the same nonduality (reality) and how to effect freedom and wellbeing by using your own wisdom and compassion or inherent dignity.

    Yidam is the embodiement of all the healing power aspects of ones own wisdom and compassion like vajrasattva/vajrakilaya. Basicly any yidam deity, that represents all aspects of your own inherent dignity or healing power of conciousness that is rooted in space, is the same.

    Therefore there is no worshiping in dharma because you only wisely use the essence, nature and healing power of your own conciousness that is rooted in space and represented by your yidam deity that is connected with all elements and nature anyway.

    Basicly the essence, nature and healing power of space and conciousness, that is rooted in space, is the lama (rigpa dön gyi lama). Therefore unifying your OM with AH to bring up your healing power of conciousness RA PA to destroy the Illusions TSA NA of ignorance regarding nonduality, interdependence, law of cause and effect, essence, nature and healing power of conciousness and space, eternalistic and nihilistic views from where all thougs and emotions arise instead of wisdom and compassion that arise (rangshar) by ones own essence and nature of conciousness all the time anyway, to effect DHI or freedom and wellbeing for ourself and others.

    Each mantra contains all aspects of dharma and how to unify your own OM with AH or own OM with own VAJRA and so on to effect HUNG or non-duality in order to protect your conciousness from ignorance and so on. Ekazati is non-duality or wisdom of non-duality, every dharma practice is wisdom and compassion pracitice, is non-duality practice, is protection, is performing all four dharma activities and so on.

    So all dharma shools/linages are the same. If there is no eternalistism and nihilistism within the transmissions, transmissions are pure and you have to check for yourself to protect yourself that the transmissions are pure in order to practice dharma to effect freedeom and wellbeing for yourself and others. If the transmissions are pure, then everything is fine. But it not, then we need to get rid of eternalism and nihilism because reality is non-duality or free of lastingness and non-existence. Ekazati is non-duality and protecting all transmissions of non-duality so that we can effect freedom and wellbeing.

    Dharma is not a religion, Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche, Shakyamuni, Garab Dorje have not foundet a religion, they only gave transmissions of dharma that is not in conflict with reality itself or anything else like we can see in all religions, kingdoms and states/republics of past and present that are in conflict with eachother and reality. There is only one kingdom, law and governemt, that is the limitless freedom of lastingness and non-ecistence of spacecontinuum that dharma transmissions come from to conciousness and manifest in all realms by beings like Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche, Shakyamuni, Garab Dorje and so on.

    Dharma is non-duality, reality is non-duality. All dualistic systems of past are gone because in non-duality all the dualism or eternalism and nihilism will not work in non-duality/reality, it only effects problems, suffering and frustration and will disappear sooner or later anyway.

    Dharma is still alive because it is not in conflict with reality and will remain because it is rooted in space, in reality/non-duality. Also next buddha is comming and will manifest anyway to refresh dharma transmissions in this realm like Shakyamuni did after Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche and Garab Dorje did after Shakyamuni and so on.

    So please don’t make a religion or kingdom/state/republic because if you ignore the one and only kingdom, law and government of space you will end up with duality, eternalism and nihilism, problems, sufffering and frustration like we all can see when we look at history of mankind until our present.

    Worldwide all female and male teacher and students of dharma can and should unify, teach, study and practice together, no matter where we all are, for freedom and wellbeing of ourself and all beings. These times are very difficult, therefore we all should unify, no matter what happend in the past and happens in the present or where we all are.

  3. It has been stated in a previous comment and in the article that some Tibetan individuals have taken the ‘advice’ given by His Holiness and enacted situations in which Dorje Shugden practitioners have been brutally attacked, are made pariahs in their own community and are ostracised. This is true, but one has to look further at the cause of this and see reality of the situation. The reality is that Dorje Shugden practitioners are persecuted because of a) the advice given by His Holiness. This is important to note because of the Dalai Lama’s god-like status within Tibetan Culture and b) due to the restrictions place on practitioners by the Tibetan Administration. These are the points that this article tries to highlight and sadly some people cannot accept the truth. The use of this advice by the Tibetan Administration, in a move to maintain its grip over the Tibetan people is just another is its utterly devastating arsenal of destructive methods. They are known to engage in this sort of un-ethical and un-democratic methods for centuries.

    I agree with our Bon friend, Sascha that rather than cause disharmony between schools or within specific traditions themselves for political reasons, we should work together to protect and practice traditions that have real benefit and lead practitioners to enlightenment.

  4. It is evident that the advice is really a ban that stopped Dorje Shugden practitioners from their basic rights. The Tibetans though have been exposed to democracy for the past 60 years, are pretty much still very much influenced by the serfdom or slavery, especially the older generation and those remained in exile. To these people, every single word of His Holiness or the representative will be received as an instruction that they must follow and they are used to it for as long as the culture exist. These people will continue to behave this way for they are not educated to think otherwise.

  5. Of course there is a religious ban for sure and the Dalai Lama is now denying his orders. But the video below shows clearly that the Dalai Lama created the ban and forced the Tibetan people to enforce it. See especially 3’55″ where he said without a doubt that he started a ban and will pursue it to the very end.

    If the Dalai Lama is changing his tune and denying his decree re the Shugden practice, it is because the International Shugden Society and this site, did such a brilliant job to expose the Dalai Lama’s criminal deed.

  6. Nothing about this ban is ethical at all! Everything shows how the Tibetan Leadership does everything in their power to shun you, condemn you or even harm you if you dare oppose His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This is why not many dare to talk about the injustice but people are getting fed-up and Dalai Lama is not going to live forever so many will now stand up and talk like Mr.Lukar Jam because lets face it, we are no longer living like we were and we are not just farmers anymore.

    This post shows the world the truth about how Tibet was and this is supposed to be a Buddhist nation. I feel “Shame, shameful.

  7. Dhasa can say what they want . We Tibetans know Dalai Lama advice is not just advice . It is a ban. If it was just advice then our people won’t be carrying His Holiness face n posters when they are coming to stone Shugden monasteries n create riot

  8. It is a deception, Dalai Lama kept saying “there is no ban”, to others it may seem like he is very magnanimous, but actually Dalai Lama is very harsh in suppressing the Dorje Shugden monks, he made sure they are kicked out of the monasteries and he made sure they are ostracized, see here for proof:
    Dalai Lama is doing this to his own people, while preaching love and acceptance to the world out there, no shame.

  9. It is very clear that there is a ban and that so many Dorje Shugden practitioners are treated in an absolute unacceptable way.

    How can anyone say there is no ban or it is only a simple advice when the social, religious, political and familiar repercussions are so extreme.

    May this ban fund an end soon and the suffering of the Tibetans end swiflty

  10. This is just a PR campaign to downplay the bad publicity of the ban. However, anybody who are near or are in the Tibetan world will know this is just made up. The ban from the beginning was not meant to be advice. it was meant to be an order to be followed and with dire consequences if you don’t. The threat has flowed all the way down to other countries where organizations who openly practice Dorje Shugden face a lot of challenges from within the Buddhist communities in their own respective countries. All this goes to show that the Dorje Shugden controversy should made known to many so people don’t take this issue lightly and thereby prolonging it.

  11. Advice or order, it is just a play of words. If you are a Tibetan Buddhist, then any “Advice” is an order. I may not be Tibetan but I am a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner. Any advice from my Guru is definitely taken as an order as it is meant to help me in my path, whether it be secular or spiritual. All Tibetans are firmly entrenched in religion therefore any advice from the Dalai Lama is an order. So Yes there is a Ban on Dorje Shugden practise.
    What is contradictory is on one hand the Dalai Lama is teaching compassion and love for all sentient beings and on the other hand, he bans and creates so much suffering for the Shugden practitioners. All that contradicts Buddha Shakyamuni’s teachings are being practised when the Shugdenpas are denied their right to practise, their right for medical treatment, their right for education, their right to live in peace and nor fear of attack, their right to have food and earning a living, their right to be treated as a human being. How could the Dalai Lama condone these sufferings?
    The Dalai Lama presents such a gentle and caring face to the world and yet watch how fierce he becomes when he demands that the monks in monasteries evict any monks who practises Dorje Shugden. Would he be guilty of bringing degeneration to teachings and practises by Buddha Shakyamuni or would it be his followers who had taken his “Advice” to the extreme with assaults and segregation of Shugdenpas?

  12. Even a child would recognize the influence the Dalai Lama have over Tibetans and Tibetan Buddhists in general, it is highly unlikely for someone as intelligent as the Dalai Lama to not notice his influence and consequences of his words and actions.

    As a public figure, the Dalai Lama should be held accountable for his irresponsible comments about other Buddhist practitioners such as the Dorje Shugden issue and also the many interference he made with recognitions of lamas such the Karmapas, Domo Rinpoche etc which have resulted in disharmony and much dispute within the particular Buddhist school or amongst the Lama’s students.

    Like it or not, DL is a celebrity lama. And the ‘power’ of celebrities to influence others is well recognized, or companies such as PETA, SPCA, NIKE etc will not use celebrities to endorse their products or further their causes. It is for this same reason that misbehaving celebrities may find themselves in trouble.

  13. HHDL’s influence over Tibetans and his follower is phenomena, and it is a known fact worldwide. His advice had never been taken lightly. To say that it is mere advice on Dorje Shugden is a lame but cunning way of trying to play down the issue. The human rights of Dorje Shugden’s practitioners are clearly violated and their freedoms suppressed; and yet the Spiritual Head maintain an “impartial” attitude towards it. This is mind-blogging. Moreover, the advice against Dorje Shugden is baseless to say the least.

  14. The CTA puts in a lot of effort to argue that there is no ban on the practice of Dorje Shugden. In the meantime, those who are in the know such as keep showing evidence that there is indeed a ban.

    It occur to me that if the Dalai Lama and/or CTA did not intend for a ban to be in place, he could so easily make a declaration immediately and equally ‘advice’ all Tibetans not to persecute and marginalise Shugden practitioners on the basis of their faith. However, in spite of countless opportunities to do that in the past 20 the Dalai Lama has at every juncture reinforced his false claim that Dorje Shugden should be avoided.

    Why hasn’t the Dalai Lama done that?

  15. Thanks for sharing this article. There is clearly a ban on Dorje Shugden practitioners. If it is just an advise by Dalai Lama then why there are so many suffering by Shugden practitioners and discrimination against them.

    Clearly CTA also plays a vital role in stirring this controversy in Tibet. If Tibet practice democracy then why so much of interference in religion. Everyone should have religious freedom.

    If Dalai Lama camp said it is just an advise, I hope HHDL will appear to the public and clarify this issue of more than 20 year and lift the ban.

  16. Whether it is a ban or advice, the current situation shows Shugden practitioners are suffered and being restricted for their religious freedom and movement freedom. All the human beings including Shugden practitioners should under the protection against any discrimination and violence. This fundamental human rights should be the common standard for all nations in the world.

  17. Actually, I think the Tibetan especially amongst the young are reaching boiling point with their leaders.Dissatisfaction with the political scene is rife amongst the youth and generally very few have confidence that the currently elected leaders can bring about any real lasting change within the Tibetan society. There are many factors at play of course and one major is definitely this unresolved Shugden issue. No manner of excuse can be given to erase all the discrimination, violence and injustice perpetrated in the collective psyche of the community. Such unresolved issues will surely cause the Tibetan government to implode from within and it seems hell-bent to happen like a runaway train free to run its sure-tracks towards self-destruction.

  18. Advise is likened to a suggestion. Advise offers the listener the option to accept the “words of wisdom” or not. There are no consequences inflicted by the advisors towards the advisee when an advise is not heeded.

    The words of the Dalai Lama followed by the execution of discrimination, segregation and suppression by the Tibetan authorities in relation to the practice of Dorje Shugden adds up to an order. An order that must be obeyed with no room for negotiation.

    It is time for people to really see the reality behind the ban on Dorje Shugden. There is no freedom of religion, no freedom of speech and no freedom from fear should one challenge the order of the God King of Tibet.

    Such breaches in basic human rights must end immediately to prevent further breaches because once permitted to escape with “blood in our hands”, it is bound to happen again. That is the nature of human ago.

  19. There is no doubt that it is not just advice. It is very clear that His Holiness would have known or heard about the treatment Dorje Shugden practitioners have been receiving, but after all these years, he has remained silent and yet to speak up against his supporters or the Central Tibetan Administration for the ill-treatment and discrimination that Dorje Shugden people are receiving. If it was advice, His Holiness can very easily make a statement to call for his people to stop discrimination Dorje Shugden practitioners for they have done no wrong, but he hasn’t. So it is just not advice, but a command.

    The Central Tibetan Administration, should be professional and not mix the running of their administration with religion. As a fair government, or administration which for all reasons and evidence shown that you aren’t, if you know that your people are segregated, and half of them are unjustly treated because of their religious choice, then you should do something about it and not remain silent. Further, it is even worst that you publish a “Hit List” of Lamas who practice Dorje Shugden! It is like you are determining penalty on Dorje Shugden practitioners. What kind of administration does that against its own people?

    Furthermore, the very fact His Holiness and His office allows everyone BUT Dorje Shugden practitioners to his PUBLIC talks and teachings is merely a far cry from just advice. Such measures taken to pressure Dorje Shugden practitioners from giving up their practice so that they can attend HH’s talk is far from just advice. Why allow people a choice, then punish them for their choice, if it was just advice? To me, sounds more like a threat than anything else!

    There is clear evidence that there is a ban on Dorje Shugden, and great extents to stop people from practising it. Religious freedom is not in the books for DS practitioners.

  20. Recently by chance i have watched a documentary regarding slavery in old Tibet society, to my shocking there are many Tibetan suffering greatly under this system.

    It seems that the same method of controlling people has somehow evolved in today’s modern society. Some tibetan, especially Dorje Shugden practitioners are still suffer greatly from the injustice controlling from their leaders. Tibetan leaders using threats and physical attacks to control their peoples mind. There is no human rights and religious freedom. How could Dalai Lama promote religious harmony and on the other hand ban Dorje Shugden practice and followers?

  21. Whichever word is used, the simple advice is still a ban. Maybe in the Tibetan language, there’s no such word as ban, maybe that’s why is not not an outright ban.

    For all intents and purpose, it is a ban as monks were expelled, lay practitioners were labeled and refuse amenities and health care. It is pure discrimination, plain and simple. Playing with words benefits no now except the players themselves to ‘absolve’ themselves of the guilty feelings. They will not listen to anyone except themselves no matter what anyone says. Only chance is to cut their hands from the pockets.

  22. Thanks for the article. The action of both parties clearly show that there is a ban towards the Shugden practitioners. The ban has caused too much pain to the Tibetan people and also practitioners from all over the world. Yes I agree with Sascha, this issue need to be solved together. This over 400 year tradition should be protected and continue to benefit more and more people.

  23. Dear Paolo Sebastian

    I agree with you. Prior to writing this article, I knew very little of the extent of suffering caused by the feudal system in Tibet. This historical reference shows that the Tibetan leadership is capable of harming or caused suffering to its own citizens that they were suppose to protect.

    The purpose of this article is not to attack the Tibetan Leadership or the Dalai Lama, but to bring awareness of what is happening and hopefully with this the Dorje Shugden ban can be lifted.


  24. What I about to say is simple.
    Freedom of practice for everyone
    In Buddhism teaching, we always emphasize on Wisdom and Compassion but when I read the article and watched the video, I felt some of you have offended Lord Buddha teaching.
    Hence, I begged, please stop this controversy now and work together to bring Dharma for more people.

  25. What will the all the people around the world and in Tibet do now? Dalai Lama says he is happy that Tibet is a part of China and should remain a part of China. So many Tibetans self-immolated for Tibet to be independent and now Dalai Lama did a 360 degree turn and says he wants to go back to Tibet and China and Tibet should be a part of China. So unbelievable. So many are angry and disappointed.

    Tibetans ready to be part of China: Dalai Lama
    Organised by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the event was a part of “Thank You India – 2018″ held by the Tibetan community across India to mark 60 years of its exile in the country.
    Indo-Asian News Service
    Tibetans are ready to be a part of China if guaranteed full rights to preserve their culture, the Dalai Lama said on Friday.
    “Tibetans are not asking for independence. We are okay with remaining with the People’s Republic of China, provided we have full rights to preserve our culture,” the 83-year-old spiritual leader said at “Thank You Karnataka” event here in the city.
    Organised by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the event was a part of “Thank You India – 2018″ held by the Tibetan community across India to mark 60 years of its exile in the country.
    “Several of Chinese citizens practicing Buddhism are keen on Tibetan Buddhism as it is considered scientific,” the Nobel laureate said.
    Born in Taktser hamlet in northeastern Tibet, the Dalai Lama was recognized at the age of two as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. He fled to India from Tibet after a failed uprising against the Chinese rule in 1959.
    China annexed Tibet in 1950, forcing thousands of Tibetans, including monks, to flee the mountain country and settle in India as refugees.
    Since then, India has been home to over 100,000 Tibetans majorly settled in Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh among other states.


  26. 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.

  27. Why doesn’t the United States and its allies end Refugee Status for the useless Tibetans? They have been refugees for 60 years now and don’t tell me they still cannot get their lives back in order?

    Tibetans really know how to put on a good show and use people, take their money and do nothing in return.

    Trump and Allies Seek End to Refugee Status for Millions of Palestinians
    In internal emails, Jared Kushner advocated a “sincere effort to disrupt” the U.N.’s relief agency for Palestinians.
    Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, has quietly been trying to do away with the U.N. relief agency that has provided food and essential services to millions of Palestinian refugees for decades, according to internal emails obtained by Foreign Policy.
    His initiative is part of a broader push by the Trump administration and its allies in Congress to strip these Palestinians of their refugee status in the region and take their issue off the table in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, according to both American and Palestinian officials. At least two bills now making their way through Congress address the issue.
    Kushner, whom Trump has charged with solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has been reluctant to speak publicly about any aspect of his Middle East diplomacy. A peace plan he’s been working on with other U.S. officials for some 18 months has been one of Washington’s most closely held documents.
    But his position on the refugee issue and his animus toward the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is evident in internal emails written by Kushner and others earlier this year.
    “It is important to have an honest and sincere effort to disrupt UNRWA,” Kushner wrote about the agency in one of those emails, dated Jan. 11 and addressed to several other senior officials, including Trump’s Middle East peace envoy, Jason Greenblatt.
    “This [agency] perpetuates a status quo, is corrupt, inefficient and doesn’t help peace,” he wrote.
    The United States has helped fund UNRWA since it was formed in 1949 to provide relief for Palestinians displaced from their homes following the establishment of the State of Israel and ensuing international war. Previous administrations have viewed the agency as a critical contributor to stability in the region.
    But many Israel supporters in the United States today see UNRWA as part of an international infrastructure that has artificially kept the refugee issue alive and kindled hopes among the exiled Palestinians that they might someday return home—a possibility Israel flatly rules out.
    Critics of the agency point in particular to its policy of granting refugee status not just to those who fled Mandatory Palestine 70 years ago but to their descendants as well—accounting that puts the refugee population at around 5 million, nearly one-third of whom live in camps across Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, and Gaza.
    By trying to unwind UNRWA, the Trump administration appears ready to reset the terms of the Palestinian refugee issue in Israel’s favor—as it did on another key issue in December, when Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
    In the same January email, Kushner wrote: “Our goal can’t be to keep things stable and as they are. … Sometimes you have to strategically risk breaking things in order to get there.”
    Kushner raised the refugee issue with officials in Jordan during a visit to the region in June, along with Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt. According to Palestinian officials, he pressed the Jordan to strip its more than 2 million registered Palestinians of their refugee status so that UNRWA would no longer need to operate there.
    “[Kushner said] the resettlement has to take place in the host countries and these governments can do the job that UNRWA was doing,” said Hanan Ashrawi, a member of Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
    She said the Trump administration wanted rich Arab Gulf states to cover the costs Jordan might incur in the process.
    “They want to take a really irresponsible, dangerous decision and the whole region will suffer,” Ashrawi said.
    Saeb Erekat, the Palestinians’ chief negotiator, told reporters in June that Kushner’s delegation had said it was ready to stop funding UNRWA altogether and instead direct the money—$300 million annually—to Jordan and other countries that host Palestinian refugees.
    “All this is actually aimed at liquidating the issue of the Palestinian refugees,” hesaid.
    The White House declined to comment on the record for this story. A senior executive branch official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said U.S. policy regarding the U.N.’s Palestinian refugee program “has been under frequent evaluation and internal discussion. The administration will announce its policy in due course.”
    Jordanian officials in New York and Washington did not respond to queries about the initiative.
    Kushner and Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, both proposed ending funding for UNRWA back in January. But the State Department, the Pentagon, and the U.S. intelligence community all opposed the idea, fearing in part that it could fuel violence in the region.
    The following week, the State Department announced that that United States would cut the first $125 million installment of its annual payment to UNRWA by more than half, to $60 million.
    “UNRWA has been threatening us for six months that if they don’t get a check they will close schools. Nothing has happened,” Kushner wrote in the same email.
    State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said at the time that the U.S. had no intention of eliminating funding for Palestinian refugees, and that it was taking time to explore ways to reform UNRWA and to convince other countries to help Washington shoulder the financial burden of aiding the Palestinians.
    But the following day, Victoria Coates, a senior advisor to Greenblatt, sent an email to the White House’s national security staff indicating that the White House was mulling a way to eliminate the U.N.’s agency for Palestinian refugees.
    “UNRWA should come up with a plan to unwind itself and become part of the UNHCR by the time its charter comes up again in 2019,” Coates wrote.
    She noted that the proposal was one of a number of “spitball ideas that I’ve had that are also informed by some thoughts I’ve picked up from Jared, Jason and Nikki.”
    Other ideas included a suggestion that the U.N. relief agency be asked to operate on a month-to-month budget and devise “a plan to remove all anti-Semitism from educational materials.”
    The ideas seemed to track closely with proposals Israel has been making for some time.
    “We believe that UNRWA needs to pass from the world as it is an organization that advocates politically against Israel and perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem,” said Elad Strohmayer, a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington.
    Strohmayer said that Palestinians are the only population that is able to transfer its refugee status down through generations.
    The claim, though long advanced by Israel, is not entirely true.
    In an internal report from 2015, the State Department noted that the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees “recognizes descendants of refugees as refugees for purposes of their operations.” The report, which was recently declassified, said the descendants of Afghan, Bhutanese, Burmese, Somali, and Tibetan refugees are all recognized by the U.N. as refugees themselves.
    Of the roughly 700,000 original Palestinian refugees, only a few tens of thousands are still alive, according to estimates.
    The push to deny the status to most Palestinians refugees is also gaining traction in Congress.
    Last week, Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Republican from Colorado, introduced a bill that would limit the United States to assisting only the original refugees. Most savings in U.N. contributions would be directed to the U.S. Agency for International Development, the United States’ principal international development agency. But USAID is currently constrained by the Taylor Force Act, which restricts the provision of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian Authority until it ends a policy of providing aid to families of fallen terrorists.
    “Instead of resettling Palestinian refugees displaced as a result of the Arab-Israeli Conflict of 1948, UNRWA provides aid to those they define as Palestinian refugees until there is a solution they deem acceptable to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Lamborn’s bill states.
    “This policy does not help resettle the refugees from 1948 but instead maintains a refugee population in perpetuity.”
    A congressional aide familiar with the legislation said its intent isn’t to gut UNRWA funding, but redirect assistance to descendants through USAID.
    “The people that are suffering should still get assistance, but through appropriately defined humanitarian channels and aid programs,” the aide said.
    Similarly, Sen. James Lankford, (R-Okla.), has drafted legislation that would redirect U.S. funding away from UNRWA and to other local and international agencies.
    The bill, which has not yet officially been introduced, would require the U.S. secretary of state certify by 2020 that the United Nations has ended its recognition of Palestinian descendants as refugees.
    “The United Nations should provide assistance to the Palestinians in a way that makes clear that the United Nations does not recognize the vast majority of Palestinians currently registered by UNRWA as refugees deserving refugee status,” reads a draft obtained by Foreign Policy.
    Previous U.S. administrations have maintained that the vast majority of Palestinian refugees will ultimately have to be absorbed in a new Palestinian state or naturalized in the countries that have hosted them for generations.
    But the fate of the refugee issue was expected to be agreed to as part of a comprehensive peace pact that resulted in the establishment of a Palestinian state.
    “It’s very clear that the overarching goal here is to eliminate the Palestinian refugees as an issue by defining them out of existence,” said Lara Friedman, the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace.
    “This isn’t going to make peace any easier. It’s going to make it harder.” Trump and Allies Seek End to Refugee Status for Millions of Palestinians (1)

  28. Supreme Court of India JUSTICE Mr. MARKANDEY KATJU (RETD) writes that Tibet is much better under the Chinese than it was under the lamas who only wanted to make the populace slaves. It was feudal and it will never return to the backwardness again.

    Time has come to acknowledge that Tibet has vastly improved under Chinese rule
    JUSTICE MARKANDEY KATJU (RETD) | 12 August, 2018
    From a terribly poor state hinged on a feudal system, Tibet has modernised and grows faster than the rest of China
    This article has been prompted by Jyoti Malhotra’s article in ThePrint ‘Tibetan government quietly changed its PM’s designation. India won’t be unhappy about it‘.
    China’s annexation of Tibet in 1959, ousting the Dalai Lama, had attracted it worldwide criticism. The Dalai Lama fled and was granted asylum in India, where he set up a government-in-exile with its headquarters in Dharamshala.
    The Chinese claim Tibet on the grounds that it has been part of the country since the Yuan dynasty of the 13th century, which is disputed by the government-in-exile. But let us leave this that matter aside.
    The more important question is whether Chinese rule has benefited Tibet.
    The answer is that it undoubtedly has. As the Reuters’ Ben Blanchard writes: “Today Tibet is richer and more developed than it has ever been, its people healthier, more literate, better dressed and fed”.
    Although Ben goes on to argue that this development masks “a deep sense of unhappiness among many Tibetans”, I will disagree. How can anyone be unhappy if s/he is healthier, better fed and better clothed?
    Under the rule of the Dalai Lamas (Buddhist priests), the people of Tibet were terribly poor, almost entirely illiterate, and lived like feudal serfs.
    Today, Tibet presents a totally different picture. The illiteracy rate in Tibet has gone down from 95 per cent in the 1950s to 42 per cent in 2000. It has modern schools, universities, engineering and medical colleges, modern hospitals, freeways, supermarkets, fast food restaurants, mobile stores and apartment buildings. The capital Lhasa is like any other modern city.
    While the economic growth in the rest of China has slowed down to about 7 per cent, Tibet has had a 10 per cent growth rate in the last two decades.
    Tibet has huge mineral wealth, which was only awaiting Chinese technology to be tapped. Nowadays, it has numerous hydro and solar power plants and industries running with Chinese help.
    Tibetan literature is flourishing, contrary to claims that the Chinese want to crush Tibetan culture.
    Of course, now the lamas cannot treat their people as slaves.
    The so-called ‘government-in-exile’, of which Lobsang Sangay claims to be the President, is a fake organisation, funded by foreign countries. They only want to restore the feudal Tibet, ruled by the reactionary lamas, something which will never happen.
    The writer is a former judge of the Supreme Court of India

  29. It never just advice. If it’s advice then why imposed consequences? The diplomatic words are a just show and it’s a very bad show. The spiritual ban by Dalai Lama violates human rights and religious freedom. I never have seen a leader prosecute their own people just because they have their preference for spiritual practice in this modern time.

    Tibetan hs lost their country and the leader adding salt to the wound by discriminating their own people. Dorje Shugden practice has never harmed anyone and the Tibetan leadership just using this excuse to divert the attention of their people to blame this protector practice will affect Tibetan cause. This is illogical and it’s a shame to let people know that the political matter is being affected by spiritual practice?

    This is how Tibetan leadership operate and that’s why after 60 years Dalai Lama and Tibetan are still staying stagnant in India with no positive progress.

  30. If it’s just a piece of advice then people can have the choice to follow or not. The words from Dalai Lama is more than just advice but is an instruction where people take it blindly an act upon it violently without thinking it in details.

    The suffering created from Dorje Shugden ban is bad and it’s not just affecting the practitioners in India and China but all over the world that influence by the Dalai Lama.

    Buddha Shakyamuni has not taught discrimination, hatred, separation but compassion. For whatever reason, there are better ways to resolve the issue and should do not opt for creating suffering.

    If Dalai Lama is preaching peace and dialogue to resolve problem ten please practice it with Dorje Shugden practitioners. Have an open talk with them and resolve this issue. It has been a long-suffering especially those affected need to resolve this for peace and harmony.

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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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