During the recent Jangchub Lamrim teachings at Sera Monastery (December 25, 2013 to January 3, 2014) in Bylakuppe, the Dalai Lama spoke again on the issue of his banning the practice of Dorje Shugden that he initiated in 1996. It has been over 17 years since the Dalai Lama first shocked the Tibetan Buddhist world by declaring, quite out of the blue, that the ancient deity Dorje Shugden who for over three centuries has been worshipped by a large proportion of the Tibetan population as the wrathful emanation of the Buddha of Wisdom, was henceforth a demon and not to be worshipped anymore.
Transcript of the Dalai Lama’s speech
Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India, 28 December 2013: This morning His Holiness the Dalai Lama walked briskly from his car to the teaching venue in the Sera Jey courtyard. He smiled and waved to well-wishers in the crowd, but did not stop. Once the recitation of the Heart Sutra was complete, successful Lharampa Geshe candidates received their certificates and posed in groups for photographs with His Holiness. Before the teaching began, Chairman of the Geluk International Foundation, Lama Chosphel Zotpa addressed the assembly.
Acknowledging His Holiness, Ganden Tri Rinpoche and other honoured guests he announced that his request for a special ceremony had been accepted.
“With regard to the practice of Dolgyal, which has caused no end of trouble in the monasteries in India, it has been discouraged and the Ganden Tri Rinpoche and others have made it clear that we should put a stop to it. Consequently, we have compiled a book containing all the relevant documents. With due respect I would like to ask His Holiness to launch the book, which is being published by the Geluk International Foundation under the auspices of the Department of Religion & Culture of the Central Tibetan Administration. Ganden Tri Rinpoche is the head of the Geluk International Foundation, which consists of the 11 major Geluk monasteries. It has been set up to look after education in those monasteries and to improve it where we can. For example, at our instance, the Geluk exams will include science from 2014.“This book is called ‘Opening the Eye of Discernment: a Golden Key’ and I invite the Shartse Abbot, Jangchup Choeden, to introduce it.’
Ven Jangchup Choeden stepped forward and explained that the book had been compiled by three bodies among which the Geluk International Foundation (GIF) had played the leading role. It is not a document that has been compiled under His Holiness’s or anyone else’s order, but as a result of decisions made by GIF. As a result of many years of investigation, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has made it clear that the practice of Dolgyal should be stopped. As a result, there are some who say that His Holiness is snatching away their religious freedom. This, Jangchup Choeden said, is untrue. While Buddhism flourished among Tibetans, Dolgyal followers say Dolgyal is an authentic Geluk protector. Others say Guru Padmasambhava bound him by oath and that Tulku Dakpa Gyaltsen was asked to arise as a Geluk protector. These are all false tales. As interest in Buddhism extends around the world, more and more people want to know the truth.
“I’d like to explain how it was compiled,” Ven Jangchup Choeden said. “We investigated all the relevant documents, starting with the 5th Dalai Lama’s statement that Tulku Dakpa Gyaltsen was recognised through the manipulations of his mother Lag Agyal and later arose in the form of a wrathful spirit. We concluded that Dolgyal has not only not been helpful to the Gelugpa tradition, but has actually been harmful to it. This is why it’s important to make clear what the Gelugpa position should be about this in the future. Finally, our teacher and guide His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been giving vast and profound advice about the practice of Dolgyal. We pray that he may live for aeons and aeons for the benefit of sentient beings.”
Chosphel Zotpa asked the Sera Jey abbot to present the book to His Holiness for him to launch it, which he did, unwrapping and presenting it to the assembly and adding his comments:
“I saw a copy of this book in Delhi and glanced over the contents. It seems to have been done thoroughly. It has been claimed that Dolgyal is a protector of Jamgon Lama Tsongkhapa’s tradition and at one time I propitiated it on this basis. When I was at Dromo, the medium of Dolgyal and Dulzin was there while the mediums of Nechung and Gadong were absent. As a follower of Phabongka Rinpoche’s tradition and a student of Trijang Rinpoche, I made a connection with Dolgyal.
“However, after coming into exile, Gyen Pema Gyaltsen and others, including my spiritual abbot, Ling Rinpoche, evinced great reluctance about the practice, which made me pause and look more closely into it. I did a series of tests and examinations culminating in my doing a divination to decide whether I should stop the practice or not. I looked back on Dolgyal’s history, to the works of the 5th Dalai Lama, who was the most influential person to know him. In his biography he wrote starkly about Dolgyal, saying that due to the devious manipulation of Lag Agyal Gekhasa the wrong candidate was recognised as Tulku Dakpa Gyaltsen. He stated clearly that ‘because of distorted prayers he became a perfidious spirit (dam sri) and brought serious harm to sentient beings.’ He also mentioned that when the spirit went to Tashi Lhunpo, he was stopped by the guardians at the gate so he went on to Sakya where, when challenged, he identified himself as a ‘perfidious spirit’.
“In the early part of his life Phabongka Rinpoche was an eclectic non-sectarian. The 13th Dalai Lama admired him. He did a retreat on Tamdin Yang Sang (Hayagriva, a wrathful aspect of Chenresig and a protector of Sera Jey Monastery) when Trijang Rinpoche was a small boy. Rinpoche told me that he remembers the attendants making pills in connection with it. Later, when he openly propitiated Dolgyal, this changed. There are claims that his teacher Tagphu Dorje Chang composed the life entrustment ritual, but there don’t seem to be records of this. Tagphu Dorje Chang was a Gelugpa who also did Nyingma practices. He’s said to have written down a vision he had of the Ka-gye. Trijang Rinpoche had a copy of it. Later, as Phabongka Rinpoche became more sectarian, he stated that Tamdin Yang Sang should not be included in the merit field. By his propitiation of Dolgyal and his propagation of the practice Phabongka Rinpoche upset the 13th Dalai Lama.
“There is a report that one of Phabongka Rinpoche’s disciples, an attendant of Nguru Ta lama, dreamed of Dolgyal in trance. The spirit announced in a high-pitched celebratory tone: “It will be on the 30th after the 9th is finished.” This may be taken to have been a celebratory prediction of the 13th Dalai Lama’s passing away. Was this something to celebrate? Compare it to a dream someone had when Je Sherab Sengey passed away in which Palden Lhamo cried, ‘My brother has passed away.’
“The 13th Dalai Lama had a broad vision for Tibet, but many of those who worked for him didn’t fulfil it. He didn’t give extensive teachings, but he was strict about how monks studied in the monasteries. After the 13th Dalai Lama passed away, Phabongka Rinpoche escalated the practice of Dolgyal. I too became involved in the practice out of ignorance. After I began to speak about stopping the practice Gyen Ugyen Tsetan said to me that between the lama and the protector, in terms of tantra, going against the lama’s word is more serious.
“Many people followed my advice; the abbots told me many people had stopped the practice. And yet there are those who would deceive others by saying that I am still propitiating Dolgyal, showing pictures of me with an image of Dolgyal in the background. In Tibet there are even stories that Tulku Dakpa Gyaltsen is an emanation of Je Rinpoche arisen as a haughty wrathful spirit. When he died, Je Rinpoche merged the mother and child clear light and attained the illusory body. Would such a being arise as a haughty wrathful spirit? The suggestion is just defamatory.”
His Holiness commended people not to dismiss this book which contains facts and true accounts of what happened. He said:
“If you want to dispute what it says, that’s up to you. If, after studying the book, you want to oppose the Dalai Lama, that’s also up to you. To make a mistake out of ignorance is understandable, but to act knowingly is another matter. There are those in the USA and Europe who publicly demonstrate against me over this. People call me an enemy of Buddhism and Je Rinpoche’s tradition. In this connection I quote Khache Phalu: ‘I have given my heart’s advice to you, you can pay heed to me or not as you wish.’ In the USA and here in India I am provided with security protection because of the perceived threat related to this issue.
“The Dolgyal people are quite rough. They killed the Director of the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics by stabbing him and cutting his throat along with two other young scholars. They have threatened people in Mundgod and elsewhere. Because of this we need to be careful.
“Gyen Pema Gyaltsen was strongly opposed to the propitiation of Dolgyal; Trijang Rinpoche and Zong Rinpoche strongly supported it. Ling Rinpoche and others remained quiet about it, but Pema Gyaltsen told me he was very unhappy about it. I stirred up this turbulence where there was calm. Palden Lhamo has a role in this and I’m acting on her behalf. It’s necessary to be clear about what should be known, but once you know you can do what you wish.”
Resuming his reading of the 5th Dalai Lama’s ‘Sacred Words of Manjushri,’ His Holiness remarked that meeting Dharma in this human life happens only once, not over and over again. He remarked that this text contains the entire meaning of the Great Stages of the Path. He also reiterated that all Tibetan Buddhist traditions follow the Nalanda tradition of study and practice and that is something to be proud of. He also read from ‘The Swift Path,’ the Stages of the Path text by Panchen Lobsang Yeshe and from ‘The Southern Lineage,’ the Stages of the Path text by Je Gendun Jamyang, which follows the instructions of ‘The Sacred Words of Manjushri’. Transmission of both of these latter texts His Holiness received from Trijang Rinpoche.
He repeated the story of Dromtonpa’s passing away. Dromtonpa had laid his head in Potowa’s lap, when a tear fell on his cheek and he asked what the matter was. Potowa answered, “Who will I rely on when you’re gone?” and Dromtonpa told him to rely on scripture. His Holiness commended this as very appropriate advice. He concluded the day’s session saying:
“The question is whether we have put our precious human life to any meaningful purpose or not.”
It was the first time in modern history that a religion has been banned and the perpetrator awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. And in the years since the illegal ban was enforced, there have been tremendous upheavals within the Tibetan and Gelug community. Even as the Tibetan people were struggling to establish a life in exile, they now had to contend with either abandoning their faith which for many was all they had, or run afoul of a man who was definitely not to be crossed. Many lives were destroyed which is understandable especially when one takes into account that for most Tibetans, religion is the foundation of their life’s purpose. This is especially true of monks and to ban their Buddha is to remove, with a fell swoop, their purpose for living. For years, the ban ravaged the fabric of Tibetan Buddhism that was very much defined by the devotion of a student for his teacher. And so, when the Dalai Lama proclaimed last year that he would thereafter no longer speak in public and condemn Dorje Shugden and its practitioners, many Tibetans thought that perhaps it was time to allow themselves to hope again.
It is understandably extremely disappointing that the Dalai Lama should so blatantly go back on the promise he made in December last year and resume his assault on the worshippers of Dorje Shugden, setting an unfortunate example that it is acceptable for a monk not only to create disharmony within the community but also to not keep to his word given to others. To add insult to an already serious injury inflicted on the average Tibetan, the substance of what the Dalai Lama said in his most recent diatribe was recognized to be patently untrue. And for the Dalai Lama to commit such an atrocity against the Dharma during the occasion of the teachings of the Jangchup Lamrim, turning a monastery into the site of another witch-hunt, was just obscene.
New Propaganda, Same Attitude
Before the Dalai Lama began to speak once again about Dorje Shugden, he was requested to launch a new book that the Gelug establishment under the Dalai Lama’s control had commissioned. Not surprisingly, it was a book written against the Enlightened Protector the Dalai Lama had illegally banned – yet another in the barrage of government-led propaganda against Dorje Shugden over the years which, in their efforts to twist facts to the sway the peoples’ minds, grossly disfigures the Dharma and historical truths. The Ganden Shartse Abbot, who recently earned himself great infamy and further dishonor by virtue of his failed and disingenuous attempts to lure H.H. Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche back to India (for reasons one can only suspect to be malevolent given the recent attacks on Trijang Ladrang in India during which an 84 years old monk was inflicted with serious injuries), introduced the book ironically titled “Opening The Eye Of Discernment”.
That the Shartse Abbot should introduce a book written against Dorje Shugden is sinister given the fact that he had only recently returned from a visit to the most prominent Dorje Shugden lama of this time, H.H. Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche, under false pretenses of wishing to mend the relationship between Trijang Rinpoche and the Dalai Lama which was wrecked by the ban itself. As the Shartse Khenpo was urging Trijang Rinpoche to reconcile his differences with the Dalai Lama, he was also secretly readying this new book condemning one of Trijang Rinpoche’s heart practices. This is a quality that all who have dealings directly or indirectly with the Shartse Abbot should note.
Protector of the Gelug Tradition
In his address to all present, the Shartse Abbot said that many, including the Dalai Lama, who have researched and studied Dorje Shugden, arrived at the conclusion that Dorje Shugden was not helpful to the Gelug tradition but was in fact harmful to it. And yet, anyone can see clearly that the biggest threat to the Gelugpa tradition since it was founded by Je Tsongkapa has been this very unholy ban that has divided and weakened the Gelugpas, creating far more damage than any “demon” could exact.
Dorje Shugden’s presence in the Gelug sect since the time of the Fifth Dalai Lama has been nothing but an asset, as proven by the crucial assistance the Protector gave the 13th Dalai Lama in the 1930’s which resulted in the successful staving off of impending attacks from foreign forces. Dorje Shugden did so by taking trance, without being requested, to advice the Dalai Lama to urgently restore the Potala Palace and Je Tsongkapa’s Mausoleum as a means of creating collective merits for the Tibetan people not to be conquered then.
Dorje Shugden again demonstrated his loyalty and affection for the Tibetan people by helping the 14th Dalai Lama avoid capture by Chinese forces in 1959. In escaping to India – an escape that succeeded solely due to Dorje Shugden’s protection and assistance – the Dalai Lama carried with him the hopes of all Tibetans and the survival of all Tibetan Buddhist sects including the Gelugs. And even before Dorje Shugden arose as the wrathful Dharma Protector he now is, he had already begun benefitting the Gelugpas and all sentient beings via the virtuous acts of his previous incarnations such as Panchen Sonam Drakpa and Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen. To now say that Dorje Shugden is harmful to the Gelugs and to the Dharma as is being suggested by the Shartse Abbot is just an outright lie.
For over 600 years, the holy Gelug lineage grew and produced great masters and scholars, and at no point in the history of the Gelugpas did Dorje Shugden endanger the lineage in any way. On the contrary, it thrived under the Protection of the deity and it was only after the Protector practice was banned that the lineage founded by Lama Tsongkapa was plunged into such virulence.
Religious Freedom? What’s That?
The Shartse Abbot’s statements should be an embarrassment even to himself. On one hand, he claimed that no individual’s religious freedom has been infringed upon by the Gelug leadership. But on the other hand, he finished his speech by saying that the new book’s stance on Dorje Shugden is one which all Gelugpas are obliged to execute, inferring that not to follow would mean not having loyalty towards the Dalai Lama. This has been the ploy of the anti-Shugden camp from the beginning – to force all Shugden loyalists to choose whether to be on the right side or the wrong side of the Dalai Lama, the latter carrying costly repercussions.
For many who outwardly supported the ban, it was never about examining facts and arriving at conclusions based on logic and reason. It was about staying out of trouble, knowing full well that the Dalai Lama’s enforcer, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) fully endorsed the discriminatory treatment of Dorje Shugden practitioners, who are shunned by the rest of Tibetan society, barred from entering Tibetan-owned stores and not given education, public services, nor even common courtesy up till today. What religious freedom is the Shartse Abbot referring to?
Judging a Book by its Cover?
If the Shartse Abbot’s speech was starved of any truth and filled instead with wild and dangerous charges, it was merely the warm-up act for the Dalai Lama’s speech, whose opening sentence alone is cause for grave concern. The Dalai Lama said that when he was presented with the book, he didn’t read it in detail but instead flipped through the table of contents. And yet, that was quite sufficient for the Dalai Lama to proclaim repeatedly throughout his 27-minute speech that the book was well researched, accurate and well done. In other words, the Dalai Lama was quite happy to endorse all the lies and serious misinformation contained in the book WITHOUT EVEN READING IT, while being fully aware of the consequences it would have on a large section of Tibetan society who still practice Dorje Shugden out of devotion to their teachers. These are not the actions of a spiritual leader cum Nobel laureate who is touted for his all-embracing compassion and love; instead they are the actions of an unreasonable and irresponsible dictator who allows bias to cloud his judgment, as long as the end result serves his purpose.
The question that has to be asked is, of all the deities, gods and spirits in the very large pantheon of beings in Tibetan Buddhism, why has such prominence been given or aimed at only one, i.e. Dorje Shugden and not any other? Why has the Gelug establishment and the Dalai Lama invested so much effort and expense to demonize a deity via literature, media and propaganda when it is so much easier and efficacious to exorcise and subdue him with an entire arsenal of pujas and rituals designed specifically for such purposes? Padmasambhava subdued, tamed and conquered all the gods, spirits and demons in Tibet before Buddhism could be propagated there. Why doesn’t the Dalai Lama follow suit if indeed Dorje Shugden is such a danger?
The truth is, when it comes to the Dorje Shugden issue, the Dalai Lama’s actions and speech have never been guided by fact, truth or reason, and instead seem to be fuelled by an unhealthy spite that causes him to abandon logic. And there are a number of instances during his recent speech where this is clearly evident:
1. Guru Devotion is for Others
The Dalai Lama said, “Between the lama and the protector, in terms of tantra, going against the lama’s words is more serious”. He is correct of course. And therefore it is insanely illogical that this is precisely what the Dalai Lama himself has done, going against his own lamas/Gurus and even declaring them to be wrong.
In this interview, the Dalai Lama says clearly that his teachers who practised Dorje Shugden were wrong
In his speech, the Dalai Lama was openly hostile towards H.H. Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche, accusing him to be sectarian and of making mistakes. This completely contradicts the Dalai Lama’s point about not going against the guru. Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche was the guru to both the Dalai Lama’s tutors, H.H. Ling Rinpoche and H.H. Trijang Rinpoche. Thus, speaking against Pabongka Rinpoche is tantamount to going against his own gurus.
The Dorje Shugden ban itself is a testament to how much the Dalai Lama IS opposing his own teachers. Dorje Shugden was and still is the heart practice of H.H. Trijang Rinpoche, the Dalai Lama’s Junior Tutor, who composed many texts expounding this important practice. H.H. Ling Rinpoche, the Dalai Lama’s Senior Tutor, was another staunch practitioner who also composed prayers to Dorje Shugden. By instituting the ban on Dorje Shugden, the Dalai Lama is abandoning his Gurus’ teachings and advice and thus doing the opposite of the guru devotion he preaches.
But the Dalai Lama adds even more insult to injury – he would rather follow the advice of Gen. Pema Gyeltsen and Gen. Tongpun to abandon Dorje Shugden’s practice, a practice given to him by H.H. Trijang Rinpoche, than to follow his guru’s instructions. So how can the Dalai Lama lecture about Guru Devotion when he blatantly flouts it in public and coerces all monks to follow suit?
2. Painting a Foul Picture
Quite shockingly, the Dalai Lama also declared openly that all Dorje Shugden people are violent and dangerous, using certain unresolved murders to validate his point.
“The Dolgyal people are quite rough. They killed the Director of the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics by stabbing him and cutting his throat along with two other young scholars. They have threatened people in Mundgod and elsewhere.”
Making a sweeping statement that “Dolgyal people are quite rough” is biased and prejudiced. Regardless of whether the crime was committed by Dorje Shugden worshippers or not, how can one person’s behaviour represent the entire population and faith? If a Christian steals, does that mean all Christians are thieves?
More recently, an 84-year-old monk in Trijang Ladrang (no doubt identified as the enemy of the Dalai Lama) was attacked by 5 armed and masked men, widely suspected to have been sent on their foul errand by the CTA. Does this mean that all members of the Central Tibetan Administration are violent criminals with a mob mentality?
Anywhere else, such a statement would have been more than adequate grounds for defamation but the consequences of this charge are substantially more serious than the good name and reputation of the Shugden people. This is persecution by mere accusation that would never be allowed in any country that respects the most basic of laws and the rights of its people. Essentially it is designed to provoke a simple-minded people into becoming a lynching mob and this is precisely what Dorje Shugden practitioners have had to suffer as a result of the Dalai Lama’s careless words.
3. Omniscience or Oblivion?
The ban that the Dalai Lama decreed, made his government enforce and manipulated the community to participate in, never did have any real scriptural foundation or logical basis. In his speech, anything that the Dalai Lama could not debate or explain logically to justify his ban on Dorje Shugden were simply dismissed as “mistakes”.
That the 14th Dalai Lama himself practiced Dorje Shugden in the past was a mistake. That H.H. Trijang Rinpche and H.H. Pabongka Rinpoche practiced too were mistakes. That H.H. Ling Rinpoche wrote prayers and praises to Dorje Shugden was a mistake, not to mention Dorje Shugden prayers written by the 14th Dalai Lama and countless other attained masters. That the Dalai Lama’s own role model for the ban, the Great Fifth Dalai Lama, ultimately recognized Dorje Shugden as an enlightened Protector was also a mistake. Even the recognition of Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen as the incarnation of the irrefutably attained Panchen Sonam Drakpa was a mistake. In other words, any fact that challenged the Dalai Lama’s non-existent logic for the ban was dismissed as a “mistake” and every single one of these highly attained beings was mistaken.
For the Dalai Lama to be right, just about everyone and everything else was sacrificed as a mistake. Is it not significantly more probable that a mistake is being made by the 14th Dalai Lama now and the fact that all those other enlightened beings worshipped and continue to worship Dorje Shugden is proof of the current Dalai Lama’s mistake?
What kind of person forces everyone to be wrong, indeed even the Buddha and the indisputable law of karma, just so that he alone can be right…if not a tyrant?
4. Buddhism on the Altar of Sacrifice
In trying to validate his ban on Dorje Shugden, the Dalai Lama is even willing to casts doubt on the fundamental tenets of Tibetan Buddhism, including the tulku system and the attainments of its highest proponents. In his speech, the Dalai Lama reinforces a false claim made in the new book that Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen was actually an evil spirit that rose to power through the devious actions of his mother and that he was not the true reincarnation of Sonam Gelek Pelzang. While this statement is clearly trying to invalidate the truth of Dorje Shugden’s enlightened nature by alluding that he was incarnated from an evil spirit, the real casualties of this lie are none other than the tulku system, the Fifth Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama Lobsang Chokyi Gyaltsen.
The Fifth Dalai Lama, himself an enlightened master saw his teacher, the omniscient Panchen Lama Lobsang Chokyi Gyaltsen as the emanation of Amitabha. It was the same Panchen Lama who recognized the young Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen as the unmistaken incarnation of Sonam Gelek Pelzang and the heir of the Zimkang Gongma (Upper Residence) that Panchen Sonam Drakpa established. To say that Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen rose to power because of the machinations of his mother would be to say that the Panchen Lama, whose incarnation line traces directly to Lama Tsongkapa’s heart son Khedrub Je, was completely fooled by an evil spirit and in fact had no omniscience whatsoever. In fact, the opposite is correct and the illustrious line of Panchen Lamas have always propitiated Dorje Shugden as none other than an enlightened protector. The great 10th Panchen Rinpoche Lobsang Trinley Lhundrup Gyaltsen even wrote a complete set of works in praise of Dorje Shugden.
Thus, by the Dalai Lama insisting that Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen was incorrectly recognized, he is in effect saying that Panchen Lobsang Chokyi Gyaltsen was a mere fool. What then, are the implications for those who studied from a “fool” including the Dalai Lama’s own predecessors? The Dalai Lama’s statement would also mean that the tulku system of recognition and training failed and was rendered completely impotent by a single devious woman. This is the bottom line if we are to accept the Dalai Lama’s words.
5. Hiding Inconvenient Truths
Furthermore it is highly suspect that the source of such claims, according to the Dalai Lama’s speech, was derived from the Fifth Dalai Lama’s Autobiography. If anything, the diaries kept by the Great Fifth confirmed that even he himself recognized Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen as the true incarnation of Panchen Sonam Drakpa:
“…The reincarnation of the gZims-khang-gong-ma having been stricken with a sudden fever from the 25th day [of the fourth month], I was preparing to set out because I had been asked to come to perform an empowerment [rite] to ward off evil when the regent [sent a message] from Lhasa…”
That was the personal entry of the Fifth Dalai Lama himself as it appears in his Autobiography. In fact there are many references in the Fifth Dalai Lama’s Autobiography that reaffirm the fact that he acknowledged Tulku Drakpa Gyatsen’s recognition just as the Panchen Lobsang Chokyi Gyaltsen did. If the “research” done for this new book was genuine and accurate, these facts would have been easily revealed.
Similarly, the Dalai Lama spoke of a prayer that the Fifth Dalai Lama originally wrote to ward off the evil of Dorje Shugden. Remarkably, the tremendously beautiful prayer the Fifth Dalai Lama wrote when he later realized that Dorje Shugden was, in fact, an enlightened Protector and not a spirit, was conveniently ignored.
6. Political Expediency?
The Dalai Lama’s statement that both Shugden practitioners and Chinese protesters stood side by side against him in protest was extremely dangerous and incendiary. The message the Dalai Lama meant to plant in the minds of the people was that Shugden people are, like the Chinese oppressors who have robbed the Tibetans of their home, enemies of the state and should be dealt with that way.
In addition, the Dalai Lama stated clearly how he needed protection both in the US as well as India due to threats from Dorje Shugden worshippers. It was an extremely wicked way to work the Tibetan people’s anger at having lost their country towards Dorje Shugden practitioners and turn them into mobsters to enforce the Dalai Lama’s will. The politics of China and Tibet have nothing to do with Dorje Shugden and yet it was roped into play by the Dalai Lama as a devious strategy of duping the Tibetan people into becoming enforcers of the ban.
The simple reality is that Shugden worshippers also lost their country, just like all Tibetans, and suffered just like all Tibetans, if not more seeing as they are now twice exiled – once from their country by the oppression of a foreign power and again from their own community by the tyranny of the Dalai Lama and his cronies. If anyone within the CTA (formerly known as Tibetan Government-in-Exile headquartered in Dharamsala, India) opposes the Dalai Lama they will be terminated from their job. No dissensions are allowed.
It’s simple – no matter what mask of democracy you would like to label the Tibetan leadership in Dharamsala, it is a dictatorship. A government ruled by the Dalai Lama since the 50′s and no other candidates are allowed. For the last 53 years, the Dalai Lama has ruled and what he says goes. No opposition is allowed, and his power is reminiscent of dictatorships around the world. We did see the so-called ‘elections’ of the new ‘Prime Minister’ Lobsang Sangay but wonder, Prime Minister of what? The name for the leadership of Tibetans in Dharamsala was the Tibetan Government-in-Exile which has now been demoted to Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) as deemed necessary by the Indian Government (since you cannot have two governments on Indian soil). Therefore Sangay is the Prime Minister of what government? The CTA? The CTA is not a government but a body established to administer the Tibetans in exile in India. Clearly Dalai Lama is in charge of CTA. Who do you see on the throne or spotlight at every public gathering representing the Tibetans? Who pulls the strings? The Dalai Lama has been in power for 53 years, and no one else will, could or be allowed to succeed him during his lifetime. His 53 years in office is remnant of other dictators and the longest:
- Ferdinand Marcos – 20 years (1966-1986)
- Suharto – 31 years (1967-1998)
- Saddam Hussein – 24 years (1979-2003)
- Nicolae Ceausescu – 25 years (1965-1989)
- Kim Jong-Il – 17 years (1994-2011)
- Pol Pot – 35 years (1963-1998)
- Sayyid Ali Khamenei – 8 years (1981-1989)
- Qaddafi – 42 years (1969-2011)
- Idi Amin – 8 years (1971-1979)
- Hitler – 12 years (1933-1945)
- Mussolini – 21 years (1922-1943)
- Vladmir Lenin – 7 years (1917-1924)
- General Pinochet – 17 years (1973-1990)
- Ho Chi Minh – 24 years (1945-1969)
- Mao Tse Tung – 27 years (1949-1976)
The Tibetan high lamas, ministers, ruling class and general leadership must please the Dalai Lama or they will be removed from office, disgraced and ostracized. There have been past abbots of Gaden who displeased the Dalai Lama because they would not move forward with the banning of Shugden and thus they were asked to resign which they did. Other famous and senior lamas e.g. Denma Locho Rinpoche were sidelined when he was sent to Tibet to ‘suppress’ the growth of Shugden’s practice in Tibet and although he visited, he did not speak up. The Tibetan people’s focus is not on improving their exiled situation economic or otherwise or the situation in Tibet but to strictly please the Dalai Lama and hope to be in his good books. They wish to have photographic snapshots taken with him, which they then post on their websites or frame in their rooms for guests to take notice which serves to ‘prove’ they are valid and hopefully will receive personal benefits one way or another. This has become prominent. Take notice of many Tibetan Monastic and individual websites. Many lamas have been told, if they want their centers or monasteries to ‘succeed’ they better get in the good books of the Dalai Lama by foreswearing against Shugden, attend all teachings and get the snapshot. Tibetan lamas jostle in hopes of being in the favor with the Dalai Lama or post their photos taken with Dalai Lama prominently on their shrines, temples and centers in hopes of securing sponsorship since they are with the politically correct group. Whatever dharma they are teaching or not teaching or behavior is irrelevant because you have your photo with the Dalai Lama and you are set. Those who are not in the favor of the Dalai Lama are condemned as in the case of the well-known published Buddhist author and teacher of over 1,000 dharma centers world-wide Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. When everyone is out to please a dictator and improving the country is secondary, the country and her welfare will fall into ruin. Whether the Dalai Lama and his government can be classified as such since they are in exile is a point of debate, but if it quacks like a duck, it is as the old adage goes.
Those who do not subject themselves to the Dalai Lama’s will are regarded as cohorts of the “evil” Chinese. How that comes about is a great mystery only the Tibetan leadership can unveil. The Shugden issue has no bearing whatsoever on Sino-Tibetan politics and yet we see clearly how the issue of Dorje Shugden is politicized. There is no talk of autonomy for Tibet or the welfare of the Tibetans in and out of Tibet. Or even to make friends with the all-powerful Chinese government which would benefit Tibetans in and out of Tibet. What happens to the Tibetans in exile (India, Nepal and Bhutan) after the death of the Dalai Lama? Instead the focus for many years of the CTA has been that Dorje Shugden is evil as this would please the Dalai Lama. It would actually benefit the Tibetans if their Dharamsala leadership would make friends with the Chinese government while the Dalai Lama is alive. It is inevitable after the death of the Dalai Lama, so why not now while he is alive? Church and state must be separated and immediately or there will further damage inflicted knowingly and unknowingly.
7. You have a choice. Really.
The Dalai Lama also said that if after reading the book, people should still decide to maintain their practice of Dorje Shugden, it would be up to them. But if the Dalai Lama is genuine about that, then why was there a need for the ban to begin with? Why start a ban that divided the Sangha so damagingly and destroyed so many lives, and now tell the people it is really up to them? Why even approve and launch such a book condemning Dorje Shugden, seeing as the Dalai Lama has already made countless speeches and exhortations for people to abandon Dorje Shugden’s practice? If the Dalai Lama really wanted to give his people a choice, why for the past 17 years has he decreed ostracism and persecutions of Shugden followers and expulsion of Shugden monks? Did the Dalai Lama overreact with the ban or is he being disingenuous now?
What is truly destroying the Gelug lineage and discrediting Tibetan Buddhism is the ongoing deception regarding Dorje Shugden that the Dalai Lama and his cronies have institutionalized into the leadership of the Central Tibetan Administration. At such a crucial time, effort and money ought to be channeled into bringing the people together and repairing the fractures that an unwarranted and underserved ban caused not in printing anti-Shugden books to further division. In fact, time and money would have been even better channeled into the Tibetan fight for independence [or autonomy] instead of wasting valuable resources on the Dalai Lama’s schemes.
The people of Tibet and the world have learned to look past the deceptive controversy that the Dalai Lama created in 1996 to see the truth of Dorje Shugden’s enlightened nature. The position held by those who see Dorje Shugden as he really is, an enlightened protector who is none other than Manjunatha Tsongkapa has never wavered, unlike the position of those who advocate the ban. What began as the Dalai Lama saying that Dorje Shugden is a minor worldly deity has now changed to be the manipulation of a lone woman who single handedly outwitted over 300 years of Buddhist Masters, Bodhisattvas, Mahasiddhas and scholars. Perhaps this is the sign that all Shugden supporters have been waiting for – now that the Dalai Lama and the CTA have reached rock bottom in their attempts to explain and justify a ban that clearly isn’t making sense, perhaps the end of the ban is near?
North America Correspondent
Note: Many anti Dorje Shugden publications have been made since the ban was illegally enforced in 1996, some even condoned by the CTA’s Department Of Religion and Culture who attempted to rewrite Gelugpa history through the Dolgyal Research Committee. Ultimately, none of these publications stood up to the test of legitimacy and validity and eventually fell by the wayside. Likewise, this new book “Opening the Eye of Discernment” will suffer the same fate.
We at dorjeshugden.com have consistently and accurately debunked many of the Dalai Lama’s and the CTA’s lies about Dorje Shugden through knowledge, analysis and logic. We have not changed our stance since the ban came into place but will continue to appeal to the public’s intelligence, humanity and innate sense of justice to right this appalling wrong.
Interestingly, after Jangchub Lamrim teachings concluded at Sera Monastery in Bylakuppe, many of these new books were discarded by those in attendance, although the Dalai Lama exhorted them to read, explain and share the contents of the book with others. It goes to show that no matter how much propaganda is generated by the cohorts of the Dalai Lama, people can only be fooled so many times and the truth is finally beginning to shine through.