6 Theories as to Why the Dalai Lama Imposed the Ban on Dorje Shugden

The Dalai Lama is loved and revered as both a god and a king by the Tibetan people

The propitiation of Dorje Shugden can be traced as far back as 400 years ago. And in that time, Dorje Shugden was revered as an enlightened Dharma Protector who is in fact the emanation of the Bodhisattva Manjushri. This view of the Protector was held by virtually all Gelug high monastic establishments including, at one point in time, the 14th Dalai Lama himself. Historical accounts confirm that it was the oracle of Dorje Shugden whom those closest to the Dalai Lama trusted and consulted in 1959 to seek divine intervention to assist the Tibetan God-King’s escape from Tibet.

However, this all suddenly changed without much explanation. In 1996, the Dalai Lama went from worshipping and praising the deity Dorje Shugden to publicly renouncing and condemning it as a demonic practice. Turning against Dorje Shugden, the Dalai Lama began repeatedly calling for the cessation of the Dorje Shugden practice, primarily citing that it harms his life and the Tibetan cause.

In swift response to the Dalai Lama’s new negative sentiments, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) and the Dalai Lama’s loyal supporters undertook drastic measures and employed very questionable and persecutory tactics as a means to stamp out the Dorje Shugden practice. Essentially, the Tibetan leadership’s purposeful opposition of a religion is an infringement on the freedom and rights of the Shugden practitioners, not to mention a blatant breach of the Tibetan Constitution.

The Parliament and Cabinet of the Tibetan government-in-exile even went as far as passing resolutions effectively decreeing the worship of a Tibetan deity, a criminal act. As a result, those who steadfastly believed in Dorje Shugden, ordained and lay practitioners alike, were singled out, marginalized, refused public service and jobs, denied voting rights and systematically discriminated within the Tibetan exile communities. Hence, the start of the Dorje Shugden controversy that continues to plague the Tibetan people and Tibetan Buddhism to date.

Many cannot understand why the Dalai Lama, an established icon of peace, harmony, compassion and tolerance, would act in complete contrast to all the values he appears to stand for. Over time, one insubstantial reason after another was advanced to explain the ban but when tested against established Buddhist doctrines and also secular logic, they were easily debunked.

The ban is now 20 years old and much damage has been inflicted on both sides of the divide. Still, no viable justifications or plausible explanations that have withstood the test of reason have been given for the Dalai Lama’s violent move against an ancient religious tradition.

In this article, we will look at some theories that are frequently raised to explain the Dalai Lama’s perpetuation of the ban against the Dorje Shugden practice.

 

1. The Dalai Lama genuinely believes that the Dorje Shugden practice is just spirit worship and it harms his life

The Dalai Lama asserts that Dorje Shugden is not enlightened and is merely a spirit. Hence, stopping the propitiation of Dorje Shugden is necessary to prevent Tibetan Buddhism from “degenerating into a form of spirit worship”. Ironically, if one agrees with this theory, one inevitably is not only undermining the enlightened status of the Dalai Lama but also the power of taking refuge in the Three Jewels. If we believe the Dalai Lama’s statement, we are actually agreeing that the Dalai Lama, supposedly an emanation of Chenrezig, the embodiment of the compassion of all Buddhas, is powerless against a mere spirit. Also, if that is indeed the case, why bother taking refuge in the Buddhas?

In addition, many are perplexed that the Dalai Lama has gone on record stating that all high lamas who believe in Dorje Shugden, including his own guru, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, are wrong without providing solid evidence to substantiate such statements. Their concern takes into account that;

  1. In Tibetan Buddhism, lineage is very important as it ensures the authenticity of the teachings. Therefore, such serious assertions cannot be made lightly without strong justifications. If any teaching by a teacher or Guru can be negated by mere allegations, it will throw the whole system of belief and teachings into question, not to mention the legitimacy of the lineage that survives on the basis of a teacher passing the lineages pure and intact to the next generation of qualified student-masters.
  2. Furthermore, the Guru in Tibetan Buddhism is viewed as the Buddha and central to practice, especially for Tantric practice, without which the training cannot yield positive results. Thus, by rejecting Dorje Shugden in such a high-handed manner, the Dalai Lama has also severed his allegiance to his Guru, which sets a dangerous precedent that calls into question the very foundation of the practice, leading to the degeneration of Vajrayana Buddhism.

 

2. The Dalai Lama genuinely believes he has to consolidate power and to do that it is necessary to destroy old customs like the Dorje Shugden practice

This theory stems from the fact that for most Tibetans, religion is the foundation of their lives. Therefore, reverence towards their respective lineage teachers is paramount. This would also mean that the Dalai Lama was never in complete control over the Tibetan population. It is said that in exile, those close to the Dalai Lama saw either an opportunity or the necessity to consolidate power and therefore the various religious sects had to be forged into a single entity under the Dalai Lama’s lordship.

However, the great Gelug lamas were in the way and as long as they were around, they would continue to command the hearts and minds of the people. Over time, as the Dalai Lama’s consolidation plans stalled, the Dalai Lama came to view them as a threat to his political ambitions, and hence their preeminence had to be brought down and traditions that upheld their significance, abolished. However, it would be difficult for the Dalai Lama to attack these lamas directly as many were his teachers and teachers of other notable Tibetan people. And so the Dalai Lama commenced hostilities against Dorje Shugden whose lineage is synonymous with the high lamas whose power the Dalai Lama wanted to subvert.

Many have questioned the Dalai Lama’s motives in wanting to unite all Tibetans, considering that it is the ban itself that has and continues to split the Tibetan community. Some have even ventured that the Dorje Shugden ban is another attempt by the Dalai Lama to wield greater control over the masses for less than honorable reasons. The Dorje Shugden ban appears to be a repeat of the Dalai Lama’s divide-and-conquer tactics previously used in the Karmapa controversy, where the Dalai Lama overstepped boundaries and traditions and interfered in the succession process of the Karma Kagyu school that resulted in two rival Karmapas and a rift within the sect that persists even today.

 

3. The ban is the Dalai Lama’s weapon and bargaining chip with China

The Sino-Tibetan conflict is the classic David and Goliath story. In facing China, the new global super-power, the Dalai Lama has no military or financial power to speak of and seems to be totally helpless. However, the Dalai Lama does command the affection and loyalty of 6 million Tibetans inside what is now known as the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), who hang on the Tibetan God-King’s every word.

China on the other hand wields tremendous economic power and has the largest army in the world. But there is one thing that China fears above all, which is inchoate unrest from its many ethnic tribes that may be triggered by the discontent of 6 million fevered Tibetans.

According to this theory, in imposing the ban the Dalai Lama had hoped to create a headache for the Chinese government. Of the 6 million Tibetans in TAR, approximately 70% belong to the Gelug lineage and of that, most would have been Dorje Shugden worshippers given the widespread influence of Shugden lamas such as H.H. Pabongka Rinpoche and H.H. Trijang Rinpoche.

The Dalai Lama’s decree for all ‘loyal’ Tibetan people to abandon their faith and teachers is a calculated move to prove to the Chinese authorities that he still wields the power to spark riots that will then become the catalyst for ethnic uprising against the ethnic tribe overlords. The Chinese regard the Dalai Lama as a dangerous separatist and this is exactly what they fear – that the Dalai Lama would ‘weaponize’ the Buddhist religion and turn it against the Chinese.

By imposing the Shugden ban, the Dalai Lama creates latent unrest amongst 6 million Tibetans in China, a serious headache for the Chinese

 

4. Dorje Shugden is a convenient scapegoat

This theory revolves around the fact that on many occasions, the Tibetan leaders had promised the Tibetan people that they would soon return to their homeland. In addition, many people around the world had contributed funds and effort believing in the Tibetan cause for liberation. In fact, over the 50-year period since entering exile, the Tibetan leadership has done very little to advance the Tibetan dream or provide a future for the loyal Tibetans who had followed the Dalai Lama into exile.

To deflect the blame away from themselves, the Tibetan leaders used Dorje Shugden as a convenient scapegoat. By pointing the finger at Dorje Shugden practitioners, the Tibetan leadership has been quite successful at diverting the majority of the Tibetans’ attention away from their incompetence and failures, thus enabling them to escape accountability for their actions. It has also directed the frustrations and angst of the people towards Dorje Shugden practitioners instead of the Tibetan leadership, acting like a “Get Out of Jail Free Card” for the Tibetan leadership.

However, it is no longer just the Tibetan people who are getting restless but also a global community of supporters who have donated countless millions towards the Tibetan cause. The “Get Out of Jail Free Card” no longer works as the majority of this group of people have no qualms about questioning the Tibetan leadership, if they see such need to do so. United States Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and Maura Moynihan (daughter of United States Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan) are but two of a number who are beginning to take the Tibetan leadership to task for their failures and misrepresentations to the public.

Imposing the ban against Dorje Shugden takes attention away from the Tibetan leadership’s failures

 

5. The Dalai Lama is not who people think he is

Generally, the mere mention of the Dalai Lama conjures up the image of a humble monk, the embodiment of Buddhist values, an icon of peace in these degenerate times. Yet, many are finding it difficult to reconcile such persona of the Dalai Lama with his extreme position in respect of the Dorje Shugden ban. On a spiritual level,

  1. The imposition of the ban has forced many people (who are under the reign and control of the Dalai Lama) into breaking their samaya with their (other) spiritual teachers, which is in fact spiritual suicide especially for those who have been initiated into higher practices. This not only destroys their spiritual life now, but endangers the happiness of their countless future lives.
  2. With the ban, the Dalai Lama has created a schism in the Sangha, which is one of the Five Heinous Crimes of immediate retribution. It is said that anyone who commits such an action will go straight to Avici Hell at the end of that life, which is why it is called an action of ‘immediate retribution’.
  3. By triggering and perpetuating the ban, thus resulting in much harm, pain and suffering to Dorje Shugden practitioners, the Dalai Lama is clearly acting contrary to Lord Buddha’s teachings and breaking a whole host of Root Bodhisattva vows in the process.

Who is the Dalai Lama really?

Hence the premise of this theory, as why would a Sangha relentlessly perpetuate the Dorje Shugden ban when the resulting spiritual damage is so foreseeably enormous?

On a secular scale, the Dalai Lama’s insistence on the Dorje Shugden ban despite the obvious severe consequences and harm towards Dorje Shugden practitioners runs afoul of his calls at international platforms for universal peace, harmony and compassion. It is hypocritical that the Dalai Lama continues to espouse his views about religious harmony, democracy and compassion for all whilst continuously ignoring the plight, pain and suffering of Dorje Shugden practitioners despite clearly being aware of them.

 

6. It is part of the Dalai Lama’s “bigger” plan

Some believe the Dorje Shugden ban is actually part of the Dalai Lama’s bigger plan of spreading the Dorje Shugden practice. This stems from the fact that the imposition of the ban by the Dalai Lama has resulted in much attention on the Dorje Shugden practice, with many being exposed to and becoming aware of the existence of this Protector. It has culminated to a situation where any mention of the Dalai Lama is always followed by the mention of the Dorje Shugden controversy. Hence, according to this theory, the ban is said to have in essence led to the widespread fame of Dorje Shugden.

The Dalai Lama practiced Dorje Shugden for over 40 years of his life

In addition, the Dalai Lama’s ban has served to separate the wheat from the chaff. Through the ban, real practitioners who have steadfastly kept their vows and promises to their Gurus at all costs are clearly distinguishable from those who readily abandon their practices and integrity in exchange for benefits. It has also caused many to really examine the state of their own practice and the value of the Dorje Shugden practice. Such exercise has even led to many becoming more resolved to practice and even to defend the lineage accordingly.

Some have sought to discredit this theory by dismissing it as merely idealistic views of those who try too hard to find justifications for the Dalai Lama’s conflicting actions. However, regardless of whether one agrees with this theory or not, looking at the situation at hand, it would appear that such result bears striking similarities to actions of the great awakened Mahasiddhas of the past who similarly conducted themselves in a manner that appeared to contradict the Dharma but much later was revealed to be their unconventional ways to ultimately benefit Buddhist practitioners.

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  1. Point no. 3 -” that the Dalai Lama would ‘weaponize’ the Buddhist religion and turn it against the Chinese.” does not sound like very Buddhist. If it is merely political then I doubt the Dalai Lama is real after all. I doubt an attained , enlightened being who is an emanation of the Buddha of Compassion, Avalokiteshvara would put politics above the suffering of beings. Here I doubt the end justifies the means.

    However you may want to justify his actions, there is so much suffering. Isn’t it time that enough is enough and that the ban be lifted. After 20 years of so much suffering, and I do have to admit that Dorje Shugden practice is becoming mainstream despite the ban, will it be justified to continue?

    Thanks though for putting the questions our there. Whether the Dalai Lama is using the ban as a political weapon or using it as a way to make people really study the real dharma to fully understand and discern the right and wrong actions for themselves, remains to be seen. Either way, a lot of soul searching or rather mind searching needs to be done. Just wondering how many will actually study the dharma to learn how to make head and tail of the ban.

  2. The answer to the question is # 2.

    We the followers of Dorje Shugden are living in a real “Game of Thrones” with the 14th Dalai Lama. He and his lineage since the 5th DL has done what ever it took to first obtain then and keep HIS THRONE. That means he murdered and slaughter his way to the “THRONE” and continued to murder and slaughter to keep his “THRONE”.

    The Great 5th Dalai Lama did not win the “THRONE OF TIBET” by exhibiting superior mastery of the dharma over the then Sakya Trizin. The 5th DL took power from Sakya Trizin with the help of Gushri Khan and his Mongolian army. They slaughter, murdered and EVEN engaged in HUMAN SACRIFICES OF THEIR CAPTURED ENEMIES to win “The Game of Thrones”. These “Captured Enemies” that were “Sacrificed” were MONKS from the Sakya Sect that fought these foreign invaders from Mongolia. They fought in the name of His Holiness Sakya Trizin who was the LEADER OF TIBET.

    I guess you did know know that the 5th Dalai Lama engaged in “HUMAN SACRIFICES”. Well he in fact did do that very thing.
    Please google the name “Dayisun Tygri” and go to the wikipedia.org entry.
    It states,”Dayisun Tngri…is a Mongolian WAR GOD of a protective function, to whom CAPTURED ENEMIES were sometimes SCARIFICED….the Fifth Dalai Lama COMPOSED INVOCATIONS TO THIS DEITY.”

    There were no external enemies facing the 5th. There were only internal enemies and they were TIBETANS. These TIBETANS were the “Captured Enemies” that were “SACRIFICED” by the Dalai Lama as REWARD FOR SERVICED RENDERED BY DAYISUN TNGRI. The Dalai Lama “COMPOSED INVOCATIONS TO THIS DEITY” asking him to come and be a “WAR GOD” and slaughter HIS enemies. These “ENEMIES” were Sakya monks protecting H.H. Sakya Trizin and his teachings. They were the ones standing between the BUDDHA OF COMPASSION AND H.H. Sakya Trizin’s “THRONE”. THEY HAD TO DIE SO THE BUDDHA OF COMPASSION COULD WIN “THE GAME OF THRONES”.

    If this was 400 years ago it would be WE the followers of Dorje Shugden who would be the “ENEMY”. It would be WE who would be the CAPTURED ENEMIES. The HUMAN SACRIFICES GIVEN TO DAYISUN TNGRI BY A HAPPY DALAI LAMA.
    The 5th Dalai Lama would have COMPOSED INVOCATIONS to Dayisun Dngri to DESTORY DORJE SHUGDEN AND WE HIS FOLLOWERS. HE WOULD SING WITH JOY AS WE WERE ALL MURDERED. HAIL TO THE KING OF TIBET.

    Remember that this is the “SANTANA”, the MIND STREAM that has followed the Dalai Lama Lineage from the 5th through the present 14th Dalai Lama. This murderous MIND STREAM will continue with his next incarnation. His WAR against us followers of Dorje Shugden will NEVER END. WE MUST ALL BE DESTORYED. DORJE SHUGDEN MUST BE DESTROYED.

    Welcome to the world of the Dalai Lama and his “GAME OF THRONES”

  3. I personally believe that it’s point #6, if we doubt His Holiness it would mean that we are doubting the His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Ling Rinpoche because they did not have the clairvoyance to see through future. His Holiness is an emanation of Avalokiteshvara, his actions/ behaviours today have been predicted by the previous His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and he has too advised us not to lose faith in His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

    It’s had to accept and digest His Holiness’s acts but I believe that it’s to benefit the bigger picture which most of us do not believe in. I pray that may all of our negative karma be pacified soon so that the time for the ban to be lifted will come soon.

  4. I would like to believe that all the hurt and pain suffered by Shugden’s practitioners due to the ban are part of Dalai Lama’s grand plan to bring awareness of Dorje Shugden, the arising world peace Protector, to the forefront. Yet this belief defy logical explanation because all we can see is 20 years of sufferings and further divide within the Gelug lineage.

    Moreover, the bewilderment does not end with just the ban on Dorje Shugden alone. It certainly does not sit well with Dalai Lama’s image as the iconic living Buddha, an emanation of the enlightened Avalokiteshvara (also known as Kuan Yin or Chenrezig) . In fact, the damage inflicted on sangha community is devastating because the ban literally forced the monks into breaking their samaya with their Guru. By doing so, it negatively affect the future lives of all the monks who break their promise.

    So, I genuinely beg the answer to Who is the Dalai Lama really? If Dalai Lama wants to, with his authority in the Tibetan in exile community, he can stop the ban and end the suffering.

  5. Thank you for breaking down the reasons in to 6 parts with clear explanations. I also read with interest what Harold Musetescu commented…Games of Throne. Interesting outlook.

    I had recently read the write up on “the Yellow Book”, originally Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche’s personal notes but leaked and published by Chophel Legden, a publisher based in New Delhi. In this Yellow Book, Protector Dorje Shugden had supposedly caused “harm” to the lives of those who polluted pure lineage teachings with practises from other sects. I have read that the Dalai Lama wish to take on certain practises of the Nyingma sect that is not in the Gelug tradition.

    As stated in the Yellow Book, even very highly attained Lamas were stricken when they polluted lineage teachings with that of another sects. As such, could the Dalai Lama’s fear for his own life be true then? That would mean that the Dalai Lama has karma to be harmed and not enlightened as we thought he was. Due this fear, the only avenue was to stop people from propitiating Dorje Shugden and hopes the Protector disappear not able to harm him. Weird logic but when one becomes unstable in one’s practise, desperate measure is needed to eliminate the threat. No wonder the Dalai Lama said that Dorje Shugden will shorten his life.

    Anyway, after 20 years of persecution, segregation and sufferings for all Tibetans, the ban should be lifted already. How can Buddhists practising Buddha’s compassionate teachings do so much harm to others irregardless the reasons for ban are valid or not? May the Dalai Lama manifest his true nature of compassion to lift the ban quickly.

  6. Thanks for all the theories, but I think 20 years of ban, has created so much suffering. Sometimes I would like it is theory #5, but sometimes I would hope it is #6. To say HH Dalai Lama is not an enlightened being, is like He has the ability to fool the entire world (ok, may be except Dorje Shugden practitioners), but if He is truly enlightened, then why would He create so much suffering for His own people, and split the lineage, and cause problems to Shugden monasteries/temples? Is that the karma of Tibetans so bad that HH Dalai Lama needs to manifest this way?

    Another thing I don’t understand is, why would Tibetan leadership continues with all the corruption (so much so until the state oracle was very unhappy with them) but the state oracle or HH Dalai Lama do not stop them? Why let them continue to exploit the Tibetans in Exile, and let the Tibetan leadership to collect bad karma? Is it the way the Tibetans are going end?

  7. I am pleased to listen the Shugden ban is part of His Holiness Dalai Lama’s plan to increase the spread the Shugden practice to everyone in the world. This is one of the positive thought that to let many people in the world are aware and want to find out more who is Dorje Shugden. Nevertheless, the Shugden practitioners should not give up the practice easily because this is not only the matter of practice but a whole lineage of the great masters who are practicing Dorje Shugden.

  8. To Sherabz,

    I can not agree with the thought that “I am pleased to listen to the Shugden ban is part of His Holiness Dalai Lama’s plan to increase the spread the Shugden practice to everyone in the world.”

    If the Dalai Lama wanted to increase the teachings on Dorje Shugden he would have simple done it. He could have included Dorje Shugden in all the teaching he has given around the world. He could have enlisted the help of the 41st Sakya Trizin and they could have jointly taught Dorje Shugden around the world. The Dalai Lama could have RETIRED PEHAR and made Dorje Shugden the new State Protector of Tibet. By RETIRING PEHAR he could have made a DORJE SHUGDEN ORACLE the new STATE ORACLE OF TIBET. HE HAS DONE NONE OF THE ABOVE.

    This is an IDIOTIC IDEA PUT FORTH BY IDIOTS.

    For over 20 years we the followers of Dorje Shugden have suffered at the hands of this EVIL Dalai Lama. Is this really the BEST PLAN that Dorje Shugden and the Dalai Lama could come up with to spread the Dharamapala practice of DS. If so then the Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden are both IDIOTS. I for one do not believe that they are. This plan is just made up by people that refuse to believe in the existence of EVIL in world of Tibetan Buddhism.

    Yes the Dalai Lama is truly EVIL and has been since the 5th Dalai Lama. This 14th Dalai Lama was a PAID EMPLOYEE OF THE CIA. He was the MILITARY LEADER of a MERCENARY ARMY of over 2000 Tibetans who’s salary was paid for by the CIA. His army was employed by the Indian government to fight in what was then call East Pakistan WAR. Yes the Dalai Lama’s soldiers fought in a war and they did so to get first hand battle experience. Does this make sense for a BUDDHA OF COMPASSION, NO.

    So please dear readers you must immediately stop believing in this fantasy. This 14th Dalai Lama has caused so must BLACK KARMA and suffering for we followers of Dorje Shugden. When Lama Zasep Rinpoche came and visited Toronto in April, 2016 the organizers received THREATS AGAINST ZASEP RINPOCHE. Was this part of the Dorje Shugden, Dali Lama PLAN TO INCREASE HIS PROFILE?

    WAKE UP AND GROW UP.

  9. I would think the reason for the ban is driven by point 6. HH Dalai Lama is believed to be an enlightened being (emanation of Avalokiteshvara or Guan Yin) . Therefore, there will be reason for his ban which we lay people may not see or understand at this point.

    Although the ban has bring unfairness to the Shugden practitioners but no doubt it has also bring a lot of awareness of Shugden practise. It is also through this ban that we see a lot of practitioners be reminded of their vows and promises to their Gurus to not abandon the practises, keep and uplift the lineage.

    Therefore it is very important for us to learn the source of the lineage and what more when there is ambiguity as claimed by Tibetan leaders that Dorje Shugden is evil. It is by tracing back the source of the lineage and Dorje Shugden that we will understand the teaching. It is by way of learning in detail that we can understand if Dorje Shuden brings harm or not.

  10. 1. The Dalai Lama genuinely believes that the Dorje Shugden practice is just spirit worship and it harms his life

    Wisdom and compassion can’t harm but transform anything that is harmful into wisdom and compassion.

    2. The Dalai Lama genuinely believes he has to consolidate power and to do that it is necessary to destroy old customs like the Dorje Shugden practice

    Wisdom and compassion can’t be destroyed, just try and find out for yourself that this is not possbile but be aware of that any harmful activities of mind, speech and body also effects your conciousness due to the basic freedom of lastingness and non-existence (non-duality) that is the one and only law/worldorder due to the one and only government/kingdom of space.

    3. The ban is the Dalai Lama’s weapon and bargaining chip with China

    A ban is not abandoning something that is healing transformation like abanding harmful actions. Therefore a ban is rooted in aversion that is rooted in ignorance regarding non-duality, by doing so it effects your conciousness in a harmful way. A ban is not benificial at all and regarding HHDL the ban has harmed and harms HHDL.

    China is locked in the trap of communism/socialism which is extremism and harmful because it is rooted in harmful views of eternalism and nihilism that are rooted in duality (ego) that is rooted in ignorance regarding non-duality (reality or basic freedom of lastingness and non-existence and so on), it obviously creates many problems, suffering and frustration instead of freedom and wellbeing that only can be effected by activities that are rooted in ones own inherent dignity (wisdom and compassion – dharma) that chinese people have and never can loose or destroy. Same problem with capitalism that is also harmful because of the same reasons.

    Not only for China but also for any other nation around the world, eternalistic and nihilistic systems only effect problems, suffering and frustration that also effects criminality and terrorism. Therefore all people of any nation around the wolrd can and should first remember and their conciousness as their inherent dignity (wisdom and compassion – intelligence) as their own identity and based on that create a culture in wich people can live according to their inherent dignity to prevent and overcome problems, suffering and frustration to effect freedom and wellbeing. This is called democracy. So worldwide we need to overcome the ongoing anarchy to stop all harmufl activities fo the benefit of all human beings around the world. This can only be effected by education regarding non-duality/wisdom and compassion/inherent dignity.

    Therefore dharma is in everyones interest around the world and tibetan people and their culture must be protected because of they have preserved the wisdom and compassion to effect freedom and wellbeing.

    So there is nothing to deal but rather to protect all nations around the world from extremism (eternalism), problems, suffering, frustration, criminality and terrorism dharma/dignity.

    4. Dorje Shugden is a convenient scapegoat

    Simply blame anything on the big bang, because if there where no big bang …

    Dorje Shugden, from a tantric point of view or non-dualistic point of view, is wisdom and compassion because DS is free of lastingness and non-existence like any other yidam that represents ones own wisdom and compassion or dignity that are like the sunnrays of the wisdom and compassion sky and sun or rangshar of ones own empty and clear conciousness/awareness.

    Any yidam is pure, there is no lastingness nor non-existence, there is no got and no bad, there is no god and no devil and so on because there is no duality at all!

    And by Lama, Yidam and Khandro, that are interdependent, healing transformation is happening and rooted in space- and conciousnesscontinuum.

    Elements, Nature and beings are basicly pure, healing, transforming, protecting live from anything that is harmful to beings, nature and elements, regeneration und healing of beings, nature and elements.

    And ones own yidam practice is this healing power of wisdom and compassion to effect freefom and wellbeing for oneself and all beings. And no being, no action, can stop, manipulate or destroy this basic freedom of lastingness and non-existence and process of healing transformation.

    So if you think Dorje Shugden is good, than DS appears good. If you think Dorje Shugden is bad, than DS appears bad. But if you leave your mind, than you realize that Dorje Shugden is pure like all other beeings, nature and elements as well. To effect healing activities you need compassions that is rooted in this pure view how anything really is by nature. Otherwise you only effect problems, suffering and frustration that is not dharma at all.

    So just keep it simple, keep your mind and heart pure and freedom and wellbeing (state of conciousness) will follow you.

    Remeber for yourself:
    I am free of lastingness and non-existence.
    I am free of good and bad.
    I am free of god and devil.
    I am wisdom and compassion.
    I am a Buddha.
    I only belong to the retinue of space, the one and only Kingdom of wisdom and compassion.

    There is no duality, lastingness and non-existence, there is no good and bad, there is no god and devil … that are just dualistic illusions that don’t match with impermanence, interdependence and so on because of ignoring non-duality.

    HHDL can’t be a god because there is no duality, HHDL can’t be a king because the compasion of space is the one and only King with his Queen Wisdom, the one and only Kingdom of all worlds and beings, the one and only Government in all worlds for all beings. There is only this one and only Kingdom, Government, Law and Freedom of this Wisdom and Compassion Kingdom of Space. But HHDL is a Buddha. Anything else is an illusion – Black Magic that will be dispelled by the limitless power of space and its retinue anyway.

    Just find out for yourself and realize/becoming aware of this one and only freedom and kingdom of freedom/wisdom and compassion.

    You are free and not bound to Illusions! So just study and practise dharma and you will be victorious! Just devote …

    Love you all my dharma sisters and brothers.

  11. I would like to believe that by imposing a ban on Dorje Shudgen it would help popularize Dorje Shudgen but viewing the matter in a humanistic way it really defies all logic because there are many Dorje Shudgen followers, monks, Rinpoches are either displaced, hurt, belittle, attacked and deprived even of basic necessities because of the ban.
    It is not an acceptable reason because assuming that the Dalai Lama were to continue believing in Dorje Shudgen the Tibetans would naturally follow his order and he would made it more popular simply by the fact that he is the Dalai Lama and many Tibetans would not follow and believe in other oracles other than Dorje Shudgen. Therefore, it is very unlikely that by issuing such ban on Dorje Shugden he would made it more popular certainly not at the expanse of so many who are currently in dire straits, living in impoverished and endangered situation.
    Therefore it is something more sinister than I would imagine, however situation can be reversed if dialogue can be instituted by both parties and bring closure to this unwarranted state of affairs which has made so many innocent Tibetans suffered and confused. His Eminence Tsem Tulku has extended an olive branch to the Dalai Lama quarters through his so many YouTube video presentations with a hope to diffuse this unfortunate situation but at this moment there are no conclusion and a meeting has not materialized
    Why have this meeting not being arranged or discussed is perhaps due to the misinformed advice from certain oracles. It is hope that if they can push aside and stop confiding in this oracle and make their own decision then perhaps we can see some light at the end of this long tunnel.

  12. The results- sufferings cause by DL ban. Resources put into playing out this, both perpetuation, defending and pushing for the ban to be lifted. There is a higher purposes?. The fact that this also being done to the Karmapa most likely is motivated by political objectives, divide and conquer.

  13. The 6 points above are great points for debate ! Most of them are skewed towards the Dalai Lama assuming a political role more then a spiritual role.
    I personally tend to incline towards Point No.6 whereby all the controversies and drama of Dorje Shugden is just part of a “bigger plan”. Aside from that, in my opinion, the Dalai Lama is a highly learned monk as he also learnt from highly attained Gurus like, HH Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche . Buddhas like all of them have very similar goals, that is, to grow the Dharma to benefit all sentient beings . May the Ban of Dorje Shugden quickly come down to benefit many beings !!

  14. Theory 6 resonates with my view of Dalai Lama and the Dorje Shugden controversial. However i support the existence and the lineage of Dorje Shugden with the fact that previous Dalai Lama and High Lama propitiates such as HH Trijang Rinpoche, HH Pabongka Rinpoche and even the 5th Dalai Lama composed prayer recognizing Dorje Shugden witnessing how he arose. Having said that, my view of Dalai Lama is that HE is manifesting these action to create multi facet indirect benefit to a bigger picture such as creating more awareness and promoting Dorje Shugden to the world, allowing Dorje Shugden to be propitiated in China with less resistance from the China Government (who opposes Dalai Lama), allowing the supporters to do more research to disprove ( thus gaining more faith and praising Dorje Shugden) and more (bigger picture). I feel that Dalai Lama “blunders” are too apparent and can be disapproved logically with relative ease.. Thus I feel the Theory 6 is my choice.

  15. Dear Dalai Lama,

    Whatever theory that have been laid out on the reason of the BAN on Dorje Shugden, I hope that is the Theory No. 6 is the real reason of this BAN, as the other theory of 1-5, does not match what dharma has taught us or what i have learn and understand from Dharma, or should be practicing from Dharma.

  16. Interesting theories to explain why there is a ban. I must say each of the theories has its convincing facts to support the happenings over the 20 years since the ban was imposed. I personal do not believe that it is due to just one of the theories that the Dalai Lama did what he did. We on our level of understanding are tinted with our own limited views and unable to foresee what’s ahead in the future. If you believe that the Dalai Lama is an emanation of Chenrezig, there is no question that he has a bigger plan in this illogical act. There is no reason why he would want to announce to the public to the extent of saying his guru was wrong. As many have suffered due to the ban in the last 20 years, may it be lifted asap!

  17. Of all the theories, each with its presented justifications, I personally take the view as per the 6th theory. At the end of the day, regardless of the manner in which it was done (which we deemed to be in a less than desirable manner), the Dorje Shugden practice has undeniably been made known worldwide, a feat which might not been achieved at the rate and such extent but for the ban. For example, surely one would agree that China would less likely have so readily embraced and proactively facilitated the religious freedom for Dorje Shugden practice in China was driven primarily by China’s beef with Dalai Lama. Further, one cannot easily dismiss the successes the Dalai Lama have made in spreading Tibetan Buddhism in the West and there are many students of the Dalai Lama which have been acknowledged by the Sangha and even practitioners from other traditions, to have attainments. Thus, it would be hard to dismiss such results on the basis that the Dalai Lama took certain actions which one is unable to really understand at this juncture. Considering that we are talking about emanation of Chenrezig, is it really surprising that those actions are something that unenlightened beings like us couldn’t comprehend? In addition, I don’t know about you but something is also very “fishy” when the Dalai Lama can explain and debate articulately the complexities of Dharma time and time again but yet gave so flimsy and illogical reasons to “justify” the Dorje Shugden ban. Even such “fishy” approach yield results where people are prompted to investigate and some even develop faith. It also allowed for an internal “cleansing” of lineage holders. To quote the author in summary, “Regardless of whether one agrees with this theory or not, looking at the situation at hand, it would appear that such result bears striking similarities to actions of the great awakened Mahasiddhas of the past who similarly conducted themselves in a manner that appeared to contradict the Dharma but much later was revealed to be their unconventional ways to ultimately benefit Buddhist practitioners”.

  18. I find what Sascha had to say about this hold thing rather enlightening and somehow has an enlightened overview perspective if I may call it so. It is something not of this worldly plane which we are used to seeing things as black or white, good or bad, truth or lie. And the persepctive that Sascha has offered seem to give light, hope and faith that this whole scheme on banning Dorje Shugden could therefore be yet another Illusory Play of the divine as mentioned by our Holy lineage Guru and the Guru of His Holiness the Dalai Lama… could it just be so? If not why even bother writing about it? And was His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche wrong then? What is really going on? Or is anything going on at all because everything is based on our karma and how each one of us perceives this issue on Dorje Shugden.

    Hence even though I very much appreciate Harold Musetescu “wake up and grow up” gross base theory of this logical world, with evidences and strong realistic points, it also brings a whole lot of questions to put forth… which questions back all the highly attained and enlightened beings as well. For example, if H.H. the Dalai Lama is not Chenrezigg, not a real Dalai Lama, or not even a nice Lama… then why on earth did Dorje Shugden (an Enlightened being) not see this and still help him escape Tibet? 2. Why did His tutor H.H. Trijang Dorje Chang, who is all knowing and an enlightened being also not see this in his very own student. 3. WHat happened to all the other High Lamas and oracles and Dharma Protectors that came forth before Him, why did they not point the culprit out and stop the Dalai Lama from executing perhaps the most horrible, manipulative, conniving, inhuman, prejudice act that Tibetan Buddhism has ever experienced and possibly wiping out a 400 year old practice? How did all the Buddhas, Boddhisattvas and Dharma Protectors missed this whole thing out? Did they make a mistake? How come no one sniffed anything fishy about this Dalai Lama? That and many more questions would arise in my mind.

    Now IF i had not read both their comments…. I would probably pick No.4 Dorje Shugden is a convenient scapegoat for the CTA and sorry HHDL to cover up their failures because hey you got like about 150 thousand Tibetans in India all eagerly waiting to go back to Tibet China and half of them are not happy about the “forget Independence” theory. There could be civil unrest in Dharmasala itself due to this. So my gross theory of this worldly world is but a simple worldly affair. They did not deliver what they promise their people, so to stop them from hating, rising up, and becoming jaded with “aggression” cos they been waiting a long time for it, better to cover their failures and DISTRACT them. But then again that is just my little worldly theory.

    However at the end of the day, no matter what it may be, whether Dalai Lama ban Dorje Shugden to cover the Tibetan Leadership’s failures or to bring Dorje Shugden practice to the world via China… the BAN and DISCRIMINATION and SUFFERING and THREATS and PERSECUTION and CURSES and AGGRESSION towards another human Shugden practitioner needs to STOP and the only one who can do this is H.H. the Dalai Lama and I do hope He does so before time is really up for him.

  19. I disagree with EVERYTHING about the ban and I cannot accept any of the false, lame and baseless reasons given for the ban.

    I cannot ignore the sufferings I have witnessed because of this travesty against human rights and I cannot just forget the abuses I have personally witnessed innocent Shugden monks and laypersons suffer.

    I shudder to think of the endless misconception that many who follow the Dalai Lama blindly, have embraced and the harmful wrong views that have been seeded in thier mind.

    I find it difficult to ignore the hypocrisy of those like ‘monk’ Tenpel and others such as Carol MacQuire who have a made a career out of hating and spreading lies about a Buddha.

    I am saddened by the divisiveness suffered by the Gelug and Sakya as the result of the ban.

    But, ultimately if I am to be considered a Dharma practitioner and if I am to honor the Gurus, then I am obliged to heed the advice of Trichang Dorje Chang and not speak against the Dalai Lama. That does not mean I will take the ban lying down and wait for the storm to pass. I will fight it anyhow but I cannot abuse the Dalai Lama. It is not about how I feel about the Dalai Lama and his crooked government. It is about how much I honor Trichang Dorje Chang.

  20. This is like trying to solve a multivariate equation by merely using the power of a calculator. It just won’t do. You’ll go round and round and round, without solving the equation.

    There is only one thing for sure, if you believe in the tradition, then Dorje Shugden cannot be a harmful spirit. There is no logic that can support the hypothesis that Dorje Shugden is a harmful spirit and the Dalai Lama is therefore wrong.

    As for the rest, depending on the subject, the object (Dalai Lama) can of course be “correctly’ viewed as leader, God, Chenrezig, Nobel Laureate, comedian, or even “master” in the case of his dog.

    So the “theory” you hold on why the Dalai Lama imposed the ban will be dependent on your perception of the Dalai Lama. His dog will just say “woof” to the whole thing.

    Woof! Wags his tail…

  21. Dear Celia, Sascha, Anonymous, and all who believe in the ‘Big Picture’ theory:

    Whilst I respect your stance on the Dalai Lama’s ban being an act of a Bodhisattva as you all seem to allude to, can you share your thoughts in the following questions:

    1. If indeed the Dalai Lama’s intention is to promote Dorje Shugden via controversy, would it not be more effective to advance the reputation/credibility of the deity by acknowledging Shugden as the one who saved His Holiness from harm, the same Protector who assisted the 13th Dalai Lama and by His Holiness giving mass sogtae or jenang? You may say that by making an enemy out of Dorje Shugden, the Dalai Lama intends for China to spread the practice vigorously (which incidentally has not happened). But why not spread the worship in India as well which is a populous nation as well and more accepting of Buddhism?

    2. Re Dorje Shugden and Trijang Rinpoche not detecting the Dalai Lama as ‘evil’, your assumption is that the nature of a person is inherently static and that one cannot change for better or worse. Could it be that they recognise a being on the Bodhisattva path and one with great potential but yet to transcend the third bumi. Therefore such a being can also ‘fall’ and go ‘bad’?

    One may equally ask why the Buddha allowed Devadatta to be amongst the Buddha’s disciples so that Devadatta could lead them astray?

    I would appreciate your thoughts, please.

    Thank you

  22. Not a fan of Reasons 1 to 5. As a Buddhist, karma is the universal law governing all of our actions. Id much rather not be caught up in negative views of the Dalai Lama or anyone else for that matter, and consider that he could be that conniving or hateful. Hating the Dalai Lama just reinforces the quality of hatred in our minds. Once that sets in, the only person it harms ultimately is us because were the ones who have to deal with the karma and were the ones stuck in this cycle of rebirths for aeons more.

    And for all the anger thats directed at the Big Man, does anyone honestly think your significant enough for your anger to keep him up at night? If Obama was pissed off for example, thatd bear more significance to the Tibetan leadership than a regular bloke like me.

    Nope, Reasons 1 to 5 breed anger. Reason 6 breeds hope. And hope is always a safer bet than anger.

  23. @Curious Nepali

    >> 1. If indeed the Dalai Lama’s intention is to promote Dorje Shugden via controversy, would it not be more effective to advance the reputation/credibility of the deity by acknowledging Shugden as the one who saved His Holiness from harm, the same Protector who assisted the 13th Dalai Lama and by His Holiness giving mass sogtae or jenang? You may say that by making an enemy out of Dorje Shugden, the Dalai Lama intends for China to spread the practice vigorously (which incidentally has not happened). But why not spread the worship in India as well which is a populous nation as well and more accepting of Buddhism?

    When you look at the Intension or Motivation of HHDL regarding this Dorje Shugden case, then you will find out that the Intention/Motivation of HHDL indeed was and still is to protect beings from harmful activities of mind, speech and body as well as to transmit dharma for the freedom and wellbeing of all beings.

    Of course HHDL is a Buddha and Bodhisattva for the benifit of all beings. Everyone who took the Bodhisattva vow’s is basicly a Buddha anyway and since a Boddhisattva for the benefit of all beings. That’s why HHDL gave the advice not to worship a good or bad spirit (deamon) and the meaning behind this advice is not to worship duality at all that is ignorance regarding non-duality, dualilty (ego – attachment and aversion), harmful views (eternalism and nihilism), thoughts and emotions (harmful motivation) because all beings basicly are buddhas because they are all free of lastingness and non-existence, full with wisdom and compassion.

    The point is that no being can be good or bad, god or devil, friend or enemy, Some people think that HHDL is bad or/and evil but this canÄt be reality because of that all beings are pure because of the basic freedom of lastingness and non-existence, due to space- and conciousnesscontinuum. If beings made/make mistakes or not, it will not change the fact that they are free of lastingness and non-existence, it will not change tha fact that they are buddhas.

    So all beings basicly are pure and stay pure, the are all vajra beings. Like HHDL himself, he is free of lastingness and non-existence, so he is a Buddha. It doesn’t matter whether your Teacher has karma or not, the main point in Vajrayana/Dharma is pure perception and experience of reality and the compassion that is within or comes along with, to be able to effect healing activities of mind, speech and body in order to prevent yourself from creating karma and to overcome your karma to effect freedom and wellbeing/enlightment for yourself and others.

    So eventhough the intention/motivation of HHDL was pure or compassion, many people still want to understand the view of HHDL or the reason why the protective aspect of wisdom and compassion/rigpa rangshar that is called emanation or deity/dharmapala of the basic freedom of lastingness and non-existence of space- and conciousnesscontinuum, is suddenly worshiping duality (a spirit/deamon) because in vajrayana you look at the deity as deity or wisdom and compassion aspect/emanation of rigpa rangshar and not as duality.

    Let’s say you practive Vajrasattva practice and you look at Vajrasattva as good or bad or in a dualistic way, and you practice with a harmful motivation and you recite eternalism and nihilism practice texts, well then of course you create karma and effect problems, suffering and frustration for yourself – eventhoug there is a Vajrasattva statue/picture infront of you.

    But if you put a Dorje Shugden statue/picture infront of you and you practice texts that are free of eternalism and nihilism, with compassion as motivation and pure view regarding Dorje Shugden as deity/emanation/rigpa rangshar of the protective aspect of wisdom and compassion/rigpa rangshar, then you only can effect freedom and wellbeing but not karma.

    So at the end it is all about wisdom view, compassion motivation to effect healing activities of mind, speech and body to effect freedom and wellbeing.

    Lets say, to bring some humor into it, you put a statue or picture of Mikey Mouse infront of you and because of your view that Mikey Mouse is free of lastingness and non-existence you understand that the essence and nature of Mikey Mouse is wisdom and compassion, and now you pray to this wisdom and compassion to protect you and all beings from ignorance, duality, eternalism and nihilism and harfmul motivation, then the effect will be not karma but protection by wisdom and compassion of yourself and all beings. That’s not worshiping duality (spirit/deamon) that using wisdom and compassion to effect freedom and wellbeing.

    As long the practice text is free of eternalism and nihilism and done with the wise and compassionate view, then everything is fine. So why all this violonce because of the protecting aspect of wisdom and compassion/rigpa rangshar of the basic freedom of lastingness and non-existence? If you call the protective aspect of wisdom and compassion Dorje Shugden or whatever and create a statue or picture to remind you to support your practice, the view is wisdom, the motivation is compassion and the practice is free of eternalism and nihilism (duality/violence), then everything is fine and it can’t effect karma at all but will effect freedom and wellbeing.

    Vajrayana is about the view of shunyata or basic freedom of lastingness and non-existence, the compassionate motivation that is within this wise view and the healing activity of mind, speech and body to effect freedom an wellbeing. It’s just that simple. Vajrayana is not about seeing your teacher/deity/conciousnesscontinuum as lasting, non-existent, good, bad, god or evil, friend, enemy and so on but seeing your teacher/deity/conciousnescontinuum as buddha and then seeing all other beings as buddhas. First you see yourself as buddha and so on, then you extend this pure view to all other beings. If you think others are eveil then they will appear evil, if you think others a good, then they will appear good, but if you leave your mind then you realise that there is no duality and that all beings are buddhas.

    In extremism/terrorism people start to ignore reality/non-duality, they create duality with all the harmful dualistic views of lastingness and non-existence, good and bad, god and devil, friend and enemy and so on, they have an dignity amnesia, and based on that they create harmful motivation and this effects all the terror activities of mind, speech and body to keep up this illusions/duality and harmful activities of mind, speech and body. So that’s why we all need to protect our own conciousness by the protective aspect of wisdom and compassion/dharmapala practice to protect ourself and others from duality and destroying duality in our own conciousness and the conciousness of all beings, to prevent and overcome the cause of violence, violence, problems, suffering and frustration. Only wisdom and compassion can prevent and destroy violence and the cause of violence! That’s the point because violence is rooted in illusion of duality but reality is non-duality and wisdom and compassion is rooted in non-duality that means that wisdom and compassion is stronger than violence and can prevent and overcome violence and the root/cause of it.

    >> One may equally ask why the Buddha allowed Devadatta to be amongst the Buddha’s disciples so that Devadatta could lead them astray?

    Beings don’t go astry because of others but because of their own ignorace regarding non-duality and karma. All beings are in space so they are within dharma/non-duality anway and they are all welcome to dharma transmissions anyway to study and practice dharma/non-duality/wisdom and compassion to effect freedom and wellbeing for themself and all other beings. Also Shakyamuni said that we all need to be our own light and should follow only our own wisdom and compassion that we need anyway, instead of following others and so on. Refuge into dharma is not following others but to start and keep following your inherent wisdom and compassion.

    What we all do is up to ourself or motivation and actions of mind, speech and body. There where, are and will be beings within space who don’t get the point of non-duality due to ignorance and karmic delusions and therefore they harm themself and others but we don’t need to follow these beings, we don’t need to let beings lead us into ignorance regarding non-duality, duality, eternalism and nihilism and harmful activities of mind, speech and body with all the karma, problems, suffering and frustation as result that only blocks freedom and wellbeing.

    Regarding all oral transmissions and transmissions of scriptures and practice texts, we need to watch out for eternalism and nihilism (harmful views), remeber within wisdom is compassion or compassion comes along with wisom or wisdom of non-duality/shunyata (impermanence, interdependence, cause and effect, essence, nature and healing power of space- and consiousnesscontinuum), and watch out for harmful thinking (harmful motivation) or not practicing loving kindness (Equanimity, Love, Joy, Compassion) for yourself and others. Wisdom and compassion is rooted in the wisdom of space- and consiousnesscontinuum or being aware of non-duality due to analytical and resting mindfulness, calm abiding, clear seeing (here you become more and more really intense aware of non-duality/shunyata) and meditation (stabilised clear seeing to get rid of all karmic delusions by dharma activities to effect enlightment for yourself and all beings who are lost in ignorance and karma/dualstic perception and experience of reality).

    We can’t become a better being, because we are all perfect already, but we can get rid of ignorance and karma by dharma (wisdom and compassion).

    There is no lastingness and non-existence.
    There is no good and no bad.
    There is no god and no devil.
    There is no friend and no enemy.
    There is no duality.

    Therefore there is freedom of lastingness and non-existence.
    Therefore there is wisdom and compassion/rangshar.
    Therefore there is emanations/deities/life.
    Therefore there is protection life from anything that is harmful to life by wisdom and compassion.
    Therefore there is regeneration and healing.
    Therefore there is freedom and wellbeing.

    Conciousness is free of lastingness and non-existence, therefore the stillness and movement of rigpa rangshar is peaceful and wrathful (this is rangshar or the meaning of emanation/deities) but not duality like lastingness and non-existence, good and bad/god and devil/friend and enemy.

    Ignorance regarding non-duality (shunyata) is like a magican who distracts you with a magic trick from non-duality and causes duality, causes eternalism and nihilism, causes harmful thoughs and emotions/motivation, causes harmful activities of mind, speech and body, causes karma, causes problems, suffering and furstration to keep up this duality.

    That’s why allways check for yourself all transmissions, all practice texts and so on. If it contains eternalism and nihilism than transform it into wisdom and compassion, protect yourself, you are a dharmapala.

    That’s why wisdom and compassion is stronger than thoughts and emotions
    That’s why wisdom and compassion is stronger than eternalism and nihilism
    That’s why wisdom and compassion is stronger than duality
    That’s why wisdom and compassion is stronger than ignorance
    That’s why wisdom and compassion is stronger than violence, because violence is rooted in illusions and wisdom and compassion is rooted in space- and consiousnesscontinuum.

    That’s why you can only destroy the causes of violence with wisdom and compassion but not with violence that only effects violence. That’s why you can only protect yourself and others by wisdom and compassion and not by violence.

    Love your all …

  24. Dear Curious Nepali;

    Not sure if it would help address your concerns but my position is largely due to my faith in my Guru (who to date, has tremendous respect for the Dalai Lama despite being burdened with the ban) supplemented by the following practical logic derived based on my limited understanding;

    1. If indeed the Dalai Lama’s intention is to promote Dorje Shugden via controversy, would it not be more effective to advance the reputation/credibility of the deity by acknowledging Shugden as the one who saved His Holiness from harm, the same Protector who assisted the 13th Dalai Lama and by His Holiness giving mass sogtae or jenang? You may say that by making an enemy out of Dorje Shugden, the Dalai Lama intends for China to spread the practice vigorously (which incidentally has not happened). But why not spread the worship in India as well which is a populous nation as well and more accepting of Buddhism?

    My take is that in samsara nothing spreads faster and gain attention than controversy. Unfortunately, we at the age where undeniably, human tend to react strongly towards things which are controversial, forbidden or not the norm. Why else would reality show exists and why else would the rating shot up the roof when there is scandal or controversy?

    With respect, I feel that if we were to subscribe to the logic (that better to sing praises of & lay out the benefits of Dorje Shugden) it would not have as much impact in this time and age. It would be like expecting people to buy health magazines instead of buying tabloids /entertainment magazine because everyone knows health is important, but the reality is that sales on tabloids far exceeds the sale of health magazine.

    Also, there are many studies (by market researches etc) indicating that controversy has a higher chance of capturing wider attention, from those who believe, those who doubt and those who are neutral to look into the matter compared to just laying out the benefits which narrows the range of audience.

    Come to think of it, it rather jives with the Vajrayana approach in capitalising on the negative emotions and turning them into a path.

    2. Re Dorje Shugden and Trijang Rinpoche not detecting the Dalai Lama as ‘evil’, your assumption is that the nature of a person is inherently static and that one cannot change for better or worse. Could it be that they recognise a being on the Bodhisattva path and one with great potential but yet to transcend the third bumi. Therefore such a being can also ‘fall’ and go ‘bad’?

    In this regard, my position on this is based on faith on my Guru as well as the belief of the accounts that there are those who have received initiations/teachings from Dalai Lama to date and have attainments which are also acknowledged/recognised by other people. If indeed the Dalai Lama is “evil” how can the blessings flow to another to be a proper lineage holder/ achieve any attainments? Not the most sophisticated answer but it kind of works for me.

    One may equally ask why the Buddha allowed Devadatta to be amongst the Buddha’s disciples so that Devadatta could lead them astray?

    At the end of the day, we are all governed by karma and not even Buddha can change the applicability of law of karma. So, there would not be any “meeting“ of Devadatta or the risk to be lead astray if one does not have the karma for it to happen. A lot of factors (karmically) have to come into play for anything to happen and thus why only one factor is examined? To push it further, it is not as if there is a guarantee that if Devadatta didn’t become Buddha’s disciple that Devadatta would never be in the position to lead them astray.

    In all honesty, I never quite addressed my mind to the need to ask why Buddha “allowed” for it to happen especially since it also appears to suggest that the burden is on Buddha to “prevent” or “govern” when it is really up to us to take responsibility for whatever comes our way. At the end of the day, we have to deal with our karma and it is about the choices that we make (especially as to whether to practice Dharma or react in a contrary manner).

  25. @Sascha,

    Thank you for your response but with due respect, you did not even come close to answering the question. To repeat, if the Dalai Lama’s purpose of making Shugden out to be an enemy so that the Chinese would take up the practice, then (i) the uptake of the Shugden practice is not remarkably high and (ii) why not spread the practice in India which is just as populous?

    @Celia,

    You wrote: “My take is that in samsara nothing spreads faster and gain attention than controversy”.

    But that is hardly correct otherwise Catholicism would be spreading like wildfire given the many controversies and scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church. Google for the stats and see for yourself.

    And your are right to state that controversy has a higher chance of capturing wider attention…” But what kind of attention, though? It has been 20 years since the onslaught on the ban and all I can see is anti-Shugden movement getting stronger.

    Apart from this site, what other publications are print or digital to indicate that the Shugden practice has grown due to the ban? I hear monks in CHINA’s TIBET getting expelled from monasteries because of their refusal to give up Shugden. And this is recent news. I don’t see the practice growing in the West and even the once boisterous protests of the NKT/ISC are no more. I see Tsem Tulku making a stance but how much can one person do against the might of the Dalai Lama’s vast network?

    If your theory is correct, shouldn’t the past 20 years have brought greater numbers ergo a louder voice in protest? But no. We hear hardly a whimper now.

    I am trying to see the logic in what has been touted a the ‘Big Pic’ but the only picture forming is worrying and ugly. I am having trouble seeing the big picture and the reason behind this theory is as lame as the Dalai Lama’s logic for imposing a ban.

    Thank you.

  26. @ Curious Nepali

    >>Thank you for your response but with due respect, you did not even come close to answering the question. To repeat, if the Dalai Lama’s purpose of making Shugden out to be an enemy so that the Chinese would take up the practice, then (i) the uptake of the Shugden practice is not remarkably high and (ii) why not spread the practice in India which is just as populous?

    This Dorje Dhugden case is a case of vajrayana so this case is about pure perception and experience of reality/non-duality. The answer to your questions and this Dorje Shugden case is within vajrayana itself and that’s why we need to take a look at deties, why they are there, what they are and where they come from or that this self arising wisdom and compassion of space- and conciousnesscontinuum or rangshar/rigpa rangshar is the basic freedom of lastingness and non-existence where all the wisdom and compassion arises from (rangshar) and this is why deites are there, what they are and where they come from.

    All these aspects of wisdom and compassion arise and are within space- and conciousnesscontinuum, so these aspects arise and are within elements, nature and all beings within its living spaces. And the protective aspect of wisdom and compassion that arises or is within is represented by all the dharmapalas that arise from this basic freedom of lastingness and non-existence of space- and conciousnesscontinuum.

    So to answer your question: “… if the Dalai Lama’s purpose of making Shugden out to be an enemy so that the Chinese would take up the practice, then (i) the uptake of the Shugden practice is not remarkably high and (ii) why not spread the practice in India which is just as populous?…”

    As i wrote. When you look at the Intension or Motivation of HHDL regarding this Dorje Shugden case, then you will find out that the Intention/Motivation of HHDL indeed was and still is to protect beings from harmful activities of mind, speech and body as well as to transmit dharma for the freedom and wellbeing of all beings.

    And now this is the point regarding Dorje Shugden:

    So eventhough the intention/motivation of HHDL was pure or compassion, many people still want to understand the view of HHDL or the reason why the protective aspect of wisdom and compassion/rigpa rangshar that is called emanation or deity/dharmapala of the basic freedom of lastingness and non-existence of space- and conciousnesscontinuum, is suddenly worshiping duality (a spirit/deamon) because in vajrayana you look at the deity as deity or wisdom and compassion aspect/emanation of rigpa rangshar and not as duality.

    SO WHAT IS THE VIEW OF HHDL REGARDING DORJE SHUGDEN OR THE DHARMAPALA ASPECT OF WISDOM AND COMPASSION THAT IS REPRESENTED BY DORJE SHUGDEN?

    HHDL view is that Dorje Dhugden is not wisdom and compassion but illusion (duality/ harmful spirit) but in vajrayana the deities are the aspects of wisdom and compassion or ranghar of non-duality or protective, regenerating and healing. So why is this view of HHDL regarding the protective aspect of wisdom and compassion, that is represented by the deity Dorje Shugden or other dharmapalas, a view that HHDL says that Dorje Dhugden is harmful/duality/spririt?

    Then the answer of HHDL is that the deity who represents the protective aspect of wisdom and compassion is harmful/spirit/duality. WHAT?

    One statement was that because of china and it’s influence and so on. So what because of china and why not protecting conciousness by the protective aspect of wisdom and compassion by dharmapala practice? It is said that some individuals within tibetan community made/make mistakes and the life of HHDL is in danger because of this. But why then throwing out a dharmapala and all the people and cummunities who pratice this dharmapala practice? So if there is a problem with certain indivduals then you can take care of these certain individuals but why then banning just everyone of them and their deities? One reason is because of the harmful influence of china the other reason is because of the harmful influence of a protective deity of wisdom and compassion. So now these people get it from any direction, from China and HHDL and don’t understand why HHDL is doing this at all.

    So this is what we all want to understand because violence like a ban that officially is not there can’t resolve the problem that the violence that officially is not there but was and is happening. That’s the point. So it makes no sence to throw out dharpamala and the people/community who practises this dharmapala practice and being violent to these beings because someone/some people got the view that WHATEVER.

    Let’s say there is something wrong with the practice because of it contains eternalisim and nihilism, well then there is no problem to change this into wisdom and compassion but no need to throw out the deity and people who practice dharmapala practice.

    So what now? And this is the current situation with all the problems, suffering and frustration.

    To spread and practice dharmapala practice to protect ones own conciousness and the conciousness of others by wisdom and compassion from ignorance, duality, harmful views, harmful intensions is wonderful and helpful. To help yourself and others, everyone can spread and protect dharma.

    Tibetan people just want to study and practice wisdom and compassion and not communism/socialism because they want to effect freedom and wellbeing instead of problems, suffering and frustration that you can effect with communism/socialism/capitalism (dualism/egoism) and so on very well.

    That’s why tibetan people just want to go back to tibet and live according to wisdom and compassion to effect freedom and wellbeing. But as long communism/socialism is harming china or china is harming themself with communism/socialism/capitalism there won’t be the option for a free tibet.

    Love you all!

  27. Its been awhile since I last posted and I do find this post amusing. To be honest, I don’t think any of the them really explains the reason for what the Dalai Lama did as much as the last possibility in this list. This is because the ban has hurt both sides so much in terms of reputation and so many other damages. How can the Dalai Lama have any ordinary intentions?

  28. Dear Curious Nepali,

    Perhaps I have not been too clear when I mentioned earlier that everything is subjected to law of karma which is complicated and many factors for it to culminate into a particular incident/situation. Also not all things are fixed in a linear/formulaic pattern although there is always a logic to things (it is just a matter of whether we have the wisdom/capacity to understand at the material time).

    Thus, it is not a thing that is in a linear format and trying to reduce it to a formulaic logic in order for it to fall within our parameters of understanding is unfortunately doesn’t work (I learnt it the hard way). This simply due to the fickleness of the nature of things in samsara and its deceptive inherent (perceived) independent existence. It is as dangerous as for example saying I did my preliminaries as how Lord Tsongkhapa indicated to have done as set out in Lamrim, so by right I should have visions of my Yidam by now but how come I don’t? A lot of variables are involved (e.g. your motivation etc) and not just the actual prostration or the action of doing mandala etc. And then you hear about people who didn’t do any preliminaries and yet they achieved some siddhis/have attainments/enlightened. So, applying your logic, we must now conclude no point teaching people about preliminaries? As it is too confusing since one source say so and another thing point to the lack of result which is construed to mean that way is not “correct/proper/effective”?

    To take it further, by that “linear” logic, then Dharma is useless/ineffective because most people exposed to/claim to practice Dharma should have result but why only some do? So it means that those teachings/Dharma not effective because doesn’t appear (at this material time) to yield significant results and actually number of people not practising are more so better scrap teaching Dharma and use other option? Of course that can’t be the case as we all know that the Dharma works but only if people apply themselves/practice accordingly (and it is not the method that is wrong but rather karmically people are unable to avail themselves to the benefits)

    At the end of the day, it would be hard to really provide a straight formula for you to be “convinced” as I believe that faith (an essential component of religion) is trust developed based on logic and for things beyond our contemplation at the moment, inference of the same. For me, it is like if we have examined things that we could rationalise/relate to especially explanation from Guru on the teachings (before taking on Guru disciple relationship which led us to following the Guru) and those things were “correct”, didn’t harm/beneficial to us, thus if now there are issues/things even if don’t see/understand (at that juncture) but leveraging on the fact that Guru was “not wrong” previously and has not led us astray, it would be “ok” to follow the Guru’s instruction accordingly (as the Guru’s main purpose is to guide us to ultimate liberation). Take for example, Naropa, he was as intelligent and as learned as can be and it was when he finally “surrendered” that he couldn’t figure out /rationalise anymore (doesn’t make sense to him/his perception) and just believed/trust in the Guru’s instruction that he eventually became the Mahasiddha that we know.

    Thus, not sure if my explanation would satisfy you as you appear to be looking for a fixed linear/formulaic answer to “satisfy/convince” yourself of this theory when I am just responding/sharing as per your request on my perspective of things. Like I said, it is a personal opinion based on my understanding of things which to a certain extent also is derived based on my rationalisation, experience and based on my (limited) learnings from my Guru to date. That doesn’t mean my way is wrong or you are wrong in your approach but just that we all have to go through our own ways to arrive at our position pertaining to faith/religion and the most important thing is to keep an open mind to things especially differences and then analyse accordingly for yourself. After all Lord Buddha gave 84000 teachings taking into account how different each mindset can be. Wish you well in your spiritual exploration.

  29. Celia mentioned Surrender:

    By dharma study/practice/activity we surrender to/follow our inherent self arising wisdom and compassion/rigpa rangshar from where all the deities of wisdom and compassion arise from by itself all the time anway, due to spacecontinuum or self arising wisdom and compassion of spacecontinuum (rangshar) that comciousness is rooted in, and this is what our self arising pure and clear awareness is and we only can surrender to/follow our wisdom and compassion by wisdom and compassion but not by ignoring this non-duality, duality, harmful eternalistic and nihilistic views, harmful thoughs/emotions (harmful motivation) and harmful actions of mind, speech and body.

    So we can and should take anything that happens in life into our path by dharma practice/activity that is rooted in compassion that is rooted in our inherent self arising wisdom/ self arising pure and clear awareness/rigpa ranghar because we have a conciousness and never ever can get rid of it.

    Celia mentioned that dharma is not something that is linear/formulaic. This indeed is something really incredible about dharma and it’s dynamic power of wisdom and compassion to cut through all illusions.

    Yes dharma is not linear and not a formula but dynamic as rangshar and therefore karma is dynamic also and is changing all the time until we have cut and dissolved the illusion of duality by wisdom and compassion. For non-dual perception and experience of reality/non-duality we can and need to let go or surrender to wisdom and compassion but illusions and violence are not wisdom and compassion and we don’t need to surrender to.

    I asked myself:

    What would I have done if HHDL/others would ask me to throw a deity of wisdom and compassion into the garbage place? You can’t get rid of wisdom and compassion anyway, but what would I have done i someone would ask me to throw away a statue that represents wisdom and compassion?

    What would I have done if HHDL or someone else would ask me not to allow others to any dharma activities of our community? Of course wisdom and compassion is everywhere all the time anyway and nobody has to be at a certain place to receive wisdom and compassion by ones own self arising wissdom and compassion. But what would I do if someone would ask me to turn against other beings?

    What would I have done, would I follow HHDL/others because I assume that doing anything that HHDL/others ask me to do will liberate me because they are all buddhas anyway, because they are all free of lastingness and non-existence or so called buddhas anyway, or would I surrender to my inherent self arising rigpa ragshar that are all the deities of wisdom and compassion?

    Would I trow away deities or surrender to these deities of wisdom and compassion of my rigpa ranghar/self arisign wisdom and compassion/self arising clear and pure awareness?

    Would I follow the Guru (wisdom and compassion/non-duality) or the Illusion (duality/spirit)?

    Well, to be honest, if HHDL/others would ask me to throw away a deity/deites and not to practice wisdom and compassion, from my point of view, I would not do it because wisdom and compassion is within myself anyway and I can’t escape my wisdom and compassion anyway but I would ask HHDL why and explain my point of view. If HHDL would still want me to throw away a deity then I would say no.

    Of course Dharma is not about a statue but about the self arising wisdom and compassion in ourself but why doing something that would’t change anything about this self arising wisdom and compassion anyway or would create karma to keep oneself into samsara?

    To let go attachment and to surrender to wisdom and compassion to overcome duality and samsara, of course we need to let go and surrender to our inherend self arising dynamic wisdom and compassion but how can we let go by doing something that is rooted in a harmful view?

    What if HHDL is just sort of “testing” all his students/fellowship or even all beings that study and practice dharma and all others? What if he is not wrong at all by “testing” all of us/all beings and by that only we discover that we have been wrong or are wrong because we don’t follow our inherent rigpa rangshar/deities/wisdom and compassion and thereby we effect karma, problems, suffering and frustration?

    Within our dynamic dualisitc state of mind we can’t perceive and experience the whole thing or big picture (non-duality) and what really is going on at all and there will be no end if we continue to keep this up by ignorance gegarding non-duality and harmful views, harmful motivation and harmful actions.

    So how can we take this life, our karma and anything that happens in our life into our path to surrender to wisdom and compassion, to liberate ourself and others from samsara instead of throwing away dharma/deities/wisodm and compasson all the time?

    By not surrendering to our inherent self arising wisdom and compassion but by following others and do anything that they ask us to do, just because they are all buddhas anyway because they are all free of lastingness and non-existence anyway? Well to follow others that has led mankind/man people into big trouble too often already and this is the opposite of devotion to non-duality/inherent self arising wisdom and compassion/dharma.

    But then what about our own discernment because of our inherent wisdom and compassion, what about our freedom and wellbeing? Eternalism and nihilism can’t be reality because everysthing is impermanent and interdependence and that’s why we should not surrender to duality but surrender or devote to non-duality/dharma/wisdom and compassion/our own inherent self arising pure and clear awareness.

    That’s why I recommend to surrender/devote to ones own inherent self arising wisdom and compassion/rigpa rangshar that is represented by all the deites of wisdom and compassion by dharma study and practice/activitiy.

    Like Shakyamuni said before he passed away that we can and should be our own light and not take refuge into something else than our own light.

    Yes, there is no linear way/formula or equal way for anyone because karma is not linear or equal for anyone but our inherent self arising wisdom and compassion is the same dynamic transformation of the wisdom and compassion of space- and conciousnesscontinuum and protection, regeneration, healing and liberation for all of us.

    Dharma will stay but buddhism is ism and duality or ism will not survive in non-duality. There are secret dharma lineages of space- and conciousnesscontinuum, inner dharma lineages and outer dharma linages. So dharma was there, is there and always will be there anyway. No matter what happend, happens or will happen.

    Love you all my dharma sisters and brothers, I pray for you, I practice for you. May your samaya with space- and conciousnesscontinuum stay forever firm and be protected by the peaceful and wrathful deities of self arising wisdom and compassion of space- and conciousnesscontinuum.

  30. Amongst the theories, I am still prefering the theories that H.H Dalai Lama is working together hand in hand with Dorje Shugden to bring Dharma to another level of Buddhism to sentient beings.

    H.H 14th Dalai Lama has Dorje Shugden for 40 years. For these 40 years, it is so easy to forgo of the habits or the traditional to have Dorje Shugden? Ask yourself will you be so easy to let go of your habits that have build for 40 years?

    If we trace back to decades ago, since the beginning of Dorje Shugden, H.H 5th Dalai Lama himself have Dorje Shugden’s practices in Tibet- He make the statue, do the prayer of Dorje Shugden. Even H.H 14th Dalai Lama has a prayer for Dorje Shugden. If a Bodhisattva mindstream is same; I do not think H.H Dalai Lama will forbidden Dorje Shugden for the purpose of politic. Add on, if we recognize that H.H Dalai Lama is the Bodhisattva, thus, are we contradicted our self by saying H.H Dalai Lama wanted to ban Dorje Shugden just to split the Tibetan or for politic reasons? A person with mind wanted to benefit the sentient beings, will do it for sentient beings. Thus, I resonance the theories – “to separate the wheat from the chaff.” Looks, in this time. Many people have uses religion to earn money, fake gurus are everywhere, by this ban, if you are Dorje Shugden’s practitioner, it will be hard to get sponsorship and your reputation will be label as – Cult! But, a person who truly learned in Dharma, He or she would understand the reasons behind the ban, and the nature of Dorje Shugden and so forth. Thus, the real dharma practitioner is there to hold the fort to dharma. Think further, in this age, a person wanted very much to practice dharma is becoming more and more rare. Thus, with this ban, it produces the holder for the dharma.

    Anyway, the ban is not to be there for long. Even though it does bring some benefits, but the damage to Buddhism is there. Many are suffering from this ban. The ban has to beAmongst the theories, I am still prefering the theories that H.H Dalai Lama is working together hand in hand with Dorje Shugden to bring Dharma to another level of Buddhism to sentient beings.

    H.H 14th Dalai Lama has Dorje Shugden for 40 years. For these 40 years, it is so easy to forgo of the habits or the traditional to have Dorje Shugden? Ask yourself will you be so easy to let go of your habits that have build for 40 years?

    If we trace back to decades ago, since the beginning of Dorje Shugden, H.H 5th Dalai Lama himself have Dorje Shugden’s practices in Tibet- He make the statue, do the prayer of Dorje Shugden. Even H.H 14th Dalai Lama has a prayer for Dorje Shugden. If a Bodhisattva mindstream is same; I do not think H.H Dalai Lama will forbidden Dorje Shugden for the purpose of politic. Add on, if we recognize that H.H Dalai Lama is the Bodhisattva, thus, are we contradicted our self by saying H.H Dalai Lama wanted to ban Dorje Shugden just to split the Tibetan or for politic reasons? A person with mind wanted to benefit the sentient beings, will do it for sentient beings. Thus, I resonance the theories – “to separate the wheat from the chaff.” Looks, in this time. Many people have uses religion to earn money, fake gurus are everywhere, by this ban, if you are Dorje Shugden’s practitioner, it will be hard to get sponsorship and your reputation will be label as – Cult! But, a person who truly learned in Dharma, He or she would understand the reasons behind the ban, and the nature of Dorje Shugden and so forth. Thus, the real dharma practitioner is there to hold the fort to dharma. Think further, in this age, a person wanted very much to practice dharma is becoming more and more rare. Thus, with this ban, it produces the holder for the dharma.

    Anyway, the ban is not to be there for long. Even though it does bring some benefits, but the damage to Buddhism is there. Many are suffering from this ban. The ban has to be lifted. As times goes by, if the ban is not lifted, the misleading causing by this ban will confused people who are new to Buddhism. The broken samaya will have much damage not only this life but also many lifetimes. Many High lamas will have difficulties to spread the dharma.

    May the ban of Dorje Shugden be lifted quick

    lifted. As times goes by, if the ban is not lifted, the misleading causing by this ban will confused people who are new to Buddhism. The broken samaya will have much damage not only this life but also many lifetimes. Many High lamas will have difficulties to spread the dharma.

    May the ban of Dorje Shugden be lifted quick

  31. The reason why the Dalai Lama did this is that a worldy being with grovel & agree with him to keep their reputation and position.

    So if the Dalai Lama starts editing Dharma & making bad decisions who speaks up?

    Only one person spoke up- the oracle of Shugden. This shows clearly that Shugden puts protecting the Dharma before anything else.

    When Shugden disagreed with the Dalai Lama it was clear that one of them was not authentic. The Dalai Lama had been privately disagreed with so he is doing all this to protect his reputation as a holy being.

    Yes he is destroying 100s of years of pure lineage & practice because someone disagreed with him. He is destroying all the practices of all the monks under his care because he cannot bear & deal with that someone disagreed with him & told him he had made a mistake.

    That is why all this is happening

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Contemplate This

.…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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