7 Reasons Why The Dorje Shugden Ban Undermines The Tibetan Cause

Lobsang Sangay and Penpa Tsering

The Tibetan-Government-In-Exile, also known as the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), likes to blame Dorje Shugden for the failure of the Tibetan cause. In fact, they insist that Dorje Shugden practitioners are the reason why the Tibetan dream of returning to their homeland has thus far not materialized.

It has been almost 20 years of these baseless allegations and not once has the CTA provided any evidence to support such claims. And that is simply because they are not true. Upon closer examination, it is clear that, instead of Dorje Shugden, it is the injurious activities carried out by the Dalai Lama and the CTA for two decades that have undermined the Tibetan cause.

Here are seven reasons why the CTA’s Dorje Shugden ban has harmed and damaged the Tibetan people’s dream of living as free people:


1. The Shugden ban highlights the hollowness of CTA’s pursuit of democracy

How can the CTA expect democratic nations and the world public to take the Tibetan quest seriously when it is clear that the CTA does not value and therefore does not observe even the most basic of democratic principles such as due process and protection of basic human rights?

For example, on the one hand the CTA professes to be a democratic government with a Constitution that protects the rights of the people. And yet, the same government does not hesitate to use state instruments meant to uphold the law, to instead break it. The CTA is not shy to boast of resolutions it has passed that blatantly victimize a community of people simply because of their religion that the CTA seeks to scapegoat.

To make matters worse, the CTA demonstrated no hesitation in taking actions that clearly breach the constitutional and human rights of Dorje Shugden practitioners. An undeniable example is when the CTA published, on its official website, a list (complete with faces, names, personal details and addresses) of those who spoke against such persecution, whom the CTA has arbitrarily identified as traitors to the public at large.

Firstly, those who were listed were never found guilty as “traitors” by any court of law. Secondly, yet again not a shred of evidence was provided when the CTA made such damning allegations public. Last but not least, those unfairly condemned in the CTA’s list don’t even have a proper forum to defend themselves against such serious allegations. They are denied their rights as well as the opportunity to clear their names.

Then, there are the numerous campaigns initiated either independently by the CTA or in concert with other Tibetan Non-Government-Organizations (NGOs) to outright criminalize the practice of Dorje Shugden despite maintaining that there is no ban on this practice. As opposed to ensuring that citizens do not take matters into their own hands and advocating for citizens to respect as well as observe the rule of law (like any proper democratic leadership would do), the CTA actually approves and instigates Tibetan citizens to punish Dorje Shugden practitioners for failing to toe the line with regards to the Dalai Lama’s stand against Dorje Shugden. To illustrate, one need only look at the speeches, publications and web postings by the CTA in relation to Dorje Shugden practitioners.

Kanshag’s Statement Concerning the Cult of Dogyal/Shugden: http://tibet.net/2014/06/statement-concerning-the-cult-of-dogyalshugden/

CTA parliamentary resolutions in respect of Dogyal/Shugden: http://tibet.net/dolgyal-shugden/#panel-pxJ7BWeLwXc target=”_blank”

List persecuting Dorje Shugden practitioners lifted from CTA’s official website

It is foolish of the CTA to expect to get away with this travesty against human rights in the information age. This infringement is what has stopped the world from committing fully to the Tibetan cause.


2. The CTA instills hatred that segregates the people further

History is witness that internal conflict within a nation that segregates the people has always been detrimental to any goal that nation seeks to achieve.

Looking at the situation to date, the persecution of Dorje Shugden practitioners has only created more schism and animosity amongst fellow Tibetans. It also brought about serious consequences in the Tibetan community, as Tibetans thought to be associated with Dorje Shugden were heavily discriminated against, from being denied basic amenities and crucial services such as healthcare, to being constantly harassed and attacked. Even the monastic communities were not spared resulting in a split between those renouncing the practice of Dorje Shugden and those who did not.

Tibetan settlement, South India

Sera Monastery, South India

In dividing the Tibetan people in exile, the CTA weakens its own foundation. Thus, the ban on Dorje Shugden in effect;

  1. Creates more problems for Dorje Shugden worshippers who form a significant percentage of the population;
  2. Marginalizes Dorje Shugden practitioners which in turn dissipates the critical mass required to drive a common vision; and
  3. Robs the Tibetan leadership of trust from its own people

The divisive policies of the CTA fly in the face of the Dalai Lama’s image as a peacemaker who promotes harmony, unity and tolerance. Indeed, this is what the Dalai Lama preaches everywhere he goes to give talks and lectures.

This contradiction calls into question the integrity of the Dalai Lama’s message to the world. If he believes in the message, why not compel his own government to be an example, especially seeing that what the Dalai Lama says becomes law to the Tibetan government.


3. The Shugden persecutions created a brain and character drain

The baseless and false allegations by the CTA over the years have primarily resulted in a divide in the Tibetan community, with animosity and hostility flourishing against Dorje Shugden practitioners. Such hostile living conditions in the Tibetan diaspora has forced Dorje Shugden practitioners to either go abroad or take shelter in safer communities. Either way, their ability to contribute to the Tibetan cause is effectively shackled, if not robbed away entirely.

Memo issued by the Department of Health of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) instructing the resignation of Dorje Shugden employees. Dharamsala, North India.

An official letter from the Tibetan-Government-in-Exile’s Department of Religion and Culture, demanding the eradication of Shugden monks within Ganden Shartse Monastery

The Department of Security of the Tibetan-Government-in-Exile wrote this letter to Ganden Shartse Monastery, prohibiting its monks from attending Dorje Shugden events and directing the Abbot and administrators to expose the identity of monks who attended

Sign posted by the Loseling Altruistic Medical Association, a charitable entity registered with the government of Karnataka, India. Drepung Loseling Clinic, Drepung Loseling Monastery, South India.

To date, those who propitiate Dorje Shugden or those speaking up against the ban are automatically cut off from participation in Tibetan society as a whole, not to mention any government-related matters by the CTA. This in effect is tantamount to the CTA denying itself the ability to capitalize on the resources and capabilities of those they have intentionally marginalized.

Dorje Shugden practitioners who are loyal, committed and have the courage to face down persecutions and bodily harm, and who have not succumbed to pressure or enticements are precisely the type of people anyone should have on their side in any cause. Instead they are driven away.

This is not to mention the high lamas, Geshes and scholars who are important centers of influence and who would have been instrumental in uniting the Tibetan people behind a single cause. Instead, Dorje Shugden lamas are not only discouraged but forcibly removed from participation in the Tibetan dream.


4. The CTA’s persecution of Shugden frustrates efforts in reaching out to China for furtherance of the cause

The simple fact is this – the fulfilment of the Tibetan people’s dream requires the willing cooperation of China. Thus, the CTA must seek to befriend and rebuild a relationship with China. And if China is to be induced and coaxed into agreeing to favorable terms for the Tibetans to live as free or truly autonomous people, then it does not make sense for the CTA to keep referring to the Dorje Shugden practice as a political tool by the Chinese to undermine the Tibetan leadership.

How can the CTA expect China to come to the negotiation table if it keeps attacking China and keeps instigating sentiments that China views as splittist in nature? Whenever the CTA repeats its baseless allegations against Dorje Shugden practitioners to explain the failure of the Tibetan cause, they are continuously painting China as a sinister government abusing its power and using its money unscrupulously to get what it wants in the eyes of both Tibetans and the world at large. Isn’t it then logically foreseeable that such actions would frustrate the CTA’s efforts in reaching out to China for furtherance of the Tibetan cause?

In addition, in forcibly imposing an illegal and groundless religious ban that has severely split the people, the CTA confirms China’s concerns that the Dalai Lama is a dangerous splittist. China views the CTA’s Shugden ban as a way to split the Tibetan people in the Tibet Autonomous Region and create problems for the Chinese government.

China views the Dalai Lama’s arbitrary use of his spiritual power to create unrest as splittist and highly dangerous. As long as the CTA is seen as wielding religion as a weapon, the Tibetan dream of returning to the homeland will not happen.


5. Actions such as imposing a religious ban are resulting in diminishing support

The funding supporting the Tibetan cause is derived from the financial aid and donations from generous donors ranging from Tibetans who have migrated and are doing well for themselves to well-meaning non-Tibetans to western organisations and governments as well as other governments and organisations.

In recent times, many are beginning to see that the persecution of Dorje Shugden practitioners (which encompasses non-Tibetans as well) is not an isolated issue pertaining to the Tibetans only but rather an affront to overall religious and civil liberties. Examples of such changed approaches include the findings and questions raised by Maura Moynihan (daughter of United States Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan) and Dana Rohrabacher, a Congressman of the United States of America.

Maura Moynihan today uses her influence to take the CTA to task for their failures and misrepresentations to the public. More information on issues raised by her pertaining to the CTA can be found at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jun/8/maura-moynihan-mission-failure-at-the-internationa/

American Congressman, Dana Rohrabacher has on a number of occasions drawn focus to the CTA’s political machinations

Letter sent by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher to Lobsang Sangay, the Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-In-Exile to express outrage that he and other Tibetan leaders are attempting to manipulate the news that is being reported by the Tibetan service of Radio Free Asia

Letter sent by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher to Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Administrator Gayle E. Smith of the Agency for International Development expressing concerns over how rule changes will affect next month’s election of a leader of the Central Tibetan Administration

Moynihan and Rohrabacher are only two examples of supporters who have worked out the CTA’s ploy. There are many others who have since seen through the CTA’s facade.

In imposing an illegal ban, the CTA isolates themselves from;

  1. Powerful sponsors such as Moynihan, Rohrabacher and many others who have supported the Tibetan people because they believed in the Tibetan wish for democracy;
  2. Influential Shugden practitioners abroad who are not Tibetan but nevertheless tasted the hatred that has resulted from the CTA’s anti-Shugden propaganda; and
  3. The millions who have no part in the controversy but see the importance of religious freedom.

In a nutshell, atrocities against the basic rights of the people such as the Shugden ban expose the Tibetan leadership as being false in their pursuit of democracy. This in turn dislodges powerful support from the West.


6. The Shugden conflict weakens the Tibetan myth and hence support

The most potent product that the Tibetans can export is the sanctity of Tibetan Buddhism. It is Tibetan Buddhism more so than their culture, music and literature (of which there are few) that has drawn Westerners and people of the world to fall in love with the Tibetan people.

In imposing the ban,

  1. The CTA has effectively cracked the perfect image of Tibetan Buddhism and distorted the dream of Shangrila.
  2. The CTA calls into question the entire pantheon of Tibetan Buddhist deities. If a 400-year-old practice can be found wrong, and if highly attained masters are declared mistaken or negligent, how is anyone to trust the rest of the Tibetan Buddhist practices that could very well be declared wrong or outlawed next year by the Dalai Lama?
  3. Buddhists are sent into conflict with other Buddhists.

Those outside looking in become put off and the appeal wanes. And when the appeal of Tibetan Buddhism wanes, interest in the Tibetan cause similarly diminishes.

The ban imposed by the CTA is now the ‘brand’ of the Tibetan people. Previously, the mere utterance of the word ‘Tibet’ conjured up the Shangrila image but today, the Tibetan people are regarded as angst-filled, angry and extremely political people. As it is, cross-border conflict defined the Tibetan people and news of civil unrest predicated upon the Shugden ban added to the bad image.

The unlawful and wicked ban was the feather that broke the Tibetan romance.

Buddhists against Buddhists – this kind of image is increasingly being associated with the Tibetans. Photo taken of ardent supporters of the Dalai Lama reacting to Dorje Shugden practitioners


7. What karma?

You reap what you sow. If only negative karma is generated, it would be illogical to expect positive results.

What is clear is that the persecution of Dorje Shugden practitioners has only brought about much confusion, pain and suffering amongst thousands of Tibetans, Dorje Shugden practitioners and non-practitioners alike. To name but a few, such persecution has;

  1. Created schism amongst the sangha which is a heinous crime as warned by Lord Buddha.
  2. Forced many to disrobe as some monks find they cannot continue due to undue pressure or loss of sponsorship due to rumors that they are not good monks.
  3. Driven many people to abandon their guru which in Tibetan Buddhism is the bedrock of all attainments and progress
  4. Whipped crowds into angry mobs that have attacked sangha, raided monasteries, destroyed holy items and disparaged holy lamas.
  5. Created unrest amongst Buddhists and distracted them from their practice for 20 years now.

How can any of this yield good karma? And without good karma, how can the community of Tibetan people expect good days ahead, if as a community they have participated directly or indirectly in actions that contravene the Buddha’s teachings?

The Buddha himself has said that no one has the power to override the force of karma and so, even if the Dalai Lama is Avalokiteshvara, he cannot do much, not even with the collective power of all the high lamas of every lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. The negative karma from the destructive ban is simply too heavy.

Devadatta who, amongst his sins, split the Sangha and turned people away from the Dharma, was said to have gone directly to Avici, the hell of unending pain for creating schism in the Sangha

After half a century of these shenanigans, the world has wised up to the CTA’s true character. The CTA has wrongly blamed Dorje Shugden for their woes and it is incredible that a supposedly liberal and progressive ‘government’ would blame their failures on superstition. But this too reflects the character of the CTA.

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  1. Recognition of the inherent dignity, recognition of the essence, nature and healing power of the own conciousness that is free of lastingness and non-existence, free of duality, free of eternalism and nihilism, by dharma study and practice, is the one and only way to effect freedom and wellbeing because space and conciousness is free of lastingness and non-existence and we can’t get out of our own conciousness and this limitless space.

    We can’t ignore reality, everything is impermanent, everything is interdependent, if we really want to effect freedom and wellbeing we can only effect this by our own wisdom and compassion and not by religions, states/republics etc..

    Space and conciousness, wisdom and compassion, is not there to create the illusions ignorance, duality, eternalistic and nihilistic views, thougts, emotions and keeping up this illusions and suffering by harmful actions of mind, speech and body like creating a religion, state/republic with its own truth that has nothing to do with reality and wich are dualistic systems that only can effect suffering and keep people in as we all can see when we look at human history until our present.

    One extreme effects the other extreme, like rich and poor, peace and war, good and bad, god and evil and people are locked into this duality and suffering. If you create god you also create devil, if you create devil you also create god but if you don’t do this at all everthing will just be as natural and pure as it is by nature where is not god and no devil at all.

    Globaly all nations are confronted with the lack of education regarding our inherent dignity and how to recognize and live in dignity to finaly effect freedom and wellbeing.

    Instead of recognition of the inherent dignity, instead of democracy, ignorance, duality and extremism is mistaken for the truth and democracy and the real truth that really effects freedom and wellbeing was and is declared as enemy, supressed and fight against all around the world, eventhough all nations have agreed that the recognition of the inherent dignity is the basis of national law and behaviour to effect freedom and wellbeing.

    Anarchy, hidden in the coat of democracy or whatever, in the name of truth, freedom and wellbeing. That will not work but lead to war at the end and that’s what religion, states, republics only can do for you. So stay away from dualistic systems that sooner or later will disappear anyway and only effect suffering.

    Not to recognize, supress and fight against the inherent dignity is anarchism. We are all globaly confronted with the anarchy of public authoritys, economy and religions in the name of truth, freedom and wellbeing.

    If mankind will go on this way of ignoring, of duality and of eternalism and nihilism, we shortly will have created world war 3.

    Socialism is rooted in eternalism and nihilism, in duality in ignorance. China is in this space, this space is free of lastingness and non-existence, also all chinese people have dignity because they all have a conciousness, so all chinese people are democrats anyway like all human beeings and can’t get out of their conciousness and this space.

    So where all socialists want to go in this space as human beings with dignity inside that only can effect freedom and wellbeing?

    The are all going straight to suffering with their socialism that they have created with their fight against reality, against their own dignity, against their own freedom and wellbeing.

    So may china and the rest of the world be free of ignorance, duality, eternalism and nihlism and live in freedom and wellbeing, in democracy.

    China and all other nations can’t escape reality, nonduality, dignity and democracy forever and only will destroy themself if they continue. So sooner or later the problem will be resolved anyway by democracy and overcoming or selfdestruction and war.

    Free China, free all socialists around the world to protect them from suffering, may you all be free from suffering and all causes of suffering!

    Ready or not, reality is allways there anyway! No chance to hide and get out of this space and consioudness.

  2. Here is another great article that highlights the Tibetan Administration’s lack of care for the real welfare of their peoples. First, even though they claim to be a democracy, it is very evident from the lack of religious freedom, in relation to the ban on Dorje Shugden practitioners that they are not. They have implemented this unethical ban which severely hinders any chance the Tibetan peoples have in living under truly democratic governance. They have no shame for doing this, but I say shame on them for their behaviour. When they claim that there is no ban, why then post pictures and information on people who did not commit criminal offenses, but simply practice Dorje Shugden, on their own Administrations website!

    There is so much proof that the ban on Dorje Shugden has been implemented by the Tibetan Administration, yet they claim that there is no ban and they are truly democratic. This is hypocrisy at the highest level, literally. Support for the Tibetan Administration is wavering to say the least as people all over the world are coming to reaslise their true colours. This does not bode well at all for the Tibetan peoples of their cause. Since the majority of the Tibetan refugee population adhere to their Administration’s policy, since they no other way, their repute within the world’s eyes will sure diminish.

  3. Wow, thank you for the very evident and logically presented points above. The CTA permits the ban to continue despite its damage to the Free Tibet cause is because it is not really their intention to free Tibet.

    If the CTA is serious about regain sovereignty for Tibet, it would have changed tactics when they see the detrimental impact the ban has on their nation and its people. Everyone is entitled to making mistakes, but a mistake that last for decades with roaring disaster is no longer a mistake.

    The CTA rode on the high tide His Holiness created with his charisma and inspirational message of peace by acting recklessly. Their arrogance caused the CTA to believe that can do as they wish and suffer an consequences. As the last point highlighted, karma will eventually catch up with you. From the look of recent events, it looks like the Tibetan Leadership will be facing the wrath of their selfishness, greed and poor integrity.

  4. Well what can I say except… there is KARMA.

    Seriously how long do you think everyone is going to be a sucker for? How long does the CTA think they can carry on misleading and manipulating their people? It is really quite horrible and sad that they can segregate and incite ‘hate’ towards their own people and not even allow them to get medical help if they a Shugden practitioners. How can they still say there is no ban?

    How can you have all these announcements, send threats, spies, print out Shugden people’s face and addresses all around the settlements but claim there is ‘freedom of religion’? Who are they kidding? Only the silly westerners get sucked into believing and thinking they are donating to a good cause but in reality they are donating to help Tibetan leadership to discriminate and cause suffering to their own people. They don’t need China to do that, they are doing it themselves?! So what are they talking about China this China that for when they are doing exactly the same to their own people just because they practice DS. Yet they keep on lying saying that there is no ban? Geeez… only fools in denial would believe them.

    But time sure is running out for them and I think His Holiness is not saying much because well, He has to prepare for His final exit and I am sure all Tibetans know this very well, hence they are speaking up now.

    Even the US Congressmen, Dana Rohrabacher and daughter of United States Senator Daniel Patrick – Moynihan Maura Moynihan are voicing about the CTA. Many more will do so because although the CTA may be able to deceive the common lay Tibetan farmers and silly superficial westerners who know nothing about Tibetans except the exotic Buddhas, and the Dalai Lama preaching of peace, love and compassion but at the back there is a huge discriminate, segregate and threatened your own people. There are those who can see through this that will speak up. The more the ban stays up, the more dirty laundry will be posted up too.

  5. It’s such a stupid cop out to blame Dorje Shugden practice to be the reason why the Tibetan leadership is unable to further the Tibetan cause. It’s so stupid, medieval and illogical to see the connection here. I certainly don’t and I think it is just pure superstition. I think this article proves that the ban on Dorje Shugden actually is weakening Tibetan unity and completely destabilises the Tibetan cause. If we were to put ourselves in the shoes of the Chinese leaders, would we trust the Tibetans are capable of running the region when they can’t even run the exiled administration well. Hence, the Chinese leaders have decided to not pursue negotiations anymore and decided to wait out the passing of the Dalai Lama instead.

  6. Dear Dorjeshugden.com,

    Thank you for the article. I agree with you that the ban has created much harm. It is sad that for the refugees who have been escaping from their homeland in search of better lives to be discriminated further based on their faith. Being a Dorje Shugden practitioner does not create harm. Thus, there is no reason to persecute them further. I always believe that CTA has been using the Shugden issue as a scapegoat to cover for their failures and non performance. Shugden ban must be eliminated immediately because it has caused so much sufferings – with the examples mentioned by the article:
    • Identifying Dorje Shugden practitioners as traitors
    • Denying Dorje Shugden practitioners basic amenities, healthcare and even employment

    I don’t understand, why blame an ancient deity for Tibet lack of independence? Isn’t that making CTA to look very small and narrow minded?
    Even CTA sponsors, the United States Government officials are starting to notice that something is wrong with CTA management.

    I feel that if the ban continues and CTA does not improve their management, their future is bleak.


  7. This article has again proved that the ban exists and in fact, it is separating the Tibetan society, causing a huge crack within the Tibetans. If there isn’t a ban, then why is it that Dorje Shugden practitioners are segregated? In this article, there’s a lot of proofs to prove that Dorje Shugden practitioners are discriminated against. Yet that the leadership denies that there’s a ban. It is crystal clear that Dorje Shugden practitioners are not given the freedom or choice and yet the CTA claim that it’s an ‘option’.

    The CTA should stop being so arrogant and think that they can continue to fool the others, fortunately people nowadays are not so backwards compared to olden times. Things that we need to know can be easily found on the internet.

  8. If the worship of Dorje Shugden is really harming the people and your life, then you have good reasons for this ban, look back to story of how he arose and why dorje shugden became a proctor OF DHARMA .. CTA does not addressing the main issue instate solving DS issue creating more disharmony among the Tibetan community.. Sometimes I wonder why they lost their country, it is obvious because of dirty politics..

  9. In the Shugden controversy, there are many who have been blindly supporting the Dalai Lama and CTA thinking that it is the right thing to do and without knowing the consequences. The ban is now two decades old and it should already be clear to all, that it has brought nothing but misery. In any case, Shugden practitioners will never abandon their religion and oath because those who are committed to the Dharma will never allow fear to override true devotion. Therefore the longer the ban goes on, the more damage will be done, to the point where the injury to the Tibetan people and the religion comes intractable.

    I am very certain that even the Tibetan leadership knows that but are too greedy to stop and to scared to admit that they persisted in a crime against humanity that cost the Tibetan nation everything.

  10. The ban on Dorje Shugden practitioners has created so much problems. Indeed, the name of H.H. the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism has gained a bad reputation through a ban which is clearly discriminating and hurting so many partitioners. Basic human rights are not respected by the government CTA, and by so many Buddhists.

    It is clear that democracy has no meaning within the Tibetan Government. Any democratic country will never accept what is going on with Dorje Shugden practitioners. Exposing people with their picture, name and full address because of their religious choice has no place in a democratic country.
    The talks and lectures H.H. the Dalai Lama gives all over the world about peace, unity, harmony and tolerance is not reflected in the actions against Dorje Shugden practitioners. What a show!

    To loose the country but on top create so much trouble within the Tibetan society is difficult to understand. In case of need, a country needs all the help they can get – instead the CTA weakens the society so deeply that even families get split apart and don’t connect to each other anymore.

    Instead of starting to meet Chinese representatives and finding solutions, the CTA keeps attacking and humiliating the Chinese Government and people. How to expect finding solutions like that?

    Anyone witnessing the unfair ban will not continue to support the CTA as the way they behave is not according to basic human rights. Who will support a corrupt government??

    So much bad karma has been created. Buddhism and H.H. the Dalai Lama have lost so much credibility.

    May the ban on Dorje Shugden come down swiftly!

  11. This article covers all the salient points, if only the CTA takes a careful read at this, they will realise that it will be much beneficial to not implement and execute the Dorje Shugden ban.

    I don’t think CTA will think much of point 7 – Karma, because if the CTA had believe in Karma, they would not have implemented such a discriminating persecutive ban. 20 years of these baseless allegations, 20 years of many people suffering from family being separated, teachers and disciples has to disassociate and become strangers, vajra brothers and sisters had to turn against each other, so much disharmony among the Sangha of Tibetan Buddhism.

    His Holiness may have great hope about Tibetan democracy, but CTA will never be democratic. Look at how they manipulate the recent elections that even Samdhong Rinpoche refused to vote. The lack of unity among Tibetans is very obvious and this ban will serve as a further wedge in the divided community. But again, the CTA leaders’ purpose may just be what Tibetans have been talking about recent months, that it was solely for self-gain and self-serving, so I am not surprised anymore.

    CTA is not “Shangri-la” as the media portrays. The Dorje Shugden ban is just an example and may well be a reminiscence of old feudal Tibet where torture and mutilation is extremely common; it just manifested in a different way. I hope the global sympathy towards the plight of Tibetans in exiles can be channeled towards Dorje Shugden practitioners, who are being exiled in their own exiled community.

  12. In other words, seven powerful reasons why the world’s worst democracy will never gain freedom or accomplish their goals, as examined from a spiritual and secular perspective. World’s worst democracy because you know, even the North Koreans don’t pretend to be democratic.

    If the CTA truly cared about karma, they would’ve stopped their nonsense from the get-go and never even signed the 17-Point Agreement then lied about it. Tibet was doomed from the start and there was only so long they would be able to make fools of their people before they would be found out.

    Funny thing is, I think China, the Americans and all that care more about the Tibetan people, than the Tibetan leaders themselves. At least the other govts haven’t sucked the Tibetan people dry and created schism like the Tibetan leaders did to their own ilk.

  13. This is not the middle ages, this is the age of democracy, but the Tibetan leadership is lagging behind, they still think they can govern the people with medieval tactics, the results? a splintered Tibetan community segregated more than any other period in the history of Tibet. Dalai Lama thought he could curry the favor of other sects by suppressing and banning Dorje Shugden practitioners, in the end the other sects remain nonchalant to his effort, and the Tibetan community became more divided, a lost cause for Tibet in any angle.

  14. The Tibetan government is really lacking behind in the way that they think and do work. Through these 7 evidences, it clearly shows how bad the Tibetan government is doing in terms of how they are leading the Tibetans in exile. If even with such a small population, they can create so much division and disharmony, it really bothers me to know how they will be ruling all Tibetans.

    The way of their actions is totally what H.H. the Dalai Lama teaches. I wonder if they really respect H.H. the Dalai Lama as much as they claim, then why are they doing things that is against H.H. the Dalai Lama.

  15. These seven points are some of the many points one can look how deteriorating the Dorje Shugden ban is for the CTA. They are valid, well thought out and logical.

    The CTA has failed to see the fact that the ban directly affects the relationship with the Chinese with whom they should be working with for a bigger vision to preserve the precious culture of Tibet and all benefits they wish to have themselves such as the help from the US.

    A leader who has wisdom will focus on the big picture, one that benefits themselves and others, understands the working of cause and effects, the need to walk the talk. The CTA needs to stop lying, treating everyone like stupid, continue to deceive others and themselves.

    This ban has brought no benefits to anyone in the long run and as a Buddhist, it is definitely so as it will create negatives causes for those who imposed and enforced the ban to cause harm to take rebirth in the three lower realms.

  16. Amazing article! So thorough. Any kindergartener would know when you do bad, you don’t get your wish come true. So how could grown men not understand that?

    What His Holiness and CTA had done is creating segregation and sufferings for their people with the ban on Protector Dorje Shugden practise. All the pain and sufferings that is totally against Buddha’s teachings….compassion with wisdom. Well, I certainly don’t see any compassion in the unethical ban which created so much prejudice against Dorje Shugden practitioners with deprivation of basis human rights, no access to groceries, medical help, schooling, work nor freedom of religious practise. As for wisdom, well….then suffering would not have occurred, right?! All this misery created for political reasons, for power and control? Certainly not in Buddha’s teachings….quite the contrary in fact. Buddha gave up everything, his princely/potential kingly position to pursue the path to enlightenment. And here we have the CTA gorging themselves on fat donations from world, both governmental and private citizens whom were blinded by His Holiness’ gentle demeanor and teachings on compassion.

    May His Holiness manifest his true Buddha nature, Avalokiteshvara to stop the sufferings by removing the ban immediately and to reunite the Tibetan Buddhist practitioners. May his followers come to realise the true Buddha’s teachings and practise to attain clarity.

  17. The cunning technique used by CTA to divert attention from their own failure has certainly backfired. This is a clear and concise list of why their technique backfires and how negatively it impacts the cause CTA claims they are pursuing. CTA can fool their own people because of the suppression imposed onto the people. But certainly they cannot fool the world. And because of CTA’s selfish motive, they have done Buddhism a great disservice by ruining the only “product” Tibet has to offer to the world. The pure lineage of Tibetan Buddhism is being demystified because of this conflict and we wonder why people are turning away from Buddha’s Dharma. CTA leadership has been ill-adviced. It is best to undo the wrong before it is too late.

  18. One thing that I find amazing is how the Tibetan people, supposedly a people who understand the dharma, are not concerned about the negative karma they have been creating. I mean you don’t split the sangha, harm people, and disparage a Buddha, force students to break their samaya with their teachers, and try and destroy a lineage without incurring some heavy shit. And its not like the Tibetan people are cruising in life. They are already refugees with one hell of a corrupt government who is going to lose it all for them. What else can go wrong eh?

  19. Feel sorry for the Tibetans. They have had some of the worst leaders anywhere in the world for the better part of the last century. Worst in the sense everything they wanted to achieve for their people, they didn’t or couldn’t. Quite embarrassing to be honest.

  20. @Rene Mayo – That’s right. They do have it really bad and it doesn’t seem to get any better with the adoption of democracy. It was bad that they lost their country but it is even worse when the new generation of leaders are even unable to bring China to the discussion table. They always think they must have what belongs to them but do not offer anything in return. In other words, they don’t know how to bargain with the Chinese and they just expect China to hand them back the country. How silly.

  21. Tibetan had been enjoying all the benefits of full citizenship in Nepal. Many whom possess a better living standard than the average Nepalese. But instead of giving back to their host country by building school or hospital, Tibetan engage in anti-China activities. This severely jeopardize the relationship between Nepal and China. Nepal relies on China economically as well as politically. It is no wonder that Nepal finally decided to form a strategic partnership with China to ensure stability especially in Nepal against any anti-China or free Tibet activities.

  22. Well looks like the shows over with the Tibetan Leadership. Let’s face it, how long do you think these crooks can continue operating without a country and keep playing the ‘victim’ card of being abused by China? Maybe the world was once fooled by their mysticism and kindness and compassion teachings but now a days that is a huge contradiction when you actually discriminate your own people, ban them from education and medical care, abuse them, put them down for their religious faith. On top of that put these people down and make their life extremely difficult. Which democratic government would actually do these types of things to their own people? This is why people are starting to question the CTA and losing respect for H.H the Dalai Lama. The more they continue with the ban on Dorje Shugden, the more people are not going to support and buy the hypocrisy. While H.H. the Dalai Lama is about to give teachings on compassion, right outside you see fanatical Dalai Lama followers showing vulgar signs and cursing people. Tells us a lot about their mindsets.

  23. Thanks for writing such in-depth article about the consequences of the ban. I’ve known many DS lamas who have been using different means to stand up for their belief. Unfortunately, some groups were shunned just because they are being vocal. The more vocal they are, the CTA side seems will hire more people to be on their side to attack the dorje shugden group. This is very unethical because the way they attack the practitioners, is very inhumane and is totally opposite of what Dalai Lama has been preaching. What kind of Buddhists are you? The recent video that showed how Dalai Lama’s oracle Nechung and Tseringma expressed their anger on the Tibetan Leaders have shown the world that the actions of CTA is definitely opposite what Buddha preached.


    I’ve also seen how Dalai Lama’s followers attacked Tsem Rinpoche’s page on social media using all the vulgar words and baseless accusations. It clearly shows that these people follow blindly what their misleading leaders say and just follow suit. They do not even take the time to investigate and study about the whole cause of event, and just shoot their message on social media platform hoping to degrade Rinpoche’s name. Please stop all these.

  24. I cannot agree more with the writer.

    Similar to most ruling party with diminishing support tends to create conflict with another state to divert people’s attention on their failure to govern the country. In the case of the Tibetan-Government-In-Exile, they might not able to go to war or to offend any neighboring countries; instead they opt for at war with their own people – Dorje Shugden people, by “demonizing” them, to create the impression that they are not part of Tibetan community, thus they are “external enemy” whom CTA can in conflict with. It’s coward to do so, but regards your government as democracy entity and export violence to the world, by accusing DS people as demon, as Chinese spies, as traitors…

    CTA always make themselves as Tibet cause and Tibet unity fighter… in fact they are dividing own Tibetans by having DS banned and encouraging Tibetans to persecute, to discriminate their own brothers and sisters. Most importantly, by making DS people/practice as scapegoat, CTA has put Tibet cause at risk. Many of the CTA leaders can easily migrate to US, UK or any developed countries they have connection with, but what about Tibetan people? Where is their future?

  25. Oppression cannot create the causes for freedom.

    Being so undemocratic and immature shows the world the Tibetans are not ready to have their own government.So getting Tibet back is a dream at best.

  26. Dorje Shugden ban has been enforced since 1996. For the past 20 years, many Shugden practitioners are being segregated and discriminated. Whatever negative actions have been done by CTA against the Shugden practitioners will definitely create immense negative bad karma and it can be ripen at anytime. This is according to the Buddha’s teaching that no one has the power to override the force of karma

    May CTA understand the negative consequences or bad karma as they will be affected very much in their progress of all attainments.

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

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


  28. Dear Dalai Lama,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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