Hate Crimes

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Hate Crimes

When we consider how the earth’s resources are dwindling quickly, how wars have plagued mankind for centuries, how incurable diseases have become more virulent and how melting Arctic ice threatens to destroy vast habitable lands, we may begin to understand that there is more that binds human beings together than separates them. Humankind is fragile and increasingly so in such a dangerous climate, and there is now a desperate need for the people of the world to come together and try to turn things around. However, before we can even hope to fix the problems looming before us, there is one thing we must get command of – our mentality.

Everything we do is determined by our minds and thoughts, and therefore what shapes our thinking is something we must all watch, to ensure that it is the kind of thinking that leads to solving problems not creating new ones. There has never been a more important time in history to foster thoughts that promote solidarity and peace and the creation of an environment where reasoning, logic and rationality pervades. And the bedrock for this culture of reasoning and logic leading to peaceful coexistence, is ‘tolerance’.

Unfortunately, as progressive nations of the world gather to take steps that foster peaceful, inclusive societies, there are those who have chosen instead to cultivate extremism. One example of this is how the Russian people seem to have become more intolerant towards gays and lesbians. A recent news piece published by an online site for the LBGTI community reported that nearly half of Russians polled said that the Russian authorities should take steps to ‘exterminate the phenomenon’ of gay people in the community, meaning to say that the Russian authorities should persecute people with ‘untraditional’ sexual orientations. The same news report revealed that the percentage of people who did not care about other people’s sexual orientation has dropped from 10 years ago; and at the same time there is an increase in the percentage of those who regard members of the LBGTI community dangerous and should be isolated and dealt with.

An anti-gay activist disrupts a gay event in St. Petersburg

Corresponding to this report, there has been an increase in incidences of gay people being assaulted, beaten and even murdered at record rates. If anyone wonders how this ill-will towards the gay community has come about, the answer is very simple – it is state-sponsored. In 2013, Russian lawmakers proposed an anti-gay law that essentially strips same-sex couples of their parental rights in conjunction with a myriad of other draconian laws that essentially rob a gay person of his legal rights.

This is essentially a reversal of the decriminalization of homosexual relationships in 1993 after the fall of the Soviet Union, which saw Russia taking small but assured steps towards liberalization. That is, until the openly homophobic Vladimir Putin assumed the Russian presidency in 2000. It is no coincidence that in the 15 years that Putin has been in power, negative sentiments and hate-crimes against the LBGTI community have risen. Clearly a government does effectively shape the mentality of the community and can effectively influence it towards a culture of tolerance or intolerance.

But Putin is not the only perpetrator of hate crimes against people based on their sexual orientation, race, color, nationality or religion. We see the same vicious intolerance being practiced, ironically, by the government of a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, the 14th Dalai Lama.

In 1996, for reasons that have never been adequately explained, the Dalai Lama all but outlawed the practice of Dorje Shugden, a Tibetan Buddhist deity held sacred by the majority of the Yellow Hat sect, the Gelugpas, to which the Dalai Lama is also an adherent. Following the Dalai Lama’s pronouncement, monks and laypeople who had kept up the monastic and familial tradition of propitiating Dorje Shugden for over three centuries, were forced to make the unenviable choice of either denouncing the deity as a demon or face expulsion from the monasteries and ostracization from the community. Neither was a palatable choice. To denounce a deity and abandon the practice bestowed onto the practitioner by his spiritual teacher is to commit karmic suicide. Neither can they as refugees live away from the settlements allocated them.

Soon after the Dalai Lama’s diktat, his ‘government’ the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) declared a jihad against Shugden Buddhists, stating amongst other things:

“…that the departments, their branches and subsidiaries, monasteries and their branches that are functioning under the administrative control of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile should be strictly instructed, in accordance with the rules and regulations, not to indulge in the propitiation of Shugden. We would like to clarify that if individual citizens propitiate Shugden, it will harm the common interest of Tibet, the life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and strengthen the spirits that are against the religion.”

At the same time, the Cabinet of the CTA declared,

“…The inclination of this spirit is to harm, rather than benefit, the cause of Tibet. However, some people have continued to propitiate Dolgyal [derogatory name given to Dorje Shugden, meaning spirit], either because they failed to appreciate the threat it poses to the Tibetan cause or because they have decided to disregard it. There are yet others who not only propitiate Dolgyal themselves, but also actively encouraged others to follow suit. This has impaired the sacred relationship between the people of Tibet and their protector-deities. Today, this is one of the greatest dangers to the cause of Tibet and the life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama…”

In essence, the CTA had declared practitioners of a benign and compassionate deity to be enemies of the Tibetan people wishing their beloved Dalai Lama an early death. Both Putin and the Dalai Lama have clearly imposed their personal prejudices onto the people and forced their compliance. The difference is, the Dalai Lama’s CTA, as a beneficiary of asylum, is not regarded as a proper government and therefore does not possess the legal and administrative tools that it can bend to serve its will. The CTA does not have law enforcement forces nor penal facilities that it could use against Shugden worshipers. And so, it leveraged instead on the unquestioned authority of the Dalai Lama as the Tibetan people’s God-King to turn the people against the population of Shugden Buddhists that it had declared to be the enemy.

While Vladimir Putin persecutes Russians based on their sexual orientation, the 14th Dalai Lama attacks Shugden Buddhists for their beliefs

This strategy proved more effective than Putin’s in a few ways:

  • First, it turned the populace of the Tibetan settlements into mobs that are free to do as they wish without having to remain within the confines of legality.
  • Second, the CTA, by not having and therefore not using state-owned facilities to violently punish its victims, found itself outside the ambit of Amnesty International and other international human rights bodies who, by their governing charter, could only act on governments and regimes.

Hence, eventually when the Shugden community organized itself and filed a complaint to Amnesty International, AI responded by stating that whilst it had received large amounts of complaints, it could not act as the material it received did not “fall within AI’s mandate for action — such as grave violations of fundamental human rights including torture, the death penalty, extra-judicial executions, arbitrary detention or imprisonment, or unfair trials”. Clearly, for AI to intervene, state vehicles and systems need to have been involved but in the case of Shugden practitioners, the violence and persecutions took place in the streets and in homes, inflicted by Tibetans against their own, spurred on by their government. However, there is no question that it is the Dalai Lama’s war executed by his government declared on a segment of the Tibetan people because he dislikes of their choice of deity.

The sufferings of these victims cannot be underestimated as vigilante groups formed to conduct door-to-door searches for Shugden practitioners, smashing statues of the deity as they found them and punishing his worshippers. During the early days of the ban, a Tibetan parliamentarian who questioned the credibility of the reasons given for the ban was stabbed outside his home. Homes belonging to worshippers of this deity were padlocked from the outside, stoned and then set on fire. An octogenarian monk who served in the household of a prominent Dorje Shugden lama was attacked.

More recently, it was reported that a Tibetan man was attacked just for wearing a pendant with the image of Dorje Shugden. Private businesses denied service to those suspected to be Shugden worshippers and government hospitals forbade Shugden practitioners from entering to receive medical treatment. The CTA casually amended its constitution to block the appointment of Shugden practitioners into governmental positions. Anyone with Shugden practitioners in the family would similarly be denied employment in anything the CTA controlled.

This 84 year old monk was attacked for being a Dorje Shugden practitioner. These hate crimes follow the anti-Shugden sentiments promoted by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA)

Just as Putin’s government likened homosexuality to alcoholism and drug addiction, CTA officials compared being a Shugden worshipper to disease.

When privately owned restaurants and stores carry signs that say the Dholgyal worshippers are not welcome, then that is the freedom of the owners. That is their Fundamental Human Rights. […] Let alone that, in the hospitals, people infected with contagious diseases are quarantined and not allowed to meet with other people.- Samdhong Rinpoche, former Prime Minister of the Central Tibetan Administration, 26 July 2014, India.

Soon, it was a crime even to have Shugden practitioners as friends. Later on, fearing that anti-Shugden hatred might lose traction, especially after the Dalai Lama was seen to be celebrating one birthday after another despite the “Dalai Lama-killing-Shugden-practice” prevailing, the CTA changed tack and claimed that Shugden practitioners were in fact paid ‘agents’ of the enemy Chinese government. That riled the Tibetan people even more and enrolled all those who had sympathized with the Tibetan people’s loss into anti-Shugden campaigns. How exactly a religious practice that preceded the Sino-Tibetan conflict by some three centuries can be equated to political activism has never been explained.

There are many similarities between Putin’s scorn of homosexuals and the Dalai Lama’s despise of Dorje Shugden practitioners. However, in many ways, the Dalai Lama’s campaign is far more sinister. Whilst it cannot be said that Putin introduced hatred against gay people into the Russian people’s minds, it CAN be said that the CTA planted the seeds of malignance towards Dorje Shugden worshippers in the minds of the Tibetan people, when there was none to begin with. This is, after all, a religion that had been practiced peacefully for 360 years without incident until the Dalai Lama decided that Dorje Shugden was a viable target for persecution. And worst of all, whilst it is clear that there are willful acts of violence and discrimination against worshippers of this deity, the language of the CTA’s official resolutions justify such criminality as acts of loyalty in defense of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan cause.

Both the Dalai Lama and CTA attempt to deny that Dorje Shugden practitioners are being systemically persecuted. Although the CTA has acknowledged that Shugden people are being harassed and discriminated against, the CTA contends that these are acts of individuals and not the policy of the government. If this is true, then it is surprising that the Dalai Lama, who has cultivated an image of peace and tolerance and has travelled the world advocating dialogue and acceptance of different religions, has not once spoken against the abuse and aggression directed at Shugden practitioners as a result of his government’s proclamations. On the contrary, he was heard congratulating monasteries that had wrongfully expelled monks simply because they were practitioners of the deity.


Neither has the CTA intervened to mollify anti-Dorje Shugden sentiments. Instead they remain the only government in the world that has purposefully allocated space on their official website to publish anti-Dorje Shugden propaganda material.

There is yet another aspect to the Shugden persecutions. The Dalai Lama represents a valuable asset to both India and Western nations who are eager to curb the rising influence of China as a world economic power. So, whilst global human rights groups have voiced their concerns over the plight of the gay population in Russia, those who could have intervened to alleviate the suffering of Tibetan Shugden people have stayed mum over the tragedy. As the old adage goes, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. The interests of these nations in such a high-stakes geopolitical play demands their complicity, and the misery of Dorje Shugden practitioners is dismissed as acceptable attrition. So it looks like we have to wait a while yet before we can (to paraphrase Martin Luther King) judge a person not by the color of his skin, or his race, nationality, sexual orientation or religion, but by the content of his character.

Meanwhile we continue to live in a world suffocated with farcicality, prejudice, bias, distortions, lies, deceptions, manipulations, short-sightedness, close-mindedness, righteousness and superficiality. So, what is it like to be a gay person living in Russia? Well, just like a Shugden Buddhist living under the Dalai Lama, it means to be silent, to be afraid, and to not expect the same rights that world wars have been fought to protect.

Disclaimer: This article was submitted by a third party author and does not necessarily reflect the official opinion of DorjeShugden.com. We accept submissions from the public, please send in your articles to [email protected].

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12 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. It is just so sad that discrimination like this is going on..

    People of today claim that we are very advance i all ways, yet simple freedom like that we are being deprived of, it is just sad to see how the world has generated to. Worst part, in my opinion, will be the kind of discrimination because of the religious choice that people make. What is even worst is that for some of the Dorje Shugden practitioners, they practice Dorje Shugden is because there were given the practice by the gurus and they are not allowed/suppose to break their vows to their gurus.

    It is sad that people have to choose sides in the name of religion, then will get despised upon due to their practice. How should one be choosing their religion. It is like asking them to choose between their parents, how can a child do such a thing?

    Dorje Shugden practices had no problems in the past 400 hundred years, why is there a problem today?

    If Dorje Shugden is really an evil spirit, then why H.H Dalai Lama as Chenrezig is not able to subdue him?

  2. A repulsive example of Western anti-Russian and anti-Putin hatred propaganda under the cloak of defending the cause of Dorje Shugden. Why not to mention Saudi Arabia, a key Western ally, where gays are flogged and stoned to death? Just because the Saudi butchers are pliable US and Israeli puppets?

    In Saudi Araba, “[h]omosexuality and transgenderism are widely seen as immoral and indecent activities, and the law punishes acts of homosexuality or cross-dressing with imprisonment, fines, corporal punishment, capital punishment, whipping/flogging.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Saudi_Arabia

    Meanwhile, in Russia, Western sponsored NGOs are known for disseminating gay porn for children, in the form of children books and so forth, with the aim of undermining traditional social values. It is just natural that such pedophiles are persecuted by the State.

    But Russia, as opposed to Saudi Arabia, did not give out its oil and gas and financial system to the West. Therefore Putin is “evil” and let’s not talk about bloody intolerant Saudi “friends”, no matter how many gays these “friends” flog and stone to death.

    Bottom line, the author of the article, under the pretext of supporting the cause of Dorje Shugden, wants first and foremost to show his subservience to and please his Western geopolitical sponsors in order to gain some political, if not personal advantage.

    Just like US presidential candidates compete to show to AIPAC, the Israeli lobby, who is the more subservient, the author of the article wants that Shugdenpas compete with the evi dalie lame to show who is ore subservient to US geopolitical ends, and therefore subserviently attacks Putin instead of defending Dorje Shugden.

    What a shame for Dorje Shugden practitioners!

  3. “Central Tibetan Administration

    Constitution
    Charter of the Tibetans in Exile

    The Charter of the Tibetans in Exile is the supreme law governing the functions of the CTA. It was drafted by the Constitution Redrafting Committee and referred to the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile for approval. The parliament, in turn, adopted the Charter on 14 June 1991.

    Based on the spirit of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Charter guarantees to all Tibetans equality before the law and enjoyment of rights and freedom without discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, language and social origin. It provides for a clear separation of power among the three organs of the administration: judiciary, legislature and executive.”

    Based on the above, it is impressively dumb to devote a whole section of the CTA homesite to denounce the practice of Dorje Shugden. So who and what are you CTA? Get it right!

  4. We want peace no one in this world like to be discriminate and being harm so no matter what everyone one of us has our right to believe and how we want to lead our live also is own freedom no one can control anyone.

  5. This video is very important, more Tibetans should watch it to see how the Dalai Lama says different things at different times about the Dorje Shugden ban. Not for them to lose faith in the Dalai Lama so that they start to think why did the Dalai Lama approach the Dorje Shugden ban in such a inconsistent manner.

    Could there be more than meets the eye?

  6. Hello. I am from Russia and want to say there is no gay prosecution here. It is all anti Russian propaganda. This «anti-gay law» is about not involving youngsters till 18 y.o. in a guys way of life and so on. In this article seems that Shugden followers and guys are same subject but not in fact.
    What a shame for Dorje Shugden practitioners!

  7. This article reveals clearly the fragility of humane progress. It is really hard to be good and simply easy to be bad. There is a proverb saying it takes 3 years to learn to be good and only 3 days to develop bad habits.

    All the sacrifices our forefathers and mothers made for us to enjoy freedoms of religion and worship as well as live with equality and peace hangs by the thread. Peace constantly face the threat of war, prosperity is at the mercy of growing miserliness and acceptance is often over shadowed by fear of differences. It is very sad to hear that the personal discrimination of certain leaders would cause a nation to fall pack from the advancement of its society. From becoming more open minded, liberal and accepting, the russian is returning to rejection of differences and things beyond traditional comfort zones.

    Leadership is not about personal judgements at all. Leadership is all about putting your judgements aside for the betterment of society as a whole. Sometimes, it would involve sacrificing your own preferences. Leadership is not about gaining power for personal gain, it is about taking on responsibility for the gain of others.

    I read the the suffering of Dorje Shugden practitioners and the discrimination does not qualify for amnesty. Just because there is not written law of death penalty, does not mean that death is not a punishment executed. There are Tibetan Dorje Shugden practitioners who are locked inside burning houses as an effort to “teach them a lesson” by Dalai Lama followers. I find the actual act of trying to kill someone for their religious belief more real and dangerous than a law in paper that states the same.

    We have become a conceptual society and simply because an act or scenarios does not fit into a concept, the authorities cannot exercise their thinking capacity to say that a breach to human rights is committed.

    world leaders need to get real and look at what is happening to people, not only limit their consideration to what is written in the constitution. The constitution, law and rules are written to protect the people. If it is not accomplishing this ends, we cannot say that reality does not fulfill paper requirements. Instead, we should revise papers to uphold a beneficial reality for sustainable humanity.

    We need to look at our forefathers and the lessons they show us by example to remember what it really means to be a civilization.

  8. From a Buddhist point of view it makes sense to eliminate hate crimes because if you’re practicing non-duality (or making an attempt to ) then there should be no like or dislike. Hate crimes are a manifestation of an extreme dislike.

    Thus eliminating hate crimes and anything that encourages a view of something being irrevocably right and wrong is a move towards this non-dualistic state of living.

    But then again, easier said than done. How do you right a wrong without overcompensating and falling over to the side of extreme like? And how do you eradicate preferences in the social consciousness so that hate crimes against anything never have a cause to arise again?

  9. Propaganda of homosexuality among minors is prohibited in Russia.
    The discrimination is absent. Available are gay clubs. Come and see for yourself.
    This article offends Russian Shugden worshipers.
    I recommend to delete this article as ignorant.

  10. “Once you are involved in bloodshed you are no longer a genuine practitioner of Islam”.

    The Dalai Lama condemns those who commit violence in the name of any religion while at the EU parliament.

    Quote from the Dalai Lama in an interview with Channel 4 News
    16 September at 17:41 ·
    https://www.facebook.com/Channel4News/videos/10154065143611939/

    So, what are the CTA and followers of the Dalai Lama have to say about their threats and acts of violence? Are they or are they not Buddhists and followers of Buddhism and the Dalai Lama? Shame on them!!

    They better start following what the Dalai Lama is teaching to the world and start being real Buddhists and start practicing kindness, compassion, love, harmony and equanimity.

  11. 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
    Bengaluru
    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.
    https://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/india/tibetans-ready-to-be-part-of-china-dalai-lama/293109.html

    d

  12. Dear Dalai Lama,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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