Kopan Monks Asking for Dorje Shugden Puja for Lama Zopa

Kopan Valley

The Kopan Valley

Dear respected friends,

It is with great interest and happiness that we write to share this recent news with you.

Globally, the world knows that there is currently a ban on the Buddhist Protector Deity Dorje Shugden. Many people have publicly denounced the practice and have become very harmful, even unkind, towards Shugden practitioners.

Some Lamas have publicly chosen not to continue their practice – this is their prerogative and we do not question the decisions of such highly attained Lamas. However, we strongly disagree with the ways in which their students have launched very hostile, even damaging verbal or physical attacks on Shugden practitioners. This kind of behavior is not at all in accordance with Dharma practice and teaching.

Recently however, we have received very clear information from reliable, trusted sources about an organization returning to the practice of Shugden, even when they have long criticized and put down others for doing so. We are told that when Lama Zopa was very ill about eight months ago, a monk from Kopan Monastery secretly went to Phelgye Ling Monastery (in the Swayambunath area of Kathmandu, Nepal) to request them to do a Dorje Shugden puja for Lama Zopa’s health. Phelgye Ling Monastery is very well known for their preservation of the Shugden practice and lineage, and for this, they have suffered much discrimination and ostracism from the Tibetan Buddhist community in Nepal since the imposition of the ban.

Phelygye Ling Monastery’s senior administrator refused to do the prayers. They have asked: Since Lama Zopa and his group (commonly known as FPMT) are so ‘vehemently’ against Shugden, why do they now come running to request for a Shugden puja once Lama Zopa is sick?

The people from Kopan eventually had the Shugden puja done urgently at another Shugden monastery in Kathmandu (their name has still not yet been disclosed).

The point of this letter is not to disparage Lama Zopa or his organization. We have a lot of respect for Lama Zopa and his lifetime of work to bring Dharma to so many thousands of people. It is our wish to simply point out a few things:

  1. The true enlightened, powerful, and beneficial nature of Dorje Shugden – even groups who have turned away from him and become known for putting down the practice, return to Dorje Shugden at their darkest times.
  2. The importance of not criticizing any practice – every developed, successful country in the world supports freedom of religion. As Buddhists who support the way of kindness and harmony, we should too. Respect that every Lama will have his reasons for doing, or not doing, a certain practice. If we do not wish for others to criticize or attack our Lamas and practice, then we shouldn’t do it to others.
  3. Not being hypocritical in our practice – either you commit to a practice or you don’t. It is not logical to disparage and discount a practice, but then choose to go back to it when times are bad. How can you expect to have results from a practice if you have been doing the opposite all this time before?
  4. Keeping clean samaya – A Lama may choose not to continue the practice of Dorje Shugden and advise his students not to do the practice anymore. However, this does not give us any right to disturb or hurt other Lamas and practitioners who do. You may be “keeping your samaya” by following your Lama’s instruction not to practice Shugden. But you break all your other samaya by being unkind, by attacking others, by creating schism with negative talk. No true, qualified, compassionate Lama would endorse or encourage schism or hurting any being in any way. So you must think if your actions towards Shugden practitioners is really Guru devotion, or a justification for accomplishing your own personal agenda?

In hopes of a more tolerant and harmonious Buddhist community and world, we urge you to think carefully about the points we have mentioned. And in particular, to consider the deeper significance of Lama Zopa’s students “returning” to Shugden practice for their Lama’s health.

The fact is: could they have avoided creating the cases for Lama Zopa to fall ill in the first place? They have broken samaya not just with their lineage practice (Lama Yeshe, the founder of FPMT was a very ardent Shugden practitioner) but also with their teacher for acting in such unkindly ways. Why only panic now – and “return” to a lineage practice – when their Lama is ill?

Yours, in hopes of a better future,

DorjeShugden.com | DorjeShugden.net | xiongdeng.com


For further reading:

Where is Lama Yeshe? (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/features/where-is-lama-yeshe/)

FPMT Lineage Masters are Dorje Shugden Believers (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/features/fpmt-lineage-masters-are-believers-of-dorje-shugden/)

FPMT, Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/features/fpmt-dalai-lama-and-dorje-shugden/)

A True Inspiration: Claudio Cipullo (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/news/a-true-inspiration-claudio-cipullo/)

Fabrizio Pallotti (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/news/fabrizio-pallotti/)

Politically Correct at the Expense of the Lineage (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/the-controversy/politically-correct-at-the-expense-of-the-lineage/)

Lama Yeshe and Geshe Rabten (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/mail-out/lama-yeshe-and-geshe-rabten/)

The Broken Samayas of FPMT (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/the-controversy/the-broken-samayas-of-fpmt/)

The Questionable Policies of the FPMT (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/the-controversy/the-questionable-policies-of-the-fpmt/)

Lama Zopa admitted to being recognized by Dorje Shugden (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/others-old/lama-zopa-admitted-to-being-recognized-by-dorje-shugden/)

Recognized by Dorje Shugden, but Speaks against Dorje Shugden (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/the-controversy/recognized-by-dorje-shugden-but-speaks-against-dorje-shugden/)

Dakini Healed Lama Zopa? (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/the-controversy/dakini-healed-lama-zopa/)

Who made Lama Zopa a Rinpoche? (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/features/who-made-lama-zopa-a-rinpoche/)

A Tribute to Ven. Lama Yeshe Rinpoche (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/great-masters/a-tribute-to-ven-lama-yeshe-rinpoche/)

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11 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. The 4 points brought up in this letter are very good points and fair points to contemplate. I know that many read this website although they many not leave comments. So, if you are reading this you must think about the depth and meaning of these points.

    I am very sure Dorje Shugden has helped Lama Zopa. Dorje Shugden’s compassion has no discrimination eventhough you prosecute his practice.

    What I find ironical, even hypocritical, is that they want the pujas of Dorje Shugden to help Lama Zopa… Why? If they are so brave to denounce the practice why ask for help? Well, simply said as we all know the truth prevails especially in times of deep problems – The truth is, eventhough they stopped the practice, inside they know that Dorje Shugden is pure and powerful. Well, I hope that they can fix things and stop attacking Shugden practitioners.

  2. Clear case of staying in denial. The monks/supporters of Lama Zopa would definitely have practised Dorje Shugden before, and thus felt His power and effects. When the ban occured, to be politically correct, they shun all practitioners, and now, in desperate help, they seek again, the enlightened being they terribly shunned. How is there logic in that? It’s like having a doctor, then not taking any prescribed medication saying that the doctor is wrong and incompetent, and then when you really have no option and about to die, you go back to ask the doctor for help. Even then, the doctor might not help you! Fair enough if you don’t believe in his ability, but his credibility is not for you to determine, put down and spoil.

    Likewise, with DS, worst of all, those who have faith in DS should not be patronized and isolated just because you don’t think it’s right. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes, respect is what should give hence get.

  3. Thank you for posting the above good news!

    The good news to DS practitioners what their practice ‘IS RIGHT’! And to let the world know for those people who against Dorje Shugden ‘IS WRONG’!!!!. If DS is an evil spirit? How can the monks from Kapon Monastery requested Dorje Shugden’s Puja to be done for Lama Zopa’s health? Think?

    I believe one of the reasons, the monks put down DS practice, is because if they supported DS, they will loose total support from CTA.

    There will be more and more good news to DS practitioners in the very near future…..the ban will be lifted soon and Dorje Shugden Is Coming Back!!!

  4. From this whole episode, I personally think that it would have been much more beautiful if Phelgye Ling Monastery put their differences aside and did DS puja for Lama Zopa. It would have given a lot of impacts for FPMT people who have been acting negatively to DS practitioners.

    I applauded the FPMT monks that were sincerely concerned about their lama’s well being instead of being politically correct.

  5. Thank you for this article, it certainly brought laughter and a tinge of happiness as I read through it.

    It is clear now that even people whom has ‘given up’ DS practice still believe strongly in his magnificent compassion and protection to the Buddha’s teachings. Proof? Lama Zopa commissioning for DS puja for his health.

    However I disagree how Phelgye Ling Monastery refused to do the puja when Lama Zopa really needed it… I know it was very hard for them due to the ban, but to intentionally refuse in order to spite or ‘get back’ at them is not very Dharmic either… unless there is another underlying reason that motivates them to reject doing the puja ie the puja wont help Lama Zopa’s health due to his students immense objection to the practice etc.

    Either than that point, there is nothing that I’m not happy about reading this article. All the points that was put forward is extremely logical and at the same time reveals so much truth.

  6. This article if true shows how powerful Dorje Shugden is. Lama Zopa being such a high lama also has to depend on Dorje Shugden to get well. With all due respect, I am not saying that Lama Zopa is wrong in his decision. I cannot question such a high lama because I certainly am not qualified to.

    I have met a few high lamas before and requested for help. At first I did not believe what they told me but I was desperate at that time so I just followed whatever instructions they gave and poooof my problems were resolved. I can’t reveal their instructions but some may seem pretty ridiculous, at least I thought so.

    What I am trying to say is sometimes we can never understand what these high lamas are up to. They are the superior beings, not us. So it is not up to us to judge what is right or wrong. Students of high lamas MUST NEVER EVER misinterpret the words of their GURU! So wrong to do so. We must never think just because our Guru is doing so, we can do the same or more.

  7. The only issue I have with this article is the idea that people can’t go back to a practice if they realize that they need it. If someone thought they didn’t need to do the Shugden practice and then returned to it, what is the problem? If someone turns from the Buddha, Buddha would help them clear their karma and welcome them back.

  8. I don’t like saying this, but I must- Lama Osel disrobed, never finished his studies, achieved nothing much in his secular life, just running around with his girlfriend and clubbing in Ibizia, Spain. His previous life accomplished so much with the help of his determination, hard work and Dorje Shugden. Lama Yeshe credited much of his success to the help he was bestowed by Dorje Shugden. By FPMT abanding Dorje Shugden, they broke their samaya with their lineage gurus such as Trijang Rinpoche and Zong Rinpoche from whom they received the Dorje Shugden sogtae commitment practice. Also it was with Lama Yeshe’s permission they received sogtae from these great masters. By abandoning the practice, they broke their spiritual bond (samaya) which is sacred in tantra with Lama Yeshe and lineage lamas. So it is no surprise Lama Yeshe came back in this incarnation unable to manifest being a great dharma teacher like his previous life. It is a shame and embarrassment to FPMT that Lama Osel ended up not doing much. It is a testimony to their failure in keeping their samaya to their guru and lineage lamas. FPMT wanted fame and rub shoulders with the famous and in return, they lost Lama Yeshe. After Lama Zopa passes away, FPMT will just go down for sure. No one can take over. Breaking their samaya was the wrong thing to do. 💔😱 Very sad this had to happen. Not good at all.

    So many more pictures and information to read here: http://www.dorjeshugden.com/forum/index.php?topic=6197.0



    lama Yeshe as Vajrasattva with consort in Tushita FPMT dharamsala

  9. 😇☺️😉☹️💔

    Lama Zopa, who has received sogtae (initiation of Dorje Shugden) from His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, had said that:

    “Lama (Yeshe) and I practiced Shugden for many years. That was always the main thing that Lama did whenever there were problems to overcome. At the beginning of every Kopan course, Lama always did Shugden puja to eliminate hindrances.”

    “My root guru, His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche; Pabongka Dechen Nyingpo, His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s guru’s root guru; His Holiness Zong Rinpoche, from whom many of the older students received the initiation of Shugden; and the previous incarnation of Gomo Rinpoche, who has a strong connection with Istituto Lama Tsongkhapa, here in Italy, all promoted the practice of Shugden.”

    Photos: 1) Teachings by H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche to FPMT students. 2) As Lama Yeshe reached the end of his life, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche came to the hospital to do prayers for Lama Yeshe. Lama Yeshe was very devoted to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Dorje Shugden till the end.



    ZR - LY

  10. In FPMT’s centre called Tushita in Dharamsala, North India, they have a statue of Lama Yeshe in the form of Vajrasattva with consort. Now the question is simple: If Lama Yeshe practised Dorje Shugden, then he is a bad lama, so why doesn’t FPMT stop the homage/respect to their founding father Lama Yeshe? If they trust him, they will go to three lower realms for worshipping Lama Yeshe who worshipped Dorje Shugden. And all statues of Lama Yeshe should be discarded from all their centres right? In fact, in nearby Gaden Choling Nunnery in Dharamsala, the nun’s took their Dorje Shugden statue out of their main prayer hall where it was worshipped for decades and destroyed the statue in the garbage dump and jumped up and down on it to further desecrate it.

    Furthermore they make a Dorje Shugden worshipping Lama Yeshe in the form of divinity as Buddha Vajrasattva. That is a double-whammy no right? Why is FPMT so contradictory? Why are they blind to this double standard?

    If they wish to disassociate from Dorje Shugden lamas, they have to disassociate from their own centre-founding Lama who is Lama Yeshe. They must set the example right. Everyone knows Lama Yeshe worshipped, trusted and believed in Dorje Shugden till the end of his life. Lama Yeshe is the one that founded FPMT, so they have to be clean across the board and be honest right? If disassociate, then do it all the way. They should have no pictures, statues and images of Lama Yeshe at all. They should not be making images of him as a deity (Vajrasattva) as that is even more wrong according to their stance against Shugden and Shugden Lamas.

    Why encourage their members to worship a Dorje Shugden loving Lama like Lama Yeshe? That is what they are doing when they keep all his images in their centres around the world. They are sending the wrong message out. Lama Yeshe was wrong in their view to practice Dorje Shugden. Lama Yeshe broke his refuge vows by practicing Dorje Shugden. Lama Yeshe’s lineage, teachings, initiations and commentaries are all corrupted because he worshipped Dorje Shugden. So they should ritually expel his images from their centres with immediate effect to be in the clean arena.

    The Dalai Lama said if you worship Dorje Shugden, no one should associate with you and you will go to hell. So how come FPMT still keeps a statue of Lama Yeshe in many of their centres? Is that not hypocrisy?

    Photos attached: Lama Yeshe as Vajrasattva with Consort housed in Tushita Centre-Dharamsala AND Lama Zopa prostrating to a statue of Lama Yeshe



  11. I do not understand how a Lama like Lama Rinpoche can write things like this, when it is well-known that he himself gave Dorje Shugden initiations and told the initiates that they were incurring a lifelong obligation to continue the practice, and that breaking such an obligation would incur grave negative karma. It is very confusing and frankly, depressing.

    Lama Zopa has written some excellent books, such as his work on the Medicine Buddha. However, his logic in this foreword is gravely flawed and perhaps even essentially anti-Buddhist. For instance, he says, “If the Precious Victorious One, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, is not the actual Buddha and Arya Avalokiteshvara, then you can say that in this world there is no emanation of Buddha benefiting sentient beings. In this way bodhicitta and the entire teachings of the Buddha become false.”

    Say what??? I do not know whether the Dalai Lama is or is not an emanation of Avalokiteshvara, though, based on his words and actions, I sincerely doubt it. (I mean, the man has repeatedly stated in countless interviews that he is not enlightened, and seems to relish scoffing at the notion that he might be). Regardless, the fact that the Dalai Lama is or is not such an emanation has nothing whatsoever to do with whether there are other emanations of Buddha currently on earth benefitting sentient beings.

    Logically, one does not rule out the possibility that other living Buddhas exist today, or other emanations of Avalokiteshvara, simply by denying that the Dalai Lama is such a one. If I deny that my wife is a panda bear, I am not denying that pandas exist. Indeed, to make a claim of exclusivity on the Dalai Lama’s behalf, as Lama Zopa has done, is really anti-Mahayanan in spirit, for it belittles and denigrates the efficacy of all other Buddhist schools and traditions. Someone seems to have imported the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal infallibility into Dharamsala, and now they are beginning to round up the infidels and burn them at the stake.

    It is the height of irony that Lama Zopa urges practitioners to examine their beliefs openly and honestly, and then states as a matter of fact that the Dalai Lama is omniscient and one must adhere to what the ‘omniscient one’ says. Am I not permitted to question whether the Dalai Lama is truly omniscient, and to judge this claim by the evidence of the man’s words and actions? Am I not allowed to take him at his word when he says he is NOT omniscient? Am I not allowed to question his lack of success in defending the cause of Tibet, or his lack of compassion in his treatment of Shugden practitioners, or his bumbling manner in any number of interviews, or his willingness to be used as a CIA puppet or guest editor of a highly immoral fashion magazine?

    Sadly, the recent actions of Lama Zopa and the Dalai Lama have completely soured me on Tibetan Buddhism. I have been forced to turn back to the Theravadan and Chinese teachings, because I will never again turn my will and intellect over to a guru who demands total obedience, even when he teaches one thing today and a completely different thing tomorrow. With this version of Buddhism, it’s a heads-you-win, tails-I-lose situation for the sincere follower … any faults of the guru are really the fault of the practitioner, whose bad karma has caused those faults to manifest. And even when the guru manifests obvious error, he still is not to be questioned because the error again is in the eye of the practitioner and only through blind loyalty can he cleanse his karma to the point where sincere questioning is of any value. If this is the case, then there is no point in advising practitioners to question and judge the teachings, because their bad karma will not allow them to make reasonable judgments. Reason itself is banished; it has become soiled and fallen and no longer can be trusted. Blind obedience becomes the only permitted path … you must believe in the Dalai Lama because he is a priori infallible and any evidence to the contrary is not credible, because ONLY the Dalai Lama represents Buddha in today’s world and EVERYONE ELSE is deluded.

    And so the question arises: if I am required to have blind faith in the Dalai Lama in order to be “saved”, what separates this form of Buddhism from any other exclusivist, country-club members only, religion? What separates Buddhism from the monotheistic religions once reason has been outlawed? You can use the same “your bad karma prevents you from seeing things as they are” argument to justify any religion, any cult, any superstition, any belief whatsoever. It might take a slightly different form — “your ways are not God’s ways,” or “your reason was broken in the original fall from grace of sinful man,” but the essence is the same: don’t trust yourself, look to others, particularly those who are held up as masters, for the truth. In this way, Lama Zopa’s attempt to defend the Dalai Lama becomes an atomic weapon capable of destroying any and all religious belief, or empowering any and all zealots of every stripe.

    I find all of this unworthy of the spirit of inquiry I believe Buddha Shakyamuni promoted, and the spirit of compassion that Avalokiteshvara represents. I hope that one day all the confusion that these modern-day avatars have sowed will be cleared up and those of us who relied upon them as examples and guides on the spiritual path will have our disappointments honestly and frankly acknowledged and rectified.

    Comment left by a Howard from http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/the-controversy/recognized-by-dorje-shugden-but-speaks-against-dorje-shugden/comment-page-1/#comment-911810

    Picture attached: HH Zong Rinpoche performs last rites for the Venerable Lama Yeshe. Both these lamas were totally devoted to Dorje Shugden until the end of their lives. Decades later, Lama Zopa who has abandoned his guru Lama Yeshe’s practice of Dorje Shugden, to befriend the Dalai Lama.


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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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