Politics is Politics is Politics

BEJING POLITICS VERSUS DHARAMSALA POLITICS: POLITICS IS POLITICS IS POLITICS…

Comment on the Current Tibetan/Chinese Conflict

Excerpted from Gelek Rimpoche’s Sunday Talk, March 16, 2008

Let’s try to understand the current situation in Tibet. This has been going on for fifty years. The Communist Chinese have always been suspicious of monasteries and Buddhism. For example, in Drepung, the monastery where I was educated in Tibet, the Communists openly set up government-sanctioned committees, organizing people to spy on each other. You couldn’t trust anybody – your teachers, friends, students, not even your parents. Kids were spying on their parents, students on their teachers, and disciplinary monk officials on their abbots. That is how it has been functioning for fifty years.

Close to two years ago, communist officials had the idea to ensure that the monks there didn’t respect His Holiness the Dalai Lama. They made up a document that basically said: “The Dalai Lama is evil” and wanted everybody to agree by signing it. The monks refused to sign. They said their refusal had nothing to do with politics, but was purely for spiritual reasons.

The authorities arrested the monks who refused to sign and put them in jail and never released them. A few days ago, some Drepung monastery monks went into the market place to demonstrate their request for these monks to be released. They were beaten, tear gased and jailed. Turn by turn, each day following, monks from Sera, then Ganden monasteries also demonstrated, were beaten and jailed as well as nuns from various monasteries. The sound of their cries and screams were heard all over Lhasa. Everybody was crying.

Eventually, some people got angry and started to throw molotow cocktails into Chinese owned shops, so there was a huge amount of destruction. The central government of China declared martial law at three am on March 14. The whole city of Lhasa is now completely filled with soldiers and para-military that were trucked in and the Chinese government said they would violently suppress any demonstrations. The Chinese claim 10 people were killed. Tibetan sources say that more than 200 were killed — quite a different picture.

It is very clear that the Chinese authorities have had complete control over Tibet for 50 years but failed to win the heart of the people. That is because their policies are not helping the people much. In particular the local government of Tibet is run by lesser educated officials, many of whom are relics of the Cultural Revolution. They are confused and don’t understand the true situation. Their reports to the Central government in Beijing are confused and incorrect and that is why the Chinese authorities were taken by surprise by the events of the last weeks.

The local Chinese authorities also can never understand the relationship between the Dalai Lama and Buddhism. They can neither separate the two nor put them together. They are completely confused about the role of the Dalai Lama. Vilifying statements like “The Dalai Lama is nothing but a wolf covered by monk’s robes, a demon with human face” clearly show the limit of knowledge and character of those making such statements.

This situation is indeed very, very sad. It really calls for international support. This can be done by people expressing their sympathy and feelings and also urging their representatives, senators and house representatives, as well as journalists, national and local media to pay attention and try to find out the true situation.

© Jewel Heart 2008

COMMENTARY:

CHANGE A FEW WORDS (SEE BELOW) AND YOU GET… QUITE A DIFFERENT PICTURE… OR SHOULD ONE SAY – QUITE THE SAME PICTURE? HOW SAD THAT DHARMASALA POLITICS RESEMBLE BEJING POLITICS IN SO MANY REGARDS. WHATEVER ONE CHOOSES TO BELIEVE ABOUT DORJE SHUGDEN, THE SHOCKING SIMILARITIES IN CHINESE AND TIBETAN POLITICS REVEAL PLAINLY THE HUGE DISSERVICE THE PERSECUTION OF DORJE SHUGDEN PRACTITIONERS IS DOING TO THE TIBETAN PEOPLE, THE BUDDHIST TEACHINGS AND HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA.

ONE CANNOT HELP BUT CONCLUDE: DHARAMSALA POLITICS HARM THE CAUSE OF TIBET AND HH THE DALAI LAMA! THE LOSS OF THE POSITIVE IMAGE OF TIBET AND BUDDHISM, WHICH WE OWE SO GREATLY TO HIS HOLINESS, CAN ONLY HAVE FAR-REACHINGLY TRAGIC CONSEQUENCES.

Comment on the Current Tibetan/Tibetan Conflict

Let’s try to understand the current situation in the Gelugpa tradition. This has been going on for three hundred and fifty years. The Tibetan government has always been suspicious of monasteries and Buddhism that do not endorse mixing spirituality and politics. For example, in Drepung, the monastery where I was educated in Tibet, now in India, they openly, just a few months ago, set up government-sanctioned committees, organizing people to spy on each other. You couldn’t trust anybody – your teachers, friends, students, and what’s worst – you were ordered to not even trust your Root Gurus, in case they prayed to a deity that many if not most of the holiest Masters since the 18th century had relied on. Kids were spying on their parents, students on their teachers, and disciplinary monk officials on their abbots. That is how it has been functioning for thirtyyears, at first as a Tibetan ‘internal affair’, and for the last ten years as a global campaign.

Close to thirty years ago, Tibetan officials had the idea to ensure that the monks there didn’t respect His Holiness Dorje Shugden. They made up a document that basically said: “Dorje Shugden is evil” and wanted everybody to agree by signing it. The monks refused to sign. They said their refusal had nothing to do with politics, but was purely for spiritual reasons. (……………!!!)

The authorities arrested the monks who refused to sign and threw them out of their monasteries, after excommunicating them. A few months ago, some Dorje Shugden-practicing monks went into the debate court do do what one does in a debate court – debate about philosophical topics. They were thrown eggs and other objects at. Turn by turn, each day following, monks from Sera, then Ganden monasteries also demonstrated against them, attempting to force them to give up the practice transmitted to them by their Root Gurus (who in thousands of cases was the enlightened Master who tutored theDalai Lama for decades and who did more for Tibet than anyone else during the Chinese communist invasion )which in Vajrayana Buddhism is tantamount to throwing oneself into the darkest hell. The sound of their cries and screams were heard all over the world. Everybody who cared about human rights and religious freedom – and most of all those who cared about the fundamental principles of Buddhism: compassion, logic, reason – was crying.

Eventually, this annual debate session was shut down, for the first time in Tibetan history, so there was a huge amount of spiritual, psychological and physical destruction. The central government of Tibet declared martial law. Indian police had to be trucked in to ensure ‘the accused’ monks were allowed to sit in the same prayer hall as everyone else, and watch their fellow monks eat their meals while they received none, and the Tibetangovernment said they would violently suppress any further propitiation of this deity that hundreds of attained and saintly Masters recognize as an emanation of the Buddha of wisdom, Manjushri. The politicians claim the ‘demon’ was killed. Tibetan and international spiritual sources say that more likely the Gelugpa school of Buddhism was killed — quite a different picture.

It is very clear that the Tibetan authorities have had complete control over Tibet for 350 years but failed to win the heart of the people. That is because their policies are not helping the people much. In particular the local government of Tibet is run by lesser educated officials, many of whom are relics of the 5th Dalai Lama’s Revolution/forced takeover. They are confused and don’t understand the true situation. The reports of the self-declared government in Dharamsala to their people and the worldare confused and incorrect and that is why many – but not everyone – were taken by surprise by the events of the last months.

The local Tibetan authorities also can never understand the relationship between Dorje Shugden and Buddhism. They can neither separate the two nor put them together. They are also completely confused about the role of the Dalai Lama. Vilifying statements like “Dorje Shugden is nothing but a demon covered by monk’s robes, a demon with divine face that harms the Dalai Lama and Tibet” clearly show the limit of knowledge and character of those making such statements.

This situation is indeed very, very sad. It really calls for international support. This can be done by people expressing their sympathy and feelings and also urging their representatives, senators and house representatives, as well as journalists, national and local media to pay attention and try to find out the true situation.

© Heart Jewel (??…) 2008

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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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