Reflections of Religion in the Modern Era

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  1. great article thank you very much to the one that have written this :)

  2. This is a very well written article that provides all the critical points on the controversy. It opens up the mind of the reader to think logically about the ban and the accusation of Dorje Shugden being a demon. It explains well why the urgency of the ban to be brought down as many DS monks are being discriminated because of the practice. This article should be shared widely so that more will understand the logic behind it and help to bring the ban down.

    Thank you so much for sharing the article!

  3. The purpose of religion is to bring a group of people together, to create a community that is governed by the same cultural rules, understanding and faith in certain supernatural agents to ensure there is harmony, progress and a common identity for this community to relate too Causing a split within a religious congregation is an insult to the lineage that has been set by the founder, in this case Shakyamuni Buddha, especially when it is frivolous as propounded by this article.

    Personally, I do not think it is logical to use logic to say that Dorje Shugden is not a spirit but an enlightened being.because we technically do not really comprehend what entails enlightenment. But I do agree that faith is determined by experiences of a supernatural agent, in this case being Dorje Shugden as both a Dharma Protector and one who is enlightened. For someone like the Dalai Lama to condemn Dorje Shugden and the practitioners is akin to demanding a community to breakdown in all aspects. How could you go against one who has saved you? Is it a matter of logic or is it a matter of ethics?

    As such, the sentiments are strong and potent for all Shugden supporters to stand for what is right. It is not blind faith but it is the feeling of being touched by “God” and we are changed forever.

    For the Dalai Lama to play with fire this way, it is indeed unbecoming for a leader in exile knowing very well already how the Tibetans suffered under China.

    In short, the battle and case for Dorje Shugden will continue to strive for justice and until it is served, the Dalai Lama will always be questioned by a faction of his own people and the Shugden practitioners worldwide, why? Have you no compassion, your Holiness?

  4. Thank you for posting this well written article which has logically given many good reasons why Dorje Shugden cannot be a demon. I would humbly also like to contribute another two more reasons why I personally think DS cannot be evil.
    1. It was DS through an oracle who advised HH Dalai Lama to leave Tibet as China took over the country. In order to escape Chinese persecution, HHDL fled Tibet under the protection of DS and managed to arrive in India safely. I was even told that he had borrowed & rolled Trijang Rinpoche’s thangka of DS and had it strapped onto his back when he made his escape as a form of protection.
    2. HHDL once claimed when he imposed the ban that the practice of DS would unknowingly harm and shorten his life. Well he made that statement more than 20 years ago and today he is still going strong and looks healthy.
    So based my personal observations, it looks impossible that DS is in any way evil or harmful. In my opinion, DS has throughout these years, protected and served HHDL well, and may even be responsible for HHDL’s globally popularity and reverence.

  5. Yes, I agree. Buddhism is to me, a religion that is very logical, so how these great lamas can do something as illogical as mistaking a demon for a buddha is too incredulous to believe.

  6. ”I am a Buddhist; I love the teachings of Buddha. Buddhism, to me, is a religion yet at the same time a philosophy. The beauty of Buddhism lies in its ability to use logic and rational thinking to expound the teachings. Buddhism neither demands blind allegiance to deity or gods or spirits, nor does it call for unquestioning belief by all Buddhist followers. In fact, the Buddha insisted that all Buddhist practitioners must check the teachings against their own logic and experience. Such is the conviction of Buddhism that it is based on a truth that does not alter with time.”

    The above paragraph from this article is the most profound definition of Buddhism that I have ever read. From this definition this article provides evidence that the BAN on Dorje Shugden is without basis and with the simple understanding of Karma, Samsara and reincarnation, it is impossible to believe that Dorje Shugden is a ”demon” as proclaimed by HHDL.

    Although I am grateful to the HHDL for introducing Buddhism to a great part of the world, it is beyond me to understand His reason for the BAN.

    Not only is the BAN illogical and not within the concepts of Buddhism in its general context, it is also frightening that in order to ”RIGHT” a wrong, so much harm is generated to the practitioners of Dorje Shugden lineage.

    Details and knowledge expounded in this article will keep my faith in Dorje Shugden stronger and work to have the BAN lifted.

  7. In modern era like now, iron-fist method will not last. With latest technology, almost everything is becoming border-less… especially for entertainment and information.

    Except in poor countries where illiteracy level is still very high, there is no way for the people in power to spread lies without any logical supportive information.

    This article has put forward all the logical arguments to counter the fake justifications for the ban of Dorje Shugden practice. It is very clear and straight forward. Only those who shut their hearts, due to certain reasons or worldly benefits, will still believe or uphold the lies. Some are just too afraid, thus joined the bandwagon of discriminating DS practitioners.

    So much unnecessary sufferings. The ban must come down.

  8. It is obvious this prosecution on Shugden practitioners is a political movement by the Dalai Lama who is in the world list of powerful people. It is not a religious issue but is politics camouflaged attempting to deceive the world who Dorje Shugden is. By no means anyone should believe or take Dalai Lama’s word for granted on the ground of his celebrity status of a world spiritual leader who is in reality merely a politician in disguise. Intellects should investigate with logic the pure lineage of Dorje Shugden and not to be deceived by the claims of the Dalai Lama.

  9. Thank you for yet another great article to rebut the fact that the ban is ‘correct’ and implemented to save the life of the Dalai Lama.

    The very basics of Buddhism teaches that our destiny, our death, how we die, how we suffer is highly dependant and governed by our karma. To say that through doing a mass practise of Dorje Shugden will lead to a decrease in the life expectancy of His Holiness defeats the very fundamentals that you are your own saviour – that what you do in and with your life will determine the course of your life and your future lives.

    If an attained master such as His Holiness can be affected by people practising Dorje Shugden, then why are all the other attained lamas who are non-DS practitioners not affected by the practise of Dorje Shugden? Only the Dalai Lama is affected? Makes no sense. Also, it would mean that Trijang Rinpoche, Pabongkha Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe, Domo Geshe Rinpoche will all contribute to the shortening of His Holiness’s life.. that would consider them breaking their vows, no? It would mean that the 8 verses of thought transformation is not being practised. So why has it been a core practise in Vajrayana Buddhism? Also, when merit is dedicated, usually there would be a dedication to the long life of His Holiness. So, why contradict if these lamas really wanted to “harm” His Holiness.

    Additionally, if Dorje Shugden was really bad, the Karmapa wouldn’t have asked the statue of Guru Dragpo with Dharmapala Shugden being pressed down under the statue’s feet to be removed. See here:

    … The 16th Karmapa also said that “in the future you will definitely need to rely on this deity.”

    These are accounts from the Sungbum of Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche’s. Through implementation of the ban and the claim that Dorje Shugden is an evil spirit, does it also mean that the Karmapa is wrong for protecting Dorje Shugden in this way?

  10. The above article is just so clear and logical to tell us that Dorje Shudgen is not a demon. For those highly attained Lama such as H.H. Ling Rinpoche, H.H. Trijang Rinpoche, H.H. Zong Rinpoche who are Shudgen practitioners have been back in human form and continue to teach. This is good karma. To me nothing more important than this point. We learn and practice Buddhism to understand karma, the law of cause and effect. In other words worship Dorje Shudgen can have a good rebirth. This is a positive karma. So why must we continue believe the accusation about Dorje Shudgen is a demon. In fact Dorje Shudgen is a enlightened being. If we are pure Buddhism practitioner, at least we should able to think rational and reasonable. We are not going to simply accuse anything or anybody and should able to provide judgement based on facts. We should bear in mind the karma will return if we over acting based on blind faith. Please think wisely and carefully before too late.

  11. A religion one practises is a personal choice. A choice which only the person knows why. A religion, like a subject to study, is one chosen because it applies to oneself and to make one progress to achieve a goal. a religion is not one which can be forced onto anyone and then expected to conform. That is not free choice. That is not empowering, That is not compassion.

    Thus, it is also the same premise that it is not one’s position to tell someone to stop one’s faith and practise. And I believe this no matter who the enforcer is. Any government or leader who enforces punishment if one does not conform when it comes to religious choices should not be in power.

    And people who believe should not be swayed by evil others like CTA. Keep the practise even if in private.

  12. Thank you for this logical article entitled “Religion in the Modern Era”.

    I wonder though, if samsara is that simple, that samsaric beings can be driven purely by logical thought. I think even with information technology “flattening” the world so to speak, to bring “information” to a vast number of people, logical argument is only one of the many ways to sway samsaric beings’ minds.

    In this case, we are dealing with at least three distinct and inter-dependent forces which shape the minds of the Tibetans – the spiritual, the politics and the culture, and we know this is certainly not all logic.

    While this article, and many other articles on the blog, tackle the spiritual with consistent and thoughtful arguments, I think it will only play a part, albeit an important one (nothing is unimportant in this inter-dependent world), to hasten the lifting of the ban. Indeed it could be the very catalyst but we can’t predict this

    We also cannot use logic to counter the moves made by HH the Dalai Lama. After all, we logically understand that Enlightenment is when you are “not a sucker of (the logic of) four plus four is eight”. But for most of us, I do understand that it is the best we can do now.

    In conclusion, I must say that while this blog is informative, I believe that what could eventually sway the Tibetan diaspora is not the force of logic but the human tales of hardship, suffering, family squabbles, violence and even death. The realization that all of this is rather unnecessary and counter-productive to the Tibetan spiritual, political and cultural cause. Just like the Chinese diaspora has in recent times “protected” the Chinese culture better than that in China, I pray that this realization comes about the soonest for the Tibetans before it is too late.

    There is also this thought – that the time has come for “Tibetan Buddhism” to leave the cradle of Tibetans and now is the turning point. Perhaps, perhaps, …

  13. All the 3 main points are well said and explained clearly and logically. Buddhism is based on logical though and there shouldn’t be any superstitious believes and taboo. The accusation on Dorje Shugden is not true and there is no proper basis. On the other hand, CTA has been consulting Nechung for many government decision making, who in fact is a spirit, and what about that? Any explanation from CTA?

  14. I just had a conversation with a friend yesterday about philosophy and religion. He said that in science has always thought of Buddhism as a philosophy rather than a religion because of the manner in which it is taught and practiced. Buddhist teachings encourage the students to reflect, contemplate and realize the teachings of Lord Buddha through their own understanding and wisdom. Unlike doctrines of religion, Buddhism imposes little structure that dictates how the teachings should be applied and the punishment/reward consequent to good or poor practice. The only law that determines our “fate” is that of karma where we bear the fruits of our own views that influences the choices of speech and action we make.

    It is because of this liberating method of practice that Buddhadharma flourished all over the world in the 21st century where modern minds study the Dharma as a way to attain liberation and to live with greater harmony and happiness.

    The Dorje Shugden controversy and ban has caused a negative impact on the minds of practitioners as it does contradict the principals of Buddha’s teachings. The violence propagated and practiced through the ban is disheartening and during this time of great doubt towards religions, we should not add fuel to fire.

    Although this obstacle in the form of Dorje Shugden’s ban may hinder the progress of the Dharma, i do not believe that it will prevail because on the founndati

  15. (continued)

    foundation on which Buddhists are taught to study, learn and practice the Dharma, which is to challenge what is being taught and only accept if it makes sense to the logical mind and benefits sentient beings as a whole.

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Contemplate This

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

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