Sad, Relatively Unknown News of Tibetan Buddhists’ Infighting

Dalai Lama

H.H. 14th Dalai Lama

Several of my friends have approached me with eagerness to say, “The Dalai Lama is coming to Cincinnati! Are you going?” I remained neutral and answered that H.H. the Dalai Lama has requested that anyone from my lineage not attend his teachings.

“What! Why?”

Because of a hundreds-of-years-old conflict concerning a certain Dharma Protector (protecting the words and knowledge of the teachings of the Buddha) named Dorje Shugden. Many years ago, H.H. the Dalai Lama—a wonderful man who has done much for the world — wrote praises and poems revering Dorje Shugden. Then he changed his mind, and announced that Dorje Shugden is a demon. He asked that anyone revering Dorje Shugden (as my teachers do, and as I do), to not come to his teachings.

Many negative events occurred following this pronouncement, which came close to violence and death in the Tibetan Community. Nonetheless, these people without a land of their own, are divided against each other.

The saddest event came about by way of an order given by H.H. the Dalai Lama, that my teachers’ home monastery in Southern India, Gaden Shartse Monastery which houses, feeds and schools thousands of monks, was to send all the monks revering Dorje Shugden onto the streets without any food or shelter. This action left hundreds of monks and nuns homeless.

The Mongolian, American and Tibetan support for these outcasts enabled them to build an entirely new monastery, also in Southern India, which held its official opening in 2009. There is a Dorje Shugden Society to be found on a website.

This news is vastly unexposed, yet my teachers have been denied entrance to H.H. the Dalai Lama’s teachings anywhere; one of my special teachers was in the middle of a crowd of hecklers coming close to violence, so much so, that the police had to put my teacher and his fellow monks on a bus to protect them.

I try not to get depressed or disillusioned about this, because the words of the Buddha are pure and good, just as the words of the Catholic faith are merciful. But look at what is happening in the Catholic Church with its many child-molesting priests. Are there similarities here? Humanity means human frailty, and H.H. the Dalai Lama is no exception. I wish him a long life, happiness and prosperity. And I will continue my Dharma practice with joyous effort.

Editor’s note: In this opinion piece, despite the difficulties posed to the author and his teachers though the ban and the actions of His Holiness, the author chooses to see that there is good in His Holiness.

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  1. If I have not browse this site and spotted this subject. I also would not know of the segregation between the Tibetan people from the same Lineage that is the Gelugpa Lineage. Some of the Tibetans who practice differently was thrown out of their Monastery Ganden Shartse Monastery. It is because they have refuse to stop an age old practice of Dorje Shugden which was banned by the Dalai Lama. Then they have to form a new Monastery called Shar Ganden Monaatery. It is true I have heard that there are violence in the Monastery amounting to fights and conflicts. This is so sad. When is this going to stop and bring peace to the Tibetans among themselves.

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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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