The Knock-On Effects of the Ban on Dorje Shugden

By: TK

Since the implementation of the ban on Dorje Shugden, there has been some discussion as to whether the protests held by groups like the Western Shugden Society were effective. The protests did have effects. It made the Tibetan Government-in-Exile (now known as the Central Tibetan Administration, CTA) more careful and wary, swallow some of their previous statements, and lie further to cover their actions.

For example, Samdhong Rinpoche – who was still Prime Minster at the time – had to say that the forced stick votes in the monasteries and the forced swearing of monks to abandon their practice of Dorje Shugden was enforced by the respective abbots of each monastery. This in fact, is not the truth. It was the Dalai Lama and his government, the CTA, who forced the abbots to conduct such offensive acts. If they didn’t comply, the abbots would have been forced to resign, which is what happened to the abbots of Gaden Shartse and Gaden Jangtse monasteries.

The CTA also had to change their words to say there is no ban but that statements against Dorje Shugden was JUST advice. This was considered very strange because if anyone didn’t follow their advice, they would not be allowed to participate in any mainstream activities with other Tibetans. You would be out on your own if you chose to continue your practice. That is not advice, but an all-out ban or religious persecution.

By the same token, while the protests were happening, I had wished the placards and chanting at the WSS protests didn’t say things like “Dalai Lama, Stop Lying!” I wish it had said, “Dalai Lama lift the ban, give religious freedom.” In this day and age, it would not be prudent for any religious leader to impost any bans. Bans sound very negative and make the leaders of the country look very narrow or fundamentalist. Using the word “ban” in their protests would have created more curiosity in people to ask more, it would have raised more suspicions for people to investigate the issue further. To say that the Dalai Lama is lying sounds too far-fetched for most people in their projections. (I am not criticizing the protests. They were clean, organized, orderly, sincere, effective to a point, expressed another view and gave voice to the many oppressed. The fact that these protests could happen is amazing.)

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, the illustrious master, can influence thousands and inspire hundreds of centers and chapters around the world. Similarly, the monks in Serpom Monastery and Shar Gaden Monastery have many qualified teachers who, if given a chance, will be able to do quite a lot in the future. If one person like Geshe Kelsang Gyatso can do so much because he is devoted, focused and true to his lineage, many more Geshe Kelsang Gyatsos are present and will be forthcoming from these monasteries.

The Mayflower and two other ships sailed from England to the uncharted lands of North America many hundreds of years ago, to escape the religious persecution in England. They left to seek a place where they would be able to practice their beliefs in peace. No one cared about them or thought they would even survive. Now, we can see what has come about by them going to new lands. In developing a new society which would break away from the conventions and restrictions of the old lands, the United States of America was built on freedom of religion and individual rights, and influenced many other nations in the world to follow in the same footsteps. Like all countries, it has its good points and its bad but ultimately, there is more of the good than the bad.

Serpom and Shar Gaden Monasteries have that type of potential no matter how inconsequential they may look to the CTA now. We must support these monasteries. We must advertise and make known by any methods we can who they are and what they are doing. It is very important for the future for all of us to do this, together with everything else that we are doing now. Serpom and Shar Gaden Monasteries will survive past the Dalai Lama and the CTA (my apologies for saying this). It is important for us to visit these monasteries, create documentaries, invite the teachers to teach in various countries and start up centers related to these two monasteries. They have the potential to spread this holy lineage to thousands of non-Tibetans around the world. And I think that it will be the non-Tibetans who will preserve this precious lineage eventually.

After the Dalai Lama passes away (I am sorry to say this also), the CTA will disintegrate. The Tibetan ministers and families with money will buy their way to other countries and not remain in India. (Most Tibetans are dying to leave India). If they live in another democratic country, their rantings and ravings on the ‘evils’ of Dorje Shugden will be mostly ignored, so the ban will fade in one way through that manner.

There is a massive black market business in Delhi today for Tibetans to buy visas to the USA. A visa could cost between 700,000 – 1,200,000 Indian rupees, depending on an individual’s connections (this was in 2010; the cost would have increased by now – ed). Once a Tibetan obtains his visa, he can enter the USA, claim asylum and wait for a green card. Many, many, many Tibetans are doing this and have already left India for America. They often find sponsors to help them. The Tibetans will disband and scatter further all over the earth like ants after the Dalai Lama passes. No other religious leader or leader can fill the role of Dalai Lama within this community as there has been no history of it. The only Lama who comes close to being able to stand in was the previous Panchen Rinpoche (truly a strong, remarkable, powerful being).

As for the rest of the Tibetans who remain in India, the Indian government will not take Tibetan exiles’ politics, hunger strikes, free-Tibet protests, land agreements in the 23 settlements or their religious bans. The remaining Tibetan exiles will be sucked into maintain Indian society without much political voice anymore. They will slowly ‘disappear’ into just ‘surviving’ in India. Most of the Tibetans living in exile have very little knowledge, understanding or exposure to anything beyond their own limited realities due to the very poor education system they have suffered over their last 50 years in exile.

India will not go to great lengths to protect the Tibetans. They would rather make friends with China. India’s leadership will change and in the future, surpass the era of the Dalai Lama in exile. 1.2 billion Chinese are much more important to India than 150,000 Tibetans in exile. This is logical. India does not support any type of Tibetan independence. This is while the Dalai Lama is still alive; imagine how much less attention they will heed to Tibetan causes in the future when he is not (sorry). Tibetans, their politics and their cries for freedom will fade as people need to get on with just surviving. Dorje Shugden’s name is huge now in the world. His name is larger than if his own people wanted to make it large. When the ban starts to fade or when the Dalai Lama has passed, people will start asking about Shugden. Then all the young Shugden lamas, the people and monks of Serpom and Shar Gaden, and all of us practitioners around the world will explain, talk, initiate, gather friends and supporters, and make Dorje Shugden grow more, and positively.

The name ‘Dorje Shugden’ is negative now. BUT THERE IS A NAME. The negative can be changed to the positive. The name along is important. Whether something is negative and positive is dependent on circumstances. What we need first is to establish the name and make sure it is out there – thanks to the Dalai Lama. Just one strong Dagom Rinpoche, Geshe Tendar, Domo Geshe Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche etc. in the future can bring thousands of people into the fold. Imagine if they all went out in full force.

I myself am not waiting for them to do something. I am doing something. I don’t believe in waiting. We cannot expect the lamas to promote or advertise Dorje Shugden or themselves all by themselves. We have to advertise Dorje Shugden and the Lamas for them, on their behalf. We have to make them well known by various means. We have to make them popular. We must work on this goal continuously. I am doing so and will never stop. My resources and energy are dedicated to Dorje Shugden. I don’t want to sound too covert or so hardworking, but I mean it.  I have dedicated my life to Gyelchen Dorje Shugden, the King of Protectors.

I do not just post on this forum. I have other plans – some have been accomplish, some are being planned now, and some will fruition later. I do not mean to sound like I am bragging too much about my work and plans. I do apologise, but the bottom line is that I am, have been and will go all the way to make Dorje Shugden known and accepted. I do it peacefully, without offending anyone and without breaking laws, gently but steadily. I am not the only one, as there are many around the world doing the same.

I don’t care much about the Dalai Lama’s ban or about what the CTA says. And I am not afraid of them. This is a temporary ‘setback.’ They will fade. They are impermanent.But  Dorje Shugden’s name is now the most popular in the world of Tibetan Buddhism around the world after Shakyamuni. The bans on Shugden by the Dalai Lama and the CTA will not hold water after they are gone. Dorje Shugden is immortal, they are not. Their plans to even wipe away even the memory of Shugden for the future will not be successful, because Shugden is fully enlightened and his existence and ability to help do not depend on the Dalai Lama or the CTA.

Dorje Shugden can emanate in thousands, millions and billions of other forms to protect, teach and help in the three realms and ten directions way out of the reach of the CTA! It is beyond anyone’s imagination. Anyway, we cannot be so narrow-minded to think that there is only earth and one dimension. Samsara is not just confined to our planet earth, as we all know. There are countless existences beyond our scope of mind where sentient beings exist. Enlightened beings manifest differently everywhere and the CTA is tiny in comparison to this huge spectrum. The CTA will fade in time not too far in the distance and will be forgotten. But Dorje Shugen will not be forgotten and continue to re-manifest according to karma, time, circumstances and need.

Considering all this, we can see that the Dalai Lama is in fact helping Dorje Shugden become larger. Some people believe that he is doing this unknowingly; some believe that he is conjuring this up all on purpose… It does not matter how we think. The point is that Dorje Shugden is big now and going to be more popular. The CTA should just keep quiet about Dorje Shugden now but instead, for every time they speak of him they actually make him bigger.

The CTA are quite illogical and primitive. Their most important agenda is to achieve ‘freedom’ for Tibet or at least autonomy – already they have failed in that miserably. We must ask, why did the CTA lose their country in the first place? Now, their only claim to fame is the fact that they are trying to destroy a spirit named Shugden and save the world. Imagine if Obama’s claim to fame was that he was trying to wipe out Satan from the United States! That is how ridiculous it sounds. Have pity for the CTA. I do.

(Note: In this post I have mentioned the future passing of the Dalai Lama a few times. I do not mean in any way that I wish for him to die. I do not wish harm on anyone. I am just talking about the inevitable future, so please excuse me.)

This opinion piece has been extracted from the DorjeShugden.com forum. Please add to the discussions on the forum if you have further perspectives, comments and thoughts. We always welcome debate and exchange. The original thread can be viewed at: http://www.dorjeshugden.com/forum/index.php?topic=609

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2 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Thank you for your compassionate work, I wholeheartedly agree with your post here.
    Keep up the good work. Jan

  2. TK, I find your article to be inspiring, logical and wise. Truly, Tibet will disintegrate as soon as the Dalai Lama passes on, with all due respect. But what has happened is that Vajrayana Buddhism has spread as the lamas and great teachers travel globally to set up their Dharma centers. You are right, Dorje Shugden will go mainstream through the demand for religious freedom because in today’s time and age, imposing a ban on one’s spiritual practice will not be tolerated. People who are uninterested in Shugden will find out about him. So, we must all work together to help the Shugden lamas and teachers to spread the goodness of Shugden’s practice. Ultimately, amidst the quest to lifting the ban, we must remember that Dorje Shugden protects the teachings of Je Tsongkhapa in particular the perfection of wisdom as taught by Nagarjuna. It is this practice that we must apply in lifting the ban.

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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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