Why Shugden Matters To You

The opinion piece below was sent to dorjeshugden.com for publication. We accept submissions from the public, please send in your articles to [email protected].

 


 
Dear Friend,

I’d like to tell you the stories of Buddhist monks turned out of their monasteries and laypeople being denied medical services within the Tibetan community in exile in India. These things are taking place even as I’m writing this. The sole reason behind such inhumane acts is the ban on Dorje Shugden, an ancient Tibetan protector deity, by the spiritual leader of the Tibetans, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.

Does the existence of such shops offend you, regardless of your race or color?

Similarly, Shugden practitioners are not welcome in shops. This is still happening in India, today.

The Dalai Lama has argued that Dorje Shugden is a demon, not the emanation of Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom that his followers have always understood him to be for centuries. In his public teachings, the Dalai Lama has also encouraged monasteries to expel monks who persist in their veneration of Shugden, while also openly saying that all Buddhists who cling to the deity shouldn’t attend his teachings or initiations.

If you are a Dorje Shugden practitioner, you are not allowed to sign up as a volunteer, let alone a participant in the Dalai Lama’s teachings

We can only guess what his real reasons are for acting vehemently against the deity he himself once propitiated decades ago. Whatever his motivation might be in banning Shugden from being venerated, I believe ultimately people should be free to choose their own spiritual and religious path. More importantly, discouraging people from a certain spiritual practice using discriminative means can’t really be justified in our day and age.

The ban on Shugden is an attack on religious and civil liberties for all human beings on this planet. It is not an isolated issue that affects the Tibetans only; rather it symbolizes what ostracism can do to a community already suffering from political exile. That makes it an issue that people outside the Buddhist world should care about.

And that is where ordinary people like you and me can help persuade the Dalai Lama to end the ban indefinitely. If you think the issue is only about the changed belief of the Dalai Lama about Shugden, you cannot be more mistaken. The reason for his change of heart is not spiritual, but politically motivated. Some suggest he wants to unite all the Tibetan Buddhist schools under his sway. Others suggest that he is paranoid about Shugden followers acting as Chinese spies.

Hundreds of thousands of Shugden devotees gather for an event in Tibet. Pictures such as these make one wonder how it is possible for all these people to be Chinese spies.

Still, it doesn’t justify the discrimination and stigma ordinary Shugden followers have to endure for their religious beliefs. They should be able to practice what they believe unmolested and the Dalai Lama needs to respect their beliefs, even though he may have ceased being a Shugden devotee.

The voices of non-Tibetans and people around the world against the ban are crucial to the struggle to have the ban lifted. You may ask why the Dalai Lama will listen to the voices of non-Tibetans on what seems like an internal Tibetan issue.

There are at least two reasons. One, Dorje Shugden is not just revered by Tibetans exclusively. Many Buddhists in the West and across the world have come to worship this deity. By banning him, the Dalai Lama also casts these Buddhists out as pariahs. And for sure, the Dalai Lama has no right to do this to so many Shugden practitioners.

Western Buddhists affected by the ban voice their opinions in various protests across the globe

Secondly, the Dalai Lama is very much a politician. He cares about his global public image. In fact his image is his soft power on the world stage. Leaders across the world respect him because of his image as a tolerant, peace-loving religious icon who preaches non-violence.

If this image is shattered, the credibility of the Dalai Lama will plunge with it. This is exactly why he will do a lot to protect his image from being sullied by charges of intolerance and hate-inciting of which he is indeed guilty when it comes to Shugden devotees.

By voicing your opposition to the ban, you will help lift it because the Dalai Lama can’t hope to save his legacy in world history by having his image destroyed through the world’s knowledge of his discriminative orders against Shugden and his followers.

This is why I beg you to help us in this endeavor. It is not just a Buddhist matter as religious discrimination can occur anywhere. It is in this international spirit of goodwill and peace that I ask you to lend a hand. Join us in our efforts by writing letters, emails or perhaps sign up for a protest near you. The Dalai Lama needs to hear your voice.

Jan Tenno

Disclaimer: This article was submitted by a third party author and does not necessarily reflect the official opinion of DorjeShugden.com. We accept submissions from the public, please send in your articles to [email protected]

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18 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. We need to make the entire world realise that there is a discriminatory ban on Dorje Shugden and it affects many Tibetans and Non Tibetans. Acts similar to racial discrimination in the US 50′s are happening especially in South India and some witch hunts have been conducted by certain parties in non Tibetan
    communities.

    People who protest consistently and do social media do not just do it for fun, it
    is a protest action and social media for the purpose of lifting the ban. Dorje
    Shugden can help people from all walks of life, from those who are
    downtrodden, bullied, abused to the people in the peak of society and their
    game.

  2. I’m not here to make enemies but to learn more about Dorje Shugden. First of all, why does Dalai Lama so much? (I mean, there is nothing wrong with respecting him but he is actually not the head monk of Buddhism. He is extremely famous is because Dalai Lama is a politician monk.) How can he say that Dorje Shugden is an evil spirit when most of his gurus practice and teaches Dorje Shugden? Why Shugden matters to me? Because Dorje Shugden has been my whole life and helped me through a lot. I would say that if it hasn’t been Dorje Shugden, I might not even be on this earth anymore. Therefore, I would say that Dorje Shugden is real Buddha, Protector, my savior and he is not an evil spirit nor a spirit.

  3. I agree that should have more and more people voice up to tell their rights on religious freedom. The world need to aware of religious freedom is basic human rights for everybody. Other parties should not comment, criticise and humiliate others religion. This has been over done. We should voice out to make the situation right if there has been wrong last time. Let us work together to tell Dalai Lama and the world the ban need to be removed

  4. I am a Tibetan and living in Tibet. After seeing this website and reading some of your lies, now i know why this Shugden is deity and why the followers of this devils are lairs.

  5. this so called shuggen must be devil , not deity. how can it be? devil worship.

  6. Dear Lolotibet. If you actually read the stories and sharing in this website with a pure and neutral mind you will realise that they are not lies. Instead you will discover so much Dharma treasures that have been conveniently forgotten due to the people’s preference or distractions on worldly materialistic matters. So much so that the pure Dharma and Vinaya is quickly disappearing from this world. With no offense, but it will be people like yourself that are so biased and preoccupied in your comfort zones that you prefer to call truths lies because it is too hard for you to make a change to keep your mind in equanimity to try to understand other’s point of view.
    Shugden practitioners are normal human beings just like you and your family. We have all been born in samsara due to our afflictions to desires and working hard to look for a way out of sufferings. We want happiness too just like you do. Hence, if you are a pure practitioner of the Great Sage Buddha, you will not call us liars and devils, as we are clearly not.

  7. meruland19,
    what Dharma treasures are you talking about? what I read is nothing but purely lies and personal attacks of the HHDL. If you want to believe in this devil, please do so and nobody stop u. It is up to you. But don’t talk about Dharma treasures things, what I see is that you guys are not Buddhists.

  8. Firstly I must religion freedom whatever the deity one want to follow I think is not right to be discriminated, everyone has religion freedom we all have our own faith I do not think is right to criticize this rights and for me personally DS is not a spirit he is a very powerful protector that help me a lot in my daily life so I do see his benefits I will definately help to lift the ban for the benefits of others.

  9. Kelly,
    you follow whatever you want to follow, and I believe what I want to believe in. I believe that dogyal is a devil. Therefore, it should be banned in all Gelupa monasteries, 99% of Tibetans believe that this is a devil. If you want to believe in this devil as a deity, please go to set up your own monasteries. Leave us alone.
    Do you understand?

  10. Dear lolotibet
    If you are a true blue Buddhist and believe that Dorje Shugden is a devil, that is your choice. We do not judge you for your choice. Hence, you do not need to judge those who are not in line with you. You are using nasty words and anger on Shugden practitioners. Again if you are a real Buddhist you should conjure Compassion for the Shugden practitioners and not anger. This is just my humble opinion.

  11. There can never be any valid reason to discriminate another for their religious choice.

  12. The main thing is that there should be no personal attacks on the Dalai Lama. Period.

  13. I agree that the ban against Dorge Shugden should be lifted. The ban has created so much karma from both sides of the divide. HHDL may have decree the ban but it is our personal ignorance that creates the consequential sufferings. Lineage is such an important part of Tibetan Buddhism and to disparage DS and DS Gurus would be disparaging the purity of lineage gurus. Therefore it doesn’t make sense for the ban to continue. May HHDL bless us with the compassionate lifting of the DS ban quickly.

  14. It is just so unfair for the Shugden practitioners. This practice is given to them from their gurus. For some of them their gurus has already passed away, not allowing them to have a chance to ask if they would be able to stop this practice and not carry on with the practice.

    This ban on Dorje Shugden would also be (in my opinion) ridiculous. Reason being that there is no reason for this ban at all. The Dalai Lama is Chenrezig, how is it possible that as an enlightened being you are not able to tell that the practice is negative in your younger days and in previous incarnations? It is only now that you suddenly realised that the practice is bad, and people are not suppose to practice as it would harm you? With the fact that the Dalai Lama is Chenrezig, it shows that there is nothing negative that would be able to hurt the Dalai Lama as the Dalai Lama is an enlightened being that is free from Karma. With that being said, the Dalai Lama should not be experiencing any negative effects.

    Have people ever wondered why did the Dalai Lama ban the practice but only allowed his teacher Trijang Rinpoche to practice Dorje Shugden? If the practice is really bad and negative, shouldn’t everyone stop this practice? Why are there exceptions to [the ban of Dorje Shugden?

    At the same time, if this practice is really bad and negative, then why would high lamas and monks that practice Dorje Shugden to their last breath would still reincarnate into this world benefiting more sentient beings in their present incarnation? Shouldn’t these lamas that practice Dorje Shugden till their last breath reincarnate into the lower realm as they are practicing a demonic practice?

    Thus, I say that this ban to Dorje Shugden practice is really not necessary as there is no main reason for the ban at all. The only reason that is given is that it would harm the Dalai Lama’s life. However, like what I said before, there is no reason for that to happen as if Dorje Shugden is unenlightened, how is he able to be harming someone that is enlightened?

  15. From my observation and being close to many Tibetan communities here in the US. My understanding is that there is no ban on any religious practice. I don’t believe His Holiness the Dalai Lama wields any legal power or a military force to issue any ban on any people. He has professed again and again of being a simple monk.

    His advise is purely based on teacher disciple relationship. He has mentioned in his teachings to his students that worshiping Shugden may be detrimental to the harmony of the Tibetan people. He has mentioned time and time again, that you can practice what ever faith you wish, after all we all live in a free world and no one could dictate what you wish to worship.

    I think those practicing Dorje Shugden should simply practice and not make it an issue, unless you are looking to make it an issue and amass membership for your for your financial gains.

    Also, I understand that this group and especially its leaders are largely funded by and is under good graces of the Peoples Republic of Communist China.

    I believe the goal of this group is to distract attention from the real on-going religious, environmental, and human rights abuses taking place in Tibet under the repressive PRC policies.

  16. I read this article of appeal with sadness that the ban on Protector Dorje Shugden is still not lifted after 20 year of persecution, segregation, abuse and sufferings. After reading some comments here I kinda think its due to the ignorance of some who refuse to open up their mind to grasp the logic behind why Dorje Shugden is enlightened and not a ‘Spirit”. And some say that we are making the ban a big deal out of nothing.

    First of all, the practise of Dorje Shugden came from the same Master who brought the high tantric practises that the Dalai Lama teaches on and gives initiations on. Tagpu Pemavajra astral travelled to Tushita to receive the complete practise on Dorje Shugden. He also gave us the complete practise of Cittamani Tara and Vajrayogini. Can this Master be right about Cittamani Tara and wrong about Dorje Shugden? Once you are attained, you ARE attained. There is no “yes” and “no” about it. So if the Dalai Lama says Dorje Shugden is spirit and then keeps giving Cittamani Tara practise to everyone, what is he espousing?

    Secondly, it is very easy to say just do your practise and don’t make the ban an issue, especially when you live in your comfortable life where you have freedom to go anywhere you like, eat anything you like, buy anything you like and practise anything you like. Well, maybe you should do more research on how much suffering the people in “refugee” camps in India are going through for their religious belief. Denied access to shop for even basic necessities and food, denied access to medical treatments, denied access to their own temples sponsored and built by them, threaten & beaten all the time, their home and place of worship invaded and smashed up, denied access to identity documents, denied voting rights….in other words denied of existence other than to be blamed for all the unfulfilled promises of the Dalai Lama and CTA. Yes, sit in your comfortable sofa, watch your TV and be ignorant of the real sufferings that are going on. After all, it doesn’t affect you right!

    May the Dalai Lama swiftly manifest his true wisdom and compassion to lift the Ban for the sake of sentient beings.

  17. This ban cannot be denied. That monks are forced to start a new monastery, lay practitioners denied access to health care and basic amenities.

    This ban is beyond spiritual as it transgresses one’s right to basic human rights of freedom of choice. The basic freedom to choice their religion. Denying this right, implies the lack of democracy in the system however much you shout that there is freedom and democracy. It’s all talk and talk is cheap.

    May the CTA come to a neutral stand and give this freedom back to the Tibetans in exile.

  18. Dear Dalai Lama,

    Since you started the cruel ban against the 350 year Dorje Shugden practice, how has it benefit your Tibetan society and Buddhism in the world? Things have become worse and most educated Tibetans can see this. They don’t speak out not because they don’t see your ban as wrong, but you instill fear in them and not respect. It is like fear of a dictator. I am sorry to say so. Everyone is divided. There is no harmony. Before your ban there was more harmony and unity.

    By enacting the ban, you split the monasteries, split so many families, split regions in Tibet apart, split your disciples from you, split your own gurus from you, split Tibetan Buddhism apart. You have created so much disharmony.

    It is not democratic what you have done to ban a religion within your community. You always talk of tolerance and acceptance and democracy and yet you do not accept and tolerate something different from your beliefs. When people practice Dorje Shugden you ostracize them, ban them from seeing you, ban them from using Tibetan facilities. You know you have done that. There are videos that capture your speech and prove this point. You even had people expelled from monasteries just because they practice Dorje Shugden. Some of the monks you expelled have been in the monastery for over 40 years. Many older monks shed tears because of this.

    Many young educated Tibetans lost confidence in you as they saw the damage the Dorje Shugden ban created and they lose hope. Many have become free thinkers. They reject what you have done. So many people in the west left Buddhism because of the confusion you created with this ban against Dorje Shugden which is immoral.

    You could of had millions of people who practice Dorje Shugden to support, love and follow you, but you scared them away. They are hurt and very disappointed. They loved you and respected you deeply before the ban. It has been 60 years and you have failed to get Tibet back. Your biggest failure is not getting Tibet back after 57 years in exile. Now you are begging China to allow you to return to Tibet to the disappointment of thousands of people who fought for a free Tibet believing in you. So many self-immolated for a free Tibet and now you want Tibet to be a part of China with no referendum from Tibetans. Just like a dictator, you decide on your own. It was your government and you that lost Tibet in the first place. Your policies and style of doing things do not benefit Tibet and Buddhism. You have been the sole ruler of Tibet your whole life and you still have not gotten our country of Tibet back for us. Our families and us are separated. Yet you create more pain by creating a ban to further divide people. Please have compassion.

    No other Buddhist leader has banned or condemned any religion except for you. It looks very bad. You are a Nobel laureate and this is not fitting of a laureate. You should unite people and not separate them by religious differences.

    You said Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi did not do right to the Rohingya people in Myanmar due to religious differences, but you are doing the same thing to the Shugden Buddhists within your own society. There is a parallel in this. You separate the Shugden Buddhists from the others in Tibetan society.

    You have lost so many people who would have loved and supported you. You have lost so much support around the world. The Shugden Buddhists who love you number in the millions. When you are fast losing support from governments and private people, it will not do you well to lose more.

    After you are passed away in the future, the rift you created between the Dorje Shugden and non-Dorje Shugden people will remain for a while and that will be your legacy. Disharmony. You will be remembered for this. Not as a hero but a disharmony creator.

    Dorje Shugden will spread and further grow, but you will be no more as you are a human. No one wishes you bad and in fact we hope you have a long and healthy life, but we have lost so much hope and have so much despair because of you. All the hundreds of Dorje Shugden lamas, tulkus and geshes are maturing and there are hundreds of Dorje Shugden monasteries in Tibet who will not give up Dorje Shugden. You have made a mistake. These hundreds of teachers and teachers to be will spread Dorje Shugden further in the future.

    The gurus that gave us Dorje Shugden as a spiritual practice and you have called these holy gurus wrong and they are mistaken in giving us Dorje Shugden. How can you insult our gurus whom we respect so much? If they can be wrong, then you can be wrong. Then all gurus can be wrong. So no one needs to listen to any guru? You have created this trend. It is not healthy. Your own gurus practiced Dorje Shugden their whole lives. Your own gurus were exemplary and highly learned.

    Dalai Lama you have created so much pain with this ban against so many people due to religion. You are ageing fast. Are you going to do anything about it or stay stubborn, hard and un-moving. You show a smile and preach peace and harmony wherever you go. But will you do the same to your own people? Please rectify the wrong you have done. Please before it is too late. You can create harmony again or you can pass away in the future with this legacy of peace. May you live long and think carefully and admit what was a mistake in having this unethical ban against Dorje Shugden religion.

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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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