What Happens to Dorje Shugden Lamas?

What happens to lamas who practice Dorje Shugden? The Tibetan leadership says one thing, but their actions show another.

It is common knowledge that the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA; the Tibetan leadership based in Dharamsala) continuously promotes the false notion that Dorje Shugden is an unenlightened spirit or demon. They claim that he arose from the culmination of flawed and mistaken prayers made during his previous life as Tulku Dragpa Gyeltsen. As a lowly vengeful spirit, the CTA maintains that it is his nature to harm sentient beings. Hence, the CTA equates the propitiation of Dorje Shudgen to spirit worship. This is a claim which presents a serious problem for Buddhist practitioners.

The foundation of the Buddhist faith is one’s refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, collectively known as the Three Jewels. A part of this involves a commitment to rely only on the Enlightened Beings (Buddhas) on the path towards complete liberation from suffering. As the central-most aspect of Buddhist practice, all other practices hinge on this refuge being intact. By worshiping a spirit or demon, this refuge is broken and the karmic consequences of breaking one’s vows will lead to an unfortunate rebirth in one of the three lower realms (animal, hungry ghost or hell-being).

Such sentiments echo His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s thinly veiled threat during his address to the Sangha that,

Those who worship Dorje Shugden will be reborn in the three lower realms.

Hence, by preying on the Tibetan people’s fear of a negative rebirth, this has become one of the ways by which the CTA justifies the undemocratic ban on Dorje Shugden and the abuse against Dorje Shugden practitioners for the last 20 years. They claim that there is a need to ban the practice because of the harm it causes to practitioners.

Following such strong statements, the CTA capitalized on the situation to further their personal agendas. They began by taking extreme steps to police the religious belief of their citizens for their own personal advantage. From abusing state instruments to codifying discrimination against Dorje Shugden practitioners, to issuing controversial allegations designed to provoke hate and even violent reactions, the CTA expended a significant amount of public resources in an attempt to stamp out the religious practice.


The Proof is in the Pudding

But the amount of resources they have allocated to suppressing a religious practice is not the most disturbing aspect, nor are the violent consequences that often follow when someone is revealed as a Shugden practitioner. One of the more disturbing aspects of the whole Dorje Shugden ban is the sheer hypocrisy that permeates every decision and policy from the CTA. One example of their hypocritical behavior concerns their recognition of the reincarnations of many Dorje Shugden lamas.

Kyabje Zong Rinpoche (left) performing prayers for Lama Yeshe (right) just before Lama Yeshe passing. Both passed away as Dorje Shugden practitioners. According to the Tibetan leadership, both would have taken rebirth in the lower realms so why is the CTA recognizing their reincarnations?

According to the CTA, those who rely on Dorje Shugden will take rebirth in the three lower realms. This is because, according to the Tibetan leadership, Dorje Shugden is a spirit and relying on a spirit causes us to break our Refuge, Bodhisattva and Tantric vows. If we are to believe the CTA’s claims of what happens to you after death if you practice Shugden, it would therefore follow that high lamas who rely on Dorje Shugden will also take rebirth in the three lower realms. Hence, there should be no need to search for and recognize the reincarnations of Dorje Shugden Lamas. Based on the CTA’s flawed logic for imposing the ban, there should be no one to recognize as there should be no human reincarnation!

So why then does the CTA continue to recognize the irrefutable reincarnations of many Dorje Shugden lamas? Below are but a handful of stalwart Dorje Shugden high lamas and great masters who have, out of great compassion, returned amongst us in perfect human form to continue spreading the Dharma for the benefit of all. In many of these cases, the reincarnations were recognized by His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself, thus contradicting the Tibetan leadership’s own justification for banning the practice.

Not only is their recognition of these lamas’ reincarnations hypocritical but in recognizing these lamas, they invalidate their own reasons for imposing the ban. How can they say that Shugden practice is harmful and sends you to the three lower realms, when they themselves are recognizing lamas who clearly did not go to the three lower realms?


H.H. Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche

H.H. Pabongka Rinpoche

One of the most recognizable lamas of the past century, His Holiness Kyabje Pabongka Dorjechang is a household name amongst Tibetan Buddhists everywhere. A renowned proponent of the Dorje Shugden practice, the fact that Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche widely propagated this practice reflects the significant role he knew it would play in protecting and disseminating the Gelug teachings all around the world. Thanks to Pabongka Rinpoche’s kindness, many of these teachings and lineages are still intact and widely practiced today.

It is a real testament to Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche’s attainments and the respect he commanded that H.H. the 13th Dalai Lama requested Pabongka Rinpoche to give the annual Lamrim teachings in 1925, instead of asking the Gaden Throneholder (Gaden Tripa) as was customary. Arrangements were also made to extend Pabongka Rinpoche’s teachings to 11 days instead of the usual seven days.

There is no Gelug practitioner today who has not benefited from Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche’s works at some point of their practice and study. For example, the universally-renowned Lamrim text, Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand, was compiled by His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, one of Pabongka Rinpoche’s direct students. The text is an edited recording of 24 days of Lamrim teachings given by Pabongka Rinpoche to tens of thousands of people. The text was personally acknowledged by H.H. the 13th Dalai Lama to be authentic and of great importance, and it continues to be one of the main Lamrim references in Tibetan Buddhist studies throughout the world today.

H.H. Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche (3rd and current supreme incarnation)

Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche had many prominent students, like Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche who would later go on to become His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s tutor. Trijang Rinpoche would also find Pabongka Rinpoche’s subsequent reincarnation, Ngawang Lobsang Trinley Tenzin (1941-1969), who passed away in his twenties.

The current incarnation, His Holiness Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche Lobsang Thubten Trinley Kunkhyab was born in 1969. Identified in the early 1970s before the ban would have any real impact on his recognition, he continues to be universally accepted by the Gelug community, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as the unmistaken incarnation of the great Pabongka Dorjechang.


H.H. Kyabje Ling Rinpoche

H.H. Ling Rinpoche

One of the most influential teachers of our time, His Holiness Kyabje Ling Dorjechang was one of two tutors to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Together with His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche who was the other tutor, Ling Rinpoche played a significant role in imparting Dharma knowledge and practices to the 14th Dalai Lama during the ruler’s most formative years.

Kyabje Ling Rinpoche’s impeccable knowledge in Sutra and Tantra was uncontested. Such was the respect for his attainments that the Gelug assembly of Varanasi University requested him to compose a ritual to invoke upon enlightened Dharma Protectors.

It is one thing to engage in prayers but it is quite another thing for a lama to be able to compose prayers that would successfully invoke upon the enlightened beings. On the side of the lama, to be able to request the enlightened beings to heed the prayer, he would have to have some kind of attainments himself, starting with Bodhicitta.

So the fact that the Gelug assembly requested Ling Rinpoche to compose a prayer, reflected their belief that prayers composed by him would be effective because he has attainments. The request that Ling Rinpoche so compassionately and skillfully granted turned out to be a simplified prayer of fulfillment, confession, request for activity and serkyem for Mahakala, Kalarupa, Palden Lhamo and Dorje Shugden.

H.H. the 7th Kyabje Ling Choktrul Rinpoche was enthroned by H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama

Kyabje Ling Rinpoche was a heart son of Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche, hence it is no surprise that he was a Dorje Shugden practitioner. Many of the older monks who are still alive today can attest to Ling Rinpoche having frequently prescribed Dorje Shugden’s practice within the Tibetan community.

In 1987, the unmistaken incarnation of Kyabje Ling Rinpoche was recognized again by the student of his previous life, H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama.


H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche

H.H. Trijang Rinpoche

Few lamas have reached the renown of His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche. Widely known as the ‘teacher of teachers’, it is an undeniable fact that many erudite and influential Gelug lamas in this modern era can attribute their Dharma knowledge and understanding to Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, either as their direct teacher or their lineage teacher through his eminent students. In fact, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche was one of the two tutors of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, and the majority of the 14th Dalai Lama’s lineages, teachings, commentaries and practices are a result of Trijang Rinpoche’s transmissions. Trijang Rinpoche was also known to be an extremely astute politician, a quality that he imparted to the Dalai Lama ahead of his ascension to become the secular leader of the Tibetans.

H.H. Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche

Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche’s unmistaken faith in Dorje Shugden was so pervasively known, that the Dalai Lama exempted the current incarnation from the ban on the propitiation of Dorje Shugden. His is the one and only exception to the ban that has ever been expressly given by the Dalai Lama.

Not only did Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche find and train Dorje Shugden oracles, including the current 7th Panglung Kuten, but he also wrote, compiled and composed extensive texts and prayers to help practitioners engage in the practice. He also compiled explanations into the background, nature and benefits of propitiating Dorje Shugden. This text is known as Music Delighting the Ocean of Protectors.

The current incarnation of this great master, Kyabje Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche was officially recognized by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama on 23 April 1985. Just like his predecessor, Kyabje Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche continues to be a staunch devotee of the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden, giving sogtae (life entrustment initiation) of Dorje Shugden to thousands of people.


H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche

H.H. Zong Rinpoche

His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, considered to be an emanation of Heruka, was highly revered as a powerful tantrician. He gave many empowerments and teachings to thousands of students, with a special emphasis on the Tantras of Heruka, Yamantaka, Guhyasamaja and Vajrayogini. He was also known to be a master of the Hayagriva, Dorje Shugden, White Tara and Vaishravana practices.

Known to be a ritual master, there are stories aplenty of Kyabje Zong Rinpoche’s attainments, from controlling the weather to healing people, to the erudite and penetrative teachings that he would give directly from memory.

Zong Rinpoche was also very strict, traditional and exacting, especially when it came to rituals. Upon entering a prayer hall, if he saw the altar had not been set up properly, or the offerings were not done correctly, he would crush the tormas (ritual cakes) and leave. He would only return once the set-up had been done correctly. Instead of being offended, the monks would fold their hands and scramble to make the corrections. Such was their devotion and respect for Kyabje Zong Rinpoche.

H.H. Zong Choktrul Rinpoche

Kyabje Zong Rinpoche was a heart disciple of his root guru, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche. It is therefore no surprise and no secret that Kyabje Zong Rinpoche shared an extremely close relationship with the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden and consistently advised his students to propitiate Dorje Shugden strongly and devotedly.

His new incarnation was duly recognized by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and enthroned at Gaden Shartse Monastery in India amidst great pomp and ceremony.


H.E. Zemey Rinpoche

H.E. Zemey Rinpoche

The greatness and significance of Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche’s contributions to the Dharma is widely believed to be unparalleled, but even so, Trijang Rinpoche himself singled out His Eminence Zemey Rinpoche as his equal in all aspects of attainments.

Zemey Rinpoche was an erudite scholar and a highly sought-after teacher by the monks from the three monasteries of Gaden, Sera and Drepung. As such, he became the teacher of many of the most influential practitioners of the world today including high lamas like H.E. Dagom Rinpoche and even the Dalai Lama’s translator, Thupten Jinpa. The last years of Zemey Rinpoche’s life were spent in isolated retreat, having been heavily ostracized by the Tibetan community due to his unwavering faith in Dorje Shugden.

H.E. Zemey Choktrul Rinpoche

The unmistaken incarnation of this great master has since returned, and he has been recognized by high lamas across Tibet, Nepal and India. In addition, the young incarnation has since officially reconnected with his Dharma Protector of many lifetimes as he has received Dorje Shugden initiation (sogtae) from Lama Jampa Ngodrup at Yangding Monastery in Daocheng County, Sichuan, China. Like his previous life when he was known as an erudite scholar, the current incarnation of Zemey Rinpoche has gained the reputation of being a formidable debater with penetrative insight into the teachings.


H.E. Kyabje Domo Geshe Rinpoche

The 1st Domo Geshe Rinpoche, Ngawang Kalsang

According to the well-known story, upon meeting H.E. Domo Geshe Rinpoche Ngawang Kalsang, His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama was so impressed by this erudite master that he equated meeting Domo Geshe Rinpoche as meeting Lama Tsongkhapa himself.

Tales of Domo Geshe Rinpoche’s accomplishments are aplenty, from his remarkable healing abilities to his fulfillment of a prophecy made by both his Guru and Dromtönpa (the main disciple of Atisha Dipamkara) by erecting a large Maitreya Buddha statue at Galingkang.

Domo Geshe Rinpoche is also remembered for having tamed the ferocious spirit of a murdered Mongolian monk, and installing the being within Dorje Shugden’s entourage. He is now known as Namkar Barzin, and propitiated as a member of Dorje Shugden’s entourage who is especially effective in preventing robberies. In fact, Domo Geshe Rinpoche has always had a very close connection with Dorje Shugden. His monastery, Dungkar Gompa, which is located at the crossroads of India and Tibet, would come to host many powerful oracles of Dorje Shugden.

The 2nd Domo Geshe Rinpoche

The 2nd Domo Geshe Rinpoche, Ngawang Jigme, was known for his quick intelligence and humility. In 1976, Domo Geshe Rinpoche established Dungkar Gonpa Society in the United States and shortly after that, established Gangjong Namgyal, a large piece of land in the Catskills Mountains in New York State. Gangnam, as it came to be known, would host the Dalai Lama in the summer of 1981. Domo Geshe Rinpoche continued to reside here until his passing in 2001.

In the spring of 2008, the unmistaken incarnation of Domo Geshe Rinpoche was enthroned in Samten Choling Monastery in Ghoom; in Tashi Choling Monastery in Kurseong; and in Enchey House, the ancestral home of the previous Domo Geshe Rinpoche in Gangtok, Sikkim. On 21 June 2008, His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche and Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche presided over the hair-cutting and final enthronement ceremonies at Gangnam in the USA. Today, Domo Geshe Rinpoche is undertaking his monastic education at Shar Gaden Monastery in South India.

Ironically, despite their assertion that Dorje Shugden lamas go to the three lower realms, the Tibetan leadership have also recognized their own candidate as the incarnation of this prominent Dorje Shugden lama. However, only the incarnation in Shar Gaden is acknowledged and recognized by Dorje Shugden practitioners, and indeed by Dorje Shugden himself, to be the true incarnation of the 2nd Domo Geshe Rinpoche.

The 3rd Domo Geshe Rinpoche Losang Jigme Nyak-gi Wangchuk


H.E. Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche

H.E. Denma Gonsa Rinpoche

When political turmoil reached Tibet in 1959, many lamas left to enter a life of exile in India. Only a handful of high lamas remained in Tibet to navigate the tumultuous times, to try and preserve the Dharma there. H.E. Denma Gonsa Rinpoche was one such lama who remained in Tibet and worked tirelessly to ensure the Dharma would be protected and not lost. It is a feat many agree that he was more than qualified to do, considering Denma Gonsa Rinpoche has represented the Gaden, Sera, Drepung and Reting Monasteries in Lhasa, Shigatse, Shan Nan, and other places in Tibet.

Known to be a no-nonsense, direct lama, Denma Gonsa Rinpoche would, over time, come to win the respect of both Tibetans and Chinese alike. Denma Gonsa Rinpoche was a devotee of Dorje Shugden, having built Tibet’s largest Dorje Shugden statue at his monastery. Such was his unwavering faith in the Dharma Protector and the strength of his guru devotion that Denma Gonsa Rinpoche was one of the few lamas to speak out against the Dorje Shugden ban in its early days, even directly to H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama himself.

As the well-known story goes, when the Dalai Lama called to gain Denma Gonsa Rinpoche’s support for the ban, the elderly lama hung up on the Dalai Lama. Whilst some saw this as rudeness or an act of defiance, others would later come to see this as skillful means – remaining on the phone with the Dalai Lama would have compelled Denma Gonsa Rinpoche to do something about the ban, as he would have found it difficult to resist a direct instruction from the Dalai Lama himself. Yet, he did not want to break his spiritual commitments by giving up the practice that he received from his own teachers. Regardless of Denma Gonsa Rinpoche’s motivations, his actions gave hope and courage to millions of Dorje Shugden practitioners to stand up against the ban on the practice.

H.E. the 20th Denma Gonsa Choktrul Rinpoche

Following specific instructions from Denma Gonsa Rinpoche prior to his entering clear light, his students found his perfect incarnation who was subsequently recognized by four of the greatest masters of the Gelugpa lineage, namely His Holiness the 11th Panchen Lama, His Holiness Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche, His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche, and Dorje Shugden via oracular trance. On 31 July 2014, the 20th Denma Gonsa Choktrul Rinpoche was enthroned in his monastery in Tibet, an event attended by over 200,000 people.


H.E. Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche

H.E. Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche

Recognized as the 12th Dagom Rinpoche by H.H. Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang at the age of six, His Eminence Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche was a true Dorje Shugden lama who showed every sign of being a highly accomplished master in both Sutra and Tantra. Dagom Rinpoche’s main practice was Yamantaka and indeed, the monastic community came to view the 12th Dagom Rinpoche as being one with Yamantaka himself.

After the ban on Dorje Shugden, Dagom Rinpoche spent his later years in Nepal until he entered clear light in 2007 in Bangkok, Thailand. Dagom Rinpoche’s many deeds include his incorporation of Dorje Shugden as one of the main Protectors in the magnificent Gelugpa refuge tree.

H.E. the 13th Dagom Choktrul Rinpoche Lobsang Khyenrab Tenpai Wangchuk

To incorporate a Dharma Protector into a refuge tree is no insignificant matter. The refuge tree represents all the Buddhas, yidams and deities that a Buddhist practitioner can take refuge in. Spirits, demons and other unenlightened, lesser beings are not depicted on a refuge tree as they are not objects worthy of prostrating to or taking refuge in. Hence, for Dagom Rinpoche as Yamantaka to include Dorje Shugden on the refuge tree is a strong reflection of Dorje Shugden’s nature being that of Enlightenment itself.

On 21 November 2016, the new incarnation of Dagom Rinpoche was duly recognized and enthroned at Lhorong County’s Shodo Monastery, the traditional seat of the Dagom lineage of incarnations.


Ven. Geshe Rabten Rinpoche

Venerable Geshe Rabten Rinpoche, a renowned Dorje Shugden lama, served not only as the philosophical assistant of H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, but was entrusted by the Dalai Lama to ‘break into’ the West and propagate the Dharma there. Thus, long before Tibetan lamas had truly established themselves in the United States or Europe, Geshe Rabten became the first Tibetan Buddhist master to introduce the complete Vinaya-tradition and the study of the five major topics of Buddhism to the West.

Ven. Geshe Rabten Rinpoche

Amongst Geshe Rabten’s many notable students were Venerable Lama Thubten Yeshe and Venerable Lama Zopa Rinpoche, both of whom relied on Dorje Shugden for their own works in spreading Dharma to the Western Hemisphere. Also amongst Geshe Rabten’s students was Venerable Helmut Gassner, a Western Buddhist monk who would later become the Dalai Lama’s first translator in the West, especially in Europe.

Ven. Tenzin Rabgye Rinpoche

After Geshe Rabten’s passing, his heart student Ven. Gonsar Rinpoche continued Geshe Rabten’s legacy at Rabten Choeling Monastery in Switzerland.

In 1989, Geshe Rabten’s incarnation was discovered and recognized by Gonsar Rinpoche through a series of consultations with various authoritative sources including His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden through oracular pronouncement. The new incarnation is known today as Rabten Rinpoche, or Tenzin Rabgye Rinpoche.


Venerable Lama Thubten Yeshe

Venerable Lama Yeshe, the founder of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), was one of the most beloved teachers of his time. Charming, humorous, easy-going yet extremely realized and very humble, Lama Yeshe’s method of delivering the Dharma meant thousands of Western students connected with Buddhism at a time when most were still unfamiliar with Eastern philosophies.

Lama Yeshe with his heart disciple Lama Zopa performing puja under a Dorje Shugden thangka

Under his stewardship and through his reliance on Dorje Shugden, Lama Yeshe grew FPMT to become one of the largest Tibetan Buddhist organizations in the world, with 165 Dharma centers, projects and social services.

It is no secret that Lama Yeshe strongly relied on Dorje Shugden for the growth and success of his organization. In fact, his chief disciple Lama Zopa himself has said that Lama Yeshe would never begin the One-Month Meditation Course held annually at Kopan Monastery without a kangsol (extensive puja/ritual) to propitiate the blessings of his Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. In the image above, you can see Lama Yeshe (far right) and Lama Zopa (wearing glasses) engaged in a puja under a thangka of Dorje Shugden.

Lama Ösel Hita Torres

Based on His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s confirmation of Lama Zopa’s observations, Ösel Hita Torres was recognized as the unmistaken incarnation of Lama Yeshe. He was subsequently enthroned as Tenzin Ösel Rinpoche on March 1987 at Tushita Retreat Centre in Dharamsala, India. Again, the Dalai Lama’s recognition of Lama Ösel, as he came to be known, is ironic, confusing and hypocritical considering the Tibetan leadership’s assertion that those who rely on Dorje Shugden take rebirth in the three lower realms.


H.E. Serkong Dorjechang

A collage of H.E. Serkong Dorjechang’s incarnations

A prominent Dorje Shugden lama, His Eminence Serkong Dorjechang not only authored extensive commentaries on the Tantric deity Heruka Chakrasamvara, but he also wrote extensive confession and propitiation prayers (kangsol) to the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden.

This kangsol forms the basis of the monthly Dorje Shugden puja performed by Gelugpas all over the world.

In it, Serkong Dorjechang not only asserted Dorje Shugden’s true enlightened nature but also made direct references to Dorje Shugden’s previous incarnation as Duldzin Dragpa Gyeltsen.

H.E. the 3rd Serkong Dorjechang

Serkong Dorjechang also referred to Dorje Shugden as the principal Protector of Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings as well as the special Protector of the Gaden Ear-Whispered Lineage, the heart of the Gelug tradition.

The 3rd Serkong Dorjechang was recognized as the reincarnation of the 2nd Serkong Dorjechang by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama during a Kalachakra initiation in Bodhgaya. Yet again, this recognition of the reincarnation of a Dorje Shugden lama was confusing at best and hypocritical at worst, considering the Tibetan leadership’s assertion that all Dorje Shugden practitioners take rebirth in the three lower realms.


H.E. Lati Rinpoche

H.E Lati Rinpoche

One of a very rare class of scholars, saints and practitioners who completed his training in Tibet itself, His Eminence Kyabje Lati Rinpoche not only served as spiritual advisor to H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama but the Dalai Lama also entrusted him to tutor many of the young Rinpoches of the time.

Lati Rinpoche was a former abbot of Ganden Shartse Monastery, where he would teach, advice and guide the monks long after his abbotship tenure was completed. Hence, this Dorje Shugden lama educated many of the eminent teachers, masters and scholars of today, including the likes of His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche and His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche.

And like the thousands of monks of Ganden Shartse Monastery, Lati Rinpoche relied strongly on Dorje Shugden. He was well known to consult Dorje Shugden during the monthly trances held at the Dorje Shugden Protector Chapel in the monastery.

The young reincarnation of Lati Rinpoche with H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama

To say that the 14th Dalai Lama respected Lati Rinpoche would be an understatement. The Dalai Lama was so fond of Lati Rinpoche that within the Dalai Lama’s personal monastery, Namgyal Monastery in Dharamsala, North India, the Dalai Lama had rooms permanently allocated for Lati Rinpoche’s use. It was a highly unusual occurrence, but it served to reflect their close, personal relationship. And so great was Lati Rinpoche’s contribution to the Buddhadharma that when he entered clear light, the 14th Dalai Lama immediately composed a prayer for the swift return of Lati Rinpoche’s incarnation.

According to recent information released by Lati Ladrang, the new incarnation of Kyabje Lati Rinpoche has been found in Mustang, Nepal – along the border of Nepal and Tibet. Considering Lati Rinpoche’s well-known reliance on Dorje Shugden and the CTA’s claim that all Dorje Shugden practitioners take rebirth in the three lower realms, the Tibetan leadership’s act of recognizing yet another Shugden lama is very hypocritical.


Venerable Zawa Rinpoche

Ven. Zawa Tulku Rinpoche

In addition to having two prominent Dorje Shugden lamas like Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche as his main gurus, Venerable Zawa Geshe Rinpoche received teachings from many high lamas of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, including the practice of Dorje Shugden which he kept all his life.

It is a testament to his accomplishments that many miraculous signs appeared and quite a number of sacred relics were discovered when Zawa Geshe Rinpoche chose to pass into clear light.

In this life, the unmistaken incarnation of Zawa Geshe Rinpoche, Zawa Tulku Rinpoche was recognized again by many yogis and high lamas. This includes the Panglung Oracle when he was in trance of Dorje Shugden. Zawa Tulku Rinpoche was enthroned in an elaborate and large ceremony at Ganden Shartse Monastery in 1997.


H.H. Sharpa Choeje Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Nyima

H.H. Sharpa Choeje Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Nyima

It is a testament to His Holiness Sharpa Choeje Rinpoche’s attainments and the respect he won that, when he completed not one but two Vajrayogini three-year, three-month, three-day retreats, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama instructed him to become the Abbot of Ganden Shartse Monastery.

This was after he had already completed a tenureship as Abbot of Gyuto Tantric College. Later, Kensur Jetsun Lobsang Nyima Rinpoche ascended to the throne of Sharpa Choeje, ‘Lord of the East’. This put him in line to become the next Gaden Tripa, the Throneholder of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism considered to be Lama Tsongkhapa’s representative on this earth.

The young incarnation of H.H. Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima

Being a devoted student of H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, it is no surprise that Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima faithfully propitiated Dorje Shugden.

What is surprising however, is that both Dorje Shugden and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama have confirmed the same candidate as the unmistaken incarnation of Sharpa Choeje Rinpoche. It is surprising considering the Tibetan leadership’s false assertion that those who rely on Dorje Shugden will take rebirth in the three lower realms.


H.H. the 10th Panchen Lama Lobsang Trinley Lhundrub Chokyi Gyaltsen

H.H. the 10th Panchen Lama

It is common knowledge that in his great omniscience, His Holiness the 10th Panchen Lama held Dorje Shugden as a principal Dharma Protector of his lineage. In fact, at his monastic seat of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, he would personally propitiate Dorje Shugden together with the other Protectors of Tashi Lhunpo. Tashi Lhunpo itself has a special temple and chapel dedicated to the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. Every day, special pujas, rites and rituals propitiating Dorje Shugden’s blessings are conducted by senior monks, as they have been for decades already.

The 10th Panchen Lama wrote extensively, and his works have been compiled into various volumes known collectively as a sungbum (collected works). Contained within the Panchen Lama’s sungbum are extensive prayers that the Panchen Lama himself composed to propitiate Dorje Shugden’s blessings. Had Dorje Shugden been a minor Protector, or an insignificant practice, a lama of the Panchen Lama’s caliber would not have dedicated so many pages of his sungbum to the propitiation of Dorje Shugden.

H.H. the 11th Panchen Lama Gyaincain Norbu

On 29 November 1995, His Holiness the 11th Panchen Lama Jetsun Lobsang Jampa Lhundrub Chokyi Gyalpo Pelsangpo was recognized and was enthroned in Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Shigatse, Tibet on 8 December of that same year. He was selected using the Golden Urn Method, which had also been used for recognizing the 11th Dalai Lama and His Holiness the 8th Panchen Lama.

The Tibetan leadership have proposed their own candidate for the seat of the 11th Panchen Lama. Their insistence on a candidate is confusing considering the 10th Panchen Lama clearly worshipped Dorje Shugden and therefore, according to the CTA’s own claim, there should not be an 11th Panchen Lama at all. Therefore, their own action of recognizing a Panchen Lama candidate contradicts what they claim to be true about Dorje Shugden.



It is clearly evident from the above that;

  • All these erudite enlightened masters had unshakable faith in the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden and were committed proponents of the Protector’s practice
  • All of them are irrefutable masters of both Sutra and Tantra of impeccable standing and unstained reputation
  • All their reincarnations were either found, confirmed, recognized and/or enthroned by highly learned and accomplished masters with the same irrefutable attainments and qualities

Thus, if Dorje Shugden was really an evil spirit, it should be impossible for any one of the above lamas to reincarnate in human form at all given, according to the CTA, that they were doomed to end up in the three lower realms. If Dorje Shugden’s practice really is demon worship that causes people to take rebirth in the three lower realms, then why did His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama confirm and enthrone the reincarnations of Dorje Shugden masters?

At the end of the day:

  • There is clear evidence of Dorje Shugden lamas returning in perfect human form (and not ending up in the three lower realms) despite their continued propitiation of Dorje Shugden
  • The actions of the Tibetan leadership are inconsistent, hypocritical and contradictory to their own stance about Dorje Shugden practice
  • In the absence of clear proof, the Tibetan leadership has no solid justification to ban Dorje Shugden practice. In recognizing the reincarnation of any Dorje Shugden lama, they themselves undermine and invalidate one of the reasons they gave to ban the practice
  • For Dorje Shugden practitioners, there is no contradiction in their behavior – Dorje Shugden practitioners believe Dorje Shugden is an enlightened being and thus, his practice will not send practitioners to the three lower realms. As a result, there is no conflict in recognizing any reincarnations.

Thus, it is plain to see that the Tibetan leadership’s false assertions damning Dorje Shugden as an evil spirt just does not add up. But then again, considering the ban has always been based on politically-motivated trumped-up charges, is it any surprise that yet again, the Tibetan leadership’s behavior is proven to be hypocritical and their reasons for the ban proven to be wrong? No, there is absolutely no surprise at all.


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  1. The Indian police has issued a circular for Tibetan refugees who are Indian voters or Indian citizens to surrender their Tibetan refugees registration certificates (RCs). Dawa Rinchen, Tibetan settlement officer at McLeodganj, said that the matter was to be dealt by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).

    There are around 1,400 Tibetan voters registered in Kangra district, many of them have exercised their voting rights in the state assembly elections without surrendering their RCs.

    The Tibetan and Indian authorities are in a fix over this issue as the Tibetan authorities say that they don’t have any data of such Tibetans while the Indian authorities have passed the responsibility to Tibetan authorities stating that they had not asked anyone to apply for Indian citizenship or voting cards.

    The CTA has already asked the Tibetans that they cannot take the benefits of being a refugee if they are holding Indian citizenship. There are also guidelines that such Tibetans have to leave the settlements. However, it remains to be seen if such rules will affect the CTA officials, such as Dhardon Sharling, Dolma Gyari, and Lhagyari Namgyal Dolkar who hold Indian passports.

    Surrender RCs if registered as Indian voters, Tibetans told
    Shri Puri | TNN | Updated: Feb 11, 2018, 10:02 IST
    DHARAMSHALA: Tibetan refugees, who are now Indian voters, have been directed by the police headquarters to surrender their registration certificates (RCs). The certificate is the primary identity document for Tibetans living in India. While it gives them foreign status, voter ID proves their Indian identity.
    Superintendent of police (SP) Santosh Patial told TOI that a circular in this regard had been issued as it was mandatory that if a Tibetan had availed Indian citizenship and voting rights he was supposed to submit his RC.
    “A circular in this regard has been issued across Tibetan settlements in Kangra district,” he said, adding that directions were issued earlier this week.
    Dawa Rinchen, Tibetan settlement officer at McLeodganj, said they had received the letter from the police department and other settlements as well, but the matter was to be dealt by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).
    “We have received the letter and it has been forwarded to the home and security department of the CTA. It is not in our purview,” he said.
    The RCs would be submitted to the foreigner registration office (FRO). The SP office has sent the circulars to Tibetan settlements in McLeodganj, Bir Tibetan Society, Nangchen division, Dege division and Tashi Jong Tibetan camp, falling under Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh.
    It was said that the issue of Tibetan refugees holding electoral card without surrendering their RCs was raised by the principal secretary, ministry of home affairs, through official channels to the Himachal government.
    According to well placed sources, there are around 1,400 Tibetan voters registered in Kangra district but many of them have exercised their voting rights in the state assembly elections without surrendering their RCs.
    The Tibetan and Indian authorities are in a fix over this issue. Tibetan authorities say that they don’t have any data of such Tibetans and it is the electoral office that could reveal the name of Tibetans, who voted in the assembly polls, on the other hand the Indian authorities have passed the responsibility to Tibetan authorities stating that they had not asked anyone to apply for Indian citizenship or voting cards.
    “The CTA has already asked the Tibetans that they cannot take the benefits of being a refugee if they are holding Indian citizenship. There are also guidelines that such Tibetans have to leave the settlements,” said a source.

    Surrender RCs if registered as Indian voters, Tibetans told

  2. Tibet Autonomous Region Public Security Department issued a report on organized crime, that contains information about activities that violate the existing law and regulations. The CPC Central Committee and State Council will act to control these criminal activities to ensure social harmony and stability, and that the people live and work in peace and happiness. CPC called the ‘Middle Way’ as a narrow nationalistic idea and is trying to control any activities related to supporting the Dalai Lama.

    Notice of the Tibet Autonomous Region Public Security Department on Reporting Leads on Crimes and violations by Underworld forces
    Tibet Daily | 2018/02/10 | 19:18
    Underworld forces are a malignant cancer of healthy economic and social development, they are chronic disease that is loathed by the people, and must be resolutely combated in accordance with law. Based on the spirit of the “Notice on Carrying out a Special Crackdown on Clearing Away Organized Crime and Eliminating Vice” issued to the entire nation January 11, 2018 by the CPC Central Committee and State Council, so as thoroughly advance the special crackdown on clearing away organized crime and eliminating vice, to ensure that the people live and work in peace and happiness, to ensure social harmony and stability, and to bring about long-term national stability, the broad masses of the people are asked to enthusiastically report leads on cases of violations or crimes by underworld forces. Notice on matters related to reporting is hereby given as follows;
    I. Content of Reports
    (1) Underworld forces that threaten political security, especially to regime security and institutional security, as well as those penetrating into the political sphere.
    (2) Underworld forces interconnected with the Dalai clique, accepting remote control or command, or participating in separatist and disruptive activities.
    (3) Underworld forces with temples as patrons; using religion to control, to confuse, to incite, or coerce the masses to resist the Party and government; or interfering in basic-level administrative, judicial, educational or other affairs.
    (4) Underworld forces with close relations and interconnections to all kinds of illegal organization, instilling the masses with reactionary idea and narrow nationalistic ideas such as the ‘Middle Way’ and ‘protecting the “mother tongue”.
    (5) Underworld forces holding themselves out as so-called ‘spokespersons’ for the masses, under banners such as economics, the people’s livelihood, environmental protection, folk customs and culture, that are in fact the ‘spokespersons’ of the Dalai clique and hostile foreign [non-mainland] forces.
    (6) Underworld forces illegally soliciting donations, fund-raising, giving out fines, taking compulsory collection from the people, or seizing opportunities for unjust enrichment, and providing funds to the Dalai clique.
    (7) Underworld forces such as black village officials with a grip on basic-level political power, monopolies on local economic resources, and misappropriating collective property.
    (8) Underworld forces using of illegal means such as fraud, bribery, threats, and violence, to manipulate, disrupt, or undermine basic-level general elections.
    (9) Underworld forces such as ‘village tyrants, that exploit religion or family forces to cross the countryside, play the tyrants, or bully and suppress the common people.
    (10) Underworld forces that exploit religion or family forces to illegally meddle and intervene in conflicts and dispute among the people such as over boundaries, pastures, caterpillar fungus, and debts, to act as ‘underground law enforcement teams’ meddling and intervening in the basic-level administration and judiciary.
    (11) Underworld forces stirring up trouble in land acquisition, leases, demolitions, engineering projects, and the like, so as to obtain unlawful benefits.
    (12) Underworld forces such as all types of ‘Sand Boss’, ‘Car Boss’ , or ‘Road Boss’ that interfere with engineering and construction in industries or fields such as architectural engineering, transport, and mining, by strong arm projects, maliciously bid, illegally occupy land, excessively mine, seize resources, monopolize or compel sales, block roads to take tolls, or compelling hire of equipment and personnel.
    (13) Underworld forces such as ‘Market Bosses”, “Industry Bosses”, “Produce Bosses”, and “Meat Bosses” that dominate markets, force sales, or accept protection money, in venues such as commercial trade markets, wholesale markets, bus stations, train stations, airports, and tourist destinations.
    (14) Underworld forces manipulating or operating illegal and criminal activities such as ‘porn, gambling, and drugs’.
    (15) Underworld forces using any kind of method of high interest lending such as “routine loans” or “campus loans’ or using violence to collect debts.
    (16) Underworld forces meddling in civil disputes, serving as ‘underground law enforcement teams’.
    (17) Underworld forces organizing the employment of online ‘paid trolls [or commenters]‘ to threaten, intimidate, berate, defame, make trouble.
    (18) Underworld forces through connect online through means such as establishing Wechat groups, online forums, or other means, and that carry out illegal or criminal activities offline.
    (19) Underworld forces that engage in unlawful or criminal activities such as illegal fundraising and operations, grabbing and holding economic interests, seriously harming the order fair competition and the environment of economic development.
    (20) Personnel of State organs exploiting their position to facilitate, harbor,or abet, crimes by underworld forces, serving as their ‘protective umbrella’
    (21) Forced trading, extortion and blackmail, provocation [picking quarels], gathering crowds to fight, unlawful detention, intentional destruction of property, organizing prostitution, forcing prostitution, setting up casinos, and other types of crime involving vice.
    (22) Other leads as to crimes involving organized crime and vice.
    II. Channels for reporting
    (1) Field Reports: Tibet Public Security Bureau Criminal Investigation Team. Organized Crime Investigation Branch, No. 35 Lin Ju Road, Lhasa Chengguan District, Tibet Autonomous Region.
    Reports may also be made directly to municipal or regional public security bureaus, of criminal forensics squads.
    (2) Telephone Reports: Call the Tibet Autonomous Region Public Security Organ Public Reporting Number: 0891-12389. Note: Select the relevant public security organ for reporting based on the telephone voice prompts.
    Clearing away organized crime and eliminating vice is a people’s war, and must rely on the public’s active participation. The masses’ are welcome to actively report and uncover leads on violations and crimes involving underworld forces, and to resolutely struggle against underworld forces’ illegal conduct. The public security organs are to lawfully protect the personal information and security of groups that provide leads. The legal responsibility of reporters will be pursued in accordance with law where reporting is malicious or framing others. Where the subjects of reports carry out revenge, they are to be given severe and heavy punishments in accordance with law.
    Public Security Department for the Tibet Autonomous Region

    Notice of the Tibet Autonomous Region Public Security Department on Reporting Leads on Crimes and violations by Underworld forces

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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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