Gyudmed Monastery (Lower Tantric College) Kensur Sonam Gyaltsen’s Letter to Tibetan Buddhists and Tibetan Government-in-exile: An open Letter to Gelug Monasteries & Sangha Regarding Dorje Shugden
Dear all Gurus and monks,
Regarding the letter sent December 30, 2010, and received on January 13, 2011. The content of this letter asked me to give up the protector practice, let me explain:
In 1996 I was the Khenpo (abbot) of Gyudmed Monastery, at that time, from the Khenpo to the new monks at the end of the seats, everybody was to submit a statement to stop propitiating protector. Besides this, the letter also mentioned that we must make sure to cut off all Dharmic and worldly connections with people who pray to Gyalchen (Dorje Shugden) Protector. Such an order is impossible to carry out, please allow me to state my reasons:
Jangtse Dratsang (Gaden Monastery North College) is not a newly built monastery in India, there have been many Gurus, Rinpoches, and Geshes who propitiated Gyalchen Shugden: the attained Gurus that spread the Dharma nectar to learning monks in the Dratsang – Serkong Dorje Chang, his incarnation the 2nd Serkong Dorje Chang, Kenchen Tendakwa Rinpoche, Phara Rinpoche Lobsang Yeshe Sonam Chokyi Wangchuk, (Hardong) Geshe Rinpoche Kenrab Samten, (Gowo) Kensur Yeshe Gawa, (Tsawa) Drokmi Jampa Lodro Rinpoche, (Gowo) Geshe Nyima Gyaltsen, (Gowo) Ken Rinpoche Sonam Kunga.
These great Lamas are great masters who taught Sutra and Tantra teachings in Jangtse Monastery, if we swear to cut off all Dharmic and worldly material relationship with them, it is totally unacceptable. Forcing ourselves to cut off all Dharmic and worldly material relationship with our Gurus is something impossible to do even for non-Buddhists, let alone Buddhists like ourselves. Where did you get your Sutra and Tantra lineage from? Maybe you dug it out from the ground. Ken Rinpoche Sonam Kunga tirelessly taught us a lot of great scriptures, he received the teachings from his Gurus and Geshes. From Serkong Dorje Chang to Ken Rinpoche Sonam Kunga, and all the Dratsang great masters in between, it is widely known that they practiced protector Gyalchen Dorje Shugden.
You forced us monks to cut off all Dharmic and worldly material relationship with them, I cannot do it, because I am a monk, according to Tibetan traditional vinaya code a monk is not allowed to swear. This code is also in Shakyamuni’s Vinaya scripture towards the end, page 392, you can go and check for yourselves. You should request Samdhong Rinpoche, “Please be compassionate, don’t let the monks swear, because monks are not allowed to swear.” But you didn’t request, and you followed Samdhong Rinpoche’s order and you swore, and caused the great Gaden Monastery to fall apart into different factions. I did not swear because I did not want to create schism among Sangha. Some people abuse the vinaya power in their hands, this is widely known, it is like our Tibetan proverbs “The person in charge of the water flour mill is not the main person-in-charge, the head of the farm village is not the government officials.”
I have already quoted the scriptures for you in my letter above, and have shown to you with valid and solid proofs that Gyalchen Dorje Shugden is a saint, is a protector, is a Gelug protector. I am not trying to show off my knowledge in my letter, I wrote it because I had no choice.
It seemed like our government-in-exile had nothing better to do, they spent so many years to create chaos, excommunicate many monks, divided a fine dratsang into two factions, I wrote this letter because I had enough, it is too much.
Regarding Dorje Shugden, we just have to check the historical materials and we will understand the original facts. I wish the unnecessary chaos created in these 40 years can be pacified very soon.
This letter is sent to the religious department, Samdhong Rinpoche and various dratsangs, please read it openly in front of all sangha.
Gyudmed Monastery Kensur Sonam Gyaltsen
January 13, 2011
Written in West Europe
Gyudmed Kensur Sonam Gyaltsen Rinpoche
Gyudmed Kensur Sonam Gyaltsen Rinpoche, or known as Geshe Sonam or Gen Tati, was born in the Year of the Tiger fire, the 13th day of the first Tibetan month (March 13, 1926), in a large family of nomadic herders in Atsa Region, between Kongpo and Kham in central Tibet. Rinpoche entered religious life at the age of 5.
On March 23, 1959, like thousands of his countrymen, Rinpoche fled Tibet for exile in India. In 1971, Rinpoche passed the exams of “Geshe Lharampa” (Doctor in Buddhist philosophy) where he obtained the first rank.
While at Gaden Jangtse, Rinpoche studied under teachers like Phara Rinpoche, Geshe Samten Kenrab, Geshe Nyima Gyaltsen, Kyabje Trijang Dorjechang and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche.
In 1974, Rinpoche completed a 600-pages doctoral thesis which the theme focuses on “mental images” at the University of Varanasi, India. Rinpoche arrived in France in 1980, where Rinpoche lived until 1990. That year, Rinpoche was appointed as the Vice-Abbot, then three years later, the Abbot of Gyudmed Dratsang until 1996. After that, Rinpoche returned to and lived in France.
From 2002 to 2006, Rinpoche went into a solitary retreat. Since 2004, Rinpoche devotes his time to writing. Rinpoche completed a treaty on the Vinaya, specifically the ordination of Bhikshuni. It traces the history of the introduction of the Vinaya in Tibet and chronicles the debates, the decisions taken by great masters, and supporting references.
For further reading:
on The Conpendium of Vinaya by Khensur Rinpoche
GADEN JANGTSE THOESAM NORLING MONASTIC UNIVERSITY
Gaden was founded by Je-Rinpoche also known as Lama Tsong-kha Pa in 1409, near Lhasa-the Capital of Tibet. Je-Rinpoche is the founder of Ge-lug-pa tradition or the yellow hat sect of the Tibetan Buddhism. In 1959, the People’s Republic of China invaded Tibet and Gaden Monastery was re-established near Mundgod in Karnataka State, India.
There are two colleges within Gaden monastery named Shartse and Jangtse.
Gaden Jangtse Norling school was started in late 1969 by the initiative and wishes of then Khen Rinpoche and senior monks of the Gaden Jangtse Monastery. Today this monastery continues to be the leading center for learning and practicing the Buddha Dharma. Here the monks study and practice the dharma all their lives. There are more than 1800 monks at present in the monastery.
Every year around 17 to 20 monks are passing Geshe Lharampa degree (20+year degree). Some of them they remain here in the monastery to teach Buddha Dharma to the fellow monks and some of them are appointed as a religious instructor/teachers at different schools in India and abroad.
Lama Camp No.1, P.O.,
Mundgod, India District North Kanara,
Karnataka State, INDIA.
GYUDMED TANTRIC MONASTERY IN TIBET
The Gyudmed Monastery was founded in Tibet in 1433 by Lama Je Sherab Senge, the most renowned and celebrated disciple of Lama Je Tsongkhapa. Gyudmed Monastery in Tibet was the first tantric monastery of the Gelugpas and was created in the style of Nalanda, Sera, Drepung, and Gaden monasteries with one difference, these famous monasteries were established for the teaching of sutra, while Gyudmed was established as a centre for the study of Tantra.
Gyudmed Exile in India
After the national uprising against the Chinese in 1959, thousands of Tibetans fled, following His Holiness the Dalai Lama into exile in India. One hundred and fifty Gyudmed monks came in the first wave of Tibetan refugees and re-established the monastery temporarily in Dalhousie, Northern India. They stayed there until 1972 when, with the guidance of H.H. the Dalai Lama and the help of the Govt. of Karnataka, they relocated permanently to Gurupura, in the state of Karnataka, in South India. From that beginning, of only one hundred and fifty monks, the monastery grew and has continued to grow, keeping its rituals and cultural traditions alive. Over the years the number of monks has increased to over 500. Of these only 35 remain of the initial group.
From its beginning and up to the present, the monastery has been overseen by an unbroken succession of over 100 Gyudmed abbots and has produced over 50 Gaden Tripas, the official head of the Gelukpa School.
Lama Camp No.1, P.O.,
Mundgod, India District North Kanara,
Karnataka State, INDIA.
从始至今，寺院经历了超过100多位住持，并创造了超过50位甘丹赤巴 – 格鲁派法座持有者。