Author Topic: The Dalai Lama says it's up to you to practise Shugden or not  (Read 14424 times)

WisdomBeing

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The Dalai Lama says it's up to you to practise Shugden or not
« on: January 06, 2012, 02:54:25 PM »
Thank you HH Dalai Lama - for saying that it's up to us whether we practise or not.

From the article below, i'd just like to draw attention to a few points of interest.

1. Again the Dalai Lama urges people not to follow Dorje Shugden "After thorough study and research" but again, there is no elaboration of WHAT this thorough study and research is.

2. It's up to you - so we can practise if we want to? So it's not that harmful??

3. The decade-old allegations that Dorje Shugden practitioners murdered someone. Firstly - this was not proven. Secondly, if a Christian or Muslim murders somebody - does that mean ALL Christians and ALL Muslims are bad?

4. With regard to the Charter of the Monastic Discipline of the Gelugpa Sect, which “categorically forfeits the enrollment of monks who continue to propitiate Shugden in all Gelugpa monasteries”. This directive, however, did not involve those “who wish to join schools in the exile community”.  - aren't all Shugden monks ostracised in the exile community? Now they can join schools?

5. Thank you again, dear HH Dalai Lama for bringing Dorje Shugden into the limelight. The world does need constant reminders about this issue so that people will do their own research and find out more about Dorje Shugden. Please keep it up!



It’s my responsibility to urge not to follow Shugden deity: The Dalai Lama
http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?article=It’s+my+responsibility+to+urge+not+to+follow+Shugden+deity%3A+The+Dalai+Lama&id=30654

Phayul[Friday, January 06, 2012 15:09]
By Tendar Tsering

BODH GAYA, January 6: During the course of his ongoing ten-day Kalachakra teachings, the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama firmly urged his devotees on Thursday not to follow the Shugden deity.

“After thorough study and research, I realised that it is harmful to follow the Shugden deity, so I stopped worshipping,” said the Dalai Lama to the gathering of around 200,000 disciples from 63 countries in Bodh Gaya.

“So, after knowing and understanding the harmful impacts of worshipping the deity, it is my responsibility to urge my devotees not to follow it”.

“But it is up to you whether you still want to continue following it or not. My responsibility is to show you the proper way,” 76-year old Tibetan leader said while cautioning Shugden followers not to attend his teachings as it went against the Buddhist concept of the pure relationship between the teacher and the disciple.

The Shugden issue took a gruesome turn more than a decade back when followers of the deity murdered a Tibetan monk teacher and his disciples in Dharamshala, north India for toeing the line of the Dalai Lama.

Local Indian investigating police had concluded that the accused of the murder succeeded in escaping to China occupied Tibet.

There have been concrete evidences of Chinese government exploiting the situation to create disturbances and un-stability in the Tibetan community since the debate on Shugden surfaced.

The Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in a release issued on October 3, 2007 exclusively on its position on the Shugden followers from Tibet had directed the Tibetan Reception Centre not to issue referral letters to those Tibetans coming from Tibet who continue to propitiate Shugden to the monasteries.

According to the release, the Charter of the Monastic Discipline of the Gelugpa Sect, adopted in 2006, “categorically forfeits the enrollment of monks who continue to propitiate Shugden in all Gelugpa monasteries”. This directive, however, did not involve those “who wish to join schools in the exile community”.

“In order to undermine the peace and harmony within the Tibetan people, China provides political and financial support to Shugden worshippers in Tibet, India and Nepal in particular, and in general, across the globe” said the CTA in the press statement.

While speaking to an exclusive audience of over 8000 Tibetans from Tibet, a few days back in Bodh Gaya, the Dalai Lama had clarified his stand on the Shugden deity.

“I heard some Tibetans in Tibet think that I am still following the Shugden and I have further heard some even say that I have not urged an end to Shugden worship,” the Dalai Lama said. “So today, I have made it very clear.”
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

beggar

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Re: The Dalai Lama says it's up to you to practise Shugden or not
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2012, 03:58:25 PM »
well, the only thing than being talked about is NOT being talked about! so like Kate, I thank the Dalai Lama for keeping the issue current and still talked about!

thank you for sharing this information and news article. Very interesting to see what is continued to be said by the Dalai Lama....

However, I don't think it's just me who's noticed that his tone and approach has changed over the years. It went from a categorical, emphatic NO YOU CANNOT PRACTICE to saying "But it is up to you whether you still want to continue following it or not." (although yes, it is not clear what this "proper way" is and what these "harmful effects" really are).

The saddest and most tragic thing however, is that while on the one hand the Dalai Lama says it is up to people to choose whether to practice or not, those who choose to continue practicing face terrible consequences. For some people, it is not a choice. They have to give it up whether they want to or not, or they face complete exile from their communities. As we've seen in that video, some of the monks are already so old - where will they go if they are expelled from their monasteries for choosing to maintain their practice?

So, it's not really a choice then, is it? Just a politically-correct statement?

The Dalai Lama has also on other occasions also stated clearly that we should do our study and research before deciding. So this gives a little bit of hope - is he leaving the door slightly open? A little bit of leeway that's starting to creep its way it? What do you all think?

Galen

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Re: The Dalai Lama says it's up to you to practise Shugden or not
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2012, 05:20:34 PM »
The Dalai Lama is not giving the DS practitioners a choice, just like what he told Trijang Rinpoche years ago the he can practice but his life will be difficult. So, his message to the monks is that if they practice, life will be difficult for them too.

The Dalai Lama has never given a clear and strong reason on why DS should not be worshiped. It has always been very vague. Maybe this is his way of creating more waves in the ocean when there is already a storm happening.

It may be because of Tibet's independence, where he can't fulfill his promise of a free Tibet and therefore he needs this controversy to divert the world attention in the Independence of Tibet. I do agree with beggar that the Dalai Lama's tone on this issue has changed slightly softer. Maybe this is some leeway he is giving for DS practitioners that will have the merging of schools easier in the future when the ban is lifted.

Just my train of thoughts.


Dolce Vita

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Re: The Dalai Lama says it's up to you to practise Shugden or not
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2012, 11:59:17 PM »
“In order to undermine the peace and harmony within the Tibetan people, China provides political and financial support to Shugden worshippers in Tibet, India and Nepal in particular, and in general, across the globe” said the CTA in the press statement. "

We can see that with the DS controversy, with HHDL voicing out 'against' DS, China on the other hand is helping to grow the practice of DS. The positive side of this controversy is actually the spread of DS practice in a country with billions of population.

shugdenprotect

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Re: The Dalai Lama says it's up to you to practise Shugden or not
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2012, 01:48:43 AM »
Thank you Wisdom Being for sharing.

It is encouraging to experience the Dalai Lama soften his stance against Dorje Shugden. I believe that, in strategy, it is a combination of doing the right thing at the right time with the right people. Perhaps, after a certain period of time, HH sees that it is unlikely that Tibet will be able to be free of China…perhaps HH even sees that there is long-term benefit for China to remain in Tibet when HH looked at the entire picture. Example:

1)   China is rising rapidly as a world power and has strong influence economically, and then its political influence began to grow. Now, China’s social authority is also rising as companies all over the world start to adopt themselves to meet Chinese consumers’ habits and style. With the “Tibet issue” and China’s growing importance in the international arena that require China to look good with international political, economical and social standards, conscious effort will be made to prove China’s fair treatment of Tibet by supporting Tibetan culture, which certainly includes Tibetan Buddhism.
2)   The Tibetan Government does not have the adequate resources to take over the country anymore, after being in exile for so long. In such a situation, HH would have to “get help” from some other country (if HH manages to liberate Tibet) and become susceptible to that country. So, instead of going from the pan into the fire, HH leaves the situation “in the pan” for the time being. As time progress, it becomes evident that Tibet has progressed under the authority of China with improved infrastructure, education system AND the Chinese support towards Dorje Shugden practice. Therefore, in seeing this benefit, HH is taking a softer stance recently. Perhaps HH is slowly but surely preparing the people to start embracing Dorje Shugden again. It will not be a big surprise is HH says that IT IS OK TO PRACTICE DS in the near future. Impermanence!

Additionally, it is unreasonable for the CTA to completely make the Chinese look like bad guys. The opportunity of this controversy is created by the CTA by “marketing” the ban of Dorje Shugden. So, instead of constantly blaming Dorje Shugden, practicing monks who are labeled as Chinese spies and the Chinese authority, the CTA should quiet down about this ban or do something more effective end this unnecessary suffering. If they are not doing this, there must be another (some would say a big-picture) reason for all this drama.

With the opening of monasteries that embrace Dorje Shugden, the sangha community who chooses to practice Dorje Shugden has a place to go, unlike in the past. So, in giving the option to practice (it is up to you) now is a good time because HH knows that there is a conducive environment in which the monks can take refuge in.

Thus, as we always state in this forum, this intricate web of connections are created and monitored by enlightened beings that see beyond what is visible to the eyes. May all the turn of events only bring benefit to all beings and may we, common people, focus our actions on virtuous acts that will contribute merits for the practice of Dorje Shugden to return to mainstream practice.

hope rainbow

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Re: The Dalai Lama says it's up to you to practise Shugden or not
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2012, 02:57:16 AM »
[...]
The saddest and most tragic thing however, is that while on the one hand the Dalai Lama says it is up to people to choose whether to practice or not, those who choose to continue practicing face terrible consequences.
For some people, it is not a choice.
They have to give it up whether they want to or not, or they face complete exile from their communities.
As we've seen in that video, some of the monks are already so old - where will they go if they are expelled from their monasteries for choosing to maintain their practice?

Thank you Beggar for your post, and Thank you Kate.

I wonder actually if the difficulties endured by many because of the ban is not a way of purification that will allow the prractitioners to practice more swiftly and with lesser obstacles in the near future?

I'd rather have to face difficulties arising from an instruction from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, rather than from orders by the CTA...

Zach

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Re: The Dalai Lama says it's up to you to practise Shugden or not
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2012, 01:00:42 PM »
You dont have to follow my advise...But if you dont my followers will threaten you, your family, Ostracise you from the community, put up posters with you on, Burn down you property, subject you to physcial and emotional violence, Make accusations of you being chinese spys and anti tibetan.

As I said you are perfectly free to make a choice.  :)

are these the actions of a Bodhisattva ?  :-\

Positive Change

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Re: The Dalai Lama says it's up to you to practise Shugden or not
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2012, 09:01:53 PM »
You dont have to follow my advise...But if you dont my followers will threaten you, your family, Ostracise you from the community, put up posters with you on, Burn down you property, subject you to physcial and emotional violence, Make accusations of you being chinese spys and anti tibetan.

As I said you are perfectly free to make a choice.  :)

are these the actions of a Bodhisattva ?  :-\

Well Zach, I for one am in no way, shape or form able to question the actions of a Bodhisattva? I am still of the conviction HHDL is "acting" out of pure motivation to benefit others... an action though at times difficult to comprehend as I too see, like most of us, the suffering there is for those practising openingly and secretly even. How this rift has caused so much pain, anguish, frustration and anger even to the point where we question our very believe and faith in a Buddha (e.g. HHDL).

Perhaps we should see the other side of the coin whereby HHDL is using this ban to "promote" the King in ways we cannot even begin to comprehend or see the light of if not for the ban.

The sad thing is the CTA is using this "method" to enforce its own so called political and secular endeavours.... that is what infuriates me. To use HHDL in a manner whereby it belittles the very being he is... Karma is a bitch CTA, wait till it comes back and nips you in the butt!

Zach

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Re: The Dalai Lama says it's up to you to practise Shugden or not
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2012, 11:06:23 PM »
You dont have to follow my advise...But if you dont my followers will threaten you, your family, Ostracise you from the community, put up posters with you on, Burn down you property, subject you to physcial and emotional violence, Make accusations of you being chinese spys and anti tibetan.

As I said you are perfectly free to make a choice.  :)

are these the actions of a Bodhisattva ?  :-\

Well Zach, I for one am in no way, shape or form able to question the actions of a Bodhisattva? I am still of the conviction HHDL is "acting" out of pure motivation to benefit others... an action though at times difficult to comprehend as I too see, like most of us, the suffering there is for those practising openingly and secretly even. How this rift has caused so much pain, anguish, frustration and anger even to the point where we question our very believe and faith in a Buddha (e.g. HHDL).

Perhaps we should see the other side of the coin whereby HHDL is using this ban to "promote" the King in ways we cannot even begin to comprehend or see the light of if not for the ban.

The sad thing is the CTA is using this "method" to enforce its own so called political and secular endeavours.... that is what infuriates me. To use HHDL in a manner whereby it belittles the very being he is... Karma is a bitch CTA, wait till it comes back and nips you in the butt!

Question what does it say of the qualities of Bodhisattvas within the scriptures ? The Answer of wether HHDL is an ordinary being or a Bodhisattva will be seen by his actions toward others.

hope rainbow

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Re: The Dalai Lama says it's up to you to practise Shugden or not
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2012, 03:14:30 AM »
Question what does it say of the qualities of Bodhisattvas within the scriptures?
The Answer of wether HHDL is an ordinary being or a Bodhisattva will be seen by his actions toward others.


I do agree with you on that, though we should look at the result of these actions, short, medium and long term also, and differentiate between HH's actions and the actions of some of HH's followers that misrepresent HH's teachings all together.

Note that history is giving us hints as this is not the first time that HH's actions have been misunderstood by his contemporaries.
There are even historical examples of his contemporaries loosing faith in HH and creating obstacles for the actions of HH to bear fruits in the long term.
A famous example of this is during the time of the 6th Dalai Lama, when HH's vision to transform Tibet into a kingdom was sabotaged by some of HH's followers themselves.
Who knows what would be of Tibet today if it had become a kingdom? We can only imagine (see Bhutan and Nepal...).

Having said this, there are truly shocking events going on these days in the Tibetan communities in India and Nepal, events that do not match with the ideas of freedom, or very basic humanitarian values.
The situation reminds me of the apartheid in South Africa!

This video of the monks in Ganden made to swear that they do not practice Dorje Shugden is very shocking: http://dorjeshugden.com/wp/?p=10777, and the representative of the CTA lecturing the monks is simply in-comprehensible and saddening.
What is going on???

We must make the truth known louder about who Dorje Shugden is, I think that is the way to go!
We must make the CTA realize what is going on and be SMART!
It is the wish of the Dalai Lama to separate politic and religion, thus, the CTA could very well declare that the ban is not within its jurisdiction and focus on politics instead.

If the CTA cannot manage Guru devotion with HHDL and internal politics (caring for ALL Tibetans equally), how could they possibly manage negotiations with the Chinese government...

Mana

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Re: The Dalai Lama says it's up to you to practise Shugden or not
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2012, 09:46:36 PM »
“After thorough study and research, I realised that it is harmful to follow the Shugden deity, so I stopped worshipping,”

This statement is completely flawed coming from the Dalai Lama's own mouth, that means the Dalai Lama has no  power? no clairvoyance? He will not know a deity is good or bad? He has to "study and research"?

Then why ask high lama for exorcism? If even the Dalai Lama doesn't have the power to decide whether a being is positive or negative, then definitely the other lamas don't have the power also.

So beware, if you ask a high lama for protection against spirit/exorcism, he may make a mistake by inviting the spirit into your house instead because he doesn't have the power to decide whether the being is good or bad, he has to "study and research" first, utterly ridiculous.

The Dalai Lama could not be so foolish to not realize the illogical statement of his, either he is foolish, or he is being skillful for the bigger picture, I choose the latter anytime.


triesa

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Re: The Dalai Lama says it's up to you to practise Shugden or not
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2012, 03:22:34 AM »
As many of us have been talking about the "bigger picture" concerning the DS propaganda initiated by HHDL, if you believe in it, it is great. If you do not agree with it, and wants to follow the advice from HHDL, it is also fine. But there is a fine line here, when you follow the instructions from HHDL, does it mean that you have to cause sufferings and extreme pain and anxiety to the DS practitioners who are merely human beings following their Guru's instructions and teachings? HHDL is the enmanation of Chenrizig, a buddha of compassion, how would he wants sufferings to other human beings??? It does not make sense at all.

Why not opt for a more peaceful method that allow freedom of worship, freedom of refuge? Why not spend more time doing more virtuous actions in  benefitting others rathar than spending time to isolate or discriminate those who may not share your beliefs. Live and let others live also.

Back to basic buddhist principles,  don't we recite the four immeasurables in the beginning of our daily sadhana? Why do we recite these prayers when we are doing the contrary??

"May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes,
 May all sentient beings be free if sufferings and its causes,
 May all sentient beings never be separated from sorrowless bliss,
 May all sentient beings abide in equanimity, free of bias, attaachment and anger.
"

diamond girl

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Re: The Dalai Lama says it's up to you to practise Shugden or not
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2012, 08:02:27 AM »
Firstly, for the CTA to negotiate with China for a Free Tibet...forget it! To put it bluntly, no way will they ever achieve this. China's government too has her ways of suppression and controls in the country but do people step on them and talk down to them - they dare not.

As for the HHDL continuously speaking of the Ban is very good publicity and promotion in the most skillful manner. He is promoting Dorje Shugden by making him Bad and Evil, because in today's world bad publicity "sells". His constant reminders at all teachings with thousands present is very good for Dorje Shugden especially with people who question and will thus research...and of course end up at this website.

The unfortunate part is that some people do take it literally and not see the underlying subtle purpose of the Ban. Those who take it literally create the sufferings of separation and division.

I do believe that HHDL does leave gap for people to "practice", depending on individual interpretation and motivation, yes no doubt that there will be consequential difficulties but at the same time DS monasteries exist and some even growing. This is the part of reality we must observe and notice. DS is very much alive and so is the DL, ironical but true... It is almost like they keep each other alive like twins... They feed life and fire to and for each other.

DharmaDefender

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Re: The Dalai Lama says it's up to you to practise Shugden or not
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2012, 06:24:01 PM »
I do believe that HHDL does leave gap for people to "practice", depending on individual interpretation and motivation, yes no doubt that there will be consequential difficulties but at the same time DS monasteries exist and some even growing. This is the part of reality we must observe and notice. DS is very much alive and so is the DL, ironical but true... It is almost like they keep each other alive like twins... They feed life and fire to and for each other.


Well certainly seems true. When Dorje Shugden practitioners speak up, the Dalai Lama speaks up too... or maybe its the other way around?

Anyway His Holiness recently reiterated the ban at a recent teaching in Bodhgaya (http://dorjeshugden.com/wp/?p=11479). Im just thinking maybe we ought to push even harder? I know letter-writing, sending postcards, distributing brochures etc can sometimes seem a little... futile but even if the Tibetan government doesnt want dialogue with us, it seems our shouts arent falling on deaf ears. You have to admit - if you stick something in their faces over and over again, they cant close their eyes and ignore us forever. They cant ignore the fact they cant keep us down for long.

Maybe we ought to add to Dorje Shugdens fire. Just sayin.

Manjushri

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Re: The Dalai Lama says it's up to you to practise Shugden or not
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2012, 04:52:49 PM »
Wow, how kind of the Dalai Lama to now slowly allow people a little bit of religious freedom by saying that:

“But it is up to you whether you still want to continue following it or not. My responsibility is to show you the proper way..”. If I remember correctly, it was a strong stance from H.H. The Dalai Lama NOT to practise Shugden for it would shorten his life. So now, if he is allowing people to practise it by saying that it is up to us, does that mean that his life would not be shortened anymore? Anyways, he is a Buddha, I don’t think his life can be shortened based on what people practise. I think the negative karma of mankind can cumulatively shorten a high lama’s life because the causes are not created for the lama to stay and benefit people. But if you practise a diety like Shugden and show compassion, kindness, generosity, respect, integrity, devotion, then I don’t think this can affect the life of HHDL, because these are the qualities that Buddha wants us to develop within ourselves, so how can it be contradictory.

DL also mentioned that his responsibility is to show “you the proper way”. What is the proper way? The Dalai Lama got a huge bulk of his teachings from his junior tutor Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, so I am assuming that HHDL’s “proper way” has been derived from Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche’s teachings. Therefore, being such a strong practitioner of DS, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche would have definitely passed this practise down to HHDL. Why would HHDL do “thorough study and research” now, when all these years, HHDL did not question the authenticity of the practise, its qualities and lineage? Therefore, there must be a bigger reason as to the reason for this ban.

In the article, it is also said that China provides “…financial support to Shugden worshippers in Tibet, India and Nepal in particular, and in general, across the globe”.

Being an upcoming country of power and influence across the globe, China has decided, for whatever reasons they have, to provide financial support to Shugden worshippers. The action of providing support to others is very meritorious in itself, albeit the motivation to do so. Could it be that this ban has come about so that the Chinese would pick it up and spread it far and wide, and by the time the ban on DS has subsided, the Chinese would continue to practise DS because they have received tremendous benefit from this practise. That they will be the ones keeping the Shugden practise alive for many years to come in this degenerate times? If DS is bad, why wouldn’t all the high lamas who continue to practise DS today come forth to take their stance in Shugden’s practise as well? Why do their centres keep on growing?

There is only one reason I can think of as to why this ban has come about.. and that is HHDL’s skillful way of promoting DS into global recognition for DS’s practise is very apt for our degenerate times. DS is Manjushri afterall, and so if the mindstream of any enlightened being is the same, then practicing yamantaka would also lead to negative results as well, for yamantaka is an emanation of manjushri too? hmm.