This is what Kundeling Rinpoche has to say. We didn't transcribe some political asides about India, China and their policies. What this Lama mentions here are things that the oldest among us have known for years. It is so sad, so terribly sad. But since someone wants the members of this website to know, it better be known once and for all by the younger ones. But please let's watch our minds while reading. Then, as I said before, let's again pray and meditate. Then we can talk about it. At that moment we should watch what we say. (This advice comes from Lord Atisha of course: when alone, watch your mind, when with others, watch your speech.)
From Kundeling R's website, his words:
There is a need to comprehend a fundamental factor here in relation to the centuries-old practice and belief of the Protectors (or Dharmapalas) and the place that Dorje Shugden holds as one amongst the many such venerated. Every Lineage of practice within Tibet’s Buddhist Tradition, has its own unique Dharmapala and the worship of each requires the essential practice of living exemplary life-styles of purity and altruism and strict adherence to the designated Lineage. As each of the Lineages of Teachings has its own chartered Path towards the goal of Enlightenment, it is unwarranted to engage in mixing them ( as some so-called eclectics do). In Buddhism in general, a genuine practice of pure Dharma must not be tainted with mundane goals, particularly with politics!
People who rely on Dorje Shugden – like followers of any particular lineage Dharmapala – cherish these goals and ideals.
The practice of Dharmapalas currently existing in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, has its roots also in the practices of Dharmapalas maintained within the Indian Monastic seats of Nalanda and Vikramshila as far back as the 9th century AD. Dorje Shugden as a Dharmapala divinity is simply a continuation of the sacred heritage that is essentially Indian. The institution of the Dalai Lamas, for instance, finds its foundation in the Indian Buddhist concept of Nirmanakaya (ie. ‘Emanation Body’ – the reincarnated entity of a Paramapurusha or Supreme Being). The Tibetan adaptation of Nirmanakaya is paradoxical with the original Indian context – explicitly a corruption and departure from the pure intent! Whereas Buddha Shakyamuni as the original ParamaNirmanakaya abandoned his kingdom to embrace the life of a wandering beggar, the Tibetan prototype has become a ‘God-King’ and a shrewd politician! However, the propitiatory practices to, and the veneration of, Dorje Shugden have remained unchanged for 340 years or more.
The Dalai Lama’s predecessors, from the First to the Fourth, were humble monks and Gelugpa savants. Because of the sacred history of these sages and the volatile political scenario in Tibet, the Fifth incarnate was placed on a pedestal of fame and glory by anxious Gelugpa personalities who threw their weight around in the newly formed Governmental Institution. Tibetan apocryphal formulations further elevated the position of the Dalai Lamas in order to justify the supremacy of his rule, thereby consolidating the Gelugpa hegemony and its predominance over others such as the Nyingmapas, Sakyapas and Kagyupas. Never the less, until the time of the current candidate the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzing Gyatso, the Dalai Lamas (and he himself) were never supreme Heads of all the Buddhist traditions and not even referred to as ‘Head’ of the Gelugpa. They were considered the highest Gelugpa incarnates, on a par with the Panchen Lamas. Traditionally, the Panchens as Paranirmanakaya were known as the highest spiritual authorities and emanations of Buddha Amitabha. The Dalais were known as the highest temporal authorities and emanations of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshwara (disciple of Amitabha). The very sanctity of the temporal powers vested in the Dalai Lamas after the Fifth, originate from the Imperial bestowal granted to the Dalai Lama on his visit to Beijing – this, too, confined to the jurisdiction of the areas of land in and surrounding Lhasa.
The metamorphosis of the 14th Dalai Lama since his coming into exile, and his volte face from his avowed agenda and from the sacred charter of the First Dalai Lama Gyalwa Gendup, illustrates the degeneration not only of the integrity of an individual but also, unfortunately, of the Insitution itself. Those familiar with Tibetan chronicles, know well that the temporal authority or the domination of Tibetan Regions by religious hierarchy such as the Dalais and Panchens, including their selection and investiture, emanated from the Imperial Authorisation of successive Chinese Sovereigns. One may ask how the various Buddhist hegemonies, engaged in sectarian violence since the 11th century A.D., established their dominion in areas of a divided Tibet, when the advent of Buddhism in the early 9th century, saw the beginnings of a gradual disintegration of the military might it was once known to possess. Fundamentalism has been very much a characteristic of each of the ruling hegemonies, championing the causes of their respective Schools. Intolerance has been a trend since then, long before the ‘Talibanisation’ of Islam! To refer to Shugden adherents as ‘Talibans’ amongst Tibetan Buddhists, is inappropriate and in very bad taste!
The dizzy heights of celebrity attained today by the 14th Dalai Lama have raised him to the status of a cult figure. But his brand of Buddhism is not a revitalisation stemming from revolutionary concepts of moving with the times. Rather it is the painstaking reconstruction using universal ideals and profound insights on human development found in the Teachings of the Buddha, to reinvent a political ideology to serve a Tibetan nationalistic purpose. A movement called Chol.sum Chigdil (meaning ‘Union of the Three Provinces’) which would essentially make all Tibetans unite under one Nationality, without regional chauvinism, with one political ideology, one spiritual practice, and a singular leadership, was already in the making since 1960, not long after the arrival in India of the Dalai Lama and his followers. During meetings that took place behind closed doors, headed by the Dalai Lama, plans were afoot to make the Gelugpa tradition the only spiritual practice for Tibetans, with the Dalai Lama, of course, the only Leader. But this was vehemently opposed by the followers of the other major traditions. A splinter group coalition of thirteen factions of the various traditions and regions, known as Tshog.pa Chu.sum (tib.), came into existence in the northern Indian town of Dheradhur, with the late Sixteenth Karmapa as the spiritual Head.
This was the first ever move of opposition against the Dalai Lama in exile. It ended in tragic consequences, being dismantled by the Dalai Lama and his assistants, with the Indian Intelligence Agencies aiding in deporting those persons who spearheaded the opposition. The lay leader of the coalition, Gungthong Tsultrim – a Tibetan veteran who had adopted Indian citizenship and who had ties with Taiwan’s KTMC – was assassinated in 1975. On his death-bed, he named Gyalo Thondup (the elder brother of the Dalai Lama) and Juchen Thupten Namgyal (an ex-Minister of the Dalai Lama), currently living and active in dismantling the old guerrilla warriors faction known as ‘The Four Rivers and Six Ranges’ (Chu.shi Gang Thug, tib.). There has never been – and seemingly will never be – a close investigation to bring these criminals to justice. Perhaps it would open a ‘Pandora’s Box’ of many more murders or perhaps it suited the Indian Authorities of those times to believe the half-baked information coming from Gyalo Thondup and simply blame all ills on Chinese instigation.
In summary, the Dalai Lama was faced with a situation of emergency. There was a need for him to consolidate his position as the undisputed Leader of all Tibetans. Plan A., to bring all Tibetans under Gelugpa domination, did not work. So Plan B. – an extreme U-turn from the first strategy - would have to be put in motion. The Dalai Lama would consort with the Heads of all the Traditions, particularly the Nyingmapas. Ecumenism would be the watchword of the God-King’s initiatives, to win the allegiance of the Sakyapas, the Kagyupas and the Nyingmapas. To curry favour with the Heads of the various traditions, he underwent their religious transmissions, the spiritual practices of their lineages, thereby motivating a spiritual obligation on their part to become his disciples – in other words, to become subservient to his temporal and spiritual authority. Overnight, the God-King became an ardent admirer of ‘Rimay’, the non-sectarian initiative of some well-known figures from the Kham area of Tibet. The move was hence motivated by political reasons rather than by altruistic concerns for Tibet and the Tibetans.
Historically speaking, the institution of the Dalai Lamas was essentially Gelugpa. Regardless of the Dalai Lama’s brief flirtation with the Nyingmapas, he was, in the end, a hard-line Gelugpa. The politically suave Fifth and Thirteenth Dalai Lamas were shrewd strategists and had taken recourse in policies of ‘appeasement’ and ‘divide and rule’ tactics. Their mandate coming from the vastly pervasive and powerful Gelugpa lobby, they hardly bothered about the welfare of the non-Gelugpas or the need to accommodate them! An incumbent Incarnate Being, by virtue of being reborn to continue the noble deeds and projects of their predecessor, has a moral duty as a Buddhist sage, to uphold Pure Dharma. This being the case, the current Dalai Lama Tenzing Gyatso, hardly emulates his predecessors, irrespective of his invoking the names of the Great Fifth and the Thirteenth Dalai Lamas at all public venues. His supporters may argue that the times have changed, that dual responsibilities rest on his shoulders, that there is a need for dynamism, change and the unity of Tibetans. On all accounts, it sounds very noble indeed! But the orchestrated policies of the Tibetan Leader and his mesmerised followers, point towards one objective – the undisputed supremacy of the Dalai Lama in both political and religious spheres, regardless of whether Tibet becomes Free or remains under Chinese authority. This consolidation of the authority of the Dalai Lama, is a policy developed in exile. The evolution of the Chosum Chigdil was modelled to unite all Tibetans in exile – with attention given also to those remaining in Tibet – under one ideology and the singular leadership of the Dalai Lama, in order to stand up against the might of the Chinese. Scarcely a much higher moral ground than that of the Chinese!
Moreover, the enormous popularity and hypnotic fascination for Tibet – seen as an ageless Utopia with the ‘Compassionate Presidency’ of the Dalai Lama over the blissfully feudal masses of Tibetans prior to the advent of the demonic Chinese is - as growing numbers of Western scholars of Tibet confirm - a romantic fantasy for those starved of heroic sagas, fed by the Dalai Lama’s initiatives to immortalise ‘The Tibetan Cause’. This slow but steady awakening to the painful reality of what Tibet is not, has created the possibility of making other, more shocking, discoveries.
The lure of the Dalai Lama which has kept audiences hypnotised both in the West and the East, is essentially the result of the high-powered propaganda engaged in by the Tibetan Head and his Administration during the last two decades. This brain-washing has partially or completely paralysed his audiences.
To illustrate the point, one can consider the manner in which the Dalai Lama and his Government in Exile has functioned in the four decades since the Diaspora. The Tibet support groups, along with followers in the West, have presumed that the communities of Tibetan Refugees in India and elsewhere, are enlightened colonies of liberty and peace. The fantasising reaches the extent of gullibly supposing that, outside hellish Tibet, the Dalai Lama has, from his heavenly headquarters in Dharamsala, recreated a just and democratic society, one that functions on the basis of egalitarian and altruistic values. Never the less, unknown to those beguiled by this make-believe, the legislative powers, the supposed judiciary, and the ‘parliament’, are run at the political will and dictates of the Dalai Lama. With all powers resting safely in the hands of the Leader, all administrative Heads are handpicked personally by him. Critical observation of the Leader is inconceivable, democratic ‘opposition’ impossible, need for transparency and accountability to the Tibetans beside the point. After all, he is God incarnate himself!
Political and religious ideologies – for example, the ‘Tibetan Cause’ – undertaken by the Leadership, have displayed chameleon hues. The vacillating flip-flop in policies - first demanding ‘Tibetan Independence’, abandoning it at the drop of a hat, swaying from ‘Genuine Autonomy’ to ‘Self-Determination’ - calling himself a ‘Chinese citizen’ while swearing that his reincarnation would never be born within that country ; claiming that China has made progress and is rapidly changing, that its economical ‘boom’ means a promising future for all Tibetans, and then suddenly accusing the Chinese of carrying out atrocities and ruling with an iron hand; all this displays neurotic tendencies, not equilibrium. The unscrupulousness and confidence with which the Dalai Lama supports violent acts, is appalling – not only those related to anti-Chinese operations engaged in by his agents, but also the incitement contained in his brazen provocative speeches, to stir up mass contempt towards his political and religious adversaries. Instigated mob violence and man-handling of the God-King’s perceived ‘enemies’, have only recently come to attention of a section of the Indian Media and investigating agencies.
The Tibetan God-King’s obsessive commitment since 1996, has been his infamous ban on the spiritual practice and worship of Dorje Shugden. The magnitude of false incrimination and resulting mass attacks on the hapless followers of the deity was such as to leave no alternative to them but to join together in a coalition , to demonstrate their protests. Since then, as a consequence, the Leader has prompted the Tibetan masses, inciting attacks and even motivating Indian agencies by citing Shugden adherents as Chinese agents and promoting a world-wide propaganda against them. This is unprecedented in History. But when the Dalai Lama is given unobstructed freedom to hold mass gatherings to provoke animosity – during his grandiloquent presentations – raising a false picture of China and an utterly concocted diabolical picture of Shugden followers, speculations as to his growing utility as a political pawn for use to either the political establishment or the Intelligence, may not be wholly unjustified!
If the Dalai Lama aspires to being a Tibetan ‘Gandhi’, then, like the great Mahatma, he should be at the forefront in front of his people’s struggles. If Tibetan Independence is his ‘agenda’, then, just as the Mahatma visited Great Britain, placing himself squarely before Colonialist might, he should face the Chinese on a neutral venue and address and win the hearts and minds of his mortal enemies (instead of those of Wall Street millionaires and Hollywood stars!). A good Buddhist leader shuns politics, violence and power games and does not discriminate between believers and non-believers. A good politician is one who nourishes those who brought him to power and fulfils the promises made to his constituency. Shugden followers saved him from the jaws of Death, educated him and brought him to the position in which he has become a celebrity.
Some people in the higher echelons need a crash course on the lifestyle and exploits of the Tibetan Avatar in India. Recounting them here would be a waste of time but, to mention one point, the hue and cry about the murder of the Dalai Lama’s confidante Ven. Lobsang Gyatso is making out as if this is the first criminal event to take place within the Tibetan diaspora. On the contrary, it is only one amongst many killings, some reported to have been engineered by important members of the Dalai Lama’s family and Ministers. After the 1962 Sino-Indian conflict, the policy of various ruling parties in Delhi was to turn a blind eye to Tibetan refugee activities, not interfering in the ‘internal’ activities of Tibetans and their leaders. On this premise, the Dalai Lama was able to establish a fully-fledged Government and a Constitution within Indian territory – a feudal theocracy within a democracy! – with all dissident voices stifled. Conspiracies, intrigues, activities both covert and overt - all necessarily anti-Chinese - have since then been engineered from upon Indian soil. Recently, there have been deaths and damage to the lives and property of Shugden adherents in Tibet itself. Thousands of Tibetan patriots had sacrificed their lives in confrontation with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, until the 1970s, in the belief that the Dalai Lama stood for a ‘Free Tibet’. He mesmerised them into believing that there was no better goal than this. In India and all over the world, the Dalai Lama incites hatred against Shugden adherents for no fault of theirs. As a result, Shugden followers have been made the pariahs amongst mainstream Tibetan society. There is an apartheid against them, besides sanctions and preposterous accusations – without any credible evidence whatsoever to substantiate the claims.