Buddhists Put Down Other Religions?

 To whom it may concern,

I am a student of Buddhism and I am very happy to say that I have also received teachings from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, including initiations. I have followed his teachings for many years, and even been to Dharamsala and other Tibetan settlements in India to visit the many monasteries there. Buddhism has literally saved my life and I will be Buddhist for the rest of my life.

Imagine how saddened I was when some of my friends questioned me about the Dalai Lama recently. They are not Buddhist, but they have browsed the Dalai Lama’s website and seen many discouraging and negative articles about Dorje Shugden. They asked me why the head of Buddhism talks in this way about other religions and beliefs. I didn’t believe them until I also saw this section on the website with my own eyes. If you don’t know what I am talking about, please see this link www.dalailama.com/messages/dolgyal-shugden

I explained to my friends that the Dalai Lama has advised people not to do this practice. But then my friends said, even if he does not agree with this practice, how can he put up a whole section on his personal and professional website to talk badly against people who do the practice? They said it is not very compassionate, not Buddhist and not kind at all. They asked me what kind of monk this is if he can talk badly about other religions and beliefs on such a public space. My friends told me they will never join Buddhism because Buddhism is like this – it looks like Buddhists put down other religions and don’t practice any tolerance or kindness.

Actually, it is very true what they said. This is how it looks like for people who are not Buddhist or who don’t know that much. I feel very embarrassed. I am also a devotee of the Dalai Lama. I have loved him and listened to his teachings for over 20 years of my life. But when I see these kinds of writings on his website, it makes me feel very confused and sad. Why would the Dalai Lama do this? It makes him look so bad. It makes Buddhism look very bad, like we have hatred against other people who do different practices that we don’t agree with. It even makes the holy Sangha look bad.

Personally, I don’t practice Dorje Shugden because my root Lama has already given me the holy protector practice of Palden Lhamo and I follow his advice. It is not my business if someone does this practice or that practice. What is most important is that they follow the advice from their Gurus. I am sure many people received the Dorje Shugden practice from their Gurus so how can they just give it up if Dalai Lama says so? Maybe Dalai Lama is not even their Guru. If they give up their practice, they break their samaya. How can we encourage that? But Dorje Shugden practitioners are still Buddhist and they are still good people. What bad things have they done towards the Dalai Lama that he needs to put up a section specially on his website to criticise them and say they are wrong?

I am writing to you because you are the head of the Tibetan community and advisors to the Dalai Lama. Please do something about this and take away this section on the website. The Dalai Lama has already talked about this Dorje Shugden issue in his teachings. It is enough. You don’t need to also put it publicly like this all over the website. It brings the Dalai Lama down so much. It is very sad for all the people who love the Dalai Lama.

I do not mean any offence to you. But I hope you will listen to my request. It is very sad to know that there are many people who will think badly about the Dalai Lama and all Buddhists when they see this kind of negative writing on his website. It will totally ruin all his pure and excellent teachings about peace and compassion.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I wish you Tashi Delek, good health and long life.

Yours sincerely,

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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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