Dalai Lama asks Monks to ‘Remember The Buddhist Faith’

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Hypocrisy: The practice of claiming to have higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case
~ Oxford Dictionary

Hypocrisy is a growing phenomenon that is plaguing humanity through the fight for survival and success in this superficial dog eat dog world. However, the monastic community is usually deemed to be exempt from this trend, given that sangha members take on vows and dedicate their lives to studying and practicing the virtuous teachings of Lord Buddha with the goal of enlightenment and benefiting all sentient beings.

Taking on the monastic vows and becoming ordained is seen as a form of protection against the vices of samsara, and Buddhist teachers, especially in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, are expected to be living examples of virtue, morality and right conduct. Thus it is very disturbing to have the world’s most recognized Buddhist icon, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, show a blatant display of hypocrisy.

In a series of 2013 interviews and statements related to the sectarian clashes in Myanmar that left around 200 dead in the state of Rakhine and approximately 140,000 homeless (as of September 2013), the Dalai Lama pled with the Buddhist monks of Myanmar to “remember the Buddhist faith”.

All the major religions teach us the practice of love, compassion and forgiveness. So a genuine practitioner among these different religious traditions would not indulge in such violence and bullying of other people.

If from one corner of your mind, some emotion makes you want to hit, or want to kill, then please remember Buddha’s faith. We are followers of Buddha.
~ Dalai Lama

While his words are appropriate and even expected from a Buddhist leader and Nobel Laureate, the Dalai Lama fails to act in alignment with his own words of advice when addressing similar situations in the Tibetan community, where his approach is not unlike what is happening in Myanmar.

In relations to the Sino-Tibetan conflict, the Dalai Lama conveniently ignores the peaceful tenets of his religion, making no attempt to stop the self-immolation of Tibetans (112 dead as of April 2014) in pursuit of the Free Tibet cause.

Freedom fighter or un-Buddhist violence? The Dalai Lama does nothing to stop this senseless loss of life.

Worse, when it comes to the Dorje Shugden conflict, the Dalai Lama harnesses Tibetan anti-China sentiment to instigate hatred and violence against Dorje Shugden practitioners, labeling them as Chinese spies or pro-China terrorists who are funded by China.

Intense hatred: Tibetans burn the Chinese flag while the Dalai Lama does nothing.

How are the Dalai Lama’s actions any different from what he is condemning in Myanmar? How can the Dalai Lama plead with the Buddhist monks of Myanmar to be forgiving, tolerant and compassionate when he himself behaves in the opposite manner, initiating and encouraging violence and division in Tibetan communities?

Is the Dalai Lama too accustomed to Tibetan tradition, where both spiritual and temporal authority are vested in the institution of the Dalai Lamas? Is the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) too used to operating as a one-party government, doing as they please without any form of opposition within the upper echelons of Tibetan leadership? This certainly seems to be the case – the Dalai Lama’s tendency to impose his will on others has caused a deep rift in Tibetan society between Dorje Shugden practitioners and the rest of the community.

As a result, Dorje Shugden practitioners have been ostracized by their fellow Tibetans and denied the basic rights that all Tibetans-in-exile are entitled to, such as medical attention, education, employment, public services and access to shops. Some are even forced out of their monasteries, villages or family homes. How is this situation any different from that of the Rohingya Muslims, who are also deprived of citizenship rights due to the government’s discriminatory policies?

Monks from Tharpa Choling Monastery (on the jeep) forcefully entered Gaden Choling Monastery in an attempt to take over the monastery on account of its Dorje Shugden practice. The Dalai Lama said nothing against this show of violence from his supporters.

Anti-Dorje Shugden sign at Loseling Clinic, Drepung Loseling Monastery. Such signs are commonplace in the Tibetan exile communities, and the Dalai Lama does nothing to safeguard the rights of Tibetan Dorje Shugden practitioners.

Gen Chonzey of Trijang Ladrang in Shar Gaden Monastery was a recent victim of violence. According to this letter, it was perpetrated by supporters of the Dalai Lama. To date, the Dalai Lama has not reproached the perpetrators.

Furthermore, not only does the suppressed section of Tibetan society submit to the abuse out of fear, others are pressed into enforcing such injustice for fear of the repercussions on their loved ones should they not comply. Clearly, the Dalai Lama is accustomed to having dictatorial authority over the Tibetan community to the point where this habit of imposing his view and his rules on others is in danger of spilling over into other communities, e.g. the case of the Myanmar conflict. Unlike the Tibetans however, the Burmese monks are unafraid to voice their displeasure with the Dalai Lama, openly and loudly.

An open letter to the Dalai Lama from Ven. Ashin Kawwida, President of International Burmese Monks Organization (Canada), Past Vice President of the International Burmese Monks Organization headquarters in New York (Click to enlarge)

The violence in Myanmar has caused the death of hundreds and rendered hundreds of thousands homeless, which the Dalai Lama says is “very sad”. But what does he have to say of the self-inflicted death of Tibetans through self immolation? And what of the Tibetans who lost their homes through vandalism by Dalai Lama followers simply because they chose to continue their religions practice of Dorje Shugden? Is their plight not saddening? Is there not supposed to be ONE standard of compassion for all sentient beings? These basic questions remain unanswered and ignored while the violence intensifies and escalates within Tibetan societies all over the world.

During the Dalai Lama’s visit to Australia in June 2013, the Dalai Lama gave the following answer when questioned about the spate of self-immolations:

Tibetans could “easily hurt other people”, but instead were choosing “to sacrifice their own lives, not hurting others”.

And in 2008 in Drepung Monastery in India, the Dalai Lama has the following to say about the actions being taken against Dorje Shugden practitioners:

Recently monasteries have fearlessly expelled Shugden monks where needed. I fully support their actions. I praise them. If monasteries find taking action hard, tell them the Dalai Lama is responsible for this.

Clearly the Dalai Lama applies different standards regarding the use of violence when it comes to Tibetan affairs, especially when it is not in favor of the policies he implements. It is high time that the Dalai Lama does what he preaches and starts by stopping the violence that his own supporters are perpetrating in his country, on his instructions.

…this century should be a century of dialogue, not wars. ~ Dalai Lama

Great advice. The Dalai Lama should take a bucketful of his own medicine.


Original statement from the Dalai Lama, April 2013

Click on image to enlarge


Latest statement from the Dalai Lama, July 2014

Click on image to enlarge

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9 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. This is simply not right, whether you are a Buddhist, a person of different faith or even an atheist. This form of hypocrisy is simply inhuman. As we plunge deep into the degenerate age of our time, it becomes ever more important for world leaders to be the beacons of hope to what is right and good so that all of us can withstand the invasion of darkness. It is very disappointing to see so much evidence of His Holiness’ lack of integrity in dealing with other people’s matters and those of his own. Not only is the Dalai Lama applying doubles standards on what should and should not be done, he is doing it openly. This either means that 1) the Dalai Lama believes he can get away even when caught red handed, which may be a reflection of his self-perception of being above the law or 2) the Dalai Lama has a low level of respect to the world community who cannot see through his hypocrisy.

    Regardless of what the Dalai Lama is thinking, it cannot continue and should be challenged until His Holiness and his leaders take responsibility and address the issue through honest, open and transparent communication.

  2. It is consistent that the Dalai Lama preaches compassion, kindness and love in all His public interviews and teachings throughout the world. No news release had ever changed nor distorted His teachings. It is totally agreed by all practising Buddhist that what Dalai Lama teaches is in line with the tenets of Buddhism.

    However for those in the Tibetan tradition and under His leadership the questions then arise firstly why has the Dalai Lama not stopped Tibetans conducting violent acts to themselves and to the Chinese Government in their anti China policy and secondly allowing harm and discrimination on Tibetans who practise Dorje Shugden.

    There lies the element of high level of hypocrisy. For those who do not tolerate such double standards and hypocrisy, then greater harm will arise, worst of all among the monastic order. As an example the recording by a Famous Burmese Buddhist Monk speaking out against the Dalai Lama’s point of view expressed with regard to the torture of Muslims in Burma.

    Hypocrisy creates confusion, distrust, and chaos among people. Kindly stop this practise of hypocrisy and let freedom prevail for the choice of worship especially for the Shugden believers.

  3. Hypocrisy = Beliefs – Actions

    The hypocrites has a big difference in their beliefs and actions. Everyone has their own belief system set in them, whether or not it’s related to religions, cultural or even atheist. Each one of the beings in this world has their rights to pursue what they think is right, as long as it’s not harmful. Like how we don’t condemn or despise homosexuals.

    With both religious and political power like HHDL, his words are law. It makes his words and actions more “convincing” to those blinded by stupidity or rather ignorance to follow suit. SAd. And I pray for REAL WORLD PEACE to come!

  4. It is so ironic that HHDL’s well intended advise to Myanmar monks to be compassionate and to resolve the violence against the Rohingya Muslims while at the same time, persecuting his own people for practicing DS. And he expected the Burmese monks to heed his advise? How delusional is that?

  5. The Dalai Lama need to lift the ban that is creating a lot of difficulties for Tibetans and Dorje Shudgen practitioners all over the world. Charity should begin at home.

    So there is no solid grounds for the Dalai Lama to say such words when his backyard his people are suffering. And yes the Dalai lama should ask Tibetans to stop immolating, it is not making any inroads for the Tibetan cause or Freedom.

  6. It is politically correct for the Dalai Lama to offer a word of advise to fellow Buddhists because he is seemingly accepted as the de facto leader of peace and harmony. The question remains, where is Tibet today? Has it gained independence? The fact speaks for itself.

  7. What is going on now? Why can’t Dalai Lama just stop being so heartless? If Dalai Lama has no kindness and whatever he did are just for showing the world He is compassionate but He actually not. What is his purpose of reincarnated as Dalai Lama? If He do not represent compassion then who else do? If He do not represent peace then who in the world can do? Why are we here still listening to Him if he is a big lier who ban DS for the sake of his own benefits? Why can’t we just move on without Him?

  8. OMG.. The Dalai Lama says is “very sad”? What is going on out there? Why HHDL didn’t stop the incident? HHDL gave talk to the world and talk about ” Compassion “, when incident happened HHDL are doing nothing. By the way, I will never ever trust on HHDL, who care about HHDL ban of DS. I’ll just move on and carry on my practice.

  9. Wow, what Dalai Lama saying is so…. mind blowing. While he says “All the major religions teach us the practice of love, compassion and forgiveness. So a genuine practitioner among these different religious traditions would not indulge in such violence and bullying of other people.” He shows no compassion to Dorje Shugden practitioners. He knows very well how Dorje Shugden practitioners in the Tibetan community are being bullied and discriminated but yet he is not doing anything about it. He goes around the world to promote good virtues but to his own people, he is not applying what he has been preaching. How credible and reliable is he? I am really disappointed.

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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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