Lama Yeshe’s Cremation

Lama Thubten Yeshe, the founder of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) who relied on Dorje Shugden for the growth of his organisation

By: René Muller

In 1984, at the age of 49, Lama Yeshe passed into clear light. His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche (1905-1984 CE) was the lama who performed his last rites and cremation. Zong Rinpoche was no ordinary lama but a highly realized Gelugpa lama and a disciple of His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, the junior tutor of the 14th Dalai Lama. He is renowned for being a sharp analyst and a powerful master of philosophical debate, as well as a great tantric practitioner. He was also the Abbot of Ganden Shartse monastery. Known as an emanation of Heruka, Zong Rinpoche was one of the most erudite mahasiddha masters of our time.

His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche was the guru of many great erudite masters of the Gelug School. In this picture, Zong Rinpoche is seated with eminent and highly realized students. From left to right: Kyabje Kensur Lati Rinpoche, Sokpa Kensur Rinpoche, (His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche), Kari Kensur Rinpoche, Gyuto Kensur Rinpoche and His Eminence Sharpa Choeje Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Nyima. All these highly erudite masters of sutra and tantra are from Gaden Shartse Monastery.

To have Zong Rinpoche journey to perform the entire cremation ceremony for Lama Yeshe is a big deal and great honour. It goes to show how close of a relationship Lama Yeshe had with Zong Rinpoche, and his clean samaya with his guru. In actuality someone like Lama Yeshe did not need pujas or prayers performed for his fortunate rebirth as he was highly attained and can control both his death and rebirth. Instead the pujas were performed more so for the students, in order to collect tremendous amounts of merit, to ensure that they will be able to reconnect again with their Lama in his next incarnation. The illustrious Zong Rinpoche was called upon to do this to help ensure that FPMT’s students will be able to find and recognise their Lama’s new incarnation so that he can continue turning the wheel of dharma in FPMT. As we all know Zong Rinpoche was a Dorje Shugden practitioner and we also know that Lama Yeshe was a devoted and loyal student of Zong Rinpoche. We are also aware of the fact that Lama Yeshe relied tremendously on Dorje Shugden till the very end. Therefore it is very unbecoming of Lama Zopa and FPMT to be so easily swayed to give up their guru and the Dorje Shugden practice he so compassionately bestowed in order to be seen as politically correct. It would seem that FPMT no longer has guru devotion towards their founding lama, nor gratitude for the kindness shown to them by Zong Rinpoche, during such a crucial time for their entire organisation. To disregard this on top of discriminating Dorje Shugden practitioners simply to be seen as politically correct, make FPMT look rather hypocritical.  

Brief Bio on Lama Yeshe

In 1935 Lama Thubten Yeshe was born in the town of Tölung Dechen in Tibet. Even from a very young age Lama Yeshe was attracted to the Dharma and whenever a monk would visit his home, he would always beg to leave with the monk and join the monastery. At the age of six, Lama Yeshe joined Sera Je Monastery in Lhasa, Tibet and at the age of eight, Lama Yeshe was ordained as a novice monk by Venerable Purchog Jampa Rinpoche. Then at age 28, Lama Yeshe was fully ordained as a monk and received his ordination from Kyabje Ling Dorje Chang. While in Sera Je Monastery, Lama Yeshe received the teachings of both sutra and tantra from a long line of erudite masters such as Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, Kyabje Ling Rinpoche, Drag-ri Dorje-chang Rinpoche, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, Lhatzün Dorje-chang Rinpoche and many other highly attained Lamas. Lama Yeshe’s spiritual development was also guided by Geshe Thubten Wangchug Rinpoche, Geshe Lhundrub Sopa Rinpoche, Geshe Rabten and Geshe Ngawang Gedun. It was when Lama Yeshe was in India that his teacher, Geshe Rabten entrusted him to care for a younger monk; Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpocheand this marked the beginning of a very strong relationship in which the two would work together to bring Buddhism to the west. Lama Yeshe together with his close disciple Lama Zopa, left India in 1967 and made their way up to Nepal. Within a very short span of time, two years, Lama Yeshe established Kopan Monastery, in Kathmandu. This is how it all began and from where Lama Yeshe started spreading Buddhism among the westerners who visited Nepal. They first began with an annual ‘One-Month Meditation Course’ held in Kopan.

Kopan Monastery, in Kathmandu.

Seeing that there was a demand from their western students, both Lamas decided to open a sister centre to be used for retreats. In 1972, Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa along with a few of their western students, bought an old colonial house on a hill in Himachal Pradesh, and started Tushita Retreat Centre. It was later renamed Tushita Meditation Centre. By 1974, both Lamas started their annual teaching tours to the West. Due to Lama Yeshe’s unconventional style of teaching, he became very popular and relatable to westerners and as a result he attracted many new spiritual seekers. This created a worldwide network of Buddhist centres and from here grew the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT). Today FPMT is one of the largest network of Tibetan Buddhist Dharma centres in the world. It is a known fact that Lama Yeshestrongly relied on Dorje Shugden throughout his entire journey and especially for FPMT’s growth and success. Lama Zopa said that Lama Yeshe would never begin a Kopan course without a puja to propitiate the blessings of his Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden.  

Lama Yeshe’s Passing

Everyone who knew Lama Yeshe knew that “he had a bad heart.” Yet it was only in November last year that they realized there was a serious danger to his life. A letter signed by three of his close students written on November 12th from Kopan Monastery in Nepal and addressed to all FPMT centre directors reported that the observations of both Lumbum Rinpoche of Swayambhu, Nepal, and Lama Zopa Rinpoche indicated that “Lama will pass away within a year unless he takes time to do a long serious retreat and unless disharmony and division cease.” And Lama had agreed to accept a full long-life puja at Kopan at New Year— the very day he eventually passed away. From:

Quote: “unless disharmony and division cease.” This goes to show that highly realised Lamas can control their body, however it is the lack of merits from the side of the students that causes them to ‘leave’ their bodies, manifesting sickness and death. It seems that the students of FPMT were not in harmony and within themselves created factions. This seems to be the very same culture FPMT members bring forth in discriminating Dorje Shugden practitioners. Now we have an understanding as to the kind of people that are behind FPMT. In 1986 Ösel Hita Torres was recognised as Tenzin Ösel Rinpoche. He was the 5th son of one of Lama Yeshe’s students; María Torres and Francisco Hita. He was only a little over a year old when His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama confirmed Lama Zopa’s observations that Tenzin Ösel was indeed the unmistaken reincarnation of Lama Yeshe.  

Lama Yeshe and Zong Rinpoche

The great devotion Lama Yeshe had for H.H. Kyabje Zong Dorje Chang can be seen in this picture. Lama Yeshe on the right, Lama Zopa on the left, and of course in the centre is the illustrious Kyabje Zong Dorje Chang.

The closeness and great devotion Lama Yeshe had for his root Guru Zong Rinpoche is remarkable and admirable. Lama Yeshe was the first lama to invite the great Zong Rinpoche to the West. Zong Rinpoche turned the wheel of Dharma for so many of Lama Yeshe’s students. Vast explanations, commentaries, oral transmissions, initiations, ritual instructions, and of course Dorje Shugden life-entrustments were conferred to many of Lama Yeshe’s students. Hence some of them would also be considered Zong Rinpoche’s students. Zong Rinpoche is the lineage lama of so many great and current tulkus and geshes who are teaching around the world. The lineage that Lama Yeshe practiced is exactly that of Zong Rinpoche. Lama Yeshe kept his guru samaya to Zong Rinpoche fully intact till the day he passed into clear light. Lama Yeshe also kept all the practices passed on to him by Zong Rinpoche and this includes Dorje Shugden practice. Lama Yeshe was a Dorje Shugden practitioner till the very end. He is the perfect example of a humble and loyal student and also a sublime teacher to his own students.

Lama Yeshe was a Dorje Shugden practitioner till the very end. In this picture Lama Yeshe (far right) and Lama Zopa (second from the right) engage in a puja in front of a Dorje Shugden thangka. Lama Yeshe’s faith in Dorje Shugden is undeniable.

It is indeed a great pity to witness such admirable guru devotion exemplified by Lama Yeshe towards his Guru, Zong Rinpoche, not being emulated by his students. On top of that Lama Zopa discarded the practice of Dorje Shugden, the very Protector that helped FPMT grow and the very Protector that his guru Lama Yeshe held close to his heart. Below are extracted details of how Zong Rinpoche patiently and compassionately gave His time to advise FPMT on what they should do during the passing of their great teacher Lama Yeshe. From reading this, you’ll be able to grasp the amount of care and work Zong Rinpoche did for Lama Yeshe and FPMT.

  • Throughout the entire period of Lama Yeshe’s illness, Lama Zopa was in communication via phone with Kyabje Zong Rinpoche in Switzerland as to when and how to act for Lama Yeshe’s benefit.
  • As the days passed, Lama Yeshe’s paralysis seemed to improve. However, his overall condition was weakening. Zong Rinpoche was consulted about whether or not Lama Yeshe should return to hospital. He advised that, no, Lama Yeshe should stay at home for the time being, and that he himself would come to see Lama Yeshe soon.
  • Zong Rinpoche arrived from Switzerland on February 20th and stayed with Lama Yeshe for three days. He performed many pujas and gave Lama Yeshe some initiations. By the 26th, however, three days after Zong Rinpoche had left, Lama Yeshe worsened.
  • During the night, Rinpoche left the room to make phone calls. One was to request Zong Rinpoche again to come to California from Switzerland, this time to oversee the cremation of Lama’s body. Later, when he heard that he would come, he smiled and said, ‘It will be good for the students.’
  • After the talk, an all-day Heruka puja and self-initiation started. John Jackson and others, with the supervision of Zong Rinpoche, began work on the stupa in which Lama Yeshe’s body would be burned. The site chosen was a clearing on a ridge, five minutes’ walk up from the gompa, which had a spectacular view of miles of forest and the smell of the unseen ocean beyond.
  • They worked all day and into the night, mixing concrete, laying bricks, chopping wood. There were no precise measurements to go by, but Zong Rinpoche knew what he wanted and would say when things were not right.
  • The Yamantaka fire puja commenced. The mountain of offerings slowly diminished as the ingredients were handed to Zong Rinpoche who in turn handed them to Chuck Thomas and others who offered them to the fire. The puja lasted three hours. Throughout, a deep stillness, a composure, a sense of the unexpressed grief, pervaded, and the only sound to be heard above the chanting was the blazing of the powerful fire.
  • By Friday, many people had left. In the afternoon Zong Rinpoche gave a Heruka Vajrasattva initiation and talked briefly. He, like the other lamas, stressed harmony. ‘We are all very good relatives.’ he said. ‘Loving each other is the most important thing.’
  • Kyabje Zong Rinpoche was bade farewell — for what would be the last time — at the airport on Saturday, when he returned to Switzerland. That night Lama Zopa invited people to Lama’s house for a Lama Chöpa puja. The room was packed. The ocean pounded just outside the windows. It was good to be there in that house that Lama Yeshe had loved. The puja, sung in English, was intense and heartfelt. It was seven days since Lama Yeshe’s death.
  • Lama Yeshe’s relics, once consecrated by Zong Rinpoche in Switzerland, were divided up and sent to each of the centres, where they were received with great respect and ritual — ‘as if you were receiving Lama himself,’ Rinpoche had advised.

Here are a few questions we would like to ask FPMT based on the fact that they claim Dorje Shugden is a demon, and that anyone who practices Dorje Shugden is considered wrong, tainted and invalid. We have provided some answers based on logical analysis of the the situation based on their own logic that Dorje Shugden practice is indeed wrong.  

Questions & Answers

1) Zong Rinpoche was a Dorje Shugden practitioner. Would a puja performed by Zong Rinpoche be effective since he was a Dorje Shugden practitioner? Answer: Zong Rinpoche was well recognised to be a high lama with clear attainments. A famous story that has been told many times is how Zong Rinpoche performed a Dorje Shugden repelling puja to stop the bombardment of Gaden monastery by the Chinese army. As the story goes, the monasteries were being shelled by Chinese cannons and there were still quite a few old and sick monks inside who had not escaped and were in great peril under the Chinese attack. Zong Rinpoche was seen retreating into his chambers to perform the repelling puja during which many eye witnesses saw lights emitting form his chambers and hit the Chinese encampment causing a minor earthquake and damage to the cannons. This delayed the bombardment long enough for the remaining monks in the monastery to leave safely. This clearly illustrates the power and effectiveness of Zong Rinpoche’s pujas. Such power and omniscience as shown by Zong Rinpoche cannot be rendered void by the decree of any government. To suggest this is to say that the power of a secular government is more potent than the power of the Buddhas. 2) FPMT performed a traditional cremation for Lama Yeshe, even inviting the great Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, who oversaw every detail. The purpose of this was to generate great merit and create the causes for the Lama to return and continue the lineage and his works. Since this is the case, why did FPMT stop propitiating Dorje Shugden, who was Lama Yeshe’s Dharma protector and a practice he relied on? Why do they insist the practice is invalid? Is FPMT being selective in promoting lineages that are politically correct? Answer: Lama Yeshe’s incarnation has returned as Lama Ösel, but FPMT forbids the Dorje Shugden practice. Perhaps the reason why Lama Ösel has not manifested as a great teacher that we know him to be, is due to the lack of merits on the side of FMPT, most obviously caused by their students breaking their commitments to Lama Yeshe. Lama Yeshe’s main protector whom Lama Yeshe and FPMT relied on, has now been banned in order to remain politically correct, as it is ‘very important to support His Holiness and to fulfil His Holiness’ wishes’. This is a blatant disregard of the guru by students who have received the empowerment or commitment to practice Dorje Shugden. A student cannot stop a practice given unless they have received the permission from the teacher who initially gave the practice and commitment. Failing to do so, the students break their commitments or samaya. As Lama Yeshe has entered clear light, none of the students who have received the practice of Dorje Shugden can stop doing this practice, without breaking their commitments. Once we have made a Dharma connection with a teacher, we cannot give up this relationship unless the teacher himself has consented. This would mean that FPMT is causing the students to break their commitments or samaya with Lama Yeshe by stopping the students from practising Dorje Shugden, in order for FPMT to be seen as an organisation that supports the Dalai Lama. 3) Since Zong Rinpoche is considered tainted due to his practice of Dorje Shugden, shouldn’t FPMT redo the entire funeral for Lama Yeshe, as it was performed by a Dorje Shugden practitioner? Answer: If we believe that a high lama can be tainted due to his practice of Dorje Shugden, then we are undermining the wisdom of high lamas who can differentiate between a Buddha and a demon. If we believe that Zong Rinpoche and other lamas are tainted due to the practice of Dorje Shugden, then definitely FPMT should redo the entire funeral for Lama Yeshe. This is because it would mean that Zong Rinpoche’s prayers, pujas and rituals for Lama Yeshe would be tainted and invalid. It would mean it has no effect as Zong Rinpoche would have broken his refuge vows, seeing that he is considered a demon worshipper. In light of this, there would be no validity in recognising the current incarnation of Lama Yeshe – Lama Ösel – as lest we forget, Lama Yeshe himself was a Shugden practitioner and his last rites were performed by a Shugden lama. However, as Zong Rinpoche and most of the esteemed lamas of the Gelugpa lineage are students of Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, it would be difficult to find a lama who is not tainted. If we go along this line of reason and logic, it would mean 90% of Gelug Lamas today would all be tainted, therefore there is no reason to follow any Lama as all their practices and attainments become invalid. 4) The reincarnation of Lama Yeshe has returned in the form of Lama Ösel. Lama Ösel was recognised by Dorje Shugden in trance of an oracle and also the Dalai Lama. Why would the Dalai Lama recognise someone also confirmed by Dorje Shugden, if Dorje Shugden was not an enlightened being? Answer: The fact that Lama Yeshe‘s reincarnation has returned is in itself proof that Dorje Shugden is not a demon as he is maligned to be. Lama Yeshe was a very well-known Dorje Shugden practitioner who propitiated the Protector till his last breath, and whose funeral rites were performed by Zong Rinpoche, another well-known Shugden lama. If the lies about Dorje Shugden are correct, then Lama Yeshe would not be able to take rebirth as a human and should instead have gone to the lower realms for worshipping a demon and corrupting the Dharma. It is as if we are saying that a demon worshipper can take rebirth as a tulku and be recognised by the Dalai Lama who is Avalokiteshvara. This is entirely illogical. To say that would be akin to saying that the laws of karma failed and an evil spirit somehow deceived the Dalai Lama into being recognised as a tulku. However the Dalai Lama is an emanation of Avalokiteshvara and correctly identified Lama Ösel as the reincarnated mind of Lama Yeshe just as Dorje Shugden did. It is saying that an emanation of a Buddha and a supposed demon in trance of an oracle can reach the same conclusion concerning the recognition of a returning tulku. 5) Those against the practice of Dorje Shugden claim that those who propitiate him are demon worshippers and subsequently go to hell. In that case why even conduct rituals for Lama Yeshe, since he was a Dorje Shugden practitioner and therefore would automatically be going to hell? Answer: If we believe that Dorje Shugden worshippers go to hell, then there is no need to conduct rituals, especially for the return of the incarnation as that particular incarnation would actually be born in a hell realm. However, His Holiness the Dalai Lama confirmed Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s observations that Lama Ösel was the unmistaken reincarnation of FPMT’s founder, Lama Yeshe, so do Dorje Shugden practitioners go to hell, or did the Dalai Lama make a mistake in recognising the wrong person as the incarnation? Logically speaking, as His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s attainments are unmistaken, it is clear that Dorje Shugden practitioners DO NOT go to hell. 6) Lama Ösel is the reincarnation of Lama Yeshe’s mindstream. But Lama Yeshe died as a Shugden practitioner. According to FPMT’s criticisms of Shugden practitioners, Lama Yeshe shouldn’t have been reborn in human form. He should have taken rebirth in the three lower realms. So who is Lama Ösel? Is he the real Lama Yeshe? If he is the real Lama Yeshe, then FPMT shouldn’t be supporting Lama Ösel because Lama Ösel is of the same mindstream as Lama Yeshe, who practiced Dorje Shugden. Answer: If Dorje Shugden is evil then Lama Yeshe worshipped evil. Against all odds, if this practitioner of an demon managed to reincarnate as a tulku, then Lama Ösel is the reincarnation of a worshipper of a demon. If that is correct then FPMT is associating themselves with a demon worshipper who could destroy the works of the FPMT. If the FPMT truly believed that Dorje Shugden was a demon or malicious spirit, they would make all efforts to protect the students of FPMT from Lama Ösel instead of encouraging Lama Ösel to take a bigger role in the organization. FMPT’s actions show that they themselves do not believe the lies told about Dorje Shugden but have decided to behave like they do for reasons which are not spiritual. 7) Why does FMPT continue and propagate practices that were taught by Dorje Shugden practitioners (Lama Yeshe and the lineage gurus), when they are against Dorje Shugden and label it as wrong? If their lineage lamas were wrong about Dorje Shugden doesn’t this also call into question the validity of all their current practices too? Answer: According to the teachings, especially when it comes to tantric Buddhist practices, the most important feature is a genuine, unbroken and pure lineage stemming back to the originating deity of the practice. In the Buddhist path all teachings are necessarily based on refuge in the Three Jewels, this includes not going for refuge to unenlightened beings. As those who oppose Dorje Shugden’s practice claim, he is not an enlightened being but an unenlightened demon. Therefore, those who engage in and propagate his practice have taken refuge in an unenlightened being, and are no longer classed as Buddhist. Any Buddhist practices these people have held are logically negated. Lama Yeshe and the lineage gurus of the FPMT, are according to this logic not Buddhist and their practices are circumspect. These are the very same practices that FPMT preserves, promotes and engages in. By their own logic the very validity of these practices are negated since they trace the lineage through Dorje Shugden practitioners. Following a logical course, from their own standpoint, FPMT shouldn’t be practicing any practices received via Lama Yeshe as he was a staunch Dorje Shugden practitioner. Given this very logical conclusion, they continue their practice, despite stating Dorje Shugden is a demon and so undermining their entire organisation (since it was founded by Lama Yeshe, a Dorje Shugden practitioner) and its corpus of teachings. 8) Why keep hosting when it seeks to preserve and promote the collected works of Lama Yeshe, who was a tainted demon worshipping monk? Answer: By right FPMT should shut down since Lama Yeshe was a Dorje Shugden practitioner, hence considered wrong and tainted. This means that all his teachings are wrong and therefore FPMT would be spreading tainted and mistaken teachings. 9) Why does Lama Zopa continue to teach what he received from Lama Yeshe, or teachings similar to what is presented on, since these teachings are tainted and therefore flawed? Answer: Lama Zopa should not continue to teach what he received from Lama Yeshe since it is all considered tainted and flawed. When Lama Zopa continues to teach what was taught by Lama Yeshe, this goes to show he either has double standards and is a hypocrite or is pretending to support the ban on Dorje Shugden yet secretly still believes and practices Dorje Shugden. 10) Why does FPMT still have pictures of Kyabje Zong Rinpoche on their website when he is a Dorje Shugden practitioner? Shouldn’t they disassociate from all Shugden practitioners? Answer: By right FPMT should take down the pictures of Zong Rinpoche who to them is considered wrong as he was a Dorje Shugden practitioner, teacher, master. They should disassociate with Zong Rinpoche entirely just like how they disassociate themselves with Shugden practitioners today. By right they should remove all pictures and information on Zong Rinpoche. 11) The entire FPMT was founded by Lama Yeshe. Therefore the organisation was founded by a Dorje Shugden practitioner. What are the implications of this for FPMT given the fact that they are currently against the practice of Dorje Shugden?Answer: Since the FPMT was founded by a Dorje Shugden practitioner, using their own viewpoint which is against Dorje Shugden practitioners, they should actually close down their entire organisation and all of its centres as it is tainted. In fact its whole existence is due to a Dorje Shugden practitioner so according to their viewpoint should be completely wrong and bad. If you follow the logic that anything to do with Dorje Shugden is bad, then FPMT should close down, and those people currently involved should start a NEW organisation. This organisation with brand new centres, should be ‘clean’ and have nothing to do with Dorje Shugden’s practice or practitioners in any way, shape or form. Please watch the video below for the full documented event of Lama Yeshe’s cremation ceremony conducted by the erudite master Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. See the amount of kindness, great compassion, care, and detail Kyabje Zong Rinpoche gave to FPMT.

Or watch on server | download video (right click & save file)


Pictures from the Archive of Lama Yeshe’s Cremation Ceremony

Extracted from

A photo of Lama Yeshe in Delhi shortly before he was brought to America for treatment for his heart condition. Photo by Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

A photo of Zong Rinpoche and Lama Yeshe shortly before Lama’s death, California, 1984. Photo by Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

Zong Rinpoche during a cycle of pujas that were done for Lama Yeshe before the formal cremation, Vajrapani Institute, California, 1984. Photo by Ricardo de Aratanha.

A cycle of pujas were done for Lama Yeshe before the formal cremation, Vajrapani Institute, California, 1984. Photo by Ricardo de Aratanha.

Zong Rinpoche during a cycle of pujas that were done for Lama Yeshe before the formal cremation, Vajrapani Institute, California, 1984. Photo by Ricardo de Aratanha.

A cycle of pujas were done for Lama Yeshe before the formal cremation, Vajrapani Institute, California, 1984. Photo includes Geshe Sopa, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Geshe Gyeltsen, Geshe Thinley, and Geshe Lobsang Gyatso. Photo by Ricardo de Aratanha.

A cycle of pujas were done for Lama Yeshe before the formal cremation, Vajrapani Institute, California, 1984. Photo by Ricardo de Aratanha.

Zong Rinpoche carefully inspects the measurements for the hearth and where the stupa for Lama Yeshe’s cremation is to be built.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche leading the procession to the cremation of Lama Yeshe at Vajrapani Institute, California in March of 1984. Photo by Ricardo de Aratanha.

Zong Rinpoche arrives at the cremation of Lama Yeshe at Vajrapani Institute, California in March of 1984. Photo by Ricardo de Aratanha.

Cremation of Lama Yeshe at Vajrapani Institute, California in March of 1984. Photo by Ricardo de Aratanha.

Lama Yeshe’s body is placed in the cremation stupa. Cremation of Lama Yeshe at Vajrapani Institute, California in March of 1984. Photo by Ricardo de Aratanha.

Geshe Lobsang Gyatso with Zong Rinpoche at the cremation of Lama Yeshe at Vajrapani Institute, California in March of 1984. Photo by Ricardo de Aratanha.

Zong Rinpoche attended to by Geshe Gyeltsen at the cremation of Lama Yeshe at Vajrapani Institute, California in March of 1984. Photo by Ricardo de Aratanha.

Zong Rinpoche about to begin the funeral puja for Lama Yeshe. Zong Rinpoche at the cremation of Lama Yeshe at Vajrapani Institute, California in March of 1984. Photo by Ricardo de Aratanha.

Flaming skull of Lama Yeshe. Cremation of Lama Yeshe at Vajrapani Institute, California in March of 1984. Photo by Ricardo de Aratanha.

Relics of Lama Yeshe in a box after the cremation at Vajrapani Institute, California in March of 1984. Photo by Ricardo de Aratanha.


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  1. This is truly an EXCELLENT ARTICLE!

    After so many years, this website is still going strong and very relevant. Thank you for the dedication. So many other Shugden informational websites just died off?

    The Q&A part of this article is really riveting. I wonder how FPMT would answer this. After all, you have to base your centre on the truth. So how would they answer this?

  2. Why does Lama Zopa’s FPMT keep pictures, statues and reliquary of Lama Yeshe? Lama Yeshe worshipped Dorje Shugden who is evil (?). Since they have abandoned Dorje Shugden, they cannot be associated with any Dorje Shugden lamas alive or dead. So why keep items, memories and images of Lama Yeshe?

    It is a shame FPMT abandoned their practices and lineage lamas for fame, name and wealth.

  3. I left FPMT when they gave up Dorje Shugden. Giving up Dorje Shugden is the same as saying Lama Yeshe is wrong in choosing to practice Dorje Shugden his whole life. Since Lama Yeshe is wrong, then why bother continuing?

    With a heavy heart, I left FPMT because morally, spiritually, ethically and samaya-wise they abandoned their lama who is my lama.

  4. Thank you for this post. The pictures are such moving accounts of the bond between Lama Yeshe and Zong Rinpoche. Imagine a Buddha performing last rites for Lama Yeshe.

    It’s a pity Lama Yeshe passed away so young but then, what would have happened had he remained alive to see his trusted Protector demeaned.

    I agree with Lobsang Khedrub and would also like some answers from the FPMT. The last bit of this post raised questions that did not occur to me before.

  5. As I read this article, I felt a heavy heart and a deep sadness descend upon me. I feel sad for the organization, FPMT that was left behind and how they chose not to uphold the sacred legacy of Lama Yeshe. Now, I see why Lama Yeshe’s incarnation, Lama Osel had failed to manifest his enlightened activities to this date. It would be in their best interest of FPMT and their spiritual teacher to mend this broken samaya.

  6. Dear Rene

    Thank you for the well written article. Lama Yeshe and his root guru, Zong Rinpoche were a Dorje Shugden practitioners. Lama Yeshe incarnation, Lama Osel, was recognized buy both Dorje Shugden and H.H. The Dalai Lama. my questions are:
    - If Dorje Shugden is a demon, could he recognise the incarnation of a high lama that is also confirmed by the Dalai Lama

    - By saying Dorje Shugden practice is bad, isn’t it the same as saying that FPMT founder and lineage master, Lama Yeshe in this case, was wrong?

    - If Dorje Shugden is a demon, how come Lama Yeshe who was a ‘demon’ practitioner, came back in perfect human forms instead of taking rebirth in the lower realm.

    I pray that FPMT will restore their samaya with their lineage lamas.


  7. FPMT really needs to repent and apologize publicly to all Dorje Shugden lamas that they have hurt by abandoning Dorje Shugden and slandering the lamas. This is not to revenge or to gloat that Dorje Shugden people have victory over FPMT, but it is only for the lineage and attainments of FPMT’s practitioners. Now look at how Lama Osel (supposedly Lama Yeshe’s incarnation) turned out to be, sorry to say, Lama Osel is not a Dharma teacher, he is neither here nor there, and at this stage he definitely cannot uphold the whole FPMT like what his previous life (Lama Yeshe) did, the only reason for this failure – FPMT broke their samaya big time resuting in their own Lama cannot manifest now.

  8. What a fascinating and thought provoking post. I really had no idea as to the origins of FPMT. To tell you the truth i found this article very depressing. Lama-ji worked so hard to establish the Dharma in the west and all over the world, yet one of his main practices is now heavily criticised by his very students.

    Even lama-ji’s own guru came to perform his funerary rites, out of great compassion, for the benefit of the students at FPMT. A great shame that the students now disassociate from these great siddhas, blindly following advice touted by their corrupt government. Perhaps to those in the West this is acceptable, but here in the East this is completely unacceptable.

    I’ve heard it mentioned that guru Osel Hita has not taught because FPMT has broken the sacred relationship they should have kept by adhering to their practices. They should have kept their full faith and conviction in the marg that was taught to them. There is no doubt in the minds of my Tibetan companions, that he is the true reincarnation of Lama-ji, but he has not manifested his abilities yet, purely because his students are not practicing what he taught. I pray that they wake up, realise what they are doing is not right, and stick to his teachings. Then he will surely give pravachan again, through which many people will have peace of mind.

  9. Lama Yeshe was such a great teacher, although he didn’t have a Geshe degree or whatsoever, he was highly learned and knowledgeable. He was a devoted practitioner of Dorje Shugden, he held the practise closely until the end of his life, it’s a well known fact.

    Now that he has gone and the incarnation has been recognised, the FPMT’s decided to get on the good side of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and started going against Dorje Shugden practise, please bear in mind that Lama Yeshe was a Dorje Shugden practitioner too. So, aren’t they going against their Lama’s wishes too? Didn’t they break their samaya with their guru? If so, how are the teachings they are giving now have power since the lineage is broken?

    FPMT is very ungrateful and arrogant, they think they can keep fooling people as long as they don’t know their history, this is very bad. It’s just too bad for them, they do not have the merits to sustain their lamas.

  10. Thank you so much Rene for this great article. It really saddens me as I read the article. Why has the ban brought so much pain to practitioners that they are not able to do the practices that are being passed down from their Gurus. We have to say that certain practices by the lamas are correct and certain are not. Who are we as lay people to be able to know better then these Boddhisattvas that walk among us?

    Like what was said, if FPMT is really so ashamed of the practice on Dorje Shugden, they should remove all teachings by Lama Yeshe. Why did they even invite a high monk that has Dorje Shudgen as His main practice to do the last rights of their founder?

    Why ban the practice in the centre now and say that you all do not practice it when it is evidently clear that where FPMT is today is all because Lama Yeshe took the advices of Dorje Shugden and carried them out? It is just so sad to see these differences constantly happening.

  11. From the post, I would conclude that there is no reason for FPMT to continue since they have opt to come clean with the CTA by breaking their samaya with Lama Yeshe. We all know that Tibetan Buddhism emphasize very much on Guru Devotion and the path to enlightenment rely solely on Guru Devotion. Since there is no devotion to the Guru (by giving up the Dorje Shugden practice), it follows that no spiritual attainments will be gained by the students. This means whatever practices that Lama Yeshe has taught and those of his Guru, including Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, will not take effects on the students’ mindstream. Therefore, the teachings and activities that FPMT spread and organised could be understood and done wrongly. Why would someone follow and support a Buddhist institution that gives incorrect teachings due to the students’ wrong view? There is no guarantee for sure to learn from students like this. This is very scary.

  12. Lama Yeshe has benefited so many throughout his life. He build up Kopan Monastery together with Lama Zopa. From there Tushita Meditation Centre and from there the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition.

    He relied on Dorje Shugden for his entire journey.
    Lama Yeshe himself has demonstrated Guru Devotion to H.H. Zong Rinpoche perfectly as we could read and see on the pictures.

    As a matter of fact, FPMT has given up the practice received by their Guru. I agree that whatever is taught in FPMT cannot be relied on.

    Lama Yeshe’s reincarnation in Lama Ösel unfortunately cannot continue the precious work he did in his previous life. Very tragic.

  13. This article really posted very strong logical Q&A! It really helps me think deeper and realise how FPMT are really a bunch of hypocrites who goes around judging and condemning other teachers and Shugden practitioners while they “enjoy” the the facilities and organisation that was founded by their Dorje Shugden lama with the help of Dorje Shugden! I cannot believe the double standards and where is their loyalty or gratitude???

    It so sad to see these beautiful pictures and the video, because you can see before the ban, how all Lamas were so close and how extremely kind Kyabje Zong Rinpoche is. He is such a high lama, yet he came all the way from Switzerland to conduct Lama Yeshe’s cremation specifically for FPMT. Now I wonder how would they treat Kyabje Zong Rinpoche if Zong Rinpoche was still around? Would they ban Zong Rinpoche? I do not know how all these senior students who know the truth yet still continue with a blind eye and deaf ears and pretend nothing is wrong and everything is legit. It is not legit, they should open up a cleaner centre since their Lama who is Dorje Shugden practitioner is one who open up the centre and taught them. If they want to be “clean” then be “clean” all the way, why be so selective towards their advantage? This shows their motivation and who they are… not very Dharma I must say.

  14. Interesting article. It is actually a well known fact that FPMT during the time when Lama Yeshe was alive have consistently seeked the advice of DS oracles and depend greatly on Dharmapala Dorje Shugden which has led their centre to grow tremendously. They are not the only ones to be so ungrateful towawards the assistance they received, even some monasteries in India have given up ds and threw away their statue. When the ban was implemented, Lama Yeshe’s personal DS statue was sneaked out and placed in Gangchen Ladrang.

    It is obvious that the people then still have deep faith in DS, but due to certain circumstances, they are unable to go against the ban. Infact, to my observation, if the FPMT had went against the ban, I highly doubt the ban can last so long since the CTA would be up against 2 of the largest International Buddhist community which is FPMT and the NKT.

  15. FPMT are a group of hypocrites. Their lama dies a Shugden practitioner and they still have his photo on their altar even though they spend all their time criticising Shugden practitioners. They study from books written by Shugden practitioners even though they support people who criticise Shugden practitioners. They took money from Shugden practitioners even though they are not worthy objects of refuge.

    When they criticise Shugden practitioners as demon-worshippers, then they are criticising their own teacher and founder too because he DIED a Shugden practitioner. He didn’t renounce the practice or give it up or swear out. So no wonder their Lama Osel came back the way he did. The fact he came back at all is a miracle in itself since their lama died a Shugden practitioner so by their logic, he should’ve gone to the three lower realms. So by their logic, who is Lama Osel and why are FPMT supporting him? He got ordained then disrobed, and now travels around Europe and asks his organisation to help him get a car. Is this what it has come to? FPMT broke their samaya, plain and simple and their lama will not come back to them until they repair it.

    If FPMT and their leadership had any balls they would’ve stood up to the ban when the Dalai Lama first implemented it. Maybe then the Tibetan leadership would have been less ready to abuse and violently discriminate against millions of Shugden practitioners if they knew two worldwide organisations were opposing them. FPMT remaining silent and going along with the farce that is the ban made them complicit in the resulting abuses, and has led to them losing their lama and their current teacher’s current state of health.

    Girls and boys, beware. The result of broken samaya is VERY real.

  16. Dear frd
    Thank you for the powerful written article. Lama Yeshe and his guru, Zong Rinpoche were a Dorje Shugden practitioners. what a great lama they are. Lama Yeshe himself has Guru Devotion to H.H. Zong Rinpoche perfectly asi read and see on the beautiful pictures. how they can be wrong about Shugden practice.

  17. Thank you for the extensive Q&A above. The presentation of responses to the questions are simply direct, logical and respectful. If FPMT really wants to make a fuss, these “goodie two shoes” students should go all the way to support the Dalai Lama but shutting down FPMT who was started by a DS practitioners and potent with the energy of DS from years of his practice within the center and its community.

    These students who wish to please the Dalai Lama can open a new center from scratch: completely untainted by anything related to DS.

    Why don’t they do that? Perhaps because FPMT is an extremely successful by the grace of Lama Yeshe, his lineage masters such as Trijang RInpoche and Zong RInpoche who are renowned DS practitioners and, last but not least, Dorje Shugden himself. So, these students who want to “own” such an internationally reputed center because it would be able to raise funds and garner support easily due to its reputation and goodwill.

    I think, the students who turned their back on their own Lama should take a good look in the mirror before pelting judgement at others.

  18. FPMT is established, with famous lamas and impressive curriculum. As a beginner, I thought that was what matter, with the same attitude of choosing an ‘ivy league’ institution for my Buddhist path. I studied with lesser known lamas later on with no big title or centers, but I learned more important things like guru devotion, and above all, to keep clean samaya with my lamas.

    The disharmony and division already happened before Lama’s passing, that even with Lama Zopa’s appeal that the students can become more harmonious, Lama Yeshe didn’t accept and passed away shortly after. Lama is back, but the situation is no better. I echo the article that FPMT is causing the students to further break their commitments or samaya with Lama Yeshe by stopping the students from practising Dorje Shugden, all just so for FPMT to be seen as an organisation that supports the Dalai Lama. Many will reason that this is one of the causes Lama hasn’t manifested or focused on teaching the Dharma and is a ‘reluctant lama’. On the other hand, Lama Zopa, the other pillar of FPMT has manifested ill health, and all students were advised to come together to offer practice and prayers for Rinpoche’s long and healthy life. I hope that FPMT doesn’t fall into ruins, but perhaps, if the foundation – the samaya is in ruins, then why keep the institution for face value?

  19. @Claudia Ricci,

    Your comment is very interesting. I have heard also even prior to Lama Yeshe’s passing that there has been huge amounts of disharmony within FPMT. But I never got the details.

    Can you take some time to share some details here please?

  20. I’m sharing what Lama Zopa himself said which is documented here:

    Date of Advice: May 1997
    Date Posted: November 2005

    A student asked Rinpoche questions about the practice of the protector Dorje Shugden. His Holiness the Dalai Lama had asked his students to stop performing this practice. Many students had received initiations from their gurus and taken commitments to perform the practice before His Holiness made this request. Despite not having any commitments to do the practice himself, the student was concerned about maintaining pure view of his other teachers who have done the practice.

    On May 16, 1997, Rinpoche commented as follows.

    With regard to your question about the protector and your concern about not generating negative thoughts and losing faith toward other lamas, the decision that you have taken is correct.

    Kopan Monastery had been performing the Dorje Shugden practice from the beginning, as this was Lama Yeshe’s main protector, on whom he relied whenever he needed help for anything. But since His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the one who holds, preserves, and spreads the entire Buddhist Dharma—both the lesser vehicle and the Mahayana, Paramitayana, and Secret Mantra Vajrayana—without the existence of His Holiness, not only Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism but Buddhism in general would suffer in the world. It would be similar to when children are left behind when their parents die. It would be like that.

    Therefore, support for His Holiness becomes very important. Another thing is that His Holiness is the main source of world peace. In this aspect, His Holiness gives so much peace and happiness to so many millions and millions of people in this world. This aspect of His Holiness is the greatest inspiration, bringing many millions of people’s hearts toward Buddhism. Even though we have many high lamas, not everyone is able to manifest this particular aspect, even though from my side the virtuous friends are of the same essence.

    Therefore, it becomes very important to support His Holiness and to fulfill His Holiness’ wishes. For that reason, Kopan Monastery stopped doing this practice. This was done for His Holiness. This does not mean that Pabongka Dechen Nyingpo, His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche, and His Holiness Zong Rinpoche have made mistakes. It does not mean they are wrong. Nor does one have to look at the protector as evil. For us ordinary people it is difficult to judge, because we cannot see these lamas ’ minds.

    Another side of the teaching is that it is mentioned that the protector is an Arya Bodhisattva, a manifestation of Manjushri. So, then, there is also the risk of our creating very heavy karma in that context.

    In addition, if one has received teachings, initiations, and so forth from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso*, including the practice of Dorje Shugden, there is a way of practicing lam-rim in relation to this situation. In the lam-rim, it says that the Buddhas—for example, Buddha Vajradhara, Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, and so forth—manifest in ordinary form and guide us to enlightenment. That means they manifest in an ordinary aspect that shows mistakes, such as having delusions, performing mistaken actions, and so on. One can also think in this way about the situation, according to the lam-rim. In reality, there is no mistake here, but the guru is showing the aspect of making mistakes, like a movie actor.

    Thinking in this way and relating the situation to that part of the lam-rim helps keep one from losing faith, from losing guru devotion. It only inspires one. Why? Because without the ordinary aspect that shows mistakes, we have no other way to be guided. There is no other method for the Buddhas to guide us to enlightenment.

    Another way to look at this situation is that although in reality there is no mistake on the guru’s part, nevertheless we see mistakes according to our karma. The guru shows mistakes because we only have the karma to see this manifestation at this moment, and nothing else.

    In this matter, that aspect becomes most precious and important for us, for our minds. As it is mentioned by Gyalwa Ensapa, “Until one becomes separated from evil karmic obscurations, even if all the Buddhas without exception directly descend in front of one, one will not have the fortune to see the supreme holy body, adorned with the holy signs and exemplifications, but rather only the present appearance (the ordinary view). ”

    Even if a guru kills another guru or kills many millions of people, as Hitler or Mao did, since one has made a connection with him or her, one should never lose faith from one’s own side. Unless from his or her side the virtuous friend tells you, “Now I am no longer your guru. You should not follow me anymore,” unless he gives this permission, one must not give up one’s faith in that teacher.

    One time, after I had listened for three days to one person’s teachings, that person told me not to follow him. The bodhisattva Khunu Lama later explained to me that it was acceptable not to follow that person, but important not to criticize, to keep the mind in equanimity regarding him.

    It is said in the tantric teachings, “If one thinks one’s own guru is bad-tempered, one will be reborn in the hell realms for 60 eons.” If one does not cultivate devotion after one has made a Dharma connection—which means having received teachings with the recognition of guru and disciple—then it is said in the teachings that one will be reborn as a dog one hundred times, and then be reborn in a lower caste—or, as His Holiness Zong Rinpoche mentioned, as a scorpion. This applies even if there are no negative thoughts arising toward the guru, such as heresy or anger, but one still does not develop devotion and follow the teacher after listening to even just one stanza, even if one no longer regards that teacher as one’s guru or forgets one ’s guru-disciple relation.

    The conclusion is that both ways of looking at the situation with the guru are correct, because there is a purpose to both: that is, to benefit others. These ways of thinking are what protect our mind from the heaviest karma.

  21. EXCELLENT ARTICLE old disciple of Lama Yeshe.claudio cipullo.

  22. Why have the old students and followers of FPMT forsaken their samaya with their lama? Why have they given up the practice of Dorje Shugden and openly and behind the scenes, attack other Shugden lamas and their organisations? What has happened to Lama Osel? Why isn’t he teaching and establishing himself in the organisation he founded in his previous life? What is going to happen to him and when Lama Zopa is no longer able to lead the organization? Who is going to take the helm? These are tough questions that someone has got to ask so the organization continues to perpetuate…

  23. I am sorry to hear this anonymous… I am sure you were not the only one who left:

    April 12, 2016
    I left FPMT when they gave up Dorje Shugden. Giving up Dorje Shugden is the same as saying Lama Yeshe is wrong in choosing to practice Dorje Shugden his whole life. Since Lama Yeshe is wrong, then why bother continuing?

    Yes FPMT is running on broken samaya with their Lama. How on earth do they think they can possibly receive any kind of attainments from their practice? No wonder the current incarnation of Lama Yeshe dis-robbed and is wasting his time gallivanting here and there with a girlfriend. How embarrassing for FPMT yet they go around judging and policing and discriminating people who practice Shugden? How disgusting! What kind of Dharma centre encourage schism, gossip, discrimination and putting down others? WHat gives FPMT the right to put other people’s religion and faith down? What kind of Dharma is that? What other people practice is none of their business and they should behave more dharmic, more decent, practice some compassion for their own sake.

  24. As I read through this article, I feel sad. It is truly disheartening to see the damage a selfish, baseless ban had done on a Dharma institution. Now students and followers of the FPMT as well as public by and large are confused on the flippancy of the faith of Tibetan Lamas. If one can denounce the teachings and practice of one’s Guru, then how different is it to denounce the teaching of Lord Buddha?

  25. It is sad to see that when the guru is a Dorje Shugden practitioner and later entered into clear light, the students are being stopped to practice that given by the guru due to their own reasons.

    If the students believed Dorje Shugden is a devil then their guru is considered as worshipped evil. But then why the students are still want to search for the guru’s reincarnation? It is really confused people.

    Hope the students of FPMT would have very deep and logical thinking about the mentioned issues. Most important is to think of samaya with the guru and the guru devotion. Without these two, it is difficult for any of the practitioners to achieve attainments.

  26. This is a very informative article where we learned about the life of Lama Yeshe and why his current incarnation is not teaching. The key here seems to be ‘harmony’, without harmony, there will not be peace, when there is no peace, it is going against what Dharma is teaching us. If we are not practising what Dharma is teaching us it means we do not need Dharma. That is why the lama will leave or choose not to come back to teach because the students do not want Dharma. In addition, giving up what our teacher has passed down to us is an act of breaking Samaya. When our samaya (connection) is broken, it is like a leaking pipe, blessing will not flow through, thus there will not be attainment. How can the students expect to see results if the samaya is broken.

    Lama Yeshe’s students have broken their samaya by giving up Dorje Shugden and condemn the practice, it is probably a miracle that Lama Yeshe reincarnated so quickly. Perhaps it was the pujas Zong Rinpoche did for Lama Yeshe that generated tremendous merits for Lama Yeshe to come back. Whatever it is, both Lamas are very compassionate.

  27. A very comprehensive article, especially the Q&A section which answered all my questions clearly. Lama Yeshe was such an attained Guru to be able to attract so many students and successfully opened so many dharma centers worldwide. He showed so much kindness to Lama Zopa and his students by being an example of the living Dharma, especially the strong and clean Guru/student samaya with his Guru, H.H. Zong Rinpoche. Lama Yeshe had kept, relied on and continued the practices that his Guru had given him, including Protector Dorje Shugden. Even at his cremation, Lord Dorje Shugden’s puja was performed as a blessing. As the article mentioned, not for Lama Yeshe who is enlightened but for his students to gather merits to reconnect with their Guru. H.H. Zong Rinpoche came from Switzerland twice, first to bless his student and second was to help his student’s students. So its based on the clean Guru samaya of Lama Yeshe that H.H. Zong Rinpoche came. Lama Zopa and the other students of FPMT should have been grateful for having such a great Guru and the blessings that they had received.

    And yet, FPMT so easily gave up and denounce Dorje Shugden that their Guru had so strongly relied upon and given to them as their practice. In denouncing Dorje Shugden, they effective denounced their own Guru and their own lineage. What right do they have to teach and pass on their Guru’s teachings which will not carry any blessing anymore since their samaya has been broken? If FPMT denounce their Guru’s practice, then why do they want to recognize the reincarnate of Lama Yeshe? Of course Lama Osel have not manifested his attainments since FPMT does not keep their promises nor do they mend their ways to create the conditions for their Guru’s reincarnate to teach. Recognizing Lama Osel as Lama Yeshe’s incarnate should have been the “proof” to FPMT that the practice of Dorje Shugden in not harmful and Dorje Shugden is not a spirit. On the contrary, Dorje Shugden is an extremely beneficial protector who had help Lama Yeshe successfully in his dharmic activities.

    FPMT needs to wake up and mend their broken samaya for their real Guru to manifest his true attainments. Being politically correct with the Dalai Lama, for fame, fortune or whatnot will not bring you enlightenment! Only your Guru who is the kindest and most compassionate to teach, care and guide you can bring you to enlightenment!

  28. I do not think FPMT can ever address or it will be able to address issue and the points that was brought up above. It is so sad that FPMT would choose fame, and being politically correct to maintaining their Samaya to their Gurus and teachers that have graced their doors.

    I think eventually FPMT decline will be directly linked to them having given up the Dorje Shudgen practices. So much potential built up by Lama Yeshe and Dorje Shugden into this organisation and now there is no much more hope for them, if they maintain their broken samaya with their founder and Dorje Shudgen.

  29. It sad to note that good, clean samaya for the Guru is a rarity nowadays. It seems that it is practiced by the older monks and no longer is held in importance by the younger generation monks.

    The broken samaya will only bring about decay in lineage as the teachings will not be held tightly but being subject to the forces of politics. Very sad, indeed.

  30. Thank you for this amazing article.

    After reading this article I feel that the students of the organization are very unfortunate. At the same time, this article also reminds me not to break my samaya with my Guru, because lack of merits from the side of students will cause the Guru to ‘leave’ their body, manifesting sickness and worst of all, death.
    I hope, FPMT can restructure their organization’s direction and hope Lama Ösel to be able to manifest and continue with his enlightened activities.

  31. 11 very salient points in this article, thanks. The question that has always troubled me the most is that of Lama Yeshe’s continued presence on the altars of FPMT students. If Shugden practitioners are so evil and engage in spirit worship then why do FPMT students continue to prostrate and take refuge with the ‘spirit worshipper’ that is Lama Yeshe who did not give up the practice prior to his passing? Riddle me this! Hey FPMT, wake up. The stench of your hypocrisy is overwhelming.

  32. What will the all the people around the world and in Tibet do now? Dalai Lama says he is happy that Tibet is a part of China and should remain a part of China. So many Tibetans self-immolated for Tibet to be independent and now Dalai Lama did a 360 degree turn and says he wants to go back to Tibet and China and Tibet should be a part of China. So unbelievable. So many are angry and disappointed.

    Tibetans ready to be part of China: Dalai Lama
    Organised by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the event was a part of “Thank You India – 2018″ held by the Tibetan community across India to mark 60 years of its exile in the country.
    Indo-Asian News Service
    Tibetans are ready to be a part of China if guaranteed full rights to preserve their culture, the Dalai Lama said on Friday.
    “Tibetans are not asking for independence. We are okay with remaining with the People’s Republic of China, provided we have full rights to preserve our culture,” the 83-year-old spiritual leader said at “Thank You Karnataka” event here in the city.
    Organised by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the event was a part of “Thank You India – 2018″ held by the Tibetan community across India to mark 60 years of its exile in the country.
    “Several of Chinese citizens practicing Buddhism are keen on Tibetan Buddhism as it is considered scientific,” the Nobel laureate said.
    Born in Taktser hamlet in northeastern Tibet, the Dalai Lama was recognized at the age of two as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. He fled to India from Tibet after a failed uprising against the Chinese rule in 1959.
    China annexed Tibet in 1950, forcing thousands of Tibetans, including monks, to flee the mountain country and settle in India as refugees.
    Since then, India has been home to over 100,000 Tibetans majorly settled in Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh among other states.


  33. Dear Dalai Lama,

    Since you started the cruel ban against the 350 year Dorje Shugden practice, how has it benefit your Tibetan society and Buddhism in the world? Things have become worse and most educated Tibetans can see this. They don’t speak out not because they don’t see your ban as wrong, but you instill fear in them and not respect. It is like fear of a dictator. I am sorry to say so. Everyone is divided. There is no harmony. Before your ban there was more harmony and unity.

    By enacting the ban, you split the monasteries, split so many families, split regions in Tibet apart, split your disciples from you, split your own gurus from you, split Tibetan Buddhism apart. You have created so much disharmony.

    It is not democratic what you have done to ban a religion within your community. You always talk of tolerance and acceptance and democracy and yet you do not accept and tolerate something different from your beliefs. When people practice Dorje Shugden you ostracize them, ban them from seeing you, ban them from using Tibetan facilities. You know you have done that. There are videos that capture your speech and prove this point. You even had people expelled from monasteries just because they practice Dorje Shugden. Some of the monks you expelled have been in the monastery for over 40 years. Many older monks shed tears because of this.

    Many young educated Tibetans lost confidence in you as they saw the damage the Dorje Shugden ban created and they lose hope. Many have become free thinkers. They reject what you have done. So many people in the west left Buddhism because of the confusion you created with this ban against Dorje Shugden which is immoral.

    You could of had millions of people who practice Dorje Shugden to support, love and follow you, but you scared them away. They are hurt and very disappointed. They loved you and respected you deeply before the ban. It has been 60 years and you have failed to get Tibet back. Your biggest failure is not getting Tibet back after 57 years in exile. Now you are begging China to allow you to return to Tibet to the disappointment of thousands of people who fought for a free Tibet believing in you. So many self-immolated for a free Tibet and now you want Tibet to be a part of China with no referendum from Tibetans. Just like a dictator, you decide on your own. It was your government and you that lost Tibet in the first place. Your policies and style of doing things do not benefit Tibet and Buddhism. You have been the sole ruler of Tibet your whole life and you still have not gotten our country of Tibet back for us. Our families and us are separated. Yet you create more pain by creating a ban to further divide people. Please have compassion.

    No other Buddhist leader has banned or condemned any religion except for you. It looks very bad. You are a Nobel laureate and this is not fitting of a laureate. You should unite people and not separate them by religious differences.

    You said Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi did not do right to the Rohingya people in Myanmar due to religious differences, but you are doing the same thing to the Shugden Buddhists within your own society. There is a parallel in this. You separate the Shugden Buddhists from the others in Tibetan society.

    You have lost so many people who would have loved and supported you. You have lost so much support around the world. The Shugden Buddhists who love you number in the millions. When you are fast losing support from governments and private people, it will not do you well to lose more.

    After you are passed away in the future, the rift you created between the Dorje Shugden and non-Dorje Shugden people will remain for a while and that will be your legacy. Disharmony. You will be remembered for this. Not as a hero but a disharmony creator.

    Dorje Shugden will spread and further grow, but you will be no more as you are a human. No one wishes you bad and in fact we hope you have a long and healthy life, but we have lost so much hope and have so much despair because of you. All the hundreds of Dorje Shugden lamas, tulkus and geshes are maturing and there are hundreds of Dorje Shugden monasteries in Tibet who will not give up Dorje Shugden. You have made a mistake. These hundreds of teachers and teachers to be will spread Dorje Shugden further in the future.

    The gurus that gave us Dorje Shugden as a spiritual practice and you have called these holy gurus wrong and they are mistaken in giving us Dorje Shugden. How can you insult our gurus whom we respect so much? If they can be wrong, then you can be wrong. Then all gurus can be wrong. So no one needs to listen to any guru? You have created this trend. It is not healthy. Your own gurus practiced Dorje Shugden their whole lives. Your own gurus were exemplary and highly learned.

    Dalai Lama you have created so much pain with this ban against so many people due to religion. You are ageing fast. Are you going to do anything about it or stay stubborn, hard and un-moving. You show a smile and preach peace and harmony wherever you go. But will you do the same to your own people? Please rectify the wrong you have done. Please before it is too late. You can create harmony again or you can pass away in the future with this legacy of peace. May you live long and think carefully and admit what was a mistake in having this unethical ban against Dorje Shugden religion.

  34. Supreme Court of India JUSTICE Mr. MARKANDEY KATJU (RETD) writes that Tibet is much better under the Chinese than it was under the lamas who only wanted to make the populace slaves. It was feudal and it will never return to the backwardness again.

    Time has come to acknowledge that Tibet has vastly improved under Chinese rule
    JUSTICE MARKANDEY KATJU (RETD) | 12 August, 2018
    From a terribly poor state hinged on a feudal system, Tibet has modernised and grows faster than the rest of China
    This article has been prompted by Jyoti Malhotra’s article in ThePrint ‘Tibetan government quietly changed its PM’s designation. India won’t be unhappy about it‘.
    China’s annexation of Tibet in 1959, ousting the Dalai Lama, had attracted it worldwide criticism. The Dalai Lama fled and was granted asylum in India, where he set up a government-in-exile with its headquarters in Dharamshala.
    The Chinese claim Tibet on the grounds that it has been part of the country since the Yuan dynasty of the 13th century, which is disputed by the government-in-exile. But let us leave this that matter aside.
    The more important question is whether Chinese rule has benefited Tibet.
    The answer is that it undoubtedly has. As the Reuters’ Ben Blanchard writes: “Today Tibet is richer and more developed than it has ever been, its people healthier, more literate, better dressed and fed”.
    Although Ben goes on to argue that this development masks “a deep sense of unhappiness among many Tibetans”, I will disagree. How can anyone be unhappy if s/he is healthier, better fed and better clothed?
    Under the rule of the Dalai Lamas (Buddhist priests), the people of Tibet were terribly poor, almost entirely illiterate, and lived like feudal serfs.
    Today, Tibet presents a totally different picture. The illiteracy rate in Tibet has gone down from 95 per cent in the 1950s to 42 per cent in 2000. It has modern schools, universities, engineering and medical colleges, modern hospitals, freeways, supermarkets, fast food restaurants, mobile stores and apartment buildings. The capital Lhasa is like any other modern city.
    While the economic growth in the rest of China has slowed down to about 7 per cent, Tibet has had a 10 per cent growth rate in the last two decades.
    Tibet has huge mineral wealth, which was only awaiting Chinese technology to be tapped. Nowadays, it has numerous hydro and solar power plants and industries running with Chinese help.
    Tibetan literature is flourishing, contrary to claims that the Chinese want to crush Tibetan culture.
    Of course, now the lamas cannot treat their people as slaves.
    The so-called ‘government-in-exile’, of which Lobsang Sangay claims to be the President, is a fake organisation, funded by foreign countries. They only want to restore the feudal Tibet, ruled by the reactionary lamas, something which will never happen.
    The writer is a former judge of the Supreme Court of India

  35. Too bad – Lama Osel disrobed, never finished his studies, achieved nothing much in his secular life, just running around with his girlfriend and clubbing in Ibizia, Spain. His previous life accomplished so much with the help of his determination, hard work and Dorje Shugden. Lama Yeshe credited much of his success to the help he was bestowed by Dorje Shugden. By FPMT abanding Dorje Shugden, they broke their samaya with their lineage gurus such as Trijang Rinpoche and Zong Rinpoche from whom they received the Dorje Shugden sogtae commitment practice. Also it was with Lama Yeshe’s permission they received sogtae from these great masters. By abandoning the practice, they broke their spiritual bond (samaya) which is sacred in tantra with Lama Yeshe and lineage lamas. So it is no surprise Lama Yeshe came back in this incarnation unable to manifest being a great dharma teacher like his previous life. It is a shame and embarrassment to FPMT that Lama Osel ended up not doing much. It is a testimony to their failure in keeping their samaya to their guru and lineage lamas. FPMT wanted fame and rub shoulders with the famous and in return, they lost Lama Yeshe. After Lama Zopa passes away, FPMT will just go down for sure. No one can take over. Breaking their samaya was the wrong thing to do.

    So many more pictures and information to read here:


  36. It is such a pity that Lama Yeshe passed away so young. He was a highly attained lama, if he did not pass away, I think FPMT will be even bigger than what it is now. His relationship with his lama, Zong Rinpoche was so closed that Zong Rinpoche even went to perform the last rite for him.

    It is said that Lama Yeshe actually didn’t need Zong Rinpoche to do his last rite as he was a highly attained lama himself. It is more for the students to collect merits so they can find the reincarnation of Lama Yeshe and have him turn the wheel of Dharma again. The students did find the reincarnation of Lama Yeshe (Lama Osel) who took rebirth in a Spanish family. But turning the wheel of Dharma, it is not the case.

    Lama Osel was enthroned and received his monastic education at a very young age. Unfortunately, he decided to disrobe and live the life of a layperson when he was older, he did not do much Dharma activity in this life. The students have the merits to find Lama Yeshe’s reincarnation but they don’t have the merits to have their lama to continue his Dharma work in FPMT.

    How Lama Osel manifests in this life is mainly determined by the Samaya of the students with him and also the merits of the students. By FPMT giving up Dorje Shugden practice, they have already broken their Samaya with the teacher. Not only that, but FPMT also criticises and discriminates the Dorje Shugden practitioners, they should know Dorje Shugden is a practice Lama Yeshe held to his heart very closely, how can they treat this sacred practice of the guru so badly? All of these actions are the causes for Lama Osel not to come back to FPMT. If FPMT wants their lama to come back, they have a lot of purification practices to do.

  37. Understand that in actuality someone like Lama Yeshe who had passed away did not need pujas or prayers performed for his fortunate rebirth as he was highly attained and can control both his death and rebirth. Instead, the pujas were performed more so for the students, in order to collect tremendous amounts of merit, to ensure that they will be able to reconnect again with their Lama in his next incarnation. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen as we can see Lama Osel return in a perfect form but the students have no merits to retain him or make him return to continue his legacy. It makes sense because FPMT renounce Lama Yeshe which is Shugden practitioners but FPMT would rather be political right to go along with Dalai Lama to ostracise Shugden practitioners. As long as they don’t amend their samaya I doubt anything will happen between FPMT and Lama Osel.

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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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