Comment: Is FPMT Breaking Samaya By Denouncing Dorje Shugden?

osel dalai lama

Lama Osel – recognised by the Dalai Lama

Extracted from the forum

In regards to Kesang’s post regarding Lama Osel: He has shown the aspect of being disrobed. FPMT organization built him an elaborate residence in Sera Jey.

He had a traditional recognition ceremony in Sera. Also, besides having tutors of the Tibetan tradition for philosophy, etc, tutors were flown in from all over FPMT to Sera to teach him a balanced Western Education. On their website and Mandala Magazine, you would get news of his progress. Now we hear he has disrobed, moved away from Sera. Lama Osel is living somewhere in Europe, not pursuing traditional Geshe Studies anymore!!

As a Being who was such a great practitioner in his previous life and who sowed the seeds of dharma to so many, how can this be so?? Lama Yeshe did so much to benefit in his previous life – how can this be so??

I would conclude that it is the result of broken samaya. FPMT and Kopan, before the Dorje Shugden suppression by the Tibetan Government, practiced Dorje Shugden very strongly. Lama Yeshe was the root guru of Zopa Rinpoche. Zopa Rinpoche benefiting so many now is due mainly to the kindness of Lama Yeshe in so many ways.

Older students of FPMT have mentioned the following ‘off the record’ many times as they have been brow-beaten into silence for political reasons.

lama osel

Lama Osel – then and now

lama osel

Lama Osel – then and now

  1. Lama Yeshe fervently practiced Dorje Shugden. He depended on Dorje Shugden singularly and said so openly many times. He encouraged his students to do the practice. He himself practiced all the way to his death.Under Lama Yeshe’s instructions, Kopan practiced and did the kangsol puja every month until the 1990’s.
  2. Why is it that it was practiced for so many years, and then suddenly it is no longer holy. How can holy become unholy?
  3. Within Lama Zopa’s meditation and guru devotional practices, Lama Yeshe and Dalai Lama should be equal. In real life, their statuses are not, but in his meditations it should be. Otherwise, that would mean that whether our teacher is a Buddha or not, how we view him in our meditations would be determined by his hierarchical status in life. That would contradict Guru Devotional practices.
    Therefore, when Lama Yeshe was alive, Zopa Rinpoche was a great practitioner of Dorje Shugden. Then, when Lama Yeshe passed away, Lama Zopa doesn’t ‘respect’ Lama Yeshe’s practices anymore and switches to the Dalai Lama’s stance. Can a great being like Lama Zopa be so wishy-washy?? In Lama Zopa’s meditations, does Dalai Lama override Lama Yeshe?? In our meditations, does the Dalai Lama, who is higher by hierarchy, override ones’ own guru who may not be of the same level? Then that would throw off the whole guru devotion practice in a new light.
  4. When Lama Zopa does that, what is the message he sends to his students? That it is okay to switch from your lama’s point of view to another more famous lama’s point of view? I still don’t wish to believe that of Lama Zopa but he is taking that appearance.
  5. Lama Zopa himself was discovered, recognized and enthroned, a tulku or Rinpoche reincarnation by Dorje Shugden’s oracle in Dromo Geshe Rinpoche’s Dungkar Monastery. (‘The Lawudo Lama’ by Jamyang Wangmo. Vajra Publications. Pages 172,173, 176, 177. See on Pg 374, footnotes 249, 250, 256).
    This book also has a foreword by the Dalai Lama, incredible as it may seem. This book clearly states that the monks caring for Lama Zopa consulted Gyalchen (Dorje Shugden) and that Gyalchen recognized Lama Zopa as a true incarnate lama and advised that special care should be taken of him. If Gyalchen was an evil spirit, why would he discover and allow the enthronement of Lama Zopa who benefits so many today?
    FPMT has a global drive to look good, get into the Dalai Lama’s good books and be politically aligned with the Dalai Lama in order to boost the prestige of their own centres in a drive for membership, sponsors, students, resources and growth. All that is fine, but NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF PUTTING OTHER DORJE SHUGDEN PRACTITONERS DOWN. AFTER ALL, LAMA YESHE, THEIR FOUNDER PRACTICED DORJE SHUGDEN. If they criticize Dorje Shugden practitioners, then they do not respect their root guru’s guru. In some cases, they would be disrespecting their direct guru. How can you respect the Dalai Lama but not Lama Yeshe? What difference is there in the meditations?
    Perhaps Lama Osel is not able to manifest his tulku activities because FPMT has an active drive, defamation and schismatic talk towards other centres/lamas that practice Dorje Shugden. The karma of that is very heavy. It would fall back onto their own lamas not being able to manifest their works. It is very dangerous and should be immediately amended. Yes, FPMT may be very well known now, but at what heavy price? When Lama Zopa passes away, can Lama Osel handle the organization, inspire the organization, run the organization or have the spiritual education to do so? If not, whose fault is it? The Lama’s or the students?
    lama zopa
  6. FPMT and Kopan Monastery have a huge negative stance against Dorje Shugden in order to get into the Dalai Lama’s good books and succor the Tibetan Government’s support. With that support, they press down, deface and have a spoken campaign against Dorje Shugden and his practitioners. That is incredible considering that Lama Yeshe was a great practitioner who held Dorje Shugden as his principle protector until his death. Lama Zopa was recognized and enthroned by Dorje Shugden himself. Does FPMT sound ungrateful now to look politically good? And if they look politically good, it is at WHAT EXPENSE??
  7. FPMT mother branch and Kopan Monastery should send a worldwide message out to all their great dharma centres around the world to never criticize Dorje Shugden, his practices and his followers. FPMT may, of course, follow H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama but not in a political fashion; and they should not use the Dalai Lama’s fame to boost their own standing by defaming Dorje Shugden.
    Even some of you who have not received teachings within FPMT but have received teachings from Lama Yeshe, remember that he is your lineage lama. In your daily sadhanas, you have to invoke upon him for blessings for your own attainments. If you think he is dirty, wrong or unattained due to his practice of Dorje Shugden (and therefore, destroyed his refuge), then that would be the same for Lama Zopa. This is because he passed down whatever he had to Lama Zopa. Therefore, whatever was passed down, would also have been stained or foul assuming that practicing Dorje Shugden destroys your basis and refuge commitments. If what Lama Zopa has is stained, then all that he is disseminating is stained also.
  8. FPMT as a whole should follow His Holiness the Dalai Lama, but with the correct religious perspective. They should not put down any centres, institutions, lamas or students who wish to be spiritually loyal to Dorje Shugden because their own lamas, and lineage lamas relied on Dorje Shugden. Also, Dorje Shugden was VERY KIND AND HAD GREAT FORESIGHT TO DISCOVER AND INSTALL LAMA ZOPA AS A TULKU.
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11 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Thank you for this informative article. The information is structured and well presented.

    I have also heard that many FPMT centres are zealously promoting anti-Shugden sentiment. If FPMT wants to be politically correct and toe Dalai Lama’s line, that’s their perogative. However, it is so unnecessary to do a witch hunt on every visitor to their centre or anyone who wishes to attend a teaching by Lama Zopa. I don’t know if it’s prevalent in ALL the FPMT centres, but I heard that this definitely happens in some of them.

    I hope that this broken samaya will be repaired and Lama Osel can manifest his full potential in this current incarnation.

  2. All centres and their Spiritual Guide have their general and special way of promoting Buddha dharma and their traditions according to their collective karma and their environment. I believe FPMT , NKT or Tzu Tzi etc are no exception and we should respect that there will be differences in approach.

    I like the advice and view presented here. There is no benefit in disparaging other centres or their leaders. Each centre should adhere to their activities according to their manifesto and objectives. I do not believe it includes deriding or condemning other centres. All Buddhist centres/organisation properly incorporated should be accorded equal respect in the promotion of Buddha dharma and no one should claim to be more legitimate than the other or go on a campaign to denounce others.

    FPMT allows people from other faiths or non- believers to attend teachings but rejects fellow Buddhists from the same tradition just because they are practicing DS. I think this is shameful and unBuddhistic. It is schismatic action within the Buddhist community.

    FPMT may not admit these people as members but they should not deprive others or anyone the benefit of acquiring knowledge. Buddha never prohibited anyone from listening to his teachings.

  3. I don’t believe Lama Zopa has denounced Dorje Shugden. Just as Lama Yeshe has not denounced Dorje Shugden and not broken his Samaya with Trijang Rinpoche who is his Guru. Lama Zopa will do the same. Students in FPMT has not realised that Lama Zopa is also one of the very best Lamas although he may not have the high educational qualities. I was given to understand that if you are a Christian and if you have no choice but to be involved in Christian activities you can visualize Jesus Christ as a Buddha. So with Lama Zopa he still can apply this type of method through visualization without anyone knowing. It is FPMT and not Lama Zopa that has broken the Samaya.

  4. What if Lama Osel’s decision to leave FPMT (for now) has nothing to do with the so-called “broken samaya” of FPMT? What if he just wants to do something DIFFERENT in this lifetime? Even the 6th Dalai Lama became a lay person (and he had a number of reasons for doing so), so why can’t Lama Yeshe’s reincarnation try something new as well?

    Also, people keep reminding everyone that Lama Yeshe practiced DS until his death. If he had lived longer and heard what His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa had to say about it, how do you know that wouldn’t have “changed his mind” as well? Are lama’s minds inherent? Can’t they ever see things from a different point of view, after gaining new information and insights? How do you know that Lama Yashe would have continued to do the practice if he had learned more from HHDL and Lama Zopa about why they chose to give it up? Maybe he would have agreed with them, not because he would have been under any political pressure, but because he may have seen the wisdom in their conclusions. I’m just suggesting this as an alternative point of view. You are free to believe what you chose.

  5. At this stage I refrain from opinions and important comments, feeling in the Middle. Both groups should be able to practice heart of dharma….
    The ‘shugdenites’have no business being so tough on the ‘other’side. We are one family, broken up by only misunderstanding.

    I have to laugh sometimes I think nobody knows the meaning of DS. isn’tis all about WISDOM?
    I guess if you do not feel that energy you haven’t got any. Ohm shanti. tashi delek all.

  6. dechen,

    I’m not a ‘shugdenite’. I am on the so-called ‘other’ side, but I try to be compassionate and understanding towards DS practitioners. I can understand their point of view, even if I do not agree with everything they say. I can see why they are hurting and why they feel upset. It must be hard to be in a position where they feel they must choose between what their own gurus taught them and what the Dalai Lama says, etc. It must be confusing to hear all this stuff about a ‘ban’ and believe that the Dalai Lama is oppressing people. (I don’t agree with this view, but I can understand why people believe it’s true.)

    However, it seems that DS practitioners believe that the whole universe revolves around the DS issue. If ANYTHING bad happens, such as Lama Zopa getting sick, it somehow has to do with broken samaya relating to DS and they don’t seem to consider that perhaps it has nothing to do with that particular issue at all. I’m all for having a reasonable dialogue, but when all roads lead to ONE issue ALL the time, no matter what the situation may be, it seems that there is no way to have an objective discussion with people who are totally ONE-track minded.

    How do you feel it is a ‘misunderstanding’? Maybe someone in the Middle can shed some objective light on the issue. Frankly, the only ‘misunderstanding’ I can see is that the Dalai Lama advised people not to do the DS practice and people misunderstood his instructions as a ‘ban’. I don’t think he ever ‘banned’ the practice, but his instructions were taken that way. The Dalai Lama never said that people cannot practice DS at all, but he did say that people who want HIM as a guru should not do the practice because of the spiritual connection between teacher and student. People can do as they wish on their own, but he has a right not to want to link his own energy with it.

    I didn’t want to get into a big discussion on this issue. I think I’ll drop out of this discussion because i feel it leads nowhere good. It just stirs up antagonistic feelings on both sides. It’s unfortunate that this issue has caused so much trouble and I hope there can be a peaceful solution to the problem someday.

  7. thank you couldn’t agree more!
    Maybe historically speaking 2 traditions clash, i am not a tibetan…so find it hard to be fanatic.
    I do not believe we have to leave our teacher for this.

    In my personal case I directly met one of the practicioners am totally unfamiliar with the rest and found it surprising, strange if not appaling that fpmt devotees question like the catholic inquisition no?
    Institutions of power, institutionalized religion….in the end we all loose something don’t we?
    Or maybe we win. I congratulate myself sometimes when I understand I am one of many who refuse to choose. I did give up practice but I was never a great practicioner of anything.
    Was that helpful? I meant to join mainstream and simply could not. It is not who I am and it is unimportant.
    I did not agre with my parents in many issues, so why would I blindly follow a GURU? Also our teacher says to check oneself. So mostly fail to get it right but I try…His Holiness Dalai Lama shows multiple times his wisdom, I have no reason to question him in anything.
    There is not so much a misunderstanding I really feel it is an insubordination issue and I do not like authoritarian cultures, but Asia is such. This comes from a background of resistance against the nazis and they do not have this experience. But I repeat I refuse to be drawn into either side. Nice meeting keep it up. Surely you know the monks had to vow not so ‘socialize ‘with us….
    Good pressure though and it did work to some point.
    In my honest guessing most problems come from also wester versus asian mind. These monks must follow literally, western can not. We must think for ourselves which is a blessing.
    And therefore can make mistakes. They are unfallible!

  8. Politically speaking I feel not to go to Tibet these days though.
    Let them return it.

  9. Osel is a GEM he left because his worth is too big to hide, and let us all look at it positively, we all loose and win something for the larger good.

    Maybe these are the aquarius times, world order changes and leaders are no longer leaders, anyways the next Dalai Lama will be Khandro- la I hope and pray.

    Thanks to the gurus and the triple gem.

  10. dechen la i 1000 percent agree with You!!!

  11. I will not think Lama Zopa has abandon the DS practice I think is due to political reason the benefits of the whole FPMT publicly he has to show he is pro Dalai Lama. I believe the high reincarnation like him will do everything to benefits all living being with his skillful means.

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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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