Shugden Thangka Causes a Stir in Tibet

Nyentog Tashi Dargyeling Monastery in Tibet.

Despite the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration’s (CTA) eagerness to engage in talks with China for greater autonomy of the Tibetan region, the CTA’s ridiculous policies and enforcement of the Dorje Shugden ban has once again caused a stir and generated unrest in their homeland.

On 18 September 2016, Tashi Dargyeling Monastery in the Nyentog region of Tibet released an official letter warning of the monastery’s boycott of all Shugden practitioners and those who have connections with these practitioners. A rough translation of the letter issued by the sangha of the monastery is as follows:

Click to enlarge

Letter from Nyentog Tashi Dargyeling Monastery

Generally, the Buddha’s Dharma and especially H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama’s life is harmed by Dorje Shugden. Recently, some people within our community have been making thangkas of this deity and supporting this practice. We would like to inform that the monks of Nyentog Monastery firmly protest against these works and urge them to stop. If these individuals do not conform to the monastery’s requests and continue to worship Dorje Shugden or remain connected to the deity’s practitioners, we will cut connections with these said individuals completely. For those who refuse to distance themselves from the practice, the monks of the monastery will not go to the homes of these individuals to perform pujas (prayers). If there is anyone who passes away in these households, the monastery will not be open to them . These are the three conditions that our monastery is firm with, and this promise is witnessed by our Protectors Kalarupa and Chechog Sheltred.

Signed by all Sangha members of Nyentog Monastery


Looking at this letter, let us first examine the spiritual implications it has on the community.

1. Setting A Bad Example

As human beings, there are three crucial moments that are most important in our lives, which are birth, illness and death. These are three occasions when many seek comfort and blessings from their religious order.

However, with the recent letter from Nyentog Monastery, it will no longer be possible for Shugden practitioners in that area to receive these basic religious rites in times of need. Even though the families of these practitioners have supported the monastery for many generations, they will now be deprived of even funeral services, which are much needed during one of life’s most trying times.

This letter is nothing more than blackmail to force Shugden practitioners in Nyentog into abandoning their religious beliefs, and is particularly unacceptable because it comes from an institution that people have put their faith and trust in.


2. The Real Harm to Buddha’s Dharma is Segregation

The Buddha himself predicted that the Dharma would not be destroyed by external sources but by Buddhists themselves. By subscribing to the ostracism and segregation of Shugden practitioners, the sangha of this monastic community have successfully broken one of their root vows, the Bodhisattva Vows.

Even when faced with an individual who has committed heinous crimes, as a religious order the monastery should provide solace, blessings and ensure that the person goes to the afterlife peacefully. Instead, the sangha of Nyentog Monastery are doing the exact opposite.

The question everyone should ask here is, how can following the Dalai Lama’s advice cause the monks of Nyentog Monastery to become less compassionate, more discriminatory and even break their Bodhisattva Vows? If proving one’s loyalty and absolute obedience to the Dalai Lama comes at the price of harming others in the process, then clearly something is very wrong.


3. What is the True Purpose of the Monastery?

Monasteries are formed to help relieve the sufferings of sentient beings, whether on a basic level or to the ultimate level of Enlightenment. However, with the recent actions by Nyentog Monastery, the results are the exact opposite. The effect of their letter on the small community of Nyentog will, without a doubt, be discrimination against Shugden practitioners. The ‘condemned’ community will soon be treated as social pariahs by their own people.

The experiences of the exiled Tibetan community in India when the ban on Dorje Shugden was enforced some 20 years ago will be replicated in Nyentog. Families will get into arguments over the issue and break apart; people such as the thangka painter in the news will shortly find themselves unemployed; innocent people who have done no wrong except practice Dorje Shugden will soon find themselves ostracized by their own neighbors.

All these unfortunate events will take place just because the monks of Nyentog Monastery want to ‘prove’ their loyalty to the Dalai Lama. Great Buddhist masters of the past have been known to take on the sufferings of others quietly, and the sangha have historically been placed on a pedestal by the lay community for their selfless acts. However, the monks of Nyentog Monastery have displayed nothing but their concerns of self preservation, succumbing to the pressure created by the CTA’s cronies and throwing Shugden practitioners to the wolves. They have absolutely no regard for the chaos and harm resulting from their actions as long as they themselves are safe.


4. The Claim that Dorje Shugden Harms the Dalai Lama’s Life is a Lie

Apart from the government, religious institutions such as monasteries or temples have great influence over the community in most small villages. In some cases, they have even greater influence than the government officials. As such, the monasteries have a great responsibility and it would behoove them to uphold and educate the public of the truth. To most Tibetan Buddhists, the 14th Dalai Lama is considered to be the emanation of the Buddha of Compassion, Avalokiteshvara. Thus, claiming that the Buddha can be harmed by any worldly being is contradictory to Buddhist principals, beliefs and philosophy. On top of that, in recent times, the Dalai Lama himself has declared that Dorje Shugden does no harm to his life. Thus, the monks’ actions to spread this lie by capitalizing on the lay community’s lack of knowledge is unbecoming.


Another Perspective

These spiritual implications may not be of significance to everyone. However, we should also examine the situation from a more practical point of view on how the actions of this monastery (and all communities who shun Dorje Shugden practitioners) have deprived innocent people of their basic human rights.

With 5000 years of history and a melting pot of 1.3 billion citizens, China has seen its fair share of civil wars and the effects of disunity within its borders. If China is ever to fall, the fault would most certainly lie in the destabilization of its internal security. It is a known fact that the authorities in China have clamped down on individuals who have caused unrest in Tibet in relations to the Shugden issue, and have also released statements indicating they are aware that the Dorje Shugden issue is being used as a tool by the CTA to create disunity within China.

As such, monasteries such as Nyentog Monastery do not help the Dalai Lama’s vision of Umaylam. With each incident such as this one, China’s distrust of the Dalai Lama grows and the Dalai Lama’s wish for a peaceful return to Tibet becomes more unlikely. If the Dalai Lama being in exile can create such disharmony within Tibet leaving the Chinese authorities to clear up the mess, what would be the effect of the Dalai Lama and the CTA once they return to Tibet? Thus, if Tibetans really want the Dalai Lama to have an opportunity to return to Tibet, they should avoid creating further unrest through the Dorje Shugden issue lest China clamps down even harder on the Tibetan leader in exile. After all, any country/government can implement new laws as and when necessary especially when internal security is at stake; we can see this most recently in the news about France’s unpopular ban on the burkini.

While some people claim that China lacks religious freedom, we should also question why a supposedly “suppressed” Tibetan religious group would further suppress the religious rights of their fellow Tibetans? Why cherry pick on China but allow people like the monks of Nyentog Monastery to get away scot-free with their religious suppression of Shugden practitioners? When a religious group encourages discrimination and causes disharmony and riots, it is no longer a religious issue but a matter of security and social harmony.


Radio Free Asia Article

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English Translation

Recently, a big Shugden thangka appeared at Nianduhu Village in Tongren County, Qinghai. The local sangha community protested against the thangka and a statement has been released to urge the people to boycott this deity.

The spreading of a photo of the large Shugden thangka appearing in Nianduhu Village at Tongren County of Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture led to strong criticism amongst netizens, denouncing the local people for practicing Shugden and going against His Holiness’ instructions as well as destroying the uncontaminated relationship of lineage Gurus and students.

On Friday, a source informed RFA that it is true that the Shugden thangka appeared in Nianduhu Village of Tongren County. However, that thangka had nothing to do with Nianduhu Monastery and in contrast, the sangha community of Nianduhu Monastery released a joint statement protesting against the thangka. They hope to make their stance clear in the media.

The source told RFA: “Since the photo of the Shugden thangka was widely spread, Nianduhu Village and its monastery are under constant criticism, thus some of the elderly people in Nianduhu Village and the administration of Nianduhu Monastery gathered for a meeting and concluded the following: In the future regardless of which village they are from, those who have Shugden’s picture, statue or thangka found in their houses should be totally cut off from us. If their family members are sick or pass away, Nianduhu Monastery’s sangha will no longer perform rituals for them.”

The source also said: “Nianduhu Monastery’s sangha community also released a joint statement on 18th September 2016 urging the villagers to boycott Shugden.”

“None of the monks in Nianduhu Monastery practice Shugden. In the joint statement released by the sangha community of Nianduhu Monastery, it says clearly that practicing Shugden not only brings harm to Buddhism, it also is harming the Dalai Lama’s long life. That statement is protesting against the actions of some villagers who are producing Shugden thangkas, and stressed that if the people producing these Shugden thangkas insist on continuing their works, Nianduhu Monastery will cut them off from the monastery, no puja will be performed for them and they will be banned from entering Nianduhu Monastery.”

Another source also told RFA about the origin of the “Shugden thangka” incident.

The source said, “This is the whole story: There is an ex-monk in Nianduhu Village. Even though he is not a practitioner of Shugden, one time after he returned to Nianduhu Village, he received an order to produce a Shugden thangka. He then assigned some of his acquaintances to paint the thangka and he paid them upon completion of the work. After Nianduhu Monastery found out what was happening, some of the monks and the elderly people in the village not only had a meeting to address this issue, they also went to each family in the village to explain the harm of practicing Shugden and requested the villagers to distinguish between what is wrong and what is right. After releasing the joint statement, the sangha community also distributed their statement to the villagers, stressing that they would implement the contents of their statement and advising the people to conduct themselves well.”

The Shugden issue has lasted for almost 400 years since the 5th Dalai Lama’s time. The origin of Shugden is in fact a local deity, but to its practitioners, Shugden is within the fundamentalism of the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism. However, after the investigation conducted by the 5th and 13th Dalai Lama, they explained in detail that Shugden is a demon and it is harming Buddhism, and Shugden is the cause of the disharmony between the different sects. Gelug lineage lamas from the past to this day also oppose the practice of Shugden. After closely observing the issue, in the mid-seventies, the 14th Dalai Lama officially gave advice to all Tibetan Buddhists to stop the practice of Shugden and claimed that he has responsible for educating people about Shugden’s background, characteristics and the negative impact of this practice. However, it is up to the people’s personal choice to practice Shugden or not.

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34 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Ignorant monks who get involved with politics and trying to look like they are on the right side so they get more patrons (money donations) for their monastery. These monks are disgusting. They don’t do pujas and prayers for a household of a deceased because they practice Dorje Shugden? What kind of garbage is that? What kind of monks are they? Monks should never be involved with choosing sides, politics and all this hatred. VERY BAD MONKS!

    Monks should meditate, study the dharma, pray for all sentient beings and achieve Nirvana! Full stop!

  2. These monks are very uneducated in the dharma and set a very bad example. Buddhist monks should show compassion to all beings and emulate the Buddha himself. They should show no bias to anyone.

    I do not practice Dorje Shugden but since the ban against Shugden started in the 90′s, no good results has arisen. The ban against Shugden should be removed. The ban has only caused bias, hatred and segregation.

  3. Hi Carol & Tenzin!

    Could someone please point to the scripture in which Buddha warned that Buddhists, not others, would destroy the Dharma? It sounds plausible but I hadn’t heard of it before.

    Best wishes to you both and I look forward to meeting you in the Pure Lands if not before.

  4. What utter rubbish is this? Where is the equanimity as taught by the Buddha? Why is the sangha forsaking their vows for the sake of politics? And, they add schism, a heinous act to their repertoire of bad and negative actions totally against the Buddha’s teachings. Are they playing politics or they in the monasteries to walk the path to enlightenment with Bodhicitta? How on earth are they going to achieve Bodhicitta if they cannot even accept his small matter?

  5. The Tibetan leadership should not ‘advise’ against the practice of Dorje Shugden. They should be wholly secular and not get involved with any religious or philosophical issues they are not equipped to handle or if equipped should not handle. They should make a distinction between secular and spiritual issues. Never mix the two. No leader on this planet should ever discourage anyone against any form of religious worship. No leader should ‘advise’ against any form of religious faith because if they are well known or popular, a lot of hero worshippers will take this literally and carry out the ‘advise’ of the leaders they idolize. This can create havoc among the populace and create division and disharmony. This will create violence, hatred, segregation and bias. All leaders religious or secular should never speak of or speak against another’s faith ever. This is just good governance.

  6. Of course conciousness has one aspect of Teacher (Guru/Lama) to teach and help others to study and practice dharma/wisdom and compassion but this is about becoming aware of your inherent wisdom and compassion and using your inherent wisdom and compassion to stop creating karma and overcome karma.

    Of course Teachers are leaders but beings who teach ignorance, duality, eternalism and nihilism are not teachers nor leaders.

    Please only follow teachers, please don’t follow illusions. At the end, you have to follow your conciousnesscontinuum or inherent wisdom and compassion.

    Refuge is to take refuge into the wisdom and compassion of your conciousness or to take refuge into yourself. Wisdom and compassion is our true identity because our conciousness is free of lastingness and non-existence or so called wisdom and compassion that the so called buddha dharma is about.

    Shakyamunis advice to his students, before he passed away, was to only follow the light within ourself.

    When we look a the elements, nature and beeings, we can discover that elements, nature and beings are free of lastingness and non-existence. Elements, nature and beings are basicly pure, are wisdom and compassion.

    Also we can discover that regeneration and healing is happening as well as protection like ones immunesystem of our psychophysical body.

    Dharmapala aspects are aspects of reality you can find within elements, nature and beings. This is why in dharma you practice dharmapala practice to protect yourself with wisdom and compassion from ignorance, duality, eternalism and nihilism or violence to stop creating karma and to overcome karama or to effect freedom and wellbeing.

    Wisdom and compassion teachings are rooted in space- and conciousnesscontinuum, and these movements are protected and will be protected by beings who perform dharmapala activities.

    Space has much more power than human beings, remember that dharma will stay because space stays. Space is governement and law, there is nothing that can do something about it. We are free, we are not bound to illusions. We only belong to space and the law of dharma.

  7. Rather then bringing any benefit to the Tibetan people, Nyentog Monastery exposes local Tibetans to greater scrutiny from Chinese authorities and tighter control. It is potentially inflammatory issues like this that concern the Chinese authorities and this is precisely what the CTA hopes to achieve by injecting this division into the Tibet Autonomous Region.

    The CTA’s purpose is simple. Create problems for China.

    It’s unfortunate that a monastery has allowed itself to be involved in matters that are political in essence. It allowed itself to be reduced from an institution of the Dharma to a political tool. In the process they forsake kindness and compassion to all sentient beings.

    Makes a mockery out of the phrase ‘for the sake of all sentient beings’. This is how the CTA destroys the Dharma and the world continues to celebrate them as victims.

  8. Wow ! Imagine how THREATs can arise from the simple tasks of displaying a Thangka ! Its unbelievable that people can actually have so much insecurities and fears in them. It has been repeated over and over again that there is no way that Dorje Shugden can harm His Holiness the Dalai Lama or cut his life short etc etc.All these ridiculous insecurities are being used to hide the truth of the matter – which is THE FAILURE OF THE TIBETAN GOVERNMENT IN OBTAINING ANY FORM OF AUTONOMY AND PERMISSION FOR HIS HOLINESS TO RETURN TO TIBET IN PEACE. AFTER 57YEARS THE CTA HAS NOT BEEN ABLE TO MAKE EVEN ONE SINGLE PROGRESS WITH THE CHINA GOVERNMENT.
    What does it say ?

    Dear CTA. You know its ok – accept the defeat and please do not create any more sufferings for others at the expense of your ego to face the truth that you don’t have the karma to achieve anything. If you bow and accept and move on and don’t harm anymore, China may decide to be compassionate and allow HH to visit Tibet.

  9. This is ridiculous! You said it Ms. Carol and Tenzing Paljor… monks should be meditating not minding their business in politics!

    They need the Chinese Government to kick them out like Larung Gar then they will shut up! How stupid to cause more disunity, more diversion when they are already such a minority.

    This just goes to show there is 100% a ban on Dorje Shugden and the stinks all the way to Tibet. The ones carrying such diversion news will surely reap negative karma.

    I just can’t wait till they get caught for causing religious disharmony and for creating problems because as I recalled China laws vows to punish those who creates divisions amongst their people. So they better be careful!

    The Chinese government, seeing just how divisive this ban is, have outlawed the creation of division and intolerance. Any government that truly cares for its subjects would want harmony and unity within its society. That they are doing so is simply good governance, as compared to the CTA who continue in their efforts to divide and conquer.

  10. If one compares CTA verus the Chinese Government, the Chinese are much more liberal and forgiving and giving religious freedom as compared to the wolves at CTA.

    The monks from this monastery, are fortunate, if the Chinese people wanted to expose the Dalai lama practitioners, they could persecute the people from that monastery. Not that I wish for that, but one does not need a PHD to tell, the people in that monastery are die hard Dalai Lama supporters. Why should the Chinese stay their hand, when they know it is something criitical to do to maintain peace in Tibet.

  11. May all harmful powers – outer, inner and secret – all harmful powers that are hostile against wisdom and compassion be destroyed by the wrath of vajrakilaya and my the wisdom of non-duality protect all beings from harmful views against the lifestyle and actions of others and may anything that happens taken as a teaching to inspire the healing and liberating power of wisdom and compassion.

  12. This really show the degeneration of Buddhist practices in monasteries like Nyentog Monastery and Nianduhu Monastery. It is very clear that they had been fed wrong informations and as such they in turn pass these on to the people. They are still holding on to that Dorje Shugden’s practice shortens the Dalai Lama’s life which means clearly they had been kept in the dark of the new statements by the Dalai Lama that Dorje Shugden does not harm and never has harmed his life. But whether it’s wrong information or not, it is clear they are not very learned in Buddhist teachings. If they were, then they would have known that the Dalai Lama can’t be harmed as he is the emanation of Buddha Avalokiteshvara of enlightened nature. Actually if they hold this view, they are insulting the Dalai Lama as ordinary, who’s practice holds not blessings and can be harmed.

    As Buddhist monks, they should be practising wisdom and compassion. Where is the compassion in denying prayers for the sick and dead? Where is the equanimity in discriminating against Shugden practitioners? The Dalai Lama wishes to return to Tibet and yet CTA, the Dalai Lama’s misguided followers and monks like these are creating the conditions not conducive for even the start of a dialogue with China. Which country would want potential trouble makers into their country? May CTA gain quick realisations of its mistakes and choose the “fair rule” policies for all Tibetans, including Shugden practitioners. Why are they denying the Dalai Lama his wishes? Isn’t the Dalai Lama the spiritual leader for them?

  13. Prayers of Je Tsongkhapa
    (The Splendor of an Autumn Moon : The
    Devotional Verse of Tsongkhapa):

    May I be cared for by true spiritual friends,
    filled with knowledge and insight,
    sense stilled, minds controlled, loving, compassionate,
    and with courage untiring in working for others.

    May I never fall under sway
    of false teachers and misleading friends
    their flawed views of existence and nonexistence
    well outside the Buddhas intention.

    I pray that I listen insatiably
    to countless teachings at the feet of a master,
    single-handedly with logic unflawed,
    prizing open scriptures’ meanings.

    I pray that in no way I be misled
    by unwholesome friends and deceiving Mara
    but in care of true spiritual friends,
    complete the enlightened way.

    May I bring to the path praised by the Buddha
    those lost and fallen onto wrong paths,
    swayed by deluded teachers and misleading friends.

    The head turned by dark forces
    hinders experience of the joyful festival
    that is the community of the Dharma life.
    May I never encounter misleading friends,
    in reality the cohorts of Mara.

  14. This is a load of tripe. Why do they invoke the Dalai Lamas name into their own dirty politics? Monks REFUSING to do funerary services for people on the basis of their faith? Wheres the compassion in that? If you believe Shugden is so bad, all the more reason you SHOULD conduct last rites for them so they can create some merit before they experience what you think will happen, which is them going to the three lower realms.

    If this is what the “monks” of Nyentog Monastery are like, sorry but I wouldnt want you lot doing my last rites! What kind of monks are they?? The very basis of sanghahood surely is compassion and these lot sound more interested in politics than practice.

  15. Well to be fair Gaz you don’t know the whole story so let’s try and give them the benefit of the doubt. Don’t blame monks who don’t know any better and who think what they’re doing is the right thing. Let’s talk about the root of the problem which is the CTA who are enabling a group of people still stuck in samsara to act out their worst traits. If the CTA advised against this type of behaviour, then you and I would not have anything to complain about, would we? But the fact is that they exist to enable and approve it. So as long as the Dalai Lama doesn’t lift the ban against Dorje Shugden, you’re just going to see more of these types of announcements. But let’s not blame the monks. Let’s blame the Tibetan leadership instead, ha.

  16. This is all Dalai Lama’s fault! If there was no ban then there will be no such problems! And there will not be division amongst the Tibetans. So many people, monks and lay all suffering even up to Tibet because of the stupid ridiculous ban Dalai Lama created and the idiot CTA executed.

    CTA’s the worst government on this planet that calls themselves democratic! What a scam and a sham! No wonder Tibetans lost her country, they’ve been led by idiot like this new idiot Sangay who does nothing but just pockets lots of western funds and support to himseld a mortgage free house in the US! Well, I guess partially need to admit the westerners are such a huge sucker and so gullible of a “FreeTibet” cause. Little did they know all the “FreeTibet” donations goes to Sangay’s donations.

    So yes Tibet was lost because of the incompetent leadership then and now seems to be the same pattern of their dumb and greedy idiosyncrasies. Never in history where a democratic government dedicated a portion of their webpage talking about a “spirit” and condemning or targeting their own people’s human right to religious freedom by having a hit list to target them. Never before you see a democratic government committed to dividing their own people, causing disunity and so much heartaches. And stupid westerners blinded by the Dalai Lama’s charm and status happily follows in creating more negative karma.

  17. Sad to see Monastery are getting involve into politics instead of focusing on spreading Dharma.

    Buddha’s love is universal. Buddha teaches us to be kind to all sentient beings, including non-human like hell beings & spirits. Why the Buddhism degenerated so much in Nyentog Tashi Dargyeling Monastery that the monks will not pray for anyone with family members practicing of Dorje Shugden or drawing any thangka of DorjeShugden!!!

    I can’t see any values of compassion or wisdom in that notice!

    Very sad to see that….

  18. 怎么了? 这间寺院是回到18世纪了吗?

    现今社会乃至中国政府都在推崇宗教自由的时代, 这间寺院则与其他人唱反调, 竟然还杯葛多杰雄登修持者??

    这是释迦牟尼佛的教诲吗? 分别心还比慈悲更重要。
    我只能说, 你们实在太“OUT ” 了。 是非不分、种族歧视、宗教歧视一点都不Fashion。

  19. I find it quite ridiculous of monastery and sangha imposing terms in threatening form to the people of Tibet. In a democratic country everyone has religious freedom to believe and practise what they want. It is made worse when a Buddhist is suppose to practise fairness, compassion, loving, kindness and other good values but acting and practising negative values.

    From the articles and the stance taken by the monastery and the CTA it clearly violates human rights. It does not help Dalai Lama to resolve the issue with China government when internally Tibet is segregating the people.

    Please stop this segregation and please create peace among Tibetans.

  20. Buddhism promotes peace and harmony among human. Everyone is responsible for world harmony which should begin in the heart. Whereas, monastery is a holy place containing Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. It is true that monastery a place to spread the dharma in order to help relieve the sufferings of sentient beings.

    Unfortunately, we are seeing these 2 monasteries, Nyentog Tashi Dargyeling Monastery and Nianduhu Monastery are still prejudice and practice discrimination against those are practicing Dorje Shugden. Their actions are definitely caused the disharmony which is contradicted with Buddhism.

  21. On one hand, it is sad to see that monastery which is the settlement of sangha community, set up to relief the suffering of samsaric beings, in actuality cause more suffering to the innocent people by creating segregation and imposing discrimination. On the other hand, it is kind of foolish to see people who don the robes, and claimed to be supporters of Dalai Lama, is doing a huge disfavor to Dalai Lama by creating more disunity and disharmony among the people in Tibet. Thinking deeper, I can completely understand why Dalai Lama is not welcome in China “…monasteries such as Nyentog Monastery do not help the Dalai Lama’s vision of Umaylam. With each incident such as this one, China’s distrust of the Dalai Lama grows and the Dalai Lama’s wish for a peaceful return to Tibet becomes more unlikely. If the Dalai Lama being in exile can create such disharmony within Tibet leaving the Chinese authorities to clear up the mess, what would be the effect of the Dalai Lama and the CTA once they return to Tibet?”

  22. The Shugden groups dare to defy the Dalai Lama because they do not have a country. The Tibetans are scattered all over the world and they have their various power basis from their various countries. I have spoken to Ms. Dhardon Sharling about this. If all the Tibetans were back in Tibet, they would have no chance to defy the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama’s government would crush them into silence. How dare they defy the Dalai Lama. Democracy is not for the backwards and illiterate Tibetans. They need a strong, smart and able ruler like the Dalai Lama and his ministers to tell them what is good or bad for them. The Dorje Shugden practice should be banned completely from the Tibetans and Tibetan nation because it is a harmful practice. And no religious freedom should be allowed to let this Dorje Shugden religion arise. In history, many other harmful religions were suppressed for the good of mankind. Shugden should be suppressed and all people who practice him should be forced to give up the practice.

  23. Everyone should be seen and take a picture with the Dalai Lama and post it. It will boost ‘business’. It’s made me look really valid and more people trust what I am saying simply because I had my picture taken with the Dalai Lama. I’ve roped in Carole MccQuirre and gang to do the same things. You see because I am from East Germany and we don’t believe in any sort of religious freedom. Whatever the regime in the past told you to do, you do it without question. The Shugden groups should not be allowed to practice their religion because the Dalai lama says so. We shouldn’t question the Dalai Lama or defy him. After all he is not human but a god. So if Dalai Lama says don’t practice Dorje Shugden, just follow along without question because why should there be religious freedom. The populace are too stupid to see what religion is good and what is harmful.

  24. I agree with you Paljor. The Tibetans do not need democracy, but a strong firm hand to tell them what to do. They are not like us educated English people who can handle and know what to do with democracy. The fact that Tibetans have no real elected leaders and the leader is really the Dalai Lama for the last 60 years is good news. Tibetans cannot elect their own leaders. When the Dalai Lama dies, we wait for him to reincarnate back and take over again because he is the only leader that can handle Tibetans.

  25. Tenzin Paljor, refering to your comment above on January 28, 2017, it is exactly people like you who and the monks of Nyentog Monastery want to ‘prove’ their loyalty to the Dalai Lama that are bad representation of Sangha/ monks.

    It is clear this was done for the purpose of self preservation, for Nyentog monks, and for you. There is no reason to do so because Nyentog Monastery is in Tibet, and China has not ban the practice of Dorje Shugden, unlike Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamshala who claimed to give religious freedom, but on 17 March 2014, The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile unanimously passed the resolution to label Shugden followers as criminals in history.

    The Berlin Wall was a tangible symbol of the suppression of human rights that symbolised the difference between the western democrats and the eastern communists and the way they thought Germany should be lead. Why is it that you do not lend your support to religious freedom of Shugden practitioners, but continuously spit against them with your negative talks online? Perhaps it is just the ex-stasi thing to do? By the way, Stasi Tenzin Peljor aka Michael Jäckel aka Mick Jackman topic is active with more than 3000 views the last I saw, you may want to take a look,

  26. Isn’t it absurd of the sangha of Nyentog Monastery, Tibet, to call on their Dharma Protectors to witness their decision to cut off all connections with all Shugden practitioners because of their making of several Dorje Shugden thangkas? . Not only will Dorje Shugden practitioners be barred from the monastery, but the monks will not go to their homes to do pujas , including bereavement pujas and last rites for their loved ones who have passed away! How lacking in compassion for the sangha who have taken their Bodhisattva vows and pledged to uphold them and guard them as they would their eyes!

    They appear to be more political than spiritual, more like towing the line with the CTA than anything else. In so doing. they fail to realise, they will be creating unrest within their community. How would that rest with the Chinese Government, especially when Lobsang Sangay and the CTA are supposed to resume negotiations on autonomy for Tibet anytime now ?

  27. Nechung is ZUMA 👎 before I m think he is one of d best when I m watch dis video By Geshe Dorjee la but now I m think is not d truth n he is lie to Tibet people we r not back to Tibet yt Chithue Tenpa Yarphel la tq for talk about truth of Nechung . I m watch to this video many time la n after I hear you talk I m not belief to Nechung

  28. 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.


  29. 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.

  30. Why doesn’t the United States and its allies end Refugee Status for the useless Tibetans? They have been refugees for 60 years now and don’t tell me they still cannot get their lives back in order?

    Tibetans really know how to put on a good show and use people, take their money and do nothing in return.

    Trump and Allies Seek End to Refugee Status for Millions of Palestinians
    In internal emails, Jared Kushner advocated a “sincere effort to disrupt” the U.N.’s relief agency for Palestinians.
    Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, has quietly been trying to do away with the U.N. relief agency that has provided food and essential services to millions of Palestinian refugees for decades, according to internal emails obtained by Foreign Policy.
    His initiative is part of a broader push by the Trump administration and its allies in Congress to strip these Palestinians of their refugee status in the region and take their issue off the table in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, according to both American and Palestinian officials. At least two bills now making their way through Congress address the issue.
    Kushner, whom Trump has charged with solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has been reluctant to speak publicly about any aspect of his Middle East diplomacy. A peace plan he’s been working on with other U.S. officials for some 18 months has been one of Washington’s most closely held documents.
    But his position on the refugee issue and his animus toward the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is evident in internal emails written by Kushner and others earlier this year.
    “It is important to have an honest and sincere effort to disrupt UNRWA,” Kushner wrote about the agency in one of those emails, dated Jan. 11 and addressed to several other senior officials, including Trump’s Middle East peace envoy, Jason Greenblatt.
    “This [agency] perpetuates a status quo, is corrupt, inefficient and doesn’t help peace,” he wrote.
    The United States has helped fund UNRWA since it was formed in 1949 to provide relief for Palestinians displaced from their homes following the establishment of the State of Israel and ensuing international war. Previous administrations have viewed the agency as a critical contributor to stability in the region.
    But many Israel supporters in the United States today see UNRWA as part of an international infrastructure that has artificially kept the refugee issue alive and kindled hopes among the exiled Palestinians that they might someday return home—a possibility Israel flatly rules out.
    Critics of the agency point in particular to its policy of granting refugee status not just to those who fled Mandatory Palestine 70 years ago but to their descendants as well—accounting that puts the refugee population at around 5 million, nearly one-third of whom live in camps across Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, and Gaza.
    By trying to unwind UNRWA, the Trump administration appears ready to reset the terms of the Palestinian refugee issue in Israel’s favor—as it did on another key issue in December, when Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
    In the same January email, Kushner wrote: “Our goal can’t be to keep things stable and as they are. … Sometimes you have to strategically risk breaking things in order to get there.”
    Kushner raised the refugee issue with officials in Jordan during a visit to the region in June, along with Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt. According to Palestinian officials, he pressed the Jordan to strip its more than 2 million registered Palestinians of their refugee status so that UNRWA would no longer need to operate there.
    “[Kushner said] the resettlement has to take place in the host countries and these governments can do the job that UNRWA was doing,” said Hanan Ashrawi, a member of Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
    She said the Trump administration wanted rich Arab Gulf states to cover the costs Jordan might incur in the process.
    “They want to take a really irresponsible, dangerous decision and the whole region will suffer,” Ashrawi said.
    Saeb Erekat, the Palestinians’ chief negotiator, told reporters in June that Kushner’s delegation had said it was ready to stop funding UNRWA altogether and instead direct the money—$300 million annually—to Jordan and other countries that host Palestinian refugees.
    “All this is actually aimed at liquidating the issue of the Palestinian refugees,” hesaid.
    The White House declined to comment on the record for this story. A senior executive branch official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said U.S. policy regarding the U.N.’s Palestinian refugee program “has been under frequent evaluation and internal discussion. The administration will announce its policy in due course.”
    Jordanian officials in New York and Washington did not respond to queries about the initiative.
    Kushner and Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, both proposed ending funding for UNRWA back in January. But the State Department, the Pentagon, and the U.S. intelligence community all opposed the idea, fearing in part that it could fuel violence in the region.
    The following week, the State Department announced that that United States would cut the first $125 million installment of its annual payment to UNRWA by more than half, to $60 million.
    “UNRWA has been threatening us for six months that if they don’t get a check they will close schools. Nothing has happened,” Kushner wrote in the same email.
    State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said at the time that the U.S. had no intention of eliminating funding for Palestinian refugees, and that it was taking time to explore ways to reform UNRWA and to convince other countries to help Washington shoulder the financial burden of aiding the Palestinians.
    But the following day, Victoria Coates, a senior advisor to Greenblatt, sent an email to the White House’s national security staff indicating that the White House was mulling a way to eliminate the U.N.’s agency for Palestinian refugees.
    “UNRWA should come up with a plan to unwind itself and become part of the UNHCR by the time its charter comes up again in 2019,” Coates wrote.
    She noted that the proposal was one of a number of “spitball ideas that I’ve had that are also informed by some thoughts I’ve picked up from Jared, Jason and Nikki.”
    Other ideas included a suggestion that the U.N. relief agency be asked to operate on a month-to-month budget and devise “a plan to remove all anti-Semitism from educational materials.”
    The ideas seemed to track closely with proposals Israel has been making for some time.
    “We believe that UNRWA needs to pass from the world as it is an organization that advocates politically against Israel and perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem,” said Elad Strohmayer, a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington.
    Strohmayer said that Palestinians are the only population that is able to transfer its refugee status down through generations.
    The claim, though long advanced by Israel, is not entirely true.
    In an internal report from 2015, the State Department noted that the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees “recognizes descendants of refugees as refugees for purposes of their operations.” The report, which was recently declassified, said the descendants of Afghan, Bhutanese, Burmese, Somali, and Tibetan refugees are all recognized by the U.N. as refugees themselves.
    Of the roughly 700,000 original Palestinian refugees, only a few tens of thousands are still alive, according to estimates.
    The push to deny the status to most Palestinians refugees is also gaining traction in Congress.
    Last week, Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Republican from Colorado, introduced a bill that would limit the United States to assisting only the original refugees. Most savings in U.N. contributions would be directed to the U.S. Agency for International Development, the United States’ principal international development agency. But USAID is currently constrained by the Taylor Force Act, which restricts the provision of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian Authority until it ends a policy of providing aid to families of fallen terrorists.
    “Instead of resettling Palestinian refugees displaced as a result of the Arab-Israeli Conflict of 1948, UNRWA provides aid to those they define as Palestinian refugees until there is a solution they deem acceptable to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Lamborn’s bill states.
    “This policy does not help resettle the refugees from 1948 but instead maintains a refugee population in perpetuity.”
    A congressional aide familiar with the legislation said its intent isn’t to gut UNRWA funding, but redirect assistance to descendants through USAID.
    “The people that are suffering should still get assistance, but through appropriately defined humanitarian channels and aid programs,” the aide said.
    Similarly, Sen. James Lankford, (R-Okla.), has drafted legislation that would redirect U.S. funding away from UNRWA and to other local and international agencies.
    The bill, which has not yet officially been introduced, would require the U.S. secretary of state certify by 2020 that the United Nations has ended its recognition of Palestinian descendants as refugees.
    “The United Nations should provide assistance to the Palestinians in a way that makes clear that the United Nations does not recognize the vast majority of Palestinians currently registered by UNRWA as refugees deserving refugee status,” reads a draft obtained by Foreign Policy.
    Previous U.S. administrations have maintained that the vast majority of Palestinian refugees will ultimately have to be absorbed in a new Palestinian state or naturalized in the countries that have hosted them for generations.
    But the fate of the refugee issue was expected to be agreed to as part of a comprehensive peace pact that resulted in the establishment of a Palestinian state.
    “It’s very clear that the overarching goal here is to eliminate the Palestinian refugees as an issue by defining them out of existence,” said Lara Friedman, the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace.
    “This isn’t going to make peace any easier. It’s going to make it harder.” Trump and Allies Seek End to Refugee Status for Millions of Palestinians (1)

  31. 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

  32. While the government of Nepal has framed a policy to tighten the noose around non-governmental organisations, they have welcomed 30 Chinese NGOs to enter the country. These NGOs will penetrate the country’s social sector at the grassroots level. This is the first time such a large number of Chinese NGOs have entered Nepal at one time. Nepal is increasingly open to Chinese influence, a sign that ties between both countries are strengthening, while India’s influence is being reduced. The time has passed for India’s monopoly to remain uninterrupted in Nepal as opportunities to engage with China are being welcomed.

    30 Chinese NGOs all set to work in Nepal
    Kathmandu, July 30
    At a time when the government has framed a policy to tighten the noose around non-governmental organisations, 30 Chinese NGOs have entered Nepal to penetrate the country’s social sector and the grassroots.
    The Social Welfare Council Nepal and China NGO Network for International Exchanges, an umbrella body of Chinese NGOs, have signed a memorandum of understanding to enable Chinese NGOs to work in Nepal. The agreement was signed yesterday between SWCN Member Secretary Dilli Prasad Bhatt and CNIE General Secretary Zhu Rui in the presence of Minister of Women, Children and Senior Citizen Tham Maya Thapa and Chinese Deputy Minister of External Affairs Wang Yajun.
    The agreement has paved the way for the first batch of 30 Chinese NGOs to work in Nepal for a period of three years. Their contract will be extended based on the consent of SWCN and CNIE. Representatives of these 30 Chinese NGOs were also present during yesterday’s signing ceremony. They have agreed to work in partnership with local NGOs to implement their programmes and projects.
    The Chinese NGOs are eyeing areas such as livelihood, healthcare, education, skill-based training, community development and disaster management. This is the first time such a large number of Chinese NGOs has entered Nepal at one time. The Chinese assistance so far in Nepal has largely been limited to development of infrastructure projects. But the entry of these NGOs indicates China is keen on making its presence felt in Nepal’s social sector and the grassroots, which, till date, have remained domains of the West and countries such as Japan and India.
    The MoU signed between SWCN and CNIE states that Chinese NGOs will be mobilised for ‘the benefit of needy Nepalis and to enhance ties between China and Nepal through people-to-people support programmes’.
    “The Chinese NGOs will abide by the law of Nepal in its entirety while carrying out development cooperation in Nepal,” says the MoU, adding, “Chinese NGOs will submit programmes to the SWCN to carry out development activities in partnership with Nepali NGOs and SWCN in line with plans and policies of the government of Nepal.”
    The MoU was signed at a time when the government has drafted the National Integrity Policy to limit activities of NGOs and INGOs, as some of them were found ‘trying to break communal harmony and proselytising Nepalis’. There were also concerns that high administrative cost of many NGOs and INGOs was preventing money from reaching the real beneficiaries. The policy clearly states that NGOs and INGOs cannot spend more than specified amount under administrative and consultant headings. They will also be barred from working against Nepal’s interests, culture and communal harmony and conducting activities to promote their religious, social or other agenda, adds the policy.
    Around 48,000 NGOs are currently registered in Nepal, of which only 1,600 have been receiving funds from INGOs, as per SWCN. The SWCN has directed INGOs and NGOs to spend 60 per cent of the budget to generate tangible results, while the remaining can be used to cover administrative costs and organise training, meetings and seminars.

  33. The cracks in Tibetan society are starting to show, and it is now coming to the attention of local Indians who have all but identified the Tibetan leadership as the source of the divisions. According to this author, disunity amongst the Tibetans is now creating problems for Indian law enforcement agencies, and this disunity may culminate in young Tibetans holding silent grudges against their host country. It is incredible that after six decades of generosity from India, Indians are now facing the very real possibility Tibetans can be ungrateful towards India. The Tibetan leadership totally failed to impart positive values upon their exiled community, like gratitude for those kindest to them and the need to repay these kindnesses with real, tangible results. It’s also very unlikely that the Tibetan leadership will now start to do this, after six decades of failing to do so. Indians need to realise this, and see that there is no benefit for their nation to align themselves with the Tibetan leadership, and there never will be.
    Tibetan disunity not in India’s interest
    John S. Shilshi
    Updated: August 7, 2018, 11:00 AM
    India is home to the Dalai Lama and an estimated 120,000 Tibetan refugees. Though this humanitarian gesture on India’s part comes at the cost of risking New Delhi’s relations with China, India has never wavered in ensuring that Tibetans live with dignity and respect. Notified settlements across the country were made available so that they can live as independently as possible and practice Tibetan religion and culture. They are also allowed to establish centres of higher learning in Tibetan Buddhism. As a result, several reputed Buddhist institutes came up in Karnataka, and in the Indian Himalayan belt. In what may be termed as a gesture well reciprocated, and because of the respect and influence His Holiness the Dalai Lama commands, the Tibetan diaspora also lived as a peaceful community, rarely creating problems for India’s law enforcement agencies.
    The situation, however, changed from 2000 onwards when unity amongst Tibetans suffered some setback due to developments like the Karmapa succession controversy and the controversy over worshiping of Dorje Shugden. In a unique case of politics getting the better of religion, two senior monks of the Karma kargyue sect of Tibetan Buddhism, Tai Situ Rinpoche and late Shamar Rinpoche, developed serious differences after the demise of Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the 16th Karmapa, in 1981. This animosity ultimately led to emergence of two 17th Karmapa candidates in the early nineties. While Tai Situ Rinpoche identified and recognised UghyanThinley Dorje, late Shamar Rinpoche anointed Thinley Thaye Dorje as his Karmapa candidate. Enthronement of their respective protégés at the Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, the supreme seat of the Karma Kargue linage, being their primary objective, both started indulging in activities monks normally are expected to, and bitterness spewed against each other.
    The bitter rivalry assumed a new dimension when UghyenThinley Dorje suddenly appeared in India in January 2000. The competition became fiercer and hectic political lobbying, never known in the history of Tibetan Buddhism on Indian soil, became common place. Apart from pulling strings at their disposal in Sikkim as well as in the power corridors of New Delhi, these senior monks spat against each other with allegations and counter allegations, widening the gaps between their supporters. His Holiness the Dalai Lama, choosing to favour one of the candidates—a decision many Tibet watchers felt was ill-timed—had also limited possible scope of rapprochement. Hence, the Karma Kargyue followers are now vertically divided, while the camps are dragged into a long drawn legal battle.
    Another development that unfortunately split the Tibetans is the controversy over Shugden worshipping, which again is an internal matter of the Gelugpa sect, to which the Dalai Lama belongs. It erupted as a result of the Dalai Lama urging Tibetans to refrain from worshiping Dorje Shugden, a deity believed to be a protector, according to Tibetan legend. Shugden practitioners, who felt offended by the call, describe it as an attack on freedom of religion, a right, which Dalai Lama himself tirelessly fought for. On the other hand, die hard Dalai Lama followers perceived the questioning of the decision as one challenging the wisdom of the Dalai Lama and mounted massive pressure on Dorje Shugden practitioners to relent, with some even demolishing the statues of the deity. The rivalry ultimately led to split in two Gelug monasteries in Karnataka, and Serpom and Shar Garden monasteries in Bylakupe and Mundgod respectively came under the control of Shugden followers. The bitterness associated with the split is exemplified by the fact that till today, members of these monasteries are treated as some sort of outcasts by the others. Thus, for the first time, the Tibetan diaspora in India gave birth to sections opposed to the Dalai Lama, with spillover effects in Tibet and elsewhere.
    For India, with a fragile internal security profile, a divided Tibetan population on its soil is not good news. It has several long-term implications. It is common knowledge that China considers Dalai Lama as a secessionist, one plotting to divide their country. The latter’s claim of “all that Tibetans were asking for, was a status of genuine autonomy within the Constitution of the Peoples’ Republic of China”, had fallen into deaf ears. China also considers him as someone who plays to the Indian tune to tickle China. Therefore, at a time when China has successfully shrunk the Dalai Lama’s space internationally, India continuing to extend the usual space for him is viewed as complicity. Sharp reaction from China when he was allowed to visit Arunachal Pradesh in April 2017, is a recent example. Such being the delicate nature of India-China relations on matters and issues concerning Tibetans, India can hardly afford to ignore the division within the diaspora. Past experience of dubious elements from Tibet having succeeded in infiltrating the Central Tibetan Administration, including the security wing, should be a warning.
    It is also time India understands the reason behind Tibetans seeking Indian passports, despite an existing arrangement for issue of Identity Certificates, which is passport equivalent. Some had even successfully taken recourse to legal remedy on the issue, and left the government of India red-faced. These changing moods should not be viewed as desires by Tibetans to become Indian citizens. They are triggered by the pathetic state of affairs associated with issuing of Identity Certificates, where delays in most cases are anything between six months to one year. Early streamlining of the process will drastically reduce their desire to hold Indian passport. It will also remove the wrongly perceived notion among some educated Tibetan youth, that the cumbersome process was a ploy by India to confine them in this country. While India should not shy from requesting the Dalai Lama to use his good offices to end all differences within the community in the interest of India’s internal security, it will also be necessary to ensure that young Tibetans do not nurse a silent grudge against the very country they called their second home.

  34. Although the Dalai Lama has offered an apology, the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) still expressed their disappointment over his controversial comment on Nehru, the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC). Dalai Lama called Nehru self-centred.

    The Congress said Dalai Lama being a foreigner should shun and refrain from interfering in the internal as well as external affairs of India.

    Dalai Lama should abstain from imparting controversial information to students: Arunachal Congress
    Dalai Lama should know that a spiritual leader like him is shouldering great expectation: APCC
    | DAMIEN LEPCHA | ITANAGAR | August 12, 2018 9:58 pm
    disappointment over the recent statement made by Tibetan Spiritual Leader the 14th Dalai Lama in which he called Jawaharlal Nehru, the former Prime Minister of India as “self-centered” and the one responsible for parting India and Pakistan.
    “Although Dalai Lama expressed regret over his controversial comment, the APCC is extremely thwarted by it. A Tibetan spiritual leader calling names to an Indian leader who sweated most to keep him and his followers safe from Chinese aggression is simply not acceptable. Today, India is home to lakhs of Tibetan refugees who are living in 37 settlements and 70 scattered communities across different states of India,” APCC vice-president Minkir Lollen said in a statement on Sunday.
    “Dalai Lama may have forgotten that India provided a beam of light and hope to Tibetans remaining in Chinese-dominated Tibet and in the neighbouring Chinese provinces politically cut off from the Tibetan heart land. All these happened only because India has great leaders like Gandhi and Nehru who took the responsibility of social burden to shelter thousands of persecuted Tibetans then in 1959,” Lollen added.
    Minkir said Dalai Lama should know that a spiritual leader like him is shouldering great expectation, hope and trust of millions on record and the same are watching his contribution towards the mankind.
    “In such circumstances, Dalai Lama should abstain from imparting partial and controversial information to the students who are the torch bearer of the nation,” the Congress said.
    Further stating that the statement of the spiritual leader could be a politically motivated one and made with an effort to approach Prime Minister Narendra Modi for survival of his continuation in the country, the Congress said Dalai Lama being a foreigner should shun and refrain from interfering in the internal as well as external affairs of India.

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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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