Through the Eyes of Dorje Shugden Buddhists

Manhattan Protest

In recent years, Dorje Shugden has become a controversial issue in which many Western Buddhists who follow the Dorje Shugden deity of Tibetan Buddhism have raised the issue of religious freedom under the Dalai Lama.

CNN’s report on Dorje Shugden:

Dalai Lama Greeted by Protesters in Manhattan

As I did my research on Tibet, I saw an Internet newsgroup called alt.religion.buddhism.tibetan, where many Buddhists were arguing over the Dorje Shugden issue. A search via the Deja News search engine yielded over two thousand messages posted in the newsgroup on the subject of Dorje Shugden. Much of the details are very religious in nature, but I have gathered the more introductory posts that offer a glimpse of the issue.

James Burns, a British Buddhist devoted to Dorje Shugden, has written many highly informative posts on the Internet newsgroup ‘alt.religion.buddhism.tibet’. Here are links to his posts, listed in sequence of introducing the background of the issue to the eventual ban, and the reactions of Dorje Shugden followers.

Burns explained his feelings in a post on Sept. 15, 1998:

“In the UK how would you feel if you were not allowed to travel abroad because you are a Buddhist?

How would you feel if you were not allowed to hold a legal, government or medical post because of your religion?

How would you feel if your children and relatives were banned from attending state schools?

How would you feel if someone was sick in your family but you were frightened to ask for medical help because people would find out what your religion was?

How would you feel if people boycotted your business or profession just because you held certain beliefs?

How would you feel if your relatives and friends were encouraged to spy on you and report what you did just because of what you believed?

How would you feel if people came into your house uninvited and removed those things that you held most sacred?

How would you feel if you lost your pension and state benefits just because you were a Buddhist?
How would you feel if, on the same basis, your UK citizenship was removed?”

(For a look at the original article mentioned in this post, please see: His Material Highness:

The Mongoose-Canine Letter:
This is one of the most interesting posts that includes a letter by a Tibetan insider, addressed to the Dalai Lama, that showed many intricate secrets of the Tibetan government in exile. James Burns begins to see the truth behind the Tibetan propaganda.

“To people in the West we seem to think that the exiled community is and has been united behind the Dalai Lama throughout its existence. However as is well known to the Tibetans themselves the truth is very far from this.”

“The Dalai Lama has exercised Power and control most effectively through the flow of information.”

“It is remarkable how effective such information control has been on the minds of Westerners. We are only now beginning to see a cultural questioning of issues Tibetan and this has long been overdue. The Dalai Lama has felt so confident about his propaganda efforts that in a speech earlier this year he was proclaiming how his fame would be the determining factor in the Dorje Shugden issue.”

A disillusioned Dorje Shugden follower (view 1)

James Burns wrote: “Yes Chris. I have got to say that for many years I was a firm supporter of the Dalai Lama and all that he stood for and tried to do. When the Dorje Shugden issue came to a head by the introduction of the Ban, I still supported him although I felt that he had made a serious mistake on this issue and that he needed to change.”

“However when I began to look into matters it also began to be clear to me that there were a lot of other things that I could not approve of with regards to the actions of His Holiness. It was quite contrary to what I had expected of him.”

“For example I found out that the beatings so graphically shown of Tibetan Monks in the monasteries in the late 80′s were not being carried out by the Chinese as was being suggested but were actually carried out by Tibetans! The style of the beatings were typically Tibetan and quite beyond the style and methods of Chinese soldiers or police.”
[For facts presented by a Tibetan that may back up this point, please read: "Tibetans and the Cultural Revolution".]

A disillusioned Dorje Shugden follower (view 2)

James Burns wrote: “As I have pointed out previously let no-one be in any doubt that it is the Dalai Lama who is behind the United Cholsum Organization. It is commonly perceived, in the Exiled Community, to be the public vehicle of his private office. In trying to handle the Dorje Shugden issue through this vehicle he is no doubt attempting to give himself an escape route should the actions of the United Cholsum Organization be subject to the International condemnation that it so richly deserves.”

“The people on this newsgroup who continue to support the ban on Shugden is persecuting a section of society and are a disgrace to Buddhism and to humanity. Such people are not Buddhists. If they were then they would do what they could for those in distress. The sectarian and fundamentalist attitudes that these people complain of can most clearly be seen in their own ranks. The right of all people to enjoy freedom of spiritual belief and practice must be universally proclaimed. Where such freedoms are not to be found it must be condemned with the utmost energy. Tyranny in any disguise must be recognised for what it is and firmly opposed.”

“People who speak universally of freedom, democracy and openness, yet persecute and restrict their own people must be seen for the hypocrites that they are. There is no room in modern society for this form of behaviour and we must make it known that people who do so can expect no support for their activities.”

(Source :

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  1. I am the re-incarnated Buddha named HOTAI.I was awakened and enlightened in the year 1985.I know my past lives,and i know what i am doing here.Through all of your battles with established Buddahism you have apparantely forgotten the absolute truth that is being shown unto you.The truth is that there are the lying teachers who prescribe to [Divide and Conquer ].It appears that your group have fallen prey to this great LIE.All who serve our father are devout followers of his teachings,not the teachings of blinded fools who wish to set themselves up above all others and claim that their teachings are the only way to get to the Father who gave us both life and purpose. I HOTAI Buddha am one of the Seven original Buddhas created by our Father to do his will upon this planet called Earth.HOTAI

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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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