What Happens to Dorje Shugden Lamas?

What happens to lamas who practice Dorje Shugden? The Tibetan leadership says one thing, but their actions show another.

It is common knowledge that the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA; the Tibetan leadership based in Dharamsala) continuously promotes the false notion that Dorje Shugden is an unenlightened spirit or demon. They claim that he arose from the culmination of flawed and mistaken prayers made during his previous life as Tulku Dragpa Gyeltsen. As a lowly vengeful spirit, the CTA maintains that it is his nature to harm sentient beings. Hence, the CTA equates the propitiation of Dorje Shudgen to spirit worship. This is a claim which presents a serious problem for Buddhist practitioners.

The foundation of the Buddhist faith is one’s refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, collectively known as the Three Jewels. A part of this involves a commitment to rely only on the Enlightened Beings (Buddhas) on the path towards complete liberation from suffering. As the central-most aspect of Buddhist practice, all other practices hinge on this refuge being intact. By worshiping a spirit or demon, this refuge is broken and the karmic consequences of breaking one’s vows will lead to an unfortunate rebirth in one of the three lower realms (animal, hungry ghost or hell-being).

Such sentiments echo His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s thinly veiled threat during his address to the Sangha that,

Those who worship Dorje Shugden will be reborn in the three lower realms.

Hence, by preying on the Tibetan people’s fear of a negative rebirth, this has become one of the ways by which the CTA justifies the undemocratic ban on Dorje Shugden and the abuse against Dorje Shugden practitioners for the last 20 years. They claim that there is a need to ban the practice because of the harm it causes to practitioners.

Following such strong statements, the CTA capitalized on the situation to further their personal agendas. They began by taking extreme steps to police the religious belief of their citizens for their own personal advantage. From abusing state instruments to codifying discrimination against Dorje Shugden practitioners, to issuing controversial allegations designed to provoke hate and even violent reactions, the CTA expended a significant amount of public resources in an attempt to stamp out the religious practice.


The Proof is in the Pudding

But the amount of resources they have allocated to suppressing a religious practice is not the most disturbing aspect, nor are the violent consequences that often follow when someone is revealed as a Shugden practitioner. One of the more disturbing aspects of the whole Dorje Shugden ban is the sheer hypocrisy that permeates every decision and policy from the CTA. One example of their hypocritical behavior concerns their recognition of the reincarnations of many Dorje Shugden lamas.

Kyabje Zong Rinpoche (left) performing prayers for Lama Yeshe (right) just before Lama Yeshe passing. Both passed away as Dorje Shugden practitioners. According to the Tibetan leadership, both would have taken rebirth in the lower realms so why is the CTA recognizing their reincarnations?

According to the CTA, those who rely on Dorje Shugden will take rebirth in the three lower realms. This is because, according to the Tibetan leadership, Dorje Shugden is a spirit and relying on a spirit causes us to break our Refuge, Bodhisattva and Tantric vows. If we are to believe the CTA’s claims of what happens to you after death if you practice Shugden, it would therefore follow that high lamas who rely on Dorje Shugden will also take rebirth in the three lower realms. Hence, there should be no need to search for and recognize the reincarnations of Dorje Shugden Lamas. Based on the CTA’s flawed logic for imposing the ban, there should be no one to recognize as there should be no human reincarnation!

So why then does the CTA continue to recognize the irrefutable reincarnations of many Dorje Shugden lamas? Below are but a handful of stalwart Dorje Shugden high lamas and great masters who have, out of great compassion, returned amongst us in perfect human form to continue spreading the Dharma for the benefit of all. In many of these cases, the reincarnations were recognized by His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself, thus contradicting the Tibetan leadership’s own justification for banning the practice.

Not only is their recognition of these lamas’ reincarnations hypocritical but in recognizing these lamas, they invalidate their own reasons for imposing the ban. How can they say that Shugden practice is harmful and sends you to the three lower realms, when they themselves are recognizing lamas who clearly did not go to the three lower realms?


H.H. Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche

H.H. Pabongka Rinpoche

One of the most recognizable lamas of the past century, His Holiness Kyabje Pabongka Dorjechang is a household name amongst Tibetan Buddhists everywhere. A renowned proponent of the Dorje Shugden practice, the fact that Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche widely propagated this practice reflects the significant role he knew it would play in protecting and disseminating the Gelug teachings all around the world. Thanks to Pabongka Rinpoche’s kindness, many of these teachings and lineages are still intact and widely practiced today.

It is a real testament to Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche’s attainments and the respect he commanded that H.H. the 13th Dalai Lama requested Pabongka Rinpoche to give the annual Lamrim teachings in 1925, instead of asking the Gaden Throneholder (Gaden Tripa) as was customary. Arrangements were also made to extend Pabongka Rinpoche’s teachings to 11 days instead of the usual seven days.

There is no Gelug practitioner today who has not benefited from Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche’s works at some point of their practice and study. For example, the universally-renowned Lamrim text, Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand, was compiled by His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, one of Pabongka Rinpoche’s direct students. The text is an edited recording of 24 days of Lamrim teachings given by Pabongka Rinpoche to tens of thousands of people. The text was personally acknowledged by H.H. the 13th Dalai Lama to be authentic and of great importance, and it continues to be one of the main Lamrim references in Tibetan Buddhist studies throughout the world today.

H.H. Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche (3rd and current supreme incarnation)

Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche had many prominent students, like Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche who would later go on to become His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s tutor. Trijang Rinpoche would also find Pabongka Rinpoche’s subsequent reincarnation, Ngawang Lobsang Trinley Tenzin (1941-1969), who passed away in his twenties.

The current incarnation, His Holiness Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche Lobsang Thubten Trinley Kunkhyab was born in 1969. Identified in the early 1970s before the ban would have any real impact on his recognition, he continues to be universally accepted by the Gelug community, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as the unmistaken incarnation of the great Pabongka Dorjechang.


H.H. Kyabje Ling Rinpoche

H.H. Ling Rinpoche

One of the most influential teachers of our time, His Holiness Kyabje Ling Dorjechang was one of two tutors to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Together with His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche who was the other tutor, Ling Rinpoche played a significant role in imparting Dharma knowledge and practices to the 14th Dalai Lama during the ruler’s most formative years.

Kyabje Ling Rinpoche’s impeccable knowledge in Sutra and Tantra was uncontested. Such was the respect for his attainments that the Gelug assembly of Varanasi University requested him to compose a ritual to invoke upon enlightened Dharma Protectors.

It is one thing to engage in prayers but it is quite another thing for a lama to be able to compose prayers that would successfully invoke upon the enlightened beings. On the side of the lama, to be able to request the enlightened beings to heed the prayer, he would have to have some kind of attainments himself, starting with Bodhicitta.

So the fact that the Gelug assembly requested Ling Rinpoche to compose a prayer, reflected their belief that prayers composed by him would be effective because he has attainments. The request that Ling Rinpoche so compassionately and skillfully granted turned out to be a simplified prayer of fulfillment, confession, request for activity and serkyem for Mahakala, Kalarupa, Palden Lhamo and Dorje Shugden.

H.H. the 7th Kyabje Ling Choktrul Rinpoche was enthroned by H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama

Kyabje Ling Rinpoche was a heart son of Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche, hence it is no surprise that he was a Dorje Shugden practitioner. Many of the older monks who are still alive today can attest to Ling Rinpoche having frequently prescribed Dorje Shugden’s practice within the Tibetan community.

In 1987, the unmistaken incarnation of Kyabje Ling Rinpoche was recognized again by the student of his previous life, H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama.


H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche

H.H. Trijang Rinpoche

Few lamas have reached the renown of His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche. Widely known as the ‘teacher of teachers’, it is an undeniable fact that many erudite and influential Gelug lamas in this modern era can attribute their Dharma knowledge and understanding to Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, either as their direct teacher or their lineage teacher through his eminent students. In fact, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche was one of the two tutors of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, and the majority of the 14th Dalai Lama’s lineages, teachings, commentaries and practices are a result of Trijang Rinpoche’s transmissions. Trijang Rinpoche was also known to be an extremely astute politician, a quality that he imparted to the Dalai Lama ahead of his ascension to become the secular leader of the Tibetans.

H.H. Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche

Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche’s unmistaken faith in Dorje Shugden was so pervasively known, that the Dalai Lama exempted the current incarnation from the ban on the propitiation of Dorje Shugden. His is the one and only exception to the ban that has ever been expressly given by the Dalai Lama.

Not only did Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche find and train Dorje Shugden oracles, including the current 7th Panglung Kuten, but he also wrote, compiled and composed extensive texts and prayers to help practitioners engage in the practice. He also compiled explanations into the background, nature and benefits of propitiating Dorje Shugden. This text is known as Music Delighting the Ocean of Protectors.

The current incarnation of this great master, Kyabje Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche was officially recognized by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama on 23 April 1985. Just like his predecessor, Kyabje Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche continues to be a staunch devotee of the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden, giving sogtae (life entrustment initiation) of Dorje Shugden to thousands of people.


H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche

H.H. Zong Rinpoche

His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, considered to be an emanation of Heruka, was highly revered as a powerful tantrician. He gave many empowerments and teachings to thousands of students, with a special emphasis on the Tantras of Heruka, Yamantaka, Guhyasamaja and Vajrayogini. He was also known to be a master of the Hayagriva, Dorje Shugden, White Tara and Vaishravana practices.

Known to be a ritual master, there are stories aplenty of Kyabje Zong Rinpoche’s attainments, from controlling the weather to healing people, to the erudite and penetrative teachings that he would give directly from memory.

Zong Rinpoche was also very strict, traditional and exacting, especially when it came to rituals. Upon entering a prayer hall, if he saw the altar had not been set up properly, or the offerings were not done correctly, he would crush the tormas (ritual cakes) and leave. He would only return once the set-up had been done correctly. Instead of being offended, the monks would fold their hands and scramble to make the corrections. Such was their devotion and respect for Kyabje Zong Rinpoche.

H.H. Zong Choktrul Rinpoche

Kyabje Zong Rinpoche was a heart disciple of his root guru, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche. It is therefore no surprise and no secret that Kyabje Zong Rinpoche shared an extremely close relationship with the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden and consistently advised his students to propitiate Dorje Shugden strongly and devotedly.

His new incarnation was duly recognized by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and enthroned at Gaden Shartse Monastery in India amidst great pomp and ceremony.


H.E. Zemey Rinpoche

H.E. Zemey Rinpoche

The greatness and significance of Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche’s contributions to the Dharma is widely believed to be unparalleled, but even so, Trijang Rinpoche himself singled out His Eminence Zemey Rinpoche as his equal in all aspects of attainments.

Zemey Rinpoche was an erudite scholar and a highly sought-after teacher by the monks from the three monasteries of Gaden, Sera and Drepung. As such, he became the teacher of many of the most influential practitioners of the world today including high lamas like H.E. Dagom Rinpoche and even the Dalai Lama’s translator, Thupten Jinpa. The last years of Zemey Rinpoche’s life were spent in isolated retreat, having been heavily ostracized by the Tibetan community due to his unwavering faith in Dorje Shugden.

H.E. Zemey Choktrul Rinpoche

The unmistaken incarnation of this great master has since returned, and he has been recognized by high lamas across Tibet, Nepal and India. In addition, the young incarnation has since officially reconnected with his Dharma Protector of many lifetimes as he has received Dorje Shugden initiation (sogtae) from Lama Jampa Ngodrup at Yangding Monastery in Daocheng County, Sichuan, China. Like his previous life when he was known as an erudite scholar, the current incarnation of Zemey Rinpoche has gained the reputation of being a formidable debater with penetrative insight into the teachings.


H.E. Kyabje Domo Geshe Rinpoche

The 1st Domo Geshe Rinpoche, Ngawang Kalsang

According to the well-known story, upon meeting H.E. Domo Geshe Rinpoche Ngawang Kalsang, His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama was so impressed by this erudite master that he equated meeting Domo Geshe Rinpoche as meeting Lama Tsongkhapa himself.

Tales of Domo Geshe Rinpoche’s accomplishments are aplenty, from his remarkable healing abilities to his fulfillment of a prophecy made by both his Guru and Dromtönpa (the main disciple of Atisha Dipamkara) by erecting a large Maitreya Buddha statue at Galingkang.

Domo Geshe Rinpoche is also remembered for having tamed the ferocious spirit of a murdered Mongolian monk, and installing the being within Dorje Shugden’s entourage. He is now known as Namkar Barzin, and propitiated as a member of Dorje Shugden’s entourage who is especially effective in preventing robberies. In fact, Domo Geshe Rinpoche has always had a very close connection with Dorje Shugden. His monastery, Dungkar Gompa, which is located at the crossroads of India and Tibet, would come to host many powerful oracles of Dorje Shugden.

The 2nd Domo Geshe Rinpoche

The 2nd Domo Geshe Rinpoche, Ngawang Jigme, was known for his quick intelligence and humility. In 1976, Domo Geshe Rinpoche established Dungkar Gonpa Society in the United States and shortly after that, established Gangjong Namgyal, a large piece of land in the Catskills Mountains in New York State. Gangnam, as it came to be known, would host the Dalai Lama in the summer of 1981. Domo Geshe Rinpoche continued to reside here until his passing in 2001.

In the spring of 2008, the unmistaken incarnation of Domo Geshe Rinpoche was enthroned in Samten Choling Monastery in Ghoom; in Tashi Choling Monastery in Kurseong; and in Enchey House, the ancestral home of the previous Domo Geshe Rinpoche in Gangtok, Sikkim. On 21 June 2008, His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche and Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche presided over the hair-cutting and final enthronement ceremonies at Gangnam in the USA. Today, Domo Geshe Rinpoche is undertaking his monastic education at Shar Gaden Monastery in South India.

Ironically, despite their assertion that Dorje Shugden lamas go to the three lower realms, the Tibetan leadership have also recognized their own candidate as the incarnation of this prominent Dorje Shugden lama. However, only the incarnation in Shar Gaden is acknowledged and recognized by Dorje Shugden practitioners, and indeed by Dorje Shugden himself, to be the true incarnation of the 2nd Domo Geshe Rinpoche.

The 3rd Domo Geshe Rinpoche Losang Jigme Nyak-gi Wangchuk


H.E. Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche

H.E. Denma Gonsa Rinpoche

When political turmoil reached Tibet in 1959, many lamas left to enter a life of exile in India. Only a handful of high lamas remained in Tibet to navigate the tumultuous times, to try and preserve the Dharma there. H.E. Denma Gonsa Rinpoche was one such lama who remained in Tibet and worked tirelessly to ensure the Dharma would be protected and not lost. It is a feat many agree that he was more than qualified to do, considering Denma Gonsa Rinpoche has represented the Gaden, Sera, Drepung and Reting Monasteries in Lhasa, Shigatse, Shan Nan, and other places in Tibet.

Known to be a no-nonsense, direct lama, Denma Gonsa Rinpoche would, over time, come to win the respect of both Tibetans and Chinese alike. Denma Gonsa Rinpoche was a devotee of Dorje Shugden, having built Tibet’s largest Dorje Shugden statue at his monastery. Such was his unwavering faith in the Dharma Protector and the strength of his guru devotion that Denma Gonsa Rinpoche was one of the few lamas to speak out against the Dorje Shugden ban in its early days, even directly to H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama himself.

As the well-known story goes, when the Dalai Lama called to gain Denma Gonsa Rinpoche’s support for the ban, the elderly lama hung up on the Dalai Lama. Whilst some saw this as rudeness or an act of defiance, others would later come to see this as skillful means – remaining on the phone with the Dalai Lama would have compelled Denma Gonsa Rinpoche to do something about the ban, as he would have found it difficult to resist a direct instruction from the Dalai Lama himself. Yet, he did not want to break his spiritual commitments by giving up the practice that he received from his own teachers. Regardless of Denma Gonsa Rinpoche’s motivations, his actions gave hope and courage to millions of Dorje Shugden practitioners to stand up against the ban on the practice.

H.E. the 20th Denma Gonsa Choktrul Rinpoche

Following specific instructions from Denma Gonsa Rinpoche prior to his entering clear light, his students found his perfect incarnation who was subsequently recognized by four of the greatest masters of the Gelugpa lineage, namely His Holiness the 11th Panchen Lama, His Holiness Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche, His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche, and Dorje Shugden via oracular trance. On 31 July 2014, the 20th Denma Gonsa Choktrul Rinpoche was enthroned in his monastery in Tibet, an event attended by over 200,000 people.


H.E. Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche

H.E. Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche

Recognized as the 12th Dagom Rinpoche by H.H. Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang at the age of six, His Eminence Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche was a true Dorje Shugden lama who showed every sign of being a highly accomplished master in both Sutra and Tantra. Dagom Rinpoche’s main practice was Yamantaka and indeed, the monastic community came to view the 12th Dagom Rinpoche as being one with Yamantaka himself.

After the ban on Dorje Shugden, Dagom Rinpoche spent his later years in Nepal until he entered clear light in 2007 in Bangkok, Thailand. Dagom Rinpoche’s many deeds include his incorporation of Dorje Shugden as one of the main Protectors in the magnificent Gelugpa refuge tree.

H.E. the 13th Dagom Choktrul Rinpoche Lobsang Khyenrab Tenpai Wangchuk

To incorporate a Dharma Protector into a refuge tree is no insignificant matter. The refuge tree represents all the Buddhas, yidams and deities that a Buddhist practitioner can take refuge in. Spirits, demons and other unenlightened, lesser beings are not depicted on a refuge tree as they are not objects worthy of prostrating to or taking refuge in. Hence, for Dagom Rinpoche as Yamantaka to include Dorje Shugden on the refuge tree is a strong reflection of Dorje Shugden’s nature being that of Enlightenment itself.

On 21 November 2016, the new incarnation of Dagom Rinpoche was duly recognized and enthroned at Lhorong County’s Shodo Monastery, the traditional seat of the Dagom lineage of incarnations.


Ven. Geshe Rabten Rinpoche

Venerable Geshe Rabten Rinpoche, a renowned Dorje Shugden lama, served not only as the philosophical assistant of H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, but was entrusted by the Dalai Lama to ‘break into’ the West and propagate the Dharma there. Thus, long before Tibetan lamas had truly established themselves in the United States or Europe, Geshe Rabten became the first Tibetan Buddhist master to introduce the complete Vinaya-tradition and the study of the five major topics of Buddhism to the West.

Ven. Geshe Rabten Rinpoche

Amongst Geshe Rabten’s many notable students were Venerable Lama Thubten Yeshe and Venerable Lama Zopa Rinpoche, both of whom relied on Dorje Shugden for their own works in spreading Dharma to the Western Hemisphere. Also amongst Geshe Rabten’s students was Venerable Helmut Gassner, a Western Buddhist monk who would later become the Dalai Lama’s first translator in the West, especially in Europe.

Ven. Tenzin Rabgye Rinpoche

After Geshe Rabten’s passing, his heart student Ven. Gonsar Rinpoche continued Geshe Rabten’s legacy at Rabten Choeling Monastery in Switzerland.

In 1989, Geshe Rabten’s incarnation was discovered and recognized by Gonsar Rinpoche through a series of consultations with various authoritative sources including His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden through oracular pronouncement. The new incarnation is known today as Rabten Rinpoche, or Tenzin Rabgye Rinpoche.


Venerable Lama Thubten Yeshe

Venerable Lama Yeshe, the founder of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), was one of the most beloved teachers of his time. Charming, humorous, easy-going yet extremely realized and very humble, Lama Yeshe’s method of delivering the Dharma meant thousands of Western students connected with Buddhism at a time when most were still unfamiliar with Eastern philosophies.

Lama Yeshe with his heart disciple Lama Zopa performing puja under a Dorje Shugden thangka

Under his stewardship and through his reliance on Dorje Shugden, Lama Yeshe grew FPMT to become one of the largest Tibetan Buddhist organizations in the world, with 165 Dharma centers, projects and social services.

It is no secret that Lama Yeshe strongly relied on Dorje Shugden for the growth and success of his organization. In fact, his chief disciple Lama Zopa himself has said that Lama Yeshe would never begin the One-Month Meditation Course held annually at Kopan Monastery without a kangsol (extensive puja/ritual) to propitiate the blessings of his Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. In the image above, you can see Lama Yeshe (far right) and Lama Zopa (wearing glasses) engaged in a puja under a thangka of Dorje Shugden.

Lama Ösel Hita Torres

Based on His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s confirmation of Lama Zopa’s observations, Ösel Hita Torres was recognized as the unmistaken incarnation of Lama Yeshe. He was subsequently enthroned as Tenzin Ösel Rinpoche on March 1987 at Tushita Retreat Centre in Dharamsala, India. Again, the Dalai Lama’s recognition of Lama Ösel, as he came to be known, is ironic, confusing and hypocritical considering the Tibetan leadership’s assertion that those who rely on Dorje Shugden take rebirth in the three lower realms.


H.E. Serkong Dorjechang

A collage of H.E. Serkong Dorjechang’s incarnations

A prominent Dorje Shugden lama, His Eminence Serkong Dorjechang not only authored extensive commentaries on the Tantric deity Heruka Chakrasamvara, but he also wrote extensive confession and propitiation prayers (kangsol) to the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden.

This kangsol forms the basis of the monthly Dorje Shugden puja performed by Gelugpas all over the world.

In it, Serkong Dorjechang not only asserted Dorje Shugden’s true enlightened nature but also made direct references to Dorje Shugden’s previous incarnation as Duldzin Dragpa Gyeltsen.

H.E. the 3rd Serkong Dorjechang

Serkong Dorjechang also referred to Dorje Shugden as the principal Protector of Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings as well as the special Protector of the Gaden Ear-Whispered Lineage, the heart of the Gelug tradition.

The 3rd Serkong Dorjechang was recognized as the reincarnation of the 2nd Serkong Dorjechang by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama during a Kalachakra initiation in Bodhgaya. Yet again, this recognition of the reincarnation of a Dorje Shugden lama was confusing at best and hypocritical at worst, considering the Tibetan leadership’s assertion that all Dorje Shugden practitioners take rebirth in the three lower realms.


H.E. Lati Rinpoche

H.E Lati Rinpoche

One of a very rare class of scholars, saints and practitioners who completed his training in Tibet itself, His Eminence Kyabje Lati Rinpoche not only served as spiritual advisor to H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama but the Dalai Lama also entrusted him to tutor many of the young Rinpoches of the time.

Lati Rinpoche was a former abbot of Ganden Shartse Monastery, where he would teach, advice and guide the monks long after his abbotship tenure was completed. Hence, this Dorje Shugden lama educated many of the eminent teachers, masters and scholars of today, including the likes of His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche and His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche.

And like the thousands of monks of Ganden Shartse Monastery, Lati Rinpoche relied strongly on Dorje Shugden. He was well known to consult Dorje Shugden during the monthly trances held at the Dorje Shugden Protector Chapel in the monastery.

The young reincarnation of Lati Rinpoche with H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama

To say that the 14th Dalai Lama respected Lati Rinpoche would be an understatement. The Dalai Lama was so fond of Lati Rinpoche that within the Dalai Lama’s personal monastery, Namgyal Monastery in Dharamsala, North India, the Dalai Lama had rooms permanently allocated for Lati Rinpoche’s use. It was a highly unusual occurrence, but it served to reflect their close, personal relationship. And so great was Lati Rinpoche’s contribution to the Buddhadharma that when he entered clear light, the 14th Dalai Lama immediately composed a prayer for the swift return of Lati Rinpoche’s incarnation.

According to recent information released by Lati Ladrang, the new incarnation of Kyabje Lati Rinpoche has been found in Mustang, Nepal – along the border of Nepal and Tibet. Considering Lati Rinpoche’s well-known reliance on Dorje Shugden and the CTA’s claim that all Dorje Shugden practitioners take rebirth in the three lower realms, the Tibetan leadership’s act of recognizing yet another Shugden lama is very hypocritical.


Venerable Zawa Rinpoche

Ven. Zawa Tulku Rinpoche

In addition to having two prominent Dorje Shugden lamas like Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche as his main gurus, Venerable Zawa Geshe Rinpoche received teachings from many high lamas of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, including the practice of Dorje Shugden which he kept all his life.

It is a testament to his accomplishments that many miraculous signs appeared and quite a number of sacred relics were discovered when Zawa Geshe Rinpoche chose to pass into clear light.

In this life, the unmistaken incarnation of Zawa Geshe Rinpoche, Zawa Tulku Rinpoche was recognized again by many yogis and high lamas. This includes the Panglung Oracle when he was in trance of Dorje Shugden. Zawa Tulku Rinpoche was enthroned in an elaborate and large ceremony at Ganden Shartse Monastery in 1997.


H.H. Sharpa Choeje Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Nyima

H.H. Sharpa Choeje Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Nyima

It is a testament to His Holiness Sharpa Choeje Rinpoche’s attainments and the respect he won that, when he completed not one but two Vajrayogini three-year, three-month, three-day retreats, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama instructed him to become the Abbot of Ganden Shartse Monastery.

This was after he had already completed a tenureship as Abbot of Gyuto Tantric College. Later, Kensur Jetsun Lobsang Nyima Rinpoche ascended to the throne of Sharpa Choeje, ‘Lord of the East’. This put him in line to become the next Gaden Tripa, the Throneholder of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism considered to be Lama Tsongkhapa’s representative on this earth.

The young incarnation of H.H. Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima

Being a devoted student of H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, it is no surprise that Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima faithfully propitiated Dorje Shugden.

What is surprising however, is that both Dorje Shugden and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama have confirmed the same candidate as the unmistaken incarnation of Sharpa Choeje Rinpoche. It is surprising considering the Tibetan leadership’s false assertion that those who rely on Dorje Shugden will take rebirth in the three lower realms.


H.H. the 10th Panchen Lama Lobsang Trinley Lhundrub Chokyi Gyaltsen

H.H. the 10th Panchen Lama

It is common knowledge that in his great omniscience, His Holiness the 10th Panchen Lama held Dorje Shugden as a principal Dharma Protector of his lineage. In fact, at his monastic seat of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, he would personally propitiate Dorje Shugden together with the other Protectors of Tashi Lhunpo. Tashi Lhunpo itself has a special temple and chapel dedicated to the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. Every day, special pujas, rites and rituals propitiating Dorje Shugden’s blessings are conducted by senior monks, as they have been for decades already.

The 10th Panchen Lama wrote extensively, and his works have been compiled into various volumes known collectively as a sungbum (collected works). Contained within the Panchen Lama’s sungbum are extensive prayers that the Panchen Lama himself composed to propitiate Dorje Shugden’s blessings. Had Dorje Shugden been a minor Protector, or an insignificant practice, a lama of the Panchen Lama’s caliber would not have dedicated so many pages of his sungbum to the propitiation of Dorje Shugden.

H.H. the 11th Panchen Lama Gyaincain Norbu

On 29 November 1995, His Holiness the 11th Panchen Lama Jetsun Lobsang Jampa Lhundrub Chokyi Gyalpo Pelsangpo was recognized and was enthroned in Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Shigatse, Tibet on 8 December of that same year. He was selected using the Golden Urn Method, which had also been used for recognizing the 11th Dalai Lama and His Holiness the 8th Panchen Lama.

The Tibetan leadership have proposed their own candidate for the seat of the 11th Panchen Lama. Their insistence on a candidate is confusing considering the 10th Panchen Lama clearly worshipped Dorje Shugden and therefore, according to the CTA’s own claim, there should not be an 11th Panchen Lama at all. Therefore, their own action of recognizing a Panchen Lama candidate contradicts what they claim to be true about Dorje Shugden.



It is clearly evident from the above that;

  • All these erudite enlightened masters had unshakable faith in the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden and were committed proponents of the Protector’s practice
  • All of them are irrefutable masters of both Sutra and Tantra of impeccable standing and unstained reputation
  • All their reincarnations were either found, confirmed, recognized and/or enthroned by highly learned and accomplished masters with the same irrefutable attainments and qualities

Thus, if Dorje Shugden was really an evil spirit, it should be impossible for any one of the above lamas to reincarnate in human form at all given, according to the CTA, that they were doomed to end up in the three lower realms. If Dorje Shugden’s practice really is demon worship that causes people to take rebirth in the three lower realms, then why did His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama confirm and enthrone the reincarnations of Dorje Shugden masters?

At the end of the day:

  • There is clear evidence of Dorje Shugden lamas returning in perfect human form (and not ending up in the three lower realms) despite their continued propitiation of Dorje Shugden
  • The actions of the Tibetan leadership are inconsistent, hypocritical and contradictory to their own stance about Dorje Shugden practice
  • In the absence of clear proof, the Tibetan leadership has no solid justification to ban Dorje Shugden practice. In recognizing the reincarnation of any Dorje Shugden lama, they themselves undermine and invalidate one of the reasons they gave to ban the practice
  • For Dorje Shugden practitioners, there is no contradiction in their behavior – Dorje Shugden practitioners believe Dorje Shugden is an enlightened being and thus, his practice will not send practitioners to the three lower realms. As a result, there is no conflict in recognizing any reincarnations.

Thus, it is plain to see that the Tibetan leadership’s false assertions damning Dorje Shugden as an evil spirt just does not add up. But then again, considering the ban has always been based on politically-motivated trumped-up charges, is it any surprise that yet again, the Tibetan leadership’s behavior is proven to be hypocritical and their reasons for the ban proven to be wrong? No, there is absolutely no surprise at all.


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  1. 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


  2. 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.

  3. 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.”

    DS.com Trump and Allies Seek End to Refugee Status for Millions of Palestinians (1)

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. All these highly attained master who have written praises and prayers to Dorje Shugden and who practiced Dorje Shugden their entire life should be wrong?

    It is for sure better to ask why the CTA, the Central Tibetan Administration who is the leadership of the Tibetans in Exile and therefore not spiritual but political, why are they banning a religious practice?

    I don’t think that politics should engage in banning a religious practice. All these high Dorje Shugden Lamas have plenty of qualities to verify the authenticity of Dorje Shugden.

    I hope that the CTA will swiftly remove the ban on Dorje Shugden and focus their attention on the well being of the Tibetans.

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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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