Author Topic: The role of the media...  (Read 5187 times)


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The role of the media...
« on: March 06, 2011, 04:13:33 PM »
There's an interesting letter that was written from the Tibetan Shugden practitioners residing in USA to Radio Free Asia in January this year, as follows:

Below is a letter written by Dorje Shugden practitioners living in the USA to Radio Free Asia in response to the article they published in which Prime Minister Samdhong is Encouraging Violence Against Shugden Practitioners.

Dear Sirs:
We are writing with regards to the recent news posting on December 24th 2010 on the website of Radio Free Asia in the Tibetan news section of the agency.?…?The media clip that has been posted there broadcasted the speech of the Prime Minister of Tibetan Government-in-Exile, Samdong Rinpoche, regarding the issue of worshipping the Buddhist deity Shugden.

In this speech, Samdong Rinpoche calls Tibetans to fight with Shugden followers; he even labels these people as “traitors” and “terrorists”. According to him, Shugden devotees are not to be tolerated by other Tibetans, who should not mingle with the followers of the deity, and who should stop any relations with them. The Tibetan Service of RFA is well known and quite popular in the Tibetan community in Exile, especially among the Tibetan community outside of Tibet and India as an independent source of news and information regarding Tibetan affairs. The tensions that exist in Tibetan society due to the Dharamsala policy on the issue that results in physical, emotional, mental and economic suffering of Shugden devotees, should be accounted for by the Tibetan service of RFA as well, whose coverage contributes to such framing of the issue. The Tibetan service of RFA should bear its share of responsibility, being the Fourth Estate.

We, the group of the followers of Buddhist deity Dorje Shugden, are very much upset by the news release of Tibetan service of RFA for posting the audio clip of the speech of the representative of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile without giving any comment and critical evaluation of such a policy and the official viewpoint of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile that conducts the policy of intolerance towards a community of people that has different religious views than the head of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile.

It is hard to believe that the Tibetan service of RFA is posting the news release without giving any comment as a media that operates in a free country and whose mission is to provide news to countries whose governments prohibit access to a free press. By giving the floor only to the official “Dharamsala” information on the issue of Shugden means supporting the policy of discrimination based on religion and the failure to adhere to its mission and principles of free press.

By submitting this message we truly believe that opinions other than those of official Dharamsala should be published on the website of the service as well.

Thank you for your attention.
Dorjee Shugden USA
Source :


It's interesting to consider the reactions and role that the media plays in all this. There have been many mentions and discussions here about how the media has inadvertently brought Dorje Shugden to the world through all the extensive global coverage of the ban... but it's interesting to consider how the media presents this whole controversy, and whether to consider how else the issue can be brought to light without causing so much harm to Dorje Shugden practitioners.

As this letter states, it is one thing to post up a speech that is very clearly biased; and another yet to write a commentary (or omit any commentary, in this case) that can educate people better on a subject. Too often, the coverage becomes very sensationalised and demonises one side or the other. This is why it's more important than ever to just provide information, education and truth through websites and forums like this. Help people sift through all the media clutter and find out what Dorje Shugden's practice (and Dharma in general) is really about.


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Re: The role of the media...
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2011, 06:19:15 PM »
Everything Samdhong  Rinpoche is doing is wrong in relations to Dorje Shugden/practitioners. To incite trouble against his own fellow citizens. That is the worst type of govt official. What kind of Prime MInister is that?

To ostracize one group of persons within your community because of their religious beliefs is the ultimate seed to self destruction.

Samdhong Rinpoche is a monk and he should never get involved with politics and stick to religious works like his guru Trijang Rinpoche. Would the previous Trijang Rinpoche be happy with what Samdhong Rinpoche is doing and saying now? I don't think so.

Samdhong Rinpoche should step down and resume being a humble monk. After all, he has practiced Dorje Shugden all his life before the ban. Samdhong Rinpoche's household in Tibet was famous for it's extensive monthly Shugden pujas. Samdhong Rinpoche would order three days of preparation for a one day puja every month. Samdhong Rinpoche was famous for his devotions to Dorje Shugden. What happened now? Is Samdhong Rinpoche wrong? If you can be wrong, then many of your other advices can be wrong.


hope rainbow

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Re: The role of the media...
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2011, 05:26:52 AM »
When an intelligent, open-minded and inquisitive person comes across the ban, he/she must be clueless in front of words that appear harsh and divisive and that are talked by the very people who are otherwise recognized as masters of compassion (Samdhog Rinpoche - The 14thDalai Lama).
Many questions arize that don't seem to find answers: What about guru devotion? How can a student of Trijang Rinpoche take part of a ban of Dorje Shugden's practice? What about respecting different traditions? What about NOT being schismatic? etc...
The only way the ban can make sense, is if we have an enquiry over the subject with the following qualities:

1. Humility
so that we do not go about it thinking we know best, or thinking we must be right against a "wrong"; but instead, we keep an open-mind and we want to understand (instead of wanting to be right). Humility is the best tool any student or seeker can possess.

2. Patience
Humility gives us the patience to get to a point where we can maybe understand what is going on (instead of rushing to conclusion); without this patience, we fall into the un-virtuous solution and get angry (and again we come to be right against others who are "wrong").

3. Faith
Faith that those masters that are acting, it seems, in non-virtuous ways, and that appear to be spreading divisive and even schismatic speech, hatred even, are not masters turned "nuts" (excuse my language), but instead are acting out of a compassion so great, so knowledgeable, with a motivation pure and sincere that is a bodhisattva motivation that we could not (yet) realize or else we would be buddhas already.

4 Intelligence
Thus, if buddhas seem to be talking with harsh words, what is the intelligent thing to do from the side of the un-enlighted student, from my side? Is it to spread the words that some buddhas and bodhisattvas have gone "nuts" and other not? What sense does that make? (none).
I think the intelligent thing to do is to become more knowledgable on the object of the ban, which is meant for us to get more closely acquainted with Dorje Shugden and eventually become an active party in the spread of Dorje Shugden's practice - that means the spread of the LAMRIM, the spread the doctrine of the Dharma king of the 3 realms, Lama Tsongkhapa, the spread of the teachings of the lord Buddha Shakyamuni.
The motion of the 4th Noble Truth and many, many, many people's minds and for a very, very, very long time.

5. Think long term
In 100 years fromnow, Tibetan culture might have become extcinct (I hope not, but here is a possibility of that), and people living in those future times will not give a dam about it other than visit museum about Tibet as "entertainment", like we visit Inca pyramids. This is very sad to contemplate, but it is possible.
Yet, the pratice of tibetan buddhisme would not have disappeared, and the practice of Dorje Shugden neither.
Why? Because these tibetan masters living today skillfully projected the teachings and practices of tibetan tradition outside from the cultural sphere of tibetan culture.
Another scenario for what could be in 100 years from now is that the tibetan culture has not disappeared but remains strong in a minority, probably indian minority; and within what could remain of the tibetan people and culture, an energized few would be keeping the tradition of Dorje Shugden and Lama Tsongkhapa strong as they have learned to do so even against their own people for a few generations!
Tibetan culture may be subject to impermanence (actually it IS so), so what are the masters of tibetan buddhisme doing for buddhisme to remain and floursih when its supporting cultural background is dissipating? They are acting skillfully, however it may look like to our eyes right now.

For my part, I am grateful to the people behind this web-site, because they allow me to practice Dorje Shugden in modern ways, by participating to an activity of explaining the ban, explaining the practice, introducing Dorje Shugden to new seekers an promoting the Lamrim.
The very people that created this web-site have given me a platform to engage further in my practice, that is do more than pujas and prayers but reach the world with modern means.
For this I am extremely grateful and I rejoyce with ease!
Thank you!


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Re: The role of the media...
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2011, 03:17:13 PM »
We have all kinds of media in this world as we have all kinds of minds in samsara.

All media coverage, be it to sensationalized or investigate or to purely document, will appeal to the different minds out there. After all, they are created by the same different minds with various interests at heart.

The days of real investigative journalism seem to be dying. Now, all the media is interested in is getting eyeballs, readership and creating the next bug headlines.

I often wonder if the people writing actually even understand what they are writing about.

Having said all that, I firmly believe that the general public will be able to see right through all the farce. If one group consistently acts in a suppressive and oppressive manner towards another group which has been altogether peaceful, then the picture becomes clearer for all to see.

These days, the range of media and the internet provide people with more than one source of information.

I do believe people are also wising up and will not take media's reporting as absolute.

People will scour the internet and find different sources of information if they are interested to find out more and learn.

Hence, websites like these and even distributing the brochures would really help in spreading awareness.

I believe so.