Author Topic: Is it interference?  (Read 10321 times)

beggar

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Is it interference?
« on: January 11, 2013, 01:26:34 PM »
This is something good to chew on. While so many accusations are being throw about at Dorje Shugden practitioners for being sectarian, let's have a look at just how the Dalai Lama and his government are manage their relationships and standing with the sects.

While the Dalai Lama has long been respected and highly regarded for being the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhists, there is a more subtle issue at play - does this mean he has the right to put a finger in every pie, and to question and decide upon the internal affairs, practices, systems and protocol of the four individual sects? Or is he overstepping his boundaries?

New article up on the website now asks all these questions... and answers them. So what do you think? IS His Holiness overstepping the boundaries? And if he is, why would he make a "mistake" like this? And what could be accomplished by becoming involved in each of the individual sects' affairs? - even when it's not asked for?


Is it interference?
http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/features/is-it-interference/

The Dalai Lama has long stood as the spiritual head of Tibet and the Guru of millions of Tibetans. However, although he has inspired hope and compassion in the hearts of many, the actual spiritual authority held by the position of the Dalai Lama is a little more complicated than what we have long believed.

While the Dalai Lama is now widely recognized as the highest-ranking representative of Tibetan Buddhism and often speaks for it as a whole, he is not actually accorded the highest authority within each of the four individual schools – Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug. The way his exiled government, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) have positioned him quite possibly abuses the celebrity status with which he has been accorded in recent decades. It is becoming more apparent that position assumed by the Dalai Lama today far oversteps the boundaries of what has traditionally been upheld and maintained across the Tibetan religious hierarchy for centuries.

 

Some Background
Each of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism has its own head, which oversees every aspect of spiritual affairs within the school. This includes determining the validity and teachings of practices, rituals, spiritual education within monasteries and among the Sangha, and the process of recognizing incarnated lamas (Tulkus) within the school. The Sakya school is headed by the Sakya Trinzins, the role of which is by succession within a family line. The Gelugpas are headed by the Gaden Tripa, a democratically-elected position which is achieved through a vigorous course of study and mastery over all teachings and rituals within the school. The Kagyu school is divided into further sub-schools, each of which has their own head; the most prominent and well-known being the Karmapa, head of the Karma Kagyu sect. Like the other sects, each Kagyu sub-school also has its own spiritual authorities. The Nyingma school traditionally did not have a head while they were still in Tibet; it was only when they were in exile that the position of the head was created, mostly for administrative reasons.

The Dalai Lama himself is from the Gelugpa school of Buddhism, having long held a connection across his lifetimes with one of the most prominent Gelug institutions, Drepung Monastery. His root Gurus, Trijang Rinpoche and Ling Rinpoche were also among the most prominent Gelug teachers of their time. This however, does not mean that the Dalai Lama is the head of the Gelug sect. This position continues to be maintained by the Gaden Tripas. Although the Dalai Lama can of course give many teachings and initiations of practices in the Gelug lineage, he is not actually authorized to issue instructions or make changes to practices within the lineage.

 
Overstepping Boundaries
However much each sect tries to maintain its own sovereignty, there have been several incidences in recent times where the Dalai Lama has exerted his authority over those of the individual sects. This has not only caused confusion but has also had saddened many Buddhists, who feel betrayed by the Dalai Lama, a figure who is supposed to protect the interests of his spiritual community, not dictate them.


1. The Karmapa Controversy

In the first instance, some Karma Kagyu practitioners have claimed that the Dalai Lama interfered unnecessarily in the recognition of the 17th Karmapa, the supreme head of the Karma Kagyu sect. This is a process which, for hundreds of years, been determined only by the four regents of the sect – Shamar Rinpoche, Tai Situ Rinpoche, Gyaltsap Rinpoche and Jamgon Kontrul Rinpoche. However, when there were two candidates recognized as the incarnation of the 16th Karmapa – one recognized by Tai Situ Rinpoche and the other by Shamar Rinpoche – the ‘deciding vote’ was eventually cast and ‘officiated’ by the Dalai Lama. Tai Situ Rinpoche had presented his candidate, Urgyen Trinley Dorje, to the Dalai Lama for his ‘approval’ which the Dalai Lama consequently granted. This is not the usual procedure and the Dalai Lama does not actually have any right to decide internal affairs of a sect in this way.

In response to this ‘approval’ by the Dalai Lama, Shamar Rinpoche – who identified the other Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje – spoke very openly against the Dalai Lama’s intrusion in their Karma Kagyu’s internal matters, especially pertaining to the recognition of the Karmapa. He wrote directly to the Dalai Lama about this. He also wrote a letter to Robert Thurman, renowned Buddhist author and one of the Dalai Lama’s most ardent supporters in the West expressing his firm disapproval of the situation. (This letter was written in response to a letter that Thurman had written wherein he stated the validity of the Dalai Lama’s recognition of Urgyen Trinley and hinted at the wrongful actions of Shamar Rinpoche in ‘[persisting]… to promote a rival candidate’). Shamar Rinpoche wrote:

“The TGIE never asked me for proof of my own recognition of the 17th Karmapa. I also never requested their approval, as they are not in a position to ask for such proof. […] No Shamarpa has had to ask for approval or provide proof to the Dalai Lamas or to the Tibetan government.”

To this day, the Dalai Lama continues to acknowledge only Karmapa Urgyen Trinley, as recognized by Tai Situ Rinpoche. It has been made very clear whose ‘side’ the Dalai Lama supports within the two factions that the Karma Kagyu has been split into. However, as the overall spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism, should the Dalai Lama really be taking sides in any such internal affairs? Isn’t this what we would call interference?


2. The Ban on Dorje Shugden

From the beginning of the early 1980s, the Dalai Lama started speaking against the worship of the Protector Deity Dorje Shugden. This escalated to a full ban on the practice in the late 1990s, when the Dalai Lama declared that this enlightened Protector – previously practiced by almost every person in the Gelug school – was a demon, harmful to the Dalai Lama’s life and a threat to the cause of Tibet’s independence. He decreed that if anyone continues their practice of Dorje Shugden they are not to attend his teachings or initiations, nor associate with him and other Tibetans in any way.


Suddenly, monks were forced to give up the practice or risk being expelled from their monasteries. Dorje Shugden practitioners were removed from government jobs, denied medical care, welfare and civil rights, such as travel and voting. The Dalai Lama maintained that it was up to the individual to ‘choose’ whether they wished to continue or not. However, the terrible discrimination that would be faced by each individual who chose to continue their worship of Dorje Shugden pretty much dictated most people’s ‘choice’ to give up the practice.

Normally, it would be the head of the Gelug school to make such important decisions about the validity of a practice, which would affect millions. Never once were the Gaden Tripas throughout the last three decades consulted on this issue nor asked their opinion. Even the Gaden Tripa – the supreme head of the Gelugpa school – was subject to the same ‘conditions’ set forth by the Dalai Lama with regards to his personal Dorje Shugden practice.

However, eventually when the 101st Gaden Tripa Lungrik Namgyal retired from his position (thus taking on the title Gaden Trisur, meaning the Gaden Tripa emeritus), he made it publicly known that he chose to continue his practice of Dorje Shugden. He then left Gaden Monastery to join Shar Gaden Monastery, which had broken away from Gaden Monastery so as to continue their Dorje Shugden practice freely and independently.


So is it interference?


Both the Karmapa and Dorje Shugden issues have been central to the Tibetan Buddhist world in the last three decades, causing great rifts within the monastic and lay spiritual communities. Further, the negative effects of these controversies are not just contained within the exiled Tibetan communities across India and Nepal but have spilled over to all affiliated Buddhist centers and institutions across the world.

As both the Karma Kagyus and Gelug schools have huge followings around the world, making up what may be two of the largest and fastest-growing groups of Buddhism. Naturally, practitioners across both East and West have also become caught within these controversies – which Karmapa one follows or whether someone joins a a Dorje-Shugden Dharma center has become highly politicized issues. These conflicts can all be traced back, ultimately, to the Dalai Lama’s intrusion in the internal affairs and practices of individual sects. So yes, this would be considered interference.

The Shamarpa further commented in his letter to Robert Thurman,

“…you should also consider that from the time of the Great 5th Dalai Lama it has been obligatory that the reincarnations of the Dalai Lamas be approved by the Emperors of China. Setting the precedent that you attempt to do here [in the Dalai Lama’s act of recognizing Karmapa Urgyen Trinley over Karmapa Thaye Dorje], how will you prevent in the future, the Chinese government from claiming its historical right to recognize the Dalai Lamas?”


This is a very striking point – why are there double standards being practiced by the Dalai Lama and his government? Why does one procedure apply in one situation (such as for the Karmapas and the Dorje Shugden practice) but not in another – such as the recognition of the Dalai Lamas?

The Shamarpa goes on to say in this same letter,

“The attempt to give full authority over the four schools to H.H. Dalai Lama, however, cannot be supported and indeed does not have the support of any of the other schools […]

The heads of the Karma Kagyu, Drikung Kagyu, Nyingma and Sakya lineages have never required the approval of either the leaders of China or the Dalai Lamas. The precedent you are setting here will pave the way for the collapse of every school of Tibetan Buddhism, Gelukpas included.”


The point that the Shamarpa makes about the “collapse of every school of Tibetan Buddhism” is an especially poignant one. For indeed, if the Dalai Lama begins to involve himself in the affairs of individual sects, this would mean that the heads within each school loses any of their authority; it sets a precedent that their decisions and directives can be simply overridden. Then, what happens when the Dalai Lama passes away? Where does the authority lie then? And would the decisions made by the Dalai Lama – while he was still alive – still hold water?

What is even more worrisome is to see that it is not just the Dalai Lama having the last word on such important issues; also, his exiled government, the CTA, continue to uphold these decisions, bringing these spiritual directives into their secular governance of the Tibetan community. Again, what happens when the Dalai Lama passes away? Will the CTA continue to uphold his directives when he’s not around? If so, what basis or right would they have to do this when, as a secular body, they have absolutely no authority within a spiritual sphere?

The situation within the schools will become a chaotic one, where the advice and decisions of the authority can be so easily dismissed and overridden. The sovereignty of each school – and Tibetan Buddhism as a whole – will certainly be up for a lot of questioning. Who is to determine what is right or wrong anymore? And who can be trusted henceforth to make the “right” decisions?

While the Dalai Lama has worked so hard for so many decades to bring Buddhism to the world and spread the teachings, his involvement in individual sects’ internal affairs looks to be the surest and fastest way of undoing all that he has built. What a terrible irony then, that “the oceanic holder of the dharma” Tenzin Gyatso will become the very reason that Tibetan Buddhism begins fall apart within itself.

DharmaDefender

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Re: Is it interference?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2013, 02:50:59 PM »
To be honest yeah I see it as interference, and I approach this issue from two perspectives, spiritually and politically.

SPIRITUAL

I dont think the Dalai Lama should be getting involved in other sects. Do you see Gelug lamas interfering with Nyingma affairs? Or Sakya lamas weighing in on Kagyu issues? No, they stay out of it and their humble response always is, "I do not know enough, I cannot comment because I have not studied the lineages."

So sure the Dalai Lama is the spiritual head of Tibet, but I dont think it means he can make such significant decisions when it comes to other sects, especially when he knows that on a world stage, him standing next to someone else means hes giving them approval for their actions.

You and I both know when he stands next to people, it is not that always he is giving them approval. Sometimes he is there to bless them because they NEED the blessings...but the rest of the world doesnt know that.

Lets take someone else into consideration - Shoko Asahara. When the Dalai Lama stands next to him, it can be viewed two ways - (1) he approves of Shoko Asaharas behaviour (2) he disapproves of Shoko, but is there to bless him. So lets apply that line of thought to the Karmapa issue... (1) he approves of Urgyen Trinley (2) he disapproves, but is there to bless him.

Now if Urgyen Trinley IS the real Karmapa, why does the Dalai Lama need to bless him? And if he is NOT the real Karmapa, why is the Dalai Lama approving of him? In fact, why is the Dalai Lama even involved at all? As the spiritual head of Tibet, he should NOT get involved in such decisions because he should remain objective and non-sectarian.


POLITICALLY

I think the fact that the Central Tibetan Administration has been so silent on this issue, and even vocally supporting one Karmapa over another is wrong. When the Chinese government comments on religious issues, the Tibetans are in an uproar. So why is it when the Tibetan government comments on religious issues, it is okay?

As a democratic government, they should not take sides on a religious issue. Do you see the American government taking sides with one religion over another? The British government? The Australian government? On the contrary, they take great pains to remain objective and non-biased. So if the Tibetan government wants to be world renown and on a global level in terms of their political systems, they need to look at good examples of good governance.

Ensapa

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Re: Is it interference?
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2013, 12:53:57 PM »
There is also one more thing that I do want to point out here: that all of the previous Dalai Lamas have not made "huge" spiritual decisions such as banning a deity. Most of them such as the 13th Dalai Lama focused a lot of secular development so that Tibet would survive in the 21st century. The 5th one built the Potala. There were no religious edicts from them because decisions within the Gelug school can only be made by the Ganden Tripa. The Dalai Lama does not really traditionally make religious edicts for the Gelug school, if you have noticed. But now, suddenly, even newspapers are reporting that the Dalai Lama is the head of the Gelug sect (probably due to the machinations of the CTA) while the Ganden Tripa, the representative of Lama Tsongkhapa on earth is being sidelined, i dont think that this has happened before in the history of Tibet and I dont think it is supposed to be this way either. It would be interesting to see what happens next, however.

thor

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Re: Is it interference?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2013, 05:25:36 PM »
This article is excellent food for thought. And yes,  I would consider the Dalai Lama to be interfering in matters beyond his jurisdiction. As the political head of state, the Dalai Lama should be administering the affairs of Tibet, and directing the Tibetan Government (now CTA). As the spiritual head of Tibet (never mix politics and religion!), his role would be to look out for the spiritual well-being of Tibet  as a whole.

However, with the individual schools of Tibetan Buddhism having their own heads, how can the Dalai Lama interfere in spiritual matters the way he has? And more interestingly, why has he been allowed to do it?

In the case of the Karmapas, I believe Tai Situ Rinpoche wanted to manipulate the situation to his favor. And the Dalai Lama stuck his meddling finger into the equation. It is not only the Kagyu sect the Dalai Lama has stuck his nose into though... the Nyingma sect,  traditionally not having a "leader", ended up forming a role for the head of the Nyingma sect, at the Dalai Lama's request. Why did he have to meddle with the traditional Nyingma state of affairs?

And of course with the Gelugpa sect, the Dalai Lama meddled with the Dorje Shugden issue. Gelugs should be ashamed of themselves. Their loyalties and their policies should depend not on the Dalai Lama, but on the Gaden Tripa! So with Trisur Rinpoche making a clear stance and moving to Shar Gaden, the path of the Gelugs should be quite clear.

But more than anything else, what I find most condemning is how the Tibetan Govt/CTA are enforcing the spiritual commands of the Dalai Lama. CTA - your role is secular,  not spiritual! Focus on education, economy, independence! Not dharma protectors  and the correct karmapa! That role is for the heads of the different schools, not for you! And even then, it is their decision as to whether what the Dalai Lama says is suitable for their own sect! The Dalai Lama can  make all the spiritual policies that he wants, but none of them should be law. If that is not the case,  we have a  Tibetan dictator on our  hands.

Q

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Re: Is it interference?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2013, 06:29:53 PM »
You know what's the saddest part of this? It's that if HHDL is considered interfering with the Karmapa issue, then why is it that people do not see the ban on DS as an interference also. And if the Sharmapa can bluntly say that HHDL have no jurisdiction over the selection of the Karmapa, then why didn't (respectfully saying) the Gaden Tripa said anything about the ban on DS...

HHDL may be the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, but He is not the highest in rank when broken down to the schools of Buddhism.

Another thing I like about this is how it relates entirely to the ban of DS. While HHDL said to not practice DS, it was the CTA that put their finger on the issue and enforced the ban. Why didn't they oust Thaye Dorje and put Orgyen Trinley as the one and only official Karmapa? Is it because HHDL, being Gelugpa do not have any jurisdiction over Kagyu issues that the CTA cannot interfere as well?  Does that mean the CTA work for HHDL? That's like saying the Italian government works for the Pope, which is not true... perhaps that's why the Italians are not in exile and the Tibetans are... haha...

Anyway, the Karmapa issue certainly show how fickle the CTA is and how incompetent they function in governing their people. They always highlight on DS practitioner issue, that we are Chinese spies... Well, dear CTA, please open your eye and look at Tai Situ Rinpoche... the epitome of a rumored Chinese spy. Another issue the just love to highlight is that DS practitioners are violent! They harm other non-ds practitioners... well, should I remind them about the Rumtek invasion? I wonder when the CTA will grow up and be a real authority figure for the Tibetans.

Big Uncle

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Re: Is it interference?
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2013, 09:17:20 PM »
Well, all the points of this article seemed to say that CTA and the Dalai Lama had to interfere into this larger equation of the enthronement of the Karmapa and to have Dorje Shugden banned. Yes, I believe that the Dalai Lama has no right on the simple basis that he is not the head or even a Lama of the Kagyu tradition and that he is not even the head of the Gelug tradition as the role belongs to the office of the Gaden Tripa.

It is indeed scary to think how the Dalai Lama's support of Tai Situpa's candidate has led to the tearing of the Karma Kagyu School into 2 factions, each with its own Karmapa. In the end, who would be the one to unite the entire Karma Kagyu School? That remains to be seen as the fight of both Regents, Shamarpa and Situ Rinpoche doesn't seem to ever end. I believe both candidates are valid but only one should be selected  to lead the Karma Kagyu School or the tradition is in the fear being split into two traditions.

Just like the ban on Dorje Shugden, the selection of the Karma Kagyu spiritual head seems to point to the increasing patronizing by the Chinese government and perhaps one of the main reasons to open up the Chinese leadership towards the acceptance of Buddhism in China and the support of the activities of its religious leaders. This is very symbolic in the picture I saw of the young Karmapa Orgyen Trinley greeting the Chinese-picked Panchen Lama. Although the Chinese-backed Karmapa Orgyen Trinley had fled Tibet into India, there's not a word of criticism from the Chinese government. I cannot be certain that it was the direct intention of the Dalai Lama but this seems to be the direct result of the Dalai Lama's intervention. This leads me think that it must have been the secret intention of the Dalai Lama but like the enlightened works of many other great beings, there must be many other reasons and positive outcome from the Dalai Lama's intervention that eludes my small mind.

beggar

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Re: Is it interference?
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2013, 10:03:11 PM »
The issue of interference is definitely an interesting one and I like especially how DharmaDefender has pointed out the unnecessary meddling of the CTA in spiritual affairs. How frequently throughout history we have seen that the mixing of church and state just doesn't work - for while one may be trying to champion the cause for democracy and basic freedoms, the other usually results in one faith being promoted as superior to another (the opposite of democratic freedoms) 

There's several other articles on this throughout the website, which give varied views on this aspect of how the CTA / Dalai Lama have mixed religion into their secular governance of the Tibetan exile community. This has come especially to fore since the Dalai Lama supposedly stepped away from the political arena, and since Lobsang Sangay came into office as the CTA's head (prime minister). The predominant questions that have arisen are things like:
- why are the CTA (now supposed to be entirely secular) upholding the spiritual edicts formerly issued by the Dalai Lama?

- why is a secular, democracy government upholding and maintaining a religious ban, like that of Dorje Shugden, when it is entirely against the basic human freedoms?

- what happens when the Dalai Lama passes away? how does the CTA then respond to or uphold religious "policies" like this? And what reasons can they possibly give for sustaining a policy like this?
 
- how should the Tibetan exiled community now interact with Lobsang Sangay? He and his government are upholding religious-related policies, such as the ban on Dorje Shugden. But he is also supposed to be a democratically-elected leader. Do Tibetans interact with him as a truly democratic, fair, free leader? Or merely as a representative of the Dalai Lama?

A few good reads and letters here (some of which I believe were sent to Lobsang Sangay and the CTA - it's on the letters page of this website: http://www.dorjeshugden.com/category/spread-the-word/write-a-letter/)

A letter to the CTA questioning their meddling in religious affairs and prompting them to focus on more pressing secular affairs for their people:
http://www.dorjeshugden.com/spread-the-word/write-a-letter/make-a-difference-letter-15/

Spot on! two letters questioning how ordinary Tibetans are to relate to their prime minister:
http://www.dorjeshugden.com/spread-the-word/write-a-letter/making-a-difference-letter-18/
http://www.dorjeshugden.com/spread-the-word/write-a-letter/making-a-difference-letter-19/

Free Religious "Choice"? - exploring the contradiction between a government offering "free religious choice" but clamping down upon those who practice DS
http://www.dorjeshugden.com/spread-the-word/write-a-letter/make-a-difference-letter-23/

Ensapa

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Re: Is it interference?
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2013, 08:16:17 AM »
You know what's the saddest part of this? It's that if HHDL is considered interfering with the Karmapa issue, then why is it that people do not see the ban on DS as an interference also. And if the Sharmapa can bluntly say that HHDL have no jurisdiction over the selection of the Karmapa, then why didn't (respectfully saying) the Gaden Tripa said anything about the ban on DS...

HHDL may be the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, but He is not the highest in rank when broken down to the schools of Buddhism.

Another thing I like about this is how it relates entirely to the ban of DS. While HHDL said to not practice DS, it was the CTA that put their finger on the issue and enforced the ban. Why didn't they oust Thaye Dorje and put Orgyen Trinley as the one and only official Karmapa? Is it because HHDL, being Gelugpa do not have any jurisdiction over Kagyu issues that the CTA cannot interfere as well?  Does that mean the CTA work for HHDL? That's like saying the Italian government works for the Pope, which is not true... perhaps that's why the Italians are not in exile and the Tibetans are... haha...

Anyway, the Karmapa issue certainly show how fickle the CTA is and how incompetent they function in governing their people. They always highlight on DS practitioner issue, that we are Chinese spies... Well, dear CTA, please open your eye and look at Tai Situ Rinpoche... the epitome of a rumored Chinese spy. Another issue the just love to highlight is that DS practitioners are violent! They harm other non-ds practitioners... well, should I remind them about the Rumtek invasion? I wonder when the CTA will grow up and be a real authority figure for the Tibetans.

People dont see that as interference mainly because they have this assumption that the Dalai Lama is the head of the Gelug sect (thanks to CTA) when in reality he is the secular head of state. The real head of the Gelug lineage is the line of Ganden Tripas that is elected once every 5 years. The CTA has downplayed the Ganden Tripas and hid them in a far corner, especially to the western students and this is a sad thing because the CTA is using and relying on misinformation to poison the minds of many a westerners for their own goals. Who will be responsible if these people go to the 3 lower realms due to the misinformation that the CTA has given them? And dont forget that we're talking about the millions of people who are Tibetan Buddhists or people who are interested in Tibetan Buddhism in general. This is the extent of CTA's negative karma.

Q

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Re: Is it interference?
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2013, 01:32:39 PM »
You know what's the saddest part of this? It's that if HHDL is considered interfering with the Karmapa issue, then why is it that people do not see the ban on DS as an interference also. And if the Sharmapa can bluntly say that HHDL have no jurisdiction over the selection of the Karmapa, then why didn't (respectfully saying) the Gaden Tripa said anything about the ban on DS...

HHDL may be the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, but He is not the highest in rank when broken down to the schools of Buddhism.

Another thing I like about this is how it relates entirely to the ban of DS. While HHDL said to not practice DS, it was the CTA that put their finger on the issue and enforced the ban. Why didn't they oust Thaye Dorje and put Orgyen Trinley as the one and only official Karmapa? Is it because HHDL, being Gelugpa do not have any jurisdiction over Kagyu issues that the CTA cannot interfere as well?  Does that mean the CTA work for HHDL? That's like saying the Italian government works for the Pope, which is not true... perhaps that's why the Italians are not in exile and the Tibetans are... haha...

Anyway, the Karmapa issue certainly show how fickle the CTA is and how incompetent they function in governing their people. They always highlight on DS practitioner issue, that we are Chinese spies... Well, dear CTA, please open your eye and look at Tai Situ Rinpoche... the epitome of a rumored Chinese spy. Another issue the just love to highlight is that DS practitioners are violent! They harm other non-ds practitioners... well, should I remind them about the Rumtek invasion? I wonder when the CTA will grow up and be a real authority figure for the Tibetans.

People dont see that as interference mainly because they have this assumption that the Dalai Lama is the head of the Gelug sect (thanks to CTA) when in reality he is the secular head of state. The real head of the Gelug lineage is the line of Ganden Tripas that is elected once every 5 years. The CTA has downplayed the Ganden Tripas and hid them in a far corner, especially to the western students and this is a sad thing because the CTA is using and relying on misinformation to poison the minds of many a westerners for their own goals. Who will be responsible if these people go to the 3 lower realms due to the misinformation that the CTA has given them? And dont forget that we're talking about the millions of people who are Tibetan Buddhists or people who are interested in Tibetan Buddhism in general. This is the extent of CTA's negative karma.

I do not believe that the responsibility of this misinformation is solely the CTA's fault, although they play a large role in it. As Dharma practitioners, it is our responsibility to check out and not merely listen to people feeding us information. In recent years, the Dalai Lama himself gave a talk in Dharamsala had expressed that those given up DS practice has checked and agreed on the harm of this practice, and that all those decided to give up their practice is based entirely by their choice, and only their choice. (Of course, we all disagree with that)

What I am disgusted about the CTA is their inconsistent and unjust actions towards DS practitioners. How I look at the ban in a positive light is that it is a huge teaching all by itself... it is not difficult to see that what we are going through is a practice in perfecting the 6 paramitas. By the time the ban is released, DS would take off in Tibetan Buddhism faster than ever.

dsiluvu

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Re: Is it interference?
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2013, 03:12:28 PM »
Thank you for this interesting post and very good points for us all to ponder! It seems that the Dalai Lama and CTA has been very busy sticking their noses in to others' affairs. His Holiness may represent Tibetan Buddhism as a whole but I do not think He is the HEAD of Kagyu or any particular sect for that matter. He is not even considered the Head of Gelug! It is actually the Gaden Tripas who is the Head of the Gelugs and this has been a tradition that has been set by Lama Tsongkhapa.

So what authority and rights does the Dalai Lama and CTA they have to suddenly be authorize to decided who is the right Karmapa and who is not?

I find it quite rude actually and it is definitely interfering to an extend that it creates a rift in the Kagyu sect! Talk about creating disharmony and disunity in people's home. I see a trend... they seem to love to create chaos hu?

Shouldn't they be supporting each individual sect by respecting people's own tradition instead of bombarding them with their ways when they have no right to do so? The Dalai Lama, a figure who is supposed to protect the interests of his spiritual community, ensuring there is harmony and mutual understanding not dictate them!

Another thing is if there is 2 Karmapas, one recognized by the Dalai Lama Karmapa Urgyen Trinley and the other  Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje... so if you don't support the Dalai Lama's recognized Karmapa, then in a way are you not disrespecting HHDL and breaking your samaya with him if he is one of your Gurus? Hence why isn't this made in to a huge issue like Dorje Shugden? Why so double standards????

I'm not sure the CTA can continue this way after His Holiness passes, definitely not be allowed by Sharmapa, that's for sure.

Ensapa

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Re: Is it interference?
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2013, 07:52:15 AM »

I do not believe that the responsibility of this misinformation is solely the CTA's fault, although they play a large role in it. As Dharma practitioners, it is our responsibility to check out and not merely listen to people feeding us information. In recent years, the Dalai Lama himself gave a talk in Dharamsala had expressed that those given up DS practice has checked and agreed on the harm of this practice, and that all those decided to give up their practice is based entirely by their choice, and only their choice. (Of course, we all disagree with that)

What I am disgusted about the CTA is their inconsistent and unjust actions towards DS practitioners. How I look at the ban in a positive light is that it is a huge teaching all by itself... it is not difficult to see that what we are going through is a practice in perfecting the 6 paramitas. By the time the ban is released, DS would take off in Tibetan Buddhism faster than ever.

How many Dharma practitioners would actually check these days? Even when they check, it is also very biased. Consider this: when people are new to the Dharma and they dont know anything about Buddhism, and the CTA paints their own picture of what the Dharma is to these newbies who know nothing about the Dharma, and eventually they become too lazy to investigate and just accept anyone who sounds convincing enough, or who says what they want to hear. This is CTA's fault, directly, or rather their PR machine that is spreading all the lies and misinformation to confuse people who are new to Tibetan Buddhism and who do not know much about the whole process and everything else. The amount of 'tibetan buddhists' who think that Dharma practice is all about receiving initiations and chanting mantras that i have met is literally everywhere other than my Guru's center who really took the time to explain what are they all about. CTA's misinformation about Dorje Shugden will only lead them lower and lower.

diamond girl

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Re: Is it interference?
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2013, 10:30:58 PM »
This is definitely an interesting topic stirring my mind to think after reading through all the shared comments here... Thank you all for expressing yourselves explicitly. This forum is really a melting pot of topics to educate and inform many.

I cannot help but think that these two issues - Karmapa and Dorje Shugden - are politically twisted. Perhaps even economically. I would like to think more political since you do not see huge developments like how the Christians do their thing... Anyway, do not get me started on this...

Staying on the subject in hand. I strongly think it is definitely political (thus I hold the mismanagement of CTA with their baseless hidden agenda at fault), and also skewed for China. It all links to China.

1) the Karmapa with Dalai Lama's "approval" is also China approved. You mean that China and HHDL can agree on something?
2) banning of Dorje Shugden by HHDL will only propel this Protector to flourish in China since China accepts what HHDL rejects.

What is this Politically twisted plot? I do believe the theory that banning Dorje Shugden is the best promotional gimmick to keep the practice alive and growing. Bad publicity sells.

So, has the Dalai Lama planned all along to plant a religious leader in China (although not Gelug thus further away association from HHDL who is Gelug, making Karmapa more palatable to the Chinese) and also the most swift protector in China to save them from their spiritually decaying society.

Perhaps for HHDL it is not interference but planning ahead, beyond what our unenlightened minds to understand, for China to have Buddhism through Karmapa and protection by Dorje Shugden? I am sure one day when it all exposed it would be that simple...

Ensapa

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Re: Is it interference?
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2013, 07:30:40 AM »
The Dalai Lama has interfered with the standard practices of Gelug of late which he has not before. No previous Dalai Lamas picked the Ganden Tripa nor did they pick their own choice of abbots. Both positions are voted in by the sangha members of the monastery. It is only the current Dalai Lama who appointed his own choice of Ganden Tripa and abbot. The abbot that he has appointed, Jangchup Choden isnt exactly the best choice (read: http://www.dorjeshugden.com/forum/index.php?topic=1927.0) and the Ganden Tripa he has appointed is...well (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/forum/index.php?topic=966.0). The Ganden Tripa traditionally makes decisions for the whole of Gelug and he is the representative of Lama Tsongkhapa on earth...but looks like Gelug will be suppressed even further until the tenures of these two individuals in these positions end...

Tenzin Gyatso

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Re: Is it interference?
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2013, 09:44:04 AM »

Well if the Gelugs are so 'against' HHDL 'interfering, then why don't they just tell him to stop interfering? All the Gaden Tripas, Abbots, Geshes, Tulkus, Scholars can all tell HHDL nicely, we can run our own show. You just fight for Tibet's freedom. But they don't.  Because they want to be advised and led by HHDL. See it that way?  ;)
After all, there are millions of Gelugs and monks. If they stop listening to him, then what can HHDL do? Nothing. They listen to him because they realize his ocean like wisdom, compassion and unending work for others. The whole world recognizes that except for small pockets of dhogyal followers.

 :-\

The Dalai Lama has interfered with the standard practices of Gelug of late which he has not before. No previous Dalai Lamas picked the Ganden Tripa nor did they pick their own choice of abbots. Both positions are voted in by the sangha members of the monastery. It is only the current Dalai Lama who appointed his own choice of Ganden Tripa and abbot. The abbot that he has appointed, Jangchup Choden isnt exactly the best choice (read: http://www.dorjeshugden.com/forum/index.php?topic=1927.0) and the Ganden Tripa he has appointed is...well (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/forum/index.php?topic=966.0). The Ganden Tripa traditionally makes decisions for the whole of Gelug and he is the representative of Lama Tsongkhapa on earth...but looks like Gelug will be suppressed even further until the tenures of these two individuals in these positions end...

Ensapa

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Re: Is it interference?
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2013, 10:27:23 AM »

Well if the Gelugs are so 'against' HHDL 'interfering, then why don't they just tell him to stop interfering? All the Gaden Tripas, Abbots, Geshes, Tulkus, Scholars can all tell HHDL nicely, we can run our own show. You just fight for Tibet's freedom. But they don't.  Because they want to be advised and led by HHDL. See it that way?  ;)
After all, there are millions of Gelugs and monks. If they stop listening to him, then what can HHDL do? Nothing. They listen to him because they realize his ocean like wisdom, compassion and unending work for others. The whole world recognizes that except for small pockets of dhogyal followers.

 :-\

Because nobody realizes that it is interference due to the fact that they lack knowledge on what is really going on. Even among the Gelugs, nobody knows about Ganden Tripa so they automatically assume that the Dalai Lama is the head. I dont think anyone can measure up to the good deeds that the Dalai Lama has done to preserve Tibetan Buddhism which is why all Tibetans and the monastics follow his lead, but it does not mean that his words can overwrite our Guru's. The Dalai Lama has never been this powerful in history if you read Tibet's history, so isnt that a bit odd? Im just pointing out his interference, im not saying that its wrong or bad or anything tho. why are you jumping the gun?