Author Topic: Thupten Jinpa's comments  (Read 30644 times)

dsiluvu

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Thupten Jinpa's comments
« on: May 17, 2013, 08:43:08 PM »
Here is an interesting comment by the very person the article Thubten Jinpa Prostrates to his Guru’s Throne was written about. http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/features/thubten-jinpa-prostrates-to-his-gurus-throne/

Well what do you guys think and make out of his statement?

I guess it must have stirred some waves for him to be alerted to check out the article and hence made such a comment. It does not come as a surprised to me what he said, he obviously have to since he is after all His Holiness the Dalai Lama's official translator. If he says anything opposite, it would be a huge slap in HHDL's face... so what do you expect???



Quote
Thupten Jinpa

April 23, 2013

   

To the Editor and Publisher of http://www.Dorjeshugden.com

Recently someone drew my attention to an article written by one Mar Nee and posted on your website, entitled “Thubten Jinpa Prostrates to his Guru’s Throne.” The aim of this article seems to be to exploit the meaning of my recent visit to pay respects my late teacher Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche’s stupa at Ganden monastery. I must voice strong objections to your article, especially its portrayal of my views concerning Shugden practice.

Let me begin by first pointing out some of the factual errors in the said article. The piece begins by asserting that Thubten Jinpa “long suffered a grave separation from his root Guru, H.E. Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche.” Further down, it continues, “Throughout all these years (meaning ever since I began serving as His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s principal English translator) Thubten Jinpa never openly returned to Zemey Labrang, the home and official seat of his root Guru. It was as if Zemey Rinpoche was never part of Ganden Monastery.”

These statements are completely false. I first began serving His Holiness the Dalai Lama as his principal translator in 1985, and left for England to study at Cambridge University in 1989. After completion of my undergraduate studies I returned to Ganden, which was then followed by my second sojourn at Cambridge when I did my PhD. Throughout all these years, I continued to visit Zemey Labrang, financially supported Rinpoche’s household, supervised the editing of Rinpoche’s collected works, and finally oversaw the cremation ceremony after Rinpoche’s passing in 1996. Whatever the author may have heard or imagined I served my late teacher Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche to the last.

The article also attempts to portray an extremely negative image of relationship between Zemey Rinpoche and His Holiness. The author writes, “True to his word, the Dalai Lama never spoke to Zemey Rinpoche again; all of Zemey Rinpoche’s sincerest requests for audience were denied.”

This, again, is blatantly untrue. Yes, as it is common knowledge, His Holiness was deeply displeased by the appearance of the now infamous Yellow Book, and spoke strongly about his disappointment. However, because of his genuine compassion, His Holiness later forgave Rinpoche and kindly granted numerous private audiences during his visits to Ganden and Drepung monasteries in southern India. I was myself present at some of these audiences. Rinpoche never wavered in his devotion to His Holiness, regardless of what others might suggest. On my part too, serving His Holiness the Dalai Lama as his principal translator has been the greatest honor in my life. Whilst my late teacher Zemey Rinpoche was definitely pleased to see me have the honor to serve His Holiness, it’s utterly untrue, as claimed by the article, that the only reason I continue to serve His Holiness is to honor the instruction of Rinpoche.

The most disturbing aspect of the article, for me personally, is the suggestion that somehow I support the practice of Shugden, simply by virtue of the fact that I went to pay respect to the stupa of my late teacher Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche. This assertion clearly demonstrates how the author is completely ignorant of my thoughts on the Shugden issue. That I held critical views on Shugden practice, and for that matter propitiation of worldly protectors in general, even when I was a monk at Ganden is something everyone who knew me well were cognizant of. I have also shared with my late teacher how I felt it to be unfortunate that he happened to pen the controversial Yellow Book. The irony of the situation is that Zemey Rinpoche himself was never an ardent practitioner of worldly protectors in general, let alone Shugden. I lived with Rinpoche for eleven years, in the same house, so I should know.

The suggestion that, because I continue to honor my teacher Zemey Rinpoche’s memory means that I uncritically embrace everything that Rinpoche did is most naïve. I have long been critical of Shugden practice and nothing has made me change this standpoint. Also, I reject the suggestion made by this article that my visit to pay respects to Rinpoche’s stupa somehow meant that I continue to support the current Zemey Labrang. When, despite all my efforts to the contrary, the current members of Zemey Labrang chose to leave Ganden Shartse monastery to join what is now called Shar Ganden – whose raison d’etre is to continue to propagate Shugden practice – I told them in no uncertain terms that I no longer wished to be associated with the current labrang. They are free to make their own choice, so too am I. My loyalty is to the memory of my late teacher, not to the current Zemey Labrang.

In view of the above, I am asking you to remove this article from your website or at least correct the errors I have listed above. If you choose to leave the article as it is, you must then post my response so that your readers can have the opportunity to hear my side of the story as well. Thank you.

Thupten Jinpa
23 April, 2013

Big Uncle

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Re: Thupten Jinpa's comments
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2013, 07:33:22 AM »
The comment is interesting and I would like to point out that he did indeed return to his lama's ladrang to pay respects to his Guru's throne. I wonder if he had the fortune to meet his Guru's incarnation in China but I guess not considering his close connections with the Dalai Lama would have complicated things at the immigration. I don't think people can comment much about this article but I do believe that this comment was written by Thubten Jinpa himself. I am not sure I agree with his views of what his Guru held on Shugden.

He may think that Shugden is a worldly deity but I doubt very much Zemey Rinpoche thought of Shugden as a worldly deity. I am sure he would have shared similar opinions with Pabongka Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche. As a Tulku of Gaden, Zemey Rinpoche definitely wouldn't have a thing for propitiating worldly deities. But then again, did he really consider Dorje Shugden to be worldly? I am pretty sure he would not.

Ensapa

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Re: Thupten Jinpa's comments
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2013, 07:42:24 AM »
Hmm...is that just me or I sense that Thupten Jinpa trying to do damage control on his part by denying that  his Guru ever practiced Dorje Shugden? This is weird because if everyone else knows that Zemey Rinpoche is a strong Dorje Shugden practitioner but he says that he is not, there is no consistency there. If he declares that he is not close to Zemey Rinpoche, then people would frown upon his lack of Guru devotion. So to save face and to stay on the Dalai Lama's good side, he says that Zemey Rinpoche never practiced Dorje Shugden. Problem is, he forgets that everyone else already knows what is going on, so his feeble attempt at distorting and twisting the facts does not work.

vajratruth

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Re: Thupten Jinpa's comments
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2013, 10:35:44 PM »
Firstly it is wonderful to have Thupten Jinpa visit and leave his comments on this website.  I was wondering if that "someone" who drew Thupten Jinpa's attention to the article might also have brought some pressure to be bear on the esteemed scholar to "realign" the position of those seen in HHDL's close circle vis-a-vis the Shugden issue. But this is purely speculation of course.

My immediate thought as I read his comments, was how compassionate it was of the Dalai Lama to forgive Zemey Rinpoche although I am still somewhat at a loss as to why anyone needs to be forgiven for quietly worshipping a deity he, like so many great masters, believes in and have propitiated all his life. I note that Zemey Rinpoche despite being side-lined by the Dalai Lama never refuted his faith in the Protector. I would imagine that had Zemey Rinpoche truly thought of Dorje Shugden as merely a minor worldly deity and never took the deity seriously (as inferred by Jinpa), he would have quickly "corrected" his position so as not to continue to displease the Dalai Lama. As yet, Zemey Rinpoche never did even in the face of the Dalai Lama's furor. This is quite inconsistent a stance to take for someone who reverred the Dalai Lama, unless there was a bigger reason to maintain his worship of Shugden. For example, Zemey Rinpoche's unwavering faith in the Protector as an enlightened and crucial deity.

It would have been wonderful had the Dalai Lama also extended his compassion to other Shugden lamas, monks and lay practitioners as His Holiness did Zemey Rinpoche. Perhaps the course of history that witnessed the birth of an unholy schism within the sangha and the sad persecutions of many, might have been avoided. In my simple mind, I see no reason why "special treatment" was accorded Zemey Rinpoche and indeed Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche by the Dalai Lama without them having first to denounce the Protector. Again this action  is quite inconsistent with the behavior of a compassionate lama who practices equanimity. Again, this is speculation.

It would also appear that within Zemey's Rinpoche's ladrang, Thupten Jinpa is the odd man out, as the only member of Zemey Rinpoche's household who did not view Dorje Shugden as a Buddha. The rest risked life and limb to join Shar Ganden so that they can continue in a practice they were prepared to stake their lives on. Again, this is very inconsistent with the statement that Zemey Rinpoche was not an ardent practitioners of Shugden. Obviously the rest of his household, bar Jinpa, were and continue to be.

Finally, it would good that Thupten Jinpa recognized that he had the freedom to choose where he stands with Shugden. But where he errs gravely is his failure to acknowledge that Shugden practitioners, including his close Dharma brothers and indeed his Guru did not enjoy such freedom. They decision to continue in a practice they believed in, came with a heavy price. Why is someone who is aligned with the official position free to choose and others aren't?

Ensapa

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Re: Thupten Jinpa's comments
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2013, 05:38:08 AM »
Firstly it is wonderful to have Thupten Jinpa visit and leave his comments on this website.  I was wondering if that "someone" who drew Thupten Jinpa's attention to the article might also have brought some pressure to be bear on the esteemed scholar to "realign" the position of those seen in HHDL's close circle vis-a-vis the Shugden issue. But this is purely speculation of course.

My immediate thought as I read his comments, was how compassionate it was of the Dalai Lama to forgive Zemey Rinpoche although I am still somewhat at a loss as to why anyone needs to be forgiven for quietly worshipping a deity he, like so many great masters, believes in and have propitiated all his life. I note that Zemey Rinpoche despite being side-lined by the Dalai Lama never refuted his faith in the Protector. I would imagine that had Zemey Rinpoche truly thought of Dorje Shugden as merely a minor worldly deity and never took the deity seriously (as inferred by Jinpa), he would have quickly "corrected" his position so as not to continue to displease the Dalai Lama. As yet, Zemey Rinpoche never did even in the face of the Dalai Lama's furor. This is quite inconsistent a stance to take for someone who reverred the Dalai Lama, unless there was a bigger reason to maintain his worship of Shugden. For example, Zemey Rinpoche's unwavering faith in the Protector as an enlightened and crucial deity.

It would have been wonderful had the Dalai Lama also extended his compassion to other Shugden lamas, monks and lay practitioners as His Holiness did Zemey Rinpoche. Perhaps the course of history that witnessed the birth of an unholy schism within the sangha and the sad persecutions of many, might have been avoided. In my simple mind, I see no reason why "special treatment" was accorded Zemey Rinpoche and indeed Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche by the Dalai Lama without them having first to denounce the Protector. Again this action  is quite inconsistent with the behavior of a compassionate lama who practices equanimity. Again, this is speculation.

It would also appear that within Zemey's Rinpoche's ladrang, Thupten Jinpa is the odd man out, as the only member of Zemey Rinpoche's household who did not view Dorje Shugden as a Buddha. The rest risked life and limb to join Shar Ganden so that they can continue in a practice they were prepared to stake their lives on. Again, this is very inconsistent with the statement that Zemey Rinpoche was not an ardent practitioners of Shugden. Obviously the rest of his household, bar Jinpa, were and continue to be.

Finally, it would good that Thupten Jinpa recognized that he had the freedom to choose where he stands with Shugden. But where he errs gravely is his failure to acknowledge that Shugden practitioners, including his close Dharma brothers and indeed his Guru did not enjoy such freedom. They decision to continue in a practice they believed in, came with a heavy price. Why is someone who is aligned with the official position free to choose and others aren't?

Unfortunately, as much as I would like to trust Thutben Jinpa's account and his version of the story, there are many things in his version of the story that does not match up to what everyone else already knows, like for example the fact that Zemey Rinpoche was ostracized by the Dalai Lama. If the Dalai Lama has really forgiven Zemey Rinpoche, wouldnt that be made known to the staff of his ladrang and also to the other Dorje Shugden practitioners around? Why is it that Thutben Jinpa's 'story' is inconsistent with the rest of the already known and established facts? Obviously, something is wrong somewhere.

vajratruth

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Re: Thupten Jinpa's comments
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2013, 05:54:39 AM »
Ensapa, it cannot be easy to be in Thupten Jinpa's position. After all he does have a responsibility to the Dalai Lama and they have both done tremendous service to spread the Dharma worldwide. I do not see Thupten Jinpa any less as a great Buddhist scholar and I accept why his version of the story is full of holes, by necessity to protect the Dalai Lama's ban, which itself is incongruous with logic.

What I do appreciate is how Jinpa remains loyal to the memory of his Guru and I would not be at all surprised if he has his own set of secret practices. After all, how can one continue to revere a Guru without also reverring the Guru's Protector. Therefore Jinpa's side of the story may very well be designed for public consumption.

It would be beneficial if Thupten Jinpa were to share some insights as to the truth behind the ban, and not the reasons that have been offered and subsequently debunked over and over again. Anyway, I hope to see his presence regularly on this website. At least, we know that the right people are reading what so many have to say about the ban.

Ensapa

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Re: Thupten Jinpa's comments
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2013, 06:31:37 AM »
Ensapa, it cannot be easy to be in Thupten Jinpa's position. After all he does have a responsibility to the Dalai Lama and they have both done tremendous service to spread the Dharma worldwide. I do not see Thupten Jinpa any less as a great Buddhist scholar and I accept why his version of the story is full of holes, by necessity to protect the Dalai Lama's ban, which itself is incongruous with logic.

What I do appreciate is how Jinpa remains loyal to the memory of his Guru and I would not be at all surprised if he has his own set of secret practices. After all, how can one continue to revere a Guru without also reverring the Guru's Protector. Therefore Jinpa's side of the story may very well be designed for public consumption.

It would be beneficial if Thupten Jinpa were to share some insights as to the truth behind the ban, and not the reasons that have been offered and subsequently debunked over and over again. Anyway, I hope to see his presence regularly on this website. At least, we know that the right people are reading what so many have to say about the ban.

It would have been so much better if he would have not slinked around the truth and not twist the story around although his position wouldnt be one that I would want to be in but whatever happened to having integrity and telling the truth? He does not need to tell every single truth, but at least not spin facts about Zemey Rinpoche and the like. He could have said "Although Zemey Rinpoche engaged in Dorje Shugden practice, i have not engaged it in anymore to respect the Dalai Lama's wishes" which is fine because the Dalai Lama himself was an ex practitioner.

DharmaDefender

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Re: Thupten Jinpa's comments
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2013, 03:37:32 PM »
Ensapa, it cannot be easy to be in Thupten Jinpa's position. After all he does have a responsibility to the Dalai Lama and they have both done tremendous service to spread the Dharma worldwide. I do not see Thupten Jinpa any less as a great Buddhist scholar and I accept why his version of the story is full of holes, by necessity to protect the Dalai Lama's ban, which itself is incongruous with logic.

What I do appreciate is how Jinpa remains loyal to the memory of his Guru and I would not be at all surprised if he has his own set of secret practices. After all, how can one continue to revere a Guru without also reverring the Guru's Protector. Therefore Jinpa's side of the story may very well be designed for public consumption.

It would be beneficial if Thupten Jinpa were to share some insights as to the truth behind the ban, and not the reasons that have been offered and subsequently debunked over and over again. Anyway, I hope to see his presence regularly on this website. At least, we know that the right people are reading what so many have to say about the ban.

I have to agree with you Vajratruth it cant be easy for him. I have to say though, its interesting that he or some of his associates are reading DorjeShugden.com...now why would they be doing that?

Q

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Re: Thupten Jinpa's comments
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2013, 06:05:40 PM »
Good response from Thupten Jinpa himself. I believe in every story, it is essential to learn of both sides of the story.

Although some points that was discussed and cleared by Thubten Jinpa is arguably true, such as he did probably went back to Zemey labrang and served/supported and stayed loyal to Zemey Rinpoche to the end... however I must agree with Vajratruth that if Zemey Rinpoche truly did see DS as a minor 'worldly god' then Zemey Rinpoche would have corrected his stance and given up DS... but instead he held on and continued. After all, if it was not true, why did Zemey Labrang joined Shar Gaden?

Also, if it was common knowledge that Zemey Rinpoche was largely ostracized due to the yellow book, then why is it not common knowledge that Zemey Rinpoche had HHDL's pardon and forgiveness? Why is this important point kept in a hush? Is this some type of manipulation method that the CTA is using to ignite fear in all DS practitioners and use this scenario as an example to others on how DS practitioners should be treated?

Thubten Jinpa also mentioned that his loyalty is to the previous Zemey Rinpoche and not the current one. This I do not agree... as if all Tibetan Buddhists have such an attitude, we don't have to bother searching for Tulkus anymore.

With everything said... I think it is also unfair to say too much, Thubten Jinpa is already in a very difficult position being in between of the whole mess of the ban on DS practice... But then again, it is difficult to read such a comment from one of Zemey Rinpoche's student... they say it is a choice, whether we choose the Dalai Lama or DS. But in actuality, it is the Dalai Lama or our Guru (example Trijang Rinpoche etc.)... and it is really not much of a choice when one of the choice is deprived of equality and condemned.

Ensapa

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Re: Thupten Jinpa's comments
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2013, 04:44:16 AM »
Although everyone  here agrees that Thutben Jinpa is in a difficult situation, the one thing i cannot agree with is him twisting the facts around with regards to Zemey Rinpoche. Zemey Rinpoche never regarded Dorje Shugden as a worldly god, so why does he say that he did? why is there a need to distort facts just to appear to be politically correct? Should a respected scholar resort to distorting facts just to secure his own political future or his job or his social status? or should he tell the truth and then state his position? Is a scholar who lacks integrity still considered a good scholar?

DharmaDefender

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Re: Thupten Jinpa's comments
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2013, 06:53:11 PM »
Here is an interesting comment by the very person the article Thubten Jinpa Prostrates to his Guru’s Throne was written about. http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/features/thubten-jinpa-prostrates-to-his-gurus-throne/

Well what do you guys think and make out of his statement?

I guess it must have stirred some waves for him to be alerted to check out the article and hence made such a comment. It does not come as a surprised to me what he said, he obviously have to since he is after all His Holiness the Dalai Lama's official translator. If he says anything opposite, it would be a huge slap in HHDL's face... so what do you expect???



Interestingly dsiluvu, Thupten Jinpa seems to have caught the attention of the original author Mar Nee...it seems he (or she?) has plenty to say about Thupten-las comment. What do you guys make of this new development? I posted a follow-up thats nowhere near as comprehensive as Mar Nees, just wondering why if the Dalai Lama forgave Zemey Rinpoche, that no photographs of Zemey Rinpoche and His Holiness exist? And how come no one else seems to know about this forgiveness period, even the Tibetan population themselves? How come the Tibetan population only focuses on the Yellow Book and how it exploded into the ban? Was the forgiveness deliberately kept from the Tibetans so they would continue to suppress Dorje Shugden?

Whatever it is, methinks a good debate is about to take off here ;D


Quote
Dear Thupten Jinpa,

Firstly, I would like to thank you for your participation in this dialogue on Dorje Shugden, and in particular, the role of your esteemed guru, His Holiness Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, who no doubt was one of the greatest Buddhist masters to have ever lived. Zemey Rinpoche was clear to everyone to be a highly attained lama and scholar, not least of all, to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. And therefore it is important that we are precise about Zemey Rinpoche’s stance on the Dorje Shugden as it would be a good reflection of who the Protector really is. A great master like your guru, Zemey Rinpoche, would never practice false Dharma as I am sure you would agree.

Now, with reference to your response dated 23rd April 2013 to my article that appeared in dorjeshugden.com, I would like to humbly refute a number of points you raised. Let me first establish the authenticity of the information I will be sharing herein. I have been a long-term sponsor of Ganden Shartse, Dokhang Khamtsen as well as Shar Ganden and have along the way established close relationships within all three monasteries, which I have kept till this day. Therefore, the sources of the information I am presenting here are direct and first-hand, and also originate from many monks who were personally involved in numerous events within the monasteries, some of which you too were present at.

As I am a firm believer that everyone deserves to be heard and to have access to accurate and impartial information, I have requested the Administrator of dorjeshugden.com to preserve your comments to my original article verbatim, as well as any subsequent dialogue following from this reply so that readers can form their own opinion.

I would like to repudiate certain points you made in your comments and offer instead the facts of events as per direct witnesses’ accounts:

1.   It came as a shock to me at first when I read your comments which was clearly designed to distance yourself from Dorje Shugden when in fact even as a young man, you have had a close relationship with the Protector. It is quite well known that from your early age, Dorje Shugden recognized your special potential and duly requested Zemey Rinpoche to nurture and protect you. Dorje Shugden had predicted that you would grow to become famous in the future and proceed to perform many great Dharmic deeds, as you are doing now in collaboration with the Dalai Lama. As is known, you met Zemey Rinpoche in Bylakuppe where you requested to be his student after which you were enrolled in Ganden. It was not long after that when you met the Protector himself through Choyang Kuten whom Zemey Rinpoche consulted frequently on all important issues. That Zemey Rinpoche trusted Dorje Shugden and often consulted the Protector via the oracle of Gaden Shartse was common knowledge and it was Dorje Shugden himself who asked Zemey Rinpoche to look after you. My source and many other monks witnessed this personally and in addition you have in the past confirmed the story by recounting the same to a number of monks within the monastery;

2.   As to your claim that Zemey Rinpoche was never an ardent Shugden practitioner, may I serve to correct your recollection on this matter. It is well known within the Ganden community that Zemey Rinpoche himself performed monthly Dorje Shugden pujas at his ladrang, and many monks were involved over the years in the preparation as well as participation of the pujas. By your very words as left in your comments, all of Zemey ladrang continued to practice Shugden and accordingly have risked the ire of the establishment by moving to Shar Ganden. Now, why would Zemey Rinpoche’s entire ladrang do that had Zemey Rinpoche himself not been anything but an ardent practitioner of Dorje Shugden? In addition, and as you very well know, members of any ladrang would only undertake a practice that has been taught and upheld by the master of the ladrang himself. And again, as evidenced by the readiness of the entire Zemey ladrang, with the exception of yourself, to move to Shar Ganden, Dorje Shugden was clearly not a minor practice.

3.   That Zemey Rinpoche was indeed a loyal practitioner of Shugden and saw the Protector as nothing less than a Buddha is affirmed by many of his students, of which you were one, and some of whom are even recognized elite Dharma masters who held their Vinaya vows unbroken to the end. These include illustrious names such as Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche and Kundeling Rinpoche. Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche was of course an internationally well-known and highly learned scholar of the highest grade who is also a Shugden lama. Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche had on many occasions offered Tenshug to your guru Zemey Rinpoche in Zemey Ladrang at Gaden Shartse itself, indicating his supreme reverence of Zemey Rinpoche, also a well-known Shugden lama. Of great significance is that Zemey Rinpoche not only accepted the Tenshug but allowed Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche to enter Zemey Ladrang to prepare for and perform the long life ceremony from one great Shugden lama to another great Shugden lama.

The reality of Zemey Rinpoche as a great Shugden lama, as verified by his other esteemed students and household members, is very much incongruous with your recollection. In fact, from my observation, you appear to be the only person who holds this point of view.

4.   Moreover, the practice of Dorje Shugden was not merely a Zemey ladrang affair. Again, many senior monks, especially those above 40 years of age today, have witnessed Zemey Rinpoche performing Dorje Shugden pujas alongside with Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. While Trijang Rinpoche was undoubtedly a great Shugden practitioner, and while the rest of Zemey ladrang were also devoted Shugden practitioners as you acknowledged, it would be illogical to suggest that your guru, the great master, Zemey Rinpoche would pass on an entire Protector practice to his own students, received directly from his own master, without Zemey Rinpoche personally being an ardent practitioner.

5.   I would also like to draw attention to a peculiar statement in your comment which inferred that Shugden was merely a worldly god. If indeed that is your stance, you would in fact be suggesting that one of the greatest Tibetan Buddhist scholars of all time Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche erred when he composed the volumes of his personal writings, ‘Sungbum’ of which one volume was dedicated to the Dorje Shugden practice, lineage, background and history. In this Sungbum, Trijang Rinpoche had explained about mundane and supra-mundane protectors and clearly stated that Dorje Shugden is a supra-mundane deity manifesting as a mundane protector. In particular, Trijang Rinpoche clearly said that there are two categories of Protectors; (i) mundane protectors and (ii) supra-mundane protectors. Within the supra-mundane protectors there are Palden Lhamo, Mahakala, Kalarupa and so on. Within the second category, there are two further divisions: (a) mundane protectors with mundane consciousness. These are those sworn to oath by superior lamas to help in certain tasks, for example, Nechung Dorje Drakden would fall into this category. As for the second category, (b) supra-mundane protectors are in fact emanations of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for example Setrap, Dorje Shugden etc.

Trijang Rinpoche clearly stated without a doubt that Dorje Shugden falls within the second category and the second division which is Dorje Shugden appearing as a mundane protector but is in fact an emanation of Manjushri.

With due respect to you, I like many, would tend to believe Trijang Rinpoche, who was not only a scholar of divine caliber but also a tutor to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. To say that Trijang Rinpoche was wrong is also to suggest that some of what the Dalai Lama learned was also flawed;

6.   There is no doubt that Zemey Rinpoche and all of his ladrang placed tremendous faith in Dorje Shugden. It has been told to me personally by the senior monks in Ganden Shartse that many people would sponsor the Tenkhang (Dorje Shugden Association of Ganden Shartse, formed by Zong Rinpoche) in order that Dorje Shugden pujas would be conducted for their safe travels. The same monks recall clearly that you personally would similarly offer sponsorship to the Association prior to your travels on the Dalai Lama’s international engagements and again sponsor thanksgiving Shugden pujas upon your safe return. What is of particular interest is the sequence of events based on your own accounts. You mentioned that you disagreed with Zemey Rinpoche’s writing of the Yellow Book, which was published in 1973, and yet the senior monks of Ganden recalled your sponsoring Shugden pujas for your travels from 1985 onwards when you are supposedly to have voiced your disagreement with the protector practice.

There are in fact many other additional points to debunk your claim that Zemey Rinpoche was never a strong Dorje Shugden practitioner and I list here only some for our readers’ consideration:

(a) Zemey Rinpoche was a close student of Trijang Rinpoche who clearly propitiated Dorje Shugden in the highest regard and therefore it is highly unlikely that a close and loyal student of Trijang Rinpoche would disagree with his guru and take Shugden to be merely a worldly god. Zemey Rinpoche’s sense of loyalty is legendary which he demonstrated by his continuing reverence of the Dalai Lama even after he was ostracized by His Holiness. Would a high lama with this standard of loyalty treat his own guru’s protector to be anything else but what Trijang Rinpoche knew Dorje Shugden to be?

(b) Zemey Rinpoche’s writing of the controversial Yellow Book was in itself an act of faith in what Trijang Rinpoche told Zemey Rinpoche of Dorje Shugden. Why would Zemey Rinpoche write the book otherwise, and indeed why did Zemey Rinpoche not deny the contents of the Yellow Book even after it landed him on the wrong side of the Dalai Lama’s favour? And why after the Shugden monks were being persecuted did the entire Zemey ladrang continue with the practice, choosing instead to uproot themselves to join a condemned minority in Shar Ganden and risk provoking the ire of the Dalai Lama and anti-Shugden “witch hunters”? What was there to gain by such a drastic move if not to preserve their devotion to Zemey Rinpoche and their oaths to the Protector? In fact, that Zemey ladrang continued with the practice and in doing so, forego your kind sponsorship and the patronage of the Dalai Lama is very consistent with the fact the Zemey Rinpoche was a great Shugden lama.

(c) You referred to Dorje Shugden as a worldly protector and yet it is not the culture of Ganden to focus on and propagate the practice of worldly gods. As you know, the protectors that Ganden propitiates are Kalarupa, Setrab, and Palden Lhamo; all of whom are enlightened. Therefore it would be unlikely for Zemey ladrang to undertake a practice in a major way, which was inconsistent with the culture of Ganden.

(d) Till this day, Zemey Rinpoche’s own monastery, Yanding Monastery in Tibet, is a well-known Shugden monastery that has produced such great Shugden lamas such as the 101st Ganden Trisur, His Holiness Lundgrik Namgyal Rinpoche, a Dorje Shugden stalwart. Again, the name Zemey Rinpoche is closely associated with Dorje Shugden.

Finally, if it is true that the Dalai Lama out of compassion forgave Zemey Rinpoche for what His Holiness perceived to be a transgression against His Holiness’s opinion on Dorje Shugden, as you claimed, then it is indeed welcome news. But that itself raises another question. Could not the same compassion of the Dalai Lama which one would correctly assume to be boundless, not have extended to the other great Shugden lamas who have given their entire lives in service of the Dharma, such as Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche, Gangchen Rinpoche, Gonsar Rinpoche, Dagom Rinpoche and many others, some of whom saw the end of their days in sorrow because of the ban on a deity they know to be Manjushri. Could not the same forgiveness be extended to the monks of Shar Ganden and Serpom Monastery, as well as the masses of lay practitioners around the world? Would that not have healed the fissures and remove the schism that has divided the holy monastic community under the Dalai Lama’s watch?

While I may empathise that you would like to distance yourself from the Dorje Shugden issue because of politically correct reasons, I have to stand by what I know of the facts at hand – namely that H.E. Zemey Rinpoche was a tremendously renowned Shugden lama and that Dorje Shugden is an enlightened being, both of which I have substantiated as above. I am sure that you, as many Dorje Shugden practitioners and I do, wish for this illogical ban on Dorje Shugden to be lifted as soon as possible so that we may be true to ourselves, our gurus and our most sacred Dharma Protector.

Mar Nee
« Last Edit: May 21, 2013, 06:55:33 PM by DharmaDefender »

Ensapa

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Re: Thupten Jinpa's comments
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2013, 08:49:11 AM »
OOh! Mar Need delivered a beautiful and blistering retort to Thutben Jinpa's comment!! And he/she highlighted all the inconsistencies brilliantly! I really love that reply because it would surely make Thutben Jinpa think twice before he releases another statement to try and cover up his own arse...it is pretty sad that he has to end up having to twist facts around. I mean, although one can understand that his position isnt easy at all, but still having to resort to twisting the facts around is still kinda despicable to me.

WisdomBeing

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Re: Thupten Jinpa's comments
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2013, 03:06:17 PM »
This is an interesting debate because i think that it raises the core issue of how difficult a position someone like Thupten Jinpa is placed in because of this unjustifiable ban. I know that Dorje Shugden practitioners may see him as a 'traitor' to the cause but I see him as someone who is as much a victim of circumstance as Dorje Shugden practitioners are.

He is unable to publicly declare allegiance to Dorje Shugden because of the close proximity to HH the Dalai Lama. It probably kills him inside but due to his devotion to his guru, Zemey Rinpoche, who told him to serve the Dalai Lama, he has to do what he has to do.

Perhaps when he retires, he will be like HH 101st Ganden Trisur Lungrik Namgyal and publicly announce his allegiance to Dorje Shugden. Until then, i am sure he has his reasons to say what he has said. The fact that his points are quite weak actually strengthens what Mar Nee has stated in the reply to Thupten Jinpa's comments. i do not envy Thupten Jinpa's position at all.
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

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Re: Thupten Jinpa's comments
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2013, 05:23:26 PM »
Excellent! Mar Nee's response is fantastic and with good examples and references. I like how Mar Nee reveals much of which regular people like us that are not connected to the monastery will not know much about, or even next to nothing. It is for this reason that CTA can lie and trick the general public for so long and even made people turn against many great Shugden lamas... The general tibetan are just mindless, they follow whatever the CTA says which is an obvious fact that although Buddhism is not truly practiced, but just a mere culture. True practitioners will not disparage their Gurus, and even if their Guru was HHDL in the first place, no true Dharma practitioner will bad mouth another's Guru... after all, we understand the karma that incurs in such action... to be apart from our very own Guru and we ourselves collect the karma to be distant from Dharma.

Now, what Mar Nee pointed out about Zemey Rinpoche, although I may not have insiders information, I must say that it is too logical to appear otherwise. Take for example Zemey Labrang has uprooted and moved to Shar Gaden. It would definitely be illogical for the whole of Zemey Labrang to make the move if:
1) they dont practice DS
2) Zemey Rinpoche don't practice DS
3) DS is not their main Dharma protector of which they have strong faith and trust in

Certainly with the move it is already obvious that Zemey Rinpoche practices DS and as a result so does His whole Labrang AND Yanding Monastery in Tibet, where many Great masters like the Gaden Trisur came from... All practices DS ie Kundeling Rinpoche and Dagom Rinpoche. For Thubten Jinpa to say that Zemey Rinpoche have hardly any regards for DS practice and he knows it because he lived with Zemey Rinpoche for many years... I can either deduce to the fact that Thubten Jinpa is either lying or he's blind. Since he's not blind... there u have have the answer.

The very fact that Zemey Rinpoche's Guru is Trijang Rinpoche already makes things very clear for us. Knowing how devoted Zemey Rinpoche is to His teachers, I would not think he is any less devoted to Trijang Rinpoche, and for that, how would one with such devotion give up a practice that was directly passed down from Trijang Rinpoche? I mean... we're talking about Zemey Rinpoche here, the very person that wrote the Yellow Book.

Anyway, on a side note, seeing how the Yellow book was supposed to be private and not for anyone to just take and read it in the first place, this emphasizes even more on how in Tibetan Buddhism... some secret practice just needs to be secret! Geez.... the person who leaked out the Yellow book really deserves a nice SLAP!

Now, on Thubten Jinpa's case... I seriously think he needs to represent his case with more facts and truth rather than what is wishes things would have or had been. It is so obvious that the people he's debating with knows the history and personal background of these lamas (including him!), and should there be an absence of a discussion on his part, I would take it that all of which Mar Nee has written is true to the point of no refute. In this case, we would then have won the debate.

Thank you Mar Nee, for your amazing write up filled with facts. You have just eliminated all the possibilities that surround this issue and have left the truth served on our plates, only a person that's in denial or wants to cover up the truth for their own personal agenda would keep quiet and not respond to your well written comment.

Ensapa

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Re: Thupten Jinpa's comments
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2013, 03:11:18 AM »
for those of us who still think that Thutben Jinpa's comments are forgivable given his current situation:

let us just take in comparison, Samdhong Rinpoche and the 101st Ganden Tripa who was also in his same situation:

neither Samdhong Rinpoche or the 101st Ganden Tripa made statements like Trijang Rinpoche regarded Dorje Shugden as a worldly god to save their political career. They kept quiet about that side of the story because everyone knows that their root Guru, Trijang Rinpoche regarded Dorje Shugden as an enlightened being. Thutben Jinpa on the other hand, said something like this. Why cant he just follow the footsteps and examples of these lamas if he was really devoted to his teacher? Why must he try to mislead others to save his own political career? This is the part that I do not understand. Why is there no integrity?