Author Topic: TWO OPEN LETTERS TO VENERABLE SAMDHONG RINPOCHE  (Read 3965 times)

beggar

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TWO OPEN LETTERS TO VENERABLE SAMDHONG RINPOCHE
« on: January 16, 2008, 08:47:15 AM »

Venerable Samdhong Rinpoche,

as far as i am aware, Chatreng is a region in Tibet where His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has many faithful disciples, who have among others requested His Holiness the Dalai Lama to compose the long life prayer quoted at the end of this message. Chatrengpa would therefore mean 'the one from Chatrengpa' - please correct me if i'm wrong; i am not from Tibet. What can be so wrong with someone choosing Chatrengpa as pen name that you request him without any explanation to change it?

The point i would like to make here is that we are trying very hard here not to succumb to mental modes of judgement, 'us against them', 'good versus evil', and so forth. Instead, we strive to share objective information and constructive criticism, something which in any democratic society legions of journalists and authors with access to unbiased facts and without fear of being ostracized or worse, would have provided en masse over the past twenty years. I am sure you agree that if this were the case, the image of our holy transmission lineage, its masters and monasteries would appear in a very different, much brighter light in the eyes of the world. This world, who consists now to a great extent of educated, independently thinking people, has learned at least as much about the Vajrayana vehicle to know that it depends entirely on a pure unbroken lineage and pure samaya.

While the general masses are still fascinated by the Shangri-la like image of Tibet and smiling monks, those who have actually entered the path of study and practice - tens- or hundred thousands - are profoundly shaken, confused and hurt to the core by the display of politics and power struggles which they had to witness to an ever increasing degree for two decades now, without a single rational or valid spiritual explanation. Many many many, venerable Samdhong Lama, keep up their outward practice but the true faith in the actual possibility of transformation has vanished from their hearts. And so many, too many to think of without despairing, have given up the Dharma altogether. You see, we are not tulkus with indelible Dharma imprints in our minds, most of us are beginners who felt the Buddhadharma with its logic and clarity could be our saving grace, who experienced the indescribable kindness and wisdom of our root Gurus and have therefore gained faith in our lineage. I think it would take a highly attained practitioner not to be severely disturbed if suddenly demanded to believe that our holy Lamas, their Lamas and their Lamas' Lamas have been demon worshippers, which is nothing else than saying they are entirely un-attained and in fact lower than us - after all, stupid as we were, at least we haven't worshipped demons before we met them!
It doesn't take much study to know that if this indeed were so, the simple fact of having taken refuge with any of these Lamas (are there any Gelug Lamas who aren't directly or indirectly disciples of Kyabjes Pabongkha, Trijang or Zong Dorje Changs???) would mean a one-way ticket to hell... and irreversibly so because refuge is a bond for all lives. Are the fates of countless sentient beings something to be played with and manipulated through devious misinformation and indirect hints with direct implications, by politicians who are by definition beyond morals and care for their subject, blinded by hunger for power as they are?

And if it is not politicians who are orchestrating this, can anybody explain to us why there hasn't been a SINGLE neutral public discussion or debate on the subject of Dharmapala Dorje Shugden, and the chances of it happening are getting less instead of more? It is absolutely unbelievable and indescribably detrimental to the flourishing of the Dharma that in a tradition famous for debate and checking any point of argument from all angles without bias, this has not EVER happened in Tibetan history until today, the 21st century, where we talk about democracy, respecting all spiritual traditions, on and on and on. There is not a day without Tibet, Buddhism, HH the Dalai Lama in the newspaper, on television and all over the internet. And yet, there is never a day with an open discussion about what has been become an open wound of doubt, loss of faith and fear in the minds of the millions of practitioners all over Tibet, India, Bhutan, Mongolia, China, Taiwan, North and South America, Europe with Dorje Shugden as their protector and - probably more important to you - the millions and millions of general masses who are starting to smell that something strange is happening, that the argumentation is utterly one sided and based purely on the reputation of HH the Dalai Lama and the power of his office. These people are beginning to say, "I don't wish to be catapulted back to medieval times and forced to blind belief in one dogma because supposedly God said so, only to maybe find that God turned out to be not God but a politician of religion. This is what i thought i left behind when i turned to Buddhism. Thanks but no thanks!"

You may laugh these people off as stupid Westerners, as many Tibetans do, but it is these people who give your government power now, media presence globally, daily and trillions of US$ of donations. Once the credibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama is ruined - because Tibetan Buddhism as a whole hinges on it - Tibet will be just another minority whom nobody cares about, and everyone will return to buying cheap shoes made in China with a happy conscience. Please realize that modern society is highly cynical, and once the flirt is over, the entire subject will be dropped like a hot potato and HH the Dalai Lama (never mind Je Tsongkhapa's tradition) will be filed as yet another failure and fraud and reason to give up spirituality altogether. Who could take responsibility for this?

As for those Westerners actually interested in the Dharma itself, allow me to use myself as an example. Having taken refuge, read countless books and heard many teachings by many holy Lamas, received empowerments which were given freely to anyone, my practice has been wavering at best, without actual application in daily life, without really understanding or heeding the fundamentals of our refuge commitments or mindfulness of karma. Twenty years i have wasted in this way.
Why is it that since the very evening i first practiced a sadhana of Dorje Shugden the importance of clean ethics has dawned on me, that i have suddenly found the determination and energy to muster real effort to subdue my body, speech, and mind? Why is it that my faith in the Buddhadharma and Je Tsongkhapa's teachings have finally become real, based on study and experience, however humble? Why is it that i have since met a Lama whom i KNOW can guide me all the way, and who teaches me ethics, contemplation on impermanence and karma again and again, whom i have never heard speaking a single negative word against any teacher or tradition, who perceives His Holiness the Dalai Lama as Chenrezig and never stops praising him? Why is it that since i've met this Lama my life has completely changed? Why is it that i want to study Lamrim? Why is it that i care for others more than i ever did before? Why is it that the Lojong teachings have become my guiding light, and i don't care if it takes me a thousand years to attain even the first point?
I wish to convey to you that i have started to propitiate Dorje Shugden without anyone, Lama or layperson, telling or advising me so. In fact, i was living in precisely the same environment as most of Western practitioners, where whatever HH the Dalai Lama says, or is said to have said, is the golden untouchable rule. But after a while of sitting around tables with Tibetan friends and slandering Dorje Shugden in the usual way,  the subject started to intrigue me. Where did in this cosmos of compassionate deities suddenly a demon deity come from, and who were the human demons who prayed to such a one? Since i am a person who likes to read and investigate, i did so, and soon after digging a little deeper i couldn't help realizing that this whole production was about something else entirely; i didn't know what exactly, but the point is that along the way i also found so much actual information about Dorje Shugden and the masters who practice him, that my views changed more and more. An example, very simple - clairvoyant HH the Dalai Lama worshipping a demon for 25 years and then suddenly finding out and stopping? How can an educated person believe such a thing? ALL the most influential and important Gelug masters of our times satan worshippers? This kind of argumentation and sudden change of everything that was holy yesterday being evil now, we usually know only from right-wing populists, and we have become very weary of it.
On the other hand, by simply reading the prayers to Dorje Shugden and the biographies of the lineage masters, an entirely new picture emerges, one that is made up entirely of bodhicitta motivation.
At some point i stumbled upon the book HEART JEWEL by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (with whom or his NKT i have no association whatsoever apart from rejoicing in his efforts in presenting Je Tsongkhapa's teachings in the English language) which is by the way, incredibly, the only official publication with detailed explanation on the Gaden Lhagyama, this most fundamental practice for lay and even ordained Gelugpas (does anybody really care??).
Allow me to digress for a moment and ask how many of all those who spend their time degrading Dorje Shugden and the Gelug lineage masters, have come out with a single translation of one of Je Tsongkhapa's biographies, or anything to inspire ordinary people to discover and practice in Je Tsongkhapa's tradition which is so indescribably precious? Apart from the age-old compilation edited by Bob Thurman, which nobody reads, what have the professor of Jey Tsongkhapa studies and all his famous friends given the world except mega-academic materials that will invite no one new to practice?
The one wonderful precious Lamrim book that everyone reads - who has given the teachings, who has edited it, who has translated it? That's right, Dorje Shugden practitioners Pabongkha, Trijang and Khensur Lobsang Tharchin Rinpoches. So who is it that cares for our tradition? Who is it that cares for sentient beings?
To return to my story - after reading HEART JEWEL a few times i felt compelled to recite the practice text given in the books appendix, did so, went to sleep, dreamt about Je Tsongkhapa in the most vivid way, and the rest is as described above - my life changed completely (for the better, as all my friends and family will assure you).

Am i a demon worshipper, venerable Samdhong Rinpoche? Whatever i am, i am boring you with my story because i am an ordinary average educated person of the 21st century, and there are many like me.

There is one last thing i would like to share with you, and would like to beg you to relay to His Holiness the Dalai Lama's entourage: please start (sincerely) speaking of, viewing and treating us as human beings, lest you degrade the holy Dharma's essence in the saddest way. In spite of all that happened, i don't know a single Gelug practitioner that doesn't love the Dalai Lama, that doesn't pray for his well being. Why is this?

Yours, beggar


Long Life Prayer
Of Trijang Chogtrul Rinpoche
 
Om Svasti
The illusory form of the Great Bliss and the Sphere of Reality in inseparable union,
Which is embraced by the hue of a hundred thousand moons,
Oh Victorious Heruka, who holds the Glory of Immortality,
Bestow the supreme gift of eternal Vajra-Life.
To hold and propagate the essence
Of the Teaching of the Mighty One (Buddha),
You follow the example
Of the Master Manjushri Lobsang (Tsongkhapa).
You have attained the equality in Wisdom with all the Buddhas.
I make requests to You, the Protector of the ocean-like beings.
Led by the aurora of Your long time motivation
To fulfill the great purposes of the Teaching and the beings,
The sun of the matchless supreme incarnation,
I request You
To abide in this world always without ever setting.
The essence of the treatises
Of the multiple aspects of Sutras and Tantras,
Sharing with the fortunate ones for their life force,
With the glory of Your scholarly qualities all complete,
Oh Venerable Master,
May You as Lord of the Speech remain with Your feet steady.
From the very age of youth,
By the ethics of the Mighty One,
The conducts of Your Three Doors are completely disciplined.
By holding the Vinaya dharma
Which is both the Teaching and the Teacher,
May You live as the Great Upali.
To give the breath of Enlightenment
To the beings beyond number,
May the strength of Your wholesome supreme thought increase.
With the supreme conducts of the Six Paramitas and the Four Collections
May You fulfill the intention of the Buddhas without exception.
The Graduated Stages of the Path and so forth,
Praised as the Great Ocean of Teaching
In which gather thousands of excellent treatises,
Taught by Atisha and Guru Manjunatha (Tsongkhapa),
May You remain stable forever
As the Supreme Holder of their Tradition.
By the infallible truth of the Supreme Three Jewels,
By the power of the all-pervading reality
Of the Union of the Two Truths,
By the power of faith and respect,
May the meanings of our prayers be fulfilled
And may the auspicious signs always flourish.
 
 
Colophon
This is a Long Life Prayer of the Venerable Supreme Tulku Tenzin Losang Yeshe Gyatso, the reincarnation of our kind Master
Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang, for his long abiding and for holding, protecting and propagating the Buddha's Teaching through his
qualities of wisdom, discipline and goodness.
Tenzin Gyatso (Dalai Lama), a monk of Shakya, has composed this with pure connecting prayers by being requested with
offerings by the general monastery of Gaden, Shartse and Jangtse Colleges, Sera Je and Me Colleges, Upper and Lower Tantric
Colleges, Donkhang House and Dokhang Regional Group of Shartse, Sera Pombora House, the monastery and the people of
Chatreng Land, the monastery and people of Nasang Land, Gyalthang Monastery, Dromo Dungkar Samten Choeling Monastery
and the manager and all the members of Trijang Ladang.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Venerable Samdhong Rinpoche,

i hope these lines find you well. Yesterday, i have told you my story, a story that not even my best friends know. We are taught not to speak about personal spiritual experiences. Moreover, being utterly unattained, sharing my life could only embarrass me! However, we all have to start somewhere, and since meeting Dharmapala Dorje Shugden and being set on a valid path has not only changed but literally saved my life, i hoped this could be of a little inspiration to those in a similar predicament and to share with you my motivation in creating this website. We are meeting here in virtual space, and i cannot think of another way to show you what is in my heart. In relation to you, this means that i truly care about His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the countless Tibetans who rely on him as their sole hope. I am begging you, PLEASE DO SOMETHING THAT THESE PEOPLE CAN LIVE AND PASS ON WITH THE DALAI LAMA THEY HAVE ALWAYS KNOWN IN THEIR MINDS! PLEASE ACKNOWLEDGE OPENLY THAT THE DANGER TO DHARMA AND HIS HOLINESS IS NOT ANY DEITY BUT POLITICS!

Please allow me to reiterate using the example of the below quote i came across last night. -


"On 22 of this month, in the reception room above Sera-Jay Assembly Hall, Sera-Jay disciplinarian Lobsang Choedar and Lobsang Choedar has convened the local press conference, where he released the statement contained the [following] four points.
 
1)         In the year 1998, the resolution of the stand on Dholgyal devotees, presided by Gaden Tripa. The resolutions during the Gaden National Conference must be effectively implemented from the year 2008.
 
2)         There is no condition at all to co-exist with those two who contradict the spiritual           commitment according to religious tenet.
 
3)         In terms of politics, since those who worship Dholgya are the organization tool of           Chinese government, there is no meaning to co-exist.
 
4)         It is worthwhile to act Dholgyal followers' saying that the decision of Gelupa (followers of Gelug Traditon) must be taken by the general Gelugpa.
 
It was explained, base on these four points, a campaign of collecting signatures among monks are carried out. This campaign supports His Holiness the Dalai Lama and benefits Tibetan politics and religion. Earlier, the signature campaign has already conducted among over two thousands monks."
 


Point two can only either relate to a practice itself or to samaya with one's root Guru.
If it relates to the practice of Dorje Shugden, anyone reading his prayers, kangso, etc will only find advice and aspirations that are completely 100% in accord with the holy Vinaya, Bodhisattva and Tantric vows and commitments. If we listen to oracular advices, they are of purest lamrim content, of tender care for "the holder of the white lotus" (HHDL) and urge us to never disparage other lineages. Many such utterances are recorded and can be produced to prove these points.

If point two relates to pure bonds with one's root Guru - we all know that HH the Dalai Lama, however great, is a single being and cannot be the root Guru of everyone. Neither can he decree new rules on his own accord. Therefore to say we must stop any practice given to us by our personal Gurus will have to be seen as a direct order to break samaya and thus destroy all hopes for attainments, and to have negative views of our Gurus, of which the texts say one moment will result in a very long time in the depths of the hell realms.
If anyone could say we cannot co-exist, it would then by logic be those with Dorje Shugden as their protector. But this we don't, as all we want is to practice in peace, and peace with all beings is actually our aim and aspiration as Buddhists.

Point three - "since those who worship Dholgyal are the organization tool of Chinese government"...
How could anyone state something so entirely ludicrous and not offend the intelligence and arouse serious suspicion in the minds of an independent sane person? We are countless nobodys scattered around the planet, usually practicing in secret for obvious reasons - how could anyone find us, file us, organize us, never mind use us as a tool??
And a tool for what? Can Tibet become any more un-free? It is beyond dispute that Dorje Shugden urged HH the Dalai Lama to leave Tibet and even provided the exact route of escape. Days, not weeks before the Chinese communists bombed Norbulinka and the Potala, His Holiness's life was thus saved... what could be a more graphic prove of our Dharmapala's intentions regarding Tibet and HH the Dalai Lama?

To use myself as an example again: i have created this website in the same way i have begun my practice of Dorje Shugden - without anyone telling me so, without ANY affiliation to any organization, Dharmic or otherwise, as an independent western student of Dharma.
The only people of the republic of China i have seen so far are tourists in front of tourist attractions in Europe. I have never spoken a word to a person from the republic of China, nor exchanged an email or any kind of message, much less received any 'interesting offers' to be used as an 'organizational tool', nor even a congratulatory mail or whatever in comment to this website. May i go to avici hell if this is a lie.

Why do i keep talking about myself, and revealing myself further to you, venerable Samdhong Rinpoche?
(It is not that i am not scared of possible consequences 'bestowed' on me. I am, but i do feel that the fate of all the numberless Dharma practitioners within and without Tibet is so much more important.)

It is because i feel the urgent need to tell you that ANYONE with access to libraries and internet can create a website such as this one, write articles in newspapers, or books. And the more agitation and sad injustice (dharmically and otherwise) is being created such as now in Drepung monastery, the more independent journalists will become interested. For example this referendum - they'll take one look and see how completely one-sided such a 'vote' would be. Once they smell scandal - and negative always sells better - they will start to dig. Once they start to dig, they won't stop. There is much sad information known to thousands of the older Dharma students about the politics in Tibet, and in 'Tibet in exile' - they and we have chosen to remain silent because we know what the disastrous consequences would be, for all the good and simple people in Tibet, and for the Dharma altogether.

Yet it looks as if the Tibetan government is forcing this to happen by staging such irrational and irresponsible dramas again and again - more and more before the eyes of the world. How long can one keep all this under the carpet as 'internal Tibetan affairs'?

IT IS NOT THE DALAI LAMA'S LIFE THAT IS IN DANGER, IT IS HIS REPUTATION!

ONCE THE BIG TABLOID JOURNALISTS START... THERE WILL BE NO END, NO CONSIDERATION OF TIBETANS' PEACE OF MIND NOR DHARMA SPREADING IN THE WORLD.

ONCE THE DISMANTLING OF A MYTH HAS BEGUN, IT WILL GO ON UNTIL THERE IS NOTHING LEFT!

PLEASE CONSIDER THIS!!

How easy it would be now just to declare that the referendum was held and everyone agreed to let everyone do what they believe is good and let the whole case rest... It is not too late, if peace is what we want.

Venerable Samdhong Rinpoche, i am certain that you realize that this website exists FOR the Dharma, FOR His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and FOR the practitioners of all lineages, which are perfect in themselves while at the same time interdependent.

PLEASE HELP US. PLEASE HELP TO KEEP THE HOLY DHARMA FREE FROM POLITICS. PLEASE HELP THE DALAI LAMA'S GOLDEN FACE TO REMAIN AS SUNSHINE IN THE HEARTS OF THE MILLIONS!

i am begging you with folded hands -
yours, beggar

sumatia arya

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Re: TWO OPEN LETTERS TO VENERABLE SAMDHONG RINPOCHE
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2008, 12:27:28 PM »
Dear beggar,

May be you are interested in a new article from H.H.13th Kundeling Rimpoche in which he described Samdhong Rimpoche as the lieutenant of the Dalai Lama. You find this new article on my website sumatiarya.nl page Kundeling R. I hope you find time to read because Kundeling Rimpoche is the right person to say something about the actions of the Dalai Lama and his governement. He was involved from the beginning of the fight.

sumati arya