Gaden Trisur is Ostracized

Dear Friend in Dharma,

I am writing to share with you the life and works of very special, courageous and extraordinary Buddhist master, one we must always remember for his contribution to Dharma.

His Holiness Gaden Trisur Lungrik Namgyal is a remarkable Buddhist teacher, who was chosen among many other elite scholars to become the Gaden Tripa – the supreme head of the Gelugpa school of Buddhism. The position of the Gaden Tripa was formed after the passing of the incredible Buddhist master and saint Lama Tsongkhapa. All the Gaden Tripas after him literally represent the presence of the perfect enlightened Master Lama Tsongkhapa here on earth.

In order to qualify for the position of a Gaden Tripa, one has to go through extensive training, study and practice for many years. A Gaden Tripa is not only a Buddhist scholar of the highest level, but would also have held the position as the lead chanter (umze) of one of the largest monasteries, be fully versed in all rituals and prayers, and served as abbot of one of the monasteries. This represents a lifetime of hard work, devotion and commitment to the Dharma and the teachings of the Buddha.

Gaden Tripas are so highly regarded that if the Dalai Lama is unable to attend any teachings, they are the only people who are able to replace the Dalai Lama and teach in his place. Actually, the Gaden Tripas hold a much higher and more sacred place within the Gelugpa school of Buddhism than the Dalai Lama. He is the supreme head of the Gelugpas. More can be read of the 101st Gaden Tripa’s life, works and accomplishments here:


The 101st Gaden Tripa has since retired from his position a few years ago and is now known as Gaden Trisur. We have a special admiration for his courage and deep commitment to his practice. In recent years, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama instituted a ban against the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden, but Gaden Trisur Rinpoche chose to continue with this practice, which he has been committed to his whole life. He has since left his monastery, Gaden Shartse, to join Shar Gaden Monastery which strongly maintains their worship of Dorje Shugden.

For many years, the Dalai Lama and his people have claimed that Dorje Shugden is evil and very harmful to Buddhist practitioners. Dorje Shugden practitioners are banned from attending the Dalai Lama’s teachings and grossly ostracized and mistreated. Shugden practitioners in India or Nepal, for example, suffer grave discrimination and are denied any welfare, just because of their spiritual beliefs. Monks who wish to continue their practice are expelled from their monasteries with absolutely no support. This is a blatant transgression of human rights and denial of religious freedom.

Gaden Trisur Rinpoche is a sincere practitioner of Buddhism who has been a devoted monk since childhood. Now, he is also ostracized because of his practice of Dorje Shugden. However, here is the contradiction: the Tibetan government and people say that the Gaden Trisur Rinpoche is wrong in his religious belief, he is bad, rebellious monk and not a supporter of the Dalai Lama. How can this be when his very position as Gaden Tripa was endorsed by the Dalai Lama himself? How can this be when he has devoted his entire life to the Dharma and shared with the world all the same teachings that the Dalai Lama shared? Does this mean that the Dalai Lama would pick the wrong people to hold such important positions? And that he has made a grave and terrible mistake within his own religious school?

Furthermore, in Gaden Shartse Monastery, they still have a throne to H.H. Gaden Trisur in their main prayer hall. Isn’t this contradictory? If you do not wish to associate with Dorje Shugden practitioners, then isn’t it confusing that you still keep his throne? A throne is so significant – it represents the person itself and means that you honor him and hold him highly. So does the monastery regard him as a bad, rebel practitioner? Or as a high Master still worthy of much respect and honor? Perhaps they just keep his throne there only to save their own reputation? Because dismantling the throne and erasing his presence from the monastery can only mean that they were wrong when they selected and endorsed him as a Gaden Tripa in the first place.

Today, H.H. Gaden Trisur Rinpoche resides in France where he has several centers to share the teachings of Dharma with Western practitioners. He lives humbly and simply, and though he is already 84 years, he still continues to teach, practice and bring the Dharma to others. Is this the sign of someone who is doing a “bad practice?” We do not think so.

There are hundreds of other high masters, monks and teachers like H.H. Gaden Trisur Rinpoche in the world, who have held this practice of Dorje Shugden sacred their whole lives. Now, they face terrible discrimination and attacks if they choose to continue their practice. It is not our intention to bring down anyone, nor to show any disrespect to the Dalai Lama.

Instead, we hope that by writing this, we can draw attention to the fact that Dorje Shugden practitioners are making huge contributions in Dharma and not “bad” or “evil” in any way, as the Dalai Lama’s people are claiming. It is our wish that by pointing out the many contradictions, Buddhists everywhere will think more deeply on the subject and realize that the ban on Dorje Shugden is simply not logical nor fair. We call for more quality, justice and fair treatment for Shugden practitioners and for true religious freedom.

With respect


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.…Instead of turning away people who practise Dorje Shugden, we should be kind to them. Give them logic and wisdom without fear, then in time they give up the ‘wrong’ practice. Actually Shugden practitioners are not doing anything wrong. But hypothetically, if they are, wouldn’t it be more Buddhistic to be accepting? So those who have views against Dorje Shugden should contemplate this. Those practicing Dorje Shugden should forbear with extreme patience, fortitude and keep your commitments. The time will come as predicted that Dorje Shugden’s practice and it’s terrific quick benefits will be embraced by the world and it will be a practice of many beings.

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