The Western Shugden Society

By Jigme Duntak

While attending the July Tenshug teachings in Madison, I was surprised to see that each day a group of Shugden practitioners were holding a protest outside of the arena where the teachings were being held. The group was primarily made up of non-Tibetans practitioners and monks, but a few Tibetans were protesting alongside them as well. Some of the slogans being shouted were things like ‘Dalai Lama Give – Religious Freedom, Dalai Lama – Stop Lying, etc…’

Shugden Protesters
Shugden Protesters

I had already read into the issue previously, seen a few videos, and read the Dalai Lama’s reply and stance on the issue which he reiterated during the teachings when a question about the issue came up, so I had a basic understanding of what they were protesting about.

The Shugden protesters were handing out pamphlets and small booklets explaining their cause to the few who would take them, so I went and got myself a copy of both and learned from the pamphlet that the protest was organized by the “Western Shugden Society“.

The small booklet was titled “The Tibetan Situation Today: Surprising Hidden News“. Inside the booklet and pamphlet the purpose for demonstrating was stated as an attempt to: “…bring the attention of fair-minded people to the Dalai Lama’s hidden, unlawful and hypocritical persecution of a large section of mainstream Tibetan Buddhists -those who pray to the protection deity named Dorje Shugden.

The booklet and pamphlet contained a lot of strong words containing sections with titles such as, “21st Century Buddhist Dictator: The Dalai Lama”,”Hypocrite Dalai Lama.” and also a section which repeats “He is lying” at the start of each sentence in reference to the Dalai Lama. There is also a very long chronicle of events in the booklet which describes the claimed offenses against Shugden practitioners by the Dalai Lama or Tibetan Government In Exile.

The type of rhetoric used in the texts came across as childish and almost hate-filled to me, especially since this is coming from a group of people who are presenting themselves as a “Buddhist society”. Even among the Tibetan groups who protest against the Chinese government, who have inflicted far worse then what this Shugden group is claiming, I’ve never found this sort of rhetoric or words being officially used against the Chinese government or its specific individuals.

In fact while reading these texts, the way it is written reminds me of texts you’d read coming from the Chinese government the way it attacks and insults the Dalai Lama. In one section that is written like a letter directed towards the Dalai Lama it reads, “Dalai Lama, you are a very professional liar”, and also calls the Dalai Lama a “saffron robed Muslim”, claiming that the Dalai Lama was actually born in a Muslim family and was only selected as the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama due to the ignorance of the representatives of the Tibetan Government who chose him.

These Shugden practitioners from this “Western Shugden Society” wish to gain sympathy and understanding for Shugden practitioners who have been ill treated by Tibetans in the Tibetan community, but attacking and slandering the Dalai Lama only does the exact opposite.

I do feel sympathetic to those practitioners of Shugden who may have become persecuted or shunned by other Tibetans for their practices, but the anger and blame being directed towards the Dalai Lama by this group is misdirected.

The Dalai Lama has not issued a ban on practicing Shugden like the “Western Shugden Society” claims, he has only advocated those who follow him religiously not to practice Shugden (for reasons you can read in his official statement). However the problem lies wherein the Dalai Lama’s words are so highly regarded among Tibetans that many Tibetans begin to shun those who do not follow them. Consequently some Tibetans begin to wrongly mistreat these Tibetans and/or non-Tibetans who choose not to follow the Dalai Lama’s wishes of giving up the practicing of Dholgyal (Shugden).

The group is incorrectly blaming the Dalai Lama for the actions of other individuals within the Tibetan community in India who have taken it upon themselves to act maliciously towards Shugden followers. The blame should be placed upon these specific individuals who have acted inappropriately.

82 thoughts on “The Western Shugden Society

  1. Go_H_Di

    Hi, may I leave a comment to this subject?

    You say: The group is incorrectly blaming the Dalai Lama for the actions of other individuals within the Tibetan community in India who have taken it upon themselves to act maliciously towards Shugden followers. The blame should be placed upon these specific individuals who have acted inappropriately.

    But when looking to the very recnet France24 International News story (found here: http://www.france24.com/en/20080808-dalai-lama-demons-india-buddhism-dorje-shugden )
    you can see that it is the Dalai Lama himself who says: “These monks must be expelled from all monasteries. If they are not happy, you can tell them that the Dalai Lama himself asked that this be done, and it is very urgent.”

    So, for me it is clear that the Dalai Lama is fully aware of what is happening and he also supports the actions (of course performed by others).

    Regards
    Go_H_Di

  2. I wouldn’t consider expelling someone from a monastery as a malicious act. On the other hand I’ve seen some videos that have testimony of Tibetan Shugden practitioners who have had their houses stoned and lives threatened by Tibetans in their community. This is obviously malicious and wrong.

    Whether or not it is wrong for the Dalai Lama to call for the expulsion of all monks following Shugden from his or all monasteries is something I can’t comment on since I don’t have much knowledge on these kinds of religious issues. However religious institutions or structures have their own rules and leaders and the Dalai Lama as a religious leader is obviously entitled to his opinion on these sorts of religious matters within the Tibetan Buddhist community.

  3. Dear Jigme,
    With your permission (meaning not deleting my entry) I hope to share a few heartfelt feelings on the subjects discussed here in the spirit of goodwill and dialogue on the subject matter. However I am coming from a different pov so please be patient with me.

    I would agree that an isolated incident expelling someone from a monastery isn’t a grave infringement of human rights but in this case it is part of a larger campaign to remove these practitioners from all monasteries as well as the lay community. (Refer to the above mentioned documentary for hard evidence of this
    http://www.france24.com/en/20080808-dalai-lama-demons-india-buddhism-dorje-shugden
    ) There is a campaign to purge these practitioners from the Tibetan exile community as indicated by the Dalai Lama’s comments in this video and by the signs posted in the shops and hospitals in the video. Many feel (both in the west and the east) that because there is proof that some practitioners of Dorje Shugden have done harmful acts that this justifies the ban. This is quite frankly reasoning from maddness. If we were to persecute the population of Jews, Christians, or Muslims because certain practitioners of those faiths were engaged in negative activities we would consider that to be unethical. That would fall under religious discrimination, would it not? How can the Buddhist community justify the Dalai Lama’s behavior? Have we lost the ability to discriminate right from wrong?

    I can certainly appreciate the author’s sentiments that the booklet sounds like the ravings of a angry child (any many of us were dismayed by the language chosen) but I can assure you from my interactions with the other demonstrators that anger is not the driving force behind these protests. It is a geniune desire to bring this issue into the collective consciousness of Buddhists both eastern and western so the ban can be lifted…I personally don’t think the Dalai Lama is a bad person but he is making a big mistake on this particular issue.

    Thank you for your consideration and best wishes to all of you!

  4. But if you read the Dalai Lama’s statement in the link I put in the post(http://www.tibet.com/dholgyal/hhdl.html), the Dalai Lama does not have his current stance against Shugden because of the harmful acts committed by some Shugden practitioners, he states that he bases his stance on three key points: 1. He is following out the views of the fifth Dalai Lama of Shugden being an evil spirit or force. 2. Shugden advocates sectarianism which the Dalai is against. 3. The Dalai Lama believes Shugden is a degeneration of Buddhism leading spirit worship.

  5. Matthew

    Hello JD-

    I appreciate your sober, balanced tone in an isuue that seems to become heated very quickly.

    I would disagree with you on two points however, if you will indulge me.

    You said “The group is incorrectly blaming the Dalai Lama for the actions of other individuals within the Tibetan community in India who have taken it upon themselves to act maliciously towards Shugden followers.”

    The Dalai Lama is the political leader of the Tibetan people, he is responsible for preventing wrongdoing and illegal violence, shunning etc within his community. So, in fact, this IS his responsibility.

    Also, I believe that there is actually a ban, more than just “advocating,” because his political power is behind preventing people from gaining travel visas, entrance to schools, hospitals etc. If he wanted to stop this, he could do so with a word. This is his job and sacred responsibility as one who has taken responsibility for this exile community.

    Thank you, all the best!

    Matthew

  6. I agree that it is wrong for the Dalai Lama to not speak out against violence or hateful actions towards people in the Tibetan community, but I don’t think that it makes him responsible for the actions of individuals who commit the violent acts. If the Dalai Lama spoke out and told Tibetans to commit these acts then he would share responsibility but he has not done so.

  7. Hello, Jigme. I’m glad to see you’ve got back into blogging.

    I must admit that outside of very general matters I am ignorant on the Shugden Controversy. In the area of religious jurisprudence, I can say that there is not necessarily a right or wrong party; what the Dalai Lama is doing, based on his knowledge, is nothing more than the Pope prohibiting the veneration of certain deceased people as saints. The Pope also excommunicates people for inconsistencies with Catholic doctrine. There is also a similar current within Islam with people calling themselves Ahmadiyye, who are shunned by other Muslims (as, in my opinion, it is correct to do -as long as nobody resorts to violence- since their beliefs deviate from the Qur’an).

    To singlehandedly criticize the Dalai Lama in this matter is rather ignorant and does not take into account the nature of an office which is responsible for regulating religious doctrine.

  8. Also, the Dorje Shugden practicioners are being a bit foolish in supporting China only because they have a problem with the Dalai Lama. The enemy of one’s enemy is not always one’s friend.

  9. Go_H_Di

    Hi Ahwei,
    being against the Dalai Lama must not implicit to be a paid spy of the RPC, or supporting the Chinese or being against the Tibetans. Being against the ban of the Dalai Lama does simpy mean to be against the ban of the Dalai Lama. No hidden message😉

  10. Atisha's cook

    hi Jigme –

    it is very refreshing to read your balanced and thoughtful views on this topic – as has been said, it often provokes strong emotions very quickly! i agree that the Dalai Lama cannot be held responsible for every negative action of his supporters, just as it is incorrect to judge all Shugden practitioners on the basis of allegations of inappropriate behaviour by a few individuals.

    however, it’s disingenuous to say that the Dalai Lama has not issued a ban (as many of his supporters, and even officials of the TGIE, continue to do). he has referred himself, in very strong terms and on many occasions, to his “ban”.

    it’s also almost wilfully ignorant to believe that he is not aware of, and is at the very least not discouraging, the ostracizing of the Shugden prasctitioners within Tibetan society. as Matthew correctly said: he could stop all these horrible things with a word.

    also, i should reiterate: *there is no truth whatsoever* to the allegation that Shugden practitioners are supporters of, or that they are financially or otherwise supported by, the PRC. i know personally many strongly nationalistic Tibetan Shugden practitioners who now live in poverty having had to leave their former monasteries and communities as a result of their religion. they are deeply committed to a Free Tibet, and despite the persecution they have faced, many of them remain deeply respectful towards the Dalai Lama. their protesting comes at great personal cost to them: they only want their spiritual tradition to remain alive for the benefit of all living beings.

    the arguments about sectarianism and spirit worship are fallacious and are being used as a smokescreen. there may well have been sectarian Shugden practitioners in the past, and maybe there are some today – but the same could be said for *all* Protector Deities; this would be a fault of the individual practitioners, not of their Deity! anyone sincerely relying on a Protector would become *less* sectarian as their realizations and experience grew. even though they may remain sincerely devoted to one practice and one Deity, they will increase their respect for and appreciation of all others at the same time.

    and *no* Shugden practitioner regards their Protector as *more* important than the Buddha himself! in fact, all qualified practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism would regard all Deities as one with Buddha and their Guru. whilst we may have a stronger karmic connection with one manifestation, say Arya Tara, than another, say Chenrezig, we would never feel that one was “more important” than another. and no qualified Buddhist worships spirits of any description, ever – period.

    finally, the WSS uses the literature containing very strong, even shocking, language, but we are not angry. the time has come, after years of soft speech and sincere requests that have been ignored, to speak harshly and loud, because we feel that there is no other way left to us now to make our message heard. i agree that this can seem distasteful, and that it might put people off us, but if it causes the world, finaslly, to at least sit up and pay attention to this issue, we feel that the evidence is there to be seen in the Tibetan community. we feel that we have no choice but, out of compassion, to use such strong language.

  11. To Atisha’s cook:

    What are the arguments a smoke screen for? Do you believe the Dalai Lama is trying to consolidate religious power as head of all school of Tibetan Buddhism as the Western Shugden Society claims?

  12. Atisha's cook

    hi Jigme –

    honestly – i really don’t know. i have been trying to understand His Holiness’ intentions behind this ban for more than 12 years now. it is argued that he is doing this out of a genuine belief that his own Root Guru, and many of the masters of his lineage for centuries are actually wrong, and that this practice is harmful. but this simply doesn’t add up: it makes no sense in terms of Buddhist logic about the nature of phenomena, or Buddhist practice in terms of reliance on the Guru. if he’s right, then his own lineage, and hence all his own spiritual authority, is anulled.

    so i keep being lead back to more mundane, political motivations. perhaps he sees the amalgamation of the four schools under his leadership as the best hope for the survival of the Tibetan nation and people?

    i honestly don’t know. but the reasons that he gives, that you outlined, are so clearly fallacious that i cannot believe that he himself believes in them. he must have some other purpose, and it certainly doesn’t seem to be a spiritual one.

  13. But if the Dalai Lama did have intentions of amalgamating the schools of Tibetan Buddhism under his leadership why would he not just include Shugden within this amalgamation?

  14. Atisha's cook

    you’ve got me! i have no idea! i have heard from some older Gelugpas, a least of few of whom i trust, that this is the result of a deal struck decades ago with senior Lamas in other schools who find this practice particularly objectionable (because it *has* been so strongly associated with the Gelug school in the past, even though it was also practised within the Sakya tradition, and even by some Nyinmas previously), but i haven’t seen any evidence to know about such a deal myself firsthand.

    as i said, i don’t understand what he hopes to achieve. i have even wondered before if he might not be suffering from some mental illness.

    all i can say is that this action is destroying a great spiritual tradition, dividing a people, and causing untold suffering. these are not the actions of a compassionate spiritual leader acting out of compassion. so the “merging of the traditions under his leadership” theory seems to me the most plausible i’ve yet heard.

  15. Khedrup

    If you listen to the France 24 report carefully you will here the leader of the Indian Shugden society, Kundeling Losang Yeshe, said the cultural revolution wasn’t that bad and many incendiary things. Such leaders supporting for China, rather than the Dalai Lama’s ban, are in my view the real reason for the animosity of the Tibetan laypeople.

    I am of the same school of thought in that I believe HH Dalai Lama and the abbots have the right and responsibility to set policy in their monasteries, but that the laypeople shouldn’t be overzealous and ban people from shops. However, due to Kundeling and other Shugden leaders statements, and the laypeople being refugees, I can sympathize with how upset they are. just google Kundeling Losang Yeshe and read his statements yourself.

    For more information on the NKT, the major Western organization behind the protests visit http://www.nktworld.org

    For the history of the divisive nature of Shugden practice, read on the web “The Shuk-den Affair” by scholar Dreyfus.

    Since a civil suit has already been filed against HH Dalai Lama, it seems disingenous of the NKT to continue with the protest. See what happens first. At the moment, all the protests are doing is helping the NKT gather in its followers that they were losing due to many organizational problems, including two successors who were ousted for serious sexual abuse.

  16. Khedrup

    We can see that perhaps HH Dalai Lama was trying to protect his monasteries with these restrictions:

    http://antishugden.com/interview-with-prithvi-raj-chief-police-of-kangra

    The police chief confirms that Shugden supporters are the main suspects in the murder, and Interpol lists them as wanted men.

    Google the names of Kundeling Losang Yeshe, and Gangchen Lama and you will find many photos of them meeting with PRC officials, and of GL meeting with the puppet Panchen Lama installed by China after the other Panchen was kidnapped.

    While the protestors may not be aware of such politics, we can see that their leaders are far from trustworthy.

  17. Khedrup

    My final post, questions to the WSS supporters.

    1. Is using the phrase “saffron robed Muslim” not inciting racial hatred? Calling someone a Muslim as an insult is certainly not respectful of the Muslim community. How would the Muslim organizations react if they read your booklet? Why use the name of the Muslim religion as an insult?

    2.Are the NKT leaders being “overzealous” in recruiting for the protests? If not, then why was a Resident Teacher of many years standing fired from her position for questioning the motives of the protest? (the letter from NKT central office is widely available).

    3.Why is Kundeling Losang Yeshe, leader of Indian based Shugden society and litigant against HH Dalai Lama in a civil suit, making statements poking fun at the suffering Tibetans endured during the cultural revolution?

    4. If there is already a court case againt the Tibetan government in exile, why are the protests continuing?

    5. If the protests are peaceful, why do they use name calling and disrupting teachings through yelling as a tactic?

    6. Why does HH Dalai Lama, who is listed as the patron of the 3 gelug universities in exile, not have the right to make spiritual recommendations in his monasteries, especially if a referendum is held according to Vinaya procedure?

    7. Why make misleading statements calling the Dalai Lama’s teachings expensive when the books are open and all the money has gone to charity? Will your organization release an auditor’s report, as the Dalai lama’s teachings organizers have? (See Kalachakra 2004)

    Thanks.

  18. Atisha's cook

    Khedrup –

    these are my views only, not official policy nof the WSS. however, my understanding is that the WSS is a loosely-affiliated group of concerned people – many of whom, but by no means all, are NKT Buddhists – which has no leader or central office: if you speak to other WSS supporters, you may well find that they have views that differ widely from mine.

    having said that, here are my answers to your questions, as an individual who supports the WSS who has engaged in demonstrations.

    1. i do find this and other language used in the WSS literature shocking, but i believe that this is intended, to wake people up from the belief that the Dalai Lama is unquestionable, and that his actions must be correct for the sole reason that they are his.

    i do *not* find this phrase, taken in context, to be disparaging to Muslims. the point is made here that, according to some sources, he was born into a Muslim family (i do not know if this is true, the leaflet simply says that this is what some sources claim), was later recognized as the Dalai Lama, was teased by the villagers as a child on account of this and called “the saffron-robed Muslim”, and that he has subsequently engaged in non-Buddhist actions such as harming others, creating a schism in the Sangha, and acting completely contrary to his Root Guru’s direct advice. when the WSS says that we too think that he is the saffron-robed Muslim, the point is *not* that there is anything wrong with Muslims – the point is that the Dalai Lama is not a Buddhist. he is here criticised for being hypocritical: wearing Buddhist robes but not acting like a Buddhist.

    the point would have been the same if he had been born into a Christian, Hindu or Jewish family, and calling him a saffron-robed Christian, Hindu or Jew would have been in no way disparaging to those religions. *he* is being criticised, not Muslims. this is clear from the text, and frankly i would say that it is disingenuous to claim not to be able to see this.

    2. i think that Geshe Kelsang and other senior NKT practitioners are, as Dorje Shugden practitioners, naturally highly invested in ths issue and members of the WSS. it is NOT only NKT who are members of the WSS – i can attest to this from my own experience.

    with respect to the teacher you mentioned, the letter refers to an issue of trust, i believe. it seems to me that it was highly personal and never meant to be public. as far as i can see, it’s between one person and their Guru: how can i or anyone else comment validly on such a personal thing?

    3. i do not agree with many of Kundeling Rinpoche’s statements, including just about everything he said on the France24 report. he may be head of one Shugden group, but there are many of these, which don’t necessarily share similar views. i have never seen Kundeling Rinpoche at any WSS demonstration, or heard that he has played any role in its activities to date. perhaps he has, and i’m not aware of it, but i *have* heard many WSS supporters voice a certain amount of dismay at some of his contributions to this debate thus far. he is *not* a WSS spokesman, as far as i am aware.

    4. i believe that the case against the TGIE was filed by Kundeling Rinpoche, rather than WSS. if WSS is preparing legal action itself, i do not know, but i don’t see how this would preclude continuing to protest.

    protests are being held currently as the best method to bring attention to the harmful actions of the Dalai Lama and the TGIE, and to force a change of policy, or at least to open some dialogue on the issue.

    5. when NKT and others protested in ’96-’98, they used prayers and more plaintive slogans, such as “Dalai Lama, please give us religious freedom”. now, most WSS supporters feel that the time has come to be much more forceful and direct. “Dalai Lama, stop lying!” immediately creates a question in people’s minds, and they want to find out what is behind such an apparently outrageous demand. they investigate, which is what we want people to do. this is happening more and more – the world is starting to listen.

    to disrupt a Dharma teaching is highly regrettable, and in fact we have stopped chanting temporarily during teachings on some occasions when asked. but we will do this if we are left with no other choice in making our point heard. we believe that we have now reached such a pass, and that his actions have left us with no choice. he could stop this disruption immediately if he agreed to publicly discuss the issue.

    despite our strong language and loud voices, we are not angry – our minds are peaceful, and so are our actions. all the police in every place where we have demonstrated have commented on how well-behaved we have been: “a model of peaceful protest” was how one human-rights lawyer who saw us in Manhattan put it.

    6. he has the right to make whatever recommendations he wishes. he does not have the right to enforce his view on others, creating a schism in the Sangha and a deep and terrible divide in the wider Tibetan community.

    the vote-stick was in no way in accordance with the spirit of the Vinaya. no-one was in any doubt whatsoever about the implications of voting against the Dalai Lama’s view – to do so was openly and publicly, in front of the assembly of all one’s peers, to declare yourself his opponent and to brand yourself a traitor and an outcast. indeed, in many of the votes, a hugely disproportionate quantity of red and yellow sticks were provided for this “vote”, clearly indicating that only one outcome was ever anticipated.

    this “vote” has been used by the TGIE to claim that the ban is democratically decided. no democratic government on this earth would recognize such methodology and the result would be considered absolutely corrupt and invalid by any independent adjudicator.

    7. i don’t know about this. if the Dalai Lama’s events’ books are open and all profits go to valid charities, then that’s wonderful.

    as has been repeated ad nauseam, the WSS has no legal incorporation – it’s a loose, umbrella grouping of similarly-concerned individuals. everything is funded by donations – like a group of friends pooling resources to hire a coach, or buy lunch, or rent accommodation – and so there are no “books” to be audited, as far as i’m aware. i’ve contributed personally to this, and i’ve also received help from friends to travel to some of the demonstrations. i’ve never received any money from the PRC!

    before you say it, NKT is *not* WSS, but i believe that it is a UK charity, and as such their accounts must be audited as required by the UK Charites Commision, and viewable by any member of the public who wishes to do so. i don’t think the CC would allow them to donate their funds to WSS, as the charitable aims would differ, but i’m no legal expert.

    these are my answers – another WSS supporter might answer you differently.

    on a related point – a lot is said about NKT with respect to this issue, because so many WSS supporters are also NKT Buddhists, but the point has no real value here. i’m sure NKT isn’t perfect, but what has that to do with the Dalai Lama’s harmful actions? this really is a smokescreen and a distraction from the issue. the real issue here, the issue the WSS is protesting about, is religious freedom of Dorje Shugden practitioners: nothing more, and no hidden agendas.

  19. Khedrup

    Dear Atisha,
    1. It is not disingenuous to claim not to see this. The issue is that you say HHDL is not following Buddhist principles of peace and tolerance, and then state he is a saffron-robed muslim. This naturally makes it clear that you don’t believe the principles of Islam include peace and tolerance.

    2. What is the percentage of WSS protestors made up of NKT? Many former members have been able to identify nearly all the protestors in the photos on the WSS website as NKT practitioners. The most I have seen is 10 Tibetans in the photos, and now even less are protesting, most likely because the language is heating up.
    While you say that no one can comment on something between a centre Director being demoted because none of her students participated in the protest, you feel free to comment on the relationship between HH Dalai Lama and his spiritual guides. This is a double standard.
    Also, you don’t take into account that HHDL had more than one spiritual guide, and even that Trijiang Rinpochey was his junior tutor, while Ling Rinpochey was closer to his root Guru. So the facts have been manipulated.

    3.If most WSS members do not agree with Kundeling Losang Yeshe’s statements WSS’s webpage should not post links to his website and should issue a letter stating they don’t support his statements.

    4.If a protest is about Dorje Shugden then say so. Rather, your websites and youtube videos at least half of the time smear the person of the Dalai Lama for a host of other reasons. Including comparing him with Hitler. This does not keep the Shugden issue on the debating table,but merely serves to destroy his reputation and offend his students.

    5. This is completely against Buddhist principles and quiet images of serene monks are far more powerful than twisted faces in robes shouting slogans. Look at how the majority of Burmese monks conducted themselves in situations where their families were being killed. (no one has been killed over the Shugden issue except Ven. Lobsang Gyatso, Shugden critic and his two followers. See the Interpol reports)

    6. Please do research the Vinaya issue with the truth sticks. This is according to Buddhist monastic law, and has been the precedent since the very first Buddhist councils after the Buddha died. Such votes were always held openly in Buddhist history. Please see my research on this:http://westernshugdensociety.wordpress.com/2008/08/11/the-stick-referendum-against-buddhist-and-democratic-principles/ With all due respect I ask you to research Vinaya principles, it is our duty good Buddhists to at least understand the Vinaya procedures.

    7. When was the last time NKT members raised funds for any charitable endeavour outside the expansion and propagation of their own organization?

  20. Atisha's cook

    hi Khedrup –

    i’m not Atisha, i’m merely his cook and object of patience!

    i think we’re unlikely ever to agree on this issue – we hold fundamentally opposite views regarding the nature of HHDL and Dorje Shugden. i’ll try again to answer as best i can, because i still believe that there exists still in many people some misunderstandings on this – especially with respect to the relationship between WSS and NKT, which i, as an “insider”, may be in a better position to clarify than anyone not directly involved. so:

    1 – my point is that the word “Muslim” in thids context means, simply, non-Buddhist – this is why i said that a very similar phrase could have been used if there existed a rumour that he had been born into a family of any other non-Buddhist faith.

    “Muslim” here does not imply “bad”.

    2. i’ve attended WSS demonstrations with many more than 10 Tibetans, some of whom i know quite well. all of them have sacrificed a huge amount – even breaking contact with their families – in order to stand up for their religious convictions. one Geshe told me in New York that a man he had been speaking to slightlly apart from the demonstrators would dearly love to have been demonstrating with us, but that his mother and father were still in India and he couldn’t bear to place them under threat. TGIE officials and monks going into the teachings often take photographs of the Tibetans who stand with us, in order to intimidate them. posters with their faces saying “these people are Chinese sympathisers” appeared all around Queens in the days following the recent Manhattan demonstration, for example.

    i have also attended WSS demonstrations made up almost entirely by NKT practitioners. i don’t find this surprising: NKT is by far the biggest Shugden-practising tradition outside Tibetan society. NKT practitioners do not have such difficulties to face in choosing to demonstrate. however, it has always been made absolutely clear that if we choose to demonstrate, we do so as individuals under the banner of the WSS – the protests are organised by members of the WSS, not by the NKT.

    the letter referred to seemed to me to be a private communication, an admonishment, from a Teacher to their student: who knows what the background to it was, or what the lesson being given was, in reality? the Dalai Lama (who has said himself, albeit quite some time ago now, that Trijang Rinpoche, whilst being his his junior tutor, was indeed his Root Guru) has made many public statements about his relationship with his Guru – even going so far as to say, on television, that Trijang Rinpoche was “wrong – yes, wrong”. these are not private statements. when he himself has taught that the relationship with the Guru, based on strong faith and devotion, is the very root of the Buddhist path, i think it is quite permissible to discuss his apparent rejection of his own Guru’s advice.

    3. i said “many”, not “most”, WSS supporters do not agree with many of Kundeling Rinpoche’s views – those i’ve spoken to about it anyway. i wasn’t aware of a link to his organisation’s site on the WSS site, to be honest. i don’t *think* (actually, i’m pretty sure – but i could be wrong) that he’s a WSS spokesperson.

    4. this is now a different point from your first question. i think the purpose of ths material is to try to remove the aura of infallibility which it seems almost everyone is sucked in by, and to call into question HHDL’s authority as a temoporal and spiritual leader – the authority which we feel he is now abusing by banning this practice and trying to destroy Trijang Rinpoche’s lineage.

    5. we disagree on this point, obviously. i believe that when necessary a Bodhisattva will use whatever means (within the bounds of his or her moral discipline) are required in order to protect and benefit others, including wrathful actions where appropriate.

    i believe that the time has now come for such wrathful speech, and that we would in fact be breaking our Bodhisattva vow if we did not use such wrathful means now that it has become necessary.

    6. i understand that the vote-stick, held publicly, is indeed the traditional method to resolve disputes or disagreements within the Sangha, according to the Vinaya. however, my point is that the manner in which *this* vote was held – meaning principally the intense intimidation and the clear threat faced by those not voting in accordance with one of two views – is completely contrary to the spirit of the Vinaya. absolutely no chance or option was given the Shugden monks – the outcome was considered inevitable before the vote was held (hence the unequal numbers of sticks provided), and no monk was allowed to abstain. i saw this myself on video of the vote, and this last point is one that i am interested to find out more about; i’ll check your research and other sources.

    i really can’t see the Buddha approving of what is, in my opinion, a gross misuse of his advice that was given in the spirit of maintaining and promoting harmony.

    7. i give to lots of different charities from time to time, and i’ve seen many of my friends who are NKT practitioners do the same. it’s my understandsing (though i could be wrong) that NKT is a registered UK charity which therefore cannot, under English law, donate it’s funds to any organisation that does not directly promote its charitable aims. therefore, NKT does not donate to WSS.

    you and i hold very different views, Khedrup: if His Holiness is your Guru, then i apologise sincerely for the pain that i must be causing you. this is not my intention, and i would never do this unless i felt that many, many more eople would suffer in the future if this pure lineage were to be destroyed. i admire and appreciate your civility in discussing these things with me.

  21. Khedrup

    Dear Atisha,

    Yes, His Holiness is my Vajra Master. Yes, you have caused me and the countless others who follow him great suffering.

    As someone who lived at Sera Mey monastery for two years and speaks Tibetan, let me make something very clear.

    Myself and other students of Jungpa Lhabrang, Gosok Lhabrang and other non-Shugden houses in the Pomra khangtsen, were intimidated TO practice Shugden. Yes, you heard me correctly.

    My teacher is the previous abbot of Sera Mey and I can tell you that he tried MANY times to reason with the Pomra House leaders.

    You see, those of us who have samaya with HH Dalai Lama were fined for not going to Shugden pujas. For me, a Westerner, this is not in itself a big thing, but for the poor Tibetans, 50 rupees is a great deal of money.

    We tried not chanting along with the short Shugden prayer (which involves, in the Tibetan, loudly chanting ‘Sey” (kill) at one point). But the khangtsen disciplinarians began placing printed editions of the praise in our laps, forcing us to chant along.

    My teacher (the former abbot) and even HH Dalai Lama were prepared to live and let live. But the Shugdens agitated repeatedly – and in fact for those in pomra loyal to the Dalai Lama, pressured us to break samaya with our Guru.

    The pared down, friendly NKT version of this practice does not give you the full idea of what it is really about. If you want to understand the history behind this deity, at least try to read “The Shuk-Den Affair, Origins of a Controversy” by Georges Dreyfuss.

    Finally, to do wrathful actions requires an extraordinary amount of wisdom on the part of the bodhisattva practitioner. Is your practice advanced enough, and your knowledge of Tibetan Buddhism, its language, and history enough, to really be “wrathful” in this case with a clear conscience?

    Finally, I think the main reason for the Tibetans anger at the Shugden practitioners are statements such as Kundeling Losang Yeshe’s , and the photos and mountains of eyewitness reports connecting Shugden leaders with the People’s Republic of China.

    As someone who has lived in India for a total of 2 years between 2004-2006, I think I am qualified to comment.

    Finally, I am sorry if my views cause you suffering. But really, I see you as someone who is being manipulated by only being shown 10% of the relevant information regarding this controversy, and following a teacher who has been trying to harm HH Dalai Lama’s reputation for years. Rest assured, if it wasn’t through the WSS, it would be through something else.

  22. Otto Kerner

    Atisha’s cook,

    I’m not an expert in the historical issues involved, but, based on my limited understanding, you seem to be presenting a version of Gelugpa religious history which exaggerates the importance of Dorje Shugden. I have formed this opinion in large part of the basis of reading Lindsay McCune’s thesis on the subject (unpublished, but available here: http://tinyurl.com/67k7we). She quotes Dreyfuss as saying, “whereas previously Shuk-den seems to have been a relatively minor protector in the Ge-luk tradition, Pa-bong-ka made him into one of the main protectors of the tradition” and then provides additional background information supporting this opinion. McCune’s sources and conclusion may or may not be flawed, but I can at least say that she does not seem like someone with an ax to grind.

    Jigme:

    It certainly seems to be the case that there are people around the Dalai Lama who would like to see more centralisation of religious authority, and the Dalai Lama does not seem to be actively opposing this. To what extent the Dalai Lama himself instigated this I have no idea. I’m thinking, for example, of the United Party started by Gyalo Thönḍup (the Dalai Lama’s brother) in in the 1960s, which is said to have had religious centralisation as one of its goals. It’s also interesting to note that the government-in-exile created the idea that each of the four schools has a leader, whereas the Kagyü and Nyingma schools had never had one leader in the past. Then there is the controversy over the identity of the current Karmapa: two different factions in the Karma Kagyü support two different candidates, but the Dalai Lama is actively supporting one of them. One of his representatives, Tashi Wangdi, said at the time “the Dalai Lamas traditionally made the final confirmation of the reincarnation,” which is a completely ahistorical claim.

    As for why Dorje Shugden would not be including in a combined Tibetan Buddhism, I don’t really know, but the conventional view is that Dorje Shugden and his followers represent an exclusivist trend within Gelug. So, in order to unify the schools, the Dalai Lama would have to in a sense take in elements from each school, and the Dorje Shugden people would be very resistant to that. I don’t know if this is true, though, or just something people say.

  23. Khedrup

    Just to close, this is my eyewitness experience. And so I feel I should share it. I really don’t wish to fight and don’t feel my practice is advanced enough for “wrathful actions”. I will return to India this year, mostly Dharamsala but also Sera and Drepung Monasteries to visit friends and teachers, and will send further information from there.

    Please at least take my report into consideration, as, without Tibetan language and a knowledge of all the parties involved in the dispute, I don’t think WSS was able to form a properly researched opinion. The reps they sent stayed a very short time, and don’t speak Tibetan.

    Finally I would like to sign off from this discussion, as I’ve said everything I have to say and don’t want to go in circles, causing both of us unecessary frustration.

    In dharma,
    K.

  24. Khedrup

    The centralization is more for survival than anything else. If the sects continue competing and not communicating with eachother, it would be almost impossible to maintain the tradition in an exile environment.

    They appointed 1 rep from the Kagyu and 1 from the Nyingma traditions because they wanted each tradition to have an equal voice on the council of religious elders, including Bon. This council doesn’t have authority to change study materials etc. in monasteries but works towards more unity and less sectarianism.

    As for HH being the leader of Tibetans, he introduced elections for the TGIE and has a PM the Tibetans chose. It is hard to remove himself as a figurehead but he has tried with some success to democratize things.

  25. Atisha's cook

    hi Khedrup –

    thank you for these clarifications.

    i’m really not Atisha!

    i don’t doubt what you say about intimidation *by* Shugden monks. i would say that this is completely wrong and that any person who tries to intimidate another out of delusion is not a practitioner of Dharma. neither side is 100% blameless here – it’s perhaps inevitable that in a schism situation, both sides will act in harmful ways. i’ve heard firsthand accounts of threats, stone-throwing and other unBuddhist behaviour from victims on *both* sides. however, this schism exists only through HH’s actions, and could be stopped almost overnight by him if he chose to do so; he has the power to do this.

    i know (translations of) the Tibetan Dorje Shugden prayer. it is full of language that is equally as colourful as the prayers of *every* Protector Deity in Tibetan Buddhism (of which I’m aware). stories abound about *every* Protector that no educated Tibetan takes literally, and the words of these practices, as you know, are often terrifying if taken at face value. you know very well that the only obstructors and enemies of the doctrine that these Protectors “kill” in reality (however forcefully their practitioners shout: “Sey!”) are the inner enemies of the practitioners’ own delusions.

    in fact, the WSS did send Tibetan speakers, as well as non Tibetan speakers, to investigate. it was, i believe, non-Shugden Tibetan Lamas who first brought the (recently worsening) situation to our attention. we are now in constant communication with Tibetan practitioners around the world, especially n India. we are not ill-informed about this issue, or its historical and cultural complexities. it’s too easy to say we don’t understand, or that we’re ill-informed.

    that doesn’t mean that i personally know everything about the issue, and i’m constantly trying to find out more, so thank you for your report. for example, i should say that yesterday i found out that i’d made a mistake: i spoke to the president of the Dorje Shugden Society for clarification – it is NOT Kundeling Rinpoche who is their president and he is NOT a spokesperson for them, nor is it he who is taking legal action against HHDL. this legal action is being brought by the Dorje Shugden Society, not by Kundeling Rinpoche, as i previously stated i believed. the website you mentioned linked to from the WSS site IS NOT Kundeling Rinpoche’s, it is the Dorje Shugden Society’s. i’ve already made clear my personal disagreement with some of Kundeling Rinpoche’s views.

    so i don’t know everything, and i’m constantly learning. but i have researched all this extensively over 12 years and i DO know more than enough to see that HHDL has caused a schism in the Sangha through banning this practice, apparently for political reasons (the centralization policy), however laudable one may feel those reasons to be. this schism is caused by his ban, *not* by the practice itself. it is the reason for all the pain and the terrible suffering experienced by both sides. and His Holiness could stop it all today by simply lifting the ban, abolishing the forced signature campaign, and asking everyone to respect each other’s religious freedom rather than view each other with hatred and suspicion. this is our main point – he has the power to end this schism.

    i’ll try not to keep going with this, Khedrup – i think you’re right that we’ll go around in circles. its just hard (for both of us, i guess) not to answer when we see things that appear to us to be incorrect! at least i felt i needed to clarify my mistake with respect to the Dorje Shugden Society, and also to answer the suggestion that we are ill-informed. i respect your contribution to this discussion, and again, thank you for your civility.

    we’re brothers in the Dharma, separated only by some karma – but we both hold dear our faith in the Three Jewels, and are worthy of each other’s respect for that.

  26. Khedrup

    Dear Atisha’s cook,

    The president of the Shugden society in Delhi has lied to you.

    At least now we know that the president of the Shugden soceity cannot be trusted. I can demonstrate very clearly and easily that he lied about Kundeling is not involved in the legal action against HHDL. This comes from my personal examination of the court documents and was easy to prove.

    Proof that both Kundeling Losang Yeshe AND the Delhi Based Shugden society launched the petition against the Dalai Lama in the High Court:

    2. That the said amendments sought to carried out follow from the addition of Kundeling Rimpoche, son of Jamyang Samten aged around 49 years, resident of 1366, Vishamanava Double Road, Kuvempunagar, Mysore 570023 as Petitioner No. 2. The said Kundeling Rimpoche is already a signatory to the Petition, in his capacity as the authorised signatory of the Dorje Shugden Devotees Religious and Charitable Society, which was the earlier sole Petitioner, and is now designated as the Petitioner No. 1 in the amended Petition.

    Please read the petition yourself.
    http://docs.google.com/View?docid=d4f7j8p_175fgnghj

    APPLICATION UNDER SECTION 151 OF THE CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE READ WITH ORDER VI RULE 17, CPC, FOR AMENDMENT OF MEMO OF PARTIES

    “it is NOT Kundeling Rinpoche who is their president and he is NOT a spokesperson for them, nor is it he who is taking legal action against HHDL”

    The president of the Shugden society lied to you.

    I will give some excerpts to support my views rather than explaining again why the Tibetan people link the Shugden supporters with Chinese govt:
    http://www.sumatiarya.nl/voiceofDorjeShugden.html
    Dear Dalai lama,
    I am writing to inform you that I intend to launch a protest at the Tibetan Cultural Center in Bloomington with at least 2,000 Chinese Shugden Supporters this summer…I will be in Beijing this summer, enlisting the Chinese to support me to help heal your afflicted mind.

  27. Khedrup

    The petion was launched by HH. the 13the Kundeling Rimpoche, Spiritual Head of the Atisha Mahayana/Vajrayana centres, worldwide and Founder and President of the Atischa Charitable Trust and Head of the Kundeling MOnastery, Mysore, India in name of the Dorje Shugden Society, Delhi. India you find the numbers l,2,3 and 4.

    nr. 1 is Dorje Shugden Society, New Delhi, India

    nr. 2 is Kundeling Rimpoche, Mysore, India.

    nr. 3 is Samdong Rimpoche, minister tibetan parlement in exile, Dharamsala, India

    nr.4 is the Dalai Lama.

  28. Wishing well

    Atisha,

    I am a tibetan. My grandfather used to practise shugden. But my grandfather never passed this practise to my father and myself. I think he was very sensible. He perfectly knew the consequences and my family is very proud of him.

    Jigme la, i used to sympathise with shugden followers but protesting against the HHDL is stabbing oneself and the Tibetan community. My my experience HHDL did the right thing. To get away with this practise in the community. I found out from my experience that this practise is sectarian.
    few ex: (a) when i was a kid, i used to go to wang to kagyu and nyinma monastery. We used to get tsok, religious text and other materials. But my grandfather never allowed me take it to the alter room. as a kid i found this weird. Now i know why and think this is not right?
    (b) I am from north-east India. There were quite a lot of shugden followers in this part of India. Before HHDL restrictions, these shugden followers made their own tsokpa(org) and had gatherings among themselves, married among themselves, they were very sectarian as well.

    Now 99% of these tibetans have given up this sectarian practise. thanks to HHDL for trying to get rid of secretarism in tibetan buddhism.

    And thanks to my popola for his far-sighted. Currently Tibet, TGIE and HHDL is more important then shugden. It’s common sense. TGIE and HHDL has done more then this unseen Shugden.

    If the NKT/WSS if they really care about tibetan shugden in India then they should come to India, buy houses, build clinics, schools, monastery rather spent money defaming HHDL.

  29. lionheart

    Khedrup says some interesting things in this debate. Maybe I can share my own story?

    My personal experience with the Dalai Lama is as follows:

    In the early 1980’s I helped to finance his visits to the UK and went to receptions at the Palace of Westminster in London to meet him. I was very impressed with meeting the person said to be the living Buddha of compassion. Later I went to some of his public talks and then took Kalachakra initiation from him in Rikon in Switzerland in 1985. Simultaneous with all this I was happily attending Manjushri Institute in the UK and receiving teachings from a range of Tibetan lamas. Shugden practice was something you were invited to attend if you were lucky – especially in the presence of amazing lamas like Zong Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe, Geshe Kelsang, Geshe Rabten, to name a few….Life was full and good. Buddhist practice was sorting out my life …

    Then in 1996 we heard the first stories of the Dalai Lama’s ban. I was paralysed for a long time. I had sincerely made the deepest spiritual commitments to both the Dalai Lama and, among others, in particular to Ven Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Now I was faced with a choice (which must be far more heart-rending for Tibetans to make -actually impossible for them it seems). It became clear a choice was going to have to be made as to which of these were to continue to be my root guru.

    After thinking and reading for a long time I finally understood that the dalai lama was actually not a qualified dharma student let alone teacher when I received empowerments from him. Why not? Because he had forsaken his very own root guru, Trijang Rinpoche and was in process of destroying his lineage (This process BTW is almost complete now with the 2008 atrocities). He made his first public speech on this matter on July 13th 1978 – some time before I received teachings. Therefore by choosing to rely upon Ven Geshe Kelsang and abandon the dalai lama I was actually not creating any bad karma – in fact I was in process of purifying myself of the influence of a person who had broken with his own teacher.

    This is my story and I consider myself extremely lucky to have escaped from the dalai lama’s influence. Nowadays wherever we look on the internet his name is associated with love, compassion etc etc. But if we look just a little bit under the surface there is conflict and disharmony everywhere he goes….

  30. Atisha's cook

    ok – to clarify:

    i asked: “is it Kundeling Lama or the Dorje Shugden Society that is taking the Dalai Lama to court?” and was told: “it’s the Dorje Shugden Society”. this was the basis of my assertion above.

    having reread the petition, from which you’ve quoted above (http://docs.google.com/View?docid=d4f7j8p_175fgnghj), i see now that in fact Kundeling Rinpoche IS acting on behalf of the Dorje Shugden Society in this matter.

    sorry for my confusion on this point, and thank you again for your clarification.

    this is something of a detail, though, i think, rather than the main point, which remains: that Kundeling Rinpoche is not the leader of the Dorje Shugden Society, nor a recognized spokesperson for the WSS, and that his views as expressed in the France24 report and elsewhere cannot be taken as being representative of the WSS (though, reasonably, we have to say that, the WSS lacking an appointed leader, ANY member has the right to speak and put forward their views, even if not every other member agrees with them).

  31. Khedrup

    This is one of the major problems with the protests. The WSS has no leader, has no central office – In short, it has no accountability.
    People feel free to use name calling and disrupting Dharma classes as a way to destroy the Dalai Lama’s reputation, but the Shugden Society and its supporters are not willing to take responsibility for the statements of their most important members.
    This is exactly what is wrong with this campaign and why it is shameful.
    While I vehemently disagree with Kundeling Losang Yeshe’s views, at least he has the courage to show his face and stand by his accusations, however false they may be.
    The NKT on the other hand, tries to confuse the issue by ‘demonstrating as the WSS, but not the NKT.

    Where this is no accountability, motives are suspect. I find the techniques of the WSS highly questionable and lacking in forthrightness and honesty.

  32. lionheart

    May I ask Khedrup where the accountability comes in on the side of the Dalai Lama and his followers?

    Regardless of the fact that he has been personally involved in every single attack on his own lineage, and in every single attack on Shugden people he is taking no responsibility for the suffering caused.

    (BTW I read the earlier posts where you were making out a case that the Dalai Lama cannot be responsible for the actions of others. I disagree. It is he himself who is using words to stir up and incite his people against each other. Without his direct encouragement this persecution would not be taking place. Of course he is responsible!)

    I know that he can act as if he has no responsibility because in the small world of the Tibetan Government in Exile it is impossible to ever question the Dalai Lama’s views and words without fear of retribution and punishment from others. Just like the people in the story of the Emperor’s new clothes his followers blindly agree with his wishes regardless of their personal feelings, views, perceptions. He is viewed as infallible. Therefore he can act without concern for the consequences – whatever he does he will never be thrown out of office.

    The shame you talk of begins and ends with the Dalai Lama himself.

    You say WSS use name calling. How ironic. Calling a person “evil spirit”, “devil”, “murderer”, “terrorist” etc seems to be OK when these words are spoken by the Dalai Lama but when WSS call him a “liar” you have a problem with this!

    On a scale of offensiveness I wonder where most normal people would rank “devil” etc. compared to “liar”?

  33. Khedrup

    lionheart,

    The criticisms you make about no one being able to question the Dalai Lama’s views is no different from so many stories we have heard from former NKT members (students of your teacher, GKG). Whenever anyone questions him, they are removed from their position as resident teacher (letter available from the web) or shamed publicly by having letters removing them sent to the centre for everyone to read.

    I don’t like blurring the two issues of the NKT and Shugden, but since you mentioned the behaviour of the Dalai Lama’s followers, the behaviour of the NKT central office is worse in my view. For myself, this is why I don’t think we should ever completely surrender common sense in the name of “guru devotion.” I think the whole concept is minsunderstood by many people, which is why I recommend people read Berzin’s book on the subject. In the West I think we need a new approach to this practice.

    My honest feeling is that Shugden is only part of the issue for the NKT. The other reason for their campaign is to destroy the reputation of the Dalai Lama, whom they have always disliked. Story after story confirms this from former NKT members, loads of experiences are available on the web.
    These demonstrations harm the cause of Buddhism, no matter what the grievances. But the NKT has never been able to look at the big picture.
    If you look at the historical implications of how Shugden was “promoted” from a worldy protector to a Buddha, suddenly the politics of the practice become clear. I have read several of the documents in Tibetan, including the yellow book, and really the Shugden people, while I have some sympathy for the laypeople involved, are victims of the agitation and sectarianism of their leaders.

  34. lionheart

    Dear Khedrup

    It seems from your reply above that you accept my observation that the Dalai Lama cannot be questioned in Tibetan society without fear of retribution;possibly your own experience in India will confirm that? Thank you for your support.

    Regarding the Dalai Lama’s reputation – this is in his own hands. It appears that he is doing an excellent job of destroying this himself. All that the WSS are asking is that he gives religious freedom and stops the persecutions he has initiated. If that damages his reputation then so be it.

    Regarding the cause of Buddhism I believe that to allow the Dalai Lama to get away with his religious oppression will be infinitely more damaging than a few peaceful demonstrations. When Buddhist monks burnt themselves to death to protest the Vietnam war it didn’t harm Buddhism. Why should the WSS demonstrations – which in any case are about religious freedom and not politics cause harm? Your view indicates attachment to “the cause” and a lack of interest in the truth.

    If you read my first post in this thread you will notice that I, personally, at one time viewed the Dalai Lama, as an enlightened being. Now, through many years of observing his negative speech and actions I have changed that and view him these days as ordinary. However, I do not dislike the Dalai Lama but I definitely dislike his deceitful speech and behaviour – it is shameful for an important religious figure to behave as he is doing.

    I am not alone in holding these views. Many thousands of Tibetans feel this way nowadays – ones who know him very well. Some you can see on recent videos speaking their mind and I myself speak to some from time to time to learn what is happening there. Also, Helmut Gassner, the Dalai Lama’s translator for many years, gives an interesting account of how his own view of the Dalai Lama changed as he got to know him better.

    There are no politics involved in praying to Dorje Shugden. It is a purely religious practice.

    The politics of this situation comes from the one who is universally recognised as a politician – the Dalai Lama himself.

    BTW regarding your comments on the practice of relying upon a spiritual guide – if we do not surrender “common sense” then do we not remain common? Read the inspiring stories of previous disciples attaining the highest spiritual goals through their sincere reliance. Quite uncommon.

  35. Khedrup

    “It seems from your reply above that you accept my observation that the Dalai Lama cannot be questioned in Tibetan society without fear of retribution;possibly your own experience in India will confirm that?”

    Support? Hardly. This is a common tactic of WSS people, to tag team on these discussions and create confusion. In fact, I was saying NKT/WSS should not point fingers (no matter how false the allegations are) when their own organization is rife with stories of sexual abuse, intimidation et al.
    Far from it, in fact during meetings with the Dalai lama in India he always told people that they should question everything, even his views. “If you like what I say, keep it. If you don’t, throw it away.”
    The Dalai Lama in fact allowed the Shugden practice to go on for many years despite his feelings about its danger. But my experience as a Sera Mey monk in India shows how the Pomra monks kept agitating to promote the practice more widely. Just read my comments above.
    HHDL was forced to become tighter than usual due to the murders of Lobsang Gyatso (read interpol reports) and agitation by Shugden monks in the monasteries (I was at Sera Mey when some Shugden monks tied a TGIE representative to a chair because he disagreed with them).
    Actually from accounts I have from 2 monks studying at Sera (one from a Lhabrang that was formerly a part of Pomrakhang, the other from Jey), the current situation is better since the seperation of the monastery. The Shugden monks took posession of all of Pomra Khangtsen’s buildings, (dorms, and the old and new prayer halls) and have seperate prayers and debate. This is how it has always been in monastic communities, when there is a split, hold an open vote (like the stick referendum) whichever side wins stays, and the others can follow along or leave. And usually they wouldn’t get to keep buildings, but in this case they did!
    When I return to India late October I will do so armed with a camera and notebook and conduct firsthand interviews.

    Reliance on a spiritual guide- If you read Berzin’s work you can see that he felt that Phabonkha made Tsonkhapa’s teachings on the issue far more conservative than they were. i encourage you to explore his website.

    In the past, teachers like Marpa and Naropa etc. had one on one relationships with their gurus that made this practice realistic. Nowadays, for people to have this kind of devotion to teachers they barely know or haven’t met is nearly impossible.

    My views come from having spent time as a monk in the Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions. It has allowed me to grow as a monk and understand better the historicity of the Tibetan paradigm. It has allowed me to approach my spiritual life and teachers with both eyes open, and to honour my gurus while remaining true to lord Buddha’s advice in the Kalama Sutta.

  36. Khedrup

    Finally, unless any of us have new information to present, I think we’ve really discussed all sides of this. If heated discussions continue aimlessly, it doesn’t serve any “side” in this dispute and just makes the Dharma and all of us look bad.
    I don’t have any desire to be on the website of people that “posts” against NKT either. I don’t want to be unreasonable. And really there isn’t anything to add. If we’ve all said our peace maybe best for everyone to move on from the discussion, at least here.

  37. lionheart

    Dear Khedrup

    Thank you for your posts. However, you cannot smear Shugden people and then expect to close the discussion. That is simply unfair and naive.

    By failing to provide any counter evidence or convincing argument regarding my point about Tibetans not questioning the Dalai Lama for fear of retribution you have agreed with this point. This is not a tactic. You have, by default, given support to my point. Actually it is not a matter of debate but a matter of fact – note the French24 News reporter last week who said “To go against the Dalai Lama is very taboo; you will be called a Chinese spy”. Everybody know this to be true. So I understand you cannot reply.

    Your saying that the Dalai Lama says “If you like what I say keep it. If you don’t, throw it away” and then going on to explain how the Dalai Lama enforces a religious ban shows a contradiction – either Dalai Lama followers are free to “throw away” his advice or they are not. Which is it? Sadly we all know very well.

    Regarding tying TGIE reps. to a chair – what business did this Government official person have in a monastery anyway? I can tell you. He was trying to force these people to sign away their spiritual heritage to fulfil the Dalai Lama’s political ambitions. Similarly, right now these agents of the Dalai Lama are threatening to ban monks from attending the annual prayer festival if they do not remove the teaching throne of Trijang Rinpoche. Such blatant political interference in private religious matters is the order of the day in that community. I hope your camera work and notebook will record such things for us to hear about in the Winter. Thank you.

    Your mentioning again those horrible murders and trying to link them to Shugden people – in the absence of any evidence – again shows your bias and lack of interest in fair-mindedness and the truth as I said previously. Looking here will show you the real story: http://www.shugdensociety.info/historyEvents1997FR

    Your mentioning out-of-date stories about NKT shows bias yet again. You imply that the problems were systemic when in fact they were the responsibility of only a very few people in NKT who have now been removed; further, if you read the revised Internal Rules of NKT you’ll see how they have been adapted to attempt to avoid such problems recurring.

    Why, if you are interested in truth and honesty (a word you use a lot) did you not mention these facts but instead to prefer to focus only on old news? It would be good if you could provide me with a clear answer to this question.

    Regarding the practice of reliance on the spiritual guide the main problem here is not trusting the spiritual guide. Any problems have little to do with culture, geography, history, etc. as you and Mr. Berzin imply. When a student does not trust his/her teacher there will be problems; when a teacher does not respect his/her students there will be problems.

  38. Wishing well

    Lionheart,

    Like me, there are lots of young tibetan who don’t agree with HHDL, in regards to autonomy and complete independence. But that does not mean we go and protest and defame him like you lots do. We weigh our options. we know the hardwork. No wonder you have so many divorce rates and family problems. Atleast learn to accept someone’s gratitude for all the hardwork. Seeing is believing.

  39. Khedrup

    Dear Lionheart,

    You are free to continue of course, it was merely a suggestion. If you really want answers to your questions I will do my best.

    The old news I present is relevant because the chief murder suspects are STILL the two men with the Shugden links. The link you posted is from the Shugden society, how could it be considered neutral? For the same reason, I won’t link to the TGIE website but refer people to Interpol because it’s probably the least biased form out there.

    About tying the Exile government person to a chair, is that acceptable conduct for monks even if he was gathering signatures?

    As for countering your point about Tibetans not being afraid to disagree with the Dalai Lama, this I can do:
    This film by non-Buddhst filmakers includes interviews with several vocal Dharamsala Tibetans who disagree with HHDL asking for autonomy, they want complete independence. These people are still very active members of the Dharamsala community:
    http://www.unwinkinggaze.com/

    Likewise the CNN piece “Buddha’s Warriors” with Christiane Armanpour includes several interviews with Dharamsala based Tibetan monk and laypeople who openly and fearlessly express their disagreement with the Dalai Lama for asking for autonomy and not complete independence:
    http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/07/31/amanpour.buddhas.warriors/index.html

    Surely these news stories are more unbiased than the webpage of the Shugden society?

  40. Khedrup

    Dear Lionheart,

    You are free to continue of course, it was merely a suggestion. If you really want answers to your questions I will do my best.
    For the same reason, I won’t link to the TGIE website but refer people to Interpol because it’s probably the least biased form out there.

    About tying the Exile government person to a chair, is that acceptable conduct for monks even if he was gathering signatures?
    As for countering your point about Tibetans not being afraid to disagree with the Dalai Lama, this I can do:
    Dharamsala Tibetans who disagree with HHDL asking for autonomy, they want complete independence. These people are still very active members of the Dharamsala community:
    http://www.unwinkinggaze.com/
    includes several interviews with Dharamsala based Tibetan monk and laypeople who openly and fearlessly express their disagreement with the Dalai Lama for asking for autonomy and not complete independence:
    http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/07/31/amanpour.buddhas.warriors

  41. Khedrup

    As for the NKT my reasons for believing the problems are systemic come from many first hand accounts of former members widely available on the internet. I don’t think the news about the former heir is that dated, at most it is a year old.

  42. lionheart

    Dear Wishingwell

    I think you have missed the point. This debate is about freedom of religious practice not Tibetan political freedom. Best wishes to you.

    Dear Khedrup

    I received your post. Here is my reply.

    “WARNING
    The person should be considered innocent until proven guilty.”
    From INTERPOL’s website.

    Khedrub it is very clear you do not want to follow INTERPOL’s advice regarding this affair as indicated by your repetition of this old news. You wish to place in the minds of readers that Shugden people committed these vile acts. Your behaviour in this regard is, to say the least, not fair-minded. I believe that your real intention is to destroy Je Tsongkhapa’s pure tradition by destroying his Dharmapala practice.

    I can’t say about the monks tying up the TGIE rep. – whether it is acceptable or not – that would depend on their motivation – maybe they were trying to prevent him getting beaten up by less patient monks? Who knows? Do you know their motivation? You say you were there at the time. Maybe in October you can find them and ask them?

    However, it is very clear that the motivation of the TGIE person was to try to enforce an illegal and discriminatory action upon the Shugden monks. This has been happening worldwide since the beginning of 2008 in Tibetan communities – even in “free” societies like the USA and France.

    Your examples about disagreement with the Dalai Lama are not relevant as these external political issues are completely out of his control – whereas matters of internal politics such as using religion to bolster power are quite firmly under his control. This is the relevant area where disagreement is not brooked in Tibetan society and where people’s lives are in danger if they speak out. On this there is a great deal of direct evidence.

    For example, Tashi Angdu, President of the Tibetan Regional Council approved this advert in the “Tibetan Times” newspaper during the first wave of the ban, saying, “Anyone who is against the Dalai Lama must be opposed….that is to say by all means including violence”. He said “There are official and unofficial deities. Worshiping deities not approved by the Government is against the law”.

    In the great democracy of India, Deity discrimination like this is illegal and against the constitution but the Tibetan govt. feel they are above Indian law it seems. Other messages posted anonymously about Shugden people say “They have to be killed” “We will interrupt their lives” “You will be dead in 7 days”.

    I, myself, received a death threat only today, August 19th 2008.

    This is not a debate that can be stifled. I believe people are interested in the truth.

  43. Khedrup

    “I believe that your real intention is to destroy Je Tsongkhapa’s pure tradition by destroying his Dharmapala practice.”

    Show me where in Tsongkhapa’s works he mentions this practice. Also, this statement, labeling me as someone who “wants to destroy Tsongkhapa’s doctrine” is simply name-calling. You take the same tactic that others use against you – instilling fear. I believe this is wrong, Shugden or non-Shugden.

    I am sorry you received threats. I was also in the chambers of my teacher who was then an abbot at Sera when he got calls from Pomra monks threatening his life because of his outspoken support for the Dalai Lama.

    My friend in our house was threatened by Pomra monks that they would beat him up.

    In short, I don’t believe either side is innocent. But the more meaningless accusations are shot back and forth, the worse ALL of us make dharma look.

    Both sides need to stop senseless namecalling and accusations, such as accusing one another of “destroying the dharma.” This reminds me of the political debates I watched on TV in Taiwan. Shame on anyone who uses these tactics, wherever their spiritual loyalties lie.

  44. Khedrup

    It is HHDL right as the patron of the Den Sa Sum (three seats monastic unversities) to set the parameters for the practices of such institution. The abbots and monks voted to have him as patron, and all our monastic ID cards, pre and post-dispute, list him as patron.
    The Pomra monks now have posession of all their monastic buildings within Sera and practice on their own. By all opinions this has greatly helped cool the tensions and the situation is improving.
    HHDL statements, while strong, never threatened anyone with death or danger or any such thing. So clearly, he is not guilty of that. If one of the 100,000 Tibetans in India has emailed you such a threat, I apologize and condemn it.
    I have no energy to continue this dispute, as I realize that the longer this thread becomes, the more petty all Buddhists begin to look.
    I doubt many people are interested enough to read this far down the comments section.
    I promise I am throwing in the towel. If you wish to debate with me by email, you have my address.

    all the best,
    K.

  45. Tenzin

    Khedrub, “destroying the Dharma” is exactly what the Dalai Lama is accusing Dorje Shugden practitioners of doing — he says we are not Buddhists but evil spirit worshippers, even though we take refuge in the Three Jewels and follow Buddha’s teachings faithfully. This is a heavy accusation and has no basis in the reality of any Dorje Shugden practitioner.

    The Dalai Lama is the one doing the mud-slinging and Dorje Shugden practitioners are the ones in the undesirable position of having to defend ourselves. If he lifted the ban on Dorje Shugden and gave religious freedom, we could all stop these blogs and chat groups and heave a huge sigh of relief. Truthfully, it is all in his hands. If he is worried about losing face, then that is a big shame, because this conflict could be solved tomorrow if the Dalai Lama chose to solve it.

    Please check out http://www.WisdomBuddhaDorjeShugden.blogspot.com and http://www.aboutwss.org for ongoing information, videos, discussions, testimonies and so on.

    May everyone be happy.

  46. lionheart

    Dear Khedrup

    The death threat to me was not emailed. I received it word of mouth from someone living in my community. The local police have been informed (again).

    Dorje Shugden is the same mental continuum as Lama Tsongkhapa and he functions to protect his own pure lineage. In other words Lama Tsongkhapa himself arose as Dorje Shugden and has functioned in this way for 400yrs.

    This is my personal religious belief but you and the Dalai Lama wish to deprive me of this belief by calling Shugden a spirit and mobilising all Buddhists around the world against people like me. Your words on these posts indicate this so clearly.

    I have read many of your posts and they are clearly in support of the Dalai Lama’s view and against Shugden people. You are not balanced or impartial. Your intention is to deprive me of my religious freedom because you believe I am not a Buddhist.

    These conclusions are not intended to frighten you – they are simple observations and clarifications of the truth of this matter.

  47. Wishing well

    dear lionheart,

    Who is denying you Freedom of Religion. Dorjee Shugden society is operating freely inside tibetan camp in delhi. And Shugden people practise freely in Shillong as long as they don’t bring it into the community. But in monasteries, schools and institutions, they have to follow rules made for the majority in an unsectarian feeling. HHDL being the head has the right.

    If you still feel this is not right. Instead of spending on protest and travel. Why don’t you get out of the Tibetan society or help the 1% Tibetan shugden people out of the tibetan society, build hospital, monastery, schools, settlements for them. This will be real Dharma rather then destroying dharma.

    And how dare nkt say that they are pure and other’s linage’s are not. Very sectarian. isn’t it.

  48. Khedrup

    This dispute has gone to the point beyond reason and is now just making assumptions about the intentions of people you don’t even know. Which is why I said I will not post any new links or commentary until I visit India and have new first hand reports to convey.

    Now please, let me bow out gracefully. Since you think my motivation is so tainted, would the ending of all my posts not be what you want?

  49. lionheart

    Dear Wishing Well

    In the UK for 12 years I have been unable to advertise Dharma classes, book rooms for classes; had to endure being ostracized by other Buddhists and of course the never-ending smears of being called devil worshipers and haters of the Dalai Lama. None of these is true but here in the UK Shugden people have been sent beyond the pale for their beliefs. Subtle religious apartheid is at work.

    This is not religious freedom. It is living in fear of practising one’s own belief. The people doing this are breaking the law and they have all been encouraged to do this by one person – the Dalai Lama himself.

    You may talk about the Dalai Lama’s “careful investigations” to prove Shugden is not enlightened. Do you know what these investigations consisted of? You can see on TGIE and DL websites. It is mostly 1. Bad dreams, 2. uncomfortable feelings, and 3. throwing balls of dough in the air!

    Why should I tolerate abuse because of this so-called “evidence”? It is absolutely ridiculous! In any court of law this would be thrown out immediately. Superstitious people may wish to follow these ideas but not to impose them on others – what the Dalai Lama has done in the monasteries is illegal and against human rights too.

    I have every right to practise freely without intimidation and I will protest the Dalai Lama until that right is established.

    Previous to the Dalai Lama’s ban I sent money to Tibetan refugees, young monks and so forth. But if by my sending help to Tibetan communities I am at the same time destroying my own religious freedom then I cannot continue. I have more vital uses for my money – like saving Lama Tsongkhapa’s pure tradition from destruction.

    And finally, the Dorje Shugden Society in Delhi is practising freely why do their leaders continue to have to hide from fear of death threats?

  50. lionheart

    Dear Wishing Well

    You said:

    “And how dare nkt say that they are pure and other’s linage’s are not. Very sectarian. isn’t it.”

    It is yourself who is sectarian by saying this because to support what you say here you can find not one piece of valid evidence. It is remarks like these that stir up bad feelings.

    No-one in NKT has ever said this or believes it. NKT has said repeatedly that it respects all traditions and this tenet is included in their Internal Rules for Resident Teachers which you can find at:
    http://www.newkadampatruth.org/

    It is people like you repeating these unfounded allegations that are destroying harmony between Buddhists. Please stop and think what you are saying.

    Also, to correct a misunderstanding from my last post. At present I am sending money to the Shugden monks in India but not to anybody else. Why? Because these monks have been denied medicine, food etc etc. by their own people due to this illegal activity of the Dalai Lama. Unbelievable discrimination. Also, there are many more that 1% my dear.

    Finally:

    Dear Khedrup

    I do not want you to stop posting the truth; but lies about Shugden people cannot and will not go unchallenged. You have said many many wrong things in your posts and so I must answer them. If you can give me good evidence that the Dalai Lama is right to ban this worship then please present it.

    As I said before please bring back film footage of the situation at Pomra – from both sides of the dispute – please make sure you can interview people from both sides and then let us all hear the evidence. Thank you.

  51. Wishing well

    DEAR ATISHA,

    BECAUSE OF NKT/WSS. THE FEW TIBETANS SHUGDEN IN INDIA ARE NOW GIVING UP THIS PRACTISE. NOW EVEN THE 1% WILL GET RID OFF.

    TIBETAN PEOPLE ARE NOW OPENLY QUESTIONING TRIJIANG AND STARTED TO REMOVE HIS PICTURES. THIS IS ALL BECAUSE OF KG, NKT/WSS.

    I AM GREATFUL THAT MY GRANDFATHER NEVER PASSED THIS PRACTISE TO US. I REALLY WISHED EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE DONE THAT.

  52. lionheart

    Dear Wishing Well

    It has been the intention of the Dalai Lama to destroy the lineage he received from Trijang Rinpoche for a very long time so don’t you dare try to blame this spiritual disaster on anybody else!

    On July 13th 1978 the Dalai Lama first spoke publicly about this and indicated that he did not trust his own spiritual guide, Trijang Rinpoche. What a bad example of a Buddhist student now masquerading as leader of Tibetan Buddhism.

  53. Wishing well

    Dear Atisha,

    The lineage you are talking about was destroyed by bringing out the hated Yellow book of the shugden by Zemay and supported by Trijiang and others.

    Adding salt to injury. The protest by KG and his WSS/NKT has made matter worse and will get bad.

    In the end the loss will be the Tibetans and Buddha Dharma.

  54. lionheart

    Dear Wishing Well

    Although I do not believe the stories in the Yellow book I do believe the intention of publishing was to encourage Gelugs to practice purely their own lineage. Nothing wrong with that intention and I believe people should have freedom of speech to say such things – even if I personally do not believe the stories.

    The problem arose because the Dalai Lama (who is educated and should know better) chose to act as if he believed these superstitious stories and to use this as an excuse to take control of the Gelug. If he had just ignored them then there would have been no problem. He could even have published his own refutations. But no. Instead he took this book as the opportunity to destroy Lama Tsongkhapa’s lineage by smearing the lineage gurus as wrong. I wonder if he is pleased by the suffering we have endured that last 30yrs? So now we have a whole generation of easterners and westerners alike following the superstitious ideas of the Dalai Lama. How shocking and how sad!

    You see, wishing well, because one student did not trust his teachers we now have all these problems. Because one student thought he was superior to his teachers we now have all these problems.

    Through this debate we will not lose the Buddadharma, however, – we are purifying and clarifying what is true and what is not true.

    There is no connection between Dorje Shugden practice and the political cause of Tibet – this is yet another superstitious piece of nonsense repeated endlessly. When religion is separated from politics we do not see or hear this kind of thing.

    To claim, as the Dalai Lama has done, that the future of the Buddhadharma depends upon the future of Tibet is quite simply nonsense.

  55. Wishing well

    Hello Atisha,

    Reading a forum in Phayul. I saw this post. It looks like it was posted by a former nkt. I thought to copy and paste it in here. Really, is this what happens in a dharma centre, NKT. This is not buddha dharma. If this is really true then you, NKT are a disgrace to Buddhism.

    Dear friends, family and ex-sangha.
    Some of you are aware and others are not, I have chosen to leave the nkt completely, some people might think that its cold feet others might think that I am “self cherishing” or deluded: what ever you think I dont care, I am goint to tell you why…

    It all started when I decided to look up the full vinaya, the REAL vows and comitments of an ordained person and found that yes indeed there were some strange out dated ones, but also found that there were some valid ones… One being no sexual activity what so ever which, considering the nkts history of sexual misconduct within the ordained comunity, makes sense…

    I then thought about what Shakya (a monk in the nkt) told me at the spring festival, that masterbation is allowed and so is mutual masturbation, now I began to question the authenticity of the nkts ordination vows, at the time a few thoughts crossed my head. I seeked a problem there and I found a huge amount of them.

    Did you know that:

    1) Samden Gyatso (the 2nd ex-national spiritual director of the nkt) had sexual relations with many women for a very long time (using tantra as an excuse), the only reason he ever disrobed is becuase one of the nuns tried to commit suicide after falling pregnant with his child, only then did Kelsang Gyatso do some thing about it. And Im sure every one can remember the cover up – That he was not leaving the nkt but going on a 3 year retreat!
    2) The current resident teacher of Vajravarahi centre, Gen Kelsang Pagpa has been caught on numerous occasions watching pornography on the centre computer, he is still ordained and still teaching!
    3) Lodro the ex-teacher of Heruka centre in London ran off with Togme the ex teacher of Bodhisatva centre in Brighton, please bear in mind that they took vows of celibacy.
    4) The Current residet teacher in Bodhisatva centre has just ran off with her 3rd man.
    5) Kadam Lucy james from florida in the U.S and kadam Bjorn have been asked to step down from teaching by Kelsang Gyatso himself because they expressed concern over the protests against HH the Dalai Lama.
    6) I had been removed from Amoghasiddhi centre and was placed in Nagarjuna centre becuase of bad behaviour and my sponsorship had been stopped. So I was stuck in a foreign country with no money!
    7) At Nagarjuna centre, the resident teacher Kadam Bridget is believed to be Tara (A female Buddha). In her flat she is allowed to eat meat and watch tv, she is the only one in the centre that can break NKT centre rules… WHY???
    8) Bridgets duaghter earns £5 an hour to work in the centre cafe, and I ,up until i began recieving nothing, earned less than £1 an hour. Mind you it was voluntary, I guess if my parents were resident teachers it would be different.
    9) At Nagarjuna centre students are asked to donate to Bridget so that she can take her kids on vacation.
    10) Apperently she earns £500 a month… and doesnt go to International Teachers Training, rarely attends pujas (chanting services) and often doesnt teach her classes… her NKT festivals, food, accomidation, childrens accomidation, car and husbands accomidation are also paid for. I wonder what she spends her £500 pocket money on!
    11) There are about 4 people at Nagarjuna Centre who were previously ordained, none of them seem to be mentally stable! AND ALL OF THEM ADVISED AGAINST MY TAKING ORDINATION!
    12) 2 students from Singapore at Nagarjuna centres sponsorship has suddenly stopped, so they had to return to their own country.
    13) Manjushri centre was stolen by the nkt, this Legden even confirmed for me when I first found it on the internet. It was done with sly black mail.
    14) There are people in the nkt who have ‘Lung’ (a disease in your inner energy winds) from incorectly practicing Highest Yoga Tantra. The Tantric empowerment is supposed to given to people who have done alot of purification and have a stable practice of Dharma. Not to whom ever can afford to go to the festivals.
    15) If ever you have a problem in the NKT you are told that you are “deluded” ” self cherishing” ” in samsara ” ” need to allow guru (kelsang gyatso) buddha (shakyamuni) into your heart ” or “not tell any one elso becuase it could destroy peoples faith” This I have been told, I was even called a spoilt brat. And sadly you come to a point where you start to believe it! You completely loose touch with reality and become brain washe into believing that your teacher knows whats best for you, even if it means that you might die becuase of your terminal illness, at the and of the day its all Karma any way isnt it NKT?
    16) told that if you disrobe you will take rebirth in hell. Most traditions of Buddhism that I know dont tell you that. Infact every other tradition (other than the NEW Kadampa) allow you to reordain and redisrobe if you so wish!
    17) Told not to read books other than geshelas, why what do not what me to read? Its all the same any way??? is it not? Is the nkt the only pure source of dharma???? Apperntly so I was discouraged to read a book writen by Guru Rimpoche, the Great Padmasambava by Gen Legden becuase all I need is what Geshela has given me, its all in his books. The same thing happened when some one gave me a book (not even a Buddhist book) inwhich His Holiness the Dalai Lama wrote the foreword, I had to take it away fro where the “public” could see it incase they think we support His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
    18)At Nagarjuna Centre there was a monk called Dang Wong from America who playes with dolls… but thats ok, as long as he doesnt say anything negative about the nkt. He has also been found watching pornography on the internet by a person whom I know.
    19) 2 people I know will be taking ordination this year. The nkt could do with a person who refers to Vajradhara as a “blue dude” and a gay man who is terminally ill and wont take his medication becuase the illness comes from his mind and geshelas dharma is the only cure!
    20) Kelsang Osel was told by Kelsang Legden her teacher at the time that she should NOT have her cancer removed, but rather allow it to purify it self by letting the karma ripen (DIE???) , she went ahead with the surgerry but before she did she left the centre in a terible state, she is now a working nun who lives on her own out side of the nkt.
    21) I was told not to speak about Kelsang Chodor, an American monk, who disrobed. He left becuase of an argument, not because of his health, again why did they lie? Why make me lie?
    22) At the Amoghsiddhi centre where Kelsang Shakya is now the cafe manager (and the only person not moving out of the centre) is on a sponsored possition. As a part of his sponsorship he gets accomodation and food as well as a 115 poundallowence every month. Recently I wittnessed the centre filling out a form for housing benifits on his behalf which he was just asked to sign. If the benifit was granted amogghasiddhi centre ould recieve funds from the government to cover Antonys rent that he doesnt have to pay for! This is a case at many centre throughout the uk and the british government have luanched an investigation into this fraud!23) We are told that the nkt were not responsable for the demonstrations against His Holines the Dalai Lama, but that the Western Shugden Society was, sadly this is a lie… why would the NKT pay for 1000 peoples accomodation and food and travels to the demos if they didnt arrange them? But you cant ask questions becuase you lack faith in your guru an enlightened being.
    24) I had to work some times up to 50 hours of so called voluntary work at the centre, I asked for ONE DAY off and get told NO WE DONT WANT TO MAKE SHAKYA UNHAPPY! what about my happiness? Oh it doesnt matter becuase Im leaving any way!
    25) all the buddhas are inseperable from your guru (kelsang gyatso) becuase its benificial to believe, just as it was benificial for certain people to believe that Samden was inseperable from Kelsang Gyatso and Kelsang Gyatso inseperable from all the Buddhas so if he wants to have sex with me it must mean that I am ready to take a consort, Kelsang Gyatso doesnt say any thing so its fine… a pitty that when she fell pregnant she didnt hold the view that she was giving birth to an enlightened being becuase maybe she wouldnt have tried to commit suicide!26) Kelsang Gyatso asked that this year people do not give him statues as a gift but rather give him money.
    27) At Madhyamaka centre some one tried to commit suicide after being ordained for a few years.
    28) At Amoghasiddhi centre there have been 4 people who disrobed in its 3 or 4 years of existence, and has had about 5 or cafe managers, it must be a pure place, these people must be teaching me a lesson, they are deluded I must not be so deluded, I must allow Guru Buddha into my heart.
    29) At the demonstrations certain members of ordained sangha had to wear lay clothes inorder to do security work. I guess a monk in robes wouldnt be able to “take some one down” fast enough.
    30) At Gyaltsabje centre in Sheffield the majority of the paying residents arent even buddhist.
    31) The nkt welcomes you with open arms but throw you out like a piece of dirt when you are of no benifit to them, they will not support you in any way, they will take your money and give you advice and if you want mre advice they will take some more, at Amoghasiddhi Centre people pay 35 pounds a month to recieve teachings from a teacher who is only here 2 days a week some weeks and the class is often led by Dan who is not a qualified teacher nor even studying on ttp.
    I think 31 reasons to abandon the nkt is enough, and these are only the stories I know and the experiences I had, there are so many more out there, but dont believe them becuase they are all delusional. I am very sad that I have destroyed friendships and relationships with family only to find a bunch of fucked up people fucking people up… thank you for aiding in the fucking up of my mind.
    Thank you for fucking up my life!

  56. Wishing well

    This is sad what nkt is doing. I pity this person. I really hope he is fine and no one practising dharma has to go through this stage.

  57. lionheart

    Dear Wishing Well

    I don’t know where Atisha is, this is lionheart.

    The letter you have quoted comes from a site where the author begins saying these writings are not facts so why do you publish this again? The only reason is because you want people to believe it as fact. Why because it is criticism of Shugden people – and for you any criticism will do even though it has no basis in fact. I can say, knowing some of the people mentioned in this letter – the author is right – he has written many things which are not true!

    In the past the NKT has publicly apologised for mistakes made and has asked to be told of new mistakes so it can improve.

    If you look at
    http://www.newkadampatruth.org/ you will see clear explanations establishing facts to overcome misconceptions. For example the complete lie that Geshe Kelsang stole Manjushri Centre – the full story is available.

    Also I understand that Ven Geshe Kelsang has personally met some of the people previously criticising and leaving this organisation to discuss their concerns.

    Therefore, NKT has acknowledged mistakes, apologised, made changes to improve, and has tried to meet with people who feel they have been treated badly.

    What a contrast this is to the attitude of the Dalai Lama!

    Even though many thousands of people worldwide have experienced great pain as a direct result of his ban on Dorje Shugden practice he continues to refuse to acknowledge the suffering, to explain his reasons.

    The Dalai Lama will not meet with anyone from Shugden people to discuss the situation and he continues his illegal slandering of them. His govt. are also doing the same.

    At WSS website there is a Chronicle of Human Rights Abuses which, one day soon the Dalai Lama will have to acknowledge are the result of his actions.

    Ad my Summer holiday is now over I have no more time for this so will not post here further. Bye bye.

  58. wishingwell

    hello nkt/wss,

    you people abandoned books of HHDL and other tibetan buddhist sects long time. now you want HHDL and other buddhist sects to welcome and meet you. Ha ha ha….. what comes around, goes around…….

  59. palden

    There is a great deal of discussion about shugden. Especially, people generally think Shugden is versus with only the current Dalai Lama. The fact is, Shugden has been in existence since the great 5th Dalai Lama, since then many gelug pa geshes, lamas, practioners equally enforced ban on this worldly spirit. The sad thing is, many Tibetans and westerners are only reading few facts avaialble in English. There are many literatures in Tibetan on Shugden by many Tibetan Buddhist masters including various Dalai Lamas. Hopefully, people who try to understand this issue, either wait for the entire translation of Tibetan scriptures and commentaries into English or better study Tibetan if you are a serious scholar or a practioner.

    Shugden being named as “wisdom Buddha” as portrayed by Shugden followers are not consistent with the historical development of Tibetan Buddhism. No Indian masters who came to Tibet brought shugden spirit to Tibet. It only started from 1600 onwards.

    Also, Tibetanst need to know not just controversy, but also need to know those people who are behind this controversy. People like Kalsang Gyatso and Khangchen Lama are said to have residences and visiting China frequently. In fact, Khangchen Lama is the first Tibetan monk to offer a khatha to the “fake” penchen lama.

    Also, point to be noted, “rigmei” or “non-sectarian movement” have been in Tibet long time back, and it is urgent for Tibetans to have it. Throughout history, various sects are so ignorant of other sects and claiming theirs is the purest form of Buddhism. This is not good for Tibet, HHDL understood those problems and try to bridge gap between different sects, ultimately, separate religon from politics.

    Palden

  60. …Just posting this here since it was posted in the wrong section….

    newgenerationtb:

    “This group is also protesting in NYC while HHDL was giving a lecture in Radio City. I was amused to hear those statements as you mentioned, so I decided to talk to them.

    The accussations are complete lies given the fact that I am from India, so I knew what is the fact to prove them wrong, instead I listened as a passer-by.

    The inji girl in robes declared that Dalai Lama passed law to bann shugden practioners from recieve any kinds of aids, I asked for the copy of law, she did not have it and she said there is a statement from HHDL in the book. But that is not law and I argued in that case, the nun is silent.

    The nun further went on to say, Shugden believers were not issued an ID card without which they cannot buy food, eat in restaurant in India and Nepal and cannot travel internationally. This is a complete lie and I never saw people asking a Tibetan to show ID card to buy food or eat in a restaurant.

    The ID she declared to be used as passport for Tibetans to travel world-wide is a false one, the ID shugden group has on banner is an ID that used in monasteries in South India on which a monk can write either continue to practice or abandon Dolgyal and so forth.

    Finally, I asked her I wanted to a Tibetan representative, she said that sha cannot find them although they do have few Tibetans.

    There is not much meaning in the accussation and their book is nothing more than hate-filled Dolgyal text.”

    NG

  61. Pingback: A Report from Sera and Some Advices « Western Shugden Society - unlocked

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  63. Ex NKT

    Lionheart, in post 53 you said this….

    “In the UK for 12 years I have been unable to advertise Dharma classes, book rooms for classes; had to endure being ostracized by other Buddhists and of course the never-ending smears of being called devil worshipers and haters of the Dalai Lama. None of these is true but here in the UK Shugden people have been sent beyond the pale for their beliefs. Subtle religious apartheid is at work.

    This is not religious freedom. It is living in fear of practising one’s own belief. The people doing this are breaking the law and they have all been encouraged to do this by one person – the Dalai Lama himself.”

    This is such a shame. I had no idea that the persecution of Shugden practitioners extended to the UK. What a terrible person the Dalai Lama must be……

    The only explanation I can find for this is that you must be living in a parallel universe from the one i live in.

    I studied with the NKT for 9 years and was a teacher for 6 years and a Shugden practitioner. I publicised my own branch classes across all across the South east of England, together with day courses, epowerments, open days etc for my centre. Not once did I encounter what you say… not once. On the contrary the majority of people presumed that as the monks and nuns were wearing Tibetan robes, they were followers of the Dalai Lama. How does your account ring true when the NKT has expanded so quickly in the UK in the last 20 years. Look for a meditation class in the UK and 19 times out of 20 you will find it will be an NKT class.

    So sorry but this just doesn’t ring true

  64. Ex NKT

    Lionheart, in post 62 you said ….

    “Therefore, NKT has acknowledged mistakes, apologised, made changes to improve, and has tried to meet with people who feel they have been treated badly”.

    This sounds like a transparent, responsible and healthy organisation at work.

    Maybe the same parallel universe as before.

    You see, until the latest round of protests against the Dalai Lama instigated by the NKT and the so called smears against this ‘stainless tradition’ began to surface on the internet – the NKT operated with a transparency akin to a brick wall.

    To illustrate this i will tell you a little story, coming directly from my own experience.

    It was a widely held view that Lodro and Thogme had a very close and exclusive relationship, both within the community in Brighton and more widely in the way they conducted themselves at festivals. Due to his popularity and charisma and peoples faith in him, most people would not believe that they were having a sexual relationship, even though they stayed together in a private flat within Bodhisattva Centre (separate rooms of course).

    Anyone that questioned the inappropriate nature of their relationship (and i don’t mean in a sexual way) was labeled as deluded and the fault coming from their own mind.

    Some time later when Lodro was asked to teach in London (due to the previous teacher disrobing) Thogme was appointed the resident teacher. This did not go down that well in the community as Thogme was always using her connection with Lodro as a way of exercising her power and never socialised with the community. However we were told as a community and I was told directly by Lodro that Kelsang Gyatso had appointed her directly.

    So the community and myself included accepted the decision and tried to develop faith in our new resident teacher.

    Time went by and to cut a long story short the problems did not stop.

    More and more we were not allowed to question any descisions made by Thogme and all the time she would say that if we questioned her we were questioning Lodro and Samden. No debate was allowed – only faith. Returning from festivals she would tell us how happy Kelsang Gyatso was with the centre.

    Things came to a head when the admin director and the assistant admin director approached the financial director of the NKT at a summer festival with information regarding the misappropriation of centre money by Thogme for her and Lodro’s benefit. She was concerned that as a director of a charity she was personally liable for sanctioning financial requests.

    They were told that this was the right thing to do and it would be looked into. On returning from the festival the admin director was immediately removed and the assistant admin director was sent to another centre (in a manner of speaking).

    The way it worked was like this…. The NKT’s financial director talked to Khyenrab, who in turn talked to Thogme who talked to Lodro and who then advised Thogme to remove the admin director – which she did.

    What followed was a systematic campaign by Thogme under instruction from Lodro to remove the most senior members of the community who questioned Thogme’s leadership of the community in any way whatsoever. A hit list was drawn up and subtly people were discredited.

    I decided i could not continue and walked away. I left silently, not wishing to destroy the faith of those people new to the centre or who knew of what happened but wanted to stay.

    Two years later Lodro and Thogme disrobed and are now living together. I have left out a lot of details of this story because my intention in disclosing this information is not to discredit the individuals concerned. They are different people now leading new lives.

    My intention is to show that either Kelsang Gyatso knows only too well what goes on and is more concerned with the public reputation of his resident teachers than in the welfare of his students or that he is removed from what goes on and the decisions made by senior NKT officials are without his knowledge but always in his name.

  65. Lyara Atkins

    Interesting and relevant article today in the Cincinnati City Beat:

    http://citybeat.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid:146102

    When the Dalai Lama fled persecution, he found refuge in India. But where do people persecuted by the Dalai Lama go? Cincinnati.

    This weekend the monks of Gaden Samdrupling (GSL) Buddhist Monastery will serve Tibetan cuisine, exhibit elaborate hand-painted silks (thangkas) and talk about peace at Tibet Fest, a two-day celebration at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center. Proceeds benefit a spiritual lineage that’s under threat of extinction.

    These refugees from a most unlikely oppressor — the Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace Prize winner — have found a home in a most unlikely setting. GSL is less than a mile from the hyper-suburban sprawl of Colerain Avenue, a proximity belied by the quietude that reigns over the 8.5-acre monastery.

    Given the pressure the GSL monks have faced, a festival might seem surprising. But that hints at the very point that the monks want to make: You can’t find peace by trying to change your enemies.

    “The true enemy is in ourselves,” says Kuten Lama, resident teacher at GSL.

    “In our delusions is the true enemy. If you want to defeat the enemy, you need to defeat your delusions and anger.”

    ‘Very hard for us’

    Myths about the Dalai Lama abound in the West. He is not, in fact, the head of Buddhism around the world; he isn’t even the head of Tibetan Buddhism. Before the Chinese invasion, he didn’t preside over Shangri-la; Tibet was a feudal society, a place of extreme poverty ruled by a theocracy supported by a wealthy nobility.

    While the Dalai Lama smiles beatifically, his policies as head of the Tibetan Government in Exile have suppressed religious freedom.

    At issue is a devotional practice the Dalai Lama once followed but has now decided to stamp out. This involves honoring Dorje Shugden, a wisdom Buddha who is an important part of the lineage that GSL Monastery and millions of Tibetans follow.

    The Dalai Lama hasn’t simply discouraged honoring Dorje Shugden. Declaring the deity an evil spirit, he’s vowed to crush the tradition.

    The Tibetan Government in Exile denies identity cards to Tibetan nationals who refuse to sign oaths renouncing the deity, leaving them unable to travel, hold jobs or receive aid, according to Lisa Farnsworth, a law professor at Indiana University. Monks who hold fast to their loyalty to Dorje Shugden have been expelled from monasteries, she says, and others have been denied food or barred from participating in prayer rituals.

    “We’re talking about basic human rights — being able to eat, being able to have housing, (not) having your life threatened,” Farnsworth says. “You can talk about love and compassion all you want, but people are being hurt by the Dalai Lama’s actions.”

    The issue attracted attention earlier this summer when a crowd leaving the Dalai Lama’s lecture in New York City started heckling Dorje Shugden followers who held signs saying, “Dalai Lama, Give Us Religious Freedom.” Police officers urged the protesters to leave the scene for their own safety.

    “There were 50 police officers there who said, ‘We can’t protect you. You’ve got to get on the buses and get out of here,’ ” Farnsworth says.

    Farnsworth is a lay student at Dagom Tensung Ling Monastery in Bloomington, Ind., GSL’s “sister” monastery.

    “There was one primary reason why we established our monastery: to preserve our lineage,” Kuten Lama says. “The hardship is because (the Dalai Lama) took our religious freedom, our human rights. But it is very hard for us ordinary persons to explain to the world because he is so powerful and famous and our words are not too important.”

    Taming the monkey

    The spirituality and culture that GSL will celebrate this weekend at Tibet Fest are rich in color and flavor. The monks prepare the meals, featuring Tibetan vegetables, noodle threads and momos.

    “Momos are dumplings with meat or with potatoes and cheese, but it tastes different from the dumplings that you get in Chinese restaurants,” says Jamyang Lama, a monk, translator and teacher at GSL. “They contain secret Tibetan spices and a lot of love.”

    The festival includes a photography exhibition documenting a 2007 pilgrimage to Mongolia by monks and students from Cincinnati and Bloomington. The photos of shrines in the Gobi desert, like the prayer room at GSL, capture something of the paradox of Buddhism — a tradition that employs an intricate iconography while holding that all phenomena are essentially empty.

    “Tibetan culture is very intricate, very ancient, very colorful and very symbolic,” Jamyang Lama says. “The most important is how art and culture connects with the mind and happiness. When you study the Tibetan culture and heritage, you learn how to cultivate happiness and be kind.”

    The festival includes lectures such as “Taming Monkey Mind.”

    “‘Monkey mind’ is a metaphor,” Jamyang Lama says. “Our mind is like a monkey, always jumping and striking things. It never sits still. In this lecture, we talk about meditation so everything you do can be more productive and beneficial.”

    Tibet Fest is part of a fundraising effort for construction of a new monastery in traditional Tibetan architectural style. Students at UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning helped create the concept for the new building.

    The expansion bodes well for a lineage experiencing a double persecution.

    “We are hoping to build a monastery and heritage center that will be a great asset to Cincinnati,” Jamyang Lama says. “It will be very special for the city because there are few cities in this country that have this kind of presence. There is a growing interest in studying our beliefs and traditions in the community. Therefore our space in the monastery is too small.”

  66. Gail

    No one is denying that Lodro and Thogme behaved atrociously. The NKT has apologised in its Truth website blog. This mistake has been taken into account with new Internal Rules now ensuring that this kind of mistake should be much harder to repeat in the future, hopefully impossible (but human nature is human nature). Meanwhile, as you say, Lodro and Thogme (who were not all bad and have been vilified over and over and over again) have gone on to lead new lives and it’d be nice to perhaps leave them to it. They are not proud of what they’ve done. So why keep harping on and on about it? What purpose does it serve? It can only serve a purpose if you feel the NKT has been wilfully blind to this, but it has not. It has been a large learning curve for everyone and the organization itself has changed because of it.

  67. hongkongphoey

    Gail,

    I posted to show that the NKT has in fact been ‘willfully blind’ to this. This is fact.

    Oh and please don’t play the sympathy card for Lodro and Thogme. They caused problems for so many people. The ran off and left a sorry mess behind them. You say they are not proud of what they have done and yet they have not apologized to anyone.

    You say its human nature but one of the main reasons this happened was because Lodro allowed people to view him as enlightened (tantric pure view is the justification i think) and that he could not be questioned because the fault was coming from your mind.

    If the new internal rules mean that it would be ‘impossible’ for this to happen again then why did Naljor (Thogme’s replacement) run off with a resident after 7 months in post. This happened after these new internal rules you talk about were put in place. The EPC in question was Nyingpo who is now resident teacher.

  68. Gail

    HongKongPhoey,

    They did leave a sorry mess. Give them time, I am sure they will apologize. Right now, it seems they are lying low. But Lodro never told me or anyone else I know to have pure view of him — quite the opposite, he always said he was useless etc. Other people may have started that rumor but it was not Lodro. As for “allowing people to view him as enlightened”, what does that mean exactly? People have choice over how they view others — you can view me whatever way you want, would you say that I am therefore “allowing you” to do so? For example, the Dalai Lama says he is a simple monk but does he “allow” people to view him as enlightened? Enough people certainly do, to the great suffering of many other people (see for example “Lama Policy”, a new article on http://www.aboutwss.com).

    I have known Naljor from a young age and she is a very sweet person who did not want to hurt anyone. It seems she fell in love — it is not easy maintaining a celibate lifestyle and, unless we are very pure celibate ordained practitioners ourselves, I think it is best not to be too judgmental. Plenty of people have fallen by the ordained wayside, including many Tibetan Lamas and Western modern-day famous Buddhist teachers e.g. Thurman. No one seems to be rushing to judge them. Why does the NKT keep getting blamed for every misstep, including things that routinely happen in other Buddhist organizations? I think I know the answer. It is because the NKT does not agree with the Dalai Lama, pure and simple, and so they are an easy target.

  69. hongkongphoey

    I am sorry Gail but it is you who is getting personal here. You just sidestep the real issues and muddy the waters by defending the people in question – bringing their feelings and your personal experience of them into the issue. Not once have you tried to discuss the real issues here in any way whatsoever so not much point in carrying on, however i will address your points and then leave the issue for others to decide.

    I must say that I recognize in your response a pattern with the majority of NKT people who post in defense of the NKT, the WSS and the Shugden issue. People with closed minds, who never debate, who always personalize and are quick to reply with counter allegations. Maybe it’s not lots of people but just one or two with multiple identities and that’s why the pattern is so obvious?

    To illustrate this closed minded, retaliatory nature i will look at your riposte regarding Lodro being viewed as a Buddha.

    You take your own personal experience and present it as the fact that no one held pure view of him and that he ALWAYS said he was useless.

    Oh yes this was his way. In teachings he would say things like – ‘I am useless, I can’t even meditate ‘ and there would be this laughter but underneath it was like ‘wow how humble’. Have you never heard of reverse Psychology? It worked a treat. GKG does it too. People always say he never said he was Buddha, but this is no proof that people do not think he is enlightened.

    So yes I agree we are all free to view teachers as pure from our own side. But this is an internal or ‘secret’ pure view. The danger comes from projecting this externally and then relating to the teacher as if they had these qualities coming from their own side. Once this view is out there it is very difficult to stop, particularly if it is constantly being reinforced often in very subtle ways by so called experienced ordained sangha.

    The real issue in Lodro’s case is this – in public self deprecation and humility but in private he assembled a ‘Gang of Four’ (GOF) who were the guardians of his authority. You could not have failed to notice him strutting around at festivals with the Gang in tow – it was obvious to so many people. They upheld the ‘special view’ and no one else was allowed to get close. This went on for years. If you tried to treat him in an ordinary way, some time later you would get the look of disapproval. Question anything he did, the GOF would discredit you. It was like you had no freedom to view him in any other way than they did – as infallible, pure. He knew this and he did nothing whatsoever about it. So i can say that he allowed this to happen. He was willful. Even when he left the centre and Thogme was RT it carried on. He was loading the Bullet and Thogme was firing the Gun. There was no accountability. I know for a fact that he was behind the decision to remove those experienced practitioners who questioned Thogme and I also know he advised another RT of a centre to do the same.

    So look at the real issue – what kind of environment and what kind of culture puts ordained (and I use the term loosely) sangha in a position where they find it difficult to keep their vows and what kind of effect does this have on spiritual communities – for lay practitioners and newly ordained western people?

    I find it so sad that rather than considering what I am saying as being helpful to the NKT, it is perceived as some kind of smear. I talk about Lodro and Thogme and my criticism comes from their roles as RT’s and representatives of the NKT? Why make it personal – I am not. Dave and Collete are not the same as Lodro and Thogme.

    I am trying to discuss the causes of this break down in moral discipline and your response is that ‘everyone is at it’ so it is not really a problem.

    What’s worse is that you use it as way of attacking the Dalai Lama – comparing their actions with his. Shameful. Once again personalizing the issue. You represent Buddhism and yet with every perceived criticism comes an thinly disguised attack in response. Fine words butter no parsnips. You can say you are not angry but you demonstrate anger in action so clearly.

    As for Naljor – once again you personalize the issue and then subtly accuse me of being judgmental. I am talking about the actions of the person and not the person themselves. Do you think I do not know about her role in the Samden issue? I will not spell it out here. No point in that. Suffice to say that it was a little unkind to put her in that position in the first place – for her sake and for the community at Bodhisattva Centre – already rocked by the actions of the two former RT’s.

    Finally I think you may have ‘lost the plot’ if you think the reason for me posting this is because the NKT does not agree with the Dalai Lama and they are an easy target. I have no affiliation with HHDL whatsoever. I studied with the NKT for 10 years. I know from my own experience that the problems with the NKT are internal and come from a systematic failure to address these problems even when they were pointed out to senior NKT people. I have seen the causes created and I have seen the effect. To deny this and instead go on the offensive is jut nonsense.

    Lodro and Thogme were a ‘car crash waiting to happen’. The NKT’s attachment to it’s public image and its drive for expansion allowed it to happen. The bigger picture seems so much more important than the welfare of it’s teachers and students alike.

    The great thing about discussions like these on the internet is that we can be free to discuss the issues and not get lost in personalizing the issues if we so choose.

    But if one chooses to make things personal then the danger is that you do not know exactly who you are talking to or what they might actually know.

    Ex NKT – hongkongphoey – same person different hats….

  70. Pingback: Keep Religion and Politics Separate « Tibet Talk

  71. Dear Lyra, the WSS and some Shugden followers are just going mad from my pov.

    Not only that they tell HHDL is no Buddhist and the 5th and 13th Dalai Lama brought only suffering and lack a “pure linege” as the 14th would do, now they also attack Robert Thurman and quote a Thomas Canada who isn’t famous for his insights.

    The article you quote from city beat refers to the Dagom Center in Bloomington which seems to be also connected with this Thomas Canada and I guess he is one of those who wrote or “inspired” this article. This is his right but it makes the statements in the article you feel so “relevant” not more true.

    Thomas Canada wrote such interesting claims:

    “Dalia lama has more in common with the Taliban, than our Democratic Principles.

    His intolerance toward any others having beliefs differing from his own. Finds a kindred spirit with George Bush. Because he also sees himself as “Decider.

    He decided to throw out 14,000 of his own monks onto the street last month. Right before he incited the rioting in Tibet.
    Slavery and indentured servitude for 90% of Tibetans were common in 1950 Tibet.”

    see: http://www.sumatiarya.nl/voiceofDorjeShugden.html

    He sent to my blog this comment:

    “Looks as though the Dalia and his fan club have forgotten to leave their Medieval, Theocratic, Dictatorial Potentate in their Dungeons.

    In the West, we do not unite Politics and Religious Offices. We do not accept the premise that any one person, irregardless of their imagined rank, cannot dictate what others believe and choose to worship.

    The Slave_Serf Mentality of 95% of the Tibetan Refugees have no idea what we mean by this and continue to bow their heads before a mean spirited ex dictator not unlike all the other Dictators we seen pass
    our way in the past.

    Soon all the world will see through his guise of a saint and into the core of Evil of this Dalia Lama.”

    to HHDL Thomas Canada wrote:

    “Dear Dalai lama,
    I am writing to inform you that I intend to launch a protest at the Tibetan Cultural Center in Bloomington with at least 2,000 Chinese Shugden Supporters this summer. The intent is to reveal your violations of the US Constitution and our Bill of Rights. I am hoping that your servants will deny access to the grounds to validate my strong opposition to your current policy is that of a tyrant that you have unfortunately evolved into over the years.

    I am writing to tell you this, as you have proven to be a big disappointment to me with your harsh and cruel activities towards your own people.

    I will be in Beijing this summer, enlisting the Chinese to support me to help heal your afflicted mind.

    I hope to see you there with your brother Thubten and we can view freedom in action as the protestors file down the lane of my home town I truly regret throwing my property away by giving it to you. I hope
    my activities will alter that my poor choice in trusting you and your brother and return the land to a true and honest group that does feed on it’s own people as you do. Shame on you. You have disgraced millions of people in this world and disappointed the heavens with your shameless behavior.

    I am available to discuss these issues should you care to be reasonable.

    Otherwise, I’ll wave to you on your way down. Sincerely Thomas Canada”

    see: http://www.sumatiarya.nl/voiceofDorjeShugden.html

    This sounds more than strange. Nevertheless WSS/NKT is happy to present his opinion to discredit now also Robert Thurman:

    “Thomas Canada has stated that Robert Thurman has begged for Dorje Shugden empowerment in the past. Thom said: “Bob Thurman literally crawled across the floor and begged for the Dorje Shugden initiation.
    The answer was always no to Bob.”

    All this is so mad that I lack words. The WSS actions and website confirm the view of the wise that Shugden is not good for the mind.

  72. Pingback: How Buddhists view the protests of NKT/WSS « Western Shugden Society – unlocked

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