Dalai Lama Says We Can Practise Dorje Shugden Finally!
Dear friends around the world,
I have such great news to share and I am ecstatic about this turn of events. I reverentially fold my hands to His Holiness the Dalai Lama for making these recent announcements as published in phayul.com, Dalailama.com and a video. These are the things His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said recently:
- His Holiness has said that Dorje Shugden does not harm him
- Since it does not harm him, it does not harm the Tibetan cause because the Dalai Lama is the upholder of the Tibetan cause
- His Holiness the Dalai Lama said we can practise Dorje Shugden
- His Holiness the Dalai Lama even said where we can go if we want to rely on Dorje Shugden, when he tells the audience that there are monasteries adjacent to Gaden and Sera that practise Dorje Shugden (Shar Gaden Monastery and Serpom Monastery)
I am so happy with this news. This is the beginning of tolerance which will become acceptance, which will later become one of the religious faiths of the world that is accepted and practised now and in future times.
The gravity and levity of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s announcements is very, very deep and also transcends everything.
You may think that Dorje Shugden is negative but the essential point is this – the Dalai Lama said we can practise Dorje Shugden. To draw a parallel with another major religion, within Christianity, Satan is considered evil. But has any Pope ever given permission to practise Satan? No Pope ever has but here we have His Holiness accepting Dorje Shugden and saying we can practise this. This goes to show that Dorje Shugden is not evil at all. Even though His Holiness has said we can practise and Dorje Shugden does not harm him, it will take some time for these statements reverberate through the ranks. In other words, it take some time for this to catch on and become pervasive. Therefore we must continue sharing about Dorje Shugden to the world and stand our ground firmly but with a peaceful mind. We should not rest here but continue to share about the practice, lineage and benefits of Dorje Shugden. Like after a typhoon, it will take time to repair the damage that has been done because of this ban. At the same time we thank His Holiness the Dalai Lama very much for his recent statements.
Again I sincerely thank His Holiness the Dalai Lama for these pronouncements, and myself and hundreds of thousands of us now hope that through reconciliation, non-Dorje Shugden and Dorje Shugden practitioners can live together in peace and harmony, towards the development of spiritual attainments. Seriously, now anti-Shugden people and Shugden people must reconcile, become friends and respect each other as human beings. All mud-slinging must end. As spiritual practitioners of both sides, our goal should be peace and harmony. I hope that very soon, Dorje Shugden practitioners can meet up with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and attend his secular talks and even make offerings of flowers, khatas and prayers to him in person. Everyone should be allowed that because Dharma is for everyone. With these turn of events, the prophecy by the personal tutor of over 40 years to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche is now coming true. Since His Holiness has started on this ‘trend’, let’s open the doors and respectfully encourage him to speak up more in our favour. Extend the olive branch now.
I thank His Holiness the Dalai Lama very much. I bow my head to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s feet always and I have never stopped loving you,
POINT #1 – His Holiness said that Dorje Shugden does not harm him
His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that he cannot be harmed. If he cannot be harmed, this means that other lamas of his calibre also cannot be harmed, regardless of whatever sect or tradition of Tibetan Buddhism they are from. Lamas under the mandala of those attained teachers will similarly be protected and this protection filters down to the ordinary lay people. They too will also be protected when they come under the mandala of their teachers. Hence there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of. When you say Dorje Shugden can harm you, you are therefore saying that your gurus have no power to protect you even when you are in their mandala. And these high calibre lamas are protected through the holding of their refuge vows by Buddha Shakyamuni so at the end of the day, how can Dorje Shugden have ever harmed anyone? How can mentioning his name invoke harm?
Since the practice is not harmful to the Dalai Lama, it also means that Dorje Shugden practitioners are not harmful either. They have no wish to harm the Dalai Lama simply because they practise Dorje Shugden. There’s nothing to fear about Dorje Shugden practice and Dorje Shugden people and people should not put down this practice. No need to name call, no need to be vulgar, no need to be abusive because who are you protecting this way if Dorje Shugden is not harming the Dalai Lama or anyone else? So when people say Dorje Shugden can harm the Dalai Lama or broken samaya can harm the Dalai Lama, that is wrong as the Dalai Lama is a Buddha.
POINT #2 – Since it does not harm the Dalai Lama, it does not harm the Tibetan cause
As the face of Tibetan Buddhism and the Tibetan people, when the Dalai Lama says Dorje Shugden does not harm him, he is also saying that Dorje Shugden does not harm the Tibetan cause either. The whole of Tibet falls within the Dalai Lama’s purview and care. If Dorje Shugden’s practice does not harm the Dalai Lama, logically then Dorje Shugden also does not harm or hinder the Dalai Lama’s work and activities which includes the Tibetan cause.
By blood, Tibetan Dorje Shugden practitioners are still Tibetan through upbringing and culture. They still love their society and customs, and they are still patriotic. They want to be involved in mainstream Tibetan activities. At the end of the day, everyone wants unity and peace. Why should people be divided due to their religion?
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is opening the door for Tibetans to reunite, regardless of their religion, by saying the Dorje Shugden practice does not harm him. So Dorje Shugden does not hurt or damage what Tibetans wish to achieve for Tibet. Tibetans now should stop segregating each other due to religious differences. Non-Tibetans should stop fanning the flames. The very point of religion is to create harmony.
POINT #3 – His Holiness the Dalai Lama said we can practise Dorje Shugden
Some of the people out there may not fully be able to accept, or even believe what His Holiness the Dalai Lama is saying but there are only two options the Dalai Lama can address – practise Dorje Shugden, or do not practise Dorje Shugden. His Holiness has already given the option of not practising so there is nothing else he can say. Whether you believe him or not, if there are only two options for him to address, there are only two roads – what else can he say and speak about? Either don’t practise or practise. In the past he said don’t practise and his CTA enforced a ban and now he said we can practise. So the CTA should remove the ban and all laws in their constitution against Dorje Shugden adherents and follow His Holiness’ instructions.
Anything that is not accepted will go through stages towards eventual acceptance. The first stage is non-acceptance; the second stage will be toleration; the third stage will be neutrality and the fourth stage will be silence and acceptance and finally entering the mainstream.
For example, every world religion at its birth was not accepted by the mainstream but over time, it went through these four stages and became mainstream.
There are millions of people today who do not accept Christianity, who have wrong views about Islam, who do not ascribe to Judaism, who criticise Hinduism, and who find Buddhism useless. There are millions of people who do not accept any of those religions and more. Hence you always see people of various religions trying to convert each other all the time. The very fact they are trying to convert people is a sign that there ARE people out there who do not accept their beliefs, and the proselytisers are trying to change those people to their own beliefs. But although there are millions that do not accept these religions, they have every right to practise and also introduce their religion to those who have affinity and may benefit. Every religion has the right to exist and be practised. Philosophical debates on their tenets and which religion is real or genuine does not concern the democratic right for any adherents of these religions to practise freely without segregation. In other words, practise your way to God/god the way you want, without prejudice and discrimination, and let everyone have the same rights equally.
Simultaneously there are many people in the world – millions – who do accept these major religions and more, like the lesser known denominations and branches of a religion. Lesser known religions, for example, include Shintoism, Jainism, Quakerism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism, Hare Krishnas, Zoroastrianism, Protestantism, Vodouism, Methodism, Evangelicalism, Jonangpa, Shangpa Kagyu, Anglicanism and Christian faith healers. Even the adherents to the less known religions should have freedom to practise. Because all leaders and the law should simply grant everyone religious freedom, full stop!
Whether they are the world religions, denominations or branches of major religions, they are still accepted or not accepted by millions. You have believers and detractors. You will have believers and detractors to the major religions of the world and lesser known religions also. But everyone should have the democratic freedom to practise, protected by law and without segregation and prejudice. This is one of the hallmarks of an enlightened democratic society.
Likewise Dorje Shugden Buddhists are considered a branch of Tibetan Buddhism or will become a denomination or sub-branch of Buddhism with its own leaders, its own monasteries, its own hierarchy, its own definition of religion. It will go through the four stages and eventually become accepted, like all of the other major religions, their branches and denominations. We have just gone through the first stage of non-acceptance and now entering the second stage of tolerance. It is on the road of being a religious faith in its own right due to the latest pronouncements of the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama has opened the doors for this and we are grateful.
POINT #4 – His Holiness the Dalai Lama even said where we can go and practise it
In the past, His Holiness did not acknowledge Shar Gaden and Serpom as authentic monasteries in South India. He instead seemingly painted them as renegades who broke away from mainstream Tibetan Buddhism, implying they were no longer monks nor valid.
Now, in his enlightened compassion, the Dalai Lama is not only acknowledging the two main monasteries of Dorje Shugden practitioners but he appears to be embracing them too. His Holiness the Dalai Lama acknowledges them as part of mainstream Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan society. He even indirectly encourages people to go there, saying that if people want to practise Dorje Shugden, these two monasteries are adjacent to Gaden and Sera Monasteries in South India. Why mention any monasteries except to let people know they exist? As the Dalai Lama visit mosques, churches, synagogues, temples, we hope he will visit Dorje Shugden monasteries too. Not all Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus accept Buddhism nor do they accept the Dalai Lama. Certainly the Dalai Lama does not subscribe to the practice of these religions as he is a Buddhist, yet he can accept they exist as they accept Buddhism exists and live harmoniously with each other. In fact the doctrines of Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism differ from each other, yet the adherents of these faith still and should live harmoniously together, respecting each other’s choices. Likewise it should apply to Dorje Shugden practitioners. This is democracy.
Mentioning these monasteries that rely on Dorje Shugden is indirectly showing them as being part of an authentic lineage. If they were not, His Holiness would not indirectly encourage people to go to these monasteries for anything. If His Holiness acknowledges these monasteries as being authentic, then he acknowledges what they practise as being authentic. In other words, Dorje Shugden practice is authentic. All the teachers from these monasteries are therefore authentic. The bottom line is His Holiness now says clearly that Dorje Shugden does not harm him and people can practise this path.
Translation of video:
“God is harming! Naga is harming!
For example, Gyalpo Shugden. I have put him [Dorje Shugden] in a position where he is a recipient of my compassion. Besides, I do not nor have I ever had any feeling that Gyalpo Shugden will harm me. Do you understand?
No matter how pitiful or wretched we are, however if we practise the Bodhicitta, love and compassion, no god or ghost can harm us.
In fact, if one were an honest to goodness protector on the side of virtue then it would not matter. The ones who have attained the ten stages of saintly perfection (ས་བཅུ། / sa bcu) like Palden Lhamo and Gonpo [Mahakala] who are almighty… ”
[Then the Dalai Lama turns and addresses someone else about an irrelevant topic]
[So if the Dalai Lama cannot be harmed by Shugden and not one can be harmed by Shugden especially if they practise love and compassion, then why is there 20 years of so much literature, speeches, talks, videos against Dorje Shugden? In the beginning the Dalai Lama said Shugden is a danger to his long life and Tibet’s fight for freedom. Shugden harms the Dalai Lama and harms Tibet. By worshipping Shugden you hurt the Dalai Lama’s life and endanger the cause of Tibet’s freedom. Now this year the Dalai Lama is saying the exact opposite. So why persecute Dorje Shugden and his followers then all these years? Why have the ban? Wouldn’t it have been better if nothing was said against Dorje Shugden in the first place and all harmony and unity was kept intact?]
Dalai Lama Wraps Up Teachings in France
Phayul [Monday, September 19, 2016 19:17] | By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Sept 19: The Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama yesterday conferred the Chenresig wang (Avalokiteshvara empowerment) believed to be among the foremost Buddhist conferments to a packed Zenith centre in Strasbourg, France.
Emphasizing the need for a non-sectarian approach to Buddhist teachings and the Dhogyal spirit, the Dalai Lama recalled, “The 5th Dalai Lama described Dholgyal as a ‘perfidious spirit’ who harms the doctrine and sentient beings due to having made flawed prayers. Once I gave up having anything to do with Dholgyal I was able to receive explanations of Nyingma practices, including the ‘Secret Visions’, from Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, which were very helpful.”
The Buddhist leader reiterated that although he recommends not worshipping the spirit, he had never said nobody should worship it, as it is a matter of personal choice and freedom. “I hear that some people report that I have said no one should do the practice of Dholgyal. That is not what I say. There are problems with the practice, which I know from my own experience, and that’s why I recommend people not to do it. But if someone wants to do it, they can. There are monks today in monasteries adjacent to Ganden and Sera who specifically follow the practice,” the egalitarian leader said.
Further adding, “What I do say is that Dholgyal broke his bond with the 5th Dalai Lama and has been controversial ever since. I’ve encouraged people not to do the practice, but I haven’t said that no one can do it.”
In the afternoon speaking to the public, the 81 year old Tibetan leader lamented that the present education system instead of teaching to be more compassionate, the emphasis has been on materialism. He said that his concern was shared by, “educationalists, scientists and other friends,” who “agree we need to take a different approach to promoting universal values based on common sense, common experience and scientific findings.”
The Tibetan leader today arrived in Wroclaw in Poland for a three – day schedule, the main highlight of which is an official event at the Wroclaw City Hall on the occasion of the city being the European Capital of Culture 2016. His Holiness will also meet with the Polish All Party Parliamentarians Group for Tibet. His Holiness the Dalai Lama will also give interview for “Book of Joy” launch that He is co-authoring with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Abrams.
“I hear that some people report that I have said no one should do the practice of Dolgyal. That is not what I say. There are problems with the practice, which I know from my own experience, and that’s why I recommend people not to do it. But if someone wants to do it, they can. There are monks today in monasteries adjacent to Ganden and Sera who specifically follow the practice.” ~Dalai Lama
“What I do say is that Dolgyal broke his bond with the 5th Dalai Lama and has been controversial ever since. I’ve encouraged people not to do the practice, but I haven’t said that no one can do it.” ~Dalai Lama
Dalai Lama in 2008
This is what the Dalai Lama said in 2008 in Drepung Monastery, South India. Nearly a decade later, in 2016, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has compassionately shown a change in approach to the Dorje Shugden situation, and we are grateful for this.
For more interesting information:
- Dorje Shugden: My side of the story (多杰雄登：我这方面的说法)
- The Buddhist Divide – An Unholy Campaign against Religious Freedom
- Why is she putting the Dalai Lama down?
- Will the Dalai Lama agree with this?
- The Fifth Dalai Lama and his Reunification of Tibet
- When Reuters becomes a tool of oppression
- Karma Kagyu’s Lodreu Rabsel Rinpoche asks the Dalai Lama for Religious Freedom
- To Sum It Up
- The 14th Dalai Lama’s prayer to Dorje Shugden
- The Dalai Lama Speaks Clearly About the Dorje Shugden Ban
Please support us so that we can continue to bring you more Dharma:
If you are in the United States, please note that your offerings and contributions are tax deductible. ~ the tsemrinpoche.com blog team