The Buddhist Divide – An Unholy Campaign against Religious Freedom

By | May 9, 2016 | Views: 2,212
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(By Tsem Rinpoche and Li Kheng)

It all started in 1976, when His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama made a public statement that the practice of Dorje Shugden is malevolent and that it should be stopped. As a part of the lineage of living Buddhas and kings of ancient Tibet since the 1600s, it is no surprise that the words of the Dalai Lama is as good as law, beyond question or doubt in a society that only recently rose out of a culture of serfdom.

Step by step, monastery by monastery, family by family, Buddhist by Buddhist, the Dalai Lama’s statement grew into a full-fledged ban with decrees, resolutions and constitutions to persecute and ostracise those who do not abide by the demands of the Tibetan leadership. In the short span of 20 years, Tibetans witnessed a destruction within their society in exile that made the Chinese invasion in 1959 seem tolerable, as their own people (both lay and ordained) turned against each other. Those who were once brothers and sisters began to direct hostility, aggression and violence at each other. A nation is not ruined when they lose the land they call home to foreign invaders; it is truly ruined when they lose the bond that holds the people together through a common vision.

This article aims to give insight, with supporting evidence, to reveal the glaring suffering that is a direct consequence of the Tibetan leadership’s prohibition of Dorje Shugden’s practice. The information presented will show, without a doubt, that despite continued denials by Tibetan authorities, there is a ban on the practice as violence is violence, bloodshed is bloodshed, segregation and discrimination is what it is, and the faces and voices of a divided and disharmonious society cannot be masked any more.

In its feverish commitment to execute the ban, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) directly and indirectly saw to the installation of discriminatory signboards in Tibetan settlements and communities throughout Asia, Europe and America. These signs deny entry and services to Dorje Shugden practitioners on the basis of their religious choice.

A sign prohibiting Dorje Shugden practitioners from entering Sera Monastery, South India

Dorje Shugden practitioners are prohibited from attending Dharma teachings

Additionally, to inflict fear even within the confines of their own homes, the CTA permitted violent and bloody invasions of private residences of Dorje Shugden practitioners. In their silence and refusal to speak out against these invasions, they became complicit in the crimes. Even the private quarters of one of the most erudite and revered masters of our time was not spared, as five masked and armed men attacked Trijang Ladrang and injured 84-year old Gen Chonze who has been serving the monastic community and the Buddhist faith all his life.

84 year-old Gen Chonze was attacked by masked and armed men at Trijang Ladrang for his adherence to the Dorje Shugden practice

As the execution of the ban gained momentum, vulgarity and bloodshed in the name of Buddhism spread like wildfire. What is most baffling is the trigger and fuel encouraging the violence comes from an icon of peace and tolerance – His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama himself. Eventually, the dangerous permission for the Tibetan public to take the law into their own hands was further fuelled with a hit list published on the CTA’s website, which made the details of Dorje Shugden practitioners publicly available. Where is the rhyme and reason of publishing someone’s name, picture, home address and details of their supposed ‘crime’, other than to direct violent action to be taken against them? (Click here for a screenshot of the CTA’s website listing prominent Dorje Shugden practitioners. This list includes personal information of those who participated in peaceful demonstrations against the ban.)

Contradictions in Dalai Lama’s Speeches on Dorje Shugden

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/ContradictionsintheDalaiLamasSpeech.mp4

 

The photos and details of Dorje Shugden practitioners displayed in public places inciting active persecution

A once harmonious monastic community was divided as hundreds of Dorje Shugden monks were expelled from their monasteries for upholding the lineage passed on to them by their teachers. Despite the obvious evidence of a ban, the CTA continues to blatantly deny there is a ban on Dorje Shugden although it has caused much suffering and loss to the Tibetan community in exile. And ultimately, this ban threatens the Buddha’s teachings on the whole because it discredits the fundamental principles of karma and reincarnation. It also creates doubt about lineage holders like Pabongka Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche who form an unbroken channel between practitioners and the Buddhas, and are meditation masters whose works have brought great benefit to the Tibetan people.

This article therefore aims to shed light on the suffering and injustice still occurring in the 21st Century, by presenting a compilation of knowledge, news and testimonials to prove that the ban on Dorje Shugden exists and that its impact is very real and detrimental. This article has been compiled with the motivation of helping you make an educated decision to support our cause to end this ban on Dorje Shugden.

Some of the greatest wrongs in human history do not stem from those who performed the misdeed but rather from those who allow the crime to continue. As members of the human race, we have progressed enough to call ourselves ‘civilised’ through the blood, sweat and tears of previous generations. Today, more so than in any other point in history, children of various racial, religious and social backgrounds have the equal opportunity to share a classroom in most parts of the world. Yet, in the Tibetan communities, this remains a dream when the children of Dorje Shugden practitioners are bullied on the basis of their parents’ faith. Hence it is impossible for anyone to turn a blind eye on Dorje Shugden practitioners who are being ostracised by their very own people, who share the same land, traditions, dreams and leadership. The ban must end for the sake of humanity.

We are in the age of the United Colors of Spirituality, a time of acceptance and every time we turn away from those in need, we shed a layer of our potential to fulfil our spiritual awakening.

 

Introduction to Dorje Shugden

Dorje Shugden is an enlightened Dharma Protector, an emanation of Lord Manjushri in worldly form, and a swift and compassionate wish-fulfiller

Dorje Shugden is practiced within the Buddhist faith. (Click here for a short introduction to Buddhism) As a Dharma Protector, his role is to avert obstacles and provide conducive conditions for sincere practitioners in their spiritual advancement and awakening. He is the wrathful, worldly emanation of Manjushri, the Buddha of Wisdom. ‘Worldly’ refers to the fact that although Dorje Shugden’s mind is the same as that of Manjushri, an enlightened being, he manifested in the god realm so as to be ‘closer’ to practitioners during this degenerate age when distractions to spiritual practice are greater than ever. With this closer connection, it enables him to act swiftly to help practitioners in both secular and spiritual matters. Hence, emanating in such a form within the six realms of existence (known as samsara) allows Manjushri to be closer to us and assist us more directly.

Dorje Shugden arose about 400 years ago at the specific request of Nechung, an unenlightened being who was bound by oath to serve the Dharma by the Indian tantric master Padmasambhava. Since the time of the 5th Dalai Lama, Nechung has been a trusted advisor to the office of the Dalai Lamas and the Tibetan leadership. It was Nechung who requested the eminent monk and practitioner, Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen to arise in a form that would protect the profound Middle View teachings of the Indian pandit Nagarjuna. In particular, Nechung requested Duldzin to protect Nagarjuna’s teachings as taught by Lama Tsongkhapa, since the Tibetan saint’s elucidation was accurate yet relatable and easy to understand for modern day practitioners. Duldzin promised he would do so.

His promise came to fruition in Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen’s later incarnation as Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen. During this lifetime, he was murdered by attendants of the 5th Dalai Lama, thereafter taking rebirth as the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. (Click here to read the circumstances leading to the manifestation of Dorje Shugden as the Uncommon Protector of our time.) His promise to protect a specific set of teachings is the reason some argue that he is a sectarian Protector of the Gelugpa lineage. However, the evolution of Dorje Shugden’s practice over the centuries will prove otherwise. There are also many examples of other Dharma Protectors who protect specific teachings or even entire lineages of practice without being accused of being sectarian.

Aside from his previous incarnations as Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen and Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen, Dorje Shugden has also previously taken rebirths as many attained teachers and practitioners, all of whom are recognised incarnations who are known to have benefited the practice of Buddhism not only in Tibet, but in its homeland of India. (Click here to read more about Dorje Shugden’s accomplished previous lives.)

 

An Inclusive Practice

Historically, Dorje Shugden was first recognised and practiced by the Sakya tradition in the early 17th century, beginning with the Sakya Kangsol (prayers to a Dharma Protector) written by Morchen Kunga Lhundrub (1654 – 1728), who was one of the Sakya’s most precious tantric and lineage holders. By tradition, amongst the hierarchs, practices within the Sakya lineage are passed down from father to son, ensuring continuity of the authentic lineage across generations. The practice of Dorje Shugden has been passed down within the Sakya lineage for many generations according to this custom.

Through time, practice and association, Dorje Shugden became a practice so close to the hearts of Sakya leaders that the 31st and 37th Sakya Trizins (Throne Holders) were even recognised to be emanations of Dorje Shugden. Many core Dorje Shugden rituals, praises and prayers recited to this day can be traced back to the Sakya tradition. For example, the wrathful torma offering to Dorje Shugden called ‘Swirl of Perfect Sense Offerings’ was composed by a Sakya master and later adopted by the Gelug master Pabongka Rinpoche as part of his ‘Melodious Drum Victorious in All Directions’. Another beautiful illustration is the Sakya reliance on Gyalpo Sum, consisting of Kache Marpo, Setrap and Dorje Shugden who are practiced in harmony as three Dharma Protectors of the Sakya lineage. It was only recently, when the ban on Dorje Shugden was implemented with fervour that Sakya practitioners wanting to avoid trouble and maintain good rapport with the Tibetan leadership had no choice but to abandon their practice of Dorje Shugden.

It is from the Sakya tradition of Buddhism that the practice of Dorje Shugden flourished and subsequently found a place in the Nyingma, Kagyu and Gelug traditions as well. The 4th Jigme Norbu Zhabdrung (1831 – 1861) of Bhutan played a pivotal role in the assimilation of Dorje Shugden into the Kagyu lineage through his compositions. The Kagyus’ close connection with Dorje Shugden continued through Drubwang Tenzin Zangpo of the Drukpa Kagyu tradition. Drubwang Tenzin Zangpo co-composed one of the earlier and most significant rituals to Dorje Shugden with Morchen Kunga Lhundrup, titled ‘Granting All Desired Activities’. Subsequently, Serkong Dorje Chang of the Gelugpa lineage incorporated these precious writings into his very extensive written works on Dorje Shugden.

From this, we can see that not only is Dorje Shugden practiced in the various schools of Tibetan Buddhism, but there is close harmony and collaboration between the various traditions to produce liturgies, texts and practices that continue to benefit practitioners up to this day.

It was around 250 years later that Dorje Shugden’s lineage was galvanised by Takpu Rinpoche, Pabongka Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche, the three most influential Gelugpa lamas of our time, as a major Dharma Protector of the Gelug lineage. In his 1956 publication titled ‘Oracles and Demons of Tibet’, René de Nebesky-Wojkowitz, an Austrian ethnologist and Tibetologist, gives a clear description of how Dorje Shugden was regarded as the next chief Dharma Protector of Tibet.

Despite the Tibetan leadership’s violent efforts to stamp out the practice, the flourishing of Dorje Shugden’s practice up to this day continues in regions beyond the Tibetan leadership’s influence. It is reflected in the large gatherings of practitioners, like the assembly of 200,000 people who congregated for Denma Gonsa Rinpoche’s enthronement in Tibet. Denma Gonsa Rinpoche is an eminent lama known for his practice of Dorje Shugden. On a separate occasion, a crowd of 400,000 practitioners celebrated Tibetan New Year (Losar) at Chatreng Sampheling Monastery, known for its adherence to the practice of Dorje Shugden.

The aforementioned three key masters of the lineage – Takpu Rinpoche, Pabongka Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche – taught almost every member of the Gelugpa monastic community, while being renowned practitioners and propagators of Dorje Shugden. Together, their teachings and works were disseminated to hundreds of thousands of practitioners, many of whom grew to become great teachers themselves today.

Of course, all this was before Dorje Shugden’s practice was politicised due to the execution of a ban that began a stream of loss, damage and division within the Tibetan community in exile that was in the midst of rebuilding itself after many Tibetans fled to India.

 

An Enlightened Mind in Worldly Form

Is it Idol Worship?

Buddhism has been alleged as a school of faith that practices idol worship because of the prominence of Buddha images. The erroneous nature of this accusation becomes evident when we understand the significance behind the iconography of Buddha images which can be explained with logic and appreciation. It is in the iconography that the qualities of the Buddha are illustrated in a tangible manner, infusing what the naked eye sees as an idol with positive energy and blessings.

It is previously been established that Dorje Shugden is an emanation of Lord Manjushri and that they are both of the same mind-stream. What is the significance of an enlightened being taking on a worldly form within the god realm of samsara? It is a reflection of the sheer compassion of both divine and enlightened beings collaborating for this Dharma Protector to arise, as illustrated above. A worldly form enables enlightened activities to be performed swiftly and effectively through a ‘mundane’ vessel that has closer karmic affinity to beings of the six realms in samsara, for example humans.

Therefore, despite appearing with a lower physical form, the body of Dorje Shugden is still that of an enlightened being because each aspect of his form is a direct representation of his virtuous qualities that represent the complete Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Lamrim). Hence meditating upon it with correct understanding and motivation will generate great merits and spiritual attainments.

For a detailed explanation of the iconography of Dorje Shugden, kindly refer to Appendix 1 or click here for a visual illustration and explanation of the iconography.

To download basic Sadhana texts, kindly refer to Appendix 2.

 

A Line of Illustrious Lamas Who Propitiate and Propagate Dorje Shugden

Are They All Wrong?

Dorje Shugden’s practice was established about 400 years ago. Beginning in the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, the practice was embraced not only by the highest masters of the Gelugpa lineage but also the Drukpa Kagyu and Nyingmas.

A number of Sakya Trizins (head of the Sakya lineage), prominent Drukpa Kagyu masters as well as Gaden Tripas (head of the Gelug lineage) personally advocated Dorje Shugden’s practice which grew to become an integral part of the daily practice in the great monasteries.

From these leading figures of Tibetan Buddhism, Dorje Shugden was propagated to millions of ordained and lay practitioners in the Eastern as well as Western hemisphere. These were the very masters who not only worshipped and trusted Dorje Shugden but also composed prayers, liturgies and rituals to praise and invoke key meditational deities for tantric practices which tens of thousands of practitioners still rely on daily.

 

Could They All Be Wrong? If They Were All Wrong, What Would It Mean for Tibetan Buddhism?

It has been established that many great lamas of the four traditions of Tibetan Buddhism have relied on Dorje Shugden throughout history. Furthermore, it is now being claimed that Dorje Shugden is an evil spirit and that all of these lamas made a mistake.

If great lamas the calibre of the Sakya Trizins, the Gaden Tripas, Pabongka Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe and the Dalai Lama who are recognised to be enlightened lamas can be said to have made mistakes with Dorje Shugden, what assurance is there that these very same lamas did not make any other mistakes in other aspects of Tibetan Buddhism? The threat to the entire Vajrayana tradition is unimaginable should we even consider the possibility that the lineage masters are expounding mistaken teachings. This would invalidate one of the core pillars of this school of Buddhism: an unbroken lineage of masters expounding teachings that trace back to the source, the Buddhas themselves.

In Tibetan Buddhism, one cannot overstate the importance of lineage when it comes to a set of teachings and practices. It is through lineage which one can trace the authenticity of teachings, and it is also through lineage that the blessings of the teachings are transmitted. The foundation of these blessings are the refuge vows that every Buddhist practitioner takes, and these refuge vows also form the foundation of other vows like the Pratimoksha, Bodhisattva and Tantra vows. Hence when one’s refuge vows are broken, it is significant because it means that the foundation of all further practices is gone. This translates into the loss of blessings and therefore the loss of effect that the teachings have on practitioners.

One of the refuge vows includes not taking refuge in anything other than the Buddha, Dharma or Sangha. Hence, if we accept and agree that Dorje Shugden must be banned because he is an evil spirit, it would mean that everyone who has ever relied on Dorje Shugden has broken their refuge vows. This would pull the rug from under the feet of millions of Vajrayana practitioners all over the world, because such a claim means every practitioner who received teachings from the lineage of Takpu Rinpoche of the Gelugpa sect, or the Sakya Trizins, or Kagyu lamas like the 4th Jigme Norbu Zhabdrung, received teachings devoid of blessings and the possibility of gaining any results. The teachings henceforth transmitted by these lamas’ students would also suffer the same impact; that is, they too would be devoid of blessings and the possibility of gaining results from practicing them, because the refuge vows are broken and hence, the lineage is broken too.

Hence, if it is the case that Dorje Shugden is an evil spirit (as has been claimed), then every monastery, every holy image, every sangha who was blessed, consecrated and ordained by these ‘mistaken’ teachers are but empty shells that cannot lead practitioners towards attainments and enlightenment.

It is therefore illogical to claim that all the greatest Tibetan Buddhist masters collectively made a mistake and somehow, all of them allowed one ‘minor’ practice, which is demonic according to detractors of Dorje Shugden, to invalidate the entire Vajrayana tradition of Buddhism. In saying Dorje Shugden is a spirit, we degrade these lineage masters’ qualities and abilities. How could they be right in everything else, but be so wrong in allowing Dorje Shugden practice to be propagated?

In this moment of darkness, how do our lineage masters contribute to end this ban on Dorje Shugden? Our lineage masters became beacons of light in the minds of those suffering under the tyranny of the CTA. As the ban on Dorje Shugden continues to invade holy spaces like monasteries and temples as well as the private homes of practitioners, these Lamas become a source of wisdom, strength and hope.

HHTCRHis Holiness Kyabje Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche persevered in his commitment to practice Dorje Shugden despite the many attempts made on his life by The Secret Society of External and Internal Enemy Eliminators, one of many illegal societies established by Tibetans who have been incited by the CTA to form hate groups and self-declared vigilantes. Whilst living in India, Trijang Rinpoche was constantly at risk and his life threatened to the extent that he had to be sent away from Dharamsala to safety in Europe and then America. The young Trijang Rinpoche continued his monastic studies and repeatedly requested the Dalai Lama’s acceptance for him to continue his Dorje Shugden practice, with whom the three preceding reincarnations of Kyabje Trijang Rinpoches had a close link. The Dalai Lama repeatedly refused this request and finally in 2003, His Holiness was reported to have said:

“If you give up this deity, myself and all Tibetan people will appreciate it very much and our protector Nechung will take care of you and make you more successful and famous than ever. If you do not give up this deity, then your monastic career, like receiving the full monk’s ordination and taking Geshe examinations will not be possible. So I leave it to your judgement. YES or NO?”

With this, Trijang Rinpoche was left out on a limb to fend for himself like everyone who chose to remain true to the lineage. He set the example of determination, devotion, faith, strength, compassion and wisdom that others look to. In recent years, Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche has become more open to the public and started to manifest the activities of his previous life, turning the Wheel of Dharma in America, Europe and Asia with a strong focus on Dorje Shugdenྲ. This was a long awaited moment as Trijang Rinpoche is an icon of the Gelugpa lineage and the manifestation of his immensely beneficial activities is likened to the phoenix that rises from the ashes.

Kyabje Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche visits Europe in 2012

A press conference held upon Kyabje Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche’s arrival in Mongolia for a teaching tour

A grand reception dinner was held to welcome Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche to Mongolia

Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche conferred the Dorje Shugden life entrustment empowerment in Mongolia, helping to preserve the practice there

H.H. Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche making offerings to Dorje Shugden in Mongolia

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/HHTCRMongolianMuseum.mp4

 

HEGRGangchen Rinpoche also played a pivotal role in preserving the Dorje Shugden lineage by establishing powerful collaborations with global organisations like the United Nations to preserve, promote and enhance world peace, cultural heritage and humanity. By practicing ‘Dharma in Action’ and openly and passionately propitiating Dorje Shugden, Gangchen Rinpoche is preserving and propagating the lineage through his example that Dharma practice is essentially about compassion, wisdom and benefiting all sentient beings.

Gangchen Rinpoche travels the world and builds relationships with nations including China as a means to bring Dharma to the world. It is through his effort together with other important lamas that the Dharma is growing in China. Being a senior master who has worked consistently, Gangchen Rinpoche’s compassionate acts have paved a pure and trusted path for other lineage masters to turn the Wheel of Dharma around the world. These exemplary efforts of Gangchen Rinpoche that focus on equanimity, Bodhicitta and benefiting others reflect that the Dharma Protector practice is a personal and intimate one that supports practitioners to progress in their spiritual aspirations, and it is not the focal point of Dharma practice.

Gangchen Rinpoche lends his support to many Dorje Shugden centres, monasteries and masters by attending or sending representatives to their official ceremonies like the opening of Serpom Monastery and the enthronement of Domo Geshe Rinpoche in South India.

Dorje Shugden Oracle. Gangchen Rinpoche is known for his close connection with Dorje Shugden and is often seen with Dorje Shugden oracles.

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/DorjeShugdenOracle.mp4

 

Lama Gangchen Rinpoche goes to Tibet, August 2011

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/LamaGangchenTibet2011.mp4

 

GKGGeshe Kelsang Gyatso is one of the strongest and most outspoken advocates of the Dorje Shugden lineage. Unwilling to be bound by the illegal ban on Dorje Shugden, Geshe-la and his group known as the New Kadampa Tradition lent their support to the Western Shugden Society and later, the International Shugden Society (ISC) which became a voice for those suffering under the Dorje Shugden ban. It is through the unwavering effort of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s devoted students that the Dorje Shugden ban has received international media attention. Through the ISC’s work, the discrimination, segregation, threat to safety and life of helpless Tibetan Shugden practitioners became known to the world. In many ways, it is the light that was shed on the conduct of the Tibetan leadership through the series of peaceful and global protests that the world became aware of not only the cruelty of the CTA but also their arrogant deception.

Interview with Kelsang Pema, who sheds light on the ban on Dorje Shugden and establishes the motivation of the peaceful protests being organised

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/KelsangPemaOxfordInterview.mp4

 

Australian News: Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden Controversy

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/AustralianNews.mp4

 

Interview with Adar Tsering and Gen Gyatso at the International Shugden Community (ISC) Protest in Washington, DC (March 7, 2014)

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/AdarTseringInterview.mp4

 

HETTRH.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche has been practicing Dorje Shugden privately for decades in observation of traditional Buddhist codes that discourage discussions on individual lama’s practices as a sign of humility. However, in 2014, due to the intensifying suffering of Dorje Shugden practitioners worldwide resulting from the ban, Tsem Rinpoche felt compelled to create awareness and understanding about Dorje Shugden, the ban and the sufferings many have had to endure as a consequence of the ban. Tirelessly, Rinpoche has been producing online teachings to educate the public about Dorje Shugden’s real story and his practices and rituals. Rinpoche has also been making available informative and comprehensive video teachings that are readily available on his blog.

Rinpoche also introduced a different approach to lifting the ban, which is one that is more peaceful, moderate in nature and knowledge oriented. Tsem Rinpoche’s method is to create opportunities that engage more practitioners as well as observers who were previously apprehensive, to open their minds to understanding the controversy. Rinpoche’s passion and resolute commitment to keeping his Dorje Shugden practice that was conferred to him by his late root teacher, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, is a pillar of encouragement and shows a great example of pure Dharma practice in the face of adversities, to many Dorje Shugden practitioners worldwide.

Click here for a comprehensive compilation of teachings that are easy to follow, from iconography, Dorje Shugden’s incarnation lineage, to how to practice Dorje Shugden.

Upon reading the biographies of such masters, one cannot deny but acknowledge their compassion, wisdom and devotion to humanity even at the cost of their lives. For more biographies of other distinguished Dorje Shugden lineage masters, kindly refer to Appendix 3.

One more point to consider before proceeding: On the fundamental basis of Buddha’s teachings of karma alone, demon worshippers are supposed to take rebirth in the lower realms and so these lamas who trusted in Dorje Shugden should have taken rebirth in the animal, spirit or hell realms. However, not only did these high lamas return in human form, they return in perfect conditions, resumed their path as ordained sangha and were recognised as tulkus (reincarnated teachers) to continue their Dharma work. This very phenomenon that has been acknowledged and affirmed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama who recognised and enthroned some of these reincarnations, is tangible evidence that Dorje Shugden is not an evil spirit but is in fact an enlightened Protector.

 

The Implications of the Ban

The materials about Dorje Shugden presented above, from his lineage of reincarnations to his iconography and the story behind his manifestation are proliferated by illustrious lineage masters. It is accepted that Dorje Shugden was proliferated from enlightened masters who are not capable of making a mistake on the nature of Dorje Shugden. Additionally, if the enlightened masters were to make a mistake about the nature of Dorje Shugden, then it would be logical to deduce that these masters have broken their refuge commitments. If we start the ball rolling and accept that these masters have broken their refuge, which is a foundation for higher vows, transmissions and practices, then the lineage itself is undermined.

It would mean that everyone who has relied on Dorje Shugden will take rebirth in the lower realms, such as the hells, as a result of breaking their refuge vows and disseminating harmful practices to people. On the other hand, it is impossible that the mind-stream of such an established line of Dorje Shugden’s incarnations would fall into the lower realms of samsara. These previous incarnations include luminaries such as Mahasiddha Birwapa, Sakya Pandita, Panchen Sonam Drakpa and Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen, whose legacies have had tremendous impact on the development of the teachings and benefit to sentient beings. For them to fall into the lower realms of samsara would contradict the fundamental principle of karma whereby the cause resembles the effect. How can an individual be the source of immense benefit to others and be considered an enlightened mind, and yet simultaneously propagate a practice to sentient beings that results in their negative rebirth? This just doesn’t make sense.

The pillars of Tibetan Buddhism will be shaken if we insist that the most erudite masters of our lineage such as the earlier Sakya Trizins, the Panchen Lama, Pabongka Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche have all made a mistake. If these masters can make a mistake, what assurance is there that no other mistakes are made? If our lineage masters can make mistakes, they are an unreliable source for the impeccable Dharma of Lord Buddha that is perfect and free from contradictions. If our lineage masters are an unreliable source of Buddha’s doctrine, then the teachings, initiation and empowerments we receive from them will have no power to bestow attainments. This will in turn nullify one of the most crucial practices of our tradition which is the invocation of the blessings of the lineage masters at the start of daily prayers. In a nutshell, labelling Dorje Shugden practice as demon worship will open the floodgate of questions, accusation and conclusion that will tear the Vajrayana tradition of Buddhism apart.

The origins of Dorje Shugden began with Nechung’s request and he is still the trusted and loyal advisor to the Dalai Lama up to this day via the Nechung oracle. If Dorje Shugden is that harmful to the welfare of the Dalai Lama, a threat to the Tibetan cause and a jeopardy to the purity of the lineage because he is considered unenlightened and a spirit, then wouldn’t it be logical to take one step back and question Nechung as well? According to tradition, it was Nechung who prompted Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen to protect the teachings.

The origins of Dorje Shugden began with Nechung’s request and until today, he is still a trusted advisor to the Dalai Lama via the Nechung oracle. If Dorje Shugden is that harmful to the welfare of the Dalai Lama, a threat to the Tibetan cause as it has been claimed, and jeopardises the purity of the lineage because he is considered unenlightened and a spirit, then wouldn’t it be logical to take one step back and question Nechung as well? According to tradition, it was Nechung who prompted Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen to protect the teachings.

Lastly, if the entire Tibetan leadership can put the fate of their nation and people in the hands of an unenlightened spirit, Nechung, why come down so hard on Dorje Shugden? This is especially so when Nechung has been caught on several independent occasions for giving wrong advice and inaccurate prophecies. In fact, Nechung’s advice and actions are known to have ended the life of the 13th Dalai Lama who consumed medicine that he wrongly prescribed. And if not for Dorje Shugden’s intervention, Nechung would have also prematurely ended the life of the 14th Dalai Lama whom he advised to remain in Tibet despite the advancing threat from China.

Just by reflecting on the previous lives of Dorje Shugden and the accurate advice and pronouncements he has given in the past, it is easy to come to a logical conclusion that there is no substantial evidence to support the reasons given by the CTA to claim that he is a spirit and to impose a ban. If the reasons given by the CTA to justify a ban can be easily refuted, then there are no grounds for the ban to even exist. Having established that the claims against Dorje Shugden are unfounded, the next section will focus on presenting facts, images and testimonials to prove the existence of an unjust ban against Dorje Shugden. Just because the ban does not affect you directly, it does not mean that it does not exist. Similarly, just because some people deny the existence of the ban, it does not mean that the effects of the ban are not felt.

 


 

A Piece of Advice With

Life Threatening Consequences

No Option but Conformation

Legal Enforcement

…and still “not a ban”?

 


 

A Simple Chronology

The Ban on Dorje Shugden at a Glance

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

 

1980 – 1996

The Tibetan leadership continues to insist that there is no ban. The quest to eliminate Dorje Shugden’s practice is selectively described to be advice that the public is free to either accept or reject. However, there is much evidence that demonstrates otherwise. Below is a simple chronology of events between 1980 and 2016 that clearly illustrates how ‘advice’ can lead to the expulsion of monks from monasteries, physical violence, as well as divisions and disharmony in families and relationships.

In 1980, when the Dalai Lama first spoke publicly against the practice of Dorje Shugden, the Dalai Lama said he was merely expressing his own personal opinion on the deity and he was merely discouraging the practice. Hence, the Tibetan community at that time did not take his words seriously.

Nevertheless, some effort to end the practice of Dorje Shugden was made. An image of Dorje Shugden was broken into smaller pieces and removed from the prayer hall of Gaden Monastery and a small Dorje Shugden temple near the main hall of Sera monastery in South India was closed. At this time, individuals were still permitted to continue practicing in private, which is how Dharma Protector practice is traditionally carried out – secretly and in private. However, those who actively challenged the Dalai Lama’s decision in public were severely reprimanded such as the Mongolian master, Guru Deva Rinpoche, who was eventually forced to leave India in 1986 because his printing press published a letter questioning the Dalai Lama’s actions regarding Dorje Shugden.

Only in 1996, during an annual teaching at Thekchen Choeling Temple in Dharamsala, did the Dalai Lama issue a statement imposing the ban on Dorje Shugden practice for the first time. It was also the first time the Dalai Lama requested worshippers of Dorje Shugden to leave the temple, barring them from attending his empowerment. To formalise his actions, the Office of the Dalai Lama issued a decree for everyone to stop practicing Dorje Shugden, with instructions to make people aware of this through government offices, monasteries and associations. The Tibetan Parliament in Exile followed suit with a resolution banning the worship. Finally, the Dalai Lama’s Office issued an official letter to the abbots of the monasteries in South India to implement the ban on a monastic level. This official document and prohibition marks the birth of a ban and a chain of events that transformed a harmonious community in exile into one that is fear-ridden, divisive and self-destructive.

The Tibetan Department of Home issued a directive to identify and exclude Dorje Shugden practitioners from attending the Dalai Lama’s teachings

The Tibetan groups and organisations such as the Tibetan Youth Congress and the Tibetan Women’s Association were instructed to enforce the ban as well. Soon, institutions established to serve Tibetan society and the private sectors were given a mandate to enforce the ban. The Department of Health issued a directive to its employees to give up Dorje Shugden’s practice and those who refused would stand to lose their jobs. It came down to the point where Dorje Shugden practitioners were even denied medical service.

While the Tibetan leadership was establishing a foothold to execute the ban by enrolling supporters and issuing official decrees and documentation, they were simultaneously removing and eliminating existing support systems of Dorje Shugden’s practice. Leaders who spoke up and publicly challenged the Dalai Lama and the government became targets of persecution and violence. This included the retired Tibetan Minister Mr Kundeling who was stabbed and badly wounded in his own home a few days after he expressed concerns about the new policy. Centres, societies and spaces where Dorje Shugden practitioners could gather to practice were shut down. Dorje Shugden practitioners were ousted from positions of power and directives were issued stating that they would no longer be employed in positions of authority. For example, devotees of Dorje Shugden were barred from the Supreme Court or from holding the monastic position of disciplinarian, which is one of the three highest offices in the monastery.

As the groundwork for the ban took root, more drastic actions had to be implemented. During the inauguration of the debating courtyard of Sera Mey Monastery by H.H. the Dalai Lama, the monks of Pomra Khangtsen who rely on Dorje Shugden were prohibited from attending the ceremony. They were prevented from leaving their rooms and kept under house arrest by the local police acting on the instructions of Dharamsala, because the monks were accused of being a threat to the Dalai Lama’s security. These were trumped up charges and no credible roof has ever been provided to support the accusation that Dorje Shugden practitioners are a threat to the Dalai Lama’s safety. The only ‘crime’ these monks were guilty of was that of being Dorje Shugden practitioners.

A letter from the Tibetan Women’s Association and Tibetan Youth Congress to Sera Mey Pomra Khangtsen, pressuring the monks of Pomra Khangtsen to give up their practice of Dorje Shugden

A letter to Sera Mey Pomra Khangtsen from the Himalayan Buddhist Cultural Association & Himalayan Committee For Action on Tibet, coercing the young monks to swear against Dorje Shugden’s practice

 

1997 – 2007

In 1998 there were still groups and་individuals who expressed their disagreement with the anti-Dorje Shugden policy because they still believed in the democracy that was promised to them. Hence, 120 members of The Dorje Shugden Society travelled from Delhi to Dharamsala to join the convention to address unsubstantiated accusations by the United Cholsum Organisation that the society has political affiliations with Beijing and Taiwan. The Dorje Shugden Society wanted to use this opportunity to clear their name before the Tibetan public because association with China and Taiwan is considered the ultimate treason by the Tibetan people. The society also planned to work towards the reconciliation and restoration of religious freedom in the Tibetan community.

In a separate case, Mr Phuntsok Nudrub, a devotee of Dorje Shugden and resident of Delhi, went to the Foreigners’ Registration Office in Dharamsala to renew his Registration Certificate (the stay permit for Tibetan refugees in India). Officers of the Tibetan Department of Security interrogated Mr Nudrub for two days and the Indian officer observed that it was a difficult choice between the Dalai Lama’s decree or to continue with Dorje Shugden worship. At this point, it became clear that the Tibetans did not have the option to do both.

To teach them a lesson, Officer Dawa Tsering told the Tibetan public at McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala that Dorje Shugden activists were en route to Dharamsala to destroy the Tibetan Cathedral and thereafter the Dalai Lama’s Palace. Sufficiently infuriated by this false accusation, the Tibetan public (both lay and ordained) gathered at the bus station of McLeod Ganj to attack the unsuspecting delegation. In the case of Mr Phuntsok Nudrub, his stay permit was never renewed. These are some of the earlier cases often cited as an example to force Tibetans into compliance with the Dorje Shugden ban.

In August 1998, The Shugden Society convened a meeting with Mr Pema Choejor, Tibetan Minister of Security and Mr Khedrup, Secretary of the Department of Security in Mundgod. The Society expressed their distress from having both their political and religious rights taken away for three years, with no forthcoming sign of any efforts to correct the situation from the side of the government, who also refused any communication, discussion or debate to arrive at an amicable solution. They also explained how Dorje Shugden practitioners are more hated than the Chinese and they are subject to discrimination, defamation and abuse due to baseless allegations. In response to the representation above, the authorities provided a meagre answer:

“We understand your difficulty. We will convey your grievance clearly to the Kashag (cabinet) in Dharamsala. What you say is true, but since the ban comes from His Holiness, we are put into a very difficult situation. H.H. the Dalai Lama is taking a rock-like stand, and if you also take an equally rigid stand, we (exile government) are caught helpless in between.”

From this point onwards, violent outbreaks ensued with no one taking responsibility from the side of the Tibetan leadership who henceforth refused to offer substantial comment on matters related to Dorje Shugden and did virtually nothing to end the discrimination, segregation, attacks, destruction, open threats and violence against Dorje Shugden practitioners.

A letter containing a death threat sent to Geshe Konchok Gyaltsen of The Dorje Shugden Society in Delhi, India. This is just one of many death threats received by prominent Dorje Shugden practitioners.

In the year 2000, a mob of 2,000 lay and ordained Dalai Lama supporters gathered around Dokhang Khangtsen at Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India, and attacked the Dokhang monks with stones and bricks. The Tibetan leadership left it to the Indian authorities to manage the situation and control the crowd.

The Kashag Secretariat and the Tibetan Reception centre deny 16 Tibetan newcomers recommendation letters to join the Tibetan monasteries, on the basis of being Dorje Shugden practitioners

In 2002, Sera Je Monastery officially announced that it would require every monk joining its monastic community to swear beforehand that he will renounce Dorje Shugden’s practice. One year later, the three highest authorities of Gaden Jangste Monastery – the abbot, chant master and disciplinarian – enforced a re-issuance of Monastic Identity Cards to residents who would take the oath to stop Dorje Shugden’s practice. Consequently, the monks of Serkong Ladrang who continued to worship Dorje Shugden did not receive Identity Cards from the Monastery. This action by Gaden Jangtse effectively cut off the monks from the rest of the monastic community because monks without the Monastic Identity Card lose the monastery’s assistance in terms of housing, schooling and community, and have to fend for themselves.

In 2007, at a public speech in Sera Mey Monastery, the Dalai Lama labelled all devotees of Dorje Shugden as murderers and thugs who receive ‘Chinese money’ with the motivation to kill and harm him. It appeared to be an attempt to create a resurgence of hostilities against Dorje Shugden practitioners, as his supporters would inevitably enact all measures (usually violent and threatening) on the pretext of protecting His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s life.

The General Secretary of the Department of Religion and Culture personally decrees that recommendation letters for monastic entry are not to be issued to Dorje Shugden practitioners

Gaden Jangtse monastery’s monk identity card application form clearly states that identity cards will only be issued to those who swear an oath to abandon the practice of Dorje Shugden

 

2008-2016

In 2008, despite the policies executed against Dorje Shugden practitioners, the Dalai Lama reprimanded the abbots of Gaden Jangtse and Gaden Shartse Monasteries for not taking a rigid enough stand against Dorje Shugden devotees. Consequently, the tactics employed against Dorje Shugden practitioners began to take a more reckless upward surge where hundreds of monks were expelled without deliberation [see Appendix J]. The swearing-out process became a mass event where every single monk was forced to swear again that they would stop Dorje Shugden practice openly in front of the entire monastic community and representatives of the Tibetan leadership.

The Himalayan Buddhist Cultural Association & Himalayan Committee for Action on Tibet wrote a letter in Tibetan and English, and sent it to various monasteries and associations. In this letter, they clearly articulate the ban on Dorje Shugden, and the pressure that the monks face to swear against Dorje Shugden’s practice, and impose further discriminations against firm Dorje Shugden practitioners.

The official endorsement by the Dalai Lama praised strong actions meted out against Dorje Shugden’s practitioners and he also praised those who support him unquestioningly. Thus the ban spread like wildfire all over the Tibetan community. As the Tibetan community in exile do not have many opportunities in acquiring real wealth like land, properties or large businesses, many Tibetans grabbed at the chance to be in the good books of the Tibetan leadership and the Dalai Lama. This would allow them to reap the financial and reputational benefits that accompany an endorsement by the Dalai Lama that they are politically ‘clean’ and correct. This is the easiest avenue for most Tibetans towards acquiring wealth and security.

At this point, it would be beneficial to point out the practice of serfdom in Tibet where 95 to 98% of the Tibetan population were indentured slaves who were regularly tortured. With such a history of indentured servitude, it is quite normal and even expected for the majority of Tibetans, especially the older generation, to take every word from the Dalai Lama as law that is to be executed without question or doubt. In fact, the act of challenging the Dalai Lama (who has ruled Tibet since the reign of the 5th Dalai Lama about 400 years ago) is taboo and to question him is considered treasonous.

As the ban began to take on a more tangible shape, cases of Dorje Shugden practitioners worldwide who experienced suffering and loss began to mount up. (Click here to view a resolution signed by administrators of Gaden Monastic University, pertaining to the expulsion of Shugden practitioners.) Therefore, it became a necessity to muster the courage and effort to establish Shar Gaden and Serpom Monasteries to house and allow Dorje Shugden monks to continue their education and practice in peace after being distracted from pure Dharma study and practice for many years. Both Shar Gaden and Serpom received great amount of support and these newly established monastic institution were eventually able to fulfil their objective as a haven for Dorje Shugden practitioners.

In 2013, noticing the tenacity and devotion of Dorje Shugden practitioners, the Tibetan leadership criminalised Dorje Shugden worship. In May 2013, Jamyang Norbu, a prominent Tibetan essayist and author took a picture with a Dorje Shugden lama and was treated to a barrage of criticism, insults and threats from supporters of the Dalai Lama. He was shocked to learn that even taking a photograph with a Dorje Shugden practitioner had become such a crime. In December of that same year, during a Lamrim discourse in Sera Monastery, the Dalai Lama claimed that pujas conducted by the Dorje Shugden people were “killing” him. As a result of this claim combined with Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche’s absence from the Lamrim discourse that year, a group of armed men in masks attacked Gen Chonze, an 84-year old assistant of the previous Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, at Trijang Ladrang.

In 2014,

the crimes against Dorje Shugden practitioners further escalated as a group of 40 monks and laypeople who were followers of the Dalai Lama forced their way into Gaden Choling Monastery in Phedong to occupy and claim ownership of the premises. The extent to which Dalai Lama supporters are willing to go in order to harass Shugden practitioners is frightening because even the police force was unable to protect Dorje Shugden practitioners from the violent and completely unreasonable mob. This also goes to show the lack of gratitude and respect the Tibetan refugees have towards their host country, India, for the last 60 years.

Later, the CTA published a hit list identifying 20 Tibetans who participated in the protest, including their personal details and addresses. Despite negative public reaction to this illegal act, the CTA blatantly followed up by adding 14 more names to the list just a few days later. This list instigated a group known as the United Front of Tibetan People to issue an open letter calling for strong and physical action to be taken against all Dorje Shugden followers and anyone who opposes the Dalai Lama to ‘teach them a lesson’.

The Dorje Shugden issue became such a hot topic that a group of Tibetan youths from the Tibetan Children’s Village questioned the Prime Minister, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay about the discrimination they were witnessing within their community in exile. Visibly disturbed by their public questioning, Lobsang Sangay later arranged for the youths to be reprimanded for their perceived insolence.

In 2016, despite numerous questions raised and rampant opposition from amongst modern Tibetans as well as international human rights activists and conservationists, the CTA is going head-on against the world with this ban on Dorje Shugden. The latest act to discriminate against Dorje Shugden practitioners is the new ruling requiring every monk in Sera Mey Monastery to wear a badge that visibly indicates whether its bearer is a Dorje Shugden practitioner or not.

In summary, the ‘advice’ against Dorje Shugden has caused:

  • Thousands of monks to lose their homes and communities
  • Dorje Shugden practitioners to be denied access to shops and basic supplies
  • Thousands of practitioners to have their religious as well as human rights stripped away overnight
  • Learned monks, teachers and Geshes who are living vessels containing the teachings of the Buddha to be and remain divided from their students
  • The lineages in which Dorje Shugden was or is practiced to be invalidated on the basis that their lineage masters worshipped a spirit and thus, they have broken their refuge commitments. Therefore everything else within the lineage is invalidated because refuge is the fundamental aspect of the lineage
  • The property of Dorje Shugden practitioners to be damaged or looted
  • Dorje Shugden practitioners to be attacked with deadly weapons
  • Homes of Dorje Shugden to be burnt while the inhabitants were still inside
  • Dorje Shugden practitioners to be faced with daily and constant harassment, online and offline, for their refusal to give up the practice

With an overview of events by chronology, in the next section, we will establish how every event that resulted from the implementation of the “advice” constitutes living proof that the ban on Dorje Shugden is painfully real.

 

An Undeniable Ban!

BAN – A Definition

Noun:
An official or legal prohibition.

Synonym:
Prohibition: The action of forbidding something, especially by law.
Veto: A constitutional right to reject a decision or proposal made by a law-making body.
Proscription: Condemnation or denunciation of something.
Bar: Prevent or forbid the entrance or movement of.
Suppression: To put an end to the activities of (a person, body of persons, etc.).
Stoppage: Cessation of activity.
Interdict: An authoritative prohibition.
Injunction: An authoritative warning or order.

 

Dorje Shugden practitioners are prohibited and barred from accessing the most basic amenities, from education and medical attention to buying food and other supplies in local stores. Members of the public who do not want to get caught in the crossfire are forced to act out of self-preservation and enforce this ban.

Al-Jazeera Reports: The Dalai Lama – The Devil Within

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/AlJazeeraReports.mp4

 

The Central Tibetan Administration and its troop vetoed the basic human right to religious freedom when a public announcement was made to stop the practice of Dorje Shugden.

The Dalai Lama Announcing the Ban

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/DalaiLamaDorjeShugdenPt2.mp4

 

The Vajrayana Buddhist Council of Malaysia (VBCM), a self-appointed council, proscribed against the association of its members and the general public with Dorje Shugden practitioners.

Statement issued by the Vajrayana Buddhist Council of Malaysia proscribing not to associate with Dorje Shugden practitioners

The former Tibetan exile Prime Minister, Samdhong Rinpoche, suppresses the basic human right to freedom of speech even in the United States of America where President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Four Freedoms on January 6, 1941. The President proposed four fundamental freedoms that people “everywhere in the world” ought to enjoy:

  • Freedom of speech
  • Freedom of worship
  • Freedom from want
  • Freedom from fear

Samdhong Rinpoche Gags Free Speech in New York

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/SamdhongRinpocheGagsFreeSpeech.mp4

 

Monasteries, both in India and elsewhere around the world, are stopped from practicing Dorje Shugden as statues of this deity is removed from the prayer halls, destroyed, thrown into rivers and burned.

The CTA imposed an interdiction on freedom of speech and worship on Dorje Shugden practitioners as the supporters label Shugden practitioners as outcasts. Recognising the unethical nature of the interdiction, they tried to destroy footage of the ban captured by international journalists.

Tibetan Public Talk – The True Facts

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/TPTTrueFacts.mp4

 

The Tibetan leadership and its supporters like Thekchen Choling display public injunctions on the practice of Dorje Shugden

By definition of the word “ban”, the actions taken by the CTA to prohibit the worship of Dorje Shugden are undeniably an execution of a ban on Dorje Shugden. Although these actions should suffice to prove the existence of this ban on Dorje Shugden, below is a compilation of solid and tangible policies, rules and regulations captured in writing, in photos, on audio and on video to establish the sad and frightening cruelty and recklessness of the CTA in their execution of Dorje Shugden practitioners.

 

Evidence of the Ban

Evidence 1: Expulsion of 900 Monks from Gaden Shartse and Sera Mey Monasteries

In 2008, the Dalai Lama made an announcement at Drepung Monastery encouraging monastic leaders to expel monks who did not give up their Dorje Shugden practice “without hesitation”. His Holiness also extended his full support to the monasteries that gave their full cooperation, and praised those who had the courage to take “hard” actions. This may seem like a simple statement giving the impression that His Holiness was merely expressing his opinion regarding Dorje Shugden whilst the monks and laypeople can choose to reject or continue the practice. However, considering the deeply rooted history of Tibetan serfdom, the Dalai Lama’s endorsement of anything has great significance. In this case, it resulted in the beginning of the end of Tibetan Buddhism as we know it.

“Expelling monks without hesitation” could and did result in hundreds of monks losing their home, family and school without due examination or observation. The process of declaring their spiritual choice was intentionally done in haste, with limited reflection on the ban’s long-term impact. The CTA added fear to the state of rushed confusion by having 40 monks with weapons surround the main prayer hall of Gaden Monastery. They were there to intimidate unsuspecting monks, many of whom were still practicing Dorje Shugden. One of the monks present, Lobsang Gompo testified that these 40 monks had iron bars in their hands to use on anyone who dared to express an opinion against the announcement. Despite the intimidation, some people bravely decided to retain their Dorje Shugden practice, defying the Dalai Lama’s ban and thus instantly becoming an enemy of the state.

Monks Swearing Out of Dorje Shugden’s Practice – Part 1


Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/MonksForcedtoSwearOut-1.mp4

 

Monks Swearing Out of Dorje Shugden’s Practice – Part 2


Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/MonksForcedtoSwearOut-2.mp4

 

The script that every monk was forced to read when swearing out of their Dorje Shugden practice

An official letter from the Tibetan Government in Exile’s Department of Religion and Culture, demanding the eradication of Shugden monks within Gaden Shartse Monastery

Besides their general tendency for blind adherence towards whatever the Dalai Lama tells them to do, this purposeful rush to implement the ban also did not give people room to think about the policies. Had they been given time to think, they would have seen through the Tibetan leadership’s manipulation. A hurried indoctrination of the monks into the anti-Dorje Shugden camp would hamper thoughts of challenging the government and by the time any significantly large group realised what was really happening, it would be too late to resist. Hence enforcing the ban at speed was essential because the CTA would not have been able to provide substantial reasons for the ban if they had been questioned. In fact, up until today, they are still unable to provide any reasons for the ban, which explains their continued avoidance of an open forum discussion with lamas, Geshes and practitioners up to this day.

Protest on Dalai Lama for Banning Dorje Shugden Practice


Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/ProtestOnDalaiLama.mp4

 

In his statement at Drepung Monastery in 2008, the Dalai Lama promised support for monasteries that complied with his demands. The Dalai Lama’s endorsement carries a great deal of influence both within and outside the Tibetan community. As an international humanitarian icon, the Dalai Lama has access to the vast resources needed for building, developing and maintaining a monastery and its community. For the monastic administration responsible for securing a safe and conducive learning environment for their community, the allure of easy resources may have been encouraging enough for them to close an eye and meet the Dalai Lama’s demands despite any discomfort they personally feel regarding the ban.

True enough the monasteries, centres and teachers who pledged allegiance to the Dalai Lama have had an easier time raising funds while Dorje Shugden outcasts have been left to fend for themselves. Dorje Shugden practitioners in fact, have had a very difficult time because Dalai Lama supporters continue to interfere with their sponsor relationships, claiming that they are against the Dalai Lama. It is not difficult to guess how these sponsors, unfamiliar with Tibetan politics and customs, would react to such an accusation. Stories abound in the Dorje Shugden community of sponsors giving their former recipients a cold shoulder upon hearing they practice Dorje Shugden and are supposedly against the Dalai Lama.

Lastly, for the Tibetan leadership to advocate “harsher” ways to marginalise or punish Dorje Shugden practitioners is not something foreign to the Tibetans. The majority of Tibetans are not highly educated, and lack exposure and experience beyond their relatively insular communities. Thusly unequipped to gather information for themselves and consult independent sources, they rely on their leadership to tell them everything they know. This invariably results in a very one-dimensional way of approaching issues. Consequently, the harsh methods that the leadership advocates for their people to enforce the ban go unquestioned, and any attempts to reason with these enforcers against the illegality of their methods are futile. These individuals become self-appointed law enforcers who act based on emotion instead of knowledge, clarity and neutrality.

Hence violence is a feature in the Tibetan community in exile, who use it to stamp out any sniff of perceived dissent because they have not been equipped with other methods to deal with it. It was violence that Dalai Lama supporters resorted to when they learned that a group of Tibetans had refused to give up Dorje Shugden practice. This violence led to the division of the monastic communities and Dharma centres, and Tibetan Buddhists worldwide were forced to break their samaya (spiritual bond) with their teachers.

An announcement from Gaden Jangtse Monastery detailing the expulsion of eleven monks for their support of Dorje Shugden

Speaking of samaya, one of the reasons many Tibetans felt obliged to give up Dorje Shugden was to preserve their samaya with the Dalai Lama. It is worthwhile to point out here that, contrary to what many people believe, the Dalai Lama is not the leader of any of the four sects of Tibetan Buddhism. Additionally, the Dalai Lama is not necessarily the root teacher of every Tibetan monk, nun or lay practitioner. Hence, with respect, the Dalai Lama and the CTA cannot use the reason of “keeping samaya” to emotionally blackmail people into complying to unreasonable demands; most people do not have such a spiritual bond with the Dalai Lama. Neither should they mislead the global public into believing that His Holiness is the highest authority of Tibetan Buddhism. His Holiness’ spiritual authority is only limited to those who are his students. For centuries, each sect of Tibetan Buddhism have had their own leaders: the Gaden Tripa for the Gelugpas, the Sakya Trizins for the Sakyas, the Karmapa for the Karma Kagyus while Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche is currently the head of the Nyingma sect.

The Department of Security of the Tibetan Government in Exile wrote this letter to Gaden Shartse Monastery, prohibiting its monks from attending Dorje Shugden events and directing the Abbot and administrators to expose the identity of monks who attended

Therefore, the expulsion and swearing out conducted at monasteries was executed based on manipulation and subtle threats, which ultimately resulted in monks disrobing, schism in the monastic community and further division of a Tibetan society that is already in exile.

Despite the blatant violation of human rights, the fact the CTA is permitted to avoid responsibility and accountability actually encourages Tibetan leaders to do as they please, leading to an increase in lawlessness. This arrogant attitude of the CTA is destroying the goodwill and faith people have towards the Dalai Lama. Even Tibetan youths beginning to voice their concerns while international supporters like Dana Rohrabacher and Maura Moynihan are taking the CTA to task over their failures and misrepresentations to the public.

A public announcement produced by Sera Jey Monastery, encouraging the discrimination and segregation of Dorje Shugden practitioners

 

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Evidence 2: The Yellow Stick

The electoral ballot is the cornerstone of democracy. It is the right of every citizen to express his or her choice towards the final outcome. America, for example, established the Voting Rights Act in 1965 to protect African Americans during the voting process. It was signed into law to ensure fair, safe and non-discriminatory conditions for African Americans exercising their right to vote.

Every central democratic principle was broken when the Tibetan leadership imposed the infamous Yellow Stick Vote in January and February 2008 at 14 Gelugpa monasteries. In front of their entire congregation, and under the watchful eyes of the monastic administration, monks were forced to publicly declare they were stopping their Dorje Shugden practice by picking the yellow vote-stick.

Leaders of each Tibetan refugee camp were required to submit official statements to the CTA confirming that the people in their village have given up the practice of Shugden. Here is one example of such a statement

The Dalai Lama and anti-Dorje Shugden groups claim that there is no ban and no discrimination because they used a democratic voting process for people to vote in favour of the ban. It is actually ludicrous to claim that the voting procedure was democratic, when the monks were subject to immense peer pressure and the threat of segregation while making their choice. In the monasteries, they were forced to make this very personal choice in front of the entire assembly of monks, the monastic administration and representatives from the Tibetan leadership (at least 3000 pairs of eyes). “Care not of those piercing eyes” we may say but we have no understanding of the conditions these monks faced. Many, if not all, of these monks had nothing beyond the monastery wall. Some did not have families and those with families would ultimately lose them because the lay community would have pressured families into severing all ties with their Dorje Shugden-practicing relatives. Those monks brave enough to cast an honest vote by taking the red stick faced immediate expulsion from the monastery and segregation from the lay community.

Dalai Lama’s Ban on Dorje Shugden


Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/DalaiLamaBanOnDorjeShugdenPartIIb.mp4

 

This was far from the spirit of democracy. It was hypocrisy and blue murder as the fate of those who chose the red stick would be a dangerous one. By picking the red stick, the entire monastic community would, in one fell swoop, be ‘informed’ that the person was going against the leadership. Faced with this consequence, it is no wonder many felt pressured into choosing the yellow stick. The yellow stick system hence completely contradicts all democratic principles. The result of the CTA’s version of democracy is disharmony, schism as well as tension and division. Many monks were deeply unhappy about making this choice but felt completely helpless due to their dependence on the monastery. It has been said by monks of that time that “whether you agree or not, whether you like it or not, you must follow the words of the Dalai Lama and Tibetan government in exile, or you will land in trouble.”

The Infamous Red/Yellow Stick Referendum on Dorje Shugden


Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/RedYellowStickReferendum.mp4

 

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Evidence 3: Shar Gaden and Serpom Monasteries

The Tibetan leadership in exile forced every member of monasteries within their jurisdiction to swear an oath to abandon all practices related to Dorje Shugden. If they did not, they had to leave the monastery for good. 500 monks decided to remain true to their spiritual convictions and left Gaden Shartse Monastery which had been their home since they renounced secular concerns and took on ordination vows. Hence, in order to keep their vows and continue their pursuit of spiritual excellence in the spirit of Lama Tsongkhapa’s doctrine, these monks, primarily from Dokhang Khangtsen, established Shar Gaden Monastery in 2008. Following their lead, 600 monks who were thrown out of their spiritual home, Sera Mey Monastery, established Serpom Monastery in 2011. These new monasteries have become beacons of hope in their struggle to uphold their rights to freedom of worship. Their courage led to many more monks and tulkus joining them in openly continuing their Dorje Shugden practice, by joining Shar Gaden and Serpom.

Click here for the English version of the letter from the Himalayan Buddhist Cultural Association & Himalayan Committee For Action on Tibet to various monasteries and associations.

The Indian Express: Eleven Monks Expelled for Worshipping Forbidden Deity

One of the arguments that the CTA uses to support their assertion there is no ban on Dorje Shugden is the existence of Shar Gaden and Serpom Monasteries. They claim that the fact separate monasteries exist for Dorje Shugden practitioners is proof that there is religious freedom to worship Dorje Shugden. Their assertions could not be more erroneous and far from the truth. Firstly, these monasteries are established under the jurisdiction of the Indian law, which falls outside the direct control of the CTA. Secondly, the CTA is avoiding the fact these two monasteries would not have been established if there was no ban on Dorje Shugden that was enforced by way of swearing out exercises, the yellow stick voting referendum and the expulsion of hundreds of monks who chose to continue their practice. For the hundreds of years that practitioners relied on Dorje Shugden, there were no separate monasteries for Dorje Shugden practitioners until the ban came into effect in 1996.

The establishment of Shar Gaden and Serpom Monasteries does not only establish the fact that there is a ban on Dorje Shugden but it also highlights Gaden Shartse and Sera Monastery’s failure to fulfil their role as a place to protect, preserve and expound the lineage of Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings. Gaden Shartse and Sera Mey are two of the three main monasteries of the Gelugpa lineage. After the monks fled Tibet, these monasteries were re-established in India to uphold Lama Tsongkhapa’s doctrine which emphasises monastic discipline and ethics, Bodhicitta and mind transformation as practices on the path to enlightenment. The expulsion of monks in this rampant and thoughtless manner is in complete disregard and contradiction to the spirit of the Gelugpa tradition because Dorje Shugden ban invalidates one vital aspect of the lineage which has been propagated for centuries. If one aspect of the lineage can be wrong, it puts all other aspects at risk of being wrong too. In this way, the Gelug lineage is undermined by the Dorje Shugde ban.

Shar Gaden Monastery was formed by monks expelled from Gaden Shartse

Serpom Monastery was established by monks who refused to give up their practice of Dorje Shugden and were thereafter were expelled from Sera Monastery

Although the establishment of Shar Gaden and Serpom Monastery resolved most of the fundamental difficulties the expelled monks face, there are still many challenges that these Dorje Shugden practitioners struggle with. Regardless of how qualified they might be, monks who are Dorje Shugden practitioners are denied the opportunity to sit for the examinations necessary to obtain their Geshe degrees (the PhD equivalent in Buddhist philosophy). To obtain this highest monastic accolade, a monk has to engage in inter-monastery debate. This final stage of their education is made impossible because these monks are not permitted to enter the original three main Gelugpa universities, in order to engage in said debates. Imagine being denied this opportunity after a minimum 20 years of intensive study. This brutal tactic was implemented to discourage Dorje Shugden practice.

The Geshe Lharampa Degree conferred to Dorje Shugden practitioners after four years of intensive studies

If there is no ban, why create and implement so many policies, decrees and documentation that aim to divide the monastic community? Fortunately, through the compassion and effort of dedicated high lamas and senior monks still openly practicing Dorje Shugden, a new Gelugpa Buddhist University was set up in Mysore in 2015. It serves as the alternative higher learning monastic institution that issues certificates to qualified Geshes from Shar Gaden and Serpom, thus enabling Shugden monks to complete their monastic education.

Despite the difficulties that Dorje Shugden practitioners face, they still maintain unwavering faith and remain true to their practice by propagating the authentic lineage of Lama Tsongkhapa. The continued growth and success of Shar Gaden and Serpom Monasteries is reflected in the growing number of students and qualified teachers who join them, as well as the graduation of hundreds of elite scholars.

Certificate received by Dorje Shugden practitioners after 2 years of studies

 

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Evidence 4: Destruction of Dorje Shugden Images

After purging those who continue to practice Dorje Shugden, the Tibetan leadership then attempted to eradicate all Dorje Shugden images from temples, monasteries, Dharma centres and even private spaces. Statues, thangkas, tsa tsas (clay votives), prints and scripture… nothing was spared. For that matter, no one was spared as every person within the CTA’s control was manipulated into being an enforcer of the ban against Dorje Shugden. Those who did not cooperate would be considered the enemy of their King, the Dalai Lama and his government.

Even the holy sangha have been forced to behave in ways most unbecoming for a person of the cloth. The sangha is supposed to renounce worldly life and its concerns for a life dedicated to study, practice and mastery of the Dharma. Not only did the CTA failed to support the monks, but they forced the monks into the very difficult position of choosing between their vows and their adherence to the Dalai Lama’s wishes.

In 1996, nuns from Gaden Choeling Nunnery in Dharamsala went into their abbot’s chamber to drag a Dorje Shugden statue into the street by using a rope attached to the neck. The nuns then proceeded to stomp and sit on the statue, and spit on it before eventually breaking it to pieces and throwing it into the garbage dump. Not only were these nuns ordered to destroy a holy image, but they were ordered to destroy an image that was consecrated by their own lineage masters: Trijang Rinpoche, Ling Rinpoche and Zong Rinpoche. Ironically, these nuns continued to live and study in their nunnery which was founded by these lineage masters. They continued to study Buddhist philosophy as composed and expounded by these masters, and engaged in meditational practices as taught and initiated by the very same lineage masters they had just disparaged. In Buddhism, desecrating any teaching, practice or deity transmitted by any lineage master will not lead to any results in our studies and meditational practices. Hence, the CTA destroyed the spiritual potential of these nuns by making them disparage their teachers through these heinous acts. Some nuns explained in the video below that executors of the destruction acted solely on the basis that the instruction came from the Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama’s Actions: Destroying the Gelugpa, Kagyu and Nyingma Traditions


Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/DalaiLamasActions.mp4

 

From the images of Dorje Shugden, the CTA progressed to destroying images of lineage masters who are renowned Dorje Shugden practitioners. The execution of the ban reached ludicrous heights when even pictures of His Holiness’ own tutor, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche was seen as a threat to the Dalai Lama’s life and the fulfilment of his wishes. The CTA’s threats led to discussions about removing Trijang Rinpoche’s throne from the main hall of Gaden Shartse Monastery where almost every monk had received a teaching, initiation or empowerment from this erudite master, known as ‘the teacher of teachers’ for the sheer number of people he had educated. It is said that the monasteries complied because the CTA threatened changes to the annual Great Prayer Festival. The effort to eradicate images of lineage masters reached such an extent where many Tibetans edited the customary photo of the Dalai Lama sitting with his two masters (Ling Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche). In a move reminiscent of Stalin, Trijang Rinpoche was replaced with another lama or altogether redacted. These Tibetans were afraid of being labelled a “Shugden worshipper” if others saw a photo of Trijang Rinpoche in their possession.

If there was really no ban, why was it necessary to remove the images of Dorje Shugden and the lineage masters who propitiate and propagate him in such a drastic manner?

 

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Evidence 5: Signs Prohibiting Entry to Dorje Shugden Practitioners

Gone are the days that discriminatory signboards are permitted and tolerated, except in societies where segregation is encouraged and used as a tool of power and suppression. It is extremely unfortunate that the Tibetan community in India is a society where the freedom of worship is disallowed and signage promoting that agenda can be publicly displayed. Since 2008, it has been officially communicated that all who support the Dalai Lama in his ban on Dorje Shugden will be viewed favourably. Spurred on by such a promise, these communications have been translated into the widespread display of signs prohibiting Dorje Shugden practitioners from entering various public places like monasteries, as well as private spaces like retail outlets and grocery stores. The most appalling signs are those displayed at hospitals, denying access to medical assistance for Dorje Shugden devotees. When interviewed, those who dared to articulate their thoughts claimed that their decision to put up such signs was because of their faith in the Dalai Lama. According to them, the Dalai Lama is a living Buddha so these signs, being an enforcement of his rules, would please him. It boggles the mind that anyone can think such actions would please the mind of a real Buddha, especially when these actions cause disharmony, segregation and violence.

Some people might argue that the authorities and their supporters were not aware that these actions are wrong. However, if the Tibetan leadership and their supporters thought what they did was correct, then why were they offended when journalists captured footage of the discriminatory signboards? Why did they try to destroy this evidence? The leadership’s defensiveness clearly demonstrates that they know this ban is wrong, and the general public who helped execute this discrimination and stood by to watch also know it is wrong.

“Do not enter” signs for restaurants and shops

Sign visibly displayed on retail shelves

Shop owners and operators of all types are openly turning away Dorje Shugden practitioners

Tibetan-owned shops in Camp 1, Bylakuppe, India display signs on their windows indicating Dorje Shugden devotees are not allowed in the premises and will be refused service. Out of 40 such shops, 37 shops display these signs.

Signboard denying Dorje Shugden practitioners the most basic need: Medical attention and help

Click here to view a directive issued in 1996, by the Tibetan Government in Exile’s Department of Health to its employees asking them to give up Dorje Shugden’s practice or resign from their jobs.

It is worrying to discover that this discrimination and segregation has spread to Tibetan Buddhist communities in other parts of the world. In Singapore, for example, Thekchen Choling has displayed signs proudly announcing that they do not practice Dorje Shugden, in accordance with the Dalai Lama’s wishes. By displaying such signs promoting suppression of Dorje Shugden practitioners, Thekchen Choling undermines the Singaporean government’s two principal commitments: to maintain a thriving economy based on good international relationships with its political and trade partners, and to keep its society stable and respectful of the various races and religious groups that make up their nation.

Meanwhile, in Malaysia, the Vajrayana Buddhist Council of Malaysia (VBCM), the self-appointed police of Malaysian Buddhist organisations, distributes statements to divide Malaysian Buddhists. They promote the Tibetan leadership’s agenda against Dorje Shugden, despite knowing the Malaysian government is committed to establishing strong ties with China for the growth and welfare of their nation and people. Encouraging Tibetan Buddhist centres and practitioners to disrespect the policies of the local government is both secularly and spiritually incorrect.

Registration form for the Dalai Lama’s 2011 South East Asia Teaching Tour

Even Tibetans living in the United States and Europe, where freedom of religion and speech are social norms, are not protected from the strong undercurrent of threat to their safety because of their Dorje Shugden practice. This social injustice is very real and has given rise to establishments like the International Shugden Community (ISC) who travel to various parts of the world to raise awareness of Tibetans suffering under the ban through interviews and peaceful protests that capture international and media attention.

 

Exclusive Interview with Kelsang Ananda


Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/ExclusiveInterviewwithKelsangAnanda.mp4

 

First-Hand Experience of the Dalai Lama’s Persecution


Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/FirsthandExperience.mp4

 

Besides visible signboards in public spaces, registration forms associated to the various centres and events that pledge allegiance to the Tibetan leadership include a term in their conditions that Dorje Shugden practitioners are disqualified from attending their events.

If there was no ban, why would Tibetan Buddhist centres and practitioners all over the world know about this issue? And why would they, despite not being Tibetans themselves, override the freedoms afforded by their local governments in order to implement the discriminating, violent and uncompassionate policies of the Tibetan leadership? How can simple ‘advice’ spread like wildfire, burning and destroying everything and anything in its path? This is only plausible and logical because there is a ban on Dorje Shugden!

In 2008, the Monlam Chenmo Committee of Sera Monastery barred Dorje Shugden practitioners from participating in the Great Prayer Festival

A notice from the Dalai Lama’s Private Office in 1996, denying Dorje Shugden practitioners entry to his empowerments. Such notices are commonplace in the Tibetan exile settlements

 

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Evidence 6: Dorje Shugden Practitioners Are Denied Identification Documents

Extract from the Tibetan Constitution that clearly states that all Tibetans have a right to religious freedom

Every government has a responsibility towards its nation. In fact, a government that claims to be a democracy has the added responsibility to consider and implement policies, law and regulations that reflect the majority population’s voice.

Article 10 of Chapter 2 in the Tibetan Constitution clearly stipulates that “All religious denominations are equal before the law” and “Every Tibetan shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion”. It therefore means that it is the Tibetan leadership’s duty to uphold this right of its people. Additionally, it also means that any religious ban contradicts the constitution, which in turn means that any individual or entity that autonomously executes a ban is considered to have breached the constitution. Hence, the “advice” prohibiting Dorje Shugden’s practice executed through various policies, rules and small-print “Terms & Conditions” is without doubt a breach of the constitution.

Amongst the many breaches to religious freedom by the CTA, the cruellest is that which denies Tibetan Dorje Shugden practitioners possession of legal identification documents. Just take a moment to imagine that your identity card, driver’s licence or passport has been revoked, with no option to apply for a replacement. What becomes of you, especially since you are a refugee and are therefore without legal recourse or any other means of formally identifying yourself? You literally become a “nobody”, belonging to nowhere and having no lawful possession of assets and properties. This is a common dilemma amongst Tibetan Dorje Shugden practitioners who find themselves in a situation where they do not have any legal status or rights.

Gaden Jangtse Monastery’s monk identity card application form clearly states that identity cards will only be issued to those who swear an oath to abandon the practice of Dorje Shugden

A directive from the Department of Religion and Culture barring the issuance of travel recommendation letters for Dorje Shugden practitioners

A travel recommendation letter from Sera Jey Monastery to the Tibetan Settlement Representative Officer. All monks wishing to travel abroad must furnish such a recommendation letter from their monastery specifically stating that he does not worship Dorje Shugden. This policy has made it near impossible for Dorje Shugden monks to travel abroad.

A travel recommendation letter from Gaden Shartse Monastery to the Head of the Tibetan Settlement. All monks wishing to travel abroad must furnish such a recommendation letter from their monastery specifically stating that he does not worship Dorje Shugden. This policy has made it near impossible for Dorje Shugden monks to travel abroad.

As refugees in India, Tibetans are not entitled to hold Indian passports unless they become Indian citizens. Clinging to the hope they will one day be able to return to Tibet, most are extremely reluctant to do this. Hence, their travel document is a makeshift paper commonly known as the Yellow Book that is issued by the Indian authorities. To acquire a Yellow Book, the applicant must first obtain a “Letter of No Objection” from Tibetan authorities. Only with the letter can their Yellow Book application be submitted to the Indian authorities for processing which can take at least six months. The catch for Tibetan Dorje Shugden practitioners however, is that applicants must declare they are not Dorje Shugden practitioners to be eligible to apply for a “Letter of No Objection”.

Even the ordained community who left the secular world and its concerns are encumbered by the constant obstacles and difficulties from the CTA simply because they chose to continue their Dorje Shugden practice. The application of the Monastery Identity Card is only available to those who do not propitiate Dorje Shugden. This identity card is crucial for the sangha who wish to turn the Wheel of Dharma anywhere in the world. It is likened to a Dharma teaching licence. The very purpose of a monastery is to produce teachers who will disseminate the Buddha’s teachings to benefit all sentient beings. Stopping Dorje Shugden lamas from teaching is one of the biggest wrongs because it is not only stopping the lineage of the most erudite teachers of our time from flourishing, but it also completely contradicts the fundamental existence of Buddhism which is to encourage, empower and support the dissemination of the Dharma. Based on the law of cause and effect, this ban is creating the karma that obstructs our lineage lamas from manifesting their full potential.

If there is no ban on Dorje Shugden, why constantly single out Dorje Shugden propitiators for exclusion? If there is no ban, why is the requirement of non-propitiation included in the terms and conditions of so many official forms and documentation in the Tibetan bureaucracy? The answer to these questions is clear and simple: it is because there is a ban on Dorje Shugden practice.

Monastery identity card application form and its terms and conditions

Sample of Monastic Identity Card

 

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Evidence 7: List of Practitioners

In 2014, the Tibetan leadership published on their official website a list of Tibetans who had protested against the ban, along with a photo of each individual and their personal details. The CTA denied that it was a hit list but it has been irrefutably established that such a list containing personal information without the individual’s consent is a breach of privacy laws. Moreover, considering the Tibetan leadership’s history of inciting and directing violence against their own people, such a list makes it easy and clear for the Dalai Lama’s supporters to identify who they wish to target next.

As was expected, the hit list was quickly circulated amongst the Tibetan public. The intention some Dalai Lama supporters have with the list was clearly captured in a document by The United Front of the Tibetan People. It was openly stated in this declaration that the 34 people who demonstrated against the CTA and the Dalai Lama must be “taught a lesson” using “strong and physical action”. This document also expresses to the readers that this hit list is a clarion call by the CTA for all Tibetans to fulfil their duty toward the Dalai Lama.

Although claims have been made that The United Front of the Tibetan People is a false entity established to create further chaos in the Dorje Shugden controversy, no official address was made by the Tibetan leadership to disqualify the statements made in the documents that were put into circulation. Hence, whether this organisation exists, the Tibetan leadership’s silence over the letter sent a strong message to Tibetans everywhere – that is, they approved of the letter and what it was directing Tibetans to do. The leadership’s silence also supported the fact that the document was published to have a detrimental impact on the safety and security of the people whose names and details were on their hit list. On the same note, whether or not the publication of names and related details of Tibetans who joined the demonstrations was intentional or not, the fact that actual violence and strong physical actions were taken and permitted to continue against Dorje Shugden practitioners is a clear indication of the CTA’s motivation.

See the links for the letter by The United Front of the Tibetan People:

See the links for list of Dorje Shugden practitioners published on their website:

The Sera Je Monastery badge issued to non-Shugden practitioners

The danger of letting people ‘get away with murder’ is that it gives the false impression that they are above the law. By their actions, the Tibetan leaders seem to believe that they can disregard the Tibetan constitution and breach the freedom to worship of its people. This disregard towards the constitution and regulations will only spread; if the leaders can behave in such a lawless manner, without any accountability, then the people can behave in the same manner too. This was recently reflected in Sera Monastery’s decision to introduce a new requirement for the monks to wear a badge as a declaration that they are not Dorje Shugden practitioners. Although this is not exactly a hit list, this new identification system makes every monk who does not wear the badge a glaring target for attacks. The badge is just a different tool with the same function and outcome. Instead of being a source of wisdom to its people, the Tibetan leadership stands by to watch their people persecute each other in an attempt to please their leaders.

The badge must be worn at all time in a visible place

The announcement introducing the use of the badge

This spiritual terrorism has also spreading beyond the Gelug lineage, as was clearly and eloquently expressed by the Karma Kagyu lama His Eminence Lodreu Rabsel Rinpoche in his open letter to the Dalai Lama.

The similarity in pattern and tactic that the Tibetan leadership demonstrates is glaringly obvious, when it comes to suppressing those they perceive to be ‘against’ them in any way. In brief, controversy arose in the Karma Kagyu lineage when two reincarnations of the Karmapa, who is the spiritual head of the sect was identified.

Traditionally, the Sharmapa line of reincarnations holds the authority to search, identify and confirm a Karmapa reincarnate. However, during the search for the 17th Karmapa, two candidates were identified: 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje who was recognised by the Sharmapa and Orgyen Trinley Dorje who was recognised by Tai Situ Rinpoche. Instead of resolving the issue as the King of Tibet, the Dalai Lama fuelled the problem by endorsing Orgyen Trinley Dorje, who was not the Sharmapa’s choice. Consequently, Trinley Thaye Dorje has faced obstacles in his work to turn the Wheel of Dharma. As expressed in the letter by Lodreu Rabsel Rinpoche, those who claim to be the Dalai Lama representatives used every means available, including intimidation, to prevent local people from attending Trinley Thaye Dorje’s teachings and initiations in Ladakh and again in Taiwan. These aggressors, who claimed to be acting on behalf of the Dalai Lama, also tried to tarnish the reputation of Trinley Thaye Dorje with unsupported accusations that he practices Dorje Shugden. Thanks to the Tibetan leadership, to be labelled a Dorje Shugden practitioner is now a slur and insult. Where is the religious freedom that they claim Dorje Shugden practitioners have?

Lodreu Rabsel Rinpoche also directly questioned the hypocrisy in His Holiness’ advocacy for religious tolerance and freedom when discrimination, segregation and attacks are afflicted on Tibetans who embrace a religious choice different from that of the Dalai Lama. The clarity, objectivity and honesty of Lodreu Rabsel Rinpoche’s writing reveal that the Karma Kagyu is yet another group who suffers under the domination of the Tibetan leadership. If we search deeper, the reaches of the CTA’s controlling grasp has also found its way into the Jonang and Drukpa Kagyu traditions. Hence there is an urgent need for this injustice to end immediately.

His Eminence Lodreu Rabsel Rinpoche’s letter to His Holiness the Dalai Lama

If there is no ban, why publish a list to expose those who are not conforming so as to direct violence and punishment towards them? If there is no ban, why introduce a badge system that visually divides the monks into those who follow the Dalai Lama and those who do not? Again, the only possible response is that there is a ban on Dorje Shugden.

 

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Evidence 8: Violence Against Dorje Shugden Practitioners

One of the most brutal proofs of the ban on Dorje Shugden is the violence against the practitioners. If there is no ban, why is there constant effort to make a visible and clear distinction between those who practice Dorje Shugden and those who do not? If there is no ban, why and how did a society that was once united and peaceful become divided, disharmonious, violent and segregated?

Lay practitioners who rely on Dorje Shugden are attacked physically, have their properties destroyed and their homes looted. These are already poverty stricken individuals who cause no trouble but work hard to make an honest living and continue their spiritual path sincerely. Listening to the testimonials of Dorje Shugden practitioners is heart-breaking and thought-provoking because it is shocking that 100 fanatical Dalai Lama followers would come together and attack a single family, like the Thubtens, to the point that they had to flee their home. The Thubtens lost everything as they watched these invaders wreck their fridge, stone their television set, burn down their house. In moments, 35 years of hard work was destroyed by those who claim to represent the Tibetan leadership. If these violent attackers were in fact not CTA representatives, an official CTA representative should have spoken up to clarify the misrepresentation. However, not only has the CTA watched in silence as Tibetans have lost their homes, dignity and faith, but the leadership denies responsibility by insisting that there is no ban.

Vulgarity in the name of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Sadly, the monastic community is not spared this violence and humiliation. On December 27, 2013 at 4am, when Gen Chonze (the elderly assistant to Trijang Rinpoche) was making water offerings in Trijang Ladrang (South India), he heard a loud bang on the gate. Assuming that they were practitioners coming to make prayers, Gen Chonze opened the gate, only to find five masked men armed with knives. These men barged in and attacked Gen Chonze who, at 84 years old, was powerless to fend off the attackers. Gen Chonze has resided and served Trijang Ladrang for over 60 years. A simple, quiet monk, Gen Chonze has no known enemies; the only reason he was attacked is because he practices Dorje Shugden. Even when this case was reported with images of Gen Chonze to prove the attack took place, the CTA insisted that there is no ban and Shugden people are not persecuted. Something is extremely wrong.

Wounds on 84-year old Gen Chonze’s face. Is this how the CTA upholds justice?

Attackers slashed away wildly and when Gen Chonze used his hands to fend off some of the attacks, his hands were badly cut

Gen Chonze’s face with wounds and bruising from presumed punches. Would you put your loved ones in the care and protection of the CTA if this is the result?

The wrong is so apparent that even China, an enemy that the Tibetan leadership accuses of attempting to suppress religious freedom and Tibetan culture, is passing laws to protect Dorje Shugden practitioners from their “elected” leaders. On January 20, 2016, a public notice announced that the Chinese law will take legal action against those who use religion as a means to cause trouble, with specific mention of the Dorje Shugden conflict. For China to intervene in this public and direct manner, it is evident that the Dorje Shugden conflict is no longer limited to issues of religious faith and freedom of worship. This controversy is merely a seed of CTA-style “democracy” that, if permitted to continue, can and will further fuel the Tibetan leadership’s reckless abuse of power. The increasingly blatant corruption of the CTA already manifested during the 2016 electoral campaign for Tibetan Sikyong (Prime Minister). The elections attracted domestic and international criticism for the high levels of manipulation, corruption and questionable management of electoral funds.

Extract from the Public Notice in Markham (January 20, 2016):

“In order to effectively protect Markham’s social stability, long term stability, overall stability, to further encourage Markham’s religious harmony, all Buddhist matters to progress smoothly, harmony between monasteries, according to the “Constitution of the People’s Republic of China”, “Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China”, “Law of the People’s Republic of China on Penalties for Administration of Public Security”, “Regulation on Religious Affairs”, and other laws and regulations, from today onwards, legal actions will be taken against those who commit ten types of violations below; for those using religion to cause trouble, especially those who use the conflict of the practice of Protector Dorje Shugden to incite religious discriminations, create social conflicts, destroy national unity, and attempt to split the motherland, regulations will be centralised and these actions that violate the laws will be severely cracked down, hence the special announcement…”

We learn that in this modern day, with the ever-expanding virtual space of the Internet, the power of speech is without boundary. The abuse of this power can turn it into a weapon that destroys lives. Cyber-bullying has become the new crime of the 21st Century, one that leads victims to experience mental and emotional trauma and for serious cases, suicide. Cyber-bullying is an online strategy applied by the CTA to terrorise Dorje Shugden practitioners all over the world. Bullies constantly post defamatory, humiliating and threatening comments on social media platforms against those who practice Dorje Shugden. H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche who has strong online presence is not exempt from these vulgarities. Upon closer examination, it is possible that the continuous attacks are from paid labour, as many are copy-and-pastes of the same comments and accusations. Furthermore, when approached for reasonable debate, these online attackers respond with name-calling and vulgarities, or disappear altogether. More often than not, the attacks are carried out using anonymous profiles. At its peak, there have been open death threats. When the CTA is not confronted with its evident abuse of the Internet, they develop a sense of invincibility that only escalates into greater vulgarities against Dorje Shugden practitioners online.

Death threats are common in Tibetan society, where people are encouraged to use violence against anyone that the leadership perceives as detractors. Read more here.

Why are anti-Dorje Shugden and pro-Dalai Lama groups constantly haunting the websites and social media accounts of Dorje Shugden lamas to spread negativities? What is the motivation behind these destructive actions? Read more here.

Uninhibited use of vulgar language and images against ordained Dorje Shugden practitioners

Name-calling by those who claim to represent the interest of the Dalai Lama

Vulgarity is a common method of verbal violence directed against Dorje Shugden practitioners

Defamatory tactics are used to damage the reputation of Dorje Shugden practitioners

Evidence abounds to demonstrate the abhorrent behaviour of the Tibetan leadership’s supporters. Instead of protesting their leadership’s breach of the Tibetan Constitution, and pressuring their leadership to uphold the law, these supporters focus on attacking Dorje Shugden practitioners instead. So it is no surprise that the Tibetan leadership does nothing to hold these people accountable for their behaviour. Perhaps in the eyes of the government, these people are not breaking the law; the violence is not viewed as attacks but as upholding the government’s intentions.

France 24 Coverage of the Dorje Shugden Issue
Testimonies of Dorje Shugden practitioners who fled from their homes for safety from violent Dalai Lama supporters


Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/France24onDorjeShugden.mp4

 

Understanding this, it would therefore be no surprise then that the Tibetan leadership does nothing to identify and apprehend offline attackers like those who attacked Gen Chonze. If it is the Tibetan leadership’s view that the ends justify the means, then it is reasonable to conclude that they recognise and advocate the ban and all resulting actions taken to enforce it, violent or otherwise.

Or perhaps this is all just a big misunderstanding? If so, then why is the Tibetan leadership refusing requests to have open discussions and respectful debates on this issue, to clear up said misunderstanding?

It is for this reason that those suffering the outrage of the ban experience a betrayal and pain far greater than that of the Chinese invasion. This ban strikes at the heart of Tibet, its people, the culture and the religion. It breaks the purity of the lineage that has been passed down from father to son, from master to student, and from generation to generation. When there was so much despair after the Chinese invasion, the Tibetans walked into exile with their heads held high because they believed they were protecting and upholding their tradition, religion and nation. The ban on Dorje Shugden is the greatest betrayal to this spirit and its executors are the real traitors of Tibet.

 

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Evidence 9: Media Coverage & Demonstrations

The intense suffering arising from the ban on Dorje Shugden combined with the Tibetan leadership’s refusal for open discussion and communication forced a group of practitioners to try a new method to put an end to the ban: peaceful demonstrations. Dorje Shugden Religious and Charitable Society organised the first peaceful protests in India. They did so with the support of the Shugden Supporters Community, which was later called Western Shugden Society and then renamed the International Shugden Community.

Peaceful demonstrations by the International Shugden Community, calling for an end to the ban on Dorje Shugden

Peaceful demonstrations in Germany by sangha members of the Western Shugden Society

Dalai Lama – Buddha of Compassion. Interview with a monk at peaceful demonstration.


Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/DalaiLamaBuddhaofCompassion.mp4

 

Since the very first protests, the demonstrations have grown in scale and impact as they captured the attention of international media outlets, from media agencies like Reuters to television news channels like Al-Jazeera and France 24, to online news platforms like those operated by the BBC.

After investigating the Dorje Shugden controversy, journalists have almost universally reported that there is a ban on Dorje Shugden, both by the definition of the word as well as by the actions taken by the Dalai Lama and his government to ostracise, segregate and reprimand those who do not conform to his demand and stop the practice. At the end of the coverage by France 24, for example, one of the reporters shared her discovery of the political side of the Dalai Lama that the common public is usually unaware of.

In essence, she said that the world knows of the Dalai Lama through his spiritual advice but he is also a political leader to the government in exile and about 100,000 Tibetan refugees in India. The reporter observed that the Dalai Lama took a political stance in relation to the Dorje Shugden issue because “instead of negotiating with them, he banned them” and forbid his people from associating with them. In other words, the Tibetan people had to choose between the Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden. The reporter also captured the strong association that the Dalai Lama creates between Dorje Shugden practitioners and China which, upon her examination, she discovered there was little basis for amongst Tibetans in exile. In closing, the reporter confirms that it is the view of traditional Tibetans that it is completely taboo to challenge the authority of the Dalai Lama who is a living Buddha, and whose decision is a rule of law. She discovered for herself that anyone who goes against the Dalai Lama is automatically presumed a Chinese spy by default.

With the initial exposure given by credible media platforms, private materials like blogs and websites, as well as video teachings are becoming more available to shed light on the truth behind the Dorje Shugden controversy. One of the most comprehensive sources is the detailed sharing and teachings by H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche, titled “Dorje Shugden: My Side of the Story”.

Dorje Shugden, My Side of the Story (complete)


Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/DorjeShugdenMySideoftheStory.mp4

 

Media coverage has created awareness about the Dorje Shugden controversy and shed light on the existence of a ban on Dorje Shugden. Despite the Tibetan leadership’s best efforts to insist on the contrary, people are now more aware than ever before of the existence of a ban, and of the suppression and violence that the Tibetan leadership directs against their own people.

One has to wonder why the Dalai Lama and Tibetan leadership have been so resistant in engaging in open dialogue with Dorje Shugden practitioners. After all, they have access to the largest pool of Tibetan Buddhist scholars and masters. If there is no ban, surely such a discussion would not be difficult to arrange and facilitate. Dorje Shugden practitioners have certainly made it clear on repeated occasions that they would be very interested in participating in such a debate.

Or perhaps the Tibetan leadership are reluctant to engage in such dialogue because to do so would prove, once and for all, that the demonstrations by Dorje Shugden practitioners from all over the world has basis. Maybe that is why this open forum or debate was never arranged, because not even the brightest and most eloquent debater would be able to refute the existence of an unjust ban on Dorje Shugden.

 

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Evidence 10: Dorje Shugden Practitioners Are Officially Criminals

The world often forgets that the CTA has no borders since it does not govern a physical country. Hence, the Tibetan leadership may be emboldened to approach basic principles of governance with a greater degree of flippancy compared to governments ‘limited’ by having physical countries. These basic principles include the right to religious freedom and free speech. Since the Tibetan leadership are not limited by physical country, a ban or ‘advice’ issued by their political King (the Dalai Lama) and the enforcement of his ‘advice’ is similarly not limited by geographical boundaries.

If we take a step back, this is most frightening because this ‘law’ can be applied anywhere in the world where someone feels a sense of kinship with the Tibetans, thereby completely superseding the legal constitution of the host country. Thekchen Choling in Singapore is a perfect example of this phenomenon; the discrimination they impose against Dorje Shugden practitioners contradicts Singapore’s commitment to maintain a thriving economy based on good international relationships with its political and trade partners, as well as to protect national harmony by respecting the social diversity which comprises its nation.

The CTA’s official website has a page dedicated to statements regarding the practice of Dorje Shugden

As an administration, the official website of the CTA (like any other governmental entity) is as good as ‘law’ because it represents the vision, objectives, guiding principles and rules and regulations of the leadership. The website is the voice of the government. In the CTA’s case, their website has an entire page dedicated to the ‘Key Issues’ related to the practice of Dorje Shugden. If this were truly a minor practice involving only a few members of society, why would the CTA qualify it to be a ‘key issue’? Why dedicate an entire section of their website towards the suppression of their people’s faith? This page displays a host of official documents from almost 20 years of institutionalised persecution of Dorje Shugden practitioners that has been instigated by the CTA, a supposedly ‘democratic’ government. What other democratic nation in the world warns against this? There would be an uproar in the US if, for example, the Congress’ website had a section dedicated to discriminating against any aspect of American life.

Additionally, in the Tibetan Parliament’s Resolution that was published on March 17, 2014, the Dalai Lama is stated to have ‘never prohibited the practice although restrictions were imposed’. Normally, this would sound like a mild application of authority by those in power. However, as citizens of the 21st Century capable of logical reasoning, the question must be raised: when an entire webpage is dedicated to a ‘key issue’, is this mild treatment? If there is no prohibition of the practice, why are restrictions necessary? And if there is no prohibition of the practice, why the need for restrictions resulting in mass expulsions of monks from their monasteries? Is it mild treatment when these ‘restrictions’ result in a series of violent acts across the globe, as well as a level of discrimination that even restricts one’s freedom of movement and travel?

Global silence has given the CTA the liberty to loosely redefine regulations and the laws of every country in which the Tibetan diaspora are given refuge. Furthermore, although these ‘restrictions’ are intended to control Tibetans in exile all over the world, they are beginning to govern the actions of local societies such as that of the Vajrayana Buddhist Council of Malaysia and individual practitioners who claim to be Buddhist but are attacking and threatening the safety of Dorje Shugden practitioners online.

Attacks and threats by an American citizen towards H.E. Tsem Rinpoche. If someone who is as outspoken as Tsem Rinpoche is exposed to such brutal treatment online, imagine the fear a simple and sincere practitioner has to endure

The online space is a dangerous one if people are permitted to incite and propagate violence. Click here to read a multitude of derogatory comments posted against Dorje Shugden practitioners.

Another contradiction in the CTA’s treatment of Dorje Shugden practitioners is the Parliamentary resolution passed on March 17, 2014 declaring Dorje Shugden practitioners to be criminals and Chinese pawns who have violated the law of karma by threatening the faith and the polity of Tibet. Despite invoking the law of karma to justify their treatment of Shugden practitioners, the CTA still adamantly insists that “the issue has nothing to do with religious freedom.”

Tibetan Parliamentary Resolution declaring Dorje Shugden practitioners as criminals who violated the law of karma.

And hypocritically, while the Tibetan leadership condemns reliance on Dorje Shugden as spirit worship, they find that it is acceptable for the Dalai Lama and his people to rely on Nechung, an unenlightened oath-bound spirit for his guidance on state matters. So how come the CTA who are guilty of the same so-called crime as Dorje Shugden practitioners, is not criminalised for the same violation? The double standard of the Tibetan leadership is a direct violation of non-partisanship on a secular level, and of the Buddhist principle of equanimity on a spiritual level. The biased persecution of this ‘minor’ practice by top-level Tibetan members of authority reveals clearly that this is not a minor problem. In fact, the extensive effort directed towards executing and maintaining the Dalai Lama’s advice shows that what we are dealing with is not mere restrictions but a full-fledged ban on Dorje Shugden.

While Dorje Shugden propitiators are branded criminals and treated as such, the CTA continues to openly seek the advice and guidance of Nechung, an unenlightened Gyalpo spirit that takes trance in the State Oracle.

While the voices of its own people are muffled and ignored, the CTA promotes the unsubstantiated rantings of individuals who degrade Dorje Shugden. Non-Tibetans who have no relevance to Tibetan culture, politics or even religion are given the space to voice their opinions through the CTA’s website, while Tibetans who want to exercise their freedom of religion in peace are ostracised and viewed as criminals. Hence, as long as someone supports their stance, they need not even be Tibetan in order for the Tibetan leadership to abandon their own people in favour of the words of foreigners. In this way, the opinions of non-Tibetans are prioritised over the pleas and requests of religious leaders such as Trijang Rinpoche and ordinary Tibetans.

Why would the CTA do such a thing unless individuals like these serve the CTA by executing and propagating the ban on Dorje Shugden? How come the opinion of a Tibetan Dorje Shugden practitioner is less important to the opinion of a non-Tibetan, non-Dorje Shugden practitioner? It would seem that in the eyes of the Tibetan leadership, if you practice Dorje Shugden then you are not equal to other Tibetans. Whether a person is acting according to Buddhist principles or not, it should not matter as they are a citizen of Tibet and should be treated equally. It is not the job of the leadership to discriminate against their citizens on the basis of their faith; it is the job of the leadership to look beyond faith and afford equal treatment to all their people. There should be no rules or regulations against a person based on religion. All Tibetans should be treated equally regardless of their religion or lack of it.

The words of a foreigner who has done nothing for the betterment of the Tibetans are propagated in the CTA’s campaign to ban Dorje Shugden.

Hence, it is established: There is a ban.

So, what is next?

In moving forward, a good place to start is to examine, reflect on and understand the real motivation behind the ban that is beginning to reveal itself with the passing of time and unfolding of events.

 

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The Non-Purpose of The Ban

It’s not Humane, It’s not Dharmic, It’s Simply Nonsense

Unfortunately, even if we tried to tell ourselves otherwise, the ban is:

  • Not going to extend the lifespan of the Dalai Lama
  • Not going to free Tibet
  • Not going to create a unified or inclusive school of Vajrayana Buddhism

In truth, if we look deeper, these were never the real reasons for the implementation of the ban from the very beginning.

Many people believe that the Dalai Lama is the emanation of an enlightened being – Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion. Enlightened beings are not bound by karma because they have, by definition, purified all karma. Hence, karma does not arise for the emanations of enlightened beings; they do not have karma which can manifest for them to experience harm and suffering since they have no karma at all.

Thus if we wish to believe that the Dalai Lama is an emanation of Avalokiteshvara, we cannot believe that the practice of an ‘evil spirit’ can affect him since he has no karma at all. Being that he is without karma, he would not have the karma for any ‘evil spirit’ to harm him. Furthermore, following the principle of karma, if we were to assume that the Dalai Lama could be affected by karma, the Dalai Lama’s lifespan is determined by his own actions and consequent karma. No spirit or even Buddha for that matter could change that.

If the practice of Dorje Shugden threatens the life of the Dalai Lama, the ban itself is certainly proving otherwise. Although the ban is intended to end the practice of Dorje Shugden, on hindsight, it is generating the opposite result. Today, more people than ever worship Dorje Shugden. Dorje Shugden is now on the altars of countless homes far beyond Tibet, including on American soil, across the European continent and in various parts of Asia. The Dalai Lama himself is a healthy 80-year old, vibrant and alert with no hints of illness. Therefore, the Dalai Lama’s claim that Dorje Shugden will shorten his life is proven wrong by the fact that he is 80 years old, which is an age above the average lifespan of his line of reincarnations. In fact, the Dalai Lama is expected to live up to 113 years old, according to his own prophetic dreams.

The claim that Dorje Shugden is a spirit that harms the Dalai Lama’s life is in itself a slap on the face of all other Dharma Protectors in the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon. The claim implies that no other deity, Buddha or otherwise, is powerful enough to protect the Dalai Lama from a so-called spirit. If we have faith in the enlightened beings, then we should trust Setrap and Kache Marpo who have been Dharma Protectors for centuries. Would these emanations of Amitabha and Hayagriva respectively, share a mandala (divine abode) with Dorje Shugden if he were an evil spirit? As Dharma Protectors whose role is to support sincere practitioners to overcome obstacles and progress in their spiritual journey, would such enlightened beings allow Dharma practitioners to propitiate Dorje Shugden if he were a demon that harms the cause of a free Tibet?

On the contrary, Dorje Shugden has a very close and ancient association with Setrap and Kache Marpo with whom he shares the same mandala. The Sakya tradition propitiates all three protectors in their practice known as Gyalpo Sum. In the Gelug lineage, Dorje Shugden and Setrap are propitiated together in monthly prayers (kangsol) at the main monasteries such as Gaden Monastery. Hence if we challenge the practice of Dorje Shugden, we are demonstrating that we do not trust Setrap, Kache Marpo and our lineage masters’ clairvoyance, wisdom and commitment to serve the Dharma and its practitioners. As such, we are risking the opening of floodgates to discredit the major principles, rituals and teachings of our lineage.

In this way, claiming Dorje Shugden is a spirit who harms the Tibetan independence movement is an erroneous claim. If the Tibetans and their welfare are a priority for the Tibetan leadership, why would the leadership impose a ban that further divides their people who are already suffering greatly as a community in exile? To date, the persecution of Dorje Shugden practitioners has only created more schism and animosity amongst fellow Tibetans. Poisoning society from within can only weaken their position; it harms any leverage they may have for negotiations.

This in turn jeopardises the reputation and stature of their internationally prized spokesperson, the Dalai Lama, who is the sole reason world leaders, influential people and corporations support the Tibetan cause. The inhumane ban on Dorje Shugden practice discredits every word of peace, compassion and tolerance the Dalai Lama has ever preached. With international media exposure and intense circulation of online information regarding ban, the public is beginning to question the Dalai Lama on a global scale. Consequently, leaders of countries like Norway, United States of America and United Kingdom are shying away from making public appearances with His Holiness. By enforcing an illegal and groundless religious ban that has split the Buddhist world, the CTA is also helping China prove to the world that accusations against the Dalai Lama as a dangerous separatist are accurate.

Proponents of the Dorje Shugden ban also claim that he is sectarian and harmful to the reputation and growth of Buddhism. Besides the points presented above that reveal the inclusiveness of Dorje Shugden’s practice since its establishment amongst the Sakya, Kagyu and Gelug traditions, there are many examples illustrating that this is a non-sectarian practice. For example, Dorje Shugden’s reincarnation as Sakya Pandita and Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen played pivotal roles in the Sakya and Gelugpa sects. Moreover, the renowned teachers who propitiated Dorje Shugden before the ban included great lamas from various sects of Tibetan Buddhism. What is more damaging to Tibetan Buddhism is the hypocrisy of the Tibetan leadership that is evidenced on paper, video and photographs. What is truly sectarian are the policies that divide a once united, harmonious and peaceful community into a disintegrated society that cannot and will not interact with each other. The true destruction of Buddha’s teachings is when wisdom, compassion, tolerance and gratitude are replaced with animosity, fear, violence and broken samaya.

In truth and with all honesty, the excuses presented by the Tibetan leadership to justify the ban belittle the Dalai Lama and the Three Jewels. They diminish the power, stature and attainments of the Dalai Lama when they claim a so-called ‘mere spirit’ can be harmful to a Buddha. So, what could be the ulterior motive behind the ban on Dorje Shugden?

Considering more recent events and reflecting on the actions of the CTA, there are reasons with supporting evidence that prove the CTA is using Dorje Shugden as a scapegoat for their failures.

 

Failures of the CTA

Failure 1: No Freedom for Tibet and No More Funds

Despite large donations and sponsorship from various influential and wealthy individuals as well as corporates towards Tibet’s cause to regain sovereignty, there is literally no progress on this front. Not only have all talks with China stopped because they have proven to be futile and a waste of time and effort, China has openly declared that they will not consider granting Tibet its independence. Instead, China’s actions show their commitment to making Tibet prosperous, stable and safe. There must be some truth to this statement because even a close ally and former biographer of the Dalai Lama has returned to Tibet Autonomous Region of China.

Therefore, not only is an independent Tibet a distant child’s fantasy that is unlikely to become a reality, the whereabouts of the funds allocated for this purpose is being questioned. There is also an increase of accusations of fund mismanagement by Tibetans and international leaders like Congressman Dana Rohrabacher.

 

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Failure 2: No Freedom for Tibet and No Happy Tibetans

If you cannot make things better, then at least do not make it worst.

The CTA has not only failed to defend and sustain the welfare of Tibetans through insisting they live as refugees for almost 60 years, the CTA is personally making sure that the lives of Tibetan Dorje Shugden practitioners are insufferable. In addition to the various difficulties they face as refugees, Tibetan Dorje Shugden practitioners are denied the right to healthcare, possession of sufficient identification documents, religious freedom and freedom of speech by their own government. Unable to provide a country for its people, the CTA worsens the situation by dividing its people, instigating violence and vulgarity and violates the monastic community with politics through the Dorje Shugden ban.

Instead of pushing their domineering and assertive ways on its own people as observed in their execution of the Dorje Shugden ban, the CTA should apply this attitude towards securing a free Tibet or at least better living conditions for its people. The CTA’s ‘successful failure’ to negotiate with China over 60 long years makes it apparent that the CTA actually has no intention of freeing Tibet or providing a better quality of life for its people whose refugee status seems indefinite. As refugees who have no official long-term identification documents that are recognised internationally, the CTA retain complete control over Tibetans that reside in India. As a government without a country, land or significant public assets, all they have is their people. However, due to the deeply ingrained culture of serfdom, instead of earning the loyalty and devotion of the people through effort, the CTA strategized to imprison its people by fear. In addition to receiving almost no support from the Tibetan leadership, every Tibetan must contribute tax to the CTA through the Green Card system.

Although most Tibetans still hold the Dalai Lama in high esteem, the younger generation are expecting more from its government. The nostalgia and mysticism of ancient Tibet is lost as the educated young Tibetans are aware of the fundamental responsibilities of a worthy leadership. As young Tibetans witness the glaring failures of the CTA they are beginning to speak up to question and expose their leaders, which has so far only led to embarrassing situations for CTA representatives such as Penpa Tsering and Sikyong Lobsang Sangye.

 

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Failure 3: The leadership are Court Jesters

When healthy patriotism exists, a nation stands together and looks beyond differences. However a leadership that does everything to kill patriotism causes the birth of a generation of Tibetans who seek to humiliate, chastise and expose their government. This is because there is little else they can do to an autocratic government that promotes suppression, demands loyalty and obedience instead of encouraging or valuing freedom of speech.

The latest in a long series of embarrassing situations for the CTA is a short video captured by an audience member during a trance session depicting CTA leaders Sikyong Lobsang Sangye and Penpa Tsering being scolded by Nechung and Tseringma via their oracles. The circulation of this video spread like wild fire amongst Tibetans. Instead of protecting their government, the Tibetan public is doing just the opposite and, sad to say for good reasons.

What is the significance of this? Tibetan youths have become disenchanted by the primitive and irresponsible use of spiritual customs by their government. This poses a potential risk of losing an ancient heritage as Tibet has one of the most potent and unbroken spiritual cultures in the world, which is a crucial contribution to our global archive of cultural and traditional treasures. However, the poor judgment and behavior of the CTA has made young Tibetans want to reduce and maybe even eliminate the influence of this previous deeply ingrained aspect of their cultural inheritance, potentially marking the extinction of another part of human heritage.

A Facebook post illustrating the CTA’s embarrassing moment was shared over 779 times as at 2 April 2016 by Tibetans

Dalai Lama’s oracle Goddess chastises Penpa Tsering and Sikyong Lobsang Sangye 2016


Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/DalaiLamaOracleChastises.mp4

 

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Failure 4: The Dalai Lama is Not Smiling

Even the Dalai Lama himself has publicly addressed the misconduct of the CTA during his address at the opening ceremony of Men-Tse- Khang. The disregard the CTA and its leadership such as Penpa Tsering and Sikyong Lobsang Sangye have towards the Dalai Lama is reflected in their non-adherence to implementing policies that benefit the Tibetan public. In his address at the Centenary Celebrations of the Men-Tsee-Khang, His Holiness spoke about the leadership’s hypocrisy as he pointed to the poor healthcare services they are providing within the four walls of the medical centre while organising ‘grand’ ceremonies that do not contribute to the mission of Men-Tsee-Khang, which is to relieve some of the hardship and suffering of the community in exile.

On a deeper level, this grand opening ceremony reveals to His Holiness the true dangers of a governing body that prioritises image and reputation above the wellbeing of their people. The allocation of resources reflected in this supposedly simple celebration, also confirms suspicions of fund mismanagement that even the Dalai Lama is beginning to openly question.

Failures all round for the CTA. However, we will be no better than the likes of Lobsang Sangya and Penpa Tsering if we simply blame the suffering of Tibet and Dorje Shugden practitioners on the CTA. We need to take action. After all, the CTA could continue to remain in power despite its many failures because of the ‘reliable’ silence of bystanders. The lesson: not to remain silent and do the right thing. The immediate, reasonable and relatively achievable action to take would be to end the Dorje Shugden ban because the ban is the basis from which many other failures and suffering are based.

 

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How to Help End this Ban?

As there is always a silver lining in every cloud, the good news about bans is that they are not written in stone. Hence, the more informal and temporary characteristic of a ban makes it comparatively easier for a ban to be lifted or removed…as long as sufficient and consistent effort is applied by united voices of humanity.

In understanding that the ban is very real and many people are suffering as a consequence, it is crucial to put an end to this ban because silence is a sign of acceptance. If left to its own accord, the recklessness, irresponsibility and relentlessness of a corrupt government will only escalate with time. As all things are interconnected, injustice and the lack of effort to end it will spread. This ban on Dorje Shugden has already taken root in America, Europe, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia…basically anywhere where Tibetan Buddhism has a strong following, hence the urgent need for action to be taken.

This is a humble and passionate call for you to

“Don’t wait for the light, BE the light.”
~ H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche

When we clearly see how the ban is intricately connected to our wellbeing we will commit to lifting this ban for we realise that this is not about Dorje Shugden, Tibet, Buddhism or religion. It is ultimately about humanity: our innate nature to know right from wrong and our integrity and dignity to do the right thing.

 

Be the voice for those who are silenced

Dorje Shugden is an enlightened being whose purpose is to help sentient beings in an often chaotic and complicated world. Many people have suffered to preserve this practice for the generations to come. With greater understanding of Dorje Shugden and the ban, we ask that you voice your thoughts, share your questions and communicate your experiences to those who vowed to uphold human dignity and preserve basic human rights.

 

UNHCR (The UN Refugee Agency)

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Case Postale 2500
CH-1211 Genève 2 Dépôt
Suisse

Telephone: +41 22 739 8111 (automatic switchboard)
Fax: +41 22 739 7377

Working hours are from 9:00 to 18:00 (8:00 GMT to 17:00 GMT) Monday to Friday. Phone calls will be routed to a Duty Officer outside UNHCR Geneva working hours.

 

Human Rights Watch

New York Office
Address: 350 Fifth Avenue, 34th floor
New York, NY 10118-3299 USA
Tel: +1-212-290-4700
Fax: +1-212-736-1300

Geneva Office
Address: 51, Avenue Blanc
1202 Geneva
Switzerland
Tel: +41-22-738-0481
Fax: +41-22-738-1791

London Office
Address: Audrey House
16 -20 Ely Place
London, England
EC1N 6SN
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7618 4700

Australia Office
Address: GPO Box 4278
Sydney NSW 2001
Australia
Tel: +61 2 9221 9422

Tokyo Office
Address: MBE704 Akasaka 258 Bldg. 1F
2-5-8 Akasaka Minato-ku Tokyo Japan 107-0052

 

Refugees International

Address: 2001 S Street NW
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: 202.828.0110
1.800.REFUGEE (1.800.733.8433)
For general inquiries, please contact extension 500 for the operator.
Fax: 202.828.0819
E-mail: ri@refugeesinternational.org

 

UN Watch

Address: UN Watch,
Case Postale 191, 1211
Geneva 20, Switzerland
Tel: +41-22-734-1472
Fax: +41-22-734-1613

 

Help to Relieve the Suffering of the Sangha and the Monasteries

The pure lineage of Dorje Shugden and Lama Tsongkhapa depends on the monastic sangha, who live only to uphold and preserve this precious lineage. Through them, the Buddha’s teachings have survived and flourished to this day. Making offerings to monks is regarded as a highly meritorious and effective practice to draw positive energies into our lives.

Contributions will be allocated to the basic necessities such as food, clothing, medicines and Dharma texts for the ordained communities within the Dorje Shugden monasteries like Shar Gaden and Serpom, who suffer from a lack of sponsorship due to their ‘unclean’ status as Dorje Shugden practitioners. Click here to donate.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is there a ban?

Yes, there is a ban. The Dalai Lama has been captured on film, audio and print instructing the execution of the ban against those who practice Dorje Shugden. Since 1996, four resolutions have been passed by the Tibetan Parliament in exile urging Tibetans to support and enforce the ban against Dorje Shugden practitioners. Punishments include:

  • Expulsion from the monasteries
  • Forbidden possession of identification documents like a Yellow Pass (likened to a passport)
  • Denying issuance of Monk Identification Card that legitimises a sangha member
  • Discriminatory treatment where signs forbidding entry of Dorje Shugden practitioners into public spaces like schools, temples and restaurants were commonly displayed
  • Memos and notices forcing employees to give up their practice of Dorje Shugden in order to keep their jobs were widely circulated
  • People who protest against the ban are called traitors of Tibetan society and had their personal details listed in a hit list that was published

 

2. What is this conflict about?

The Dalai Lama prohibited the practice of Dorje Shugden on the basis that his worship will:

  • Jeopardise any works towards the Tibetan cause
  • Threaten the life of the Dalai Lama
  • Contaminate the practice of pure Buddhadharma because Dorje Shugden is a demon or unenlightened spirit

The execution of the ban is done by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) based in Dharamsala, North India.

The points presented above have been consistently refuted through logic and debate by various schools of Dorje Shugden practitioners (Note: The points below are made with the assumption that Dorje Shugden is a spirit, for argument’s sake. In actuality, Dorje Shugden is an enlightened Dharma Protector):

  • The Dalai Lama is a living Buddha, the emanation of Avalokiteshvara (Buddha of Compassion). How could a spirit threaten the life of an enlightened being? Is this ban suggesting that the Dalai Lama is neither a living Buddha nor an emanation of Avalokiteshvara?
  • It is said in the Dharma that any sangha who purely and completely upholds his or her vows are protected from all spiritual disturbances. Is this ban implying that His Holiness has not upheld his vows and hence can be disturbed and threatened by a spirit?
  • If Dorje Shugden is demon worship and threatens the purity of the Buddhadharma, how could renowned Dorje Shugden practitioners like Pabongka Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche and Lama Yeshe reincarnate in perfect conditions to continue turning the Wheel of Dharma? In fact, it was the 14th Dalai Lama himself who recognised these reincarnations. Additionally, it is Lama Yeshe’s reincarnation, Lama Osel whose students and centres condemn Dorje Shugden, who is facing many obstacles to manifest the full potential of this lineage of incarnation. Meanwhile, Trijang Rinpoche who chose to remain committed to the lineage he received from his teacher is beginning the turn the Wheel of Dharma in America, Europe and Asia.
  • It does not make sense that the leadership of a living Buddha of Compassion who is advised by State Oracle Nechung and Tseringma is unable to overcome the disturbances of one spirit to achieve Tibetan political goals
  • Witnesses have also testified that it was the Dorje Shugden oracle who advised the Dalai Lama to immediately escape Tibet, even providing the escape route. If Dorje Shugden had wanted to harm Tibet’s cause, would it not be easier to just let Dalai Lama remain in Tibet during the troubles of 1959?
    The Dalai Lama is a Living Buddha, the emanation of Avalokiteshvara (Buddha of Compassion). How could a spirit threaten the life of an enlightened being? Is this ban suggesting that the Dalai Lama is neither a living Buddha nor an emanation of Avalokiteshvara?

 

3. If Dorje Shugden is an evil spirit, why can’t he be destroyed by one of those famous Tibetan rituals?

This is a very good point indeed. Tibetan Buddhism is renowned for deity practices and rituals that can effectively dispel and repel spirit disturbances, hauntings, black magic and possessions. In fact one of the most powerful rituals is the Fire Puja. Certain lamas such as the Mindroling Lamas are considered highly accomplished masters of this particular ritual.

When Dorje Shugden first arose as a Protector, many mistook him for a spirit due to the calamities that befell Tibet soon after. However, after various rituals including the famed Fire Puja was done and none of them had any effect on Dorje Shugden, it was clearly established and accepted by even the 5th Dalai Lama that Dorje Shugden is not a spirit but an enlightened Dharma Protector.

Today, almost 400 years later, no rituals have yet been able to dispel Dorje Shugden. This clearly reiterates the fact that Dorje Shugden is not a spirit.

 

4. How did the ban come about?

Since 1976, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has spoken on countless occasions against Dorje Shugden. In July 1996, the Central Tibetan Administration’s constitution was changed, without a referendum, discussion or notification, to include the ban on Dorje Shugden.

In a nutshell, the ban came about solely from the unquestioned and unchallenged instructions of the Dalai Lama, the designated King of Tibet.

 

5. How is the ban enforced?

The ban was propagated and enforced using the deep-rooted serfdom culture of traditional Tibet. Tapping into the people’s ingrained fear of the Dalai Lama and his government, unreasonable and unjustified demands could be made for the execution of the ban.

The execution started with the introduction of new policies, decrees and resolutions by the Private Office of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Parliament in exile. Thereafter, the ban was executed progressively with:

  • Execution of the policies in government bodies. Civil service employees have to renounce Dorje Shugden as a practice in order to keep their jobs
  • Forced swearing and signing out of monks at the monasteries
  • Expulsion of Dorje Shugden monks. They were also denied food from the monastery kitchen, prohibited from attending teachings, initiation and empowerments simply because they practiced Dorje Shugden
  • Slowly, Dorje Shugden practitioners were removed from all positions of authority such as the Supreme Court, the top three ranking positions of the monasteries (abbot, disciplinarian and lead chanter), etc.
  • Riots, death threats and violent attacks were organised to scare Dorje Shugden practitioners into compliance
  • Dorje Shugden practitioners are denied travel documents, identity cards, Monk Identification Cards, etc. so they are not legally recognised by law anywhere
  • Dorje Shugden practitioners are prohibited from having any contact with non-Shugden practitioners or enter public places like schools, hospitals, restaurants, temples, etc.
  • Non-Dorje Shugden practitioners who show any form of empathy towards Dorje Shugden practitioners are considered traitors to the Dalai Lama and CTA. Hence, restaurants, shops and hospitals are forbidden to serve Dorje Shugden practitioners
  • The publication and display of a hit list with personal information of Shugden practitioners

The execution was initially concentrated in Tibetan societies all over the world but has since spread to places like Singapore and Malaysia through supporters of the CTA like Thekchen Choeling and Vajrayana Buddhist Council of Malaysia.

 

6. A lot of emphasis is put into lineage. What exactly is this and why does the ban affect lineage?

One of the most potent practices of Tibetan Buddhism, which is considered by some to be a world cultural heritage, is the sacred teacher-disciple relationship. For non-practitioners, this beautiful relationship is likened to the pure family bond between a young monk and his spiritual father. On a spiritual level, this relationship expands into the crucial principle of lineage master.

The lineage master endows teachings, empowerments and initiations with the essence and power to bestow attainments that eventually lead to enlightenment. And the method that has been used to preserve the authenticity of Vajrayana Buddhism is the transmission of an unbroken lineage of teachings passed down from spiritual father to son that can be traced back to the Buddhas.

The Dorje Shugden ban broke this sacred relationship as it forced students to disparage their teachers. The teaching thrones and images of Trijang Rinpoche, from whom almost every Gelug practitioner has received the Dharma, has been removed from prayers halls and Dharma centres who are particularly zealous about enforcing the ban. Dharma centres such as those founded by Lama Yeshe now actually sneer their teacher when they openly put down Dorje Shugden, knowing well that Lama Yeshe accredited all of his accomplishments to the assistance of his Protector.

When you discredit the source from which you receive the Dharma, then it is only logical that the Dharma from it will also be contaminated and unreliable. Additionally, if one teaching can be mistaken, there is always a possibility that other teachings disseminated could also be mistaken. This opens the floodgates of doubt and distrust.

In the case of the Dorje Shugden ban, this break in the lineage affects every Gelug practitioner because each would have directly or indirectly received a teaching, initiation or empowerment from Pabongka Rinpoche or Trijang Rinpoche who are strong and established practitioners and promoters of the Dorje Shugden practice. So, if the teachers who gave you the Dharma have broken their refuge vows by propitiating an evil spirit, then all the teachings they disseminate will have no power to grant attainments since the teachers themselves are no longer even Buddhist.

 

7. Many centres disparage their teachers from whom they learned everything. Why would these centres do such a thing?

In summary, the motivation is secular in nature and executed at the expense of human rights of both lay and ordained Dorje Shugden practitioners. Some reasons some centres are willing to break the teacher-disciple bond include:

  • To avoid attacks from the Tibetan leadership
  • To avoid attacks from the Tibetan public that can distract and hinder the centre’s or the teacher’s work
  • To be politically correct and get in the good books of the Tibetan leadership
  • To access resources and support from the Tibetan leadership for the continued survival of their centres
  • To be associated to the Dalai Lama who is an international spiritual icon because this can open doors to stronger “networking”

 

8. How did the ban get so violent?

The ban was not introduced or implemented based on logic, reason or compassion. The ban was, and still is, fuelled by the emotional factor of the Tibetan public that is well known for being blindly faithful towards the Dalai Lama. In the various interviews and statements by enforcers and bystanders, all admit that they are acting on the ban simply because the Dalai Lama said so.

Additionally, the Tibetan leadership skilfully pulled at the heartstrings of its community in exile by stating that Dorje Shugden threatens the Tibetans’ political goals. The Tibetans have little to hold them together if not for their hope that one day they will return to their homeland. Hence, a threat to that is a direct threat to their dreams and purpose in life.

Not to mention, since 2008, the Dalai Lama openly praised “hard actions” against Dorje Shugden practitioners to ensure the worship is completely eliminated. By praising such actions, His Holiness encourages people to engage in them since they wish to please his mind. In fact, His Holiness empowers the ban enforcers to act using his name as authority. The general traditional Tibetan public is mostly uneducated and has limited exposure. Hence, they easily and blindly accept what the leadership says to be the law. It is not in their culture to question or think deeper when it comes to something the Dalai Lama has said.

 

9. Does the Dorje Shugden ban not constitute an illegal act against international human rights law?

Without doubt, the ban breaches basic human rights to religious freedom and freedom of speech. On a universal level, it contradicts Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which India is a signatory of. This is significant because the Tibetan leadership themselves are guests of India, and are therefore subject to all treaties and agreements that the Indian government signs.

In fact, as a leadership without a country, the Tibetan leadership have no right to their own separate judicial or legal system. Just as they are subject to all treaties that the Indian government signs, so too are they subject to all Indian laws and the ban on Dorje Shugden directly goes against the Indian Constitution that guarantees freedom of worship. Hence, in enforcing the ban, the Tibetan leadership breaches human rights on a national level by failing to respect and adhere to the constitution of their host country.

Additionally, this ban also contradicts the Tibetan Constitution itself where it is clearly stated in Article 10 of Chapter 2 that “All religious denominations are equal before the law. Every Tibetan shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion”. The ban therefore contravenes laws on many levels. Repeated prompts to the Tibetan leadership for them to end the ban, which is being enforced illegally, have gone unheeded.

The fact that the ban can continue and no authority is able to put an end to this atrocity is baffling. Questions must be raised about the progress of human civilisation when law enforcement turns a blind eye on a group of people who are blatantly flouting the law.

When they disrespect laws on religious freedom, who is to say it will not escalate into a disrespect for other laws like fraud or even murder? Hence, the need for devoted efforts by individuals like Tsem Rinpoche and Geshe Kelsang Gyatso to create awareness of this injustice and enrol support to pressure the Tibetan leadership into lifting this ban.

 

10. Now that the ban has been implemented for 20 years, is there any progress towards the Tibetans accomplishing their political aims?

Any observer with a firm grasp of Sino-Tibetan relationships can see that no progress has been made towards achieving any of the Tibetans’ political goals. While the Tibetan leadership was busy creating disharmony, division and bloodshed within their society, China rose to become a world superpower that is influential politically, economically and socially. Not only are world leaders in America, Europe and others parts of Asia enthusiastic to build good relations with China, but now they even try to avoid offending China in any way.

Hence, when China declared that it will never return sovereignty or autonomy of Tibet to the Dalai Lama and his administration, nobody publicly questioned or challenged this decision. On the other hand, the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government have been requesting the world for decades, to pressure China into dialogue. Empty promises and ineffectual resolutions have been passed by many politicians, with no effect.

The fact of the matter is no one wants to offend China, and no one feels strongly enough about the Tibetan cause to risk offending China and therefore risk their own trade relationships. It is the incompetence of the CTA in failing to build relationships with politicians, such that these relationships compel influential leaders to speak up on behalf of the Tibetans. It is for this reason that many feel strongly that the ban on Dorje Shugden was a diversion and scapegoat for the failures of the Tibetan leadership and if in fact there was ever any truth in the claim that Dorje Shugden worship hinders the accomplishment of the Tibetan cause.

 

11. What are the key consequences of the ban on Dorje Shugden?

  • Monks who lost their home and spiritual family when they were expelled by the hundreds through the swearing out and signing out campaigns
  • The Tibetan community-in-exile is divided as trust amongst them is replaced by hatred, anger and violence. Even family ties are brutally broken in the name of the Dalai Lama
  • The lineage of the teachings are broken and hence do not have the power to bestow attainments, which are essential for spiritual awakening
  • The distinction between politics and religion in the Gelug lineage is blurred with long-term damage because fundamental principles of the tradition like lineage masters have been discredited by the ban
  • Tibetan leadership has not been held accountable for such wrongdoings, thus giving rise to the perception that they can continue to do as they please. This is reflected in the recent Tibetan election where candidacy selection was manipulated and fund allocation was shrouded by suspicion of mismanagement
  • Permitting the ban on Dorje Shugden is setting precedence and indirectly giving consent to breach of rights to freedom of religion and freedom of speech
  • The Tibetan leadership is imposing their influence in other lineages such as the Karma Kagyu sect, as eloquently expressed by H.E. Lodreu Rabsel Rinpoche. The Drukpa Kagyu and the Sakya lineages are not exempt from the Tibetan leadership’s discrimination. His Holiness also freely prescribes “advice” to Burmese Buddhists monks to end the violence in their communities, when discrimination, segregation and breached human rights of his own people are not addressed and resolved
  • Degeneration of humanity because politics becomes an accepted justification to attack helpless and unarmed victims such as Gen Chonze

 

12. How would the ban on Dorje Shugden impact Buddhism as a whole?

Buddhism is a school of faith that has gained growing interest and a following because it is viewed as a way of life instead of an institutionalised religion. Practitioners are respectfully given the freedom to study, understand and apply. The principles of karma, compassion, mind training and impermanence are all very logical and relatable in this global era of the 21st Century.

However, the ban on Dorje Shugden totally contradicts these fundamentals of the Buddha’s teachings. The hypocrisy of those with authority such as the Dalai Lama would therefore cause many to doubt the teachings. A form of cognitive dissonance arises from the idea that the ban on Dorje Shugden could be so violently enforced and promoted by someone who travels the world touting the importance of peace, compassion and universal responsibility.

Furthermore, Buddhism has been very much respected for having kept away from politics and internal fighting for power and material gains. The Dorje Shugden ban has caused bloodshed, violence, fight for power and grasping for material gains. This scenario will inevitably raise doubts in the purity and reliability of the teachings and practices.

For people who would benefit from the teachings, but thus develop disgust or aversion as a result of hearing about the ban, the ban therefore has a detrimental effect on people’s minds and potential to realise happiness.

 


 

Appendices

 

Appendix 1: Iconography of Dorje Shugden

 

Appendix 2: Basic Sadhana Texts for the Practice of Dorje Shugden

 

Appendix 3: A Line of Illustrious Lamas who Propitiate & Propogate Dorje Shugden

 

Appedix 4: Glossary

 


 

For more interesting information:

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About Phng Li Kheng

Born and raised in Malaysia, Li Kheng was a successful hotelier and businesswoman in Hong Kong and China, joining the opening team of Hong Kong's Metropark Hotel and turning around an almost bankrupt Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf franchise in Shanghai.

Today, Li Kheng is the Green Project Manager at Kechara Forest Retreat where she has the opportunity to contribute to a space where people get to ReConnect with themselves through Nature.
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24 Responses to The Buddhist Divide – An Unholy Campaign against Religious Freedom

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  1. Valentina Suhendra on Oct 22, 2017 at 11:40 pm

    Great message every Tibetan especially must read!

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  2. Pavara Lam on Apr 27, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    Thank You Li Kheng for sharing this post about the Dorje Shugden ban.
    Most of the people look up to the Dalai Lama as the peace ambassador, but those people clearly don’t know what happens behind his back…
    Hundreds upon hundreds of people constantly live in fear of persecution, death and violence daily. These people have not committed any sort of crime, the only reason that they live in fear is due to the fact that they practice Dorje Shugden. Now Dorje Shugden is a fully enlightened Dharma Protector who is recognized and practiced by many high lamas, despite the recognition and the miracles shown by Dorje Shugden the CTA and the Dalai Lama still class him[Dorje Shugden] as an evil and unenlightened spirit. Neither the CTA or the Dalai Lama have any solid proof that Dorje Shugden is an evil spirit, yet even though they lack any sort of concrete evidence they still say that Dorje Shugden is evil and can harm anyone who worships him.

    I really hope that the ban can collapse soon without any further ado. _/\_

  3. Anne Ong on Mar 28, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    Thank you Li Kheng and teacm for compiling all the details and put most of the important facts about the development of ban towards Dorje Shugden into one article. Many people know about this issue but don’t really understand how the livelihood and wellbeing of innocent lives are deeply affected.Thank you Rinpoche and Li Kheng for this article that provides a very in detailed of information on the unfair ban. I hope everyone who reads it will do something to quickly lift the ban soon._/\_

  4. MartinC on Feb 9, 2017 at 5:09 am

    Its good to see this comment by ‘Suzy in Hawaii’ on Rinpoche’s YouTube Chanel. It has been 20 years of smear campaign against Dorje Shugden but today people who can think for themselves are beginning to look beyond prejudice to see the goodness of Dorje Shugdenand benefit from it. See what Suzy wrote – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4&t=11s

    Suzy

  5. Tsem Rinpoche on Sep 15, 2016 at 3:22 am

    Trode Khangsar Chapel in Lhasa, Tibet

    Over 400 years ago a great and learned lama Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen was famed in Mongolia, Tibet, Nepal and China for being very saintly and compassionate. He resided in his residence (Zimkhang Gongma Ladrang) in Drepung Monastery. His root guru was H.H. the Omniscient 4th Panchen Lama and his close dharma brother was the 5th Dalai Lama.

    The 5th Dalai Lama and Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen had a very close and dharmic relationship and often went to receive teachings together from the 4th Panchen Lama. They were close in age. They both became very learned and well known. During this time, the Dalai Lama was enthroned as a Dharma King of Tibet. But more people went to see Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen for teachings, initiations and divinations. This made the attendants of the 5th Dalai Lama feel threatened that Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s fame might usurp the power of the 5th Dalai Lama. So they had a khata forced down his throat. At that moment, Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen dissolved his psychic winds and generated the wish to be a great guardian of Buddha and Tsongkapa’s teachings. As his consciousness dissolved, he entered ‘bardo’ as a dharma protector of the highest order (jikten depey sungma). Many signs were seen throughout Lhasa at this time and the earth was said to have shaken in Lhasa. This event was already predicted to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s previous incarnation when he was one of the 8 main disciples of Lord Tsongkapa the Supreme Master and he served Tsongkapa directly by building Gaden Monastery.

    When the 5th Dalai Lama heard what his scheming and power-hungry attendants had done, he was very distressed. He was very sorry Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen was murdered and dishonored as he was a great dharma master. The 5th Dalai Lama composed an apology to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen. In Lhasa, tens of thousands gathered for the cremation of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s holy body. During the cremation, the 5th Dalai Lama’s apology was read out at which flames spontaneously arose from the body of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen commencing the cremation. From the body, during cremation, a powerful whirlwind of smoke tunneled into the sky for all to see as this was an indication Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s consciousness has arisen as the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. The Dharma Protector Setrap immediately recognized this new protector Dorje Shugden and ‘enthroned’ him as a powerful Dharma Protector in the realm of the Buddhas. From this, Setrap and Dorje Shugden are closely connected and very close working hand in hand always. After the cremation, the great 5th Dalai Lama built a Dorje Shugden chapel on the spot the cremation took place and named it Trode Khangsar. The 5th Dalai Lama commissioned the statue of Dorje Shugden in this chapel and had monks installed in the chapel to do continuous propitiations to Dorje Shugden. Trode Khangsar Chapel was a commemoration to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen who was wronged and also a celebration of his consciousness arising as the World Peace Peace Protector Dorje Shugden.

    This Trode Khangsar Chapel still exists now in Lhasa where many make pilgrimages there. It is in good condition and was recently renovated. It is over 400 years old and a testimony to the respect the Great 5th Dalai Lama had to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen who arose as Dorje Shugden.

    I have visited this holy chapel in Lhasa years back. I’ve never heard of it till I was in Lhasa and by chance, I was told about it which I was happy to visit. I could not find the place but strangely a bunch of pilgrims from Amdo told me they would show me how to get there in Lhasa.

    This short video is a short clip of this holy Trode Khangsar Chapel in Lhasa today commemorating Dorje Shugden, built by the great 5th Dalai Lama. The great 5th Dalai Lama even composed a prayer to Dorje Shugden which is still available today and we can recite to invoke the blessings, protection, and assistance of World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden.

    Tsem Rinpoche


    Read more: Trode Khangsar – A 400-year-old Dorje Shugden Chapel in Lhasa
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/trode-khangsar-%E2%80%93-a-400-year-old-dorje-shugden-chapel-in-lhasa.html

    Short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTybDwTeLAM

    __________________________________

    The 5th Dalai Lama’s Prayer to Dorje Shugden

    HUM
    Though unmoving from the sphere of primordial spontaneity,
    With wrathful turbulent power, swifter than lightning,
    Endowed with heroic courage to judge good and bad,
    I invite you with faith, please come to this place!

    Robes of a monk, crown adorned with rhinoceros leather hat,
    Right hand holds ornate club, left holds a human heart,
    Riding various mounts such as nagas and garudas,
    Who subdues the mamos of the charnel grounds, praise to you!

    Samaya substances, offerings and torma, outer, inner and secret,
    Favourite visual offerings and various objects are arranged.
    Although, previously, my wishes were a bit dense,
    Do not stop your powerful apparitions, I reveal and confess!

    Now respectfully praising with body, speech, and mind,
    For us, the masters, disciples, benefactors and entourages,
    Provide the good and avert the bad!
    Bring increase like the waxing moon in spiritual and temporal realms!

    Moreover, swiftly accomplishing all wishes,
    According to our prayers, bestow the supreme effortlessly!
    And like the jewel that bestows all wishes,
    Always protect us with the Three Jewels!

    From: http://www.dorjeshugden.org/practice/the-5th-dalai-lamas-prayer-to-dorje-shugden

    Tibetan prayer from: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/the-14th-dalai-lamas-prayer-to-dorje-shugden.html

  6. Shane Jayasuriya on Jun 19, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    Its a good article about Dorje shugden ban in detail. Its clear see how Dorje shugden follower suffer. I wish and pray may the ban be lifed soon and all the suffering be over, and every one have religious freedom.

    Thank you rinpoche and team.

  7. Lew on Jun 12, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Thank you Li Kheng and teacm for compiling all the details and put most of the important facts about the development of ban towards Dorje Shugden into one article. I would say the information enclosed is very complete, especially the timeline is very clear. I would recommend this article for “beginners” who would like to understand the issue.

    One of the most absurd thing is that CTA as a government has done, is they even passed a resolution about the Do’s and Don’ts about Dorje Shugden. Can you image how that sound, if you replace “Dorje Shugden” with other religions?

    To me, this is not even an issue of religious, but a blatant denial of religious freedom. Firstly, Buddhism is a religion who is all encompassing and acceptance. Since when in the history of Buddhism where Buddhism denied others the freedom to practice?

    Secondly, HH Dalai Lama is the Nobel Peace Prize winner. Why would HH Dalai Lama goes around the world to advocate peace, but in His own backyard, He would deny people’s freedom to practice? What is the logic?

    To make things worse, why would HH Dalai Lama advocate hatred towards Shugden practitioners? Some may say He didn’t directly advocate hatred, but when so many violence are being inflicted towards Shugden practitioners, why didn’t HH Dalai Lama voice out instruct His people to be kind towards each others? Why would HH Dalai Lama keep quiet when His government CTA published a “hit-list” of Dorje Shugden practitioners? Didn’t He know it would encourage people to inflict violence towards them?

    Another thing I am always puzzled, is how CTA encourage her people to have the hatred towards China. I understand CTA would do that to have their people united against a common enemy, but didn’t Buddhism (the official religion of Tibetans in exile) teach people to forgive? I would assume the CTA would trade the spiritual practice over political benefits.

  8. Stella Cheang on May 25, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    Our Guru, His Eminence the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche received threats, insults and defamation daily from ignorant followers of the anti-Shugden movement. The ban on Dorje Shugden by the Tibetan leadership had caused harm and sufferings on Shugden practitioners. Here’s proof that shows without a doubt, despite continued denials by Tibetan authorities, that there is a ban on the practice. Violence, segregation and discrimination are used onto peaceful Shugden practitioners.

    Funds, which are donated by Dalai Lama’s kind sponsor around the world without knowing the truth on how their money is being spent, are actively used by the Tibetan leadership to :
    1. Inflict fear on Shugden practitioners by confining of their own homes.
    2. The CTA permits violent and bloody invasions of private residences of Dorje Shugden practitioners e.g. the Thubten family and also private residences of erudite lama e.g. the 84 year old Gen. Chonze.
    3. Prohibit Dorje Shugden practitioners from entering Sera Monastery, South India.
    4. Dorje Shugden practitioners are prohibited from attending Dharma teachings by Dalai Lama.
    5. Publish a hit list of Shugden practitioners on the CTA’s website, inciting active persecution since the details of Shugden practitioners was made available publicly.
    6. Expel hundreds of Dorje Shugden monks from their monasteries for upholding the lineage passed on to them by their Gurus.
    7. Expose Shugden monks out in the open at the monastery; i.e. The Yellow Vote Stick policy.
    8. Force every member of monasteries within their jurisdiction to swear an oath to abandon all practices related to Dorje Shugden. If they do not, they must leave the monastery for good.
    9. Eradicate all Dorje Shugden images from temples, monasteries, Dharma centers and even private spaces. Statues, thangkas, tsatsas, prints and scripture… nothing was spared.
    10. Put up signs at public places i.e. monasteries and hospitals as well as private spaces like retail and grocery stores to disallow Dorje Shugden practitioners from entering.
    11. Deny Dorje Shugden practitioners access to medical assistance in public hospital.
    12. Revoke all legal documents of Tibetan Dorje Shugden practitioners i.e. their identity card, driver’s license or passport. This is akin of losing one’s identity and freedom.
    13. Allow physical attacks on Shugden’s practitioners, destroy their properties and loot their homes.

    The voices of Tibetan people, especially the Shugden practitioners are muffled and ignored, while the CTA actively promotes unsubstantiated ranting of individuals and opinions of those who degrade Dorje Shugden. There is no religious freedom nor freedom of expression in the Tibetan community. CTA is committing blue murder as the fate of those who would go against the authorities would be faced with dangerous consequences. Yet the world stand tolerance because CTA operates all these fouls in the guise of Dalai Lama and his supremacy position within the Tibetan community.

    This is inhumane and injustice. Please help to lift Dorje Shugden ban and end the sufferings and harms.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Li Kheng for this article that provides a multitude of info on the unfair ban. I hope everyone who read it will do something to lift the ban.

    Humbly, bowing down,
    Stella Cheang

  9. Sarah Yap on May 25, 2016 at 12:55 am

    An extensive article that covers everything in regards to the ban on Dorje Shugden. Much appreciation to you Li Kheng and those who have help to make this article possible, it must have taken many hours and days to compile.

    There is without a doubt, that a ban on Dorje Shugden exists. It is entirely illogical to say that the ban on Dorje Shugden is non-existence when so many actions against it’s practitioners are actively enforced and implemented, not only within the Tibetan society, but to all Gelugpas worldwide. The ban on Dorje Shugden should not be taken lightly as it affects so many around the world.

    Take a simple example, the Central Tibetan Administration’s website have a specific page, dedicated solely to defame the practice. If that is not a ban, then what is that? Where in this world, can we find a ‘government’s’ official website defaming a person’s belief and yet shout to the world that they are strong advocates of World Peace, Freedom and democracy?

    Some Tibetan Buddhists may think that the Dorje Shugden ban does not concern them, as they may not be Shugden practitioners. But realistically, the ban on the ‘object’ is not what they should be worry about but the mentality behind such enforcement. After all, if the CTA can so frivolously ban the practice of Dorje Shugden and cause so much suffering amongst it’s practitioners, what is there to safe guard the other practices from receiving the same harm? Those that think that their practice will never receive the same degradation is like falsely claiming that they will be alive the next morning, but reality is, we never know.

  10. Julia Tan on May 22, 2016 at 10:28 am

    Thank you Rinpohce and Li Kheng for the amazing blog post about Dorje Shugden. This is a collective of everything and it does help me to have a different level of understanding about this ban, what the Dalai Lama and CTA trying to do. when I understand deeper, it cleared a lot of doubt in my mind. Hence this article is very important. The world should read it and to know, people are suffering due to their own faith.

    The ban is killing Buddhism basically. So much of confusion about Buddhism created in people’s mind, and this turning them away from Buddhism and many gave up due to too much of disappointment. So many Sangha chose to disrobe. Sangha being told to destroyed DS statues and abandon their own Gurus who are teaching them the Dharma and giving them care and love everyday. Which part of Buddha’s teachings teaching us to do so? So when someone like Dalai Lama said it’s ok, what does that mean? Forget about what Buddha taught?

    Monasteries that followed the instructions to give up their DS practice, they did it out of fear? Fear of more sangha will be discriminated and hurt if they do not abbey the instructions? In retuned they are being rewarded with more fund to sustain their monasteries. So what does that mean?

    Those who holds their vows to keep pure Guru samaya with their Gurus and insisted to continue their spiritual practice with DS, their lives have became so much difficult due to the ban. Their community is basically cutting them off and CTA created so much of problems and by all means to force them to give up DS. let’s put spiritual practice aside, what you actually see? WHERE is HUMAN RIGHT?

    So, when HUMAN RIGHT does not exist in this community, what do you think about RELIGIOUS FREEDOM? This affected Buddhism as a whole. The world should do something about it. This is not about the little community problems that only affected the DS practitioners, this is like a disease that is spreading. A bad example to tell the world that it’s ok to discriminate, bully and continue to force people to follow instructions by using violence and to those who are being tolerance for 20 years.

  11. Joy Kam on May 22, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Dear Li Kheng,

    Thank you for courageously taking on this big assignment in compiling all the evidences of the Dorje Shugden ban and the persecution of great Lamas, our Lama, innocent sanghas and people. This comprehensive research compilation together with logical questions should help anyone understand the severity and seriousness of the Dorje Shugden ban. Also it will help those who have no idea that there is such a thing as a ban to open up their eyes unless they purposely choose to ignore. How can anyone after reading this lengthy, information packed post of the injustice ban on Dorje Shugden, says there is no ban? If they do, it would be clear that they are in denial maybe because they are being paid by the Tibetan Leadership to do so. They keep accusing us of being paid by China just cos we are spreading and promoting Dorje Shugden, so it is only logical for us to think and ask them back the same… “Are you being paid by Dharamsala to incite hate and false accusation and tell lies?”

    I will keep blasting this press kit online and to keep mentioning it and sending it to different press and medias. This has got to get out all over. I am hoping someone will pick it up and ask His Holiness what is going on, why is this happening under India’s watch. I still don’t get how they can get away and why India a democratic nation allows this undemocratic behaviour.

    We cannot sit back and keep quiet about this because so many people are suffering due to the ban including our Lama and Kechara who has been receiving attacks unfairly. Why would Buddhist attack and discriminate anyone? Why would anyone disrespect and attack others for their choice in religion period? This is the double faced Tibetan Leadership that tells the media one thing, but at the back, in their own home, they basically persecute their own people. I wonder why His Holiness since He is Chenrezig allows this, what is His purpose for creating so much Havoc within His own sect and people? The only good reason I can think of which could be a little bit off is that His Holiness actually indirectly spreading Dorje Shugden practice in China because it’s so obvious that China will pick up and use anything the Dalai Lama do not like. So either His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a cruel dictator or a mastermind in spreading the Dorje Shugden lineage.

  12. JP on May 15, 2016 at 12:39 am

    Dear Likheng, Rinpoche and the blog writers,

    Thank you for this comprehensive summary of the Dorje Shugden issue. It is extremely helpful for those who don’t really know what’s happening. Many people know about this issue but don’t really understand how the livelihood and wellbeing of innocent lives are deeply affected. They also did not see how illogical the allegations against Dorje Shugden are.

    All facts are laid out clearly for all to reassess the situation. This is the perfect kit for all. I’ve already forwarded the link of this article to some of my friends.

    Regards,
    JP

    • Li Kheng on May 16, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      Thank you JP for leaving a comment!

      The ban on Dorje Shugden is a compromise on fundamental human rights to freedom of speech and religion. Hence the urgency to put an end to this ban: it is a reflection on our acceptance of breaches to basic rights of global citizens to freedoms earned and established by our forefathers. This uncivilized situation is a contradiction to what global organizations like United Nations declare and stand for.

      Besides a threat to human rights, this ban is a threat to faith as a whole. In this day and age, confidence in schools of faith is on “rocky” grounds. With the rampant abuse of public trust, society is doubtful of this aspect of life which is still very essential to build sustainable future generations as the modernization intensifies with increased pace and exposure that depletes the spirit. If we permit doubt to grow towards religions teachings and principals, we are denying the global society an avenue for sustainability, conscious living, peace and happiness.

      At the same time, the situation above will also rob the world of the richness of cultural heritage which philosophies of faith form an essential part of.

      The ban may seem focused on a niche group of Dorje Shugden practitioners. However, in stepping back to look, we will see its direct impact on social outlook and respond to a threat to humanity.

  13. Boon on May 13, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    It is time to have an open televised debate between Dorje Shugden practitioners and those who ban the practice. Why abuse the political power to suppress the practitioners? It is time to force them onto the center stage and expose their true motives.

    • Tsem Rinpoche on May 13, 2016 at 11:34 pm

      Dear Boon, I fully agree with you. Dorje Shugden people have contacted Dalai Lama and the Tibetan govt that he controls completely to have a debate and discussion to peacefully resolve the situation, but they don’t reply. Why do they say everything can be solved with dialogue, but for Shugden people there is no dialogue?

    • Li Kheng on May 16, 2016 at 2:30 pm

      Dear Boon,

      Thank you for your comment! Yes, it is time!!! It has been almost 20 years of discrimination, suppression, segregation…worst of all: pure suffering and no valid or respectful and sincere explanation.

      Everyone, even a youth, understands how communication is the stepping stone to clearing misunderstandings and coming to am agreement. The refusal to do so is very revealing: there is no intention to resolve the matter.

      Why would anyone permit a problem to go on? Because somebody, somewhere is benefitting from this problem.

      Hence, I truly hope there is an open communication very soon. Otherwise, world organizations and leadership should clearly see through the manipulation that is fueling this “civil war”. In fact, many are already very suspicious with the lack of transparency in the CTA’s financial management where 41 to 45% of their USD3.6million annual expanses and categorized under very vague items like “Fundraising” and “programs”.

      If all this suffering is a distraction away from this, it is very, very, very urgent to lift the ban and address the real issue of power abuse and corruption.

  14. Bradley Kassian on May 12, 2016 at 11:54 am

    This has got to be one of the most comprehensive reviews of the ban written too date. This is precisely what has been needed for so very long. A concrete timeline to put it all into perspective. I commend H.E Tsem Rinpoche, Phng Li Kheng, the blog team and all others. Well Done! 🙂 May the ban be lifted soon!

    • Li Kheng on May 12, 2016 at 11:46 pm

      Thank you Bradley for leaving a comment. We are simply glad that this compilation of information would shed light on the truth behind the Dorje Shugden ban. May knowledge fuel our innate capacity to do the right thing and contribute to ending this unnecessary suffering resulting from the ban on Dorje Shugden.

      The fight to lift the ban on Dorje Shugden is not about Dorje Shugden, Buddhism or religion. It is ultimately about the global society of the 21st century doing the right thing to preserve and sustain humanity.

      I hope this set of information will reach many and benefit even more.

    • Tsem Rinpoche on May 13, 2016 at 11:28 pm

      Dear Bradley Kassian and friends this might concern,

      When I began this tsemrinpoche.com blog, my intentions were to share my interests, Dharma and some subjects that I like to explore with others. It was not meant to be a part-time activist platform to peacefully fight the Tibetan govt in exile (CTA) of their untruths told about Dorje Shugden and the practitioners. I have no intentions of disrespecting His Holiness the Dalai Lama and never will. My practice of Dorje Shugden is not meant to disrespect Dalai Lama and he has to respect this practice and all religions also. Nor do I have any intentions of disrespecting any of the members of his govt that work under him. As the accusations, hatred, violence escalated within the Tibetan communities because people did not want to give up their Dorje Shugden practice, it was hard to bear. I have friends in the Tibetan communities in India/Nepal and get news naturally.

      Because of this ban against Shugden, I have lost many friends and family. We don’t speak anymore just because of this as they are not allowed to speak to me. There are small groups of Malaysians who attend the Dalai Lama’s teachings in India and in Malaysia spread rumors and unnecessary talk about myself/Kechara just because we practice Dorje Shugden and people should beware of us, I thought this is wrong. We are a peaceful Dharma center and we wish to study and practice our lineage. We disturb no one and talk about no one as everyone has the right to their form of faith. It is no one’s right or business to criticize us because we don’t give up our way of faith. Then the attacks online get personal poking fun of my background, appearance, family, education, friends, worship and even my language. This is so ridiculous and childish. Don’t forget the hundreds of vulgarities posted online to me just because I choose a religion that does not agree with them? Where is the religious freedom? Who gave the public the wrong information on Shugden and provoked hatred towards us? Think about it. Who can stop it? If you don’t like me because I am Asian (too bad for you), I can’t un-Asian myself for you and I will not and should not. You change your views. The online attacks are done by some people who have left Kechara combined with people who I have never met just because I do Dorje Shugden?? Some of the ones who left are vindictive (may they have peace one day) and have to retaliate back what they left to justify why they left. Face is more important than dignity. When I was with my teacher in Thubten Dhargye Ling in Los Angeles, many left too. When I was in Gaden, many monks disrobe and leave. If you are unhappy, then leave, it’s fine. It was nice knowing you and hope we can be civil and friends and mature about it, but to join up with people to criticize my faith and religion is barbaric.

      Then those whom I have never met or met very briefly know nothing about me, my life, struggles and who I am and presume to judge me just because I practice Dorje Shugden? They use the people who have left to get me. The people that have left use anti-Shugden hate groups to get me. Cozy marriage? Not for long. LOL. Just because I practice Dorje Shugden I am against Dalai Lama, Tibet and take money from the Chinese? How illogical and wrong. I got this practice from my teacher over 30 years ago when I was 18 years old in Los Angeles. I didn’t even know I was Tibetan that time as I only met my biological dad years later. I had no connections to China. And this practice of Dorje Shugden was given by my guru and we are taught to obey our guru. My personal root guru instructs me to practice. Dalai Lama is not my root guru and he is one of my 16 gurus of which 90% of them practice Dorje Shugden. The majority of my gurus all practice. 30 years later after the passing of my personal root guru, H.H. Dalai Lama tells us to stop. Why? My conscience says I should follow what my root guru gave me and not stop and I have no other motivation besides that. How can four hundred years of Dorje Shugden practice by thousands of high lamas and students who practiced Dorje Shugden did it to be against Dalai Lama and Tibet and take Chinese money? You mean a great Dorje Shugden practitioner like the tutor to 14th Dalai Lama Trijang Rinpoche took money from Chinese and practice Dorjes Shugden for malevolent reasons? Impossible. To harm Tibet and Dalai Lama? Impossible. We all practice Dorje Shugden for strictly spiritual reasons and it ends there.

      So as the attacks online became stronger, I wanted to tell the world I practice Dorje Shugden and I am not afraid. But my protector told me to wait. So I waited till the right time to ‘come out’ until he gave the green light which he finally did. You see tantric practice is kept secret. When I kept it secret, I had all types of Shugden people tweeting/messaging me that I am a coward, traitor to Zong Rinpoche and stop hiding. When I come out, then I have the whole Dalai Lama group telling me I am a traitor, against the Dalai Lama and taking Chinese money. You see you can’t win. LOL. So I just do what my conscience tells me to do. The funny thing is some of the Shugden people who messaged me calling me a traitor to my lineage for not coming out back then, now do not ‘like’ my posts on FB or leave nice supportive comments and I am out now! It seems they themselves had a use for me, and when the usefulness was done, they are done with me. LOL. But not all Shugden people are like that at all and I know. Anyway not all Dorje Shugden people, Dalai Lama followers, Buddhists are sincere. Most are, but not all. That is a fact of life.

      So when people keep attacking me online both Dorje Shugden people (back then) and anti-Dorje Shugden people using the Dalai Lama’s name, I speak up. I speak up more and more. I speak up with the truth, respectfully, peacefully and without any malice. When people attack Kechara or my members, I will use the correct way to protect all that we have worked for. People can say what they want. The more they provoke, the more will be done to protect according to the law. But peacefully done and without malice. We have a right to protect our form of worship, who we are and our dignity. Don’t tell me you ‘let’ me practice Dorje Shugden and say it’s religious freedom and then turn around and spit on us and do everything to make our lives difficult. Then we will not remain quiet. Respect my religion as I do yours and keep quiet. Do not judge my right to be an equal citizen of this planet by my religion. I deserve dignity, respect and equal status regardless of my religion because I am a human. This is the 21st Century. No more archaic dictatorships please.

      I am not proud or happy to expose the truth of Tibetan politics and publish all this information on my blog. It is unpleasant, sordid and I am not interested in the least bit. Never was and never will be. I am interested in dharma. But many do not dare to speak up because there are serious repercussions or unable to speak up due to language, etc. Why did I speak up, because human rights violations in the form of religious bigotry and discrimination is not right. Why live our lives in a way that hurts others? I do not wish to write and publish all these blog posts on what the Tibetan leadership is doing to so many and it hurts so many. I can use my time on so many other more useful subjects. But if I don’t write, then the pain they have created in so many will continue without a resolution. I am certainly not a hero and do not enjoy all this ‘attention’ for writing/publishing all the information on this blog, but one thing for sure, it’s the lesser of the two evils. To keep quiet and watch the suffering or to speak up and hope the suffering will eventually fade. I guess I chose to speak up as unhappy as I am about it. I will continue to speak up about it. The purpose of my blog was not for this, but it has a good reach, so why not use it to bring knowledge and wisdom to others. To lessen the pain of so many. I can use my blog to lessen the pain of so much. The more I am attacked, the more I will speak up because that means religious freedom is not achieved yet.

      This comprehensive ‘Press Package’ took many weeks to compile by our hard working team not to mention the edits, research and uploading which took days. I thought we should have it so anyone who wishes to understand the Dorje Shugden issue will find some answers in one place. Again I don’t mean any disrespect to anyone. My main priority in life is to be a good monk, bring spirituality and dharma to others and perhaps release some pain from others through dharma. If I can do that, I rejoice. I have done this but simultaneously I am working towards a peaceful resolution to the Dorje Shugden problem created by the Tibetan leadership. If a resolution is found, then both sides will be at peace and there will be no more sides. That would be nice.

      Thank you Bradley for your comment and I do hope you help to get this press package to more people to create awareness.

      Tsem Rinpoche

      china-tibet-yak_at_namtso_lake

      • Stella Cheang on May 14, 2016 at 3:12 am

        Thank you Rinpoche and the team for this ‘Press Package’, it is a comprehensive tear down of why His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche, our Guru, has to stand up and speak up, how and why Guru had been unfairly treated, as well as the real struggle Guru is going through. By keeping quiet, the issue will not go away. And more mistaken views against an enlightened Dharmapala and an erudite Tulku will be formed. As a result, the haters will create negative karma for themselves and many more Shugden practitioners would suffer. It is for the same disheartening reason that we MUST stand up and speak up peacefully to find a resolve to this madness. I will read the ‘Press Package’ carefully and help share it with as many people as I can.

        Humbly, bowing down
        Stella Cheang 

        • Bradley Kassian on May 14, 2016 at 7:11 am

          Dear H.E. Tsem Rinpoche I will share this Press package to help spread awareness!:)

          • Li Kheng on May 16, 2016 at 2:40 pm

            Thank you Bradley for transforming knowledge into action. This is what will lift the ban!

            May every sharing you create contribute towards a step closer to lifting the ban.

        • Li Kheng on May 16, 2016 at 2:37 pm

          Thank you Stella for your commitment to share the press kit. Rinpoche works so hard to bring knowledge that is substantiated with facts, proof and clear explanation so that people will know the truth behind the ban on Dorje Shugden. Now, it is to share and spread this knowledge so that people can make an educated choice to end this ban.

          The call to action is NOT to spread the teachings of Dorje Shugden as to practice or not is a religious choice. The call to action here is to end inhumanity that is causing suffering with no reason or regard. It is a call to end injustice where those with power intimidates, suppress, threatens those who are helpless. This is unacceptable for a civilization of the 21st century.

          Governments, leaders and authorities have the role to protect and uphold justice, not inflict injustice.

          Thank you again Stella!

      • Bradley Kassian on May 14, 2016 at 6:56 am

        Dear Rinpoche I will help distribute this press package to create more awareness!

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Blog Chat

BLOG CHAT

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I’ve created this section for all of you to share your opinions, thoughts and feelings about whatever interests you.

Everyone has a different perspective, so this section is for you.

Tsem Rinpoche


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  • Lin Mun
    Sunday, Oct 22. 2017 08:38 PM
    It is very sad for the Tibetan in exile that after 60 years they are still refugees and not able to have a good environment to develop in any sense. The question is why isn’t the governing body (Central Tibetan Administration) whom has been receiving helps from other countries been able to help the Tibetan in exile in getting good education and get them out of the vicious cycle ? Above article clearly shows that Tibetan living in other countries were given the opportunity to learn and freedom to develop ones talent. I hope the Tibetan in exile understand their position and stand up to fight for their rights and freedom.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/why-are-these-tibetans-successful-without-the-cta.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Oct 22. 2017 05:19 PM
    Very touching…….farmer and his cow for 23 years through thick and thin .A special bond between them even when separated to retirement home we can see how much tears flowing the two of them. True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils.
    After the cow was sent to the retirement home, the cow refused to eat for 3 days till the owner came to show up again. Amazing the cow started eating after met up the farmer. There must be a direct relationship between these two of them.
    Animals have feelings too ,and they needs our care ,love aswell.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/so-touching-you-will-cry.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Oct 22. 2017 05:18 PM
    Is really heart breaking to watch this video ,how horrible and sad how those chickens, turkeys ,cows, cattle ,pigs and died suffering so much pain and abused. I almost in tears how can the slaughter men did it…..so cruel. The chicken is the worst abused animals ,suffered cramped, bitten by the owner before been slaughtered. Having the throat slit alive or scalded alive.
    Cattle horn were piled off, injuries on them left alone. Thousands of cows or cattle were not able to walk before going to the slaughtered house. Pigs suffered the same faith, throw against the wall. Many pigs suffered injuries and so forth. Those who are so sick and cannot made to the slaughtered house were shot dead. Some are burned alive.
    Choose vegetarian ,live healthy and safe those poor aniamals.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/please-watch-leave-your-thoughts-in-comments-for-me.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Oct 22. 2017 05:15 PM
    What I heard is more than the 9;s…. 3 and 6 too from old folks many years back. I was warned on these ….year we odd to be careful and so forth. All those black years has passed by me with up and down. I do not believed of such myth and I don’t quite actually remember much and try not to remember as it’s the past. I have let go all ,just looking forward and now I am glad to have Rinpoche to thank for having learn and practice Dharma. Every day is a new day for me ,learning new knowledge from Rinpoche blog.
    Thank you Datuk May for sharing your thoughts of the 9’s.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/a-blind-corner-at-each-decade.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Oct 22. 2017 05:14 PM
    Wonderful platform for Rinpoche to share with more people having an account of FB. From there they can have live streaming to express each individual opinion on certain interesting subject. Having these live streaming Rinpoche did a lot of sharing with people of different walks of life ,his biography, his spiritual journey, meeting his Guru and on the practice of Dorje Shugden .It s a powerful way to spread Dharma knowledge through social media. It can be shared by many and since the video is saved ,the viewer could see from time to time to get a better understanding .
    These live streaming lasted for 3 hours with many beautiful comments.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing. We love HH Dalai Lama and we love Dorje Shugden ..Please resolve the Dorje Shugden issue as soon as possible. and please end the suffering, segregation and prejudice.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/h-e-tsem-rinpoches-first-live-streaming.html
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Oct 21. 2017 09:30 PM
    This is great move by Gucci and I hope it will encourage more brands to follow suit. We do not need to have animals fur on our body to look pretty and to prevent us from cold. We have many options. Choose one that does not harm and bring suffering to other beings.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/do-you-know-what-gucci-did.html
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Oct 21. 2017 09:22 PM
    This is horrible and it is a shame that we human can do such actions that bring tremendous pain to the animals. We should stop using leather products and this will directly stop the demand of leather goods. I hope authority of respective country will implement rules to protect animals welfare. It is only when there are laws that people will stop such act.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/where-does-leather-come-from.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Oct 20. 2017 10:04 AM
    Interesting someone like Rob Lowe a famous actor actually told he came face-to-face with Bigfoot was with his two sons .No proof and details given to support his encounter. Whether for publicity his coming show no one knows. He was filming his new paranormal documentary series when he said he saw it. It does not matter at least it helps to raise awareness of that Bigfoot do exist. Good in way more people will come to accept it and will further investigate its existence of Bigfoot. It also encourages people to start thinking broadly of possibilities.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/rob-lowe-face-to-face-with-bigfoot.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Oct 20. 2017 10:03 AM
    Well,I have read news of Bigfoot sightings in the jungles of southern Malaysia before years back. Interesting as our country do have the sighting of Bigfoot too.It seems that Bigfoot can be found anywhere in this world. To many people, Bigfoot is the stuff of nightmarish folklore. Described by hundreds of alleged eyewitnesses as an ape-like creature that stands nearly eight feet tall. There is a number of sighting by the locals and may be linked to environmental changes and the shrinking jungle. This has attracted world attention, having teams from different countries and our local government as well. The research scientists, has been trying to verify Bigfoot’s existence so far none has really performed intensive research on this matter. Historical records show eight claimed sightings of enormous apemen or Bigfoot or oversized apes. Despite numerous sightings, photos and footprints , there has never been conclusive proof that these creatures exist in Malaysia.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these interesting article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/bigfoot-in-malaysia.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Oct 20. 2017 10:02 AM
    Alarming height and shocking to know there is microplastic contamination in our drinking water after scientific investigation has discovered that.
    Glad to know scientists are doing more for research on the implications for health. At least we could know more knowledge and more aware of all plastics fibres in our tap water. All this while we have been drinking . Scientists warn microplastics are so small they could penetrate organs. That is bad for our health. Plastic fibres have infiltrated the drinking water of cities and towns all over the world. Our oceans are littered with plastic, which is killing whales and other marine mammals, and contaminating fish. Previous studies have shown when people eat seafood, they are also eating high levels of microplastics, not to mention taking in a lot of mercury as well
    Many people have involved to make a change for a better environment for the generation to come. Educating the people from school children to the people on the streets the safest ways of garbage disposal will be a wonderful start. We should all take responsibility to care for the environment and help raise awareness.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/do-you-know-what-you-are-drinking.html
  • Alice Tay
    Friday, Oct 20. 2017 01:51 AM
    In Buddhism, before become an enlightened beings, all living beings have to experience the suffering in taking rebirth for many lifetimes and each of the rebirth, we must have father and mother. It is possible that our previous lifetime’s father and mother have taken rebirth in other forms such as animals, hungry ghosts and etc in this lifetime. Due to this reason, we should love and treat all sentient beings well as everyone might once been our father or mother in the previous life. We owe them kindness and therefore we should practice dharma and help to liberate them from suffering and lead them to enlightenment.

    I am extremely grateful that I meet and learn dharma from Rinpoche. Rinpoche’s skilful means teachings let me understand that I should not only care about myself, my family and friends but to be kind and compassion to everyone around me. Rinpoche reminds and encourage us to do our commitments and daily sadhana. Later, I realized that when we do prayers, sadhana or pujas, we must begin with Taking Refuge in the Three Jewels and followed by recitation of the Four Immeasurables. Through this practice, it is actually to help us to set a good motivation and generate our Bodhicitta for the benefit of all sentient beings.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/five-ways-to-love-more-by-tsem-rinpoche.html
  • Lin Mun
    Thursday, Oct 19. 2017 10:27 PM
    Rinpoche’s blog has so many interesting topics and articles. Be it heavy and technical or light such as traveling tips, all are very useful and informative to the readers. I appreciate Rinpoche and writers team hardwork in giving us vast information and opportunity for us to learn and improve our dharma knowledge.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/i-am-honoured.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Oct 19. 2017 11:04 AM
    Wow …such a unique island called Socotra which i did not know before or come across . Everything from trees to flowers looks so unique. A place home to a panoply of strange plants and animals uniquely which adapted to the hot, harsh, windswept island. The landscape of this remote Socotra Island looks as if it comes from a sci-fi film.
    From what I see through the pictures this Socotra Island, looks more like Alien place. It’s truly unlike any place on earth and is also called the ‘Lost World ‘ to some of the tourist. I did some research on this island .
    It seem over millions of years, the isolated island in the Arabian Sea has cultivated a unique biodiversity unlike anywhere else on Earth. Twisted dragon’s blood trees and bulbous bottle trees have made Socotra a place of legends, feared by sailors throughout history and believed by some to be the site of the original Garden of Eden.
    Now it seem to be a tourist attraction in Yemen after when UNESCO named it as World Natural Heritage Site in 2006. Its wonderful news as UNESCO recognizes the importance of preserving the island.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these unique island with us.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/travel/socotra-island.html#comment-753145
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Oct 19. 2017 11:03 AM
    Beautiful sacred painting by Rinpoche. Amazing to know RInpoche as a small kid is so talented in drawing and painting . Yet after so many years the painting still looks good condition. Such a beautiful White Tara painting and now Rinpoche still paints.
    Wow interesting stories behind the scared painting of the powerful white Tara. When we have trust and faith that’s how these powerful Tara will help us.
    Thank you for sharing with us.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/sacred-painting.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Oct 19. 2017 11:02 AM
    The two beautiful Yeti painting comes a long way from Nepal with love to Malaysia .Specially for Rinpoche……such a beautiful gift and unique .. Knowing Rinpoche like Bigfoot so much. Every gift which is given, even though it be small, is in reality great, if it is given with affection. It is not the gift but the thought that counts.
    Rejoice for Mitra Poudel and Khom Thapa
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these beautiful paintings.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/yeti-bigfoot-sasquatch/from-nepal.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Messages from Rinpoche

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CREDITS

Concept: Tsem Rinpoche
Technical: Lew Kwan Leng, Justin Ripley, Yong Swee Keong
Design: Justin Ripley, Cynthia Lee
Content: Tsem Rinpoche, Justin Ripley, Pastor Shin Tan, Sarah Yap
Writer: Pastor Loh Seng Piow
Admin: Pastor Loh Seng Piow, Beng Kooi

I must thank my dharma blog team who are great assets to me, Kechara and growth of dharma in this wonderful region. I am honoured and thrilled to work with them. I really am. Maybe I don't say it enough to them, but I am saying it now. I APPRECIATE THESE GUYS VERY MUCH!

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now

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Animal Care Fund
  Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch

The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
~Tsem Rinpoche

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
Download for free this high res photo of Lord Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
2 hours ago
Download for free this high res photo of Lord Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
Whatever we can do to spread the teachings of our Guru, we should do so.
2 hours ago
Whatever we can do to spread the teachings of our Guru, we should do so.
 These three (Dharma, Oser and Mumu) are super adorable.
yesterday
These three (Dharma, Oser and Mumu) are super adorable.
Beautiful Vajra Yogini print.
yesterday
Beautiful Vajra Yogini print.
Beautiful and holy new statues arrived to Kechara Forest Retreat. Please enjoy the pictures: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146950
yesterday
Beautiful and holy new statues arrived to Kechara Forest Retreat. Please enjoy the pictures: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146950
Beautiful old thangka of Buddha Nageshvaraja
yesterday
Beautiful old thangka of Buddha Nageshvaraja
Dear friends, This meme is powerful. Who you hang around with and the types of attitude they have is who you will be influenced by many times and who you will become in the future. Look at your friends and the people that always surround you to know who you will become. Tsem Rinpoche
3 days ago
Dear friends, This meme is powerful. Who you hang around with and the types of attitude they have is who you will be influenced by many times and who you will become in the future. Look at your friends and the people that always surround you to know who you will become. Tsem Rinpoche
October 2017, His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal graciously reading our Kechara album and updates as presented by Beng Kooi and Martin. He was very pleased with our progress and offers his blessings. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
October 2017, His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal graciously reading our Kechara album and updates as presented by Beng Kooi and Martin. He was very pleased with our progress and offers his blessings. Tsem Rinpoche
His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche grants audience to Beng Kooi and Martin in France.  Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
4 days ago
His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche grants audience to Beng Kooi and Martin in France. Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
Recently Beng Kooi and Martin on behalf of myself and Kechara was lucky to have audience with His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal of Gaden Shartse Monastery. He lives in around Paris, France. His Holiness is 91 years old and very healthy and alert. He was the 101st throne holder for Tsongkapa and was the head of the Gelugpa school of Buddhism and was very successful during his tenure. He is a strong practitioner of both Sutra and Tantra of Je Tsongkapa\'s tradition and a master of all Buddhist knowledge. He holds steadfast to his protector Dorje Shugden very strongly. So we can see even the highest throneholders who are masters of Sutra and Tantra also practices Dorje Shugden knowing the benefits.

Beng Kooi and Martin brought photo albums of Kechara Forest Retreat/Kechara and updates on Kechara and our works. His Holiness was very pleased to listen and offered some gifts back. 

This is a beautiful picture and the great blessings bestowed on us from His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal.

Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche 
Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
4 days ago
Recently Beng Kooi and Martin on behalf of myself and Kechara was lucky to have audience with His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal of Gaden Shartse Monastery. He lives in around Paris, France. His Holiness is 91 years old and very healthy and alert. He was the 101st throne holder for Tsongkapa and was the head of the Gelugpa school of Buddhism and was very successful during his tenure. He is a strong practitioner of both Sutra and Tantra of Je Tsongkapa's tradition and a master of all Buddhist knowledge. He holds steadfast to his protector Dorje Shugden very strongly. So we can see even the highest throneholders who are masters of Sutra and Tantra also practices Dorje Shugden knowing the benefits. Beng Kooi and Martin brought photo albums of Kechara Forest Retreat/Kechara and updates on Kechara and our works. His Holiness was very pleased to listen and offered some gifts back. This is a beautiful picture and the great blessings bestowed on us from His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp
*****and****
My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li

Fantastic Reads!!
5 days ago
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp *****and**** My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li Fantastic Reads!!
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp
*****and****
My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li
5 days ago
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp *****and**** My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li
This is so powerful. It is a must read and must share.
5 days ago
This is so powerful. It is a must read and must share.
Beng Kooi meeting with the scholar and teacher Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen lak. Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen has been very active and you can see his youtubes in Tibetan speaking about the benefits of Dorje Shugden practice. He is a direct student of Trijang Rinpoche and Zong Rinpoche.
6 days ago
Beng Kooi meeting with the scholar and teacher Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen lak. Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen has been very active and you can see his youtubes in Tibetan speaking about the benefits of Dorje Shugden practice. He is a direct student of Trijang Rinpoche and Zong Rinpoche.
Martin meeting with Gen Tashi. Gen Tashi is a very devoted and committed activist of Dorje Shugden\'s cause. He is tireless in speaking for the truth. They enjoyed sharing some time together.
6 days ago
Martin meeting with Gen Tashi. Gen Tashi is a very devoted and committed activist of Dorje Shugden's cause. He is tireless in speaking for the truth. They enjoyed sharing some time together.
Martin meeting with the well known strong and devoted Dorje Shugden activist and scholar Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen lak. Geshe lak was very happy to meet Martin and shared so much wonderful information. Beautiful meeting.
6 days ago
Martin meeting with the well known strong and devoted Dorje Shugden activist and scholar Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen lak. Geshe lak was very happy to meet Martin and shared so much wonderful information. Beautiful meeting.
Beng Kooi meeting with friend and strong and devoted Dorje Shugden activist Gen Tashi
6 days ago
Beng Kooi meeting with friend and strong and devoted Dorje Shugden activist Gen Tashi
Another stunning digital print art of Dorje Shugden from an artist in Peru. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Another stunning digital print art of Dorje Shugden from an artist in Peru. Tsem Rinpoche
This beautiful Dorje Shugden is from an artist in the Ukraine. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
This beautiful Dorje Shugden is from an artist in the Ukraine. Tsem Rinpoche
Please never get tired of speaking for those who do not have a voice. If we can alleviate their pain or try our best, why not? Thank you all so much. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Please never get tired of speaking for those who do not have a voice. If we can alleviate their pain or try our best, why not? Thank you all so much. Tsem Rinpoche
Pastor Antoinette of Kechara arranged a Malaysian artist to paint this special Dorje Shugden painting conceptualized by myself. She oversaw the process and completed it. Wonderful beautiful Dorje Shugden Malaysian style by Malaysian artist. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Pastor Antoinette of Kechara arranged a Malaysian artist to paint this special Dorje Shugden painting conceptualized by myself. She oversaw the process and completed it. Wonderful beautiful Dorje Shugden Malaysian style by Malaysian artist. Tsem Rinpoche
Sometimes after my prayers, reading on sasquatch is relaxing. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Sometimes after my prayers, reading on sasquatch is relaxing. Tsem Rinpoche
This gorgeous outdoor bronze Buddha is in Korea. Would be lovely to pay homage to Him there.
3 weeks ago
This gorgeous outdoor bronze Buddha is in Korea. Would be lovely to pay homage to Him there.
Beautiful old vintage photo of Kamakura Buddha in Japan. I had the good fortune to visit this holy Buddha a few years back. I do hope I can go again with some students. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Beautiful old vintage photo of Kamakura Buddha in Japan. I had the good fortune to visit this holy Buddha a few years back. I do hope I can go again with some students. Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche with Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during the Medicine Buddha festival.
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche with Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during the Medicine Buddha festival.
This is a unique thangka of Pelden Hlamo with Dorje Shugden and Setrap and Nechung. Of course they all get along unlike what Tibetan leadership likes to say they don\'t get along. All enlightened beings get along with other enlightened beings and unenlightened beings. Enlightened beings have no karma to not get along with others. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
This is a unique thangka of Pelden Hlamo with Dorje Shugden and Setrap and Nechung. Of course they all get along unlike what Tibetan leadership likes to say they don't get along. All enlightened beings get along with other enlightened beings and unenlightened beings. Enlightened beings have no karma to not get along with others. Tsem Rinpoche
I love this picture. I wish it will all settle down soon.
3 weeks ago
I love this picture. I wish it will all settle down soon.
 I love this picture of Mumu peeking through the screen and window to see what is going on. He is always been very busy body and active. He has to know what is going on. I love you Mumu.
3 weeks ago
I love this picture of Mumu peeking through the screen and window to see what is going on. He is always been very busy body and active. He has to know what is going on. I love you Mumu.
How would you like to get one piece of this beautiful piece of art?
3 weeks ago
How would you like to get one piece of this beautiful piece of art?
First time PM Tenpa Yarphel speaks up against Nechung. It has created a huge stir. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144220
3 weeks ago
First time PM Tenpa Yarphel speaks up against Nechung. It has created a huge stir. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144220
I always like my rooms to smell clean, fresh, woodsy and a bit like the forest. my favorite types of essential oils to burn daily or as an offering to the Buddhas are Juniper, Cypress, Black Spruce, Peppermint and sometimes Rosemary. I like the smell of the forest, woods and wooded areas very much. I\'ve been using essential oils in my rooms for years. I don\'t necessarily purchase the brand you see in the picture as I buy any brand as long as it\'s made naturally. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
I always like my rooms to smell clean, fresh, woodsy and a bit like the forest. my favorite types of essential oils to burn daily or as an offering to the Buddhas are Juniper, Cypress, Black Spruce, Peppermint and sometimes Rosemary. I like the smell of the forest, woods and wooded areas very much. I've been using essential oils in my rooms for years. I don't necessarily purchase the brand you see in the picture as I buy any brand as long as it's made naturally. Tsem Rinpoche
In the bitter coldness of Yachen Gar, Tibet, several nuns are practicing meditation. You can see many small single \'huts\' in the background. They do this yearly and throughout the year. It is very inspiring to see people practice even under extreme conditions because they realize how samsara is so full of deceptions. Praise to the Dharma that liberates us with truth and practice. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
In the bitter coldness of Yachen Gar, Tibet, several nuns are practicing meditation. You can see many small single 'huts' in the background. They do this yearly and throughout the year. It is very inspiring to see people practice even under extreme conditions because they realize how samsara is so full of deceptions. Praise to the Dharma that liberates us with truth and practice. Tsem Rinpoche
More than you have....
3 weeks ago
More than you have....
The holiest place for the spiritual seeker is where our guru abides. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
The holiest place for the spiritual seeker is where our guru abides. Tsem Rinpoche
Beautiful flowers offered on my shrine to Sacred Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Beautiful flowers offered on my shrine to Sacred Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
This is my favorite image of Lord Manjusri. I had this exact same image as a kid in the 1980\'s and treasured it very much. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
This is my favorite image of Lord Manjusri. I had this exact same image as a kid in the 1980's and treasured it very much. Tsem Rinpoche
I love this idyllic painting of a beautiful Buddhist temple in a small town with foliage, natural, blue skies and country living. I can definitely live in this type of environment any time. I love living near nature. I wish I can go inside this picture to start living there now. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
I love this idyllic painting of a beautiful Buddhist temple in a small town with foliage, natural, blue skies and country living. I can definitely live in this type of environment any time. I love living near nature. I wish I can go inside this picture to start living there now. Tsem Rinpoche
Another gorgeous Byzantine style painting. As the crowd is lead to the hill of light, atop the hill is St. Dorje Shugden ready to give rest to the weary. And hope to the hopeless and help to the helpless. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
Another gorgeous Byzantine style painting. As the crowd is lead to the hill of light, atop the hill is St. Dorje Shugden ready to give rest to the weary. And hope to the hopeless and help to the helpless. Tsem Rinpoche
Ms Gerbrick was a very special person in my childhood. When I finally found her again, I had lost her - http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144296
4 weeks ago
Ms Gerbrick was a very special person in my childhood. When I finally found her again, I had lost her - http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144296
I just did another one. See how it\'s done-
 http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144259
4 weeks ago
I just did another one. See how it's done- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144259
I like this sketch I just did. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
I like this sketch I just did. Tsem Rinpoche
One of my sketches just finished. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
One of my sketches just finished. Tsem Rinpoche
More of my drawings.  Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
More of my drawings. Tsem Rinpoche
See what Linus has to say to Charlie Brown: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/category/dorje-shugden
1 month ago
Plse click on this and read and share. Important thoughts regarding our teacher. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Plse click on this and read and share. Important thoughts regarding our teacher. Tsem Rinpoche
The stupa dedicated to the great Changkya Rolpai Dorje in 5 peaks of Manjushri - China. Changkya Rolpai Dorje was one of the previous life of His Holiness Pabongka Rinpoche. In that life, he was the imperial tutor to the Emperor of China.  Photo from Karen Chong
1 month ago
The stupa dedicated to the great Changkya Rolpai Dorje in 5 peaks of Manjushri - China. Changkya Rolpai Dorje was one of the previous life of His Holiness Pabongka Rinpoche. In that life, he was the imperial tutor to the Emperor of China. Photo from Karen Chong
Please click on this picture and see what the adorable boy is doing.
1 month ago
Please click on this picture and see what the adorable boy is doing.
Learn a new word and see what Fauvism means here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=143633
1 month ago
Learn a new word and see what Fauvism means here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=143633
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    yesterday
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    3 days ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    4 days ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    4 days ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 week ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    1 week ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    1 week ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    3 weeks ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.
  • Fishes circumambulate around the sacred Manjushri image at Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia.
    3 weeks ago
    Fishes circumambulate around the sacred Manjushri image at Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia.
  • Dr Jordan B Peterson reveals this shift in mindset that will make you seize every opportunity.
    4 weeks ago
    Dr Jordan B Peterson reveals this shift in mindset that will make you seize every opportunity.
  • Look what China is doing about meat-eating!
    4 weeks ago
    Look what China is doing about meat-eating!
  • Must watch this brain video... very interesting
    4 weeks ago
    Must watch this brain video... very interesting
  • Beautiful Buddha being sculpted from clay.
    4 weeks ago
    Beautiful Buddha being sculpted from clay.
  • After a while, you are are numb and you just keep doing it. You don’t know what you are doing and you don’t see it for what it really is. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 weeks ago
    After a while, you are are numb and you just keep doing it. You don’t know what you are doing and you don’t see it for what it really is. Tsem Rinpoche
    Please share this as much as possible. Please care. Please help: http://www.patreon.com/weanimals
  • OSER GIRL IS SO SMART AND CUTE AND EVERYONE LOVES HER
    4 weeks ago
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  • It is a very painful process before the animals are finally dead.
    1 month ago
    It is a very painful process before the animals are finally dead.
  • After a while, you are are numb and you just keep doing it.
    1 month ago
    After a while, you are are numb and you just keep doing it.
    You don't know what you are doing and you don't see it for what it really is. Tsem Rinpoche Please share this as much as possible. Please care. Please help: http://www.patreon.com/weanimals
  • If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.
    1 month ago
    If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.
  • Take a look at what singer Nicki Minaj did.
    1 month ago
    Take a look at what singer Nicki Minaj did.
  • Animals are enslaved to do a human’s job, this must stop.
    1 month ago
    Animals are enslaved to do a human’s job, this must stop.
  • This is how the chickens are killed in the farm, they die a very horrible death.
    1 month ago
    This is how the chickens are killed in the farm, they die a very horrible death.
  • America likes to police the world but their own record of civil rights is not on track. Watch this video from people of color in the US.
    1 month ago
    America likes to police the world but their own record of civil rights is not on track. Watch this video from people of color in the US.
  • Important video to watch and learn.
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    Important video to watch and learn.
  • Bigfoot’s voice captured on tape.
    1 month ago
    Bigfoot’s voice captured on tape.
  • Amazing video that you will not regret watching.
    1 month ago
    Amazing video that you will not regret watching.
  • Norma Jean
    2 months ago
    Norma Jean
    These are the heartbreaking scenes we see over and over again, that we share in the hopes of telling the stories of those who otherwise would have suffered and vanished from this earth without a trace. This is Norma Jean. Free for a little over five months, she knew more happiness than millions of her sisters ever will. But she couldn’t escape the fate genetically programmed into her as an egg producing machine. She seemed more lethargic than usual this morning, so we brought her inside to administer fluids and antibiotics in the hopes of pulling her through until we could get her in to see our vet. She couldn’t hang on. She died this evening shortly after this video was taken, severely infected from the rotting egg yolk adhered to various organs throughout her abdominal cavity. Like virtually every single one of her sisters, caged or free range, rescued or not, she paid the ultimate price for eggs (from FB)
  • If you want to change the world, start of by making your bed
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ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

A section for you to clarify your Dharma questions with Kechara’s esteemed pastors.

Just post your name and your question below and one of our pastors will provide you with an answer.

Scroll down and click on "View All Questions" to view archived questions.

  • October 18, 2017 23:32
    Yen asked: Dear pastor, I am married but have not been blessed with a kid after several years. How can I overcome the pain I am going through? I also like to ask u for guidance to help someone dear to me who have met with an accident and in vegetative state. How do I help the friend suffer less? What can I do to help her overcome this obstacle in life even when doctor seems to have given up hope?
    Pastor Niral Patel answered: Dear Yen, Thank you for your question. I am very sorry to hear of your situation and that of your friend. One thing we need to remember is that the Buddha explained to us how karma works. Everything we experience in life, whether good or bad is due to our actions previously in this life and previous lifetimes. While this may sound unfair in that we need to experience the results of something that we do not remember doing, this is the way samsara exists. They only way to be free of this type of suffering is to attain enlightenment, the state of a Buddha. That being said, we all need help in our daily life, and that is where deity practice can help us. In order to overcome the pain you are going through, may I suggest that you engage in the Guru Yoga of Lama Tsongkhapa. You can find an excellent commentary by His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/tsongkapas-daily-practice-video-commentary.html. You can find the prayers to recite here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/sadhana-prayers.html#19. There is also a practice box set dedicate to Lama Tsongkhapa, which you can order online here if you wish: https://www.vajrasecrets.com/tsongkhapa-boxset-english Lama Tsongkhapa is the emanation of Manjushri, the Buddha of wisdom; Chenrezig, the Buddha of compassion; and Vajrapani, the Buddha of skilful means. As such the practice is extremely powerful and is well-known to help people heal psychical pain, but more importantly the sufferings felt in the mind. You can concentrate on the recitation of the Mig Tse Ma mantra and beseech Lama Tsongkhapa to help ease your suffering. He will surely help. His practice is known for relieving anxiety and even depression. In regards to your friend, on a practical level you can research about your friend’s specific state and see if there are any treatments available that can be effective if you have not done so already. In any case what you can do is to engage in prayers or pujas and dedicate the merits generated to your friend. For example, you can engage in the practice of Medicine Buddha, available here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/medicine-buddha-practice.html, or alternative have Medicine Buddha pujas sponsored here: https://www.vajrasecrets.com/medicine-buddha-puja-fund. Medicine Buddha is excellent at healing on all levels, and provide us with soothing and beneficial energy. Another method that you can use to help your friend is to generate as much merit for her as possible. A vast amount of merit and purification of karma can help even the direst of circumstances. Such activities could involve releasing animals from slaughter or deplorable conditions, feeding the homeless and less fortunate and providing for them, and making vast amounts of offerings to the Buddhas and enlightened beings. If done with a good motivation, and dedicated towards your friend, she will benefit from the virtuous actions, even if you cannot see the benefits at the moment. Coupled with this you can engage in the practice of a Dharma protector such as a Dorje Shugden. You can find the prayers here if you wish to engage in them yourself: http://www.dorjeshugden.org/practice/diamond-path-a-daily-sadhana-of-dorje-shugden, alternatively you can have Dorje Shugden pujas sponsored here: https://www.vajrasecrets.com/dorje-shugden-wishfulfilling-puja-fund. Dharma protectors help to overcome obstacles and conditions that we wish to arise. I understand that it is a difficult situation, but you should maintain your faith in the Buddhas and enlightened beings, and they will definitely help. I hope this helps. Thank you
  • October 14, 2017 13:27
    Ling asked: I have been practising chakrasamvara for over 2 years now and recently during my meditation I feel that during the deity meditation portion that it feel like my entire body is under a heavy water fall. My heart and limbs also feel like flowing water and there is some crawling sensations. What could this be
    Pastor Niral Patel answered: Dear Ling, Thank you for your question. I rejoice to read that you are practising Chakrasamvara for over two years now. This is very good, you should keep the practice steady, keep the vows and commitments well and you will progress on your spiritual evolution. Generally speaking when you engage in higher tantric yoga meditation, the meditations include movement of your psychic winds. Therefore sometimes people will experience strange feelings in the body. When this happens, once should ease off the concentration on that particular visualisation when engaging in the practice. What you can do to lessen these feelings is to engage in purification practices such as the 35 Confessional Buddhas, which you can find here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-35-confessional-buddhas.html. Alternatively if you have the appropriate initiation, you can engage in the practice of Heruka Vajrasattva, which would be included in your sadhana text. Engaging in the purification practices would lessen these sensations when you practice, as everything we experience is due to our karma. What I would advise the most, however, is to consult the guru that gave you the empowerment of Chakrasamvara practice. Your guru would be able to better advise you in addition to the above, the methods you can use to minimise the physical effects if they are due to the actual practice. I hope this helps. Thank you
  • October 13, 2017 11:15
    Fearful asked: What does violent shaking all of the sudden and "shrinking" feeling of the head mean during practice mean? I've been practicing the dharmapalas, and this is happening. What does it mean?
    Pastor Niral Patel answered: Dear Fearful, Thank you for your question. There could be any number of reasons for this to be occurring. What you can do when this starts to happen is to stop what you are doing, and take deep breaths, and concentrate on your breath. As you concentrate on your breath, this will have a calming effect on both your body and mind, which should stop the involuntary shaking and strange feelings. In fact focusing on the breath is one of the best known methods of developing a focused, concentrated, yet calm Your practice of the Dharmapalas should begin with either Guru Yoga or deity practice, therefore I would suggest that you engage in these practices more before you begin the actually Dharma protector practice. One of the best practices is the Guru Yoga of Lama Tsongkhapa. This practice is well known for its healing ability on for both the body and the mind. Over time, you should see such occurrences lessen. If this shaking happens regularly and also when you are not practicing, you should consider visiting a qualified health professional just to rule out anything untoward. I hope this helps. Thank you
  • October 8, 2017 20:48
    John asked: Dear pastors, When reciting mantras we are instructed to visualize the deity. However I realize that my visualization is very very fuzzy and very very ever-changing. It is not a still image, there is like thick clouds moving and blocking the visualization then they would clear and block again and clear again and the deity would even change shape. The round part would be more oval one moment and more circle the next etc. In fact, I don't even know if the picture that ends up appearing in my mind is really looking like the deity or not. What if I end up visualizing a monster without knowing it since it's so fuzzy? Is there danger if that happens? What do you advice me to do?
    Pastor Niral Patel answered: Dear John, Thank you for your question. This is a question that people actually ask a lot, but there is no need to worry, especially if we do not have tantric initiation. In fact, the more we practice getting our visualisation stabilised now, the better we will be able to practice tantra when we eventually receive tantric initiation. The issue you are having maintain a steady visualisation is not an uncommon one. This is because we actually have to train our mind to concentrate on what we are doing. One of the major facets of Buddhist meditation is concentration, and this is something we need to develop. We might think that we have a good ability to concentrate, but what the Buddha and the great masters have taught is that we actually do not, but we can obviously develop it. Visualisation itself is a form of concentration meditation, therefore until we achieve a good level of concentration, things like this will happen as we train our minds. What we can do is to focus on a particular aspect of the visualisation, such as the face of the deity, and once that is stable and focused, we can continue onto other parts of the deity’s body, and then the various other aspects of the visualisation. That way, we train ourselves little by little to have a complete visualisation. No in regards to your question about their being danger if something goes wrong or if we make a mistake during our visualisation, this cannot be at our stage of practice. This is because the visualisation is engaged in during the mantra recitation section. Mantras themselves are the Buddhas and enlightened beings in the form of sound. Therefore when we recite mantras we are invoking the holy energies of the Buddhas, which naturally guide and protect us from any harm. The fact that you are facing this issue is in fact a good sign. It shows that are trying to concentrate on the visualisation, but that your mind has not reached a level of concentration powerful enough to maintain the stability of the visualisation. The antidote to this is simple, keep practising. As you continue to practice, you will notice that your visualisation becomes stronger and stronger. If however, you are still worried, you can end your recitation sessions with the prayer dedicated to a Dharma protector to any obstacles, and end with a completion dedication. I hope this helps. Thank you
  • October 6, 2017 22:31
    Wong asked: Hi, i would like to ask about jhana which is the last factor of the eightfold path. How is it being practised?
    Pastor Niral Patel answered: Dear Wong, Thank you for your question. The last factor of the eightfold noble path is called jhana in the Pali language. In the Sanskrit language it is called dyana. This is a state of meditative absorption which culminates in the understanding of emptiness and is the pathway that leads us to attain liberation. Generally this state is achieved through the practice of single-pointed concentration meditation. But within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition once you have achieved stabilised single-pointed meditation, you progress onto the path of special insight meditation. It is at this stage, that one is able to concentrate completely on understanding emptiness and therefore attain enlightenment. This topic is somewhat outside of the scope of this section of the blog. However, Pabongkha Rinpoche in his excellent Lam Rim text, titled “Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand” gives a very concise yet thorough introduction to the topic of meditation. Pabongkha Rinpoche addresses the path to enlightenment, not through the eightfold noble path however, but through the six perfections of a bodhisattva. In essence although on the surface the two ways of structuring the path to enlightenment may seem different, they are actually both the same if one analyses them carefully. If you read “Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand” you will understand how the two structures are interlinked if you have an understanding of the eightfold noble path. You can order a copy of the book here: https://www.vajrasecrets.com/lamrim-liberation-in-the-palm-of-your-hand and the book is also available at Kechara Paradise outlets. Alternatively, you can ask your local book store to order the book in for you if they have that service. I hope this helps. Thank you
  • October 3, 2017 04:11
    jason asked: i have been practicing higher yoga tantra for over two year now and recently i started to get nightmares for three continuous nights now and i think it will continue, What is happening ? did i do something wrong? The first nightmare was me being cut in to numerous pieces , the second was me being visited by a greyish blue female old female ghost with no eyes in eye sockets, and the third was a giant dark brown black centipede encased in a white translucent sac exploding out of my thigh and crawling/ rolling away in to darkness. Im quite worried that i may have done something wrong even though i think i have not.
    pastor answered: Dear Jason, Thank you for your question. I am glad to hear that you have been practising Higher Yoga Tantra for over two years. You should keep your samaya with your Guru pure and intact, as well as keeping the vows and commitments that you would have taken during the empowerment into the practice. If you do this then you will see a definite transformation of your mind and circumstances for the better, which is after all what Buddhist practice is all about. In regards to your nightmares I do not think that you have done anything wrong per se. In this case it could be due to two possible reasons, the first is that your negative karma is arising in your dreams and the second is that you are being afflicted by a spirit. In the first case, when we practice Higher Yoga Tantra properly and sincerely, it purifies a lot of negative karma. As when engaging in any practice that purifies negative karma, this karma can open and manifest under control situations. For example you the karma manifests are nightmares or scary figures or feelings, rather than physically, which would come about through uncontrollable causes and conditions. When karma is purified it manifests in its most mild form, and for you in this case, it could manifest in the form of nightmares. Therefore if we are engaging in powerful practices, or when we concentrate on these practices, such things can occur. Some people may find this sort of situation bad. But this is not correct, because due to the nature of samsara, we are affected by karma in some form or another. What matters here is that karma is purified so that we can progress on our spiritual journey. When you face such difficulties, the key here is continue with your practice strongly and not give up. In this manner, the karma which causes such situations to occur is purified quicker and then we are no longer affected by it. Therefore you should wholeheartedly engage in primary sadhana of your meditational deity. On the other hand, it could be that you are being affected by a spirit or spirits. In this case there are methods of protection that you can engage in which should be included in your Higher Yoga Tantra practice. If you are unsure of what these could be, please humbly approach your initiating guru for more guidance. Another way that can help solve this problem is to engage in the practice of a Dharma protector such as Dorje Shugden. Since you are already practising a Highest Yoga Tantra, you can ask your guru about the particular Dharma protectors associated with the practice. Each of the major tantric practice has certain Dharma protectors associated with it that aid practitioners to clear obstacles and create conducive conditions for practice. You can actually engage in any Dharma protector practice, but it would be best for you to consult your guru as he or she may assign you a specific Dharma protector to practice. Whatever the case may be, it comes down to karma. The Higher Yoga Tantra you are practising should include a purification practice such as Vajrasattva. For example if you practice the Heruka Chakrasamvara tantra, and have received the appropriate empowerment, you can practice Heruka Vajrasattva. You then concentrate on the practice of Vajrasattva to purify the negative karma causing the situation, and over time you will see the situation get better. If you are not sure of the purification aspect of your daily practice, you can recite the 35 Confessional Buddhas. All of these can help, however I strongly advise you to humbly approach your guru and ask for further advice and instruction, as he or she may assign you other practices or even ask you concentrate on specific sections of the sadhana that they passed to you, to help you overcome these problems. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • September 30, 2017 22:31
    kevin asked: hi pastor, I've been very problematic lately and depressed. My plans seem to be always out of place. I read from an article that some problems are caused by negative karma from the previous and present life. I want to know if there is anything that I can do to drain my negative karma. Im very wary now on my actions to others so not to add to my existing karma. Can you suggest a mantra which I can recite and reflect on everyday to help alleviate my problems and drain my negative karma. Thank you very much. Bless you.
    pastor answered: Dear Kevin, Thank you for your question. Yes, according to Buddhist thought everything we go through in life is caused by karma. This can be either good or bad, so difficulties we face in life are indeed due to our karma. Now, one thing about karma that people often forget is that it can be purified. There are many methods within Tibetan Buddhism that are used for the purification of karma. In fact all practices necessarily involve the purification of negative karma and the generation of merit. The most effective of these are known as purification practices, which have the specific benefits of helping us to purify negative karma which leads to all kinds of problems within in our lives. These include Vajrasattva practice, which can be found here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/an-important-purification-practice.html and the practice of the 35 Confessional Buddhas, which can be found here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-35-confessional-buddhas.html. You can read more about these practices by clicking on the respective links. These are two very powerful methods of purifying negative karma and have been relied upon by countless practitioners and masters to progress on the spiritual path. They are two very extremely effective methods used within Tibetan Buddhism. Since you are going through many problems, however, you can engage in the practice of a Dharma protector who can help alleviate the obstacles you are facing and at the same provide conditions that are suitable for you. One such Dharma protector is Dorje Shugden, you can read more about his practice here, and his daily prayers here: http://www.dorjeshugden.org/practice/diamond-path-a-daily-sadhana-of-dorje-shugden. The website also has a lot of information about the practice and how it can benefit you in daily life. While it may seem daunting that you have negative karma, you should not be disheartened because negative karma can be overcome by purifying it. What you said is right, you should be wary of creating more negative karma. In fact that is one of the main points a Buddhist lives by, which is not creating more negative karma. People often wonder why Buddhists take vows and precepts, this is actually to stop the accumulation of negative karma. For example a Buddhist takes the vow not to kill, this obviously stops the Buddhist from creating the negative karma of killing because they consciously remember that they should not kill in whatever situation they are in. So it is very good that are checking your actions to make sure that you do not add to the negative karma. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • September 28, 2017 13:18
    Nepal asked: I've noticed that in Nepal, Shugden and his retinue are forms of the worldly protector Za Rahula, or that's what the lamas and sadhanas say. Wouldn't that make Shugden dangerous or wouldn't that make Manjushri a worldly deity or one that is dangerous?
    pastor answered: Dear Nepal, Thank you for your question. Dorje Shugden is an emanation of Manjushri, that is what the high lamas and masters have taught and explained using Buddhist logic. Dorje Shugden as an enlightened being has been practiced by all major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, and was first practiced within the holy Sakya tradition. Similarly, Manjushri is an enlightened being. In fact all Tibetan Buddhist schools and Vajrayana traditions, including those in Nepal, say that Manjushri is an enlightened being, the Buddha of wisdom. Rahula on the other hand is a worldly deity who was bound by oath to protect Buddhism and Buddhism practitioners. You can read more about him here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/dharma-protectors-of-tibetan-buddhism.html#tabs-1. All Tibetan Buddhist schools similarly agree to this point. Therefore to equate Dorje Shugden as a form of Za Rahula would logically mean that Manjushri is not a Buddha. This cannot be since hundreds of thousands of holy masters have relied on Manjushri and gained enlightenment through such beliefs and practices associated with Manjushri. Since from a logical perspective this cannot be the case, and Dorje Shugden is an emanation of Manjushri, it is safe to say that Dorje Shugden is not a form of Za Rahula. You can read more about Dorje Shugden, his history, lineage of practice and benefits here: http://www.dorjeshugden.org. I hope this helps. Thank you.
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Dorje Shugden
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