Tibetan Leadership’s New Anti-Shugden Video
Although the Central Tibetan Administration (or CTA) claims there is no ban against the worship of Dorje Shugden, it has not stopped them from releasing books, videos and other publications over the last 20 years to campaign against the worship of Dorje Shugden. Peddling their own form of propaganda, they have exploited many members of the Tibetan community and leadership, in an attempt to warn people against Dorje Shugden practice. Is it logical for anyone to direct all of this effort, creativity and resources into something they claim is a non-issue because there’s no ban and there is religious freedom? It doesn’t sound very logical to me.
Their latest release was Shugden Protestors: Allegations versus Facts, which is a 13-minute documentary accompanied by a 400-over page publication. Released on November 14, 2016, the ‘documentary’ features the members of the Tibetan leadership speaking against the practice of Dorje Shugden. They draw unproven links between Dorje Shugden practitioners and the Chinese leadership. Thus, the video paints Shugden worshippers as traitors to the Tibetan people who are deserving of whatever misfortune, discrimination and suppression is directed against them.
My students were disturbed by this. As Malaysian citizens who have freedom of religion, they thought it was highly inappropriate for the Tibetan leaders who profess to be democratic, to appear in videos talking against the religion of their people. And why is an exiled government with some huge political goals to accomplish, so concerned about a religious denomination, practice or sect? And dedicating time, money and resources towards this? They, as a so-called exiled government, should never interfere in anyone’s religion or speak against it. No democratic government ever interferes in people’s personal choices.
Thus, on their own initiative, some of my students filmed videos countering the allegations made in the Tibetan leadership’s ‘documentary’. They did this because the video labelled all Dorje Shugden practitioners as having links with China. The video implied that being linked to China is somehow negative, bad and wrong. Being ethnic Chinese whose ancestors came from China, my students found this use of ‘Chinese’ as a slur to be very racist.
They also felt extremely strongly that this ‘Chinese link’ label was unfair, without basis and evidence, and a huge generalisation of Dorje Shugden practitioners. Dorje Shugden practitioners come from all over the world, from all types of backgrounds and cultures, education and income levels, and ethnicities. For them, as proud Malaysian citizens, they felt that the CTA were infringing on Malaysia’s sovereign rights, by making comments about the religious faith and worship of another country’s citizens. Would it be acceptable and tolerated if, for example, the President or Prime Minister of a democratic country made discriminatory comments about the religious practices of their people, much less the practices of another nation’s citizens? This would apply for citizens of every country. This five-part video response by our knowledgeable people in Kechara not only represents religious freedom in Malaysia, but religious freedom for citizens across the world.
So contrary to what the Tibetan leadership claims, my students and I do not maintain our practice of Dorje Shugden because someone pays us or tells us to do so. Personally, I do not practise Dorje Shugden because I am misguided. I practise Dorje Shugden because my root guru, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, gave me the practice and I have previously spoken about this here. But regardless of my reasons, those are my personal reasons and my choice to practise is a personal one and it should not be policed or commented on by any external so-called secular authorities. In fact, I should not even have to explain why I made my choice but the sad fact is, due to the Dorje Shugden ban, I do have to.
I would like to thank my students who are learned friends, led by Martin Chow, for filming and arranging these response videos, and for people like the hardworking production team who gave their expertise and worked so hard to get these videos out quickly. It was in their compassion and wish to clear ignorance that they worked so hard. Special mention should be given to Ms Li Kim, Pastor Niral, Pastor Jean Ai and Beng Kooi for their dedication in wanting to bring this practice to many people. They did this on very short notice but did so due to their understanding of the urgency of the situation. Thank you very much for your hard work and your efforts in this. It touched my heart deeply to see that people care and speak up strongly against injustice and misinformation. I hope you will watch these videos and it will add to your thoughts and awareness of the ban on Dorje Shugden worship. Please do share these videos with your friends.
(Original Video) Shugden Protestors: Allegations versus Facts
Released November 14, 2016
Or view the video on the server at: http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/ShugdenProtestors.flv
The video released by the Central Tibetan Administration, alleging unproven links between Dorje Shugden practitioners and the Chinese leadership.
Released December 12, 2016
(1) Allegations of Chinese Links – Is there any truth?
Or view the video on the server at: http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/AllegationsofChineseLinks.flv
‘Allegations of Chinese Links – Is There Any Truth?’ debunks the CTA’s claim that Dorje Shugden practitioners are in fact merely diabolical tools of an evil regime out to undermine His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This video examines what the CTA video offers as proof and exposes the flaws in the suggestion.
(2) The CTA’s Role in the Shugden Conflict
Or view the video on the server at: http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/CTAsRole.flv
‘The CTA’s Role in the Shugden Conflict’ is a rejoinder to Sikyong Lobsang Sangay’s denial that there is discrimination against Dorje Shugden practitioners. In the CTA video, the Sikyong invited advice as to whether harm may have been done to Shugden practitioners and this video complies with the Sikyong’s request.
Or view the video on the server at: http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Misdirection.flv
‘Misdirection’ tackles the multitude of misinformation contained in the CTA video, which if left unchecked would so severely and unfairly destroy the good standing of Shugden monks and people.
(4) A Body of Evidence
Or view the video on the server at: http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/BodyofEvidence.flv
‘A Body Of Evidence’ chronicles the systemic persecution of Shugden practitioners and offers as proof a litany of documents and photographs that without question speak of the sufferings that have been brought upon Shugden people.
(5) Appeal to the Dalai Lama
Or view the video on the server at: http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/AppealtotheDalaiLama.flv
‘Appeal to the Dalai Lama’ seeks to correct the harmful rumour that to practise this holy Shugden practice is to hate His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The practice of Dorje Shugden cultivates peace and harmony and therefore it would be difficult to hate anyone, let alone His Holiness himself.
International Tibetan Shugden Community Response to CTA’s Press Conference on Shugdenpas
Released December 10, 2016
Or view the video at its original source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKdNhi6gXAM
The International Tibetan Shugden Community released their Tibetan language response to the Tibetan leadership’s video which alleges links between Shugden practitioners and China.
And to view all seven videos as one complete video, please go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24yWXWpGsPw
Debunking the CTA Video,
Shugden Protesters: Allegation versus Facts
It has been 20 years since the Dorje Shugden controversy erupted in 1996 when a prohibition was placed on this centuries-old Dharma Protector practice. And lying in its wake are trails of broken families, divided monasteries and utter confusion. All these bear testimony that the conflict has brought nothing but ongoing suffering, and yet the problem continues to persist.
It is Buddhism, perhaps, that is feeling the most harmful blow thrown by this particular controversy. The Buddha foresaw catastrophes like this and warned sternly that schism must never be allowed to infiltrate the monastic communities whom the public view as stalwarts of the religion.
Yet today, Tibetan Buddhists all over the world, both old and seasoned as well as new and untrained struggle with a multitude of questions as doubt arises each time the Dorje Shugden conflict is fanned. If an ancient practice once thought to be holy and perfect can overnight become devilish and seditious, then what is sacred and reliable?
Many have heard rumours about Dorje Shugden and wonder if they are unknowingly participating in something unwholesome, or even criminal. Others who are not Shugden worshippers are left wondering of the authenticity of their spiritual teacher, the validity of their own lineage and practice and whether one day, they too will be found to have engaged in a wrong spiritual practice and become spiritual ‘outlaws’ after all. This is how grievously the Dorje Shugden conflict has muddled and obscured the Buddha’s own teachings.
It is none other than the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) who have inflicted the Dorje Shugden controversy on their own people and who continue to perpetrate it on a global scale, to the detriment of the peace and happiness all Buddhists are seeking. Their latest video called ‘Shugden Protesters: Allegations versus Facts’ adds to this chaos. Therefore, there is dire need for clarification and to separate fact from fiction. To neglect such malignance is tantamount to having a hand in signing the death warrant of Tibetan Buddhism.
The CTA video purports to present evidence and reliable testimonies of Shugden people being a clandestine group who do the bidding of their political masters, China, in consideration of monetary gains. In addition, the CTA made a number of untrue assertions that this post and corresponding videos will address and invalidate with logic and evidentiary facts. Some of the more serious claims are, in essence, as follows:
- That the practice of Dorje Shugden is done in defiance of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama;
- That Dorje Shugden worshippers are merely tools of the Chinese government;
- That Dorje Shugden groups are extremist cults that will resort to violent crimes including murder;
- That there is no discrimination against Dorje Shugden monks and lay practitioners;
- That Dorje Shugden is not a proper Buddhist practice embraced by a small group
In sum, the holy practice of an enlightened Protector is smeared in language of hate that needs to be disproved. And the five videos in this blog post aim to do just that.
- The first video ‘Allegations of Chinese Links – Is There Any Truth?’ debunks the CTA’s claim that Dorje Shugden practitioners are in fact merely diabolical tools of an evil regime out to undermine His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This video examines what the CTA video offers as proof and exposes the flaws in the suggestion.
- The second video ‘The CTA’s Role in the Shugden Conflict’ is a rejoinder to Sikyong Lobsang Sangay’s denial that there is discrimination against Dorje Shugden practitioners. In the CTA video, the Sikyong invited advice as to whether harm may have been done to Shugden practitioners and this video complies with the Sikyong’s request.
- The third video ‘Misdirection’ tackles the multitude of misinformation contained in the CTA video, which if left unchecked would so severely and unfairly destroy the good standing of Shugden monks and people.
- The fourth video ‘A Body Of Evidence’ chronicles the systemic persecution of Shugden practitioners and offers as proof a litany of documents and photographs that without question speak of the sufferings that have been brought upon Shugden people.
- In the last video ‘Appeal to the Dalai Lama’, we seek to correct the harmful rumor that to practice this holy Shugden practice is to hate His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The practice of Dorje Shugden cultivates peace and harmony and therefore it would be difficult to hate anyone, let alone His Holiness himself.
Finally, whilst rebuttals to wrong allegations against Dorje Shugden are necessary and must continue at all costs, it is our most sincere wish and prayer that His Holiness the Dalai Lama would call for an end to this already protracted quarrel. Time and resources should ideally be utilised to promote the Buddhist teachings to all corners of the world, to train kind and beneficent teachers who are qualified to carry the many Tibetan Buddhist lineages forward, and to apply the teachings to free our minds from samsara.
We pray that His Holiness the Dalai Lama will continue to turn the wheel of Dharma and we pray for all sufferings of all sentient beings, Chinese and Tibetans alike, to end in the glorious light of Dharma.
For more interesting information:
- The Dorje Shugden category on my blog
- The Importance of Tibet Befriending China
- Reuters Investigation on Dorje Shugden Inaccurate?
- Reuters Anti-Dorje Shugden Report Backfires
- When Reuters becomes a tool of oppression
- China officially supports Dorje Shugden
- China’s official stance on Dorje Shugden
- Malaysia and China friendship
- Panchen Lama meets Chinese President
- Stephon Marbury embraces China
- Vajravarahi Caves in China
- China’s HUGE Buddha Statues!!!!
- Dalai Lama, China & Dorje Shugden
- China Overtakes U.S. as The World’s Largest Economy
- Markham makes it illegal to ban Dorje Shugden
- Dalai Lama Says We Can Practise Dorje Shugden Finally!
- Dear Dalai Lama, With Folded Hands
- Dear Dalai Lama, please read this
- Can the Dalai Lama say this one day?
- Will the Dalai Lama agree with this?
- Appeal to H.H. the Dalai Lama
- What you must know about China
- Dorje Shugden: My side of the story
- My plea to His Holiness the Dalai Lama
- Shall We Hate The Jews and Those Different Than Us?
- My plea to His Holiness (Tibetan)
- Why aren’t the monasteries helping the drought?
- Stronger Bond Between Malaysia and China
- Why is she putting the Dalai Lama down?
- I’m Requesting Ordination in 1987
- They want to kill me
- What I Think of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama?
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