To Sum It Up

May 20, 2015 | Views: 7,942
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In 1996, His Holiness the Dalai Lama banned the practice of Dorje Shugden. His Holiness himself had practised Dorje Shugden for 30 over years, after it was given to him by his teachers, many of whom also practiced Dorje Shugden and in fact propagated it all over pre-1959* Tibet (the year His Holiness the Dalai Lama left Tibet to seek refuge in India).

We understand that for those new to the issue, it can be a confusing subject. The strength of feeling from both sides of the problem has resulted in a lot of misinformation and rumors. For those who are not Buddhist or who are unfamiliar with Tibetan Buddhism, hearing about the ban will give rise to many questions – why did the Dalai Lama ban this deity? Isn’t the Dalai Lama a paragon of human rights? Why do people send vulgar messages to one another in trying to protect or defend His Holiness?

Trying to read up and research about the ban can also result in confusion, since oftentimes secular issues are combined with the spiritual. It can be hard for those who are not familiar with Tibetan Buddhism to discern between the two, and to appreciate the spiritual background behind the ban.

So here we answer for you some simple questions about the ban on Dorje Shugden, using logic and evidence. We offer this information to you with the hope that it brings clarity to your understanding about the ban. Our intention is not to convert you to the practice of Dorje Shugden, but simply for you to understand the reasons behind the ban, why it is so illogical and therefore why it must be lifted.

There is no need for you to be a practitioner of Dorje Shugden in order to understand that the ban causes great suffering to everyone involved, and that it has driven a deep wedge in the Tibetan community. We are not asking for everyone to agree with our beliefs but for your help to remove the ban and the discrimination that arises as a result of this ban, so that everyone can believe whatever they want without repercussion or fear of repercussion.

For 18 years, countless Tibetan Buddhists around the world have suffered because of the ban, and countless others remain confused about how this conflict can be considered Buddhist. Many hurtful words have been exchanged by both sides, and this needs to stop. For these reasons, we humbly request His Holiness the Dalai Lama to lift the ban on Dorje Shugden.

TsemRinpoche.com team

 


 

Contents

 


 

 

Key Questions

First of all, is there a ban?

Yes, there is a ban. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been filmed many times instructing Tibetans (both lay and ordained) that those who do not give up the practice of Dorje Shugden should be kicked out of the monasteries.

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/dl-contradictions.flv

Since 1996, four resolutions have been passed by the Tibetan Parliament urging Tibetans to uphold His Holiness’ instructions through whatever means possible. Memos and notices have been circulated throughout Tibetan government departments instructing that employees should give up the practice of Dorje Shugden or face dismissal; signs have been erected throughout the Tibetan settlements (and indeed, around the world) denying Dorje Shugden practitioners entry into shops, restaurants, clinics, schools, temples, etc. People who protest against the ban have been identified as traitors to Tibetan society, and have had their faces, names, personal details and addresses published in lists on the Tibetan leadership’s websites.

The prevailing atmosphere of fear in the Tibetan communities, the separation of the monasteries, and the constant online and physical attacks against Dorje Shugden practitioners are all evidence of the ban against Dorje Shugden.

For more evidence of the ban, click HERE.

 

What is this conflict about?

The Dalai Lama banned an ancient practice, and the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) have taken it upon themselves to enforce this ban through whatever means possible. The CTA refers to the Tibetan leadership which is based in Dharamsala, North India.

 

How did the ban come about?

Since 1996, 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, to include the ban on Dorje Shugden. There was no vote, no Dorje Shugden practitioners and leaders were consulted, and there was no dialogue, debate or discussion held with the people. Thus, the people who would be most affected by this decision were not informed at all, and the policies were implemented without their consent, by a government that claims to be a democratic one.

Click the image to enlarge.

Since then, in a move reminiscent of the Cultural Revolution in China, monks have been forced to swear out of the practice in front of thousands of their compatriots and threatened with expulsion should they refuse to do so. The Tibetan leadership have also organised riots against Dorje Shugden practitioners, to intimidate them into giving up the practice. Those who refuse to participate in these riots are threatened with fines and expulsions, or are accused of being sympathetic towards Shugden practitioners (and therefore may face discrimination and accusations of being a traitor themselves).

Dorje Shugden practitioners, both lay and ordained, who refuse to give up their practice are harassed and a great stigma befalls their families. They carry this stigma with them wherever in the world they are; stories abound of Dorje Shugden practitioners living in Australia, Taiwan, Switzerland and the United States who are harassed by the local Tibetan communities and pressured into leaving the area.

 

How is the ban enforced?

In general, a combination of fear, intimidation, peer and community pressure, and violence are used to enforce the ban. More specific examples of enforcement include:

  • Signs are put up in the Tibetan settlements saying non-Shugden people should not associate with Shugden people. This trend has spilled over to Tibetan Buddhist centres around the world – most recently, some Dharma centres in Singapore with these signs at their entrances
  • Dorje Shugden practitioners are not allowed to hold positions in the civil service or any kind of roles in the Tibetan leadership
  • As recently as 2014, the Central Tibetan Administration published lists of Dorje Shugden practitioners on their official website. These lists included their photos, names and addresses so Tibetans can identify them easily. What reason would you need such detailed information about Shugden worshippers, if not to direct some harm or violence against them?
  • Dorje Shugden practitioners have been violently attacked regardless of their age. As recently as 2013, an 84-year old monk was attacked and stabbed by five masked men bearing knives. During the attack, they said nothing so as not to reveal their true intentions. After the attack, they ran away without taking any valuables, therefore dispelling the idea the attack was part of a botched robbery.

An 84-year old monk was attacked by five masked men bearing knives

In defending himself, the monk sustained injuries to his head, arms and hands

  • As recently as 2014, those in support of the ban have violently taken over Dorje Shugden monasteries upon the death of their caretakers
  • Medical treatment is denied to Dorje Shugden practitioners and signs are erected outside clinics clearly stating this
  • Dorje Shugden practitioners are told they will not be served in restaurants and shops
  • Dorje Shugden practitioners are banned from certain temples and from attending His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teachings
  • Dorje Shugden practitioners have been denied refugee status at the Tibetan reception centre in Nepal
  • Dorje Shugden monks have their homes pelted with rocks

  • Dorje Shugden monks are denied monastic identity cards showing that they belong to a particular monastery
  • Dorje Shugden practitioners, on a daily basis, face online threats, attacks and vulgar verbal abuse directed at them
  • Privately, many Dorje Shugden practitioners receive nasty messages and publicly, anti-Shugden people tell everyone that they should boycott those who rely on Dorje Shugden
  • The Tibetan leadership has organised riots of 3000-4000 people against Dorje Shugden practitioners who were peacefully conducting their pujas in their prayer hall
  • Dorje Shugden practitioners are forced to swear out of the practice in front of thousands of people
  • Wherever they emigrate, the local Tibetan population creates visa problems for Dorje Shugden practitioners, harasses them at their homes and dharma centres, and ostracises their children in school
  • Those who are not Dorje Shugden practitioners but show sympathy, support or even some kind of understanding of what Dorje Shugden practitioners go through, are themselves subjected to pressure until they agree that no one should be allowed to practice Dorje Shugden
  • Relatives of Dorje Shugden practitioners are pressured for their relatives’ practice. Sometimes, the pressure is so great that either Dorje Shugden practitioners are forced to leave their homes in order to protect their family, or their families kick them out altogether for refusing to give up the practice
  • Dorje Shugden practitioners are told they will go to hell for their practice
  • Dorje Shugden practitioners are told that they are unlearned in Buddhism because they are Western/not Tibetan and have no right to comment
  • Dorje Shugden practitioners are accused of working for the Chinese government or being Communist agents. Within Tibetan society, this accusation is tantamount to being labelled a traitor and the stigma of this accusation is so great that anyone labelled as such is immediately assumed to be against His Holiness the Dalai Lama and working for the ‘enemy’

 

Why can His Holiness the Dalai Lama not do this?

Because the reasons for the ban are not logical and because the ban is a breach of human rights, both on a national and universal level. The Tibetan leadership operates out of India and because they are not an officially-recognised government by any nation in the world, they have to abide by the Indian constitution. The Indian constitution guarantees freedom of worship; the ban therefore goes against the Indian constitution.

India is also a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which also states that everyone should have equal opportunity to practice their faith without suffering fear of discrimination.

From a spiritual perspective, His Holiness the Dalai Lama is technically not the spiritual leader of all Tibetans and therefore does not have the authority to decide on spiritual matters for all Tibetans. Within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, there are four schools or traditions – Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu and Gelug – which each have their own spiritual leaders. It is these leaders who provide guidance to those practicing under their various traditions.

Therefore, His Holiness the Dalai Lama who is a Gelug practitioner does not have the spiritual authority to say “Ban Dorje Shugden” for a Sakya practitioner who should take guidance from His Holiness the Sakya Trizin. In the case of the Gelugs, their spiritual leader is the Gaden Tripa who has not banned the Dorje Shugden practice. In fact, the 101st Gaden Trisur (the Gaden Tripa Emeritus) is a Dorje Shugden practitioner himself.

 

What is with all this name-calling?

As there is no legitimate nor scriptural basis to ban the practice, Tibetans are told that Dorje Shugden is anti-Dalai Lama and against the Tibetan cause.

The reasons that the CTA use to enforce the ban on Dorje Shugden touches on a very emotional topic for Tibetans. For the majority of Tibetans, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan cause is their raison d’être – the very reason for their existence. Thus when they are told that something threatens this reason, it is easy to see why they would be very enthusiastic about enforcing the ban. As a result of the CTA’s misinformation, Dorje Shugden has been made to look like a threat to their very existence. Therefore enforcing the Shugden ban is not just about Dorje Shugden himself, but about defending the reason for their existence.

Since the CTA has not presented a balanced view of the issue, people have not been allowed to make their own decisions regarding Dorje Shugden. As a result, many non-Shugden practising Tibetans who are not highly educated and otherwise unable to express their feelings about the ban, have taken to name-calling and directing vulgarities and violence against Shugden practitioners. Their anger has also been encouraged by the Tibetan leadership who have taken every opportunity in the last 18 years to speak about Dorje Shugden in a derogatory manner and remind their people of the reasons for the ban.

This name-calling and violence has spread from Tibetan society into the West, where His Holiness the Dalai Lama has worked tirelessly for the last 60 years to raise awareness about the Tibetan situation. As a result, hundreds of thousands of people have come to strongly identify with the Tibetan cause, or with His Holiness the Dalai Lama as their teacher. Because of this, you will find that there are Western Buddhist practitioners who are very enthusiastic about enforcing the ban.

 

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Why did the Dalai Lama ban Dorje Shugden?

According to His Holiness, Dorje Shugden is banned because he is a spirit and relying on him shortens His Holiness’ life and harms the Tibetan cause; and those who continue to rely on Dorje Shugden should be expelled from the monasteries. As a result, those who did not have the resources nor ability to examine further took the ban on face value. But with all due respect, His Holiness’ reasons do not make sense if we examine them more closely.

 

REASON #1: Dorje Shugden is a spirit

This reason can be countered in many ways.

 

ANSWER #1

Tibetans believe His Holiness the Dalai Lama is Chenrezig, the Buddha of Compassion. If Dorje Shugden is a spirit as it is claimed, why hasn’t His Holiness simply bound and destroyed him, and sent his consciousness to a pure land?

Many rituals exist within the Buddhist faith to allow for this and there are many examples of spirits being subdued in this way. For example, Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) is famous for his subjugation of spirits. When he first arrived in Tibet, the land was very wild with many spirits roaming and creating obstacles for the spread of the Dharma. One such spirit was Nechung whom Guru Rinpoche subdued and bound to serve the Dharma.

So why hasn’t His Holiness destroyed Dorje Shugden if the practice is as harmful as he makes it out to be? If Dorje Shugden is a harmful spirit as it is claimed, then destroying him would stop Tibetans from being harmed by Dorje Shugden. It would also stop Dorje Shugden from creating negative karma by harming others. That would be the compassionate thing to do for both Tibetans and Dorje Shugden.

Is it that His Holiness, a ritual master, is unskilled in doing this? It does not make sense that someone who is viewed as a Buddha cannot overcome a spirit; someone who is viewed as a Buddha should be MORE powerful than a spirit. So going back to the original premise – if His Holiness is a Buddha, and Dorje Shugden is a spirit as claimed, His Holiness should be able to bind Dorje Shugden. Since His Holiness the Dalai Lama has not done so, it can only mean that Dorje Shugden is as powerful as His Holiness i.e. he is also a Buddha himself.

From a more scriptural point-of-view, according to the Buddhist belief system, a Buddha is a being who is free from karma. If you can be harmed, you have the karma to receive the harm. Since His Holiness the Dalai Lama has not yet bound or destroyed Dorje Shugden, it can only mean that Dorje Shugden does not have the karma to be harmed or destroyed i.e. he is a Buddha.

ANSWER #2

Being a Buddha, His Holiness definitely possesses clairvoyance. So how is it that for the 30 years that he practiced Dorje Shugden, His Holiness did not see Dorje Shugden’s nature as a spirit, and overnight, suddenly realised that he is? It cannot be that His Holiness suddenly developed clairvoyance; he was born a Buddha and possessed this ability since birth. So to say that it took him 30 years to see that Dorje Shugden is a spirit is illogical.

ANSWER #3

Countless Buddhist masters from all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism (Gelug, Sakya, Nyingma, Kagyu) have relied on Dorje Shugden over the last 400 years. It is impossible that NONE of those masters were attained, NONE of them could see that Dorje Shugden is a spirit, and ALL of them were fooled by Dorje Shugden. It cannot be possible that only His Holiness has the clairvoyance, knowledge and wisdom to check and see that Dorje Shugden is a spirit, and that no one else in Tibet possesses these qualities or abilities.

ANSWER #4

Similarly, it cannot be that no one within the Tibetan Buddhist system possesses the power, ability and ritual knowledge to destroy a being that is supposedly just a spirit. If the fear of Dorje Shugden is so great, then Buddhist masters from all traditions should gather to subjugate Dorje Shugden and end the fear once and for all. Why have they not gathered and if they have, why have they not been successful if Dorje Shugden is only a spirit?

ANSWER #5

His Holiness is a pure monk. According to the Buddha himself, those who hold even their refuge vows very well (let alone their monk vows) are protected from all forms of harm, including spirit harm. Therefore, if the claim that Dorje Shugden is a spirit is true (which it is not), then His Holiness who is a pure monk has nothing to be afraid of because his vows protect him. And those who are not monks but hold their refuge vows well also have nothing to be afraid of.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama (center) with his two tutors His Holiness Kyabje Lati Rinpoche (left) and His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche (right), both of whom practiced Dorje Shugden. Were they BOTH wrong and if they were, does this mean His Holiness the Dalai Lama received wrong teachings, and is therefore spreading wrong teachings to his own students all around the world?

 

ANSWER #6

According to the teachings of His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche (the tutor of His Holiness the Dalai Lama), Dorje Shugden comes from a great incarnation line of lamas. These lamas were famed for their attainments and scholarship, and had thousands of students who relied upon them for teachings. Up until today, monks from Drepung Loseling and Gaden Shartse monasteries continue to study texts authored by one of Dorje Shugden’s previous incarnations, Panchen Sonam Drakpa.

It is one thing to teach from texts how we can achieve enlightenment; it is an entirely different level to author and compose texts describing the path to achieving enlightenment, AND have the entire monastic community accept these texts as being genuine and authentic. Therefore it is not possible that someone of this caliber (who composed texts that lead us to enlightenment) can reincarnate as a spirit and it is not possible that the monastic community would study texts authored by a spirit as part of their core syllabus.

 

REASON #2: The practice of Dorje Shugden shortens the Dalai Lama’s life

 

ANSWER #1

Tibetans believe His Holiness is Chenrezig, the Buddha of Compassion. According to the Buddhist belief system, a Buddha is a being who is free from karma. To be harmed, you must have the karma to receive harm.

Therefore since His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a Buddha and free from karma, he cannot be harmed. Thus his life cannot be shortened by anyone, let alone a spirit (which is what anti-Shugden people claim Dorje Shugden to be).

ANSWER #2

Prior to the ban, millions of people practiced Dorje Shugden including the sangha of the three great Gelug monasteries of Gaden, Sera and Drepung. None of them ever prayed for His Holiness the Dalai Lama to be harmed, and since the time of the 5th Dalai Lama, when Dorje Shugden was first relied upon, none of the Dalai Lamas have ever come to any harm because of Dorje Shugden or his practice.

Likewise, according to eyewitness accounts from those who were directly involved with His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s escape into India, it was Dorje Shugden who saved the Dalai Lama’s life. It was Dorje Shugden who, through an oracle medium, advised His Holiness to leave Tibet and even specified which route to take. It was also a thangka of Dorje Shugden that His Holiness carried on his back as he made his way out of Tibet and into India.

 

REASON #3: The practice of Dorje Shugden harms the Tibetan cause

 

ANSWER #1

Dorje Shugden was practised by the majority of Gelug lamas for 400 years with no adverse geopolitical effects. So how is it that suddenly the practice harms the Tibetan cause, when it did not for four centuries prior?

Is one single deity, a so-called spirit, so powerful that he alone can prevent the resolution of the Tibetan situation and none of the Buddhas or attained lamas in Tibet can stop him?

 

ANSWER #2

It is ridiculous to say that one deity can cause the loss of an entire country. Those who claim that Tibet was lost because of Dorje Shugden are also saying that all the Buddhas (Shakyamuni, Guru Rinpoche, Lama Tsongkhapa, etc.) and attained lamas in Tibet were not powerful enough to stop him.

It would also be saying that a deity that they call a spirit is more powerful than all the Buddhas and that even today, these Buddhas are still not powerful enough to help resolve the Tibetan situation.

ANSWER #3

To say that one deity can cause the loss of a whole country is to deny that karma exists, and that one spirit (as he is claimed to be) can override the karma of six million Tibetans. If a Buddha cannot override the karma of six million Tibetans to resolve the Tibetan situation, how is it logical to claim that a spirit can do so?

ANSWER #4

The official Protectoress of Tibet is actually Palden Lhamo and not Dorje Shugden. Therefore should the Tibetan community wish to hold any deity responsible for their political failures and for failing to protect Tibet, logically it would be Palden Lhamo. This is NOT to say that Palden Lhamo or any of the hundreds of protector deities should be blamed; it is to say that there is no logical reason why it is Dorje Shugden’s responsibility, and not Palden Lhamo’s, for the resolution of the Tibetan situation. In fact, the responsibility for the current state of the Tibetan situation should lie squarely on the shoulders of the Tibetan leadership.

 

REASON #4: Relying on Dorje Shugden is harmful to Buddhist practice

 

ANSWER #1

The Tibetan leadership claim that Dorje Shugden is a jealous spirit who harms practitioners who do not keep their commitments. They say that Dorje Shugden takes revenge on people who stop engaging in his practice.

Logically, this does not make sense because His Holiness the Dalai Lama stopped relying on Dorje Shugden in 1996. Yet for the last 18 years, not a single ounce of harm has come to him and His Holiness continues to be very strong, healthy and still travels the world tirelessly to teach Buddhism.

Although His Holiness the Dalai Lama is now 80 years old, he shows no sign of slowing down and continues to keep up a hectic teaching schedule. Clearly, giving up Dorje Shugden's practice did not harm him in any way.

Similarly, thousands of other Buddhist practitioners have given up the practice of Dorje Shugden as a direct result of the ban. If Dorje Shugden were just a jealous spirit who seeks revenge, then surely harm would have fallen on these ex-practitioners who do so much to disparage and destroy Dorje Shugden’s name. Yet no harm has come to them and in fact, they continue to be very vocal offline and online about their hatred and dislike for Dorje Shugden.

ANSWER #2

It is claimed that when we rely on Dorje Shugden, we break our refuge vows and we are no longer Buddhists. Now, His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself practiced Dorje Shugden for over 30 years. If his reliance on Dorje Shugden meant that he was not a Buddhist during this time, then all the teachings he gave to millions of people were not valid.

Similarly, His Holiness’ own teachers relied on Dorje Shugden for their entire lives (60-80 years). If relying on Dorje Shugden means all of them were not Buddhists, then all the teachings they gave throughout their entire lives (including those they gave to His Holiness the Dalai Lama) are no longer valid. This would mean His Holiness received teachings from unqualified teachers and is therefore not qualified himself to teach.

Thus, if people wish to receive teachings from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and believe his teachings to be authentic, it is not logical for them to simultaneously believe that Dorje Shugden’s practice is harmful to our Buddhist practice.

ANSWER #3

According to the Tibetan leadership, relying on Dorje Shugden results in us going to the Three Lower Realms (i.e. being reborn as an animal, hungry ghost or in one of the hells). However, contrary to these claims, many Dorje Shugden lamas have been reborn in a perfect human body and their incarnations were recognised by His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama with his guru His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche (top) and with the reincarnation of his guru (bottom). If relying on Dorje Shugden means we will take rebirths in the Three Lower Realms, why did His Holiness the Dalai Lama confirm the recognition of his own guru who, in his previous lifetime relied on Dorje Shugden until he entered clear light?

For example, His Holiness the Dalai Lama recognised the reincarnation of his own guru, His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche. This incarnation, known as His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche, now resides in Vermont, USA as the spiritual guide of Trijang Buddhist Institute. Likewise, His Holiness the Dalai Lama also recognised the reincarnation of Lama Yeshe, known as Lama Osel, who relied on Dorje Shugden until the day he passed away.

If these Dorje Shugden-practicing lamas went to the Three Lower Realms (as the Tibetan leadership claims), then it should not have been possible for His Holiness the Dalai Lama to recognise their reincarnations.

 

REASON #5: Dorje Shugden’s practice promotes sectarianism and division

 

ANSWER #1

Many of the Gelug liturgies propitiating Dorje Shugden’s assistance contain prayers composed by great Sakya and Kagyu masters. It is not logical for a practice which incorporates prayers from other lineages and traditions to be considered sectarian.

Furthermore, the claim that Dorje Shugden takes revenge on Gelug practitioners who rely on practices from other lineages also does not make sense.

ANSWER #2

Dorje Shugden originally began as a Sakya practice. From the 18th Century onwards, the Sakyas starting with Morchen Kunga Lhundrub regarded Dorje Shugden as an enlightened being. Some quick facts about the Sakya tradition of Dorje Shugden practice:

  • Morchen Kunga Lhundrub composed a Sakya prayer (kangsol) to invoke upon Dorje Shugden.
  • The 30th Sakya Trizin Sonam Rinchen included Dorje Shugden in the pantheon of Sakya protectors. He placed Dorje Shugden together with Setrap and Tsiu Marpo, collectively calling them Gyalpo Sum (Three Kings).

In the Sakya tradition, Dorje Shugden is commonly depicted as riding astride a black horse

  • The 31st Sakya Trizin Kunga Lodro composed prayers to Dorje Shugden including a wrathful torma offering called “Swirl of Perfect Sense Offerings”. He also first coined the term ‘Shugden Rig Nga’ to refer to Dorje Shugden and his four cardinal emanations.
  • The 37th Sakya Trizin Kunga Nyingpo was considered to be an incarnation of Dorje Shugden.
  • The 39th Sakya Trizin Dragshul Trinley Rinchen recognised Dorje Shugden as being of the same nature as Chenrezig / Avalokiteshvara in his writings.

Although the Sakyas today no longer rely as heavily on Dorje Shugden as they used to, this historical information clearly shows that Dorje Shugden’s practice will benefit anyone and everyone regardless of faith, tradition and self-created divisions.

ANSWER #3

In Geshe Lhundrub Sopa’s biography, which includes a foreword from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, he states clearly that thousands of students received teachings from His Holiness Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche. Amongst this corpus of teachings and practices was Dorje Shugden, which Pabongka Rinpoche’s students in turn taught to their own students.

Therefore it would not be untrue to say that Dorje Shugden was historically relied upon by the vast majority of Gelugpa practitioners, and was an accepted part of the Gelug monasteries. Those who did not feel an affinity with Dorje Shugden were not forced to engage in his practice, and those who relied on him chose to do so willingly. There was no need for separate monasteries to be identified as Shugden-practicing and non-Shugden practicing monasteries.

Considering that there were no divisions in Tibetan Buddhism until the ban came about in 1996, therefore it was the ban that created division in the Tibetan and Tibetan Buddhist community, and not Dorje Shugden himself.

 

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Why has the ban been enforced with so much enthusiasm?

We recognise that those who enforce the ban come from all walks of life and will therefore have all kinds of reasons for enforcing the ban. These are some of the more common reasons as to why the Tibetan leadership and their supporters have been so enthusiastic about enforcing the ban on Dorje Shugden.

 

REASON #1: They need a scapegoat

In the 60 years since Tibetans first fled into exile, the Tibetan leadership has not been able to arrange for meaningful dialogue with the Chinese leadership. While the Tibetan leadership continues to rely on the kindness and generosity of sponsors, the Chinese leadership have transformed their nation into a global economic powerhouse.

As we move further away from the events of 1959, it becomes increasingly clear that goodwill towards the Tibetan leadership is waning, and they are losing their influence to pressure other nations into intervening in the Tibetan situation. To distract from their lack of accomplishments over the last 60 years, a reason for their failures had to be found and Dorje Shugden became an easy target.

As a result of the Tibetan leadership

Thus, to distract the Tibetan people from real and immediate issues (for example, the persisting low literacy rates amongst Tibetan adults) they intentionally linked Dorje Shugden practitioners to China without any proof. Doing so achieves a number of objectives.

First, it is an easy way to make Dorje Shugden people the enemy, by associating them with an even greater ‘enemy’ which is China. It gives the Tibetan community an outlet for their frustrations. Instead of directing their anger at their leadership for failing to resolve the Tibetan situation, the anger and emotion is directed towards a tangible enemy – Dorje Shugden practitioners.

Second, it distracts people from learning about Dorje Shugden. When they are blinded by this association with China, they will be distracted from looking beyond the accusations to examine if the ban has any scriptural basis.

Finally, creating a false association with China is a convenient explanation for the leadership’s failure to effectively provide for their community on a day-to-day basis. Saying that Dorje Shugden lamas and practitioners are paid by China is a convenient method of explaining why Dorje Shugden monasteries and their lamas’ works continue to grow, whilst the remainder of the Tibetan community continues in much the same way it has for the last 60 years, with minimal improvements to their lot.

However, it is ridiculous to say that Dorje Shugden people are paid by China when there are practitioners from all across the globe with no relations to China whatsoever. Is it logical that the Chinese leadership would feel so strongly about the Dorje Shugden issue that they are paying millions of Dorje Shugden practitioners to keep up the practice? Even logistically speaking, this accusation does not make sense. How would the Chinese leadership even get in touch with millions of Dorje Shugden practitioners to disburse the funds? Not a single pay slip providing proof of payment has ever been produced although this accusation has been in existence for the last 18 years.

 

REASON #2: To diminish the influence of Dorje Shugden lamas

In pre-1959 Tibet, Dorje Shugden lamas commanded the respect, power and held authority over millions of Tibetans. For example, His Holiness the Panchen Lama (second only to the Dalai Lama) relied on Dorje Shugden, as did His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, who commanded the respect and loyalty of hundreds of thousands of Tibetans in the Chatreng region.

Dorje Shugden lamas in pre- and post-1959 Tibet could command crowds of hundreds of thousands of students. One possible reason for the veracity in enforcing the ban could be to diminish these lamas' influence in Tibetan society.

In a post-1959 world, the Tibetan leadership would have needed to consolidate power into one individual and their biggest obstacle to achieving this would have been the influence of Dorje Shugden lamas. Thus they chose to destroy the reputation of Dorje Shugden lamas by labelling their faith as demon-worship, anti-Dalai Lama and anti-Tibet.

 

REASON #3: To break people’s hero worship of His Holiness

His Holiness recognises that the success of the Tibetan movement (for better or for worse) relies largely on his global reputation as a paragon of human rights, universal compassion and virtue. After his passing however, with no succession plan in place, it may never be possible for exiled Tibetans to return to their homeland. There is no other Tibetan leader as charismatic as His Holiness who can influence the opinion of world leaders.

By implementing this ban and publicising it, His Holiness makes it very difficult for many people to continue their blind hero worship of him. It forces many to break their reliance on him as the sole hope for the success of the Tibetan cause. That is, the ban forces most thinking people to wonder why His Holiness the Dalai Lama who teaches compassion and tolerance, would be so intolerant of a particular faith or practice.

 

REASON #4: To test real practitioners

Dorje Shugden practitioners have suffered constantly for the last 18 years solely because they rely on a deity that was arbitrarily deemed traitorous to the Tibetan situation and people. The ban has made it clear who will give up something for personal gain, and who are loyal, trustworthy and reliable.

 

REASON #5: For personal vendettas and self-interest

Some may use the ban as an excuse to act out personal vendettas and to further their own political and financial self-interests. Support for the ban is necessary to rise in the ranks of the Tibetan leadership, and to gain personal favours from those in power. It is easy to imagine how a person may be accused of being a Dorje Shugden practitioner if they are viewed as an obstacle to someone else’s rise to power and money.

On a more mundane level, within Tibetan communities, individuals may use the ban to act out their personal vendettas against one another by being unnecessarily forceful in implementing the ban, just to ‘get back’ at someone they do not like.

 

REASON #6: Lack of knowledge

Many lay Tibetans are unlearned and untrained in Buddhist philosophy. Although they may speak and read Tibetan in a lay context, it is very different to read, contemplate and understand Tibetan in a philosophical or monastic context. Thus most lay Tibetans – young and old – lack the ability to research and check for themselves if the statements and accusations being made against Dorje Shugden are true or false according to the scriptures. Instead, they rely on what they hear or what they have been told.

Uninterested in hearing or seeing what the protestors have to say, supporters of the Tibetan leadership erect banners to block off Dorje Shugden protestors during one of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's teachings in Europe. Their respect for freedom of speech is conspicuously absent.

It is also important to acknowledge that most Tibetans have been raised in an environment where they are taught that any and all statements coming from a ‘trusted’ source (like their leadership) can be taken as unquestionable fact. This gives rise to the particularly virulent enforcement of the ban.

 

REASON #7: Silence equals consent

Lack of knowledge has resulted in the virulent enforcement of the ban. It has also resulted in another more passive form of enforcement – silence. For those who do not know why the ban is wrong, they may feel they have no choice but to go along with it. As more and more choose not to speak up because they are unequipped to debate against the ban, it encourages others to remain silent.

When everyone remains silent and there is little overt opposition to the ban, it encourages the more vocal supporters to continue with what they are doing since no one is standing up to them.

 

REASON #8: Genuine, sincere devotion to the Dalai Lama

We should also recognise that there are those who are genuinely sincere in their belief in His Holiness’ reasons, and feverishly enforce the ban as a demonstration of their devotion to the His Holiness the Dalai Lama. What they do not realise is their manner of expressing their devotion is a sad reflection of the qualities of their teacher.

They think that worshipping Dorje Shugden is at odds with and against His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Unfortunately, they do not see that it is completely contradictory to threaten someone for their faith in order to uphold the instructions of someone who teaches compassion.

In fact, they should understand that reliance on Dorje Shugden and respect for His Holiness the Dalai Lama are not mutually exclusive; just because we do not agree with something or someone does not mean we are against them. Disagreements on certain aspects of our beliefs and faiths should not colour our entire relationship with people; there is no relationship in the world that is not TOTALLY free from disagreements.

 

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Why will Dorje Shugden practitioners not give up their practice?

Just as how supporters of the Tibetan leadership are very enthusiastic about enforcing the ban, Dorje Shugden practitioners have been equally enthusiastic about maintaining their practice and campaigning for the ban to be released. In this section, we address some of the reasons why this is the case.

 

REASON #1: Guru devotion to their Dorje Shugden lamas

In the Buddhist belief system, guru devotion is the foundation of all attainments. A practitioner should hold the advice, practices and instructions received from their teacher as the most precious and important. Therefore Dorje Shugden practitioners maintain their commitments to their teachers because it is guru devotion and it is the correct thing to do according to the Buddhist scriptures. These commitments include Dorje Shugden’s practice.

H.E. Tsem Rinpoche received Dorje Shugden sogtae from His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche in 1983, long before the ban was enforced in 1996.

Thus, simply because another monk, teacher or lama says Dorje Shugden is bad does not mean a Dorje Shugden practitioner will give up the practice. This applies no matter how famous, wealthy or high-ranking the other person or lama making the anti-Shugden statement may be.

 

REASON #2: No obligation to follow the Dalai Lama

Not everyone in Tibet has His Holiness the Dalai Lama as their spiritual guide. Therefore not everyone has a teacher-disciple relationship (samaya) with His Holiness nor are they obligated to follow his instructions.

Since His Holiness the Dalai Lama is not their teacher, there are no adverse karmic consequences when they do not follow his instructions. This is not said with disrespect towards His Holiness, but recounted merely as fact.

Similarly, not all Buddhists around the world have His Holiness as their spiritual guide and not all Buddhists are from Tibet. Therefore they are not obliged to be guided by Tibetan politics and politicians, and have no obligation to follow the edicts and directives of the Tibetan leadership.

 

REASON #3: Gratitude and personal experience

As an enlightened Dharma Protector, Dorje Shugden’s practice has benefited countless sentient beings. He has saved lives, brought resources to the destitute, helped practitioners to develop wisdom and clarity of mind to discern the teachings, blessed and protected people from accidents… the list goes on and on and on. Dorje Shugden even saved His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s life when he advised His Holiness to leave Tibet in 1959. Those directly involved in the escape have often spoken of their gratitude to Dorje Shugden for his divine assistance.

 

REASON #4: The ban is illogical

As it has been debunked here, the ban is not logical and the reasons given for the ban do not make any sense. Those with the ability and resources to gather all the facts then consider the ban for themselves have refused to give up the practice of Dorje Shugden because there is no logical reason for them to do so. Similarly, the continuing vulgar treatment of Dorje Shugden practitioners by supporters of the ban give them very little incentive to drop the practice.

 

REASON #5: Human rights

Considering that the reasons for the ban are illogical, many Dorje Shugden practitioners continue to speak up against the ban because the manner of its enforcement has been a clear violation of human rights.

 

REASON #6: Religious freedom

The ban itself violates the freedom of worship guaranteed by the Indian constitution, and it violates the freedom of worship guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which India is a signatory to. All Dorje Shugden practitioners want is to be able to do their practices in peace, free from fear of persecution and marginalisation, whether verbal or physical.

 

REASON #7: No proof, no dialogue

Ultimately, no proof has ever been shown by the Tibetan leadership that Dorje Shugden is a spirit, that his practice has harmed His Holiness the Dalai Lama or harmed the Tibetan situation. The Tibetan leadership has also never shown any proof of the more ludicrous claims directed at Dorje Shugden practitioners, for example the accusations that Shugden practitioners receive money from the Chinese leadership, that Dorje Shugden practitioners are violent, or that Shugden practitioners pray for harm to befall His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

On the contrary, Dorje Shugden practitioners have, at every juncture, been able to show clearly the discrimination they face, and the violent and vulgar threats they suffer. They are able to provide evidence of the ongoing ostracisation and marginalisation of Dorje Shugden practitioners taking place all over the world.

When comparing the reasons given for the ban against Buddhist knowledge that is universally accepted by all schools of Tibetan Buddhism, none of the reasons for the ban are logical. Thus Dorje Shugden practitioners and those who recognise the unfair nature of the ban will continue to speak up against it until a solution is arrived at. For the last 18 years, no offers of meaningful dialogue have ever been extended by the Tibetan leadership towards Dorje Shugden practitioners, although multiple requests have been made.

 

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Evidence of the ban

It has been claimed by the Tibetan leadership that there is no such thing as a ban on Dorje Shugden. Here is compiled evidence of what Dorje Shugden practitioners have faced for decades. Please read the materials below and decide for yourself whether there is a ban or not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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18 Responses to To Sum It Up

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  1. MartinC on Feb 9, 2017 at 9:05 am

    This is a very interesting comment left on Tsem Rinpoche’s YouTube channel. The commenter ‘Suzy in Hawaii’ sees the beauty in the Dorje Shugden practice despite her reluctance to admit it due to old loyalties. Her opinion reflects the shift in public opinion of the Protector practice signaling the collapse of a 2 decade long attempt to bury the Dorje Shugden lineage. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4&t=11s

    Suzy

  2. Tsem Rinpoche on Sep 15, 2016 at 12:53 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

  3. Pavara Lam on Mar 18, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Well the CTA says that those who practice Dorje Shugden will go to hell, but based on what they are doing it seems more likely that they will end up in hell. If someone practices a so called demon who will damn them to hell? If you ruin thousands of people’s lives karma will send you to hell automatically.

    The so called demon worshippers don’t go to monasteries and injure people, but the non demon worshippers (CTA) go to monasteries and do all sorts of ghastly stuff with the intention of killing. From what I have just said it is obvious that the CTA is the real demon worshipper.

    High lamas have gotten results out of practicing Dorje Shugden and that includes the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama’s life was saved several times during his escape from Tibet to India during the cultural revolution. Seeing that the Dalai Lama had his neck saved several times by Dorje Shugden why does he forbid people from practicing him? This just shows that the Dalai Lama has no gratitude to the great Dharma Protector who saved his life.

    May the Ban end in due time to end the suffering of all the Dorje Shugden practitioners.

  4. Tsem Rinpoche on Jan 7, 2016 at 5:02 am

    Thank you for having the strength, courage and genuine care to stand up and speak peacefully for what you believe in. No one should ever suffer, be segregated, assaulted, hurt, degraded, belittled, cursed, hated and biased for their religious beliefs. No one should advise anyone against any religious belief. If we want to find people who hate a certain religion, we can find plenty. If we want to find people who like a certain religion or form of spirituality, there will be plenty. In the end who is right and wrong? Which religion is right or wrong. All or some or none? Therefore it is more logical to respect all religions, all faiths and all forms of spirituality. In history many have exploited religion for selfish purposes and many have not. As long as I have not, that is all that matters. I cannot and will not speak for others of my faith and what their motive is, but I know my motive. No one and no leader and no religious leader should ever hurt, segregate or speak against another religion. Time for peace. Time for harmony. Time for respect. Time to look beyond mine/your religion and be kind. Be kind to everyone. Never put anyone down because of their religion.

    Humbly,

    Tsem Rinpoche.

    P.S. I wish very much the people from His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s views/side and people from the side of Dorje Shugden practitioners meet very soon. May they meet in peace, with kindness in the hearts and good motivation to solve this issue once and for all. We have to solve this through peaceful dialogue. I never protested against His Holiness Dalai Lama nor spoke harshly against his views ever. I have always respected his and everyone’s views. We all have to live on this earth together. You will not accept my way of spirituality and I will not accept your’s and that is okay. But we must respect each other’s spiritual faith and NEVER criticize or advise against it. We must respect also what we don’t accept. Everyone has their way. Advising against another’s religion/faith/spirituality creates so much disharmony. No more disharmony. It’s been 19 years since the ban against Dorje Shugden started. It must end please. We have so many things to argue about in this world, let’s make one less conflict. I wish this conflict to end peacefully soon. I wish His Holiness the Dalai Lama and supporters can open channels of communication and solve this issue soon. Peaceful dialogue please and soon. Thank you.

    peace

  5. wooishen on Jan 1, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Dear all,

    As what i know DS is the Tsongkapa dharma protector but how Dorje Shugden originally began as a Sakya practice???

    can anyone answer it…

    Thanks…

  6. Lama Konchok Shempeh on Dec 30, 2015 at 5:22 am

    Thank you once again Rinpoche. It seems it is a cover-up to overthrow certain lamas or heads of religion under the name of the ban of dorje shugden

  7. Wan Wai Meng on Nov 8, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    Yonten Shigyurma
    The Foundation of All Realisations

    ‘Yonten Shigyurma’
    “Well-realising that the root of the path,
    the foundation for every realisation,
    is to properly rely on my kind Guru,
    bless me to do so with great effort and devotion.”

    Je Tsongkhapa who is a Buddha have composed the full prayer above, and we should not shed any doubt in Je Tsongkhapa, who was peerless the scholar and debater of his time.

    • Wan Wai Meng on Nov 8, 2015 at 10:01 pm

      So how can we turn our backs on our teachers and lamas, if some other influential says so who is not our teacher. Guru Devotion is more important than listening to a teacher or lama who is not our root teacher.

  8. shane on Oct 30, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for this article about Dorje Shugden ban. Lots of information here that can see clearly there is no meaning to accuse Dorje Shugden bad spirit or a demon.. Since I start practicing Dorje Shugden i see only benefits. Inner benefits , Purification and etc.. For me its clear that Dorje Shugden is enlightened being.
    I wish this ban be remove soon.

  9. keng nam on Aug 12, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for posting this sum up of the ban on Dorje Shugden practice and reasoning behind the illogical manner the ban has been enforced. Many people look up to His Holiness as a pillar of Buddhism but this is not exactly true as many other traditions or lineages have their own Buddhist leaders. To many (even Buddhists of other traitions) who are unfamiliar with Tibetan Buddhism, they naturally assume what His Holiness purport to be true and since Dorje Shugden practice is exclusive to Tibetan Buddhism. I came across a lady from a non-tibetan monastery in the southern hemisphere and she accepted Dorje Shugden is a spirit because her mentor said so, from what she read.I do hope with this and many articles from this blog, people who are interested in the subject would come in to read with an open mind and decide with their own clear minds, with logical reasoning that Dorje Shugden is not a spirit and is an acceptable practice within the Tibetan pantheon of Dharma Protectors who sole purpose is to protect and further the teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa.

  10. Low khjb on May 31, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for you sharing to give us a better understanding of the logic against the ban of Dorje Shugden .
    The holiness Dalai Lama might have his concern against the practice as he have mention it in public.But with the ban and restriction imposed towards the loyal practitioner of Dorje Shugden . It had caused more physical suffering to his tibetan subjects then spiritual gain.
    Out of compassion the Holiness Dalai Lama should put an end to the suffering of his subjects.Spiritual attainment by an individual depends on their own choice of diligence and understanding towards their own dharma practice and beliefs.
    The ban had made those who are mentally weak to be bounded in samsara by propagating hate and malice causing them to be attached so strongly to them.They totally lost their sense of compassion and generosity towards others,that is so important for them to gain positive mind transformation spiritually.
    Was this the objective of the Holiness in the first place or is there an hidden agenda…?
    Out of Compassion the Holiness Dalai Lama should give a chance to those Highly attained Lama that practice Dorje Shugden to have an open dialog to understand their views on the matter and how to come to a compromise to end the suffering.

  11. danny on May 23, 2015 at 12:38 am

    actually, other sects or traditions do pray to spirits too. Example gesar of ling, kuan ti, etc. i read also they say ‘harm’ to the nyingma because in pabongkha’s time, the gelugs are demolishing the nyingma monasteries. stating that the gelugs are the true teachings of the buddha. and transforming the nyingma monasteries into gelug monasteries. demolishing the statues of padmasambhava. and if i’m not mistaken some protector texts in kagyu have mention about offering to ‘gyalchen’ and ‘gyalpo’. i guess its another name for d.s. let it be with the politics in tibet, nothing to do with other countries. we practice spiritual not politics.

  12. Lum Kok Luen on May 22, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Thank you Rinpoche and team to put logical answers and providing very rational perspectives to all re DS issue.
    My prayers will be that this issue be resolved immediately so as to create harmony amongst all.

    Thank you
    _/\_
    Lum Kok Luen

  13. Kelly Inman on May 21, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Thank you for posting this with the clear and logical arguments about why people are following Shugden even if the Dalai lama says not to. I am curious if someone can tell me the name and also the prayers that any Kagyu lamas wrote that ever followed Shugden? I have a strong Kagyu and Dorje Shugden connection and am always trying to discern how this is.

  14. James on May 20, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Xog0HKE6VA

    Hi there, i found arguments from both side, HE Tsem Rinpoche and HH Dalai Lama to be relevant in their own way, however
    through this particular video, i somehow found my decision to be clinging abit more to Dalai Lama himself. Because i cant seem to find myself able to rebuke his comment if i were the one to question him.

    How would you guys further respond through his answers?

    • Sock Wan on May 21, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      Thank you Rinpoche and the blog team for putting up this article. There are many information on Dorje Shugden controversy, but they are everywhere, it was not easy to put them all together to get a bigger picture. It is so much easier to read and understand the controversy reading this post.

      It is not a post to ask the reader to pick side or to go against His Holiness Dalai Lama, it is just to let the public know what is happening to Dorje Shugden practitioners and why they won’t give up the practice. I hope by reading this post, the doubt people has towards Dorje Shugden practitioners and Dorje Shugden will be answered and there will be more harmony among us. And I hope the ban will be lifted very soon!

      • Datuk May on May 30, 2015 at 1:57 pm

        Dear Sock Wan,

        You are right in mentioning that this post is not for one to choose sides but rather a clarity for practitioners who may have doubts to have them cleared so that their practice will gain merits for them.

        This article definitely answered many questions I had over by the Ban. My conclusion is whether political or otherwise, it is not for me to take sides but to be firm in my devotion of my Protector and that the day will come when the Shugden devotees who are suffering will be released from such suffering and practice their faith with peace and harmony to the communities and families.

      • Joy Kam on Jul 25, 2015 at 8:49 pm

        I agree with you Sock Wan… this post is not about making people take any sides but to gain insights and understanding on what is going on and from there make their own choices. However, whatever choices are made, it is the individual’s right to do so and we should respect it and not discriminate it and instead practice and focus on the principle teachings of Buddhism which is compassion for all.

        However I did take a look at James’s video and I cannot help but to think… why would a monastery (Gaden monastery as HHDL mentioned) whose protector is Palden Lhamo create “obstacles” for the monasteries. As I know enlightened Buddhas don’t get angry or create obstacles for people/anyone. It is due to one’s negative karma that creates obstacles for oneself or for the group, definitely not the Buddha. And if you say it is because of this so called “spirit” worship, then how come Palden Lhamo an enlightened Buddha who is the protector of the monastery mentioned, could not stop/subdue this spirit and protect the monastery from obstacles? And how come all the other high Lamas who are highly attained like His Holiness’s Tutors, HH. Trijang Rinpoche and HH.Ling Rinpoche are all still practising, do they not know it is a spirit? That just doesn’t seem logical and it demeans the Buddhas and all other Gurus because in other words you’re saying that this spirit is more powerful then the Buddhas/the Highly attained Lamas which we know is impossible.

        All the answers are actually mentioned by Rinpoche on this post to make us think logically, using wisdom to analyse and not just accept anything on face value even if it is coming from His Holiness. Buddha taught us to check before accepting teachings literally… and for something as important as one’s spiritual practice, we definitely should think and check thoroughly.

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For more information, please read here (english), here (chinese), or the official site: retreat.kechara.com.

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  • nut4all
    Sunday, Apr 30. 2017 07:03 AM
    and stopped animal sacrifice at these temples. http://www.drukpa.com/about-us/our-yogis/the-three-divine-madmen 99%ppl focus on jab jum DrukpaKunley…
    [no sender]
  • nut4HE25TRinp!o
    Sunday, Apr 30. 2017 01:54 AM
    @tsemtulku
    My favorite Mahasiddha is Naropa….Let explain few !from4incarnation DRUKPAone MADe split!forTWO!!DRUKPA(HEMIS-ladakh)&SHABDRUNG(relung monastery Tibet site) .later SHABDRUNG split for3 body speach MIND! ( i m not certain order) SHABDRUNGS ARE!!! NamkhaiN0rbu RINPOCHE YES!! HH SHABDRUNG controversial in BHUTAN home jail!by urgyen trinley can!idDAYE&TaklungShabrung .. Recently with Dalai our monk seen !
    [no sender]
  • Alice Tay
    Sunday, Apr 30. 2017 12:16 AM
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this and I was touched by this story very much. I personally think that this faithful dog must has very close karmic connection with its owner and it know that the owner is died. Furthermore, animals are very sensitive to our energies and mind states. So, if we are loving kindness and compassion, they can feel our love and care.

    As such, we must treat the animals like humans too. Not to harm them because humans can be reborn as animals and animals can be reborn as humans. We have to accept that humans and animals are interconnected and just like a family.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/faithful-dog-chases-deceased-owner.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Saturday, Apr 29. 2017 11:49 PM
    Spiritual practice is definitely much more than doing good for others. When we practice “spirituality” without religion and from our own understanding, how sure are we that we are on the right track? When we practice spiritual with the guide of religion, we will certain progress and much easily to attain higher levels. Thank you, Rinpoche for this teaching.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/can-we-just-be-spiritual-but-not-religious.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Saturday, Apr 29. 2017 10:56 PM
    When we truly love and care for another being like a family, whether this other being is a dog or cat, a child or a stranger, it will break our heart when it is gone. Many people may not be capable of this emotion towards a pet but as we evolved, we will realize we are capable to develop such feelings for animals. It is common in the west to have pets cemetery because of this reason. Thank you for this article, Rinpoche.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/why-losing-a-dog-can-be-harder-than-losing-a-relative-or-friend.html
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Apr 29. 2017 03:09 PM
    Interesting info and article about werewolves. I never knew about its origins and the various wolves existence until I read this. I have thus far know about werewolves only from the movies and the famous twilight show. But one thing I noticed from the articles is the gruesome manner in killing the person (or suspected werewolves). Some were cursed to be a werewolves. There just so much anger, violence and killing in the whole process, which probably the reason why werewolves are known to kill and hurt human and other animals.

    Anyway, whether we believe the existence of werewolf is true or not, I believe that there are other forms of beings in world. And we should not handle or deal with other beings with violence and anger.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/paranormal/werewolves-the-shapeshifters.html#comment-744320
  • Lin Mun
    Friday, Apr 28. 2017 04:00 PM
    Everything we offer to Buddha is a form of mind transformation and practise our mind to be focus even when doing water offering. When pouring the water into the bowl we have to recite Om Ah Hum (3 times), think positively and pouring it slowly so it does not spill and leaving the space of a grain of rice before reaching the top. After offering we also have to clean the bowls properly without leaving stain. All this is to train our mind.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing the many benefits and water offering in a simple to understand article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/making-water-offerings-to-the-buddhas.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 28. 2017 03:38 PM
    Trolls are assiociates as beings of Scandinavian folklore.A large number of different mythological creatures continue to live on in Scandinavian folklore.They have different shapes,habitat and filthy features . There are also numerous tales of trolls told and retold.Trolls are also believed to have the magigal powers, which were folktales ,posses capabilities that are beyond human .What ever it was a remnant of a long-lost reality for sure. I do believe that there’s a very high chance trolls had existed in the past.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing ,i do enjoyed all the stories in these article even though it just folk tales.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/the-hidden-nature-of-trolls.html
  • Jason
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 11:54 PM
    People always expect return on some contribution being done especially in charity events. When the return was under their expectations then they will feel sad or unhappy.
    As Rinpoche said, Dharma is a teachings to transform our mind to become bodicitta or selfless to benefit others without condition. Once we practiced selfless mind, our mind will not be affected by others people reaction.
    What will be my legacy? I think this is not really important to me anymore once I know Dharma teachings from Rinpoche.
    Thanks Datuk May for sharing to benefit more people.

    Jason

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/what-will-be-your-legacy.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 08:56 PM
    Amazing miracles true story …of how Rinpoche helped. With Rinpoche blessing during the children baptismal ceremony,this little boy who had not spoken since 9 years old was able to speake again.Incredible….
    Chef Au truly believes been a vegetarian has help him to collects merits for his son.Rinpoche’s care and compassion has benefited many more people.Through these stories hope more people will be inspired to achieve the state of compassion and attainments.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Loh Seng Piow for this sharing.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-4.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 07:51 PM
    Having fully trust and faith in Rinpoche ,Fat monk’s mother was well again, after been diagnosed with cancerious tumour at the liver.
    Following instructions given by Rinpoche, his mother recited mantras and Fat monk did a series of pujas as told,his mother recovered then.
    Amazing……Miracles do happen.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Loh Seng Piow for sharing.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-3.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 05:27 PM
    We are no strangers to the creatures called Werewolves. They are often depicted as the Jekyll-and-Hyde-like monsters in movies who are unable to control their animal instincts when they shift from human form to a wolf-like creature, usually during the full moon. Together with the Vampires who can transform into bats, are my childhood imagery villains, who triggered my curiosity on mythical creatures during younger days. They still do, lol.

    It is gruesome to learn that real life werewolves are actually brutal even when they are in human forms. It is a far depict from the movies and fictions, where they are civil and level headed when in human form. I hope one day science or technology can provide more proves the existence of werewolves, and debunk the reason of this mystical shapeshifter.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/paranormal/werewolves-the-shapeshifters.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 05:07 PM
    The miraculous power of Protectors’ practice can heal and shield us from negative karma from ripening. Through the blessings of our Guru, coupled with strong faith and trust, the practices will take effect swiftly and effectively. Rejoice to Steven Lee. May he be guided by the Three Jewels always. Thank you, Pastor Seng Piow for sharing the true story with us.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-10.html
  • Lin Mun
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 03:57 PM
    This is a very touching article. I totally agree that dog is a man’s best friend. They are always so loyal to the owner. However it is sad that not all pet owners are such. Some will only treat them literally as an animal and therefore do not take good care of them. Dogs or any other animals are beings that have feeling. There should not be neglected and be abused by us. This article reminds us to always care for all beings and respect them.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this heartwarming article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/faithful-dog-chases-deceased-owner.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 02:21 PM
    Its a heartfelt touching article of this faithful dog.Cannot imagine this ,such a wonderful relationship between that dog and the deceased owner.The greatest fear dogs know is the fear that we will not come back for them That i noticed from observing from my pet poodle.In this case this faithful dog knew his owner won’t be back.
    Dogs are loyal, patient, fearless, forgiving, capable of pure love and have feelings too.He must have missed the owner badly that he wanted to accompany the owner all the way to the resting place.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing. May that faithful dog ,continue to serve and well taken, love by the other family members.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/faithful-dog-chases-deceased-owner.html

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Messages from Rinpoche

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Technical: Lew Kwan Leng, Justin Ripley, Yong Swee Keong
Design: Justin Ripley, Cynthia Lee
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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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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.
Holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini\'s blessing can be found when we decide to focus out to others instead of in to only ourselves.
~ Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini's blessing can be found when we decide to focus out to others instead of in to only ourselves. ~ Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
His Holiness Vajradhara Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Monastery who is the refuge of countless, gives a clear explanation of Dorje Shugden. One is able to hear his holy voice and translation by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen! Please see here and share: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=122352
2 weeks ago
His Holiness Vajradhara Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Monastery who is the refuge of countless, gives a clear explanation of Dorje Shugden. One is able to hear his holy voice and translation by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen! Please see here and share: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=122352
: This picture says it all. Click on it to enlarge and read and please share.
3 weeks ago
: This picture says it all. Click on it to enlarge and read and please share.
This is a simple chart showing the three main psychic channels used in tantric meditations to control the winds, raise tummo (fire energy), gain higher consciousness and insight and also for gaining siddhis. These channels are used in meditations for controlling the mind, when the mind ejects from the body (phowa) and one\'s death. These three channels are very important. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
This is a simple chart showing the three main psychic channels used in tantric meditations to control the winds, raise tummo (fire energy), gain higher consciousness and insight and also for gaining siddhis. These channels are used in meditations for controlling the mind, when the mind ejects from the body (phowa) and one's death. These three channels are very important. Tsem Rinpoche
I think my cute doggie Oser is actually Tintin\'s dog Snowy!
3 weeks ago
I think my cute doggie Oser is actually Tintin's dog Snowy!
Great Masters of Gaden Shartse Monastery. From left to right: His Eminence Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, His Holiness Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, H.E. Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, His Holiness 101st Gaden Tripa throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal.
3 weeks ago
Great Masters of Gaden Shartse Monastery. From left to right: His Eminence Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, His Holiness Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, H.E. Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, His Holiness 101st Gaden Tripa throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal.
 Left to right: Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl. The three of them are my beautiful and loved Schnauzer dogs. They loved looking through the window to see traffic, people and movement. They loved the smells that drifted through their little noses. I love seeing the three of them together like this. I love them. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Left to right: Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl. The three of them are my beautiful and loved Schnauzer dogs. They loved looking through the window to see traffic, people and movement. They loved the smells that drifted through their little noses. I love seeing the three of them together like this. I love them. Tsem Rinpoche
Little Mumu boy...he loved balloons. When he saw them, he wanted to get close and perhaps bite them. Cute. I love this picture of Mumu reaching for the balloons. He was young and healthy! This picture captures his energy, enthusiasm, curiosity and high energy. I love this picture of him chasing the balloons. His pictures are always so nice....He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Little Mumu boy...he loved balloons. When he saw them, he wanted to get close and perhaps bite them. Cute. I love this picture of Mumu reaching for the balloons. He was young and healthy! This picture captures his energy, enthusiasm, curiosity and high energy. I love this picture of him chasing the balloons. His pictures are always so nice....He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
Little Mumu boy and myself.. He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Little Mumu boy and myself.. He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
2017-His Holiness the 101st Gaden Tripa, Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal is doing well and 90 years old. His Holiness Lungrik Namgyal is a powerful master of sutra and tantra and practitioner of Dorje Shugden. Currently residing in France.
3 weeks ago
2017-His Holiness the 101st Gaden Tripa, Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal is doing well and 90 years old. His Holiness Lungrik Namgyal is a powerful master of sutra and tantra and practitioner of Dorje Shugden. Currently residing in France.
One of the most sacred statues of Avalokitesvara made of sandalwood housed in Lhasa, Tibet. He has shown miracles also. Every pilgrim wishes to make offerings to this Lord of Compassion.
3 weeks ago
One of the most sacred statues of Avalokitesvara made of sandalwood housed in Lhasa, Tibet. He has shown miracles also. Every pilgrim wishes to make offerings to this Lord of Compassion.
 Sacred Avalokitesvara statue in Nepal. Thousands come to worship this special Buddha as it has conferred wishes in the past.
3 weeks ago
Sacred Avalokitesvara statue in Nepal. Thousands come to worship this special Buddha as it has conferred wishes in the past.
Tsem Rinpoche\'s Vajra Yogini statue and offerings
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche's Vajra Yogini statue and offerings
Two of my teachers from Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India. Left side is Most Venerable Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen whom I lived with for 8 years in Los Angeles where his centre Thubten Dhargye Ling is located. On the right is the abbot emeritus H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche the scholar and yogi. I was very fortunate to have them in my life and learn so much dharma from them. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
Two of my teachers from Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India. Left side is Most Venerable Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen whom I lived with for 8 years in Los Angeles where his centre Thubten Dhargye Ling is located. On the right is the abbot emeritus H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche the scholar and yogi. I was very fortunate to have them in my life and learn so much dharma from them. Tsem Rinpoche
 It is so wonderful to be kind to people, be caring, feed them, make sure they are healthy and share dharma if they are interested with them for their future. But simply to be nice to others is worth getting up and being alive...otherwise why be alive to hurt/use/distrust and hate others? No point living that way..must change that..... It is nice to live our lives to benefit others and be patient even if we have been hurt before because by caring we can heal the hurt and \'defeat\' the ones that hurt us because we don\'t become bitter..... Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
It is so wonderful to be kind to people, be caring, feed them, make sure they are healthy and share dharma if they are interested with them for their future. But simply to be nice to others is worth getting up and being alive...otherwise why be alive to hurt/use/distrust and hate others? No point living that way..must change that..... It is nice to live our lives to benefit others and be patient even if we have been hurt before because by caring we can heal the hurt and 'defeat' the ones that hurt us because we don't become bitter..... Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche\'s heritage in China. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=120499
4 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche's heritage in China. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=120499
Thank you Buddhist Pastor Chia for sharing your story on how you met His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche over 20 years ago. We can learn much from your story.~Admin  Please read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116928
4 weeks ago
Thank you Buddhist Pastor Chia for sharing your story on how you met His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche over 20 years ago. We can learn much from your story.~Admin Please read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116928
Mumu boy is incredibly photogenic. He is beyond cute. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
Mumu boy is incredibly photogenic. He is beyond cute. Tsem Rinpoche
 (left to right) Rabten Tulku, Gonsar Rinpoche, Gyume Kensur Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, H.H. Gaden Trisur Rinpoche (France)
4 weeks ago
(left to right) Rabten Tulku, Gonsar Rinpoche, Gyume Kensur Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, H.H. Gaden Trisur Rinpoche (France)
Beautiful 200 roses arrived today for me as a gift from Su Ming. Very kind and thoughtful of her as usual. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
Beautiful 200 roses arrived today for me as a gift from Su Ming. Very kind and thoughtful of her as usual. Tsem Rinpoche
It\'s good to be with kind and sincere people.
4 weeks ago
It's good to be with kind and sincere people.
If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
My Mumu boy didn\'t want to eat. Eating is not one of his favorite activities throughout his life. So I talked to him to let him know why he needs to eat and keep his strength up when this photo was taken. He was listening intently and after my talk with him, he ate. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
My Mumu boy didn't want to eat. Eating is not one of his favorite activities throughout his life. So I talked to him to let him know why he needs to eat and keep his strength up when this photo was taken. He was listening intently and after my talk with him, he ate. Tsem Rinpoche
This is so true. Click to enlarge and understand more about unpleasant people.
1 month ago
This is so true. Click to enlarge and understand more about unpleasant people.
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
1 month ago
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
Mumu taking a rest in the turquoise room. Over the years, I always feel very satisfied when I see him covered with a blanket, safe and sleeping. I always wanted to make sure he was safe from harm, illness and distress. I wanted him to have a happy and loved life. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Mumu taking a rest in the turquoise room. Over the years, I always feel very satisfied when I see him covered with a blanket, safe and sleeping. I always wanted to make sure he was safe from harm, illness and distress. I wanted him to have a happy and loved life. Tsem Rinpoche
I wrapped my little Mumu boy up in my blanket and propped him up on my bed. He didn\'t move or wiggle and just looked at me. He is one funny entertaining little guy. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
I wrapped my little Mumu boy up in my blanket and propped him up on my bed. He didn't move or wiggle and just looked at me. He is one funny entertaining little guy. Tsem Rinpoche
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
1 month ago
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don\'t have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don't have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
1 month ago
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
1 month ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
1 month ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
Read this as it will be interesting
1 month ago
Read this as it will be interesting
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one\'s head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book \"The Female Buddhas.\"- Glenn Mullin
2 months ago
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one's head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book "The Female Buddhas."- Glenn Mullin
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
2 months ago
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
2 months ago
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
2 months ago
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
3 months ago
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
3 months ago
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
This is a good one to read
3 months ago
This is a good one to read
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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.

  • April 20, 2017 10:45
    Ronnie asked: Dear Rinpoche and Pastors, I'm studying abroad and very far away from home, seeking guidance and advice as I have no one else I can talk to about this. Please read with an open mind, I don't know where else to go for help. I'm pregnant and it's an unplanned pregnancy. I'm stuck between keeping it or letting it go. I'm young and having a child at my age in the society we live in now would be considered taboo. The father of the child thinks I should let it go because it may cause a setback to both our careers and cause major family issues. He thinks we aren't ready to raise a child especially since we're both still in university and his parents think badly of me even though they've never met me or tried to get to know me. I'm sure no one would ever have the heart to take away a heartbeat but it seems like it isn't the right time to have a child now and if we did go through with it, the child probably won't be able to have the best things life can offer looking at where we are now in terms of finance and maturity. I'm lost, confused and unsure what the right thing to do is now. Any advice at all would be helpful right now. Thank you so very much for taking time to read my story.
    pastor answered: Dear Ronnie, I’m sorry to read that you are going through this situation. I can understand that this situation is tough to go through. You are always more than welcome to come here to ask questions. May I suggest that you talk to either someone in your family or your friends to help you come to an appropriate solution? This is because, what you feel, what you are going through, will change from time to time and you would need someone to talk to, someone that you can lean on through this situation you are facing. Depending on where you are in the world, professional help can also be sought to help you make a decision, which will be the best option for you seeking help. From a Buddhist perspective, the taking of a life is not considered a positive act, therefore those on the Buddhist path, would normally abstain taking a life if possible. However, that being said, one must always weigh the decision oneself. Everything we do in life, necessarily involves karma both positive and negative. That is why Buddhists try to overcome samsara in general. Your situation is complicated because you are abroad, but if possible you should really open up to someone you are close to in order to help you through making this decision on a personal basis. When you talk to someone, whom you are able to express yourself more, you may able to come to better decision that is right for you. There may be other options open to you if you seek help. I personally know women who have been in similar situations. One of these women, let the child go and the other went through the pregnancy and then gave the child up for adoption. You may or may not have thought of this option, but it is one that could be open to you, depending on where in the world you are. Any decision we make in life, however big or small it may seem, has far reaching consequences whether in this life, or in future lives. This is just a part and parcel of life within samsara. However, we should weigh the decisions we make clearly given the situation we are in. We cannot always do this weighing ourselves, but need to talk about our options with others we can rely on such a friends, family or professionals. You should consider doing this, which will help you greatly emotionally, and may give you the grounding you need to make the correct decision for you. I hope this helps.
  • April 19, 2017 04:57
    Dongho asked: What is a nyung ne practice? According to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, it's a purification sadhana. However, what are the instructions for this? I'm guessing it's to Chenrezig, but how does it work? Also, from what I have read, Vajrasattva practice is only for broken vows while Akshobhya is for regular misdeeds. Does that mean one has to take the Akshobhya practice to purify bad karma from this life and previous instead of Vajrasattva? As for the purification practices, are some like Vajrasattva and Chenrezig only to purify the bad karma and let it come quickly or is it to prevent it from coming? I am confused in it. As for signs, I recited a mantra of White Yangchenma that a Sakya lama, Lama Kunga Thartse Rinpoche, gave me with the Sakya visualizations I read on, and after one mala, I heard some lady call my Korean name even though no one in my neighborhood knows of my name and my family members weren't in the area. What does this mean?
    pastor answered: Dear Dongho, Thank you for your questions, it’s nice to see you back here again. Nyung Ne practice is a purification practice that centres around Chenrezig. It is a very beneficial practice that stems from a holy nun named Gelong-ma Palmo. It is a two and a half day practice that can be repeated many times over and over again to intensify the purification and build a closer relationship with Chenrezig. As well as its purification aspect, the practice is known to generate vast amount of merit, and also compassion, as the practice centres around Chenrezig, the Buddha of compassion. The practice involves taking the eight Mahayana precepts for the duration, fasting, meditating, prostrating and praying. The practice usually entails empowerment into the practice of Chenrezig, therefore the exact meditations, prayers can only be explained to those who have the empowerment. Vajrasattva practice is not necessarily only for repairing broken vows, etc. That’s why it is advised that you engage in the practice at the end of the day, to repair any vows that you may have broken during that day, as well as stopping any negative karma you created that day from multiplying. This would entail reciting the mantra 21 times, together with the four opponent powers. However, if you engage in this practice more intensely, it definitely has the capability to purify all sorts of karma. That is the reason why in Ngondro, or preliminary practices one engages in before tantra, the practice of 100,000 Vajrasattva mantra recitation is an integral part. You can read more about Vajrasattva and his practice here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/an-important-purification-practice.html. Within purification practices, some of the karma will be purified completely, so you do not feel its effects at all, but when purifying other karma you will need to feel its effects somehow. For example if you have the karma to be in a car accident and get seriously injured, and you are engaging in any practice, but especially the purification practice, since you have purified most of the karma, you will only experience being in a very minor car accident, with only very superficial injuries. Therefore, in this case, the karma has been purified to the extent that it does not affect you as much, but you still need to feel part of its effect. In regards to any signs that you receive which engaging in the practices given to you by one of your specific gurus, you should report the happenings to that particular guru. He will be able to give you more of an accurate answer, as it may be related to the particular practice that he gave to you. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • April 17, 2017 07:06
    Thomas asked: Dear Pastors, When a serkyem set has been used so much and one is ready to get rid of it and replace it with a new one. What is a respecful mode of disposal?
    pastor answered: Dear Thomas, Thank you for your question. Your question shows that you have a lot of respect for offering items, which is very good. If possible, you should try to repair the item if within your means, and doing so make embellishments to make it a better offering item, which can still be used. If this is not possible, then you should dispose of the item with a good motivation. You should think that this item has been used to make offerings to the enlightened beings, but now that it is broken or unusable, you are going to dispose of it, and replace it with a new one. Since it itself is not a receptacle of energies of the enlightened beings, such as a statue, tsa tsa or thangka, it does not require a special dissolution before being disposed of. However since it was used to make offerings, it still requires some form of respect when disposing, and this comes from one’s motivation and the way in which you dispose of it. Usually, when disposing of items in this way, make the motivation that you have used it and that it is now time to dispose of it, and replace it with a new one. When you do this you can dispose of it in a respectful manner. For example, if you are going to throw it away, you do not simply open the trash can and throw it in. You wrap it up in something, like a bag or newspaper and dispose of it respectfully. Another method you can dispose of it is to recycle the object, if the material it is made from can be recycled. That way you are more conscious of the environment as well. I hope this explanation helps. Thank you.
  • April 16, 2017 22:38
    Curious asked: Dear pastors In a recent youtube video something like paying respect to deceased ones, pastor Nirel Patel explained that merits are like the interest and good karma is like the principal sum. So merits always regenerate themselves and hence do not get used up but good karma is like the principal sum so it gets used up. So my question is what are practices that generate merit? And can we turn a mundane daily activity into a meritorious one? Maybe can you provide an example?
    pastor answered: Dear Curious, Thank you for your question. First, to clarify a point, in regards to good karma, you are right, it is like a principal sum in a bank account, but you take away from it when you experience something good in your life, and you add to it when you do good deeds. Merit on the other hand, once accrued never diminishes, therefore when something is based on merit, it is based on the energies of this never diminishing sum, which you could say is like interest. In short, the principal sum when talking about karma is always added to and subtracted from. However, when talking about merit, once you have it, there is no way to destroy it, you will always benefit from it. There are various ways to explain how to generate merit. I will explain a way that I find easiest to understand. In normal life, when we go about performing any sort of activity, be it ‘good’ or ‘bad’ we do so out of ignorance of the true nature of existence, and it is usually self-motivated. For example, we work our entire lives to generate monetary income, so that we have enough money, resources, and materials goods to be comfortable. This is self-motivated, but it is the accepted way the world works these days, and is part and parcel of being bound to samsaric life. On the other hand, the act of merit making can be categorised into three parts: i) motivation, ii) the act itself, and iii) dedication. Let’s start with motivation, when engaging in various virtuous acts, we should have the motivation that by engaging in the act, we have the motivation to alleviate the suffering of someone else, and that may we gain enlightenment so that we can benefit them in the future. The second is the act itself. The third is to dedicate the energy of the virtuous act to gaining enlightenment. These three are what make merit. This may be a little confusing, so let me give an example: giving help to a homeless person. Whereas in ordinary life, this is something praised as a very good deed, it does not create merit without motivation and dedication. In order for this to become merit, one must set the motivation that one is giving help to the homeless free of the eight worldly concerns, to alleviate their suffering and also making the motivation that you will achieve enlightenment for the sake of the person or people you are helping. Then after you have helped them, you dedicate the energy created to the spiritual journey towards full enlightenment to help all sentient beings, while at the same time benefiting as many sentient beings as possible on the way there. This transforms the act into not only a virtuous action but also one that generates merit. On the other hand, if you were to help the homeless without these, you are creating good karma, which although beneficial, keeps you bound to existence within samsara. As it is the goal of Buddhist practice to overcome the cycle of samsara, a Buddhist would want to generate merit instead of good karma. I hope this explanation helps. Thank you.
  • April 13, 2017 11:38
    D.A. asked: If Begtse Chan is not from Mongolia, what are his real origins or story exactly? And which lamas offer his empowerment? As for Manjushri Nagarakshasa, which lamas specifically offer his empowerment and practice?
    pastor answered: Dear D.A. Thank you for your question. Begtse, is also known as Chamsing, or Jamsaran in Mongolian. As mentioned in an earlier sharing with someone who also asked a question about Begtse, the practiced was introduced to Tibet from India by the translator Nyen Lotsawa, and is considered one of the main protectors of the Hayagriva cycle of tantras. According to the scriptures that derive from the Sakya tradition, who incorporated the practice from the translators, and in which tradition Begtse became a very important protector, Begtse in a previous life was born many eons ago. In that particular life, he was born as the younger prince in a royal family. His name was Drag Gye, and his older brother’s name was Drag Den. Over time both princes developed differing religious beliefs, to the point where they could not get along with each as they both held their own religious views strongly. As was the custom during that time, they decided to settle their differences through logical debate, with the loser having to convert to the winner’s religion. This custom was also prevalent in ancient India, and there are many stories of such debates occurring between the great masters of the past and those of other faiths. Drag Gye lost the various debates, but ran away instead of converting to his older brother’s religion. Drag Den caught him, and tried to punish him for breaking the rules of debate and going back on his promise. Drag Gye told his brother that even if he was killed he would not give up his religion, however if Drag Den let him go, that in the future when Drag Den became enlightened, he would protect his teachings. With that Drag Den let him go, and gave him a set of copper armour, a stick, and a bow and arrow. Drag Den also gave Drag Gye a new name: Sog Dag Yam Shi Mar Po. After this incident the two brothers never saw each other again in that lifetime. Many lives after that Drag Den was reborn as Prince Siddharta, who eventually became enlightened and is now known as Buddha Shakyamuni. Drag Gye, or Sog Dag Yam Shi Mar Po, was reborn in a cemetery in the North West direction. His parents gave birth to two eggs, one was a coral-like colour and the other was an agate-like colour. These two eggs flew high into the sky and reached the heavenly realms, there they subdued the gods. Then flying back down to earth, they subdued many nagas. Eventually they even came to threaten their own parents. The parents petitioned the Dharma protector Ekajati for her help, who threw her own staff (khatvanga) at the eggs, and broke them apart. From the coral-like coloured egg came a ferocious man with yellow hair, he proclaimed that his name was ‘Sog Dag Yam Shi Mar Po’. When he emerged he was wearing a set of copper armour, wielding a stick, copper sword, and a bow and arrow. From the agate-like coloured egg came a female who was blue in colour, her teeth were like shells, she had turquoise eyebrows, and her hair was made of fire. She emerged wielding a copper knife, ritual dagger (phurba), rode a terrifying bear and wore an intricate necklace made of agate and lapis lazuli. It was then that Ekajati once again took action, and subdued them, after which they became Dharma protectors. The male figure became known as Begtse, and the female as his sister. When you propitiate Begtse, his sister is automatically included and aids practitioners as well. As for which lama offer his practice and empowerment, most lamas do not advertise which teachings or practice they hold. Therefore you should respectfully approach lamas and ask them if they have the practice and can bestow it, or if they know of any lamas that have the practice, depending on how much you want to practice Begtse. Similarly, this applies to those lamas who have the practice of Manjushri Nagarakshasa. However, this practice is included in the Rinjung Gyatsa series of empowerments. This unique cycle of teachings, includes all 4 classes of tantric practices, and includes the practice of Manjushri Nagarakshasa. Therefore those lamas who have received the complete transmission, and have kept their commitments for this practice, are qualified to pass this on to others. I hope this explanation helps. Thank you.
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CHAT PICTURES

Total of 10 members and friends participated in Kalarupa Puja in Kechara Ipoh chapel on Saturday evening. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
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Total of 10 members and friends participated in Kalarupa Puja in Kechara Ipoh chapel on Saturday evening. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Pastor Gim Lee was explaining the offerings on the altar prior to the start of Kalarupa Puja in Kechara Ipoh chapel. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
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Pastor Gim Lee was explaining the offerings on the altar prior to the start of Kalarupa Puja in Kechara Ipoh chapel. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
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KSDS students age 5-6 doing prostrations to Lama Tsongkhapa. Alice Tay, KSDS
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Teacher Alice guiding students of class 5-6 yrs old to do breathing meditation. Good way to calm our mind. Lin Mun KSDS
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Teacher Mien always encourage students to participate in class. Lin Mun KSDS
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Appreciate all the great photographers who spend their time on Sunday dharma class to help us capture the nice moment. Lin Mun KSDS
Group activities during dharma class. The older students lead the younger ones. Good exercise to train their public speaking skills . Lin Mun KSDS
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Group activities during dharma class. The older students lead the younger ones. Good exercise to train their public speaking skills . Lin Mun KSDS
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Pastor Gim Lee assisted by Kechara Puja Team, conducted a Dorje Shugden puja and blessings at a premise. Lucy Yap
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Pastor Gim Lee assisted by Kechara Puja Team, conducted a Dorje Shugden puja and blessings at a premise. Lucy Yap
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