NKT

36 views
Skip to first unread message

lbb...@technet.nm.org

unread,
Jan 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/20/98
to

I dI don't understand why the NKT people are posting here. I went to a
NKT center for about three months and they made a big point that they
were NOT a Tibetan group. I left after about three months because I
found that it bordered on a cult. It is certainly a cult of personality.
I wish them all happiness and the causes of happiness but I wish they
would go to their own newsgroup. Barbara

G T

unread,
Jan 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/20/98
to

I have lived exactly the same experience as you, and have arrived at
the same conclusion ! They are just a bunch or kids playing with
dolls, nothing to do with Buddhism !
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

With metta, G T

I am here to be used by others.

--
Remove the "x" from my email address if you want to respond directly
(this is to avoid spam emails).

met...@cam.org

khyenrab

unread,
Jan 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/23/98
to

In article <34c522c...@news.dircon.co.uk>, cf...@nospam.dircon.co.uk
says...
>
>Geshe Kelsang formerly belonged to the Gelugpa tradition but
> has fallen out with HH the Dalai Lama - particularly over the
>issue of worshiping the protective deity Dholgyal Shugden
>which practice HH the Dalai Lama has prohibited.
>
>Geshe Kelsang and other Lamas now claim that they now
>represent the true lineage of the Gelugpa teachings as they
>feel HH the Dalai Lama has broken with his own teachers
>by prohibiting this practice.
>
>AT times members of the NKT have said they are not Tibetan
>Buddhists - which is why there is this newsgroup seperate from
>alt.religion.buddhism.tibetan.
>
>- Chris

To me,Chris, your reply to Bart's question (What is the NKT?) is an example
of completely
unnecessary mixing of Dharma with politics. You are pointing out conflict
with HH the Dalai Lama and indirectly attacking Dorje Shugden practice on
the very first occasion you talk to a new person about Dharma.

To me it's clear that you wish to stop people having faith for Ven.Geshe
Kelsang and the New Kadampas - what other motives could you have? Fairness?
Objectivity? Please show me I am wrong, Chris. This cannot be your
motivation, surely.

Although I have known about HH the Dalai Lama's wrong view about Dorje
Shugden for
many years not once have I mentioned this to any person new to Buddhism
either on a
newsgroup or face-to-face.

Geshe Kelsang has followed the tradition of Buddha by faithfully cherishing
and practising what his root Guru Trijang Rinpoche passed on to him; the
Dalai Lama, on the other hand, has rejected the advice of his root Guru
Trijang Rinpoche - it is he who has “fallen out” with his own Teacher! Geshe
Kelsang has not changed or interfered with the teachings from his spiritual
guide - for this he is vilified - truly these are degenerate times.

Dorje Shugden practitioners did not begin this conflict and, I can assure
you, have a sincere
wish for it to end as swiftly as possible. As I explained in a posting to
Robin Faichney late
last year this entire disagreement was not mentioned or discussed publicly
by Ven. Geshe
Kelsang or his disciples for 18 years before the Dalai Lama's public attacks
began in 1996.
We happily studied and meditated on Buddha's teachings without much interest
in politics.

Since 1996 the Dalai Lama changed all that with his aggressive policy of
trying to wipe out a
religious practice he does not like because it appears to interfere with his
political plans.

But the practice of Dorje Shugden cannot be destroyed even within Tibetan
society. There are
still many, many people practising in secret (for fear of reprisals - being
known as a
practitioner these days is synonymous with being a traitor). Have not the
unspeakable
Chinese communist atrocities in Tibet shown the Dalai Lama that dictatorial
repression
never works? It's only a matter of time and history before people somehow
find a way of
continuing their deeply felt religious beliefs.

Supporters of the Dalai Lama try to portray the practitioners of Dorje
Shugden as evil but they cannot bring a single piece of valid evidence to
prove how anyone is harmed. In a court of law there could be no case to
answer - the judge would throw it out at the preliminary hearing. Why?

Because there is no 'primae facie' evidence ie. even on the face of it there
is no problem with
practising Dorje Shugden. All we hear are opinions from people with high
reputations such as HH the Dalai Lama. All the claims about "calamities",
poor health, and "short lifespan" made by Nechung really are so much baloney
- do you think I would continue a practice that harmed me, my family or
anyone? I have not the slightest interest in engaging in harmful activities
so why should I pray daily to a Deity which harmed me or others? Was the
Dalai Lama suffering ill health etc. before he stopped doing this practice?
Of course not.

Take these details to any reasonable person and they would conclude: "What's
all the fuss
about? Let people worship the Buddha they choose". This is certainly the
conclusion of newcomers to
NKT Centres as you saw from the posting by Alan Bird in the thread
“Khyenrab’s determination”. The sad fact is, however, that "reasonable
people" on a first meeting with someone like you, Chris, are terrified
witless by the superstitious hokum they hear.

There is a growing body of real evidence to show that the source of this
conflict is the Dalai
Lamas' ( that's plural) interest in power and control in Tibetan politics.
Independent
researchers from Swiss and German TV have begun investigations into Tibetan
society and the role played by HH the Dalai Lama.

Chris, what do you think about this quote from Professor Jens-Uwe Hartmann,
Tibetologist
of Humboldt University in Berlin on German TV in November 1997:

"The glorification of the Dalai Lama in his function as a political leader
does not aid the
process of democratisation. A critically differentiating analysis of his
political statements
must be possible, and it should furthermore not be blocked off by the
argument that criticism
solely serves the purposes of the Chinese." ? Do you think this Professor
has a point or not?

In conclusion I would like to say that I see only problems arising from your
tactic of
introducing this conflict to the minds of those newly interested in Dharma -
witness the
postings of Simon Heath and others - when a person asks for advice about
Dharma and meditation they need to hear about Dharma and meditation not the
confabulations of ordinary minds unable to separate religion from politics.

best wishes
Khyenrab

PS You seem to think it's fair-play to put anti-NKT views on the NKT
newsgroup so I have cross-posted this to other newsgroups where many readers
will not like my views. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with this. I
detect an odious whiff of censorship among some of the contributors that
looks to me like trying to stifle debate about this very uncomfortable but
important subject.


khyenrab

unread,
Jan 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/23/98
to

In article <6aa7cb$hre$1...@mendelevium.btinternet.com>, Avy...@btinternet.com
says...

>hello Bart,

I ask Bart and other readers of Avyorth’s descriptions of events at NKT
Centres to consider the following points and those of other respondents and
not to immediately believe what he is saying. I am not saying that I know
the truth and Avyorth doesn’t; I am asking that consideration be given to
both sides of events before making a judgement.

As we can see from reading newspapers it is very easy to simplify the causes
of emotive events, to blame certain parties using vivid or lurid
terminology, and in this way to move public opinion in a certain direction.
I believe that this is the effect of some of Avyorth’s postings about
certain events within NKT Centres.

Avyorth maintains he is someone ‘who knows something about the NKT’ because
he lived at some of the Centres for a while; this is true. But ‘knowing
something’ and being fully knowlegeable about all sides of a certain event
cannot be synonymous.

Avyorth’s descriptions cannot be a representative account of how things run
within those Centres. Why not? Because his experience has been relatively
limited. This is not a criticism, merely an observation of the truth.
Reading Avyorth’s descriptions alone produces a skewed and biased picture.

For example he writes:

>The NKT is sectarian and seems to be rushing towards becoming a cult.

The New Kadampa Tradition cannot be sectarian; nowhere in NKT literature,
teachings or Centres is there a sectarian view promoted. Instead the
realized masters of all other traditions are praised; many examples of this
can be found in the books of Geshe Kelsang - everyone can see this quite
clearly. So how can the NKT be sectarian?

The NKT cherishes its particular view and practices like a family cherishes
its special values and precious heirlooms passed down the generations; we
are very happy that other traditions with their own special characteristics
do the same. We rejoice in all traditions and lineages coming from Buddha.
We recognize them as methods for attaining enlightenment and do not
discriminate negatively against any of them.

In this context it may be helpful to consider the advice of the 12th Century
Kadampa Geshe Zungjug Rinpoche:

'These days there are many qualified masters
Whom we can meet and recognize.
Do not run to many;
Rather, search for one qualified master
With whom you have a strong connection.
Then, having found him, devote yourself correctly
Without giving thought to worldly considerations.'

Avyorth writes:

>The NKT have ruthlessly expelled and banned people from NKT centres for
>criticising Kelsang Gyatso. This has included the young children of such
>people - I know of two young boys who were banned from Manjushri Centre
>Sunday School because their father was heard to question and criticise
>Kelsang Gyatso's behaviour.

I do not know the details of the incident to which Avyorth refers here but I
would like to give some general background. First, each New Kadampa
Tradition Centre asks that its residents observe the five precepts, not
killing, not stealing, not lying, not committing sexual misconduct and not
taking intoxicants.

In addition to Buddha’s rules the Centre asks that members try to not
disturb other students by noisy or disruptive behaviour; the management
reserves the right to ask any disruptive individual to leave. There is
nothing wrong with this and I believe that a reasonable person would agree
it is normal practice for any orderly community. What constitutes
disruption is determined by the managers. This too is accepted practice in
any organized community. How could it be otherwise? Even pubs and clubs do
this.

When I was Admin. Director at Tara Centre, for example, I had to ask people
to leave on a number of occasions due to their disruptive behaviour.
Sometimes physical damage was done to property or people before such a step
was taken, sometimes drugs were involved, sometimes theft. On certain
extreme occasions I have had to request police assistance to remove people.
In these cases the decision was obvious and the person involved understood
clearly why they had to leave.

For others it was sometimes harder for them to understand. What was often
not appreciated was the great amount of time and energy that had been given
by the Centre managers in trying to understand their behaviour and point of
view, to avoid problems and trying to encourage them to see how they might
change so there would be less disruption of communal harmony and greater
peace of mind for all.

I see nothing wrong with asking people to change if their actions or speech
are disturbing many people. If someone makes such mistakes then I believe it
is right to point that out. This is not controlling the minds of others. It
is presenting them with the the Centre’s expectations of members and giving
them freedom to change or not - they have the freedom to decide.

Asking people to observe a certain code of behaviour is perfectly normal for
all kinds of organizations - why should Buddhist centres be any different
and have no codes ? That would be contradictory to Buddha’s intention.

I can only imagine how upsetting it must be to be asked ‘officially’ to
leave by the management of any organization and that it must be a very
unpleasant experience for the individual concerned. For this very reason it
was always with a great deal of thought and consideration that I personally
took such decisions in my capacity as Director and I believe that the same
is true of the present managers of Centres.

However, the over-riding principle guiding these decisions is always - the
greater benefit for the greater number. This means using what wisdom,
compassion and skill one has and checking one’s mind to see that delusions
are not the driving force of decision-making. The managers, I believe, try
their best to do this. They are Mahayana Buddhists so I believe their
intentions are beneficial.

Having said all of this I know it is impossible for them to avoid
accusations from the aggreived individual of being unfair, authoritarian,
narrow-minded and so forth as we have seen in the newsgroups and wider
media. I have little doubt that my present attempt to put things from the
point of view of management will serve for some readers as an opportunity to
repeat their accusations. But I believe that many readers, (not necessarily
respondents!), especially anyone who has responsibility within an
organization or community of people will understand the points I am trying
to make.

Avyorth writes:

>I know Khyenrab from this time as I was also
>his driver on many occassions -

Again Avyorth describes himself as my ‘driver’ giving the impression of
somehow being my personal chauffer. The truth is that for a short period of
time he gave me a useful lift to the railway station in Sheffield each week
and would kindly escort me and carry my suitcase to the platform. Later I
was given use of the car and, as was normal for all my life, do my own
driving. This is the third time in the newsgroups I have had to present my
version of this trivial matter in order to allow a balanced picture to form.

>Manjushri Centre, the 'mother' centre of the NKT, used to have a fairly
>extensive buddhist library - under Kelsang Gyatso's instructions the
library
>was disbanded and the books either burned or given to other non-sectarian
>buddhist centres. Apparently only Kelsang Gyatso's books are worthy of
study
>by the NKT devotees!

The books at Manjushri Centre’s library, as Dharma texts, were treated with
respect; they were given to Centres and libraries which studied the
particular traditions explained within them. What is wrong with this?

New Kadampa disciples study the teachings of Buddha passed down through Je
Tsongkhapa’s tradition to the modern Masters Je Phabongkhapa, Trijang
Dorjechang and Ven. Geshe Kelsang . Other Centres study Buddha’s teachings
according to their own lineage gurus. What is wrong with different spiritual
families having their own special texts? Why is this so often misconstrued
as sectarian? Why, because we are content to study and practise the path to
enlightenment given to us by our root Guru, are we accused of sectarianism?
This is plain nonsense.

In the early days at Tara Centre (nine years before Avyorth lived there,
incidentally) we had several hundred books covering the whole range of
Buddhist traditions. Each book was authentic and came from its own special
lineage; we had the Pali Canon, Zen texts and many, many others. Many
people would read these books and often the Centre would be host to
seemingly endless and inconclusive discussions about people’s personal
preferences in terms of Teachers, traditions and practices. It was very
confusing and agreement about the actual meaning of Buddha’s teachings was
very difficult to achieve.

Later I learned that it is accepted in Tibetan monasteries that each college
has its own 'yig cha' or special understanding and interpretation of the
teachings gained by study of a specific set of texts covering the whole
Dharma within one tradition. By studying in this way clarity of meaning was
far easier to attain due to a standard set of definitions of technical terms
throughout each of the texts. (The editors at Tharpa Publications, for
example, work constantly with Geshe Kelsang to standardise the terminology
throughout his books to aid clarity of understanding for the serious
student.)

It was the mid-1980’s and I had already received lots of teachings from many
teachers of different traditions - very wonderful in itself but difficult to
get a sense of making progress in learning and practising Dharma in any
systematic and sequential way. We were students of Ven. Geshe Kelsang
Gyatso, a fully accomplished meditation Master who had received fully the
lineages of instructions within Je Tsongkhapa's tradition.

He was in the process of publishing a complete set of texts covering the
entire path to enlightenment. Each of these texts are authenticated by
reference to the works of Je Tsongkhapa. When the Teacher Training Programme
based on these books began at Tara Centre I saw the opportunity to study in
a clear and systematic way the entire range of Buddha's teachings on both
Sutra and Tantra.

Therefore I saw nothing wrong with giving away all those texts from the
library that were not part of this tradition. To me it made a lot of sense
because at last there would be clarity. I remember at the time several
people at the Centre, misunderstanding our intention, remarked that giving
away the books was wrong, narrow-minded, disrespectful etc.

To me, sending the texts to the other Centres was quite appropriate and an
action of generosity to boot! Some of those centres were very happy to
receive valuable augmentation of their libraries and wrote to thank us.
Useless heated debates about the meaning of Dharma from the point of view of
a certain Zen master versus that of a certain Theravadin master became,
thankfully, a thing of the past. Those who wished to follow Zen teachings
would go to a Zen Centre and those who wished to follow a Theravadin could
do the same and those wishing to follow Je Tsongkhapa’s tradition could
study at Tara Centre.

I know from my own experience that the action of bringing clarity to our
library and study programmes, far from being sectarian, actually reduced
sectarian feelings among the Centre members. How wonderful for all
traditions to happily enjoy the clarity and precision of Dharma
understanding that I feel is now possible to attain in New Kadampa Centres.
I have no reason to suppose that other traditions cannot do this and I
rejoice in their special characteristics.

At Tara Centre no-one has ever been, or is now, forced to stop reading the
books of other teachers; individual people were, and still are completely
free to keep and read books by any other Teachers, Buddhist or non-Buddhist
- and they do!

However, Tara Centre as an institution follows the 'yig cha' according to
Ven Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s texts and therefore on the study programmes those
books are studied and those books only are in the library and shop. There is
no need to promote the books of other traditions; if individuals wish they
can purchase them through mail-order or visit the local Waterstones, Dillons
etc.

I am very sorry that some of the replies to Bart’s question demonstrate so
clearly the politicisation of Dharma.

Khyenrab

Avyorth Rolinson

unread,
Jan 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/24/98
to

khyenrab wrote in message <6ab41l$ite$4...@panther.rmplc.co.uk>...


>I am not saying that I know
>the truth and Avyorth doesn’t; I am asking that consideration be given to
>both sides of events before making a judgement.
>

Hello Khyenrab,

Making straw men again? I have not said that my point of view is the one and
only truth. I fully acknowledge that it is my own opinion, but it is an
opinion based upon very close involvement with the NKT from 1992-1996.

>As we can see from reading newspapers it is very easy to simplify the
causes
>of emotive events, to blame certain parties using vivid or lurid
>terminology,

This sounds like a perfect description of the NKT's campaign against the
Dalai Lama. Anyone in doubt may review postings from kelsangs Jangsem &
Rabten, yourself, Kelsang Gyatso, 'Frank Delaney' and others via Dejanews.

>and in this way to move public opinion in a certain direction.
>I believe that this is the effect of some of Avyorth’s postings about
>certain events within NKT Centres.
>

I bet you believe this - you should, because I've had many private e-mails
from people thanking me for exposing the private side of the NKT. Also from
ex-NKT people who confirm my descriptions of what has happened.

>Avyorth maintains he is someone ‘who knows something about the NKT’ because
>he lived at some of the Centres for a while; this is true. But ‘knowing
>something’ and being fully knowlegeable about all sides of a certain event
>cannot be synonymous.

Nice bit of non-sequitur, Khyenrab. Tell me please, just who is "FULLY
knowledgeable about ALL sides"? You, perchance?

>Avyorth’s descriptions cannot be a representative account of how things run
>within those Centres. Why not? Because his experience has been relatively
>limited.

Again faulty arguement! Everyone's experience has been 'relatively
limited' - or are you wanting to claim omniscience?

>This is not a criticism, merely an observation of the truth.

>Reading Avyorth’s descriptions alone produces a skewed and biased picture.

By the very fact, dear Khyenrab, that my posting is only one of numerous
postings about the NKT (including a veritable torrent of praise from Alan
Bird) that has appeared on these ngs, it is rather disengenious for you to
write "alone". Your over-reaction to my posting is a perfect example of the
intolerance that you and the NKT have for criticism. Praise ala Alan Bird
you lap up endlessly, but a bit of criticism from an ex-student ...... not
so comforting.

>For example he writes:
>>The NKT is sectarian and seems to be rushing towards becoming a cult.
>
The New Kadampa Tradition cannot be sectarian; nowhere in NKT literature,
>teachings or Centres is there a sectarian view promoted. Instead the
>realized masters of all other traditions are praised; many examples of this
>can be found in the books of Geshe Kelsang - everyone can see this quite
>clearly. So how can the NKT be sectarian?

"When Geshe-la said he'd formed the NKT to preserve, to protect the Dharma
transmitted from the Wisdom Buddha, Manjushri, to Je Tsongkhapa he was
referring to this practice - this is the inner practice of the NKT. Only the
NKT holds the pure lineage of the
Mahamudra today."
-the words of Kelsang Gyatso's Heart Disciple, Thubten Gyatso, from a
teaching given at Vajravahari NKT Centre. The view reserved for those
already caught up in the NKT!


>We rejoice in all traditions and lineages coming from Buddha.
>We recognize them as methods for attaining enlightenment and do not
>discriminate negatively against any of them.
>

I suggest readers unfamiliar with the outbreak of panic by the NKT, when it
was suggested that some NKT students may have taken Dzogchen empowerments,
check Dejanews. I was told on a number of times by senior NKT people that
GKG does not accept Dzogchen as Buddhadharma. This has been confirmed
recently by other ex-NKT people.

>Avyorth writes:
>
>>The NKT have ruthlessly expelled and banned people from NKT centres for
>>criticising Kelsang Gyatso. This has included the young children of such
>>people - I know of two young boys who were banned from Manjushri Centre
>>Sunday School because their father was heard to question and criticise
>>Kelsang Gyatso's behaviour.
>
>I do not know the details of the incident to which Avyorth refers here

If you do not know the details, then it would be more honest not to post a
lecture that has nothing to do with the incidents to which I'm referring.
There was no breaking of precepts by the people concerned, nor unethical nor
illegal issues. The only point in all the incidents was that the people
concerned discussed issues that the NKT and GKG obviously don't want
discussed openly at NKT centres eg the campaign against the Dalai Lama. It's
not me who fears an open and 'all-sided' discussion, but rather the NKT.

<a long and totally irrelevant lecture from Khyenrab snipped>

>Avyorth writes:
>
>>I know Khyenrab from this time as I was also
>>his driver on many occassions -
>
>Again Avyorth describes himself as my ‘driver’ giving the impression of
>somehow being my personal chauffer. The truth is that for a short period
of
>time he gave me a useful lift to the railway station in Sheffield each week
>and would kindly escort me and carry my suitcase to the platform.

Ok, Khyenrab, let's have the truth, the factual truth in all its detail and
not some watered down version. I drove you twice a week between Buxton and
Sheffield for months until I left Tara Centre - is that what you mean by
"short period"? I also drove you to and from Buxton and Madhyamaka Centre in
Yorkshire on a number of occassions, and, if my memory has not totally gone,
between Buxton and Manjushri Centre in Cumbria.

>Later I
>was given use of the car and, as was normal for all my life, do my own
>driving.

True, but that was after I'd left Tara Centre and was living at Manjushri
Centre.


>This is the third time in the newsgroups I have had to present my
>version of this trivial matter in order to allow a balanced picture to
form.

A trivial matter to be sure in one sense, but you may recall how the matter
arose? I mentioned it in reply to your very cold and unacknowledging posting
about one of my postings. I pointed out that given the manner of your
addressing me no one would guess that we'd actually known each other, and
that I'd actually been your driver for a time!! Then, as now, your postings
are very sparing with the whole facts. Again I mentioned it to show that we
actually knew each other - I was a TTP student of yours at Tara Centre for a
time; we spent hours together chatting as I drove you to/from the railway
station, etc; I had personal meetings with you at Tara Centre. My criticisms
of the NKT are solidly grounded on fact and personal experience.


>>Manjushri Centre, the 'mother' centre of the NKT, used to have a fairly
>>extensive buddhist library - under Kelsang Gyatso's instructions the
>library
>>was disbanded and the books either burned or given to other non-sectarian
>>buddhist centres. Apparently only Kelsang Gyatso's books are worthy of
>study
>>by the NKT devotees!
>
>The books at Manjushri Centre’s library, as Dharma texts, were treated with
>respect;

Samten, the senior monk under GKG at Manjushri Centre, told me that some of
the books were burnt. That is, of course, considered a respectful manner to
deal with unwanted dharma texts.

>
>New Kadampa disciples study the teachings of Buddha passed down through Je
>Tsongkhapa’s tradition to the modern Masters Je Phabongkhapa, Trijang
>Dorjechang and Ven. Geshe Kelsang .

NKT students study only GKG's books on all the NKT study programmes. Some of
the books disposed of included teachings of Tsongkhapa, Chandrakirti,
Chandragomin, Nagarjuna, Lama Yeshe, Geshe Rabten, Geshe Wangyal, Lama Zopa,
and if I remember correctly Pabongka's "Liberation in the Palm of Your
Hand". Of course, such books and teachings would confuse (pollute?) the
minds of NKT students!

>Why, because we are content to study and practise the path to
>enlightenment given to us by our root Guru, are we accused of sectarianism?
>This is plain nonsense.

This is a willful distortion of the truth! When I was a TTP student at
Manjushri Centre (studying "Guide to Dakiniland") Samten told the class one
day that GKG was very unhappy to know that students were also relying upon
other lamas and their teachings. Samten told us that GKG said that such
behaviour was creating serious obstacles for the NKT (for Manjushri Centre
in particular) and that it would lead to GKG's health deteriorating. He told
us that if we were pure disciples then we had to read only GKG's books. This
caused several of the students a great deal of difficulty. These students
had lived at/been involved with Manjushri Centre when Lama Yeshe had been
the Spiritual Director and had received many teachings and empowerments from
other lamas - including Gelugpa, Kagyu and, if I remember correctly,
Nyingmapa. Consequently they had samaya with other lamas that they now felt
was being challenged. Several of them told me that they would not comply
with this instruction, but would discretely continue as before. A couple of
nuns at Manjushri Centre also told me that they'd also been criticised for
having a photograph of the Dalai Lama on their personal shrines.


>I am very sorry that some of the replies to Bart’s question demonstrate so
>clearly the politicisation of Dharma.
>

Dear troubled Khyenrab, we live in 'the real world' (as they say), and
politics as you call it is an inherent part of the communication between
people. There has never been a time when the Dharma didn't rub shoulders
with politics - don't worry the Dharma can take care of itself. Remember the
word 'vajra' or 'dorje' means 'adamantine', 'diamond-like' or even
'indestructable'. Don't get too precious, be joyfully vigorous!

Yours in the Dh (ark),

Avyorth, your trusty old driver!


>Khyenrab

Chris

unread,
Jan 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/24/98
to

Khyenrab

*Anyone* reading more than one or two messages in this
newsgroup newsgroup alt.religion.buddhism.nkt
will be aware that there is something going on and that there
is some disagreement between the NKT / Geshe Kelsang
on one side and HHDL etc. on the other.

In my reply to Bart's message I simply pointed the fact that
GKG and HHDL strongly disagree on the issue of Shugden,
that the NKT have claimed not to be Tibtan Buddhists and
that they have sepeated themselves from the Gelugpa
religious instiution but that they feel they represent the
true lineage of the Gelugpa / Ganden teachings.

All these things havee been pointed out before on numerous
occassions in these newsgroups by NKT members. In the post
in question I tried to be neutral and not get into who was
wrong or right.

I really don't think what I said in that post warranted the
kind of response you have made. Please take a few deep
breaths and read what I said in that post again.

This disagreement with HHDL over the practice of
worshipping Shugden and the fact that the NKT
relies almost soley on the Dharma as taught
in Geshe Kelsang's books seem to me to be
the main things that distinguish the NKT from
many other Buddhist groups following the Gelugpa
tradition.

I think it would have been more helpful to Bart
to add some more details about the NKT
to your post rather than turning it into another
thread attacking me and my motives.

>To me it's clear that you wish to stop people having faith for Ven.Geshe
> Kelsang and the New Kadampas - what other motives could you have? Fairness?
>Objectivity? Please show me I am wrong, Chris. This cannot be your
>motivation, surely.

I have nothing personal against Ven Geshe Kelsang or the NKT
I just don't want people to get innvolved in groups where they
may be intrroduced into what I beleive are wrong views about
His Holiness the Dalai Lama unless they walk into things
with their eyes open.

IMO those non-Buddhists who simply attack HHDL are
not very dangerous to people interested in learning about
Buddhism as it is very easy for anyone to see whre they
are comming from. But I think when the poison of wrong-view
about the Dalai Lama (and protector practices) is coated or
mixed up with the pure Dharma it is much harder to distinguish -
especially for a beginer.

>Although I have known about HH the Dalai Lama's wrong view about Dorje
>Shugden for many years not once have I mentioned this to any person new
>to Buddhism either on a newsgroup or face-to-face.

That's a bit disingenuous - as this is a publc newsgroup you must be
aware that many, many people new to Buddhism are likely to read
anything you write here - no matter whether you address it to them or
not.

These days if someone interested in finding out something
about the Dalai Lama does a web search or a search of ussenet
they will come up with all the negative material about HH which has
been published on Web sites and posted to usenet by Shugden
supporters. I'm just doing what I can to redress the balance.

I'm sorry if you happen to find this frustrating. If the NKT
did not hold the views it does about the Dalai Lama
and Shugden that it does then I'm sure that I would
actively be encouraging people to visit your centres
and to read Geshe Kelsang's books. As it is I think
many of Geshe Kelsang's books are worthwhile
so long as the reader is aware of his views about
H.H. etc.

Indeeed, I wish you and the NKT every success in increasing
the teaching of the Buddha Dharma and decresing
those things that are against the Buddha Dharma.

Regards.

- Chris

Note:
Followup set back to alt.religion.buddhism.nkt only.

Avyorth Rolinson

unread,
Jan 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/27/98
to

khyenrab wrote in message <6ab3ie$ite$3...@panther.rmplc.co.uk>...


>best wishes
>Khyenrab
>
>PS You seem to think it's fair-play to put anti-NKT views on the NKT
>newsgroup so I have cross-posted this to other newsgroups where many
readers
>will not like my views.

Tit for tat? What's this? - the NKT version of lojong?


Yours in the Dh (ark)

Avyorth

>

MONKTENZIN

unread,
Jan 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/27/98
to

Hello All!

Just a quick note here to correct a misconception. "Geshe" Kelsang Gyatso is
NOT a Geshe. HeDID finish his geshe studies, but DID NOT take the geshe test
and pass it. Therefore, he is using the title "Geshe" fraudulently and
erroniously. Kinda like calling yourself a PhD, but not having done your
disertation or graduated!

Blessings!

Tenzin Chophak (Tulku Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche)

Richard Menninger

unread,
Jan 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/27/98
to

khyenrab wrote:
...

> PS You seem to think it's fair-play to put anti-NKT views on the NKT
> newsgroup

This is a specific, technical issue on the use of news groups,
so I will respond to that, though not to the rest. I news group
is where you post on a topic. Posting negative stuff is still
on-topic to the news group, particularly an alt group. If you
want to get a very censored group about the NKT, you will need a
moderated group in one of the big 8. That is a tough sell. But
you are welcome to try.

> so I have cross-posted this to other newsgroups where many readers
> will not like my views.

Well, there are two issues here. Are they on-topic in the groups
posted to, and what do people think of the content. Since the NKT
has blatantly claimed to NOT be Tibetan buddhism at times, that
does seem to put netiquite into question. The answer is not clear,
though, since you also claim it as a base of teachings and also
seem to want to control all sorts of things about it. That is
probably making things sufficiently vague to make it on topic for
an alt group.

> Personally, I don't see anything wrong with this. I
> detect an odious whiff of censorship among some of the contributors that
> looks to me like trying to stifle debate about this very uncomfortable but
> important subject.

As a technical point, this cat fight has had no discernable
qualities of a debate from your side for a very long time.
Other than that, when you use a certain style for a while,
you really should expect to get it reflected back at you.
You certainly should have been practicing long enough to
get such a basic realization. I had just assumed that was
your goal. But it may just be that you all just have no
clue of what picture you vividly paint for others.

But, other than that, continue to show us the qualities that
practicing in your tradition engenders in one.

Take care of yourself
Dick
rmenn...@lucent.com
PS: I NEVER EVER respond to e-mail spam,
not even when it says that is how to turn it off.
If you pay to get my address, you waste your money.

Kazzamil

unread,
Jan 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/27/98
to

monktenzin wrote:
Just a quick note here to correct a misconception. "Geshe" Kelsang Gyatso is
NOT a Geshe. HeDID finish his geshe studies, but DID NOT take the geshe test
and pass it. Therefore, he is using the title "Geshe" fraudulently and
erroniously. Kinda like calling yourself a PhD, but not having done your
disertation or graduated!

reply:
Don't be ridiculous. Can you imagine a highly realized meditation master,
compassionate Spiritual Guide, who works tirelessly for the benefit of others,
scholar and author of many books recognized as supremely clear and correct by
lamas and Buddhist scholars the world over, calling himself a Geshe when he is
not? This tired old rumor is a pitiable and transparent attempt to discredit
Geshe Kelsang. When your position is weak, resort to unsubstantiated and
inflammatory garbage. Laughable. Better not to speak unless you can back up
your statements with facts.


Irmela Biehler

unread,
Jan 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/27/98
to


on 23.January, 21:54, khyenrab wrote:


>
> Chris, what do you think about this quote from Professor Jens-Uwe Hartmann,
> Tibetologist
> of Humboldt University in Berlin on German TV in November 1997:
>
> "The glorification of the Dalai Lama in his function as a political leader
> does not aid the process of democratisation.
> A critically differentiating analysis of his political statements
> must be possible, and it should furthermore not be blocked off by the
> argument that criticism solely serves the purposes of the Chinese." ?
> Do you think this Professor has a point or not?

Just for your information, khyenrab:

this Professor Jens-Uwe Hartmann, whom you quoted here, said later
in a Newspaper on Tibet, published in Germany:

"I myself got interviewed in this TV-report, though not on the
subject of Dordsche Schugden. Even though I stand to each of my
statements, I feel abused, because in the consciousness of most
of the audience it won't be my words, which are kept in mind, but
my connection with a report, which did attack the Dalai Lama in a way,
which I, as a human and a scientist, can only strictly refuse."

Literally the text says:
"Ich selbst bin in der Sendung ebenfalls interviewt worden, allerdings
nicht zu Dordsche Schugden. Obwohl ich zu jeder meiner Aeusserungen
stehen kann, fuehle ich mich missbraucht, denn im Bewu tsein der
meisten Zuschauer werden nicht meine Worte, sondern meine Verbindung
mit einer Sendung in Erinnerung bleiben, in der man den Dalai Lama auf
eine Weise angegriffen hat, die ich als Mensch und als Wissenschaftler
nur mit Nachdruck ablehnen kann."
Tibet-Forum, Nr.3/97, p.8

Irmela


MONKTENZIN

unread,
Jan 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/28/98
to

I can back up my statements with facts! I got this info from the Abott of Sera
as well as several geshe's who were in the same class as Kelsang. Ask the Ven.
Kelsang to show you his papers that prove he is a geshe.

It is a matter of public record at Sera that Kelsang did not get his geshe
degree. This is common knowledge. Water is wet, dogs bark, Kelsang is not a
geshe. Period.

Blessings!

Tenzin

Kazzamil

unread,
Jan 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/28/98
to

Reply:
As I said in my personal email to you. You are just wrong about this. Period.

G T

unread,
Jan 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/29/98
to

Should we conclude from this that this "false guru" is a frustraded
freak that is trying to get his "revenge" on Tibetan Establishment by
starting a "commercially based fake Buddhist operation" and making a
lot of money at the expense of gulible suffering westerners who are
awestruck by the facination of Tibet Mysticism.

Hummm, interesting ... but not funny !

:-)

Kazzamil

unread,
Jan 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/29/98
to

Actually, neither funny nor interesting.

MONKTENZIN

unread,
Jan 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/29/98
to

funny....interesting.....and true!

James Belither (NKT)

unread,
Jan 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/30/98
to

In article <19980128165...@ladder03.news.aol.com> on a.r.b.t.,
monkt...@aol.com says...

>
>I can back up my statements with facts! I got this info from the Abott of
Sera
>as well as several geshe's who were in the same class as Kelsang. Ask the
Ven.
>Kelsang to show you his papers that prove he is a geshe.
>
>It is a matter of public record at Sera that Kelsang did not get his geshe
>degree. This is common knowledge. Water is wet, dogs bark, Kelsang is not
a
>geshe. Period.
>
>Blessings!
>
>Tenzin


Concerning whether Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is a Geshe or not

Recently on the Net someone calling himself MonkTenzin / Tenzin Chophak
(Tulku Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche) has said that Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is not a
Geshe but is 'using the title 'Geshe' fraudulently and erroniously (sic)'.

In Tibet before he joined Sera-je Monastery near Lhasa, Geshe Kelsang
studied on the Geshe training programme for many years in his local
monastery of Jampaling. He then took two examinations at the great monastic
university of Tashi Lhunpo, one for memorization of texts, the second being
the actual examination. After the second examination he was awarded a degree
from that monastery, and from that time on the other monks and local people
called him Geshe Kelsang.

Later, he continued with the Geshe training programme in Sera-je Monastery
until he left for India in 1959, where he alternately studied and engaged in
meditation retreats. One day he received a letter from Sera-je Monastery in
south India, encouraging him to attend a Geshe offering ceremony and to take
an examination in order to receive a certificate. In 1973 he went to Sera
Monastery and made an extensive offering at the Geshe offering ceremony to a
large assembly of monks from both Sera-je and Sera-mey monasteries, in Sera
Tsogchen Prayer Hall. He also made the traditional offerings to Sera-je
Monastery. On that occasion the monks of his class offered him a 'katag', or
ceremonial scarf, and gifts in the traditional way. If he was not considered
a Geshe then what was the point of inviting him to participate in this
ceremony?

At that time he declined to take the examination, which was a new system
that had been recently introduced. He later explained that this was because
he did not think that receiving a piece of paper was important.

The present abbot of Sera-je, Geshe Jampa Tekchog, also made offerings at
another Geshe offering ceremony and he also did not take this examination
for receiving a certificate.

Lama Thubten Yeshe, founder of the FPMT, although he completed his Geshe
studies, never took the examination for receiving his Geshe degree, although
later Sera Monastery offered him an honorary Geshe degree, no doubt after he
became so well-known.

If it has been known for years that Geshe Kelsang is not a Geshe, then why
has Sera Monastery waited until 1996 to declare him a fraud? For years, ever
since 1978, a large number of Tibetan Lamas, including some of the most
eminent within the Gelugpa Tradition have been invited by Geshe Kelsang to
Manjushri Centre and other centres. If he is a fraud then why did they not
expose him?

Kyabje Ling Rinpoche, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, and the Dalai Lama have all
written prefaces to his books. Kyabje Ling Rinpoche refers to Geshe Kelsang
as 'this most precious Spiritual Guide'. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche refers to
him as 'The excellent expounder, the great Spiritual Master Kelsang Gyatso
...', and in the colophon to the long life prayer that he wrote for Geshe
Kelsang he says, 'This brief prayer for the long life of the Tsang-pa Geshe,
Kelsang Gyatso, of Sera-je Monastery, who is endowed with great learning and
immaculately pure conduct, ...'.

It is only now, when Geshe Kelsang has dared to face up to the Dalai Lama
and the Tibetan government-in-exile in refusing to accept the Dalai Lama's
ban against the practice of Dorje Shugden - a practice given to him by his
Spiritual Guide Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche - that Geshe Kelsang's credentials
as a Buddhist teacher have been called into question.

The campaign to discredit Geshe Kelsang is clearly an attempt to silence him
and to act as a warning to others. As one Tibetan Lama living in America
said to another Lama living in Germany who was planning to come out publicly
against the Dalai Lama's ban 'No, you mustn't do that. They'll do to you
what they've done to Geshe Kelsang.'

Actually, having been a student of Geshe Kelsang for the past twenty years,
it matters little to me whether my teacher has an ecclesiastical title or
not. The title 'Geshe' originally had the meaning of 'Virtuous or Spiritual
Friend'. Through having been inspired by his writings, teachings, example,
and personal advice, Geshe Kelsang is a dearly loved Spiritual Friend and
Guide to myself and to thousands of others.

Jim Belither
Secretary
New Kadampa Tradition


Mike Austin

unread,
Jan 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/30/98
to

In article <6asrc3$s6i$1...@panther.rmplc.co.uk>, "James Belither (NKT)"
<zmad...@mail.rmplc.co.uk> writes

>The campaign to discredit Geshe Kelsang is clearly an attempt to silence him
>and to act as a warning to others. As one Tibetan Lama living in America
>said to another Lama living in Germany who was planning to come out publicly
>against the Dalai Lama's ban 'No, you mustn't do that. They'll do to you
>what they've done to Geshe Kelsang.'

Is there a campaign to discredit Geshe Kelsang? If there is, it hasn't
manifested on these ngs. All I see is a campaign to discredit HHDL -
roundly met by an overwhelming support for HHDL. I think you'll find
criticisms of GKG (it matters not to me if it's GKG or KG) are few and
far between in comparison with those of HHDL. And then again, criticisms
of HHDL are few in comparison with favourable comments abou him.
--
Mike Austin

Mary Finnigan

unread,
Jan 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/30/98
to

In reply to Jim Belither's defence of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso...I have
remained silent throughout the current round of Shugden controversy
because like many long-term adherents of Tibetan Buddhism, I am firm in
my loyalty to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, regardless of my personal
opinions on the Dorje Shugden issue. I am, however, also firm in my
conviction that Geshe Kelsang is one of the finest exponents of Buddhism
active in the world today. I have great respect for him, as a scholar, a
yogi and a teacher. I am disgusted by the recent attempts to discredit
him.
Mary

Don Martin

unread,
Jan 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/30/98
to

In article <Gmv9wAA4...@lamrimbristol.demon.co.uk>,

Mike Austin <mi...@lamrimbristol.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> In article <6asrc3$s6i$1...@panther.rmplc.co.uk>, "James Belither (NKT)"
> <zmad...@mail.rmplc.co.uk> writes

> >The campaign to discredit Geshe Kelsang is clearly an attempt to silence


him
> >and to act as a warning to others. As one Tibetan Lama living in America

> >said to another Lama living in Germany who was planning to come out
publicly
> >against the Dalai Lama's ban 'No, you mustn't do that. They'll do to you

> >what they've done to Geshe Kelsang.'

> Is there a campaign to discredit Geshe Kelsang?

****** There is no need for one. His followers seem to be managing that
all on their own.

--
--
Don, Trying to live like a sword
The Born-Again Buddhist, in water,but behaving more
(..and again and again..) like a thick plank.

Kent Sandvik

unread,
Jan 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/30/98
to

rMary Finnigan <ma...@pema.demon.co.uk> wrote:

Hi, I want to join in with Mary in that we should never get involved in
a personal issue and start directly critisizing those who are teaching
the precious buddha-dharma to sentient beings, bodhisattvas who are
working for the sake of others. Such a style is very unbuddhist, indeed.

Maitri, Kent


Rabten

unread,
Jan 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/31/98
to

Thank you Kent and thank you Mary, your postings are a welcome relief to
myself and hopefully many others.
Please allow me to introduce myself as this is my first posting to this
group. My name is Kelsang Lodro and I am the resident teacher at
Bodhisattva Centre in Brighton. I have been a disciple of Venerable Geshe
Kelsang for close to 11 years. During that time I have had the real
pleasure of seeing thousands of people receive real benefit from their
contact with the precious Buddha Dharma.

Here at Bodhisattva Centre we are a mixed community of lay and ordained
practitioners of all ages shapes and sizes, living in an old ramshackle
former convent that we are attempting to renovate. Like all other NKT
Centres we offer a comprehensive programme of Buddhist teachings. Many
people come just for basic breathing meditations, to relax and unwind and
are happy and satisfied with that. Others want to find more detailed
instructions on how to bring their delusions under control in order to free
themselves from the problems of anger, jealousy etc. Those who wish to
seriously study and practice the entire path to enlightenment can do
precisely that. This is what is on offer here and also at all other NKT
Centres. Through the kindness of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and his
tireless work , there now exists many similar Centres all over the world,
dedicated for the benefit of all living beings.
All Geshe Kelsang has done is to pass on the lineage of instructions that he
received from his own Spiritual Guide, he has shown how anyone, from any
walk of life, can begin to bring real benefit into their lives. Through his
books and study programmes he has given us a clear and unmistaken set of
instructions on how to achieve Enlightenment in one short human life. All
we have to do is develop a mind of faith and the begin to put these
instructions into practice to the best of our ability. I know from my own
experience how much my kind Teacher has benefited me. Because I view my
Teacher as an enlightened Being, I receive all the blessings of all the
Buddhas through him. Why on earth do I need anything else? Having found a
perfect path, why do I need to deviate, modify, complicate?
I am so fortunate to have met these teachings of Buddha. I pray that all
beings may share the same good fortune.

But of course as many of you are more than aware, in recent times the NKT
has come under a lot of criticism. Many ordinary people are now openly wary
of coming to our Centres because they have heard rumours. Some of our
regulars have been told that they will go to hell if they keep attending the
Centre of the "devil worshipers"
After a time if you keep throwing mud some of it will stick. And this is
already beginning to happen. This deeply saddens me, to see people
prevented from making contact with the precious Buddha Dharma.
Why has the NKT come under this barrage of abuse?
There is only one reason. the source of all of this lies in the speech and
actions of H.H the Dalai Lama.
So all I have to say is Why Dalai Lama are you causing so much suffering?
Why are you preventing people all over the world from meeting with the
precious lineage of teachings that you yourself received through the
kindness of your own Spiritual Guide?
I do not intend any disrespect, but please can you give me a good reason why
you are trying to obstruct the spiritual lives and activities of thousands ,
potentially millions of people. What do you hope to gain from such actions.
If there is anyone out there who can pass this message on to H.H. the Dalai
Lama then please ask him why?

Kent Sandvik wrote in message
<1d3ow5c.1s4...@sandvik.vip.best.com>...

Chris

unread,
Jan 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/31/98
to

On Sat, 31 Jan 1998 14:21:15 -0000, "Rabten" <bodhi...@clara.net>
wrote:

> Thank you Kent and thank you Mary, your postings are a welcome relief to
> myself and hopefully many others.

<SNIP>

> There is only one reason. the source of all of this lies in the speech and
> actions of H.H the Dalai Lama.

> So all I have to say is Why Dalai Lama are you causing so much suffering?
> Why are you preventing people all over the world from meeting with the
> precious lineage of teachings that you yourself received through the
> kindness of your own Spiritual Guide?

Rabten I think you would do yourself, your teacher and your
organisation a favour if you followed the example of Kent and
Mary - which you seem to appreciate.

HHDL does not go around publicly criticising Geshe Kelsang
- even in the midst of all the "Shugden Supporters" demos during
his last visit to the UK HH said that Geshe Kelsang had a special
connection with western students and that he was a talented teacher.

Chris

unread,
Jan 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/31/98
to

On 30 Jan 1998 15:24:51 GMT, zmad...@mail.rmplc.co.uk (James

Belither (NKT)) wrote:

> Concerning whether Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is a Geshe or not

> Recently on the Net someone calling himself MonkTenzin / Tenzin Chophak
> (Tulku Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche) has said that Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is not a
> Geshe but is 'using the title 'Geshe' fraudulently and erroniously (sic)'.

> In Tibet before he joined Sera-je Monastery near Lhasa, Geshe Kelsang
> studied on the Geshe training programme for many years in his local
> monastery of Jampaling. He then took two examinations at the great monastic
> university of Tashi Lhunpo, one for memorization of texts, the second being
> the actual examination. After the second examination he was awarded a degree
> from that monastery, and from that time on the other monks and local people
> called him Geshe Kelsang.

In the Gelugpa tradition the *degree* of "Geshe" was only awarded by
the monastaries of Sera, Drepung and Ganden. Other great Gelupa
monastaries like Tashi Lhunpo and Kumbum had their own degrees which
were equivalent to a Geshe degree though traditionally these didn't
have the same status. I think the equiv. degree awarded in Tashi
Lhunpo was called Kachen (bka' chen) not Geshe (dde bshes) - so if GKG
was awarded a degree from Tashi Lhunpo, technically speaking, he
should probably be called Kachen Kelsang Gyatso - rather than Geshe
Kelsang Gyatso - but most western Buddhists would probably not know
what that meant.

After all "Geshe" is really only a translation of the Sanskrit term
kalayanamitra or "Spiritual Freind" - and, prior to the institution
of the Gelugpa monastic degree of that name, it seems to have
been commonly used for any learned & respected monk.
It is still fairly common for Tibetans to respectfully call a learned
monk and teacher "Geshe-la" - even though that monk may not have
been awarded the actual degree. It might seem a little odd for
someone to refer to themselves as Geshe if they don't actually
have the degree - but .if that's what most people call a person
there is no harm in it.

- Chris

khyenrab

unread,
Feb 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/1/98
to

In article <6als4t$1ca$1...@news02.btx.dtag.de>, Irmela....@t-online.de
says...

>on 23.January, 21:54, khyenrab wrote:
>
>
>>

>> Chris, what do you think about this quote from Professor Jens-Uwe
Hartmann,
>> Tibetologist
>> of Humboldt University in Berlin on German TV in November 1997:
>>
>> "The glorification of the Dalai Lama in his function as a political
leader
>> does not aid the process of democratisation.
>> A critically differentiating analysis of his political statements
>> must be possible, and it should furthermore not be blocked off by the
>> argument that criticism solely serves the purposes of the Chinese." ?
>> Do you think this Professor has a point or not?
>

> Just for your information, khyenrab:
>
> this Professor Jens-Uwe Hartmann, whom you quoted here, said later
> in a Newspaper on Tibet, published in Germany:
>
> "I myself got interviewed in this TV-report, though not on the
> subject of Dordsche Schugden. Even though I stand to each of my
> statements, I feel abused, because in the consciousness of most
> of the audience it won't be my words, which are kept in mind, but
> my connection with a report, which did attack the Dalai Lama in a way,
> which I, as a human and a scientist, can only strictly refuse."
>
> Literally the text says:
> "Ich selbst bin in der Sendung ebenfalls interviewt worden, allerdings
> nicht zu Dordsche Schugden. Obwohl ich zu jeder meiner Aeusserungen
> stehen kann, fuehle ich mich missbraucht, denn im Bewu tsein der
> meisten Zuschauer werden nicht meine Worte, sondern meine Verbindung
> mit einer Sendung in Erinnerung bleiben, in der man den Dalai Lama auf
> eine Weise angegriffen hat, die ich als Mensch und als Wissenschaftler
> nur mit Nachdruck ablehnen kann."
> Tibet-Forum, Nr.3/97, p.8
>
>
>
> Irmela
>

Thank you for the clarification of the context - but what do you think about
the point he is making? Isn't it time that a differentiating analysis of HH
Dalai Lama's political statements could be made without the worry of it
serving the purposes of the Chinese? That's all I am asking. Only a small
point in a long debate.

best wishes
Khyenrab

Alan Bird

unread,
Feb 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/1/98
to

On Sat, 31 Jan 1998 22:39:04 GMT, cf...@nospam.dircon.co.uk (Chris)
wrote:

>On 30 Jan 1998 15:24:51 GMT, zmad...@mail.rmplc.co.uk (James
>Belither (NKT)) wrote:
>

>> Concerning whether Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is a Geshe or not
>
>> Recently on the Net someone calling himself MonkTenzin / Tenzin Chophak
>> (Tulku Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche) has said that Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is not a
>> Geshe but is 'using the title 'Geshe' fraudulently and erroniously (sic)'.
>
>> In Tibet before he joined Sera-je Monastery near Lhasa, Geshe Kelsang
>> studied on the Geshe training programme for many years in his local
>> monastery of Jampaling. He then took two examinations at the great monastic
>> university of Tashi Lhunpo, one for memorization of texts, the second being
>> the actual examination. After the second examination he was awarded a degree
>> from that monastery, and from that time on the other monks and local people
>> called him Geshe Kelsang.
>

>In the Gelugpa tradition the *degree* of "Geshe" was only awarded by
>the monastaries of Sera, Drepung and Ganden. Other great Gelupa
>monastaries like Tashi Lhunpo and Kumbum had their own degrees which
>were equivalent to a Geshe degree though traditionally these didn't
>have the same status. I think the equiv. degree awarded in Tashi
>Lhunpo was called Kachen (bka' chen) not Geshe (dde bshes) - so if GKG
>was awarded a degree from Tashi Lhunpo, technically speaking, he
>should probably be called Kachen Kelsang Gyatso - rather than Geshe
>Kelsang Gyatso - but most western Buddhists would probably not know
>what that meant.
>
>After all "Geshe" is really only a translation of the Sanskrit term
>kalayanamitra or "Spiritual Freind" - and, prior to the institution
>of the Gelugpa monastic degree of that name, it seems to have
>been commonly used for any learned & respected monk.
>It is still fairly common for Tibetans to respectfully call a learned
>monk and teacher "Geshe-la" - even though that monk may not have
>been awarded the actual degree. It might seem a little odd for
>someone to refer to themselves as Geshe if they don't actually
>have the degree - but .if that's what most people call a person
>there is no harm in it.
>
>- Chris

Chris,

This would surely have been better posted in the thread where the
initial subject arose.

Geshe-la studied at Sera-je monastry also. Here is the rest of James
Belither's posting for those who have not read it in the original
string

>Later, he continued with the Geshe training programme in Sera-je
Monastery until he left for India in 1959, where he alternately
studied and engaged in meditation retreats. One day he received a
letter from Sera-je Monastery in south India, encouraging him to
attend a Geshe offering ceremony and to take an examination in
order to receive a certificate. In 1973 he went to Sera Monastery
and made an extensive offering at the Geshe offering ceremony to a
large assembly of monks from both Sera-je and Sera-mey monasteries,

in Sera Tsogchen Prayer Hall. He also made the traditional
offerings to Sera-je Monastery. On that occasion the monks of his
class offered him a 'katag', or ceremonial scarf, and gifts in the
traditional way. If he was not considered a Geshe then what was the
point of inviting him to participate in this ceremony?

At that time he declined to take the examination, which was a new

system hat had been recently introduced. He later explained that

this was because he did not think that receiving a piece of paper
was important.

The present abbot of Sera-je, Geshe Jampa Tekchog, also made
offerings at another Geshe offering ceremony and he also did not
take this examination for receiving a certificate.

Lama Thubten Yeshe, founder of the FPMT, although he completed his
Geshe studies, never took the examination for receiving his Geshe
degree, although later Sera Monastery offered him an honorary Geshe
degree, no doubt after he became so well-known.

Best wishes

Alan

Bodhisattva Centre

unread,
Feb 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/1/98
to

Dear Chris, thankyou for your reply. I'm sorry about the confusion of the
signature, but I thought that I had identified myself perfectly clearly in
the posting itself, maybe you missed that bit.
I am sorry if you took my remarks as offensive, as I said in the previous
posting that I mean no disrespect to H.H. the Dalai Lama, who I consider to
be a very wise and compassionate being. Maybe you missed that bit too.
My kind Teacher Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso has always taught that the
fundamental teaching of Buddha was to always keep a good heart and never to
intentionally cause harm to any living being. I always try to abide by this
precept in whatever I do.
Ever since I can remember I have always looked upon H.H. the Dalai Lama as
being the most famous upholder of this wonderful principle and way of life.
Again, as I tried to explain before, I am deeply saddened to see so much
pain and confusion brought to the lives of so many people across the world
through the actions of H.H. the Dalai Lama and some of his followers. It's
because I believe him to be such a wise and compassionate being that I do
not understand why he refuses to do nothing to reduce the suffering that he
has caused and is continuing to do so. This situation is causing disgrace
to the Buddhist faith throughout the world, why won't he act to stop this
suffering? At the very least, because he is so wise and compassionate, why
can't he begin to explain his reasons to clear the confusion in peoples
minds?

Kelsang Lodro


Chris wrote in message <34d3a0bb...@news.dircon.co.uk>...


>On Sat, 31 Jan 1998 14:21:15 -0000, "Rabten" <bodhi...@clara.net>
>wrote:
>

>> Thank you Kent and thank you Mary, your postings are a welcome relief to
>> myself and hopefully many others.
>

><SNIP>


>
>> There is only one reason. the source of all of this lies in the speech
and
>> actions of H.H the Dalai Lama.
>
>> So all I have to say is Why Dalai Lama are you causing so much suffering?
>> Why are you preventing people all over the world from meeting with the
>> precious lineage of teachings that you yourself received through the
>> kindness of your own Spiritual Guide?
>

Chris

unread,
Feb 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/3/98
to

On Sun, 01 Feb 1998 12:59:31 GMT, alan...@dial.pipex.com (Alan Bird)
wrote:

> Chris,

> This would surely have been better posted in the thread where the
> initial subject arose.

Sorry, in my newsreader (FA) it's still in the same thread - anything
posted as a Followup - but has the Subject line changed just becomes
a kind of sub-thread.

>Geshe-la studied at Sera-je monastry also. Here is the rest of James
>Belither's posting for those who have not read it in the original
>string

Although this is the case, James did mention that Geshe Kelsang
never received - or declined to receive the certificate. But this is
nit-picking.

- Chris


Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages