RELIGIOUS ISSUES - related to DORJE SHUGDEN and the DALAI LAMA

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Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

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Nov 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/14/97
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RELIGIOUS ISSUES - related to DORJE SHUGDEN and the DALAI LAMA
by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

A response to the posting by Tseten Samdup: 'Shugden versus pluralism and
national unity controversy and clarification',
which came from the Department of Information and International Relations,
Central Tibetan Administration, Gangchen Kyishong, Dharamsala 176 215, INDIA

===========

Concerning whether or not Dorje Shugden is an enlightened being, there can
be no final
conclusion through negative debate, mixing religion with political aims.
This is because from
the point of view of many people he is a worldly being, but at the same time
from the point of
view of many other people he is the Wisdom Buddha. This reasoning applies
not only to
Dorje Shugden, but to all holy beings.

If someone asked you how to prove that the fifth and fourteenth Dalai Lamas
are Buddhas,
you would most certainly find it difficult to give clear reasons. On the
other hand, if someone
asked you how to prove that these two lamas are not Buddhas, you could
easily give a clear
answer. You could say: they are not Buddhas because they need translators,
they get sick,
they are unable to come to their own decisions but have to rely on those of
oracles, and
sometimes they even get angry. How can a Buddha get angry, get sick, and so
forth?
Buddhas do not need oracles? So talking about this subject is completely
meaningless, and
only destroys peace and harmony in Buddhist circles.

Therefore, I do not wish to respond to all the allegations mentioned in the
letter distributed by
Tseten Samdup from the Central Tibetan Administration, although there are
many that are
untrue. However, I would like to clarify two points:

1. I understand that in this letter you are saying that Dorje Shugden is
harming the Tibetan
national cause. In many previous letters, and in the Dalai Lama's public
talks it says that
Dorje Shugden harms Tibetan independence, and the Dalai Lama's health. This
is
completely untrue. If this were true, then the Dalai Lama is contradicting
himself. In many
previous newspapers, and on TV interviews given recently in the USA he said
that he has no
intention of working for Tibetan independence but for autonomy under Chinese
rule. This is a
contradiction; how can he say that it is Dorje Shugden who is endangering
the cause for a
free Tibet? The Dalai Lama is not working to free Tibet; his wish is for the
Tibetans to live
under Chinese rule.

2.You say in your letter: 'Trijang Rinpoche told His Holiness that Palden
Lhamo would never
deceive anybody, therefore it would be better to cease propitiation of
Shugden'. Of course
HH Trijang Rinpoche gave permission to the Dalai Lama to stop engaging in
his personal
Dorje Shugden practice. HH Trijang Rinpoche never tried to control his
disciples, but always
gave them freedom of choice. I clearly understood that HH Trijang Rinpoche
never gave
permission to ban the worship of Dorje Shugden within Tibetan society. A few
months before
his death I met HH Trijang Rinpoche in South India. He told me everything
about the
situation between Dorje Shugden and the Dalai Lama. He was very disappointed
with the
Dalai Lama, that he was not allowing other people to practice Dorje Shugden.

In conclusion, until now there have been no problems between the majority of
Buddhists of
the four schools such as Gelugpa, Nyingmapa and so on. We live naturally in
harmony,
respecting each other's tradition and we would like this state of affairs to
continue. Therefore
I would like to request to the Dalai Lama, the Central Tibetan
Administration in Dharamsala
and the Tibetan people: could you please stop completely this meaningless
talking and give
everyone religious freedom to worship whoever they choose.

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
13th November 1997


Avyorth Rolinson

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Nov 15, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/15/97
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Geshe Kelsang Gyatso wrote in message <64hir3$hmp$1...@panther.rmplc.co.uk>...

Hello Geshe Kelsang,
Hope this posting finds you well.

I read your posting concerning the dharma protector Dorje Shugden - as well
as having followed the wranglings between the Shugden Supporters Group (ala
Nick Gillespie) and the supporters of the Dalai Lama over the last year or
so.
I find it quite fascinating especially in the light of the teachings and
training I received as one of your students between January 1993 and
September 1995.
From your teachings I learned that Dorje (ie Vajra = Mind of Great Bliss
realising Emptiness) Shugden (ie most powerful) was none other than
Manjushri, the Wisdom Buddha. Wow, what greater protector of our mind of
Dharma could we hope for? Only that degree of Wisdom would protect us from
samsaric delusions. So I felt most priviledged to receive the blessing
empowerment of Dorje Shugden from you at Madhyamaka Centre, from which your
e-mail seems to have been sent. I also received the Highest Yoga Tantra
empowerments of Heruka and Vajrayogini, the Body Mandala of Heruka, and many
others from you.

As one of your students, I taught Dharma in Greater Manchester for a time -
the publicity that the NKT put out for this descrlbed me as a "close
disciple" of yourself - most flattering of them really.
I also taught on ocasion in Macclesfield, Stockport, Birmingham, Burton upon
Trent, and so on - quite an eventful time.
I was also a student on the Teachers Training Programme (TTP) from Sept 1993
to Sept 1995. I lived in both Tara Centre and Manjushri Centre for over 2
years.
So, it's probably fair to say that I have some knowledge of the New Kadampa
Tradition.

I was therefore interested in your plea to the Dalai Lama for religious
freedom.
In September 1995 on returning from my mother's funeral to my home at
Manjushri Centre, I was given notice to leave the centre by Roy Tyson-the
director (also signed by Peter Davis- Educational Programme Co-ordinator,
and Samten Kelsang -principle teacher after yourself). Apparently my
questioning of the principal doctrines and dogmas of the NKT was felt to be
disruptive to the community. For instance I'd tried to engage people in the
issue of the Shentong-Rangtong debate, as I felt that the Prasangika
vajrayana (as opposed to the Prasangika sutra) teachings were much closer to
Shentong rather than Rangtong view.

We were told by Samten Kelsang during one of the TTP classes that you were
very concerned that TTP students were reading the books, following the
teachings, etc of other buddhist teachers (yes, even other Gelugpa teachers)
and that this would have a very negative effect upon the NKT and yourself -
perhaps even damaging your health. Samten told us that we should cease from
any contact with the teachings and practices of other teachers, and learn to
rely only upon yourself. Given that a number of students had received
teachings and empowerments from other lamas (eg Lama Yeshe who'd actually
founded Manjushri Centre), the instruction from Samten was a very heavy
weight - and many students said in private that they could not abandon their
other teachers and the commitments that they'd received from them. All in
all it was not a well-received instruction.
It also became known that the practice that a number of people had of
keeping a picture of the Dalai Lama on their shrines was inauspicious. And
several ordained people told me that this had been pointed out to them.

So, Geshe Kelsang, whilst I rejoice in your plea for religious freedom (and
may it be granted to all beings), I am concerned. Concerned that whilst you
ask for religious freedom for Dorje Shugden practitioners, that you do not
offer the same freedom to those who live within your domain. Is it right
that someone in your position asks from another that which they themselves
will not give to others. To say, as I've heard NKT people say, that those
who want to worship other than in the NKT manner, should leave the NKT
centres, is surely little different from the intolerance you accuse the
Dalai Lama of?

May you continue to benefit all beings,
Avyorth in the Dh (ark)

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

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Nov 16, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/16/97
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In article <64j1g7$m...@argon.btinternet.com>, Avy...@btinternet.com says...


Response to Avyorth Rolinson by Geshe Kelsang

Dear Avyorth,

Thank you for your letter and information. I agree very much with what you
say but there are some misunderstandings. The NKT people have complete
choice to read whatever books they choose, to follow other Teachers and to
practise in whatever way they want. There are no rules limiting people's
freedom. However, I have understood according to experience that many
Westerners find themselves in conflicting situations because of following
many Teachers who give them opposite advice. Therefore they find serious
obstacles in their spritual path. But still individuals have choice to
practise in the way they choose.

About the photos of the Dalai Lama, in NKT Dharma Centres we do not put his
photos on the shrines or public areas indicating that he is not our Guru,
but there is no other negative attitude in this action. Individually people
have freedom to do as their wish.

Thank you and best wishes,
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

vajralama buddhist center

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Nov 16, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/16/97
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Is the Dalai Lama a Buddha?

Over eighteen years ago the Tibetan teachers such as Lama Thubten Yeshe,
Geshe Rabten, Song Rinpoche, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and many other
disciples of HH Trijang Rinpoche taught Buddhism extensively to western
students. Thousands of western practitioners came to rely upon their
teachings. Since all these Gelugpa lamas were disciples of HH Trijang
Rinpoche they relied upon Dorje Shugden, in the same way their western
students also relied sincerely upon Dorje Shugden. As western students
we came to realize that their Dharma teachings and the blessings of
Dorje Shugden are immensely valuable and help us in our daily life. The
holy Dharma we received from these kind teachers was the most meaningful
gift we could have received and transformed our lives.

Some ten years ago we heard that the present Dalai Lama was not allowing
Tibetan people to engage in the practice of Dorje Shugden, saying that
anyone who engages in this practice cannot be a friend of his. We also
heard that a precious statue of Dorje Shugden which had been offered to
the monks at Ganden Monastery by HH Trijang Rinpoche, and was in the
main temple, had been removed at the orders of the Dalai Lama. We saw
copies of his public talks where he indicated that the practice of Dorje
Shugden was no longer acceptable. This disturbed our inner peace and joy
in the practice of Dharma, causing us many difficulties in our spiritual
life. This has continued now for over ten years.

Then in 1996 the Dalai Lama began to increase the persecution of Dorje
Shugden practitioners, publicly saying that Dorje Shugden is an evil
spirit who is harming both the cause for a free Tibet and the Dalai
Lama’s life. Due to this, in order to fulfil his wishes his followers
began removing Dorje Shugden statues from temples, destroying images and
statues of Dorje Shugden, and intimidating people physically and by
using signature campaigns to force them to stop their practice. In this
way much disharmony and divisiveness was created in the Tibetan
community and now in the larger Buddhist world.

We understand clearly that the source of this problem is the fifth,
thirteenth and fourteenth Dalai Lamas. Firstly, the fifth Dalai Lama
indicated that Dorje Shugden is a harmful spirit and this falsehood
spread throughout Tibet. People believed him because he was both their
king and spiritual leader. The thirteenth Dalai Lama, following the view
of the fifth Dalai Lama, also did not allow the practice of Dorje
Shugden. In particular he caused many difficulties for Je Phabongkhapa
by using his political power to prevent him from engaging in the
teaching and practice of Dorje Shugden. The fourteenth Dalai Lama has
carried on this persecution even more virulently than his predecessors,
showing little or no regard for religious freedom and no compassion for
the Tibetan and western practitioners suffering as a result of his
actions.

I have discussed this religious issue with many other practitioners, and
we have decided that now is the time to clarify this situation through
public debate. We also understand that until the fifth, thirteenth and
fourteenth Dalai Lamas are clearly proven to be Buddhas that we cannot
accept their views. Therefore I would like to suggest that the issues to
be debated are:
1. Whether these three lamas are Buddhas, pure beings or not.
2. Whether we accept their view that Dorje Shugden is a harmful spirit
or not.
3. Whether Buddhists accept the mixing of Dharma and politics or not.

If we can clarify the first issue then the others will naturally follow.

In Newsweek magazine (April 97), Robert Thurman publicly criticized and
humiliated both practitioners of Dorje Shugden and members of the New
Kadampa Tradition. We understand that he is acting like the Dalai Lama’s
representative and trying to destroy both Dorje Shugden practice and the
credibility of the NKT. Therefore we recognize him to be the actual
representative of the Dalai Lama. Also the Central Tibetan
Administration in Dharamsala and Fred Little seem to be acting as the
Dalai Lama’s representatives.

There are three questions to be addressed to these representatives
regarding the first issue: Whether these three lamas are Buddhas or not.

1. What are valid reasons for saying that the fifth Dalai Lama is a
Buddha, a pure being?
2. What are valid reasons for saying that the thirteenth Dalai Lama is a
Buddha, a pure being?
3. What are valid reasons for saying that the fourteenth Dalai Lama is a
Buddha, a pure being?

If we do not receive clear answers to our questions, we can assume that
they are not Buddhas, not pure beings. If this is the case there is no
need to accept their views on Dorje Shugden, or to follow their example
of mixing Dharma with politics.

Kelsang Jangsem,
Resident Teacher,
Vajralama Buddhist Center

Avyorth Rolinson

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Nov 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/17/97
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vajralama buddhist center wrote in message <346F75...@ix.netcom.com>...


>Is the Dalai Lama a Buddha?

>If we do not receive clear answers to our questions, we can assume that


>they are not Buddhas, not pure beings. If this is the case there is no
>need to accept their views on Dorje Shugden, or to follow their example
>of mixing Dharma with politics.


Greetings Jagsem, you old NKT dog! Still in Seattle I see, and still up to
your old tricks with Mr Nick Gillespie of the NKT's Shugden Support Group.
You boys always did stick together at Madhyamaka NKT Centre (Pocklington,
for non UK readers).

So not giving clear answers to those questions nullifies the belief in the
DL being a pure being, hmm!

Ok, whilst in the NKT I, and your good self, frequently heard and no doubt
repeated that Geshe Kelsang was the Third Buddha of this Age. Gen Thubten
Gyatso (your old and much loved teacher, and GK's Heart Disciple) was
particularly fond of this saying, I'm sure you remember.

So, is Geshe Kelsang the Third Buddha, or any Buddha for that matter?
Please answer with VALID reasons. Your failure to do so will indicate that
he is not a Buddha, not a pure being! Wow, get your debating hat out, J!

Nice speaking to you again,
Yours in the Dh (ark)
Avyorth

Kent Sandvik

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Nov 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/17/97
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vajralama buddhist center wrote:
> There are three questions to be addressed to these representatives
> regarding the first issue: Whether these three lamas are Buddhas or not.
>
> 1. What are valid reasons for saying that the fifth Dalai Lama is a
> Buddha, a pure being?
> 2. What are valid reasons for saying that the thirteenth Dalai Lama is a
> Buddha, a pure being?
> 3. What are valid reasons for saying that the fourteenth Dalai Lama is a
> Buddha, a pure being?
>
> If we do not receive clear answers to our questions, we can assume that
> they are not Buddhas, not pure beings. If this is the case there is no
> need to accept their views on Dorje Shugden, or to follow their example
> of mixing Dharma with politics.

Lati Rinpoche gave us a wonderful guru devotion teaching this weekend,
and I do think Rinpoche answered the questions above: If you regard your
root gurus as Buddhas you get the blessings of Buddhas, if you regard
them as Bodhisattvas you get the blessings of Bodhisattvas, and if you
regard them as humans you get the blessings of a human. Anything else is
irrelevant.

Maitri, Kent
PS: I think we should follow the excellent examples of our Gelug gurus
that don't get involved in this political game, rather spent time with
dharma practices.

Jeffrey D. Nelson

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Nov 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/17/97
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Dear Friend in Dharma,
I feel that this particular schism over the Dorje Shugden scandal
will ultimately have to be brought into the arena of public discussion and
debate between the two apparent heads of the two feuding constituancies,
these being the Dalai Lama and Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. The question over who
is or is not a "Buddha" is entirely secondary to the propigation of the
eternal Dharma. There are many advanced Bodhisattvas here, no Buddhas. This
is relative reality, remember? As such, we are all subject to the
misinterpretations of samsara.
If this topic proves out to be a temporal theocratic issue, then lets
bring it into the light of day, see it for what it is, and then get on to
more important things. I like the concept of Rime. Lets get over the
sectarian crap!

Ole

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Nov 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/18/97
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Kent Sandvik <san...@best.com> wrote

> Lati Rinpoche gave us a wonderful guru devotion teaching this weekend,

...

> PS: I think we should follow the excellent examples of our Gelug gurus
> that don't get involved in this political game, rather spent time with
> dharma practices.

We all would like to have it nice and easy... but it's a fact that HH the
Dalai Lama is continuosly trying to ban the protector practice of the
Ganden Oral Transmission Lineage and that this is the only cause for all
this trouble. If he would stop this ban and his public statements (see the
homepage of the London Tibet office), the problem would immediately be
resolved.

He did say and is still saying the following thing:

"If any among you here are determined to continue propitiating Dolgyal
<...> it will have the effect of reducing the
life span of Gyalwa Rinpoche (The Dalai Lama), which is not good. However,
if there are any among you who hope that Gyalwa Rinpoche will soon die,
then you can stay."

This is a heavy accusation which has to be investigated in debate according
to the tradtion - as debate is practiced in all of the Gelug monasteries.
The problem is, that HH the Dalai Lama is refusing to debate this issue.
For instance last year there was a meeting of Gelug masters in Germany
where a letter was composed to ask HH the Dalai Lama to talk about this
issue. The letter was written in a very traditional, humble and polite
form. It was composed by 19 Rinpoches and Geshes of the Gelug tradition.
The request was refused and in the reply letter it was stated that these
masters would better study the scriptures of Lama Je Tsongkhapa... This was
told to Geshes with Lharampa degree and Rinpoches who had been educated by
Masters like Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche since the age of 5.

Now either the Dalai Lama has officially to stop this ban or he has to
acceppt a public debate. It is inacceptable to give such official
statements as the one mentioned above and not accepting a debate about it.

---

In one thing, Kent, you are right: "...we should follow the excellent
examples of our Gelug gurus"- During this year I had the opportunity to be
there several times when Lati Rinpoche was doing the prayers of Dorje
Shugden. He is not making a lot of fuzz about it, but he is rock solid in
his practice and he would not give up a practice that was given to him by
his own Master.

Avyorth Rolinson

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Nov 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/18/97
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Kent Sandvik wrote in message <347140...@best.com>...

>: If you regard your
>root gurus as Buddhas you get the blessings of Buddhas, if you regard
>them as Bodhisattvas you get the blessings of Bodhisattvas, and if you
>regard them as humans you get the blessings of a human. Anything else is
>irrelevant.

IMO, Kent, this issue has little to do with one's "root guru", an entity not
to be found sitting up on a very large cushion, wearing tibetan robes. The
root guru is 'your' own innate seed of wisdom and compassion that might just
move you that little bit further towards integrity - system theorists call
them strange or chaotic attractors. Worshipping anything else is idolatry.
Jangsem's questions were directed to that human (and IMO cool dude) the
Dalai Lama.

>Maitri, Kent


>PS: I think we should follow the excellent examples of our Gelug gurus
>that don't get involved in this political game

This bit had me falling off my cushion with laughter - thanks Kent!

Avyorth Rolinson

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Nov 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/18/97
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vajralama buddhist center wrote in message <3470D9...@ix.netcom.com>...

Greetings Jangsem,

- I can see that you
>spend a great deal of time wandering in cyber space - one of the weirder
>realities of our time.
Come off it my old vajra-brother! What of the weird phenomenon of seeing
Western people dressed up in Tibetan gear offering marzipan to statues of
indo-tibetan deities? And that's just for starters - the marzipan, I mean!


>I would prefer to wait and see what
>they come up with before I engage in a debate about whether Venerable
>Geshe Kelsang is a Buddha or not.
Yeh, definitely safer. If they do come up with some good points, you can
then use them to support your belief that Geshe Kelsang is also a
Buddha/pure being/or whatever. If they don't, then you're reticence covers
your posterior. Good thinking.

>Perhaps you could attempt to answer my questions since you seem so fond
>of this medium.
hey! have you something against this "medium" - again understandable, the
NKT doesn't exactly like people talking back to them. Pity that, because
they're going to have to get used to it.

Yours in the Dh (ark),
Avyorth
>Kelsang Jangsem

Kent Sandvik

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Nov 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/18/97
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Avyorth Rolinson wrote:
> Kent Sandvik wrote in message <347140...@best.com>...
> >: If you regard your
> >root gurus as Buddhas you get the blessings of Buddhas, if you regard
> >them as Bodhisattvas you get the blessings of Bodhisattvas, and if you
> >regard them as humans you get the blessings of a human. Anything else is
> >irrelevant.
> IMO, Kent, this issue has little to do with one's "root guru", an entity not
> to be found sitting up on a very large cushion, wearing tibetan robes. The
> root guru is 'your' own innate seed of wisdom and compassion that might just
> move you that little bit further towards integrity - system theorists call
> them strange or chaotic attractors. Worshipping anything else is idolatry.
> Jangsem's questions were directed to that human (and IMO cool dude) the
> Dalai Lama.

Guru devotion is not idolatry at all, this is a big misunderstanding and
most likely a misinterpretation.

As Nagarjuna stated:
If a person fell from the peak of the king of mountains,
he would still fall, even though he thought, "I shall not fall."
If you receive beneficial teachings through the kindness of the guru,
you will still be liberated, though you think "I shall not be.".

Atisha had many hundred gurus, and maybe most of us agree that Atisha
was a very special buddhist practitioner.

For me, I do think guru devotion is very suitable for westeners, as we
have the mentality that we could do anything, learn anything, without
the help of others, leading to a very dualistic view of the world,
forgetting the interbeing part and what enlightenment really is about.



> >Maitri, Kent
> >PS: I think we should follow the excellent examples of our Gelug gurus
> >that don't get involved in this political game
> This bit had me falling off my cushion with laughter - thanks Kent!

I've received a huge amount of wonderful teachings the last three months
from wht I consider the top of the Gelug teachers, and never did these
lamas mention this controversy, and there's no need to extend it either,
as most of us have seen, better practice than get involved in this
issue.

Terry Stone

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Nov 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/18/97
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Dear kelsang-la,
I saw your posting and thought that I might make a contribution.
Regarding questioning the realization of the Dalai lamas,from an external
point of view of course enlightened qualities are difficult to perceive. In
the vinaya it is stated that although the presence of fish in a lake is not
immediately apparent, their presence may be inferred from ripples on the
surface.
Therefore, using inference one may(as an ordinary being ) reconize inner
qualities from the activities of the lama.
Part of your lineage relies upon upon holy beings who have stated quite
clearly that the particular Dalai lamas that you mention were authentic
manifestations of Chenresig and realised beings.
Purchok Jampa Gyatso said of the great 13th, that "he was truly the
incarnation of Avalokiteshvara".
Ling Rinpoche was tutor to both the 13th and 14th Dalai lamas both in his
last incarnation and the one prior to it(where he was lineal guru to losang
lungtok tenzin trinlay,guru of Pabongka).
The last Ling rinpoche (97th Ganden tripa) said in 1980 " from the moment I
saw his face I knew that he was the true incarnation of chenresig"
Incidentally as further inference can be drawn from the writing of realized
beings, Pabongka in his lam rim zindri - edited and comiled by Trijang
rinpoche, relies upon the 5th dalai lamas Jampel zhelung (southern and
extended lineages) along with the 2nd Panchen`s nyurdze lam.
My question is this, if your own lineage gurus relied upon and accepted
these incarnations as authentic and realized, then how can you disparage
them ?
Your own lama relied upon Ling rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche as his root guru
accepted the Lam rim la gyud as a golden rosary of enlightened beings.For
surely if they were not then the blessing power of the lineage would fade
and dissappear.
I hope you will accept my contributions with kindness even if you do not
agree with them.
with kind regards
Terry Stone
vajralama buddhist center <vaj...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in article
<3470D9...@ix.netcom.com>...
> Dear Avyorth,
>
> Hello there! I wondered what had happened to you - I can see that you

> spend a great deal of time wandering in cyber space - one of the weirder
> realities of our time.
>
> Having asked the representatives of the Dalai Lama to be forthcoming
> with valid reasons establishing the fifth, thirteenth and fourteenth
> Dalai Lamas as Buddhas, pure beings, I would prefer to wait and see what

> they come up with before I engage in a debate about whether Venerable
> Geshe Kelsang is a Buddha or not.
>
> Perhaps you could attempt to answer my questions since you seem so fond
> of this medium.
>
> Kelsang Jangsem
>

Irmela Biehler

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Nov 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/19/97
to


Dear Ole,

> For instance last year there was a meeting of Gelug masters in Germany
> where a letter was composed to ask HH the Dalai Lama to talk about this
> issue. The letter was written in a very traditional, humble and polite
> form. It was composed by 19 Rinpoches and Geshes of the Gelug tradition.
> The request was refused and in the reply letter it was stated that these
> masters would better study the scriptures of Lama Je Tsongkhapa...

Will you please be so kind to give the exact date and place,
where this 'meeting of Gelug masters' did take place in Germany?

I am seriously interested -

thank you

Irmela


john pettit

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Nov 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/20/97
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> 1. What are valid reasons for saying that the fifth Dalai Lama is a
> Buddha, a pure being?
> 2. What are valid reasons for saying that the thirteenth Dalai Lama is
> a
> Buddha, a pure being?
> 3. What are valid reasons for saying that the fourteenth Dalai Lama is
> a
> Buddha, a pure being?

The Dalai Lamas have always been involved in politics to one degree or
another, with the exception of the first and second, who were recognized
posthumously with that title. It is thanks largely to them, especially
the Great Fifth, that the Kadam-Gelug tradition became the largest and
most politically powerful Buddhist tradition in Tibet. So whether you
think he was a Buddha or not, you owe him and the other Dalai Lamas a
debt of gratitude.

And as for politics, all the high lamas of the three seats -- Sera,
Drepung and Ganden -- have always been involved, whether they wanted to
or not. Large monasteries endowed with large estate holdings providing
their financial and other resources could not possible avoid political
controversies. So before you go pointing your finger at the Dalai Lamas,
why don't you read up a little on the political history of Central
Tibet? It's always been a jungle.



> If we do not receive clear answers to our questions, we can assume
> that
> they are not Buddhas, not pure beings.


The absence of a clear answer does not constitute a disproof. This is
taught in the first chapter of the Pramanavarttika, under the subject of
"evidence of non-perception" (mi dmigs pa'i rtags). Dharmakirti states
that the absence of evidence does not constitute a disproof of the
existence of something else unless all the right conditions for
perceiving that something else are present. In the case of judging the
Dalai Lamas to be Buddhas, the only condition for perceiving whether
they are Buddhas or not is to be a Buddha, or at least a 10th-bhumi
Bodhisattva, yourself.

Are you, in fact, going to claim that you are a 10th level Bodhisattva?

I doubt it.

Just because someone else fails to answer your question hardly
constitutes a disproof.

Lamas are Buddhas because we imagine them that way. It's a matter of
faith.
The reason we think the Dalai Lamas are Buddhas is the same reason you
think your Lamas are Buddhas. Are you really so naive as to think this
is a subject for proof or disproof?

JAMES LOVE

unread,
Nov 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/20/97
to

JOHN you stand corrected, you are pure buddha, forget about the lama's pay
attention to your life and wake up. There's no reason you can't realize no
attainment now
john pettit wrote in message <3474A1BC...@columbia.edu>...

>> 1. What are valid reasons for saying that the fifth Dalai Lama is a
>> Buddha, a pure being?
>> 2. What are valid reasons for saying that the thirteenth Dalai Lama is
>> a
>> Buddha, a pure being?
>> 3. What are valid reasons for saying that the fourteenth Dalai Lama is
>> a
>> Buddha, a pure being?
>
>The Dalai Lamas have always been involved in politics to one degree or
>another, with the exception of the first and second, who were recognized
>posthumously with that title. It is thanks largely to them, especially
>the Great Fifth, that the Kadam-Gelug tradition became the largest and
>most politically powerful Buddhist tradition in Tibet. So whether you
>think he was a Buddha or not, you owe him and the other Dalai Lamas a
>debt of gratitude.
>
>And as for politics, all the high lamas of the three seats -- Sera,
>Drepung and Ganden -- have always been involved, whether they wanted to
>or not. Large monasteries endowed with large estate holdings providing
>their financial and other resources could not possible avoid political
>controversies. So before you go pointing your finger at the Dalai Lamas,
>why don't you read up a little on the political history of Central
>Tibet? It's always been a jungle.
>
>> If we do not receive clear answers to our questions, we can assume
>> that
>> they are not Buddhas, not pure beings.
>
>

Mark Dunlop

unread,
Nov 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/21/97
to

In article <34759DE7...@columbia.edu>, john pettit
<jw...@columbia.edu> writes
>I'm reluctant to your message on the newsgroup because your response to
>me is all mixed up with a lot of personal raving and invective which I
>think is unbecoming of anyone who would call himself a Buddhst,
Is this guy replying to his own post?
snip
><<much angry insane raving snipped>>
snippetty snip..
--
Mark Dunlop

Avyorth Rolinson

unread,
Nov 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/21/97
to

john pettit wrote in message <34759DE7...@columbia.edu>...


>I'm reluctant to your message on the newsgroup because your response to
>me is all mixed up with a lot of personal raving and invective which I

>think is unbecoming of anyone who would call himself a Buddhst, whatever
>the basis in fact may be. Frankly, and I mean this with kindness, I wish
>you'd leave the dirty laundry out. I'm sure there's a lot of it but it
>does not good to drag it out like you're doing.

Hi John,

Thanks for the feedback, and I can understand your plea for keeping the
'dirty laundry' hidden. After all dirty laundry points to rather unsavoury
functions of reality.

Yes, there is a lot of it - and believe me - I try to handle it
hygienically, as best I can. Nevertheless, as any visit to the local
hospital will quickly bring to your attention, 'dirty laundry' doesn't go
away. Rather it spreads leading to more serious complications. Fortunately
we have medications that can often clear up such suppurating sores. But in
order to do so the initial process can be rather unpleasant as the 'dirty
laundry' is exposed, lanced and then cleaned up. If you have no experience
of this process, then a brief talk to any doctor or nurse will quickly
confirm my point.

If only 'senior' people within the eg NKT had been willing to address the
'dirty laundry' as it came up then the situation would be very different.
Personally I was fortunate and was not directly 'hurt' by any of it. But I
did see quite a number of people who were. DOUBLY HURT!

Once by the incident, and then by the refusal of the organisation to look
at, and attempt to address, the 'dirty laundry'. Those who persisted in
bringing out the 'dirty laundry' were, quickly or slowly, dumped - and in
the process often dumped upon. One very fine elderly nun at Manjushri Centre
comes to mind - she's no longer there I might add as her life was made very
unpleasant until she disrobed and left. Her continual willingness to address
'dirty laundry' issues against the consolidated stonewalling of the
'authorities' at the Centre still continues to inspire me.

Some people were also 'spiritually' hurt. By that I mean that they now
associate Dharma with buddhism and/or buddhist organisations, and now have
nothing to do with either. That is a very great pity.

So John, I would be interested in your suggestions as to how the 'dirty
laundry' should be addressed, because it's not going to go away by itself.
There is yet more 'dirty laundry' gathering in the shadows,even as I type
this, and (so I've heard) is close to bursting.

Some of the other issues, perhaps more peripheral to this central point,
I'll address in other postings.

Yours in the Dh (ark)
Avyorth

>Really Ayforth, people like you give Buddhism a bad name. Have some
>sense of decency!
PS Quite the contrary, I think you're mistaking Vipaka and Karma ie effect
for cause!

Kelsang Khyenrab

unread,
Nov 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/21/97
to


Reply to Terry Stone from Khyenrab

Hello Terry

Jangsem asked for valid reasons to prove that the 5th and 14th Dalai
Lamas are Buddhas. Terry replied that we could say that these Lamas are
Buddhas because other Lamas said so.

Let's see if this reasoning works. In general we could say for instance that the 14th Dalai
Lama is a Buddha because HH Ling Rinpoche recognised him as such. But for the same
reason we can say that Dorje Shugden is a Wisdom Buddha because HH Ling
Rinpoche, HH Trijang Rinpoche (the 5th Dalai Lama at the end of his life
and the 14th some years ago) recognised him as such. So this reason does
not function as a valid one.

In the Sutras Buddha said: 'You should test my words as a jeweller assays
gold', I think that we should apply Buddha's advice here too. His words mean
that in order to prove a statement it is not enough to say 'this is true
because Buddha said so', so we need to examine the facts we can see now.

What we see now is that the present Dalai Lama is destroying the spiritual
freedom of thousands of people, violating their basic human rights, forcing
everybody through unacceptable methods to follow his beliefs, relying on
worldly spirits and oracles while going against his own root Guru's advice,
destroying the harmony amongst his people, ruling under the manipulative
union of State and Church, etc., so how can we say that such a person is a
Buddha?

Khyenrab


Kent Sandvik

unread,
Nov 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/21/97
to

Kelsang Khyenrab wrote:

> In the Sutras Buddha said: 'You should test my words as a jeweller assays
> gold', I think that we should apply Buddha's advice here too. His words mean
> that in order to prove a statement it is not enough to say 'this is true
> because Buddha said so', so we need to examine the facts we can see now.

Agree.

> What we see now is that the present Dalai Lama is destroying the spiritual
> freedom of thousands of people, violating their basic human rights, forcing
> everybody through unacceptable methods to follow his beliefs, relying on
> worldly spirits and oracles while going against his own root Guru's advice,
> destroying the harmony amongst his people, ruling under the manipulative
> union of State and Church, etc., so how can we say that such a person is a
> Buddha?

From Pahbonka Rinpoche's Liberation in the Palm of your Hand, and
Pabhonka Rinpoche supported HH Dalai Lama XIII:

"There is a danger that some may think, 'Spiritual guides are not really
buddhas, so we must rethink this section of the Lam-rim on devotion to a
spiritual guide'. But the point of this heading is that we should not
put wrong concepts such as these into the deepest recesses of our mind.

You should think as follows. The Guru is the Buddha but you do not
perceive it. The reason is as follows. Vajradhara is at present among
us, takin the form of gurus. Havajra's Royal Tanta says:

In future times, my physical form
Will be that of masters...

Also, for five millenia
I will take the form of masters
Think that they are me,
and develop respect for them
In these times...

In future degenerate tims,
My form shall be that of churls;
These are the various means I shall employ,
I will show myself in these forms. ".

---
In addition, from my side, the scriptures say that Buddhas could
manifest as *anything*, persons, trees, enemies, deities, dogs, whatever
is needed for the emanation body to tame and redirect sentient beings in
regenerate times. I.e, never, never, never make assumptions about
others, as this just shows the degeneration of not thinking everything
as pure and perfect, all such thoughts are the results of our inpure and
deluded minds.

Please, let us all stop with this name calling and such on this
newsgroup. It does not help any sentient beings, quite the opposite.
Imagine someone interested in Buddhism, has the first small tingle of
bodhichitta, then opens up this newgroups and reads about Buddhists
speaking of ill will with other buddhists, and about other buddhists. If
we turn this sentient being that has the first step towards not only his
or her own salvation, but also might become a buddha and save countless
other sentient beings from suffering forever, then what we have done is
against the Bodhisattva vows, and even creates huge karmic obstacles for
many sentient beings, including oneself, later.

This is the last thing I have to say about this all, and I'm happy to
share the little, tiny bits I know about buddha-dharma, but not get
involved in negativities, and I've already in this due to responding to
a posting.

May all sentient beings be free from suffering and the causes of
suffering, Kent


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

Avyorth Rolinson

unread,
Nov 22, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/22/97
to

Kelsang Khyenrab wrote in message <654l34$dis$1...@panther.rmplc.co.uk>...

>Reply to Terry Stone from Khyenrab

>What we see now is that the present Dalai Lama is destroying the spiritual
>freedom of thousands of people, violating their basic human rights, forcing
>everybody through unacceptable methods to follow his beliefs, relying on
>worldly spirits and oracles while going against his own root Guru's advice,
>destroying the harmony amongst his people, ruling under the manipulative
>union of State and Church, etc., so how can we say that such a person is a
>Buddha?


Greetings o noble Khyenrab,

I hope that you are well and enjoying life.
So, let's see. Geshe Kelsang tells us that in a previous life the (to-be)
buddha whilst travelling on a boat, knowing that a person onboard was
planning to kill many fellow travellers in order to rob them, killed this
person. So superficially we can say that this person (a very holy being)
acted unskilfully. How could we say that such a person is a Buddha-to-be?
Yet according to Geshe Kelsang, this being was worthy of the highest praise.
By his apparently unskilfull act, he prevented great harm to many, many
beings. How wonderful!
In his commentary to the Boddhisattvacharyavatara (Meaningful to Behold"),
Geshe Kelsang reminds us that Buddha Shakyamuni points out that it is more
important to prostrate to the new moon (ie a Boddhisattva, one about to
become a Buddha) than to the full moon (a Buddha). So you, seeing the Dalai
Lama acting in a way that is (to you) unskilfull, want to deny his being a
holy person? Yet you do not see that those he acts against are perhaps just
like that robber who wanted to kill his fellow travellers. How can we hold
that you are following your own teacher's advice?

Yours in the Dh (ark)
Avyorth

>
>Khyenrab
>

Kelsang Khyenrab

unread,
Nov 22, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/22/97
to


Reply to Kent Sandvik from Khyenrab

I agree with everything in your quote from Je Phabongkhapa’s Lamrim teaching
about guru devotion. It is also clearly explained by Ven Geshe Kelsang
Gyatso in “Joyful Path of Good Fortune”. I try to put these teachings into
practice myself and regard my root guru as a manifestation of Buddha
Vajradhara.

The thing that Terry and Jangsem were debating is not how to rely upon our
spiritual guide but one particular issue regarding Dorje Shugden and the
present Dalai Lama. I appreciate that you don’t want to put negative things
on the newsgroup and I agree with you. However, our problem is this: over
the past nineteen years the Dalai Lama has continually tried to destroy the
practice of Dorje Shugden and has been indirectly attacking the Dharma
taught by Je Phabonkhapa and HH Trijang Rinpoche (his own root guru).

If the Dalai Lama were to stop the persecution then there would be no basis
for this debate. Did you read the recent article from Tseten Samdrup of the
Tibetan government-in-exile? It was extremely disturbing for many people
and the accusations in it were false. So for as long as this abuse and
humiliation continues to the Gelug tradition passed down to us by Je
Phabongkhapa and HH Trijang Rinpoche we must reply and tell the truth. We
hope that if we explain the real situation to people then soon the Dalai
Lama and his government will end this repression.

Let me ask you some questions:
1. What do you think about Dorje Shugden - do you think that he is an evil
spirit because the Dalai Lama said so?
2. Or do you think that he is the Wisdom Buddha because Je Phabongkhapa said
so?
3. How will you decide which one is reliable - or are they both reliable?

Khyenrab


Kent Sandvik

unread,
Nov 22, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/22/97
to

Otherwise I would not respond, but there were questions asked directly
to me, and I'm bound to respond due to this. Let's see if I could manage
this without causing negativities to anyone...

Kelsang Khyenrab wrote:
> The thing that Terry and Jangsem were debating is not how to rely upon our
> spiritual guide but one particular issue regarding Dorje Shugden and the
> present Dalai Lama. I appreciate that you don’t want to put negative things
> on the newsgroup and I agree with you. However, our problem is this: over
> the past nineteen years the Dalai Lama has continually tried to destroy the
> practice of Dorje Shugden and has been indirectly attacking the Dharma
> taught by Je Phabonkhapa and HH Trijang Rinpoche (his own root guru).

I have not seen such a problem, and those teachers I've had teachings
from, Lati Rinpoche, Ribur Rinpoche, Zopa Rinpoche and many other top
Gelug teachers you could find on this planet, and who have HH Trijang
Rinpoche as their root guru, are also 100% loyal and behind HH Dalai
Lama. Thus the whole issue what's been mentioned above is totally
irrelevant and without any references for me.

> 1. What do you think about Dorje Shugden - do you think that he is an evil
> spirit because the Dalai Lama said so?

Dharma protectors are personal, and should not be discussed and argued
about openly. This is true of any tantric practices in general, there's
a reason they should be secret.

> 2. Or do you think that he is the Wisdom Buddha because Je Phabongkhapa said
> so?

I follow the teachings of Je Tsongkhapa, and that includes of course
Pahbonka Rinpoche, HH Trijang Rinpoche and anyone who belongs to the
Gelug tradition, and not excluding any other Tibetan traditions either.
I'm a simple practitioner, Bodhichitta is an excellent dharma protector,
same with the three jewels. As for other dharma protectors, those are
personal choices and should not be argued about and so forth.

> 3. How will you decide which one is reliable - or are they both reliable?

If someone wants to cause controversies, it's all doable. It's much
harder to create equanimity and peace amongst all sentient beings,
something that is part of a Buddha activity.

Maitri, Kent

Kelsang Khyenrab

unread,
Nov 23, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/23/97
to

Kent writes:

>>>...I have not seen such a problem, and those teachers I have had


teachings from, Lati Rinpoche, Ribur Rinpoche, Zopa Rinpoche and many other
top Gelug teachers you could find on this planet, and who have HH Trijang
Rinpoche as their root guru, are also 100% loyal and behind HH Dalai Lama.
Thus the whole issue what's been mentioned above is totally irrelevant and

without any references for me,..>>>

Dear Kent,

I think you must know that previously in Kopan monastery they used to
practice group puja of Dorje Shugden, and in the temple there was also a
statue and tangkha of Dorje Shugden placed there by Lama Yeshe. Lama Zopa
himself received life empowerment of Dorje Shugden and he also sincerely
engaged in this practice. Now they have stopped the practice in Kopan and
removed the statue and tangkha. Lama Zopa himself also stopped this
practice. If there is no problem, then why did Lama Zopa remove the statue
and tangkha of Dorje Shugden from the temple, why was the group puja stopped
and why has Lama Zopa broken his heart commitment?

You said: 'Dharma protectors are personal, and should not be discussed and


argued about openly. This is true of any tantric practices in general,

there's a reason they should be secret.'

I agree with you, so then why is the Dalai Lama publicly discrediting the
Dharma protector Dorje Shugden? It was he who first began to discuss this
issue publicly and continues to discredit the practice around the world.
Check out
Office of Tibet web sites for example.

You said: 'As for other Dharma protectors, those are personal choices and
should not be argued about and so forth'

Thank you for supporting us here. We, the practitioners of the Dharma
taught by HH Trijang Rinpoche, choose Dorje Shugden as our Dharma protector.
But the Dalai Lama has not allowed people to engage in this practice and
has continually repressed many Tibetan practitioners of Dorje Shugden and
they have thereby lost their religious freedom - including the practitioners
in
Kopan.


Khyenrab

Kent Sandvik

unread,
Nov 23, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/23/97
to

Kelsang Khyenrab wrote:

> You said: 'As for other Dharma protectors, those are personal choices and
> should not be argued about and so forth'
>
> Thank you for supporting us here. We, the practitioners of the Dharma
> taught by HH Trijang Rinpoche, choose Dorje Shugden as our Dharma protector.
> But the Dalai Lama has not allowed people to engage in this practice and
> has continually repressed many Tibetan practitioners of Dorje Shugden and
> they have thereby lost their religious freedom - including the practitioners
> in
> Kopan.


Khyenrab, I truly pray that you will get the pure view concept of
everyone being pure and pristine, and there being no problems other than
those generated by mental afflictions, and that the natural view of the
world is of happiness and bliss.

Sarva mangalam, Kent

Fred Little

unread,
Nov 24, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/24/97
to


Kelsang Khyenrab wrote:

I think you must know that previously in Kopan monastery they used to

> practice group puja of Dorje Shugden, and in the temple there was also a
> statue and tangkha of Dorje Shugden placed there by Lama Yeshe. Lama Zopa
> himself received life empowerment of Dorje Shugden and he also sincerely
> engaged in this practice. Now they have stopped the practice in Kopan and
> removed the statue and tangkha. Lama Zopa himself also stopped this
> practice. If there is no problem, then why did Lama Zopa remove the statue
> and tangkha of Dorje Shugden from the temple, why was the group puja stopped
> and why has Lama Zopa broken his heart commitment?
>
> You said: 'Dharma protectors are personal, and should not be discussed and
> argued about openly. This is true of any tantric practices in general,
> there's a reason they should be secret.'
>
> I agree with you, so then why is the Dalai Lama publicly discrediting the
> Dharma protector Dorje Shugden? It was he who first began to discuss this
> issue publicly and continues to discredit the practice around the world.

Dear Khyenrab--

I take it from your words above that if I choose to embrace a karma mudra in
your meditation hall you will have no objection. After all, it would be a
personally chosen tantric practice, and you have already taken a stand against
publicly discrediting personal practices simply on the basis of one's own
feelings because of the hurt that may be caused to the faith and aspirations of
others.

Fred Little


Kelsang Khyenrab

unread,
Nov 24, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/24/97
to


Avyorth wrote to Khyenrab:

“I used to be your personal driver, taking you to and from Tara Centre
in Buxton and Madhyamaka Centre in Pocklington. Strange how spiritual
friendship is so dependent upon loyalty to the group-mind!”

You were very kind to give your time to drive me and luggage to the
rail station
in Sheffield so I could catch the train to York. Thank you Avyorth. I
enjoyed our
conversations on those trips. I remain your friend and am happy to give
my time
to try to be of assistance to you if you want.

You also said:

“.. and anyone who questions or disagrees with his position
is seen as obviously deluded.”

All living beings are deluded whether in agreement with someone else or
not.
We are simply trying to protect the lineage we have received from our
root gurus Je
Phabongkhapa, HH Trijang Rinpoche and Ven. Geshe Kelsang. Whether or
not you
agree with us we believe that our lineage is under threat of
destruction through forcible
repression of the practice of Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden and bad
information
being spread worldwide by the Dalai Lama. If the Dalai Lama would
change his mind and stop this then immediately we would stop raising
this issue.
It’s that simple. Apart from this single issue we have no other debate
with the Dalai Lama.

Then:

“Even the very Articles of Association of NKT Centres demonstrate the
unwillingness of the NKT to be open to democratic processes. Let me
quote
article 19b):
"where a resolution is proposed which if passed would result in the
amendment of this Article 19, or Article 2, Article 11, Article 18, or
the
amendment of more than one of the aforesaid then any Member voting
against
such amendment (whether the Member is voting for or against the
relevant
resolution) shall whether present in person or by proxy be entitled to
one
million votes."

You need not worry. For example, if you read the twenty pages of
the constitution you can see it is democratic. How do I know this?
I know a little about this having registered one society with the
government in the UK. Many societies and organisations include in their
main objects clause (usually clause 2 or 3) a phrase to the effect that
“ the main
object is fixed and cannot be changed”. This means that the main
purpose for
which that society was set up cannot be changed without winding-up the
organisation
and starting again. The clause you point out above is another way of
saying the same thing.
That’s all. They are democratic in their functioning and are accepted
as such by the Charity Commisioners.

Avyorth , you clearly disagree with NKT in general and I respect your
right
to do so. We can discuss these differences either privately or publicly
and
I am happy to meet with you at any time to talk about them.

Khyenrab


cf...@dircon.co.uk

unread,
Nov 25, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/25/97
to

On Sun, 16 Nov 1997 14:35:43 -0800, vajralama buddhist center
<vaj...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

>Is the Dalai Lama a Buddha?

He doesn't claim to be one.

...


>We understand clearly that the source of this problem is the fifth,
>thirteenth and fourteenth Dalai Lamas. Firstly, the fifth Dalai Lama
>indicated that Dorje Shugden is a harmful spirit and this falsehood
>spread throughout Tibet. People believed him because he was both their
>king and spiritual leader.

>The thirteenth Dalai Lama, following the view
>of the fifth Dalai Lama, also did not allow the practice of Dorje
>Shugden.

The 6th-12th Dalai Lamas probably never had much opportunity
to prohibit this practice.

>In particular he caused many difficulties for Je Phabongkhapa
>by using his political power to prevent him from engaging in the
>teaching and practice of Dorje Shugden.

Did not Phabongkha and a number of his followers who were devoted to
this Gyalpo Shugden use their own political power to destroy and take
over many monasteries and temples of other traditions esp. in the
region around Chamdo and other parts of E. Tibet? In particular
didn't they suppress the ancient teachings and tradition of
Padmasambhava - through whose enlightened activity Buddhism
gained hold in the land of Tibet?

[c.f. Beyer, Stephan "The Cult of Tara"; Samuel, Geoffrey "Civilized
Shamans: Buddhism in Tibetan Societies".]

Frankly speaking, if these reports are even partially true (and I have
spoken to Tibetans who witnessed some of these events and the
aftermath) - then I don't find it very difficult to understand why a
Dalai Lama would oppose a practice largely promoted by
Phabongkha.

Of course Phabongkha was one of the most brilliant commentators
on the teachings of the Gelugpa tradition, an extremely popular
teacher and a powerful political figure. That doesn't mean that
he was automatically always right or that he was an enlightened
Buddha.

For the most part the thirteenth Dalai Lama seems to have represented
a more liberal, tolerant and reforming side of the Gelugpa
establishment than that represented by Phabongkha (though the 13th
Dalai Lama too extended the hegonomy of the Gelugpa school). If many
of his reforms had not been undone following his death, and Tibet
once more became more inward looking, Tibet might have gained more
international recognition and stood more chance of retaining it's
independence.

>The fourteenth Dalai Lama has
>carried on this persecution even more virulently than his predecessors,
>showing little or no regard for religious freedom and no compassion for
>the Tibetan and western practitioners suffering as a result of his
>actions.

The senior incarnate lama [HHDL] and the highest office holder [Ganden
Tripa] of the Gelugpa tradition have prohibited worship of this
particular entity in the monasteries, temples and other institutions
of their tradition. This might be compared to the Pope derecognizing
certain Xtian Saints, and forms of worship within the Roman Catholic
Church - and it seem to be no more religious repression for the Dalai
Lama and HE Ganden Tripa to forbid a particular religious practice
within their Buddhist denomination than it is for the Pope to prohibit
particular practices within the Roman Catholic Church.

>I have discussed this religious issue with many other practitioners, and
>we have decided that now is the time to clarify this situation through
>public debate. We also understand that until the fifth, thirteenth and
>fourteenth Dalai Lamas are clearly proven to be Buddhas that we cannot
>accept their views. Therefore I would like to suggest that the issues to
>be debated are:

>1. Whether these three lamas are Buddhas, pure beings or not.

Now just what would constitute valid proof of this as far as you are
concerned? AFAIK the Dalai Lama has never claimed to be an
Enlightened Buddha - though his devotees may look upon him that way.
HHDL usually refers to himself as a Buddhist monk not as a Buddha.

You are the one who is maintaining that Gyalpo Shugden is a Buddha
- the current leaders of all the main traditions of Tibetan all say
this is not so. Who are we supposed to believe? HH the Dalai Lama,
the Ganden Tripa and the main teachers of the Sakya, Kagyu and Nyingma
traditions or you, Geshe Kelsang and Jim Burns?

If you can establish your claim that Gyalpo Shugden is a Buddha then
I'm sure someone will be able to establish that HHDL is a Buddha too
( a claim which, afaik, he himself has never made).


>2. Whether we accept their view that Dorje Shugden is a harmful spirit or not.

If you believe in things like harmful spirits - then there is prob. as
much evidence of Gyalpo Shugden causing harm as there is
of harm caused by any other spirit.

Even if Shugden is perfectly benign - that doesn't make him a Buddha
or an object of Refuge.

>3. Whether Buddhists accept the mixing of Dharma and politics or not.

Buddhism has pretty well always been mixed with politics and what you
have engaged yourself in here is very much a kind of politics too.

Although you may wish to believe that the Gelugpa tradition rose
to prominence in Tibet simply through the great merit of Je Tsongkhapa
there is a great deal of evidence that this was mostly accomplished
by political (and military) means.

Every Tibetan Buddhist school has been involved in politics at one
time or another - in recent centuries, the Gelugpa more than any
other. The surviving tradition that has probably been the least
involved in politics (anyway since the time of Rinchen Zangpo) is
probably the Nyingmapa - and they have often suffered materially
as a result.

From all accounts I've heard it seems that your teachers Phabongkha
and Trijang Rinpoche were at times very much involved in politics too.
You may consider their engagement in this field "skilful means" or
"Buddha activity" but that does not mean it was not politics.


>If we can clarify the first issue then the others will naturally follow.

>In Newsweek magazine (April 97), Robert Thurman publicly criticised and


>humiliated both practitioners of Dorje Shugden and members of the New
>Kadampa Tradition.

Big deal, Prof. Robert Thurman may be considered to be an authority on
the Gelugpa tradition by a few people in the western academic world of
Tibetan Buddhist studies but outside of that rather small circle, I
doubt if anyone pays much more attention to what he says than to what
you or I say here.



>We understand that he is acting like the Dalai Lama's
>representative and trying to destroy both Dorje Shugden practice and the

>credibility of the NKT. Therefore we recognise him to be the actual


>representative of the Dalai Lama. Also the Central Tibetan
>Administration in Dharamsala and Fred Little seem to be acting as the
>Dalai Lama's representatives.

Isn't the Central Tibetan Administration supposed to be HHDL's
Government just as the British Govt. is supposed to be Her Majesty's
Govt.?

Fred Little the Dalai Lama's representative? - come on now.
(And before you accuse me of the same thing I can assure you
that I only represent myself.)


>There are three questions to be addressed to these representatives
>regarding the first issue: Whether these three lamas are Buddhas or not.

>1. What are valid reasons for saying that the fifth Dalai Lama is a
>Buddha, a pure being?
>2. What are valid reasons for saying that the thirteenth Dalai Lama is a
>Buddha, a pure being?
>3. What are valid reasons for saying that the fourteenth Dalai Lama is a
>Buddha, a pure being?

Perhaps you can tell us first what you consider to be valid reasons
for saying that any lama is a tulku, a Buddha or a pure being? We
need to establish just what you mean by "valid reasons" here -
otherwise any reasons that may be put forward you can simply declare
as invalid.

>If we do not receive clear answers to our questions, we can assume that
>they are not Buddhas, not pure beings. If this is the case there is no
>need to accept their views on Dorje Shugden, or to follow their example
>of mixing Dharma with politics.

Your opinion of the Dalai Lama is beginning to sound like the Rev. Ian
Paisley's opinion of the Pope.

You don't _have_ to accept HHDL's views on Dholgyal Shugden just
as Catholics now don't _have_ to accept the views of the Pope (in this
day and age they are free to go away and join another church or set up
one of their own). Whenever we are members of something like a
religious body or a political party sometimes we have to accept the
dogma, doctrine, creed or policy as it is set forth or interpreted by
the _current_ leaders of that religious body or political party. If
the leadership insists on a doctrine, dogma or policy that we cannot
in all conscience accept then, even if we have devoted our whole life
and resources to that organisation, we may have to go away and form
our own church or party - in time perhaps we may even be regarded by
the majority as the ones who were right.

So long as the Dalai Lama is not forcibly preventing you or others
from purchasing land and establishing there monasteries or temples
where you can worship Shugden to your heart's content I think your
charge of religious repression on his part does not hold any water.
To compare this to the repression suffered in Tibet during the
cultural revolution etc is outrageous.

There may of course be some hotheads who disagree with your
views on this issue so much that they stoop to issuing (or even
carrying out) threats of violence. This is reprehensible but I have
seen no evidence at all that HHDL has condoned anyone or anything
like this.

Similarly there seem to have been threats made by hothead devotees of
Shugden against those who are known to oppose their views. (In one
case it is alleged that people like this are responsible for the
murder of the Ven abott of the Dialectics School in Dharmsala and two
of his students.) Now I don't think that Geshe Kelsang has anything to
do with these threats nor would he condone them.

>Kelsang Jangsem,
>Resident Teacher,
>Vajralama Buddhist Center

If you truly believe that Gyalpo Shugden is an emanation of Manjusri
you could always try worshipping a form of that Buddha which everyone
accepts in his stead. Je Tsongkhapa and all those who preceded him
going right back to the Buddha seem to have managed quite well without
Gyalpo Shugden. Why are you so attached to this particular form?

Lama Zopa and many other worthy teachers, also disciples of Trijang
Rinpoche, seem to have accepted the Dalai Lama's policy, views and
wishes on this matter - perhaps at first with some regret. I expect
though that in the end they decided that he knew best and that the
divisions being caused by continuing this practice did more harm than
any benefit that might accrue.

Of course I can see why Geshe Kelsang may be so committed to this
practice - after all his uncle is an oracle (Kuten) of Gyalpo Shugden
- and I expect that Shugden is also his family protector. If
Shugden is called by some "a harmful spirit", he may see this as a
direct insult to his whole family and tradition and it is only human
if he is upset.

Similarly Gyalpo Shugden was considered to be a special protector of
Trijang Rinpoche's monastery in Chatreng so naturally he made daily
offerings and pujas to him.-Iin Tibetan eyes if this protector gained
status and influence so did his monastery - If it looses status in
some peoples eyes so do they.

Does this mean that Geshe Kelsang and lamas who are students of
Trijang Rinpoche and their students should be initiating student's
into this practice or calling on them to take their side in this
affair?

Can you blame an average western dharma student who has never seen a
Shugden - benign or malign - in the flesh for suspecting that there
may be some fierce Tibetan tribal loyalties operating here and that
there maybe those who are trying to rope us in to an arcane, rather
bizarre, Tibetan factional struggle that has probably been bubbling
along since one faction's candidate got chosen as the Fifth Dalai Lama

and the other faction's cadidate lost ?

Sure this entity Gyalpo Shugden is supposed to have been around
since that time (he's alleged by his devotees to be the spirit or
embodiment of the losing candidate) - but as far as I have been able
to determine until fairly recently everyone considered him to be just
another one of Tibet's innumerable worldly religious protectors -
somewhere beneath the status of Gyalpo Pehar. There may have been
many people who considered him to be the special protector of their
family, locality or monastery and made offerings to him daily in order
that he would help them succeed in their endeavours but that does not
necessarily mean they considered him to be a wisdom deity or took
refuge in him .

It seems that only after Phabongkha (this centtury) had a "vision" of
Dragpa Gyaltsen (the losing candidate for the position of the fifth
Dalai Lama - subsequently recognized as a tulku of Panchen ) that
Shugden was suddenly elevated to the status of a "wisdom protector"
and emanation of Buddha. There are even those who claim this "vision"
of Phabongkha is apocryphal and that it was Trijang Rinpoche himself
who is largely responsible for elevating Gyalpo Shugden to the status
of enlightend being and object of refuge.

Even at the time Nebesky Wojkowitz gathered material for his book
(1950-53) - which devotes moe than a whole large chapter to Shugden -
there seems to have been no widespread belief (at least amongst
Tibetans in Kalimpong & Sikkim) that Shugden was an enlightend
protector as there is no mention of this in his book where he is
treated like Pehar, Tsi'u mar etc as a . This is strange as his main
informants seem to have been Dhardo Rinpoche , Tratung Rinpoche
and Lhagpa Dondrub (an Oracle of Shugden). Surely in the three years
he was going over this material with these informants they would
have mentioned that Shugden was an enlightend protector if they
believed this to be so.

Anyway, whatever the case, do we in the west really need purely
Tibetan protectors like Gyalpo Shugden? If we need Dharma protectors
can't we get along perfectly well with those protectors which have a
long and far less controversial pedigree going back at least to the
great maha siddhas of India and the tantras themselves?

Regards

- Chris


Bosco Ho

unread,
Nov 25, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/25/97
to

With my little understanding of Dharma and Tibetan Buddhism, I cannot
speak for Kent, but...

In <65abng$g2$1...@panther.rmplc.co.uk>, On 23 Nov 1997 22:46:08 GMT,
khye...@mail.rmplc.co.uk (Kelsang Khyenrab) wrote:

>Dear Kent,

>I think you must know that previously in Kopan monastery they used to
>practice group puja of Dorje Shugden, and in the temple there was also a
>statue and tangkha of Dorje Shugden placed there by Lama Yeshe. Lama Zopa
>himself received life empowerment of Dorje Shugden and he also sincerely
>engaged in this practice. Now they have stopped the practice in Kopan and
>removed the statue and tangkha. Lama Zopa himself also stopped this
>practice. If there is no problem, then why did Lama Zopa remove the statue
>and tangkha of Dorje Shugden from the temple, why was the group puja stopped
>and why has Lama Zopa broken his heart commitment?

that reminds me of an american historical figure named 'George
Washington.' You see, when he was young, he was a rather mischievous
chap, so one day he chopped down a cherry tree. Realizing what he had
done, he confessed his misdeed - and never done it again - and went on
to become one of the greatest American Presidents.

The moral of the story is that the ability to change - whether he is
George Washington, Rechungpa or Lama Zopa - to the sign of a great
being. OTOH, to hang on to the fading glory and self aggrandizing past
can only an endless wandering in Samsara (pardon for the mixed
metaphors.)

>You said: 'Dharma protectors are personal, and should not be discussed and
>argued about openly. This is true of any tantric practices in general,
>there's a reason they should be secret.'

>I agree with you, so then why is the Dalai Lama publicly discrediting the
>Dharma protector Dorje Shugden? It was he who first began to discuss this
>issue publicly and continues to discredit the practice around the world.

>Check out
>Office of Tibet web sites for example.

Well, actually, if your vajre brother Messr Mark Gilespie didn't start
waving banner in London last year or someone raved about the DS
practice during the Spring Festival (as reported by Namdrol) two years
ago, I suspect many people outside of the circle wouldn't know what is
DS.

That reminds me of the recent american jurisprudent scene. A mugger
was shot by the police - and has become paralyzed. The mugger turned
around and sue the police for the cause of his paralysis.

The moral of the story is that the so-called 'Freedom Foundation',
which really comprised of NKT and other DS groups, has tried to
politically forced HHDL's hand.

>You said: 'As for other Dharma protectors, those are personal choices and
>should not be argued about and so forth'

>Thank you for supporting us here. We, the practitioners of the Dharma
>taught by HH Trijang Rinpoche, choose Dorje Shugden as our Dharma protector.
>But the Dalai Lama has not allowed people to engage in this practice and
>has continually repressed many Tibetan practitioners of Dorje Shugden and
>they have thereby lost their religious freedom - including the practitioners
>in
>Kopan.

Analogous to the George Washington example, just because human beings
were a savage beast once in the prehistoric time, should we behave
like one too?

AFAIK, the previous Kyabie Trijang Rinpoche has acceded to HHDL's
reasoning. I understand Ven Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (or whoever spoke in
his name) has replied to Chris Flynn that Ven GKG has not witnessed
this in person and therefore refused to accept that. To digress a bit,
that brings up an interesting point, if Ven GKG has refused to accept
the incident simply because he didn't witness it himself, how else
should the followers of HHDL behave if they have never met the
previous Kyabie TR or Pabangka Rinpoche?

>Khyenrab

in Dharma, Bosco

Kelsang Khyenrab

unread,
Nov 25, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/25/97
to


Fred Little wrote:

Kelsang Khyenrab wrote:

I think you must know that previously in Kopan monastery they used to

> practice group puja of Dorje Shugden, and in the temple there was
also a
> statue and tangkha of Dorje Shugden placed there by Lama Yeshe. Lama
Zopa
> himself received life empowerment of Dorje Shugden and he also
sincerely
> engaged in this practice. Now they have stopped the practice in Kopan
and
> removed the statue and tangkha. Lama Zopa himself also stopped this
> practice. If there is no problem, then why did Lama Zopa remove the
statue
> and tangkha of Dorje Shugden from the temple, why was the group puja
stopped
> and why has Lama Zopa broken his heart commitment?
>

> You said: 'Dharma protectors are personal, and should not be
discussed and
> argued about openly. This is true of any tantric practices in
general,
> there's a reason they should be secret.'
>
> I agree with you, so then why is the Dalai Lama publicly discrediting
the
> Dharma protector Dorje Shugden? It was he who first began to discuss
this
> issue publicly and continues to discredit the practice around the
world.

Dear Khyenrab--

I take it from your words above that if I choose to embrace a karma
mudra in
your meditation hall you will have no objection. After all, it would
be a
personally chosen tantric practice, and you have already taken a stand
against
publicly discrediting personal practices simply on the basis of one's
own
feelings because of the hurt that may be caused to the faith and
aspirations of
others.


Dear Fred

Thanks for your reply. Maybe you would find the comments of HH Dalai
Lama and his goverment suitable as a reply?

“...In addition, ensure total implementation of this decree by each and
every one...In implementing this policy, if there is anyone who
continues to worship Dorje Shugden, make a list of their names, house
name, birth place, class in the case of students, and the date of
arrival in case of new arrivals from Tibet. Keep the original and send
us a copy of the list.”

This from the Private Office of the Dalai Lama to the Abbot of Sermey
Monastic College March 30th 1996

And then:

“It will be the last resort if we have to knock on their doors to stop
them from worshipping Shugden”

This from the Dalai Lama at the Tamdrin empowerment March 21st 1996.

BTW the Tibetan originals of these documents were authenticated for
German national TV and used in a programme shown there last week(Nov
20th 1997).

What a shame that so many people are now suffering because of these
words and actions from the Dalai Lama and his government-in-exile.

Khyenrab

vajralama buddhist center

unread,
Nov 25, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/25/97
to

Dear Terry,

Thanks for your posting. I feel that Khyenrab has addressed your first
point about the Dalai Lama's being recognized as realized beings by
Lama's of our tradition.

The second point about Je Pabonkhapa relying on the works of the Dalai
Lama for his Lamrim we also cannot use as a valid reason. To be a valid
reason we would then have to say necessarily that Je Pabongkhapa was an
infallible being, a Buddha. Being an infallible being all his actions
would be infallible. Therefore his reliance on Dorje Shugden as a Buddha
would also be infallible. As we can see just because Je Phabongkhapa
claims that Dorje Shugden is a Buddha is not accepted as a valid reason
by many, including the present Dalai Lama, that he is a Buddha.

Also if Je Pabongkapa relied on the works of the fifth Dalai lama for
his Lamrim as you claim this does not necessarily mean that he regarded
him as a Buddha. He may have recognized him as a great scholar whose
works he deeply respected.

I like very much the quote you use from the Vinaya about how the
presence of a fish in a lake can be inferred from the ripples on the
surface, and in the same way one can infer the inner qualities of a lama
from their outer actions. This is precisely my point. The outer
activities of the present Dalai Lama with respect to the Dorje Shugden
issue (and many others) has caused much suffering and disharmony amongst
Tibetans and the wider Buddhist community.

Yours sincerely,
Jangsem

Kent Sandvik

unread,
Nov 25, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/25/97
to

vajralama buddhist center wrote:
> The fact that the Ganden Tripa is now appointed personally by the Dalai
> Lama as are all the abbots (whereas previously they were elected by the
> monks) discredits any position they may take on the Dorje Shugden issue.

As I was told, the new abbott of Sera Me, Kham Rinpoche, was selected by
the monks. Please correct me if this information is wrong.

> I know Geshe Kelsang very well, having been a student of his for eleven
> years and having met him numerous times. He is not risking everything he
> has worked for over the last twenty years on the basis of some personal
> or tribal grudge! He sees clearly that the Gelugpa school as taught by
> the two Fathers of the modern Gelugpas, Je Pabongkhapa and Trijang
> Rinpoche is under a concerted attack. His motivation is entirely pure -
> to protect the pure tradition of Je Tsongkapa.

So what about the other Gelug dharma centers in the west, ACI, Heart
Jewel, FPMT, and many others? Do you have the perception that these
wonderful dharma centers and teachers operating at these centers are not
protecting the pure tradition of Je Tsonkhapa? I'm kind of curious to
know your point, especially as all these centers share teachers and
lamas, and I personally wish NTK could join this collaborative
environment, but if your concensus is that you alone are protecting Je
Tsongkhapa's teachings, that's sad. It also makes it harder for the
members to get wonderful teachings from various teachers in the Gelug
tradition if you want to be alone and not have connections to the
tradition of Gelug instituted by Je Tsongkhapa. How sad.

> Since this is our lineage and heart practice of course we are going to
> initiate people into it. We know how beneficail it is to rely on Dorje
> Shugden from our own experience so of course we are going to share that
> with others.

Based on your earlier statements about you and your members suffering
due to this controversy concerning the specific dharma protector, I
would not think that what you say above is inline with the reality,
sorry.

Hopefully everything will be resolved using compassion, and especially
using taking and giving!

Maitri, Kent

vajralama buddhist center

unread,
Nov 25, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/25/97
to

cf...@dircon.co.uk wrote:
>
> On Sun, 16 Nov 1997 14:35:43 -0800, vajralama buddhist center
> <vaj...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>
> >Is the Dalai Lama a Buddha?
>
> He doesn't claim to be one.

He may not claim to be one but he is regarded as such by his followers,
including fanatics in his government and elsewhere who implement his
wishes without even the slightest question of their validity.

>
> The 6th-12th Dalai Lamas probably never had much opportunity
> to prohibit this practice.
>

Please explain why they had no such opportunity.

>
> Did not Phabongkha and a number of his followers who were devoted to
> this Gyalpo Shugden use their own political power to destroy and take
> over many monasteries and temples of other traditions esp. in the
> region around Chamdo and other parts of E. Tibet? In particular
> didn't they suppress the ancient teachings and tradition of
> Padmasambhava - through whose enlightened activity Buddhism
> gained hold in the land of Tibet?
>
> [c.f. Beyer, Stephan "The Cult of Tara"; Samuel, Geoffrey "Civilized
> Shamans: Buddhism in Tibetan Societies".]
>
> Frankly speaking, if these reports are even partially true (and I have
> spoken to Tibetans who witnessed some of these events and the
> aftermath) - then I don't find it very difficult to understand why a
> Dalai Lama would oppose a practice largely promoted by
> Phabongkha.
>

In his 'In the Presence of My Enemies' Tsipon Shuguba describes becoming
assistant to the Governor of Chamdo in 1940. He talks of a ‘monastery
rebellion’, ‘a few monks … claiming to be possessed by the local spirit
Shugden’ disturbing local farmers and stealing possessions. He reports
that in 1940 fifteen monks destroyed a statue of Padmasambhava, while
forcing the local residents to give them food, and then broke down the
doors of Chamdo Monastery’s storehouse, and destroyed the book-keeping
records and smashed furniture.

Even if Shuguba's account is true, while it is all deplorable it hardly
points to mass sectarianism. The 15 monks were arrested, given at least
200 lashes each, while hanging up by their feet, their screams proof, as
Shuguba says, that their possession was not genuine, and the incident
was finished. Indeed, Sugaba claimed to have destroyed this ‘local
spirit cult’.

Interestingly enough, he makes no mention of Je Pabongkhapa, either
positive or negative throughout the whole book, yet according to other
accounts Je Pabongkhapa was destroying Nyingma monasteries in eastern
Tibet around the turn of the Second World War. Je Pabongkhapa died in
1941.

Considering the general lawlessness in eastern Tibet at that time, it is
hardly fair to blame all practitioners of Dorje Shugden for rumours
about the actions by a few distressed monks in that part of Tibet nearly
60 years ago. Although the monks are accused of being motivated by
sectarian aims, they seemed more interested in acquiring food and
destroying book-keeping records. Shuguba mentions nothing about
monasteries and temples of other traditions being destroyed or taken
over.

Anyway since the events are disputed, and the present-day Shugden
practitioners have no-anti Nyingma agenda, isn't it time to forget these
grudges?

>SNIP<

> The senior incarnate lama [HHDL] and the highest office holder [Ganden
> Tripa] of the Gelugpa tradition have prohibited worship of this
> particular entity in the monasteries, temples and other institutions
> of their tradition. This might be compared to the Pope derecognizing
> certain Xtian Saints, and forms of worship within the Roman Catholic
> Church - and it seem to be no more religious repression for the Dalai
> Lama and HE Ganden Tripa to forbid a particular religious practice
> within their Buddhist denomination than it is for the Pope to prohibit
> particular practices within the Roman Catholic Church.

The fact that the Ganden Tripa is now appointed personally by the Dalai


Lama as are all the abbots (whereas previously they were elected by the
monks) discredits any position they may take on the Dorje Shugden issue.

One can safely assume that the Dalai Lama will appoint those who are
towing the party line on this issue. We also know how dangerous it is to
speak out on this issue even if one does disagree (cf. threats to the
life of Trijang Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche and Geshe Kelsang). We also know
it is not just a question of giving some advice and leaving it at that,
there is an active ban against the practice of Dorje Shugden,
persecution of those who continue to practice and discrimination against
them in public office.


>
> >I have discussed this religious issue with many other practitioners, and we have decided that now is the time to clarify this situation through
> >public debate. We also understand that until the fifth, thirteenth and
> >fourteenth Dalai Lamas are clearly proven to be Buddhas that we cannot
> >accept their views. Therefore I would like to suggest that the issues to
> >be debated are:
>
> >1. Whether these three lamas are Buddhas, pure beings or not.
>
> Now just what would constitute valid proof of this as far as you are
> concerned? AFAIK the Dalai Lama has never claimed to be an
> Enlightened Buddha - though his devotees may look upon him that way.
> HHDL usually refers to himself as a Buddhist monk not as a Buddha.
>

Valid proof would be proof that could establish beyond doubt that these
Lamas are Buddhas. So far not one single valid reason has been
forthcoming from anyone, whether they are a representative of the Dalai
Lama or not.

> You are the one who is maintaining that Gyalpo Shugden is a Buddha
> - the current leaders of all the main traditions of Tibetan all say
> this is not so. Who are we supposed to believe? HH the Dalai Lama,
> the Ganden Tripa and the main teachers of the Sakya, Kagyu and Nyingma
> traditions or you, Geshe Kelsang and Jim Burns?
>
> If you can establish your claim that Gyalpo Shugden is a Buddha then
> I'm sure someone will be able to establish that HHDL is a Buddha too
> ( a claim which, afaik, he himself has never made).
>

This issue was debated at great length in this news group and their is
obviously a profound difference of opinion. However it is not the issue
of this present debate. What we are trying to establish is whether the
Dalai Lama has the authority to ban a centuries old religous practice.

> >2. Whether we accept their view that Dorje Shugden is a harmful spirit or not.
> If you believe in things like harmful spirits - then there is prob. as
> much evidence of Gyalpo Shugden causing harm as there is
> of harm caused by any other spirit.
>
> Even if Shugden is perfectly benign - that doesn't make him a Buddha
> or an object of Refuge.
>
> >3. Whether Buddhists accept the mixing of Dharma and politics or not.
> Buddhism has pretty well always been mixed with politics and what you
> have engaged yourself in here is very much a kind of politics too.
>
> Although you may wish to believe that the Gelugpa tradition rose
> to prominence in Tibet simply through the great merit of Je Tsongkhapa
> there is a great deal of evidence that this was mostly accomplished
> by political (and military) means.
>
> Every Tibetan Buddhist school has been involved in politics at one
> time or another - in recent centuries, the Gelugpa more than any
> other. The surviving tradition that has probably been the least
> involved in politics (anyway since the time of Rinchen Zangpo) is
> probably the Nyingmapa - and they have often suffered materially
> as a result.
>
> From all accounts I've heard it seems that your teachers Phabongkha
> and Trijang Rinpoche were at times very much involved in politics too.
> You may consider their engagement in this field "skilful means" or
> "Buddha activity" but that does not mean it was not politics.
>

This may all be true, not being a great expert on Tibetan history I
cannot say. What I can say is that with the Dharma moving to the West we
have a great opportunity to practise dharma unmixed with politics. It is
said that when Dharma moves from one country to another that it is a
great time to gain realizations, because the Dharma is fresh, unmixed
with politcal agendas and so forth. The great tragedy we see now is that
the horrible mess of Tibetan politics is coming to the West and is
causing enormous distress to many Western Buddhists. Destroying their
faith and spiritual practice.

>SNIP<


> Isn't the Central Tibetan Administration supposed to be HHDL's
> Government just as the British Govt. is supposed to be Her Majesty's
> Govt.?
>
> Fred Little the Dalai Lama's representative? - come on now.
> (And before you accuse me of the same thing I can assure you
> that I only represent myself.)
>

As you can probably appreciate Chris we would dearly love to debate this
issue with the Dalai Lama himself. Yet he consistently refuses to
discuss it. Therefore in pursuit of a debate we are trying to find
people who would represent the Dalai Lama. Its very difficult to debate
with a vacuum!

> >There are three questions to be addressed to these representatives
> >regarding the first issue: Whether these three lamas are Buddhas or not.
>
> >1. What are valid reasons for saying that the fifth Dalai Lama is a
> >Buddha, a pure being?
> >2. What are valid reasons for saying that the thirteenth Dalai Lama is a
> >Buddha, a pure being?
> >3. What are valid reasons for saying that the fourteenth Dalai Lama is a
> >Buddha, a pure being?
>
> Perhaps you can tell us first what you consider to be valid reasons
> for saying that any lama is a tulku, a Buddha or a pure being? We
> need to establish just what you mean by "valid reasons" here -
> otherwise any reasons that may be put forward you can simply declare
> as invalid.
>

See above comment.

>SNIP<


>
> You don't _have_ to accept HHDL's views on Dholgyal Shugden just
> as Catholics now don't _have_ to accept the views of the Pope (in this
> day and age they are free to go away and join another church or set up
> one of their own). Whenever we are members of something like a
> religious body or a political party sometimes we have to accept the
> dogma, doctrine, creed or policy as it is set forth or interpreted by
> the _current_ leaders of that religious body or political party. If
> the leadership insists on a doctrine, dogma or policy that we cannot
> in all conscience accept then, even if we have devoted our whole life
> and resources to that organisation, we may have to go away and form
> our own church or party - in time perhaps we may even be regarded by
> the majority as the ones who were right.
>
> So long as the Dalai Lama is not forcibly preventing you or others
> from purchasing land and establishing there monasteries or temples
> where you can worship Shugden to your heart's content I think your
> charge of religious repression on his part does not hold any water.
> To compare this to the repression suffered in Tibet during the
> cultural revolution etc is outrageous.

It is true that Buddhist practitoners in the West have freedom of
practice, but this is not at all the case amongst the Tibetans. There
has been considerable violence and intimidation already used. As you
suggest any group that does not agree can form their own tradition (in
the West). This is exactly what the NKT has done, and yet we are
continually vilified for being sectarian just because we follow one
teacher and tradition. Moreover it is becoming increasingly difficult
for people to come to our meetings without having heard some horrible
things about our devil worshipping cult. Is this the price you have to
pay for splitting off from the herd and not paying homage to the
political leader of the Tibetans?


>
> There may of course be some hotheads who disagree with your
> views on this issue so much that they stoop to issuing (or even
> carrying out) threats of violence. This is reprehensible but I have
> seen no evidence at all that HHDL has condoned anyone or anything
> like this.
>

Of course the Dalai Lama has not condoned these actions. But it his
words that have inspired these people to act in this way. He must be
aware of the suffering amongst his people, what kind of leader would he
be if he wasn't? So why doesn't he do anything? It would be so easy for
him to say that everyone is free to practice whatever Protector they
choose, and this whole problem would dissolve.

> Similarly there seem to have been threats made by hothead devotees of
> Shugden against those who are known to oppose their views. (In one
> case it is alleged that people like this are responsible for the
> murder of the Ven abott of the Dialectics School in Dharmsala and two
> of his students.) Now I don't think that Geshe Kelsang has anything to
> do with these threats nor would he condone them.
>

The connection between the murders and Dorje Shugden practioners is as
you say just alleged. There are other motives that could have occasioned
such a reprehensible act but these have received very little mention.
For example, the Abbott had just retruned from a trip to Taiwan. Given
that many sponsors of the Tibetan Buddhists are Taiwanese it is
reasonable to assume that he may have returned with substantial amounts
of cash. Now you know how poor people in India are and how the Tibetans
are the objects of much jealousy amongst the native population...

>SNIP>

> If you truly believe that Gyalpo Shugden is an emanation of Manjusri
> you could always try worshipping a form of that Buddha which everyone
> accepts in his stead. Je Tsongkhapa and all those who preceded him
> going right back to the Buddha seem to have managed quite well without
> Gyalpo Shugden. Why are you so attached to this particular form?
>

Because it is the form of the Wisdom Buddha practiced by our venerable
lineage Gurus Je Pabongkapa and Trijang Rinpoche. To reject this
practice as inauthentic is to reject their lineage.

> Lama Zopa and many other worthy teachers, also disciples of Trijang
> Rinpoche, seem to have accepted the Dalai Lama's policy, views and
> wishes on this matter - perhaps at first with some regret. I expect
> though that in the end they decided that he knew best and that the
> divisions being caused by continuing this practice did more harm than
> any benefit that might accrue.
>

If the Dalai Lama is a Buddha then he knows best and we would be obliged
to follow. But where are the valid reasons that he is a Buddha?

> Of course I can see why Geshe Kelsang may be so committed to this
> practice - after all his uncle is an oracle (Kuten) of Gyalpo Shugden
> - and I expect that Shugden is also his family protector. If
> Shugden is called by some "a harmful spirit", he may see this as a
> direct insult to his whole family and tradition and it is only human
> if he is upset.
>

I know Geshe Kelsang very well, having been a student of his for eleven
years and having met him numerous times. He is not risking everything he
has worked for over the last twenty years on the basis of some personal
or tribal grudge! He sees clearly that the Gelugpa school as taught by
the two Fathers of the modern Gelugpas, Je Pabongkhapa and Trijang
Rinpoche is under a concerted attack. His motivation is entirely pure -
to protect the pure tradition of Je Tsongkapa.

> Similarly Gyalpo Shugden was considered to be a special protector of


> Trijang Rinpoche's monastery in Chatreng so naturally he made daily
> offerings and pujas to him.-Iin Tibetan eyes if this protector gained
> status and influence so did his monastery - If it looses status in
> some peoples eyes so do they.
>

So now you are attributing worldly motives to Trijang Rinpoche, the root
Guru of innumerable Gelugpa Lamas. Interesting.

> Does this mean that Geshe Kelsang and lamas who are students of
> Trijang Rinpoche and their students should be initiating student's
> into this practice or calling on them to take their side in this
> affair?
>

Since this is our lineage and heart practice of course we are going to
initiate people into it. We know how beneficail it is to rely on Dorje
Shugden from our own experience so of course we are going to share that
with others.

> Can you blame an average western dharma student who has never seen a


> Shugden - benign or malign - in the flesh for suspecting that there
> may be some fierce Tibetan tribal loyalties operating here and that
> there maybe those who are trying to rope us in to an arcane, rather
> bizarre, Tibetan factional struggle that has probably been bubbling
> along since one faction's candidate got chosen as the Fifth Dalai Lama
> and the other faction's cadidate lost ?
>

There may be some tribal loyalty operating here as you say. But I
believe that Geshe Kelsang's motives are pure. Why else would he risk
everything including his life to protect a practice which he considers
indispenable to our tradition?

> Sure this entity Gyalpo Shugden is supposed to have been around
> since that time (he's alleged by his devotees to be the spirit or
> embodiment of the losing candidate) - but as far as I have been able
> to determine until fairly recently everyone considered him to be just
> another one of Tibet's innumerable worldly religious protectors -
> somewhere beneath the status of Gyalpo Pehar. There may have been
> many people who considered him to be the special protector of their
> family, locality or monastery and made offerings to him daily in order
> that he would help them succeed in their endeavours but that does not
> necessarily mean they considered him to be a wisdom deity or took
> refuge in him .

As far as you are aware does not wash. In her book Enlightened Beings
Janice Willis notes that Dorje Shugden is believed to have held the
Kadam Emanation scripture, protecting the Dharma. Do you think that such
a holy scripture which cannot even be seen by worldly beings would be
entrusted to an oath-bound evil spirit? He wouldn't even be able to see
it, never mind protect it!

> It seems that only after Phabongkha (this centtury) had a "vision" of
> Dragpa Gyaltsen (the losing candidate for the position of the fifth
> Dalai Lama - subsequently recognized as a tulku of Panchen ) that
> Shugden was suddenly elevated to the status of a "wisdom protector"
> and emanation of Buddha. There are even those who claim this "vision"
> of Phabongkha is apocryphal and that it was Trijang Rinpoche himself
> who is largely responsible for elevating Gyalpo Shugden to the status
> of enlightend being and object of refuge.

Whatever the truth of these matters we have to acknowledge that Je
Pabongkpapa, Trijang Rinpoche and Ling Rinpoche relied on Dorje Shugden
as a Buddha. Even the the fifth Dalai Lama later on in his life and the
present Dalai Lama earlier in his life viewed Dorje Shugden as a Buddha.

>
> Even at the time Nebesky Wojkowitz gathered material for his book
> (1950-53) - which devotes moe than a whole large chapter to Shugden -
> there seems to have been no widespread belief (at least amongst
> Tibetans in Kalimpong & Sikkim) that Shugden was an enlightend
> protector as there is no mention of this in his book where he is
> treated like Pehar, Tsi'u mar etc as a . This is strange as his main
> informants seem to have been Dhardo Rinpoche , Tratung Rinpoche
> and Lhagpa Dondrub (an Oracle of Shugden). Surely in the three years
> he was going over this material with these informants they would
> have mentioned that Shugden was an enlightend protector if they
> believed this to be so.
>
> Anyway, whatever the case, do we in the west really need purely
> Tibetan protectors like Gyalpo Shugden? If we need Dharma protectors
> can't we get along perfectly well with those protectors which have a
> long and far less controversial pedigree going back at least to the
> great maha siddhas of India and the tantras themselves?
>

It really is a question of lineage. If we start tinkering with the
lineage of realization that we have received where will it stop. We
already have eminent scholars propounding Buddhsim without beliefs.
Pretty soon we will be reinventing the whole Buddhist cannon with our
old friend ego at the the helm. Our destination? Yet another samsara
nightmare.
> Regards
>
> - Chris
Thanks for your posting,
Jangsem

cf...@dircon.co.uk

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Nov 26, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/26/97
to

The Dalai Lama, like any other being, cannot possibly please everyone
all of the time. He has to act in the way do that he considers will
contribute to the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

Tingli Pan

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Nov 26, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/26/97
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In article <347b9e36...@news.dircon.co.uk>,
Sounds like Mao, when he started the Cutural Revolution.

Hopefully, it is what you said instead of Dalai Lama.
--
Marquess of Chu 潘廷礼

Lucy James

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Nov 26, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/26/97
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In article <65gb68$1atm$1...@news.doit.wisc.edu>, tp...@norman.ssc.wisc.edu
says...
>Marquess of Chu ЕЛНўАс

It did seem to be an unusual posting from Chris (unusual in its brevity, for
one thing:-))

Were you perhaps being ironic, Chris? Why else would you want to make the
Dalai Lama sound like a dictator, albeit a benign one?

I would like to know what reason you have for supposing (if you do) that the
Dalai Lama alone has the right to decide what is the greatest good for the
greatest number of people? In a democratic government there would at least
be some room for debate as to what the greatest good was.

However, the one thing that we do all seem to agree upon (I think!) is that
the Dalai Lama is not willing to entertain the slightest debate or
opposition on why he has banned the practice of Dorje Shugden. There has
been no vote, no referendum, no anything other than orders. AFAIK he has not
even answered any letters asking him why he is doing what he is doing, and
has refused to engage in any verbal debate with anyone.

If I am wrong on this, and he has had open debates with others, perhaps
somone could post a transcript of these on the newsgroups.

I would suggest that it is far from `the greatest good’ that seems to have
come from this ban - all that seems to have arisen from it so far are pain,
confusion, disharmony, and loss of spiritual direction. As for the cause of
Tibetan independence, removing obstacles to the Dalai Lama’s lifespan, and
the end of sectarianism (to my knowledge, the three reasons that the Dalai
Lama has given so far on why he has stopped people practising this Deity), I
see no evidence that this ban has helped any of these! Do you have any?

It is indeed difficult for one politician to please everyone all of the time
- this is one reason why we opt for democracy in the West; that way we know
we are at least trying to take in the wishes and needs of the majority,
while still allowing everyone else to be represented and heard as well.

Lucy James

vajralama buddhist center

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Nov 26, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/26/97
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cf...@dircon.co.uk wrote:
>
> The Dalai Lama, like any other being, cannot possibly please everyone
> all of the time. He has to act in the way do that he considers will
> contribute to the greatest good for the greatest number of people.
>
If as you say the Dalai Lama is acting for the greatest good then why
does he seem so fixed on championing the Tibetan cause for freedom at
the cost of destroying a pure spiritual lineage in the process? It is
said that thousands of beings have attained enlightenment following the
Ensa Whispered Lineage of Je Tsongkhapa's tradition. Is that worth
destroying to achieve some tenuous political harmony amongst the
Tibetans in exile so that maybe they can return to a Tibet devastated by
40 years of Chinese tyranny? There are only 6 million Tibetans whereas
there are 5 billion other humans in this world.

Surely the greatest good is to allow all people to practice whatever
they wish without trying to impose one's views upon them?

Jangsem

vajralama buddhist center

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Nov 26, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/26/97
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Kent Sandvik wrote:

> As I was told, the new abbott of Sera Me, Kham Rinpoche, was selected by
> the monks. Please correct me if this information is wrong.
>

I would be delighted if you could provide proof of this and thereby help
to restore some of my faith in the modern day Tibetan system.



> > I know Geshe Kelsang very well, having been a student of his for eleven
> > years and having met him numerous times. He is not risking everything he
> > has worked for over the last twenty years on the basis of some personal
> > or tribal grudge! He sees clearly that the Gelugpa school as taught by
> > the two Fathers of the modern Gelugpas, Je Pabongkhapa and Trijang
> > Rinpoche is under a concerted attack. His motivation is entirely pure -
> > to protect the pure tradition of Je Tsongkapa.
>

> So what about the other Gelug dharma centers in the west, ACI, Heart
> Jewel, FPMT, and many others? Do you have the perception that these
> wonderful dharma centers and teachers operating at these centers are not
> protecting the pure tradition of Je Tsonkhapa? I'm kind of curious to
> know your point, especially as all these centers share teachers and
> lamas, and I personally wish NTK could join this collaborative
> environment, but if your concensus is that you alone are protecting Je
> Tsongkhapa's teachings, that's sad. It also makes it harder for the
> members to get wonderful teachings from various teachers in the Gelug
> tradition if you want to be alone and not have connections to the
> tradition of Gelug instituted by Je Tsongkhapa. How sad.
>

This seems to be such a common mis-perception of the NKT! Just because
we say we are trying to protect the pure tradition of Je Tsongkhapa does
not mean that we are saying others are not. I can praise English as a
wonderful language, and yet imply no criticism whatsoever of other
languages. I can appreciate a fine Darjeeling tea without mixing it with
chamomile tea, and in no way denigrate the qualities of chamomile. Being
a student of Geshe Kelsang I can only speak with confidence about his
tradition, but that does not mean I cherish perverse views of other
traditions.

> > Since this is our lineage and heart practice of course we are going to
> > initiate people into it. We know how beneficail it is to rely on Dorje
> > Shugden from our own experience so of course we are going to share that
> > with others.
>

> Based on your earlier statements about you and your members suffering
> due to this controversy concerning the specific dharma protector, I
> would not think that what you say above is inline with the reality,
> sorry.
>

One cannot say that it is our Protector who is causing these problems,
since a Wisdom Buddha could never create problems for anyone. The source
of all this suffering is the machinations of the Tibetan political
machine.



> Hopefully everything will be resolved using compassion, and especially
> using taking and giving!
>
> Maitri, Kent
>
> --
> Remove z from my email address above if you want to respond directly
> (this is to avoid spam emails).

I also hope we can resolve this issue using compassion and reasoned
debate so that all practitioners are able to practice whatever they wish
in peace and harmony.

Jangsem

Kent Sandvik

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Nov 26, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/26/97
to

Lucy James wrote:
> Were you perhaps being ironic, Chris? Why else would you want to make the
> Dalai Lama sound like a dictator, albeit a benign one?
>
> I would like to know what reason you have for supposing (if you do) that the
> Dalai Lama alone has the right to decide what is the greatest good for the

> greatest number of people? In a democratic government there would at least
> be some room for debate as to what the greatest good was.

This is an odd position. As you are aware, in the spiritual domain
coerning practices and such we all follow the guidelines of spiritual
guides. We don't start arguing about the commitments and vows taken, or
start debating whether it's better to do a five-round guru yoga instead
of six rounds, and so forth...

> It is indeed difficult for one politician to please everyone all of the time
> - this is one reason why we opt for democracy in the West; that way we know
> we are at least trying to take in the wishes and needs of the majority,
> while still allowing everyone else to be represented and heard as well.

Unfortunately, this is not how the Mahayana system, actually not even
Buddhism in general, is set up. Maybe this is one of those things that
clashes with the culture in West now that Buddhism is coming over...

Kent Sandvik

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Nov 26, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/26/97
to

vajralama buddhist center wrote:
> Kent Sandvik wrote:
>
> > As I was told, the new abbott of Sera Me, Kham Rinpoche, was selected by
> > the monks. Please correct me if this information is wrong.
> >
> I would be delighted if you could provide proof of this and thereby help
> to restore some of my faith in the modern day Tibetan system.

Sure. I could ask him when he's over here in the Bay Area in about a
month. So far the information I provided was based on actually the monks
of Sera Me that elected Kham Rinpoche, and want him back, and he's just
now in Canada and USA.

> This seems to be such a common mis-perception of the NKT! Just because
> we say we are trying to protect the pure tradition of Je Tsongkhapa does
> not mean that we are saying others are not. I can praise English as a
> wonderful language, and yet imply no criticism whatsoever of other
> languages. I can appreciate a fine Darjeeling tea without mixing it with
> chamomile tea, and in no way denigrate the qualities of chamomile. Being
> a student of Geshe Kelsang I can only speak with confidence about his
> tradition, but that does not mean I cherish perverse views of other
traditions.

Good. This means that NKT students could happily attend the teachings
and pujas of other traditions without getting worried. I'm glad you
stated this. Same with purchasing books of other wonderful Dharma
teachers, maybe NTK centers coud also sell such books to anyone that
wants to purchase them. Cool. This is a nice new wonderful start of
something beautiful where NTK is becoming a member of the Tibetan
Buddhist traditions world-wide.


> One cannot say that it is our Protector who is causing these problems,
> since a Wisdom Buddha could never create problems for anyone. The source
> of all this suffering is the machinations of the Tibetan political
> machine.

I guess it's a matter of interpretation. However, it's clear that
talking about this specific dharma protector causes all kinds of
suffering, so that's mainly I'm trying to avoid it at all means.

Mike Austin

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Nov 27, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/27/97
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In article <65huka$4d$4...@panther.rmplc.co.uk>, Lucy James
<ati...@mail.rmplc.co.uk> writes

>However, the one thing that we do all seem to agree upon (I think!) is that
>the Dalai Lama is not willing to entertain the slightest debate or
>opposition on why he has banned the practice of Dorje Shugden. There has
>been no vote, no referendum, no anything other than orders. AFAIK he has not
>even answered any letters asking him why he is doing what he is doing, and
>has refused to engage in any verbal debate with anyone.
>
>If I am wrong on this, and he has had open debates with others, perhaps
>somone could post a transcript of these on the newsgroups.

At the teachings on the Four Noble Truths in London last year, His
Holiness answered questions on Dorje Shugden. He welcomed any sincere
questions. Also, at the audience afterwards with representatives of the
Network of Buddhist Organsations UK, he was asked several questions on
this matter. He explained his standpoint very clearly and gave some
helpful advice.

I think it would be useful to bring to mind the three basic reasons he
gave for discontinuing the propitiation of Dorje Shugden:

1. Dorje Shugden is a worldly spirit. To seek help from such a spirit
detracts from the Buddhist way of relying on one's own efforts and can
degenerate into a kind of spirit worship.

2. Dorje Shugden practice has the potential for sectarianism.

3. Dorje Shugden practice is contrary to the interests of Tibet and the
Tibetan people.

In the NBO interview, he was told how Dorje Shugden was described as an
enlightened being by Geshe Kelsang and asked how practitioners could
decide between conflicting teachings from two lamas. His initial reply
was that we should consider what standpoint the majority of Gelug
masters have taken over the 300 years or so of this practice. He also
said that the rapid spread of the Dorje Shugden practice is a phenomenon
which has happened only over the last 60 years or so. He suggested that
what was needed on our part was some more 'research'.

During this audience, as he began to elaborate on the sectarian aspects,
the video tape ran out and had to be changed. I remember at the time how
'strange' this was. It means that no one has a taped copy of his advice
on this important second point.

In my simple, uninformed opinion, whatever practice we do, we should
seek to distance ourselves from worldly attitudes and 'spirits'. Here I
mean spirits not as deities, protectors and so forth, but as our own
attitudes, motivations and feelings. If the results of our practice lead
to worldly behaviour, worldly ambitions, worldly goals etc., then maybe
this indicates our practice is worldly. Could this mean that our chosen
deities are also worldly? Or are we just practising badly?

I feel, on a 'suck it and see' approach, we could get an idea of where
we and our deities are really coming from. Maybe this is the sort of
research we should be doing.
--
Mike Austin

cf...@dircon.co.uk

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Nov 27, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/27/97
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>Sounds like Mao, when he started the Cutural Revolution.

Gee - soon I'll have Gui as my follower then?

>Hopefully, it is what you said instead of Dalai Lama.

Yes.

vajralama buddhist center

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Nov 27, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/27/97
to

Dear Kent,

I thought you might be interested in the following which relates to the
issue I mentioned of the Dalai Lama personally appointing Abbots, as
opposed to them being elected by the monks.

World Tibet Network News
Saturday, April 20, 1996 - Issue ID: 96/04/20 22:00 GMT
Dalai Lama Appoints Geshe Lobsang Jamyang as Abbot of Seramey College

----------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Dalai Lama Appoints Geshe Lobsang Jamyang as Abbot of Seramey College
----------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Zbiggy Modrzejewski
Toronto, April 20, 1996 -- With great pleasure, the Manjushri Buddhist
Centre of Scarborough announces that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has
appointed its spiritual director, Geshe Lobsang Jamyang, as Abbot of
Seramey College of Sera Monastic University in Mysore, India. Sera is
one of the great universities of Tibetan Buddhism.

This is the first time that a Tibetan lama residing in Canada has been
appointed to such a highly esteemed position. Geshe Jamyang will
continue to make Canada his permanent home but will be travelling to
India this summer for the official enthronement ceremony to be held at
Seramey. A
representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama will preside.

Sincerely,
Jangsem

Bodhisattva Centre

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Nov 27, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/27/97
to

Thank you for your post Mike.

Mike Austin wrote in message <$nwjALAp...@lamrimbristol.demon.co.uk>...


>I think it would be useful to bring to mind the three basic reasons he
>gave for discontinuing the propitiation of Dorje Shugden:
>
>1. Dorje Shugden is a worldly spirit. To seek help from such a spirit
>detracts from the Buddhist way of relying on one's own efforts and can
>degenerate into a kind of spirit worship.

We cannot KNOW whether another being is enlightened or not, unless we
ourself are enlightened. All we have is our faith and our reliance on our
teachers to help us form these ideas. Therefore while it is fine for the
Dalai Lama to say that he no longer believes Dorje Shugden to be a Buddha,
this cannot be taken as a valid reason for suppressing others' belief that
he is (particularly when this was taught by Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, Kyabje
Ling Rinpoche, Zemey Rinpoche, Geshe Rabten, Lama Thubten Yeshe etc etc).

>
>2. Dorje Shugden practice has the potential for sectarianism.

This reason is not valid.
Sectarianism only arises from the minds of deluded beings. The sadhanas of
Dorje Shugden begin with going for refuge, generating bodhichitta and end
with dedicating for the benefit of all living beings.

>
>3. Dorje Shugden practice is contrary to the interests of Tibet and the
>Tibetan people.
>

Did the Dalai Lama offer any evidence to support this?


Rabten

Mike Austin

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Nov 27, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/27/97
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In article <65jv5r$77k$2...@eros.clara.net>, Bodhisattva Centre
<bodhi...@clara.net> writes

>Thank you for your post Mike.
snip

>We cannot KNOW whether another being is enlightened or not, unless we
>ourself are enlightened. All we have is our faith and our reliance on our
>teachers to help us form these ideas.
snip
I agree. My faith is in His Holiness.
--
Mike Austin

Mick_G

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Nov 27, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/27/97
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Bodhisattva Centre wrote in message <65jv5r$77k$2...@eros.clara.net>...


>Thank you for your post Mike.
>

>Mike Austin wrote in message
<$nwjALAp...@lamrimbristol.demon.co.uk>...
>>I think it would be useful to bring to mind the three basic reasons he
>>gave for discontinuing the propitiation of Dorje Shugden:
>>
>>1. Dorje Shugden is a worldly spirit. To seek help from such a spirit
>>detracts from the Buddhist way of relying on one's own efforts and can
>>degenerate into a kind of spirit worship.
>

>We cannot KNOW whether another being is enlightened or not, unless we
>ourself are enlightened. All we have is our faith and our reliance on our

>teachers to help us form these ideas. Therefore while it is fine for the
>Dalai Lama to say that he no longer believes Dorje Shugden to be a Buddha,
>this cannot be taken as a valid reason for suppressing others' belief that
>he is (particularly when this was taught by Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, Kyabje
>Ling Rinpoche, Zemey Rinpoche, Geshe Rabten, Lama Thubten Yeshe etc etc).


I really worry about the use of the word "faith". That is a very Western, IE
Christian idea. All of Buddhism is supposed to be tested by our own
experiences.

Mick

Kent Sandvik

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Nov 27, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/27/97
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vajralama buddhist center wrote:
>
> Dear Kent,
>
> I thought you might be interested in the following which relates to the
> issue I mentioned of the Dalai Lama personally appointing Abbots, as
> opposed to them being elected by the monks.
>
> World Tibet Network News
> Saturday, April 20, 1996 - Issue ID: 96/04/20 22:00 GMT
> Dalai Lama Appoints Geshe Lobsang Jamyang as Abbot of Seramey College

I think there's a difference between appointing, and having a vote on
who will become the abbott. I think you agree too, otherwise the US
President would in your eyes be a dictator.

With metta, Kent

Kent Sandvik

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Nov 27, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/27/97
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Bodhisattva Centre wrote:

> We cannot KNOW whether another being is enlightened or not, unless we
> ourself are enlightened. All we have is our faith and our reliance on our
> teachers to help us form these ideas. Therefore while it is fine for the
> Dalai Lama to say that he no longer believes Dorje Shugden to be a Buddha,
> this cannot be taken as a valid reason for suppressing others' belief that
> he is (particularly when this was taught by Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, Kyabje
> Ling Rinpoche, Zemey Rinpoche, Geshe Rabten, Lama Thubten Yeshe etc etc).

No, you must agree that we are talking about words against words. As
reported many high lamas, including Trijang Rinpoche, changed their mind
later. And you either believe this or not, and it's a personal choice to
believe former or latter. It can't be used as a logical argument, sorry.

Bodhisattva Centre

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Nov 27, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/27/97
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Kent Sandvik wrote in message <347DD8...@best.com>...


>Bodhisattva Centre wrote:
>>this was taught by Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, Kyabje
>> Ling Rinpoche, Zemey Rinpoche, Geshe Rabten, Lama Thubten Yeshe etc etc).
>
>No, you must agree that we are talking about words against words. As
>reported many high lamas, including Trijang Rinpoche, changed their mind
>later. And you either believe this or not, and it's a personal choice to
>believe former or latter. It can't be used as a logical argument, sorry.
>

Come on, Kent, this idea that Trijang Rinpoche changed his mind on the
nature of Dorje Shugden is a new invention. As you know there was virtually
no one closer to Trijang Rinpoche than Zong Rinpoche. Zong Rinpoche had
perfect devotion to Trijang Rinpoche and great opportunity to discuss
spiritual issues with Trijang Rinpoche right up until Trijang Rinpoche
passed away. If Trijang Rinpoche had changed his mind then Zong Rinpoche
would have known about it. However after Trijang Rinpoche passed away Zong
Rinpoche gave life empowerments of Dorje Shugden and taught openly that
Dorje Shugden is a Buddha.


>With metta, Kent

Rabten


Kent Sandvik

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Nov 27, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/27/97
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Bodhisattva Centre wrote:

> Come on, Kent, this idea that Trijang Rinpoche changed his mind on the
> nature of Dorje Shugden is a new invention. As you know there was virtually
> no one closer to Trijang Rinpoche than Zong Rinpoche. Zong Rinpoche had
> perfect devotion to Trijang Rinpoche and great opportunity to discuss
> spiritual issues with Trijang Rinpoche right up until Trijang Rinpoche
> passed away. If Trijang Rinpoche had changed his mind then Zong Rinpoche
> would have known about it. However after Trijang Rinpoche passed away Zong
> Rinpoche gave life empowerments of Dorje Shugden and taught openly that
> Dorje Shugden is a Buddha.

OK, if we follow your logic then (I would not call it logic myself) both
the current rebirths of Zong Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche have been in
close connection with HH Dalai Lama about this issue, and so far I have
not heard anything from either of them condemning HH Dalai Lama's
decision in this issue. If they would have condemned, then your position
would indeed be valid.

I would let Zong Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, HH Dalai Lama and all the
other realized masters speak for themselves, instead of using them
indirectly as a logical tool to provide one's own positions in this
matter. I'm sure they would appreciate it as well. Only reason I quote
HH Dalai Lama is based on the official statements he has made. Please
respect their wish as a way to do guru devotion.

Mick_G

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Nov 27, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/27/97
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Bodhisattva Centre wrote in message <65jv5r$77k$2...@eros.clara.net>...
>Thank you for your post Mike.
>
>Mike Austin wrote in message
<$nwjALAp...@lamrimbristol.demon.co.uk>...
>>I think it would be useful to bring to mind the three basic reasons he
>>gave for discontinuing the propitiation of Dorje Shugden:
>>
>>1. Dorje Shugden is a worldly spirit. To seek help from such a spirit
>>detracts from the Buddhist way of relying on one's own efforts and can
>>degenerate into a kind of spirit worship.
>

>We cannot KNOW whether another being is enlightened or not, unless we
>ourself are enlightened. All we have is our faith and our reliance on our
>teachers to help us form these ideas. Therefore while it is fine for the
>Dalai Lama to say that he no longer believes Dorje Shugden to be a Buddha,
>this cannot be taken as a valid reason for suppressing others' belief that

>he is (particularly when this was taught by Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, Kyabje


>Ling Rinpoche, Zemey Rinpoche, Geshe Rabten, Lama Thubten Yeshe etc etc).

Bob Knight

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Nov 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/28/97
to

In article <347b9e36...@news.dircon.co.uk>, cf...@dircon.co.uk
writes

>
>The Dalai Lama, like any other being, cannot possibly please everyone
>all of the time. He has to act in the way do that he considers will
>contribute to the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

Interesting. I think this is a definition of the philosophy called
Utilitarianism which was in vogue in the middle of the 19th century but
was later discredited because of internal inconsistencies. See, for
example, Chapter 16 of Roger Scruton's "A Short History of Modern
Philosophy."

Cheers,
Bob
--
:: Bob Knight, Hendon, London, UK
:: b...@drakkar.demon.co.uk
:: http://www.drakkar.demon.co.uk
:: "Here be Dragons..."

Mike Austin

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Nov 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/28/97
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In article <65l95d$3...@bolivia.earthlink.net>, Mick_G
<mic...@email.msn.com> writes

>I really worry about the use of the word "faith". That is a very Western, IE
>Christian idea. All of Buddhism is supposed to be tested by our own
>experiences.
>
>Mick

The sort of faith that I refer to is best described in three parts.

Firstly, one has to have some initial, perhaps instinctive, faith to
investigate something or someone. A goldsmith doesn't test rocks for
example. Secondly, having found something of value, there is more faith,
or confidence, to return to the same source for more. Thirdly, if that
source appears to yield something of no value, it is not discarded but
put aside until a better test method is found.

Thus my faith in His Holiness the Dalai Lama is because I have already
gained something valuable from him - something I have tested already.
This faith would lead me to return to his teachings and advice. If I do
not understand it, I stay with it and try looking at things differently.

At the end of the day, I have no more faith in my test methods than the
teachers or teachings. One has to refine one's testing as one develops.
Small pieces of gold cannot be tested the same way as large pieces. In a
similar way, testing the more subtle teachings cannot be tested the same
way as the more gross (is that the right word?) teachings.

We all have a lot on our dharma 'in-tray' like this and I'm sure we all
sift through teachings which we have not retained to find something
valuable later. The act of retaining such teachings, and retaining
confidence in the source, is what I would call faith.
--
Mike Austin

PS. I have removed all newsgroups except a.r.b.t from this posting

Mick_G

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Nov 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/28/97
to

Mike:
I think we are probably arguing semantics here. I just don't like the
baggage associated with the use of the word "faith". In the west faith when
we are talking religious matters involves blind acceptance. I remember when
I did a stint in a Catholic school, I would ask questions in my religion
class, the answer was always, "well it is a matter of faith". This you can
interpret as, "Don't ask these difficult questions, shut up and do what I
tell you."

I don't know what word I would use other than "faith", but what goes on in
Buddhism is definitely different than Western uses of the word. It always
involves reducing the teachings in the crucible of our own experience. Monks
constantly, as you know have debates about the dharma. Testing always
testing just exactly what they have learned. I think this is the reason for
the long time spent with a Guru. One needs to know from experience that the
Guru really is someone you can put your trust in. Then you can make a full
commitment to him or her. Course who am I to talk about such things anyway,
I'm a rank amateur.

Peace in every endeavor

Mick


Mike Austin wrote in message ...

Mike Austin

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Nov 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/29/97
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In article <65n8i8$g...@argentina.earthlink.net>, Mick_G
<mic...@email.msn.com> writes

>Mike:
>I think we are probably arguing semantics here. I just don't like the
>baggage associated with the use of the word "faith". In the west faith when
>we are talking religious matters involves blind acceptance. I remember when
>I did a stint in a Catholic school, I would ask questions in my religion
>class, the answer was always, "well it is a matter of faith". This you can
>interpret as, "Don't ask these difficult questions, shut up and do what I
>tell you."

I understand what you mean. I don't really like the word 'faith' myself
for the same reasons. It does tend to have a 100% ring to it. In that
sense, maybe the word 'confidence' is more suitable. I guess we are
dealing with probabilities here as we turn the doubting consciousness
around from the spiritual path to samsara.

Another word that I don't like is 'refuge'. It conjures up visions of
homeless, helpless beings huddled together waiting for someone to save
them. I think Alex Berzin used the phrase 'safe direction'.
--
Mike Austin

Mick_G

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Nov 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/29/97
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Mike Austin wrote in message <6oqSjFA9...@lamrimbristol.demon.co.uk>...

Mike:
I however do like the word refuge. I think it describes the process very
well. Being homeless, with no solid ground to walk on seems real close to
what needs to happen. "Throw away all your conventional thought ye who enter
here". Course this also does not mean to become stupid. Again challenge your
thinking in ever way.

Mick

cf...@dircon.co.uk

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Nov 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/29/97
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On Fri, 28 Nov 1997 09:43:28 +0000, Bob Knight
<b...@nospam.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>In article <347b9e36...@news.dircon.co.uk>, cf...@dircon.co.uk
>writes
>>
>>The Dalai Lama, like any other being, cannot possibly please everyone
>>all of the time. He has to act in the way do that he considers will
>>contribute to the greatest good for the greatest number of people.
>
>Interesting. I think this is a definition of the philosophy called
>Utilitarianism which was in vogue in the middle of the 19th century but
>was later discredited because of internal inconsistencies. See, for
>example, Chapter 16 of Roger Scruton's "A Short History of Modern
>Philosophy."

As a philosophical view it is indeed full of inconsistencies -but so
is life. I'm sure any leader sincerly trying to do a good job has
make decisions on this kind of basis.

- Chris


Saraha Buddhist Center

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Nov 30, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/30/97
to

Dear friends,

I'm a monk at Saraha Center (NKT) in San Francisco. We just finished
our monthly practice of extensive Dorje Shugden sadhana--a beautiful
puja indeed. The 19 people who attended it were very happy.

There's only one problem: the Dalai Lama says this practice is evil.
This is wrong. I have been doing this practice regularly for several
years--long enough to realize its positive effect in my life, in my
Dharma practice, in my ability to control my own delusions.

I have been encouraging others to take refuge in Dorje Shugden because
I know they too can benefit immensely from this practice. To me Dorje
Shugden is a real close friend, so I like to introduce him to others.

I'm sorry to say this but I believe the Dalai Lama is making a very big
mistake. And he is not alone. There are many lamas saying terribly
wrong things about this practice. I believe this amounts to religious
persecution and harassment. The other day a student at our Center was
receiving teachings from another Center in town and was told some
horrible things, with implications that Dorje Shugden is responsible
for the war in Tibet, AIDS, etc. She was horrified, the poor woman,
because she respects the Dharma teacher who told her these things.
Fortunately, she has been coming to our Center long enough to trust
that our motivation is pure. So she attended the puja tonight and was
very relieved. We prayed repeatedly for all diseases, conflicts, and
obstructions from malevolent spirits to be pacified!

Who is responsible for this nonsense about Dorje Shugden being an evil
spirit? I'm afraid it's mainly the Dalai Lama. He is the one who has
the power and who is using it to attack our practice. I wouldn't mind
if he didn't go public with it, but now he is using the press even in
the United States to persecute our practice. This feels like a witch
hunt. This is wrong. Especially coming from a Nobel Prize winner.

Does anyone have one single good argument (based on evidence) to
justify the actions of the Dalai Lama against the NKT and Dorje Shugden
practice? Why is it that most of the postings, instead of explaining
why there can be no religious freedom for Dorje Shugden practice, are
picking on NKT? If you don't like what we do, that's absolutely fine.
We're not asking anyone to like what we do. All we need is for new
students to have the freedom to come to our classes without fearing our
"evil practice"--because we have none! Once people come, what they find
is a supportive community working hard to control delusions and benefit
others. Students are constantly talking about how fortunate we are to
have such good Dharma friends, etc.

This ba