How do you reconcile HE Trijang Rinpoche's statement to a gathering of
monks at Drepung (quoted by Tseten Samdup): "We should follow His
Holiness' advice on the propitiation of protector deities. " with
your own view which seems do be that HH the Dalai Lama's advice
in this regard can be disregarded?
Christopher J. Fynn.
On May 21th 1996 the Kashag wrote:
> His Holiness the Dalai Lama has raised concern about the question of
> propitiating Dolgyal only because it has a great bearing on the cause of
> It is precisely because of this that he has conducted extensive research
> investigation on the matter for more than two decades. He explained his
> findings to his tutor, Kyabje Yongzin Trijang Rinpoche. The tutor
> acceded to it, acknowledging that the findings were entirely faultless.
> This should be firmly borne in mind by all concerned.
And this is an interesting commentary from http://www.tibet-internal.com
"This is the most difficult point for the Dalai Lama: Trijang Rinpoche is
one of the foremost masters of the Gelug tradition and was the personal
tutor of the Dalai Lama. Trijang Rinpoche greatly revered Dorje Shugden
himself and has composed many texts on extraordinary practices for an
effective development of compassion and wisdom in connection with Dorje
Shugden. With his ban against Dorje Shugden, the Dalai Lama directly
opposes his own master, which cannot be justified in Buddhism in any way.
The Dalai Lama therefore needs to find some kind of justification in
connection with Trijang Rinpoche. Here the Dalai Lama refers to an
encounter with his master Trijang Rinpoche in the mid seventies.
First, the Dalai Lama had requested the life empowerment of Dorje Shugden
from Trijang Rinpoche. Then the state oracle began to slander Dorje
Shugden, fearing for his position and influence. Under the impression of
these attacks against Dorje Shugden by the state oracle the Dalai Lama
withdrew from him request for the initiation. Trijang Rinpoche accepted the
Dalai Lama's withdrawal, and it is this acceptance that he refers to with
the words 'the tutor graciously acceded to it'.
The above statement though implies, that the Dalai Lama's present ban and
'results of investigation' were acceded to by Trijang Rinpoche, which is
not the case at all. The reality is, that the Dalai Lama would have never
even dared to mention his present attitude towards Dorje Shugden while
Trijang Rinpoche was still alive. The actual contents of the mentioned
encounter between the Dalai Lama and Trijang Rinpoche can still be verified
today on the bases of letters by Trijang Rinpoche to his closest disciples
on this account. In this context the timing of the ban against Dorje
Shugden is also worth noting: After Trijang Rinpoche passed away in 1981
there lived many great masters who knew Trijang Rinpoche's actual words and
attitudes very well. If the Dalai Lama had issued a similar ban at that
time, the word of these widely respected masters would have turned such a
ban ineffective immediately. The last eye witness who would have been able
to counteract such a ban by the Dalai Lama was Trijang Rinpoche's
caretaker, Kungo Palden. Kungo Palden died in the autumn of 1995, the Dalai
Lama presented the above statements to the public in spring 1996."
It is a prayer that many people used to recite: "You who are powerful,
powerful protector of the teaching of the Manjushri-Naga", that means Je
Tsongkhapa, " have arisen as the powerful protector of the teaching of the
Manjushri-Naga, as the Lord of all the protectors, all the wrathful
protectors, with the glory of the wisdom, compassion and power of infinite
Buddhas. I invite you from Tushita-heaven as well as from the land of
dakinis. And I prostrate to you with my three bodies, body, speech and
mind; and out of my delusions, whatever I have contradicted with your mind,
I respectfully confess them, and be patient, and show your smiling face..."
It's a very long prayer and it was written by the present Dalai Lama in
Now which Dalai Lama was right? Was he making jokes then or is he making
It sounds similarly confusing when he is giving statements on Tibet: 'Free
Tibet' or 'Autonomy under Chinas rules'? Does he actually know what he
On this Web Site maintained and updated by The Office of Tibet, the
official agency of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in London, you can find the
following statement of HH the Dalai Lama:
"If any among you here are determined to continue propitiating Dolgyal, it
would be better for you to stay away from this empowerment, get up and
leave this place. It is improper for you to continue to sit here. It will
not benefit you. On the contrary 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."
These words of the Dalai Lama are pure violence. They are the reason for
all the trouble in the Tibetan settlements in India and in the villages of
Tibet itself. They are the reason why Tibetan families are split and even
the Sangha in the West is separating into parts. These words are weapons.
How can he pray peace and use such words?
Simply imagine that these words are spoken by some other, not so well known
Lama. Would'nt you think of him as a warhead? Are these the words of a
The statement itself can not stand any serious investigation and goes
against any logic.
It is unbelievable and it really makes me cry.
Ole wrote in message <01bcf2d8$4e732d00$548aa19d@pcoliver>...
>> His Holiness the Dalai Lama has raised concern about the question of
>> propitiating Dolgyal
with relation to your points about the battle between Dalai Lama and Shugden
worshippers, may I quote part of an official letter of the NKT signed by the
secretary Jim Belither and dated Sun 15th Dec 1996.
(As we know, Kuten Lama is a Dorje Shugden oracle, and had criticised the
Dalai Lama's attacks on Shugden.)
"I have been asked to inform you that Kuten Lama recently had a meeting with
the Dalai Lama in which he openly rejected Geshe Kelsang and the NKT. The
Dalai Lama was said to be very happy with Kuten Lama and gave him
presents........Kuten Lama has also written publicly supporting the Dalai
It seems that in India Tibetans are now forbidden from engaging in the
practice of Lama Chopa. Also, Kyabje Pabongkha and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche
have been removed from the list of Lamrim lineage Gurus.....The intention
seems to be the destruction of Je Tsongkapa's Uncommon Tradition. A 'new'
Lama Chopa is being prepared which can be practised by all the traditions,
and copies of Panchen Losang Chogyan's Lama Chopa are being destroyed."
Ole, you seem familiar with the issues, so perhaps you'd explain what is
The official oracle of Dorje Shugden and the Dalai Lama seem to be friends,
so how can it be said that the Dalai Lama is attacking Shugden? Surely the
oracle of a Deity would never befriend the attacker of that Deity?
Yet again the letter says that Pabongka and Trijang are being removed from
the Lamrim lineage gurus, and that a new Lama Chopa is being prepared. Has
this in fact happened? And what about the claim that Panchen Losang
Chogyan's Lama Chopa is being destroyed? I remember reading the Dalai Lama's
very beautiful commentary to this very puja ("Union of Bliss and
It is extremely strange, wouldn't you say? Perhaps you'd clarify some of
these points for myself and others.
Yours in the Dh (ark)
Thank you for pointing out Tseten Samdup’s quote:
>How do you reconcile HE Trijang Rinpoche's statement to a gathering of
>monks at Drepung (quoted by Tseten Samdup): "We should follow His
>Holiness' advice on the propitiation of protector deities. " with
>your own view which seems do be that HH the Dalai Lama's advice
>in this regard can be disregarded?
I am not sure about the truth of this statement; whether HH Trijang Rinpoche
actually said this or not. I spoke at length with him directly, and I know
for certain that was never his intention. In Tibetan society, both the Lamas
and the people, even today, have no freedom to speak out. If they ever
oppose the wishes of the Dalai Lama their very lives are in danger. So,
therefore, it was, and still is, frequently necessary for them to verbally
follow the wishes of the Dalai Lamas even though it is not their real
In Tibetan politics lies are one of the weapons that are used. I will give
you two examples. During the 1996 demonstration in London people were
requesting the Dalai Lama to give religious freedom to worshippers of Dorje
Shugden. At the same time the London Office of Tibet was adamant that there
was no repression, completely denying any problem, and so, many people,
including the newspaper reporters, thought that the demonstrators themselves
were lying. Now everybody knows that the ban is very real and has created
A statement from the Kashag, the Tibetan parliament in Dharamsala from May
‘There is not religious suppression concerning the Shugden Deity issue.
There is no coercion on personal freedom of worship. As every organization,
institution, administration and government has certain rules and
regulations. An individual or a group of people who do not subscribe to the
established policies of an organization or administration cannot remain in
it. However, at no stage, the Tibetan government in exile imposed any
restrictions on an individual’s right to worship’
Everybody now understands that this is not true.
I would also like to clarify some details. Perhaps you know that the Tibetan
Lamas who are sincerely working to spread the holy Dharma by giving
extensive teachings are very precious. But continually over the centuries,
they have experienced many obstacles and problems in their spiritual
activities because some high Lamas have used the Dharma to further their
political aims. For instance, using his political power, the fifth Dalai
Lama caused many difficulties and problems for the Lamas and monasteries of
the Kagyupa tradition. Many Kagyu monasteries and Sakya monasteries
degenerated and some even disappeared.
The thirteenth Dalai Lama also used political power to further his ends and
caused many problems for the Panchen Lama, Chökyi Nyima. This Panchen Lama
had to flee from Tibet because his life was in danger. He had no freedom to
return to Tibet, but was exiled by the Dalai Lama’s government. Je
Phabongkhapa also received similar treatment from the thirteenth Dalai Lama;
likewise HH Trijang Rinpoche, (the root guru of the present Dalai Lama) and
many other Lamas have done so at the hands of the fourteenth Dalai Lama.
So therefore from the time of the fifth Dalai Lama until the present day,
many Tibetan Lamas who have been working very hard with pure motivation to
benefit people, have continually experienced political pressure from the
Dalai Lamas and their ministers.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Axel Joachim wrote in message
>shaking his head about all this,
Thanks for the info, Axel, wondered what the rattling noise was - thought it
might br the guy next-door's damaru. Now I know!
Yours not so in the Dh (ark)
Let me preface my remarks by assuring you that, whatever your impression of my
actions, I am not a representative of the Dalai Lama or of the Tibetan
Government. I have neither taken initiation from, nor entered into samaya bonds
with any representative of any Tibetan buddhist lineage, either lay or
monastic. Thus, any remarks I make regarding the merits or demerits of any
position in this debate should be judged accordingly. I do take very seriously
the injunction of Shakyamuni that his listeners "assay my words as a jeweler
assays gold" and approach all aspects of his successors' practices keeping this
injunction in mind. I am sure that others will take a similarly critical view
of my own statements and assertions.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso wrote:
> In article <346C9AA9...@columbia.edu>, fa...@columbia.edu says...
> A Response by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso to Fred Little
> You say 'Concerning Geshe Kelsang Gyatso's view that there are questions
> which should be answered regarding H.H. Dalai Lama's opposition to the
> propitiation of Gyalpo Shugden, it has been reported in a number of sources,
> and is widely believed within the Tibetan exile community in India, that
> Geshe Kelsang Gyatso's organization has received extensive funding from the
> People's Republic of China.'
> I already heard that many Tibetan people believe that the NKT receives
> funding from the PRC. We have until now ignored this allegation because we
> thought that it was just a misunderstanding, and that people are free to say
> anything they wish. Now I understand that Fred Little seems to represent the
> Dalai Lama and is replying to my letter in Tricycle. This is wonderful.
> You say that the Tibetans in India and many reporters believe that the NKT
> is financially assisted by the PR of China. They are free to believe this, I
> have no objections. But I have two questions for you:
> 1. Did you first check that these people have evidence to back up their
> 2. Because you also believe this and are saying this in public, do you have
> actual evidence? If you have no evidence, then why are you saying this
> publicly without careful checking? What is your intention here?
> Could you please reply to my questions as soon as possible?
My statement is self-explanatory. The fact I have noted is that this belief is
widely held. You concede that the belief is widely held, and assert that I
because I have reported this widely held belief, I "also believe this." You
are incorrect. I do not at present take a position as to the truth or falsity
of the belief. Though the question of my intention is certainly much less
relevant than the substantive truth or falsity of the widely held belief, I will
answer your question.
As a child, I was taught that: "If you want to get some peaches, you have to
shake the tree." I am honored that you, or a designee writing in your name, has
chosen to respond to me directly and will now take the opportunity to ask the
question directly: has the NKT ever received funding from the People's Republic
of China or from any entity which receives a substantive portion of its funding
from the PRC or an agent of the PRC?
> You say '...Geshe Kelsang Gyatso's organization ... backs the PRC designated
> Panchen Lama incarnation.'
> What is your proof for saying this? We have never said one single word that
> would imply our support for the Panchen Lama chosen by the Chinese. The NKT
> has no connection whatsoever with this Panchen Lama, we know nothing about
> him, not even where he is living.
You have edited my words in a way which ascribes to me a statement which I did
not make. As with the previous question, I said that "it is widely believed."
I note that you say that you "have never said one single word that would imply
our support for the Panchen Lama chosen by the Chinese." I also note that you
have, at least thus far in our correspondence, foregone the opportunity to make
*any* affirmative statement about either candidate for the Panchen Lama.
Perhaps this reticence on your part has led many reasonable individuals to draw
inferences which are not entirely to your liking. If that is the case, it is a
simple matter to correct.
> You say 'I would therefore like to ask Geshe Kelsang Gyatso whose interests
> are served by his words and actions?'
> My main reason for doing this is for the many thousands of H.H. Trijang
> Rinpoche's disciples and their disciples who are suffering from losing their
> religious freedom.
As a Tibetan who has received extensive monastic education, you have some
expertise in matters relating to dharma teaching, particularly as it relates to
the tradition of Je Tsongkhapa. As one raised and educated in Virginia, I was
fortunate enough to receive an extensive secular education, particularly as it
relates to the tradition of religious freedom founded by Thomas Jefferson, to
which you appeal. Please consider the following remarks in that spirit.
> In the same way, when the Dalai Lama says that Dorje
> Shugden is an evil spirit, thousands of western Dorje Shugden practitioners
> are experiencing mental pain and confusion leading to a loss of faith.
For my neighbor to say there is no god, or that there are many gods, neither
picks my pocket nor harms my reputation. Under the doctrine of religious
freedom, the Dalai Lama is free to regard Shugden in any light he cares to and
to make any remarks he wishes. Individuals within his tradition who disagree
with his position are free to form their own associations and worship in the way
they wish to worship if they disagree with his teaching. This is religious
> for myself, because I am sincerely practising Dorje Shugden and have given
> teachings on this practice, I have received threats from Tibetan people,
> some wanting to kill me.
I am sorry that you have received such threats. I do not threaten your life in
any way, nor do I advocate such threats. Conversely, I do advocate the
separation of Church and State in any reconstituted Tibet, as does the Dalai
Do you support the separation of Church and State in any reconstituted Tibet?
Is it possible that these death threats have to do with a perception that you
and other Shugden-pa seek to re-establish a theocracy in Tibet, and if allowed
to do so, would severely resrict the religious freedom of other lineages of
Indo-Tibetan Buddhism? I am sure that, if this is not your view or intention,
it would reassure many to hear you say so.
> These letters are in reality connected with the Dalai Lama's private office
> and his relatives. Because of these dangers I am no longer able to travel
> freely and teach. So therefore my freedom is also
You are making a very serious allegation for which you offer no documentation.
Perhaps you are holding me to a higher standard than you hold yourself.
> If Dorje Shugden is an evil spirit, then this clearly implies that Je
> Pabongkhapa made a big mistake and was misleading his disciples. If this is
> so then the entire Gelugpa tradition is incorrect because Je Phabongkhapa is
> the root guru of both HH Ling Rinpoche and HH Trijang Rinpoche. All Gelugpa
> practitioners are directly or indirectly disciples of these three Lamas.
Are you suggesting that individuals can not be highly realized in one respect
and seriously mistaken in others? A misshapen vessel does not alway contaminate
its contents. The formula "mistaken in one part, mistaken in every respect" is
rather simplistic and inapplicable to complex phenomena such as sentient beings,
is it not?
> I have also received many teachings from Ling Rinpoche. I know that whenever
> he wanted to speak about Je Phabongkhapa, he never said the name 'Je
> Phabongkhapa' directly, but instead would always call him 'Lama Dorjechang'
> or Guru Vajradhara, with his hands in the prayer mudra. Therefore I have no
> doubt that Je Phabongkhapa is the same nature as Buddha Vajradhara. For this
> and other reasons I can never accept the Dalai Lama's view.
In other words, you have personal relationships and vows which stand between you
and any reasoned analysis of this matter. I would not take such a position. As
a matter of religious freedom, you may take such a position. As a matter of
religious freedom, those who disagree may do so as loudly, forcefully, and
disrespectfully as they wish. Yet when those who disagree with you exercise
their religious freedom to do so, you complain regarding infringment of your
> You say 'Further, why does Geshe Kelsang Gyatso continue to ignore Je
> Tsongkhapa's insistence that Gelug ordinates and their followers not accept
> or propitiate any protector deities other than those which Je Tsongkhapa
> enumerated in his own writings?'
> Dharma Centres in the NKT rely on Je Tsongkhapa's Dharma Protectors, such as
> Kalarupa, Kalindewi, Mahakala and so on. They do this puja every month. They
> also engage in the practice of Dorje Shugden, believing that Dorje Shugden
> is the same mental continuum as Je Tsongkhapa. This is their freedom.
> Now my questions are:
> 1. Are you saying that Je Tsongkhapa indicated that his followers should not
> rely on Dorje Shugden? If you are saying this then it does not make any
> sense, since during Je Tsongkhapa's time there was no deity called Dorje
I am saying that Je Tsongkhapa indicated that his followers should not rely on
any Dharma Protectors other than those he specifically named. This would seem
to exclude deities which did not exist during his time.
> 2. So what is Je Tsongkhapa's rule that I am ignoring?
> Please reply to my questions as soon as possible
> Since you are acting like the Dalai Lama's representative, we should
> continually debate these religious issues in an attempt to clarify them so
> that people can understand the real situation. Thank you.
As noted above, a western barbarian like myself can hardly claim to be the Dalai
Lama's representative. But I must thank you for giving me a great occasion for
laughter, which is, I am sure you will agree, quite restorative.
Thank you for having taken the time to reply to my past note, and please accept
my best regards and wishes for your happiness.
Fred Little writes:
>>>1. As a child, I was taught that: "If you want to get some peaches, you
>have to shake the tree." I am honored that you, or a designee writing in
>your name, has chosen to respond to me directly and will now take the
>opportunity to ask the question directly: has the NKT ever received
>funding from the People's Republic of China or from any entity which
>receives a substantive portion of its funding from the PRC or an agent of
I thought that I already replied to this when I said in my letter: 'I heard
that many Tibetan people believe that the NKT receives funding from the PRC.
We have until now ignored this allegation because we thought that it was
just a misunderstanding.' This clearly indicates that the NKT does not and
never has received any money or support of any kind from the PRC or any
related association. The NKT has no connection with any Chinese political
organization. I can say this with 100% certainty.
>>>2. I also note that you have, at least thus far in our correspondence,
>foregone the opportunity to make *any* affirmative statement about either
>candidate for the Panchen Lama. Perhaps this reticence on your part has led
>many reasonable individuals to draw inferences which are not entirely to
>your liking. If that is the case, it is a simple matter to correct.
I do not support either of the designated Panchen Lamas, whether the one
chosen by the Chinese or the one chosen by the Dalai Lama. I remain
neutral. This is an example of the problems caused by the mixing of politics
>3. Under the doctrine of religious freedom, the Dalai Lama is free to
>regard Shugden in any light he cares to and to make any remarks he wishes.
>Individuals within his tradition who disagree with his position are free to
>form their own associations and worship in the way they wish to worship if
>they disagree with his teaching. This is religious freedom.
I agree, this is also my view. Of course the Dalai Lama is free to believe
whatever he wants, and his supporters are entitled to their beliefs. But
they have no right to interfere with others' freedom to worship in the way
they choose. The Dalai Lama and his government in exile are implementing a
ban on the practice of Dorje Shugden. He is using his political power to
force Tibetan people to stop this centuries old religious practice. There
have been many incidents, such as removing and destroying statues, signature
campaigns, and so forth, while those who worship Dorje Shugden have been
told they can no longer hold official positions. This has caused a great
deal of dissent and suffering in the exiled Tibetan community which is now
divided. This is not religious freedom and is against basic human rights.
Although the Dalai Lama is free to say whatever he likes about Dorje
Shugden, that he is an evil spirit, for example; because he has so much
power and people believe him, this speech is causing thousands of people
suffering, confusion, loss of faith, doubts and so on.
>>>4. Conversely, I do advocate the separation of Church and State in any
>reconstituted Tibet, as does the Dalai Lama. Do you support the separation
>of Church and State in any reconstituted Tibet?
Yes, I believe that the separation of Dharma and politics in a reconstituted
Tibet is of the utmost importance. I appreciate that you also agree with
this. This mixing of religion and politics causes so many problems, I
understand this very clearly. The problem surrounding the worship of Dorje
Shugden is due to mixing of religion and politics. The Dorje Shugden issue
is a religious issue, but the Dalai Lama is using his political power to try
to destroy this practice. This is the source of the problem. I clearly
understand that although the Dalai Lama may say he supports a separation of
Church and State, the reality is far different. Otherwise why is he still
holding on to both these positions, that of religious leader and political
leader of the Tibetan community in exile?
The issue of the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama is in reality a religious
issue, likewise the reincarnation of the Karmapa. Why is the Tibetan
political leader involved in these things? Why does he not leave these
matters to the disciples of these two religious leaders? I don't believe
that the Dalai Lama is interested in a separation of Dharma and politics. If
he were really interested in changing to a more democratic society, he would
have already begun the transition from a feudal autocracy to a free society
within the Tibetan communities in India. This has manifestly not happened.
>>>6. Is it possible that these death threats have to do with a perception
>that you and other Shugden-pa seek to re-establish a theocracy in Tibet,
>and if allowed to do so, would severely resrict the religious freedom of
>other lineages of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism? I am sure that, if this is not
>your view or intention, it would reassure many to hear you say so.
I have never even thought these things, not even in my dreams. My view has
always been that Dharma and politics should be kept separate. It is
incorrect to say that I received threats to my life for this reason, I have
received threats to my life because I do not follow the Dalai Lama. This may
sound strange to you, but in Tibetan society, if someone disagrees with the
views or wishes of the Dalai Lama, he or she may be beaten, lose their
position and even killed.
You are clearly misinformed. HHDL gave several talks on this matter
while HE Trijang Rinpoche was still alive. Transcripts of these talks
were widely circulated in India at the time and a number of these
transcripts were even published as a booklet in Delhi a copy which
can be found in the PL480 collection of the US Library of Congress.
>On this Web Site maintained and updated by The Office of Tibet, the
>official agency of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in London, you can find the
>following statement of HH the Dalai Lama:
>"If any among you here are determined to continue propitiating Dolgyal, it
>would be better for you to stay away from this empowerment, get up and
>leave this place. It is improper for you to continue to sit here. It will
>not benefit you. On the contrary 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 statement was made when HHDL was about to give the empowerment of
a form of Hayagriva which stems from a Nyingma tantra and terma and
which is well known as the special yidam of Sera Je Monastic College.
It also is well known that Gyalpo Shugden was the protector invoked
by many lamas who did not accept the validity of such teachings - so
these two practices could be seen as entirely incompatible.
Since at least 1976 HH the Dalai Lama has publicly
asked people to refrain from practicing the worship of Dholgyal
Shugden and it is a common teaching in the Buddhist tantras that if
disciples receiving such empowerments directly disobey the
commands of their vajra teacher that this will cause the shortening of
the lifespan of that teacher.
In view of these things, what is so surprising about this statement by
His Holiness? In this context there is really nothing new being said
here. If you feel the speech you quoted is encitement to violence then
you must feel that just about any lama who explains the pledges
connected with the higher tantras before an initiation is guilty of
the same thing.
>On 16 Nov 1997 22:31:31 GMT, "Ole" <o...@deos.com> wrote:
>>On this Web Site maintained and updated by The Office of Tibet, the
>>official agency of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in London, you can find the
>>following statement of HH the Dalai Lama:
>>"If any among you here are determined to continue propitiating Dolgyal, it
>>would be better for you to stay away from this empowerment, get up and
>>leave this place. It is improper for you to continue to sit here. It will
>>not benefit you. On the contrary 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 statement was made when HHDL was about to give the empowerment of
>In view of these things, what is so surprising about this statement by
>His Holiness? In this context there is really nothing new being said
>here. If you feel the speech you quoted is encitement to violence then
>you must feel that just about any lama who explains the pledges
>connected with the higher tantras before an initiation is guilty of
>the same thing.
Of course the point you are making is correct. If someone receives tantric
initiation and then ignores the advice of the spiritual master karmically
there is no point in the lama living. It is not that the Dalai Lama said
this at the Tamdrin empowerment that is being objected to.
There are two things concerning this statement that are being objected to:
The first is the Dalai Lama adding "who hope that Gyalwa Rinpoche will soon
die". No one is hoping that the Dalai Lama will soon die, but this statement
places in the minds of those who hear it the idea that Dorje Shugdan
practitioners are active enemies of the Dalai Lama. Thus from the point of
view of Tibetan society and even the wider Buddhist community the
practitioners of Dorje Shugdan become pariahs. All the practitioners of
Dorje Shugdan want is to be able to practice in peace and pass on their
lineage in peace, at the moment the Dalai Lama is actively obstructing this.
As you know Lati Rinpoche was present at these preliminaries. Since he will
of course never give up his heart commitment of Dorje Shugdan and also
cherishes the Dalai Lama from the depths of his heart, he chose not to
attend the empowerment. Later he was called to the Dalai Lama's room and
ordered to publically teach against Dorje Shugdan practice. Is it not
to force such a holy man to teach something he does not believe?
The second point is that it is not only at the empowerment that the Dalai
Lama said this. When he visited England during the Summer of 96 he said this
at the teachings he gave. These were open teachings, where there is no such
lama-disciple commitment. So what is his purpose of saying such things? What
is the effect these words have? In their correct context (without the added
emotional blackmail) of course the teaching is fine. But the Dalai Lama took
this teaching out of context himself and used it as a weapon. Dharma
teachings should not be used like this.
Chris, do you really believe it when you say that there is no persecution
going on? Dorje Shugdan practitioners are not allowed to serve in the
government, they are not allowed to be judges, they are not allowed to
practice in their monasteries. When in Switzerland last year the Dalai Lama
encouraged the Tibetans there to ensure that future generations of Tibetans
would never even hear the word 'Shugden'. All the signature campaigns and
the 'Dorje Shugden is an evil spirit' propaganda. It's much more than a
pleasant doctrinal dispute. How else can we see these things other than as
an attempt to eradicate this practice?
Even in England the effects of the Dalai Lama's actions are being felt. I
teach a small group of sincere Buddhists. Generally we go through the Lamrim
and Lojong meditations. Mainly I teach straight-forward meditations that
definitely help their lives. All I want to do is help them.
But over the last year they have been subject to repeated verbal abuse by
students of other teachers. I myself have been accosted twice. Posters and
leaflets for our classes have been removed. The teacher of a different local
Buddhist group has now on three occassions tried to persuade the clerk of
the Friends Meeting House where we hold the classes not to let us rent the
room. On one occassion she rented the hall for a talk by a visiting Tibetan
lama and very publically did some sort of exorcism ritual to drive away the
'evil forces' we had brought to the place. I could carry on moaning and
complaining about these things for ages. The point is I am not free to
practice and teach in peace. My students are not free to practice in peace.
They have strong faith but all faith is fragile, how many times do they have
to hear people telling them their teacher is a devil worshipper and so forth
before they begin to crack a bit. Faith is the life of dharma practice, and
people are deliberately trying to destroy theirs.
All I want to do is bring benefit to others. I don't regard the NKT as
superior to other traditions but I do believe I can follow this tradition
and achieve enlightenment. I believe Dorje Shugden is a Wisdom Buddha. When
I do my Dorje Shugden sadhana I try to do so with bodhichitta, there is
nothing in my sadhana that is directed at harming anyone.
So tell me, Chris, why do Dorje Shugden practitioners deserve to be
Bodhisattva Centre wrote in message ...
>So tell me, Chris, why do Dorje Shugden practitioners deserve to be
sorry forgot to sign this.
Thanks for taking the time to reply to my message.
> Reply to Chris Fynn from Geshe Kelsang
> Hello Chris,
> Thank you for pointing out Tseten Samdup’s quote:
> >How do you reconcile H.E. Trijang Rinpoche's statement to a gathering of
> >monks at Drepung (quoted by Tseten Samdup): "We should follow His
> >Holiness' advice on the propitiation of protector deities. " with
> >your own view which seems do be that H.H. the Dalai Lama's advice
> >in this regard can be disregarded?
>I am not sure about the truth of this statement; whether H.H. Trijang Rinpoche
> actually said this or not. I spoke at length with him directly, and I know
> for certain that was never his intention.
H.E. Trijang Rinpoche of course had a special connection with Gyalpo Shugden
- not only because of his own teacher, Phabongkha Dechen Nyingpo's
connection with this protector, but also because Shugden was a special protector
of his own monastery, Chagtreng Sampheling. It is really not at all surprising
that Trijang Rinpoche continued to propitiate the protector of his own monastery
throughout his lifetime just as he has supposed to have done in his previous life.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said: "Trijang Rinpoche's reliance on Gyalchen
is not something he had begun in this life, for he has relied on him since his
previous incarnation and there is no need for him to stop now."
"Some great learned and spiritually evolved persons have
proclaimed (Gyalchen) as a valid protector and even in their
personal lives they have achieved amazing success; there
are such persons to this day who we can see for ourselves".
... "Khyabje Trijang Rinpoche
Geshe-la, when you say that you are not sure of the truth of the statement made
by Trijang Rinpoche and quoted by Tseten Samdup - what do you mean? - are
you saying that Trijang Rinpoche may not have been speaking frankly - or are
you suggesting that you feel Trijang Rinpoche never made such a statement and
therefore Tseten is either lying or misinformed?
As Tseten and the Information Dept. of the Tibetan Administration have said
that H.E. Trijang Rinpoche's statement was made "to a gathering of monks at
Drepung" there should be many witnesses who were there at the time - I'm sure
at least some of them known to you.
It seems that, - at least in public or in front of H.H. the Dalai Lama - H.E.
Trijang Rinpoche was unwilling to dispute the Nechung oracle and the
divinations carried out by H.H. the Dalai Lama in front of the "speaking
thanka" of Palden Lhamo.
Since H.H. the Dalai Lama has stated that H.E. Trijang Rinpoche told him that
he could absolutely depend on the oracle of Nechung and on the divination of
Palden Lhamo in this matter, do you think that His Holiness the Dalai Lama
was lying when he said this? If not, why do your students disparage H.H. for
relying on the divination of Palden Lhamo and the Nechung oracle? Surely by
doing this H.H. was depending on the advice of your own teacher?
It seems to me that, in India, the controversy over Gyalpo Shugden became a
public matter only after the learned Zemey Tulku Lobsang Palden, published
his book "The Oral Instruction of the Intelligent Father" (pha-rgod bla-ma'i
zhal-lung) which states that Shugden will destroy any Gelugpa practitioner who
supplements their Gelugpa practice with the practice of other Tibetan Buddhist
spiritual traditions - particularly those of the Nyingmapa. Similar claims were
made by other lamas and proponents of Shugden such as Geshe Yonten Gyatso
and the Mongolian Lama Gurudeva. Apparently, some of these Lamas even
claimed that these views reflected those of H.E. Trijang Rinpoche. Now, since
you say that you spoke at length with H.E. Trijang Rinpoche directly
concerning these matters, can you tell us frankly whether H.E. Trijang Rinpoche
ever held such views?
This kind of view seems entirely contradictory to the example set by Je
Tsongkhapa - generally acknowledged to be amongst he most eclectic lamas in
the history of Tibetan Buddhism. If this is not so, could you kindly tell us why?
I am asking you these things as it's plain you're prepared to speak your mind
frankly. While there may be some other lamas who disagree with H.H. the
Dalai Lama over this issue to the extent that you do, so far you seem to be the
only one willing to express this publicly to a western audience.
> In Tibetan society, both the Lamas
> and the people, even today, have no freedom to speak out. If they ever
> oppose the wishes of the Dalai Lama their very lives are in danger. So,
> therefore, it was, and still is, frequently necessary for them to verbally
> follow the wishes of the Dalai Lamas even though it is not their real
Perhaps your experience is different from mine, but I spent years living in India
amongst Tibetans and, during that time, I have known many Tibetans who have
disagreed with and spoken out against certain policies of the Tibetan
Government in Exile or have disagreed with some of the views expressed by
H.H. the Dalai Lama. While I've met some Tibetans who automatically seem to
think that those who question any policy of the Dharamsala administration, or
who disagree with anything that H.H. the Dalai Lama's Office or H.H. the Dalai
Lama personally says are against H.H. and against the cause of the Tibetan
people in general - but, as far as I have experienced it, this is not the majority
opinion. Surely you know just as well as I do that there have always been quite a
number of Tibetans who have openly disagreed with the Tibetan Government in
Exile on many issues - and those who have questioned some views and
decisions of H.H. the Dalai Lama himself. These people are not living in fear of
their lives or livelihoods. So, in general, I don't think that it is fair to claim
Tibetan people living in India and Nepal have no freedom to speak out or
oppose the wishes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
In fact, it seems to me that, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has often encouraged
people to abandon their traditional deference and to speak their minds openly
Concerning this particular issue and controversy: Geshe-la, you tell us that
people such as yourself, who have spoken out in against H.H. the Dalai Lama's
decision to prohibit the worship of Gyalchen Shugden in monasteries and
temples, have been threatened and feel that their lives are in danger. In your own
case you say that you have had to altered your travel plans after receiving such
threats. As you are a learned and venerable Buddhist monk and teacher I think
that you must be upholding the vinaya vows of monastic discipline and the
three higher trainings in ethical self discipline, concentration and discriminating
awareness, so I must take your word for this. But I have also heard, from
equally reliable sources, that threats have been issued from the side of those
who uphold the worship of Gyalpo Shugden against the lives of learned lamas
who are outspoken opponents of this practice like the Sakya scholar and
historian Dhongtog Tulku Tenpai Gyaltsen and the Nyingmapa Yogi Chattral
Sangay Dorje and that they too have decided to alter their own travel plans as
a result of such threats.
People of course take such threats seriously, especially since the murder of the
Ven. Lobsang Gyatso, Director of the Buddhist Dialectics School in
Dharamsala, and two of his students - allegedly because he had publicly
expressed and published his own views on the matter of worshipping Gyalpo
Shugden which concurred with the views expressed by His Holiness the Dalai
The Dept. of Information of the Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala
has also said that:
<< On the night of 27 May 1996, an unsuccessful attempt was made
in Mundgod, South India, to kill the Venerable Thupten Wangyal, a
former abbot of the Jangtse College of Ganden Monastery,
by setting fire to his house while he was inside it. In January 1997,
Geste Thinly of Jangtse College, Ganden Monastery, was brutally
beaten in the Tibetan camp in Deli. On 9 January 1997, Jangtse
College's barn and granary in Mundgod were set afire. It is apparent that
these violent incidents were aimed at harming and intimidating critics of
the propitiation of Shugden.
On 4 February 1997, the Director of the Institute of Buddhist
Dialectics, a fearless and outspoken critic of Shugden practice, and two
close students were found brutally murdered in the Director's room in
Dharamsala. Prolonged and painstaking investigations by the Kangra
District Police led them to identify two of the six assailants, both of
whom are believed to have escaped to Tibet. Quoting police sources,
Jansatta, a Hindi-language daily, reported that during their journey to
Dharamsala, the assailants had made a phone call, later traced to Chime
Tsering, Secretary of the Shugden Supporters Society in Delhi. >>
Now, I do not think for one minute that a person such as yourself who is
renowned as a venerable bhikshu and learned kalyanamitra would have anything
to do with threats against the lives of lamas like the learned scholar Trehor
Dhontog Rinpoche, the pure yogi Chattralpa Sangay Dorje and followers of Je
Tsongkhapa's own tradition such as the Ven. Lobsang Gyatso and the Ven.
Thupten Wangyal -no matter how much they disagree with your own position
on this practice. Similarly I do not think for one minute that His Holiness (or
these lamas) would have anything to do with threats against the lives of sincere
worshipers of Gyalpo Shugden such as yourself - no matter how much he
disagrees with your view on this matter.
If such threats have been issued then it seems to me that they are probably being
made by people of limited intelligence, possessed of a violent nature who see
this issue as a chance to settle old scores. It is sad to say but, as you must know
,there are some monks in even the largest and most prestigious Tibetan
monasteries who hold grudges and jealousies against other monks or groups of
monks . Often these grudges seem to be based on age old regional differences
and/or inter-collegiate rivalries. Don't the cults of various Tibetan protectors
play a part in these things as each region, monastery, college and khangtsen has
it's own particular protectors to which they are fiercely loyal?
> In Tibetan politics lies are one of the weapons that are used. I will give
> you two examples. During the 1996 demonstration in London people were
> requesting the Dalai Lama to give religious freedom to worshippers of Dorje
> Shugden. At the same time the London Office of Tibet was adamant that there
> was no repression, completely denying any problem, and so, many people,
> including the newspaper reporters, thought that the demonstrators themselves
> were lying. Now everybody knows that the ban is very real and has created
> many problems.
>A statement from the Kashag, the Tibetan parliament in Dharamsala from May
> 1996 states:
>‘There is not religious suppression concerning the Shugden Deity issue.
> There is no coercion on personal freedom of worship. As every organization,
> institution, administration and government has certain rules and
> regulations. An individual or a group of people who do not subscribe to the
> established policies of an organization or administration cannot remain in
> it. However, at no stage, the Tibetan government in exile imposed any
> restrictions on an individual’s right to worship’
>Everybody now understands that this is not true.
I think that lies, half-truths and omissions are weapons used in all arenas of
human politics. In this respect Tibetan politics and the politics surrounding this
issue are generally no different from any other kind. Occasionally there may be
a few politicians like Mahatma Gandhi who are dedicated to Truth - but,
overall, it seems to me that politics is a pretty dirty business.
So instead of lies, half-truths and omissions perhaps you can tell us the details of
exactly why you think this situation has arisen - leaving nothing aside.
As far as "religious rights" - it seems that people have very different
interpretations of just what Phrase means and it so it might useful to explain
precisely what you mean when you use it.
From reading various messages here I gather that you and your disciples think
that when the leaders of a religious body proscribe the worship of a particular
entity within the monasteries, temples and other institutions belonging to that
religious body this proscription constitutes "religious repression" or "repression
of religious rights". Can you tell me though just who should determine what is
worshiped within a particular religious body or institution if it is not the leaders
of that body or institution? Or do you feel that anyone -or any group of people-
belonging to a religious body should be free to worship whatever they like,
whenever they like in the temples and monasteries of that religious body?
At your own Manjusri center, while it was being led by Ven. Lama Thubten
Yeshe and Ven. Lama Zopa Rinpoche and their students, I'm sure that an image
of His Holiness the Dalai Lama occupied a preeminent place in the shrine room,
that His Holiness the Dalai Lama was considered an object of refuge and that he
was prayed to for blessings and realization. After all, the great devotion and
faith both Lamas Thupten Yeshe and Zopa Rinpoche had for H.H. the Dalai
Lama is very well known. However, from all reports we hear now, images of
H.H. the Dalai Lama are no longer displayed openly in your centers and it is
quite apparent from what you have written that you do not hold H.H. in high
esteem as a teacher and guru holding the pure tradition of Je Tsongkhapa -
From what you say we can also gather that H.H. is not an object of refuge you
(and neither are his predecessors the 5th and 13th Dalai Lamas).
So, presumably you felt that it was within your rights as the senior spiritual and
temporal leader of the Manjusri center to see to it any image of His Holiness
the Dalai Lama was removed from the shrine room at the Manjusri center and
that any worship of H.H. the Dalai Lama was discontinued. Whether this was
done by issuing an order or simply by making your feelings known is no matter
as the result is the same. H.H. the Dalai Lama has not accused you of religious
repression for doing this - although I am sure there were some old Members of
the Manjusri center who were unhappy about the situation.
Now isn't it equally within the rights of H.H. the Dalai Lama, H.E. the Ganden
Tri Rinpoche and H.E. the Jangtse Choje as the spiritual and temporal leaders of
Gelugpa sect to put an end to particular practices and forms of worship within
the institutions belonging to the Gelugpa sect if they feel these practices are
useless or doing more harm than good?
After all, it seems that H.H. has not actually banned individuals worshiping
Shugden outside of these institutions (nor does he have the power to do so) in
fact he has said "If an individual personally has a special Karmic relationship
Can you tell me, are these three lamas stopping Tibetan devotees of Gyalchen
Shugden in India purchasing their own property and building their own temples
or monasteries where they can install images of Gyalpo Shugden and carry on
worshiping him as they please? Even if Tibetan devotees of Gyalchen Shugden
are prevented from purchasing property as they don't have Indian nationality
surely there are some devotees of Shugden from places like Ladakh, Spiti,
Kunnu, Arunachel Pradesh, Sikkim and so on (as well as Gyakar Khangpas)
who have Indian nationality in whose name this could be done.
If H.H., Tri Rinpoche, the Jangtse Choje or the Tibetan Administration were
forcefully or legally preventing worshippers of Gyalpo Shugden from
establishing their own monasteries, IMO they might be guilty of "religious
repression" or "repression of religious rights". However this has never been
shown by you or other Shugden worshippers to be the case.
It is of course open to the Dalai Lama through his speeches etc to try to bring
people to his sincerely held view that Gyalchen Shugden is a harmful spirit -
just as you are free in your talks and writings to try to convince people of your
own view that this entity is the embodiment of Noble Manjusri.
Some people on this newsgroup, apparently students of yours have accused H.H.
the Dalai Lama of breaking the sacred samaya he had with Trijang Rinpoche
through abandoning the practice of Gyalpo Shugden. This is a very serious
charge. Elsewhere on this forum Ani Losang Trinlae, quoting Geshe Ngawang
Thargey, has pointed out that it is possible to disagree with our lamas without
creating a fault:
<< As the late Geshe Ngawang Dhargye said in his commentary on the
Fifty Verses of Guru Devotion, "Examine yourself honestly to see if you
can follow his wishes. If there is no way in which you can comply, do
not be rude or arrogant. Explain politely and with extreme humility what
the difficulty is. Your teacher will not be unreasonable; as a Buddha he is
filled with great compassion." And also, "If your spiritual teacher gives
you advice or asks you to do something, examine yourself to see if you
can comply. If you cannot, then excuse yourself and explain why". >>
From his published speeches on the subject, it is very clear why H.H. the Dalai
Lama had difficulty with the practice of worshipping Shugden as a wisdom
protector and why he sincerely felt that it was generally a harmful practice.
Furthermore these speeches show that he carefully examined himself and the
issues involved and took great care to discuss his feelings and intentions with
his teachers H.E. Ling Rinpoche and H.E. Trijang Rinpoche and that they like
compassionate Buddhas at the very least acquiesced to H.H.'s decision.
Of course, if this does not satisfy us, then we can always look at how other
lamas have acted in similar situations. We know from his own writings that H.H.
the Dalai Lama once propitiated Gyalpo Shugden - a practice he had received
from Trijang Rinpoche and that he later abandoned this after receiving negative
indications from the traditional protectors of the Dalai Lamas - Palden Lhamo
and Dorje Dragden. As an indication of whether this is acceptable practice
perhaps we can look at the behavior of Phabongkha, revered by you and your
students, to see what he did in a similar situation:
Zeme Rinpoche (quoting Trijang Rinpoche) writes:
<< Our very kind and exalted master Phaphongkha Dechen Nyingpo, the
holder of the vajra, too, received transmission on the secret Hayagriva
and the Great Exposition on Pure Vision by the 5th Dalai Lama from
Dagri Rinpoche Thinley Pema Kunsang Chogyal, great mahasidhi Osel
Thekchog Dorje, Gungtul Rinpoche Khenrap Palden Tanpai Nyima,
Minyak Rekhu Rinpoche Lobsang Chodak Gyatso and others during his
early life. Moreover he received initiation on Dupthap Dojoi Bhum-sang
from Gungtul Rinpoche. Later Je Phaphongkha received many other
transmissions and teaching from the Nyingma tradition. In those days he
used to have strange dreams. Sometimes he saw in his dreams bearded
monks and at other times grandly robed monks showing unhappy moods.
[Tibetans usually believe that dreams of unknown monks are indicative
of Gyalpo] One night he slept on the bed which was on the east of the
room, but when he woke up he found himself on the bed which was on
the west side of the room. One night when he was not able to sleep he
heard some strange and ominous voices of a woman and another person
shouting alternately around mid-night. The noise seemed to be coming
from a distant place coming closer to his home, finally he saw a red hand
sticking through the curtain. He thought it was due to the miraculous
power of Dorje Shugden. He confessed and asked to be forgiven and the
noise returned the way it came. In the water-mouse year, when the
Chinese troops had already entered Tibet, the Tibetan Government
decided to do some religious service for the peace and safety of the
nation. With the instruction from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Je
Phaphongkha gave the transmission Kagyur in the Gaden Hall. Soon
after that teaching, he was so seriously ill that he almost passed away.
The sickness was due to certain poison. When he recovered, his whole
body had become bluish. Dorje Shugden also used other means to
persuade Je Phaphongkha to practice and propagate pure Gelug tradition
free of defilements. Finally he stopped taking and practicing Nyingma
teachings and did not propagate what he had learned..>>
From this account, apparently told by Trijang Rinpoche to Zeme Rinpoche, it
seems that, towards the end of his life, Phabongkhapa Dechen Nyingpo
abandoned various teachings he had received from his gurus after experiencing
negative indications from his protector Dorje Shugden. If this is the case, how
can followers of Phabongkhapa and Trijang Rinpoche fault H.H. the Dalai
Lama for acting in the same manner and abandoning certain practices after
receiving negative indications from his own traditional protectors, Palden
Lhamo and Nechung Dorje Dragden?
Furthermore, there is much evidence that, after receiving these indications,
Phabonkhapa also encouraged others to abandon the practices which displeased
his protector. If Phabongkha encouraged people to abandon such practices how
can you blame H.H. the Dalai Lama for acting in a similar way?
This account by Trijang Rinpoche related by Zeme Rinpoche also indicates that
Gyalpo Shugden was displeased with the practice of Secret Hayagriva. If this is
so, then wasn't it wise and prudent for H.H. the Dalai Lama to ask those who
were worshipers of Gyalpo Shugden to leave when he was about to give the
empowerment of Secret Hayagriva at Sera on March 21, 1996? Instead of
recognizing the wisdom of this statement made by H.H. in their own best
interests, Shugden worshippers have endlessly criticized H.H. for saying this.
>I would also like to clarify some details. Perhaps you know that the Tibetan
> Lamas who are sincerely working to spread the holy Dharma by giving
> extensive teachings are very precious. But continually over the centuries,
> they have experienced many obstacles and problems in their spiritual
> activities because some high Lamas have used the Dharma to further their
> political aims. For instance, using his political power, the fifth Dalai
> Lama caused many difficulties and problems for the Lamas and monasteries of
> the Kagyupa tradition. Many Kagyu monasteries and Sakya monasteries
> degenerated and some even disappeared.
> The thirteenth Dalai Lama also used political power to further his ends and
> caused many problems for the Panchen Lama, Chökyi Nyima. This
> Panchen Lama had to flee from Tibet because his life was in danger. He had
> no freedom to return to Tibet, but was exiled by the Dalai Lama’s
> government. Je Phabongkhapa also received similar treatment from the
> thirteenth Dalai Lama; likewise H.H. Trijang Rinpoche, (the root guru of the
> present Dalai Lama) and > many other Lamas have done so at the hands of the
> fourteenth Dalai Lama.
>So therefore from the time of the fifth Dalai Lama until the present day,
> many Tibetan Lamas who have been working very hard with pure motivation
> to benefit people, have continually experienced political pressure from the
> Dalai Lamas and their ministers.
The events which took place at the time of the 5th Dalai Lama are very well
known. As I'm sure you realize though, it would take a great deal of time and
space to go into all those events and their causes in detail. Generally I think we
can say that this conflict arose due to rivalries between on one hand the
Mongols (led by Gushri Khan) and Phagmodrupa family, who were patrons of
the Dalai Lama and on the other hand the King of Tsang and another group of
Mongols, who were patrons of the Karmapas (and the Jonangpas). Exactly how
much the 5th Dalai Lama and the Karmapa were personally involved on each
side of this dispute I don't know - though with the defeat of Chabgchub Gyaltsen
the 5th Dalai Lama managed to get Gushri Khan to appoint him ruler of Tibet.
the Karma Kagyu and Jonangpas suffered greatly - though ultimately the
Karmapas and the 5th Dalai Lama were reconciled.
However, is it appropriate for a Gelugpa lama whose tradition benefited
materially from these events to be complaining about them and holding the
present Dalai Lama responsible when the leaders of the Kagyu and Sakaya
traditions themselves do not hold the present Dalai Lama to blame for these
things? If these events had not happened or their outcome had been different we
might have had a King in Tibet with the Karma Kamtsang as the most
Does this questioning of the spiritual authenticity of the 5th Dalai lama also
mean that you reject the positions that the succesive Dalai Lamas, Panchen
Lamas and their regents have held since the 17th Century? Wouldn't have a
remarkable effect on the authenticity of many Gelugpa lineages. Don't you
visualize these lamas in the field of merit when you do the Lama Choepa?
Putting the question of the fifth and thirteenth Dalai Lamas aside for now
did not your own lama H.E. Trijang Rinpoche accept Tenzin Gyatso as the
14th Dalai Lama? In other words did he not accept him as an emanation of the
Maha Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, and as an incarnation of Je Gendun Drub? If
H.H. is an incarnation of Avalokiteshvara then he is a tenth stage Bodhisattva -
for all intents and purposes a Buddha as it is taught in the Abhisamaya-
" Whoever has wisdom beyond the ninth stage,
Abides on the stage of Buddhahood;
Understand that Bodhisattva stage
Is the tenth stage."
Elsewhere Ani Losang Trinlae has kindly provided us with a praise of H.H.
written by H.E. Trijang Rinpoche:
<<"Long Live the noble Gelug line! O lotus lake of perfect yellow
flowers. Tenzin Gyatso [the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet] is lord of a Mount
Meru Towering over the worldly peaks And pinnacles of selfish peace.
The omniscience, love and power of all the Victors Make up the atoms of
your mountain. May you be with us for hundreds of aeons! May your
good works shine Like the ear-rings of the gods of sun and moon. O
glorious Lhasa, city of eternal happiness, A Buddha-field in the midst Of
this, our happy land; May your sky be an auspicious canopy Of merit-
laden monsoon clouds, Contenting all with the showers of benign
I'm sure there must be several other similar praises of His Holiness the Dalai
Lama written by Trijang Rinpoche. [Perhaps you yourself or other readers of
this post would like to contribute some of these here.]
If H.E. Trijang Rinpoche was mistaken about the nature of H.H. then surely he
could equally be mistaken about Gyalpo Shugden. If however he was
unmistaken about H.H. the Dalai Lama then how could His Holiness Gyalwa
Rinpoche be mistaken about Shugden? This puzzles me.
You may of course reasonably reply that H.E. Trijang Rinpoche's glowing
words don't carry much weight as they are "mere poetics" and point out that
Sakya Pandita -unsurpassed in his knowledge of this subject - writes in his
famous treatise on the "Three Vows":
"Moreover, if a being is praised, He is like the sun, the moon, His teeth
are like a rosary of snow mountains, etc.; The example of space is given
for vastness; for the subtle, apply the example of an atom; mountains, for
the example of the coarse; an elephant for a mouse, Vaisravana for the
wealthy, Indra for petty kings. Also praising common geshes as being
like Buddhas Is not rejected by poets. But if the reality of things is
explained, or the characteristics are established, if an explanation does
not accord with reality, how will it be pleasing to scholars?"
If this is the case, then isn't it fair to argue that all the praises of Dorje
Shugden which you quote in your book "Heart Jewel" in order to establish that
Shugden is a wisdom protector may also be dismissed as "mere poetics"? After all,
one of the purposes of praises to worldly protectors - who are often said to be
filled with pride - is to flatter and cajole them into carrying out one's wishes. So
it would not be surprising if, in such praises, they are equated with Manjushri etc.
If these may be merely poetic words there is no real contradiction between DS
being considered a worldly entity and the eulogies which you quoted in your
Now unless you have contrary evidence, I think it is reasonable for people
to assume that H.E. Trijang Rinpoche did believe that Tenzin Gyatso was
indeed the fourteenth Dalai Lama an incarnation of Gendun Drub and
an emanation of Avalokiteshvara. If he beleived otherwise wouldn't
Trijang Rinpoche have been a bit of a hypocrite to accept the official
post of HH's Jr. Tutor?
Since at least the time of Gendun Chokyi Nyima The Dalai Lamas have always
had Nyingma teachers and have always performed Nyingma practices. If we are
among those who subscribe to the belief that the Dalai Lamas are incarnations of
the Tibetan Dharma Kings then we can say that the connection goes back much
For some reason (perhaps you can explain why) this connection of the Dalai
Lamas with the Nyingmapa seems to bother those who believe in the so-called
"Ganden Emanated Volume", (which is I understand claimed to be the root text
of a "Ganden Oral Lineage", supposedly revealed by Shugden to Pabhongkapa
during the latter part of his life). It seems to me that the worshipping of
Shugden as a wisdom protector only began at the same time as the alleged
appearance of this volume and that these two things are somehow inextricably
linked. (Am I right in assuming this?) Now it seems to me that those of you who
believe in this 'Ganden Emanated Volume' (and the mysticism that surrounds
it), that anyone who criticizes Shugden is consequently also attacking the very
basis of the "Ganden Oral Lineage".
As H.H. has also openly questioned the authenticity of such a text [in "The
Union of Bliss and Emptiness", pp. 68-69] , pointing out that in the entire
eighteen volumes of Je Tsongkhapa's collected works there is not a single word
mentioning the "Ganden Emanated Volume" and said that that the Ganden Oral
tradition is nothing more nor less than the combined practice of the Yidams
Guhyasamaja, Chakrasamvara and Vajra Bhairava with their attendant oral
Some followers of this "Ganden Oral Tradition" which passed through
Phabongkha appear to genuinely feel that His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, is a
Nyingma-influenced renegade out to destroy their tradition, (as insane as that
may sound to those of us who know better about the Nyingmapa). Isn't it true,
for instance, that Zemey Rinpoche and others sent a letter to
His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, advising him not to pursue Nyingmapa
teachings because, according to them, The Fifth Dalai Lama came to a
bad end, the Great Thirteenth; and additionally, pointed to Reting's
example, as he had, in their words, studied with the "Beggar Sangyas
Dorje"-- we all know that Reting died under very suspicious
circumstance during the Sera uprising in the late Forties; all as "a
result of becoming involved in Nyingma practices". More concerning
the circumstances of this letter may be found by reading His
Holiness's published papers on this controversy.
Now, this assertion can only be construed as very insulting to His
Holiness, as well as Chatral Rinpoche-- it is well known that His
Holiness had advised Father Thomas Merton to go and study Dzogchen with
Chatral Rinpoche shortly before Merton's unfortunate death.
Now that this tactic of stopping the Dalai Lamas traditional sympathy for
Nyinma teachings has clearly failed it almost seems as if anything is being
dragged out to discredit not only the present Dalai Lama but also his most
illustrious predecessors. Perhaps this is an attempt to establish what you see as
the "pure" emanated transmission of Je Tsongkhapa's teachings (i.e. the
tradition the so called "Emanated Volume") coming via Phabongkha over what you
regard as the "corrupted" Nyingmapa influenced teachings associated with these
Dalai Lamas and others?
You say above that H.E. Trijang Rinpoche received bad treatment at the hands
of the fourteenth Dalai Lama. I feel that this is a serious charge to make without
citing specific examples and providing some real evidence.
As for this present issue of Gyalchen, Geshe-la, you must be aware that there are
many points of view. As has been pointed out before some would say that due to
the alleged sectarian or chauvinist nature of the Shugden sect or faction within
the Gelugpa school as epitomized by the material in the book published by
Zemey Tulku Lobsang Palden, that His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, has issued
this ban for the good all and sundry.
If you say that Zemey Rinpoche did not hold sectarian views can you tell us
why he wrote things in that book such as ""Sakya, Kagyu and Nyingma are the
root of corruption"? Perhaps these are not his own views - after all Zemey
Rinpoche claimed that the manuscript of the "Oral Instruction of the Intelligent
Father" was written by Phabongkha himself.
Since Zemey Rinpoche's book was published only 20 years ago in India and he
had many students you cannot say that there are not many Shugden worshippers
who hold such views. In fact, isn't it the type of Shugden worshipper who holds
such views who is most likely to resist H.H. the Dalai Lamas prohibition on this
The practice of Gyalpo Shugden is approximately three hundred years old. By
any standards this is not an "age-old" practice, as some have claimed. In fact
this practice has only achieved the present degree of popularity in this present
century largely as a result of the efforts of Phabonkhapa and Trijang Rinpoche.
now there were many practices prevalent in Tibet before the Chinese takeover,
many of them as I'm sure you will agree unjust, harmful and misguided even
though they were more often than not endorsed by some illustrious lama or
other. So, the fact that a given practice was current in pre-1950 Tibet and
endorsed by some high lama does not, in itself, constitute a valid justification for
the continuation of a given custom or practice.
When we hear the various stories about the origins of Gyalpo Shugden it is clear
that this entity arose out of some conflict or misunderstanding with the great
Fifth Dalai Lama, not out of some warm and friendly relationship between the
Dalai Lama and the one named as Tulku Dagpa Gyaltsen You have also stated that the
thirteenth Dalai Lama also banned Gyalpo Shugden practice - as have . It seems
then that His Holiness is but following his illustrious predecessors in this matter.
H.H. the Dalai Lama has even stated "By holding the position of the Fifth Dalai
Lama I am supposed to follow what he did, this is the reason I have to interfere."
and "I have therefore a duty to carry out the legacy of the Great Fifth and the
13th Dalai Lama. This is my responsibility, although some people may not like
it. But then, this is not a matter of what is in the Dalai Lama's interest, but what
is in the interest of the Tibetan nation and its religion."
-- (His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, 3/21/96 )
Now it seems there are some people who believe Dorje Shugden to be a
protector who is enlightened although he manifests in a worldly disguise - while
there are others who take this worldly disguise literally and say he is not a
Dharma protector, but a worldly spirit.
Now if Shugden is simply wisdom protector or, Buddha / form of Manjusri as
you claim, it might be unfortunate if this practice was stopped but would it be
disastrous? Generally speaking it is said that Gelugpas require no other refuge
than Je Tsongkhapa and his sons and there is another wrathful form of
Manjushri, Damchan Chogyal or Shinje -who was assigned as the special
protector of the Gelugpa tradition by Tsongkhapa himself- which is
Isn't the real reason that you feel that Shugden is so vitally important that you
wish to establish the authenticity of the tradition associated
with the "Ganden Emanated Volume" within your school? I'm only guessing
here but isn't it this tradition that you and your disciples are actually referring
to when you talk about a "pure" Gelugpa lineage?
If however Shugden is seen as a worldly protector who people misguidedly
think of as a Buddha then it seems to me that the whole basis of this particular
tradition within the Gelugpa might be called into doubt.
But on the other hand if H.H. the Dalai Lama sincerely believes that wouldn't it be
very wrong for H.H. to allow this to continue as he would then be allowing people to
abandon their fundamental vows of refuge?
Je Gampopa said:
" When we have taken refuge in the Buddha we do not go to other gods."
and Dza Paltrul Rinpoche said:
" Having taken refuge in the Buddha, do not pay homage to
deities within samsara. Do not take the gods of the
tirthikas [non-Buddhists] like Ishvara or Vishnu, as your
refuge for future lives. Nor should you make offerings to
them or prostrate to them, for they themselves are not
not liberated from the suffering of samsara. Also, do not
pay homage to local gods, owners of the ground or any
other powerful worldly gods and spirits."
I suggest to you that in order to for this dispute to be settled as you wish it is
probably necessary for you to establish to the satisfaction of a clear majority of
Tibetan Buddhists that Gyalpo Shugden is a Wisdom Protector.. Neither your book
"Heart Jewel" or anything I have read here convinces me of that.
For instance as you have pointed uut it is usually held that the practice of
propitiating Shugden was inaugurated in the Sakya school.
Now the Sakyas generally believe that because Shugden was so terrifying people and
caused so many problems Sakya Trizin Sonam Rinchen (or Jamyang Sonam
Wangchuk) made an offer to him that Sakyapa monks would ritually feed him
once a day by offering torma in the daily 'Protector Puja' and in exchange
Shugden would not harm or kill sentient beings. This offer was excepted by
Shugden. The main monastery of Sakya, Lhakang Chenmo, and its branch
monasteries offer torma to Shugden daily and have done so for the past few
hundred years. The text used is approximately one folio in length, back and
front. No branch of the Sakyapas (Ngorpa, Tsharpa, etc.) other than the original
tradition practice the torma offering to Shugden.
But the present day practice of some Gelugpas worshipping Shugden as an
object of refuge and so on is markedly different than this. Some people find this
odd and, although others have asked about this, still no reasonable account of
why this may be so has been put forward. Geshe-la as you are more learned and
experienced in these matters perhaps you can enlighten us on this issue.
Moreover, Geshe-la last year it was pointed out here by the Ashoka Society
there are serious flaws in proposed 'reincarnation' lineage of Gyalpo Shugden, as
put forward by yourself in the book "Heart Jewel" - so far these points have not
<< a) It has never been a position of the Sakyapa school that Jamgon
Sakya Pandita was the same continuum as the Mahaasiddha Virupa,
know generally to the Tibetan as Birwapa who in any case attained
complete enlightenment, thirteenth stage Vajradhaarahood, during his
. b) According Jamgon Sakya Pandita's rnam.thar, his Guru, Jetsun
Dragpa Gyaltsen predicted that he was to take only three more births
subsequent to his death; as a Vidyadhaara in a distant world realm to the
east; after that, as the son of an Bengali King called Mumuni, named
Suryagarbha; and finally in his last life traversing the stages and paths, he
was to have become the Buddha Vimala`srii.
c) It is traditionally held by the Gelugpa school that Khedrup Je, etc.,
to the First Panchen Lama, Lobsang Chokyi Gyaltsen, are incarnations of
Jamgon Sakya Pandita. The notion that Duldzin Dragpa Gyaltsen, etc.,
up to Tulku Dragpa Gyaltsen [a disciple of the First Panchen Lama] is
quite new, I believe. The conflict arises because Duldzin Dragpa
Gyaltsen and Khedrup Je are contemporaries.
Therefore you can see, Geshe-la that there seems to be no clear agreement
amongst any party on these issues; there is a disagreement between the Sakya
school and the Gelugpa school regarding the question of Sakya Pandita's
incarnations; and among the Gelug school there is no common agreement about
the disposition of this matter either. As such these issues must be confined to
matters of *opinion* and *belief* and cannot be held as facts, in the sense that
we in the West commonly take the term 'factual' to mean - yet in your book
these things are stated as if they were commonly accepted truths.
In fact isn't it true that the notion that any Sakyapas, knowledgeable in their
own tradition, believe that Mahasiddha Virupa, the founder of the Lam Dre, and
Sakya Pandita, one of the five founding Lamas of the Sakya Tradition are
previous incarnations of Gyalpo Shugden would be utterly absurd to any learned
As far as the Sakya Tradition is concerned the Sakya master Trichen Jamyang
Sonam Wangchuk (1638-1685) tamed the spirit Gyalpo Shugden in the
seventeenth century and bound him as a protector. In the Sakya tradition, he is
classified below Pehar which definitely makes Gyalpo Shugden an
unenlightened protector. I have never seen any text or heard of any oral
commentary coming from a Sakyapa Lama, living or dead, past or present, that
states anything other than the worldly nature of Shugden. In particular, it seems
that he is not regarded by Sakyapas as an emanation of Manjushri or of
In the biography of Ngagchang Kunga Tashi, Sonam Wangchuck's son, he
was given the transmission for the sadhanas of Shugden which
his father wrote, along with the sahanas of Pehar and Ponlop
Satrap sadhana. The order in which they are mentioned in his
biography is Pehar, Ponlop Satrap and then Shugden. Also in this
practice, in the offering section to the worldly deities, the
text reads as follows; "Pehar, Ponlop Setrap, Shugden Tsal",
and then goes it goes on to mention Naga Queens and so on.
This is should be sufficient proof that Sonam Wangchuck (whom
Shugden supporters have mentioned) considered Shugden to be to
be a worldly deity and not an object of refuge.
You also write that Sakya Lama Morchen Kunga Lhundrup said that
Dorje Shugden is an enlightened being and encouraged his followers to rely
upon him. Could you please provide an exact reference to support this
conflicting claim of yours? A friend of mine carefully read the autobiography of
Morchen Kunga Lhundrup (Lamdre Collection, Volume #5, folio 451-625) and
found only one reference to Shugden (which occurs on folio 577) where
Morchen Kunga Lhundrup makes reference to making an offering to Dorje
Shugden Tsal 'so that oaths are maintained.'
There are also very long detailed lists of teachings that Morchen received and
detailed lists of the teachings etc he gave at various places and to specific
students. Nowhere in these lists it seems is Shugden mentioned as a teaching or
a scriptural reading (lung) received or transmitted.
Sometime ago Dorje Gyurme <redg...@aol.com> posted the views of Prof.
Namkha'i Norbu Rinpoche who was educated in the Sakya tradition at Dzongsar
Gonpa where, in one section of the monastery, regular offerings were made to
Dorje Shugden (this fact has been confirmed to me by another source):
<< " Like all masters educated in the Sakya tradition,
Norbu Rinpoche says that Shugden is a worldly deity.
He further states that Gyalpos in general are very
difficult protectors to control, and advises it is
perhaps best to avoid them. Norbu Rinpoche also levels
this criticism at Pehar, etc. This is not to say that
Norbu is critical of all worldly protectors, like the
Tenma, Tsiu Marpo, etc., but mainly those of the
Gyalpo class. They have bad track record, so to speak.
This is what I have heard from the mouth of Rinpoche
himself. So you see it is Gyalpos in general that
Norbu is critical of, and not Gyalpo Shugden in
" Norbu Rinpoche personally practiced the Sakya
version of Shugden quite briefly until he became very
ill from doing this practice, and ceased doing this
practice under advisement from his uncle, a Sakyapa
Abbot by the name of Khyentse Choskyi Wangchuck, who
was also one of his main Root Gurus. This may be read
in his available published writings, if one will only
So, all the evidence I have seen appears to contradict the claim that the Sakyapa
regarded Shugden as an enlightened protector, or as a Buddha.
Furthermore, some people have tried to claim that Shugden is a Buddha based
on his iconography. How can this be so? After all there are many worldly
Gyalpo spirits who wear the three robes of a fully ordained bhikshu and the
same golden hat - even the worldly Bonpo protector Dakpa Senge (the story
of whoose origin is very similar to that of Shugden)
There are also many worldly protectors (including Nechung) who ride snow lions
or have five forms corresponding to the five Buddhas - again Gyalpo Pehar is an
example of this.
Even if G.S. is an embodiment of Manjushri what is the reason that
you *need* this form of protector? Je Tsongkhapa recommended Gelugpas should rely
for protection on the wrathful form of Manjushri known as Damchan Chogyal or
Shinje. Why is it that you seem to give more importance to this "new protector"
Gyalpo Shugden than you do to the protectors recommended by
Je Rinpoche himself? Wouldn't it be better to rely principally on the
protectors assigned by Tsongkhapa himself rather than fighting with HH the Dalai
Perhaps I am wrong but you appear to believe that H.H. the Dalai Lama is not
adhering to the pure lineage of Tsongkhapa. Is this in fact the case? If so then
surely you must disagree with His Holiness's teachings on other things beside the
question of Gyalchen Shugden. After all, this practice is not an indispensable
part of the Gelugpa teachings since Je Tsongkhapa, his two spiritual sons and
their immediate followers did not worship Gyalchen Shugden - either as a
worldly protector or as a wisdom protector. Neither did the Buddha,
Naagarjuna, Aryadeva, Chandrakirti, or Atisha rely on Gyalchen Shugden.
So I'm very interested to know on what points of Je Tsongkhapa's own teachings
you disagree with H.H. the Dalai Lama? For instance to me it seems that there
are many points of difference in your published explanation of the Gelugpa
Mahamudra tradition and that tradition as explained in the recent book by H.H.
the Dalai Lama. In your view are these differences unimportant a different way
of teaching the same thing or are they irreconcilable? Which represents the
actual view of Je Tsongkhapa Since both you and H.H. have published
books on Mahamudra which are freely available to the general public I
presume it is alright to discuss these teachings in public - at least to the extent
that they are discussed in those books.
As far as I can see, H.H. the Dalai Lama has worked tirelessly to promote the
teachings of Je Tsongkhapa. H.H.'s books on Buddhism in English are mostly
based on the teachings of Tsongkhapa - as are the majority of the talks on
Buddhism by H.H. that I have read or heard.
Thank you once again for your attention to my post here. I think that once they
have been raised it is best to get all these issues out in the open where they can
be subject to the sunlight of reason and understanding. At present I'll admit that
many people including myself may have heard only a fraction of the story
concerning Gyalchen Shugden and related issues I look forward to having
this issue clarified by yourself and do hope this is settled to the ultimate benefit
of all those concerned.
"the'u rang lha ru mthong ba'i dus bod sdug pa'i dus la babs pa yin"
("When goblins are taken for deities, a time of suffering will fall upon Tibet").
> "The various doctrinal views found in the
> provinces of U, Tsang and Ngari
> Are all the very teaching of the Victorious One
> How fine if, not allowing the demon of sectarianism
> to ignite animosity,
> The radiance of the jewel of pure perception
> would encompass all."
> - Panchen Lobsang Yeshe
A truly wonderful riposte to a disengenuous (at best) load of nonsense from
someone who should know better. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
> "The various doctrinal views found in the
> provinces of U, Tsang and Ngari
> Are all the very teaching of the Victorious One
> How fine if, not allowing the demon of sectarianism
> to ignite animosity,
> The radiance of the jewel of pure perception
> would encompass all."
> - Panchen Lobsang Yeshe
What a superb posting! So many shadows brought into the light of day - of
course, now the questions follow in their wake. There must surely be a book
in this whole DSh - DL - GKG saga, one that would not only explain the D Sh
history, but the intricacies of Tibetan Buddhist politics and their
overspill into the West. (Are you listenning Mary Finnegan!! <g>)
When I became involved in the NKT I simply tried to take the teachings of my
teacher, GKG, as truthful. There were many apparent inconsistencies around D
Sh - his lineage in 'Heart Jewel' didn't make sense to me, and nobody in
'authority' could explain it satisfactorily to me. But the sudden and total
expulsion of Richard D from the NKT for talking about these issues sent a
very clear signal to us all. (I recently met Katarina, who was the
'director' of Bristol NKT Centre for a time, and she told me that the
obviously unfair treatment dumped on poor Richard had been a major factor in
her decision to leave the NKT.)
I simply tried (but eventually 'failed') to accept that the problem lay in
my mind and understanding - after all wasn't I continually being reminded
that I was very deluded and ignorant! Sounds a bit like Roman Catholicism
(probably most religious groups) with it's undermining of one's own wisdom,
by stressing one's fallen and sinfull state. Actually from what I've heard
of political indoctrination (eg Communism) this technique is also standard -
is this how memes 'plough the soil' of our minds for better propagation?
I remember phoning up Wisdom Books in London to order some of GKG's books.
When I asked about 'Heart Jewel', an obviously very embarrassed chap told me
they didn't stock that one. I couldn't make sense of his attempt to
'explain' why. The answer that he couldn't give me has now been explained by
your posting, Chris.
Many of the things said (some in private discussion) by Gen Thubten Gyatso,
who was GKG's Heart Disciple at the time, about the unique purity of the
short lineage of the Ganden Emanation Scripture that GKG had, now make
Your questions about Mahamudra also raise some very interesting points,
Chris. Let me quote from a teaching, called 'Introduction to Mahamudra',
that Gen Thubten Gyatso gave at Vajravarahi NKT Centre (Preston),
"When Geshe-la said he'd formed the NKT to preserve, to protect the Dharma
transmitted from the Wisdom Buddha, Manjushri, to Je Tsongkhapa he was
referring to this practice [he's talking here about Mahamudra] - this is the
inner practice of the NKT. Only the NKT holds the pure lineage of the
As I've said before, there is a belief that runs deep within the NKT that
only they hold the pure Dharma today, and that D Shugden is the protector of
that pure teaching and lineage.
Please keep these gems coming, Chris.
Yours in the Dh (ark)
I would like to address some of the points you raise in your reply to
> I think that lies, half-truths and omissions are weapons used in all arenas of
> human politics. In this respect Tibetan politics and the politics surrounding this
> issue are generally no different from any other kind. Occasionally there may be
> a few politicians like Mahatma Gandhi who are dedicated to Truth - but,
> overall, it seems to me that politics is a pretty dirty business.
I found this statement quite incongruous in your posting since
previously you seemed to be in favour of mixing both religion and
politics, as embodied by the Dalai Lama. Do you think that the present
Dalai Lama as the political head of the Tibetan people does not have
knowledge of the "dirty business" of his politicians?
> From reading various messages here I gather that you and your disciples think
> that when the leaders of a religious body proscribe the worship of a particular
> entity within the monasteries, temples and other institutions belonging to that
> religious body this proscription constitutes "religious repression" or "repression
> of religious rights". Can you tell me though just who should determine what is
> worshiped within a particular religious body or institution if it is not the leaders
> of that body or institution? Or do you feel that anyone -or any group of people-
> belonging to a religious body should be free to worship whatever they like,
> whenever they like in the temples and monasteries of that religious body?
> Now isn't it equally within the rights of H.H. the Dalai Lama, H.E. the Ganden
> Tri Rinpoche and H.E. the Jangtse Choje as the spiritual and temporal leaders of
> Gelugpa sect to put an end to particular practices and forms of worship within
> the institutions belonging to the Gelugpa sect if they feel these practices are
> useless or doing more harm than good?
It is one thing for a religious leader to disagree with a particular
practice and to prohibit it in the monasteries etc under their
jurisdiction. It is quite another for that ban to be unilaterally
imposed by a government on all their people, against their wishes with
forced signature campaigns, threats to their livelihood and gross
intimidation. For example, according to the constitution of the Tibetan
exile government it is now illegal for judges to be Dorje Shugden
practitioners. Are you going to argue that judges also fall within the
domain of the present day Gelugpa hierarchy?
> Some people on this newsgroup, apparently students of yours have accused H.H.
> the Dalai Lama of breaking the sacred samaya he had with Trijang Rinpoche
> through abandoning the practice of Gyalpo Shugden. This is a very serious
> charge. Elsewhere on this forum Ani Losang Trinlae, quoting Geshe Ngawang
> Thargey, has pointed out that it is possible to disagree with our lamas without
> creating a fault:
> << As the late Geshe Ngawang Dhargye said in his commentary on the
> Fifty Verses of Guru Devotion, "Examine yourself honestly to see if you
> can follow his wishes. If there is no way in which you can comply, do
> not be rude or arrogant. Explain politely and with extreme humility what
> the difficulty is. Your teacher will not be unreasonable; as a Buddha he is
> filled with great compassion." And also, "If your spiritual teacher gives
> you advice or asks you to do something, examine yourself to see if you
> can comply. If you cannot, then excuse yourself and explain why". >>
> From his published speeches on the subject, it is very clear why H.H. the Dalai
> Lama had difficulty with the practice of worshipping Shugden as a wisdom
> protector and why he sincerely felt that it was generally a harmful practice.
> Furthermore these speeches show that he carefully examined himself and the
> issues involved and took great care to discuss his feelings and intentions with
> his teachers H.E. Ling Rinpoche and H.E. Trijang Rinpoche and that they like
> compassionate Buddhas at the very least acquiesced to H.H.'s decision.
Venerable Geshe-la has already informed us that Trijang Rinpoche was
very disappointed with the Dalai Lama's decision to abandon his practice
of Gyalchen Dorje Shugden, but being a compassionate Buddha he could not
force his disciple to change his mind.
It is one thing not to be able to follow the advice of our Spiritual
Guide and politely inform him that we cannot do so. IMO it is quite
another to reject one of the heart practices of our Spiritual Guide as
evil spirit worship. According to the Mahayana teachings disciples are
encouraged to view their Spiritual Guide as a Buddha and rely upon him
accordingly. If one is regarding someone as a Buddha how could they
believe at the same time that that person is so mistaken that they are
relying on an evil spirit as their supreme Dharma Protector? If Trijang
Rinpoche made such a huge mistake how could we possibly view him or Je
Pabongkhapa as enlightened beings? Since all Gelugpas are directly or
indirectly disciples of these two great Masters it would follow that the
whole Gelugpa tradition is utterly mistaken. That since the time of Je
Pabongkhapa we have been going for refuge in an evil spirit! This is why
NKT students are saying that the Gelugpa tradition is being denigrated
and destroyed. This issue is not just about Dorje Shugden, it is about
the authenticity of the modern Gelugpa school.
Also, although the Dalai Lama has the personal freedom to stop a certain
practice, does he have the right to use his enormous influence and
authority to try to stop other Lamas from engaging in this practice? To
encourage others to break their heart connection with Trijang Rinpoche?
He has said that people have the freedom to continue this practice if
they wish him not to have a long life or wish to harm the Tibetan cause.
But has given no reasons to establish this. This is very heavy emotional
> For some reason (perhaps you can explain why) this connection of the Dalai
> Lamas with the Nyingmapa seems to bother those who believe in the so-called
> "Ganden Emanated Volume", (which is I understand claimed to be the root text
> of a "Ganden Oral Lineage", supposedly revealed by Shugden to Pabhongkapa
> during the latter part of his life). It seems to me that the worshipping of
> Shugden as a wisdom protector only began at the same time as the alleged
> appearance of this volume and that these two things are somehow inextricably
> linked. (Am I right in assuming this?) Now it seems to me that those of you who
> believe in this 'Ganden Emanated Volume' (and the mysticism that surrounds
> it), that anyone who criticizes Shugden is consequently also attacking the very
> basis of the "Ganden Oral Lineage".
> As H.H. has also openly questioned the authenticity of such a text [in "The
> Union of Bliss and Emptiness", pp. 68-69] , pointing out that in the entire
> eighteen volumes of Je Tsongkhapa's collected works there is not a single word
> mentioning the "Ganden Emanated Volume" and said that that the Ganden Oral
> tradition is nothing more nor less than the combined practice of the Yidams
> Guhyasamaja, Chakrasamvara and Vajra Bhairava with their attendant oral
> instructions, etc.
Chris I reccommend that your read Janice Willis' book Enlightened
Beings to gain a clearer picture of the Kadam Emantion Scripture which
she translates as the Great Miraculous Volume. Her book "focuses on the
lives of the first six Gelugpa practitioners of the Ganden oral
Tradition, the earliest siddhas to immediately succeed Tsongkhapa in
this lineage." The six are:
1. Tokden Jampel Gyatso (1356-1428)
2. Baso Je Chokyi Gyeltsen (1402-1473)
3. Drubchen Chokyi Dorje (no dates)
4. Gyelwa Ensapa (1505-1566)
5. Kedrub Sanggye Yeshe (1525-1591)
6. Jetsun Losang Chokyi Gyeltsen - the first Panchen Lama (1570-1662)
She writes " As sources for the complete written accounts of the lives
of these six Ganden Oral Tradition siddhas, I had access to two Tibetan
editions of the great compendium of Kadam and Gelukpa biographies
compiled in the late eighteenth century (circa 1787) by the great
Yongdzin Yeshe Gyeltsen (1713-1792) called Byan chub lam gyi rim pa'i
bla ma brgyud pa'i rnam par thar pa rgyal bstan mdzes pa'i rgyan mchog
phul byung nor bu'i phren ba (Biographies of the Eminent Gurus in the
Transmission Linegaes of the Graded path Teachings, called The Jeweled
In her introduction she writes "one specific and unique feature of these
six namtar should be mentioned: the so called Miraculous Volume of the
Gelugpa. It is said that the text is of "mystical origins" and that it
is "accessible only to the most holy of the lineage gurus." (This
characterization of the Miraculous Volume is given by Geshe Lobsang
Tarchin in his translation of Pabongka Rinpoche's Liberation in our
Hands p.172). As will be seen, the Miraculous Volume figures prominently
in these namtar, where it is said to be entrusted to each succeeding
disciple once that one has accomplished the highest goal of practice. It
thus functions in these stories as a type of seal of accomplishment. It
should be noted that many Gelukpa lamas claim that, from the time of the
First Panchen, the Volume has been entrusted to the deity Kalarupa for
safekeeping." (Willis says in a later foot note that some Gelugpa Lamas
believe the Emanation scripture was entrusted to Dorje Shugden.)
In the namtar of Tokden Jampel Gyatso as translated by Willis it is
"Now, the Great Miraculous Volume, containing the complete detailed
practice instructions of the Oral Tradition that quintessentially
abridges the pith teachings of the path of both the sutras and the
tantras, was given directly by the Venerable Lord Manjusri only to Je
Rinpoche, to this lama, and to a few of the gods of Ganden. It was at
this time that this very wondrous Miraculous Volume was delivered into
the hands of Jampel Gyatso"
From this passage we can clearly see that Je Tsongkhapa received the
Emanation Scripture directly from Noble Manjushri. It was then passed on
to realized disciples in the Gelugpa lineage. Therefore to claim that
the Emanation Scripture first appeared at the time of Je Pabongkha is
completely incorrect. To cast doubts as to the authenticity of this
volume is also to cast doubts on the authenticity of Gelugpa Mahamudra
as practised since the time of Je Tsongkhapa himself. Since Mahamudra is
the method to actually accomplish enlightenment we are then questioning
whether there is an entire path to enlightenment within the Gelugpa. Now
this is quite a commonly held view (as alluded to by Willis on p.xvi),
and it is one reason why Venerable Geshe Kelsang published Tantric
Grounds and Paths to show that the Gelugpas have an uncommon Mahamudra
that comes from the Emanantion Scripture.
If the Emamanation Scripture was entrusted to Dorje Shugden then it
would not be surprising if he had a close connection with Je Pabonkhapa
who on p.244 in Liberation in the Palm of Your Hands appears to be
directly quoting from the Volume "The following verses are taken from
The Miraculous Book of the Gelugpas, so they are especially blessed..."
Both Je Pabonkhapa and Dorje Shugden would have to be enlightened beings
to be able to see the Volume, never mind protect it and read from it!
>It should be noted that many Gelukpa lamas claim that, from the time of the
>First Panchen, the Volume has been entrusted to the deity Kalarupa for
>tantras, was given directly by the Venerable Lord Manjusri only to Je
>Rinpoche, to this lama, and to a few of the gods of Ganden. It was at
>this time that this very wondrous Miraculous Volume was delivered into
>the hands of Jampel Gyatso"
The Bdsm normally seen on TRB generally downplays the notion of "gods"
and "diety" yet this post seems to indicate that such "very wondrous
and miraculous" entities play a significant guiding role in Bdst
practice. Can someone explain?
And what is a Dharma Protector?
John La Grou wrote in message <34971f66....@news.jps.net>...
>>It should be noted that many Gelukpa lamas claim that, from the time of
>>First Panchen, the Volume has been entrusted to the deity Kalarupa for
>>tantras, was given directly by the Venerable Lord Manjusri only to Je
>>Rinpoche, to this lama, and to a few of the gods of Ganden. It was at
>>this time that this very wondrous Miraculous Volume was delivered into
>>the hands of Jampel Gyatso"
>The Bdsm normally seen on TRB generally downplays the notion of "gods"
>and "diety" yet this post seems to indicate that such "very wondrous
>and miraculous" entities play a significant guiding role in Bdst
>practice. Can someone explain?
>And what is a Dharma Protector?
John, read the post of Tyree Hilkert entitled, "what is the purpose of
visualization in tantras" which was posted 12/17. I think it may help you
> The Bdsm normally seen on TRB generally downplays the notion of "gods"
> and "diety" yet this post seems to indicate that such "very wondrous
> and miraculous" entities play a significant guiding role in Bdst
> practice. Can someone explain?
> And what is a Dharma Protector?
Hi JL, long time no see; welcome back!
there are many varieties of Bdsm and many
different practices, even beliefs, associated
with it in the different cultures where it is
practiced. Many of these cultures have mixed
in practices and notions from other belief or
philosophical systems. Do some reading, like
_Entering the Stream_ or many other books
that cover the varieties of Bdst experience.
May all beings have happiness and the causes
May all beings be free from suffering and the causes
May all beings never be separated from the happiness
which knows no suffering.
May all beings abide in equanimity, free from the
attachment and anger, which holds some close
and others distant.
That thread was in alt.religion.buddhism.tibetan, not in
talk.religion.buddhism. Otherwise, a good pointer!
It seems that you believe that the Dalai Lama is banning the practice of
Gyalchen Dorje Shugden in order to overcome a sectarian faction within
the Gelugpas. Following his lead you seem completely intent on
“prooving” that Dorje Shugden is an evil spirit.
As I pointed out in a previous posting, if Dorje Shugden is an evil
spirit then this means that both Pabongkhapa Rinpoche and Trijang
Rinpoche were completely mistaken with respect to their supreme Dharma
Protector. To mistake an evil spirit for a Dharma Protector is not a
small mistake, especially as within the Gelugpa you are taught to see
your Guru, Yidam and Protector as one (like a jewel with many facets).
So if these two Lamas made such a huge mistake how could anyone possibly
regard them as enlightened beings? Since all modern day Gelugpas are
directly or indirectly disciples of these two (including the present
Dalai Lama) then it would follow that the entire modern Gelugpa school
is mistaken. Why? Because they are relying on mistaken lineage Lamas. If
the lineage Lamas are not enlightened then the blessings of the lineage
are lost. It is then not possible to attain enlightenment following that
Therefore it follows that an entire living Buddhist tradition that can
be traced back two and a half thousand years to the Buddha himself has
been completely invalidated. This to me is sectarianism in the true
meaning of the word.
If that isn’t enough, you are now beginning to question the authenticity
of the Kadam Emanation Scripture (using the Dalai Lama as your
reference), one of the holiest texts within the Gaden tradition. It is
this scripture that is both the source of the Guru Yoga of Je Tsongkhapa
known as Ganden Lhagyama (Hundreds of Deities of the Joyful Land) and
the famous Migtsema prayer. As Venerable Geshe Kelsang says in Heart
“The Guru yoga of Je Tsongkhapa according to the Segyu lineage was
originally taught by Buddha Manjushri as part of a special scripture
known as the Kadam Emanation Scripture. It was extracted from this
scripture by Je Tsongkhapa himself....Je Tsongkhapa passed this
instruction to Je Sherab Senge who was one of his main disciples. Je
Sherab Senge was born in the upper part of Tibet called Tsang. He was a
very holy meditation master and scholar who had thousands of disciples,
including Je Gendundrub, the first Dalai Lama. He was the holder of the
lineage of the Tantric teachings of je Tsongkhapa and, as predicted by
Je Tsongkhapa, he established Gyuma Tantric College in central Tibet and
Segyu Tantric College in the upper part of Tibet.”
These are two of the heart practices within the Gelugpa tradition. Are
these now also going to be proclaimed as mistaken?
Venerable Geshe Kelsang says in Great Treasury of Merit,
“ Until the time of the first Panchen Lama, the lineage of the Emanation
Scripture had been passed directly from Teacher to disciple without
being written down, and only those with great good fortune even knew of
its existence, let alone had the opportunity to practise the
instructions. For this reson it became known as the ‘Ensa Whispered
Lineage’. However, because times were becoming more and more impure, and
because sentient beings had less and less merit, the Panchen Lama
worried that his precious lineage might soon be lost altogether, and so
to preserve it for future generations he decided to write it down.
Accordingly, he wrote a text entitled The Main Path of the Conquerors,
The Root Text of the Mahamudra. This contains all the essential
instructions on Mahamudra from the Emanation Scripture...So that
faithful disciples could practise the fourth great guide as a
preliminary to the actual Mahamudra, the first Panchen Lama also
compiled offering to the Spiritual Guide based on the instructions from
the Emanation Scripture. Since then the practice has flourished in
Tibet, Mongolia, China, and India; and now it is beginning to spread in
So are these precious practices also under question? I have heard that
the Dalai Lama has tried to stop people engaging in the practice of Lama
Chopa as explained by the first Panchen Lama. Lama Chopa is used within
our tradition as the supreme method to make requests to one’s Spiritual
Guide and to prepare for gaining the supreme realizations of Mahamudra.
Is this also sectarian, bad for the Dalai Lama’s health and the cause of
Venerable Geshe Kelsang continues in Great Treasury of Merit,
“Since the first Panchen Lama compiled this precious sadhana it has been
transmitted, together with the uncommon Vajrayana Mahamudra of the
Virtuous Tradition and all the other esential practices of the Emanation
Scripture, through an unbroken lineage to our present Teachers. From
Panchen Chokyi Gyaltsan the lineage passed through Drubchen Gendun
Gyaltsan and Drungpa Tsondru Gyaltsan to Konchog Gyaltsan, who
transmitted it to the second Panchen Lama, Losang Yeshe. From him it
passed through various Lamas such as Losang Namgyal and Kachen Yeshe
Gyaltsan down to Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, who passed it on to our
present Teachers. The entire close lineage of these instructions is
given in the Prayers of Request to the Mahamudra Lineage Gurus...If we
read this prayer we will see that there is a completely pure and
unbroken lineage from Conqueror Vajradhara to our present Root Guru.”
Who would possibly want to destroy a such a precious living lineage of
Dharma that reveals the entire stages of the path of Sutra and Tantra?
Within the Ganden tradition one of the principal yidam practices is that
of Venerable Vajrayogini. Je Pabonkhapa Dechen Nyingpo wrote the most
beautiful lines of praise to Vajrayogini in his introduction to the long
sadhanas Quick Path to Great Bliss and Feast of Great Bliss, which
include with the verses,
“Through the dance of the beautiful Mother of joy,
The illusory dance of the sphere of EH which is of one taste with
You lead pitiful migrators to the sphere of great bliss with your
O Vajra Queen, Mother of the Conquerors, care for me always.”
“As times become more degenerate, this supreme quick path
Becomes especially surpassing in its profundity and swiftness.
It is the essence of the Dakinis’ hearts, the spring ocean of tantric
O fortunate ones, take up this immaculate treasure as your ornament.”
He then explains the following, “Here I shall set down an easy way to
practise the uncommon method for accomplishing Venerable Vajrayogini,
known as the instruction of the Naropa Dakini. This instruction is
clearly revealed in the explanatory root tantras of Glorious
Chakrasamvara. In the land of the Aryas, Master Naropa, the crown jewel
of all the pandits, received this instruction while seeing the face of
the Venerable Lady directly. he then provided a clear explanantion of
the practice. In Tibet it was included in the thirteen golden Dharmas of
the whispered lineage of the glorious Sakyapa Father and Son. It was
also the uncommon, secret Dharma hidden in the heart of the great Tsong
Khapa, King of the Dharma in the three realms.”
Come now Chris, do these honestly sound like the words of a sectarian
who is following an evil spirit? Why do you in particular wish to
discredit such a holy Lama? As explained by Geshe Lobsang Tharchin
“Pabongka Rinpoche’s full name by the way was Kyabje Pabonkapa Jetsun
Jampa Tenzin Trinley Gyatso Pel Sangpo which translates as the ‘lord
protector, the one from Pabongka, the venerable and glorious master
whose name is the Loving One, Keeper of the Buddha’s Teachings, Ocean of
the Mighty Deeds of the Buddha.’ He is also popularly known as ‘Dechen
Nyingpo’, which means ‘Essence of Great Bliss’ and refers to his mastery
of the secret teachings of Buddhism.”
With respect to Vajrayogini practice, I have heard that the Dalai Lama
has now begun to question the validity of this practice. Do you know if
this is true, and if so what are his reasons?
Also within the Ganden Tradition our heart practice is Lamrim, or The
Stages of the Path to Enlightenment as first compiled by Jowo Atisha and
further elucidated by Je Tsongkhapa. This was Trijang Rinpoche’s heart
practice which he lovingly gave to his disciples. Within the Lamrim,
following Buddha’s teachings, it is taught that relying on our Spiritual
Guide is the very root of the spiritual path. Trijang Rinpoche was the
Dalai Lama’s Root Guru teaching him every thing he knew. Yet now we hear
that the Dalai Lama has removed his name from the Lamrim lineage Gurus.
Can you explain this?
From the above you can see that there is far more to this controversy
than the worship of Gyalchen Dorje Shugden. What we are witnessing is
the gradual destruction of the Ganden Oral Tradition. Considering that
Pabongka Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche propagated this Oral Tradition,
and bearing in mind that they are the root or lineage Gurus of all
modern day Gelugpas we cannot say that this is some small sectarian
faction within the Gelugpas as you imply. It is the entire tradition as
given to this generation. This is sectarianism in its most ugly and
destructive form. This is precisely why NKT students are so concerned.
How would you feel if your own precious Nyingma tradition was under such
a concerted attack?
To wipe out an entire living tradition of Buddha Dharma for the
political purpose of trying to unite the Tibetan people, to possibly
regain limited self-rule for Tibet is beyond my understanding.
Particularly as it has been such an abysmal failure - it is this
sectarianism that has led to what Professor Donald Lopez has called the
most important schism in the Tibetan community. This schism is now
poisoning the minds of the Buddhist community throughout the world.
For example, these are some of the rumours I have heard recently about
the NKT. We have been involved in assasination attempts on the Dalai
Lama, we pay people to do Dorje Shugden practice, we are funded by the
PRC, and we worship an unenlightened deity for wealth. Perhaps worst of
all a student of mine was told by an American Lama in the Kagyu
tradition that if she took refuge from an NKT teacher that teachers in
other traditions might refuse to teach her. Please tell me Chris, if
this is not sectarianism what is?
I firmly believe that wishing to follow your own tradition according to
your own Lama’s instructions while at the same time respecting other
people’s traditions is not sectarian. Quite the opposite, it is the
basis for harmony and tolerance. It is when we become critical of
others’ traditions and try to prevent them from practising that
sectarianism rears its ugly head. This is the situation we see today
with the denigration of the Gelugpa tradition and the attempt to
marginalise and ridicule the one group of people who have the courage
and the religious and political freedom to stand up and defend it.
With kind regards,
PART ONE of TWO
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to clarify some important issues.
>Geshe-la, when you say that you are not sure of the truth of the
>made by Trijang Rinpoche and quoted by Tseten Samdup - what do you
>mean? - are you saying that Trijang Rinpoche may not have been
>speaking frankly - or are you suggesting that you feel Trijang Rinpoche
>never made such a statement and therefore Tseten is either lying or
>As Tseten and the Information Dept. of the Tibetan Administration have
>said that H.E. Trijang Rinpoche's statement was made "to a gathering of
>monks at Drepung" there should be many witnesses who were there at the
>time - I'm sure at least some of them known to you.
>It seems that, - at least in public or in front of H.H. the Dalai Lama -
>Trijang Rinpoche was unwilling to dispute the Nechung oracle and the
>divinations carried out by H.H. the Dalai Lama in front of the "speaking
>thanka" of Palden Lhamo.
>Since H.H. the Dalai Lama has stated that H.E. Trijang Rinpoche told him
>that he could absolutely depend on the oracle of Nechung and on the
>divination of Palden Lhamo in this matter, do you think that His Holiness
>the Dalai Lama was lying when he said this? If not, why do your students
>disparage H.H. for relying on the divination of Palden Lhamo and the
>Nechung oracle? Surely by doing this H.H. was depending on the advice
>of your own teacher?
As I already said to you, in Tibetan society, both the Lamas and the
people, even today, have no freedom to speak out. If they ever oppose the
wishes of the Dalai Lama their very lives are in danger. So, therefore, it
was, and still is, frequently necessary for them to verbally follow the
wishes of the Dalai Lamas even though it is not their real intention.
My main point is that HH Trijang Rinpoche never encouraged the Dalai Lama
to publicly ban the practice of Dorje Shugden, so what he did or did not
say at Drepung is irrelevant. This is not important for me. If the Dalai
Lama said that Trijang Rinpoche encouraged him to ban this practice in
public, then I can say that he is lying.
I can give you examples of how, even today, Tibetans have no freedom to
speak freely. Gungthang Tsultrim, the leader of the thirteen settlements
spoke out against the Dalai Lama and was eventually murdered. Zemey
Rinpoche wrote the Yellow Book, and although I do not believe that what he
wrote is valid, he should have had the freedom to express himself without
reprisal. The Dalai Lama immediately punished him and sent him away, not
allowing him to attend teachings. The Dalai Lama completely destroyed his
reputation, his position, he became very unhappy, became sick and died. The
Mongolian Lama Gurudeva also spoke out openly against the Dalai Lama’s
views on Dorje Shugden. Encouraged by the Dalai Lama’s office the Tibetan
community turned against him, attacked him and caused him many problems.
His life was in danger and he had to escape from India to Nepal; eventually
the situation became worse there and he had to go to Mongolia, despite his
advanced years. Even the well-educated young Tibetans cannot disagree
directly with the Dalai Lama, because if he or she does so they will
certainly lose their positions. Last year some monks joined a peaceful
demonstration against the Dalai Lama’s ban on Dorje Shugden in southern
India and eleven of them were expelled from their monastery. I can tell you
many many stories like these.
>I spent years living in India amongst Tibetans and, during that time, I
>known many Tibetans who have disagreed with and spoken out against
>certain policies of the Tibetan Government in Exile or have disagreed with
>some of the views expressed by H.H. the Dalai Lama.
>Surely you know just as well as I do that there have always been quite a
>number of Tibetans who have openly disagreed with the Tibetan
>Government in Exile on many issues - and those who have questioned
>some views and decisions of H.H. the Dalai Lama himself. These people
>are not living in fear of their lives or livelihoods. So, in general, I
>think that it is fair to claim that Tibetan people living in India
>have no freedom to speak out or oppose the wishes of His
I agree when you say that many people are against the views of the Dalai
Lama but they speak, as we say in an old Tibetan proverb ‘inside the bed’,
to their friends, family, etc. If they spoke out publicly against the
Government or the Dalai Lama himself, they would have big problems.
>It seems to me that, in India, the controversy over Gyalpo Shugden
>became a public matter only after the learned Zemey Tulku Lobsang
>Palden, published his book "The Oral Instruction of the Intelligent
>Father" (pha-rgod bla-ma'i zhal-lung) which states that Shugden will
>destroy any Gelugpa practitioner who supplements their Gelugpa practice
>with the practice of other Tibetan Buddhist spiritual traditions -
>particularly those of the Nyingmapa. Similar claims were made by other
>lamas and proponents of Shugden such as Geshe Yonten Gyatso and the
>Mongolian Lama Gurudeva. Apparently, some of these Lamas even
>claimed that these views reflected those of H.E. Trijang Rinpoche. Now,
>since you say that you spoke at length with H.E. Trijang Rinpoche
>directly concerning these matters, can you tell us frankly whether H.E.
>Trijang Rinpoche ever held such views?
Your question here is an important one and quite subtle. Regarding Dorje
Shugden, there are two different ways of perceiving him. One is according
to the ordinary appearance of Tibetan people, and the other is according to
the appearance of the qualified practitioner. These two appearances came
originally from the 5th Dalai Lama. First Dorje Shugden appeared to him as
a harmful spirit which he tried to destroy, (albeit unsuccessfully), and
because of this many people came to view Dorje Shugden as a harmful spirit.
In this way the ordinary appearance of Dorje Shugden developed. Later, the
5th Dalai Lama realized that he had misunderstood the real nature of Dorje
Shugden, and he then began to engage in the practice, and composed prayers
to him. In these prayers he invites Dorje Shugden to come from Chöku, the
Dharmakaya, clearly indicating that Dorje Shugden is an enlightened being.
Since that time the appearance of the qualified practitioner developed.
Later Lamas such as Tagphu Dorje Chang and Je Phabongkhapa perceived Dorje
Shugden as a manifestation of Buddha Manjushri. These Lamas realized that
Dorje Shugden is the same mental continuum as Duldzin Dragpa Gyaltsen.
Duldzin Dragpa Gyaltsen is the same mental continuum as Sakya Pandita who
is a manifestation of Manjushri. For followers of Je Phabongkhapa and
Trijang Rinpoche, including myself, it is impossible that Duldzin Dragpa
Gyaltsen, the manifestation of Manjushri could be reborn in an uncontrolled
way as a worldly spirit. Not only Gelugpa Lamas believe this, some Sakya
Lamas also believe that Dorje Shugden is a holy being. In the book by
Dhongtog Tulku Tenpai Gyaltsen he says that Dorje Shugden cannot be a
worldly spirit because he is a Bodhisattva. He says that Dorje Shugden is a
protector Deity of the Sakya tradition. Previously the Sakya monastery in
Rajpur, India always used to practise Dorje Shugden puja, but maybe
nowadays that has changed.
Although Je Phabongkhapa’s view is that Dorje Shugden is an enlightened
being, the 13th Dalai Lama, using his political power, did not allow Je
Phabongkhapa to publicize this view, so he had to accept the lower position
of Dorje Shugden. Therefore, at that time Gelugpa practitioners lost their
freedom to say publicly that Dorje Shugden is an enlightened being. To the
majority of ordinary Tibetans Dorje Shugden appeared as a worldly spirit.
At that time there were many stories and rumours about how Dorje Shugden
would help some people, harm others and so forth, all according to the
ordinary appearance of the majority of people, most of whom were very
superstitious. The stories mentioned in Zemey Tulku's ‘Yellow Book’ are
just superstitions. He was not necessarily expressing his own view in this
book, but telling about many different superstitions according to ordinary
people's appearance of Dorje Shugden. Of course the view of Dorje Shugden as
a harmful spirit was neither Trijang Rinpoche’s view, (nor was it Je
As I said earlier, anything that Trijang Rinpoche said in public was not
necessarily his actual intention or view. He sometimes had to speak
according to people’s wishes, views, beliefs etc. For example, Buddha
Shakyamuni taught his Vaibashika disciples that all phenomena are
inherently existent, while to his Madhyamika disciples he taught that all
phenomena lack inherent existence. People have different capacities and
views, everything that Buddha said is not necessarily his own view. Just as
a doctor gives different advice to sick people, in the same way Buddha gave
different advice to his disciples.
Also, about the source of this present problem, it is not Zemey Tulku's
‘Yellow Book’ because in reality no-one believes the stories in this book,
with the possible exception of some of his disciples. In itself this book
has no power to destroy harmony, but the Dalai Lama believed the stories in
this book to be true and he then spoke out against this practice in public.
It was this reaction from the Dalai Lama that was the real cause of the
problem, upsetting many Nyingma practitioners and causing disharmony.
Because the Dalai Lama believed these superstitions, people also believed
them, and this is how the present problem arose.
As you know Chattral Sangay Dorje and Geshe Yonten Gyatso engaged in a
written debate on Dorje Shugden, both of their books have been published.
These books have never been the cause of disharmony between Nyingmapa and
Gelugpa practitioners. Chattral Sangay Dorje’s book is very beneficial for
Nyingmapa practitioners, giving them encouragement and confidence for their
practice, while Geshe Yonten Gyatso’s book is likewise beneficial for the
Gelugpa practitioner. So here there is no problem, they are scholars
debating with each other to clarify certain issues with a good motivation.
If the Dalai Lama had just ignored Zemey Tulku’s book, there would be no
basis for any problem.
>Geshe-la, you tell us that people such as yourself, who have spoken out
>against H.H. the Dalai Lama's decision to prohibit the worship of
>Gyalchen Shugden in monasteries and temples, have been threatened and
>feel that their lives are in danger. In your own case you say that you
>had to altered your travel plans after receiving such threats. But I
>heard, from equally reliable sources, that threats have been
>the side of those who uphold the worship of Gyalpo Shugden against the
>lives of learned lamas who are outspoken opponents of this practice like
>the Sakya scholar and historian Dhongtog Tulku Tenpai Gyaltsen and the
>Nyingmapa Yogi Chattral Sangay Dorje and that they too have decided to
>alter their own travel plans as a result of such threats.
The UK police have been notified by the NKT about the threats to my life.
They have taken these threats seriously, and have suggested various
security measures. I don’t know anything about the situation of these other
Lamas, but I will take your word for it. If any threats have been made
against these Lamas, then I condemn these threats unreservedly.
>I think that lies, half-truths and omissions are weapons used in all arenas
>of human politics. In this respect Tibetan politics and the politics
>surrounding this issue are generally no different from any other kind. ..
In comparison with Tibetan politics, the politics of democratic countries
is very clear and honest. In countries such as the UK and US people don’t
follow their leaders with blind faith. They elect their leaders only after
careful checking, and always investigate whether they are acting correctly
or not. People have freedom of speech to publicly criticize if they feel
their leader is not doing his or her job correctly. None of this happens in
>perhaps you can tell us the details of exactly why you think this
>has arisen - leaving nothing aside.
According to my understanding the Dalai Lama’s main wish is to integrate
the four Tibetan traditions into one. The leaders of the other traditions
will gradually disappear, leaving him alone as head of Tibetan Buddhism. In
this way he will be able to control all aspects of Tibetan Buddhism. In the
beginning this plan was rejected by the leaders of the Sakya, Kagyu and
Nyingma traditions, while the Gelugpa remained neutral.
Later, the Dalai Lama changed his approach. He is now trying to destroy the
practice of Dorje Shugden and change the Gelug tradition, while at the same
time developing a close relationship with the other traditions, especially
the Nyingmapa. Gradually he hopes to fulfil his wishes in this way.
Therefore this present situation has developed because many people did not
accept the Dalai Lama’s decision to ban the practice of Dorje Shugden. I
believe that right now the Gelugpas are experiencing difficulties, but that
sooner or later it will be the turn of the other traditions.
>Can you tell me who should determine what is worshipped within a
>particular religious body or institution if it is not the leaders of that
Maybe you are mixing the programme of daily practice in the monasteries etc,
and religious freedom in general. Each monastery or Dharma Centre has its
own abbot or spiritual director who is in charge of organizing the daily
practices, or programmes throughout the year. At certain times particular
practices are emphasized, and at other times other practices. This is not
the job of the Dalai Lama, but of the individual abbot or spiritual
director. The practice of Dorje Shugden is not new, but has been passed
down through the generations, and people enjoy it very much. No-one can
control Dorje Shugden practice in this way, because it is practised by
people everywhere, not just in the monasteries. So when the Dalai Lama
suddenly banned this practice, it is clearly against religious freedom.
>At Manjushri Centre while Lama Thubten Yeshe was there, I’m sure that
>an image of HHDL occupied a preeminent place in the shrine room
>...................... from all reports now, images of HHDL are no longer
>displayed openly in your Centres ................... presumably you felt
>it was within your rights as senior spiritual leader ......to ..........
>it that any image of HHDL was removed from the shrine room
You are right. Lama Yeshe was the general spiritual director of Manjushri
Centre, while I had the responsibility of organizing the daily programmes.
were both very happy to have the picture of HH the Dalai Lama on the shrine
because we hoped that the people of Manjushri and HH Dalai Lama would
develop a good spiritual connection and relationship. Many times we invited
the Dalai Lama to come to Manjushri Centre, although we both knew, even
then, that he had rejected the practice of Dorje Shugden. We assumed it was
not his real intention
because we found it difficult to believe that he really wanted to destroy
the practice of Dorje Shugden.
So for a long time we continued to practise Dorje Shugden and kept faith in
the Dalai Lama. Then later the situation deteriorated because he
intensified his ban on Dorje Shugden worship. I heard that he said in
public that those who practise Dorje Shugden cannot be my friend. Then my
mind gradually changed, especially as we received criticism from people who
were saying that Manjushri Centre had broken its guru devotion to the Dalai
Lama because of our continued practice of Dorje Shugden. As his picture was
on our shrine, people believed that he was our root guru, on the other hand
because we practised Dorje Shugden people thought we were against the Dalai
Lama. Due to this contradiction we recieved a lot of criticism. In order to
resolve this contradiction and to show that the Dalai Lama is not our root
Guru we removed his pictures. This is how we came to remove the pictures of
HH Dalai Lama.
>Isn’t it equally within the rights of HHDL, HE Ganden Tri Rinpoche, HE
>Jangtse Choje, as the spiritual and temporal leaders of Gelugpa sect to put
>an end to particular practices and forms of worship within these
>institutions belonging to the Gelugpa sect if they feel these practices
>useless or doing more harm than good?
In reality, the Gelugpa spiritual leader is Ganden Tri Rinpoche who is the
throne holder of Je Tsongkhapa. The Kagyupa spiritual leader is Gyalwa
Karmapa, the Sakyapa spiritual leader is Sakya Trizin, and during Dudjom
Rinpoche’s time he was the spiritual leader of the Nyingmapas. These
spiritual leaders have responsibility for the development of their own
tradition in their monasteries, communities and Dharma Centres. Of course
Ganden Tri Rinpoche should have responsibility for the development of the
Gelug tradition in general, but at this present time he is powerless. I do
not believe that it is Ganden Tri Rinpoche’s wish to ban the practice of
Dorje Shugden. Even if Ganden Tri Rinpoche was in control of the
development of the Gelug monasteries, he would still need to discuss his
ideas with the majority of monks. He could not make unilateral decisions.
In any case he could never control individual practitioners, they always
had the freedom to choose and maintain their own personal practices.
For instance, although Sera, Ganden, and Drepung (in Tibet) were Gelug
monasteries, many Nyingmapa and Bön practitioners joined to study the
philosophical teachings. In my class in Sera-Je I had some friends who were
from a Nyingma monastery in eastern Tibet. Their daily practice was
Nyingma, and no-one was unhappy about this. They had complete freedom. We
never had any problems because the abbot gave complete freedom for
Although most of my family are Gelugpas who rely on Dorje Shugden, some of
them are Nyingmapas. My younger sister married a Nyingmapa Lama from
western Tibet from a renowned lineage, he was called Ngora Lama. They had
many children, and I visited them frequently, sometimes he and I would do
puja together. I would do Dorje Shugden puja and he would do his own
practice. We had a very good relationship until his death in Mussourie,
India. Now his youngest son and my sister are living in Manjushri Centre in
When I lived in Mussourie I had many good friends from the Nyingma
tradition, one of whom in particular was called Ngachang Lama. He was an
old man, a lay practitioner; one winter he and I did retreat in the same
house. In between sessions we talked Dharma, each talking about our
experiences. His oldest son would often invite me to his house to do puja.
Also, I was often invited to do puja at houses of other Nyingma families. I
was so surprised to hear the Dalai Lama and others saying that Dorje
Shugden practitioners and Nyingmapa practitioners are like fire and water!
(Continued in PART TWO....)
PART TWO of TWO
>Some people, apparently students of yours have accused HHDL of
>breaking the sacred samaya (guru devotion) he had with Trijang Rinpoche
>through abandoning the practice of Gyalpo Shugden.
>............................ it is possible to disagree with our lamas
>creating a fault as the late Geshe Ngawang Dhargye said in his
>commentary to Fifty Verses of Guru Devotion, "Examine yourself
>honestly to see if you can follow his wishes.... if there is no way in
>you can comply..... do not be rude ... arrogant ..... explain
politely and with
>..... humility........ your teacher will not be
unreasonable....... as a Buddha
>he is filled with great compassion .......
Yes, you are right, according to the ‘Fifty Verses of Guru Devotion’, if a
disciple, without showing disrespect and with a virtuous mind fails to
follow his guru’s advice due to his or her lack of ability or other good
reason, there is no fault. The Dalai Lamas behaviour regarding HH Trijang
Rinpoche is not like this.
As mentioned above, according to the ordinary appearance of Tibetan people
there are many stories, in reality superstitions, about Dorje Shugden, how
he harms people etc. But such stories also abound about other protector
deities. For example Gyalwo Behar, Nöjin Tsemar, Therang Dorlek are very
popular protector deities in the Nyingma tradition. Many Nyingmapas engage
in the practice of these protector deities. There are many stories of how
Gyalwo Behar harmed people, even high lamas. It is said that he tried to
destroy Padmasambhava by throwing huge stones onto his head. Similarly with
Nöjin Tsemar, he also harmed people including high lamas; the 5th Dalai
Lama said that he killed the Karmapa Mikyö Dorje. Nöjin Tsemar is the
protector deity of Samye
monastery. Such stories are very common in all four traditions.
Within the Gelug tradition each monastery has its own protector deity, and
each has many stories of how their enemies were destroyed by their
protector. It is written that Nechung, the main protector deity of the 13th
Dalai Lama actually killed him by giving him wrong medicine. These myths,
or superstitions, surround all the protector deities, not only Dorje
So the question is why is the Dalai Lama banning only the practice of Dorje
Shugden; what is his motivation? His motivation is not bodhicitta or
compassion; if his motivation was compassion, how can he cause so many
people to suffer and lose their freedom? It seems that his motivation is
selfish and that he is only interested in his own power, and it is with
this motivation that he has destroyed the reputation of HH Trijang
Rinpoche. He has clearly taken a sectarian position. With such disrespect
for his own guru, it is very clear that the Dalai Lama has broken his guru
As I mentioned before, the Dalai Lama said that all those who engage in the
practice of Dorje Shugden cannot be his friends. Since HH Trijang Rinpoche
was the main practitioner of Dorje Shugden, then he is no longer a friend
of the Dalai Lama. If this is not breaking one's guru devotion, then what
is? If this is not breaking one's guru devotion then you will not be able
to find any examples of people in the whole world who have ever broken
their guru devotion!
According to Buddha’s Mahayana teaching, any practitioner who has broken
his or her guru devotion cannot be a qualified Dharma teacher, or even a
qualified disciple. This is Dharma discipline: we can change our ordinary
way of life and other activities, but we cannot change Buddhadharma.
>about Zemey Rinpoche (quoting Trijang Rinpoche) on the
>subject of Je Phabongkhapa and his dreams ............. Phabongkhapa
>Dechen Nyingpo abandoned various teachings he had received from his
>gurus after experiencing negative indications from his protector Dorje
>If this is the case, how can followers of Phabongkhapa and Trijang
>Rinpoche fault HHDL for acting in the same manner and abandoning
>certain practices after receving negative indications from his own
>traditional protectors, Palden Lhamo and Nechung Dorje Dragden?
In my previous postings I already mentioned that the Dalai Lama has freedom
to do as he chooses in his own practice. If he wants to stop Dorje Shugden
practice and choose other practices through receiving certain indications
such as dreams and so forth, then he is free to do so. I am not criticizing
this reason, but because he is interfering in the freedom of others to
worship as they choose.
In the same way if Je Phabongkhapa, through his dreams and other indications
stopped certain practices, including some Nyingma practices, then this was
choice. It may be that in his dreams he felt Dorje Shugden was telling him
to stop some of his Nyingma practices, but this does not imply that Dorje
Shugden does not like the Nyingma tradition. It merely indicates that Je
Phabongkhapa had no karmic connection with the Nyingma tradition. If there
is no karmic connection with a particular practice, then you will not
receive any good results. So please do not misunderstand. It is possible
that Je Phabongkhapa encouraged some of his disciples to stop their Nyingma
practice, but again it does not mean that Je Phabongkhapa was telling them
that Nyingma practice is not pure, but to encourage them to concentrate on
their own tradition. Teachers of all traditions and all religions encourage
their people to concentrate on their own tradition. There is nothing wrong
According to the information that I have received from authentic sources,
when the Dalai Lama first began to engage in Nyingma practices, it was HH
Ling Rinpoche who tried to discourage him, strongly advising him against
these practices. This does not mean that HH Ling Rinpoche was saying that
the Nyingma practices are not good, but he felt that it was an affront to
the Gelugpas, indicating that their practice was not a complete path. Until
that time the Dalai Lama had been pure Gelugpa, and now he was changing;
this was not a good indication for the Gelug tradition. There is no
criticism implied that Nyingma practice is not pure.
I know HH Trijang Rinpoche's way of life very well, and he mainly emphasized
the Gelug tradition, but he always had a good relationship with Lamas from
the other traditions. I have never heard him say anything in any of his
teachings implying that the Nyingma tradition is not pure.
> Is it appropriate for a Gelugpa lama whose tradition benefited
>materially from these events (surrounding the 5th Dalai Lama) to be
>complaining about them and holding the present Dalai Lama responsible
>when the leaders of the Kagyu and Sakya traditions themselves do not
>hold the present Dalai Lama to blame for these things?
I believe that the Gelugpas owe their success mainly to the power of the
special karmic connection between the Tibetan people and Je Tsongkhapa’s
doctrine. Later when the Kagyupa and Sakyapa traditions degenerated, people
gradually came to blame the Gelugpas. Even today, the Gelugpas are blamed
for the degeneration of these traditions. I do not agree with this view,
the Gelugpas had no political power to cause the degeneration of other
I do not like to see other traditions degenerate. I am simply saying that
the 5th Dalai Lama was misusing his political power to weaken the other
traditions, and this is not correct. My main point here is that people
should stop blaming the Gelugpas for the degeneration of the other
traditions; instead of this we should each try to improve our own
tradition, and appreciate and respect each other.
>Does this questioning of the spiritual authenticity of the 5th Dalai lama
>also mean that you reject the positions that the succesive Dalai Lamas,
>Panchen Lamas and their regents have held since the 17th Century?
>Wouldn't have a remarkable effect on the authenticity of many Gelugpa
>lineages. Don't you visualize these lamas in the field of merit when you
do >the Lama Choepa?
This is a Tibetan problem, if Lamas do not involve themselves in politics
then there is no basis for this problem. I don’t want to judge other
practitioners, but personally I do not visualize the 5th, 13th or 14th
Dalai Lamas. In my own practice the lineage of gurus from Buddha Shakyamuni
to my root Guru is unbroken. You can find the list in my books.
>did not your own lama H.E. Trijang Rinpoche accept Tenzin Gyatso as
>the 14th Dalai Lama? ..... did he not accept him as an emanation of the
>Maha Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, and as an incarnation of Je Gendun
>Drub? ............. If H.E. Trijang Rinpoche was mistaken about the nature
>H.H. then surely he could equally be mistaken about Gyalpo Shugden. If
>however he was unmistaken about H.H. the Dalai Lama then how could
>His Holiness Gyalwa Rinpoche be mistaken about Shugden? This puzzles
During HH Trijang Rinpoche’s life, I never even thought to ask myself
whether or not the Dalai Lama is really the incarnation of Avalokiteshvara.
So I never asked HH Trijang Rinpoche this question. Of course he composed
prayers to the Dalai Lama which showed the Dalai Lama to be an enlightened
being, this is the tradition.
The long life prayers written to Lamas and Geshes always imply that the
respective Geshe or Lama is an enlightened being; even my long life prayer
written by Trijang Rinpoche implies that I too am a higher being. This is
just tradition and helps the disciples to increase faith in their teacher
and guru. They also make requests for their teacher to remain for a hundred
aeons. You cannot use HH Trijang Rinpoche's prayers to the Dalai Lama to
prove that he is an enlightened being. Beautiful prayers alone do not make
someone an enlightened being, the Dalai Lama needs to become a pure being
by changing himself; you cannot make him a pure being by beautiful words
>Since at least the time of Gendun Chokyi Nyima The Dalai Lamas have
>always had Nyingma teachers and have always performed Nyingma
>practices. If we believe that the Dalai Lamas are incarnations of the
>Tibetan Dharma kings, then we can say that the connection goes back
It is clear that the First Dalai Lama Je Gendundrub had no connection with
the Nyingma tradition, he was one of the heart disciples of Je Tsongkhapa.
His commitment to the doctrine of Je Tsongkhapa is clear from the following
‘For the fortunate people of Tibet, the Land of the Snows, your kindness,
O Protector, is inconceivable.
Especially for myself, Gendundrub, the indolent one,
The fact that my mind is directed towards Dharma
Is due solely to your kindness, O Venerable Father and Sons.
>From now until I attain enlightenment
I shall seek no refuge other than you.
O Venerable Father and Sons
Please care for me with your compassion.
Although I cannot repay your kindness, O Protector,
I pray that with my mind free from the influence of attachment and hatred,
I may strive to maintain your doctrine and cause it to flourish
Without ever giving up this endeavour.’
Now you can see that the present Dalai Lama is very different from Je
Gendundrub, therefore I do not believe that he is Je Gendundrub's
reincarnation. You should ask the present Dalai Lama himself to give you
the details of his
connection with the Nyingmapas, I do not know this.
>For some reason (perhaps you can explain why) this connection of the
>Dalai Lamas with the Nyingmapa seems to bother those who believe in the
>so-called "Ganden Emanated Volume", (which is I understand claimed to
>be the root text of a "Ganden Oral Lineage", supposedly revealed by
>Shugden to Pabhongkapa during the latter part of his life).
>It seems to me that the worshipping of Shugden as a wisdom protector
>only began at the same time as the alleged appearance of this volume and
>that these two things are somehow inextricably linked. (Am I right in
>assuming this?) Now it seems to me that those of you who believe in this
>'Ganden Emanated Volume' (and the mysticism that surrounds it), that
>anyone who criticizes Shugden is consequently also attacking the very
>basis of the "Ganden Oral Lineage".
It is incorrect to say that those who believe in the ‘Kadam Emanation
Scripture’ (also known as ‘Ganden Emanated Volume’) are upset with the
Dalai Lama for practising Nyingma. For myself, I believe in the ‘Kadam
Emanation Scripture’, but I am not upset by the Dalai Lama's practice of
Nyingma, he is free to do as he chooses. The Dalai Lama's personal Nyingma
practice never causes any problems, so there is no reason why people should
be upset but maybe some people misunderstand, this is possible.
I do not believe that Je Phabongkhapa received the ‘Kadam Emanation
Scripture’ from Dorje Shugden; maybe some people choose to believe this, it
is their choice. I also do not believe that the worship of Dorje Shugden as
a wisdom Buddha and the Ganden Oral Lineage arose at the same time.
>As H.H. has also openly questioned the authenticity of such a text [in "The
>Union of Bliss and Emptiness", pp. 68-69] , pointing out that in the
>eighteen volumes of Je Tsongkhapa's collected works there is not a single
>word mentioning the "Ganden Emanated Volume" and said that that the
>Ganden Oral tradition is nothing more nor less than the combined practice
>of the Yidams Guhyasamaja, Chakrasamvara and Vajra Bhairava with
>their attendant oral instructions, etc.
The Dalai Lama seems to doubt the authenticity of the Ganden Oral Tradition
because he does not trust his root guru. The other disciples of Trijang
Rinpoche have no problem with this. The instruction of the Ganden Oral
Lineage is a special presentation of the quick path of the union of great
bliss and emptiness, which came from Vajradhara to Manjushri, and then
directly to Je Tsongkhapa, and then followed an unbroken lineage to
realized masters such as Togdän Jampäl Gyatso and Baso Chökyi Gyaltsän down
to Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche.
The real nature of the ‘Kadam Emanation Scripture’ is the nature of
Manjushri’s omniscient wisdom, and can only be seen by highly realized
beings who have a special karmic connection with these instructions.
However, Panchen Losang Chogyän wrote the root text of the instruction of
the Ganden Oral Lineage and its commentary, he also wrote the preliminary
practices to these instructions, otherwise known as Lama Chöpa. He also
wrote the prayers of request to these lineage Gurus.
Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche received these instructions from Je Phabongkhapa
and he passed them to HH Ling Rinpoche. If the disciple does not trust his
gurus, then of course there will be problems.
Since these instructions are the experiences of highly realized beings,
they are almost inconceivable for ordinary beings to comprehend, so we have
to place our trust in our teachers. The instructions of the Ganden Oral
Lineage can be practiced in conjunction with practices of Guhyasamaja,
Yamantaka, Heruka and other Highest Yoga Tantra Deities connected with this
lineage. In reality those who have a deep understanding of these
instructions can find references to these teachings in the works of Je
Tsongkhapa, but this depends upon first receiving instructions on the Oral
Lineage. In ‘Tantric Grounds and Paths’ I have tried to explain clearly how
these instructions are a part of the works of Je Tsongkhapa.
>Now that this tactic of stopping the Dalai Lamas traditional sympathy for
>Nyinma teachings has clearly failed it almost seems as if anything is being
>dragged out to discredit not only the present Dalai Lama but also his most
>illustrious predecessors. Perhaps this is an attempt to establish what you
>see as the "pure" emanated transmission of Je Tsongkhapa's teachings
>the tradition the so called "Emanated Volume") coming via Phabongkha
>over what you regard as the "corrupted" Nyingmapa influenced
>teachings associated with these Dalai Lamas and others?
I find such statements unpleasant and completely distorted. Nobody is
trying to stop the Dalai Lama's traditional sympathy for Nyingma teachings.
You are mistaken, on the contrary we are trying to establish a good
relationship between all traditions, but divisive speech like this is what
actually destroys good relationships. In order for the Buddhadharma to
flourish throughout the world without any obstacles, it is very important
that we have internal harmony within the Buddhist community at large.
I am continuing the Kadam lineage which comes from my root guru, but how
can this interfere with the Nyingma tradition? It doesn't make any sense.
I am simply pointing out the mistakes that this present Dalai Lama has
made; what has this to do with the Nyingma tradition? There are not any
problems between the Gelugpas and Nyingmapas. The Gelugpa's main
organization is in Sera, Ganden, Drepung and Tashi Lhunpo monasteries. I
have never heard of problems between these organizations and the
Nyingmapas. Individuals experience internal disharmony everywhere, even
within the Gelugpas, Nyingmapas, or even one’s own family.
The real problem is that Dorje Shugden practitioners are seeking religious
freedom, but the Dalai Lama is maintaining a sectarian attitude of religious
intolerance which carries serious consequences and destroys people’s
happiness. This has nothing to do with the Nyingmapas.
In conclusion, I would like to say that it seems that this debate is coming
to an end because the same questions and answers have been repeated in
different postings. I don’t have much free time now, so I will not be able
to participate in the debate for sometime.
Thank you and goodbye,
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
> I would like to say that it seems that this debate is coming
> to an end because the same questions and answers have been repeated in
> different postings. I don’t have much free time now, so
> **I will not be able to participate in the debate**
> Thank you and goodbye,
> Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
****** 'Nuf said.
Don, Trying to live like a sword
The Born-Again Buddhist. in water, but behaving more
(....and again and again) like a thick plank.
On Fri, 19 Dec 1997 02:13:38 -0800, Jangsem <vaj...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>It seems that you believe that the Dalai Lama is banning the practice of
>Gyalchen Dorje Shugden in order to overcome a sectarian faction within
>the Gelugpas. Following his lead you seem completely intent on
>“prooving” that Dorje Shugden is an evil spirit.
Jangsem, I am not intent on "proving" anything - I'm just trying (perhaps foolishly)
to put forth some of the arguments which the other side has made and to bring out
some of the issues. Although HHDL is not one of my main teachers I did receive
the Kalachakra empowerment from HH in 1974 and have received a few
other empowerments and teachings from him on other occasions.
I'd like to make it very clear though that I am not a spokesperson for
HHDL or anyone else. However personally I do not doubt that HH sincerely
beleives that the practice of Shugden amongst the Tibetan people causes
more harm than it does good and that he has instituted this ban or prohibition with
a pure motive. While there is nothing wrong with you thinking that HHDL's actions are
mistaken I do think that you're judgement of his motives is wrong.
If both sides could accept the good intentions of the the other side I think there
would be room for reasoned discussion and debate - possibly
even an eventual solution or compromise. However if one side questtions the
motives of the other then they will never be able to accept that the other side
is discussing things in good faith and there will never be room for
compromise or even real debate.
As far as I know, HHDL has never publicly criticised Ven Geshe
Kelsang Gyatso. During his visit here last year I attended the talk which
HHDL gave to the Tibetan community in the UK. Given that "Shugden
Supporters" were demonstrating outside the building where this meeting
took place and the newspaper articles that had recently appeared this issue
naturally came up. HHDL said that Ven. Geshe Kelsang had a strong connection
with Shugden and a strong connection with western students - and as far as he was
concerned he had no particular business or responsibility to interfere in what went
on in Western Buddhist centres that he had no real connection with. However at no
time did I hear HH say anything nasty about Geshe Kelsang or question the sincerity
of his motives.
On that occassion HH did mention that he thought Shugden worship was harmful for
most Tibetans and that he had seen people reduced to poverty, families split and
people fall ill or insane as a result of this practice and cited some instances of
this.HH also mentioned that Shugden was generally considered to be a wordly
dharma protector ('jig ten pa'i srung ma) and gave a number of reasons why.
>As I pointed out in a previous posting, if Dorje Shugden is an evil
>spirit then this means that both Pabongkhapa Rinpoche and Trijang
>Rinpoche were completely mistaken with respect to their supreme Dharma
>Protector. To mistake an evil spirit for a Dharma Protector is not a
>small mistake, especially as within the Gelugpa you are taught to see
>your Guru, Yidam and Protector as one (like a jewel with many facets).
>So if these two Lamas made such a huge mistake how could anyone possibly
>regard them as enlightened beings? Since all modern day Gelugpas are
>directly or indirectly disciples of these two (including the present
>Dalai Lama) then it would follow that the entire modern Gelugpa school
>is mistaken. Why? Because they are relying on mistaken lineage Lamas. If
>the lineage Lamas are not enlightened then the blessings of the lineage
>are lost. It is then not possible to attain enlightenment following that
Ven Geshe Kelsang Gyatso said in his reply to my posting:
"Regarding Dorje Shugden, there are two different ways of perceiving
him. One is according to the ordinary appearance of Tibetan people,
and the other is according to the appearance of the qualified practitioner."
"To the majority of ordinary Tibetans Dorje Shugden appeared as a
worldly spirit. At that time there were many stories and rumours about
how Dorje Shugden would help some people, harm others and so forth,
all according to the ordinary appearance of the majority of people, most
of whom were very superstitious."
[Mind you, without giving any evidence, he blames this situation on the
13th Dalai Lama saying that he used his political power to stop
Phabongkha publicizing the view that Shugden was an enlightend
protector and forced him to accept the lower position of Dorje Shugden.
In this way perhaps he accounts for the stories that Phabonkha only s
tarted calling DS an enlightend protetor at the end of his life - presumably
after the 13th Dalai Lama passed away in 1933. However there
are stories that give other reasons for this and the latter period of
Phabongkha's life also coresponds to the period of his alleged
Whatever the reasons, in my experience the majority of ordinary
Tibetan people I have met who propitiate Shugden still beleive that
he will help them make them rich & successful and may harm their
adversaries. To them he is very much a worldly dharma protector.
So the motivation and way this practice is done amongst many
Tibetans in India and Nepal must be quite different from that of
NKT members who all seem to be able to perceive DS as a
Anyway the Geshe-la has pointed out that there are different ways
of perceiving Gylachen Shugden - we can call these common and
extraordinary. Now His Holiness the Dalai Lama has stated:
"If we Gelugpa accept the validity of popular conventions, we
must conform to what is widely known in the world. What is called
inconceivable and secret is a different matter. Just as we found
yesterday in the Golden Garland of Good Explanation (legs-
shad gser-phreng) that the presentation of popular conventions
would be inexplicable if we had to base them on the miraculous
transformation of an instant into an aeon and aeon into an instant
by the high level Arya Bodhisattvas .
"Similarly, we cannot base our practices of abandonment and
accomplishment on the inconceivable secrets which are only
within the Tathagatas field of experience. Thus, we must go by
what is most widely accepted in the world. If we do this then it
is doubtful whether the present Gyalchen [Shugden] is the next
birth of the continuum of Tulku Dakpa Gyaltsen or whether
Tulku Dagpa Gyaltsen was the reincarnation of Dulzin Drakpa
Gyaltsen. Even if we assume that he was, still this business arose
not out of harmony, but from the disharmony between Tulku Dakpa
Gyaltsen and the Victorious Fifth Dalai Lama, as is evident if
you read his biography. If we say that well-known things mentioned
in the biography were for the sake of less-intelligent disciples or
were related from the point of view of worldly conventions, and that
matters of inconceivable secrecy are somehow different and
extraordinary, well then let us first develop a refined consciousness
capable of experiencing such mystical things. If we had such
consciousness we could then make use of them, but we simply
have to go by popular conventions. If the person is at an ordinary
level but the object of experiene is someting of inconceivable secrecy
then he cannot experience it.
"In general, it is the tantras which speak of religious protectors
By engaging in the practice of deity yoga one brings these
protectors under control and commands them to assist one to
accomplish various activities such as pacification, which are
done as means to attain enlightenment for the sake of others
and oneself. But if a person who lacks such power beats a
dilapidated old drum until it is worn out, it wo't do much good.
Alternatvely there will be visible benefits if one is serious
about his practice of refuge and checks his observance of
the law of cause and effect., it will be a better expression of
the Buddhist outlook. Ordinary people especially, who have
a deep seated interest in food and clothing for the present life
might see worldly gods and spirits as more beneficial and
helpful than Buddha Shakyamuni when they are caught in
a tight spot. Since there is no obvious rite to propitiate
Buddha Shakyamuni in order to accomplish longetivity,
wealth and success in business ventures there is a great
likelihood of their-entrusting themselves whole-heartedly
to these gods. If this should happen the Buddhist practice of
refuge is thrown to the wind and if refuge practice is discarderd
the person will cease to be a Buddhist. So you must take the
" Having understood these things you should give up or retain
practices accordingly. Those of you who have already sought
"Life Entrustment" with Gyalchen [Shugden] need not give him up,
but can continue to rely on him. However it would be good if you
are not over-elaborate about it and don't give the impression
that he is the Lord of the Dharma Protectors; rely on him without
confusing the status of the protectors. taking the real state of
affairs into consideration. For those of you who have not
sought "Life Entrustment" there is no point at all in buying a
noose for your own neck.
"The Kadampa tradition is best. They had four deities:
Buddha Shakyamuni, the founder of the Doctrine;
Arya Avalokiteshvara, the deity of great compassion;
Arya Tara, the deity of viruous activity; and
Achala, the deity who removes obstacles.
To these were added the paths of the three persons
or the three baskets of teachings. Together, the tradition
was called the Seven-fold Deity and Dharma Tradition.
Their practice was as simple as that, without elaborate
propitiation rituals like offerng incense-smoke and gold
libation etc. to worldly spirits and demons. We have not
achieved realizations like those achieved by past lamas,
yet we undertake many ritualistic performances which
they couldn't afford. In terms of virtuous assistence and
accomplishments we have gained nothing from these
"So this has been something about Gyalchen [Shugden]
I have been informal here but spoken frankly, for there would
be no point in talking at length about it otherwise. If you need
to tell someone about it then tell the complete story
comprehensively, otherwise it would be better if you don't
disclose this to anybody as if it were some ordinary
[- from "an excerpt concerning reliance on the
Dharma Protectors from a talk given by His
Holiness on 18th July 1980 at Sera Religious
Establishment to a meeting of ex-abbots, abbots,
workers, a group of senior monks and the members
of the Byalakuppe Regional Working Committee
of the Tibetan Youth Congress and others."]
So, amonst other things, His Holiness seems to be saying
that if we are an ordinary person or practitioner who has not yet
developed the exraordinary perception of an advaced bodhisattva
we should treat Shugden according to conventianal appearence -
whereas GKG seems to be suggesting that all should regard Shugden
from the the point of view of a realised or qualified person. Here we
have qute a fundamental difference in view.
Now it's obvious that at least some important Gelugpa teachers
including Trijang Rinpoche regarded Shugden as an extraordinary
being. Does that mean that we should regard him thus? HHDL seems
to say that unless we have achieved the level of realisation of such lamas
it is inappropriate, maybe dangerous, to do so - whereas Geshe Kelsng seems
to be saying that because lamas like Trijang Rinpoche regarded
Shugden as an enlightend being then all Gelugpas should do so too.
Elsewhere His Holiness the Dalai Lama said:
"To put it more clearly in the past there was a strong dispute between
the Fifth Dalai Lama and Tulku Dagpa Gyaltsen otherwise termed
the upper and lower chambers. It was thought that the deity called
Gyalchen Shugden was the manifestation of Tulku Dakpa Gyaltsen
of the Upper Chamber. Somehow during the time of the Fifth Dalai
Lama the Upper chamber was destroyed and Tulku Dakpa Gyaltsen
was killed by pushing a scarf down his throat.
The inconceivable [wisdom] aspect is a different matter. It is an aspect
only conceivable to those who have achieved a high level of realization.
We, the commoners cannot understand it. Therefore the narrative mst be
adapted to our ordinary level of understanding and the story of Gyalchen
Shugden is of that kind and Tulku Dakpa Gyaltsen ended his life under
such a condition."
"Basically Shugden has ben popular in the Sakya and later in Gelug
sects. In earlier times the practice of Shugden was performed in the
Gelug order. For instance in some works by Thuken Chokyi Nyima
the personal tutor of the seventh Dalai Lama Trichen Ngawang
Chogden one of the Ganden throne holders placed restrictions on the
reliance on Shugden in Ganden monastery [where] the Chapel of Shugden
was also there. Trichen Ngawang Chogden was a purely Gelugpa
lama not involved with the Nyingma traditions.
"As I have always been sying the Gelugpas are the new Kadampa.
They rely on Buddha, the founder of Buddhism; Avalokiteshvara,
the god of compassion; Tara, the god[ess] of viruous activity;
Achala, the god who dispells obstacles. Apart from these four
gods there are no others and it is very magnificent of them. The
main practice of the Kadampa is the practice of the path of the
three levels of mind. They don't pick up new personal dieties
[yidam] and Dharma protectors. If they did like that the foundation
of the Kadampa would decline.
"When Reverend Tsongkhapa founded the new Kadampa they
trained their minds on the basis of the Graded Path of three levels
of mind. The Graded Path of these three levels of mind consists
of the three groups of Buddha's teachings. They fixed the system
of practising the Secret Assemly [Guhyasamaja] Heruka
[Chakrasamvara] and The Vajra Terrifier [Vajra Bhairava]
for the highest yoga tantra. Later they established the tantric
colleges with only two Dharma protectors [the Six-armed
Mahakala and Damchen Chogyal /Shin-je] So the origin of
the basic Gelugpa teachings is like this.
"It is hard to say whether it will become a contribution or a
drawback if we add something to the doctrine of the new
tantric Kadampas founded by Tsongkhapa. If you really
want to be a pure Gelugpa then the personal deity sould be
the Secret Assemly [Guhyasamaja] Heruka [Chakrasamvara]
and The Vajra Terrifier [Vajra Bhairava]. The Dharma protector
should be the protector relating to the three levels of mind.
[the Six-armed Mahakala, Damchen Chogyal /Shin-je] and
Namsey] At the present time the financial position of the
Gelugpas is not poor so reliance on Namsey, the god of
wealth is unneccessary. If finance is still important then
let it be. To the Gelug teaching, besides the protectors of
these three levels there is no necessity for Palden Lhamo
and the Five State Guardians [Nechung etc]
"I thought it is good to explain it for those who don't know anything
about it. Most of us who are in exile know about this and I periodically
remind people of itThe reason I have been doing so has been made
clear before and quite a lot of people who have stopped performing
rituals to Shugden for the sake of our common cause. Even some
who had received the "Life Entrustment" ritual gave up that practice
"Particularly, in the monastaries where the Gelug tradition is being
taught and preserved it is not good to beat drums and clash cymbals.
Study well and be pure Kadampa followers, not like the sorcerers
scattered everywhere. We are trying to be careful, but we have to
take precauttions and think what is to be done."
[HHDL - spring 1991]
"The Dzogchen view is explained primarily from the point of view of
the result that is sought; when the Sakyas explain the view of the
clarity and voidness of the inseperability of cyclic-existence and
the stae beyond it, they do so mainly from the point of view of
the mode of apprehension that a yogi has through his practice
of the path. Isn't Jamgon Tsongkhapa Chenmo's view like this:-
the view of conventional validity is explained primarily from the point
of view of the mode of apprehension on the ordinary level, isn't this
the lineage of explanation? It is. These are some points to think
"Anyway, what I have just explained is something we should be
aware of. The personal case of each idividual is completly
different, you have freedom to do religious practice or not to
do it, it is simply a matter of personal freedom whether you rely
on any kind of meditational diety or protector. There is no one to
trouble you. But, when it comes to common issues such as the
religion and politics of Tibet, and also common issues for the
Gelugpas it is different. As I have explained when it comes to
the common issue of Tibet's religion and politics Palden Lhamo
is the principal and those connected with her such as the so-called
Gyalpo ku-nga [Nechung etc.] and Tenma Chu nyi [the twelve tenma],
also become principal. When it comes to the question of the Gelugpa
Damchen Chogyal [Shinje] is principal then Mahakala/ Gonpo -
yes, Damchen Chogyal is the principal.
This is the point you should understand, I have just explained.
When I speak of those things it hurts your ears doesn't it?"
[from "Advice concerning the Dharma protectors" - extracted from
an explanation of bla-ma mchod-pa given by His Holiness the
Dalai Lama at the main temple in Dharamsala to a large gathering
of Tibetan and Western disciples. 2 March 1986.]
Honestly, Jangsem & freinds do you think these are the words of someone
who is trying to destroy the Gelugpa tradition or to merge the Gelugpa
tradition with that of other schools?
>Therefore it follows that an entire living Buddhist tradition that can
>be traced back two and a half thousand years to the Buddha himself has
>been completely invalidated. This to me is sectarianism in the true
>meaning of the word.
No it doesn't follow.
For a start the practice of Dralha'i Gyalchen Shugden does not go back
two and a half thousand years and one shouldn't confuse one thing with
another. Right down to the present there have been many enlightend
great Buddhist teachers who were not Gelugpas or Kadampas and there
have been plenty of enligtend Kadampa and Gelugpa teachers who
did not worship Gyalchen. I'm not trying to say that there haven't been
enlightend Buddhist teachers in the Gelugpa tradition who have
worshipped or proptitiated Gyalchen Shugden but I am saying that
invalidating the worship of Shugden as he is generally perceived by
Tibetans does not invalidate ether the Gelugpa tradition or any
tradition that goes back to the time of the Buddha Shakyamuni.
As HHDL has pointed out the principal protectors of the Gelugpa
tradition are the protectors relating to the three levels of mind.
[the Six-armed Mahakala, Damchen Chogyal /Shin-je] and Namsey].
This was established by Je Tsongkhapa himself - why should
anyone who is trying to be a pure Gelugpa / new Kadampa
attach more importance to any other protector?
Without relying on anyones words or selective quotes, these days it is
quite easy for anyone to see with their own eyes just what the position of
Shugden has been within the Gelugpa tradition. How? These days there
are numeous books on Tibetan art available in bookshops and libraries
containing many fine examples of Tibetan religious art and there are
numerous collections of Tibetan thangkhas in museums and so on.
If we go through these we will find numerous examples of paintings of
the Gelugpa "Refuge Assembly Tree" or "Field of Merit" -
These paintings are usually dated quite accuratly but if there is any
doubt about the date we can pretty well figure this out by looking
at the iconography the lamas at the end of the lineage. These should be
the lamas of the generation preceeding that of the person who
sponsored the painting.
Now if we go through these paintings and look for representations
of Gyalchen Shugden we will either not find that he is not represented at all
(although there will be other protectors) or he will be represented outside
of the main field of merit along with other worldly protectors like
the four Guardian Kings. On thangkhas preceeding the time of the
13th Dalai Lama (who Geshela says forced people to consider
Gyalchen Shugden a worldly protector) we will almost never find
Gyalchen depicted. In numerous examples I have looked at he is not
there. In more recent thangkhas painted before the Tibetan diaspora
we will sometimes find Shugden but he is inevitably in a position
indicating that he was regarded as a worldly protector.
There may be a few exceptions to this, but it doesn't invalidate my point.
There is no way anyone could have interferred with which thangkhas
ended up in museums - this must have been a pretty chance affair and
I think it is fair to say a fairly representative sample from many pats of Tibet.
Only those devoted to the Gelug tradition would have comissioned such a painting.
Museum curators and art experts are now very good at determinig when a
thangkha was painted - so this can't be interferred with either.
Please check this out for yourself. You can't argue with the evidence
of your own eyes. Shugden was not generally regarded by Gelugpas
as an enlightend protector. The Dalai Lama is right about this.
Although there has been some bad feeling about Shugden worship amongst
Nyingmapas this present day controversy is not a really sectarian matter.
No matter what you may think about his affiliation and what sympathies
he has with other traditions it's clear that HHDL considers himself first and
foremost a Gelugpa, The vast majority of the teachings HHDL gives are
firmly based on the Gelugpa tradition. Whenever HH has criticised or
questioned the practice of Shugden he has relied on quotes from Gelugpa
sources and based his reasning on .
Unfortunately the biggest arguments are often within families - if this were
an argument between two sects they could easily decide to have nothing
or little to do with one another as in current circumstances no sect is really in
a position to impose it's will on another.
(Sometimes when there is a dispute within a family and people are shouting
at each other without listening concerned neighbours may step in and try to
help sort things out -even though their interferance may not be appreciated.)
[To be Continued...]
> So are these precious practices also under question? I have heard that
> the Dalai Lama has tried to stop people engaging in the practice of Lama
> Chopa as explained by the first Panchen Lama. Lama Chopa is used within
> our tradition as the supreme method to make requests to one's Spiritual
> Guide and to prepare for gaining the supreme realizations of Mahamudra.
> Is this also sectarian, bad for the Dalai Lama's health and the cause of
Hi, please do not spread false rumors and such, this is a non-virtue.
All Gelug traditions do Lama Chopa, for example this incoming December
24, that coincidentally is Je Tsongkhapa day.
> With respect to Vajrayogini practice, I have heard that the Dalai Lama
> has now begun to question the validity of this practice. Do you know if
> this is true, and if so what are his reasons?
Again, please do not spread non-virtuous false rumors, thanks. Your
statements are indeed pretty strange.
> From the above you can see that there is far more to this controversy
> than the worship of Gyalchen Dorje Shugden. What we are witnessing is
> the gradual destruction of the Ganden Oral Tradition. Considering that
> Pabongka Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche propagated this Oral Tradition,
Hmm. I've mostly seen a lot of false rumors being spread out to cause
suffering amongst sentient beings, sorry. This is another one above.
With metta, and please do not harm the tradition of Je Tsongkhapa.
Please do a lot of offerings next December 24. Maitri, Kent
This is a continuation of the first part of my message:
which was posted on: Sun, 21 Dec 1997 at: 09:09:03 GMT
On Fri, 19 Dec 1997
>If that isn't enough, you are now beginning to question the authenticity
>of the Kadam Emanation Scripture (using the Dalai Lama as your
>reference), one of the holiest texts within the Gaden tradition. It is
>this scripture that is both the source of the Guru Yoga of Je Tsongkhapa
>known as Ganden Lhagyama (Hundreds of Deities of the Joyful Land) and
>the famous Migtsema prayer. As Venerable Geshe Kelsang says in Heart
Jangsem, I'm not personally questioning the authenticity of this
"Ganden Emanated Scripture" as I really don't know enough about it
I was just pointing out (as others have done before) that HHDL
seems to have expressed some doubt about the authenticity of such a
text in "The Union of Bliss and Emptiness', pp. 68-69. [Snow Lion
1988] and says that in the entire eighteen volumes of Tsongkhapa's
collected works there is not a single word mentioning this text. His
Holiness' own views on the Ganden Mahamudra tradition are clearly
expressed in his recent book "The Gelug / Kagyu Tradition of
Personally I have no problem with the idea of teachings handed down by
word of mouth, texts entrusted to the care of protectors or of
revealed texts After all the Nyingma tradition, holds that Guru
Padmasambhava entrusted numerous 'treasure' texts to various local
protectors throughout Tibet, until the time was right for them to be
revealed. Although some say so, this notion is not a Nyingma
invention, Indian Buddhists apparently believed that the Mahayana
teachings, were entrusted to the Nagas (supposedly a race of
intelligent serpent beings) and eventually revealed by Nagarjuna at
the appropriate time.
>"The Guru yoga of Je Tsongkhapa according to the Segyu lineage was
>originally taught by Buddha Manjushri as part of a special scripture
>known as the Yeshe Gyaltsen. It was extracted from this
>scripture by Je Tsongkhapa himself....Je Tsongkhapa passed this
>instruction to Je Sherab Senge who was one of his main disciples. Je
>Sherab Senge was born in the upper part of Tibet called Tsang. He was a
>very holy meditation master and scholar who had thousands of disciples,
>including Je Gendundrub, the first Dalai Lama. He was the holder of the
>lineage of the Tantric teachings of je Tsongkhapa and, as predicted by
>Je Tsongkhapa, he established Gyuma Tantric College in central Tibet and
>Segyu Tantric College in the upper part of Tibet."
I understand that the NKT introduces new students to the practice of
Shugden almost immediately in the form of a set of praises and
requests appended to the 'One Hundred Deities of Ganden' (Ganden
Lhagya-ma) Guru Yoga of Tsongkhapa. As regards to this 'Hundred
Deities of Ganden' itself and the Migtsema prayer - HH the Dalai Lama
has says that he regularly recites these so there is really no
question whether or not he accepts them. It is also quite obvious that
HHDL does not use these praises and requests to Shugden which must
have been appended to the former text at a later date.
>These are two of the heart practices within the Gelugpa tradition. Are
>these now also going to be proclaimed as mistaken?
I can't imagine that HH questions the spiritual realisation of Je
Sherab Senge or thinks that his teachings were mistaken. Is it proved
that everything now in this "Ganden Emanated Scripture" came via Je
Sherab Senge or is this simply a matter of faith?
>Venerable Geshe Kelsang says in Great Treasury of Merit,
>" Until the time of the first Panchen Lama, the lineage of the Emanation
>Scripture had been passed directly from Teacher to disciple without
>being written down, and only those with great good fortune even knew of
>its existence, let alone had the opportunity to practise the
>instructions. For this reson it became known as the 'Ensa Whispered
>Lineage'. However, because times were becoming more and more impure, and
>because sentient beings had less and less merit, the Panchen Lama
>worried that his precious lineage might soon be lost altogether, and so
>to preserve it for future generations he decided to write it down.
According to an earlier post in these newsgroups, in the book
"Enlightened Beings" (an abbreviated translation of the
hagiographies of the early siddhas of Ganden Mahamudra
lineage by Prof. Janice Dean Willis), it says on pg. 36 "...the
Ganden Miraculous Volume, containing the complete detailed practice
instructions of the Oral Tradition that quintessentially abridges the
pith teachings of the path of both sutra and tantra was given directly
by the Venerable Lord Manjushri only to Je Rinpoche [Tsongkhapa], to
this Lama [Jampal Gyatso] and a few of the gods of Ganden [i.e.
protectors of Ganden monastery]. It is also apparently mentions in
this book that Panchen Lama Lobsang Chokyi Gyaltsen (1570?-1662)
was thought to be the last recipient of this text by some, while
others believe that the master Yeshe Gyaltsen (? 1713-1793) was the
last, until Phabongkha in this century.
In this account it seems to me that there is a considerable gap in the
transmission of these teachings between the time of either Panchen
Lobsang Chokyi Gyaltsen or Yeshe Gyaltsen and the time of Phabongkha.
Perhaps you can fill in (or explain) this gap for me.
Phabongkha himself seems to have mistrusted teachings which
"got handed down by word of mouth". On pg 101 of "Preparing for
Tantra: The Mountain of Blessings" [trans Geshe Lobsang
Tarchin and Michael Roach] he quotes Tukvan Chokyi Nyima
" It's true that we could use a different way and
devote ourselves in the short term to learning
all those weird little scraps of Dharma that
somebody supposedly found under the
ground, or supposedly fell out of the sky
into somebody's lap, or supposedly
got handed down by word of mouth
from some ancestors of ancient times.
" In the long run though all these can
only deceive us. This is precisely
what happened to great holy beings
of the past, authentic masters such as
Milarepa and Khyungpo. For a time
the deigned to study such works, but later
on they were forced to discard them like
so much manure, and to go out and seek
a different Dharma, one that would actually
make them enlightened."
As I said earlier I don't have a problem with the idea of
such teachings being valid - but here we have the
view of Phabongkha himself on texts which
"got handed down by word of mouth".
[It should also be pointed out that this passage is
completely misleading as far as the views of
Milarepa and Keydrub Khyungpo Naljor are
concerned. For instance regarding Milarepa
HH Dudjom Rinpoche has written:
"'When the venerable Milarepa first received the
Mental Class of the Great Perfection from Nup
Khulungpa he could not become equipoised
in awareness itself, and for the time being the
doctrine and the individual seemed to go their
own ways Finally on the basis of the venerable
Marpa of Lhodrak's [teaching of the] inner heat,
he attained accomplishment on the path of Great
Perfection [Dzogchen], whereby al thoughts, all
things are exhausted. This can be demonstrated
by one of his own songs of indestructible reality,
in which he says:
Stabbed in front by the Great Perfection,
Stabbed in the back by the Great Seal
I vomit the blood of instruction ..."
[ History of the Nyingma School, p. 922
trans. G. Dorje & M Kapstien]
Furthermore, in Milarepa's songs of instructions to
Tseringma known as the "Golden Rosary" one can
find some of Milarepa's Dzogchen Teachings. ]
> Accordingly, he wrote a text entitled The Main Path of the Conquerors,
>The Root Text of the Mahamudra. This contains all the essential
>instructions on Mahamudra from the Emanation Scripture...So that
>faithful disciples could practise the fourth great guide as a
>preliminary to the actual Mahamudra, the first Panchen Lama also
>compiled offering to the Spiritual Guide based on the instructions from
>the Emanation Scripture. Since then the practice has flourished in
>Tibet, Mongolia, China, and India; and now it is beginning to spread in
>So are these precious practices also under question?
As far as the text entitled "The Main Path of the Conquerors: The Root
Text of Mahamudra" by Panchen Lobsang Chokyi Gyaltsen - this is
obviously the same as "A Root Text for the Precious Gelug / Kagyu
Tradition of Mahamudra" (dge-ldan bka'-brgyud rin-po-che'i
phyag-chen rtsa-ba rgyal-ba'i gzhung-lam) which is translated by
Alex Berzin and explained by HH the Dalai Lama in his book
"The Gelug / Kagyu Tradition of Mahamudra" (Snow Lion, 1997)
so obviously His Holiness accepts this text since he is teaching
it to others.
>I have heard that
>the Dalai Lama has tried to stop people engaging in the practice of Lama
>Chopa as explained by the first Panchen Lama. Lama Chopa is used within
>our tradition as the supreme method to make requests to one's Spiritual
>Guide and to prepare for gaining the supreme realizations of Mahamudra.
>Is this also sectarian, bad for the Dalai Lama's health and the cause of
Jangsem, don't believe (or spread) these ridiculous rumours.
Of course HHDL is not trying to stop people engaging in the practice
of Lama Choepa (Offering to the Spiritual Guide) - he teaches this
text regularly and his well known book "The Union of Bliss and
Emptiness" is a commentary on Lama Choepa.
If by the " Emanation Scripture" you mean simply the teachings
written down by Panchen Lobsang Chokyi Gyaltsen in "The Main Path of
the Conquerors: The Root Text of Mahamudra" and "Offering to the
Spiritual Guide" and their respective commentaries - then it seems
there is no controversy about these teachings as far as HH the Dalai
Lama is concerned. Or do you understand this "Ganden Emanated
Scripture" to be something else besides?
>Venerable Geshe Kelsang continues in Great Treasury of Merit,
>"Since the first Panchen Lama compiled this precious sadhana it has been
>transmitted, together with the uncommon Vajrayana Mahamudra of the
>Virtuous Tradition and all the other essential practices of the Emanation
>Scripture, through an unbroken lineage to our present Teachers. From
>Panchen Chokyi Gyaltsan the lineage passed through Drubchen Gendun
>Gyaltsan and Drungpa Tsondru Gyaltsan to Konchog Gyaltsan, who
>transmitted it to the second Panchen Lama, Losang Yeshe. From him it
>passed through various Lamas such as Losang Namgyal and Kachen Yeshe
>Gyaltsan down to Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, who passed it on to our
>present Teachers. The entire close lineage of these instructions is
>given in the Prayers of Request to the Mahamudra Lineage Gurus...If we
>read this prayer we will see that there is a completely pure and
>unbroken lineage from Conqueror Vajradhara to our present Root Guru."
Again, could you clarify what just you mean by "all the other
essential practices of the Emanation Scripture"