September 16, 2008

Dorje Shugden: Deity or Demon?

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s been a lot of activity on this blog and elsewhere around the Buddhist web relating to the Dorje Shugden controversy. While we take no position on this rather arcane sectarian dispute, we have covered it in the past. In order to shed some light on the controversy, we reproduce here the opening two pages of a special section from the Spring 1998 issue with links to the section's contents, including interviews with Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, leader of the New Kadampa Tradition, and Thubten Jigme Norbu, the recently deceased brother of the Dalai Lama. Click on the images below to see larger versions of the opening spread, and the links below that to read the articles themselves. - The Editors

Dorje Shugden page 1 Dorje Shugden page 2


[UPDATE: Thanks to Danny Fisher for pointing out the Wikipedia link on the controversy above.]

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emptymountains's picture

Dear KP,

This is an essential point, and one that EM seems to have trouble understanding—within the Rimay, there is no “mixing” of traditions, and it is possible to practice various sadhanas which stem from different sources without a “mixing” taking place, and without any “corruption” or confusion.

Please see post 1628. There's not mixing, and there's not mixing.


Lineageholder's picture

Dear Tenzin,

you said:

The truth is gradually emerging. It is only a matter of time. Tenzin Peljor above indicates that he is waiting for the demise of Geshe Kelsang (as are the other members of Kadampa survivors, some of whom are viciously calling for his early demise in a lovely Buddhist way) — hoping that will bring about the end of the NKT as well. But the NKT succession is clearly established, the Internal Rules are extraordinarily good, the NKT has learnt from its mistakes, and it will survive for a very long time.

How horrible and how ironic! Do you remember when Tibetan Buddhists accused NKT practitioners of praying for the Dalai Lama's death, when no one in the NKT would ever do that? And yet it seems the Kadampa Survivors are almost praying for Geshe Kelsang's demise. How utterly uncompassionate of them and another example of why their distorted and angry views are not to be trusted.

emptymountains's picture

For TP only,

No where did I *ever* say that non-sectarianism is an extreme. That non-sectarianism is the middle way is something we can all agree on. The question is, what constitutes non-sectarianism and how does it correct sectarianism? You say that with the *two* bodhichittas, there is no sectarianism, and I agree. There are *two* truths to the middle way because there are *two* extremes to be corrected. For example, in terms of the correct view of the self, ultimate truth corrects the extreme of existence, and conventional truth corrects the extreme of non-existence. It is positing the ultimate nature of phenonema whilst rejecting their conventional nature that leads one into the extreme of non-existence. However, if the extreme of non-existence were not even a possibility, then there would be no need for anything but *one* truth (i.e., ultimate truth).

Dorje (and maybe others) think that non-sectarianism is achieveable just with inclusivism, with no need for any exclusivism. However, I believe that we also need exclusivism (just as we also need conventional truth, and not just ultimate truth by itself). After all, if you are a Buddhist, your refuge vows include a commitment to exclude teachings and practices that contradict Buddha's teaching. So, exclusivism cannot be all bad. In some contexts, it definitely has a virtuous function, but it can also be applied non-virtuously, leading to sectarianism. This is where inclusivism kicks back in, to counter the extreme of sectarianism. And, if you start going from one extreme to the other again and try to come up with some New Age mix of Buddhism and other religions, then exclusivism kicks back in to counter this extreme. Therefore, we need *both* inclusivism and exclusivism working together in order to be non-sectarian without going to the opposite extreme of adopting worldviews and practices that are non-Buddhist.

(I believe this is to be applied also at the intra-faith level, but *not* for doctrinal reasons, as Dorje presupposes of me. Unfotunately, Dorje wouldn't let me get that far in the discussion to explain it.)

TP, I know from your previous posts that you can at least see a distinction between sectarianism and exclusivism. I got this from David Kay (not from the NKT), who said that sectarianism was an extreme form of exclusivism, but not all forms of exclusivism are extreme. I was quite intrigued by his idea of inclusivsm and exclusivsm as a means to explain the differenences within the Gelugpa tradition, which have basically manifested themselves today as the two sides of the Dorje Shugden debate. In order to decide where I stood in this debate, I asked myself what would happen if we applied Kay's theoretical model to the traditional Buddhist model of a middle way between two extremes, and filled in any missing pieces to the puzzle. The result I came up with was #4 in post 1139. (I'll repeat #'s 1-4 below for your convenience.) I felt that Kay made the same mistake as some of you, which is to be able to identify what extreme exclusivism is, but on the other hand somehow not be able to identify what extreme inclusivism is, or even acknowledge that extreme inclusivism is possible.

My question is, at what point is inclusivism taken too far? Some have assumed that it cannot be taken too far, but we have discussed how exaggerating ultimate truth can lead to the extreme of nihilism and how exaggerating non-attachment can lead to the extreme asceticism. As yet another example, we have also discussed how compassion without wisdom can lead to another extreme, which is called "crazy compassion" or "idiot compassion."

So, following these parallels, it *must* be possible to exaggerate inclusivism to an extreme. My question is, what is this called? I proposed that extreme inclusivism is eclecticism. I am open to someone showing me that eclecticism is actually part of the middle way (and not an extreme), but only if they can then tell me what extreme eclecticism would entail. To me, it's all pretty straightfoward!

To re-trace my steps:

1. In terms of correct spiritual practice, Buddhism posits a middle way between the extremes of hedonism (or materialism) and asceticism (or spiritualism). To maintain the middle way and not fall into one of these extremes, we need both non-sensual-indulgence and non-self-mortification together.

2. In terms of the correct view of the self, Buddhism posits a middle way between the extremes of existence (eternalism) and non-existence (nihilism). To maintain the middle way and not fall into one of these extremes, we need both ultimate truth and conventional truth together.

3. In terms of a complete path to enlightenment, Buddhism posits a middle way between the extremes of samsara and solitary peace. To maintain the middle way and not fall into one of these extremes, we need both wisdom and compassion together.

4. In terms of non-sectarianism, Buddhism posits a middle way between the extremes of sectarianism and eclecticism. To maintain the middle way and not fall into one of these extremes, we need both inclusivism and exclusivism together.

To summarize #4, sectarianism is exclusivism without inclusivism, and eclecticism is inclusivism without exclusivism. Again, this is based on #'s 1-3 above, which I don't think anyone has a problem with, right? So, all you have to do in order to disprove #4 for me is to show me what a corrected version of it would be. If Buddha himself asked you to explain non-sectarianism using his model of the two truths of the middle way between extremes, would you be able to do it?

I will check back to see your next response, but I suspect this is farewell...


Dorje's picture

"I’m surprised you want to create a sectarian divide where there is none. Why do you want to hold onto various claims about what Pabongkhapa did and didn’t do and what the Yellow Book says"

I am merely repeating the claims of those that promulgated the view that this protector worship is valid. You are rejecting the teachings of your lineage lamas, yet for some reason still hanging on to the worship of a protector they praise for killing sentient beings.

"If you don’t have any real evidence for your claims then there’s no point discussing. Don’t keep quoting ancient history because it’s not relevant."

As T.G. Dhongthog Rinpoche said in his Earth Shaking Thunder of True Word, (p4)

“In reading my previous refutations some may have thought that my ridicule of Phawong Khapa’s ideology (and others’) was not relevant to the subject since those works were purported to be refutations of Dzeme. So it must be pointed out that it was Phawong Khapa who founded the doctrine that elevates Dolgyal to king of guardians of the Ganden tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Furthermore, it was also Phawong Khapa who defined Shugden’s specific role as the one who punishes those Gandenpas who develop faith in the Nyingma (ancient) tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Dzeme was merely following this doctrine.

“According to the Buddhist epistemological tradition epitomized by the great logicians, Dignaga and Dharmakirti, in order to establish the Buddha Dharma as perfect, it is necessary to first establish its founder as perfect. In the same way, in order to reveal the imperfection of the doctrine of Dolgyal as a transworldly protector, it is necessary to first establish the imperfection of that doctrine’s founder.”

The founder of this protector worship and the claims he made for it are very relevant to this discussion. The fact remains that this protector worship was very controversial before the Dalai Lama first spoke out against it in the 1970s. Your continual claim that this opposition originates with the Dalai Lama is a lie.

harry is a gandul's picture


I have to agree with LH.

KG says that if i rely upon DS, he (DS) will remove obstacles to my practice and lay good conditions for my spiritual development.

HHDL says that DS worshipers will get many money, and many disciples.

My experience is that i have become more peaceful and focused over the years, and gradually less attached to worldly concerns. On the other hand i have less money than 6 years ago when i began practicing, and have the same number of disciples: zero.

So my natural conclusion: for me DS has functioned as the Buddha that KG refers to, and not the wealth-giving spirit that HH talks about. Conclusion drawn from my own experience.

I'm not saying that DS is one or the other. I can't stand all your bickering "i am right, you are wrong". I am just expressing my personal experience with DS practice.

Gyalpo's picture

Friendoftruth: "The meeting in Dharamsala is not a meeting for Tibetans, it’s not a meeting of Tibetans. There are Tibetans forbidden to be there because of their religious beliefs and commitments. The faithful Gelugpas, the children of the Dalai Lama’s Lamas, are forbidden to attend because of their religious beliefs and commitments."

The WSS 'leaked' that Tibetans in Madison would be coerced into signing a document en masse this past summer. Never happened, that was a complete falsehood. Now you are trying o tell us Gelugpas are not welcome at this open discussion, again absolutely a fabrication from a foreigner who clearly has no 'inside information', no 'conspiracy news flash', as exciting as that may seem to idle NKT shills. This infantile gossip and speculation is really very neurotic, you ought to look into getting a grip on reality.

Cone Beckham's picture

Question: What is it about this practice that makes folks so "gung ho" to spend such energy supporting it? No one prior to Pabhonghka spent any time or energy, really, promulgating this practice....why can't those who claim to be followers of Tsong Khapa go back to the root, read his texts, follow his instructions, and just leave behind the worship of Dolgyal? Why can't those who claim to follow the Kadampa way discover which protectors the glorious Kadampa gurus practiced, and make efforts to develop ties to those?

Namkhah's picture

"I'm sorry that you feel the need to condemn people who you've never even met." This is a quote from Lineageholder at
interesting position from someone who admitted to not actually know either the senior or junior tutor to the Dalai Lama. I guess you know HHDL very well then or is this 'insight' secondhand? How many years live in Dharamsala, my uncle probably knew you because up until about 1972 there were very few westerners there. (hint:its in India)

Dorje's picture

"Do you really think that Je Tsongkhapa is Tibetan?"

Hahaha, LH, this one's a classic. Keep them coming. You crack me up.

emptymountains's picture

Dear Dorje,

If TP said it was as well, he is correct.

That's because he relies too much on eisegeses rather than exegesis. You should not impose your own interpretation like he does. Again, no where in The Ordination Handbook (which contains a transcription of the ordination ceremony) is this false distinction into 5 vows and 5 aspirations made.

Also “I will practice contentment”. How is that a vow and how does one know if it is broken?

It is a vow because it is "a virtuous determination to abandon particular faults that is generated in conjunction with a traditional ritual." You damage your vow when you occasionally do not follow this determination (which can be repaired through Sojong); you break your vow when you give up this determination altogether (effectively, no longer renouncing samsara).


emptymountains's picture

Dear DJ and TP,

How’s that then, em? Pretty much explains why you, as an NKT member, should bother spending over a year attacking the Rime tradition on the internet.

As I said, I never brought up Rime myself. It was brought up by TP in post 1150 and, as far as this most recent round of posts go, by KP in post 1627. I have only talked about eclecticism in general, but if in fact Rime is a specific example of this...

BTW, why did you remove the sentence: “Students who associate with Rimé do ”not” leave their old traditions, but rather continue practising as their regular tradition would ascribe.” from the WP article? According to my understanding in general this is quite correct.

And, if we go by what Dorje is saying, this is quite incorrect.

A Buddhist ‘tradition’ is a perfect synthesis of Buddha’s teachings presented by an enlightened being. A tradition is special set of Dharma instructions uniquely suited to that tradition’s practitioners.

With respect to your own definition you have posited for ‘tradition’, Dorje pointed out correctly that it follows Rime is a tradition. Instead of accepting this correct consequence you opened a side-track bringing RTR’s view into your both debate, this I criticized in #1649.

Based on Ringu Tulku's description of Rime (which you have previously agreed with), Rime is consequentially not a tradition according to my definition since it does not present its own special set of Dharma instructions.

So I think your statement: “Well, I’ll let you and TP duke this out, because as far as saying Rime is a tradition goes, I’m damned by him if I do, and damned by you if I don’t.” is not an accurate portray of the situation.

Well, my understanding of tradition and your understanding of tradition must not agree since you say, "It is wrong when WSS claims that Rime would be a separate Buddhist tradition, it is an approach."

So, maybe it's time for you and Dorje to present a better definition of tradition which would reconcile what Dorje and Ringu Tulku are saying. I would be willing to concede to a better definition, and then we can go from there.


Dorje's picture

"not some official statement you can draw conclusions about ‘NKT view’ from (if there is such a thing!)"

Of course there is such a thing. We are discussing Dharma. It is not for students to make their minds up on these things as they see fit. You follow Kelsang Gyatso, and his teachings are the NKT view. The trouble you have is, other than his books which contain at best a gloss about this worship, including various untruths such as the claims about Sakya lamas (eg. Morchen), you have his 'interview' with Tricycle, Yvonne Niles and his usenet discussion posts.

These don't really address the things that Phabongkhapa said or what Trijang Rinpoche said. They just dismiss Zemey Rinpoche's book as superstition from a lama who he doesn't consider as a Buddha. The problem with Gyatso's denial is that Phabongkhapa and Trijang Rinpoche taught the exact things that Zemey Rinpoche describes at length. So, if Gyatso dismisses the Yellow Book as superstition from an unenlightened lama, he must also dismiss Phabongkhapa and Trijang Rinpoche's teachings on the same grounds.

This wouldn't necessarily be a problem, but he bases his reliance on this protector because of what his lama, who received it from Phabongkhapa, taught him.

Dorje's picture

As the NKT don't worship this protector in the way that Phabongkhapa and his followers taught, rejecting his life entrustment and its associated teachings, the NKT can't really claim to follow or practice the protector that is the target of criticism from the Dalai Lama and other high lamas. If what you say is correct, and this dispute is irrelevant to most members of the NKT, why on earth are you posting in a discussion about it?

You don't practice what the Dalai Lama has advised against and it's irrelevant to you, so what's your point? Maybe you could start up another discussion about your cult and how good it is.

harry is a gandul's picture

This is a reply to Tenzin's section on logic in post #920:

"With respect to mirage’s logic in # 916. If Manjushri and Shugden are one being then there is no problem. If they are not of one entity and Shugden is not enlightened and harmful than there is a problem. Like one’s mother and one’s dog are of two different entities, if one calls the own mother and the dog, probably both will come, and both will perform different functions according to the situation and their predispositions and one’s karma etc. So if you invite Shugden and he is not enlightened and harmful he will perform his function, like if you invite a thieve to show your treasures."

Logic indeed! I have yet to see satisfactory explanations for this denial.

Are Buddhas not able to manifest in any form they may choose?? Do you think Manjushri, with his infinite wisdom and compassion is going to get confused because we got his name and appearance wrong??? If i have no knowledge of Buddhism, and yet i call upon higher divine powers to guide me, is no holy being going to answer because i don't know his name?

Mirage is correct. In NKT we don't rely on this famous spirit Dholgyal. We pray to Manjushri, who we visualize in the wrathful aspect of a protector whose function is to protect the holy teachings of Je Tsongkhapa. We use the name Dorje Shugden to address him, but Manjushri ain't no spirit. I honestly don't see how Manjushri would find fault with this, regardless of wether we got the right name or not. I don't think he is concerned with names and appearances. I think he wouldn't have a problem dressing up as someone else in order to answer the prayers of one who wishes to practice and spread JT's teachings. Isn't this what Buddhas do anyway? They emanate in various forms that suit the inclinations of sentient beings.

You're going to have to provide some better explanation as to how a Buddha won't aid someone who gets his name wrong.

namkhah's picture

Lineageholder writes: "Trijang Rinpoche also gives many logical reasons why Dorje Shugden is a Buddha in his text ‘Music Delighting an Ocean of Protectors’, as well as historical information (the incarnation lineage of Dorje Shugden and support from the 5th and 11th Dalai Lamas, to name just a couple of things)."
Let's leave Gyalwa Ngapa out–that has been thoroughly refuted elsewhere, the Sixth through Eighth, perhaps another time. But briefly, the Ninth Dalai Lama only lived 15 years, the Tenth Dalai Lama lived 21 years, the Eleventh Dalai Lama lived 17 years, not even reaching the age of majority–all likely due to foul play...where is the protection in that?
The invented retroactive "lineage" of Shugden, supposedly going back to Indian Mahasiddha Biwawa, Sakya Pandita, Butön Rinchen Drub, is an old Tibetan trick (used by others as well) to imbibe 'authenticity' and authority to a new teaching. To be honest, such 'lineages' are not within the usual spatio-temporal framework of reality: in other words, its all just made up. Such 'reasons' certainly do not have a logical basis, one could only say perhaps a hagiographical or mythological basis at best.

namkhah's picture

I would add that Tibetans in exile, while still working on it, have made considerably more progress in developing democracy than China, where assemblies of two or more people are considered illegal and dissent is punished by imprisonment and torture. A suitable ally for fascist cultist loonies it seems.

Cone Beckham's picture


The Spiritual Head of all Tibetan Buddhists, except the Dolgyal supporters, to be more precise.

Get around some, you'll soon see.....

Ron's picture

Lineageholder’ at IP
Recently, you have admitted you did not actually know either the senior or junior tutor to the Dalai Lama and yet publicly pass judgments their past relationship. Now, you comment on a "typical Tibetan mentality' although you also admitted to neither speaking nor reading the language. The 'hat guy' must have granted you the power of clairvoyance to know all and see all in exchange for yeoman mouthpiece service.
Now, we saw a depiction of a man serving 'hat guy' carrying a rifle in one of you NKT masterpieces of totem art–it must be really important because NKT centres are placing the image of this 'jihadi' above images of Lord Buddha. Are you a new class of cult minion–the knowledge worker? Do you get to fire a gun, too? The bad news is you will be 'hat guy's' servant for a few thousand years.
You denied that you recieive any compensation for your labours as a WSS/NKT internet stalker, perhaps this implies you must be supported by charitable donation, very ethical indeed.
I do agree with your contention that there are millions of NKT/WSS supporters out just like you– there are thousands of pictures of the demos in New York, etc. gracing Flickr and Picasa, must be millions if not billions of bullhorn shouting militant demonstators, even though quite a number of the people bear a striking resemblance to each other. Perhaps they are genetically cloned in large batches, since sex, even for reproduction, is of course, right out.
Imagine if they cloned GKG, ew!

Dorje's picture

Indeed, as gyatso said,
In October 1998 we decided to completely stop being involved in this Shugden issue because we realised that in reality this is a Tibetan political problem and not the problem of Buddhism in general or the NKT. We made our decision public at this time – everyone knows the NKT and myself completely stopped being involved in this Shugden issue at all levels.
The simple fact is, they can't help themselves. How many times has LH said he would stop posting here? He said it earlier today but is back posting again. It is a compulsion they just can't control. It would be sad if it wasn't kind of funny.

Keep posting LH. You help show the NKT for the disfunctional cult they are.

Gyalpo's picture

emptymountains: Tell us which monastic vow allowing homosexual activities falls under? Tell us which vow allows slander and treachery ?

Kagyupa's picture

Dorje, thanks for post 1698.

I wanted to say some things about Kongtrul in particular, and the Rimay Movement in general, based on my understanding. Your post points out a historical truth, regarding many lineages of practice dwindling, and the efforts of Kongtrul, in particular, and also Khyentse Wangpo, to ensure that these transmissions were not allowed to die out. The account you give regarding Pabongkha and the political situation with Lhasa and Derge is also consistent with my studies and understanding, and in a way is central to the issue of DS practice, and what it means, historically.

To understand the Rimay impetus, you really have to understand that Kongtrul and the others were concerned that precious teachings not vanish. Their primary objective was to ensure that methods which might prove beneficial to future generations not be allowed to disappear. Their desire was not to start a new "tradition," or to "mix up a new lineage"--things that EM and those who claim HHDL wants to consolidate lineages would have us believe.

Kongtrul identified himself, institutionally, as a Karma Kagyu monk. In addition to his retreat center at Tsadra Rinchen Drak, he also was in charge of the Kamtsang Kagyu Retreat Center associated with Palpung Monastery, where he taught the "profound and extensive" practices of that lineage. However, in his autobio, he notes that he grew up in a family with Bonpo origins, and was initially a monk at a Nyingma Monastery, and practiced Nyingma practices. He was made to re-take vows when he was moved to a Kagyu Monastery, and this incident no doubt formed his views regarding the nature of sectatianism. He also discusses certain other political "facts of life" that occurred during his time, and his views on these. But what I want to emphasize about him and his practice, is that whatever practice he undertook, and there were many, he did so by adhering clearly and strongly to the instructions, explanations, and views of that practice. This is an essential point, and one that EM seems to have trouble understanding---within the Rimay, there is no "mixing" of traditions, and it is possible to practice various sadhanas which stem from different sources without a "mixing" taking place, and without any "corruption" or confusion.

At his own retreat center, his Three Year Retreat program spent one year on Mahamudra traditions from the Kagyu lineages, and on the creation and completion stages of the Shangpa Kagyu System. The second year was spent on Kalachakra and it's associated practices, along with the Dorje Nyendrup from Orgyenpa. The Third year was spent on Dzokchen practices, and particularly those of the Minling Tradition. In addition, on a daily basis, the retreatants would engage in daily practices relating to Atisha's lineage, the Chod lineage of Machig and Padampa, and several Nyingma Terma lineages, as well. This has largely been carried forward to this day in the Karma Kagyu lineage, and in other lineages as well.

Whether one differentiates between Institutional Lineages, or Lineages descending from given Lamas, or Practice Lineages, Lineages of Instruction, is somewhat tangential to the main issue EM needs to address. Regardless of what we call Rimay, or how we define it, the fact is that there is no "contradiction" in practicing things from various sources concurrently. This is not "mixing," it is not, de facto, a mix of traditions. This is so, principally because all these practices are embraced by the defining characteristics of BuddhaDharma-refuge, the four seals, etc., but also because the "View" is understood, ultimately, to be beyond concept or any method of verbal description. Taranatha's works, and the Shentong View, are important, from one POV, but so is Mipham's interpretation, and also Gorampa's, and Karmapa Mikyo Dorje's......and though we can find areas of apparent contradiction when examining all these, at the end of the day we must admit to the limitations inherent in conceptual frameworks. This is one of the defining characteristics of the Rimay Movement, and a quite profound one, at that.

So, from a conceptual POV, differing views are not seen as "corrupted" because they are all, by nature, incomplete in the final sense. And from a practical POV, the various sadhanas and methods practiced are not "mixed"--when one practices Avalokiteshvara Jinasagara Mandala, to use an example, Kongtrul's "Main Practice," one does not "add in" the "Jin Beb" of Kyergangpa's SangDrup Tamdrin, for instance. When one practices, say, Niguma's Tradition of Demchok Lha Nga, one does not offer a "Men-Tor" (Medicine Torma) on one's shrine. Thus, one carries out one's practice, according to the instructions passed down through the lineage masters for each practice, and there is no conflict.

In contrast, In the NKT, and in Pabongkha's tradition, at some point, if someone decided to "add" DS liturgy to, for example, Chakrasamvara or Vajrayogini, or created a Tsong Khapa Guru Yoga Sadhana which utilized the Migtsekma and also had DS liturgy, I think these could clearly be said to be instances of "mixing" that were not part of the original instructions of Tsong Khapa and his heart sons. This is a key point, one I've been trying to communicate to EM, as well.

Lineageholder's picture

Dear Dorje,

You said:

You are essentially defending something you have no experience of other than in its diluted form.

I don't think you get it. Protector practice in the West is not diluted anything, it's a new form that has validity in its own right and doesn't have to be compared with anything . It is what is karmically most beneficial for Westerners. As far as Westerners are concerned, everything that's presented in Heart Jewel is the practice - there's nothing else to refer to.

Regarding the form of practice in India/Tibet, please name me someone who was killed in a Tibetan monastery by Dorje Shugden Thought you'd struggle with that one. For all your bluster about violence and sectarianism, the only violence is violence against Shugden practitioners and the only sectarianism is your attitude towards the NKT and the sectarianism the Dalai Lama shows towards his Guru's tradition.

Tenzin's picture

Hope you get to check out this inspiring video. To me, it shows that we can argue all we like about the polemics of Dorje Shugden practice, but this argument is irrelevant to most Kadampa Buddhist practitioners around the world. Meantime, while we argue, NKT teachers are doing the job of getting out there and helping people enormously through giving them Buddha's teachings free from politics, Tibetan culture, celebrity and showmanship:

Lineageholder's picture

Dear TP and Dorje,

I'm surprised you want to create a sectarian divide where there is none. Why do you want to hold onto various claims about what Pabongkhapa did and didn't do and what the Yellow Book says when it's clear that none of these things have any relevance today and are simply being used by people like yourselves, following the view of the Dalai Lama to create a sectarian divide to justify the ban on Dorje Shugden practice.

If you don't have any real evidence for your claims then there's no point discussing. Don't keep quoting ancient history because it's not relevant. Neither of you have given any reasonable evidence to justify the Dalai Lama's actions.

I find it very strange that the Dalai Lama says he banned Dorje Shugden practice because it's sectarian when it seems to have nothing but increase sectarianism, witnessed by your views. Why can't you just let people get on with their spiritual practices instead of keeping some ridiculous sectarian division going simply to justify the views of your Spiritual Teacher? It's as if you want there to be problems so you're creating them where there are none.

Kagyupa's picture

Lineageholder writes:
"I personally feel you have exaggerated my statements on personal experience of the practice to the point where you feel that is the only evidence for Dorje Shugden being a Buddha."

Here is post #649 quoted in full. Your words speak for themselves. Regardless of what HH The Dalai Lama, or anyone else, says about this practice, your refutation here is entirely based on your personal experience. I see no exaggeration. Here's your post:

"Dear Tenzin,

What did the Dalai Lama say? He doesn’t disrespect his root Guru, Trijang Rinpoche, he simply says that respect to Dorje Shugden, he was wrong.

I can say the same then. I respect the Teachers, students, teachings, activities and realizations of all schools of Buddhism, but I can say that if one of them says that Dorje Shugden is not a Buddha, they are wrong.

As much as many of you might like to dismiss my experience of Dorje Shugden as a delusion, you can’t because I alone know what I’ve experienced. I’m nothing special, but all detractors are like mara at the moment of enlightenment saying to Buddha “what gives you the right to be enlightened?”. Having tried in every way to de-rail Buddha from his task, mara left doubt to last of all.

I have no doubt about Dorje Shugden, so that won’t work. As Buddha touched the earth, asking it to bear witness to the causes he had created for enlightenment, I touch the truth of my experience which comes from virtue, not from delusion. Through the blessings of my Gurus, I’ve had the good fortune to have that experience.

Anyone who has never experienced Dorje Shugden practice is just like a parrot of the Dalai Lama squawking “Dorje Shugden is bad!”. They are the people who have never tasted chocolate, yet regard themselves are confectionery experts.

Get some experience and then tell me I’m wrong."

In other words, in short, no matter what you hear, from anyone, "they are wrong" and you are right, because of your experience.

You cannot turn back on this now, really.

namkhah's picture

Paranoid are we? If you are Tibetan, everyone is invited and encouraged to participate in this meeting. I got my message to attend also. Englishmen, Jamaicans, Bangladeshis and so forth should attend their own respective discussions if they wish.

dougal's picture

Cone -

great. more of the same. please see above and elsewhere if you've any kind of openness of mind at all on this.

if not, thanks for playing.

"the Spiritual Head of all Tibetans..."


i'm speechless.

Namkhah's picture

Lineagholder’ at IP
Since you are not practically a Buddhist at all, demonstrated by your false speech and distorted views, that is just an empty taunt. If all you have is egoistical swagger, you have by definition already lost. 'Problems where there are none?' That would explain why it took you so long to react on this forum to evidence of state brutality and murder against unarmed Tibetans, including, by the way monks and nuns that have proper ordination unlike the WSS/NKT dressup variety. You have no actual moral courage or universal sense of human rights, just I, me, mine.

Lineageholder's picture


NKT is not Tibetan Buddhism not has it ever advertised that it is. NKT does not want to be thought of as a Tibetan tradition because it isn't, so this must be your misunderstanding.

How arrogant of you to think that you can own the Dharma and keep it as your own exclusive little Tibetan club. You're so narrow minded and nationalistic, you need to think more about the happiness of all beings, not just six million Tibetans. It's what your Lineage Gurus would want because they are Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, not Tibetans.

Do you really think that Je Tsongkhapa is Tibetan? He is the Wisdom Buddha. Where's your compassion? Dharma belongs to all living beings and thankfully they don't have to learn Tibetan nor bow down to the Dalai Lama and his doomed union of politics and Dharma to practise it.

There is nothing Tibetan about the robes that NKT monks and nuns wear; they are the robes designed by Je Tsongkhapa, the Wisdom Buddha and he has no nationality. As followers of the Wisdom Buddha NKT monks and nuns have a right to wear these robes.

For as long as the Dalai Lama and his followers are causing the degeneration of Buddha's teachings in this world acting in reckless sectarian ways while hypocritically preaching the opposite there will be opposition from those who care about Buddhadharma.

Dorje's picture

"perhaps LH can explain"

Oh yes, I forgot LH is a NKT 'monk' or 'nun'. Can we look at the hours he/she spends on internet forums and decide whether the eight vow that Gyatso made up is being observed? I think not. No wonder LH (being an honest monastic) goes under a psuedonym.

T.P.'s picture

"Well, I’ll let you and TP duke this out, because as far as saying Rime is a tradition goes, I’m damned by him if I do, and damned by you if I don’t."

Dear em,
I think you mix different issues in that context. I tried to separate them in the post above.

My comment on Rime in earlier posts is based on RTR's understanding and was mentioned as a refutation of a WSS claim.

Dorje based his understanding on his own reasoning or views. With respect to your own definition you have posited for 'tradition', Dorje pointed out correctly that it follows Rime is a tradition. Instead of accepting this correct consequence you opened a side-track bringing RTR's view into your both debate, this I criticized in #1649.

So I think your statement:
"Well, I’ll let you and TP duke this out, because as far as saying Rime is a tradition goes, I’m damned by him if I do, and damned by you if I don’t." is not an accurate portray of the situation.


Dorje's picture

When Duldzin Dorje Shugden re-estabished Kadam Dharma in the West, of course things were different to how they were in Tibet because the karma of Westerners is different to the karma of Tibetans. My view is that system of teaching and practice we have now for relying upon Dorje Shugden is completely appropriate to modern day Western Kadampas.
So, the worship of this protector in the west differs to its worship in Tibet and India, and yet you base your defence of its worship in the monasteries in Tibet and India on your experience of a different version, stripped of its sectarian violence, in the west. Surely you can see the problem with your defence? You are essentially defending something you have no experience of other than in its diluted form.
I’m not really interested in your view of Pabongkha or your criticisms of him because they’re really not relevant to Protector practice today or to the NKT. The teachings on ‘violence and sectarianism’ as you see it are not part of NKT literature because they’re not relevant for Westerners. Not relevant in the same way that your defence of the protector worship you engage in is not relevant to a discussion about the protector worship as performed in Gelug gompas in India and Tibet, which you admit is different.

It seems to me you are defending a practice (Phabongkhapa's protector worship as found in the Gelug gompas in India) that in reality you reject, and base your defence for this on your experience of a different practice (NKT's protector worship.) These, as you readily concede, are not the same.

Tenzin's picture

I do hope Tricycle notices that over a thousand messages have now been devoted to this subject and does a new article on it, bringing even futher into the light the Dalai Lama's ban and the follow-up persecution that has instigated this controversy.

This is a subject after all that, back in the 1990s, did not see the light of day from Shugden practitioners' point of view because the Internet was so less developed. Progress indeed. Now people have plenty to read on both sides to make up their minds, whereas back in the 1990s and indeed until quite recently they had only TGIE propaganda and the mighty media machine of the Dalai Lama to rely upon.

Tenzin Peljor's picture

reply to # 925.

"Until now there have been no problems between Gelugpas and Nyingmapas, and there has been no arguing or criticism."


“That cult is actually destroying the freedom of religious thought. Say I want to practise Nyingma. They say this Protector will harm me.” This is also completely untrue."


The sodge practice includes the samaya not even to touch Nyingma scriptures. According to a witness at Manjushri Institute when Zong Rinpoche gave the empowerment there he gave also this pledge. GKG should know this.

"I would like to ask: what is the problem between the Nyingma and Gelug traditions? There is none."


Prof. Williams

The problem is that Pabongkhapa was renowned for being—or at least held by followers of other schools of Tibetan Buddhism as being—extremely sectarian and intolerant of other schools. The practice of Dorje Shugden was considered at least by other traditions as having been developed as a form of Gelug triumphalism and aimed at bringing into play a Dharma protector for the (magical) suppression of the other schools, or at least their marginalisation. In particular it was considered that the practice of Dorje Shugden was aimed at the Nyingma pa tradition. In the later 1970s and early 1980s there was fierce controversy among certain Gelug, Sakya and Nyingma Lamas in India over Dorje Shugden and his status, which the Dalai Lama attempted to cool down. The material has been published and is available in Tibetan.

"Your claim that Dorje Shugden kills people who mix traditions is wrong."



“in defence of the deity’s efficacy as a protector, [the Yellow Book] named 23 government officials and high lamas that had been assassinated using the deity’s powers.”

The stories of the killing were passed down orally by Pabongkha Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche. Zemed Rinpoche just wrote it down as he heard it and published it then in the Yellow Book. All this has been discussed already.

Also Pabongkha stated this:

"[This protector of the doctrine] is extremely important for holding Dzong-ka-ba's tradition without mixing and corrupting [it] with confusions due to the great violence and the speed of the force of his actions, which fall like lightning to punish violently all those beings who have wronged the Yellow Hat Tradition, whether they are high or low. [This protector is also particularly significant with respect to the fact that] many from our own side, monks or lay people, high or low, are not content with Dzong-ka-ba's tradition, which is like pure gold, [and] have mixed and corrupted [this tradition with ] the mistaken views and practices from other schools, which are tenet systems that are reputed to be incredibly profound and amazingly fast but are [in reality] mistakes among mistakes, faulty, dangerous and misleading paths. In regard to this situation, this protector of the doctrine, this witness, manifests his own form or a variety of unbearable manifestations of terrifying and frightening wrathful and fierce appearances. Due to that, a variety of events, some of them having happened or happening, some of which have been heard or seen, seem to have taken place: some people become unhinged and mad, some have a heart attack and suddenly die, some [see] through a variety of inauspicious signs [their] wealth, accumulated possessions and descendants disappear without leaving any trace, like a pond whose feeding river has ceased, whereas some [find it] difficult to achieve anything in successive lifetimes."

LH, you seem to forget quickly (or repress your memory about) what does not suit your or the NKT version of history.

for more evidence see the quotes from academic sources in posts:
# 548
# 560
# 682
# 891

or read the thread again. It starts here:

Tenzin Peljor's picture

I see, this worked, then now part 2 related with LH’s post # 668

"Modern Sectarianism by Shugden followers"

With respect to modern sectarianism, you claimed "there are no modern day examples of sectarianism from Dorje Shugden practitioners".

How is it with NKT? I think they are a very present modern example of sectarianism.

Statements like the mahamudra claim by Gen Thubten

And we can say these days, previously you could find the practice of the Mahamudra outside this Tradition; other Traditions held this practice. But these days we can say definitely it doesn’t exist outside
of our Tradition. Only this Tradition holds the lineage, the pure lineage, of the Vajrayana Mahamudra. So this is what we need to preserve, this is what we need to protect.

and GKG's claims about the degeneration of Tibetan Buddhism and the purity of his schools, especially these:

Nowadays the practice of the Vinaya has almost died out, not only the Vinaya but Buddhism in general is degenerating, including the Tibetan Gelug tradition. I am not the only one who says this, many other Lamas have said the same. Over two hundred years ago a Gelugpa lama called Gungtang Jampelyang wrote a praise to Lama Tsongkhapa in which he said ‘Now, although the Ganden doctrine is increasing materially, its practice is seriously degenerating. This makes me very sad.’ Every year it is degenerating and becoming weaker, while political activities are increasing. This is very sad.

However here in the west we are very fortunate. For us this is not a degenerate but an increasing time. During an increasing time the Dharma is flourishing, it is very easy to gain realizations, and there are many pure practitioners and realized beings. When Buddhadharma first began to flourish there were many realized beings, both Yogis and Yoginis. Then gradually they became less and less common, until now it is very rare to find a pure practitioner.

If we followed the example of the Tibetan tradition, of degenerate times, it would be impossible for us to make any progress. The Dharma itself is of course the same but the presentation and way of practising are different.

For this reason I am always encouraging you to have confidence that you can definitely gain higher realizations and become an enlightened being. I believe this is possible.

indicate quite clearly sectarianism.

Dzongzar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche: "many lamas encourage sectarianism by guarding their Tibetan disciples possessively and discouraging them from studying teachings from other traditions. Of course, they have a convenient excuse: their students will become too confused if they do this."

It is more amazing to see how GKG created an own definition of sectarianism by claiming: “It is mixing different religious traditions that causes sectarianism , and he discourages the reader of doing so, stating “studying non-religious subjects is less of an obstacle to our spiritual progress than studying religions of different traditions.” “The practices taught by one teacher will differ from those taught by another, and if we try to combine them we will become confused, develop doubts, and lose direction.”

for more see:

»A wise person will have faith in the teachings of all orders, will love the Dharma found in each just as a mother cherishes all her children. A wise person's mind is vast like the sky, with room for many teachings, many insights, many meditations. But the mind of an ignorant sectarian is limited, tight, and narrow like a vase that can only hold so much. It is difficult for such a mind to grow in Dharma because of its self-imposed limitations. The difference between the wise Buddhist and the sectarian Buddhist is like that between the vastness of space and the narrowness of a vase.«

Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye

TheFinalTruth's picture

As far as I can see most Shugdenpas think they are “pure practitioners”, because they do 'not mix Dharma with politics' and this implies that HH the Dalai Lama is on the opposite an “impure practitioners”, because is is 'mixing Dharma with politics'. On top of that Shugdenpas expressed any times, it is HHDL who is to be blamed for all the problems they perceive.

Cone Beckham's picture

Question number one can only be answered by understanding Tibetan. Or, second best, by discussing the issue with a wide variety of Tibetan masters who have really researched the issue.

As for question number two, that is the crux of the issue...especially if you come to the only conclusion available after pursuing question number one. Dolgyal is a spirit, intent on sowing discord and "punishing" those who do not follow a certain curriculum. Given that HH The Dalai Lama is the Spiritual Head of all Tibetans, and has a responsibility towards all lineages, the only legitimate action for him to take is the one he has taken. It is quite simple, really--but thanks for asking the important questions, and allowing me to answer them!

Lineageholder's picture

you don't know anything for certain.....those other names are not mine.

You might like to think I'm a one man band but that's not the case. I'm not paid by anyone and unlike you guys, I don't have any political allegiances. I only speak the truth.

You're all paranoid about the PRC and see problems where there are none. It's a typical Tibetan mentality - anyone who is against the Dalai Lama's position on Dorje Shugden must be a Chinese stooge. You have no concept that other Buddhists might disagree with him and find his behaviour reprehensible and un-Buddhist. Well, this one does, and I'm not alone.

Gyalpo's picture

If you wish to practice, with no reference to the actual and diverse lineages that's fine, but it follows therefore that NKT should immediately jettison any interference in internal Tibetan affairs, just as we dropped GKG like a hot potato over 20 years ago. Its like being divorced for decades and constantly phoning your ex-wife for an entertaining argument, just drop it, dude–and move on. It would be appropriate NKT should change your uniform colours (green is nice, but its your choice) and remove references to Tibetan Buddhism in your advertising since you display utter contempt and disregard for the real thing.

Dorje's picture

"I always say, tell me one of the 253 vows, and I will tell you which one of the 10 vows it fits under."

Okay, what about not eating after noon. Which of your ten vows does this fall under?

Dorje's picture

"Actually, Drefyus, Kay, Batchelor, and others seem to think that the question of Rime eclecticism is at the very heart of the DS debate."

We could say that the Rime Tradition is related to the debate over this protector to a very minor degree. We could say that during the 19th century a number of lamas in Eastern Tibet, supported largely by the Dege royal family, saw that the ultimate truth taught in the various practice traditions of Tibet was identical. They then set about teaching these lineages of practice together, as they were not contradictary. They also sought to rescue the various minor lineages that were in danger of being lost under the influence of the growing power of the Gelug political hegemony.

The Lhasa Gelug authorities became worried at the growing strength and popularity of this new development in the East. They also saw it as a threat to their own power base. In a attempt to maintain their own power in the East, they sent the well known and charismatic Gelug lama, Phabongkhapa to Chamdo, where they were also facing invasion from the Chinese. Phabongkhapa's aims were two-fold. Firstly he had to stop the Rime tradition from encroaching on the already dwindling numbers of Gelugpas in Kham. He did this by saying that his protector, a powerful gyalpo spirit, would kill them if they attended non-Gelug teachings or practuces.

He then set about attacking other traditions, such as Dzogchen, which was central to the new Rime ethos. He did this by denying that Dzogchen was an authentic teaching, saying it was dangerous and led to hell He discouraged devotion to Guru Rinpoche, a historical figure of central importance to the Rime lamas, many of whom are considered incarnations of Guru Rinpoche's closest students, and he ridiculed the terma tradition.

In this way, Phabongkhapa used his protector to attack the Rime tradition thereby diminishing the political influence of the Dege lamas and aristocracy and strengthening the Gelug hegemony.

In recent years this politically motivated protector worship has spread to the West with the NKT protesting against the Dalai Lama who has sympathies for the Rime tradition, counting two of its lamas as his closest teachers. The NKT, ignorant of Tibetan politics, parrot the arguments against Rime that Kelsang Gyatso teaches them, unaware that his motivation for doing so is, much like Phabongkhapa's, to ensure the loyalty of his followers, so that they don't go to other traditions and realise Kelsang Gyatso is a fraud.

How's that then, em? Pretty much explains why you, as an NKT member, should bother spending over a year attacking the Rime tradition on the internet.

emptymountains's picture

Dear SC et al.,

Slightly off-topic, but here is an example of compassion without wisdom:


Tenzin's picture

I have read plenty of non-Geshe Kelsang books within the Gelugpa tradition and outside of it over the last several decades. I still find his books plenty good enough and sufficient for practicing and making spiritual progress.

So, tell me, what is so wrong with using Geshe Kelsang's books as the basis of the NKT study programs and studying and practicting them in depth and sincerely? They work very well for those who have faith in them.

To say otherwise to me simply seems like a Swift boat tactic (i.e. turning a strength into a weakness as Karl Rove et al did with John Kerry.)

Dorje's picture

"It’s people like you are creating this sectarian divide with your wild claims"

It was Phabongkhapa that created this sectarian divide. These were his wild claims. If he is wrong, what does that say about your lineage?

Tenzin Peljor's picture

My last post didn't pass through the filter. So I send it again in two parts. Myybe this works. Both parts are related with LH's post # 668

1. part: The 'logic' in the dispute of Shugden worship

with resect to LH' claims in post # 668.

You claim this would be a "logical argument"

There is the logical argument that if Pabongkha and Trijang were confused about what is and what is not a suitable object of refuge, the whole Gelugpa tradition is called into question and loses its validity, since its lineage Gurus are not realized.

If both were 'confused' with respect to Shugden than this is not nice but there are also other lineage masters who made faults and were corrected by their own students. So it is not that uncommon. Moreover there are Gelug lineage masters who opposed Shugden worship very much and one Gelug abbot installed also a ban of Shugden in a monastery, are they invalid or inauthentic because they hold a different view to both of them? Moreover both lamas are just two of many lineage lamas – of course very influential ones – but they are not the only ones.

According to Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Purchog Jampa Rinpoche, a very high lama of Sera Je Monastery and an incarnation of Maitreya Buddha, wrote against the practice of Shugden in the Monastery’s constitution. Jangkya Rölpa’i Dorje and Jangkyang Ngawang Chödrön, who wrote many excellent texts, also advised against this practice, as did Tenpa’i Wangchuk, the Eighth Panchen Lama, and Losang Chökyi Gyaltsen, the Fourth Panchen Lama, who composed the Guru Puja and wrote many other teachings, and Ngulchu Dharmabhadra. All these great lamas, and many other highly accomplished scholars and yogis who preserved and spread the stainless teaching of Lama Tsong Khapa, recommended that Shugden not be practiced."

A fault of a lineage master doesn't make a lineage invalid, it is just a fault and faults can be corrected by those who recognize them. There are many incidents were students corrected their masters, disagreed and opposed their masters or even were asked by their own master to explain it correctly, because the student obviously was more knowledgeable.

see also some examples here:

Your logic is rather an expression of fundamentalist beliefs, that the lineage masters, especially Pabongkha Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche, are unfailing and can't have made ever any fault. Of course they can, and such a fault doesn't make a lineage invalid.

Also the lineage of Je Tsongkhapa has no Shugden worship. Je Tsongkhapa bound Kalarupa for the Gelug school, the three main protectors were from the beginning: Kalarupa, Vaishravana and Mahakala. These three protectors were never seen as controversial by anybody. In opposition to this fact Shugden is a newfangled and very controversial practice. To justify this newfangled practice a lot of stories were created and passed orally as "the truth". The problem with these stories is, they lack historical evidence and are rather a matter of belief - like the claims about the incarnation lineage.

As I know both sides I have to say it is striking to recognize how many made-up stories were told by Shugden followers to me which lack verifiability and historical evidence and how disrespectful it is to pass this 'practice' - controversial from the very start - to the 14th Dalai Lama, although his predecessor was a strict opponent and Pabongkha promised to him to stop its propagation - a promise he clearly broke. It is even more striking for me to see that the claimed "praise of self-correction" to Shugden by the 5th Dalai Lama does just not exist in his works and was probably foisted on the 5th Dalai Lama as the practice has been foisted on the 14th. This is just strange. Who applies reasoning are not the Shugden supporters but the Dalai Lama. You can find this in this research at the end:

von Brück: "In order to investigate the canonical status of Shugden and his practice, he applies basically three methodological devices or arguments: (1) historical evidence, (2) political reason, (3) spiritual insight."

Trijang Rinpoche and Pabongkha Rinpoche are of course realised but there are different levels of Tulkus and different levels of realisations. So what for the highest beings is obvious mustn't be for others. In that context it is helpful to listen to the highly realised masters of other schools. All of them agree with HHDL and not with Trijang Rinpoche or Pabongkha Rinpoche. The self-correction with respect to Shugden worship has also taken place in the Sakya school by their own masters.

I wonder what "many logical reasons" there are why Dorje Shugden is a Buddha? This is just a claim! It is funny to hear a being who was creating trouble in Lhasa, the soul of a murdered lama, who had to be tamed, pacified and transformed because he created so many problems, is a Buddha. Since what Buddhas have to been tamed and pacified?

TheFinalTruth's picture

Dear Friendoftruth,
I don't know if this is true what you claim. The problem for me is, that NKT / WSS spread so many wrong information that even if something is true I take the benefit of the doubt.

Suppose it is true. Then I think it looks quite strange from an outer perspective, why them is not allowed to come.

On the other hand experience shows that many of those practitioner seem to view the world only from a Dorje Shugen-purity tunnel perspective. For a national meeting where self-centredness should be absent, this is rather destructive. In the world of most Shugdenpas the Dalai Lama is a politician, 'mixing Dharma with politics' hence 'impure', and is seen as the enemy of the Buddha- Dharma 'because he has abandon the tradition of his root guru', and some accuse him he would not be even able as a politician to achieve Tibet's independence. As far as I can see most Shugdenpas think they are "pure practitioners" and the Dalai Lama is on the opposite an "pure practitioners" and it is he who is to be blamed for all the problems they perceive.

So why inviting people who do not wish to act politically? Why inviting people who have no trust that the Dalai Lama is able to act for the benefit of Tibetans? Why inviting people who are rather hostile when thinking on the Dalai Lama? Why inviting people who seem to have only one topic in their mind: Dorje Shugden, a practice perceived by the majority as being harmful?

Not inviting them seems to fulfil even the vision of Shugdenpas: "to practise purely, without mixing Dharma with politics". So where is the problem?

dougal's picture

Brian -

whatever. see above. i'm tired of repeating myself.

SeekingClarity -

absolutely agree.

Namkhah's picture

P.S Now we know for certain that 'Lineagholder' at IP posts under multiple names such as 'Truthsayer', 'Atisha's Cook', 'compassion please' and God knows whatever other disguises.

Dorje's picture

Name some of these many NKT geshes. Gen-la Thubten Gyatso? Gen-la Samden Gyatso? Gen Kelsang Pagpa?

Haha, you're so funny, LH. Maybe you are also a great Geshe.

In the same way the NKT self-servingly redefine and water-down the vinaya, you also reduce the Geshe title to memorisng a few books.


Dorje's picture

Nobody is trying to fool anyone into believing that NKT monks/nuns have gone through the traditional stages of ordination and are now wearing the glorious robes as a result. I don’t know where you get this idea. It is explained clearly that the traditional system has been replaced
So why do the NKT members still insist on wearing the robes of the monastic sangha when they are not the monastic sangha?