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,

I’ve satisfied myself regarding the authenticity of my practices, and of the various sources from which they have come. That, I believe, is what you, and everyone else, should do.

I wholeheartedly agree. Perhaps I can illustrate this using one of TP's favorite debate techniques, the word switcheroo:

Dorje’s not one of my lineage lamas. I’m not reallly interested how he chooses to understand Dorje Shugden.

em

Dorje's picture

"destroying the tradition of Je Tsongkhapa"

Sectarian spirit worship has NEVER been part of Je Tsongkhapa's tradition.

tell the world the truth. Nothing has been fabricated, Pabongkhapa has said and done all the things the respected western scholars and lamas have reported about him.

Dorje's picture

The relevance of Kelsang Gyatso's position on this discussion it very apt to your whole approach, as you put one of his phrases up as a supposed example of your moderate exclusivism. Yet, I don't see the point in discussing the position of a western fringe cult, as they are not following the tradition that Phabongkhapa founded and that has caused so much controversy in Tibetan society.

regarding post 1150, I will withdraw the word 'indiscriminately'. After all, we have no way of knowing whether someone is discriminating in their choices or not.

Tenzin Peljor's picture

# 895
please LH note that Jackson just reports about historic records of what some Sakya lamas did with respect to Shugden and what their views were. This has nothing to do with propaganda. Propaganda is mainly to spin the facts to repress unwelcome historical events or to give one-sided, misleading or exaggerated information.

Propaganda is e.g. the claim, that there "was never any tension between the schools with respect to Shugden worship" or "all the problems are due to the activities of the Dalai Lama."

Maybe you read these records in the light of what GKG wrongly claimed:

"HH the Dalai Lama says: "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. We would like to ask HH the Dalai Lama: who are these Shugden practitioners saying these meaningless things? His words are causing disharmony between Shugden practitioners and Nyingma practitioners. Why is HH the Dalai Lama creating this new problem? Until now there have been no problems between Gelugpas and Nyingmapas, and there has been no arguing or criticism."

"Now, my main point is that people should know that all the present problems regarding Dorje Shugden within the Mahayana Buddhist world have no creator other than HH the Dalai Lama. He is the source of all these problems because it was he who first publicly claimed that Dorje Shugden is an evil spirit who harms both himself and Tibetan independence, and many Tibetans believe what he said. It is HH the Dalai Lama's wish to destroy the practice of Dorje Shugden, and to fulfil his wish Tibetan people within the exile community have removed statues and destroyed them, coercing other Tibetans to abandon this practice. If HH the Dalai Lama had not engaged in this policy of religious discrimination there would have been no basis for these problems. I clearly understand that the responsibility for this lies with HH the Dalai Lama."

http://www.cesnur.org/testi/fr99/gkg.htm

If you proof these claims of GKG with history and the many sources given here and elsewhere about the opposition to Shugden worship, including from the heads of the schools, it is clear who gives the wrong information.

When there was so many harmony, why the heads of the schools and especially the Nyingmapas put so much pressure on HHDL to put restrictions on Shugden worship, and why the 'samayas' in the Shugden sodge practice included 'not even to touch Nyingma scriptures'? Such a 'vow' is actual oppressing religious freedom.

That academics report the facts is no propaganda.

Lineageholder's picture

Dear Kagyupa,

you said

Lineageholder, there are many things to fear. you have not comprehended refuge correctly if you think there’s nothing to fear, merely having taken refuge.

Really?? Are you a Buddhist? You don't believe that going for refuge eradicates all suffering and all fear? I think it's you that doesn't comprehend Refuge correctly. Of course, because of self-grasping, fear will arise but that's the reason for going for refuge, isn't it? My main point is, if you go for Refuge sincerely you are protected from harm by humans and non-humans, so if you believed that Dorje Shugden was an inferior spirit, you would have nothing to fear from him. This 'he who should not be named stuff' is the most superstitious piffle!

I don't care who says Dorje Shugden is not a correct object of Refuge, they're wrong, plain and simple. He's a manifestation of the Wisdom Buddha. I know through experience the benefits of relying upon this Buddha, you don't. Certainly the words of Lamas from other traditions (some of whom clearly have an axe to grind against Gelugpas) are not going to convince me. I'm afraid I have to go back to what I said before - you have no experience of the practice and since Tai Situ Rinpoche also has no experience of the practice, neither of you are qualified to make pronouncements. You're trying to tell me that the sky is black when I've seen that it's blue - if you haven't seen it for yourself, don't tell me I'm wrong based on someone else's words!

namkhah's picture

Friendoftruth: I grew up in India, I think I know the difference between bourgeoise western sentimentality and human (and animal) suffering both mental and physical. Also at 53, I have some experience of life, not to mention considerable years exposure to Buddhist teachers. Yet I am still a beginning student and consider humility to be admirable, which perhaps is why the arrogance of NKT astonishes me so profoundly.

namkhah's picture

Tenzin: Those websites are hardly what one would call unbiased. Have you been to Byalakuppe? What about Kollegal? How many years did you live there and how many relatives do you have there? I can help you find it on a map. Turn left at Conishead Priory and keep going.
Generally few people consider Al jazeera to a reliable source of information, it's like Fox News in the US...bollocks.

Haras's picture

Mara manifest daily, its no big deal. Where do we send the money, Kate?

JoeAnne's picture

Some people only concern is to have the latest wigs model, other people are interested to make money, but there are those people who enjoy sitting in front of the computer to play a good game. That's why I chose the late part as well and I gotta say my favorite game is World of Warcraft. I saw this list and the only game I played is Granado Espada but due to the fact that it was released only in Beta version, I decided to quit it. Anyway I don't think people should judge a guy addicted to games. After all it's not like we are killing people or destroying marriages because of that. Drugs and Alcohol are doing this.

Lineageholder's picture

Dear Dorje,

You can try to change history, but it is to no avail, sorry.

Kagyupa's picture

Harry-
I don't care about their refutations. Dressing as Gelongs, while not holding the vows of Gelongs, is disrespectful to Gelongs, no matter what they say. There are some who DO believe the Vinaya is not "outdated" --they, IMO, are the only ones for whom the robes are appropriate.

To say nothing of the anger openly displayed by the shouting NKT protestors at the demonstrations......

Kagyupa's picture

Oh, for Pete's sake....

EM, you're right, in that "Rimay" is not a "tradition" in the institutional sense you want it to (not) be. It is not Nyingma/Sakya/Kagyu/Geluk/Bon/Jonang.

It's also not one of the Eight Great Chariots.

However, when one examines each of these "institutional traditions," one quickly finds that their "lineages" of transmission and the practices they undertake are ALL a Synthesis of various "lineages" and "practices." This point has been made by me recently, but I can't be bothered to find the post...it's here, though.

The Geluk institutional lineage is, at bottom, a collection of various strands....it is a synthesis.

Pabongkhapa's tradition is different in several respects from that of Tsong Khapa's. NKT's is diffferent in several respect from both Pabongkhapa's tradition, and from Tsong Khapa's, as this thread has proven.

At bottom, every single Lama maintains their own tradition, if you want to get down to brass tacks. Affiliation and Loyalty are interesting concepts, as is "purity."

I, myself, am more interested in practice, and in examinng these notions of "belonging," "Purity of lineage," "Affiliation to lineage," and "Loyalty," in my own continuum, at this point, than I am in defining what is exclusivism, inclusivism, sectarianism, and such, for others. At the same time, however, I've satisfied myself regarding the authenticity of my practices, and of the various sources from which they have come. That, I believe, is what you, and everyone else, should do.

Lineageholder's picture

Dear Harry,

The Western Shugden Society exists because of the Dalai Lama.

Perhaps the Abbots of Sera Monastery would like to apologise for their explusion letter which is far worse than anything the WSS has written about the Dalai Lama?

As for the 'dictator' letter making things worse, things couldn't be much worse. The Dalai Lama has spent 30 years destroying the tradition of Je Tsongkhapa and he's not going to stop or even discuss it because attempts have been made to engage him, but he arrogantly ignores them. There can be no compromise because he's not going to compromise.

There's only one thing to do in that situation - tell the world the truth. Nothing has been fabricated, the Dalai Lama has said and done all the things that WSS have reported about him.

What part of the 'dictator' letter did you disagree with?

I feel the wheel is coming around again, we're just going to end up going back over everything has already been said.

emptymountains's picture

Dear Dorje,

Regarding your post # 1151, I have not failed to answer your question, just as Buddha in the Ananda Sutta did not fail to answer Vacchagotta's questions "Is there is a self? [Buddha responds with silence] ... Then, is there no self? [Buddha again responds with silence]." This is because Vacchagotta and Buddha were not speaking the same 'language', which is the language of the middle way. So, I said that your questions had to be postponed until we can agree on what are the two extremes flanking non-sectarianism.

In post #1150, you say "the other extreme is attempting to adopt all other religious and philosophical traditions indescriminately, Buddhist and non-Buddhist..." You imply then that it is okay to adopt all Buddhist traditions *discriminately* (since the other extreme is doing so *in-discriminately*). What exactly do you mean by this?

em

Tenzin Peljor's picture

# 889 & 890

dharma is dharma and the dharma is pure. by 'mixing' dharma with dharma the result will be dharma nothing impure.

there is no tradition which is not a 'mix' from different other lineages or traditions. this is especially true for the gelugpas the youngest among all the Indian-Tibetan traditions.

Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche:

»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.«

Maitreya in the Uttara Tantra Shastra

“The Dharma is without defilement… it fully defeats attachment, aversion, and dull indifference with regard to the objects of perception. [..] it is free from attachment and frees from attachment.”

Jamgon Kontrul Lodro Thaye again:

»Just as a king overpowered by self-interest
Is not worthy of being the protector of the kingdom,
A sectarian person is not worthy of being a holder of the dharma.
Not only that, he is unworthy of upholding even his own tradition.«

»The noble ones share a single ultimate view,
But arrogant ones bend that to their own interests.
Those who show all the teachings of the Buddha as without
contradiction can be considered learned people. But who would be
foolish enough to think that those who cause
discord are holders of the dharma?«

There is no fault if an individual wishes only to follow one school of thought*, as long as he has no sectarian attitude: attachment to the own school and hostility to others. However, as beings are individual it must be allowed also to practice other schools without being punished or that this is declared as being wrong or 'confusing' and an 'obstacle'.

For a Bodhisattva who wishes to help all sentient beings, the better he knows all schools the better he can help other sentient beings according to their dispositions. Atisha and Je Tsongkhapa, both practised all school of their time available to them under its respective greatest masters.

*The problem I see with NKT is that NKT is no tradition or school in the sense like the other Buddhist traditions, its rather 'Gyatsoism', based on GKG's books, understanding and what he selected as being important and what he rejected as being unimportant (e.g. the Vinaya). NKT has not produced genuine and acknowledged masters nor is it praised by any genuine Buddhist master or the wise nor does any master advice to learn within NKT. All this is very different from what a genuine school is. Because NKT and its teachings are not complete, and it has no genuine and respected master from any school among its followers - not even from the Gelugpas; and many origin teachings of the Gelug school and Kadam school are missed and not transmitted or are explained sometimes in a rather superficial way; I think, it is much advisable to be open to receive at least teachings from the own school, the Gelugpas, and their masters, and to read the origin texts of Je Tsongkhapa, Nagarjuna, Asanga, Atisha etc. and the commentaries. To argue within the system of NKT, one should only practise in one tradition (NKT) appears to me like a spiritual suicide. I don't believe that this will really function, and the past successors have not proofed it either.

For me It is also quite strange that since GKG is in the West (1977), more than 3 decades, none of his followers has published a Dharma text. I wonder what the future will bring. Such a poverty in writing is not known by other schools. I also wonder what will happen when e.g. Gen Kelsang Khyenrab should have a vision of a Dakini and receives teachings from her. Probably he would refuse, "because it's not in Geshe-las books" and could make the "pure tradition" impure?

Rodney Billman's picture

The only reason the heads of lineages say this publicly is because if they don't the Dalai Lama will dispatch a group of Tibetans to throw stones at their monastery.

TheFinalTruth's picture

Williams, Professor of Indian and Tibetan Philosophy, states:

"The Dalai Lama is trying to modernize the Tibetans’ political vision and trying to undermine the factionalism. He has the dilemma of the liberal: do you tolerate the intolerant?"

http://www.tibet.com/dholgyal/CTA-book/chapter-5-4.html

And Makransky, professor of Buddhism and Comparative Theology at Boston College, states:

"A stunning recent example of this: some Tibetan monks who now introduce Westerners to practices centred on a native Tibetan deity, without informing them that one of its primary functions has been to assert hegemony over rival sects! The current Dalai Lama, seeking to combat the ancient, virulent sectarianisms operative in such quarters, has strongly discouraged the worship of the “protector” deity known as Dorje Shugden, because one of its functions has been to force conformity to the dGe lugs pa sect (with which the Dalai Lama himself is most closely associated) and to assert power over competing sects. Western followers of a few dGe lugs pa monks who worship that deity, lacking any critical awareness of its sectarian functions in Tibet, have recently followed the Dalai Lama to his speaking engagements to protest his strong stance (for non-sectarianism) in the name of their “religious freedom” to promulgate, now in the West, an embodiment of Tibetan sectarianism. If it were not so harmful to persons and traditions, this would surely be one of the funniest examples of the cross-cultural confusion that lack of critical reflection continues to create."

Maybe, Friendofthetruth, "you are probably young and inexperienced" and under the influence of a Tibetan monk "who now introduce Westerners to practices centred on a native Tibetan deity, without informing them that one of its primary functions has been to assert hegemony over rival sects!"....

"The religious part and the human side of this tragedy you don’t understand. Enjoy your beatific ignorance, it will pass."

Tenzin's picture

Tenzin Peljor, in what way are these "radical people" given much weight? All Shugden practitioners are doing is letting people know their side of the story after literally years of you slandering them, their tradition, their masters. You are not alone in this, but you are certainly the most vociferous and you keep repeating the same points without giving an inch despite pages of reasoned discussion with you.

Even you admitted somewhere the other day that it is not good for shopkeepers not to allow Shugden practitioners into their shops. Surely you have to admit that persecution on religious grounds is *never* good, even if you don't like the beliefs or the people that are being discriminated against? This whole thing comes down to human rights. The polemics, honestly, are neither here nor there now that this religious conflict has spilled over into the political sphere and become ugly, exaggerated and unconstitutional.\

Check out http://wisdombuddhadorjeshugden.blogspot.com/2008/10/al-jazeera-news-doc... for a transcript of the recent Al Jazeera footage.

Kate Walker's picture

Exciting News! Anyone even vaguely interested in Dorje Shugden... guess what? His Lama incarnation is BACK! That's right. Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen is alive and well...

See this news post:
http://dorjeshugden.com/wp/?p=3979

Gyalpo's picture

Lineageholder: I stand corrected on the attribution, it does not however justify your headlong leap down a slippery slope argument. The political campaign of WSS/NKT is of very little interest to 99.9% of Tibetans young and old alike, it is simply a misguided and pointless self-discrediting discourse. Rude, arrogant and outrageously stupid swiftboat arguments from your websites are not effective, even Phayul readers have lost interest in your non-issue. I suggest you people grow up and move on.

Dorje's picture

This is complete nonsense, LH. The Dalai Lama left Tibet by an obvious route, irrespective of what any oracle said whilst in trance. He left via Southern Tibet after staying at Dunkar gompa, a seat of one of the oracles of this protector, so it's hardly surprising if he this oracle did a seance at this time. Nor is it evidence of the oracle's veracity.

By the way, does your point signify a new position for the NKT on spirit possession and oracular seances? Previously (after Kelsang's uncle turned his back on kelsang) the NKT seemed to reject the validity of oracles.

Tibetan Buddhists, especially those of non-Gelug traditions, have held that this protector is evil for a very long time without any help from the Dalai Lama. Your repeated claims to the contrary just show what a good job Kelsang has done in brainwashing you. I'll post a few excerpts to help you see that the view that this protector is evil was widespread before the Dalai Lama started to question it.

Some followers of Ven. Phabongkha Dechen Nyingpo Rinpoche engaged in heated argument on the philosophical tenets of the new and the ancient. They engaged in many wrong activities like destroying images of Padmasambhava and those of other peaceful and wrathful deities, saying that reciting the mantra of the Vajra Guru is of no value and fed the Padma Kathang to fire and water. Likewise, they stated that turning Mani prayer wheels, observing weekly prayers for the deceased etc. are of no purpose and thus placed many on the path of wrong view. They held Gyalpo Shugden as the supreme refuge and the embodiment of all the Three Jewels. Many monks from small monasteries in the Southern area claimed to be possessed by Shugden and ran amok in all directions destroying the three reliquaries (images of the Buddha, scriptures and stupas) etc. displaying many faults and greatly harming the teaching of Je Tsongkhapa, the second Conqueror. Therefore, if you could compose an instructive epistle benefitting all and could publish it and distribute it throughout the three (provinces) U, Tsang and Kham it would greatly contribute to counteracting the disturbance to the teaching.

Before the Dalai Lama opposed this sectarian spirit worship Stephan Beyer wrote an account showing the sectarianism found amongst Phabongkhapa’s followers

Zangmar had fallen under the spell of this new and impressive personality. P’awang kawa was undoubtedly one of the great lamas of the early twentieth century, but he was a man of contradictory passions, and he shows us two different faces when he is recalled by those who knew him. In many ways he was truly a saint; he was sent to Ch’amdo by the central government to represent its interests and administer its Gelug monasteries, and he was sympathetic to the concerns of the K’am people over whom he had been granted jurisdiction, a scholar and an enthusiast for all aspects of Tibetan culture. But many eastern Tibetans remember him with loathing as the great persecutor of the “ancient” sect, devoting himself to the destruction throughout K’am of images of the Precious Guru and the burning of “ancient” books and paintings

P’awang kawa sent his new disciple back to take charge of the Gelug monastery in Dragyab; Zangmar, with the zeal of the convert, carried with him only his master’s sectarianism and implemented only his policy of destruction. He tried to force the monks of Kajegon (who were technically under his authority) to perform the Gelug rituals, and when they obstinately continued to refuse he called in the government police on a trumped up charge of treason. They raided Kajegon, broke its images, made fire of its books and paintings, and beat its monks with sticks. The head monk, who carried with him by chance that day our image of Tara, tried to stop them; while one policeman threatened him with a stick, another shot him in the back.

Before the Dalai Lama opposed this spirit worship, it was fiercely opposed by Ngawang Yonten Gyatso. David Jackson writes

Ngag-dbang-yon-tan-rgya-mtsho’s main wrath was directed against the cult of the protector rDo-rje-shugs-ldan which Pha-bong-kha-pa had popularized in various dGe-lugs-pa circles. (In the early 1940s gangs of young monks in certain dGe-lugs-pa dominted areas of Khams such as Chab-mdo, Brag-gyab and Lho-rdzong were causing so much havoc through their Shugs-ldan group “possessions” that the central government’s Governor of Khams in Chab-mdo finally was compelled to punish three ringleaders by flogging.”….

Ngag-dbang-yon-tan-rgya-mtsho explained to the Khri-du monks and people, “Shugs-ldan is no good. He is evil. He’s not a protector, he’s a ghost! He has a long history of causing harm. There’s no use invoking a ghost.” In this way he convinced the monks to cease the practice, and removed all images and articles of worship from the monastery.”

“At Thar-lam monastery, he summoned the monks and told them of his campaign against Shugs-ldan. That deity, he said, was not a protector of religion, but rather an evil spirit who destroyed the doctrine… He proposed to destroy, if they would agree, the mask of this deity the next morning.
…He took down a revered mask of the deity from its shrine and carried it outside. He hurled it into a bonfire and drew a pistol, shooting at the mask numerous times. After annihilating the mask, he reentered the Protector’s chapel and removed the other ritual articles….

Afterward, he re-consecrated the chapel to the deity Beg-tse. He defied Shugs-ldan to take revenge. When nothing occurred, the monks lost faith in Shugs-ldan and accepted the new protective deity. In sGa-pa, Ngag-dbang-yon-tan-rgya-mtsho thus stamped out the practice of rDo-rje-shugs-ldan, at least in Sa-skya-pa circles, almost completely.
Impartial readers will notice that LH often tries to claim that the Dalai Lama is responsible for the 'demonisation' of this protector. The fact is, it was seen as an evil spirit spreading sectarianism long before the Dalai Lama spoke out against it. LH continues regurgitating these views because they are the lies spread by his cult leader Kelsang Gyatso.

To find out more about the dishonest and exploitative actions of the Kelsang, please watch the BBC documentary “An Unholy Row” found on the following website:
http://www.tibetonline.tv/shugden_issues.html

Dorje's picture

their 'refutations' are nothing more than a bunch of self-serving bs. If a person is not a monk they shouldn't wear the robes of a monk. That it is different from the vinaya taught by the Buddha does make it invalid.

I agree that some aspects of the vinaya may not be totally appropriate for modern times, but how is wearing robes or shaving the head any more appropriate than these? It is nothing more than dressing-up. Falsely impersonating the monastic sangha leads to a degeneration of the Dharma. The fact that the many of the high profile NKT 'monks' including two of the most senior monks and other senior teachers had sex with their female assistants and other students shows the value of NKT ordination.

emptymountains's picture

Dear Dorje,

In response to your post 1658, I am glad you suggested Geoffrey Samuel’s book Civilized Shamans, as I happen to have a copy. You cite him as an example of someone describing Rime as a ‘synthesis’. However, exactly what does Samuel say is being synthesized? He says that both the Gelug tradition and the Rime approach can be situated somewhere on the clerical-shamanic spectrum. He says the neither is 100% clerical or 100% shamanic, but each combines certain elements of the two into its own ‘synthesis’ or approach:

Gelugpa and Rimed as they exist today are two different approaches to the question of how to reconcile the two polarities I have sketched within Tibetan religious life: the academic, scholarly, monastic, and clerical polarity; and the yogic, shamanic, and visionary polarity. They represent two different ways in which Tibetans frame their own traditions. (pp. 546-547, punctuation changed to make it more readable)

I have already suggested several times that Rimed and Gelugpa can be considered as the two major and contrasting syntheses of clerical and shamanic elements within premodern Tibetan religion. (p. 537)

We can see Rimed as a new attempt at a synthesis of academic and shamanic aspects of Tibetan religion that maintained the academic tradition but retained a much more central place for the shamanic vision than the Gelugpa synthesis allowed. (p. 542)

When I use the word synthesis (as in post 1225), I use it specifically in the sense of a new presentation of Buddha’s teachings, not in the sense of an anthropologist's estimation of cleric and/or shamanic elements. Samuel seems to use the word synthesis in the former sense very rarely, for example:

Perhaps the most useful perspective on Tsongk’apa is to regard him as the creator of the most influential of all Tibetan syntheses between Sutra and Tantra practice. (p. 507)

So, does Samuel think of Rime as a new synthesis of Buddhist teachings and practices? That’s questionable:

Rimed was not a school with a definite doctrinal position. (p. 537) Nor, as we have already seen, did the Rimed movement have any common philosophical standpoint. (p. 543)

Rimed today does not constitute an organized monastic order with its own gompa. (p. 537)

The lamas who carry the Rimed tradition today continue to come from Sakyapa, Nyingmapa, and Kagyudpa gompa, and to continue the specific lineages and practices of their own gompa as well as the general Rimed practices. (pp. 537-538)

I want to address your concerns with the word eclectic, as Samuel brings this up as well:

The term rimed is sometimes translated as ‘eclectic’; Seyfort Ruegg has suggested that this is an inadequate rendering. “in fact this rimed movement was not exactly eclectic but universalistic (and encyclopedic), rimed (pa) (the antonym of risu ch’edpa) meaning unbounded, all-embracing, unlimited, and also impartial” (Ruegg 1989:310). It can be seen why Dzogch’en appealed to the Rimed masters; its emphasis on an unlimited, all-embracing Enlightened state within which all partial teachings could find their goal provided the basis for their synthetic orientation. (p. 538)

Clearly, the Rimed lamas did not regard these practices and teachings as exclusive alternatives, but as a body of partial descriptions and approaches, each of which might help to provoke the central insight of the shamanic vision. (p. 541)

It is interesting that in spite of Ruegg’s alternate rendering of rimed, Samuel continues to use the word eclectic in subsequent pages! But that’s not the main point I want to make. If each of the pre-existent traditions is not an ‘exclusive alternative’ but only a ‘partial description’ of the path, then they are each incomplete! So, ironically, the ‘universalistic’ approach fractures the Buddhadharma. Creating a universal super-tradition is the exact opposite of seeing the whole of Buddha's teachings in each of its parts.

em

harry (gandul)'s picture

Hi LH,

I accept most of the points that you make. There is quite a bit of evidence, including videos (can't photoshop video :)), that indicate wrongdoing from the part of HHDL and the TGIE.

It's just a bit tricky to asses the situation when both parties are involved in blame games. Even here, which i assume is one of the few places where people from both parties are engaging in dialogue, there is little exchange of ideas and debate, instead we have a lot of we-are-right-and-you-are-wrong-ing.

I also see WSS has done some odd things, for instance claiming 4 million DS practitioners. And the "dictator" letter... Generally, when you look at any confrontation between individuals or between groups, you can never really blame everything on one party. I.e. for a fight you need the participation of more than one entity.

So overall, i think this tricky situation cannot be entirely blamed upon the DL. WSS have made mistakes too. Personally i think apologies are owed to the DL for material such as the "dictator" letter. This letter is completely wrong, and i doubt in the least that it has helped the situation. No, i think if anything it's made things worse.

emptymountains's picture

Dear TP,

Just to clarify, bodhichitta (= conventional bodhichitta + ultimate bodhichitta) is NOT an extreme, I agree with you. Such a holistic mind is free from extremes.

However, *misconstrued* bodhichitta is a result of either one of two extremes: (1) wisdom without compassion, or (2) compassion without wisdom. To avoid the first extreme, we aspire to become Bodhisattvas and not just Foe Destroyers (Skt. Arhat). And in order to avoid the second extreme, we finally aspire to become Buddhas and not just remain as Bodhisattvas.

I think it is important when identifying something as the middle way that we be able to show both of its two aspects (as I did in #'s 1-4 above). That said, true non-sectarianism is NOT an extreme. What I am trying to point out is that one aspect of non-sectarianism (i.e., inclusivism) CAN be taken to an extreme, just as exclusivism taken to an extreme produces sectarianism.

em

SeekingClarity's picture

LH

On the back cover of "How to Solve our Human Problems", the book is endorsed by two of those "neutral" academics you so despise.

Dorje's picture

"Evidence? None. Hilarious! What does anyone under the protective care of the Three Jewels have to fear from an inferior spirit, which is how they regard Dorje Shugden?"

The quotation from Tai Situpa that Tenzin Paljor provided was evidence of Kagyupa attitudes towards this protector. You can find similar attitudes voiced by senior lamas of all four traditions, Gelug, Sakya, Nyingma and Kagyu. This shows that the respectability and legitimacy of this protector has been questioned in all Tibetan religious traditions.

The image you try to paint of a practice that was widely accepted until the Dalai Lama ruined its reputation is false.

The point that taking refuge confers protection from spirits comes from a sutra where the Buddha says that those that take refuge cannot be harmed by humans and non-humans. Elsewhere he says that those that take refuge will not suffer hunger or starvation but will have their needs met.

To understand these teachings we have to understand whether they are definitive or provisonal. Looking at history we can certainly see examples of those who have taken refuge suffering harm from others and starving to death. So, was the Buddha lying or speaking to inspire faith in his teaching?

The view that this protector could harm and kill people that had taken refuge was shared by Phabongkhapa, who said that it would cause those Gelugpas that took teachings from other traditions to "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.”

You are free to dismiss Tai Situpa's comments as absurd, but it would then follow that you should dismiss Phabongkhapa teachings regarding this protector on the same grounds.

TheFinalTruth's picture

I meant:

NKT can play the “the sound of suffering” well, there is no doubt about it, and WSS/NKT devotees can orchestrate “the sound of suffering” in multiple blogs, comments and websites, yet it does not become more true or a fact, just because they "have been repeated in so many blogs around the world".

---

BTW, it is NKT who is oppressing religious freedom by banning other than Kelsang Gyatso's book as the object of study, by actively discouraging members to go to other Buddhist teachers, or to read other Dharma books than those of Kelsang Gyatso, by banning the veneration of the Dalai Lama, by banning the Vinaya and the texts of Atisha, Tsongkhapa, the Kalachakra Tantra and many many other Dharma treasures, and by oppressing the own members to raise their concern about NKT's own internal scandals etc. What a mess!

I agree again with you:
"I suggest that we all sincerely pray and dedicate our merit -also- for the end of this sad tale, this religious tragedy."

Best to all.

namkhah's picture

Dougal: Pity Thomas Canada– he will not be able to buy enlightenment, no matter how much money he spends and even the CPC in Beijing cannot give it to him.
More importantly, you fail you understand that even after the Red Guards dynamited any building not already destroyed in Tibet, the loss of the monastic infrastructure did not affect ngagpas much, most of whom are non-celibate lay people. Neither did it affect the geomantic power of the land to spiritually nourish its inhabitants. Not all dharma is found in centres, on the contrary not much nowadays.
I omitted one star from the list Trijang, it's end of the line I'm afraid with junior.

Haras's picture

From Wikipedia:

” The reason why the Dalai Lama didn’t sue over ‘A Great Deception’ is because every word is referenced to third party publications and is true! You can’t sue if someone publishes the verifiable true about a particular issue. The Dalai Lama is guilty as charged…”

it is really an eye opener how far the ‘brainwashing’ in the NKT can lead one away from the facts.

First of all:
The Dalai Lama has not being found guilty. The Indian Court said

” Justice S. Muralidhar dismissed the writ petition and application on the grounds that the allegations of violence and harassment were ‘vague averments’ and that the raised issues ‘do not partake of any public law character and therefore are not justiciable in proceedings under Article 226 of the Constitution.’

Citing the ‘absence of any specific instances of any such attacks’ on Dorjee Shugden practitioners, the Court noted the counter affidavit submitted by the respondents, referring to ‘an understanding reached whereby it was left to the monks to decide whether they would want to be associated with the practices of Dorjee Shugden.’

Closing the doors on the possibility of similar complaints in the future, Justice Muralidhar concluded that the ‘matters of religion and the differences among groups concerning propitiation of religion, cannot be adjudicated upon by a High Court in exercise of its writ jurisdiction.’

2. There is no evidence from any reliable source that the wrong Dalai Lama was chosen (as the “Great Deception” and other WSS propaganda publications claim), such a claim is even against what Trijang Rinpoche said, Kelsang’s own root Guru. The book “Great Deception” is indeed a great deception because it exploits academic sources to spin the facts according to the imagination of the NKT leadership. Rewriting of history is a well recognized tool of New Religious Movements which NKT apply as well as other cults do.

3. To make it not too long: The only reason why the Dalai Lama or any body else do not sue NKT or Kelsang is that they can—unlike NKT—bear that there are different opinions about them, even if it is untrue or defamation. It is a sign of cult leaders to threaten to sue ex-members or critics because they are full of themselves, they think they are godlike or Buddhalike. Because Kelsang Gyatso is a cult leader (the Third Buddha of our time) and NKT is a cult they threaten forums, academics and individuals to sue them.
Because the Dalai Lama is not a cult leader but a relaxed and open minded person, it is no problem for him if he is slandered, he just will not take any lawyer to defend himself. He is also used to be defamed by China’s leadership and press and other hostile human beings. He takes it with ease and humour, because—unlike cult leaders—he has no exaggerated feeling of self-importance as cult leaders have.

Hence what the Dalai Lama says about the Western Shugden Society expresses his qualities: “I am extremely happy that they can enjoy freedom of expression.” No lawsuit threat, no lawyer, only peace"

Ron's picture

I'm only appalled by the disgraceful behavior and speech of novice NKT dress up 'monks'. Carbon footprint of flying these "Singing Nuns' around the West?.....way too high.

Lineageholder's picture

Dear Tamdrin,

Fact: The holy speech of Dorje Shugden saved the Dalai Lama's life in 1959. Even though the Dalai Lama has brainwashed most Tibetan Buddhists into believing that DS is evil, without his omniscient help at a time when the Nechung oracle was powerless to do anything, your world of Tibetan Buddhism would be a much different today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mV4VAQgt4Bs

Dorje Shugden saved the life of someone who would go on to create all the problems of sectarianism you are experiencing today. Something for you to ponder.

harry (gandul)'s picture

Hi KP,

Have you read Newkadampatruth's refutations of the criticisms of NKT ordination? Emptiness is not part of the refutations.

SeekingClarity's picture

CORRECTION RE #1663

Should read " it does not seem that Dhongthog was correct..."

Dorje's picture

If you think praising a protector for killing sentient beings is what great lamas do, fair enough. Of course, this would completely destroy your bodhisattva vows. If you are happy that, good luck.

Dorje's picture

Also, em, you have failed to answer my question regarding the relevance of Kelsang Gyatso's reinterpretation of his tradition on modern Gelug practice and why his diluting of his own tradition makes the sectarian practices of that tradition more acceptable.

SeekingClarity's picture

LH

It's not the job of academics to be neutral. It's their job to do thorough, rigorous research. What would interest me is whether Lungta magazine has a blind reviewing policy.

Kagyupa's picture

Kyabje Situ Rinpoche knows more about the Gelukpas, and Dolgyal, than you do.

Lineageholder, there are many things to fear. you have not comprehended refuge correctly if you think there's nothing to fear, merely having taken refuge.

Surely the Dharma teaches us, at a certain level, what to avoid and what to embrace. Often those things we should avoid, we can even say we should fear. Amongst the things we should constantly guard against, and fear, is refuge in those who are not Fully Awakened. Our position, borne out by the historical records, and the words of Glorious Lamas from all four lineages, recited and laid bare here and in many other places, is that your Dolgyal is not a proper object of refuge. Your position, based on the words of GKG and Pabongkha, and the minority position of those who follow their misguided view, is mistaken.

You should fear taking refuge in ghosts and demons.

TheFinalTruth's picture

Dear Friendofthetruth,
I think you read far too much of NKT propaganda.

It is very true what they claim "are just words". By continuously repeating "these words" "in so many blogs around the world" they become not more true nor turn there words magically into facts. NKT can play the "the sound of suffering" well, there is no doubt about it, and WSS can ostracise "the sound of suffering" in multiple blogs, comments and websites, yet it does not become more true of a fact.

Instead of requesting to stop to "back the Dalai Lama" it would be better NKT members stop to back Kelsang Gyatso. It is he who "has been inflicting immeasurable pain in his own people" by misinforming them, misleading them, by oppressing their religious freedom, and teaching them that the Dalai Lama is the "enemy of the pure Buddhadharma" while suggesting indirectly he is the last pure lineageholder of Je Tsongkhapa, and leading NKT devotees to a distorted view on Tibetan Buddhism, the role of NKT, and himself. What a tragedy.

I agree with you:

"If the Guru-disciple relationship makes [NKT members] incapable of condemning his actions then it would be decent to just keep quiet. I’m not even talking about Buddhist behaviour, just plain human decency, a minimum or respect for those suffering from [Geshe Kelsang's cultish] actions.

I suggest that we all sincerely pray and dedicate our merit -also- for the end of this sad tale, this religious tragedy.

Best to all."

dougal's picture

hey kt66 -

is that a website about religion, or politics?

Tom's picture

Bravo. Super. Stunning.

Where do I sign up?

Dorje's picture

I’m sure that great Lineage Gurus such as Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti would be appalled by your worship of a worldly spirit, used to promote sectarianism, which, unlike the Middle Way, is logically and morally unjustifiable.

Tamdrin's picture

One particular facet of this controversy that doesn't seem to have been explored in depth here is the tremendous problems Shugden practice creates in terms of the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon.
As it was stated above, in its early days Gyalchen Shugden was seen as a minor protective deity on a mundane level. As such a deity, there were certain mediums who acted as oracles -similar to many others in Tibetan Buddhism.
However, when, for political reasons, conservative members of the Gelug establishment tried to elevate the status of Shugden to that of a Buddha, a seemingly minor mascot of fundamentalism began to threaten the entire deity "hierarchy".
If Shugden was a Buddha, how could it manifest through oracles (this was always taught to be undesireable and impossible.
If Shugden manifested through oracles, why couldn't other Buddhas, like Tara, Chenrezig, Padmasambhava etc?

If HHDL and other lamas has allowed this to continue, this is exactly what could have ahppened. A bunch of mediums purporting to channel "fully enlightened"deities. And now you see the very truth in the Dalai Lama's statement - that Shugden could cause Tibetan Buddhism to degenerate into "mere spirit worship".

Now perhaps the NKT will say that Kalsang Gyatso doesn't rely on oracles. That maybe true, NOW (we know his uncle, a Shugden oracle, performed trances in order to give advice from Shugden about NKT as recently as the late 1990s). We also know that the Ohio non-NKT Shugden centres rely on the "Buddha speech"of the Shugden oracle for all major decisions (see their website).

However, the people who you claim to be trying to help do believe in these oracles, and that what the mediums say is the speech of an enlightened Buddha. Due to this "holy speech"of Shugden, many have engages in sectarian actions,.

Now some may argue that other Tibetans also rely on oracles, but these oracles have never been considered to channel "Buddhas", only oath bound protector deities. So, one can see this very important distinction means that these oracles are not considered infallible, whereas the Shugden oracle is.

It therefore doesn't take a PhD in BUddhist history to realize the tremendous problems Shugden presents for the authenticity of the Buddhist pantheon, not to mention taking into account the history of sectarianism associated with it.

Dorje's picture

Nice one, Kagyupa. I dare say the NKT won't get it though.

SeekingClarity's picture

Dorje and Rodney

On e-Sangha, Namdrol writes (#116)

As someone trained in the Sakya order - I can guarantee you that Shugden was never regarded as being anything more than a minor worldly protector placed in the retinue of Caturmukha Mahakala (my emphasis).

http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index.php?showtopic=34974&st=100

On Usenet (#117), Jeff Watt is quoted as saying

Shugden is completely a worldly deity. 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, he is not regarded by Sakyapas as an emanation of Manjushri or of Yamantaka (my emphasis).

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.religion.buddhism.tibetan/browse_frm/...

However, “never” does appear to be a bit strong. As Rodney notes (#1510), in Sachen Kunlo’s autobiography, he refers to DS as “the Great Compassionate One himself”. Thus it seems that the 31st Sakya Throneholder regarded DS as enlightened.

BTW, Rodney, what year was Sachen Kunlo’s autobiography?

According to Rabten’s post on Usenet (#4), in the autobiography of the 38th Sakya Throneholder, Tragshu Cholu Rinchen, he states

And the reason for that is, because he is the emanation of Gyalchen. Because he is the emanation of Gyalchen, he is Avalokiteshvara.

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.religion.buddhism.tibetan/browse_frm/...

Jeff Watt’s response (#19) is interesting.

Later, Sakya Trizin Trakshu Thinley Rinchen (1871-1936) in his personal diaries written on scraps of paper starting from the age of 8 years records all his thoughts, dreams and miscellaneous experiences. After his passing these were collected and added to his biography. In these diaries, amongst many other topics, he muses over the nature of Shugden and the relationship between Shugden, his father (S.T. Kunga Nyingpo) and his grand-father (S.T. Tashi Rinchen) of whom Trakshu Thinley Rinchen was the incarnation. These are regarded as an interesting curiosity within the Drolma Podrang of the Khon family as well as being their personal family business.

As Rodney points out in #1607, Jeff Watt certainly doesn’t deny that Tragshu Cholu Rinchen held DS to be Avalokiteshvara! So it does seem to be the case that some Sakyas have regarded DS as enlightened. Dorje (#1600) comments that

The Sakya position has always been that this protector is a minor worldly spirit. This only changes when it is used by Sachen Kunlo to justify his own exalted status as a tulku with Indian origins. This claim is based on nothing but a Nyingma terma that the Nyingmapas don’t even give the importance to place in their own collection of tantras.

This rather implies that there was some serious politics going on at the time of Sachen Kunlo. Dorje, can you elaborate on this?

Sachen Kunlo’s dates were 1729-1783. Morchen Kunga Lhundrup’s dates were 1654-1726. Thus if Morchen held DS to be enlightened, Sachen Kunlo would not, as Dorje suggests, be the first to hold this view. However, I am unclear whether Rodney is suggesting this was Morchen’s view. Rodney writes in #1510

Also, related is that in historical terms Morchen Dorje Chang, according to his autobiography, entrusted Shugden earlier (1718) than Sakya Throne Holder Sonam Rinchen.

And in #1553 he writes

About Morchen Dorje Chang and earlier Sakyas, there appears to be no initiation in that lineage, perhaps only a lung here and there for various rituals (ie. rgyal gsol log ‘dren tshar gcod which Sachen Kunlo got from his father). Sonam Rinchen had the vision of Shugden riding the horse, while Morchen was the first to enumerate the 5 emanations of Shugden, which can be found in his ritual used at Trode Khangsar (rdo rje shugs ldan rtsal gyi gsol kha ‘phrin las ‘dod ‘jo). Morchen’s autobiography mentions he visited Trode Khangsar (page 598) so there is no doubt it existed at his time, although there is not much detail mentioned. Sachen Kunlo got Shugden riding the horse form from his father, and in the colophon of his wrathful torma much detail is mentioned about how this all came about. He mentions Morchen enumerated the five forms.

Rodney, does any of this imply that Morchen held DS to be enlightened? What do you mean when you say Morchen “entrusted” DS? From what you say about Morchen it does not seem that Dhongthog is incorrect when in The Earth Shaking Thunder he writes (p18)

Moreover, from his own subjective viewpoint, Phawong Khapa also introduced elaborations of Shugden such as, peaceful and wrathful forms, five-family forms, and sadhanas composed in the categories of outer, inner and secret (my emphasis).

For fuller quote see #1475.

Lineageholder's picture

Dear Dorje,

As I said, those were the facts. It's the chronology of what happened. This present dispute is the result of the Dalai Lama's views and actions.

This practice would never be acceptible in any Buddhist monastery, no matter who the Dalai Lama was or what he said about it.

It was acceptable to Kelsang Thubten Jigme Gyatso 1743-1811 (a tutor to the 9th Dalai Lama), Losang Thubten Wangchuk Jigme Gyatso 1775 – 1813 (head of the Gelugpa in Mongolia), Ngulchu Dharmabadra, the Indian master Shakya Shri Bhadra, the 11th Dalai Lama 1838 - 1856 (who installed Dorje Shugden as the Protector of the Gelugpa tradition), Gyara Tulku Rinpoche, Tomo Geshe Rinpoche (regarded by the 13th Dalai Lama as an emanation of Je Tsongkhapa), Serkong Rinpoche (regarded by the 13th Dalai Lama as Vajradhara),Tagpo Kelsang Khedrub Rinpoche, Pabongkha Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, Ling Rinpoche, Khangsar Rinpoche, Tathag Rinpoche (in charge of the Tibetan Government after the death of the 13th Dalai Lama), Zong Rinpoche, Lobsang Tamdin, Ribur Rinpoche, Khen Rinpoche Losang Tharchin, Lati Rinpoche, Geshe Rabten, Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey, Khensur Rinpoche, Khechog Rinpoche, Dagyab Rinpoche, Gelek Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe, Lama Zopa Rinpoche (until he followed the Dalai Lama's 'advice' ) Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Yongyal Rinpoche, the 14th Dalai Lama (until he was in his forties), Dagom Rinpoche, Gonsar Rinpoche, Gangchen Rinpoche and countless others, but I suppose you know better and all these great Lama were wrong and unrealized?

Dorje's picture

Sorry, em, but I still think your point 4 is bs. It presuposes that inclusivism, in the sense of including other traditions in one's practice is bad for no reason. This is what happens when logic loses touch with actual reality.

The model you have is fair enough, but you employ it far too narrowly. I think we could say that if one extreme is sticking rigidly to one lama's interpretation of the Dharma whilst disparaging others, the other extreme is attempting to adopt all other religious and philosophical traditions indescriminately, Buddhist and non-Buddhist, much as some "New Age" practitioners might.

To say the opposite extreme of sectarianism is just to take teachings from other Mahayana Buddhist traditions is a bit odd. We can see the harm sectarianism does in the world. People were murdered, monasteries were forcibly coverted, images and texts were destroyed and many people suffered due to Phabongkhapa's sectarianism. To say that a person taking Mahayana Buddhist teachings from more than one lama is in any way equitable, is confused, isn't it?

The reason sectarianism is an extreme is ultimately because it lacks compassion and wisdom. The wisdom is that all Buddha's teachings are complimentary, especially at their highest levels. The assumption that your argument is based on is that the Buddha's teachings are in some way incompatible with each other. This is a false view.

In the snow ranges of Tibet,
Owing to the kindness of sublime beings of the past,
Many profound teachings were taught.

These days most practitioners
Hold the various teachings to be contradictory
Like heat and cold.
They praise some teachings and disparage others.

Some holy beings have said that
Madhyamika, Mahamudra and Mahasandhi
Are like sugar, molasses and honey:
One is as good as the other.
For this reason, I have listened to
And reflected on all of them without partiality.

Sectarian practitioners with aversion and attachment,
Please don't reprimand me.

When the immaculate white snow mountain
Of Madhayamika, Mahamudra and Mahasandhi
Is bathed in the sunlight of pure perception,
The stream of blessings will certainly flow.

-Shabkar Tsogdruk Rangdrol

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

Although many different names have been given-
Great Perfection (Dzogchen), Great Seal (Mahamudra) and Great Madhyamaka,
Path and Fruit, Object of Cutting, and Pacification -
When they are investigated by a Yogin
Who has cultivated them experientially,
He arrives at just one intention.

- Panchen Lobsang Chokyi Gyaltsen

Lineageholder's picture

Dear Tenzin P,

Yeah, right, more 'neutral' stuff from academics? Nope. More propaganda from the Tibetan Government in Exile. Anything from Dharamsala can be throughly rejected.

Tenzin Peljor's picture

Dear "Lineageholder",

Of course it is said that in general Buddhist refuge protects from harm, but does this mean if you take refuge you are protected from being tortured, abused or to become a victim of a fraud? How literal do you take the texts? Do you think you have more knowledge and understanding than Tai Situ Rinpoche or the Dalai Lama?

It is true that I didn't meet Tai Situ Rinpoche, but I have asked different Rinpoches from the Kagyue tradition who exactly said this, not only this, they give their followers the strong recommendation to remove all books and material from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and NKT from their flat, because it creates hindrances for their spiritual practice and life.

There are reasons why the Vajrayana has vows to avoid at all costs to have contact with negative companions who have broken their vows. It is said, for those seeking realisations, you should not even come into their shadow.

This you can find similar advice also in the Sutra stated by the Buddha himself:

3
Do not devote yourself
To bad companions and wicked beings.
Devote yourself to holy people,
And to spiritual friends.

4
By devotion to people like that
You will do goodness, not wrong.

5
By devotion to faithful and wise people
Who have heard much and pondered many things,
By heeding their fine words, even from afar,
Their special qualities are attained here.

10
When one does no wrong yet
Is devoted to evil people,
One will still be abused,
For others suppose that this one too is bad.

11
The devotee acquires the same faults
As the person not worthy of devotion,
Like an untainted arrow smeared
With the poison of a tainted sheath.

12
Steadfast ones who fear the taint of faults,
Do not befriend bad people.
By close reliance and devotion
To one's companion,
Soon one becomes just like
The object of one's devotion.

22
The censure of the wise
Is far preferable
To the eulogy or praise
Of the infant.

23
Devotion to infants brings misery.
Since they are like one's foe,
It is best to never see or hear
Or have devotion for such people.

If there would be no danger with negative companions and negative forces (Mara or Demons) why the Buddha has taught about this? If refuge is sufficient he should have taught 'just take refuge than all things will be solved', but he didn't. Buddhism, the teachings of the Buddha, are far more complex, than Geshe Kelsang teaches to his devotees.

You spin the facts, when you claim I would believe my sources without question. This is just your assumption. What do you know?

Do you know how much good experience cult members had with Shoko Asharas or the Guru from the Jonestown? They had a lot of good experience with their gurus, so much that some of them even clung to them even after they recognized how crazy and mental sick their gurus were. It could be good to read some cult literature - especially Lifton. If you are subscribed to Tricycle-online you can read the interview Shainberg/Lifton: http://www.tricycle.com/from-mysticism-murder - this could be very helpful.

If you wish to check, you need an open, unbiased mind and intelligence. This is what Je Tsongkhapa said. If you are bound by being partisan or lack of discriminating intelligence, you can recognize nothing but the wrong, you can not even recognize your own bias, pride and presumptions.

So CHECK CHECK CHECK - yes! - but also acquire beforehand the qualities to be able to check. Sadly this teaching by Aryadeva/Chandrakriti/Tsongkhapa about the three defining characteristics a Mahayana student should possess is not taught by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.

BTW, I just recognized this peak of confusion by one of NKT's blogs:

"Evidence of Deception: In the Dalai Lama’s Own Words" http://shugdensociety.wordpress.com/2008/12/14/evidence-of-deception-in-...

Maybe a sign of the degenerate times is that the wise are perceived by the infants as childish and the childish are perceived by the infants as wise?

For the quote about the three defining characteristics a Mahayana adept should have see:
http://buddhism-and-fundamentalism.blogspot.com/

it's somewhere in the middle after I quoted Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.

Keep your chins up, t

Friendoftruth's picture

Dear Space,

There is a Mexican saying: "Hot pepper in the other person's eye doesn't hurt".

You are probably young and inexperienced, and hopefully quite at ease in life. You still don't know the true suffering of suffering. When it will come, and it will come, such is the nature of things in this world, may be then you will learn to respect the pain of others.

The Draft Constitution information it's just an objective example of the political persecution. A civil rights transgression.

The religious part and the human side of this tragedy you don't understand. Enjoy your beatific ignorance, it will pass.