March 04, 2008

Strange Happenings at Sera Monastery


The Dorje Shugden controversy goes on. Were monks devoted to Dorje Shugden discriminated against at Sera Monastery in India?

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Gyalpo's picture

NKT is not the ambassador for Khyabje Trijang Rinpoche, dead for twenty-eight years. Neither can the names of other long dead lamas be invoked by NKT/WSS with any authority. This is a highly pretentious charade by a group of white neophyte self-styled kadamapas. In any case, you don't feed the inmates of Sera on a daily basis, if you want to put your money where your mouth is, then do it without the remote hysteria from the comfort of your computer in Europe or America. I have relatives near Sera and spent quite a bit of time there, I don't think any of you have the slightest connection to or knowledge of the actual situation there.

namkhah's picture

Gail: We have read your cut and paste post before. It is highly imaginative of you however to truly swallow that fairy tale about Dolgyal providing safe conduct for the Dalai Lama's flight. Did Shuggie drop the throbbing human heart he holds to free up a helping hand? Was he riding his magic snow lion or a purple dragon? Ridiculous lore is rife: it is not truth we buy. Get real, sweetie.

namkhah's picture

The usual adrenaline sharks all aroused here, normal people who don't practice celibacy don't need to get a hate rush online. I don't think you neo kadampas are Chinese agents, you are too stupid for that and actually stridently advance the PRC agenda for free. The majority of actual Buddhists (non NKT cultists) take exception to the NKT/WSS foolish smear campaign clearly embraced by the PRC junta. Read the Chinese press, they adore you dress-up weekend 'monks'. Meanwhile in 2008, over 200 Tibetan Buddhists murdered by the Chinese Security Services and police, no comment whatsoever from NKT/WSS trolls despite their cute but cynical names like 'compassionateone' and 'lineageholder'

check out this video to see what we are up against:

Jimmy Marsden's picture

Please, Tricycle editors, ask the Dalai Lama some questions about what is actually going on, and don't be fobbed off with his reply that Shugden practitioners are demon-worshippers, traitors to Tibet, damaging to his lifespan, Chinese agents, murderers and cultists -- unless he can provide some actual evidence.

From the New Internationalist years ago we can see that this persecution has been going on for years but still no one in the Buddhist community other than the Western Shugden Society is really standing up for the rights of the oppressed. Are Buddhists that passive?

Deity banned
Outrage as Dalai Lama denounces Dorje Shugden

Buddhists picketed the Dalai Lama’s recent visit to the United States and Europe. They protested against the ban on the worship of the 350-year-old deity, Dorje Shugden, whom they say is one of the most revered in the Buddhist religion. In 1996 the Dalai Lama announced that worship of Dorje Shugden was banned and explained that his oracle, Nechung, had advised him that the deity was a threat to his personal safety and the future of Tibet.

The Tibetan Government-in-exile said its employees must stop worshipping the deity or be sacked. The office of the Dalai Lama told the superiors of the Sermey Monastic College in Bylakuppe, India:

‘If there is anyone who continues to worship Dorje (Shugden), make a list of their names, birthplace and class... Keep the original and send us a copy of the list.’

According to PK Dey, a human-rights lawyer from Delhi:

‘Those worshipping Shugden are experiencing tremendous harassment. It is not in a particular part of the country, but everywhere there are Tibetans. Dalai Lama supporters are going from house to house searching.’

For example, in Clementown, India, the house of a family of Shugden worshippers was stoned and then firebombed. Wanted posters describe people believed to be Shugden leaders as the top ten enemies of the state. The posters have been put up in monasteries, settlements and in Dharamsala by the Government-in-exile’s Department of Security.

Dorje Shugden worshippers say the ban and its implementation are in direct conflict with the proposed constitution of a free Tibet, laid down by the Dalai Lama in 1963. The constitution states that all religious denominations are equal before the law, and every Tibetan shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. But when Dorje Shugden worshippers challenged the ban, the Tibetan Government-in-exile stated that:

‘Concepts like democracy and freedom of religion are empty when it comes to the well-being of the Dalai Lama and the common cause of Tibet.’

During recent peace vigils a petition with 15,000 signatures was handed to the Dalai Lama stating the need for all Tibetan traditions to flourish. Protesters asked him to sign a declaration of freedom to worship Dorje Shugden. The Dalai Lama refused.

He says that he banned the worship of Dorje Shugden because it is a divisive deity that causes sectarianism among his followers, and is leading to the degeneration of Buddhism. But in doing so he has left many Tibetans confused. Gonsar Rinpoche, a Tibetan Lama who has worshipped Dorje Shugden throughout his life, says:

‘I cannot accept this ban on Shugden. If I accept that all my wise and great masters are demon worshippers, then their teachings are wrong, everything they believe in is wrong. That is not possible.’

Sara Chamberlain

Lyara's picture

Please check out this article by a non-Shugden, non-NKT Tibetan woman who is interested in the cause of Tibet — she seems to have hit the nail on the head.

One extract: “The way Tibetans have been handling the Dholgyal/Shugden issue says quite a bit about the state of our democratic values. We Tibetans are okay with dissenters being forced into obedience. We see nothing wrong with this political style. We have no issues with the Dalai Lama exerting pressure on dissenters by using secular government organs and tolerating oaths and signature actions in his name. Some even believe it is their duty to expose Dholgyal/Shugden supporters and slander them.

Until recently I thought, the more we talk about this conflict, the worse it becomes. I have changed my mind. I know now that it is wrong to remain silent. All genuine Tibetan democrats must speak up in the political debate over Dholgyal/Shugden. When a few are forced to take on the view of many, we’re going down a dangerous path. It is our duty to speak up. Our young democracy will remain in bad shape if we let this happen without a reaction.”

Also, another good article here:

Tenzin's picture

Please check out this video to see the Dalai Lama saying in his own words that he forced the expulsion of monks from their monastery. The speech is sinister and unpleasant.

Al Jazeera broadcast this news video and article yesterday (see links below). It was viewed by a potential 40 million people (according to Al Jazeera viewing estimates).

This story is breaking. The persecution has just recently been covered by a number of newspapers, including The New Statesman, France 24, Knight News, and Cincinnati City Beat.

It is only a matter of time before the Dalai Lama’s illegal and unconstitutional actions become public knowledge. It would be better if he lifted the ban before that happens for the benefit of himself and his followers (not to mention those whose religious tradition is being destroyed).

Gail's picture

Gelugpa Lamas who practiced Dorje Shugden were hugely instrumental in helping the TGIE and HHDL to set up the monasteries, camps, hospitals, clinics, schools and so on.

See today for an account also of how Dorje Shugden himself helped the Dalai Lama to escape from Tibet.

Is this how the Dalai Lama repays kindness, loyalty and years of devotion?

Gail's picture

Has anyone read Phayul and other Tibetan websites over the last months and years and how they denounce Je Phabongkhapa and Trijang Rinpoche and Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and other respected elders of the Sangha community of being liars, devil worshippers, cult members and so on?

Have people been seeing the things the Dalai Lama says about his own Gurus, that they were “wrong, all wrong”? Did you ever read his comments in Newsweek and other publications calling Shugden practitioners cult members and spirit worshippers?

And have you noticed that he has not only resorted to name calling but has backed up his words with an actual ban, using the TGIE to back him, so that Shugden practitioners have three choices (1) give up their cherished practice and commitment to their Gurus (2) go underground or (3) be persecuted?

Luckily, Dorje Shugden practitioners are no longer in thrall to the Dalai Lama, who has proved himself to be a selfish politician every bit as much as a spiritual leader; and they are finally fighting back. There is no way that the Dalai Lama is going to get away with this. Already the tide is turning, luckily for religious freedom and human rights.

Robert Thomas's picture

Evidence of the actions to discriminate against these practitioners:

Really tragic

Duncan's picture

As of this year, since HHDL visited the great Monasteries in south India the monks of Polmra at Sera are certainly being discriminated against. They are being thoroughly ostracized, accused of being traitors on the basis of their faith, not allowed to mix with the other monks, which means they cant get their normal provisions such as food etc.
This is a very sad time for the Ganden Tradition, so easily swayed by political preasure.

Jimmy Mountains's picture

How can the police be policing the monks to be "peaceful"? This is so contradictory to everything Buddha has taught.

How can some monks sit by and have food/tea and watch other monks go without??? What kind of politics is influencing/forcing the monks to act in that manner? What an embarrassment to the Tibetan/Indian/Buddhist authorities. I feel ashamed. I do not mean any disrespect, but I am very embarrassed.

Commentator's picture

"A house divided can't stand." Abraham Lincoln.

Many of the great Lamas of past generation dedicated themselves to rebuilding these monasteries in South India. This includes Song, Trijang, Zemey Rinpoche and many others. They were all devotees to Dorje Shugden.

So, is this discrimination? It is worse, it is creating the conditions to force practitioners to break commitments to their root Gurus. These Gurus are the ones who dedicated themselves to preserving Tibetan tradition in exile, not Chinese partisans as they are accused of being now.