Deity or Demon?

The Controversy over Tibet's Dorje Shugden

Article Preview

To access this entire article and all other member-supported
content, join Tricycle as a Supporting or Sustaining Member

Tibetan Buddhists of the Gelugpa Lineage have been battling over a protector god named Dorje Shugden—and whether this spirit is a benevolent deity or an agent of evil. The conflict remained largely unknown to Westerners until 1996, when disciples of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso of the New Kadampa Tradition in England picketed the Dalai Lama (who had asked his followers no to worship Shugden), accusing him of restricting their religious freedom. In 1997, Geshe Lobsang Gyatso, a prominent Gelugpa monk, and two of his disciples were murdered in Dharamsala. Some Gelugpas, the Indian police, and consequently the International press, have ascribed the killings to Shugden worshipers.

Share with a Friend

Email to a Friend

Already a member? Log in to share this content.

You must be a Tricycle Community member to use this feature.

1. Join as a Basic Member

Signing up to Tricycle newsletters will enroll you as a free Tricycle Basic Member.You can opt out of our emails at any time from your account screen.

2. Enter Your Message Details

Enter multiple email addresses on separate lines or separate them with commas.

Become a Supporting Member

$35*

*With Autorenew

  • You Get
  • Tricycle | The Magazine - a one-year subscription to premier Buddhist quarterly
  • Tricycle Retreats - a new online video teaching every every week by a contemporary Buddhist teacher
  • Tricycle | The Digital Edition - web based edition of the magazine
  • The Wisdom Collection - nearly two decades of teachings by the world's most compelling teachers, from the pages of Tricycle
  • Tricycle Gallery - the best in Buddhist art to download and share with friends
  • Tricycle Book Club - online discussions with leading Buddhist authors
  • Tricycle Discussions - teacher-led explorations of dharma in daily life
  • The Tricycle Blog - our diary of the global Buddhist movement
  • Daily Dharma - heart advice delivered direct to your inbox
  • The Tricycle Newsletter - the latest news, teachings, events, and more, every Monday

Become a Supporting Member

Become a Sustaining Member

$40*

*With Autorenew

  • You Get
  • Tricycle | The Magazine - a one-year subscription to premier Buddhist quarterly
  • Tricycle Retreats - a new online video teaching every every week by a contemporary Buddhist teacher
  • Tricycle | The Digital Edition - web based edition of the magazine
  • The Wisdom Collection - nearly two decades of teachings by the world's most compelling teachers, from the pages of Tricycle
  • Tricycle Gallery - the best in Buddhist art to download and share with friends
  • Tricycle Book Club - online discussions with leading Buddhist authors
  • Tricycle Discussions - teacher-led explorations of dharma in daily life
  • The Tricycle Blog - our diary of the global Buddhist movement
  • Daily Dharma - heart advice delivered direct to your inbox
  • The Tricycle Newsletter - the latest news, teachings, events, and more, every Monday

Become a Sustaining Member