Who is demonstrating against the Dalai Lama? by Carole McQuire (former NKT member)

Who is demonstrating against the Dalai Lama?

The protests against His Holiness the Dalai Lama are organised by the International Shugden Community (ISC) whose directors are senior teachers and members of the New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKT-IKBU). They are supported on the ground by other NKT followers and a minority of Tibetan Shugden practitioners who have proven links to Chinese interests.   NKT teachers are all volunteers with no contracts or worker’s rights, although some are paid. There is some evidence from 2008 that shows a senior NKT teacher was removed from her NKT teaching role after publicly criticising the protests against His Holiness.

What is the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT)?

The NKT is a controversial New Religious Movement – academically analysed as being appreciably different from mainstream Buddhism. It was created as a legal entity by a Tibetan Buddhist monk called Kelsang Gyatso and his students in 1992. It can be called ‘separatist’ due to its official policies of separation from all Tibetan teachers except Kelsang Gyatso. Centres are advised never to accept invitations and to ignore requests for help from any Tibetan Buddhist group or teacher. The NKT is mentioned several times in an academic pamphlet on religious extremism in UK universities.   The NKT functions like a ‘spiritual franchise’; each NKT centre or business is a member of the ‘Kadampa Buddhist Union’, is financially independent of the NKT and sustains any losses locally while all profits are passed directly to the NKT through the ‘International Temples Fund’. Each centre has to follow the ‘NKT Constitution’ and ‘Internal Rules’. There are exceptions [See ‘Who runs the NKT?]   The NKT’s main daily spiritual practice chosen by Kelsang Gyatso is a Guru prayer to Je Tsongkhapa combined with prayers to Shugden, a Tibetan protector whose propitiation began in the 18th century amongst an elite male group of Gelug tantric meditators. The practice became popular during the 20th century until it was seen as provocative of sectarian dispute.

How is the NKT set up legally?

The purpose of the NKT is to ‘increase Buddhist faith in the world’ by ‘promoting the activities of the union of Kadampa Buddhist Centres known as the NKT-IKBU’, to ‘introduce the Buddhist Faith of the New Kadampa Tradition publicly’, to ‘exemplify Buddhist practice by service to the public’ and to ’emphasize the development’ of affiliated ‘Kadampa centres’, ‘publishing activities’ and ‘companies’.   The NKT and each of its subsidiary businesses (such as centres) in the UK are registered as both a ‘company’ and a ‘charity’ (giving them tax free status). All ‘NKT’ centres are therefore independent businesses that are ‘spiritually affiliated’ with the NKT but are legally and financially independent entities. In other countries, a similar ‘independence’ is set up according to local laws. Local directors of NKT centres are the persons responsible in case of loss while the NKT generally takes no responsibility. Exceptions are the one remaining ‘Kadampa Hotel’ in Holland and the ‘Kadampa Primary School’; the former runs at a loss as did the latter until 2014. The Spanish (and its subsidiary Taiwanese) company owned by the NKT ran at a loss in 2014. The NKT also owns the London Kadampa Meditation Centre (KMC) and the German International Retreat Centre (IRC).   As stated by NKT sources, the ‘business lineage’ of the NKT is considered equally as important as the spiritual in furthering the aims of the charity.

How big is the NKT?

The NKT has roughly 48 affiliated residential ‘Kadampa Buddhist’ (KBC) and ‘Kadampa Meditation’ (KMC) centres in the UK, 50 in the US, and more than 120 in the rest of the world. Approximately 600 venues are temporarily rented, often only by the hour, for giving classes. Even adding the temporary venues this does not add up to the ‘1,100 centres and groups’ the NKT claims that Kelsang Gyatso has established. The ‘World Peace Temples’ are temple buildings that are within the 16 Kadampa Meditation Centres such as that at Manjushri KMC, the ‘mother centre’ of the NKT. There are 3 international retreat centres, 32 World Peace Cafes, one ‘Kadampa Hotel’ in Holland and a children’s ‘Kadampa Primary School’ in England. Tharpa publishing company, which only publishes Kelsang Gyatso’s books and translates these into other languages including Chinese, has affiliates and distributes world wide. Profits are also collected from the NKT’s worldwide festivals and celebrations and through selling statues made in the Kadampa Art Studio at Manjushri.

Where does the NKT’s money go?

Every NKT business has the same intention as stated in the NKT’s ‘Internal Rules’ – ‘flourishing Kadam Dharma’ – all profits are directed to their ‘International Temples Fund’ (ITF) – which aims to create a New Kadampa Tradition temple in every major city in the world.   Public accounts clarifying the specific activities and decisions of the International Temple Fund (ITF) are not available. To get some information about how these funds are collected from each NKT subsidiary and what they are used for it is necessary to view the financial accounts and websites of each NKT centre/business.   The ITF can only be seen as a few figures in the final section of accounts for the ‘New Kadampa Tradition’. At the end of 2013, the ITF had £2.8 million designated funds with £14.7 million available as unrestricted funds giving a total of £17.5 million. Including this, the NKT had a total declared fund of £20.7 million.   This does not reflect the real value of the NKT as if the NKT decides that any affiliated centre or business should be sold, all profit will revert to the ITF. Although NKT income had generally decreased in 2014, the ITF had risen to £18.6 million by December 2014.   There are now a number of NKT teachers who have taught using Kelsang Gyatso’s methods for over thirty years. NKT ‘Resident Teachers’ – one for each NKT centre – are not funded by the NKT but by their local centres who also pay for the costs of their teacher’s international travel and study with the NKT. The NKT has no pension or retirement policy, no hospice and gives no job security.   Due to this lack of support for NKT teachers and administrators and the pervasive use of volunteers, overheads are very low at only 6% of income in 2013.

How do NKT centres start?

Funds are collected locally with inspiring campaigns ‘for world peace’ and the opportunity to ‘spread the pure Dharma of Je Tsongkhapa’ and then interest-free loans may be given if the ITF considers a new centre viable. For instance, there is currently a ‘Train 50 teachers for London’ campaign and fundraising for plans to build a NKT ‘London Temple’ in Wimbledon with £800,000 allocated as a grant from the International Temples Fund. Unusually, this London centre was bought by the NKT in 2014 – new centres most often acquire their own mortgages. The older residential centres in the UK were started by using live-in volunteers who renovated large, empty buildings bought cheaply by the NKT. These volunteers lived mainly on state benefits. English Heritage and local council funding have been given to help with renovations as the buildings were ‘listed’ (protected) and the NKT provided needed new accommodation.   The largest centre the NKT has – the ‘mother centre’ Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre in Cumbria, UK – was actually bought by the FPMT, another Tibetan Buddhist group, in 1975. In a deeply contentious dispute, Kelsang Gyatso kept Manjushri for his own purposes, even though he reportedly already had another residential centre given to him in York. According to oral accounts, his stated intention from the late 1970s in the UK – he arrived in 1977 – has been to promote ‘pure Dharma’ by creating his own ‘independent’ centres.

How does the NKT expand so easily?

These earlier, large NKT residential centres are frequently remortgaged to send funds to the ITF. Bodhisattva Centre in Brighton sent £429,530 in 2013 as a loan, having remortgaged the centre for £522,032. This cost is then covered locally by charges for teachings and accommodation. Centre residents often temporarily ‘give up’ their rooms to be rented during main NKT teaching courses producing a ‘double’ rent. There are no discounts or free teachings for ordained sangha or concessions for low income students. Even working holiday visitors can be asked to pay for teachings.   The NKT, through the ‘International Temples Fund’, is continually expanding its international property portfolio. It is not clear who makes the decisions about which properties to buy. Kelsang Gyatso previously secretly visited projected temple sites in person but this is no longer the case.   According to centre websites, in 2014, the International Temples Fund (ITF) spent $4.75 million on two new centres in the US; one a street away from Hollywood Boulevard and the other in the Hamptons, New York State.   Teachers for NKT centres are trained very quickly compared to teachers in any other Buddhist tradition. Students learn techniques to ‘transmit’ Kelsang Gyatso’s books to others. The ‘Special Teacher Training Programme’ [STTP] in London or online takes only 2 years. The residential programme at Manjushri only lasts 6 months. The requirement for entering the training is mainly ‘faith’, not any specific study or time spent in the NKT. Once on the training programme you can be asked to teach even if you have not completed any course; you only need to express the intention to complete it. No other training is given to or qualification taken by either teachers or administrators.

How does the NKT keep control of so many centres and teachers?

The NKT General Spiritual Director appoints and ‘authorises’ a resident teacher for every NKT centre in the world. Each resident teacher then decides who else is authorised to teach at their local centre. Resident teachers do not normally have any employment outside NKT centres and are often the only people maintained by a centre.   The NKT system is kept consistent by the study programmes which focus on simplified and highly edited traditional Tibetan Buddhist texts with commentaries by Kelsang Gyatso. NKT teachers have to memorise and teach from these books. In many ways ‘the book is the teacher’ and if NKT teachers deviate from this style they are at risk of losing their teaching roles. Each summer the resident teachers are required to be in residence at Manjushri and all of those living outside the UK, even the most senior teachers, study on Neil Elliott’s London ‘STTP’ [Special Teacher Training Programme] online.   Studies and exams are often repeated and the more complex books are seldom taught. Very few NKT teachers have finished the original TTP study of 12 books; the STTP has only 6. Students are encouraged to think of themselves as empowered ‘by the lineage’ and to be giving the ‘oral transmission’ of the texts to others. The teachings are given in a very simple, repetitive way and the accompanying meditations and sung prayers are in a slow ‘new age’ style. Ex members recall these for decades afterwards.   The NKT gives very little ongoing supervision to resident teachers. This means that although the study programmes are systematic, each resident teacher has complete personal freedom to behave as they wish in their local centre. The NKT will only check if there are ‘complaints’. There is no system of training in ethical behaviour based on the Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Vinaya (code of ethics).

How can I identify an NKT centre?

Avoiding online criticisms of ‘the NKT’ in social media, newspapers, academia and by ex NKT followers the NKT have often repackaged their promotion. For universities, schools or health services they call themselves ‘Modern Buddhism’ or ‘Kadampa Buddhism’, ‘Modern Buddhism and Meditation’, ‘Meditate In London, etc. Local centres do not often mention ‘NKT’ in their ads. Instead they use their individual names such as Heruka Kadampa Meditation Centre, Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre, Kadampa Buddhist Centre, etc.

Who runs the NKT?

Power in the NKT is concentrated. The trustees of the NKT, who manage the NKT/ITF’s extensive funds, are the General Spiritual Director (GSD), and the Deputy Spiritual Director as well as two other NKT students. The executive officers are the Secretary and Deputy Secretaries of the NKT, the Secretary of the GSD and a treasurer.   The Finance Committee is made up from these same 8 people. The NKT Secretary and Deputy Secretary also function as the Kadampa Meditation Centre and Temple Development directors. This gives them three roles each.   The Education Council is made up of the ‘members’ of the NKT and consists of Kelsang Gyatso, each NKT centre and every resident teacher in the world. It is managed by the GSD and the NKT Secretary. Conflicts can be solved easily as all NKT teachers are appointed by the GSD and can be fired immediately and any changes that a local centre may try to make have to be authorised by all the members of the Education Council. The GSD is also a named Spiritual Director of every NKT centre. Where there have been serious conflicts which involved the Charity Commission in the UK, a threat of arrest for unsubstantiated charges of fraud was made by the police against one local director because he did not agree with NKT policy. The NKT has 27 paid employees. Who those employees are and what their salaries and responsibilities are cannot be determined from the trustees’ reports.   Neil Elliott, the teacher of the online STTP in London, is teaching all the international Resident Teachers instead of, as would be expected, the GSD, who only trains them for 2 weeks each summer. Neil was previously the ‘heart disciple’ of Kelsang Gyatso but he resigned and disrobed amidst allegations of sexual misconduct in 1996. According to the NKT Internal Rules, no one who disrobes is allowed to teach again in the NKT. It seems that the NKT can ignore its own constitution when this is convenient.

Why are people attracted to the NKT?

In the UK, the NKT offers a very ‘British’ experience – tea, gardens and ‘pure’, simple meditation teachings with very few foreign words given by friendly teachers of your own nationality and culture. The NKT tries to use teachers from each culture in their home countries. Practising Dharma, even sophisticated tantric practices, is made easy and comfortable.   Increasing personal satisfaction developed from meditating is linked up by the NKT with their project of ‘world peace’ – for promoting NKT ‘pure Dharma’ and creating temples all over the world. It is easy to feel you are being useful and compassionate if you support this.

What do the NKT celebrate?

The NKT have their own system of celebratory events unaligned to the Tibetan Buddhist calendar and do not go to any historically Buddhist places, such as Bodhgaya, on pilgrimage. Followers are only encouraged to attend NKT festivals.

How many New Kadampas are there?

There is no clear data on how many followers, students or centre residents the NKT has. The legal membership is mentioned under ‘Who runs the NKT’? The largest NKT centre is Manjushri KMC with approximately 90 live-in students; Bodhisattva KMC has less than thirty. UK centres tend to be residential; international centres tend to be smaller with space only for the teacher and a few others.   The NKT’s main International Festivals are the Spring and Summer Festivals held at Manjushri KMC and the Fall Festival held at different centres each year, often where a new temple is being opened. NKT data for festival attendance and profit is as follows:   2014 Spring: 1,400 Summer: over 2,000 Fall: no data (New York) Profit: £741,670 (Profits from New York were kept by the New York World Peace Temple/KMC)   2013 Spring: 1,100 Summer: 2,500 Fall: 6,900 (Portugal) (Announced as Kelsang Gyatso’s last appearance in public) Profit: £998,981   2012 Spring: 1,400 Summer: 2,220 Fall: 750 (Spain) Profit: £836,135

How many people visit NKT centres?

Manjushri KMC, as a building of historic as well as religious interest, has a full programme of community access including guided tours and school visits. Most of these are charged. 2014: 15,000 adults, 2,000 children (900 Girl Guides) and another 900 on tours 2103: 13,800 adults and 2,225 children 2012: 13,500 adults and 2,200 children 2011: Under 11,000   Other NKT centres have open days and free short drop in meditation sessions to encourage visitors as well as facilitating school visits which are charged.

What are the complications of going to NKT classes?

A first contact with Buddhist teachings can transform lives – but this is mainly attributed to Kelsang Gyatso and the NKT, not to Buddha or to Tibetan Buddhism. Students are soon made to feel they should ‘return the kindness of the Guru’ in giving them the NKT centres and the NKT’s ‘special’ Dharma by working for and giving to a centre as well as helping others to do so.   Special, exclusive commitments to the NKT are added to the ‘simple Buddhist path’ the NKT teach through the tantric and refuge vows students are soon expected to take if they wish their path to enlightenment to be faster. These commitments oblige students to practice Shugden prayers and meditations daily, to promote the NKT Dharma and not to criticise the NKT. Ordination vows keep the ordained tied to the NKT. Their ordination is not to ‘Buddha’ but to the NKT with Kelsang Gyatso as their spiritual guide for all future lives.   Kelsang Gyatso gives a simple ordination of ten promises based on avoiding 5 non virtues and ‘practising contentment’ and celibacy. This ‘transforms’ into ‘full’ ordination only by following the NKT path and changing one’s motivation, not by taking more vows, as is the case in all other ‘full’ Buddhist ordinations.   A sense of obligation and loyalty to the NKT develops that in practice becomes ‘obedience’ to ‘Geshe-la’s (Kelsang Gyatso’s) wishes’. Followers also describe feeling they are ‘special’ because they are committed to a ‘special’, unique and fast path which they consider superior to any Tibetan Buddhist presentation.

What will paying for NKT classes and volunteering in the NKT promote?

Money given to the NKT will expand and promote the NKT all over the world – without respecting the Human Rights of NKT followers who are volunteering for the organisation. There are no labour rights, pension schemes, etc. Any NKT teacher can be asked to leave their role immediately without any recompense for their work.   Money given for meditation classes will also be contributing to protests against the Dalai Lama – NKT teachers are living on stipends from their local NKT centres whilst protesting as ‘members of the ISC’. Each NKT centre pays the costs of its own resident teacher, not the NKT. Therefore, to prove that a centre has no involvement with the protests, each one would have to prove either that their resident teacher did not attend the protests or that whilst attending the customary NKT stipend was not paid to their teacher.

Why is it difficult to leave the NKT?

NKT ordination cannot be transferred. NKT teachings have an intense focus on the special purity of their own presentation that often prevents a stress free appreciation of other teachings. People easily feel guilty about ‘breaking vows’ and a deep sense of loss at losing their NKT roles and NKT Dharma. Leaving the group may mean starting a completely new social life. People may have given all their savings to the NKT and not worked in an ordinary career for decades. Some may have, simply, nowhere else to go.

What do ex NKT followers report?

People can become ‘addicted’ to the NKT world view in which activities outside the NKT world become ‘meaningless’. Personal ambition can easily become deeply attached to the NKT project of world expansion and the role of ‘being a Buddhist teacher’. Ex NKT followers frequently mention anxiety, depression and exhaustion caused by overwork and coping with unrealistic expectations from senior NKT teachers and managers only trained in promoting the NKT. There is no other training in counselling, administrative or executive skills. There is no ‘duty of care’ towards any teacher or student in the NKT.

What concerns about Shugden does the Dalai Lama have?

His Holiness does not say that no one should practice Shugden but is warning against the possible consequences of doing so. In certain cases the practice of Shugden can lead to a deeply sectarian exaggeration of the ‘purity’ of a particular kind of Buddhism, destroying unity between practitioners as well as affecting their health and leading towards the breaking of refuge vows. Therefore, for their well being, he recommends that his own tantric students do not practice Shugden.

Is the NKT Tibetan?

The NKT stated recently that they are an ‘independent Western Buddhist tradition’ and that ‘the NKT is not Tibetan Buddhism but Western Buddhism’. It should be questioned then, why NKT monks and nuns are given Tibetan names and use Tibetan Buddhist ordination robes.   The NKT state that their ‘spiritual practice’ is based on the study programmes of ‘Buddha’s teachings of sutra and tantra‘. However Kelsang Gyatso, the NKT’s founder and ‘ordaining master’ is only a Buddhist teacher on the basis of his own Tibetan Buddhist training and ordination as a Tibetan Buddhist monk.   The NKT state that ‘there is no connection whatsoever between this spiritual tradition and the Dalai Lama’ but Kelsang Gyatso is known to have attended teachings from the Dalai Lama whilst he was studying.

Is there a precedent for NKT students or Shugden practitioners having to ‘choose’ between the advice of different teachers?

The ISC campaign states that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has made Shugden practitioners suffer as they have been forced to choose between keeping their Shugden commitments, which may be family and/or Guru based, and following His Holiness’ advice. However, when Kelsang Gyatso was finalising the creation of his own tradition in the early 1990s, residents at Manjushri Institute (later KMC) were forced to choose between Kelsang Gyatso and any other teacher they might follow. Kelsang Gyatso claimed exclusivity.   It is unthinkable for the Dalai Lama or any ethical Tibetan teacher to demand exclusivity.

Why are the protests against the Dalai Lama so defamatory?

If the NKT are not ‘Tibetan’ and the Dalai Lama’s view of Shugden is only a request to followers committed to his tantric initiation practices, then why should the NKT in the guise of the ISC continue to protest using unethical but legal protest techniques such as ridicule and noise?   There is documentation showing that the use of ‘ridicule’ is a deliberate ISC policy promoted by senior NKT members most probably due to the lack of serious evidence that can be verified by third parties to support their exaggerated claims. Within the last year ISC followers have claimed both ‘six million’, ‘four million’ and now only ‘many thousands’ of Shugden practitioners suffering from abuses supposedly caused by His Holiness’s advice on Shugden.

Why has the ISC changed its four points?

The ISC recently changed its four points; demands made to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The ISC had claimed continuing ‘persecution’ and ‘prejudice’ and called for the return of the Shugden monks to their monasteries. The ISC no longer calls for the return of the monks. Shugden monks in India are now content with separate institutions as this policy managed by the monasteries through democratic voting has been successful. There is now very little evidence of any direct conflict in the streets of Bykaluppe. NKT monks and nuns have far fewer rights within the NKT than any monk at Shar Gaden and Serpom – the Shugden monasteries in India.

Why are the protests damaging for the Tibetan cause?

The protests create confusion about Tibetan Buddhism and the role the Dalai Lama has in Tibetan society. Buddhism is embedded in Tibetan culture and the management of a country using the ethics of spiritual practice is seen as deeply valuable. The ISC campaign minimises and ridicules the Dalai Lama’s concern for his people as ‘political’.   Importantly, the protests deflect attention from the abhorrent and documented persecution of Tibetans within China that Human Rights organisations such as Amnesty International so clearly reveal.   The Chinese government supports Shugden and creates further conflict within Tibetan society – third party evidence can be found of people being imprisoned for criticising Shugden worship.

What are the benefits of the protests for the NKT?

Both in 1996-7 and in 2008 the NKT organised demonstrations against His Holiness the Dalai Lama that coincided with the public exposure on the internet of the alleged sexual misconduct of Deputy Spiritual Directors of the NKT who in each case were ordained monks.   His Holiness has not changed his general advice on Shugden since 1996 except to suggest a referendum on Shugden in 2008. Facilitating the independence of Shugden followers stemmed increasing conflict. Therefore what caused NKT followers to start their demonstrations and defamations again in 2014? A possible cause is another crisis of power; the need for cohesion when a strong ‘good image’ at the pinnacle of the NKT is missing; Kelsang Gyatso has not been seen in public nor appeared in any videos or photos since October 2013, nor has his death been announced. Followers are only told what are ‘Geshe-la’s wishes’ and are expected to follow them.   Protests against the Dalai Lama increase solidarity and pride within the ISC/NKT. This reinforces the protesters’ sense of being ‘heroic’ and ‘victimised Kadampas’ saving Tibetans from ‘impure Dharma’ and the ‘mixing of politics with religion’. Surely a concern for the well being of his own people is a sign of the compassion of a spiritual leader not of his corruption?   The protests also keep NKT followers distanced from understanding the non sectarian approach of the Dalai Lama – the protesters are ignorant of Tibetan history, culture and Buddhist practice. The giving up of personal independence to the ‘perfect Guru’ and his intentions are NKT practices through which they mistakenly see and judge Tibetan Buddhist practice and practitioners. They deeply misunderstand the open, humanitarian and tolerant ethos of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Why are there demonstrations against His Holiness the Dalai Lama?

In Tibetan Buddhism there is no expectation that any person should follow the instructions of a teacher they do not respect. The ISC/NKT followers show no respect for His Holiness so there is no expectation whatsoever that they should follow his advice. Tibetan Shugden Buddhists in India either practice independently of His Holiness or they follow his advice; some now live in independent Shugden monasteries and others simply practice Shugden in private to keep their family or other commitments. Shugden monasteries have the proven support of His Holiness and their Tibetan monastic institutions of origin promoted their independence. The needs of Shugden practitioners have been respected. There is no substantial evidence of Human Rights abuses. Any serious conflict relating to Shugden has dissipated.   However, followers of the Dalai Lama are still subject to the harassment of loud drumming and shouting which, whenever legally possible, have been happily used by NKT/ISC followers to prevent His teachings from being heard peacefully in the west. NKT, ex NKT and others are also subject to continuous attempts at silencing any criticism of the NKT/ISC. Social media is covered with NKT/ISC anti Dalai Lama defamations. The NKT/ISC’s own behaviour displays what His Holiness warns against as a possible consequence of Shugden practice – divisive sectarian behaviour. It is precisely this kind of behaviour that creates more fear and puts Shugden practitioners into disrepute.   It is no longer possible for ISC protesters to insist they are ‘behaving independently’ of the NKT when, instead of teaching meditation, senior NKT teachers are following His Holiness around the world. What business or spiritual organisation would allow its members so much freedom to follow concerns it did not share?   If the NKT’s ‘Modern Buddhists’ really have no debt or connection to Tibetan Buddhism, as they say, then surely they should acknowledge their lack of knowledge of Tibetan ways of being. But then on what grounds can they claim to have exclusive access to the ‘only pure Dharma’ of Je Tsongkhapa – a Tibetan teacher whose lineage they claim to follow without studying his books and methods – and upon what right can they then claim to have the wisdom to judge His Holiness so harshly?   Perhaps NKT followers suffer nostalgia for the roots they have cut. Recently published public accounts show that the NKT has lost considerable income in the last year. Tibetan Buddhism, via His Holiness, continues to flourish outside the Tibetan world.   Carol McQuire New Kadampa Survivors September 13th 2015

Testimony from Lama Tseda (former regional excutive member of Regional Shugden Society)

Threat to His Holiness the Dalai Lama from Shugden fanatics: The Undeniable Evidence of Chinese government’s plot. I would like to say Tashi Delek to all the fellow Tibetans inside and outside Tibet. My name is Tsering Tashi, some people call me Lama Tseta. My hometown is Lithang. I thought it is not right if I don’t share what I know to my fellow Tibetans. When I see some people using the Dolgyal issue to collude with communist China and destroy the Tibetan community and vilify His Holiness the Dalai Lama beyond limits, I couldn’t bear and feel that by voluntarily relating what I know to the public it might have great benefit. There are many dedicated and courageous people amongst us Tibetans who explain and clarify the Dolgyal issue to the public, I thought that even I can voluntarily share my knowledge on this issue which will benefit the public. This is because, I have friends among those who join hands with Communist China by using Dolgyal issue, and have personal contact and know a lot of secrets of those Dolgyal followers. Therefore, I feel that if I explain the issue, it will be of immense benefit. After arriving in India from Tibet, I enrolled in Pomra Khangtsen of Sera Mey. There were many shugden propitiators in Pomra Khangtsen. After some years, in 1997, Panglung Gyalchen Kuten, who resides in Taiwan and who appoints all officials, had appointed me as one of the four officials. In the year 1999, I was appointed as the Chairman of Regional Shugden Society by Shugden and through this, I came into contact with Shugden. Neither do I have faith in Shugden, nor believe in it. I clearly know that Shugden is fake and cannot go into a trance. This is because, in the year 1997, I was appointed as one of four officials in Pomra Khangtsen, and in the year 1999, I was appointed as the chairman and thus started my connection with them. My relationship with shugden propitiators was first initiated after I was appointed by Shugden himself. The main reason why I have to explain about the way of working is that they maintain connection with communist China. The Chinese Communists clearly know that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the jewel of the world, central nerve of Tibetan people, and savior on the issue of existence or death of Tibet. Therefore, China always tells the shugden propitiators that the Dalai Lamas from the 1st to the 13th are not your enemies; the 14th Dalai lama is your enemy and also the enemy of Chinese Communists. Therefore, we must work together in confronting him. Such advices are made. The people to whom they give these advises are those few evil people who regularly demonstrate around the world. I cannot bear it if I don’t explain knowing about their many activities in different parts of the world. Also, as a Tibetan, this will also have a bearing on my Karmic consequences. Since from a young age of 16 until 80, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has worked tirelessly for the welfare of Tibetan people and these people do not appreciate the benevolence of HHDL and instead do such things and, especially, when a Tibetan demonstrate against HHDL, I cannot bear at all. Earlier, the Chinese Communists have used many young Chinese students to demonstrate, however when these youngsters became more knowledgeable and had opportunity to meet HHDL and ask questions, they became aware of truth and the understanding of the great activities of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who always thinks of every being in the universe, who promotes religious harmony, and works for world peace. Therefore this led to the decrease in the number of Chinese participating in the demonstration. Thus, China saw the best opportunity of using Dolgyal propitiators in our Tibetan community, financed them and gave them unlimited tasks. Therefore, since I am one of peoples who know these works being carried out in Tibetan community, I thought it wouldn’t be right not to share this information. This is the main reason I am sharing the information. When they first contacted China, they did with two departments. One was the United Front Work Department and other one is the Lhasa City Public Security Bureau. When establishing contact with the Lhasa City Public Security Bureau, it was Kunchok Gyaltsen, Gen Sangser(Gelek Gyatso, who currently lives in Delhi), and me, who went to Nepal to meet their officials. From their side, there were two of them namely Li San and Phunam. When we met them, we gave them few conditions from our side saying that that we’ve around 20,000 shugden propitiators and we will submit ourselves to China, we will do whatever CPC tells us, we won’t follow His Holiness the Dalai Lama; we are not struggling for Tibet’s independence, and that we will accept the Panchen Lama recognised by China. These conditions were given to them through Lhasa City Public Security Bureau. After few months, we got reply saying that you have already contacted China’s United Front Work Department through Gangchen Lama, now you can send us confidential information of Central Tibetan Administration’s etc. You can directly contact with United Front Work Department. From then onwards, Delhi shugden society and China’s United Front Work Department established direct connection. The one who’s advising and assigning the tasks on their side is the person name Zhu Pu Zhang, his Chinese name is Zhu Weiqun. The Tibetan official’s name is Sithar. The person who contacts with them from Chinese embassy in Delhi is Wangdu from Gyalthang. Sithar is from Derge; he is the Vice Minister of the United Front Work Department. Earlier when they contacted him, he was called the Director (Ju-zhang) of Bureau no. 2 (Er-ju). From then onwards, if shugden society needs money, they get it through Gangchen Lama. They can get directly by going there or they can collect from Chinese embassy. This is how they started their relationship; this is how Shugden society ’s central committee started having direct connection with China. As far as I know, Nagpo Gyatso, Athar Tsering and people like them had contact with China from way back. Before coming to US, Athar Tsering was one of the key people of Kunchok Gyaltsen. He has contact with China personally as well as officially. Officially means having connections in the name of shugden society with United Front Work Department and personally he has connection with Chinese intelligence. Even Nagpo Gyatso is like that. He went back to Tibet from India and when he came back to India, Indian intelligence came to know about his work and didn’t allow him in India. Thus he went to Chinese embassy in Nepal and informed everything. He was then assisted by Nepalese government and was sent back to Lhasa. From Lhasa with help from United Front Work Department, he came to US. He is someone who has contact with China from before. After arriving in US, he started vilifying HHDL, creating dissension amongst Tibetans, working for disunity amongst the community, and to create conflicts amongst religious groups by vilifying religious leaders and spreading disinformation by deliberately labelling certain people as shugden worshippers, who actually are not. Thus, these kind of creating discord in the Tibetan society are duties given by China. Since their main work is to create dissension within Tibetan society, it is very dangerous and Tibetan public must be cautious of such acts. Secondly, concerning His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s personal safety , earlier they plotted to kill four people and in the list were Samdhong Rinpoche, Khamtrul Rinpoche, Ku-ngo Tara, Head of the Institute for Buddhist Dialectical Studies Lobsang Gyatso, and Khamtrul Rinpoche consisting of four people. From the lists, one was already killed, who was head of the Institute for Buddhist Dialectical Studies. Later, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso as the lead, Ngalama, Tritul, Gangchen, Kunchok Gyaltsen, Chatreng Yeshi and Chime inserted His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s name and made it five. They’ve killed the head of the Institute for Buddhist Dialectical Studies but didn’t get an opportunity to touch the other four. However, if an opportunity is got, they will surely kill HHDL. This is because, Athar Tsering keeps saying this to many people. He says one day he will kill the Dalai Lama. He once told a businessman that he will be paid huge amount by the Chinese Governmentif he’s able to kill His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Like this, their work got worst and worst, while their relationship with China became stronger. It is hundred per cent certain that acting on behalf of the Chinese Communists, they create differences within Tibetan people and threaten the life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I am saying this with clear proof and photographs. A person claiming to be Lama named Dechen Trulku, who these days vilifies HHDL without any restraint initially do not have special contact with China. Later he got married to a sister of Nagpo Gyatso. After that he was introduced to the United Front Work Department and Lhasa City Public Security Bureau. He thus got the all these tasks from the China with the help of Nagpo Gyatso and I can say that categorically. Since I have travelled with Nagpo Gyatso, I am well aware of all his contacts with China. The person whom Athar Tsering contacts in Chinese embassy is a Chinese man named Mr. Wang, who is fluent in Tibetan. He’s the one who gives money to Athar Tsering. He is well supported by Chinese embassy and he has both Chinese and Nepalese passports. Nepalese passport is procured through their own means, whereas Chinese passport is easily given to them by China. Phabongkha Rinpoche travels numerous times to China and is being assisted by China many times. Phabongkha cannot be blamed because, Kunchok Gyaltsen and Chatreng Yeshi have threatened him saying that if you do not stay nicely propitiating shugden, we will not let you off easily. The warning is clearly recorded in a tape recorder. Phabongkha is coward and is scared. All their work is for the Communist China and they do not have even a small dedication for Tibet and Tibetan people and their work is merely to destroy. There’s not even a single person who thinks of promoting the activities of Phabongkha and Trichang Rinpoche. They merely say shugden is a deity but in truth they do not do any work in propitiating shugden. Their main tasks have been to malign someone who is dedicated to the Central Tibtetan Administration, vilify His Holiness the Dalai Lama without any restrain, and create dissension within Tibetan society. To date their activities have been merely to do these activities. Therefore, it made me think that that it would be completely wrong from my side if I don’t explain it now. I know they have contact with China and I thought the time has come for me to reveal what I know and so I had to do so. There’s a Phelgyeling abbot named Gen Thardoe. He has close contact with China and had been to China many times. We have gone together, too. He’s already taken all the money China has given him. He established contact with China and we both went together to China many times. We met Chinese leaders, we met Zhu Pu Zhang and Sithar. The most important work is, in Nepal the Chinese intelligence have established two restaurants and a travel agency, which provides permits to tourists going to China. There are few Tibetans who work for the Lhasa City Public Bureau Security. Some are in a hotel named Rai-sing. The cook in that restaurant works for the Chinese intelligence and so is the cashier. Other than few service men who are Nepalese, rest of them are those working for the Chinese intelligence. The restaurant is the place where they meet; Athar Tsering and Chinese intelligence officials have met there many times. The restaurant is located on the 7th floor and there’s a small dining room inside that restaurant. If they meet inside that small room, nobody will know. There’s one restaurant near the palace of Nepalese king that was started by the Chinese intelligence and there are a few such places. Another issue is that, after killing the master of the Institute for Buddhist Dialectical Studies, since they didn’t pay the assassinators on time, Lobsang Phuntsok came specifically to Nepal from Tibet to collect money. When problems arose after he arrived in Nepal, Phabongka Rinpoche, Gen Thardoe and ChoezayTingay, the chairman of shugden society in Nepal, spoke to Lobsang Phuntsok saying that it wouldn’t be good if he creates issue since this is too dangerous and at the end managed to send him back to China. Thus they have used such people to kill people where killing is required, beaten many people who needed to be beaten. Actually they did wicked things. I have worked in this, including as the chairman. I clearly know it. I have both photographs and proofs. I have both Nepalese and Chinese passports. I went many times with them and worked many times for them. Since they didn’t pull back from doing such unrestrained action and stood against the Tibetan people, I would not be at ease if I am not able to explain the truth to the Tibetan public without even thinking about my life. I have spoken today sacrificing my life. If anything ever happens to me, there is no one else to suspect other than the Dholgyal propitiators. If they get a chance, it is hundred per cent certain that they would want to kill me. This is because my speaking out has revealed many of their secrets. I am one of their people to work on shugden and among the key people to travel to China. Even Dragom Rinpoche has contact with Lhasa City Public Security Bureau. I was with him when he went to meet Lhasa City Public Security Bureau. Their objective is to keep relationship with the Chinese intelligence; they don’t have thoughts for the Tibetan people, and do not think of the Gelug doctrine. Geshe Kelsang, Gangchen, Nga Lama and Tritul etc for the sake of their own name, manipulates people who dislike His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who do not appreciate their own religious lineage. They try to present their religious lineage beyond limits as if they are superior to Buddha. Thus to protect such self-created position, they manipulate random followers of shugden. It would be very sad if we do not know the truth because they keep meeting senior CPC’s leaders and they have established a large shugden association in China. A former monk of Sera Pomra Khangtsen, named Tenzin Palchok, has established close relationship with China and these days he travels to and fro. Likewise, Thupten Phurbu has allied with China and has established a large shugden association in China. China’s central government bears their expenses, and also China has appointed Thupten Phurbu to keep in contact with high lamas abroad. He meets Geshe Kelsang, Gonsar in Switzerland, Gangchen, reincarnation of Trichang Rinpoche etc and he does various work and reports to China. They join hands like dogs with wolves and creates an enormous enemy against Tibetan people, and leave a large black mark. It is very dangerous if we don’t know of this. If we really think well, we are on the verge of life or death. Even though the Tibetan people are at such a critical stage of suffering, His Holiness the Dalai Lama single-handedly worked to save Tibet. China is well aware of this and since His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s activities on this world are strengthening day by day, they are trying to manipulate countries and through these countries to undermine our strength. Due to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s blessings, instead of rather than being able to undermine his activities, they are strengthening day by day. Assuming that the Shugden issue as the best opportunity, it is hundred per cent certain that whatever resources needed are being spent by the Chinese intelligence and the United Front Work Department to educate and cultivate them, and assigning them various tasks through which it creates discord within the Tibetan community. My biggest wish is that we Tibetans become aware of such issue. It is the Chinese government that is behind the establishment of so called Tibetan Public Talk and which bears the expenses. It is clear that the Chinese government bears all the expenses of the Tibetan Public Talk and the demonstration wherever HHDL visits. This is because they laid the plan in 2005. They apprised the Central Government, Zhu Weiqun and Sithar, in 2005 that they would vilify His Holiness the Dalai Lama and demonstrate against him in 2008 and would heed whatever China tells them to do. They mentioned this in 2005 and plans were completed for demonstrations in 2008. Their response was that if you could drag the Dalai Lama to court and demonstrate , we will spent any amount of expenses that is required. This is what I’ve actually heard and seen. I clearly know what Zhu Puzhang a.k.a. Zhu Weiqun himself said when he came to Nepal. Nagpo Gyatso, Dechen Trulku and Athar Tsering are merely joining hands with the Chinese Communists. They do not believe in Shugden nor have faith in Trichang Rinpoche or Phabongka Rinpoche. Within the Shugden propitiating community, lamas like Trichang Rinpoche and Phabongka Rinpoche are being used for financial gain. They do not have faith in Gelug, and nor is it for the Shugden issue. It’s just for the sake of getting money and monetary gain. When Athar Tsering was in the monastery, not knowing how to go about things, the ones who taught him, educated him, were his two tutors, who are the ones heeding the counsel of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. They both are masters who heed the counsel of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Likewise, so called Dechen Trulku’s tutor is someone who heeds the counsel of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He would regularly advice all his disciples that they must heed advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and those who don’t heed would not be allowed to stay in Gosog Ladrang. Gosog Rinpoche Sungrab Gyatso expels those disciples who do not heed His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s advice, and so the so called Dechen Truku had already been expelled from Ladrang a long time back. The reason that they didn’t listen to their teacher and did those things is for money and politics; it is difficult to accept that they did these because they have actual faith and belief and acceptance of religion. CPC’s spirit has entered in them. Even Nagpo Gyatso is like this. He took his monk’s ordination from of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Even though he became an ordained monk in front of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, he raises slogans asking His Holiness the Dalai Lama not to lie; it is clear that he does not believe in religious practice. The work they are doing poses a threat to the life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. When they were in the Monastic institution, if we look at who their tutors were, from whom did they receive their novice monk’s ordination, from whom they receive their ordained monk’s ordination, which lamas did they seek as their teachers, it will be clear that it is on account of money and politics. We can know that they are being used by the Chinese Communists. When the letter, stating that there are more than 10,00 0shugden propitiators, and that they be allowed to go to China, was presented, the United Front Work Department said that it is more useful to the Central Government if you the more than 20,000 people stay back in India and undertake activities there. It’s of no use coming back. To support Shugden propitiators in China, we can relax the policy in the monasteries. However, you must continue demonstrating against His Holiness the Dalai Lama since our enemy is same. Communist China’s enemy is the 14th Dalai Lama, your enemy is also the 14th Dalai Lama. We must eliminate him. They have said this. They work on the basis of saying such things. Whatever CPC is saying, some evil people in dolgyal society have sold out all the Dholgyal propitiators to China. The Dholgyal society has been undertaking activities that create dissension within the Tibetan community and pose a threat to the life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. We must all watch carefully as they are currently undertaking activities in various foreign countries on behalf of the Chinese Communists that harm the Tibetan people and Tibetan nation. Otherwise, at this point of life and death situation for the Tibetan people, it is only because of the efforts solely by His Holiness the Dalai Lama that we are able to walk around with our head raised high. Every Tibetan should be aware of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s tireless work from the age of 16 years until now. Every Tibetan must be aware of his life in danger wherever we go. If peace has to prevail throughout the world in general, everyone has a duty to protect his life. We must be careful and watchful of such people. They will make contact and create discord within Tibetan society by doing the work for China. At a time when His Holiness the Dalai Lama is not undertaking political activities, devoting himself solely to religious activities, if we do not become careful, China has got a good opportunity. They have already got the resources for creating discord in the Tibetan society and sending various people. Since His Holiness the Dalai Lama has resigned from politics, they have got the best time. Those Dolgyal propitiators who demonstrate on international platforms vilifying His Holiness the Dalai Lama beyond limit are a threat to the life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. They are undertaking all over on behalf of the Chinese Communists to harm the Tibetan politics and religion. Thus, one point that I want to make is that we must be very watchful of such people. Secondly, in the year 1999, when I was working for shugden society, one day Kunchok Gyaltsen, Chatreng Yeshi, Nga Lama and others came down to Ganden and I was summoned to Ganden from Sera. At that time I was the chairman of shugden society. I was told that we need to go to see the then Ganden Tri Rinpoche, Gen Lobsang Nyima who was in Loseling. They have held a Gelug general assembly where they have drawn up a plan to separate mouth and moustache, water and milk. If we threaten them they will not be able to accomplish this. As a way of threatening, some of us have to meet Ganden Tri Rinpoche and ask him few questions. They said I was appointed as the main questioner. Whether they were testing whether to trust me or not, , they were testing me. Whatever, I was sent along with Athar Tsering, Kunchok Gyaltsen’s cousin Choezay and the chairman of the GandenS hugden society, named Choezay Sherab. Seven or eight of us went before Ganden Tri Rinpoche. Tri Rinpoche was there. Since I have never met Tri Rinpoche before, the person to whom I asked whether Tri Rinpoche was there or not was Tri Rinpoche himself. The person told me he was there, went inside and sat on the throne. I offered three prostations before him. Athar Tsering told me not to prostate. Tri Rinpoche said there was no need to prostrate and then asked us to sit down and asked why we were here. I then told him I am the chairman of shugden society and that we are sent by shugden society in Delhi to ask about the Gelug general assembly decision to separate mouth and mustache, water and milk. I need clear answers. What is the reason for separating mouth and mustache, water and milk within the Gelug community. Then Choezay and others spoke much about you abbot and former abbots not shouldering Gelug responsibility well, They mentioned good things. They mentioned bad things. They mentioned various things. Then Tri Rinpoche said that those who do not abide by the rules of Gelug are you, shugden society. You have written baseless books and it is not a good thing. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is like the sun for whole world and producing various books really crosses the limit. I have been thinking of meeting you, and you people came here on right time today. If you people are practicing the Gelug doctrine, then if you practice what Je rinpoche said you don’t need to do more than that. When you undertake various activities, it harms the whole Gelug doctrine. Since it is not good doing bad things, you must avoid doing such things. In one of the books, you have falsely written that Ganden Tri Rinpoche propitiates shugden. You should never do that. As far as I am concerned, Kyabje Trichang Rinpoche is my root guru. I had completely given up propitiating shugdenin front of Kyabje Trichang Rinpoche. I had not made any prior life commitments, and after the advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, I did observation and voluntarily approached KyabjeTrichang Rinpoche in Varanasi and made this clear. I do not have any connection at all. When you say such things, you are going against the wishes of Kyabje Trichang Rinpoche. If you really heed the wishes of Khabje Trichang Rinpoche, then you must know that Kyabje Trichang Rinpoche has said that His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s deeds will be admirable and grand, something that has not happened with the various other reincarnations of Dalai Lama, whose work benefits Buddhism. Trichang Rinpoche’s real advice is to serve His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Tri Rinpoche also said that establishing your society and doing various things is not a good deed at all. They told him many different things. Athar Tsering threatened by saying that if you do not revoke those resolutions we won’t let you off easily. Tri Rinpoche replied that whatever you do, we will never withdraw them. These resolutions are passed by abbot and former abbots considering the broader welfare of the Gelug tradition and not by a single person like me who can take back or keep it as I like. He clearly mentioned that this cannot be withdrawn. While going inside, they had arranged for a video and tape record to record everything. They recorded everything and came down. After coming down, when the tape was played infront of Nga lama, Kunchok Gyaltsen, Chatreng Yeshi, Gen Chime and others, nothing was recorded, nor was there video recording. They were all astonished. They had plans of using the recorded audio and video of the conversation with Tri Rinpoche and since nothing was there they could not use them. In 1996, in Sera Pomra Khangtsen, when those who had connection with Geshe Kelsang and Nga lama, launched a movement against keeping His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s portrait, many of the monks coming from Tibet said the portrait should not be removed. During that time, an old monk said His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s portrait should not be taken away no matter what. He mentioned that before Kyabje Trichang Rinpoche’s death, they were all summoned at the upper floor of Sera mey and were told by Trichang Rinpoche that if in future His Holiness the Dalai Lama gives advice about Shugden issue, you must heed the advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, if you ever lose faith in His Holiness the Dalai Lama, you will all go to hell. Trichang Rinpoche said you should never lose faith in His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Whathever Trichang Rinpoche told to those old monks of Sera Pomra Khangtsen who revere and trust him was retold to us by the old monk during our meeting. From these it is clear. They are the ones who do not follow the advice of Kyabje Trichang Rinpoche, do not pay heed to the advices of Trichang Rinpoche and Phabongka; rather it is for their own money and position without any thoughts of practicing the Gelug tradition for the propagation of the doctrine. They do not have the slightest dedication for Tibet and Tibetan people. In Tibet, we do not have freedom and there are lots of political restrictions. Outside Tibet, we are only about a hundred thousand Tibetans but have faced such problems. At a time when we act on behalf of the Tibetans in Tibet and thus get good coverage throughout the world, they act on behalf of China and where required condemn Sikyong and Tibetan Parliament. They confront everyone who works for the government [Central Tibetan Administration]. Especially, see how they vilify the courageous heroes of Tibet and the Tibetan people? They are able to give a misinterpretation when a Tibetan self-immolates for the cause of the Tibetan issue. Our Tibetan should look. Joining the Chinese Communists they are given tasks and get money. It is important that we be alert and watchful of the people, whose names I mentioned above. Since I have seen and also went with them, it is a clear truth that they have connection with Communist China and get money from it. Likewise, around two hundred of their people from Nepal, Ganden and Serpom monastery got together and went saying they want to demolish all the offices of the Tibetan Administration, similar to the real arrival of Communist Chinese. It was Indian intelligence who stopped them, or else they might have destroyed many offices of the Tibetan Administration. Even though they have already killed people they needed to kill, they also sent over 200 people to Dharsamsala. It is only because the Indian intelligence stopped them or else everyone must have reached there. If they had really reached there, how much problem would have been created? How saddened would His Holiness the Dalai Lama have been? Someone who has worked since early age of 16 to 80, whether we accept religion or not, we have such a kind leader. They had the will to raise their hands against the offices of the Tibetan Administration, which is located near him. So if we Tibetans do not become cautious and be alert, it is not about whether they can propitiate shugden or not. I want to say that I know for sure that their aim is to work for Communist China’s politics and destroy religion and culture of Tibet, befriend with CPC and to secure their position, and for this use a few of their subordinates. Generally speaking, there are lots of issues. Since the year 1996 to 2008/2009, I have full experience of how Dolgyal society came in contact with China, all the relationships, facts of going with them and working with them. I have friends and acquaintances in the Dolgyal society and clearly know what they have done. In the end, in a nutshell what I want to say is that they join hands with Communist Chinese mainly to create obstacles to the glorious activities of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the world, to pose a threat to HHDL’s life, to destroy the Tibetan people and the Tibetan Administration, to create disunity amongst three provinces of Tibet, and attempting to infiltrate and do various activities are their main focus. I want to say that they are being paid by CPC and work as a representative of CPC. Lastly, my prayers to the six million Tibetan people for long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who’s our eyes and heart, the refuge for this life and the next. I pray that we all six million Tibetan people unite and heed his advice and may the just cause of Tibet see a solution soon. (The filming stopped after he burst into tears after that).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cH_Q3S42Y70&app=desktop https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6X8Ena1mbE&app=desktop

We, the undersigned, as former members of the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT), and ex-practitioners of Dorje Shugden, are appalled and saddened that those who were once our NKT sangha demonstrate against and defame His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Inaccuracies and distortions of what we know to be the truth have been published as fact. The New Kadampa Tradition currently operates as the ‘International Shugden Community’ (ISC) and also as the ‘Western Shugden Society’ (WSS). Many allegations and insults are made against His Holiness which are completely unwarranted. At demonstrations and on numerous web sites and Facebook pages, the NKT/ISC viciously attacks the reputation of His Holiness. We have tried to address inaccuracies with the group, but without success. We believe it is time to speak out with one voice. Here we highlight a few of the issues created by the New Kadampa Tradition, their leader Kelsang Gyatso, and his followers: 1) The ‘NKT/WSS/ISC’ say that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a ‘liar’. A difference of opinion does not equate to lying. His Holiness holds a different opinion from Kelsang Gyatso and the NKT about the nature and history of Dolgyal Shugden and the effects of this practice upon the well-being of His Holiness, the Tibetan people and their cause. To call His Holiness a ‘liar’ because of this difference of opinion makes no sense. 2) The ‘NKT/WSS/ISC’ claim that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has gone against all his teachers, broken his samaya and destroyed the lineage of Je Tsongkhapa by rejecting the practice of Dolgyal Shugden. His Holiness states that after conducting extensive research into the history and problems of Shugden practice, he consulted with his Junior Tutor Trijang Rinpoche and explained the reasons why it was his duty to reject this practice. The historical record shows that Shugden practice is often contentiously associated with sectarian views and ‘distorted aspiration’ and was viewed as problematic by His Holiness’ Senior Tutor, Ling Rinpoche. In fact, in this action His Holiness was actually following a course which, according to Buddhist scriptures and past masters, as Kelsang Gyatso himself states, is absolutely correct and appropriate. In his book Clear Light of Bliss Kelsang Gyatso states: “When deciding which doctrine to rely upon, we should not be satisfied with the fame or reputation of a particular teacher, but instead should examine what he or she teaches. If, upon investigation, we find the teachings reasonable and faultless, we should accept them, but if they lack these qualities we should reject them, no matter how famous or charismatic their expounder might be.” Kelsang Gyatso therefore contradicts his own advice when he asserts that His Holiness has broken his samaya with Trijang Rinpoche. 3) Kelsang Gyatso also claims that by rejecting one particular protector practice, this means that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is rejecting all Gelug teachings, the lineage of Je Tsongkhapa. His Holiness has not rejected all Gelug teachings and still holds his lineage gurus in the highest esteem. Kelsang Gyatso, however, is never seen in public with any teachers connected to the lineage he claims to represent. He is alone, without the influence of either peers or superiors. He created the NKT in 1992 after a schism with another Tibetan Buddhist group which invited him to the UK to teach in 1977 and whose property he then kept as the ‘mother centre’ of the NKT.  In 1996 he was unanimously expelled from Sera Je Tibetan Buddhist monastery, where he trained, for being a ‘holder of broken commitments and wrong view’. As he is the only Tibetan teacher in his own tradition of ‘Modern Buddhism’, with his own ‘new’ ordination and no study of the traditional Vinaya teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni, he also effectively isolates his own students from the wider Buddhist world. 4) In 1998 Kelsang Gyatso stated that the NKT would no longer be involved in any further demonstrations against His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He admitted that the Shugden issue was, in reality, an issue of Tibetan politics and promised that the NKT would not take part in any further inappropriate actions. Since then Kelsang Gyatso and the NKT have organised two further rounds of protests, one beginning in 2008, and the latest round currently being staged. 5)  In 2008 Kelsang Gyatso wrote to all his dharma centres stating that he was personally organising the NKT’s participation in the protests. He also said the protests were being organised by a group called the Western Shugden Society (WSS). A simple check reveals that all the Directors of WSS were and are members of the New Kadampa Tradition. Yet the NKT often denies that they have any connection to the WSS. Kelsang Pema, Gyatso’s former assistant, informed journalists that the WSS had no leader. 6) Even if the NKT say that it is only an ‘individual decision’ for a student to support the protests, we know that at present the ISC directly and actively recruits protestors and fundraises for demonstrations against His Holiness the Dalai Lama inside NKT centres. 7) The 2014 NKT campaign is delivered by its latest front group, the International Shugden Community. Currently, the ISC has two registered groups. In Norway ISC records show the Executive Director and Chairman to be NKT teachers. The ISC US based non-profit company in California shares an address with a large health food company of which Len Foley, an ex NKT teacher, is CEO. His wife, Rebecca Gauthier, an NKT Resident Teacher, is also spokesperson for the ISC in the US. The ISC front-man is a senior NKT monk named Kelsang Rabten. In his YouTube “News Broadcasts” Kelsang Rabten does not wear his monk’s robes and appears to be a professional journalist. He hides his status and biased position. One ISC video uses footage of young Burmese monks conducting traditional alms-rounds to fraudulently misrepresent the situation in India regarding the supposed ‘ostracism’ of Shugden followers. Techniques such as these are deceitful, designed only to exaggerate their claims against His Holiness. 8) The allegation that the Dalai Lama is engaging in repression of Freedom of Religion is, in fact, more relevant to the way the NKT itself operates. NKT Centres are dedicated to the exclusive devotion of Kelsang Gyatso. NKT centres and teachers are only permitted to teach from books written by Kelsang Gyatso. Teachers other than those trained by the NKT and appointed by Kelsang Gyatso are not allowed. Ordained NKT people and others are told they will be reborn in the hell realms and may not get enlightened if they leave the NKT. 9) There are many documented cases where the NKT threatened to sue using libel law and thus silenced other Buddhist organisations, umbrella groups, internet discussion forums and academics, authors and publishers. People inside the group can realistically fear social exclusion, illegal eviction or police arrest if they criticise policies. In our experience, the NKT generally prioritises the expansion of the group over the welfare of individuals. The NKT Survivors internet group numbers over 1,200 subscribers. There is no Dalai Lama Survivor’s group. 10) With the backdrop of continued Human Rights abuses against the Tibetan people, who number little more than 6 million in total, and the mass slaughter of an unknown number of Tibetans due to the Chinese occupation and colonisation often quoted as being more than one million, claims made by the ISC such as that ‘4 million Dorje Shugden practitioners are suffering’ are obviously lies. No established Human Rights group or court has ever confirmed any of the NKT/WSS or ISC’s claims of intentional Human Rights abuses by His Holiness the Dalai Lama or the Central Tibetan Administration. In 2010 the Indian High Court rejected a law suit by Shugden followers because of ‘vague averments’ and ‘absence of any specific instances of any such attacks’. We offer our support to the Tibetan people in their struggle to preserve their lives and their culture and question the intentions of those who use this culture but appear not to support this struggle. Both in 1996-7 and in 2008 the demonstrations against His Holiness the Dalai Lama coincided with the public exposure on the internet of the alleged sexual misconduct of the Deputy Spiritual Directors of the NKT. In view of the consistently unkind behaviour of his own organisation, we feel that Kelsang Gyatso and his students can have no moral right for making such attempts to discredit and defame His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Those of us who once belonged to the New Kadampa Tradition are resolved to bring these inaccuracies, disinformation, and outright lies to light. Who better to reveal the truth than we who were once inside the organisation? 19th August 2014 Carol McQuire Jamie Kostek Lynne Cracknell Ani Tsultrim Graham Smetham Linda Ciardiello Ian Thomas David Cutshaw Robert Helms Steve Maxwell Michael Brown Charles Wesley Andrew Durling Andrew Cheadle Kevan Webb Tenzin Peljor James Tregaskis Tim Ford Karma Yonten Amanda Zinski Stuart Everard Andrea Ballance Richard Litchfield David Silver Supporters Lyn G Farrell Charlie Worthington Tony Allen Cynthia von Hendricks Ashoka von Hendricks Dan Ballance Joanne Clark

After nearly forty years in exile under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the chances of achieving our goal of freedom for Tibet continues to improve. Tibetans stand out among all the refugees in the world for their unique achievements. This is no doubt the result of the Tibetan people’s courage and perseverance in attempting to restore the freedom of their country, which they enjoyed for more than two thousand years of its recorded history. However, we are yet to achieve the ultimate triumph. Obstructive factors of various kinds, emanating from beings of both the form and formless realms, continue to hinder our efforts. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has investigated these obstructions and their causes for many years. One of the findings of his investigations is that depending on the spirit, Dolgyal, otherwise known as Dorje Shugden or Gyalchen Shugden, conflicts with Tibet’s two protector-deities (Nechung and Palden Lhamo) as well as the protector-deity of the Gelugpa tradition, Pledge-holding Dharmaraja (Damchen Choegyal). The inclination of this spirit is to harm, rather than benefit, the cause of Tibet. Understanding this, His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself made a complete break with the Dolgyal in 1976. Since then, His Holiness has regularly explained to the Tibetan people why depending on the Dolgyal was inappropriate. Many Lamas, abbots, geshes, as well as the general Tibetan public, both lay and ordained, heeded his advice and stopped propitiating Dolgyal. As a result, the Tibetan situation has taken a turn for the better. However, some people have continued to propitiate Dolgyal, either because they failed to appreciate the threat it poses to the Tibetan cause or because they have decided to disregard it. There are yet others who not only propitiate Dolgyal themselves, but also actively encouraged others to follow suit. This has impaired the sacred relationship between the people of Tibet and their protector-deities. Today, this is one of the greatest dangers to the cause of Tibet and the life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. During this spring teaching this year, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that it was very important at this point in our struggle that the people and protector-deities of Tibet maintain a harmonious relationship based on their mutual commitments to each other. He repeated what he had declared on many previous occasions that just as a person’s breach of honor can create difficulties, so can a breach of commitments among the protector-deities. He reiterated that what he has previously announced remains unchanged. He conceded that restrictions on Dolgyal would not apply to any monastery, lama’s household or private individual who has no concern for the general interest of Tibet. His Holiness made this absolutely clear. His Holiness clearly explained the point again on 21st March 1996 during the preparatory ritual for the Very Secret Hayagriva (Tamding Yang-sang) empowerment. He said: “Recently I have conducted a number of prayers for the well being of our nation and religion. It has become fairly clear that Dolgyal is a spirit of the dark forces. Therefore, during the Hayagriva invocation last year, I specifically mentioned Dolgyal by name and an incantation was made to ward him off.” He continued: “I wonder if any among you here today continue to propitiate Dolgyal and still feel comfortable receiving this Hayagriva empowerment. This is the reason why I suggested yesterday that it would not be appropriate for those who propitiate Dolgyal to attend this empowerment. When the protector concerned is disloyal to its commitments, the person concerned becomes disloyal in turn. As I said yesterday, this gives rise to a breach of commitments which carries with it a definite threat to the life of a Lama. “If any among you here are determined to continue propitiating Dolgyal, it would be better for you to stay away from this empowerment, get up and leave this place. It is improper for you to continue to sit here. It will not benefit you. On the contrary it will have the effect of reducing the life span of Gyalwa Rinpoche (The Dalai Lama), which is not good. However, if there are any among you who hope that Gyalwa Rinpoche will soon die, then you can stay.” Therefore rejecting Dolgyal has become a matter of the highest importance to the cause of Tibet, which is dependent on the personal security of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. His Holiness also remarked: “The biography of His Holiness the Great Fifth Dalai Lama contains a reference to discord between him and Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen (whose spirit is alleged to have become Dolgyal). The matter is made very clear in the Great Fifth’s Extensive Collection of Secrets (Sangwang Gyachen). On the basis of this evidence, the 13th Dalai Lama imposed restrictions on Dolgyal. I am a successor to the Great Fifth Dalai Lama and, likewise, have a unique karmic relationship with the previous Dalai Lama. I have therefore a duty to carry out the legacy of the Great Fifth and the 13th Dalai Lama. This is my responsibility, although some people may not like it. But then, this is not a matter of what is in the Dalai Lama’s interest, but what is in the interest of the Tibetan nation and its religion. “When it comes to the interests of the Tibetan nation, I will carry through to completion the work I have begun. I will not back off because of a few disgruntled individuals. I am determined to implement the conclusions of my careful research and will not let it be. In the great monastic universities – Drepung, Sera and Ganden, the majority are faultless. However, it is clear that a tiny number among them are stubborn. Even private individuals may later have cause for regret if you take this lightly now in the hope that perhaps things will turn out all right after all. …Some of you feel that your business and ability to earn a living do better if you propitiate Dolgyal. This is ill-omened talk. It is an example as the notable lama and writer Gung-thang Tshang remarked, of how we human beings end up embracing evil friends.” Propitiating spirits is a practice originating in pre-Buddhist Tibet. However, when Guru Padmasambhava was helping to establish Buddhism in Tibet in the 8th century, He recruited some spirits such as Nechung, the State Oracle, to protect the Buddhist doctrine. Due to his high spiritual attainments, he was able to subdue such spirits and bind them by oath. Propitiating of spirits, therefore, is not a Buddhist practice itself, but a means to help sustain spiritual practice. Over the centuries the practice of propitiating spirits has instead become widespread as a means to achieve fame, fortune and the general well-being for this life, concerns that run counter to general Buddhist outlook. His Holiness has commented on this too: “Those who can afford us protection and bounty in this life alone – be they humans, deities and nagas, mountain-dwelling protectors, and so forth – are all objects for whom we might feel compassion. There is no reason for holding them in awe. Seeking refuge in them is a disgrace to the Geluk tradition. It is disgraceful to seek refuge in such beings while failing to see benefit in the Six-armed Mahakala (Gonpo Chagdrug) and Pledge-bound Dharmaraja (Damchen Choegyal), the worthy appointed guardians of the immensely valuable teachings of Je Tsongkhapa.” Allaying any fears Tibetans may have about ceasing to propitiate Dolgyal, His Holiness said: “Lamas, Geshes, religious students, and laity need not fear that they will be harmed if they stop propitiating Dolgyal. Nothing will happen. I will face the challenge. As Gelugpas, recite the migtse ma prayer, it will be enough if you also recite the Condensed Extensive Praise to Dharmaraja (Choegyal Gyi Toepa Kyangkumma). No harm will befall you.” It is the duty of the Tibetan Government-in-exile to encourage compliance with any advice given out of concern for the cause of Tibet, the security of its head of state and the honor of all Tibetan Buddhist traditions including the Geluk tradition. Consequently, it has initiated a programme to be prevailing upon those still following Dolgyal to make a break with it. We are doing so out of concern for the greater welfare of Tibet and so that the Gelugpa teachings of Je Tsongkhapa remain pure. Representatives visited Tibetan religious seats in South India to read out His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s statements. Most people with connections to Dolgyal have come to understand that propitiating him undermines the cause of Tibet, compromises the personal security of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and brings harm to the individual propitiator himself or herself. Many of them stood up amidst the assembly of Lamas, Geshes, and the general body of monks to state that they were giving it up. Likewise, many letters undertaking to cease propitiating Dolgyal have arrived from monasteries, public and private organizations and the general public. We consider this an acceptance of responsibility for the greater good of Tibet. However, a few Lamas, Geshes, lay people and organizations have adopted an extremist posture and continue to follow Dolgyal thinking that what they are doing accords with Gelugpa practice. Besides these, a handful of people are seeking to exploit the issue to create discord within the Tibetan community. They are spreading baseless rumors and accusations in the international community, thereby playing into the enemy’s hands. We, therefore, request them to stop. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has raised concern about the question of propitiating Dolgyal only because it has a great bearing on the cause of Tibet. It is precisely because of this that he has conducted extensive research and investigation on the matter for more than two decades. He explained his findings to his tutor, Kyabje Yongzin Trijang Rinpoche. The tutor graciously acceded to it, acknowledging that the findings were entirely faultless. This should be firmly borne in mind by all concerned. In one of his recent statements His Holiness said: “You should not think that dangers to my life come only from someone armed with a knife, a gun, or a bomb. Such an event is extremely unlikely. But dangers to my life may arise if my advice is constantly spurned, causing me to feel discouraged and to see no further purpose in living.” In subsequent statement, he said: “I am now a man in his sixties. Owing to some merit accumulated in my past lives, I do not see any substantial danger to my life. …In the light of the Tibetan people’s plight and the tragic situation in Tibet, I will try to live long so that I can share in their sufferings and console them as well as I can. Apart from that, I have no personal interests whatsoever.” All Tibetans should think hard about this both as individuals and communities. It is pointless to pay lip-service to religious freedom and democracy if a lack of trust amongst us undermines our cause and the personal security of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. There is no question of His Holiness the Dalai Lama ever trampling upon or neglecting any aspect of religious freedom. In fact, no one has ever attempted to prevent any Tibetan from embracing Buddhism or a non-Buddhist religion, or any school of Tibetan Buddhism. This is why Christians, Muslims, followers of the four great traditions of Tibetan Buddhism and Bön enjoy complete religious liberty in the Tibetan community. What needs to be stressed here is that there never has been, nor could there be, any attempt to impose Buddhist, Christians and Muslims. Similarly, religious freedom has never been used as a pretext to impose Kagyu, Sakya or Geluk doctrines and practices on Nyingma monasteries. On the contrary, there is a law which lays down that Christians and Muslims should follow their own respective religious doctrines and practices and that the doctrines of other religions, and practices inconsistent with their own character should not be imposed on these religious centres. This is a spiritual tradition that accords with the principles of democracy and freedom. According to Tibetan religious tradition, it is the responsibility of the founding lama or leader of monastery of any sect to give spiritual guidance as to what guardian protector, practices and doctrines the monastery should follow. But monks of the monastery do not question that guidance in the name of religious freedom. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the supreme religious and temporal head of Tibet. It is his responsibility, in his capacity as the spiritual leader, to give spiritual guidance for the benefit of the Tibetan people. As the temporal head of Tibet, it is his responsibility to give political direction to the Tibetan people and to seek to restrain activities that would bring harm to the cause of Tibet. Fulfilling his responsibility in this way cannot amount to a violation of religious and democratic freedoms. The essence of His Holiness’ advice is this: “Propitiating Dolgyal does great harm to the cause of Tibet. It also imperils the life of the Dalai Lama. Therefore, it is totally inappropriate for the great monasteries of the Gelug tradition, the Upper and Lower Tantric Monasteries and all other affiliated monasteries which are national institutions ever to propitiate Dolgyal. The public should be thoroughly informed so that they can gain a clear appreciation of the situation themselves. However, everyone is completely free to say: “If the cause of Tibet and the Dalai Lama’s life are undermined so be it. We have religious freedom. We are a democracy. We are free to do as we please. We will not change our tradition of propitiating Dolgyal.” The overwhelming majority of the Tibetan people will remain steadfast, keeping in mind the greater good of the Tibetan cause, and contribute as best as they can to fulfill His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s wishes. Nevertheless, it is quite clear that far from restricting religious freedom, the choice is left open to the individual concerned.

I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Honorable Members of the Parliament for their emphatic opinions and appeals on the Resolution no. 22, on which we had an almost entire day of discussion this day. Specially, since the issue concerns with the Department of Security, I have tried to make note of all the opinions concerning the issue of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s security. However,I am not going to say I have such plans regarding the matter. Honorable Members of the Parliament are well aware about the Dolgyal issue. However, given the growing attention for this medium (the parliamentary session) among the masses, I will try my best to clarify certain prominent issues. I will not speak about the nature and history of Dolgyal as many of the Honorable Members of the Parliament already spoke about it. Since 1996, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has openly advised against the practice of propitiating Dolgyal but he never prohibited its practice although restrictions were imposed. (As explained earlier in the parliament) You all are well aware about the incidents that happened since 1996. Two resolutions were also passed on this issue in the same year. Following His Holiness’s advice on Dolgyal during the spring teaching, the Dolgyal followers established Dorjee Shugden Devotees Charitable and Religious Society in Delhi and subsequently harassed and threatened violence against many individuals, monasteries, organizations and Tibetan settlements. Particularly (as far as I remember) on May 27, 1996 they set fire to the barn of Gaden Jangtse monastery and attempted to kill Venerable Wangyal, a former abbot of the Jangtse College, by pouring kerosene on him. A personal testimony of this can be seen in video documentaries. Almost after two months on July 3, 1996 some men broke into Kasur Kundeling Woeser Gyaltsen’s residence in Rajpur and assaulted him with knife; he was later hospitalized. In his later interview, the late Kundeling revealed from where these assailants came from and for what purpose. In February 1997, the Director of the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics and two of his students were brutally murdered in Dharamshala. The local Police Commissioner later told the media that the murderers came from Delhi.All these can be seen in the newspapers and the video documentaries, I request you all to pay attention to it. At the request of the Indian government, the Interpol had also issued a Red Corner notice for the two alleged men suspected of the murder which is still on their website. All these statements of local law-enforcing bodies and international agencies are real and legitimate, and it justifies the Tibetan Administration’s allegation against the Dolgyal group for the incident. On September 10, 2000 an incident happened in Mundgod Tibetan settlement. On learning that the Dolgyal group was hosting a meeting in Mundgod, a group of local Tibetans gathered in front of Dokhang Khangtsen of Gaden Shartse Monastery to appeal that they didn’t host the meeting. However, they were attacked with stones and bricks from the roof of the monastery. Many of them were injured and all of these can be seen in pictures. A similar incident happened in Sera Monastery where a group of local Tibetans were beaten on their way to appeal that they didn’t host any meeting of Dolgyal group in Serpom Monastery. Probably a pregnant woman was also beaten up. This incident has not been documented anywhere. Similarly, a teacher of Sera-Mey Monastery was brutally beaten because the Dolgyal supporters did not like his teachings on Dolgyal issue. In a similar manner, a Geshe of Gaden Jangtse Monastery who had been a member of local Tibetan Freedom Movement Association (Rangden Tsokchung) for many years and Sera-Jey’s official in-charge of scholarship and identity card department was also brutally beaten. On October 19, in Bylakupee, the settlement officer of Deckyi Larso settlement and his wife was brutally beaten and the roof of his residence was broken. All of this was covered by the local news media and the local Indian investigation officer also gave a similar account of this incident. I am saying these just to remind you. Besides these incidents, undoubtedly many things have happened. For instance, after the assassination of the Director of the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics, a circular purportedly issued from Bylakupee was received and was addressed to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The circular threatened:”Did you enjoy eating the three carcasses at the time of Losar? You will be treated to many more carcasses if you continue the present practice.” The Indian government is well aware about the threat the Dolgyal group poses for the safety of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.Also, there were instances of Kalons of the Tibetan administration being stalked, issued warnings and threat letters. Without having to say all of that one can see that their activities are much in line with the very nature of Dolgyal which is harmful. They have made many false allegations against the Tibetan administration in the past and they continue to do so still. Some of the Honorable Members of the Parliament (being there at the time of these incidents) gave a very effective account of these incidents for which I would like to present my gratitude towards them. They have accused of being discriminated but discrimination over what? They have accused of denial of the religious freedom. But is it related to religion or freedom? They have accused that the children of Dolgyal propitiators were thrown out of the Tibetan schools and offices and they are not given any medical care in the Tibetan hospitals. On the website of the so-called Western Shugden Society, they have accused His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration for the incident that happened with Chonzelak of Trijang Labrang in Mundgod Tibetan settlement in December 2013. Honorable Speaker, (even if it takes some time) taking the opportunity of this medium, I wish to clarify what the Tibetan administration has done on this issue, although I am not sure if I can cover everything. The allegation of children of Dolgyal propitiators being thrown out of the Tibetan schools is totally insubstantial. In fact, the children of Jampel Yeshi, the President of Dolgyal society in Delhi remained enrolled at that time at the Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) School in lower Dharamshala. They were neither expelled nor did anyone asked them to leave. Though the President himself withdrew his children from the school two years later but this was not due to any pressure from the Tibetan administration. Parents have rights to withdraw their children from school but I am sure the children have nothing in their mind. Their accusation can be validated on the basis that the TCV School and some other schools are functioning directly under the administrative control of the Tibetan administration. However, the office of the Tibetan Children’s Village, the Tibetan Homes Foundation and the Central Tibetan Schools Administration (which runs all the schools for Tibetans funded by the Government of India) issued written denials that no single child was expelled from their schools on the grounds that their parents propitiated Dolgyal. One can see all of these in the books published by the Department of Information and International Relations and the Department of Religion and Culture. May be these books are scarce nowadays but it contains detailed explanations of the matter and I urge you to go through them. Similarly, they accuse the Tibetan administration for the discrimination against the Dolgyal followers over monastic enrollment. In 2007, sixteen young Tibetans from Tibet arrived in Dharamshala. They admitted their propitiation of Dolgyal and said they cannot leave off the propitiation as their parents have advised them not to. Moreover, they insisted that they be sent to the monasteries. One might think what decisions were made by the Tibetan administration; and since the Dolgyal group have nothing to support their claims, they are also not in a position to take out their names. Whatever it may be, they have accused the Tibetan administration for not enrolling them in the monasteries. It is true that they cannot be enrolled into the monasteries because the Charter of the Monastic Discipline of the Gelugpa Sect (Chapter#4 Article#12 Section-7) categorically states that all new entrants must stop propitiation of Dolgyal. This Charter was adopted during the conference of the abbots and representatives of the great monastic seats of Gelugpa under the chairmanship of the Gaden Throne Holder and Sharjang Choeje. The Central Tibetan Administration has no authority to act against the Charter of the Gelugpa sect and enroll Dolgyal propitiators in Gelugpa monasteries. Every organization has its own rules and conditions and we have respected that. The other schools of Tibetan Buddhism have nothing to do with it and so they have not passed any such regulation. There is no instance of interrogation and discrimination on the basis of Dolgyal propitiation in other schools of Tibetan Buddhism. After considering the matter carefully, the Tibetan administration expressed its inability to send them to Gelugpa monasteries and advised them to join schools to avail more opportunities.They stayed at the reception centre for many days and then went on to join TCV Suja School and Sherab Gatseling School. However, sadly they did not stay there for long. Eventually in their application to the reception center, they wrote they would rather go back to Tibet if they are not able to get admission in the monastery here and also asked for their travel expenses. It was well agreed upon by the Tibetan administration. The Tibetan administration has always maintained that it will not object to anyone who wishes to return to Tibet and will provide the travel expenses if asked for. The Kashag of the Central Tibetan administration has issued a directive on February 17, 2007, following which the Tibetan administration has not issued any referral letter to the Dolgyal followers for the enrollment in Gelugpa monasteries. This is true. Similarly, they have also accused the Tibetan administration for not issuing the support letter to Dolgyal followers and their family members to apply for the travel document, which is a false argument. Dakpa Gyaltsen (also known as Geshe Chime Tsering), the so-called Secretary of the Dolgyal society in Delhi, was issued a support letter when his travel document (IC) was expired. He later acquired a travel document and now he lives in abroad. Likewise, on what document did the members of Ganden Nyen Gyud Monastery (who are very active on Mangthrod Khabda<Tibetan Public Talk>) reached the U.S.A., although they claim to have received an asylum because of Dolgyal issue. When Jampel Yeshi’s wife immigrated to the west under the family reunification program, her travel document (IC) was issued by the Indian government with a support letter of the Tibetan administration. The Tibetan administration has not discriminated anyone over issuing documents and such allegations are completely baseless. It has been said that the Tibetan administration has remained silent over all these allegations. However if one pays attention, we have aptly responded against these baseless allegations whenever it was required. Those who aren’t attentive always hang in the middle. I sought this opportunity this day because this medium is closely watched by the masses and especially because of the great attention over the resolution that has passed this day. People must be watching this at the cost of their sleep and therefore, I felt it is very important to tell them the reality. Similarly, they have accused the Tibetan administration of discrimination and with holding medical care. If they name a single person who was denied medical care by the Department of Health for their beliefs, then we can definitely investigate the matter. There is no such instance of discrimination. They have also accused the Tibetan administration of dismissing Dolgyal followers from the government jobs. If they name a single person who was dismissed, we can see how he/she was dismissed. It is not the sole authority of Kashag to dismiss the civil servants of the Central Tibetan Administration. The Charter of the Tibetans-in-Exile provides for an institution of an independent body with its own rules and conditions for the dismissal of a civil servant. If any civil servant commits a crime, it is only on the basis of the investigation carried out by the investigating committee that he/she will be penalized. Who has been dismissed for following Dolgyal? There are over 600 civil servants serving in the Tibetan administration and none of them has been harassed under any circumstances for propitiating Dolgyal. Let me also make it clear that there is not a single civil servant in the Central Tibetan Administration who propitiates Dolgyal. If the propitiation of Dolgyal forms a basis of dismissal from the government job, should it also not be a requisite for the recruitment of new staff? However there is no such condition as the door is open for any Tibetan to work in the CTA. Particularly so in the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (a platform which is even more important), I don’t think there is such a condition which bars any Dolgyal follower from becoming a member of the parliament. Parliament is a law-making body and there is nothing whatsoever that prevents them from making such laws. As a matter of fact, some people are of view that such laws should be made but no such laws have been made by the Tibetan administration. Any eligible Tibetan can rightfully become a member of the Tibetan parliament. In fact, one should contest for the parliamentary election and speak from this platform. Therefore, there is no instance of discrimination and partiality from the administration. Similarly, they accuse of discrimination over the issue of land and housing. Honorable Members of Parliament, who are well aware about the ground situation, clearly spoke about it. Keeping with the principles of Dharma and Vinaya, the mouth was distinguished from the moustache during the proceeding of Tsulshing in Gelugpa monasteries in 2008. Nobody was asked to leave the monastery; it was in fact left for the monks to decide where they wished to live. As it was said earlier, it is true that a small number of people are living with so many rights. At present, there are so-called Shar Gaden Nampar Gyal wayling in Mundgod and Serpom Khangtsen in Bylakupee who are living on the lands provided by the Indian government at the request of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan administration has never asked them to leave the land. If they voluntarily decide to leave, they are free to do so. There is no prohibition from the Tibetan administration but rather the words of appreciation. During the meeting of Tibetan settlement officers last year, a clear directive was issued that everyone is equally entitled to the rights enshrined and this directive still remains valid. There is no discrimination regarding this issue. Recently, on the website of the so-called Western Shugden Society, they released news (with pictures) on the attack of Chonzelak of Thrijang Labrangand who accused His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan administration for the attack. If their allegations are legitimate, we live in a free and lawful nation of India; they should have accordingly informed the police about the incident. However they did not. But since the incident happened with a person under the jurisdiction of Mundgod Tibetan Settlement Office, the settlement officer informed the local police and requested for a thorough investigation. Eventually, the police summoned the local heads and representatives of the settlement and monks of Shar Gaden who were involved. Due to his advancing age, Chonzelak requested for the continuation of investigation without having him to come in person. Unwilling to say anything on this matter, the monks of Shar Gaden issued a written statement in which they called off the investigation under the pretext of social stability.If this attack was carried out under the direction of the Central Tibetan administration, the police should have been duly informed. What is the reason that they did not inform the police? There is a lot of speculation and it becomes very important that people are informed about the reality. This issue and the related matters are taken care of by the Tibetan Administration. If a large section of youth is misled about the issue, through this platform, it is imperative to appeal to everyone to pay attention. Meanwhile, between mid 1990s and 2000, they have resorted to violent acts like those carried out by the terrorists such as intimidation, beating and even murdering people. In recent times, the tactics have definitely undergone changes. It is being done in a sophisticated manner. Even then they do not see the possibility of making their base in India, a country with the rule of law. In recent times, many books are being delivered by misusing media channels, including social media. Disinformation campaign has been carried out in the media channels such as the release of a book titled False Dalai Lama. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has recently said in south India that the Indian and the US governments had informed him about the threats to his security from Dolgyal organization. The Dolgyal propitiators have alleged that this is a lie and that they doesn’t pose any threat to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and even the Indian government will not profess such things. They further alleged that how come many Dolgyal propitiators have managed to get an asylum in the US. To back up their allegations with evidence and to convince the public, they also alleged that the recent fencing of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s residence has nothing to do with them and it was done in view of the bomb blasts at Bodh Gaya in 2013. Everyone knows about the level of security Indian government has provided to His Holiness the Dalai Lama since he shifted his residence to Mcleod Ganj. Following the murder of a teacher at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in 1997, the Indian government has carried out thorough investigation. The Indian security officials subsequently made a recommendation on His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s security that there should be a 10-12 feet fencing with six feet wall and four feet iron fencing around his residence. These measures were taken in view of the Dolgyal-related incidents. Due to the high cost of building the fence and something which is not in His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s mind, we requested that not a very high but with four feet wall with iron fencing over it be build. At last, after the concerned investigation and refusal of security officials to take any risks, we had to appeal to the Ministry of Home Affairs in Delhi. That iron fencing was built in 1997 and all of you must have seen during your recent visit to Tsuglagkhang (Main Temple). In 2013, our administration on its own expense had put barbwires on the fencing, as we didn’t feel the need to seek the Indian government’s support for small matters. Therefore, I want to make it clear that the claims made by Dolgyal organization in Mangthrod Khabda are baseless. Moreover, since the matter is concerned with His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s security, there shouldn’t be any ambiguity. In every country, the security apparatus of the dignitaries are reviewed from time to time. As you know, the Government of India has issued a written note about the threat posed by Dolgyal organizations to the security of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. It is also clearly mentioned in the government of India’s notices and the documents whenever His Holiness the Dalai Lama visits different places in India. Whenever His Holiness the Dalai Lama visits a country, its government takes the responsibility of his security. Since His Holiness the Dalai Lama resides in India, the government of India discusses with us about the security procedures it puts in place for His Holiness the Dalai Lama in view of the threat perceptions. Similarly, the US Government has made it clear His Holiness the Dalai Lama is under threat from Dolgyal organizations. The US government’s position has been corroborated after its intelligence officials found that a man carried out a recce of an underground parking lot at the hotel where His Holiness the Dalai Lama was staying in Minnesota during the first day of the Tibetan New Year. This information was revealed by the man himself and we weren’t aware of that. The US government knew this because it is vigilant about the dangers. So, the misleading statement that there is no threat to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s security is false. Not only the US government has said that the threat exists but it has complete knowledge about it. Likewise, on religious freedom, they also claim of authoritarian rule but are lying. But there is no need to respond to every allegation. In fact, honorable members of the parliament have earlier made it clear that it has nothing to do with the religious freedom. However, it is imperative to make it clear that in 1996/1997/2000 His Holiness the Dalai Lama advised that those who propitiate Dolgyal should not attend his initiations, which traditionally requires the establishment of a teacher-student relationship. All of us have seen the actions of Dolgyal organizations and how they have heeded to the advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. His Holiness the Dalai Lama today says that those who propitiate Dolgyal should not attend his teachings and the Tibetan administration also makes the same announcements. It is not that they can attend the teachings but not initiations. This is to make it clear that it is not appropriate to attend the teachings also. The Dolgyal followers have not only disseminated their allegations in publications but also complained to some human rights organizations such as Amnesty International. Petitions were sent to India’s prime minister, foreign minister and home minister and National Human Rights Commission. After carrying out a thorough and impartial probe, these agencies rejected the petitions saying that the allegations have nothing to do with the religious freedom. Complaint about the 16 students as mentioned earlier was also made to India’s National Human Rights Commission, who sent the reply to the complainants and a copy to the Tibetan Reception Centre. The National Human Rights Commission’s Law Division has made its position very clear in its reply dated December 19, 2007. In their recent petitions to the Indian prime minister and officials, Dolgyal organizations have argued that they are not like as they have been described by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in south India. The Indian security officials must be laughing about such claims. The truth of the matter is as I have told earlier. Take note of the books and articles about Dolgyal written by foreigners so that one will have a better and a clear understanding about the matter. They misled those who are ignorant about the issue and the latter also joined them. I hope these issues can now be seen in a better light. There is no need for me to explain what is the present situation of Dolgyal and the relationship between Dolgyal and the Chinese government because those who watch Mangtroe Khada (news programme) are aware how the former dared to say they have relations with the Chinese government and at their invitation regularly visit the Chinese embassy and attend receptions during the visits of senior Chinese officials. Therefore this is the fact. In 2012 and 2013 what is the count of the members of the North American Gelug Buddhist Association which went to Tibet and China and how well have they been received? What comes to our notice is that on the one hand, they say there is support for Dolgyal amongst the Tibetans inside Tibet, but they also need a security protection to visit Tibet. It could be the Chinese government’s honour for their agents, but we are yet to get any credible evidence on this. There are reports that some Dolgyal followers have attended the People’s Congress of Tibet Autonomous Region. If this is true, it is evident for everyone to see that amongst them there are Lamas and the members of the Dolgyal organizations. Similarly, some Dolgyal followers in Tibet are being taken on tour to Europe and America to use them. For instance, on World Human Rights day on December 10, 2012 in New York, Dolgyal followers announced that they would organize press conferences to accuse His Holiness the Dalai Lama for denying them religious freedom. As you must have seen it, these people sitting in a row with not a single person or a journalist in front of them. The empty words are then relayed through video. Likewise, in December 2013, they also went to the UN office in New York and submitted a petition. They also spoke of sitting on a hunger strike to fight for their cause. So, if I have not misunderstood what the honourable Member of the Parliament suggested whether the CTA can find a way to solve the problem through dialogue with Dolgyal followers. May be I have misunderstood it. But we don’t think that way. Since the beginning, the successive concerned Kalons (Ministers) and Secretaries during their visits to the Tibetan settlements held a series of meetings with a group of 20-30 people from the so-called Dorje Shugden Devotees’ Charitable and Religious Society and advised them. This situation no longer exists today and we also don’t feel the need for it. If there is a need for it then they should not act in the way they are presently behaving. So it is important to understand this and to not to believe in whatever they remark in their propaganda. Their activities have been causing insult and degeneration of Buddhism. For example, the so-called New Kadampa Tradition (NKT) has been established in South East Asian countries and their followers have violated the Buddhist principles by changing the traditional colour of a monk’s robe into green. Hundreds of them openly work for the so-called New Kadampa Tradition. If they are true followers of Kadampa tradition, there is a standard rule for wearing a Buddhist robe. But they are doing whatever comes to their mind with complete disregard to these rules and make as much money as possible. We consider these as deplorable acts. As we all might have seen, unable to bear the pain caused by the recent Lamrim teachings in South India, they resorted to making baseless statements in Mangtroe Khada. Why they felt such a pain? The false claim of Dolgyal as the protector of Gelug tradition got exposed by the three great monasteries and other Gelug monasteries in south India, who are the real protector of the tradition? The claims that His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s main aim was to launch the book on Dolgyal under the pretext of giving a Lamrim teaching is a complete fabrication. We really express our appreciation for Gelug Tendag Lhentsog, International Buddhist Association and others for voluntarily taking the responsibility and their work is needed for historical record. It has served its purpose if it has hit where it pains. No matter how much they try to mislead the public and hold protests, their effect will be like the flutter of a fly’s wing that cannot affect a mountain. Everyone has to be aware of this. Concerning His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s security, as I have stated earlier, Dolgyal is the biggest threat to his security and Tibetan unity. The current US visit is different from the earlier ones as it was long and there were programmes in different places. There was a meeting with the US President and the members of the Congress. Over all, it went very well. People expressed strong opinion on the incident that occurred at the hotel in California. Nearly two hours after that incident took place, someone phoned me as I am related with the security. I also checked the Internet though I don’t know how to use it. Then I immediately contacted those responsible in California and explained why there was negligence. Series of discussions also took place in the Kashag and we also received a report from the concerned region. I have nothing to say on the need for thorough probe into the matter as mentioned in the resolution. The important thing is to act after conducting the investigation. Looking from a security perspective, we have seen in the video the Dolgyal protesters came very close to His Holiness the Dalai Lama during the protests and got the chance to cause him harm if they intended to do so. But no unwanted incidents happened, which I think is to due to our collective merit. Therefore, I have nothing special to say on the resolution. It is also important to mention that His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration has a very clear policy on this matter. We welcome those who repent their past actions and choose the correct path as it is said that sins can be absolved if one expresses penitence. Few who want to join the Dolgyal propitiation will go and it is their freedom. As the matter became clear after 2008, a considerable number of people have chosen the correct path. These people, including Lamas and important personalities, have lots of fear in their hearts because they are aware of the behaviour of the people associated with Dolgyal. I have spoken many times on Mangtroe Khada programme on numerous occasions in the parliament. Those who denounce His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan administration are invited to the programme and are forced to speak. These people include those who claim of having no relations with Dolgyal but use the platform to speak. As you might have noticed, these people criticize His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teaching but claim they have nothing to do with Dolgyal. In accordance with the resolution that these acts amount to crime in history, it is important to identify who these people are! These people are also pitiable. So the reason for making it clear today is that it is not late for those who want to choose the correct path. The Chinese communists have a saying that there is no set time to become a nationalist. Though we are asking them to become nationalists, it is in their interest to choose the correct path from going to the hell. We always welcome and think that everyone has the opportunity. However, we notice that there are many people, who are associated with some kind of organization, feel difficult and fear to leave it. So when we look back in the future the Dolgyal related issues in the present circumstances was made clear by everyone in the parliament through a day-long session. It is a ready-made weapon not to be made by any powerful countries and being used as a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party by members of the Dolgyal organization and their articles on self-immolation protests come out in the Chinese state media. One can understand the issue by paying attention to all these matters. Therefore, many honourable members of Parliament have spoken on the matters concerning the security of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and we will keep them in our mind. Doing everything we can is not only our responsibility; I always say that it is the responsibility of every Tibetan. I would wish to thank each one of you who spoke and gave their suggestions with strong feelings. I think Honourable Sikyong will add if I had missed something in my speech. The administration would like to express its appreciation for bringing this resolution. Thank you, Honourable Speaker. (This is an English translation of the original statement in Tibetan. If there are any discrepancies treat the Tibetan version as final and authoritative) 

8 May 2014 For Immediate Release Shugden Followers’ Baseless Allegations – A Rejoinder from the Central Tibetan Administration The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) based in Dharamshala, India, strongly condemns the protests against His Holiness the Dalai Lama organised mainly by non-Tibetans who are linked to the fundamentalist cult associated with the propitiation of Dolgyal (Shugden). Their allegations of human rights abuses against those Tibetans who propitiate this spirit are baseless. “The fact that Dolgyal groups welcome the Norwegian government’s decision not to meet with His Holiness the Dalai Lama due to pressure from the Chinese government clearly confirms this group is doing the political bidding at the behest of the Chinese government. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a beacon of hope for millions of Tibetans and peace-loving individuals across the world.  As the Shugden-related groups sustain their campaign to mislead the public with false allegations against both His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration, we trust the public will see through these unfounded allegations,” said Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay. In fact, far from denying them their religious freedom, Tibetan Dolgyal propitiators continue to travel within India and abroad on documents issued by the Indian government with the endorsement of the Central Tibetan Administration. In seeking legal status or political asylum in North America and Europe, Dolgyal followers could be using denial of religious freedom as an excuse, but the very documents on which they stay in India and travel abroad, is issued by the government of India and endorsed by the Central Tibetan Administration. Therefore, the CTA has neither denied them their religious freedom nor obstructed their rights to live in India and travel abroad. For example, Chime Tsering, the then Secretary General of Dorje Shugden Devotees’ Charitable and Religious Society, travelled on an Identity Certificate (IC), to the US, issued by the government of India with the endorsement of the Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Delhi. His Indian Registration certificate (RC) was issued by the government of India with the recommendation from the local Tibetan Settlement Officer of the CTA. Furthermore, Athar Tsering, a former secretary of the North American Gelug Buddhist Association (USA) also travelled to the US using travel documents issued by the government of India and endorsed by the CTA. So do many others Dolgyal followers. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has advised Tibetans and Buddhist followers that propitiating Dolgyal will lead to sectarianism and spirit/cult worship, which is fundamentally against the teachings of the Buddha. As a spiritual leader, he considers it is his responsibility to guide his followers on the correct spiritual path. Ultimately, it is for each individual to decide whether or not to listen to his guidance. His Holiness has emphasised on numerous occasions that propitiation of Dolgyal (Shugden) is a personal choice. Despite this well-known fact, groups associated with Dolgyal propitiation persist with baseless allegations that Tibetans who are Dolgyal followers are discriminated against in their access to education, healthcare and other social services. There is no shred of evidence of this as Dolgyal followers continue to go to monasteries and send their children to schools run by the CTA and other autonomous Tibetan schools. In June 1998, after a thorough investigation, Amnesty International concluded there was no evidence to support these accusations against the Central Tibetan Administration. Similarly, in 2010, a verdict issued by the Delhi High Court, dismissed a case filed by the Dorjee Shugden Devotees’ Charitable and Religious Society against the Central Tibetan Administration and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Central Tibetan Administration has repeatedly expressed its willingness to investigate any instances of discrimination if provided with concrete evidence.  Dolgyal-related groups have yet to provide such information. Dolgyal groups are violent as demonstrated by the murder of the Principal of the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics and his two disciples in Dharamshala in 1997.  Local police authorities confirmed clear indications that the murderers were directly linked to the Dolgyal (Shugden) groups which include the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT), Dorjee Shugden Devotees’ Charitable and Religious Society and the North American Gelug Buddhist Association. Subsequently, the Interpol issued arrest warrants against two Tibetans who committed the murder. The Indian and US governments have stated that the Dolgyal organisations and their agents pose serious threat to the security of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Further information about Dolgyal (Shugden) is available at: www.tibet.net.   The Kashag Dharamshala 8 May 2014

  • 1. In the interest of Buddhism and the Tibetan national cause, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has openly advised against the propitiation of Shugden. On behalf of the Tibetan people, both in and outside Tibet, the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies would like to express our thanks and gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and make a pledge that we will abide by his every advice.
  • 2. This Assembly, accepting and re-emphasizing the series of announcements made on this issue by the Standing Committee of the Eleventh Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies and the Kashag, would like to emphatically encourage all Tibetans to implement the announcements.
  • 3. We would like to express our appreciation to the monasteries, institutions, lamas, tulkus, monks and lay people who have immediately implemented the advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the recent announcements of the Kashag and the Assembly of Tibetan people’s Deputies.
  • 4. Those who have not implemented the advice properly as a result of being misguided into a state of confusion are requested to get literature and audio tapes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s advice from the Department of Religion and other concerned departments and officials. They are requested to make their independent decisions immediately after studying these and clearing the doubts in their minds.
  • 5. Some people have been circulating literature, claiming that the Tibetan Government-in-Exile’s decision to issue advice on the demerit of propitiating Shugden amounts to religious persecution. It must be stated emphatically that giving advice within the context of a particular religious practice on the merit and demerit of propitiating spirits does not by any means constitute the infringement of religious freedom.
  • 6. Some baseless rumours have it that discouraging the propitiation of Shugden goes against the practice of guru lineage. This claim is totally prejudicial, self-motivated and has no substance whatsoever. When the successive Dalai Lamas and many reputed Buddhist practitioners in Tibet, particularly the Thirteen Dalai Lama, restrained the propitiation of Shugden, it was accepted unanimously by all the lamas who were well-known for their erudition and spiritual practice. In forbidding the propitiation of Shugden, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama is following the intention of the guru lineage, including that of his two tutors.
  • 7. Some people have been spreading lies that individuals were harassed and their objects of worship seized for propitiating Shugden, and that government officials were expelled from job, etc. Not a single of these allegations were found to be true. Should such an incident ever take place, it must be noted that this is neither the wish of His Holiness Dalai Lama, nor the policy of the Tibetan Administration. We appeal to all the organizations and individuals to ensure that such an incident does not take place.
  • 8. In sum, the departments, their branches and subsidiaries, monasteries and their branches that are functioning under the administrative control of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile should be strictly instructed, in accordance with the rules and regulations, not to indulge in the propitiation of Shugden. We would like to clarify that if individual citizens propitiate Shugden, it will harm the common interest of Tibet, the life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and strengthen the spirits that are against the religion. This can be quite clearly and authentically established through texts and logic. Having said this, it is up to individuals themselves to decide as they like. We cannot force anyone to do anything against his or her wish. However, we would like to emphatically plead to the Shugden-worshippers that they should stop taking tantric initiations and teachings from His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Resolutions Passed Unanimously  on 17 September, 1997.

  • 1. Reaffirming and calling the attention of the Tibetan people to the resolution of 6 June 1996, the Assembly of the Tibetan People’s Deputies recommends that:
  • 2. Continued efforts should be made to educate the people to the demerit of following Shugden and that literature, audiotapes and visual tapes on the subject should be made easily available to the people;
  • 3. The joint disinformation campaign of China and a small number of Shugden activists should be challenged within the framework of law;
  • 4. Clarifications should be issued to repudiate the Shugden activists’ distorted propaganda, aimed at deceiving the general people;
  • 5. Efforts should be made to challenge the Shugden activists’ campaign to intimidate and deceive non-Shugden practitioners, and that the victims should be provided security and legal protection;
  • 6. Particularly in the Three Great Monastic Universities of Sera, Gaden and Drepung, the restriction on Shugden practice should be kept up; Wherever the restriction has not been adequately enforced in any quarter of a Monastic University, the abbots, lamas, bureaucracy and scripture teachers should be asked to discourage the practice; support should be given to ordinary monks who are forced to violate the monastic discipline through use of intimidation and threat by Shugden activists;
  • 7. The Chinese government’s politically-motivated support to a handful of Shugden activists and their disinformation campaigns in Tibet and outside world should be challenged effectively;
  • 8. Recognition should be given to those who followed Shugden in the past out of ignorance, but have now given up the practice; efforts should be made to ensure that they do not suffer as a result of having given up the Shugden practice;
  • 9. Efforts should be made to ensure that Shugden practitioners do not receive tantric teachings and Sothar teachings/vows;
  • 10. People should send as much report as possible so that the local government and concerned central government departments of India are kept informed of the activities of Shugden supporters;
  • 11. The government, non-governmental organizations and individuals should continue to follow His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s advice on the demerit of Shugden practice, the resolutions of the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies and the Tibetan Administrative organs’ instructions on the matter; and they should challenge the nefarious designs of the Shugden activists and should not let down their guard. (Translated from the original in Tibetan)

Document no. 22/English Translation) Resolution Whereas, Since the time of the Fifth Dalai Lama, all the successive Dalai Lamas and many great masters have placed stringent restrictions on the propitiation of harmful spirit of Dolgyal for Tibet’s common spiritual and political interests. Like his predecessors, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, following a long and careful investigation, has also clearly advised against the propitiation of Dolgyal. A large number of Tibetans have followed his advice and gave up propitiating Dolgyal. However, a small number of Tibetans have remained ignorant about the propitiation. In order to lead the ignorant to righteous path, the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile unanimously passed resolutions on 6 June 1996, 17 September 1997 and 15 March 2008. The majority of Tibetans – including the both monastic and lay community particularly the three monastic seats – who have acted upon the resolutions deserves appreciation. Yet, a small number of ignorant Dolgyal propitiators have no consideration for Tibet’s spiritual and political interests and the personal security of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. They are being deceived by the Chinese government through monetary and material incentive and are used as political tools. They have been also instigating foreigners to carry out disinformation campaigns at every opportunity. In a recent incident in San Francisco, they employed a handful of people, who are completely ignorant about the basic principles of Buddhism, to slander His Holiness the Dalai Lama with baseless accusations. To present these misdeeds for fair and correct understanding of the Tibetan people and the people of the world who support truth and justice, it is imperative that the following resolution be passed to reiterate and implement the earlier resolutions adopted by the House.

The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, on 17 March 2014, unanimously passed the following resolution:

  • (1) Reaffirms to carefully follow up the series of resolutions unanimously passed by the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile on this issue in 1996, 1997 and 2008.
  • (2) Recognises and resolves to collectively disseminate to all people the actual issue as per the resolution/section (B) of article 5 passed during the Conference of the Heads, Abbots, Lamas/Trulkus and Representatives of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism and Bon religion in 2009. It states: “Worshipping the worldly gods, particularly spirits for protection, contravenes the principle of following the three refuge in Buddhism. The conference unequivocally proclaims that any individuals or organisation propitiating Dolgyal, would not be affiliated to any Tibetan religious school.”
  • (3) Recognises clearly the actions of Dolgyal followers as a political tool to create discord within the Tibetan community under the influence and deception of monetary gains, and to denigrate His Holiness the Dalai Lama with baseless allegations. The Parliament would like to make it clear that the issue has nothing to do with religious freedom. Further recognises also the Dolgyal followers and others – whose have caused grave harm to the faith and polity of Tibet under the Chinese government’s ploy and in violation of the law of Karma – as criminals in history.
  • (4) As advised by the intelligence agencies of the US and India on the need to ensure greater security for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan administration and the entire Tibetan people must remain vigilant. Moreover, the Department of Security, the local Tibetan administration, and the Representatives of the Offices of Tibet should maintain close coordination with the central and state government of India and concerned governments of the overseas countries respectively in advance to ensure greater security for His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his visits.
  • (5) Directs the Kashag to carry out a thorough investigation into real motives of the Dolgyal followers for their recent activities in San Francisco and accordingly issue firm directives to prevent future incidents.

Following long and careful investigations, His Holiness the Dalai Lama strongly discourages Tibetan Buddhists from propitiating the fierce spirit known as Dolgyal (Shugden). Although he once practised Dolgyal propitiation himself, His Holiness renounced the practice in 1975 after discovering the profound historical, social and religious problems associated with it. He did so with the full knowledge and support of his junior tutor, the late Kyabje Trichang Rinpoche through whom His Holiness first became associated with the practice. Even within the Geluk and Sakya schools – the Tibetan Buddhist traditions to which majority of Dolgyal practitioners belong – the propitiation of this spirit has been controversial throughout its history. Historical investigation reveals that Dolgyal practice, which has strong sectarian overtones, has a history of contributing to a climate of sectarian disharmony in various parts of Tibet, and between various Tibetan communities.

Therefore, from 1975 onwards, His Holiness has regularly made public his view that this practice is inadvisable, based on the following three reasons:

  • 1. The danger of Tibetan Buddhism degenerating into a form of spirit worship: Tibetan Buddhism originally evolved from the authentic and ancient tradition upheld at the great Indian monastic university of Nalanda, a tradition that His Holiness often describes as a complete form of Buddhism. It embodies the original teaching of the Buddha as developed through the rich philosophical, psychological and spiritual insights of such great Buddhist masters as Nagarjuna, Asanga, Vasubandhu, Dignaga and Dharamakirti. Since the great philosopher and logician Shantarakshita was instrumental in establishing Buddhism in Tibet in its earliest stages in the 8th century, philosophical enquiry and critical analysis have always been important hallmarks of Tibetan Buddhism. The problem with Dolgyal practice is that it presents the spirit Dolgyal (Shugden) as a Dharma protector and what’s more tends to promote the spirit as more important than the Buddha himself. If this trend goes unchecked, and innocent people become seduced by cult-like practices of this kind, the danger is that the rich tradition of Tibetan Buddhism may degenerate into the mere propitiation of spirits.
  • 2. Obstacles to the emergence of genuine non-sectarianism: His Holiness has often stated that one of his most important commitments is the promotion of inter-religious understanding and harmony. As part of this endeavour, His Holiness is committed to encouraging non-sectarianism in all schools of Tibetan Buddhism. In this His Holiness is following the example set by his predecessors, especially the Fifth Dalai Lama and the Thirteenth Dalai Lama. Not only is a non-sectarian approach mutually enriching for all Tibetan Buddhist schools, but it is also the best safeguard against a rise of sectarianism that could have damaging consequences for the Tibetan tradition as a whole. Given the acknowledged link between Dolgyal worship and sectarianism, this particular practice remains a fundamental obstacle to fostering a genuine non- sectarian spirit within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
  • 3. Especially inappropriate in relation to the well-being of Tibetan society: Propitiating Dolgyal is particularly troublesome, given the Tibetan people’s present difficult circumstances. Textual and historical research demonstrates that the spirit Dolgyal arose out of hostility to the great Fifth Dalai Lama and his government. The Fifth Dalai Lama, who assumed both the spiritual and temporal leadership of Tibet in the 17th century, personally denounced Dolgyal as a malevolent spirit that arose out of misguided intentions and is detrimental to the welfare of beings in general and the Tibetan government headed by the Dalai Lamas in particular. The Thirteenth Dalai Lama and other respected Tibetan spiritual masters have also spoken out strongly against this practice.

Therefore, in the current Tibetan context, in which unity among the Tibetan people is vitally important, engaging in this controversial and divisive propitiatory practice is inappropriate. His Holiness has strongly urged his followers to consider carefully the problems of Dolgyal practice on the basis of these three reasons and to act accordingly. He has stated that, as a Buddhist leader with a special concern for the Tibetan people, it is his responsibility to speak out against the damaging consequences of this kind of spirit worship. Whether or not his advice is heeded, His Holiness has made clear, is a matter for the individual. However, since he personally feels strongly about how negative this practice is, he has requested those who continue to propitiate Dolgyal not to attend his formal religious teachings, which traditionally require the establishment of a teacher-disciple relationship.

Speech by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to the Second Gelug Conference (Dharamsala, 6 December 2000) We meet here today with Ganden Tri Rinpoche, the representative of Jamgon Gyalwa (Lama Tsong Khapa), chiefly gracing us with his presence. The abbots representing the three seats of Sera, Drepung, Ganden, as well as those of Tashi Lhunpo, Gyuto and Gyumei tantric colleges have joined us; as have abbots and former abbots who are here on behalf of the various other Gelug monasteries. It seems though that the Manali representative has not been able to join us though (laughter). Anyway, as well as all of these guests I also have been able to attend this Gelug conference. The organisation of these international Gelug conferences and the general concern for the maintenance and promotion of the teaching is admirable. I would like to thank all of you for your concern and for having put in such hard work. Given the significance of this event, I would like to encourage everyone, for the space of these few days, to dispense with ostentatious posing and the empty formalities of ceremony. Let us try to get to the heart of the matter. We have now gained quite a bit of experience. So let us utilise that to focus on what problems we face and give some thought to how we can improve things. Our consideration of these matters should be careful. I have high hopes that this will prove to be an open forum for the discussion of the important issues and will generally prove to be a success. Now it is about six hundred years since Lama Tsong Khapa lived in Tibet. About three hundred years earlier, Dipamkara Atisha founded the great Kadam tradition. Lama Tsong Khapa used this school as his foundation. He started a tradition that emphasised tantric study that concentrated on practices of the three deities, Guhyasamaja, Heruka Chakrasamvara and Yamantaka. May this tradition of the Conqueror, Losang Dragpa, That teaches the outward, calm and controlled demeanour of the hearer, And the internal poise associated with the two stages of the yogic practitioner, And adopts both Sutra and Tantra as mutually complementary paths flourish. And as to what is achieved through the adoption of such a practice, we have the words: May this tradition of the Conqueror, Losang Dragpa That takes the emptiness explained in the Causal Vehicle (sutra), And the great bliss that is achieved through the Resultant Means (tantra), Conjoined with the essence of the collection of eighty-four thousand teachings flourish. Having all of these features then, this doctrine is a consummate one. It incorporates study, contemplation and meditation in balanced, equal measure and this is what makes it so remarkable. When it comes to detailed study of the great texts, it is the Sakya and Gelug systems which are the most developed. Of course, it would be correct to say that the Gelug tradition is in reality derived from the Sakya. That being said, we could probably judge the Gelug commentarial elucidations to be the most profound and the best. All of the Tibetan traditions attempt to engage in a practice that has appreciation of emptiness, but also the interdependence of phenomena. However, when it comes down to a coherent exposition of how those two are inter-linked, it is the presentations of Lama Tsong Khapa that stand out. In the Dzogchen tradition, we find a special treatment of the emptiness component within the unified view. The same can be said about the treatment in the Highest Yoga Tantra. However, explaining exactly how the interdependence of things – how they are on the level of appearances – can itself be used as a reason to establish their ultimate, empty nature is something peculiar to the works of Lama Tsong Khapa. This was not a case of Je Rinpoche having been innovative and creating something new. Now it is possible that subsequent figures within the Gelug might be open to the charge of introducing new ideas. However, this is not so with Je Rinpoche. The way that he explains things is just as we find in Buddapalita, the Auto Commentary to Madhyamakavatara and Prasannapada. His works represent a simplification and clarification of the philosophy set out in those works, but it is the same view, not something new. I feel that if the original teachers were here now, if Chandrakirti, Buddapalita and their master Nagarjuna were here now they would express their wholehearted agreement and satisfaction with the way that Je Rinpoche explained things. His works on the middle way are an encapsulation of the view of Nagarjuna, Aryadeva and particularly of Chandrakirti. The original texts, for example Prasannapada is very bulky. However, Je Rinpoche’s commentary is brief in comparison. This is only a contraction of the words though. Indeed when we read Buddapalita, we can sometimes actually get the feeling that it is one of Je Rinpoche’s works that we have. This is a special feature, something that really distinguishes these works from others. If we look at another of Je Rinpoche’s works, something like his Golden Rosary of Eloquence, we see his brilliance really shining through in his ability to survey and summarise the whole Indian Prajaparamita commentarial tradition. The profundity of these works is such that they really are a delight for those well versed in the subjects. That is what lies at the heart of this tradition. Then on the Tantric side there are the three main deities, Guhyasamaja, Heruka Chakrasamvara and Yamantaka as well as Kalachakra. Of those it is Guhyasamaja, that is the chief. There is a saying in the Gelug, ‘If one is on the move it is Guhyasamaja. If one is still, it is Guhyasamaja. If one is meditating, it should be upon Guhyasamaja’. Therefore, whether one is engaged in study or practice, Guhyasamaja should be one’s focus. It is very significant that if we look at the eighteen volumes that comprise Je Rinpoche’s collected works, we find that five volumes of them are devoted solely to Guhyasamaja. Therefore, this tradition of practise of Guhyasamaja has been passed down through Je Rinpoche and his main disciples, via Jetsun Sherab Senge and occupies an exceedingly important position in the Gelug. Je Rinpoche used the earlier Kadam as his foundation and supplemented that with an emphasis upon the study and practice of Guhyasamaja and this is how the tradition has remained for the past six hundred years. That the insights of earlier spiritual figures have been handed down to us by means of this tradition and thus continue to the present day is something that is very laudable. Now if we look at the institutions of study in the Gelug that have played a major role in the upholding of traditions; the most important ones in the central area of Tibet have been Sera, Drepung, Ganden and Tashi Lhunpo. In the Amdo (and Kham) areas, it was mainly Tashi Khyil. Now Kumbum was supposed to be one of the centres of study, and it did originally produce some scholars, but later on there was not so much of note there. Mongolia we find also has given rise to a multitude of scholars, maintainers and promoters of the doctrine of Je Rinpoche. Now later, at the time of the Fifth Dalai Lama – the Fifth became a ‘Drepung Geshe’ (the name applied to the throne-holder at Drepung). Anyway, as that ‘Drepung Geshe’ assumed the reins of power in the state it represented a huge gain for the Gelug tradition (laughs). Now the Fifth himself practised both Dzogchen and the Sakya Non-Ascertainment within Appearance and Emptiness. Indeed, it seems that in the latter part of his life his main emphasis was very much upon Dzogchen. Anyway, it was still the Gelug tradition that benefited most from him and particularly Drepung monastery. The Fifth Dalai Lama’s regent, Sangye Gyatso is said also to have wanted to improve things at Sera monastery, but did not get time. So Sera lost out, didn’t it? (laughs). Anyway, the seats of learning have continued to produce scholars and maintainers of the teachings. As to the monk populations of those monasteries – there was supposed to be 7,700 at Drepung. Actually, it was probably more like eight thousand. According to Loseling ex-abbot Pema Gyaltsen, there were some five thousand at Loseling alone. However, he would go on to say that of those only about a thousand were genuinely studying. So what about the other four thousand? Probably they just wandered around, wasting time, not studying. This also was during a period when Gen Pema Gyaltsen (as the abbot) had tightened things up and the education was going well. However, even by his estimates, there were no more than a thousand monks seriously engaged in studying. Now what was left of those monks by the time we came into exile and they gathered at Buxa? Well it was very sad: it was really just last remnants of what there had been before. At that time though Gen Pema Gyaltsen was someone who really stood out as one who took things into his own hands. Just in terms of his approach to Dholgyal for instance. For some time he was the only one – a lone voice against the worship. Even I was involved in the propitiation at the time. Ling Rinpoche did go through the motions, but in reality, his involvement was reluctant. As far as Trijang Rinpoche was concerned, it was a special, personal practice and Zong Rinpoche was similarly involved. However, Pema Gyaltsen was resolutely against it. He did have one person who acted as his right-hand man at the time. That was I believe the Abbot of Shartse, who was called Gen Kharu. Anyway, the monks remained in a sorry state in Buxa for some time. There were many of them who were ill. After some time I suggested that we try organising things a little. Some decided to try to organise, others were just waiting around. The conditions really were abject. There were many that were ill, it was a far-flung place. The environment was harsh and the accommodation very poor. Despite all of the difficulties, people pulled together. The thing is, they had faith and confidence in the Dalai Lama. I myself did not make it to Buxa. You were there weren’t you Rinpoche? Moreover, the minister of religious affairs would visit there, the poor old man. Everyone worked so hard. Anyway, eventually people moved to the South. The lay people worked very hard to set things up. Once the settlements were organised and the harder work was over the monks began to go down (laughs). Actually the monks originally worked very hard in the fields doing the agricultural work. When I went once there was that one Amdo monk wasn’t there in Gomang? I remember that he debated on the subject of the mind-base consciousness. He put forward his argument very well and spoke in such pure Amdo tones. Later he was sent to drive the tractor and some time after that disrobed. What a waste! He was probably the only Amdowa there at the time. Later I do not know what happened to him, I did not see him again. So at that time those who had a degree of scriptural learning found themselves slaving with agricultural work. Anyway, things gradually improved. Things actually came good for people. Finally, there was a system for the newer monks to fall into and a place for them to study seriously. Most of the new monks came from Tibet. It was the large number of newcomers who provided the boost in numbers and these new people contributed a lot in terms of work. Meantime the Buddhist teachings (in the form of the different traditions) and the Bon tradition were gradually starting to make inroads into other countries of the world. The Gelug, of course, is one of these traditions that started to have an impact abroad. Now all of this has been good of course. Geshe Zopa was amongst the very first wave of teachers to go abroad. He has been there as a monk all of this time, wearing the robes of the Buddha. He has been steadfast, seemingly changing little. This is very admirable. He and others like him have been able to be of great service to the Buddhist teaching and to the tradition of Lama Tsong Khapa in particular. As I mentioned earlier ‘Outwardly calm and controlled, with the demeanour of a Shravaka’ he has kept pure moral discipline. As for how much internal development there has been of Bodhicitta and the two stages of Mantra practice, well let us not go in to that too much (laughs). The point is that he (and others) has displayed this pure moral discipline, which is the very foundation and root of the Buddhist tradition. They have been of service in this very practical way and have done a lot for the protection and promotion of the teachings. I would like to thank them for their behaviour and contribution. It has been forty-one years since we came into exile. Of that first generation to be born in exile, most have themselves become parents or are even approaching middle age. Such is the nature of the passing of time. Actually, that clock is not working is it? The batteries must have run out. I wondered what it was. It said six o’clock some time ago and that is still what it says. Now if only our lives were like that: no change at all. Anyway, the fact is that life continues. Things are changing moment by moment. We look at figures like Gen Pema Gyaltsen, Gen Nyima Rinpoche and great scholars and practitioners from all of the traditions. They are no longer with us. They exist only as memories for us. We may reflect upon them and their kindness, but that is as far as it can go. Now when we think about how best to honour their memory, it is clear that we must take care to preserve their legacy. I would like to encourage everyone to continue to work hard. We have to learn from experience. We must see what faults there are, what needs rectifying and what there is that needs to either added or dispensed with. Now let me address the subject of Dolgyal. There is a tradition amongst some of saying; ‘Yes, we must follow the Dalai Lama’s orders. Now if the suggestion is that it is a case of following someone just because they are a figure of authority, I do not agree. Even when dealing with the instruction of the Buddha, we are taught not to follow it blindly. If upon investigation it turns out to be a statement that is acceptable literally, then we should act upon it. If not, then we must interpret the meaning. Therefore, if someone, without giving any thought to the reasons behind what I say, wants to follow it just because I have said it, I would tend to feel that that is neither in the spirit of the Buddhist way of doing things. It is particularly at variance with the Mahayana approach. The issue here is not just whether people should be following my instruction or not. There are reasons to be considered here. I have drawn attention to things that have been overlooked. However, people must be aware of the reasons for my doing that. I thought that it would be helpful to people if I were to extract relevant quotes and put them together. This whole issue is one that has dogged us for three hundred and sixty, perhaps close to four hundred years. It is not something new. I would here like to add something to what I usually say. There are some words that we find in a work by Gunthang Rinpoche called, Topa Don Denma (Meaningful Praise). Though the traditions of the father remain excellent, At present, they are besmirched with the dark dust of pollution. And many false spiritual guides Lead beings to the abyss of disaster of grief. Now when did Gunthang Rinpoche live? He was a contemporary of Kachen Yeshe Gyaltsen. Anyway, he was a student of Konchog Jigmey Wangpo. He in turn was a disciple of Changkya Rolpai Dorje. Now if we look into the meaning of that quote, what do we find? Though the traditions of the father (Je Rinpoche) remain excellent. Now this is not a reference to anyone in the Kagyu, Sakya or Nyingma traditions. It is definitely referring to some situation relating to the Gelug tradition itself. Anyway, at this time it is the likes of Changkya Rolpai Dorje, Gunthang Rinpoche, and Gyalchok Kelsang Gyatso who were the real leading lights in the Gelug tradition. So who is it that, in the era of the above great spiritual figures is being accused of leading people astray? It is this that I wanted to look into. This was the time when the problem with Miwang had just about settled down. At that time there was a figure named Lelung Shaypai Dorje He was someone of the Gelug tradition, a Drepung Lama. He reached a certain level of attainment in his tantric practices and at some point, he began to teach unruly practices to his disciples in the monastery. There was some rot that set in because of all this. I think it was Purchog Ngawang Jampa who criticised him. He said that there were some during that time who, whether of not they actually had any degree of realisation, had become completely overbearing. He condemned Lelung for having sullied many of the monasteries, drawing them into things that did not concern them. This is something that appears in the biography (of Purchog Ngawang Jampa). Now it is quite possible that the above quote is related to these events. Alternatively, we could look at this as a reference to a different situation. We must look at what Purchog Ngawang Jampa wrote and at the actions of Trichen Ngawang Chogdhen. When we put these together with the fact that Changkya Rolpai Dorje mentions Dolgyal by name and Kachen Yeshe Gyaltsen also talks of this new spirit, this evil ghoul, there must be a strong suspicion that this is a reference to the worship of Dolgyal having found its way into Tashi Lhunpo monastery. It is difficult with so few of the older generation left to consult. This matter is really worthy of a bit of research. Panchen Palden Yeshe was a disciple of the Seventh Dalai Lama. I do not know whether that Panchen Rinpoche had any real links with Trichen Ngawang Chogdhen, but the actions of the latter make it clear that the worship was around at that time. Then there are accounts of a house (associated with Dolgyal) being demolished at the time when the young Panchen Tenpai Wangchuk was at Tashi Lhunpo. Anyway, what is clear is that when he was young, the worship had found its way into Tashi Lhunpo. I believe that it is highly unlikely that it was there at the time of Panchen Palden Yeshe. Kachen Yeshe Gyaltsen’s comments go back to the time when Panchen Tenpai Nyima was young. He refers to the worship of a new spirit at Tashi Lhunpo that was leading people astray. These references could not have been to Begtse and certainly do not refer to Palden Lhamo. I also do not believe that they refer to the protector deity Brahma because Panchen Palden Yeshe devotes quite a lot of his writing to ritual practices relating to this protector. There has been a degree of disagreement as to whether Begtse was to be identified with Jowo Chinga or not. But whatever the case, practices relating to Begtse were already around at the time of the First Dalai Lama. Therefore, that really must lead us to the conclusion that Kachen Yeshe Gyaltsen’s reference is to Dolgyal. So when did it start? If we look at the quote by Kachen Yeshe Gyaltsen, it seems likely that the corruption began at Tashi Lhunpo. If we look at what Purchog Ngawang Jampa says though, the suggestion is of the tradition first occurring in Ganden. Initially however there was absolutely no such ritual surrounding propitiation of such a worldly spirit. If you look at Je Rinpoche’s birth-deity, Machen Pomra, even temples and practices relating to this deity had to be outside and were not allowed within the confines of Ganden monastery. It was later on though that these things crept in. By the time of Purchog Ngawang Jampa, he is blaming the proliferation in some quarters of a wholehearted devotion to Dolgyal for various problems relating to education in Ganden. Likewise if we put together what is said in the biographies of Trichen Ngawang Chogdhen and Changkya Rolpai Dorje, it is clear what the references are to. So maybe the words composed by Gungthang Rinpoche are directed to all of this. It is something that is worthy of some historical research. It seems that this is the more likely explanation. Now some suggest that it was Phabongkha Rinpoche who was responsible for popularising the propitiation in the main monasteries (and use this as a justification). This also needs to be looked into. When exactly is it that he is supposed to have done this? Was it meant to be in the latter half of his life? If the suggestion is that it was in the earlier part of his life, we find for example in Trijang Rinpoche’s biography an account of something that occurred when he was very young. He spoke of a time when he was at Chusang (in Tibet). Phabongkha Rinpoche was also there at the time and he had just completed a Secret Hayagriva retreat. Trijang Rinpoche recalls him distributing many red pills after that retreat. So anyway, in the earlier part of his life he was practising in a non-sectarian way. He also took teachings on the Sangwa Gyachen and also gave the Dojoi Bumsang empowerment. Now the latter of these is a thoroughly Nyingma teaching. Sangwa Gyachen on the other hand is not teaching that either the Nyingma or Gelug lay exclusive claim to. Whatever the case, the fact that Phabongkha Rinpoche was, during the earlier part of his life, practising in a non-sectarian fashion is quite clear. It was only after his involvement with Dolgyal began that his rejection of the Nyingma came about. The question that we must ask ourselves is what effect his involvement with Dolgyal had upon his work and achievements. Was it something that did more harm or good? Think about it. During the earlier part of his life, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama really had a special place and high hopes for Phabongkha Rinpoche. Later on though, Phabongkha became the object of his criticism. Some might have us believe that it was jealousy that was responsible for this. However, in reality it is clear that it is the Dolgyal issue that was the root of the problem. So did Phabongkha’s involvement aid or hinder what he was trying to achieve? This is the crux of the matter. Now of all of Phabongkha Rinpoche’s disciples, Trijang Rinpoche can really be seen as the main one and his real spiritual heir. There are those who suggest that because these two obviously pushed the worship of Dolgyal that its importance is unquestionable and that therefore it is fitting that others should also get involved in it – that the worship is validated by those two figures’ association with it. To listen to these people you would get the impression that their worship of Dolgyal was the most important thing that these two did in their lives; their main contribution. That is ridiculous; it was not like that at all. One just has to look at the works that they composed, like the Stages of the Path by Phabongkha or that of Trijang Rinpoche. They were really both masters of and heirs to that tradition. I took many Stages of the Path teachings from Trijang Rinpoche. It was quite evident that there was something quite distinct in his way of explaining, something very special about it. In terms of Tantra, as well, he was a master, particularly of Heruka Chakrasamvara, and that he was a great yogi is a generally accepted fact. Therefore, the real contribution and achievement of both of these two figures was in terms of their mastery of the Stages of the Path, Mind Training and Heruka practise. Dolgyal was only ever a secondary thing. There is another issue at question here. Even if something is or was performed by great spiritual teachers of the past, if it goes against the general spirit of the teachings, it should be discarded. This is a point that Je Rinpoche made repeatedly, saying, The purpose of having personal advice instruction is to have a digestible abridgement (of the teachings). One should never forsake the essential meaning of the great texts. What I have been saying comes back to this point. Some make out as though they have some secret personal instruction. Who was superior to Nagarjuna and Asanga or each of their spiritual sons when it came to composing abridged instruction of the teachings? Now if that is the case, when someone comes along and suggests that there was some other instruction, distinct and different from them, one really has to consider whether that isn’t something that one should be wary of. Personal instruction traditions are there to help us gain understanding of the great texts. They should be helping us to comprehend what the final intention behind what the Buddha taught was. They should not be going against that or causing harm. These are the types of things that we have to reflect upon. Personal instruction traditions are meant to help us get to the heart of the matter, help us to understand easily the meaning of the teachings. For example, the Abhisamayalankara is counted as a personal instruction in the sense of it being something that is there to help us fathom the meaning of the Buddha’s teaching. It is not meant to be offering us some instruction distinct from that. My position on Vajrayogini is also related to these matters. I cannot accept what some say. Namely, that Vajrayogini was the main and clandestine practice of Je Rinpoche. It is not as though I do not have any faith in Vajrayogini. I do Vajrayogini practice, I do the Heruka body mandala practice and they go well. I have done the full Vajrayogini retreat and I did get certain signs. There was nothing spectacular you understand, but something at least. They involve profound practices these, such as working with the Inner Fire. Milarepa, who felt it to be the foundation of the path, particularly stressed this latter thing. Meditation on the inner fire is something that comes up in all the practices of the Highest Yoga deities. A special section set aside for the visualisation and working with this inner fire at the end of the mantra recitation indicates its pride of place. It figures in the Vajrayogini, as in the other generation and completion stage practices. They are profound practices. I have faith in them and I do them myself. However, some people try to make out as though Vajrayogini is in fact not really a Sakya practice. However, they can point to no texts on the subject by Je Rinpoche or his main disciples. These people are therefore forced to resort to a line of reasoning in which they go through eliminating each of the other Tantric practices, and come up with the conclusion that it was this one that was Je Rinpoche’s chief practice, but that he performed it covertly. In reality, this is a Sakya teaching. We also have the question about the inclusion of two verses (Yi ong lang tsoi and Drib drel lhen kye) in Lama Chopa, but we do not need to go into this any further than that. It would be interesting to find out just when and who was responsible for that later inclusion of the words. What we need is to do some sort of research into the matter: just like the type initiated by Tsultrim Kelsang in Japan. In a similar vein, it would be worthwhile looking into just who was responsible for first coining the epithet -Protector of the teachings for the Conqueror Manjushri (Je Rinpoche)- for Dolgyal. What were the circumstances of its being given? Was this the culmination of an authoritative spiritual figure following the correct procedure of ordering (the protector into service) and assigning (to it certain duties)? That certainly cannot be said of Phabongkha. He did not go through this procedure. Rather, it is said that, intimidated by Dogyal’s aggression towards him he halted his practise of Dojoi Bumzang. That is hardly something to be proud of is it? I also had cause to enter into a discussion of these matters with the chief attendant of the former Rikgya Rinpoche. Rinpoche had been heavily involved in the worship. Not so long ago the attendant told me that later Rinpoche had given up the ritual. He went on to say that anyway his whole involvement in the thing came about in rather questionable circumstances. According to the attendant, it had been due to Dolgyal inflicting some injury upon him that he had begun. Frightened that he might experience further harm, Rinpoche decided to take up the worship. That is repugnant isn’t it? It is a complete reversal of how things should be. It is meant to be that some realised being, without bowing down, without fear, with good reasons for what he is doing draws the worldly deities to him and brings them under his control and influence. He is supposed to be the one who is in control. It is he who is supposed to give the orders and assign the spirit to certain duties. So who was it that gave this name? It was not any of the Ganden Throne-Holders who was responsible for this. It was not Je Rinpoche or one of his main disciples. It was not the chief Lama of Tashi Kyil in Amdo or one of his main disciples. The practise was completely unheard of there. Now I do not suggest that Kumbum is generally to be taken as any sort of example, but still, the likes of Tongpon Rinpoche were not responsible for this. My brother Taktser Rinpoche, for instance was the abbot there for a number of years and said that he had never even heard of it whilst he was there. It is true that the former Kirti Rinpoche dabbled in the worship. However, that was just a case of following a tradition that others around him were engaged in. There was no sort of whole-hearted commitment. On inspection then, the origins of the whole thing are found to be very murky and there seems to be no reliable source for it. Now I would like to say something about Trijang Rinpoche. He and Karmapa Rinpoche were very close. He himself related one incident that occurred after we had moved here. He said that on the previous day he had received a bit of a shock. Karmapa Rinpoche had turned up out of the blue just as he was doing Dolgyal propitiation. When he heard that Karmapa Rinpoche had arrived, he said that he had to hurriedly clear away all of the offerings in order to conceal them. The reason was that Karmapa Rinpoche was not at all keen on Dolgyal. Think about this. What sort of a tutelary protector for the Gelug is it that one has to conceal when a Kagyu Lama arrives? The Gelug tradition has the Six-Armed Mahakala as a tutelary deity. It also has Damchen Chogyel (Kalarupa). If it had been Mahakala there in full view, Karmapa Rinpoche would have been quite happy. He would probably have offered a symbolic libation to him. I do not know whether the same is true for Damchen Chogyel (Kalarupa). In the Nyingma, they do use the name “the animal-headed protector’. For example, there is that account of Alak Jigmei Samten. During his life, in Rebgong in Amdo there was a history of some mantra practitioners casting spells against others. Alak Jigmey Samten had decided to do the Yamantaka protection-circle ritual. Now there was someone called Rongpo Rebgong Gyawu who was opposed to the Gelug and was casting spells. At the time that Alak was meditating on the mandala of Yamantaka, one of Rongpo Rebgong Gyawu’s students had a dream. In it, there was a Lama who was riding a horse. He wore a hat. But as he went along a crow swooped down and took the hat off him. The student related this dream to his teacher. He responded, “Hmm, the Gelugs are casting spells. But they will not be able to subdue Gonpo Phulug. Anyway, if it is that animal-headed protector that they have enlisted, it will be no match for me’. However maybe he miscalculated and the protector did harm him, because not so long afterwards it seems that he came to an untimely end. Anyway, the point is; the real tutelary deities of the Gelug are those that have been appointed to the task after the ordering and assigning process approved by Je Rinpoche. They are the established guardians. One can engage in propitiation of them openly and with pride. There is no need to hide them from anyone, whether the person in question is a Kagyu, Dzogchen or Sakya practitioner. There should be no need to have to conceal representations of any protector in some dark corner. It makes me laugh to think about Trijang Rinpoche scurrying to collect his offerings, saying to his attendant, ‘put this one away, and this one, and this one’. But having to hide like that seems to be a rather sorry state of affairs. Despite the fact that it was Phabongkha, Trijang Rinpoche and Zong Rinpoche who were promoting Dolgyal, I am of the opinion that there has not been a single substantial benefit whatsoever for the Gelug tradition that can be attributed to this whole worship. Quite the contrary is true. As a result of it, those who are ready to criticise and badmouth the Gelug tradition have increased. In the context of the education within the monasteries, their attempts to promote the teachings and preserve the Buddhist doctrine, there is not a single benefit that can be pointed to as having derived from it. If there were anything truly beneficial to be gained from the worship, would it not be fair to expect that those religious figures that were renowned for their most pure maintenance of the doctrine of Je Rinpoche and his chief spiritual sons would have something positive to say for it? But do we find any such statements by individuals such as the former Denma Locho Rinpoche in Drepung, Tongpon Rinpoche or those of a similar stature? No, we do not. So no one can use the argument that those who steered clear of the worship have been those who were the less learned or whose practice of moral discipline was inferior, whereas those who were involved have been the more scholarly and those who have kept their discipline more strictly. Anyway, I am of the opinion that Phabongkha and Trijang Rinpoche’s promotion of the worship of Dolgyal was a mistake. But their worship represents merely a fraction of what they did in their lives. Their contributions in the areas of Stages of the Path, Mind Training and Tantra teachings were considerable. Their contribution in these areas was unquestionable and in no way invalidated by involvement with Dolgyal. I am not someone who tries to claim that I should be counted amongst the ranks of the scholarly or accomplished beings. I do however feel that my approach to this issue (i.e. differing on one point, whilst retaining respect for the person in question) is completely in line with how such great beings from the past have acted. I often reflect upon these words: Vasubhandu, who had the welfare of beings at heart, Due to his personal leaning, Explained (the Prajnaparamita /Abhisamayalankara), In terms of the internal (mental) existence of all things. He who was counted amongst the ranks of the aryas, And was known as “freedom’. Seeing that what (Vasubhandu) had done was not how it should be, He scrutinised with a “middle way” judgement. Therefore, Arya Vimuktisena, whose teacher was Vasubhandu, saw that Vasubhandu’s manner of explanation of the Abhisamayalankara had been more affected by his own personal bias towards a particular position than being a true reflection of the author’s ultimate intent. He therefore composed a commentary refuting that view, displacing it with a Madhyamaka interpretation. Now was this a case of a corruption of the spiritual guide – disciple relationship on Arya Vimuktisena’s part or of him showing disrespect for Vasubhandu? It was neither of these things. Then we could look at accounts of the relationship between Jowo Je Atisha and his teacher Serlingpa. Serlingpa was the teacher who Atisha himself accredited as the one who helped him most in his quest to generate bodhicitta. In this area, he was like his root Lama. Despite this, on the philosophical level they were at variance. Serlingpa held the Cittamatra view. Accounts have it that Serlingpa congratulated Atisha for his practise of bodhicitta, whilst informing him that as far as his philosophical view was concerned he was incorrect. Atisha said though that Serlingpa’s instructions only served to boost his confidence in the correctness of the middle way view. Likewise, we have the case of Dharmakirti. Vasubhandu had many students, one of whom was Dignaga. He was said to have been the one who surpassed even his own master in terms of his understanding of Pramana. Dignaga then had a disciple called Ishvarasena. He in turn had Dharmakirti as a student. Dharmakirti heard explanation of Dignaga’s Pramanasamuccaya text from Ishvarasena, but rejected Ishvarasena’s interpretation. He then incorporated Ishvarasena’s views as the objects of attack in sections of his Pramanavarttika. Thus, when it comes to helping to clarify the doctrine, creating, and rectifying mistakes, even one’s own teacher may come under criticism. One can see it in terms of one’s teacher having given certain instructions directed at a few specific individuals (when there is a need to give a different message). Whilst this might generally work though, it would be difficult to square in the above-mentioned case of Vasubhandu. At least in the way that Haribhadra has put it, it sounds as though it was Vasubhandu’s own bias (as opposed to consideration of any particular disciple) that led him to interpret things in the way that he did. Anyway, whether the original reasons for certain interpretations were due to individual students, other considerations or plain misunderstanding, it may prove necessary for later individuals to clarify things. Rectifying, clarifying and the like are generally accepted approaches for the learned and completely in step with the correct general approach to the teachings. This is way to proceed and help to guard against decline. Anyway, going back to the quote from Gungtang Rinpoche, after the above-mentioned words we find; “Alas, when I reflect on how, The burgeoning wealth of the Gelug tradition, Has been accompanied by a meagre amount of teaching and practice, I am lead to despair.” Rather melancholic, isn’t it? Next though we have these words of consolation: Though it may be hard to find Explanations of this profound and vast meaning exactly as it is, The un-erring works that you (Je Rinpoche) composed Provide relief and solace. Je Rinpoche went through great hardship to achieve what he did. He engaged in a great deal of study and contemplation in equal measure and without prejudice. Finally, he realised the full import of the Buddha’s words. Then he set all these forth in his own works. Now if from our side we are not up to understanding them, that is a different matter. However, everything is there, laid out for us in those works, ready for us to see, to contemplate or to meditate upon. Just like the last line of the above quote. Kangsar Dorje Chang for instance used to go regularly in the winter to a place called Chagsam Chor. While he was staying there, for the period of a month he would go through all of the works of Je Rinpoche, reading and reciting them with great care. That is what we should be doing. That was really something praiseworthy. What we tend to do these days is go through bits at different times. Going through all of the works is something that I would do if I had more time. As it is, I have probably only been through once fully. This relates to what I mean when I talk about sticking close to and preserving what we find in the eighteen volumes of Je Rinpoche’s works. This is why I believe that Gen Tongpon’s criticism was valid. It may be true that Chopa Donden was a great practitioner, who was giving instruction in accordance with his disciples’ predispositions. Ling Rinpoche for example took Chod teachings from him (although the text that was being used at the time remained unidentified). It seems to be the case that with monks getting involved in the practice though, doing all sorts of things, making lots of noise with their chanting etc. that this was having an adverse affect upon the study and education at Drepung in general. This seems to be why Tongpon Rinpoche finally came out against it. I believe that there was good reason for what he did. If someone is following the Gelug tradition, what on earth is the point of discarding what is in those eighteen volumes of Je Rinpoche’s works and getting involved in some unrelated, personal instruction? That is what I think. The same is true with the Vajrayogini practice. In general, it is important, but for example, this is a criticism directed at the Tantric colleges. What is the point of putting aside the practices of the main three deities that have been so meticulously set forth and spending one’s time doing pleasant-sounding Vajrayogini recitation? It is what is contained in Je Rinpoche’s works that those following the Gelug tradition should cherish above all. It should be what we actually find in those works that we should be emphasising and focusing upon. Meditation and contemplation should be upon those. Actually, this brings me to a point that I have wanted to mention for a while. Of course, there is the perennial problem of insufficient time. However when a teacher is going through a particular text, it is very important that they link it to the original (Indian) texts by means of the works of Je Rinpoche. For instance, when someone is teaching about the Middle Way, it would be most helpful if they would go through the Auto-Commentary to Madhyamakavatara. This should be done in conjunction with Je Rinpoche’s commentary to Madhyamakavatara, matching them line by line to gain a thorough comprehension of what the Auto-Commentary actually says. Likewise, when studying Je Rinpoche’s commentary to Prasannapada one should go through the Buddhapalita and Prasannapada commentaries themselves, linking them to the relevant sections in Je Rinpoche’s work. They should act as the basis for the study. Then Nagarjuna’s root text on wisdom can be used as an aid. The thing is that one should be using the original Indian texts as one’s foundation. Je Rinpoche’s works, with their excellent way of explaining things bring all of the essentials of these works together. Thus allowing us to understand them. One should work with the commentaries of Buddhapalita as well Chandrakirti and also Bhavaviveka when relevant. If we pursue things in this fashion, then when we study the Middle Way view we come to appreciate exactly how the Madhyamakavatara helps us to access Nagarjuna’s root text on the Middle Way on both the profound and vast levels. It is at that point that we can genuinely get a sense of coming close to what Nagarjuna was getting at. Then it will be as though we have formed some emotional bond so that whenever we hear his name this is a special feeling induced. I make no claims for myself; I have no experience, no realisations or anything. However, Je Rinpoche’s explanations of emptiness and interdependence do inspire faith in Nagarjuna. We will come to understand his sentiments when he announced, “I prostrate to Gautama, The one who, due to love and compassion, Dispensed with all views”, And taught the holy Dharma. . We know that Nagarjuna was not mistaken. He was not naive or foolish. We can eventually get some feeling for this and what occurs to us is the thought: “well if such a celebrated master as Nagarjuna praises the Buddha for his teaching on dependent relations, there must be something in it”. I feel then that it is essential, when we are engaging in study, to look at those works that are the fruit of Je Rinpoche’s endeavours. Exactly how what he taught can be traced back to what Nagarjuna said needs to be set forth in fine detail. Otherwise, what has tended to happen is that even though people have made use of his commentary to Madhyamakavatara, due to the question of time or whatever, Prasannapada has not been utilised so much. This was Gen Tonpon’s way of doing things. This is what he kindly bequeathed to us. It is something worth reflecting upon. Apart from that, I do not think that there is much else. The purpose of coming together and mentioning these things is to impress them upon and keep them fresh in the mind. We have to reflect on the important things that have occurred, what lessons there are to be learned. I have taken some time to go through things today. I know that many of you are aware of these things, but because a large number of representatives have come from the more far-flung places, it is worth reminding ourselves of them. My reasons for clamping down on Dolgyal are related to what I have stated here. I do not want people to just treat it as a duty purely because it is something that I have said. It is not something that I am encouraging people to accept blindly. That would be completely against the democratic spirit. It would also be going against the approach that is encouraged in the Buddhist tradition. I am talking about viewing the evidence intelligently here. However, if we cannot reach an impartial decision any other way, we could do this. On the one side, we put Phabongkha, Trijang and Zong Rinpoches. On the other, we put Purchog Ngawang Jampa, Trichen Ngawang Chogdhen, Chunky Rolpai Dorje, and Kachen Yeshe Gyaltsen. Then we weigh them up against each other. Which group’s opinion is it that we believe carries the more weight and we place more credence in? It is clear. If Trijang Rinpoche and Phabongkha Rinpoche were to look, in depth, into the words of Ngawang Purchog Jampa, there is no way that they would be able to ignore it, they would without doubt be forced to acquiesce. Similarly, we could take Phabongkha’s root Lama, Jampel Ngodrub Gyatso. He may have made the occasional libation offering, but basically, he was not someone who was involved in worship of Dolgyal. At some point, there were two monasteries under his administration, one in the south, one in the north of a particular area. One monastery was engaged in the worship of Dolgyal, whereas the other was not. The latter one was the place where he stayed. When there was some opposition to the worship, Jampel Ngodrub Gyatso resolved the issue by ordaining that the image of Dolgyal was to be placed outside the monastery, he did not let the worship continue inside. We have to put all these bits of evidence together, add them all up. Once a year, I put questions to the Nechung oracle. As many have suggested that the whole tradition of “life offering” in relation to Dolgyal practice sprung from a vision that Tagpu Dorje Chang had, I wanted to query this. I posed the question that, if this indeed were something that can be traced back to such a vision, wouldn’t it be something that can be relied upon? The response was that visions are of two types. There are reliable ones that come due to blessings of higher powers and those that are in the nature of hindrances. This, it was stated, was a case of the latter. It was made quite clear then and events seem to have born this out. We have to analyse all of these points. What sort of relations have there been with Ganden Phodrang for the last three or four hundred years? Actually, we could put those relations with the government to one side. After all, there is one school of thought that suggests that the friction arose due to the Fifth Dalai Lama’s practising in a non-sectarian fashion. Let us look elsewhere. Again returning for instance to Purchog Ngawang Jampa. He was the principal disciple of Drukang Geleg Gyatso. He was a spiritual heir to the Stages of the Path teachings, an incredible master of learning and practice. He was also someone with an intense passion for the Gelug tradition. In light of this, one has to consider his opinions on the matter. Then how much have recent events related to this issue benefited the Gelug tradition? It has increased the critics of the Gelug. Now there is a prevalent view that fundamentalism is common in the Gelug. There is also the feeling that this hard-line attitude has come about due to a spirit having issued orders that people who follow the Gelug should have nothing to do with the Nyingma. This is all seen to have come about due to something akin to intimidation. There is another related subject, that I had cause to mention to some of you a few days ago. That is the discussion of religious freedom, freedom of faith. Let me talk about my own experience. When I was younger, I developed a great deal of faith in the Bodhicitta Aspiration and took the transmission from Kunnu Lama Tenzin Gyaltsen. Then I received the teaching of “A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life” (Bodhisattvacaryavatara) from him and after that, there were the Thirteen Great Texts. Apart from the transmission that was passed on to me by my personal tutors, I took the Thirteen Great Texts transmission from Tenzin Gyaltsen. Then I thought of taking the Secret Essence Tantra from him as well. I happened to mention this to Ling Rinpoche one day, but he discouraged me. He told me that it was rather controversial and that it would be better not to take it. Now what actually had happened was that Ling Rinpoche, being rather timid, seems to have been under the impression that if I were to take the transmission, Dolgyal was likely to have responded by inflicting some harm. I was the one who was pushing to take this. The Secret Essence Tantra is, I believe, one of the texts that Buton Rinpoche decided to exclude from the collection of the Kangyur. However, it is a text that the Nyingma and Karma Kagyu treat as authentic. Anyway, Ling Rinpoche’s opposition to me receiving the transmission of that Tantra was based upon his fear of Dolgyal. Therefore, what happened was that though I wanted to take that Tantra, because of someone’s fear of Dolgyal, I was unable to. My rights to freedom of religious choice were thus violated. Later on, I looked into the Dolgyal issue in detail and at the end of a process of investigations, finally decided to end my involvement. Once I had dispensed with it, I was in a position to engage in a less sectarian approach and take teachings from different traditions. In particular, I was at the time interested in receiving a Phurbu empowerment. I decided to do a divination about this and it came out positively, so I went ahead with it. Many of you know already about this. Anyway, this was a very important issue at the time. There is one special guardian deity of Tibet. The name of the deity is Jowo Wotei Sangpo – the Kyidrong Jowo. It was in a series of visions that the Fifth Dalai Lama had of this deity that he is said to have received teachings and transmissions relating to Sangwa Gyachen. The main statue of this deity is one from Kyidrong (a place close to the Nepalese border in Tibet). Let me relate something of my experience with the statue. It was people from Dzonga Cho De who, despite many difficulties, brought the statue out from Tibet wasn’t it? For some time the statue was with me in Dharamsala. Then when the rest of you went down to the settlements in the South I thought it would not be fitting for me to keep it privately. Therefore, I decided to do a divination before the statue to ascertain whether the statue should go down with the Dzong Ga Cho De or stay with me. The response was the deity indicated that whilst it was true that those people had gone to a lot of trouble to bring the statue out safely, still maybe it would be happier if it stayed with the Dalai Lama for the time being. Thus the Jowo accepted to grace me with his presence (laughter), whereas Dzong Ga Cho De had to go down to the South empty-handed. Now this Jowo was traditionally one of the main deities that the Dalai Lamas would rely upon. Apart from that Palden Lhamo is held very highly and there is one thangka, which became a special and precious object at the time of the Second Dalai Lama, and has been so ever since. When the Fifth Dalai Lama had seemed already to have breathed his last, the regent, Sangye Gyatso, fell into a state of desperation. The Red Potala had not yet been completed and there were many other important matters that had been left unresolved. Sangye Gyatso pleaded that he did not know how to continue. Only then did the Fifth Dalai Lama seem to return to life, to give his parting advice. He told the regent that when it came to the less important matters, there was nothing that Sangye Gyatso’s own wisdom would not be up to working out. When it came to important decisions, he was told to direct all of his questions to Palden Lhamo by performing divinations before the thangka in question. This thangka is thus held in very high esteem. When I escaped from Tibet, I carried this thangka with me personally. I had it on one shoulder and a gun slung across the other. I was supposed to look like one of the guards in a detachment. One attendant was made out to look like some sort of military leader and we his escort. I had to take off my glasses. It would not have been good for light to reflect off them. At some point, I remember, we had to cross some water in sparse moonlight and I came close to being unseated. Both the thangka and the gun just seemed to keep on getting heavier and heavier as we went along (laughter). Anyway, the thangka, being considered as an object of great spiritual significance, was brought with us. For this important divination, we also invited the Nechung oracle. Then there was my tutor Ling Rinpoche. Trijang Rinpoche was not in Dharamsala at the time. I think that he was in Varanasi. Otherwise, he would also have been consulted. Anyway, Ling Rinpoche was here and so was invited to the divination ceremony. I brought them all together. Yongdzin Rinpoche then in his capacity as my own main source of refuge was invited for the ceremony. Then there was the Jowo statue representing the special guardian deity for us in Tibet. The blessed Palden Lhamo thangka was brought (Palden Lhamo having been the main protector for the various Dalai Lamas since the time of Gendun Gyatso). The other of the official protectors, Nechung Dorje Dragden was also there. I made it clear what issue it was that the consultation was about. Now of course on one side it may have looked as though I was hedging my bets; not putting my total confidence in my tutor, not being completely sure of Nechung or relying totally upon Palden Lhamo (laughter). All of them were witnesses for the performance of this divination ceremony. Therefore, with them presiding over proceedings, I performed a divination about the taking of the Phurbu initiation. It came out favourably, I took the empowerment and my ties with the Nyingma were forged from that time onward. I got involved with Nyingma ritual. In these circumstances then, from that time henceforth, I was allowed to fully exercise my right of conscience and religious freedom. If we clamp down on something that is inhibiting religious freedom, we are thereby safeguarding that religious freedom, aren’t we? For example, in Madhyamaka and Pramana texts, it refers to “Reaching the truth reality through a process of elimination”. Likewise, here, by acting against that thing which is inhibiting religious freedom, we are protecting that religious freedom. A second point is that any clamping down on the worship of Dolgyal does not amount to any form of restriction of freedom to practise Buddha-Dharma. What we are talking about here is the propitiation of a spirit. It is a misuse of the term “Buddha-Dharma” to refer to such a thing in this way. Even if we were to take a very liberal interpretation of the term “Dharma’, and include such things as propitiation of spirits and nagas, this still would not qualify. Even in those terms, this tradition is a perverse one. This is not an authentic tradition, but a mistaken one. It is leading people astray. As Buddhists, who take ultimate refuge in the three jewels, we are not permitted to take refuge in worldly deities. If one were to decide to enlist the help of a worldly spirit – that is to say, to get such a spirit to assist us on a temporal level, to succeed in short-term affairs – then the spirit that is called upon should be an approved one. It should be one that was brought into service by a realised being who has gone through the process of ordering and assigning. It should certainly not be one that is so controversial and has come to prominence through intimidation. This is not an immoral practice. If one reflects on all of these things, one will come to see that what we have here is not a question of freedom to practise Buddha-Dharma. Whatever though, at the end of the day, if one chooses to fly in the face of all the reasoning and still wants to get involved in this form of worship, there is nothing that anyone can do about it. It is a matter of personal choice in which one can exercise one’s right. No one is going to say that one is not allowed to worship it. Whether one chooses to accept religion or not, is a personal decision. Whatever form of spirit worship one wants to do, it is up to oneself. Even if one chooses to close one’s eyes to the evidence, without caring about the results of one’s actions, perform things that are going to damn you, it is not up to me, and I can do nothing about it. It is like the words, “I, Kachei Palu, have disclosed my secrets here, but whether you choose to listen or not is up to you”. It is necessary to clarify these matters. Otherwise, some of you might have your suspicions. Maybe there are still some of you who, in seeming deference to the Dalai Lama make out as though you agree and follow me in this, but who privately harbour other thoughts. Others of you may be thinking, “well I am not sure of the reasons, but as it is something that the Dalai Lama has instructed, I must abide by it”. I want to stress again that I do not support this attitude at all. This is a ridiculous approach. This is a position that one should come to by weighing the evidence and then using one’s discernment about what it would be best to adopt and what best to avoid. Now when it comes to my own acting against the worship of Dolgyal; well I made an official announcement to government workers. I made an announcement and there was a video. After that, was it about two years ago that the Shartse geshe, Tsultrim Gyaltsen who requested the Sixteen Drops of the Kadam empowerment. When that was finished, I did the meditational retreat associated with the practice. There were indications that this was successful. The next night I had an incredibly clear dream of Trijang Rinpoche. In this, he was acting particularly affectionately toward me. There was a Stages of the Path text, which had notes of his on some of the pages. He gave me the pages and said, “These will prove useful in the future”. That put me at ease. I feel that what I am doing is in accordance with what Trijang Rinpoche would have wanted. I feel that what I am doing is the correct course of action. He followed the system dictated to him by his root Lama, of whom he was the special disciple. Now doing what I am doing, being open about all this is, I feel, in line with what he would really have wanted. I used to have some dreams when I was in Tibet that seemed to show signs that I had some link with the Fifth Dalai Lama. More recently, after the turmoil that ensued after taking action against the worship of Dolgyal I had another dream. In it, there was a thangka portrait of the Fifth Dalai Lama. As I was looking at it, after some time it turned into the real thing. He came toward me and handed me a ceremonial scarf. It was incredibly long. When I woke up what I felt was that I was completing something that had been left over from the time of the Fifth Dalai Lama. Again, convinced that I am acting in accordance with his wishes and that he would be happy with me, I feel at ease with my decisions. So these days when the Dolgyal Association state that they have no quarrel with anyone except the Ganden Phodrang – Tibetan government established by the Vth Dalai Lama, that turns out to be absolutely true. It was the Ganden Phodrang who originally demolished Simkang Gong. Now almost four hundred years later, they are agitating over that. They are directing their case against the responsible party. I am not quite sure in which court they intend to have their case heard though (laughter). The basis for the dispute is a historic one. That is about all I have to say. Perhaps some of you are a little tired after we have gone on for such a long time, but we do not get a chance to come together very often. The Dholgyal issue is not so incredibly important, but because it gives rise to so much baseless rumour in various circles, I think that it is best to bring it into the open and discuss it when we get the chance. Now Tashi Wangdu (a minister) you are always saying that one needs to do things in accordance with the instructions of the Buddha. Of course, that is correct, but it should not be in a stupid way. As I said, I do not want people just to use the fact that I have said something as the reason that it should be followed. This is not an issue of power and its misuse.

Now my reason for inviting the representatives of the other Tibetan traditions from the assembly of peoples’ deputies is this. I think that whenever one tradition has a conference it would be advisable to have representatives from the other traditions present to view the proceedings. As I have been saying this for a while, there has been some positive effect. Now what we are having at present is a Gelug meeting. This is convened in the presence of the other representatives. This is a forum for Gelug people to speak their mind, brag a little or whatever. The point is that doing it this way everything is out in the open, not hidden from view. Without this, others may generate suspicions as to what was said. They may project that this was a place for scheming. The danger of exaggerated rumours beginning is thus diminished. There is no reason for scheming. Let me say something else. I mentioned it to some of you, but the majority of you were not present. The very first Dharma conference that we had was in the sixties. Now I think that there are almost none of those other lamas and abbots who attended left. Dudjom Rinpoche was there as was Drugpa Tugse Rinpoche. There was Khen Rinpoche and Karmapa Rinpoche. Of the abbots of the three seats, there were Gen Pema Gyaltsen, Gen Nyima Gyaltsen and the Mongolian Gen Lozang. I heard that in Buxa, if someone gave some offerings, rather than save it, Gen Losang immediately had momos made. Is that true? (laughter). Of course, if there was someone who gave some money as an offering to the monastery, maybe it should have been saved. Instead, he would spend it straight away on momos. There was that one from Sera Je (unidentified). The old bloke was not there. At the conference, he was relating to everyone the activities at Buxa. Whilst doing this he mistakenly said, “ten, twelve, thirteen o’clock”. Of course, there is the twenty-hour hour calculation system. However, it was not that. He just got it mixed up, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen o’clock – (laughter). It sounded so funny. Anyway, the conference was held at Dharamsala. It was meant to be non-sectarian, so we had representatives from all of the traditions. We also had representatives from the Bon tradition there. There was no one at all who was really demanding equal status for the Bon tradition there, but it was only fair that they be invited as well. There was the Bon abbot of Ral Ling. He wore a black lower robe. He was a very humble, fine man. He was very old. There was someone else representing them as well. He was a well-built man who said that he had spent a number of years at either Loseling or Gomang. Therefore, we had this meeting and broke up. Dudjom Rinpoche had come from Kalimpong. On his return, someone who was one of his students or benefactors turned up. He approached Rinpoche and making out as though he had some earth-shattering news announced, “Oh, it seems that they have been having a conference in Dharamsala. It must mean that they plan to convert everyone to the Gelug tradition”. Rinpoche responded by saying, “What are you talking about? It was a non-sectarian meeting. All the traditions were there and participated and were granted equal respect. I have just come back from there. What do you mean by saying that there is a plan to convert everyone to the Gelug tradition?’ This is what he told me later. The person said that this was the rumour that was going around. So you see, you can have situations like that. A rumour for which there is absolutely no basis whatsoever, something being completely made up. So we have a Gelug conference here. 41‘Zirnkang Gong’ was the residence of Trulku Dragpa Gye]tsen (a figure who, for various reasons is seem as intimately connected with Dogyel and the worship) that was demolished on government order at the time of the fifth Dalai Lama. Monks tend to do more debate in the course of their philosophical studies. They can therefore be a little mouthy sometimes. This might be misunderstood and others think that there is some sort of contriving going on here. So I wanted it to be out in the open. There is nothing to be suspicious of. The motives for having a meeting of this nature are honourable. We are trying to see what improvements can be made and what changes there should be. Such events are meant to promote co-operation and understanding between people, whether they be from the Nyingma, Kagyu Sakya or Bön traditions, not create problems between them. When we first came to Dharamsala, Dzogna Rinpoche was working in the religious affairs office. The religious affairs minister was Thesu (p?). He was of the old school in the sense of being rather biased toward the government and particularly the Gelug tradition. He was also it seems worshipping Dogyel. So maybe the problem partly lay there. Rinpoche was annoyed by this and is later said to have criticised the way things were in Dharamsala. He dismissed it, saying that Dharamsala could not be counted upon, that there was ‘a golden parasol that has a white tip, but that white tip is crooked’ 42• He was not to be blamed. This was just a natural reaction to the situation. Anyone, from animals upward, who finds themselves in a minority, is susceptible to the fear of persecution. Watch how dogs act. If one feels outnumbered he becomes very timid, tucking his tail between his legs. Likewise we, living in human society have the same concerns. The mere fact that we are in a minority is enough to make us suspicious of the larger group’s intentions toward us. The Bön people for example represent a minority amongst the Tibetans. Some people, when referring to followers of that tradition still call them, ‘the wrong-headed’ Böns. Now in such circumstances it is not surprising that they are apprehensive, is it? Such apprehension is not completely unfounded is it? After all, since the time of the Dharma kings, there have been measures brought in against them. So now we all find ourselves here together in a free country, with everyone one, irrespective of which of the three districts of Tibet they come from or which religious tradition they follow, being called upon to make an equal contribution. In such a situation, it becomes particularly important that we take special care and show special consideration for those that, in the past, have been persecuted or who find themselves in a minority. Without such extra care, paranoid fears that others are plotting against them can easily arise in the minds of such people. Now when we compare all of the traditions we will probably find that the Gelug represent the largest in terms of number. That being the case, some fear on the part of the others would not be unnatural. Similarly, when we first came here, the people from U-Tsang were better represented and particularly those from To. That fact alone was enough to make people from Kham and Amdo somewhat touchy. So as I said, as the Gelug are more in number and because their strength in study…. (Break in recording) So as I said, what we need is transparency. That is why I called the other representatives here. So over the next few days please listen well. Then there should not be the threat of baseless rumours spreading. If subsequently you should hear of people making up things about what was discussed here, please feel as though it is your responsibility to set the record straight. Some people say things purely through ignorance. However these days we also have to contend with those who spread mistruth and disinformation in a quite calculated fashion. The Chinese Communists give them money to create problems and then their grosser delusions of conceit, jealousy and so forth run riot and do the rest. So,please act as impartial witnesses. That would be good. Tashi Deleg.
1. A reference to the Gelug monastery in Manali where the worship of Shugden continues unabated.
2. Chandrakirti’s Supplement to (Nagarfuna ‘s) Treatise on th Middle Way’.
3. Apparently to set up an alternative venue for a Gelug prayer festival in the South of India, that could also act as a place of study.
4. From the prayer Lozang Gyeltenma by Tsunpa Könchog Tenpai Dromnei.
5. The first of these texts is by the author of the same name. The latter two are by Chandrakirti. The third text istheClear Words (Madhyamaka) commentary.
6. A direct disciple of Je Rinpoche, who was responsible for founding the Gyumei Tantric College near Lhasa.
7. Lozang Ngawang Gyatso (1617- 1682).
8. A place in northern India where monks from the main centres of study etc. congregated soon after coming into exile.
9. Gunthang Konchog Tenpai Dronmei (1762— 1823).
10. Yongdzin Yeshe Gyeltsen (1713 — 1793). Tutor of the Eighth Dalai Lama.
11. Konchog Jigmei Wangpo (1728 — 1791) 12 Changkya Rolpai Dorje (1717— 1786).
13. The Seventh Dalai Lama (1708 — 1757).
14. The ‘problem’ being referred to was essentially a civil war in 1727-8. ‘Miwang’ was Po Lhawa Sönam Tobgyel 1689 — 1747. He was originally a minister who, in this tumultuous period took control of one of the factions. The support of many different groups was enlisted in the struggle, but it is commonly thought that it chiefly boiled down to rivalry between the U and Tsang areas. Po Lha was from Tsang and was the champion of that side, Supporting it in their opposition to the Lhasa aristocrats, officials etc. Po Lha was also favoured by the Chinese. The Seventh Dalai Lama was exiled after the war for his alleged support of the Lhasa faction. Po Lha ruled and brought about relative peace.
15. Lelung Lozang Trinlei (1697 — {approx.} 1747). Note that he became the court Lama of Po Lha.
16. Purchog Ngawang Jampa (1682 — 1762) was another teacher of the Eighth Dalai Lama, who was from Sera Je.
17. Trichen Ngawang Chogden — was the fifty-fourth Ganden Throne-Holder and the tutor of the Seventh Dalai Lama.
18. Panchen Palden Yeshe (1738 — 1780). There are three different systems of calculating how many Panchen Rinpoches there have been. According to the two most common ones today, this was either the third of the sixth Panchen Lama.
19. Trichen Ngawang Chogden acted against the worship of Dogyel, having a propitiation house demolished, statues removed and banning the worship in Ganden monastery.
20. The exact circumstances and location of events here is not clear to me.
21. Panchen Tenpai Wangchuck (1855 – 1882) was either the fifth or the eighth Panchen Lama.
22. Panchen Tenpai Nyima (1782— 1853) was either the fourth or the seventh Panchen Lama.
23. These three are tutelary deities found within the Gelug tradition.
24. Gyelwang Gendun Drub (1391 — 1474).
25. This is a form of guardian deity associated with people, the identity of which is decided by which day one was born on.
26. Gyelwang Tubten Gyatso (1876 —1933).
27. This seems to be a paraphrase of some advice given to Je Rinpoche when he had a vision of Manjushri.
28. (Tib. Ngon Tog Gyen) attributed to Maitreya.
29. Lines that are seen to relate to the Vajrayogini practice.
30. A well-known Tibetan scholar who works in a university in Japan.
31. A rather unflattering epithet for the Gelug protector Damchen Chogyel that some followers of the Nyingma tradition are said to use.
32. An unidentified protector spirit that was presumably supporting Rongo Rebgong Gwelwa.
33. These verses are from the ‘Clear Meaning’ commentary (Tib. Drel Wa DOn Sel) by the Indian scholar Haribhadra. Within the Tibetan traditions, this is the most well-used of the Indian commentaries on the Prajflaparamital Abhisamayalankara. In the opening section (from which these verses are taken) Haribhadra refers to various teachers who have been instrumental in the passing on of the tradition (by composing works related to the subject). Whilst acknowledging the debt owed to Vasubhandu in the first verse here, he also states clearly that, in his own opinion, Vasabhandu erred when he explained the fmal view expressed in the Prajfiaparamita Sutras and Abhisamayalankara as being that of the ‘Mind Only’ view. In the second verse he refers to Arya Vimuktisena,a later scholar who, because he explained things in accordance with the ‘Middle Way’ view, got them right and thereby corrected Vasubhandu’s mistake.
34. The ceremonial offering of oneself to a particular protector. The formalisation of a life-long bond and commitment to it.
35. ‘Ganden Podrang’ was originally a name conferred at the time of the Second Dalai Lama. This ‘Ganden Palace’ was from then on the residence of the Dalai Lamas. In 1642, at the time of the Fifth Dalai Lama and with the backing of Gushri Khan this became the seat of power for the Tibetan administration. The name still refers to the Tibetan government (in exile).
36. Drubkang Geleg Gyatso (1641—1713).
37. ButOn Rinpoche was one of the main figures responsible for the collating of the Kangyur and Tengyur (the Tibetan translations of the teachings of the Buddha and the Indian commentaries to those). It seems that he decided that some texts which had been counted as authentic tantric teachings were questionable in their origin and therefore should not be included in the Kangyur. Here then is a work that he excluded, but that some of the traditions hold to be authentic.
38. Usually counted as a Nyingma deity.
39. A monastery in Tibet that was later re-established in India.
40. A line that the Dalai Lama commonly quotes from a work of (non-religious) aphorisms attributed to a certain ‘Kachei Palu’.
41. ‘Zimkang Gong’ was the residence of Trulku Dragpa Gyeltsen (a figure who, for various reasons is seem as intimately connected with Dogyel and the worship). Owing to a dispute with the authorities at the time of the Fifth Dalai Lama the residence of this individual was demolished, they lost their life and the line of ‘trulku’ wilch they represented ended.
42. The parasol is a religious symbol. The white tip was presumably meant to refer to the Tibetan government In using the analogy of the ‘crooked’ tip the criticism is that the government prejudiced (toward the Gelug tradition). This translation is by Rabjam Sherab Gyatso (LRZTP); December 2000.

I thought that I would talk to you about the Dolgyal issue. Actually, I have already spoken a great deal about this over a period of time and, therefore, most of you know about it. Not just know about it, but also, regarding inside Tibet-which includes the U-Tsang region with Lhasa as the main, and in most parts of Dotoe and Domey-there was an appreciative understanding of my successive explanations of the issue and many monasteries have made diligent efforts in taking the responsibility to avoid mistakes about what to accept and what to reject in this matter. Among the general public too, there was a similar assumption of responsibility and making of efforts to avoid mistakes about what to accept and what to reject. For these I express praises of appreciation and gratitude. Anyway, the issue is of critical concern to our Buddhist faith generally and regarding Tibet’s Ganden Phodrang or government especially. Therefore what has been done benefits Tibet generally and because most of the concerned people have been able to make a proper choice between what to accept and what to reject in this matter, I felt an urge to thank you all for it. This activity which concerns the well being of our faith should not begin and end like the Chinese campaigns, which start suddenly to deal with an urgent current concern and then, after a while, calm down to eventually, sort of, die out. We should be able to carry forward to a successful conclusion the work that we have started in the matter. In this, I initially used my brain to ponder over the aspects that were externally manifest. With regard to the aspects that were covert, and therefore not physically manifest, I carried out examinations by invoking kindness and action from The Three Precious Jewels, the ultimate repository of all genuine knowledge. The Dolgyal Shugden question too is a covert one. Therefore I carried out a thorough examination of it both in its external and internal aspects before finally taking a decision on its acceptability. It was therefore not at all a case in which I made a decision of rejection in a matter in which I could make a conclusion on the basis of my personal judgement. I am rejoiced by the fact that you – both the laity and the religiously ordained – have shown concern in all this and made a proper choice of what to accept and what to reject. There are, however, some cases of people pretending not to have heard what they have heard; especially, there are still some cases in which I feel that persons deliberately practice and propagate Dolgyal. With regard to them, all concerned should think with great caution. To mention specific names in Tibet, there are some local monasteries in Chamdo with their principal of Chamdo Monastery. I do feel that there are people there who are still strengthening their efforts to propagate the practice of Dolgyal Shugden. In the Dragyab region too, some such at the branch Dragyab Monastery and in the Markham region also, I feel that there are people who deliberately retain and propagate the practice. Denma Gonsar passed away last year. In the region where he lived too, there are people who continue and propagate the practice of Dolgyal. In the Rawatoe region of Nyethang there are among the monks and nuns coming to Lhasa from Markham, Dragyab, etc., people who propagate the practice. There are monks from the Markham region who have followed their tradition of joining the Ramoche Temple in Lhasa, where they are still propagating the practice of Dolgyal. Whatever is the case, if such people are designedly reciprocating in negative kind the gratitude we owe to the successive Dalai Lamas and are thereby knowingly showing nothing but scorn for the religious and political causes of Tibet and the kindness of the Dalai Lamas, I have no suggestions to offer. If, nevertheless, I am reiterating my emphasis on the issue, it is because we need to hold as objects of compassion people, if any, who do not know about the issue, or who have not heard about it, or who, out of ignorance, have committed a rash mistake, or who have been led astray by others. All those who know about it have a duty to explain and thereby ensure proper conformity regarding what to accept and what to reject. I too take this as very important. It is not at all on the basis of a change of mind arising from a new thought that I have restricted the practice of Dolgyal Shugden. In my own case, I have previously been a religious lineage holder of Kyabje Pabongkha. In particular, I have been an actual disciple of Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang. From the very beginning I have practiced Dolgyal under the influences of many circumstances. Gradually I came to have many major doubts about the external, internal and secret aspects of it and about developments concerning it. Finally I looked up the works of the previous Dalai Lamas and for the first time came to realize the error in practicing Dolgyal; as a result I stopped it. The controversy relating to the issue of Dolgyal arose during the Fifth Dalai Lama. I examined such things as how the Fifth Dalai Lama viewed the controversy and resolved it. Likewise, when I examined the works of the snow land of Tibet’s holy ones embodying both knowledge and wisdom in general and specifically those of the upholders of the Geluk faith at and during that time, I came across the contents of the work of Purchok Ngawang Jampa on the history of the Three Geluk Seats of learning dealing with Ganden. That work records information about restrictions on Dolgyal. And the biography of the Seventh Dalai Lama Kelsang Gyatso’s Tutor Trichen Ngawang Chogden reveals that during his tenure as the Ganden Tripa, the worship of earthly guardian-spirits on the premise of Ganden monastery was restricted. These historical actions are clearly revealed in the biography of Changkya Rolpey Dorje written by Thuken Choekyi Nyima which records that Trichen Ngawang Chogden when restricting the worship of earthly Guardian-spirits within the premise of Ganden monastery clearly mentioned Dolgyal by name. And the historical record there is extraordinarily clear that the tradition of worshipping them in the Ganden monastery’s premise was restricted and outlawed. It is therefore a matter of common knowledge that we are not restricting the worship of Dolgyal, or have brought up a hitherto non-existent Dolgyal name, totally out of nowhere; rather, there is a historical precedent to our action dating from that period. It is therefore not at all the case that the two-letter name “Dolgyal” is a recent creation by us. It is clearly recorded in the old woodblock prints. At the time these types of woodblock manuscripts were being sculpted, a practice of worshipping Dolgyal prevailed in Lhasa. The woodblock manuscripts contain sculpting of the Dolgyal name. When at one time Panchen Tenpey Nyima, the reincarnation of Panchen Palden Yeshe, came to Lhasa at a very young age, the Eighth Dalai Lama Jampel Gyatso’s Tutor Yeshe Gyaltsen told him during instruction to beware that Tashi Lhunpo Monastery might be ruined by the new deity. The history of the order prohibiting the propitiation and worship of Dolgyal and of allowing only accomplished guardian-deities at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery is extremely clear in the biography of Panchen Tenpey Wangchug. Whatever be the case, if one reads the biographical works on the successive previous Dalai Lamas, and looks in chronological order at the biographical works of the accomplished and responsible upholders of the Geluk order, it becomes extremely clear that the higher level, holy-born lamas, accomplished in both knowledge and wisdom, had restricted the practice of Dolgyal. And I have carried these forward. From a more recent point of view, Drepung Khangsar Dorje Chang, a contemporary of Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche, has said, “Today, the practice of Dolgyal Dorje Shugden is becoming a widespread phenomenon. This is not at all good.” In the case of Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche, he was, in the earlier part of his life, a practitioner of ecumenical faith. Gradually, he developed a relationship with Dolgyal. Need I say more? His own biography records about the inappropriateness of including Tamding Yangsang in the Sphere of the Lama Choepa Congregation. His biography has been printed only in Tibet, and not in India. Because of many such and similarly related matters, at the time of the passing away of the previous Dalai Lama of unparalleled kindness, a disciple named Zhide Tazur of Kyabje Pabongkha had a dream in which the Dolgyal in a joyous, high-pitched tone, issued a forecast, assuring that the day of namgang (the 30th, or last, day of a month in Tibetan calendar) after the end of the 29th day would be the day of reckoning. History records that the disciple reported this to Kyabje Pabongkha. As everyone knows, there is a sense that the term “in a joyous, high-pitched tone” is not an ordinary usage but refers to good news that deserves to be conveyed in a joyous, high pitched voice and welcomed with happiness. In the case of a news conveying grief, one would express it with a subdued mind, for it is not a message of such kind as to be delivered in a joyous, high-pitched tone. When Zhide Tazur, also known as Meru Talama, dreamed about Dolgyal and received from him a reassuring forecast of “the day of Namgang (30th day of the month) at the end of the 29th day” in a joyous, high-pitched tone, and reported it to his teacher, Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche replied that the matter could be investigated. Later, on the day of namgang (30th day) of the 10th Tibetan month, when the sad news of the passing away of the previous Dalai Lama emerged, Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche expressed the view that the previous forecast pronounced by Dolgyal about the day of namgang at the end of the 29th day being the day of reckoning referred to it. This is recorded in Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche’s own biography. It was right that a forecast was made. But the reference to the fact that it was pronounced in a joyous, high-pitched tone was strange. You all should think about it. The previous Dalai Lama was the very embodiment of gratitude to Buddhism and all sentient beings in the snow land of Tibet in general and to the Ganden Phodrang in particular. Was a show of rejoicing at his passing away a positive indication? Or did it indicate a negative disposition? We should think about it. During His lifetime, the previous Dalai Lama issued many firm instructions to Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche and one of the issues related to the practice of propitiating Dolgyal. Because Pabongkha Rinpoche found himself in trouble due to the firm instructions he kept receiving on the Dolgyal issue, and because as soon as the Dalai Lama passed away they ceased to come, it is not impossible that in the perception of the common folks there was a deliberate obstruction to the work of His Holiness. It is important that one should arrive at a decision after examining the issue with an impartial attitude while determining what is good and what is bad on the basis of understanding the entire, actual history behind it. Apart from the reasons I have given above for objecting to the worship of Dolgyal, there are many related reasons. Although I myself, personally, had many symbolic revelations in dreams about it, I see no great necessity to say everything about them. But whatever be the case, I have been witnessing many internal and external developments and indications. You all must keep these in mind. It you need documents too, there are many. You can ask the office and others. During my recent Kalachakra teaching at Palden Drepung (Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh state), I emphasized to our religious fraternity in exile-with the lamas and the Geshes as the main-that with regard to the guidance I provide as important on the question what to accept and what to reject, one should think in terms of unequivocal unanimity of commitment. It just won’t do to go about with the attitude that this is the responsibility of His Holiness, that I will be satisfied if there are as many people as possible making me offerings, and that it does not matter to me personally. Do you understand? Within the lay and religiously ordained communities in exile those having connections in Tibet have the duty to advise and educate in a convincing manner people in Dragyab, Markham, Chamdo, Denma, and other problematic places as well as related other persons. It would be extremely tragic if in front of me, and, when I am giving the guidance, a person pretends to comply, only to betray hypocrisy when dealing with the reality. Do you understand? This matter does not make any difference to me personally. Chiefly, it concerns the religious and political interests of Tibet. Two-thirds of my life has already been spent and there is no doubt that I will be able to complete the remaining portion of it in happiness. But, whatever be the case, everyone should think of the broader religious and political interests of Tibet. The broad masses of the Tibetan people have reposed great faith in me and I, likewise, have a karmic prayer and oath-bound duty to them. Pursuant to this I am duty-bound to offer them guidance on dos and don’ts on the basis of what is good and what is bad about the matter at hand. Whether to heed them or not is in your hands. Do you get it? The previous Zong Rinpoche was an ardent practitioner of Dolgyal. I even had to write to him on this issue when he was alive. His reincarnation, who is here with us today, used his power of discrimination between the good and the bad, and, with a view to avoid mistakes about what is in his immediate and long term interest or disadvantage and for the sake of the religious and political causes of Tibet, carries out his practices with care to avoid mistakes. It is only proper that in front of this gathering today Rinpoche has come to the path of perfection. He rightly deserves congratulatory praise and appreciation for having taken the decision to conform. The people of the snow land of Tibet currently remain set apart between those in and outside the country. Although those who have come from Tibet will gradually have to happily and joyfully return home, there is no freedom there. The current situation is a sad one for everyone. Nevertheless, it will not be too long before those in and outside Tibet will definitely reunite. I keep praying for this and urge you all to return home with happiness in your minds. My Tashi Deleg to all of you.

Concerning Dogyal, I agree with what Kalon Tripa [the elected political leader of Tibetans in exile] has explained about it. Although it is important to elaborate more on this if there is enough time, however, we don’t have much time today. Whatever is the case, it is definitely not that I created all this due to my own unnecessary excessive-thoughts and considerations. Rather, this is something which has a historical connection with crisis and has no benefit. Initially, I also zealously propitiated this spirit. The spirit seemed to like me a lot. But gradually [on critical investigations], I realised my mistake and as someone with the title of the Dalai Lama, I felt it was wrong to propitiate the spirit whose propitiation had been considered completely wrong and discouraged by the great 5th as well as the 13th Dalai Lama. But I never made this issue public at that time. Personally, I completely stopped the practice then.

Then Gaden Jangtse monastery [in south India], on facing some problems asked me for guidance. Understanding this as serious, I performed a divination. It came out in my divination that there was no other reason for the ongoing trouble other than that Palden Lhamo had been displeased and that the displeasure was due to the propitiation of Shugden by the monastery. At that time, I asked Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche, and Gyawula, the ex abbot of Namgyal monastery, to be present. I told them that I performed the divination to sort out my doubt, and although I wasn’t writing clearly on paper the result of the divination, they should inform the concerned monastic staff. Then gradually, the Shugden practioners set up the organization called “Dorje Shugden Charitable Trust’. Although it is the non human protectors who need to protect the humans, for them it’s the humans who are now out to protect the protector; that too, by means of killing, beating, countless lies, exaggerated statements and unethical practice. Though unpleasant, we have witnessed all these. They have made this a big issue. Specifically in Tibet, they started fooling the public by stating that my talks on Dholgyal were not my real intent, but politically motivated and spoken in order to appease the Nyingma and other Tibetan Buddhist schools. Contrary to this, I have been discouraging the propitiation of Dogyal on my own with conviction based on valid reasons and historical textual sources. Therefore, I had to clarify my own stand. They even went on to state that the Dalai Lama has intentionally taken birth in order to abolish the Buddha Dharma in general and Lama Tsongapa’s teaching in particular. They called me a fake Dalai Lama. These accusations don’t really bother me. Earlier, during the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese termed me as a wolf in the guise of a yellow clothed monk. But I don’t have to kill lambs and walk on four limbs because of these allegations. I don’t mind it even if I am accused of being born in order to abolish Buddha Dharma. All of you have two eyes and two ears each. Use them to see and you will know whether I have contributed for the teachings of Buddha or against it. So when they so aggressively put forward such false statements, it is imperative that I have to respond with my own truthful clarifications; and it would not be right not to make my points clear. I had initially taken this step in the great seats of learning by following the guidelines set up by the Great 5th Dalai Lama: I will continue this to full completion. Even now, it seems that they are trying to push their whole bodies when their heads have succeeded in making their ways in. {A Tibetan expression for being cunning} If the {monastic} staff who act as if they had not heard or think that now it’s quite calm and that they can go on this inactive role, it is wrong. When they see me, they cleverly claimed to be free of that practice but reality seemed otherwise. The recent incident suggests this kind of possibility. The monk students of Sera Jey monastery had shouldered special responsibility and I commend you on your initiative. Well done. It is equally important for all of you to be supportive. This concerns the well being of the whole of Tibet. It also relates in the same way to the Buddha Dharma. Otherwise even if you were to walk on your heads with feet in the sky, why should I bother? But I have the name of The Dalai Lama; the general Tibetan populace place great trust and confidence in me. So, if I were not to be bothered about the welfare of all Tibetans and the Buddha Dharma, this will not accord to abiding by the Law of Karma.

While all of you sip your tea, and those who are not on ‘evening fasting’ enjoy the bread, I want to speak on another matter. Yesterday at the function, there was one Geshe from Sera Jey monastery who spoke on Dogyal. I couldn’t follow well his Tehor accent but I did notice a few words. Basically you spoke with genuine sense of altruism, but in your speech you were using the term ‘the issue of propitiation of protector’ to refer to the issue of Dogyal. Many others are also using these kinds of words. But this word protector in this context is wrong.  It could be well used only if Dogyal is a protector.  A protector should be one who protects and nurtures. For example, in the biography of Gyalwa Gendun Drupa {1st Dalai Lama}, His Holiness says:”there was a general belief or dogma among some followers of the Geluk school that whoever propitiated Dhamchen Choegyal {Yamaraja} should find it uncomfortable to propitiate Gonpo Shel “. Through his own experience, Gyalwa Gedun Drupa refutes that there was no truth in that. I recall Trijang Rinpoche once relating to me the following story.  Gyaltsab Rinpoche, one of the principle disciples of Lama Tsongapa, initially went to Lhasa to debate with the latter. Therefore, on his first encounter with Tsongapa at a teaching session, Gyaltsab Rinpoche ascended the throne of Lama Tsongkapa, sat together on it while Lama Tsongapa remained undisturbed. On listening to the teaching and greatly impressed by the great understanding of Lama Tsongapa {Gyaltsab being a great scholar himself}, he at first took off his own hat. Then gradually, he was so impressed that he descended down from the throne, offered prostrations, and forgetting all thoughts of debate he requested that he be accepted as a disciple. Since Gyaltsab Jey was such an acclaimed scholar among the Sakyas, the then few sections of Sakyas invoked the ‘four armed Mahakala’ to take appropriate actions against him. When leaving Sakya, GonpoShel {the four-armed Mahakala} and his retinue of protectors pretended to leave ferociously. As soon as they crossed the next pass, they proceeded very humbly towards Lhasa to Gaden. Gonpo Shel requested Gyaltsab Je to give him a ritual feast and told Gyaltsab Je that he had to leave from Sakya because of his obligations from the time of the previous heads of Sakya; but had no intention to inflict any harm on Gyaltsab Je for being a holder of Je Tsongapa’s tradition. For this reason, Gyalwa Gedun Drupa said that there was no truth in that belief [that Gonpo Shel could turn hostile to the practice of Geluk tradition].
As for Gyalwa Gedun Drupa, his family had to flee immediately after his birth for fear of being attacked by the advancing robbers, and hid him in an isolated spot. After the departure of the robbers, the family went in search of the child. They noticed that the newborn was being watched over by a Huge Magnificent Crow. Gonpo Shel later claimed that he had protected Gyalwa Gedun Drupa right from the birth. Gyalwa Gedun Drupa, one of the spiritual sons of Lama Tsongapa, considered Dhamchoe Chogyal and Gonpo Shel to be his main protectors. Right from childhood, they had been so close. So, this is what it means by propitiation of protector. As for Dogyal [Shugden], the great 5th Dalai Lama was the one who knew about him the most, as they were contemporaries. The great 5th in his ‘testimonial invocative prayer for swift action’ wrote thus:-
“Sanctimonious and perfidious the so called Drapka Gyaltsen is,
 This devilish evil spirit that was born from erroneous prayers,
 As he harms the Dharma and all beings,
 Never be his patron, refuge, support and friend, but grind him into ashes”.
This testimony explains the cause, identity and activity of Dogyal. Born from erroneous prayer, identified as a non-human devilish evil spirit, Dogyal is one indulging in activities harmful to Dharma and beings. Basically, there are different types of non-humans but as Dogyal is a devilish spirit, propitiating it is nothing more than propitiating a spirit. This fact had been accepted by Dogyal himself. In the writing of Trijang Rinpoche, it was mentioned that once when Dogyal tried to enter Tashi Lhunpo monastery, the eight retinues of Namse stopped him. Offended, he went to Sakya. When asked who he was, he confessed that he was an evil spirit of Geluk. Generally, it is common among the worldly ferocious spirits to call themselves evil spirits but calling himself the evil spirit of Geluk School sounds very uncomfortably ugly. This confirms the testimony of the Great 5th which says that Dogyal is an evil spirit. So, either this evil spirit cannot be considered a protector or you have to accept the union of two. {Laughs} Protector means one which protects and nurtures; therefore for this reason, Dolgyal is not a protector. You also mentioned:”in the beginning that Dogyal had been helpful to Kyabje Phabongka and his disciples but just as some medicinal substances could later be turned poisonous, it has become hostile”. Although I couldn’t properly grasp many of your words because of your strong Tehor Khampa accent, I did hear this statement. I also couldn’t precisely understand Jangtse Choeje’s speech in its entirety though Rinpoche spoke with genuine concern; and I remain grateful to his initiatives. I also couldn’t understand the weak voice of the abbot of Loseling monastery and the Drepung Tripa’s Mandala supplication. The notion that Dogyal had been helpful is a non-confirmatory subject of analysis. Generally, one born from an erroneous prayer could hardly be of benefit. Phabongkha in his early phase of life was unthinkably a splendid lama who had been specially favored by the 13th Dalai Lama. Rinpoche used to get a special private audience with His Holiness annually.
Once at Meiru Chichoe where Gaden Tripa,the Throne Holder of Gelug Tradition, used to teach traditionally, Phabongkha was assigned to teach instead by the 13th Dalai Lama. Then in the later phase of his life, he became one with whose actions His Holiness was displeased with and was thus reprimanded. There was no reason for that than the propitiation of Dogyal. That practice had limited the activities of Phabongkha rather than enhancing it. So, which was better for him, to be supported by the 13th Dalai Lama or being held by the same with displeasure? Shensur Gyurme Topgyal, a minister in the Tibetan Administration and a close student of Phapongkha, accompanied me into exile. We were close to each other. On a casual talk, Shensur once told me this. Once when Phabongca Rinpoche was living with restraint after being reprimanded by the 13th Dalai Lama, he had an audience with His Holiness. When His Holiness asked Phabongkha Rinpoche what he was planning to do, Rinpoche seeing that as a good chance to share his plans as His Holiness himself enquired about it, replied that he had been looking forward to giving a Lamrim discourse. To that, His Holiness responded by saying that there was no need and hurry. This was said to the same person who once was allowed the honor to teach in place of the Gaden Tripa. You should know whether that had helped the activities of Phabonkha Rinpoche or not. Many including you, [the Sera Jey Geshe] do not seem to know facts well. This you must know. So, the propitiation of Dogyal has harmed the proliferation of Phabongkha Rinpoche’s religious activities, instead of benefiting him. Being born from erroneous prayer, this devilish spirit has done more harm than benefiting the dharma and beings, though outwardly it may assume to be a protector. In his later phase of life, Phabongkha Rinpoche after being reprimanded by the great 13th, had to stay with caution. His own attendant went crazy on hearing the bell of the horses coming from the direction of Tashi Choeling. These are all there in the biography of Phabongkha Rinpoche. There are two prints of the biography, one, which was condensed by Trijang Rinpoche, and another detailed version printed by Parpa Palden. The print from Tibet has detailed accounts of all the letters received from His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama and the responses submitted. The story that I am going to relate now is also seen in the print from Tibet.
One of the disciples of Phabongkha Rinpoche, an attendant of Nguru Tia lama, dreamed of Dogyal in trance. The spirit announced in celebrating high-pitched tone, “Guzog Nham Ghang Yindha”, literally meaning nine past thirtieth. One announces something in joyous celebrating tone only if one has good news to share, just as Lama Tsongkapa said: “The Madyamika [Prasangika school] school repeatedly proclaims in joyous high- pitched tone that all depending on causes and contributing factors are devoid of natural/intrinsic/independent establishment. We do not speak of a bad news in the same tone. Immediately, the attendant related the dream to Kyabje Rinpoche {Phabongkha} who was then at Tashi Choeling. He was told to keep note of the dream. So, later when His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama died on the 30th of the Tenth Tibetan month, Phabongkha confirmed that the announcement in the dream was indeed of the passing away of the great 13th.  So, this is the meaning of the word 9th past 30th, nine for the 29th and 30th for the 30th day of the Tenth Tibetan month; the 30th comes after completing the 29th. Someone who joyously made such an announcement could only be the one who was eagerly hoping for the sad day. That was because His Holiness strongly discouraged the propitiation of the spirit.
Thinking of my predecessor as an ordinary being, I feel compassion for him.  Just think how much responsibility that Laagen [literally meaning senior in training or elderly monk] or the great 13th had shouldered spiritually and politically in the best interest of Tibet. That aged monk {the 13th Dalai Lama} had strongly encouraged the strenuous studies at the great seats of learning: the great respect enjoyed by the scholarly monks in our society could only be attributed to His kindness. Isn’t He someone we owe our gratitude to? He had ordained so many monks and nuns, greatly extending the lineage of the Bhikshu and the Sramana. I think we should be grateful to Him for laying a strong foundation of the Buddha Dharma. Politically, His Holiness took great initiative; He used to spend his whole days writing for the welfare of Tibet. When that great Laagen, the 13th Dalai Lama, passed away, the whole of snow covered- Tibet, human and non-human gods, all should have mourned with tears. It was definitely not a time of announcing the incident in a celebratory joyous high- pitched tone. That itself was a sign of Dogyal being a harmful spirit disturbing Buddha dharma and beings. Therefore, he is not a Protector. This issue is not also a chaotic one relating to the propitiation of a protector.
Generally, a follower of Buddha Shakyamuni shouldn’t propitiate a worldly evil spirit, specifically a follower of Lama Tsongkapa, shouldn’t claim a devilish spirit born from erroneous prayer to be a protector, a deity to be propitiated, specially a protector of Lama Tsongapa’s Geluk tradition is utterly a misconception.  There is no truth in it. This spirit had harmed the extension of the divine activities of Phabonga Rinpoche and his spiritual sons and they had benefited. It’s not a case that earlier they had benefited and now harm is being done. From the very beginning since the time of the great 5th, its cause; born from erroneous prayer, nature; devilish spirit, and activity; to harm Buddha Dharma and beings, remained the same. I had made my own mistakes. I didn’t know about it and wasn’t aware of it. Trijang Rinpoche cannot be blamed because he followed his own Lama {Phabongkha Rinpoche}. Phabongkha came to be associated with this spirit due to many factors. In the later phase of Phabogkha’s life, he had to stay with uneasiness due to the unfavorable impression that His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama had developed of him. From the day of the passing away of my Predecessor [the day announced with joyous high -pitched tone by Dogyal], Phabongkha Rinpoche having been relieved from trouble, if I were to be impolite in saying this, seemed to have depreciated the actions of the 13th Dalai Lama.
For this reason should we then wrong Phabongkha Rinpoche?  This action relating to Dogyal is wrong. Otherwise, Phabongkha Rinpoche was inconceivably a great lama, the holder of the tradition of Mind Training Instructions and the Lamrim teachings. I have unwavering faith in him. However, I will not agree with all he did simply because I have faith in him. Phabongkha Rinpoche was the holder of the tradition of Lamrim teachings and the actual Heruka. I also used to dream of Trijang Rinpoche. It’s clear to me that he was an emanation of the body, speech and mind of Atisha. Inconceivable though they were, the practice of Dogyal was a flaw and can never be said to be right. In the future, you [the Sera Je Geshe] should not give such inaccurate and improper speech. According to your words, I seemed to suggest that at one point Dogyal had been helpful to the Phabongkha Rinpoche and his disciples, but because of the unneeded actions of Dalai Lama, Dogyal found it difficult to retain itself. Though your motivation was good, you did not understand how to structure your words. The monks of Sera Jey have not only spoke verbally but have taken real actions to display their commitment and I am happy about it. The Sera monks boycotted the Jang Gunchoe debate with Shugden practitioners. According to your words, it seemed to convey that people should stop the practice merely because of His Holiness’s advice. This kind of practice is implemented by people with the least intelligence. The great 5th Dalai Lama was one who knew the most about Dogyal. Basically, he was an authentic Lama, not a liar. He was also not under the influence of gross delusions of aversion and attachment. He was one who had attained high realizations who consistently used to have the pure visions of the Three Root s[Tantric deities]. Exceptionally expert in astrology and divination, he was equipped with all kinds of analysis. I consider him, the one who had been prophesied by the great text, to be authentic in his speech. In the beginning, I did not know about it. {The text of the great 5th}. Kyabje Rinpoche {Trijang Rinpoche} did not tell me anything. He hadn’t seen those texts and didn’t know about them. Tulku Dakpa Gyaltsen [the one believed to have been born as Dogyal] and the great 5th were close contemporaries. Tulku Dakpa Gyalsten received many teachings from the great 5th. I have seen his hand written works {two volumes of text} and those are good works. Talking thus about such a person after his death was because His Holiness the great 5th knew the reality. Have you all understood? Therefore he wrote thus:
‘The so called Drapka Gyaltsen, non noble and pretentious as he is,
This devilish evil spirit is born from erroneous prayers.
 As he harms the Dharma and all beings,
 Never  be his patron, refuge, support, and friend, but grind him into ashes’.
I want to explain the contents of the collected texts for historical reference if we have time.
Translated from Tibetan into English by Ngawang Sonam
I have some points to share while all of you sip tea. Although I want to talk more extensively later, there are some sponsors {of monastery} who are leaving either this evening or tomorrow evening. Therefore, I want to speak in the presence of all. I am sure all of you must have heard about Gyalpo Shughden.  This chaotic issue has been persisting since the nineteen seventies. Now it has become something that the Chinese government pays attention to. One of the points they raised at the 6th round of talks {between exile Tibetan and the Chinese delegates} is that the Dalai Lama’s ban [not banned but discouraged though]Shugden is violating the religious freedom of the Tibetan people. I had been told that the athiest secular Chinese govt. is now compelled by the action of the Dalai Lama to take interest in this issue. This accusation has been made officially. I doubt how much they know historically about Dhogyal {Shugden}. Seeing this as a political opportunity, they blamed me. I don’t mind the contemptuous remarks. But in Tibet, they show favoritism to the Dhogyal practitioner. Some are assisted financially while the monasteries were encouraged to propitiate Dhogyal. They are being told that they have the full right to this religious practice that had been banned by the Dalai Lama- this looks like an indirect instigation by the practitioners of Dogyal.  A Statue of Guru Padmasmabhava had been destroyed at Samye. In the Toed Ngari prefecture, a statue of Guru Padmasambhava constructed collectively by the people had been bombed. The Statue was surrounded by armed forces and no one was allowed in the vicinity to catch the incidence in picture or to resist the bombing. At such a time, if people were still to stay together with the Dogyal practitioners, many will continue to face problems. The Dogyal practitioners have petitioned the Indian government for protection against the religious right deprived of them by the Dalai Lama. The Indian government has responded to them. So, now this has reached a critical phase. Until now, I have expressed my view on the pros and cons of the propitiation of Dogyal. It is my moral responsibility to warn people of the faults of the practice through my own experience and by citing the historical reference from the authentic Buddhist texts. It’s your individual right whether or not you want to listen to and implement them. I have never forced people that they were not allowed to propitiate.  Right from the beginning, I have often cited from the text of Cache Phalu that says: ” I have told you the story of Cache Phalu. It’s up to you whether or not to obey”.
I have never forced people to go by my words in the past, even now, I am not saying so. But it’s not right for some to pose a different stand/stance. In the supreme Vinaya tradition, there are seven means of resolving differences; choosing of coloured stick is one. In the modern democratic tradition, there is the word ‘referendum’ which means resolving something by coming to a decision of the majority. Now, the time has come for us to find the majority.  All of you will return to your own monastery after the ceremony of the Loseling monastery. There will be a question as to whether or not you favour the practice of Dogyal. The next question is whether you want to socially and religiously associate with the practitioners of Dogyal. You can sign either yes or no to these two questions. In any possibility of more than 60% majority favouring the practice, henceforth, I will never speak even one word on this issue. However, if more than 60% or 70% of you vote not to practise and disassociate yourselves entirely in relating socially and spiritually to the practitioners of Dhogyal, then we have to think about what measures could/should be taken.
Actually, the practitioners of Dogyal have no reason to come here to India. We have come here because of our disapproval of the Chinese policies in Tibet. The Dhogyal practitioners are being cared for and are shown favouritism by the Chinese.  So, it’s best for them to go where they are given solace. There is no reason why they should stay here. Have you understood? If majority of you decide to propitiate Dhogyal, I have nothing to say except ‘Okay, fine’. I regretted having practised Dogyal myself. That was a mistake. So, by confessing in the presence of the lineage Lamas, I have found a proper practice of restrain and acceptance. If many others agree to the practice, they have the freedom to do so. There is no reason for the practitioners of Dogyal to appease me out of fear or for fear of your own personal embarrassment. If you are going to continue the practice, you should know about the texts written, attitudes and the discouragement of the practice by many eminent masters beginning from the great 5th Dalai Lama.  The compiled texts of the great masters who opposed the practice will be distributed in the days to come. The great 5th Dalai lama, Trichen Ngawang Chokden, Changkya Rolpedorji, Phurchok Ngawang Jampa, Yongzin Yeshe Gyaltsen; were all against the practice of Dogyal. The followers of Dhogyal should know their purposes and the reasons for the practice. They assert that the practice brings them more money as Dhogyal is a god of wealth. Then they slowly move towards the ‘practice of submitting the life’ followed by monthly invocative prayer of Kangso {literally meaning fulfilling and reviving}. These achievements through the practice of Dhogyal have been mentioned in the books of the late Draghom Rinpoche. There are many kinds of these which many of you are already aware of.  You should do a risk –benefit analysis based on both positions and think properly. As you have all decided on this resolution to bring apart the mouth and mustache, the time has come to take a decision. The followers of Dhogyal have killed, beaten and threatened. Still to submit them to China is really a strange move. We are arguing with the Chinese. We are not demanding separation; we want a meaningful autonomy and are willing to stay under the Chinese govt. with this provision of a satisfactory, meaningful autonomy. We are not demanding separation from the People’s Republic of China, but we are against their complete control to exercise whatever they wish. At such a time, to stand on the Chinese side is very sad. Still, they exaggerated that their religious freedom is deprived. This is not a matter of religious freedom. Dhogyal is a devilish spirit and the propitiation of it relates only to the propitiation of a devilish spirit. However, there is a chance that people might think that since there is a mention of the word devilish spirit in one of the verses of the generation stage practice of Yamantaka, the practice of the same might be okay.
In the ritual cake offering to the 15 directional guards, it says:-
In the presence of the Manjushri’ the Lord of Victors,
You have pledged to defeat the devils and protect teaching.
All the Yamas [literally meaning king of Death in Tibetan], Mamos, Dakas, Dakinis, assembly of the wrathful spirits, Rolangs, {literally meaning arisen from death body} the committed assembly of External and Internal protectors,
I revere you all with expectations in Mind.
So, though you see the mention of the word devilish spirit, this is followed by the word Committed assembly of protectors. So, if it’s a committed protector, whether or not if it’s a devilish spirit is not a matter of concern.  But a wrathful spirit who has strained his commitment is not good. Therefore, it’s important to distinguish between the two. I will distribute the historical texts for reference. Whatever the case is, it has been pending for the last so many odd years, nearly equaling 400 years {around 370 years}. It has been a case of disturbance in exile for almost 30 years. When China has taken such an interest in this matter, we should also think more on this.
Now we should differentiate between the mustache and the mouth through referendum by taking into account both the positions. All of you, the abbots, the teachers, the sponsors; have you understood this? So, this is what we are going to do. We shouldn’t merely ignore this as any unrelated matter. In the Vinaya texts, when the monastics have differences in their positions, it is the tradition to vote by picking up colored sticks. In the worldly community, there is a good system called referendum which I think is appreciable. So, you should explain the different positions in your own monasteries; let all understand both the positions. Give them time to contemplate. Then you should vote. Have you understood?

A talk on Dolgyal by H.H. the Dalai Lama during the course of religious teachings in Dharamsala, October 1997 There may be many among you who have never been involved in the practice of Dolgyal at all. In many other cases, you may have practised it in the past, but have later given it up. With the hope of strengthening your sense of conviction about this, I have brought here some statements made by lamas in the past. I am going to read them out to you. In the letters and statements that they have recently distributed, proponents of Dolgyal (also known as Shugden) assert that this issue should be understood on two levels – on an interpretable level and on a definitive level. They say, for instance, that even the Fifth Dalai Lama (1617-1682) composed a prayer for assistance (‘prin’ chol) addressed to Dolgyal. Of course, it is difficult for us to prove convincingly whether it belongs to the Fifth Dalai Lama or not. The Collected Works of the Fifth Dalai Lama are classified into three sections: the five outer volumes, the twenty-five inner volumes, the secret or Kagyama volumes, which consist of the Extensive Secret Visions or Sangwa Gyachen. Previously, this last volume existed only in handwritten form, not in a printed edition. However, eventually it has been published in print. There are outer, inner and secret sections to the Fifth Dalai Lama’s works, but among them you will not find a single ‘prayer for assistance’ addressed to Dolgyal written by the Fifth Dalai Lama. However, let us allow for the possibility that there are some texts by the Fifth Dalai Lama which escaped the notice of the compilers. Regarding the Fifth Dalai Lama’s open statement about Dholgyal, folio 157 (front and back) of the autobiography of the Fifth Dalai Lama called Dukulai Gosang, Volume Kha, Lhasa edition, says: It is well known that at Dol Chumig Karmo (Dol Chumig Karmo is Shugden’s place of origin, where a shrine was constructed to him. He is also referred to as Dolgyal because he is a Gyalpo from Dol Chumig Karmo. Gyalpo is a class of interfering spirit. Since Shugden belong to this group, he is also called Gyalchen, the great Gyalpo.) A very powerful perfidious spirit (darn sri, the spirit of one who has deliberately breached his oath or commitment to his lama out of resentment and dissension), born due to distorted prayers, has been harming the teaching of the Buddha and sentient beings in general and in particular. The harmful activity has intensified since the fire-bird (year), 1657, and (the spirit) has been successful in many of his missions. But, as if this did not concern them, hardly anyone has taken any action. At the end of the earth-bird (year), 1669, a new house was constructed at Dol Chumig Karmo and articles were placed there in the hope that it would become a place for the Gyalpo to settle. (H.H. – So, it appears that attempts were made in the beginning to appease it by peaceful means.) However, his harmful activities only intensified and recently many lay and ordained people have been afflicted with diseases and several monks have died. Therefore, all the monks unanimously decided that a fire ritual should be performed. Consequently, two groups of practitioners were organised. One was led by Nagrampa Dhondup Gyatso, who acted as the Vajra Acharya of (a performance of) the Dorje Drolo ritual and the other was led by Nangjung Ngagchang Losang Khyentse, who acted as the Vajra Acharya of (a performance of the) Yangsang Karma Dragpo ritual. Likewise Rigzin Pema Thinley of Dorje Drag, Dharma King Terdag Lingpa, Vugja Lungpa, Drigung Tulku Rinpoche, Katshal Zurpa Ngari Kunchok Lhundup and Palri Tulku performed the Wrathful Lama, Yama, Phurba, Loktri practice for seven days, at the conclusion of which a fire ritual was performed, during which the ‘perfidious spirit’ and his entourage were burnt. Everybody was convinced (of its success because of) the wonderful signs that appeared and the smell of burning flesh that they all witnessed. Thus, many sentient beings were explicitly granted the gift of fearlessness, because their lives were saved. And indirectly these creatures (‘byungpo means creature or evil spirit) were delivered to the peaceful state of being, released from having to experience the intolerable suffering of bad states of rebirth due to their increasingly negative actions. At that time a declaration (zur dpang, refers to the testimony or deposition of a witness) was issued to indicate that these creatures or evil spirits were without protection and refuge. (Consequently), the Dardhingpas of Dorje Drag Monastery compiled mantras. As a religious practice for the deceased, Sera and Drepung Monasteries performed the Prayer of the White Umbrella Deity 44,000 times and recited the Heart Sutra 118,000 times during eleven sessions during which tea was offered in each monastery. As an offering for the recitations, gold coins equal to the value of two Ithals (about 27 kgs) of wheat were given to each monk. At sixty-seven other well- disciplined monasteries in the neighbourhood, tea and gold coins to the value of one Itha] (about 13.5 kgs) of wheat were offered to each monk with a request that they perform the White Umbrella Prayer as many times as possible for the deceased. At Yerpa, the Gyuto monks performed the prayer of appeasement of Gonpo (Mahakala) and Choegyal (Dharmaraja) 693 times, Tenma 1,121,800 times, and the Sixty Section Ritual Cake Offering to Overcome Evil (Drug chu pa’i gTor dog). At Choekhor Gyal they performed rituals to (Palden Lhamo) Magzorma, to Mahakala the Lord of the Tent (Gur and Zhal), and to Begtse and at Gatshal they performed the prayer for appeasing the Dharma protectors in general, 10,000 times and the prayers of the Six Armed (Mahakala), ?Leshin and Vaishravana (rNam sre) 1000 times. At 11 district capitals they performed the Prayer for Invoking the Spirit of the Deity to Vanquish the Enemy (dgra-lha-dpangs-bstod) and other practices to appease local deities and spirits. So, the number and types of prayers that were performed are listed. It is also mentioned that when the exorcism was performed the Fifth Dalai Lama himself issued a declaration (zur dpang) calling on the assembly of Dharma protectors to be just witnesses to the exorcism of this forsaken spirit. This is what appears in the Dukulai Goesang. Regarding the declaration which was written at that time, below is a translation of the testimony that the fifth Dalai Lama mentions in his autobiography. The original Tibetan can be found on page 148 front and back (English pages 423 and 424) of the volume Da of his Collected Works published in Gangtok, Sikkim. “Because of the clever manipulations of Lak Ahgyal of Gekhasa, the false reincarnation of Tulku Sonam Geleg Palzang (Tulku Dakpa Gyaltsen) was successful (in being recognised as the reincarnation). But because of distorted prayers he became a perfidious spirit (dam Sri) and brought serious harm to sentient-beings. [H.H.- Gekhasa was the location of Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen’s (1617-56) birthplace. Lak Ahgyal was the name of Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen’s mother. She seems to have been a very capable women. To begin with there had even been a rumour that her son was the reincarnation of Gyalwa Yonten Gyatso (the Fourth Dalai Lama). Gekhasa is probably in Toelung. Therefore, the text says, “because Lak Ahgyal was so clever and skilful the false reincarnation of Tulku Sonam Geleg Palzang was successful”. Tulku Sonam Gelek Palsang was the reincarnation of Dho-Ngag Rabjam M’awa Panchen Sonam Drakpa (1478-1554). Then, because of Ahgyal’s skilful manipulation Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen came to be known as the reincarnation of Gelek Palsang. However, this text states that he was indeed a mistaken and false reincarnation. When the text says “he was successful” it means that even though he was the false reincarnation, he succeeded in maintaining his position as the real incarnation. Then it says,] But because of distorted prayers he became a perfidious spirit (dam sri) and brought serious harm to sentient beings. Therefore, a total of seven groups of practitioners led by (Pema Trinley) Rinpoche of Dorje Drag, Choegyal Terdag Lingpa, Choeje Vugja Lungpa, Ngari Ngagchang Konchok Lhundup, Palri Tulku and two groups of practitioners of Phende Legshe Ling (Namgyal Dratsang) performed a ritual fire offering and burnt the interfering spirit. This is the declaration I have written at that time: To the deities, Legden, Chagdrug, Leshin and Magzor, To the oath bound protectors Gongzhi, Gonpo, Chamsre and Begtse, etc. Who have been propitiated and whose practice (has been done) I offer this sublime libation. The so-called Drakpa Gyaltsen pretends to be a sublime being, even though he is not, And since this interfering spirit and creature of distorted prayers Is harming everything – both the dharma and sentient beings – Do not support, protect or give him shelter, but grind him to dust. To the female protectors like Nodjin Yangghaza, etc. and Gyalpo Ku-nga, Khyabjug, Dorje Leg and particularly Nechung and his entourage I offer this sublime libation. The so-called Drakpa Gyaltsen pretends to be a sublime being, even though he is not, And since this interfering spirit and creature of distorted prayers Is harming everything – both the dharma and sentient beings – Do not support, protect or give him shelter, but grind him to dust. To the seven Barwa brothers like Tse-marpa etc. And likewise Setrab of Sangphu etc.- the wrathful gods and spirits among whom this negative spirit seeks support I offer this sublime libation. The so-called Drakpa Gyaltsen pretends to be a sublime being, even though he is not, And since this interfering spirit and creature of distorted prayers Is harming everything – both the dharma and sentient beings – Do not support, protect or give him shelter, but grind him to dust. Having agreed before the root and lineage lama Vajra Dharas To increase what is good and beneficial to sentient beings and the dharma, If you protect this perfidious spirit, Will you not cause your own past pledges to degenerate? There are groups of interfering spirits who display inopportune miracles In the form of human sickness, cattle disease, hailstorms, famine and May their power and ability Their body, speech and mind be smashed into tiny particles. So, this is the declaration issued by the fifth Dalai Lama. It is quite strongly worded. Next, is the Sangwa Gyachen, which is also the secret autobiography of the fifth Dalai Lama and is included in the Kagyama section of the fifth Dalai Lama’s Collected Works. A printed edition of the Tsapoe was eventually published in Delhi in 1972 by the Ladakhi doctor Sonam Wangdu. In the Pure Visions section of the Fifth Dalai Lama’s Sangwa Gyachen there are twenty-five sub-sections. Among them, in the Vase Gyachen, we find the following: As I was listening to these words, the great Acharya, holding a Khatvanga in his right hand and with his left hand in a threatening gesture, flanked by two dakinis, spoke as follows: There is no difference between me and Avalokiteshvara Without involving in too much chatter Put into practice what I showed you earlier In order to dispel obstacles, perform the dispelling ritual of the White Umbrella deity and Charka and the previously described Lukdril. (H.H.- From this point on it is written in the cursive (Trukyig) script. It goes like this.)   A fire ritual was performed at the site of the Upper Palace in Drepung. H.H.- this indicates that there was some problem with the Upper Palace. This is what we find in the Vase Gyachen. Again, in another division of the Sangwang Gyachen called the Drithue Gyachen, we find the following: On the first day of the female Earth- Bird year, at Drepung, a black woman the size of a mountain placed her right foot on the Upper Palace, and her left foot on the Choekorling at Drepung. There was a haze of dust. This also shows that the Upper Palace was marked by controversy. Therefore, the claim by Dolgyal practitioners that there exists a prayer propitiating Shugden composed by the Fifth Dalai Lama is unlikely to be true. Even if it were considered to have been written by the Fifth Dalai Lama, it must have been written during the initial period (of this affair) when he has stated himself that he tried skilfully to employ peaceful methods. Nevertheless, while we may accept (the assertion that he did write such a prayer) as true, usually when we are confronted with a situation in which we have to decide which of two options is correct – for example, between a statement made by the Buddha earlier in his life and another that was made later- according to the Vinaya, the later statement is considered more reliable than the former. So, the later a statement was made the more importance is attributed to it. Therefore, even if we accept that the propitiation prayer does belong to the Fifth Dalai Lama, what he said distinctly, clearly and emphatically during the later stages of his life must be considered as of overriding importance. So, this has concerned the involvement of the Fifth Dalai Lama. Next, the collected works of Thukhen Lobsang Choekyi Nyima (1737-1802) contain a biography of Changkya Rolpai Dorje (17 17-86). The biography describes how Changkya Rolpai Dorje travelled to Lhasa from Amdo. It reads as follows: One day, he (Changkya Rolpai Dorje) went out to make a circumambulation of the monastery (H.H.- this is at Ganden) and as he reached the right corner of the mountain behind Ganden he became aware of the smell of a great (column) incense smoke rising from the village that lay down below on the floor of the valley. He asked, “What is the name of that village?” Someone familiar with the area told him, “It’s called Thagye.” (“Tha” means edge and “Gye” means expand. So, together, it means “the edge expands.”) He responded, “That is an auspicious sign” and seemed to be very pleased. This, I (Thukhen Lobsang Choekyi Nyima) think is an extremely good sign that due to the grace and kindness of Je Lama himself (Changkya Rolpai Done) the tradition of Gyalwa Tsongkhapa will spread and flourish in all places, at all times. Then, as he continued his circumambulation, a tantric Geshe accompanying him explained the stories associated with each and every one of the many naturally formed stone images of deities, mantras, and hand and foot imprints on stones that were lying above and below on the sides of the road. In particular, he was shown a stone on which there was a very clear image of Tsongkhapa, which was said to have formed during the time of the Seventh Dalai Lama. [H.H.-I don’t remember this. Do any of you know about this? An image of Tsongkhapa, which was said to have appeared during the time of the Seventh Dalai Lama. Which direction is it in? The direction from which the Thirteenth Dalai Lama extracted Tsongkhapa’s hat from its treasury is in the East.] Then they sighted a footprint, which was not attributed to anyone in particular. At that point, Je Lama (Changkya Rolpai Dorje) jokingly said, “this foot print probably belongs to a Nyingmapa. So, those of you who are followers of Phurbuchock had better avoid it. At that point, Thukhen Rinpoche said, if a Nyingmapa is able to leave his footprint at the seat of Je Tsongkhapa, then I should also be able to leave a foot print on the jewelled ground of Sukhavati. That made everybody burst into laughter. [He just boasted a little as a joke.] Later, when they looked into it, they found that there was a saying that the footprint belonged to Khonton. [H.H – Do any of you know about this?] Then he went to the place where Machen was propitiated. Since, Je Lama (Tsongkhapa) and his disciples didn’t propitiate worldly spirits, even the spirit belonging to Je Lama’s (Tsongkhapa’s) own birthplace was not given a place within the circumambulatory limits. [H.H. – What I want to say starts from here.] Previously, some Ganden Throne holders propitiated Dholgyal and inauspicious events took place. Consequently, Trichen Dorje Chang (Trichen Ngawang Chokdhen 1677-1751) (here it very clearly states that the spirit was Dolgyal destroyed the images and so forth of him and banished him from the premises of the monastery. Then, he went to Lambar and Lhasa and repeatedly said, “This time I went to Ganden and was able to do something extraordinary”. This is what appears in the biography of Changkya Rolpai Dorje, composed by Thukhen Rinpoche. Trichen Ngawang Chokdhen was the root guru of the 7th Dalai Lama and an extremely great being. He was from Amdo, so we are from the same region of Tibet, and became the first Reting Rinpoche. He was really an incredibly great being. It was he who was responsible for making Gyalchog Kalsang Gyatso what he was. These two, both Lama and disciple, had great devotion for each other. I am moved to tears, particularly when I reach the point in Gyalchog Kalsang (Gyatso’s) biography where Trichen Rinpoche says he doesn’t want anything except Reting. When the time came for him to leave for Reting, Gyalchog Kalsang requested him to stay a little longer. But, Trichen Rinpoche says, “Now, I will go”. Then Trichen Rinpoche mounts his horse and sets off. According to past accounts, there was a place in the Potala called the Wanglatang. That’s where Trichen Rinpoche left from and as he began his descent, Gyalchok Kalsang watched after him from the window of Wanglatang. It is really moving, because they both wept. Anyway, I have been wondering what we might find in Trichen Ngawang Chokdhen’s biography. There is one by Changkya Rolpai Dorje. At first I thought there must be a biography of Trichen Ngawang Chogdhen by Gyalchog Kalsang as Trichen was his root lama, but there isn’t. He probably didn’t have time to write one. However, he instructed Changkya Rolpai Dorje to write Trichen’s biography instead. So, this is what we find on page 67 of the biography of Trichen Ngawang Chokdhen composed by Changkya: Previously, a very vicious and evil spirit (it is not specifically stated that the spirit is Dholgyal, but it is clear from Changkya’s biography that the spirit referred to is Dholgyal. It also refers to the time when Trichen Ngawang Chokdhen was the Ganden Throne-holder,) possessed a man at Draksep. Some unstable lamas, former abbots, and monastic hostels (khangtsens) did practice in relation to it simply by invoking and propitiating it. A cairn for invoking spirits had also been erected on top of the Iangtse mountain. Considering how inappropriate was this turn of events he issued an edict to the assembly of monks that as there had been no tradition of propitiating worldly spirits and protectors within the premises of this seat of learning since the time of Je Tsongkhapa, henceforth, nobody would be allowed to engage in such activities. The cairn was demolished (this is very clearly stated in the biography of Changkya) and the stones and earth were returned to the places from which they had been taken. The spirit was invoked through a medium in trance and was then ordered not to come through such trances henceforth. Dolgyal replied, “If this is the order of Tri Rinpoche, I have no choice but to leave.” Then, the ghostly spirit fled to Taktse Shol. Je (Trichen Ngawang Chokdhen) himself went into retreat. He made it a rule that the prayer to Dharmaraja composed by the Omniscient Gedun Gyatso (the second Dalai Lama), should be said in the Main Hall of Ganden. Due to Dharmaraja’s wrath the Lamas and former abbots who had been propitiating the spirit were killed and the monastic hostels also suffered many misfortunes. Consequently, such misdeeds entirely ceased and the action that had been taken became an excellent cause for maintaining the purity of the monastery.” This account appears in the biography of Trichen (Ngawang Chokdhen) composed by Changkya Rolpai Dorje, which can be found among Changkya’s Collected Works. It is clearly stated below that this account refers to Dolgyal. However, here it just refers to the Gyen gong (ghostly spirit). The text’s reference to the activities of some “unstable lamas, former abbots, and monastic hostels (khangtsens)” prior to Trichen Ngawang Chokdhen’s becoming the Ganden Throne-holder, is confirmed in the works of Purchok Ngawang Jampa. This is what we find in the Catalogue of the Three Monastic Seats composed by Phurchok Ngawang Tampa: Thus, at the time when Je (Tsongkhapa) himself was alive, apart from those dharma protectors who are bound by oath and are mentioned in the tantras themselves, no objects for propitiating or seeking the slightest help of harmful negative worldly spirits who are ghosts, was ever installed within the premises of this monastic seat. As a result, all the members of the community, both Lamas and disciples lived in harmony and the tradition of study and practice flourished. Even (the cairn) to the spirit of Tsongkhapa’s birthplace was placed outside the monastery. However, nowadays, many people who consider themselves to be followers of Tsongkhapa, and who adopt the three robes of a fully ordained Buddhist monk, go for refuge in ghostly spirits. They will have to face the consequence of meeting with great misfortune.” This account is a very clear. We can compare how things developed later with how they were in the beginning. When Phurchok Ngawang Tampa prepared his Catalogue of the Three Monastic Seats, he describes how things were previously. When Tsongkhapa was alive there was no occasion for the propitiation of worldly spirits whatsoever. However, he complains, for some time since then, even in this monastery (Ganden), some people, who claim to be followers of Tsongkhapa and who wear the three robes of a fully ordained Buddhist monk, go for refuge in ghosts. As a result, even though there was previously great harmony and purity at Ganden, later because of such activities, many inauspicious events have occurred. This is what Phurchok Ngawang Jampa clearly explained. Subsequently, when Trichen Ngawang Chokdhen became the Ganden Throne-holder, because Phurchok Ngawang Jampa was not on the throne, he had no authority and was unable to do anything more that criticise. However, both he and Trichen Ngawang Chokdhen were from Sera Te, as you all know. Trichen Ngawang Chokdhen records that when he came to Lhasa from Amdo, Phurchok Ngawang Jampa was known as the Lhopa Khampa, renowned as one of the top students in dialectics. This is recorded in Trichen Ngawang Chokdhen’s biography. Later, they became guru and disciple, but from the point of view of age, they were contemporaries. That is why it is very likely that when they occasionally met Phurchok Ngawang Tampa would have raised this issue with Trichen Rinpoche. As far as Phurchok Ngawang Jampa was concerned, as he was not the Ganden Throne-holder, there was nothing he could do except complain. Whereas, Trichen Ngawang Chokdhen, who was both the Ganden Throne-holder, and the tutor of the seventh Dalai Lama, used his authority to prohibit the practice of propitiating negative worldly spirits and ordered the destruction of the temples for propitiating such spirits. Moreover, the words of the text quite clearly show that Tri-Rinpoche, by invoking Choegyal (Dharmaraja), virtually killed those who had misbehaved. That this all refers to Dholgyal can be established by the passages found in Changkya Rolpai Dorje’s text. This is why the statements in the letters of enquiry sent by the previous Dalai Lama to Kyabje Phabongkha Rinpoche, stating that ‘physically putting on the three robes and then taking refuge in ghostly spirits is not correct”, turns out to be absolutely accurate. These things were not written by me, nor do they only appear in new editions, they appear in editions that were produced in Tibet. During the past sixty years the practice of Dolgyal became very widespread. Kyabje Phabongkha Rinpoche was really an incredibly great master. As I always say, he is virtually the supreme holder of the Stages of the Path (Lam rim) and Mind Training (Lo jong) traditions. But with regard to Dolgyal he seems to have made mistakes. Rinpoche himself was a highly realized being. He was capable of enthralling anything – human or non-human – at will and so call on their assistance. That is quite possible, but it is a different matter (from seeking ordinary assistance). Trijang Rinpoche was also an exception. However, it is a great and dangerous mistake for those following them simply to imitate what these lamas did. Although Dragyab Tokden Rinpoche was an incalculably great master of the Stages of the Path, following Phabongkha’s visit to different areas of Kham, he went too far with regard to the Dolgyal Practice. As a result, many difficulties connected with religious sectarianism arose in Kham. Likewise, many controversial incidents took place in parts of Utsang and Lhoka, which even today many older even can clearly recount. Evidence of this can be glimpsed in the writings of the Amdo scholar and lama, Tseten Shabdrug. There is one part where he tells the story of his root lama Alak Jigme Damchoe. The text was printed in book form in Tibet. Alak Jigme Damchoe’s two-volume commentary to Tsongkhapa’s Essence of Eloquent Explanation (Drange Lekshe Nyingpo) is probably the most extensive commentary on it to date. Therefore, he was an extremely great scholar. But his greatest contribution was probably his Great Commentary of figje Tokdun. He himself said that this text was his greatest achievement and it does indeed look remarkably good. So, this is what we find in the biography of this great master, composed by Tseten Shabdrung: On this occasion, the excellent scholar known as Choekyi Lodroe, the illuminator of the Nyingma school and the reincarnated tulku of the incomparable Jamyang Khyentse, [H.H.- Khyentse Choekyi Lodroe was actually a Sakyapa from Derge, but had trained in all four traditions) even though I didn’t know him [H.H.- They hadn’t met each other until then] sent me a gift and an accompanying letter from Derge Menchoe Dzongsar Gon. The letter reads: ‘When I heard about you, I felt great joy. I thought that I probably have a connection with you from past lives. Much as I wish to meet you in person I am (unable to because I am) by the force of karma sick and am at a very distant place. So, there is nothing I can do, although I continue to offer prayers (that we might meet) in my mind. Some of the followers of Ven. Phabongkha Dechen Nyingpo Rinpoche engaged in heated argument over the systems of philosophical tenets of the New and the Ancient traditions. They engaged in many mistaken activities such as destroying images of Padmasambhava and other peaceful and wrathful deities. They said that reciting the mantra of the Vajra Guru is of no value and would destroy the Padma Kathang (by burning it or throwing it into rivers.) Similarly, they asserted that turning Mani prayer wheels, observing weekly prayers for the deceased, and so forth are of no purpose and so placed many on the path of wrong view. They held Gyalpo Shugden as the supreme refuge and the embodiment of all the Three Jewels. [This does not mean that he himself held Shugden as the embodiment of all Three Jewels. Rather, he is critically reporting what these people are doing. Generally in Sakya tradition Gyalpo Shugden is depicted as riding a horse. So, it is classed among the spirits (Tsen) and isn’t regarded as if it is the embodiment of all three objects of refuge.] Many monks from minor monasteries in Southern area, claiming to be possessed by Shugden, ran madly in all directions destroying the three symbols of enlightenment (images, scriptures and stupas) and so forth. Displaying many such faults they greatly harmed the teachings of the Second Conqueror, Je Tsongkhapa. Therefore, if you were to compose an advisory letter for everyone’s benefit and were to publish it and distribute it throughout the three (provinces) U, Tsang and Kham, it would greatly contribute to counteracting such disturbances to the teaching.”For myself, I request you please to send me a copy of the Tokdun Tantric commentary. Thank You. The manner in which this request was made is evidence that the many matchlessly renowned great masters of the central and bordering regions of Tibet, who assert themselves as upholding all four schools of Buddha Dharma without discrimination, through the ripples of the white wave of expertise, conduct and kindness, all feel humbled and subdued before the one who wears the golden coloured crown and takes great responsibility (for the doctrine). These are what some of the historical accounts have to say. However, it sometimes, seems that some of the Gelugpa Dharma holders have been slightly excessive in their views. For instance, a couple of days ago we found Aku Sherab Gyatso saying, “The way Je Rinpoche presents the reality of the basis, the nature of the path, and the way the fruits are attained in his commentary to the Completion Stage, and his method of making divisions are so brilliantly wonderful that some Nyingmapas have stolen them.” It doesn’t make any sense to criticise their having understood them. It is not that the Nyingmapas are not allowed to understand the wisdom of Tsongkhapa. This is wrong. Our attitude should accord with the statement, “those wishing to accomplish the benefit of sentient beings engage in understanding the paths of all three vehicles.” Otherwise, it is as if they are suggesting, “May the remarkable teachings of Tsongkhapa not be understood by the Nyingmapas, may they be hidden from them.” Therefore, sometimes it is possible to go to excess. However, sometimes political considerations may have a bearing on the situation. For example, accounts of Kunkyen Lama (Jamyang Shepa, 1648-172 1, of Labrang Tashi Kyil) explain that one day an Amdo lama came to see Kunkyen Lama Jamshe Ngawang Tsondrue in the hope of receiving a commentary to some text from him. It says, “that day Gyalpo Lhasang (Lhasang Khan, leader of the Dzungar Mongols) was there also and so there was much activity and he was not able to get the teaching.” Kunkyen Lama Jamshe Ngawang Tsondrue was a disciple of the Fifth Dalai Lama, who was preceptor at Jamyang Shepa’s full ordination as a monk. There is hardly any text by Kunkyen Lama in which he does not pay homage to the victorious father and son. In his text on the Middle View or in his Great Text on Tenets he says something like this: “If you think over and over again of the way in which the Lotus Holder upholds the Dharma, it moves the very hairs on your heart. He expresses fulsome praise for the Fifth Dalai Lama, not for the sake of flattery or to observe etiquette, but out of deep faith. (In his turn) the Fifth Dalai Lama had probably given predictions and instructions with regard to the setting up of Tashi Kyil monastery and the subsequent dissemination of the dharma in Amdo. Likewise, in his work on the Middle View, when he arrives at the difficult point of describing identification of the object of negation, (Jamyang Shepa) quotes statements from the Stages of the Path, Sacred Word of Manjushri (by the Fifth Dalai Lama) with strong praise for it as a text written purely from personal experience. Therefore, he placed the Fifth Dalai Lama upon his head, respecting him as an incredibly great master. However, it was different when it came to political matters. For example, he didn’t accept Gyalchog Tsangyang Gyatso as the reincarnation of the Fifth Dalai Lama. This is clear from his incredibly good history of Yamantaka. When the lamas of the lineage are being chronicled, after the Fifth Dalai Lama, it says, “His reincarnation is the present incumbent Holder of the Lotus, Ngawang Yeshi Gyatso.” No other Tibetans recognised him. Gyalpo Lhasang appointed him and Kunkyen Lama Jamyang Shepa recognised him. So, it is as if only Jamyang Shepa recognised him. All other Tibetan accounts of the time unanimously refer to Rigzin Tsangyang Gyatso as the reincarnation of the Fifth Dalai Lama, despite His Holiness having apparently given back his monk’s vows and his consorting with women. The generally accepted view of Rigzin Tsangyang Gyatso as being the reincarnation of the Fifth Dalai Lama went unchallenged, except by Kunkyen Lama Jamshe Ngawang Tsondrue. That is why for some time the Shugden organisation have asserted in their letters that His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is very critical of Jamyang Shepa. But this is all I have said, no more than this. Now, as a Lama from Loseling College Ling Rinpoche was very partial to the scriptures written by Panchen Sonam Drakpa. Whereas Gen Nyima used to prefer the texts of Kunkyen Lama. He would repeatedly say, “Oh, this text by Jamyang Shepa is so good.” Yongzin Rinpoche would never say such a thing. (Laughs) For example, (Jamyang Shepa) always says that the ‘truth of cessation’ is not emptiness, it is ultimate truth, but not emptiness. Yongzin Rinpoche would emphasise that this is not possible. Whatever the case, he would not give even a little on the views expressed by Panchen Sonam Drakpa. He considered them to be like ultimate truth. However, at the same time, Yongzin Rinpoche had incredible faith and respect for Kunkyen Lama Jamyang Shepa. Yongzin Rinpoche was from a U-Tsang background and belonged to Loseling College, so he had no particular connection to Amdo. However, he was always full of praise for Amdo Tashi Kyil, describing it as a treasury of transmissions and instructions, where every aspect of Je Tsongkhapa’s tantra and sutra tradition was upheld. Later, when the Fifth Kunkyen Lama came to Lhasa, when I was small, Yongzin Rinpoche came into contact with him. On that occasion, the Kunkyen Lama wanted to establish a branch of the Upper Tantric College at Tashi Kyil. At that time, Yongzin Rinpoche was probably the Lama Umze of Gyutoe (the Upper Tantric) College, so, he sent some Gyutoe monks to Tashi Kyil. Yongzin Rinpoche’s intention was twofold. On the one hand he wanted to fulfil the wish of Kunkyen Lama Jamyang Shepa and on the other hand he instructed the monks he despatched to bring back from Amdo copies of rare texts that could no longer be found in central Tibet. This was something Rinpoche took particular responsibility for. In 1955, on my way back from Beijing, I stopped in various parts of Amdo and I clearly remember the visit I paid to the Tashi Kyil monastery. I had the good fortune of paying the monastery a visit. At that time Kunkyen Lama’s reincarnation was very small, and his tutor was really extraordinary, really incredible. The way he presented the formal threefold mandala offering was truly extraordinary, really good. Sadly, the Chinese later killed him during a ‘struggle session’ of ‘thought reform’ (thamzing). He was a truly great being. At that time, Gungthang Rinpoche was also there. He was about twenty-five years old. He too was an extraordinary person. While I was there at Tashi Kyil, I gave an empowerment of Chenrezi. Yongzin (Ling) Rinpoche told me later that on that occasion, I don’t remember it myself, they put on the blindfold this way or they used some initiation substance that way. Such was his respect for Tashi Kyil that he even paid attention to such minor traditions. Therefore, I too have unwavering respect for the lineage of Kunkyen Lamas. So, what the Shugden organisation says about it is really slander. There is no need for me to convince you or them about this, but, it is important to know the truth, how things really stand. What Kunkyen Lama has been right about is right and what he was wrong about is wrong. But, in matters such as this, I am very clear in my own mind and don’t visualise every aspect of the Lama as correct. For example, as we saw Aku Sherab Gyatso said, “Oh, what a pity, what a pity. This was understood by the Nyingmapas….“, and other such things. (Laughter) After some time, we might even say, “Oh, what a pity, if a Nyingmapa attains enlightenment. (Laughter) But even then, if we say “Oh, what a shame….“, when a Nyingmapa attains enlightenment, it will not help any Gelugpa attain enlightenment. Therefore, I tell people that there is no need for what is known as “seeing everything that the lama does as correct”. If it were appropriate to see everything the Lama does as correct, then there would have been no need for the Buddha to explain the qualifications of a Lama in such great detail. The Buddha himself wouldn’t have to have undergone austerities for six years. He could have continued to live as a prince surrounded by many queens and given teachings to his followers. The reason the Buddha renounced the world, was ordained as a monk and undertook austerities for six years was to give us an example. He wanted to show us that in order to purify our minds, which since beginning less time have been thoroughly defiled by the three poisonous disturbing emotions, we have to make effort and have to be able to withstand hardship. Therefore, the Buddha’s teaching is something, which can withstand investigation. It is not something incapable of withstanding analysis that depends only on faith. However, if you become aware of mistakes your lama has made or he has done things you do not approve of, that does not mean that you should lose faith. For example, I myself have received considerable teachings from Reting Dorjechang, and many teachings from Taktra Rinpoche too. Both of them are my lamas. But (my faith does not extend to) all their deeds. I am referring to what actually happened. In a letter written in his own hand Reting Rinpoche approved a plot to take the life of Kyabje Taktra Rinpoche. I have seen it myself. This is how it happened. A number of documents were seized and among them were found letters Reting Rinpoche had written personally to people like Nyungne Lama in Lhasa. My late abbot himself showed them to me. It was apparent from these letters that when Nyungne Lama, Kharto Rinpoche and others had first sought Reting’s approval of their plans, he had repeatedly counselled and advised them to exercise restraint. But the letters seem to indicate that, by and by, as if to the perception of ordinary sentient beings dependent arising had gone wrong, Reting Rinpoche himself developed a desire to get rid of Taktra Rinpoche. This was clear from the documents and there is no problem in saying so. For us Buddhists there is no contradiction here. I don’t feel at all uncomfortable about saying this. Reting Rinpoche’s hand written letter says, “Take care that the old monk (referring to Taktra Rinpoche) does not escape” This is completely wrong. I don’t even try to imagine that this was correct. Even so, I don’t view these actions as a cause for my losing faith in him. I have unwavering faith in Reting Rinpoche. However, mistaken actions such as I recognize as mistakes. I don’t think of these as the Lama’s so called “inestimable deeds”. Similarly, with regard to Trijang Rinpoche, I don’t believe his behaviour in relation to Gyalchen was correct. I don’t visualise it as divine activity. However, I don’t use it as ground for losing faith in him either. He was really such an important Lama to me. I received immeasurable kindness from him even when I was very small. It may seem a little boastful if I give you this example of my strong faith in Trijang Rinpoche. I often dream of my lamas, and in one clear dream Kyabje Rinpoche was urinating and I was lapping it up. So, I do have single pointed faith in him. But the fact that I have faith in him doesn’t mean that I should have faith in everything that he did. And when Kyabje Rinpoche was still alive, I was able to tell him so. Now, I belong to the line coming from Kyabje Phabongkha, and I hold the lineage of my two tutors. At the same time, since I sit on the throne of the Dalai Lama, I have to carry the responsibility of this institution on my shoulders. From this point of view, I have said before that even Gyalchog Kalsang Gyatso, the Seventh Dalai Lama was not fully qualified to sit on the throne of the Dalai Lama. I said this previously when I gave the Great Stages of Mantra teaching. I wonder if any of you here remember? This is how it seems to me. Being fairly forthright person I don’t know how to be courteous and discreet. However, sometimes I have been able to do it. For example, when dealing with the Chinese, you have no choice, but to be conciliatory. I worked with the Chinese for nine years in Tibet. On those occasions when I met Mao Tsetung I flattered him a little. Otherwise, my nature is basically frank and open. Therefore, at this time, it is important that you try to listen and understand the whole of what I have said. Only then will you get my point. If, on the other hand, you pick up only one of the many things I have said and black out the rest, saying, “Gyalwa Rinpoche has broken his guru-disciple relationship, he is this and that, and Gyalwa Rinpoche is critical of Jamyang Shepa”, you may not fool many people, but some people will probably be deceived. I am just telling you how things stand. Do you understand? Whether we are talking about Kyabje Phabongkha Rinpoche or Trijang Rinpoche, both were inestimably great masters. However, some of their deeds came about as a result of the nature of their disciples and due to their karma and merit. Therefore, since we all have a fundamentally pure bond with each other, I have explained these things to you in order that you will be able to feel confident about them. It’s not that I have any personal wish to speak about them. Now in connection with these issues, I wanted to tell you some of the personal experiences I have had, even though there may not be much meaning in them. Of course, I have given a detailed account, which you can find in books that have already been published. From time to time I do have strange dreams. However, I would like to recount several things that have not been published so far. I have already described elsewhere the dream I had when I arrived at Ganden, as a result of which the statue of Dolgyal in the Choegyal chapel had to be removed. After that, when I was in France some years ago, I had a dream one night of a white person who was said to be Dolgyal. That white man seemed to enter into a hollow space under the earth, something like a house underneath the ground. After he had entered the hole, I closed it up by completely covering it with earth and then levelled the ground by stamping on it. Then to one side there was an image of four-armed Mahakala. It’s faces were quite big, probably life size. Even though it was a statue, this Mahakala and I started wrestling with each other. As we fought the four armed Mahakala turned into the two-armed form and it seemed that I had won. So, it seems as if there is something in this. Even before that, on another occasion, which related to something to do with Kyabje Rinpoche, I had a dream that I suspected was probably due to Dolgyal. There was a thangka of Shel Dramsug in the background. This too indicated something. It is mentioned in the biography of Tulku Dakpa Gyaltsen that he had a particular relationship with Shel and it does seem like there was some connection there. It’s quite strange. So, this relates to my experiences with Gonpo shel. On another occasion, some years ago, I gave a talk about Dolgyal to the staff of the Tibetan administration in Thekchen Choeling. As I was coming back to my office at the end of the talk, I saw that about ten pictures of Gonpo Shelshi (all of them photographs of a thangka), something I have neither seen before nor since, had been brought for consecration. It was unprecedented then and has not been repeated. There is a place where all the religious items people bring for blessing are deposited. On that occasion, after I had finished talking about Dolgyal, and as I was coming back to the office, I saw amongst the other items about ten conspicuous pictures of Gonpo Shel. I thought, “Well, what’s this. This is rather strange’. There was some rice nearby, so I threw some grains over them and all ten collapsed. I thought, “Oh, that’s good”. (Laughter) I have received the full permission to practise all the Mahakalas, Gonpo Shel Namqyur Chudun. Even as a very small boy I had great faith in Gonpo Shel and was very fond of him. Since the time of the Omniscient Gendun Drup (the First Dalai Lama) there has been a special relation with him and he had become an exclusive protector (of the Dalai Lamas). I challenge any suggestion that he is somehow crossed with me or opposed to me over the issue of Dolgyal. I have nothing to be afraid from Gonpo Shel, there is no reason for me to have to give in him. (Laughter) So, this is how it is. But this is just a digression. It seems to me that there is some connection with Shel. But, now that I have said that, the Dolgyal advocates will probably start invoking him too. (Laughter) Let them do so. It won’t make any difference to me. (Laughter) Let me boast a little. Gonpo Shel is not a fool. He will support me and not them, because I am making a positive contribution to the Buddha Dharma. But I feel that if people say nasty things to me, I don’t need to bow my head, I need to hold it high. If the other person is humble, I also want to be humble. I think of myself as no more than a beggar, I don’t have any sense of myself as something special. Even whenever I come across a beggar, I have a genuine sense of being equal to, if not lower than, him. I don’t think, “I am something”. But when the other side acts big without reason, then it’s only right that I should act a bit tough in return. (Laughter) That’s why, as I just mentioned, when it is said that (my opponents) have been doing lots of black magic, I just have to laugh. I don’t do anything about it, I don’t even visualise the protection wheel. On my part, I really have true faith in the Buddha dharma and the most compassionate Buddha. I really have true faith. I told the government staff that I have a pure refuge in my continuum. When I generate faith in the precious Dharma, I generate real faith in the precious Buddha. And I also have genuine faith in the qualified followers of the Buddha. The statement that if you have pure refuge, you will not be harmed either by humans or non-humans, is definitive. There is no need to qualify it as definitive or subject to interpretation or to explain it through the method of six extremes and four systems, is it? So, when I hear that people are provoking others to behave negatively or are behaving negatively themselves, my response is that they will make their mouths hurt and tire themselves out. I have heard, for example, that they are blowing the long horn very hard, but I can’t see much point in that. So, I was talking about one of my dreams. Later, on another occasion, we were performing a ritual of Hayagriva. It was not particularly aimed at Dolgyal. The aim was to destroy anything, be it human, non-human, a lama, a deity or a ghost. That harms the Dharma and the just cause of Tibet. Whatever it is, it should be eliminated. It can’t be helped. One night during the period when we were conducting this ritual, I dreamt that I was sitting on my bed. Beside my bed was a small boy, about seven or eight years old, whom I took to be Dolgyal. This boy was holding my right hand. When I looked again, I saw that where he held my hand the boy’s fingernails were changing into claws and he was extending them. I was annoyed, grabbed the child by the neck and strangled him. My visualisation of myself as Hayagriva and my sense of divine pride were very clear. While still maintaining this clear vision and divine pride, I took the child in my hands, rubbed it between my palms and swallowed it. It was a very clear dream. Then I awoke. And as I awoke I was still in the process of swallowing. The thought went through my mind, “Strange, how could something the size of a small boy squeeze down my throat”. (Laughter) That was because my ordinary perception had begun to arise again. Previously I had been experiencing clear vision and divine pride, but immediately on awakening, ordinary preconceptions arose again. Consequently, I asked myself, “How could this happen?” So, this was another incident. Then, last year, we went to Drepung and stayed there for two or three days. After that I stayed at Ganden for one or two days. Isn’t that right? So, it was during that time, on the night of my arrival at Ganden, that I had a dream of somewhere like Dungkar monastery in Dromo. Generally, whenever I have dreams connected to Dolgyal, I dream of Dungkar monastery. I think that’s because I first encountered him Dungkar monastery. It seemed like Dungkar monastery and I thought it was Dungkar monastery. But in appearance it wasn’t actually Dungkar monastery. There was a huge hall. I was on the middle floor. There was also a huge wall. And in order to go down to the hall from the middle floor you had climb down a ladder. As I went down the ladder, there were people on either side whose flesh and blood had completely dried up, just like the lumps of dried meat (thukpai dhor) half infested by worms, which we put in the thukpa at the time of the Great Prayer Festival in the Tsuglagkhang in Lhasa. In the past, there used to be a meat shop at the Tsuklagkhang, behind what was known as the Simchung Labrang. I used to watch what was going on down there and I have seen the chunks of meat on display. It was all dried meat. There was no red meat, it was all completely dried out and yellow looking. So, it was as if these people had only their skins left, which looked very like the dried meat served during the Great Prayer Festival. They looked so miserable. They were cutting pieces of dry flesh off their bodies with a knife and eating them. Then, on the floor of the hall, there was a huge thangka of Gyalchen laid out. These people looked so appalling. I felt very distressed and disturbed, and wondered, “How can I help them?” but there was nothing much I could do. Then it occurred to me that it might help them if they heard the sound of ‘Manis’ in their ears, With strong compassion I recited “Om Mani Padme Hum” about three times, after which I woke up. At the same time, as I passed down between these emaciated people, I became aware of a strong, very strange smell. A long time ago I dreamt of Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche and in that dream I smelled the same smell. That was twenty years ago. The two smells were just the same. Although I didn’t recognise this while I was actually dreaming, as soon as I woke up I realised that the two smells were the same. So, there was something strange going on there. These are just instances from my personal experience, so there’s nothing reliable about them. However, I sometimes wonder if some of them don’t have some significance. Anyway, I have simply told you about them. Now, another thing that I have talked about before, and which you can read about in the books that we have put out, is how to approach practice in relation to worldly spirits (arrogant ones) Regardless of what (the nature or status) of a particular deity is in definitive terms, if it manifests as a worldly spirit, it must be dealt with care. The way to relate to it and the meaning of a worldly spirit’s ‘life entrustment’ (srog-gtad) is that the worldly spirit puts its life at the yogi’s command and the yogi controls the worldly spirit. It is not that the yogi put his life at the command of the worldly spirit. Look at how Gyalchen practitioners behave these days. They say, “I have received the ‘life entrustment’ “and act like as if they have given their entire body, speech and mind over to a worldly spirit. They say with great fear, “If I break (my commitment to perform) the monthly propitiation ceremony to him, he will harm me.” They have got things totally out of perspective. First of all you have to reach a confident state of realisation. I told Trijang Rinpoche this last year. There is no need (for him) to be hasty at the moment. First, Rinpoche should study the scriptures well and from time to time, he should do authentic retreats. Dolgyal is something with whom Rinpoche has a connection from past lives, and when the time comes, when Rinpoche’s personal realization reaches maturity, I will decide through ‘dough-ball’ divination whether he should take up the practice. And if the divination indicates that Rinpoche should do the practice, then, if Rinpoche has acquired a degree of inner confidence and realisation, it will be perfectly all right. But there really is no hurry. So, this is how you should proceed. This is what qualified practitioners do. For example, it doesn’t look as if the Sakya lamas have submitted themselves to Dolgyal. By the way, Kalu Rinpoche once told me a story. He had gone on pilgrimage to Sakya. As he visited the Protector Chapels at Sakya, one by one, the caretaker who was showing him round, rather casually explained the stories of the chapels and the images they contained. However, when they reached the entrance of one chapel the caretaker removed his shoes, made three prostrations and with great reverence, explained the story associated with it. It turned out that the chapel belonged to Dolgyal. So, it seems that that Sakya caretaker also regarded Dolgyal as holier than the Buddha. What a caretaker? But he was only doing what we all do. Usually, when we see a statue of the Buddha, all we feel and say is “I go for refuge to you”, that’s all. We don’t think, “the Buddha might disturb my dreams” or “the Buddha might harm me” or “do something to me”. On the other hand if we see a deity snarling with bared fangs, and if the chapel is dark, or there are paintings of an entire human skin with its four limbs and head spread out, we feel, “Oh, this might harm me.” We are afraid, thinking, “If I don’t act respectfully it might harm me.” We shouldn’t do this, it’s foolish. As Buddhists we should not do such things. Should we? Who should we be afraid of? We should be afraid of (offending) the Buddha. Who should we turn to for refuge? We should seek refuge in the Buddha. He is the one we weep before. (His Holiness weeps) The Buddha is really great. Incredible. Apart from him, whom can we rely upon? Je Rinpoche was someone who practised the sevenfold deities and dharmas of the Kadampa tradition. He added the three deities, Guhyasamaja, Chakrasamvara and Yamantaka to Atisha’s Stages of the Path. It’s very good if we can do that too. It’s the right thing to do. Je Rinpoche saw that it was important and introduced the tradition. So, it must be right. Since, Tsongkhapa approved it, it must be right. Yes, of course. And with regard to protectors, he appointed Mahakala and Dharmaraja. If we keep increasing the number of protectors in addition to them, it’s wrong. There is no need for that. There is a danger of the dharma becoming distorted. That really would be a shame. Therefore, a real holder of Tsongkhapa’s tradition should supplement the “Stages of the Path of the Three Beings” with the practices of the three meditational deities Guhyasamaja, Chakrasamvara and Yamantaka. And if you really feel you need a dharma protector you can take the Six Arm Mahakala and Kalarupa. There is no need for any others besides these two. Now, in my case, since the time of Gyalwang Gedun Drub, a special relationship developed with Palden Lhamo. And from the time of Gyalwa Gedun Gyatso and Sonam Gyatso a special relationship developed with Nechung due to his connection with Drepung. Even though Gyalwa Rinpoche (the Dalai Lama) was originally from Tashi Lhunpo, later, after he had become a Drepung lama he became connected to Nechung. So, it is due to my connection with the Tibetan Government and my responsibility within the Tibetan Government that I too maintain this relationship. Simply as a Buddhist monk and a practitioner of the Kadampa lineage, I wouldn’t need to do the practice of any deity, not even Palden Lhamo. Would I? But, this is how things stand. So, it is only the Buddha whom we should be afraid of offending and whom we should rely on from the heart. It is as if we think the Buddha has no power to perform any effective activity. When we recite the Ornament for Clear Realisation whom do we point to when we recite the part on the ‘twenty-seven activities’? It is as if these have no effect at all. If you offer a ““ or a ritual cake, you think you are seeking the protector’s help. You think that whatever you are doing will be successful that your business will be successful. How sad. Look at the state of our sense of refuge. Isn’t it important that we should think more carefully? Don’t you think so? As followers of the Buddha, and as followers of this extraordinarily pure new Kadampa tradition, introduced so remarkable by Je Rinpoche, we should be properly qualified and worthy of it. When we claim to be followers of the pure Kadampa tradition, but in practice if we propitiate deities and ghosts it is totally wrong. This is one reason why I have stopped the practice of Shugden practice. Another reason is that it is clear that from the time of the Fifth Dalai Lama this deity was not on good terms with the Ganden Phodrang government (of Tibet). It had to be stopped for this reason too. And the third reason is that it should be possible for all different schools of tenets in general and in particular the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism (Gelug) Sakya, Kagyu, and Nyingma – to be incorporated into the spiritual practice of a single individual. This would really be a remarkable thing, a tribute to the glory and beauty of the dharma. This is something I am striving to achieve. Let me tell you a story. Previously, when the late Kunu Lama Tenzin Gyaltsen was alive, I once consulted Yongzin (Ling) Rinpoche (about the fact) that the Kunu Lama Rinpoche possessed the transmission of the Essence of Secret Tantra (Gyu Sangwang Nyingpo). I said, “I am wondering whether or not I should receive this transmission from him”. His answer was that it was probably better for the time being if I were to defer it. “It wouldn’t be so good” he said. Yongzin Rinpoche was concerned that if I received such Nyingma teachings, Dolgyal might harm me. (Laughter) There were such strong preconceptions at that time. Later, when the Dolgyal issue had blown up … Now, let me tell you a little about Yongzin (Ling) Rinpoche. Until I started restricting the practice of Dholgyal, he never said anything to me about it. He remained silent and very cautious. Once I started restricting it, Yongzin Rinpoche said, “Yes, you have done the right thing”. In his own case he told me that, usually, whenever he asked Kyabje Phabongkha Rinpoche questions on different topics, whatever answer he received, he always felt from the depth of his heart, “Of course, this is really the only truth, of course,” as if the answer had come from the Buddha’s own lips. He had complete conviction. Then, one day, Yongzin Rinpoche asked Kyabje Phabongkha Rinpoche about Dolgyal. He reported that it was being said that those who had a relationship with Nechung should not maintain a relationship with Dolgyal, because it is said that Nechung and Dholgyal are not on good terms. He asked what the truth might be. Continuation… Phabongkha Rinpoche replied, “This can’t be true at all, because Dolgyal actually came into existence at Nechung’s instigation. So, Nechung, being the one who prompted his emergence, such a conflict isn’t possible.” Even though that was Phabongkha’s answer, on this issue, for whatever reason, in his heart Yongzin Rinpoche didn’t feel “Yes, this is the truth,” as he usually did. Somehow, the question “What’s the answer to this?” lingered on in his mind. This is what he told me and that was the situation. But this is just a digression. Dolgyal practitioners say that Panchen Tenpai Wangchuk, the eighth Panchen Lama, practised Nyingma teachings and consequently was destroyed by Gyalchen. Reting Rinpoche also did Nyingma practices and was also destroyed. This is what is often said. It is also said that many other lamas were similarly destroyed by Dolgyal. This sort of thing scares people. In India too, at Orissa and other places, first Song Rinpoche visited them and gave teachings on Dolgyal. After that, those who did the practice of Dolgyal became scared and took books like the Padma K’a-thang (the pronouncements of Padmasambhava) out of their houses and in some cases even threw them away. Some gave them away to their neighbours. Similar incidents have happened elsewhere. These are the true facts, not just things that were made up. People who actually witnessed these events are stilt alive. People usually say that in general Gelugpas are not allowed to become Nyingmas and, in particular, once people start propitiating Dolgyal, if they engage in Nyingma practices, Dolgyal will destroy them. So, when they say this, they are taking exactly the opposite line to what I say – “We should try to practice all the four traditions in a complete form within one single physical basis”. This attitude poses an obstacle to my efforts to try to introduce this good example. Therefore, I have had to put a stop to it. Now, let me talk about how I have gone about stopping it. To begin with, in the past, when even I was not aware of the issues involved. I too did this (Dolgyal) practice. Later, when I recognised the very negative aspects of doing so, I gave it up. I have described howl gave up the practice in books that have already been published. I gave it up after proper consultation, but without making a lot of fuss. However, I didn’t immediately make my decision public. In due course, though, after I had received a request for a divination about certain matters related to Ganden Jangtse monastery, I had to make things clear. But the main reason I had to start to raise this issue was because of the controversy that erupted out of the book The Ambrosia That Flowed From the Mouth of the Heroic L.ama Father (Phagoe Lamai Shel ghi Dhu Tsi) by Zedme Rinpoche. Some people say that there is contradiction between what His Holiness said earlier and later. Of course, there is a contradiction. But the reason for it is that at first I thought that if a person wanted to do this practice personally it would be all right, so long as he or she didn’t do so over elaborately. That was what I declared. I said, “Don’t do the practice in relation to the Gaden Phodrang.” That was what I said and many people listened to me. And yet, many others did not pay heed to what I said. For example, in Pompora Khangtsen in Sera, they have stuck their necks right out. They are continuing the practice with great extravagance. Another example is Gaden Shartse monastery, where they are also being extravagantly zealous. But, the most important thing is that, within Tibet itself, people are being told that Gyalwa Rinpoche’s prohibition of Dolgyal is subject to interpretation and is not definitive. (It is said that) Gyalwa Rinpoche himself is doing the practice.

“You mentioned Dolgyal and how some of your fellow countrymen still continue the practice, but they are hardly to be blamed since this Dalai Lama once did it. I picked it up in 1950 in Dromo and kept it up until 1970. It was said to have a role as a Gelug protector. Some lamas took that line, others didn’t.

“These days Shugden people protest against me. They call me a false Dalai Lama. They say I’m a Muslim and that Tibetans shouldn’t support me. Those who instigated people to protest against me like this must have done it out of a personal grudge. However that may be, I advise Tibetans not to be angry towards them. On my own part, every day I practise trying to develop bodhichitta and an understanding of emptiness, so I don’t feel anger towards them either.

“From the start of my propitiating Dolgyal I was also sceptical. So I researched his nearly 400 year history. I conducted various kinds of investigation. I did the practice out of ignorance. Once I discovered the reality of it I chose to stop. But I also felt it my responsibility to make known what I’d found out. Whether anyone else pays attention to what I have to say about it is up to them.”

Clarifying His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Stand on Dolgyal/Shugden

On 7th July, the final day of official celebrations of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday in Orange County, California, representatives of the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama (OHHDL) invited the International Shugden Community (ISC) to meet and explain what they are accusing His Holiness of lying about. The office is concerned that many among the Shugden protestors may be poorly informed about the Shugden issue and His Holiness’s stand with regard to it. The office’s intention is less to try to convince those who already understand the issue but continue to protest, and more to reach out to those who have been misinformed about it. Three senior ISC members came and reiterated their allegation that His Holiness has banned the practice of Dolgyal/Shugden. This is untrue. The OHHDL representatives explained that although His Holiness has for forty years advised against propitiating Shugden, he has always been consistently clear that, in the end, it is up to individuals to choose whether or not to follow his counsel. Indeed, some monks from two Geluk monasteries in southern India who chose to continue their Shugden practice have set up their own monasteries, Shar Ganden Ling and Serpom Dratsang. These monasteries exist as part of their respective Tibetan settlements in south India and the members enjoy all the rights and facilities to which the residents of the settlements are entitled. One of the principal reasons why His Holiness advises against this practice is because of the well-documented sectarianism associated with it. In the past, Shugden practice, especially in Eastern Tibet, provoked widespread distrust between monasteries, prevented members of the Geluk school from receiving instructions belonging to the Nyingma tradition, and even led to desecration of religious images and scriptures. His Holiness considers this kind of divisiveness and disharmony to be deeply regrettable. As someone who actively promotes inter-religious harmony and understanding, he opposes discrimination against anyone on grounds of faith. A clear understanding of the Shugden question requires objective study of its nearly 400 year controversial history, especially the way it unfolded in the early years of the 20th century. His Holiness the Dalai Lama feels a moral responsibility to advise his followers against Shugden practice. In so doing he is following the example of his distinguished predecessors, especially the Great Fifth and the Thirteenth Dalai Lamas.

Statement of His Eminence The 100th Ganden Tri Rinpoche (Head Of the Gelugpa Sect) regarding the worship of gods and protectors As stated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in his recent speeches regarding the worship of gods and protectors, the six major monasteries summoned gatherings at every level – monastic assembly, monastic administrators, monastic sections, individual monks – wherever deemed necessary. Signatures and finger prints of every individual monk supporting the ban on worshipping such dubious deities by any individuals or groups had been submitted. I myself attended these meetings and made essential clarifications on merits and demerits of such worship. Consequently, I had a deep satisfactory feeling that this controversial issue was finally solved, creating a peaceful atmosphere “as stainless as the sky and as pure as the earth.” But unfortunately a handful of monks from certain monasteries committing “the downfall of negligence (breach of an ordained monk for neglecting the correction of their faults)” created more imbroglio and crisis in our community by sticking misleading information and distributing pamphlets without any sense of loss over their time, energy and money. This polemic is not similar to the communal conflicts between the Hindus and the Muslims. This is an inter-sectarian theological strife caused by misunderstandings, which certainly can be solved through clarifications and correcting the things by reminding their misunderstandings and the faux pas. Thus, everyone must strive in understanding the truth by which we can gradually solve this issue. By just stating the practice of its worship by the earlier great lamas and vying for the right to faith and belief does not validates the stand. As the great Lamas of the past visualized the union of the mind of peaceful and the wrathful deities, it appears to them in a pure form. It is completely different from the worship by an ordinary person like us whose mind is filled with continuous flow of deluded emotions. Contemptuously grave is the act of alleging rift between His Holiness and the great masters of the past with reference to this worship. This demonous act of presuming one’s lama as an ordinary person and misconceivingly over-estimating and under-estimating the realities is a heinous act, committed out of one’s delusion-ignorance. Thus, it is advisable to be conscientious If it (Shugden) were a real protector, it should protect the people. There may not be any protector such as this, which needs to be protected by the people. Is it proper to disturb the peace and harmony by causing conflicts, unleashing terror and shooting demonous words in order to please the Dharma protector? Does this fulfill the wishes of our great masters? Try to analyze and contemplate on the teachings that had been taught in the Lamrim (stages of path), Lojong (training of mind) and other scriptural texts. Does devoting time in framing detrimental plots and committing degrading act, which seems no different from the act of attacking monasteries wielding swords and spears and draining the holy robes of the Buddha with blood, fulfill the wishes of our great masters? The Mahayana teachings advocates’ altruistic attitude of sacrificing few for the sake of many. Thus why is it not possible for one, who acclaims oneself to be a Mahayana, to stop worshipping these dubious gods and deities for the sake and benefit of the Tibetans in whole and for the well-being of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In the Vinaya (Buddhist code of discipline), it is held that since a controversial issue is settled by picking the mandatory twig by “accepting the voice of many by the few” the resolution should be accepted by all. As it has been supported by ninety five percent it would be wise and advisable for the rest five percent to stop worshipping the deity keeping in mind that there exists provisions such as the four Severe Punishments (Nan tur bzhi), the seven Expulsions (Gnas dbyung bdun) and the four Convictions (Grangs gzhug bzhi) in the Vinaya (Code of Discipline). If we abide and adhere to the vows and teachings and are able to protect, preserve and flourish the teachings, we need not feel doubtful and confused when we have countless deities as numerous as the stars in the boundless sky. And it is quite possible that a fake deity may appear to us caused by our ignorance and contaminated actions. As Horton Chenmo’s (Hor ston chen mo) Mind Training Like the rays of Sun (Blo sbyong nyi ma`i od zer) States: At this period, when this realm of existence is filled with beings whose actions of body, speech and mind are engaged in harming others, the Dharma protectors, the gods and the Nagas have left for other universe to protect the teachings and the four categories of Buddha’s disciples. And on the other hand, the power and the spells of the devilish non-humans, who enkindle the evils, increase and become powerful. They, assuming the form of religious practitioners, cause every calamities and sufferings in this world and cause various obstacles to the Dharma practitioner There are many gods and Nagas assuming the form of the powerful ones and granting boons. What certainty is there in god whose appearances are ever changing, obstacles befell on persons who had the vision of evil spirit in the form of white Manjushri. In the past, Tendar, a slain Mongolian abbot of Sera Je monastery, too is said to have had the vision of an image similar to that of Je Tsongkhapa, but had to undergo many obstacles. And, in our ritual texts, it had been said that there are many demons and spirits who assumes the form of a deceased and inflict sufferings to their surviving relatives. And many fire sacrificial rites are meant to banish and ward off these outer evil forces. Even amongst the retinue of the great protector, Vaishravana, there hides many terrifying demons. And, as for the fifteen directional protectors, there are `the fifteen evil protectors’ that are to be subdued through Phurba rituals and the `fifteen godly protectors.’ And as for the sixty two Chakrasamvaras with reference to the subduables and the subduers, it is held that there are sixty two evils that are to be subdued. And if the practitioner does not abide by the vows and if he were not free from desire and attachment, the power of the evil deities would increase and would cause more harm than good. If we worship or invoke gods and protectors with a mind focusing on the nine apprehensions of conceit as the center of our meditation and practice, then it is said that the god and protectors, if good and real would never fulfill your wishes but would be as dangerous as holding a burning thunderbolt in your hand. His Holiness clearly quoted from the life story of Changkya Rolpai Dorjee, the banishment of Dolgyal from the Ganden area by the great throne-holder Ngawang Chokdhen out of his innately pure mind which is free from any misconception. And, the life story of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo written by Dho Drupchen relates: While Khyentse Wangpo was imparting Tantric teachings (rgyud brtag pa gnyis pa) at Derge Lhundrup, Shugden approached to listen to the teachings saying, “As your explanations are good and the teaching are elegant, I felt desirous in listening to it.” Thus not only humans, but even the ferocious non-human too swarm around the nectar of his teachings. When such great Rimey Lamas (non-sectarian lama) forbids the worship, it must be known that it is undoubtedly true that these arise out of our own misconception. What certainty there is in such misconceived appearances? Once when Arhat Upgupta was giving teachings, an evil spirit tried to interrupt him but found him invincible. Upgupta then said, “I had never seen the Buddha. Thus, evil one, assume the form of the Buddha.” The demon instantaneously assumed the form of the Buddha. Out of deep reverence, when the great Arhat was about to prostrate, it is said that the demon unable to bear the sight changed himself into his real form. And in Khedrup Rinpoche’s text `The Great Explanation of Kalachakra (Dus’ khor tik chen)’ states that the devil Garab Wangchuk tried to interrupt Galo in his practice by assuming different forms and protecting him and at times approaching him for teachings. But Galo sought the initiation of Shemar, and therefore, turned invulnerable. Thus, there are numerous other analogies proving fallible nature of these spirits and demons, which assume godly images and fulfil some trivial wishes. And at times, worshipping of gods even if it be real, had to be stopped. During the 21 days Molam festival in Lhasa, performing invocations and trance rituals of deity Karmasha of Lhasa was prohibited. It is held that Chushur Tenpa Tsering, a cruel chieftain, died and was born as an evil spirit in the locality of Samye Pekar. This evil spirit dropped poison in the utensil meant for the monk assembly at the Molam festival. But the Dharma protector Nechung perforated a hole from beneath the utensil with cloth- spear by which the afternoon tea could not be served. If candidly expressed, Karmasha was held guilty as the accusation and allegement fell on him. During the commencement of the Molam congregation, the disciplinarian of Drepung monastery sternly declared his warning in the Karmasha invocation hall: “No one shall, during the 21 days Monlam festival, burn even an iota of incence as dimunitive as the breath of a guinea pig nor shall one offer Torma as small as the tiny thump. No musical instrument shall be played. How can Chushar Tenpa Tsering, a man who had entered the heart of evil-spirit, be the minister Jatri Chanchik (Karmasha)?” Thus, there is no certainty in the appearances caused by our Karmas as the saying goes: A single object conceived with disparate mind is held to be a non-established existence. When one is attached to the doctrines, it is no different for getting attached to wealth and riches. It is stated in Abhidharmakosa (Mngon pa mdzod) as: Pride, arrogance and haughtiness Are out of attachment to one’s attributes [Thus,] such mind are fully obscured. And, the great Je Tsongkhapa had stated: It had been said that if one does not meditate analytically on the tenets with an unbiased analytical mind, by abandoning discrimination out of attachment towards oneself and aversion towards other, one would forever be tightly bound in this cyclic existence. Thus, we must understand that this statement is a unique teaching given to us out of great compassion. Thus, our disputes and arguments are out of attachment and if keenly examined with an unbiased mind, we would come to know that there is not a single good thing that is in conformity with the Dharma. Whatever may it be, god or evil spirit, there is no restriction in worshipping it. One had not understood the basic definition of the universally acclaimed `Right to faith and belief.’ A short definition of it can undo the knots and clarify the misunderstanding of this principle. An individual has complete freedom whether to have faith in a particular religion or not. Again, an individual has complete freedom whether to have belief in a particular religion or not. Thus, according to this principle, no one can be forced into particular religious system. This itself becomes an answer to their allegement. We most probably say, “we have solemn faith and belief in our religion.” Whatever religion may it be, no difference of accessibility and restrictions had been made. Everyone is guaranteed with the right to faith and belief. One may insists, “I have complete right to faith and belief and no one can restrict me from worshiping any gods and protectors.” But, if citizens feigning right to faith and belief, violates the constitutional laws of his country in such manner, it would cause an unruly state “where people violates the law and horse shakes off its saddle.” And to them, it might also be appropriate for a Buddhist to practice the religion of the Hindu and the Muslim. If one enters Buddhism but practices in an overtly opposite manner to the Buddhist principles and tenets, then one violates the principal hallmark of Buddhism and feigning right to faith and belief does not help. Hence it is said, “When in Yala Shampo, worship god Yala Shampo” and “When one drinks the water of the land, so must one adhere to the laws of the land”. Thus when one seeks refuge in the Buddha, one does not seek refuge in other gods; when one seeks refuge in the teachings of the Buddha, one should not commit ill deeds: and when one seeks refuge in the Buddha’s community, one does not befriend a person with wrong and distorted views. Thus, the enforcement of this right to faith and belief encompasses only to a certain limited spheres. If right to faith and belief had not been limited monastic rules might have not been possible. In Tibet, law of the monastery proclaims that postulant monks shall seek admission only in their respective monastic sections. Law again states that the great Lamas and Tulkus through their numerous incarnations shall not change their monastic sections or monasteries, but had to stick to a particular monastic section. Many cases caused by such misunderstandings had been reported. Here too, some monastic sections had been filing such cases. Thus, with a clear understanding of this right to faith and belief, we should strive to settle such cases and must prevent such false cases to rise. The act of pronouncing one’s strong faith in worldly gods is no different from publicizing your faults and downfall in your adherence to “the advice or refuge-seeking.” Moreover, there is none amongst us who had not received teachings from His Holiness. Likewise every of us had received many Tantric initiation, instructions and transmissions. Thus, disfiguring and demeaning one’s Vajra Guru would cause results so inconceivably grave and unbearable. And it is sarcastic on finding a person, who upholding the laws of cause and effect not having even the slightest regrets and doubts over blindly committing a grave blunder and also drowning everyone in it. It would be wise to contemplate and practice in cultivating reverence to one’s master as had been taught in Dorjee Chang’s Lamrim (stages of path). The root text of Guhyasamaja Root Tantra (Gsang `dus rtsa rgyud) states: If sentient beings commit an action as grave as the heinous crimes. He [still] can attain the superior Vajra Vehicle but who from within disregards his master shall never attain, even if exerted. And also in the tantra of Vajrapani Initiation (Lag na rdo rje dbang bskur ba`i rgyud):If we, Tantric practitioners, do not think on the immensely grave demerits of disregarding one’s master, who would? This demonous act of ignoring the advice of His Holiness on spiritual and temporal ground intended for the benefit of Tibetans and masterminding certain detrimental activities in finding slightest differences to your view clearly signifies ones lack of patriotism. Does the sour reality of governmental official needing police and security to escort them on their visit to the monasteries, centers of peace and religion, not become a cause for shame and embarrassment to the Tibetans in general and the monastic centers in particulars? Thus, it is timely to stop this strife by being aware of the grave outcome and essence less nature of this root of disagreement. But without sound conscience, if one adamantly tries to oppose it, then like “a hundred birds flying east: and the pack bird flying west” one would turn into our enemy’s best friend for having a same adverse standpoint and strategy. And, one would face the same consequences as did the adamant Pelsur Jholak. Thus, it is wise for everyone, ordained and the laymen, to bear some minor loss on this ground. If Je Rinpoche had introduced this New Kadampa Tradition in order to distinguish between the worshipper of this Red god and the rest, then it would be appropriate. But, it should be known that Je Rinpoche did not introduce this tradition in order to distinguish the worshippers from the rest. It is quite improper if one does not have any understanding on these extreme consequences. If one continuously swaggers on acquiring some wealth and status like a little son rejoicing on receiving some gifts from his parent, we need not explore the whole world to find an example to wholly prove and validate Je Rinpoche’s prophecy:”My teaching will be destroyed by wealth and riches.”Kindly ponder over the contents and practice it as this had been written out of strong resolute intention by a person inept in politics. 20 September, 1996

(Written by Georges Dreyfus) In recent years the community of Tibetan Buddhists has been agitated by an intense dispute concerning the practice of a controversial deity, Gyel-chen Dor-je Shuk-den (rgyal chen rdo rje shugs ldan). Several Tibetan monks have been brutally murdered, and the Tibetan community in general and the Ge-luk tradition in particular have become profoundly polarized. Outsiders have been puzzled by the intensity of this dispute, for it concerns an unusual type of deity, the dharma protector (chos skyong srung ma), the concept of which is difficult to understand within the modern view of religion as a system of individual beliefs. Despite the importance of these events and the coverage that it has received in both print and electronic media, modern scholars have remained relatively silent on the subject. One reason for this is that few scholars are willing to enter into a conflict as highly charged as this one. Moreover, the dispute concerns a rather baroque area of the Tibetan religious world that is neither well known nor easy for a modern observer to conceptualize. Nevertheless, this scholarly silence is regrettable, in that it has allowed less well-informed viewpoints to acquire legitimacy. It has also contributed to the irrational atmosphere that has surrounded this question. In this essay, I will attempt to fill this scholarly gap and to promote a more rational approach by examining the quarrel surrounding Shuk-den and delineating some of the events leading to the present crisis. I will examine the narrative of Shuk-den’s origin, focusing on the meaning of the hostility toward the Dalai Lama which it displays and which is confirmed by recent events. The irony is that Shuk-den is presented by his followers as the protector of the Ge-luk (dge lugs) school, of which the Dalai Lama is the (de facto) leader. How can there be a practice in the Ge-luk tradition opposed to its own leader? To answer this question, I will examine the historical development of the Shuk-den practice. I will first consider the events related in the Shuk-den story. I will then turn to later historical developments, in particular the way in which Pa-bong-ka (pha bong kha,) 1878-1941), the central figure in the Shuk-den lineage, developed this practice in response to contemporary events. I will also examine some of the events that took place in India in the 1970s when the “Shuk-den Affair” started to emerge. I will show that although the dispute concerning this deity has an important political background, it primarily concerns the orientation of the Ge-luk tradition and its relation to other Tibetan Buddhist traditions. In exploring these questions, I will also seek to answer other related questions such as: Why is Shuk-den so controversial? Is the practice of propitiating Shuk-den different from the practices associated with other protectors? Why has the present Dalai Lama been so opposed to the practice of propitiating Shuk-den? These are some of the questions that I seek to answer in this interpretive essay. What I will not attempt to explain are the more recent events that have unfolded in the 1990s.These events are still shrouded in controversy and will need to be established with any reasonable degree of objectivity before they can be interpreted. In order to address some of the questions just mentioned, I explore the practice of Dor-je Shuk-den as it has been understood over time. In doing so, I follow the critical methods of the historical approach, whose assumptions are quite different from those of the believers. I examine how Shuk-den is presented in the rare texts where he appears prior to the contemporary period, that is, as a worldly deity (‘jig rten pa’i lha) who can be propitiated but not worshiped. His followers often reply that this description refers to the interpretable meaning (drang don) of the deity, not its ultimate meaning (nges don), for in such a dimension Shuk-den is said to be fully enlightened (nges don la sang rgyas). It is this kind of normative distinction that I leave aside in this essay intended for a modern audience. The Founding Myth When asked to explain the origin of the practice of Dor-je Shuk-den, his followers point to a rather obscure and bloody episode of Tibetan history, the premature death of Trul-ku Drak-ba Gyel-tsen (sprul sku grags pa rgyal mtshan, 1618-1655).Drak-ba Gyel-tsen was an important Ge-luk lama who was a rival of the Fifth Dalai Lama, Ngak-wang Lo-sang Gya-tso (ngag dbang blo bzang rgya mtsho, )1617-1682). Drak-ba Gyel-tsen and Ngak-wang Lo-sang Gya-tso were born at a crucial time in the Ge-luk tradition. The tradition had by then survived a protracted civil war with the forces of Tsang (gtsang) backed by some of the other Tibetan Buddhist schools. It had not yet won the war but had begun to establish an alliance with Mongol groups that would allow it to triumph two decades later. Around the same time, two of the most important Ge-luk lamas had died: the fourth Dalai Lama and the second reincarnation of Pen-chen So-nam-drak-ba (bsod nams grags pa,) 1478-1554), who was one of the most important Ge-luk teachers during the sixteenth century. Between the two boys, Ngak-wang Lo-sang Gya-tso was chosen as the Fifth Dalai Lama over Drak-ba Gyel-tsen, who was designated by way of compensation as the third reincarnation of Pen-chen So-nam-drak-ba. This choice did not seem, however, to have resolved the contention between the two lamas, as they remained rivals at the heads of two competing estates known as the “Upper Chamber” (zim khang gong ma) under Drak-ba Gyel-tsen and the “Lower Chamber” (zim khang ‘og ma) under the Dalai Lama.  During the next two decades, the struggle between the forces of Central Tibet supported by the Mongols of Gushri Khan and the forces of Tsang continued, gradually turning to the advantage of the former party.  Due to his connection with the Mongols, which had been established by the Third Dalai Lama and reinforced by the Fourth, the Fifth Dalai Lama and his party were able to establish their supremacy.  In 1642, the Fifth Dalai Lama became the ruler of Tibet and entrusted the actual running of the state to his prime minister, So-nam Choe-pel (bsod nams chos ‘phal).  This victory, however, still did not eliminate the rivalry between the two lamas and their estates.  Very little is known about the events that took place in the next ten years but it seems quite clear that there was a contentious between the two lamas’ estates.
What is less clear is the reason behind this conflict. Was Drak-ba Gyel-tsen perceived as a focus of the opposition to the rule of the Fifth Dalai Lama and his prime minister within the Ge-luk hierarchy?  Was there a personal rivalry between the two lamas?  Or was the main reason for the tension a dispute between Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s family, the Ge-kha-sas, and So-nam Choe-pel, as a recent work argues?
What seems to be well established is that in these circumstances, in 1655, Drak-ba Gyel-tsen suddenly died. The exact conditions of his death are controversial and shrouded in legends.  Some of the Fifth’s sympathizers claimed that there was nothing extraordinary in Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s death.  He had just died of a sudden illness. Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s sympathizers seemed to have disagreed, arguing that he had died because he had not been able to bear the constant efforts from the Dalai Lama’s followers to undermine him.  Others claimed that he was killed while in the custody of the prime minister.  Still others claimed that he submitted himself voluntarily to death by strangulation or by suffocation in order to become a wrathful protector of the Ge-luk tradition. In a particularly dramatic and highly revealing account, Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s death is described as occurring after a traditional religious debate that he had with the Fifth Dalai Lama.  As an acknowledgment of his victory, Drak-ba Gyel-tsen had received a ceremonial scarf from the Fifth. Shortly after, however, he was found dead, the scarf stuffed down his throat. Whatever the exact details of his death, the important point is that Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s death was perceived to be related to his rivalry with the Fifth Dalai Lama.  It was also taken to have been violent and hence the kind of death that leads people to take rebirth as dangerous spirits.  According to standard Indian and Tibetan cultural assumptions, a person who is killed often becomes a ghost and seeks revenge.  In his famous description of the demonology of Tibet, Nebesky-Wojkowitz provides several examples of the transformation of a person into a spirit due to a violent death. Such a spirit is considered more dangerous when the person has religious knowledge, which is said to explain the particular power of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s spirit. He is not just one among many protectors but a particularly dangerous one as the vengeful ghost of a knowledgeable person who died violently and prematurely.  According to the Shuk-den legend, Drak-ba Gyel-tsen manifested himself as a (gyel-po,) i.e., the dangerous red-spirit [9] of a person, often a religious one, who is bent on extracting revenge against those involved in his death.  Since he had been an important lama, however, Drak-ba Gyel-tsen turned his anger from a personal revenge to a nobler task, the protection of the doctrinal purity of the Ge-luk tradition.  According to the legend, he first manifested his wrathful nature by haunting his silver mausoleum, which became animated by a buzzing noise, and by inflicting damage on his own estate.  Then the monks serving the Fifth Dalai Lama began to encounter difficulties in performing their ritual duties. Finally the Dalai Lama himself became the target.  He began to hear noises such as that of stones falling on the roof, which became so loud that it is said that he could not eat his meals without monks blowing large horns on the roof of his residence.  Frightened by these wrathful manifestations, the prime minister So-nam Choe-pel decided to get rid of the troublesome silver mausoleum by packing it into a wooden box and throwing it in the Kyi-chu river.  Carried by the current the box reached Dol, a small pond in Southern Tibet.  It is there that Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s spirit resided for a while in a small temple built for him at the order of the Fifth Dalai Lama, who decided to pacify his spirit by establishing a practice of propitiation under the name of (Gyel-chen Dor-je Shuk-den ((rgyal chen rdo rje shugs ldan) and entrusting it to the Sa-gya school. This story is striking.  In particular, its undertone of hostility toward the Dalai Lama is remarkable given that the Dalai Lama represents to a large extent the ascendancy of the Ge-luk school, also the school that the Shuk-den rituals seek to protect.  Our first task here is to explain the meaning of this narrative, an important task given that the recent events in India seem to illustrate its hostility toward the Dalai Lama.  The most obvious and tempting explanation are to assume that this story is primarily a political tale reflecting the tension between a strong Dalai Lama and a restive Ge-luk establishment.  This may surprise an outside observer for whom the institution of the Dalai Lama is a Ge-luk creation and represents the power of this school.  This interpretation appears more credible to an insider who knows that the Dalai Lama institution rests on a complex coalition in which the Ge-luk school is central but which includes other people, such as members of aristocratic families, adherents of the Nying-ma tradition, etc. In such a coalition, the relationship between the Dalai Lama and the Ge-luk establishment is difficult and must be carefully negotiated.  The delicacy of this situation is illustrated by the question of the leadership of the Ge-luk tradition.  The nominal leader of the Ge-luk school is not the Dalai Lama but the Tri Rin-bo-che (khri rin po che), the Holder of the Throne of Ga-den in direct line of succession from Dzong-ka-ba.  But in times where the Dalai Lama is strong, the leadership of the Holder of the Throne of Ga-den, who is chosen among the ex-abbots of the two tantric colleges, is mostly nominal, and the Dalai Lama exercises effective leadership over the Ge-luk school through his government. The Ge-luk school and more particularly its three large monasteries around Lhasa have played a leading role in the Dalai Lama’s rule in Tibet.  They have supported and legitimized his power and have received in return considerable socio-economic power.  But this power also has been a source of tension with the Dalai Lamas, particularly when he was a strong personality who had his own power basis and intended to lead-In the history of the Dalai Lamas, there have been three such politically powerful figures: the Fifth, the Thirteenth and the Fourteenth Dalai Lamas, and all three have had serious difficulties with the Ge-luk establishment.  It is also these same three Dalai Lamas who are said to have had problems with Shuk-den.  Shuk-den could then be a manifestation of the political resentment of the Ge-luk hierarchy against the power of a strong Dalai Lama seeking to restrict and control it.  The dispute surrounding Shuk-den would be a thinly disguised way for Ge-luk partisans to express their political opposition to an institution that does not sufficiently represent their parochial interests, an opposition manifested in the story of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s wrathful manifestation against the Fifth Dalai Lama. I would argue that although tempting, this reading of the Shuk-den story is inadequate for at least two reasons.  First, it fails to differentiate the stages in the relations between the Dalai Lama and the Ge-luk establishment.  It is true that these relations have often been tense.  But to run together the opposition between the Fifth Dalai Lama and the Ge-luk hierarchy, and the tension surrounding the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Dalai Lamas fails to take into account the profound transformations that the Dalai Lama institution has undergone, particularly around the turn of the eighteenth century.  Secondly, the political interpretation of the saga of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s wrathful manifestation is anachronistic, confusing the story and the events that it narrates. Or, to put it differently, this interpretation fails to see that we are dealing here with two stories: the story of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen, a seventeenth century victim of the Fifth Dalai Lama’s power, and the story of Shuk-den, the spirit in charge of maintaining the purity of the Ge-luk tradition as understood by his twentieth century followers. The former narrative is clearly political but is not about Shuk-den. It concerns the nature of the Dalai Lama institution and its relation to the Ge-luk hierarchy in the seventeenth century. The latter is about Shuk-den. It is mostly religious but does not concern the Dalai Lama’s political power. To further clarify these two points, I will examine the political context in which the Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s story took place and the nature of the Dalai Lama institution at that time. I will then consider the events surrounding Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s tragic death in a historical perspective, and try to reconstruct the way in which it was understood by his contemporaries. The Historical Context The events surrounding Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s death must be understood in relation to its historical context, the political events surrounding the emergence of the Dalai Lama institution as a centralizing power during the second half of the seventeenth century. The rule of this monarch seems to have been particularly resented by some elements in the Ge-luk tradition. It is quite probable that Drak-ba Gyel-tsen was seen after his death as a victim of the Dalai Lama’s power and hence became a symbol of opposition. The resentment against the power of the Fifth Dalai Lama was primarily connected to a broad and far-reaching issue, the desire of some of the more sectarian Ge-luk hierarchs to set up a purely Ge-luk rule. Some even seem to have argued for the suppression of the schools against which they had fought for more than a century, particularly the Kar-ma Ka-gyu¸ tradition. The Fifth seems to have realized that such a rule would have had little support and would have exacerbated the intersectarian violence that had marred the last two centuries of Tibetan history. To avoid this, he attempted to build a state with a broader power base, state which he presented as the re-establishment of the early Tibetan empire. His rule was to be supported by the Ge-luk tradition, but would also include groups affiliated with other religious traditions. The Fifth was particularly well disposed toward the Nying-ma tradition from which he derived a great deal of his practice and with which he had a relation through his family. This seems to have created a great deal of frustration among some Ge-luk circles, as expressed by several popular stories. The stories frequently involve a colorful figure, Ba-ko Rab-jam (bra sgo rab ‘byams), who was a friend of the Dalai Lama. In the stories, he is often depicted as making fun of the Fifth Dalai Lama. For example, one day he comes to see the Dalai Lama, but the enormous Pur-ba (ritual dagger) he wears in his belt prevents him from crossing the door, an obviously sarcastic reference to the Nying-ma leanings of the Fifth Dalai Lama. In the light of this opposition, it would seem that the narrative of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s wrathful manifestation makes perfect sense. Is not the Shuk-den story about the revenge of a group, the Ge-luk hierarchy, in struggle against the Fifth’s strong centralizing power? Although tempting, this interpretation completely ignores the historical transformations of the Dalai Lama institution. In particular, it ignores the fact that after the Fifth’s death the Dalai Lama institution was taken over by the Ge-luk hierarchy and radically changed. To put it colorfully, if Drak-ba Gyel-tsen had manifested as Shuk-den to protect the Ge-luk hierarchy against the encroachments of a Dalai Lama not sufficiently sympathetic to the Ge-luk tradition, this vengeful spirit would have been out of business by the beginning of the eighteenth century when his partisans, the Ge-luk hierarchy, won the day! As long as the Fifth was alive, the Ge-luk hierarchy had to endure his rule, but his death changed the situation. His prime minister Sang-gye Gya-tso (sangs rgyas rgya mtsho) at first tried to conceal this death. When this proved impossible, he attempted to continue the Fifth’s tradition by appointing his candidate, Tsang-yang Gya-tso (tshangs dbyangs rgya mtsho), as the Sixth Dalai Lama. But with the latter’s failure to behave as a Dalai Lama, Sang-gye Gya-tso lost the possibility to continue the task started by the Fifth. A few years later (1705) he was killed after being defeated by a complex coalition of Ge-luk hierarchs involving Jam-yang-shay-ba, the Dzungar Mongols and Lhab-zang Khan with the backing of the Manchu emperor‚‚‚. [14] After this defeat, the role of the Dalai Lama was transformed. His political power was limited and the nature of the ritual system supporting the institution was changed, as we shall see later. In these ways, the institution of the Dalai Lama became a more purely Ge-luk creation. Hence, it makes very little sense to speak of Shuk-den as representing the spirit of Ge-luk opposition to the Dalai Lama institution after the demise of the Fifth, for by then the institution had become to a large extent favorable to the Ge-luk hierarchy. Admittedly, there were a few incidents between the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and some elements of the Ge-luk tradition. There was also some resentment against the high-handedness of this ruler but these were minor and should not be blown out of proportion. Did Drak-ba Gyel-tsen become a spirit? This interpretation is confirmed by an analysis of the view of the contemporaries of these events. In the founding myth of the Shuk-den practice, the story of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s death and wrathful manifestation is presented as the view of his followers. Given the cultural assumptions of Tibetans, this scenario cannot be dismissed without further analysis. Impressed by his violent and premature death, Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s followers may have begun to propitiate his spirit in an atmosphere of strong hostility against those who were thought to have been responsible. But although this scenario is culturally plausible, is it historical? That is, did Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s followers think of him in this way? This question is more difficult, given the paucity of contemporary sources, but it needs to be asked, for we cannot simply assume that these legendary episodes reflect the perception of contemporaries. In fact, there are indications that they do not. The most decisive evidence is provided by the later Ge-luk historian, Sum-pa Ken-po ye-shay Pel-jor (sum pa mKhan po ye shes dpal ‘byor), 1702-1788), who reports for the year 1657(Fire Bird) the following: The assertion that this Tibetan spirit (bod de’i rgyal po) is Drak-ba Gyel-tsen, the reincarnation of the Upper Chamber, is just an expression of prejudice. Thus, I believe that the rumor that it is So-nam Choe-pel, who after passing away in the same year is protecting the Ge-luk tradition having assumed the form of a dharma protector through his “great concern for the Ge-luk tradition,” is correct. This passage is significant in several respects. First, it confirms the fact that there were stories of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen becoming Shuk-den quite early on. Although Sum-pa does not mention the deity by name, it seems quite clear that this is who he has in mind. But it also shows that Sum-pa Ken-po does not concede the identification of Shuk-den as the wrathful manifestation of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen, which he takes to be an insult to “the reincarnation of the Upper Chamber.” In what is probably a tongue in cheek tit-for-tat, he rather identifies the troublesome spirit with Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s enemy, So-nam Choe-pel, the hated first prime minister of the Fifth Dalai Lama whom he sarcastically credits with a “great concern for the Ge-luk tradition.” Second, Sum-pa’s remark is important because it reflects the view of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s sympathizers as the respectful epithet (“the reincarnation of the Upper Chamber”) makes clear. Sum-pa was the disciple of Jam-yang-shay-ba (‘jam dbyangs bzhad pa,) 1648-1722), one of the leading Ge-luk lamas opposing the Fifth and his third prime minister (sde srid) Sang-gye Gya-tso. Thus, when he denies that Drak-ba Gyel-tsen had become Shuk-den, Sum-pa is reflecting the views of the people who considered Drak-ba Gyel-tsen with sympathy as an unfortunate victim of a rule they resented. The ironical remark about So-nam Choe-pel (“his great concern for the Ge-luk tradition”) and his identification as Shuk-den confirms this. Sum-pa disliked So-nam Choe-pel, whom he considered responsible for the Fifth’s rule and Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s death. Sum-pa’s remark, however, raises a question. For, who then are the people claiming that Drak-ba Gyel-tsen had become Shuk-den if not the followers of this lama? Could it be that Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s followers had changed their minds by the time Sum-pa Ken-po wrote his account (1749)? Though further investigations may change our view, the evidence seems to suggest that this is not the case. The people who were identifying Shuk-den as the wrathful manifestation of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen were not his followers but his enemies, i.e., the Fifth Dalai Lama and his followers. This seems to be the implication of comments by Sang-gye Gya-tso when he says, referring to Drak-ba Gyel-tsen: After [the death of] Ngak-wang So-nam Ge-lek (Pen-chen So-nam-drak-ba’s second reincarnation), [his reincarnation was born] as a member of the Ge-kha-sa family. Although [this person] had at first hopes for being the reincarnation of the All-knowing Yon-ten Gya-tso (the Fourth Dalai Lama), he was made the reincarnation of Ngak-wang So-nam Ge-lek and finally ended in a bad rebirth. Although Sang-gye Gya-tso is not explicit, his words seem to refer to the story of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s reincarnation as a spirit such as Shuk-den. This is confirmed by the Fifth Dalai Lama, who describes Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s demise as leading to his becoming a spirit. The Fifth explains that: Due to the magic of a spirit (?), the son of the noble family Ge-kha-sa turned into a false reincarnation of Ngak-wang So-nam Ge-lek and became a spirit [motivated by] mistaken prayers (smon lam log pa’i dam srid).[18] What this quote indicates is that after Trul-ku Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s death the claim that he had become a spirit such as Shuk-den was not a praise of his followers, but a denigration, not to say downright slander, by his enemies! It is not Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s partisans who were identifying him as Shuk-den, but his adversaries who were presenting this scenario as a way to explain away the events following his tragic demise. We must wonder, however, why the Fifth Dalai Lama and his followers were interested in propagating the story of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s wrathful manifestation, a story which the latter’s followers were keen to dispel? The answer to this question is bound to be tentative and highly speculative, and it is unlikely that any clear historical evidence will answer this question. Nevertheless, I think that it is not unreasonable to assume the following scenario. Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s premature death must have been a momentous event in Tibet at that time. It must have created a considerable malaise among Tibetans, who consider the killing of a high lama a terrible crime that can affect a whole country (as attested by the perception of the Re-ting affair in this century). Such a perception of misfortune must have been accompanied by events perceived as bad omens. There were probably stories of the possession and destruction of objects associated with Drak-ba Gyel-tsen, as reported in the founding myth. Finally, there was the fact that the reincarnation of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen seems not to have been sought for, an extraordinary occurrence given that he was the reincarnation of Pen-chen So-nam-drak-ba, one of the foremost Ge-luk lamas. It is in these circumstances that the story of his wrathful reincarnation must have appeared, not as a vindication of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen, but as an attempt by the Fifth Dalai Lama and his followers to explain the absence of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s reincarnation and to shift the blame for the bad omen that had followed his death. These events were not the karmic effects of his violent death but the results of his transformation into a dangerous spirit. The Fifth Dalai Lama mentions that after Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s demise his spirit started to harm people. In order to pacify him, the Fifth had a small temple built near the pond of Dol, but this did not help and the reports of harm continued unabated. With the help of several important lamas such as Ter-dag Ling-pa (gter bdag gling pa,) 1646-1714), the Fifth decided to launch a final ritual assault and to burn the spirit during a fire ritual in which the spectators were said to have smelled the odor of burnt flesh. As we realize, this description of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s posthumous fate is highly partisan and it is no surprise that his sympathizers rejected these explanations. They were keen on keeping the blame on the party of the Dalai Lama, arguing that the unfortunate events were not due to the wrathful reincarnation of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen, who had taken rebirth as the emperor of China. Finally, there are other stories that seem to hint that the evil spirit connected with Drak-ba Gyel-tsen was already active prior to the latter’s demise, even as early 1636. If Shuk-den was already active prior to Trul-ku Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s tragic demise, how can he be the latter’s wrathful manifestation? These conflicting stories show that what we have here is not a unified narrative but several partly overlapping stories. The founding myth of the Shuk-den tradition grew out of a nexus of narratives surrounding these events and developed in accordance with the new changing historical circumstances. It is not the account of the followers of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen, as claimed by Shuk-den’s modern followers, but it is only one of the many versions of the bundle of stories surrounding these tragic events. In fact, the story of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s demise as it appears in contemporary sources has little to do with Shuk-den. It is not about the deity but about Drak-ba Gyel-tsen. Only much later, when the significance of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s story faded, did this story resurface and get taken as the account of the origin of Shuk-den. The fact that the founding narrative of the Shuk-den practice is largely mythological does not mean that we should dismiss it. Rather we should inquire into its meaning. This is what I will do in the later pages of this essay, where I examine the story of the violent manifestation of Trul-ku Drak-ba Gyel-tsen as the founding myth of the tradition of those who propitiate Shuk-den. Before going into this, we need to inquire about the history of this propitiation. For, if this practice did not start with Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s death, where does it come from? And the Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s story was later recast as the founding myth of the Shuk-den lineage, when did this appropriation take place? The Early History of a Practice To understand the history of the Shuk-den practice, we need to examine the way in which this deity has been considered throughout most of the history of the Ge-luk tradition. To his twentieth century followers, Shuk-den is known as (Gyel-chen Dor-je Shuk-den Tsal (rgyal chen rdo rje shugs ldan rtsal)), the “Great Magical Spirit Endowed with the Adamantine Force.” If we look at earlier mentions, however, we can see that Shuk-den also appears under another and less exalted name, i.e., as (Dol Gyel (dol rgyal).Even Pa-bong-ka calls him in this way when he says: “The wooden implements (i.e., crate) having been thrown in the water, the pond of Dol became whitish. After abiding there, he became known for a while as (Dol-gyel).” This name helps us to understand how Shuk-den was considered in the earlier period, that is, as a troublesome but minor spirit, an interpretation confirmed by the explanations concerning Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s reincarnation. The name (Dol Gyel) is quite interesting, for it yields a possible explanation of the origin of Shuk-den. It suggests that originally Shuk-den had a close regional connection with the area of the Tsang-po and the Yar-lung valleys where the pond of Dol lies. There, Shuk-den/ Dol-gyel was considered a (gyel po (rgyal po)), that is, the dangerous red-spirit of a religious person, who had died after falling from his monastic vows or had been killed in troubling circumstances. Shuk-den/ Dol Gyel would then be a spirit from Southern Tibet, potentially troublesome like other red-spirits. No wonder then that his identification with Drak-ba Gyel-tsen was rejected by the latter’s followers as an insult to this important and unfortunate lama. We find confirmation of Shuk-den’s regional connection in the description given in 1815 by a Nying-ma teacher Do Kyen-tse (mdo mkhyen brtse ye shes rdo rje).While narrating his travels, he mentions the unpleasant presence of Shuk-den in Southern Tibet. On his way to Lhasa, after passing through the Nying-ma monastery of Dor-je Drak, Do Kyen-tse arrived in the area of Dra-thang (grwa thang) where Gyel-po Shuk-den (this is the name he uses) was active. Nevertheless, the spirit was unable to interfere with his travel and he reached his destination safely. Thus, the existence of a deity, Dol-gyel/ Shuk-den, and his regional connection with the area of Southern Tibet seem to have been well established quite early on. This regional connection is further confirmed by the fact that Shuk-den was propitiated in some of the monasteries of the same area, particularly in Sam-ye (bsam yas), which was by then Sa-kya. There Shuk-den appears as a minor but dangerous worldly protector. This also suggests that this deity was first adopted by the tradition of the monastery of Sa-gya, a hypothesis further confirmed by the reference in the founding myth to his being taken over by the holder of the Sa-gya throne So-nam-rin-chen (bsod nams rin chen). In one of the versions, Shuk-den first attempts to go to Ta-shi Lhung-po, the residence of his teacher, the First Pen-chen Lama, Lob-zang Cho-gyen (blo bzang chos kyi rgyal mtshan,) 1569-1662). He is prevented from doing so by Vaibravala (rnam thos sras), the supra-mundane protector of the monastery. He is then taken in by So-nam-rin-chen, who pities him and writes a text for his propitiation. This reference to the holder of the Sa-gya throne. So-nam-rin-chen throws some interesting light on the story of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s wrathful manifestation and the establishment of the Shuk-den cult entrusted to the Sa-gya. It seems at first to confirm this story until we realize that So-nam-rin-chen was born in 1704, long after the events surrounding Drak-ba Gyel-sten’s tragic demise. This considerable gap suggests that the story of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s wrathful manifestation as Shuk-den is a later creation, which incorporates a variety of narratives rearranged in the light of later situations. The founding myth of the Shuk-den practice is not a historical account but one of the many versions of a nexus of stories surrounding these tragic events, which developed gradually in the light of new historical circumstances. Although So-nam-rin-chen’s role in the Shuk-den’s saga is more than questionable, his contribution to the tradition of this deity is not deniable. The small text that is attributed to him does seem to exist. It is the first ritual text focusing on Shuk-den that I have been able to trace. It can be found in the collection of ritual texts for the protectors of the Sam-ye monastery and confirms the existence of the practice of Shuk-den early on in the Sa-gya tradition. Its title (“The Request to the Gyel-po [for the] Termination of Ganeþa”) suggests that Shuk-den was considered as an effective spirit in charge of clearing away obstacles (Ganeþa being the king of obstacles). Shuk-den does not seem to have played, however, a major role in the Sa-gya tradition, where he seemed to have remained a dangerous though minor worldly protector. This is confirmed by a story told by Ka-lu Rin-bo-che, who mentions coming across a small Sa-gya temple for Shuk-den in Western Tibet and the profound fear that this deity inspired in the care-taker of this temple. The regional connection with Southern Tibet and the sectarian link with the Sa-gya tradition are further confirmed by Stanley Mumford’s anthropological description of the propitiation of Shuk-den in the Himalayan region. In his study of the religious life in the remote village of Tsap in Nepal, Mumford describes the practice of Shuk-den as a Sa-gya practice well established among the Tibetans of the region. In a small text used for this practice Shuk-den is presented as a worldly protector in charge of bestowing wealth, food, life and good fortune, of protecting the dharma, preventing its destruction, and of repelling the external and internal enemies of the ten regions. Finally, Shuk-den is invoked as a special protector of the Sa-gya tradition: “Protect the dharma in general, and in particular the Sakyapas. I praise you, who have agreed to be the Srungma of the Sakyapas”. Given this evidence, it is reasonable to assume that the practice of Dol-gyel was at first a minor Sa-gya practice later adopted by the Ge-luk tradition. But here another difficult question remains. When did this happen? The evidence available establishes that the practice of propitiating Dol-gyel existed in the Ge-luk tradition during the eighteenth century. One of the clearest proofs appears in the biography of the Ge-luk polymath Jang-gya-rol-bay-dor-jay (1717-1786), written by his disciple Tu-gen-lo-sang-cho-gyi-nyi-ma (thu’u bkwan blo bzang chos kyi nyi ma), 1737-1802). Tu-gen reports that Jang-gya mentions that Dol-gyel was propitiated by several Ga-den Tri-bas. After several unfortunate events, another Tri-ba, Ngak-wang Chok-den (ngag dbang mchog ldan,) 1677-1751), the tutor of the Seventh Dalai Lama Kel-zang Gya-tso (bskal bzang rgya tsho,) 1708-1757) put an end to this practice by expelling Shuk-den from Ga-den monastery. This mention of Dol-Gyel is quite interesting for a number of reasons. First, it dates the practice of propitiating this deity in the Ge-luk tradition. This practice must have existed prior to Ngak-wang Chok-den’s intervention, and it must have had a certain extension to have been adopted by several Ga-den Tri-bas. Second, it attests to the troublesome character of this deity. However, no connection is made with Trul-ku Drak-ba Gyel-tsen. Jang-gya was after all one of the followers of Jam-yang-shay-ba, one of the main Ge-luk hierarchs opposed to the Fifth, and hence not inclined to consider favorably the story of Shuk-den as Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s wrathful manifestation. Finally, this passage illustrates the minor status of this deity in the Ge-luk tradition at that time, as Jang-gya mentions the expulsion of this deity in passing. This impression of small importance is confirmed by the fact that it is so difficult to document the practice of Shuk-den prior to the beginning of this century. But if Dol-gyel, as he is called by Jang-gya, is minor, why did Ngak-wang Chok-den and Jang-gya oppose his propitiation? Possibly because of its troublesome character. Jang-gya mentions that the Tri-bas who propitiated Dol-gyel encountered difficulties but he does not elaborate. Another possible reason for expelling Dol-gyel from Ga-den is that no mundane deity is allowed to remain permanently in Ga-den. Even Ma-chen Pom-ra, the local god (yul lha) of Dzong-ka-ba, the founder of the Ge-luk tradition, is not supposed to stay in Ga-den overnight, and must take his residence below the monastery. Finally, the political connection alleged by the Fifth Dalai Lama’s followers between this deity and their nemesis, Drak-ba Gyel-tsen, may have played a role, though this is far from sure since by this time the story of the latter’s demise must have started to fade away. Jang-gya may not have opposed the practice in general, for we find a representation of Shuk-den in a collection of thanka paintings given to Jang-gya by the Qianlong Emperor. Because the thanka is not dated, we cannot be sure of the date of its appearance in the collection. Despite this uncertainty concerning some details, an impression emerges which suggests that around the middle of the eighteenth century Dol-gyel was a troublesome but minor deity propitiated by some Ge-luk lamas. The practice of Dol-gyel or Shuk-den also surfaced as an issue during the rule of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama, who put restrictions on the oracle for Shuk-den but did not prohibit his activities completely. Dol-gyel could be propitiated in his proper place in the order of Tibetan gods, namely, as a minor mundane deity. His oracle was permitted only at certain fixed locations such as Tro-de Khang-sar (spro bde khang gsar) in Lhasa or Tro-mo (gro mo) in the Chumbi valley, but not in any of the large monasteries. Finally, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and his government applied pressure on Pa-bong-ka to desist from propitiating Shuk-den. They were particularly displeased by the diffusion of the Shuk-den practice in Dre-bung. They perceived these efforts as attempts to displace Ne-chung, who is, as we will see later, the worldly protector of the Dre-bung monastery and the Tibetan government. Hence, they ordered him to abstain from propitiating Shuk-den altogether. According to his biographer, Pa-bong-ka promised not to propitiate Shuk-den any more. These events seem to indicate that the propitiation of Shuk-den had spread to a certain extent during or just prior to the rule of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama. This may have been due to a gradual spread of this practice during the nineteenth century, particularly its second half. This practice was widespread enough during the time of the Thirteenth to raise some concern in governmental circles. But even then references to Dol-gyel or Shuk-den remain very rare. Although the Thirteenth opposed what he saw as an excessive emphasis on Shuk-den by Pa-bong-ka, the issue was minor and there was little controversy concerning the practice of this deity. Thus, what emerges from this impressionistic survey is that Shuk-den was a minor though troublesome deity in the Ge-luk pantheon throughout most of the history of this tradition. This deity does not seem to have been considered early on as Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s manifestation, except by his enemies, who intended the identification disparagingly. Its gradual adoption in the Ge-luk tradition does not show any relation with either Pen-chen So-nam-drak-ba or his third reincarnation, Drak-ba Gyel-tsen. Shuk-den seems to have been adopted by Ge-luk lamas because of his power as a worldly deity, not on the basis of a connection with Pen-chen So-nam-drak-ba’s lineage. Lamas who are part of this lineage do not show any special inclination toward Shuk-den. Moreover, the monks of the Lo-sell-ling college of Dre-bung, who take Pen-chen So-nam-drak-ba’s works as their textbooks (jig cha) and consider him as perhaps the foremost interpreter of Dzong-ka-bag’s tradition, have had very little connection with Shuk-den (with a few individual exceptions). How is it then that this minor spirit coming from an obscure location in Central Tibet has become the center of raging controversy that has cost the lives of several Ge-luk monks and continues to threaten the unity of the Ge-luk tradition? Moreover, how is it that this deity is now so pervasively identified with Drak-ba Gyel-tsen by his staunchest supporters, who take this connection as a vindication of both Shuk-den and Drak-ba Gyel-tsen? The Rise of a Spirit To answer these questions, we must consider the changes that took place within the Ge-luk tradition during the first half of the twentieth century due to Pa-bong-ka (1878-1941) and the revival movement that he spearheaded. Though Pa-bong-ka was not particularly important by rank, he exercised a considerable influence through his very popular public teachings and his charismatic personality. Elder monks often mention the enchanting quality of his voice and the transformative power of his teachings. a-bong-ka was also well served by his disciples, particularly the very gifted and versatile Tri-jang Rin-bo-che (khri byang rin po che,) 1901-1983), a charismatic figure in his own right who became the present Dalai Lama’s tutor and exercised considerable influence over the Lhasa higher classes and the monastic elites of the three main Ge-luk monasteries around Lhasa. Another influential disciple was Tob-den La-ma (rtogs ldan bla ma), a stridently Ge-luk lama very active in disseminating Pa-bong-ka’s teachings in Kham. Because of his own charisma and the qualities and influence of his disciples, Pa-bong-ka had an enormous influence on the Ge-luk tradition that cannot be ignored in explaining the present conflict. He created a new understanding of the Ge-luk tradition focused on three elements: Vajrayogini as the main meditational deity (yi dam,), Shuk-den as the protector, and Pa-bong-ka as the guru. Like other revivalist figures, Pa-bong-ka presented his teachings as embodying the orthodoxy of his tradition. But when compared with the main teachings of his tradition as they appear in Dzong-ka-ba’s writings, Pa-bong-ka’s approach appears in several respects quite innovative. Although he insisted on the Stages of the Path (lam rim) as the basis of further practice, like other Ge-luk teachers, Pa-bong-ka differed in recommending Vajrayogini as the central meditational deity of the Ge-luk tradition. This emphasis is remarkable given the fact that the practice of this deity came originally from the Sa-gya tradition and is not included in Dzong-ka-ba’s original synthesis, which is based on the practice of three meditational deities (Yamantaka, Guhya-samaja, and Cakrasamvara). The novelty of his approach is even clearer when we consider Pa-bong-ka’s emphasis on Tara Cintamali as a secondary meditational deity, for this practice is not canonical in the strict sense of the term but comes from the pure visions of one of Pa-bong-ka’s main teachers, Ta bu Pe-ma Baz-ra (sta bu padma badzra), a figure about whom very little is presently known. We have to be clear, however, on the nature of Pa-bong-ka’s innovations. He did not introduce these practices himself, for he received them from teachers such as Ta bu Pe-ma Baz-ra and Dak-po Kel-zang Kay-drub (dwag po bskal bzang mkhas grub). Where Pa-bong-ka was innovative was in making formerly secondary teachings widespread and central to the Ge-luk tradition and claiming that they represented the essence of Dzong-ka-ba’s teaching. This pattern, which is typical of a revival movement, also holds true for Pa-bong-ka’s wide diffusion, particularly at the end of his life, of the practice of Dor-je Shuk-den as the central protector of the Ge-luk tradition. Whereas previously Shuk-den seems to have been a relatively minor protector in the Ge-luk tradition, Pa-bong-ka made him into one of the main protectors of the tradition. In this way, he founded a new and distinct way of conceiving the teachings of the Ge-luk tradition that is central to the “Shuk-den Affair.” In promoting Shuk-den as the protector of his charismatic movement, Pa-bong-ka did not invent the practice of this deity, which he seems to have received from his teachers, but he transformed a marginal practice into a central element of the Ge-luk tradition. This transformation is illustrated by the epithets used to refer to Shuk-den. Instead of being just “The Spirit from Dol” (dol rgyal), or even the “Great Magical Spirit Endowed with the Adamantine Force” (rgyal chen rdo rje shugs ldan rtsal), he is described now by Pa-bong-ka and his disciples as “the protector of the tradition of the victorious lord Manjushri (i.e., Dzong-ka-ba)” (‘jam mgon rgyal ba’i bstan srung) and “the supreme protective deity of the Ge-den (i.e., Ge-luk) tradition” (dge ldan bstan bsrung ba’i lha mchog). These descriptions have been controversial. Traditionally, the Ge-luk tradition has been protected by the Dharma-king (dam can chos rgyal), the supra-mundane deity bound to an oath given to Dzong-ka-ba, the founder of the tradition. The tradition also speaks of three main protectors adapted to the three scopes of practice described in the Stages of the Path (skyes bu gsum gyi srung ma): Mahakala for the person of great scope, Vaibravala for the person of middling scope, and the Dharma-king for the person of small scope. By describing Shuk-den as “the protector of the tradition of the victorious lord Manjushri,” Pa-bong-ka suggests that he is the protector of the Ge-luk tradition, replacing the protectors appointed by Dzong-ka-ba himself. This impression is confirmed by one of the stories that Shuk-den’s partisans use to justify their claim. According to this story, the Dharma-king has left this world to retire in the pure land of Tushita having entrusted the protection of the Ge-luk tradition to Shuk-den. Thus, Shuk-den has become the main Ge-luk protector replacing the traditional supra-mundane protectors of the Ge-luk tradition, indeed a spectacular promotion in the pantheon of the tradition. Pa-bong-ka’s promotion of this deity has several reasons. There was an undeniable personal devotion to Shuk-den in Pa-bong-ka derived from his early experiences, dreams or visions. This devotion was also based on a family connection, for Shuk-den was his mother’s female god (skyes ma’i rgyud kyi lha). Pa-bong-ka’s writings reflect this strong devotion to Shuk-den, as is shown by the following passage: Praise and prostration through remembering your three secrets [to you] the violent poison for the obstacles, the enemies, [and] those who have broken [their] pledges, [to you] the magical jewel who fulfills the hopes and wishes of the practitioners, [to you] the only life tree [i.e., support] in protecting Dzong-ka-ba’s tradition. The very real personal devotion found in many of the Shuk-den texts written by Pa-bong-ka and his disciples explains Pa-bong-ka’s fervor in diffusing Shuk-den. From the viewpoint of his followers, it is the most important element of Pa-bong-ka’s heritage. There is, however, another element that must be examined in order to understand the troublesome nature of the practice of Shuk-den, namely, the sectarian stance that it reflects. This is where the story of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen becomes relevant again. For Pa-bong-ka, particularly at the end of his life, one of the main functions of Gyel-chen Dor-je Shuk-den as Ge-luk protector is the use of violent means (the adamantine force) to protect the Ge-luk tradition. Pa-bong-ka quite explicitly states: Now [I] exhort to violent actions Shuk-den, who is the main war-god of Dzong-ka-ba’s tradition and its holders, the angry spirit, the Slayer of Yama (i.e., Yamantaka or Manjushri in his wrathful form)….In particular it is time [for you] to free (i.e., kill) in one moment the enemies of Dzong-ka-ba’s tradition. Protector, set up [your] violent actions without [letting] your previous commitments dissipate. Quickly engage in violent actions without relaxing your loving promises. Quickly accomplish [these] requests and entrusted actions without leaving them aside (or without acting impartially). Quickly accomplish [these] actions [that I] entrust [to you], for I do not have any other source of hope. This passage clearly presents the goal of the propitiation of Shuk-den as the protection of the Ge-luk tradition through violent means, even including the killing of its enemies. We should wonder, however, what this passage means? Is it to be taken literally? And who are these enemies? To answer these questions in detail would take us beyond the purview of this essay. A short answer is that in certain ways the statements of this ritual text are not very different from the ones found in similar texts devoted to other mundane protectors. By itself, this text does not prove very much. Combined with Pa-bong-ka’s other writings, however, the statement about killing the enemies of the Ge-luk is more than the usual ritual incitements contained in manuals for the propitiation of protectors. Consider this rather explicit passage contained in an introduction to the text of the empowerment required to propitiate Shuk-den (the (srog gtad,) about which more will be said later): [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. In this passage, which is based on notes taken by Tri-jang during a ceremony given by Pa-bong-ka and published in his (Collected Works,) Pa-bong-ka takes the references to eliminating the enemies of the the Ge-luk tradition as more than stylistic conventions or usual ritual incantations. It may concern the elimination of actual people by the protector. But who are these people? A number of people may be included in this category. Several Nying-ma lamas have claimed to have been the target of Shuk-den, who is often greatly feared by the followers of this school. In this passage, however, Pa-bong-ka seems to have in mind less members of other schools than those Ge-luk practitioners who mix Dzong-ka-ba’s tradition with elements from other traditions, particularly the Nying-ma Dzok-chen to which he refers indirectly but clearly. The mission of Shuk-den as defined here is to prevent Ge-luk practitioners from mixing traditions and even visiting retribution on those who dare to go against this prescription. This is also the central message of the founding myth of the Shuk-den practice as defined by Pa-bong-ka and his followers. Trul-ku Drak-ba Gyel-tsen becomes a wrathful deity to visit retribution, not on those who caused his death, but on those who defile Dsong-ka-ba’s pure tradition. According to the legend, Shuk-den takes the Fifth Dalai Lama as his target because the latter was eclectic, including in his practice many elements from the Nying-ma tradition, which provoked the anger of Shuk-den as a guardian of Ge-luk orthodoxy. Pa-bong-ka is quite explicit: Because the All Seeing Great Fifth practiced and developed all tenets of the old and new [schools], this great protector through the power of previous prayers produced a variety of extremely frightful appearances to the supreme Powerful King (the Fifth Dalai Lama) in order to protect and defend spotlessly Dzong-ka’ba’s great tradition. We may now understand the peculiar fate of the story of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s wrathful manifestation as Shuk-den, which shifted from a slander of the former into a praise of the latter. Pa-bong-ka was aware of the stories surrounding Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s death but understood them quite differently from the way contemporaries of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen had. For him, the narrative was not about Drak-ba Gyel-tsen but about Shuk-den and the identification of the latter with the former was a way to legitimize the diffusion of a practice that had been previously marginal. The choice of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen was particularly meaningful for Pa-bong-ka, who had been pressured by the Thirteenth Dalai Lama to renounce his practice of Shuk-den and may have been somewhat resentful. He may have felt a communion with Drak-ba Gyel-tsen, who like him had been the object of unwelcome attention from a strong Dalai Lama. More importantly, however, Pa-bong-ka must have felt that Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s alleged posthumous antagonism to the Fifth Dalai Lama’s eclecticism paralleled his own opposition to the adoption of Nying-ma teachings by some Ge-luk-bas. Shuk-den’s anger against the Fifth Dalai Lama is not directed at the Dalai Lama institution (per se) but at the Nying-ma leanings of the Fifth. Finally, the choice of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen as the source of the Shuk-den lineage was an ideal way to legitimize an originally Sa-gya practice. By tracing back the lineage to Drak-ba Gyel-tsen, Pa-bong-ka could present the Shuk-den practice as authentically Ge-luk and reinterpret its undeniable roots in the Sa-gya tradition as an interlude in an essentially Ge-luk story. Appendix [1] This is a revised version of an essay published earlier in the (Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies) (Vol., 21, no. 2 [1998]: 227-270) and reprinted here with the permission of the editors of the above-mentioned journal. I would like to thank them. I would also like to acknowledge all the people who have helped me in this project. Due to the sensitive nature of the topic, however, I feel that I should not mention any name and just thank them collectively. [2] Tri-jang Rin-bo-che, (The Music that Rejoices the Ocean of Pledge Bound, Being an Account of the Amazing Three Secrets [of Body, Speech and Mind] of Great Magical Dharma Spirit Endowed with the Adamantine Force, The Supreme Manifested Deity Protecting the Ge-den Tradition (dge ldan bstan bsrung ba’i lha mchog sprul pa’i chos rgyal chen po rdo rje shugs ldan rtsal gyi gsang gsum rmad du byung ba’i rtogs pa brjod pa’i gtam du bya ba dam can can rgya mtsho dgyes pa’i rol mo,) Collected Works, Delhi: Guru Deva, 1978), V.5-159, 8. [3] Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s lineage is said to go back to Dul Dzin Drak-ba Gyel-tsen, a direct disciple of Dzong-ka-ba. This lineage is, however, a kind of spiritual lineage and quite different from the recognized lineage of a lama. See Pa-bong-ka, (Supplement to the Explanation of the Preliminaries of the Life Entrusting [Ritual]) (rgyal chen srog gtad gyi sngon ‘gro bshad pa’i mtshams sbyor kha bskong),) Collected Works, New Delhi: Chopel Legdan, 1973), VII.517-532, 520. [4] Sang-gye Gya-tso (sangs rgyas rgya mtsho), explains that after Ngak-wang Ge-lek (ngag dbang dge legs) had died, the second reincarnation of Pen-chen So-nam-drak-ba was found in the Ge-kha-sa (gad kha sa) family. He adds: “Although he had hopes for being the reincarnation of the All-knowing Yon-ten Gya-tso, he was made the reincarnation of Ngak-wang Ge-lek” (thams cad mkhyen pa yon tan rgya mtsho’i sprul sku yong du re yang ngag dbang dge legs kyi sprul sku byas pas). Sangs-rgyas-rgya-mtsho, (Vairya-ser-po) (Delhi: International Academy of Indian Culture, 1960), 72. [5] Dol rgyal zhib ‘jug tshogs chung, (Dol rgyal lam shugs ldan byung rim la dpyad pa) (Dharamsala, 1998), 25-35. [6] Tri-jang, (Music,) 101-109. [7] R. Nebesky-Wojkowitz, (Oracles and Demons of Tibet). (The Hague: Mouton, 1956). [8] In this essay I will treat deities as “real persons” since they are experienced as such by Tibetans. [9] Such a spirit is also called (tsan) (often but not always the spirit of a monk who has either fallen from his monastic commitment or has been killed), who lives in rocks and must be pacified with special red offerings. Tibetans speak of eight classes of gods and spirits (lha srin sde brgyad). See: Samuel, (Civilized Shaman) (Washington: Smithsonian, 1993), 161-163. [10] Pa-bong-ka, (Supplement,) 521. [11] Pa-bong-ka, (Supplement,) 523 and Tri-jang, (Music,) 105. [12] The Tri-ba seems at first to have been elected, which would have strengthened his position. Later he was selected by the Dalai Lama. When did this change occur? Only further research will provide an answer which will greatly help us in understanding the history of the Ge-luk tradition. [13] E.G. Smith, “Introduction,” (Kongtrul’s Encyclopedia of Indo-Tibetan Culture) (New Delhi: International Academy of Indian Culture, 1970), 17. [14] L. Petech, Introduction to Sangs-rgyas-rgya-mtsho, (Vaidrya-ser-po), xi-xii. [15] bod de’i rgyal po ni gzim khang gong ma sprul sku grags rgyan zer ba ni chag(s) sdang gi gtam kho nar zad do/ des na bsod nams chos ‘phel ni lo ‘dir ‘das nas khong dge lugs la thugs zhen ches pas chos bsrung ba’i tshul bzung nas dge lugs pa skyong zhes grags pa bden nam snyam mo/. (Rehu mig or chronological tables) in Sum pa mkhan po, (dPag bsam ljon bzang) (Delhi: International Academy of Indian Culture, 1959), 70-1. [16]This opposition had come to the fore when the prime minister tried to entice the Lo-sel-ling college of Dre-bung monastery to adopt the fifth Dalai Lama’s works as its textbooks in place of Pen-chen So-nam-drak-ba’s works. After the college’s refusal, Sang-gye Gya-tso asked Jam-yang-shay-ba to refute Pen-chen So-nam-drak-ba.This was an attempt at strengthening the government’s control over the monasteries as well as a way of removing Drak-ba Gyel-tsen’s posthumous influence, two goals with which Jam-yang-shay-ba had little sympathy. Hence, the latter refused to oblige. [17] (de’i rjes su gad kha sa pa’i nang so gro (grod?) lhug thog mar thams cad mkhyen pa yon tan rgya mtsho’i sprul sku yong du re yang ngag dbang bsod nams dge legs kyi sprul sku byas pas mthar skye gnas mi bzang bar gyur to/) Sangs rgyas rgya mtsho, (Vai∂rya-ser-po) (Delhi: International Academy of Indian Culture, 1960), 71-2. [18] gad kha sa lags a rgyal gyi ‘phrul la brten ngag dbang bsod nams dge legs dpal bzang gyi sku skye rdzus ma lam du song ba smon lam log pa’i dam srid gyur te/.Fifth Dalai Lama, (Collected Works,) vol. Ha, 423-4. A similar scenario is presented in the Fifth’s autobiography. Both passages were quoted by the present Dalai Lama in a talk given in Los Angeles, June 1997. [19] Some stories present the Nga-ri Rin-bo-che as the reincarnation of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen but they are hard to trace and are probably significantly posterior to the facts here discussed. [20] In reference to the year 1655 (Wood Sheep), Sum-pa-mkhan-po notes: “[Birth of] the Kangshi emperor renowned as the reincarnation of Tul-ku Drak-ba Gyel-tsen (sprul sku grags rgyan skye bar grags pa’i khang zhi bde skyid rgyal po) (Rehu mig,) 70. [21] in his autobiography, the Fifth Dalai Lama mentions the existence of a harmful spirit around the pond of Dol. See (Du ku La’i gos bzang,) II. Ý157.a-.b. [22] Pa-bong-ka gives the following gloss of Shuk-den’s name: “[This] great protector, who holds the adamantine force which is all pervading regarding the destruction of the army of the devil, [this] spirit who is a war god, the protector of the Ge-den tradition, who assumes the pretense of being a worldly boastful god though he is beyond the world, is well known “Great Magical Spirit Endowed with the Adamantine Force” (de ltar ‘jig rten las ‘das kyang dregs pa’i zol ‘chang dge ldan bstan srung dgra lha’i rgyal po/ bdud kyi sde ‘joms pa la thogs pa med pa’i rdo rje’i shugs ‘chang ba bstan srung chen po rgyal chen dor je shugs ldan rtsal zhes yongs su grags pa.(Supplement,) 528. [23] shing cha rnams chu la bskyur ba dol chu mig dkar mor chags pas der gnas pas re zhig bar du dol rgyal zhes grags. Pa-bong-ka, (Supplement,) 521. [24] Another informant has suggested that Shuk-den became at some point a monastic deity in charge of eliminating rogue monks who had broken their vows but still pretended to be pure. This hypothesis would account for the monastic appearance of Shuk-den’s main form (for a description of Shuk-den’s five forms, see Kelzang Gyatso, (Heart Jewel,) 77) and provide a precedent for Shuk-den’s opposition to Ge-luk practitioners who have adopted Nying-ma teachings.From punishing rogue monks, it is quite easy to imagine.

(Written by Georges Dreyfus) Keeping the Ge-luk Tradition Pure We now begin to understand the main message of the founding myth of the Shuk-den practice. We are also in a position to grasp some of the reasons for the troublesome nature of this deity and we understand the history of this myth, which is a classical case of invention, or, perhaps re-invention, of tradition in which past events are re-interpreted in the light of a contemporary situation. Still, a few questions remain. For example, why was Pa-bong-ka so emphatic in his opposition to Ge-luk eclecticism? Why did he worry so much about this limited phenomenon which was no threat to the overwhelming domination of the Ge-luk tradition in Central Tibet? It is true that several important Ge-luk lamas such as the Fifth Pen-chen Lama Lob-zang Pal-den (blo bzang dpal ldan chos kyi grags pa,) 1853-1882) and La-tsun Rin-bo-che (lha btsun rin po che) were attracted by Nying-ma practices of the Dzok-chen tradition. But this phenomenon remained limited in Central Tibet. Why did Pa-bong-ka feel the integrity of the Ge-luk tradition threatened? To answer, we must place Pa-bong-ka in context. The idea of keeping the Ge-luk tradition pure (dge lugs tshang ma) was hardly new. It may even date to Kay-drub’s tenure as the second Holder of the Throne of Ga-den during the first half of the fifteenth century. It appears that Kay-drub urged his followers to stick to Dzong-ka-ba’s views and scolded those who did not. This approach became stronger during the seventeenth century, probably as a result of the civil war that led to the emergence of the Dalai Lama institution. But even then, not all Ge-luk-bas agreed with this approach. For example, the Fifth Dalai Lama advocated a more eclectic and inclusive approach. As we have seen, his approach did not meet the approval of several Ge-luk hierarchs. After their victory at the beginning of the eighteenth century, the more restrictive view became dominant. It is only much later, around the turn of the twentieth century that this issue resurfaced in connection with the success of the Non-sectarian (ris med) movement in Eastern Tibet, which developed as a reaction against sectarian abuses among Non-Ge-luk schools. It was intended to promote a more ecumenical atmosphere among these schools, but it was also a way for the weaker traditions to oppose the dominant Ge-luk tradition by presenting a united front. Their strategy was remarkably successful, and in short order the movement revived Non-Ge-luk institutions and greatly strengthened their position, particularly in Kham.  It also influenced several important Ge-luk lamas, as we will see shortly. This success could not but worry the more conservative elements of the Ge-luk establishment. Pa-bong-ka was particularly worried about the situation in Khams, which influenced his view of other traditions. In an earlier period of his life, Pa-bong-ka was rather open-minded. He had received several Dzok-chen teachings and was eclectic himself, despite his close personal connection with Shuk-den, his personal deity. After receiving these teachings, however, he became sick and attributed this interference to Shuk-den’s displeasure. He thus refrained from taking any more Dzok-chen teaching and became more committed to a purely Ge-luk line of practice. Nevertheless, Pa-bong-ka did not immediately promote Shuk-den as the main protector of the Ge-luk tradition against other schools, perhaps because of the restrictions that the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and his government placed on his practice of Shuk-den. The situation changed after the death of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama in 1933. Shortly after, Pa-bong-ka left Lhasa and visited several important Ge-luk monasteries in Khams, the area where the Non-sectarian movement was the strongest. There he could not but notice the strength of this movement as well as the poor shape of the Ge-luk institutions. Whereas in Amdo and Central Tibet, the Ge-luk school’s hegemony was overwhelming and the challenge of other schools had little credibility, the situation in Khams was quite different.  Ge-luk monasteries were large but had little to show for themselves. There were very few scholars and most monks were almost completely illiterate. Moreover, the level of discipline was poor. Given that situation, the success of the Non-sectarian movement was hardly surprising. Pa-bong-ka perceived this situation as a serious threat to the overall Ge-luk supremacy, and this led him to a more sectarian and militant stance. He saw the inclusion by Ge-luk-bas of the teachings of other schools as a threat to the integrity of the Ge-luk tradition. The task of protecting the tradition from such encroachments was assigned to Shuk-den, the protector with whom he had a strong personal tie. This renewed emphasis on Shuk-den was also made possible by the Thirteenth Dalai Lama’s death which removed the restrictions imposed on Pa-bong-ka’s practice and diffusion of Shuk-den. The sectarian implications of Pa-bong-ka’s revival movement and the role of Shuk-den therein became clear during the 1940s, when the cult of Shuk-den spread in Khams and the Ge-luk tradition became much more aggressive in its opposition to the other schools. Under one of Pa-bong-ka’s disciples, Tob-den Rin-bo-che, several Nying-ma monasteries were forcefully transformed into Ge-luk establishments and statues of Guru Rin-bo-che are said to have been destroyed. In certain parts of Khams, particularly in Ge-luk strongholds such as Dra-gyab and Cham-do, some Ge-luk fanatics tried to stamp out the other traditions in the name of Shuk-den. It is hard to know, however, what Pa-bong-ka thought about these events, which may have been the work of a few extremists. It is clear, however, that since this time Shuk-den played a central role for Pa-bong-ka, who continued to promote his practice to support Ge-luk exclusivism after his return to Central Tibet. We now start to understand Shuk-den’s particularities and the reason he is controversial. First is his origin as Dol-gyel, an angry and vengeful spirit. This makes him particularly effective and powerful but also dangerous according to standard Tibetan cultural assumptions. Second is his novelty as the protector of the tradition of the victorious lord Manjushri, the protector of a Ge-luk revival movement who is said to replace the main supra-mundane protector of the tradition. This promotion is all the more controversial that it is recent, for Shuk-den was nothing but a minor Ge-luk protector before the 1930s when Pa-bong-ka started to promote him aggressively as the main Ge-luk protector. Third is his sectarian role as Do-je Shuk-den, that is, holder of the adamantine violence now understood to be aimed at keeping the Ge-luk tradition separate from and above other schools. Shuk-den is now depicted by his followers not just as the main Ge-luk protector, but as the one in charge of visiting retribution on those Ge-luk-bas tempted by the religious eclecticism of the Non-sectarian movement. Still, for many years nothing happened. Some Ge-luk teachers may have been uncomfortable at the promotion of Shuk-den but there was no reason to engage in a controversy with Pa-bong-ka, who was popular but just one among many important Ge-luk lamas. Despite some tension between him and the Thirteenth Dalai Lama, no major differences surfaced and the Ge-luk tradition seemed strong and united. After the death of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama, there was very little discussion concerning Shuk-den. Pa-bong-ka’s promotion of Shuk-den’s cult and its founding myth were not considered threatening to the Tibetan government or the young new Dalai Lama, for the cult was not opposed to the Dalai Lama institution but affirmed the primacy of the Ge-luk tradition, a goal shared by many in the Tibetan government. In later years, the importance of Pa-bong-ka’s lineage was further reinforced by the nomination of Tri-jang as the Junior Tutor of the Dalai Lama. The exile both confirmed this situation and changed it. Pa-bong-ka’s disciple Tri-jang became in exile the main source of teaching and inspiration for the Ge-luk tradition. The Dalai Lama was still young; his other tutor, Ling Rin-bo-che, had a modest personality that took him out of contention and most of the other great Ge-luk lamas remained in Tibet. The preeminence of Tri-jang further strengthened the position of Pa-bong-ka’s lineage as embodying the central orthodoxy of the tradition. Moreover, Tri-jang seems to have been personally extremely devoted to Shuk-den. In his commentary on Pa-bong-ka’s praise of Shuk-den, [44] Tri-jang devotes several pages to explaining the many dreams of Shuk-den that he had from the age of seventies-jang stressed this practice among his disciples and pushed the glorification of Shuk-den even further than Pa-bong-ka, insisting on the fact that this deity is ultimately a fully enlightened Buddha who merely appears as a mundane deity. Ge-luk teachers who were uncomfortable with this situation could say little against Tri-jang, the Dalai Lama’s own teacher. Moreover, everyone (myself included) was won over by Tri-jang’s astonishing qualities, his command of the Tibetan tradition, his personal grace, his refined manners, his diplomatic skills, and commanding presence. Finally, there was no reason for open controversy, for there was enough room in the tradition to accommodate several views. Ling Rin-bo-che offered an alternative to those who did not completely share Tri-jang’s orientation. Thus, at the beginning of the 70s, the tradition seemed to be strong and united in its admiration of its great teachers, the Dalai Lama and his two tutors, a trinity that almost providentially seemed to be the mirror image of the original relation between Dzong-ka-ba and his two disciples. Nobody would have dreamed of the crisis that was about to come. The Dispute Begins The situation began to deteriorate in 1975, a year which can be described as the Ge-luk (annus terribilis.) In this year a book (henceforth the “Yellow Book”) written in Tibetan about Shuk-den by Dze-may Rin-bo-che (dze smad rin po che,) 1927-1996) was published. [45] Retrospectively, we can say that the whole affair started from this book and the Dalai Lama’s reaction to it. Prior to its publication, there was no controversy concerning Shuk-den. There may have been some tension between the Dalai Lama and some Ge-luk-bas. Some of the more conservative elements may have believed that the three monasteries should rule the Tibetan state and hence have resented the power and orientation of the last two Dalai Lamas. These elements may have also tended toward the Shuk-den practice. Thus, elements of resentment, suspicion and discontent provided the background for the present crisis, but they did not create it. The present crisis is a new phenomenon, largely a product of contingent circumstances and even coincidence. The Yellow Book was intended to complement Tri-jang’s commentary on Pa-bong-ka’s praise of Shuk-den.[46] It consists of a series of stories which the author had heard informally from his teacher Tri-jang during the many years of their relationship which he wanted to record for posterity before the death of his teacher. The book enumerates the many Ge-luk lamas whose lives are supposed to have been shortened by Shuk-den’s displeasure at their practicing Nying-ma teachings. First, the Fifth Pen-chen Lama, Lob-zang Pal-den, is described as the object of Shuk-den’s anger because he adopted Nying-ma practices. Despite the repeated warnings of the protector, Lob-zang Pal-den refused to mend his ways. After an unsuccessful ritual self-defense, which backfired, Lob-zang Pal-den died at the age of twenty nine. [47] The book cites several other Ge-luk lamas who had similar fates. Most noticeable is the long description of the Re-treng (rwa streng) affair. According to this account, Re-treng’s tragic fate is not due to his real or alleged misdeeds, [48] but because he incurred the wrath of Shuk-den by practicing Nying-ma teachings. Another particularly revealing story is that of the preceding reincarnation of Zi-gyab Rin-bo-che (gzigs rgyab rin po che), a lama from Tre-hor, who first studied at Tra-shi Lhung-po where he became learned and then developed a link with the Sixth Pen-chen Lama Tub-ten Choe-gi-nyi-ma (thub stan chos kyi nyi ma,) 1883-1937), who asked him to stay with him. Because of the past Pen-chen lama’s eclectic ritual practice, Zi-gyab studied and practiced Nying-ma teachings. Later he decided to receive one of its central teachings, Jam-gon Kong-trul’s (‘jam mgon kong sprul,) 1813-1899) (Rin chen gter mdzod) from Kyung Rin-bo-che (khyung rin po che). According to the story, Shuk-den warned Zi-gyab against this course of action. When the lama refused to heed the protector’s advice, he fell sick and died suddenly without having been able to listen to the (Rin chen gTer Mdzod).In short order Kyung also died suddenly after several ominous signs of Shuk-den’s anger. Shuk-den’s anger at Zi-gyab’s attempt to receive the (Rin chen gter mdzod) is particularly revealing in view of the central place held by this collection of teachings in the Non-sectarian movement. Whatever the intentions of its author, the main message of the Yellow Book is hard to miss. Ge-luk lamas should absolutely not practice the teachings from other schools, otherwise they will incur Shuk-den’s wrath and die prematurely. The author of the Yellow Book was repeating the views already expressed by the two most important figures in the tradition of Shuk-den followers, Pa-bong-ka and Tri-jang, as illustrated by the above quote (for the former) and claimed by the book itself (for the latter). [49] The Yellow Book provided a number of cases that illustrate this point, emphasizing that the dire warnings were not empty threats but based on “facts.” The Dalai Lama reacted strongly to this book. He felt personally betrayed by Dze-may, a lama for whom he had great hopes and to whom he had shown particular solicitude. More importantly, he felt that the Yellow Book was an attack on his role as Dalai Lama, a rejection of his religious leadership by the Ge-luk establishment, and a betrayal of his efforts in the struggle for Tibetan freedom. In 1976 the first signs of the impending crisis appeared which I will explore in some detail, since I do not believe that these events have been well documented even by Tibetans. I will use my own memories to supplement the sketchy public records. One of the first public manifestations of the Dalai Lama’s state of mind was his refusal, after the Tibetan New Year of 1976, of the long life offerings made by the Tibetan government. Traditionally, the Dalai Lama accepts such an offering after the New Year as a sign of the pure bond (dam tshig tshang ma) that exists between him and Tibetans: this bond is based on his commitment to continue his work as Dalai Lama and the Tibetans’ allegiance. His refusal signaled in effect that he thought that the bond had been undermined and that the behavior of Tibetans was incompatible with his remaining as Dalai Lama. When pressed by the National Assembly to accept the offerings, the Dalai Lama sent back even stronger signals, mentioning dreams in which dakinis had entreated him to return to the pure realms. The refusal of the offerings of long life was already bad enough. The mention of these dreams was akin to a declaration of intention to abandon this world and his role therein. This sent the Tibetan community into a veritable ritual frenzy. The state oracle of Ne-chung ordered Tibetans to recite an enormous number of Mani, the mantra of the bodhisattva Avalokeshtevara of whom the Dalai Lama is said to be a manifestation. At that time I was living at the Rikon monastery in Switzerland. I did not witness the scenes I am describing but heard about them from Tibetan friends and read reports in the (Shes Bya) review in Tibetan. I remember very clearly, however, the emotion that the news created among the monks living in Switzerland. Some were devastated, crying openly. I also remember the many hours that the Tibetan community in Switzerland spent reciting the number of required mantras. I was puzzled by the fact that not all Ge-luk monks seemed equally affected. Some seemed to be distinctly cool, despite their participation in the public rituals intended to protect the life of the Dalai Lama. Why were they so unmoved by the news of the Dalai Lama’s reaction? The answer, about which I had no idea at the time, was that they agreed with the views expressed by the Yellow Book. Hence, they were less then moved by the Dalai Lama’s negative reaction. They understood that it manifested a profound division within the Ge-luk tradition, a division about which they could not but worry. Primarily, however, they saw his reaction as a rejection and a betrayal of the teachings of his tutor, Tri-jang, whom they considered to be the main teacher of the Ge-luk tradition and the guardian of its orthodoxy. They also may have foreseen that the Dalai Lama would counterattack. The crisis that has agitated the Ge-luk school since then had begun. In the mid 1976, the Dalai Lama finally accepted the long life offerings of the Tibetan government and the Tibetan people. He would lead them after all, but this was not the end of the story, for he would also take strong actions to strengthen the loyalty of the Ge-luk establishment. His offensive started at the beginning of 1977 when Dze-may was publicly berated for his book. He was expelled from one of the public teachings that the Dalai Lama gave that year. The Dalai Lama also began to apply pressure against the practice of Shuk-den, laying several restrictions on the practice. The three great monasteries of Dre-bung, Ga-den and Se-ra, which traditionally, though not unambiguously, have supported the Tibetan government and the two tantric colleges were ordered not to propitiate Shuk-den in public ceremonies. Moreover, several statues of Shuk-den were removed from the chapels of the three monasteries. Finally, the Dalai Lama ordered the monks of Se-ra in Bylakuppe not to use a building originally intended for the monthly ritual of Shuk-den. Individuals could continue their practice privately if they so chose, as long as they remained discreet about it. The Ritual Basis of the Dalai Lama Institution Many found the Dalai Lama’s reaction excessive. After all, the views expressed by the book were rather unexceptional. The book was undeniably sectarian, but this is not rare in any of the four (or more) Tibetan schools. Similar sectarian views were held by Pa-bong-ka. [50] Even the Non-sectarian movement had at times used its inclusive strategy against the dominance of the Ge-luk school. Thus, the mere presence of a sectarian element in the Yellow Book could not justify or explain the Dalai Lama’s strong reaction. We need to find another explanation. Throughout the crisis, the Dalai Lama has gone to great lengths to explain his position. At first reserved to a limited audience, these explanations, some of which are of great scholarly quality, are now available in Tibetan and are invaluable to understand the present crisis.[51] The Dalai Lama repeatedly points to the relation between Shuk-den and the ritual system underlying the institution of the Dalai Lama as the source of the problem. The institution of the Dalai Lama is not just political, but also rests on an elaborate ritual system, which has undergone several transformations. When the Fifth Dalai Lama assumed power after 1642, he attempted to build a broad- based rule legitimized by a claim to reestablish the early Tibetan empire. This claim was supported by an elaborate ritual system, which sought to reenact the perceived religious basis of the Tibetan empire. This ritual system was not limited to the practices of the Ge-luk tradition but included teachings and figures closely associated with the Nying-ma tradition, the Buddhist school that for Tibetans has a close association with the early empire. The ritual system involves an extremely complex network of practices which cannot be examined here. Two elements require mention, however. The first element is devotion to Padmasambhava, the semi-mythical founder of the Nying-ma tradition. His role is central to the ritual system as conceived by the present Dalai Lama, for Guru Rin-bo-che is responsible for taming the negative forces in Tibet. According to legend, he started the practice of transforming pre-Buddhist deities into worldly protectors by binding them through oaths. He is in charge of making sure that these gods keep their word, and he is the guarantor of all the worldly protectors of the Tibetan world. [52] The second element of this ritual system is the primacy of the protector Ne-chung. Like most other collective entities in the Tibetan cultural landscape, the Dalai Lama and his government have mundane protectors, who are often described as the “Two Red and Black Protectors” (srung ma dmar nag gnyis). The black protector is identified as the Great Goddess (dpal-ldan lha mo), the Tibetan equivalent of (MahÂ-dev^). The identification of the red protector has varied over time, but since the Fifth Dalai Lama, Ne-chung has been recognized as the red warrior deity protecting the Dalai Lama institution.[53] Together, they are taken to protect the Dalai Lama and his institution, including the Tibetan government. Ne-chung is one in an important group of deities named “the five kings” (rgyal po sku lnga,) lit., five king-bodies) who are considered to be the manifestations of Pe-har, the deity appointed by Padmasambhava as the main guardian of Buddhism in Tibet. Among the five deities, Ne-chung is usually identified with Dor-je Drak-den (rdo rje grags ldan), the speech deity of the five kings. [54] Because of his connection with Pe-har, the guardian deity of Buddhism during the early Tibetan empire, the Fifth Dalai Lama and his government have chosen Ne-chung as the “Red Protector” thus emphasizing their connection with the early empire and strengthening their legitimacy. This choice further reinforced the centrality of Guru Rin-bo-che, and reflected the Fifth Dalai Lama’s personal association with the Nying-ma tradition. The Yellow Book and the propitiation of Shuk-den threaten this eclectic system centered on the worship of Guru Rin-bo-che and the propitiation of Ne-chung. By presenting Shuk-den as a deity in charge of visiting retribution upon those Ge-luk who have adopted practices from the Nying-ma tradition, which is based on and closely associated with the devotion to Guru Rin-bo-che, the Yellow Book undermines the ritual system underlying the Dalai Lama institution, and the present Dalai Lama’s efforts to implement this system more fully. I also believe that the timing of the Yellow Book was particularly disastrous. In his early years, the present Dalai Lama followed the advice of his teachers and practiced an almost purely Ge-luk ritual system. In doing so, he was continuing the tradition of the last seven Dalai Lamas, who had adopted a strictly Ge-luk ritual system as the religious basis of their power. Important changes were introduced after the death of the Fifth and the defeat of his party, when the role of the Dalai Lama and the ritual system supporting the institution were changed. Instead of an eclectic system emulating the religious basis of the early empire, a more purely Ge-luk ritual system was installed under the auspices of the Seventh Dalai Lama Kel-zang Gya-soothe monks of Nam-gyel, the personal monastery of the Dalai Lama, were replaced by monks from the Ge-luk Tantric Colleges and the Nying-ma rituals that they had performed were discontinued. [55] This situation continued into this century, forming the religious practice of the young Fourteenth. As the Fourteenth became more mature, however, he started to question this orientation. He felt a strong appreciation for the Fifth’s political project, which he has described as a master plan for building Tibet into a nation able to take part in the history of the region rather than a marginal state governed by religious hierarchs mostly preoccupied with the power of their monasteries and estates. [56] He also felt a strong religious bond with the Fifth and gradually came to the realization that he needed to implement the latter’s ritual system. Consequently, he abandoned his Shuk-den practice in the mid-seventies, for he could not keep propitiating this deity while using Ne-chung, the protector associated with Guru Rin-bo-che and with whom he had had a special relation for many years.[57] He also attempted to promote the role of Guru Rin-bo-che in the ritual system of the Tibetan state. Only by strengthening this role, which he saw as vital to the integrity of the ritual basis of the Tibetan state, could the cause of Tibet be successful. Were not the political difficulties experienced by Tibetans signs that this ritual support had been undermined? As an expression of his resolve to return to the ritual system developed by the Fifth Dalai Lama, the present Dalai Lama developed the role of Nying-ma rituals in the practice of his own personal Nam-gyel monastery. The monastery’s repertoire was expanded from the usual Ge-luk tantric rituals to include typical Nying-ma practices such as Vajra k^laya and others. He invited several Nying-ma lamas to give teachings and empowerments to his monks. He also ordered them to do appropriate retreats. I remember the tongue in cheek comments of some of my friends of the Nam-gyel monastery about their “becoming Nying-ma-bas.”They were surprised, taken aback and uncomfortable, for the rituals of the Nam-gyel monastery had been for many years Ge-luk, not very different from that of the two tantric colleges. They were ready to follow the Dalai Lama, however, despite their obvious misgivings. Another key element in the Dalai Lama’s strategy of returning to the Fifth’s ritual system was the institution in October 1975 of a yearly ceremony of making a hundred thousands offerings to Guru Rin-bo-che. The collective worship of Guru Rin-bo-che would restore the synergy that existed between this figure and the Tibetan people, thus strengthening the power of the gods appointed by Guru Rin-bo-che to protect Tibetans from danger. But this event was not very successful. Many Ge-luk monks and nuns felt rather lukewarm, if not downright hostile, toward Guru Rin-bo-che, and abstained from attending the event. They profoundly resented the adoption of rituals they saw as coming from an alien tradition. This was precisely the time that the famous Yellow Book first circulated, a coincidence I consider particularly unfortunate. [58] Although the connection between the low attendance at this new ceremony and the book is hard to establish, the Dalai Lama felt that the Yellow Book had contributed to the lack of support among Ge-luk monks and nuns. More importantly, he felt that the appearance of such a book precisely when he was trying to restore the ritual basis of the Tibetan state represented an act of open defiance by the very people, the high Ge-luk lamas, who were supposed to support him. These were the same people who had thwarted the attempts of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama toward reform with tragic consequences for Tibet. These were also particularly difficult times for Tibet politically. The repression in Tibet had gone on practically uninterrupted since 1959 and there seemed no end in sight. The sadness and even desperation thereby induced in the exile community and the Dalai Lama must have contributed to the crisis. [59] Finally, the Dalai Lama felt directly attacked by the Yellow Book. For, after all, who was the person who was designated as a potential target of Shuk-den, the person who was undermining the purity of the Ge-luk tradition by adopting practices from the Nying-ma tradition, if not he? Also, the Dalai Lama felt that this book was working against his efforts to promote harmony among the Tibetan schools. The matter was made much worse by the attribution of the opinions expressed by the Yellow Book to Tri-jang, who, to my knowledge, has never rejected this attribution. In fact, everybody assumed that Dze-may had indeed reported the words of his teacher and this is why the book was thought to be particularly damaging. What could the Dalai Lama say against his own teacher? The Role of Shuk-den If we can recognize the Dalai Lama’s reasons for reacting to the diffusion of the Yellow Book, we have yet to understand the place of the practice of Shuk-den in this affair. Why focus so exclusively on the propitiation of Shuk-den? We need to consider briefly the role of mundane protectors in Tibetan culture. Mundane protectors (‘jig rtenpa’i lha) are guardians in a universe alive with forces which can quickly become threatening, and are considered by Tibetans to be particularly effective because they are mundane, i.e., unenlightened. [60] They share human emotions such as anger or jealousy, which makes them more effective than the more remote supra-mundane deities (‘jig rten las ‘das pa’i lha), but also more prone to take offense at the actions of humans or other protectors.  Shuk-den, for example, is presented as being hostile to those Ge-luk-bas who do not stick to the pure tradition of Dzong-ka-ba and seek the teachings of other traditions. Shuk-den is also said to undermine Ne-chung, who is said to resent Shuk-den’s role and actions. Ne-chung is often depicted as acting out of resentment against and jealousy toward Shuk-den, prodding the Dalai Lama to act against Shuk-den, to abandon the propitiation of this deity, to ban his practice, etc. The Dalai Lama himself has described on numerous occasions the strength of his relation to Ne-chung and the role of this deity in his decisions concerning Shuk-den. [61] Although the decision to limit the role of Shuk-den in 1970s cannot be solely attributed to Ne-chung, this deity has played an important role in the Dalai Lama’s decisions. We may wonder about the meaning of these conflicts between deities, their resentment against each other. What does it mean to say that Ne-chung resents Shuk-den, that he asked the Dalai Lama to ban him? For traditional Tibetans, such a statement is perfectly clear and does not require any further explanation, since it refers to entities whose reality is as certain as that of the solar system is for scientifically educated people. The propitiation of these entities is an integral part of their culture, and the conflict between worldly protectors or gods is a normal occurrence in a universe which is filled by entities who can harm humans. I remember at one point becoming quite close to a young lama and his servant. I used to eat with them, until one day I was told that my visits were not welcome any more. They had had bad dreams, one of the privileged channels through which protectors communicate with humans. [62] According to these dreams, their protector was unhappy at my visits. My god apparently did not agree with theirs! For modern educated people such an explanation is hardly satisfying. In the case of personal relations, incompatibilities can be easily explained as temperamental. But what does it mean for Shuk-den and Ne-chung not to get along? To understand this aspect of Tibetan culture, we need to realize that protectors are not just individual guardians but also protect collective entities. Monasteries, households of lamas, regional houses in large monasteries, and clans or families have their own protectors. This collective dimension of protectors is most relevant to the present conflict between Shuk-den and Ne-chung, which is quite obviously a reflection of the conflict between two groups, the conservative Ge-luk-bas, who resent the Dalai Lama’s reliance on the Nying-ma tradition, and the g‚groups who accept or support the Dalai Lama’s eclectic approach. The relation between groups and worldly protectors becomes clear if one remembers that the deities who are protectors are defined as such because they protect the person or the group, often by violent means, from enemies. These enemies are described as the “enemies of Buddhism” (bstan dgra); they are the “other” in opposition to which the person and the group define their identity. The connection between group and protector is very close. There is, however, an important distinction to be made here. In the case of supra-mundane protectors, enemies of Buddhism threaten Buddhism as well as their own spiritual welfare. [63] The violence that protectors unleash against them is said to be strictly motivated by compassion and aims at benefiting the beings who are its target, much like the actions of bodhisattvas described in the Mahayana literature. [64] This violence is impartial and cannot be used for one’s personal advantage. However, the violence of mundane deities is quite different, for it involves quasi human emotions. Since these deities experience these emotions, they are thought to be partial and can be enrolled in actions performed on behalf of the person or the group who propitiates them. The term “enemies of Buddhism” is used and the practitioner or the group will ask the protector to get rid of these beings. But in this case the term “enemies of Buddhism” refers less to the objects of compassionate and impartial violence than to the being perceived by the person or the group as threatening. An “enemy of Buddhism” may belong to a rival Buddhist group, or may be a member of one’s own tradition, such as Ge-luk practitioners who are interested in other schools such as the Nying-ma. [65] We now begin to understand the close connection between group identity and mundane protectors, and the reason why the propitiation of some protectors can be quite troubling. Moreover, the close connection between group and protector is not just symbolic, it is also inscribed in the nature of the practices relating to protectors which is based on the notion of loyalty. The relation between a person or group and the protector is described as being based on the maintenance of “pure bond” or “pure commitment” (dam tshig tshang ma). This notion of pure bond is particularly important in Tibetan Buddhism, where there is a strong emphasis on preserving the commitment between students and their teachers, especially in the context of tantric practice. But this sense of loyalty goes well beyond the domain of tantric practice. It plays a vital role in the social life of Tibetans, who put a great emphasis on personal friendship and group loyalty. It also informs a part of Tibetan political life, as we noticed earlier. It is this same sense of loyalty that lies at the basis of the relations between protectors and their followers. This is particularly true regarding the practice of Dor-je Shuk-den, a practice based on the taking of a solemn oath similar to that of friends swearing life-long loyalty to each other. The propitiation of Shuk-den requires a ceremony called “life entrusting” (srog gtad), during which the followers and the deity are introduced to each other by the guru who confers the empowerment.[66] The follower swears his or her fidelity to Dor-je Shuk-den who in exchange promises to serve him or her. It is clear that this practice fosters a very strong loyalty to the deity and by extension to the group that the deity represents. In Shuk-den’s case, devotion has been strengthened further by the central role of the charismatic teachers Pa-bong-ka and Tri-jang, who have transformed this formerly minor practice into one of the main elements of the Ge-luk tradition. Because of the central place of keeping commitments to one’s guru among Tibetans, and because of the considerable personal qualities of these teachers, they have succeeded in inspiring an extreme devotion in their followers, who seem to value their commitment to these figures more than anything else. In fact, from the point of view of many of Shuk-den’s followers, the devotion to teachers such as Pa-bong-ka or Tri-jang is the basis for the practice of Shuk-den. They propitiate this deity first and foremost because it is the protector recommended by their guru. This situation has contributed significantly to the polarization that surrounds the issue and has further enhanced the troubling potential of the Shuk-den practice. For when the Dalai Lama opposes Shuk-den, the followers of this deity feel his opposition is directed against the founding fathers of their own tradition, and hence an attack against their own group. They also feel misrepresented when they are accused of being sectarian, for in their perspective the sectarian element pales in significance when compared to their commitment to their guru and his tradition. Nevertheless, groups may feel that they fit the description “enemies of Buddhism” as defined by the Shuk-den rituals, even if the threat they imply is not implemented or is considered secondary by their practitioners. Thus the claim that the practice of Shuk-den disrupts the functioning of the Dalai Lama institution becomes-special-character: footnote [67] But, as we saw earlier, a number of Nying-ma rituals are precisely the basis of the Dalai Lama institution as understood by the Fifth and the Fourteenth Dalai Lamas. Does it not follow that the present Dalai Lama is the “enemy of Buddhism” as implied by the practice of Shuk-den? Most of Pa-bong-ka’s followers would answer this question in the negative. They would argue that their practice is primarily not directed at anybody but stems from their religious commitments. Nevertheless, the fact that this shocking statement seems to follow logically from the way the practice of Shuk-den has been defined by its main proponents explains the challenge that such a practice raises for the leadership of the Dalai Lama. It also throws some light on the claim that Ne-chung resents Shuk-den’s success. Since Ne-chung is taken as the preeminent protector of the Dalai Lama, he must indeed be disturbed by a cult that takes the very people he is meant to protect as its target. Finally, we understand the divisiveness of the practice of mundane protectors such as Shuk-den and the danger of violence that it contains. For, after all, what can one do with the enemies of Buddhism but fight them? We are also able to answer one of the questions raised at the beginning of this essay: is the practice of Shuk-den different from the practices associated with other protectors? It is clear that there are other worldly protectors within the world of Tibetan Buddhism. It also clear that Shuk-den as a deity does not appear to be very different from other worldly protectors who are all perceived to inspire awe and fear and hence have the potential for being put to troubling uses, though the particular cultural scenario associated with Shuk-den, i.e., being a spirit of a dead religious person (rgyal po), may mark him as a particularly fierce deity. A similar cultural scenario, however, is alleged in the case of Ne-chung, a deity sometimes presented as the spirit of a monk who broke his vows.[68] Thus, the root of the problem raised by the Shuk-den affair is not the particular nature of the deity. So why is the practice of Shuk-den so problematic? The answer is to be found in the sectarian ways in which this practice has been defined by its founders. Shuk-den was re-invented during this century not just to satisfy the worldly purposes of individuals or particular institutions, but also and mostly to affirm and defend the identity of a revival movement opposed to other religious groups, particularly within the Ge-luk tradition. Shuk-den is the protector in charge not just of protecting individual practitioners but the integrity of the Ge-luk tradition as conceived by its most conservative elements. It is this aggressively sectarian use of this deity that has been particularly problematic. The practices associated with the other protectors are different in that they are used by monasteries, lama’s estates, families, or individuals for this-worldly purposes as piecemeal elements of a traditional network of religious practices, not to affirm a systematically sectarian outlook. As such they do not map into any large-scale socio-political distinction and their potential for abuse remains limited. This sectarian stance is the central message of the founding myth of the Shuk-den tradition, the wrathful transformation of Trul-ku Drak-ba Gyel-tsen into Shuk-den and his hostility to the Fifth Dalai Lama. This hostility reflects the attitude of a part of the Ge-luk tradition which advocates a strictly Ge-luk practice and opposes the importation of Nying-ma teachings into their tradition. This opposition between two visions of the Ge-luk tradition focuses on the figure of the Dalai Lama because of the way in which the Fifth and the Fourteenth Dalai Lamas have considered the institution they represent, i.e., as resting on an eclectic religious basis in which elements associated with the Nying-ma tradition combine with an overall Ge-luk orientation. Shuk-den, then, is less the spirit of the Ge-luk political resentment against a strong Dalai Lama, than it is the spirit of a religious resentment against a perceived threat to the integrity of the Ge-luk tradition. The target of Shuk-den is not the Dalai Lama (per se) but the accommodation toward other schools, particularly the Nying-ma, shown by the Fifth and the Fourteenth Dalai Lamas, an attitude perceived by Shuk-den’s followers as a defilement of Dzong-ka’ba’s tradition. When this sectarian orientation is combined with some of the particularities of the Shuk-den tradition such as the central role of charismatic figures such as Pa-bong-ka and Tri-jang, the extreme devotion they have inspired in their followers, as well as the intensity of the loyalty developed by the Shuk-den cult based on the life entrusting ceremony mentioned above, the troubling events that have revolved around the practice of Dor-je Shuk-den become less surprising. The strong opposition of the present Dalai Lama also becomes more understandable. For a sectarian opposition to the Dalai Lama institution cannot help but have strong political implications in contemporary Tibetan society where this institution plays such a large role. The practice of propitiating Shuk-den threatens this institution and undermines its ability to function as a rallying point for Tibetans. Is it then surprising if he opposes it so vigorously? Appendix (Part II) [44] Tri-jang, (Music. ) [45] See above for the bibliographical reference. [46] Tri-jang, (Music. ) [47] Or thirty according to the Tibetan way of counting years. Dze-may, (The Yellow Book,) 4. [48] M. Goldstein, (A History of Modern Tibet, 1913-1951 )(Berkeley: University of California, 1989), 310-363. [49] When compared to Pa-bong-ka’s explicit stance, Tri-jang’s stance toward other schools seems more moderate. In fact, it is clear that for him the devotional element is much more important than the sectarian element in the practice of Shuk-den. This is why some of his disciples seem to be genuinely surprised when they are accused of being sectarian. Nevertheless, Tri-jang does point to the connection between the Fifth Pen-chen Lama’s tragic fate, his Non-sectarian (ris su ma chad pa) orientation, and Shuk-den’s action.(Music,) 134. [50] The best example of Ge-luk sectarianism is perhaps Sum-pa ken-po ye-shay-bel-jor’s attack on the Nying-ma tradition. There has been, however, another tradition of Ge-luk thinkers who have defended and exemplified a more enlightened and tolerant view. Tu-gen rejected the conclusions of his teacher Sum-pa Ken-po and defended the authenticity of the Nying-ma tradition. See M. Kapstein, “The Purificatory Gem and its Cleansing”, (History of Religions )28 (1989) 3, 217-244. Another example is Jang-gya. More enlightened Ge-luk thinkers such as Tu-gen or Jang-gya should not be thought of as eclectic.They were not arguing for a more inclusive religious practice, as did the Fifth Dalai Lama, but for a more tolerant outlook within a purely Ge-luk practice. [51] His collected speeches from 1978 to 1996 on the subject have been published in (Gong sa skyabs mgon chen po mchog nas chos skyong bsten phyogs skor btsal ba’i bka’ slob) (Dharamsala: Religious Affairs, 1996).(henceforth DL) [52] DL, 24.This fact is recognized even by Shuk-den’s followers. Pa-bong-ka describes how Pe-har, the main protector appointed by Padmasambhava, is supposed to have incited Shuk-den into protecting the Ge-luk tradition.Pehar is depicted as saying: I have been assigned by Guru Rin-bo-che to protect the Nying-ma tradition and hence cannot protect Dzong-ka-ba’s tradition, the only truly faultless tradition. You should do it. (Supplement,) 519. [53] Heller, “Historic and Iconographic Aspects of the Protective Deities,” 483. [54] Nebesky-Wojkowitz, (Oracles ,) 107.The five king-bodies represent the five aspects of the group of deity: body, speech, mind, quality and action.Ne-chung is identified with Dor-je Drak-den, who represents the speech aspect, whereas Pe-har represents the action aspect. [55] gDong-thog mentions the discontinuation of the practice of ‘Jam dpal gshin rje tshe bdag.(Gong sa skyabs mgon rgyal ba’i dbang po mchog gi lha srung bsten phyogs bka’ slob la rgol ba’i rtsod zlog bden gtam sa gzhi ‘dar ba’i ‘brug sgra) (Seattle: SaPen Institute, 1996), 23. [56] Oral interview given during the second visit of the Dalai Lama in France (1987). [57] DL., 17-20. In his account of the genesis of the Shuk-den affair, the Dalai Lama described his complex relation with Ne-chung concerning Shuk-den. He first tried to prevent Ne-chung from expressing through his oracle resentment against the success of Shuk-den, labeling this protector “the teacher of novelty seekers” (a sras mkhan po), and complaining that the practice of Shuk-den weakens him (DL, 20).The Dalai Lama ordered Ne-chung to keep silent on this topic, realizing the conflict that would be unleashed if he gave in to Ne-chung’s requests. [58] This was also the time when the Dalai Lama was trying to prevent Ne-chung from expressing his resentment against Shuk-den. The Dalai Lama felt that the publication of the Yellow Book made this self-imposed restraint impossible. His efforts at moderation were not recognized and imitated.Henceforth, he felt that he could not stop Ne-chung from complaining and demanding that Shuk-den stop his activities.See DL, 20. [59] A factor in the developments analyzed here has been the political situation in Tibet.The Dalai Lama and the exile community have felt a strong urgency to do something about the situation in Tibet and that has probably exacerbated the “affair.” It is not without reason that the most acute crises in the “Shuk-den Affair” have occurred in moments (1975, 1996) where, for different reasons, the situation of Tibet seemed most difficult R. Schwartz mentions the role that millenarian elements such as oracles and protectors have played in contemporary Tibetan political actions during the most difficult times when rational modes of action seem impossible and hopeless. See (Circle of Protest)(New York: Columbia University Press, 1994), 226-231. [60] Technically, mundane protectors are defined as deities who have not attained the noble path (‘phags lam, aryamarga) in their spiritual development. [61] DL., 17-9. [62] The other channel is the possession of a person, who is often appointed to this office. Such a person functions as the basis (sku rten) for the deity, who speaks oracularly through his or her mouth. [63] I am explaining the Tibetan understanding of supra-mundane deities, who are mostly Indian in their origin. Whether these gods were understood in India in the same way is a different question. [64] The classical example in the Mahayana sutras is found in the story of the bodhisattva killing the person who was about to murder five hundred people on his ship. See G. Chang, (A Treasury of Mahayana Sutras) (Delhi: Motilal, 1991), 452-465. [65] Pa-bong-ka, (Supplement ,) 526. [66] This ceremony, which does not seem to have any source in the Indian tradition, is not unique to Dor-je Shuk-den. It seems to exist for some other wordly gods as well where it is called “life empowerment” (srog dbang). It does not appear that these ceremonies are practiced in the case of protectors such as Ne-chung, but I have not been able to obtain clear information on this point. [67] Pa-bong-ka, (Supplement ,) 526-527.See above. [68] Lob-zang Cho-phel, (gzhung lan drang srong rgan po’i ‘bel gtam) (Delhi: Dorje Shugden Sciety, 1997), 120.

by Robert Thurman Ever since 1997, when, according to detailed Indian police investigations, pseudo- monks who infiltrated to Dharamsala from China murdered the Venerable Lobsang Gyatso, a noted lama close to the Dalai Lama, and his two young disciples, the cult of the Dolgyal-Shugden spirit has been on the attack. The well-evidenced culprits were not tried as they escaped back into Tibet and China, but the cult continued its campaign at the behest of, and with substantial funding from, the United Front department of the People’s Republic of China, the agency handling relations with non-Chinese “minority nationalities.” The futile effort of the cult backed by the agency seeks to alienate Tibetans from the Dalai Lama, their beloved leader and even to turn world public opinion against the acclaimed Nobel Laureate and Gandhi heir. The final aim is to disrupt the Dalai Lama’s fifty-year-long nonviolent “truth and justice” campaign, to free the six million Tibetan people to be themselves in the special autonomous minority region offered them by the Chinese constitution, so far only on paper. The cult and agency attack campaign is futile since its main claims are so easy to refute: 1) The worship of their chosen deity was not “banned” by the Dalai Lama, since he has no authority to “ban” what Tibetan Buddhists practice. “Banning” and “excommunicating” are not Tibetan Buddhist procedures. Although they are Buddhists who should focus on emulating the Buddha, members of the cult are free to worship their chosen “protector deity,” whom they call Dorje Shugden, as much as they like. The young Dalai Lama himself did propitiate it as a minor worldly spirit or angel, until he studied the history of its cult and decided it was not a protector at all, but instead a mischievous “king” spirit known as Dolgyal (“king demon from Dol”). Once his historical studies brought him to that conclusion, he recommended that other lamas in his school cease their relationship, or at least keep it to themselves, since its liturgy contains condemnation of the minority sects of Tibetan Buddhism and of non-Buddhist religions. In the late 80s’, when certain individual lamas began to proselytize its cult, inducting even Western practitioners new to Buddhism, especially in England, he took the step of asking such persons to refrain from attending his initiations and associated advanced teachings, on the grounds that they were not following his advice and so should not take him as their teacher. They then went on the attack, claiming they had been “banned” and “excommunicated,” etc., when in fact the Dalai Lama was exercising his religious freedom by not accepting students who reject his advice, and actually go so far as to condemn him! 2) The cult of Dolgyal Shugden is that of a minor angel or demon, and never has been mainstream, To claim that “four million” people belong to it, or even “millions,” is untrue. 3) The members of the cult do not come from numerous Tibetan sects, but exclusively from the super-orthodox fundamentalists of the majority Gelukpa sect or order. 4) The Dalai Lama has never asked anyone to persecute anyone, and members of the cult who mind their own business and do not attack the Dalai Lama are not bothered by other Tibetans. Those who do attack the Dalai Lama with outrageous name-calling–”dictator,” “false lama,” even “demon,” and “liar,” etc., naturally do provoke the vast majority of Tibetans, who adore their Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama himself has never approved of either the provocations or any harsh responses, and remains steadfast in his adherence to nonviolence in principle and practice. 5) The whole fuss would have died down long ago except for the fact that the “hard-line” operatives of the “United Front Work Department” of the People’s Republic of China, the agency in charge of dealing with China’s “minority nationalities,” sees the cult as a potential wedge they hope to drive between the Dalai Lama and his people and between him and world opinion. They therefore fund the leaders of the cult in Tibet, Mongolia, India and the West, and provide them the means to carry on their expensive propaganda campaigns. Evidence for this is very plain on the surface. For example, the so-called “Panchen Lama” reincarnation, whom the Communist party chiefs appointed after abducting and disappearing the five year old boy properly chosen in the traditional way by a committee of his monastery with approval of the Dalai Lama, is shown on the internet in various photographs sitting in front of a large icon of Dolgyal Shugden, as a sign of aggressive defiance of the Dalai Lama. The obvious fact is that the clearly stated purpose of the cult and the United Front agency of the PRC is to try to prove to the world that the Dalai Lama is not as nice as we all think, but is a bad, even “evil,” person. Whatever one believes about the reality of fierce angels or demons, it is clear that the leaders of the Dolgyal Shugden cult have done nothing over the last 30 years but cause trouble, both to their own followers and to the unity of the Tibetan people, both in exile and in Tibet. It has benefited no one except those misguided operatives in the Chinese government who wish to destroy Tibetan Buddhist culture, in order to assimilate systematically deracinated Tibetans into becoming second class Chinese citizens, and thus, through such a policy of crushing the identities and even lives of the “minority nationality” Tibetans, to secure forever their claim to the vast territories and resources of the Tibetan plateau. But as we have seen all over the world–and as aware persons can attest here in America with our still very much present First Americans–history never does end, people do not give up their distinctive identities, and truth and justice inevitably arise from the ashes of even genocidal flames. Those who would like to read a thorough study of the Dolgyal Shugden cult by a distinguished professional journalist, can download a kindle copy of R. Bultrini, The Dalai Lama and the King Demon, published by Tibet House US. Originally published on the Huffington Post on March 5, 2014

Folio 157 (front and back) of the autobiography of the Fifth Dalai Lama (1617-1682) called Dukulai Gosang, Volume Kha, Lhasa Publication: It is well known that at Dhol Chumig Karmo[1] a very powerful perfidious interfering spirit (dam sri)[2,] born due to distorted prayers, has been harming the teaching of the Buddha and sentient beings in general and in particular. The harmful activity has intensified since the firebird year (1657) and (the spirit) has been successful in many of his missions. However, hardly anyone has taken any action, as if this did not concern him or her. So, at the end of the earth-bird year (1669) a new house was constructed at Dhol Chumig Karmo and articles were placed there in the hope that it would become a place for the Gyalpo to settle. However, his harmful activities only intensified and recently many lay and ordained people have been afflicted with diseases and a few monks have died. Therefore, all the monks unanimously decided that a fire ritual should be performed. Consequently, two groups of practitioners were organised. One was led by Nagrampa Dhondup Gyatso, who acted as the Vajra Acharya of (a performance of) the Dorje Drolo ritual and the other was led by Nangjung Ngagchang Losang Khyentse, who acted as the Vajra Acharya of (a performance of the) Yangsang Karma Dragpo ritual. Likewise Rigzin Pema Thinley of Dorje Drag, Dharma King Terdag Lingpa, Vugja Lungpa, Drigung Tulku Rinpoche, Katshal Zurpa Ngari Konchok Lhundup and Palri Tulku performed the Wrathful Lama, Yama, Phurba, Loktri practice for seven days, at the conclusion of which a fire-ritual was performed during which the ‘perfidious interfering spirit’ and his entourage were burnt. Everybody was convinced (of its success because of) the appearance of wonderful signs and the smell of burning flesh that everybody witnessed. Thus, many sentient beings were explicitly granted the gift of fearlessness because their lives were saved. Moreover, indirectly these creatures (‘byung po)[3] were delivered to the peaceful state of being released from having to experience the intolerable suffering of bad states of rebirth due to their increasing negative actions. At that time a testimony[4] was written to indicate that these creatures or evil spirits were without protection and refuge and (consequently) the Dardhingpas of Dorje Drag Monastery compiled mantras. As a religious practice for the deceased, Sera and Drepung Monasteries performed the Prayer of the White Umbrella Deity 44,000 times and recited the Heart Sutra 118,000 times during eleven sessions during which tea was offered in each monastery. At sixty-seven other well-disciplined monasteries in the neighbourhood, monks were requested to perform the White Umbrella Prayer as many as possible for the deceased. At Yerpa the Gyuto monks performed the prayer of appeasement of Gonpo (Mahakala) and Choegyal (Dharmaraja) 693 times, Tenma Shasana 1,121,800 times, (Sixty Section Ritual Cake Offering to Overcome Evil) Drugchu pai Tordog. At Choekhor Gyal they performed rituals to (Palden Lhamo) Magzorma, to Mahakala the Lord of the Tent (Gur and zhal), and to Begtse and at Gatshal they performed the prayer of appeasing the Dharma protectors in general 10000 times and the prayers of the Six Armed (Mahakala), Leshin and Vaishravana (rNam sre) 1000 times. At 11 district capitals they performed the Prayer for Invoking the Spirit of the Deity to Vanquish the Enemy (dgra-lha-dpangs-bstod) and other practices to appease local deities and spirits. Notes: Dhol Chumig Karmo is Shugden’s place of origin, where a shrine was constructed to him. He is also referred as Dholgyal because he is a Gyalpo from Dhol Chumig Karmo. Gyalpo refers to a class of evil spirit. Since Shugden belong to this group, he is also called Gyalchen, the great Gyalpo. Dam sri, a transgressive interfering spirit, is the spirit of one who has deliberately breached his oath or commitment to his lama out of resentment and dissension. ‘Byung po means creature or evil spirit. Zur dpang refers to a testimony or the deposition of a witness. Translation of the testimony that the Fifth Dalai Lama (1617-1682) mentions in his autobiography. The original Tibetan can be found on page 148 front and back (English pages 423 and 424) of the volume Da of his Collected Works published in Gangtok, Sikkim. “Because of the manipulations of Lag Agyal (the mother) of Gekhasa, the false reincarnation of Tulku Sonam Geleg Palsang (Tulku Dakpa Gyaltsen) got his way (and was installed as the successful candidate). However, because of distorted prayers he became a perfidious spirit (dam sri) and brought serious harm to sentient beings. Therefore, a total of seven groups of practitioners led by (Pema Trinley) Rinpoche of Dorje Drag, Choegyal Terdag Lingpa, Choeje Vugja Lungpa, Ngari Ngagchang Konchok Lhundup, Palri Tulku and two groups of practitioners of Phende Legshe Ling (Namgyal Dratsang) performed a ritual fire offering and burnt the interfering spirit. This is the declaration I have written at that time. To the deities, Legden, Chagdrug, Leshin and Magzor. To the oath bound protectors Gongzhi, Gonpo, Chamsre and Begtse, etc. Who have been propitiated and whose practice (has been done) I offer this sublime libation. The so-called Dragpa Gyaltsen pretends to be a sublime being, Even though he is not, And since this interfering spirit and creature of distorted prayers Do not support, protect or give him shelter, but grind him to dust. To the female protectors like Nodjin Yangghaza, etc. and Gyalpo Ku-nga, Khyabjug, Dorje Leg and particularly Nechung and his entourage I offer this sublime libation. The so-called Dragpa Gyaltsen pretends to be a sublime being, Even though he is not, And since this interfering spirit and creature of distorted prayers Is harming everything – both the dharma and sentient beings – Do not support, protect or give him shelter, but grind him to dust. To the seven Barwa brothers like Tse-marpa etc. And likewise Setrab of Sangphu etc. – the wrathful gods and spirits Among whom this negative spirit seeks support – I offer this sublime libation. The so-called Dragpa Gyaltsen pretends to be a sublime being, Even though he is not, And since this interfering spirit and creature of distorted prayers Is harming everything – both the dharma and sentient beings – Do not support, protect or give him shelter, but grind him to dust. Having agreed before the root and lineage lama Vajra Dharas To increase what is good and beneficial to sentient beings and the dharma, If you protect this perfidious spirit, Will you not cause your own past pledges to degenerate? There are groups of interfering spirits who display inopportune miracles In the form of human sickness, cattle disease, hailstorms, famine and drought. May their power and ability Their body, speech and mind be smashed into tiny particles.

From page 67 of the biography of Trichen Ngawang Chokdhen (1677-1751) composed by Changkya Rolpai Dorje (1717-1786): Previously, a very vicious and evil spirit (it is not specifically stated that the spirit is Dholgyal, but it is clear from Changkya’s biography that the spirit referred to is Dholgyal. It also refers to the time when Trichen Ngawang Chokdhen was the Ganden Throne-holder,) possessed a man at Draksep.  Some unstable lamas, former abbots, and monastic hostels (khangtsens) did practice in relation to it simply by invoking and propitiating it.  A cairn for invoking spirits had also been erected on top of the Jangtse mountain.  Considering how inappropriate was this turn of events he issued an edict to the assembly of monks that as there had been no tradition of propitiating worldly spirits and protectors within the premises of this seat of learning since the time of Je Tsongkhapa, henceforth, nobody would be allowed to engage in such activities.  The cairn was demolished (this is very clearly stated in the biography of Changkya) and the stones and earth were returned to the places from which they had been taken.  The spirit was invoked through a medium in trance and was then ordered not to come through such trances henceforth.  Dolgyal replied, “If this is the order of Tri Rinpoche, I have no choice but to leave.”  Then, the ghostly spirit fled to Taktse Shol.  Je (Trichen Ngawang Chokdhen) himself went into retreat.  He made it a rule that the prayer to Dharmaraja composed by the Omniscient Gendun Gyatso (the second Dalai Lama), should be said in the Main Hall of Ganden.  Due to Dharmaraja’s wrath, the Lamas and former abbots who had been propitiating the spirit were killed and the monastic hostels also suffered many misfortunes.  Consequently, such misdeeds entirely ceased and the action that had been taken became an excellent cause for maintaining the purity of the monastery.

In the Catalogue of the Three Monastic Seats composed by Phurchok Ngawang Jampa (1682-1762): Thus, at the time when Je (Tsongkhapa) himself was alive, apart from those dharma protectors who are bound by oath and are mentioned in the tantras themselves, no objects for propitiating or seeking the slightest help of harmful negative worldly spirits who are ghosts, was ever installed within the premises of this monastic seat.  As a result, all the members of the community, both Lamas and disciples lived in harmony and the tradition of study and practice flourished.  Even (the cairn) to the spirit of Tsongkhapa’s birthplace was placed outside the monastery.  However, nowadays, many people who consider themselves to be followers of Tsongkhapa, and who adopt the three robes of a fully ordained Buddhist monk, go for refuge in ghostly spirits.  They will have to face the consequence of meeting with great misfortune.

From The Lotus Ornamenting the Teachings of the Buddha.  Biography of Yongzin Yeshi Gyaltsen (1713 – 1793); the tutor of H.H Jampel Gyatso, the eighth Dalai Lama.  Composed by the Eighth Dalai Lama. Further, with regard to the education of the young Panchen Rinpoche (name and year), all his attendants should take full care.  It would be a great shame otherwise, saying that he is a Buddha and needs no effort as required by an ordinary (child).  Even if he is a Buddha, as long as he assumes an ordinary aspect, he should be given the education the way it is given to an ordinary person.  It would be an incomplete legacy pertaining to service of the Dharma and sentient beings; the ones left by unlearned scholars and untrained yogis.  Therefore, everyone should take utmost care about the study of the venerable (Panchen Rinpoche). Another point to be considered is that the new Dharma protector (Dolgyal) is the source of ruin of Tashi Lhunpo (monastery).  The very Dharma protector, which Panchen Losang Choegyan is connected with, will suffice.  Other than that, if (the monastery) starts introducing the propitiation of some harmful spirit, it will be a great source of inauspiciousness (to the monastery).  Everyone should be extremely cautious about it.

On page 446 of volume Ka, Zhol edition, of the Collected Works of the great Gelugpa scholar, Thukan Lobsang Choekyi Nyima (1737–1802) , which was reprinted in 1969 in New Delhi, the following account is found of (a conversation between) Changkya Rolpai Dorje (1717–1786) and his student Thukan Lobsang Choekyi Nyima: Reaching the site of the cairn to Machen, he explains in detail to Thukan Lobsang Choekyi Nyima as follows: “Je Lama (Tsongkhapa) and his students do not propitiate worldly gods and protectors and hence even the cairn of Machen, the god of his birthplace, is not included within the parameter of the circumambulatory (path at Ganden). (However,) in the past some Ganden Throne Holders propitiated Dolgyal (Shugden) and experienced misfortunes, consequently Tri Chen Dorje Chang dismantled Dolgyal’s image and shrine and banished it from the monastery.”

On pages 471-2 front and back of the Tibetan text of the biography of Phabongkhapa Dechen Nyingpo (1878-1941) composed by his student Denma Losang Dorje and published by the Nyimo Publisher Palden, the following account is found: “(Here is) an appeal from me, Phabongkhapa, holding the name of an incarnate, in accordance with an instruction that I have received from you through Tse Khendron Chenmo. (I am glad that) you have received my application of 22nd of the 12th month last year, and I am grateful that you have kindly clarified each and every point therein. It was entirely my mistake and I have absolutely nothing to say (to defend it). It will be my endeavour in the future to take the meaning of your instructions earnestly to heart and I ask your forgiveness for whatever mistakes I have made in my appeal.” Phabongkhapa quotes the Dalai Lama’s letter: “With regard to the three points mentioned here, there is still much ground for debate, both in logical and scriptural terms, but this is enough for the time being. With regard to your reference to making endeavour in the practice of taking refuge, first of all you are propitiating Shugden (Dolgyal) as a protector. Since they received Lamrim teachings from you at the Drepung Monastic Religious Centre last year and so made a connection with you, propitiation of Shugden among students there has greatly increased. The Great Nechung Choegyal who from the very beginning was commanded and entrusted to protect and guard this monastery, expressed his displeasure to the Drepung Lachi several times, saying that (due to propitiating Dolgyal) the degeneration of the Buddha dharma had been speeded up. This is the source of his displeasure. I feel that your seeking the support of a wrathful worldly spirit (to secure benefits in) this life specifically contradicts the precepts of taking refuge. Therefore, your statement, ‘I want to say from the depths of my heart that it is only due to my being confused by ignorance and not that I have knowingly entered an unwholesome path and led others onto the same path.’ is contradictory.” Phabongkhapa answers: “You have therefore instructed me to give you an answer. I have propitiated Shugden until now because my old mother told me that Shugden is the deity of my maternal lineage. I wish to inform you that henceforth, with intense regret (for what is past) and (with the intention of) restraining my faults (in the future), I will never again propitiate (Shugden) or make daily offerings and supporting prayers and that I will wholeheartedly keep this commitment in the core of my heart. Whatever mistakes I have committed until now, such as having become a cause for the mental displeasure of the Great Nechung Choegyal, contradicting the precepts of taking refuge and so forth, I request you, the supreme protector, who is especially compassionate to the lowly, to regard me with love and great compassion and patiently to forgive me. With great respect I here offer one silk scarf as a medium of request and five silver coins (to contribute to the) mandala offering.

The following account is found on pages 394 and 395 of the Biography of Jigme Dhamchoe Gyatsho (1898–1947) by the Dhomey scholar Tsetan Zhabdrung (1910–1985), first published in June 1987. “Some of the followers of Ven. Phabongkha Dechen Nyingpo Rinpoche engaged in heated argument over the systems of philosophical tenets of the new and the ancient traditions. They engaged in many mistaken activities such as destroying images of Padmasambhava and other peaceful and wrathful deities. They said that reciting the mantra of the Vajra Guru is of no value and would destroy the Padma Kathang (by burning it or throwing it into rivers.) Similarly, they asserted that turning Mani prayer wheels, observing weekly prayers for the deceased, and so forth are of no purpose and so placed many on the path of wrong view. They held Gyalpo Shugden (Dolgyal) as the supreme refuge and the embodiment of all the Three Jewels. Many monks from minor monasteries in the southern area, claiming to be possessed by Shugden, ran madly in all directions destroying the three symbols of enlightenment (images, scriptures and stupas) and so forth. Displaying many such faults they greatly harmed the teachings of the second conqueror, Je Tsongkhapa. Therefore, if you were to compose an advisory letter for everyone’s benefit and were to publish it and distribute it throughout the three provinces of U, Tsang and Kham, it would greatly contribute to counteracting such disturbances to the teaching.

An extract from the ‘Sternstunde’ transcript (Swiss television) of an interview conducted with Mr. Prithvi Raj, SP Kangra on the triple murder at Dharamsala: Prithvi Raj (PR), Chief Police of Kangra District: gen_aWe have identified two of the murderers, and we have clear indications that the murderers are directly linked to the Shugden association and directly connecting these murderers with the case. But so far we have not been able to arrest them. One is called Tenzin Chozin, the other is called Lobsang Chodrak. Before the murder, the principal received threatening letters from the Shugden association. gen_bPR: First of all, on the location where the murders took place, we found a letter, written by the Shugden association and signed by Chime Tsering, who is the president (secretary) of Dorje Shugden Charitable Trust. This letter is the threatening letter to the monk Lobsang Gyatso, and it proofs the direct connection of murderers with Shugden. This is one of the links. Then these murderers were living in Majnu-ka-tilla in Delhi, another evidence that they maintained contact with the Shugden Centre. This made our label on the case file: linking these two murderers with Chime Tsering. Because on the day on which Lobsang Gyatso returned from Singapore, he spent the night in Delhi. On the next day, when he was coming to Dharamsala, he was followed by these murderers. At Ambala they somehow had a car breakdown. They then called to Delhi. They dialed the number of the president (secretary) of the Shugden association, at the number of Mr. Chime Tsering. They talked to him, and we have word traced that call. gen_cgen_dPR: On the basis of some evidence we have found in Kalsura, in the district of Mandi, some pictures, which show the president (secretary) of the Shugden association along with the murderers. This is another evidence that links the murderers with the Dorje Shugden association. We from the police are convinced that these murderers were engaged to assassinate the principal of the Dialectic School, Lobsang Gyatso. The principal was always opposing the Shugden worship and he was propagating the ideas and ideologies of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.   The Station House Officer (SHO), Bylakuppe, Mr. M.M. Mahadevaya’s statement regarding the assault on Mr. Phurbu Sithar; when he was the representative of the Tibetan government in exile at the Deckyi Larso settlement, Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India. According to our investigation, the assault which has taken place on Dekyi Larso representative Mr. Phurbu Sither and his wife reveals that these accused persons belong to (monks of) Pomra Khangtsen group. I know there are a lot of differences about worshipping of god Shugden Dorjee amongst Tibetans as well as lamas of this area, particularly this Shugden group, Pomra Khangtsen.  I can say they are responsible for attacking the Representative and his wife. pswife ps1ps2

Warrant One: Interpol-warrant Warrant Two: Interpol-warrant-2

As per reliable information received on 20 May 2014, below is a list of Tibetans linked to Dolgyal (Shugden) organisation who took part in protests against His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his visit to the US and Europe in 2014.

S. No Photo Information
01 Name: Kyungpo Lobsang Dorje.
President of the Dolgyal organisation’s so-called North American Gelug Buddhist Association (USA).  He took part in the protests in US in 2008, Australia in 2013 and US, Oslo and Holland in 2014.
02 Name: Lithang Napo Gyatso.
Former Sermey Pomra monk. He is one of the main leaders of the North American Gelug Buddhist Association (USA). He maintains strong links with the Chinese embassy in US and regularly visits Tibet and China. He is one of protesters in US in 2008 and 2014 respectively.
03 Name: Dapa Dechen Trulku alias Thubten Lungrig.
He is one of main leaders of the US-based Dolgyal organisation and moderator of Mangtroe Khada. He has close relations with the Chinese embassy in America. He visited China and Tibet in 2013. He took part in the protest against His Holiness the Dalai Lama during the latter’s visit to the US in 2014.
04 ཇཇཇཇཇཇཇཇཇཇ Name: Lithang Athar Tsering.
He is a disrobed monk of former Sermey Pomra. He earlier served advisor for the Dolgyal organisation in Nepal and its secretary in the US. He was the ringleader of the protest against His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the US in 2008. He maintains close relations with the Chinese embassy in US and frequently visit Tibet and China. He took part in protest against His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the US in 2014.
05 ཀཀཀཀ Name: Dabpa Lobsang Tenzin.
He is a disrobed monk of former Sermey Pomra. He took part in protest against His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the US 2008, Australia in 2013 and the US in 2014.
06 ལལལ Name: Tsering alias Tsering Bolo.
He is a monk of former Gashar Dokhang. He is currently living in Switzerland. He took part in protests against His Holiness the Dalai Lama in France in 2008 and Holland in 2014.
07 5555 Name: Jangchup Gyaltsen.
He took part in protest against His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Germany and France in 2008 and Holland in 2014.
08 ༤༤༤༤༤ Name: Palden.
He is the so-called head of Bylakuppe Serpom monastery. He took part in protest against His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Holland in 2014.
09 4r4 Name: Chatreng Lobsang Nyima.
He is living in France. He protest against His Holiness the Dalai Lama in France in 2008 and Holland in 2014.
10 ༧༧༧༧༧༧༧༧ Name: Sonam Gyaltsen.
He is among the protesters in US in 2008 and Oslo, Norway in 2014.
11 ༨༨༨༨༨༨༨༨༨༨ Name: Chatrengwa Yangdhar Trulku.
Ex monk of former Sermey Pomra. One of the protestors in US in 2014.
12 ༩༩༩༩༩༩༩༩ Name: Dzawa Trulku alias Lobsang Dorje Tenzin Yarphel Rinpoche alias Chatreng Trulku.
He is a member of Jangchub Choeling Dharma Centre in Canada. He is among the protesters in the US in 2008 and Oslo and Holland in 2014.
13 ༡༠ Name: Lobsang Phuntsok.
He is monk of former Gashar Dokhang and currently living in the US. He is among the protestors in the US in 2008 and Holland in 2014.
14 ༡༡༡ Name: Dapa Tashi Dhondup.
He is a disrobed monk of former Gashar Dhokhang. He is the president of the s0-called Gaden Tensung Tsogpa in France. He is among the protesters in Holland in 2014.
15 ༡༣༣༣ Name: Dapa Jampa Woeser.
He is a disrobed monk of former Gashar Dhokhang. He is among the protestors in Holland in 2014.
16 ༡༥༥༥༥ Name: Lobsang Soepa
He is one the protesters in US and England in 2008. He took part in a protest in US in 2014.
17 ༡༦༦༦ Name: Chatreng Jamyang.
He is manager of Mangtroe Khada. He is one of the protestors in US in 2008 and US and Oslo in 2014.
18 ༡༩༩༩ Name: Lobsang Tashi
He occasionally moderates programmes in Mangtroe Khada. He took in protests in US, Holland and Germany in 2014.
19 19 Name: Tseten Phuntsok.
He is a former student of TCV school, Suja, India. He is among the protestors in Holland in 2014.
20 ༡༥༥༥ Name: Chatreng Kalsang Dolma.
She is a resident of House No. 13, Camp No. 2 in Mundgod settlement.  She is one the protesters in Holland in 2014.

DHARAMSHALA: As per reliable information received, following is a list of Tibetans linked to Dolgyal (Shugden) organisation who took part in protests against His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his visit to the US and Europe in 2014. (Continued from the previous list)

S. No Photo Information
21 Lungrik Palden Name: Lungrik Palden.
Currently resides in the United States. He was one of the protesters in the US in 2008 and 2014.
22 Geshe Jampa Name: Geshe Jampa.
Former monk of original Dukhang Khangtsen in Gaden Shartse monastery. He was one of the protesters in the US in 2014.
23 3 Aopha Name: Aopha aka Gelek Chokdup.
He is from Dapa in Tibet. Former monk of original Pomra Khangtsen in Sera Mey monastery. Currently resides in Paris, France. He was among the protesters in Holland and Germany in 2014.
24 Kori 24 Name: Kori Gyatso aka Enji.
He is from Shotar Lhosum in Tibet. Currently residing in France. Former monk of Gungru Khangtsen in Sera Mey monastery. He was one of the protesters in Holland and Germany in 2014.
25 Lobsang Chojor 25 Name: Lobsang Choejor.
Native of Chatreng in Tibet. Former monk of original Pomra Khangtsen in Sera Mey Monastery. He was among the protesters in the US in 2014.
26 thupten 26 Name: Thupten.
Native of Dapa in Tibet. Currently residing in France. He was one of the protesters in Holland and Germany in 2014.
27 27 Lobsang temnphel; Name: Lobsang Tenphel.
Native of Dapa in Tibet and currently resides in France. He was one of the protesters in Holland and Germany in 2014.
28 28 Lungrik Name: Lungrik.
Native of Chatreng in Tibet. He was one of the protesters in Holland and Germany in 2014.
29 29 Lobsang Palden Name: Lobsang Palden.
Currently resides in France and one of the protesters in Holland and Germany in 2014.
30 30 Gonpo Name: Gonpo.
Former monk of Samten Choeling monastery in Ghoom, Darjeeling. Currently resides in France and one of the protesters in Holland in 2014
31 31Lobsang Gylatsen Name: Lobsang Gyaltsen.
He was one of the protesters in Holland and Germany in 2014.
32 32 Lobsang Tenzin Name: Lobsang Tenzin
He was one of the protesters in Holland and Germany in 2014.
33 33 Lobsang Gyalktsen Name: Lobsang Gyaltsen.
Former student of TCV Suja school. He was one of the protesters in Germany in 2014.
34 34 Lobsang Tenzin Name: Lobsang Tenzin.
Originally from Chatreng. Former monk of original Pomra Khangtsen in Sera Mey monastery. He was one of the protesters in Holland in 2014.

News release from the Tibetan Community in Britain, September 8, 2015 Since early 2014 a highly sectarian group calling itself the International Shugden Community (ISC) has been staging aggressive protests during His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visits to Europe, America, and Australia. ISC members have disseminated images depicting the exiled religious leader as a pig. They have described him as a “Muslim masquerading as a Buddhist” and compared him with Hitler. The protesters are likely to demonstrate during the upcoming visit of the Dalai Lama (http://www.dalailama2015.uk/) and to contact media.   The ISC is the latest in a series of front organisations set up by members set up by members of the Ulverston,Cumbria-based group known as the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT), under the guidance of Kelsang Gyatso.  There are around 1,200 of these groups worldwide, with nearly 50 centres in the UK. Their protests against Nobel Peace Laureate Dalai Lama demonstrate their alignment with the Chinese government’s political campaign to undermine the exiled religious leader. (See this report: http://goo.gl/IIxgIs) Prior to the Dalai Lama’s last visit to the UK in June, when he appeared at Glastonbury Festival, The Observer ran a report on the ‘toxic campaign against the Dalai Lama’ by the protesters (http://goo.gl/jGSoxC). Demonstrating its usual tactics, the NKT/ISC produced videos attacking the newspaper and organised a noisy demonstration outside its London offices, alongside a lobbying campaign to pressure the paper to withdraw the story. The Observer did not retract nor apologise, and explained why here: http://goo.gl/Wf9Ge8 British Buddhists and the Tibetan Community in the UK have expressed concern over the misleading and unethical behaviour of the protesters. Their statements are included below.   Statement of UK Buddhist Organisation:  http://goo.gl/A1pJ5J Statement of Tibetan Community in Britain: http://goo.gl/VwOShS

12th Religious Conference of the Four Schools of Tibetan Buddhism and Bon Tradition Condemn Dolgyal Followers for Campaign against His Holiness the Dalai Lama The 12th Religious Conference of the Four Schools of Tibetan Buddhism and Bon Tradition strongly condemn the false allegations and the continued hate campaign carried out by the Dolgyal cult group against His Holiness the Dalai Lama. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a global icon, known for his immense contribution towards world peace and particularly for his service in the promotion of Tibetan Buddhism and culture. We are deeply grateful and appreciate His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s concern for the Tibetan people and Buddhists worldwide, and for truthfully explaining the harmful effects of propitiating Dolgyal. Therefore, we, the participants of the 12th Religious Conference of the Four Schools of Tibetan Buddhism and Bon Tradition, under the leadership of our respective spiritual heads, wholeheartedly pledge to follow His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s advice and urge others to do the same. 20 June 2015 English and Tibetan


STATEMENT CONCERNING THE CULT OF DOGYAL/SHUGDEN We the undersigned Buddhist centers wish to express our full confidence in and respect for His Holiness the Dalai Lama and our complete agreement with regard to the dangerous nature of the practice of the Dogyal/Shugden cult. Since 1978 His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in his capacity as spiritual leader, has repeatedly stated publicly the extent to which the practice of the spirit called Dogyal/Shugden has degenerated, to the point of becoming a real cult, with strong sectarian features. In the past, this spirit was often invoked both as a Dharma protector as well as for more mundane purposes, but there have always been contradictory points of view about its nature and function. Thus, even though the Dalai Lama himself engaged in this spiritual practice until the age of forty, in 1975, after extensive research, he decided not only to cease this practice, but also to speak out publicly about the historical, social and cultural issues associated with this practice. In short, the harmfulness of Dogyal/Shugden can be summed up as follows:

  1. In spite of what his followers affirm, Dogyal/Shugden is not an enlightened protector, but a being arisen as an effect of distorted prayers and invocations.
  2. His nature is that of a devilish harmful spirit.
  3. His effect is that of destroying the Buddhadharma and harmony among practitioners.

The problems deriving from this practice can be summed up in three essential points:

  1. There is the danger that Tibetan Buddhism could degenerate into a kind of spirit cult, as the practice of Dogyal/Shugden brings its followers to consider this spirit as more important than Buddha himself.
  2. There is the actual possibility that this practice could be an obstacle toward the creation of a true non-sectarian culture, in total contrast with one of the objectives that His Holiness is mostly concerned with, namely, the fostering of true harmony amongst all religions.
  3. Finally, there are problems connected to the preservation of Tibetan culture, which have existed since the time of the Fifth Dalai Lama (seventeenth century).

For these reasons, the Dharma practitioners belonging to the undersigned centers are constantly engaged in informing the public about the truth regarding this ancient issue, supported – as mentioned – by broad and carefully examined research. Out of great compassion, feeling strongly his responsibility as a religious leader – namely, as one who should indicate the correct spiritual path to be followed – His Holiness advises against the practice of this cult. He does this not for personal profit, but because the danger has been clearly shown. Therefore, we the undersigned centers dissociate ourselves from and firmly condemn any protests against His Holiness the Dalai Lama carried out by organizations devoted to the Dogyal/Shugden cult, which organizations are carrying out an exploitative and denigrating campaign against Him, spreading accusations totally lacking any foundation: 1) His Holiness is accused of banning this practice. This is untrue, as the Dalai Lama himself has repeatedly stated that this is a decision that lies with each individual, and must be taken after a thorough analysis of what He says and not by a mere acceptance of His words. As for the request of His Holiness not to attend his teachings or empowerments, transmissions, and instructions as well as not to receive religious vows from Him by those who follow Dogyal/Shugden, the reason is that this will endanger both teacher and students because of a tainted relationship. As a spiritual master, His Holiness has every right to allow or not to allow anyone to access His teachings. 2) His Holiness is accused of suppressing freedom of religion. This is untrue, as nobody has ever been banned from invoking this spirit privately, in temples and monasteries where this practice is followed. There have been instances wherein Dogyal/Shugden followers left their monasteries of origin. This happened as a result of a referendum carried out in accordance with the rules of the monastic tradition of Vinaya. These monks were free to keep their own shares of money and land, and have been completely free to practice Dogyal/Shugden on their own without any threat to their activities. In addition, if they don’t have religious freedom, then how is it that the practitioners of Dogyal/Shugden can travel freely to all parts of the world, raising this issue and trying to find new supporters from amongst those who are in the dark about the facts? 3) They maintain that the Dalai Lama is lying. Such criticism has no solid base, since holding a different point of view from that of the Dogyal/Shugden practitioners is not lying, but only exercising one’s right of opinion. 4) They accuse the Dalai Lama of being the only one to hold this point of view. This is absolutely untrue, as the first controversies about this matter date back to the seventeenth century. It is worth noting that the protests of some Shugden practitioners have degenerated to the point of criminal acts, such as the one perpetrated near Dharamsala in 1997, when two Shugden followers, currently wanted by Interpol, killed the Headmaster of the School of Dialectics at the time, together with two of his disciples. Moreover, it appears that these organizations have sided many times with the decisions by several Western governments not to meet with the Dalai Lama, because of the strong political and economic pressures exerted by the Chinese government (as recently happened in Norway), thus demonstrating that there are other interests at play beyond those aspects related to the religious tradition. We invite all those who are unaware of this issue to pay careful attention when choosing their spiritual path, on the basis of thorough analysis and research, and we strongly reaffirm our full support for His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the international activities he has carried out for more than fifty years all over the world, where his figure is recognized as one of the greatest advocates for world peace and harmony in our time.

Tibetan Buddhist Centres in Italy
1.Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa, Pomaia (Pi)
2.Ghe Pel Ling Istituto Studi Di Buddhismo Tibetano, Milano
3.Centro Milarepa Torino
4.Comunita’ Dzog-Chen, Arcidosso (Gr)
5.Fpmt Fondazione Per La Preservazione Della Tradizione Mahayana, Pomaia (Pi)
6.Centro Studi Kalachakra,  Bordighera (Im)
7.Centro Dharma Visuddha, Verona
8.Centro Cenresig, Bologna
9.Centro Buddhista Muni Gyana, Palermo
10.Centro Tara Cittamani, Padova
11.Istituto Samantabhadra, Roma
12.Mandala Centro Studi Tibetani, Milano
13.Centro Studi Tibetani Sangye Cieling Sondrio
14.Monastero Mandala Samten Ling Biella
15.Centro Studi Tibetani Mandala Deua Ling, Merano (Bz)
16.Centro Terra Di Unificazione Ewam, Firenze
17.Centro Vajrapani, Bosentino (Tn)
18.Centro Dharna Karuna, Modena
19.Centro Lama Tzong Khapa, Zero Branco (Tv)
20.Centro Studi Tibetani Tenzin Cio Ling, Sondrio
21.Centro Gajang Giang Chub, Paladina (Bg)
22.Centro Buddhista Cenresig, Domodossola (Vb)
23.Centro Sakyamuni, Messina
24.Centro Di Meditazione Kushi Ling, Livorno
25.Yeshe Norbu Appello per il Tibet

Statement of the Deutsche Buddhistische Ordensgemeinschaft (DBO, German Buddhist Monastic Association) on the Protests against the Dalai Lama by the International Shugden Community (ISC) Berlin, Schneverdingen, Hannover May 1st, 2014 The Deutsche Buddhistische Ordensgemeinschaft (DBO) formally dissociates itself from the protests against the Dalai Lama, which are being staged worldwide, and also in Frankfurt (Main). The DBO remains of the conviction that opinions among Buddhists should be expressed in a peaceful, respectful, truthful and reasonable manner. The DBO is very concerned about the protesters’ aggressive, misleading and unethical behaviour and the false image being presented by them to the public. The DBO emphasizes that the protesters belonging to the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT) are no Buddhist monks and nuns according to the monastic rules of the Buddha and that their behaviour in public represents neither the Buddha nor his teachings (Dharma) nor the Buddhist community (Sangha). We regret that a Buddhist group is trying to cause further damage in the West to the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism at a time when the Tibetan Buddhist teachings are under great pressure in their country of origin, Tibet. The background: As early as 1996 to 1998 and especially since 2008, an inter-national media and rally campaign, conducted professionally and aggressively, is being waged by mostly western followers of the so-called protector Dorje Shugden against the Dalai Lama. The reason is as follows: Since 1978, the religious leader of the Tibetan people has been publicly emphasizing that the invocation of Shugden has degenerated to a cult practice with strongly sectarian characteristics, a practice of which he could not approve. In fact, religious scientists and Tibetologists confirm that the organized form of the invocation of Shugden is tied to the conviction that the Gelug school is superior to the other schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The Dalai Lama further criticizes that this practice has veered farther and farther away from the Buddhist teachings. Dorje Shugden (also called Dholgyal) is a so-called protector who has been controversial since his origination in the 17th century. In the Tibetan cultural area, protectors are entities which are invoked and asked for help, e.g. for the protection of the Buddhist teachings, but also in worldly matters such as the harvest, the building of houses, et cetera. There are different and contradictory views of the nature and the functions of Shugden. The protesters, usually appearing in public as Buddhist monks and nuns, accuse the Dalai Lama of the suppression of religious freedom, even calling him the “the worst dictator in the modern world”. However, Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and centers as well as the practitioners themselves are free to decide whether or not they will follow the Dalai Lama’s advice. And a majority among them have spoken out against a controversial practice such as that of the organized followers of Shugden that causes disharmony and depreciates other religious communities. The internationally well-linked protesters are for the most part members of the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT), a charitable organisation that was founded in England by the Tibetan scholar Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. It is one of the fastest growing organisations in the UK. On the outside, it presents itself as modern, contemporary and democratic, internally however – according to testimony by former followers – the organisation is marked by rigid, sectarian structures, with Kelsang Gyatso as its intangible and sole ruler. To organize its worldwide protests, NKT keeps founding new “front organizations”, which serve to veil the protesters’ background. The ISC is already the third of its kind. The Shugden websites, which it operates, do not cite any official contact information or legal registration, are run anonymously (domains by proxy), and do not name anyone legally responsible for the accusations. Media contact: Tenzin Peljor (Michael Jäckel) +49 176 996 527 29 | +49 30 21 23 88 33 Supplement to the statement of the German Buddhist monastic community (DBO) on the protests against His Holiness the Dalai Lama by the International Shugden Community (ISC) The DBO has already pointed out that in its opinion that the allegations are factually distorting and misleading. Here are some examples: Assertion: “There are 4 million Shugden devotees.” – Correction: Since 1996 academics repeatedly state that this number is “very much exaggerated.” Assertion: “Shugden devotees are excluded from medical assistance, education and the issuance of passports because of the Dalai Lama’s politics” – Correction: Individual cases like this may have occurred due to overzealous Tibetan individuals; however there is no policy on the part of the Tibetan Central Administration or the Dalai Lama to exclude Shugden devotees from medical care, education or the issue of documents. Neither Amnesty International (1998) nor the Supreme Court in Delhi (2010) was able to ascertain a violation of human rights or religious rights. Assertion: “The Dalai Lama has banned Shugden.” – Correction: There is no general prohibition of Shugden, but there are restrictions. For example, monasteries have made decisions, on the basis of democratic majority votes, against the invocation of Shugden, and the Dalai Lama has asked those who regard him as their teacher to abandon Shugden practice. He has repeatedly emphasized that everyone is free to ignore his advice and can practice Shugden privately. Assertion: “The Dalai Lama suppresses religious freedom.” – Correction: Shugden may very well be invoked privately or in Shugden temples and monasteries by his devotees, and this happens. It is the Shugden practice itself that restricts religious freedom by threatening those who exercise the spiritual practices of other Tibetan-Buddhist schools with severe penalties. Restrictions of this practice would therefore increase the freedom of all others to practice what they wish to practice. In any society it is necessary for the protection of freedom of the majority to restrict religious extremism and to exclude their advocates from public institutions. Assertion: “The Dalai Lama is lying.” – Correction: To have a different perspective on Shugden than its devotees is not a lie, but the exercise of the right to have one’s own opinion. Assertion: “The Shugden issue is the fault of the Dalai Lama alone.” – Correction: The Shugden issue has existed since the 17th century. Radical Shugden devotees have alienated monasteries and Tibetan Buddhists against them. Two radical followers are sought by Interpol for the triple murder of a Shugden opponent and his two students. It is absurd to make the Dalai Lama responsible for these developments. Assertion: “The invocation of Shugden is just a simple prayer for the development of compassion and wisdom.” – Correction: This allegation ignores the widespread sectarian and violent background of Shugden worship which can be proven by reading the scriptures. For further information the DBO recommends those interested to consult academic experts and independent academic sources to better understand the background of these controversies and the motives of the protesters. These are representative examples of available online resources that can be consulted: Canonicity and Divine Interference: The Tulkus and the Shugden-Controversy by Michael von Brück, Centre for Religious Studies Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich Academic Research regarding Shugden Controversy & New Kadampa Tradition

This is the official ASA statement about the demonstrations in Sydney and an excerpt from a letter about the New Kadampa Tradition ordination sent to the Australian Buddhist Councils and the World Buddhist Sangha Council: Australian Sangha Association statement regarding protests at the teachings of HH the Dalai Lama. The ASA wishes to express its dismay at the conduct of robed members of the New Kadampa Tradition, Western Shugden Society and associated organisations during the teachings given by HH the Dalai Lama on 11-15 June 2008 at Olympic Stadium, Sydney, Australia. The Dalai Lama’s teachings were attended by over 6000 people who came to be inspired by the peaceful and harmonious message of Buddhism. Instead they were met by a large, organised group of protesters dressed in monastic robes shouting slogans. Noisy public demonstrations such as these are not appropriate behaviour for monks or nuns and have brought Buddhism in this country into disrepute. The ASA recognizes there is a difference of opinion with the Dalai Lama on various issues. It is the right of NKT and WSS members to disagree with the Dalai Lama’s opinions but their disagreement should be expressed in a peaceful, respectful and reasonable manner. Therefore, in the spirit of Dharma and in accordance with Buddhist principles the ASA would encourage the NKT and WSS protesters to request forgiveness from the Dalai Lama for their behaviour and in future to conduct themselves with humility and restraint. And from the letter . . . According to our information the robed members of this group have not taken monastic vows as defined by the Vinaya which, as I am sure you know, is the collection of teachings by the Buddha that articulate the moral discipline to be followed by the ordained community. The Sangha is a 2500 year old institution which has always kept the Vinaya rules as its core practice. It is this moral code which is the foundation of Buddhist monasticism and adherence to it is what defines a person as a Buddhist monk or nun. It is the most important thing that we as monastics from different traditions have in common and is what enables us to come together under the auspices of the World Buddhist Sangha Council and ASA to celebrate our shared commitment to the Three Jewels. Members of the NKT who wear robes do not follow this tradition. They have taken 5 precepts including a vow of celibacy and make 5 additional promises to behave in a manner consistent with Dharma and spiritual practice. This is indeed an admirable and praiseworthy commitment and we do not wish to imply that such practitioners are anything other than sincere and genuine in their devotion to the path. However it must be emphasised that this is not a monastic ordination according to the teachings of Buddha. These precepts are said by their teacher Kelsang Gyatso to derive from the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra and he clearly states they are different from those found in the Vinaya. According to him a monk or a nun becomes a Bhikhu or Bhikhuni “merely by holding these ten vows of ordination and developing a strong realisation of renunciation that is ever present in the mind.” This definition has nothing in common with the traditionally accepted understanding of ordination and confuses the notion of a Bhikhu or Bhikhuni in the spiritual and conventional sense. From earliest times a ‘true Bhikhu’ has been one who realised the Dharma. However all Buddhist traditions, while fully understanding this, have always insisted on the necessity for the conventional Sangha to hold Vinaya vows properly received in accordance with the prescribed rituals. The opinion of the ASA is that for NKT members to represent themselves to the public as authentic Buddhist monks and nuns is wrong and misleading. One of the principal aims of the ASA is to help ensure the integrity and good reputation of Buddhism in general and the Sangha community in particular. We ourselves are not sure how to respond to this challenge but have decided to share our concerns with you. If you have some suggestions we would welcome your input. For now we feel that bringing this issue to the attention of the public is the best thing we can do. 6 April 2015 Australian Sangha Association