The Wisdom Buddha Protector of Je Tsongkhapa's Tradition
Can the Dalai Lama EVER make a mistake?
As you can see, the Dalai Lama's political ban on a 350-year-old spiritual practice and attempt to discredit and outlaw the lineage of his teachers is a harsh and ongoing attempt to stamp out diversity and bring all Buddhist traditions (and hence all Tibetan Buddhists) under his authority. (It is not unlike the treatment of early Gnostic and other Christians at the hands of the authorized Church.)
These actions are not just bigoted and autocratic, they are also illegal and unconstitutional. Which begs the question, why does he think he can get away with it? And what is his motivation?
It may be easy to assume in the West, due to his reputation, that his motivation for doing this must surely be compassion even if his actual reasons are hard to understand. But is it not possible that, having being venerated since the age of four as both a god and as a political leader/feudal king, he may sometimes act like a political leader, motivated by the wish for control or power? In this instance, perhaps, power over all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism i.e. all Tibetans.
His own words in the section In the Dalai Lama's words to the Tibetan people, exhorting them to seek out those who still worship Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden and "encourage" them to stop, have a very different tone and style to the words he uses for his Western audiences. So do his reasons for "discouraging" the practice. And his words and reasons to the Tibetans have had an incendiary effect, resulting in violence toward Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden practitioners, tension and disharmony which he has done nothing to quell - quite the opposite to his recent denunciation of the violence amongst Tibetans protesting in India and Tibet.
Is it so hard to believe that he could EVER make a mistake? Is he the first political (or spiritual) leader in history to have never made a single mistake? Indeed, he has made a number of mistakes that have been swept under the carpet, such as accepting money from the CIA (for his government in exile and $139,000 per year for himself) to sponsor an armed resistance, and accepting 2 million dollars from Shoko Asahara -- see below. Why does the Western world want to believe that he is infallible and completely pure? Would it be so terrible if the Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden practitioners were correct in this instance? Or if he admitted to his mistake?
Those who dare speak up about their wish to continue with their practice of Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden freely and without harassment, both in the East and the West, sometimes feel like David pitted against Goliath due to the formidable reputation of the person who is leading the charge against them. But in truth we have the Declaration of Human Rights, the Indian Constitution, the Tibetan constitution, and Buddhist principles on our side.
Sydney Herald, April 27, 1996
Cult gave Dalai Lama $2m
By RUSSELL SKELTON, Herald Correspondent in Tokyo
Shoko Asahara, the leader of the Aum Shrinrikyo doomsday cult, maintained personal and financial links with Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
Asahara donated over $2 million to the Nobel prize-winner for the preservation of Tibetan Buddhism and culture in an apparent attempt to win his favour and endorsement.
According to the Japan-based representative of the Tibetan leader, Karma Gelek Yuthok, who released details of the relationship this week, Asahara began making contributions to the Dalai Lama from 1988, soon after the two met.
Asahara, 41, has repeatedly claimed the Dalai Lama gave him a divine mission to spread "real Buddhism" in Japan. He said the Tibetan leader had told him he was ideal for the mission because he had the "mind of a Buddha".
The Aum cult exploited the connection with the Dalai Lama to recruit new members and to pass itself off as a legitimate Buddhist organisation. Posters depicting Asahara and the Dalai Lama and carrying the Tibetan leader's endorsement were used extensively in cult promotions.
Asahara is standing trial for masterminding the sarin nerve gas attack in a Tokyo subway which left 11 commuters dead and nearly 4,000 suffering the effects of poison gas. The cult leader faces 17 further charges of murder, attempted murder, abduction and the production of illegal chemical and biological weapons.
Prosecutors told the Tokyo District Court this week that Asahara had ordered the subway attack after he learned from a secret source that the police were about to raid his cult headquarters.
Mr Karma Gelek Yuthok said he had decided to disclose details of the Asahara-Dalai Lama relationship and the extent of their financial links to dispel negative publicity and baseless rumours.
He said Asahara and the Dalai Lama first met in India in 1987 and on another six occasions, the last being in 1992. Asahara was always accompanied by his 37-year-old wife Tomoko and more than 20 other cult members on his trips to India.
Mr Yuthok said Asahara suspended the meetings in July 1992 after he gave a big donation to the Dalai Lama for the preservation of Tibetan culture. He said the relationship had soured after the Tokyo Metropolitan Government failed to grant Aum the status of an authentic Buddhist organisation.
Follow the story of the Dalai Lama's 30-year political campaign to destroy a centuries-old spiritual tradition taught to him by his own Spiritual Guide, and the efforts of those he's hurting to stop him:
- What is happening
- What is the Western Shugden Society (WSS)?
- Detailed reports of discrimination from inside India and elsewhere
The Dalai Lama's position
- A Great Deception
- Praise to Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden by the Dalai Lama
- In the Dalai Lama's words
Why is this happening?
- Why is this religious suppression taking place?
- Are the Dalai Lama's reasons valid?
Efforts to restore religious freedom
- Geshe Kelsang's open letter
- The ban is illegal and unconstitutional
- Press reports and videos
- Dorje Shugden Devotee's Charitable and Religious Society
- Dalai Lama sued for repressing religious freedom
- A conflict with a solution
- Announcement from Serpom Norling Monastery
Analysis of situation
- Can the Dalai Lama ever make a mistake?
- Is the Dalai Lama the only spiritual leader in Tibetan Buddhism?
- Theocracy or democracy?
- Spirit worship or authentic Buddhist practice?
- Freedom of worship
- The Dalai Lama's justifications
- Analysis by Dalai Lama's translator (PDF)
- What would Thomas Jefferson think of the 14th Dalai Lama?
- Book Reviews
Evidence and first-hand accounts
- Chronological background
- Discord in exile documentary
- Political motivations for the ban
- Summary to date from Tibetan exiles
Ongoing persecution 2008-2010
- Recent vote sticks and call for help
- Forced signature and ID card campaign
- Persecution of monks at Sera Monasteries
- Public humiliation and explusion of monks
- Letter to Indian Prime Minister regarding abuses
- Letters from Dorje Shugden Devotees
- Urgent appeal from Sera Monasteries
- Support from Indian police
- Western Shugden Society letter to Sera monasteries
- Western Shugden Society letter to TGIE
- Heartfelt request from monks in Mundgod
- More discrimination planned around the world
- Letter from an FPMT monk
- What you can do