Alarmed that there are others to tell the truth?

On the 11th of Dec. 2015, coinciding with the death anniversary of the Great 13th Dalai Lama, our website www.shugdenfacts.com was launched to counter misunderstandings in connection with Dolgyal and support the position of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. We did not write to the Shugden fanatics, but waited for them to find us out and announce us on their website because that’s the best way to inform their people of our existence. If our presence is known by those who are trapped inside the vicious designs of Shugden fanatics, then they have a means to find their way out and become real Buddhists. Kay Beswick [I think this isn’t her/his real name] did just what we have waited for them to do.

The article ‘CTA pays for anti-Shugden website’ starts with how Tibetans have been recipients of millions of dollars of donations and contributions from all over the world and that CTA has wasted them by funding our website and suppressing the religious freedom of Shugdenists. [Note: Although they call themselves Shugden Buddhists, this one suits them better.] While it is true that Tibetans have received donations from generous well-wishers, there is no real evidence to prove that those were misused. The fact that the Tibetans are the most successful refugee community in the world with a strong leadership and that their national struggle for Tibet has not become insignificant despite numerous difficulties is enough to prove that the contributions were not wasted or misused.

The paradox here is that while those who have contributed remain satisfied with their contribution, some, who have only been working on destroying what others have contributed to build, are now complaining that CTA has been misusing donations.

Tibetans in India have many CST schools [Central School for Tibetans sponsored by the Indian government] and other private Tibetan schools, many of which have successfully completely their 50th anniversary. Considering the population of the Tibetan refugees in exile which is around 100,000, they do not need countless hospitals and hundreds of schools as the article blustered, but they do have sufficient number of decent schools and hospitals that cater to the needs of the Tibetans in exile. CTA has been successfully looking after the Tibetan refugees, despite facing various difficulties, many of which have been used by the PRC in their efforts to destabilise the Tibetan community, but the community is still strong.

Resolving the Tibetan issue will take time; even India took two hundred years to win her Independence. Sixty years in exile has brought much positive change in this community. The Tibetan community in exile is not languishing in any poverty stricken environment as the article commented hyperbolically. The exile community could provide education up to the university level to every Tibetan born in the Tibetan settlements in exile. School dropouts and others are provided vocational trainings at several vocational training centres managed by the Tibetans themselves. There is also a very impressive Health Insurance that could cover any Tibetan through a small contribution of just around three thousand Indian Rupees annually [$50]. They have homes for the elderly ones, who have no one to look after them, in almost all their settlements. Political prisoners who have managed to escape into exile are provided with all sorts of help. Refugees arriving from Tibet are well looked after. Every Tibetan settlement has a settlement office, medical clinics for both Tibetan and Western Medicine, and monasteries and schools to impart both traditional and modern education.

Tibetans inside Tibet place their hope in His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and CTA. The present Sikyong, Dr. Lobsang Sangay was born in a small Tibetan refugee settlement, got his basic education in one of their schools, did his college in India and finally graduated from the prestigious Harvard University. Mr. Penpa Tsering, the speaker of the Tibetan People’s Assembly, is also a very well educated, sincere and patriotic new leadership. Both of them grew up in His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s garden in India. Except one, all of the ministers of the exile-based Central Tibetan Administration are new generations who have barely seen Tibet. Majority of the staff at CTA are those who got their education in a Tibetan school in exile. Tibetan students are now aiming for degrees of Masters, MPhils, and PhDs. They now have doctorates, doctors, scientists, professors, scholars, engineers, chartered accountants and so forth.

Most of the important monasteries of all the major traditions of Tibetan Buddhism that existed in Tibet earlier have now been re-established in India and new generations of teachers have taken up their teachers’ responsibilities. Tibetan Medicine, Astrology, Performing Arts, Sculpture, Architecture, Traditional Painting, you name them and they have preserved all of them in their entirety. Visit the Tibetan Library in Dharamsala, the Library at Tibet House in Delhi, the library at the Central Tibetan University in Sarnath, Varanasi, and Songtsen Library at Dehradun and you will be astounded to discover that Tibet indeed has such a rich cultural heritage, all preserved well by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetans in exile.

In 2011, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has smoothly and successfully passed on the political leadership to an elected Sikyong [political leader]; the democratisation of CTA has won admiration from all over the world. Once they return to Tibet, they don’t have to start from scratch to build up democracy but can continue with the democratic constitution as envisioned and developed under the impeccable leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Although scattered around the world in different places, the Tibetan community is united and looking good under His Holiness. The Dalai Lama has definitely led his people during the most difficult period in the history of Tibet and history will remember him as the invincible hero of Tibet. Although PRC is one of the biggest military powers of the world, against the compassion and wisdom of the 14th Dalai Lama, they have lost the battle to win the trust and the love of the world while the Dalai Lama has the love, trust, and respect of the world. If a monk dressed in the traditional maroon-coloured robe is seen in some remote place, people stare at him and say, ‘A ha! the Dalai Lama over there’. This much is the popularity of the 14th Dalai Lama on this earth.

Apart from CTA branches all over the world, there are various Tibet support groups, all of which foster the same dream that the Tibetans would someday return back to their homeland. With hundreds of Dharma centres around the world imparting Buddhist teachings according to the Tibetan tradition of Buddhism, Tibet’s rich culture has now become the common wealth of the world. Recently, the Mind and Life Conference was held at Sera monastery in South India, and that was the 30th Mind and Life Conference that His Holiness has had with eminent scientists from all over the world. His Holiness’ meetings with eminent scientists from across the globe to discuss common scientific topics such as cosmology, neuro-biology, psychology, psychiatry, quantum physics, and environmental issues have changed the very perception of Buddhism in the minds of millions. Buddhism is now appreciated widely for its scientific approach to reality. His Holiness’ teachings are now being attended by people from almost all Buddhist countries and even from China. Majority of the Buddhist Dharma centres around the world are Dharma centres that focus on the Tibetan tradition of Buddhism.

On the other side, Shugden fanatics around the world share the same ulterior vicious motive with the PRC — to destabilise the Tibetan community by whatever means and damage the image of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. However, His Holiness and the Tibetans will not falter just because some unfortunate gullible followers of a vicious spirit want them to collapse. Even at 80, His Holiness is looking very healthy and energetic. Hundreds of reincarnate Tulkus and Geshes, and thousands of monks and nuns are ready to carry forth the infallible legacy of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. There is every hope that the Tibetan struggle will prevail. Who is the central magnetic field of all these successes? If it’s not His Holiness the Great 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, then whose magic is behind all these?

However, Kay Beswick and Shugden fanatics like her/him feel that the Dalai Lama and CTA have failed the Tibetans. His/her remarks remind me of a Tibetan saying:

‘The blind ones appear to have more imaginations;
The lame ones seem to have more places to walk.’

Another Tibetan proverb that suit here is:

‘If it were to meet with gold,
All things around will turn into gold.
If it were to meet with poison,
All things around will turn poisonous.’

If your eyes are blurred, you will surely see everything around as blurry. The solution is not by changing things around you, but by treating your eyes properly.

If Shugden fanatics are keen on making them heard, and if they are sincere in their call for dialogue, instead of being alarmed by our presence, first read our 306 pages of materials in English, now available under different topics on the website, and then challenge them if you could. If you are sincerely looking for a solution, look into the historical evidence that we have put on the website to support our position that your wisdom Buddha Shugden is only a perilous spirit, with only cunning and evil intents. Then perhaps you might come out with a more sensible approach, instead of being alarmed and blubbering out like a spoilt kid. As much as all of your websites that promote Shugden have the right to exist and exercise, we on the other side also have the same right to make ourselves heard. People need both sides of the story to make their decisions. In sharp contrast to this ideal way of helping people to make their decisions, isn’t imposing Shugden on all your members in the NKT centres a deprivation of their rights to choose whom to worship or whom not to? If they are not in line with your view of Shugden, you expel them from your centres. Isn’t that segregation or violation of their rights?

Although Tsongkhapa himself says in his Graduated Steps of Path to Enlightenment that instructions should not be limited to a few texts of a palm’s size, and that the instructions of individual teachers are only keys to unlock the greater instructions expounded by the Buddha in the great Sutras [more than 100 Sutras or direct teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni, translated into Tibetan and still well preserved] and explained by the great Indian masters in the Shastras [more than 220 Shastras or commentaries by Indian masters, translated into Tibetan and still well preserved], NKT imposes only Kelsang Gyatso’s books on their students. Doesn’t this look more cultish and dictatorial?

Although contemporary Tibetan Shugden fanatics who are now on the other side had received teachings from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and all privileges that any Tibetan in exile would have received, they chose a historically controversial spirit over Tibet and His Holiness, and created chaos in the Tibetan society, killing three in 1996, beating people – who spoke in support of His Holiness on the issue of Dolgyal — in different places such as Majnu Ka Tilla in Delhi and Sera Mey Monastery, threatening with arsenal and riots in Gaden Monastery etc. They even went out of their way by seeking the support of the Chinese government, forgetting their very reason and purpose of coming into exile. They also tried to apply for Indian citizenships saying that they were being rejected by the Tibetans, and wrote to the PRC that they wanted to go back to China, signing a petition that states that they consider Tibet as a part of China! Lama Tseta, one of the top members of the Shugden community in India and Nepal from 1997-2008, has testified all these in his interview with VOA and elsewhere. They are now on the youtube to watch.

As a result of all their stupidity and madness, the abbots and ex-abbots of Sera, Drepung, Gaden, Tashi Lhunpo, Rato, Gyuto and Gyumed Tantric college and other monasteries met in January 1998 under the auspices of the 100th Gaden Tripa, Sharpa Choeje and Jangtse Choeje, and agreed on a resolution to sever all ties with those who did not give up their practice of Shugden. As per this resolution, actions had to be taken, and His Holiness advice in his 2008 speech was nothing against the monastic rules of Vinaya since according to Vinaya, expulsion is the final resort to deal with those who fail to abide by the monastic rules. Reminding them to implement their own resolution for their own greater good is never wrong and His Holiness did nothing more than that. If that was a violation of religious right, then how do you justify the expulsion of NKT survivors from NKT centres? [Note: There are hundreds of NTK survivors who all have had such horrible experiences to share about their time in NKT.]

There are many who were threatened from speaking their horrible experiences at NKT. Is this how you uphold the pure lineage of Tsongkhapa? Until the two sides went apart and Shugden followers formed their own separate monasteries, we have not heard of any expulsion that happened at Sera, Gaden and Drepung or at any other monastery in India or Nepal. Perhaps it happened only in their imagination. Even if it ever happened, it was still in accordance with the resolution signed by the monastic abbots and within the Vinaya tradition. While Shugden fanatics were there in Gaden Shartse and Sera Mey Monastery, they were the ones who did the bullying and not the other way round. Confirm this with any monk from the present Gaden Shartse and Sera Mey Monastery. Now, amateurs like Kay Beswick speak as if there is so much atrocity being inflicted by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his followers on their fellow Shugdenpas in India!!

When Arya Nagarjuna was the abbot of Nalanda, he had to expel thousands of monks from Nalanda due to their own failures to abide by the monastic disciplines. Did he violate their religious freedom? Expulsion, when efforts to bring them on the proper track fail, has been prescribed by Buddha Shakyamuni himself in the Vinaya Sutra. Did the Buddha also violate the religious freedom of Shugden fanatics?

In Zemey Rinpoche’s Nectar from the Mouth of My Heroic FatherlyMaster, he spoke so highly of Shugden who he claimed persecuted ten high Lamas and three high ranking officials for practising the Nyingma tradition. Did your wisdom Buddha Shugden also violate their religious freedom by persecuting them for practising other traditions?

The Tibetan leadership have the role of uniting the Tibetans, and in doing so, if some crooked traitors — who derailed from the mainstream path as chosen by the majority of the Tibetans — remained unsatisfied and when they are now being represented by their gullible followers who have no genuine knowledge of Dharma, this cannot be considered a failure on the part of the Tibetan leadership. Although Buddha Shakyamuni’s prescription of monastic vows were intended to lead the monks and nuns on the proper path of liberation, if their derailing from the Buddha’s prescription landed them in hellish realms, who should we blame for their incompetence? The Buddha?

CTA’s top agenda is to spearhead the national struggle of the six million Tibetans. Tibetans in Tibet have no genuine right to exercise their religious freedom and freedom of speech. However, Shugden fanatics have not voiced even the slightest of opposition against the Chinese occupation of Tibet and the atrocities being suffered by the Tibetans in Tibet, although they sometimes pretend as if they care for the Tibetans. Whenever Tibetans and their supporters take on the street to protest against the Chinese atrocities and injustice in Tibet, Shugden fanatics never ever show even a slightest sign of empathy or solidarity. On the contrary, they are full of praise for the Communist Regime of China, even calling it the ‘Great Dragon’ and celebrating the high economic dependence of other countries on China because they believe this will lead to the diminishing of support for the Tibetan issue. When China occupied Tibet in 1959, had His Holiness the Dalai Lama not escaped from Tibet and started everything from ashes in India, Tibet would surely have become a lost cause by now. At that time, many generous government and non-governmental organisations came to the aid of the Tibetan refugees, nurturing a silent hope that one day the issue of Tibet would be peacefully resolved. Even as economic relations and political agendas prevent many countries from directly confronting China over its occupation of Tibet, the issue of Tibet has not died and will not die since it’s an issue of the survival of Tibet whose rich cultural heritage and ecology definitely concern the world.

Attacking CTA that truly represents the people of Tibet and their struggle is tantamount to attacking the Tibetans in general, and particularly those in Tibet who are already oppressed and struggling for their survival. Who could be more vicious than that? And yet, every article written on their website picks on the CTA and the Dalai Lama, even comparing the Dalai Lama with Adolf Hitler!! One wonders when would they next compare CTA to IS or Boko Haram? In the name of supporting the cause of a controversial spirit that has a history of creating antagonism and rift between the different religious tradition of Tibet for more than three hundred years, these Shugden fanatics have truly become obsessed in relentlessly pursuing a bogus cause that has no formidable foundation of compassion and wisdom, but only madness in only pursuing their ignorance that would only entangle them even more. When you follow a mad spirit, you will only be blessed with more madness.

By elevating a controversial spirit to the status of a Buddha and worshipping it, do they look like preserving the tradition of Tsongkhapa or are they tarnishing it with their own concocted version of purism?

His Holiness has been presenting his reasons for his advice against the practice of Dolgyal for more than four decades. Instead of listening to and reflecting on them, revolting against him for speaking out his sincere concern is the most disgraceful thing which any sincere Buddhist would despise vehemently. Also, isn’t abusing His Holiness for advising others, against the worship of a controversial spirit which he considers harmful, not depriving him of the freedom of speech that you pretend to uphold so dearly? Ideally, any sincere Buddhist would surely ponder over the words that come from the most revered Buddhist master of the century, but those western gullible Shugdenists and their Tibetan counterparts have no wisdom to compare both sides of the story and contemplate.

Although Shugden fanatics snub His Holiness’ advice on Dolgyal as insincere with political motives, if uniting his people together and working for the harmony between all religious traditions of Tibet and opposing a controversial spirit — that has been creating schism and animosity among them for more than three hundred years — are political gains, then yes, His Holiness the Dalai Lama is perfectly right in doing so and every Tibetan leadership must follow the same legacy.

Ideally, every followers of the Geluk tradition of Tsongkhapa must develop a proper appreciation for all the different teachings of the Buddha and understand all of them as instructions on the path to enlightenment. [Read the four kinds of greatness of the Lamrim instruction in Tsongkhapa’s Graduated Steps of Path to Enlightenment to confirm this.] On the contrary, in the name of maintaining the purity of Tsongkhapa’s teachings, only Dolgyal and his worshippers are the ones who threaten or despise people for embracing the Nyingma teachings. When Lama Tsongkhapa emphatically and logically opposed the views of emptiness as held by many Tibetan, Indian and Chinese masters before him, many of the followers of those masters accepted his logics, and those who had no wisdom of appreciating the beauty of Tsongkhapa’s new interpretations — which are in sharp contrast to many past masters’ interpretations — did not take to the street to raise slogans against Tsongkhapa for challenging the view of their lineage masters. Tsongkhapa’s interpretation of Chandrikirti‘s Madhyamikakarika has rejected many of Jestun Redawa Shoenu Lodroe’s version although the latter was the Sakya Lama from whom Tsongkhapa had received his lineage of Madhyamika, and yet, we hail Tsongkhapa for his contribution on the view of emptiness. How then is His Holiness’ advice against the propitiation of an invisible spirit, which contradicts with his tutor Trijang Rinpoche’s version, a deprivation of your religious freedom? If presenting evidence and logic to counter a distorted religious practice is a violation of others’ religious freedom, then even Lama Tsongkhapa cannot be spared from the same allegation. Apart from giving his advice, His Holiness has never instigated any form of violence against the Shugden practitioners. Asking people who have taken you into confidence to lie about something is not difficult. Producing fake documents to prove your points and writing bogus reports of abuse will not deceive those who truthfully seek the truth.

Shugden never existed at the time of Tsongkhapa whose tradition is synonymous with the Geluk tradition. Since the beginning of Shugden’s myth after Tulku Dakpa Gyaltsen’s death in 1656, for more than 250 years Dolgyal never was a part of the Geluk tradition. It was later picked up by some Geluk masters such as Dakpo Kelsang Khedrup, Sokpo Lobsang Tamdin, Khaybje Phabongkha and others only in the beginning of the 20th century, although their works on Shugden have always remained controversial. Show us proof that Shugden existed within the Geluk tradition before the 20th century. The two volumes of Shugden Bebum that consist of eulogies, rituals and biographies in connection with Dolgyal are all that you have, but all those in there that were written by Geluk masters on Dolygal were written only in the 20th century or later. We are more than eager to hear how you could rebuke this claim. If Tsongkhapa’s tradition without Shugden is not pure, then all the Geluk masters before Shugden’s emergence were not holders of the pure lineage of Geluk because the practice of Shugden never existed before that. If the purity is about maintaining the authentic lineage of Tsongkhapa’s tradition, then it looks purer without that controversial spirit of Dol.

Sakya Pandita, one of the top scholarly adepts of Tibet [1182-1251], says this in his Proper Differentiation of the Three Vows:

“The distorted practice of religion
Must be challenged by the learned ones;
This is so because the Buddha had said
That the precious Dharma which is so rare to come across,
Often comes across many adverse obstacles.
Thinking of this, the learned ones must
Always do the cleansing of the Dharma.

Even with regards to a day’s food and drink,
People pay much attention to their goodness or badness.
Works such as stitching, construction and so forth,
On whether they are properly done or not, good or not,

And on whether people are skillful in doing them or not,
Much analysis is done on what to embrace or abandon.
Even when doing some small trades
Of horses and precious necklaces,

People ask others and do a lot of thinking.
With respect to the trivial things of this life,
We could see people working so emphatically.

Although the goodness or success of all lifetimes
Depends entirely on the sublime Dharma,

The Dharma is treated like the dog’s food;

Without investigating whether they are proper or not,
People tend to respect whoever they come across.”

Consider these words of Sakya Pandita and you will come to realise that in Buddhism, we give more credit to critical reasoning than blindly believing in whatever you have been taught. However, when the foolish are given reasons, they do not seem to benefit. There is a saying in Tibetan:

“A donkey does not distinguish between a piece of gold and a piece of stone, and throws both of them away.”

This definitely applies to those who have crooked mindsets, especially contemporary Shugden fanatics.

CTA and the office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama are not involved in our website by any means, but I am sure they would be pleased to know that we exist. The issue is not about who is funding this website because we neither work for money, nor for a bogus cause. We definitely do not need millions of dollars to run this simple website as Kay’s article blustered. If such kind donations are awaiting us, we only wish them to use their money elsewhere for other good purposes. What we really wish is for people to read both sides of the story, and investigate the truth. That’s the reason why we are here, to give the other side of the story. Although we are here to tell our side of the story lest vulnerable ones get swayed by reading only one version of the story, if our presence is like a thorn for the unfortunate ones, there is nothing we could do about it.

If the doctor put an injection on a sick person,
Some pains are unavoidable.
The patient will yell, and might even abuse the doctor.
But in the end, there will be much benefit for the patient.
There is much more to write, but I will not go further.

The Editor,
www.shugdenfacts.com
Write to us at shugdenfactsinfo.com