Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Truthful responses to some dubious and misleading core statements of the followers of the controversial spirit called Dolgyal or Dorje Shugden:

  1. On whether the great 5th Dalai Lama had composed any supplication invoking Dolgyal?
  2. On whether the previous 10th Panchen Lama propitiated Dolgyal?
  3. On the claim that the previous Ling Rinpoche, the senior tutor to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the 98th Gaden Throne Holder, propitiated Dolgyal and composed a supplication prayer invoking Dolgyal?
  4. On whether His Holiness the Dalai Lama has banned the practice of Dolgyal?
  5. That His Holiness should stop advising people on giving up the practice of Dolgyal?
  6. That His Holiness has expelled practitioners of Dolgyal from monastic institutions?
  7. That His Holiness has sent the abbot of Gaden Shartse to invite Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche to attend His Lamrim teachings?
  8. That Dolgyal practitioners were expelled from their services in the Tibetan Administration, and from Tibetan settlements and schools?
  9. On whether there was any security threat to His Holiness that led to the construction of another security fence round the residence of His Holiness?
  10. On the accusation that the Tibetan administration deliberately sent people to attack one of the staff of Trijang residence?
  11. Some examples of accomplished scholarly adepts of different traditions who were strongly against the propitiation of Dolgyal.
  12. On the claim that it is due to Dolgyal’s assistance that His Holiness the Dalai Lama was able to escape and reach India safely?
  13. On the claim that the practice of ‘swearing of life’ [Sogted] within the practice of Dolgyal is attributed to Takphu Pema Benza’s pure vision as the original source?
  14. On the accusation that His Holiness and the Central Tibetan Administration had sent petition to the Indian government that led to the imprisonment of Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche?
  15. On the story that Nechung—who appeared in front of Lama Tsongkhapa in the guise of a boy in white coloured dressed— requested Tsongkhapa to send with him a protector who would assist him in safeguarding the Dharma?
  16. On whether His Holiness has violated their religious freedom?
  17. On their vilification that His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is not an emanation of Avalokiteshwara [The Buddha of compassion] and that His Holiness is not the authentic reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama?
  18. On the claim that Dolgyal is a genuine Dharma protector?
  19. On the accusation that some Tibetans from Chatring and Gyalthang who practise Shugden were treated badly at the Reception Centre for the Newly Arrived Tibetans in Dharamsala?
  20. On the question of whether His Holiness the Dalai Lama had breached the advice pertaining to the refuge-mind when His Holiness himself propitiated Dolgyal for a while since 1951?
  21. In one of the Tibetan Public Talk series, they talked about visits of Trisur Lungrik Namgyal to some Dolgyal-monasteries while a document produced from Singapore praised the stance adopted by Trisur Lungrik Namgyal who continues to remain devoted to Dolgyal. The following is our response.
  22. A Shugden organization based in Singapore has been circulating a eulogy of Dolgyal called The Melody of Unceasing Vajra that carries the name of His Holiness the Dalai Lama as its author. The following is a clarification on this.
  23. In one of the circulatory documents of Dolgyal’s proponent that seem to have come from Singapore, by setting forth examples of Geshe Rabten’s reincarnation and Lama Yeshe’s reincarnation — who have both been recognised and enthroned — they have questioned His Holiness’ warning that reincarnations of Lamas practising Dolgyal would not find success in their future lives. The following is a response to this.
  24. On the issue of religious freedom that they accuse His Holiness of depriving them?
  25. A circulatory document from Dolgyal fanatics in Singapore commented that Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and the previous Karmapa were good friends, and that the Karmapa had no problem in dealing with Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche whose propitiation of Dolgyal was known to him. The following is a response to this point.
  26. The Dolgyal Association based in Singapore has been distributing photos of Kyabje Ling Rinpoche and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, circulating rumors that both of them had practised Dolgyal. To prove that Kyabje Ling Rinpoche practised Dolgyal, they reasoned that Ling Rinpoche had composed a eulogy for Dolgyal. However, the follow is the truth.
  27. As restaurants, shops, medical clinics and monastic institutes in the Tibetan camps flagged warnings that they do not wish to welcome Dolgyal practitioners in their respective places, Dolgyal fanatics around the world seem to find some reasons to make it appear as an issue of segregation. The following is our response.
  28. The Shugden Association in Singapore has been circulating rumors that Tsering Wangchuk, who they said was a spokesperson of CTA’s Department of Relations, had announced that CTA had performed rituals of appeasement in connection with Shugden along with other protectors on the first day of the Tibetan New Year in 2014. The following is a clarification on that.

Q1. On whether the great 5th Dalai Lama had composed any supplication invoking Dolgyal:

If it indeed is the case that the great 5th Dalai Lama had composed such a prayer, since such prayers should probably be seen under the title that befits them, it should be seen within the Da volume of his alphabetically named volumes in which we find all such supplications directed towards different protectors. Most probably it should be seen under the title ‘Compilation of Supplications, Invocations, Prayers of Propitiation, Confessions and Eulogies Called Spontaneous Execution of the Four Kinds of Activities’.

Conversely, in that volume we only see the attestation of the great 5th Dalai Lama written at the time when wrathful exorcisms were performed on Dolgyal and his retinue of perfidious spirits. The attestation calls on the Dharma protectors to not support, protect and aid them. In the autobiography of His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama titled Dukulai Gosang, which is categorically arranged under volume Kha, the following attestation is mentioned. However, it is actually present in the Da volume.

In that, it says thus:

“The six armed Mahakala, Dharma Raja and Kali Devi,
The four faced Mahakala, and Chamsel Begtse and so forth—
The protectors who are bound by oath and
In whose propitiation and practice people engage in,

I offer you the essence of this sublime libation:

The so-called Drakpa Gyaltsen pretends to be a sublime being, although he isn’t;
And since this demonic spirit of strained commitment and distorted prayers
Is harming everything – both the Dharma and sentient beings –
Do not support, protect or give him shelter, but grind him to dust”.

In this attestation, we find eight such stanzas. Seeing this work of the great 5th Dalai Lama, it is very clear that their claim of him having composed a supplication invoking Dolgyal is a mere bluff. Therefore, the prayer that you find among the ritual texts of Dolgyal that some claim to be written by His Holiness the great 5th Dalai Lama is definitely the work of someone else who intended to mislead others by claiming that prayer as the work of the great 5th Dalai Lama.

Q2: On whether the previous 10th Panchen Lama propitiated Dolgyal:

Kachen Ang Nyima, the tutor of His Holiness the 10th Panchen Lama was strictly opposed to the propitiation of Dolgyal. The 8th Panchen Lama, in the constitution of Tashi Lhunpo monastery that he wrote, totally forbade the practice of Dolgyal in the monastery. Seeing these reasons, His Holiness the 10th Panchen Lama had given his official seal of approval with a foreword to the publication of the said constitution and made that publicly accessible. Judging by the account of how Dolgyal was denied entry into Tashi Lhunpo monastery by the eight retinues of Vaishravana [Namses Tadag Gyat], we can decisively say His Holiness the 10th Panchen Lama did not practise Dolgyal. This fact that Dolgyal was denied entry into Tashi Lhunpo monastery by the eight retinues of Vaishravana is mentioned in Trijang Rinpoche’s Commentary on the Eulogy for Dolgyal.

However, the fact that the previous Panchen Lama did compose a prayer invoking Dolgyal when returning from Domed to Shigatse was only at the persuasive request of some others. This fact is stated right at the end of that prayer. At that time, His Holiness the Panchen Lama was only about sixteen or seventeen years old. As for the ritual of ‘Appeasement and Revival’ that is now being flaunted by the Dolgyal fanatics in their website, I will explain about it in detail later.

His Holiness the Panchen Lama once sent a message to His Holiness the Dalai Lama through one of his friends Bawa Tarse Tsultrim, a Tibetan based in Switzerland. He recollects His Holiness the Panchen Rinpoche as sending the following message to His Holiness the Dalai Lama:

“The Omniscient Gyalwa Rinpoche [His Holiness the Dalai Lama] has given a great deal of thought on the issue of Dolgyal from his evolution in the beginning up to the very end. I have also seen his books containing his advice on the issue. His Holiness has done a very thorough examination. So, it would be extremely fruitful if all Tibetans could abide by his impeccable advice with confidence. However, as time is really degenerate nowadays, without any proper thought on reasons and by being obstinate, some might create unnecessary conflicts. Therefore it is very important to be careful about that.” This clearly indicates that His Holiness the Panchen Lama was not practising Dolgyal.

Q3: On the claim that the previous Ling Rinpoche, the senior tutor to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the 98th Gaden Throne Holder, propitiated Dolgyal and composed a supplication prayer invoking Dolgyal:

It is undoubtedly clear that Yongzin Tri Ling Rinpoche never practised Dolgyal throughout his life. However, around 1969 or 1970, the Gelukpa Welfare Committee at the Tibetan Institute at Varanasi, requested Yongzin Tri Ling Rinpoche to compose a brief prayer directed at Mahakala, Dharma Raja, Kali Devi, Vaishravana and Shugden [Dolgyal] through Kyabje Zong Rinpoche who was then its principal.

Unable to reject their request, with the 7th Dalai Lama’s Refined Gold [a prayer to invoke all protectors in general] as the basis, Ling Rinpoche simply replaced the names of the Five King Protectors [Gyalpo Ku-nga] with Shugden but did not write anything new. His Holiness the Dalai Lama once commented that Ling Rinpoche seemed to have done this replacement [replacing the names of the Five Kings with Shugden] on purpose, insinuating that they should propitiate Shugden only if the Five Kings were incompetent. If you compare the new version with the text of the 7th Dalai Lama, this would become very clear.

Later, as His Holiness started discouraging the practice of Dolgyal, Ling Rinpoche told Samdhong Rinpoche [who at the time was the Director of the Institute] that unable to turn down the request and out of carelessness, he was compelled to compile that prayer earlier, but now the prayer should be excluded. Samdhong Rinpoche discussed this with Trijang Rinpoche, and with consent from both of them, it was excluded. On this, you can approach Kyabje Samdhong Rinpoche and ask him.

Also, if you sincerely wish to verify this truth about Ling Rinpoche’s position on Dolgyal, you can approach some of the principal students of the previous Ling Rinpoche such as Rato Kyongla Rinpoche in America, Dagpo Rinpoche in France, Gala Rinpoche in Ladakh, and Thupten Tsering, the current attendant of Ling Choktrul Rinpoche who also served the previous Ling Rinpoche. In this way, you will come to face know the truth.

Q4: On whether His Holiness the Dalai Lama has banned the practice of Dolgyal:

Lama Tsongkhapa has entrusted the six-armed Mahakala, Vaishravana, and Dharma Raja— all of whom are known as protectors endowed with the eyes of primordial awareness— to protect his teachings. As if these protectors were incapable, propitiating Dolgyal –who himself is a perfidious, perilous spirit, controversial in nature, and a source of animosity and contempt for the Geluk tradition—will never accord with the wishes of Tsongkhapa.

Although the Nyingma tradition is the one that started with the onset of Buddhism in Tibet when Guru Padmasambhava, Shantarakshita and the Tibetan King Trisong Detsen established the very foundation of Buddhism in Tibet as they assembled together at Samye Cathedral of Tibet, Dolgyal and his practitioners view the practice of the Nyingma tradition as perverted or mistaken, and engage in heinous karmas of denigrating and forsaking the Dharma. They bluff others into thinking that Dolgyal would destroy them if Geluk practitioners keep with them even a text of the Nyingma tradition; this creates rifts and antagonism among different religious traditions and is detrimental to the Buddha Dharma on the whole. In short, the practice of Dolgyal is harmful to both the common cause of the Tibetans and the Tibetan tradition of Buddhism. Individually, its practice has more risks than benefits to its practitioners. Thus, His Holiness has advised the Tibetans that propitiating this perfidious spirit is not good for them. However, there was no such thing as banning it or forcing others to give it up. Time and again, His Holiness has emphasised that it is one’s individual freedom to continue propitiating it or to give it up. In making this point clear, His Holiness has cited the famous Tibetan saying:

I [the Cache Phalu,] have spoken these words from my heart.
Whether to listen to them or not is your own freedom’.

His Holiness further explained: “While knowing this truth about Dolgyal, if I were to keep quiet and be discreet about it, it would be a mistake on my part. However, if you do not listen, that would be your mistake”.

However, to those propitiating Dolgyal, His Holiness has asked them not to attend his teachings of empowerment, transmission and instruction, as well as to not receive religious vows from him since doing so will not be good for both sides [teacher and student] because of tainted relationship. His Holiness has strongly emphasised this. As a spiritual master, His Holiness has every right to allow or not to allow anyone to access His teachings.

Q5: That His Holiness should stop advising people on giving up the practice of Dolgyal:

His Holiness has many reasons for advising people against the practice of Dolgyal. Some of these are:

  1. Once someone has entered the door of Buddhism and accepted the three jewels as infallible objects of refuge, taking refuge in mundane worldly deities is against the advice of the refuge commitment and due to this, one is naturally expelled from the midst of Buddhists.
  2. Unable to bear seeing the exploitation of the impeccable teachings of Tsongkhapa by reducing them to the worship of a perilous controversial-spirit, His Holiness’ advice is aimed at restoring the teachings to their original lustre.
  3. Although the different Tibetan religious traditions of Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu and Geluk have been founded in Tibet at different times in history, all of them are the same followers of Buddha Shakyamuni. However, Dolgyal followers threaten that if anyone from the Geluk tradition practises teachings of the Nyingma tradition, there would be serious retribution on him from Dolgyal. This is stated in ‘The Nectars from the Mouth of Heroic Fatherly-Master’, composed by Zemed Rinpoche. Such threats create animosity among different traditions. In U-Tsang as well as Kham province of Tibet, there were many incidents of Dolgyal followers’ disgraceful acts of throwing into water or putting into flame images of Guru Padmasambhava and texts of Padma Kathang, causing great rifts between the same followers of Buddhism. Such acts brought disgrace on the whole of the Buddha Dharma and its followers, thereby greatly harming the harmonious unity of all the Tibetan due to hostile attitudes against one another, especially among the different religious traditions of Tibet.
  4. Let alone being a protector mentioned in the authentic Tantric scriptures of Buddha Shakyamuni, Dolgyal is not a protector subdued and entrusted with the responsibility of protecting the Dharma by Padmasambhava, or any other of his twenty five retinues. Be it Marpa, Milerapa and Dagpo Lhaje, nor any of the five supreme Sakya masters, or the trinity of Geluk’s spiritual father and sons, or any of Tsongkhapa’s eight perfect disciples, none of them ever entrusted Dolgyal with the responsibility of a Dharma protector. Apart from not being among those Dharma protectors who were entrusted by these great masters, Dolgyal remained a controversial perfidious-spirit for the last 400 years.
  5. While systematically arranging a merit field, although as a religious tradition we have the sequential arrangement of the spiritual lamas first, then the Tantric Deities, followed by the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Heroes, Dakinis and Dharma protectors [with the eyes of primordial awareness], the followers of Dolgyal seem to forcefully squeeze Dolgyal in amidst the Tantric deities. On the other hand, they have been propagating that Dolgyal is also a protector of Tsongkhapa’s tradition. But such dubious misleading claims have no reliable source at all. Let alone any origin in Lord Buddha’s authentic Tantric corpuses, even in the eighteen volumes of Tsongkhapa’s work, you will never find even a single word referring to Dolgyal or Shugden as a Dharma protector. Thus, it is neither a protector nor any Tantric Deity.What then is Dolgyal or Shugden? Well, it is a demonic spirit. If asked what proof is there, it is important to trace the origin of Dolgyal who initially introduced himself to Sakya Dakchen Sonam Rinchen. When Dakchen Sonam Rinchen asked Dolgyal who he was, Dolgyal confided in him and said, ‘I am the demonic spirit of Gedenpa [Geluk]’. It is clearly mentioned in Trijang Rinpoche’s Commentary to the Eulogy of Shugden. Demonic spirit means one that harms beings and teachings. Hence, there is no way we can have a demonic spirit for a Dharma protector.Thus, it is only a manifest sign of the degenerate time that people claim of Dolgyal as a Tantric Deity or a Dharma protector. In the advice given to Gungthang Tenpai Drolme by Yongzin Pandita Yeshe Gyaltsen, the tutor to His Holiness the 8th Dalai Lama, he says thus:“In the degenerate age when the last 500th years would ensue,
    Some perfidious spirits that roam in the sky
    Would display aggressive pride of being Tantric Deities.
    Therefore, none should rely on such demonic spirits”.Thus, it is important to give proper thought on these lines of warning that came from one of the apostles of the Geluk tradition.If Dolgyal is a Dharma protector of Tsongkhapa’s teaching, in which work or volume of Tsongkhapa is it mentioned? Neither of the hierarchal heads of the Geluk tradition nor any of its authentic masters has appointed Dolgyal as the protector of Tsongkhapa’s doctrine. None of the Panchen Lamas or the Dalai Lamas—whose chains of reincarnations have been immensely beneficial to Tsongkhapa’s tradition— ever appointed Dolgyal as the protector of Tsongkhapa’s doctrine.
  6. Earlier, when His Holiness visited the Tibetan settlements, many would bring forth petitions requesting for protection from mishaps and harms. There were many cases of people who became mentally unstable. Many would confide that their divinations indicated that such harms were inflicted by Dolgyal. It appears that causing a slight displeasure would result in mishaps for those who propitiate Dolgyal. Ideally, genuine protectors would never come down heavily on their humble devotees.

Q6: That His Holiness has expelled practitioners of Dolgyal from monastic institutions:

Until now, there was not a single case of His Holiness expelling anyone from any monastic institutes. However, there were cases where individual monasteries implemented their own monastic disciplinary actions based on their own regulations as a result of which some had to leave. This and the other case where monks conducted democratic referendum of choosing sticks to decide on which side to join are totally in line with the Vinaya tradition of Buddhism.

Q7: That His Holiness has sent the abbot of Gaden Shartse to invite Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche to attend His Lamrim teachings:

All devotees who attend any formal Buddhist teachings do it on their own initiatives. We have no tradition of inviting people to teachings by sending them invitation cards like people usually do when they invite others to parties or concerts. Their claim that His Holiness had sent for Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche asking him to attend His Holiness’s Lamrim teachings is a deliberate attempt to create speculations. As Trijang Rinpoche is traditionally connected with Gaden Shartse Monastery, the abbot of Gaden Shartse took his own initiative and met with Trijang Rinpoche while he was touring US. On this, the abbot himself made it public on the internet. There is no need for further clarification.

Q8: That Dolgyal practitioners were expelled from their services in the Tibetan Administration, and from Tibetan settlements and schools:

This is something that they have raised in 1996 as an accusation against the Tibetan Administration in exile. At that time the secretaries of the respective departments along with the directors of Tibetan schools in exile had answered and clarified everything. As such, such rumours could not last long in India and Nepal. However, this misleading and baseless accusation is now being raised as an issue in the west by Dolgyal followers. If ever such expulsion did happen, then they should come with concrete evidence of who was expelled from where and when. Otherwise, shouting aimlessly without any truthful basis is only a naked display of their disgraceful faces in the public. Nothing positive would come out from that.

Q9: On whether there was any security threat to His Holiness that led to the construction of another security fence round the residence of His Holiness:

A red wall around the residence of His Holiness existed from the time the residence was constructed in 1968. Then in 1997 when Dolgyal practitioners murdered the Director of the Tibetan Institute of Buddhist Dialectics along with two of his students at Dharmsala in the Director’s room, that was only far by a walking distance from the residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the central government of India as well as the state government of Himachal Pradesh, on seeing imminent threats from Dolgyal practitioners, strengthened the security measures for His Holiness. So, at that time they not only renovated and reconstructed the old wall but also constructed a wired security fence around the residence of His Holiness. Last year, the security department of our exile administration did another renovation of the security walls.

Q10: On the accusation that the Tibetan administration deliberately sent people to attack one of the staff of Trijang residence:

If it is indeed true that the Tibetan administration had sent people to attack one of the staff of Trijang residence in south India, then they should name the department and the respective staff members who were behind this, name out those who carried the actual attack and let the law take its own course. Without anything to support their false accusation, there is no way they could get away with it.

Q11: Some examples of accomplished scholarly adepts of different traditions who were strongly against the propitiation of Dolgyal:

  1. Dolgyal is a demonic spirit who took such a form since the time of the great 5th Dalai Lama. Born from perverted prayers as the cause, its nature is that of a demonic ghostly-spirit with the role of bringing harms to beings and Dharma [Lord Buddha’s teachings]. This is clearly stated in the autobiography [called Dukulai Goesang] of the great 5th Dalai Lama in volume 11 and 21 of his Tibetan-alphabetically labelled works.
  2. Trichen Ngawang Chogden—who was one of the hierarchal heads of the Geluk system as well as the tutor of the 7th Dalai Lama— identified Dolgyal as a perilous demonic-spirit [Gyalgong Dugpachen] and had even dismantled a Lhatho [stone-built dwelling for spirits] of Dolgyal on the hill adjacent to Gaden Jangtse Monastery. This is clearly stated in the biography of Trichen Ngawang Chokden called Pleasant Stories—Akin to the Great Drums of the Celestials—on How the Land of the Dakinis was Accomplished, written by Changkya Rolpai Dorji.
  3. Phurchok Jampa Ngawang [1682—1768] — who was a great custodian of the Lamrim tradition and an ardent follower of the Geluk tradition— referred to Dolgyal as an evil spirit. He reprimanded the followers of Dolgyal for being in the garb of monastic robes and taking refuge in an evil spirit. This is clearly mentioned there in the work of Phurchok Jampa Ngawang called History of the Emergence of the Four Great Seats and the Two [Upper and Lower] Tantric Colleges Called a Garland of White Lotuses.
  4. Yongzin Yeshe Gyaltsen, the tutor of the 8th Dalai Lama had recognised Dolgyal as a wicket spirit. This is clearly mentioned in the biography of Yongzin Yeshe Gyaltsen called The Light of the Sun that Causes the Lotus of the Accomplished One’s teachings to Blossom as composed by the 7th Dalai Lama.
  5. The 8th Panchen Lama Tenpai Wangchuk referred to Dolgyal as a hungry ghost that roams in the sky. This is mentioned in his biography. The monastic constitution of Tashi Lhunpo that was introduced by the 8th Panchen Lama forbids its monks from propitiating Dolgyal. These two have been widely published in Tibet with forewords from the 10th Panchen Lama.
  6. Ngulchu Yangchen Drupai Dorji [1809-1887] recognised Dolgyal as a harmful spirit. This is mentioned in his biography.
  7. In the biography of Alak Jigme Dhamchoe Gyatso as composed by Tseten Shabdrung [1910-1985], a scholar from Domed region of Tibet, it mentions about incidences of how some students of Kyabje Phabongkha, while hailing Shugden as the embodiment of the three jewels, created debates on the philosophical positions of the new and the old tradition, threw images of Guru Padhmashambahva into water, denounced the recitation of Benze Guru mantra as useless, burnt the scriptures of Pedma Khathang, and denounced the turning around of the Mani wheel as fruitless.
  8. Minling Terdhaklingpa, an eminent Nyingma master, described Dolgyal as a perilous demonic-spirit. This is mentioned in his biography called Terdhalingpa Gyurme Dorji’s Biography Called the Chariot of Devotion as written by Minling Lochen Dharma Shri.
  9. Dzongsar Jamyang Khentse Chokyi Lodoe, who was a great master profoundly learnt in the practices of all traditions of Buddhism in Tibet, considered Dolgyal as a spirit who belongs to the classes of Kordhags [a kind of treasure guarding spirit], devilish king-spirits, ghosts, demonic spirits, and wizards arisen from death or zombies. Dolgyal, like these others, was considered a subject for giving ritual cakes usually given to such ghostly beings. This is clearly mentioned in the ritual text Dedicating the Ritual Feasts to Kordhag and DemonicSpirits, composed by Jamyang Khentse Rinpoche.
  10. To Sakya Dhakchen Sonam Rinchen, Dolgyal himself confessed that he was the demonic-spirit of Gedenpa [Geluk]. This is clearly stated in the biography of Dakchen Sonam Rinchen as composed by his son Dakchen Kunga Lodroe. It is further elaborated in the Commentary to Dolgyal’s Eulogy by Trijang Rinpoche. Demonic-spirit means a devil that creates disharmonies among harmonious ones and leads others onto erroneous paths.
  11. The 5th Drukpa Yongzin Yeshi Dhondup [1781-1834], an eminent master of Drukpa Kagyu lineage, mentions in the text A Portion of the Story of the Omniscient Master Called the Treasury of Vases with the Supreme Blessings that Dolgyal had accepted that he has many evil retinues in the form of ghostly spirits.
  12. The fact that His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama was against Dolgyal practice is clearly mentioned in the biography of Kyabje Phabongkhapa Dechen Nyingpo.
  13. It is also mentioned in the biography of Phabongkha Rinpoche that Dakpo Lama Rinpoche Jamphel Lhundrup did not propitiate Shugden but kept him outside his residence as a gate keeper, just in the same manner dogs were kept for the same reason in the past [in Tibet].
  14. If you still are not very sure about these, you can always consult others such as the following spiritual masters from all traditions: Sakya Trichen Gongma Rinpoche, Gaden Tri Rinpoche, Gyalwa Karmapa, Kyabje Drikung Chetsang Rinpoche, Kyabje Drukchen Rinpoche, Kyabje Menri Trichen Rinpoche, Pel Taklung Shabrung Rinpoche, Pel Matrul Rinpoche, Pel Jangtse Choje Rinpoche, Pel Sharpa Choje Rinpoche, Pel Tia Situ Rinpoche, and Pel Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche etc.

Doing so would definitely throw light on the matter as described earlier and ensure you proper guidance.

Q12: On the claim that it is due to Dolgyal’s assistance that His Holiness the Dalai Lama was able to escape and reach India safely:

In the month of February in 1959, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche [the junior tutor to His Holiness] was said to have secretly [without being noticed by the Chinese] sent words to Rato Chowar Rinpoche to consult Dolgyal on the matter. Other than that, the followers of Dolgyal have no other reasonable proof to speak about Dolgyal’s possible role in the escape of His Holiness to India.

In 1958, just as His Holiness completed His monastic graduation after the final Monastic Debate Examination in Drepung, His Holiness visited Nechung monastery. At that time, His Holiness and His Tibetan ministers were warned by Nechung [the state oracle of Tibet] of an imminent danger of the coming of a desolate and helpless period. That first warning came exactly one year before the actual escape. After that, in the old Meru as well as in the Upper Chamber of Potala, at the residence of His Holiness called Gaden Yangtse, Nechung further gave a prophesy saying ‘I, the formless one, would see if I could improvise a bridge for crossing over the impassable river’. This is mentioned in the autobiography of Khabje Trijang Rinpoche. Then on the 15th of March, 1959, Nechung gave his direction that His Holiness should leave from Norbu Lingka palace after three days from that day onward. Then on 17th, Nechung again came into trance, took a pen and a paper from the table of His Holiness and wrote all directions concerning which roads to take and when. So, His Holiness was thus advised to leave on that very night. This is clearly mentioned by His Holiness in his autobiography Freedom in Exile.

Q13: On the claim that the practice of ‘swearing of life’ [Sogted] within the practice of Dolgyal is attributed to Takphu Pema Benza’s pure vision as the original source:

Surprisingly, in the secret biography of Takphu Pema Benza called Sealed Secret Stories with Multitudes of Deception that contains stories about all his pure visions, there is not even a single word about the practice of ‘swearing of life’ in connection with Shugden. In The Compendium of Rituals for Invoking Them to Perform Services, Means of Relying on Them as well as Hailing Them, and Constructions of Shrines for the Oceans of Dharma Protectors Bound by Oath as composed by Takphu Gharki Wangchuk, one would never see even a single word about Shugden. Thus, isn’t it more likely that tracing the origin of ‘the practice of ‘swearing the life’ in connection with Dolgyal is only a bluff and probably a cunning work of someone else who borrowed Takphu Rinpoche’s name in order to mislead others?

Q14: On the accusation that His Holiness and the Central Tibetan Administration had sent petition to the Indian government that led to the imprisonment of Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche:

When Dudjom Rinpoche was returning back from Dharmsala after attending a religious conference there, he was detained at Tishita, and then imprisoned at Siliguri. There are two versions on why he was imprisoned. The first version is that as Gangtok, Kalimpong and Darjeeling were important and sensitive border areas that need special security measures, he was needed to apply for special permit to leave the place for some other destinations. As Rinpoche and his entourage did not have that kind of knowledge on such regulations, he was detained and imprisoned upon his return for not having applied for the permission to leave.

Another version is that some, due to their hostility towards Rinpoche, wrote petitions to the Indian government that led to his arrest. Many believe the first version to be true. At that time, all the Tibetans in those settlements made rigorous appeals to the local authorities there. On hearing this news, His Holiness the Dalai Lama immediately sent His envoy and requested the Indian government through a written petition of his own. This led to Rinpoche’s release shortly thereafter.

Citing such incidences to create antagonism between the Geluk and Nyingma tradition will never find its way to success. Nowadays, we are in complete harmony with mutual respects. Why are Dolgyal proponents intolerable to our peaceful co-existence?

Q15: On the story that Nechung—who appeared in front of Lama Tsongkhapa in the guise of a boy in white coloured dressed— requested Tsongkhapa to send with him a protector who would assist him in safeguarding the Dharma:

If this indeed were the case, it should be mentioned either in the biographies of Tsongkhapa, or his spiritual heirs such as Gyaltsab Je, Khedrup Je or his eight perfect retinues. But we do not find even a single word about such a falsified story of Shudgen in any of their biographies. Neither in the biography of Dulzin Dakpa Gyaltsen nor in Nechung’s history could we find origin for such a dodgy story. On the contrary, we find that the practice of Dolgyal invites the repulsion of both Nechung and Palden Lhamo. With an open mind, if you look at different historical records from the time of His Holiness the great 5th Dalai Lama until the 13th Dalai Lama, as well as at His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s systematic and thorough investigation into the matter, this will become very clear.

In short, Dolgyal is someone who has a strong aversion to the non-sectarian approach as practised by most of the successive Dalai Lamas and many other eminent masters of all traditions in Tibet. In the work of Zemed Rinpoche called ‘The Nectars from the Mouth Of Heroic FatherlyMaster’, it explicitly mentions stories of how Dolgyal took punitive actions against more than twenty Lamas and leaders such as one of the Tibetan regents by putting them to death. The reason as mentioned in that book for such executions was for practising the Nyingma tradition even as they originally belonged to the tradition of Tsongkhapa.

Nechung is the one who initially related about Dolgyal to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and requested His Holiness not to associate with him. If the story of how Nechung requested Tulku Dakpa Gyaltse to arise into the form of a protector as Shugden or Dolgyal has any truth in it, then there is no way why Nechung would complain about Dolgyal when His Holiness got associated with the latter. When Nechung speaks about Dolgyal, he would refer to Dolgyal as ‘Ase Kyampo’ which means that La Agya’s son who was born as a demonic spirit, wanders everywhere, harming both the beings and teachings. A stands for his mother La Agyal, Se means son in Tibetan and Kyampo means wanderer. As such, Nechung specifically gave him that name. Thus, Nechung’s displeasure with Dolgyal is undoubtedly clear.

More importantly, even Palden Lhamo does not favour Dolgyal at all. In the past when Gaden Jangtse monastery in south India continuously faced mishaps, they requested Trijang Rinpoche for a divination. Rinpoche told them that they had displeased Palden Lhamo due to which they were experiencing signs of her displeasure. According to systematic and strict divinations performed on several occasions by His Holiness on the matter, the displeasure of Palden Lhamo was invited by the monastery’s association with Dolgyal.

Q16: On whether His Holiness has violated their religious freedom:

With the Chinese occupation of Tibet, the survival of the Tibetan tradition of Buddhism as well as its greatly realised and learnt masters was at stake. Unable to bear this, with utmost concern and determination, His Holiness has successful and skilfully revived and maintained this impeccable tradition in exile. His assiduous activities for the revival, preservation and proliferation of the flawless tradition of the Buddha Dharma as well as his role in establishing a strong foundation for the Buddha Dharma in those parts of the world that had never experienced even the sound of Dharma before is widely known by everyone. As part of his activities of correcting inconsistencies and refining the Dharma, His Holiness has been advising that there is more risk than benefit in propitiating this demonic spirit of strained commitment called Dolgyal. Such an advice is totally in line with those of all traditions in which people advise and warn those within their own tradition against erroneous social and religious practices. Thus, by all means, this should be seen as safeguarding their interest by giving them proper advice and not as breaching or violating their religious freedom. Pledging to never seek refuge in any mundane worldly-deity such as Dolgyal [who is recognised by many past and present realised masters as a demonic spirit] is totally in line with the vows pertaining to taking refuge in the Buddhas.

It is widely accepted among Buddhists that once a Buddhist seeks refuge in any mundane worldly-deity or naga, he is naturally disqualified from the midst of Buddhists. If reiterating this advice is considered violating and depriving others of their religious freedom, then even Buddha Shakyamuni as well as Lama Tsongkhapa and all successive Buddhist masters should be blamed for depriving others of their religious freedom.

Also, within the different religious traditions of the world, there are many who accept the notion of the creator and soul while others do not accept such religious view points. However, in any part of the world, we do not hear them accusing one another for depriving them of religious freedom. According to the Dolgyal proponents, since those who postulate a theistic position disagree with the non-theistic position and those who accept a notion of soul contradict others who do not accept such a view, they have to accept that these different religious traditions deprive one another of religious freedom.

Each religious tradition has its own sets of religious codes of conducts and commitments in their own social structure. Those who breach such religious boundaries are dealt according to their own ways of reprimanding and reviving their commitments. So, if an irreconcilable difference ensues, people choose to live their own traditions separately. As such, since those who strongly follow His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the propitiators of Dolgyal could not co-exist harmoniously, the concerned monasteries decided to implement the monastic Vinaya [Buddha’s prescription] tradition of referendum by choosing one from the stacks of sticks with two different colours. Such a democratic referendum is totally in tune with the monastic tradition in Buddhism.

Thus, as the propitiator of Dolgyal then went on to find their own separate monasteries taking their own shares of money and land with them, and as they have complete freedom of practising Dolgyal on their own without any threat to their daily activities, is this really a violation of religious freedom? Also, if you don’t have religious freedom, then how come that you travel to all parts of the world raising your issue of Dolgyal and trying to see if this spirit could find new worshippers from amidst those who are totally naive, innocent and vulnerable?

Q17: On their vilification that His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is not an emanation of Avalokiteshwara [The Buddha of compassion] and that His Holiness is not the authentic reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama:

The belief that the successive reincarnations of the Dalai Lamas are emanations of Avalokiteshwara has its root in many authentic Buddhist scriptures and prophesies of some of Tibet’s greatest masters. It is a pity that you never got to see them. The fact that present Dalai Lama is the reincarnation of the great 13th Dalai Lama is in accordance with prophesies of eminent masters and Dharma protectors. His Holiness was selected through different modes of traditional examinations such as divinations, recollections and recognitions of the young candidates etc. The fact that His Holiness is the real Dalai Lama is known all over the world.

From another perspective, although you hold Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche with utmost respect, is it not denigrating him for he had served—first as a debate assistant, and then as a tutor for—His Holiness throughout his life since the day of his appointment, with absolute recognition of His Holiness as the true reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama? During one of the public teachings of Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, he related his confidence in His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s divine activities and further elaborated that if the collective good karmas of the Tibetan people could sustain it, then this 14th Dalai Lama’s activities would surpass the activities of the great 5th, 7th and 13th Dalai Lamas, all combined together.

In the long-life prayer for His Holiness composed jointly by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, it says thus:

“By the power of this fervent supplication from the heart,
To the infallible and exalted ones among objects of refuge,
May the supreme Ngawang Lobsang Tenzin Gyatso,
The only sublime refuge of the people of the Land of snow such as myself and others,
Who are overwhelmed by agonising pains of degeneration,

 Live unflinchingly and eternally throughout the oceans of aeons
On the completely indestructible and sublime Vajra throne
Without ever wavering, changing or dissolving the three secrets.
Through the power of your determinations,
As you shoulder the responsibilities of all the activities of infinite Buddhas,
You, who is essentially endowed with swift activities that benefit all,
May all your divine wishes be fulfilled spontaneously”.

If you contemplate on these words of the two tutors of His Holiness and reflect on how much they revered His Holiness, you will come to see what your real self looks like.

While attacking His Holiness of not being the reincarnation of the previous Dalai Lamas, you seem to highly revere the reincarnation of Trijang Rinpoche who was recognised and given the honour by His Holiness. Don’t you see this as paradoxical or hypocritical?

These contemptible activities of yours also belittle and denigrate the whole life of Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche who, according to you, was either ignorant of the fact that the present Dalai Lama is not the genuine Dalai Lama or you must accept that he had tutored the fake Dalai Lama. What other vilification of Kyabje Trijang could be more disgraceful than this?

Q18: On the claim that Dolgyal is a genuine Dharma protector:

In one of the prophesies of Nechung, when His Holiness asked him about Kyabje Phabongka Rinpoche, without any sign of hesitation Nechung responded thus:

Although there is no doubt that Phabongkha is a great practitioner, he made tremendous mistakes in his later part of life and because of that, I, the king of Pehar, was outraged with feelings of discontentment. This, you will come to know if you find out what kind of inauspiciousness occurred at the end of his life. If you find out with what kind of bad omens his reincarnation died in India, you will come to see my point. Not only that, but his successive reincarnations will not be able to complete their lifespan and Dharmic activities in future”.

Hence, as per this prophesy, if you find out how Kyabje Phabongka Rinpoche came to face the end of his life from reliable sources, you will come to know the truth. Kyabje Phabongkha’s biography mentions that while Kyabje Phabongkha was giving teachings at Meru Gon monastery in Lhasa, he was suddenly seized by great pain and from then onwards, for the rest of his life until his final day, half of his body turned dark-blue. Finally when he was going to Lhasa from Kham, in the Pothang pass of Dagpo region, while he was taking meal in a family there, he suddenly felt sick with haematemesis [an illness when one vomits bloods profusely] and passed away due to that. Although ideally Dolgyal should be there to protect Kyabje Phabongkha Rinpoche throughout day and night as Phabongkha Rinpoche was the one who placed him in the midst of protectors, it appears that Dolgyal failed him too.

Kyabje Phabongka’s second reincarnation, although initially appeared like a promising scholar, felt ill in Buaxar Tibetan camp and died at a young age in Darjeeling due to intestinal disorder.

As for the present third reincarnation of Phabongka, if you look at his accomplishments and activities, whether or not Dolgyal has really served him probably or caused him more harm than benefit would become clear.

As for the reincarnation of Trijang Rinpoche, he left his monastery although ideally it is best that he received his monastic trainings there. He now lives in US without even being successful in continuing his monastic life. Is this the way Dolgyal protects and nurtures his practitioners?

As for Guru Dewa who was an ardent believer and propitiator of Dolgyal, in his later part of life, first he was expelled from the abbotship of his monastery following a contention between two monasteries, and shortly thereafter he was killed. This is something widely known to all. As for Zemed Rinpoche, it is also a known fact that while he was doing a consecration of newly constructed statues of the five different aspects of Gyalchen/Dolgyal at Dunkar Gonpa in Darjeeling, he was suddenly struck with paralysis and turned dumb. From then onwards until the end of his life, he remained in that condition of total paralysis.

In the same way, if you dig out how Dakgom Rinpoche died with what kind of illness, the truth will not be pleasant to hear.

Quite recently, Dolgyal followers seem to conspicuously declare that Dolgyal is a compassionate and wise Buddha who helps to heal its practitioners from diseases. If indeed this is the case, then this should now be displayed and proved by helping Kelsang Gyatso in England who we hear isn’t well, and is not able to speak. As he is an ardent practitioner of Dolgyal, perhaps we might see miracles.

Anyhow, it is very important to see and hear both positions before coming to an abrupt conclusion. After looking into all the textual sources from both sides, if you make a decision through thorough analysis, it would be much better than simply relying on one-sided story.

Q19: On the accusation that some Tibetans from Chatring and Gyalthang who practise Shugden were treated badly at the Reception Centre for the Newly Arrived Tibetans in Dharamsala:

On 7th May, 2007, twenty eight Tibetans from Chatring and Gyalthang region in Tibet reached the Reception Centre for the Tibetan refugees in Nepal. They were later joined by another three. So, all of those thirty one Shugden followers were given the same treatment usually accorded to all Tibetans who would newly arrive from Tibet. From the thirty one Tibetans, fourteen of them reached the reception centre in Dharamsala on 29th May. Nine of them were sent to Mussorrie Homes School while two went to TCV School at Suja in Bir Tibetan settlement. Three of them went to Sherab Gatsel Ling. From the initial thirty one, the remaining sixteen went to Gaden Dokhang Khangtsen and Sermey Pomra Khangtsen, while one decided to go to TCV School at Suja.

It is accused that they were not given reference letters by the reception centre. Generally, irrespective of whether there was a reference letter or not, these two houses at Gaden and Sera would always admit any Shugden practitioner who wishes to join their house unconditionally; Shugden practitioners arriving from Tibet also considered these two houses as their home, and this fact is not something new to either of us.

On 1st Jan. 1998, led by the Gaden Tripa and the two Vice Chancellors of Geluk, abbots, ex-abbots and representatives from Sera, Drepung, Gaden, Tashi Lhunpo, Namgyal Monastery, Gyuto and Gyume Monastery, Tawang Monastery and other monasteries gathered at a meeting in Sera Monastery. They unanimously passed a resolution that declared that they would completely disassociate from indulging in any social and spiritual matter with any of the Shugden practitioners.

In 2004, from 30th June until 1st July, they met again in Dharamsala and decreed a set of directives for all the Geluk Monastic Institutes. In that, the seventh point is about a new rule which made it mandatory for all the Geluk Monastic Institutes that any new recruit or aspirant who wishes to join any of these institutes must be free of the practice of Shugden.

For these reasons, it was not easy for the reception centre to give them references to go to any of these monastic institutes. Although they were given explanations in this respect, they could not come to term with reality and left the reception centre on their own. Thus, the Central Tibetan Administration must not be held accountable for their dissatisfaction that stemmed from their unnecessary association with a controversial spirit. Sixteen of them stayed at the reception centre beyond the limit of stay for new arrivals, creating fusses unnecessarily. They complained that if they were not satisfied, they would return to Tibet, and even sought expenses for their return journey to Tibet. Although it was decided to give them money for their return, on 4th Oct, they suddenly left the reception centre on their own without any notice.

Q20: On the question of whether His Holiness the Dalai Lama had breached the advice pertaining to the refuge-mind when His Holiness himself propitiated Dolgyal for a while since 1951:

This speculation only resulted from your lack of knowledge on the distinction between propitiation of Dolgyal by a truly qualified Lama who would only treat him as a servant, and the propitiation by an ordinary person who would only treat him as the embodiment of all the refuge-objects. Therefore, a short clarification is necessary here.

At the time when His Holiness was first introduced to Dolgyal in 1951, His Holiness was only sixteen years old. In any advanced society, a sixteen year old boy is not considered an adult. It is only when they have attained the age of eighteen that they are considered adults and allowed to vote. As His Holiness has taken an ordinary human form that displays the appearance of an ordinary being, from this perspective, His Holiness was not familiar with the true face of Dolgyal at that time.

On the other hand, when His Holiness was in Dromo Dungkar Monastery, the mediums of Nechung and Gadong, the two Dharma protectors of Tibet, were not among His Holiness entourage. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, who was one of His Holiness’s debate assistants at that time, was among the entourage at Dungkar Monastery. With these factors into play, His Holiness got newly introduced to Dolgyal at that time. However, there is a huge difference between your treatment of Dolgyal as the embodiment of all refuge-objects and His Holiness’s treatment of Dolgyal as a servant. Therefore, how could treating of a spirit as a servant breach one’s refuge-commitment?

Speaking from another perspective, although Buddha Shakyamuni had first studied under various non-Buddhist saints and scholars when he was a prince, he was not satisfied with what he had learnt from them. Thus, he did six years of meditation with complete austerity near the Niranjaana river. Later, he attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya and gave his first teaching at Varanasi. Just as he defeated the fallacious views of six non-Buddhist scholarly saints and Devdas by overpowering them with his miraculous spiritual feats, and gave public teachings extensively and led people on the path of joy and liberation, His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s activities could also be explained in similar terms. When His Holiness was young and was not aware of the true face of Dolgyal, he came to be associated with Dolgyal. Later, as he attained his age and wisdom, although he became suspicious about the true face of Dolgyal when facts began to unfold, His Holiness did not leave it there. For years, he conducted his different modes of investigations, and looked into historical accounts related to Dolgyal’s legacy. When he was finally convinced of Dolgyal’s perilous nature, His Holiness completely forsook his propitiation of Dolgyal and gradually started advising others on the issue. When seen from the eyes of those who know Buddhism well, this is a great contribution towards the Buddha Dharma in general, and Tsongkhapa’s tradition in particular— awakening those under the influence of ignorance to the truth about a spirit that they worship blindly.

Q21: In one of the Tibetan Public Talk series, they talked about visits of Trisur Lungrik Namgyal to some Dolgyal-monasteries while a document produced from Singapore praised the stance adopted by Trisur Lungrik Namgyal who continues to remain devoted to Dolgyal:

The ex-Gaden Tripa or Trisur Lungrik Namgyal’s association with Dolgyal or his position on Dolgyal was widely speculated in our society due to his activities, devious talks and interactions with Shugdenpas. So, while he was holding the position of Sharpa Choeje [one of the two Geluk Vice-Chancellors], his ascend to the throne of Gaden Tripa became an issue of contention. Therefore, he wrote a petition to the Religious Department of CTA on 15th April, 1997 in which he tried to clarify himself. In that, he wrote thus:

‘His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Avalokiteshvara in person, is the sole refuge of the people of Tibet. I have revered him as my Vajra Master for more than forty years. In the past, I have neither betrayed him nor transgressed his words. Now that I am seventy-one years old, and being a monk of such an old age, my despising of His Holiness would happen only if I became insane. I have no intention of doing any such things in future.’ With this, he signed his petition.

Thus, he cleared his obstacle to ascending the throne of Gaden Tripa, and on 14th Jan. 2003, he approached the Tibetan Secretary of His Holiness to explain his position on Dolgyal, and swore that he had completely abandoned Dolgyal. According to the note of the Secretary that he wrote down at the time to be conveyed to His Holiness, Trisur Lungrik Namgyal was quoted as saying thus:

“I had received teachings of empowerments and transmissions of Chakrasamvara and others from Kyabje Yongzin Trijang Rinpoche. Zemey Rinpoche was my main teacher for scriptural lessons. I had received the life-entrusting initiation of Shugden from Zong Rinpoche at the Tibetan Rehabilitation Centre in Buaxur. At that time, although I did propitiate Dolgyal, I never tried to spread the practice. As His Holiness the Dalai Lama, with concern for Tibet’s spiritual and political well-being, has been advising us Tibetans to give up the practice of Dolgyal, I had also given up Dolgyal on my own accord in 1989. However, as some letters about Dolgyal that falsely used my name started circulating in our society, I had to make my position clear. In that clarification, I wrote thus:

‘I have revered His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the embodiment of Avalokiteshwara and the sole refuge for us Tibetans, as my Vajra Master for more than forty years. I have neither betrayed him in the past nor gone against his advices. Now that I am already seventy one years old, for such an elderly monk, unless I went totally insane, how could I despise His Holiness or lose my faith in him when I am nearing my death? I have no intention of doing so in future. As such, I request people to stop doubting me or speculating about me.’

With complete knowledge of all aspects of the issue, I have entirely given up the propitiation of Dolgyal. As I have done everything by taking the law of Karma into consideration, there is no reason for you to doubt me. I have every intention of clarifying my position to His Holiness the moment I get an audience with His Holiness. I am submitting this petition in advance and I hope to ascertain them once I came in the presence of His Holiness.”

The Secretary had Lungrik Namgyal’s sign his own statement after the latter went through them thoroughly. He then got an audience with His Holiness and his enthronement took place at Bodhgaya during the Kalachakra teaching of His Holiness. Lungrik Namgyal received the Kalachakra empowerment and repeated thus with the rest of the Vajra students:

‘Whatever the principle [Lama] advises me,
I would abide by all of them.’

Sometime later, during an elaborate long-life ceremony — a joint initiative by the people and gods of Tibet for His Holiness the Dalai Lama — which was held at Dharamsala and presided by Sakya Dhaktri Rinpoche and the other heads of Tibet’s major religious traditions, Trisur Lungrik Namgyal also took part. At the time, Nechung came into trance and offered Mandala to His Holiness. After that, although he offered scarves to other religious leaders, he did not offer any scarf to the incumbent Gaden Tripa Lungrik Namgyal. People then became even more suspicious of his true stance on the issue of Dolgyal despite his many clarifications.

In July, 2007, at a meeting under the chairmanship of Gaden Tripa Lungrik Namgyal who was flanked by the two Geluk Vice-Chancellors and joined by the abbots, ex-abbots as well as representatives of different Geluk religious organizations such as Sera; Drepung; Gaden; Tashi Lhunpo; Namgyal Monastery; Rato Monastery; Gyuto and Gyumed Tantric College; and the two Geluk MPs, they unanimously signed and reiterated that the sets of New Directives so formulated at the meeting must be implemented in all of Geluk’s major and minor institutes. There were 42 members who signed the directives. The 7th point of the 12th section is about the basic requirement for any new enrollment which specifically mentions that all monks and nuns in any Geluk institute must be free of Dolgyal’s practice. The resolution decrees that the new set of rules, set forth by the Gaden’s Board of Monastic Discipline, would become effective from the moment the Gaden Tripa signs the resolution. Thus, the incumbent Gaden Tripa signed the resolution on 2nd July, and the sets of directives that would govern all Geluk institutes became effective from that day onward.

In 2008, at Sera, Drepung and Gaden, the monks of these major monasteries took part in a referendum to decide whether they wanted to associate with those practising Shugden or not. The Gaden Tripa was not in India at that time, but sent his representative.

However, sadly, as soon as he finished his term of Gaden Tripa, his students living in his residence went to join the side of Dolgyal practitioners; people then became even more skeptical about his true position on the issue. Hence, people have many questions in their mind of which some are as follows:

  1. Has Lungrik Namgyal not forsaken his own past commitments?
  2. Has he forgotten that he had given his sign of approval to the Geluk’s Monastic Directives or has he snubbed them now?
  3. Trisur Lungrik Namgyal lives in France. A new association of Dolgyal followers has been recently founded in France. As his nephew Tenzin Nyinjed is an active member of this organization, people are getting even more suspicious of Trisur Lungrik Namgyal’s collaboration with the French Dolgyal association.
  4. While in the position of Gaden Tripa, Trisur Lungrik Namyal gave the present reincarnation of Trijang Rinpoche a reference letter which decrees that Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche has every capability to act as the head of Trijang Buddhist Institute. He had also authorised the Trijang Buddhist Institute to represent and transmit the teachings of the Geluk tradition of Tibetan Buddhism in the United States.Although Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche could not continue his studies at Gaden Monastery, it appears that Trisur Lungrik Namgyal did not consider this or Trijang Choktrul’s ardent commitment to Dolgyal. This act of carelessness or defiance is similar to a saying in Tibet that goes like this:‘The support for the barley flour of Tsampa has come from the washing soda; however, when a strong wind emerges, both are equally vulnerable.’
  5. Many now are of this opinion that the time has come for us to decide, through an urn-rotation divination, on whether or not the ‘honorary title of Trisur’ should be allowed for him since it is very unsure if his use of the title would bring harm or benefit to the tradition of Tsongkhapa. They are many who feel that just as Gyumed Tantric College had stripped off Gen Drati or Geshe Sonam Gyaltsen’s position among the lineage masters of Gyumed Tantric College after performing an urn-rotating divination in front of Dharma Raja, likewise, the same could be done with Trisur Lungrik Namgyal as there is a precedence to look up to as an example.
  6. Many in our society feel that it is such a bad example of someone who had been a Gaden Tripa to contradict himself and pose such a controversial outlook. Isn’t it time he saw his fault as fault and came back on the proper path like the rest of us?

Q22: A Shugden organization based in Singapore has been circulating a eulogy of Dolgyal called The Melody of Unceasing Vajra that carries the name of His Holiness the Dalai Lama as its author. The following is a clarification on this:

At the end of the year in 1950, His Holiness the Dalai Lama had to escape from Lhasa with a limited number of entourage to Dromo, a Tibetan border region close to India. At that time, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was just 16 yrs old. The two mediums of Nechung and Gadong, the official protectors of Tibet, were not among the entourage at that time. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche was at the time one of the debate assistants of His Holiness, and as His Holiness was very close to him, he also went with His Holiness. At that time, the entourage members of His Holiness were divided over two opinions, one persuading His Holiness to return to Tibet and the other requesting His Holiness to escape to India. At a time when no concrete decision seemed plausible, just as it is the tradition in Tibet to consult the spirits when humans could not decide, by coincidence, it happened that there was a medium of the peaceful Dulzin Oracle of Dolgyal in Dromo Dungkar Monastery; this and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche’s own involvement with Dolgyal contributed to His Holiness’s taking an interest in consulting the Shugden Oracle at that time. That was His Holiness’s first encounter with Dolgyal.

At that time, the Ritual Master, the Chanting Master, staff members of the Dromo Dungkar Monastery and the oracle of Dulzin unanimously requested His Holiness to compose a eulogy for Shugden. As His Holiness was completely new to Dolgyal Shugden, His Holiness consulted Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, who then offered the content for the eulogy. The eulogy thus came to be printed under the authorship of His Holiness.

In 1969, when Nechung warned His Holiness against propitiating Ase Kyampo [Dolgyal is called as such by Nechung], it occurred to His Holiness that there must be something to be investigated about Dolgyal, but nevertheless continued his propitiation. However, from then onwards for seven successive years, His Holiness applied all modes of religious investigation, and searched historical accounts to find the truth about Dolgyal. Convinced that there are more harms than benefits in propitiating Dolgyal, His Holiness completely forsook his own propitiation of Dolgyal in 1975. His Holiness then started advising a few Tibetans selectively when there was a need but did not speak publicly on the issue. Then as need arose for stronger advice on the matter, and as such strings of advice are truly great service to the Buddha Dharma as they would prevent people from falling into the pitfall of extremes, His Holiness started advising people publicly. His Holiness publicly acknowledged that he was wrong in not following the path followed by his predecessors, and that he made a mistake by getting involved with Dolgyal. This confession from His Holiness shows that His Holiness was without any arrogance or prejudice, in sharp contrast to the acts of arrogance and stupidity of many Dolgyal followers who blindly hang on to a bogus practice.

Generally speaking, when there are two seemingly contradictory positions of one individual, the latter, which is based not on a whim but a thorough investigation, is considered more reliable. In the Vinaya tradition, there are nine later-prescriptions of the Buddha in which there are several points that were challenged later although the Buddha himself had prescribed them earlier. This is unanimously known to all the upholders of the Vinaya tradition. Therefore, even the Buddha had negated some of his own advice that he had given earlier. It is a well known fact among the custodians of Vinaya that importance should be given to the latter-advice, and to implement this in daily practice: Otherwise, it may appear that there are some kinds of advice of the Buddha which are impossible to implement. However, Kunkyen Tsonawa, one of the top apostles of the Vinaya tradition in Tibet, says in his Vinaya Commentary that there is no prescription that cannot be put into practice. A student’s understanding of reality when he is in the middle school will differ greatly from his understanding as he attains his age and attends college; likewise, His Holiness’s position on Dolgyal is a result of years of investigations, and his present position, based on experience and logic, is totally consistent with the approaches of modern scientists who do not cling on to a blind faith.

Q23: In one of the circulatory documents of Dolgyal’s proponent that seem to have come from Singapore, by setting forth examples of Geshe Rabten’s reincarnation and Lama Yeshe’s reincarnation — who have both been recognised and enthroned — they have questioned His Holiness’ warning that reincarnations of Lamas practising Dolgyal would not find success in their future lives. The following is a response to this:

It is important to compare the two reincarnations with their predecessors and see if they have the same activities of benefitting others, same number of followers, and same social acceptance. If the reincarnations are no match against their predecessors, it means that something went wrong on the part of their predecessors. Generally, His Holiness did not say that they would be no reincarnations of those practising Dolgyal. His Holiness said that it would be difficult for them to find success throughout their successive reincarnations. If you truthfully look at the reincarnations of Kyabje Phabongkha and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, you will see a stark difference between them and their predecessors. This difference has resulted from the propitiation and propagation of Dolgyal by their two predecessors. When Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche was alive, His Holiness the Dalai Lama had requested him to be careful about Dolgyal by citing the example of difficulties Kyabje Phabongkha had to go through in his later part of life. Although we can never know what the ultimate reality is, to our ordinary perception, it appears that Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche’s reincarnation seemed to be suffering the same fate as that of the reincarnation of Kyabje Phabongkha Rinpoche: Although both of them are reincarnations of two high Lamas, it is clear that they have suffered a major setback in their studies, activities and respect in our society.

Lama Zoepa Rinpoche wrote an article titled The World and the Land of Snow in which he says that most of the practitioners of Dolgyal had met with untimely tragic death. One example that he cites is that of Geshe Yeshi Wangchuk who died by falling down the abyss from the vehicle he was travelling in, although none of the other passengers who were travelling together with him fell out from the vehicle. Sources say that at that time he was going to the eastern Tibet on a mission to propagate Dolgyal.

Lama Zoepa Rinpoche also says this in his article:

‘Gen Thupten Yeshi, whose compassion and kindness to me is even more than all the compassion of the Buddhas of the three times put together, and whose name is difficult for me to utter, was a strong practitioner of Dolgyal. When he was about to pass away, he shared with me that although he had practised Dolgyal throughout his entire life, he only saw the real face of Dolgyal when he was nearing his death and told me to remain free of any association with Dolgyal.’

This was an advice given when he was dying. If he had good experiences with Dolgyal, there was no way he would advise Zoepa Rinpoche against Dolgyal. On the contrary, he would have advised Zoepa Rinpoche to follow his own example. Usually when Lamas die, they would stay in meditative equipoise for days. However, sources tell us that when Lama Yeshi died, both of his eye balls came out while his body became extremely stiff. As for his reincarnation, instead of serving sentient beings with his religious activities, he seem to have very little faith in Dharma. Is this how Dolgyal helps his ardent worshippers in their future lives?

Q24: On the issue of religious freedom that they accuse His Holiness of depriving them:

Although Shugden fanatics stage demonstrations with slogans of ‘violation of religious freedom’ against His Holiness, such accusations only stem up from their lack of knowledge on what religious freedom is. His Holiness has time and again stated thus:

‘Generally, it is entirely up to the individuals to practise religion or not, and to practise any kind of religion as they like. However, once you have committed yourself to a religion, your actions and practices should confirm with the principles and practices of that particular religion. As far as Dolgyal is concerned, it is my fault if I kept you away without talking about Dolgyal’s history. Having heard them, it is entirely up to you to take them to your heart or not, and you will be accountable for all faults that will ensue later if you made the wrong choice. There is no force or a decree from me that stops you from worshipping Dolgyal. Once you did that, you would be naturally distancing yourself from me, and you would not receive teachings or vows from me. I would always tell people by quoting this:

‘I, Kache Palu, have given you my heartfelt advice.
To listen or not to them is entirely up to you.’

However, Dolgyal fanatics pretend as if they have not heard this part of His Holiness’s advice. Their demand of religious freedom is a mere bluff with political agendas behind, which fall short of any truthful evidence.

His Holiness has time and again emphasised that he is not seeking complete independence, but a meaningful autonomy for Tibet which is actually enshrined in the Chinese Constitution. More than thirty years have elapsed since His Holiness has made this repeated call. However, as the concerned Chinese authorities are reluctant to resolve Tibet’s issue, they have been evading dialogues by accusing His Holiness of pioneering a struggle with a hidden agenda of independence. In truth, they are only avoiding to address the issue realistically. There is no difference between China’s devious means of buying time and Dolgyal fanatics’ slogan of religious freedom as both are deeply rooted in deception and pretention.

Kelsang Gyatso from England teaches his students about Guru-devotion— the benefits and risks associated with it. However, although he had received many Sutric and Tantric teachings from His Holiness, since he is someone who truly considers this life more important than his future lives, with total disregard to the law of karma or his commitments to His Holiness, he continues to despise His Holiness. Although he was initially invited to be a teacher at his present centre, he snatched it from its real owner and made it his own. If you were to dig out the history of NKT, this truth will definitely come to light. Despite all these contradictions, he still advises people on the need to abide by the law of karma. Wouldn’t this paradoxical attitude be snubbed with a wry smile by any truly genuine practitioner?

This reminds me of a stanza by a past master that goes thus:

‘Now days, fake ones gain more popularity than true practitioners;
Treacherous beings seem to hold their heads higher than the truthful ones.
With some in the guise of monastics with minds like the saw,
One can hardly say if the tree of benefit and happiness
Would be spared from being chopped down.’

In the ancient Indian society, there existed a custom called Sati system in which the wife would be burnt alive beside her death husband. As society became more educated and uplifted, this Sati system came to be abolished completely and not a single trace of this custom exists nowadays in modern India. Everybody welcomed this abolishment and there is no one who would have wished it otherwise. Likewise, people will someday realise the truth behind propitiating a devil, and this devil-worship practice will eventually become a history with no visible trace left behind.

In Tibet, China has forcefully forbidden Tibetans from keeping portraits of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Likewise, in Kelsang Gyatso’s NKT centers, people are not allowed to keep portraits or books of His Holiness: Any form of veneration for His Holiness is considered sensitive. It is his right to do whatever he prefers in his own centers and we have nothing against them. However, that you have your separate monasteries and centers dedicated specifically to the preservation of your own Dolgyal’s tradition is a strong evidence to prove that you have every freedom to practise Dolgyal as you desire. Despite that, you have been continuously protesting against His Holiness, and trying hard to create obstacles wherever His Holiness visits. Although you give a religious outlook to your demonstrations against His Holiness, these are signs that you are only obsessed with your own deception, believing a spirit’s worship as a core practice of Buddhism. The truth is that such acts only display signs of amateurishness and foolishness: Your acts of trying aggressively to present a cause to fight for only amount to fooling yourself under the spell of deeply entrenched bewilderment because there is neither any cause to fight for nor any deprivation of religious freedom.

Although you have been protesting with hopes of finding recognition and place among Buddhists in the world, particularly among the Geluk tradition — so that you do not have to remain a white crow among its flock — such hopes are only empty ones. On the contrary, if you were to fall in line with the rest of us voluntarily — abandoning those that need to be abandoned and embracing those that need to be embraced — it would serve you better. Although Tibetan Dolgyal fanatics are supposedly part of the Tibetan refugee populace in exile, kowtowing to the Chinese who forced us into exile and acting at their behest for monetary gains and short-term benefits only shows how small their brains are, and how stupid and ungrateful they are by turning against and betraying their own people.

Q25: A circulatory document from Dolgyal fanatics in Singapore commented that Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and the previous Karmapa were good friends, and that the Karmapa had no problem in dealing with Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche whose propitiation of Dolgyal was known to him. The following is a response to this point:

All Kagyu masters would dread even hearing the name of Gyalpo Shudgen as they consider him a perfidious and an inauspicious spirit. For example, Yongzin Yeshi Drupa of Drukpa Kagyupa’s biography speaks of how he had overcome the wrath of Dolgyal and put him under his control through his spiritual means of overcoming evil. The biography speaks of how Shugden had confessed to him of having many perilous spirits as his followers. This is found on page 117 of the biography.

It is definitely true that the 16th Karmapa Rigpe Dorje and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche were great friends. However, as far as their positions on Shugden or Dolgyal are concerned, there were stark differences. Once, when Karmapa Rinpoche went to Dharamsala to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama, he also paid a visit to the Tibetan Library at the time. As Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche’s residence was nearby, he sent words ahead that he would like to pay Trijang Rinpoche a visit. At that time, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche was preparing to start his monthly Propitiation and Revival Ritual of Shugden. As he heard of the Karmapa’s visit, Trijang Rinpoche had to hastily cast away all the offering substances for the ritual since he knew that the Karmapa would not be pleased to see them. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche himself candidly shared this with His Holiness the Dalai Lama the next day when he paid a visit to His Holiness. As Trijang Rinpoche was no doubt a great scholar, if there is any source to validate Dolgyal in any of the authentic Sutras or Tantras, he should have explained to Karmapa Rinpoche with scriptural sources and logical reasoning to support his position on Dolgyal. If it actually is a fact that Dolgyal is a genuine Gelukpa protector, there is no reason why Karmapa would object to him, and both of these two great masters could have sat down together to perform the ritual. Why was there any need to be wary of Shugden if he indeed is Tsongkhapa’s protector?

Q26: The Dolgyal Association based in Singapore has been distributing photos of Kyabje Ling Rinpoche and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, circulating rumors that both of them had practised Dolgyal. To prove that Kyabje Ling Rinpoche practised Dolgyal, they reasoned that Ling Rinpoche had composed a eulogy for Dolgyal. However, the follow is the truth:

There is no doubt that the junior tutor Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche was involved with Dolgyal. This is a widely known fact. However, it is certainly not true that the senior tutor Kyabje Ling Rinpoche had practised Dolgyal. Time and again, we have given facts to prove this point. It is true that around 1969, when Zong Rinpoche was the principle of the Institute for Higher Tibetan Studies at Sarnath in Varanasi, as all members of the Geluk Association at the Institute requested Ling Rinpoche to compose an invocation-prayer directed at all the protectors with Shugden included in it, without turning down their request, Kyabje Yongzin Ling Rinpoche changed few words from the invocation-prayer called The Refined Gold, a composition of Gyalwa Kelsang Gyatso [the 7th Dalai Lama] which has also become a traditional prayer for Namgyal Monastery. Ling Rinpoche simply changed some words of this prayer in which references are made to the Five-King Protectors, and replaced the names of the FiveKing Protectors with Shugden’s name. Thus, although there was nothing new added to an already existing prayer except that the word Shugden had replaced the name of the FiveKing Protectors, Shugden fanatics have been using this prayer over and again to meet their own ends. This truth will become clear once you come to see the original prayer and compare the two.

Generally speaking, there had been many cases of masters who were compelled to compose prayers or eulogies at the request of sponsors or students. Such compositions do not represent the true intent of the masters as those were only composed to fulfill requests that came from faithful devotees whom they found difficult to turn down. For example, Takphu Padma Vajra was a great adept whose practice consisted of all the traditions. Although he did not practise the Bon tradition, there were many compositions among his works that were typical of the Bon tradition. Kyabje Phabongkha had been asked by him to extract those from his works when compiling his volumes. When Denma Lochoe Rinpoche was asked about Ling Rinpoche’s connection with Dolgyal, he responded thus:

‘I had received innumerable Tantric and Sutric teachings in general, and particularly many secretly guarded teachings from Kybaje Yongzin Ling Rinpoche while we were in Tibet, as well as after we came into exile. Thus, I consider myself lucky to have been graciously led by him with all kindness. Although I had received many personal instructions on all ranges of teachings and on various stages of meditation, I was never instructed to propitiate Shugden. I had also attended many of his monthly rituals for the Dharma protectors. However, apart from the FiveKing Protectors and Nechung, I never saw him performing any rituals of other worldly protectors or Shugden.’

Tehor Jampa Rinpoche from Loseling, who had been with Yongzin Ling Rinpoche for long, has this to say about Ling Rinpoche:

‘When Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche was alive, when he sent the first copies of his own volumes to Kyabje Ling Rinpoche, he also sent words that since Kyabje Ling Rinpoche wasn’t propitiating Shugden, he had not included his works on Shugden. However, if Ling Rinpoche so desired, he would also send copies of his works on Shugden. To this, Kyabje Ling Rinpoche sent back words that there was no need to send the works on Shugden. This is a clear indication that Ling Rinpoche had nothing to do with Shugden.’

Gala Tritrul Rinpoche, who now lives in Ladakh, was a student of Kyabje Yongzin Ling Rinpoche. He says thus on Kyabje Ling Rinpoche:

‘I had never encountered any deed that suggests that Kyabje Ling Rinpoche was propitiating Dolgyal. When I approached him in 1972 to ask his advice on whether I should propitiate Shugden or not, he told me thus:

We, the monks of Drepung, have no tradition of propitiating Shugden. This would only be an excess work for you. Instead, you should continue the legacy of your predecessors by propitiating those protectors with whom they were connected. Generally, it is far more important than anything else for you to study and practise Lamrim as well as the two stages of generation and completion of Tantrayana than propitiating protectors.’

Rato Kyongla Rinpoche, who now lives in America, says thus:

‘While I was in Tibet and after we came into exile in India, I had the great fortune of being near Kyabje Ling Rinpoche and spending a great deal of time at his residence. However, I had never seen him propitiating Shugden at all. I recall him saying thus on Dolgyal:

Dorje Shugden is neither my friend nor my foe. I am not fond of propitiating new gods. Making new friends or propitiating new gods is not something that I am fond of.’

Thupten Tseringla or T.T La as he is fondly known among the Tibetans, was one of the personal attendants of the previous Ling Rinpoche and is presently the chief attendant of the present reincarnation of Ling Rinpoche. He has this to say about Kyabje Ling Rinpoche:

‘It is a well-known fact that in our Geluk tradition we had many lamas and reincarnated Tulkus who were connected with the practice of Shugden. There were also many who are not connected at all. However, with vested interest in boosting their own propaganda, using the name of someone who never had any connection with Shugden is really sad and serious, and people should not take this allegation lightly. I had served as an assistant to Kyabje Ling Rinpoche for a long time and I can definitely say with certainty from my years of being so close to him that Kyabje Ling Rinpoche was never associated with Shugden.’

It is very sad that Dolgyal fanatics try all means to fool people with bogus claims and invalid reasoning. Such acts can only be called as extremely desperate measures. However, the fact that they made these claims public made it easier for us to present facts truthfully.

Q27: As restaurants, shops, medical clinics and monastic institutes in the Tibetan camps flagged warnings that they do not wish to welcome Dolgyal practitioners in their respective places, Dolgyal fanatics around the world seem to find some reasons to make it appear as an issue of segregation. The following is our response:

It is true that Tibetans who have restaurants and shops as well as those monasteries who wish to remain totally dedicated to His Holiness the Dalai Lama have taken a stand on their own— to never indulge in any worldly and religious activities with those who have fallen out with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and strained their religious commitments. It is a traditional belief in our society that keeping connections with such people who have strained their pious religious connection with their own masters is considered inauspicious and a very bad karma. Therefore, it is their right to take their own stand on with whom they want to associate or not. From the part of the CTA in exile, there was no instigation or instruction to the public in this regard. You could also see some shops or restaurants that do not flag such warnings. This is a clear indication that it is their own initiative and not something that was imposed on them. This public movement is more of taking a united stand to declare their own position and support for His Holiness’s position against Dolgyal. In India, you can also see many other examples of places that ban non-vegetarian foods inside their premises. You can also see many Hindu temples that forbid any kind of leather, and in order to enter them, you have to leave your leather belts and other such objects outside. Such a stand only amounts to using their own right of ownership, and is an act of avoiding schism rather than creating one.

Q28: The Shugden Association in Singapore has been circulating rumors that Tsering Wangchuk, who they said was a spokesperson of CTA’s Department of Relations, had announced that CTA had performed rituals of appeasement in connection with Shugden along with other protectors on the first day of the Tibetan New Year in 2014. The following is a clarification on that:

On Sunday, 2nd March, 2014, the Tibetan Wooden Horse New Year celebration started with the morning ceremony of rituals that are specifically connected with Sri Devi, the State’s Chief Protector. The Speaker of the CTA’s Assembly then made a public greeting in which he spoke briefly on the morning’s ceremony. However, ANI covered the story and cited Tsering Wangchuk as having given a press statement about the morning’s event, which they claimed consisted of rituals associated with Shugden as the chief protector. On 5th March, as the rumor started to pick up, Tsering Wangchuk consulted Akhilesh Bharati who had covered the story. Mr. Akhilesh Bharati gave his apology in writing about the wrong information on the same day and the ANI newspaper also apologised publicly for their mistake.

However, it’s absurd that Dolgyal fanatics could see only one side of the story that they used to their advantage and remained totally silent on the other side of the story. For your information, Tsering Wangchuk is only a press co-ordinator and not a spokesperson. Usually, whenever any important press releases are needed, either our Foreign Affairs’ Minister or one of the Secretaries would conduct the press conference.