Dolgyal practitioners’ collaboration with PRC

[On 13th Sept. 2007, His Holiness gave a talk on Dolgyal. The following is an excerpt from that talk.] Ultimately, it is up to the individuals whether to propitiate Dolgyal or not. Even if your choice was to move by turning your body upside down, it would not make any difference to me personally. However, as it is my responsibility to make proper clarifications, I have spoken on this issue. From their side, they have founded the Dorji Shugden Devotees’ Charitable and Religious Society. Since its inception, they have committed various activities such as killing people [three monks in Dharamsala], arsenals [Gaden Jangtse Monastery in South India], and distribution of bogus documents containing distorted and manipulative stories, and various false accusations etc. They then collaborated with Shugden practitioners in Tibet and sought solace in the Communist regime of China. As Shugden is truly a perfidious spirit detrimental to the Buddha Dharma, the Chinese Communist government is now taking care of him. With the Chinese government, Dolgyal practitioners have both direct and indirect connections. Those in Nepal and Switzerland also maintain good relations with the Chinese authorities; not to mention about those in Tibet. Thus, this issue of Dolgyal has become quite serious now.

Secondly, if you observe the followers of Dolgyal, you will notice that they have quite an intemperance. Those who propitiate a wrathful spirit generally acquire his influence. For instance, it goes in the sayings of past Kadampa masters that there would be a risk for practitioners of acquiring an unruly state of mind if they were to sit on skins of wild carnivores. It definitely appears to be true. Those propitiating a wrathful spirit seem to have no hesitation in killing, beating, lying, arguing etc. Thus, it is important for you to keep in mind the political implication that might result from their alliance with the PRC.

[On 9th Jan. 2008, His Holiness gave a talk on Dolgyal at Drepung Loseling Monastery in south India. The following is an excerpt from that talk.]

I am sure that you must have heard of a king-spirit that goes by the name ‘Shugden’. This controversial issue has existed since the 17th century. Nowadays, this issue has become something of an interest even for the Chinese government. Recently, when our delegates met with the Chinese officials, one of their accusations against me was that my opposition to Dolgyal is a violation of religious freedom. They asserted that the Chinese government that does not believe in religion now has to take the responsibility [of arbitration] to preserve religious freedom, saying this is solely because of the activity of the Dalai Lama. So, they have officially accused me of violating religious freedom. I wonder if the Chinese government knew anything about Dolgyal’s story. However, they saw a political opportunity in this and accused me.

I am not offended by their accusation against me. However, in Tibet, they are giving special treatments for the Shugden followers, such as funding the construction of houses [and monasteries]. They are being told that the Chinese government would allow them the religious freedom that the Dalai Lama has denied them; thus, they are being encouraged to propitiate Gyalchen Shugden while I am being accused of destroying religious freedom. Even more so, although sad and pitiable as it is, they have destroyed a huge, newly built statue of Guru Padmasambhava in Samye. There have been some other such incidences where statues of Guru Padmasambhava were destroyed. Mostly probably, Shugden followers in Tibet must have instigated the Chinese into these heinous sins. Again in Toed [Western border region of Tibet], a huge statue collectively built in the region by its people was completely destroyed by using grenades. At the time of the bombardment, nobody was allowed in its vicinity; it was completely surrounded by Chinese soldiers on all sides. Perhaps they feared being photographed. Thus, the issue has become quite critical in Tibet now.

[On 7th Jan. 2008, His Holiness again spoke on Dolgyal at Drepung Loseling Monastery. The following is an excerpt from that talk.]

As for Dolgyal’s issue, looking at it from a religious perspective is something all of you are now familiar with. So, I am not going to repeat it again. However, the PRC is now taking a keen interest in Dolgyal’s issue. As far as Gonsar Tulku in Switzerland is concerned, Chinese officials openly visit his place. His Dharma centre there receives them openly by extending all hospitalities. They seem to have a special connection. As far as Lama Gangchen is concerned, he has a special alliance with the Chinese government. Whenever there is a meeting on Tibetan culture and religion, irrespective of his knowledge on them, he is there as a Tibetan representative. Thus, the Chinese government is using him heavily. There is also a restaurant run by Dolgyal followers in Nepal. They were assisted financially by China, initially in meeting the monthly payment for tenancy, and later to buy it completely. This was about five or six years back.

I was approached by someone who came from Tibet to share some information. That person was a communist official, now retired. He told me that an organisation has been founded ito protest against me during the next year’s Olympic Games and Nga Lama [it is sarcastic nickname given by the Tibetans for proclaiming himself a Lama] is said to be the leader. Other than saying ‘I see’, I did not give him any specific comment on that. I also met a monk from Golok [in the Amdo region of Tibet] who also told me that an organisation led by some Dolgyal followers has been founded in Beijing to stage protests in order to defame me. He told me that he had done his best to articulate information about such activities and warned people not to get lured by deceptions. Again, another person told me that in Beijing there is a place for a small group of Dolgyal followers who would lure people with money, ten thousand Chinese Yauns for anyone becoming its member. Thus, it is pretty clear that there are activities being carried out by Dolgyal followers to defame me in China.

Other than rumours or peddled stories, an undeniable thing that definitely happened is this. After our three successive interactions with the Chinese, they had written about it in their newspapers, citing thirty seven instances on why the Dalai Lama is a separatist. However, they did not mention even one word from what we have actually told them. One of the points written is that they are critical of my usage of the English word ‘occupation’ in my talks. Usually, I make it a point to reiterate that Tibet and China had been historically separate. Using such excuses, they said that although things might settle down at present, it may relapse in the future. They wanted assurance and guarantee from us that Tibet will not go its separate way in the future.

However, during the sixth talk, the Chinese government told us that there is no issue of Tibet to resolve for them, saying that there is no conflict at all. They further said that anything that needs to be resolved involves only the personal interest of the Dalai Lama. They expressed these points very aggressively. Another point they mentioned at that time was that the Dalai Lama is violating the religious rights of Shugden followers by opposing their propitiation of Shugden. The exact terms with which they said so was this: “Generally, we communists do not have a religion. However, as the Dalai Lama is violating religious freedom, this has prompted even us non-believers to speak about religious freedom”. Thus, even the Chinese government is taking up this issue of Shugden. Can you now assess the height to which this issue has been raised? Not only are Dolgyal followers supported financially by the Chinese, but the Chinese have even taken up their cause to accuse me when they met with our delegation. Recently, I met some Tibetans who have come from Tibet. They told me that Chinese officials have reached out to the Shugden practitioners in Sera Monastery and told them that they would give them the religious freedom denied to them by the Dalai Lama. They were told that they must keep up their propitiation of Dolgyal and were given assurance of any assistance they might need in enabling Shugden followers to go to India or to receive others from India to share their teachings. They were promised all means to facilitate their mutual interaction, and asked to give names of prospective Lamas who could be invited from India so that they could provide special hospitality.

It is a well-known fact that Chakra Tulku Lobsang Tenzin, the son of Lhalu Wangchenmo of Lhasa, is an ardent follower of Dolgyal. He is also full of praise for the Chinese government, and a much trusted friend of PRC. He also went to Sera Monastery to advise people into practising Shugden. It must have been him or some other Tibetans who instigated the Chinese to demolish the gigantic statue of Guru Padmasambhava at Samye Monastery. One month after this incident, another statue at Toed [Western Tibet] that was built on top of a huge mountain was destroyed. I have seen a picture of it; it was probably facing south and was built on the northern side. When the statue of Guru Padmasambhava was destroyed by grenades, the whole area was sealed on all sides so that no one could take any picture of its destruction. If the destruction of those images were because of their aversion to religious practice in general, they should have destroyed other images, such as images of Buddha Shakyamuni and so forth. However, the fact that they had only targeted statues of Guru Padmasambhava infers that there was a conspiracy plotted by Dolgyal practitioners to demolish this and other such statues. As Dolgyal’s issue has become this critical, I will continue my opposition to Dolgyal.