Part Four of setting the record straight on Pico Iyer’s book, Open Road, The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama.
On and on the passionate tirade went, like nothing so much as a prosecuting lawyer’s final summation. Some people began to look at their watches. Always he was working for harmony between the schools for Tibetan Buddhism the Dalai Lama said. Yet a Shugden teacher had said that if a Gelug practitioner follows a Nyimgma teaching, he will be killed by the Shugden deity. What did this have to do with the clear philosophy laid out by Lord Buddha? And if you looked at the Nalanda teaching, the great work of the Indian philosophers Shantideva and Nagarjuna, which he was explicating now, what did that have to do with propitiating deities?
The Dalai Lama is lying again. In what way is he working for harmony between the schools of Tibetan Buddhism when he has split the Kagyu tradition because of his interfering in the traditional choice of Karmarpa and split the Gelugpa tradition over the Dorje Shugden issue? It seems that whenever the Dalai Lama takes an interest in something, it is disharmony, not harmony, that follows.
He created disharmony between Nyingmas and Gelugpas within the Tibetan diaspora, and between the NKT and other Buddhist groups in the West, by demonizing Dorje Shugden practitioners and dismissing them as a cult. The story of monks being expelled from their monasteries and the segregation wall at Ganden is now well documented.
Now even the FPMT, a supposedly Western Buddhist organization that should know better, has banned Dorje Shugden practitioners from receiving teachings from Lama Zopa. This is blatant discrimination and a horrible mix of religion and politics. How can this new “Restriction”, as they call it, possibly lead to harmony between schools of Buddhism?
It is completely superstitious to say that if a Gelugpa practitioner follows a Nyingma teaching that Dorje Shugden will harm them! He’s not some jealous guardian but a Buddha who helps all living beings. How can a Buddha harm others? The present problem in Tibetan society with Dorje Shugden has been created by the Dalai Lama who believed the infamous Yellow Book written by Zemey Rinpoche. This book — written 50 years ago by just one Dorje Shugden practitioner and denounced by many others — was simply a collection of superstitious Tibetan folk tales; but the supposedly rational Dalai Lama believed these and began systematically destroying Dorje Shugden practice. If he had not, there would be no problems of disharmony.
The Dalai Lama seems to believe whatever he reads, whether it’s the early pronouncements of the 5th Dalai Lama that Dorje Shugden is a harmful spirit (the 5th Dalai Lama later changed his mind) or the contents of the Yellow Book. It’s a great shame that he doesn’t believe his ownSpiritual Guide’s book, Music Delighting the Ocean of Protectors, in which Trijang Rinpoche gives clear, logical reasons why Dorje Shugden is a Buddha. If he believed this book, there would be no problems!
Finally, on the note of the Buddhist philosophers, what does the great work of Shantideva and Nagarjuna have to do with propitiating spirits like Nechung, which the Dalai Lama does whenever he needs guidance on a political decision?
The fifth and final part of this book review coming soon.