Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden blog is running a series of articles critiquing Why the Dalai Lama Matters by Robert Thurman.
Robert Thurman needs no introduction to Dorje Shugden practitioners because, as the Dalai Lama’s main advocate in the West, he has taken the Dalai Lama’s position of baselessly criticising the practice and practitioners. It was Thurman who famously accused Shugden practitioners of being ‘the Taliban of Buddhism’ ten years ago.
This year (2008) he has written a book: ‘Why the Dalai Lama Matters‘. Its purpose seems to be to praise the Dalai Lama and to propose how the People’s Republic of China could benefit by making friends with the Dalai Lama and establishing an autonomous Tibet to which the Dalai Lama could return.
Throughout the book, Thurman paints a completely exaggerated picture of the Dalai Lama. His view is that the Dalai Lama is perfect and is the saviour of the world, universally loved by everyone. Surely such an obviously biased view could only accepted for publication because of the union of the Dalai Lama’s tireless promotion of himself through giving Buddhist teachings worldwide and Thurman’s considerable reputation as a Buddhist scholar?
It’s surprising that more people have not commented on the nature of the book, but it has its own readership who are undoubtedly similarly uncritical. It’s also not surprising that in these times people want to believe in someone pure who gives cause for optimism, even if this means going to an extreme.
Thurman has yet to respond to the open letter issued by the Western Shugden Society by giving evidence for his unfair accusations against Shugden practitioners and the Western Shugden Society. If he does not respond it will be clear that that he has lied publicly and is misleading people.