The Twelfth Samding Dorje Phagmo Admonishes the Dalai Lama

Here is a interesting news story from April 2008.

The Twelfth Samding Dorje Phagmo is Tibet’s only officially recognised female living Buddha.  She was born in 1942 and was recognised at the age of five to be the incarnation of Vajravarahi, Dorje Phagmo, a female Buddha of enlightened wisdom who is the same nature as Vajrayogini.

Last year after the riots in Tibet, the Twelfth Samding Dorje Phagmo, who is the third most important Tulku in Tibet after the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama, and above Sakya Trizin, the head of the Sakya Tradition  severely criticised the Dalai Lama, saying:

“The sins of the Dalai Lama and his followers seriously violate the basic teachings and precepts of Buddhism and seriously damage traditional Tibetan Buddhism’s normal order and good reputation,”

The article continues:

Samding Dorje Phagmo was quoted as saying – though she did not detail what his transgressions were.

I think we may have a good idea – maybe being a religious dictator by banning Dorje Shugden practice, causing a schism in the Sangha and generally causing Tibetan Buddhism to degenerate by mixing with politics?

Okay, this is old news but I didn’t realize its significance until today!  Isn’t it quite surprising that such a high ranking Tulku should choose to criticise the Dalai Lama so harshly?  But then again, she isn’t under his control and so she has the power to say what she thinks, unlike all the other reincarnate Tibetan Masters in India who have to fall in line with the Dalai Lama’s views or risk injury, harm or explusion from Tibetan society.

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5 thoughts on “The Twelfth Samding Dorje Phagmo Admonishes the Dalai Lama

  1. To whom it may concern,
    Your choices of sources are interesting, and your line of argument hard to follow. It is thus hard to see whether you have an intellectual argument for whatever you are trying to make us believe. It seems your interests solely lie in assaulting people who simply don’t agree with your doctrine, of which you yourself seems to be confused.
    I really hope to see an argument of good intelligence, but guess that’s not the point you want to get across. Keep up the work you deem rewarding, and hope your anger may someday come to an end.

  2. Hi Tashi,

    Thanks for your good wishes for my mind, I appreciate it. My choice of source is a neutral news channel and I’m simply reporting facts. My interest is in protecting the tradition of Je Tsongkhapa from sectarian attacks by the Dalai Lama.

    I’m not trying to make anyone believe anything, everyone is free to draw their own conclusions.

  3. Interesting you have placed yourself in a position to judge the actions of a Bodhisattva, HH the Dalai Lama or any Tulku for that matter.
    Your argument is very weak and relies on the comments of Xinhua news agency and the 12th Dorje Phagmo. As she’s also the number 3 in line for the head of Tibet and the Panchen Lama was kidnapped (along with his parents) when he was 2 having a chinese-approved head in his place, does it not make you suspicious at all?
    Your post is laden with animosity at best towards HHDL and emanates hatred and self-righteousness. Perhaps you could practice more to understand why you’re attaching so much to it?

  4. Hi Chris,

    Thanks for your comments. You believe the Dalai Lama to be a bodhisattva whereas I believe, based on sound evidence, that he’s a politician using the Dharma for position and power. I’m not judging him, just pointing out the discrepancy between his words and actions so that it is clear to others that, despite and expensive publicity machine, the Dalai Lama does not live in accordance with either his own or Buddha’s words. It’s important to know this as reliance on a false Teacher will lead to the degeneration of Buddha’s teachings in this world, especially when that Teacher is so famous and influential.

  5. Dear Dorjeshugdentruth,

    I was interested to read your comments where Her Holiness the Samding Dorje Phagmo has been quoted as admonishing the Dalai Lama.

    I respectfully ask you to consider some thoughts that came into my mind when I read your words.

    Without exception, the Lamas and Reincarnate Lamas, Rimpoches Monks and Nuns I have met over the past 20 years work hard at practicing the dharma with a particular focus on maintaining compassion for the Chinese. They have been quite open and clear about their wish to return to Tibet with religious and political freedom through peaceful means based on negotiation. The Middle Path promoted by the Dalai Lama (there are signs up everywhere in Tibetan Protected Areas and compounds in India) encourage non violence and a goal of reconciling with China and coming to a resolution where Tibet remains part of China but operates independently, based on mutually agreed terms of internal governance. This is a similar arrangement to what has been in place for some time with Mongolia.

    As far as reports asserting that Her Holiness the Samding Dorje Phagmo has been saying such things, I find it hard to believe. I have not met Her Holiness myself, but so far all precious Llamas I have met seem imbued with incredible wisdom and perception. The statement reported seems totally out of character for someone like this to say. One cannot help but question the motivation of firstly, whoever is reporting such statements and secondly, wonder whether Her Holiness (who lives under the tensions of Chinese occupied Tibet) if she did say such things, may have been placed under pressure and made a difficult choice to protect her Monastery. As many Tibetans in exile have had to face similar situations, she may have done so in the hope that people would not take it too much to heart and understand and appreciate the compromises she has to make in order to continue living under such circumstances.

    As recently as January this year, I attended teachings by His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Bylakuppa in India where he spent some time speaking about non-sectarianism, and the importance of all the lineages and monastic orders being united in practicing the dharma and following the path of the Buddha. I understand he has been asked a number of times why there has been no female Dalai Lama, His Holiness has gone on to say it has not happened so far but is entirely possible, and occasionally has also gone on to outline the many qualities and manifestations of the Buddha which include various female forms, dakinis and deities.

    I appreciate and share your sympathies and support for the female lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. Perhaps by being a woman myself I have an affinity for the incredible contribution made by Nuns in Tibetan Buddhism, and count a number of them among my close and treasured friends. I was very interested to observe the role and place of women in Tibetan society whenever I traveled and stayed with them and their families. Coming from a western and professional background in social work, including probation and parole, domestic violence and child abuse it was a real eye opener for me. I never heard a child cry except a few grizzles before they went to sleep, and both Mother and father cuddled and soothed the child off to bed. Relationships between men and women were conducted with noticeable harmony, co-operation and respect with an equal division of labour, constantly taking the initiative and lending a hand to each other when needed. Tibetan men are great cooks, and all monks learn to sew, cook, clean, shop and look after a line of younger monks descending in age that are put under their care for emotional, physical and spiritual care.

    Regarding the Dalai Lama being involved in politics, it is important to remember the Dalai Lama does not seek the role, as our politicians do, it finds him through reincarnation. Moreover, Tibet has always traditionally combined political administration with social services and religious support. Monasteries in the past and in some areas still are the central hub of a town or village which provides schools, medical services, food and a place to meditate and support dharma study and practice as well as an administrative centre for non religious civil matters such as road building, water supply etc.

    Wider international political involvement by the Dalai Lama came about as a consequence of Chinese military invasion and occupation of Tibet, and determination to eradicate the power of the Lamas and monasteries and along with it the system of Tibetan Buddhism in the belief they were freeing Tibet from feudal tyranny. History has shown this expressed motive was not the truth. The majority of Tibetan people did not want to be freed, they liked their system as evidenced by their persistence in holding onto their religion and culture. Also, the ‘liberation from feudal tyranny’ by the Chinese would have more credibility if they did not kill and torture thousands of Tibetans, outlaw the Dalai Lama, take over their land and livelihood, cut down their timber and dig up all their mineral resources and continue to do so to the present day. This behaviour makes their motives look more like conquering a country for its land and resources and engaging in persecution and cultural genocide, than liberation of an oppressed people.

    Under threat of death, the Dalai Lama was persuaded by his advisors to take himself to safety and was granted temporary exile in India until a solution could be reached with China so he could go home. This arrangement is still temporary. At all times, the Dalai Lama has acted within the dharma and practiced non violence in seeking a diplomatic solution. Unlike other world leaders in similar situations, at no time has the Dalai Lama requested an allied major power to make war on China for Tibet to regain their freedom. Take a look around the world at the moment at all the violent wars going on, and you will see how exemplary and unique this non-violent approach is. The Dalai Lama and his people have just as much to lose and have lost a great deal already, but are adamant in finding a non-violent solution through practicing compassion and understanding for the Chinese, who they hope will one day relent and let them go home.

    Dear Dorjeshugdentruth, I offer these few words and another perspective for your consideration.

    Long live the Dalai Lama, long live Tibet and may a peaceful solution with the Chinese soon be found to allow all the precious Lamas including her Holiness the Samding Dorje Phagmo, to reunite in their own country which they call the heart of the world.

    Warmest regards, Esther

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