The Dalai Lama Tempts And Threatens His Guru

I was going through the chronology of the Dorje Shugden issue the other day on the Shugden Society website www.shugdensociety.info when I came across this shocking entry concerning Choktul Rinpoche (the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama’s Guru Trijang Rinpoche) and the Dalai Lama:

Choktul Rinpoche, then lived in in western Europe and asked for audience each time, when H.H. Dalai Lama visited Europe. Choktul Rinpoche requested His Holiness’ unconditioned, compassionate acceptance to allow him to continue his relation to Dorje Shugden, who has been closely linked with the last three predecessors of the line of Kyabje Trijang Rinpoches. This has been repeatedly refused.

In their last meeting in Europe, in Graz, Austria, in 2003, H.H. Dalai Lama stated his Final Judgement: “If you give up this deity, myself and all Tibetan people will appreciate it very much and our protector Nechung will take care of you and make you more successful and famous than ever. If you do not give up this deity, then your monastic career, like receiving the full monk’s ordination and taking Geshe examinations will not be possible. So I leave it to your judgement.” Then he concluded the conversation with the English words: “YES or NO?” Choktul Rinpoche, in great disappointment, neither wanting to give up the tradition of his own predecessors, nor wanting to stick out as opponent to His Holiness, chose to change his life-style totally and now lives freely, concentrated in his own Dharma-studies and practices in the USA.

This shows how much the Dalai Lama has lost it!  Would anyone who had faith and respect for their main Spiritual Guide treat them like this?  It reminded me of something from the Bible, that story of when Jesus is in the desert, fasting for forty days and forty nights and he is tempted by the devil.

[5] The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. [6] And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. [7] So if you worship me, it will all be yours.”

Doesn’t that sound to you like

If you give up this deity, myself and all Tibetan people will appreciate it very much and our protector Nechung will take care of you and make you more successful and famous than ever.

The Dalai Lama wanted his Guru to bow down to his wishes.  Get thee behind me, Mara!

Given that Choktul Rinpoche is a Lama and renunciate, why would he be interested in ‘success and fame’?  I wonder if the Dalai Lama is interested in these and that’s why he’s offering them.  It’s also curious that he says that Nechung will take care of him and make him more successful and famous.  Nechung is a worldly Deity, not even one of the Three Jewels.  On the other hand, the Dalai Lama is supposedly a Buddhist, so why is he relying on a worldly deity or spirit to give success and fame?  That surely breaks the Dalai Lama’s refuge commitment.  Curiously, the Dalai Lama isn’t saying “all the Buddhas of the three times and the ten directions will make you more successful and famous than ever before”, he’s saying “a worldly spirit will make you more successful and famous than ever before”.

Has the Dalai Lama sold his soul to Nechung for success and fame?  Just kidding, but it is a strange thing for a Buddhist Monk to say.  It also seems hypocritical of the Dalai Lama to accuse Dorje Shugden practitioners of relying on a worldly spirit when he is doing so himself.

However, not content with tempting his Guru with worldly success,  the Dalai Lama tries the carrot and stick approach by threatening his former Teacher thus:

If you do not give up this deity, then your monastic career, like receiving the full monk’s ordination and taking Geshe examinations will not be possible.

Who does the Dalai Lama think he is trying to dictate to his Guru’s reincarnation?  It’s arrogance beyond belief and the complete opposite of Buddha’s teachings on reliance on the Spiritual Guide where we are advised to develop faith and respect for our Guru. Whereas Trijang Rinpoche was the source of the Dalai Lama’s education in Dharma, the Dalai Lama repays his kindness by making his own Guru’s reincarnation’s spiritual education conditional on obeying him!   Does the Dalai Lama sound respectful here?  Compare that also with the Dalai Lama’s scary words from 1996 when threatening an assembly of Holy Sangha:

“If you private monks and spiritual masters in the monastic colleges continue making excuses and continue worshipping thus, you shall have a day of regret… it will not be good if we have to knock on your doors.”

Dalai “Don Corleone” Lama – he always makes you an offer you can’t refuse!

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2 thoughts on “The Dalai Lama Tempts And Threatens His Guru

  1. “Has the Dalai Lama sold his soul to Nechung for success and fame?”

    This is a very good question. Part of me has always felt sorry for the Dalai Lama, because his people have entrusted him with an impossible job (Tibetan independence/self rule). My personal belief is that he tried his hardest, but eventually began to rely more and more upon the spirit Nechung to help him accomplish this worldly goal.

    In his autobiography the Dalai Lama says that the relationship between him and Nechung is “that of commander to lieutenant: I never bow down to him. It is for Nechung to bow to the Dalai Lama.” This may be so, but we must remember that one of the main reasons Buddhists don’t go for refuge to worldly spirits and gods is that they do not have Dharma realizations, and are prone to make mistakes. Whether these oracles are truly spirit mediums or not (we’ll never know), the entire practice has always seemed unreliable, superstitious, and generally against Buddha’s teachings to me. You are either taking advice from a crazy person who thinks he/she is possessed, or from a worldly spirit who is not enlightened (even if it is a ‘bound’ spirit whose intentions are good).

    Unfortunately, it seems that this entire Dorje Shugden controversy sparked partially because of the Dalai Lama’s heavier and heavier reliance upon the Nechung oracle for advice. And the results have only been disastrous for him and his people. And now he has given up his own root guru for a worldly spirit… how said to witness such a thing.

  2. Hi Jaymo,

    Thanks for your comments. I believe the Dalai Lama has ‘sold his soul’ to Nechung. I recently discovered that there is a ‘Life Entrustment’ (Sogde) ritual for Nechung that has been given in Dharamsala

    http://www.gedenphachobhucho.org/index.php?topic=2008march

    This is what scholar Michael Von Bruck says about life entrustment:

    Life-entrustment initiation (srog gtad) which is a complete surrender of the person’s whole life and unconditional refuge—this commitment can be made only to the Buddha or the yidam as his perfect emanation on the personal level.

    The critics of Dorje Shugden argue that a life entrustment is inappropriate for a worldly being and those who take the Dorje Shugden life entrustment are entrusting themselves to a spirit, so why is there a life entrustment for Nechung who is openly acknowledged to be a worldly being by the Dalai Lama? I wonder if the Dalai Lama has taken it?

    There are double standards in Tibetan Buddhism because they mix religion and politics together. Very sad.

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