Since my last post, I’ve been thinking a lot more about this quote from the Dalai Lama, in conversation with Trijang Choktul, the reincarnation of his root Guru Trijang Rinpoche:
“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 says “OUR protector Nechung”. This is most curious. NKT is often criticised by Tibetan Buddhists for replacing the three protectors of Je Tsongkhapa’s tradition – namely Kalarupa, Mahakala, and Vaishravana – with Dorje Shugden who is seen by them to be a worldly spirit. Actually, there’s no problem because in Heart Jewel Geshe Kelsang explains that it was felt by many high lamas that Dorje Shugden had replaced Kalarupa as the principal protector of Je Tsongkhapa’s tradition. We can also say that since Dorje Shugden and Kalarupa are both emanations of Manjushri, they are the same nature.
So what of the Dalai Lama? He was schooled in the Gelugpa tradition, so surely his protectors should be Kalarupa, Mahakala, and Vaishravana as well? Seemingly not from the quote above! If Nechung is the Dalai Lama’s protector and the protector of the Tibetan people, then the Dalai Lama has actually replaced Tsongkhapa’s enlightened Dharma protectors with a worldly Deity. Kalarupa is an emanation of Manjushri, as is Dorje Shugden, but Nechung is regarded as a worldly protector, a class of spirit called Gyalpo.
The surprising conclusion therefore is that, whereas Tibetan Buddhists accuse the NKT of relying upon a worldly spirit, the Dalai Lama regards his principal protector to be Nechung, who is a worldly spirit!
Nechung is actually a Nyingma protector, so what tradition is the Dalai Lama? Is he any tradition, or no tradition, or all traditions? No wonder he’s confused! The Dalai Lama has gone to extreme of inclusivism, mixing teachings and protectors, creating a spiritual soup that has no particular flavor, and therefore no power.
The other curious thing is that Nechung has actually done very little if anything to help the Dalai Lama. When a decision had to be made as to whether the Dalai Lama should flee Tibet or not, Nechung said that “The Holder of the Lotus should stay in the land”. If the Dalai Lama had actually followed this advice, it would have been disastrous!
Finally, the Dalai Lama’s assistant secretly consulted a Dorje Shugden oracle. Dorje Shugden gave clear instructions for the Dalai Lama’s exodus from Tibet This literally saved the Dalai Lama’s life. When the Dalai Lama fled Tibet, he left behind the monk who was the oracle for Nechung, who later on had to make his own escape to India.
Given all this, isn’t it therefore very strange that many years later, the Dalai Lama would claim that it was Nechung who saved his life, when it was because of this confused spirit that he nearly lost his life, and that he would also claim that relying on Dorje Shugden would shorten his life, when it is because of Dorje Shugden that he is alive and well today?
If that’s not ‘spinning the facts’, I don’t know what is!