Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden Blog reports a bizarre new twist in the saga of the Dalai Lama’s vendetta against Dorje Shugden and his followers in the Tibetan monasteries.
In January 2008, the Dalai Lama visited Drepung Loseling Monastery to preside over its opening and grant a Yamantaka empowerment. During the empowerment he started to talk about holding a referendum regarding Dorje Shugden. The following is an extract from his talk which was broadcast on ‘Voice of America’:
A problem lingering from about 370 years, which remained overlooked in about the last 30 years. Since Communist China is taking special interest in the matter… You abbots, do you understand? You office bearers, do you understand? The literature will be distributed later. You sponsors, did you understand? You Western monks, do you want to join in the referendum? To neglect it is of no use. In the Vinaya rules also, when there is a contentious issue, the monks take vote-sticks and decide, as mentioned in the seven methods of resolving conflict. In contemporary democratic practice, there is such a thing as ‘referendum’, ‘consulting the majority’. The matter has now reached this point of consulting what the majority wants. Therefore, when you return to your respective places after this program at Loseling Monastery, put these questions: 1. Whether you want to worship Dholgyal. This is the first question. Those who want to worship, should sign saying they wish to worship Dholgyal; those who don’t want should sign saying that don’t want to. 2. “We want to share the religious and material amenities of life (live together in the monastery) of life with Dholgyal worshippers.” You should sign saying so. “We do not want to share religious and material amenities of life (live together) with Dholgyal worshippers.” (You should) sign saying so.’
It’s clear from the Dalai Lama’s own words that it was he who initiated a referendum on Dorje Shugden and encouraged the Abbots of the Three Great Seats (Sera, Ganden and Drepung) to expel Shugden worshipping monks through a signature campaign that demanded that the monks either swear an oath to abandon Dorje Shugden or they were to leave the monasteries. This is corroborated by a statement issued by the Kashag (Tibetan Government in Exile) on March 10th 2008, an extract of which reads:
…during his recent visit to Mundgod, South India, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has suggested to the Gelug monastic institutions that, for the future convenience of all, a referendum must be conducted amongst the monks. The responsible authorities of the monastic institutions unanimously supported this idea and a referendum was conducted by relying upon the Buddhist Vinaya system of voting by administering Tsul-shings (Sangha voting sticks). Subsequently, most of the Gelug monastic institutions, including the three Great Monastic Seats, have disassociated themselves completely from the Dholgyal propitiators
‘While expressing our appreciation for this, the Kashag would like to urge the monastic world that they should not be negligent in this matter in the future as well. There are still a tiny number of monks who have not stopped the propitiation of Dholgyal. Since they cannot live within the compounds of the Great Monastic Seats, they should move out of the monasteries and live elsewhere. Towards this end, the Central Tibetan Administration will provide the necessary assistance that we provide to all other Tibetans.’
From this is it clear that the responsible authorities of the monastic institutions supported the Dalai Lama’s idea but they did not initiate it, and the Kashag is urging the monasteries to take action against Dorje Shugden practitioners.
Recently, the Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche summoned the Abbots of the Three Great Seats to Dharmasala where he admonished them for insisting on the signature campaign which has now ‘made personal difficulities for the Dalai Lama’.
Because of the focus on this issue brought about by the case against the Dalai Lama in the Indian High Court over Deity discrimination, the poor Abbots of the Three Seats are left to carry the can for the Dalai Lama’s personal vendetta against Dorje Shugden and his followers.
Because of the draconican political control of the Three Seats by the Dalai Lama, this is not a good time to be an Abbot of a Gelugpa monastery. The whims of the Dalai Lama have to be accommodated but then, if things go wrong, you are expected to take the blame.
Can this get any more absurd?