The Dalai Lama: consulting spirits and other superstitions

The Dalai banned the practice of Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden, claiming that it degenerates Buddhism into spiritdivination nonsense worship.  However, as usual with the Dalai Lama, this highlights his enormous hypocrisy because he relies upon supernatural non-Buddhist beings to make decisions.  From Evan Osnos’ profile of the Dalai Lama, appearing in last month’s issue of The New Yorker (pp. 69-70):

…For advice, he turned to what he calls his “supernatural counsels,” a private world of divination and soothsaying that has helped him make difficult decisions ever since.

He relies most heavily on the “state oracle,” a deity called Nechung, who communicates through a human medium, usually a monk. According to the Dalai Lama’s description in his memoir, the medium slips into a trance “with bulging eyes and swollen cheeks…. His breathing begins to shorten and he starts to hiss violently.” The Dalai Lama poses questions, and the oracle responds with enigmatic advice. On complex affairs of state, he writes, “I seek his opinion in the same way as I seek the opinion of my Cabinet.” For further help, he Dalai Lama relies on a form of mo divination, in which choices are written on pieces of paper and placed in balls of dough. He then swirls the balls in a cup until the right answer tumbles out.

The confidence in the supernatural is common among Tibetans, though not universally accepted. Jamyang Norbu, a prominent writer and critic of the Dalai Lama, bemoans the practice of “burying our collective head in the sands of superstition and inertia.” When I asked the Dalai Lama how he balances his trust in science with his faith in the supernatural, he said that he views the oracles as “consultants.”

“After I consult human beings and these oracles, if there’s something clear, something which I can now decide, then I decide,” he told me. He said that he had made “all major decisions” from the age of sixteen with the help of the oracles, and he had become convinced that they are correct.

Can you imagine President Obama making a major social or economic decision by relying upon the advice of spirits?  If he did, his sanity would be called into question; yet the Dalai Lama is quite blasé about his reliance on spirits, oracles and doughballs!

It’s a sign of a serious lack of wisdom when you have to ask spirits what to do.  Someone who has deep wisdom always knows what to do and doesn’t have to ask for opinions from any ‘supernatural counsels’ or material ones, for that matter. Despite lacking the confidence and wisdom to make decisions without relying upon divination and ghosts,  the Dalai Lama’s followers believe he is a fully enlightened being.

Does he really believe that his reliance on such superstitious things is Buddhism?  They are more like pre-Buddhist, shamanistic practices – and then he has the gall to claim that those who rely on the Wisdom Buddha are ‘non-Buddhist’!  Through such practices, he’s encouraging his people to stay in the Dark Ages.

Although the Dalai Lama has tried to court the scientific community by participating in conferences about the mind and creating links with Emory University, it’s surprising that any scientist would want to have any dialogue with the Dalai Lama when he engages in such irrational practices. Also, anyone who is trained in logic (as the Dalai Lama apparently was) would be able to look at the reasons justifying the ban of Dorje Shugden prayers and find fault immediately; they wouldn’t have to do the equivalent of tossing a coin to decide if it was justified or not.  We can only assume that the Dalai Lama did consult his ‘supernatural counsels’ before making the decision to ban the practice – otherwise, how else could he have got it so wrong? He certainly engaged in dough ball divination to determine whether the reincarnation of his Guru, Trijang Rinpoche, should be allowed to do the Protector practice.

It’s a shame he doesn’t have more faith in his Teachers and less in  non-Buddhist practices and pre-Buddhist deities.  Through such misguided reliance, he is destroying Tibetan Buddhism and degenerating it into mere superstition.

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13 thoughts on “The Dalai Lama: consulting spirits and other superstitions

  1. Yeah, that picture is hysterical!! Not much odder than when you see the Nechung oracle in trance, though. Perhaps less odd. Funny way to run a government.

    Great blog!! There is now so much interesting, albeit disturbing, info coming out about the Dalai Lama that it is going to be hard to keep up with it, especially with the new publication of A Great Deception (available from Amazon). The mask is slowly slipping down the Dalai Lama’s face.

  2. I would like Jon Stewart of The Daily Show here in the States to do something on the Dalai Lama’s reliance on spirits…. he would make it very amusing indeed, people would see through the absurdity straightaway. Perhaps he will one day… as the mainstream media cotton on.

  3. This next month should shake the rafters if you tune into the waves of over 700 Lamas and Monks Chanting in Unison the Kang so.
    Unimaginable. We the Devoted are taking decisive actions in concert with Lord Shugden and Our Masters Standing Firm and Standing Tall
    The Accumulated Merit and Virtues of aeons of Masters in Realization Are Spreading the Dharma as Never Before, Not Ever have so many received the Empowerment of Dorje Shugden in such a brief span of time. Actually never before in memory have so many been called to be Blessed.
    This Practice is Essential Tantric and until this time, well you would have spent decades and lifetime to even come close to hearing a whisper of the Secret Teaching, the one the Protects the Mind Gate.
    Domo Geshe, Domo Geshe May You Quickly Arise to Help Us All. A Master of Masters, none surpass his realizations.
    As I see it, the Dalia Lama is sick and suffers one or more of the 84,000 deluded states of mind. Whether he is a Buddha is really inconsequential, Because he is a human being and needs to be healed.Past all the gibberish and ruses for some… unknown reason, albeit it is one of the Three Poisons. The Lamas are doing a Healing on Tenzin Gyatso Norbu.Because as Dagom Rinpoche said, exactly what I wrote above. We are doing a Great Healng On the Dalia Lama.
    I love the Dalia Lama and was holding his hand last month. I would never hurt the Dalia Lama. I love the Dalia Lama.
    So the same can be said for any of us really,except we are not famous and came to power by kiling our Lineage Wisdom Buddha.
    We’re not Shias or Sunnis living in revenge for 1400 years. We are Buddhist and we do forgive you Tenzin, We do. But We are Westeners and do not tolerate theocratic dictates. Period! from Anyone.
    So we defend our principles by Defending the Dharma and Lineage Of Our Master and the Teachings of Je T’Song Khapa. Not to harm anyone, But not to retreat from people who challenge our beliefs and character assasinate in instead of just killing your oppositon as you traditionally were accustomed to do.
    We Defend the Defenseless inside your Yellow Card Camps where you subjugate the poor old women, who walk an extra five miles due to your ostracizing them in their own community, The ones you led them to 5o years ago. In good faith they carried you out and you betrayed them because you do not want people to know you came to power by Murder of the Wisdom Buiddha Dorje Shugden.
    It is you, who are the Judas!
    I wish it were not this way, but facts are facts whether you are a Buddha or just a human. We live in the physical world with happiness not delusion and lies.
    The basic point of this article for me is that it should not take a crystal ball or dough divinations or invoking Oracles to tell you quite simply what is Right and What is Wrong.
    We all know when we are mean spirted or vindictice towards a…nother. It arises and sets with regrets.
    The Bill of Rights is based Upon What is right and what is wrong for people. All the people!
    It does not take a Lama to show facts as facts and leave it at that.They advise nor deceive to do the right thing.
    We can discern for Ourselves What is Right and What is Wrong/
    We say that this Lama is harming others consistently and methodically and doing great wrong.
    The facts prove us out. Not a myth of medieval peoples and their dark heritage under the Lama Policy for over 350 years. No one likes being a slave or serf or under anybody’s thumb. We know what is right and the Dalia Lama has forgotten what it like to be defenseless,like his the shunned Shugden Devotees are inside his camps.
    Why else would he strike at the heart of the BuddhaDharma? A ruse to Promote Dorje Shugden,I do not think so.He’s on a war path not a path to peace.
    It hurts to say and it hurts everyday to have been betrayed by what appeared an Island of Santuary turned into a feudal war lords camp.
    From my side, I know no one who thinks this is fun or how they would choose to spend their time. Quite Frankly, We preferred it as it was before the Hollywood Glitz Blew The Lama Off His Feet!
    But Hei! What are you going to do? After the boy’s been to Hollywood.He’ll neve go back to Lhasa.
    Except as a movie star. Maybe he can do some good, by dying in Tibet. The People will be glad and perhaps defuse the conflict that is still brewing on the home turf.
    For me, I’ll be glad to see the backside of Tenzin sooner than later

  4. Wish Granted! I have VIP seats for any John Stewart Show over the next year and includes a smooze in the Green Room
    Hmmm?
    I thought the new release had not come out yet?
    I could get several to Stewart in person back stage, Hei, what do you think of that?

  5. Not all of us are scholars or well versed, but we have the common sense that Lord Buddha attributed to we mere mortals, to reason ourselves out of ignorance and find liberation one day.

    The only loss of credibility is his incessant lies and deception they spew from their mouths each and everyday.

    Only by the tenacious and continuous fortitude of each and every voice resonating with protest that he speak the truth will we all find what we seek in the least from all of us.

    Lord Buddha by all accounts, fought against the status of deceit and lying of other intent to have their self cherishing lifestyles maintained by the suppression of others by perverting the truths and creating all manners of maras to keep it that way.
    This is a Democracy and not all voices may speak as you wish, but we speak with sincerity and a desire to eliminate ignorance and lies that hinder all from the seeking the way home safely.

    .

  6. We Protect Our Rights by Excercising them!

    Democracy is not a Spectator’s Sport, Neither is Being a Practicioner of the Dharma!

    Notice I said, Practioners!

    Which we are all Practioners.

    Which means we are learning as we practice how to become proficent Practioners.

    Is Our Goal! Being on Center or Practicing the Dharma, whilst we execercise our Rights Rights that have evolved over time and space with untold numbers suffering to make it right.

    We enjoy these Rights to Practice the Dharma without anyone messing with us is Our Rights.

    Our Forefathers fought, unlike others who suffered in silence enduring the Master’s wrath as Serfs and Slaves in Old Tibet. We Westeners say what we do in some hope to rekindle the true light of liberty within these people who did not see the light of daylight until 1959. When at least they have had a chance to be recognized as something other than Speaking Tools. There is no denying that Dalia Lama had no idea how to run a country, nor did the Ruling Eight Families. Today, the TGIE offers no more hope to the Refugees than to simply do as before, tend the land and keep quiet about your sufferings. Because afterall, this is samsara and your rewards come sometime later, not now! Still to be caught off guard and tossed screaming into the 20th and now the 21st centuries must have been quite a shock, like be caught with your pants down. Of course, the Dalia changed course and tried to do damage control over a situation that he now claims he had nothing to do with, Serfs and such. It was afterall the Serf’s fault that they were Serfs and did not fight for their Rights to Be Free until the PRC did it for them. Now what does the Dharma have to do with a Serf Institution? Nothing, it was just convenient to go on as before, especially since the Dalia Lama took over with his own insurrection. Now, we all have a perspective which is as it should be to express our own insights and share with others to learn from what they think. Helps to bring balance. What if we say all that we do in the truest spirit we can all muster total and complete Bodhichita Love and Blow Gyatso off his dais and into the real world away from the narcissm of Hollywood delusions. Or is this part of the big plan to fame and fortune? If politeness is what we are after, a more skillful way to express our dissent.Then that is fine, I am all for it,it could not hurt me to be more compassionate. Which I think I am, otherwise I would not be here, but somewhere else. I find it strange that some say only the Dalia Lama can spread the Dharma around the world. Maybe this is what is Cooking and Is Almost Done? I do not think anyone will withdraw from this match. One in which we hope the Law and Justice will prevail. This might get his attention, as I am certain it already has, gotten his attention We Will Never Cease Until He Relents. So, we have engaged in the real world of men and their laws. This will effect the reputation of the Dalia Lama more than any words I could conceive of to get him to change his mind and stop causing others to suffer. Others who may be poor and without any recourse, other than what we try and do for them, Out here on the Outside of the Colonies. I am certain that I have a special place in my heart, an entire file just for the Dalia Lama, one in which I hold that love that I held until he decided it was too boring and kept straying from all of us. What can one do with all the broken trust and love? As I said, it harder to build wall than tear them down. It is he who must recant and we will see to the best of our abilities that he does it. He cannot continue to tear and claw at everyone else who does not take to his perspective. It is he that pushes the enevelope to far and causes Nations to find even more things to disagree upon. I think everyone should, “RATTLE THAT CAGE” I think we should all practice Unconditional Love and the Precepts Of Lord Buddha. I do not think we should just sit in a corner and shut up. I do think we should make it as clear as crystal to the Dalia Lama, that it he that needs to change his attitude and listen to what we say and speak to us as Human Beings, not Aliens or Communist. If he does that, then I have no choice but to continue as before to say what it is in as many differern way possible until he gets it. Leave People to Decide for Themselves. Guide, but do not dictate to Westeners to do or otherwise is as silly as waving a flag in front of a Bull.

    You are supposedly the Master, then use Skillful Means to Subdue and the Truth, if you want to get to First Base With Me. How much love? How much Bodhichitta is needed to heal his delusions?

  7. There are none as blind as those who will not see as is the case with the admin on the dorje shugden.com site. They see a thief and call him a saint as in the case with the man known as Tenzin Gyatso Norbu, alias Dalia Lama

  8. Great article but in regards to USA politicians. I would say from the president and down most are not sane that also includes the supreme court.

  9. It has always been the same – Tibetan Buddhism has always contained dark and light forces. A real high lama knows where and who reincarnations are, they know, there is no consultation with “magic”.
    They still claim Buddha does not incarnate, they ban Je Tsong Khapa (and other high lamas) from being recognized – its why most of the major teachers of Buddhism were not born in Tibet( with the exception of the Karmapas). Kublai Khan is today the man we call holy and the leader of Tibet – its all upside down.
    Thankfully Buddha is always here, in a body and one of his incarnations was Dorje Shugden, surprise surprise!
    Followers of Dalia Lama would like to keep it all secret, and as if the regular person could not work it out. Waking up is our right, it won’t happen following false prophets though, hek we’ve still got kings and queen all over so another one in Dharmsala is just another one we can give our power and devotion to – but we have choice.

  10. Open your eyes…… i know you fuckers getting money form china. to do such fucking things and no prove word….. fuck you all….. and if you are honest….. not need to write you name as honest monk……..fuck you all

  11. dawa is so funny~~We love the Chinese ~ We love you even if you are deluded and misguided medieval peasant

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