Why criticise the Dalai Lama?

It occured to me recently that some people, reading this blog may wonder ‘why is it criticising the Dalai Lama – what’s this got to do with Dorje Shugden and the mission statement of being dedicated to the flourishing of the Buddhadharma of Je Tsongkhapa?, so I thought I would explain.

There is a definite relationship between the present wrong view of Dorje Shugden as an evil spirit and the power of the Dalai Lama.  The Dalai Lama has banned the practice and continues to speak out against it at every opportunity, contrary to the views and intention of the foremost lineage holder of Je Tsongkhapa’s tradition, his own root Guru Kyabje Trijang

Trijang Rinpoche, Lineageholder of Je Tsongkhapa

Dorjechang.  The Dalai Lama has publicly declared his own Teacher and the numerous realized beings who have relied on the practice of Dorje Shugden to be wrong, and he is using the power of his celebrity with the world’s media to reinforce this view.  Because of the Dalai Lama’s positive profile (most people believe he is an honest and sincere man of peace), the majority of Tibetans and many Westerners have unquestioningly accepted the Dalai Lama’s pronouncements on the issue and have taken up the cause, with many taking to the internet to denounce Dorje Shugden and those who do the practice.  A case in point is the recent Tricycle article ‘nice art, troubled history’ which was supposed to be a discussion about Dorje Shugden’s representation in Buddhist art, but instead degenerated into sectarian mudslinging.

The Dalai Lama's strident speech is the cause of many problems
The Dalai Lamas strident speech is the cause of many problems

It seems that the Dalai Lama’s negative speech against the Deity has ignited very strong feelings in the minds of his supporters.  We can definitely say, therefore, that without the Dalai Lama ‘stoking the fire’ , such sectarian hatred would not prevail.  The question is, what is the Dalai Lama’s motivation for causing such a schism in the international Buddhist community?  There appears to be no benefit.

What I am attempting to show, therefore, is that the Dalai Lama is not what he seems.  Due to positive media coverage there is a popular image of the Dalai Lama in minds of many people, but what is important to realize is that he is not what he appears to be.  He is not the open minded supporter of religious freedom and non-violence that he is portrayed as.  It’s quite common for people to believe that politicians are deceptive in that they ‘say one thing and do another’, but many people have a different view of the Dalai Lama because he wears the robes of a Buddhist monk.  His public talks also espouse positive human values, and so he generally escapes criticism except by a very few people – however, what we need is the truth.

Is the Dalai Lama what he appears to be?  There is a growing body of evidence to show that he is not.  Declassified documents from the CIA

Wikileaks extract
The Dalai Lama requested the US for military assistance

show that the Dalai Lama was in contact with the Americans prior to fleeing Tibet and he requested military assistance.  He had the intention to establish a guerrilla resistance to the Chinese and he had the intention to arm them.

This is not common knowledge: if it had been, would he have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989? It’s unlikely.  Therefore the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and accepted it, based on a false premise:  that he was not involved in violent opposition to the Chinese invasion of Tibet.  This was simply incorrect, as secret leaked US documents now show.

Another area of deception is the Dalai Lama’s relationship with the Chinese prior to fleeing Tibet.  There’s a lot of third party evidence presented, for example, in ‘A Great Deception’ that the Dalai Lama had cordial relations with General Tan of the Chinese army and he was, infact, a great supporter of Marxism.  He wrote a great praise to Chairman Mao

Friends? - the Dalai Lama praised Chairman Mao

In subsequent interviews, the Dalai Lama has declared himself to be a ‘Buddhist Marxist’.  This shows the degree of mixing of religion and politics that has occurred in the Dalai Lama’s mind – he is aligned to both, even though they are contradictory.  He presents himself as being ideologically opposed to the Chinese regime, but some evidence shows otherwise.

The mixing of religion and politics is the root of the Dorje Shugden problem, as is the credibility of the Dalai Lama as a consistent, non-deceptive and reliable source of spiritual teaching.  The Dalai Lama’s credibility is what gives his ban on Dorje Shugden its power, since it is upheld by most based on blind belief. This ban is destroying Je Tsongkhapa’s tradition and is the source of the ostracism and the denial of human rights to Dorje Shugden practitioners by the present Tibetan regime. The Tibetan Government in Exile headed by the Dalai Lama has taken harsh action against Shugden practitioners even though they are not a legitimate government and their ostracism of Dorje Shugden practitioners must be against Indian law.

This blog will therefore always question the viability of the Dalai Lama’s view and actions and will attempt to show hypocrisy when and where it occurs.  It’s important for people to know the truth than to be misled by media hype.  By questioning the credibility of the Dalai Lama and highlighting inconsistencies in his words and actions based on valid sources, the power of his pronouncements on Dorje Shugden will weaken and crumble in the minds of everyone, except the most unreasonable.  There is great hope that political pollution will be removed from Tibetan Buddhism in general and the Gelugpa tradition of Je Tsongkhapa in particular, with Shugden and non-Shugden practitioners being able to share common beliefs and activities with the dissolving of disharmony.  This is certainly my wish.

Thanks for reading this, and thanks for your interest in this issue which has such important implications for the future of Je Tsongkhapa’s tradition.


18 thoughts on “Why criticise the Dalai Lama?

  1. The Dalia Lama’s agenda to white wash his legacy is as futile as an ant moving a Elephant off his path.
    As are his feeble attempts to Character Assasinate Dorje Shugden and his followers.
    His first activity after retiring is to perform a Black Mass kalachakra in Washington DC, home of the CIA. Right back where he started from.~~~~~~~~~~~~

  2. Great blog post! There is just one mistake I would like to point out. You seem to have the Wikileaks documents and the declassified CIA documents mixed up a bit. The document you reference in this post was not released by Wikileaks. The Western Shugden Society obtained that document from the CIA.

  3. I’m really curious about the Dorje Shugden controversy given the extremely conflicting information on both sides of this issue. I, neither Tibetan nor Buddhist, am a student of both History and Religious Studies tend to think more academically than spiritually on this matter.

    I guess I’m wondering if it’s the specific 14th incarnation of the Dalai Lama, all incarnations of the Dalai Lama, or just the incarnations that have opposed Dolgyal worship and sectarianism (the 5th and 13th did as well) that you take issue with?

    From a historical standpoint this controversy appears to be one recurrent in Tibet Buddhism beginning with the 5th Dalai Lama, who historically did try to prevent the practice.

    As far as your criticism of the 14th Dalai Lama I am totally lost. Given that he was the temporal and spiritual leader of Tibet it really shouldn’t be very shocking that he met with Mao or was and still is politically active. Being a temporal leader means you are involved in politics so I’m still not sure why you use that as a mark against him.

    True, the 14th Dalai Lama has said that he prefers Marxism to capitialism and identifies with Marxism because of the ethics inherit in it. I fail to see how the ideology that he supports, not the way it has been implemented in the past, is against Buddhist beliefs.

    Honestly, the fact that he sought military assistance from a world superpower is neither surprising nor concerning to me. Since then he has advocated non-violent resistance and even discourages good-intentioned Americans from boycotting Chinese products. Sorry, that doesn’t smell of an evil dictator to me. What sounds more like a dictator would be the Chinese government that has made it illegal to mention the Dalai Lama, have his picture, and voice any opposition to the torture and murder.

    I wasn’t aware of an explicit ban of the practice. I’ve heard him advise against it but also advise against blindly following him.

    “There is a tradition amongst some of saying; ‘Yes, we must follow the Dalai Lama’s orders. Now if the suggestion is that it is a case of following someone just because they are a figure of authority, I do not agree. Even when dealing with the instruction of the Buddha, we are taught not to follow it blindly. If upon investigation it turns out to be a statement that is acceptable literally, then we should act upon it. If not, then we must interpret the meaning. Therefore, if someone, without giving any thought to the reasons behind what I say, wants to follow it just because I have said it, I would tend to feel that that is neither in the spirit of the Buddhist way of doing things. It is particularly at variance with the Mahayana approach.” – H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama Speech to the Second Gelug Conference

    I’m sorry if I come across as offensive, that really is not my intention. I truly want to know more about both sides of the issue.

  4. Dear Ron,

    Thanks for the link, this article passed me by. The Dalai Lama displays some shocking wrong views which definitely need bringing to a wider audience, thanks once again.

  5. @geeky beekie: The 14th Dalai Lama has been confronted with all the incidents (people being hurt physically, banned from their villages, etc.. all evidence) and has clearly said: “No, no. There are humors”. Once confronted again he replied “No, no”.. and when asked why he doesn’t just advise against the practice instead of banning it, and why he doesn’t come out and say “people! do not hurt any practioners” he replied “no, no, rumors”. (look for it on youtube). Even in the face of evidence he denied reality. He is causing a great deal of suffering to people.

    While trying to be a politician and a spiritual guide at the same moment, he’s failing at BOTH. Tibet is not any better because of him and Buddhists are suffering world wide because of something that didn’t have to exist (this unreasonable ban on Dorje Shugden).


  6. Dear Rebe gunga,

    Thanks for your comment, but the root and Lineage Gurus of this precious tradition have always relied on incisive logic. I have presented many different arguments and documentary evidence to prove a certain thesis – that the Dalai Lama is hypocritical and is damaging Buddhism through political actions. If you have evidence to the contrary, I’d be very happy to see it and publish it, otherwise your ad hominem attack is baseless and not very helpful. All the best 🙂

  7. Well, What you wrote in this blog is completely non sense.Why do you need to blame on Dalai Lama.He is for what he is.Why do you have to say negative when it is not.Not only he got the nobel peace price but the Congressional Gold metal as well.He recieved for what he is.And that is what we all deserve .If you think your diety is good.Just prove me with any of the recognition.You got no recognition and there fore you try to get the help from the western who doesn’t know anything abt real bhuddhist.lol
    You try to get more tibetan people from settlement by misusing them.Giving money and asking to follow dho gyal.That is not what we called religious freedom.It is by force.People got no option they just have to do what they were told to them.
    I would stop here by saying that please do not say bad about the Dalai Lama.He is god and talking bad to god is sin/ evil.And i hope you know it.

    Gang ri ra wä kor wäi zhing kham dir
    Phän dang de wa ma lü jung wäi nä
    Chän rä zig wang tän dzin gya tsho yi
    Zhab pä si thäi bar du tän gyur chig.


  8. Dear Yangdon,

    Thanks for your comments which show exactly what the problem is. The Dalai Lama is regarded as god by his followers – this doesn’t seem to depend on his actions. The Dalai Lama enjoys a good reputation because he talks about peace, but when you examine his actions, they are harmful and divisive. It’s important to use reason rather than just having blind faith, but many people simply follow what the Dalai Lama says because of his media image. This is no different to idolizing film stars and musicians because they are attractive or we like their work.

    who gives me a chance to share my view in this website. as yangdon said that we are criticising the H.H. THE DALAI LAMA .WITHOUT ANY GOOD REASON, first of all non shugden followers are not having any knowledge about H.H. THE DORJEE SHUGDEN (his great compassion ,his truthfullness, his sacrifices for others and his knowledges ……….) we may not seeing all these good things in others especially in god . IT IS BECAUSE OF OUR FATE AND IGNORANCE . IT IS NOT THAT GOD DOES NOT HAVE ALL THOSE INCREDIBLE CHARACTERS . I KNEW those who are not followers had misunderstood us okey ? we are not here in this world for advertising the buddhism religious to western countries and we are not attention seekers alright ? we are here for preserving the buddhism religious and also try to explain to the people those who dont know about him and whats happening among our society.
    HERE A message for those who thought that people are paid to worship or force to believe in H.H THE DORJEE SHUGDEN ,I WILL NOT CURSE YOU . BUT YOU FUTURE LIFE WILL LET KNOW WHAT WAS HAPPENED ALRIGHT? AND ASLO THEN IN MY 28YEARS OF AGE I NEVER HEARD THAT OUR ELDERS ARE SAYING ” WE ARE GETTING THESE MUCH FOR WORSHIPING THE H.H. THE DORJEE SHOUGDEN ” you should touch your conscious and tell the truth. You never felt for those people who segregate from each other ( among the couples, family , village and friends ) never know how much it is painful for those whoare affected as a human being . all are NOTHING BUT because of one words form his mouth saying ” DHOGYAL FOLLOWERS ARE BAD AND ITS AFFECTING MY HEALTH AND TIBETAN POLICY AND RELIGIOUS ”

  10. i dont think soo … its not good to say bad abt hiss holliness dalai lama. being buddhist we must never say bad abt dalai lama…he is the leader of tibetan buddhism…………

  11. It is the unquestioning attitude that refuses to recognize the mistakes of the Dalai Lama that is the cause of problems – if the Dalai Lama does something hypocritical and harmful, it’s okay to say so. How can anyone be beyond reproach? Giving someone that kind of power is not good.

  12. As much as I agree with @dorjeshugdentruth’s evidence about the then office of the Dalai lama requesting for assistance in repelling the Chinese troops, I strongly condemn the fact this propells the idea of Dalai lama as a non-violent person. He himself has brought forth the view that “some form of violence has to be used when facing a vehement violent situation”. Dalai lama has also described Mao Zedong personally as a bright person and a solid administrator while his policies are what Dalai lama feels is wrong.
    Dalai lama was sixteen when he was coronated with the title of the 14th reincarnated dalai lama. At a year still riping with maturity, I don’t think the foreign policies and the religious issues were all handled by the Dalai lama himself. But whatever took shape in the aftermath of the brutal 1959 subjugation, his holiness has always prioritize the well beings of Tibetans instead of sowing seeds that will make Tibetans blindly follow him a decade later. It is a ridicule idea. The faith in Dalai lama was always there, as the potala stands a testimony to the position of the Dalai lama in then Tibet. The media hype has only “advertised” Buddhism and Dalai lama has promoted the cause of Tibet alongside it.
    If Dalai lama has ardently opposed the idea of practicing worshipping of dorjeshugden I believe it is only for the welfare of the people, though you might not agree with me the practice of dorjeshugden and the consequences it withholds are gruesome. Dalai lama condemns the practice of Dorjeshugden but he does not advice the Tibetan society to alienate people who worship Dorjeshugden. The ban on practice of shugden by Dalai lama has wrongly been interpreted by Tibetans as an unholy practice against the Bodhisatvas which has led to people isolating the individuals who practice it. But the situation is not acute or overwhelming in any way….
    I admire you for attempting a critical analysis on the policies of his holiness the Dalai lama and I look forward to more of your work….=)

  13. Sorry for those people who still don’t know the difference between good n bad. His Holiness is trying to proctect us from wrong doing n u don’t like then shut ur mouth n go ur own way. Go to hell

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