Tenzing Wangdak, I find it sad that you have betrayed the Gelugpa tradition by following the false Dalai Lama’s lies about Dorje Shugden. Now you have written a ‘testimony’ which is full of misperceptions and wrong logic which I shall now refute to minimise the damage of your false words.
Why Dorje Shugden?
Why is Geshe Kelsang prepared to fight ‘tooth and nail’ regarding the Shugden issue? Simply because Dorje Shugden is an emanation of Manjushri and the principal protector of Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings in this age. He was appointed so by the 11th Dalai Lama:
With the Chinese emperor Dhakong and the Lord of Buddhas, the Dalai Lama, patron and lama together, they all praised and enthroned Gyalchen Dorje Shugden as principal protector of the Yellow Hat Teachings as praised in this part of the verse.
(Music Delighting the Ocean of Protectors, p 124)
Why Dorje Shugden and not just Kalarupa, Vaisravana and six-armed Mahakala? Because the karma of living beings changes and the Dharma Protector who has the strongest karmic connection with the practitioners of Lama Tsongkhapa’s tradition in this modern times is Dorje Shugden. He is the one who is most able to help.
It’s clear from Trijang Rinpoche’s words to Geshe Kelsang that he regarded the upholding of the Shugden practice to be very important. Was he, for you, a great Master or not? Do you want me to tell you his incarnation Lineage? He is immensely more spiritually important than the Dalai Lama even if the Dalai Lama were the incarnation of Gendundrub (which he isn’t!).
No trust, only broken Spiritual Commitments
The story of Geshe Tamding is very sad indeed as it’s clear that, just like the false Dalai Lama (and you!) he didn’t trust Trijang Rinpoche or the lineage Gurus of this practice and he broke his spiritual commitments. There are very few Teachers who have remained loyal to Je Tsongkhapa’s tradition it seems. The False Dalai Lama is not a lineage holder of Je Tsongkhapa’s tradition because he’s just a politician so where does his spiritual authority come from? You’ve forsaken the holy and are following a fraud.
Why is Dorje Shugden so important? To summarise, we can see from your words, the words of Lama Zopa, the false Dalai Lama and so forth that Je Tsongkhapa’s doctrine definitely needs protecting! You are all lost and confused because you have broken your Guru devotion by abandoning your reliance on the great Masters of the Gelugpa tradition such as Je Pabongkhapa and Trijang Rinpoche. You don’t trust your Gurus, you trust politics. Now you even brand these great Lamas as spirit worshippers! How shameful! Je Tsongkhapa’s doctrine definitely needs protecting from wrong headed people such as yourselves: betrayers and purveyors of wrong views.
Does a Buddha punish people?
Dorje Shugden punishes those who don’t worship him? This is nonsense. If it were true, the False Dalai Lama would be dead for all the harm he has done to Tibetan Buddhism in general and the Gelugpa tradition in particular. There are many Lamas who are now freely mixing Gelugpa and Nyingma teachings but they are not dead – why not? It seems that Dorje Shugden’s fearsome reputation is superstition: old wife’s tales to stop Gelugpas from mixing traditions. The only person who is wreaking havoc in Gelugpa society is the false Dalai Lama who imposes a religious ban and forces people to swear an oath to uphold it. He gives no religious freedom.
No religious freedom no matter what you say
You make a big case for the religious freedom of Shugden practitioners but there is no religious freedom. Due to his sectarianism the false Dalai Lama has vilified the Gelugpa tradition and its great Teachers and practitioners. He has made people swear an oath to Palden Lhamo not to have anything to do spiritually or materially with Shugden practitioners, so it’s true that people have a choice – break your commitments to your Gurus or be ostracised from your family. What kind of choice is that? Is that one you would like to be faced with Tenzing Wangdak? Your babble about religious freedom is nonsense.
The history of Dorje Shugden practice and fall of Tibet
‘Kyabje Pabongka was mainly responsible for the revival and spread of Shugden practice.’ – revivial? The practice never died out. Read the Dorje Shugden History site (www.dorjeshugdenhistory.org) to see that this practice has been passed down for three hundred and fifty years from Teacher to Student and was practised by all the great Gelugpa Lamas and Sakya throneholders. You obviously need a history lesson. Unfortunately the Thirteenth Dalai Lama also had wrong notions concerning Dorje Shugden and to protect his life (the Thirteenth signed many a death warrant with a ‘red hand’ stamp) Je Pabongkhapa had to promise not to spread the practice but when the Thirteenth Dalai Lama died, of course he began again. He was threatened by a murderous politician and so he had no freedom during the ‘Thirteenth’s’ life. There was no broken promise – it was made to a deluded person who was mixing Dharma and politics, just like the false 14th Dalai Lama.
You declare ‘Shugden claims that he is the undisputed dharma protector of Gelukpa Tradition of our time.’ – where does he say this? It’s our Teachers who have said this, not Dorje Shugden. You then introduce the ridiculous notion that Dorje Shugden failed to protect Tibet from the Chinese invasion. In actual fact, Dorje Shugden gave specific advice through an oracle that protected Tibet until it could be protected no more. Tibet fell not because Dorje Shugden failed to protect it, it was ripening karma and unavoidable. The 5th and 13th Dalai Lamas in particular had mixed Dharma and politics and committed many negative actions such as inciting war and murder. Tibet was a surfdom where the wealthy monks and Lamas enjoyed a luxurious life while the common people suffered and had horrible punishments such as eye gouging and amputation inflicted on them. Such horrible negative karma was being created and Dharma was being abused for power and money, so what do you think the karmic results of these actions were going to be? When karma ripens, not even a Buddha can stop it, as witnessed by the murder of the Shakyapas by the Pakyapas at the time of Buddha Shakyamuni. As this karma was ripening Buddha knew that the Shakyapas were going to die and there was nothing he could do to prevent it. It was the same with the fall of Tibet – it was the result of negative karma ripening and it could not be prevented. In any case, your argument makes no sense. You accuse Dorje Shugden of not doing anything to protect the Gelugpa tradition, but in that case why didn’t the ‘properly appointed’ protectors of Je Tsongkhapa’s tradition, Kalarupa, Vaisravana and six-armed Mahakala, prevent the catastrophic fall of Tibet? They were equally powerless. As it was, Dorje Shugden gave specific instructions for escape to the False Dalai Lama and saved his life, not that he has shown any gratitude – quite the opposite. He has lied and stated that the Nechung oracle provided these instructions, one of the many lies he has told since his escape, but those who went with him and protected him know the truth.
As a result of these events, Buddhadharma was forced out into the world and modern practitioners of Buddhism have enjoyed a wealth of teachings and instructions from the Lamas who escaped. This is our good fortune.
The tragic murders in Dharmasala
Lastly, it is most tragic that Gen Lobsang Gyatso and his two assistants were murdered. You attribute the murders to Shugden practitioners as a fact even though no clear evidence has ever been presented to prove this point. Gen Gyatso was indeed outspoken and he had many enemies. As Helmut Gassner recalls:
The Director of the Dialectics School was well known for his slanderous writings in which he would drag through the mud anything that veered even slightly from the course established by the government-in- exile: famous masters, the big monastic universities and even the Tibetan guerilla were his targets. In one of his last articles he wrote, “…these people will not cease to criticize the Dalai Lama until blood flows from their bodies….”
Given the character of the assassination and the humiliations the Tibetan guerilla movement had been subjected to in earlier years, one could have assumed that the search for the murderer would eventually also lead to them. But that obviously did not occur; already the next day, Dharamsala’s local newspaper claimed that the murderer would certainly be found among the Dorje Shugden Society in Delhi. Aside from who committed the murders, this gruesome act was exploited to the hilt by the government-in-exile with only one aim in mind: Resorting to all possible means they tried to incriminate the Dorje Shugden Society in Delhi in order to put its leading monks behind Indian bars.
It’s by no means a proven fact that Gen Gyatso was murdered by Shugden practitioners. Who might have murdered him is is a matter of discussion and conjecture and there is anecdotal evidence here that he might have been killed by monks from Namgyal monastery
You say that this murder was a turning point for many monks to abandon their Shugden practice but that’s not true – I think that the False Dalai Lama’s enforced signature campaign and constant lies about the practice had more to do with it. He forced an undemocratic ‘stick vote’ in the monasteries where the monks had to declare to abandon the practice or be thrown out (900 were in 2008)
In summary, for decades the False Dalai Lama has deceived the Buddhist world over the nature of Dorje Shugden for his own political ends. You are sadly supporting these lies and spreading them. Seriously, Tenzing Wangdak, do you not fear the suffering that comes from this calumny? Please desist from these lies in the name of Lama Tsongkhapa and the great Gurus of this tradition who have been wrongly vilified by the Dalai Lama who is nothing but a politician and a destroyer of the Gelugpa tradition.