The above referenced article is pretty fair and balanced, and will be of interest in its entirety to all those who are mystified by why few Asians like the Dalai Lama. It is not true, as the headline states, that the Shugden followers are “breakaway Buddhists.” It is the Dalai Lama who has broken away from a practice that was given to him by his root Guru, and then systematically persecuted others for failing to be equally heretical.
…“He’s running a theocracy,” says Rebecca Gauthier, a spokeswoman with a group called the International Shugden Community. They’re stepping up a protest campaign against the Dalai Lama, saying he’s intent on stamping out Shugden, a tradition in Tibetan Buddhism. “He’s saying there can be no opposing voice, and that’s not OK,” she says.
Gauthier contrasts that to the loud scene outside the theater. “I think it’s great that we’re here demonstrating against the Dalai Lama and then right next to us are people who are for the Dalai Lama,” she says. “That’s what democracy is.”
The Dalai Continues to Gang Himself Aglee of His Own Dharma Protector
This fight is partly about a theological and political debate that goes back centuries, to a time when Tibetan Buddhism was a sectarian mishmash of different lamas, monasteries and practices. One of them centered on the Tibetan deity of Dorje Shugden and the rituals done in his name, the same rituals Gauthier’s group adhere to.
The Dalai Lama himself actually once performed the Shugden rituals, but turned against them later on. “The Dalai Lama inherited this practice from his two teachers when he was young,” explains Robert Barnett, director of the Modern Tibetan Studies program at Columbia University. “He later decided that this practice was essentially damaging” — damaging not only to the practitioner, but to Tibetan Buddhism itself.
Barnett says the Dalai Lama discouraged rituals aimed at Dorje Shugden starting in the 1970s, but some members of the clergy ignored him and carried on with the tradition. So in 1996, he prohibited his followers from engaging in Shugden rituals altogther.
What has happened since then, Barnett says, is that Shugden practitioners in the Tibetan exile community have faced persecution. And he says the Dalai Lama’s administration hasn’t dealt with that very well.
“He’s trying to discredit us by saying that Dorje Shugden is devil worship,” Gauthier says. “It’s not. He’s trying to say we’re a splinter group. He’s trying to say it’s not mainstream. He’s trying to say this is a small minority. All of that information is false.”
But Barnett says claims that the Shugden issue is a major human rights concern are overblown. …
Wrong. Because of the fundamentally despotic nature of the traditional theocratic government (not spiritual lineage, please) that the Dalai Lama represents, serious individual and collective human rights violations have been committed against the entire community of Shugden followers by the Dalai Lama’s running dogs, egged on by his ongoing repertoire of inflammatory remarks about them. IMO, it’s only a matter of time before this winds up in the American courts, and what better place to file than Boston?
Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai,