Home > Dalai Lama's Campaign Against Dorje Shugden > Mixing Religion and Politics: The Dalai Lama’s ban on Dorje Shugden Prayer

Mixing Religion and Politics: The Dalai Lama’s ban on Dorje Shugden Prayer

The fact that the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile have been able to subject the Tibetan populace to an oath swearing campaign, whereby they promise not to engage in prayer to Dorje Shugden or have dealings with anyone who does, harkens back to the religious persecution in England during the 17th century whereby religious uniformity was mandated by the state.

That this oath swearing campaign initiated by the Dalai Lama has bypassed our conscience and our concept of religious freedom as an unalienable human right is a sign of a deeper crisis that has emerged in the Tibetan and Buddhist Community.

It is a crisis that has arisen in part because the Dalai Lama is appealing to something quite unrelated to reason.

In video footage aired by Al Jazeera on Sept 30th the Dalai Lama says:

I used to worship Shugden.  The spirit was very fond of me.  However, I realised it was a mistake.  So I stopped.  Recently monasteries have fearlessly expelled Shugden monks where needed.  I fully support their actions.  I praise them.  If monasteries find taking action hard, tell them the Dalai Lama is responsible for this.  Shugden followers have resorted to killing and beating people.  They start fires.  And tell endless lies.  This is how the Shugden behave.  It is no good.”  Click here to view source footage.

In the same video Samdong Rinpoche the Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government in Exile says:

“A lot of Shugden perpetrators are becoming terrorists and that they are willing to kill anybody.  They are willing to beat up anybody.  It is very clear that now people who are propitiating Shugden are very close to the PRC (People’s Republic of China) leadership.  That is clear.”

So by characterizing Dorje Shugden practitioners as killers and thugs with links to the People’s Republic of China the Dalai Lama and Samdong Rinpoche are appealing to some of the deepest fears that Tibetan people have.  This is quite dangerous because by appealing to these fears allows the Dalai Lama to dismiss any evidence of wrongdoing in the name of protecting the Tibetan people.  This is very similar to what is happening in American society.  In the wake of September 11th, the Bush Administration has used the politics of fear to wage war on an enemy that didn’t pose any threat to us (as we now know Iraq had no connection to Al Qaeda and no WMD).  By subscribing to fear based politics we are eliminating the role of fact-based reasoning in the proceedings.  This phenomena is described so eloquently by Thomas Jefferson:

“Throughout history, our innate fear of others-who-are-different-from-us has combined all too frequently with some malignant dogma, masquerading as a message from God, to unleash the most horrific violence and oppression in the repertoire of hell.  Moreover this deadly form of exclusivist group passion can be virtually invulnerable to reason.  So it is especially useful to demagogues who learn how to fan it and exploit it to gain and consolidate power…

…Having replaced the divine right of kings with the divine rights of individuals, our Founders overthrew the monarchy and designed a self-government according to the structures of reason.  And they took special care to insulate the ongoing deliberations of democracy against the recombination of fear and dogma, by guarding against any effort by government to establish in law any trace of divine justification for the exercise of power.” (The Assault on Reason, p48)

So what we have here is the divine right of the Dalai Lama versus the rights of individuals to practice the prayer of their choosing.

In the Al Jazeera segment the interviewer asks Tsultrim Tenzin, MP in the Tibetan Government in Exile, if the Tibetan Parliament debated the Dorje Shugden issue He replies:

“There was no argument.  If there was some opposition, then there will be some argument, but there is no opposition.  We do not have any doubt about the Dalai Lama’s decisions.  We do not think he is a human being.  He is a supreme human being, and he is god, he is Avalokiteshvara, he has no interest [in] himself, he always thinks of others.  Everybody is happy.  Our system is everybody is happy.  There is democracy, full democracy.  Everyone can experience whatever he likes”

Thomas Jefferson could not have scripted a better example as to why the divine right of kings and the divine right of individuals are incompatible governing principles.  Surely Tsultrim’s nonsensical assessment that everyone is happy is callous and insensitive to those monks who are being expelled from their monasteries because of their practice of the Dorje Shugden prayer.  Surely it is lunatic reasoning for those people who have been forced to flee from their homes under threat of violence because of their practice of this prayer.  But the lack of interest in these crimes by the TGIE is indicative of the Tibetan thought process.  The Dalai Lama is god therefore his decisions must be correct.  Unfortunately this holds even if in reality they are harming others.

This divine right of the Dalai Lama in the eyes of the TGIE is allowing a bending of the law that makes a mockery of any sense of truth and justice.  How can Tsultrim Tenzin say there is no opposition when on their own website, http://www.tibet.com it says:

“An organization, called Dorje Shugden Devotees Charitable and Religious Society, has been spreading a great deal of misinformation, alleging that the Tibetan Administration in exile is persecuting the devotees of a certain spirit, known as Dholgyal, otherwise known as Shugden.” (Read source article )

But this is politics Tibetan style.  So instead of granting the opposition a voice in the government what it does is re-categorize the opposition as a fringe and fanatical element of society and then turn around and say that there is no political opposition.  Guess again.  In fact the Dorje Shugden Devotees Charitable and Religious Society have filed a lawsuit against the Dalai Lama and the TGIE for violations of basic human rights in the Delhi High Court of India having no other political recourse with their own government.

As their lawyer Shree Sanjay Jain says:

“It is certainly a case of religious discrimination in the sense that if within your sect of religion you say that this particular deity ought not to be worshipped, and those persons who are willing to worship him you are trying to excommunicate them from the main stream of Buddhism, then it is discrimination of the worst kind.”

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  1. Lyara
    October 4, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    This is a fantastic article. Thanks.

  2. Thomas Canada / Cedar City,Utah
    October 7, 2008 at 12:32 am

    We wil Stop Dalia Lama’s “Pinnochio Politics” with the Truth!

  3. Thomas Canada / Cedar City,Utah
    October 7, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    For me,using the derogatory term “DHOLGYAL”, is comparable to the “N” word and might be catagorized within th extensive list of Hate Crime terminolgy.
    I ask that all people keep this in mind when applying this negative and unpleasant term to describe a Wisdom Buddha,known as “Shri Dorje Shugden”, “The Supreme Protector of The Dharma”.

    It only exemplifies the ignorance of the author and or speakers,that use it to express themselves to others.

  4. lightmind
    October 16, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Thank you. I think this article hightlights clearly how rediculous the allegations are that the Dalai Lama and Samdong Rinpoche continually make in regard to people who choose to engage in the prayer of Dorje Shugden. The description of Shugden practitioners as ‘terrorists’ who are ‘willing to kill anybody’ etc are so extreme I find it amazing that people cannot see through this obvious attempt to avoid the truth of this matter. I feel that Dalai Lama and TGIE are digging themselves a deeper and deeper hole.

  5. Thomas Canada / Cedar City,Utah
    October 20, 2008 at 12:32 am

    With Obama ascension to wear the mantle of the President of the United States this next year.
    I listen to the various pledges and accusations from the Repulican_Nazi_Party, sound just like the TGIE and their unelected theocratic-God_King, Tenzin Gyatso Norbu. Or as the Mongolian Calvary bestowed the title,Dalia_Ocean of Wisdom_Lama. During the celebration of their slaughter of any others opposition to the 5th coup d’etat of the other schools of Mahayanna Buddhism. How many died under their lightening sword charges, may never be known. But we do know that the 5th killed Dragpa Gyaltshen and tens of thousands of innocents,like eggs on stones. They threw the Female Lineages dressed and lovely as Flowers of the battlements of their final refuge along with their children after all the men had been put the sword.Overwhelmed with the vastly superior force of Mongols, the the War Lord 5th lead the in to do his first betrayl of the Tibetan Tribes.

    The Republicans now scream as they watch their dreams disintegrate before their eyes. Sounds familiar to me as with the TGIE,the more scared they are, the more they scream obscenities and threats that border on the edge of insanity.
    How long can this oversight of false accusations go on and unnoticed, is anyone’s guess?

    They may call us ‘Inges’, ‘Yellow Hair’, ‘blasphemous’ or ‘Traitors’. Who cares?
    The truth will prevail even though we endure a hail of false accusations with their lying.
    Will become transparent and clear to everyone.
    Once they understand the basics of this schism.
    People are not dumb and no one willlet this go on wants the people know and understand what’s going on.
    Afterall none of the rest of us live in a fairy tale of horrors under a God King. One who could have you flayed alive, if he chose on any given day.
    His Cult_Followers are either brainwashed or confused and hold onto some external image that might make them pure. If only they realized everything they wish for,is already within them.

    The Bigger they are, the harder they fall!
    I am awaiting to hear a ‘Big Thud’, as the Republican_Nazi_Supporters_of_Dalia lama_Fall_On_Their_Faces. The more noise and lies we hear from TGIE. Is the barometer to see, how close they are falling to the ground.
    We’ll be there to cushion your fall, because we practice compassion and love and keep our vows pure to Shri Dorje Shugden.

    Barack Obama will help put an end to this nonsense of supporting a theocratic dictator.
    He can see what is what and the days of the Fat Cats are over.

  6. Thomas Canada / Cedar City,Utah
    February 27, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    Barack Obama declare the toys of the Cold War will be dismanteled immediately. Hillary Clinton told the world that no longer will Tibet be used as a Pawn to interfere in the business of Nations.
    Good Bye Dalia. I wish you had not sold ut your integrity for USD. What integrity you ever had is lost to the ages and you will be forgotten in time or remembered for what you did, not what you had hoped to accomplish in this world. That you enslaved your own people for over 350 years by violence,fear and terror. You will be remembered for you lying and killing of Holy Lamas and innocents.

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