Header image header image 2  
anti-Buddhist?

 
 
KELSANG GYATSO IS NO PALDEN GYATSO

NKTites often attempt to disparage the Dalai Lama as a corrupt feudal lord who profited on the backs of Tibetan serfs and slaves. NKTites also claim that Tibet is better off after the overthrow of the Dalai Lama by the benevolent Mao Zedung in the 1950s.

Never mind, to NKT, that thousands of Tibetan monasteries have been destroyed, thousands of Tibetans killed and thousands of monks forced into labor camps and prisons by the communist regime, behavior not even NKT associates with the Dalai Lama.

The derivation for NKT's allegations against the Dalai Lama is clarified in Palden Gyatso's autobiography (The Autobiography of a Tibetan Monk).

"Tibet's suffering exerts a profound claim on the world's compassion...Palden Gyatso has testified not only to the pain of countless individuals but to the devastation of a nation." (The New York Times Book Review)

Palden Gyatso is the subject of a 2008 documentary, Fire Under the Snow...

 

Palden Gyatso (born 1933) was arrested at the age of 28 in the early years of the Chinese occupation of Tibet and escaped in 1992 when he was nearly 60.

"During his thirty-one years on prison, Palden Gyatso endured torture, virtual starvation and endless sessions of "thought reform". Nevertheless, he refused to give in to his oppressors. That he found the courage to do so, and even to forgive those who tortured him, is a tribute not only to the natural resilience of the Tibetan character. I believe it also derives from the Buddhist teachings of love, kindness, tolerance and especially the explanation that all things are relative, which are a source of inner peace and hope...It was not the threat of execution that most terrified him, but the inhumanity and cruelty he was forced to witness...The destruction of monasteries and temples, with their books and religious images, is not only a tragedy for Tibet but also a great loss to humanity's cultural heritage...Like Palden Gyatso, I am optimistic. I look forward to the day when Tibet is restored as a zone of peace, where people can live together in harmony." (from the Forward, by the Dalai Lama)

"What the Chinese did to Tibet's vibrant and profound 2,000-year heritage was as cruel as burying a man alive." (Tsering Shakya, Palden Gyatso's translator)

PaldenGyatso

In the words of Palden Gyatso...

"I was worried that I might not be able to observe all 253 rules which make up the gelong's vow. But in 1952, along with twenty other novices, I took the vow in front of our abbot and so became a fully ordained monk. Today I am the only one of those twenty still alive. Some were to die in prison. Others were beaten to death during the Cultural Revolution.

My story is not a glamorous one of high lamas and exotic ritual, but of how a simple monk succeeded in surviving the destructive forces of a totalitarian society.

...when I was in prison, the Chinese published a picture of people gathered at Gyantse when Zhang Jingwu had arrived. The caption read: "Tibetan masses welcoming the central government representative." What a lie! We had come to get a rare glimpse of our leader, the Dalai Lama. Not one Tibetan had gone to Gyantse to welcome Zhang Jingwu. But we would become familiar with how ingenious the Chinese authorities could be at making up all sorts of "facts"

Having failed to elicit denunciations and confessions, the Chinese began to punish individuals.

A Chinese officer lifted a thick maroon woolen gown from the elderly monk's pile. "Where did this come from?" he asked sternly. "A sheep," said the monk, who was beginning to cry...But his answers were incorrect. He had failed to take into account the labour of the serfs. According to dialectical materialism and the theory of class causation, the monk should have replied that the source of the gown was the labour of the exploited serfs.

Once we were asked, "Who nurtured you?" We answered, of course, "Our mothers." This was the wrong answer. We should have said that proletarian labour had nurtured us.

I remember a Chinese officer swaggering into the courtyard and announcing that monks had been clinging to outdated feudal ways.

The guards held my arms back, tied them with a rope, then threw the end of the rope over a wooden beam. They pulled down on the rope, hoisting my arms up, wrenching them from their sockets. I screamed. I began to urinate uncontrollably. And I could no longer hear anything beyond my own screaming and the thuds of guards' fists landing on my body.

(later) Two guards began landing blows on my back with the butts of their rifles. I slid from the chair on to my knees. My whole body was shaking...The Chinese were demanding that I denounce my own spiritual teacher.

Under Communism, we were told, imprisonment was not just a punishment but also an opportunity to reform ourselves through labour...I was to let go of all that I remembered of the old Tibet and learn to cherish the new socialist society. Our labour was to contribute to the building of that new society.

Kongpo would turn out to be a death camp. Many of my companions would die there of starvation and illness.

(about 1963) We all noticed a sudden change in Chinese attitudes towards Tibet's spiritual and political leader. In the past the Communists had been careful not to condemn the Dalai Lama personally, but now he was freely denounced as a reactionary.

For six months I relied on my cellmates for everything. I could not even eat without their assistance. Everyone in the cell took it in turns to help me. They fed me and washed me and helped my over to the sanitary bucket.

One of the guards took off my handcuffs and I felt that some part of my flesh was being lifted away...

The Chinese were calling the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Rinpoche "two slave owners supported by the Indian expansionists".

(a guard said) "You insolent reactionary. How dare you compare the conditions of the feudal age with those of the new society?" He then asked the assembled prisoners if they thought that conditions were better before the the arrival of the Chinese. He announced that in the old society prisoners were never fed but were left to starve in dungeons, whereas in the new society even criminals who had pointed a gun at the Party were given the chance to reform.

Once accused there was no defense.

The prisoners were forced to kneel at the edge of the trench. Then they were shot by a firing squad. The force of the shots toppled their bodies into the trench. Soldiers took aim and fired at close range into prisoners who had been only wounded in the first volley. Silence is more absolute than usual after a minute of such gunfire...Their families would be informed of the execution by means of an invoice on which such expenses as the number of bullets fired and the length of jute rope used to bind teh prisoners were itemized.

Death was a constant companion. It was also the ultimate expression of the Party's power.

By the end of 1970...All the monasteries and temples were closed or had been destroyed. The people of Tibet now lived in communes. These were described as "the highest stage of development"...All private property had been confiscated and redistributed...The entire country had turned into a prison.

(even in 1992) The authorities were still trying to convince me that Chinese rule in Tibet had brought great benefits to the people. They still wanted me to be grateful to the Party for allowing me the chance to reform."

Palden Gyatso shows some of the torture devices

tortured

Palden Gyatso escaped in 1992 and dictated his autobiography about the time that NKT began their assault against the Dalai Lama (1996-1997), picking up where Chinese authorities left off in alleging, protesting and marketing that the Dalai Lama was a feudal lord over serfs and slaves, deriving these false allegations from their fellow protestors against the Dalai Lama, the communist Chinese government.

Please see other essays here, e.g., NKT Stands with China against the Dalai Lama, Tibet's Quandary, A Buddhist Not, and Just Another Fundamentalist.

The following Internet posts from NKTites boast common NKT sentiments...

"And wouldn't China promote it bigger and better than anyone. After all they have economic power base that is growing by the month. We have to look beyond this generation alone. We have to look at China and her relationship with Dorje Shugden long after the Dalai Lama has passed on…China is making Dorje Shugden bigger and bigger."

"Then from China, Dorje Shugden’s practice will spread to the multitudes of Chinese speaking areas of Asia, then the world. Everyone respects China either for monetary, business or cultural reasons. It is after all one of the greatest cultures known to man past and present. It will be the number one culture in the world as it has been in ancient times in the near future due to economic growth. Everything Chinese will be respected and proliferated in the world. In the near future, the tide will turn towards the east and that is China. Everything Chinese will be sought after, praised and valued. Even today, many governments do not wish to offend the Chinese government in hopes of securing lucrative deals. After all, isn’t bringing prosperity one of the main functions of any government whether Democratic or Socialist?…making Dorje Shugden the most popularly known Buddhist deity next to Kuan Yin in China at this time."

Judge for yourself how pro-communist-Chinese that NKT's PR division, the Western Shugden Society, can be - click here.

However, extreme physical harm can come from pro-Shugdenite forces. For example, here and here.

SHAME ON YOU NKT.

Contrary to your politics against the Dalai Lama, communist rule over Tibet has not made Tibetans better off than they were before the 1950s invasion.

In his autobiography's dedication, Palden Gyatso wrote about the Dalai Lama...

"To he who personifies the compassion of all Buddhas,

To he who is the manifestation of the guardian deity of the people of the Land of the Snows

And the only refuge, the only solace for the suffering of humanity of the Kaliyuga,

My heart weighs heavy with gratitude for your kindness and blessing."

(Kaliyuga)

Tibet

"All the suffering in the world arises out of wanting happiness for self.
All happiness in the world arises out of wanting happiness for others."
(
Shantideva)