A rainy day, my birthday.
Over the past few weeks, I have noticed an repeating observation in many press accounts of Kelsang Gyatso's Shugdenism. Most inside NKT and those finding their way to visit NKT are unaware of the basis of NKT - exporting from Tibet a marginal orthodox Shugden sect to unwitting Westerners in the guise of Tibetan Buddhism for political purposes.
To extremist Shugdenites, Tibetan Buddhism needs to be extremist, ie Shugden based, and since it is not, Kesang Gyatso employs modern media (Internet, social web sites, twitter, face book, word press, marketing psackage), slick marketing and protest rallies to bolster the largest sectarian assault that ever occurred against Tibetan Buddhism and the Dalai Lama. What had little support inside Tibet is now orchestrated by a large political organization, NKT, to gain large attention and unwitting participation. Now, NKT is the largest Shugden group to surface in 400 years.
The 2013 416-page book by Raimondo Bultrini, The Dalai Lama and the King Demon, distills the state of affairs.
"A triple homicide committed a few hundreds yard away from the residence in exile of the Dalai Lama opens the doors to an unknown universe for Superintendent Rajeev Kumar Singh of the Indian Police. With his deputy, Amitabha, he goes over every step of the crime and identifies its perpetrators as members of an exclusive cult dedicated to a demonic spirit with fearsome earthly powers.
The chief suspects include the leading figures of a society devoted to the cult of Gyalpo Shugden...
(2008) Interpol has issued wanted notices for two followers of a Tibetan sect accused of the ritualistic killing of one of the Dalai Lama's closest associates a decade ago. The attack, in which two students were also killed, was apparently in revenge for the Nobel Peace Laureate's decision to ban the group after more than three centuries of mystic controversy.
The investigation takes us back to the beginnings of the cult in the time of the Fifth Dalai Lama, and the death of one of his contemporaries in inexplicable circumstances in the great monastery of Drepung...
The present Dalai Lama discovered as an adult that his tutors and religious instructors were part of a network of power based on the cult of Gyalpo Shugden that had existed since the time of his predecessor, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama.
The links between renegade lamas and the Communist regime are becoming stronger, laying the foundation for an alliance aimed at removing all traces of the Dalai Lama's lineage from Tibet's future. This conflict will involve generations of Tibetans and Chinese together with Westerners interested in the secrets of Asian civilization.
There seems to be a general consensus from all sides that the Dolgyal/Shugden king demon arose from the death of the reincarnate Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen in the mid-seventeenth century.
Gyalpo Shugden became the bonding element of a barely concealed pact among the most orthodox Gelukpas...determined to hinder the policy of opening up and modernizing Tibet, desired by the Thirteenth Dalai Lama.
But while the Fourteenth Dalai Lama strove to strengthen unity and received teachings from masters of various schools, the orthodox Shugden devotees mounted a blatant sabotage of his ecumenical efforts.
In his autobiography, the Fifth Dalai Lama writes that Drakpa Gyaltsen's death resulted from an attack by a demon, and "because of his distorted prayers," he was himself transformed to an evil spirit.
In one of his most popular books, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - who now ranks along with Ganchen Tulku as one of the leading opponents of the Dalai Lama - specifically explained his reasons for seeking support from the spirit.
The remarkable growth of Kelsang Gyatso's Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre seems to demonstrate that Shugden very satisfactorily has completed the task assigned by the geshe.
The NKT's school for aspiring Buddhist masters turns out teachers as if by means of an assembly line, using precise, unbreakable, didactic rules.
The operation undertaken to separate his center from all other Gelukpa associations connected to the Dalai Lama had considerable financial implications. The Guardian article listed the many ways the Manjushri Centre financed itself, at least in the beginning, including selling objects and special prayers for those desiring to accumulate "merit," and demanding nonrepayable "loans" from disciples."
Raimondo Bultrini is an investigative journalist with more than 35 years of experience. He has worked for La Repubblica, the leading newspaper in Italy, as well as for magazines including L'Espresso, Il Venerdi, Limes, and Repubblica delle Donne. He also spent years traveling all over South and East Asia as correspondent for one of the bigger Italian editorial groups, La Repubblica/L'Espresso. After becoming interested in Asian philosophy, he became the director of Oriente and Merigar Letter, magazines focused on Asian politics and Buddhism.
According to the publisher, Hay House...
"Raimondo Bultrini, an investigative journalist, decides to open a new trail by reconstructing the mystical aspect of the events. The Dalai Lama himself, determined to combat the sectarian outlook fostered in the name of the “king demon” by a group within the clergy of the Gelukpa school of Tibetan Buddhism, reveals to Bultrini hitherto secret religious and historical details regarding the impact of the cult. Recent events and developments seem to bear out his perspective, since many Gyalpo Shugden followers have found common ground with the Chinese authorities. The links between these renegade lamas and the Communist regime are becoming stronger, creating an alliance aimed at removing all traces of the Dalai Lama’s lineage from Tibet’s future. This is the first major exposé of this intriguing struggle at the heart of the mysticism and politics surrounding the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan quest for freedom."
His findings may not be all lies as Kelsang Gyatso would allege. I assume correct NKT's denial of any direct involvement with the murders.
One thing is certain. This analysis is only a small part of the available information about Kelsang Gyatso and NKT.