The following essay was submitted by someone who supports Shugdenism while claiming to be new to Buddhism. The essayist seems to depart from NKT's spiteful version of Shugdenism.
We agree with the essayist's call for kindness.
We wonder about the alleged quick benefits from worshiping Shugden as they have not yet occurred after as much as 400 years of Shugden lore.
We question why disbelievers in Shugden will come to regret their disbelief even if they are faithful Buddhists. Only a small proportion of Buddhists worship or even know about Shugden. Moreover, Buddha Shakyamuni and Lama Tsongkhapa did not worship Shugden. Does anyone really think they have come to regret their lack of Shugden worship?
We do not agree that the Dalai Lama is destroying any lineage. Recently, 2 new Shugden monasteries have been built and are said to be thriving. And, the essayist notes that the Dalai Lama cannot override any master of any school of Buddhism or any sect.
We are thankful that the group this essayist is involved with respects the Dalai Lama from the depths of their hearts. Everyone should be respected from the depths of all of our hearts.
We appreciate the essayist's view that the Dalai Lama is the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, something vehemently denied by NKT.
We find the attempted logic exercise of the essayist very confusing and certainly not compelling or helpful.
The essay was accompanied by a 'prayer' the essayist alleged was written by the Dalai Lama in the mid 1970s. However, in the early 1970s, the Dalai Lama realized that Shugdenism was not constructive. Thus, the prayer as presented was unlikely written by the Dalai Lama and is not included here. This essayist has presented it elsewhere, so those interested in reading it may find it.
It seems to us that the essayist is unaware of the use of Shugden by some Tibetan Gelugpas to bring harm to Shugden disbelievers. Or, perhaps this is why the essayist claims that Shugden disbelievers will come to regret their disbelief.
Worship the ethereal Shugden if you must, but don't use this debilitating attachment as a sword against Buddhism, Buddhists and compassion to rationalize interference with Tibet as NKT does.
As noted many times in this web site, Shugden is really not the issue here. NKT's political campaign is.
Instead of turning away people who practise Dorje Shugden, we should be kind to them. Invite them, teach them, slowly and give them logic and wisdom without fear, then in time they may give up the practice, assuming it is ‘wrong’.
Wouldn’t that be a Buddhistic approach to all ‘wrong-doers’? Hypothetically, if they are, wouldn’t it be a better and more true to the spirit of Buddhism to be accepting?
Actually, Dorje Shugden practitioners are not doing anything wrong. Those who are practicing Dorje Shugden should forbear with extreme patience, fortitude and keep your commitments. The time will come as predicted that Dorje Shugden’s practice and it’s terrific quick benefits will be embraced by the world and it will be a practice of many beings. Many beings who have said or thought negativities against this protector will regret and see the benefits and enlightened nature of Lord Dorje Shugden, King of the manifested deities who resides simultaneously in the Three Worlds.
If H.H. the Dalai Lama can say that his guru Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche is wrong in this practice, then he leaves the door wide open that His Holiness Himself can be wrong also. What would make His Holiness right and His Guru wrong? If His guru can be wrong, then disciples of the Dalai Lama can say that the Dalai Lama is wrong also. If we choose that view, it becomes messy. So we have to think that outwardly His Holiness puts his ‘reputation’ on the line to speak out ‘against’ Dorje Shugden in His skillful means to not create fear in the hearts of sectarian people who use the holy lineages of Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug against each other. As the destruction of any lineage or deterioration would set the example for other lineages. They are somehow interdependent.
We respect His Holiness the Dalai Lama from the depths of our hearts and at the same time follow our golden vajra commands of our lamas we met previous to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The commitments of Dorje Shugden we have received from our root and lineage lamas prior to His Holiness must be upheld also. All those great lamas who are also the lineage lamas of His Holiness cannot be wrong. If they are, then the other practices, lineages, initiations, transmissions passed to His Holiness would be ‘stained’ by the practice of Dorje Shugden also? So for example, His Holiness kindly confers the Kalacakra many times throughout the world. He has received this lineage from Kyabje Ling Rinpoche. Kyabje Ling Rinpoche’s root lama is Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche Jetsun Dechen Nyingpo recognized as the emanation of Heruka Cakrasamvara. Every great Gelugpa lama is directly or indirectly connected to this great being. Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche practised Dorje Shugden throughout his holy life. So if his practice is wrong, then he would be a wrong lineage lama to Kyabje Ling Rinpoche. If that is wrong, then His Holiness is passing practices that are so called ‘impure’ to many today. That is impossible. His Holiness is definitely pure as well as His lineage lamas, for example Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche. Even His Holiness could not override any master of any school of Buddhism or any sect, otherwise His Holiness would put Himself in the position of being eventually overridden also. Who would want to do that? All the many lineage masters who practiced Gyelchen Dorje Shugden in their previous incarnations are back and studying/teaching again. Many have been recognized by the oracle of Dorje Shugden and His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself. So why are they back?? Shouldn’t they have taken unfortunate rebirths??
His Holiness in the mid 1970s and now is of the same mindstream, free of mistakes as He is the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. Those of you who have tremendous obstacles, fearful situations, desperate predicaments, financial woes that hinder your dharma growth and practice should engage in the tremendously quick and efficacious practice of Dorje Shugden. It must be combined with pure Guru devotion, consistent practice of one’s yidam, holding one’s vows and words of honor, no harm should be done to others, respect of all lineages and lineage lamas, teachers and masters. Forgive and forbear those who show enmity and disdain. For that would please the holy mind of the Dharmaphala King of the Three Lokas, Gyelchen Dorje Shugden. Even if one has no confirmed practice, lama or vows, still with good motivation, if one propitiates this holy protector, one can see the benefits. Like anything with time, the help, and mystical intervention of this supreme being will be felt more and more obvious. Especially if one is on the path of the cultivation of Lam Rim realizations. Put your energies not into worry, despair, depression, unnecessary wastage of time, but channel it into the modernly adapted yet supreme practice of this protector.
We think it is safe to conclude what this conflict is not about. And who knows, maybe it is not a conflict at all, except in our conflict-hungry minds that can’t stand the notion of interdependence and cause and effect?
About Shugden, the Dalai Lama recently said (translated into English by Shugenites),
"Some are saying that the Dalai Lama has changed his mind after the demise of his two tutors. When they were alive, I explained everything to them about my investigating and renouncing the worship of Dholgyal. They agreed. Ling Rinpoche said it was very good and had been very clean. Ling had no connection at all. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche said that there was no mistake in my way of investigating, and that it must have a purpose and reason. When I renounced the worship comfortably, I informed my two tutors. They agreed and I was granted permission and support. [there is a report] that I have changed my mind after the two tutors passed away. The reality is what I have just said.
When people in Tibet are aware of my ban on worshipping Dholgyal, some are saying that that this is not the intention of the Dalai Lama; the Dalai Lama imposed a ban in order to appease Nyingma and that this is politics. It is not true. My intention is pure. Therefore, I have to explain that the decision I took with pure intention is being distorted.
Be it in China or in Taiwan. Similarly in China, a section of Dholgyal followers seem to be adopting many methods and efforts these days. In particular, Chinese government found the ban imposed by the Dalai Lama as necessity, and she provides a special support to Dholgyal followers. Monasteries in Tibet which gave up the worship meanwhile are encouraged not to give it up, but to worship. It is little bit conflicting. It became a political issue. Therefore I thought to explain clearly to you, Chinese Dharma friends here.
Whether it be in it in India, or in Tibet, majority, however, believes my explanation through exhaustive investigation. The public’s stand is wonderful. Thank you! As for the monks of [Gelukpa] monastic establishment, you are very good. It is different matter for few; they remain mischievous. It is different matter. Majority found reason in my statement, and listened and appreciated it. Thank you!
Whether you worship a deity, a demon, or an evil spirit, or whatever you worship, it is in your hand. It is freedom. Nothing is there. However, if you worship without knowing the matter, I have a responsibility to tell you that this is the matter. Therefore I am telling you. It is up to you to think whether you want to listen or not, after I said. I have known many things. It is my mistake if I don’t tell you what I knew. If you don’t listen after I said, it is your loss."