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NKT Festivals

NKT politics easy to find on the Internet. Simply Google 'NKT Protests' and choose to view images.

If only Kelsang Gyatso would stop fighting.

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fight

PR

From the Guardian June 13, 2015:

‘Extremist’ sect threatens protests against Dalai Lama

Its followers believe it can help them achieve serenity, but Buddhism itself is under assault from a toxic campaign against its spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, that, it is alleged, is being encouraged by the Chinese authorities.

They have described him as a “Muslim masquerading as a Buddhist” and compared him with Hitler. Now they plan to demonstrate when the Dalai Lama appears in Aldershot this month at a ceremony to remember victims of the Nepal earthquake.

The UK protests are being organised by the New Kadampa Tradition, which emerged in the 1990s and now has nearly 50 centres in the UK promoting Shugden practices. In preparation for his visit, the ISC and its supporters have inundated Twitter with tens of thousands of anti- Dalai Lama tweets that have caused offence to mainstream Buddhists.

Claims that the Dalai Lama wants to ban Shugden practices are part of a campaign of misinformation against him encouraged by Chinese authorities seeking to suppress all opposition in Tibet, according to pro-Tibet organisations.

The vitriolic nature of the attacks on the Dalai Lama have dismayed many of the estimated 1,000 Tibetan exiles living in Britain. In a statement, the Tibetan Community in Britain said that it was “deeply distressed by this inflammatory and extremist campaign”.

From the Patheos web site May 14, 2014:

New Kadampa / Shugden followers protest Dalai Lama’s Nobel Peace Prize

The protesters were, by and large, members of the New Kadampa Tradition, a break-away group from the Dalai Lama’s Geluk tradition.

Yet, as Georges Dreyfus, a preeminent scholar of Tibetan Buddhism, notes:

“There is, however, another element that must be examined in order to understand the troublesome nature of the practice of Shuk-den, namely, the sectarian stance that it reflects. This is where the story of Drak-ba Gyel-tsen becomes relevant again. For Pa-bong-ka, particularly at the end of his life, one of the main functions of Gyel-chen Dor-je Shuk-den as Ge-luk protector is the use of violent means (the adamantine force) to protect the Ge-luk tradition. Pa-bong-ka quite explicitly states:

Now [I] exhort to violent actions Shuk-den, who is the main war-god of Dzong-ka-ba’s tradition and its holders, the angry spirit, the Slayer of Yama (i.e., Yamantaka or Manjushri in his wrathful form)….In particular it is time [for you] to free (i.e., kill) in one moment the enemies of Dzong-ka-ba’s tradition. Protector, set up [your] violent actions without [letting] your previous commitments dissipate. Quickly engage in violent actions without relaxing your loving promises. Quickly accomplish [these] requests and entrusted actions without leaving them aside (or without acting impartially). Quickly accomplish [these] actions [that I] entrust [to you], for I do not have any other source of hope.

This passage clearly presents the goal of the propitiation of Shuk-den as the protection of the Ge-luk tradition through violent means, even including the killing of its enemies.

And so the fuss does go on. Oddly enough, many within the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT) themselves are only vaguely aware of this controversy or others within that tradition. A post I put up three years ago pointing out the New Kadampa Survivors group still gets a number of “thank you” and “I had no idea….” responses. Help spread the word. Buddhists, both inside and out of the NKT need to understand the history of Shugden and his role in Tibetan Buddhist practice and politics.