NKT's support for Gyatso's purported Geshe degree is quoted below. However, there is no evidence of an actual document (degree) such as those granted by academic institutions. To NKT, since Gyatso seemed like he received a degree, he did.
'Geshe' is an academic-like degree granted by a monastery, not a university. While Gyatso was a Buddhist monk in the Gelug tradition during his training (never completed) to earn the Geshe degree, he has since separated from Tibetan Buddhism. Thus, in effect, by creating an indepedant 'religion' Gyatso ordained himself and granted himself a Geshe degree.
(Gyatso is not a Lama, which is a title of respect for a Tibetan teacher of Buddhism, eg The Dalai Lama, Lama Yeshe, Lama Zopa and Lama Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche - all subject to abuse by Gyatso and his NKT corporation on NKT web sites and in NKT protest rallies.)
Letters to and about Gyatso from Sera Monastery (August 1996) offically expelling Gyatso are instructive and unequivocal, and other comments from Tibet are appropos...
From Sera Je,
"His Holiness The Dalai Lama is the undisputed leader of the six million Tibetans and a
world renowned Buddhist leader as well as a respected statesman of great charisma for
which he was awarded the prestigious 1989 Nobel Peace Prize among many others. His
genuine concern for the welfare of the Tibetan people, the weak and the down trodden and
his teachings on compassion to bring about a more humane and harmonious world and his
call for the protection of all forms of life on our planet and their habitat in the form of what
he termed as ‘Universal Responsibility’ has caught the imagination of the world and is held
in great esteem by virtually the whole world irrespective of their religious affiliations or
However, it is a measure of profound sorrow that a so called “Geshe”
Kelsang Gyatso and his English supporters have embarked upon a ruthless smear campaign
to tarnish the International stature of His Holiness The Dalai Lama in the name of alleged
“religious persecution”. It is nothing short of blasphemy in the eyes of the overwhelming
majority of the six million Tibetans.
It is nothing but a crude form of debasing the Dalai Lama for his own selfish ends...We have nothing but pity for your ignorance...Why not mind his own business and do what he likes in his own bigoted kingdom?
Actions speak louder than words and we are under no illusion with
whom your sympathies are despite your statements to the contrary. The Tibetans all over the world were deeply distressed by your attempt to portray the Dalai Lama as a “ruthless
dictator” an “oppressor of his own people” and smash his International stature so that the
Tibetan struggle will be like a rudderless ship tossing helplessly in the sea of international
intrigues and treacery. From where did you borrow your vocabulary to malign the Dalai Lama? Are
they not straight from the Chinese propaganda dictionary?
These days, [in Kelsang Gyatso] the demonic cloud of overwhelming arrogance displays itself with a mass of deluded pride, like a bat who thinks he is above the sky…. This demon with broken commitments…. burns with the flame of unbearable spite towards the unsurpassed omniscient 14th Dalai Lama, the only staff of life of religious people in Tibet, whose activities and kindness are equal to the sky.
...Kelsang Gyatso who is today a pariah in the
We advise him to accept the fact that he is an ordinary being and stand no chance
whatsoever to challenge the Dalai Lama. He is not even a Geshe. The so called “third
Buddha” is a figment of imagination conjured up by his fawning desciples as
a propaganda tool to attract more people to his centre and that it should not go to his head.
Kelsang himself has transgressed the eight shortcomings of relying wrongly upon his
own spiritual master H.H. The Dalai Lama. According to the circular released by the Sera
Jhe Tsangpa Khangtsen, to whom Kelsang belonged, he had received both sutra and tantric teachings from H.H. The Dalai Lama when he was in Tibet. He had received the fifth Dalai
Lama’s Lamrim Jampel Shalung at the Norbu Linka summer palace and the Kalachakra
Initiation in 1956 from H.H.The Dalai Lama which incidently was the first Kalachakra initiation by the fourteenth Dalai Lama. As it were, there is simply no question of his not
being a desciple of H.H. The Dalai Lama but he has ignored this aspect and launched a
blistering attack on the Dalai Lama in the name of “religious persecution” along with his
gullible followers. The outcome of all this attempt to denigrate the person of the of Dalai
Lama by Kelsang clearly transgressed his spiritual relationship with the Dalai Lama and
though he has mentioned in his letter that “all of us are destined to go to hell”, we are in no doubt that he will infact be the
one who will land in hell.
We have therefore stripped him of his membership from our
Sera Jhe Dratsang since the holy scriptures have clearly prescribed to evict such apostates
who will foul the Sanga community’s spiritual purity and serenity and will have a negative
influence for the whole community. Owing to the above reasons contained in the holy Tantric treatises, the Sera Jhe Dratsang’s
Abbot and ex-abbots, Reincarnations of holy Lamas, Geshes, and the House Masters of the
fifteen different Houses unanimously decided to strip Kelsang Gyatso of his membership in
the Sera Jhe Dratsang and his own House had earlier done the same.
He states that for the last eighteen years the Dalai Lama has done nothing!!! His hatred towards the Dalai Lama obscures him from seeing any merit of the Dalai Lama...It is not the fault of the holy Buddha, nor Lama
Tsongkhapa nor H.H.The Dalai Lama but the beholder like Kelsang Gyatso whose demonic instinct get the better of them...He is an object of pity and nothing else.
We sincerely hope that the cult leader and his fanatical supporters
go through this and think twice before their vitriolic outpourings on the holy person of the
Dalai Lama. We believe you would trust the Chinese version more than ours and because
of this we took the liberty to quote from the Chinese communist periodical. It would be
even better if you would care to go through the whole article and you will be surprised that
even the Chinese communists have far greater respect for the Dalai Lama than cult leader
Kelsang Gyatso and his cultists in Cumbria, England!!! What’s more, if any one disagrees with his “pure” cult, he gets the boot...But with Kalsang anything goes, after all he is the “third
buddha” in the British Isles.
His venomous invectives against the Dalai Lama is unbecoming of a Buddhist...
The sacrilege he was
committing by banning the photos of the Dalai Lama and even the utterance of his name in
the premises of his cult kingdom. It is an unheard piece of news which every Tibetan will
condemn with the severest indiction. The motivation behind this act was, he was now
planning to wean away innocent, unsuspecting, young minds towards his cultist school
called the “New Kadampa Tradition” which imposes a ban on Tibet’s Spiritual and
Temporal leader the Dalai Lama and thus undermine his authority even in the exile
community. His single minded motivation now is to undermine the authority of the Dalai
Lama and maroon the Tibetan people. This is unacceptable to the six million Tibetans and
we will challenge him for this.
In his apparent
ecstasy, he even disowns being a Tibetan and works against the very people where he was
His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, is the embodiment of
the compassion of all Buddhas, the golden flower in the land of
snows, Tibet, the form of the deity who has appeared in Tibet, the
representative of Buddha Shakyamuni, the spiritual leader of all
Buddhists in the world, and the great advocate of non-violence.
For those who come from the land of snow mountains, to find in His
Holiness our sacred source of refuge for this and future lives is
truly our inborn nature, like our eyes which give us sight and our innermost heart.
(referring to Gyatso)...Possessed by a terrible demon, without shame, embarrassment, or
modesty, he doesn't have even the slightest care or concern for any
of the commitments of the three vows [pratimoksha, bodhicitta, and
tantric] which he undertook.
He continuously broadcasts blatantly shameless mad pronouncements,
attacking with baseless slander His Holiness the Dalai Lama, whose
kindness for us, the people of Tibet, has been greater that the
Buddhas of the three times. These unimaginable statements which
defame the name of His Holiness have created an urgent adverse
situation which no Tibetan can tolerate.
Therefore, all those connected with Sera Je College, lamas and
tulkus, abbots, former executives, senior and junior geshes, together
with the leaders of the individual khangtsen [regional houses], all
together, in agreement, with one voice, hereby proclaim that on this
day, August 22, 1996, Kelsang Gyatso, the one with broken commitments
and wrong view, is cast out with the "ritual nine expulsions," and is
thereby banished from this place, and the being a part of the rule of
This means that we request all of our brothers and sisters, the
Tibetan people inside and outside Tibet, to completely sever any
relationship with him. Concerning the practice of worshiping divine
protectors at this Monastery in particular, the protector who was
directed by the previous great masters to advise, command, and look
after our Monastery is the Dharma protector Dregpa Chamsing [Dregs Pa
lCam Sring). Aside from this protector there has traditionally been
no worship of Dolgyal [Dorje Shugden].
These days, we keep in the honored position on the crown of our heads
the instructions of our Government, the great Ganden Potrang.
Therefore, all sangha who reside here, as evidence of their
commitment not to worship the protector Dolgyal, have freely signed
such a pledge, and offered it before the clear eye of His Holiness.
Beyond that, anyone who is not blind should be able to comprehend
this with their ordinary eye of understanding and mind of attachment
and aversion; as they say, no one needs a lamp to make things clear
in the light of the sun and moon.
For the future, we publicly make the strongest request to everyone
not to associate the good name of Sera Je Monastery with this holder
of broken commitments and wrong view."
Representatives of the Tibetan people echoed these sentiments about Gyatso's fall from the Buddhist path.
For example, from the Freedom Movement, Youth Congress, Tibetan Women's Association and representatives of the Three Provinces Movement,
"… you are doomed life after life… telling others not to keep pictures of the Dalai Lama reveals that, although you wear the mask of a religious practitioner, in reality you are the running dog of China and Taiwan. Therefore, we the Tibetan people both inside and outside Tibet will unitedly stand against you as a source of harm to the spiritual and temporal affairs of Tibetans."
From Tibetans in Dharamsala to 'All the followers of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso',
"It is also a well-known fact that due to a slight disagreement on views with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, you had banned portraits of His Holiness in your business-oriented Dharma centers. This insane and demeanous (sic) act had caused disgrace to the Tibetans as a whole and is no better than the savageous acts of the Red Chinese. We, the six million Tibetans, solemnly denounce these ill-acts."
From Tibetan Community, Kathmandu, Nepal,
"We feel called upon ourselves to let you know of certain facts about him so that his impudent ravings do not lead astray well-meaning followers of the path….Your "guru" has the misguided audacity to challenge the omniscience of the Compassionate One to the utter disgust of us all."
In a 1996 response to Gyatso's letter referred to above, a Tibetan wrote,
"I suspect that this may have been instigated by the Chinese communists as his accusations of H.H. the Dalai Lama are so baseless, convoluted and depraved...Kalzang Gyatso praises the spirit, Dolgyal, with such exaggeration, trying to make him the powerful guardian of the Gelugpa doctrine, with such falsification that there is no truth whatsoever. He has caused a schism by claiming that His Holiness restricts and suppresses the Gelugpa doctrine...If one is blind, everything that appears in front is only darkness...it is the responsibility of all knowledgeable lay and ordained individuals of the snow-land of Tibet to strongly refute, with the three methods of reason, scripture and instruction, the one that hurts Buddhism in general and the Gelugpa school in particular with his evil conduct and distorted views. Having distinguished between bragrant flowers and poisonous grass, we should defeat this propounder of perversity."
'All lies' according to Gyatso and his sycophantic foot soldiers.
(In 2008, Gyatso's attacks on The Dalai Lama and other esteemed Tibetan Lamas intensified with web sites, web blogs, intimidation of NKT's critics and media-saavy protests.)
Two years after Gyatso's letters from Sera Monastery, Gyatso's attempted to defend his purported Geshe degree (published by NKT's Secretary in 1998).
“In Tibet before he joined Sera-je Monastery near Lhasa, Geshe Kelsang studied on the Geshe training program for many years in his local monastery of Jampaling. He then took two examinations at the great monastic university of Tashi Lhunpo, one for memorization of texts, the second being the actual examination. After the second examination he was awarded a degree from that monastery, and from that time on the other monks and local people called him Geshe Kelsang.
Later, he continued with the Geshe training programme in Sera-je Monastery until he left for India in 1959, where he alternately studied and engaged in meditation retreats. One day he received a letter from Sera-je Monastery in south India, encouraging him to attend a Geshe offering ceremony and to take an examination in order to receive a certificate. In 1973 he went to Sera Monastery and made an extensive offering at the Geshe offering ceremony to a large assembly of monks from both Sera-je and Sera-mey monasteries, in Sera Tsogchen Prayer Hall. He also made the traditional offerings to Sera-je Monastery. On that occasion the monks of his class offered him a ‘katag’, or ceremonial scarf, and gifts in the traditional way. If he was not considered a Geshe then what was the point of inviting him to participate in this ceremony?
At that time he declined to take the examination, which was a new system that had been recently introduced. He later explained that this was because he did not think that receiving a piece of paper was important."
With such delusional logic we could all grant ourselves doctorates.
Gyatso insists that the many reports that he is a fake Geshe are lies (Gyatso uses the 'lie' charge often against the Dalai Lama, other Tibetan Lamas, other Buddhists and the media):
“My true situation is that in Tibet I studied Geshe training for many years in my local monastery called Jampa Ling and Tashi Lhunpo university and I passed two examinations. One examination was in memorization and the other was the actual examination. Soon after that, people would publicly call me “Geshe”.
Later in Tibet I joined Sera Je monastery and I studied Geshe training further. In India I mainly emphasized retreat for meditation purposes. When I was living on a high mountain called Dalhousie I received a letter from Sera Je monastery. The letter encouraged me to go to Sera for an examination. Because I had heard that the method or system for examinations was newly created, I did not accept this new system.
However, in 1973 I did my Geshe Ceremony in Sera Je monastery, making extensive offerings to thousands of monks; and I received a special traditional khatag (white scarf) indicating that I am a Geshe.
Generally for anyone to become a real Geshe it is not necessary that the Dalai Lamas recognize them as a Geshe. Before the Dalai Lamas, so many pure and real Geshes appeared such as Geshe Potowa, Geshe Jayulwa, Geshe Langri Tangpa, Geshe Sharawa, Geshe Chekawa and so forth. These Kadampa Geshes have no connection with the Dalai Lama. I have no connection with the Dalai Lama but I still believe that I am a Geshe.
Please give a copy of this information to people if they request it. Thank you.”
On one point, Gyatso may be correct. Before the Dalai Lamas (the first Dalai Lama was a student of Tsongkhapa (1357-1419); the current Dalai Lama is the 14th), there were Geshes without recognition by a Dalai Lama. Because Gyatso despises the six hundred year lineage of Dalai Lamas, he bases his (fake) Geshe degree on pre-Dalai Lama history.
The Geshe degree is a academic-like degree, analogous to a doctorate in Buddhist theology.
Apparently, Gyatso has never been awarded the degree per se, e.g., he holds no diploma. The basis for his Geshe title is that he believes that he is a Geshe. Hopefully, he doesn't start believing that he can fly or is the President or Prime Minister. Gyatso's reliance on the Dalai Lama is notable.
Normally, Gyatso claims that the Dalai Lama is an evil liar. In this instance, Gyatso says that the Geshe degree is not based on recognition by the Dalai Lama but since the Dalai Lama called him a Geshe in a book forward that this is support for Gyatso holding the Geshe degree.
Interestingly, one of Gyatso's books was dedicated to the Dalai Lama in its first printing but in later printings, this dedication was removed. Obviously, when Gyatso likes what you are saying he will use it, when he doesn't he will call you a liar (this is the tactic widely used by NKT Internet bloggers as well).
Once again, readers should decide for themselves the credibility of Gyatso and NKT.
As for a friend of ours we call 'Doc', we pray he does not try performing surguries on patients, or a friend we call 'Captain', we pray he does not take control of an oil tanker or an airliner.