NKT's protests foist signs and banners saying, "Dalai Lama Stop Lying."
With large megaphones, NKT clergy lead this chant against the Dalai Lama, increasing the volume and hastening the tempo as the Dalai Lama's car drives up to his speaking events.
Well, what is this lie?
That Dorje Shugden is a harmful spirit.
A lie? This is true. This is what most understand about Shugden, even many if not most of those who propitiate (appease) Shugden. Various essays on this web site, basing their conclusions on many academic and Tibetan sources, have substantiated this view. Of course, there is far more substantiation beyond this web site. So, this is not a lie.
Shugden began as a terrifying and harmful spirit and is invoked and propitiated (appeased) as such.
Indeed, the Dalai Lama was misinformed about Shugden by one of his junior teachers, Trijang. Subsequently, he finished his teenage years amidst war and left Tibet for exile in India due to the Chinese invasion. Then, he was busy forming an exile government and pleading for Tibet's people. It appears that the Dalai Lama was 40 years old when he went back to study the diaries and histories of previous Dalai Lamas and the scriptures regarding Shugden.
NKT's explains its policy statement...
"For centuries, every great Master in the Buddhist Tradition passed down from Je Tsongkhapa, including the Dalai Lama’s root Guru Trijang Rinpoche, has revered Dorje Shugden as an enlightened being who helps sincere practitioners progress on the spiritual path by developing pure minds of love, compassion, and wisdom." FALSE
"The Dalai Lama himself was trained in this tradition, and for 40 years relied upon Dorje Shugden, even composing a prayer of his own praising Dorje Shugden and requesting his help." FALSE
"To consolidate his grip on political power in exile he has attempted to destroy the four great traditions of Tibetan Buddhism – the Gelug, Sakya, Kagyu, and Nyingma traditions – and create a new religious movement he calls ‘ri-me’." FALSE
"As part of a deal with some leaders of the other traditions he agreed to abandon the practice of Dorje Shugden and command others to do the same because Dorje Shugden practitioners prefer to rely upon the tradition of Je Tsongkhapa without mixing with other practices." FALSE
"A favourite ploy of the Dalai Lama is to accuse others of the harmful actions he himself performs." FALSE
"He is attempting to destroy centuries old religious traditions by creating a new religious movement he calls ‘ri-me’." FALSE
"To accomplish this he is also destroying the previously mainstream practice of relying upon Dorje Shugden." FALSE
"The truth is that those who continue to rely upon Dorje Shugden are preserving a centuries old mainstream religious practice." FALSE
"It is the Dalai Lama who has created a new religious movement!" FALSE
"The truth is, it is the Dalai Lama who is promoting the superiority of his new religious movement and attempting to denigrate and ban practices that do not conform to it." FALSE
"In recent years, the Dalai Lama has woven a web of deception to maintain his political grip on the Tibetans in exile and bolster his position as a global celebrity commanding millions of dollars in speaking fees and enjoying the adulation of heads of state, Hollywood stars, and other celebrities worldwide." FALSE
"Throughout your life you have pretended to be a Buddhist holy being giving Buddhist teachings that you have stolen from Trijang Rinpoche. By doing this, you have cheated people throughout the world. In summary, it is clear that your real nature is cruel and very evil." FALSE
"He says the practice of Dorje Shugden undermines the cause of Tibetan independence." TRUE (oops, how did this happen, a true statement, he did and it does)
NKT claims that the Dalai Lama is a liar, is cruel, is very evil, stole his teachings and is not a Buddhist.
Time for a polygraph?
Previous essays have quoted various references regarding Shugden. Here is another...
"Pabongka, who used to be summoned by Dalai Lama XIII to this end, to places suffering from drought, was in fact the main propagator in the modern era of the cult of Gyalpo (or Dorje) Shugden. When Dalai Lama XIII sent him a formal letter asking why he repeatedly disobeyed his order not to give the transmission of the initiation of the spirit of this Gyalpo (see Rinpoche's teachings concerning this class of beings), Pabongka answered that he had received the transmission for the worship of this being from his mother's family. Nevertheless, at least formally he apologised to the Dalai Lama and offered the traditional white kata with some precious coins...
The importance of Pabongka in the story we are discussing is tied mainly, but not only, to the fact that it was he who transmitted the practice of Gyalpo Shugden to his young student Trijang Rinpoche, who in the 1950s in his turn transmitted it to the present Dalai Lama XIV, whose junior Tutor he was...At that time His Holiness was little more than a child, and all around he could feel the anxiety of the high Lamas, government officials and dignitaries on receiving the dramatic news from the eastern front, in particular from Derge, where the advancing Chinese army was carrying out ferocious massacres of the civilian population...
In due course events necessitated the flight and subsequent escape of the Dalai Lama and a considerable retinue to the Indian border (this occurred some years before his eventual exile in 1959)...
The relationship between the Dalai Lama and the Gyalpo (which however never reached the stage of 'life entrustment' or taking refuge)...
Lama Yeshe in particular can be deemed a posthumous victim of the indirect consequences of this cult, because after his death the centre he founded in England, one of the first and most important of the Gelugpa schools in the West, was literally expropriated by an ambitious Geshe (the brother of the Shugden spirit medium) called Kelsang Gyatso, who turned it into his own personal fiefdom, and thanks to the powers of this spirit that temporarily grants worldly riches and power, it became one of the monasteries most highly attended by westerners with branches in the United States and other parts of the world. Kelsang Gyatso can also be considered a kind of leader of the world cult of Shugden, in open and at times rowdy opposition to the Dalai Lama (he organised a protest sit-in during His Holiness' visit to London in 1996)...
The main reason why the Dalai Lama decided to disclose in public his reservations regarding this cult, which he himself had practised for many years lies in the publication of a booklet called the Yellow Book of Shugden penned by a geshe called Zemey Rinpoche, under the inspiration of Trijang Rinpoche, with anecdotes and stories about Gelugpa personages, also important ones, of the last century, includ ing the former regent Reting Rinpoche, who discovered the present Dalai Lama, and who according to the author were the victims of Shugden's wrath for having engaged in practices of other schools, in particular Nyingmapa and Dzogchen...
(Trijang Rinpoche wrote that he was killed by the Regent of Dalai Lama the 5th who was jealous of the growing popularity of Dragpa Gy altsen and of Drepung with the Mongols). The spirit of this high lama with strong psychic powers was probably transformed, as happens to those who die in anger, as Rinpoche himself has stated, into a wandering harmful Gyalpo. But on account of his powers as a former tantric practitioner not even the many pujas performed by Dalai Lama the 5th himself and by the greatest Nyingmapa and Dzogchen masters of the time (of whom Dalai Lama the 5th was a disciple) were able to pacify and eliminate his negative influence...
it was at the time of Pabongka (and to a lesser extent his teacher Thapu Rinpoche) that the cult erupted among the higher Gelugpa hierarchs against the wish - as we have seen - of the XIII Dalai Lama, who died prophesying the impending tragedy for the Tibetan clergy and people. Both before and after the Chinese invasion throughout Tibet, and especially in east Tibet, where the Nyingmapa presence was still predominant, numerous statues of Padmasambhava were destroyed and lamas and monks of other traditions humiliated and attacked by hordes of Gelugpa fundamentalists instigated by the teachings of Pabongka and his lama disciples. In this way they intended to assert the dominion of the so-called 'pure tradition' of lama Tsongkhapa, which according to them had been neglected and abandoned in favour of offensive tantric practices, and especially for the 'termas' or hidden treasures that many Gelugpas, alongside the Nyingmapa and Dzogchen practitioners, made great use of...
With hindsight, the current Tibetan spiritual leader could be censured over his lack of clarity with regard to a cult whose dangers had been well known by his predecessor as well as other Dalai Lamas of the past, and His Holiness has often humbly acknowledged this. But practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism are well aware of the relationship between master and disciple and of the nature of the samaya pledge, the promise to act in common for the benefit of beings in samsara. The young Dalai Lama had neither the experience, nor the knowledge, necessary to challenge his teacher Trijang over the value of a cult which has subsequently revealed itself as not only of scant benefit for the Gelugpa school itself (it certainly did not save them from their historical defeat and subsequent suffering) but also harmful for the many beings instigated by such a sectarian view to perpetrate actual physical violence." (Raimondo Bultrini, A Spirit of the XVII Century, 2003)
Shugen was elevated less than one hundred years ago to "assert the dominion of the so-called 'pure tradition' of lama Tsongkhapa..." Kelsang Gyatso created NKT to spread Shugenism beyond Tibet in the name of a 'pure tradition' of Tsongkhapa in virtually complete contradiction to the teachings of Tsogkhapa.