I am saddened when I look at this political issue of 'Dharma Protector' Dorje Shugden which is very divisive amongst Sangha for this political act IS against vows of Sangha.
From my perspective as recent newcomer in this incarnation to the Lineage of Je Rinpoche, I am quite appalled when I see prominent Buddhist Leaders behaving like politicians, instead of behaving more like "enlightened beings" as they are supposed to and I wonder if our High Tibetan Lamas realise how difficult they make it for we rank and file student/practitioners who are really only interested In following the "Path to Enlightenment in Tibetan Buddhism" and NOT in the politics of the Dharma which has come down to us from Tibet.
When I look at the history of Buddhism, particularly Chinese and Tibetan Buddhism with what little knowledge that I have at my disposal, I never cease to be amazed at the high political content of much of what went on in the early days of Buddhism both in China and in Tibet; and here again the same mistakes are being repeated, but this time on the world stage!
All that simple people like myself want to do is: to study, to contemplate, and to meditate upon The Precious Buddha Dharma as our founding Father indicated to us.
We do not need any of the politics at all, because that only interferes with our study, contemplation, and meditation of The Precious Buddha Dharma and politics distracts us in our meditations, and causes us to get into "Dharma gossip" which after all is only another delusion and hence is to be avoided as much as possible.
Sarva Mangalam, may all be auspicious!
Wikipedia, a favorite writing ground of NKT, defines politics ...
"Politics (from Greek πολιτικός, "of, for, or relating to citizens"), is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs. It also refers to behavior within civil governments. However, politics can be observed in other group interactions, including corporate, academic, and religious institutions."
Buddhism, though not innately so, has always been linked with politics. Buddha Shakyamuni was the son of a king and undoubtedly many followers took note. Buddhism spread from India through politics, eg several notable kings embraced Buddhism and encouraged citizens to do so. Several notable Mahasiddhas and Tibetan Lamas came from high government families and circles, including purported incarnations of Shugden. Buddhist monasteries, like any other organization, are steeped in politics, ie collective decision making, hierarchical power structures and battles too. Any serving on a committee sees politics all the time.
Yes, the Dalai Lamas (Tibetan heads of state as well as Buddhist leaders), like other heads of state and non-government organizations, have made political decisions for hundreds of years on behalf of citizens and members. Yes, the current Dalai Lama, like other Tibetan Lamas, has recommended that those who attend his tantra empowerments not be Shugden followers. (to receive a tantra empowerment inside NKT you must be a Shugden follower...an NKT decision for others, ie politics)
Unlike Kelsang Gyatso and NKT, master politicians, the Dalai Lama has not directed angry worldwide protest rallies, Internet attacks and books against other Buddhists. Indeed, NKT has brought 'religious' politics to the world stage.
NKT has banned many from attending an event inside NKT for not agreeing with NKT's politics. Many have seen first hand a range of ugly politics inside NKT. Many are well aware of NKT's prolific demonstrations of assault politics and notorious positions against Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism.
No doubt, there will always be good politics and bad politics. Too, there may always be good Buddhism and bad Buddhism.
Ultimately, we believe that good will prevail and that NKT's Shugdenism will become a political artifact.