Dalai Lama against religious freedom?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 18, 2009 6:09 PM GMT
    Anyone know about the Dalai Lama trying to prevent the practice of a minor Tibetan Buddhist sect in India? I've read that he is having to go to court over this. When ever a religious leader is also the political leader it often seems that religious freedom suffers. Could this even be the case with the Dalai Lama?

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    Aug 18, 2009 6:25 PM GMT
    Video of angry Tibetan Buddhist. It is not only Christians and Muslims that act crazy when their religious views are challenged.

  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Aug 18, 2009 11:23 PM GMT
    The Dalai Lama has a ton of crackpot and fundamentalist views, this does not surprise me in the least.
  • kinetic

    Posts: 1125

    Aug 18, 2009 11:33 PM GMT
    Strange I always thought he would be all for religious freedom. That's pretty disappointing.
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    Aug 18, 2009 11:37 PM GMT
    When the Ori come and dominate, there will be only "one" faith, and all this divide will come to pass.
  • FlashDrive

    Posts: 53

    Aug 19, 2009 1:28 AM GMT
    i can't comment..way beyond my understanding but below are links i found for exploring more...

    Dalai Lama responded:


    From Wikipedia


    From website

    His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Advice Concerning Dolgyal (Shugden)
    Following long and careful investigations, His Holiness the Dalai Lama strongly discourages Tibetan Buddhists from propitiating the fierce spirit known as Dolgyal (Shugden). Although he once practised Dolgyal propitiation himself, His Holiness renounced the practice in 1975 after discovering the profound historical, social and religious problems associated with it. He did so with the full knowledge and support of his junior tutor, the late Kyabje Trichang Rinpoche through whom His Holiness first became associated with the practice. Even within the Geluk and Sakya schools - the Tibetan Buddhist traditions to which majority of Dolgyal practitioners belong - the propitiation of this spirit has been controversial throughout its history. Historical investigation reveals that Dolgyal practice, which has strong sectarian overtones, has a history of contributing to a climate of sectarian disharmony in various parts of Tibet, and between various Tibetan communities. Therefore, from 1975 onwards, His Holiness has regularly made public his view that this practice is inadvisable, based on the following three reasons:

    1. The danger of Tibetan Buddhism degenerating into a form of spirit worship: Tibetan Buddhism originally evolved from the authentic and ancient tradition upheld at the great Indian monastic university of Nalanda, a tradition that His Holiness often describes as a complete form of Buddhism. It embodies the original teaching of the Buddha as developed through the rich philosophical, psychological and spiritual insights of such great Buddhist masters as Nagarjuna, Asanga, Vasubandhu, Dignaga and Dharamakirti. Since the great philosopher and logician Shantarakshita was instrumental in establishing Buddhism in Tibet in its earliest stages in the 8th century, philosophical enquiry and critical analysis have always been important hallmarks of Tibetan Buddhism. The problem with Dolgyal practice is that it presents the spirit Dolgyal (Shugden) as a Dharma protector and what’s more tends to promote the spirit as more important than the Buddha himself. If this trend goes unchecked, and innocent people become seduced by cult-like practices of this kind, the danger is that the rich tradition of Tibetan Buddhism may degenerate into the mere propitiation of spirits.

    2. Obstacles to the emergence of genuine non-sectarianism: His Holiness has often stated that one of his most important commitments is the promotion of inter-religious understanding and harmony. As part of this endeavour, His Holiness is committed to encouraging non-sectarianism in all schools of Tibetan Buddhism. In this His Holiness is following the example set by his predecessors, especially the Fifth Dalai Lama and the Thirteenth Dalai Lama. Not only is a non-sectarian approach mutually enriching for all Tibetan Buddhist schools, but it is also the best safeguard against a rise of sectarianism that could have damaging consequences for the Tibetan tradition as a whole. Given the acknowledged link between Dolgyal worship and sectarianism, this particular practice remains a fundamental obstacle to fostering a genuine non-sectarian spirit within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

    3. Especially inappropriate in relation to the well-being of Tibetan society: Propitiating Dolgyal is particularly troublesome, given the Tibetan people's present difficult circumstances. Textual and historical research demonstrates that the spirit Dolgyal arose out of hostility to the great Fifth Dalai Lama and his government. The Fifth Dalai Lama, who assumed both the spiritual and temporal leadership of Tibet in the 17th century, personally denounced Dolgyal as a malevolent spirit that arose out of misguided intentions and is detrimental to the welfare of beings in general and the Tibetan government headed by the Dalai Lamas in particular. The Thirteenth Dalai Lama and other respected Tibetan spiritual masters have also spoken out strongly against this practice. Therefore, in the current Tibetan context, in which unity among the Tibetan people is vitally important, engaging in this controversial and divisive propitiatory practice is inappropriate.

    His Holiness has strongly urged his followers to consider carefully the problems of Dolgyal practice on the basis of these three reasons and to act accordingly. He has stated that, as a Buddhist leader with a special concern for the Tibetan people, it is his responsibility to speak out against the damaging consequences of this kind of spirit worship. Whether or not his advice is heeded, His Holiness has made clear, is a matter for the individual. However, since he personally feels strongly about how negative this practice is, he has requested those who continue to propitiate Dolgyal not to attend his formal religious teachings, which traditionally require the establishment of a teacher-disciple relationship.
  • FlashDrive

    Posts: 53

    Aug 19, 2009 2:11 AM GMT
    Delivis saidThe Dalai Lama has a ton of crackpot and fundamentalist views, this does not surprise me in the least.

    it's like red versus blue all over again..
    which one should i believe is fundamentalist..hmmm...icon_confused.gif

    from wikipedia..

    Tibetan Buddhism
    The 14th Dalai Lama has agreed that there exist also extremists and fundamentalists in Buddhism, arguing that fundamentalists are not even able to pick up the idea of a possible dialogue.[15] The Dalai Lama has thus far refused to engage in dialogue with Dorje Shugden practitioners, a justification cited by the Western Shugden Society for their recent protests.[16] For example, the Dalai Lama has never responded to Geshe Kelsang Gyatso's open letter that was sent to him in 1997.[17]

    In an interview in 2005 the Dalai Lama referred to radical Dorje Shugden followers who, according to him, "were strongly suspected of having killed a lama who was very dear to me, the director of the School of Tibetan Dialectics in Dharamsala, and two monks, translators who were playing an important role in interpreting with the Chinese." He states that "These same people have beaten up and threatened other Tibetans in the name of their vision, which I would define as Buddhist integralism." In 2007 Interpol issued red notices to China for extraditing Lobsang Chodak and Tenzin Chozin, who are accused of the "ritualistic killing" of those three monks.[18]

    A decade ago, in 1997, at the height of the Dorje Shugden controversy, Robert Thurman claimed: "It would not be unfair to call Shugdens the Taliban of Tibetan Buddhism," referring to the Muslim extremists of Afghanistan.[19] This characterization was repeated in other newspapers in 2002 when reporting about death threats against the 14th Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, northern India.[20][21]

    In September 2008, the Western Shugden Society wrote an open letter,[22] challenging Thurman to justify his 10-year-old claim: "You should show your evidence publicly through the internet before 25 October 2008. If your evidence does not appear by this date then we will conclude that you have lied publicly and are misleading people." As of November 2008, there has been no response by Thurman on his website.[23]

    New Kadampa Tradition
    The alleged connection between the New Kadampa Tradition (aka NKT) and radical Indian and Nepali Shugden groups was strongly rejected by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, founder of the NKT, arguing: "The NKT is completely independent from Shugden groups in India..." and "This really is a false accusation against innocent people. We have never done anything wrong. We simply practise our own religion, as passed down through many generations."[24] In an open letter to the Washington Times,[25] he stated "In October 1998 we decided to completely stop being involved in this Shugden issue ... everyone knows the NKT and myself completely stopped being involved in this Shugden issue at all levels. I can guarantee that the NKT and myself have never performed inappropriate actions and will never do so in the future, this is our determination. We simply concentrate on the flourishing of holy Buddhadharma throughout the world - we have no other aim. I hope people gradually understand our true nature and function."[25] The editor of the Washington Times article retracted the claim about the relationship between Shugden groups from India and Nepal and the British-based New Kadampa Tradition.[26]

    David Kay argued in his doctoral research that the New Kadampa Tradition fit into the criteria of Robert Lifton’s definition of the fundamentalist self.[27] However, most scholars do not agree with this characterization. Inken Prohl expresses hesitation over Kay's use of the word fundamentalist in regards to the NKT because of "the vague and, at the same time, extremely political implications of this term."[28] Likewise, Paul Williams prefers the word traditionalist over fundamentalist in describing the NKT and other Dorje Shugden followers. Reacting to the charge that the NKT is a 'fundamentalist movement,' Robert Bluck said, "Again a balanced approach is needed here: the practitioner’s confident belief may appear as dogmatism to an unsympathetic observer."[29]

  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Aug 19, 2009 2:25 AM GMT
    God_ saidWhen the Ori come and dominate, there will be only "one" faith, and all this divide will come to pass.

    The Ori were destroyed! You be quiet!
  • jrs1

    Posts: 4388

    Aug 25, 2009 1:48 AM GMT

    I don't know how I feel about this. I'll be honest.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 25, 2009 1:53 AM GMT
    The Dalai Lama is a person... religious position aside... he is a mortal human being and thus, is subject to moral weaknesses - corruption, power, etc.

    I am wary of any religion with a person as its main leader.

    The Dalai Lama is not as progressive and benevolent as many would assume.

    He was formerly on the payroll of the CIA in the Tibetal guerilla movement against the Chinese

    And to be honest, it doesnt surprise me he is oppressing religious freedom.

    It's disappointing, naturally... but surprising... questionable.

    When a leader is greeted with warm, open arms by the leaders of major western nations... i have to wonder... what makes them so great? or do they just have an excellent PR campaign behind their name?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 25, 2009 9:01 PM GMT
    Anyone know of any updates on this case? I can't seem to find anything online.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 25, 2009 9:18 PM GMT
    For a religious leader there is no such thing as religious freedom. Only secular people can talk about religious freedom. A religious person believes in what he/she considers "divine truth", therefore they don't tolerate other (i.e. "heretical") views. No need to try to figure out who is more "fundamentalist", it's a competition for spiritual leadership. No successful religious leader would not try to suppress what they consider "heretical" views and practices, otherwise the flock will be divided and the power and prestige of the leader will be diminished. Dalai Lama is no different.