Tag Archives: dalai lama book

Western Shugden Society website redesign

The Western Shugden Society has redesigned their website. The site has a lot of new photos, videos and information that weren’t included before. Now the website is similar to the new book (A Great Deception) in a multimedia format. However, there is a lot of information in the book that can’t be found on the website. The two together are a powerful combination that have the function of freeing Buddhism from political pollution and protecting Shugden practitioners from persecution by the Dalai Lama.

Defamation of Je Phabongkhapa

Je Phabongkhapa

Je Phabongkhapa

Below is another sample from the book A Great Deception – The Ruling Lama’s Policies published by the Western Shugden Society.

Je Phabongkhapa, or Phabongkha Rinpoche, (1878-1941) ‘was one of the great lamas of the twentieth century. He attained his geshe degree at Sera Monastic University, Lhasa, and became a highly influencial teacher in Tibet. He was the root Guru of both tutors of the present Dalai Lama, and the teacher of many of the other Gelug lamas who have been bringing the Dharma to the West since they fled Tibet in 1959.’

But the Fourteenth Dalai Lama now defames this great Teacher. As recently as March 27th, 2006 the Dalai Lama implied that Je Phabongkhapa developed a sectarian bias due to his association with Dorje Shugden:

‘In the case of Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche, he was, in the earlier part of his life, a practitioner of ecumenical faith. Gradually, he developed a relationship with Dholgyal. Need I say more?’

But the Dalai Lama gives no evidence for saying that Je Phabongkhapa was sectarian later in his life.

On another occasion the Dalai Lama said that although ‘Kyabje Phabongkha Rinpoche was really an incredibly great master…. virtually the supreme holder of the Stages of the Path (Lam rim) and Mind Training (Lo jong) traditions’ and ‘was a highly realized being’, that nevertheless ‘with regard to Dholgyal [Dorje Shugden] he seems to have made mistakes.’

The following account illustrates the low esteem in which Je Phabongkhapa is held within certain sections of the Gelugpa Tradition as a result of the Dalai Lama’s defamation. In August 2009 there was a Rigchung degree ceremony (for those who have successfully completed their study of the Pefection of Wisdom Sutra) held at Sera-Mey Monastery in South India. During the ceremony for a monk from the Gungru Khamtsem section fo the monastery, the disciplinarian of the monastery Geshe Ngawang Yonten publicly read out the ‘refuge letter’ (in which a patron writes the names of his family and spiritual masters for blessing by the assembled monks). The refuge letter included the names of Kyabje Phabongkha Rinpoche and Drana Rinpoche (another prominent Dorje Shugden practitioner).

After the ceremony the disciplinarian received phone calls from monks complaining about his reading out the names of these two Lamas. The next day in the assembly hall, the disciplinarian apologised: ‘I didn’t get prior notice before reading this letter. The person who wrote the names has accumulated negativity, as I did for reading it [the letter]. Therefore we should purify our sin by offering katag [traditional Tibetan offering scarf] to the Protector Thawo. These Lamas did not sign and pledge that they will never worship Shugden, and we will never share material and religious ties with Shugden followers.’

During the Thirteenth Dalai Lama’s time, Je Phabongkhapa was the most famous and influential Lama who engaged practically in spreading the doctrine of Je Tsongkhapa throughout Tibet. He was greatly influential in reviving the Gelug Tradition at this time, emphasizing the practical application of Buddha’s teachings instead of just scholastic knowledge, and was the lama most involved in promoting the practice of Dorje Shugden. Because of this, detractors of this practice such as the present Dalai Lama have tried either to maintain that Je Phabongkhapa rejected the practice of Dorje Shugden towards the end of his life, or to smear him with the accusation of being sectarian and promoting Dorje Shugden practice as a way of damaging other Buddhist traditions.

There may be another reason for the present Dalai Lama’s defamation of Je Phabongkhapa. As Goldstein says ‘Phabongka was famous for his view that lamas should not become involved in politics…’ which is not an attitude the Dalai Lama can accept, especially from such an important figure within the Gelug Tradition.

With regard to the many rumors being circulated about Je Phabongkhapa, someone asked Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, ‘Is it true what some people say about Je Phabongkhapa rejecting the Nyingma Tradition?’ Geshe Kelsang Gyatso replied:

‘This is a hundred-percent not true. Though careful investigation I came to understand that when Je Phabongkhapa visited the Kham area in eastern Tibet he gave extensive teachings everywhere. Many thousands of people gathered for his teachings. People of Kham deeply respected him and were devoted to him. At that time, some people, due to jealousy and in order to destroy Je Phabhongkhapa’s reputation, circulated false information saying “Phabongkhapa is evil, he rejects the Nyingma tradition and he destroyed statues of Padmasambhava”. Gradually this false information spread throughout Tibet, but I clearly understand that these people lied.’

There are a number of personal accounts of Je Phabongkhapa that testify to his enormous spiritual power and his ability to turn people’s minds towards spiritual practice. Geshe Lobsang Tharchin, who was for fifteen years abbot of Rashi Gempil Ling, a Kalmuck Mongolian temple in New Jersey, USA, and founder of the Mahayana Sutra and Tantra Centers, recalls attending Lamrim teachings given by Je Phabhongkhapa:

‘Like so many others in the audience, I was stunned by the power of his teachings. Most of it I had heard before, but the way which he taught it and, I felt, the blessings I had received from him made it suddenly strike home for me. Here I was, living the short precious life of a human, and fortunate enough to be a student at one of the greatest Buddhist monasteries in the world. Why was I wasting my time? What would happen if I suddenly died?”

Geshe Tharchin remembers a Tibetan nobleman who held a ‘powerful position equivalent to Minister of Defense’ attending Je Phabhongkhapa’s teachings, showing up in his:

‘… best finery … decked out in silk, his long hair flowing … A great ceremonial sword hung from his belt, clanging importantly as he swaggered in. … By the end of the first section of the teaching he was seen leaving the hall quietly, deep in thought–he had wrapped his weapon of war in a cloth to hide it, and was taking it home. … finally one day he threw himself before the Rinpoche and asked to be granted special lifetime religious vows for laymen. Thereafter he always followed Pabongka Rinpoche around, to every public teaching he gave.’

In his autobiography Khyongla Rato, founder of the Tibet Center in New York, writes that Tibetans referred to Khangser Rinpoche and Phabongka Rinpoche as ‘the Sun’ and ‘the Moon’. He also writes of the tremendous power of Je Phabhongkhapa’s teachings:

‘During that summer session several traders and at least two high government officials found their lives transformed by his eloquence: they forsook their jobs to study religion and give themselves to meditation.’

Khyongla Rato requested and received full ordination from Je Phabongkhapa and would often pray ‘… that like Pabongka Rinpoche, I might learn to help people by teaching, writing and discussion.’

In a short account about his life, Rilbur Rinpoche says:

‘That was the time of the great lama Pabongka Dorje Chang, who was the most outstanding unsurpassable lama of that time. It was him and nobody else. I’m not saying there weren’t any lamas except Pabongka – there were Kyabje Kangsar Rinpoche, Tatra Rinpoche, and many other great lamas – but he became the principle teacher, the one who was giving continuous teachings.’


‘I have had some success as a scholar, and as a lama I am somebody, but these things are not important. The only thing that matters to me is that I was a disciple of Pabongka Rinpoche.’

None of these highly-respected teachers who knew Je Phabongkhapa personally make mention of any sectarian bias whatsoever. In an interview given in the FPMT Mandala magazine, Mogchok Rinpoche, shortly after being appointed resident teacher of the FPMT centre in Lavaur, France, said that his previous incarnation had first belonged to the Shangpa Kagyu tradition:

‘In my past life, Mogchok Rinpoche was student of Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche; it was then that he changed to the Gelug tradition. He received many initiations and teachings from Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche.’

However, it is clear that Je Phabongkhapa did not put any sectarian pressure on his new disciple. As the interview continues:

‘Q: Do you know why he chose to change tradition?
‘A: I think he found that the Gelugpa tradition contained a lot of wisdom. But the previous Mogchok Rinpoche didn’t abandon Shangpa Kagyu completely, he practiced according to that tradition as well.’

Je Phabongkha’s spiritual influence – over government ministers and even lamas from other traditions – was undoubtedly a source of jealousy. As a Gelugpa lama he was responsible for promoting the pure teachings of Je Tsongkhapa, but there is no evidence of him action out of sectarianism, or in any way that was damaging to other traditions. The claims made by the present Dalai Lama are completely false.

The Illusion of Government

Below is another sample of the contents of the new book A Great Deception – The Ruling Lama’s Policies by the Western Shugden Society.

Gradually over the years since the Dalai Lama left his homeland, 145,000 Tibetans have moved from Tibet and made settlements in India, Nepal and Bhutan or settled further afield in exile communities throughout the world.

The Dalai Lama himself, together with many of his closest followers, eventually settled in the old British hill station of McLeod Ganj, near the small Indian town of Dharamsala in northern India.

The Tibetan town that has grown up around him there is now the principal Tibetan refugee community.

At enormous expense an administration was established in Dharamsala to maintain effective control over the widely-spread refugee population. This administration has become known as ‘The Government of Tibet in Exile’ though it has no legal status either within or outside India and is not officially recognized by any country, least of all by India.

There is a Tibetan National Assembly of People’s Deputies (usually simply called the ‘National Assembly’), which consists of forty-six representatives. However, of these representatives only thirty are directly elected by the Tibetan people. The five major religious traditions (Gelug, Kagyu, Sakya, Nyingma and Bön) elect two representatives each, and the remaining six are direct appointees of the Dalai Lama. This in itself represents a breach of democratic principles, since only two-thirds of the delegates are directly elected by the people. The National Assembly nominally appoints the members of the Cabinet (‘Kashag’ in Tibetan), but in practice these are often directly appointed by the Dalai Lama. And for a time in the early 1980s the Dalai Lama even took it upon himself to appoint unilaterally all delegates of the National Assembly.

Tsering Wangyal writing in the Tibetan Review in 1979 pointed out that ‘every important office-bearer in Dharamsala has to be approved by the Dalai Lama before formally taking his office.’ In the same article he continued:

‘Despite the introduction in 1963 of some of its external paraphernalia, Tibetan democracy is yet to come of age. The 199 Commission of Tibetan People’s Deputies (The National Assembly), the most consciously democratic institution in the exiled Tibetan community, has at its last public appearance failed to alter its image of being an impotent body – subservient for all practical purposes to the dictates of the government (the Dalai Lama). … The experience so far has shown that the old-world values and ideas continue to dominate the positions of power in the Tibetan community …’

In the last fifty years, the Tibetan exile government functioning in Dharamsala has never faced an opposition party, nor even an individual who could be called an opposition member. It has never taken a decision contrary to the Dalai Lama’s position, and such an event is even considered to be inconceivable. With all authority (executive, legislative, judicial and religious) invested solely in the person of the Dalai Lama, this government has ceased to uphold any pretence of constitutional democracy.

The Tibetan government is the Dalai Lama, and the Dalai Lama is the Tibetan government. Behind the trappings of government with its illusion of democracy, the Dalai Lama’s position, with its central tenet, ‘L’etat, c’est moi’ (‘I am the State’), extends its domain of authority over all aspects of policy and decision-making. There is no decision of government that is not the Dalai Lama’s decision.

Because the Dalai Lama is commonly held to be an infallible being, the embodiment of a Buddha, it is not only inconceivable but would also be heretical to formulate a policy or make a decision contrary to his wishes. Furthermore, because it would again be an act of heresy to criticise the policy or decision of a supposedly enlightened being, all criticism and blame for the Dalai Lama’s mistakes are directed at the Tibetan government, which has no means of redress.

In this way, the so-called Tibetan government is blamed for all of the Dalai Lama’s mistakes, and the untarnished image of the Dalai Lama is maintained. This very convenient system has enabled the Dalai Lama, through the illusion of government, to destroy the reputation and activities of others, to intimidate and persecute them, and to instigate violence against them, all while maintaining a faultless public image, and knowing full well that all subsequent blame will be carried by his ‘government’.

In September 1995, an unprecedented ‘open letter’ from the Tibetan people to the Dalai Lama was given anonymously to an English woman travelling in Nepal. Called the ‘Mongoose-Canine Letter’, it revealed to Westerners for the first time another side of the Dalai Lama, one which was already an open secret within the Tibetan community. For the first time ever, the Dalai Lama and his government were publicly accused of such things as illegal international trading in arms, persecution and assassination; and of creating schism and disharmony within the Tibetan spiritual traditions and community.